***Please Note:  This story contains scenes depicting sexual acts between members of the same sex.   If you are under the age of 18, or if it is illegal for you to read such material in your state, please do not read further.  If you are offended by this type of material, again, please do not read further.

This story is completely a work of fiction.  The characters and situations in the story exist solely in the author's imagination.   Any reference to the sexual identity of real people is completely fiction.  If you have questions, comments or suggestions regarding this story, please email me.   Flames ignored.

For a list of my other stories, and info about me, go to my Website.

Many celebrities are mentioned in this story, and some of them are even characters in the story.  I am in no way trying to say that I know anything about their personal sexualities by putting them in this story.  Although this story is mainly about a fictional celebrity, I wanted to say that I do not know any of the actual celebrities mentioned in this story.  I am simply borrowing their persona.

"Secrets Of The Morning" is a novel by V.C. Andrews.  It is not a television show.  The show is only part of this story.  Several liberties will be taken with this story, and although I'll try to stick to the true timeline of events in the careers of *Nsync and Backstreet Boys as well as various other stars, I don't see how I can keep up with that kind of research and continue to work at my day job.  The personalities of the celebrities in this story may be quite different than what you're used to.  I'm not concerned with their professional images.

I hope that everyone enjoys the story and realizes that this is only a story.  I don't know any of the stars mentioned in this story personally, and their sexuality, although sometimes under scrutiny, is never anyone's business than their own.  If, on an odd chance, this story reflects actual events at all, that is completely coincidental.  I'm not a spy, and I would never stalk a star. :)

Eric Draven

all lyrics in the story are also under copyright...please remember that

any lyrics borrowed from other artists will be credited at the bottom of the chapter

In this chapter, a movie project for a book named The Eye Of The World will be discussed.  The book by Robert Jordan is not being made into a movie, that I know of.  This is only part of the story, although it would be awesome to see the movie.

Last Time:

    "You call me if you need anything," said Jeff as Skyler was about to get on the plane to go back on tour.  "No matter where you are."

    "And you call me, just because it would be nice to hear from you," said Skyler.

    "I'll see you in Chicago," said Jeff, hugging him.

    Skyler got on the plane and sat beside his sister.  He was sad to be leaving Jeff.  He almost wished that he would come with him, but he knew that Jeff had been neglecting his responsibilities to spend time with him already.  It had been so nice to spend time with Jeff.  He was really going to miss him.


"Skyler Thomas is in the news again this morning. He and his brother and sister performed in Sacramento, California last night to a sold out crowd. Skyler addressed the rumors about Ben Thomas in an interview before the concert, stating that his father left the family when Skyler was four years old, and he hadn't heard anything from him since. 'I am having the man in Denver checked out,' he told the interviewer. 'I'm not going to hop a plane and run to this man. He may not even be who he says he is.' Sources say that the man claiming to be Ben Thomas has been living in Denver, Colorado for fifteen years, working as a bank manager."

Diane Barr:  The Rag



Copyright 2003-04 Eric Draven.

All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 16

    "He may not even be my father," sighed Skyler.

    "Well, a lot of the information you gave me fits," said Madonna on the telephone.  "He's been in Denver for fifteen years, Sky. We can't find anything about him before that. But we do know that his name really is Ben Thomas."

    "I guess I'm going to have to fly out there and find out for myself," said Skyler.  "I'll know when I see him."

    "When do you want to do this?" asked Madonna.  "I can clear the way for you."

    "Give me a little while," said Skyler.  "My father walked out on us, M. I'm not about to go running to his side and say that all is forgiven."

* * *

    "You all right?" Justin Timberlake asked JC Chasez as the two were taking a break from recording.  JC had not been himself today, and although he wasn't snapping at everyone, Justin couldn't stand this attitude, either.  JC was moping, and part of Justin wanted to be his friend and comfort him, but the rest of Justin was still very angry at JC for what he'd done.

    "Just a little down today," replied JC.  "I saw him on television this morning."

    "You don't have the right to be down over Skyler anymore, Josh," said Justin, surprising himself with his own anger.  "You lost that right when you walked out of his life."

    JC sat there speechless and watched Justin storm out of the room, slamming the door on his way out.  He looked around at his friends and saw pretty much the same angry look in their eyes.  He knew that he'd screwed everything up, and he wished that he could just go back in time and change it.  He missed Skyler like crazy.

    "You're not going to get much sympathy from us," said Joey.  "What you did was a shitty thing."

    "Don't you guys think I know that?" demanded JC.  "I screwed up my life, and I have no one to blame for it but myself."

    "You didn't just screw up your life, Joshua," said Lance.  "You broke Skyler's heart. How could you?"

    "Do you know that he moved back to New York the day after he got back here?" asked Chris.  "The house is empty, and Skyler is gone."

    "You talk to him, Lance," said JC.  "I know you do. How is he?"

    "Josh, he's asked that you not be given anymore information about him than you can find in the press," said Lance.  "You hurt him, and he said he isn't going to give you the chance to hurt him again. Its over now."

    "I guess I deserved that," said JC sadly.

    "You deserve more than that, Josh," said Joey.  "I'm so mad at you over this that I don't know what to do."

    "I know that, Joey," said JC angry now, himself.  "Thank you so much for reminding me. I can always count on you to throw shit in my face!"

* * *

    "There's my baby boy!" cried Niki when she walked into the hotel lobby and found Skyler talking to two of his dancers.

    "NIKI!" cried Skyler, running to her.

    The two wrapped their arms around each other and squeezed tight.  Several people in the lobby stopped to watch them with interest.  Kaleb Hassid noticed that some of them didn't look thrilled about their display.  People could be idiots.  He just hoped that no one had a back bone in the little group.  The last thing that Skyler needed was a bigot, yelling at him.

    He'd been getting some bad press over the Ben Thomas thing, and Kaleb was getting a little protective of his new friend.  Skyler had already been hurt by JC Chasez, and Kaleb didn't want anything else hurting him.  The two were rapidly getting to be good friends, and Kaleb didn't have many friends in America.

    "My my," said Niki, holding Skyler's hands and stepping back to look at him.  "You are packing on the muscle, baby!"

    "Stop it," he said, laughing.  "I just came from dance rehearsal, and I got quite a work out."

    "I can see!" she replied.

    "God, its good to see you," said Skyler when they were finally up on the fifteenth floor.  The entire floor had been closed off for the tour.  The dancers, band, and official people were all staying on that floor.

    This tour was different that the others.  There were no buses on this tour.  Lots of shows were back to back, and they spent more time on the jet than ever before, and it was taking its toll on Skyler.  He was thankful that they would be staying in Phoenix for a week.

    "You look tired," said Niki.  "You getting enough sleep?"

    "Well, we've been doing back to back shows, flying from city to city every day, so no, I haven't been getting enough sleep. But this week, we'll be in the hotel all week long, so I'll catch up."

    "I thought you were crazy when Cassie told me that there would be no bus on this tour," she said.  "I realize that it lets you get through America quicker, but Skyler, GAWD!"

    "I know," he laughed.  "I am seriously not going to tour this way ever again."

    "I noticed that Jeff Timmons is in Phoenix," said Niki.  "That wouldn't have anything to do with you, would it?"

    "He's staying for the week," said Skyler.  "We're getting to be very good friends."

    "Friends?" she asked, smiling at him.

    "Friends," he insisted.  "I'm not getting myself into any kind of relationship again for a while."

    "Sky," said Kaleb, poking his head inside the door.  "JC's on the phone again."

    "So hang up the phone," said Skyler coldly.

    Josh had been calling him in every city he landed in, and Skyler kept refusing to talk to him.  He was done with JC Chasez.  There was nothing to discuss.  He was finally starting to get used to the idea of being single, and it wasn't hurting as much now to know that JC was not waiting at home for him or on tour somewhere, thinking about what it would be like for them to finally come home to each other again.

    "You won't even talk to him?" asked Niki.  "He might want to work things out, Sky."

    "I don't want to work things out," said Skyler.  "This is the second time he's done this to me, Niki. There won't be a third."

* * *

    "Well, this is one of the most involved tours I've ever done," said Skyler.  "A lot of things that I normally do when I'm on tour just aren't possible with a tour like this."

    "You're flying from city to city now," said Kurt.  "Most shows are back to back. That has to be taking a lot out of you."

    "It is," agreed Skyler.  "I have nine back up dancers on this tour as well. Cassie is a part of the show, and Chad is opening at every show. There are so many details to make sure are checked, and double checked now. Of course its taking its toll."

    "This is all part of your plan to breeze through the American Leg of your tour, correct?" asked Kurt.

    "Yes, exactly," said Skyler.  "There are so many projects lined up, so close together, and the tour will end in Sydney, so I need to get to that point as quickly as I can."

    "What about Ben Thomas?" asked Kurt, making Skyler wince.  "Where does he fit in to all this?"

    "He doesn't, really," said Skyler.  "I know the world thinks I'm being an ass about this, Kurt. But what they don't know is that this man is lying.

    "He never tried to contact me in any way in sixteen years. He walked out on my family when I was four years old, and now that I'm successful, he's come back. I haven't heard him even mention Cassie or Chad, so how do I even know that this man really is my father?"

    "I'm sure you're having him checked out," said Kurt.

    "Oh, of course," said Skyler.  "So far, all we know about him is that he's lived in Denver for fifteen years and working as a bank manager. We know nothing concrete about him before that, so until I get to Denver with the show, I'm not going to worry about it much. If he is my father, he's been ignoring us for sixteen years, a few more weeks won't be that much of a deal."

    "I can see that this is a bad topic for you," said Kurt.  "So we'll move on."

    "Thank you," said Skyler, smiling at him.

    "Why don't we talk about the tabloids?" laughed Kurt.

    "Oh, them," said Skyler, putting on a mock pained look.  "They plague me so much, you know."

    "Yes," Kurt agreed.  "Now they are saying that you and Jeff Timmons are getting rather cozy. Care to comment on that one?"

    "Sure," sighed Skyler.  "I have to tell you that it still gets rather annoying that I can't have any friends without a tabloid trying to turn it into something dirty.

    "Now, before I get quoted, saying that homosexuality is dirty, let me clarify what I was trying to say. I find nothing wrong with homosexuality at all, and what I was trying to say was that, Jeff, like every other male celebrity I befriend, is now being subjected to some nasty stories in the tabloids, and that's not acceptable. Jeff Timmons and I are friends, and that's honestly all there is to it."

    "Nicely put," said Kurt.  "What about you and JC Chasez?"

    "That's something on which I have no comment at all," said Skyler.  "If you want to know about JC's sexuality, ask him. I believe I've already made it very clear that I won't discuss my own, but he's a big boy, so he can say whatever he wants. I will say this, JC and I were very close friends."

    "And now you're not?" asked Kurt.

    "No, we're not," replied Skyler.  "I think that the tabloids, fan speculation and numerous other things just ruined our friendship."

    "But you are still very friendly with the other members of *Nsync," stated Kurt.

    "Of course," replied Skyler.  "JC has his own problems. That doesn't mean that I have to sever all ties with the rest of my friends."

    "So what happened between you and Howie Dorough?" asked Kurt.  "I understand that the two of you were friends for a while."

    "We're still friends," said Skyler.  "We're both just very busy."

    "I can see that you've been busy," said Kurt.  "The tour must be very hard on friendships."

    "Well, it can be, but I wouldn't trade touring for the world," he replied.  "I'm just not so sure that I'll ever tour like this again."

* * *

    "That was some interview," said Jeff when Skyler got back to his room.

    "Kurt probes and probes," sighed Skyler.  "He means well, but he just jumps from subject to subject all the time. And sometimes, he gets into things I don't want to discuss."

    "Like JC," said Jeff, rubbing Skyler's shoulders.

    "God, that feels good," sighed Skyler.  "I love it when you do that."

    "You know, Sky," said Jeff quietly.  "I could do a lot more for you."   

    The two were quiet for a few minutes after that.  Jeff was worried that he'd gone a little too far, and Skyler was trying to soak up what he'd said to him.  He had to admit that Jeff was a very attractive guy.  He also couldn't deny that the thought of them together hadn't crossed his mind a time or two.

    Jeff.  He was always so nice to him.  Skyler wondered just what it would be like to be in a relationship with him.  Would he continue to be so caring and nice? Or would he do the same thing JC did as soon as the press started pushing? Skyler didn't think he could handle that again.

    But Jeff was too gorgeous and sweet to hurt.  Skyler could get lost in his beautiful baby blue eyes, and when Jeff smiled, his entire face lit up.  His body was awesome, too.  He had muscles everywhere! Add all of that to his killer personality, and Jeff was an absolute perfect catch.  Still, Skyler couldn't give him what he wanted when JC was still on his mind.

    "Jeff . . ."

    "No," said Jeff.  "I shouldn't have put you on the spot like that. I know that you're not over JC, and coming on to you like that was really bad. Please forgive me."

    "Forgive you?" asked Skyler with wide eyes.  "Jeff, you are my rock. If it weren't for you, I'd probably be blubbering like an idiot over JC. I'm flattered, and I have to admit, selfishly, that I'm thrilled that you think about me like that. I just can't get involved in a relationship like that right now. It wouldn't be fair to you."

    "Fair?" he asked, smiling.  "Skyler, I'm not asking you to love me. I'm asking you to give me the chance to be more to you than just a friend. I know you're not over JC, and I'm not over Jordan, either. But why do we both have to be so damned lonely all of the time?"

* * *

    "I can't stand this anymore," sighed Lance.  "He's got to snap out of this funk. We have been working on this damned album forever. If we can just get this one done, then I don't care what JC does anymore."

    "What are you saying?" asked Chris.  "You want to kick him out of the group, or something?"

    "No," replied Lance.  "Nothing like that. But if he wants to be so moody all of the time, and if he wants to blow us off like he does all of the time, then after the album is finished, he can do whatever he wants."

    "Lance, we all like Skyler," said Chris.  "But do we have to let him tear our family apart? He isn't exactly helping the situation by not talking to JC. They could work this out if he'd just talk to him. Why is Skyler being so stubborn?"

    "I'm not being stubborn," said Skyler coldly, shocking both of them.

    They'd come to Phoenix to see the show, and neither of them had thought about Skyler actually overhearing their conversation.  He was supposed to be off doing an interview.  He'd come back at just the right time, and Lance could see that what he'd heard had really pissed him off.

    Jeff Timmons stood right beside him with a worried look on his face for some reason.  Lance had to wonder if there was something going on between them.  That might explain why Skyler didn't want to even talk to JC.  Maybe Skyler had moved on.  As much as he hated the idea, Lance had to admit that it might be for the best.

    "Skyler," said Chris, standing up.

    "Don't, Chris," said Skyler.  "If you're going to tell me that you didn't mean it to sound like that, save it. I'm sick to death of everyone defending JC. You know, he's the one who left me. Twice. Am I just supposed to cave in and let him do this to me over and over again? Is that what you think? I thought you were my friend."

    "I am your friend," said Chris.  "I just don't understand why, if you both love each other so much, you can't work this out."

    "There's nothing left to work out, Chris," said Skyler.  "When is everyone going to understand that JC and I are through?"

    "Calm down, Sky," said Jeff, putting his hand on Skyler's arm.

    "No, I won't calm down," snapped Skyler, making Jeff wince.  "This has gone on long enough. Chris, if you can't understand where I'm coming from on this, then I guess you should go back to Orlando. The last thing I need right now, is someone to be in my face about how I'm hurting JC Chasez."

    "That was a little harsh, Sky," said Lance, standing beside Chris.

    "Was it?" he asked.  "Well, I'm sorry, but this is really starting to piss me off. JC did this. Not me."

    "I know that," said Lance.  "Believe me, I know that."

    "Then why doesn't everyone get it through their fucking heads that JC and I are through?" asked Skyler before he turned on his heals and walked out of the room, leaving the three guys staring at each other in shock.

    "What in Hell is going on out here?" demanded Kaleb, coming out of his room.  "You guys can be heard all over the damned hotel."

    "Who the Hell are you?" demanded Chris.

    "My name is Kaleb Hassid," said Kaleb, coming the rest of the way out of his room.  "What are you guys doing out here?"

    "We came to see the show," said Lance.  "Skyler and Chris just had a slight misunderstanding."

    "Didn't sound like anything slight to me," said Kaleb.  "Skyler doesn't need this shit right now. With everything that has been going on in his life, the last thing he needs if for his so called friends to fly across the country just to tell him that he's hurting JC. I think Skyler has made his feelings very well known, so if you can't deal with it, then perhaps you should just leave him alone."

    "Kaleb Hassid!" cried the voice of Madonna from behind them, making them all jump.  "What do you think you're doing?"

    "He started it by screaming at Skyler and making him leave," said Kaleb.

    "What?" she asked, turning to glare at Chris.

    "It wasn't like that," said Chris, putting his head down.

* * *

    "There you are," said Jeff, coming up beside Skyler.

    "I'm sorry for walking away like that," said Skyler.  "But I'm so tired of being told about JC all the time."

    "Hey, I understand," said Jeff.  "Don't worry about it."

    "I can't wait to get back to New York and hide for a while," said Skyler, sighing.

    "You're not going back into the studio?" asked Jeff.

    "Oh, I'll go into the studio," he replied.  "But no more sappy love songs. I'm tired of poring my heart out in my music."

    "So you're going to do a record with no ballads?" he asked.

    "No, I'm sure that I'll have to have a few ballads on it," he replied.  "But the won't dominate the album."

    "They haven't dominated your other albums," said Jeff.  "You have more dance hits than ballads, my friend."

    "I think I'm ready to do another movie," he said.

    "I'm glad to hear you say that, Skyler," said Madonna, startling both of them.  "That's what I came to talk to you about."

    "A movie?" he asked.

    "The movie," she replied.  "Robert Jordan, ever hear of him?"

    "Yeah," said Jeff.  "Didn't he write Conan The Barbarian?"

    "He sure did," she replied, smiling.  "As well as several other brilliant fantasy fiction novels."

    "What about him?" asked Skyler.

    "I want you to read this book," said Madonna, handing him a copy of Robert Jordan's The Eye Of The World.  "He's developing a screen play, and I want you in the movie."

* * *

    "Where's Chris?" asked Skyler after the show.

    "He left after Kaleb and Madonna jumped all over him," said Lance.

    "I'll call him when we get to Salt Lake City," said Skyler.  "I really didn't mean to blow up at him, Lance."

    "I know that," said Lance, putting his arm around Skyler's shoulder.  "He just pushed a little too hard. He does that."

    "But that doesn't give me the right to scream at him," he said.  "I feel bad about it."

    "Sky, he just wants you and JC to get back together," said Lance.  "We all do. But I know that isn't what you want, and I can respect that. Just be patient with Chris."

    "I'm trying to be patient with everyone," said Skyler.  "But I don't want to talk to JC. Tell him to stop calling."

    "I'll tell him," said Lance.  "But that doesn't mean he'll listen."

    On the plane, Skyler thought about everything Lance had said.  It was going to take a little more time for everyone to get used to the fact that he and JC were no longer together.  He really did feel bad about screaming at him.  His nerves were tight, and he'd snapped at more people than he cared to have to apologize to.  He had to get JC out of his mind.

    "You miss him, don't you?" asked Kaleb, sitting beside him.

    "Like crazy," sighed Skyler.  "This is a lot harder than I thought it'd be."

    "It'll get easier, Sky," said Kaleb.  "He isn't the only man in the world."

    "I thought you were straight," laughed Skyler.

    "I wasn't talking about me, Sky," said Kaleb seriously.  "Jeff really seems to like you."

    "He's getting over Jordan," said Skyler.  "We've had that discussion already."

    Kaleb was getting to be a good friend.  Skyler could see why Cassie liked him so much.  She'd been the one to recommend him for the tour, and every time she talked about him, she couldn't stop smiling.  He was close to her age.  At eighteen, Kaleb Hassid was everything that Cassie could dream of.

    He was a dancer that could move like no other.  Growing up in Israel, Skyler couldn't imagine where he'd learned to dance.  His years growing up in a life of hard labor showed in his perfectly chiseled abs.  His body was toned just right, and he had the muscular legs of a dancer.

    His dark eyes always looked sad to Skyler, and he wondered just what kind of personal sadness Kaleb was enduring.  There was no way he was every going to pry, but if Kaleb was going to be with his sister, Skyler had to know that he was the right guy for her.

    He was right about Jeff, though.  He really did like Skyler.  Skyler couldn't help thinking that it was too soon for both of them.  Jeff's proposition appealed to him, though.  He couldn't deny that.  Jeff was gorgeous, and he was nothing like JC.  Perhaps they could be happy together.  Skyler would have to think about that some more.  He wouldn't see Jeff again until they reached Denver.

    That wouldn't be a good place for them to talk, though.  Skyler had to deal with Ben Thomas while he was in Denver, and that could turn out to be a very emotional event.  He was glad that Jeff would be there for him, but he wished that it would just go away.  If that man was really his father, Skyler didn't know what to say to him.

    He'd left when Skyler was four, never looking back.  In sixteen years there was never a word.  Now, though, he had come back, and he wanted Skyler to acknowledge him.  Skyler thought of Chad and Cassie, and the story he'd have to tell them.  The truth would really hurt them, but they deserved to know what had happened.

* * *

    "Allow me to introduce Rich Cronin and Brad Fischetti of LFO," said Kaleb while they were all getting ready for the show.

    "Nice to meet both of you," said Skyler.  "I like your music."

    "Nice to meet you," said Rich, shaking his hand.  "I like yours, too."

    "Same here," said Brad.  "Pleasure."

    "These guys have been calling me for the last few weeks, trying to get me to introduce you," said Kaleb, smiling his killer smile.

    "How did you meet these two?" asked Skyler.

    "When I first came to America, I worked with Rich," said Kaleb.  "We got to be friends, and when he started LFO, I met Brad."

    They talked for a while once Skyler was dressed in his costume for the beginning of the show.  He had to admit that they were both very attractive.  Rich's blond hair was spiked, and his green eyes sparkled when he smiled.  Brad dark hair and eyes reminded Skyler of Jeff.  The two didn't look alike, but Jeff had been on his mind all day long for some reason.

    "You guys staying for the show?" asked Skyler after the five minute call had been heard.

    "Wouldn't miss it," said Rich, smiling at him.

* * *

    "Come on, Salt Lake, give it up!" cried Skyler after finishing Get Up.  "Do you want to hear an old favorite?"  The crowd roared as the music to Dizzy  started.


I'm so Dizzy My head is spinning
Like a whorl pool it never ends
And its you, girl, making it spin
You're making me Dizzy," sang Skyler, dancing around the stage.

    "COME ON, SALT LAKE!" he cried.  "SING WITH ME!"

"First time that I saw you girl
I knew that I just had to make you mine
But its so hard to talk to you
with fellas hanging round you all the time

I want you for my sweet pet
But you keep playin hard to get
Goin' round in circles all the time

Dizzy," sang Skyler on the stage.

    "He's really into it," said Rich as he and Brad watched from just off stage.

    "They said he always puts on a killer show," said Brad.

    "Kaleb wants me to work with him on his new album," said Rich.  "I think I might actually enjoy it."

    "I've heard that he can record a song in one take," replied Brad.  "The guy is amazing."

* * *

    "Well, hello, Traveling One," laughed Howie when Skyler hugged him.  "Its good to see you."

    "What are you doing here?" asked Skyler, excited to see his friend.

    "We're taking a little break, so I thought I'd fly out and check out the show," said Howie.  "I've been hearing a lot about it."

    "Good things I hope."

    "Absolutely good things," he said laughing.  "You know you rock."

    "Well thank you very much, Mr. Dorough," said Skyler, smiling.  "So what do you want to do all day."

    "Why don't we talk about Jeff Timmons?" he asked, and Skyler's smile disappeared.

to be continued

once again, Dizzy is a song by Tommy Roe

This Chapter was edited by Rclayton.

My other stories on Nifty:

Christopher's Story
Nicholas And Mark

Adult Youth:
Boys Of Summer
Midnight Encounter

For a complete list of all of my stories, go to my website.

Stories That I Really Like On Nifty:

High School:
Matthew Figures It Out
Carrots And Celery

Family Album
My Step-Brother, Jacob

Working It Out

Prolific Nifty Authors That I REALLY Recommend:

Greg Bowden
Eric Case
Justin Case (In Loving Memory)