If I Ain’t Got You – Chapter 14

Chapter 14 — Down Memory Lane

Dec 31, 2002 – Orlando, FL – The Poole-Walden Estates – Kasai’s Bedroom

Kasai’s POV

“I’m not staying up here all the time.  I’m sneaking the hell out of here and I’m going to go have some fun,” I said, pulling my cell phone out and speed-dialing number two.  “It’s the last day of the year and I’m going to have some fun.”

“Hello,” my boy answered his phone.

“Hey, what’re you doing?”  I asked, looking down at my watch.

“I’m in algebra K, you know what I’m doing,” he replied as I hit my head.

“Oh yeah, I totally forgot, you’re still in school before the next break,” I said, rubbing my head.

“Yeah, I heard you got kicked out because of Brad and Dale.  I hope you kicked their asses real good,” he said as I smiled.

“I don’t know about that, but I did what I could,” I replied, scratching my balls.  “Look, I’m headed down to the mall.  You want to meet me there after school in the game room?”

“Yeah, I’ll meet you there,” he replied.

“Cool, I’ll see you then, kisses,” I said, closing the phone as I opened the window, stepping out onto the roof to make my escape from Daddy Mark’s punishment.

Half Hour Later – Downstairs

“So, you never told me about what happened to you three with that Valgina woman,” Mark said, looking over at JT.

“Hold on, let me go check on Nick and Justin,” JT said as he got up from his seat on the sofa and then walked out of the room.

“Just go ahead and tell me,” Mark stated with a frown.  “It seems I’m always the last one to know what goes on with you guys.”

FLASHBACK

“Look Angie, I can’t marry you.  I don’t think you’re the type of person that I want to be with for the rest of my life,” Derrick, the man Angela had been dating for a while spoke.

“What do you mean by that?  What is my so-called type of person, that you can’t fucking marry?”  Angela asked, looking at the man closely.  “What fucking type am I?”

“You’re the sluttish type,” the man stated.  “I can’t see myself being with someone that has slept with as many people as you have.”

“What!”  Angela screamed, smacking the man across the face.  “Excuse me, can you run that shit by me again?”

“You’re a slut,” the man flatly spoke as he shook his head.

“I’m a what!  What gave you the notion that I was a slut?”  Angela asked, folding her arms across her chest as she tapped her foot on the floor.

“Everyone around here knows that you’re a slut.  It’s all over this place.  If you would sleep with that guy you’re always hanging around with, you’ll sleep with anyone else,” the guy stated.

“What in the hell are you talking about?  I’m not a slut and I’ve never slept with John,” Angela stated as she got up in the man’s face.

“So you two were never together?  You never dated him?”  The man asked.

“I went out on a date with him once, but we never slept together,” Angela stated as she sighed.

“I don’t believe that shit at all.  You can’t be with a man and not sleep with him,” the man said as he shook his head and then pointed his finger in her face.  “You fucked him, like you fucked around with everyone else.”

“What the fuck is this?  Where in the hell did all of this damn drama come from?”  Angela asked.

“It came from you,” the man replied, shaking his head again.  “Just ask anyone around here, you’re nothing but a dirty slut.  All the guys are talking about your ass like it was the news.  You’re nothing but a dirty bitch.”

“You bastard!”  Angela screamed, slapping the man across the face again as he grabbed her hand, stopping her from doing it again.

“I might be a bastard, but don’t you ever put your hands on me again,” the man said as he pushed Angela backwards and then walked out of the room.

“Stop!  Come back here!”  Angela screamed out, rushing out of the room behind the man.

“What in the hell do you want Angie?”  The man asked, turning to face Angela once more.

“Why Derrick?  Why are you listening to the words of others and not listening to me or your heart?”  Angela asked.

“Why should I be listening to a slut like you?  I should’ve listened to Valgina Williams when she told me about you in the first place,” the man stated as he shook his head again and then started walking off.

“What!  Valgina Williams told you that I was a slut?”  Angela asked.

“No, she simply told me the type of person that you are,” the man stated as he shook his head.  “Now get the fuck out of my way and stay the fuck away from me.  You’ve ruined my reputation enough already.”

END FLASHBACK

“Well damn, now I see why you guys don’t like the bitch,” Mark said, looking over at Angela as JT walked back into the room.  “What’s wrong baby, you look mad about something.”

“I am mad, Kai’s not up in his room.  Is he down here somewhere?”  JT asked, standing in the doorway just as his legs gave out on him.  “Owwww!”

“JT!”  Mark exclaimed, rushing over to JT and scooping him up in his arms.

“Stop it Mark, I’m okay,” JT said as he shooed Mark away.

“No, you stop acting like a baby.  I’m going to help you up regardless, if you like it or not baby,” Mark said as he picked JT up off the floor and then carried him over to a nearby chair.

“Don’t worry about me, where’s Kasai?”  JT asked as Steve and Angela got up and searched through the house.

“I bet that little brat slipped out,” Mark said as he turned and left the room, heading towards the garage.

“That boy is trying my patience with him,” JT said as he shook his head.  “When I get my hands on that boy… oh he just wait until I get my hands on him.”

“Not before me baby,” Mark said as JT grabbed his crutches as he got up from the chair.  “I’m going to beat his lil ass when I find him.”

“No you’re not Mark, I’ll do it,” Angela said as she walked into the room as she shook her head.  “That boy knows better.  I wonder what was going through that head of his.”

“I don’t know, but this goes way beyond grounding.  He’s in for some major punishing,” JT said as the phone rang.

Mark’s POV

“That better not be the police,” I said, walking over to the phone and answering it.  “Hello.”

“Hi Mark, this is Anna down in the ER, is JT there?”  The woman asked.

“Yeah, what’s wrong?”  I asked as JT joined me by the phone.

“I think you two should get down here to the hospital quickly.  It’s Kasai and there’s a problem,” the woman stated.  “You two need to move it, pronto man.”

“We’re on our way,” I said, hanging up the phone.  “Come on baby, we need to get to the hospital, it’s Kai.”

“What?  What’s wrong with him?  What happened?”  JT asked in a frantic tone.

“I don’t know.  Nurse Anna, down in the ER said he was there,” I told him.

“Oh God, he’s gotten into another fight and someone’s hurt him bad,” JT stated as some tears fell from his eyes.  “We have to get Nick and Justin…”

“You two go on, we’ll handle Justin and Nick,” Steve said as he pushed me and JT towards the door.

“Oh God, my little baby, what’s happened to my baby?”  JT asked, getting into the van.  “Hurry up!”

Sometime Previously – Downtown – An Alley behind the Mall

“This isn’t funny Jared, just leave me the hell alone,” Kasai spoke, moving away from the other boy.

“Come on, you know you want this dick boy.  I’ve seen you watching me for a long time now.  I knew you were one of them fags,” the boy identified as Jared laughed as he rubbed his hand on his crotch.

“Look Jared, I don’t want any trouble, just leave me alone,” Kasai said as he backed away from the other boy, keeping his eyes on him.

“It’s too late for that.  You should’ve kept your eyes to yourself,” Jared stated as he moved quickly, punching Kasai in the face, kicking him on the leg and then punching him in the stomach as he fell backwards to the ground, moving into the fetal position.  “You’re going to suck this cock and enjoy it you fucking faggot!  That’s what boys like you enjoy doing, so do it fag boy!”

“Leave… me… alone man, just let me go,” Kasai said through his tears as one of his eyes started to blacken and swell as he held his stomach.

“I’ll leave you alone, only after you’ve done what I want.  I want you to oink like a fucking pig, you fucking fag boy,” Jared said as another boy walked into the alley.  “Yo Jake, guess what I got?  It’s the fag Kasai.  I told you he was a fucking fag.  You lost the fucking bet, it’s time to pay up!”

“What’s going on man?”  The other boy asked as he walked towards the other two boys.  “Oh man…”

“I’m going to make this lil bitch suck my dick,” Jared stated as he kicked Kasai again and then leaned down, grabbing Kasai by his ear, pulling him up off the ground into a standing position as he pushed him against the wall, hard.  “Suck my dick you fucking faggot!  If you do anything that I don’t like, you’ll fucking regret it!”

“Shit dude, you’re really going to let him suck you off?”  Jake asked, grinning like a Cheshire cat.

“Damn straight I am.  He’s a fag and that’s what fags do,” Jared replied as he unzipped his pants and then pulled his dick out of his boxers.  “Now get down there and suck me off bitch.  You better get me off and make me feel good or I’m going to kick your faggoty ass all over this place.”

“Please—please don’t make me do that.  Just let me go please.  You’ve beat me up already, just let me go.  I promise I won’t tell anyone, just let me go please,” Kasai begged as Jared grabbed him by the throat and then pushed him down to his knees, forcing his mouth open as he slid his dick into his mouth.

“Suck bitch!”  Jared snapped, still holding Kasai by the throat.

“Oh shit, that looks so hot,” Jake said as he rubbed his crutch, watching Jared and Kasai.

“Hell, pull your cock out man and we can use this bitch up,” Jared said, waving the other boy over.

“I—I don’t know man.  It looks like you’ve roughed him up enough already,” Jake said as he shook his head.

“He’s a damn fag man.  He deserves this kind of thing,” Jared stated as he grabbed Jake by his pant leg and pulled him closer.  “Just unzip and when I’m done, you can have your turn in him.”

“I—I don’t think…” Jake said as he looked around quickly.

“Tell you what, you can have your turn in his mouth right now, I’m going to try something else,” Jared said as he let his pants slid down his legs, bunching up around his ankles.  “You can have his mouth; I’m going to try his ass out.  You know fags like taking dicks up their asses.”

“I—I guess that’ll work,” Jake replied as he moved closer to Kasai as he unzipped his pants and then slapped Kasai playfully in the face with his dick.  “Open up kid.  You better not bite me or I’ll beat your fucking ass.  You think he roughed you up, I’ll fuck you up fag boy.”

“Just take it; he can’t take both of us on.  We have the upper hand here.  Just go ahead and put your dick in his mouth and enjoy it.  While you’re doing that, I’m about to see just what they get out of doing this shit,” Jared stated as he pushed his finger into Kasai’s ass, making him cry out.

“Damn, looks like he’s in pain man,” Jake said as he looked over Kasai’s body at Jared.

“When we’re done with him, he’ll know what it’s like to have a real man and not one of those wimpy fag boys he’s used to screwing him.  I bet my dick is going to rip you a new one fag boy,” Jared said as he pushed his dick into Kasai, all in one push as Kasai screamed out again, the pain overtaking him as he went limp as the tears streamed down his face.

Jared roughly fucked Kasai, going hard and fast into him from behind as Jake continued pushing his dick in and out of his mouth, causing more pain to him.  As Kasai cried out, he wondered to himself why he had to be the one that this sort of thing happened to.  Only if he had done what Mark told him to and had stayed home in his room, he wouldn’t be going through any of this pain right now.

Sometime Later – Florida Hospital – The Emergency Room

“Anna, Anna!  Where is Kasai?”  JT asked as he and Mark rushed up to the nurses’ station counter.

“He—he’s back here, come on,” Anna replied, rushing down the hall as JT and Mark followed behind her.  “He’s through there.”

“Why are we here Anna, this is the rape unit,” JT said as he looked at the woman strangely as realization of what had happened, hit him like a ton of bricks.  “Oh God, my baby!”

“Calm down baby,” Mark said, holding JT in his arms as they walked into the room to see Kasai, lying in a bed, bandaged up as they both noticed the scraps, cuts and bruises on his body along with the machines connected to him and the tube stuck in the side of his neck.

The Poole-Walden Estates

“Steve, what’s going on?”  Justin asked as he rolled into the room where Steve and Angela sat.

“Nothing’s wrong Justin, why do you ask?”  Steve asked, looking at Justin strangely.

“Didn’t I hear someone tear out of here in a big hurry?”  Justin asked as Nick came into the room behind him.

“JT and Mark left to go back to the hospital,” Angela replied.

“Is there something wrong?  Is everything okay?”  Justin asked with a worried look on his face.

“We’re waiting for one of them to call us and tell us something,” Angela answered as she looked over at Justin.

“So, when do we have to go back to the hospital?”  Justin asked, looking between Steve and Angela.

“Not for a while, unless you two are ready to head back,” Steve answered as Nick moved around in front of Justin.

“No, we’re not ready yet,” Nick spoke with a small smile on his face.  “We’re going back into the other room now.”

“Okay you two, enjoy yourselves,” Angela said as Nick and Justin left the room.  “Those two remind me of you and JT a long time ago.”

“How so Angie?”  Steve asked, looking at Angela strangely.

“Remember when you and he first met, you tripped over him and his wheelchair,” Angela said, laughing as she shook her head.

FLASHBACK

“Thank you Ms. Tandy, I’ll have this book back by the end of the day,” JT said as he placed the book in his backpack and then zipped it up.

“No worries John, you can keep it the rest of the week if you like,” the woman told him.

“Okay, thank you very much,” JT replied with a big smile at the woman.

“You’re very welcome John.  Do you need me to get the door for you darlin’?”  The woman asked.

“No ma’am, I got it,” JT replied, wheeling over to the door and pushing it open as he wheeled out of the library, just as someone tumbled down on top of him.

“Oh my God, I’m so sorry dude,” the young ma said as he got up off the floor.  “I didn’t see you coming.  Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, don’t worry about it.  The question is, are you okay?”  JT asked, looking at the young man closely.

“I’m okay,” the young man replied, watching JT and then fell down again.

“Are you sure you’re okay?”  JT asked, reaching his hand out to help the guy out.

“Yeah, I’m sure you’re okay,” the guy spoke as JT looked at him strangely.

“What’s your name?”  JT asked, still holding his hand out to the guy. “I’m John.”

“Steve, I’m Steve,” the guy replied, fumbling a bit, almost falling down again.

“It’s nice to meet you Steve,” JT stated with a smile.  “Are you sure you’re able to get where you’re going without a problem?”

“Yeah, I’m okay, just a little bit dizzy is all,” Steve replied as he smiled weakly.

“Dizzy, why?”  JT asked, watching the young man.

“You look so cute, oops,” Steve replied as he ran away from JT, heading down the hall quickly.

“Wow, he’s cute and he thinks I’m cute.  This year won’t be so bad after all,” JT said as he starred at the back of the young man as he continued moving down the hall.

END FLASHBACK

“How did you know about that Angie?”  Steve asked, rubbing at his head.

“I hadn’t met you two yet, but I actually saw you guys’ interaction.  I was sitting in the library after he had left,” Angela stated with a soft smile.  “That one event was the chain reaction to all of our lives it seems.”

“So, you knew we were gay and you never said anything, why?”  Steve asked.

“It wasn’t my business,” Angela replied.

Sometime Later – In the Den

“You’ve been so nice to me Justin and Mom’s treated you like trash,” Nick said as he sat in Justin’s lap.  “Are we going to make it?”

“Yes, we’re going to make it Nicky,” Justin replied with a smile.  “We may have some problems right now, but things will come together, I promise you that.”

“Don’t make promises you can’t keep Justin,” Nick said as he looked away from Justin’s face.

“That’s a promise I’m going to do my best to keep, count on it,” Justin said, using his hand to turn Nick’s face to see him as they kissed.

“I love you Justin,” Nick said as the tears streamed down his face.

“I love you too Nicky,” Justin replied as the tears streamed down his face.  “I don’t care what your mother thinks; I’m going to hold on to you as long as I can.  I’m not letting you go.  I just found you.”

“I’m not going to let you let me go.  We just found each other and nothing’s going to break what we have,” Nick said as Steve and Angela walked into the room.

“Sorry guys, but it’s time for us to be getting back to the hospital,” Angela announced, walking over to where Justin and Nick were.  “I know you guys want more time, but believe me, JT and Steve will get you two together again.”

“It’s okay Angela, we’re cool,” Justin said as he and Nick pecked each other on the lips quickly.

“Are we ready to go?”  Steve asked, walking around to them.

“I guess we are,” Nick replied, looking down with a sad look on his face as he got up out of Justin’s lap.

“Perk up partner, this isn’t the last show at the rodeo,” Angela said with a smile, rubbing Nick’s shoulder as he walked past her.  “Stay positive.”

“I’ll try,” Nick said as the four of them headed towards the garage door.

“It’s getting really late in the afternoon,” Steve stated as he looked at his watch.

“Let’s get back,” Angela stated with a frown.  “I wonder what’s happening at the hospital with Mark and JT.  It’s odd that they haven’t called us yet.”

“I don’t know, but I hope everything is okay,” Steve said as he helped Justin outside and into the van.  “Alright Nick, get on in.”

“Let’s get on back to the hospital before something else goes wrong.  We don’t need JT having problems with Larry,” Angela stated as she closed the door.  “Larry’s already on JT’s case because of that damn Danielle and Valgina.”

“The more you say her name, the more it becomes a bad nightmare,” Steve said as he started the van.

Florida Hospital – The Emergency Room’s Rape Trauma Unit

“Is he going to be alright Andy?”  Mark asked, hugging onto JT, trying his best to calm him down.

“I really can’t give you that answer,” Dr. Tripp stated with a frown.  “Whoever did this to him, was meaning to kill him.”

“Oh God!  Why—why couldn’t he have just stayed home like I told him to?”  Mark asked, crying out.  “This… This is all my fault.  If I hadn’t grounded him and made him mad, he wouldn’t have snuck out of the house the way he did.”

“It’s not your fault.  Don’t do this,” JT said, caressing Mark’s face.  “This is one of those things that happen when you least expect them to.”

“Well it did happen and it happened to our little boy,” Mark said as he hugged JT as his cell phone rang.

JT’s POV

“Hello,” I spoke into the phone, trying to hold it up to my ear.

“Where are you guys?”  I heard Angie’s voice.  “Me and Steve are in your office.”

“We’re still down in the ER with Kai,” I replied with a sniffle.

“What happened to him J?”  She asked.

“He—he was raped by someone and then they tried to kill him,” I stated, not able to hold it in any longer as my tears overtook me as I thought about what happened to my little boy.

“Oh God, I’m coming down there,” she said as she hung up the phone.

Almost Half an Hour Later – Dr. Andrew Tripp’s Office

“Do you guys have any clues to who could’ve done this to him Andy?  Did they leave any specimens?”  Angela asked, looking over at Dr. Tripp.

“We collected five semen samples that were found on him and one of those samples belonged to Kasai,” Dr. Tripp stated as he flipped through the report in front of him.

“What the hell!  You’re saying four guys raped him… did—did you tell this to JT and Mark?”  Angela asked.

“No, I didn’t tell them, not yet anyway,” Dr. Tripp replied as he shook his head and then looked down.  “I think I’ll wait until the both of them have calmed down some.  JT’s in pieces as it is.  I don’t know how he would react if Mark wasn’t there with him.”

“That’s his baby.  JT loves him very much, regardless of…” Angela said as the door to the room opened and a woman walked in.

“Good afternoon, I’m here to see Dr. Andrew Tripp,” the woman said, smiling brightly.

“What in God’s name!”  Angela snapped, turning around and locking eyes with Valgina Williams for the first time in a very long time as the woman stood in the doorway, looking back at her.

“I don’t believe it, it’s Angela Sebastian,” the woman snidely said.  “Wow, this must be my lucky day.”

“What in the hell are you doing in here Vagina, I mean Valgina?”  Angela asked, getting up from where she sat.

“I work here,” the woman replied as she looked over her nose at Angela.  “What are you doing here?”

“I work here,” Angela replied in a stern voice.

“Not for long,” the woman said under her breath as she walked past Angela, heading over to Dr. Tripp’s desk.

“So, you ladies know each other?”  Dr. Tripp asked, looking at both women with a scared look on his face.

“Yes,” both women spoke in unison and then looked at each other with angry looks.

“Okay, so what can I do for you, Ms. Williams, is it?”  Dr. Tripp asked.

“I was told that the new head of Therapy Services was you and that I could find you here,” the woman replied.

“I’m not the head of Therapy Services around here.  You would be looking for JT Poole,” Dr. Tripp stated as he looked at the woman strangely, wondering why someone would tell her that he was the head of a department that he didn’t even work in.

“Did you say JT Poole?”  The woman asked, looking at Dr. Tripp strangely.

“Yes,” Dr. Tripp answered.

“So, he took Danielle’s place when she resigned?”  Angela asked.

“Yeah, I guess Larry hasn’t told him yet.  The board met this morning, right before lunch and they went ahead and gave it to him, instead of hiring someone else outside of the company to do it.  I thought he knew that already,” Dr. Tripp stated as Angela shrugged her shoulders and then smiled.

“It seems this is getting better by the minute,” Angela said with a grin on her face.

“So, I have to speak with this JT Poole then?”  The woman asked as Angela nodded her head.

“That’s right Ms. Williams and right now, he’s not in his office.  Is there something I can do for you?”  Dr. Tripp asked.

“Do you know when he’ll be available?”  The woman asked.

“Frankly, I don’t know that answer ma’am,” Dr. Tripp replied with a frown.

“So Valgina, why don’t you just leave here and call back and schedule a time to see him,” Angela said as the smile grew on her face.

“I—I guess I have no choice but to do that then,” the woman stated as she crossed her arms across her chest.

“I’m going to check on things.  I’ll be back later on Andy,” Angela stated as she walked past the woman, heading towards the room door.

“Bitch,” the woman said under her breath as Angela stopped walking.

“Oh no hell you didn’t just call me a bitch!”  Angela snapped, turning around as she looked at the woman.

“Well if the shoe fits…” The woman stated as Angela interrupted her.

“If the shoe fits up your narrow ass, you better hope the people in the ER can get my foot out of your ass if you start some shit that you can’t finish,” Angela stated, pointing her finger in the woman’s face.

“Ladies,” Dr. Tripp said as Angela turned and glared at him.  “Never mind.”

“The same ole Angela,” the woman stated as she shook her head.

“No, you mean the same ole Valgina, always causing problems for other people, wherever she goes,” Angela stated as she returned to the door as Dr. Tripp watched the interaction between the two of them.  “Don’t cross me Valgina, I won’t hesitate to kick your ass from this point on.  We’re not in high school anymore and I’m not going to allow you to do anything to hurt me or anyone I know.”

“That speech is played out and old, just like you are Angela.  Lay that speech on someone that really cares to hear it,” the woman stated as she walked past Angela out of the office.

“Angie, girl you need to calm down before you get yourself into trouble,” Dr. Tripp stated as he rubbed her shoulders.  “She’s new here and…”

“Don’t worry about me Andy, I’m going to be okay.  Someone needs to worry about her, she’s the biggest trouble maker I know,” Angela stated as she sighed and then walked away.

To Be Continued…

Operation Magic – Chapter 3

 

Chapter 3 — Silence of the Heart

A Week Later – Arlington, VA – The Home of John and Roland Donovan – The Backyard

John’s POV

“Did you think it was such a good idea, having a barbecue bro?”  Ramona asked, walking over to where I stood.  “I just told you last week that I saw you guys’ death and here you are, having a barbecue, with everyone in attendance from both your jobs.”

“We’re having this get together for a reason sis,” I said, smiling at her.  “This way, I can read everyone’s soul and see if there’s anything we have to worry about from the people we work with.”

“Clever bro, but I thought you told me once before that you couldn’t read everyone at your job,” Ramona stated, looking around as I frowned.

“That’s where you come in,” I replied, looking at her closely.  “Whatever I can’t see, you possibly can.”

“So, you want me to force visions out of people?”  She asked as I nodded my head.

Hell, if I can’t read their souls, to determine if they’re the cause of our untimely deaths, I would rather she see a vision of what they may possibly do to us in the long run.  Just the thought of us dying, leaving the boys to be raised by strangers has put a bad feeling in my spirit.  Having that bad feeling in my spirit isn’t a good thing right now.  I love those little boys with all of my heart and I’m not about to allow them to go through the same hell that me and Ramona went through as kids.  Had it not been for our gifts and our friends, I don’t know if either one of us would’ve made it this far in life.

“Hey baby, how are things on the grill looking?”  Roland asked as he walked over to where I stood, bringing over a tray of hamburger patties.

“Things are looking great and they smell good too,” I replied, turning a piece of chicken over as he handed me the tray so I could place the burgers on the grill.  “Where are the hot dogs?”

“I’ll bring those out on the next tray,” Roland replied with a smile as he fanned his hand in front of his face, breathing in the aroma of the meat cooking.  “I can’t wait to dig into a piece of that.”

“Hmmm, I say that about you sometimes baby,” I said, smiling as his face went red.  “I love it when you blush like that.”

“Baby, one of the boys could’ve heard you,” he said as I looked around, not seeing any kids near us.

“Oh cut it out, the boys aren’t even in earshot of us, they are off somewhere, playing with the other kids around here,” I said, patting his ass quickly as he looked around, the blush on his face darkening.

“You know I love it, when your face changes shades like that,” I said, turning another piece of the chicken on the grill as I picked up my water bottle and spritzed a few of the chicken pieces and then grabbed the bowl with the sauce.

“Wait baby, I want a piece without the sauce on it,” he spoke quickly as I noticed Gavin James, one of my co-workers, walking towards us as I spotted Ramona, hopping up from her seat quickly.

Okay, what’s going on here?  Is there something I should be concerned with?  Why did Ramona just jump up that way and why does she have that mean look on her face?  Is Gavin a person of interest I should be worried about?  What’s going on?  I’m not hearing her thoughts right now, so what has her on edge like that?

“Ramona,” I spoke as she looked at me and then looked around quickly.  “Ramona, is there something wrong?”

“Bro, something’s not right,” she replied as she looked at me and then turned and looked at Gavin.

“Something’s not right with who?  Is it Gavin?”  I whispered as she looked back at him and then back to me.

“Bro, I think you need to keep your eyes and ears open around him,” she said as she moved backwards as he got closer.  “If I have to, I’ll knock his ass out, before he gets to us.”

“I don’t think that’s necessary,” I replied, wondering what it was that she saw in a vision that has her acting this way right now.  “Roland, why don’t you go check on the boys, I’ll speak with Gavin and if there’s a problem, I’ll mind-call you.”

“Okay baby,” Roland replied, leaning in and brushing his lips across my cheek as he walked in the opposite direction.

“Bro, are you sure about this?”  Ramona asked, looking around again.  “You know I can solve this problem real quick.”

“I’m sure I don’t want you to create an incident that’s going to create a bigger problem,” I said as Gavin stood in front of me.  “Well hi there Gavin, are you having a great time?”

“One of the best,” he replied, looking around nervously as if he was waiting for something to happen.  “Ah John, I—I need to talk with you… I need to talk with you privately for a moment.”

“You need to talk privately about what?”  I asked, looking around, trying to keep my eyes on where Ramona stood and where Roland and the boys were.

“Can we go someplace else?”  He asked as he moved around the grill to get closer to me.

“Ah, I guess,” I replied, putting the fork and spray bottle down as I led him to an empty part of the yard.  “What’s on your mind Gavin?”

“Oscar Saunders,” he replied as he looked at me strangely as I wondered why he brought that fuck-up’s name up.

“What about him?”  I asked.

“John, we’ve known each other for a long time in different circles, but there’s a problem and you need to know what that problem is,” he said as I wondered where he was going with this.

“What about Oscar Saunders?”  I asked.

“You know him, don’t you?”  He said, getting closer to me, his eyes never leaving mine.

“Yeah, I know the fuck-up, why?”  I asked.

“Currently, he’s in danger.  There’s a bounty on his head,” Gavin stated as I wondered what that information had to do with the two of us, talking about him of all people.

“So what, he’s in danger and…” I said, waiting for him to say more about why I was here with him, talking about this.

“You worked with him in the past, right?”  He said as I crossed my arms across my chest, waiting for him to go into more detail about this.

“Gavin, why don’t you get to the part of what this has to do with me.  One, I can care less that Oscar is in danger, that’s something he’s good at doing.  Two, Oscar is…”

“Weren’t you two in a relationship together at one point?”  Gavin asked.

Why in the hell is he asking me something like this?  How could he have possibly known about the short-lived relationship I had with that fucker?  Why is he telling me about there being a hit out on Oscar of all people?

“Gavin stop, what does any of this have to do with things as they are right now?”  I asked.

“The bounty on Oscar’s head is very specific,” he replied as I shook my head.

“Specific how?”  I asked, looking at him closely as I tried to pry into his mind, but something was blocking me from getting the information I wanted to see.

“The contract I heard about, wants him and his family gone,” Gavin stated as he looked at me with a sad expression on his face.

“Okay Gavin, what does that have to do with me?  I’m not part of Oscar’s family,” I stated as he looked down again.

“Apparently, you’ve been out of the ‘know’ for far too long,” he said as he sighed.  “The person, whoever that may be, listed you as one of the people connected to Oscar and you are to disappear too.”

“What!”  I snapped as other people around in various places in the yard, turned and looked at the two of us as he waved his hand, trying to quiet me down.  “Are you fucking serious?  I’m not related to Oscar, I have no connection to that fucking bastard!  How did you find out about this?”

“One of my contacts saw you at the office last week and showed me the information about the bounty,” he answered, looking around quickly as I thought about who his contact could’ve been.  “The person that put the hit out on Oscar, he wants everyone connected to him, gone.”

“Oh God, that could be the cause of everything,” I said, waving my hand at him, using my gifts to freeze him and everything around me in place.

Oh God, how could this be happening?  My life… my family’s lives are in danger because of some damn fool I fucked around with for a weekend!  That damn fool broke my heart and almost caused me to do the unthinkable and now this!  How could this be happening to us?  Why would someone think that I’m connected to Oscar Saunders of all damn people?  I haven’t seen that fucker since that damn night he walked out on me.

Hell, if someone would look at things logically, I should be the one putting a hit out on his damn life.  That fucker tricked and used me!  He left me in a damn hotel in the middle of Peru!  A place where where wars were breaking out all around!  At the time, he was a double agent and I didn’t know he was working for the other side.  I had no idea that he had taken a pay off to get secrets against me and my team.  Had I not used my gifts, we all would’ve perished over in Peru.  Because of me, I let my heart, emotions and lust cause me to let my guard down.  I won’t make that mistake again.

‘Baby, is there something wrong?  Did you happen to freeze time or something?’  I heard Roland’s voice in my mind.

‘I just heard some bad news that I’m not happy with,’  I mentally spoke to Roland, extending my thoughts to him and to Ramona.  ‘I was just informed that there’s a hit out on someone else and that someone else extends to me… possibly to us.’

‘Bro, what are you going to do about this?’  I heard Ramona’s thoughts.

‘I need you yo come over here and see if you can pull a vision from him.  I want to see what his future holds,’ I mentally spoke to her as I waved my hand in Gavin’s direction, using my gift to pull him away from our world into another one, but something wouldn’t allow us to leave.

“Apparently, I am not able to pull him into the other dimension,” I spoke out as Ramona made her way over to where we stood as she grabbed his head as her eyes shimmered an eerie gold color.

“He’s not the cause of what happens Bro, but he has a secret that involves all of us,” Ramona stated as she touched my hand, allowing me to share in the vision she saw.

What in the hell is this?  He’s not the cause of what’s going on, but he’s a big part of things.  He’s not who he claims to be.  He’s not mortal, he’s like us… he’s one of us.

‘What are you talking about babe?’  I heard Roland’s voice.  ‘If he’s like us, then why didn’t you detect that sooner?’

‘If he’s like us, he could be using his gift to hide that.  Maybe someone put a spell on him to keep him from being detected,’ I mentally stated as I looked around, wondering how this guy was able to get close to me all those years ago and I never knew he was like us.

“Bro, something’s happening, he’s unfreezing,” Ramona spoke as she took on a defensive stance as Gavin looked around.

“Trying to pull me into another world isn’t a good thing to do when you have a yard full of guests,” Gavin spoke as he frowned at me.

“What are you talking about Gavin?”  I asked, looking at him closely as I waited for him to tell me more.

“John, I know you aren’t mortal,” Gavin stated as I looked over at Ramona and then back at him.  “I know about you, your sister Ramona and your husband Roland.”

“What is it that you supposedly know?”  I asked as he frowned and then stepped backwards as his eyes shimmered and then he was gone.

“Bro, what the hell just happened here?”  Ramona asked, looking around.  “Did he just slide away?”

“Apparently so,” I replied, frowning as I used my gift to unfreeze the area, making sure that no one would notice the body that was now missing from the yard.  “If he’s like us and he can slide away, that’s a threat all on it’s own.  That means he can be anywhere he wants to be and being that I can’t detect him, that means you guys can’t either.”

“Makes for a bad enemy,” Ramona stated as she sighed and then looked around.  “What are we going to do?”

“I don’t know,” I replied, looking down.  “Maybe we should consult with…”

“Don’t go there Bro,” Ramona stated, shaking her head.  “The last time you tried to talk wit them, they almost trapped your spirit with them.”

“How else are we going to find out who this guy is?”  Ramona asked.

“Don’t know, I’ll find a way,” I said as the smell of something burning grabbed my attention as I rushed back over to the grill to see about the chicken.

Huh, freezing time didn’t actually stop the chicken from cooking.  I guess there’s even things that my gifts can’t control.  I think I better work on that.  I wonder what else went unfrozen when I thought things were frozen.

Somewhere in Sierra Leone, West Africa – An Unknown Village

Gavin James’ POV

Why do I get the feeling that I just made a big mistake, revealing myself to him and his sister that way?  I was trying to help him, but I fear I’ve made things worse than what they really are.  She has the powers of the mind, just like he does, but he’s an ultimate, like I am, I wonder what they were both able to see about me.

Now that I’ve left them the way I did, how am I going to fix what I did?  Damn it, I really need my head examined.  The others are going to really freak the hell out when I tell them what I’ve done.  I shouldn’t have been so quick to blurt out that I knew about him, his sister and his husband.  They probably think they are the only ones in the world like them, but I’m sure by now, they are figuring things out.

As I think back on how things started, I should’ve just stayed on the topic at hand, dealing with Oscar Saunders and not letting it slip that I was like him.  The way he and Ramona looked at me, I knew they had used their powers on me.  But then again, I should’ve just eased him into the conversation and not blurting everything out.

“Where in the hell am I?”  I asked, looking around as I spotted a few things that looked familiar.  “It can’t be… Oh God, I didn’t… I did…”

I guess in my frenzied state of trying to get away from John and his sister, I slid all the way to Sierra Leone, one of the worst war torn places in the world.  I haven’t been here since 1991, when civil war broke out.  Had it not been for Liberia and some secret help from me and the others, this place wouldn’t exist right now. 

“Why did I end up here of all places?”  I asked aloud, wondering if there was another factor at play here.  Did I slide here of my own will or did John or his sister send me here?

Looking around again, I didn’t sense anything out of the ordinary and I’m not able to feel any hostile thoughts pertaining to me.  So, if someone else is responsible for me being here, I’m not able to sense their spirit.  I’m just shocked that I ended up here.  Why does this village look like a war has been fought here?  Since the government was overthrown, there shouldn’t be any military of any kind around here.

“You there!”  I heard behind me as I turned around quickly to see a military officer there with his gun pointed at me.

“No thanks man, you can save that for someone else,” I said, gesturing with my hand as he floated into the air and then was slammed into a nearby building.

I’m not going to give him the chance to hurt me or raise any alarms.  I have to get out of here quick, before something else happens.  I just need to concentrate on getting home so I can get the hell away from here.  The sooner I get home, the sooner I can attempt to smooth things over with John, his sister and his husband.

The Home of Oscar Saunders – The Bedroom

Oscar’s POV

I’ve been gone a whole week and it doesn’t seem like things have changed at all.  What am I going to do to solve this problem?  I can’t keep running, looking over my shoulder at every turn.  I have to find the person behind this and convince them to undo what they’ve done.

Now that Anne and her parents are safe someplace else, I can concentrate on trying to solve this problem.  My problem is, who is behind this?  Who do I know, that has the guts to orchestrate something like this?  Who has the pull and the money to put such a bounty on my head and my family?  For anyone to actually act on this hit, they must hate me or there’s tons of money involved.  So who’s the richest person I’ve pissed off?  Who’s the person that I’ve pissed off the most, that would want to take me out just for the hell of it.  Hell, I can think of only two people that fit the bill for wanting me gone, John Donovan and Max Kingsley.

Damn it, I just saw John last week.  Is he the one that’s going to kill me?  Hell, with what I did to him, he has plenty of reasons to hate me enough to kill me.  I left him stranded in the middle of a war-torn village of Peru, where he would surely die, but somehow he didn’t.  I wonder how he was able to get out of that.  I only got out, because I had people smuggle me out of there, but how did he get out?  That’s another mystery that I haven’t been able to solve about him.  I wonder does how he got away from Peru have anything to do with how he was able to slam me into a damn wall without touching me.  How did that fucking shit happen?

I haven’t seen Max Kingsley in a few months, but the last time I saw him, he wasn’t too happy with me.  He’s one of the richest guys I know and for the right amount of money, I’m sure he would take my ass out too, for what I did to him.  Damn, is that what I’m only capable of, just screwing guys over?  Is that the reason for there being a hit out for my life?  All I seem to do is use guys, get what I want out of them and then I leave them alone.  It’s no wonder that I’m alone right now, in this big ass house.

“One day, I’m going to have to work on changing that part of me.  I can’t keep on doing that to guys, especially those that I really like,” I said, sighing as I walked over to the closet and grabbed a few things hanging up.  “Had I not been such a prick to John, maybe I would be married to him right now.  I would have the family life he has right now, a loving husband and kids.  I’ve always dreamt of having that kind of life, but being an agent, really fucked all of that up… well I guess it didn’t fuck that up for John, he seems to have it… or is that a cover he’s playing right now?”

Does John really have that kind of life or is that a damn cover?  Is he really a happy man with a husband and kids?  Or is he currently undercover, trying to take someone down?  Maybe I looked at things all wrong.

To Be Continued…

Operation Magic – Chapter 2

Chapter 2 — Fool On The Street

Arlington, VA – The Home of John and Roland Donovan

Roland’s POV

We just arrived at the house and both boys are fast asleep in the back seat.  We’re just sitting here in the car, not saying anything.  What’s going on and what happened at the Gala?  Since he encountered Senator McCallister, he’s been quiet and that’s not a good sign.  If there’s something wrong, I would like him to tell me, instead of him acting the way he’s acted for the last few hours.

Since we left the Gala, he’s acted as if I have the plague or something.  Did I do something to him and not know it or what?  Even while we sat eating burgers and fries with the kids, he said nothing.  What could have happened that has him so quiet?  Even now, we’re just sitting here, like there’s this big wall separating us.  What the hell is this?  I am not used to this kind of silence with him.

“Okay, I’ll get Mason,” I said, unsnapping the seat belt as I opened the door and got out of the car.

I walked to the back door, opened it and then prepared to remove the seat belt from Mason as his body shimmered in a gold colored light and then he vanished.  Sighing, looking over at Caleb, the same thing happened to him.  I’ll take it that he transported the children up to bed in their rooms.

“Your doing?”  I spoke, looking across the seat at him as he got out and then closed the door.  “John, what in the hell is going on?”

“I’m sorry,” he replied with a frown on his face as I moved out of the car, closing the door as I walked around to where he stood.

“What happened tonight?  What’s going on?”  I asked.

“I…” He started as I shook my head.

“I don’t want to hear you apologize again, unless you’re going to apologize for the way you’ve been acting this evening,” I stated as I noticed that his eyes were shimmering.  “If you’re trying to hex me, I suggest you don’t do it.”

“I’m not trying to hex you Roland,” he replied as he sighed.  “I—I don’t know how to tell you what happened earlier this evening.”

“Why can’t you tell me?  Whatever it is, I think it has something to do with that strange Senator McCallister.”

“No, it had nothing to do wth the senator,” he replied with a frown.  “The senator is the least of my worries.”

“Well, if it wasn’t the senator, then what was it?”  I asked.

“Oscar Saunders,” he replied as I looked at him, wondering who he was talking about.  “Oscar Saunders, the guy that stranded me in…”

“Are you talking about the guy that almost made you sacrifice your soul?”  I asked as he sighed and then nodded his head.  “We’re talking about the guy that almost shattered your heart!”

“Yeah,” he replied, looking down as I turned away from him, wondering how all of this could’ve started.  “He was at the Gala, he bumped into me in the bathroom and I…”

“You saw him, you shut your spirit off from me and then you turned into Mr. Silence,” I said as I felt him standing behind me.  “I don’t like the silence…”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t want to hurt you in any way,” he responded as I felt his hands move around my waist.  “I didn’t want you experiencing the feelings of…”

“I’m hurt because you didn’t just come out and tell me sooner, instead of waiting this long,” I said, sighing.  “You were a total wreck because of him and I don’t want that happening again, especially now.  Your life is different now.  We are different now.”

“I know we’re different now baby,” he said, kissing my neck as I leaned against his body.

“We don’t need anything compromising what we have now,” I said as I could faintly hear his thoughts again.  “We have a family now, a new life.  It’s not like it used to be when you were running across the realms, trying to defend your bloodline.”

“Babe, those days are over, there is someone else to defend the bloodline,” he said as we rocked back and forth, to the melody that he hummed in his mind.  “I’m sure Arik has a great time fighting demons and evil in my place.”

“I’m sure he does, but at some point, it will be your responsibility again,” I said, remembering a quote from his uncle, stating that he was the only one with the power to save his family and keep them on the right path.

“Right now, Arik is at the height of his powers and I’ve taught him everything he needs to know to keep the family protected,” he said as everything around us went black and then we were in our bedroom.  “Let’s can all of this magic talk and get some sleep.  The boys have a busy day ahead of them tomorrow.”

“Yes they do and they are so psyched about it,” I said as I touched his chest, using a spell to get rid of his clothing as he smiled as we both moved over to the bed.

“For a guy that doesn’t like relying on his gifts, you tend to do so a whole lot,” he said, kissing my mouth as we both got into bed.

“Well I have it, there’s no point in letting it go to waste,” I said, pulling the comforter over us as I moved closer to him.

“Good night baby, I love you,” he said as he kissed my ear and then draped his arm across me.

“I love you too baby,” I replied, able to see what had him so upset from earlier.

The Home of Cadet Skip Bridges – The Bedroom

Skip’s POV

Damn it, it’s almost three in the morning and I’m beyond tired.  What the hell was Abrams’ problem anyway?  He acted as if he wasn’t going to allow me or any of the others to leave at all.  What was the point of him holding us there longer when he had already been debriefed about the night’s events.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d think he was trying to find out something, but what?

What could he have been trying to find out?  Nothing actually happened to the President or any of the important guests in attendance.  The only thing that made a buzz was the thing that happened with the black guy in the bathroom.  Then again, Abrams is an asshole and he might’ve been in one of those assholery moods.

One of these days Abrams is going to get what’s coming to him.  I think the mofo was just looking for a reason to bust my balls, being that I ratted his ass out for what he was caught doing in a broom closet with a party guest last month.  He’ll know to suck dick on his own time and not while he’s supposed to be patrolling.

Then again, I think there is something to what went on with that black guy that was in the bathroom tonight.  I think I need to keep my eyes on him.  What I saw tonight could be what others are looking for and he might be my key to getting what I want in the long run.  I don’t want to be the lowest man on the totem pole forever.

Meridian Hospital – The Emergency Room

Senator McCallister sat in the emergency room’s waiting area for almost an hour before a nurse called him back to triage.  As he walked through the doors with the nurse, he coughed a bit, spitting up blood as the nurse jumped backwards, doing her best to avoid the blood splatter.  Grabbing a pair of gloves from the box on the wall, the nurse assisted the senator through a set of double doors and into an exam room as she pressed a button, signaling others that there was an emergency.

“What’s going on Mary?”  Another nurse asked, rushing from behind the nurses’ station.

“Call a code!  There’s something drastically wrong, he’s coughing up blood everywhere!”  The nurse screamed, trying to position the senator on the exam table as he continued coughing up blood.  “Sir, can you tell me what happened before you arrived here?”

“I don’t know,” Senator McCallister replied, coughing more as he held his chest as the nurse grabbed a mask from a drawer next to the exam table and covered her face.

“When did this start sir?”  The nurse asked, grabbing some other things from the drawer to assist with getting him cleaned up a bit as another nurse and a doctor rushed into the room.

“A few days ago,” Senator McCallister replied as his eyes closed and his head fell backwards on the table.

“He’s out!”  The nurse screamed as the doctor grabbed a pear of scissors and started cutting his shirt open.

“Jean, get Doctor Rayne up here fast, we’re going to need his expertise for this,” the doctor stated as he got up on the table, doing chest compression on the senator.  “I need a mouth guard Mary.”

“Here!”  The first nurse stated, handing the doctor the device he requested.  “I’m not getting a pulse from him!”

The nurse and doctor worked with the senator for a few minutes, getting his breathing restarted again as he opened his eyes and started coughing again.  The other nurse returning to the room, the first nurse grabbed a small device and an alcohol pad as she smacked the top of his hand, trying to find a vein to start an I-V port.

“I don’t think I’m going to be able to start a port on him, he’s veins are rolling too much,” the first nurse stated as as she rolled the senator’s sleeve up his arm, trying to find a vein there for the I-V port.

“Did someone call the damn code?”  The doctor asked, climbing down from the table as the second nurse assisted him with checking the senator’s eyes.  “His eyes aren’t showing a damn response to the light!”

“What in the hell could be going on with this man?”  The first nurse asked as the senator screamed out as the lights in the room went out, leaving them in the dark.

“What the hell was that?”  The doctor asked as an alarm sounded.  “Is the damn power out?”

“What in the hell is going on around this place?”  The second nurse asked as the lights started flashing on and off.  “This is some damn freaky shit!”

“We have to keep working with this man!”  The doctor yelled, holding his penlight up, looking in the direction of one of the nurses.  “Are the phones working?”

“Phone’s working!”  Another person replied, entering the room.

= Everyone please be calm, there was a temporary power failure.  The power has been restored and all systems are restarting. =

“I wonder what caused the power failure,” one of the nurses spoke, still working with the senator.

“Let’s not worry about that right now,” the doctor spoke, looking in the senator’s mouth.  “We need to get this man to radiology, we need to find out if there’s some internal bleeding.”

“Okay doctor,” the second nurse stated as she walked over to the wall and picked up the phone there.

The Home of Oscar Saunders – The Bedroom

Oscar’s POV

Damn it, what am I going to do?  It’s almost light out and I have yet to go to sleep.  I need to get some rest, but I’m scared that if I fall asleep, someone will break in and there won’t be anymore me.  I know the alarm is set and all, but with some of the people I’ve worked with in the past and some of the fools I’ve taken down in the past, I’m sure they can bypass my security system here.

Damn it, how in the hell did that fucker find me anyway?  I’ve been here for the last year and my past hasn’t come back to haunt me until now.  I thought changing my hair and eye color would’ve kept my past just that the past, but I guess that was just my wishful thinking.  It seems that fucker was able to recognize me, even with a case of damn memory loss.

Something’s not adding up.  That fucker was blown up and now he’s back and it seems he knows me.  The last I saw him, he was in a damn hospital in Kuwait, with no memory of who he damn was and all of his damn organs were failing.  How in the hell did he survive that?  I’ve changed a whole lot since I last saw him.  I was just out of the SEALS when we met.  He shouldn’t recognize me this way, but he did.  Is there something else going on that I’m not getting?  Whatever treatment he got in Kuwait, was one helluva treatment.

“I can’t stay awake forever, regardless of how much coffee I drink,” I said, walking around the kitchen as I contemplated my current plight.  “No amount of coffee is going to save me right now and get that bounty off of my head.”

Sighing, I took another sip of my coffee and then placed the mug on the night table. Looking at the clock, it read ‘5:27 AM’ as thoughts of Anne and her family flashed through my mind.  They are in danger, al because of me.  Had I not involved myself into her life, there wouldn’t be possible danger for her and her folks.

“I’ll have to get her and her parents underground quickly and get them under different names,” I said aloud as I sighed again.  “I have to get them set up somewhere else, to keep them out of danger.  But who can I get to help me?”

I don’t have any good damn contacts right now.  All the people that I currently know, hate the fuck out of me.  I guess that’s my fault for being a damn user.  Had it not been for the way I’ve treated people in the past, there probably wouldn’t be a damn bounty on me now.  I wonder who the person is that has the hit out for me.  If I find that person and make try to make amends, would that stop the hit?

“Who could it be?  He didn’t tell me who put the hit out on me,” I said, sighing again as I rolled over in the bed as I could see the sky lightening up as day approached.  “There are tons of people in the world that hate me.”

That’s just it, tons of people hate me.  Hell, even JT hates me and I bumped into him earlier tonight.  Is it possible that he put the hit out on me?  I didn’t know anything about the damn hit, until after I bumped into him in the damn bathroom.  And what in the hell was that, that happened in the bathroom while he was with me?  How did I get slammed into the damn wall that way?  That was the oddest damn thing ever.

“I can’t keep thinking about all of this, I need to get some rest,” I said aloud as I sighed again, pulling the covers up a bit as I looked over at the fireplace, thinking about the last time I spent with JT, when we were in Peru.

Alexandra, VA – Great Waves Waterpark – The Entrance

“Hello guys,” John heard as he turned around to see a familiar face standing there with bags in her arms.  “You just going to stand there or what?”

“Hey sis,” John spoke with a smile.

“Aunt Ramona,” Caleb, John and Roland’s youngest son spoke up as he rushed over to the woman, wrapping his arms around her, hugging her tight.  “I’m so glad to see you Auntie.”

“I’m so glad to see you too Puddin’,” the woman spoke as she rubbed the little boy’s back as she kissed his cheek and then released him.  “Where’s your big brother at?”

“He and Papa went to the bathroom,” Caleb replied as he looked up at John and then back at the woman.  “What are you doing here Aunt Ramona?”

“Your Dads told me that you guys were going to be here today, so I came by to hang out with you guys,” the woman spoke as John looked over at her strangely as his eyes shimmered a bit.

‘Ramona, is there something wrong?’  John mentally spoke, looking at the woman closely.  ‘Why are you here?’

‘I’m here because I had a vision and foresaw that you four were in trouble, so here I am,’ the woman mentally replied as John looked around quickly and then sighed.

“Sonny boy, do you have to go to the bathroom too?”  John asked, looking at the little boy.  “You might need to go right now.  We might not be able to find one near us when we start getting on some of the rides.”

“Okay Daddy,” Caleb spoke, walking away from John and the woman.

“What did you actually see?”  John asked, looking at the woman.

“I actually saw both of you die,” the woman stated with a frown.  “You were both lying on the ground and the boys were kneeling over you two, crying because you were dead.”

“You didn’t see anything that led up to that?”  John asked, reaching out to touch the woman as she took his hand.

“Sugah, the only thing that I was able to see was the end, nothing more than that,” the woman stated, sighing as she looked around.  “Has something happened with you guys?  Could this possibly have something to do with Arik?”

“I—I don’t know, you had the vision,” John replied with a frown.  “Nothing’s happened with us, not that I now of.”

“Has there been any changes with you guys since you last saw Arik?”  She asked, looking at John closely as she looked over his shoulder to see Roland and the two children.  “Look alive, the kids are coming back.”

“Arik, he’s currently looking for the Scepter of Euripides,” John spoke as Caleb walked up and took his hand.  “When he finds what he’s looking for, he’ll let me know.”

“Hi Ramona,” Roland spoke, leaning in and hugging the woman.  “Glad you could make it.”

“Glad I could make it too,” the woman spoke with a weak smile as he looked at John, noticing that his eyes were shimmering.  “Why don’t we go ahead and get inside to get on some rides.”

“I’m ready,” Mason spoke, dancing around in place as the woman laughed as she patted his back.

“Come on, let’s get inside,” John stated as he looked around again as they walked through the gates, handing the gate attendee their passes.

A Few Hours Later – The Food Court

Roland’s POV

It’s almost lunch time and I’m tired out.  Dang, those little boys are way too full of energy.  Either I’m getting old or maybe I didn’t get enough sleep last night.  Being that it was well after one when we got into bed, that could be the reason why I’m so tired right now.

“Are you okay Roland?”  Ramona asked, watching me closely.

“I’m fine girl, just a bit tired,” I replied as she smiled weakly and then looked around.  “I heard what you had to say to him.  Is there some way you could get another glimpse of that future?”

“I don’t want to get another glimpse of that future,” she said, sighing as she looked down at the table.

“What were you doing when you had that vision?”  I asked, looking around, making sure no one was within earshot of us.  “Were you touching something when that happened?”

“I was sitting at work, minding my business when that happened,” she replied.  “It seems like it just popped into my mind all of a sudden.”

“It just popped into your mind?  I—I thought you had to be touching something or someone to actually get a vision,” I said as she shook her head.

“No, my gift has improved a bit,” she spoke, picking up a plastic straw from the ground as she closed her eyes and then sighed.  “This belonged to a little black kid that had been raped by his uncle and said uncle has killed a few people and is currently awaiting trial.”

“That’s just morbid,” I said as she frowned.

“I know, but there’s nothing I can do about that,” she said, shaking her head.  “There’s nothing I can do about who touches the items I pick up.”

“I pray that little boy gets some counseling for what’s happened to him,” I said as she looked down.

“I doubt he will,” she said, looking up as I noticed that someone from my job was standing across from us, watching us.

What the hell, is that Nick from my job?  If so, what in the hell is he doing around here of all places?  This goes way beyond stalking, if that’s him.  Getting up from the table, I walked towards the guy until I was sure it was Nick from my job.  Sighing, I wondered what he was actually doing here.  Is he here to spy on me or is he actually here for another reason?

“Well hello there,” I spoke, extending my hand to Nick as he stood there with a creepy smile on his face, shaking my hand.  “I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“Hi Roland, what a surprise,” he spoke, releasing my hand as he looked around.  “I’m here with my niece and one of her friends.  I’m on babysitting duty this weekend.”

“Oh yeah, we brought the boys here today,” I said as he looked at me strangely.  “Me and my husband.”

“Your husband?  I—I didn’t know you were married,” he spoke, the expression on his face speaking volumes.  “I—I guess congratulations are in order or something.”

“I’ve been married for about five years now,” I spoke as he looked down.

Damn, I guess I just ruined his day with the way he’s looking.   How could he not know I’m a married man.  There are pictures of John and the boys on my desk for crying out loud.  Most of the people in the office know that fact about me.  I know he’s new and all, but I’m sure the others would’ve filled him in by now.  He’s been there for over three months, that’s enough time for him to find out things.

“Five years, that’s a very long time,” he spoke, looking around as if he were looking for someone.

“Yeah, a long time,” I said with a smile.  “We have two little boys that are our world.”

“That—that’s cool,” he replied, placing his hands in his pockets as he got this uncomfortable look on his face.

Something’s telling me that I’ve just crushed him.  How could he not know this information about me?  Since he’s been employed at the office, he’s been making little excuses to hang around me.  I guess I don’t have to worry about that anymore, being that I just dropped my life on him.  Being that my husband just walked up to us, I’m sure things are about to get more surreal for him.

“Hi, I’m John,” I heard John say as I turned to look at him as he reached out and shook Nick’s hand.

“Baby, this is Nick… Nick Starling,” I said as he smiled weakly and then looked at me.  “He’s one of the new financial analyst for the company.”

“Hi,” Nick replied as he looked nervously at me and then back at John.  “So, what do you do?”

“I’m a therapist,” John replied, looking at Nick quickly and then turning his attention back to me.  “Babe, we’re going to go ahead and order.  What do you want?”

“I’ll have a corn dog and some fries,” I answered, looking at Nick as I could see the sadness in his eyes.  “Also, get me a pretzel with hot mustard.”

“Okay,” he said, leaning in and kissing my cheek as he started to walk away.  “It was nice meeting you Nick.”

“Yeah, it was nice meeting you too,” he called out with a wave as he smiled weakly.  “I’m going to catch up with the girls and I’ll see you at work on Monday.  Have a great day out with your family.”

“You too,” I said, waving as I turned to walk back to where my family was.

To Be Continued…

Operation Magic – Chapter 1

Chapter 1 — Classless

Washington, D.C. — The White House — A Private Research Room

“Summers, have you found the connection we’re looking for?” A research scientist asked, walking into the room with a clipboard in hand.

“No sir,” a military cadet spoke, saluting the man. “I think we would need a live specimen to actually figure out the connection.”

“Right now, a live specimen isn’t available, you have to test what we have,” the research scientist spoke as he wrote some things down on a piece of paper on his clipboard. “What have you discovered so far, if anything?”

“I’ve discovered that all the tissue is dead and it’s decaying at a very fast rate,” the cadet replied as he walked over to a table, lifted a tarp and then pointed with his finger. “Sir, if you look at this, you could actually see the decay for yourself.”

“I don’t want to see the decay, I want to see results,” the research scientist spoke, slinging the clipboard across the room, barely missing the cadet. “I want results and I want them quickly.

“Yes sir,” the cadet spoke, rushing to get back to his task.

An Hour Later — Across Town — The Zeta Event (A Gala) — The Presidential Ballroom

“Good evening Senator,” a tall white man spoke, walking towards another white man. “It’s nice that you could make it out this evening. I’ve heard that you were under the weather recently.”

“I’m feeling just fine,” the man replied, looking at the other man strangely. “Where did you hear such a tale?”

“I… Ah… Well, I thought…” the second man spoke as the other man held up a hand, stopping him from speaking.

“My health is none of your concern and you keep it that way,” the man spoke, walking away from the other man as others standing around, watched what transpired and started whispering.

“Did you hear how Senator McCallister spoke to General Mason?” A woman asked, speaking with her escort as she placed her wine glass down on a table and then walked over to a set of people. “I’m shocked at how Senator McCallister just spoke to General Mason. The man was only showing concern, he didn’t need to be so crass and…”

“Anna, let it go, you know those two have history together,” another person spoke, kissing her cheek and then leading her away from the crowd of people. “Anna, why do you constantly put your nose in the affairs of other people?”

“How dare you speak to me that way Oscar,” the woman identified as Anna spoke. “I don’t have to take that kind of talk from you. I say and do what I want to. We’re no longer married, meaning you have no say-so of what I do. Do you understand that Mr. Saunders? When the judge banged that gavel, that was the end of you controlling me.”

“I’m not trying to control you Anna, I’m just trying to keep you safe. We may not be married anymore, but I don’t want to see you hurt,” the man identified as Oscar Saunders spoke, still walking along as he looked around quickly to see if anyone was following them.

v“Take your hands off of me Oscar,” Anna spoke, snatching away from Oscar as she turned around. “Why do you even care anyway?”

“Leave Senator McCallister alone and mind your business,” Oscar stated with a frown.

“Fine,” Anna stated, running a hand through her hair as she sighed.

“What is this Oscar, why are you even here? Press isn’t allowed at this function.”

“I was invited by someone,” Oscar answered as Anna raised an eye at him. “That’s none of your concern of who invited me either, remember we’re not married anymore.”

“Is it a he or a she?” Anna asked as Oscar glared at her, pointed his finger in her face and then walked off. “I guess it is a he that invited you.”

“Screw you Anna,” Oscar said, walking back towards the ballroom.

“The few times you did,” Anna spoke, displaying the middle finger as she turned and walked in the opposite direction, heading towards the exit doors.

An Hour Later — A Restricted Area of the White House

“Sir, we’ve found the specimen you requested,” a cadet spoke, walking into the area, holding a digital device in hand. “The readings we picked up, match the specimen. He’s the one that was detected by the new equipment.”

“Is the specimen able to be captured?” A man in the room asked, smiling evilly. “Where is the specimen right now?”

“The specimen is here in the building sir, he’s present at the Gala,” the cadet spoke, looking at the device in his hand. “He’s there with three others and they all have the same readings.”

“There are three of them? Do they all possess a powerful aura?” The man asked.

“We believe so sir,” the cadet replied, passing the device over to the man. “See for yourself. You’ll notice that the black one has the strongest aura, whereas the other two are strong, but not as strong as his. Maybe he’s the superior one.”

“Dispatch a team, I want them, I want them tonight,” the man stated as the cadet saluted and then exited the room.

Back in the Presidential Ballroom

“So, are you enjoying yourself Mr. Donovan?” Senator McCallister asked, shaking hands with a tall black man in the presence of another man and two small children. “Is this the family I’ve heard so much about?”

“Yes sir, this little guy is Mason and this little guy here is Caleb,” the tall black man replied, placing his hands on the shoulders of the last child. “These two little guys are my life.”

“I bet they are,” Senator McCallister replied as he coughed, turning away from the man and the children quickly as he doubled over, almost falling to the ground as the black man rushed around to possibly assist him.

“Senator, are you okay?” The black man asked, looking at Senator McCallister closely.

“I—I’m fine,” Senator McCallister replied, coughing again as some blood flew from his mouth, landing on the black man’s suit, staining his satin shirt. “God Damn It!!!! I—I’m sorry, I—I didn’t mean to do that. I’ll replace this for you, just send the bill to…”

“It’s okay Senator, don’t worry about it. Why don’t we get you somewhere else,” the black man said, assisting the senator away from the others as he gestured with his head at the man that was with him and the children.

“You don’t understand, you need to get away from me, NOW!” Senator McCallister exclaimed, pushing the black man away from him, causing him to fall backwards to the floor. “I—I’m sorry, I didn’t mean…”

“Sir, are you alright? Is everything okay here?” A military cadet asked, walking over to Senator McCallister and saluting him.

“I am fine,” Senator McCallister replied as the black man got up off the floor, watching the senator and the cadet as he stepped to the side, giving the two men some space. “Leave me be, both of you, damn it.”

“Okay Senator,” the black man said as he walked past the senator and the cadet, heading down the hall towards a men’s room.

“Senator McCallister, why don’t you come with me,” the cadet spoke, grabbing the senator by the arm. “It would be in your best interest to come with me.”

“I will do no such thing boy, get your hands off of me,” Senator McCallister spoke, snatching his arm away from the cadet.

“Come now Senator, you don’t want to make another scene here,” the cadet spoke, patting the firearm in the holster on his side. “Too many people have seen too much of your antics for one evening.”

“Who in the hell do you think you are boy?” Senator McCallister asked.

“Right now, I may be your only savior,” the cadet replied, smiling evilly as he patted the firearm in the holster again.

“What is it that you want?” Senator McCallister asked.

“I wasn’t you to come with me,” the cadet replied, motioning with his head, directing the senator to walk forward.

Down in the Men’s Room

John Donovan’s POV

What in the hell was that back there with the senator? He actually coughed up blood and it landed on me. Is there something medically wrong with him or was he just attacked? I did sense some tenseness in the way he talked with me and Roland. I first thought it had something to do with him not liking the fact that we’re gay, but now, maybe there’s something else going on. Was his tenseness a result of something else that’s going on with him? I guess it’s my goal to find out what happened with him before I encountered him.

Gesturing at the mirror with my hand, I saw my eyes glowing in the mirror’s reflection as I used my telekinesis to grab the blood particles in my shirt, separating the blood from the fabric as the blood floated freely in front of me. I need to get this somewhere to have it analyzed and…

“Yeah man, I’m at the White House, covering some damn gala about some important person’s birthday,” I heard someone say as the door opened as I turned on the water quickly, allowing the blood to fall into the sink, being washed away. Damn it!

Sighing, I looked up to see a man I knew. What in the hell is he doing here? I haven’t seen him in years. Is that really him? Is he really here or am I being tested by Fate again?

“Hey, I gotta go, I’ll catch you later,” I heard, turning around to face the man. “It’s you.”

“Hello Oscar,” I spoke as he put the phone into his pocket. “Long time, no see.”

“Yeah, it’s been a really long time,” he replied, stepping closer as he extended his hand to me. “How you been buddy.”

“You want to know how I’ve been? Where do I need to start?” I asked as he sighed and then looked down.

“I—I’m sorry,” he spoke, shaking his head.

“You left me stranded in Peru,” I spoke, wondering how he was going to react to that information.

“I didn’t mean to leave you there,” he replied, moving past me as he headed over to the urinals, standing in front of one as he unzipped and started handling his business.

“But you did none-the-less and I missed my contact,” I spoke as he sighed again, tucked himself back in, zipped up and then flushed the toilet as he moved over to the sink, standing right next to me as he turned on the water, washing his hands.

Damn it, what in the hell is wrong with this picture? Is he trying to damn flirt with me here, now? He’s standing next to me and I can feel the heat off his skin. I don’t have to use my empathy to feel that he’s after something, but what is he after? He’s done washing his hands, but he’s still standing next to me, looking me in the face, looking so damn cute. Damn it, I want to push him up against the damn wall and have my way with him. I can’t do that, I have a partner and we have a family.

“I wasn’t trying to make you miss your contact,” he spoke, brushing past me as he grabbed a paper towel from the dispenser, drying his hands as he turned slowly, looking at me, that same look that hooked me to him that night we were in Peru together. “I just wanted to see you again is all.”

“You saw me and got what you wanted and then you left me,” I spoke, remembering the used and abused feelings I had, waking up the next morning and he was nowhere to be found.

“I didn’t get what I want,” he said, throwing the paper into the trash can, his eyes seeming to burn a hole into my soul. “Had I got what I wanted, I would still have it.”

“I—I have to go,” I said, turning away from him quickly as I started to leave the room, trying to get back to Roland and the kids, mainly to clear my mind of the thoughts and feelings that were trying to creep into my heart, which wouldn’t be good for anyone if that happens.

“Wait, don’t leave so fast, I would like to make it up to you, if I can,” he said as I shook my head.

“You can’t make that up to me,” I said as he walked closer to where I stood as he reached out to touch me as I instinctively reacted and my telekinesis moved him backwards from me as he hit the wall and then looked around with a shocked and scared expression on his face.

“What the hell just happened?” He asked as the door opened as another man walked into the bathroom as I rushed out to return to Roland and the kids.

A Private Sector of the White House – A Secret Command Room

“Sir, did you see that?” A military cadet asked, watching a view screen of what had previously happened with John Donovan and Oscar Saunders in a men’s room. “That black man pushed the other man against the wall without touching him.”

“That’s not possible, you must’ve imagined that,” another cadet spoke, getting up from his seat to walk over to the other cadet. “We don’t have time for games tonight Bridges.”

“It’s not a game Phillips,” the first cadet spoke as he pressed some keys on his computer keyboard as the images on the view screen started to rewind and then play again. “See, the white guy is slammed into the wall.”

“There’s no proof of that happening man. He could’ve been off balance or something,” the cadet identified as Phillips spoke as he pressed some keys on the keyboard, enlarging the images on the screen.

“I don’t care what you say, I’m going to go ahead and report that to the superiors. You may not see that as strange, but I do,” the cadet identified as Bridges spoke as he pressed more keys on his keyboard as a box appeared on the screen as he used his finger to trace information on the screen and then he gestured with is fingers as the box disappeared. “I’ve escalated that up, so others can see it and make a decision on it.”

“I think you’re wasting a few people’s time on that man,” Phillips said as he shook his head and then walked over to his terminal, returning to his seat.

“You may think that, but small thinking is why you’re still here in this little room,” Bridges stated as he shook his head. “I’m not looking to spend my career on monitor duty for the rest of my life.”

“What you trying to say man, you think you’re better than me or something?” Phillips asked, standing back up from his terminal. “You’re no better than the next man that’ll take that damn seat, even if you’re not here. Acting that way isn’t going to score you any points around here.”

“I guess we’ll have to see, now won’t we,” Bridges spoke as he pressed more keys on the keyboard as Phillips shook his head and returned to his seat.

The Presidential Ballroom

“Hi babe, is everything okay?” Roland Donovan asked as John Donovan approached him and the two small children with him.

“We need to go,” John replied as he looked around quickly.

“Is there something wrong? Why do we need to go?” Roland asked, looking around quickly as if there was something wrong.

“I—I’m not feeling well, I think we need to go,” John answered as he looked down, trying to avoid Roland’s eyes. “Let’s just say our goodbyes and call it a night.”

“I—okay babe,” Roland relented as he smiled weakly and then looked down at the two small children.

“Boys, did you have a good time?” John asked, looking at both of the children.

“It was kind of boring Daddy,” one of the boys said as John smiled weakly as he took the boy’s hand. “I’m sure we’ll have a better time when we go to the Park tomorrow.”

“Yes, we’re going to the park in the morning,” John replied, looking around again, not noticing the sad expression on Roland’s face. “I’m sure you little guys will have a better time there.”

“Yes, I’m sure we will,” Roland spoke, taking the other boy’s hand as the four of them walked towards the doors, waving as they went.

Roland’s POV

What in the world is going on? What happened when he disappeared with the senator? Did the senator do something to him? Why is he in such of a hurry to leave here? I’ve been trying to reach out to his mind to talk with him, but he’s somehow blocking me. Why is he blocking me all of a sudden? We’ve always been able to share what’s going on with each other and now he’s blocking me from his mind, why? What could have happened when he disappeared with the senator?

“Papa, I’m still hungry,” I left my thoughts to hear Mason say as he looked up at me. “Are we going to get something?”

“I don’t know buddy, I guess we can stop some place on the way home,” I replied, looking over at John, still not able to reach out to him. “How about you Caleb, are you still hungry?”

“A little bit Papa, but not much,” Caleb replied as he smiled up at me. “Can we get pizza?”

“I think it’s a bit late for pizza, I don’t think you need to go to bed with such a big meal on your stomach kiddo,” I said, looking over at John as he continued walking down the corridor as we got outside as he walked over to the valet to get our car. “John, what do you think we should be getting? Are you hungry?”

“Ah, no—no, I am not hungry, I am fine,” he replied as he looked down quickly as he fished his wallet out of his pocket and then took some money out as he handed it to the driver that came back with our car. “Thanks buddy, alright kids, load up.”

“Okay Daddy,” Mason spoke, hopping into the backseat as John held the door open as Caleb followed behind him.

“John, what in the world is going on?” I asked, looking at him as he frowned and then opened the driver side door, getting into the car.

What in the hell is going on? Did he just act as if I didn’t ask him anything? Why did he just ignore me and get into the car? Whatever the hell’s going on, it must be big, since he’s not paying much attention to anything I have to say and he’s blocking me from sharing his spirit. He better have a good explanation for this.

An Hour Later – A Nearby Park

“Hey there,” Oscar Saunders heard behind him as he turned around to see a man standing there. “What are you doing back in town?”

“I live here. What are you doing back here?” Oscar heard as he stepped closer to the man. “I haven’t seen you since the shit that went down in Afghanistan.”

“Which shit are you referring to?” The man asked as Oscar shook his head.

“It doesn’t really matter guy. What is it that you want?” Oscar asked, looking around quickly. “Why did you summon me here?”

“Is that really what you want to know?” The man asked as Oscar shook his head again and then looked around again.

“Come on man, what is it that you want? I have better things to do with my time, than be out here in the cold with you. What is it that you want?” Oscar asked.

“The short and sweet version is, there’s a hit out for you, your family and a few of your friends,” the man stated as Oscar’s eyes widened as he looked around again.

“Man, I don’t have time for this shit,” Oscar stated as the guy smiled and then handed him a file folder. “What’s this?”

“Let’s just say someone has already started gathering intel on you,” the man said with a sly smile as he turned around. “Someone knows you’re alive and they want you and a few of your close friends taken care of. Next time, maybe you should keep your pants on, instead of leaving them under the bed in a cheap ass hotel in the middle of nowhere.”

“Fuck…” Oscar said as he looked around, but the man was nowhere to be found. “Where in the hell did he go? He was just here…. I don’t have time for this. If what he says is true, I need to get as far away from here as I can.”

Walking quickly through the park, looking in multiple directions around his body, Oscar pulled out his cell phone and dialed a number. Waiting for someone to answer, Oscar stopped when he got to the park’s entrance. Looking at the phone, he noticed that he didn’t have a signal and his call had failed.

“Damn it, why don’t I have a signal? I have to make arrangements to get away from here,” Oscar spoke as he looked around again. “If that fucker found me, I’m sure others out there, that want the bounty that’s on me head, can find me too.”

Oscar moved around a bit, trying to get his phone to connect to a cell signal. Sighing, Oscar walked out onto the street as a car barely missed hitting him as the sound of the horn blowing could be heard.

“You fucking loser!” Oscar yelled as the car’s tires screeched to a halt, the car stopping as a door opened and a person got out. “What the fuck!”

“You got a problem?” The person asked, slamming the car door, walking towards Oscar quickly.

“Oh shit,” Oscar said as he looked around and then took off running down the street, trying to avoid the person, not trying to bring more attention to himself.

Making it down the street, Oscar stopped at a local convenience store as he tried to get his breathing under control. Walking over to a phone booth, he frowned when he noticed that the cord had been cut. Shaking his head, he pulled his cell phone out of his pocket again and saw that he had some bars to make a call.

“Finally, I got bars,” Oscar said as he dialed a number on the phone and waited for someone to answer.

To Be Continued… 

Delays in Posting

Hello Guys and Girls:

It’s been far in between since I’ve done a good update to most of the stories around here.  I’m really sorry for the delays, but work has been keeping me very busy as of late… I guess that’s the life of a being a Mental Health Case Manager by date and a writer by evening/night.  Keep your eyes open and I’ll be releasing a slew of posts real soon.  

Thank you all for reading.

When The Glitter Turns Gold – Chapter 12

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Chapter 12 — Has JT’s World Gone Mad?

Jun 19, 2004 – Atlanta, GA – The Home of Brian Lake – Brian’s Private Den

“Hey man, what’s going on?”  Malcolm, a friend of Brian’s asked as he walked into the room to see Brian sitting on the couch in the room.  “When you spoke on the phone, you—you didn’t sound right.  Is there something wrong?”

“Yeah, there’s a lot wrong,” Brian replied, looking up at the man from where he sat.  “I feel like my life’s about to fall apart.”

“Say what man?  What’s got you feeling this way?”  The man asked as he walked over and took a seat next to Brian.  “Do you want to talk about it?”

“I—I don’t know if I should,” Brian replied as he sniffled and then shook his head.

“You’ve been crying… There’s really something wrong here,” the man said as he looked Brian in the face.  “Is there something wrong with the baby?  Is Betts okay?”

“They’re fine, but I’m the one that’s not,” Brian replied as he stood up quickly and then walked to the other side of the room.  “I don’t know if I can do this.”

“You don’t know if you can do what?”  The man asked, getting up and walking over to where Brian was.  “What’s going on here Brian?  What happened to get you like this?”

“Someone came to see me and—and that brought up thoughts of the past,” Brian replied as the man just looked at him strangely.

“Who came to see you? What kind of thoughts?”  The man asked.

“Someone that’s connected to someone I used to be close to,” Brian replied as he sniffled.  “That person saw me yesterday and that—that stirred feelings within me and I can’t stop thinking about things from the past.  I love Betts, but I—I love that other person too.”

“Oh man,” the man said as he placed a hand on Brian’s back.  “Who is this other person?”

“I—I can’t tell you that,” Brian replied as he moved away from the man.  “If I told you that, my life would forever be ruined, all because I was weak—too weak to fight for the right way.”

“Okay man, now you’re confusing me,” the man said as he stood there, watching Brian like a hawk.  “The way you’re talking, you’re sounding as if you cheated… oh man, did you cheat on Betts?”

“No, I didn’t cheat on her.  What happened, it happened way before she ever came into the picture,” Brian stated as he shook his head and then turned around.  “If anything, I cheated on the other person with her… I—I just don’t know how to fight these feelings.  I don’t know if I can make it.”

“Man, don’t talk like that,” the man said as Brian shook his head and then sighed. “If you talk about it, maybe I can help you out.”

“I—I don’t know,” Brian replied as he sniffled again.

“What’s it going to hurt?  Just start from the beginning,” the man said as Brian sighed and then walked back over to the sofa and then sat down.

“It—It was just a short fling during the time when the guys and I were on tour with another band, a very long time ago,” Brian stated as he looked down.  “I—I had admired this person from afar and when I got the chance to say something, I took the opportunity to do so.  We hung out a bit and got to know one another, but I broke things off because—because I was scared of what might happen.”

“Why do I get the feeling that this is something big?”  The man asked as Brian looked over at him.

“It is big,” Brian responded as he sniffled again.  “With the way I feel right now, I feel like running away and being alone.”

“It can’t be that bad, can it?”  The man asked as Brian nodded his head.

“It is bad!  It’s bad enough to cause the end of my marriage and my career!”  Brian snapped as the man just looked at him.

“Wait a minute, what are you trying to say here Brian?”  The man asked.

“Malcolm, I slept with a guy,” Brian stated as the man’s mouth dropped open with an audible pop.  “Yes Malcolm, I had a moment of weakness and I slept with a man.  My flesh laid with the flesh of the same type.”

“Ah… Okay,” the man responded as he rubbed at his head.  “Who’s this—this man?  Was it the person that came to meet with you?”

“No, it wasn’t the person that came to see me, but he’s connected to that person,” Brian stated as he shook his head and hopped up from the sofa.  “I don’t know what I’m even doing anymore!”

“Brian,” the man said as Brian shook his head and then turned and walked out of the room.  “Brian, come back here!”

“No Malcolm, I think it’s best if you go home,” Brian stated as he walked down the hall.

“Brian, I’m here for you, we can talk about this,” the man stated as Brian shook his head and waved a hand dismissively.

“No, we can’t talk about this,” Brian said with a sigh.  “I’ve said too much already.”

“It’s okay Brian, this doesn’t change things between us,” the man said as Brian stopped walking, turned around quickly and looked at the man strangely.

“What do you mean it doesn’t change things between us?”  Brian asked.

“I know what you’re going through, I…” the man said as Brian shook his head and then looked down.

“I knew there was something different about you,” Brian said as he started walking towards the door.  “I think it’s best if you leave here.”

“But—but why Brian?”  The man asked.

“Because I don’t need support right now, I need help changing these feelings.  I don’t want to be that way… I can’t be that way.  I have a wife and a child on the way.  That’s not right and I’m not going to allow those feelings to rule my heart, mind or soul.”

“How do you plan on stopping those feelings?”  The man asked as Brian frowned.

“You don’t worry about that,” Brian stated as he stopped at the door as he opened it and then waited for the man to walk out.  “You just need to forget that we talked about this.”

“Brian please, I can help you here,” the man stated as Brian shook his head and then motioned with his head at the door.  “Fine, I’ll leave, but if you change your mind, call me.  I’ll be around to talk if you need to.

“Not needed,” Brian stated as the man sighed and then walked out of the house as Brian closed the door behind him.

“It was just a short fling… I—I thought it would turn into something more, but—but it didn’t,” Brian spoke as the tears ran down his face.  “I—I was just an itch to him.  Once he scratched that itch, I was gone.  He played me and moved on to the next fool.  I guess after all these years, he got the fool that he wanted.”

Downtown Jacksonville, FL – The Jacksonville Landing – The Food Court

“Damn it, if I’d known we’d get bombarded by fans like this, I would’ve suggested that we bring security with us,” JT stated as he carried Caleb in his arms as he did his best to push through the throng of people in the area, clamoring about to get an autograph.

“Daddy, I’m scared!”  Caleb screamed as he cried in JT’s arms.  “Daddy, don’t let them get me!”

“You’re okay Caleb, they’re not going to get you,” JT stated as he looked around, trying to find where Justin was.

“Daddy daddy!”  Caleb screamed as the young woman in front of him and JT pulled at his clothing.

“Get away from us!  Stop this!”  JT screamed as some police officers rushed into the area with riot gear on, doing their best to push through the crowd of people.

= This is the Jacksonville Police Department!  Please stop what you’re doing and disperse! =

“I don’t think that’s going to work!”  JT snapped as he felt arms around his as he looked over to see Justin and another man, pulling him and Caleb away from the crowd.

“Baby, are you okay?”  Justin asked, rubbing Caleb’s back as he cried, trying to calm the little boy down.  “You’re okay buddy, you’re safe now.”

“Justin,” Caleb spoke as he opened his eyes and then looked up to see Justin, JT and another man.  “Those people were trying to get me… They tried to get me!  They were trying to take my clothes off!”

“But you’re okay now son,” JT stated as he rubbed Caleb’s back too.

“Okay Daddy,” Caleb replied as he looked around.  “I—I want to go home now.”

“That’s where we’re headed son,” JT stated as he looked around and then at Justin as he shook his head.

Atlanta, GA – The Home of Nikki Knotts – The Family Room

Nikki’s POV

I’m so happy that things between Josh and I are finally working out, the way they should’ve worked out a few years ago.  I hope this time around, we don’t have to face the issues with his family, that we, mainly I had to deal with a long time ago.  I know that things are different now and that I don’t have anything to worry about, but it’s hard to shake old feelings of the past.  It’s not that easy to forget about the heartache and pain that his family, mainly his mom, brother and sister caused, but I’m trying my best to not allow it to hinder Josh’s relationship with his daughter.

Now that Josh is a part of Summer’s life, I don’t know what either of us would do if the past comes back to haunt us, mainly me.  I don’t think I would have to worry much about that though, I think he understands just how much this chance means to all of us.  I’m sure he knows by now that if I feel the need to, Summer and I can and would disappear if the situation warrants it.

Shoot, the way Momma been eyeing him, I’m sure he already knows that if Gladys feels something is going on, she’ll circle the wagons and all of the Knotts clan would come to the rescue.  Look at them, they’re so good together.  My man and my mini-me.  If I don’t do something quick, Josh is going to spoil her rotten.

“… and the princess and her loving prince lived happily ever after in the kingdom of Foreverland, where the father and mother of the princess was close by to keep a watchful eye on her, the end,” Josh finished as he looked up at me and then smiled.

“Is she finally asleep?”  I asked as he nodded his head and then got up from the bed.

“Yes, my little princess is sleeping like Sleeping Beauty,” he said with a smile as he walked over to where I stood at the door and then leaned in and kissed my lips.  “How is my queen doing?  Are you feeling better?”

“Yes, I feel better now,” I replied as we kissed and then eased out of the room.

I must admit that since Josh has been around, getting Summer to sleep has been a little bit easier.  Then again, it could be that he spends more time, playing with her, tiring her out, something that neither Momma nor I was capable of doing.  Him being around is a blessing in disguise in that department.

Jun 20, 2004 – Albany, NY – The Home of James Poole – James’ Bedroom

“Good morning sir,” David spoke as he walked into the room, placing a tray of food next to the bed.  “Here’s your paper and I’ll bring the mail in, in a few minutes sir.”

“I need you to make some travel arrangements for the two of us boy,” James stated as David walked over to the windows in the room, opening the curtains, letting the light into the room.

“Where are we traveling to sir?”  David asked, turning around.

“We need to venture back to Jacksonville,” James stated as he took a sip of the coffee.  “Also, make some hotel arrangements.”

“Yes sir,” David stated as he turned around.  “Is there a particular place you would like me to book the hotel sir?”

“Somewhere close to my boys,” James replied as he took a bite of the toast and then picked up the remote and then turned on the television.  “I want you to get on top of that as soon as possible.”

“Yes sir,” David responded as he nodded his head and then left the room as James continued eating the meal as he watched the morning news.

Early Morning – Atlanta, GA – The Home of Brian Lake – The Master Bedroom

“No, I—I wasn’t—it wasn’t like that… I didn’t mean to… Please… Give me… Another… Chance,” Brian spoke, tossing and turning in his spot of the bed, that he shared with his wife Elizabeth.  “Please… I—I’m sorry… I really mean it… I really mean it JT… I’m sorry.”

“Brian, Brian… Honey, wake up,” Elizabeth gently spoke, trying to wake Brian up from his very apologetic dream that caused him much turmoil in his sleep.  “Come on honey, snap out of it!”

“Hah… What… What’s going on Betts?”  Brian asked as he opened his eyes and then turned to face her as she folded her arms across her chest, starring at him.  “Betts, is there something wrong?”

“You tell me,” she replied with a frown.  “Whose JT and why do you need to apologize?”

“JT?  JT who?”  Brian asked as Betts raised an eye at him.

“The JT that made you say, I didn’t mean to.  Please give me another chance,” she said as she threw the covers back on the bed and then slid out.  “Who is he Brian?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Brian said as he shook his head.

“Apparently your mind and your heart does since you’ve kept me up for the last few nights with the same crap!”  Elizabeth snapped as she pointed her finger at Brian.  “Is this some guy you’ve screwed around with in the past or what?”

“I haven’t done anything,” Brian replied as he hopped up from the bed.

“Oh, I get it now,” Elizabeth said as she shook her head.  “You tried something and the person shot you down.  That’s why you’ve been begging for a damn chance!  I hate you Brian!  I hate you!”

“Betts, come on, it’s not what you think,” Brian said as he walked over to where she stood in the room as she turned her back to him.  “It’s not what you think at all.”

“If it’s not what I think, then what in the hell is it Brian?  Why are you begging a man for another damn chance?  If you’re not trying to get him to fuck you, then what in the hell are you begging him for?”  Elizabeth asked as the tears streamed down her face.  “You promised—you promised me that you wouldn’t cheat on me again.  After I caught you with Nick, you said you were done with men.”

“I didn’t do anything baby,” Brian pleaded as he shook his head.

“You did something,” Elizabeth said as she gasped, crying more as she wiped at her eyes.  “Who is this guy?”

“JT Poole,” Brian replied as Elizabeth lifted her head and then looked at him strangely.  “The singer that married Justin Tanner.”

“Oh God,” Elizabeth said as she shook her head.  “He’s a married man and you’re trying to break up their marriage.”

“No, I am not,” Brian replied as he shook his head.  “It’s not what you think at all.  I hurt his feelings when I didn’t mean to.”

“Beg your pardon,” Elizabeth said as she looked at Brian, her hand shaking, ready to slap him.

“We were going to collaborate on a song together, but the song he wanted to sing with me, I—I didn’t think it was appropriate and I said some things to hurt his feelings and that has been plaguing me for the last couple of days.  I think the guy is a great singer and all, but I wasn’t about to put my career in jeopardy, the way his is right now,” Brian explained as Elizabeth looked at him and then shook her head again.

“Did you think the song would’ve tuned you gayer, than you already are Brian?”  She asked as Brian looked at her and then sighed as he turned and walked into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him.  “Brian!”

“I’m done talking to you right now Betts,” Brian’s voice could be heard, along with the sound of flowing water.

“Fine, this isn’t over with,” Elizabeth said as she walked out of the room.

Bolivar, TN – Bolivar General Hospital – The Emergency Waiting Room

“Ms. Greylek,” a nurse spoke as she stepped over to Laci Greylek, whom held a sleeping child in her arms.  “We have a room available now.  If you’ll just follow me, the doctor will be in shortly.”

“Finally,” Laci replied as she got up and then followed the nurse, going down a corridor and heading into an examination room.  “What’s taking so long today?”

“There are other patrons here Ms. Greylek,” the nurse responded as she side-eyed Laci and then opened the medical chart.  “What seems to be the problem with little PJ today?”

“If I knew that, I wouldn’t be here,” Laci replied as she rolled her eyes at the nurse and then shook her head.

“Can you tell me why you brought him here today?”  The nurse asked.

“He doesn’t look right,” Laci replied as she looked at the nurse.  “When I woke up this morning, he looked—looked blue and he didn’t want to eat anything when I tried to feed him.  I felt his head and he was hot, so I brought him here.”

“Let me take a look,” the nurse said as she moved closer to Laci and the baby.

“No, you’re not the doctor,” Laci stated as she moved the baby away from the nurse.  “I would rather the doctor tell me what’s wrong with my baby, not some low-life nurse that didn’t go to medical school.”

“Okay then,” the nurse spoke as she walked out of the room, closing the door behind her as she placed the medical chart in the holder on the door.

“Nerve of that damn woman, thinking that I was going to let her touch my baby,” Laci spoke as she cradled the baby to her chest.  “Please be okay my little baby.”

Somewhere in Alaska – A Lone Cabin in the Wilderness

“Kyle, what are you doing here?”  A tall white man asked as Kyle Chambers walked into the cabin and then threw his things down to the floor.  “I thought you were supposed to be in New York with that lover of yours.”

“I don’t have a lover anymore,” Kyle replied as he shook his head.

“What?  Why don’t you have a lover anymore, what did you do?”  The man asked as he walked closer to Kyle.  “Did you do something to hurt the guy?”

“Shut up!”  Kyle screamed as the man shook his head.

“What did you do Kyle?”  The man asked as he walked around a sofa in the room and then stepped closer to Kyle.  “Did you go off the deep end and beat hell out of the guy?”

“No!  I didn’t do nothing!  Nothing damn it!”  Kyle screamed as the man shook his head.

“Why don’t I believe you?”  The man asked as he stepped closer to Kyle, smoothing his hair back on his head as he leaned in and kissed Kyle’s lips.  “I’ve known you all of your life and I know when you’re lying to me.  You can’t just stand here and tell a bold face lie to me.  I know you did something, so what was it?”

“I—I accidentally pushed him… I accidentally pushed him over a balcony railing,” Kyle replied as he looked down.  “He—he was cheating on me with his ex and when I confronted him about it, he lied—lied about loving me and so I—I pushed him!”

“There there, see now, that wasn’t so hard to do, was it?”  The man asked as he leaned in and kissed Kyle’s lips again.  “Tell Daddy about everything and I mean everything.”

“Okay,” Kyle replied as he and the man sat down on the sofa.  “He—he told me that he had to take care of something with his sister and then I found him in Canada with his ex… He lied to me!  He told me that he loved me and then he did that to me!  So—so I pushed his ass off the balcony so he’ll never do that to me or anyone else, ever again!”

“Is he dead?”  The man asked.

“No, he’s not dead, but he’s close to it,” Kyle replied with a frown.  “I’m sure he won’t do it again.”

“This is why you should stay here with Daddy,” the man said as he pulled Kyle close to him, rubbing at his shoulders as he kissed his cheek.

“I—I can’t stay here forever.  What—what am I going to do?”  Kyle asked as the man continued rubbing at his shoulders.  “He’s not dead.  Pretty soon he’s going to tell someone about what I did and then the police will be looking for me.”

“You let me worry about that.  Don’t you worry your pretty little head about mundane things such as that,” the man said as he kissed Kyle’s lips again.  “Daddy will take care of everything.”

“Okay,” Kyle replied as he lay his head on the man’s shoulder as the man unbuttoned his shirt.

Albany, NY – The Airport – A VIP Waiting Area

David’s POV

After getting the breakfast dishes washed and put away, I had to endure an hour of rough usage.  Normally he isn’t so rough and forceful with me, but today was totally different, totally unlike him at all.  Is there something wrong?  He must have something on his mind, because he generally doesn’t take long to climax and it took almost an hour.

After getting things cleaned up, I was finally able to get our bags packed and ready to go.  Normally it wouldn’t take me long to pack our bags, but each item of clothing I had packed for Sir, he didn’t agree with, so I had to go through the closet and find different matching sets to his liking and then repack everything.  After getting things to his liking, we headed to the airport, only to be stopped by the police.  Apparently, he fits the description of someone that was involved in a breaking and entering a few days ago.  After providing proof to the police of where we had been, the police left him alone and we were able to go on about our business.  Had it not been for my record keeping and organization skills, he probably would be somewhere, in a cell, pleading his innocents while the fuckers ignored him.

With all that keeps happening around us, I’m starting to wonder, if the beings upstairs are testing us to see how much we can deal with.  Between the stuff going on with his ex-wife and kids and the crap he found out about my brother, I think someone has it out for the both of us.  I want this stuff to stop and quick.  I don’t like seeing the Sir upset and sad all the time.  Each time he talks about his sons, I feel like—like his heart is breaking, falling to pieces and there’s nothing I can really do to fix that for him.  With all that I do for him, I can’t take away the pain that he experiences because of the loss of his children from his life.

Being pulled out of my thoughts, I felt his hand on my leg as I turned to look at him as he motioned with his head at the monitor on the wall.  Apparently, something happened at a local shopping mall in Jacksonville with his son and grandson.  I wonder what kind of madness this is going to cause for him.  It seems that each time he learns that something bad happened to one of his kids, he tends to take that madness out on me and others around him.

“Those people could’ve trampled my grandson,” Sir said as he sighed and then shook his head as the TV showed images of his son and grandson being helped and escorted from the mall with help from the police riot squad.  “The nerve of those people, chasing my son and grandson through a damn mall.”

Yeah, he’s pissed off now.  I wonder how long this episode is going to last?

= Flight 129 to Jacksonville, FL is now boarding. =

“That’s us Sir,” I said, holding out my hand to help him up as he looked up at me and then stood up as I grabbed his carry-on bag so we could go board the plane.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Saint Michael’s Hospital – Ken’s Hospital Room

“Good morning Mr. Hampton, how are you feeling?”  A medium height white man asked as he walked into the room.  “It looks like you’re healing up rather nicely.  So how do you feel?”

“I feel alright.  When do I get to go home?”  Ken asked as he looked at the man.

“Being that there isn’t any actual physical damage to your spine, you can go home when you want sir.  The trauma caused to the spinal nerve seems to be healing, being that you are able to wiggle your toes and move your legs without a problem.”

“Good, I’m ready to go home now,” Ken stated as he sat up in the bed as the man moved quickly to stop him.

“Well there is a process to this,” the man said as Ken looked at him strangely.

“What kind of process?”  Ken asked, looking at the man like he was crazy.

“In order for you to leave here, I have to first sign off on whether or not I think you can be released,” the man stated as Ken crossed his arms across his chest and then lay back on the pillow.

“Why wouldn’t you release me doc, what’s the catch?”  Ken asked.

“I’ll sign your release papers when you tell the police of how you ended up here and what was the cause,” the man said as Ken rolled his eyes.

“There’s nothing to tell here,” Ken stated as he looked down.  “I told the police already that I fell, that’s all that happened.”

“Well the police don’t believe that and neither does anyone here,” the man said as he looked at Ken.  “Did that black man that was arrested, did he push you over the balcony?”

“No, he didn’t push me,” Ken answered as he shook his head.  “You people are violating my rights here.  I want to go home and it seems you guys won’t let me.  Do I need to call a lawyer to get out of here?”

“No Mr. Hampton, you don’t have to do such a thing,” the man said as he signed a page in the chart and then walked to the door.  “You have a good day Mr. Hampton.  I hope you continue healing and I hope you seek help for whatever that caused you to end up here in our care.  Goodbye.”

“Goodbye,” Ken said as he moved from the bed slowly and then walked over to the closet to get the things that JT had left for him.

To Be Continued…

When The Glitter Turns Gold – Chapter 11

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Chapter 11 — Start of a Scandal

Jun 10, 2004 – Jacksonville, FL (Baymeadows Suburb) – The Home of JT Poole – The Kitchen

JT’s POV

“You don’t want to go where?  I didn’t know we were going anywhere, Justin?”  I said, looking up at Justin, not knowing what was happening here.

“I don’t want to go back to Mommy,” Caleb said as he wrapped his arms around my neck and held on tight.  “I want to stay here with you!”

“Calm down Caleb,” I said, rubbing his back, hoping he didn’t scream in my ear again.  “Nobody said you had to go anywhere.”

“I—I been with you already and—and I don’t wanna leave you.  I like you Daddy and I don’t want to go,” he said, sniffling as I saw Todd and Wes leave the room.  “Please Daddy, please don’t send me back to Mommy, I wanna stay here.”

“I’m not going to send you anywhere Caleb, I’m going to keep you as long as I can,” I replied, not knowing how much longer that would be, being that I don’t fully understand what was going on with Heather and her situation.

“You promise Daddy?  Do you promise that you won’t send me away?”  Caleb said as I just looked at him.  I didn’t know if I could make that promise or not.

“Caleb, I’m going to keep you here with me as long as I can,” I said as he looked me in the face.  “I can promise you that I’ll do my best to keep you here with me, but I have no control of your mother’s actions.”

“Daddy, what does that mean?”  He asked as I sighed.

“It means that I love you very much and I’ll do everything in my power to keep you here with me, as long as possible,” I said as he looked down, his bottom lip looking like he was going to explode.

“Uncle Ken said that you’ll keep me forever and ever,” Caleb said as I looked at him and then up at Justin as he shrugged his shoulders, but continued working with the chicken.  “He told me that I never have to go back to Mommy, that you’ll keep me forever.”

“Caleb, I—I wish I could keep you forever, but I have no idea what your mother will do to stop that,” I said as he looked down. “I have you right now, but when things with your mother settles down, I don’t know what she’ll do.”

“She doesn’t care about me, she didn’t want me!”  He yelled as he sniffled and then turned away from me.  “She only cares about herself.  You—you not like that.  You care about me, more than she does.”

“What are you saying Caleb?”  I asked, taking his hand and pulling him to me.  “Why do you feel I care about you more than she does?”

“She always leaving me, she never home.  She never around,” he said as he shook his head.  “She always left me with Aunt Shannon and she—she crazy!”

“She’s crazy in what way Caleb?”  I asked, looking at him as he sniffled again.

“She—she…” He said as all kinds of thoughts flashed through my mind.

“Stop,” I said as I stood up quickly as Justin dropped the chicken leg, it sliding from the counter and hitting the floor, making a mess.

“Baby,” Justin said as I held up my hand and then rushed out of the room, heading to the bathroom down the hall.

Oh God, was my son about to tell me he was abused?  Did Heather allow him to be abused by that friend of hers?  I thought the woman was a lesbian, but maybe I was wrong about that.  She seemed kind of bossy in that damn hotel room.  I just thought she was upset about things with Heather, but did I read those signs wrong?  Oh God, what happened because of Heather’s actions?

“Okay JT, you have to calm down and get yourself cleaned up.  I can’t let my son see me like this.  He’s already crying, and I can’t have him see me like this,” I said as I turned the water on and splashed my face, trying to get my nerves calmed.  “Come on JT, get it together buddy.”

“Baby,” I heard Justin’s voice as he knocked on the bathroom door.  “Baby, come on… Open the door.  We need to talk.”

“I’ll be out in a moment Justin,” I replied, taking in a breath quickly as I turned the water off and then turned the door knob, opening the door to see Justin and Caleb standing there with matching sad faces.

“I’m sorry Daddy, I didn’t mean to make you cry,” Caleb said as he wrapped his arms around my leg.

“You didn’t make me cry Caleb,” I said as I heard a phone ringing somewhere in the house.

“Honest Daddy, I didn’t mean to make you cry,” Caleb said again as I felt wetness on my leg as it seems his tears were seeping through my pants leg.

“I am okay Caleb, it’s alright,” I said, rubbing the top of his head as he moved back as I knelt down in front of him.  “I—I just had a moment of sadness is all Caleb.  I am okay, honest I am.”

“You promise Daddy,” he said as I nodded my head.

“I promise Caleb, I’m okay,” I said as I stood back up as he took my hand and the three of us walked back down to the kitchen as I noticed Wes standing outside the room with the phone in hand.  “Is there something wrong Wes?”

“You have a phone call,” Wes stated as I sighed and then walked quickly so I could get to the phone.

“Who is it?”  I asked as he shrugged his shoulders and then handed me the phone.  “Hello, this is JT.”

“Hi buddy, it’s me, Ken.  How are things going?”  I heard Ken’s voice on the phone.

“Ken, are you okay?  Where are you?  Are you still in Toronto, in the hospital?”  I asked as Justin and Caleb watched me.

“I’m okay buddy,” he stated as I moved over to one of the stools and then sat down.

“Where are you?  Are you still in the hospital in Toronto?”  I asked.

“Yes, I’m still in the hospital,” he replied as I shook my head.  “How are things going with you and Caleb?”

“Things are fine, but I’m more concerned about what’s going on with you,” I said as Justin knelt down, picking up the piece of chicken that had fallen to the floor and then tossing it into the trashcan.

“Cool it buddy, there’s nothing going on with me,” he said as I shook my head.

“Are you out of your mind?”  I asked as Justin motioned at Caleb with his hand as Caleb walked over to the table and then took a seat.  “You’re laid up in the hospital and everyone thought you were going to kick.”

“I’m not going to die, I’m okay,” he said as I shook my head again as I walked out into the hallway.

“Ken, I was arrested for attempting to kill you at the hotel,” I said, throwing my hand up as I turned around.  “The damn police took me away because they thought I did something to cause you to end up in the hospital the way you are now.”

“You didn’t do anything to hurt me; you wouldn’t do something like that.  Besides, I didn’t call you to talk about that; I called to find out what was happening with you and Caleb.  That’s all I want to talk about and nothing more,” he said as I shook my head again.  Why is this man avoiding that damn subject of his health?

“The two of us are fine, nothing wrong there,” I said, pissed off that he didn’t’ want to talk about what happened in Toronto to cause him to be hospitalized and me to almost be imprisoned for life for a crime I didn’t commit.  “Since you don’t want to talk about what almost killed you, could you at least tell me when you’ll you be getting out of there?”

“That’s something I—I don’t know,” he replied as I wondered what he wasn’t telling me. I’ve known Ken for a long time and I know when he’s hiding something from me.  “Have you spoken with Heather since Caleb has been with you?”

“No Ken, I haven’t spoken with her, I can’t,” I replied, wondering if he knew she was in jail.  “Haven’t you heard about her current predicament?”

“What predicament is that?”  He asked as I shook my head.

“She’s unable to talk to anyone for a while,” I replied as I looked into the kitchen to see Caleb, still sitting at the table, watching Justin as he prepared the chicken.

“Why can’t she talk to anyone?”  He asked.

“She’s in jail,” I answered as I leaned against the wall.  “She was arrested while she was in Philly.  The last thing I heard about her, she’s still locked up.”

“Ah, so the tramp finally got what she deserves,” he said as I shook my head again.  “I’m glad I was able to help with that.”

“You’re glad you were able to help with that?  What do you mean Ken?  What did you do?”  I asked as I moved away from the wall and then walked further down the corridor, so Caleb wouldn’t hear me.

“I wrote a statement about what she did to you and handed it over to the police,” he said as I shook my head.  “When I spoke with the detective that arrested her, he told me that she would be arrested for her actions against you and that she would pay for all the wrong she’s done.”

“Why do I get the feeling that you had that whole scenario set up Ken?”  I asked, wondering how she was actually able to be locked up when Howard told me that she couldn’t be arrested in the first place.

“That’s something you don’t need to worry about.  Besides, you should be happy the heifer is locked up and not able to cause any more problems for you,” he said as I sighed.

“I could care less about where…” I said as he interrupted me.

“She’s in jail and she’s not going to bother you anymore,” he said.  “She can’t cause you any more trouble, especially since she’s locked up.”

“I’m not worried about her causing any problems for me,” I said.

“You finally have the family that you’ve always wanted and there’s nothing she can do about it,” he said.

“Nope, there’s nothing she can do about that.  I’m married to Justin now and I’m getting my life together, the way it should be,” I said, still wondering what it was he wasn’t telling me.  “She should get it through her head that there’s no chance of the two of us ever being together.  Because we have a child together, it doesn’t mean anything.”

“You only have a child together because she raped you,” he said as I looked down.

“Ken…” I said as he interrupted me.

“Buddy, that’s not the start to a happy family, but I’m glad you have yours finally.  You have what you want, the man you love, a son… You have the life we were meant to have, had she not interfered and ruined things for us so long ago.”

“Ken, that’s the past.  There’s no point of us talking about that,” I said, thinking about his motivation of writing a statement and giving it to the police against his sister.  He’s still pissed off about what Heather did so long ago to break us up.

“Come on buddy, you have to admit… If she hadn’t lies to my parents and did the things she did, we would still be together today,” he stated as I shook my head.

“I don’t know Ken, maybe we would, maybe we wouldn’t, who really knows,” I said, looking up to see Justin standing in the doorway, with a strange look on his face.

“I know, but like you said, that’s in the past,” he said as I sighed.  “Okay buddy, I’m getting tired.  I’ll talk with you later on.”

“Okay Ken, you have a good evening and take it easy,” I said as the phone clicked, signaling that he had hung up the phone.

“This is just too much to…” I said as Justin interrupted me.

“You okay now?”  Justin asked, looking at me closely.  “Dinner is ready and Caleb and I are waiting on you.”

“Okay,” I said as we both walked down the hall to the kitchen.

Jun 19, 2004 – The Parks International Building – A Conference Room

“Hello ladies,” Darren spoke as he walked into the room.

“Darren, could you please explain to me and these ladies, the reason for why we’ve been summoned here?”  Syndi Perry-Lambert asked as she stood up from her seat at the table.  “We’ve been here for a while and I don’t…”

“If you’ll be quiet Mrs. Lambert, I’ll tell you why you ladies are here,” Darren stated as Marc Prestige walked into the room behind him.  “Marc, let me introduce you to the ladies of ‘Desire’.  That’s Syndi Lambert, that there is Lisa Irwin, she’s Dana Bullard and you already know Starletta London.”

“Oh look at this shit right here.  It seems a damn rat has crawled from under its fucking rock to appear in front of us this evening,” Syndi stated as Starletta stood up.

“Please tell me that Marc isn’t supposed to be the new person managing this group,” Starletta said as Syndi, Lisa and Dana looked over at her.

“Say what?  Why is this guy here Darren?”  Lisa Irwin asked as she stood up next and then looked over at Darren like he was crazy.  “That fool tried to ruin his last client’s career.  Why do we want him managing ours?”

“Okay ladies, before we get to the reasons why Marc is here, we need to have a talk about all of your contracts with the label,” Darren stated as Syndi shook her head.

“There’s nothing wrong with our contracts Darren,” Syndi stated, glaring at Darren.  “We just had this conversation a month ago.”

“Yes we did Syndi, but that was before a new development within ‘Desire’ took place,” Darren stated with a sly smile.  “Lisa, you’re out!”

“What!”  Syndi snapped as she walked around the table to where Darren stood.

“Plan and simple, she’s out of the group.  The label has no use for her talents any longer,” Darren stated as he smiled at Syndi.  “The label believes you three can carry on as ‘Desire’ without a problem.  If you feel you need Lisa to remain in the group, then we’ll have to replace you as well.”

“What in the hell is going on here?”  Lisa asked as Syndi looked down and then shook her head.  “Why in the hell am I getting kicked out of the group?  Did you guys know about this?  Well, did you?”

“I—I didn’t know about this Lisa,” Syndi stated as Darren laughed and then shook his head.

“Come on Syndi, you knew someone was going to be removed from this group,” Darren stated as he sat down at the table and then opened his briefcase.  “So, now that issue is out of the way, we can get on to the real business at hand.  Let’s get this started.”

“This isn’t over with, not by a longshot,” Lisa Irwin said as she shook her head and then walked out of the room, slamming the door behind her.

Atlanta, GA – The Home of Brian Lake – Brian’s Private Studio

“Welcome to my Studio JT,” Brian Lake greeted as he shook JT’s hand, ushering him into the room.  “It’s so good to finally meet you in person.”

“It’s nice to meet you as well,” JT replied, walking into the room.  “Cool layout you have here.”

“Thanks,” Brian replied as he walked over to a control panel in the room and then pressed a button as some more lights activated in various parts of the room.  “So, Justin tells me that you’re looking to collaborate with other artists.”

“Yeah, I’ve been looking to branch out a bit and do a solo, duet album, away from my group,” JT stated as Brian smiled.  “I’m trying something a little different, but new to keep my name fresh with the fans.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean man.  It seems you’re off to a great start with that,” Brian stated, walking around to a desk and picking up a newspaper, showing it to JT.  “I really liked your last single.  It brought the spotlight back to some other things going on.  I liked how you pulled that off without any company backing.  It just popped up out of nowhere.”

“Yeah, that’s how I planned it,” JT stated as he looked around the room again.  “With all the drama the company execs had created over the past few weeks, I decided I’d had enough of the theatrics.  I had to do something different to keep the media off of the drama and put it on what really matters, the music.”

“Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t you drawing attention to the ones that were creating the drama?”  Brian asked as JT nodded and then smiled.  “I like that.”

“Glad you do,” JT stated as he pulled a CD from his pocket and then handed it to Brian.  “Hopefully, you’ll like this also.”

“What’s this?”  Brian asked.

“Hopefully it’ll be a number one hit,” JT stated as Brian pressed a button on a console as a CD tray opened up as he placed the CD into it and then pressed the button as the CD loaded into the player as music filled the room.

“Nice tune, it’s very catchy,” Brian stated as he snapped his fingers and bopped his head to the beat of the song.  “What’s this called?”

“Mischievous,” JT answered as Brian smiled again.

“I like it,” Brian stated as he walked around the control booth as he motioned for JT to follow him.

“Do you think you would like to accompany me on this song?”  JT asked as Brian turned, facing him with a strange look on his face.

“I—I like the song JT, but do you really think this is the song I should sing with you?  This seems like the kind of song you would sing with—with your husband Justin, not…” Brian stated as JT coughed, interrupting him.

“Excuse me Brian, why do you think that?”  JT asked as he looked at Brian strangely.

“From what I’ve heard so far, this seems like a song that you would want to… Well, you know,” Brian said as he motioned with his hands at JT as JT just stood there, watching him strangely.  “A song that would make you want to do the… Come on, you know.”

“I don’t know,” JT stated as Brian shook his head.

“JT, I think this is a song that would make people want to get busy,” Brian stated as JT’s eyes widened as he shook his head.

“That so wasn’t the way I was headed with this song,” JT stated as Brian pressed a button on the console as the music stopped, started playing backwards a bit and then started playing forward again.

“Are you sure about that?”  Brian asked as he pressed another button on the console as the music stopped as he pressed another button and then the music started to play again. “Listen to the words and tell me what you think is the right answer here.”

Come on over baby, let’s get things ready
Once the sun goes down… we’ll hit the town
We’ll be heating it up… while others eat it up
The night is all we have… so let’s get down
So come on over baby, let the fun times begin
Are you ready?

“Okay, I see your point there, but I was looking to sing this with someone else, not Justin,” JT stated as Brian looked at him strangely.

“Seriously JT, if I were to sing this song, I would sing it with my wife or another woman, not with a man,” Brian stated as he looked at JT with a neutral expression on his face.  “I’m sorry to say it this way, but I’m not going to sing a song that could have the fans thinking I like men.  I’m not trying to make this sound harsh or anything, but I’m not gay.”

“I—I didn’t mean to imply that you are, if that’s the way you took it,” JT stated as he looked down.  “I—I think I better go.”

“JT,” Brian said as JT shook his head.

“No Brian, you have a point,” JT stated.  “There’s no need in ruining your reputation and career because of a song.”

“JT, please don’t be that… I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said it the way I did,” Brian stated as JT looked at him.

“It’s totally fine,” JT replied as he accepted the CD.  “I guess I should sing this song with Justin.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I would love to work on a project with you JT as long as the music doesn’t create a problem for my career or my reputation.”

“Well I think us working together in any way would present a problem for your reputation,” JT stated as he walked out of the room, leaving Brian standing there with his mouth open.

A Few Hours Later – The Home of JT Poole – The Studio

“Baby, are you okay?”  Justin asked as he and Caleb walked into the room.

“No, I’m not okay,” JT replied as Justin looked at him strangely.  “My meeting with Brian Lake didn’t go over well.”

“Really?  What happened?”  Justin asked as he moved over to where JT sat, busy writing in his song book.

“He doesn’t want to ruin his reputation,” JT answered as Justin’s eyes perked up a bit and then he frowned.

“What?  How did his reputation come into play?”  Justin asked.

“He didn’t want to sing ‘Mischievous’ with me,” JT replied as he shook his head.  “He stated that if he were to sing a song like that, it would be with his wife or a woman, not with a guy.  He said I should sing the song with you instead.”

“Wait a minute, Brian said that to you?”  Justin asked as JT nodded his head.  “I—I don’t know what to say.”

“I do,” JT stated as he got up from the desk and then closed the song book.  “I’m not going to waste my time with a closet case.”

“How—how did you know he was a closet case?”  Justin asked as JT raised an eye at him.

“Justin, I’ve been gay for a very long time and I know how to spot another gay man,” JT stated as he turned and pressed a button on a panel.  “Besides, if he’s not ready to brave the waters of the gay world, who am I to help him cross the bridge?  I’m not the one to force him to do so.”

“I—I just thought he—he were…” Justin stammered as JT interrupted him.

“You thought he was ready to come out, because you two fooled around in the past,” JT stated as Justin’s eyes widened.

“How—how did you know that?”  Justin asked.

“Justin, how long have we’ve known each other?”  JT asked as Justin frowned.

“We’ve known each other a very long time baby, but what does that…” Justin replied as JT interrupted him again.

“Besides liking me, I know the type of guy that you would fall for Justin.  You’ve always had a thing for the cute, short and blond,” JT stated as Justin’s cheeks reddened.  “But, I’m not going to hold that against you… I once had a thing for that man, but that disappeared when he married the woman and they had a child.”

“I don’t like you baby, I love you.  Besides, things with Brian was short—very short.  It was just a fling during the time we were on tour with his band,” Justin stated, moving closer to JT and leaning in and kissing his mouth.  “I love you and Brian Lake doesn’t compare to you, at all.”

“That’s so sweet and very good answer,” JT stated as he groped Justin’s ass as Caleb giggled.  “Hey little man, what are you doing over there?”

“I’m just waiting for you two to stop being mushy so we can go have some fun,” Caleb replied as JT shook his head and then laughed.

“What kind of fun were you trying to get into little buddy?”  JT asked with a smile.

“I want to go to the Jacksonville Landing,” Caleb stated as he stood up from where he sat.  “Some kids at camp were talking about the video game arcade there and I would like to go.”

“Oh really?  Is it better than the video game arcade here?”  Justin asked as he looked over at JT with a smile on his face.

“Yeah, is it better than the arcade here?”  JT asked with a pout.

“I don’t know Daddy, I would like to go find out,” Caleb stated as he walked over and wrapped his arms around JT’s legs.  “Please Daddy, please… Can we go?”

“Yeah, I guess we can go,” JT responded as he and Justin pulled apart.  “Oh and Justin, I’m sure we’ll talk more about the Brian thing later on tonight.”

“I’m sure we will,” Justin replied with a frown as the three of them walked out of the room.

To Be Continued…