Chapter 9 — Decisions Made
May 30, 2004 – Jacksonville, FL (Beaymeadows Suburb) – The Home of JT Poole – JT’s Private Den
“It’s probably the label again,” Justin stated with a frown. “Someone named Wanda Stone and a Harry Martin has called a few times today.”
“How sweet,” I said, walking over to the phone and checking the caller id. “I guess I better answer it, since it’s been ringing off and on most of the day and I haven’t talked to anyone outside of this house, sans Howard.”
“Guess so baby,” Justin said as I frowned at him as he held up both of his hands.
“Hello,” I spoke into the phone, waiting for someone to speak.
“It’s about time that you answered the phone JT,” I heard Wanda Stone’s voice on the line as I shook my head. “I was starting to think that you were trying to break your contractual obligations to the company.”
“Wanda, I’m in no mood for your twisted and sick little mind games today. What is it that you want?” I asked, wondering what her crazy mind was trying to cook up, mainly since she’s a fucking trickster like Marc.
“Now JT, that’s no way for you to talk… especially to the person that holds your career in the palm of her hands,” she said as I shook my head again.
“In that case, let me go ahead and hang up the phone then,” I said, ready to press the button to disconnect the call, but her yelling stopped me.
“Don’t you dare hang up that phone JT!” She snapped as I looked at the phone, looked over at Justin and then back at the phone again as I wondered has I fallen into a strange dimension where I actually had to listen to crazy bitches.
“Or what Wanda?” I asked, moving my finger closer to the button to end the call.
“I didn’t call you to argue JT. I’m trying to find out what’s going on with you guys,” she said as I sighed. “So far, I haven’t heard from anyone in your ranks, since before you left Philadelphia. I haven’t heard from Marc or Jarrod.”
“I don’t think you’ll be hearing from Marc anytime soon, mainly because he’s in jail and I have no idea where Jarrod is,” I stated.
“Why in the world is Marc in jail?” She asked.
“Where do you want me to start?” I asked as Justin looked over at me.
“Start from where Marc ends up in jail JT,” she replied.
“He assaulted Justin Tanner this morning, while we were at the airport. Justin’s security team had to subdue him and then they pressed charges against him,” I explained, waiting for her to start screaming or something, since that’s what she’s good at doing. “Also, Marc decided to disobey a judge’s restraining order for him to stay away from me and Justin, so I think he’s going to have some long-term legal troubles looming on the horizon, before he gets to see freedom to talk to you.”
“What! I don’t believe this! First you guys have problems in Philadelphia and now this,” she said as I shook my head. “What else is going to happen for ‘Mutual Attraction’?”
“The group will probably lose all of our fans after I get married to Justin Tanner,” I replied, looking over at Justin as his ears perked up at the mention of his name.
“Are you fucking kidding me? You’re going to jeopardize your career by marrying a man?” She asked.
“Yes, I’m going to marry Justin,” I replied as Justin got up off the sofa. “We’re going to get married real soon and I’m going to turn my back on the rest of the world.”
“What! You can’t turn your back…” She said as I smiled at Justin.
“Good-bye Wanda,” I said, hanging up the phone on her.
“Baby,” Justin said as I stopped him.
“Maybe one day we’ll be married,” I said as he raised an eye at me. “I said that to get a rise out of her.”
“I see,” he said as he moved back from me. “So, I’m not worth marrying? Is that it JT?”
“Justin,” I said as he shook his head.
“No JT,” he said with a frown. “Am I worth marrying? I thought we were past all of this—this damn drama.”
“We are past the drama,” I said as he shook his head.
“I don’t think we are. I think you’re still scared of things,” he said as I sighed.
“I’m not scared Justin,” I said as he shook his head again.
“Prove me wrong JT, marry me,” he said as I shook my head.
“What?” I said as he shook his head.
“Prove me wrong JT, marry me damn it!” He snapped as I sighed and then shook my head again.
“One day we’ll get married Justin,” I said as he shook his head again.
“Why not a day soon, like you just said?” He asked.
“Justin,” I said as he took my hand and then dropped down to one knee.
“Marry me JT, marry me today,” he said as I looked at him like he was crazy.
“Justin, we just got together. Are you crazy?” I asked as he nodded his head.
“I’m crazy for you JT,” he replied with a small smile. “Go ahead and marry me, so I can show you how crazy in love I am for you.”
“Justin, I—I just can’t up and marry you,” I said as he nodded his head. “Justin…”
“While you were asleep on the plane, I did some research for the two of us,” he said, looking up into my eyes.
“What kind of research Justin?” I asked as he smiled.
“I found out that we could go up to Canada and get married and be happy,” he stated, still holding my hand as he looked up at me.
“Really now,” I said as he smiled and then nodded his head.
“I’m ready to take that step, if you are,” he said as he kissed the top of my hand. “Marry me baby, let’s make this official and start our lives together.”
“Justin,” I said, shaking my head, thinking about the words mom said. “Are you sure you want to be stuck with me for the next…”
“Hopefully for the next fifty or sixty years baby,” he said, looking up at me with that thousand-watt smile that made me want to drag him to the bedroom and have my way with him. Considering that we haven’t had sex… Well we haven’t had sex since we were last together, how does he know he want to be tied down with me now?
“Justin, are you sure about that? We—we just got back together and we…” I said as he interrupted me again.
“We have a past baby and that’s just it, it’s the past,” he said, rubbing my hand. “We’re never going to live that down, if we don’t move forward.”
“How can you expect me to move forward when there’s so much shit going on in my life?” I asked, looking away from him as he got up in a hurry and then turned my face to look back at him.
“I expect you to move forward because I love you and I know you are able to,” he said, looking me in the face. “Don’t make me beat a dead horse baby.”
“Justin,” I said as he sighed. “Fine, I’ll marry you, but let it be known that if you start having second thoughts, I’ll beat you with my mother’s high heel shoes, the ones with the spiked heel.”
“Well I don’t have to worry about that happening,” he said as he pulled me close and then kissed my lips. “I love you baby.”
“I love you too Justin,” I said as he smiled.
“Can we blow out of this place and head out to Canada now?” He asked as I shook my head.
“Sorry babe, but you know I have a meeting with the label to tend to real soon. With all the drama going on, I don’t know when we…” I said as he interrupted me.
“What if I told you that I already made the arrangements?” He asked as I looked at him strangely.
“What do you mean you made the arrangements already Justin?” I asked.
“I already made the arrangements for us to get married,” he replied with a smile. “I already booked our plane tickets and—and I called Ken.”
“You called Ken for what?” I asked, wondering had he fallen and bumped his head too.
“If we’re going to be married, I think the most important people in your life should be there,” he said as I looked at him, trying to figure out where this conversation was going. “Go get Vanessa and Mo so we can leave. Ken and Caleb will meet us in Toronto.”
“What! You’re kidding, right?” I said, looking at him like he was crazy as he shook his head.
“I think it’ll be a good start for your son to be there to witness this event,” he said, looking at me closely. “Also, he’ll know that his daddy loves a man and not his mother. She won’t be able to tell him any lies about you to him in that regard.”
“Lawd, do I really need that kind of drama Justin?” I asked as he sighed.
“I don’t think that really matters to Caleb baby. He’s just glad that he has a father and he wants to get to know him,” he said, looking at me with a small smile on his face. “So, while you were sleeping, I packed some extra things for you.”
“Justin, I just can’t up and leave and go to Canada to get married,” I said as he frowned.
“I already called and spoke with the person that will marry us, his name is Brett Hammond. He wants to talk with us, before he performs the ceremony,” he stated as I sighed.
“So, it seems you were a busy little beaver today,” I said as he flashed that Tanner smile at me that made me want to take my clothes off and do it. Woooo, this boy got me doing things I don’t want to do. I feel like Denise LaSalle right now.
“Yep, like you, I do what I can to get what I want,” he said as he grabbed my hand again. “Our plane leaves in two hours.”
“The plane leaves in two hours,” I said as he smiled again.
“Yep, so that means we need to be heading to the airport,” he said as he kissed my hand and then pulled me in the direction of the door.
He’s been very busy today. When was he going to get around to telling me about all of what he’s been doing?
Downtown Jacksonville – The Omni Hotel – Starletta’s Hotel Room
“Good afternoon, may I help you?” Starletta asked, standing in the doorway, watching the man that stood there.
“Ms. London, I think we need to have a talk,” the man spoke as Starletta looked at him strangely.
“We need to have a talk about what? Who are you? Why are you here?” Starletta asked, watching the man closely as he walked past her into the room. “Excuse me; I didn’t invite you in.”
“Since the label is paying for this room, you didn’t have to,” the man stated as she glared at him as he pulled a letter from his blazer pocket and handed it to her. “My name is Darren Haynes.”
“What is this?” Starletta asked, looking at the letter strangely.
“This is the new itinerary for ‘Mutual Attraction’ and what will happen when they go back into the studio to work on their next album. This also details what will happen later on when they go on tour,” the man stated as he handed her another letter.
“What’s going on? Why am I not on this itinerary?” Starletta asked, throwing the piece of paper at the man.
“You’re not on it, mainly because you’re not signed with the company,” the man replied as Starletta raised an eye at him.
“What do you mean I’m not signed? If I’m not signed, then why are you here?” Starletta asked, watching the man. “I signed a contract with Jarrod Lee; I’m signed to the company!”
“That’s why I’m here; there’s something wrong with the contract you signed,” the man stated as Starletta’s eyes widened.
“What are you talking about? What’s wrong with my contract?” Starletta asked.
“The main problem is, your contract isn’t valid with our company,” the man stated as Starletta’s mouth fell open. “The contract that Jarrod had you sign was for him managing you, not for you being signed to the company. So, officially, you are not a part of the record label and you’re not a part of ‘Mutual Attraction’.”
“What!” Starletta snapped as the man stepped back.
“You are not a part of ‘Mutual Attraction’, regardless of what Jarrod told you,” the man stated with a smile.
“But Jarrod said…” Starletta said as the man shook his head and then opened his blazer again, pulling something from the inside pocket.
“If you want to be represented by the record label, then you need to come by and do like everyone else, audition,” the man stated as he handed Starletta a business card. “Oh and have a good evening Ms. London.”
“I—I…” Starletta stuttered as the man waved and then walked out of the room, closing the door behind him, leaving Starletta standing there as she cried.
An Hour Later – Jacksonville International Airport – The VIP Section
Okay, so this crap is really happening right now? Are we… We’re really here at the airport, getting ready to jet off to Canada for JT and Justin to get married. Why Canada, why not some place here in the US of A? Then again, why did they just up and come here, so they could get married now? They haven’t been together long… Hell, they haven’t been back together long enough for them to be heading off to get married. If someone should’ve been getting married, it should’ve been me, not those two. I can’t fucking believe this.
“Mo, are you okay?” Justin asked, looking over at me from his perch next to JT.
“Ah yeah sweetie, I’m just fine,” I replied as he raised an eye at me. “Seriously Justin, I’m just fine. You can stop looking at me like that.”
“Are you sure?” He asked, his expression changing to that one that got on my nerves. I’m sure he doesn’t believe me, but that’s the only answer I’m going to give him at the moment.
“I’m sure,” I replied, trying to show my best smile, but I’m sure it wasn’t working the way I wanted it to.
“What in the hell is going on here? We haven’t been in town for twenty-four hours yet and we’re already leaving here,” I heard Vanessa’s voice as I turned around to see that she had walked into the room with a mean look on her face. “Where are we going and why did I get an urgent message, telling me to meet you guys here?”
“Well hello Vanessa,” I spoke, smiling at her as she looked at me like I was crazy. “We’re headed to Canada.”
“We’re headed to Canada, for what?” She asked, her expression speaking volumes of anger. I guess the guys didn’t tell her the reasons why she was summoned here so urgently. I guess the guys didn’t mention to her that they were going to Canada to get hitched.
“They’re going to Canada to get hitched,” I replied as she looked at me and then looked over at JT and Justin. “Smile guys.”
“What!” Vanessa exclaimed as others in the room turned and looked at her. “Are you out of your damn mind?”
“Mother, I think you need to calm down,” JT spoke as he got up and walked towards Vanessa as she shook her head and then started pointing her finger at him.
“Don’t you stand there and tell me to calm the fuck down!” Vanessa screamed as she pushed JT away from her. “Are you two out of your damn minds?”
“No, we’re not out of our minds,” JT replied with a frown on his face as he looked down.
“Okay then, if you’re not out of your damn minds, what in the hell are we doing here in a damn airport, heading to Canada for you two to get married?” Vanessa asked as she looked around. “Boy, are you serious about this or is this something that Justin put into your damn head? Do you really want to get married?”
“Mother,” JT said as he looked down again.
“Don’t mother me boy,” Vanessa said as Justin got up and walked over to where the two of them stood.
“Vanessa…” Justin spoke as Vanessa held her hand up in his face, stopping him from talking.
“I don’t want to hear nothing from you right now,” Vanessa coldly said as she grabbed JT by the arm, pulling him towards the doors of the room as he struggled a bit.
“Oh God, she’s going to turn him against me,” I said, walking back over to my sit and sitting down.
Damn it! I—I can’t let her change his mind now. After all the stuff we’ve gone through together already, I—I can’t let her do this. We deserve to be together and I’m not going to let her destroy what we’re trying to build.
Damn damn damn! I should’ve known something like this was going to happen! Then again, if Momma knew I was trying to jet off to Canada, to get married to him, she would probably be here too, doing the same thing Vanessa is. I—I just can’t let this happen now. I love him and—and I’m not ready to just roll over and let things end like this. I gotta do something to stop her and make him see what we’re supposed to be together.
Sighing, I got up from where I sat, smoothed out my shirt and then turned around. Looking up, I noticed Mo watching me. I wonder what she’s thinking right now, with all the crap that’s going on in her life. With how things turned out so far with David, the way he just up and married someone else, I’m not about to let the man I love slip away from me, the way David slipped away from her. I’m not going to just let that happen.
“Hell no, I’m not about to let the man that I love get away from me,” I said, taking a breath as I walked over to where JT and Vanessa were.
“What is it that you want boy?” Vanessa asked, looking at me like I was crazy.
“Can it Vanessa,” I said as she looked at me like she wanted to hit me.
“Look here…” she started as I shook my head, stepped in front of her and took JT’s hand.
“Justin,” JT said as he looked at me as Vanessa folded her arms across her chest.
“No baby,” I said as he raised an eye at me.
“What are…” he said as I shook my head and then closed my eyes as a song by Gloria Estefan came to mind.
Here we are
Face to face
We forget, time and place
Hold me now
Don’t let go
Though it hurts and we both know
The time we spent together’s gonna fly
And everything you do to me
Is gonna feel so right
Baby when you’re loving me
I feel like I could cry
‘Cause there’s nothing I can do
To keep from loving you
Here we are
Trembling hearts, beating strong
Reaching out, a breathless kiss
I never thought could feel like this
I want to stop the time from passing by
I wanna close my eyes and feel
Your lips are touching mine
Baby when you’re close to me
I want you more each time
And there’s nothing I can do
To keep from loving you
There’s nothing I can do
I’m helpless in your arms
Oh baby what you do
I’m in love, this is it
There’s no turning back this time
No no no
Here we are
But this time we’re only friends
Become the game, when love’s the prize
And though no one knows what’s going on inside
And all the love I feel for you
Is something I should hide
When I have you close to me
The feeling’s so sublime
That there’s nothing I can do
To keep from loving you
Can’t keep from loving you baby
There’s nothing I can do my baby
Can’t keep from loving you.
When I finished singing, I opened my eyes and saw that he had tears in his eyes. Before I could say or do anything, the area around us erupted in applause as I looked around to see that a lot of people had surrounded us, listening to me serenade him.
“Oh Justin,” he said, stepping closer to me as he kissed my lips. “Let’s get on this plane to go get married.”
“Hot damn,” I said, wrapping my arms around him and lifting him off of his feet as I spun him around in the air as a camera flash went off.
Hell, I don’t’ care about that camera flash right now. I’m going to get married to this man and there’s nothing anyone can say or do to stop me… us.
To Be Continued…