Category Archives: Adult Sexual Situations

The Ties That Bind – Chapter 8


Chapter 8 — Mirror, Mirror

Aug 25, 2004 – Los Angeles, CA (North Beverly Park Suburb) – The Home of JT and Justin Poole-Tanner – JT’s Den

“Well, are you gay?”  Nikki asked, looking Joshua in the face.

“No, I’m not gay!”  Joshua exclaimed, throwing his hands up as he moved away from Nikki.  “I’m not gay damn it!”

“If you’re not gay, then what in the hell is going on here?”  Nikki asked, looking at Joshua and then at JT and Justin.

“I’m not gay, but—but I fooled around with guys in the past,” Joshua stated as he sighed and then sat down on the sofa in the room.  “Those two seem to think that I’m jealous of them because I’m not with a man right now.”

“You are jealous, damn it!”  Justin snapped.

“Justin, be quiet, damn,” JT said as he shook his head.  “Nikki, we’ll leave you two alone here, so you can talk or whatever and we’ll be down the hall in another room.  It seems I need to talk to my husband about manners.”

“Oh no you don’t JT!  You two aren’t going anywhere damn it!”  Nikki snapped as she looked at JT, grabbing him by the arm, stopping him from leaving the room.  “You knew about this shit and you didn’t say anything about it to me, why?”

“First of all, it—it wasn’t my place to tell you, being that it’s not my business,” JT replied as Nikki shook her head.  “Secondly, I don’t know what Josh has or hasn’t done in his life since we were kids.  People do change or something.”

“So, his missing around with guys in the past is why you two have always got into arguments and such?”  Nikki asked as JT nodded his head.  “Did—did you two fool around when you were younger?”

“Hell no!”  JT snapped as he moved away from Nikki, making a face as he coughed and then wiped at his mouth.  “That’s just all kinds of wrong.”

“What in the hell is that supposed to mean?”  Joshua asked as he turned and looked at JT.  “Are you trying to say I’m not good enough to be with?”

“That’s just furthering the damn issue right there,” Justin said as he shook his head as Nikki pointed her finger at him.

“And you—you just had to keep on pushing this issue, why?”  Nikki asked as she shook her head.  “Why is this bothering you all of a sudden?  It’s one thing to take offense to somebody causing a problem between the two of you, but what in the hell…”

“It bothers me because my so-called friend kept this secret from me for so long.  It bothers me because my so-called friend used to give me hell about being with men.  It bothers me because my so-called friend used to do everything in his power to talk shit about gay people and to find out, he’s fucked around with a few!”  Justin snapped as JT’s eyes widened.

“He’s fucked around with a few, who?”  Nikki asked, looking at Justin and then spinning around to look at JT.  “JT, what’s he talking about?”

“I don’t know,” JT replied, looking at Nikki and then at Justin.  “Justin, what are you talking about?”

“He knows what I’m talking about!”  Justin snapped, pointing at Joshua as he walked out of the room as JT watched his retreating form leave.

“Justin, come back here!”  JT called out as he shook his head again.

“Josh, what in the hell is he talking about?  I want to know everything right now, or we’re finished!”  Nikki yelled, stomping her feet like a child would.  “You can forget about having me and your daughter in your life!”

“Baby no!”  Joshua screamed out as he dropped to his knees in front of her.

“Tell me what in the hell is going on!  Now!”  Nikki snapped as she pointed her finger in his face.

“Okay, I’ll tell you everything,” Joshua replied as Nikki looked at him.

In JT and Justin’s Bedroom

“Justin,” JT said as he walked into the room to see Justin sitting on the bed, crying.  “Justin, what’s gotten into you?  Why did you do that back there?”

“That bastard deserved it,” Justin replied as he sniffled.

“Justin, what’s going on here?  Why are you crying?”  JT asked, walking over to the bed and sitting down next to him.  “What’s going on?”

“I—I let my emotions get the better of me,” Justin replied as he laid his head on JT’s shoulder.  “I shouldn’t have done that back there, but—but at the time, it—it felt so poetic.”

“It felt poetic, why?”  JT asked, looking Justin in the face.

“How do you think Mom found out about me,” Justin said with a frown.  “I sure as hell didn’t tell her I like dick and ‘man ass’.”

“Josh outed you to Lynda,” JT said as Justin nodded his head and then sniffled.  “I’m sorry baby.”

“It’s not your fault baby,” Justin replied as he and JT kissed.  “Just goes to show that when Josh doesn’t get what he wants, he tells their secrets.”

“Wait a minute, hold up,” JT said as he stood up.  “What are you talking about here?”

“It doesn’t really matter baby,” Justin said as he grabbed JT’s hand, pulling him back down to sit on the bed as he rested his head back on his shoulder.  “Josh has always been an evil prick.  Back on the show, he found out that I was gay, and he did everything he could back then to use it against me.  How do you think he got the best parts on the show?”

“That bastard,” JT said as he shook his head.

“Yeah, that bastard, but that’s in the past and neither of us can change that,” Justin said as he sighed.

“And we can’t change the fact that you opened a can of worms for Nikki and I don’t think that’s going to turn out well,” JT said as there was a knock on the bedroom door.  “Come in.”

“Hi guys,” Nikki said as she walked into the room.

“Hey girl, are you all right?”  JT asked as she walked around to stand in front of him and Justin.  “Do look on your face says no.  Please tell me that you two didn’t break up.  Did you kill him?”

“No, we’re not broken up and I didn’t kill him,” Nikki replied with a frown.  “I’m just shocked what I’ve found out here today.  All the years that I’ve known him, I didn’t know that about him.”

“How do you feel now that you know?”  JT asked.

“The same way I felt when I found out about you,” Nikki replied as she pointed at JT as he frowned.  “It’s one thing for him to hide that part of him from me for so long, but it’s another thing when he felt it didn’t matter for him to tell me.  It felt—feels like I don’t even matter to him.”

“Well you matter to me Nikki,” JT stated as he got up and hugged her.  “You are one of my best friends, but I had my reasons for not telling you or anyone else, mainly because of the way I got treated.  Josh played a role in that and so did others.  I learned at a young age that when someone knows the real you, they use it against you and treat you differently.”

“I can only imagine,” Nikki replied with a frown on her face.

“I got treated like crap on the show by Josh and others.  I was fired from the show when the big wigs found out about me and Marc.  Hell, things got so bad, that when I went to auditions for certain companies there were the whispers, stares and the damn pointing,” JT stated as she sighed and then shook his head.  “As you know, our very own manager did his best to take advantage of that secret when he found out and even tried to rape me.  When people know the real you, that can sometimes lead to unnecessary stress and drama.”

“Baby, are you trying to defend Josh?”  Justin asked, looking over at JT.  “That last part sounds like you were trying to explain why he didn’t tell Nikki about his double dickings.”

“Lawd, this man’s tongue is going to make me spank him today,” JT said as he shook his head.  “I’m not trying to defend Josh, I’m just saying why I didn’t tell many about my secret.  I don’t know why Josh didn’t tell her and besides, that’s not our business.”

“For your information, he said he didn’t tell me because he was ashamed of that part of his life and that kind of life didn’t allow him to have what he wanted,” Nikki stated as JT and Justin looked at her strangely.

“What was that he wanted?”  JT asked.

“His words, a family,” Nikki replied as JT looked at her and then shrugged his shoulders.

“Bullshit,” Justin said as he shook his head.  “Nikki, we’re a family here and we’re raging homos.”

“Speak for yourself,” JT said as he raised an eye at Justin.  “I’m not raging at the moment.”

“We’re a family here, so I don’t know what in the hell he’s talking about, not being able to have a family,” Justin said as he sighed.  “You got Big Daddy JT, Papa Justin and our little sweet baby bear, Caleb.  So again, that’s bullshit.”

“Justin, just let it go,” JT said as he sighed.  “One, the way Josh lives his life has nothing to do with us.  Two, his private life is his life, not ours.  You were wrong for doing to him, what he did to you.”

“He did the same thing to you and you’re mad with me,” Justin said as he shook his head.

“Yeah, but that didn’t mean you had to turn right around and do the same thing to him,” JT said as he frowned.  “You don’t do evil for evil.”

“Well regardless of any of that, what time are you guys leaving for Toronto?”  Nikki asked as JT looked at her.  “Me and Summer will be joining you guys, regardless if my stubborn, confused husband wants to show support for your friends or not.”

“We’re heading out Friday evening, probably right after school lets out, unless there’s a problem,” JT answered as a phone rang in the room.

“It’s my cell,” Justin said as he rolled over on the bed and grabbed his cell phone and opened it to answer.  “Hello.  What?  What channel?  Okay, thanks for calling.”

“What’s going on?”  JT asked, looking at Justin.

“Turn the TV on, apparently my baby mama drama has been caught for the whole world to see,” Justin stated as he shook his head.

“Baby mama drama?”  Nikki said, looking at Justin strangely.

“Some woman claims that Justin is her baby’s father,” JT stated as he turned on the TV, flipping channels.  “What channel am I going to?”

“It doesn’t really matter, it’s probably on all of them,” Justin replied as he sighed.  “I don’t need this drama added to what’s already going on.”

“Apparently I missed something,” Nikki said with a frown.

“Caleb had a play date yesterday and we went out to eat last night with Chad Faulk and we got ambushed in the restaurant.  Later on, in the parking lot, some strange woman approached the car and said Justin was her baby daddy,” JT explained as Nikki’s eyes widened.  “So, apparently that’s hit the news now.”

“Justin, do you have a child too?”  Nikki asked, looking at Justin as he glared at her.  “Sorry, was just checking.”

“I don’t have any kids, except for Caleb,” Justin replied as his cell phone rang again.  “Great, that’s Ma.”

“Go ahead and clear the air with her,” JT said as he shook his head as he stopped flipping the channels, ending up on one of the music channels.  “If I didn’t know any better, I’d think she had something to do with getting that woman to say that crap, just to try to break us up.”

“I don’t think Mama would stoop…” Justin said as the phone beeped, indicating that he had a voicemail message.  “I guess I’ll listen to what she had to say.”

“Well apparently it wasn’t a long message,” JT said as he shook his head as he turned up the volume on the TV.

= To recap the news story at the top of the hour, is it a boy for Justin Tanner?  An anonymous source reported that Justin could be the father of a little bouncing boy.  That’s right, the ‘Starz’ bad-boy front man is growing up and it seems very quickly.  It seems Justin has been very busy this year.  As some of you already know, Justin came out of the closet a few months back when he and JT Poole, his ex-cast mate from the Mouse performed an up-close and personal, very seductive song together at one of JT’s shows.  And then, before the start of summer, Justin and JT got married in a private ceremony in Toronto with their close friends and family. With this new development, what else does this year hold for Justin Tanner?  Are the rumors true about this ‘bouncy baby boy’ or is this just a new hoax following the rumors that trail behind Justin and JT’s relationship… Tune in tonight to find out when that source is revealed. =

“What in the hell is going on?”  JT asked as he looked at Justin.  “We’ll find out that information when they reveal the source.  How are they going to reveal information that hasn’t been confirmed yet?  Is there already proof that the child is yours Justin?”

“They don’t have any proof because I don’t have a child with a woman,” Justin stated as he sighed and then shook his head.  “This is really pissing me off.  When this is said and done with, I’m suing somebody!  Someone is going to pay for causing this drama.”

“More power to you on that one,” JT said as he sighed.  “It’s almost time to go pick up Caleb.  Are you coming with me?”

“Yes, I’m coming with you,” Justin answered as he got up.

Albany, NY – The Home of James Poole — James’ Bedroom

David’s POV

For the last couple of days, the sir hasn’t been feeling well.  I don’t know what’s going on with him, but I think he needs to see a doctor.  Each time that I’ve checked his temperature, it’s been rather high.  I’ve tried suggesting that he go to the doctor or to the hospital, but he yells at me to mind my own business.  When it comes to him, he is my business.  I’m doing my best to honor his wishes, but pretty soon, I’m going to have no choice to but to disobey him and call an ambulance to come here and get him.

I don’t really know his full medical history, but I think what’s happening with him right now has something to do with the injury he sustained a few months back.  He’s been walking around here, clutching at his side and at his chest.  Each time I say something, he gives me that look.  I don’t know what to do about any of this, but I fear if I don’t do something quick, I won’t have him around in my life.

“Boy, what are you doing?”  He asked as I walked across the room to put away some of his clothing.

“I’m putting away your clothing sir.  Is there something you need or require?”  I asked, turning to face him.

“Have you started dinner preparation?”  He asked as I nodded my head in the negative.  “Good, that means I can make changes.”

“What would you like for tonight’s meal?”  I asked.

“We’re going to go out,” he replied as I looked at him, wondering if he was making a good decision.  “I think I would like to have some Italian food this evening.”

“Yes sir, do you have a place in mind?”  I asked, waiting for his answer.

“I think LaBella’s, the little restaurant across town would be a great place for us to dine tonight,” he answered as he closed his eyes as I noticed he was holding his side under the bed sheets.

“Sir,” I said as he opened his eyes and looked at me strangely.  “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine boy,” he replied as he started breathing heavy.  “Call LaBella’s and make reservations for us.  Go handle that right now!”

“Y—yes sir,” I responded, walking out of the room quickly as I headed down the hall to the home office to get the phone book, so I could do as I was told.

Getting into the room, I walked over to the desk and picked up the phone book.  Flipping through the pages quickly, I found the number, picked up the phone and dialed the number for the restaurant, waiting for someone to answer.

“Hi, LaBella’s, may I help you?”  The person asked.

“Hi, do you make reservations?”  I asked of the person that had answered the phone.

“Yes, and for what date and time?”  The person asked.

“Tonight, for two,” I replied as I heard what sounded like pages turning.

“Yes, we have a table available for tonight,” the person responded.

“Great,” I said with a smile.  “Could you reserve that under the name Marin?”

“Yes,” the person answered.  “I have put you in the book.  Are there any special requests?”

“No, there aren’t any,” I answered.  “Thank you very much, is there a certain time that we have to arrive?”

“Your reservation will stay in effect until we close sir,” the persons stated.

“Cool, thank you again,” I said with a smile.  “You have a great afternoon.”

As I hang up the phone, I turned around to see the sir, standing there watching me.  Damn, how long has he been standing there?  He’s being sneaky this afternoon, I didn’t even hear him come into the room.  Is there something wrong?

“Sir, is there something wrong?”  I asked, looking up at him and then nodding my head.

“Yes, there’s something wrong,” he replied, looking at me with that look that told me that he was ready for action.  “I need something from you boy.”

“What is it that you need sir?”  I asked as he walked over to where I stood and then pulled me close, kissing my lips.  “Sir?”

“You know what I need and want boy,” he said as he pushed me backwards on the desk, pressing his body against mine, grinding against me as I felt his hardness, moving against my leg.

What’s going on with him?  This is highly strange of him to be kissing me like this.  The way he’s acting, he must be horny.  I can feel the thickness of his member, throbbing against my leg.

“Take ‘em off boy,” he said, breathing hard as he looked me in the face.  “Assume the position, you know what I want and how I want it.”

“Yes sir,” I replied, hurriedly taking off my clothes as he demanded.

As I lay atop the desk, I looked up at the ceiling as I felt him fingering my ass.  He slid one and then two fingers into me and then he pushed my legs towards my chest.  Looking at him, he smiled that all-knowing smile that told me I was about to get worked over again.  Closing my eyes, the next thing I felt was him entering me, all in one swoop.  Oh God, had I not already been lubed up from our earlier session, that would’ve hurt like hell.  Hell, his huge dick had already unloaded deep inside me an hour earlier, so I guess he needed seconds.

“Mmmm,” I moaned as he pumped my ass, holding my hips as he established his pattern of fucking.  “Oh Sir… I… God… You…”

“That’s right boy, take your daddy’s big dick!”  He snapped as he pulled me up a bit, kissing my lips.  Damn, what in the hell is going on with him?  He’s hardly ever been a kisser, but today, he—he’s been doing it a whole lot.  “You like that boy?”

“Y—yes Sir,” I replied as he continued to ram into me, hitting my spot.

Damn!  I don’t know how much more of this I can stand.  Several minutes have passed and he’s till plowing the hell out of me.  Normally, he would’ve shot his load by now, but he’s still going, acting as if he were a damn energizer.

“I bet you wish you could jerk that little dicklet boy,” he said, pounding harder into me as I so wanted to jerk off, but the cock cage prevented me from doing so.  When he unlocks me, I’ll have to make up for lost time.

Damn, he hasn’t show his load yet.  Looking him in the face, he’s sweating a whole lot.  Maybe he needs some encouragement from me, to get that load out.  Which one of our roleplay scenarios do I need to use?

“C’mon Big Daddy, I know you have another load in you.  Your dick is rock hard, throbbing in my ass.  C’mon Big Daddy, coat my insides with your seed!”  I screamed as he wiped his brow and started pumping faster and harder into me.

“Yeah boy, you want more of your daddy’s cum.  You want me to knock you up with my precious seed, don’t you?”  He asked, breathing hard now as he smacked at my ass and continued thrusting deep inside me.

“Oh yes Daddy, I want you to knock your cute little white boy up,” I replied as I could feel some wetness on my dick.  Oh God, he’s fucking the pre-cum out of me.  “Oh God Daddy, I want you to breed me!”

He pulled his cock out until just the tip was at my opening and then he slammed back into me, sending tremors throughout my body.  Oh God, what is he trying to do to me?  I don’t know how long we’ve been at this, but my ass is starting to feel raw and the friction is starting to get intense.

“Get ready bitch, you asked for it and I’m about to give it to you!”  He screamed as he started to shake a bit as I could feel his dick pumping his seed into me.  Thank God, he’s shooting his load.

“Thank you very much Sir for the present,” I responded as he continued breathing heavy as he got his breathing under control and then leaned in close and then kissed my mouth again.

“That was good boy,” he replied as he smiled and then pulled out of me.  “Go get us a bath ready so we can get cleaned up for our evening out.”

“Yes sir,” I responded, sliding off the desk, making sure to keep the contents of his seeding inside of me as he smiled and then walked out of the room.

Damn, where in the hell did that come from?  I guess he just needed to rest up to get his energy.  The first session we had earlier wasn’t that long and it sure as hell wasn’t that rough.  This session is one I’m going to remember for the next couple of days.

To Be Continued…

The Ties That Bind – Chapter 7

Need the perfect checking account? Try Simple...


Chapter 7 — Swing That Closet Door Wide Open

Aug 25, 2004 – Los Angeles, CA (North Beverly Park Suburb) – The Home of JT and Justin Poole-Tanner – JT and Justin’s Bedroom

“Who could that be?”  JT groggily asked as he rolled over in bed as someone knocked on the bedroom door.  “Someone better be close to death.”

“Is there something wrong baby?”  Justin asked as he opened his eyes as the knocking continued as JT turned on the bedside lamp.

“Come in,” JT called out as the door to the room opened as Chad Aldon walked in.

“Hey buddy,” Chad spoke, waving his hand.

“What’s up Chad?  What time is it?”  JT asked, yawning.

“It’s a little after five,” Chad replied, his expression neutral.

“Is there something wrong Chad?”  JT asked.

“I came to tell you that Howard and I are heading on up to Canada this morning,” Chad stated, smiling weakly.

“When are you two leaving, now?”  JT asked as Chad nodded his head.  “I—I thought you guys were going to wait until…”

“We were going to wait, but we decided to go ahead and head on to the hotel, so we could have some alone time,” Chad stated as JT frowned.  “When you guys arrive, we’d have the ceremony then.”

“Ah… Okay then Chad,” JT replied, wondering why Chad and Howard had changed their earlier plans. “You two have a safe trip then. One of you needs to call when you get there, so we know you made it safely.”

“Will do buddy,” Chad replied as he waved again and then walked back towards the door.  “You two have a good morning and sorry for waking you up so early.”

“It’s okay,” Justin said as he waved as Chad walked out of the room and then closed the door behind him.

“I wonder what caused them to change their plans like that,” JT said as he slid back down in the bed. “Oh well, there’s nothing we can do about it now.”

“Nope, there isn’t a thing we can do about it,” Justin said as he and JT snuggled up under the covers as JT turned the besides lamp off.

Later that Day – JT’s Den

JT’s POV

Lawd, I’ve been on this phone for almost an hour now and it feels like I haven’t accomplished anything.  Who knew contract negotiations would take this long and be so nerve wrecking?  I’m on the phone with five of the six company execs and each of them seem to think that they can say and do what they want.  It seems I have to keep reminding them that I have controlling interest in the company and I have the final say so of what goes on.

“I understand all of what you’re saying Rachel, but that’s an avenue I don’t want to travel just yet,” I said as I jotted some information own about the company’s new name and a new musical act they are trying to promote.

“We manage forty groups and of those forty groups, only three of them are turning a profit,” Darren Haynes spoke as I shook my head, wondering why he hadn’t been fired yet, as I gave explicit instructions for him to be gone.

“We can’t promote everyone at the same time,” I said as Justin walked into the room with Joshua and Nikki.  “There’s got to be a method to advertising and promotion that should work with getting everyone’s name out there, with everyone bringing profits to the table.”

“That means we may need a new recruitment and ad department,” Wanda Stone said as I sighed.  “As I brought up earlier, the only groups making money right now is ‘Mutual Attraction’ and ‘Beatz’ and that’s only because of the drama currently floating around both groups.”

“We’re not going to get into that matter right now Wanda,” I said, shaking my head as Nikki walked over and took a seat on the sofa across from me.  “Besides, the drama wouldn’t have happened if you all hadn’t agreed to allow Glitter to do what she did.”

“Glitter’s solo career had nothing to do with the rumors floating around about your drug and alcohol usage,” Jarrod spoke up as he was going to be next on my hit list.

“This isn’t going to be the day for all of you to take shots at me,” I said, waiting for someone else to speak up.  “Anyone else has something to say about me, my relationship status or my child, speak up now or forever hold your peace.  After this point, if I hear anything in reference to me and my family, I’ll make sure you regret it before the end of business today.”

“Baby,” Justin said as he sighed and then took a seat next to Nikki as Joshua sat down opposite of both of them as he rolled his eyes.

“Now wait just a minute, you can’t just be throwing…” Carlotta Jackson spoke up as I wondered when she came into the room, since no one had announced that she was there.

“Maybe someone didn’t tell you that I own controlling interest in the company and I can do as I damn well please,” I said, waiting for someone else to say something.  Being that they’ve gone and pissed me off, I think it’s time I go ahead and start the house cleaning.  “I remember giving someone instructions to get rid of Mr. Haynes, go ahead and add Ms. Jackson to that list as well.”

“What?  Are you trying to fire me?”  Carlotta asked as I smiled.

“No, I’m not trying to do anything, you already are,” I said as Justin shook his head and then sighed.  “I’m not going to have any of you try to run my name in the ground and cause problems.  The rest of you can either go with the flow or you can make your exits behind Mr. Haynes and Ms. Jackson.  Do you guys and girls feel me on that note?”

“Yes,” I heard from multiple people as I sat back in the chair.

“Being that this call has lasted longer than it was supposed to, I have other obligations to attend to and I will speak with you all tomorrow morning,” I said with a smile.  “All of you have a nice day.”

Pressing the button to hang up the phone, I removed my headset and then got up from the chair, stretching.  With all eyes on me, I wondered what was going through Nikki and Justin’s minds.  I’ll find out in a few minutes when I tell them about how my phone conference went.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada — The Queen Anne Hotel – Chad and Howard’s Hotel Room

“Why didn’t you tell me you didn’t like flying baby?”  Chad asked as he and Howard walked into the room.

“It’s not that I don’t like flying, I just don’t like experiencing a lot of turbulence on a flight,” Howard replied as he put his things down on the bed.  “But it was okay, you were there to keep my mind off of things.”

“I’ll do my best to always be around to keep your mind off the bad things,” Chad stated as he walked up behind Howard, embracing him and kissing his neck.  “That’s what you do for the man you love.”

“I’m glad,” Howard replied as he turned around in Chad’s arms, kissing his lips.  “Now that we’re here, what are we going to do first?”

“Whatever we want to do baby,” Chad stated with a smile.  “We don’t have anything to do until tomorrow.”

“Why don’t we just stay in bed all day then,” Howard suggested with a smile as Chad nodded his head.

“I think we should start with a shower and then we’ll end up in bed,” Chad said as he unbuttoned a few buttons of Howard’s shirt.

“Sounds good to me,” Howard replied as the two kissed again and then walked over to the bathroom.

Los Angeles, CA (North Beverly Park Suburb) – The Home of JT and Justin Poole-Tanner – JT’s Den

JT’s POV

Now that we’ve had something to eat, we’re back here in the den to get back to the business at hand.  We should’ve continued things while we were eating, but someone suggested that we didn’t discuss business while we ate, so we didn’t.   I don’t mind working on business stuff and having a meal.

It seems my husband isn’t happy with me right now.  While we ate our meal, he hardly spoke to me.  I think he’s pissed off with me because of the way I talked to some of the record company execs on the phone.  Hell, he should know by now that when it comes to business and my money, I can be just as ruthless as the others we can’t stand can be.  For the past few weeks, he’s been hinting to me that I need to be a bit nicer to people.  He thinks that if I was, the things I want to happen, would happen a bit easier and faster.  Yeah right.  I was nice and those record company fools tried to stop me from having a career.  Me being nice to them is way past over with.

Nikki, my friend and co-singer has been asking tons of questions about things that are currently going on.  She’s been absent from my life for a bit, so she doesn’t fully know about all the changes that’s taken place since Justin and I got married.  Had she not disappeared to Atlanta or wherever it was her and Joshua disappeared too, she would already know the answers to the questions she’s been asking.  Hell, she would know about how Dad helped me buy control of the record company, so I can keep some stability in our lives.

Now we’re sitting around in various spots and I guess everyone is waiting on me to say something.  Picking up my notebook, I flipped it open to the page where I had scribbled some notes.  Looking up, I saw Justin looking at me strangely.

“Is there something wrong Justin?  Why are you looking at me like that?”  I asked as he shook his head and then frowned at me.

“Baby, did you have to be so rude to those people on the phone earlier?”  He asked as I raised an eye at him.

“Excuse me,” I said as he sighed and then waved his hand dismissively at me.  “Don’t be waving your hand at me mister.”

“Why can’t you be nice to the people that you work with?”  He asked as I shook my head.  “With all that we heard earlier you, you fired someone else.  Who was it this time?”

“Yep, another one bit the dust,” I replied as he looked at me funny.

“Who?”  He said, looking at me plainly, no expression whatsoever now.

“Ms. Carlotta Jackson,” I replied as he rubbed his head.  “That was the one that called the other morning and made those derogatory remarks to you.”

“Oh really?  Then I’ll give you a pass on that one,” he said as Nikki held up her hand like she was in grade school or something.

“When did you get the power to fire people?  Did someone upgrade your contract or something?”  Nikki asked as I smiled.

“After all the crap that went down with Marc and Mother, I got some help from Dad and he helped me buy the company,” I said as Joshua turned his head, looking at me like he was crazy as he sighed and then and a hand through his hair.  “I own the controlling interest in the record company, so I now have the power to fire people, I be one of the execs.”

“Ah, is that why Glitter has been acting more of a fool as of late?”  She asked as I nodded my head.  “So, you are the one that put the kibosh on her solo career, right?”

“Yeah, pretty much so,” I replied as she shook her head.

“You know she’s going to cause more problems until she gets what she wants,” she said as I shook my head.

“She may try, but she’ll only be hurting herself,” I said with a smile.

“So, what did you guys actually accomplish today?”  Justin asked.

“I got everyone’s contracts back to normal,” I replied as the two of them looked at me strangely.  “The group is back to the way it’s supposed to be, with the exception of Mo’ette.  Glitter is still onboard with things, but she’s going to take some time off to get her shit together.  Her goal is to get her mind and soul clear so she can stay focused on the music and nobody else’s business.  With that being said, we have a little bit more time for us to play house.”

“Yay,” Justin said as I looked at him.

“Also, Starletta will not be joining us, she’ll be a part of Syndi’s group, ‘Desire’ and she’ll perform with them,” I said as Nikki just looked at me.

“So, Mo’ette is with us?”  Nikki asked as I nodded my head.  “You do realize that her and Glitter don’t get along.”

“I know, but they’re going to have to until…” I said as Nikki held up her hand, stopping me.

“You do realize that Glitter is the cause of most of the problems between us, right?”  She asked as I nodded my head.

“I know she is, but she’s under contract and if I get rid of her, she’ll only sue and she’ll more than likely win,” I said with a sigh. “Regardless, she’s been in breach of contract many times in the past and she’s now on notice of that fact.”

“Meaning what?”  Nikki said as she looked at me.

“Meaning that if she does something else, then I and the others can take action,” I said as Nikki frowned.

“What about all the stuff she’s done so far?  Had it not been for her skanky ass, none of our personal business would’ve ended up on the damn frontpage of the skag-rags,” Nikki said with a frown.  “I’m guessing since all that stuff happened before you took control of things, you can’t take action on it, right?”

“Right,” I answered as I looked over at Justin.  “Mister, I got a call earlier this morning about your show.  I totally forgot about things happening with your schedule.  You’re leaving for New York at the end of the month, right?”

“That’s right baby and I wrote that down in your book, so you wouldn’t forget it,” Justin stated as he looked at me as I noticed Joshua frowning from where he sat.  “What are we going to do about schedules and such around here?”

“Well part of the scheduling part is already taken care of,” I said with a smile.  “I talked with Marty yesterday and he’ll be moving in tomorrow.  He’ll be able to take care of things with Caleb when we’re not here.”

“Marty?  Who’s Marty?”  Nikki asked as she looked over at me strangely.

“Marty is part of Justin’s security detail.  He’ll be joining us here at the house as a full-time, live-in security guard for all of us here and he’ll be the nanny for Caleb,” I explained as she frowned.  What’s up with the frowning?  Is there something wrong?  “Nikki, is—is there something wrong?”

“Ah, no JT, there’s nothing wrong,” she replied as I could tell there was something wrong as she looked across at Joshua and then back at me.  “I—I haven’t thought about what I’m going to do in regard to Summer’s care when we leave to go back out on the road.”

“Ah,” I said, somewhat figuring out what was going on.

“In the past, when I had to go out on the road, Momma was around to watch her.  I guess now that we’re out here in LA, I’ll have to make…” Nikki said as Joshua sat up straight and then cleared his throat, interrupting her.

“I can do it,” Joshua replied as Justin, Nikki and I looked at him.  “What?  Why are all of you looking at me like that?  Is there something wrong?”

“Nikki,” I said, looking at her as she frowned again and then looked at Joshua.  I have no idea where this conversation is about to go.  From what Nikki told me about her relationship with Joshua, she doesn’t really trust him to be completely alone with her daughter.  She has fears that he’s going to run off with her, punishing her for keeping his child away from him for so long.

“Well,” Joshua said as he looked at me and then over to Nikki.  “I’m sure I can take care of my own daughter while you guys are gone for a few days.  I am capable of feeding, clothing and making sure she’s safe.”

“No one said you weren’t capable of that,” Nikki responded with a frown as I shook my head.

“The way each of you guys just looked at me, one would think that you guys don’t think I can do it,” Joshua stated as Justin looked down as Nikki sighed.

“Moving right along,” I said, trying to change the subject, putting the attention back to what I was talking about during my phone conference.  “So, I did my best to get our schedules where we would alternate being away, but I wasn’t really successful in that area.  I was able to get the schedule for ‘Mutual Attraction’ where we only perform our shows on the weekends.”

“That sounds great,” Justin said with a smile.

“We’ll only perform on the weekends until the end of this year.  I don’t know what next year holds though,” I said with a frown because I couldn’t persuade the other execs to see things my way.

“I think that’ll work out for us,” Nikki said with a small smile as she looked over at me.

“The way things were explained to me, we would leave on a Thursday evening or Friday morning, depending how far our destination is,” I said as I flipped some pages through the notebook.  “Wanda also informed me that ‘Desire’ would be joining us for the first leg of shows and then we’ll split off from each other in December.  We’ll get to celebrate the holidays and then we’ll start back up in Mid-January.”

“Our first Christmas together baby,” Justin said with a smile.

“I’m loving this schedule more and more,” Nikki responded as she smiled also.  “Performing only on the weekends and we get the holidays off.  That’s best news I’ve heard so far.”

“I agree, that means Caleb won’t miss out on schooling and he’ll get to be with us as much as possible,” I said as someone knocked on the door.  “Come in.”

“Hey bro,” Josh spoke as he waved, walking into the room.  “Hello everybody.”

“Hi Josh,” I, Justin and Nikki replied with a wave.

“What’s up?”  I asked.

“I’m just letting you know that I’m heading into the city for a bit,” he said as I nodded my head.  “I should be back before dinner.  If something changes, I’ll call and let you know.”

“Okay, have a good time bro,” I said, waving again as he smiled and then walked out of the room.  “Oooh, on another note, we won’t be here the end of the week.  We’re flying out to Toronto for our friends’ wedding.  Would you guys like to come with us?”

“A wedding?  Who’s getting married?”  Nikki asked with a smile, looking over at me.

“Howard Marshall and Chad Aldon,” I replied as Joshua looked across at Justin and then over at Nikki.

“Wait, isn’t that the lawyer guy,” Joshua said as Justin nodded his head.  “Why are you guys wasting time to go to his wedding?”

“Because he’s our friend,” I replied, wondering why he would ask such a thing.  Sometimes I wonder about Joshua Charles, the boy just stupid sometimes.

“I think I’ll pass,” Joshua responded as I shrugged my shoulders, not caring if he wanted to go or not.

“Why don’t you want to go Josh?”  Nikki asked as she looked across at him.  “We could have a mini-vacation for the weekend and show Summer some different culture at the same time.”

“You have a point baby, but why does it have to be at some fa—some guy’s wedding, that we hardly know?”  Joshua asked as I looked at him closely because he almost said something to get his ass kicked in this house.

“What were you about to say?”  Justin asked as he looked across at Joshua as I figured he noticed that little slip up too.

“Nothing,” Joshua answered as he stood up quickly, turning to Nikki as he sighed.  “How much more information do you guys have to go over?  This crap is boring and…”

“And what were you about to say Josh?”  Justin asked as he stood up, looking at Joshua strangely as I wondered what was about to happen.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen that look on Justin’s face before.

“Justin, I said as he held up his hand as I stopped talking.  Okay, I’m going to shut up now.

“Is there something going on here that I don’t know about?”  Nikki asked as she looked at Joshua first and then turned to Justin.  “Guys, what’s going on here?”

“Go ahead Josh, tell her what’s going on here,” Justin said as he got closer to Joshua.  “I would like to know what’s going on too.”

“Nothing’s going on here.  I’m bored and I’m ready to go,” Joshua replied as he backed away from Justin as Justin stepped closer to him.  “What’s up with you?  Why are you approaching me like that?”

“What?  You scared?  I want to know what’s going through that head of yours,” Justin replied as he pointed his finger in Joshua’s face.  “What’s wrong with you going to a gay wedding Josh?  Are you scared to be around us faggots?”

“Hey hey,” I said, sighing as I put my notebook down.

“Justin,” Nikki said as I shook my head, figuring the shit was about to hit the fan now.

“You don’t want to see two men that love each other, get to celebrate their love for one another?  You don’t want to see them join together in matrimony?”  Justin asked as I sighed and then shook my head. At the rate he’s going, he’s going to make Joshua out himself.  Is that what he’s going for?

“I can give a fuck about…” Joshua said as Justin shook his head, smiled and then stepped backwards from him.

“I’m sure you could, but that wouldn’t be the desired outcome you wanted, now would it,” Justin said as I sighed again.

“Justin,” I said as Nikki stepped in front of him.

“What’s going on here Justin?”  Nikki asked as she looked him in the face and then turned to Joshua.  “It used to be you and JT arguing, now it’s Justin.  What in the hell is going on here and I want to know right now.”

“I don’t know what’s going on here,” Joshua replied, not even looking at her.

“Something’s going on here and I want to know what it is,” Nikki stated as she walked around in front of Joshua and pointed her finger in his face.  “You said you wouldn’t lie to me and…”

“I’m not lying to you baby,” Joshua replied as Justin chuckled as Nikki snapped around, looking at him.

“Your whole life is a damn lie!”  Justin snapped.

“Justin!”  I snapped this time, moving around my desk quickly as I got over to where he was.  “Stop right now, don’t you dare say another word.”

“Baby, I was only…” Justin said as Nikki looked at me strangely as I glared at him.  “Fine.”

“You two know something.  What is it?”  Nikki asked as she tapped her foot on the floor as she put her hands on her hips.  “Out with it, now!”

“I don’t know anything,” I spoke up, lying to her as she glared at me and then pointed her finger at me.  “I’m serious here, I don’t know what’s going on here.”

“Somebody better tell me something quick or there will be three unhappy men in this damn room,” she said as I looked at her.  “Josh, you’ll be single…  JT, you’ll need to find someone else to sing with you… Justin, you won’t have a friend.”

“What!”  I snapped again as she crossed her arms across her chest, still tapping her foot on the floor.

“I’m waiting,” she said as she looked at Joshua, then me and then at Justin.  “If I walk out of here not knowing what’s going on between you three, you won’t have no one to blame but yourselves for the unhappiness you’ll have to endure.”

“I don’t know what in the hell is going on with Justin.  You’ll have to ask him,” Joshua said as I shook my head, wishing Justin would’ve just kept his mouth closed.  “There’s no reason for you punishing me for his dumb ass actions!”

“My dumb ass actions are because you’re a jealous asshole!”  Justin snapped as I sighed and then shook my head.

“Who is he jealous of Justin?”  Nikki asked as I frowned.

“Nikki, I think that’s something you and Joshua should discuss later on, away from here,” I said as she turned and glared at me.

“No, whatever the hell this is, it will be talked about right now!”  She snapped as she pointed her finger at each of us.  “This arguing between you two have been going on for years and now it’s pulled Justin into it.  Something is going on and I want to know whatever the hell it is.”

“Nikki,” I said as she shook her head.

“Don’t ‘Nikki’ me damn it!”  She snapped.  “Either tell me or I’m out of all of your lives, permanently!”

“Josh, just go ahead and tell her already and stop acting like the little bitch you want to be,” Justin said as I turned and looked at him.  Damn, he’s really putting it all out there.

“I’m not a little bitch you fucker!”  Joshua snapped as he pointed his finger at Justin.

“The picture is starting to become clearer now,” Nikki said as she sighed and then shook her head.

“Josh, are you gay?”  Nikki flat out asked.

To Be Continued…

The Ties That Bind – Chapter 6


Chapter 6 — Troubles of JT and Justin’s World

Aug 24, 2004 – Los Angeles, CA – A Parking Lot Behind a Pizza Eatery

“Laugh all you want man, but that really gets to be a problem when you’re just trying to spend time with family or friends,” Justin said as Chad opened the door, waiting for Zach to get inside, behind his seat.

“Yeah, it gets old, but that’s a part of being a celebrity man,” Chad stated as Josh looked at him strangely and then got into the jeep.

“When it comes to fans interrupting our private time, trying to get autographs and pictures, that’s just too much,” Justin stated with a frown.  “There’s a time and place for that and sometimes people just don’t realize that.”

“You have a point there Justin, but the fans aren’t always considerate of a celebrity’s private time,” Chad stated as he got into the jeep, getting ready to close the door as something fell from his pants’ pocket.  “What did I drop?”

“Justin Tanner!”  Someone yelled as JT and Justin sighed.

“Not again,” JT said as he ushered Caleb into the jeep quickly.  “Come on Caleb, get into the seat and buckle up.”

“Okay Daddy,” Caleb replied as he got into the seat next to Chad as Josh got into the jeep next.

“Justin Tanner, stop right there!”  Someone yelled as Justin got into the jeep quickly and then pulled out his cell phone just as a woman with a baby in her arms arrived at the window, tapping on the glass.  “Justin, stop, it’s me… It’s me Laci!”

“Whoa, looks like we got a live one,” Chad said as JT turned and looked at him.

“Justin, I need to talk to you, it’s very important!”  Laci exclaimed as Justin looked at the window and then scratched at his head as he tried to dial a number on his phone.  “Come on Justin, it’s me Laci, your girlfriend.”

“What!  Did she say girlfriend?”  JT asked, looking at Justin and then leaning forward so he could see the woman at the window.

“Look lady, I don’t know you and I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Justin stated, pressing the button to close the window as she put her arm through the window, stopping it from going up.  “Look lady, what’s your problem?  If you want an autograph, this isn’t the way to go about getting one.”

“I don’t want your autograph,” Laci stated as she shook her head.

“What in the hell do you want then?”  JT asked as he leaned against the dashboard of the jeep, trying to see the woman.

“What I want is for him to take care of his child,” Laci stated as JT’s eyes went wide as he turned his attention to Justin.

“You want him to take care of his child?  Justin, what in the hell is going on here?  Who in the hell is this woman?”  JT asked, sliding against the door of the jeep as Chad sighed.

“Baby, I don’t know what she’s talking about here,” Justin replied as he turned to look at JT.  “Seriously baby, I don’t know what’s going on here.  I don’t know her, and I don’t have a child with her or anyone for that matter.”

“Stop trying to act like you have amnesia Justin,” Laci stated as she removed the hat that covered the baby’s head.  “You know what’s going on here Justin.  You’ve been neglecting your son and me for a long time and it’s time for that to be rectified.”

“Lady, you are crazy, I don’t have any kids!”  Justin snapped as Laci tried to open the door to the jeep as she would pull the lock up and he would press the button to lock the door back.

“Stop playing games with me man, I don’t have time for this,” Laci said as she shook her head.  “Your son is right here in my arms and he needs his mom and his dad in his life.”

“Lady, I don’t know you!  I don’t have a child with you!  I’m a happily married man and…” Justin said as Laci shook her head.

“You were with me, before you got with him!”  Laci screamed, pointing her finger in Justin’s face.  “You told me that you love me!  You promised me!  You promised me that you would be with me and that you would take care of me!”

“Baby, she’s delusional,” Justin stated as JT folded his arms across his chest, listening to what was going on.  “Come on baby, you’re not believing her, are you?”

“I think you guys should just call the police and let the police deal with her,” Chad stated.

“How are the police going to shed light on what he promised me?”  Laci asked, looking at Chad and then back to Justin.  “The police had nothing to do with the nights of love we shared.”

“Oh God,” JT said as he shook his head as some tears fell from his eyes.

“Bro, are you alright?”  Josh asked, placing a hand on JT’s shoulder as Caleb watched what was going on.

“Justin, just start the jeep and let’s go,” JT stated as he sat back in the seat.

“You can’t leave, this isn’t over with!”  Laci screamed.  “You can’t leave until you tell me what you’re going to do about taking care of your son!”

“That’s not my son!”  Justin snapped as the baby started to cry.

“Shhhh, it’s okay PJ, it’s okay, nothing’s wrong,” Laci said, trying to quiet the baby down.

“There’s a lot wrong, but oh fucking well!”  JT snapped as he threw his hands up.  “Justin let’s get the hell away from here!”

“If that’s the path you want to take Justin, do that, but you promised me,” Laci said as she pointed her finger in Justin’s face.  “You promised to take care of me and that includes my child, your son!”

“I didn’t promise you anything!  You’re fucking crazy!”  Justin snapped as he started the jeep, putting it in gear and then pulling out of the parking space as Laci stood there, watching as she quickly pulled a pen and a piece of paper from her pocket and wrote down the license plate to the jeep.

“Dang, that was crucial,” Chad stated as JT turned and glared at him.  “Sorry, I’ll be quiet.”

“Thank you,” JT said as he sniffled as he looked out the window.  “Olay boys, did you get enough to eat tonight?”

“I got enough Daddy,” Caleb replied as they rode in silence back to the house.

Later That Evening – North Beverly Park – The Home of JT and Justin Poole-Tanner – The Backyard

Josh’s POV

Since getting back here to the house, I’ve been sitting out in the backyard, replaying the events of what happened at the restaurant.  In a way, all of it was a big rush, but that rush also scared the hell out of me.  We almost got mobbed by JT and Justin’s fans and it sort of made me feel like I was part of that world with them.  When things started, I didn’t think anything of it, not until the teenage boy came over to the checkout while Justin was paying and asked me for my autograph.  When I told him I wasn’t a celebrity, he looked at me like I was crazy and still held up his book for me to sign.  So, not to disappoint him, I signed his book.  One day he’s going to go through the book and wonder who in the world is Joshua Raymond.

Chad Faulk, my brother’s cute friend is nice and seems to have a pleasant attitude.  I think he’s a guy I would very much like to get to know better.  When we got back here to the house, we talked for a few minutes before he left to take his nephew home.  To say the least, he was very livid about the things that happened earlier.  He didn’t like what happened with that woman that approached Justin and he thinks there’s probably going to be some news about that on the TV soon.  With all the things she said, I agree with him.  Before he left me, we exchanged numbers… Yeah, I need to get a new cell phone and get a local number for out here… so we can hang out some time.  I think hanging out with him, without a kid around would be cool.  Maybe he can help me sort out some of the feelings I have in my head.

Changing gears, I just hope things are okay with my brother and Justin.  With all that went down in that parking lot at the restaurant with that woman, I feel sorry for Justin.  The ride home from there was totally silent.  No one said a word, not even Caleb and most of the time, he’s very talkative.  With all that happened, I guess he could feel that it wasn’t the time for talking.  She said her name is Laci and that Justin promised to take care of her—her and her child.  I wonder, how old is the child?  The baby didn’t look like a newborn, so it couldn’t have been anytime recent, that this happened, was it?  Being that I was at the wedding, they’ve been married for about three months now.  I don’t know how long they dated before they got married, but I don’t think Justin is one to cheat, is he?

“Dang, it’s almost eleven,” I said, sighing as I got up from the lounge chair.  “I need to be getting outside.  I have some things to take care of in the morning.”

One of the things I’m going to take care of in the morning is what to do about Chad Faulk.  How am I going to get to know him better, without it seeming like I’m trying to get him into bed?  Maybe I should ask bro what to do, then again, he might not be in the mood for talking with all that happened tonight.  I just hope that crap with that woman doesn’t cause a big problem between him and Justin.

Inside – JT and Justin’s Bedroom

“So, how is Caleb, is he still asleep?”  JT asked as Justin walked into the room.

“Yeah, he’s still asleep,” Justin replied as he kicked off his slippers and then climbed into bed, huddling close to JT and then kissing his lips as JT turned his head.  “The little guy was all tuckered out after his evening of adventure.  Once he was out of the tub, he put on his jammies and he was out like a light before I even started to read to him.”

“Well, he had a full evening,” JT spoke as he looked up at the ceiling.

“Baby, are you okay?”  Justin asked, caressing JT’s face.

“I’m fine Justin, why do you ask?”  JT asked, still not turning to look at Justin.

“I’m asking because you’re not looking at me,” Justin answered with a frown on his face.  “Baby, the matter isn’t just going to go away because we’re not talking about it.”

“Justin, a woman approached us and said she has your baby,” JT said, sounding as if he were crying.

“I know baby, but as I said earlier, I don’t have any kids with that woman or any other woman,” Justin stated as he tried to get JT to look at him.  “The only child I have is the one I just went to go check on and that’s the child I have with my husband.”

“Why Justin?  Why did she come there and single you out like that?  Do you know that woman?  Is she one of your past deranged hook-ups?”  JT asked as Justin sighed.

“Baby,” Justin said as JT shook his head and then sniffled.

“It doesn’t matter,” JT said as he sat up in the bed.  “It doesn’t matter because you are the…”

“I’m the what?  I’m the one that slept with tons and tons of women and couldn’t keep up with who they were, is that what you’re thinking?”  Justin asked as he sat up and looked at JT.  “Is that what you think of me John?”

“N—no, I don’t think that at all,” JT replied as he turned and looked at Justin with a frown on his face.  “I—I never thought anything of the sort.”

“Then why would you think that I would lay down with some woman I don’t’ even know and produce a child with her?  Do you really think I’m that shallow and dirty to just father a child with someone and then leave them?  I’m not that type of guy and I thought you knew that about me.”

“I—I do know that about you Justin, but…” JT said as Justin shook his head.

“There’s no ‘but’ about it John,” Justin said as he looked at JT with a hurt look on his face.  “We’ve known each other for a very long time and do you really think I would just sleep with a woman, unprotected and father a child with her?  Do you believe that John?”

“Justin please,” JT said as Justin shook his head and then got out of the bed.

“No John, I want you to answer me damn it,” Justin spoke as the tears streamed down his face.

“I don’t know how to answer that question Justin,” JT stated as he got out of bed and then walked around to where Justin stood, leaning against the wall as he took both of his hands.  “I know you as well as you know me, but had you asked me those questions about myself…”

“These are two different situations and you know it baby,” Justin said as he sniffled.  “You were taken advantage of by a lunatic and…”

“Yes, I was taken advantage of by a lunatic and because of her actions, there’s a little boy right down the hall,” JT stated as he looked Justin in the face.  “So, what I know to be true about you is null and void when it comes to the actions of other people, especially some crazy woman out there in the world.  There are crazy people out there in the world and what I could possibly think they’ll do is way up there in the air.  I never, in a million years would’ve thought that Heather would’ve done what she did, but guess what, she did it.  So, when all of that crap spewed out of that woman’s mouth about you being her baby’s father and that you promised to take care of her…”

“It reminded you of how things went down between you and Heather,” Justin stated as JT nodded his head as he sighed and then pulled Justin close and wrapped his arms around him, hugging him tight.

“I assure you baby, one crazy lunatic is enough in our lives,” Justin stated as he looked JT in the face.  “I don’t have a child with that woman.”

“Remember, I said that too,” JT stated as he shook his head and then sighed.

“Yes, you did,” Justin replied as he looked down.

“Why don’t we just get to bed… We both have things to do in the morning and this is something that will have to be dealt with at a later time.  There’s nothing we can really do about it tonight.”

“No, there’s nothing we can do about anything tonight,” Justin replied as he and JT walked back over to the bed and got into it.

“Justin, besides this baby drama, are you okay?”  JT asked.

“Yeah, why do you ask?”  Justin asked as he looked at JT strangely.

“I—I saw the way you looked at Chad earlier this evening while we were on our way back here.  What was up with that?”  JT asked as Justin sighed.

“What’s up with him baby?  Did—did you two have a thing together or something?”  Justin asked as JT snickered and then shook his head.

“No, we never had a thing,” JT replied as he tilted his head to the side, watching Justin.  “Come on, don’t tell me you’re jealous of my friendship with Chad.”

“I’m not jealous of your friendship with him, I—I just think there’s something wrong in the head with him,” Justin stated as JT shook his head.

“You think something is wrong like what?”  JT asked.

“It seems like he doesn’t know how to control his tongue at times, like there’s no filter on what he says,” Justin stated as JT laughed.  “Why are you laughing baby?”

“In that case, the same could be said about Joey, Chris, Lance and Josh,” JT stated as Justin sighed.

“Come on baby, you know what I mean,” Justin stated as he lay his head on his pillow.  “All evening, while we were out, it seemed all he could do was make unnecessary comments and all.  Everything you said, he—he would follow up with something strange or—or negative.”

“Honey, that’s just Chad,” JT stated as he leaned in and kissed Justin’s lips.  “Chad had—has some issues, but I’m not going to let his issues cause a problem for us and you shouldn’t either.  Chad’s issues are his own and his alone.”

“I know that baby, but I—I don’t know…” Justin said as JT kissed his lips again.

“So, our little boy called you Papa tonight,” JT stated, changing the subject as Justin smiled.  “How did that come about?”

“I don’t know,” Justin replied as he shrugged his shoulders.  “It was nice, I like it.  It seems like I’m finally a bigger part of his life now.”

“Justin,” JT said as Justin shook his head and then leaned up and kissed his lips.  “You are a part of his life, you’re…”

“I know I’m a part of his life, but—but it felt more like I was just the guy that’s married to his dad and nothing more than that,” Justin explained as JT smiled weakly and then sighed.

“You’re not just some guy that’s married to his dad,” JT stated with a frown as he shifted in the bed.

“But that’s how it felt before tonight,” Justin stated as he moved around on the bed.  “I—I never knew how to act with him.  I didn’t know what role he or you wanted me to take, being that’s something neither of us really talked about.”

“There isn’t a certain kind of way you have to act Justin,” JT stated as he lay back on his pillow as Justin moved in close to him.  “All you have to do is be you.”

“Regardless of all of that baby, it was nice hearing him call me Papa tonight, that warmed my heart over,” Justin stated with a smile.

“You don’t mind him calling you Papa,” JT said as Justin shook his head and then kissed his lips.

“He can call me Papa all he wants to, but I love it more when you call me Big Papa,” Justin stated as he moved on top of JT and then started grinding his crotch into JT’s.

“Someone’s being naughty,” JT stated as they kissed again.  “I’m just glad you two get along so well.”

“We do, that’s probably because I enjoy hanging around with my younger brothers and my cousins,” Justin stated as JT shook his head.

“No, it’s probably due in part to you acting like him at times,” JT stated, giggling as Justin pouted.

“Come on baby,” Justin said as JT laughed more.

“What do you expect me to say baby?”  JT asked as Justin started tickling him.  “Stop it, you’re going to make me piss the bed.”

“Okay, I’ll stop,” Justin said, leaning in and kissing JT’s lips again.

“You have to take into consideration that you two play video games together, you guys run around the house and the backyard, playing like crazy and you both have similar attitudes in the morning, especially when it comes to cereal,” JT explained as Justin looked into his eyes.

“When we’re playing, you should join us sometime; you don’t know what you’re really missing baby,” Justin said as he lay his head in the space between JT’s neck and shoulder, kissing his neck.  “It helps me burn off some excess energy and I have fun at the same time.  We connect.”

“Maybe sometimes, but not always,” JT stated as he rubbed Justin’s back.  “I’m not going to make that an all the time occurrence.”

“It’ll keep you feeling young baby,” Justin stated as JT laughed as the two of them settled down in the bed.  “I love you baby.”

“I love you,” JT responded as he turned off the beside lamp, getting comfortable in bed.

To Be Continued…

 

The Ties That Bind – Chapter 5

Need the perfect checking account? Try Simple...


Chapter 5 – Everything’s Golden, Part 5

Aug 24, 2004 – Los Angeles, CA (North Beverly Park Suburb) – The Home of JT and Justin Poole-Tanner – The Backyard

“Daddy, I’m hungry.  Can we eat?”  Caleb asked, sounding out of breath as JT and Justin both looked at him and then laughed.

“It’s getting close to that time, I guess so,” JT answered as he looked over at Justin and then at Chad.  “Are you two staying for dinner?”

“We could, but we don’t want to be a bother or anything,” Chad replied, looking over at Justin.

“It wouldn’t be a bother,” JT stated with a smile.

“Cool, how about it little man, you want to stay here for dinner?”  Chad asked, looking over at Zach.

“Sure thing Uncle Chad,” Zach replied as he and Caleb took off running, playing more in the yard.

“I thought they were hungry,” JT said as he shook his head and then got up from his Justin’s lap.  “Come on, let’s go find something to feed the pit with.”

“Sounds gruesome,” Chad said as they walked towards the house.

“That little boy of mine can pack away the food,” JT stated as he shook his head.  “Lawd knows, I don’t know where he puts any of it.  It must be going to his feet because it’s not going anywhere else.”

“I know what you mean,” Chad spoke, laughing.  “Zach can put away the grub too.  He eats like Gus used to eat on the set.  Remember that time Gus almost choked to death because he was trying to scarf down those chili fries and those dogs?”

“Yeah, I remember that, and I hope I don’t have to see that ever again,” JT stated as he rubbed at his head.  “Whatever happened to him anyway?”

“He got married and became a legal attorney for the stars of Hollywood,” Chad replied as they walked into the kitchen.  “He has kids now and works for some big law firm.  Since becoming a lawyer, he’s left the acting scene.”

“Good for him, maybe that career move was for the best,” JT stated as Justin and Chad both looked at him strangely.  “He had only starred in that one show and it wasn’t like he was all that good.”

“So, what’re we having for dinner?”  Justin asked, trying to stir the conversation in a different direction.

“Don’t know, but it needs to be something kid-centric,” JT stated as he walked over to the refrigerator.  “What does Zach enjoy eating?”

“The little man likes pizza,” Chad replied as he looked up at JT.  “Or burgers… He loves the cheeseburgers with all the fixings.”

“Hmmmm,” Justin retorted as JT turned and looked over at him.

“No Justin, it’s the middle of the week.  There’s no point of firing up the grill tonight,” JT stated with a chuckle.  “You guys wouldn’t let me do it last night and you’re not doing it tonight.  So, put your ideas of a backyard blowout on the back burner.”

“Oh, come on baby,” Justin said as JT shook his head.

“No Justin, we can cook the burgers in here,” JT stated as he pointed at the stove.  “Why don’t you go ahead and get the things we’ll need from the pantry and we’ll handle things in here.”

“Fine, party pooper,” Justin mumbled as he walked into the pantry as JT giggled.

“We had this conversation last night when I wanted to grill, remember,” JT said as he pointed a finger at Justin.  “One day he’ll have his own grill master show on TV.”

“You guys must like to cookout,” Chad stated as JT nodded his head.

“We do, but we don’t have the luxury to do it when we want to,” JT answered as he walked over to the refrigerator.  “Chad, do you want something to drink?”

“Nah, I’m good buddy,” Chad replied as someone cleared their throat as JT looked up.

“Well, if you’re asking me, I’ll take a soda,” Chad Aldon stated as he walked past Chad Faulk, glaring at him as he went by.  “I didn’t know we had company.”

“Yeah, we have company.  Chad stopped by with his nephew.  He and Caleb are out back, playing,” JT stated as he handed Chad the soda.  “Are you and Howard going to be joining us for dinner?”

“I don’t think so buddy.  I think we’ll be going out now,” Chad Aldon replied as he popped the top of the soda and then took a big gulp.

“Oh, okay then,” JT stated as he shrugged his shoulders and then turned around, continuing to pull things out of the refrigerator as Chad Faulk looked over at Chad Aldon strangely.

“So, Chad, anything new with you?”  Chad Aldon asked as he looked over at Chad Faulk with a mean expression on his face.

“No, nothing new at all,” Chad Faulk replied as he moved away from Chad Aldon quickly and then walked around the island, putting some distance between the two of them.

“So, how is Patrick doing?”  Chad Aldon asked as he walked towards the door.  “The last time I spoke with him, he was highly upset.  Would you happen to know something about that?”

“Patrick?  Who’s Patrick?”  JT asked as he turned around and looked between both men.

“Why don’t you ask him that,” Chad Aldon replied as he threw the soda bottle into the trash and then walked out of the room quickly.

“Okay, what was that all about?  The temperature dropped while he was in here and I would like to know why that was,” JT said as he looked over at Chad Faulk.

“He—he’s talking about Patrick Faldon,” Chad replied with a frown.  “We—we dated for a bit, but—but I just wasn’t feeling the love, so I—I left him.”

“I see,” JT spoke as he looked down and then shook his head.  “Does you leaving him, have anything to do with the crush you had on…”

“No, I got over that and moved on,” Chad replied as he looked at JT with a hurt expression on his face.  “I—I just didn’t feel anything with him.  There was no love between us.  It was only physical.”

“Oh,” JT said as he rubbed at the side of his head.

“We would only get together to have sex and that was basically it,” Chad stated, sighing as Justin walked back into the room, carrying a few items.  “I thought that would turn into love at some point, but it only turned into me hating him altogether.  Every time he touched me, I felt—I felt dirty, like I was a whore or something.  I would physically get ill when he would leave.  I just couldn’t handle feeling that way with someone.  I just couldn’t do it.  I tried to love him, but I just couldn’t.  You know what I’m talking about, don’t you buddy?”

“I don’t think I can relate to that, but no one can force you to love someone, if you don’t love them,” JT stated, sighing as Justin cleared his throat, making his presence in the room known.  “What took you so long handsome?”

“The door to the walk-in freezer feels a bit sticky,” Justin replied as he shook his head and then placed some items on the counter.  “I don’t think we’re going to be able to use these tonight.  It would be best if we went out and got pizza.  As you can see, this stuff is extra frozen.”

“That doesn’t sound like a bad idea,” JT said as he looked over at Justin. “Are we going to order in or are we going out?”

“That depends on the kids,” Justin said as he looked over at Chad.  “What do you think Chad?”

“It doesn’t really matter to me,” Chad replied as he looked down at his hand as JT looked over at Justin.

“Well let’s get the boys in here and see what they would like to do,” JT stated as he turned around to grab the items that Justin placed on the counter and put them into the refrigerator as Josh walked in and then stopped in his tracks.  “Hi Josh, you want to join us for supper?”

“Ah—ah yeah, sure,” Josh replied as he looked over at Chad with a strange expression on his face.

“Great, go get what you need and meet us out in the garage,” JT stated with a smile as Josh left the room quickly.

“Is he okay?”  Justin asked, looking at JT with a concerned look on his face.

“Yeah, why wouldn’t he be?”  JT asked.

“Ah, no reason,” Justin replied as he looked down quickly as the little boys returned to the room to leave.

An Hour Later – A Local Pizza Eatery

“I’m glad there wasn’t a wait,” Chad stated as he, JT, Justin, Josh, Caleb and Zach were seated at a table.  “Excuse me miss, what’s the house specialty for tonight?”

“Tonight’s special is the sausage party sir,” the waitress replied as she handed out menus to JT, Justin, Josh and Chad.  “What would you guys like to drink?”

“Sweet tea, that’s if you have it ma’am,” Justin replied with a smile.

“Yes sir, we have it,” the waitress replied, smiling back at him as she started writing on her notepad.

“I’ll have the same,” JT stated as he looked through the menu.

“Me too,” Josh replied as he smiled weakly, trying to keep his eyes on the menu.

“I’ll have a water,” Chad spoke up as he looked over at Zach.  “Lil man, what do you want?”

“I’ll have Coke©,” Zach replied as he looked up at the waitress, giving her the thumbs up as she smiled at him.

“Caleb, how about you buddy?”  Justin asked as he looked over at Caleb.

“Daddy, what can I get?”  Caleb asked.

“You can get whatever you want buddy,” JT replied as he looked over the top of the menu.

“Ma’am, do you have fruit punch?”  Caleb asked, looking up at the waitress.

“Yes honey, we have that.  Is that what you want?”  The waitress asked.

“Yes ma’am,” Caleb answered with a smile as the waitress wrote that on the notepad and then patted his shoulder.

“Do you gentlemen know what you’ll be having as the main course or do you need more time?”  The waitress asked.

“Are we ready guys?”  JT asked as he looked around the table.

“I am,” Chad replied with a smile as Josh nodded his head and Justin nodded his.

“Okay, I would like to try the extra meaty pasta with the garlic bread with the house salad,” JT stated as he looked up at the waitress as she wrote down his order and then collected his menu.

“I’ll have what he’s having,” Justin stated as he looked over at Caleb.  “Buddy, what are you going to have?”

“I want this pizza right here,” Caleb replied as he pointed at the picture of a pizza on the menu.

“You want a pizza with everything on it buddy?”  Justin asked as Caleb nodded his head.  “Miss, he’ll like to get the single mini meat lover pizza with the house curst.  Anything else buddy?”

“That’s good Papa, that’s what I want,” Caleb replied as Justin looked at him strangely and then smiled.

“Alrighty honey, and you guys,” the waitress spoke as she wrote down what Caleb wanted and then looked over at Chad.

“Zach, do you want to share with me?”  Chad asked as he looked down at Zach.

“Sure,” Zach replied with a smile.

“Great deal.  Okay ma’am, we’ll like to have the sausage party with extra breadsticks,” Chad stated as he looked up at the waitress as she collected his, Zach, Justin and Caleb’s menus.

“And for you sir,” the waitress spoke as she looked over at Josh.

“I’ll have the veggie lasagna with extra ricotta with a Caesar salad with extra dressing,” Josh stated as he looked up at the waitress.  “What do you have besides breadsticks?”

“Garlic toast, garlic rolls and plain yeast rolls sir,” the waitress replied.

“Nice, I’ll like to have the garlic toast.  May I have an extra serving of that please?”  Josh asked.

“Yes sir,” the waitress replied as she wrote down his order.  “Will there be anything else gentlemen?”

“I think that’ll do it,” Justin spoke up with a smile on his face as the waitress smiled back and then walked away to submit their orders.

“It smells so good in here,” JT stated as he looked around.  “Chad and Howard are missing out on a good thing here.”

“Why didn’t they want to come to dinner with us?”  Justin asked as he held JT’s hand under the table.

“I really don’t know,” JT replied as he looked over at Chad.  “But I’m sure they’re okay and we don’t have to worry about them, they’re adults.”

“Okay,” Justin responded as he looked up to see a familiar face in the room as he gave a wave and a nod.  “So, what do you have planned for tomorrow?”

“Besides a few phone calls with the record company in the morning, nothing much handsome.  What about you?”  JT asked as camera flashes went off nearby as he looked up to see people outside the restaurant, clamoring about, taking pictures as he sighed.  “You gotta love the paparazzi.”

“Just ignore them baby,” Justin stated as the waitress came back to the table with their drinks, placing their drinks down in front of them.

“Alright gentlemen, your meals will be up in a little bit,” the waitress stated as she placed some parmesan cheese, salad dressings and other condiment containers on the table as she smiled, waved and then walked off.

“Someone’s working on getting that tip,” JT stated as he shook his head.  “I think she looks someone at the table, she hasn’t stopped smiling since we’ve been here.”

“Or it could just be she’s a perky person that likes to give great service,” Justin said as JT giggled and then shook his head as Justin realized what he said and then giggled also.  “No pun intended baby.”

“Yeah, whatever,” JT said as more camera flashes went off.

A Super8 Hotel – Laci Greylek’s Room

Laci’s POV

After walking around for another hour, we’re back at the hotel room.  I’m tired as usual and my feet hurt.  I’m so tired right now, I feel like I can sleep for days.  Sleep is something I can’t do, not until I find Justin and get things with PJ squared away.  There’s no rest for the weary.

“I’m glad I found that jeweler before they closed.  That little gift I found came in handy,” I said, walking over to the TV and turning it on.  “The dough I got from that should keep us going for the rest of the month, maybe more, depending on how thrifty I can be.”

Tired, but a bit happy, I sat down on the bed and picked up the remote to switch the channels.  Stopping on one of the local channels for the area, I got up quickly when I saw Justin’s name flash across the screen.  Okay, what’s that about?  Sitting at the edge of the bed, the stupid people went to a damn commercial break, instead of talking about him.

“Damn it, what is that about?  Are they talking about his upcoming tour or what?”  I asked as I sat patiently through the damn commercials.  I really don’t have time for this.  I need to know what’s happening.  I have to find him.

After a few more minutes, the news show finally came back on and they were talking about him.  He’s out and about in LA with his family and some friends.  Apparently, he’s out with his new husband, the kid and three friends.  He’s at a local pizza restaurant and the place is going wild.  People are trying their best to get in there to them.

“What is the name of the place where they are?  Maybe I can get there and get to Justin before he leaves,” I said, hopping up off the bed as I walked over to the closet and grabbed my shoes.  “This is maybe the break I’ve been waiting for.  All I have to do is tell the taxi driver to take me to that place and I’ll be in business.  Oh yeah, this might just be our lucky night.”

Half Hour Later – The Local Pizza Eatery

“Oh God, it’s Justin Tanner and JT Poole!”  Someone squealed as JT’s eyes widened as he put his fork down and then looked up to see a teenage girl standing there, jumping up and down as she pointed at him and Justin.

“Oh, here we go,” JT whispered with a weak smile as he looked at Justin as a crowd started to form nearby.

“It’s really them!  It’s really them!”  Someone else yelled as Chad looked at JT and Justin and then shook his head.

“That doesn’t sound good at all,” Chad stated as he turned and looked around, noticing that the crowd of people outside had almost tripled and people were actually inside the restaurant.  “Do you guys want to leave?  I don’t think this place is doing a good job of keeping all of those people out.”

“Look, it’s really them!  It’s really them!  They’re together!  They’re holding hands!”  Someone else screamed as JT sighed and then shook his head.

“Do you guys have security in here?”  Chad asked as he looked over at JT and then to Justin.  “Where are they hiding at?”

“We didn’t bring security with us,” JT replied as he shook his head and then took Caleb’s hand.  “A giant crowd has formed outside, and we don’t have a security detail here to assist with this.  Chad, does this place have security?”

“I surely doubt it,” Chad replied as he looked around again.  “Excuse me miss, is there a back door that we can leave out of?”

“Yes sir, follow me,” the waitress stated as JT, Justin, Josh and the boys got up from the table and followed behind Chad and the waitress.

A Few Minutes Later – The Parking Area

“Thank God, we made it outside safely,” Josh stated, breathing heavy as he leaned over, trying to get his breathing under control.

“Josh, are you okay?”  JT asked as he looked over at Josh, checking to see if there was something medically wrong with him.

“Yeah bro, I’m okay,” Josh replied as he looked up at JT.  “That was a rush.”

“Yeah, sometimes it can be,” JT replied as they all stood around in the parking area, trying to get their bearings.

“Baby, that was totally a close one,” Justin stated as he looked over at JT as they walked towards the area where their vehicle was parked.  “You know, I think it’s time for some changes.  We need to have a twenty-four seven security detail.”

“I agree,” JT stated as Caleb rode on his back.

“We don’t need something like this happening again,” Justin stated.

“You’re right on that note,” JT replied as he looked down and then breathed a sigh of relief.

“You’re kidding right?  You guys don’t have round the clock security already?  Why not?”  Chad asked, looking over at JT.

“When I’m not performing or touring, I don’t need it,” JT stated as Chad raised an eye at him.  “But I see now that I need to change that way of thinking.”

“Yeah, you might want to change that way of thinking buddy,” Chad stated with a frown as JT placed Caleb down on his feet.  “You’re a big celebrity and you’re married to another big celebrity.”

“So,” JT said as Chad shook his head.

“That means that people want to be around you guys,” Chad stated as giggled and then shook his head.  “People want to get to you guys, touch you, be you.”

“I never needed security when I was in Jacksonville out in public,” JT stated as Justin raised an eye and then shook his head.

“Daddy, did you forget the time that those people were messing with us at the Mall?”  Caleb asked as he looked up at JT.

“Yeah baby, it seems you forgot about that time we got ambushed at the Landing,” Justin stated as JT frowned.

“I—I don’t think that would’ve happen if you hadn’t been there with me Justin,” JT stated as Chad raised an eye at him this time.

“Well things are different here buddy,” Chad stated.

“Yeah baby, this is Hollywood.  Jacksonville is totally nothing like this,” Justin stated as he looked around again as he pressed a button on his keyring to unlock the doors to the jeep.  “Moving things along, I think we need to just call it a night and head back home.”

“Yeah, sounds like a great idea to me,” Chad stated as he giggled, not paying attention to the woman that approached the jeep.  “I’m just glad it was you guys and not me.”

To Be Continued…

The Ties That Bind – Chapter 4


Chapter 4 — Everything’s Golden, Part 4

Aug 24, 2004 – Los Angeles, CA (North Beverly Park Suburb) – The Home of JT and Justin Poole-Tanner – The Family Room

“Justin, are you sure things are okay with you two?”  Howard asked as he walked around in stood in front of JT, looking him in the face.

“Everything is fine Howard,” JT stated with a small smile as he moved away from Justin, watching Howard.  “It seems Justin was a bit worried about something else.”

“Are you still worried Justin?”  Howard asked, turning his attention back to Justin as he put his hands on his hips.

“No—no, I’m not worried anymore,” Justin replied with a small smile, looking down, trying to avoid Howard’s glare.

“Good, I’m glad,” Howard replied as he looked back at JT.  “With that being said, I just got a call and was informed that we can see Mr. Hammond to discuss our marriage plans.”

“Oh, that sounds great.  When are you going to see him Howard?”  JT asked.

“Today,” Howard replied as JT’s eyes widened.

“Today?  Are you two flying out to Canada to meet with him?”  JT asked.

“No, he’s on his way here, to see us right now,” Howard stated with a smile.  “he’s going to do his counseling session with us today and then we’ll fly out to Canada on Friday.”

“Ah, okay then,” JT responded as the doorbell sounded as he turned and looked at Justin.  “Is that him?”

“Possibly,” Howard stated as the three men walked out of the room.

“Great, it’ll be nice to see the man that married us,” JT stated as he looked at Justin.

“Yeah, I guess it would be,” Justin responded with a smile.

Mid-Day – Cudahy, CA – Park Avenue Elementary School – The Cafeteria

“Hi Caleb,” Max Cahill spoke as he took a seat at the table across from Caleb.  “You just get here?”

“Yep and so did Zach,” Caleb replied as he motioned with his head as Zachary Faulk walked over and took a seat at the table also.  “Hi.”

“Hi Caleb,” Zach spoke as he looked at the food on his tray and then frowned.  “Do you happen to know what this is man?”

“Is it still moo’ing?”  Max asked as Zach poked at his food and then shook his head.

“I’m glad Daddy prepares my lunches for me,” Caleb said as he opened the bag in front of him and then pulled out a sandwich, a bag of chips, a banana and some cookies.

“So, when are you going to invite us over for some fun?”  Zach asked as he looked over at Caleb.

“Ah, I don’t know, when do you guys want to come over?”  Caleb asked.

“How about today?  I don’t have anything to do after school and I don’t want to spend my afternoon, doing nothing,” Zach stated, smiling at Caleb.

“I know what you mean,” Max stated as he took a bite of his food.  “This tastes like steak and gravy, but it looks disgusting.  Is it supposed to be steak and gravy?”

“I don’t know,” Zach replied, shrugging his shoulders as he took a bite of his food and then grimaced, putting his fork down as he shook his head and then pushed the tray forward.  “I might have to start brown-bagging it.”

“Me too,” Max spoke with a frown as he took another bite of the food.  “So, would today be a good day to come over?”

“Today should be okay,” Caleb replied as he took a bite of his sandwich.

“Cool,” Max said, looking over at Caleb.  “Can I come over too?”

“I don’t see why not,” Caleb stated as he took a sip of his milk.

“What are we going to do?”  Max asked.

“We can play video games if you like,” Caleb answered, popping a few chips into his mouth.  “Me and Justin play video games when I’m done with my homework and my chores.  Sometimes Uncle Josh plays with us too.”

“Sounds like fun,” Zack stated as a young girl stopped at the table, waved at him and then continued on her way.  “Hey girl, what’s up?”

“Hi Zach,” the little girl spoke, stopping as Zach got up from the table and walked over to where she stood as he grabbed her hand, kissing the top of it.  “You’re so sweet.”

“For you m’lady,” Zach said with a smile as the girl giggled and then took her hand back as she walked away as Max and Caleb both rolled their eyes.

“Who’s that?”  Max asked as he looked at Zach as the girl disappeared around the corner.

“That’s Cindy, she’s in my art class,” Zach replied with a faraway look in his eyes.  “I just can’t stop thinking about her.”

“Calm down man,” Max said with a chuckle as Caleb just watched the interaction between his two new friends.

“I’ll be calm in a minute,” Zach stated as a siren sounded, signaling that they were having a fire drill.

“What—what’s going on?”  Caleb asked, looking around quickly as he dropped his sandwich down on the top and stood up.

“It’s a fire drill,” Zach replied as he got up from the table.  “Come on guys, follow me.”

“Okay,” Caleb stated with a frightened look as he and Max followed behind Zach.

Somewhere Around Town

Laci’s POV

Damn it!  I’ve been walking around this damn town all day!  I’m tired and my damn feet hurt!  It shouldn’t be this damn hard to find someone in this town!  What in the hell is going on?  Is Fate trying to keep me from having the life that I so desire and need?  What does it take to find Justin Tanner in this God forsaken place?  A celebrity such as him shouldn’t be this hard to find.  Hell, he’s a world class celebrity for God’s sake!  With my damn luck, it’s like I’m looking for a magical being and not a man.

I’m tired and I don’t know how much longer I can put up with this.  It’s way after lunch and I need to find an affordable place for the two of us to eat.  With what I currently have in my pockets, I don’t think PJ and I will be chowing down around here.  These people must be fucking crazy.  Each place I’ve passed by, a regular burger costs the same as a damn steak.  What sense does that make?  Why isn’t there a good, cheap burger place around when you need one?  Being around here, I can already tell that I’m going to miss the good, cheap things about Grand Junction.

“Hi there,” I heard someone say as I looked up from where I sat to see a police officer standing there with a strange look on his face.  Oh great, I don’t need any attention from the damn police.  What does this fucker want?

“Hi officer,” I spoke, not wanting to spend too much time with this creep.  “Is there something wrong?”

“I was about to ask you the same thing miss,” he replied with a smile.  “It’s really hot out today and I don’t think you and the little guy should be out in this heat.”

“Ah, we’re fine officer,” I said, trying not to look at him too much.  “We’re just resting a bit and then we’ll be heading back to our hotel.”

“Okay miss,” the officer spoke as he tipped his hat and then walked off.

Great, he’s gone and now we can get back to finding a place to get a good meal—an affordable meal.  As I stood up, something shimmering under the table caught my eye.  Kneeling down a bit, I saw that it was a gold bracelet.  Okay, is my luck improving?  Picking the bracelet up, it had some weight to it.  Oh yeah, this is real and I think our money problems are about to improve.  All I need to do now is find a pawn shop or a jeweler and see what this thing is worth.

North Beverly Park Suburb – The Home of JT and Justin Poole-Tanner – The Backyard

“We’re two and a half months strong and we’re still going sir,” Justin spoke as he and Brett Hammond shook hands.

“Yes, I see that and I’m very glad,” Brett Hammond responded as he walked with Justin, JT, Howard and Chad around the backyard.  “You guys have a beautiful home here.”

“Thank you for your kind words Mr. Hammond,” JT spoke as he and Justin stopped walking at the edge of the yard as Howard and Chad continued walking.  “So, is everything set for those two?”

“Yes,” Brett replied with a smile.  “All there’s left to do is for them to fly out to Toronto and have their ceremony, same as you two did.”

“Great,” JT said with a smile as Justin looked down.

“Are they going to use the same location that you two used or do they have another location in mind?”  Brett asked as JT shrugged his shoulders.

“I don’t know, we haven’t talked about their location plans,” JT stated as Brett smiled.  “Is the location where Justin and I got married available for them to use?”

“I’m sure it is,” Brett replied, smiling again.  “I already told them that I’ll be happy to perform the ceremony there, if they like.”

“That sounds perfect,” JT stated as he looked at Justin and then frowned.  “Who wants to call the Hotel Victoria and make arrangements?”

“I think we might want to try some place else,” Justin stated with a neutral expression on his face as he looked down.  “We don’t need a repeat of the drama that went down during our honeymoon.”

“We didn’t have a honeymoon Justin,” JT stated as he looked down also.  “But, that’s a whole different matter altogether, no need harping on that.”

“You have a point baby,” Justin stated as he and JT embraced as Brett smiled.

An Hour Later – The Driveway

Josh’s POV

Thank God, I’m back home in one piece. This town is crazy.  I can’t believe I actually got lost four times today.  I got lost four times!  I don’t know if I’m going to be able to take, living in this town for long.  I’m either going to have to get a tour guide, get a driver to drive me around or I might not be traveling around this place.  I spent over three hours trying to find my way around and had it not been for a police officer, a bus driver and a kid on the street, I wouldn’t have gotten back here safely.  If I hadn’t left early this morning when I did, I probably would’ve been late for that darn interview.

“Hi there,” I heard behind me as I turned around to see a cute, sexy white guy standing there with a little boy with him.  Who is this guy?

“Ah hi, can I help you?”  I asked, looking at the guy, trying not to stare at his beautiful eyes and those nice full lips.

“Is this the home of JT Poole and Justin Tanner?”  The guy asked as I nodded my head.  “Finally, we found it buddy.”

“Do they know you’re out here?”  I asked, looking at the guy, feeling as if I should know him from somewhere, as if I’ve seen a picture of him before, but I can’t quite place where from.

“Probably not,” the guy replied with a small smile.  “I’m here with my little buddy Zach, he’s here for a playdate with—with Caleb.”

“Ah, well come on in then, I’ll lead you two inside and let them know you are here,” I said, waving as I closed the car door and then walked towards the house as the two of them followed behind me.  “I’m Joshua Raymond, I’m JT’s brother.”

“I’m Chad Faulk and this guy is Zach, as you already know,” the cute guy said as the little boy waved as I waved back at him.

“I’m sure Caleb is around here somewhere.  He’s probably down in his room, playing video games or something,” I said as I opened the door, walking into the house to hear loud music.  “What in the world…”

“Cool tunes,” the cute guy said as he bopped his head to the beat.  “Sounds like Fatboy Slim.”

“JT!  Justin!”  I called out, hoping someone heard me over the music.  “You can stay in here, I’ll be right back.”

“Alright dude,” the cute guy said as I waved and then walked down the hall.

What in the world is going on around this place?  Normally, JT or Justin are in here, helping Caleb with his homework.  What’s going on right now and why is the music so loud?  Where is that music even coming from?  As I walked down the hall towards the bedrooms, I stopped when I passed the one where JT’s friend Howard was in.  The door was cracked a bit and I saw that Howard and his boyfriend Chad were in there, in bed, having sex.  Damn, that looks so hot.  The two of them, rolling around on the bed, touching, thrusting, experiencing a kind of love and emotion…

“Josh,” I heard JT’s voice as I turned around to see him and Justin standing there, watching me.

“JT hi, there you are,” I said as he looked at me strangely as I noticed the music had stopped.  “You—you guys have company.  Someone is here for a playdate with Caleb.”

“Yeah, I know that,” JT replied as Justin smiled weakly and then walked away.  “Josh, are you okay?”

“Yeah, I—I’m fine,” I replied as he frowned.

“You don’t sound find Josh,” he replied as he motioned with his head as he pointed down the hall.  “Come on, let’s go talk.”

“I… Okay,” I said as he took my hand, leading me down the hall as we walked into his den.

“Okay Josh, what’s going on?”  JT asked as he looked me in the face.  “Are you okay?”

“What—what do you mean bro?”  I asked, looking at him strangely, wondering what he was getting at.

“I mean, is there something wrong?  You were standing back there in the hall, shaking—trembling as if there was something wrong.  Did something happen?  Are you okay?”  He asked, placing a hand on my shoulder.

“I—I’m fine bro,” I replied, looking down.  Hell, I don’t know what happened back there.  One minute I was watching his two friends have sex and the next, my mind is blank.  Did I black out or what?

“If something is wrong, I hope you know that you can talk to me about it.  I am your brother, I am here for you,” he said as he moved in close and then hugged me.  “I can’t read your mind Josh, we didn’t get that bond as twins.  If something is wrong or bothering you, you have to talk to me and let me know.”

“Okay bro, you’re right about that,” I said with a sigh.

“Good deal, glad you agree,” he said as he moved back from me and then turned around.  “If you need or want to talk, we’ll be in the backyard for a bit with the kids.  It seems Caleb has a playdate that he forgot to tell me about.”

“If—if I need something, I know where to find you,” I said as he smiled and then waved, walking out of the room as I stood there, wondering how much time had went by before he and Justin showed up to snap me out of my trance.

An Hour Later – The Backyard

“So, how do you two know each other?”  Justin asked as he took a seat across from Chad Faulk as they all sat around in the backyard, watching the kids play.

“I acted in a few shows with him,” Chad replied with a small smile.

“Oh, was it something recent?”  Justin asked.

“No, nothing recent,” Chad replied as he looked out in the yard, watching the kids.  “It’s been a few years since we’ve interacted on the big or small screen.”

“How did you two become friends?”  Justin asked.

“We used to hang out after taping and we sorta just clicked.  For a while there, we were always together, almost like brothers,” Chad stated as Justin looked over at JT and then back at him.  “After the show was over, we kept in touch.  Man, those were the good old days.  We used to hang out a lot, but that changed when I moved back to the west coast.”

“Why did you move back over here Chad?  I thought you liked it better in New York,” JT said as he took a sip of his drink.

“I definitely enjoyed New York, but family comes first.  My lil man there is the biggest reason I came back to this coast,” Chad stated as he motioned with his head in Zach’s direction.

“Seems like a wonderful kid.  I’m glad Caleb has found a friend around here,” JT stated as he looked down.  “I was afraid he was going to have a hard time making friends, being that he’s so quiet and all.”

“Baby, I think he was only quiet because there weren’t any other kids around for him to play with,” Justin stated as he looked across at JT.  “He looks to be having a great time right now.”

“So I see,” JT said with a smile as they watched the boys wrestling around on the ground.  “I’m shocked that you’re not out there, running around with them Justin.”

“I’ll let them have at it for now,” Justin said, grabbing JT’s hand as he pulled him down into his lap.  “I’d rather play with you right now baby.”

“Oh, stop it you horndog,” JT responded, giggling as he and Justin kissed.  “So Chad, are you dating anybody?”

“No, not dating anyone at the moment.  I’m sadly single over here,” Chad replied as he looked down.  “I’ve been so busy lately, I haven’t had the time to date.”

“There’s always time for dating Chad,” JT stated as he looked over at Chad.  “You couldn’t have been that busy to…”

“I just cut a new album and I’ve been doing a few shows,” Chad spoke, interrupting JT, before he could say more.

“You cut a new album,” JT said as he rubbed at his head.  “I’ve been busy working too, but as you can see, I got my man right here.  There’s always time for a date buddy.”

“Everyone isn’t that lucky buddy,” Chad stated as he shook his head.

“You are lucky Chad, but maybe you should put your focus on some…” JT stated as Justin poked him in the side.  “Owwwww.”

“Baby,” Justin said as JT glared at him.  “We don’t need you trying to play matchmaker around here.”

“Oh alright,” JT said with a pout as Justin smiled and then tickled his sides.

“You two are so cute together,” Chad declared as he looked away quickly.  “Guess who I heard from recently?”

“Who?” JT asked as he looked over at Chad.

“Angela Simonson,” Chad answered as he laughed at the expression on JT’s face.  “Remember that time when you and Ducky were fooling around in the pool and she got splashed with water, totally drenching her?  That moment was classic.  The look on her face was priceless.”

“Yeah it was, until she pushed you, Terry and Nick into the pool and then went on that little rampage that got her kicked off the show,” JT stated, laughing as Justin just watched them.  “What is she doing now?”

“Producing,” Chad replied as JT shook his head and then frowned.  “And she’s trying to start a new show, just like the one we were on.”

“What?  Lawd knows there doesn’t need to be another teenage drama soap opera going on,” JT stated as he shook his head.  “There doesn’t need to be another ‘Love Cali Style’ for a new audience.  Hell, ‘Love’s Melody’ was enough.”

“What’s ‘Love’s Melody’?”  Justin asked as he looked at JT strangely.  “Was that a TV show or something?”

“No, it was a mini-series that catapulted him into the adult spotlight,” Chad stated with a sly smile.  “Isn’t that the movie you met Chad Aldon on?”

“Yes,” JT replied with a frown.  “Met Todd on that show too.”

“Really?  How come I never saw this?”  Justin asked, looking over at JT.  “I thought I’d seen everything you’ve been in.  Why haven’t I seen this?”

“Probably because I’m not happy about that part of my acting career,” JT replied, looking down.

“Why not baby?”  Justin asked.

“Probably because he was always lying down throughout the show,” Chad replied as he laughed and then smiled as JT shook his head.

“Damn, you make it sound like I was a ho or something,” JT stated as Chad raised an eye and then shook his head again.

“You were,” Chad replied as JT sighed.  “You were a male gigolo that was getting it on with all the females around.  Only if the fans knew the real you back then.”

“They probably would’ve hated me more then, than they do now,” JT stated, sighing again.

“Come on buddy, I don’t think any of the fans hate you,” Chad stated with a frown on his face.  “They might dislike some of the choices you’ve made as of late, but I don’t think any of them hate you.”

“Guess that goes with the life of being a celebrity,” JT stated as Caleb and Zach ran over to where they were.  “You can’t please everybody.”

To Be Continued…

The Ties That Bind – Chapter 3


Chapter 3 – Everything’s Golden, Part 3

Aug 24, 2004 – Los Angeles, CA (North Beverly Park Suburb) – The Home of JT and Justin Poole-Tanner – Howard’s Guest Room

“I’m so glad to be back here,” Howard stated as he walked over to the closet and then placed the suitcase inside.

“Okay baby, is there something wrong?”  Chad asked as he and Howard moved over to the bed and then sat down.

“Did you notice how JT and Justin were acting when you got here?”  Howard asked as Chad shrugged his shoulders.  “I—I caused some trouble earlier with Joshua Charles and now I think it’s caused an issue between JT and Justin.”

“Did JT or Justin say something to you about it?”  Chad asked as Howard shook his head.  “If they didn’t say anything to you about it, then don’t worry about it.  You know JT and you know if he has a problem with something you’ve done, he’s going to tell you about it in his own dramatic fashion.”

“You have a point there,” Howard stated as he looked down.  “You know, since he married Justin, he’s been a bit mellowed out.  He—he doesn’t overreact to things like he used to.”

“I don’t think that’s Justin, I think that’s because he has a son now,” Chad stated with a small smile.  “He told me about what happened that night we met when Caleb almost drowned.  He told me that Caleb was so scared of him while he was raging that it almost took his son away from him.  So, he’s trying to do better with controlling his anger.”

“That’s a good thing,” Howard stated as he looked at Chad and then leaned in close and kissed his lips.  “I talked with him a bit earlier and he told me that Brett Hammond performed his and Justin’s wedding ceremony.  He gave me the information needed to contact Mr. Hammond and we can go from there.”

“Sweet,” Chad stated as he yawned and then stretched his arms.  “Are we going to bed or are we going to shower first?”

“Are you all dirty and grimy?”  Howard asked, leaning in as he teased Chad’s bottom lip.

“Not yet, but I’m sure I’ll be dirty in a few minutes, after I get my hands on you and we start having some fun,” Chad replied as he unzipped Howard’s pants.  “I think a shower sounds good right about now, if you join me of course.”

“Cool baby, let’s do it,” Howard stated, laughing as he and Chad removed their clothes quickly and then rushed into the bathroom, starting the water in the shower.

Down the Hall – JT and Justin’s Bedroom

“Are you done ignoring me?”  Justin asked as he sat down on the bed, kicked off his slippers, moved the covers back and then rolled over on the bed to face JT.  “If you’re done, I’d like to talk to my husband about our plans for the rest of the week.”

“What plans are you referring to Justin?”  JT asked as he looked down the bed at Justin.

“I’m referring to your two friends down the hall,” Justin replied with a sad look on his face.  “Are they really going to get married or is this just some—some quick fling that’s going to end badly?”

“What are you getting at Justin?”  JT asked.

“Wes and Todd told me about Chad’s history with other men,” Justin stated as he shook his head.  “They both think that Chad’s proposal to Howard was—was just his way of getting into bed with Howard.  Was that the case baby?”

“I don’t think that was the case and I don’t believe we should be discussing that,” JT stated as he glared at Justin.  “What’s going on between Chad and Howard isn’t our business.”

“Really, it’s not our business?  If it’s not our business, why are they here, in our home right now?”  Justin asked as he glared back at JT.  “We shouldn’t be privy to…”

“Why are you acting like a jerk Justin?”  JT asked as he folded his arms across his chest.  “Are you acting this way because I won’t talk about your friend Joshua?”

“No, I don’t want to be a part of your friend’s heartbreak scandal,” Justin stated as he shook his head.  “If he only proposed to Howard because he wanted a piece of ass, I want no part of that…”

“Chad proposed to Howard because he loves him,” JT stated as he turned his back to Justin.  “Hell, they had already had sex before Chad even asked to marry him.  Hell, they had sex on their third damn date.”

“They what?  I—I thought Howard was a prude and…” Justin stated as JT shook his head.

“Just shows what you know,” JT stated as he pulled the covers up and adjusted his pillows.  “I’m going to sleep now.  Good night Justin.”

“No baby, don’t go to sleep angry,” Justin stated as he moved up behind JT, rubbing his shoulders.  “I’m sorry about what I said.”

“I’m sure you are,” JT spoke as he made no move to acknowledge what Justin was doing.  “Good night Justin.”

“Baby,” Justin said as he slid his hand under the covers, manipulating JT’s manhood as JT moved his hand away.  “Come on baby, you’re stopping me from…”

“Go to sleep Justin, it’s almost two in the morning and one of us needs to be up before seven in the morning,” JT stated as he yawned.  “So, I’m going to bed, like you should too.”

“Fine, good night baby, I love you,” Justin said as he kissed JT’s neck and then laid his head on his pillow.

“Good night Justin,” JT stated as Justin lay there, waiting for JT to say more, but nothing more was said and then he heard snoring.

“Oh God, he didn’t say he loves me back,” Justin whispered as he rolled over in bed as the tears fell from his eyes.

Down the Hall – Josh’s Bedroom

Josh’s POV

Thank God, I’ve finished my resume.  With that taken care of, I wonder how long it’s going to take to find a job around this town.  This place is way bigger than what I expected and there are so many suburbs to keep track of.  I used to think Jacksonville was a big place, but this place is four or five times bigger than what I’m used to.  Hell, when I was in Jacksonville, I was used to living in Arlington and going to work on the Southside of town which was ten miles away.

Now that I’ve moved out here to LA, how will I ever get a hang of things?  We live in North Beverly Park and from what Justin told me, this is the ritzy area, where most of the celebrities live.  Had I known this before I decided to move out here, I might have changed my mind about coming here.  Am I really going to fit in around with a lot of celebrities?  I’m not a celebrity, I’m just some guy that’s biologically related to one.

“Alright, I got my resume finished and I have all of my reference letters ready to go out,” I said, looking at the computer screen, wondering if I needed to add more to my resume or not.

Hell, I’ve listed every damn job I’ve held over the last ten years.  Is that a good thing or should I leave a few of those off?  Then again, should I just lie, because I don’t think I’ll get a favorable decision for jobs with some of the things that took place at those telemarketing companies I worked for.  Being that we’re way over here on the west coast, would a job over here actually call the east coast, just to check my work history?  Hell, being that we’re in the ritzy area of LA, they just may.  Damn it, why is this so hard?  Maybe—maybe I should just wait awhile and see what I want to do.  I got my savings to use if I need spending money and I really don’t need to spend money on anything here.  I’ll sleep on it and then I’ll decide what I’m going to do later on.

A Few Hours Later – The Family Room

“Good morning Justin,” Chad spoke, walking into the room as he sat down on the sofa.  “Justin, are you okay?”

“I—I’m fine,” Justin replied, turning the page of the paper.

“Are you sure?”  Chad asked, moving closer to where Justin sat.  “JT’s not here and I—I noticed that you two hardly said anything to each other this morning at breakfast.  What’s going on with you two?”

“Nothing’s going on with us Chad and I’m sure we’re all right,” Justin stated, not moving his gaze from the paper.  “How are things going with you and Howard?”

“Things are great,” Chad replied with a smile.  “I’m so happy that we’re here, getting ready to take that…”

“Are you sure that’s what you want to do Chad?”  Justin asked as he put the paper down and looked over at Chad.  “Is marriage what you want or is Howard just a slowly passing phase in your life?”

“Excuse me,” Chad said as he looked at Justin strangely.

“Are you really going to marry Howard?”  Justin asked.

“Yes, I’m going to marry him.  I love him and my goal here is to marry him.  What in the hell is wrong with you Justin?”  Chad asked as he stood up quickly.  “Why in the hell are you asking me something like that?  Did—did Howard say he doesn’t want to marry me?  Did JT say something?  What—what’s going on here?”

“It—it’s nothing like that,” Justin said, quickly trying to diffuse the matter as he stood up.  “I—I asked because some people tend to rush into things and I’m just making sure you two aren’t rushing…”

“We’re not rushing into anything Justin,” Chad responded, watching Justin as he sniffled and then wiped at his eyes.  “What’s really going on here Justin?  Do you feel that you and JT rushed into things before you two were actually ready to be married?”

“This conversation has nothing to do with JT and…” Justin said as Chad shook his head, interrupting him before he could say more.

“Are you sure?  Why are you questioning me all of a sudden?  Are you the one that’s having second thoughts about marriage?”  Chad asked, looking over at Justin.  “I love Howard and I hope he loves me just as much as I love him.  I’m going to marry him and I don’t feel like I’m moving too fast to be tying the knot with the man that I love.  What happened Justin?  You don’t feel that love spark with JT anymore?  Is that it?  Has the love gone?”

“I already told you, this has nothing to do with JT and I,” Justin stated as he shook his head as Chad frowned and then shook his head, pointing his finger at Justin.

“No no no, there’s something going on here.  What’s the deal Justin?”  Chad asked, watching Justin like a hawk.

“What’s going on is I don’t want to see anyone get hurt here,” Justin stated, sighing as he ran a hand through his hair.  “I don’t want this house plagued with drama for anyone.”

“Well it seems like someone has gone ahead and created some already,” JT’s voice was heard as he walked into the room.  “What’s going on here you two?”

“No JT, what’s going on with you and your husband?”  Chad asked, walking past JT, heading out of the room as he glared at Justin.  “Talk to him, quickly.”

“Justin, what’s going on here?”  JT asked as he walked further into the room and then stood next to Justin.  “What’s gotten into you?”

“No baby, the question is, what’s gotten into you?”  Justin asked as he looked at JT strangely, his expression changing to a sad one.  “You’re the one that’s keeping secrets from me and—and you’re angry with me because I’m concerned about your friends’ actions.”

“No Justin, I’m not angry with you because of your concern, I’m mad because you’re not minding your own business,” JT stated, crossing his arms across his chest.  “Why are you so hell bent on making sure that Chad and Howard get married?  What’s going on here Justin?  You’re acting as if you don’t want them getting married or something.”

“I so definitely want them to get married,” Justin replied as JT looked at him strangely.

“If you want them to get married, why are you acting so…  Justin, what’s really going on here?”  JT asked, grabbing Justin’s hand and leading him over to the sofa as the two of them sat down and then JT pulled him into his lap.  “Talk to me here.  What’s going on husband of mine?”

“Baby,” Justin said, sighing as he closed his eyes, not looking at JT.

“What’s going on here Justin?”  JT asked as he turned Justin’s face to his and then kissed his lips.  “Why are you questioning Chad’s motives with Howard and what has you asking questions about their private lives?”

“I—I’m scared,” Justin replied, averting his eyes as JT had to physically turn his head back to face him.

“Justin, what are you scared of here?”  JT asked.

“I’m scared that you’ll get tired of me and give Chad the chance he wants… The chance he never got,” Justin spoke as he looked down with a frown on his face.  “Todd and Wes told me that he’s always loved you and that he always wanted…”

“Baby, I think someone has fed you the wrong information,” JT stated as he shook his head.  “Chad had his chance a long time ago, but he didn’t take it.  Chad always saw stereotypes more than he saw me.”

“Stereotypes,” Justin said as JT nodded his head.

“Chad was more concerned with the interracial aspect of things,” JT stated with a frown as he kissed Justin’s lips.  “Something you aren’t.”

“I see,” Justin responded as he and JT kissed again.  “What about what’s going on with you and Josh?”

“Why are you asking about him?”  JT asked as he turned his head away from Justin this time.

“Tell me baby,” Justin said, turning JT’s face back to his and kissing his lips quickly.  “Baby, tell me what…”

“No, I don’t want to tell you.  You want to know, tell Josh to tell you,” JT stated as he sighed.

“No baby, I’m asking you.  You’re my husband, he’s not.  I should hear whatever it is from you,” Justin stated with a pout.  “I don’t like it when my best friend and my husband are always fighting.  I would like to know why they can’t be in the same room together without trying to obliterate the other.”

“No, talk to Josh about that,” JT said as he shook his head.

“Baby…” Justin whined as JT flinched and then sighed.

“We fight because Josh is jealous of what we have, and he’s scared to be himself,” JT stated as Justin looked at him funny and then turned up his nose.

“He’s jealous and scared to be himself?  What are you talking about baby?”  Justin asked.

“He’s always been jealous of me,” JT stated with a frown.  “From day one, he’s always been—been an evil prick.  He couldn’t stand the fact that I was around and the others liked me being on the show.”

“I don’t think that’s true baby,” Justin said as JT shook his head.

“Justin, he’s always been pissed off that I’ve had the chances to get what I’ve wanted, and he couldn’t,” JT stated as Justin looked at him funny again.

“What is it that you have that he doesn’t?”  Justin asked.

“I have love with a man,” JT answered as Justin looked at him strangely and then got up out of his lap.

“Josh isn’t gay,” Justin stated as JT stood up.

“He may not be gay, but he is very much bisexual,” JT stated as he sighed and then scratched the side of his head.  “Josh has always been jealous of me and his jealousy started on the Mouse.”

“Oh, not that again,” Justin said, shaking his head.

“You should be saying that to Josh, not me,” JT stated as he turned around.  “If you don’t want to believe me, all you have to do is talk with Marc, Tony, Kevin, Blaine or Ricky.  They’ll tell you the truth about things.”

“I—I don’t think I’ll have to do that,” Justin stated as he looked down and then sighed.  “I—I already suspected that, but I don’t think I really wanted to believe it.”

“Why?”  JT asked.

“I overheard a bit of your conversation yesterday and plus I had seen some things in the past that I couldn’t quite explain.  After listening to what you said and putting the pieces together about the Liberace comment, things started to fall into place,” Justin answered with a frown on his face as he shook his head.  “Does Nikki know?”

“I don’t think so and it’s not our place to say anything to her about it,” JT stated with a frown.  “That’s his secret and even though he outed me, I am not going to out him to the person that loves him.”

“Yeah, it’s his secret baby, but she has a right…” Justin said as JT shook his head.

“No, if she finds out, it will be from him or someone else, not the two of us,” JT stated as he pointed at Justin.  “Are you okay now?”

“Yeah, I’m okay, I think,” Justin replied with a frown.  “I—I’m just scared that Chad… I’m scared that he was trying to make a play to get back to you, being that he’s here and—and this is the place that you two shared your lives for a bit of time.”

“Justin, you never have to worry about losing me to someone else,” JT declared as he moved closer to him and then rubbed his stomach, tickling him a bit.  “You married me and you’re stuck with me until the end of time.  It’s way too late for you to be changing your mind.  You already said ‘I do’ and you can’t go back on what you said.”

“I’m not planning on doing that,” Justin stated as he and JT kissed again as someone cleared their throat behind them.

“It seems someone has perfect timing,” Justin said as he turned around to see Josh standing there, watching them.  “Ah hi Josh, what’s up buddy?”

“I—I was wondering if I could borrow the car to…” Josh stated as JT shook his head and went back to snuggling with Justin.

“Baby,” Justin said as JT stopped.

“What are you asking for?”  JT asked as he maneuvered he and Justin around, so he could see Josh.

“I’m asking because it’s your car,” Josh stated as JT shook his head again and then waved his hand dismissively.  “What are you waving me off for?”

“You don’t have to ask to use a car,” JT stated as he looked at Josh.  “You know where the keys are and you have a driver’s license.  There’s no reason for you wasting time, trying to ask permission to use anything around here.  You’re a grown man, the cars are parked out back in the garage.  Grab the keys for the one you’re going to use and use it.  It’s really that simple bro.”

“I… Ah… Okay bro,” Josh replied as he smiled, waved and then walked out of the room.

“I’ll be glad when he mellows out,” JT stated as Justin looked at him and raised an eye.

“Mellows out?  Do you think that’s going to happen baby?”  Justin asked.  “You two got a lot to learn about each other.  I don’t think that’s just going to happen anytime soon.”

“Maybe, who knows,” JT stated as the sound of a throat clearing was heard again.  “Josh, what do… Oh, hey Howard, what’s up?”

“Is everything okay with you two?”  Howard asked, walking into the room.

“Yes, everything’s okay with the two of us,” Justin replied as Howard frowned a bit and then sighed as JT shook his head.

To Be Continued…

The Ties That Bind – Chapter 2

 

Chapter 2 — Everything’s Golden, Part 2

Aug 23, 2004 – Los Angeles, CA (North Beverly Park Suburb) – The Home of JT and Justin Poole-Tanner – The Backyard

“You’re acting like a pompous jerk!  I can’t believe you did that!”  Joshua Charles snapped as he and JT walked into the backyard as Justin and Nikki followed behind them, shaking their heads.

“Excuse me, you’re the one that’s known for blabbing private matters to the rest of the world!”  JT snapped as he pointed his finger at Joshua.  “If someone’s a jerk here, it’s you!”

“Come on, you two need to cool it,” Nikki said as she walked around in front of Joshua, grabbing his hand as she pushed JT backwards a bit.  “I’m not in the mood for this little melodrama you two are playing out and it needs to have the credits rolling and fading to black now.  Both of you were in the wrong and we need to move on.”

“Is everything alright out here?”  Josh, JT’s brother asked as he walked over to where everyone stood around.

“Hi Joshua, how are you doing?”  Nikki asked, looking over at Josh.  “How is your day going?”

“It was great until I heard all the ruckus out here,” Josh replied as Joshua and JT both stuck out their tongues as Justin giggled and then shook his head.  “Oh ha ha ha.”

“Whatever,” JT said as he turned and then walked over to the barbecue grill.  “Are we cooking out or what?”

“It seems some things never change,” Nikki stated, laughing at the look on JT’s face.  “Do you really think the natives here of LA, grill out all the time?”

“No, but if they hang around us long enough, they’ll get used to it,” JT stated as he looked at his watch.

“What are you even cooking out for?”  Joshua asked, glaring at JT.

“We have yet to break this place in, in this regard,” JT stated as he looked over at Justin.

“Yeah, but that’s something you could do on the weekend.  This isn’t something you do during the week.  Hell, you guys should’ve done this yesterday or the day before,” Joshua said as JT shot him the bird and then walked over to Justin.

“Fine, I guess we can save it for the weekend then,” JT stated as a phone rang.

“It’s mine,” Justin stated as he pulled his cell phone from his pocket to answer it.  “It’s Howard.”

“Why is he calling you?”  JT asked, looking at Justin strangely as Justin answered the phone.

Justin’s POV

He has a point, why is Howard calling me?  If there’s something wrong, he should be calling JT, not me.  Being that I hardly know the guy, except for his connection to JT, I don’t really know why he would be calling me.

“Hello,” I spoke into the phone, wanting to know why my husband’s lawyer was calling me, instead of my husband.

“Hi Justin,” Howard spoke.  “Are you with JT?”

“Yes, I’m with him.  Is there something wrong Howard?”  I asked.

“I’ve been trying to call him, but he’s not answering,” he responded as I looked over at JT.

“Hold on a minute,” I said as I slid my hand into JT’s pocket, pulling out his cell phone and handing it to him as he looked at me strangely.  “Open your phone baby.”

“Okay,” JT replied as he flipped the phone open.  “Wow, I got twelve missed calls.  How did that happen?”

“Who knows,” I said, turning my attention back to Howard.  “So Howard, what’s going on?  What’s with all the unanswered calls?  Is something wrong?  Is it about Heather?  Is there something wrong with the adoption paperwork?”

“No no, nothing like that at all, has nothing to do with work.  I was wondering would you happen to have the number for the guy that performed your and JT’s wedding?”  Howard asked as I’m sure my eyes widened.

“Howard, are you two making plans to go ahead and get married?”  I asked as JT, Nikki and Josh looked at me.

“Yeah, I’m actually on a plane, heading out to you guys right now, if that’s okay,” he said as I shook my head.

“I’m sure it is,” I said as JT looked at me strangely.  “But why are you coming here?”

“We’re both coming there,” he replied.  “We both know how dramatic JT can be, so we’re going to tell him our plans in person and then we’re inviting you both to the wedding.”

“How sweet,” I said, pointing at my ring and then motioning at the phone as JT’s expression changed to a confused one as I motioned at my ring again and then pointed at the phone as JT just looked at me like the light bulb was still flashing.  I know my husband isn’t slow, so he needs to put the pieces together.  “Well I’m sure he’ll be glad to see you two, when you get here.”

“Justin, what’s going on?”  JT asked, watching me.

“Howard and Chad are on their way here,” I replied as he smiled weakly and then shrugged his shoulders.  Okay, what’s up with that look?

“Okay,” he replied, walking towards the house as Nikki and Josh followed him as Joshua just stood over by the fence, watching things transpire.

“Justin, just tell JT I’ll call him when my plane lands,” Howard stated as I wondered what was going through JT’s head.  “Until later on, bye now.”

“Bye Howard,” I said, closing the phone as I slid it back into my pocket as I noticed Joshua watching me.  “Josh, everything okay buddy?”

“Yeah Justin, everything’s fine,” he replied as he turned around and walked towards the house.

I hope he’s being truthful with me.  Since he’s been here, he’s been acting strange around me.  I still feel like he has an issue or something with us—me.  I still feel like he’s uncomfortable being around the two of us.

Two Hours Later – LAX – The Baggage Claim Area

Howard’s POV

Thank God, my plane just landed and I’m here in one piece.  It seems like each time I fly somewhere, there’s way too much turbulence during the flight.  Now that I’m here in LA, I’m going to grab my bags and meet up with JT and Justin.

“Hi there,” I heard behind me as I turned around to see Joshua Charles, Justin’s friend, standing there with a smile on his face.  “I take it you’re Howard Marshall, JT and Justin’s friend.”

“Yes, yes I am,” I replied, not expecting to see him here.

“I’m here to take you to JT and Justin’s house,” he spoke, looking around.  “Are these all of your bags?”

“Yes, this is everything,” I answered as he smiled and then grabbed the handle of my wheeled suitcase as he gestured with his head towards the door.  “Not to be ungrateful or anything, but did something happen to JT or Justin?”

“Now that I know of,” he replied as we walked down the corridor.  “Justin asked me to come pick you up and here I am.”

“Oh,” I replied, not expecting that answer from him.

Is there something wrong?  I was hoping he would tell me why JT nor Justin were here to pick me up.  When I last talked with Justin, he told me that he or JT would be here to pick me up.  Regardless, I really wanted to talk with JT about some things, but I guess I have no choice but to wait for that conversation.

“Mr. Marshall, are you okay?”  I heard Mr. Charles ask as he stopped walked and then turned to look at me as I noticed the concerned look on his face. “Are you okay?  You’re doing a whole lot of mumbling over…”

“I was mumbling?  I—I didn’t even notice, I—I’m sorry,” I replied as I looked down at the floor.

“I’m sorry I’m not your choice for transportation, but I’m only doing a favor for a friend,” he said, looking as if he was hurt.  “It shouldn’t take long to get to JT and Justin’s place.”

“I’m sorry Mr. Charles, I wasn’t trying…”  I said as he shook his head as we continued walking down the corridor.

To say the least, we walked a bit longer, got outside and he led me to his car.  The ride from LAX was a big grueling, being that neither of us said a word.  I wasn’t trying to upset him or cause a problem.  My goal was to come here and talk with JT, but now I feel like I’ve caused an unneeded problem with one of his friends.  How am I going to solve this unneeded problem?

An Hour Later – North Beverly Park Suburb – The Home of JT and Justin Poole-Tanner – The Family Room

“Sorry buddy, that wasn’t the right answer,” JT stated as he sat next to Caleb, helping him with his homework assignment.

“I can’t do it Daddy,” Caleb whined as JT shook his head.

“When it comes to school work, can’t isn’t a word young man,” JT stated as he took the pencil from Caleb’s hand and then started working the math problem, showing him how to do it.  “See, you have to make sure you remember to carry your remainders over.”

“But it’s too hard Daddy,” Caleb whined as JT shook his head.

“No, it’s not hard buddy, you just need to learn how to do it correctly,” JT stated as he handed the pencil and paper back to Caleb.  “There are more examples of how to work the problem on the worksheet.  If you follow what I just did and those examples, you’ll get it.”

“Okay Daddy, I’ll try harder,” Caleb stated as a door opened across the room.

“Guys, we’re here,” Joshua Charles announced as JT turned around.

“We’re in the family room!”  JT called out as Celeb got up as JT patted him on his back and then sent him on his way.

“Wow, this place looks nice on the outside,” Howard stated as he walked into the room and over to JT, hugging him.  “Not as big as the military complex out in Jacksonville.”

“Oh ha ha ha, this place is just right for us,” JT said with a small smile.  “So, how was your flight?”

“It—it was okay,” Howard replied as he turned around slightly, noticing that Joshua and Justin had left the room.

“Why do I get the feeling that you’re lying to me?”  JT asked, looking Howard in the face.

“My flight was fine, my trip here is another story,” Howard stated as JT shook his head and then rushed out of the room.  “JT!  JT, where are you going?”

“That damn jerk is at it again!”  JT snapped as he walked down the hall, looking into room after room until he found Justin and Joshua in the kitchen.  “You fucking jerk!  What did you do to Howard?  Can’t you just leave well enough a…”

“Baby, stop it, it’s not…” Justin said as JT held up a hand, shaking his head.

“What reason do you have for being an ass to Howard?”  JT asked, glaring at Joshua.

“If someone was being an ass, it wasn’t me,” Joshua responded as he pointed his finger in JT’s face.  “You might want to turn around and talk to your friend there.”

“No, I’m talking to you jerk,” JT said as he pushed Joshua’s finger out of his face.  “You’re going to fuck around and make me…”

“JT stop,” Howard said as he grabbed JT’s hand, pulling him from the room quickly.  “I’m sorry, I’m really sorry.”

“Howard, what are you talking about?”  JT asked as he looked at Howard strangely.

“I—I’m sorry for causing this problem,” Howard replied as he looked down.

“Howard…” JT said as Howard interrupted him.

“JT listen to me,” Howard said as JT closed his mouth, watching him.  “I—I was talking to myself and didn’t know I was.  I said some things and he heard me and after that, he went quiet and that was it.  He didn’t do anything wrong, it was me.   It was all me.”

“Are you kidding me?”  JT asked as he looked at Howard strangely again and then looked back in the room at Justin and Joshua.  “You’re telling me that he didn’t do anything—anything at all.”

“He didn’t do anything at all,” Howard replied as he looked down.  “I didn’t mean to cause any problems here JT.  I was just a bit…”

“It’s okay Howard,” JT stated as he sighed and then shook his head.

“No, it’s not okay,” Howard stated as he looked down at the floor and then shook his head.  “I didn’t want to be a bother to you, but it seems like it’s way past that point.”

“No, you’re not being a bother to me,” JT stated as he looked into the room to see Justin and Joshua watching the two of them.

“Well my heart and my mind are saying otherwise,” Howard said as he sighed.

“Well putting this drama aside, what’s going on Howard?  What did you want to talk to me about?”  JT asked.

“I wanted to talk to you about Chad… We’re going to go ahead and get married and I—we—we want to do it in Canada, where you and Justin got married,” Howard stated as he motioned with his head at Justin.

“I thought you two were going to wait a while,” JT stated as he looked at Howard closely.

“We were, but decided that we can’t wait,” Howard stated with a smile.  “I love him JT and I can’t wait for the two of us to be married.”

“Well you know I’ll support any decision you two make,” JT stated as he and Howard hugged again as a throat clearing pulled them apart.

“We weren’t doing anything,” Howard spoke up quickly as he moved back from JT as the two men looked at him strangely.

“I’m sure you weren’t,” Justin stated as he kissed JT’s cheek.  “Baby, I think it would be nice if you apologized to Josh.”

“It’ll be a cold day in…” JT stated as Justin sighed and then moved back a bit.  “Oh alright, fine.”

“Thank you baby,” Justin replied as JT walked into the room.  “Are things okay?”

“Yeah,” Howard replied as he looked down.  “I didn’t mean to cause any trouble between you guys and your friend there.”

“It’s okay Howard, don’t worry about it.  That’s over and done with for now,” Justin stated as he patted Howard on the back.  “Let’s get your things and get you to a room.”

“Okay,” Howard stated as he and Justin walked outside to get his things.

A Few Minutes Previously – The Kitchen

“You’ve been an asshole for years John, so I’m not expecting anything different now,” Joshua nonchalantly said as he turned his back to JT.  “But I accept your apology none-the-less.”

“I really wasted my damn time, coming in here to apologize to you,” JT stated as he pointed his finger at Joshua. “Why apologize to someone that’s made it a point to damn cause problems for everyone around him.  If it wasn’t for you, most of the damn drama that happened on the damn Mouse wouldn’t have happened.”

“None of that shit was my fault John, it was yours.  You should really learn to keep your dick to yourself and your pants up.  Maybe then you’ll stay on your feet for a change,” Joshua shot back as JT took in a deep breath and then closed his eyes.  “I still wonder what Marc ever saw in you.”

“Well it was something that he didn’t see in you Josh,” JT stated as he moved closer to Joshua.  “It was always you, dissing me, but I never really knew why until Marc told me about the little escapades you two would have when Keri or Lindsey wasn’t available for you.”

“Shut the hell up!”  Joshua snapped as JT smiled.  “You don’t know what you’re talking about!”

“I know what I’m talking about Joshua,” JT stated as he pointed his finger in Joshua’s face, just centimeters from his nose.  “All that anger for me, because I was getting the ass that you couldn’t get anymore.  Was that it Joshua?  Was that the reason why you told Virgil, Fred and Wanda about what was going on?  Was that it Joshua?  Is that why you allowed us to get caught having sex?  Come on Joshua, you getting quiet on me.  Don’t stop talking now, because it was rather convenient that when Marc broke things off with you and started things up with me, those really freaky, strange things started happening on set.  You happened to know why that was Josh?”

“You—you don’t know what you’re fucking talking about,” Joshua said as he turned away from JT.

“Oh, I don’t?  Would you like to call Marc on the phone and verify that?”  JT asked, moving around in front of Joshua, getting in his face.  “I don’t mind calling him, having him tell the sordid tale of your relationship with him.  I’m sure he could refresh your memory about how you would sneak into his dressing room and let him suck you off or how when Keri or Lindsey wasn’t on set and you needed the release, you would even fuck him.  Do I need to make that phone call Joshua, because if so, I don’t mind making it!”

“What in the hell is going on in here?”  Justin asked, rushing into the room, getting in between JT and Joshua.  “We could hear you two arguing all the way outside.  If we heard you, I’m sure Caleb heard you too.  Now, what in the hell is going on here?”

“Why don’t you ask Hall of Mouse Liberace there,” JT stated as he snapped his finger and then walked out of the room.

“Say what?  What does that mean?”  Justin asked as he looked at Joshua and then looked out of the room, watching his husband walk down the hall.  “Josh, what’s going on here?  Besides the obvious, why were you two arguing and why did he call you the Hall of Mouse Liberace?”

“Just let it go,” Joshua said as he walked around Justin.  “I—I’m going home to my wife and child.”

“Josh, don’t leave like this,” Justin said as he grabbed Joshua’s hand, stopping him from leaving.  “Tell me what happened here.”

“No,” Joshua stated as he shook his head as a few tears fell from his eyes as he pulled away from Justin and then walked on out of the room, heading towards the front door.

“Someone’s going to tell me what’s going on,” Justin said as he walked out of the room.

An Hour Later – Out by the Pool

“Hey baby,” Justin spoke as he walked outside as JT waved a hand, not looking up at him from where he sat at the pool with his legs and feet in the water.  “Okay baby, why aren’t you talking?”

“I got nothing to say,” JT responded, not looking up at Justin.

“You’ve been quiet since the blowout earlier between you and Josh,” Justin stated as he sighed.  “Come on baby, talk to me.”

“Talk about what?”  JT asked, still not looking at him.

“Come on baby, why are you avoiding talking to me?  What did I do?”  Justin asked as he kicked off his shoes and then sat down next to JT, kissing his cheek.

“You did nothing,” JT replied, still not looking at Justin.

“Well, if I didn’t do anything wrong, why are you punishing me?”  Justin asked.  “I don’t like it when my husband chooses to close me out or ignore me, the way he’s doing right now.  I don’t like being treated like the scum on the bottom of his damn shoes.”

“I’m not treating… I’m sorry Justin,” JT replied as he sighed and then looked at Justin.  “I’m sorry.”

“What’s going on baby?”  Justin asked as he placed a finger under JT’s chin, lifting it, forcing JT to look at his eyes.  “Talk to me baby.  What’s going on here?  What’s going on between you and Josh?”

“Nothing,” JT replied as he shook his head.

“Come on baby, are you kidding me here?  Every time that you two are in the same place together, for longer than a few minutes, you guys argue and then fight,” Justin stated as he sighed.  “This has been going on since we were all on the show.  I’m guessing it has something to do with…”

“Just let it go Justin,” JT stated as footsteps could be heard approaching them.  “There’s no need in dredging up the past.”

“Hey guys, what’s up?”  Howard asked as he and Chad walked over to them.  “Is—is there something wrong guys?”

“No, there’s nothing wrong at all,” JT replied as he got up and then walked over to one of the chairs to get his towel. “Come on Justin, let’s get back inside, it’s getting late.”

“Fine,” Justin replied as he shook his head, got up and grabbed his shoes, walking towards the house as Howard and Chad both shrugged their shoulders.

“Hey Justin, is there some place around here where I can get some food?”  Chad asked as he looked at Justin closely.  “I’m really hungry and I don’t think my hunger can wait until morning.”

“There’s no need for going someplace, we have a fully stocked kitchen,” JT stated.

“No buddy, no need for making a mess this late at night,” Chad stated as he and Howard embraced.  “A burger place would be okay.”

“There’s not even a burger place in this neighborhood,” Justin stated as he looked at Chad.  “You’d be better off, finding something in the kitchen.”

“Is that okay with you baby?”  Chad asked, looking at Howard.

“That’s fine with me,” Howard replied as he and Chad kissed.

“Come on,” Justin said as he held the door open for the two lovebirds.

To Be Continued…

 

The Ties That Bind – Chapter 1


Chapter 1 — Everything’s Golden, Part 1

Aug 23, 2004 – Los Angeles, CA (North Beverly Park Suburb) – The Home of JT and Justin Poole-Tanner – The Kitchen

JT’s POV

Lawd, it’s way too damn early in the morning for me to be up like this.  If it wasn’t for it being Caleb’s first day of school, I don’t think I would be up this early.  It’s not even light out and I’m up, in the kitchen, making breakfast for all of us.  I guess that’s just my nerves that has me up so early like this.

“I must be a nervous daddy or something,” I said aloud, giggling as I moved around in the kitchen.

I must be a nervous daddy.  It’s Caleb’s first day of school and I feel like it’s my first day of school.  I guess I’m up so early so that I can make sure he gets off to a good start.  That means my boy gets a good meal, so he’ll have all the energy he needs to get through the day, especially at a new school.

“Bro, is there something wrong?”  I heard behind me as I turned around to see Josh as he stood in the doorway with a tired look on his face.  “What’re you doing up so early?”

“Nothing’s wrong Josh, I’m just up, getting breakfast ready,” I answered as he yawned and then stretched his arms over his head.  “You want to help?”

“I guess I could,” he replied, walking further into the kitchen as he moved over to the sink and then washed his hands.  “What do you want me to do Bro?”

“The grits and bacon are already started, you can get started on the eggs and toast,” I replied as he walked over to the refrigerator and then grabbed the eggs as he opened the carton, checked the eggs and then walked over to the pantry, going inside to get the bread as he walked over to the stove, placing the items on the counter.  “You want a cup of coffee?”

“Naw, I’ll pass on that for right now,” he replied as I heard someone clear their throat behind me as I turned around to see Justin standing there with his arms folded across his chest.  “Good morning Justin.”

“Good morning Josh,” Justin replied as he walked over to where I stood and then kissed my mouth.  “Good morning husband of mine.  Why are you up so early?”

“Just making sure I get the little one off to school the proper way,” I replied as he raised an eye at me and then looked over at Josh as he shrugged his shoulders.  “I want to make sure he’s fed and has enough energy to make it through the day without a problem.”

“Baby, Caleb’s going to be alright,” Justin said as he wrapped his arms around my waist.  “Don’t you worry about him.  I’m sure he’s going to be just fine.”

“How can you be so sure Justin?”  I asked, knowing he hadn’t developed psychic powers overnight, so how would he know how things were going to go with Caleb, being at a new school and have to adapt to new people.  “I don’t want the other kids to…”

“What’s going on you two?”  Josh asked as he watched the two of us.

“Nothing’s going on,” I replied as he looked at me strangely and then frowned.  “I—I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” Josh said as he turned his attention back to the eggs.

“No, it’s not okay,” I said, moving away from Justin.  “Josh, my—my son has a—a… He has some mental health issues associated with abuse, neglect and abandonment.”

“Why does he have those issues bro?  Did you abuse him?  Did you abandon him somewhere?”  Josh asked as I sighed, frowned and then shook my head as I noticed the strange look on his face.

“No Josh, I—I didn’t do those things to him, his mother did that,” I replied, not knowing what to really say or how to explain the look that Josh just gave me.

“Why?”  He asked as I looked at Justin and then back at him.

“I don’t know why Heather did the things she did to him,” I replied, not clearly sure about all the stuff that Heather had done because Caleb had yet to open up about those things to me.  I guess when he feels more comfortable with me—us, he’ll talk about his life with Heather.  “Regardless of the things Heather did, I have to do what I can to make sure he knows and understands that I love him and I’ll always be here for him.”

“You mean we love him and we’ll always be here for him,” Justin said as he wrapped his arms around my waist, kissing my lips as Josh looked away quickly.

“Josh, are you okay?”  I asked, moving away from Justin quickly as I walked over to where he stood.  “Josh?”

“I—I’m okay bro, just a headache is all,” he replied as I looked at him closely as he looked at me with a neutral expression on his face.  Why do I get the feeling that my brother is lying to me?

“We can handle this Josh.  Why don’t you go take something for that,” I said as he shook his head and then looked down.

“I can handle it bro, nothing major,” he replied as he placed some bread in the toaster and then turned slightly to look at me.

“Okay then,” I said, turning around, wondering if I should push the issue or let it drop.

“What time are you going to get Caleb up?”  Justin asked, looking over at me.

“I’ll let him sleep until around seven.  He doesn’t have to be there until eight-fifteen,” I replied as Justin looked at me and then looked at the clock on the wall.  “I know I’m up early, but I just couldn’t sleep.”

“I’m sure,” Justin said as he shook his head.  “This day is going to be a good one.”

“You say that, but I have a feeling that drama is going to rear its ugly head at some point today,” I said as he shook his head.

“Think positive baby,” he said with a smile as he walked over and then kissed my lips quickly.  “Caleb’s going to school and he’s going to have a great day.  He’s going to have fun and he’s going to make some new friends while he’s there.”

“I hope that’s how things turn out,” I said, wondering if I’m going to feel like this every day.  Hell, this is the first day of school for my son and I feel like I’m throwing him away to the wolves.  “I just feel like…”

“Baby, if you say something negative, I’m going to spank you,” Justin said as Josh shook his head.

“Shoot, now you trying to get kinky with me,” I said as Justin laughed and then shook his head.  “Save that stuff for the bedroom handsome, I’m worried about my son’s first day of school right now.”

“He’s going to be fine baby, don’t worry about him,” Justin said as I shook my head.  “Caleb’s going to enjoy his first day of fourth grade and everything is going to be okay.”

“I so hope you’re right about that,” I said, walking over to the stove to finish up the bacon.

A Super8 Motel – Laci Greylek’s Motel Room

Laci’s POV

Damn it!  I’ve been here for almost a whole week and still, I haven’t found out where Justin Tanner is!  Where in the hell could he be hiding in this damn town?  I know the town is big, but it’s not that big to hide a celebrity such as him.  I know he’s around here somewhere.

Since I’ve been here, I’ve spent my time, watching the music and news channels, trying to get some information about where he and that man he married are hiding.  He’s somewhere in this town, I just don’t know where.  He and that black man are the current topic on the news and the paparazzi aren’t allowing them to have any kind of peace.  So, why is it so hard for me to find out where Justin’s hiding in this town?

“Thank God for the paparazzi,” I said aloud as I looked over at PJ as he slept.  “Had it not been for those vultures, I wouldn’t have found out some needed information.”

I’m running out of time here.  I have to find Justin soon or I’m screwed.  If I don’t find him in the next few days, I’ve made this trip here, all for nothing.  I need to get to him quickly before he leaves here.  From what I was able to find out, I have less than a week to get to him before he heads out on a tour.  All the music news shows have been talking about his upcoming tour.  He’s supposed to be heading off to New York for a show and then he’ll be leaving the country.

“I have to get to him before he leaves this state,” I said, getting up as I walked over to the windows in the room.  “We have to get to him before he gets away.  The money I took won’t hold out for much longer.”

We have to get to him soon.  If we don’t, I don’t know when we’ll ever get the chance.  Hell, if he leaves this state to go on tour, things for us will be totally over.  I have no choice but to find him in the next few days, if not it’ll be too late. God knows if he starts that tour, things for us will be ruined.

“Damn it, I’m running out of time,” I said aloud as I sighed.  “I have to think of something, but what?  I have to find Justin in the next few days or the life I envision for the two of us will never happen.”

Jacksonville, FL – The Home of Howard Marshall – Howard’s Home Office

Howard’s POV

I can’t believe I’m stuck here, working on a case, when I could be out in Los Angeles, hanging out with my man.  I so wish he could be here with me, but he has work to do.  If I didn’t have this case, I would be out there, enjoying my life with the man I’ve fallen head over heels in love with, instead of working on this crap, wondering what he’s doing.

Damn it, I can’t just call him, I just spoke with him an hour ago.  I don’t want to seem like a stalker or something, but I’ve grown to like hearing his voice.  I don’t think he’ll think of me as a stalker or something, but I don’t want to be a bother to him either.

“Damn, this job is fucking up my life,” I said aloud, sighing as I flipped the page in the folder I was working on.

Why didn’t I just take a leave of absence and go with him, when he and JT left to head out to LA?  Yeah, just thinking about putting work on hold like that, I must really be in love with this guy.  If I didn’t have this case, I would be out in LA with him, enjoying my time, with the guy I’ve fallen so deeply in love with.  I should be there with him, not being here, wondering what he’s doing.

“Damn, I can’t call him,” I said aloud as I sighed.  “I just spoke with him an hour ago.”

Oh yeah, I’m in love with this guy big time.  I keep having the same thoughts of us being together and me not working here anymore.  That alone is enough for me to just let all of this go and focus on him.  Hell, I’ve worked so hard on my career, I shouldn’t be thinking about giving it up.  Then again, I think he’s worth it.

“I do love him,” I said aloud as I put the folder down and then looked over at the picture of the two of us that sat on the corner of my desk.  “He asked me to marry him and I said yes.”

He asked me to marry him, I said yes, but yet I feel like things aren’t right in my life yet.  What’s causing this feeling in me?  I first thought it was because I was lonely and wanted a man of my own in my life, but now that I have a man of my own, the feeling is still there.  I first thought the feeling was associated with Justin and JT, but I was feeling that way, way before they got married.  So, what isn’t quite right in my life just yet?  What’s causing this feeling in me?

“Since before JT and Justin got married, I had that feeling.  What’s causing that feeling in me?  What’s the real problem here?  Is it me or is it something else?”  I asked as the phone rang, pulling me from my thoughts.  “Hello.”

“Hey baby,” I heard Chad’s voice on the line as the feeling I felt earlier disappeared and I felt—felt whole again.  “I just had to talk to you.  Did I stop you from working?”

“It’s okay baby, I’m glad to hear your voice,” I replied, leaning back in the chair, getting comfortable.  “What are you doing?”

“We’re taking a break right now,” he replied, just the sound of his voice bringing a smile to my face.  “I wish you were here with me right now.”

“I wish I was there too,” I replied as he started humming a tune… It’s a familiar tune as tears came to my eyes.  “No wind, no rain or winter storm can stop me babe, if you are my goal.”

“Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough to keep me from you,” I sang the best I could through my tears.

“I feel the same way babe,” he replied as it sounded like he was crying also.

“Don’t cry baby,” I said, sniffling as I wiped at my eyes.

“I can’t help it,” he replied as I laughed a bit.

“I can’t either,” I said, sitting up in the chair.  “Why are we balling like this?”

“Because we don’t want to be apart, like we are right now,” he said as he sniffled again.  “Baby, I can’t stand us being apart like this.”

“Me neither,” I said, sniffling.  “I’ve been thinking about you all day and my mind just isn’t working right.”

“Same here,” he said, sniffling.  “I’m jumping on the next plane and I’m coming back to you.”

“No baby, you can’t do that babe.  You have to finish working,” I said, really wanting to see him, wanting him to be here with me so badly, but I didn’t want him jeopardizing his career for my wants.

“Screw my career,” he said as I looked at the phone strangely.  “My heart and soul is more important than my career.  I can do something else.”

“I—I feel the same way,” I said, wiping at my eyes again.

“Then that only means one thing babe,” he said as I looked at the phone again, wondering what he was getting at.

“What’s that baby?”  I asked, waiting for him to continue.

“I think it’s time that we made things a bit more official and permanent,” he answered.

“Chad, what are you saying?”  I asked.

“I’m saying that I think we should fly up to Canada and get married like JT and Justin did,” he suggested.

“Chad, do you really want to do that?”  I asked, mentally kicking myself when the words came out of my mouth.

“Yeah—yeah babe, don’t you want to do it?”  He asked.

“Yes, oh yes I want to do it, but I don’t want you thinking that things are moving too fast for us,” I replied.

“I’m the one that suggested it babe,” he said, laughing a bit and then stopping.  “But it is clear, that I’m ready to do what I need to, to marry you right now.”

“I think I better call JT,” I said.

“Wait, we need to go see him,” he suggested.  “You know how he gets, we’ll just go out to his place, tell him and go from there.”

“You have a point,” I said, thinking about how dramatic JT could be at times.

“I’m going to finish things up here, the best I can and then I’ll be on the next plane to you baby,” here said as I smiled.

“I’ll be here, waiting for you baby,” I said with a smile.  “I love you Chad.”

“I love you Howard,” he said as the phone disconnected.

Mid-Day – Cudahy, CA – Park Avenue Elementary School – The Cafeteria

“Hi,” a little boy spoke, walking over to a table where Caleb sat.

“Hi,” Caleb spoke, waving at the other boy as he took a bite from the sandwich on his napkin.

“I’m Max Cahill and you are?”  The boy asked, holding out his hand for Caleb to shake.

“I’m Caleb…  I’m Caleb Poole,” Caleb replied as he shook the boy’s hand as the other boy smiled at him and then sat his tray down on the table.

“Is it okay for me to sit here?  It’s my first day here,” the boy said as Caleb shrugged his shoulders.

“It’s my first day here too,” Caleb replied as he took another bite of his sandwich and then took a sip of his milk.

“Are you Puerto Rican?”  Max asked as he looked at Caleb closely.

“No, I’m mixed,” Caleb replied as he looked at the boy strangely and then popped a potato chip into his mouth.

“Cool, I’m Hispanic,” Max stated as he opened his eating utensils and then started eating his entrée.  “Who’s your teacher?”

“I have Ms. Chueng,” Caleb replied as he popped another chip into his mouth.

“I have Ms. Davies,” Max replied as he took a bite of his meal.  “Are you going to do an activity after school?”

“I don’t think so,” Caleb replied as he looked down.  “I—I would have to talk to Daddy or Justin about it.”

“I’m going to try to get into the computer club or possibly do something with music,” Max stated with a smile.

“My daddy is in music, he’s a big-time singer,” Caleb sated as Max put his fork down and then looked at him.

“Who’s your daddy?”  Max asked.

“My daddy is JT Poole,” Caleb replied as Max’s eyes widened.

“Your dad is the guy that’s married to Justin Tanner,” Max said as Caleb nodded his head.  “You have two dads?”

“Yeah,” Caleb answered as he looked around, noticing that other students were listening to their conversation.

“I have two dads too,” Max stated as Caleb looked at him strangely.  “My biological father is Matthew Cahill, an investment banker and my other dad is David Brandon-Cahill, a civil activist attorney.”

“Both of my dads are singers,” Caleb stated as he took a sip of his milk as another student sat down at the table.

“Hi,” the little boy said as he waved at Caleb and then at Max.  “I’m Zachary, but you guys can call me Zach.”

“Hi,” Caleb replied as he waved at the other boy.

“Hi man,” Max replied as he shook hands with the boy.

“Is this your first day here?”  Zach asked as he looked over at Caleb.

“Yes,” Caleb replied, using a napkin to wipe his mouth and hands.  “My first day here, I moved here from Florida.”

“How are you liking the west coast so far?”  Max asked.

“It’s okay I guess, as long as I’m with Daddy, it doesn’t really matter,” Caleb stated as he looked down.

“Lunch is almost over, but I wanted to stop over and welcome you here,” Zach stated as he shook hands with Caleb and then got up.  “Welcome and don’t be a stranger.”

“Okay,” Caleb said as a tone sounded, indicating that lunch was over.  “Oh well, back to class I go.”

To Be Continued…

When The Glitter Turns Gold – Chapter 20


Chapter 20 — Quit Playing Games

Aug 17, 2004 – Los Angeles, CA (North Beverly Park Suburb)

“Josh, are you sure you can find the house?”  Nikki asked, looking at Josh as he continued driving through the neighborhood, while looking around as if he was looking for something.

“I’m sure baby,” Josh replied as he stopped the car, smiling at Nikki.  “We’re here, are you ready?”

“Are you sure this is the place Josh?  I don’t think this would be JT’s house,” Nikki stated with a frown as she pulled out here cell phone.  “Maybe I should give him a call and get directions from him or Justin.”

“There’s no need for that, this is the place,” Josh stated as he opened the car door as Nikki frowned again, allowing him to get out and walk around the car to open her door.  “All we need to do is just walk up to the door and…”

“Josh look around, do you really think this is the kind of place that JT would live?”  Nikki asked as she looked around.

“Well, I don’t see a gated fence, a guard tower or any security guards or dogs, running around the property,” Josh stated as Nikki rolled her eyes and then glared at him.

“Don’t start, we don’t need any extra drama,” Nikki stated, sighing as Josh held the door open, waiting for her to get out of the car.  “I don’t think this is the place Josh.”

“Fine, go ahead and call him and see if he comes out to greet us,” Josh relented as he leaned against the door as he folded his arms across his chest.

“About time you showed some common sense,” Nikki said as she opened the phone and pressed a quick dial button as she held the phone to her ear.  “Hey JT, I think we’re here, could you come out to greet us?  Yes, I think we’re here, I’m not sure, being that I wasn’t the one that drove us here.”

“Is he saying something…” Josh said as Nikki waved her hand at him to quiet him down.

“Okay, I figured that,” Nikki said as she popped Josh on his leg.  “We’ll see you guys in a bit.  No, I don’t think Justin needs to come down to get us.  I’m sure we’ll find it.”

“This isn’t it?”  Josh asked as Nikki rolled her eyes again and then motioned with her head for Josh to get back into the car.

“I’m hungry too, so we’ll see you guys quickly,” Nikki said as Josh got into the car, started it and looked at her as she pointed in the opposite direction.

Grand Junction, TN – The Studio Apartment of Laci Greylek – The Front Yard

“Me-Ma, I’m sorry to have to do this, but she’s leaving me no choice,” the sheriff’s deputy spoke as he pulled a pair of handcuffs from a holster on his belt.  “I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to use force to take her in.  Please take PJ from her.”

“Please John Darby, please don’t do that.  Just let her do things in her own way,” Esther Jenson, Laci’s grandmother said as she moved around Laci, standing at the door as she raised her hand.  “Please John Darby, don’t separate her and the baby right now.”

“Alright, for you Me-Ma, for you,” the sheriff’s deputy spoke as he put the handcuffs back into their holster as he hugged her and then turned around.  “I’ll be back later on this evening and she best be in a cooperating mood.”

“Yes sir,” she replied as she turned slowly and looked over at Laci and the little baby.

“Alright boys, let’s head back to the station,” the sheriff’s deputy said as the other officers got into their cars and then left.

“Girl, what did you do?”  Esther asked as she looked at Laci.

“I didn’t do nothing,” Laci answered as the woman shook her head.  “Honest, I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“You had to do something wrong for John Darby and his men folk to be here,” the woman said with a sigh.  “John Darby never goes anywhere with his posse for people that haven’t done nothing.”

“Okay Me-Ma, I beat up someone, but they had it coming,” Laci stated as she sighed.

“Why did you beat up someone?”  Esther asked, watching Laci as the young woman got up and then walked over to a chest of drawers.  “What are you doing?”

“We’re leaving,” Laci replied as she lay the baby on the bed and then started taking clothes out of drawers and then throwing them into bags.  “I’m not letting those fuckers lock me up!  If I get locked up, I’ll never see the light of day again.”

“Who did you beat up?”  Esther asked, watching Laci move around in the room frantically.

“I beat up the mayor’s daughter,” Laci replied as she shook her head and then threw some other items into another bag.  “We can’t stay here, we’re leaving.”

“You can’t just up and leave,” Esther said as Laci walked over and hugged her.

“I have no choice Me-Ma,” Laci replied as a few tears fell from her eyes.  “If I give in to them, I’ll probably rot in prison.”

“You won’t rot in prison,” Esther stated as Laci shook her head.

“You know as well as I do that those spoiled brats do what they fucking want around here,” Laci stated as she shook her head.  “That ho deserved that beating!  She took my last twenty dollars and then said I was trying to cheat her!  She knew what she was damn doing!”

“What happened that lead to you beating her up?”  Esther asked.

“When I was paying for the groceries, she said I didn’t give her the right amount of money and that I was trying to cheat her,” Laci stated as Esther shook her head.  “That was all the money I had left and I ended up having to give that to her and then she had the damn nerve to call the police on me!  Damn right she needed her ass beat Me-Ma.”

“Why didn’t you just explain that to John Darby?”  Esther asked as Laci shook her head.  “He would listen if you just tell him.”

“Those fools work for the damn mayor Me-Ma, they’re not going to listen to me.  You see they came here to lock me up!”  Laci screamed as she continued throwing items around in bags.

“Where you and PJ going to go?”  Esther asked as she looked at Laci.

“We’re going to find his father,” Laci replied as she continued packing things.

Chicago, IL – The Clemons Estates – The Backyard

“Well hello Juanita,” Eddie Clemons spoke as his wife stepped into the backyard to see a party in progress.  “It’s so nice of you to join us here today.”

“Eddie, what’s going on around here?”  Juanita asked, looking around the yard.  “You’re having a damn party, why?”

“Why else does one have a party, but to celebrate of course,” Eddie replied with a smile as he turned his back to her and walked over to the bar and then poured himself a drink.  “Why you here woman?”

“What in the hell are you celebrating Eddie?  Where in the hell did you get the money to throw a party like this?”  She asked, looking around again.  “Who are these people?”

“These are some of my new friends,” Eddie replied as he cut his eyes as the woman.  “Again, why are you here woman?”

“I came here to see how you were doing,” the woman replied as he shook his head.

“Why Juanita?  Why are you here now?  Why do you even care about how I am doing?”  Eddie asked, knocking the drink back and then pouring himself another one.  “How I got the money to throw this party is no longer your damn business.”

“What do you mean it’s no longer my damn business?”  She asked, glaring at Eddie.  “Where did you get the money to throw this damn party Eddie?”

“Hell, you didn’t help me get it, so that’s none of your damn business,” Eddie said as he pointed his finger at the woman.

“What about Skeeter and your debts?”  She asked, folding her arms across her chest.

“Skeeter got his damn money,” Eddie responded as he knocked back the drink he had.

“Why you drinking like that?  Don’t you have wo…” the woman said as Eddie held up his hand, stopping her.

“What I do is no longer your business woman,” Eddie stated with a sneer.  “You left here, remember that?”

“Eddie,” she said as Eddie shook his head.

“Don’t Eddie me woman,” Eddie stated as he poured himself another drink.  “When I damn needed you, you were no fucking where to be found.  Now that I don’t need you, here you fucking are.”

“Eddie,” she said again as Eddie shook his head again.

“No Juanita, wherever the hell you’ve been, take your skanky ass back there,” Eddie said as he took a sip of the drink and then placed the glass down on the bar-top.

“What!  You can’t talk to me that damn way!”  She screamed as others around, turned and looked in her direction.

“I’ll talk to you any damn way I please!”  Eddie snapped, pointing his finger at her.  “Again, wherever the hell you came from, take your skanky ass back there.  You ain’t welcomed here no more.”

“I live here, I’m not leaving,” she said as Eddie shook his head.

“Look, I don’t need or want you here bitch, leave!”  Eddie snapped as more people watched them.  “You can leave here walking on your own two feet or you can go out in a body bag.  Which way do you want to go?”

“What you trying to say Eddie?”  She asked as Eddie shook his head and then lifted his shirt a bit, revealing a gun.

“I’m sure you know what I’m saying Juanita,” Eddie responded with an evil look on his face.  “Get away from here Juanita and don’t you come back here.”

“I have things here, I am not leaving here,” the woman said as Eddie shook his head.

“You had things here,” Eddie replied, his expression not changing.  “Everything that you had here that was personal to you was put out on the street weeks ago.”

“What!”  She snapped as Eddie tapped the gun on his waistband.  “You threw my stuff out?”

“Mr. Clemons, is there a problem here?”  A tall black man asked, looking at Eddie and then looking at Juanita.

“No, there’s no problem here, she’ll be leaving now,” Eddie stated as he smiled and then turned back to the bar, pouring himself another drink.  “Juanita just realized that her usefulness to me has ended.”

“Eddie…” the woman said as he shook his head.

“Your time here has ended,” Eddie stated as he shook his head.  “There’s nothing here for you.  Get the hell on… Get gone!”

“This isn’t over,” the woman said as Eddie smiled and then nodded his head at the black man that was nearby.

“Yes, it is ma’am,” the black man said as he pointed towards the gate to the yard as he took her by the arm.  “You need to leave here and don’t come back as Mr. Clemons suggested.”

“Who in the hell are you?”  Juanita asked, snatching away from the man.  “You don’t know me to put your hands on me.”

“Ma’am, if I have to, my hands on you would be the least of your worries.  Please leave here… Don’t make Mr. Clemons angry.”

“I don’t give a damn about making Mr. Clemons angry!”  Juanita snapped as she pointed her finger in the man’s face.  “Eddie, I don’t know what the hell is going on, but you’ve lost your fucking mind!”

“I’ve heard enough,” Eddie said as he pulled the gun from his waistband and then aimed it at Juanita.

“What in the hell are you doing?”  Juanita asked.

“Putting an end to the headache that’s forming right now,” Eddie replied as he smiled.  “I told you nicely to get gone, but it seems you didn’t want to listen to the nice version of that.  Here’s the remix…”

“Fine, I’m gone,” Juanita said as she moved away from Eddie, being escorted away by the black man as the tears streamed down her face.

A Few Hours Later – Chattanooga, TN – The Bus Station

Laci’s POV

Damn, how long does it take someone to process a damn bus ticket?  I’ve been standing at this damn counter for almost twenty minutes and it seems this stupid fuck-up isn’t finished yet.  I already gave him my damn money, so what’s taking him so damn long?  He needs to hurry the hell up, it’s almost seven and I would like to get my ass on the road, before someone notices me or something.

The way that fool is dragging his feet with setting up my ticket, it’s like he’s being slow on purpose.  Hell, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think the fucker was trying to hold me up on purpose, so I’ll miss the bus and have to wait until later on tonight to leave out.

Damn, this crap isn’t funny, he needs to hurry the hell up.  I’m not looking to stay around in this place any longer than I have to.  The sooner I get out of Tennessee, the better I’ll feel.  Since leaving Me-Ma, I’ve had this strange feeling that I’ll have to put up with some extra drama before I get to where I’m headed.  This fuck-tard needs to hurry up so I can get away from here and not to have to deal with Darby and his damn crew.  Right now, drama needs to keep its distance from me, I’m not in the mood for any of it.

“Sir, how much longer is it going to be?”  I asked as the man turned away from the computer and then looked over at me.

“I’m sorry Miss, but the terminal is being a bit sluggish today,” he replied as he smiled and then went back to his paper as he sipped his drink from the cup.

“Is there something you can do to hurry things along?  I don’t want to miss the buss when it gets here,” I said as PJ started crying.  “Come on PJ, you have to be quiet for mommy right now.”

“Ma’am, the computers act real funny late in the day, there’s no rushing things,” he said as I shook my head and then turned around. Looking at the clock on the wall, noticing that it was already after seven.

Damn, he needs to hurry up.  The bus heading to California will be here within a few minutes.  This shit is taking too damn long.  I’m getting a funny feeling here.  Is he trying to slow me down so the sheriff and the gang back in Grand Junction can catch up to me or what?  Is that what’s going on here?  Then again, how would he know the sheriff is looking for me back home?  I don’t think anyone around here knows that I’m wanted for questioning.  Hell, I think I’m wanted for more than questioning, being that I beat up the mayor’s daughter and almost left her for dead for taking my damn money.

“Alright miss, here you are,” the man said as he handed me the ticket and then smiled.  “You and your boy have a safe trip.”

“Thanks,” I said, reaching down and picking up my bags as I walked towards the door where the bus would arrive.

Pretty soon, all of my prayers will be answered.  I’m going to forget about ever being in this sorry ass state.  I’m saying buh-bye to being the poor little girl and saying hello to everything I ever wanted.  Hopefully, by this time tomorrow, I’ll have a new outlook on life, PJ and I will never have to go without again.

The bus to California should be here soon and we’ll be on our way from this fucking rat trap.  I can’t wait to get out of here and over to there.  I just know that this is the best thing for the two of us.  By the time I’m done in California, things will never be the same for us or for Justin Tanner.  When I’m through with him, he’ll wish he never married that man.  Hell, by the time I’m done, I think a lot of things will change and I’ll end up being more famous than Justin’s ever been.  Only time will tell, but I’m sure that Baby Tanner here will shed some light on a whole lot of things for me.  After all this time, it’s time to put my theory to the test.

Los Angeles, CA (North Beverly Park Suburb) – The Home of JT and Justin Poole-Tanner – The Entertainment Room

Howard’s POV

Wow, when Chad said this place was awesome, he wasn’t lying.  This place looks so great, I wonder how they got it decorated so quickly.  They’ve only been out here for a week and they act like they’ve been here for years.  I must admit I didn’t think JT would live in a place like this, but here he is.  I’m used to JT living in a military complex, not a regular house.  This is so different than what I’m used to, dealing with his insecurities.  I wonder what attracted him to this house, being this house is nothing like the house in Jacksonville or the place he used to live in Albany.

“So, you’re here Howard, what’s on your mind?”  JT asked as he and Justin walked into the room.

“Did you enjoy your flight Howard?”  Justin asked as he took a seat on the sofa and then kicked off his slippers.

“Do you want something to drink Howard?”  JT asked as he walked over to a picture, pressed it as it opened up, revealing a refrigerator.  Damn, that’s so cool.  A refrigerator hidden by a picture on a wall.  JT got himself a soda and then looked at me again.  “Howard?”

“No thanks, I’m good,” I answered as he walked around the sofa and then sat on the opposite end as he put his feet up on the sofa cushion as Justin moved a bit and then started massaging his feet.

“Howard, have a seat.  There’s no need for you to stand up, unless you just want to,” he said as I smiled and then sat down across from the two of them.

“Well to get to why I’m here, there’s been a development with Heather,” I said as he put the soda on the floor and then moved around on the sofa, sitting up.  Okay, is this going to go as planned or what?

“What kind of development Howard?  What’s happening?”  JT asked, his expression changing to a scared one as he looked at Justin and then back at me.  “Is Caleb leaving?”

“No, Caleb isn’t leaving,” I replied as his expression remained the same.  “Caleb is staying forever, from what I have here.”

“What do you have there?”  He asked, looking at me strangely.

“This is a writ from a judge,” I said, his expression still the same.  “This says that Heather’s parental rights have been terminated and you are Caleb’s sole biological parent.”

“How is that possible?”  Justin asked, as he moved around on the sofa and then sat up.  “What’s going on?  Did she do something?”

“Think about the stuff we talked about before you two left Jacksonville and add in the fact that the judge that’s presiding over her case has determined that she’s not capable of ever defending herself in her criminal case,” I stated as JT shook his head.

“Meaning, she’s acting crazy and she’s gotten away with what she did.  I knew she wouldn’t be held responsible for what she did to me,” JT stated as I shook my head.

“No, that’s not the case buddy,” I said as he looked at me strangely.  “The judge ruled that she remain institutionalized, until she is capable of contemplating what she’s done to you and Caleb.  That judge also severed her parental rights to him, meaning that she can’t interfere with your lives in regard to him.  You are free to raise Caleb without her being around.”

“Question,” Justin said as JT looked at him.  “What happens when she is able to contemplate what she’s done?  She gets out of the nut-house and comes looking for us to cause problems and tries to take Caleb away from us, is that it?”

“The judge severed all rights she had to Caleb.  She’s nothing to him and he’s nothing to her,” I said, trying to make that clear as I possibly could.  “Her rights to him have been completely terminated.”

“So, you’re saying I don’t ever have to worry about Heather again, right?”  JT said as I nodded my head as Justin shook his head.

“Howard, you didn’t answer all of my question,” Justin said as he looked at me.  “When she’s capable of contemplating what she’s done, she’ll be out of the nut-house.  She’ll surely come after…”

“No, she won’t,” I said, trying to figure out how to put this into words that both of them would understand.  “With the way the judge worded things in this writ, there’s nothing Heather can do in regard to Caleb being here with you two.”

“Are you sure?”  JT asked, looking down at his hands.  “I don’t want to have to put up with any drama that she could…”

“Buddy, I don’t think you’ll ever have to put up with Heather again,” I said, looking over at him.  “If you deal with her, it’s because you want to.”

“I don’t want to deal with her… Justin, do you want to deal with her?”  JT asked, looking over at Justin as he shook his head.

“As I was saying, you won’t have to deal with Heather,” I stated as I pulled out the other folder.  “With the crimes charged against Heather, when she’s finally able to contemplate what she’s done to you and to Caleb, she’s going to jail and for a very long time.”

“She’s going to jail,” JT said as I nodded my head.

“The crime charges that are pending against her are all felonies,” I said as JT looked down and then shook his head.  “That means she’ll spend time in jail for each offense she’s charged with.”

“When she gets out of the mental place, don’t they have to have a court trial or something to convict her of the charges?”  JT asked.

“They don’t have to, she’s already been found guilty in a sense,” I replied as he looked at me strangely.  “She can’t plead innocent to the charges, there is already enough evidence to back up all the charges against her.  Everything has already been proven that she did the things she’s charged with.  The affidavits from the hospital staff at Penn Med, statements from your friend Ken and his parents about what they knew of Caleb’s conception, from what she told them, Caleb’s existence is evidence and plus she keeps telling people that you two had consensual sex and…”

“So, in simple terms, she’s going to jail, regardless of what she or anyone else does and we don’t have to ever worry about her, right Howard?”  Justin said as I nodded my head.

“You guys don’t have to see her, unless Caleb wants to have a relationship with her, but I surely doubt that, since I’ve gotten some very negative reports from children services,” I said as JT’s eyes widened.

“What kind of reports?  Are those the reports from the shit with Glitter?”  He asked as I shook my head.

“No, these are the various reports from the different state and local area social services divisions that attempted to deal with Heather’s action and abuse against Caleb.  There were numerous complaints filed against her, but she never stayed around in a place long enough for the charges to be substantiated,” I explained as JT sighed and then shook his head.

“What kind of abuse Howard?”  JT asked as he looked up at me.

“It seems she had a pattern,” I said as he just looked at me.  “Everywhere she was, different people made the same complaints about her actions with Caleb.”

“What was the complaint Howard?”  JT asked, looking like he was about to breakdown.

“It was accused that she physically and emotionally neglected him and that she had left him in the care of other people, that wasn’t family.  So, there’s a big red flag there.  There were even reports from her Mom about her care of Caleb,” I stated as JT shook his head.

“That somewhat explains that Shannon woman,” Justin stated as he looked over at JT, got up from his spot and moved closer to him, wrapping his arms around him.  “She acted more like she was Caleb’s caretaker and…”

“He called her Aunt Shan,” JT stated as I looked at him, wondering what he was talking about.  “How long was she around in his life, for him to develop that kind of relationship, to call her his aunt, when she’s not related to Heather in any way?”

“Baby, you know kids develop a liking for people in a short amount of time,” Justin said, rubbing his back.

“Maybe so, but that doesn’t… How much did Heather leave him with that Shannon woman and other people?  The boy doesn’t like to be alone much and anytime that I’m out of his sight for too long, he freaks out.”

“Yeah, that’s been established already baby,” Justin said as he sighed.  “Remember, I had to put up with the crying fit while you were in the pokey.”

“Justin,” JT said, rolling his eyes as I shook my head this time.  “So, he’s been neglected and left alone and she’s facing charges for that?”

“Yes,” I answered as he looked at Justin.  “So, as I said in the beginning, she won’t be around to bother you, either of you.  Once she gets out of the institution, she’ll head off to prison.  So, you guys won’t have any interaction with her, unless you want to.  There’s that silver lining I was telling you about buddy.”

“I guess it is a silver lining,” he replied, half smiling as he sighed.

“Then why does it seem you’re not happy about all that I’ve told you?”  I asked, watching him and Justin.

“I am happy about what you’ve told me—us Howard, but there is so much about Caleb’s life that I—we don’t know about.  When we try to find out what’s happened to him, he clams up and changes the subject or runs off,” JT stated as he looked down and then sighed again as he shook his head.  “We know something happened to him, you just confirmed it in a way, but we don’t know what.  We figured when he was ready, he’ll tell us, but after hearing all of what you’ve said, I’m more concerned about his past.”

“We try talking to him, to get him to open up about things, but that’s not really working.  We figured out a few weeks ago that Heather had to have done something to him, because he keeps freaking out, thinking JT or I is going to leave him and we’re not coming back,” Justin stated as he frowned.  “We both try to get him to open up about things, but it seems we’re not getting through.”

“You two may need to get him into some kind of therapy,” I said as JT looked at me and then looked down as he shook his head.

“I—I don’t want him to get a label attached to him Howard,” he said as I and Justin looked at him strangely.  “Once you get that label, people treat you differently.”

“Getting him some help has nothing to do with labels baby,” Justin said, rubbing JT’s back.  “What we’re doing isn’t working.  We might need to get someone better than us to talk with him and maybe he’ll open up to them about what Heather did and what he’s been through.”

“Maybe, maybe not,” JT said as he sighed.

“I don’t think it’ll hurt buddy,” I said, hoping I wasn’t overstepping my authority as he just sighed and then looked at Justin as I pulled the adoption papers out of my briefcase for Justin to sign.  “Also, these need to be signed.”

“What are those… Oh yeah, the adoption papers,” Justin said with a smile as I handed the papers to him.

“Justin, are you sure you want to adopt him?”  JT asked, looking Justin in the face.

“Baby, that’s the dumbest question you’ve ever asked me,” Justin stated as he took the pen from me and started flipping pages, signing the papers.  “You’re my husband and pretty soon, he’ll be my son.  We’ll be one big happy family.”

“Yes, you will be,” I said, wondering would Chad and I have this kind of life, well not the drama part, but the love part.

“Yes, we’ll be one big happy family,” JT said as he looked down again.  “A bit screwy, but a loving family.”

“Ha ha ha, real funny baby,” Justin said as he flipped to the last page and then sighed.  “Here you are Howard, I think I got all of them.”

“Let me have a look see,” I said, accepting the papers from him as I looked through the ones I had little stickies on, making sure there was a signature and initials.  It looks like he got them all.  “I’ll get this submitted to the courts in Jacksonville and then have them filed here in California also.  Are you sure you want this?”

“Yes, I’m sure I want this,” Justin replied with a smile.  “I want this, and the little man can’t wait for me to become his dad too.”

“You two talked about it again?”  JT said as Justin nodded his head.  “Great, well I guess that’s settled then.”

“Yep, it’s settled,” Justin said with a smile.

“I guess you could say that the glitter finally turned gold,” JT stated with a smile as he and Justin kissed.

To Be Continued…
in Book 4 – The Ties That Bind.

When The Glitter Turns Gold – Chapter 19


Chapter 19 — Mirror, Mirror

Aug 17, 2004 – Los Angeles, CA (North Beverly Park Suburb) – The Home of JT and Justin Poole-Tanner – The Family Room

“Wow, this room is big,” Caleb said, looking around as he, JT and Justin walked into the room.  “Daddy, can I watch some TV?”

“Sure, but only for a little bit,” JT replied as Caleb picked up the remote, turned on the TV and then sat down on the sofa in the room.  “Remember, we have to go check out the new school in a bit.”

“Yes sir,” Caleb spoke as he folded his arms across his chest as Justin and JT walked over to the windows in the room.

“Baby, are you sure you’re going to be happy, staying here in LA, twenty-four seven?”  Justin asked as he looked at JT closely.  “You’ve lived in Jacksonville for a long time and…”

“And as I told you last week, this is a new start for all of us Justin,” JT stated as he leaned in and kissed Justin’s mouth as Caleb giggled behind the two of them.  “What are you giggling about little man?”

“Nothing Daddy,” Caleb replied with a smile as JT walked over and picked him up and then kissed his forehead.

“Did you finish unpacking your things in your room?”  JT asked.

“Yes Daddy, Justin helped me,” Caleb replied as he giggled as Justin tickled him.  “Quit it Justin, that tickles.”

“It’s supposed to,” Justin replied as he tickled Caleb more as a phone rang in the room.

“That’s probably Nikki, she said she would call once she and Josh arrived in town,” JT stated as he fished through his pockets, retrieving the ringing cell phone and then opening it.  “Yep, it’s her. Hello Missy, you make it into town okay?”

Justin’s POV

He’s totally right.  This is a new start for a lot of people.  In the past few weeks, a lot of things happened and with that, he and others made decisions that affected our lives and the lives of others for a very long time.  I just hope with all the changes that have taken place, nothing bad happens.  I’m just happy that I’m still a part of his and Caleb’s lives.

Since the Fourth of July party, our lives have taken a different path than what I expected or planned.  One of the paths taken in our lives have to do with his career.  With the way things were going with his career, I thought he was going to take a break from recording.  Hell, I thought that would be the general thing to do since one of the execs of the record company told him he couldn’t record until they wanted him to.  He didn’t take that as the final say so of his career and he used some of his dad’s connections and bought controlling interest in the record company.  Now that he has control, he made changes to his contract.  With his recent actions, Glitter and Starletta are both unhappy.  Oh well.

Another path we’re traveling is this house.  We’re here in Los Angeles of all places to be in the world, the ultimate place to be if you’re a singer, actor or whatever.  With his resume of being in the spotlight, he has access to all aspects of stardom from here.

After the things that took place with Chris crashing the party, JT decided that he had seen and heard too much drama and that we needed some changes in our lives.  Since this house was already bought and he had been here before, we flew out here a few days later to see if I would like the house as much as he does, and I do.  This place looks great outside and it’s not as big as his military complex out in Jacksonville, but it’s big enough for our growing family.  After touring the house and the neighborhood, it was official that we would live here in LA, while Todd and Wes stayed at the other house.

Speaking of Todd and Wes, they are a really strange couple.  Shoot, with the way things went down with them, especially after Chad had proposed to Howard, Todd seemed to be in a strange funk that no one could explain, not even JT, his closest friend.  That didn’t seem to matter much to JT, being that we’re here and whatever drama they have going on there, won’t affect us here.  The drama I feel would affect us has to do with his brother Josh.  I don’t think Josh is really comfortable being around us, but yet, he agreed to leave Jacksonville and move out here with us here in Los Angeles.  Whatever’s going on with him, I hope it doesn’t cause a problem for me and JT when he finally arrives.

“I think that’s right down the street from us,” I heard JT say as I turned around to see that he was still on the phone, chatting with Nikki.

When he told her that we were moving out to Los Angeles, she jumped for joy.  She thought it was a great idea for all of us getting away from Jacksonville and starting new, some place fresh.  Being that she’s been keeping house in Atlanta with her mother, I can understand why she was so gung-ho about getting away from the east coast.  Things were made even more clear about her decisions when it came out that she and Josh were already married, and she hadn’t told her mother about it.  To say the least, JT was a bit upset that he didn’t get to attend her wedding, but the kicker came when she told us that she had gotten married in a private ceremony, somewhere in Georgia, a few days before they left to go to our wedding.  Talk about jumping the broom first.  Anyway, to keep things with ‘Mutual Attraction’ going great and to keep them together, Nikki and Josh are on their way here, to move into their new home.

As for ‘Mutual Attraction’ as a whole, I don’t know what’s going to happen.  With JT’s actions with the record company, things for them has changed quite a bit.  For Glitter, her solo career has been put on hold until further notice.  When she found out, she went through the roof at the meeting that JT had with the execs at the end of July.  That girl was so pissed off, she threatened to sue everybody around until she got what she wanted.  JT laughed it off and left things as they were.  He stated that once he and Nikki were settled, things with the group would resume.  I don’t know if that’s really plausible, since Mo’ette is a no-show.  She’s been acting really strange since David married the other woman.  She’s been acting—acting like she’s ready to end it all since she’s been hanging around with us.

“Justin, do you have any plans for the rest of the day?”  I heard JT ask as I looked up to see him walking towards me.

“I cleared my schedule for things here baby,” I replied as he smiled and then looked at me.  “Is there something else we need to take care of?”

“Nikki invited us to dinner,” he replied as he looked at his watch and then turned around.  “Caleb, TV time is over buddy, we have to go visit your school.”

“Okay Daddy,” Caleb replied as he picked up the remote, turned off the television and then slid off the sofa as he walked over to the two of us.  “We go now?”

“In a moment,” JT replied as he looked at me.  “Are you ready to go Justin?  You’ve been in here for over an hour, just looking out the windows.  You got something on your mind or…”

“I was just admiring the scenery of our new place baby,” I said, leaning in and kissing his mouth.  “I’m ready when you are.”

“Cool, let’s go,” he said as he took Caleb by the hand as the three of us walked out of the room, heading towards the garage—a garage that is slightly smaller than what I’m used to seeing, like the one out in Jacksonville that seems to have a car for every day of the week.  Shoot, who am I to talk?  At my old place out in Memphis, I had five cars, two shy of him.

Across Town – The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza – The Lobby

Mo’ette’s POV

Why in the hell did I bring my ass back to this damn hotel?  He already made his choice.  He chose that ho over me.  There’s really nothing more for me to do here.  He told me that he married her and that he’s going to be with her.  For the life of me, I don’t know why.  What does that ho have that I don’t?

Why can’t I let this go?  I know what he said, but I don’t believe he really meant any of it.  After all that we’ve been through over the past few years, something deep within me is telling me not to let him or this thing that we have go.  Why Lord, why am I being put through this trial?

“Well, look who it is,” I heard behind me as I turned around to see the ho in question.  “It seems the old whore is still breathing.  Haven’t you cried your heart out and died?”

“Leave her alone Emily,” I heard David say as I shook my head.

“Look here heffa, I’m in no mood to deal with the bullshit that you’re spewing,” I said as I pointed my finger in her face as her eyes widened a bit.  Apparently, she hasn’t taken the hint that I’ll drop her ass in a matter of seconds.  “And furthermore, I don’t need you sticking up for me David.”

“I was only…” David said as I pointed my finger at him.  “Mo, please…  There’s no reason for you to be here, doing this sort of thing.  We already…”

“Since you two are in the mood of thinking that I’m down and out, I got something for you,” I said as I cleared my throat as a song that JT had been working on, flowing through my soul and out my mouth.

[1]Did you think my life would end that day
That you walked out when you broke my heart
Did you think I couldn’t make it through
Ooh, without you
Did you think you’d stop my world with goodbye, oh no
Did you think I’d crumble inside

Not Me, I’m still breathing
And this heart of mine is still beating
I, I’m not feeling any pain
No baby, not me, I’m still breathing
This old heart of mine is still beating
The tears I cried have dried
You are gone and I survived
I’m still breathing

There were times when it took all my strength
To just get through, yeah, through another day
There were so many nights I thought that I was gonna die
Without you
But the tears I cried somehow made me strong, so strong
Did you think I couldn’t go on

Not Me, I’m still breathing
And this heart of mine is still beating
I, I’m not feeling any pain
No baby, not me, I’m still breathing
You are gone and I survived
I’m still breathing

You tried to cut me down
But look who’s still around
Without you
Did you think you’d stop my world with good bye, no baby
Did you think I’d crumble, just crumble inside

Not Me, I’m still breathing
And this heart of mine is still beating
I, I’m not feeling any pain
No baby, not me, I’m still breathing
This old heart of mine is still beating
The tears I cried have dried
You are gone and I survived
I’m still breathing
The tears I cried have dried
You are gone and I survived
I’m still breathing

“Hmph, I got the meaning of the song,” the bitch said as I shook my head as a few people that had gathered around us, clapped and cheered as I took a bow and then walked away, leaving those two fools there as I stopped at the door and then turned around to see that David had tears in his eyes.  Damn it, something’s not right here.

Jacksonville, FL (Arlington Suburb) – The Apartment of Joshua Raymond

Josh’s POV

Damn, what am I going to do with all of this stuff here?  Should I keep it all, putting it into a storage unit some place or should I get rid of it all?  Sighing deeply, I looked around the room, moving over to the different things—things I’ve collected over the years.  The Lord knows I have too much stuff here to faithfully decide about what to do with.  All the stuff here has a distinct memory for me.

“Lord, what am I going to do with all of this stuff?”  I asked aloud as I continued walking around the room, stopping in my bedroom as I looked at the different pieces of furniture in there that I had collected throughout the years.

Where am I going to put these things in my new place with my brother?  I guess I’ll have everything I want shipped out to the new place, like JT suggested and I really don’t know what to do about the rest of this stuff.  I just don’t know what to do about the other stuff that I’m not taking with me.  JT tried to convince me to just get rid of it all and get new stuff when I actually got out to Los Angeles.  I don’t see anything wrong with this stuff… Therefore, there’s no point in getting rid of it.  I don’t see any point of spending money to get new stuff, when this stuff is just as good as anything new I could possibly buy.  The way JT acted, it seemed to me like he was trying to say that my stuff wasn’t good enough for his—our home.

“Am I really doing the right thing here?  Is moving out to Los Angeles with him and Justin the right thing for me to be doing?” I asked aloud as someone knocked on the door.  “Who could that be?”

Putting the picture album down, I walked out of the room and headed to the front door as I looked through the peephole to see my adoptive brother Brad, standing outside with that evil heffa Layla.  What in the hell is she doing here with him?  Sighing, I opened the door, grabbed him by the arm and pulled him in quickly, trying to close the door to keep her out as my cat Sparky put up a fuss at the commotion that was going on.

“What in the hell is going on Josh?”  Brad asked as I finally got the door completely closed as she banged on the door.  “Josh, what’s going on?  Why you didn’t let her in?”

“Because she’s not welcomed here,” I replied as he looked at me strangely.

“Bro, what’s going on?”  Brad asked as the knocking and banging got louder and then she started yelling.  “Why aren’t you letting her in?”

“I don’t want to see her, she’s not welcomed here,” I replied as he shook his head.

“Bro, she just wants to talk to you,” he said as I shook my head.

“Well I don’t want to talk to her Bradley,” I replied as he frowned.

“Why not?” He asked.

“She’s a waste of time,” I replied as he raised an eye.  “She’s done nothing but string me along and break my heart!”

“I don’t think she strung you along bro,” he said as I shook my head at him as the knocking and banging continued.

“Get away from the door or I’m calling the cops!”  I yelled as his eyes widened as the noise stopped as someone outside yelled, ‘Thank You’ as Brad looked at me as if I were crazy.  “Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Why did you threaten to call the cops on your girl like that?”  He asked.

“She’s not my girl anymore,” I replied as he shook his head again.  “So, what’s up bro, what brings you by?”

“I’m here to see if you’ll reconsider leaving,” he said as I shook my head.  “You don’t have to leave here, to have a relationship with—with your real brother.”

“No, I don’t have to leave here to have a relationship with him and my family, but I’m choosing to leave for me and other reasons,” I said as he looked down.

“Does your decision have anything to do with Uncle…” He said as I shook my head and then raised my hand, stopping him from saying more.

“I’m doing this for me,” I said as he sighed.  “I would very much like to have a relationship with my family and I can’t do that here.  There are too many ghosts of my past, lingering around me here to cause problems.  I know my decision to leave here may hurt your feelings, but I…”

“Yeah, it hurts my feelings Josh, but I don’t want to lose you,” he said as he moved closer and then wrapped his arms around me.  “We’ve been through too much over the years and I’m not ready for the man that I’ve called my brother all these years to just up and leave.”

“I’m still your brother and we’ll keep in touch, but JT is my brother too and I would like to get to know my brother, the way I know you as my brother,” I said as he frowned and then sniffled.  “We’ve known each other since I was four years old and you’re my adoptive brother.  JT is my biological brother and—and we don’t know anything about each other.  The stuff I know about him is mainly what I’ve read in the magazines about him.  I know you think I’m making a mistake here, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to get to know my family, my real family and I aim to do it.”

“He’s not going to treat you like family Josh,” he said, looking down at his hands.  “This is probably just some celebrity pity thing for him.”

“I don’t think it is Brad,” I said, thinking that very thing myself.  “He seems to genuinely care for me.”

“Does he care about you or does it have something to do about how that fans would react to knowing that he didn’t connect with his brother?”  He asked as he placed a hand on my shoulder.

“JT—JT is very family oriented,” I said, looking down at the floor.  “He has a husband, a son, he has connections with mom and dad, our mom and our dad, not your parents and he—he seems to want the family connection with me.”

“Are you doing this because of Layla and Uncle Walden?”  He asked as I sighed.  “Are you doing this to escape the memories of what he did to you—to us?”

“Why are you talking about that Brad?”  I asked as I felt the tears sliding down my face. “What’s the point in bringing that stuff up?”

“He—he hurt us, but he can’t hurt us anymore,” he said with a frown.  “We’re grown now and he’s not here to do anything to us.”

“No, he can’t hurt us anymore, mainly because he’s in prison,” I said as he frowned again.  “When he gets out of prison, I won’t be here for him to try again.  I’m not going to give him the chance to try to make a move on me.  Because of your Uncle Walden, I always wondered about my feelings for people.  Because of him, I don’t know if I loved girls or guys.”

“What are you trying to say Josh?”  He asked.

“I’m trying to say—say that I don’t know if I’m gay or straight,” I said, finally getting those words out of my system and into the open.  “For the longest time, I didn’t know if I liked boys or girls.  Had it not been for your Uncle Walden, I would’ve been able to make that choice on my own, instead I got used and abused by him!  Because of his actions, I don’t understand how to trust my feelings with other boys—men!”

“So, you—you’re telling me that you—you’re gay, possibly?”  He asked as I looked up and then shrugged my shoulders.

“I don’t know if I’m gay or what,” I replied as he sighed.  “I don’t know because I’m scared to trust my feelings around other men.  Each man I’ve been around with, I get scared they’re going to do the things to me that Walden did.  Do you know how hard it is to trust your feelings when you’re scared that someone’s going to hold you down and rape you, if you close your eyes around them?”

“I—I don’t know what to say to that Josh,” he said as I looked down.  “What about Layla?”

“What about her?”  I asked.

“Why didn’t things last with her?”  He asked as I shook my head.

“Because she’s an evil bitch that couldn’t stay out of jail long enough for anyone to build something with her,” I said as he looked at me strangely.

“So, you knew about her being in and out of jail?”  He asked as I nodded my head.

“Yeah, I knew about her being in jail and the prison time,” I replied as he looked down and then rubbed his head.  “She’s another reason why I believe that me being away from here and starting some place fresh would be beneficial.”

“Things could be beneficial here bro,” he said as I shook my head.  “Please Josh, please think about Mom and Dad, think about all of the people here that…”

“You want me to think about the people that allowed your uncle to use and abuse me,” I said as he sighed.  “You want me to think about the doctors that poked and prodded on and in me, because our parents thought there was something wrong with me, because I told them about the things your uncle did to me.”

“Josh…” He started as I shook my head and then kept on going.

“You want me to think about you, Olivia, Pam and Keisha, the people that I’ve always looked up to and thought were my friends, but none of you lifted a finger to help me when I needed it and I ended up here, in this place, a place where I had no choice but to run to, so I wouldn’t end up in a mental health institution.  What am I supposed to see that is so beneficial here Brad?”  I asked.

“When you put it like that, I—I don’t know,” he said as I looked him in the face.  “Does your brother know about your mental health issues?”

“He doesn’t care,” I said as he looked at me funny and then shook his head.

“Did you tell him about your issues Josh?  Does he or that husband of his know?”  He asked.

“Does that really matter Brad?  Why is that a concern all of a sudden?”  I asked.

“It’s a concern because I don’t want anything happening to you, I love you man,” he said as I shook my head at him.  “Regardless of what you think, I’ll always love you, blood or not.  We grew up together man, we are brothers.”

“Yeah, we’re brothers, but it seems I’m the brother that took the brunt of things,” I said as he sighed again.  “Regardless of what you say or do here Brad, I’m still leaving and I’m going to be with my real family.  Good or bad, I’m going to live my life—a life I should’ve lived a long time ago.”

“Josh, I—I hope you know what you’re doing,” he said, shaking his head as he leaned in and hugged me.  “If you need me, you know I’ll always be here for you.”

“I know Brad, but this is something I have to do,” I said, pulling away from him.  “I may not act like it, but I do love you too Brad, but my brother needs some family love and that’s why it’s time I show him some.”

“Well if something goes wrong…” he said as I shook my head.

“Nothing’s going to go wrong Brad,” I said, turning around.  “I’m going to get on a plane tonight and tomorrow, my new life in Los Angeles starts with my brother, his son and his husband.”

“I hope you’re right about things,” he said, hugging me once more as he turned and walked towards the door.  “I love you man, take it easy.”

“You too,” I said as he opened the door, waved and then walked out of the room, closing the door behind him.

Now, I need to get back to what I’m going to do with all of this stuff.  With the conversation I just had, I’ve made up my mind.  I’ll just put everything here in storage and if something happens, I’ll have it to come back to or go someplace else.  I guess that would be my contingency plan if something bad happens and I need to leave Los Angeles.  With that decided, I guess when I get out to Los Angeles tomorrow, I’ll just go shopping and get some new stuff.  Okay new life, here I come.

Somewhere in Grand Junction, TN – The Studio Apartment of Laci Greylek – The Front Yard

“Get the hell off of my damn property!”  Laci screamed as a few police officers stood out in front of the building.

“I’m sorry Ms. Greylek, but you’ve been warned about your actions towards others, plenty of times.  Now isn’t a joking matter,” a sheriff’s deputy spoke as he walked around the car to stand at the edge of the yard.  “Is Me-Ma in there?”

“Yeah, she in there, why you want to know?”  Laci asked, watching the man as he approached the door.

“You might as well leave little PJ with her and come on with me.”

“I’m not going anywhere with you Darby!  You tell that fucker to shove that damn warrant up his fucking ass!”  Laci screamed as the baby cried in her arms.  “I’m not letting you or any of those fuckers take my baby!”

“Come on now Ms. Greylek, don’t make matters worse than what they already are,” the sheriff’s deputy spoke as he hiked up the belt of his pants and then walked up to the front door.  “Go on now, pass little PJ over to Me-Ma and you come with me.  The sooner you take care of this matter, the quicker you’ll get back here to be with little PJ.”

“I said fuck off Darby!  Take your fat ass somewhere else with that shit!”  Laci yelled as she shook the baby gently, trying to get him to stop crying.  “Come on PJ, you gotta stop crying for mommy.”

“Ms. Greylek, don’t make me force you to come with me,” the sheriff’s deputy said, looking over the top of his shades.  “If I have to, I’ll drag you down to the office, kicking and screaming girl.”

“Do it Darby and you’ll fucking regret it,” Laci stated as she pointed her finger in the man’s direction.  “I’m not going anywhere with you or anyone else.”


[1] Song Excerpt = ‘I’m Still Breathing’ by Toni Braxton

To Be Continued…