Chapter 2 – On the Rebound
May 22, 2004 – New York City, NY – The Marius Hilton – Nikki’s Hotel Room
“So, where could he be then? He’s not here at the hotel at all?” I asked, looking over at Glitter as she shrugged her shoulders.
“Security said that he didn’t even come here after the show last night,” she informed me as I turned around and then just dropped my shit on the couch.
“Well if he didn’t come here, where in the hell did he go? Is security with him? Security is with him, right?” I asked as she shrugged her shoulders again.
“The only thing I know is that he left the venue last night with security and that’s about it,” she said with a frown. “This isn’t good girl. What are we going to do?”
“That’s something I don’t know. I was thinking we could have a press conference and nip this shit in the bud before it spread too quickly, but I guess that’s an understatement now, being that it’s all over the world. Hell, it’s too late for that anyway, being that he’s not here to help clear this mess up. If he’s not here to dispute any of this shit, it’s just like he’s admitting that it’s all true,” I said, looking down at the papers in Glitter’s hand.
“Maybe—maybe we’re wrong about this situation Nikki,” she came right out and said as she looked at me closely. “Is he a drug user? We know he drinks heavily at times. Do you think he could’ve moved on up to the heavier stuff?”
“You know as well as I do that JT doesn’t use drugs of any kind!” I snapped as she leaned back away from me.
“Are you really sure about that Nikki? J’s been acting strange for the last couple of weeks. You have to take into consideration of how he’s been acting and what happened last night. You remember what he did last week,” she said as someone knocked on the door.
“He might’ve acted strange, but he’s NOT using drugs, damn it!” I snapped, walking over to the door and opening it to see Marc standing there with a mean look on his face.
“Where in the hell is he?” Marc asked, walking past me into the room with some tabloids of his own.
“We don’t know,” I replied with a frown. “What’re we going to do about this mess?”
“If he’s not here, there’s literally nothing we can do about any of this right now. We have to find him first,” Marc stated as he walked over to the mini-bar, opened it up and then pulled out a few bottles of the liquor and started making himself a drink.
“Let me call Cameron,” I said with a frown. “He called a few minutes ago as I was getting ready to leave.”
“Well call him and see if he’s with JT or possibly knows where the fucking brat is,” Marc said, taking a swig of his drink. “When I get my hands on him… Oh, I’m going to wring his bloody neck! I’ve had just about all I’m going to put up with from him. I’m tired of this shit. Don’t even get me started about last night’s show!”
“As soon as I talk to Cameron, maybe we can find out what’s really going on around this place,” I said, dialing Cameron’s number as I waited for an answer and didn’t get one.
Oh yeah, this is going to be a long fucking day…
Early Morning – Tacoma, WA – Cameron’s Parent’s Home – The Living Room
“Bro, I don’t know what to really tell you here. If you really love him, like you claim you do, then give him another chance and not just blow him off so easily, no pun intended. You can’t complain about him not showing you the attention that you want,” Cameron’s friend Taylor spoke as he shook his head. “If I remember correctly, you were the one that told him that you wanted to keep things secret and discreet. From the way I see things; you two have been very secret and discreet. I didn’t even know you guys were even a couple, well until you told me of course.”
“I know what I told him Taylor, but now that I don’t care about that, he—he’s still acting the same way. He—he’s more concerned about singing and performing, than he is with me or anything that will ever happen with us,” Cameron stated as he shook his head. “If he would just put forth the same enthusiasm he puts into performing, into our relationship, things would be great, but he doesn’t do that.”
“Have you told him that Cameron?” Taylor asked as he looked across at Cameron and then took a sip of his coffee.
“Yeah, I told him, but I don’t think it really sunk in with him. We hashed all of this stuff out a few weeks back. I told him how I felt about things going on between us and he acted as if I wasn’t even in the damn room with him. The only thing that got a reaction out of him was when I slammed the door in the face of one of his precious security guards,” Cameron stated as he sighed and then covered his eyes.
“I see,” Taylor said, shrugging his shoulders and then looking down.
“I just don’t know what to do about how things turned out. I told him that if he continued treating me the way he was treating me, that one day he would walk out on that stage and I wouldn’t be around when he walked off. I already knew he wasn’t going to change, so I didn’t even go to his last show. I knew it would be a big waste of time,” Cameron stated as he sighed and then shook his head.
“There’s an easy solution to all of this Cam,” Taylor stated as he got up from his seat. “You need to call your man and tell him again. Sometimes you know us men folk can be stubborn and slow.”
“I’m not stubborn and slow Tay,” Cameron spoke as Taylor shook his head and then chuckled.
“Hah,” Taylor said as he gestured with his hand and then turned around. “The way you’re acting right now is a perfect example of you being stubborn.”
“I’m not being stubborn,” Cameron whined.
“In my book buddy, you brought all of this stuff on yourself when you decided not to show up and support your man. You shouldn’t have left him like that. You need to take your ass back to New York and be with your man, that’s if you love him and want to be with him as you said,” Taylor stated as he looked at Cameron closely.
“No! I’m not going back until he shows me some kind of love and affection!” Cameron snapped as he walked around the room and then picked up the remote to turn on the TV. “Besides, I’m tired of talking about that. You wanna watch some TV?”
“Naw man, it’s almost six in the damn morning. You had me come over here at the ass crack of dawn, like you were dying or some shit. I’m going back home to get some much-needed sleep. If anyone else comes looking for me, you can tell them that I went back to Cali,” Taylor stated, grabbing his jacket.
“Okay Tay, thanks for coming over to listen to my ranting and raving,” Cameron stated as he hugged Taylor and then pulled back quickly as he kissed his cheek. “I mean it buddy. Thanks for coming over to listen to me.”
“Anytime man,” Taylor replied, patting Cameron on the back and then walking out of the room.
May 23, 2004 – New York City, NY – The Marius Hilton – Nikki’s Hotel Room
“Okay, have any of you heard from him yet?” Nikki asked as Glitter and Marc walked into the room. “I’ve called Cameron numerous times and still, I’ve gotten nothing.”
“I haven’t heard anything either,” Glitter replied, sitting down on the couch across from Nikki.
“This shit is getting out of fucking hand. The rumors are really getting way out there,” Marc said as he slung a newspaper on the table. “What’s this about him not being able to make it through college because he was dependent on drugs?”
“As far as I know, JT never had any problems with college and he graduated at the top of his class. It’s hard for a person on drugs to do that,” Nikki stated as she sighed and then looked at the newspaper that Marc had just thrown on the table.
“Well the rumors need to be stopped and now,” Marc stated as he shook his head.
“We know, but until we locate JT, there’s really nothing we can actually say or do about any of this shit to stop it,” Nikki said as she shook her head. “Where in the hell could he be at a time like this?”
“Has either of you called Vanessa again?” Glitter asked, looking at Nikki and then over to Marc. “Maybe she’s heard from him and knows where to find him.”
“I spoke with her this morning and she’s appalled at what’s going on. She’s actually on her way here,” Nikki stated as she got up. “What in the hell is going on around this place?”
“Hah, that’s the fifty-million dollar question on everyone’s mind around here Cherie,” Marc said as Nikki turned and looked at him like he was crazy. “Maybe he’s in some kind of trouble, the reason why he disappeared the way he did.”
“What kind of damn trouble could he be in Marc?” Nikki asked with a concerned look on her face. “Is there something that you know, that we don’t?”
“If he’s really a drug user, like these things say he is, then maybe it’s the drug user owing money kind of trouble,” Glitter said as Nikki and Marc glared at her. “Sorry, I’m just saying.”
“We’re not going there again Glitter,” Nikki said as she sighed and then turned her head as someone knocked on the door. “Get that will you.”
“Yeah, whatever,” Marc said as he walked over to the door, opened it and then stared at the person as if he had seen them before. “May I help you?”
“Yeah you can Marc, I’m here looking for JT,” the person replied, glaring at Marc.
“I don’t think we’ve met before. Who are you?” Marc asked as Nikki and Glitter stood up.
“Well it seems some people around here have memory loss,” the woman stated, walking past Marc into the room.
“Ah, who are you?” Nikki asked, looking at the woman closely. “I—I know you from somewhere.”
“You should know me darlin’, I’m Mo’ette LaCasta,” the woman replied as she turned and glared at Marc again. “Marc, what have you done to JT?”
“What? I haven’t done anything to him,” Marc replied, turning around to look at the woman. “You’re not Mo’ette LaCasta.”
“Yes I am Marc. That’s the difference ten years make when you haven’t seen someone in a while. My appearance might’ve changed, but I’m still the same,” the woman stated as she glared at Marc again and then rolled her eyes. “Now again, what have you done to JT? I know what’s going on with him and these girls, have something to do with you.”
“No, this isn’t my fault bitch! Don’t come up in here, accusing me of something I have nothing to do with!” Marc snapped as Glitter and Nikki watched him.
“Yeah, I guess they know each other and not in a good way either it seems,” Glitter said with a frown as she shook her head.
“I don’t care what you say Marc, I know you have a hand in this,” Mo’ette said, pointing her finger at him. “You did the very same thing to me, when I wasn’t of any use to you. So, what did he do? Did he not pay you enough money? Did he reject you again? What is it that he did, for you to do this shit to him?”
“What is she talking about Marc?” Nikki asked, turning her full attention to Marc. “Reject you? Reject you how? Marc, what’s going on here? What is she talking about? Out with it now!”
“I don’t know what this fucking bitch is talking about! What’re you looking at me like that for?” Marc asked, moving away from Nikki quickly.
“Keep calling me out of my name Marc and I’ll show you just how big of a bitch I can really be,” Mo’ette stated as she balled her hands into fists. “You ruined me, but I’m not going to stand by and let you ruin JT or these girls. Why are you doing this to him?”
“I’m not doing anything to him,” Marc replied, shaking his head as he backed away from Mo’ette and Nikki, getting closer to the wall, having nowhere else to move.
“Come on Marc, own up to it. This shit going on in the media has your name written all over it,” Mo’ette said as she pointed her finger in his face. “When I decided not to resign with you and not pay you more money, my career ended overnight. What did JT do to you or not do for you as it may be? What did he not want to do for you Marc? He had to do something for this shit to be happening to him right now. Is this your way of getting back at the man that rejected your love? Is that it?”
“What’re you talking about?” Marc asked, looking at Mo’ette like he could beat the hell out of her.
“Marc, are you gay?” Glitter asked, crossing her arms across her chest, waiting for Marc’s reply.
“What? Are you fucking serious?” Marc asked as Glitter shook her head.
“Well that would explain why we don’t see you with any women. That would also explain the almost endless supply of twinks that hang around you from time-to-time. Is that why you only sign guy acts?” Glitter asked.
“This bitch doesn’t know what she’s talking about,” Marc stated, glaring at Mo’ette.
“I know what I’m talking about! You did this to JT because he didn’t love you back. How could you do this shit to someone you claim that you want to be with? Doing this isn’t going to make him run into your damn arms Marc. You fucked up again,” Mo’ette said as she shook her head.
“Excuse me, none of this is making any sense. JT isn’t gay,” Nikki said as she looked at Marc and then over to Mo’ette.
“It seems he did a really good job of keeping his business secret this time. He didn’t even tell his band mates,” Mo’ette said as Nikki looked at her and then gasped.
“I—I don’t believe this, JT’s gay,” Nikki said as she sat down on the sofa and then covered her mouth.
“Damn, now that I think about it, it’s somewhat making a bit of sense to me,” Glitter said as she sat down across from Nikki.
“How in the hell is this shit making sense?” Nikki asked, looking over at Glitter.
“All the fights between him and Cameron. Think about it, the way he acted the other night, the mood he gets in when Cameron’s not around,” Glitter said as she shook her head. “I can’t believe it, he’s gay.”
“I—I guess I’m starting to get why he was drinking the other night. He kept saying this was ruining his life. He said I wouldn’t get it,” Nikki said as she held her head down. “Why didn’t he just tell us that?”
“Probably because of this damn fool here,” Mo’ette said as she pointed at Marc.
“Is what she says true Marc? You better be truthful with me here,” Nikki said as she got up. “Did JT leave because of something you did? If that’s the case, I’ll have the police in here faster than your legs can go up for the next twink!”
“I didn’t do a damn thing to JT! I have no idea why the fucking brat left,” Marc said, holding up his hands as Nikki pointed her finger at him.
“Glitter, step outside and have one of the guards come in here,” Nikki suggested as Glitter got up, walked over to the door and opened it.
“I’m not playing with you Marc,” Nikki said, walking over to where Marc stood, getting up in his face.
“Honest, I don’t know here he is and I didn’t do anything to him either,” Marc said as he backed away from Nikki.
“We’ll see about that,” Nikki said, looking over at the guard that just stepped into the room. “Has there been any word from JT or where he could possibly be right now?”
“None as of yet Ms. Knotts,” the guard replied as Nikki looked back at Marc.
“Are you the guard that escorted JT last night?” Nikki asked as the guard nodded his head. “And no one has seen or heard from him where he was?”
“No ma’am,” the guard replied as Nikki shook her head.
“Thank you,” Nikki spoke as she walked over to the phone. “I’m going to call Vanessa again.”
Memphis, TN – The Home of Justin Tanner – The Den
Justin Tanner’s POV
What in the hell is really going on? I can’t believe this mess! I can’t believe what I’ve actually read. None of that shit is right. I’ve known him for a very long time and I know he’s not a fucking drug user. What in the hell is going on with him and ‘Mutual Attraction’?
This shit is madness! Why hasn’t the label sent out a press release? Why isn’t he and Nikki doing something to stop this shit from spreading like wildfire? The way it’s going, it’s going to get out of control real soon. This crap has been in circulation in the media for almost three days. That’s two days too many. Something has to be done about that or there won’t be anything left for them to try to salvage of their reputation and fame.
The big question is why haven’t they had a press conference or something to stop this madness? The longer they sit on their damn hands, the longer it’s going to take for this shit to go away. Doing nothing isn’t the answer to things. Just thinking this shit is going to blow over isn’t going to happen either.
“Hey man, what’s going on?” My friend Tracy asked as he walked into the room with a beer in hand.
“Nothing man,” I replied as he sat down on the sofa across from me.
“Hey, isn’t that your friend from the Mouse? The guy that’s the lead singer in that group… Ah—ah…” He said, looking down for a bit, scratching his head and then back up at me. “Attraction something or another.”
“Mutual Attraction,” I said as he smiled and then nodded his head as he took a sip of beer.
“Yeah, them,” he said with a frown. “So, is he really a drug user and all that?”
“No, he’s not a drug user, not that I know of,” I replied, wondering about things, since it’s been a long while since I’ve actually talked to or seen him.
“That shit has been all over the place. The media is really crucifying him. What in the hell did he do to deserve all of that? Someone in media heaven is trying to send a real big message to him,” Tracy said as the phone rang.
“I don’t know, but hopefully that’ll change soon,” I said, looking at the caller id and decided not to pick up the phone. “I’m going to go help them.”
“What? Why?” He asked.
“Don’t worry about it. I don’t want to see my friends going down like that, all over lies,” I said, picking up the phone and dialing Josh’s number, hoping he was at home.
Scranton, PA – The Home of Heather Stewart – The Living Room
“Hello William, how’s your day going so far?” Heather Stewart asked, welcoming the man into her home. “I’ve been waiting to talk to you for days. I hope you have some good news for me.”
“I don’t know if I have good news for you or not,” the man replied with a frown.
“What do you mean William?” Heather asked, looking at the man closely.
“I’m sorry to say Heather, but you—you just don’t have the look that anyone is looking for right now,” the man stated as Heather’s mouth dropped open. “I’m sorry, but I don’t think anyone is willing to take a chance with you right now. The timing just isn’t right.”
“Why?” Heather asked.
“You’ve been out of the spotlight for a long while Heather,” the man answered.
“It’s only been ten years William,” Heather stated, looking down.
“Yes, but a lot has changed with you in that time Heather,” the man stated with a frown. “Your face isn’t well known, like it was when you starred in ‘Heaven Help Us’, back in the eighties and nineties.”
“I’m sorry William, but I had to raise a child,” Heather stated as she shook her head. “My child took precedence over me being in the damn spotlight.”
“I know Heather, but right now, you don’t have any street credit to your name anymore. You’ve lost ten years, compared to the other faces out there right now,” the man stated. “There’s nothing I can really do for you at the moment.”
“So, you’re saying I have to start over from the bottom. Is that it William?” Heather asked, looking down as some tears fell from her eyes.
“Unless you have a better way to make yourself famous again, then yes, you have to start from the bottom and work your way back to the top,” the man stated with a small smile as he turned around, moving towards the door. “I’ll keep searching for jobs for you, but it’s not looking good. If I find something, I’ll let you know.”
“Yeah, whatever William,” Heather stated as the man opened the door, walked out and then closed it behind him. “I’m never going to be famous again. If I hadn’t had Caleb, I would still be at the top, instead of being at the bottom, where no one knows me. What am I going to do now?”
Tacoma, WA – Cameron’s Parent’s Home – Cameron’s Bedroom
“This is all lies, all lies! I can’t believe this! God, why—why is this happening?” I asked as I read through the papers that I had picked up earlier from the market during my morning run. “John doesn’t use drugs and he’s never have. He drinks a bit, but nothing harder than that. Who could’ve told such things to the media?”
I can’t believe this is happening. This is surely going to fuck things up for him and the girls. Who could’ve told such lies to the media like this? If I know John and what’s going through his mind right now, since I’m not around, he’s probably thinking I had something to do with this mess. Since this all started up right after I decided to leave him, I bet everyone on the tour thinks I’m the so-called liar. Hell, if I was him, I would probably think I was the liar too.
Since finding out about this crap, I’ve spoken with a few people on the tour and each person I’ve spoken with said that he’s nowhere to be found. Apparently, he jutted out the other night and no one has seen or heard from him since. I wonder where he could be. I called the lake house and the mansion and he’s not there. I thought about calling Vanessa to see if he was with her, but that would only result in a screaming match I didn’t want to get into.
As I stood out on the balcony, I watched a few birds fly by as I admired the scenery. I should be wherever he is, but right now, I just can’t be around him. I still love him, but I want him to show me that I’m more important to him, than his damn career. With this happening, maybe he has no choice but to choose me. He might not have a career to keep up with after all of this shit that’s going on has died down. Since no one has made a statement to the press, I don’t see any of this getting any better for him or the girls.
“Master Cameron, you have a phone call,” Edward, the butler announced as I walked into my room and then picked up the phone.
“Thank you Edward,” I spoke, holding the phone to my ear. “Hello?”
“Cameron, what in the hell is going on between you and my son?” Vanessa Jameson, JT’s mother asked as I sighed. “Well, I’m waiting boy!”
“Van…” I started as she in Vanessa fashion, interrupted me.
“I don’t want to hear no damn excuses from you boy! What’s going on between the two of you? I know this has something to do with you! I knew you weren’t the one for my son; your ass is too damn young! I knew you would be nothing but damn trouble!” She screamed as I shook my head.
“Look Vanessa, I have nothing to do with what’s going on,” I said. “The only thing I did was leave him. I had nothing to do with the rest of what’s going on in the damn media.”
“Why did you leave him Cameron? Did you find someone close to your own damn age?” She asked as I sighed again.
“You already know why I left him Vanessa and it has nothing to do with his age,” I said as she sighed. “I got tired of playing second best to his career. I told him I wasn’t happy with the way things were and he didn’t even listen to me, so I left.”
“You—you hurt him Cameron,” she said as I looked down, knowing she was probably right about that. “He’s missing and no one can find him. Nikki and Glitter have been calling me for the last two days. Those girls have been doing everything they can to try and find him. He’s been missing since the charity concert in New York. If you know…”
“What—what was I supposed to do Vanessa? You knew what I was going through with him,” I said, sitting down on the bed.
“I know Cameron, but I wasn’t expecting you to just up and leave him the way you did,” she said as I frowned. “From what I hear, you left so suddenly.”
“I—I have to concentrate on me Vanessa,” I said as she sighed again. “I’ve sacrificed so much time already and I can’t sacrifice more. Because of all the time I’ve wasted with him and the girls, I…”
“I know you have Cameron, but you didn’t have to leave him. Now, with you gone, he—he doesn’t have anything left. He—he told me that you were the… Oh never mind,” she said with another sigh.
“He said I was what Vanessa?” I asked, wondering what she was going to say.
“Don’t worry about it, I’m going to call the girls to see if they’ve heard from him yet,” she said as the line went dead. Damn, she didn’t even give me a chance to say goodbye or anything.
To Be Continued…