Two Part Harmony
This is an alternate uber story. The physical descriptions of the two lead characters may remind you of two others we all know and love, but all characters in the story are from my own imagination. This story is an original work and is copyrighted by the author. It cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copyright 2007
This story depicts a loving relationship between two consenting, adult women and contains scenes of intimacy, but nothing too explicit. If you are under 18 years of age or if this type of story is illegal in the state or country in which you live, please do not read it. If depictions of this nature disturb you, you may wish to read something else.
There are a few bad words and some violence.
Feedback will be welcomed at Khall828@earthlink.net
I have also created a group for discussions of this, past and future stories. Join us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/colleens_corner
A young man dressed in leather pants and a shirt two sizes two small, no doubt thinking his bulging chest would get him a job, stepped onto the well lit stage in the private auditorium.
“Mr. Mandel, do your thing,” said Bolton Bowers, the not so typical entertainment manager. With his coal black hair, nearly matching eyes and six foot three height, Bowers was quite intimidating. The small goatee that encircled his mouth, along with his attitude, made him appear quite devilish. An image which he didn’t seem to mind at all and in fact perpetuated whenever he could. He stroked those dark whiskers whenever he thought he was getting away with something. And when it came to his famous client, he usually did.
Hands flew across the drums in front of the man auditioning for a spot in the band Sky High, the backup band for Skylar Ramsey, the hottest new singer in pop music. Having risen to fame in just inside two years, Skylar Ramsey was a natural for show business. She caught the interest of every set of eyes when she walked into a room. But she had been doing that long before she came to the attention of the music world, because of a natural God given quality. She always had a smile and a genuine one. Her generosity was already legendary, as she donated her time or her name to various charities, having a particular soft spot for abused women and children. Her gorgeous and purely natural born looks drew screams, catcalls, whistles and marriage proposals from both her male and female fans. Having her first single reach number one on the music charts and having her first CD reach platinum sales almost immediately, sent her on the fast track of the celebrity highway. She did her first music tour the previous summer, as the opening act for a music legend. And now she was preparing for her first national, headlining tour in support of her new CD, entitled Soaring. She had also just won a Grammy for best new artist. Surprisingly to Skylar, she had also seemed to catch the attention of movie makers and television producers, receiving dozen of scripts and audition offers. But Skylar was only interested in music…at least at this point in her life anyway.
Publicity was an absolute necessity in the business of show and Skylar’s image had already appeared on hundreds of respected magazines and some of the more disreputable ones. Every issue was always a best seller. There were many high school lockers, office cubicles and bedroom walls featuring her lovely visage. And no doubt she had starred in more than a few fantasies. Her mane of shining, dark chestnut hair hung most of the way down her back, only lending to the attraction of her five foot ten inch form. And anyone coming within two yards of the beautiful woman was immediately mesmerized by the pair of sparkling, indigo eyes that looked back. Those eyes concealed a soul already aware of more anguish than most others her age.
But the world would never know.
The weary eyes were now closed and the temples around them being rubbed to ease away the ache of the pounding that echoed that of the noise coming from the stage. Anticipating, begging for the end of the song, she looked up to catch the man’s exaggerated wink in her direction. He finished with a flurry of furious drum licks and then proceeded to twirl the sticks above his head.
“Thank you Mr. Mandel. We will be in touch.” Bowers leaned over to the star and whispered. “What do you think, Cash?”
“You’re really asking my opinion?” Skylar replied with a sharp tongue. “And don’t call me that.” He was the only person to ever bring out the very worst in her and she never tried to disguise it…around him. They would be adversaries to the very end. Most everyone around wondered why the two put up with each other, but no one suspected their dark secret.
“It is your band,” he answered.
“Damn right,” she muttered. “I don’t think Mr. Leather is even under consideration. I want a serious musician, not an egotistical show off.”
“Okay then, which one?”
Skylar leaned back in her chair, stretched out her long legs under the table and reviewed her notes. Sixteen applicants had displayed their varying degrees of talent over the past three hours. She had almost immediately disqualified four of those, including Mr. Leather pants, for a number of different reasons. But she let each of them finish their turn out of courtesy. Skylar’s kind nature was well known and respected by her fans, friends and colleagues, except her manager who tried to toughen her image whenever he could. But Skylar always managed damage control of his misguided efforts. She hated being under his control, but pushed him to his limits whenever possible.
Skylar was replacing two band members with these auditions. One backup singer had left with the star’s full support to pursue other opportunities. And the previous drummer’s continued misconduct had forced Skylar to terminate his employment. That had not been a pleasant scene with his drunken slurs and veiled threats.
Skylar was surprised that only sixteen people had showed up for a try out as her drummer. Surprised, but grateful; she didn’t think her head could take much more. Headaches had been plaguing her for several months and Skylar suspected it was caused from a combination of stress and apprehension. The stress was inevitable in this business, but being nervous surprised her, then again she was about to embark on her first headlining tour. Above all, she didn’t want to disappoint her fans, whose extreme interest had at first overwhelmed her, but then quickly warmed her heart and soul, which were otherwise very lonely.
She gathered up the papers in her hand and the ones scattered on the table in front of her and shoved them into a folder. “I need some air,” she announced. “I’ll be back in half an hour with my decision.”
Bo wasn’t happy with the delay and made it well known by banging his fist on the table. “Just be sure you don’t take any longer,” he growled. “We’ve got thirty two more auditions for singers, and you know we have to find one today. They’ll only have two weeks of rehearsal as it is.” He shook his head in disgust. “I don’t know how you could have let Cheryl leave with this tour about to start and you should have canned Brian a long time ago. The first dozen shows are gonna sound like crap.”
Skylar wouldn’t let herself be baited into an argument. She turned on her heels and stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind her. If the press had been there, they may have had cause to report her surprisingly bitchy attitude. And it would have been a first. One reporter from a television entertainment show was due to spend a short time at the auditions later in the day.
After grabbing a diet soda from a vending machine, Skylar went to her third floor office. She grabbed a small bottle from her desk drawer and an apple from the tiny refrigerator in the corner. Taking her snack and medicine, she stepped out onto the balcony that overlooked a small park. She washed down two aspirins with her soda and stood there gathering her thoughts. She was pretty sure which of the drummers she was going to choose, but she really needed the break, mostly from Bo. She had trouble spending long periods of time with Bobo, as she called him. But she didn’t have much of a…no, she had no choice.
Leaning against the railing, Skylar surveyed the group milling about on the green grass below her. A few clicks and a flash or two alerted her of the cameras pointed in her direction. She didn’t mind those people getting their photos, but she wasn’t going to primp and pose; she was already too tired and the day wasn’t even half over. She did give a weary smile and a simple wave.
A dozen or so people were already there waiting for the singing auditions to begin. Although she was replacing a woman, Skylar saw four men in the group. She would be choosing a woman if she could get away with it, but if she heard some extraordinary talent she always passed their name on to a producer or two. That’s how she was discovered and she wanted to do the same for others.
The sun was bright on this late April day and a strong breeze ruffled her dark hair, also helping to chase away the pain in her head. She snagged a bite of the juicy fruit as she scanned the potential employees. Skylar’s gaze was drawn to one in particular. She couldn’t tell much about the woman’s features, but the blonde appeared to be right around her own twenty six years of age. The young lady sat by herself on a bench, her face lowered, reading a book. There was calmness about her… or maybe it was loneliness. Maybe that was the instant, odd connection she felt with this woman, even from a distance. Skylar flipped through her papers, finding the names of those signed up to audition and she began to read, trying to guess which name belonged to the lovely blonde. By the time she finished the list, Skylar had it narrowed down to three names. She couldn’t wait to see if she won the little game and wondered what prize to give herself. Skylar Ramsey smiled, finished her drink and headed back to face her manager.
* * *
A little over three hours later, they had heard over half of the singers, including two of the names Skylar had chosen, but she had yet to see the blonde from before. There were some very talented individuals, but as with the drummers, she wouldn’t begin to make a decision until the last one had finished.
Bo had scheduled a break at three o’clock for an interview with a reporter from Show Biz One, a cable entertainment news show. The female journalist, Sherry Smart, checked her appearance in the mirror, giving her dark blonde do a final fluff. A tall, skinny technician stepped up and checked the placement of the microphone attached to Sherry’s collar. Ms. Smart then took her seat under the blaring lights and waited, studying her notes and list of questions. After the tech had affixed the mic to Skylar’s shirt, Bo walked her over to the interview area. She had been interviewed by this woman on two other occasions and thought her nice enough, but silently likened her to a Disney employee on a constant caffeine IV. Bo whispered something in the reporter’s ear and she nodded and grinned flirtatiously. Skylar briefly wondered what that was all about, but didn’t really worry too much; with Bo it could mean almost anything. Bowers walked outside the camera area, but remained within hearing range. He crossed his thick arms across his beefy chest and pinned his client with an ominous glare.
Sherry produced a smile that nearly obliterated the lower half of her face and exposed what Skylar was sure must have been at least sixty four teeth. “Skylar, it’s so good to see you again.”
“Thanks Sherry. It’s nice to see you too.”
The segment producer counted down the start of taping. With the cameras rolling, Sherry questioned the singer about her upcoming tour and the auditions. Another question or two and ten minutes later, the interview was just about to come to an end.
“Skylar,” Sherry said, “I have to ask you about the spreading rumor that you might be getting engaged in the coming months to a young man by the name of Daniel.”
Skylar forced a smile as she caught her manager’s dark, threatening gaze. She didn’t even know anyone named Daniel, and though denying would probably give Bo a stroke, she had to tread very carefully. “Is that really the best rumor you’ve heard this week?” Skylar chuckled and zipped her lips teasingly. But inside she was seething. Now she knew what that little covert whisper was about. Being in that career, Skylar knew that rampant rumors were par for the course, but when they were spread with ulterior motives it was appalling. She didn’t have time to call Bo on his devious little trick. It wouldn’t do much good anyway.
The news crew packed up their equipment, but the reporter asked to stay for a while to gather more notes for her story. Once that was taken care of, the auditions started up again. Bo Bowers made many positive and negative comments along the way, including some to the singers themselves. He had also been watching Skylar very carefully for her reactions to the pretty young women on stage singing. To his satisfaction, her expression stayed mainly neutral, but professionally interested. Skylar knew this and she certainly didn’t want to prejudice him against any potential candidate.
Everyone was getting restless as the long hours dragged on. There were only three more people waiting and the impatient manager wanted this over. He prepared for the next one, forcing Skylar to make hurried notes.
“Kyra McCall,” he said loudly.
Next to him, Skylar’s head popped up and her hand stopped what it was writing. It was her. The woman stepped out onto the stage and without realizing it, a slow smile spread across Skylar’s face. She quickly disguised it, but the reaction was not lost on Bo. And that already worsened the singer’s chances with him.
“Miss McCall,” said Skylar, beaming another friendly smile, “you may start whenever you’re ready.” The name certainly fits her…a beautiful name…a beautiful face thought Skylar as the woman opened her mouth to sing. The words of a love song emerged flawlessly and the enchanting notes floated across the room, totally captivating everyone. The soprano voice was smooth, and flowed over Skylar like a waterfall of warm silk. A beautiful voice.
Even Bo couldn’t deny the young lady’s talent, and if he cut her from the list right away it would look suspicious; after all he was supposed to do what was best for his client’s career. Bowers watched Skylar watching the woman on stage and his temper raged. He quickly checked to see if the reporter was observing his client. But like everyone else in the room, Ms. Smart was fascinated by the woman singing. He was going to have to remind his client, once again, of their arrangement.
The final, wondrous note caressed Skylar’s ears and after a moment of applause, she waited eagerly as the singer stepped off the stage and came to the table for her interview. Skylar extended her hand. “Please have a seat Miss McCall.”
Bo remained seated through out the approach and introduction of Kyra McCall. He barely shook her hand before proceeding to grill her with questions. They soon found out that she was twenty five, single and that she currently lived in San Diego. All of which was on her resume, but Bo always tried to catch someone in a lie.
“Do you mind if I ask some questions?” Skylar asked through a stiff lipped grin.
“By all means,” Bo said with false joviality.
She turned to the young woman with a nod and a charming smile. “Now, Miss McCall.”
“Oh, please call me Kyra.” She smiled back and felt herself relax...as long as she concentrated on Skylar Ramsey, which was easy. The man who had been introduced as Bo Bowers made Kyra nervous…or was it made her skin crawl. He almost gave her second thoughts about wanting this job. But just another glance at Skylar Ramsey and that thought was out of there. Her tiny crush on the star, something she shared with a few thousand others, aside, there were many reasons Kyra wished for this job.
“Kyra,” Skylar said. “You have a lovely voice.”
She had been told that all her life and accepted with great humility. “Thank you.”
“Tell me more about your public singing experience.”
“While I was still in high school, I was in the chorus of a community theater production.”
Bo raised a hand to his mouth, unsuccessfully hiding a snicker.
Skylar was silently disgusted with Bobo, and Kyra just tried to ignore him.
“After that, I had the lead role in the next three summer musicals. When I was eighteen,” Kyra continued, “my church choir made a CD and I had two solos on that. And just last summer I was guest vocalist with a local band for ten weeks when they played one of our most popular clubs.”
Skylar genuinely appreciated the young woman’s list of accomplishments, her dedication and her pride in what she’d done. “Good,” she praised. “Besides singing, there will be some dancing required.”
Kyra’s face flashed with a touch of panic. “Dancing? Oh…I didn’t realize…”
“Don’t worry; I don’t expect any fancy moves. It would just be a few little routines with Gable Roberts, the other backup singer,” Skylar motioned to the petite redhead seated behind them, “and myself.”
Gable nodded in a friendly gesture and Kyra acknowledged her with the same. She returned her attention to Ms. Ramsey and gave it some consideration. Dancing? Can I do that? “Well...” she hesitated, “I guess I can do that. I just have…um a bit of a trick knee.”
“I’m sure it won’t be anything to cause you problems…”
“If you get the job,” Bo interjected.
When he looked back to his notes, Skylar gave Kyra a quick wink. “Please excuse my manager; it’s been a long day. Do you have any questions?”
Kyra was almost reluctant to ask, but she didn’t want any embarrassing surprises…if she got the job. “About costumes?”
“Yeah; I’ve seen some…well very short…”
Skylar nodded. “Oh; I think I understand. And there will never be any skimpy, revealing outfits. I do not believe in glorifying women as sex objects. That’s not to say that there won’t be some sexy clothes. Those are two different things.”
That’s exactly what Kyra wanted to hear. “I agree, and thank you for that. I don’t have any more questions. It would be a pleasure working for you Ms. Ramsey.” They shook hands and Kyra grabbed her backpack from the chair and walked away.
As much as she wanted to, Skylar avoided watching the departing figure. Mr. Bowers called for the next singer and the star listened attentively. After the final interview, Sky, Bo and other backup singer conferred to make a final decision.
Skylar jotted down a few names. “Here’s my final five.”
Bo quickly scanned the short list and refereed to his personal memos. “Well, I can eliminate two of them right away. Phoebe Julian is overweight by ay least fifteen pounds.” Two heads snapped to the right, but he didn’t flinch under their incredulous glares. “Hey, I call them as I see them,” he said,” and I saw too much of her.”
A brunette and a red head shook tiredly.
“What else?” Sky asked, disgustedly.
“Rae Finley has a husband and a young child…”
“Who are willing to travel with us part time at their own expense.”
He rubbed his black whiskers with a single finger. “Still too much baggage…too many potential problems.”
Skylar relented, but not too easily. “I still think she could work.”
“And if she doesn’t, we can’t make a switch mid-tour.”
Sky bit down on the end of her pencil. “That wouldn’t be good,” she mumbled. After a couple of seconds she drew a line through the second name on the list.
“If I can add my two cents,” Gable said, “I talked to Hanna Reed outside this morning, she didn’t know who I was…anyway she has a huge ego problem. Her interview was pure acting. And I think she would flirt with and probably screw the band at every opportunity.”
Bo chuckled. “In other words, you don’t want her around your husband.”
Gable just happened to be married to the bass guitarist in Sky High. She didn’t like Bo Bowers anymore than anyone else who ever spent five minutes with him. “I trust my husband,” Gable told him. “But I don’t think he or any of the other guys should have to put up with that; not when there are other good candidates.”
Skylar nodded her agreement. “Okay then, the last two: Kyra McCall and Tara Leland.”
Gable gave her opinion. “They both have the talent and the great personalities to do a good job.”
Bowers offered his expected judgment. “I vote for Leland.”
“Well, I think Kyra,” Gable said. “She does have the better voice.”
Skylar chewed the inside of her jaw. “Okay; I get the deciding vote. Give me a few minutes.” She walked away and paced a few laps, pretending to study her notes and mull heavily over her choice, all the time knowing exactly who would be her newest backup singer. Five minutes later, Skylar stepped back to the table. “Kyra McCall.”
Bo’s only reply was a scowl. After all there was a reporter in the room.
The star ducked out a side door before the journalist could ask any more questions. She was headed for the water cooler when she saw a blonde woman step from the ladies room. “Kyra!” The young woman turned and smiled when she recognized who was calling her. Skylar jogged down the long hall. “I’m glad I caught you; do you have a few minutes to talk?”
Kyra shouldered her backpack. “Sure.”
“Let’s go up to my office.” They made inconsequential small talk as the elevator climbed two floors. Skylar unlocked the door and offered Kyra a seat on the small leather sofa. The star sat down on the other end of the couch, turned sideways and folded her leg onto the seat. “Again, let me apologize for my manager’s attitude,” she said.
Kyra adopted a similarly relaxed pose. “It’s no problem,” she said with a vague gesture of her hand.
Skylar smiled calmly with just a bit of joy. “You’re very forgiving and incredibly talented. Your voice is angelic. You should be looking for a recording contract. Would you like me to talk to some producers?”
“Oh no, no; I don’t want to be a star. I love to sing, been singing all my life. I was in the school choir and the church choir. Right now I just want to do what I love, without the pressures, have a steady income and work for someone nice.”
“Well, if that’s your decision. In fact that’s better for me.” The dark haired singer stuck out her hand. “You’ve got the job. Welcome to Sky High.”
“Really?! That’s fantastic!” Without thinking, Kyra leaned over and threw her arms around the taller woman’s neck. She pulled away with a blush. “I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have done that.”
Skylar gave her a lopsided grin. “Don’t worry about it. Actually, it’s the first hug I’ve had all day. But don’t you want to know what the job pays?”
Kyra hadn’t even thought about that; the excitement of auditioning and meeting the beautiful star was distracting. But the salary was very important to meeting her financial obligations. “Oh, I guess so.”
Skylar grabbed a pad and pen from the side table and scribbled a number. She tore off the sheet and handed it to Kyra.
The show business novice started only a second at the outstanding number. “I…um…think this will work just fine.” Kyra folded the slip of paper and lifted her gaze. “I would love to work for you,” she said sincerely.
She’s so cute, Skylar thought. “Good. I need you here at seven in the morning. We’ll get all of your paperwork signed and then get right into rehearsal, so wear something comfortable. I’m looking forward to working with you Kyra. Just one thing, don’t outshine me. After all I am the star.”
Kyra nearly laughed at her haughty tone. But she didn’t buy it.
The super star blushed and made a pinched face. “That was a joke…and a bad one; I’m sorry.”
The blonde giggled. “Don’t worry; I know you don’t have an egotistical bone in your body.”
Skylar studied the engaging emerald eyes. She saw an aged wisdom in such a youthful soul. “And just how can you be so sure, Ms. McCall?”
“Aside from the fact that every article I have ever read about you states that emphatically, I was there four years ago, at the university, when you won the senior talent show. I was also at the interview the next day. And I seriously doubt that anything has changed since then.”
“You were there, at the interview?” Skylar searched her memory of that event. “I don’t remember you.”
“Well, there were about a dozen others there too. I sort of stood in the back and blended in.”
“Did you ask me a direct question?”
“That’s it then; I would have remembered if we had made…eye contact.” They had an odd moment just then…but still it was almost familiar, calming. Here they were, near total strangers, yet they were comfortable, like old friends getting reacquainted.
“What was your major?” Skylar asked, breaching the peculiar connection. Although it was something she would definitely consider later.
Kyra’s chin dropped to her chest and the tone of disappointment was evident in her voice, no matter how much she tried to disguise it. “I wasn’t a full time student; I was just taking a single journalism class.” The blonde head popped back up and a faint smile drew across her lips. “But I knew you were going to be a big star, not only because of your exceptional talent, but also…” Kyra seemed reluctant to say what she had intended; she didn’t want to embarrass her new boss. “Well, I was going to say that you have a special quality; something that I rarely recognize in performers. You don’t just sing your songs you experience them and the emotions they express. I can always tell in your body language and your eyes…especially your eyes. It’s just amazing to watch.” Kyra noticed how the tall woman’s face was darkening, but she finished her thought. “You also make a connection with every member of your audience. You make them feel like you are singing just for them. But I’m sure you’ve been told that before,” Kyra added.
The dark head nodded slowly. “Not the way you just did.” Skylar’s voice was a bit emotional. “I don’t hear positive things from my manager at all…unless he’s talking to the press and trying to sell me. And the critics; I don’t bother with what they have to say…after all it is their job to say something. I do appreciate the fans compliments, but I rarely get to talk with them one on one. I consider you a peer, Kyra and I know you are sincere. Thank you.”
“You know,” Kyra said. “I wouldn’t have even contemplated auditioning for most other super stars.”
“Well, I’m glad you decided to take a chance on me.”
“I think you’re probably the one taking a chance on me.”
Now it was Kyra’s turn for pink cheeks. “Thank you.”
Skylar held out her hand in a much less formal and more personal manner this time. “I think we are going to be great friends.”
Kyra held on to the strong, yet feminine hand as she said, “I think we already are.” She wasn’t sure what made her say that, but it made Skylar Ramsey smile.
Continued in Part 2
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