After The Glitter Fades – Chapter 14

Chapter 14 — Start of a Tragedy   

Jun 3, 2004 – Jacksonville, FL – Jacksonville International Airport – Terminal Area

“Sir, are you okay?”  David asked as he and James walked through the airport.

“I’m fine David, I wish you’d stop asking me that,” James stated as he held his side as he walked.

“I keep asking because you look as if you’re in pain sir,” David stated with a frown.

“I don’t care about the pain right now,” James stated with a pained expression.  “My only concern now is getting to my son and making sure that he’s okay.”

“I’m sure JT is okay sir,” David stated as he and James got to the rental care desk.  “Hi, I’m David Marin and I have a reservation for a car.”

“Why yes sir,” the woman behind the counter stated as she typed in some information on the computer.  “Is there a certain type of car you would like sir?”

“It doesn’t matter, any kind will be fine,” David replied with a frown as James flinched a bit and then held his chest.

“Is everything okay?”  The woman asked, watching James.

“Yes, everything is fine.  Could you hurry it up please?”  David asked as the woman continued typing on the computer and then stopped, turned around and then opened a drawer.

“Would an Infiniti G35 be okay?”  The woman asked as David nodded his head.  “Here are the keys.  All I need is your signature here and here.”

“Alright,” David replied as he signed the paperwork where the woman instructed and then slid it back to her as he picked up the keys.

“Alright Mr. Marin, you’re all set.  Your vehicle is located in slot ‘v’ dash twenty-four.  Do you need an escort to the vehicle?”  The woman asked.

“Yes please,” David replied as the woman smiled, pressed a button and then took a seat.

“Someone will meet you at the door over there,” the woman stated, pointing at the door across the corridor.

“Thank you,” David said as he and James walked towards the door.

Down the Corridor

Chris’ POV

I’ve been too long and I haven’t seen any sign of Justin or that nigger fucker JT.  Where in the hell could those two be?  I’ve gone to the place where the detective said the porch monkey lives and no one was there.  For a nigger, he sure does have a big piece of property.  The way that set up of his looks, it looks like he’s trying to set himself up as a king or something.  With a house that big, I wonder what it looks like on the inside and what he’s trying to prove.

“Where in the hell is that damn brat?  I never should’ve left the hotel in Philly when I was there.  If I had stayed there, I wouldn’t be standing here, not knowing where the hell he’s at now,” I said aloud as I looked up to see the nigger I was looking for, but Justin wasn’t with him.

What in the hell is going on here?  Where in the hell is Justin?  Why isn’t he here with his jiggaboo?  Why is the nigger here with someone else?  A better question to ask is why in the hell did the stupid nigger go and cut off all of his hair?  What’s up with that?  Then again, with all the other shit going on in his life, I guess him cutting off his hair should be the least of his worries.  From what I’ve seen and heard, he should be concentrating on trying to solve his problems with his group and not be wasting time to get married to Justin.

Since Justin isn’t here with him, maybe that’s a sign that I can still get what I want.  Justin shouldn’t be with him, he should be with me.  I don’t know what he sees in that nigger any damn way.  What does that nigger have that I don’t have?  I guess it has to be the dick, because it can’t be the way he looks or the money.  Justin has his own damn money and that nigger doesn’t look all that good.  So, it must be the dick.  He must know how to dick Justin down really good, to make him turn against his own kind to go across the tracks to be with some fucked up, drug addicted porch monkey.

As I walked across the corridor to where the nigger was, I got closer and realized it wasn’t him.  What in the hell is this?  This guy looks like that fucker JT, but it’s not him.  This guy looks—looks kind of funny.  What’s up with this?  This is all strange.  This guy looks a little like JT, but it’s not him.  Who is he?  I know the white guy he’s with, that’s JT’s road manager.  So, why is this guy with him and where in the hell is Justin?

“Excuse me, who in the hell is this guy?”  I asked, looking at the road manager as he looked at me like I was crazy.  “Where are JT and Justin?”

“Oh, I don’t need this right now,” the guy said as he looked at me.  “What is it that you want has been?”

“What!  Who are you calling a has been?”  I asked as he smiled and then shook his head.

“If the name fits,” he said as the other guy looked at me.  “We don’t have time for this; we have a plane to catch.”

“You have a plane to catch to where?”  I asked.

“That’s none of your business,” he replied as the two black guys looked at me like I was crazy.

“I’m making it my business,” I said, getting closer to him.  “Right now, one of my friends is missing and the last time someone heard from him, he was with your client JT Poole.  So, where are they?  Where are Justin and that fool JT?”

“He’s not a fool,” the black guy that looked like JT spoke up as I looked at him like he was crazy.  Who does he think he’s talking to?  He’s nothing but another porch monkey looking to be put in his rightful place.

“Calm down Josh,” the other black guy said as he patted the guy on the shoulder.  Hmmm, so his name is Josh.

“Okay Chris Keller, we don’t have time for this damn drama you’re trying to create,” the road manager spoke as he turned his back to me.  “We have a plane to catch and we’re not going to let you stop us from getting to our destination.”

“Where you going?”  I asked.

“Again has been, that’s none of your business,” he replied as I shook my head, noticing his boarding pass in his pocket as I moved around quickly and grabbed it, opened it and saw that he and I guess the rest of them are headed to Toronto.  “Hey!  Give that back, you fucking…”

“So, you guys are going to Toronto.  Is that where Justin and JT are?”  I asked.

“Do I need to call the police for you harassing us here?”  He asked.

“Call the police, I don’t fucking care.  I’m trying to find my missing friend,” I said, walking away from him as I bumped into someone else and then fell backwards as I hit my ass on the floor.

“Are you okay?”  The guy asked, looking at me closely as he knelt down to assist me with getting up.  Damn, he fine.  Who is he?

“Yeah, I—I’m okay,” I replied, allowing the guy to help me.

“I’m sorry, I guess I should’ve been paying more attention to where I was going,” he said with a nice smile.

“Ah yeah, it—it’s okay guy,” I said as an old looking coon walked up behind him and then patted his back.

“David, what’s going on?”  The old coon asked.

“That guy over there is connected to your son,” the cute guy stated as I looked at him and then over to where he pointed.  Hmmm, is he talking about JT’s road manager?

“What guy are you referring to?”  I asked.

“The guy over there,” he stated as he pointed to JT’s road manager.

“Are you talking about JT Poole?”  I asked as he nodded his head.

“Ah yes I am,” he replied with a small smile.

“That’s JT’s road manager there and I’m guess those other guys with him are part of the road crew,” I said as his smile grew.  “I think they’re headed to Toronto for something going on with JT.”

“What’s going on with JT?”  The old coon asked as he looked at me.

“That I don’t know, but I’m sure his road manager there can answer that question for you,” I said, moving past the cute guy as the old coon walked over to where the road manager was.

“Excuse me, you there, hey you!”  The old coon screamed as the road manager turned around.  “Marc Prestige!  You’re my boy’s road manager?  I’ve waited a long time to see you again!”

“Oh no,” the cute guy said as he sighed, shook his head and then walked over to where the coon and the road manager were.

“Is there something wrong?  What’s happening?”  I asked, walking up behind the cute guy.

“A whole lot is wrong,” the cute guy replied as I looked around to see that the road manager was on the floor and the coon was leaning against the wall as the two monkeys held him back.  What in the hell just happened while my back was turned?  Hell, I only turned my head for a second.  What could’ve happened in a damn second?

“You’re nothing but a damn criminal!  You’ve been stealing from my son!”  The old coon yelled as the road manager slid across the floor, crawling backwards.  “Get your lying ass up and face me like a damn man Marc!”

“You—you’re JT’s father?”  The road manager asked as I looked at the old coon and then looked at the other guy I thought was JT as he stepped back from the old coon.  “Well that guy there is JT’s brother.”

“What?  JT’s brother is dead, don’t lay your lying ass down there, trying to get out of the ass whooping you’re about to get, by telling damn lies!”  The old coon yelled as a few people gathered around as I spotted some police officers and security guards heading towards us.

Fuck this shit.  While they’re causing a big scene, I’m going to head over to the ticket counter and get myself a ticket to Toronto so I can go find out what in the hell is going on with Justin and JT.

Philadelphia, PA – Penn Medicine – Heather’s ICU Room

“Hello Heather,” Shannon spoke, walking into Heather’s room as the door closed behind her.

“Shan, what’re you doing here?  Visiting hours are over,” Heather stated as she turned her head to look at Shannon.

“I came to check on you and to let you in on what’s going on,” Shannon stated with a frown.

“What is it that’s going on?”  Heather asked, sniffling as she moved into a sitting position on the bed.

“Ken took Caleb up to Canada,” Shannon stated as Heather raised an eye at her.

“What do you mean Ken took Caleb up to Canada, for what?”  Heather asked as she moved around on the bed.

“It seems JT and his boyfriend Justin are in Canada and they’re there to get married,” Shannon stated as Heather’s eyes widened.  “They’re there right now and so are Ken and Caleb.  It seems they were invited to the wedding.”

“What!”  Heather snapped as the heart monitor beeped loudly.

“Heather, you need to calm down,” Shannon stated with a frown as she looked around at the machine.

“How in the hell do you expect me to calm down Shan?  You—you just told me that the father of my child is about to get married to someone else…” Heather stated as Shannon interrupted her.

“You can’t still be hung up on that gay man and what he does,” Shannon stated as she sighed and then shook her head.

“He’s the father of my child Shan,” Heather stated as she sighed and then shook her head.  “He’s supposed to be marrying me, not marrying some man.”

“Heather, are you listening to yourself?  That gay man is never going to marry you,” Shannon stated as she looked down.

“Regardless of that, you just confirmed to me that my brother lied to me about where he was taking my child.  That bastard tricked me.  He kidnapped my son,” Heather stated as she shook her head as the door opened as a nurse walked in.

“Excuse me, what are you doing here Miss?  Visiting hours are over,” Taryn stated as she looked at Shannon strangely.  “You’ll have to leave and come back in the morning.”

“I came here to tell her about the whereabouts of her child,” Shannon stated as Taryn raised an eye at her.  “It seems her child has been kidnapped.”

“Oh my, I’m so sorry to hear that.  Have the police been alerted?”  Taryn asked, checking Heather’s vitals as she recorded the information on Heather’s chart as she checked the heart monitor.  “Do I need to contact the police for you?”

“No, not yet,” Shannon stated as Taryn looked at her strangely again.  “I’m here to see what Heather wants me to do.”

“There’s really nothing I can do, being that I’m here in the hospital right now,” Heather stated, sighing as Taryn walked out of the room.  “Until I get out of here, Ken has complete guardianship of Caleb, so he legally has the right to take him wherever.”

“What?  When did that happen?”  Shannon asked, looking at Heather strangely.

“A few months ago,” Heather replied, looking down.  “In the event that something were to happen to me, guardianship of Caleb transferred to Ken until I was back on my feet.  So basically, Caleb hasn’t been kidnapped.”

“Heather,” Shannon stated, shaking her head.  “Do you know what you’ve done?”

“I made sure that my child is taken care of if something happened to me,” Heather stated as she looked at Shannon like she was crazy for questioning her actions.

“No Heather, you’ve made it easy for that man to get Caleb, if he wants him,” Shannon stated as she shook her head again.  “If JT wants to take Caleb away from you, he can do it right now and you wouldn’t have a leg to stand on, mainly because of all of the stuff that’s happened to you.”

“What are you talking about Shan?”  Heather asked.

“I’m talking about the fact that if JT wanted Caleb, all he had to do is assert his parental rights as Caleb’s biological parent and take him from Ken.  Being that you’re here in the hospital and can’t physically do anything to stop him, you’ve lost your child.  Our little boy is gone,” Shannon stated as Heather looked at her strangely.

“That’s not going to happen,” Heather stated as she looked down at the bed.  “Caleb isn’t going to leave me, to be with JT.  That will never happen.”

“I hope you’re right about that,” Shannon stated as there was a knock at the door as Taryn entered the room again.

“Ma’am, you need to leave,” Taryn stated as Shannon looked at her like she was crazy as Taryn pointed at the door. “Do I need to call hospital security?”

“Shan, we can talk more about this in the morning,” Heather stated, yawning.

“Fine,” Shannon stated as she glared at Taryn and then walked to the door.  “I’ll be back, first thing in the morning.”

Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Hotel Victoria – The Lobby

“I can’t believe that little jerk didn’t show up,” Joey Fatori said as he and Lance Banks walked through the doors of the lobby.  “Where in the world is he?”

“Come on baby, calm down,” Lance stated as he walked over to the counter and rang the bell to get someone’s attention.

“I’m not going to calm down baby,” Joey stated, shaking his head.  “He was supposed to have met us at the airport and low and behold, he wasn’t there.”

“That doesn’t matter now,” Lance said as he rang the bell again.

“Because of him, we wasted an hour of our time, looking for him and he wasn’t even there,” Joey stated as he shook his head.

“It doesn’t matter baby, we’re here at the hotel.  We’re going to get checked in and we’ll go on up to our room and take a nap,” Lance stated with a frown.  “Will that make you happy baby?”

“Why are we even here?”  Joey asked, looking at Lance strangely.

“We’re here to support Justin on his big day,” Lance stated with a frown as he rang the bell again.  “once we get some sleep, I’m sure you’ll feel better.”

“I strongly doubt it,” Joey replied as he folded his arms across his chest as they waited for someone to come to the counter.

“Hopefully it will,” Lance said, sighing.  “All we need is a few hours of sleep before we have to get to the rehearsal.”

“Fuck the rehearsal,” Joey said as someone finally came over to the counter to get them situated.

Ken’s Hotel Room – The Balcony

Ken’s POV

Why in the hell am I here right now?  Why am I really here?  Am I actually here to see JT get married to someone else or am I here to stop the wedding?  Is that it?  Am I here to see if there’s any chance for me and him to have what we should’ve had a long time ago?  Is that why I’m here?

Because of my fucked-up sister, my life has been in shambles since she ruined what I had with JT so long ago.  If it wasn’t for her, I would be married to JT right now and we would more than likely have a child, a child much like Caleb.  Since I found out about all of the shit she did, my heart has been in knots.  A part of me is happy that things happened the way they did, because of Caleb being here, but a piece of me is sad because of it.  It’s not Caleb’s fault of his conception, but regardless of how his life turns out, he’ll always be cursed because of his mother.  What a terrible way to have to live your life.

“Uncle Ken, what you doing?”  I heard behind me as I turned around to see Caleb standing there in his jammies.

“Hey kiddo, what are you doing up?  You’re supposed to be asleep right now,” I said as he frowned at me.

“I woke up and you weren’t in bed,” he replied with a pout.

“I came out here to enjoy the cool morning air and to think,” I replied with a smile, hoping that would calm his little nerves.

“Is it time to get up yet?  I want to go see daddy,” he said as I sighed.

“I’m sure your daddy and Justin are still sleeping right now,” I said as he frowned.  “You’ll see them later on in the morning for breakfast.”

“Okay,” he replied as his little face lit up.

“Why don’t you go back to bed and when it’s time for us to get ready, I’ll come and get you,” I said as he looked down for a moment and then looked back at me as he turned around.

“Okay Uncle Ken, I’ll see you when you come get me,” he said as he smiled, waved and then walked back into the room.

What in the hell is wrong with JT?  Can’t he see that little boy is calling out to him… for him?  That little boy is begging for his love and attention and all he can think about is what Heather fucking did!  It’s not his fault about what Heather did.  He shouldn’t have to suffer because of his mother’s actions.  JT should be happy to have that little boy in his life.

An Hour Later – Vanessa’s Hotel Room

Vanessa’s POV

Lord, what time is it?  What is that damn noise?  Lord, it’s the fuckin’ door!  Who in the hell could that be at this time of the morning?  That better not be JT, Justin or that Mo’ette heffa.  Then again, I’m sure those fools would’ve called, instead of coming down to beat on the damn door like that.

It seems somebody’s in a damn rush, since they’re pounding on the door like there’s a damn fire or something.  Whoever it is, this better be important or heads will roll.  It’s too damn early in the morning for me to be getting up to answer the damn door.  If this isn’t good, I’m beating the hell out of the person that’s knocking like they don’t have any sense… Acting like I don’t have nothing better do to!

“This person is going to make me lose what’s left of my damn religion!  Who is it?”  I asked, opening the door, stopping when I saw Marc standing there with a sly grin on his face.

What in the hell does this joker want?  The last I heard, he was in jail for putting his hands on Justin back in J-Ville.  So, what in the hell is he doing here right now?  How did he know we were here?

“Well good morning Vanessa?”  Marc said as his smile widened.

“Why are you fucking here Marc?  How did you know I was here?  What is it that you want?”  I asked as he walked into the room, like someone had invited him in.  “I didn’t extend the invitation for you to come in fool.”

“Now now Vanessa, don’t be that way.  You should be asking the question, what is it that you’re going to do for me,” he said as I raised an eye at him, wondering did someone beat his ass in jail to make him come here and act the way he’s acting.

“Excuse me,” I said, grabbing his arm, yanking him towards the door as he snatched his arm away from me and then pushed my shoulder.  This man must be out of his damn mind.

“No Vanessa, excuse me,” he said, shaking his head as he closed the room door quickly.  “Things have changed here and you’re going to shut the hell up and listen to what I have to say for once.”

“You might want to think about what you’re saying Marc; you don’t know who you’re fucking with.  It’s too early in the damn morning for this bullshit.  Do you really want to do this?”  I asked as he smiled again, looking like the cat that ate the canary.

“You have it wrong Vanessa, you don’t know who you’re fucking with and I do want to do this,” he said, turning around as he moved around me.  “For years, you’ve controlled things and now it’s my turn to take control.”

“Are you fucking kidding me here?  Are you serious?”  I asked, laughing a bit as he shook his head and then pulled out his cell phone.  “What are you doing?”

“You’re going to call that bank you have over in the Caymans and you’re going to transfer some money to me,” he said as I shook my head.  This fool must’ve really gotten a number done on him if he thinks I’m giving him money.

“You must be out your rabid ass mind Marc,” I said, giggling a bit.  “You can’t tell me what to fucking do!”

“Do you want to place a little wager on that?”  He asked, looking at me closely with that strange smile of his.  “Are you willing to bet your freedom on that one Vanessa?”

“What game are you trying to play here Marc?”  I asked, watching his every move.

“Not playing a game Vanessa,” he said as he smiled again and then handed the phone to me.  “Go ahead and make that call, time is wasting.”

“I’m not calling anyone, let alone a damn bank, now get the hell out of my hotel room,” I said as he shook his head.

“That was the wrong answer Vanessa.  I was willing to give you a chance, but now that you’ve showed your black ass, you’re forcing my hand here.  I have no choice but to do something else.  Good luck in life Vanessa,” he said as he turned around.  “I’m sure your time in jail will be well spent and…”

“What in the hell is wrong with you?  I’m not going to jail Marc,” I said as he smiled again and then opened his blazer as he handed me a picture.  “Who’s this?”

“I’m sure you know who that man is Vanessa,” he replied as I looked at the picture again, wondering if he had doctored up an old picture of JT or something.

“No, I don’t know who this is.  Is there a reason why I should know this person?”  I asked, waiting for him to go on with whatever the hell this was.

“You should, it’s part of your fucked-up motherly instincts,” he said as I shook my head.  “Besides, if you don’t care, I’m sure JT will.”

“What…” I said as he smiled and then handed me another picture that showed James’ body lying on a floor at that damn hotel we were at when we got into it.  Damn!

“I’m sure JT would like to know what happened to his brother so long ago and I’m sure he would like to know what you recently did to make sure he never found out,” he said, looking at me closely.  “Am I ringing any of those fucked up bells in your head now Vanessa?”

“What in the hell are you talking about?”  I asked, trying to play this shit off.

“Come on Vanessa, that man in the picture is your son Vanessa,” he said as he walked closer to me.  “That man is Joshua, your other son.”

“How dare you!  My son died a long time ago!”  I snapped as he shook his head and then smiled again as I wanted to ram my fist down his throat for bringing up such a touchy subject.

To Be Continued…

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If I Ain’t Got You – Chapter 6

Chapter 6 — Revelations, Part 1

Dec 30, 2002 – Orlando, FL – Florida Hospital – The Intensive Care Unit – Nick’s Room “Come on honey, please talk to me,” Janet said as she held Nick’s hand. “Please baby, please say something to me.”

“I don’t think he’s going to talk Mom,” Aaron said as he walked into the room and hugged her. “It’s been a whole week and he hasn’t said one word.”

“I know, but I have hope that he’ll speak, to me at least,” Janet said as the tears slowly fell from her eyes.

“Maybe you should just go back to the hotel and rest up some Mom,” Aaron suggested as he rubbed Janet’s back. “You’ve been here for the last two days, without any rest. I think you need to go be by yourself for a while.”

“I—I’m not leaving until he speaks to me,” Janet said as she hugged Nick, whom had a glassy look in his eyes.

“Please Mom, you need to go and get some rest,” Aaron said as he motioned for Laura to come help him.

“I said I’m not leaving here. I’m not going anywhere until my baby talks to me,” Janet said as she pulled away from Aaron and Laura.

“Mom, you’re not doing yourself or Nicky any good by staying here like this,” Laura said with a frown. “Why don’t you do as Aaron suggested and go back to the hotel and get some rest? You’ve been running around like this since Christmas.”

“Is there something wrong with you two?” Janet asked as she looked at her two children. “How can you ask me to leave him here like this?”

“We’re here with him Mom. You need to go and get some rest. If his status changes, we’ll call you to come back here,” Laura told her.

“I’m not going to leave him here. He hasn’t eaten anything since we found him a week ago. He hasn’t spoken a word. He hasn’t done anything. He just sits here and stares off into space with that crazy look in his eyes,” Janet said as the tears streamed down her face as the heart monitor connected to Nick started to beep faster. “My poor baby… Damn Brian for this, damn him straight to hell!”

“Calm down Mom,” Laura said as she hugged Janet, doing her best to calm her down while she kept an eye on the heart monitor that was beeping faster.

“No! No, I won’t calm down! That bastard hurt my baby. Look what he did to my baby!” Janet screamed as a few hospital security guards rushed into the room.

“Is everything okay here?” One of the men asked, looking around the room.

“We’re okay sir. We’re just a little upset. Everything else is okay,” Laura replied with a frown.

“Everything isn’t okay! Just look at my baby lying there, it’s like he’s not even there anymore!” Janet snapped as she shook her head as she pointed at Nick.

“Please calm down Mom. You’re going to raise your blood pressure if you don’t,” Laura said as she pulled Janet out of the room with the security guards following them. “I’m going to take her back to the hotel. Aaron, call us if something changes with Nick.”

“Will do Sis,” Aaron replied as the door closed behind them.

Justin’s Hospital Room

“Good morning Mr. Tanner,” Steve Lambert said as he walked into the room and over to the bed. “I’m JT’s assistant. How are you feeling today?”

“I thought I told JT last week that I wouldn’t be needing any of the services he offered,” Justin said as he looked up at Steve.

“Well you might’ve told him, but JT’s a stubborn man and he doesn’t give up on his patients, even when they give up on themselves,” Steve said as Justin glared at him.

“I don’t want to be bothered, just go ahead and leave me alone,” Justin said as he looked away from Steve.

“Get him out of that bed Steve and get him into the tub already,” JT said as he walked on crutches into the room.

“Good morning JT,” Steve said as he looked at JT strangely.

“Good morning Steve,” JT replied as he picked up Justin’s chart and then wrote something down on the pages. “Get to work Steve; I want you two in that bathroom right now. Justin’s already behind schedule. He should be doing this kind of stuff by himself already.”

“You—you aren’t in your chair,” Justin said as he looked up at JT.

“That’s right, I’m not. Today I’m walking,” JT replied as he lay his crutches up against Justin’s bed rail. “Or somewhat walking.”

“I’m not moving from this spot, so you two can forget about whatever plans you have for me today,” Justin said as he looked away from JT.

“Oh you’ll move, even if I have to help Steve get you into that bathroom myself,” JT said as he grabbed Justin by the arm. “I’m a very resourceful man.”

“Let go of me JT,” Justin said as he tried to get his arm away from JT.

“Nope, we’re going to get you ready for today. You’re not going to sit here in this room and mope around all day, like you did all last week,” JT said as he shook his head. “Today, we’re going to have you leave this room.”

“I’m not leaving out of this room and that’s final,” Justin said, his expression showing how pissed off he was.

“I bet you a dolla that you will,” JT said as Steve lifted Justin up from the bed and then carried him into the bathroom while Justin protested, hitting Steve in the chest.

“Stop that before you hurt little Steve,” JT said as he walked into the bathroom behind the two of them.

“Don’t worry about me JT, he’s pounding on pure muscle,” Steve said with a smile as JT rolled his eyes.

“No! Put me down!” Justin screamed as he continued hitting Steve in the chest. “Put me down damn it!”

“You heard the man Steve, go ahead and put him down,” JT said as he turned on the water as Steve lowered Justin into the tub as it filled with water.

“What the hell! This water’s cold!” Justin screamed as he tried to pull himself up out of the tub. “Help me out of here! What are you trying to do, give me a damn cold or something?”

“Stop struggling Mr. Tanner,” Steve said as he tried to settle Justin into the tub. “You’re going to hurt yourself.”

“Get me out of this fucking bathtub!” Justin screamed out as Lynn, Jamie, Marshall, Joey and Chris rushed into the main part of the room.

“Justin? Justin are you okay?” Lynn called out as she knocked on the bathroom door.

“Hello Mrs. Hart, this is JT. Justin’s just fine. We’re getting him ready for his first counseling session,” JT stated as he cracked the door open a little and then stuck his head out.

“He’s lying, they’re trying to kill me,” Justin breathed out.

“What’s going on in there?” Lynn asked as she looked at JT strangely.

“He’s okay. Steve’s only giving him a bath,” JT stated as he stepped out of the bathroom and held onto the railing on the wall.

“Are you okay Mr. Poole?” Lynn asked as she watched JT closely.

“Yes, why do you ask?” JT asked as he looked over at Lynn.

“You’re clutching onto that rail like it’s a life preserver,” Lynn said, noticing how JT held onto the rail.

“That’s because my crutches are in there and I need them to stand up properly,” JT said as he pointed at the bathroom door.

“Oh, well I’ll leave you guys to what you’re doing,” Lynn said as she turned to head back to the door.

“Wait,” JT said as he reached out to Lynn. “Did you bring the clothes for Justin that I asked for?”

“Yes, I brought them in last night while he was asleep. I hung everything in the closet,” Lynn replied as she walked over to the closet and opened the door to reveal the things she had brought for Justin at JT’s request.

“Those look great. We’re going to get him out and about today. So be on the lookout for a somewhat new Justin Tanner,” JT said as he leaned against the railing of the bathroom door. “Hopefully they should be done in there by now.”

“Okay, I’ll let you get back to things,” Lynn said as she walked towards the door. “I see that everything’s going according to plan it seems.”

“So far, things seem to be moving right along. If we can get him down to his first session without a problem, then we’ll all have a good day,” JT stated as he smiled weakly.

“I’m quite sure he won’t be too much trouble now,” Lynn said as she walked out of the room with the others.

“Yeah right, Justin’s a spoiled brat and he doesn’t know how to handle this new condition of his,” JT said under his breath as he walked back into the bathroom.

An Hour Later – A Small Veranda on the First Floor

“I’m glad you could join us here today Mr. Tanner,” Danielle stated as Justin came into the room with JT and Steve following behind him. “Mr. Lambert, I require your assistance with the young man I talked with you about, Mr. Canton.”

“Sure thing Ms. Michaels,” Steve replied as he turned around and walked out of the room.

“Oh never mind. I tell him all the time to just call me Danielle,” Danielle said as she shook her head.

“Don’t worry about it Dani, he still calls me Mr. Poole at times,” JT said as he laughed. “I’m not that much older than he is and we went to the same school.”

“What are you trying to say, I’m not that much older than him either,” Danielle stated as JT laughed and then shook his head.

“Well he called me JT today, I was actually shocked and had to stop what I was doing so I could check his temp to make sure he was okay,” JT stated as he laughed again.

“Did you call the nurses in for him?” Danielle asked as she laughed. “You know that’s a first for him since he’s been working here.”

“Yeah, I know. I started to think he was actually replaced by one of those pod people or something. I just think it’s strange,” JT said as he laughed again. “Oh well, what’s going on today?”

“Well first off, we’re going to introduce Justin here to some people like him and…” Danielle stated, being interrupted by the arrival of two new people in the room as Steve walked back into the room with Nick and Aaron Canton.

“Nick? Aaron? What are you guys doing here?” Justin asked as he looked in the direction that Danielle and JT were looking in to see the new arrivals with Steve.

“Justin Tanner? What are you doing here? Why are you sitting in that wheelchair?” Aaron asked as he walked over to Justin, causing him to drop his head down with a frown on his face.

“Ah, you guys know each other?” Danielle asked as she walked over to Justin and Aaron.

“Yeah, he and Nick are on the same record label,” Aaron replied.

“I was,” Justin said as he sniffled.

“What’s wrong Justin?” Aaron asked as he walked around to face Justin, kneeling down in front of him. “Why are you sitting in this wheelchair?”

“Can’t you see, I’m a gimp man,” Justin said as he sniffled more.

“Hey! That kind of talk isn’t tolerated around here Justin,” JT said as he walked over to Justin and leaned down to look him in the face. “You’re not a gimp.”

“I am a gimp!” Justin screamed, scaring Aaron and JT, causing JT to hobble backwards and then fall down to the floor on his ass.

“Are you okay JT?” Steve asked as he knelt down to help JT up.

“I’m okay,” JT replied as he moved closer to Justin. “Do you think I’m a gimp Justin?”

“Ah… No, you’re not a gimp,” Justin stuttered out.

“Then why do you say you’re a gimp?” JT asked as he looked into Justin’s eyes.

“I’m a fucking cripple! I can’t walk! I’m sitting in this God damn chair!” Justin screamed as the tears streamed down his face.

“Pull back JT,” Danielle said as she walked over to Justin, Aaron and JT.

“No Danielle, stay out of this,” JT said as he turned to look at her. “Justin, I sit in a chair, I can’t walk. I’m a cripple too. So that must mean I’m a gimp too.”

“You’re not a cripple, you can walk. You don’t always have to sit in a chair,” Justin spoke out between his tears. “You’re not like me.”

“That’s why you’re here Justin. You’re here so you don’t have to be in the chair all the time. You have to work at it like I did to get out of it,” JT said as there were tears in his eyes too.

“Are you okay JT?” Steve asked as he looked at the interaction between JT and Justin.

“Yeah, I’m fine Steve,” JT said as he pulled up on Steve and reached for his crutches.

“I’m sorry JT, I’m really sorry,” Justin said as he wiped at his eyes.

“There’s nothing to be sorry for Justin. You’re just speaking your mind, saying what you feel. That’s what these sessions are for,” JT said as he sat down at the table.

“Am I missing something here?” Aaron asked as he looked between JT and Justin. “What happened to you Justin?”

“I—I was in a car accident,” Justin replied in a barely audible tone.

“What?” Aaron asked as he looked at Justin closely.

“I was in a car accident,” Justin said a little louder this time as he looked up at Aaron.

“Oh God, Justin I’m so sorry,” Aaron said as he leaned in and hugged Justin.

“Well you’re not the first to say that,” Justin sarcastically said.

“I was…” Aaron said as Justin cut him off.

“Just save it Aaron,” Justin said as he shook his head. “Can he leave now?”

“I’m not leaving. I’m not leaving Nick here by himself,” Aaron said as he got up and walked over to Nick and hugged him.

“What’s wrong with him? He hasn’t said anything since we’ve been in here,” Justin said as he rolled over to Nick.

“Nothing’s wrong with him,” Aaron replied as he glared at Justin. “Get back Justin, don’t touch him.”

“What happened to him Aaron? It’s not like I’m going to hurt him or anything,” Justin said as he moved closer.

“No Justin, don’t touch him!” Aaron snapped as he jumped in front of Justin and then pushed his hand away.

“What’s your damage man?” Justin asked as he looked at Aaron like he was crazy.

“Don’t touch him Justin! Don’t put your hands on him!” Aaron snapped again.

“I haven’t done anything wrong. I just wanted to ask him what was wrong,” Justin said as he moved backwards and sniffled as a few tears fell from his eyes.

“Steve, why don’t you take Aaron here down the hall for a few minutes,” Danielle suggested as she tried to get some order back in the room.

“What! I said I wasn’t leaving him!” Aaron yelled.

“Please Mr. Canton, just step out for a few minutes. We’re about to start our session,” Danielle stated as she walked over to the two men. “Are you going to stay for this part JT?”

“I—I think I’ll go back down to my office. Call me when you’re done,” JT said as he got up on his crutches and then moved towards the door.

“Don’t leave me JT,” Justin said with a frown. “Please stay, I… I’ll be good.”

“Are you sure Justin?” JT asked as he turned around at the door.

“Yeah, I’m sure. Please don’t leave, I want you to stay,” Justin said as he dropped his head down again.

“Okay, I’ll stay here I guess,” JT replied as he walked back over to the chair he was previously in.

“Alright, let’s get things rolling,” Danielle said as she pulled out two folders from her briefcase. “So you guys know each other?”

“Yeah we do,” Justin replied as he looked up. “We used to be close friends a long while ago.”

“Used to be?” Danielle asked as she looked over at Justin.

“Yeah, it’s a long story and I don’t want to get into it,” Justin replied as he rolled over to the window.

“Justin, maybe you can help Nick with his problems. You think you might be able to do that Justin?” Danielle asked as she looked over to where Justin was.

“What’s wrong with him?” Justin asked as he turned around.

“Listen to me very carefully Justin,” Danielle said as she walked over to Justin and then knelt down in front of him. “Justin, Nick was raped.”

“What?” Justin said as he looked over at Nick. “He was raped? Oh my God, by who?”

“I’m not at liberty to tell that information,” Danielle replied as she got up and then walked over to Nick. “He was brought into the hospital because he was experiencing other problems. While he was here, someone attacked him.”

“That’s so horrible,” Justin said as he rolled over to Nick. “How could someone hurt him, he’s the sweetest guy I know in our business.”

“Since his attack, he’s been in this trance-like state. He hasn’t spoken to anyone since it happened,” Danielle said as she grabbed a folder with Nick’s name on it. “So far, the doctors have tried just about everything with him and nothing seems to be working.”

“Can you hear me Nick?” Justin asked as he reached for Nick’s hand as Aaron and Steve walked back into the room.

“Stop Justin, don’t touch him,” Aaron said as he struggled to get away from Steve.

“Mr. Canton, please…” Daniel said as she walked towards Steve and Aaron. “Justin isn’t going to hurt him.”

“Hi Nick, it’s Justin, Justin Tanner,” Justin softly said as he moved closer to Nick and held his hand.

“J—Justin?” Nick softly said as the glassy effect left his eyes.

“Oh God, he… He spoke,” Aaron said as he pulled away from Steve and rushed over to where Justin and Nick were.

Outside – The Parking Garage

“Hey Josh, what in the hell are you doing here?” Christina asked as she walked over to Joshua and grabbed him by the collar of his shirt.

“I came here to check on Justin,” Joshua replied as Christina shook her head and then backed him up against his car. “Let me go Chrissy.”

“You’re not going to see Justin or do anything else that involves him,” Christina said as she punched Joshua in the stomach.

“Owww!” Joshua screamed out in pain.

“I told you last week not to brang yo’ skanky ass back here, but it seems you didn’t get the damn message! Mark my words Josh, anytime you show your face around here or get too close to Justin, I’m going to do my best to put my foot up ya skanky ass! I told you to leave him along and I meant every word I said to you damn it!” Christina screamed as she pulled Joshua into a headlock and punched him in the stomach continuously.

“Let… Me… Go… Chrissy!” Joshua screamed out as he struggled to get away from Christina.

“I’m not letting you go until you get it through your damn head that Justin doesn’t want you around. Have you learned yet?” Christina asked as she pushed Joshua to the ground and started kicking him over and over in the side.

“Stop! Chrissy! I—I love him. I’m not trying to hurt him,” Joshua said as he coughed up some blood. “You… Oh God… You know I love him… Please Chrissy, stop!”

“Save it Josh. If you loved him, you would’ve never cheated on him with all of those other men,” Christina stated as she kicked him again as she shook her head and then turned and walked towards her car. “Don’t come back here again Josh. Don’t make me warn you about this infraction ever again. You’ll hate me if I do.”

As Christina got into her car, she started it up, rolled down the window and then punched the gas, passing by Joshua, just barely missing him. Stopping the car, she leaned out the window and backed the car up, just enough to get close to him as his eyes widened.

“You better not go into the hospital. I’m going to call Jamie and Marshall and make sure that they keep you away from Justin,” Christina warned as she glared at Joshua. “Just turn your ass around and get back into your car.”

“I told you, I’m going to check on Justin,” Joshua said as he got up and then walked towards the garage’s exit.

“Are you okay mister?” A young man asked as he walked up to Joshua.

“I’m just fine kid,” Joshua replied as he opened the door and then walked out of the parking garage.

“Are you sure mister? You’re bleeding all over the place,” the young man said as he opened the hospital lobby doors for Joshua.

“I said I was fine kid,” Joshua replied as he looked as if he was annoyed.

“Why don’t you let a nurse take a look at you,” the young man said as he waved his hand around, trying to get the attention of the nurses in the area. “Hey Aunt Angie, could I borrow you for a sec?”

“Hi Kasai, or course you can borrow me. What’s up Sweetie?” Angela Sebastian, a RN in the hospital asked as she looked at the young man and the man with him.

“This guy needs some help,” the young man identified as Kasai replied as he looked up at the nurse. “As I was coming in from the garage, I saw this guy. He’s bleeding very badly Aunt Angie.”

“Hello sir, I’m Angela Sebastian, can you tell me what happened to you?” Angela asked.

“Somebody hit me, duh,” Joshua replied as he held his stomach.

“It looks more like someone gangbanged you,” Angela said as she pulled a clipboard from the counter. “Let me get you into one of the exam rooms and get a doctor in to look at you. Then we can get you patched up.”

“I… Said… owwwww! I am fine,” Joshua replied as he winced in pain and then grabbed his stomach.

“That doesn’t look like you’re fine,” Angela said as she led Joshua to an empty exam room. “Where are your dads Kai?”

“I think Daddy is up in his office and Daddy Mark is on his way in from parking the van,” Kasai answered.

“Oh? Did I miss something honey?” Angela asked as she paid attention to the clipboard as she wrote some things on it.

“We’re just here to pick Daddy up for lunch is all,” Kasai replied as he smiled.

“Oh, alright honey. Thanks for bringing this gentleman to my attention,” Angela said as she patted Kasai’s back.

“You’re welcome Aunt Angie,” Kasai replied as Mark Walden walked up behind the two of them.

“Hello Angie, how are you doing today?” Mark asked as he leaned in and hugged her and then kissed her cheek.

“I’m doing okay, about done worked my fingers to the bone around here in this place today,” Angela replied as she shook her head. “What’re you up to?”

“I’m about to go up and get J. Do you want to go to lunch with us?” Mark asked as he gave her a puppy dog pout.

“Oh, I guess I can, as soon as I get this gentleman taken care of,” Angela said as she pointed at Joshua.

“Josh, Joshua Charles, is that you?” Mark asked as he walked over to Joshua, trying to figure out what happened to the man.

“Hi Mark,” Joshua answered with a frown as he looked up at Mark.

“You know him?” Angela asked as she turned around to look at Mark.

“Yeah, he’s Joshua Charles of All*Star,” Mark replied as Angela shrugged her shoulders.

“You know, I didn’t recognize him with all the blood on his face,” Angela replied as she shrugged again.

“What happened to you man?” Mark asked, leaning closer to Joshua.

“He said someone attacked him in the parking garage Daddy Mark,” Kasai spoke up as he looked over at Mark.

“Has the police been called?” Mark asked as he looked down at Joshua and then over to Angela.

“There’s really no need to call the police. I—I didn’t get a look at the people that did this,” Joshua stated, sounding as if he were talking through his nose. “Wouldn’t do them any good if I can’t tell them who did it.”

“Well you can still call them and make a report about this. If it happens again, to someone else no less, there would be a report on file that you were attacked here,” Mark stated with a frown.

“No, I don’t want to get the police involved,” Joshua said, wincing in pain as Angela swabbed the scrapes on his face.

“You might need to have stitches for some of these cuts sir,” Angela stated as she continued swabbing more of the cuts. “You really need to call the police. Whoever it was that did this, they were meaning to hurt you.”

“They just wanted to get the money I had on me,” Joshua stated as he winced again.

“From the beating you got, I hope they got a lot of money out of you,” Angela said as she walked over to the sink. “With all the cuts and bruises on your face and arms alone, you’ll be spending some time with us here at Ye Ole Hospital.”

“That was just wrong Angie,” Mark said, giggling as she walked over to the computer in the room, typed some information on the computer and returned to swabbing the cuts on Joshua’s face as another nurse walked into the room with a syringe on a tray.

“What’s that?” Joshua asked, keeping his eyes on the nurse that walked towards Angela with the syringe.

“I’m going to give you some medication to keep those cuts from getting infected,” Angela stated as she picked up the syringe from the tray as Joshua jumped up from the exam table, screaming.

To Be Continued…

After The Glitter Fades – Chapter 13

Chapter 13 — A Hearth Wrenching Situation

Jun 2, 2004 – Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Hotel Victoria – JT and Justin’s Hotel Room

“I’m sorry baby,” Justin spoke as he cuddled JT in his arms.  “I’m sorry for all the pain I’ve caused you.”

“It’s not your fault Justin,” JT replied, sniffling as Justin rubbed his back.  “I—I can’t hole you or Caleb responsible; it’s Heather and Marc’s fault and no one else.”

“But—but I feel like I’ve only impounded the problem,” Justin stated as he sighed.  “I didn’t know that Caleb being around would hurt you this way.  If I’d known that, I wouldn’t have suggested to Ken that he and Caleb come here.”

“It’s not your fault Justin.  You were only doing what you thought was best, I…” JT said as Justin interrupted him.

“My concern should be what’s best for you, not for Caleb’s well-being,” Justin stated as he sighed again.  “I—I thought him being here would be good for the both of you, but maybe I was wrong about that.”

“Your heart is in the right place Justin,” JT stated as someone knocked on the door.  “Who could that be this early?”

“I don’t know baby, but you stay here and I’ll go see,” Justin replied as he kissed JT’s forehead, pulled away from him and then got out of bed.

“It’s probably Mother or Mo,” JT stated as he rolled around on the bed as Justin pulled his robe on and then walked over to the door, opening to see Ken and Caleb standing there.

“Ah, is there something wrong Ken?”  Justin asked, looking at Ken strangely.

“Ah yeah, there’s been a development that you two need to know about,” Ken stated as Justin raised an eye at him.

“What kind of development?”  Justin asked, stepping to the side, allowing Ken and Caleb into the room.

“JT, can I see you in private for a minute, please?”  Ken requested, looking over at JT.

“Whatever you have to say to me, you can say it in front of Justin,” JT stated as he looked at Ken.

“I—I think it would be best if only your ears heard it for right now and then you can tell Justin later on, after we’ve left,” Ken stated, pleading with his eyes to JT.

“Fine,” JT stated as he pulled the covers back, forgetting that he wasn’t dressed as Ken and Caleb gasped.

“Ah baby, try a bit of modesty,” Justin said as JT looked at him strangely as Justin pointed downward as he realized what Justin meant and then covered his crotch.

“Oh God,” JT said as he grabbed the bedspread, yanking it off the bed quickly, covering himself with it as he sighed.  “I’m so sorry.”

“It’s okay, not like I haven’t seen it before,” Ken stated as Justin and Caleb looked at him strangely.  “We’re all guys here; everybody has a pee-pee.”

“That’s true, but that doesn’t mean…” Justin said as JT sighed and then shook his head.

“Not now Justin,” JT said as he grabbed Ken by the hand, pulling him towards the balcony doors.  “Justin, you and Caleb hang out for a bit.”

“Fine with me,” Justin said as he walked over to the bed, sitting down as he patted the spot next to him for Caleb to join him.  “Come on little man.”

“Okay,” Caleb responded as he hopped up on the bed, sitting next to Justin.

Outside on the Balcony

“So, what’s on your mind, that you had to come here, so early in the morning, to tell me, that you couldn’t say in front of Justin and Caleb?”  JT asked, looking at Ken like he was crazy.  “What is this so-called development?”

“Let me say what happened and don’t you say anything,” Ken stated as JT glared at him.

“Go ahead and speak your mind man,” JT said as he turned around, looking over the railing, admiring the lights below in the city.

“I don’t want you getting happy and doing cartwheels or anything, but Heather had a heart attack earlier this morning,” Ken stated as JT turned and looked as though he hadn’t said anything.  “I said Heather had a heart attack.”

“Is this some kind of joke Ken?”  JT asked as Ken shook his head ‘no’ and then frowned.

“She really had a heart attack JT,” Ken stated.

“So, you came up here to tell me that, to see what I would say?  Is that it?  Are you trying to make me feel sorry for her and maybe forgive her for what she did?  Is that it Ken?”  JT asked, looking at Ken strangely.

“No JT, that’s not…” Ken spoke as JT shook his head, interrupting him as he held up his hand.

“Were you expecting me to scream, gasp or something along those lines Ken?”  JT asked, walking over to the balcony door as he leaned against it.  “Do you actually think I’m going to shed a damn tear because that heffa had a damn heart attack?  Really Ken, you need to get real here!”

“Her heart actually stopped JT, but the doctors worked on her and got it going again,” Ken stated as JT shook his head.

“If only those fools knew about the things she’s done in her damn life.  They should’ve let her ass die,” JT stated as Ken’s eyes widened.

“Come on JT, that’s not right,” Ken said as he stepped closer to him.  “That’s not something you should say about some…”

“What the hell ever Ken,” JT said as Ken shook his head again.

“I know she’s done some fucked up shit, but that doesn’t warrant you saying something like that.  She needs to be punished for what she did, but she doesn’t deserve to die,” Ken stated as he shook his head.

“Maybe God’s trying to punish her with death,” JT stated as he turned away from Ken, watching Justin and Caleb through the glass as they sat on the bed.  “She raped me Ken and produced that little boy in there.”

“What she produced wasn’t bad JT,” Ken stated as he looked down.  “What she did was bad, but what she produced was good.  That’s a good kid in there JT and all he wants is to know and love his father.  Give him that damn it.  It’s not his fault that his mother did some fucked up things!”

“Don’t you stand there and tell me what to fucking do Ken!  That’s your fucking sister and she’s a damn monster… You’re no better than she is, like sister like brother.  You never raped me, but you are pretty good at manipulation when you don’t get your fucking way,” JT stated as Ken shook his head again.

“You’re not being fair here JT,” Ken stated as JT shook his head.

“I’m not being fair here?  You knew what she did Ken and you didn’t tell me.  In a way, you’re just as bad as her.  You should’ve told me about what she had done, when you found out about it, but you didn’t do that Ken, you held onto that information for what, nine years?”  JT asked as he shook his head and then pointed his finger at Ken.

“This has nothing to do with me, this has something to do with Heather and the possibility that she’s close to death,” Ken stated as JT shook his head again.

“I don’t care if she’s close to death or not,” JT stated as he turned his back to Ken.

“You should care JT,” Ken stated as he forcefully turned JT around to look at him.  “If Heather has another heart attack like the one she had earlier, she may just die and…”

“And what Ken?”  JT said as he looked at Ken like he was crazy.

“Then Caleb will have no one,” Ken stated as he looked down.  “He’ll be alone in this world, not having a parent around that loves him.”

“That—that’s not my fault!”  JT snapped, moving away from Ken.  “How am I supposed to love him, I never knew about him.  I can’t help how I feel.  She abused me Ken and every time I look at him, I see… I see…”

“See him JT, see him,” Ken stated as he slapped JT across the face.  “That little boy is trying, but are you?  He’s not responsible for what Heather did and he shouldn’t be held responsible for it.  I’m not going to let you keep using that as a damn excuse to not be in his life.  He’s here, wanting his father and that’s you JT.  You need to get over that shit!”

“How dare you!”  JT snapped, grabbing Ken by the collar of his shirt as he jacked him up against the balcony railing.

“You want to beat me up JT?  You want to take your anger of what Heather did to you, out on me, go right ahead and do it!  Do it JT, do it!”  Ken screamed as JT broke down crying in his arms.  “If that’s what it takes for you to love that little boy, beat me JT.  That little boy needs you damn it!  That little boy has been put in a bind that he can never get out of.  He needs you damn it, he needs you!”

“What in the world is going on out here?  What’s with all the yelling?  We heard you in there, I’m sure everyone else in the hotel heard you too,” Justin said as he stepped out onto the balcony and then moved over to JT and Ken.  “Baby, what’s going on?  Why are you in his arms, like that?”

“It’s not what you think,” JT stated as he moved away from Ken, sniffling as he wiped at his eyes.

“What is it that I’m thinking?”  Justin asked, a confused look on his face.  “What’s going on out here with you two?  Why did you have to talk to him in private?”

“Because I didn’t want Caleb hearing what was being said,” Ken replied, looking down.

“Seems more like you didn’t want me and Caleb seeing you putting the moves on my man,” Justin said as JT shook his head.  “Is that your game Ken?  Are you trying to reclaim your territory or something?  Well it’s too late for that, he’s mine now.”

“Justin,” JT said as Justin looked down.

“I—I’m sorry baby,” Justin replied as he looked at JT and then looked at Ken.  “What’s going on out here?  I’m sure you guys woke the dead with all the shouting.”

“Heather had a heart attack earlier,” JT stated as Justin raised an eye at him.

“And you were shouting about that?”  Justin asked, shaking his head.

“More like he was shouting about me telling him to be a man and take care of his kid,” Ken stated as Justin’s head snapped up, his eyes widened and then he glared at Ken, looking like he was ready to fight.

“You did what?  Are you out of your fucking mind?”  Justin asked, moving in between JT and Ken.  “How dare…”

“Justin, just let it go,” JT said as he turned around.  “I think you two should be going.  Justin and I have a lot of things to do later on today.  We need to get some rest.”

“Don’t forget what I told you JT,” Ken said as he walked past Justin, going back into the room as he collected Caleb and then left the hotel room.

“Baby, what’s going on?  Why…” Justin said as JT shook his head and then held up his hand, stopping him.

“Why are you acting jealous all of a sudden?”  JT asked, looking at Justin strangely.  “Since I’ve known you, this is the first time that I’ve actually seen you let your jealousy get the best of you.”

“Are you serious?  I come out here and you have your hands on his chest and he has his arms around you, like you two are about to kiss or something.  I have a right to be jealous and mad,” Justin stated as he crossed his arms across his chest.

“He was telling me that Heather had a heart attack earlier.  I asked him was I supposed to be upset or something and he got on my case about being mean and how I’ve been supposedly mistreating Caleb.  He has it in his head that if Heather has another heart attack, she’ll die or something like that.  I say good riddance if she does,” JT stated as Justin’s eyes widened.

“You—you can’t mean that baby,” Justin said as JT shook his head.

“I mean it,” JT stated as he looked Justin in the face.  “She raped me.  Because of her actions, I have a son with her.  I’m morally obligated to her for life.  I’m stuck to that bitch forever, unless she croaks.”

“JT,” Justin started as JT shook his head again.

“Ken jumped on my case because he feels I’m not being a good father to Caleb.  I shouldn’t have to be a good father to a child that shouldn’t exist!”  JT snapped, turning around.  “We aren’t even married yet Justin.   We’re not supposed to have kids until a few years down the damn line or something like that.”

“Baby, that’s not…” Justin said as JT shook his head and then turned back around.

“But surprise, because I was raped by some whack job, I used to call my friend ten years ago, I have a child now.  Why is it that people keep jumping on my case about this child, but no one is jumping on that bitch’s case about what she did to me?  Huh?  Why is it that no one is concerned about doing something to her?  Maybe, just maybe her having that heart attack is God’s way of punishing her for what she did.  But yet, I have my lawyer, you, my fiancée and Ken, trying to get me to be this kid’s father, when someone needs to be beating the bitch three ways from Sunday and prosecuting her to the highest degree!”  JT snapped as Justin flinched back a bit.

“Baby, you heard what Howard said,” Justin said as he moved closer to JT.  “There’s really nothing anyone can do about what she did, because there’s no proof that would actually hold up in court.”

“Grrrrrr!”  JT growled, turning away from Justin and walking towards the door.

“JT,” Justin said as he walked behind JT.

“Just let it go Justin,” JT said as he walked through the door and then headed for the bathroom.

“No baby, I’m not going to just let it go,” Justin stated as he stopped at the bathroom door as it closed in his face.  “Baby come on, open the door.  Come out of there or let me in.”

“No Justin, just go back to bed,” JT said as the water could be heard hitting the shower floor.

“I’m not going back to bed baby, it’s light out,” Justin said as he tapped on the door.  “Come on baby, let me in or come out of there.”

“I said no Justin,” JT said.

“Fine, I’ll just break the door down then,” Justin said as he walked away from the door, turned around and then ran for the door as it opened and he fell into JT’s arms.  “You need to stop the dramatics.”

“You should’ve just gotten back into bed as I said,” JT said as he leaned in and kissed Justin’s lips.  “One of these days you’ll learn to listen to me.”

“Whatever baby,” Justin said as he steadied himself and then looked at JT closely as the two of them kissed again.

Late Afternoon – Jacksonville, FL (Arlington Suburb) – The Apartment of Josh Raymond

“What’s up bro, what’re you doing here?”  Josh asked, stepping aside to allow the person inside.

“I should be asking you the same thing. Why aren’t you at work?”  The guy asked as he and Josh hugged.

“I had a long night Brad,” Josh replied with a frown.

“Don’t tell me that the cute cat kept you awake again,” the guy identified as Brad stated as he rubbed behind the cat’s ears as the cat purred loudly.  “Sparky, are you keeping my little brother up, late at night?”

“See, I’ve told you about coming up in here, flirting like that with my cat.  If you want some pussy, I’m sure you can find it with your wife or at the club when you two aren’t on good terms,” Josh said as he and the guy laughed.

“So, I hear Layla’s back in town.  Has she been here yet?”  Brad asked.

“Yeah, she was one of the reasons why I had a long night,” Josh replied, sitting down on the sofa.

“What was the other reason?”  Brad asked.

“I—I’ve been having trouble sleeping,” Josh replied, sighing.  “I think I need to go back to the doctor and have my meds reevaluated.”

“You think your meds are keeping you from sleeping?”  Brad asked, looking at Josh strangely.

“That and for some strange reason, some white guy popped up, knocking on my door early this morning, before day,” Josh stated as Brad looked at him strangely.

“What did he want?”  Brad asked.

“He said he needed to talk to me about something,” Josh replied with a frown. “I think he was just some crazy guy at the wrong place.  I didn’t open the door and I sent him on his way.”

“Maybe it was some guy at the wrong place, being that you’re here in this apartment complex,” Brad stated as Josh raised an eye at him and then shook his head.  “That’s why you should’ve moved in with us.”

“Thanks Brad, but no.  I’m not going to impose on you and Olivia,” Josh stated as he sighed.  “It’s a nice offer and all, but I have to do things on my own.  I can’t depend on you; I have to depend on myself and…”

“You wouldn’t be depending on me bro, you would be depending on yourself,” Brad stated as Josh frowned just as there was a knock at the door.  “I’ll get that.”

“Thanks,” Josh said as the cat jumped into his lap as Brad walked over to the door and then opened it.

“Hi there, may I help you?”  Brad asked of the person that stood at the door.

“You’re not the person I’m looking for.  Are you the person that lives here?  I’m looking for Joshua Raymond,” Josh heard as he got up from the sofa and then walked over to the door.

“You’re the person that was here earlier, I recognize the voice.  What is it that you want?”  Josh asked, looking at the person strangely.

“Yeah, hi there, I’m Marc Prestige and I need to talk to you about your family,” Marc stated with a wide smile.

“I’m his family,” Brad stated as Marc looked at him and then shook his head.  “What is it that you want to talk about?”

“His real family, not the adopted one, you know, the biological one,” Marc stated as he moved around Brad, standing in front of Josh.  “If you want to know about your mother and your brother, I can tell you everything you can possibly want to know about them.”

“I—I…” Josh stuttered as he looked down.

“Josh, do you want to talk to this guy?”  Brad asked, looking at Josh and then back to Marc.

“I… Yes, I want to talk to him,” Josh answered as he stepped back and directed Marc over to the sofa as Brad sighed and then closed the door.

“What is it that you have to say guy?”  Brad asked, sitting down next to Josh.

“As I said, my name is Marc Prestige and I know your biological mother and your brother.  I know them because I work with them,” Marc stated as he pulled something from his pocket and handed it to Josh.  “This is your brother.”

“You’ve got to be kidding,” Brad said as he got up from the sofa and then shook his head.  “You’re joking right?”

“No, I’m not joking one bit,” Marc replied as he handed Josh another picture.  “And this is your mother.”

“This can’t be real Josh,” Brad said as Josh looked at him.

“I—I don’t know what to say here,” Josh stated as he got up from the sofa and dropped the pictures.

“I think this guy is trying to play a fucking joke on you bro.  Don’t fall for this,” Brad stated as Marc got up.  “This has to be a joke… the disco queen and the soul sensation.  Are you fucking serious?”

“No joke man, the so-called disco queen and the soul sensation,” Marc stated as Brad shook his head.

“Guy, I think you need to leave,” Brad stated as Josh looked at him.

“No,” Josh said as he turned to Marc.  “So, the guy in this picture is my real, biological brother?  That woman is my real, biological mother?”

“Yes, JT Poole is your brother and Vanessa Jameson is your mother,” Marc stated with a smile.

“How do you know that?”  Brad asked, looking at Marc strangely.

“I just know,” Marc replied as he rubbed his hands together.  “If you don’t believe me, would you like to meet both of them and find out for yourself?”

“Bro, I don’t think this guy is being on the up and…” Brad said as Josh held up his hand, stopping him.

“If—If I have some family, I would like to know them,” Josh stated with a frown as he looked at Marc again.  “If these people are my family, why haven’t they contacted me?  How come they didn’t come find me?”

“That I don’t know, but I do know that you are related to both of them and you can ask that question of them yourself,” Marc stated as he pulled a small card out of his pocket with his information on it. “I can’t provide the answers you want, but I can take you to where they are right now and as I said, you can ask them.”

“Bro, I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Brad stated as Josh looked at him with a sad look on his face.

“Where are they right now?”  Josh asked.

“They’re in Canada, in Toronto.  JT is about to get married,” Marc stated with a strange smile.  “But as I said, if you want to meet your family, I can take you to them, if you want to meet them of course.”

“Josh, you don’t even know this guy,” Brad stated as he shook his head.

“Hey guy, you can come along too, if you like,” Marc stated as he looked over at Brad.  “Or are you scared that he’ll meet his real family and forget all about you?”

“Now wait just a damn minute guy!”  Brad snapped, pushing Mac backwards.

“Brad stop,” Josh softly said as he grabbed Brad’s arm, stopping him.  “I want to go.  I would like to meet my brother and my mother.”

“Fine, but I’m going with you,” Brad stated as he glared at Marc.  “I’ll call ‘Livia and have her bring me some clothes and stuff.”

“I’ll go make the arrangements for our flight and you two do what you need to get ready,” Marc stated as he stepped closer to Josh.  “When you are ready, call me at this number here and I’ll be back so we can leave.”

“Okay, thank you,” Josh said as he and Marc shook hands.

“I’ll see you in a bit,” Marc said as he walked out of the apartment, leaving Josh and Brad watching the door.

“Josh, are you sure you want to do this?”  Brad asked.

“Yes, I want to do this Brad.  He said he could take me to my family, my real family.  Do you know how long I’ve wanted to meet my real family?”  Josh asked, looking at Brad closely.  “This—this is a dream come true.”

“How do we know this guy is on the up and up?  Come on, the 70’s disco queen and the sweet soul singer of today… This sounds really strange,” Brad stated as Josh looked down again.

“I—I have a feeling that he’s being truthful,” Josh said as he sighed.  “I don’t trust him, but I feel he’s being truthful about knowing my mother and brother.  I just don’t know what he’s getting out of it, by telling me about them and taking me to them.”

“I just don’t want you to get hurt because of this Josh,” Brad said with a sigh.

“I’m a big guy Brad,” Josh said as he looked at Brad.  “I—I gotta go pack some things.”

To Be Continued…