If I Ain’t Got You – Chapter 8

Chapter 8 — Revelations, Part 3

Dec 30, 2002 – Orlando, FL – Florida Hospital – Nick’s Hospital Room

“Hi there,” Angela said as she walked into the room to see a man sitting in the chair next to Nick’s bed.

“Hello Miss,” Kevin said as he turned around to see Angela.

“Hi, I’m Angela, his day shift nurse,” Angela replied as she extended her hand to Kevin.

“Hi, ahhhh, I—I’m Kevin,” Kevin replied as he shook her hand.

“I don’t think I’ve seen you here today,” Angela said as she looked at Kevin closely.

“Ah yeah, I stopped in this morning and left after the doctor was last here,” Kevin replied as he smiled weakly at Angela.

“Okay,” Angela replied as she held Nick’s wrist, checking his pulse rate. “So, are you a friend of Mr. Canton’s?”

“Yes I am,” Kevin replied as he took a seat again. “We sing together in a band.”

“You sing together in a band?” Angela said as she turned around to look at Kevin again. “Oh my God, I didn’t see it before. Nickolas Canton and you are Kevin Richards. You two are part of the ‘Fifth Avenue Boys’.”

“Right you are,” Kevin said as he looked down.

“Oh my, what happened to him?” Angela asked as she looked over at Kevin. “It doesn’t really specify a general problem on his chart.”

“I don’t think I can tell you that Miss, that’s not my place to tell you,” Kevin answered her.

“You may call me Angela or Angie,” Angela said as she walked over to the sink and washed her hands. “I’m done here. If you or Mr. Canton need anything, just let me know.”

“I—I will,” Kevin replied as he saw her to the door.

“Have a good evening sir,” Angela replied as she walked out of the rom and then back down to the nurses’ station.

“Who’s in that room Angela?” One of the other nurses asked.

“That’s confidential information, I can’t tell you that information Carly,” Angela replied as she turned around.

“Oh, it must be one of those celebrities then,” Carly stated with a smile.

“I can’t tell you that, so you might as well drop it girl,” Angela said as she walked down the hall in the other direction.

“I’m going to see who’s in that room,” Carly said as she looked down the hall to see if Angela was out of sight and then she walked in the direction of Nick’s room.

As Carly approached the room, she looked around to see if anyone was watching her. Smiling, she opened the door and peaked into the room as her expression changed when she saw Nick Canton lying in bed. Stepping fully into the room, she saw Kevin Richards sitting next to the bed, holding Nick’s hand.

“Oh my God, it’s Nick Canton and Kevin Richards of the ‘Fifth Avenue Boys’,” Carly said as she turned around and bumped right into Angela who stood there, watching her.

“What are you doing here Carly?” Angela asked as she stood there, tapping her foot as she looked at the young woman closely.

“I… Well… Ah… I… I was just trying to see who was in the room,” Carly replied as she looked down.

“Did I not just tell you a few minutes ago that information was confidential?” Angela asked as the tapping of her foot got louder as she shook her head.

“Yes you did, but I didn’t do anything wrong, I just looked in here,” Carly stated with a frown. “I didn’t hurt anything.”

“You did something wrong Carly. You broke hospital protocol. I’m sorry, but I have no choice but to place you on suspension until further notice. You will go before the board next week and they’ll let you know whether or not you still have a job here,” Angela informed the young woman.

“But—but I didn’t do anything that warrants my termination,” Carly stated as she shook her head.

“You broke the rules and this isn’t the first time that you’ve done something like this. You’re dismissed Carly, someone else will work the remainder of your shift,” Angela stated as Carly walked away from the room with a mean look on her face as Angela walked into the room. “I’m sorry Kevin; I hope she didn’t cause any trouble.”

“It’s okay Angela, she didn’t do anything,” Kevin stated with a smile at Angela.

“Are you okay? You look like there’s something wrong,” Angela said as she walked over to Kevin.

“I don’t think I need to talk about what’s bothering me right now. There’s just too much stuff going on,” Kevin replied as he looked away from Angela.

“Well if you change your mind, I’m here. I’ve been told I’m a good listener,” Angela said as she walked over to Nick and then checked his vitals quickly as she turned around to head towards the door.

“Hey Angela, I think I do need to talk,” Kevin said as he got up from where he sat. “Are you able to listen for a few minutes?”

“Sure, I’m available to talk and listen Kevin,” Angela replied as she headed over to the table in the room and took a seat.

“How about something to drink; we have coffee and cola,” Kevin offered as he opened the little refrigerator in the room.

“A cup of coffee would do the trick,” Angela replied as Kevin poured a cup of coffee for her.

“What’s your poison?” Kevin asked as he looked at her. “Dark? Light? Do you take it with cream and sugar?”

“Some cream and two sugars will do it,” Angela said as Kevin walked over with a cold drink for himself and her cup of coffee.

“So Kevin what’s on your mind?” Angela asked, taking a sip of the coffee.

“I—I feel partially responsible for what happened to Nick,” Kevin replied with a frown. “I knew he was having problems and I basically ignored him. I was too busy, dealing with things in my own life that didn’t even matter, that I didn’t want to see the things that were really happening around me, to him. When he was younger, I told him I would always be there for him, but when he really needed me, I wasn’t there for him.”

Kevin talked about things he didn’t know if he could even trust Angela with or not. As he spoke, the tears slowly streamed down his face as secret after secret slipped from his lips, entering her ears. Angela sat there with Kevin, listening to the whole sad, but true story, not paying attention to anything else around her. Opening his eyes, Nick got up from the bed and then walked over to the table and took a seat, starring at Kevin strangely.

“What’s up Kevin?” Nick asked as he watched Kevin and Angela. “Fuck, my head hurts. It feels like I’m on fire.”

“What are you doing up and out of bed Nick? I thought you would sleep the rest of the evening,” Kevin said as he looked at Nick strangely. “What’s wrong with him Angela? Why do his eyes look like that? He looks like he’s on drugs.”

“I’m not exactly sure, but I think it could be a reaction to whatever the doctor gave him,” Angela replied as she got up from the table and then walked over to the phone, paging the doctor. “I’m quite sure Dr. Donaldson can tell us what’s going on.”

“Doctor? Who has a doctor?” Nick asked as he looked between Kevin and Angela. “Are one of you sick?”

“You have a doctor Nick,” Kevin replied as he looked at Nick strangely.

“Why do I have a doctor? There’s nothing wrong with me,” Nick replied as he got up quickly and then looked around.

“Something happened to you and we—we had to put you in the hospital,” Kevin stated with a frown.

“I don’t know why, I feel perfectly fine,” Nick said, walking over to Angela. “Hi there, I’m Nick Canton and you are?”

“Hi, I’m Angela Sebastian, HNIC,” Angela replied as Nick smiled.

“What does HNIC mean?” Nick asked as he looked at Angela strangely.

“It means I’m the head nurse in charge around here,” Angela replied with a small giggle.

“So Kevin, is this your new squeeze?” Nick asked, looking over at Kevin and then back to Angela, remembering how he saw them sitting at the table.

“No, we just met,” Kevin replied, looking at Angela with a strange glint in his eyes.

“Then why were you two holding hands?” Nick asked, looking at the two of them again. “If you were holding hands, there must be something there.”

“Seriously, we just met today,” Angela stated as she looked over at Nick with a nervous facial expression.

“That’s right Nicky, there’s nothing going on. I needed to talk and she was here to listen to me,” Kevin stated.

“Well whatever. I think you two would make a cute couple though,” Nick said as he got up and then walked over to the windows in the room as Kevin blushed, looking away from Angela quickly. “Where are we Kevin?”

“We’re in Orlando,” Kevin replied as Dr. Donaldson walked into the room.

“What seems to be the problem here Angie?” Dr. Donaldson asked, walking over to where she stood near the phone.

“Mr. Canton woke up a moment ago and his eyes are bloodshot. He complained of headache and he’s currently running a fever,” Angela stated.

“Thanks Angie, let’s see what we have here,” Dr. Donaldson said as Nick lay down in bed at the encouragement of Kevin. “He has all the signs of being in anaphylactic shock.”

“There’s nothing wrong with me, I’m really okay here,” Nick replied as the doctor touched his skin. “Really, I feel fine.”

“So your headache is gone and you’re not burning up?” Dr. Donaldson asked, looking at Nick closely.

“I feel fine, really I do,” Nick replied as the doctor flashed his penlight in his eyes. “Can I go home now?”

“No, you may not go home young man. I’m going to order that you be observed here for seventy-two more hours to make sure that you’re really okay,” Dr. Donaldson stated as Nick looked at him strangely.

“I said I was FINE!” Nick snapped, glaring at the doctor. “I want to go home!”

“Listen to the doctor Nicky. He knows what’s best for you,” Kevin said as he moved closer to Nick.

“No Kev, I want to go home!” Nick screamed as he sat up on the bed with a pout on his face.

“Well you can’t,” Kevin said as he walked over to where Angela stood as the doctor wrote some things on Nick’s chart and then handed it to Angela.

“Will there be anything else Doc?” Angela asked as she wrote some things on her notepad. “I’ll make sure that the next nurse knows what to do.”

“Good, I’ll get an update from you in the morning,” Dr. Donaldson stated as he waved and then left the room.

“Can I say something to you Angela?” Kevin asked as he stepped closer to her.

“Yes you may,” Angela replied, turning to look at Kevin.

“I want to thank you for listening to me,” Kevin said as he leaned in and kissed her on the cheek. “Thank you for being here to provide your time.”

“No problem Kevin,” Angela replied with a smile.

“Look, are… yeah… ah… Are you going to be busy later?” Kevin asked as he looked down.

“My shift will be over around seven,” Angela replied. “Why?”

“Well… ah… Can I take you out to grab something to eat?” Kevin nervously asked. “Like dinner or something?”

“I will be honored to,” Angela replied with a smile. “I have a few minutes to go and you can meet me down at the nurses’ station or I can come back here.”

“Just come back here, that would give him a reason to be all sappy with you in private,” Nick said, looking at the two of them.

“Oh shush,” Kevin said, looking back at Angela. “So it’s a date then?”

“It’s a date Kevin. See you in a little bit,” Angela replied as she waved and then walked out of the room.

Some Time Previously – The Gym

“How are you feeling Justin?” JT asked, walking into the room with Steve and Kasai following behind him. “Are you ready to get started?”

“I guess I am,” Justin replied, wheeling over to JT and Steve. “What are we going to do?”

“Well first, we’re just going to do some stretching,” JT replied as he walked over to where there were some mats laid out on the floor. “Come on over here Justin.”

“Aye aye captain,” Justin said as he wheeled over to the spot where JT sat.

“Don’t forget to put your brakes on,” JT informed Justin as he laid his crutches down on the floor.

Justin’s POV

We sat there on the floor, doing stretches and pulling my body in different directions as I kept thinking about how I so wanted to be like JT. Like damn, he has it all. He has a man that loves him, regardless if he’s able to walk or not and he’s got a wonderful kid. That’s what I want. I want a lover for life, I want a kid like JT has that loves me regardless. I want to love someone. I always thought that I would be with Josh forever, living with our kids, but he fucked that all up. There’s someone for me, but where is he?

“Earth to Justin,” JT said as he tapped me on the arm. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m okay. I—I was just thinking about something,” I replied as he grabbed my left leg and started bending it in and out.

“I don’t want you phasing out on me man. Talk to me here,” he said as Kasai grabbed my other leg and started doing the same thing he did. “Are you feeling anything when we do this?”

“Not much, but I know you guys are touching me,” I told him.

“Well duh, we’re touching you. We’re flexing your legs man,” he said as he laughed. “What’s on your mind Justin?”

“There’s a whole lot of stuff on my mind. Just so much stuff swarming around up here,” I said as I looked over to see Kasai staring at me with a dreamy look in his eyes.

“What kind of stuff Justin?” He asked, massaging my leg.

“Just stuff,” I replied as Kasai matched everything that JT did to my leg.

“Okay,” he said as he waved at Steve. “How are you doing with getting in and out of the bathroom?”

“Okay I guess. I can use the bathroom, if that’s what you’re asking me,” I replied as I looked at him strangely as Mark walked into the room.

“Is he putting you through the ringer yet Justin?” Mark asked as he sat down next to JT and then kissed him on the cheek.

“No, not yet, but I feel it coming,” I said as all of them laughed.

“I’m taking it easy on him this evening honey. I’ll let him know when I get ready to work him like a mule,” JT said as I frowned as the others continued laughing.

Kasai’s POV

Dang I can’t believe I’m actually here, getting to touch Justin Tanner’s body. I shouldn’t be thinking about him like this, but he’s so damn sexy. I wish Daddy wasn’t here with us right now; I just want to wrap my arms around him and love on him. I wish it were just the two of us, someplace alone, getting to do whatever. I would let him take me, like Jeff did yesterday. I bet sex with Justin would be so fantastic.

“Kasai, Kasai, Kai? Are you okay son?” Daddy asked, shaking me out of my thoughts.

“Yeah, I’m okay Daddy, I was just thinking about some things” I replied, putting on a smile.

“What is this, the zone out hour or something?” Daddy asked as he shook his head as he directed Justin back up into his chair.

“Okay Justin, how do you feel?” Daddy asked, rubbing on his legs.

“I’m tired is how I feel. Please tell me that we don’t have to do this every day,” Justin said as Daddy looked at him and then smiled strangely.

“I think I might let you get some rest on the weekends, only if you behave yourself during the week,” Daddy said just as his cell phone rang. “Hello?”

JT’s POV

“Hi JT, Angie here,” I heard Angie say as I wondered why she was calling, since I would see her in a few minutes, when it was time for us to get going.

“Hi Angie, what’s up girl?” I asked, looking at my watch.

“Nothing really,” she replied as I wondered what was really up. It’s not like her to not come on out and say what’s on her mind. “I’m just getting ready to go for the night. I’ll catch up to you and the family later on.”

“Is there something wrong Angie?” I asked.

“No no, there’s nothing wrong, I’m just a little bit tired is all,” she replied as I shrugged my shoulders.

“Okay, that’s cool girl. I’m still working with a client, so we’ll be here for a bit longer. So are you going to get dinner?” I asked, grabbing Mark’s arm and pulling myself up.

“Maybe later, I’ve had a long day and all I can think about is having a nice soak in the tub and then taking a nap,” she said, her voice rising an octave. She’s up to something.

“That sounds great, but you don’t need to be missing dinner,” I said, seeing if I can get some info out of her.

“Fine JT, I have plans with someone tonight. I might catch you guys tomorrow night,” she said as I wondered who the person was. Did she finally give the guy in X-Ray a shot?

“Alright Angie, maybe tomorrow night then,” I said.

“Yes, maybe, but I’ll let you know. Night JT,” she said.

“Yeah, night Angie,” I replied as I closed the phone.

A Little After 7 PM – Down in the Hospital Lobby

“I’m so glad you decided to go out to dinner with me,” Kevin stated, taking Angela’s hand. “I would like to take you some place fancy, but I don’t think you would want to go in your nurses’ uniform.”

“Some place fancy, hmmm, let’s see. My house is only a few miles away from here. I can go home and change and come back,” Angela stated with a smile. “Is that going to be too much trouble?”

“No, it’s no trouble at all,” Kevin replied as he checked his watch. “Or, I can follow you to your place, wait for you and we can go on to the restaurant from there.”

“Okay, that’s doable,” Angela said as she looked at her cell phone and then slid it into her pocket as she and Kevin walked towards the doors. “My car is in the employee parking area. I’ll wait at the stop sign for you.”

“Alright,” Kevin replied as Joshua Charles walked through the door.

“Well hi there Kevin, what’re you doing here handsome?” Joshua asked, stopping in front of Kevin as Angela kept walking, not noticing that Kevin had stopped.

“I was here to see someone,” Kevin replied as he tried to move away from Joshua, but Joshua moved back in front of him.

“Hey now, what’s the big hurry handsome? It’s been a long while since I’ve seen you,” Joshua said as he grabbed Kevin by the waist and then pulled him close, kissing his lips.

“No Josh, stop it. I’m not going to let you do this to me again,” Kevin said as he pushed Joshua away, just as Angela stood there watching. “Angela, ahhhh…”

“What’s going on Kevin?” Angela asked with a saddened look on her face.

“It’s not what it looks like Angela,” Kevin replied as Joshua tried to grab his hand again.

“What does it ‘not’ look like Kevin?” Angela asked as the expression on her face changed to an angry one.

“Angela, I can explain,” Kevin said as she turned and then walked towards the door. “Wait, please let me explain.”

“What is there to explain Kevin? Wait, whatever that was, it’s your business, not mine,” Angela said as she continued walking, not slowing down. “It looks like you and he are an item.”

“No we’re not. It’s not what you think,” Kevin said again.

“Then what the hell is it? I’m waiting for you to explain to me what it is that I think it was,” Angela sarcastically said as she pointed her finger at Kevin. “I’m waiting, well… why did you kiss him? Are you gay?”

“He kissed me,” Kevin replied, standing in front of Angela. “I wasn’t kissing him, I wouldn’t…”

“You wouldn’t what Kevin?” Angela asked, looking Kevin in the eyes. “Make a date with me and then turn around and then kiss this guy here, in fact, the same guy I saw in the ER earlier today. I should’ve figured, you celebrity types are all the same.”

“No we’re not all the same Angela,” Kevin said, looking down. “Please Angela, give me a chance here.”

“Give you a chance to what Kevin, lead me on?” Angela asked with a sad expression. “I’m outta here.”

“Good riddance if you ask me,” Joshua said, walking up behind Kevin. “Come on handsome, why don’t we go back to my place and do the horizontal mambo, like we used to.”

“Get the hell away from me Josh!” Kevin screamed as he rushed out the door towards the parking garage, trying to follow Angela. “Angela! Angela wait! Please… Don’t leave like this!”

“I’ve had enough of this! I’m going home; I’ve had a very long and tiring day. I don’t need any of this crap right now,” Angela said as she continued walking.

“Please Angela, please don’t go,” Kevin pleaded as they arrived at a car.

“I said I was going home,” Angela stated with a frown as she unlocked the car door, opened it and then got in.

“Fine, let me come with you,” Kevin said as Angela pushed the button on the door panel as the passenger side door unlocked.

“You better get in here before I change my mind,” Angela stated as she watched Kevin walk around the car quickly and then get into the car.

Later that Evening – Back in the Hospital – A Veranda on the First Floor

“Hey Bro, what are you doing out here?” Aaron asked, walking up behind Nick. “I thought you were up in your room still.”

“I was in my room, but I’m out here now,” Nick replied as he rubbed at his eyes and then walked away from Aaron. “If it’s not too much to ask, I would like to be alone out here A.”

“Why?” Aaron asked.

“Because I don’t feel like being bothered by anyone and it is—was quiet out here,” Nick answered as Aaron looked down and then sighed.

“Nick…” Aaron said as Nick shook his head.

“I just want to be left alone, it’s really simple,” Nick said with a sigh. “So just go ahead and leave me alone here.”

“I’m not going to leave you out here alone Nick,” Aaron stated as he walked closer to Nick.

“There’s no reason for you to stay here, just go away. Can’t you understand that I want to be by myself?” Nick asked as Aaron sighed again and then ran a hand through his hair.

“Is it me Nick?” Aaron asked as he moved around in front of Nick and looked at him closely. “Is it me that you don’t want to be around?”

“It has nothing to do with you A, I just want to be left alone,” Nick said as he walked over to the other railing. “It seems the concept of being alone escapes people. Is that too much to ask for in this place?”

“NO, ah… Well I guess not,” Aaron replied as he turned around and then walked away from Nick. A sad expression on his face, Aaron stopped and looked back at Nick. “If you need or want me, I’ll be in your room. I love you Nick.”

To Be Continued…

The Awakening – Chapter 14

Chapter 14 — Chaos Strike, Part 2

Day 121 — Washington, D.C. — The Pentagon — A Restricted Area

“Into the elevator,” General Ranger directed as he and a few soldiers entered the elevator with a captured super enhanced human.

“I’m not going to let you take me!”  The young black man screamed as bones popped out of his wrists as General Ranger smiled and then shook his head as he pressed a button on his bracelet that caused the young man to scream out, sounding as if he were in agony.

“Is that a bone?”  One of the soldiers asked as General Ranger leaned in close, inspecting one of the bones.

“It seems to be,” General Ranger replied with a neutral expression on his face. “One of the scientist needs to look into this.  Did you men rough him up this evening?”

“No, no one did anything to the freak,” one of the soldiers replied as the elevator beeped, signaling that they were on the requested floor.

“Get him down to the lab right now and have them analyze him to see what his enhanced ability is.  I want to know why the bone popped out like that,” General Ranger stated as he walked down the corridor as the other men grabbed the young black man and took him down the opposite corridor.

“What is this place?  Where am I?”  The young black man asked.

“That’s none of your business freak,” one of the soldiers’ replied, pushing the young man forward as a door opened.  “Sir, he needs to be analyzed, General’s orders.”

“Put him over there,” one of the lab technicians directed as the two soldiers carried the young man over to an exam table and placed him on it, holding him down.

“Standby and start the projector,” a scientist in the room spoke as a strange light shown down on the young black man as the scientist watched a computer terminal, making adjustments as necessary as the two soldiers had to struggle to hold the young man down.  “He is a super enhanced human, but I can’t tell what his abilities are.”

“The General would like to know what caused his bones to pop out that way,” one of the soldiers in the room spoke as the scientist made more adjustments on the computer terminal as the young black man got an arm free from one of the soldiers and swung his arm as a bone popped out, attacking the scientist, knocking him down to the floor.

“Stop him!”  The other soldier yelled as the young black man turned around and then produced another bone from his arm as he used the bone as if it were a bat, swinging it from side to side in front of his body, trying to keep everyone away from him.  “Stop freak!  Stop or I’ll shoot you!”

“I’m not going to let you hurt me!”  The young black man yelled, continuing to swing the bone around.  “Let me out of here!”

“You’re not leaving here freak boy,” one of the soldiers spoke as he aimed his rifle at the young black man.

(<PAMPH>)

“Put that weapon down creep,” JT spoke, appearing in a burst of black flame as he moved in front of the young black man.  “Are you okay kid?”

“Do I look like I’m all right?”  The young black man asked as JT shook his head and then waved his hand outward as the soldier with the rifle was slammed into the wall as the scientist got up off the floor.

“One down, there’s probably many more outside to go,” JT stated as he turned around as the scientist typed on the computer terminal.  “What are you doing guy?”

“I’m trying to get help,” the scientist replied as he pressed a button on the terminal as an alarm sounded.

“That would be our cue to leave,” JT stated as he grabbed the young man’s hand as the two of them disappeared in a burst of black flame.

“The General isn’t going to be happy at all,” the soldier that was slammed into the wall spoke as he got up off the floor.  “Were you able to find out anything about that freak?”

“I wasn’t able to determine what caused his bones to protrude that way, if that was what you were asking,” the scientist spoke as the door to the room opened and General Ranger walked in.

“What happened here?”  General Ranger asked as a group of soldiers rushed into the room behind him.

“The black super freak popped up in here and took the freak kid with the bones,” one of the soldiers replied as General Ranger shook his head, pulled the gun from his holster and then shot the soldier.

“Failure won’t be tolerated any longer around here,” General Ranger stated as he turned and walked towards the door and then stopped.  “One of you needs to perform a SMR[1] on him and then get back to me.”

“Yes sir,” one of the scientists replied as General Ranger walked out of the room as the other soldiers just watched him leave.

Jacksonville, FL — Extensive Enterprises — The Training Room

“Dang, this place is amazing,” Walden stated as he hung upside down on a swing bar.  “I’m doing things I never thought I would be doing with my skills.  I knew I had skills, but I didn’t know I was this good.”

“The training room is designed to help you hone your skills and abilities to their fullest extent.  You’ll learn how to keep yourself protected from the bad guys out there in the world,” Tara stated as she flew through the air, using her lasso to rope in one of the droids that fought with her.  “Come on Brian, you have to keep your head on things.  There’s a bot heading your way, you need to stay focused!”

“I’m really not in the mood for this right now,” Brian replied with a frown on his face as he ran to a corner of the room and stood still as a robot that Tara had knocked through the air was headed for the spot he stood in.

“Brian, look out!”  Tara screamed as Brian looked up and then took off running.  “Man, you have to keep your head in the game here.”

“I don’t want to keep my head in the game…” Brian spoke as he stopped running and then turned around to see a strange phenomenon in the room.  “Guys, what is that?”

“Don’t know,” Tara replied as she landed on the floor.

“Are we under attack?”  Walden asked as he looked over at Tara.  “Is Helia responsible for that?”

“She’s in a coma man, I don’t think her powers would work while she’s out,” Brian stated as an alarm sounded in the room.  “What’s that alarm for?”

“Don’t know, but be prepared for anything,” Tara stated as the robots and other items in the room started to fade into nothing as JT appeared in the room with his passengers.

“Baby, it’s you!”  Brian squealed, running over to where JT appeared, hugging him around the neck.  “You’ve been gone for over a month and—and what’s with the new costume baby?”

“I’m not concerned with the new costume, I’m more worried about the black flame and the reason for you being gone for so long,” Tara stated as she raised an eye at the new people around them.  “Who are these people and where have you been, Limbo?”

“Yes, I’ve been in Limbo,” JT replied as Tara shook her head as his eyes glowed.  “Yes, I’ve been in Limbo since I left you guys.”

“And, who are these people?”  Tara asked as she looked around.  “Why are they here?”

“This is Zeelanda Martinez, Derek Booth and Beth Randall,” JT stated as he turned his attention to the alarm that sounded in the room as he walked over to a computer panel in the room and typed in a code as the sound stopped.

“What was that noise for?” Tara asked.

“That was the alarm to alert everyone that unidentified people were here in the building,” JT stated as he turned around.  “So, if any of you hear that noise again, that means you’ll know that someone that doesn’t belong here is in the building.”

“Okay,” Walden replied as he watched Tara and JT.

“So JT, I didn’t think you could stay in Limbo for too long.  Are you okay?  Is there something wrong?”  Tara asked as JT cleared his throat as his eyes flared with psychic energy.

“I’m fine Tara,” JT replied as his eyes glowed again as Tara was about to say more as he raised his hand, stopping her.  “Tara, it doesn’t really matter.  I’m here now, so let it go.”

“Okay then,” Tara stated as she looked down.  “So, what can these new guys do?”

“Derek here can create extra bones and use them as weapons,” JT stated as he raised his hand as the young black male known as Derek Booth floated off the floor and then vanished in a burst of black flame.  “This is Zeelanda, she can turn into a humanoid cat.”

“Sounds cool,” Brian stated as the young Latina vanished in a burst of black flame as Tara watched JT and then covered her mouth.

“JT, what’s going on with the black flame?”  Tara asked as JT ignored her question.

“And this is Beth Randall, she has the power to alter reality somewhat,” JT stated as Tara walked closer to the woman, looking at her closely.

“Elizabeth?”  Tara said as JT sighed and then frowned.

“She’s probably not the Elizabeth Randall you knew,” JT stated as his eyes glowed.  “She’s not the young girl I knew as a child that always caused problems for me and you—well the you I grew up with in my dimension.  But it seems she has similar powers.”

“So is she psychic too?”  Tara asked as JT shook his head.

“I don’t think she is.  For the time being, I believe she just has the power to alter reality and probability,” JT stated as Tara raised an eye and then turned to look at JT again.

“So basically, she throws hexes?  Is that it?  Does her powers work like your hex powers?”  Tara asked as she crossed her arms across her chest.

“No, it seems her probability altering goes a bit further than mine.  Her powers borders on those of wish granting, more than just her altering the outcome of a particular thing happening,” JT stated as his eyes glowed.

“So, looking back at the past, are you going to try to kill her again or whatever it was you did when you started acting and sounding like Chaos, based on the last time you saw her?”  Tara asked as Brian and JT looked at her strangely.

“No,” JT stated as he looked down and then turned around as his body shimmered with black flame as Brian grabbed his arm, stopping him from disappearing.

“No baby, don’t leave me again,” Brian stated as JT sighed and then removed Brian’s hand from his arm as he faded from the room.  “Damn it!”

“Oh no, Brian wait!”  Tara called out as Brian ran out of the room, shattering the door as he went.  “It seems he still doesn’t care about smashing doors.”

“Did I miss something here?”  Walden asked.  “I thought they were together.”

“It looks like things are a bit shaky right now,” Tara stated with a frown.

“I don’t mean to be too nosey or anything, but what’s going on with the black flame and all?”  Walden asked as he looked at Tara.  “Is that how his powers work?”

“Normally, no they don’t work that way,” Tara stated as she looked down and then scratched at her head.  “I think there’s something wrong and I would like to know what that is.”

“Me too,” Jennifer spoke as she stood in the entryway of the room, looking at the smashed framing of the door.  “What happened here?”

“Brian smashed the door as he was leaving,” Tara replied with a frown.

“Why would he…” Jennifer asked as Tara interrupted her.

“He and JT are having a problem, it seems,” Tara replied as Jennifer raised an eye.  “Yes, he was here and then he left, only before dropping off some new recruits for us.”

“Yeah, I saw them,” Jennifer stated as she shook her head.  “Helia is awake from her coma and she’s a bit agitated.  I would like to know what’s with the black flame and…”

“I can’t answer any questions about the black flame as of yet,” Tara stated as her eyes glowed as she looked around, acting as if something was touching her as her body was enveloped by black flame and then she vanished from the room.

“What in the hell is going on?”  Jennifer asked as she looked around.  “Is that fool out of his mind?”

“Are you talking about Malevolent?”  Walden asked as he walked over to Jennifer as she sighed.

Between Here and There — The Limbo Dimension — Castle Limbo

(<PAMPH>)

“JT!  What in the hell is going on here?”  Tara asked as she appeared in the area, the black flame dissipating from her body.

“Hello Wonder Woman,” Tara heard as she turned around to see a mirror appear.

“JT?  What—what are you doing in a mirror?”  Tara asked as she looked at the mirror strangely.

“I’m not really in the mirror,” the image in the mirror spoke as the reflection changed.

“If you’re not in the mirror, then what’s going on around here?”  Tara asked.

“I can answer that question for you Amazon,” another voice was heard as another mirror appeared near her.

“This is getting really confusing,” Tara stated as she looked between the two mirrors.  “Which of you is Guardian?”

“I am the guardian of the castle,” the image in the second mirror spoke.

“Is there something wrong?”  Tara asked.  “I believe there’s something wrong with JT.”

“The Prince isn’t himself right now,” the image in the mirror spoke as Tara sighed.

“What’s happening?”  Tara asked.  “Would what’s happening to him have anything to do with the new people that he brought to the team?”

“The Prince’s heart is conflicted,” the image in the mirror spoke as Tara looked at the image strangely.  “Somehow, the Prince was able to see something that was not to be.”

“What did he see?”  Tara asked.  “What could he possibly seen that caused him to act so—so heartless.  He’s acting more like Chaos than…”

“The Prince saw his son,” the image in the mirror spoke as Tara stopped talking and closed her mouth.

“He has a son,” Tara spoke as she looked down and then back at the mirror.  “Wait a minute, he’s gay and…”

“In a different reality, the Prince and his husband had a son—a son named Xander,” the image in the mirror spoke.  “The child was considered a paradox in the world and with the vast power that he possessed, being the child of a demi-god, the child saw the errors of the universe and destroyed himself, putting the universe right again.”

“His son destroyed himself?”  Tara asked as some tears fell from her eyes.  “Why?”

“The world the son was conceived in, he was not supposed to have existed, which caused other events to take place because of his existence.  Once he destroyed himself, the reality repaired itself, solving the issues of his existence,” the image in the mirror explained as Tara shook her head.

“So, why is this son an issue now?”  Tara asked.

“The woman from your reality, the Beth Randall woman, has a strange power to warp reality,” the image in the mirror spoke as the surface of the mirror changed, showing an image of Beth Randall.  “When the Prince encountered her in your dimension, she somehow showed him his son, which he shouldn’t have remembered.”

“So she’s still a trickster for him?”  Tara asked as the image in the mirror changed, showing an image of a woman that looked like Beth Randall, but wasn’t her.  “Who is that Guardian?”

“That happens to be Elizabeth Randall from his original dimension, her name is Chance,” the image in the mirror spoke.  “Because of Ms. Randall’s actions in your dimension, the Prince reacted to memories and emotions that were once removed by the King.  Now that the King is no more, the Prince was not able to handle the emotions and memories thrust upon him and henceforth, he has embraced his darker side.”

“Is there a way to get rid of those memories and emotions?”  Tara asked as the image in the mirror changed, displaying what JT had done earlier, destroying the previous mirror.  “What just happened there?  Did he really destroy the mirror?  Did he destroy you in the mirror?”

“He attempted to use his magic to destroy me, but that is not possible,” the image in the mirror spoke.  “For I am the essence and spirit of the Castle, which is a pivotal part of Limbo.  I can not be easily destroyed.”

“Then why did he do what he did?”  Tara asked.

“In his grief stricken moment, I don’t think the Prince cared about what he was doing or trying to do,” the image in the mirror spoke as there was a burst of black flame as JT appeared.  “My liege.”

“What are you doing here Tara?”  JT asked as he looked at Tara strangely.  “I knew I felt a slight disturbance in the realm and it seems to be you.”

“What am I disturbing?” Tara asked as she looked at JT.

“You’re here in Limbo, my domain—a domain where you shouldn’t be right now,” JT replied as he waved his hand in Tara’s direction as his hand sparkled with black flame.

“My liege, may I suggest…” The image in the mirror spoke as JT turned and looked at the reflection, waving his hand at it as the surface shattered.

“Silence Guardian!”  JT snapped as his eyes flared with magical energy.  “You have spoken enough.”

“What has gotten into you JT?”  Tara asked as she moved around in front of JT.  “Why are you acting this way?”

“What way am I acting Amazon?”  JT asked as the ribbon-like energy flared around his body, keeping his clothing constantly changing.

“You’re acting evil!”  Tara snapped.  “That’s a way you said you never wanted to be, but it seems you are not a man of your word!”

“I’m not a man of my word!”  JT snapped as his eyes flared with energy as Tara covered her mouth and then stepped back.  “I’ve always been a man of my word!”

“JT!”  Tara screamed as the ribbon-like energy collapsed upon JT’s body as he was wearing the black costume with the white firebird on the chest as his body burned with black flame.

“You dare to question my character, in my domain!”  JT screamed as he waved his hand at Tara, zapping her with a bolt of black flame as she screamed and thrashed about as the Amazon costume faded away as her body glowed brightly as she looked like her normal self.

“What have you done to me?”  Tara asked as JT turned away from her as she faded away from view.

“My liege, did you reverse your spell on Amazon, turning her back into a regular human being?”  The image in the mirror spoke as JT’s eyes shimmered with black flame.  “My liege, you have made a grave mistake.”

“You want to question me too Guardian?”  JT asked as he turned around and then step towards the mirror.  “It seems you feel as if you can’t be destroyed… may I remind you, I am the…”

“You are the Prince of the realm, but that does not mean you can destroy me,” the image in the mirror spoke.  “My liege, I know you are hurting and don’t know how to handle your emotions right now, but you must…”

“Silence Guardian!”  JT snapped as he waved his hand at the image of the mirror as the surface of the mirror cracked once more, but the crack quickly repaired itself.  “I no longer want to hear from you!”

“I am the essence of the castle my liege, I can not be silenced so easily,” the image in the mirror spoke.

“Are you sure of that Guardian?”  JT asked as his hands crackled with energy.  “I’m sure I can get rid of you very easily.”

“My liege, maybe you need to rest and think about your actions with Amazon,” the image in the mirror spoke as JT vanished in a burst of black flame.

Day 134 — Jacksonville, FL — Extensive Enterprises — The Infirmary

(<PAMPH>)

“Guys, he’s here!  Look out!”  Brian screamed as he ran from the room as JT appeared in the room in a burst of black flame as an alarm sounded.

“What in the world is going on here?”  JT asked in a somewhat cold tone.

“Sorry friend, not going to let you get the drop on anybody here,” Walden spoke as he ran towards JT, trying to punch him as JT disappeared quickly and then reappeared, avoiding Walden’s punch.

“Apparently you are mad,” JT stated as he waved his hand as Walden’s body is slammed into the nearest wall as Helia appeared in one of her portals as Tara appeared, wearing a suit of armor, swinging a sword from side-to-side.  “So it seems Amazon is still in the game.”

“Yes, regardless of the fact of you getting rid of my powers,” Tara stated as she jumped from the portal’s opening, landing on the floor.  “I don’t know what your problem is JT, but I think you best rethink things. Restore me to Amazon!”

“Not going to happen,” JT stated as Brian ran past him quickly, grabbing him by the arm, trying to pull him from the area.  “Stop it little boy!”

“Little boy?  Why are you acting this way baby?  Don’t you love me?  Why are you doing this to your friends?”  Brian asked as he removed his goggles from his face.  “What’s wrong with you?”

“There’s nothing wrong with me!”  JT snapped as he waved his hand in Brian’s direction as an invisible force knocked Brian into the wall, knocking him out.  “There’s nothing wrong with me, it seems there’s something wrong with all of you!”

“Sorry buddy, but the only one that has a problem here is you,” Jennifer spoke as she flew towards JT as he lashed out with his hand as black streams of energy wrapped around Jennifer, holding her in place as she’s thrown across the room, sliding her across the floor as her image changed.  “Damn, that hurt!”

“It’s going to hurt all of you more!”  JT snapped as his eyes flared with black flame as a strange phenomenon appeared in the room with them as mirrors suddenly surrounded him.

“What in the hell is going on?”  Tara asked as she jumped back quickly.

“What madness is this?”  JT asked as the mirrors moved closer to him, creating a circle around him that was closing in on him.  “Stop!  Who’s responsible for this?”

“Tara, what’s going on?”  Brian asked as he got up off the floor to see what was happening in the room.

“Stop!  What are you doing?”  JT asked as the ribbon-like energy flared around his body, his costume disappearing, leaving him naked as the ribbon-like energy continued to flare as the mirrors glowed.

“My liege, this isn’t you,” a voice was heard in the room.  “Your actions have been swayed by emotions that are not meant to be.”

“Guardian, what are you doing?”  JT asked as a pentagram made of energy appeared on the floor below the mirrors as his body was bathed in a strange light as the ribbon-like energy collapsed upon his body, revealing his regular costume.

“What just happened here?”  Walden asked as he got up off the floor.  “Amazon, Amaryllis, do you guys know what’s going on here?”

“I think our problems with JT just solved themselves,” Tara stated as the mirrors disappeared from the room, leaving JT on the floor.  “JT?  JT, are you all right?”

“What happened?”  Brian asked as he ran over to where JT lay on the floor, touching his face as he got closer.  “He—he looks like he’s sleeping.”

“In nomine Patris, et regni principes restituam paro[2],” JT spoke as Tara’s body glowed brightly as she’s transformed into Amazon.

“Tara, what just happened?”  Jennifer asked as she walked over to where Tara stood.

“I think I’m me again,” Tara replied as JT opened his eyes and then sat up on the floor.

“You have been restored,” JT spoke as he looked up at Brian and then pulled him close as his eyes flared with psychic energy as Brian smiled as the two of them kissed.  ‘I’m sorry Brian, I didn’t mean to hurt you.’

‘I have a long list of how you’re going to make it all up to me,’ Brian mentally replied as he and JT continued kissing.

“Excuse me, but what just happened here?”  Walden asked as he stood behind Brian.  “Are we supposed to just forget how you’ve been acting for the last couple of months?”

“No,” JT stated as he broke away from Brian and then stood up.  “You’re not to forget at all.  If I wanted you to forget, I could easily do that.”

“Hey now, don’t go messing with a man’s mind,” Walden stated as he stepped back from JT and Brian.

“I am psychic no less,” JT stated with a frown.  “I know saying sorry isn’t going to make up for all that’s happened or the things I…”

“No JT, saying sorry isn’t going to make up for any of the things you did,” Tara stated as she folded her arms across her chest.  “I think you need to tell all of us the reason why you acted the…”

“No Tara, that’s not going to happen,” JT stated as he turned away as Brian grabbed his hand and stopped him from leaving.

“Baby, who is Xander?”  Brian asked as Tara looked at him and then grabbed him by the arm, yanking him away from JT.  “Stop Tara, things are all right here.  Come on baby, who is Xander?”

“I don’t think we need to be breaching this subject right now,” Tara stated as JT snapped his finger as all of them disappeared from the room and then reappeared in the conference room.  “Okay, it seems the power is still there.”

“So baby, you brought us all here, go ahead and tell us what happened,” Brian stated with a frown.  “Who’s Xander?”

“Xander… Xander was my son,” JT stated as he looked down as some tears fell from his eyes.  “In a different place and time, I—I was married to a man and we—we had a son—a son named Xander.”

“Was this in the other reality you came from?”  Brian asked as JT shook his head.

“The reality was much like my original reality, except it wasn’t supposed to have existed,” JT stated as more tears fell from his eyes.  “A friend of mine had a daughter… My friend’s daughter had the power to alter reality and somewhat grant wishes, somewhat like you do Ms. Randall.”

“Is that why you hate me?”  Beth asked as she looked over at JT.

“I don’t hate you,” JT replied as he looked over at Beth.  “I hated what your power was able to show me during our first encounter.  But back to the story, my friend’s daughter was involved in a little scenario, where she was tricked into using her powers to create the perfect world by an evil man named Halloween.  His plan was for her to use his thoughts to create this perfect world, but instead, she used my thoughts—my thoughts of having the perfect life with my husband, my friends and our child.”

“I envision a life like that one day,” Brian spoke as he looked over at JT.

“In that reality, I had the perfect life that I wanted.  I fought for what’s right with my husband and our friends and we had our child,” JT stated as he shook his head.  “That world was like this one.  We fought against the government that hated beings like us.  We didn’t have the best of things to make us happy, but we were happy, mainly because we had each other.  I didn’t care if we lived in a damn cave, hiding out from those soldiers that tried to kill us, because they hated what they didn’t understand.  The suffering we endured didn’t bother me because I had my husband, our son and our friends.”

“JT, is that why you came here to stop General Ranger?  Is General Ranger the evil that was in the reality that your son was destroyed in?”  Tara asked.

“General Ranger isn’t the evil, but if he’s left unchecked, he’ll progress into that evil,” JT stated with a frown.

“Then what happened to your son?”  Walden asked.

“That’s the hard part,” JT stated as he looked down again.  “Xander’s code name was Dreamer.  He had psychic powers like mine and he had magical powers like his other father.  When you add his psychic powers to his magical abilities, you make for a being that’s able to see into the cosmos and beyond.”

“What did he see?”  Beth asked as she and the others listened intently to JT’s tale.

“He saw that the reality we were in wasn’t supposed to be, that he didn’t really exist like he should, that his existence was because of the actions of an evil man,” JT stated as more tears fell from his eyes.  “Knowing the truth about what Halloween had done, he used his powers to undo what Halloween tricked Princess Esmeralda into doing, which meant his death and that reality never existing.  With that, here we are.”

“Damn,” Brian said as he got up from the conference table and walked over to a corner of the room.  “So your son, used his powers to destroy himself and restore the rest of you to the reality that you belonged in, right?”

“Yeah,” JT replied as he sniffled and then wiped at his eyes.

“Where is this Princess Esmeralda now?”  Brian asked.

“After things were restored to their proper place, she saw what her powers were capable of doing and she used her powers to get rid of her powers,” JT stated as he looked down.  “I’m guessing she’s living a normal childhood.”

“She’s a princess, is—is she related to you?”  Brian asked as JT shook his head. “All royal figures aren’t related.”

“So you’re a prince?  You’re really a prince?”  Zeelanda asked.

“In a magical sense, yes I am,” JT replied with a frown as he got up from the table.

“What does that mean?”  Zeelanda asked.

“In the magical world, I am the Prince of the magical realm of Limbo, but I am no prince nowhere else,” JT replied as he turned around.  “So here, in this world, I am not royalty.”

“What a bummer,” Zeelanda stated as JT laughed and then smiled.

“I’m tired of the sadness here.  Why don’t we all go grab some food, I’m a bit hungry,” JT suggested.

“Sounds good to me,” Tara stated with a small smile as they all got up from the table and then walked out of the room.

To Be Continued…


[1] SMR = Synaptic Memory Recall — a process in which a person’s memory can be read/recorded for posterity, to be used later.

[2] Translated from Latin = “In the name of the Father, I prince of the realm restore you.”

The Chastayne Life – Chapter 3

Chapter 3 — Duty, No More

Saturday Morning — Albany, NY — The Chastayne-Donovan Home — The Living Room

“JT?”  Dylan spoke as JT stopped walking and then turned around.

“No Dylan, why are you here?”  JT asked as he turned around and then crossed his arms across his chest.

“I—I came to talk to you about something and maybe—maybe get your advice,” Dylan replied as he looked down.

“Okay, so get to talking Dylan,” JT stated as he moved over to the sofa as Alex took Caleb by the hand, escorting him into the kitchen as more footsteps could be heard upstairs.  “Mason, stop that running up there!”

“Okay Daddy,” a little boy’s voice could be heard as Dylan frowned.

“Baby, if you need me, I’m in the kitchen,” Alex said as he stood at the kitchen door.

“Alright honey,” JT replied as he turned his attention back to Dylan.  “Okay Dylan, spill already.”

“How—how do you handle things?”  Dylan asked as JT looked at him strangely as he moved around the sofa and then sat down.

“How do I handle what things Dylan?”  JT asked as he watched Dylan’s face.

“How—how do you handle being the way you are?”  Dylan asked as he looked down at his hands.

“What way am I Dylan?  What are you trying to get at?”  JT asked.

“The—the way you are…  Being—being gay and all,” Dylan spoke as JT sat up straight on the sofa.

“Why do you want to know that Dylan?”  JT asked as he looked at Dylan closely.

“I—I’m trying to help out a friend,” Dylan replied as JT shook his head.

“Tell me Dylan, would that friend happen to be you that you’re trying to help?” JT asked as he glared at Dylan.  “Or would that friend happen to be Alan Quatermane?”

“Why—why did you ask that?  Why did you ask about him?”  Dylan asked, his voice shaky a bit as he stepped back a bit.

“Are you trying to help yourself or help him Dylan?”  JT asked as he looked up at Dylan.

“I—I’m trying to help myself,” Dylan answered as he looked down as a few tears fell from his eyes.

“I figured that,” JT stated as he stood up and then moved over to where Dylan stood.  “I asked because if you’re trying to help yourself, I can’t help you.  If you’re trying to help Alan Quatermane, the simple way to help him is to do what he says and stop playing to the likes of others.  It’s that simple Dylan.”

“Why—why are you treating me this way?  What—what did I ever do to you?”  Dylan asked, looking at JT with wide eyes.  “Why are you always so mean to me?”

“I’m not treating you any kind of way Dylan.  I’m being real with you, unlike other people,” JT stated as Dylan turned away from him.  “I’m not being mean, I’m just not sugar-coating things for you, like everyone else around you does.  You have to take into consideration, I am not those other people in your life that like to spoon-feed you crap.”

“You’re being mean, you always are,” Dylan said, shaking his head as the tears streamed down his face.  “You—you treat me like I’m a piece of shit on the bottom of your fucking shoes!”

“Dylan, keep your voice down.  While you’re in my house you’ll act like you have some sense in that head of yours,” JT chastised Dylan.  “I don’t want my sons hearing that kind of language.  When you’re here in this house, you’ll have a civil tongue in your head.”

“I—I think I better go,” Dylan responded as he looked down.

“Yes, I think that’s best,” JT said as he walked over to the door and then opened it.  “Dylan, I don’t appreciate the way you’ve acted here today and for future references, call first.”

“Thanks for nothing,” Dylan said as he walked out of the house as JT closed the door behind him.

Dylan’s POV

That was a big fucking mistake!  I should’ve never wasted the dame time to come here to talk to him.  How in the hell did he know about Alan?  Why did he ask about him?  No, how in the hell does he know what Alan wants?  Has Alan said something to him?  Is that how he know about Alan and me?

“How in the hell would he know about what Alan wants?” I asked, walking towards the car as I saw something move in the car’s glossy reflection.

“It’s not like you two are a big secret or something,” I heard Alex’s voice as he walked up behind me.

“Shit man, you scared me,” I said as he frowned.  “What are you doing out here?”

“The real question here is, why are you really here Dylan?  Out of all of the people you could’ve gone to, why did you choose J to come and talk to today?”  He asked.

“I chose him because—because…” I said as he interrupted me.

“Because he’s gay just like you are,” he said as I looked down.

“Yeah,” I replied as he shook his head.

“And J has known that for a very long time, the reason he talked to you the way he did,” he stated as all I could do was look at him.  “He’s pissed that you didn’t tell him sooner.”

“He’s pissed that I didn’t tell him sooner?”  I asked as he sighed.

“Dylan, he shouldn’t have had to find that out from other people,” he said, looking at me closely.  “That was something you should’ve told…”

“What!  Who—who told him?”  I asked.

“It seems like you’re always asking the wrong questions,” he said as he crossed his arms across his chest.  “Do you think that’s the question you should be asking Dylan?”

“I—I think I better just go,” I said as he sighed, shrugged his shoulders and then turned around as he started walking back towards the house.  “Thank you Alex.”

“Yeah, okay,” he said as he walked inside the house and closed the door.

So how did JT know my secret?  Who in the hell told him about Alan and I?  What in the hell is going on around here?  Am I being followed or what?  If JT knows about the two of us, then does the rest of the family know too?  Is that why I always get treated the way I get treated?  Damn it!

The Courtyard Albany — Justin Randall’s Hotel Room

Justin’s POV

Damn it!  I can hardly remember a thing that happened to me last night.  What in the hell did I do to cause me to not remember anything from last night?  The last thing I can actually remember was meeting that damn ho at the Taurus Club.  It seems like that’s where everything gets fuzzy for me.  Hell, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think someone drugged me.  I haven’t felt like this since that crazy ass rapper I met on tour a few months back, drugged me and then had his way with me for a whole weekend, non-stop.

“Damn Justin, what did you get into last night?”  I asked, walking into the bathroom as I opened the shower stall door and then reached in to turn the cold water on.  “I don’t remember drinking or eating anything, so how was I drugged, if I was?”

Damn, what happened to me?  What in the hell did I do?  Did I do something I’m going to be ashamed of?  Did I do something that I’m going to regret later on?  What could I have possibly done that I can’t remember now?  Maybe after I get a shower, my mind will work more and I can piece together what I actually did last night to end up here, feeling like this.

A Few Hours Later — The Chastayne Family Estate — The Backyard

“Alan, what are you doing here?”  Dylan asked as he looked around quickly and then rushed over to where Alan Quatermane stood at the back gate.

“Hi Dylan,” Alan replied as Dylan shook his head and then looked around the yard.

“No Alan, what are you doing here?”  Dylan asked.

“I—I came here to talk to you,” Alan replied with a frown on his face.

“You came here to talk about what Alan?”  Dylan asked.

“I—I came to tell you something,” Alan replied as he looked down at the ground.

“What do you have to say that is so damn important, that you came here of all places, to tell me?”  Dylan asked as he looked Alan in the face with a mean expression on his face as he looked around the yard again.

“Fine then, have it your damn way Dylan.  I am leaving this town,” Alan stated as he looked down as Dylan’s eyes widened.  “I—I’m leaving this town and I’m never coming back again.”

“What?  Why are you leaving Alan?”  Dylan asked.

“There’s nothing keeping me here,” Alan replied as he shook his head as the tears streamed down his face.  “I’m not going to keep wasting my damn time here Dylan.  I’m not going to wait for you to open your damn eyes.  I—I’m done with this!”

“Keep your voice down,” Dylan said as he looked around quickly.

“That’s one of the reasons why I’m leaving, that right there!”  Alan snapped as he threw his hands up and then turned around.  “If you love me like you claim, none of this shit should even fucking matter!  But I see now that you…  You know what, things will never change.  I’m outta here!”

“Alan!  Alan wait!”  Dylan snapped as he followed behind Alan as he walked through the yard.

“Leave me alone Dylan, go back to your fucked up family on the damn hill!  Go be with them!”  Alan screamed as he pushed Dylan backwards, causing him to fall down to the ground.

“Alan, this is hurting me, I love you!  I don’t want you to leave me!”  Dylan screamed as he sat on the ground as the tears streamed down his face.  “If it means telling the whole world that I love you, to keep you here with me, then that’s what I’ll do!”

“It’s more than just that Dylan and you know it,” Alan said as he turned to face Dylan.  “I—I’m tired of hiding my love for you!  I’m tired of having to see you in a damn alley or on a deserted damn highway!   I’m not some damn street urchin that you have to hide!”

“I know that baby and I—I’m sorry if I made you feel that way,” Dylan stated as Alan walked to where he sat on the ground and then sat down too.

“Sometimes you made me feel like a cheap whore that you picked up off the damn street and paid for,” Alan said as he looked down as he took Dylan’s hand in his own.  “I didn’t like that feeling and I never want to feel that way again.”

“I’m sorry baby, I didn’t mean…” Dylan trailed off as a shadow loomed over the two of them as he looked around quickly as his eyes widened.  “Shit!”

“What in the hell is going on out there?  Are my eyes deceiving me?”  James asked, standing in front of Dylan and Alan.  “What in the hell is this boy?  Are you a fruit too?”

“Dad wait, let me explain,” Dylan said as he released Alan’s hand and hurried to his feet.

“What is there to explain boy?”  James asked as he looked at Dylan and then looked down at Alan.  “Now I know what al the buzz was, it wasn’t JT they were talking about, it was you!”

“What—what are you talking about Dad?”  Dylan asked as he looked at James strangely, scratching at his head as James shook his head and then turned around.

“So it seems I have another fruity ass son,” James said as he threw his hands up and then started walking towards the house.  “It must be something in the damn water around here for the gays to keep popping up!”

“So what is it going to be Dylan?”  Alan asked as Dylan looked at him and then looked at the door that James had just walked through.  “Am I leaving here or am I staying?”

“I—I…” Dylan stuttered as Alan sighed and then shook his head.

“I’ll make the decision for you,” Alan said as he turned and started walking away.

“No!”  Dylan screamed as he ran to catch up to Alan, grabbed his arm and spun him around to face him as he leaned in and then kissed his mouth.  “I’m not letting you leave me!”

“Don’t you ever let me down again,” Alan said as he pointed his finger in Dylan’s face.  “If you love me, you’ll never place anyone else above me.”

“I do love you Alan,” Dylan stated as he turned and looked at the door to see that James was still standing there, watching the two of them.  “Dad, this is Alan Quatermane, he’s my lover.  I love him and nothing’s going to change that.”

“For now,” James said as he glared at both men and then turned and walked into the house.

The Courtyard Albany — Justin Randall’s Hotel Room

Justin’s POV

As I finished my shower, I stepped out of the shower stall, dried my body off and then walked back into the main room with the towel wrapped around my waist.  Contemplating on what I should do about my headache and what I needed to do for the day, I stopped in my tracks when I noticed a pair of red silk panties lying on the floor.  Okay, I know those aren’t mind.  Scratching at my head, I walked over to where the panties lay on the floor, knelt down and then picked them up, eyeing them closely.

“I wonder who these could belong to.  It’s been a very long while since I bought myself something like this and plus this isn’t my size,” I said as I inspected the soft silky material in my hand.

Damn, did I bring someone back here with me last night?  Or is this a souvenir from my little escapade at the brothel?  Normally, I don’t bring things back with me, but maybe I did this time.  Since I can’t remember anything that happened last night, maybe these will help me put the pieces together of what I did.

“Good morning,” I heard behind me as I turned around quickly to see the ‘ho’ from the brothel I was fooling around with last night.

“Morning,” I replied, looking at her as if she were crazy because I was wondering what she was doing here.  “Ah… Why are you here?”

“You invited me here,” she replied as she looked at me strangely.

“I invited you here?  I invited you here to this room?”  I asked as she nodded her head and then walked closer to where I stood.

“Oh thanks, I’ve been looking all over for those,” she said, motioning with her head at the panties in my head.

“Here you go,” I said, handing her the panties as she smiled wickedly at me as she used her finger to trace the top of the towel’s edge, almost tickling the skin of my waistline.

“I heard the shower running.  I’m in need of some freshening up.  Do you want to finish things off with a shower?”  She asked, licking her lips.

“Ah… I… Well… No thank you.  I think last night was enough for me,” I replied as she shrugged her shoulders, turned around and then walked over to the sofa as she took a seat and then pulled the panties up her legs as she smiled once more.  “Besides, I have a full agenda that I need to get started on.”

“It was fun, but I have to get my day started also,” she stated as she slid her shoes on and then got up from the sofa as she started pulling at her dress, turning it around the right way as she looked at me and then smiled.  “If you ever want my services again, you know how to find me.”

“Ah… Yeah, okay miss, thanks,” I said as she walked over, kissed my cheek, patted me on the ass and then walked to the door and opened it.

“Until next time handsome,” she said as she walked out and then closed the door behind her.

Damn it!  Damn it!  What in the hell did I—we do last night?  The way she’s acting and the way things look, we must’ve fucked!  I don’t know what in the hell we did last night, but whatever it was, it was fun for her.  What in the hell happened to me last night?  Was she responsible for the way my head feels right now?  Did she do something to me?  Did she take from me?

Sighing, I walked into the other room in search of my wallet.  I found it and all of my other things in their proper place, like they should be.  So far, nothing’s missing.  So, if she didn’t rob me, what actually happened to me?  Did we just have sex and that was it?

“Hell, I guess she’s one of those honest hoes,” I said as I walked over to my bags to get dressed for the day.  “I wonder what JT and Alex is going to say about this one.”

The Home of Dr. Gregory Sheldon — The Master Bedroom

“So what in the hell did you tell him Greg?”  Julie, Dr. Sheldon’s wife asked as she stood in front of him with her arms crossed across her chest.  “What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know what to do,” Dr. Sheldon stated as he shook his head.  “I was supposed to have given him an answer already, but I haven’t yet.”

“Greg!”  Julie snapped as Dr. Sheldon shook his head.

“He told me that if I didn’t work for him, I would be unemployed,” Dr. Sheldon stated with a sigh as he shook his head.

“What?  I don’t think—then again, maybe he would do something like that,” Julie spoke as she shook her head.

“He—he’s trying to blackmail me about some other things,” Dr. Sheldon stated as he shook his head.

“He’s trying to blackmail you, how so?”  Julie asked as she watched her husband, tapping her foot as she waited for his answer.

“He—he knows about my medical issues,” Dr. Sheldon replied as Julie shook her head.

“Everyone knows about your medical issues Greg,” Julie stated, continuing to tap her foot on the floor as Dr. Sheldon flinched and then sighed.  “What does this man have on you Greg?”

“He—he thinks that he can use my past with drugs against me,” Dr. Sheldon replied with a frown as Julie looked at him and t hen shook her head.

“I don’t believe that’s all,” Julie stated, pointing her finger in Dr. Sheldon’s face.

“That’s all that it is baby,” Dr. Sheldon stated as he looked down at the floor as there was a knock on the door.  “Who could that be at a time like this?”

“Why don’t you go see who it is,” Julie stated as she turned around and then walked out of the room.

“Damn.  This isn’t going to get any better,” Dr. Sheldon stated as he walked through the house, getting to the front door and then opening it.  “Ari?  What are you doing here?”

“We need to talk and we need to talk right now,” Dr. Ari Campbell, Dr. Sheldon’s friend and colleague stated with a nervous look on his face as Dr. Sheldon looked around outside and then stepped outside.

“What is it that we need to talk about Ari?”  Dr. Sheldon asked as he grabbed the man by the arm and then pulled him over to a shaded area of the yard.  “Are you out of your fucking mind?”

“Right now, yes I’m out of my fucking mind,” Dr. Campbell replied with a sigh.  “I—I got a visitor today and I’m not happy with what was told to me.”

“Who visited you?  What did they say?”  Dr. Sheldon asked as he turned and looked at the door.

“James Chastayne visited me along with a few of his damn thugs.  Basically, he made me an offer I shouldn’t refuse,” Dr. Campbell stated with a frown on his face.

“I think I was offered the same thing,” Dr. Sheldon stated with a frown.  “Were you told to work for him or else?”

“Yes, that’s what I was told.  He said I work for him or he’ll expose what we did,” Dr. Campbell stated with a frown.  “That fucker has pictures of us together… He has pictures of us in compromising positions!”

“Shhhh!  Keep your fucking voice down!  I don’t want my wife to hear what we’re talking about,” Dr. Sheldon stated as he shook his head.  “How in the hell did he get pictures of us?  Who could’ve taken then?  When were they taken?”

“I don’t know who took them, when or where,” Dr. Campbell stated as he shook his head.  “The pictures just show us in a bed, fucking.  You can tell it’s us.”

“What are we going to do?”  Dr. Sheldon asked.

“It looks like we have no choice but to work for him, being that he has us by the balls,” Dr. Campbell stated as Dr. Sheldon shook his head.

“I’m not going to let that fucker use us,” Dr. Sheldon stated as he turned his back to the man.  “We haven’t done anything since I got married and I’m not going to…”

“It’s not just you here,” Dr. Campbell stated as he pushed Dr. Sheldon’s shoulder.  “I’m in this mess too, when I shouldn’t be.  They didn’t want me, they wanted you and you turned them down, so they went after me.  Thanks to you, I’m on the damn chopping block too!”

“Keep your voice down damn it,” Dr. Sheldon stated, pointing his finger in the man’s face.

“No, I’m not going to keep my voice down.  I don’t want to work for those…” Dr. Campbell stated as Dr. Sheldon pushed him against the wall.

“I’m not trying to get in bed with those damn thugs,” Dr. Sheldon stated as Dr. Campbell looked down.  “You know once you get mixed up with them, they’ll never let you go.  You’ll have to keep working and work, never getting the chance to get away from them.”

“From what the bastard told me, either I work for him or everyone would know about the affair I had with you.  I—I’ll never be able to work as a doctor around here again!”  Dr. Campbell yelled as Dr. Sheldon sighed as the door to the house opened as Julie stood there with a mean look on her face.

“Oh God,” Dr. Campbell said as he looked up to see Julie standing at the door.  “Oh no… How—how much did you hear?”

“I heard enough,” Julie replied as she looked at Dr. Sheldon, motioning with her head for him to come inside the house.  “I think you need to leave Dr. Campbell.”

“Yeah, I think I better go.  We—we’ll continue this some other time,” Dr. Campbell stated as he walked out of the yard as Dr. Sheldon walked back into the house.

Early Evening — The Chastayne-Donovan Home — The Living Room

“I’m so glad this day is almost over,” JT stated as he walked into the house.  “So, are the boys upstairs and in bed?”

“Yeah baby, both of them are in bed,” Alex replied as he looked over at JT.  “Is everything okay with the Chastayne family?”

“Yes, the family drama is still in full swing, as always,” JT responded as he sat down on the sofa next to Alex and then leaned in, kissing his lips.  “What’s this?”

“It’s the script for the new season’s opener,” Alex replied with a smile as he flipped some pages and then showed them to JT.  “The new show director sent this and some other things over earlier today, while you were gone, handling things with the mob.  The guy is really trying way too hard…”

“Speaking of trying to hard, have you spoken with Scott?”  JT asked as he glared at Alex.

“No, I haven’t spoken with him.  I need to call him to talk over some things,” Alex stated as JT shook his head.

“How are things going with you two?”  JT asked as he yawned and then stretched his arms over his head.

“With all the things I’ve seen and heard, he’s headed for a divorce,” Alex replied with a frown.  “Things between him and her are getting worse.  All they do is fight about the time that he’s away filming and that he’s never there for her and the kids.”

“That’s not good, but considering the way she acts at time, I wouldn’t want to be home with her either,” JT stated as Alex shook his head.  “Hmmm, that gives me an idea.  I can get a job working for…”

“Baby, I thought you decided that you were going to stay home for a bit and let me bring home the bread,” Alex stated as the doorbell rang.  “Oh, who in the hell could that be?”

“I’ll go see who it is,” JT stated as he got up off the sofa, walked out of the room and then turned the corner to look out the curtains as he sighed and shook his head.  “What in the hell does he want?”

“Who is it baby?”  Alex called out. “Is there something wrong?”

“I don’t know yet, Dad’s outside,” JT replied with another sigh as he rolled his eyes and then opened the door.  “Is there something that you want Dad?  Didn’t I just see you a few minutes ago?”

“I wasn’t done talking to you,” James stated as he got in JT’s face.

“I was done talking to you,” JT replied, making a move to close the door as James pushed the door back open, almost knocking JT backwards.  “The hell!”

“Baby, be cool,” Alex said as James smiled at him.

“You better listen to the white boy,” James stated as he moved back in front of JT.  “I’m not going to just let you walk away!  You’re part of this damn family and you need to start acting like it!”

“Ah, no thank you,” JT replied as he shook his head.  “I’m not going to work for you any longer Dad.  That ship has officially sailed.  Go ahead and let that thought sink in.”

“Is that how you really want it boy?”  James asked as he looked at JT.  “Don’t make me do something to fuck up your happy life here with the white boy.”

“Are you threatening me Dad?”  JT asked as he looked at James closely.  “If you are, that’s perfectly fine with me.”

“Baby, please…” Alex said as JT held up his hand, stopping him from saying more.

“You may be my father, but I don’t have to do what you say.  I’m a grown damn man and I’m not going to let you talk to me any way you want to, in my own damn house.  Get out of her and don’t you come back anymore.  As of this moment, you’re not welcomed here ever again,” JT stated as he turned his back to James as James shook his head, pointed at the back of JT’s head and then walked outside as JT closed the door.

“B—baby, what have you done?”  Alex asked as he moved over to JT quickly, hugging him close to his chest.

“Something that needed to be done years ago,” JT stated as he shook his head.  “One day he’ll realize that he can’t control the lives of those around him.  I’m not one of his thugs that do his bidding in the streets.  I’m not going to allow him to control me like a damn robot.”

“I hope you know what you’re doing baby.  I—I don’t want to lose you,” Alex stated as the tears streamed down his face.  “He’s crazy… You know he always does what he can to get what he wants.  I don’t want him taking you away from me.”

“He’s not going to take me away from you.  I’m not going to leave you because of him,” JT stated as he waved his hand dismissively.

“No baby, you’re not getting it!”  Alex snapped as JT stopped moving and turned to look at him.

“Your father is crazy.  I don’t want him to kill you, like he killed your older brother,” Alex stated as JT’s eyes widened as he stepped back.  “I—I’m sorry baby.”

“Why did you bring that up?”  JT asked as he looked down.

“Because it needed to be brought up JT,” Alex stated as he lifted JT’s chin, looking him in the eyes.  “You’re just like Kevin… Come on Baby, you know about your father’s dealings, just like he did.  When the heat got too strong around your brother, James made sure he handled his business and Kevin didn’t talk.”

“Alex, that—that’s not the case.  I—I don’t think…” JT trailed off as Alex shook his head.

“If this isn’t the case, where is Kevin now?”  Alex asked as JT looked down again as the tears fell from his eyes.

To Be Continued…