HOW DIFFERENT HIS LIFE COULD BEEN – A LOVE STORY BY INGRIDJE (Chapters 60-62 Posted 1/6/13)


*** Dear Readers:  Hurray! I’ve finally caught up with all the chapters to the Ingrid’s original story! :)  She has not written in quite a while and I don’t know when the next new chapter will be.  As soon as she posts it, I will update it here. Cutie Pie ♥*****

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Do you remember where we left our two lovers ?
Exactly :

Michael only nodded and started to unbutton her pajama top. After only a few buttons he found it already hard to control himself any longer and his hand slid in. He cupped one of her breasts, causing her to gasp and close her eyes. His long lean fingers squeezed her, teased her nipple and then with the mouse of his hand he started a circular massage to the now erected top. She moaned and arched up to him while pressing as much of herself as she could against his body. Her lips searched for his and they sealed together in a searing kiss.

“Huh ooh… “ Michael tried to catch his breath again after their mouths parted. “Gosh Honey… I want you so much.”
“Let’s move to the bed then.”
He shook his head, his eyes mischievously peering down at her. “Nooo… I wanna stay here.”
“Really…Michael….”
“Oooh girl.. I’ll make it comfortable for you. I dreamed of this. I dreamed of you….”
“Tell me.. “ she breathed in his ear.
“I dreamed that you were waiting for me, sitting in this chair, wearing nothing but my fedora…”
Shivers of excitement ran down her spine and she hid her face in the crook of his neck. “Michael, you are embarrassing me !”
But he continued. “You were draped on this throne like a human blanket, looking all soft and ready to cuddle up to. You had your legs bend, one resting over the arm of the chair and one … mmm … still hiding your sanctuary from my view.” At that he blushed profoundly. “Huh… your body language promised me heaven on earth, baby. You were waiting for me…”
She chuckled : “The queen waiting for the king to climb on his throne…”
“A queen who gives her king everything he wants.” he nodded.
“Ooooh… “ she squealed when he lightly pinched her nipple.
“The top has to go… Take it off.” he breathed.
She happily obliged and he laughed naughtily : “You’re quick to obey this time. Are you gonna give in to anything ?”
“Mmm… “
“I want you to do everything I ask.”
Her eyes turned to saucers and she gently tapped his skull. “Michael, where are you ? Are you in there ?”
“It’s Mr Hyde today, Honey.” he chuckled, in an English accent. Then he pulled at her shorts. “Stand up and get rid of them, baby.”
She stood in front of him and wiggled out of her shorts. “And you ?” 
He looked her up and down, licking his lips : “You can undress me too. If you like.”
“Oooh… I do have a choice then ? You are too funny, mister Hyde.”
He scooted over to the end of the throne and pulled her in between his knees, immediately starting to feast on her breasts. His large hands cupped her bottom and the center of her being was pushed against his belly. “Michael…”
“Honey…” he imitated her gasp.

Since his actions had already caused her knees to buckle from under her and she needed her hands on his shoulders to keep her standing, he guessed that if he wanted to get rid of his pajamas, he would have to do it himself. Without actually moving from his spot on the throne, his eyes fixed on her, he quickly discarded of his clothes. He knew the effect of his naked body on her and he laughed within himself when her eyes were drawn to his manhood immediately. Now it was her turn to lick her lips. Without any further notice, she knelt between his legs and surrounded his hips with her arms, pulling him towards her. She tenderly kissed his chest, drawling at his tiny nipples, putting soft pecks on them.

When she tilted her head and offered him her lips for a kiss, he tried to pull her up but she firmly resisted. After he told her this dream of his, she got some nice ideas of her own on how to spend a nice evening together. The throne was not exactly what she had in mind but it definitely brought her more options.

After realizing that Honey didn’t want to be pulled on his lap just yet, Michael leaned back, this gesture clearly displaying his trust in her. He looked down on her with an expecting look on his face, his breath already speeding up. If she was going to do what he thought she had in mind, he was hers to take.

Her eyes gazed to the obvious proof of his desire and again she brought her mouth down to his body. With short intervals she kissed down to his stomach, to his belly button until she reached his manhood. Her hands firmly massaged his upper thighs but when she closed her lips around him her arms made a circle around his bottom, securing her hold on him.

“Gosh… oh gosh… “ Michael bit his lip as he felt himself being engulfed by the wet warmth of her mouth. He swallowed away the heavy lump in his throat and leaned his head back against the back of the throne. He closed his eyes, giving himself over to her completely.
“Oooh.. Honey…” he cried when she started applying a sucking motion. This was definitely more than he ever had imagined. There was no more throne and no more bed. His world faded around him as his feelings started to overwhelm him and he moaned loudly. While she kept working at him with her lips and tongue, he could do nothing but lay back with his eyes closed until he could not take it anymore. It was simply too much. His hands suddenly grasped a handful of her hair and pulled her back not so gently, causing her teeth to scrape against the soft flesh she had been kissing tenderly just before. But he was so excited that even the pain it caused didn’t feel unwelcome.
“Michaeeel…” she complained.
“We have to stop… “ he moaned.
She was confused. “Don’t you like it ?”
“Oooh baby… more than I can tell. But.. this was not part of my dream..” He sat up again and pulled her towards him. “Straddle me, baby. Connect with me…”
She did what he asked, crawled on his lap and gently guided him into her depths. She bended down and pulled his earlobe between her teeth. “Still in charge, loverboy ?” she whispered sexily. But his only response were loud moans.

Even though it was said that she would do anything he desired, it was she who controlled the rhythm of their love dance. They were connected in the deepest way possible, their bodies morphing into one. Never before their passion had burned so high. Or so it seemed. Michael lost his composure completely. He felt like he was on a carousel, losing his sense of direction because it went too fast. He held on to Honey’s shoulder with one hand and his other hand clenched the arm of the throne, his knuckles withdrawn of all blood. The position in which he found himself in and the fact that he had to be submissive to her moves, made him lose all of his control. The deep emotions pulling at him at all sides, took his breath away and left him helpless and weak. And then finally he felt an overpowering feeling creep up from his toes, to his knees upwards to his groin and he was launched into orbit. His skin tingled all over and he convulsed uncontrollably. Both his arms crept around her for support while he pushed himself against her, shuddering and sobbing. His cries were muffled in the crook of her neck and Honey felt the throne shake when the force of his love accompanied her on her way to the stars…

“Oh god… oh god… “ he panted when he sank back against the soft velvet of their seat, pulling her with him. “Honeeey… ooooh… baby, gosh.. “ 
She smiled lazily against his chest. This throne definitely had possibilities !

“Hello ? Mama ?”
“Oooh ! Honey ! This is quite a surprise ! I’m so glad to hear from you !”
“Hi Mama, I’m sorry it took so long. There were so many things to arrange.”
“I understand, Honey.”
No, she didn’t, Honey thought by herself. Although she had tried to call her family every week, she had not informed them of the trouble she had been in. Only Barbara knew about it. At the time she didn’t want her parents to worry about it too much. It was her life and it were her decisions. She had just played a role although she felt really guilty about it. Nevertheless her mother had sensed there was something going on but she knew better than to ask her daughter what was really bugging her. And it was highly appreciated. Honey was more than thankful to have a mother like Veronica. Veronica would never press her into anything and supported her daughter as much as she could.
“Are you alright, Honey ? Did you and Michael settle in yet ?”
“Yes Mama. It’s great. Neverland is such a beautiful place. I love it here.”
“You sound as if you only just arrived. Is there something you need to tell me, sweetheart ? You’re not into trouble, are you ?”
“Ahw.. mama…” Honey decided that she could inform her mother about what had happened before. Still she left out the ugly details and cut a long story short. Maybe in time she would tell her everything but not right now.
“Are you two good now ?” Veronica asked worriedly.
“Oh yes, Mama. We are just fine. The both of us just overreacted. You know me… “
“Yes, you have always been a firecracker. You’re so much like your dad.”
Honey chuckled. “So you tell me ! But he says I’m very much like you.”
Her mother giggled like a schoolgirl. “Your dad is something else… I’m glad you worked it out, Honey. Michael is so right for you.”

He was, she thought. He made her really happy and living at Neverland with him was a dream come true. She loved it all. The first days were spend exploring of course. Michael was happy to show her around or to accompany her wherever she wanted to go but unfortunately his time was limited. Besides filling his days with composing and creating for his new album, he had to attend a lot of public appearances. Of course she missed him when he was not at home but it gave her extra time to adjust to his hectic schedule. Although she was eager to finish the store, putting it all to the side for a few days allowed her to sink into the rhythm of Neverland. She would have loved to go with him to all his appearances and award shows but since she still needed to be informed about all the whereabouts of a superstar like Michael, he refused to take her with him.

How she longed to put an end to the secrecy ! And not because she wanted the media attention herself. No ! She was really fed up with the negative press he was receiving. He was not weird ! He was not a recluse ! He was not gay ! Michael always told her that he had elephant skin and that there was nothing that could hurt him but he still found it incredibly endearing that she was worrying over him. He always told her that she was his private ninja. If they would let her do what she wanted, some journalists were going to end up with a black eye for sure !
She was insulted when he told her so because she would never hurt a soul but when she realized he was laughing with her, she punched him gently in the stomach. Michael then raised his eyebrows as if her move only confirmed his statement. They were the pair indeed !

Still Michael thought she definitely needed some extra information of how to handle the circus around him and he had finally found the time to set up a meeting with Bill and Frank. They all agreed that she needed to know where she stood and what her boundaries were, before she could continue her work at her store. To their opinion ignorance was her biggest enemy. Michael wanted her to be informed about all of the safety issues and how to embrace them in the most appropriate manner. A meeting with the security team would already give her more than enough answers to every question she could have. And afterwards she would receive a more specific training.

“Honey ?”
“Yes Michael ?” She looked up from the papers she was classifying when he appeared into her office. Her smile almost split her face in two, knowing he was coming to her rescue. She didn’t like the job one bit but it was inevitable. 
“You didn’t forget about the meeting, did you ? Frank is running late but as soon as he arrives we need to go up to the conference room.”
“How could I forget ? You have been bugging me about it since I moved in.”
He came to stand behind her and kissed her on top of her head, while massaging her shoulders. “I know, girl, but it’s very important. I don’t want anything to happen to you. You know what they say, never run before you can walk.”
She held back her head and kissed his mouth upside down. Even though she often whined about it, she loved it when he was so protective over her. It made her feel cherished and cared for. And he was so sexy when his eyes turned dark and possessive.. ahw…

“Will you promise me you will listen carefully to all we have to say ?” he asked.
Oooh ! Thàt attitude of him she didn’t like and she let him know immediately : “Michael ! You should hear yourself talking ! You sound like I’m a little girl and you are my dad !”
He chuckled. “Oh, that is a position I don’t want to take over from him ! I want to be the husband, not the dad !” He peered into her eyes. “But I’m serious about this, Honey. I need to make sure that you’re safe.”

And that was exactly the same as what Frank was telling her 30 minutes later.
“Yours and Michael’s safety are an absolute priority here. That is the first thing I want you to understand. We’re not having this meeting just to bug you. This is all for the best. Okay ?”

Honey nodded and looked at Michael, who was sitting quietly opposite to her. He looked back, encouraging her with his eyes to trust in their opinion. Which was not easy for her to do. What if they had already taken decisions in which she could not find herself ? She knew that Michael was aware of how sensitive she was about people taking decisions for her but she was not sure of the others. However, Frank’s words told her that they had talked about this prior to this meeting and had tried to take her feelings into account. And perhaps Bill knew her better than she thought.

There were only the four of them in the conference room, she and Michael and Bill and Frank. Bill, being head of security, was there primary for their safety of course while Frank was more likely to take the lead when it came to public relations and explain her what exactly were the traps the media would try to set up. Honey appreciated that Gillian was being left out of the meeting. PR was Gillian’s responsibility but Michael had promised her that he’d do anything to keep the woman away from her. Honey loved him for sticking to that promise.

“Go ahead, Bill.” Michael nodded.
Bill cleared his throat and put a piece of paper on the conference table for Honey to read.
“These are all the names and phone numbers of the member of the security staff. If you’d hand me over your portable, I will have someone put them in. In that case there will always be someone you can reach day or night. That is the first thing I wanted to point out.” He paused for his words to have more impact. “Whenever you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, whatever or wherever it may be, you call one of us. Even if you don’t think it is all that serious, just use your phone. Never hesitate. Okay ?”
Honey looked at Bill, for the first time seeing him solely as the head of security. Before that she had always considered him like an uncle or a good friend of the family but now she realized how seriously he took his job. He knew what he was talking about. She nodded.
Bill continued. “I know that you would be tempted to call Michael when in trouble but I insist that you call one of us first. We’ll make sure these phone numbers will be on top of your phone list. You’re okay with that ?”
Again she nodded but Bill sensed her hesitance and explained a little more, softening his previous harsher tone : “Michael’s phone is for your private business, Honey. And you know that sometimes it is turned off when he is attending a meeting or when he is working. You know how that works. But one of us is always available. It is our job.”
Now what could she say ? She understood, so she nodded again.
“Then there is the matter of your trips up and down your store. Michael is very worried about letting you travel all by yourself. And since Michael is our boss, we do what pleases him most. And that is preventing all anxiety ! We want a stressless life for all of us and therefor ask you to work with us. You still okay with that ?”

Honey was but it surprised her nevertheless that Michael had such an impact. The men he worked with were both quite older than he was. He might seem gentle and compliant but she realized that he was indeed still very much the boss. It was clear that he had given the order to keep her safe, no matter what. It reassured her somewhat. Michael wanted only the best.

Bill continued : “Most important to all of us is your means of transport. We’re very glad that Michael came up with the idea of involving your friend in this. So, a car, dressed with Quint’s logo will be delivered tomorrow. It is only for you to use. Well, and Quint himself.”

Honey thought they were really lucky for Quint to come their way. Not only because he helped her with her store but he had finally agreed on working for Michael too and providing her the best reason ever for running in and out of Neverland. Once Michael got to know the Smiths better, he was not afraid anymore that Quint would snatch Honey away from him. Instead Quint showed himself to be a good friend to the both of them. Quint’s vans leaving and entering Neverland proved to be the best disguise ever. They bought her a little van, dressed in the same colors and with the same logo as the one that appeared on the big ones. So no one would ever suspect the woman in the car to be more to Michael than just a business relationship, a co-worker for Smith Construction and Development. She would be able to drive up and down the Figueroa Mountain Road without anyone knowing she slept in the same bed as Michael Jackson.

Bill continued : “Every morning Quint drives the car in and he drives it home in the evening. You can use it during the daytime when he is working here. We are sorry that you have to share his schedule but we see no other option. So let’s put it this way : you cannot use any other means of transportation when you go out by yourself. We moved heaven and earth to get the car delivered this quickly so we want you to be well aware of what we need to do to protect you and how important it is for you to follow the rules.”

Honey wiggled her eyebrows. Rules made her giddy and she just had to respond and take the tension away. They made her nervous ! “What if the sporting bug bites me ? Can I not even cross the countryside on my bicycle ? Or my roller blades ? Will you come jogging after me ?” she laughed, her imagination already running wild. In her mind she was criss crossing the hills of Neverland with Bill and the whole security team trying to catch up with her. What a show that would be. She snickered, obviously having much fun all by herself. But… no one laughed with her though. She swallowed and looked at her hands. Oh oh oh.. They thought she was making fun of them. They worked so hard for her to be safe and here she was, joking about it. Bad bad Honey, she thought and felt a little ashamed about her spontaneous reaction.
Luckily Bill was not offended easily, knowing that the object of their protection didn’t really mean to insult them and his mouth twitched a little, trying to hold back a smile.
“You think you’re witty, don’t you ?” He shook his head and turned to Michael. “Where did you get this stand-up comedian ? Belgian’s specialty maybe ?”
“Why do you think I called on this meeting ? She’s stubborn as a mule ! Belgian’s specialty also !” he chuckled.
“Michaeeeel !” Honey whined. “You’re not supposed to talk like that about your fiancée !”
Michael rolled his eyes at her. “I am when she is trying to joke herself out of this serious matter. Really, Honey baby, we’re talking about your safety here. Wheeling around the mountains is not gonna help you.” He chuckled when Honey shot him a deadly glance. She knew he didn’t mean to scold her though. His eyes told her he understood that she felt uneasy with all the attention and that she just wanted to take the pressure away. “Okay Bill, go ahead.” He turned to the older man again, acknowledging his knowhow of the matter.

“Thus Honey, no other means of transport but that specific car if you drive up and down to your store. But… and this is an obligation too, only if you are completely in disguise, just as Michael already proposed.”
“But… “
Michael kicked her shin and shook his head at her, remembering her that she promised to take this serious. Honey let out a long sigh. Why would anyone think she was that important ? Nobody knew her. She expressed her thoughts out loud but of course Bill had an answer to that too.
“Honey, Michael is a very rich man. And you know what the smell of money can do to people. We don’t want to risk a kidnapping.” At first Bill had not wanted to bring it so bluntly but he felt that she needed to fully understand why they were asking this of her. He didn’t mean to scare her but this was too important. Frank stepped in now too, realizing that a little pressure from their side was necessary to make her see how indispensable it was that she followed their guide lines closely. He admired the fire in her but he also acknowledged the importance of controlling her when it came to her own safety. She reminded him of Michael a lot though. He managed to escape the all seeing eyes of his security team on many occasions. He knew it was hard being young and restrained like this but unfortunately it was a necessity.

“Honey, you need to understand that there are always vultures around ! And I am not only talking about criminals. There is other money involved. You have to realize that the media is always on Michael’s back. He’s the equivalent of dollars to them ! And so is everything and everyone surrounding him. Until both of you are ready to share your relationship with the public we have to make sure no one finds out just who you are. It’s best that you use different disguises.”
Honey bit her lip and thought long about it. She didn’t want to lose her identity but she understood their demand. She just had to make sure she felt comfortable, didn’t she ? If you can’t bend the situation, then adjust to it, she thought again.

“Okay then..” she agreed reluctantly. “But how am I supposed to do that ? And can I choose ?”
“Of course you can choose, Honey. I asked Karen to come down here tomorrow morning. She’ll help you with all the things you might need.”
Honey didn’t want to panic but she could not help herself. Would Karen be like Gillian ? Hating her even before she knew her ? Would this be another of Michael’s employees trying to get rid of her because she was his fiancée ?
“I don’t know if I can …” she whispered, more to herself than to the others.
“Excuse me, Honey, I didn’t get that.” Bill said. “What did you say ?”
Honey shook her head and carefully kept her eyes down, her hands nervously fidgeting in her lap. “Nothing.” She really didn’t want to throw in her insecurities. She hated to feel like this.
Michael looked at her inquisitively. “Honey ?” When she looked up to him, he immediately caught her mood and reached for her hand over the table. He squeezed it and reassured her. “Karen is a sweet woman, Honey. You will like her very much. Don’t worry about it. Okay ?”
Honey sighed again. Damned ! She could slap herself for it ! She felt so silly in front of Michael’s employees. But neither Bill nor Frank sensed how she really felt and Honey guessed Michael hadn’t told them anything about Gillian. She appreciated him for that. 
Bill picked up another piece of paper in front of him.
“Okay, we already had the list, the car, the disguises. You do understand the importance of it all, do you Honey ?”
“I do.” she admitted.
“Good. Because this is not all. Whenever you go out, you need to inform us on where you are going and how long you think you’ll be out. And since you won’t be accompanied by a bodyguard, on which I don’t agree..” he shot a glance to Michael. “..you call us whenever you reach your destiny. You’re not to leave the house without your cell phone. Is that clear ?”
Honey nodded. She thought they were overreacting a little bit but who was she to deny them their peace of mind ? This was not such big an effort. The cell phone already proved to be very convenient although she had to buy a bigger purse already. It really didn’t fit in any of her other purses. But hey, a girl could not ever have enough purses !!

Bill was not finished yet though. He caught her attention again with his next line. “Okay… let’s see. The mail ! We figured that out too and I thought it would be best that all the mail goes directly to Michael’s personal assistant before it is distributed further into the house.”
Whaaaaaaat ? Her mail being opened by Gillian ? No way, José ! She would never agree on that one !
“No, I won’t have it !”
“Why not ? It has been like this for years. Someone has to channel the mail. You don’t know how much we get each day. It takes hours to get it all to the right persons. But there is more to it. Sometimes people send threats by mail or even worse. We don’t want you to be confronted with that kind of stuff. There is no.. “ Bill explained.
Honey cut him off. “Michael’s mail may go to HIS assistant but I want all of MY mail and the mail regarding MY store to come to ME directly !” She patted on her chest with every “me” or “my”. “This is ridiculous !” She fumed, showing Bill and Frank for the first time how much of a firecracker she really was.
“But Honey…”
“No ! I won’t agree to that ! You can’t make me ! This has nothing to do with security !” She jumped up from her chair, almost causing it to topple over. This was going from bad to worse ! She turned to Michael. “Does your personal mail go to … Gillian too ?”
“Huh… well, most of the time it does.”
“Well, mine won’t ! I want every envelope that is addressed to ME, come to ME directly ! And without being opened beforehand ! That is not too much to ask for, is it ?”
Michael closed his eyes for a moment, trying to keep his calm. He wanted to shake her awake. Threats could arrive in many disguises and he didn’t want her to be confronted with them. He didn’t even want to think about it ! This was not even about her and Gillian ! 
“This is invading my privacy big time ! I agree on everything else but not on this ! I won’t !”
The ball was back in their camp. They all knew that they really had no right to open her personal mail but the issue had been brought up to discuss in the meeting as Michael received several threads already. Both Bill and Frank glanced at him also. It dawned to him. Oooh ! Was this how the game was going to be played ? The decision was his to take then ? Well, he guessed that he had to. And he would stand by her side if it mattered that much to her.

He sighed deeply. He understood very well what, or better said who, caused her reluctance to have this task taken out of her hands. He had not given it a thought before and realized their mistake. He should’ve prevented Bill to go into this matter. He couldn’t blame her for being upset.

“Okay, okay !” He held up his hands in surrender. “I guess you are right. I’m so used to not open my own mail for years. I guess we misjudged this. Scrap this from the list, Bill. Honey, please sit down, baby. We’ll leave this be for now. Okay ?”
She nodded and he witnessed her lowering herself to her chair once again but he knew this wasn’t over yet. She would come back to it, once they were in private. He chuckled. He was looking forward to make this up to her, or maybe she to him ?

“Actually there is only one more thing we have to talk about : your bodyguard.”
“Oh, I thought I would not be needing one for the time being! I thought I was not supposed to go out all by myself if not for my store ?”
“Oh but you can, until of course your relationship is revealed. By then we have to evaluate the situation again.”
Now this was the part Honey rejected the most. Her experience with bodyguards had not been all that positive, with Robert judging her.
“I told Michael before, I don’t even want one ! I promise not to go out by myself and always in disguise. So what more do you want from me ?”
“Well, we thought that you would like to go with Mike to public appearances once in a while. It is really necessary to have a personal guard when you do. You don’t know how persistent Michael’s fans can be.”
“And not only the fans.” Frank added. “The paparazzi are hiding in every corner. I’m sure they will try to find out who you are and then maybe try to get to you. Robert is to watch you closely and protect you from the prying eyes.”
“Robert ?!?” She shoot a look of disbelief to both Bill and Michael. They both knew how she felt about him and still wanted him as her personal bodyguard ? Were they even considering her wishes ?
“We talked about it earlier, remember ?” Bill asked. “You would give him another chance.”
“Yeah… but I thought…”
“I know what you are going to say, Honey.” Bill interrupted her before she could even open her mouth and scold them. ”And we truly understand. But we hope you will understand our point of view too. Robert has been doing a good job. He did what we asked him to do but he was put on the wrong track for a while. We don’t know how or who influenced him but we’ve straightened it out with him. It is not easy to find trustworthy personnel these days and it is even more difficult for Michael. Do you know how many times I’m being approached by journalists who want to pay me big bucks to provide them with a juicy story about him ? We need someone whose loyalty towards Michael is unquestionable. And Robert’s is.”
“But I still don’t like him ! He accused me of cheating on Michael !”
“And I told you he admitted he was wrong. I asked you before and I will ask you again, will you give him another chance ?”
Honey felt Michael’s gaze upon her and she looked him in the eyes pleadingly. He shook his head however, letting her know that she was alone in this. It was her choice to say “yes” or “no”. She realized that she actually still had the opportunity to decline their demand but on the other hand she should trust Bill’s opinion about Robert. He was very experienced in the matter and who was she to question his ability ? If he thought Robert was the best man for the job, then why should she refuse ?
So she indulged. “Okay, one more try then. But if …”
Bill finished her sentence for her : “If you really feel uncomfortable with him, we will replace him. We promise.”
She thought that should do it for now. And so did they. The meeting ended shortly after that and Bill and Frank said their goodbyes. Honey meant to leave too but Michael pulled her back. His eyes pierced into hers. “We need to talk.”
“Do we ?” Actually she was still a little annoyed because of the mail issue and she just wanted to get out. “I need some fresh air.”
“Me too, girl. And we are going to talk.”
She started to object but he put his forefinger on her lips and thus shut her up. “Just come with me, you little firecracker.”

Michael took her hand in his and lead her through the garden to the pond. He knew she loved it there. It was quiet and shady there and she loved the swans. It would calm her down a bit, he thought.
He was right. The peaceful atmosphere around the pond, the rustling of the leaves in the gentle Californian breeze, eased her senses. The sight of the swans, gracefully floating on the water, always calmed her. She had come here often since she arrived. Especially when Michael had been out. The quiet environment allowed her to retreat into herself and really think about her future and what she wanted to accomplish. And once she had found peace within herself with her decision to express her creativity differently, it all fell into place.

“C’mon girl, spit it out !”
She shrugged her shoulders, her gaze towards the fountain in the middle of the pond. She felt like one of the water drops, allowed a little freedom and fly up in the air but then having to disappear in the depths of the water mass again.
“Girl, I feel you. Don’t forget I know you better than you know yourself.” He pulled her with him towards the ground and sat them down in front of a huge tree. At their right Michael meant to build a guest house, a little replica of the main residence. And that is why he needed Quint. He could’ve gotten any other constructor who was more specialized in houses but Quint’s company was the perfect disguise for Honey. Everything he decided was with her safety in the back of his mind and he told her so.
“I know it’s hard, Honey. I told you, you were gonna lose a big part of your freedom when you decided to come live with me. This is just what it is.”
She bit her lower lip and let him pull her closer to him. He put his arm around her and his free hand pushed her head against his shoulder. He whispered in her ear : “I don’t want anything to happen to you, baby. Can’t you see ? It’s all about protection and my people are very skilled. I suggest we let them do their job properly but that doesn’t mean we cannot talk about it.”
He felt her shrug her shoulders again. “So come on Honey, spill it… what’s up ?”
“It’s nothing really. I just need to adjust. With all that was said in there, I realized that we are living in a golden cage. I never thought your fame would imprison me like this.”
“Awh baby… “ he kissed her softly on her forehead and then put his finger under her chin to make her look into his eyes. “Is that really how you feel ? Like a prisoner ?”
Honey hurried to soothe him because he had an alarming look in his eyes. “Oh noo… that is not it. It’s difficult to explain, Michael. I thought I would have much more freedom to go wherever I wanted. I didn’t know every step had to be directed. It’s scary. I mean, it’s a big responsibility. What if I do something wrong ? What if I mess up ? Are they going to yell at me ?”
Michael wanted to laugh but he realized she was deadly serious. They obviously had scared the hell out of her. “Baby, listen to me. Bill and his team are there to prevent you and me from messing up. I know it will be difficult at first but let them do their job. I know what I’m talking about. I’ve lived like this for … pff… let’s say more than twenty years. That is why I wanted this meeting, girl. I know you are not completely aware of what is going on in my world. Now that you are part of it, I wanted you to be informed. You just have to trust our security team. They are the best.”
“Okay… I guess I can do that….”
“But… ? Come on, spill it, Honey. I feel there is more.”
“Well.. It’s just that now it seems that I have no privacy left at all. I need privacy so much, Michael.”
“Honey, there is no one who can understand you as I do. I know how you feel about this.” he soothed her. “But think of our home then. Where could we have more privacy than inside Neverland ? We are safe here and we can do whatever we want. No one will bug us here.”
“No, that’s not what I mean. I mean privacy when I go out. Imagine I want to go get a gift for you, will you know it then beforehand ? Or when I want to buy personal stuff ? New underwear… I have to take a guard inside the lingerie shop ? I don’t think so ! Or when I need tampons ?”
Now talking about tampons to Michael was like saying “bring in the clowns”. 
“T…tampons ?” he giggled. “Honey.. you are embarrassing me !”
“Michael !! Come on ! I am a woman.” She shook her head at him.

Michael was well aware that she was a woman, his woman, the love of his life, the mother of his children. Well, at least that was what she was going to be in the future. But not right now, as he had found out a few days prior. Of course it shouldn’t have come as a surprise ! She was still on the pill. But Michael believed in miracles. He was determined his seed was strong enough to conquer all !!

A soft noise woke Michael up from a deep dreamless sleep. He had been sleeping so profoundly that for a minute, he was lightly disorientated. When he finally managed to open his eyes, he realized it was still the middle of the night. The room around him was completely dark. The soft noise that had awoken him reached his ears again. He then understood that it was Honey who had made that sound. Again she moaned as if she was in pain. Was she having a bad dream ?
He moved closer to her but as he did so, she switched on the bedside lamp and carefully slid out of the bed, her hand on her belly. He watched her disappear into the bathroom. A little later the silence of the night was interrupted by the sound of water running from the tap. He smiled at himself as she came out of the bathroom. She once told him that she didn’t open her eyes completely when she woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or have a sip of water, because she actually wanted to remain asleep. Walking around with her eyes half-closed made her fall asleep faster when she came back to bed. Tonight was no exception. He saw her padding towards the bed, with her eyes almost shut. He thought she looked like a little girl in her little bright pink pajama set. Although… One of the straps of the top had shifted from her shoulder and it revealed more than it covered. Not so little girlish.. Michael licked his lips as she bent over while climbing in bed again. He could see all of her front right down to her shorts. Immediately his body reacted to the sight she presented.
She had not been aware of him, watching her from under his eyelashes until he spoke.
“Baby ?”
“Gee Michael ! Don’t wake me…” she complained, startled by his voice.
“You are awake.” he giggled.
“Noooo… sleep….”
“You’re so funny.” He moved closer to her. “And sexy…”
“Mmm… I’m not.” She moaned again, embracing her belly with her arms and winced.
“Sorry… Is something wrong ?”
“Pain…”
He sat up, immediately worried she might be seriously sick.
“I’m gonna call a doctor !” he exclaimed.
“No no. It’s, huh, it’s just my period.”
“Oh…” he reacted. “That’s too bad. Really too bad.”
She turned towards him. “What do you mean by that ?”
“Oh nothing… nothing at all…”
“Come on, Mike. You woke me up and now you don’t want to talk ?”
“Ha, first, you were awake already… and second, talking was not what I had in mind. So again, too bad.”
She snickered and lightly slapped his chest. “You’re insatiable.”
“Always, when it comes to you, baby.” He slid closer towards her and put his hand on her belly. “Does it really hurt that bad ?”
“Mmm…it’s not agreeable.”
“I know a remedy…”
“You do ?”
“Huh huh ! What about a baby ?”
“Michael !”
“Seriously ! With a baby in your belly you wouldn’t have your period. Problem solved !”
“Who’s funny now, huh ?” She shook her head.
He kept caressing her belly with his big hand, snuggling up to her, kissing her shoulder. “We could make one.”
“Not now for sure…”
“A little practice is never wasted.”
“Michael, not while I have my period. That’s gross !”
“Nothing about you is gross, baby…” He sighed. “But if you don’t want to…”
“I certainly don’t want to have sex while I have my period. Yuck !”
“Oh, don’t worry, me neither. I was just joking. But… “ He pouted. “Does that mean that I have to wait for 10 days ?”
“Ho pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease Michael ! Don’t exaggerate ! It will be merely 5 or 6 days. Sure you can wait that long. Besides, there are other ways…”
“Ah ah ! That’s sounds better already !”
“But not now. I wanna go back to sleep.”
“Okay…” he gave in reluctantly and dimmed the bedside lamp. “But don’t come complaining when little Mikey wakes you because he cannot have his way… I have no control over him.”
Honey shook her head and laughed. “Men…”

“Ahw baby… I know how you feel. But it’s not as if we have a choice. I know you will want to escape from time to time but it is not that easy. I simply have to protect myself and it’s my duty as a husband to protect you too. We always have to fly under the radar so we don’t get shot.”
“Well, see.. that is where I think you go wrong.”
“Wrong ?! I’m not wrong ! Do you know how it feels to be mobbed ? We already talked about that before ! You could get really hurt and end up in the hospital. Do you want that to happen to you ? Or to me ?”
“Nooo, that is not what I mean.” She thought for a bit to find the right words. “I agree on the bodyguard, on the disguises, on everything but for the sake of our future I think that once we reveal our relationship, we should step outside this cage a little more. Let people see who they are dealing with, mingle with them. Let them know you are like everyone else, a real man, not some kind of fairytale figure.”
“Is that how you think of me ?” He lifted her chin and searched her eyes. “Do you think I’m weird ?”
“Sweetie, no ! You’re not weird but you let them think you are !”
“No I don’t !”
“Oh yes, you do. You hide out here and you only give them little glimpses of you. You feed the image they have of you with being so secretive.”
Michael gaped at her at first. No one talked to him like that, without repercussion. He used to shut people out for less than this. But this was his Honey, and he knew she said this for the best. He had to admit that it was refreshing to have someone who talked back to him and to whom he could open up in a way he had never done before. Honey was able to see beyond his exterior. She could see inside his soul. And she was not afraid to give her honest opinion. He realized that this came with the trust. She trusted him with her heart and expected him to do the same. He also realized that she would never ever say anything solely to hurt him so it was certainly worth to give it a second thought. At the same time it made him uncomfortable that she thought that he had to thank it to himself that his image came forward somewhat strange. He bit his lip while the thoughts were tumbling around in his mind. Maybe she was right but then again, it scared him to step back from all that he had been doing to keep himself guarded.
“But what about privacy then ?” he asked, wanting to delve deeper into it. “I don’t want my private life to be all over the news.”
“You just told me that inside Neverland we have all the privacy we need. But Neverland is not the world. We, as people need to fit into the world also.”
“Well, it’s not my fault that I don’t fit !”
“Ahw sweetie.. that is not what I mean. The real you is so beautiful, yet you hide him. I think you need to mold the real Michael with Michael, the show beast.” He raised his eyebrows at the word “show beast”. “No one has ever talked to you about this ?” she asked.
“Well, only you actually.”
“That’s because everyone else is scared of you !”
“You don’t mean that ? Scared of me ?!” He laughed out loud.
“Scared of being sacked ! Or tossed aside ! You have much power, Michael. All of the people in your neighborhood are just nodding to whatever you have to say, afraid of falling out of your grace.”
“That is not true ! Bill and Frank a..”
“Well, they are definitely the only ones. Do you want me to agree on everything you say ? Always ?”
“That would be nice.. “ he mumbled under his breath.
“What ?”
“Oh nothing… “ he squeezed her shoulder a little and sighed. “Actually, I love you just the way you are. I love it when we can talk about everything. But I need to get used to our relationship too, you know. And at the moment the most important matter is your safety. I would never forgive myself if anything happened to you.”
“I managed while we were separated.” she pointed out.
“Yeah, you did, but then you didn’t have to drive up and down to Neverland almost every day. And now you want us to expose ourselves more ? Is that what you’re aiming at ?”
She nodded. “Yes and no. I don’t want to play games with the media. It will only blow up in our face ! In fact it’s already doing just that ! The public considers you a reclusive eccentric pop star. They don’t care about the man anymore. But I do ! I love you too much to let this happen.”
He kissed the top of her head and sighed a little. “I promise to think about it, okay ?”
She guessed that his answer was all she could wish for and gave in, for the time being. “Okay, that’s enough… for now.”
They went silent for a while.
“So… we were actually talking about tampons ?” he recalled.
She giggled. “No silly… it was about more than that !”
“Lots of tampons then ?”
Honey hid her head in the crook of his neck, muffling her laughter. He could be so silly sometimes, her Mike. Silly but still always serious when needed. So they talked and talked until the sun set in and the air was getting cold. It forced them to go inside but at least they knew that there was nothing they could not discuss. It made them feel free, even in this little golden cage of them.

In fact there were some other issues she wanted to talk about. She found the house magnificent but completely outdated. It was a beautiful place but it was decorated as if it was the home for a seventy year old couple.

And they were not ! She wanted to create a real cozy haven for her and Michael and their future children. In her opinion it had to lighten up a lot but of course she wanted to share her ideas with Michael first. Maybe he liked his house like this ?

She pulled him back inside to the safety of their bedroom and pushed him on the bed.
“We’re gonna play ?” he asked with hope in his voice.
“Honestly Michael ! Is that all you can think of ? I wanted to show you what I came up with. I have some ideas for the house.”
“Honey, you know I don’t care about interior decorating. I do like to surround myself with pretty things, but in that perspective you are doing just fine.”
He tried to pull her on his lap but she danced away before he could grab her.
“Nononono ! First look at this !”
Out of nowhere she pulled out a large portfolio and laid it on the bed.
“Look at it, Michael and tell me what you think.”
Michael went through the book, intensively studying the pictures inside. It was clear that she had given the matter a lot of thought. Every page was dressed with a picture of the room she wanted to decorate with next to it different images of the changes she wanted to apply. Because she brought in lots of white fabrics and cut down on the decorations, she was not sure that he would like it. Their tastes didn’t really match all the time. For the kitchen and the breakfast room she wanted to use bright sunny colors, encouraging them every morning to make the best of their day. Michael realized he didn’t really mind how she decorated the place because in his opinion she definitely had good taste but he did want a saying in the color scheme, stating that colors were an important part of his creativity.
“I like it, Honey. But I want more paintings in.”
“You know how I love the paintings of you. I.. I feel like your soul is in them. It’s how you look at yourself and it is endearing. And.. “ she hesitated. “… mmm.. when you are away, all I have to do is look at the paintings and I don’t feel so lonely anymore.”
“Awh baby… Come here… “
“And when I lose my way, all I have to do is look for a picture… “
Indeed the house was huge and in the beginning she had lost her way more than once, which made Michael laugh out loud hysterically. He teased her and proposed to scatter some bread crumblings so that she would always find her way back to him.
“You are so sweet, Honey. I guess I will always find you back.”
He looked back at the next page. Aaaah… the bedroom.

Honey’s favorite room ….

“Oh wow ! I like this very much”

“You do ? I was not sure. But … we cannot get rid of the throne and it would fit in better with these decorations than with the ones we have now.”
“You bet ! This new color scheme makes me think of a harem.. I like that idea !”
She slapped him on the head with a pillow. “Michael Jackson ! Stop being a caveman ! Next you’re gonna say that you want me barefoot and pregnant !”
He chuckled : “If only … “
“Oooh ! You’re so gonna get it, mister !”
They rolled over the bed, giggling and playing. This was the time of day they loved the best. In the privacy of their chambers, they could just act just like themselves. Yes, the bedroom was definitely Honey’s most favorite place of the whole property.
She loved the big bed and the spaciousness of their room. At first he had tried to persuade her to sleeping in his more private room on the second floor but she refused. She wanted to sleep in the room with a view, as she called it. She talked and talked until he gave in. Well, actually she didn’t talk all that much.. she seduced him into giving in. She promised him unlimited access to her body… and laughed uncontrollably when he almost tickled her into a heart attack. Of course she would never deny him her love but they had a good time “quarreling” about where they would go to sleep. And actually he didn’t give in completely. He insisted on keeping the upstairs room as a hide out for whenever they needed an even more cozy place to hang out. Therefore it was decorated with comfortable sofa’s and plush cushions. But the most valuable argument for him to give in was that she wanted it to be the baby room.

And of course there was more. If Michael thought Honey would give in to all of his little weird habits, he came away with a flea in his ear. She laughed at his sparkling bedcovers and they had to go. They were itchy, she said. Well, that was okay for him as long as she slept in his bed. But when she tried to get rid of the fairy tale figures hanging and lying around everywhere in the house, he reclined.
“I thought you loved Disney !” he said.
“I do ! You know very well that the first movie I ever saw in the theater was Peter Pan. But I don’t want to run into him everywhere. That is just weird.”
“How can you say that ? I feel so much like him… I always wanted to be him.. “ He pulled her into his embrace. “Are you afraid of Captain Hook then perhaps ?” He sniffed her neck like a puppy dog.
“Noooo… well.. You must admit that hook is kinda scary when you’re alone at night… and then those shadows…” She shivered. “He gives me the creeps.”
“If we get rid of Captain Hook, I assume Peter can stay ?” He kissed the soft skin below her ear. She moaned a little and he felt little Michael stir. Weren’t they talking about innocent Disney figures ? “You can be my Wendy…” He whispered in her ear. “We can fly together.”
“Ooh… “ she sighed. “I’d rather be Tinkerbell. I bet my pixie dust can bring you alive… “ She reached down between their bodies and was surprised to find the obvious proof of his arousal. Again…

He moaned…”Naughty naughty Tink !”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Finally it was happening! Tonight the store had its’ grand opening. Summer was passing super quickly and Honey was really happy with all she had accomplished. Never before she had been so proud of herself ! Together with Quint and even sometimes Judi, she had finished the complete decoration and the store had turned out just how she had planned all along. They all worked hard but it had surely been worth the effort ! Her catalogue too was a treat for the eyes and she had already send it out to all major companies. Also she had done a mailing in the residential area of Santa Maria. As a result even before the opening, the assignments already came pouring in. She couldn’t believe her luck ! People obviously liked her style. It gave her good hope that sales too would definitely go into the right direction. She realized that she really should cut the knot regarding that shopkeeper and maybe even think about hiring a part-time designer already. It was a pity that she hadn’t realized that it would be so difficult to find the appropriate co-worker. The first load of people who were interested in the job hadn’t brought her anyone she could relate to. She wanted a co-worker whom she could trust completely and until now, no one had fit that profile. One was not skilled enough, an other was too stiff, yet an other was too full of herself. So she had re-launched the advertisement. Basically it meant she had to start all over again. But still that could not temper her enthusiasm.

She would be so glad to take it to the next level ! No more hiding, no more disguises. She really didn’t want to complain though because her life with Michael was absolutely fabulous. But staying undercover was quite a task and it took a toll on her energy level. It was a lot of work to dress up in the morning, then once in the store, change into her own clothes and make-up again and then before she returned home, change back into her disguise. She now more than ever understood what Michael had to go through when he wanted to do something ordinary, something other people did every day. She admired him even more because already after this short time she herself was fed up with it and wanted to be just Honey.

But right now she pushed these thoughts to the back of her mind and was just glad that at least during the opening reception, she could simply be herself ! She really had to admit that the disguises hàd paid off in the end. Her efforts had not been for nothing because no one suspected her to be related to Michael. So for the time being, in a certain way her disguise was her ticket to freedom. Controversial but oh so true !

Together with Quint and Katherine, she had made up a list of guests, people of whom Katherine thought would be potential clients. Unfortunately she could not invite Katherine herself or anyone else of the Jackson family. Michael’s security team didn’t want anyone to find out any connection what so ever between her and Michael and they thought that bringing in the family or any of his close personal famous friends would certainly pose a threat. But she missed his family and she also missed Michael terribly. Although the evening was already a big success and she was enjoying herself much, she thought it was a pity he couldn’t be with her. She also missed her own folks. Her parents had called her just before she left Neverland and had expressed their support and love and so had Barbara and her brother. They couldn’t be with her but she understood. She consoled herself with the fact that there would be other occasions for them to meet. So apart from Judi and Quint, there was no one present to whom she was acquainted. But that didn’t stop her from being a professional ! She was after all the shop-owner and proud of her accomplishments so she walked through the small crowd confidently. She stopped here and there, presenting herself and answering people’s questions and giving advice.

After a while she considered that all people were served and entertained so it was time for her to take a little break. She went to the small office at the back of the store. Time to pick up some extra leaflets, she thought. Just as she stepped in and even before she could put on the light, the door was shut forcefully and she was pulled against a hard chest, her front pushing against the door. She wanted to scream but a hand covered her mouth in no time. Her protest was muffled against the warm flesh of its palm.

Struggling to get free, a delicate scent penetrated her nostrils. She turned her head and peered through the darkness, trying to recognize the man holding her. Even though she knew who wore this particular perfume she was unable to see who she was pulled against. The outlines of his silhouette didn’t give him away and she was seconds away from screaming for help. Her captor must have felt her panicking because warm lips grazed over her cheek towards her ear. “Shhtt… baby, it’s me.” a familiar voice whispered. His warm breath, a mix of peppermint and cookies, wafted over her and she sagged against him in relief. “M…Michael..” she stuttered.
Coming back to her senses she reached for the light switch but he caught her hand in his. 
“Wait… Just hold on. I like it this dark… Just let me hold you and greet you properly.” He gently turned her around in his embrace. “I’m so proud of you.” His hand cupped her chin and their lips locked. His tongue slid between her teeth and gently struck hers. Very slowly he started to explore the inside of her mouth as if it was the first time he was there. He scraped over the sharp edges of her teeth and then sucked on her tongue as if it was a lollipop. Her knees buckled and she melted against his chest. When they finally parted, they were both breathless.
“Awh baby, you make me forget why I’m here.” he said in a husky voice. He tried to regain his breath, leaning heavily against her. After a while when both of their breathing finally slowed down, he continued. “You did a great job, baby. I just had to see the result of all your efforts. I simply had to be with you.”
“Ahw Michael.. that’s… wonderful. Even though you can’t come with me and toast together with the rest of my guests.”
“I can’t ?”
“But no… I thought you said … “
He interrupted her with a laughter in his voice. “Put on the light.”
She did and for a short while they both blinked against the hard office light, pouring down on them. She looked straight into a set of familiar eyes. Michael’s eyes.. but…. What the heck ? The man standing in front of her, didn’t look like her Michael at all ! She hesitated, frowning her eye brows but then he winked at her and that gesture confirmed her it was really him. No one could wink like Michael could (not).
“Oh my god ! Mi….” she cried out and halted herself just in time. She clasped a hand to her mouth to stop the giggle that was threatening to escape her. “Michael…” she whispered. “You’re really … Oooh !” She composed herself real quickly and stretched out her hand to touch his face. “What is this ? Oh gosh… “ She giggled again. “I would never have recognized you were it not for your eyes and voice.”
Michael laughed and bowed towards her. “Let me present to you, Manfred Johnson.” He bent forward and his lips brushed her cheek.
Honey shuddered under his soft touch but her feelings conflicted in every way with the way he looked. There was nothing sexy about him ! “Oh Michael… you are so… so… “ She giggled again. “So not Michael. But I’m so happy you’re here.” She couldn’t find the right words to express her gratitude however and just wrapped her arms around his neck to hug him tightly. “Thank you.”
“You’re so welcome, baby. I just had to be here.”
“I thought you had a meeting ?”
“Ha ! Well, yeah ! With my fiancée….” He giggled. “Come here and give me another kiss !” His mouth covered hers possessively and his tongue pushed itself between her lips again. His hands, big and warm, curled around her bottom and pulled her into his body. 
Honey couldn’t bring herself to close her eyes completely though and kissing this “stranger” felt awkward. As much as she had enjoyed their previous kiss, she now wasn’t so sure about this one. She pushed him away gently and blushed. “Michael, this is.. mmm.. strange. You feel like you but you don’t look like you.”
He laughed. “You’re too funny, baby. Does this mean you are just with me for my looks ?”
“Oh nooo… “ She giggled. “But it’s weird.”
“You know what ? I’ll go around the back and will come in properly, at the entrance of the store. Then you can meet me there and greet me as the stranger you think I am.” Again he winked at her and she burst out laughing.
“Don’t do that, Michael !! You look hilarious ! I swear, if you do that in the presence of my guests I’m gonna blow your cover unintentionally.”

With a last chaste kiss, they parted and while Michael disappeared through the back door, Honey returned to her guests. She handed out some more leaflets and talked to some people but kept an eye on the entrance of the store. What a surprise he had arranged for her ! He was so sweet to stand by her even if it was uncomfortable for him to wear a disguise like this. On the other hand, she knew he loved to dress up as someone else. Now she just had to make sure he would not draw too much attention to himself and knowing Michael, that would be difficult.

When he finally entered, she acted as if it was the first time she had ever met him. She approached him with her right hand extended towards him, expecting him to shake it, just as any other stranger would do. “Welcome ! I’m Honey Dubois, the owner of the store. You do have to forgive me for not remembering your name, sir.”
Instead of shaking her hand however, Michael took it gently in his and bowed over it. His lips lightly brushed her knuckles before he mischievously peered into her eyes and greeted her in a low voice.

“Manfred is the name, my dear..” he answered in a low voice and a terrible English accent.
“Ooh… okay..M… Manfred… Nice to meet you. You are such a gentleman.” She had to bite a laugh away when people started looking at them. She bet a man who kissed a woman’s hand wasn’t all that common any more. This was so Michael ! So much for not drawing any attention towards himself !
“Thank you, dear.”
“It’s entirely my pleasure, Manfred. I’m so happy to have you here.”
“Well, it was meant to be a surprise for a lovely lady. I didn’t exactly receive an invitation but I heard the news through the grapevine.”
“Oooh… Who told you then ?” She decided to play along his game.
“Well, let’s see.. Was it my sister ? Or maybe it could’ve been my fiancée ? I don’t quite remember though. She talks so much !” He winked at her and Honey raised her eyebrows ! Noo !! He promised he would not !! She almost suffocated from trying to swallow away her laughter.
“You can’t believe what I have to endure sometimes.” “Manfred” continued. “She babbles and babbles ! You know how she sounds ?”
She shook her head, trying to compose herself.
“Well, Miss Honey, she is like a squirrel. Adorable to look at but loud to listen to !”
“Ooooh… “ Honey finally managed to squeeze out. “I’m sure she would not appreciate you talking about her like this ! If she heard you right now, she would make you pay for it, I bet !”
“I should count myself lucky to be noticed by her these days ! She is so busy !” He shook his head and focused on her with smoldering eyes. “But you, little lady, I’m sure you will always be there for your man. I bet that after you come home from this happening, you will still have time for him, won’t you ?”
“Oooh !! You bet !! He will not know what is coming over him !”
“Manfred” bended towards her and whispered in her ear: “Is that a promise ?”
Honey blushed fiercely and stepped away from him. She felt as if his voice had ignited a fire within her even though his looks certainly didn’t. To save herself from any further trouble, she turned away from him towards the table with beverages and offered him a glass of champagne. He took it from her and saluted her. 
“Let us toast to this new adventure and to the lovely shop owner. I’m sure you will make this a big hit.”
She smiled sweetly and wondered if she could leave him alone without risking him to get into trouble. She noticed both Judi and Quint at the other end of the store and gestured them to approach her and her companion. 
“Quint, Judi, this is Manfred.” she said firmly. She knew that they would recognize Michael immediately after looking into his eyes. But she figured they were smart enough to not give him away. Luckily they didn’t, although it seemed that it took them quite an effort to not burst out in laughing. Quint chuckled, trying not to give in to the fun but Judi had to leave the room. She fled to the back of the store with Honey on her tail. They burst into the restroom both seeking support against the wall.
“Oooh… “ Judi almost choked from laughing. “How d.. did you manage to s… stay serious ?”
“D… don’t know… D… did you see his hair ? Where did he get that wig ?”
“And the clothes… “ Judi wiped the tears out of her eyes, trying to contain herself. 
“You sh… should pity me. I have to live with him.” Honey laughed uncontrollably.
“Oh my god… stop it… “ Judi hiccuped. “He looks ridiculous.”
“Yeah, I know but you must admit that someone who isn’t around him continuously can easily be fooled. His disguise is ingenious ! Karen is so good at this ! You should see some of the disguises she prepared for me ! They are a bit more simple because no one knows my face but still… She is really good !”
“Manfred is a masterpiece !” Judi laughed.
Honey took a deep breath. “You think we are ready to go back in ?”
“Yeah ! I just had to get the laughter out of my system.” Judi hooked her arm into Honey’s and they returned to the reception. Together with Quint she stayed with “Manfred” most of the evening, which allowed Honey to talk to the other guests without her worrying about Michael getting into trouble.

The entire evening turned out to be a huge success and Honey’s happiness simply poured from her pores. Her eyes twinkled and her smile seemed to be plastered on her face, even long after Michael had left. What more could she wish for ? She had made it !

When she was finally ready to close the door behind her, she headed straight to Judi’s place. She would spend the night there since Michael would not be home anyway after all and she had promised him to not drive to Neverland all by herself this late. And rather than sleeping at the condo all alone, she preferred staying over with her friends and talk about the opening night, while enjoying a hot cup of chocolate and a midnight snack. She would miss Michael though. It’s not that she didn’t love her friends but Michael was Michael and she loved snuggling up to him and discussing all the events of the past day. He always had the greatest ideas and an original view on any situation. He saw life as a giant work of art and as the creator in him never slept, he was a constant source of inspiration.

But he was not there. He was expected in LA very early in the morning and rather than leaving in the cold hours of dawn, he preferred travelling at night. She could very well understand as she was a night owl herself. And since he had an important meeting with the people of the record company, she guessed he wouldn’t be home until late the next evening.

But oooh… She was wrong. He didn’t come home the next night either and above all that he even didn’t let her know where he was staying or what he was doing. She knew that Bill was with him and that perhaps she should not worry but how could she not ? Where was he ? What was he doing ? She wasn’t exactly the kind of girlfriend who stuck to her fiancee all the time but she thought that the least he could do was letting her know what was going on. She tried to call him a few times but he even didn’t pick up his phone. That was so unlike him. Something must be wrong for him to be so negligent. Or maybe he didn’t care ? Was that it ? Did he really not care about her thoughts and feelings ? She tried to stop the doom thinking but as always her emotions got the worst out of her. Instead of being sad and worried, she became quite mad at him. Really, what was he thinking ? She thought they had taken their relationship to the next level but when he acted like this, she was not sure of anything anymore. Had he mentioned it and had she forgotten about it ? But surely she would have remembered something important like him not coming home. Something was going on and he had not informed her about it. Did he not trust her ? And how was she supposed to trust HIM when he was behaving like this ? She even started doubting her own judgement. Had she been so wrong about Michael ?

At that point she shook her head and reprimanded herself. “Stop the over-analyzing !” she said to herself. “He must have a good reason. Maybe he just forgot to tell me. Maybe he thinks he told me. Maybe there is nothing wrong.”

But there was. When he finally showed up, he acted really peculiar. To begin with, he was completely covered up, the collar of his jacket standing up, his fedora hanging low over his by sunglasses covered eyes. She barely could see anything of his face as he wore it low, his chin touching his chest. And he was wearing one of his masks. Which she didn’t like to begin with.

He walked like a drunken sailor, swaying from left to right, almost bumping into their bedpost. She soon realized that he was barely able to put one foot before the other. What happened to him ?

“Michael, what’s wrong with you ?” she asked worriedly.
He looked up as if he hadn’t noticed her before and smiled sheepishly. “What are you talking about ?” he slurred.
“Ooooh boy, are you drunk ?” She shook her head, not believing what she was seeing. “Is this how you spent your time without me ?”
“Nooo Honey, of course not !” he denied in a whining voice, so unlike him. He almost toppled over when he tried to turn towards her. While finally getting a glimpse of his face, she noticed that his features were twisted from pain and that he certainly was not drunk ! To her he looked ill !

Honey pulled him next to her on the bed, making sure he would not fall and hurt himself. With both hands she gently loosened the mask and bared his face. Oooh gosh… His skin was flaming red and blotched and it looked like he was in real pain.
“What happened ?” she asked, taking of his sunglasses. Although she already had a good idea of what was really going on.
Michael shrugged his shoulders and tried to turn away from her but she held him in a firm grip so that at least he was not able to flee without giving her a proper explanation. Her guess was that he had paid another visit to his dermatologist and hadn’t bother to tell her. He knew very well she was not in favor of the man.

Doctor Arnie had been treating Michael for his skin since the early eighties after he was introduced to him by one of his Hollywood friends. Michael had always suffered from terrible acné, but during the Thriller period he began to develop other symptoms and he was in need of more specialised professional help. It was Arnie who started treating him for his vitiligo and lupus, prescribing him creams and other medication to even out his skin. Michael trusted the man on all fronts but Honey herself was not so sure what to think of him.
“You went to Doctor Arnie. Why didn’t you tell me, Michael ?” she asked.
“Tell you ?? D..didn’t I ?” he stuttered.
“No Michael and you know damn well. Don’t try to trick me !”
A guilty look crept on Michael’s face and Honey sighed. “What am I supposed to do with you ? Weren’t we supposed to be completely honest with each other ?” she asked him.
“I’m sorry… “ Michael somewhat woke out of his daze and knew there was nothing left to do but tell her what had happened. His skin had broken out badly after the opening reception, probably caused by the new make-up he had worn that evening. By the time he woke up the next morning in his hotel suite, he itched and ached as never before. He knew there was no other solution than to go to Arnie to have a skin peeling, something that was not completely painless either. But since he had to wait until the evening and since he had been dead tired after a whole day of meetings with the Epic people, concerning his new album and thus unable to support any more discomfort, he had asked Arnie to give him something against the pain. It had affected him more than he had expected but he welcomed it nevertheless. He was so fed up with the hurt he had to endure because of his skin. Even thinking about it, still made him mad. Why him ? He bowed his head and let his hands fall to his lap. Not only did he hurt but on top of that he had also disappointed Honey. And he had no excuse.

“Michael… ”
“I’m sorry, baby. I really am.” 
“I know you are, Michael but we need to talk.”
When he didn’t reply immediately , she took one of his hand in hers. “I hope you won’t be mad at me but it is my duty to tell you that your habit of taking pain medication for every single little ache, is getting way out of hand.”
Michael backed away from her physically and according to the look in his eyes, emotionally too. But then again she had never expected this to be an easy conversation. Michael could be very stubborn at times and although they had agreed to discuss everything, some topics were still very hard to touch. So she kept her silence for a short while, still holding on to his hand however. She wanted him to know that she was not going away.
“I’m tired, Honey.” he whispered. “I need to sleep.”
“I know you are, sweetie. But you see, I think this is the perfect moment to talk about it.”
“I asked Arnie and he gave it to me. Case closed. There is no problem.”
“Oh yes, there is Michael. I saw you do this a few times already and I don’t think it’s right the right solution for your problem. Surely there are other ways.”
He bit his lip, not sure what they could do about it now. He had had his treatment, he had taken the medication. So what ? This would pass. No pain, no pain medication.
“Michael, don’t you see that this is turning into an addiction ?”
“Honey, you are making too much of it ! You don’t know how painful these things can get ! You just don’t understand.”

Honey looked down at their joined hands for a moment not wanting to meet his dark brown chocolate eyes, accusing her of harassing him with no reason. He was retreating. She could feel it and it chilled her to the bone. But still she kept caressing and squeezing his hand. She was determined they would get through this. “Michael please, don’t be like this.” Tears blurred her eyes but she would not let them fall. She had to remain strong if only for his sake. Yet, it was so hurtful to see him like this, to witness him to refuse all help just because he didn’t know how to handle the situation. The only chance she had was to make him realize just what he meant to her, all of him. “You know, I love you, don’t you ?”
She hadn’t expected it but he nodded immediately. At least that little gesture gave her hope and the courage to continue. She would not let him get away with any of his excuses this time.
“I am very worried about you, Michael.”
“Really, there is no need to.” he whispered. “I can handle this by myself.”
“Why do you insist on taking this alone ? Aren’t we in this relationship together ? I see you hurting, sweetie. And it has nothing to do with your visits to Arnie. I know he tries to help you with your skin problems but it’s just not enough, is it ? I think there is more to it. You’re trying to change things that are already perfect.”
He didn’t reply but also looked down to their joined hands as if he tried to get strength out of their union. Or so it seemed as at least he didn’t pull back anymore.
“It’s not even about the acné, you know.” she said, her voice tight with worry that he might turn away from her. It was now or never. She had to really try to keep herself quiet and calm and not chase him away by getting mad at him. She took a deep breath. “And maybe not even about your skin condition overall… I know how bad the vitiligo is getting, baby. I may not experience it myself but I see you struggle with it every single day. For someone like you… “
He interrupted her, frowning his brows. “Someone like me ?”
“Someone who is never satisfied, a perfectionist.”
“Oooh… “
“What did you think I was gonna say, sweetie ?”
“Someone looking like me, ugly…”
“Oh my god ! Michael ! Nooo !” She approached him and pulled him in her arms. “Oh sweetie, you are not ugly.”
“I was always told I was.“ The memory of the insults he had endured during his childhood clouded his brown eyes and he bit his lip. Even only talking about it, made his heart hurt from emotions. Honey seemed to have pushed the right button because suddenly he felt as if the lawn was mowed from under his feet. His defense mechanism failed big time and big tears started to form in his eyes. He tried to restrain his emotions but couldn’t hold back the sob which tore through his body. He pulled her against him, seeking her comfort and strength.
“My father said I was too ugly to be one of his… I know he didn’t really mean it but … it hurt so much at the time.”
“Ooh sweetie… “
“And they made fun of my …. They called me big nose.” He looked up at her and patted his chest with his fist. “Do you know how little I felt at the time ? I was like.. this big.. “ He showed her using his forefinger and thumb and she knew exactly what he meant. She took his hand in hers and pulled it to her lips. Softly she kissed his knuckles. The gesture seemed to break all dams in him and he started crying for real now.
“My brothers, my cousins and even my father… Do you know what that does to a child ? And I was so skinny too.. I thought I would never get any muscles. They always laughed at me and I felt like I was never good enough.”
“Oh Michael.. that is not true. That is not what they meant, you know that now, don’t you ? You and your father talked about the past, remember ?”
He slowly nodded, sniffing his nose like a little boy who had hurt himself while playing.
Honey continued: “They shouldn’t have teased you but I’m sure they didn’t mean any real harm. Also they never realized that you would take this so hard” She smiled. ”And don’t we all grow from ugly ducklings to beautiful swans ? Just look at me !”
Through his tears Michael returned her smile. “You were never ugly, baby.”
“Oooh, yes I was ! All sticks and bones and big glasses too! But it doesn’t mean anything. You were just a baby back then.” Suddenly it was like a light bulb appeared over her head and she had the most wonderful idea “Wait… “

She approached the television set with built-in video player and pushed on the play button. A loud sound startled him for a moment and then he realized that it was an audience cheering.

He looked up and saw himself singing “I’ll be there”. It was a tape from during the BAD tour.
“What ? Girl, do you watch these tapes without me ??”
She smiled and cuddled close to him. “Of course, sweetie. I cannot get enough of you. You are the most handsome guy I have ever met and you are so sexy to me. But above all that, you are a really good person. What about all the charities, about the love we share ?”
“You’re much too sweet, girl.”
“Oh no, Michael. I’m not sweet ! I’ll be blunt ! I’m not letting you get away with this self destruction. I’m gonna show you what you mean for other people besides me. Do you see all these people, Michael ? Hear them screaming ? Look !! Look there ! See that girl ?! She is almost hysterical over you ! And there ! There is another one ! Oh boy… she is really enchanted by you. Do you really think they would scream and cry over … mmm… Arnie ??”
“Honey… “
“Really Michael ! Look at you ! You are so gorgeous ! Why can’t you see that ? Oh my god, we already had this conversation. Why can’t you believe me ?”
“Because you love me ! Your opinion over me is clouded !” he suddenly yelled.
She jumped back and turned down the noise a bit.
“What do you mean ?”
His voice sounded tormented and he spoke between his teeth as if he was trying to restrain himself from bursting out completely. 
“You don’t see me as I really am.” He pointed to his face. “This !! This is who I really am ! I’m ugly and my skin is diseased !”
Okay, if he wanted an argument, he could have one, she thought and she lashed back at him. “You ! You are the most stubborn man, I have ever met. That I add to the most handsome, most sweet and most caring. You’re stubborn and short sighted !”
He cried : “But don’t you see ? Look at me !”
“God damned ! Michael ! Sit down and listen to me ! You’re not gonna be happy with what I have to say to you but I really don’t care ! Someone should have said this to you a long time ago already. This is the case : you do this to yourself !” There ! She had finally said what had been on her mind for quite some time now.
Michael’s mouth fell open. He’d never heard her curse like that. “Whaaaat ?” He looked as if he couldn’t believe what she dared to say to him. “Ooooh!”
“Yes, you do !” When he wanted to reply, she put up her hand to stop him. “Okay, you have vitiligo. That I understand and I fully acknowledge that you need to take care of that. That you need to even out your skin. I know how hard it is to be born black and then suddenly turn white. I witness you hurt about it everyday and I will stand by your side no matter what you are going through. But ! All these other nonsense have to stop !”
“Honey !!”
“Shut up, Michael ! Shut up and listen to me ! I have tried to be gentle with you but no more of that ! If it were me, would you let me destroy myself without trying to rescue me ?”
He suddenly went quiet and sat back down at the edge of their bed, shaking his head. “No.. of course not.”
“See, that is what I mean. We talked about this numerous times before and still you keep going in the wrong direction. Let me stand by you, Michael. You are not alone in this. Please, let me in.”
He was silent for a while and then looked up at her. With a deep breath he nodded : “Okay, what else ?” Better get it out of the way immediately, he thought. It was as if he felt there was more to come and indeed, she had something even more serious on her chest.
“The plastic surgery… “
“Oh please, Honey.”
“Don’t you please Honey me !” she scolded him. “And don’t you dare say you only had one nose job because I don’t believe you.”
“You don’t ?”
“Of course not ! I’ve known you for years now. Don’t you think I never saw the change ? I’m not blind and neither am I stupid. But it has to stop, sweetie. I just showed you how gorgeous you really are and how enchanted people are by your appearance. Doesn’t that count ? Hasn’t anyone pointed that out to you ? Any of your so-called doctors ?”
“Now you’re getting sarcastic !” he accused her.
“Yes, and I’m entitled to because they are messing with my man ! And I have enough of it.”
“Oh…” was all he could say.
“I want you to get another doctor’s opinion about everything.”
“But I trust Arnie ! He knows everything about me.”
“No, he does not, sweetie. He only knows the outer you. Do you talk to him about your youth ? About your insecurities ?”
“Huh…. no, of course not.”
“See… I think you need more than he can give you. You seek perfection but the only thing you really need is self-esteem. You let this happen to you because you haven’t dug deeper inside of you. You haven’t given yourself the chance to really think this over. Don’t you think you are worth more than how you treat yourself ?”
“What do you mean ?”
“Michael, you come home drugged like a junkie. He filled you up with I-don’t-know-what and you don’t even gave it a thought when you agreed on that ? Surely you don’t expect me to say nothing about it ?”
“But I’m not a junkie !” He looked really hurt and she felt a sting of regret that she mentioned what had been haunting her mind for quite a while.
“Of course not, but as I said before you are taking waaaaay too much medication. Let this stop here, sweetie. Let’s try and heal the pain the way it should be healed.” She sank next to him on the bed and curled up against him. “Let us seek someone to go talk to and handle this.”
“But I… I don’t want anyone to know. I really trust Arnie. He would never give me away for money.”
“Maybe not but he is not psychologically equipped to cure you on the inside. And believe me, sweetie, it is not only your skin that needs healing. I’m not saying that he cannot treat the vitiligo and other stuff but we need to take this a little further.” She took a deep breath. “Promise me you won’t get mad at me ? Michael ?”
Michael frowned his eyebrows wondering what was there to come. But he shook his head nevertheless.
“I talked to your mother.”
“Whaaaat ?!?” He almost jumped of the bed but then reminded his promise and breathed deeply to restrain himself.
“Actually it was she who called me. I don’t remember how we came upon this topic but suddenly we were talking about these things. I just asked her if she could give me the phone number of her doctor. You know, the one who treated me when I was sunburned ?”
Michael gritted his teeth. He remembered well.
Honey continued : “I called him… “ 
“You didn’t tell him about me, did you ?” Michael asked with a panicked voice.
“Of course not. I just asked him if he could give me some advice about mental health care.”
“Ooh.. “
“Yes..ooh… I’m not completely ignorant, Michael. I think you need to talk to someone about these things. Maybe it has never been common to do so in your family but times have changed.”
“You really mean this, don’t you ?”
“Yes, I do. I’m not gonna let this happen to a wonderful person like you. There is too much at stake and not only for you. It may sound selfish but I don’t want to come home one day and suddenly find you changed beyond recognition. It would kill me.”
He wanted to say he would never take the cosmetic surgery that far but he knew that would be a lie. Deep down inside he knew she was right and he had to admit that he had thought about it also but he had pushed that feeling away every time because thinking of himself being addicted to such a thing scared the hell out of him. 
“I have talked to a certain Doctor Harrison. She is wonderful, Michael. I never mentioned it was about you but when I stepped into her office, I immediately noticed that she is a big fan of you. There was a big poster of the Bad Tour decorating her wall and she was playing your songs as background music. In fact it was a good conversation opener. She has been with you for ages !! She said your music pulled her through some difficult times.”
“And ?”
“I think she can help you.”
“You really expect me to go to a shrink ?”
“Oh Michael, she is not just a shrink ! She is easy to talk to, sweet and gentle but also very straight to the point. I think she may be just what you need !”
“You think so ?”
“I’m sure of it. But it is all up to you. You can’t go on like this, hurting like that inside. I know you talked to your dad and that you are trying to re-establish your relationship with him and that is a good start but still I don’t think you can do this on your own.”
“Okay…”
“Really ?” Now it was her turn to be surprised. She never expected him to give in so easily. “You will go and talk to her ?”
“I will.”
Honey cupped his face with both of her hands and softly kissed his lips, tears of relief filling her eyes.
“Thank you, sweetie. You don’t know what this means to me. I was so worried.”
Michael pulled her closer to him and sighed against her face. “No… actually I must thank you for loving me so much. Never has anyone dared to challenge me like you just did but you were right to do so. I wanted to talk about this for a long time but I was scared because, you know, emotions are so hard to channel. I felt that I had no other choice but Arnie. You are the best thing that ever happened to me, baby and I’m not willing to risk losing what we have because of my issues with my past. We will make this work, Honey. I promise you I will do everything within my power to make you happy.”
“Sweet Michael, if you are happy then I am too. Don’t you see ? That is why I won’t ever give up on you. You deserve happiness more than anyone on this earth. You give people so much of but you constantly forget to take time for yourself. Forgive me for having been so harsh with you tonight but I can not let you slip away like this.”
He nodded. “I realise that now. I guess we both have to be happy with ourselves first before we can make any relationship work.”
Honey softly laughed giving them the opportunity to finish their conversation and continue the evening in a more relaxed atmosphere. She hugged him with all her strength.
“You are so wise, Michael Joseph Jackson. How did I come to deserve you ?”
“That’s a simple question. Because you are gorgeous, sexy, sweet and… ticklish “!
With that he launched himself over her and started tickling her. Guess serious time was definitely over !

Michael woke up from a deep slumber. Still partially unconscious, he immediately searched for Honey’s warm body next to him. When his hand found nothing but empty space, he slowly opened his eyes and stretched himself while yawning broadly. He was alone. Alone but not lonely. After their conversation about his skin issues and his medication abuse (because he now realized that was what it was) they both had invested all their spare time in him getting healthy again. How different he felt now ! Honey had stood by his side all the way, listening when he was finally opening up, comforting him when times got rough. When Doctor Harrison had asked to take her with him, he hadn’t hesitated to do so. Sharing those very intimate moments had only brought them more together. When the realisation of what he had really gone through and how much it had influenced many of his personal decisions, she had been there for him. They had talked and talked for nights, never giving up until he had conquered all his insecurities, all the anxieties that had tortured him over the years. When he didn’t know what to do with himself anymore she had been there.

But that was all over now. For the first time in years he felt free of the burden of his past. Everything was just perfect !

They both worked hard, much harder as foreseen but now he knew it would all pay off in the end. They considered it as building history, for themselves and their future children. And on top of all their day to day business they were finally planning their wedding. Honey wanted a fairy tale wedding and since Michael had an abundance of imagination and the money to finance the whole event, it was not too difficult to organize such a thing. Luckily they had the same idea about fairy tales. They wanted all of their family and close friends present, no strangers, no media circus. Neverland would be the perfect location to organize such an event and Michael had something in mind which would surely please her very much. He tricked her into making a list of all the things she really wanted for their wedding and he convinced her to leave it up to him to work it out.

But with Michael still in the aftermath of the BAD tour, it was impossible for him to take long vacations though. And as Honey’s store had just opened, it wouldn’t be wise to stay away too long either. But they wanted a honey moon, as romantic and dreamy as their wedding would be. Michael wouldn’t be Michael if he hadn’t come up with the most romantic idea ever but he didn’t want to share that with her either. Honey threatened to tickle him until he gave it away, she even tried to not give in when he wanted to make love to her just to convince him to tell her, but at that point she failed big time. The only information he spilled was that it was warm and sunny and that she would love it.

Michael laughed at himself. Here he was daydreaming like a silly school boy while there was so much to do ! He couldn’t stay in bed all day ! He had responsibilities ! So he pulled himself out of the bed and headed for the bathroom. The evidence that she had already showered and readied herself for another busy day, was still lying around. Just like him, she was a “bit” messy. He could only count himself lucky ! Imagine having a partner who was always cleaning up behind him. He would find that very hard to live with !

He hummed while he stepped under the shower, then shaved and got dressed. He winked at himself while looking in the mirror. “Looking good, Pan!”
Ever since Honey had moved in with him, he felt more and more at ease with himself. She made him whole and content with how he looked. Not that he was over the vitiligo but he promised her that he would never have another facial surgery again. Yes, he was not bad to look at, he had to admit.

He stepped outside of their bedroom, right onto the terrace and took in a deep breath. The morning sun was not too hard on his skin yet and it was still a little cool. Some fresh air would do him good. He’d prefer walking his grounds with her but as she had probably already left, he strolled around by himself. The morning dew was still on the leafs of the trees surrounding the mansion and he wondered why she had left so early ? He walked around the house, then decided to go get a bite to eat first. Some fresh fruit would do him good. He stepped back in at the other end of the house, near the servants’ quarters and headed for the breakfast room. He was already striding down the hall and almost passed the kitchen when something caught his eye and made him go back on his tracks. What was that ? There in the kitchen awaited him the most colorful sight he had seen in ages. Bending over the counter towards the basket of fruits that was always ready for anyone to eat from, was a woman with incredibly long blond hair. He grinned when she leaned over some more and presented him the pleasure of discovering a roundly shaped and barely covered behind. Gorgeous, he thought. But who was she ? Did they hire anyone new ? He couldn’t help himself and let his eyes roam over the blond curls who ran all over her back, reaching the hem of a very tiny pair of red shorts. He couldn’t see it from where he stood, but he figured that her t-shirt would barely cover her upper body. When she stretched it already revealed a small waist, the pink flesh almost tempting him to touch it. Mmm.. but didn’t that look familiar ? Her round butt shook a little from left to right as she reached for an apple and suddenly it dawned to him that he had definitely seen that behind before ! But the hair ? He knew no one with hair like that ! He scratched his head while eying the woman from the top of her head all down to her tiny toes. Toes ! Nail polish ! Red ! Honey !

“Honey ?”
The woman turned around, sweeping her hair back as if it was a veil. “Hi sweetie !” she chimed. “You are early !”
“Oh my god ! Honey ! What are you wearing ?” He stepped closer, his hands stretched out to touch the bare skin between the shorts and the tiny white t-shirt. She twirled around, giving him a good look at all of her features.
“What do you think ? It’s my newest disguise !”
“Don’t you think you will attract even more attention wearing this ?” He scooted a little closer and when he noticed they were alone in the kitchen, he pulled her towards him. “You are simply hot, baby !”
“You like me as a blonde ?”
“Oooh girl, I’m not even talking about the hair.” He slowly guided his hands under her t-shirt. “Are you serious about wearing this ?”
“Huh huh. We talked about it, Michael. Don’t you remember ?”
“Well, I remembered we discussed the disguises but I don’t recall mentioning anything like this.”
“Michael, I’m not planning to go out in public.”
“You’re going to stay here then ?”
“Oh no, sweetie. I will go out but with a little luck no one will see me like this.” She apparently just remembered something. “Well, except for Judi. She has the day off and asked me to have lunch over at her house. So you see, there is no problem.”
“Did I say it was a problem ?”
“Michael, you are already green of jealousy ! I’m not totally ignorant.” She cupped his face in her hands. “But I think it’s sweet. I feel flattered.”
“You sure ? Quint won’t be home then ?”
“Nooo !” She laughed out loud. “He will be arriving here shortly and I guess he won’t leave before lunch time. You asked him to start working on the guest house today. Don’t you remember ?”
“Oh yes, that is true.” He uttered a sigh of relief and Honey’s face almost split in two with a huge knowing smile. He was jealous alright !

He pulled her close to him again. “One day, I will send all of the employees on a trip somewhere and I will have my way with you in every corner of this ranch ! I swear that on Bubbles’ head !”
“Michael ! What are you saying ?! I’m not a sex object !”
She twirled away from him allowing him to take a good look at all her yummy features.
“Oooh girl ! When you are dressed like this, you are crying it out loud !”
“Ha ! You are hilarious !”
“Your body is crying ‘Take me !’ So who am I to turn down such an invitation ?”
“Michael, you stop it !” She was laughing so hard that her stomach hurt.
“Make me !” he challenged her,in a husky voice.
She looked up at him and caught him gazing at her as if he were ready to devour her in one piece. Never before he had looked so manly and lustful. She swallowed hard. Oooo ! He meant business ! She took a step back as he tried to pull her nearer. Two could play that game she thought but of course she had once again underestimated his physical abilities. No one could move as quick as him and she cried out when he took a leap at her. 
“Michael ! Nonononono ! I have to go to work !”
“Honeeey ! Yesyesyesyesyes ! Your work can wait. You’re the boss.” He suddenly scooped her up and ran with her all through the long corridor towards their bedroom, not minding whomever saw them. They must have looked hilarious with her long blond hair waving behind them. Honey screamed of laughing when they tumbled onto the bed. Michael jumped back up and ran to the door to close it, in the meantime kicking off his shoes.

She bounced up and down when he launched himself back onto the matress and Honey thought that her choice of bed must’ve been a good one. Any other bed would certainly have gone down with the amount of playtime they allowed themselves. She giggled at the thought of having to call maintenance every week because they had fallen through their bed. She could already imagine Michael’s embarrassment. But right now, he was anything but shy.
“You cannot imagine how sexy you look right now.” he whispered, his chocolate brown eyes looking her up and down once again.
She pouted. “You don’t like me more when I’m simply me ?”
“I like you anyway, anyhow, anywhere but baby, it has been days….”
“I had my period. I can’t help that.”
“Oh yes, you can !”
She took his face in her hands and looked him deep into the eyes. “I’m working on it, Michael. You know I am. I just don’t want to put a baby in the middle of all this craziness.”
“And you are absolutely right. But I’m impatient. I want to hold my child in my arms finally. You know how much I want one of my own.”
He stroked the skin of her flat stomach and the thought of a baby safely harbored in there made his head spin. He lowered his head and started putting little kisses all around her belly button. It didn’t take long however before his attention was drawn to the hem of her t-shirt. The purple lace of her bra was peeping underneath it and his eyes were drawn towards it like a moth to a flame. His tongue flickered over her abdomen and travelled upwards tickling her gently. She held back her breath when he reached the hem of her t-shirt.
“Where did you get these kind of clothes anyway ?” he asked.
“Karen got them for me.”
“This was her idea ?”
“Hmm.. no not exactly.” she blushed fiercely.
“So, there is more to you… Oooh, you’re a dirty little girl, aren’t you ? You dressed up this way seeking for manly attention. Well baby, you got it.”
“Michaeeeel… “ she whined. When he talked like that, her legs turned into jelly and he knew that very well.
“You like showing off like that ? With your tiny shorts and your little t-shirt ?”
“Oooh !”
By then he had reached her t-shirt and pushed it upwards to reveal her beautiful purple lace bra with her even more beautiful perky breasts inside. He held back his breath and his lips slowly climbed up the mound of her breast all toward her nipple. Then he opened his mouth and closed it around it, wetting her bra with his hot tongue. She felt as if he was devouring her.
“Michael… don’t… “
He retreated and grinned at her, his eyes dark with pure lust. “Don’t what ?” he asked in a husky voice.
“Don’t ruin my bra…”
“I can buy you a thousand bras and I wouldn’t even notice it in my bank account. But if you don’t want me to then take it off.” he teased her.
“Michael… please… don’t tease me like this !”
He pulled her up to sitting mode, knelt between her legs and took off her t-shirt in a fluid motion. With his hands behind her back he easily undid the clasp. She had to admit that after all this time he had become quite handy at it. He slid it of her chest easily and while doing so his hands lightly brushed the side of her breasts, causing her to shiver with delight. Then he took her face in his hands and bowed his head to capture her mouth with his, gently pushing his tongue between her teeth. Although it seemed that he was aroused beyond compare, his lips were gentle and moved against hers like a whisper. She sighed, sharing her sweet breath with him. He hovered over her protectively, his arms encircling her in a firm embrace. 
“You’re mine, Honey. I’ll never let you go. And if I had my way, we would never leave this bed. Oh gosh, I want you so much, it hurts.”

Honey ran her hands over his shoulders, inflamed by the sound of his voice, dark and low. She had no idea that Michael was a man who could easily be aroused by the way a woman dressed. But then again, he was a man after all. Her fingers grazed his shirt to the zipper of his pants. Oh yes, he was in the mood alright. Carefully she pulled his zipper down and freed him of any restraint. He moaned at her touch and pushed her down beside him. Moving against her hips, he pushed down his trousers with one hand while she did the same with her shorts. In no time they lay naked, frantically pulling each other closer until they finally became one. No boundaries, no limitations, just some hot loving.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I just can’t stop myself… I know I’m dreaming like a teenager in love but gosh… Honey ! For the umpteenth time my mind wanders off to my wonderful relationship with my beautiful and sexy woman. I do love her more than anything in the world. And with her I want to start a family ! I know… I am very blessed but at the same time I still ache for something that is missing. I want to start filling the empty rooms in our home, and better today than tomorrow. Everyday I grow more and more impatient to hold our baby in my arms. I don’t really care if it will be a boy or a girl. I just can imagine myself singing to a little Honey, a miniature replica of her with the same soft brown eyes and spiky hair. The thought brings a smile to my lips instantly. But a boy would be fun too. With a little Michael I will surely spend hours playing with cars. I’m sure I can make him laugh with all the funny sounds I can produce. Heehee… Yeah, having a child of my own must be the ultimate satisfaction !

However…. I have to wait until my Honey is truly ready for it. I promised her to give her her precious time to first take care of all her professional needs before settling down. I know she loves to have kids as much as I do but I’m very much aware that she needs to sort some things out first. I will respect that.

It’s important to her, to feel independent, to feel self sufficient. I can’t help myself from shaking my head when I think of my little stubborn fiancee. There is no need for her to work and provide in her own living ! She knows I’m wealthy as the sea is deep and I could provide her with anything she ever wished for. Her wish is my command. Unfortunately my woman has a different opinion. I know her too well. Emotionally she will lean on me but financially ? No way ! She always lets me know she’s not in this for my money and I appreciate her honesty but really… I remember before she came living at Neverland she insisted on sharing all the costs or she wouldn’t move in with me ! Of course I knew then that she didn’t mean it about the not moving in, still I was unable to change her mind about that.
But of course I wouldn’t be me if I not somewhat influenced my housekeeper in only showing her the smaller bills for food and other minor supplies. I’m so smart ! Haha ! But when she asked for the electricity bill, I put my foot down. She somewhat grumbled. But no way I was gonna let her pay for the electricity at Neverland ! We argued for a bit and I explained that with all the building and re-shaping I was doing, it would not be fair. And furthermore, I mooted, she was hardly ever at home. She finally fell for that, leaving me wiping my forehead as if I had been in a wrestling match with Muhammed Ali. Honey, Honey, Honey… sweet baby of mine, sometimes you are just too much. But still I can’t help myself smiling at the memory.

Will she change her mind once we are married about sharing my wealth ? Because isn’t that what couples do ? Share everything ? Or am I being naive ? My lawyers insisted on drawing up a nuptial agreement. I hated that every step of the way ! I want love and romance between us, no cool contracts ! I struggled a lot with it because I know she won’t ever betray me in anyway and signing an agreement like that felt as if I didn’t trust her ! At last we did sign it. This time, it was Honey who pulled me over the line. Sweet woman ! She made me realize that in my position, I really didn’t have much of a choice. Fortunately my lawyers made us an offer which made us all feel comfortable. Since her store was also included it didn’t feel too bad after all. We would both be protected whenever something would happen to either one of us. I could agree to that.

But sometimes I still wish I was a poor man because I really loathe all the legal stuff which unfortunately is an natural side effect of my wealth and fame ! If only we could live from love only and live a simple life.

And I just want to bury myself in her love. Oooh ! Michael, no… just don’t go there! But it’s too late already. I feel familiar tingles creeping up my spine when I think of burying myself in her warm and soft body. Oh my… Our lovemaking has become so much better than in the beginning. Of course we had a lot of exercise already but just realizing that soon our encounters will result into a new life… Oh my gosh, it’s too much for my poor body and soul ! Now breath slowly, Michael ! To have her with child and see her body swell with the product of our love… The thought is almost too much for me. I’m sure that once she will stop taking birth control, it will only get so much better. I’m already looking forward to this new dimension.

Am I eager to become a parent ? For sure ! And sometimes it makes me forget my promise. I can’t help pushing her a little form time to time. And then she gets mad at me… Well, she is never really mad, except for when she is worried… But when she gets annoyed, she is sooo sexy. That little finger of her does it every time. She pricks me into my chest and all I can think of is pinning her to the wall and kiss her until she passes out. At least that would make her shut those gorgeous brown eyes of hers because they really make me go crazy, especially when they are blazing with fire. Man ! And well, sometimes I have another problem too. She is so adorable that when she tries to scold me I cannot help myself and I cannot hold my laughter ! She is soooo cute ! Even when she looks like an angry kitten. Haha ! And then she gets even angrier because she thinks I’m not taking her serious, which I do, really ! I know, I’m bad ! I should stop pushing her like this. But this is something I want so very much.

So I come up with other ways to speed her up. That’s where my wealth comes in handy ! At least now I have a reason to use it for my own benefit ! Like hiring Quint ! I must say, it was one of my best ideas ever ! At least she allows Quint to help her realize her ideas. I’m not all that good with hammers and nails and stuff. Change a light bulb is the most I can do but when she needs good technical advice or a helping hand, Quint is there always. He’s a good guy. I can trust him. He is my partner in crime even though he doesn’t realize it. Haha ! He is certainly reducing the time my baby needs to build the solid base she thinks she needs. I’m grateful. And what I need now is just a little more patience.

Well and of course a lot of sex, heehee.

But well, with Honey it’s never just sex. It’s all about love, love and more love. And one day our loving will result in parenthood ! But first things first ! When she becomes pregnant, I’m gonna pamper her like a baby ! She won’t even have to lift a finger. My girl always deserves the best but a pregnant lady needs to be cared for and cherished even more. Giving birth is hard work, isn’t it ? And then when the baby comes, I’m gonna be a full-time daddy ! I don’t wanna be the kind of father who only sees his children right before bedtime ! Nope, no option for me ! I’m gonna be there for them all the way !

I’m gonna change their diapers and feed them their bottle. We talked about it and that’s when I found out that she is not into breastfeeding. I guess that leaves more time for me and the baby to bond. I just can’t wait ! Ahw, to have my child in my arms and provide him or her with food and clothes and a warm home. I know, it’s the caveman in me. Pater Familias, the leader of the clan ! Oooh… haha, where does that come from ? But what more can a man ask for ? I just want to play a big role in their education. As it should be ! But I’m never gonna raise them the way I was raised. No no no ! I’m gonna be gentle but firm and make sure they know that I love them no matter what. No criticism when not necessary ! No pulling them down and making them feel less than a bug. When they grow up, I’m gonna play with them, teach them, maybe sometimes lecture them but they will always have my positive attention. I’ll make sure their life will be full of wonderment.

Well, for as long as they will let me, of course. What kind of teenagers will they become ? Will they be rebellious ? Will they search for thrills we don’t approve ? Maybe they will just give us a hard time like any other teenager. Yeah, could happen. But maybe I can be their best friend too. Haha ! Maybe they will just tell me to bug off !

At least Honey and me already spent long nights talking about our future family life. It’s important to communicate about this. I don’t want too many surprises. Luckily she agreed when I expressed my wish to keep them out of the spotlights as much as possible. For me it was unsettling. I don’t want them to have that experience ! The public is so harsh sometimes. And the press… ! Oh no, I’m not going there. Let’s just forget about the press ! I already struggled enough. I’m glad she came with me to Dr Harrison. It surely made her understand better. She agrees that no child should go through what I went through.

Of course, I’m Michael Jackson the entertainer but my sweet baby promised me to do anything give me the just “Daddy” experience too. Oh gosh, she is the best thing that ever happened to me. She told me she’s gonna work from home. I think that was a very clever decision. And a big relief to me too because she and the children will then be able to avoid the public eye most of the time. When she told me that she wanted to be there for our children always, she almost made me cry. Isn’t that the ultimate proof of her love for me ? No nannies in our home ! Children need their parents to raise them theirselves ! They need a real Mom and Dad. And they are not gonna call me Michael ! I will be just Daddy !

And this Daddy surely is gonna make a lot of time for his children. Luckily no upcoming tour in sight ! A lot of work, yes, a new album, yes, lots of writing, yes. I’m overloaded with work but at the same time it makes me feel so good and at ease. I’m still surprised how much my happiness inspires me ! I’m really almost writing around the clock. One song after the other comes flowing out of my pen. And I owe it all to her ! Well, to her and God of course. I’m not gonna forget about him giving me this incredible gift when I was born. I hope he will grant me my wish too. Haha ! Maybe when the album comes out, our baby will have been born too. Gosh , the thought only makes my head spin.

Sometimes I cannot believe how happy I am right now. Professionally and personally. I feel like I’m finally complete ! Planning the wedding is so much fun too. Isn’t that a beautiful thing ? I still cannot comprehend how fortunate I was to have found her there on that beach. I never suspected to meet my other half right there. And she meets all my wishes ! Ooh ! Naughty thoughts again ! It’s getting hot in here ! When I think of her, my body starts aching and I’m not in charge anymore. What has she done to me ? I’m like putty in her hands… well, all except one certain part of me. Heehee !

“Ahum !”

A discreet cough abruptly woke Michael out of his daydreaming and reminded him that he was actually in a meeting… Oh my ! His cheeks heated even more and he desperately tried to hide his face behind his locks … Gosh ! Frank would definitely ask him why he behaved so weird… and he would not be able to answer that question without making them all blush ! He chuckled again, causing them all to stare at him.

“Does that mean you agree, Michael ?” Frank asked. Pfff… luckily he didn’t ask what exactly was on Michael’s mind ! He didn’t want to get caught on daydreaming ! It was close though because now he would have to admit that he had no idea what they were talking about. How’s that for someone who pretended to be in full control of his business ?!
“Hm, oooh… sorry, my mind wandered off for an instant. What were you saying again ?” he asked innocently.

Frank managed to keep his eyes from rolling, only just. They were discussing a very important part of Michael’s future as a performer and the boss himself was dreaming his day away. Frank mouthed to him “Negociations album” as he didn’t want the others to get a bad impression of Michael anyway. When he opened his mouth though to explain it further someone else barged in on the conversation, turning it to a point that had not much to do with what they had been discussing. But it was too late to stop her.

“There is something else we should discuss first before we proceed with the album.” Gillan said sternly. “Something is bothering me all along and I think we should take actions immediately before it is too late. It all comes down to statistics but you being an engaged man now, changes a lot. It influences all of us. So… What I mean… She has been accompanying you to several appearances already lately, hasn’t she ? I mean undercover.”
Gillian said, clearly pointing at Honey as if her name would be poison on her lips.

Michael took in a deep breath. His mind was still filled with Honey love and to have her referred to in such a way, was not acceptable ! What did she have to do with statistics ? He just couldn’t help himself when he reacted rather short. “She has got a name and she is called Honey.” he told her bluntly. “But what is this about ? Why are we suddenly discussing Honey’s whereabouts ?” He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back, seemingly calm but the truth was he just merely kept his blood from boiling. Hadn’t he told Gillian to keep away from Honey ? What were her intentions anyway ? Had they been talking about Honey ? Oooh ! He could slap his own head right now ! He definitely should’ve paid more attention to the discussion instead of daydreaming ! He glanced at Frank, hoping he would take the conversation in hand because he really didn’t have a clue and he did not want to address Gillian at the moment. He didn’t want to lose his temper but he probably looked more pissed that he intended to because he saw Gillian cringing. Well, she shouldn’t have mentioned Honey at all, he thought. It was her own fault !

“I’m sorry.” Gillian said with a soft voice, bowing her head a little as if she fully acknowledged him being the boss. “I really don’t want to interfere in your personal matters.” she tried to ensure him. “That is so not my intention. However… given the circumstances…”
“Circumstances ? What do you mean by that ?” he asked stiffly.
“Mmm… well, there is a problem. Well, it is not yet a problem but if we do nothing about it, it will become one. We have to look forward to the future and it is important that we plan ahead. The most important thing however is that you need to stay on top, Michael.”
“Oh ? Where did that come from ?” Michael wondered.
He wanted to ask her what she meant but she was on the roll already ! “I hate to be the one to announce this to you but it is clear that your position at the top of the charts is in serious danger. You need to release another single soon or come forward with another project. And also… you didn’t exactly win any musical awards lately.”

At that Michael raised his eyebrows. He was well aware of that but since he was always working on something her statement didn’t make any sense. They knew very well he was occupied with his new album ! So what was her point exactly ? What was going on here ? He opened his mouth to ask her but again she didn’t give him a chance. She just kept going : ”Well, it’s not because of Honey herself of course. I’m sure she’s not someone who could really interfere with your work.” To Michael it sounded as if Honey didn’t matter to him and he wanted to object but then maybe the truth about Gillian would never be known. Let her speak, he said to himself. Let’s find out what this is truly about.
Gillian continued. “We were thinking of asking you to keep your relationship hidden for a little while longer. Maybe for a year or more. Or maybe… huh… postpone the marriage … mmm… for a bit ?”
At that all heads turned her way. Was she really telling Michael Jackson what he should do ? Not to marry ? That he should hold back on having what he had craved for so long ? Even Frank looked flabbergast. Michael immediately realised Frank had not seen this coming at all and he sure had nothing to do with it. He had to give him credit for that one.

If Michael’s eyebrows could have taken off, they would have. Where did she find the guts to tell him what to do ? “Oh ? Really ? And why would I do that ?” he asked through clenched teeth. He had not been eager on exposing Honey to the press but they had talked about it for numerous times now and finally come to the conclusion that it would be best for everyone to get it over with. No more hiding. He could not ask her to live her life in the shadows any longer. He knew she would agree if he’d insist but that would be so unfair. They had already taken their decision and he was not going to chicken out this time. They would announce their engagement as soon as her associate was ready to take over the store. It was their decision only and nobody would stand in their way ! But polite as always, he would once more listen to what his co-workers had to say, or better what Gillian had to say.

“You have a lot to focus on nowadays, Michael. Staying on top, means sacrifices. I’m not comfortable with saying this but are you sure this relationship is what will make you happy for the rest of your life ? You are an entertainer in heart and soul. I’m sure right now you think this is the real thing but I mean, your music, your career. You need to focus on the music again.”
“Focus on the music again ?” he repeated, his eyes growing even bigger.
“Yeah… people don’t seem to care about your music anymore. They listen to the gossip, to everything that is surrounding you. All they see is a reclusive, weird man, with strange habits. I’m sure they would think that this thing with a woman is only meant for seeking attention. And for them that is not a good reason to buy your records.” Gillian added.

Michael couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He almost choked in anger because of the negative emotions she was trying to lay on him.

“And who exactly exposed me as a weirdo to the public ? Was this my idea ?” He looked both Frank and Gillian straight in the eyes. “You thought it would be a good idea to add some special features to my image ! You said it would add some spice and relieve me of my goody goody image !”
“I know… “ Frank muttered, not liking to where this conversation was heading. From the first moment he recognized Honey as Michael’s true mate, he had realized that she would be much better for him than all the publicity they could provide him with. He could only agree to Michael’s next words.
“I’ve had enough of it !” Michael sounded determined and strong willed. “Honey is my only chance to have a normal life besides my musical career and I won’t have this taken away from me, not even temporarily. Not because you think it should be better for me ! She and I already talked about this over in depth. I’m giving up on the superstar image as we once presented it to the public. People are gonna know the real Michael Jackson. I want to have a normal life for once. Geeze… to hear this from you who pushed me to … Really … “ Michael shook his head in disbelief. Frank knew how important all this was to him. How on earth could Gillian ask him to do such a thing ? How on earth did she dare to suggest Michael should focus on the music more and give up his chance for normality, even if it were only temporarily ?

Even Gillian, with her rhinoceros skin, realized he was getting really angry.
“It was just another idea, Michael.” Gillian defended herself, afraid she had blown it already. “That’s why I brought it up. You asked us to keep you on top no matter what, remember ?”

Oh, was this how she wanted to play ? Backfiring it to him ? Michael agreed that he had asked them exactly that but maybe he should have been more specific when he asked them to keep the show running. He’d make sure they’d understand it this time.
“I guess you misunderstood me.” He straightened his back, becoming the boss in an instant. “I want you to keep my professional and private life completely separated. I thought we agreed on that, didn’t we ?”
“But Michael, you are what you are.”
“No Gillian, I am WHO I am. I’m a man first and not a money making machine. I’m ready to cut down all the special features you all so ingeniously invented for me. That is final. Let’s not discuss this any further. This meeting ends here.” He then turned to Frank, his attitude clearly indicating that he didn’t want anything to do with it anymore. “I need to talk to you, Frank. Can you give me another minute of your time ?”

Apart from Michael and Frank everyone left the conference room. Michael sighed. He had really been taken aback earlier when she asked him to focus on the music. She had made it sound as if he didn’t do that already, as if his professional life was over ever since Honey and he became an item. Actually it was just the other way around : Honey was his inspiration.

“I’m very disappointed, Frank. We already discussed this before, Frank. I thought you understood.”
“Let’s just get this straight, Mike. I was just as surprised as you were. Gillian just stepped way out of line. I shall confront her with that later. I’m sorry she didn’t inform me about what she had on her mind. I just don’t know what’s gotten into her lately. She talks about nothing but your career getting into a slump.”
“Oh please Frank, you sound as if I’m broke. Where did this come from ?”
“I’m afraid I have been neglecting those things lately because of the negotiations regarding the new album. I focused on that much more than on what “Bad” is doing now. I left this up to my assistants.”
“Ah well, you should. We both did all we could do for the “Bad” album. “Liberian Girl” is ready to be released in Europe and Australia. I think we did enough and Gillian knows that very well. But that is not what I want to talk about. On what grounds does she found her statement ?”
“I don’t know, Mike. I really don’t. I’m truly sorry that this happened. I don’t have a clue where she gets this information. I’m afraid something’s wrong with her. She is determined you are heading towards a disaster. She said she had bad records but as she never showed them to me, I didn’t pay much attention to them.”
“She does ? She has it on paper ?”
“Well, I’ve never seen them actually.”
“I see… How soon can you get those records ?“
“I’ll call my office immediately. Can you hold on for a second ?”
Frank didn’t wait for his answer but immediately picked up the phone and called his secretary. He spoke to her briefly and after waiting for a while, he nodded and thanked her. He turned to Michael with a very dark look on his face.
“That woman is sick, Michael !” he blurted out.
“What do you mean ?”
“There is no sign of any trouble what so ever. Your record sales are better than ever. There is no reason to panic.”
“Oh my god ! You mean… ?”
“Yeah, she was lying.”

It slowly began to dawn to Michael finally. He strolled to the window with his hands in his pockets. Up here in the conference room he had a good view over the grounds. Through the trees he saw a glimpse of Honey, sitting at the side of the pool, her papers spread out around her. And she said, he was a workaholic ! He smiled and gestured Frank to come stand beside him.

“Frank, I’m not only a money making machine, you of all men should know that. I am a human being first. I laugh and cry just like anyone else. I can hate and I can love. And right now there is a lot of love in my life and I am very grateful for it ! You see, there by the pool is my reason for living. You know how important my career is to me but so is my personal life. I finally found what I have been searching for all my adult life and I won’t let anyone interfere. This is my decision. Honey and I will come forward with our relationship whenever WE think it is appropriate. I leave it up to her to let me know when she is ready and then we’ll do a proper announcement.”
“I understand, Mike.”
“I don’t need to focus on the music, Frank. It’s never far out of my mind. Music is part of my life, just as Honey is. I will always be writing songs. Awards and record sales are just a side issue. It’s good to be on top but that’s not what it is all about. That’s not why I am here. I learnt just that the past few months.” He turned towards Frank with an inquisitive look in his eyes. Their conversation was not yet finished and Michael needed to get to the bottom of this. “So, what you have been saying there is no actual proof that the records sales are going downwards ?”
“No.. she made it all up.”

Michael sighed deeply. Honey had been right all along. Gillian was indeed trying to interfere. She wanted Honey out of his life. She was just another jealous b*tch. It was time to take a decision he had since long postponed. He had to make a choice for once and for all.
“I hate to say this, Frank. But we got to let Gillian go.” He informed him of what Honey had told him before and although Frank frowned at his words, he could see what he meant. Frank had indeed noticed before that Gillian was very jealous of Honey and a few days prior, he had caught her talking to his secretary. She had uttered not too beautiful words about the other woman. Frank had said nothing to her at the time because he had no clue what was really going on. But now he understood that it had been taken too far already. If Honey felt uncomfortable with Gillian, it was indeed a priority to let her go.
“I’ll take care of it, Mike. Don’t worry about it.”
“I guess it’s stronger than herself. I just don’t want my wife to be in a situation like this. I hate it tho’. Gillian has done an excellent job on the tour. She has always been a very good co-worker and I kinda liked her because I thought she was always straight to the point. I guess I strongly misjudged her character…”
“It’s not your fault, Michael. I guess I misjudged her too but these things happen from time to time. Let me fill you in on something else.” He told him what he had heard her say to his secretary earlier. Michael’s eyes turned big as saucers.
“Those are ugly words, Frank. I don’t want her anywhere near Honey. The woman is dangerous !”
“I’ll do what’s necessary, Mike. You’re the boss ! But if you don’t want Gillian in her neighborhood, it’s already too late. Look !” Frank pointed outside.

Honey had been working hard all day, trying to fit 8 hours into 4, and she was sooo glad to finally be able to relax a little bit. It was not that she wasn’t still working but it would be so much more agreeable, installed by the pool with a glass of red wine. It was her way to combine work and pleasure ! And she was good at it too, she chuckled to herself. Michael was still in his meeting, she figured, so that left her some time to make some really important decisions. Today she had met some of the people who were applying for the job of store manager and she wanted to go through their resumés once more. The importance of the decision weighed down on her and she didn’t want to rush into it, even though she already made her choice. After all, it would be crucial to their future together. The person in charge of “North of Aurora” needed to be trustworthy, skillful and nice to work with. She (as Honey had already figured out it would have to be a female) had to have some form of experience in the business and a lot of maturity. After all, if the store was a big hit, she would be responsible for even more personnel. Even more important was that she needed someone who could keep her mouth shut about Michael Jackson’s wife, being her boss.

There were several candidates who certainly had been worth her time but one person was standing out and Honey felt she should definitely give her a chance. The woman she was interested in hiring for the job was a little older than herself but nonetheless, as cheerful and full of energy. She was a beautiful black woman, petite in height but strong willed and determined. Her roots lay in Ohio but she and her family moved to Santa Maria because of her husband’s work. He was a marine officer and was stationed at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, 23 km south of Santa Maria. Christy (as was the woman’s name) had a fine resumé and good recommendations. She was experienced and seemed to have the same ideas about decorating as Honey. She had shown her several photographs of her past work and they clearly showed her skills and fine taste. Since she would take most of the responsibilities, such as purchasing the goods and making the right offers for their future clients, it was crucial that they shared the same likings. Honey didn’t want to lose the identity of North of Aurora by choosing someone who couldn’t find herself in the romantic and homely style which she found so important.

The more Honey thought about it, the more she was convinced Christy would be the right woman for the job. In her heart she knew she would be the one. In fact, she was so sure that she would call her right now ! She picked up her cell phone and dialed the number.

A few minutes later she sighed contently. This felt good. It was as if a burden was falling off her shoulders. The worries about the future of the store would soon be over. Now was time for pleasure. Pleasure as in making her dream come true. Ever since she moved into Neverland she had not only been working but she had picked up a hobby that she had long forgotten about. As a welcome present, Michael had given her a beautiful handmade notebook. He told her that she could use it in whatever way she wanted. She could even use it as a journal, he said. Which was not such a bad idea after all. She always wanted to be a writer and maybe one day she could publish her memoirs. She told him that it would be a big hit for sure ! Not because of her of course but because of her famous husband to be. She chuckled when she thought of the title she had come up with a few days ago. “Between the sheets, with Michael Jackson.” And he really thought she meant it ! He was so indignant at the time ! Until he noticed that she was playing a prank on him … He had nearly tickled her to death !! Of course she would never ever tell anyone about her intimate adventures with the love of her life. That was nobodies business !

The little book though was a lovely piece of art, even before she had written a single word in it ! Michael had it made by hand, the cover a painting of the two of them in a Victorian setting, like one of those romantic historical novels she loved to read. They were entwined in a loving embrace, which alone already inspired her to write about her most intimate dreams and pleasures. It was very thick too. He said that she would need all of that space because her life would be filled with all kind of thrills and he was sure she wanted to put her experiences down on paper. If he would only know… She chuckled.
Right now she couldn’t exactly speak of thrills. It was just work, work and more work. Except for early in the morning or late at evening, they didn’t see each other that much. Both their schedules were overloaded and it left them almost no time to play. He worked late and she got up real early. In between they tried to catch up on the lost time but it still remained difficult. Today was no different but someones libido had started the day in a very unexpected way : 

She woke up to her alarm clock and felt Michael stir beside her. She smiled feeling him so close to her as if he had tried to crawl into her during the night. Well… sometimes he did but that is a whole other story… His right leg was laying over hers and his right arm was curled around her lower body. His head laid on her chest and it weighed heavily. She still wondered how come that it had not woken her up during the night.
“Michael…” she whispered.
He stirred but didn’t move.
“Michael, sweetie, I have to get up.”
“Mmmm… “ he groaned.
“Come on.. I have to go to work.”
“No, you don’t. I earn enough for the both of us.” he said in a lazy tone.
She smiled because she knew he was still half asleep. It would never cross his mind to say such a thing if he were fully awake. He knew it would piss her off !
“Michael, you know I have to get up. Get off of me.”
He growled and climbed upon her completely. He buried his face in her neck and started to suck on it.
“Noooo !” she laughed. “Stop it ! You’re gonna give me a hickey !”
“Aaaand ?”
“I can’t show up and interview potential shop keepers, with a huge love mark in my neck.”
“Okaaaay… But.. a quickie then ?”
She laughed again but feeling him hot against her, made her tingle all over. His morning salute pushed against her stomach and she sighed. He shouldn’t be so sexy in the morning. Sometimes she just laid beside him, watching him sleep. Sometimes he snored softly, his mouth slightly open and she loved listening to him even then. Except of course when they had alcoholic beverages the night before, then he could snore up a storm, but then so could she. Weren’t they a perfect match ? She only wished she would look as gorgeous as he did in the morning. Even tho’ he always vowed he loved her hair sticking to all sides, she just hated it. Why couldn’t she wake up like the heroine from an ancient movie ? Her hair spread on a snowy white cushion, her nightgown dramatically sparkly and without folds ? Well, if she would ever wear such a nightgown or have the long hair…

Michael groaned and provocatively pushed his pelvis against her. He wouldn’t ?! Ooooh ! He would ! He did ! Slowly he started connecting them, inch by inch, while moaning in her ear.
“Michael…” she complained.
Had he even heard what she said ? But she had to admit, it felt good. He didn’t start moving right away though but instead pushed himself up to his elbows and looked down at her with the sweetest smile on his face.
“Good morning beautiful.” he whispered. “How is my favorite lady doing today ?” He softly pecked her on the lips, not minding her or his morning breath. Typically male for not caring about something as trivial as that ! “Did you sleep well ?”
He never skipped asking her how her night had been. And never she failed to tell him how well she slept in his arms.
“I had the sweetest dream, Honey…”
She gently caressed his face. “Tell me then.”
“I dreamt you were pregnant.”
“Oooh Michael… are you gonna try and convince me again ?”
She pushed against his shoulders but he didn’t move one inch. She sighed and shook her head at him.
“Lay still.” he ordered her and then he kissed her nose. “I won’t push you baby, but you know…it felt so right. Except…”
“What ?”
“You were big as a whale… I think there must’ve been six babies in you.” he laughed.
“Well, then we would be through it for once and for all, would we ? One pregnancy, one child birth, one everything…”
“Mmm… that’s not what I have in mind. I want one baby at the time. Well, maybe two. You know my brother Marlon had a twin ?”
“No, I didn’t. What happened ?”
“He died 24 hours after they were born.”
“Ahw…I’m sorry. I’m not sure I want twins then.”
“I’ll make sure nothing can happen to you or our children.” He said that like if he was the creator of all life, so confident, so sure of himself.
“You’re my hero, Michael. You know you are.”
“You wanna know the rest of my dream ?”
“Sure, is there more ? Did I give birth ?”
“Haha ! Not yet ! But we had tough luck.”
She raised her eyebrows. Did she want to hear about this ? He moved a little and she felt his heat all through her body. Where they really talking as if they were sitting face to face on the couch ? She was in bed with Michael Jackson naked inside of her and they were chitchatting ?!
HOLY COW !
“We couldn’t have sex…” he pouted. “Because you were so big.”
She giggled. “Michael, there are other positions, you know.”
“Don’t make fun of me… “ but he laughed too. “I mean, there wasn’t enough room for me, inside of you…”
“Hahaha !!!! How can that be ?”
“I don’t know… I just couldn’t … not like this…” He moved again, slowly. She moaned.
“Honey ?”
“Yes Michael ?”
“I don’t want six babies at a time. I want to make you pregnant one time, then a second time and then again… and again… “
She gasped for air as with these words he had started moving very slowly. But even in this easy rhythm he left no doubt to where he was going and she already knew she would be with him every step of the way. She felt his love touch every inch inside of her from the base to the tip. His silk skin brushed against her walls and induced an already familiar feeling, something she could only experience with him. She felt herself clench around him, the grip of her body holding him in place as if she would never ever let him go. What this man coudl do to her was impossible to explain. Her head started to spin and she gave up her control. As he moved against her, his chest hair gently tickled her nipples and as a result they became erect and very sensitive to his every touch. She held her breath and he stopped moving, looking down at her breasts and then back up in her eyes. His shone with love and lust.
“You’re so beautiful, Honey.” he whispered sexily. “I could just eat you alive.”
“It’s morning. I look hideous.” she answered bashfully. “You’d rather not look at me too much and lose your appetite.”
“Oh gosh, no, you’re the most sexy thing I’ve ever seen, in the morning, in the evening, through out the day. I can’t get enough of you.”
“That’s because you’re looking with your ahum… “
He chuckled because she was still so shy with him. She just couldn’t get the word over her lips. So sweet !
He lowered himself again putting his arms next to her shoulders so he could reach her face. She closed her eyes relishing his hands on her skin. He softly caressed her cheeks while he started to move again, this time even more persistent. A moan from deep down in his body, escaped his lips and he pushed himself up on his elbows.
“Oooh baby, there is no telling what you are doing to me.” His voice sounded husky when his passion took over. His breath quickened, as did hers and he closed his eyes for a bit, struggling against the feelings that were pulling at him to let go. But he didn’t want to leave her behind. He would never lose control before she reached completion. When he had full grip of the situation again he opened his eyes and they were blazing with desire. His lips, still soft from sleep, lowered to hers. His tongue pushed himself inside of her at the rhythm of his loving. In her mouth and in her very core, he traced every corner, searching for the one spot that would unleash her passion completely.
“Baby.. baby… come on… “ he encouraged her. “Oh god.. you feel so fine… Oooh…”
His soft whispers pushed her further to the edge. Her hands slowly left his shoulders and travelled down south, over his strong back to his waist and then to his firm behind. He felt amazing. And strong, very strong. All the muscles in his body were focused on their loving and she realized that he was taking her to a whole new level.
“Michael ?” she whispered.
“Mmm…” he moaned, reluctantly replying. He was caught in a world of love and desire and he did not want to spiral back to the world before he reached the sky.
She pushed him a little though, demanding his attention. Of course she didn’t want to disconnect him from her. No way ! No, she just wanted to let him know that she too thought they were beautiful together.
He retreated a little and she slipped her hand between their bodies. She trailed over his abdomen, down to his pubic hair, all the way to where they were one. She sighed when she reached her goal and her fingers softly touched his base.
“I feel you, Michael. All deep inside me. It’s amazing… and beautiful.”
“Honey ….” he groaned her name through clenched teeth. “Don’t… oh my god… “
She closed her eyes when he pushed himself even closer to her and danced in and out of her. But he was oh so smooth. With long determined moves he increased the rhythm of their love dance and with her fingers still intimately between them, she could feel him give up on his restraint. His passion unleashed the most intimate of feelings inside of her and the tingling which had started in her center extended to the rest of her body. She felt it in her spine, in her breasts, in her legs, all towards her toes. Her mouth opened in a silent cry of passion and her body arched up, violently pushing against him. When he felt the impact of her orgasm, he finally let himself go and followed her towards heaven. Their bodies jerked against each other, their lips met in a crushing kiss, as if it was their last.

Slowly they came back to reality, as two feathers twirling down to earth after being released from an angel’s wings. This was no less but a divine experience, for the both of them.

Honey finally opened her eyes when she felt something wet and warm on her temple. Michael was laying heavily on top of her with his face against hers and she realized that the wetness came from him. She pushed him back a little, expecting to see his face dripping sweat all over her but instead she met his eyes, filled with tears.
“Sweetie ? What’s wrong ?” she asked worriedly.
“Nothing. Absolutely nothing… “ he smiled through his tears. “That’s just the point. This was perfect. If you weren’t on the pill, I swear we could have just made a child.”
“Oh Michael…” she brushed his hair out of his face and kissed his eyes closed. “You were amazing. And it was totally breathtaking. And about that baby… “ she put both of her hands on his face. “I guess it will happen soon enough. I’m meeting some candidates for the position of shop keeper today. I have a good feeling about this. And when I feel I can leave the store in the capable hands of someone I can completely trust, I will stop taking birth control.”
“Even if we aren’t married yet ?”
“Even if we aren’t married yet.”
His hug almost crushed her. “Honey, you just made me the happiest man on this earth. What ?! No, the universe !!”
He suddenly rolled of off her. “Isn’t it time for you to get up ? Shouldn’t you go and take interviews ?”
She started laughing aloud. Gone was the sexy beast who had just made her see all sides of heaven ! In his place was an impatient father to be ! What a change !! “You’re really funny !! First I can’t go to work and now you are pushing me out of our bed ?”
“Well, someone has to make the decisions around here. Go woman, and get yourself a shopkeeper.” and he murmured under his breath. “So that I can get you pregnant.”
Of course she heard him. She shook her head, while slowly getting up.
“Come on, Honey, hurry up. You’re going to be late.” he complained. He got up himself and without even putting some clothes on, he disappeared in her walking closet.
“Michael ? What are you doing ?”
“I’ll help you getting dressed. I’ll pick something out for you.”
She giggled. He was so cute when he had set his mind on something.
She shook her head again and disappeared into the bathroom. When she came back freshly showered, the clothes he had picked out were laying on the chair in front of the vanity but Michael himself had fallen back asleep. He laid in the middle of the bed with his arms and legs widely spread, barely covered by the sheet. Ahw… what a sight ! She really didn’t want to leave, but duty called. If she wanted to secure her future she needed to find someone soon..

And she thought she had done well today. Her diary read “Think I found the right person for the store. A wonderful woman with amazing decorating skills and with her heart in the right place too. Her name is Christy.”

A noise made her look up from her diary and she hastily closed it at the sight of Gillian coming her way. Ooh ! She was the last person she wanted to see right now ! She knew Gillian had to be present in the house for the meeting but she never thought she would have the audacity to walk around as if she was part of the household !

Honey knew Michael didn’t really care how many people spent their time in his house while he was out and it was something they could discuss for hours. In her opinion they were surrounded by too many people all of the time and they lacked a lot of privacy. He didn’t even notice if there were more people around than there should be. She had pointed it out on several occasions but then he just shrugged his shoulders and went on with what he was doing. That was so typically Michael. Whatever happened, he just carried on with his business.

Gillian looked her up and down as if she was measuring how much of a rival Honey could be to her. As always she was dressed in a very fitting business suit, following every curve of her long and slender body. The blouse underneath her suit, exposed just a little cleavage, enough to impress. It must be said, on the outside Gillian always remained the professional. She was wearing amazingly high heels and Honey wondered how she had managed to stay upright while walking towards her over the lawn. These heels were made for killing and they sure had killed any little worm in the grass. Honey chuckled at the image that jumped into her head. Perfect Gillian fighting with a worm, on their lawn… She almost laughed out loud when she realized that the woman was staring at her.
“You’re having quite a blast here ?!” Gillian said with that breathless voice of her.

Honey hated that voice. She knew that it gave the impression of a helpless maiden, of which she knew that it was completely false. Gillian was anything but helpless. She was a woman who lusted for power and even more for Michael. Unlike many other people Honey had soon realized she would stop at nothing to get what she wanted. And she also knew that most men simply didn’t see through the calm and sexy package she presented to them, Michael included. In her heart she would never doubt Michael’s feelings for her but still the woman always succeeded at making her inferior and wonder why he chose a downtown girl like her over a beauty like Gillian. But of course she would never let her insecurities know to either one of them. Michael would be devastated and Gillian… she would triumph if she ever found out how Honey really felt about her.

She laid her diary next to her and looked up at Gillian.
“Yes, I am.” she replied calmly.
“And your man is working ?!”
“Guess he is.” What more could she say ? She hadn’t seen him since they parted. But since Gillian was here, she assumed the meeting was over. It bugged her that Gillian apparently had escaped to their private grounds. Ever since she and Michael had been talking about her, the woman had not yet crossed her path. This was the first time she met her since she arrived in the U.S. and it was already one time too many. She really tried not to hate Gillian but every muscle in her body tensed from being in her presence. What would she come up with now ?

“You really think you have it made, don’t you ?” Gillian asked. Her voice wasn’t coated with sugar anymore and Honey immediately sensed she meant war. She sighed inwardly. This was not how she wanted to spend her evening. She had been working hard today and she was exhausted of taking some huge decisions. She really needed some peace and quiet. Why couldn’t she just leave her alone ?!
“What’s the meaning of this little visit, Gillian !?”she asked, almost unable to keep the petulance out of her voice. “I know you’re not here to chitchat !”
“You got that right, Honey !” She said her name as if it was meant to be an insult. Honey was taken aback by the clear hostility of the other woman. She didn’t deserve this and refused to be intimidated.
“So ?”
“Your man is working like a beast and what are you doing ?”
“What do you think I’m doing ? I guess that is the point ?”
“Nooo… it’s what everyone thinks you’re doing ! Nothing !” Gillian put her hands in her sides and threw back her long blond hair, underlining her words with that gesture of superiority.
Honey swallowed. What was she implying ?
“Well dear” again she sneered “Honey, everyone sees you out here, sitting by the pool, reading silly books about undying love ! Ha ! You’re nothing but an imposter !”
Honey gasped at the vicious attack. First of all her silly book was a journal, and then even if it wasn’t, it was nothing of Gillian’s business ! But still it stung her. After all, she did care about other people’s opinions.
“Am I ?” she asked softly, more to herself than to the other woman. “An imposter ?”
“You’re just pretending that you are highly intelligent… but I know that in reality you are just a lazy stupid cow.” Gillian threw at her.
Honey’s mouth fell open and at first she didn’t know what to say or how to react. Were her ears deceiving her ? Was Gillian attacking her in earnest and calling her names ? Her mind began racing in search for the right things to say. Now normally she had no problem with that. When joking or even arguing with Michael or anyone else she liked, she could pull it off without any effort but this was just vicious ! There was so much hostility in Gillian’s voice that she felt there was nothing else to do than throw up a wall of self-defense.
“You read those silly novels and pretend to be a skilled business woman while you’re nothing but a fake. What do you contribute to this world anyway ? Selling silly decorations ? Pff.. another laughing stock added to his misery ! You don’t deserve Michael in your life !” Gillian raged on and on, her face twisted into a ugly mask of hate.

For one single moment Honey was really scared that Gillian would physically hurt her but then she realized that Gillian would not attack her within sight of the house. She was too smart for that ! Would anyone even notice that this conversation wasn’t all that friendly? And would anyone believe her if she told them that she could feel Gillian’s hate chill her bones ? Would Michael believe her if she told him ?
“In fact Honey, you don’t even belong here on American grounds ! You’re a disgrace and people like you shouldn’t be allowed to enter the US ! You bring no value to our country !”
Oh god ! If Michael only could hear this ! The shells would fall from his eyes immediately. He would fire her on the spot. How was it possible that someone like Gillian could have entered his inner circle of co-workers ? Honey swallowed and got up from her chair, clutching her papers to her chest. Only wearing her bikini and barefooted, she looked as if she was no match for the woman who towered above her but Honey’s anger made her feel taller than she actually was.

Normally she just avoided confrontations like this. She hated it and they made her nauseous but this time there was no way around it. If Michael hadn’t succeeded to pull Gillian’s reigns, someone else had to give it a try. She breathed in and gathered all her courage.

“If you would like to continue working for Michael, I suggest you shut up right now, Gillian. You’re going too far.”
“Am I now ? Who do you think he will believe ? A hot headed empty head or his co-worker for years? I’ve been with him longer than you. I can make him believe anything !”
“No, you can’t ! I trust his judgment !” She realized she really did. He would not let her down this time. “He will see the truth one of these days.”
“But by then you will be long gone !”
“Are you threatening me ?”
“Make of it what you want. I don’t care. You’re not going to be around much longer. And then I will comfort him.”
“Say already what you have to say !”
“I’m just saying that your days here are counted ! I’ll do anything to free Michael from your claws !”
Honey’s mouth fell agape. HER claws ?
“For god’s sake !” She gasped. “You can’t threaten me like this ! You are the imposter here !” She positioned herself right in front of Gillian, her diary and her papers clutched to her chest, so that her hands would not be free to strike the woman down. Her fingers itched to scratch Gillian’s face until blood spilled, but she would not give in to this furiosity ! “Keep it civilized, Honey !” she said to herself.
“I worked with him for years. He knows well who I am ! Frank knows me, Bill knows me ! Who will they believe ?!”
“I won’t listen to you anymore !”
“You don’t have to ! Just pack your bags and leave, if you…”
“If I what ?” Honey almost shouted. She really tried to keep the anger out of her voice but it was so difficult. She inhaled deeply, trying to compose herself. Why was this happening to her ? She was just sitting peacefully by the pool… Oooh ! The pool ! Oh yes ! While she was declaiming her hate to Honey, Gillian was just standing there at the side of the pool… and well, wasn’t she on Honey’s path to the house ?

“I won’t listen to you anymore, Gillian. I have to go and spend some more lazy time !” Even though she managed to not sound furious and hurt, her voice dripped with sarcasm. ”Maybe I’ll even take a nice refreshment ! And I suggest you cool down too !” and with that she pushed Gillian out of her way, huh… rather forcefully…. In the corner of her eye she watched Gillian lose her balance, wavering with her arms like a giant bird trying to flee its destiny. But… too late…

Honey didn’t actually see her falling into the pool but she heard the loud splash. She walked back to the house with large strides. Oooh ! She was so angry right now ! She really could’ve attacked the woman for real and was very proud of herself that she had not done so. The smile on her face gave nothing away off the turmoil that was settling itself down in her stomach. Gillian would never succeed on chasing her away but her words of hate had made Honey nauseous. The closer she got to the house the harder she ran. She needed a bathroom and quick ! She nearly ran into Frank and Bill who were leaving the house towards the pool but when they tried to stop her, she waved them away desperately. She was sick as a dog !

“She’s going to attack her ! Look at her gestures !”
“Michael, Gillian knows better than to hurt Honey physically !”
Michael pushed a button on the phone.
“Yes Michael ?” Bill’s voice sounded from the other side of the line.
“Bill, can you come over here now ? Thanks.”
He didn’t wait for an answer but hurried back to the window where he witnessed Gillian and Honey in their conversation. Of course he could not hear what they were saying but the look on his woman’s face said it all. She was not happy !
Bill entered the room without knocking, immediately alarmed with the look of extreme worry on Michael’s face.
“What’s up, Mike ?”
“Get Gillian of the property, Bill.”
“Whaaat ? Gillian ?”
“Yes ! Now please ! She’s a the pool with Honey.”
“Michael, what threat is she ?”
“Please no arguing ! I want her out of here ! Look ! Look at how she approaches Honey ! Don’t you see what she is doing ? Frank, you call John ! I think we’re gonna need him.”
Even from their point of view Gillian’s hostile behavior was very visible and the three of them hurried out of the room. Doing so, unfortunately they missed the grand finale !

When they exited the mansion, they nearly bumped into Honey.

“Honey ? Honey, what’s wrong ?” Michael yelled, running after her, while she took a sprint to the nearest bathroom. She closed the door right to his face, just making it barely to the toilet pot ! When he heard her spilling the content of her stomach into the bowl, Michael’s face twitched with concern. What had Gillian said to her that made her this sick ?
When she finally came out of the bathroom she looked pale and faint.
“Are you okay ?” Michael asked her softly.
“Please, just let me be !” She didn’t mean to snap at him and when she saw his hurt face, she already felt sorry that she did. He stepped back and nodded slowly. “Okay… I’ll be in the studio, if you need me.” He turned on his heels and left her to herself, just as she asked. But was this really what she wanted ? She sank back against the wall of the hallway as he left towards the gardens. No… stupid Gillian ! It was she who brought this negative emotions over her ! And she was already succeeding ! She could not let this happen !
“Michael !” she shouted. She wanted to run after him but her legs refused to move. She was still in shock after all that Gillian had said to her even if she didn’t want it to overtake her. “Michael !” she called again when he turned around. “I need you.”
In one second he was back again by her side, opening his arms for her to hide in. “Ahw girl… “ He kissed her temple and pulled her into his warm embrace. “Come here… Wanna talk about it ?”
“Just hold me, Michael.”
He knew his girl and he respected her wish. But he also knew she had to get it off her chest. So he took her by the hand and lead her into their bedroom. Just before he had the chance to enter the room with her, Frank called his name.
“Just a minute, Frank.” He yelled back and closed the door behind them.
“Baby, I’m gonna talk to Frank but I’m coming back as soon as possible. Will you be okay ?”
Honey nodded but Michael still wasn’t sure. She was shaking like a leaf in a storm and her skin felt cold although it was hot outside.
“You, baby, you are going to take a hot shower. Can you do that for me ?” He held her at arms’ length, searching her face for any sign of physical discomfort. At the first glance she looked alright but he knew she was very upset. What had happened between those two women ? He needed to find out quickly but he realized that he had to give her some time to come to herself again. The shower would do her good.

After he had made sure that she could take care of herself without breaking down, he left the bedroom in search for Frank. He found him and John, his legal advisor, in his office. He sat down behind his desk and waited for them to sketch the situation.
“We’ve got a problem, Michael. If you want me to fire Gillian, I’m afraid there’s gonna be consequences.”
“How do you mean ?”
“Honey pushed her in the pool.”
“Noooo ! Oh my gosh !” Michael slapped his hand on his mouth. This was hilarious ! His woman and her backbone ! Yeah ! Behind his hand a big smile appeared on his face and even though his associates could not see it, they still noticed it in his sparkling eyes. He just could not help himself. This was really hilarious !
“Michael, please. This is serious !” Frank reprimanded him.
“Don’t you see how funny this is ?! She must’ve been in need of a cool down ! Honey gave her just what she deserved.” Michael giggled.
“Frank is right, Michael. She could sue you.”
Michael sighed deeply. “She could. But what do you expect me to do about it ? Frank, technically she is your employee. You fire her or not, but she is not working for me anymore. She will never set foot in Neverland again and I will not ever allow her in Honey’s presence again. I don’t know where she got the idea to search her company in the first place. Her only goal was to upset Honey and I’m gonna find out just what she said to her. That is the only thing that interests me. You both take care of Gillian and I’ll take care of my family.”
“But she’s got pushed in the pool ! If she takes that to the press…”
“Well, let her ! Are there any witnesses ?”
“Not that we know of.”
“So… I don’t care ! I’m sure she got what she deserved. Besides, she lied to Frank. I’m sure you can work out something !”
He got up from his chair, his body language speaking for itself. He was not gonna waste any more time on a crazy woman while there was someone who needed him more. “Will you excuse me now ? I’ll let you know what happened as soon as I can.”

With big steps he hurried back to their bedroom but if he thought the drama would soon be over, he got it all wrong. Even before he turned the corner, he heard the shouting and screaming. What the heck was going on ?

When he saw Bill with in his grip a trampling and screaming Gillian, he almost got a heart attack ! What was she doing in their corridor ?!
“Nooo ! Let me go, you fool !” Gillian screamed to Bill, not yet having noticed Michael. “She had it coming !”
Bill stopped in his tracks when he watched Michael coming near. He turned the woman in a way she could not spot him and gestured him with his head to stay silent. “Go to your room… “ he mouthed him. Michael’s eyes grew big and he jogged towards their quarters at high speed. The bedroom door was open and he heard a soft voice, which he recognized as Maria’s his housekeeper.
“Look up, Miss Honey… there there.. it will be alright. Just leave this on your eye for a while.”

Michael burst into the room and spotted the woman in the bathroom, obviously talking to Honey, who was also in there. When he entered the bathroom himself, he saw Honey sitting at the edge of the tub, holding a towel against her face. As he approached the women, he noticed it was a bag of ice and not just a towel.
“What happened here ?” he asked very worried. He knelt down next to Honey and put his hand over hers. “Lemme see…”
“Ooh Mister Jackson, that evil woman ! She attacked your sweetness ! She is a devil !” Maria explained to him quickly. “Poor child ! She’s gonna have a black eye.”
Michael could already see that when he gently took away the bag of ice from her face. “Ahw Honey… “ He lifted his hand and softly ran his fingers over her eyebrow and to the side of her face. “Does it hurt a lot ?” and to Maria, “You think we need to call a doctor ?”
“No Michael.” Honey interfered. “There’s no need for that. It’ll go away soon enough. I’m alright. She only punched me in the eye.”
“What ?! Oh gosh ! How did she get in here ?”
“I heard a knock on the door and I thought it was you. I was just getting into the shower.”
Only then he noticed that she was wrapped up in a big towel.
“I opened the door and she just knocked me down !”
“Knocked you down ? Do you have other bruises ?”
“Huh.. Oh.. maybe my bottom.. but .. “ She rolled with her eyes, making it very clear that she was not going to let him take a look as long as Maria was in the room with them. “Luckily Bill and Maria were right behind her.”
“But how did she get here ? I thought she had been removed from the estate already ?!”
“Mister Jackson, the woman was all wet. She was changing into dry clothes. Bill and I were only a few meters away from the room she was in. Who could have thought she would do anything like this ? Bill tried to catch her before she got to the room but …”
“I see. So, both of you witnessed her attacking Honey ?”
Maria nodded fiercely. “Yes Mister Jackson. Bill tackled her immediately. She would’ve hurt her more, I’m sure !”
“Thank you, Maria. We will talk about this later. I will take it from here.”
“Of course. If you need me, just call me. Okay ?” And with that she left their room.

Michael shook his head. “Honey, Honey…. what must I do with you ? You’re a danger to my heart. I was so worried.”
“It’s not my fault, Michael ! Well, maybe a little bit. Maybe I shouldn’t have pushed her in the pool.”
Michael giggled. “Maybe she needed to cool off. What did she say to you ? I saw the both of you from the conference room. She didn’t seem too friendly.”
Honey told him what Gillian had been saying to her and he was taken aback by the hostility of the woman. “Woah… no wonder you pushed her into the pool. She was really ugly to you.”
He suddenly remembered how upset she was when he left her earlier and pulled her up into his arms. “Are you alright, baby ? That was some vicious attack.”
“No no ! I’m okay. I only have a mild headache. She’s got a hard fist.”
“Poor baby… Come, let’s take that shower now. You’ll feel better afterwards.” He took off his own clothes, removed her towel and escorted her into the shower cabinet. While the warm water was cascading down their heads, Honey leaned against him. With soft hands he washed her hair, while she held a wash cloth against her injured eye. After he washed her hair he lathered her up, his strokes rhythmical and soothing. When he finally felt her relaxing against his body, he turned off the water and helped her step out of the tub. He handed her her towel and dried himself off. In his glorious nakedness, he stepped into the walk-in closet and pulled out two pj’s. One for her and one for him. When they both were dressed in them, Michael led Honey to the bed, pulled the covers away and waited until she laid herself down. Then he climbed in behind her and covered them up. He pulled her towards him. “You wanna spoon, baby ?” he cooed. She nodded and pushed her back against his chest, her legs following the curved line of his legs. He gently laid his arm over her, his hand covering her rib cage, just below her breasts.
“Everything is gonna be alright, Honey. Don’t worry about a thing. I got it covered. You just rest now and try not to think of it anymore. Tomorrow this will only seem like a bad dream.”

*** Dear Readers:  Hurray! I’ve finally caught up with all the chapters to the Ingrid’s original story! :)  She has not written in quite a while and I don’t know when the next new chapter will be.  As soon as she posts it, I will update it here. Cutie Pie ♥*****

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