The Past Comes Knocking – Chapter 5

Chapter 5 – A Stroll Down Memory Lane

May 24, 2004 – New York City, NY – The Marius Hilton – Nikki’s Hotel Room

“I’ve had just about…” Mo’ette said as her male friend shook his head and then stepped in front of Marc, popping him in the mouth, knocking him backwards into the wall.  “Why thank you very much babe.”

“You’re very welcomed love,” the man said with a smile as he rubbed his hands together as though he was wiping his hands of trash.  “Let’s get out of this place, before I have to hit him again.  I don’t want to get any dirtier than I already am and Lord knows, I don’t need to catch a case around here.”

“I hear ya’ babe,” Mo’ette said as she smiled and then stepped over Marc’s body, laughing as she and her friend walked out of the room.

“I guess it’s just you and your goons now Marc,” Cameron said as he shook his head, laughed and then followed Mo’ette out of the room.  “Have fun creep.”

“Fucking jerk,” Marc said as Cameron continued walking down the hall, laughing.

“Damn it, things aren’t working like I thought they would.  I gotta do something to fix things between JT and me.  I think I’ll give him some space, before I try anything else.  I don’t want him getting angrier with me.  I know he’s hurting right now and if I try something else, he’ll only get angrier.  I’ll just give him some space and see what happens.  I know I’m not wanted around here, but that doesn’t mean I have to completely disappear.  I’ll just go on along to the next venue and try to fix things there.  I just hope Marc isn’t around to cause more trouble,” Cameron spoke as he stood at the elevator, waiting for it to arrive.

A Few Minutes Later

“I don’t even know why I came back here.  I should’ve just gone back to my house and just let this stuff die down,” JT stated as he and his friends walked down the hall.  “There’s just too much going on Momma.”

“You don’t need to go back home boy, you need to be here, handling this stuff,” Vanessa stated as she walked next to JT.  “You need to do a press conference and fix this mess, before it goes any further.”

“Momma, none of this can be fixed.  A press conference isn’t going to do it,” JT stated as he shook his head as Nikki walked up to him.

“JT, let’s just get on the bus and we’ll talk about this more on our way to Philly,” Nikki said as JT shook his head again.

“No Nikki, I don’t want to talk about any of this.  I just want to go home and…” JT stated as Vanessa shook her head and then grabbed him by the arm, stopping him.

“Boy, you need to take care of business and…” Vanessa said as JT sighed.

“I know you guys mean well and all, but right now, I don’t want to think or talk about singing.  I want to go home and—and just ball up and die,” JT declared as he sighed and then looked down.

“No boy, you can’t do that.  We’re not going to let you do that,” Vanessa stated as she pulled JT into a hug.  “I’m not going to let you cower away from this because you don’t want to deal with it.  For once in your life baby, you need to fix something.”

“No Momma, no!  If ya’ll want this fixed, ya’ll fix it!  I’m out!”  JT snapped as he pulled away from Vanessa and then walked away.

“Look, there he is!”  Someone yelled as JT turned around quickly, noticing the swarm of reporters and paparazzi heading for them.  “Over here JT!”

“Oh, here we go,” JT said as he walked in the other direction as others started following him.

“JT Poole, what do you have to say about the news article that appeared in the ‘Daily Monitor’?”  Someone asked as JT shook his head and then started walking faster.

“JT, are you on drugs?  What led you to the drugs?  Is the pressure of performing getting to you?”  Someone asked as JT stopped, looking around and then shook his head.  “Come on JT, answer the questions man!”

“No comment!”  JT snapped, getting the attention of Nikki, Mo’ette and Justin.  “Security!”

“Alright people, back it up,” a security guy said as he got in between JT and the reporters around him.

“Get these people away from me!  I don’t know how you let them get this close in the first place!”  JT yelled as he turned his back and kept on walking.

“Hey!  Why you being an ass man?  You’re not all that!”  A reporter exclaimed, grabbing JT by the arm, stopping him from walking, almost causing him to fall down.

“Who the hell are you and why are you messing with him?”  Justin asked, getting up in the reporter’s face.

“What’s it to you?”  The reporter asked, glaring at Justin.  “Whatever I do is my business, not yours.”

“When it comes to you messing with my friend, at a time like this, it’s my business too!”  Justin snapped as the man smiled and then started snapping pictures of him. “Get the hell out of my face!”

“Gladly,” the man said, smiling at Justin as he continued snapping pictures.  “This’ll make a great headline.  Justin Tanner comes to the rescue of his drug-addicted, singing friend.”

“Why you son of a…” Justin trailed off as Mo’ette grabbed his arm, pulling him back.

“We were only talking, there was no need for you getting all bent out of shape Mr. Tanner,” the reporter said with a smile as he took another picture.

“Calm down Justin,” Mo’ette said as she placed a hand on his shoulder, trying to calm him.

“Yeah, calm down man, it’s not that serious,” the reporter said as he backed away from Justin.  “No one did anything that warrants you acting like a jerk.”

“Oh lawd,” Mo’ette said, shaking her head and then covering her eyes.

“Oh no he didn’t!”  Justin snapped as he turned back around and then grabbed the camera from the reporter’s hand, pushing the man backwards.

“Give that back fucker!”  The reporter screamed.

“Make me,” Justin said with a smirk on his face.

“We don’t have time for this mess,” Nikki said as she pulled out her cell phone and dialed a number.

“Yeah, what she said,” Justin said as he shook his head as he removed the film from the reporter’s camera, exposing it to the light as he threw the camera at the reporter.  “Here you go, you can have it back now.”

“Justin,” Nikki said, sighing as some security guards rushed into the area, doing their best to keep the other reporters and paparazzi at bay.

“I’m going to sue you Justin Tanner, you’ll hear from my lawyers!”  The reporter screamed.

“You’re lucky you’re not hearing from mine!”  Justin snapped as they all moved down the hall.

“Man, that was hectic,” Nikki said, shaking her head.

A Few Hours Later – A Tour Bus Headed to Philadelphia, PA

“So, has he come out of the bathroom yet?”  Glitter asked, walking down the aisle of the bus as she stopped in front of where Nikki sat.

“Nope,” was all Nikki said as she flipped through the magazine she had in hand as Glitter sighed and then sat down.  “So, where did you go the other night and where were you all evening Glitter?”

“What do you mean?”  Glitter asked, looking at Nikki strangely.

“You know what I mean girl.  Where have you been going the last couple of days?”  Nikki asked, looking at Glitter closely.  “No one saw you around.  You were just as much an absentee band mate as JT was.  You only showed your face in spells.  So again, where were you?”

“I was in my room,” Glitter replied, sighing.  “Why are you giving me the third degree here?”

“I’m not giving you the third degree.  I just want to know where you were is all,” Nikki replied as she put the magazine down.

“I told you, I was in my room.  I was waiting for the damn drama to be over with,” Glitter stated as she shook her head.  “I wasn’t in the mood for dealing with the so-called drama that’s been in the air as of late.”

“And you think I was,” Nikki said as she crossed her arms across her chest.  “You act like I was ready to hear that JT’s gay and that Marc tried to rape him or the fact that Marc has blackmailed all of his boyfriends away from him over the years.  Now, I understand why all of the things that happened between JT and his friends happened.”

“Oh come on now, did you really believe all of that?”  Glitter asked, getting up from her seat.  “Sorry girl, but I’m not going to be that naïve and listen to that crap.  The truth has yet to be told around here.”

“What?  What in the hell is that supposed to mean?”  Nikki asked, glaring at Glitter.

“It means that I don’t believe all of what JT said,” Glitter said as she shook her head and then turned around.  “He’s been acting really strange as of late and I believe what’s in the paper.”

“You what!”  Nikki snapped as she stood up quickly and then hauled off, smacking Glitter across the face, knocking her backwards into a seat.  “You know gat damn well those things aren’t true!”

“Sure they’re not,” Glitter said as she rubbed the side of her face.  “I guess you’re going to beat the truth into me now.”

“Girl, you best bite your damn tongue before I do something I’ll regret,” Nikki said as Glitter shook her head.

“It’s too late for that,” Glitter said as she slid from out of the seat, got out of Nikki’s way and then walked towards the front of the bus.

“Did I miss something here?”  Vanessa asked, walking up to Nikki.  “What was that all about?”

“That was just Glitter, spouting off as always and me having to put her in her damn place,” Nikki replied as she sighed.  “Why do I always stoop to her level?”

“Only you have the answer to that question my dear,” Vanessa replied as she sat down and then patted the seat next to her.  “Come on, talk to me.  What’s going on with you guys in ‘Mutual Attraction’?”

“I—I think ‘Mutual Attraction’ has run its course,” Nikki said as she sighed again.  “We’re falling apart around this place Vanessa.”

“No, you’re not.  You guys just need to solve this problem and move past it,” Vanessa said, rubbing Nikki’s back.

“How are we going to solve this problem Vanessa, when the main person that needs to do something about it, is held up in a bathroom, trying to avoid everybody it seems,” Nikki said as she looked at Vanessa and then shook her head.  “I know he’s hurting right now, but he has to do something about this and quick.”

“I know my son Nikki and he’ll do something about it soon, we just need to stop back and let him have his space,” Vanessa said as she looked down.  “I just hope he comes to his senses before it’s really too late.”

“Me too,” Nikki responded as she looked down the aisle as Glitter stood in the area near the bunks with her cell phone to her ear.  “I’m starting to think she has something to do with this crap that’s going on in the media.”

“You think Glitter is the leak?”  Vanessa asked, looking at Nikki with her nose turned up a bit.

“Yeah, pretty much so,” Nikki replied as she crossed her arms across her chest again.  “She just said she believes all the stuff that was said in the tabloids and she feels that JT did it all.  She doesn’t believe he’s innocent of all that stuff.”

“You know my son Nikki.  You’ve known him for a long time.  Do you believe him to be a drug user?”  Vanessa asked, placing a hand on Nikki’s shoulder.  “Do you believe he’s using and dealing?  Do you believe him to be using his tours and finances to buy and distribute drugs around the world?”

“No I don’t Vanessa.  I don’t believe any of that crap,” Nikki stated as she looked at Vanessa.  “Anybody that really knows JT should know the truth about that.  He may have his issues with the bottle, but he hasn’t moved to the pipe.”

“You know, most people say that the pipe isn’t far behind the bottle,” Vanessa stated as she sighed and then turned around.  “I just hope those tabloids were lying.”

“They are lying,” Nikki said as she turned towards Vanessa.  “JT may have some alcoholic tendencies, but he’s not a crack head.”

A Car Following the Tour Bus

Justin’s POV

“… I’m trying to tell you what’s going on Josh!  If you’ll shut the hell up, you’ll hear what I’m saying, so stop wasting my damn time,” I said, wondering if I was making a mistake, trying to get him involved in what was currently going on.

“Why should I even care Justin?”  Josh asked as I shook my head.

“Do you still love her or not Josh?”  I asked.

“Why does it even matter?  We’ve been apart for so long,” he said as I shook my head, feeling as if I were wasting my time here.

“Because she’s single and she’s still wearing your ring man,” I said, hoping that would make an impact with him.

“She—she’s still wearing my ring?”  He asked.

“Yeah, she’s still wearing the ring you gave her,” I said as he gasped.  “I’m sure she still feels the same way about you, that you feel about her.  All you have to do is meet us at their next stop and see what happens.”

“Where—where is their next stop?”  He asked.

“In Philly,” I replied, picking up the itinerary that Nikki had given me as I read through it as quickly as I could.  “Why don’t you go ahead and get on a plane so you can meet us.”

“Alright, I’m going to go pack and head out.  I’ll call you back later on with my flight information,” he said.

“Okay Josh, I’ll talk with you later on,” I said, taking a sip of my coffee so I could stay awake.

A Tour Bus Headed to Philadelphia, PA – The Bathroom


Why am I always the one that gets hurt?  At the end of the day, when everything’s said and done, it’s always me that’s left upset and crying.  Why am I the one that ends up being alone?  Am I really that bad of a person that everyone has to always leave me?  I thought that Marc was the root of my troubles, but maybe it’s really me.  Maybe—maybe I’m the reason why my relationships go haywire and I end up doing things by myself.  Does anyone really care for me?

[1]Who really cares?
Who really cares?
When I talk?
What I feel?
What I say?
Nobody not really

Who wants to take
The time to understand
I would like someone to heal me with some empathy
But I can’t find…
Nobody not really

Maybe I’m invisible to the world
Does anyone in the world even think of me?
As more than just a hopeless cause
Maybe the world is not my block
My stoop
My life
My dreams
My anything, anything

Who wants to help?
Mama, but she’s so tired
Papa, but you’re not here
I’m alone in a big empty space with
Nobody not really

“JT, JT can I come in?”  I heard Nikki’s voice as she lightly tapped on the bathroom door.

“No, I don’t want to be bothered right now,” I replied as I heard her sigh.

“I heard you in there singing, let me in,” she said as she tapped on the door again.

“No, I just said I didn’t want to be bothered right now.  Just go away and leave me alone woman,” I said.

“I’m not just going to leave you alone JT, you’re my best friend,” she said as I could imagine her standing out there with her arms across her chest, waiting for me to open the door with that ‘Imma beat his ass’ look on her face.

“Just let me have some peace for a while longer,” I said as she tapped on the door again.  “You’re not going to stop knocking, are you?”

“Nope, so you might as well open the door and let me in there or you come out here,” she said.

“Fine,” I said, opening the door as she walked in and then looked at me like I was crazy.

“Are you feeling any better now?”  She asked as I raised an eye at her. “Guess not.”

“Really, no, you don’t say,” I sarcastically said as she shook her head and then moved to the little stole besides the shower stall.  “How am I supposed to feel at a time like this?”

“I really don’t know, seeing as I don’t know what’s really going on with you right now.  I don’t know how I would feel if I was in the same situation as you.  I do feel we have a lot to talk about though.  I’ve missed a big part of your life; a part that I never knew existed.  I don’t know why I never suspected that you’re gay.  I guess it’s because you don’t act like the stereotypical gay man,” she said as I shook my head.  “Sorry.”

“No, I’m sorry that I don’t glam out like Glitter and I don’t spruce out like RuPaul, that’s just not me.  I do the suits, I’ll keep my hair cropped and trimmed and I make sure I smell good enough to not be stinky, but I’m not one of those girly boys you see on TV during those gay pride things,” I said as she giggled.

“I know you’re not JT,” she said with a smile.  “That’s something you’ve never shown the rest of us.  I guess you only showed that to Cameron, Justin and who?”

“Hmmm,” I said, wondering if I should go there with her.

“Don’t hmmm me, just go ahead and dish JT,” she said, looking at me closely.  “Justin outed himself earlier, so I know you two were together and…”

“Me and Justin were never together,” I said as she looked at me strangely, turning up her nose as she scratched at her head.

“What?  You weren’t,” she said as I shook my head.  “Then what…”

“Back in the day, when we both were on the Mouse, he developed a thing for me,” I said as she looked down, probably thinking back to that time.  “He had the biggest crush on me, but as you know, I’m six years older than he is.  I didn’t want to go to jail for being a pedophile and Lord knows, I didn’t want to be in the clink for statutory rape, so I kindly told him when he became of age, we would see what happens.”

“What happened?”  She asked.

“Nothing at all,” I said as she looked at me strangely again.  “The night you and Josh first met…”

“And,” she said as I sighed.

“We talked that night and he—he decided to be with the woman he was with at the time, Emma,” I told her as she just looked at me like crickets were chirping around.

“So, you two never got together,” she said as I shook my head.  “No romance at all?”

“Nope,” I replied with a frown.  “All we had was a kiss and then a smacking.”

“Lawd, who smacked who?”  She asked.

“He smacked me,” I replied as she looked down while shaking her head.

“Why did he smack you?”  She asked.

“We argued that night and I kissed him without his permission, so he smacked me and then walked off,” I said as she shook her head again.  “The next conversation we had was a year later when I started dating someone else and he was actually ready to give me a chance.  Well he set up this nice weekend getaway, but I turned him down and decided to cut all contact with him.”

“You didn’t,” she said as I nodded my head.

“I didn’t want to get my heart broken again,” I said as she rubbed my back.  “He pulled out all the stops on that one though.  The weekend you and Josh… you know, that was the weekend he tried to get me to go away with him.  He poured out his heart to me and apologized for all that had happened between us and then he pledged his love to me, but I just couldn’t have him hurt me again, because he was scared of what would happen with his career.”

“So, you broke his heart and that was that?”  She asked.

“Not exactly,” I said as she looked at me strangely again.

“This is getting drawn out JT,” she said as I sighed.

“He poured his heart out to me and—and we ended up sleeping together that one time,” I said as she sighed.  “The next morning, I was back where I belonged and he was alone.”

“JT,” she said, smacking me on my arm.  “How could you?”

“I got weak, but…” I said as she interrupted me.

“I’m sure you were, but still,” she said as I got up and then moved over by the door.  “I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” I said, wondering if this conversation with her was going to get any easier.

“So, besides Justin and Cameron, who else were you with?  Now that I know about you, I get the sneaking suspicion that some of your friends in the past were actually boyfriends and not just friends.  Am I right?”  She asked as I sighed.

“I don’t know, are you?”  I asked as she sighed.  “Well, what do you expect?”

“I expect you to give me an answer here JT,” she said as I sighed.

“Fine, ask the rest of your questions and I’ll try to give you some answers,” I said as she shook her head.  “What?”

“Stop being difficult JT,” she said, pointing her finger at me.  “So tell me JT, Todd and Wes?  Were they just friends or something more?”

“Why?”  I asked.

“Because I want to know man, that’s why,” she replied as she looked up at me.  “Were you and Wes a couple?  What about Todd?  Did you two fool around?”

“Before I started my singing career, Wes was there to help me get my thoughts together.  Like Cameron, he didn’t want to be out in the open with our relationship, so we kept things secret.  Things with us were going great for a while, until the management company sold my contract to the company that Marc works for.  Hell, if I would’ve known then, what I know now, I would’ve fought tooth and nail to keep my contract out of the hands of that damn fool,” I stated as she shook her head.

“Do tell,” she said.

“As soon as Marc took control of things, it was like the flow that we had vanished.  It wasn’t me, Mo’ette and Syndi, it was just ‘Soul Connection’,” I said as she looked down.  “He rode us hard as he could, because he wanted to make a name for himself.  It was like he didn’t care if the fans cared for the music, he just wanted to establish himself as a manager and a music promoter.”

“Well, it’s not like he’s changed much since then J,” she said as she looked at me and then placed a hand on my leg.

“Nope, you have to love being rode like a damn government mule to put up with Marc’s depictions of fame and fortune,” I said as she frowned and then sighed.

To Be Continued…

[1] Song Excerpt = Nobody Not Really by Alicia Keys


The Past Comes Knocking – Chapter 4

Chapter 4 – An Ending with a Revelation

May 24, 2004 – New York City, NY – The Marius Hilton – Nikki’s Hotel Room

Justin’s POV

Damn him to hell!  I can’t believe that fucker is behind all of this shit!  Then again, it’s Marc, so what would anyone expect from a low-down dirty bastard like him!  For a person that claims to like someone and want to see them succeed, he has a funny damn way of showing it.  He’s just a jealous asshole that caused all of this because JT wouldn’t be with him.

When I first met Marc, I knew he was nothing but trouble.  I—I should’ve fought more to be with JT, instead of letting Marc scare him away from me.  If it wasn’t for his damn meddling and him trying to blackmail me, I think me and JT could’ve gotten along just fine, instead of JT deciding to leave the show and go out on his own.  Maybe if I had told the others about what was going on back then, maybe none of this would be happening right now and I would actually be with JT and able to feel some kind of love in my own damn life.

Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen and heard some crap I really didn’t need to hear.  All of this stuff going on can’t be because of Marc being in love with JT and JT won’t be with him.  There has to be something more going on than just that.  This stuff is going way too deep than everyone’s letting on.  I don’t know what it is, but there has to be more to this, than what they all said and what I’ve heard.

Why would Marc let it out that JT was doing that crap that’s printed out there in the tabloids?  If Marc wanted to hurt him and his career, why didn’t he just come on out and tell the world the truth?  The world finding out that JT’s gay would more than likely be a career ender, for a guy that writes songs serenading women.  Why in the hell did he make up that shit about the drugs, the problems with money and his education?  That crap seems to be just too damn stupid to put out there.

“Come on baby, come out of the bathroom,” Vanessa said as she softly tapped on the bathroom door as I wondered how much damage this shit with Marc has caused him personally.

“Why don’t you all just go away!”  I heard JT snap as I frowned.  “I’m not going to come out of here until all of you are gone, you feel me?”

“Come on buddy, come out of there,” I said, walking over to the bathroom door and stood next to Vanessa.  “We need you out here, not in there.”

“Justin, why are you actually here?”  He asked as I heard him sniffle.  “Why don’t you just go back to Hollywood and go find Jessica, Emma or whoever.”

“JT,” I said as Vanessa looked at me.  “It wasn’t like that buddy.”

“This just keeps getting better and better by the minute,” Marc said as he stood over by the security guy in the room, doing his best to avoid the rest of us getting up in his ass.  He knows that if he makes a move away from that guy, that’s his ass where I’m concerned.

“Just keep your mouth zipped up Marc, we don’t need any commentary from the dick crowd, you fucking dick!”  I snapped as he backed into one of the guards, almost falling backwards as Nikki giggled and then covered her mouth as she shook her head.

“I—I’m not scared of you,” Marc said as I made a move towards him as he slid backwards on the floor, bumping into the other guard as Nikki burst out laughing as she waved her hand, fanning her face.

“Apparently you are,” Nikki said as she turned around.  “Fucking wimp.”

“Really, I’m not scared of him,” Marc said as I shook my head, turning my attention back to the bathroom door.

“Yeah, whatever man,” I said as I tapped on the bathroom door.  “Buddy, please come out of there.”

“I said NO!  I’m not coming out of here, until all of you are gone and I mean all of you!”  He snapped as I sighed again.

“Please JT, please come out of there,” I begged.

“I’m not going to say it again,” I heard as he sniffled again as Vanessa stepped in front of me and then tapped on the door again.

“Baby, please come out of there,” Vanessa spoke as she looked down.  “You can’t fix things if you stay in the bathroom.”

“There’s no need to fix things right now.  I’m too hurt to fix things.  If I’m going to hurt like this, what’s the fucking use,” JT said as my heart went out to him.

“Baby, things will be all right,” Vanessa said with a frown.  “All you have to do is tell the truth and things will be okay.”

“Things will never be okay, never!”  He screamed as we all heard something break.  “Damn it!”

“John Timothy Poole, what did you just do?”  Vanessa demanded.

“Momma, I’m in no mood…” JT started as Vanessa shook her head.

“Boy, I’m not in the mood for this either!  Your career is going down the drain right now and you’re held up in a damn bathroom no less,” Vanessa said as I shook my head.  “Get your narra ass out here and take care of business boy!”

In the time that I’ve known Vanessa, I’ve never heard her take that kind of tone with him before.  I know they’ve had their moments with each other, but the way she’s talking to him right now, she really means business.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that she was just like Marc, only out for one thing, money.  Well apparently, in Marc’s case, that one thing he wants from JT is sex.

“I think you need to do what she says buddy,” I said as the door clicked and then opened.

“Momma, just go back to wherever it was you came from,” JT said as he stood in the doorway of the bathroom.  “I’m going back to where I belong and—and I’m going to leave all of this behind.  This life has ruined things for me and that’s going to change.”

“You don’t really mean that boy,” Vanessa said as JT turned and looked at her.

“Like a damn heart attack,” was all he said as he walked towards the main room door.

“JT wait,” I said, grabbing his hand as he turned and looked at me as I saw sadness, fear and anger in his eyes.

“Get your hands off of me Justin!”  He snapped, snatching his hand out of mine.  “You have no right to be here, talking to me, like you belong around me!  You!  You are just like him!  Acting like you actually care about me, please!  You are the one that couldn’t handle the fire and decided to be with some damn hooker because you were scared that Marc would out you!”

“JT please,” I said, wishing he would stop.

“Please nothing Justin.  You are no better than him!  All the while when we were on the Mouse, you wanted to get together and I wouldn’t because you were young and then when you were of age, then you were scared that he would tell the world your dirty little secret.  It’s only love, but I guess love doesn’t really matter to you, only your name and damn reputation!”  He snapped as he shook his head.  “You have no damn reason being here, so don’t stand here in my face, acting like you actually care about me!”

“That’s not true, I do care about you buddy.  If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t be here right now,” I said, looking down at the floor as he shook his head.  He’s right, I choose Emma because I was scared that my career would hit rock bottom if the world found out about me.  With Emma, all I had to do was hang around with her and things was all right.

“So, as I said, you’re no better than that scum over there,” JT said as he pointed at Marc, pushed me away from him and then opened the door.

“JT wait,” Nikki called out as he turned and looked at her.  “You can’t just up and quit things.  You can’t just leave things the way they are.”

“I can and I am,” he replied, looking down again.  “I’m sorry Nikki, but I’ve let the world rule me for the last time.”

“You don’t have to let the world rule you JT.  You can live your life the way you want to.  Fuck what the world thinks, you live for you, not for them,” Nikki said as she smiled at him.  “I can care less if you like dick, hell I like it too, but don’t let this be the end of things because some fans have their heads up their asses.”

“Nikki, you don’t…” JT said as she shook her head.  “They won’t understand and they’ll expect…”

“Fuck what they expect JT,” Nikki said as she stepped in front of him.  “You be yourself and do you.  You don’t have to answer to anyone here.  Don’t listen to the rants of others or let their actions steer you in the wrong direction.  Because you’re gay doesn’t mean it’s the end of ‘Mutual Attraction’.”

“Listen to her baby,” Mo’ette said as she moved over to JT.  “Don’t let that fool turn you into me.  You are here now, fix this and get back on top, where you belong.  Don’t you fall down like I did baby.”

“Mo’ette,” was all he said as he wrapped his arms around her as the tears flowed down his cheeks.  “I’ve missed you.”

“I’ve missed you too baby,” she replied as she rubbed his back.  “It seems it’s a big ole family reunion around here.”

“Seems like it,” he said as he sniffled again.  “Just like old times.  Me, you, Josh and—and Justin.  Those were the good ole days.”

“Yes they were buddy, the best I ever had,” I said, moving closer to him as I opened my arms and waited to see what would happen.

Outside of Nikki’s Hotel Room

Cameron’s POV

Maybe—maybe Taylor’s right about the way I’ve been acting.  He made a lot of valid points when we talked the other morning.  I guess it took for him to speak those things out for me to see where I had gone wrong.  I can’t hold JT responsible for what’s going wrong in our relationship, when I’ve been right there with him.  I should’ve told him what was wrong and did what I could to help change those things, instead of just up and leaving the way I did the other night.  If I want to be with him, really want to be with him, I need to give him the time he needs to work on us and not give up because he’s not moving as fast as I want him to.  Dang, it’s not like I’ve tried to change things.  All I did was whine a few times.  I love him and maybe I need to do something besides whine about things.

“Nikki you don’t…” I heard JT say as I peeked into the room.  “They won’t understand and they’ll expect…”

“Fuck what they expect JT,” I heard Nikki say as she appeared in front of the crack in the door.  “You be yourself and do you.  You don’t have to answer to anyone here.  Don’t listen to the rants of others or let their actions steer you in the wrong direction.  Because you’re gay, doesn’t mean it’s the end of ‘Mutual Attraction’.”

“Listen to her baby,” I heard an unknown voice say.  “Don’t let that fool turn you into me.  You are here now, fix this and get back on top where you belong.  Don’t you fall down like I did.”

“Mo’ette,” I heard JT say as I heard sniffling.  “I’ve missed you.”

“I’ve missed you too baby,” I heard the unknown voice again.  “It seems it’s a big ole family reunion around here.”

“Seems like it,” JT said as he sniffled again.  “Just like old times.  Me, you, Josh and—and Justin.  Those were the good ole days.”

“Yes they were buddy, the best I ever had,” I heard another voice say as I pushed the door opened the rest of the way to see Justin Tanner with his arms wrapped around JT and a black woman I’ve never seen before.

What in the hell is going on around here?  What did I just walk in on?  Why is Justin Tanner here with his arms wrapped around my man?  Does he have anything to do with what’s going on with the security guys out front?  Are those guys here because he’s here?  I guess someone of his celebrity status would warrant so many security guys.

“Well, look what the cat drug in,” I heard behind me as I turned around to see Vanessa standing there.  “Hello Cameron, it’s about time that you showed your face.  Where in the hell have you been?”

“Well hello to you too Vanessa,” I said as she shook her head.

“I’m in no mood to deal with smarting off right now,” Vanessa said as she held her hand up.  “Where in the hell have you been?”

“I went home,” I replied as she shook her head.

“You went home?”  Nikki asked, walking over to where I stood.  “You went home when he needed you here?”

“Yes, I went home.  I—I needed to think and clear my head,” I said as she shook her head and then rolled her eyes.

“So, did you get enough thinking in?  While you were off thinking, your man was here, hurting, in need of your support,” she said as I looked at her funny.  Did—did he tell them about us?

“He—he told you guys?”  I asked as she put her hands on her hips with a look on her face that could probably melt the polar ice caps.  I guess he told them.

“It doesn’t really matter about who told,” she said as she got up in my face.  “What matters most is that you weren’t here to give him some support when he needed you.  What kind of boyfriend are you?”

“Look, we—we…” I tried to say as Nikki shook her head again and then poked my forehead with her finger.

“We nothing,” she said as she shook her head.  “A whole lot of shit has gone down and your ass was nowhere to be found when he needed you the most.  I don’t know why I didn’t suspect anything with you two sooner.”

“We did what we could to keep things under wraps,” I said as she sighed.

“Well a lot of good that did,” she said as she turned and looked at Marc.  “You were away at home, while your man here is suffering because of the actions of that creep over there.”

“I’m not a creep!”  Marc snapped as Justin moved away from JT and got in Marc’s face.

“Marc, don’t make me break my foot off in your ass,” Justin said as he pointed his finger in Marc’s face.  “Instead of you acting like the sniveling bastard that you are, you need to be fixing what you fucking did!”

“I done told you guys I had nothing to do with that crap!”  Marc snapped as I looked over at him, wondering what his part was in things.

“Is he responsible for what’s going on in the media right now?”  I asked.

“Yeah, he leaked a whole lot of lies it seems,” Nikki replied, walking over to where Justin stood.  “And he needs to do as Justin said and fix what he did.”

“I didn’t do it damn it!”  Marc snapped again as Justin hauled off and punched him in the face, knocking him down to the floor.

“Ooooow shit!  That hurt like hell,” Justin said as Nikki and the other black woman looked at him.

“Hey, it seems like nothing changed with that right hook of yours,” the black woman said as she patted Justin on the back.  “Good looking out handsome.”

“Why thank you very much Mo’ette,” Justin said as he smiled at the woman.  I guess that’s her name, Mo’ette.  It sounds like some cheap champagne or something.

“Since you’re refusing to fix what you did, I’ll make you fix things,” Vanessa said as she pulled out her cell phone and then walked out of the room.

“What a minute, what is she going to do?”  Marc asked, looking around the room.  “What is she going to do?”

“Who knows man, you know that she’s crazy,” I said as JT looked at me.

“So, why did you come back?”  JT asked with a frown on his face.

“I had to make sure that you’re okay and I—I think we… I think we need to talk,” I said as he shook his head.

“I’m just fine now Cameron and we don’t need to talk,” he said as he looked down and then took in a breath.  “I feel better now, than I have in a long time.”

“What—what do you mean by that?”  I asked.

“Maybe it was a good thing that you left me,” he said with a sniffle.  “It showed me that you couldn’t hang through the tough times.”

“That’s—that’s not true baby,” I said as he shook his head.

“It’s true Cameron, you left me, you left me here by myself to be almost molested by Marc of all people,” he said as I’m sure my eyes widened at hearing that.

“What?  What’re you talking about?  What did Marc do?”  I asked.

“Well if you had been here, you would know,” he said as he shook his head again.  “Thank you Cameron, thank you for opening my eyes.”

“No JT, no!”  I snapped as he held up his hand.  “No baby, no!  Don’t’ do this to us!”

“I’m not doing anything to us Cameron, you did this,” he said, looking over at Nikki and then at Mo’ette.  “You were the one that just up and left me.  You didn’t give me a chance to work on things with you.  You jumped the guy and up and left.  I didn’t think you were actually going to do it, until I realized that you weren’t going to show up for the last concert.”

“Please JT, please don’t do this,” I said as he turned his back to me.  “Baby please, I—I’m sorry.  I know I was wrong, but I was hurt and upset about…”

“And instead of waiting around to talk about it, you up and left and went home as you said,” he said, sniffling again.  “I could understand if you would’ve just sat backstage or stayed at the hotel or something, but no, you went home, I take it, you went all the way to Tacoma, am I right?”

“Yeah, I was in Tacoma,” I replied as he shook his head again.  “Baby please…”

“No Cameron, I— can’t do it, I won’t do it,” he said as he turned back to me.  “You leaving me the way you did, it hurt like hell.  You leaving me was of your own choosing.  You didn’t get help from anyone else, like others before you.  Unlike the others, you weren’t threatened or blackmailed, you were upset.”

“Yes I was upset, I felt…” I said as he shook his head again.

“No Cameron, you left me of your own free will.  You just up and left because you felt I wasn’t paying enough attention to you.  It was you that wanted to keep our relationship secret from everyone else.  I wanted to tell everyone, but you only thought of yourself and what you wanted,” he said as I looked down.

“I know baby, I know,” I said as he held up his hand.

“Stop calling me that.  I’m no longer your baby, not anymore,” he said as he sighed and then shook his head.  “You’ve lost the right to call me that.”

“Ba… JT please, please give me another chance here,” I said as he shook his head.

“Did you give me another chance Cameron?  No!  You just up and left me and I won’t go through that kind of hurt and pain again, never again with you,” he said as he moved away from the door.  “Cameron, I don’t want to discuss this anymore.”

“Okay,” was all I could say as it seemed my life was crashing down around me.  I fucked up!  I really fucked things up!

“To help you put some closure to things, this is for you and I hope you follow what I say,” he said as he turned around and then looked at me again.

If you see me walking down the street
And I start to cry each time we meet
Walk on by, walk on by
Make believe
that you don’t see the tears
Just let me grieve
in private ’cause each time I see you
I break down and cry

Walk on by (don’t stop)
walk on by (don’t stop)
walk on by

I just can’t get over losing you
And so if I seem broken and blue
Walk on by, walk on by
Foolish pride
Is all that I have left
So let me hide
The tears and the sadness you gave me
When you said goodbye

Walk on by
Walk on by
Walk by (don’t stop)

Walk on by, walk on by
Foolish pride
Is all that I have left
So let me hide
The tears and the sadness you gave me
When you said goodbye

Walk on by (don’t stop)
Walk on by (don’t stop)
Walk by (don’t stop)

“Thanks Nikki, thanks for accompanying me on the song,” he said as I shook my head, wondering how in the hell I was going to fix this with him now.  I really fucked up and from the words of his song, he wants me to let him go and leave him alone.

“Anytime sweetie,” she replied, glaring at me as the two of them walked out of the room past me.

“Damn it, damn it!”  I snapped as everyone in the room turned and looked at me.  “How in the hell am I going to fix this?”

“You’re not, just leave him the hell alone boy,” Vanessa said as she walked back into the room.  “Cameron, I thought you two would last, but I guess I was wrong, again.”

“Vanessa,” I said as she shook her head and then held up her hand.

“No Cameron, you brought that on yourself.  You shouldn’t have left him the way you did.  You tried to make him choose between you and his career and you know that wasn’t right,” she said as she walked over to me.  “You had no right to do that to him.  You know what wasn’t fair.”

“It’s not like that Vanessa,” I said as she glared at me.  “I—I didn’t want to be second best to his career.  I wasn’t trying to make him choose.”

“Yes you were Cameron,” she said as she waved her finger at me.  “Don’t deny it boy.  That’s what you told him and that’s what you told me.”

“I know what I said, but…” I said as she shook her head again and then held up her hand, stopping me.

“You made your own bed Cameron, now lay in it,” she said as she turned and walked out of the room.

“Vanessa,” I said as Marc looked at me, shook his head and then laughed.

“Ha ha, it looks like you’re alone again preppy.  Why don’t you pack your bags and leave,” Marc suggested, glaring at me.  “You heard what everyone said, you’re not wanted here anymore.  Get gone.”

“Excuse me, why are you talking?”  Mo’ette asked, stepping closer to Marc as the man with her stepped up behind her.  “You’re the one that should be leaving here.”

“Not likely.  Since I’m the one in control of things around here, I think it’s time you made your exit Ms. LaCasta.  You’ve caused enough problems around here, now leave,” Marc said with a smirk as he waved at a security guy in the room.  “Gentlemen, I want these three escorted out and then things can get back to normal.”

“What?  You can’t have us escorted out,” I said as Marc nodded his head and then laughed.

“To put it simply, there’s no reason for you being here.  As your ex-man just said, walk on by, don’t stop,” he said as he smiled again and then pointed at the door.  “Since you’re not wanted anymore, there’s no need for you hanging around this tour.  And since you were never part of the tour, you shouldn’t be here either.  Men, be gentle with them, but be forceful.”

To Be Continued…


The Past Comes Knocking – Chapter 3

Chapter 3 – Secrets Out

May 24, 2004 – Baltimore, MD – A Super8 Motel Room


“He left me… He actually left me.  He—he didn’t even give me a chance to say anything else to him.  I—I’ve tried calling him over and over again, but he’s not answering any of my calls.

Why?  Why is he doing this to me?  Does he really hate me that badly?  Why doesn’t he talk to me?  I—I thought he loved me, like I love him.  I guess I really have nothing to live for now.  He was the one that was keeping me going through all of this.  It wasn’t the damn fans or the fame; it was knowing that he was around with me.  I—I thought he knew that he was the real light of my life.  I guess I was wrong, yet again.

I guess I have a reason to sing Sybil’s song now, that I’m heartbroken again.  I guess Make It Easy On Me would fit for my life right now for sure.

Make it easy on me, just walk away and set me free.
Don’t try to do it gently just to please me, make it easy… easy on me…


Don’t keep me dreaming if all the hope is gone
If its all over, don’t keep me hanging on
I can’t stay and dream my life away
in some kind of wonderland
And if to help me honestly, not make a fool of me
my heart will understand

Make it easy on me, just walk away and set me free.
Don’t try to do it gently just to please me,
make it easy… easy on me…


If its the time to go
If it’s the last goodbye
Never turn around…
Don’t want you to see me cry
Don’t make me stay and
wish my time away in some fools paradise
Don’t give any hope to me
Spin any lies for me
Make the truth plain to see

Make it easy on me, just walk away and set me free.
Don’t try to do it gently just to please me,
make it easy… easy on me…


But if you hurt me honestly
Than make a fool of me
My heart will learn how to change

Make it easy on me, just walk away and set me free. 
Don’t try to do it gently just to please me,
make it easy… easy on me…

No, this isn’t easy!  Cameron didn’t do a good job of making this easy for me.  He just up and walked out of me, without even a damn goodbye.  He—he didn’t let me—let me do what I wanted to do.  I—I wish there was something I could do to make him listen to me.  What can I do to get him to see me again?  I—I gotta do something to bring him back to me.  Maybe—maybe it’s too late…

Los Angeles, CA – The Home of Josh Charles

Josh’s POV

Whoooo!  It’s been a really long day and I’m glad I’m finally home.  I should’ve been here two hours ago, but my hold up at the music store kept me busy.  If I’d known that I would’ve been swamped, signing autographs and such, I would’ve taken more security in with me, than the few guys that the company stuck me with.  I’ll know next time that I’ll need a lot more guys to be with me, especially when I go to functions like that.  If it wasn’t for the men that worked in the store already, I probably would’ve been torn to pieces by those crazy fans.  This is the last time that I do a promotional appearance for a damn TV show.

Now that I’m home, I’m not going to think about or do anything work-related, not until tomorrow or the next day at least.  I’m going to go grab a shower first and then I’ll find some food.  Once I’ve finished supper, then I’ll settle in for the night.  I know it’s really early, but I just don’t have the willpower to will myself to go out tonight.  I don’t really feel like pushing the groupies off of me either.  Back in the day, that shit was fun and okay, but now, it’s gotten really old and way past its prime.  I just want to hang around here and just chill out.

“Rocko!  Bebe!”  I called out, wondering where the dogs were.  I haven’t seen or heard either of them since I’ve been here.  I guess they’re somewhere upstairs or possibly out back.  “Hmmm, who could’ve called and left so many messages for me today?  If the matter was so important, why didn’t they just call my cell?”

Rubbing my head, I pressed the playback button on the answering machine and waited for the messages to rattle off.  Skipping through the first set, I stopped pressing the delete button when I got to one from my friend Justin.

= Josh, Justin here.  I don’t know if you’ve seen the news or read any of those damn tabloids, but JT’s in trouble man.  I don’t believe any of the stuff they’re saying about him, but anyway, I called to let you know that I’m going to find him and help him and Nicole out.  You know if they’re smearing his name, they’ll be doing the same to hers real soon.  It’s just a matter of time before they make up some shit about her and beat her down too.  I know you still have feelings for her.  If you want to try to get her back for once, hop the next plane to New York and meet me there.  I hope to see you soon man. =

No, I—I can’t face her.  I can’t face her again.  She—she hurt me once and I don’t think I can go through that kind of hurt again.  I just can’t do that.  He—he’s asking for too much.  I—I just can’t do that.  I would love to see her again, but it’ll hurt me way too much in the long run.  I just can’t do that, I just can’t.  The wound that she left in my heart is still open.  Just the thought of her is causing me pain.  I’m sure he knows that just being near her would hurt me.

With all the stuff that happened in the past, why would he even suggest that I go anywhere near her.  Talking of hurt, why is he going to find the man that broke his heart?  Hell, he got hurt just like I did, so why would he think of opening the wounds of his own heart?  From what he told me, JT ripped his heart out of his chest and then threw it on the ground and stomped on it a few times.  So, why is he going after him?

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

“So, let me get this straight, no pun intended,” Vanessa said as she looked at Marc.  “JT said ‘no’ to your sexual advances and then you got pissed off at him?  Is that what happened to get us to where we are right now?  Is that a correct assumption, based on what Mo’ette and the girls have said Marc?”

“No Vanessa, that’s not a correct assumption at all!”  Marc snapped, glaring at her.  “I didn’t do anything to him or anyone else!  That bitch is lying on me as usual!”

“That’s it!”  Mo’ette snapped as she grabbed Marc by the throat and then slammed him up against the wall.  “I told you earlier today that you only had one more chance to call me out of my name, before I got into that ass and not in a good way either!  You blew it bastard!”

“G-get your—hands—offa—me!”  Marc got out in between gasps as he struggled to get away from Mo’ette.  “What—what are you girls—just standing—there—for—help me!”

“Naw playa, you brought that ass whooping on yourself,” Glitter said as she backed away as Mo’ette pushed Marc down to the floor and then started kicking him in the side.  “Whoop his ass, beat him like he stole money from you!”

“He did that fucking shit too!” Mo’ette screamed as she went into overdrive, kicking at Marc as the door swung open as a tall white man rushed into the room.

“Baby, you need to stop!”  The man yelled as he walked towards Mo’ette slowly with his hands up in the air.

“David… What are you doing here?”  Mo’ette asked, turning to look at the man.

“When I saw the news about what was happening here with your friend, I figured you would show up here to help him,” the man replied as he walked over to Mo’ette with open arms.  “You need to calm down baby.”

“I—I can’t,” Mo’ette replied, trying to get herself calmed down as Marc coughed.

“Please baby, please don’t let that rascal make you do something you’ll regret later on,” the man said as he turned and looked at Marc, motioning for him to leave the room.  “I know he hurt you, but don’t let that hurt control you right now.  Think about the good times baby.  If you want, you can think of it as if it wasn’t for the hurt that he caused you, you never would’ve met me.”

“David,” Mo’ette said as the door to the room opened again as JT stood there with a mean look on his face.

“JT!”  Vanessa exclaimed as she walked towards JT as he held up his hand, stopping her.  “Baby, where have you been?”

“You!”  JT screamed as he ran over to Marc, grabbed him by his shirt collar and then slammed him against the wall.  “So, this is how you get your revenge on me?  You hurt me, like you hurt her!  How could you do this to me, to all of us?”

“I—I don’t know what—what you—you’re talking—talking about—buddy, but I—I’m glad… Really glad to see you,” Marc said as he moved away from JT quickly.  “Where have you been buddy?”

“I’m not your buddy!”  JT snapped, turning away from Marc.  “I—I can’t believe you did this!”

“I didn’t do this JT,” Marc said as he walked towards JT with outstretched arms.  “I had nothing to do with what’s going on around here.”

“You fucking liar!  You’re nothing but a bold face liar!”  JT snapped as Marc stepped back.  “I know you, I know you did this!”

“I didn’t, honest I didn’t,” Marc responded as he shook his head.  “I didn’t do this to you.”

“But you did it to Mo’ette,” Glitter said as she got up and then walked towards Marc.  “Why should we believe what you’re saying now?  If you did it to her, why not have reason to believe that you didn’t do it to JT?”

“I didn’t do this,” Marc stated as he looked down.

“Then, if it wasn’t you, then who fucking did it Marc?”  JT asked, turning away from everyone in the room.  “Is this happening to me because I turned you down the other night?  Well is it?”

“So, that part is true,” Nikki said as she looked over at Marc.  “This is because JT wouldn’t be with you?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Marc said as he glared at Nikki and then turned away from her.

“What!  You don’t know what I’m talking about?”  JT asked as he grabbed Marc again and then threw him against another wall as some security guards rushed into the room, grabbing him, doing their best to hold him back.  “Before I left the other night, you don’t remember what you fucking did?  Really Marc?  Really?”


May 21, 2004 (After the Concert) – New York City, NY – The Excelsior Hotel – JT’s Hotel Room

“What in the hell are you doing here?”  JT asked as he stood in the doorway, looking at the pissed off expression on his manager’s face.

“What in the hell was that at the show tonight JT?”  Marc Prestige asked, walking past JT into the room.  “Are you trying to ruin your damn career?  It was like you skated through every damn dong you sang tonight.”

“No, the real question is what in the hell do you want Marc?  I’m soooo not in the mood for dealing with you right now,” JT stated as he walked over to the mini-bar in the room, pulled out the bottle of Vodka and then poured himself a drink.

“Fuck it JT, you better get yourself into the mood then,” Marc said as he walked over to JT, took the glass out of his hand and then laid it on the counter.  “I’m getting really tired of this.”

“I don’t really care Marc, I—I don’t feel like talking right now,” JT stated as he grabbed the glass off the counter and then downed the contents quickly.  “We can talk some other time, but not right now.”

“No JT, we’re going to talk about this right now.  I’m getting sick and tired of this little routine of yours, that you go through when you’re in one of those damn moods.  You might want to ruin your career with this shit, but I’m not going to let you ruin mine with it!”  Marc screamed as he pointed his finger in JT’s face.

“Excuse me!”  JT snapped as he put the glass down.  “How in the hell am I ruining your damn career Marc?”

“That’s pretty damn simple JT.  When you go out there on stage and fuck up a step, a song or whatever, you’re making me look bad!”  Marc snapped, pointing his finger in JT’s face again.  “When you take your drunk ass out on that damn stage and fuck up, you’re fucking up my good name!”

“Hmph, nobody said your damn name was good Marc,” JT sarcastically said as he looked away from Marc.

“How dare you say that shit to me, you’re nothing more than a fucking drunk!  After all I’ve done for you; you should be on your damn hands and knees, thanking me!”  Marc screamed as he grabbed JT by the face, squeezing his lips shut.  “You should be giving yourself to me every damn night with all the shit that I’ve kept you out of ot!”

“I so don’t think so Marc.  That’ll never happen,” JT stated as he pushed Marc away from him.  “Is that the problem Marc?  You’re pissed off that I won’t get with you?  Is that it?”

“Fuck you JT,” Marc said as he turned away from him.

“No thank you, not into catching whatever it is that you got,” JT replied as Marc turned around and then smacked him across the face.

“You fucker!”  Marc screamed, looking down.  “I—I’ve always held you above all others and you say such things to me.  How can you say that shit about me, when the one you’re with sleeps with anything that moves in Hollywood!  You’re nothing but an old man to him.  He’s a young kid JT, you should be ashamed of yourself for robbing the damn cradle!  You don’t need a kid, you need a man, a real man like me.”

“Shut the fuck up Marc!  Cameron isn’t like you!”  JT exclaimed as he poured himself another drink.  “You’re just mad that I’m with—with him and not you.”

“If you’re with him, why isn’t he here now?  I heard that you two are no more,” Marc said with a smile.  “How about it JT, you have no reason not to give me a chance, now that the young pretty boi has left you high and dry.  What do you say?”

“I say fuck no!”  JT snapped as Marc balled up his hands into fists.

“Either you let me fuck you or you can kiss this life goodbye JT.  I’m tired of this fucking game you’re playing with me.  I know you feel the same way for me, that I feel for you,” Marc said as he got up in JT’s face and then groped his ass. “You’ve pushed me away long enough.  You know that ass been begging for this dick for a long time.”

“Get off of me Marc!”  JT yelled, pushing Marc away from him.  “Don’t you dare put your hands on me ever again!”

“You better let me or you can forget about ever being famous the way you are now,” Marc said as JT shook his head and then popped Marc in the face.  “You fucker!  You’re so going to regret doing that!  Mark my words JT, you’ll regret it!”

“I already do,” JT replied as he put the glass down and then walked into the bathroom, shutting the door behind him as he punched the wall.  

End Flashback

“What the hell!  Are you out of your damn mind?”  Nikki asked, glaring at Marc.

“That—that’s not how it happened!”  Marc screamed, shaking his head as Nikki pointed her finger at him.

“Well how in the hell did it happen Marc?”  Mo’ette asked, moving away from male friend.  “Tell us what you did, since you claim it didn’t happen the way JT said it did!”

“It really doesn’t matter anymore,” JT said as he shook his head.  “My life is ruined, regardless if he confesses to fucking things up more or not.”

“None of that stuff in the media is true JT, so you’re life isn’t fucked up,” Nikki said as she walked over to him.

“I can care less about any of that shit in the media,” JT said as he sat down on the nearest sofa, holding his head in his hands.  “My life is meaningless now that…”

“Baby, it’s going to be all right,” Vanessa said, sitting next to JT.

“You’re supposed to say that because you’re my mother,” JT said as the tears streamed down his face.  “He—he just up and left me.”

“Who up and left you?”  Nikki asked, already figuring things out as the door to the room opened again as Justin Tanner walked in.  “Justin?  What’re you doing here?”

“Damn, that’s one popular door,” Glitter said as she got up, watching Justin as if she could eat him up.

“Are you guys all right?”  Justin asked, walking over to Nikki as he pulled her close and then hugged her and then moved back as he looked at JT.  “JT?”

“I’m not all right.  What are you doing here Justin?”  JT asked, looking up as he sniffled.

“I’m here to find out what’s going on with you guys,” Justin replied as he sat down across from JT.  “I’ve known you for a long time and I know what I’ve seen and heard about you isn’t true.  So, why haven’t you put a stop to any of this?”

“He just got back here with us,” Nikki replied.

“Just got back?  Where have you been, that you couldn’t take care of this madness?”  Justin asked, looking back at JT.

“I—I went away to clear my head and when I got back here, I was bombarded with all of that out there,” JT replied as he looked down, shook his head and then sighed.  “Marc here is the main culprit to all of this shit going on.”

“Marc?  As in your manager Marc?”  Justin asked, looking around the room and then locking eyes with Marc.  “I told you that you should’ve let Momma manage your and the girls.  He was only…”

“I didn’t want your mother in the middle of things.  It would’ve been too—too complicated,” JT stated as he looked at Justin as Justin looked down.

“I know, I—I shouldn’t have said that, but that was so long ago JT.  Because we had some small issues, doesn’t mean that Momma cared any less for you,” Justin said as Marc, Nikki and Glitter looked at him like he was crazy.  “Because we had a spat, doesn’t mean that Momma would’ve turned you away.”

“What kind of spat did you two have?”  Marc asked as the frown on his face turned into a smirk.  “Well, what kind of fight did you two get into?  Was it a lover’s quarrel?”

“Is this fool really trying to talk to me right now?”  Justin asked as he looked over at Marc with an evil expression on his face.

“Sounds like it,” Nikki replied as she sighed and then shook her head.  “Sounds like someone trying to cash in an ass whooping chip.”

“Damn, did you sleep with him too?  Is that why you two had a spat?”  Marc asked, looking between Justin and JT.  “It makes sense now.  You can sleep with everyone around, but me it seems.  It must be that damn age factor.  It seems you like them all younger than yourself.  No wonder you and Cameron were so good together.  The both of you were fucking everything around in the industry!”

“Shut the hell up!”  Mo’ette screamed as she moved closer to Marc as her male friend grabbed her arm.  “No David, I’ve had enough of this joker!”

“Stop Mo’ette, don’t let him control your anger,” David, Mo’ette’s male friend said as Justin got up and then looked over at her.

“Oh my God, it is you,” Justin said as he stepped in front of Mo’ette, looked at her closely and then leaned in and hugged her.  “You’ve changed so much girl, I hardly recognized you.”

“A lot of difference a decade makes handsome,” Mo’ette said as she looked down.

“Tell me about it,” Justin said as he turned and looked at JT.  “JT, you need to do something to fix this mess, before it gets too far out of control.  The rumor mill is bustling and it’s not going to get any better, if you don’t say something.”

“It doesn’t matter any damn more Justin.  None of this really matters to me now,” JT said as he looked down and then sniffled.

“What about us JT?”  Glitter asked as she looked at JT with a mean expression on her face.  “You’re bringing all of us down by not speaking up!”

“Hush up Glitter,” Nikki said as she sat down in front of JT.  “This is about Cameron, isn’t it?  He left you?”

“Yeah,” was all JT said as the dam broke and he cried out.  “He just up and left me without even a damn goodbye.”

“I’m so sorry about that J,” Nikki said with a frown.  “Why—why didn’t you ever tell any of us about you and him?”

“Probably because of Marc here,” Justin said as he shook his head.

“Why does everyone keep saying that?”  Marc asked, glaring at Justin.

“Because you’re a low-down dirty pig, that’s why Marc,” Vanessa responded as she shook her head.  “It’s people like you that always made him hide his true self from his friends.”

“I didn’t do anything to make him hide from anyone,” Marc said as JT looked over at him.

“Really?  You’ve been after me since you found out that I’m gay,” JT said as he shook his head and then sniffled again.  “You were the cause of a lot of my breakups.  It always seemed strange that someone would stop talking to me or they would just up and leave me, because they’ve been threatened or something along those lines.  It was always your damn meddling that caused problems for me.  You always had to have things your way and if things didn’t go your way, you always made things miserable for all of us.”

“You’re just imagining things,” Marc said as Justin walked over and then punched him in the face, knocking him down to the floor.

“Well, since he’s imagining things, I guess you just imagined that,” Justin said as he shook his head while shaking his hand as he moved away from Marc.  “How—how dare you hurt him!”

“Just—just let it go Justin,” JT said as he got up.  “None of this stuff matters to me anymore.”

“You—you can’t be serious about that JT,” Glitter said as she moved in front of JT quickly.  “What about me JT?  What about Nikki here?”

“Now isn’t the time Glitter, damn!”  Nikki snapped as she got up and then pushed Glitter away from JT.  “There are bigger things going on here, than the fucking group.”

“Maybe for you two, but not for me,” Glitter said as she shook her head.

“Glitter,” JT said as Glitter shook her head and then walked towards the door.

“You guys let me know when he’s going to fix this damn mess,” Glitter said, walking out of the room.

“Oh, this is just great,” JT said as he shook his head.  “Someone else has walked out on me.”

“Don’t worry about her JT, she’ll be okay,” Nikki said with a frown.  “We need to concentrate on getting you all right.”

“Hah, I’m not going to ever be all right,” JT stated as he moved away from Nikki and then walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind him.

“What’re we going to do to fix all of this?”  Nikki asked, looking around the room.  “This is monumental and if he doesn’t have the push to fix this, it won’t get fixed.”

“I’m sure he’ll come around.  Has anyone heard from Cameron?”  Vanessa asked, looking at Nikki and then over at Marc.

“No, but it seems he’s the key to all of this with JT,” Nikki said as she sighed and then looked down as she shook her head.  “We need to find him and get him back here.”

“Don’t worry about Cameron, I think I can reach JT and get him to fix this stuff,” Justin said as Vanessa looked at him strangely and then shook her head.

To Be Continued…