The Ties That Bind – Chapter 5

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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…