***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 Eye Of The World" is a book by Robert Jordan.  It, sadly, is still not a movie.  The show and movie are only parts 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

Last Time:

    "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.


"Ben Thomas says that Skyler Thomas, the son that he abandoned sixteen years ago, still refuses to contact him. Spokesman for Skyler Thomas issued a statement fro New Mexico today, saying that this man, who may or may not be the father of the Thomas's, walked out on them sixteen years ago, and Skyler will not drop everything to run to meet him."

Randy Reagan:  The Rag

"Spokesman for *Nsync say that there upcoming album, Celebrity, will not be delayed. The group is still together and working on their album. Sources say that Lance Bass and Chris Kirkpatrick flew to Phoenix to see Skyler Thomas in concert, but they are both back in Orlando and in the studio."

Jason Nelson:  Entertainment Tonight



Copyright ©2003-04 Eric Draven®.

All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 17

    "What about Jeff Timmons?" asked Skyler.

    "You two have been spending a lot of time together," said Howie.  "I was wondering if there was something going on between you."

    "Howie," sighed Skyler.  "Jeff and I are friends. We're going to work together on the new album, and he's been coming to see me so we can both help each other get over losing our lovers."

    "That's all?" asked Howie, making Skyler smile.

    "I promise, Howie," said Skyler.  "That's all."

    "You know Jordan is telling people some very bad things about Jeff," said Howie.  "I'm just looking out for you."

    "What has Jordan Knight been saying?" asked Skyler.

    "That Jeff was unfaithful, for one thing," said Howie.  "He told AJ that Jeff could get really mean when he's drunk, too."

    "Howie," said Skyler.  "You can't believe everything that an ex lover says about the other."

    "True," he said.  "But I'd rather be safe than sorry."

* * *

"Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I'll be watching you

Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I'll be watching you

O can't you see
You belong to me
How my poor heart aches with every step you take

Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake

Every claim you stake
I'll be watching you

Since you've gone I been lost without a trace
I dream at night I can only see your face
I look around but it's you I can't replace
I keep crying baby please

Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I'll be watching you," sang Skyler on the stage.

    Howie and Chad were watching.  Chad had overheard some of Howie and Skyler's conversation, and he was a little upset with Howie for telling Skyler those things about Jeff.  Chad had seen nothing in Jeff that would indicate that he would hurt Skyler, and his brother seemed happier when Jeff was around.  The last thing he needed was for Howie to screw that up.

    After the show, Howie stuck around until they left for the airport.  Chad wanted to say something to him about the earlier conversation, but Skyler didn't seem to be upset by it, so he held his tongue.  He'd talk to Sky about it later.  If Skyler wanted to have a relationship with Jeff, Chad wasn't going to let anyone stand in the way of that.

    He was still very upset with JC for doing what he'd done.  Chad had known it was coming.  At least he'd known something was coming, but he still couldn't believe that JC had just walked out like that without so much as a word.  He'd really liked JC, and this was just something that he couldn't forgive him for.

    Chris had upset Skyler in Phoenix, and Chad was a little angry about that, too.  How any of them could take JC's side of this and still claim to be Skyler's friend was beyond him.  Maybe Chris wasn't the man Chad had thought he was.  That was a sad thought.  Chad really liked Chris, and if he was just like all the others, Chad was a very bad judge of character.

    On the flight to Denver, everyone was really quiet, but Chad knew that they weren't sleeping.  It was because of Ben Thomas.  They'd be spending a week in Denver, and that meant that Skyler would have to confront the man that claimed to be their father.  Skyler didn't know it, but Chad knew the reason that his father had left.  Their mother had told him and Cassie more than once when she was angry with them for something.

* * *

    "I'm really glad you're here, Jeff," said Skyler as they rode back to the hotel in the limo.

    "I thought you could use the support," said Jeff.  "You haven't talked to him yet, have you?"

    "No," said Skyler.  "But he is my father. There's no doubt about that now."

    "Does he know you are in Denver?" asked Jeff.

    "The whole world knows I'm in Denver," said Skyler.  "It was on the news this morning."

    "So where does he live?" asked Jeff.

    "Right now, his address is St. Joseph Hospital," sighed Skyler.  "My father is dying."

    "What happened?" asked Jeff sympathetically.

    "Cancer," replied Skyler.

    He didn't know how to feel about this.  His father had walked out on him, abandoning all of them.  Now he was in a hospital in Denver, demanding to see his oldest son before he died.  Skyler was still very angry with his father for leaving.  How was he supposed to feel now that the man was dying?

    He hadn't told the twins yet.  He didn't know how to tell them this.  So many strange thoughts and emotions gripped him all of the time now.  He was angry at the man, but did he want him dead? He had to admit that a part of him had hoped that there would be some sort of reconciliation.  The child inside of him remembered how close the two of them had been.

    That same child also blamed his father for all of the cruelties and abuses Skyler had suffered at the hands of his step-father.  If his father hadn't left them, his mother would never have remarried, and none of that would have happened.  The twins would have grown up in a normal family, Skyler wouldn't have to shudder every time he looked in the mirror, and maybe their mother would still be alive.

    Skyler had been playing the "what if" game all day long.  He didn't know what he was going to say when he went to the hospital.  He was afraid that there might be a confrontation, and if the man was that sick, Skyler didn't want to make things worse by screaming at him on his death bed.  He just wished that there was some way to just go back in time and fix whatever went wrong in his family.

    When they got to the hotel, the press was everywhere.  Brent tried to usher Jeff and Skyler though the crowd, but that didn't stop hungry reporters from grabbing their arms and shouting questions at them.  Skyler just kept walking, sometimes yanking his arm out of a grasp.  He hated the fact that the press would just barge into this.  It was hard enough on him already.

    Once they'd finally reached their floor, the silence was almost tangible.  Jeff had never seen this group so quiet.  They were all sitting in the "common" room, and none of them looked happy.  It was clear that this was taking its toll on each one of them, and Jeff wished that there was something he could do for them.

    When it was time to head over to the hospital, Skyler was a nervous wreck.  Cassie and Chad just looked angry, and Skyler was worried about what they would say to their father when they met him.  He'd told them that he was sick as soon as he'd gotten off the elevator, but neither twin had seemed to care.

    He couldn't blame them.  He was angry, too.  But he'd walked out on them when they were only days old.  Skyler had no idea how that would feel, so he didn't try to change their moods at all.  He didn't think he could, even if he'd wanted too.  Chad and Cassie were very strong willed people.

    Brent, two other guards, Jeff and Madonna drove with them to the hospital.  Guy had stayed back at the hotel with the kids, letting Madonna come along for emotional support.  She couldn't imagine what Skyler was feeling as they drove through Denver's streets.  She'd lost her mother when she was a child, but at least her mother hadn't walked out on her.  She didn't know what to say to Skyler about how to feel about that.

    No one said anything on the drive from the hotel to the hospital.  Jeff didn't now what to say any more than Madonna did.  He hoped that Skyler would be all right, but he'd be there for him no matter what.  Jeff was really starting to care about Skyler a lot more than he was saying.  He knew that Skyler was afraid of a rebound relationship, and so was he.  He just couldn't turn the feelings off that were growing inside of him.  He'd give Skyler time to sort out what was going on in his head, but Jeff couldn't wait much longer.

    When they pulled into the hospital parking lot, no one made a move or a sound.  Skyler gripped Jeff's hand and sighed.  This was it.  He was going to be faced with the man who had walked out of his life and left him to a world of misery and abuse.  How in the world was he going to keep from screaming at him?

    His new anger disturbed him.  He'd expected to be angry, but this was almost full blown hatred.  As he sat there, holding Jeff's hand, all of the years of abuse and fear came rushing back to him.  There were so many slaps, punches, kicks and other horrors that the six year old inside him wanted his father to answer for.

    Madonna could see the veins in Skyler's forehead bulging, and she knew that he had to calm down.  She didn't know what to say, though.  They'd discussed his childhood, and she imagined that he was blaming his father for all that had happened.  She wasn't so sure that she would be feeling any different if she were in his shoes.

    "You've got to calm down, Sky," said Jeff softly, looking at Skyler with concern.

    "I'm trying," he whispered tightly.

    The next thing that Skyler knew, they were riding up in an elevator.  He didn't even remember dealing with the press, but he must have, because they were everywhere outside of the hospital.  He watched as the numbers blinked by, taking him up.  They were taking him to the confrontation of his life.

    "I don't want to see him," said Cassie, breaking the thick silence that had settled on the group.

    "I don't either," said Chad, standing beside his sister.

    "Neither of you have to do anything you don't want to do," said Skyler.  "I have to see him."

    The elevator doors opened, and the group just looked at the empty hall before them.  Brent pushed the "open door" button until it started buzzing at them, making Skyler move.  He walked down the hall to the nurse's station and stood there for a few minutes, trying to figure out what he was supposed to say.

    "Can I help you?" asked an older woman.  She had peaceful grey eyes, and her hair was just starting to turn from its radiant red, strands of grey invading the fold.

    "I'm here to . . ."

    "Oh," she said, realization and recognition washing over her face.  "You're Skyler Thomas."

    "Yes, ma'am," said Skyler as several heads, staff and visitors alike, turned to stare at him.  "I'm here to see my father."

    "Oh, he's a very nice man, Mr. Thomas," she said, smiling at him.  "Its a shame what's happening to him."

    "Ma'am, how bad is my father?" asked Skyler.

    "Well," she said, looking at the desk.  "He has good days and bad days. He's sleeping right now, but he's been asking to see you for so long."

    "How long does he have?" asked Cassie, coming up beside Skyler.

    "Well, I'm afraid I can't answer that question," said the nurse sadly.  "He's in the final stages, and it could be any time."

    "Thank you, ma'am," said Skyler.

    "Shirley," said the nurse.

    "Shirley," he said.  "What room is my father in?"

    "Oh, they moved him this morning," she said as if that was why Skyler didn't know where his father was.  "He's across the hall in that room, right there."

    "Thank you, Shirley," he said as she pointed at the room behind him.

    "You going to be ok?" asked Jeff, coming up and standing beside Skyler as he stared at the closed door of his father's room.

    "Fine," he breathed.  "Stay here with Cassie and Chad, please."

    Skyler didn't know what he was expecting, but nothing could have prepared him for the sight of his father when he opened that door.  The man that Skyler remembered was strong and full of life.  This man was pale and very thin.  His blond hair was now very thin and very white.  He looked as if he'd aged twenty years.

    Skyler stood beside his bed, watching him sleep.  He noticed the pained look on his father's face every time that he took in a breath of air.  Tears flowed as Skyler looked at the helpless man before him.  Gone was the anger and the bone jarring hatred that he had for him.  In its place was something akin to pity.  Sure, he'd left his family and walked away, but look at him now.

    Skyler still needed answers, but he didn't feel the blinding pull of the anger that those questions caused.  He sat down at his father's side and took his hand.  His heart cried out for the lost years between them.  Memories of bicycle rides, picnics, throwing Frisbees and riding on his father's shoulders wrenched more tears from deep within Skyler.

    "My boy," said a frail voice, breaking into Skyler's walk through memory lane.

    "Dad," sighed Skyler, trying hard to fight the fresh tears that were trying to fall.

    "You look so grown up now," said Ben Thomas.  "I've been watching you on television the last few years."

    "Dad, I'm sorry I didn't come sooner," said Skyler.

    "Stop that," said his father.  "I know you're angry, and you have every right to be."

    "Why did you leave?" he asked, breaking his own rule of letting it wait.

    "Because," sighed Ben.  "I had to, Sky. I couldn't stay there, knowing what your mother had done."

    "What are you talking about?" asked Skyler.  "What did she do?"

    "Sky, maybe this isn't the conversation we should be having," said his father.  A genuine look of worry covered his tired face.

    "I have to know, Dad," said Skyler.  "I have to know why you left me."

    "Oh, baby boy, I didn't leave you," said Ben, and tears ran down his face.  "I didn't leave you. It killed me to be away from you."

    "Then why?"

    "They aren't my children, Sky," sighed his father, looking away from Skyler.

    The silence was palpable after that statement.  Suddenly, everything made sense to Skyler.  His mother married Dave so quickly after his father left.  She told him so many things about his father, and never once did she put any of the blame on herself.  Dave was always just a little nicer, he wasn't nice to any of them really, to the twins than he was to Skyler.  He always referred to Skyler as her son.

    "And you left me, because of what she did," said Skyler, getting off the bed and turning his back on his father.  He didn't want him to see the new pain that he was sure was all over his face.

    "I didn't leave, Skyler," said his father.  "She threw me out, divorced me and married her lover."

    "But I haven't seen you in sixteen years," said Skyler.

    "In my drawer," said his father.

    Skyler opened the drawer to the bedside table and fished out a number of papers.  He shuffled through them until he found an old divorce decree.  He read the document as fresh tears streamed down his face.  It said that his father was abusive to both him and his mother, which wasn't true, and he was to have no contact with Skyler after the divorce.  Skyler couldn't believe that his mother had done this.  It was just too horrible.

    "Don't tell them, Skyler," said Ben.  "Tell them she made me leave all you want, but don't tell them I'm not their dad. I've read and heard all about what that man was like. I don't want them to know that he was their father. Let them hate me for the wrong reason."

    "Dad, I'm so sorry," said Skyler through his tears.  "All this time, I believed . . ."

    "Come here, Son," said his father, and Skyler was in his weak arms.

    "I'm going to stay here, Dad," said Skyler.  "I'm going to stay with you and spend all the time I can with you."

    He kept talking to his father, and he didn't even notice that Ben wasn't talking back.  He didn't notice that his father's grip on him had loosened until his arms had fallen back on the bed.  He was sobbing so much that he didn't realize that Ben's heart was not beating, or that he wasn't breathing.  hat was why he was so confused when nurses came rushing into the room and pried him away from his father.  It wasn't until he heard them telling him how sorry they were that he knew that his father was dead.

    "No," whispered Skyler.  "I just got him back."

* * *

    Skyler was finally asleep.  Jeff sat down with Madonna to discuss what they were going to do.  She'd already said that she was canceling the Denver show.  Jeff wasn't sure, but he thought it might be a good idea to cancel the Kansas City show as well.  Skyler was going to be in no condition to perform on Sunday.

    "Is he asleep?" she asked when Jeff sat down.

    "Finally," he replied, a troubled look clouded his eyes.

    "You love him, don't you?" asked Madonna.

    "It doesn't really matter how I feel about him," replied Jeff, shocking her.

    "What do you mean?" she asked.

    "He's in love with JC," said Jeff sadly.  "Just before he went to sleep, he called me Josh."


"Skyler Thomas has canceled three shows due to the death of his father, Ben Thomas. No information is available at this time about the rest of his tour. Sources say that Skyler is taking the death of his estranged father very hard. None of the Thomas family was available for comment."

Kurt Loder:  MTV News

    "Jeff is very worried about you, Sky," said Chad, sitting down on the edge of Skyler's bed.

    Skyler hadn't gotten out of bed for more than bathroom trips in three days.  He was definitely taking Ben's death very hard, and Chad wondered why.  As far as Chad had known, Skyler hated their father for leaving them with their mother and not saving them from Dave.  This depression baffled him.

    "I know," said Skyler.  "But I'll be ok. I just need some time."

    "Skyler, I don't mean to sound rude or anything," said Chad.  "But why are you so upset over his death? After what he did, you said you would never forgive him."

    "Chad, he didn't leave us," said Skyler, starting to cry again.  "She divorced him and made sure that he couldn't see us. I read the divorce decree the day he died."


    "She said he was abusive," sobbed Skyler.

    "Was he?" asked Chad.

    "No, he wasn't," replied Skyler, sitting up in the bed.  "He was a good father, Chad. He was the best father."

    "Tell me about him," said Chad.

    Skyler told him stories about his own childhood and his father.  He hated not telling Chad the truth, but he would honor his father's dying wish for the rest of his life.  Chad would have loved him if he'd been given the chance, and Skyler tried to paint a better picture of Ben in Chad's mind than the one he already had of Dave.

    The two brothers talked about the man that Chad had never gotten the chance to know for almost the entire night.  Chad soaked up all of the information that Skyler could give him, and in the end, they were both in tears.  Tears of sadness, loss and grief over the man that had been stolen from them.

to be continued

Alright guys, that's it for this chapter.  I'm sorry it was so short, but that just seemed like an ending to me.  The next chapter will most probably be longer.  There is much for Skyler to do, and he has to sort out his feelings for Jeff and JC.  Every Breath You Take is a song by Sting.

Eric Draven®

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)