Tuning Delicate Strings

Chapter 1

Isaac sat down next to Zac in the meeting room. He hated having to audition a new bass player. It had been a very long process and they had narrowed it down to three and the boys had to finally meet the three chosen so far and make their choice. Ike tapped his fingers on the table and rested his head on his hand.
"Ike, look alive." Taylor smiled, brushing his hand through his golden hair.
"Too tired." Ike said and grinned slightly.
"That's what happens when you stay up all night on the Internet." Zac smiled. Ike rolled his eyes.
"Guys, this is Peter Strom…" One of the execs said, letting a man in. He was extremely tall, with dark hair, looking about in his early 40's. He just nodded at them and began to play. He seemed very rigid, unmoving in almost every sense but his playing was very precise. Ike looked at him, never being able to see this man handle the type of fans that they had. He finished playing, put his guitar away and stood there in front of the three boys.
"Uh…it was very nice meeting you. We'll get back to you." Taylor said, suddenly taking lead as he stood up and shook the man's hand. Zac and Ike smiled awkwardly and shook his hand. He finally left and the door was closed. The exec stood there, smiling.
"So?" He grinned.
"No." All three of them said in unison.
"B-but…he plays so well…" The exec began to say.
"Now seriously, could you ever imagine him up on stage with OUR fans?" Ike said, narrowing his eyes.
"Uh…I…uh…I guess not."
"Don't get us wrong, he does play really well, but, he has no emotion." Zac spoke up.
"Well, would you like me to get our next audition?"
As soon as the exec was out of the room, the boys began to laugh.
"God, that guy looked like he had a stick up his butt." Zac laughed.
"Yeah, I especially noted he didn't say anything…" Ike began to say.
"I wonder if he could actually speak." Taylor smiled.
Before any of the boys could say anymore, the door opened and in walked the exec.
"This is…uh…what was your name again son?"
"Nikai." The young man answered. In he walked, guitar strapped to his thin frame. Isaac's eyes narrowed, looking at him. There was something about him, something different. He had on a pair of loose fitting jeans, a black turtleneck and a dark green baseball hat. He immediately took off his hat, revealing a crop of short dark brown hair, gelled perfectly. He didn't look at any of them directly at first but finally, focused his amber gaze directly at Ike. Then, he slightly smiled. Ike stood up and stuck out his hand.
"It's nice to meet you Nikai." Ike smiled.
"It's nice meeting you. You must be Isaac." The young man said in a very soft voice, which was almost inaudible. Almost immediately, Taylor and Zac stood and shook Nikai's hand. The boys sat down and got comfortable as Nikai took off the guitar strapped to his back and began to get it out. He watched Nikai carefully, memorizing his every move. There was still something about the young man that seemed to draw Ike in. Ike found himself staring and he blushed slightly especially when Nikai locked gazes with him.
"Would you mind if I played one of my own songs?" Nikai asked quietly and looked directly at Ike.
The boys sat patiently as Nikai began to play. All their jaws seemed to drop at the same time as Nikai slid his hand up the strings, making such unbelievable sounds. He finished his song and looked down at the three of them, waiting for the worst.
"That…that was amazing." Ike said. Nikai's eyes went wide.
"R-really?" He stammered.
"You're hired." Taylor spoke up. Nikai couldn't help but grin. Nikai shook each of their hands graciously and walked out of the room. Ike could still hear the music in his head.
"He was really good." Taylor said, standing up.
"Yeah, unbelievable. I guess the search is over." Zac smiled as he got up too. Ike just sat there, staring into space.
"Hey Ike." Taylor called.
"Oh…uh…what?" He asked, blinking.
"Are you all right?" Taylor said, narrowing his eyes.
"Yeah…I'm fine."
"Well, it's time for rehearsal so get your butt in gear man." Zac said. Ike nodded and stood up, following his brothers out of the room.

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