“Let’s go again!” Yumi Tae-Yeong urged. The petite, Korean songstress was sweating, her grey vest damp, her cheeks flushed red, and her slender, graceful legs moist from her exertions. It had been an exhausting day. Yumi’s muscles ached for sitting at the mic-stand for so long, her voice was beginning to waver and weaken, and even her shoulder-length, reddish-brown hair was dishevelled from the many times she’d run her hands through it.
“Miss Stellar…” A sound engineer on the other side of the glass from the ‘Stunner from Seoul’ tried to summon his courage. This was the sixth day of a marathon recording session. Not only had they recorded the vocals for an entire album’s worth of new tracks in Korean, Stellar had arrived with rearranged versions of both these and some of her older records to be recorded into English, having provided translations herself. Not only that, but she had insisted on re-recording these translations over, and over, not permitting herself one note out of place, or one lapsed ‘l’ or ‘r’ sound. “Miss Stellar…can we take a break?”
“Soon, Reynaldo,” Yumi said. The twenty-two year old artiste was, on most occasions, one of the sweetest, nicest young women a person could care to meet. But when it came to her music, there was a touch of ruthlessness in her. “But we have to get it right!”
“I don’t mean to sound like an asshole, Miss Stellar, but unless one of your powers is superhearing, there’s no way you could have thought that was any better than the last three tries. We’ve got it, trust me.”
Yumi pouted slightly. She didn’t quite agree with his assessment, but she also was a little wary of criticism. Not in that she was sensitive or opposed to it: she was merely all too aware how easy it was for a celebrity to become utterly intolerant of being told she was wrong.
“Okay, you’re right,” she said. She felt a slight croak in her voice as she said this: whether Reynaldo had been right or not, his timing had been fortuitous. Leaving her booth, she came into the control room. Hyuk-Woo Lee, her manager, was standing near the back, knowing not to interfere in this part of the process. Often had Yumi wished that he exercised such restraint in other areas of her professional life.
“Thank you, Reynaldo,” Yumi said, grabbing one of his hands with both of hers and shaking it with aplomb. “We’ve done good work!” She sounded relieved.
“Um, whatever you say, Miss Stellar,” Reynaldo said, suppressing nervous excitement in his voice. Keeping focused and professional with the stunning starlet when she was on the other side of the glass was one thing; doing it when she was right there in front of him, smiling so bloody charmingly, was quite another. He was acutely aware that if, right then, she’d asked to do more recording, he wouldn’t have even blinked before saying yes.
But Stellar chose not to exercise her power, and was a few minutes later in the back of a very nice car. Finding the seats really quite comfortable, Stellar realised just how tired she was. But she was not so tired that she did not do what she always did when she had a spare moment: she took out her journal and began writing.