Secret Obsessions (The One Series:Book2) (EXCERPT)

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It's 2005, and Alyson’s band, UTurn, are on their way to become America's hottest teen pop act. With four new members, turning the band into an eight-piece, and a highly anticipated debut album, Alyson has her sights on something much bigger: Launching UTurn in Britain. With rising fame comes secrets, rumors, and lies waiting to be spilled online. Will UTurn become an international success? Is there enough room for both UTurn and the return of a British pop band? Will Alyson stop acting like a fangirl? Will everyone’s past be exposed for all the world to see by their classmate? This is the second book of The One Series.

Drama / Romance
Stacie Evans
Age Rating:

New Additions

Friday, May 6, 2005

Plaques plastered on the grey walls. Inside them were records and CD booklets belonging to many acts. The achievements they made over time with their best-selling albums and singles. All of it was admirable.

For Alyson Bauer, it made her determined for both her and her band, UTurn. Today was the day to sign them to PopTown Records, an independent record label. It was the beginning of the band’s road to potential success. Alyson was sure they would be chart hits on Radio Disney. It would be nice if UTurn were to go international.

She felt intimidated. To achieve gold and silver albums seemed out of reach. Then again, UTurn’s manager was Marcel O’Brien. Everyone knew him as New England’s Simon Cowell. He managed successful solo acts, all of them hailing from Boston. UTurn would be his first group act. UTurn will probably appear on everyone’s TV screens and the internet one day.

She felt her hand being held. She looked up to see her bandmate and boyfriend, Andrew Hawthorne. He smiled at her, clearly proud of her for taking the band this far.

Alyson said, “I’m kind of nervous about this.”

“Why?” he asked.

“What if we’re just stuck on Radio Disney? What if we can’t leave the US to promote our stuff?”

Andrew rubbed her back as he sighed. “I’m sure we’ll get there, Aly. Let’s get signed first. Then we’ll see if we’ll tour the world.”

Alyson smiled. She looked at her other bandmates, Bailey Richardson, Justin Harrison, and Stacie Morales. Stacie was the new member of the band, added the moment the regional reality competition, New England’s Teen Superstar, had ended. It was also when Stacie’s girl group, 4Gurlz, had split.

Before she knew, Alyson and her band were in the boardroom with Marcel staring at them. They all sat down, Alyson facing her soon-to-be-manager. She twirled a strand of her synthetic blonde extension as she waited for the man with brown hair and stubble to hand her the contract.

Marcel began: “So, today is your first meeting as a signed act. I see you got a new member in UTurn now.”

Stacie said, “Yeah, I left my group to join my friends.”

Marcel said, “Well, I added another member to UTurn. Her name is Riley Brown, and she’s from Worcester. She would have performed on New England’s Teen Superstar but had to drop out. She’ll be here tomorrow to get acquainted with you all. You have two weeks to add your two friends. If you don’t, I’ll add the members myself.”

Alyson felt nerves swimming inside her. She figured she could add another 4Gurlz member, and maybe a guy from Andrew’s basketball team. Would any of them be willing to join a pop group? She would have to ask around on Monday.

Marcel said as he handed everyone a pack of papers, “Here are your contracts. You are being signed to my management company, MOB Entertainment, and PopTown Records. In the meantime, I’ll be shopping around for major labels. I want UTurn to be more than a local group. You got potential, and there’s a market that needs you.”

Alyson smiled when she heard that. She picked up her pen and her packet when she glanced at her raven-haired-with-messy-spikes boyfriend. Andrew seemed to skim through the contract. He clearly needed to see what was in it. Of course, he would. His parents were lawyers! They practically raised him to be this way.

Marcel asked, “Andrew, is there a problem?”

He said, “I’m just trying to read the contract before I sign it.”

“Well, I need you to hurry so you can sign it once.”

Andrew looked up, as if the comment annoyed him. It seemed suspicious. Alyson felt uncomfortable. Andrew said, seemingly with caution, “Fine, I’ll sign it.”

Marcel continued as he sighed, “As I was saying, once you get your two last members, I’ll begin hiring your stylists and your choreographer. You’ll get a house near your school. In the meantime, you’ll still be in your hotel room.”

“Marcel is acting suspicious again,” Andrew said to Justin as he stared at his laptop to do homework.

“Yeah,” said Justin, “he does.”

“It’s like he was hiding something from me. He knows I come from a family of lawyers.”

“Can’t you get a copy of the contract?”

Andrew thought about that when he got a notification on his laptop. It came from his MySpace account. He saw it was a direct message from his ex-boyfriend, Blake Kiefer. This surprised Andrew. Neither guy tried to contact each other since Andrew ended things a year earlier before Labor Day.

Why now? Andrew read the message sent to him:

Hey, Andrew. I heard you’re in a pop group and that you won a TV contest. Congrats on your win. I hope you go far. Blake.

Andrew bit his lip. He wasn’t sure what to say or do. He could add Blake into UTurn, but could that work? Blake was graduating from high school. Then again, he was in Chicago. Plus, things could get awkward since Andrew was dating Alyson.

He messaged Blake back: “Thanks. When do you graduate from your school?”

After a few minutes of silence, Blake responded: “In mid-july. Why?”

“No reason,” Andrew typed out before closing that browser.

He would not lead Blake on. There were some good memories, but enough time had passed since last summer. Andrew was in love with Alyson. He was not about to make Blake think he still wanted him.

“Nate,” Stacie said in a sing-song voice as she approached her boyfriend, Nate Sanchez, at the lunch table on a Monday.

He smiled as he gestured her to sit on his lap. She did so as she attempted to run her hand through his sticky spiked-up black hair.

Nate asked, “So, what brings you by?”

Stacie said seductively, “Well, I just joined UTurn. I know you’ll support me and my career, right?”

“Of course, baby! Anything for you!”

“Then join me in UTurn. We’ll get to tour the world while performing on live TV.”

Stacie watched Nate’s smile falter. She could tell he didn’t want to do this. He pushed her off in the gentlest way possible.

Nate said, “You know I can’t sing.”

Stacie pouted, “But we all thought Andrew couldn’t sing, and here he is, belting out like a Disney movie singer.”

“But I’m not Andrew. Just because he was on the team doesn’t mean we can sing and dance. No, I’m not joining UTurn.”

Stacie stared at him, then huffed as she walked back to the UTurn table. She plopped herself back into the chair. She said to her bandmates, “He’s not joining.”

Alyson groaned, “We need one more guy and girl!”

Justin asked drily, “Why don’t we hold auditions?”

Bailey added, “I agree with that. We did them before, and we got Andrew out of them. Why can’t we do that?”

Alyson said, “Maybe…”

Stacie noticed Alyson was staring at a distance. She looked behind her to see the cheer squad table. A girl who took Alyson’s place as head cheerleader was there.

Alyson said, “But first, I got some business to attend to.”

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