The Past Comes Knocking – Chapter 2

Chapter 2 – On the Rebound

May 22, 2004 – New York City, NY – The Marius Hilton – Nikki’s Hotel Room

Nikki’s POV

“So, where could he be then?  He’s not here at the hotel at all?”  I asked, looking over at Glitter as she shrugged her shoulders.

“Security said that he didn’t even come here after the show last night,” she informed me as I turned around and then just dropped my shit on the couch.

“Well if he didn’t come here, where in the hell did he go?  Is security with him?  Security is with him, right?”  I asked as she shrugged her shoulders again.

“The only thing I know is that he left the venue last night with security and that’s about it,” she said with a frown.  “This isn’t good girl.  What are we going to do?”

“That’s something I don’t know.  I was thinking we could have a press conference and nip this shit in the bud before it spread too quickly, but I guess that’s an understatement now, being that it’s all over the world.  Hell, it’s too late for that anyway, being that he’s not here to help clear this mess up.  If he’s not here to dispute any of this shit, it’s just like he’s admitting that it’s all true,” I said, looking down at the papers in Glitter’s hand.

“Maybe—maybe we’re wrong about this situation Nikki,” she came right out and said as she looked at me closely.  “Is he a drug user?  We know he drinks heavily at times.  Do you think he could’ve moved on up to the heavier stuff?”

“You know as well as I do that JT doesn’t use drugs of any kind!”  I snapped as she leaned back away from me.

“Are you really sure about that Nikki?  J’s been acting strange for the last couple of weeks.  You have to take into consideration of how he’s been acting and what happened last night.  You remember what he did last week,” she said as someone knocked on the door.

“He might’ve acted strange, but he’s NOT using drugs, damn it!”  I snapped, walking over to the door and opening it to see Marc standing there with a mean look on his face.

“Where in the hell is he?”  Marc asked, walking past me into the room with some tabloids of his own.

“We don’t know,” I replied with a frown.  “What’re we going to do about this mess?”

“If he’s not here, there’s literally nothing we can do about any of this right now.  We have to find him first,” Marc stated as he walked over to the mini-bar, opened it up and then pulled out a few bottles of the liquor and started making himself a drink.

“Let me call Cameron,” I said with a frown.  “He called a few minutes ago as I was getting ready to leave.”

“Well call him and see if he’s with JT or possibly knows where the fucking brat is,” Marc said, taking a swig of his drink.  “When I get my hands on him… Oh, I’m going to wring his bloody neck!  I’ve had just about all I’m going to put up with from him.  I’m tired of this shit.  Don’t even get me started about last night’s show!”

“As soon as I talk to Cameron, maybe we can find out what’s really going on around this place,” I said, dialing Cameron’s number as I waited for an answer and didn’t get one.

Oh yeah, this is going to be a long fucking day…

Early Morning – Tacoma, WA – Cameron’s Parent’s Home – The Living Room

“Bro, I don’t know what to really tell you here.  If you really love him, like you claim you do, then give him another chance and not just blow him off so easily, no pun intended.  You can’t complain about him not showing you the attention that you want,” Cameron’s friend Taylor spoke as he shook his head.  “If I remember correctly, you were the one that told him that you wanted to keep things secret and discreet.  From the way I see things; you two have been very secret and discreet.  I didn’t even know you guys were even a couple, well until you told me of course.”

“I know what I told him Taylor, but now that I don’t care about that, he—he’s still acting the same way.  He—he’s more concerned about singing and performing, than he is with me or anything that will ever happen with us,” Cameron stated as he shook his head.  “If he would just put forth the same enthusiasm he puts into performing, into our relationship, things would be great, but he doesn’t do that.”

“Have you told him that Cameron?”  Taylor asked as he looked across at Cameron and then took a sip of his coffee.

“Yeah, I told him, but I don’t think it really sunk in with him.  We hashed all of this stuff out a few weeks back.  I told him how I felt about things going on between us and he acted as if I wasn’t even in the damn room with him.  The only thing that got a reaction out of him was when I slammed the door in the face of one of his precious security guards,” Cameron stated as he sighed and then covered his eyes.

“I see,” Taylor said, shrugging his shoulders and then looking down.

“I just don’t know what to do about how things turned out.  I told him that if he continued treating me the way he was treating me, that one day he would walk out on that stage and I wouldn’t be around when he walked off.  I already knew he wasn’t going to change, so I didn’t even go to his last show.  I knew it would be a big waste of time,” Cameron stated as he sighed and then shook his head.

“There’s an easy solution to all of this Cam,” Taylor stated as he got up from his seat.  “You need to call your man and tell him again.  Sometimes you know us men folk can be stubborn and slow.”

“I’m not stubborn and slow Tay,” Cameron spoke as Taylor shook his head and then chuckled.

“Hah,” Taylor said as he gestured with his hand and then turned around.  “The way you’re acting right now is a perfect example of you being stubborn.”

“I’m not being stubborn,” Cameron whined.

“In my book buddy, you brought all of this stuff on yourself when you decided not to show up and support your man.  You shouldn’t have left him like that.  You need to take your ass back to New York and be with your man, that’s if you love him and want to be with him as you said,” Taylor stated as he looked at Cameron closely.

“No!  I’m not going back until he shows me some kind of love and affection!”  Cameron snapped as he walked around the room and then picked up the remote to turn on the TV.  “Besides, I’m tired of talking about that.  You wanna watch some TV?”

“Naw man, it’s almost six in the damn morning.  You had me come over here at the ass crack of dawn, like you were dying or some shit.  I’m going back home to get some much-needed sleep.  If anyone else comes looking for me, you can tell them that I went back to Cali,” Taylor stated, grabbing his jacket.

“Okay Tay, thanks for coming over to listen to my ranting and raving,” Cameron stated as he hugged Taylor and then pulled back quickly as he kissed his cheek.  “I mean it buddy.  Thanks for coming over to listen to me.”

“Anytime man,” Taylor replied, patting Cameron on the back and then walking out of the room.

May 23, 2004 – New York City, NY – The Marius Hilton – Nikki’s Hotel Room

“Okay, have any of you heard from him yet?”  Nikki asked as Glitter and Marc walked into the room.  “I’ve called Cameron numerous times and still, I’ve gotten nothing.”

“I haven’t heard anything either,” Glitter replied, sitting down on the couch across from Nikki.

“This shit is getting out of fucking hand.  The rumors are really getting way out there,” Marc said as he slung a newspaper on the table.  “What’s this about him not being able to make it through college because he was dependent on drugs?”

“As far as I know, JT never had any problems with college and he graduated at the top of his class.  It’s hard for a person on drugs to do that,” Nikki stated as she sighed and then looked at the newspaper that Marc had just thrown on the table.

“Well the rumors need to be stopped and now,” Marc stated as he shook his head.

“We know, but until we locate JT, there’s really nothing we can actually say or do about any of this shit to stop it,” Nikki said as she shook her head.  “Where in the hell could he be at a time like this?”

“Has either of you called Vanessa again?”  Glitter asked, looking at Nikki and then over to Marc.  “Maybe she’s heard from him and knows where to find him.”

“I spoke with her this morning and she’s appalled at what’s going on.  She’s actually on her way here,” Nikki stated as she got up.  “What in the hell is going on around this place?”

“Hah, that’s the fifty-million dollar question on everyone’s mind around here Cherie,” Marc said as Nikki turned and looked at him like he was crazy.  “Maybe he’s in some kind of trouble, the reason why he disappeared the way he did.”

“What kind of damn trouble could he be in Marc?”  Nikki asked with a concerned look on her face.  “Is there something that you know, that we don’t?”

“If he’s really a drug user, like these things say he is, then maybe it’s the drug user owing money kind of trouble,” Glitter said as Nikki and Marc glared at her.  “Sorry, I’m just saying.”

“We’re not going there again Glitter,” Nikki said as she sighed and then turned her head as someone knocked on the door.  “Get that will you.”

“Yeah, whatever,” Marc said as he walked over to the door, opened it and then stared at the person as if he had seen them before.  “May I help you?”

“Yeah you can Marc, I’m here looking for JT,” the person replied, glaring at Marc.

“I don’t think we’ve met before.  Who are you?”  Marc asked as Nikki and Glitter stood up.

“Well it seems some people around here have memory loss,” the woman stated, walking past Marc into the room.

“Ah, who are you?”  Nikki asked, looking at the woman closely.  “I—I know you from somewhere.”

“You should know me darlin’, I’m Mo’ette LaCasta,” the woman replied as she turned and glared at Marc again.  “Marc, what have you done to JT?”

“What?  I haven’t done anything to him,” Marc replied, turning around to look at the woman.  “You’re not Mo’ette LaCasta.”

“Yes I am Marc.  That’s the difference ten years make when you haven’t seen someone in a while.  My appearance might’ve changed, but I’m still the same,” the woman stated as she glared at Marc again and then rolled her eyes.  “Now again, what have you done to JT?  I know what’s going on with him and these girls, have something to do with you.”

“No, this isn’t my fault bitch!  Don’t come up in here, accusing me of something I have nothing to do with!”  Marc snapped as Glitter and Nikki watched him.

“Yeah, I guess they know each other and not in a good way either it seems,” Glitter said with a frown as she shook her head.

“I don’t care what you say Marc, I know you have a hand in this,” Mo’ette said, pointing her finger at him.  “You did the very same thing to me, when I wasn’t of any use to you.  So, what did he do?  Did he not pay you enough money?  Did he reject you again?  What is it that he did, for you to do this shit to him?”

“What is she talking about Marc?”  Nikki asked, turning her full attention to Marc.  “Reject you?  Reject you how?  Marc, what’s going on here?  What is she talking about?  Out with it now!”

“I don’t know what this fucking bitch is talking about!  What’re you looking at me like that for?”  Marc asked, moving away from Nikki quickly.

“Keep calling me out of my name Marc and I’ll show you just how big of a bitch I can really be,” Mo’ette stated as she balled her hands into fists.  “You ruined me, but I’m not going to stand by and let you ruin JT or these girls.  Why are you doing this to him?”

“I’m not doing anything to him,” Marc replied, shaking his head as he backed away from Mo’ette and Nikki, getting closer to the wall, having nowhere else to move.

“Come on Marc, own up to it.  This shit going on in the media has your name written all over it,” Mo’ette said as she pointed her finger in his face.  “When I decided not to resign with you and not pay you more money, my career ended overnight.  What did JT do to you or not do for you as it may be?  What did he not want to do for you Marc?  He had to do something for this shit to be happening to him right now.  Is this your way of getting back at the man that rejected your love?  Is that it?”

“What’re you talking about?”  Marc asked, looking at Mo’ette like he could beat the hell out of her.

“Marc, are you gay?”  Glitter asked, crossing her arms across her chest, waiting for Marc’s reply.

“What?  Are you fucking serious?”  Marc asked as Glitter shook her head.

“Well that would explain why we don’t see you with any women.  That would also explain the almost endless supply of twinks that hang around you from time-to-time.  Is that why you only sign guy acts?”  Glitter asked.

“This bitch doesn’t know what she’s talking about,” Marc stated, glaring at Mo’ette.

“I know what I’m talking about!  You did this to JT because he didn’t love you back.  How could you do this shit to someone you claim that you want to be with?  Doing this isn’t going to make him run into your damn arms Marc.  You fucked up again,” Mo’ette said as she shook her head.

“Excuse me, none of this is making any sense.  JT isn’t gay,” Nikki said as she looked at Marc and then over to Mo’ette.

“It seems he did a really good job of keeping his business secret this time.  He didn’t even tell his band mates,” Mo’ette said as Nikki looked at her and then gasped.

“I—I don’t believe this, JT’s gay,” Nikki said as she sat down on the sofa and then covered her mouth.

“Damn, now that I think about it, it’s somewhat making a bit of sense to me,” Glitter said as she sat down across from Nikki.

“How in the hell is this shit making sense?”  Nikki asked, looking over at Glitter.

“All the fights between him and Cameron.  Think about it, the way he acted the other night, the mood he gets in when Cameron’s not around,” Glitter said as she shook her head.  “I can’t believe it, he’s gay.”

“I—I guess I’m starting to get why he was drinking the other night.  He kept saying this was ruining his life.  He said I wouldn’t get it,” Nikki said as she held her head down.  “Why didn’t he just tell us that?”

“Probably because of this damn fool here,” Mo’ette said as she pointed at Marc.

“Is what she says true Marc?  You better be truthful with me here,” Nikki said as she got up.  “Did JT leave because of something you did?  If that’s the case, I’ll have the police in here faster than your legs can go up for the next twink!”

“I didn’t do a damn thing to JT!  I have no idea why the fucking brat left,” Marc said, holding up his hands as Nikki pointed her finger at him.

“Glitter, step outside and have one of the guards come in here,” Nikki suggested as Glitter got up, walked over to the door and opened it.

“I’m not playing with you Marc,” Nikki said, walking over to where Marc stood, getting up in his face.

“Honest, I don’t know here he is and I didn’t do anything to him either,” Marc said as he backed away from Nikki.

“We’ll see about that,” Nikki said, looking over at the guard that just stepped into the room.  “Has there been any word from JT or where he could possibly be right now?”

“None as of yet Ms. Knotts,” the guard replied as Nikki looked back at Marc.

“Are you the guard that escorted JT last night?”  Nikki asked as the guard nodded his head.  “And no one has seen or heard from him where he was?”

“No ma’am,” the guard replied as Nikki shook her head.

“Thank you,” Nikki spoke as she walked over to the phone.  “I’m going to call Vanessa again.”

Memphis, TN – The Home of Justin Tanner – The Den

Justin Tanner’s POV

What in the hell is really going on?  I can’t believe this mess!  I can’t believe what I’ve actually read.  None of that shit is right.  I’ve known him for a very long time and I know he’s not a fucking drug user.  What in the hell is going on with him and ‘Mutual Attraction’?

This shit is madness!  Why hasn’t the label sent out a press release?  Why isn’t he and Nikki doing something to stop this shit from spreading like wildfire?  The way it’s going, it’s going to get out of control real soon.  This crap has been in circulation in the media for almost three days.  That’s two days too many.  Something has to be done about that or there won’t be anything left for them to try to salvage of their reputation and fame.

The big question is why haven’t they had a press conference or something to stop this madness?  The longer they sit on their damn hands, the longer it’s going to take for this shit to go away.  Doing nothing isn’t the answer to things.  Just thinking this shit is going to blow over isn’t going to happen either.

“Hey man, what’s going on?”  My friend Tracy asked as he walked into the room with a beer in hand.

“Nothing man,” I replied as he sat down on the sofa across from me.

“Hey, isn’t that your friend from the Mouse?  The guy that’s the lead singer in that group… Ah—ah…” He said, looking down for a bit, scratching his head and then back up at me.  “Attraction something or another.”

“Mutual Attraction,” I said as he smiled and then nodded his head as he took a sip of beer.

“Yeah, them,” he said with a frown.  “So, is he really a drug user and all that?”

“No, he’s not a drug user, not that I know of,” I replied, wondering about things, since it’s been a long while since I’ve actually talked to or seen him.

“That shit has been all over the place.  The media is really crucifying him.  What in the hell did he do to deserve all of that?  Someone in media heaven is trying to send a real big message to him,” Tracy said as the phone rang.

“I don’t know, but hopefully that’ll change soon,” I said, looking at the caller id and decided not to pick up the phone.  “I’m going to go help them.”

“What?  Why?”  He asked.

“Don’t worry about it.  I don’t want to see my friends going down like that, all over lies,” I said, picking up the phone and dialing Josh’s number, hoping he was at home.

Scranton, PA – The Home of Heather Stewart – The Living Room

“Hello William, how’s your day going so far?”  Heather Stewart asked, welcoming the man into her home.  “I’ve been waiting to talk to you for days.  I hope you have some good news for me.”

“I don’t know if I have good news for you or not,” the man replied with a frown.

“What do you mean William?”  Heather asked, looking at the man closely.

“I’m sorry to say Heather, but you—you just don’t have the look that anyone is looking for right now,” the man stated as Heather’s mouth dropped open.  “I’m sorry, but I don’t think anyone is willing to take a chance with you right now.  The timing just isn’t right.”

“Why?”  Heather asked.

“You’ve been out of the spotlight for a long while Heather,” the man answered.

“It’s only been ten years William,” Heather stated, looking down.

“Yes, but a lot has changed with you in that time Heather,” the man stated with a frown.  “Your face isn’t well known, like it was when you starred in ‘Heaven Help Us’, back in the eighties and nineties.”

“I’m sorry William, but I had to raise a child,” Heather stated as she shook her head.  “My child took precedence over me being in the damn spotlight.”

“I know Heather, but right now, you don’t have any street credit to your name anymore.  You’ve lost ten years, compared to the other faces out there right now,” the man stated.  “There’s nothing I can really do for you at the moment.”

“So, you’re saying I have to start over from the bottom.  Is that it William?”  Heather asked, looking down as some tears fell from her eyes.

“Unless you have a better way to make yourself famous again, then yes, you have to start from the bottom and work your way back to the top,” the man stated with a small smile as he turned around, moving towards the door.  “I’ll keep searching for jobs for you, but it’s not looking good.  If I find something, I’ll let you know.”

“Yeah, whatever William,” Heather stated as the man opened the door, walked out and then closed it behind him.  “I’m never going to be famous again.  If I hadn’t had Caleb, I would still be at the top, instead of being at the bottom, where no one knows me.  What am I going to do now?”

Tacoma, WA – Cameron’s Parent’s Home – Cameron’s Bedroom

Cameron’s POV

“This is all lies, all lies!  I can’t believe this!  God, why—why is this happening?”  I asked as I read through the papers that I had picked up earlier from the market during my morning run.  “John doesn’t use drugs and he’s never have.  He drinks a bit, but nothing harder than that.  Who could’ve told such things to the media?”

I can’t believe this is happening.  This is surely going to fuck things up for him and the girls.  Who could’ve told such lies to the media like this?  If I know John and what’s going through his mind right now, since I’m not around, he’s probably thinking I had something to do with this mess.  Since this all started up right after I decided to leave him, I bet everyone on the tour thinks I’m the so-called liar.  Hell, if I was him, I would probably think I was the liar too.

Since finding out about this crap, I’ve spoken with a few people on the tour and each person I’ve spoken with said that he’s nowhere to be found.  Apparently, he jutted out the other night and no one has seen or heard from him since.  I wonder where he could be.  I called the lake house and the mansion and he’s not there.  I thought about calling Vanessa to see if he was with her, but that would only result in a screaming match I didn’t want to get into.

As I stood out on the balcony, I watched a few birds fly by as I admired the scenery.  I should be wherever he is, but right now, I just can’t be around him.  I still love him, but I want him to show me that I’m more important to him, than his damn career.  With this happening, maybe he has no choice but to choose me.  He might not have a career to keep up with after all of this shit that’s going on has died down.  Since no one has made a statement to the press, I don’t see any of this getting any better for him or the girls.

“Master Cameron, you have a phone call,” Edward, the butler announced as I walked into my room and then picked up the phone.

“Thank you Edward,” I spoke, holding the phone to my ear.  “Hello?”

“Cameron, what in the hell is going on between you and my son?”  Vanessa Jameson, JT’s mother asked as I sighed.  “Well, I’m waiting boy!”

“Van…” I started as she in Vanessa fashion, interrupted me.

“I don’t want to hear no damn excuses from you boy!  What’s going on between the two of you?  I know this has something to do with you!  I knew you weren’t the one for my son; your ass is too damn young!  I knew you would be nothing but damn trouble!”  She screamed as I shook my head.

“Look Vanessa, I have nothing to do with what’s going on,” I said.  “The only thing I did was leave him.  I had nothing to do with the rest of what’s going on in the damn media.”

“Why did you leave him Cameron?  Did you find someone close to your own damn age?”  She asked as I sighed again.

“You already know why I left him Vanessa and it has nothing to do with his age,” I said as she sighed.  “I got tired of playing second best to his career.  I told him I wasn’t happy with the way things were and he didn’t even listen to me, so I left.”

“You—you hurt him Cameron,” she said as I looked down, knowing she was probably right about that.  “He’s missing and no one can find him.  Nikki and Glitter have been calling me for the last two days.  Those girls have been doing everything they can to try and find him.  He’s been missing since the charity concert in New York.  If you know…”

“What—what was I supposed to do Vanessa?  You knew what I was going through with him,” I said, sitting down on the bed.

“I know Cameron, but I wasn’t expecting you to just up and leave him the way you did,” she said as I frowned.  “From what I hear, you left so suddenly.”

“I—I have to concentrate on me Vanessa,” I said as she sighed again.  “I’ve sacrificed so much time already and I can’t sacrifice more.  Because of all the time I’ve wasted with him and the girls, I…”

“I know you have Cameron, but you didn’t have to leave him.  Now, with you gone, he—he doesn’t have anything left.  He—he told me that you were the… Oh never mind,” she said with another sigh.

“He said I was what Vanessa?”  I asked, wondering what she was going to say.

“Don’t worry about it, I’m going to call the girls to see if they’ve heard from him yet,” she said as the line went dead.  Damn, she didn’t even give me a chance to say goodbye or anything.

To Be Continued…

 

The Past Comes Knocking – Chapter 1

Chapter 1 – The Day the Music Died

May 21, 2004 (Friday Night) – New York City, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom – The Dressing Room Area

“Mr. Poole, you have twenty minutes before the lights go up,” one of the technicians spoke, poking his head into the room.

“Yeah, thanks,” JT Poole replied as he shook his head, picked up the glass that sat on a platter next to him and drained the contents quickly.  Sighing, he shook his head again and then placed the glass back down on it.  “That didn’t help at all.”

“JT, is there something wrong?”  Nikki Knotts, JT’s best friend and co-singer asked as she walked into the room.  “You just downed a whole glass of Vodka and Cranberry within a second.  Man, you need to lay off the booze.  We’re going on in less than twenty minutes.”

“What if I don’t go on Nikki?  Will the world stop spinning?”  JT asked, turning to face her, looking at her as if she were crazy.

“What’s gotten into you?”  Nikki asked, watching JT as he just sat there and then shook his head again.  “JT?”

“Hmph,” JT responded as he got up from where he sat and then walked over to the little bar in the room.  Opening the refrigerator there, he looked through it and grabbed the small bottle of cranberry juice and then picked up the Vodka bottle as he poured himself another drink.

“Damn it JT, I asked you a question.  Is there something wrong?  Is there something you’re not telling me?”  Nikki asked, watching him as he knocked the second glass of liquid back.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” JT replied, fanning his face as he poured more Vodka into the glass, knocked it back and then burped loudly.

“That’s real gross man,” Nikki said as she walked over to where JT stood.  “I don’t know what the problem is, but it’s not going to get solved with you drinking that stuff there.  The answer to your problems isn’t at the bottom of the bottle.”

“Whatever,” JT replied as he poured another drink as Nikki snatched the bottle from him. “Give it back Nikki!”

“No JT,” Nikki replied with a frown on her face.  “We’re here to perform and I’m not going to have you wrecking this show for this charity we’re performing for.  I don’t know what your problem is, but you better solve it quick, without this.”

“You want to know what my problem is?  This is my problem,” JT said, flailing his arms around.  “My life is fucked up because of what we do!”

“If you’re not happy doing this, then quit JT.  No one is making you stay here and sing,” Nikki stated, shaking her head.

“I—I knew you wouldn’t get it,” JT said as he walked past her into the bathroom and then slammed the door.

“Oh, this is going to be a long damn night,” Nikki said, covering her eyes just as someone knocked at the door.  “Come in.”

“Isn’t he ready yet?”  Glitter Mo’net, another of JT’s co-singers asked as she stood in the doorway of the room.

“Not yet, he seems to be having a moment right now,” Nikki replied, pointing to the bathroom door.  “I think he’s drunk and musing over something on his mind.  I don’t know what the problem is, so be prepared for some kind of foolery tonight.”

“I think it has something to do with the fight he and Cameron had earlier,” Glitter said with a frown.

“He got into a fight with Cameron, again?  Oh, that’s just grand.  Were they fighting about another woman, again?”  Nikki asked as Glitter shrugged her shoulders.

“I don’t know what the fight was about, but some harsh words were said and Cameron left,” Glitter said as she crossed her arms across her chest.

“That’s not good.  JT always expects him to be around for a show.  Please tell me that Marc isn’t here.  I’m really not in the mood to deal with any of his damn complaining right now.  Manager or not, that man really gets on my last damn nerve,” Nikki stated as she shook her head and then looked at the clock on the wall.  “It’s that time girl, we have to go.”

“Yep, I guess we’re on,” Glitter said, sighing as she turned and walked out into the hallway.  “Is he coming or what?”

“I don’t know, I just hope he shows up when the lights go up,” Nikki replied as she walked towards the door.  “JT, it’s time to go, come on man!”

A Few Minutes Later – Out on Stage

“Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my honor to introduce to you, JT Poole, Nikki Knotts and Glitter Mon’et.  I give you ‘Mutual Attraction’!”  The announcer spoke as the lights went out and three single spotlights shown down on the curtain as it went up to reveal Nikki in one spot, Glitter in the other, but no JT.

“I never needed someone… I always led a life of my own…” [1]JT sang as Nikki and Glitter looked around, spotting him in a different spot on stage.  “Never waited for the ring of the phone… Never had, anyone here… when I got homeeee… Loves about to change my heart!”

Nikki’s POV

Lawd, this isn’t the song we’re supposed to be singing right now.  I thought we were going to open with ‘Can You Feel It’, but I guess between the time we discussed things and now, he decided to change the damn song, without telling any of us.  Lawd, I tell you, this man is going to drive me up a damn wall.

Why is it that every time he gets upset about something, he starts changing shit without telling any damn body?  This is it damn it.  When this show is over, we’re going to have it out and I mean it.  I can’t have him making changes like this, that we didn’t discuss as a group.  He can really fuck things up with us like that.

“I’m waiting for the doorbell to chime… I always lived one day at a time… I thought that I was getting on fine… Never felt I was alone… Until you changed my mind… Love’s about to change… change my heart!”  JT sang as I looked over to Glitter, wondering where we would come into the song, since he’s done most of the singing so far.

Hell, what are we even out here for?  This isn’t one of the songs we rehearsed.  I hardly know this song.  The only reason why I know of it is because his mother sang it a few years back when I first met him.

“Could a day be so long… I always felt secure and so strong… and all the time as I went along, never thought I would desire, so much to belong… Love’s about to change… Love’s about to change my heart, ooooh…”  he sang as Glitter started moving over towards him as it seemed he was consumed more by the song than anything else.

“Never ever thought the sky was so blue… Never ever thought that I’d feel so new…” Glitter sang as he snapped out of his little trance.

“Always thought I’d know what to do… But I guess I wasn’t counting on you…” I sang this time as he looked over at me.

“What did I know, oooh… I always felt so much in control… I thought I’d make it all on my own… Never thought I would forget, all that I know…” he sang as Glitter moved around and threw her arms up.

“Love’s about to change… Love’s about to change, love… Love’s about to change, change, change… myyyyy hearttttt,” Glitter belted out as the music kicked up a notch as he made his way down off the top step of the stairs he stood on.

“Change it… Love’s about to change… Love’s about to change…” he sang over and over as the music started to fade out.

Three Hours Later – The Backstage Area

Glitter’s POV

We just walked off stage and the fans are really going wild.  Thank God that the show went okay.  Surprise there.  With all the damn changes that JT made, I’m sure we fucked some stuff up, but based on how the fans cheered us on, I don’t think they really cared if we did or not.

With all the changes that JT made during the first part of the show, I’m sure that fucked up a whole lot.  While we sang ‘Ain’t Nobody Better’ and ‘Can You Feel It’, I skipped a few versus of the songs, just so I could keep up with him.  Hell, if that performance was recorded by someone, I’m sure they’ll notice all the mistakes we made tonight. 

If there are negative consequences for tonight’s show, it’s not our fault.  Hell, I tried to keep up, but I did my best to follow along as best I could, with all the changes there were being made on the fly.  Regardless of what I did, I’m sure we fucked up a whole lot.  We didn’t fuck up too much, but we fucked up enough in my book and I’m not happy about that.  I’m just glad the fans didn’t notice any of it.  Hell, if they did, they’re not showing it to us right now.

Now that we’re back here, I’m trying to decide if I should rip JT a new one or just let that shit ride, mainly since it’s apparently that he’s dealing with some shit.  Then again, what he did tonight wasn’t called for and from my point of view; he should’ve told us earlier in the evening that he planned on singing different songs than we rehearsed.  I’m mad with him and the way Nikki’s looking, she’s way past mad by this point.  Oh well, he brought that future tongue lashing on himself.

“Have you lost your gat damn mind?”  Nikki asked, grabbing him by the sleeve of his shirt and yanking him around.  “Talk to me damn it!  What’s gotten into you JT?  You almost ruined tonight’s show!”

“I—I’m sorry, I—I got confused,” was his only reply as Nikki shook her head and then turned and looked at me.

“You got confused?  Is that all you have to say to us?”  Nikki asked, crossing her arms across her chest.  “IT was like you were doing your best to skate through ‘Can You Feel It’ and what the hell was that opening number?  We never ever rehearsed that song JT!”

“I—I know and I’m sorry for that too Nikki,” he replied, looking down as he shook his head.  “I knew we planned to open with ‘Can You Feel It’, but when I got out there, I… My mind couldn’t—couldn’t remember the words and the words that came out were the words to the song I sang.”

“Don’t you think you could’ve given us some kind of damn warning or something JT?”  I said this time as he looked over at me.  “What’s the problem J?  Does this have anything to do with Cameron not being here right now?”

“I—I don’t want to talk about him!”  He snapped, walking towards the door quickly.

“Stop right there JT, don’t you dare walk through that door!  We’re not done arguing with you yet.  You’re going to tell us what the hell is going through your damn mind right now,” Nikki said as she walked quickly to block his exit.

“I—I’m in no mood for much talking right now Nikki,” JT flatly said, sighing.  “Let’s just head back to the hotel and talk about this tomorrow.”

“No JT, we need to talk about this shit right now!”  Nikki snapped, grabbing his arm. “Something’s wrong and you need to inform your group mates about whatever it is that’s…”

“In the morning and not before then,” JT said, yanking his arm away from Nikki as he turned away from her and then snatched the door open, stopping in his tracks when he noticed the security guys and others standing at the door as if they were listening to what was going on.

“Mr. Poole, is everything okay?”  One of the security guys asked.

“Excuse me,” JT spoke as he moved past the guy, walking away from us.

“Oh man, that was harsh,” I said as she looked at me and then looked at his retreating form that headed down the hall.

Nikki’s POV

God, what just happened here?  Has that man lost his damn mind or what?  I know he didn’t just push me to the side like—like I was some damn groupie!  I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m not about to wait until damn morning to find out.  He needs to tell me now or there might not be a ‘Mutual Attraction’ performing after tonight.

“Girl, are you okay?”  Glitter asked, walking over to where I stood.

“Yeah, I’m fine as all hell.  I just want to know what’s gotten into him all of a sudden,” I replied as she sighed.

“Where’s Cameron?  I think he’s the key to what’s going on around here,” she said with a frown.  “It’s not like him to miss one of our shows, regardless if he and JT gets into a fight.”

“I know girl and I’m thinking that maybe the two of them had a real big fight this time, the reason for JT acting the way he’s acting,” I said as I looked down, wondering what could’ve happened between those two men to cause the melt down that just took place.

“You know as well as I do that it had to be something big, to make him act this way.  He doesn’t act this bad when we fight.  So, it must’ve been a monumental blowout,” Glitter said as there was a knock at the door, interrupting us as one of the security guys walked into the room.

“Ms. Knotts, Ms. Mon’et, we’re ready to escort you back to the hotel now,” the guy announced.

“Wait, where’s JT?”  I asked, trying to look out of the room and down the corridor.

“One of the other guards has escorted Mr. Poole back to the hotel already,” the guy replied as I looked over at him and then back to Glitter as I shook my head.  This night is getting stranger by the damn minute.  Why in the hell is he acting this way?  Better question, why in the hell did he break protocol, leaving here without the rest of us?

“S’okay, I guess we can leave then,” I said with a sigh as I turned and gathered my things so that we could leave.

Almost Midnight – The Excelsior Hotel – JT’s Hotel Room

JT’s POV

Why is this happening to us—to me now God?  I—I thought he loved me.  He was supposed to had been here, but he’s not.  Is it too much to ask for, having your lover, here waiting for you after you’ve done a good job, is it?  So, is he really gone now or what?

I—I guess… Maybe he wasn’t being rude this time.   I guess he was telling the truth when he said he wasn’t happy being with me anymore.  He—he said he was tired of competing with the rest of the world for my love and affection.  He said that I needed to make a choice, him or the world.  He gave me that damn ultimatum two weeks ago and I guess he chose tonight as my answer to whatever I chose.

“Damn it!  I had no idea he meant what he said!”  I snapped as I frantically walked around the room as the tears streamed down my face as I clutched his nightshirt in my hands.  “He said that if I turned my back to him and walked out on that stage tonight, he would leave.  I guess he mean it this time.”

Since he’s not here right now, he wasn’t at the show and he’s not answering the phone, I guess he meant every damn word he said.  I guess my performing at the charity event signed my walking papers with him.  It’s just not fair… He wasn’t being fair.  Why make me choose?  He knew that wasn’t a choice a could make.  I love performing and I love him.  I just can’t pick one over the other.  Why make me choose between the two things I love doing in the whole wide world?

“Damn him!”  I snapped, wiping at my eyes.  “He acts as if I couldn’t love him wholly or something.  What in the hell have we been doing for the past two years?  I don’t see what the problem was—is!”

Why God?  Why is he acting this way?  It’s not like our business was out there in the streets?  The world saw us as very good friends and that’s how he wanted it.  When we first got together, he made it very clear that he needed our relationship to be kept discreet, because of our careers.  So far, what we’ve been doing has remained our little secret.  So what’s with all the damn dramatics now?  Maybe—maybe I missed something during our talk…

Flashback

Three Weeks Ago – Kansas City, MO – The Faulkner Coliseum – The Dressing Room

Cameron’s POV

“Look JT, I love you, but I just can’t compete here.  I know you love singing and performing, but there has to be some give and take here.  It seems I’m always the one sacrificing my time to jump, when you up and leave and head to a new damn town to do another damn show.  What about me?”  I said as he sat on the couch, scribbling notes on his notepad.  “Are you even listening to me JT?”

“Yeah, I hear you Cam,” he replied, not evening looking up at me.

“Yeah right,” I said, walking back over to the door.  “I’m tired of having to play second best to the world for your time, love and attention.  Do you really love me JT?”

“Yeah, I love you,” he answered, still not looking up at me as he erased something on the notepad and then scribbled something else.  “In the moonlight, I see your face…”

“JT!”  I snapped as he looked up at me this time.

“What?”  He said as I shook my head.

“Oh, what’s the fucking use,” I said as I walked over to where he sat, getting in front of him as I took his hand.

“Cam,” he said as I shook my head.

“I can’t handle this anymore JT.  I want… I need someone in my life that’s—that’s going to be there for me, not what we have going on right now.  I just can’t do this anymore.  I’ve been jumping through hoops for far too long JT,” I said as he just stared at me as if I hadn’t said anything to him.  “Did you even hear me JT?  Is any of this sinking in?”

“Yeah, I heard you Cam.  What do you mean you’ve been jumping through hoops?”  He asked.

“You know what I’m talking about baby.  Whenever you need me, I’m always here for you, but is it that way for me, with you?  Whenever you go, I’m always wherever you are, but when I go places, you’re never there for me,” I told him as he just shook his head.

“That’s not true Cam, I’m always…” he said as I shook my head and then covered his lips with my fingers.

“You’re always busy JT,” I said, looking him in the face.  “Because of you and the girls, I’ve lost time that I’ve needed to work on me and my career.”

“What time have you lost Cam?”  He asked.

“You guys are already famous and…” I said as he interrupted me.

“Is that it Cam?  You want to be famous and you’re mad with me right now because you don’t think you are?  Is that it?”  He asked as I got up and then moved away from him before I let my anger get the better of me and I did something I’d regret later on.

“No, that’s not it at all,” I replied, turning to face him.  “I’m tired of having to share you with the rest of the world.  That’s what it is.”

“You don’t share me with the rest of the world Cam,” he said, getting up.

“Yes I do,” I said, crossing my arms across my chest.  “The girls, your fans and everybody else associated with your career come before me.  Hell, even the lowly janitor gets more attention than I do.”

“That’s not true and you know it,” he said.

“That’s a lie!”  I snapped as someone knocked on the door as I walked over and snatched it open.  “What?”

“Is everything okay in here?”  One of his precious security guards asked as I closed the door in the guy’s face.

“That was really rude of you Cam,” he said, glaring at me.

“Oh, I’m so sorry about offending your fucking security guard JT.  All I have to say is this, it’s either me or the world, you take your pick,” I told him.

“What do you mean, take my pick?”  He asked.

“Just that JT, you need to choose, me or the world.  I’m tired of taking a backseat to the rest of the world.  If you love me, show me that you love me,” I told him, grabbing my jacket as I turned and looked at him.

“How am I supposed to do that?”  He asked.

“I’m sure you’ll figure that out big guy,” I said, walking towards the door.  “One of these days you’re going to walk out on that stage and I won’t be waiting for you when you walk off.”

“Cam, you don’t mean that,” he said as I shook my head and kept on walking.

End Flashback

Why God, why did this have to happen?  I didn’t choose the world, I’ve always chosen him.  I always valued him over everything else.  Why now God?  When I called him on the phone, he didn’t even want to talk to me.  He just let the calls go to his damn voice mail.  Why is he ignoring me?  It’s like he’s cut me off already and not even giving me a chance to try to make things right.  He’s already acting as if I’m no longer a part of his life.  We’re lovers damn it!

The Next Day – The Marius Hilton Hotel – Nikki’s Hotel Room

Nikki’s POV

Has the whole world gone mad or is it just me?  Did I wake up in the damn Twilight Zone or is someone playing a horrible prank on me?  Whatever the hell this is, it’s not funny and I’m not happy with all that I’ve ready so far.  I can’t—I can’t believe my eyes here!  That stuff in the damn paper isn’t true!  I knew the rumor mill was buzzing last night, but this shit is ridiculous.  With the way things went down at last night’s show, I should’ve expected something negative to happen, but not something like this.  Expecting a little bit of speculation is one thing, but this crap is insane!

It’s just like the damn paparazzi to say some shit like this against us!  Since we made it big, there have been some real bold rumors about all three of us, but this one takes the damn cake.  I’ve known JT for a very long time and the lies printed in this damn paper aren’t true!

“We need to have a press conference and nip this shit in the bud, before it spreads too damn far,” I said aloud, walking in front of the windows in the room, to see that there was a crowd of people down below.  “I’m going to go get JT and Glitter.  We need to sit down and come up with a strategy on how to handle this crap.”

Sighing, I walked away from the windows and stopped, considering all the crap I’d read in the paper.  Thinking about the way JT’s been acting lately, could some of that stuff actually be true?  No, that stuff isn’t true.  I’ve known him too long for that stuff to be true.  Sighing again, I grabbed my purse, my cell phone and prepared to leave the room as the cell phone beeped in my hand.  Checking the caller id, I saw that it was Cameron.  I wonder what it is that he wants.  Now isn’t the time to be talking to him.  I’ll deal with him later on, now I have to get Marc and deal with this fiasco at hand, before ‘Mutual Attraction’ ends up being mutually gone.

“This is just some bullshit.  I can see it now.  Marc’s going to flip out when he gets wind of this, if he hasn’t already,” I said, walking to the door, just as someone knocked.  “Who the hell is it?”

“It’s Glitt girl, open the door,” I heard Glitter’s voice as I yanked the door opened as she stood there with a few tabloids and a few local newspapers in hand.  “We got a real big problem on our hands girl.”

“I know,” I replied as she shook her head.

“No, this shit seems to be viral.  It’s already global it seems and it’s even on the news and music stations already,”  Glitter said as she walked into the room.

“Where’s JT?”  I asked.

“He’s not here with you?”  She asked, looking around the room and then sighed as she shook her head.

“No, he’s not here with me.  Where the hell is he?”  I asked.

“If he’s not here with you, your guess is good as mine girl,” she replied as I shook my head.

What in the hell is going on here?  Why isn’t he around when we need him to be?  First the crap from last night and now this.  Is there something going on that none of us know about?

To Be Continued…


[1] Song Excerpt = “Loves About to Change My Heart” by Donna Summer