Chapter 10 – An Unwanted Addition
May 26, 2004 – Philadelphia, PA – The Radisson Plaza Hotel – The ‘Mutual Attraction’ Suite – The Main Room
“Look at all of those damn people,” JT said as he, Justin, Josh and Nikki stood at the windows, watching the throng of people clatter around, trying to get into the hotel.
“Yeah, they’re here to see the fags,” Glitter stated, walking into the room as she slammed the door. “Management is on their way here. They want this problem solved today.”
“They want what problem solved today?” Nikki asked, turning around to look at Glitter.
“The problem of our drug-dealing, drug using, alcoholic fag lead singer and his boy toy, that all those people down there want to see,” Glitter stated as Mo’ette shook her head.
“Lawd, that lil’ thang at it again,” Mo’ette said as she got up off the sofa. “Look here heffa, we’re not going to have that kind of shit going on this morning.”
“Don’t worry about her Mo’ette,” JT said, turning around as he sighed. “Glitter, I thought you were done… Gone from here, as you said.”
“I am done, but unlike you, I’m not going to ruin my career,” Glitter responded with a smirk on her face. “I’m waiting for management to show up, so I can protect myself from the likes of you.”
“Why you little…” Nikki said as Josh grabbed her hand, pulling her back to him and stopping her from moving towards Glitter.
“What Nikki? You’re mad, now that I’m doing something to save myself, unlike you? You should’ve followed me and saved yourself, but it’s too late now. You’re going down, just like his ass is,” Glitter stated as Mo’ette shook her head again.
“I’ve had enough of this lil’ girl here,” Mo’ette said as she walked over to where Glitter stood. “There’s no need for all that animosity girl.”
“Get out of my face has-been,” Glitter said as Mo’ette shook her head again and then took in a breath.
“Listen here honey, that kind of talk doesn’t hurt me one bit,” Mo’ette said with a smile. “Whether you know it or not, those fans cheered for me last night. So, maybe you might need to rethink your line of thinking chick.”
“Whatever, you cheap imitation of wine,” Glitter said as Mo’ette hauled off, smacking her across the face and knocking her into the wall behind her as she then turned away from her as JT and Josh moved over to help Glitter up off the floor.
“Trick, you should’ve kept your mouth closed, if you knew you couldn’t back it up,” JT said as he pushed Glitter down on the sofa and then shook his head.
“Let me at that ho!” Glitter snapped, struggling with JT and Josh to get to Mo’ette.
“Sit your ass down,” JT said as he moved away from her. “You got hit because you were acting like a lil’ bitch, now shut the hell up!”
“Hey girl, calm down,” Josh said as he pushed Glitter backwards and then stood up. “We don’t have the time for this shit, with you or anyone else. Calm down and be cool.”
“Like you have a leg to stand on Mr. Baby Daddy,” Glitter said as Nikki’s eyes widened.
“Mr. Baby Daddy? What?” JT said as he looked at Josh strangely. “You have a child? With who Josh?”
“Shut up!” Nikki snapped, walking over to Glitter and then slapping her across the face. “How dare you!”
“Nikki, what’s going on here?” JT asked, looking between Nikki, Josh and Glitter.
“You had no right to even utter that!” Nikki growled. “Shut your mouth and don’t you dare say another word or so help me God, I’ll beat your ass until I tire out and then beat you some more!”
“Nikki, girl, what’s going on here?” JT asked, looking at Nikki strangely.
“Don’t worry about it John,” Josh said as he grabbed Nikki and tried pulling her away from Glitter.
“No Josh, let me go!” Nikki screamed as she struggled to get out of Josh’s grasp. “I’m going to beat that bitch down like she owes me money!”
“Will someone please tell me what’s going on?” JT asked.
“He’s her baby daddy,” Glitter stated, smiling evilly as Nikki shook her head.
“I—I didn’t know you had a child Nikki,” JT said as Nikki stopped struggling, covered her mouth and then ran out of the room with tears in her eyes. “Nikki? What’s going on?”
“John, just let it go and you—you need to shut the hell up, before you cause more problems than you already have,” Josh said as someone knocked at the door.
“Who could that be?” JT asked as Mo’ette walked over to the door, opened it and then stepped back.
“It’s the powers that be,” Mo’ette spoke as she moved away from the door. “Watch your step, I feel there’s about to be some bullshit flowing around.”
“That’s not called for Ms. LaCasta,” Jarrod Lee stated as he walked into the room, closing the door behind him as he looked around. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen you.”
“Apparently, not long enough for me,” Mo’ette said as she turned away from the man.
“Yeah, the same ole Mo’ette LaCasta,” Jarrod stated as he shook his head and then walked passed her, over to where JT stood. “We have a problem here JT and I would like to know what you’re going to do to solve it.”
“That’s simple Jarrod, nothing,” JT replied as he looked at Jarrod. “Why is it that I’m seeing you now Jarrod? Why is it that when the newspapers start making speculations about my life, you show up? When I told you what was actually going on around here, you could care less about me or the group, so why are you here now?”
“I’m here because the label thinks there’s a problem here now that needs attention,” Jarrod stated as JT shook his head.
“Okay,” JT said, smiling as he turned around. “So Jarrod, what are you going to do about the problems that the label believes are present with me?”
“Well, I’m going to solve two problems right now,” Jarrod declared, pulling out his cell phone as he dialed a number and then waited for someone to speak. “Yes, send her in.”
“Send who in?” JT asked, looking at Jarrod strangely.
“Glitter’s out and she’s being replaced,” Jarrod stated as JT looked at him strangely again.
“She’s being replaced by who?” JT asked.
“You’ll meet her in a few minutes,” Jarrod stated, walking around the room as he checked out different things, in various places. “So, what’s the deal with you and Justin Tanner? Are the rumors true? Are you two dating? Did you two come out at the last concert?”
“No,” JT replied as Mo’ette turned and looked at him strangely as Justin dropped his head down.
“Then what’s going on JT?” Jarrod asked, turning and walked over to him. “What’s with all the drama in ‘Mutual Attraction’? Why is Marc in jail right now?”
“He’s in jail because he put his hands on me,” JT replied, looking down as a few tears rolled down his cheeks.
“Tell him the rest,” Nikki stated, walking back into the room. “Tell him all of it!”
“Tell me all of what?” Jarrod asked, looking at Nikki. “There’s more?”
“Hell yes, there’s more,” Nikki stated, moving closer to Jarrod.
“No Nikki, just let it go,” JT stated as someone knocked on the door.
“Shall I get that?” Mo’ette asked looking over at Jarrod.
“No, I’ll get it,” Jarrod replied, walking over to the door as he opened it and held out his hand. “Hello Starletta, how are you doing this fabulous morning?”
“Did he just say ‘fabulous’?” JT asked, looking around at Jarrod and then back at Nikki.
“I’m okay,” a medium height black woman replied as she came into view of others in the room. “How is everyone else doing?”
“Fine,” JT replied in a harsh tone as he walked to the other side of the room.
“What’s going on here Jarrod?” Nikki asked, looking at the woman and then at Jarrod.
“This young lady here is Glitter’s replacement,” Jarrod announced as he smiled at Nikki. “Starletta London, welcome to ‘Mutual Attraction’.”
“Like hell…” JT started as Jarrod cleared his throat and then held up his hand.
“Well that’s what Glitter says she’s been living in around with you guys for the last few weeks,” Jarrod stated as he glared at JT.
“I’m sure,” JT said, turning and walking towards the main door.
“Stop right there JT!” Jarrod demanded, pointing his finger at JT. “If you leave this room, you’re out of the group.”
“Hell, fine by me, bye,” JT said, walking out of the room as he slammed the door behind him.
Scranton, PA – The Home of Heather Stewart – The Living Room
“I can’t believe it! He’s really done it now!” Heather screamed, kicking the table over as she picked up a vase and then threw it across the room, smashing it against the wall. “Him and Justin are together now! How dare he! He’s not supposed to be with Justin!”
“Mommy, are you alright?” Caleb asked, tiptoeing into the room. “Why are you breaking things Mommy?”
“Oh baby, I’m so sorry,” Heather replied, moving over to the little boy and wrapping her arms around him. “I’m so sorry baby, I didn’t mean it.”
“Why you so mad Mommy?” Caleb asked, crying softly. “Why you so upset?”
“It’s alright baby, Mommy’s sorry,” Heather stated, rubbing the little boy’s back as she smoothed his hair back on his head as he cried.
“Are you sure Mommy?” Caleb asked, sniffling as he pulled back away from Heather, looking her in the face. “I don’t want you to be mad or upset Mommy.”
“I know you don’t baby,” Heather replied as the phone rang in the room. “I wonder who that could…”
Philadelphia, PA – The Radisson Plaza Hotel – The Lobby
“Excuse me, may I have your attention please!” A security officer spoke up as everyone stopped and looked in his direction. “You people are on private property and need to vacate the premises immediately. The owners of this property are requesting that you all leave here immediately because you are disturbing the other patrons here.”
“Whatever guy!” Someone screamed.
“Again, you all need to leave here, now!” The security officer yelled as some other the reporters looked at him like he was crazy. “You’re welcomed to wait outside, across the street, but you can’t stay inside. Your actions are hindering the hotel’s customers from going about their business. You need to cease and…”
“Whatever!” Someone else screamed as the security officer pulled out his walkie-talkie.
“You’ll be the first escorted outside,” the security officer stated, pointing at the person that just screamed.
“Look! There’s JT Poole of ‘Mutual Attraction’!” Someone screamed as camera flashes went off all around the area.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like JT Poole has finally decided to make an appearance,” a reporter stated as a camera man moved in close as JT, Nikki, Glitter, Starletta and Jarrod made their way into the lobby area.
“JT, do you care to comment on recent events in your life?” A reporter asked, thrusting a microphone into JT’s face.
“No and get the hell out of my face with that thing!” JT snapped, walking past the reporter and the camera man.
“Come on JT, the whole world is waiting to know the facts about what’s going on with you, your group and Justin Tanner. Care to comment on the little tidbit for the fans? Are you two gay and a couple JT?” The reporter asked, still trying to shove a microphone in JT’s face.
“Alright people, step back,” a security officer spoke, getting in between the reporter and JT. “I’m sure there will be time for this later, we’re late for an important meeting.”
“What the hell ever man!” Someone in the crowd screamed as JT stopped and then turned around. “Why not just go ahead and tell the truth about things? Why are you keeping quiet, unless you have something to…”
“I have nothing to hide,” JT announced as Jarrod’s head popped up as JT walked back towards the reporter.
“Apparently you do, since you haven’t spoken out about the things being said in the media about you,” the reporter stated, standing in front of JT as he held the microphone up to him.
“Maybe I don’t want to stoop to the media’s level and talk about something I know to not be true,” JT stated as he folded his arms across his chest. “I don’t see a point in wasting my time with disputing something I already know isn’t true. If you want to believe what you people print, go right ahead and do so. As I said, I’m not going to waste my time. My true fans know the truth and the people that are only listening to the hype know what they can really do.”
“Is that your stance on everything?” Someone else in the crowd asked. “What about you and Justin Tanner’s relationship?”
“What relationship?” JT asked, looking around. “All we did was sing together, you know, that’s what singers do.”
“The song you two sang together was rather provocative and seedy,” another reporter said with a sneering expression on their face.
“It seems like you two were trying to come out to the world with those lyrics and how close you two were. It seems almost as if you’re gay and you’re screaming it to the world. Are you harboring any homosexual tendencies Mr. Poole?” Another reporter asked.
“No, are you?” JT asked, looking over at the person.
“Then what’s the deal with you and Justin Tanner? How do you think the last show is going to go over with your other fans?” The first reporter asked. “If…”
“If what?” JT asked, looking over at the reporter. “If I were gay, how would I feel about the fans turning away from me and my music? Is that what you were going to ask?”
“No, but that’s a better question, go ahead and answer it,” the person said as JT shook his head, Jarrod covered his eyes and Nikki sighed as JT turned around and then continued walking down the corridor.
A Few Minutes Later – A Men’s Room
“Are you okay Justin?” Josh asked, walking over to Justin as he leaned against the wall with tears in his eyes.
“I’m fine Josh,” Justin replied, looking down as he sniffled.
“Come on buddy, what did you expect?” Josh asked, rubbing Justin’s shoulder. “Did you actually expect him to come out to the world and announce that you and he are together?”
“In—in a small way, I guess my heart did,” Justin replied as he sniffled again. “I’m finally ready Josh. I’m ready and I—I don’t think he believes me.”
“Have you showed him that?” Josh asked, looking down. “A kiss and showing up at a concert to provide support for him doesn’t give all the answers you know.”
“I know that Josh, but—but I—I thought… Oh forget it,” Justin said as he sighed and then turned away from Josh. “Just leave me alone.”
“Buddy…” Josh said as Justin held up a hand, stopping him.
“Just leave me alone Josh. Besides, you’re supposed to be here, working on things with Nikki, not in here, trying to calm me down and cheer me up,” Justin said as he sniffled and then wiped at his eyes. “I’m going to be fine, just go check on her.”
“Okay,” Josh said as he patted Justin on the back. “If you want to talk more, you know where to find me.”
“Okay thanks,” Justin replied as Josh walked out of the bathroom, leaving him alone.
A Few Feet Away – A Hotel Conference Room
“So, she’s gone just like that?” Nikki asked, turning to Jarrod as he nodded his head. “This is just too much to…”
“It’s too much what Nicole?” Jarrod asked, looking at Nikki closely. “I agree with Glitter here. If she’s had to put up with what I’ve seen here today, I would want to leave too.”
“You know what Jarrod, that’s totally fine with me,” JT stated as he turned around to look at the man. “I don’t think she ever should’ve been here with us this long. All she ever did was complain about any and every little thing possible. There’s only so much a person can take when dealing with her.”
“Hell, all she ever talks about is her spot in the damn spotlight,” Nikki said, sighing as she shook her head. “Damn glory hound.”
“One of these days, she’ll get what she deserves,” JT said, leaning against the wall. “I say good riddance to her crazy ass. I’m not going to shed any damn tears for her loss here.”
“JT, you need to keep your damn nose clean and don’t run nobody else off,” Jarrod stated, looking back at JT as he pointed a finger at him.
“My nose has never been dirty Jarrod! I’m not going to put up with this shit from you of all people!” JT snapped, pointing his finger at Jarrod. “I did your funky ass impromptu press conference in reference to the damn drugs. If you don’t believe me, let’s head to the damn hospital for a little test.”
“There’s no need for that JT,” Nikki said as she turned and looked at Jarrod.
“Well back to what I was saying,” Jarrod said as he stood up. “Starletta is here now and she’s going to do her best to keep this group going.”
“I think we’ll do better with Mo’ette,” JT stated with a crooked smile on his face.
“Why in the hell would we bring her into the group?” Jarrod asked, looking at JT strangely.
“Because she fits with us,” JT replied, looking over at Jarrod as he crossed his arms across his chest.
“I don’t think she would,” Jarrod replied.
“Either she’s in with us or I’m walking. Take your pick Jarrod,” JT stated as he got up, waved and then walked out of the room.
A Few Hours Later – A Local Classy Restaurant
“SO, what are we going to do? Are you really walking away from it all?” Nikki asked as Vanessa walked over to the table and then took a seat.
“With all the crap that’s going on right now, in a heartbeat,” JT answered, looking down as he shook his head. “If I’m going to continue with ‘Mutual Attraction’ then Mo’ette needs to be a part of the group. I’m not going to sing without her being with us.”
“Baby, you can’t let your career ride on me being in the group with you,” Mo’ette said as she held JT’s hand. “You gotta look out for you. I can look out for myself.”
“I agree with her boy. You can’t just base your future on her being a part of the group,” Vanessa said, looking over at JT as if he were crazy. “You gotta think about your future… Jarrod isn’t…”
“I really don’t care what Jarrod has to say right now. What I’m doing right now is looking out for all of us,” JT stated as he looked over at Mo’ette and then at Vanessa. “How is he just going to bring somebody else up in here to sing with us, without even holding auditions with us? It would be different if she came in and auditioned like the rest of us did.”
“If she can’t sing, we’ll throw her ass out,” Nikki stated as she picked up the menu. “We’ve gone through too much shit to get to where we are, to have everything crash and burn around us.”
“Yes, I know that, but…” JT said as Nikki interrupted him.
“But nothing JT,” Nikki said as Justin and Josh walked over to the table and then took seats. “What’s up guys?”
“Was about to ask you the same thing,” Justin said as he sat down across from JT as Josh sat down next to Nikki. “Have ya’ll ordered yet?”
“No, not yet,” JT replied, looking down at the menu in front of him, trying to avoid the extra set of eyes on him.
“Great, that means we arrived just in time,” Justin said as he picked up a menu and opened it up. “So, what were you guys just talking about?”
“We were talking about the new girl,” JT replied as he looked up to see Jarrod and Starletta walking into the restaurant. “Speak of the devil.”
“Oh great,” Nikki said, sighing as she shook her head. “I guess dinner is going to be drama filled too.”
“Oh no it’s not,” JT said as he put his menu down. “If the two of them start some shit, I will get up and walk up out of here and no one will see me again.”
“Come on buddy, don’t let them get a rise out of you,” Justin said, motioning with his hand for JT to calm down.
“It’s not a matter of letting anyone do anything… I’ve had enough of this crap Justin,” JT stated as he shook his head. “I’m tired of living my life around the actions of what others do and what they damn think.”
“I know you are buddy,” Justin replied, sighing. “Just calm down and let them be. Just be cool about things.”
“You already pushing it Justin,” JT said as Justin raised an eye at him.
“Well, I didn’t know we were having a meeting here,” Jarrod stated as he walked over to the table with Starletta on his arm.
“Probably because we didn’t tell you,” JT said as he turned away from Jarrod.
“Alright JT, let’s hear what he has to say now,” Nikki said as she put her menu down again. “I want to know why it was that he just brought some person up in here, that nobody knows and then expect her to be a part of this group.”
“Maybe you should’ve paid closer attention to Glitter’s actions,” Jarrod stated as Nikki shook her head.
“You have a point there, lesson learned,” Nikki stated as she crossed her arms across her chest. “So…”
“So, you all will head back to Jacksonville with Starletta,” Jarrod stated with a smile. “She already has a place there, so she should be able to meet up with you guys before you head into the studio for the next album.”
“So, that’s it? Glitter’s gone and we’re supposed to start on our next album with her?” JT asked, looking at Jarrod and Starletta strangely.
“That’s it JT,” Jarrod stated as he glared at JT. “Your tour is over for now and all’s right with the world with the so-called impromptu press conference you did earlier. It seems that hit all the major circuits quickly.”
“Ha, everything isn’t all right with the world,” JT said as he shook his head. “You brought her here and just expect us to accept her with open arms and…”
“And work with her, like you would work with any other artist,” Jarrod stated as he glared at JT again. “With all the shit that’s going on in your life right now, you don’t need any extra drama, now do you?”
“The drama that’s going on here is caused by you and this—this bimbo,” JT said, getting up from the table as Justin covered his eyes and then shook his head.
“Excuse me, who in the hell are you calling a bimbo?” Starletta asked, moving away from Jarrod.
“Oh lawd, let me stop this mess right now,” Mo’ette said as she stood up. “Come on ya’ll, we don’t need this right now.”
“Here’s the deal Jarrod,” JT said as he turned around. “You want this—this groupie in the so-called group, then as I said before, Mo’ette joins us too. If not, then I’m out, it’s simple as that. Take your pick Jarrod, which is it?”
To Be Continued…