*DO NOT REUSE OR PRINT THIS WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR*
*****Rated Mature: For readers over 18 only.
Chapter 22: Part 2: A New Beginning – The Conclusion
The next morning I was awaken by the delicious smell of breakfast cooking in the kitchen. I opened my eyes and sat up. I smiled to myself, still basking in the afterglow of last night. I looked next to me but didn’t see Michael. I got up and put on the dress shirt he wore last night, which was hanging from a chair. I peeked outside. It was beautiful and sunny, not even a cloud in the sky. I went to the bathroom to splash some water on my face and to brush my teeth. I gently padded in my bare feet to the kitchen. Michael is standing over the stove with a spatula in his hand, attentively watching the French toast brown on the grill. He’s wearing pajamas with the shirt unbuttoned, looking both dashing and sexy. He flips the toast over with one hand while stirring the eggs with the other. He has hash browns cooking in another pan. He’s even frying bacon and sausage, which I know he doesn’t eat. As a matter of fact, he seems to be cooking quite a bit for just two people. I smile as I silently observe with pride how much confidence he now has in the kitchen.
“This is MY husband to be.” I thought. I want to remember all these precious moments forever.
He removes the toast off the grill. He dips more bread into a batter with tongs and starts a new batch. He picks up his spatula again. Michael must have felt me watching him because he turns around and greets me with a million megawatt smile.
“Hey! Good morning, beautiful! Merry Christmas!”
He holds his arm out to me. I quickly slide into his embrace, wrapping my arms around him as he wraps his arm around me. He kisses me on the forehead.
“Merry Christmas, baby!” I demurely reply.
His hand slides down and grabs me up in the center of my rear end, pressing me closer against him. I’m not wearing a stitch of underwear so he tries to probe further. He is still holding the spatula in his other hand.
“Michael! You shouldn’t grab me “there” while you are cooking!”
“Why not? I’ve eaten there before.” He chuckled “It’s one of my favorite places to eat!”
“I can’t believe the things you say sometimes! Really!”
I bury my face in his chest. He smells like soap and aftershave. He removes his hand from my butt and kisses the top of my head again. He flips the toast over on the other side. He puts down the spatula and turns off the other burners with the same hand.
“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about my pet. We are practically man and wife.”
“Didn’t it feel like our honeymoon last night?” I whispered.
He cups my face in his hands.
“Yes it did. I know we are not legally married yet, but we are in our hearts. I am already committed to you for the rest of my life. That’s what really matters. The rest is just a piece of paper.”
He releases me to take the toast off the grill. I pick up a strawberry from a bowl of fruit he has prepared. I bit into it and closed my eyes. It was so sweet and juicy.
He grins, slightly biting his lip. I want to bite it too.
“Um hmm! Where did you get them? These are absolutely the best strawberries I’ve ever eaten!”
“I got them from the farmers market in town. I know how much you love them.”
“Not as much as I love you.”
I put the strawberry to his lips to take a bite. He watches me intently as he takes a huge bite. The juice runs down my fingers. He chews quickly while taking my hand. He slowly sucks the juice from each finger. I sigh audibly. He kisses my palm and continues down to my wrist. He pulls me closer to him as he makes his way up my arm. My head falls back as he nuzzles my neck.
“Oh, Michael…” I whisper.
He suddenly presses me up against the adjacent wall, raising both my arms above my head against it. He holds them in place with one hand while he unties and loosens his pajama bottoms. He’s not wearing underwear either. As they fall to the floor, his member springs forth, fully erect and ready. I lift one leg around his waist while he hoists my other leg around him as he plunges in. He kisses me all over my neck, shoulders and breasts. He releases my arms as he pulls my bottom closer to him. He pounds his way deeper inside me. I clench my muscles around him tighter. His breathes heavily against my skin.
“Oh girl, I’ve missed this so much…I can never get enough of you!”
I grab his head, pulling his mouth to mine. I stick my tongue in his mouth, urging him to follow. His mouth tastes sweet like strawberry. His tongue sweeps through my mouth, matching his rhythm inside of me stroke for stroke. I can feel that delicious, familiar sensation spreading intensely within my womb. His massive erection is deeply buried inside of me. I marveled at how I am able to take in all of his hugeness.
“Oh yessss….just like that! Please don’t stop!” I moan.
That set him off.
“Come on baby, I want to see you come. You look so lovely when you do.”
I started to come and he followed. We continued our rhythm until his cock shrank in size. He is still large, even when not erected. He kisses my neck and rests his head against my shoulder. We slowly slide down the wall with Michael ending in a sitting position with his legs out in front of him. I straddle his lap as we catch our breath. I am exhausted. He raises his head from my shoulder.
“Would you prefer juice or tea with breakfast?”
“You got it sweetness.”
After we clean ourselves up, I find out that Michael has cooked breakfast not only for us, but also for his staff. I thought it was such a sweet gesture. He’s also brought along Bill, his chef Bruce and his wife Maggie. They are all staying with Larry in the other beach house. Now it makes sense why he rented both houses. Michael called them earlier to invite them over. They were all smiles and full of chatter when they saw the meal. We laughed, talked and ate heartily. Michael was lavishly complimented on everything and he was particularly pleased. I especially loved his French toast. He says it was a special organic recipe that he invented and he would not share the recipe even when Bruce begged him for it.
“Sorry Bruce but its top secret!” He teased.
We were so stuffed, I’m certain that we won’t have room for dinner later on.
Next we opened and exchanged gifts. The presents under the tree were gifts that Michael bought for his staff, but he presented them as gifts from both of us. I was pleased because I did have anything to give to them. Then we all cleaned up. Bruce said that they would be back later with Christmas dinner. They were the “delivery” that Michael had promised to me in his letter! Since we had eaten such a big breakfast, we decided to push dinner back to later on in the day. That was fine by me because it would give Michael and I time to discuss our wedding plans and announcements. When we were finally alone, I gave him my gift. I asked him to close his eyes, while I lead him to the bedroom and sat him carefully on the bed.
“I want you to sit down and no peeking!”
He chuckled and closed his eyes tighter.
I had to move some suitcases and things over in the closet to find the shoe box I hid it in.
“Girl what are you up to?”
“You’ll see.” I was breathless with excitement as I held the box in front of him. “Ok, open your eyes!”
He opened them and saw the box. I pushed it into his hand as I excitedly sat down beside him. I nervously tucked my hair behind my ear, watching his reaction as he took the box.
“It’s another one of my gifts to you. I hope you like it.”
He face broke out into a beam.
“Oh wow…you didn’t have to do this sweetness. The wonderful smoking jackets were enough. Thank you!”
“So you did get them?
“Yes, I’ve even brought them with me to wear. I couldn’t tell you I had them because it would have blown my cover.”
“Great! I can’t wait to see you in them. Well, go ahead and open your present!
He continued to grin as he took off the bow and wrapping paper. As he opened the box he whistled.
“Oh, babe….it’s beautiful! Absolutely, beautiful!”
“You really like it? I was so afraid you wouldn’t.”
He took it out to admire it.
“Why would you think that?”
“Well, it’s not cheap or anything, but I can’t afford to get you what you’re probably use to.”
“Cutie, promise me something….don’t ever belittle what you buy or even what you do for me. I’m not like that. Money means nothing to me. It could cost a dollar and turn my arm grass green, but I would wear it with pride because the woman that I love bought it for me. I know you love me and that’s what matters most. I love it and I will always, always treasure it. C’mere…” He leans over to kiss me.
“Aww….Michael! I love you!”
“And I love you.”
He puts the bracelet on his arm, holding it up to admire it. It looks fabulous on him, even if I do say so myself.
“It looks like it was made for you!”
“It really does, babe. Now that we are getting married, please accept that what I have will be yours and vice versa. I don’t want you to feel uptight about buying whatever you want. You don’t even have to spend a dime of the money you already have if you don’t want to. I will take care of you, always.”
“I know Michael. I’ve been thinking about that lately. I don’t want money to be an issue between us. I promise you that I will try not to be so tight all the time about spending. I do like bargains. I don’t care how rich you are, you must always save for a rainy day.”
“I agree. I love bargains too. Thrift stores have always been my thing! You find some really good stuff in there. I love police and military stores too!”
Watch 0:00 – 0:54
“We should really start to plan for your retirement. I know you want to quit touring to concentrate on film. I want to see all your future dreams happen.”
“Bless you sweetness. I’m truly thankful for your concern about that. I will also try it your way and be a little more conscious about my spending habits. As I told you before, I love to give. I don’t want to ever stop doing that.”
“And you won’t have to. We will create a budget for ourselves to work from.”
“Before we got engaged, I wanted you to work for me. Now that we will be married, we really have to be a team. I still need you to help me get my affairs together. Things have gotten out of hand. Before and after Thriller, I use to write every check that went out. Now others do it for me. I know people are stealing from me. The difference is now I expect it. I just try to choose people who will steal from me the least.”
That comment truly broke my heart. Michael never told me that before. Now I see what he is up against. How dare people do that to him! He’s worked so hard his entire life! Well that’s going to certainly stop if I have anything to do with it! We are going to clean the maggots out this camp! They are taking the bread out our future babies’ mouths and mama’s not having it! Now I realize the magnitude of the daunting task before us to fix these problems. My mind was spinning with ideas already. I still want to work with Ralph. I have already sent my application and resume to him. Maybe I could do both. We’ll see. I have to get a better idea of what needs to be done to help Michael.
“I’m so sorry Michael. I had no idea what you were going through. But don’t worry, we will fix it together.”
Michael’s smile lit up his entire face.
“Really, sweetness? You’ll help me out?”
“Sure hon! That’s what a wife is supposed to do. I want to make you happy and stress free as possible.”
Michael grabbed and squeezed me in a hug.
“Aw girl you’ve already done that when you said you’d be my wife!”
“What about before then?”
Michael released me and held my hand.
“Even before last night you’ve made me so happy. I’ve performed and traveled all over the world since I was five. Most of my entire life, I’ve focused on my music and little else other than animals and children. I’ve always wanted a family of my own. I had given up on it until you came into my life. I’m ready to settle down. You’ve brought back my hopes and dreams for the future. I see our children in your eyes every time I look at you.”
I merely nodded, hoping that I wouldn’t start blubbering.
“It started when I got sick at your place. I was lying across your lap on the couch watching TV. I looked at you and started thinking about how you took such good care of me all afternoon. You nursed me, you prayed for me, you gave me the best massage I’ve ever had and you made me chicken soup. You were rubbing my head and back and it felt like heaven. I felt so……loved and protected. I’ve always felt lost, alone and out of place. I know men aren’t supposed to act like they need that but sometimes we do. It was then that I knew I wanted you to be the mother of my children. I wanted them to feel that same love and protection that only a mother can give. Just like my mother. So I prayed right then and there that God would put it in your heart to want to be my wife. I also prayed for your womb to give us strong and healthy babies and for God’s protection over them. Then I kissed your stomach to thank God for answering my prayer. He did it Cutie! Now you will be my wife and the next part will be making our babies!”
I smiled and kissed him. My heart was overflowing with love.
“That was so beautiful, Michael. I remember that moment, but I didn’t understand what you were doing. I did feel that something had changed between us. I that guess that was the confirmation.”
“I felt it that night too. I’ve have been planning to ask you to marry me since then. You’re the type of woman who deserves the best and I want to give you the world. So I started getting your ring made. I wanted to wait until you came back, but when you left, I knew that I couldn’t wait anymore. I was so devastated and unhappy. I’ve missed you girl and I don’t want to continue to live without you. I don’t want a long distance relationship or separate houses. I need to be with you all the time.”
“Could he be any more wonderful?” Not only was he a physically stunning man, he was abundantly kind hearted and loving. He has such a way with words that would melt the coldest of hearts.
“I feel the same way about you, Michael. Deep down I wanted to live with you, but to some degree I’ve still let fear and old demons of the past hold me back. Just when I think it’s over, something happens to bring it all back. But you have given me more faith, Michael. Faith to love and to trust a man again. Faith that I can really allow myself to be happy. I promise you from this day forth, I won’t let it come between us again.”
Michael kissed my hand and looked into my eyes.
“Baby, as much as I hate to bring this up…….will you please tell me what happened with your ex? I don’t mean today or anything, but I hope in time you will trust me enough to share that pain with me. But only when you’re ready.”
“I will Michael…..soon. Just give me a little more time. We’ll talk about it when we are back home.”
“You’re finally coming home with me for good, girl! OUR home!
After further discussion, we both agreed that we want to get married as soon as possible. I preferred Valentine’s Day. Michael didn’t care what day it was as long as it was soon. The more we talked, the more we realized that time would not be in our favor. Michael completely cleared his schedule to be with me for Christmas. Before he left California, he did attend a private viewing of his own special exhibit at the new Guinness World of Records Museum. His schedule will pick up again in January. The taping for the “Remember the Time” short film was scheduled to begin mid-January around the same time the song was to be released as a single. The “In The Closet” short film would start taping in April. At the moment “Black or White” is number one on the pop charts and number three on the singles’ charts. It’s debut was recently voted by TV Guide as the one of the “Twelve Most Mesmerizing TV Moments from the Last Twelve Months.”
There were appearances, remix releases, press conferences and a trip to Africa planned for February. Michael was also in process of organizing Liz’s 60th birthday at Disney, not to mention being on tour later on in the year. How in the world would we find the time to tie the knot? Michael wanted to elope, but since I did that the first time, I wanted a real wedding. Nothing big or over the top, just a small intimate affair with family and a few close friends. He agreed to have a wedding to avoid a repeat of my first marriage elopement. Then we tried to decide on the venue. I wanted to get married at Neverland. Michael wanted to have it some place far away so the press wouldn’t find out about it. Sometimes they fly over his house, which was a big problem when Liz got married at Neverland. He told me unless I can come up with a plan to avoid the press, he preferred a different venue. I told him I would agree to move it if I didn’t succeed. After deliberating all these issues, we agreed on a wedding date of Saturday, January 25, 1992. We would take a few days to spend at our new beach house. In March we will take an official honeymoon, since it was a slow month. I asked Michael if we should wait until then to get married, but he quickly rejected the idea. We also planned to squeeze in some personal time while he was on tour. I wasn’t sure if I would be with him the entire tour, but knowing Michael, he would probably expect it. I had not traveled much personally, especially from the United States, so I was excited about that.
“I have traveled all over the world since I was a kid,” Michael said. “I have seen many beautiful and historical places. I have met Kings and Queens and other dignitaries. But traveling with you will be like a new adventure. I will get so much joy seeing the world in your eyes as you view it. It’s going to be so exciting sweetness! You’ll see!”
“But what will you tell the press if they see us together?”
“We will come up with a plan, but we can also make them think that you are part of my entourage. Normally, whenever I want to shop or site see, I try to do it mostly at night. I ask the stores and museums to close so I can have the entire place to myself. Otherwise, I am mobbed. Once everyone knows I am there, they start to run from everywhere, stopping traffic. I’ve learned to duck down as I run so people can’t see me to calm them down. You’ll see how it works. But please don’t get mad if we are stuck in a hotel and can’t go out. That comes with the territory as well. Sometimes you will get so tired from traveling through so many different time zones and you don’t want to go out. That’s why I travel with all my video and arcade games for those times. It keeps me from getting too bored or anxious.”
“Well I guess I can knit or crotchet during those times. Get ready for a lot of sweaters!” I chuckled.
A mischievous twinkle flashed in his eyes.
“Or you can make baby booties for our future “tribe” as you once called it! We can certainly work on that “little project” whenever we are locked down in a hotel and even when we are not! We’ll be hot biscuits and butta, once again!”
“Oh no! Please don’t start calling me butta again! Susan is going to burst when I tell her that we are getting married! By the way, when do you want to tell your family?”
“Well it’s still too early to call out west, but you can tell whoever needs to know on your end. Now is as good a time as any because we don’t have much time.
Thomas sat on the side of his bed, hung over and holding his head, squinting against the vicious sunlight in the room. His headache is mind numbing. He looks over at his “date” from last night, still sleeping it off next to him. She’s naked and lying face down with her arm dangling over the side of the bed. He can’t even remember her name. He did remember asking her to dance at last night’s party. Heavy drinking and flirting ensued and they ended up back at his place. She was just another regrettable one night stand. Then he realized that it was Christmas morning. “What a way to start it off,” he thought.
His thoughts went back to the beautiful Christmas’s of the past that he shared with his wife. She used to make everything so festive and happy. She would decorate the entire house, but he never had time to help. She would bake and cook all his favorite foods for days. The wonderful smells used to make his mouth water. He also remembered how sometimes he didn’t bother to come home if he met someone new. He would lie to his wife and tell her that he had to work late, knowing full well that he wasn’t coming home. She would wait up for him with dinner until she finally got tired went to bed. She wanted to have children, but he didn’t. Having kids meant being trapped. She had tried to give him what he never had growing up, which was a stable, loving home. She was the best wife a man could ask for, but at the time he didn’t care. Now it was too late. He’d become just like his father, the man he hated so for the mistreatment his mother and siblings.
Thomas was basically a functional alcoholic. He could manage enough to hold down a job but he had gotten written up. He hated his boss, who was an arrogant bastard in his opinion. Except for James, most of his friends were drinking buddies and not married. They used to tease Thomas if he said that he needed to get home, calling him hen pecked. So to prove them wrong, he stayed, drank more and flirted with a lot of women. But nothing he did ever healed his hurt. Sometimes he wanted to hurt others as he had been hurt by his father. So he lashed out, most of the time at his wife. She’d done nothing wrong, but he made her believe that she had to justify his actions. He called her hurtful names, just like he watched his dad do to his mom.
He remembered his mother crying and begging his father to stop hitting her. She had to go to the hospital afterwards. Their meager furnishings were always being destroyed. When he was very young, he would run and hide whenever his dad came home drunk during his frequent rampages. When he was older, he tried to help his mother, which got him hit as well. His father always told him that he wouldn’t amount to much and he was right. Thomas shut his eyes tightly, trying hard to shut out the horrible memories that flooded his brain. He saw visions of the years that he was married to his ex-wife. He could vividly see the bruising, the swelling, the tears and sobs of pain. After she began to avoid him, he started doing the unthinkable to her. But why did he hurt the woman that he loved more than anyone? Why was it so hard to stop the monster that lived inside of him? He needed help. Maybe if he got it she would come back to him.
He would didn’t want to face the fact that she was gone and in the arms of another man. How he hated this guy! The anger in Thomas rose again the more he thought more about it. He had been on edge ever since he found out that she was out of town visiting him. He had to see for himself how long she was gone. He was even willing to risk running into her bodyguard again. On his lunch break, he drove over to her place and parked further down the street, sneaking over by foot. He saw her car sitting there during the time of day that she would normally be at work. He was very nervous but still he waited for a while, then left. He came back again the next day and the car was in the same spot. He did this for a couple more days. She still was not back. This made him angrier. That evening after work, he stopped by a bar and got drunk. He decided to stop by her house again, this time slitting her tires and smashing the window. As always, when sober, he deeply regretted his actions.
After the incident with the car, he laid low for about a week before coming back. But he never saw the car again and found out she had moved, courtesy of James overhearing his wife talking in hush tones to Val on the phone. Now Dionne was mad at him after she found what happened to her friend’s car. Thomas denied to his friend his involvement with the car. He told him that he was only trying to get his wife back and that she was involved with some rich guy who was poisoning her mind against him. James felt sorry for his friend, so he told him that she had quit her job and moved, but was still in town. I guess moneybags was taking care of her now to keep him away! He desperately wanted her back, but his temper and his drinking were always in the way. If only he had a real chance to reason with her and tell her about his plans of reform then maybe she would give him a second chance. The biggest problem he faced was not knowing where she was.
He had to figure out how to find her! But first he needed another drink to take the edge off this headache. He slowly got up to make some strong coffee…….and to send his date home.
The first person I called to tell about our engagement is my sister Ann. She is six years older than me. We were not very close in prior years, mostly because she was very wild and hard to keep up with. Her phone was always disconnected. I was very angry at her for running off with a guy and leaving me alone to take care of our mother before she died. Not only that, she was always between jobs, relationships or an occasional run in with the law for writing bad checks. She has three kids by different fathers: Leslie is 19, Steve is 16 and Brian is 14 and in and out of juvenile detention. But on the flip side, Ann is a very sweet and generous person. She has always been protective of me. She will give you the shirt off her back and she always seems to meet the wrong people who take advantage of her. I have been trying to get her for years to move where I am, but she won’t budge. Her daughter Leslie tries to encourage her mother as well. She’s a very level headed young lady. I must say that Ann has been working hard for the past few years to change her life. She is even in a stable relationship for a change, with a man named Doug. He seems to treat her well, thank God. Previously, she was with a woman for several years and she heavily denied the rumors about them. I know she is bisexual, although she tries to hide it from everyone. What matters most is that she’s doing well and I love her.
“Hi Ann! Merry Christmas!”
“Hey, little sis! Merry Christmas!”
“Did I wake you?”
“No, I was up. I have to go to work today. Doug says hi! Oh thanks for the cash and the gifts for me and the kids! They came right on time! I wish I could have sent you something but I just don’t have it right now.”
“Tell Doug I said hi. Don’t worry about that. I’m glad you got the gifts in time. I was a bit late mailing them to you. It’s a shame that you have to work on Christmas. Couldn’t they at least give you the day off?”
“No, it’s a family owned inn. People are always coming in. I can’t really complain because they gave me a job when no one else would. I do get tired sometimes tho’ but that’s life.”
I hated the situation that she was in and wished that things were different for her.
“What will the kids do then?”
“Leslie and Steve have gone to visit their father’s families. Brian’s still locked up. He’ll get out next month. This time he promises me that it will be the last time. He’s been gone for six months!”
“I hope so. He is too young to start off with a criminal record.”
There was silence on the other end.
“Hey, I know what you’re thinking Ann. We all make mistakes. You’ve learned from yours and Brian has to do the same.”
“I know, but it’s all my fault. I haven’t been the best example.”
“But you have to forgive yourself at some point. Be encouraged sis. Things will get better.”
“Thanks Val. It means a lot to hear you say that. So what do you have planned today?”
“Well…..that’s what I was calling you about. You know the guy I mentioned to you that I’ve been seeing for a while?”
“Yes, Mr. Mysterious! I still can’t figure out why you can’t tell me who he is. He is in the mafia or something?”
“No, silly! He’s the most honorable person that you would ever want to meet. Last night he proposed! We are getting married on the 25th of next month!”
“Wow! Congratulations! But hey, what’s the rush? Are you pregnant?”
“No I am not pregnant!! We just don’t want to put it off. Remember I told you that he lives in California and I am moving there. We want to be together now and his work schedule is going to be crazy for the next several months.”
“What does he do?”
I thought about telling her, but not just yet. Even if she believes me I don’t want to make her feel worse than she already does. She was in love with Michael first when we were younger. Guess it runs in the family!”
“He is very important. That’s all I should say for now.”
“All this mystery is kind of worrying me. I hope you know this guy well enough to marry him. Is he on the up and up? You know how much we seem to suck at picking men! That reminds me…. is that jerk ex of yours still bothering you? If I ever get my hands on that slimy, son of b****, I will kick his a** so high up in the air he’ll be able to kiss the moon!”
Her last comment made me smile in spite of myself. She’s never liked Thomas. As I said before, she’s very protective of me.
“He’s wonderful and I love him very, very much. In fact….I am sure you will too once you meet him. Do you think you would be able to come to our wedding? I will pay for your tickets and everything. All you have to do is get on the plane, please say you will?!”
This is another issue with my sister. She doesn’t like to travel out of state, which is odd since she used to move around so much. She seems content to stay in our hometown for her entire life. I cannot. She also says she won’t ever fly either but I hope she will do it just this once for me.
“Gee I’d love to sis, but you know I don’t fly and I probably won’t be able to take off to come.”
“Oh come on Ann! How do you know that they won’t let you take off if you haven’t asked? Can’t you tell them that you want to see your little sister get married? Surely they can let you off just for that? I hate to fly too, but I do it.”
“I don’t trust planes! It’s too far to fall if you crash!”
“Honestly, how many planes do you hear about crashing every day? None! There are far more car crashes everyday than plane crashes, Ann!”
“Need I remind you that I don’t drive either? I will see what I can do, sis. I’ll try but I can’t promise that I can make it.”
I sighed. I guess that’s about as good as it’s going to get with her. Michael came up from behind to hug me. He began kissing me quickly on my neck. It made me giggle.
“Are you still talking to your sister?”
I took the phone away from my ear.
“Yes! That tickles!”
Ann was shouting on the other end. “Why are you laughing? Is that the Mystery Man I hear in the background?”
I put the phone back to my ear while Michael playfully rocked us from side to side.
“It’s my fiancé, Ann!” I whispered to Michael. “Will you please stop playing?”
“Nope!” He planted a loud, sucking kiss on my cheek.
“I wanna speak to him!” Ann continued.
Oh Lord! I took the phone away from my ear again.
“She wants to speak to you! What should I tell her?”
Michael released me and took the receiver.
“Well aren’t we going to be family? We should get to know each other.”
Before I could protest, he put it up to his ear.
“Hi how are you!?” He cheerfully replied. I stood on tippy toe, trying to press my ear against the receiver to hear what my sister was saying. It was hard because Michael is taller than me.
“I’m fine, who am I speaking to?”
“Your new brother-in-law! I don’t believe that we have had the pleasure of meeting but my name is Michael. What’s your name?”
“Hi Ann! Will you be able to come to the wedding?”
“I don’t know. I told my sister I will probably have to work and I don’t fly.”
“I know what you mean, I hate flying as well. It’s quite scary, especially when you hit turbulence! I used to cry something fierce when we had to travel when I was a kid! Girl, I could tell you some real horror stories about…….”
“What are you doing?!” I interrupted, whispering. “Don’t tell her that or she’ll never get on a plane! She doesn’t know who you…….”
Michael put a finger to his lips to hush me.
“Exactly!” Ann replied. “I’ve always said that I’m never getting a plane. If I die, let it be on the ground!”
“That’s a good one girl! You’re right! It is better to die on the ground than fall thousands of feet from the sky!”
I was completely mortified! What the heck is he doing? Now she will never come! Michael walked away and sat on the couch.
“So Ann, tell me about yourself…..(pause)….you want to know about me? Well, ask away!”
I can only imagine how this is going to end! I sat down on the couch next to him. He crossed one leg over the other and sat back like he was talking to an old friend. I watched him answer her questions without revealing who he was. In fact, he was literally charming the pants off her! Finally the big question came.
“My last name? It’s Jackson…….(pause)..yes, its Michael Jackson……(pause)…no I wasn’t named after him, I’m the original!” He winked at me. “No, I’m not joking! Your sister didn’t believe me either the first time we talked on the phone until I sang for her. Shall I do the same for you?……..(pause)…..Ok name the song…(he smiled)….ahhhh, “Ben!”
I watched him as he sang Ben for my sister. I could only imagine what was going through her head.
“Well, did I pass?……..(he makes a puzzled face)….. Ok. Well it was nice talking to you. Hope to see you at the wedding!”
He handed me the phone and shrugged his shoulders.
“What did she say?”
“She said she wants to speak to you.”
I quickly took the receiver.
“He sounds exactly like him. Is it true? Please don’t tease me like this!”
“It’s really Michael. I would never tease you like that, at least not about him.”
There was silence on the other end again.
“Oh-my-god!” She said, emphasizing each word. “Now how do you expect me to function after this?! How on earth did you two meet? I want to know every juicy detail! I’m so jealous!”
We called a few more people to tell them the news. I called Susan. She was surprised and pleasantly pleased. She even spoke to Michael on the phone. I was nervous of course because I never know what she might say but it seemed to go well. Michael personally invited her and her husband to the wedding. I could tell from her voice that she was changing her opinion about him and for that I was grateful. I wanted to tell Dionne but was afraid that James would find out and tell Thomas. There were a few MJ friends from the forum that I wanted to tell but it could wait. We don’t talk as much as we used to since I met Michael. I can’t tell them whom I’m marrying of course! They would probably never believe me anyway. Michael called Havenhurst to tell Katherine and Joe. She was a little shocked but pleased and offered to help with the wedding anyway that she could. Joe didn’t have much to say but he did offer his congratulations and told Michael that he made a good choice. That seemed good enough for Michael. I decided work on bringing those two together. Michael needed his dad and I am sure that he needed him just as much, but won’t admit it.
Michael did not tell his staff about our engagement at breakfast, so he waited until we were all together again for dinner after the main course. He started by announcing that he wanted to make a toast.
“First, let me say to Bucky and Maggie that the meal was incredible. Thank you. I want all of you to know that I am truly grateful for all the hard work and sacrifices that you make around the clock for me and I couldn’t ask for a better group of folks to work with. Christmas time should be spent with those that you love and I love you all. From the bottom of my heart, I really do. So cheers!”
Everyone smiled and raise their glasses in response.
“Cheers! We love you too!”
Michael waited until all had taken a sip of sparkling grape juice before continuing. He looked over at me and smiled.
“I also have an announcement to make. Last night, Val and I became engaged….”
Before he could finish, whoops and squeals lit up the room as people jumped up to hug and congratulate us.
“Oh that is so wonderful!” Maggie squealed again as she hugged me. “I’m so excited! I love weddings! Do you guys have any dates in mind? I know I’m jumping ahead of myself!”
“Actually we have,” Michael said. “It’s gonna be on January 25, so we don’t have much time to prepare. We are really going to need everyone’s help.”
“Sure, Mike,” Bill said. “You know whatever you need us to do, we will be ready. Where do you want to have it?”
“At the ranch, but that will depend on the media. You know how they acted about Liz’s wedding,” Michael said.
“Otherwise we will have to have the wedding someplace else. I really want it at the ranch,” I said.
“Don’t worry, we will handle it,” Larry said. “I know what we can do about that. It may take a little doing on such short notice, but it can be done.”
I was very relieved to hear that.
“Gee, thanks guys for everything! We really appreciate it!”
Thomas was now showered and dressed. He sits at his kitchen table, drinking more coffee and thinking. He was due over at his mother’s house for dinner in another hour. He really didn’t feel like going, but he would never hear the end of it if he didn’t. After he got rid of his date, he had spent most of the day trying to figure out how he was going to find his wife. He turned on the TV to have some sound in the house. As he flipped though the channels, he stopped on PBS. Sesame Street was on. They were showing a rerun of an old Christmas special he hadn’t seen since he was a kid. He smiled when he saw Michael Jackson walking along reading a book as he approached the trash can of Oscar the Grouch. He liked Michael so he decided to watch. (I’m sorry, but I can’t help but crack up! If only he knew huh? ;) )
After a brief conversation, Michael gave Oscar the book and walked off. Suddenly it hit him. The book! He looked at the calendar. He thought for a moment as he remembered something. He looked at the calendar once more. Yes! He had figured out how he to find her again and if he was correct, it would be next Saturday. Suddenly, he felt 100 percent better, happy even. This time, she wasn’t going to get away.
Before we retired for bed, I gave Michael a good rub down and a pedicure. I checked his feet to see if he had been massaging them each night in the shea butter. Much to my delight he had. His feet looked great. In fact, he liked the results so much he had started using it on the rest of his body to help repair his skin from the drying and irritation from the harsh bleaching agent in the Benoquin cream he used for his vitiligo. As usual, the massage knocked him out, so I stayed up to organize some details for the wedding and basically our new life. I grabbed my planning organizer and sat on the couch in the living room to keep from disturbing Michael. My mind was going a million miles a minute and I know I won’t rest until I write it all down.
I started first with the wedding plans but it was too hard to concentrate because I was still bothered by the fact that people were stealing from Michael. It was very troubling to know that people with such questionable character issues worked for him. I don’t know how he remained so calm about it because I would fire everybody. I wondered about the process he used to screen staff before hiring. Did he run criminal background and credit checks on each person? I do know from experience that Michael is sometimes a little too trusting. He is undoubtedly a very smart and successful, businessman, but often times his heart gets in the way. When he becomes tired of being lonely and isolated from the rest of the world, he lets his guard down. The moment he does, the Devil always seems to be waiting for the chance to get in. He comes in the form of a seemingly friendly face, promising the moon and offering risky business opportunities and campaigns. Michael obviously fared better in the 80’s when he was in charge and telling his advisor’s what to do. Now they were telling him what to do. I want to find out where the breakdown in that area occurred.
When it comes to Michael, most people can’t see much past the dollars signs and they sure don’t care about how he fairs in the aftermath. That had to stop or he would soon be broke. Though I wasn’t completely sure how to remedy his business situation yet, I was sure that a thorough audit of his assets and liabilities from an outside third party would be a start. In fact, yearly audits and annual reports should be conducted. I made a note to start researching the best audit/actuarial firms and present the findings to Michael. The government is audited all the time and they have to issue the results to the public. Michael shouldn’t be in the dark about what he had and he needed a clearly defined plan to measure where he was going financially, especially if he wanted to get into the film industry. The actuary could help him assess the risk and formalize a plan to minimize it and advise him about his insurance needs. Michael’s will also needs review to see if it is adequate. Now that I am remarrying, I need to rewrite my will and we can work on this together. I am not an expert at this, but I know enough to spot any red flags. I went through this when my mother died. I know it’s a morbid thing to think about but if not done properly, it could cause many legal battles for years. In Michael’s case, I can almost guarantee it’s going to be an issue without even looking at it. Greed is a dirty animal.
Money management is next on the list of items to tackle. He definitely has to tighten up on his spending habits, even with the money he gets from leasing the cows. We will work to create a livable, working budget to include his charitable ambitions. I believe that every dime matters and you can’t get forget that no matter how rich you are. That’s how I have always lived and saved. I plan to take the money from my government job and invest it for us as an additional retirement nest egg. I should walk away with roughly $120,000 after taxes, which is not a lot compared to Michael’s wealth, but every little bit helps. I plan to set it up it much like my portfolio for my government 457 plan, with a portion going to stocks and some going to bonds and mutual finds. I will probably be a little more aggressive this time with the stocks. All in all in good time, I am sure it will pay off for us.
I also want to start with reorganizing his household staff. Of course, I trusted Bill, Larry, Buck and Maggie, but I did not know the others. Even Michael must have some doubts if he won’t allow staff in his suite. A select few did catch my attention when I was visiting the ranch. One maid in particular I simply did not trust at all because she just seems too sneaky. She was always whispering to the other staff, but would change her demeanor when she thought she was being watched. She appeared to be nice and helpful, but my intuition told me otherwise. Her name was Bianca and she has little boy. Michael even allows her to bring him to work with her sometimes. She has worked for him for a while, but never the less, I want to talk to him about his hiring practices and ask him if I can conduct my own interviews with his staff. I want to know exactly whose working in his……I mean “our” home. That still doesn’t sound right to me, but don’t tell him I said that! I was also not comfortable with trusting others to do everything for us all the time. For example, I don’t like the idea of Bianca or any other stranger handling my laundry, particularly my underwear and lingerie. Remember my Victoria Secret stash? I can see Bianca now, discussing those skimpy little numbers and talking about what she thinks we do in our bedroom with the rest of the staff. This was a task that I planned to continue to do for both of us.
Once I got everything written down, I read over it again. This is going be a lot of work. I am not sure now that I will be able to work outside the home and help Michael with all these issues. I want to be a good wife but I don’t want to get lost in his world either. I do hope that Michael will like my ideas and I’ll do whatever he asks. I also hope that he won’t feel like I was trying to take over. I haven’t forgotten how upset he was with me about when I asked him about his prescriptions. We forgave each other, but I also take note about what upsets him. It’s an old habit from the first marriage and I have to work on that. I know that Michael is nothing like Thomas. At any rate, it’s in my nature to be a perfectionist. I still don’t know everything. What I don’t know, I will work hard to research. I started to feel tired, so I closed my eyes for a minute to rest and unintentionally drifted off to sleep.
When I slipped off to sleep, I had another one of my nightmares. Thomas was after me again and I couldn’t get away. No matter where I turned, he was there, taunting me and calling me his wife. Then he would disappear again. I always cringe every time he says that to me because I know it means he has not let me go. I must have been loud because next thing that I knew Michael was standing over me trying to wake me.
“Baby…..baby, wake up. You’re having a bad dream.”
I woke up and looked around confused. My heart was pounding like it was going to burst out of my chest. Once I realized that it wasn’t real, I was so thankful. Michael sat down beside me on the edge of the couch looking very concerned. He gently rubbed my hair from my damp forehead and stroked my cheek.
“It’s ok. You’re safe, sweetness. How are you feeling?”
I slowly sat up and moved over to give him more room to sit. This was the first time that he ever saw me having one of my dreams. I was so ashamed that I didn’t want to look him, but he held my head up, peering closer.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
My mouth opened but I hesitated. I want to tell him but I just can’t seem to get it out. A therapist once told me that I have to face what happened to me by saying it out loud. She says that by not talking about what I’ve experienced, I stay trapped in my memories and can’t find release. Only Susan knows everything I have been through. Some of it she knows because asked me. My thoughts screamed in my head. “Tell him, just tell him! Why are you so afraid to tell him?”
“I….I….can’t, not right now. I’m so sorry Michael! I mean, I want to but….I’m sorry….”
I shook my head and looked down, trying to hold back the dam of tears I felt coming. I started to cry out of frustration. Michael pulled me into his arms and protectively held me while I sobbed. He rocked me like a baby and kissed my face. His tears soon mingled with mine. It seemed as if he knew what I was going through without me ever saying it. He seemed torn between his love for me and the pain in his own heart. Michael had not fully revealed his past either yet. We were both severely hurt, but trying to make a new start. All we wanted was to find someone to really love us and not abuse the privilege of our love returned. After a long time had passed, we finally fell asleep, still holding on to each other for dear life.
We woke up just before the crack of dawn. We slowly moved to stretch our tired limbs that had fallen asleep from being in an awkward position for so long. I felt sorry for Michael because I knew that his legs were probably numb from me lying across them for so long. I sat beside him and rubbed his legs to revive them. He stopped me by pulling me back into his arm and kissed my forehead. His smiled at me.
“Good morning, sweetness. How do you feel?”
“Good morning. I’m ok. Aren’t your legs numb?”
“I’m good girl, don’t worry. Say…..how would you feel about taking a walk to stretch our legs? We can watch the sun come up on the beach. I think that sunrise and sunset are two of the most magical times of the day. Sunrise always symbolizes a new beginning and that’s what we need to remember after last night, do you agree?”
I had to smile. He always had such a beautiful way of seeing things no matter how much it may hurt.
“I’d like that. You will always be my sunrise, Michael. I love you so much.”
“And I love you more sweetness. You’re my daytime, my night time, my world. It almost sounds like a song, doesn’t it?”
After we showered, had our walk and ate, we took care of a few more arrangements for the wedding. Michael’s caterer referred us to a young up and coming wedding planner named Mindy Weiss. She was in process of opening up her own party planning consulting business and she came highly recommended. We planned to officially meet with her once we are back in California, but in the meantime, we will have to talk by phone to get things started. We are supposed to send her our invitation list within the next day or so. It will be difficult making invitations if we are not sure about the venue. I told her about the issues with having the wedding at Neverland. She promised that she would look into a remedy as well as come with some other possible venues. I really liked her already. She didn’t seem fazed by our tight deadline at all.
My godson Alex called me to remind me that next Saturday was story time. I was glad that he did because I had forgotten about it because so much has been going on since I’ve returned. I want to tell the kids good bye so I had to be there. We plan to leave the following day, which is Sunday. The closing settlement for the condo is on Friday so this was going to be a busy weekend. Alex and I discussed his plans for the theme and activities for the day. I was pleased with how creative he is. After I moved, I gave him all our costumes to use. Since Michael wants to come too, we may have to go get the gorilla suit if we can’t come up with a better disguise for him. The children would love seeing Arnie again, I am sure. We’ll figure it out. After inviting Alex and his mother to our wedding, we said our goodbyes and ended the call. I really can’t wait until all my business here is done and we can finally go home. I still can’t shake this feeling of dread that I’ve had since last night’s dream, but I didn’t dare tell Michael. I keep telling myself that it will pass. I need to concentrate on the wedding and the other plans to fix Michael’s business affairs.
Michael and I had a late lunch at the Mango grill. There were hardly any people there, which gave us more privacy. Michael wore his nose and beard disguise again, along with shades and a baseball cap. Even in daylight, it looked pretty realistic. While we waited for dessert, I moved closer to him to share the ideas I had written down the night before.
“I think that those are very good plans, babe,” Michael said. “You really put a lot of thought into it and I appreciate it. This is why I wanted you work with me in the first place. As lady of the house, you shall have carte blanche to manage it as you see fit. I trust your judgment and it is right on par with what I want to do. I will back you 100%.
“I appreciate that hon, but as the head of the house, you are in charge. We will work as a team and talk about things, but you are the leader. I know that seems old fashion to most people but that’s how I was raised.”
“It’s funny that you should say that. Years ago, before the Victory tour, my brothers and I worked with this guy who ripped us off, but he taught me something very valuable. He kept telling me, “Listen, all these people work for you. You don’t work for them. You are paying them.” Finally I began to understand what he meant. It was new to me because Motown did everything for us and told us what to do and we didn’t say anything. When he told me I was in control, I finally woke up because I realized he was right. That’s when I started to run things myself. Then I got off track again as my life and career became larger. The wrong folks crept in again and slowly took over. I’ve never like firing people myself and maybe that’s part of the problem. I’ve always let others do it for me.”
“I don’t like the thought of firing people either, but it needs to be done. We can’t allow unsavory people to work for us.”
“What?” I said looking around. “Why are you grinning?”
“I just like hearing you say “we.” We are a team. Everything that we have from now on will belong to both of us. I’m just glad to see you becoming more comfortable knowing that.”
“It’s still a struggle, but I can’t let that stop me from doing the things that I need to do as a wife.”
He was still grinning.
“I can’t believe that we’re getting married. You don’t know how long I’ve wanted to.”
Now I was grinning.
“Girl, I would have asked you the first weekend we spent together, but I didn’t want to rush you.”
“And you know what? I would have said yes. But I appreciate that you were considerate enough to wait. You let me come to own conclusions about our relationship so I would be sure. You’ve helped me in so many ways. You have been so kind and loving to me. You’ve restored my faith again to believe that anything is possible,” I took his hand and squeezed it. “I thank you so much for that.”
We both leaned in for a kiss.
“I could say the same thing about you, sweetness. I feel like I’m a better man because of you. I know that you really love me and you have my back. There’s no feeling like it in the world.”
We kissed again but this time it was much longer. Michael’s hand cradled the back of my head, pulling me in closer. He is such a great kisser! Our mouths opened and we started to forget where we were.
“Ah…hem!” Our young student waitress was back with the carrot cake we ordered, breaking through our reverie. We simultaneously giggled in embarrassment. “I’m so sorry to interrupt,” she said as she sat down the dishes. “Do you need anything else before I go?”
Still smiling, we shook our heads. She blushed with a half-smile and quickly left.
“I’ll bet she’s thinking, get a room!” I said, picking up a fork.
“Well, we have one. We just need to get to it.” Michael smiled and winked.
“Are you saying that you’re in the mood for a little “afternoon delight,” Mr. Jackson?”
Michael leaned forward and whispered in my ear as I tasted my first bite of cake. “I am always in the mood for some good dessert, especially CAKE!” I turned to look at him as he put the emphasis on cake. I knew what that meant. I looked at his mouth. He was smiling at me with a suggestive, lopsided grin. I felt myself quivering deep down inside. He gave me a soft smooch with a little bit of tongue very close to my ear, sending shivers down my spine. I wanted him right then and there. Out the corner of my eye, I caught our waitress setting up a nearby table for the next customers and trying not to stare at us. That was my cue.
“Waitress, can we get this to go and our check please? We’re kind of in a hurry.”
She nodded and blushed, quickly coming to get our plates and took them in the back. Michael grinned.
“I love a woman who knows what she wants!”
“I do. I want you now….naked!”
Michael began to unbutton his shirt.
“Ok if you insist! But I don’t think the staff here is gonna like it!”
“Boy, don’t you dare!” I looked around and lowered my voice while he fell back in his chair laughing. “You know doggone good and well that’s not what I meant!”
“I’m just trying to please you like a good husband should! Women are so confusing sometimes!”
“Do you want some or not?”
Michael straightened up so quickly, I almost laughed.
“Then cut it out!” I whispered as I saw the waitress approaching with a bag and the check.
“Here’s your dessert and your bill,” she said, handing him the check. “I trust you both enjoyed everything.”
“Yes we did. The “cake” is fabulous!”
The waitress gave him a confused look as he reviewed the tab. He reached for his wallet and pulled out some bills.
“But your dessert is right here.” She held the bag up to show him, then sat it on the table.
“He’s just you teasing,” I said to play it off.
“Oh!” She pretended to laugh but still did not really get what the joke was about.
“Thank you for the wonderful service and keep the change.”
Her eyes grew big when she saw the $200 tip that Michael gave to her. She gasped.
“Oh! Thank you sir, ma’am! Please do come back again!”
Michael took my hand as we stood to leave.
“Thanks, we will. Good luck in school!”
She was still standing there smiling at her tip as we left.
“That was really sweet of you, baby. You’re such a giving person.”
“I love doing it and I wanted to help her out since she’s in school.” He wrapped his arm around me. “And now I’m about to give it to you!”
I smiled seductively and whispered in his ear as some people passed.
“Lay it on me, baby. Lay it on!”
We started getting cabin fever so we decided to get out and go site seeing. We both wore disguises. Bill and Larry wore them too, just in case they were recognized. Bucky and Maggie chose to stay behind to spend some time alone, which they never get to do very much. I plan to make some changes to keep them from always being on call at night. I really don’t see the need to bother them if Michael wants a late night snack or entertains guests when I can cook.
Michael always travels with a trunk full of costumes and disguises for when he goes out. It was almost funny how we both have to hide now. Michael has to hide from the public and I was hiding from Thomas. We headed for DC to the National Mall. Eric drove us so we didn’t have to worry about parking. I knew it would be a long day, so I packed a picnic lunch to save time.
We visited the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum and the art museum and exhibits. We also went to the top of the Washington Monument. Afterwards, we decide to take a tour bus to see the rest of the monuments and other interesting places in DC. The bus lets you on and off whenever you want. We went to the top deck so we could sit back and enjoy the views of the city. Michael was thrilled. He said that he hadn’t ridden on a double decker bus like this since he went site seeing on the Bad tour.
Today, he was dressed as a sheik. His head and face were covered and he wore dark aviator shades. He wore a thick fake mustache and beard in case he had to remove his veil. He also wore a long thawb and a bisht or cloak.
I also wore Middle Eastern clothing. My hair was covered up in a hijab and a niqab covered my face up to my eyes. I also wore a thawb and a pair of pants or salwar.
I filled my eyebrows in slightly heavier. We both wore prosthetic noses and a bronzy foundation to make us look darker. I think we pulled it off pretty good. It was cold so we dressed in layers underneath. We even used accents if we had to speak to people.
We took lots of pictures in front of each monument and each place we visited. After finding a nice shady place under some trees, we stopped to eat lunch before we continued to Arlington National Cemetery to see the “Tomb of the Unknowns.” It is also called the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” though not officially. We wanted to pay our respects to the brave soldiers who died serving our country. We stopped at President Kennedy’s grave and saw the eternal flame as well as the graves of his two deceased children also buried at his gravesite site. Michael is friends with Jackie Kennedy and he admired the President, so he was especially eager to visit. He even got a little overwhelmed for a moment. Other than that, Michael was having a fabulous time touring the city and wanted to see everything. Most of the people who live here don’t even take the time to see all the sites. It was fun seeing his reaction to things because he’s just like a big kid. He soaks up information like a sponge. He’s very curious and forgets nothing when it comes to facts. He likes to learn something new everywhere he goes because it furthers his education about life. I guess it will be the same way with me once we hit the road touring.
By the end of the day we were tired and hungry, so we called for Eric to pick us up and join us to eat. I suggested that we go over Old Town Alexandra in Virginia for dinner. We stopped at a restaurant, ironically named Jackson 20. It was a tavern named after President Andrew Jackson. The décor was warm and inviting with a mixture of vintage wood beams, brick and stone, walnut, leather and bronze. They also have a wood-fired oven. You can eat outside on the sidewalk or up on the roof garden. Since it was cold, they were only serving people inside. The menu consisted of traditional American cuisine. If you want shrimp and grits, steak, Maryland Crab cakes or pork, they’ve got it. They also serve vegan and gluten free dishes, which is perfect for Michael. The food was delicious and we made it through the meal without much fanfare.
There was a family sitting nearby with three children. The youngest child, who appeared to be around six, kept staring at us. Michael and I had removed the veils from our faces to eat. Then she whispered something to her older brother, who appeared to be around 10, next to her. He looked at us kind of funny. Then he tapped his teen brother next to him, whispering in his ear. Then he looked at us and shook his head. We tried not to stare at them, but we knew that was our cue to leave. Michael motioned for our waiter to come and give us the check. Then we heard the little girl exclaim as big as day.
“Mommy, look! It’s Michael Jackson! He’s sitting over there! It’s him, it’s him!”
We froze. The parents looked over at us with doubt written on their faces.
“Honey! That is not Michael Jackson! He’s just a nice man having dinner! Stop staring and eat. It’s rude!”
We let out collective sigh of relief as the waiter came back with our bill. Michael quickly gave him the money and nodded his head for us to leave before pandemonium broke out. The little girl was getting insistent.
“Mommy! I’ll telling you, it’s him! He’s just wearing a disguise! I know him anywhere! Can I get his autograph?!”
“No you can’t ask him for an autograph because that is not Michael! Think about it honey. What would he be doing here, of all places, dressed as a sheik?”
The little girl pointed at us.
“But Mommy, he’s leaving and I want his autograph! Pleeeeeeeasssssssssssssee?!”
The mother grabbed her hand to stop her for pointing just as we safely made it out the door. We were holding our breath. We didn’t wait for Eric to get the car. We quickly followed him to where it was parked and got in.
Whew that was close! It’s amazing how kids notice things that adults refuse to see, even when it’s right in front of them.
New Years’ had arrived and it was now 1992. We celebrated by having our own private party with the staff. We all pitched in to help decorate our unit really festive.
We had great food and drinks. We played board games, charades and we danced. I love to dance with Michael. He’s a lot of fun. We all know that he is the best dancer in the world, but I like that fact that he doesn’t try to show off or try to make you feel intimidated to dance with him. He just dances like a regular person, nothing fancy or over the top, but in perfect rhythm with the music and his partner. He loves to laugh and have a good time. His eyes twinkle with excitement and sometimes he makes these cute, little funny faces when he’s really into it. Sometimes he bites his lower lip whenever he moves close or stands back to watch me dance and I give him a private little show. No matter how he moves or what he is doing, he is very sexy!
Bucky even made this sparkling cake and ice cream!
I invited Alex and his mother Alyssa, to come over. He brought the gorilla suit and my fairy costume with him for us to wear on Saturday. We will quickly change and give them back to him before we leave the library. Michael will probably have to change in the car to keep from being seen. Alex was so happy to meet Michael as he was one of his favorite artists.
I also invited Susan and her husband. After the restaurant incident, we decided it would be best to lay low where we were instead of going to her house for dinner as we originally planned. I was a bit nervous about her meeting Michael but it went well. He greeted her with a warm hug and kiss like he’d known her his whole life. As I said before, Susan is usually not a mushy person, but she seemed to melt at Michael’s charms. I was amazed and had to remind myself to close my mouth a few times. He was the perfect gentleman, extending his arm to her as he took her around to introduce her to people and then over to the food. Bobby, her husband, needed to go over to check on his mother, so they couldn’t stay long. We hugged, kissed and even cried when we had to say goodbye. I was finally leaving my best friend after all these years. They said they would try to come to the wedding but it would depend on if Bobby’s sister can stay with his mother.
Saturday finally came and we prepared to leave for the library for story time. The closing for my condo is complete. I made out pretty good from the sale and planned to throw the profit in the nest egg fund that I was planning for me and Michael. The best part about it all was that I no longer felt that I needed to hold on to anything in case things went bad. I was certain that he loved me and I didn’t need to fear that he would change. Michael’s generosity with me and others was teaching me that you can’t live your life afraid that someone will hurt you. He had more reason to feel that way then I did. He is so amazing. He is my best friend. The only thing holding me back is not telling him all about my past. I keep feeling like a dam is about to erupt. Maybe my emotional breakthrough is coming. Maybe its pre-wedding jitters. Whatever it is, I pray that this feeling of dread is only in my mind. I want to tell Michael about everything and be done with it.
As we were preparing to leave, unbeknownst to us, so was someone else…..
Thomas arrived at the library early, parking carefully from view down the street. He gripped the steering wheel of his car and exhaled deeply, preparing himself for what he was about to do. It was now or never. No turning back. Once his resolve was set, he got out the car, looked up and down the street. He didn’t see any signs of them yet but he knew that she would be here. He had checked with the library to be sure that this was the right day. He quickly began his trek towards the library. He rubbed his hand over the outside of his jacket in the spot where the gun was carefully concealed. He would sneak inside and remain undetected until the right time. Then he would make his move.
We arrived at the library 15 minutes early. For the entire ride, I was very quiet. I felt emotional and nervous, fighting back tears. I hated saying goodbye to the children. Some of the children I had known since I started the program two years ago. They faithfully came each month and I was very attached to them. Michael sensed my apprehension. He made a little small talk, but mostly watched me, holding and kissing my hand and giving me smiles of encouragement.
“Baby, I know this is hard for you today and I am sorry that you have to leave the kids. I do believe that Alex will do a wonderful job with the program.”
I slightly smiled and nodded my head.
“I know this won’t replace the love that you have for the kids here, but I was hoping that maybe you would consider doing story time at the ranch when kids visit. I think they would love it and you’re very good at this. You have a beautiful singing voice and you should use every gift that God has given to you. I mean, that’s only if you want to. I’m not pushing you or anything. I just want you to know that you can still do what you love, even when you are with me. We can always come back here and pop in for a visit, just to see how things are going. I know you are giving up a lot to be with me and I just want you to be happy.”
My eyes became watery.
“Oh babe…thank you. I appreciate your concern for my well-being. I will think about it once we get settled. And just so you know, I am very happy. There’s no other place I’d rather be than with you.”
I reached up, pulling his face close to mine and kissed him deeply. When I opened my eyes, he was gazing at me tenderly. His beautiful brown eyes sparkled with passion and affection. They gave me the courage and strength I needed to get through today and the feeling of dread quickly lifted. I hugged him and pressed my forehead against his. He hugged me as best he could in his gorilla suit. I smiled and so did he.
“I love you so much, Michael Jackson,” I whispered.
“I love you too, Mrs. Jackson. I can’t wait until it’s official.”
When we walked in the door, the kids went wild. They ran over to hug me and Arnie, nearly knocking us over. Alex and his theatre group from school were already there. He hugged and kissed me, then grinned as he gave Michael gorilla pound. Larry and Bill were there as well, this time with only hats and sunglasses. They kind of stayed away from the group this time, walking around and checking out the library instead.
It was time to get started. Alex and crew were supposed to lead the group activities and dance. Arnie and I would lead the story reading. Today’s theme was about popular music. They combined some interesting hip hop choreography and raps that the kids loved and really got into. That’s why I love my godson and his friends. They are super talented and they’ve helped me out a lot. Their contributions have made story time fresh and new. They had the place rocking so much that even the adults couldn’t resist coming over to join in. They even did a small tribute to Michael! I couldn’t tell if he was smiling but he nodded his head and clapped a lot, giving them the thumbs up sign. He danced a little bit, but not too much to keep people from getting suspicious. Michael acted up more than he did the first time. The kids loved it. I think we will pop in from time to time just to let them see him again.
After the kids had gotten their books and were seated waiting for their treats, I broke the news to them that I was moving away. Their little faces fell flat. It broke my heart. Michael put his arm around my shoulder for support.
“But why are you leaving us? Who’s gonna do story time now?” Jamila tearfully replied.
I looked at Michael and he nodded for me to go on.
“Well….I’m getting married. Don’t worry Jamila. Alex and his friends will keep story time going.”
“Married to who?” Teddy asked.
Before I could respond, Michael jumped out in a gorilla pose and proudly pointed to himself.
“Ah… can anybody guess?” I asked.
The kids eyes grew big as the realization hit them. Some raised their hands. I chose Olivia.
“I know! You’re getting married to Arnie!”
“That’s right, Olivia!”
Suddenly a small, cute little boy named Ronald spoke up. He was new to the group.
“Oh my god, she’s marrying a gorilla! Can you imagine what their kids are going to look like?”
I cracked up. So did Michael, Bill, Larry, Alex and his friends. Kids are funny! Their prospective on life is always heartwarming and amusing. It is so true that kids say the darndest things!
Story time ended and we said goodbye to the children. I started to cry as some clung to me. I promised them that I would be back for a visit. Some of the parents congratulated us and thanked me for working with their kids to get them to enjoy reading. That meant a lot to me because I wanted to make a difference. As Alex and his crew were cleaning up, I went to the bathroom to change and Michael went to car to change so we can return the costumes. I told Alex I would continue to send money to him for dry cleaning the costumes. I went into one of the ladies’ room stalls and closed the door. I sat my duffle bag on the floor and began to remove the costume and placed it on a hanger. I quickly slipped on my jeans, top, socks and sneakers. I gathered my things and opened the door. I placed my belongings on the countertop as I stopped at the mirror to brush out my hair. I planned to remove the sparkly face makeup when I got back to the suite to save time. Just then, I saw Thomas exit out of a stall and stand in the mirror behind me. I froze and dropped my brush.
“Well, I guess congratulations are in order huh?” His voice was calm, but eerie. “I heard you say that you’re getting married. How can that be when you and I are still married? I came here today to talk to you about getting back together, but you’ve ruined that. Marriage is supposed to be for life; ‘til death do us part. No one is dead….least not yet. That depends on you.”
His words frightened me. I hoped and prayed that I could talk to him and maybe even go along with him until I can get away.
“Thomas, you shouldn’t be here. Remember there are children in the building. They are innocent and don’t deserve to be involved in this.”
“Oh I agree. I don’t plan to hurt anyone, unless it’s that hairy f*** you’re marrying!”
He snarled as he moved closer. He reeked of alcohol, but he didn’t stagger around drunk or anything. Thomas could drink boats loads of booze and yet still somehow remain functional. The next day, he often forgets what he’s done when he’s drunk or least he pretends to. I flinched, slowly trying to move away. He opened his jacket to show me the gun. He was wearing gloves. I felt like I was going to faint. “I mean business, Val! If you don’t want anyone to get hurt, especially lover boy, I suggest you do what I tell you do. Am I clear?”
I nodded my head.
“What do you plan to do Thomas? Please think about this. You still have time to walk out before something bad happens.”
“Shut up! I tell you what to do! You are going to come with me, do you understand?” He didn’t wait for an answer. He put the gun in his right coat pocket. “Now we are going to slowly walk out of here. I will keep the gun concealed but I can reach it easily and I will use it. There is an exit door near the bathroom that we will use for a quick getaway. Don’t even think of trying anything funny or I will shoot. Got me?”
I nodded my head again. I can’t believe this is happening. We have been so careful to avoid him. Just when it seems that everything was going right, now this. He used my love for the children to trap me. I can’t let me take me. I don’t know what he has planned, but the thought of what might do to me made me physically sick inside. I would rather die first. But I didn’t want to risk that he would hurt the other patrons or the children. I made up my mind what I would do. I prayed silently to God for help. Then I gathered my courage to fight. This time, he won’t get what he wants, no matter what the outcome.
“Now come on, move! Get your stuff! I don’t want to leave any clues behind.”
He pushed me towards the counter. I did as I was told. We headed towards the door and he opened the door and made me look out. I didn’t see anyone in sight, which I thought was strange considering how busy the place was moments before I went in.
“Is the coast clear?”
“Yes,” I responded. I thought my heart was going to leap out my chest and run.
He pushed me quickly towards the door to open it. We were in a hallway near a deserted stairway. There was another door that led outside, opposite from where we parked. He made sure that neither Michael nor his staff could see us leaving. I deeply inhaled as we headed towards the last door. This is it. Michael’s handsome face flashed before my eyes. My heart broke as I thought about the possibility of never seeing him again. I wanted to cry but I knew that I needed to keep my wits about me. As he pushed me out the door, I dropped my costume. He called me a dumb b**** and told me to hurry up and get it. He’s still the same evil, abusive person. As I bent over to pick it up, someone snatched me out of the way, while someone else tackled Thomas to the ground. He was trying hard to reach for his gun in his pocket but the assailant was too fast for him in his drunken state.
“Freeze! You son of a b****!”
When I finalized realized what had happened, Michael was the one who grabbed me. Bill and Larry had tackled Thomas. The police were running fast behind them. When I looked at Michael’s face, he was very distraught. He still had on the black face paint but he was wearing a t-Shirt and jeans. I dropped my belongings as he grabbed me in a hug, covering my face with kisses. I was numb. Thomas, Larry and Bill still wrestled on the ground. They took his gun, cuffed him and jerked him up to his feet. Larry threw his jacket over Thomas’s head so he couldn’t see Michael. Thomas cussed and swore at him as the officers took him away while reading his rights. An officer asked me if I would like to come to the station to press charges. Michael told them that we would. I didn’t move. I felt nauseated and my skin was clammy. I think I was going in shock. Michael picked me up and carried me to car with Bill and Larry in tow. The officer, who was also trained as a paramedic, started attending to me.
After we left the station, Michael, Bill and Larry took me home. The ride was silent. I laid my head across Michael’s lap as he rubbed my head. After giving me one of my sedatives, he gently put me in the bed and held my hand until I fell asleep.
Michael’s Point of view
I watched her as she slept. I’m still stunned and numb. I’m angry too. For the first time in my life, I feel like I could actually murder someone. I cannot believe that I almost lost her today. It was so hurtful to hear the details about the abuse she has endured, but I understand the pain very well, more than she knows. My mind drifted back over the horrible events that ruined our otherwise happy day:
Bill and Larry did a security check around in the library, but didn’t see anything usual. When story time ended, a little girl reported to the front desk that she saw a man slip into the ladies room after Val had went in. Bill was with me while I changed in the car. Larry remained inside to watch Val. He questioned the little girl for a description of the man and then he knew immediately who it was. He told the librarian to phone the police. Larry figured if he tried to escape, he would do it by the exit door. He took out his gun and pressed his ear to the door to hear them talking. He heard Thomas’s plan to take her. He was relieved to hear that because we would stand a better chance to rescue her in the open then to charge into a restricted space and put her at more risk. He quietly called Bill to inform him what was going on inside and asked him to meet him by the outside exit door. When Bill told me what was going on, I insisted on coming to rescue my girl. Bill didn’t like it but when he saw how furious I was, he let it be. No crazy ex was going to stop me, armed or not. If anything happened to her I would die anyway. We met Larry at the exit, discussed the plan and waited. The police arrived and rushed in the library to clear the patrons out quickly and quietly outside the building. When Thomas finally led her out, she dropped the costume, allowing for a quick diversion. I seized the opportunity to grab her while Bill and Larry tackled him. The police rushed in to aid. It was risky but it worked. The police promised to keep our identity secret to prevent any press about it. Of course there was always the chance that someone who was there that day could inquire about it, but miraculously, no one saw me. I am so glad that I was here this time to help protect her instead of being on the other side of the country.
Thomas will not be released on bond because of the nature of the charges: kidnapping, assault and stalking. A temporary restraining order was also issued. She may have to come back to testify against him. We plan to talk to my lawyer to see if he can be prosecuted without her having to come back. I’d prefer that she never have to see him again. The police took a statement from Cutie. She asked for a female officer. I wondered why. The officer’s name tag read: Holland. I was glad that she wanted me to stay during the questioning. I didn’t want to leave her side again until we were safely home at the ranch. She told the officer all about her turbulent past. I cringed as I heard the details.
Officer Holland: “I know this is not easy but I have to ask you some questions that may be painful, but it may also help your case against him. Are you ready?
Officer Holland: “You can take as much time as you need, ok?”
Officier Holland: “How long were you married?”
Cutie: “Five years.”
Officer Holland: “Was he abusive to you for the entire marriage?”
Cutie: “For the first few months he wasn’t. Then he changed and became abusive.”
Officer Holland: “Were drugs or alcohol involved from either party?”
Cutie: “He drinks heavily and I suspected that he uses as well. I didn’t do either.”
Officer Holland: “Was he physically or emotionally abusive or both?”
Officer Holland: “Did you ever require hospitalization or medical treatment when he hit you?”
Michael saw her look at him but quickly looked away.
Cutie: “Yes,” she said with a tremble in her voice.
Officer Holland: “How many times?”
Cutie: “I….I don’t know. I didn’t count.”
Michael’s heart was breaking into.
Officer Holland: “Did he ever rape you?”
She looked down at her hands, biting her lips together. She stayed like that for a while. The officer inhaled deeply as if she knew. I held my breath while we waited for the answer.
Officer Holland: “It’s ok. I know it’s hard. We can stop if you want.”
Cutie looked up with tears in her eyes. Her voice cracked.
Cutie: “No…..no. I want to continue.” She looked at me. I sat still like a stone, rivet to the seat. “I have to.”
The officer rubbed Cutie’s hand to encourage her.
Officer Holland: “Take your time.”
Cutie: “Yes. Yes he did. He raped meeee……”
She dissolved into tears. The officer held her hand as she broke down sobbing, face down on the table. I rushed over to hold her, burying my face into the back of her hair as I tightly clung to her.
When I woke up, Michael was sleep next to me. He was wrapped around me in a protective posture. One of his legs was pending me down. I don’t want to wake him so I laid there quietly, thinking about what I was going to say to him. After a few more moments he finally stirred. I turned to face him. He opened his eyes. We lay there for a moment, staring at each other. He reached out to stroke my face.
“How are you feeling, sweetness?”
“I dunno. Ok, I guess. It a myriad of emotions: bad, relieved, ashamed. The dam broke today. I’ve been holding it all in so long. I am so sorry that you had to find out this way.”
“You know, it takes a lot of courage to survive being hurt. You have survived. I’m a survivor too.”
I looked at him puzzled.
“Joe use to beat us when we were little…….”
Michael proceeded to tell me what he went through growing up and we cried. We talked more about my past and we cried. After we cleared the air, we both felt stronger and more connected to each other. Before the night was over, we realized that we were more than just survivors. Our past couldn’t hold us as prisoners any longer because we wouldn’t allow it to. We had come out of the dark into the light. By facing our demons, we had become champions.
(Update 8/26/13) Hey guys, I just wanted you to know that I haven’t abandoned this story. I have had about 80 % of the next chapter written months ago but it was hard to finish because so much has been going on this year with Michael and I couldn’t put my heart into it. It hard to think about romance when someone that you love is being perscuted daily in the news. I am just about done with the last scene which will be the wedding. Thanks for your patience and I hope to move this story along without this long of a delay. Much love, Cutie Pie ♥
Chapter 23: Forever Yours
Home. We are finally home. We are all so very tired. Michael gave Bill and Larry a few days off to rest. Michael and I immediately went to hide out in his suite, which I guess is mine as well. We wanted to shut out the world for a little while longer before trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Michael had hundreds of messages, but he told his assistant to hold most of them and to only return the most urgent ones. Right now he didn’t care about anything except me and I was thankful that he was there during this ordeal. He hasn’t left my side since Saturday. I told him I was ok, but he kept studying my face as if he were looking for signs of distress. He hugged me tightly constantly. He was more affected by what had happened than I thought. I was pretty shaken up at first, but I felt better knowing that Thomas is behind bars thousands of miles away. He can’t bother me anymore and that comforts me a great deal. The police assured us that my new address wouldn’t be made public. I used our post office box as my address as an extra safety measure. But all and all, this is the most peaceful I have felt since before I married him.
When we arrived that evening, we took off our clothes, got into bed and stayed there until the next evening. We slept on and off, talked and held each other. I love Michael so much that sometimes I don’t have the words to accurately explain what I feel inside. He risked his life to save me without any thought about his own safety. He still loved me even when he found out my secret. I admit part of me was fearful that he wouldn’t see me the same way if he knew. I know that I should have known better, but that’s how I felt. Michael continues to show me that real love goes a lot deeper than loving someone who’s perfect. It’s knowing how to love someone, even when their flaws and shortcomings are discovered.
We finally got up and took a long, hot bubble bath in the whirlpool tub. I think we put too much bubble bath in because the jets made the foam seep over the sides of the tub. First, we washed each other’s backs. Then we played around, splashing water and bubbles at each other. We laughed and giggled hysterically as we wrestled the tub. I built a huge bubble snowman on top of his head, which fell and seeped down into his eyes. He tried to wipe his eyes, which caused them to sting so bad he couldn’t see. He crawled on his knees, reaching one out for me. I knew that he was trying to get me back, so I moved from his reach as I laughed at him. He laughed too. When he almost slipped and fell forward, I rushed over to catch him. As soon as got his hands on me, he dunked me! As I screamed, a big wad of bubbles went inside my mouth. It was so nasty! He howled with laughter as I sputtered to spit it out. Water and foam was all over the floor but we could care less. We were having a blast. I haven’t laughed this hard in quite a while. We ran some more warm water in the tub and sat back to relax. I was sitting between his legs and lying back against his chest. His penis was semi erect and pressed upright against my back. I liked the way it felt against me and I started to become aroused. I reached up to circle my arms around his neck and turned my head to kiss his sweet lips. He leaned his face against mine while he caressed my body. His hands moved slowly and tenderly over my breasts and down to my belly. I looked up at him. His eyes were gentle and dreamy.
“I want a baby,” he softly murmured.
I can’t say that I didn’t expect him to want a child, but I was surprised that he was bringing it up so soon.
“But we just got engaged and we are not married yet.”
“I know, but I don’t want to wait a long time either.”
“Well there’s a lot to be done over the next few months. We have to get the staff and our houses in order and then you’ll be going on tour later on this year. Do you think it will be a good time to have a baby with all this going on?”
“Cutie, things are always going to be busy when you’re in show business. Life is not going to settle down and there will never be a perfect time to start a family. There will always be travel or some event that will disrupt our lives, so now is as good a time as any. When were you thinking about starting a family?”
“Well, I haven’t thought about it much lately, but I do see your point. I want children just as much as you do. I just thought that we should spend some time together as a couple first.”
“Well how long will that take? I believe that children will enrich our lives. I know I will be touring, but I want to take you and our children with me where ever I go. You won’t be left alone to raise them by yourself. I would never do that to you or to our children. I know how hurtful it is for a child to be torn away from a parent when they are little. I was taken away from my mother at a time in my life when I really needed her. Diana became like my surrogate mother and so did Rose Fine our tutor, but I still wanted my mother. I needed Joe too, but I knew not to expect anything from him outside of food, clothes and shelter. I’m not saying that I am not grateful to him for taking care of us, but all I really wanted was his love and approval. Sometimes I just wanted him to put his arms around me and tell me that he loved me. I’ve known since I was real little that he wasn’t capable of giving me that, so Mother became my only comfort. I think that a child should have love and security from both parents, if they are there. You and I have a lot of love and the means to give a child. Please say yes? At least give it some serious thought. I love all the children just as if they were my mine, but I want us to have our own kids too. For years, I’ve been buying dolls from all the world just waitin’ for the day that I can give them to my daughter. I can’t wait to be called “daddy.” I could never say that to Joe and I’ve always wanted to. Being called daddy will be the sweetest sound in the world to my ears.”
I thought about it for a moment. It broke my heart to hear the pain in Michael’s voice whenever he spoke of his father. I had no doubt that he would be a good father and very involved in the rearing of our children. Besides, I’m getting closer to thirty and Michael is already thirty-three.
“Ok Michael. We will start working on our family. I’ll have to stop taking the pill first. I was told by my doctor to never stop taking them in the middle of a pack because it will throw off my cycle. I will be finish with this pack the week before our wedding. That will work out perfectly. We will probably have to wait a little while for the pills to get out my system before attempting pregnancy.
Michael smiled and hugged me tightly. His face was blissful.
“Oh Val….thank you so much! Thank you, bless you!”
“You’re welcome sweetie. I will find a new OB/GYN doctor to begin to prepare now. I want to make sure that I am eating right and in shape before I get pregnant. “
“Well, I think your “shape” is fine,” he teased. “But I know what you mean. I think that’s a good idea. I can ask my doctor to recommend one if you like.”
“That would be great and I will search around too. I would like to find one close to home if possible so I won’t have far to go for visits or when I go into labor.”
“Girl I love you so much!” He kissed me on the temple. “Turn around.”
He assisted me as I turned around. He pulled me up to straddle him. He had that look he gets when he in the mood and I knew what I was in for. With his hand, guided his penis to outside of my opening, teasing it with the tip. I melted like sugar in a hot pan.
“Practice makes perfect baby,” he whispered. “I’m gonna make sure you that enjoy making each and every one of our babies.”
He greedily claimed my mouth, fueling the flames of my desire. I pressed myself against his tip, urging him to enter me. He removed his hand and slowly pushed his way in and began to move in and out. My inner walls adjusted to his size. I threw my head back and moaned as we got into our rhythm. My nipples were hard like raisins and he took great pleasure in sucking each one to his heart’s content. His passion was in super overdrive, proving to me that he really meant what he said. He flipped us around and pressed my legs open as far back as they would go against the walls of the tub. He positioned himself on his knees, pressing his waist between my legs. I wrapped my arms around the back of the tub for support as he lifted and supported me under my thighs. He took his time as he continued to penetrate me deeply and slowly. I enjoyed every bit of it, still sighing and moaning. He moaned too, but it sounded more like singing the closer he came to ejaculation, but he wouldn’t allow himself to come until he was sure I was satisfied, causing multiple orgasms. I was in total ecstasy and I didn’t want him to stop. I belong to this man heart, soul and body. I was more than willing to give him lots of babies or anything else he wanted. Now that Michael has the green light, Susan’s prediction is going to come true. He’s not going to stop until he knocks me up and keeps me that way and I am certainly going to enjoy every breathtaking minute of it! ;)
Next day, I was on my way to Beverly Hills to meet with Mindy our wedding coordinator. I didn’t know how to get there so Miko drove me. He is very nice and I like him a lot, but I still missed Larry and Bill. I know I’ve become attached to them because of all that we have been through together. I was even missing Eric our driver from MD. I wondered if he’d be interested in working with us out here. I’ll discuss that with Michael.
I was very nervous and excited at the same time. I wanted everything for the wedding to be perfect. I wish that I had Susan or Dionne here to go with me. Michael couldn’t make it because of work but he told me to get whatever I wanted and he was fine with it. He also told me to use the platinum credit card that he gave to me to make the deposit. I still don’t like this thing. I hadn’t used it except to pay for moving expenses and I was sweating bullets when I did. I still believe that they are trouble.
From the moment she greeted me, Mindy put me right at ease with her bubbly personality and calm demeanor. First she offered me some refreshments and something to drink, which ranged from coffee to champagne. We went into this bridal conference room where she introduced me to her team of staff who will also be assisting with the implementation. Mindy assured me that she would personally oversee all the details from the smallest to the largest. For someone just starting out she was very well organized, which impressed me a great deal.
“This is your big day and I don’t want you to worry about a thing,” she smiled and said. “Your only concerned should be to relax and enjoy this beautiful moment. We will work around the clock to make this the most memorable day of your lives, for both you and Michael.”
“Oh thank you! I am so relieved to hear you say that! I’ve been so worried because of the short notice and the problem with the venue.”
“Well that’s what we are here for. By the way, I have been checking on what we can do about that. The only option we have is to make a request with the Federal Aviation Administration to grant a temporary flight restriction in the area around the ranch. Typically, these no fly zones are already in place in certain areas around the country and it would probably take an act of Congress to get permission in the timeframe that you need.”
“Oh.” I disappointed to hear that.
“However, you did mention that a member of your security has some federal connections and could maybe pull a few strings, correct?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Ok, but I must ask you one question: how will the press know that you are getting married if they don’t know about you?”
“Well, Michael says that they always seem to find out what he doing, which is why he doesn’t want to have the wedding at the ranch. He would rather fly off to some place quiet and get married.”
“I think he may be right. Making a request like that will only draw more focus that something is going at the ranch and you don’t want that. Now we can still do the ranch and put up canopies to hide everything if that’s what you really want to do. If your friend can pull some strings, we will be set, but he has to do it very quickly and I mean days. We need to be able to get to work.”
Now I wasn’t so sure that Larry could pull it off that fast. I know how slow the government can be from personal experience. Mindy continued.
“I think location weddings are very exciting, but we want you both to be happy. Let look at some of the weddings that I have done before to give you some ideas for different venues. Do you have some ideas in mind?”
“Kinda, but not completely. I just want it to be intimate, romantic and beautiful.”
“That’s a good start. You do want an outdoor wedding, correct?”
“I think outdoor weddings are so splendid! One of the best outdoor weddings I’ve ever done was at a private estate on Malibu beach.”
Then it hit me. The beach house! Why didn’t we think of that before? No one knows about it but us. We could get married there and just stay there after the wedding since that’s what we planned to do anyway! It’s perfect!
“Mindy you just gave me a wonderfully fabulous idea! We just bought a private beach house. We could have the wedding there!”
She smiled and clapped her hands excitedly.
“Splendid! Sounds like a winner to me! I’ve got so many fabulous ideas already! Shall we begin my dear?”
“Yes, yes! Oh thank you Mindy! You are brilliant! You have solved the problem for both of us!”
“Well I didn’t really do anything, but thanks!”
We dug in. I was amazed at the many beautiful functions she has done. There were so many choices and we spent practically the whole day going through designs and samples. I tried to pick what Michael and I would both want based on our tastes. Mindy’s team took careful notes and presented many options from the final selections. Mindy asked me what I wanted for lunch. I asked for pizza and diet coke. I guess this will be my last time eating junk for a while to prepare for pregnancy. But for now, I ate as much as I wanted.
The day was very productive and we got a lot done. I made the deposit and signed the contract. By the time I left, we had chosen the theme colors, the flowers, the music and the style of the invitations. Michael wanted his own personal photographer and videographer to take the pictures and film. That way, he knew they wouldn’t be leaked to the press. Tomorrow we were going to meet at the beach house so that Mindy and her team can see the layout to design the wedding set up. She will present a formal drawing within a day or so afterwards. I have also chosen the style of cake I wanted. Once we decided which subcontractors to use, Mindy made appointments for my dress fitting, a cake tasting with the baker and a food tasting with the caterer. I was going to be very busy for a while but I was sure that our wedding was going to be beautiful and memorable. I couldn’t wait to tell Michael. I should ask him tonight what he planned to wear. A white or black tuxedo might be nice, but knowing Michael whatever he will wear will have to have his own signature style.
The next morning over breakfast, I brought Michael up to speed on the wedding plans. We ate in the bedroom suite so we could talk in private. He’d gotten in late last night and I didn’t want to bother him with any business matters. He had met with director John Singleton and choreographers Fatima Robinson and Stretch to discuss the progress of the rehearsals for his new short film, “Remember the Time.” They made the final decisions on the dancer auditions held weeks earlier. Michael said he was particularly impressed with a young dancer name Wylie Draper. Michael picked Wylie for the short film after he saw his screen test for the upcoming Jackson family biographical movie which will be aired on TV later on this year. Wylie is portraying Michael in the film and I can’t wait to see it. I know if Michael approves of him, he must be good. Eddie Murphy, Inman, Magic Johnson and Tom “Tiny” Lister, Jr. will all be co-starring in the film, which was scheduled to begin shooting this week.
MTW is also doing a behind the scenes “rockumentary” called “More Dangerous Than Ever” which is scheduled to air after the short film premieres on February 2.
Michael’s record label plans to advertise the film by releasing the behind the scene clips of the making of the video (excuse me short film) to air on the same networks as the “Black or White” film. I corrected myself because Michael is very adamant that his work be called short films from here on out. That’s very smart thinking on his part in preparation for his future ambitions as a film director. He wants to influence his audience to see his work as art on film and not just for entertainment value. Michael is a serious believer in enlightening people beyond their everyday thinking or reasoning. He told me that an artist must create an atmosphere of fantasy and expectancy for the audience. Once you do that, they will go with you wherever you take them. Both the artist and the audience must embark on a magic journey together. Michael loves escapism.
On February 3, Michael and I will fly to Manhattan for a summit to announce plans for his upcoming worldwide tour, his sponsorship deal with Pepsi and the formation of his “Heal The World” foundation. I am so excited about it and I want to help him in any way that I can. Michael has been talking about HTW and planning for it in private for quite a while and now it’s finally going to get off the ground. Michael is going to use the proceeds from the tour as a way to raise the money to fund HTW. He doesn’t plan to give away all the details, but he will give a broad general statement. He’s been practicing it with me to see how it sounds. This is basically it in a nutshell:
“The only reason I am going on tour is to raise funds for the newly formed Heal the World, an international children’s charity that I’m spearheading to assist children and the ecology……I’m looking forward to this tour because it will allow me time to devote to visiting children all around the world, as well as spreading the message of global love in the hope that others will be moved to do their share to help heal the world.”
He goes on to say that Heal the World will contribute funds to charities such as Pediatric AIDS in honor of his friend Ryan White, Camp Ronald McDonald, Make a Wish Foundation, Minority AIDS Foundation, etc.
It’s so exciting to be privy to all the details about Michael’s work and his personal philosophies about life. He’s young, but he such an eclectic mixture of an old man/child. He’s wise like someone much older, but playful and innocent in so many ways. I learn so much from him. I just love the way he can make you see the world through his eyes and it’s really pure and beautiful. Sometimes, I even have to pinch myself to make sure that I am not imagining it all! ;) =D
“So you don’t mind changing the venue to the beach house?”
Michael took a sip of orange juice and swallowed before speaking.
“Well, I think it’s a great idea. For the most part it solves the problem, but the press still could get wind of it. Matter of fact, we should probably just move to the beach house as we get closer to the wedding. Other than those we’ve told already, I don’t even want the ranch staff to know about it. The less people who know, the better.”
“Ok, by me.”
We ate in silence for a while. To me, Michael didn’t seem to be very concerned about the wedding, which troubled me a great deal.
“Michael….you haven’t mentioned what you really think about the rest of the wedding plans. I really would like your input. Are you ok with the decisions I have made? I would have preferred for us to do it together but I know you’re busy at the moment.”
“Yeah, I’m cool with everything. I think you and Mindy have done a wonderful job so far, really. It sounds like it’s going to be beautiful.”
“Well…I just kind of get the feeling that you’re not as enthused about the wedding as I thought you would be. Tell me the truth…you really don’t want to have one, do you?”
“Babe, you know I want us to be together more than anything. I’ve told you before that I am already married to you in my heart and now we are making it legal. You also have to understand how I was raised. The Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays, holidays and things like that. We can celebrate wedding anniversaries, as we do for Katherine and Joe, but our family has never done much outside of that other than Family Day. It’s just how we do things. A few of my siblings have had formal weddings, but most of the time they just elope. They don’t even tell our parents. We are too shy about it, I guess. My mother is the same way. When we use to ask her personal questions about her and Joe, she’ll go, “I don’t want to talk about it.” She doesn’t mind if we run off and get married.
His response kind of shocked me.
“So in your family love has to be something private?”
“Yeah private, the mushy stuff anyway.”
“And having a wedding is considered “mushy” to you?”
“Well…no…I mean…yes. I mean, I can be intimate with you in private but I am too shy about saying I do and I promise to…you know, that kind of thing in public. Another thing about me is I giggle uncontrollably when things are uptight. Every time I get in meetings and everyone is uptight, I laugh through the whole thing and I can’t stop giggling. I have to keep apologizing and my lawyer looks at me and says, “I’m sorry. He does this sometimes.” Then they start laughing and it becomes fun and lighthearted because they look too serious sometimes and I like it to be fun and lighthearted. I can’t help it. I really can’t help it.”
“Michael, I really don’t understand how all that applies to our wedding. I know how intensely romantic you can be. I mean we slept together the first weekend you visited me and you weren’t shy then.”
“Well it wasn’t like I planned it or anything. You know how it happened. We were all alone and you were scared. I felt very comfortable with you. I also found you very attractive and sweet. I wanted to protect you and hold you in my arms for the rest of our lives. I felt like you wanted me too and well….I went for it. If I had to do it all over again, I would do the same. When I first made love to you, my heart stayed with you. I couldn’t stop thinking about you no matter what I did. I knew you were the one even before we slept together. To me, that’s what marriage and commitment is about, ya know? It’s gotta be rooted in you. The feeling starts in here.” He pointed at his heart. “And here,” pointing to his head. “That’s when you start to you weigh it out to see if the person is right for you. Sometimes loves come slowly over time, but basically it’s about knowing who’s right for you to be with for the rest of your life. At a wedding, a couple stands up in front of people and promise all kinds of things to each other. I’m sure that most people mean what they say at the time, but that doesn’t mean it will last. I think the reason that most marriages don’t last is because they didn’t really know the person they were marrying and they don’t stay committed. Some people fall in love with the idea of having a big ‘ole elaborate wedding to show off. I see in it in Hollywood every day and I don’t think all that’s necessary to getting married. I say, “just do it.” I am not totally against weddings and I have participated in a lot of them. I’ve been to some that were very beautiful and meaningful. All the boys missed Rebbie’s wedding because we were on the road, but her marriage worked out and they are still together. I just believe that you can have the same commitment standing before a judge or a minister without all the fanfare. To me that’s more romantic because it’s private. Just you and the one you love, God and a witness. That’s plenty.”
Wow! I thought. I just didn’t know what to say to that. I felt so let down. I have always fantasized about marrying him and how beautiful it would be and now to find out that he doesn’t really want a wedding is just….disheartening! Now I felt like I was forcing him into it and I didn’t want that either.
“Michael, I don’t want to push you into anything that you don’t want to do. That wouldn’t make me happy at all and I will always feel bad about it. I just didn’t want to elope because I wanted to celebrate our love in a special way….to have the beautiful ceremony that I always dreamed of. Let’s just forget the whole thing and we’ll go off and do it quietly. I think that Mindy should keep the deposit for all her trouble. I’ll pay the bill. I’m sure she’ll understand.”
Michael reached over and grabbed my hand.
“Hey…..hey, don’t do that. We ARE going to have a wedding. What you want matters to me and I understand why you want a wedding. All I want is you and I have that. I want lots of children and you want to give them to me. I always wanted someone who really loves me for me and you do. You’ve given so much more than I ever hoped for. A wedding is a small thing to give to you and the more I think about it, maybe I am being too cynical about the whole thing. It’s time to break the Jackson tradition! We can make this day as magical as we want it to be.”
“Michael I really want you to be happy too. I never want to trap you into doing anything that you don’t want to.”
He smiled and kissed my hand.
“Baby I am happy and seeing your lovely face walking down the aisle to be mine forever will make me even more ecstatic! As long as we have each other, everything else will work itself out. Just don’t ever leave me girl.”
“Why would I ever leave you? I will always love you, Michael.”
His countenance became quickly became sad.
“Cutie, sometimes our lives will be really hard. You have only seen a little bit of the media can do. They can be cruel and downright mean. Those are the roughest times in my life. I truly believe that are forces at work out there who want to see me fail. They want to take everything that I have worked so hard to build.”
He stopped abruptly when he realized that he said too much, but I made a mental note to find out what he meant by that.
“But for the most part I just shake it off. Usually I have the skin of a rhinoceros. But sometimes I cry and hurt really bad. I can be moody and not even want to be bothered at times, but please don’t take it personally. That’s how I work through problems when I’m troubled. Please try to be patient with me and to be there for me. I’ll be alright. I’ve never been married before and I haven’t had a good example on how to be a husband or a father, but I promise I will do my very best by you and our children. I will probably make some mistakes.” He smiled. “Strike that…I know I will make mistakes. I know some people see me as this perfect goody, goody, but I’m not. I’m very human. I hurt, I cry, I bleed, I make mistakes. I’m stubborn at times. You already know that, but I try to be good to everyone. I would NEVER deliberately hurt you in anyway. Please remember all these things that I have told you, especially in the bad times.”
I rubbed his hand and smiled.
“Are you trying to change my mind about marrying you so you can get out of this wedding? The shine is rapidly coming off your armor!”
“No I would never want to do that, but I don’t want you to have any false expectations of me either. I just want you to really know what you are in for. You’ve already know how sloppy and disorganized I can be, but I don’t expect you to pick up after me either. I will try to be more disciplined in that area.”
“Anything else you feel the need to tell me about?”
He thought for a moment
“No, not right now. You might change your mind about marrying me altogether!”
I leaned over to kiss him.
“Never! I’m not perfect either, baby. I was afraid for so long that you wouldn’t want me anymore once you found out about my past. I felt like damaged goods, but you still loved me just the same.”
“Those bad things happened to you, but it’s not who you are. Most people think that when people are abused they either become abusers or stay victims for a life time. That is not always true. You didn’t let what happen to you change who you are. You refused to stay a victim. You got out and started over, but you kept your sweetness and gentleness. Same thing goes for me. I would never beat our children or hurt any child.”
I leaned in close to his face. He looked me in the eye.
“Will you promise me something?”
“Promise me that you will always talk to me straight like this. I really appreciate how forthright you’ve been and I have learned so much more about you. I know I have more to learn but I’m willing to know the good and the bad. If I’m not doing something right, just tell me. I want to always make you happy.”
“I will, I promise.”
As we began kissing, the phone rang.
“I’m sorry babe, but I have to take this. It’s probably John calling about rehearsal.”
He walks over to pick up the phone.
“Hello? Hi, John, I figured it was you. What’s up? (pause) So do Fatima and Stretch have all the dancers together? (pause) Good……pardon? So why aren’t the scripts ready? We discussed that with Greg a long time ago and I thought the storyboards were already completed. Please don’t tell me (pause)I see. Well what about tomorrow? (pause) Ok. Could you please make sure that all cast members are aware of our new shooting schedule and the times needed on the set? (pause) Oh, ok. That’s good (pause) Yeah, I don’t want them all there when they are not scheduled to shoot. It will too many people. (pause) Thank you so much John, I really appreciate everything. You’re doing a great job. (pause) No, no, it’s ok. We will work around it but from here on, people have to learn to step up……good…..yeah……I’m counting on it……cool. See you tomorrow. Thanks again.”
He hung up and sat back down at the table.
“It seems that we are a little behind schedule, but we are going to continue with the rehearsals with the dancers so they can master the steps before I come in to work with them. I was hoping that we could have shot the first scene with the actors but the scripts aren’t ready yet. We plan for things so they won’t go wrong but sometimes these things happen. You have work around it when they do. This is my first time working with John. He’s young, but very talented.”
“I couldn’t help but notice how patient you are with people. You didn’t get mad or anything.”
“Well it’s really no point. It doesn’t help the situation, but it will be dealt with so it won’t happen again. That’s the way I work. You have to keep your cool. I don’t believe in beating people down. You let people know when they haven’t performed and also let them know when they have done a great job.”
“That’s remarkable. I bet a lot of people in your position would blow their stack.”
“Well, I think I’m that way because of my past. I know what it feels like to be put down and I don’t want to ever make anyone feel like that. You can make your point without embarrassing or insulting people.”
I resumed holding his hand.
“You’re wonderful. How did I get so lucky?”
“I always say the same thing about you too, girl. Hey! Guess what?! Now I’m free today! I can go with you to meet Mindy at the beach house. Would you like that?”
“You know I would!” I jumped up and sat in his lap, hugging him tightly.
“And since we’re going there, we should take some clothes with us for after the wedding. This is why I always keep my suitcase packed and ready to go so I can just leave on a whim. You should do it too. How long will it take you to pack?”
“Not long and I will keep my bags packed from now on too! Thank you, Michael! Thank you so much! I’ll make sure that you won’t ever regret having a wedding!”
“I know that I won’t regret it….because I’m marrying you.”
The next day at rehearsal…..
“And……cut!” John Singleton directed via his bullhorn. “Alright everybody, let’s break for lunch. As you know, we’re a day behind, so we gonna finish filming this scene today. Please be back on the set at 2:00 on the dot ready to shoot. So eat, rest and getcha mind right.
Everybody begins to move out, laugh and chatting as they file out. Michael walks over to his make shift dressing room where his makeup artist Karen Faye is waiting for him. He sits down in a chair and she begins to fuss over him, dabbing at the sweat on his brow. Michael politely takes the towel from her to dry himself.
“Thanks Karen, I can do it.”
“Oh, ok. You’re lunch just has arrived from the ranch, right on time. Let’s see whatcha got here. It looks pretty good,” she noted as she took the sealed containers out of the food travel bag for him. “Today is seared ahi tuna, steam vegetables and fruit. Oh and there’s some nice, organic vegetable fruit juice that you like to drink for later this afternoon and Evian water. That’s a nice healthy lunch. Looks like Bucky’s taking pretty good care of you.”
Michael smiled knowingly because he knew that his fiancée sent it. Every day without fail, she sent a healthy lunch to him by one of the ranch staff. She knew not to make heavy meals or he wouldn’t eat it. She combined the right amount of proteins and plenty of vegetables to keep up his strength. He liked to feel light on his feet when he danced. Most of the time he skipped eating when working, sustaining mostly on water, fruit juices and Ensure. But Cutie wasn’t having it. She didn’t fuss at him but she just took matters into her own hands. Michael knew that she always checked the leftovers to see how much he ate. He had to admit that he liked the way she spoiled him. Karen, on the other hand, tried her best to look after him, but it wasn’t the same. He wasn’t in love with her. She was sweet to him and he loved her work, but sometimes he felt that she prodded a little too much into his personal life. He would never hurt her feelings by telling her that outright. Over the years he had learned how to handle “Turkle” as he affectionately called her.
“Lunch sounds good.”
Michael tossed his towel on the dressing room table and sprayed on more cologne. Like clockwork, Karen handed him some wipes to clean his hands. Michael smiled and thanked her as he took them. Just like always, she knows his habits and she is loyal. For these reasons, he could look over her overzealousness.
“Would you like to have some of my lunch, Turk? I have more than enough.”
Cutie always sent extra food for him in case rehearsals or meetings ran late. Karen still did not know about her and he had not quite decided when the time would be right to tell her. He also needed to tell his clothing designers, Michael Bush and Dennis Tompkins. He needed them all to prepare for the big day.
“Sure! I need to watch my girlish figure anyway instead eating fast food! This will help, thanks.”
They prepared their plates and sat at a nearby table to eat.
“So are you ready for New York and your trip to Africa next month?”
“Yeah, pretty much. It’s going to hectic for the next few months but we will survive. I just hate that I have to go on tour this year. I’ll love seeing the fans but all the rest that comes with it, I can do without.”
Karen gave him a sympathetic look.
“I know it’s hard but we will try to plan some fun things for us to do between performances. Are taking the usual days between tour stops?”
“I plan to, but we’re still working it out. I’ve made some changes. The tickets will go on sale after I make the tour announcement next month. Sony’s spreading the word now and the fan community seems pretty excited.”
“I’ll bet,” Karen said chewing and swallowing. “Your fans adore you.”
Michael smiled gratefully.
“That they do. They never let me down.” Michael swallows the food in his mouth and looks around for bystanders. He leans closer so no one can hear him.
“Turkle, if I tell you something, do you promise not to tell anyone?”
“Of course! You know I would never tell anyone what you’ve told me in private. You should know that by now.”
“I know, but I want to make sure that you don’t discuss this anyone. Not even Bush or Tompkins. I want to be the one to tell them.”
Karen put down her plate.
“You’re scaring me now. What is it?”
Michael stares at her, but doesn’t say a word.
“What?! What is it?!”
“Shhhhh! Not so loud!”
“Sorry but I can’t take this suspense!”
“Uhm….I’m getting married,” Michael mumbles.
Karen’s eyes bug out her head.
“Excuse me? Did you just say that you were getting married?”
Michael smiles sheepishly and softly replies, “Yes.”
Karen stares at him, waiting for a punch line. Michael looks back at her, nervously blinking.
“Really? You’re getting married?”
Karen bursts out laughing. Catching herself, she covers her mouth.
“Stop playing! I swear you take a joke too far sometimes!”
“I’m not joking. The date is set for January 25….next week.”
Karen stops laughing and looks at him closely. Michael shyly looks away and resumes eating.
“You’re serious, aren’t you?”
Michael nods his again but he still can’t look at her because he feels so uncomfortable with her glaring at him like he’s done something terrible.
“Well who is she? Is it anyone that I know? When and where did you meet? I mean, how did it happen? You haven’t mentioned a thing to anyone. I know you were traveling a lot…….to be with her I presume?”
“Yes. We have been seeing each other for well over a year. I asked her to marry me on Christmas Eve. She said yes and we will get married at our new beach house that we just bought.”
She glares at him even more. Michael’s face flushes with embarrassment.
“I forgot to tell you about that,” he sheepishly replies. “You are invited to the wedding of course. I need to look my best for the photos. You must keep this a secret because I don’t want anyone, especially the media, to find out.”
“I won’t tell a soul but you have to tell me everything. I guess you’re sure about this or you wouldn’t be doing it, right?”
Michael looked at her and smiled.
“I’m very sure and very happy. I love her so much, Turkle. You will too.”
Karen looked at him again. She had noticed changes in Michael for quite a while now. He seemed happier, even glowed at times. He was always rushing to get home or to fly off on some spur of the moment trip. She watched him whisper and giggle in the corner like a teenager when talking on the phone during work breaks. She had a suspicion that maybe he had met someone, but hoped she was wrong. Karen had known him since she first did his makeup for the cover of the Thriller album and they had grown very close over the years. She enjoyed the liberty that she had working with him and being one of his closest confidantes. She had to admit that at one time she had strong feelings for him. Michael was a very sweet, generous, sexy and handsome man, who was so totally unaware of it. That made him even more desirable. She still harbored feelings for him to some degree, but she knew that romance would never be in the cards for them. She had moved on and married an executive at Motown. Besides, remaining a friend and employee assured her more longevity into his world than being a love interest. Above all, she wanted Michael to be happy but it still stung a little to know that he was going to be some other woman’s husband just the same. Karen wondered what she looked like. She hoped his fiancée didn’t have a jealous steak. Some of his past girlfriends often grew resentful of their relationship. She saw the daggers in their eyes whenever she kissed or hugged him, but she didn’t let it stop her. In fact, she kind of got a kick out of it. She knew that Michael was never really serious about anyone and they would be gone before long and she would still be there for him. They were good friends and nobody was going to come between them, not if she had a say in it.
But looking at the sparkle in Michael eyes as he spoke about his fiancé made her want nothing but his happiness. She put her hand over his and squeezed it.
“I’m sure I will Michael. Whatever you need me to do, you know I’m with you.”
“Thanks. You’re support means a lot to me.”
Karen pulled back her hand and picked up her fork to resume eating.
“Now give me all the dirt!”
Michael threw back his head and laughed. The sound of his rich laughter filled the air. She smiled brightly at him. She would do practically anything to make him laugh so she could hear that sweet and pure sound. Michael laughter always washed over her like a warm hug. Whomever he chose was certainly a lucky woman.
“Turkle! God you’re embarrassing me! That’s personal!”
“I think it’s a fair request! I always get personal with you! I even showed you my underwear the first time we met, remember?”
Michael blushed profusely at the recollection of that day and the image of her animal print panties. Despite her antics, Karen made him feel comfortable that day at the photoshoot for Thriller. She paid more attention to the baby tiger he had with him than she did to him. She didn’t treat him differently and he liked her work, so he hired her.
“Oh, God…..how long are you going to keep bringing that up girl?! You embarrass me!”
“Until you give me all the details I want to know,” she said poking him playfully in the side.”
“Stop, stop! I’ll tell you! You know how ticklish I am!”
“Yes I do! But seriously….you know much I love you don’t you? I just want you to be happy.”
Michael smiled warmly.
“Yeah I know. Thanks for always being there.”
Karen leans over for a kiss on the cheek and a hug.
When Michael arrived home late that night, he was drained. He felt a migraine coming on and he dreaded it. He saw the familiar aura and flashing lights which he knew was a warning before the actual pain. Sometimes his migraine lasted a few hours, sometimes days. Sometimes it was so bad, he had to take injections. He didn’t like needles but the pain left him no choice. In any event, he could not afford be out of commission with so much going on in his life right now. He walked slowly to his bedroom suite, hoping to take his medication and lie down before it hit him full speed. He also needed to shower, but didn’t feel up to it.
When Michael called to let me know that he was on his way home, I could tell from his voice that he’d had a long day. In addition to his nightly foot regimen, I decided to pamper him with a little more TLC. I prepared our bedroom with scented aromatherapy candles and soft music. I sat in a chair to read. The minute he walked in, I knew something was wrong. He looked more tired than usual. My immediate thought was he is getting sick again like last time in Maryland. I instantly arose from my chair and came to his aid. I gently hugged and kissed him. He responded back but not with the same vigor that he normally had when he hugged me.
“Thanks sweetness,” he said, slightly smiling.
“You’re not feeling well.” I felt his forehead. “What’s wrong, Michael?”
“I’m getting a migraine. It’s hasn’t hit me fully yet. I just need to take something and lie down. I will be fine.”
“I didn’t know you had migraines. How long have you had them?”
“After I was burned and started having surgery on my scalp. I hardly ever had a headache before then.”
He started rubbing his temple.
“Here, sit down. Let me get your medicine. Which one is it?”
“It’s called Zomig. It’s pink.”
I nodded and quickly went to find the medication. I filled a glass with water and hurried back. He was now slumped down in a chair with his eyes closed and his head laid back against a pillow.
“Here you go, babe.”
He slowly raised his head and sat up as I handed him the glass of water. I read the dosage on the prescription bottle, popped of the top and gave him the medicine. He quickly swallowed the pills and took a sip of water. I took the glass from him.
“Thanks Cutie. If you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go lie down. Hopefully it won’t last long this time.”
“Do you need me to do anything? What about a shower and nice massage? It might make you feel better.”
“I really wish I had the energy to take a shower. A massage would be nice though, along with a quiet, dark room.”
“I’ll get in the shower with you and bathe you. It will be quick, I promise.”
He agreed. “Ok.”
I will be right back.”
I went to turn on the shower and tested the water to make sure that it was hot but not unbearable. I adjusted the shower head to massage. I quickly took off my clothes and threw them across a chair. When I returned, he stared at me when he saw that I nude. First I took off his shirt and t-shirt. I stooped down to take off his shoes and socks. He continued to watch me as I unbuckled his belt and his pants. He stood up and I quickly slid down his pants and underwear so he could step out of them. I took his hand and led him to the shower.
“See if the water is ok for you hon.”
He tested the water with his hand.
I stood him under the shower to get wet as I reached for the shampoo, pouring a generous amount into my hands. I washed his hair, gently working my fingers through his hair and scalp. I could feel the scars on his scalp from past surgeries. My poor baby! He had his eyes closed. I asked him to lean his head back so the lather wouldn’t run in face while I rinsed his hair.
“How are you feeling?” I asked him.
“I’m fine. This feels so good,” he whispered.
I grabbed the soap and worked up a rich lather between my hands. I used them to clean his body while I gently massaged and caressed his tired muscles at the same time. He released a relieved sigh.
“Your hands are magic, girl. Thank you for doing this.”
“You’re welcome. You know I’d do anything for you.”
He smiled. “I’m glad you’re on my side.”
“Always. I’ll hurray up and finish so I can get you to bed.”
He really smiled that time. “I like the sound of that.”
“I thought you had a headache.”
“My head hurts. Everything else works perfectly fine!”
I laughed and kissed him as I lathered the soap between my hands again. This time I began to clean his genitals and his around his scrotum. I watched his reaction closely as I rubbed and stroked him. I felt him growing in my hands. I wanted him so badly, but now was not the time. I stopped rubbing him. You can probably guess what happened next.
“Why did you stop, baby?” He huskily whispered. “That felt so good!”
“We should wait until you feel better.”
“You’re making me feel better.”
He took my hands to urge me to continue. The hot shower steam rose between us. He leaned against the wall as I pleasured him until he went limp in my hands. I rinsed him off and we got out the shower. I retrieved some thick, fluffy towels from the nearby towel warmer. I dried him off first, and then quickly started to dry myself
“No let me do it, sweetness.”
I allowed him to dry my top half but I dried the lower half so he wouldn’t have to bend down. I quickly wrapped my wet hair in another towel and hung the wet towels up to dry. I sat him down on a nearby stool next to the vanity to gently blow dry his hair. He closed his eyes, enjoying the feel of warm air blowing his long hair around. He looked so serene and childlike. I love to watch his reaction when I pamper him. He loves being nurtured. He’s so starved for this kind of attention and I enjoy making him feel special. I will never understand how a man this sweet and gentle could be so neglected. I bent down to kiss him on the cheek. He opened his eyes and smiled gratefully.
After his hair was dry, I took his hand and led him to the bedroom. I slightly propped up his pillows as I watched him lay down on his back. He watched me as I went to get the scented oils and another towel. I had peppermint, chamomile, lavender and Eucalyptus Spearmint oils. I chose the latter one because the smell would be soothing to his headache as well as relieve any lingering stress. I poured some on cotton ball and held it to his nose.
“I want you to deeply inhale the fragrance. It will help to sooth your headache. Just relax, baby.”
He closed his eyes and slowly inhaled a few times. When he was finished, I placed the cotton ball on the nightstand. I began to carefully massage his head and face with the oil. I applied a heated herbal eye mask I zapped in the microwave to sooth the pain around his eye area. I continued to massage the rest of his body, front and back. I rubbed his feet in shea butter. He rolled over on his side and went fast asleep. I sat there for a little while, watching him. I took his hand and kissed it. Then I kissed his forehead. Sleep well, my love.
“Mrs. Jackson? Is there a Mrs. Jackson here?”
I looked up when the nurse called my name a second time. I had almost forgotten the name that I was using. Michael and I decided to start using my new surname publically so there won’t be a paper trail for Thomas to trace. Since I quit my job, I didn’t have health insurance anymore. Michael can’t add me to his plan until we are married, so I will pay for the first visit out of pocket.
“You can come on back.”
I quickly stuck a bookmark in the novel I was reading and put it in my bag. I followed the nurse to the office of Dr. Gorden Rosenberg Ob/GYN. She smiled and stepped aside, extended her hand toward the chair in front of his desk.
“Have a seat in here. Dr. Rosenberg likes to meet with all his new patients first before an exam. He likes to discuss the reason for your visit as well any issues or concerns you may have. Then you will go in the dressing room and slip on a gown, then you’ll see him in the examination room. Afterward, you will meet back in his office again to go over your lab results and any recommended follow up treatment. Do you have any questions?”
“No. Thank you.
She stepped out and closed the door. I looked around the wall at all his degrees and certifications. Then I looked at the furnishings. Very nice and tasteful but not overly done. I decided to stick with a local doctor instead of one of the Hollywood types. I found out about the Los Olivo’s Women’s Medical Group by looking in the phone book. There are several doctors in the practice, but I chose Dr. Rosenberg because he seemed to be very thorough in his approach to medicine and he came as a highly recommended from what I hear from Ralph. I went to see him to tell him that I wouldn’t be able to accept the position because Michael wanted me to work for him, which is true. I just didn’t tell him that we are getting married. I will tell him whenever Michael feels that we should go public after the wedding. To my relief, Ralph was very understanding. I offered to help him until he found someone. He thanked me but told me that he will probably end up hiring his wife’s cousin, who really needed a job. That solves the problem for both of us.
After my examination, Dr. Rosenberg and I met back in his office. He looked over my chart.
“Your blood and urine samples are fine and your vitals are normal. The results from your pap smear culture should take about a week and we will call you when they are ready. Everything else looks good Mrs. Jackson. You’re in perfect health so you should do fine during pregnancy. I’m going to write you a prescription for your diaphragm. Do you have any questions?
“Yes. How long should we wait after stopping the pill before we try to conceive?”
“You should stop taking birth control a couple of months before you plan to start trying. This will give you time to see what your natural menstrual cycle is like so you can figure out when you’re ovulating, which is the time of the month when you’re most fertile. If you’ve been taking the pill for a while, your cycle could be different from what it was before you started. It can take a while for hormone levels to get back on track after you stop the pill, but if your period’s still missing after three months, you should come back and see me.”
“So let me ask you this. Let’s say I get pregnant before the two months is up. Will that harm the baby?”
“No, but it will hard for us to predict the due date without a couple of normal periods.”
I nodded my head. “Ok.”
“Now, I want you to start taking folic acid, which research shows can help prevent birth defects. It’s just a precaution. I will also write a prescription for you to start taking prenatal vitamins now. Some women do get queasy from the vitamins. If that happens to you, take them with a snack before bedtime. Make sure that you eat a healthy, balanced diet, get proper rest and exercise. Here is some information on that. Drink in moderation. You are not a smoker, so we don’t have to worry about that. Lastly, if you think you may be pregnant, make an appointment to see me right away.”
“I will. Thank you, doctor!”
“No problem, Mrs. Jackson! Good luck with conceiving! Hope to see you soon!”
Two days later, we were sitting in John Branca’s office. John listened intently as we explained to him the incident facts concerning Thomas.
“Well as you know,” John began, “I am not a family law attorney. I can recommend one if you like; however, I do know in situations like this, it depends on whether the state plans on pressing charges against him. Have you received any information regarding a court date?”
“No not yet.” I replied. “It just recently happened.”
“And hopefully you won’t for a while. If the Maryland courts are like they are in California, they may be backed up for a while before this comes to trial.”
“And that our biggest concern, John,” Michael said. “If and when this does go to trial, we want to know if she will have to appear in court to testify in order to get a conviction against him. It could take months and we could be on tour, which would be a major inconvenience. I don’t want her to have to ever see him again, but we don’t want to see him walk either. What do you suggest we do?”
“Like I said, based on the nature of the charges, I feel pretty strong that the state will probably press charges against him, but whether the case would ever go to trial or result in a conviction is a totally different story. It’s really hard to say, but I would start by talking to the prosecutor and explain to him the uniqueness of this situation. She should also present to the prosecution and to the representing attorney any medical, police records or pictures that can be used as evidence to collaborate your case. I know it’s frustrating, but basically, you will have to wait for the legal process to proceed.”
“But John, I know you know people and you can get this taken care of. I want you to do that,” Michael politely but firmly emphasized. “I know that you can do this. You’ve done it before.”
John inhaled silently and looked at him. This would take a bit of doing but he knew from experience that Michael won’t stop bugging him until it is resolved. Michael called for his intervention on everything: from complex legal matters to calling him late at night about something as simple as his pinball machine being broken. John was certain that he would be even worse about his fiancé. It would be easier to just give in now.
“Ok, Michael. I’ll see what I can find out about the case and where this is heading. I’ll do all I can to help, but I still recommend getting an attorney who specializes in domestic situations.”
“You can pull in another attorney as a confidential advisor, but I want you to handle this, personally. I don’t want this to leak to the press.”
John smiled. This is the Michael Jackson that the world did not know. He was kind to a fault, but unyielding when he wanted something done ….and fast.
“As you wish, I’ll keep you both posted. Now is there anything else I can do for you today?”
Michael and I looked at each other before he answered. Michael started giggling, which made me smile.
“Well, I guess you should know that we’re engaged. We will marry on the 25th. It’s a secret of course, but you need to know since you will represent us both now.”
We watched John eyes stretch wide in shock or maybe horror would a better depiction!
“You mean this coming 25th of January? At the end of this month, January?”
“Yes,” Michael replied smiling. “And we need to change our wills.”
John looked as if he had seen a ghost. He face grew pale and he was absolutely speechless.
“But you ah….this is so…..what about…ah?”
John shook his head once he realized how foolish he sounded. Michael excitedly grinned and giggled while tapping me on the leg.
“Told ya! Look at him! Hahahaha!”
I slightly smiled. I wasn’t pleased with Branca’s reaction as I watched him turn bright red after Michael’s comment. He cleared his throat.
“I’m sorry….it’s just…a shock. Congratulations.”
Somehow I didn’t feel that he was real happy about our engagement and I was offended. I didn’t want him to represent me if he was not in favor of our marriage, so I spoke up.
“Mr. Branca, you don’t have to pretend to be excited about our engagement. Michael and I anticipated that you would have some “reservations” about it.”
Again he looked shocked at my comment but was able to compose himself.
“I do appreciate your directness, Ms. Peterson. We can get right to the point then,” He quickly switched over into lawyer mode. “It’s not that I am against the two of you getting married, but I would be dishonest not to say that I am “concerned.” It just seems so…sudden.”
I was silent but Michael was chuckling. I tried not to look at him because every time I did, he made me laugh. I always love to hear his sweet laughter, but right now I need to keep my focus.
“Well obviously not to you of course,” he continued. “But there’s a lot at stake here and we should first discuss a pre-nuptial agreement before we even get to a will.”
“I’d prefer to be called Val or Valerie if you don’t mind.”
“No problem. Now I understand your concerns and I totally agree with you. Michael thinks otherwise, but he has agreed to let me decide. I want to sign the agreement.”
John momentarily went silent again.
“Ah…that’s good, very good. Now we need to come up with a settlement…”
“There’s nothing to settle, Mr. Branca.”
“And likewise, please call me John.”
I smiled and nodded my head.
“Listen John, as far as a settlement goes, all I want is what I came into the marriage with, including any interest earned on my own personal funds that are used in an investment capacity. The beach house and everything else will remain as Michael’s. I don’t want anything from him financially. I can take care of myself.”
I could tell he very much surprised and relieved. I think he was preparing for a fight.
“Are you sure about this?
I looked at Michael and took his hand.
“Yes, I am sure. I love and trust him with all my heart.”
“So do I!” Michael cheerfully replied as he kissed my hand.
“Ok, I just want make sure that everything is done right and fairly. There is a lot to consider here. You both should know that a prenup can dictate not only what happens if the parties divorce, but also what happens when they die. It can act as a contract to make a will and/or eliminate all your rights to property, including probate homestead, probate allowance, the right to take a predetermined heir and the right to act as an executor and administrator of your spouse’s estate. Some couples may even draw up a post-nuptial agreement after they are married, which I also recommend as things change. The post-nuptial contract must be created with full disclosure of assets and entered into voluntarily by both parties. The terms must be fair and equitable. However, even if these conditions are met in a postnuptial agreement, a judge can still refuse to enforce it. I would even suggest that you both consult with separate lawyers to protect your interest. Courts look more favorably on postnuptial agreements that have independent legal counsel for both spouses.”
“Well I think I speak for both us when I say that we appreciate all that you have advised us to do. If this were anyone else, I would follow your suggestions to the letter. I don’t fear that Michael would ever take advantage of me, nor would I ever do the same to him, with or without these contracts. Just tell us what you need us to do and we will do it. I think Michael made it pretty clear that he wants you to represent both of us. I’ll respect his decision….unless you give me reason not to trust you. If you don’t want to represent both of us, then just simply say so. I won’t be offended or think any less of you for it.”
Our eyes met in a brief standoff. He was sizing me up. I didn’t flinch. Then his eyes softened and he smiled.
“Very well, I will get a representation agreement ready for you to sign first thing tomorrow.”
I smiled back.
“Thank you, John.”
Michael was still having giggle fits, enjoying the exchange between me and John. He put his arm around me, exclaiming, “Well, I guess this means that we’ll all be one big ‘ole happy family!”
John threw back his head and laughed. I smiled and shook my head. I can only imagine what he’s going to be like on our wedding day!
“So when are you guys going to get here? I really need you now! I’m so nervous and excited all at the same time! I can’t believe that this is finally going to happen!”
“I know but before Bobby and I can go, we have to find someone to stay with his mother. His sister is supposed to but you know how they are. He probably won’t be able to come even if I do.”
“Aww, Susan! I want you both to come but I understand if he can’t. It’s a shame his siblings won’t help you guys out so you can at least take a vacation.”
“I know Val, but that’s the way that it is. Bobby is not going to take the risk that his mother won’t be looked after. She’s 85. So do you have everything together?”
“Pretty much. I am going for the last fitting for my dress tomorrow. I’m also meeting with the wedding coordinator just to make sure that everything is in order. I am so happy that Michael agreed to have the wedding because originally he wanted us to fly off to Paris and have a private ceremony. I want to have at least family and a few close friends to share the day with us. He’s been so afraid that the media is going find out and ruin everything. I am grateful to my coordinator for helping me come up with the fabulous idea to have the wedding at our new beach house. We’re having a covered walkway installed from the house to the ceremony area to shield us from view overhead. We will also be protected from the view from the shore. It’s going be a small, intimate affair with a romantic theme. Once Michael saw the plans, he was pleased. He really doesn’t care where we get married as long as we do. He keeps saying that he will do whatever makes me happy. I keep reminding him that this is our wedding day and I want it to be special for the both of us.”
“Well sounds like you have it all together. I’m happy for the both of you, but I must ask you a question.”
I could only imagine what she was going to say.
“Well, you know I’m am glad that Michael asked you to marry him, but have you consulted with God about your plans?”
“What exactly do you mean, Susan? I know that Michael is the one for me.”
“I mean have you asked God to bless your union by consecrating yourselves? You know that marriage takes a lot of work and it does not matter that you have lived together. Are you still sleeping together?”
“Susan! When are you going to stop? I thought you would be pleased once you knew we were getting married.”
“I am, but can you deny your flesh until your wedding day? Better yet, you shouldn’t even see each other until the wedding day. Take that time and pray and let God speak to your hearts so he can show you both how he wants this marriage to go.”
“But isn’t it a little late to abstain now?”
“No, it’s not. I feel very strong about this, but it’s up to you. Think about it, ok?”
“I get what you’re saying. I will think about it. I’m just not sure if Michael will agree to it.”
“Well you said he was raised to believe the bible, so this shouldn’t be a problem for him unless he is totally about the flesh. There will be many times in the future when you will be separated so you should be willing to consecrate yourselves now before you get married. Besides, you don’t know what Michael is going to say until you ask him, right?”
“That’s true, but……….”
Susan interrupted me.
“Just think about it. If God moves you to do this, pray before you talk to Michael about it. I believe that God will touch his heart to do it.”
“I’ll think about it, Susan.”
“That’s all I ask. Listen, I gotta go. I will let you know for sure in the next couple of days what we are going to do. If you need me, call me day or night, ya hear?”
“Ok, bye girl.”
I hung up the phone. I know that Susan is probably right but I wasn’t sure how Michael would react to it. I decided that I would talk to him later on tonight when he returns from his business trip. He’s been gone for a few days, so I prepared a nice meal for him. But when he arrived, talking or eating were the last things on his mind. He was appreciative of the meal of course, but he wanted sex. I figured it was the least I could do before I sprung it on him. It would be cruel not to, at least that’s what I told myself. But who was I kidding? I wanted to do it as well. As I have said before, I am weak! After Michael released himself, he kissed me and rolled over onto his back.
“Mmmm, it’s great to be home, sweetness. I couldn’t wait to get back to you. I missed you so much.”
I propped myself up on one arm as I lay facing him.
“I’ve missed you too baby. How was your trip?”
“A big waste of time, in my opinion. I told Sony that I didn’t want to be away right now, but I couldn’t tell them why so they said unless I had a good reason, I had to go. But that’s the nature of the beast. How are things going with the wedding?”
“Great. I go for my final fitting tomorrow and I am meeting with the wedding coordinator to go over some last minute details. I want the day to be perfect.”
“I’m sure it will be sweetness, don’t worry.”
I began to rub my hand over his chest. He watched my face.
“Is something on your mind? You seem a bit distracted. I hope you aren’t getting cold feet.”
“No, not cold feet, but I do want to talk to you about something.”
Michael sat up on one arm facing me. He laid his other hand on my hip.
“What’s wrong, baby?”
“Well, I’ve been doing some thinking and I think that maybe I should move out until our wedding day.”
“Please don’t be mad, but I was talking to Susan and she made a good point about us spending some time apart with God to prepare for marriage. That would also mean no sex either. But before you say anything, I think that we at least owe that to God since we kind of did things out of order. I mean, we have committed a lot of fornication.”
Michael glanced downward.
“So do you regret being with me? I know biblically it was wrong, but I have enjoyed every minute of it.”
I laid my hand on his cheek.
“Michael, look at me baby.” He slowly looked up. “I have not done anything with you that I didn’t want to do. I love making love with you, but this isn’t about us. I want to know that God is not going to hold it against us. No matter how much we enjoy having sex, we both know what the Bible says. I also don’t want to force you into doing anything that you’re not comfortable with either. I won’t be mad if you don’t want to do it. But if you are in agreement, I will move to the beach house tomorrow. We can’t see each other until the wedding day either because I know we will blow it.”
“I hate to admit it, but I know your right.” He took my hand from his face, kissed my palm and sighed heavily. “Alright, we will do it, but I will be the one to move out. I promise I won’t try to see you until I am standing at the altar. I’m really going to miss you girl.”
“Aww, me too, sweetie pie.”
Can we at least talk on the phone? Please don’t cut me completely off from you.”
“Yes we can talk on the phone, but we should keep it brief. God will give us strength. It’s only for a few days and I think He will be pleased.”
We laid there, silently thinking about our new commitment of celibacy. Michael looked at me and I looked at him.
“Didn’t you say that we’re starting tomorrow?” He asked.
“Oh.” He looked away and then looked back at me. “So technically it begins at midnight, right?”
“So what time is now?”
I turned so I could see the clock.
“8:00 on the dot.”
“Midnight is still hours away.”
“So…..” He scooted over closer to me. “If we’ve already blown it today then it’s no point in wasting the rest of evening…”
“I guess you could look at it that way……”
He partially hovered over me.
“I mostly definitely need to leave first thing tomorrow morning.”
“Definitely, to keep us from temptation,” I agreed. He moved completely on top of me. I felt his bulge against my leg. “Ooooh, why is this hard, Michael?”
We slowly kissed. “I think you know why,” he murmured against my lips.
“You know what I mean. Temptation is so hard to control………”
I wrapped my arms around him, resuming our kissing.
“And I was referring to me.”
Still kissing, I wrapped my legs around his middle.
“Mmmmm, I can tell.”
“I love you so much,” he whispered in my ear, sending shivers down my body. “My sweet temptation…….uhmmm……..” His lips and tongue eagerly caressed my bare skin.
“I love you too baby.”
The next morning, with luggage and a skeleton crew of employees in tow, Michael immediately left for the hideaway.
As I as I got dressed for the day, I started feeling a strong urge to pray. I ignored it at first because I had a lot to do and went about my day. I finished the last fitting for my dress and met with the wedding coordinator. When I returned home, the feeling wouldn’t go away and I knew I needed to do it. I wanted to find a quiet and serene place away from everyone. I wasn’t sure where I was going, but I went outside. I started to walk around and ended up at Michael’s Giving Tree. I stared at the wise, old majestic tree with it twisted branches. This seems to be the right place. Thanks to Michael, I am no longer afraid to climb up here. I slowly eased my way up and sat in the seat he had built up here. I look out at the view in front of me, admiring the beauty of the landscape. I felt like I should reacquainted with God first before I asked him for anything. I began to pour out my heart to him about my many past mistakes. Then I prayed for his guidance in our lives and that he would keep us together as a couple. I prayed to be the wife that Michael needed and I prayed for him to the husband that I needed. I pray for God to open the doors to allow Michael to do film and get out of the music business as a performer. I prayed for our future children and that we would be the parents that He wanted us to be. I prayed for our friends, family and people all around the world. Lastly, I prayed to God to speak to Michael and to give him clear vision about his future and the people in his life. I ended the prayer with words of thanks and a promise to God to spend some quiet time with Him every day. I climbed down out of the tree. I truly felt renewed and prepared for our upcoming nuptials.
“So what’s the wedding theme?” Michael Bush asked.
“Um, it’s supposed to be on a beach, a very intimate and romantic late afternoon wedding. There a gazebo altar with white and peach flowers everywhere in these large glass vases. The table decorations are bamboo trees in wrapped in green with these pale colored flowers like cherry blossoms. The tables will sit up very high on a specially built deck so the guests can see the water and the mountains, but it’ll also keep passersby from looking directly at us. That’s all I can tell you. I’ve told you too much already and Val will kill me.”
“Well it sounds really beautiful, Michael.” Dennis grinned and said. “I can’t wait to see it! You know how I love weddings! You know me, always a bridesmaid but never a bride!”
They all laughed.
“What do you have in mind to wear?” Bush said.
“Can you make me something? We only have a few days,” Michael said.
“You just tell us what you want and you know we will get done, don’t worry about it,” Dennis said.
“That’s the problem. I am not sure what I want to wear.”
Dennis folds his arms, cupping one hand under his chin in thought.
“Well since its outdoors, you could wear a light material and keep it white,” he paused. “But we know how you like the bling too. It will be cooler towards the end of the day, so you can still wear your military style jacket with the usual accoutrements.”
“Yeah that’s what I want. I want to look like Prince Charming dancing with Cinderella the ball.”
“If that’s the case, how about the suit you got from Gieves and Hawkes? You only wore it once for a photo shoot. We still have it in the closet at our place.”
“That’s a great idea Bush! Now all I need to do is write my vows. Got any ideas about that?”
“You should just write from the heart about how you feel about her. Like you do for your songs.”
“Well the process for writing songs is different. It just comes to me. This is more formal and you know how I am about speeches. I want to do it right.”
“And you will Michael.” Dennis said. “Right now you’re thinking about it too hard. Just focus on the things about her that inspire you and let it flow.”
“I guess you’re right. It’s easier for me to get up on stage in front of thousands of people than to stand before a handful of people saying I do. “
“You’ll do fine Michael. We have faith in you.”
“Thanks Bush, thanks Thompkins. God bless you.”
I stare out the window, thinking and waiting for the service to start. I can’t believe that our wedding day is finally here.
I don’t know what to do with myself. I may appear calm on the outside, but inside, I’m a combination of happy, excited and even in mild shock. I’m marrying the man I’ve always dreamt of marrying since I was a kid, but I never thought it would come true. I mean what are the odds? Many women would love to be in my position right now, but he choose me, a little country girl from nowhere. I am truly blessed. I bow my head in reverence to God, thanking him for this day and for our new life together.
“Ready bro? It’s almost time to start.”
Marlon peeped his head around the door of Michael’s dressing room. Michael was ready and standing in front of the mirror. He appeared to be staring at nothing at the floor. Concerned, Marlon comes in and closes the door behind him, approaching his younger brother.
“Mike,” he called. Michael did not respond. “Mike!”
When Marlon touches his shoulder, Michael finally turns around to look him.
“Hey, what’s wrong you man? Are you all right? I’ve called your name several times.”
“You did? Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you.”
Marlon peered at him closely
“Michael, are you alright? You’re not having cold feet are ya?”
“No, I was just thinking that’s all. I can’t believe I’m finally getting married! Can you believe it? It’s really going to happen!”
“I know, but you have nothing to worry about. You made a good choice. I like her man. She’s cool and I think she’ll do right by you. ”
“I know. She’s best thing that ever happened to me.”
“Then what are we standing here for! Let’s go get you married!”
“Ok!” Michael chuckled. “How do I look?”
“Horrible!” Michael looks alarmed until Marlon laughs. He grabs his brother in a semi-hug and pats him on the back.
“I’m kiddin’ man! You look great! Like royalty!”
Michael smiles and rolls his eyes at him. “You fathead rascal!”
They burst out laughing. Marlon was just as big a prankster as he was. Maybe even worse.
“I oughta fire you as the best man for that! Do you have her ring?”
“Yeah man. I got it right here.” He patted the outside of the breast pocket of his jacket. His face suddenly fell. Then he searched his pant pockets. Michael stopped smiling.
“Marlon, don’t tell me you don’t have the ring!”
Marlon doesn’t say anything as he continues to search all his pockets.
“Marlon!” Michael yelled. Marlon stuck his hand inside his coat pocket and slowly pulled out the ring box and smiled. “Ta da!”
Michael snatches the box and opens it. The ring is there. Relieved, he snaps the box closed and gives it back to his brother and shoves him. Marlon staggers but doesn’t fall. He is cracking up.
“You are so evil, Marlon! I don’t know how Carol puts up with you!”
“I don’t either man!”
They continue to laugh. Then Michael turns serious.
“Do you know why I picked you as my best man?”
Marlon jokingly pokes his chest out.
“Because I am the most handsome brother!”
“No, Marlon! I’m serious! I picked you because….well…we always did everything together when we were young and we are so close in age, but I mostly did it for um….good luck.”
Marlon looks puzzled. “Luck? I don’t get it.”
“Out of all the sibs, you and Rebbie are the only ones who haven’t divorced and she obviously can’t be the best man.”
“What does being divorced have to do with anything?”
“Well, it means that you have hung in there even in the rough times and you made it work. I know you and Carol have had your problems but you didn’t walk away. That’s what I want for my marriage. Call me crazy, but that’s the kind of atmosphere I want surrounding us today at the altar. The air of commitment and longevity.”
Marlon smiled. “Well thank you brother. I’m honored. Marriage is not always easy and we can’t take credit for any of it. We thought about throwing in the towel, but I then realized, it’s cheaper to keep her!”
They laugh again.
“Marlon, I’m serious. I want my marriage to last. Do you have any advice for me?”
Marlon looks away to think for a moment. Then he looks back at Michael.
“Yes. Always listen and always say, “Whatever you say dear! No matter what she says, just say that. Also pray. Pray for her, pray for you and pray that you don’t lose your damn mind in the process!”
Marlon laughs and Michael smiles and shakes his head.
“I should have known better than to ask an Applehead like you for advice!”
“Hey! What up with all the jokes about my head today?” He laughs and puts his arm around Michael’s shoulder. “Ok, ok, I’ll stop! Look, I just wanted you laugh. You looked so preoccupied when I came in. But I’m serious. Always remember what I am about to say: learn to listen because most of the time she will be right and you just gotta man up and admit when she is. Agree to disagree and learn to compromise when you can’t agree. Never go bed angry. Work together and don’t let nobody come between you, I don’t care who or what it is. She is your wife and you are her husband. That comes first, always. You take care of her and she’ll always take care of you. You got it?”
Michael nods his head. “Got it, bro.”
“And if all else fails, just nod your head and say….” He points toward Michael.
“Whatever you say dear!”
“Right! You got it man!”
They shake hands and laugh.
They tightly hug each other.
“I love you man,” Marlon said.
“I love you more,” Michael said.
They release each other.
“Now let’s go and get ‘cha woman!”
Larry and I wait for our cue to walk. He is giving me away. My heart is pounding! I am so excited I can’t wait to get to the altar. My wedding attendant is busily fixing the train on my gown as the photographer snaps away. The only thing that I regret today is that none of my family could make it to the wedding. As she predicted, my sister couldn’t take time off. I hid my disappointment by her telling her that I understood, but I cried like a baby in Michael’s arms afterwards. He reassured me that it would all work out and she was always welcome to come and visit us. I didn’t believe that she ever would come, but his loving assurances made me feel so much better. I decided to focus on my new life with Michael and the beautiful family that we will soon have. They will always be there for me no matter what.
“Are you nervous?” Larry asked.
“Not nervous scared, nervous excited! I feel like I’m in a fairy tale and all my dreams are coming true!”
Larry smiles and rubs his hand over mine hand, which is resting in the curve of his arm.
“Well this is not dream. You both deserve every bit of happiness. You look so beautiful….thank you for letting me be a part of this moment.”
As I looked at him, his eye began to look glassy. I knew that he was thinking about his daughter.
I kissed his check and hugged him. I took my new monogramed silk handkerchief to dab at Larry’s eyes. It was sent to me by sister as a bridal gift. My eyes starting filling up as well. I smiled at him.
“You’re going to make me cry if you don’t stop,” I gently teased him. “My makeup will be ruined before I get down the aisle!”
“We can’t have that, sis.” A familiar voice came from behind me. I turned my head around, low and behold my sister was standing in front of me! I couldn’t believe it!
“Ann?! Oh my god! How did you? I can’t believe it!” I grabbed her and hugged her tightly. Hot tears shot down my face. She looked so beautiful in her gown with her hair pinned up. “You came! You’re really here! I thought you had to work!”
“Sorry I had to lie to you, but I wanted to surprise you. Michael was in on it and planned the whole thing. He brought us out here on the train, me and the kids! He even paid to have a temp replace me while I’m gone so my employer couldn’t say no!”
“You mean, you’re all here?! Oh my god! I can’t wait to see everyone.”
“Well Brian is still locked up but he told me to tell you that he loves you and he sent you a gift.”
“I am so happy! I prayed that you would come! ” I wiped under my eyes. “Oh god is my makeup ruined?”
The attendant ran over with a compact and tissue, carefully drying my tears and patting on some more powder.
“Thank you so much!” I replied.
“Now you are as good as new, sis!”
“We are about to start everyone. Take your places!” The attendant said as she fixed my train again. Larry rested my hand on his arm again and my sister took my other arm while I held my bouquet. I looked at her puzzled.
“That’s the other part of the surprise. I am giving you away too. That was Michael’s idea as well!”
I looked at Larry who was smiling like a Cheshire cat.
“I should have known that you were in on it! I love you both so much!”
I pull them closer to me and grinned. Now everything is just as it should be! I heard the music change to “You and I” by Stevie Wonder. That was our signal to walk. When we were just at the foot of the runner, low and behold I saw the real Stevie Wonder singing! I couldn’t believe it! Oh my god, I’m going to have a complete meltdown! I can’t take any more surprises! I took a deep breath and looked around at the people sitting in the chairs, which included the Jackson family, Liz and Larry, Mac and his family. Bush, Thomkins and Karen Faye were there, but I’ve yet to officially meet them. John Branca is sitting there smiling, along with his wife. I also saw Michael’s friend David Gest, whom I hadn’t met officially, but heard so much about. I saw my niece and nephew. Susan, my bridesmaid is standing at the altar beaming. Bobby couldn’t make it so she came alone. My heart really started racing when I looked at my gorgeous Michael. He is so handsome and regal! Perfect would be the best way to describe him. Maybe it’s because we haven’t seen each other in several days, but I was getting overheated just looking at him! How I wanted to run down the aisle and throw myself into his arms! He stood tall with one hand behind his back and the other at his side. He was dressed in a black, military style suit, ornamented with gold epaulets, brocade trim. He was wearing black gloves. His hair was a mass of perfectly, coiffed curls falling on his streamline shoulders. Marlon looks very handsome standing at Michael’s shoulder with his hands clasped together in front of him and smiling. But my eyes flew back to Michael, the man I love and my knight in shining armor. Our eyes locked and he smiled approvingly. His beautiful smile was breathtaking and I saw nothing and nobody else but him.
I smiled back. I was breathless and weightless at the same time. The words to the song spun an enchanting atmosphere and I was under a lover’s spell. It felt like I was floating as we approached our beautiful altar to stand before the minister.
Michael extended his hand towards me. I took it and stepped beside him, while Larry and Ann stepped back. He kissed the back of my hand and squeezed. A shiver ran up my arm at the familiarity of his touch. I had to inhale deeply to steady myself. We locked glances again and I was completely lost in those big, brown eyes. He smiled shyly and I smiled back. God, I’ve missed my angel so much!
Officiant: “We are gathered here today in the face of this company, to join together Michael and Valerie in holy matrimony. This is a very honorable and desirable estate, but it is not to be entered into lightly. These two people have come now to be joined. If anyone can show just cause why they may not be lawfully joined together, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.”
He paused briefly before continuing on.
Officiant: “Who gives this woman to be married?”
“We do,” Larry and Ann said in union. Larry kissed one side of my cheek and Ann kissed the other one as they turned and took their seats.
Officiant: “Let us bow our heads as we pray. Dear Father in Heaven, we know that we all need your blessing at all times; but as this young couple prepares their hearts and minds to be married, they particularly need much grace as they embark on this journey together to form a new life and a new family.
Let us pray then for God’s blessing to come upon this couple. From this day forth, grow them together in mutual respect and love for one another. We ask you to bond them together through their companionship and prayer together as a family and most importantly as friends. We beseech you now to teach them how to keep themselves right and chaste before you and all men as a great example of a godly marriage.
We believe and we thank you for answering or prayer. Amen.
Michael & Me: (in unison) “Amen.”
Officiant: “Michael and Valerie have written their own vows. Please join hands.”
He nods his head for Michael to begin. We turn to face each other.
Valerie, I take you to be my partner for life
I promise above all else to live with you in truth
And to communicate fully and fearlessly
I give you my hand and my heart
As a sanctuary of warmth and peace
And pledge my love, devotion, faith and honor
As I join my life to yours.
I believe that God has brought us together to do greater things
(This is an audio song with no pictures)
He paused, trying to hold back tears. The tenderness of his words melts me like butter and I have to fight back the urge to start sobbing. I reach up to wipe a tear from the corner of his eye. He grabs my hand and kisses it. He sniffs and continues.
You are my inspiration and my soul’s fire.
You are the magic of my days.
You help me laugh, you teach me love.
You provide a safe place for me, unlike I’ve ever known.
You free me to sing my own song.
You amazement me each day as I rediscover you.
You are my greatest love.
I am yours completely and you are mine to love, care and protect.
On this day,
I give you my promise,
That I will walk with you,
Hand in hand,
Wherever our journey leads us,
Living, learning and loving, together, forever.
Tears are flowing. I take out my handkerchief and dab at my eyes before saying my vows.
Michael, I promise to be your faithful lover, companion and friend,
Your partner in parenthood,
Your ally in conflict,
Your greatest fan and your most loyal supporter.
Your comrade in adventure,
Your student and your teacher,
Your consolation in disappointment,
Your accomplice in mischief. (We both smile as the tears run down our faces)
This is my sacred vow to you, my love.
In your eyes, I have found my home.
In your heart, I have found my love.
In your soul, I have found my mate.
With you, I am whole, full, and alive.
You make me laugh. You let me cry.
You are my breath, my every heartbeat.
I am yours and you are mine.
You are safely lodged in my heart.
On this day,
I give you my promise,
That I will walk with you,
Hand in hand,
Wherever our journey leads us,
Living, learning and loving together, forever.
Officiant: “May I have the bride’s ring?”
Marlon gives the minister the ring. He holds it up to bless it.
Officiant: “May this ring be blessed so he who gives it and she who wears it may abide in peace, and continue in love until life’s end.”
He hands the ring to Michael. Michael takes the ring and smiles at me as he partially places it on my finger.
Officiant: “Michael, as you slip this ring on Valerie’s finger, repeat after me: With this ring, I thee wed. Wear it as a symbol of our love and commitment.”
Michael: “With this ring, I thee wed. Wear it as a symbol of our love and commitment.”
He slides the ring on my finger and squeezes my hand again.
Officiant: “May I have the grooms’ ring?”
Susan handed the ring to the minister to bless it.
Officiate: “May this ring be blessed so she who gives it and he who wears it may abide in peace, and continue in love until life’s end.”
He hands the ring to me. I smile at Michael as I remove his glove and partially place the ring on his finger.
Officiate: “Valerie, as you slip this ring on Michael’s finger, repeat after me: With this ring, I thee wed. Wear it as a symbol of our love and commitment.”
Valerie: “With this ring, I thee wed. Wear it as a symbol of our love and commitment.”
I finish sliding the ring on his finger and try to put his glove back on. He smiles and tries to help. The audience laughs behind us as we struggle with it for a bit before getting it back on. We join hands again.
Officiant: “May this couple be prepared to continue to give, be able to forgive and experience more and more joy with each passing day, with each passing year. Michael and Valerie are now beginning their married life together. We hope that they may have loving assistance from their family, the constant support of friends, and a long life with good health and everlasting love. In so much as Michael and Valerie have consented to live forever together in wedlock. As they have witnessed the same before this company by giving and pledging their troth to each other and having declared the same by the giving and receiving of their rings, I pronounce that they are husband and wife.”
Michael, you may now kiss your bride!
“I love you Mr. Jackson,” I softly whisper to him.
“I love you more, Mrs. Jackson.”
Michael takes me in his arms and lays a kiss on me that made me weak in the knees. I faintly heard people clapping and cheering but Michael lips won my attention. I wanted to savor it forever.
Officiant: “Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly present to you Mr. and Mrs. Michael Joe Jackson!
We turned to face the crowd to more claps and cheers as we walked down the aisle. People were wiping tears from their eyes and congratulating us. Michael and I are supposed to take more pictures with the wedding party before joining the reception. Once we were out of view, Michael pulled me in tightly against him. He cradling the back of my head as he planted soft kisses on my face and neck. I wrapped my arms tightly around his waist. He smelled and felt so good. It was heaven being in his arms again.
“You look so beautiful, girl!” He hugged me tightly. “Mmmmm….I’ve missed you so much sweetness! I’m so glad all this waiting is finally over so we can begin our new life.”
“Me too baby, me too.”
“It was really a beautiful service and I was so wrong about not originally wanting a wedding. I’m so glad that we have something special that we can always look back on and share with our children. My life is now complete! Thank you. Thank you for everything you’ve done for today, but most of all, thanks for marrying me, girl! I love you….so much!”
He kisses me.
“I love you too baby! Thank you so much for making this happen! But you know, it’s not over yet. We got some celebrating to do, so let’s go and have a great time!”
“We will, but ah…I have to admit that I can’t wait until I can make love to my gorgeous bride all night.”
His eyes turned dark with sexual intensity, making me want to rip his clothes off. I can barely talk.
“I can’t wait either, baby….”
Michael bends down to kiss me again, this time, slipping his tongue in my mouth. My body heat is a raging fire. We faintly heard someone clearing their throat several times behind us before we stopped. It was the wedding assistant.
“I’m so sorry to interrupt, but we have to take the photos now so we can get you ready for your grand entrance at the reception.”
“Ok,” we both said at same time. We laughed.
“I thought it would be years before we started to finish each other’s sentences!”
“Not necessarily,” Michael replied. “When it right, it’s right. We were meant to be. Can I have another kiss before we can take these pictures?”
“You don’t even have to ask!”
The rest of the afternoon floated by in enchanted bliss. We were so happy and in love. We couldn’t have picked a better location if we tried and best of all, no press was there to ruin it. The view from the water is so specular.
The sun set in a glorious orange and yellow hue while we ate. God has indeed blessed this day for us with such a marvelous ending. Everything was magnificent from the food, the music and the setup. Mindy and her staff did such a superb job.
I got to finally meet Liz after getting to know her on the phone. She invited Michael and I over to her place for dinner once we are settled. She is so beautiful. Her pictures really don’t do her justice. Katherine and other Jackson family members hugged me and welcomed me officially into the family. She also wants me to come over to Havenhurst for lunch or dinner to get to know each other better. They all seemed happy about our marriage. Even Joe seemed in a good mood as patted Michael and me on the back. He didn’t hug us, but that’s probably his way of doing it. It was so lovely to spend some time with my sister, niece and nephew, even though it was too short. My sister has to get back for work, but she promised me that she would be back for a longer visit. I must properly thank Michael for making it possible for her to get here and making her feel so at ease. She has surely has changed her tune about traveling!
Susan kept hugging me and calling me an old married woman. She even hugged and kissed Michael too! He smiled graciously and I could tell that he was pleased that she has finally accepted him. My family and Susan are all staying in the bungalows at the ranch, but will be leaving tomorrow. I wanted to see them off, but they told me not to worry and just enjoy our honeymoon.
After Michael and I had the first dance, the DJ turned up the music and we partied to the old school hits. Stevie played and sang some of his popular songs. I was so excited to meet him. He kissed me on both cheeks when Michael introduced us! Michael also introduced me to his wardrobe team. Bush and Thompkins seemed very nice. Karen was nice but was studying me like I had something on my face. I wondered what that was about, but it can wait until later. David Guest is a complete clown! He kissed me and just kept running his mouth and teasing Michael, who kept telling me to pay him no attention. I could tell that they had been partners in mischief for a long time. Branca congratulated us and introduced me to his wife. He and I had buried the hatchet, at least for now. He even gave us a very expensive set of china and a complete set of vintage Cellini Romanesque 1968 rose engraved gold plated flatware.
As the evening grew darker and the soft glow of the candlelight cast a romantic spell around us. The DJ put on one of my favorite slow numbers. Michael gently took me by the hand and led me to a secluded spot on the side. He wrapped me in his arms as I encircled my arms around his neck. He smells so incredible! I press my face against his cheek so I can drink him in. I turn my head towards his lips and we partake in a few slow kisses, lightly flirting with our tongues. He really knows what to do with those sexy lips!. He kisses my forehead as he we danced ever so slowly in one spot under the beautiful night sky to the seductive tango of our bodies pressed against each other. Michael began to sway us back and forth to the beat of the music.
I stared into his eyes as I followed his lead. He spun me away from him and pulled me back in against him. He pressed his thigh between my legs and leaned me against him. It was so hot! He was so young, dashing and sexy! His eyes were dark, sparkling and seductive. My heart was racing wildly in my chest and my breath quickened. I responded by raising my leg against him. I wanted him so badly. I caressed the back of his neck and kissed him under his jawline. He moaned through his slightly parted lips. I felt his fingers lightly trace my spine, sending shivers through me. I continued to kiss him softly and slowly his jaw to his neck, giving him little flicks of my tongue. He moved his hand down to my lower back, pressing my middle into to his. I felt his need. I looked up at him and saw the intensity in his eyes had turned to flames. He leaned close against my ear and whispered in a husky voice:
“Are you ready to go upstairs, sweetness?”
His hot and sweet breath vibrated in my ear, sending shockwaves down through me like an orgasm. I felt a release of wetness and it was all I could do keep standing. I simply nodded my head. I was so turned on by his sexy demeanor and weak with desire. He seemed to sense that and held me up right.
“Come baby. I want you now.”
God that sexy deep voice just makes me want to pull him down to the ground on top of me.
“Sh-h-ouldn’t we say goodbye to our guests?”
“I’m sure they’ll figure out why we left.”
In one swift move, he swoops me into his arms and carries me into the house, over the threshold and upstairs to our bedroom. The room was beautifully converted into a romantic bridal chamber. The scent of beautiful, exotic flowers permeated the air. The veranda window was open and a slight breeze flowed through the room. Soft music was playing in the background. He laid me down on the huge bed covered in flower petals. He watched me as he removed his jacket and began to take off his clothes. His eyes roamed my body like I was his last meal about to be devoured. Then I remembered….birth control!
“Wait baby. I need to prepare myself. I won’t be long, I promise.”
“I’m not going anywhere. We’ve got all night…. but don’t take too long baby. I need you.”
He held out his hand to assist me off the bed. He kissed the back of my hand before pulling me to my feet. He watches my reaction to his soft, warm lips slowly moving up my arm. The hot breath from his nostrils tinkled my skin. Desire quickens in my belly again and shoots through me. A soft moan escapes my lips. For a split second, I toy with the idea of not wasting time with birth control, but I need to for the sake of our future baby.
“I won’t,” I finally manage to say.
He kisses me on the lips and taps me on the butt as I turn to leave. I quickly grab the bag I prepared from the closet and headed to the bathroom. I took a quick shower and dried myself. I took out my diaphragm. This will be the first time using it since I finished the pill. I applied the spermicide inside the cup and outside the rim and gently slid it in place. I applied sweet smelling lotion to my body and took down my hair and brushed it. The curls from the pinup now fell in soft waves, framing my face. I slipped on my gown and the matching thong panties.
I pondered if I should even bother putting on the cute and sexy slippers. I decided to put them on. I applied Michael’s favorite candy flavored lip gloss to drive him crazy. I stepped back and looked at myself one last time in the full length mirror. My heart was beating in my ears from excitement. I took a couple of deep breaths to calm myself. “Alright Mr. Jackson, ready or not, here I come!”
When I came out the bathroom, I didn’t see Michael. I saw a bucket of champagne that had been opened and chilling in a bucket of ice.
“Michael, where are you?”
“Over here, beautiful. You look so gorgeous…..”
I turn to face the balcony and he is standing there holding two glasses of bubbly for us. His shiny, new wedding band catches the light reflecting off one of the glasses. He has changed into some silk pajama bottoms that are slightly hanging off his toned hips. He’s not wearing a shirt and he’s barefooted. He looks ravishing. His brown eyes are sparkling bright. He has the sweet smile of an angel. My eyes fall on his smooth, lean chest, with perfectly round, brownish pink nipples. He has the cutest belly button. I think about licking him from head to toe.
My mouth suddenly feels dry, causing me to slightly lick my bottom lip instead. I wait to devour him with kisses. His long mane is blowing behind him in the night breeze and he looks so perfect. Just the sight of him makes my heart speed up again. I almost feel like it’s our first time together, which is kind of odd considering that we made love a few days ago. He slowly makes his way towards me, checking me out from head to toe. I know it sound cliqued, but he was poetry in motion.
(Michael’s point of view)
She looks so incredibly gorgeous and sexy standing there, yet so sweet and innocent at the same time. I like that. I stare at her mouth as she licks her bottom lip and I can’t wait to savor them. I have traveled all over the world and met all kinds of beautiful women, but I have never seen such beauty as she has inside and out. She’s rare. She drives me wild every time I look at her and I just have to touch her. Her skin is so soft and she always smells so good. I feel so alive when she touches me….anywhere. It’s like healing to me and I want more. There are so many things that I love about her and we have so much in common. She understands how I think and she supports me. She’s always there for me and doesn’t trip when our plans have to change because of my career. I can’t wait to come home to her. I can always tell by the way she looks at me that she wants me. It almost makes me want to blush, but it turns me on at the same time. My need for her is just as great. Everytime I look at her, I want her immediately. I can’t stand to be away from her. Man I love her so much! I didn’t think it was possible to find my soul mate, but I’m so thankful that God sent her just for me. She is finally mine and we will be together for the rest of our lives. I’ll do whatever it takes to make her happy and to keep that look of desire in those beautiful brown eyes, just for me…
Michael hands me a glass and gently kisses me on the cheek, close to my ear.
“Mmmm, you smell as good as you look baby! You’re a goddess of ravishing beauty……”
Michael deeply inhales my scent and exhales slowly through his nose, making me shiver again. His lips press against my skin. He lingers there for moment before pulling away. He begins to recite Bryon.
I can feel the color rise in my checks and I suddenly become shy. I wasn’t expecting his beautiful recitation.
“Thank you Michael. That was so sweet.”
“You’re sweet and beautiful,” lowering his voice. “Sexy.”
My face was totally flushed and the room was incredibly warm despite the breeze.
“You’re sexy, Michael. The sexiest man, ever!”
Now he shyly grins and blushes too.
“No I’m not. Standing next to your loveliness, I pale in comparison.”
“Thank you,” I demurely reply.
“Do you remember the last dinner we had before you left to go back to Maryland and I told you that I was saving two gift bottles of Moet for a special occasion?”
“We open one that night and tonight we have opened the second bottle. To christen our new home here, I have bought two more bottles to add to the wine cellar for the future celebrations.”
“Michael that’s so sweet!”
Michael grins. “Before we make a toast, I just want to say thank you for suggesting that we separate for a few days before the wedding. I did a lot of soul searching and talking to God. I asked him to tell me what he wants me to do.”
I grinned because that was one of my prayers for him. I was so relieved that he took it seriously and wasn’t mad about it.
“Really? Did He speak to you?”
“Yes, he told me a lot of things, but mainly he told me to be more careful about letting outsiders get too close to me. Sometime I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt and I end up regretting it later. Do you wanna know what else he told me?”
I nodded. Michael shyly smiled.
“You’re gonna love this one….he told me to listen to your advice because He sent you to help me. Help meet is what he actually said. He said that we are a team and we must be on one accord about everything.”
I was so shocked and pleased at the same time. I didn’t know what to say.
“So let’s make a toast to our future and the greater things we will do together. Cheers.”
We clink our glasses and intertwined our arms, carefully watching each other as we take a sip. As Michael continued to drink, I observed how his perfect and soft lips curve around the glass. My eyes move down to his to his Adam’s apple just as he swallows. God he has the sexiest neck! He was doing the same thing to me, but his eyes moved further down to my breasts. He stared at my hard nipples prominently protruded against the sheer fabric. He licked his bottom lip as though he was imaging what he planned to do to them. I felt weak in the knees again. After we finished our toast, Michael asked me if I wanted more to drink and I told him no. He took our glasses and sat them next to the champagne bucket on the dresser. He grabs the remote control to change the music to set the mood. He smiles seductively as he make his way back to me. He’s in control. Sexy, daring, tempting……my every fantasy come to life.
Taking me into his arms, Michael cradles the back of my head and kisses me passionately on the lips and mouth using his tongue.
“Your mouth tastes so sweet,” he murmured against my lips as he covered them with his mouth again. He grinds his rock hard penis against me, while slowly easing his other hand under my gown. He squeezed and rubbed my backside. He slid his hand in between my legs, rubbing fingers against the silk straddle of my underwear, making me so wet. He takes them off. His soft, large fingers feel so good. The pleasure is so exquisite, I moan, so wet and ready as he continued his probe. He stopped for a moment to lift my gown over my head. His hand landed on my breasts. Using this thumb in a circular motion, he teased my nipples. I was still moaning and caressing his sweet body. He cupped my breast in his large hand, leaning down to kiss my neck and shoulders. He slowly slinks his way down my body, ravishing me with kisses and his tongue. It tickled when he got to belly button, but it was pleasurable at the same time. Instead of laughing I responded with shivers and ran my fingers through his hair. I knew where he was heading, which almost made me convulse before he touched me. I was burning up inside. When he is face first with my private area, he gently but firmly spreads my legs and plunges in.
“Ahhhh, Michael!” I cry as he claims his prize. I fought not to climax because I wanted to wait until for him. Michael felt me struggling to hold back.
“Just relax baby,” he tenderly whispered against me. His hot breath vibrated against my hot, pulsating flesh.
“I-I- don’t want to come just yet.” I panted. “I want to wait for you.”
“I want you to come,” he said and stuck him finger inside me. “Come for me baby,” he whispered as he quickly ran his tongue across my vulva, while still using his finger. “You look so beautiful when you do…..” His lips joined to my other lips, while he continued to use his finger. He wouldn’t let up as wave after wave of pleasure convulsed through my body. My cries were loud as I called out his name.
Your mouth taste so sweet like candy, my beautiful goddess. I want to savor every bit of you from your plump lips to your luscious body. You feel so good in my arms and I never want to let you go. I’m so hard for you right now I will burst if you touch me. I just want to caress you and let you know how much I want and need you. I want to bathe you in kisses and massage you in ecstasy. Nothing means more to me than your happiness and satisfaction. You will never need for anything for the rest of your days. Lay your sweet head in my loving arms to night, my angel, the mother of my seed. I will protect you, I will love you. You are my woman and I want to feel good and to show you what you mean to me. Tonight is the first of many nights in our special paradise of love.
“Ahhhhh! Oh Michael, I want you so bad! I can’t wait anymore! Mmmmm, take me now baby, please?
He picks me up and takes me to the bed. He quickly gets on top and buries himself deep inside of me. He kisses me passionately as we make love. I’m liquid on the inside, melted, gooey and hot!
“Mmmm, baby you feel so good! I’ve been waiting for this! Just tell me what you want sweetness. I’ll do anything for you. Anything, baby.”
“You’re doin’ it baby…Ummm…you’re doin’ it so good to me! I love you!”
“I love you more, baby.”
I wrap my arms around him to pull him closer, kissing him with everything within me.
If we thought the sex was great before, that night we went to another level. We found the passageway to the Garden of Eden, our secret garden of ecstasy.
Short Interlude – Morning Afterglow
I slowly open my eyes and see Michael sitting beside me on the edge of the bed, smiling. I smile back. He takes my hand and kisses it.
“Hi, baby.” I softly reply.
“Hi, sleepyhead! I’ve been waiting for you to wake up.”
“What time is it?”
“It’s about 10:30.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to sleep this long. You should have woke me up.”
“It’s ok. You looked so peaceful, I hated to disturb you. I knew you were tired from yesterday.”
“From last night is more like it, tiger! I’m not complaining at all!” We both laugh. “Still, I don’t want to sleep our honeymoon away. How long have you been up?”
“For a while. I took a shower, went for a walk on the beach and now I’m here with you. I have a surprise for you.”
“Really? You’ve done so much for me already.”
“Well, this is a wedding present for the both of us. I bought us a pair of jet skis. I figured it would nice to have since we live by the beach. We can try them out later if you’re up for it. It’ll be fun!”
I smiled. “Sure! But I’ve never driven one before.”
“I’ll teach you. It’s not hard. You can ride me if you want until you get the hang of it and then you’ll be zooming all over the place in no time.”
“Are you hungry?”
“I could eat.”
“Good. I’ll make breakfast. What would you like?”
“Doesn’t matter. Surprise me. I’ll go hop in the shower first.”
I sat up and pulled my legs around him to sit on the side of the bed. I’m not wearing any clothes. I lean over to kiss him.
“I won’t be long.”
As I attempted to stand up, he grabs me and pulls me onto his lap. He wraps his arms around me in tight hug, which feels so good!
“Michael! I’m trying to go take a shower!”
“I just want to hug my beautiful wife,” he whispered as he nibbled on my neck. Is that a crime?”
“No,” I replied, giggling. I couldn’t help but notice how great he smelled as I crumbled to his charms like a cookie!
“I want to shower before we eat, baby!”
“Ok,” he replied, but he still didn’t let me go. He continued to kiss me on my neck and cheek while cuddling his face next to mine. I can’t help but smile. “I love the way you feel, girl. You’re so soft and warm. I could just hold you like this forever.”
“Awww, thank you, hon!” He continued to kiss and hug me, with no signs of stopping. I savored every sweet touch of his lips and hands. “Not that I’m complaining, but you’re still not letting me go.”
“That’s ‘cause I don’t want to,” he murmured between kisses. “I love you woman!”
“I love you too, baby.”
Our lips met at the same time. As our breathing became heavy, I felt Michael grow hard underneath me.
“Michael….(kiss) I really need to add more spermicide to the diaphragm first…”
“Don’t worry baby….(kiss) I have plenty of condoms too (kiss) so you don’t have to wear it all the time.”
“Oh (kiss) that so sweet of you to (kiss) think of that….I….mmmmm (kiss) get one now…”
“I got it right (kiss) here,” he said reaching into his pocket and pulling it out.
“I guess you (kiss) planned for this…”
“Maybe…(kiss) give me just a second.”
I move over on the bed and watch him while takes off his clothes. He rips open the condom wrapper, takes it out and slides it on. I love looking at his gorgeous body. I bite my lip as he turns toward me with Mikey Jr. sticking straight out and covered. He’s deliciously splendid to behold. I hold out my hand to him and I pull him in bed with me. I get on top and make love to him. We happily fall asleep in each other’s arms. Sex is the best breakfast in the whole world. It will be even better making love under the stars at night on our enchanted beach paradise.
Note: I think I will let the newlyweds have a little privacy for the rest of their honeymoon retreat. The real honeymoon will be coming up soon, but they will have enough to deal with when they return to Neverland to prepare for the Dangerous tour. Want to know what’s ahead for the Jackson’s? Well, you’ll just have to keep reading to find out! ;) Much love! ♥
Chapter 24: On The Road
I wouldn’t go so far to say that the honeymoon is over, but as soon as we returned to Neverland, reality was slapping me in the face. We had to prepare for our first trip together to announce Michael’s upcoming tour and the launch of his foundation. Michael and his security team gave me endless prep lessons about how to handle the swarms of crowds that follow him. I’ve seen it from afar on TV, but having to deal with in real life is a totally different animal. Michael was accustomed to it, but I am not. I like my privacy very much and despite knowing that this was a part of Michael’s world, I now realize that I am not ready to deal with it. Michael can’t even wear his wedding ring out in public. He wears it on a long chain around his neck under his clothes. I’m afraid he’s going to lose it, but he says he won’t.
Of course, I’ll never regret marrying Michael, but I am very concerned about the drama around him. In fact, I’m very nervous about it. I know the day will come when the world will find out about me. What will my MJ friends think? I can’t talk to them anymore about Michael like I use to. Will they be mad that I didn’t tell them about our relationship? All these problems weighed heavily on my mind, but I didn’t mention any of it to Michael. He has enough to worry about. I’ll just have to be a big girl and deal with it.
But for now, the plan is to blend me in as part of his entourage for the upcoming trips to NY and Africa.
“Remember, stay close to security and follow our plan so you don’t get separated,” Michael cautioned. “The most important thing to remember is to remain calm and don’t panic. I don’t want you try to keep up with me because you could get caught in the stampede. Just keep moving no matter what. Sometimes I will duck down into the crowd to calm them down and you won’t see me. We have to move pretty fast and the sooner I am out of the way, the better. But don’t worry, I’ve got you well covered. Security will escort you at a safe distance from me. I also want you to wear a disguise so no one sees what you look like.”
“But what if I still get separated from security?”
“You shouldn’t get separated. You’ll see how it works. But if for some reason you do get separated, don’t panic. Just quickly move off to the side and hide. Call security immediately and remain out of sight where you are. They’ll come get you. You should be safe as long as I am not close to you and no one knows who you are.”
Michael smiled sweetly and put his arm around my shoulder to reassure me. I melted against him.
“Don’t worry sweetness, I won’t let anything happen to you. Do you trust me?”
“I trust you, Michael. Always.”
I would find out later on that those words would be put to the test many times.
February 3, 1992 – (New York) – Dangerous tour press conference
And as always, the press tries to ruin any good thing that Michael does. It’s shame that someone would use Mac’s innocent comments to create controversy. They are nothing but jealous people who can’t stand to see how successful he is.
We hung around in NY for a couple of days. Michael had a couple of meetings at Sony headquarters. On February 5, we flew to Washington, DC. Michael was in town to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters. I was a little star stuck when Michael privately introduced me to Spike Lee, Jessie Jackson and Muhammad Ali for the first time. He didn’t tell them that we were married. They were very warm and hospitable. I was thrilled to see Stevie again. I let him know that it was me, and he didn’t to blow my cover. He gave me a big hug and kiss. What a night! Michael knows everybody who’s anybody! I still can’t believe that I am meeting all these famous people! But once you get to know them, they are just like everyone else.
The Remember the Time short film has been doing well since its release. The single has peaked at number one on the black singles chart. MTV is launching a contest called “Dinner With Michael.” The lucky fan will get to meet and have dinner with him.
We flew back home with no time to spare before we leave for Africa on February 10. We’ve been packing for the trip while preparing for our wedding. Since I’ve never been out the country, I have to get a passport and make sure that my shots are up to date. I hadn’t had any time to unpack my belongings from the move or start on the plans for reorganizing our household. Since I can’t do both right now, I’ve decided to do a little unpacking. I asked Michael to retrieve the box that I shipped to him which contains my journals, bills and other important papers. I didn’t want it placed in the airport hangar with my other belongings. Michael and I agreed to pay off all my prior debts, which wasn’t a lot. My condo was sold and I didn’t have any credit card bills. The only bills left were for utilities, a student loan and one year left on my car loan. Michael kept the box locked in the safe in the bedroom.
“Thanks for keeping it for me, Michael.”
“No problem, sweetness. Where do you want it?”
“The bed is fine.”
He set it on the bed and ripped open the top with a box cutter. I sat on the bed and began to remove the contents. Michael stood close by, eagerly watching. I asked him not to open the box, so I know he was probably dying to see what was inside. My bills were on top so I took them out first and laid them to the side. Michael grabbed them and began reading. I pulled out my business organizer, journal and several notebooks. I thought I had put the note books in another box, but here they were. They contained my writings for my children’s book and my fanfic story about Michael that I used to write before we met. I didn’t want him to see them! I tried to slip them behind me while he was reading the mail, hoping that he wouldn’t notice. No such luck!
“What’s are the notebooks for?”
“Nothing. Just some private thoughts and ideas.”
“I told you it’s nothing…..girl stuff. You wouldn’t understand.”
“How do you know I wouldn’t?”
“Trust me, you wouldn’t.”
“Is it like a diary or something’?” He peered around me trying to see.
“Let’s just drop it ok?”
Michael grinned as he put the bills on the bed.
“It is a diary, isn’t? Am I in it?”
“Baby, please. Just let it go.”
Suddenly, he grabs the notebooks and takes off running. I couldn’t believe it! I jumped up and chased him, but he was fast. He ran downstairs and headed for the front door. That made me mad as I tried to catch him.
“Michael!!! Give me back my notebooks!!”
Michael shrieked and laughed
“Ahahahahahhahah! You’ll have to catch me if you want ‘em back!”
He reached the front door, threw it open and off we ran through Neverland. Michael has the advantage because he knows the place like the back of him hand. He ran and jumped over objects like it was nothing. I realized that I couldn’t catch him so I stopped and watched as he ran out of sight. Defeated, I turned and walked in the opposite direction towards the train station. My car was still in Michael’s storage so I couldn’t take a drive. Fortunately, the train was already there and I didn’t have to wait. I quickly got on. There was a brief wait before we took off. I cried over the thought of him reading what I wrote about him. How embarrassing! I cried until we got to the next station stop. I turned to hide my face with my hand so no one could see me. I felt someone sit beside me, but I didn’t bother to look to see who it was. The train started to move.
“Cutie? Are you are right?” Michael softly asked.
I didn’t respond.
“I’m sorry girl. I didn’t mean to make you cry. Here are your notebooks.”
I looked at him. He seemed remorseful as he handed them back to me.
“Then why did you do it Michael? I told you it was private.”
“I don’t know……I mean…..you know how nosey I am and……maybe I felt a little insecure.”
“Because you had a secret you couldn’t share with me and it kind of made me feel shut out……like….you didn’t trust me. I don’t know….”
“Michael, I love you and I do trust you. I’d thought I put those notebooks in another box. I was embarrassed when I saw them because I didn’t want you to read what I wrote.”
We sat there in silence for a moment staring straight ahead.
“Did you read them?”
“No, I didn’t and not if you don’t want me to.”
We looked at each other. I searched his face and his eyes. I knew he was telling me the truth.
I smiled slightly and looked down.
“Ok, I’ll tell you. One book contains my ideas and notes for a children’s book that I’m writing. I never told you about it, but it’s something that I like to do. I don’t know where it will go.”
Michael looped his fingers through mine.
“I don’t have to read to know it’s great. You just need to know it.”
I smiled, joining my other hand to our union.
“Thank you Michael. That means a lot. Maybe a little feedback wouldn’t hurt…”
“Whenever you’re ready sweetness.”
We kiss and I lay my head on his shoulder.
“Uhm….what’s the other book about?”
I smile and shake my head.
“If you must know, it’s a story about my sexual fantasies about you….before we met.”
Michael’s blush turns almost as red as his shirt.
“I see.” He paused. “Did I meet your….um…..expectations…after we met?
“Yes…and then some.”
“Let’s just say I’d much rather have the man than the book.”
“Well if there are any more fantasies left in that book, just tell me, don’t write about it. I’m your man and I want to make them all a reality.”
I couldn’t ask for more.
Day 1: Our arrival in Libreville, Gabon
“I can wait to be back here again!” Michael excitedly told me as we were descending to land. “I was 14 years old the first time we visited Africa.”
“When we got off the plane, we were greeted by a long line of African dancers. Their drums and sounds filled the air with rhythm! I was going crazy! I was screaming, “All right! They got the rhythm…..this is it! This is where I come from! The origin!”
“Now here I am 19 years later and I coming home again! Wait until you see how beautiful it is, Cutie! You’ll never want to leave!”
I just sat there and smiled as he passionately expressed how connected he felt about the continent. His eyes were so bright and vibrant. I could feel his excitement and I was very happy to see him so radiant he almost glowed. Even though he was fastened in his seat for landing, it was hard for him to keep still. He held my hand and kept peeping out the window, showing me things. I was more than ready to get off this plane after such a long flight.
Finally, we landed in Gabon, a West African neighbor of Senegal. We are scheduled to go on an escorted tour of Abidjan on the Ivory Coast. From there we will go to Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, then on to Nairobi and Egypt. Michael planned to make a film of our trip for his private collection called “Return to Africa.” I am going to help document the tour as well as part of the plan to blend in with his entourage. I was looking forward to this trip, not only because I had never traveled outside the United States, but it was our first major trip together as husband and wife.
Michael’s Australian friend Brett Barnes and his mother came with us. Brett was a great kid and he traveled often with Michael. Michael brought along a tutor for Brett so he could keep up on his studies. Michael told him that this trip will not only be fun, but will also be one of the greatest educational experiences of his lifetime. He told Brett that he had to write a full- detailed book report about it to make sure that he was paying attention.
As we exited off the plane, drums filled the air as Michael had described to me on the plane. That rhythm flowed from the fans who gathered at the airport and lined the streets in anticipation of seeing the “King of Pop.” Michael smiled and waved enthusiastically at the crowd. He kept looking around and bobbing his head to the infectious beat. A little girl came up to him with a big bouquet of flowers. He immediately took them and bent down to kiss her cheek. It was clear from the beginning that Africa truly loved and welcomed the return of its long lost son. He continued to smile, wave and blow kisses at the crowd. People were clamoring to get a glimpse or to touch him. Michael, Bill and the first security team led us. Larry and I were in the second team of security behind Michael. The police surrounded us on each side and from the rear as an extra layer of protection. My head was wrapped in a scarf and I wore big, dark shades. I looked like an old Hollywood movie scarlet, but it worked. This was the first real test of nerves, but seeing how much love my husband was getting, I couldn’t help but smile. I was so proud of him! He discreetly looks back at me and I smile to let him know I’m ok. He quickly looks away, but I saw him bite his lip and smile knowingly. He is soooo cute!
The shouts of the people filled the air, “Michael! Michael!” It was incredible to hear. People were standing behind crudely made barricades hoping for glimpse of him. We headed to toward our vehicles. When the crowd realized that he was leaving, they moved in more, anxious to touch him. I noticed that our pace got faster as Michael continues to smile and wave at his fans. We finally reached the vehicles and quickly got in. The car that we were in had a moon roof. The people continued to shout Michael’s name, so he decided to pop through the roof for a final wave. That made them crowd around the car and frantically try to grab at him. One man caught his arm and starting pulling at it. Michael ducked back down into the car. Security cleared the way for our driver and off we went. This would be a repeated scene everywhere that we went for the rest of the tour.
Michael was scheduled to go to meet with President Omar Bongo at the Presidential palace to receive a medal of honor. President Bongo was to be our host during what was to become known as the “Come Back to Eden” tour, but first Michael wanted to visit the children at the Bonogola Hospital. Michael walked through the ward and visited each and every child. He shook their hands. He sat and talked to them, hugging and cuddling them. Their sweet little faces lit up from the love and attention he gave to them. He brought lots of toys and we passed them out. Since it was such a small facility, he visited with the other patients as well. He talked to the staff and learned that they were in need of a lot of basic care items that we take for granted in American hospitals, like hospital gowns, cotton balls, prescription bottles, bandages and dressing, etc. Michael promised to arrange to send them a hefty check as well as clean linens, medical and pharmaceutical supplies within the next few days. I wrote down all the needs that were discussed. It was amazing to watch him and I quietly took note and filmed his every move. I was honored to be able to help him bless others. I just wish that the entire world knew just how kind-hearted he really is.
Later on that afternoon, Michael received a medal of honor at the Ambassador’s Hall. President Bongo told him that he was the first entertainer to ever receive the medal, which had only been given to high ranking diplomats and dignitaries, including Nelson Mandela. Michael was truly humbled and honored at his words. It came as quite a surprise when President Bongo insisted that Michael stay his first night in Africa at the palace as his honored guest. Michael tried to politely decline and say he couldn’t stay without his security staff, but the president wouldn’t take no for an answer. He wanted to host a formal dinner for Michael and include some of his friends and royal family. To make Michael feel comfortable, he did offer to let at least three essential members of his team stay with him. He told Michael that he would be completely safe as he had the best security available protecting his estate, but he understood that he wanted his own trusted staff with him. From what we were told, hardly anyone outside of royalty, is ever invited to stay at his palatial estate. This was another first for Michael. He told President Bongo that he wanted Bill, Larry and me to stay. He had to pass me off as his personal assistant. The rest his entourage would stay at the hotel as we previously planned.
Since we couldn’t let on that we were married, Michael and I were given separate suites next to each other. Bill and Larry were housed close by. This was quite awkward for us, especially being newlyweds, but we didn’t want to arouse any suspicious that we were more than employer and employee. We planned for Michael to slip into my room as soon as the coast was clear. We thought it was going to simple, but little did we know what we were in for that evening.
I have to tell you that President Bongo’s home was on a scale of luxury and grander like I had never seen. Our suites looked like something out of designer magazine. Each suite had its own living room. Even Michael was awestruck at the exquisite marble and ivory carvings and pure gold fixtures displayed throughout the house. Grand chandeliers made of real diamonds hung from the ceilings. Large stuff lions and other animals were displayed all about the house.
Michael and I both felt troubled by the useless slaughter of these exquisite animals just to furnish a home, but there was a lot about Gabon’s long time ruler that would be troubling as we would learn many years later when allegations would fly about his misuse of public funds.
Mr. Bongo was a disciple of the first generation of African leaders. He came to power in 1967, when Lyndon B. Johnson still president. He presides over an oil boom that fueled an extravagant lifestyle for him and his family. He owns dozens of luxurious properties in and around Paris, a $500 million presidential palace and fancy cars. But the tide of money and opulence did little to lift his country of 1.5 million people out of chronic poverty.
Like other absolute rulers on the continent, Mr. Bongo squashed any and all rebellion, opposition and the press. But unlike the regimes of others, his authoritarian rule was softened by the money from offshore oil fields, and his style is to buy off his opponents rather than crush them outright.
For France, that makes him a more respectable ally than others in the region. France maintains a military base in the capital of Libreville and has extensive oil interests in the country.
Dinner was scheduled to start at 7:30, but Mr. Bongo wanted us to come down an hour early for Michael to make the rounds with his guests for a meet and greet reception in the receiving room. We were very tired from the trip and activities of the day, but we took a quick rest, got up and dressed. Michael wore one of his beautifully military jackets with black pants and black boots and all the accoutrements. He looked so handsome.
I wore a silver floor length chiffon evening gown I had purchased just before we left.
Michael let out a low whistle when he came to pick me up at my door.
“Wow….you look ravishing, sweetness,” he whispered as he turned me around. “It’s gonna be really hard pretending I have no interest in you. I could take you right now.”
He made me smile like I had won the lottery.
“Thank you baby doll,” I whispered to him. “You are absolutely sexy and gorgeous! You’ll probably have to beat all the ladies off you tonight, including me!”
Michael rubs his chin bashfully and grins.
“There is only one woman that I want all over me and it’s you. It will always be you.”
“I would kiss you, but we better get going before someone sees us. Rain check?”
“I’ma make it rain it alright when I come to your room later, girl!”
I smile and blush profusely. Michael moves closer to me and my heart starts to pound. He looked around and plants a soft kiss on my check. I was instantly warm and tingly from head to toe. He slowly pulls away and extends his arm out to me. As I take his arm, I touch my cheek, missing his soft lips already. Then he bit his lip, which sent me more into a tizzie inside.
“I like that natural rouge in your cheek. It becomes you, my blushing bride.”
“Michael, please stop before you get us in trouble!”
“Too late for that! Wait ‘til later, girl!” He chuckled as I got redder. “Ok, I’ll stop and behave. We’d better go before they come looking for us.”
And off we went to start the evening. When we entered the hall, we were announced by name as we entered. When Michael’s name was mentioned, the noise level rose to an excited buzz and people clapped profusely. Michael smiled and waved. We saw cameras flashing from the presidential photographers. President Bongo and his royal family came over to greet him.
“Ah, brother Michael!” Mr. Bongo smiled and hugged him. He spoke with a mixture of an African and French accent. “Welcome! We are honored to have you with us this evening! Do you find your accommodations pleasing to your comfort?”
Michael smiled. “Yes, they are. Thank you for having us.”
“My pleasure. Let me introduce you to my family. This iz my wife Edith, my only son Alain, who we also call Ali, my oldest daughter Pascaline and my daughter Albertine.
“Nice to meet you all,” Michael politely smiled as he shook hands with each one. Then he introduced us.
“I like to introduce my security team. This is Bill Bray and Larry Weston. And this is my personal assistant Valerie….ah, Johnson.”
We all shook hands, but when Alain offered his hand to me, he stared at me like he was interested.
“It’s quite nice to meet you Valerie. You look very lovely this evening.”
I politely smile and quickly pull my hand from his.
“Very lovely indeed.”
Michael clears his throat and looks right at him. His expression doesn’t change but he takes a step ahead of me as if to block me. I quickly move back behind him. Bill and Larry look at each other as Michael silently claims his turf.
Suddenly, this tall, gorgeous woman, with the air of royalty approached us. She was stylishly dressed like she just stepped off the cover of Vogue. Her hair and makeup were perfect. Her ebony skin was flawless. I could see that she had her eyes set for Michael. When she approached us, she greeted her family, but she stared directly at Michael. I didn’t like the way she was looking at him. I could tell that he was uncomfortable under her glaze, but kept a fixed smile.
“Good evening Mr. Jackson and welcome to Gabon,” she said extending her hand. Her voice was deep and poised. “I am Iliana Bongo, the niece of President Bongo.”
“Nice to meet you.”
Michael takes her hand to shake it and she covers it immediately with her other hand.
“The pleasure is all mine,” she almost seductively replied. “I’ve been a big fan of your for many years. I’ve seen you in concert as well.”
Michael smiles slightly and pulls back his hand. He steps back and nervously fidgets in the back of his hair.
“Oh really? That’s great.”
“Come, come now!” President Bongo broke in. “I want to introduce you to our other guests and family before we eat.”
He motioned his hand for us to follow him. Iliana quickly falls in line with Michael, looping her arm through his.
“I’ll be your escort for the evening…..as our special guest of course.”
Michael looks uncertain as she tries to pull him along, looking back at me. I give him a little nod that it’s ok, but I am steaming inside. How dare she be so brazen?! It took everything in me not tell her he’s mine. But then she doesn’t know that we are married, so I can’t say that I blame her. I trust Michael and I know he loves me, but I don’t trust her. Bill follows Michael and Larry stays with me. Then Alian falls along beside me and offers his arm.
“A woman as beautiful you should never be without an escort. Please allow me Mizz Johnson.”
“Who?” I absentmindedly said.
Alain looked at me amused.
“I was talking to you.”
“Oh! Yes, yes of course! Duh!”
Taking his arm, I laugh to play it off. God knows I didn’t want to. He smiles at me. I feel like running back to my room and locking the door until we leave. Larry didn’t smile at all, but I could tell that he was going to watch him like a hawk. What a mess this is and the night is still young!
At the reception, Michael and I try to visually keep tabs on each without being obvious. Finally it is announced that dinner is ready. We file into this grand dining with a huge, ornate gold and marble dining table. I notice that Iliana place card is next to Michael’s. It was very obvious that she had planned along to keep him to herself. What a Jezebel! And that’s putting it nicely! Fortunately, since Alain didn’t know about me in advance, I was sitting next to another family member. He asked if he could sit next to me to keep me company. I rolled my eyes mentally. The good part is that Michael and I are seated across from each other. Bill and Larry are seated further down, but keeping a watchful eye on the situation.
To get my mind off Iliana and Alain, I take notice of the dinner table. There are beautiful, exotic flower centerpieces as well as candles. The lights are lowered and soft classical music is being piped in on unseen speakers. The china and solid gold flatware probably costs more than my condo did. There are miniature tent cards printed with the menu for tonight which consisted of salad, bouillabaisse, Sweet Potato Gnocchi, beef bourguignon, asparagus and French chocolate mousse. Each course came with a different wine pairing. I don’t think I will indulge with the wine. I know that Michael won’t either. He doesn’t drink that much, especially in front of people that he does not know very well.
By the time finger bowls came before our dessert, I was ready to leave. I didn’t have an appetite because I was so fed up with Iliana trying to monopolize Michael’s attention. She found every excuse to touch him constantly or to lean close to whisper in his ear. He tried his best to ignore her by talking to the dignitary next to him but she wasn’t having it. Poor Michael. I noticed that he barely ate as well. He would sneak peeks at me. I smiled at him and he smiled back. If Iliana noticed the exchange, she didn’t let it bother her as she tried even harder to get his attention. Alain was becoming a real pest, bragging about what his family owned, how important they are, blah, blah, blah. He constantly asked me if I liked the food and why wasn’t I eating. He told me he liked a woman with a healthy appetite. I wanted to tell him to go find one, but I didn’t. Instead, I told him it was probably due to adjusting to a new time zone. He simply nodded. He kept staring at me from head to toe and sometimes staring longer at my chest. He made me downright uncomfortable at times. I saw Larry looking at him like he wanted to rip his head off. Michael gave him cold stares too, but he didn’t seem to notice. Finally, the tortuous meal was over and everyone got up to go the ballroom for dancing. Michael and I looked at each other at same time to use this as our chance to escape. Bill and Larry caught on and quickly came to the rescue.
“Are you ready to turn in Mr. Jackson? You have a busy schedule ahead of you tomorrow,” Larry implied.
I chimed in too.
“That’s right Mr. Jackson. I have your itinerary already prepared for your review.” That was actually true.
“I am pretty tired. Would you excuse us, Iliana? I’d like to retire to my room for the night.”
I could tell she didn’t like it, but sputtered in a fake sweet tone, “Yes of course. It’s perfectly understandable. Is there anything that we can get you to make you more comfortable?”
“No, thank you, I’m fine.” He turned to us. “Ready?”
“Yes,” we said in union.
“Mizz Johnson, are you turning in so soon as well?” Alain asked. “I was so hoping to dance with you. Won’t you stay a while?”
“Thank you for asking, but I am really tired as I mentioned before. I do have to be at my best at all times for Mr. Jackson. I’m only here for him.”
I saw Michael attempt to suppress his smile with his hand. I was tired of this charade and I wanted to send a message to both Alain and his cousin. Iliana’s fake smile vanished and she gave me a look that told me she understood my point. Alain looked disappointed and embarrassed.
“Oh, ok. That’s perfectly understandable. Enjoy the rest of your stay. Goodnight.”
He gave a little bow and quickly exited. Good! One down and one to go! This time it was Michael’s turn.
“Please excuse us, Miss Bongo. Thanks for again your hospitality to us. Good night.”
Michael politely bowed to her. She merely nodded her head as he took my arm and we left her standing there. When we arrived outside our rooms, Bill and Larry said good night and left us to our privacy. Michael watched until they were gone into their rooms. He looked around for others. I leaned against my door as he sauntered his sexy body close to me. He rested his hand above my head on the door and leaned on it.
“I’m so sorry you had to endure that baby. Are you mad?”
“No, not at you. We didn’t know it was going happen, but it’s a wakeup call. We’re going to have to do something.”
His face was less than an inch from mine. He now leaned with both hands on each side of my head, without touching me. He was driving me crazy with desire.
“I know,” he whispered. “Guess I’ll have to claim you so that other guys will know that you’re taken.”
“So will I….”
Our kiss rapidly became greedy. The flames of our passion grew hot and heavy with each sweet taste of our lips and tongue. Between breaths, I tried to bring us back to reality.
“Someone could see us, Micha….”
He didn’t stop and covered my mouth with lips to hush me. I slip my arms around his neck. He slips his hands slowly down my body, pulling me tightly against him, while kissing my neck. I can feel his need pressing against my lower abdomen. I’m ready for his body to flow with mine. Suddenly, we hear the sharp sound of heels clicking from far off against the marble floor. They were headed towards us.
“Michael! Someone’s coming!”
We jump away from each other and quickly run in our rooms. I leaned against the door trying catch my breath, still hung over from arousal. That was close! I should go change into something more comfortable for our rendezvous later tonight. I can’t wait…..
Iliana stops outside of Michael’s door and presses her ear against it to see if she hears anything. She straightens her back with determination and knocks. This was her last chance and she was not going to let this opportunity slip through her fingers. She wanted Michael and nothing ever stops her from getting what she wants, not even some nothing “assistant” who was clearly out of her league!
Michael barely had time to take a breath when he heard a knock on the door. He wonders who it could be as he opens the door. He didn’t feel like seeing anyone but his wife. He heart sank as soon as he saw her.
“Yes, Miss Bongo?”
“Hi Mr. Jackson, I’m so sorry to bother you. I know that you are ready to retire for the evening, but it is most urgent that I speak with you. May I come in?”
Michael hesitates, but since she said it was urgent he would allow her to come in. He didn’t want to be rude but she would have to make it quick so he could get back to his wife.
“Yes of course, but we must make it brief. I’m really tired.”
“I will, thank you so much.”
She saunters into the room like a supermodel. Michael rolls his eyes behind her back. He invites her to sit on the sofa.
“Now what may I do for you?”
Iliana begin to giggle like a school girl. Michael looks at cautiously.
“Well, Mr. Jackson, I feel so silly asking you this but…..it’s important to me.”
“Well, I told you that I am big fan of yours and I wanted to know if I can have your autograph. I was too embarrassed to ask you earlier, but it would mean a lot to me if you could sign something for me.”
Michael smiles in relief. “Well sure, I’d be honored. Do you have something that you want me to sign?”
“No. I just came as quickly as I could to catch you before you went to bed, so I don’t have anything.”
“Maybe there is a pen and paper in the drawer. Hold on a sec.”
He gets up and goes over the desk and looks in the drawers for something to write with. While he’s doing that, Iliana slips over close to him, studying his build from behind. Damn he’s sexy! And the way he smelled…oh my! His cologne had been driving her crazy all night. All she could think about was running her long fingers through his curly hair. She knew from the way he grinds and moves his body on stage that he was probably good in bed. She wanted to taste the fruit of his nectar for herself.
“I found them!”
As Michael turns around, he sees that she has moved off the couch. Her eyes are smoldering like she is in heat. He cautiously moves away from her. He puts the paper on the desk, while holding the pen ready to write.
“Uhm….how do you want it inscribed?”
“Oh just say, “To Iliana with all my love, Michael.”
Michael quickly sprawls his trademark signature all over the page. He rips it off the pad. He clicks the pen and lays it on the desk.
“Here you go.”
“Oh thank you Michael! I will treasure this forever!”
“Well I’m glad you’re happy. Now if you will excuse me, I really need to go to sleep.”
“Would you like some company tonight?” She countered.
She steps closer to him, putting the autograph on the desk.
“I said, would you like some company tonight?”
“Ah, no, I wouldn’t.”
He starts to back away from her as she slowly creeps closer, trying to back him into the wall.
“Why not? Don’t you find me attractive?”
“Look Miss Bongo, I’m a gentleman.”
“I see. So are you as really shy as they say you are, Mr. Jackson? Have you ever kissed a woman at all?”
Michael stares her and does not answer. She now had him backed into a corner. She smiles at him, taking his silence as confirmation of his lack of experience. She presses herself close to him, rubbing his arm.
“You don’t have to be afraid Michael, darling! I will be very…very gentle with you….
Iliana moves in to kiss him. Michael lunges from corner, causing her to fall face first into the wall. When Michael sees that she has fallen, he goes over to help her.
“Are you alright, Miss Bongo?! Are you hurt?! I didn’t mean for you to fall! I was just trying to get out of your way.”
“I don’t know….I’m not sure.” She slightly swooned.
Panicked, Michael springs into action.
“I’m so sorry, Miss Bongo! It was an accident! Here…..hold on to me and I’ll pull you up.”
He bends over to put his arms around her, pulling her up from the floor. She wraps her arms around him for support as he carefully pulls her up to her feet. She leans her head against him for support. He thankfully notes that she doesn’t have any knots or bruises on her head. He would never be able to tell anyone what happened.
“Are you alright? Do you wanna sit down?”
She feebly nods her head. He takes her back over to the couch and helps her to lay down. Just as he was about to release her, she grabs him off balance and pulls him on top of her. She begins to kiss him feverishly and wraps her legs tightly around him so he can’t escape. She tries to undo his jacket but it’s too complicated to take off, thanks to the handy work of Bush and Thompkins. The medallion sash, metal belt and ornaments, which are also in her way, further protects him from the assault.
“Miss Bongo! Please stop!”
Michael squirms to get away, trying not to hurt her, but the ornaments on his jacket are scratching her. Frustrated, she stops kissing him and just begs him to have to sex with her.
“Michael, please make love to me! I want you so badly.”
Trying not to escalate the situation even more, he quickly forms a plan to get away from the “Billie Jean” turned “Dirty Diana” groupie. How did all the same crazy women always seem to find him?
“Ok, but I’d like to move to the bed. We’ll be more comfortable there.”
She immediately agreed to his plan.
“Oh, yes, sweet Michael! I’ll do whatever you want!”
She lets him go and he gets up and pulls her to her feet. Taking her by the hand, he leads her to the bedroom.
I was in my room wondering where Michael was. He wasn’t answering his phone. I began to feel that maybe something wasn’t right. I called Bill and asked him if he had heard from Michael. He said he hadn’t and assumed that he was with me. l asked him and Larry to come with me to check on him. We all met in front of Michael’s suite. They pulled out their guns and told me to stay back. After cautiously opening the door, they rushed in. I was so worried. Maybe something bad had happened to Michael. I waited a bit, but couldn’t take it anymore and went inside anyway. I came behind Larry and Bill as they stood in the bedroom door, in shock. I looked around them and my mouth fell open. I saw Iliana tied to the bed while Michael was sitting on it with his back to us. He was singing to her and didn’t notice that we were there.
“Michael! What is this?! Why are singing to her while she tied to the bed?!!!”
Michael jumps when I call his name. He appears to be relieved when he sees us.
“Bill, Larry, thank God you’re here! Cutie, let me explain, it’s not what you think!”
“Michael, please tell us what’s going on in here!”
“Why do you care what she thinks, Michael?” Iliana leered at me. “She only your assistant! You fire her right now or I will! I’m your fiancé!”
“Yes you are. Now lay there quietly or we won’t elope.”
“Say what?!!! I yelled.
Michael gets up and comes over to me, trying to steer me out the room.
“Cutie, let’s step outside and talk. Larry, please stay with Miss Bongo, ok? Bill, come with me.”
He goes back over to Iliana. He gently tells her that he needs to go handle some wedding arrangements, but his security will keep her company. He tells her that she must be good and remain quiet. She happily agrees. We step outside and Michael closes the bedroom door and leans on it in relief.
“Michael! What in the hell is going on?” Bill demanded. “What is all this crazy talk about a wedding?”
“That’s ‘cause she is crazy Bill! I have been trying to keep her under control so she won’t scream. I didn’t want to gag her.”
“Michael this makes no sense,” I said.
“I know Cutie, but hear me out. Do you remember when we heard the footsteps in the hallway?”
“Well it was Iliana. She knocked on my door claiming that she had something urgent to talk to me about. I let her in and told her to make it quick. She said she wanted my autograph but was too embarrassed to ask me earlier. I got up to get some paper and a pen. When I turned around, she was on me and asked me if I wanted some company tonight. I told her no, I am gentleman and that made her think that I am a virgin. When I gave her the autograph, she put it down and tried back into the corner to kiss me. I jumped out the way and she hit the wall face first. I went to help her because she acted like she was hurt. When I helped her lay down on the couch, she knocked me off balance and started kissing me and wouldn’t let me go. She tried to undressed me but couldn’t get my clothes off because of my jacket, sash, belt and stuff was in the way.”
I tried not to laugh. So did Bill. Michael got upset.
“It’s not funny ok?! That girl is totally crazy! You should be thankful that she didn’t get her way with me!”
“You’re right honey, I’m so sorry! Please continue.”
“So anyway….she started begging me to have sex with her. I saw that she was crazy and I knew I had to do something or this would get really ugly. So I tricked her by telling her I wanted to go in the bedroom so she would let me go. When we got in there, I told her that it would excite me if I could tie her up and she agreed to do it. So I ripped out the phone cord and tied up her hands. I used the drape cord to it tie up her feet. When she saw I wasn’t going to sleep with her, she got mad and said she was going to scream bloody murder, so I told her that I wanted us to save ourselves for marriage. I knew that the rope and cord wouldn’t hold her forever if she started to fight, so I told her that I would marry her if she wouldn’t scream. I felt so bad about lying to her but it was the first thing that I thought of. I was singing to her to keep her calm. I knew eventually you all would come looking for me. I did what I had to do to get away from her. You gotta believe me.”
I went over to hug him.
“I do believe you Michael. I’m so sorry you had to go through all that! Are you really ok?”
“Yeah, I’m fine, but now what will we do about her? What will President Bongo say? He may not believe this.”
“Well we believe you and he has to know that his niece is ill,” Bill said. “I will go and get him so we can work this out. Don’t worry, Michael.”
“If you think that is what we should do, go ahead. I don’t need any more bad publicity.”
“I’ll be back. Just sit down and relax. You look like you could use a stiff drink!”
When President Bongo arrived, he apologized to Michael profusely. It’s seems like this is not the first time she’s done this. She is on medication, but apparently had not been taking it. He had security to come and take her quietly to a private hospital. He promised us that nothing would be said to press about it as he didn’t want it to be known about his niece’s mental illness. The next morning we got up early and quickly left, thankful that this drama was over.
The King Is Crowned!
We visited the town of Oyen and were greeted by an excited and screaming crowd of grade school students who carried a banner that said, “Welcome Home Michael.”
Today is a very special day as Michael will be crowned in the West African mining village of Krindjabo. The village was populated by the Angi tribe, which is located near Ahidjan. Michael had come to the land of his ancestors to participate in an historic ceremony conducted beneath a sacred tree on his royal throne. As the villagers stand in admiration, Michael is crowned King of Sani by tribal chef Amon N’Djafolk. They wrapped him in royal cloths and placed a crown of gold upon his head. Almost everyone was overcome with emotion as Michael shyly smiled and said, “Merci beaucoup” to the French speaking people and then repeated “thank you” in English. He then joined the elders of the king’s court and signed official documents and sat on a throne of gold. Elder village women were dressed in white and dazzled us as they performed ritual dances. They were the guardians of the village. Their ceremonial dances were to bless King Sani and to ask God for his protection at the sacred tree which symbolized the essence of power. The musical messenger had achieved a success that exceeded even his expectation as an unofficial ambassador of peace, love and goodwill.
Instead of allowing Michael to enjoy this moment, the media almost immediately started a negative campaign to make him look bad. They claimed that the trip was a public relations nightmare. He reportedly refused to shake hands with anybody. They claimed he held his hand to his nose because of the way Africa smelled. They also claimed he fainted from the heat and went to London for a medical appointment. He supposedly cut short an African tour after a stopover generated the “wrong kind of excitement” or whatever that means. Oh and get this one: they said he was neither “black nor white” so he wasn’t a good role model for children! Really? None of that happened of course, but they continued to tell one bold face lie after another to make him look bad. It’s just so unfair. I questioned why they were doing this to him. There was simply no reason for it and I was so mad. Michael told me not to worry about it and we should continue the work that we came to do. I really don’t know how he does this, but I knew that I need to quickly learn the secret or else I would generate more negative press by socking the press. Michael certainly didn’t need that. So we continued on with our business.
In Dar-es-Salaam, Michael is the guest of President Ali Hassan Mwinyl. We visited the world’s largest church called the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro. He was so deeply moved and began to worship and thank God in his own special way. I got a glorious shot of him standing in front of it with his hat in hand and his arms opened wide, basking in the beauty of this magnificent structure.
Over the remainder of our trip, we were on the move. President Bongo appointed his daughter, Pascaline, the nation’s foreign Minister, his son Alain and a consultant to the president named Charles Bongo, to coordinate the tour. We had put the incident with Iliana behind us and Alain became the perfect host.
Michael agreed to go on the non-performing tour with the stipulation that visiting orphanages, children’s hospitals, churches, schools and playgrounds were his priority and that is exactly what he did. “Michael Mania” was rampant everywhere we went. His image was on posters, T-shirts, billboards and street banners. Tanzania issued a special postage stamp with his image. His music was played on the radio and piped into hotels like Okume Palace in Libreville, Gabon; the Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan, Ivory Coast; and the Kilmanjaro Hotel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
There were 26 people in all traveling with Michael. We logged in 30,000 miles in eleven days, passed through 11 time zones, slept in 5 time zones and landed on four continents: South America, Africa, Europe and North America. We traveled in a Boeing 707 executive plan with a stateroom, private bath, open bar, lounges, dining areas, video and audio equipment, telephones and fax machines. I’ve never seen anything like it in all my life. I was still struggling to adjust to the different time zones and cuisine. I ate light and healthy and I made sure that Michael was eating well. Michael was energetic the entire tour and intensely interested in his fans. Despite all the rumors, when it was over, Michael had given a new twist to person-to person diplomacy and had touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of proud Africans.
Ebony and Jet magazine founder Robert Johnson traveled with us to document the trip. Michael trusted them because of his relationship with them for many years and they honorably set the record straight to the world about the tour. They also interviewed Michael to get his first hand impression of his experiences. Michael didn’t want to spend a lot time during the tour interviewing, so they made it as brief as possible.
Michael said many wise things in the interview that touched my heart, but one thing he said left the biggest impression on me is the following statement:
“I really believe that God chooses people to do certain things, the way Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci or Mozart or Muhammad Ali or Martin Luther King is chosen. And that is their mission to do that thing. And I think that I haven’t scratched the surface yet of what my real purpose is for being here. I’m committed to my art. And my goal in life is to give to the world what I was lucky to receive; the ecstasy of divine union through my music and dance. It’s like my purpose, it’s what I’m here for.”
Now I understand why he didn’t let the press bother him. The needs of others is far more important than what negative people have to say. People were hurting and he knew it was his God given duty to help them. That’s what inspires him to work so hard. I learn something meaningful from him every day. You can’t be around him and not be changed for the better.
On February 19, we arrive in Britain in the early evening and check into the Dorchester Hotel in London. The hotel was in a total news blackout to the press. It gave us a little peace for the night from their continued on slaughter attacks of Michael’s trip to Africa, but they were determined to follow his every move the next day when he ventured out. Since the press was following him and I was still suffering from jet lag, I chose to stay in to rest and to enjoy a nice massage at the hotel spa. Michael had his personal physician exam me and I was deemed ok. I didn’t understand the purpose of traveling with a doctor at first, but now I see that it is really convenient to have one on board in case someone in our entourage gets ill. That way you don’t have to figure where to go to get treated in a strange place and plus it keeps down the publicity of going to a hospital.
On his outing, Michael went to the Foyles Bookstore, an antique shop and HMV, where he purchased some Doris Day LPs. Later that afternoon, Michael and Brett, sent to visit Hamley’s toy store and Rock Circus in Piccadilly.
By the time they returned that night, I felt much better after my massage and a long, luxurious, bubble bath. After we exchanged hugs and kisses, I asked Michael if he wanted to order something to eat from room service for him and Brett. He said that they ate while they were out. Michael took Brett back to his mother for the night. He took a shower and plopped down on the couch, spreading his legs across it. The entire trip and today’s outing had finally gotten to him. I got the Shea butter and sat on the opposite end couch to message his legs and feet. He lay back and closed his eyes.
“Mmmm that feels good babe. Me and my feet truly thank you!”
I smiled. “You are both are welcome.”
“Are you sure you’re up to this? I can wait until you are feeling better.”
“I’m fine hon, don’t worry. Did you and Brett have a great time?”
“Yeah. He’s still trying to talk me out of that book report ‘tho. I’m not letting him off the hook. Our tutor, Mrs. Fine, used to do the same thing to us whenever we traveled. I don’t care how busy we were on tour, she never took any excuse for not writing a book report about our experiences. I grumbled about it then, but I thank her for it now. She taught me how to turn every situation into a learning experience. She and I have had some fascinating discussions on practically everything. She loved to read and so did I. She supplied me with books galore because I couldn’t go get them myself. When we could get away, she and I would go to bookstores and spend hours there. I was always curious and she used that to help me sharpen my critical thinking skills. She was a great teacher and I will always love her. She’s like my second mother and we were the children that she never had.”
“She sounds like a great lady. I hope I will be able to meet her one day. I think you’re doing the right thing with Brett. You’re giving these kids a first class education that many adults don’t even experience. You are going to make such a beautiful father.”
At that comment he sat up, took the Shea butter from my hand and put it on the table. He gently pushed me down on the couch and positioned himself over me.
“Speaking of being a father, has it been two months yet?” He asked as he gently brushed a lock of hair back from my neck.
I chuckled because I knew that he knew better.
“No, Michael. It will be only be one month next week since I stopped taking the pill.”
“Oh.” I could hear the disappointment in his voice. “It seems like it’s been forever.” He kissed my neck. “I’m so ready now.”
I hug him to console him.
“I know love, but be patient. The wait will be over soon.”
We both moved in for a long, sated kiss. Michael pulled away and stared into my eyes.
“I can’t wait until that day comes. I’ve wanted this for so long.” He ran his thumb over my lips. “But it’s worth the wait to know that making love to my sweet, beautiful wife is going to create such a lovely gift of life. I don’t care if it’s a girl or a boy, but I definitely want a little girl someday who looks just like you.”
My heart melted.
“Oh, Michael! You say the sweetest things!”
“I mean it. You’re my queen and she will be my little princess. We shall have a lot of them, both girls and boys.” He smiled. “Let me stop before you change your mind!”
I smile and hug him.
“You don’t have to stop. If the Lord allows me to, I’m gonnn give you lots of babies, Michael Jackson!”
Michael kisses me all over my face. “Oh He will, my darling! With a little help from us, He will!”
The rest of our stay in London is both business and pleasure. Michael appears on the cover of Jet with Eddie Murphy and Inman.
We visited Madame Tussaud’s wax museum and the Disney shop. Michael signs the contract for the British tour dates. The most memorable day of all was when he appeared on the roof of our hotel and started throwing down messages to his fans. He used paper airplanes and napkins. When his paper sources ran out, he started to use some of the hotel bedding! Apparently he does this a lot. I gently reminded him that we will be charged for it. He just smiled mischievously and I knew that I was wasting my breath.
Michael and I both are huge Benny Hill fans. When he had heard that Mr. Hill had suffered a heart attack, Michael wanted to go see him. We made arrangements to see him at the Royal Brompton Hospital in west London. Michael brought flowers and we had a short visit with him. Our presence seemed to make his day since he was big fan of Michael’s.
Unfortunately, Mr. Hill passed away shortly after our visit. We had returned to the states and Michael wasn’t able to attend the funeral, but he did send his condolences.
Finally, on February 23, we boarded our luxury plane and headed back to the United States. It has been a very enlightening and beautiful experience that we will never forget, but we were glad to be leaving. It’s just like the saying goes, there is no place like home.
Since Michael’s calendar is not that busy for March, we will take our official honeymoon just as we planned earlier. Michael told me we can go anywhere I wanted. I couldn’t make a choice and stick with it. I think I was just too excited about all the places that I’ve always wanted to go, so it became overwhelming. I want to make the best choice for both of us. I’ve always wanted to go to Paris, but I like the islands and the Mediterranean. I considered Hawaii, but Europe is so inviting. Finally, after driving Michael insane, I figured it was wise to let him choose the venue. He’s been everywhere so, he knows the best places to visit. He wouldn’t tell me where we going, but he said that I should pack both casual and dressy clothes, which doesn’t say much. I guess he figured the less he told me, the easier it would be on him. All that matters to me is that we are together. I know we will have a fabulous time, no matter where it is and I can’t wait!
Chapter 25: Say Goodbye To Yesterday (7/06/14)
“This is so nice and it’s such a beautiful day,” Katherine said as Rebbie, Janet and I sat down at a table on the outside patio at Havenhurst. “We’re glad to finally have the chance to get to know you better.”
“Thank you all for having me.”
I smile brightly, as I place my napkin in my lap.
“You’re welcome. I’m so glad to have my girls here as well! I just wish that Latoya was…..” She sadly broke off in mid-sentence. Rebbie reaches over to sympathetically rub her hand. “But let’s not spoil our day. I have a new daughter-in-law, so we’ll toast to that.” We all raised our ice tea glasses. “Valerie, we welcome you into the Jackson family! Cheers!”
“Cheers!” We sang in chorus as we clicked our glasses and took a sip. It was delicious!
“I love ice tea and this tastes so good!”
Katherine smiled. “Well thank you! I made it myself. I’m a southerner too and I can’t stand bad tastin,’ weak tea!” She leans over to whisper. “I’m been trying to teach my staff here how to make it like me, but it stills come out like water, but don’t tell them I said that. Joe is like, “I still want you to make my tea!”
I giggled. “I won’t!”
“Looks like we have three good cooks in the family with Mother, Rebbie and now you, Val,” Janet said as she begins to eat her salad. “I can do enough to get by, but cookin’ just isn’t my thang!” She waves her hand to reiterate her point. “I’d rather go tree climbing or something.”
“Yes, don’t we know!” Rebbie interjected. “This girl was such a tomboy growing up! She was practically tied to Michael’s at the hip! Wherever he was, there she was running around, chasing animals and playing all day. You couldn’t ever get her into a dress! Mother has always gotten on her about how she dresses when she’s not performing.”
“I like to be comfortable, thank you very much! What’s wrong with that?” Janet retorted.
I silently took note of how she was dressed today. She wore a hat, her trademark big hoop earrings, a white shirt, jeans and sneakers. Her hair was cutely curled and she wore a minimum amount of make and a dark lipstick. As always, she was stunning and had a killer body to match. When you look like her, who cares if you can cook?
In fact, all the Jackson women are gorgeous. Rebbie is very stunning herself, but in a conservative way. She could pass for Katherine’s twin. Latoya is very pretty as well.
For a minute, I started to feel rather frumpy sitting next to them. Not that I was poorly dressed or anything, but my self-esteem at times takes a dip. Michael is always telling me how beautiful I am and I deeply appreciate that. I’m still a work in progress.
You’ll have to excuse them,” Katherine apologized. “They’ve been going on like this ever since they were little, but Rebbie’s right. I had a hard time getting Janet to wear dresses to kindergarten. She always wanted to wear jeans. To this day, she still dresses like a tomboy. She’ll show up at the house in army boots, blue jeans with patches in them, an oversized T-shirt and her hair stuffed in a cap. I’ll say, Janet wear some earrings or put on some lipstick. People are going to mistake you for a guy!”
Janet smiled and rolled her eyes while we laughed.
“Come on mother, there are more important things in the world to worry about than how I’m dressed. I think I turned out ok.”
“Yes you did, honey, but you should also look the part as well!”
I just shook my head. Rebbie smiled at me.
“Please don’t think we’re vain and crazy,” she said. “You just caught us in our usual family deliberations.”
“Oh no, I don’t mind at all. In fact, it feels nice to part of such a large family. Never a dull moment!”
“Well you picked the right family for that! Do you have any other siblings, Val?”
“No, just the sister you met at the wedding. She’s six years older than me.”
“Are you close?”
“We didn’t get along so well when we were kids, but we are much closer now.”
I suddenly becamse nervous as I realized that conversation could easily turn into a question and answer session about my past that I wasn’t ready to discuss.
“Well it doesn’t matter how you start, it’s how you finish,” Katherine said. “We all have some skeleton in our closets that are better off left there.” I looked at her and she winked at me. Did she know about me already? She casually changed the subject and I was grateful.“So how are you liking married life?”
“Oh, marriage is wonderful! Michael is the best husband ever!”
They burst out laughing in unison, “Newlyweds!”
“Why are you laughing? Michael is the sweetest, most greatest guy in the whole world!”
“We know he is honey,” Janet said. “But he’s still a man and they will wreck your last nerve! My brother is no exception! He’s the one who named me Dunk because he said I had a butt like a donkey! Now everyone in the family calls me that! I’ve gotten used to it now, but I used to get so mad at him! When I wouldn’t speak to him, he would come and do something sweet to make up with me and we’d be cool again. He hasn’t changed that much, if at all!”
I thought about some of Michael antics: Arnie the Gorilla, the feather he ran between my butt cheeks while I was sleep, the way he used to tease me on the internet when I was work, stealing my journals and making me chase him……I knew that she was right, but I wasn’t going to admit it in front of them.
“Michael’s very good to me and I know that he loves me. I’m the same way with him. Long as we stick together and love each other, we can get through anything.”
“That’s right girl!” Rebbie said.
“I love the way you support and stand up for Michael,” Katherine said. “Women today think that’s old fashioned, but that’s how I am.”
“That’s well and fine mother,” Janet broke in. “But a woman can’t allow a man to make you his doormat either. I’ll love and support him, but if he can’t get it together, I’m gone!”
The more Janet talked, I could see all the fiesty, cute little characters that she used to mimic on TV. She was definitely a lady who knows what she wants and how to get it.
Katherine shook her head.
“Oh Janet stop! Not everyone thinks like you.”
“Well they should! That’s why I gave James his walking papers!”
While they continued to discuss Janet’s comments, I couldn’t help but to admire her stance. If only I had done the same, then maybe the abuse I suffered at the hand of Thomas wouldn’t have happened. I didn’t relish the possibility that I might still have to face him at trial. After a while, Katherine noticed my silence.
“Penny for your thoughts, dear?”
“Oh, I’m fine. I was just thinking too hard I guess.”
The rest of the afternoon was very nice. I really enjoyed getting to know Michael’s sisters and mother. I was beginning to feel like I had known them forever. After Rebbie and Janet left, Katherine and I took a stroll around the grounds. She took my hand and held it.
“I want you to know that you are really part of this family now. I remember how it was for me when we first moved here from Indiana. It took for me a while to adjust to all this sudden fame on my family. It was rough, so……if you should need to talk to someone, I’m here fror you.”
I wanted to cry but I held it in. For so long I had miss the comfort and companionship of having a mother. I truly hoped that Katherine and I would be close.
“Thank you, Mrs. Jackson. I really appreciate that…….would you mind if I called you mom?”
She smiled and put her arms around me.
“I’d be honored…. daughter.”
“Do you like it baby?” Michael asked.
“Mmmmm…….this is so good! We really shouldn’t be this bad so early in the morning….I’ve never seen one as big as yours.”
“That’s what they tell me, but I’ve seen them even bigger.”
“Really? I don’t think they could be any bigger than this and I don’t think I could handle it if it was.”
“Sure you could. If we keep doing this often enough, your body will adjust to it.”
“Adjust is right. I wouldn’t be able to fit through the door!”
I dipped my spoon back into the massively huge banana split that Michael had made for us to share for breakfast. Today was our treat day. Since Michael was getting in shape for going on tour and I was getting in shape for pregnancy, we both were watching what we ate. Michael’s personal trainer, actor and former body builder, Lou Ferrigno, has us on a strict exercise regime, but Friday was our day to indulge a little.
Banana splits were Michael’s specialty. The one he made for us today had twenty different flavors of Haagen Dazs ice cream, glops of whip cream, bananas, nuts, caramel, chocolate, marshmallows, sprinkles and cherries.
“I haven’t eaten ice cream for breakfast since I was a teenager.”
“That’s the beauty of Neverland….it brings everyone back to their childhood. Everyone should have ice cream for breakfast, at least sometimes.”
“Well I’m sure that Weight Watchers wouldn’t agree with you, but this is so heavenly and very rich! You really love sugar don’t you?”
Michael shoved a big scoop of ice cream quickly in his mouth. He had whipped cream around his lips.
“Not as much as this suga’,” he said as he leans over to kiss me. He left some whiped cream on my mouth.
“Not so fast.” I cup my hands around his face, pulling him back. “I like the way you taste….”
I slowly kiss around his mouth, slightly sucking the cream off as I go. I watch his contented expression as he receives my lips. His eyes are closed and his beautifully, thick lashes are peeking out. He’s gorgeous, sweet and cuddly. He can make me want him in a nano second.
“You’re beautiful Michael, so beautiful…you make me so happy.”
He opens his eyes and I see such a deep longing in them.
“Do I really?
“Yes. I’d be completely lost without you. You’re the best husband in the world and I love you so much.”
“And I love you more. It feels good to hear you say that. Your happiness means the world to me.”
“Do I make you happy, Michael?”
“Beyond my wildest dreams.”
We resumed kissing when suddenly, the private phone rang. This is an in-house phone used solely on the ranch. He got up and picked up the receiver.
“Hello? Hi Josh……..really? Is she ok? Alright, we’re on our way right now:”
“Is it Minnie?”
“Yes! She in labor! Oh, boy, this is great!” He smiled excitedly.
“Alright then. Let’s go!”
Guess our breakfast will be a messy glob by the time we return. Maybe it’s for the best, calorie wise anyway. We hop in a golf cart and Michael speeds off as fast as he could to the horse stables. Minnie, a beautiful, brown mare horse was preganant for the first time and Michael has been anxiously awaiting her delivery. When we arrived at the stable, Michael’s vet was there, along with his assistants. Minnie was standing, but she kept moving around. I had never seen a horse give birth before. I’ve seen dogs, cats and human birth, but I was very curious to see what this would be like. Michael began to rub her mane and speak loving to her.
“Hey Minnie…….how ya doin’ girl? Don’t worry, it’s ok. It will be over soon and you’ll be a mommy.” Minnie looked at him with her big brown eyes as though she appreciated the support. “How long do you think it will before she gives birth, Josh?”
“Well, her water just broke, so if all goes well, I would say within the next 30 minutes. He pointed at her rear end. “Her amnotic membrane is starting to come out.”
We looked as this white bubble sac hanging out.
“Why is it hanging out?” I asked.
“Oh that’s just the sac around the foal as it comes out,” Michael explained. “You’ll see a foot and then the other foot, then the nose…it’s really cool!”
“Oh,” was all I could say. When it comes to animals, Michael knows practically everything.
“Let’s give her some room and let mother nature take its course,” Josh said.
We all stepped back to let Minnie do her thing. Just as Michael said, we saw a hoof come out. Oh my god, this is something to see! The miracle of birth!
Another hoof came out. At this point, Minnie lays down and proceeds to push out her baby. I couldn’t move. It was exciting and frightening at the same time. I saw what looked like a nose, then the knees. Soon everything else just slid out.
“Now we’ll just let them rest a bit. Then she will push out the placenta,” the vet said. “We just need to stay back because they both may be anxious.”
I totally understood. No one feels like being bothered immediately after giving birth!
The foal was breathing on his own and after a few moments, it stood and began to move around to break out of the membrane. After about 10 minutes, the mother stood up. The foal fumbled around her and began searching for her teat to nurse.
“That’s a good sign that the foal is standing. It may take a little while for Minnie to deliver the placenta. Right now, all she probably wants is some nice hay to lay in.”
“Well I’m glad that they both seem to be ok.” Michael said. “I guess we should give them some time to recuperate, but let me know as soon as they are both ready for visitors.”
“I sure will, Mr. Jackson. Don’t worry.”
As we headed toward the cart, Michael leans over and whispers in my ear.
“Whatcha think? Are you ready for that?”
“Well, that was amazing! I guess I can handle it.”
“Great! ‘Cause your next!”
I burst out laughing and so did he.
“You are so crazy Michael!”
“Michael, the staff is upset about all the new changes.”
“What are they upset about Bill?”
“Everything…..having to reapply for their jobs, being reinterviewed, having to give authorization for new background checks, financial disclosures…..like I said everything.”
Michael pushes his shades further onto his nose and shruggs.
“This is how it’s going to be Bill. Cutie and I discussed it and I want her to feel comfortable living here. Either they do it or they will have to go. If they don’t have anything to hide, it shouldn’t be a problem.”
“Will I have to go too if I refuse?” He didn’t wait for answer. “I can understand about the newer employees, but why do the long term employees like me have to do it? I don’t have nothin’ to hide and you should trust me by now.”
“Bill, we have to treat everyone fairly regardless or someone could say that we are targeting people. You know I trust you with everything, so please just go along with it. You know the problems I’ve had with some of the staff stealing and whatnot. We’re trying to weed out the bad ones.”
Bill shoved his hands in pocket and stared at the ground.
“I will go along with it, but I don’t like it at all! I’ve been protecting you since…”
“Since I was a child. I know Bill, I know.” Michael tried to comfort him. “I’m really sorry about this. I realize it’s a hassle, but just please be a good sport. It’s only for record in case someone asks. You know I’d never fire you. We’re family.”
Bill seemed to soften after that comment.
“Well…ok. Are there any other “changes” I should be aware of? I’d like to know about them now if they will affect me.”
“I still need you to be in charge of the investigative part for each employee, even though we’re using a third party. Since I’m going on tour in a few months, this will save you from being tied up with all this. They will do all the footwork. By using an outside company, people can’t say we are being unfair by allowing you to conduct the investigation, but I still want you and Larry to check behind each finding throughly. If there is anything hidden, like large sums of money being deposited in anyone’s accounts, find out the source. Check business associations, assets and things like that. Anyone found to be getting paid by any tabloid or any other shady source is totally out, no exceptions.”
“The next part will be a complete audit of all my businesses. We’ve already hired an actuarial firm to conduct it. I need to know who’s doing what with my money. We also want to eliminate as much debt as possible. That part is going to take a while and you be asked to assist with that as well in some fashion.”
“Wow, the misses ain’t jokin’ is she?”
“No, she don’t play! But I like that and she’s right. I need to get my full control back. I’m pretty sure that a lot of people are going to be mad, but that’s ok. Cutie’s taught me me that we need to look out for ourselves and that’s not being selfish. We are still going forward with all our plans for Heal the World, but we have to get rid of the sharks. I’m starting to feel better about things already.”
Bill smiled and patted Michael on the shoulder.
“I see where you’re going now and you have my full support.”
“Thanks Bill and remember, keep all this between us.”
Back in Maryland, Thomas walks into the prison visitor’s room and sits down behind a glass protection across from James. He picks up the phone receiver and nods his head for James to do the same.
“Thanks for coming man.”
James slightly smiles. “How are you doing?”
“As well as can be expected.”
There is an odd silence as they stare at each other. Finally James speaks.
“Look, I know that this is a difficult situation, but I’ve gotta ask…..what happened? How did things get this far?”
Thomas dropped his head in embarrassment. He knew he had to face his friend, so he squared his shoulders and looked up.
“I…..I don’t know. I mean I know, but how I got here is a long story. I’m messed up. I have a problem man….. a serious problem with alcohol, recreational drugs, women, you name it. Nothing I do ever stops the pain. I’ve lost everything that ever meant anything to me. I never meant to hurt her. You’ve got to believe that. I know that sounds unbelievable, but it’s true.”
“You’re right man. It is unbelievable that you tried to kidnap someone that you claim to love.”
The words stung, but he knew that James was right.
“I know I have no right to ask, but how is she?”
“Far as I know, she’s fine and she’s moving on with her life. I came here because you said you needed to talk to someone. I’m not here to help you keep tabs on Val. I know now that your obsession with her is not healthy. You have to face the fact that your life with her is over and she’s not coming back to you. The main thing you need to do is get through your legal problems and then figure out what you are going to do with the rest of your life.”
Tears began to roll down Thomas’s face as words of reality slapped him. Even though he knew what James said was the truth, he still didn’t want to acknowledge it. The pain of loneliness and loss covered him like a heavy veil. He felt as though he couldn’t breathe. The tears now fell heavily down his face and he buried his head on the counter in front him. James felt really bad seeing Thomas in so much pain. He almost wished that he hadn’t said what he did, but lying wasn’t going to help him either. He watched Thomas’s back heave in spasms. He wished he could put his arm around him and tell him that everything would be ok, but even if he could, he wasn’t so sure. He faced some really serious charges. The guard steps forward and asks Thomas if he wants to return to his cell or stay for the rest of his visitation. He wants to stay. The guard steps back into place, keeping a close eye on the situation. Thomas wipes his eyes and nose on the back of his sleeve. His eyes are blood shot.
“Hey…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you feel worse.”
“No, no, you’re right. I have to move on. If I really love her, I have to let her go so she can be happy….even…even if it means I’ve lost her to someone else……”
Thomas felt a big lump in his throat as he silently contemplated the reality that she was really gone and with another man. He shut his eyes tightly in an attempt to fight back the tears. When Thomas opened his eyes, James saw them glistening again. Even though Thomas was reaping the things that he’d done, he couldn’t help but feel compassion for him.
“I’m in an AA program here at the jail, you know. The last few weeks have been hell trying to sober up. They say I have to be honest with myself about what got me here.”
“Hey that’s great man. I’m really rooting for you and I hope that everything works out.”
Thomas laughed weakly.
“Looks like prison may be the best place for me after all, ya know? Ah…..I’ve had time to think and really face my demons for the first time in a long time sober and…ah…I really appreciate that you came here today. I know you didn’t have to and I’m so sorry for deceiving you as well. I’ve caused you a lot of trouble between you and your wife. You been a much better friend to me than I have been to you. Will you ever forgive me?”
“You and I go back a long way. Even though I don’t agree with what you’ve done, I do understand why you did it. You are sick and you need help. I’ve explained that to Dionne and I told her that I will support you in your recovery and encourage you to move forward. She has accepted that, so don’t worry. Everything is cool.”
“Thank you James. Please tell Dionne that I’m sorry. I will understand if she doesn’t want to accept my apology.”
“I’ll tell her, but don’t worry about that right now. Do you know when you will go to trial?”
“From what I gather from my attorney, Val doesn’t want appear in court, but she is still pressing charges.”
“Oh,” James replied.
“Can’t say I blame her, I mean, if it were me, I wouldn’t want to see me again either. That’s why I am making it easy for her so she won’t have to endure a trial. I told the judge today that I want to plead guilty and now I am just waiting for sentencing. My attorney didn’t want me change my plea, but I thought about it and I know it’s the right thing to do. I’m thinking about her for a change and it’s time for me to face the music. I don’t want to put her through anymore heartache. I hope the guy she is with is a good person and will do everything in his power to make her happy. That’s something that I never did and will always regret.”
“Wow, Thomas. I’m really proud of you. Sounds like you are moving in the right direction.”
“Yeah, finally. Too little, too late, huh?”
“Hey, just as long as you know it, that’s all that matters. I will be here for you until the end and we are going to celebrate like crazy when you get out, ok?”
Thomas was touched beyond words. He wondered why he never saw how good a friend he had in James before. He also realized that despite his failures, God was giving him a second a chance and he was not going to let Him or James down, but mostly himself. He would be a model prisoner and maybe even someday his life may be worth something. He became filled with a deep thankfulness and gratitude he had never experienced before. Tears spilled down his face again, but this time he smiled. He felt free in his heart for the first time in many years because he now had hope.
“Thank you James…thank you so much for sticking by me!”
James eyes became misty too, although he tried not to let it show, at least not here. Two guys crying together in prison is not the kind of image you want in a place like this. He cleared his throat to gain his composure
“No need to thank me. That’s what friends are for.”
Back at Neverland….
Michael and I jumped up and down, hugging each other. We had just received word from John that there would be no trial. Thomas has changed his plea to guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
“I’m so thankful that you don’t have to go back and relive that ordeal again!”
“Me too! It’s the best news ever! I can’t believe that Thomas did that! There’s hope for him yet! Maybe he is finally willing to face his issues.”
Michael wrapped me tightly in his rock, hard arms.
“Maybe, but I am just extremely thankful that he can’t hurt you anymore. You’re safe now, baby. You’re mine and I promise you that I’m not going to let anyone or anything, ever, ever hurt you again!
I smile as I wrap my arms around his neck and kiss him.
“Oh Michael! You do make me feel so safe and protected! I just love it when you hold me in your arms and when you kiss me. It’s the most wonderful, intoxicating, feeling in the world! I could just burst and I never want you to stop! Let’s just put all the past behind us and focus on all the wonderful blessings we have to look for to in the future.”
“I totally agree with you, baby.”
His luscious lips envelopes my mouth as he parts it open with his tongue. I begin to gently suck on it with enough firmness for him to slide it in and out of mouth as though he simulating sex, while our hands do more exploring. The kissing is too good to stop and we try not to break contact as we fumble to quickly undress each other. I hear buttons popping off my shirt as he hastily yanks it open. His head gets caught in his t-shirt as I pull over his head. We burst out laughing as we struggle to get it off and then finally he rips it open. After it’s off, we’re at it again with the kissing. Pants and underwear are flying off. The ability to speak is skewed.
“Uhmmmm….baby….we need to….we need to…..get one….
“Shit! Forgot! Wait…”
He puts it on so fast, I’m surprised he didn’t rip it. We fall back on the bed, going at it like two rabbits in heat. No foreplay is needed. I’m hot like lava as he parts my legs and plunges in for the gold, swift and urgent. My body arches back as I take his intoxicating, rhythms in one delicious wave after another. The headboard is banging against the wall in rhythm with our lovemaking. Michael’s breathing is practically raspy as he creates a drum beat with that headboard that no drummer has ever heard!
When it was over, we held each other, happy and satisfied, with nothing on our minds but our love.
Chapter 26 Nights in White Satin (7/13/14)
Author’s note: I feel that I must warn you that this next chapter took an unusual turn in the plot someplace in the middle and continued to emerge throughout until the end. I didn’t plan on it at all, but once it happened, I just allowed myself to go with it to see where it would end. It will require for you to have faith in true love and magic to understand it. We all know that Michael loved magic and believed that anything was possible. I hope you will enjoy this new development as Michael and Cutie discover more about their past than they could ever imagine. Michael really opens up his soul to her and I hope that I was able to properly convey that. Please provide your feedback at the end. I enjoy hearing reading your comments and it will help to further enhance my writing.
Written and given with much love, CP ♥
I’ve been planning a little wedding surprise for Michael for our honeymoon, but I am not sure if I can pull it off since I don’t know where we are going. I’ve been trying to get him to spill the beans, but he won’t even give me a clue. The security team is tight lipped about it as well so I know they have orders from him to keep quiet. I’m sooo excited thinking about all of the possibilities of where we are going. I hope it’s some place very romantic and isolated so we worry to worry about privacy. As I mentioned before, Michael told me to pack a little bit of everything, probably to throw me off about the destination. I’ve been trying to see what he is packing. I don’t see any heavy coats or clothes for a colder climate, so I am going to go with my gut instincts and pack light items like swimsuits, shorts, t-shirts and some sexy evening dresses. I started to throw in some lingerie, but decided that my birthday suit will be the best choice, if you get my drift! Judging from the way that Michael can’t keep his hands off me, I think he would agree.
The California lifestyle was working wonders for me, health wise. I am in the best shape that I have ever been and I can see the benefits of working out every day. My abs were tight, my legs and arms were toned and muscular but still with feminine curves. I drink water, milk and homemade organic fruit and vegetable juices. I eat nothing but proteins and plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit from the local farmer’s market. I have cut out diet sodas completely. My skin glows and my hair is now at the midpoint of my back. If I even mention getting more than a trim, Michael will beg me not to, although he keeps telling me it’s my decision. Since I know that he likes it long, I don’t mind keeping it that way for him, at least for now. Sometimes it gets in my way and I have to pin it up, like this morning before jogging. I like to get up just before dawn and run a pathway across the ranch and watch the sun rise up over the mountains. The view is so beautiful and breathtaking. It makes you thankful to be alive. I always stop and have my meditation with God before heading back to the house. It gets me in the right mood for the day ahead as the new mistress of Neverland.
A lot of the employees were not pleased about the new changes that we were making and we ended up letting about ten people go. Bianca, the maid, was one of them and she was not happy. Another maid, named Adrian, was also dismissed. We found out from other staff members that she was fuming and threating to “expose” Michael’s secrets to try to make him look bad to the press, but we were prepared for that. Before we started with the new policies, we anticipated that some employees may try to pull something underhanded, so we had security secretly film them as they went about their daily routine around the ranch. Adrian still had a key to Michael’s suite and was caught stealing his personal items and hiding it in the laundry. When she was presented with her pink slip, she also presented with the evidence and was warned that if she ever went to the media about Michael, her film debut would also be released. No one wants to hire a thief, so she went quietly. I for one am particularly glad that they are gone because I never trusted either one of them in the first place. With all the negative energy eliminated, Neverland will remain the peaceful and magical place that Michael created it to be.
On this particular morning run, I decided to walk instead of jogging back to the house so I can take in the view. The scenery is splendid and peaceful. The temperature is slightly cool, but warm enough to be enjoyable. The birds were chirping away in song. The rushing sound of the water underneath the bridge was soothing. Michael has created a paradise filled with much love and tranquility. The more I discover about Neverland, the more I love it. I can see why Michael never wants to leave. I don’t know if I will ever get over the shock that I live here. This is really MY home and not a vacation resort. Michael Jackson is really MY husband and not some fantasy created in my head. I truly have a lot to be thankful for.
As I get closer to the house, I can see Michael and his “Dream Team” in the distance discussing how to make his latest vision reality. I haven’t officially met them yet, but Michael told me that they were coming. Brad has been working with Michael for some time in the studio and sometimes takes on projects for him at the ranch. Rob recently started working with Michael. The regular grounds crew was there trimming edges, pruning flowers and planting new ones. Michael is always having something done to the place. He has speakers hidden in the flower beds and music is constantly piped in wherever you go. There are angelic statues of children playing all over the grounds. The festive color of the flowers, statues, the amusement park, animals and other amenities combined, makes the entire place look like a live storybook. Michael loves beautiful things and having a spectacular sanctuary such as this, keeps him inspired. I just wish that I wasn’t going to meet his associates for the first time all sweaty and disheveled. I thought I looked like a hot mess.
Michael got up early this morning in anticipation of Brad and Rob’s arrival. The first thing he notices is that his wife is already gone for her morning run. He ran his hand across her side of the bed, missing her already. Usually, he would be wrapped around her like a pretzel. He loved the feel of her curves meshed together with his body and the sweet scent of her long hair splayed across the pillow. He enjoyed holding her in his arms and watching her sleep. He rolls over onto his back and sighs.
“Might as well get up,” he says out loud to no one.
He continues to think about his wife as he showers and dresses. Though he has traveled all over the world, she is the most beautiful woman that he ever laid eyes on: the way she moves, her hair, her lines, her face….. she is divinity in motion, come to life, as he envisioned and wrote about in song. But this girl is not “dangerous” like the vixen he crooned about on his latest album. His wife will do him “good” all the days of his life as he was taught from scripture in Proverbs 31 about the virtuous woman. She is the enchanting lover of his dreams and the keeper of his heart and home.
As he is discussing his plans with Brad and Rob, Michael sees her approaching in the distance. His heart races at the sight of her presence and his eyes do not leave her form. The closer she gets to them, the more he is taken away by her beauty. The chatter around him fades and they are the only two people on earth. She is a vision of loveliness: soft tendrils fall around her face and neck from the bun on her head. Her face glistens in the morning sun from sweat and is flushed to a healthy-looking hue. Her smiling lips are soft and dewy. His roaming eyes travel from her face to her body……what a body! She was always gorgeous and sexy to him before, but the time and effort that she was putting in her “new” body was more than paying off. He unconsciously licks his lips as he watches the muscles in her legs move as she walks; her shorts accentuate her gorgeous thighs; her slender arms are graceful swinging from side to side with her step. Her ripped t-shirt hangs slightly off one shoulder, baring the sweet, soft skin that he loves to kiss. Her lovely breasts bounce in rhythm to her walk. Her midriff is peeking out and he can see her firm and smooth abdominal muscles. Everything around him has ceased to slow motion as his wife saunters closer to him. She is his PYT: pretty, young and TEMPTING!
“Have you heard anything that we just said?” Brad asked.
Michael responded, but they could see that he was clearly preoccupied with the attractive, young woman walking towards them.
Brad and Rob laughed.
“You were totally gone there for a minute and I think I know why!”
I saw Michael’s companions laughing and Michael turning red, just as I approached them. I wondered what that was all about.
“Good Morning, everyone!” I cheerfully replied. “Isn’t it a gorgeous day?”
“Good morning,” Brad and Rob both replied.
“Yes, it certainly is,” Rob said.
“Hi Michael. How are you?”
I was cautious in asking because I didn’t know if they knew about us. I figured it was best to just play it casual, hoping that they would think that I was just a visitor.
“I’m fine,” Michael shyly replied. “How are you today?”
He seems to be embarrassed and I don’t know why.
“I’m good thanks.”
Michael said nothing more and we all just stood there for an awkward moment. Since he didn’t try to introduce us, I offered my hand to both of them and introduced myself.
“Hi, I’m Valerie.”
“Nice to meet you, I’m Brad.”
“And I’m Rob.”
“Nice to meet you both.”
Michael still didn’t say anything, but he stared at me. It was making me uncomfortable so I figured that I should just leave them to their business.
“Well, I’m sorry for interrupting your conversation. I really need to go shower and get out of these sweaty clothes. Will you all please excuse me?
“Sure,” the dream team duo said.
Still no response from Michael. Those big brown eyes were smoldering with intensity like they do when we make love, but his silence was giving me mixed signals. I simply thought that he wanted to me leave so they could talk.
“Bye, have a good day!”
I turned and left, but I could still feel Michael’s eyes bearing down on me. “What’s wrong with him?” I wondered. He sure was acting strange. I decided not to worry about it as I hurried inside and head toward our living quarters. As soon as I close the door, I shake my hair loose and start taking off my clothes as I head up stairs to the bathroom. I toss my clothes in the hamper, turn on the shower and test the water. When it’s just right, I step in and close the shower door. The pulsating water feels so good! I stand there for a moment, letting the water from the massage head relax my mind and body. I lean my head back to let the water run through my hair. I reach for the bar of soap and begin to lather up my body as I hum a little tune. Just as I finish rinsing myself, the shower door opens. I’m a little bit startled, but I recover quickly. Michael steps in completely nude and closes the door behind him. He’s fully erect, wearing a condom and ready for business. I stand frozen, with the bar of soap still in my hands. He comes towards me, pulling my hands up and around his neck. He presses me hard into the wall and begins kissing me: first on the lips, then down my cheek, making his way to my neck and shoulder. I lean my head back further so he can have his way. His hands cup around my breasts as he makes his way to my nipples. He teases them both with his tongue. He applies just the right amount of friction to get them hard before he latches on. It feels exquisite and I moan to express my pleasure. After a while, he lifts his head and comes back to my kiss neck. I want to touch him, but he won’t let me. He keeps my hands in place around his neck, while I’m still holding the soap. Then he places his lips right against my ear. The deep bass and the lust in his voice sends shivers throughout my body.
“Girl, did you know how badly I wanted to rip your clothes off when we were outside and just make sweet love to you on the spot?”
I decided to challenge him.
“No…..but what’s stopping you now?”
He inhales sharply as he quickly turns me around, facing the wall. He spreads my hands out in front me for support. The soap drops quickly from my hand onto the shower floor and slides in the corner. He grabs me at the waist, pulling my rear end towards his private as he gets me into position. He works his way in slowly from behind, careful not to hurt me, but forceful enough not to take too long. I spread my legs wider as he enters. My walls of my vagina are slippery and tight around him. He holds on to my waist and begins to slam into my hips. The impact hurts and feel good at the same time. I grind back against him. I want more
“Ooooh god Michael! Oooooh god! Please don’t stop baby…please don’t!”
At my request, he takes it further. He loops his forearms under my arms and grabs my shoulders, which arches my back and pushes my rearend further against him. He is high up into my cervix, now reaching my G spot. He continues to stoke it well. I feel my body shudder as the first orgasm comes. The steam and the body heat mixed together is growing thicker.
“You like that, girl? Good….‘cause I’m not done with you yet,” he says as he pants against my ear.
“Oh god!” I’m going crazy with desire and I might even faint from all the steam and passion combined.
He starts to kiss and run his tongue down the back of my neck! Oh that rascal knows just what he’s doing! That’s my weak spot and it’s like using Kryptonite against me! I nearly crumble as he pushes me harder against his penis. I squeeze myself around it to try to slow it down but it’s no use. He wasn’t lying when he said “the Force” has got a lot of power! The pleasure of this together is mind blowing. Nothing should feel this good and be so right at the same time!
“Come baby…you can’t stop it…..I won’t let you. Come for me again, sweetness!”
Ohhhhh that sexy voice! He’s so in control and I’m so totally whipped! A slave to the rhythm of love! My release is loud and long.
At this point, I am sure that everyone at Neverland knows what we are doing! Michael slows down his love making to a slow grinding motion. He lovingly brushes back my hair and gently kisses my cheek as I recover from the high.
“Are you ok, baby?”
I nod my head.
I nod again. He kisses me tenderly.
“I’m still hard as a rock. Are you ready for me to come now?”
I manage to pant out a “yes.”
“Brace yourself, my sweet,” he warns.
He resumes his position with his hands holding my shoulders and continues his quest for domination. I thought I was done, but I wasn’t. He made me climax again. He goes faster and faster until he explodes like a bomb inside of me. I hated that he was wearing a condom because I love to experience the full effect of his emission. I feel weak as a newborn kitten but extremely satisfied. I turn around and look into his eyes. His face is flushed and glistening wet. Stray hairs are stuck to his strong neck.
He’s so handsome, he takes my breath away. My heart is still pounding. I’m so deeply in love with this man. Even without words, we can tell what the other is thinking. I am his and he is mine forever. We kiss very slowly for a long time, touching and caressing each other, lost in the tenderness of the moment.
I wrap my arms around him, laying my head on his chest. He kisses the top of my head and holds me in his loving arms.
“Look how blue the water is!” I exclaimed to Michael as we look out the window of our private jet, preparing for landing.
“I know. Isn’t it amazing how beautiful the earth is? I could stare at its majestic splendor all day long and never get tired of it,” Michael said.
“I can’t believe how clear and pure everything is! The skies, the land, the water! Oh, I just knew we were going someplace magical!” Michael smiled as I grabbed and kissed him. “Thank you, baby! Thank you so much! I’m so excited!”
“You’re welcome, sweetness! If you’re happy, I’m happy!”
“I am. I still can’t believe all the places we been to in the few short months that we’ve been married!”
“Cuz dat’s ze way I live bébé!” Michael said, imitating a heavy French accent and kissing my hand. “I’m a jetzetter, go getta and we are going to travel ze world, mon amour!”
He’s such a charmer!
“That’s great honey, but I just want to know one thing….”
“Sure, sweetness. You just name it!”
“Can you tell me where we are?”
Michael giggles as he loops his fingers through mine.
“Ok, I’ll tell you. We’re in Bora, Bora.”
“Bora, Bora,” I repeated, while racking my brain in a quick geography lesson. “I’ve heard of it, but I don’t remember where it is.”
“It’s in French Polynesia, which is also known as “The Society Islands.” It’s supposed to have been named by Captain James Cook in honor of the Royal Society, the sponsor of the first British scientific survey of the islands. Cook stated in his journal that he called the islands Society because they lay adjacent to one another. The islands are divided, both geographically and administratively into two groups: the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands. Tahiti is not that far away. It’s in the Windward group. Bora Bora is in the Leeward group of islands.
“Oh, so we are in the South Pacific.”
“Yes that right! See, you know more about geography than you think!”
“Well it’s been a while since I’ve had geography, but boy, you sure know yours! I can’t get over how much you know about everything! You are very smart, Michael!”
Michael smiles and waves his hand bashfully.
“It’s no big deal, really. I’ve spent most of my life in hiding so I’ve had plenty time to read a lot.”
“But you know so many things. I admire that genius brain of yours!
“Nah! I’m just curious about a lot of stuff so I read and study.”
“Michael, not everyone can do that on such a vast scale of topics. You read, comprehend and soak it up like a sponge. Why your home library is large enough to be a branch of the local library!”
“Thank you, but enough about me. We don’t want to have a fight on the first day of our vacation.”
“We won’t. And besides, it’s not just a vacation, it’s our honeymoon!”
I smile and wink at him. Michael rolls his eyes and shakes his head, smiling to himself as he looks out the window. As usual, he is in disguise so he won’t be seen when we land. This time, even I would be fooled if I didn’t already know who he was. People will probably think that he’s some old, rich, geezer with a young chick!
Finally, we land. We all put on our sunglasses before we exit the plane. Michael took out his camcorder to begin filming our adventure. For this trip, our entourage consists only of Bill and Larry. I wondered why he didn’t take as many people as he normally does, but Michael tells me that everything we need is onsite and he wants us to have a much privacy as possible. That’s perfectly fine with me because I want him all to myself!
The Bora Bora Airport is also known as Motu Mute Airport. One of the great things about flying through Bora Bora Airport is that there is no security. You just walk on the tarmac to board and exit the plane. Since the airport is so small, it can only accommodate private jets and smaller commercial aircraft. The airport is open to the outside environment so you feel like you’re in a big tropical hut as you wait to board and exit the plane. The vibe is very mellow and all travelers are very happy, except for those who are leaving the island. The airport staff is extremely friendly and helpful. Guests for any of the major hotels will see a sign to follow. A representative came over to us to ask where we were going. Michael told him that we would be staying at the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort. The rep smiled, loaded up our bags on a cart and took us to the boat shuttle assigned for our resort. A boat transfer is necessary to get to the main island of Bora Bora.
The boat ride took us about 15 minutes, which was no time at all. The views everywhere were just spectacular! The tropic breeze was whipping through our hair as we speed along. As we approached the resort, I was in awe. To see places like this in pictures in one thing, but to experience it is person, is so surreal. The St. Regis has air-conditioned villas featuring hand-carved Polynesian sculptures, exotic wooden décor and Italian-marble bathrooms with a rain shower and a bathtub. Some villas have a private plunge pool, a hot tub or an outdoor shower. The resort has 2 swimming pools, 2 bars, 4 restaurants and a luxurious day spa. All accommodations feature a balcony with panoramic views of the lagoon or the surrounding islands.
I am so excited, it’s hard to contain to myself. I didn’t want to cause a scene and draw attention to Michael, so I just held onto his hand and squeezed it. He giggled and said that his hand was going to be broken by the time we get to our room. When got off the boat, the resort staff was there to help the guests by loading their luggage into buggy carts. Upon arrival, guests are given a scented flannel wipe and iced tea to refresh themselves. Then they are taken for a buggy cart tour of the extensive resort before being escorted to their room.
Bill took one of the staff workers to the side and whispered something to him. He smiled and nodded his head and escorted us to two buggy carts, which was apparently being held just for us. He motioned for more people to grab our bags and load them up in one of the carts. We were seated in the other one and then we were on our way. I snugged up to Michael and he put his arm around me. My heart was pounding from the excitement. Here we are on this beautiful island paradise, millions of miles away from everyone and we were in love. What more could a girl want? The tour was wonderful with our guide pointing out all the resort amenities and activities that we should know about. Then we were on our way to our villa.
We drove further and further away from the other villas. It seems to be on another isolated island.
I look at Michael and he is just grinning. I look at Bill and Larry and they are grinning too. I’m certain that where ever we are staying, it’s going to be fabulous. We turn down a remote road behind the island. It looks like a small village or compound, sitting alone by itself. There were signs that read “private, no entry to the public.” This is great!
Then I saw another sign as we entered the security gate and pulled up at the main entrance, “The Royal Estate!”
I looked at Michael. He just grinned.
“The Royal Estate?!”
“Yep! We got our own private village, complete with a pool, private beach, kitchen, spa, hot tub, sauna, a personal chef, a butler……..practically everything you could want! We don’t even have to leave the compound if we don’t want to!
This time I had to squeal!
“Ohhhhh, my god! This is too much! You’re the best!”
I hug and kiss him repeatedly on the face. He just chuckles, bravely taking the assault.
“If you get any happier, I’m going to have to put our own security on you! I’m getting beat up pretty good here!”
“Oh, I’m so sorry honey!” I said letting him go and smoothing out his shirt. “Did I hurt you?”
“No, girl! I’m just teasing! I’m very pleased that you like it. I’ve been holding in it in myself. But now that were here…….LET”S GO!”
He yelled as he jumps out the cart and grabs my hand. We take off. We could Bill yelling something about keys, but we paid him no mind.
“It is ok sir,” the driver smiled and said to Bill. “We know who you are! You are our very special guests, which means, you have the express check in. I have the keys for you right here! Let them just enjoy, ok? No worries! Your butler is already inside to show you around and to make sure that you have everything that you need. If you want something, please do not hesitate to ask! Otherwise, no one will bother you here, I promise! Welcome to St. Regis! Enjoy your stay!”
“Thanks,” Bill said while eyeing us. He had to smile in spite of himself. He enjoyed seeing us so happy and carefree.
“Whooooo Hooooooo!” Michael yelled as he jumped straight up and punched the air. “We’ve got the whole place to ourselllllllllllveeeeeees! No press, no crowds, no pictures, no nuthin’!”
We just ran around the compound like two fools while everyone else unloaded the bags and took them inside. When they were done, the driver stopped to watch us again. His deep belly laugh was infectious. I can imagine how silly we must have looked: an old man and a young woman dancing and skipping across the yard like children! After Bill tipped him, the driver and staff quickly left us alone to enjoy our beautiful, royal estate.
“Hey, we should rename the place, just for us!” Michael said. “What do you want to call it?”
“Hmmmm……how about “The Garden of Eden?”
“Yeah! I can dig it! Eden is where paradise all began!” He raised both hands in the air and yelled, “THANK YOU GOD FOR THIS BEAUTIFUL AND PEACEFUL PARADISE!”
Then he got this sneaky look on his face and changed his voice to an almost sinister tone.
“Come hea’ EVE! It’s time to eat the forbidden fruit! Bwahahahahahaha!”
I shrieked and started to run as he chased me. I was laughing so much, I couldn’t actually run. He grabbed me from behind and pulled me on top of him to the ground. We rolled over and over again on the lawn, laughing like crazy. The white casual suit I was wearing, now has grass stains on it, but I didn’t care. Bill and Larry were inside checking out the place for bugs and cameras, while we played outside until they told us it was safe to enter. When we went inside, I couldn’t believe what we saw.
The palatial 13,000 square foot Royal Estate occupies another part of the island. It’s located five minutes by foot via a wooden walkway and bridge from the St. Regis’ main restaurants and attractions. Polynesian artwork adorn the walls throughout the compound. The estate has three pavilions, which encircle a swimming pool and includes three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a full chef’s kitchen and a private spa area, complete with a hot tub and a sauna.
The master bedroom is just amazing. The bath alone feels like a getaway in itself.
Everyone has their own room and privacy, which is another feature that I love. Our estate has dedicated butlers and housekeepers on call around the clock, including a personal valet and chef on request.
We even have our own private beach, with no one to bother us! This will be perfect if we ever want to camp out after dark. Michael has to be very careful to stay protected from the sun as much as possible. We will be served dinner by candlelight on the private beach, followed by a Polynesian Tamure dance and fire show.
Michael filmed us as we walked around exploring our “Eden.” I cried and carried on profusely.
“Michael, this is so beautiful! How did you know that this is what I dreamed about?”
“I just listen to what you say and I know what you love. This place gives both what we want and need: privacy and pleasure. This is going to be a magical time that we’ll always remember. I can feel it.”
I hugged and kissed him. How I was ever so fortunate to be blessed with him, I’ll never know.
“You don’t know how much I appreciate all the trouble that you’ve gone to. I’m just….just so overwhelmed and thankful for you and all that we have…..”
I broke down in tears again, burying my head into his chest. Michael held me as I cried. He began to wipe my tears with the back of his thumbs.
“Please don’t cry, baby girl. There nothing that I wouldn’t do to make you happy. You’ve made me so happy by just being my wife. You’re a part of me and I love you so much.”
“I love you too, Michael. I thank God every day for you!”
Michael smiles and hugs me even tighter.
“Aww, girl! You’re gonna make me cry! This is supposed to be a happy occasion!”
“It is,” I said as I wipe my eyes. “These are tears of joy. I’m not even going to ask how much this is costing us.”
“And I won’t tell you anyway! I know what our financial goals are but if I want to spoil you, I will and there’s nothing you can do about it! Otherwise, I do my best to stick to the plan!”
He smiles and winks at me.
“Could you please help me get out of this clown make up? It’s gotten terribly uncomfortable. We have to be careful not to tear up the mask so I wear it again when we leave.”
“Anything for you, my darling!”
Michael certainly went over and beyond planning our honeymoon and I can’t wait to show him how I appreciate his labor of love. This is absolutely the most perfect place for what I have in store for him and I can hardly wait!
Later on around midnight, Michael and I were lying on the lounge chairs in front of the pool. We pushed them close together so we can cuddle while we look at the moon and the stars. Larry and Bill have turned in for the night and we are all alone. There’s no sound for miles, except the whisper of our voices and the soft music playing in the back ground.
“Mmmmm……this is just marvelous! I wish we could stay here forever!”
“I love it too, but don’t you like Neverland?”
“Of course I do, but here, I feel like we are just a regular couple. Life is much simpler without all the craziness of Hollywood.”
He suddenly seemed so sad.
“I don’t regret my decision to marry you, if that’s what you’re thinking. I’m so sorry if I hurt your feelings, babe. I didn’t mean anything by it.”
“I wish that we could have a normal life like other people. It didn’t escape me that I had to wear a disguise just to get here. I love what I do and the nice things that come with it, but what’s really important to me is to be able to simply enjoy life with the woman I love. I would trade it all in a heartbeat if I would be able to take you out to a movie or dinner and dancing without anyone bothering us. I hate having to close you off from the rest of the world, but that’s the only way I can protect you. I don’t want the press to stalk or harm you. I’m proud of you and I want to tell everybody that your mine, but all they’ll do is make fun of us and speculate about why we are together. We shouldn’t have to run around and hide our love like its wrong. Sometimes I just feel like a big sewer rat, racing against the clock from extinction. I can’t even remember how many kitchens, back doors and filthy alleyways I’ve had to escape through in my entire life! I get so sick of it, but there’s nothing I can do to stop it! I’m so sorry that you’re living in prison because of me.”
Me and my big mouth! I was on the verge of tears as I reach up to caress his face.
“Oh Michael! Please don’t think that way! I didn’t it mean the way that it sounded! You have to believe me! I’m not living in prison with you! I did before I met you and trust me it is not the same life! I don’t live in fear that you will hurt me or cuss me out. You have been so kind, loving and gentle to me. You’ve taught me what real love is about so I could trust you with my heart. I loved you even before I met you because I could feel the love in your heart. It’s so pure. Anywhere that you are, that’s where I want to be! Even if we were dirt poor and had nothing, I would still be the richest woman in the world, because I have you, sweetheart. No matter where I go or what I do from on, it means nothing without you.”
Michael seems to be shocked at the realization of something that I’ve said. His eyes glisten in the moonlight and tears fall from his eyes.
“Oh babe….my sweet angel! You’ve finally come back to me!”
He cups my chin and pulls my lips towards him and kisses me ever so gently.
“I don’t understand.”
“I’ve never told you or anybody this before, but I use to dream about you before we met. I know it sounds crazy, but when I was younger, probably around 17 or 18, I would see your face in my dreams. I could never see all your features clearly, but I knew that you were beautiful. You had the loveliest hair, the sweetest smile and the cutest laugh,” He chuckled, which made me smile.
“It was so sweet and innocent. You were younger than me. I was so happy there and I never felt alone when we were together. We would laugh and hold hands while we danced and danced and danced in a big meadow to a song I had never heard before. It was orchestrated in such a way that it’s hard to describe. I’ve tried to record it, but it would never come out the same. Then I began to realize that it was because it was our special song for our special place. And when I was feeling bad and I’d dream about you, you would say to me almost the exact same things that you just said to me……”
Tears were gushing from his eyes.
“You’d tell me how much you loved me and that anywhere that I was, you wanted to be. And you said that life meant nothing to you without me. I’d cry so hard sometimes, wanting you to be real. I’d pray for you to be real so I could be with you forever and never return to my sad life. I’d wish upon the stars and stare up at the moon, wondering if you were really out there.
He closed his eyes and began to softly sing.
♫ When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you
If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do
Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing
Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true ♫
He opens his eyes again and continued.
“At one point I thought I was losing my mind. It hurt so badly that we could not be together in real life, so I one day I wished that I would stop dreaming about you. And it worked or so I thought, but I was still looking for you in other girls. I missed you so much. You are the reason why I cry when I sing, “She’s Out Of My Life.”
My heart was overwhelmed. I grabbed his hand and kissed it, fighting back the tears.
“When I met Tatum, I thought that she was the one. She wasn’t. Then I met Brooke and got hopeful again, but she wasn’t the one,” he paused. “I really did love someone once, but she didn’t love me the way that I loved her and she eventually broke my heart. Love has never worked out for me until now. I had forgotten about what you told me until this very moment. Now you’re here with me, gazing at the stars that I used to wish upon. God has finally sent the woman of my dreams.”
“Michael….that’s the most beautiful dream I have ever heard! I wish that I could experience it with you.”
He took my hand and placed it on his chest.
“Close your eyes and try to remember. Feel that.”
I closed my eyes and lay there, feeling the pounding of his heart. I felt a connection to him that I’ve never experienced before. It was both love and an awakening combined, like Deja vu. I saw us together over a period of time in a place I’ve never seen before. I saw the most beautiful flowers that he’d pick for me and place them in my hair. I saw a little brook that we swam in and Michael reading to me as we lay on a blanket underneath a huge oak tree. It was pure love. We kissed for the first time underneath the biggest moon I’ve ever seen. We never tried to consummate our relationship. I saw the day that he told me that he wanted me to marry him and we promised that we would. I remembered telling him that life meant nothing without him. I heard our song and saw us dancing in the meadow. I described it all to him in great detail. When I opened my eyes, he was smiling at me.
“You saw it! You really saw it! We are together again! I wasn’t crazy after all!”
“No, you weren’t crazy. I can’t believe this is happening.”
“Promise me that this will always be our little secret.”
“I promise. I’ll never tell a soul.”
The next morning, we woke up to Bill and Larry standing over us. We had fallen asleep on the lounge chairs and never went to bed.
“Are we gonna have to escort you two bed every night?” Bill joked.
“Sure looks like it,” Larry said.
We stood, stretched and yawned, trying to work the kinks out of our backs.
“No, we don’t need chaperones.” Michael said. “But we are going to bed now.” He took my hand as we started walking to our pavilion. “It’s ok if you two want to venture out and enjoy the rest of the resort. We’ll be fine. See you later!”
When we get to our room, Michael puts the “do not disturb” sign on our door. We both needed to use the bathroom and wash up. Fortunately, the master bath was built for two. We separately showered and prepared for bed. We were unusually quiet and deep in our own thoughts. Last night seemed so unbelievable, I questioned the validity of the entire experience. I was almost inclined to think that it was just a dream, but I knew that I wasn’t asleep. Things like that don’t really happen….. do they? I mean, how would I know so much detail If I hadn’t actually being there? I decided to just let it go. We are together now and that’s all that matters.
We turned back the covers, got into bed and stared at the ceiling. Michael turns towards me and props himself up on his arm.
“You’re still thinking about last night aren’t you?”
“You have doubts?”
“Honestly, I do, but I’m also torn. It all just seems so far-fetched, but how did I know what we did? You only told me about the song and the meadow. Where did the rest of it come from?”
“That’s because we were there. The love in my heart helped you to remember. It’s the only explanation. Faith is simply believing in the impossible until it comes to past. Cutie, I’m so sorry for giving up on us. I should have never stopped believing that we could be together. Then maybe you wouldn’t have ended up in a bad marriage and I wouldn’t have been hurt so badly by another woman.”
“Michael, you can’t blame yourself for that. You’re human. We had no control over it. All things happen for reason. Who knows what would have happened to our relationship if we had met right before fame shot you out of orbit? We may not have been able to handle it then. What we have been through has made us stronger people and we know what’s at stake. I think our heartaches have made us appreciate each other all the more. We won’t take our love for granted because it hard fought for. We already know that the grass is not greener on the other side.”
“You are so right about everything. I definitely didn’t have time for a wife back then and I was still living at home.”
“I hate to bring up the past but…..who is the woman that you fell in love with? How did she break your heart?”
Michael signed heavily.
“I wish I could tell you, but I can’t. She made me promise to never reveal who she is. She’s older than me and I guess she was ashamed because I was so young, but I was never ashamed of her. She was my first. I was always painfully shy and awkward around girls. I guess she thought she was helping me, in a way. We were watching a movie at her house when she seduced me. I’d known her for a long time and I always had a crush on her. I was scared at first, but once we got started, I was hooked. I was raised that sex is for marriage and I thought that was going to happen with us. I was so happy. Then one day, when we were in bed, I asked her to marry me. She laughed.
“Michael, are you serious?”
“Yes, I’m very serious! Will you marry me?”
“I’m flattered, but we can’t get married!”
“Why not? Haven’t we been sleeping together? Don’t you love me?”
“Yes, yes of course I love you, but sleeping together doesn’t mean we’re going to get married!”
“But isn’t that what you are supposed to do when you make love?”
“Technically yes, but people don’t do that anymore. That’s so old fashioned!”
“What’s wrong with being old fashioned? What’s wrong with falling in love and getting married?
“You are young, sweet, kind, extremely talent and a very sexy guy. There are millions of girls out there who would love to have you.”
“But I don’t want them, I love you!”
“Michael, let’s be real. We would never work. One day you’re gonna find some girl on your level, who will be just right for you. You’ll see. Now come back to bed and let’s just enjoy what we have now.”
I remembering snatching away from her like she was poison and I started to cry. I was shaking.
“No! I want us to be a family! I want to be with you! Why can’t we get married? You said that you love me!”
“Oh Michael baby! I do love you and I’ll always love you……but only as a close friend.”
Michael laughed sarcastically. I saw anger and hurt in his countenance. I didn’t like what she had done to him. I kept quiet as he continued.
“A close friend?! Close friends aren’t supposed to fuck around! I couldn’t believe it. Her words felt like a punch in the gut. I was confused and sick to my stomach. I had given my virginity and love to a woman who never intended to marry me. She never gave a thought to what this would do to me. I had displeased Jehovah, who I love very much. I felt so ashamed, so…..cheap! I grabbed my clothes and ran out of there as fast as I could. She was yelling after me to come back, but I ignored her. She kept blowing up my phone for a long time, but I wouldn’t answer. I cried all night and for months afterwards. I barely ate and hardly talked to anyone. I would stay in my room for days unless I had some professional obligation. I buried myself in the studio, working like a mad man, trying to forget about her. Mother was so worried about me. She kept asking me what was wrong, but I wouldn’t tell her, couldn’t tell her. It would have broken her heart, so I kept in all inside. The only other person who knew about the affair was Bill because he ran interference so we could see each other. He never approved of our relationship, but he didn’t judge me. He listened and let me cry my way through it and he would talk to me. He’s never told a soul and I am deeply grateful to him for that. She and I eventually made peace with each other, but it took a long time for me to heal, a god awfully long time.”
I was in tears by the time that Michael finished telling me what happened. He was wiping his eyes. I could feel his pain, even now. I think I know she is, but I will keep my thoughts to myself. I hesitated about asking him anymore questions, but I had to know.
“I’m so sorry Michael…..but I have to know if you still love her.”
“I will always have love for her because of our history together, but I’m no longer “in” love with her, if that’s what you mean.”
“What’s the difference and how do you know for sure that it’s over?”
“I know now that we were never meant to be. I was so naïve and stupid. I didn’t want to see the signs. It took me a while to realize that our relationship was one-sided. I knows she cares about me as a person, but she was just using me for sex. I was her little boy toy and she dumped as soon as another opportunity came along. I can’t continue to give someone my heart who would think so little of me. It was never like what we had back then or now.”
“So if she had given you a real chance, do you think that you would have happier with her?”
“No, we would have eventually ended in divorce. There was always a small part of me that was on guard with her when things became sexual. She’s dated a lot of people. I’ve never felt that distrust with you. Deep down, I knew that she wasn’t what was best for me. You are. I gave my heart to you without any reservation. That’s never happened to me with anyone else.”
I felt relieved now, but one thing was still bugging me.
“But I still don’t understand why I couldn’t remember all this before now?”
Michael lower his eyes.
“That’s because I wished for you to forget me….so you wouldn’t be hurt when I didn’t come back.”
“But don’t you see? I never forgot you either. Instead, I followed you as a fan, not knowing our past. I’ve always loved you, but I thought that I would never meet you.”
“I guess we both never stopped loving each other.”
“And just so you know, I do believe, Michael. I was just fighting it. I’m even remembering more.”
“Yes. We were both so young and untainted.”
“Can I get one thing off my chest?”
“I’ve never told you this either, but I kind of felt like I defiled you when we first slept together. Even though you weren’t a virgin, I knew that you hadn’t been with anyone since your divorce and I was celibate too. I never intended for it to happen, but when we spent time together, I felt that closeness again. I fought it at first, but when we were in bed together during the storm, I wanted you so badly, I couldn’t stop myself. Usually I can resist temptation, but I couldn’t with you. I wanted more. I was even willing to live with you without being married. I’ve never asked a girl to do that, but I wanted to be with you all the time. I knew you had been hurt and I didn’t want to push you into marriage”
I caressed his face.
“Michael, you didn’t “take” anything from me. I gave myself to you willingly and freely. I wanted you then, now and always. I love you.”
We reached for each other at the same time and began kissing. Then Michael stopped.
“What’s wrong, baby?”
“Birth control. I forgot to bring the condoms! Did you bring your diaphragm?”
Michael’s eye widen in horror.
“Oh no! You mean we can’t have sex on our honeymoon? How are we supposed to find condoms out here in the middle of the ocean?”
I laughed and hugged him.
“It’s ok. We don’t need it anymore. I wanted to surprise you with the news.”
“Really?!! We can make a baby now?!!!!”
“Oh, baby…you have made me the happiest man on earth. Wild horses couldn’t drag me from this bed!”
And that’s where we stayed until the following day.
Even though I have given Michael one of his honeymoon surprises, I still have the big one up my sleeve. I want to surprise him with an informal wedding like he originally wanted. I know that we were recently married, but in light of the new revelations that we shared about our past, I am convinced now more than ever that renewing our vows will be perfect, especially in such a romantic and magical environment. The problem with pulling it off is Michael. Ever since we stopped using birth control, he just wants to stay in and have sex, which I’m definitely not complaining about. We did it everywhere: on the beach, the pool, the hot tub, the steam room, the kitchen counter…it was no holds barred! He keeps sending Bill and Larry away so we won’t get caught in the act.
The resort wedding coordinator helped me find a priest and plan a nice private wedding. Our butler, Emmanuel, was more than happy to help me with the wedding plans and pulled in other staff to help.
I was finally able to talk Michael into venturing out. We went snorkeling at the resort’s Lagoonarium. They were kind enough to close it down for us late in the evening so we wouldn’t be disturbed.
It a large lagoon that winds around an island and you can float around with the current.
Some resorts here have them. You will see the most beautiful coral, colorful tropical fish, octopi and turtles. The St Regis has the best Lagoonarium in Bora Bora for snorkeling.
We even took a shore exclusion between Bora Bora and Tahiti to experience more of the island culture.
We learned about black pearls, which were once considered rare on the island before being cultured in the lagoons. Before buying Tahitian pearl jewelry, you need to know the types of pearls and their differences. It a good idea to see how pearls are made and how to buy them.
Some say that Oro, believed to be one of the four main gods of the Society Islands, offered the pearl from an oyster to the beautiful princess of Bora Bora as a sign of his love.
Natives also believe that the Tahitian black pearl has become the symbol of hope in man’s wounded heart. When I heard this, I knew it was the perfect thing to give Michael as a wedding gift. When Michael wasn’t looking, I bought two matching bracelets for both of us for the ceremony. Each knot represents the past pain and struggles that we had to overcome. Each of the three pearls tied together represents the love, health and happiness that we found. The last pearl which hold the bracelet together represents our unity. It was simple, unique and perfect for renewing our vows.
The plans were made and everything was set. Now all I needed was the groom.
The morning of our nuptials, I woke up early and quietly slipped from Michael’s arms to get dressed and prepare for the day. Since it was an informal wedding, I thought it would be appropriate for Michael to wear whatever he felt most comfortable in. Bill and Larry helped me out by running errands so Michael wouldn’t get suspicious. The ceremony is scheduled to start at sunset. I gave the chef our order for breakfast and waited for Michael to get up. About thirty minutes later, he wondered into the kitchen in his pajamas, rubbing his eye.
“Hi honey! Did you sleep well? Breakfast is ready if you want it.”
Michael leans over to kiss me before he sits down next to me in the breakfast nook.
“I slept well, until I saw that you were gone. How come you didn’t wake me?”
“I just thought I’d let you sleep in a little. We been pretty busy since we got here.”
Michael picked up a piece of hot buttered toast, added some jam and bit into it. The chef was finishing up the rest of our meal. Michael looks over his shoulder before leaning close to whisper.
“Busy in a good way!”
He smiles and winks at me before taking another bite into the crunchy toast. All you could hear is the sound of him chewing. It’s cute the way he sometimes he forgets to close his mouth and I love to watch him chew. I don’t know how he does it but he even chews sexy! The chef brought over a hot platter of eggs and set them down in front of us.
“Will there be anything else before I go?”
“No. Thank you very much,” I said.
“Enjoy the rest of you day.”
“Thank you. Same to you,” Michael said, waiting until he was completely gone before he spoke. “So…what do you want to do today? I have a few ideas if you’re interested…”
I pretended not to catch on.
“I’m glad you asked. I’ve arranged for a private car to take us to visit some of the art galleries in town. I thought you might enjoy it since you love art so much.”
Michael stopped in mid chew.
“You mean you actually want to go someplace? Gee I don’t know. I kind of wanted to hang around here today. I don’t feel like putting on clothes and disguises just to go out.”
“Oh you don’t have to worry about that. I’ve already made arrangements for us to shop in privacy. You won’t have to wear a disguise and you won’t be bothered, I promise. Can we go, pretty please?”
Michael pushed his plate away and sighed.
“All right, if it means that much to you, we’ll go. Let me go get dressed.”
He got up and slowly padded down the hall. Poor baby. I hated to do that do him, but it was the only way to get him out of the house for the wedding ceremony preparations. When he was ready, Michael had on a baseball cap, a fake face nose and mustache, just to be on the safe side. Despite his reservations about going out, we actually had a good time. Larry and Bill were with us and no bothered us. When we arrived back at the estate, Emmanuel was waiting for us to arrive.
“Why is he here?” Michael whispered to me.
“I asked him to set up for dinner tonight on the beach. Is something wrong?”
“Yes. I don’t like the idea of strangers being in here when we are not around. What if they install a camera or some sort of recording device?” He didn’t wait for an answer as he turned to look at Bill and Larry. “Can you guys please check things out to make sure that hasn’t happened?”
“Ok and we’ll check on dinner while we’re at it,” Bill said looking directly at me.
I caught the hint.
Michael waited until they were gone before he spoke.
“Cutie, please don’t do that again. We have to be really careful. The staff is nice and everything, but you just never know.”
“I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking. I guess I was too focus on making sure things were in order for tonight.”
Michael took my hand and smiled.
“It’s ok. I understand.” He put his arms around me. “I’m so glad that we are finally alone. I’ve wanted to kiss you all day. If you hadn’t gone to the trouble already, I would just tell you to skip dinner.”
“Why whatever for, Mr. Jackson?” I said acting clueless.
“I think you know exactly why, Mrs. Jackson.”
We started kissing, but Larry came back and interrupted us.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I just wanted to let you know that everything is in order.”
“Thanks Larry,” I said.
After he left, I took Michael’s hand.
“Michael, please come with me. I want to show you something.”
“Sure. What is it?”
I took his hand and led him to the pool area. There were beautiful water lilies with tea candles floating all over the pool.
Romantic, classical music played in the background.
Beautiful flower string lights and lanterns were strung over us and attached to poles.
Michael took one look and froze with his mouth hanging open. I was smiling.
“Oh my god! I can’t believe it! This reminds me of….”
He covered his face with his free hand as I kissed his cheek.
“Do you remember?
“Yes I do. It was the night I asked you to marry me.”
“I tried to recreate it as best I could.”
“This is perfect! He kept looking around, still stunned. “I’m just…it’s just…oh my god!”
“Well, I thought since we “rediscovered” each other at this very spot, I thought it would be a nice way to start off the evening.”
Michael was still holding his head.
“I don’t know what to say! I mean it’s beautiful! So many emotions are hitting me right now!”
“Do you need to sit down?”
“No. I’m fine. I’m so sorry for being so silly earlier. You went through all this trouble just for me. I just wasn’t expecting all this. I really appreciate everything that you and everyone involved has done.” He gave me a big hug. “Thank you baby!”
“You’re welcome. Will you dance with me?”
Michael started to take me close in his arms when I stopped him. No, like we did back then.”
He smiled and moved back. He put his arm around my waist and held my hand out to the side. We began a slow waltz around the pool. As we started into each other’s eyes we were transposed in time. To someone from the outside viewing us, nothing would appear to be different, but we had slipped away to that magical place where we were young and love first began When the music stopped. I took Michael’s hand in mine.
“Michael, you have already asked me to marry you before. Now it’s my turn.” I got down on one knee. “I love you with all of heart. You’re the best thing that has ever happened to me. You sacrificed so much to give me the wedding of my dreams and now I want to do the same for you tonight. Will you remarry me?”
I saw Michael dap at the corner of his eye with his thumb before he pulls me up to stand.
“You are my better half. I want you always by my side, next to heart and never at my feet. Nothing would please me more than to remarry you.”
I kiss him on the lips.
“Everything is ready. All that’s missing is us.”
After a quick change clothes, we gather on our private beach for a traditional Polynesian ceremony. The beach is adorned with flowers, palms and torchlight’s. There was a red carpet covering the sand which leads to the spot where we will say our vows. Michael and I walk hand and hand together to the awaiting priest, as we are serenaded by Polynesian musicians and dancers. The minister was draped in a full traditional headdress and robe.
Bill and Larry were our beaming witnesses. Michael wore an open white shirt and black jeans. He looked so handsome with his beautiful hair flowing in the breeze. A boutonniere was pinned to his lapel. He was very relaxed and happy.
I wore a simple, but pretty, white dress, accented by a colorful bouquet.
The priest performed the ceremony mostly in English, but a small part was in Tahitian. Traditional Polynesian wedding songs, music and dances were performed throughout the ceremony. Instead of exchanging rings again, we exchanged the black oyster bracelets I bought for us. The priest declared Michael as the husband “tané” and me as the wife “vahiné” following the Polynesian tradition, before he gave us a Tahitian name. To symbolize harmony, we exchanged flower crowns and leis. After we received our wedding certificate from the priest, we enjoyed a long, sweet kiss. This wedding was certainly different from our first, but beautiful, unique and loving none the less.
As we ate a delicious dinner of Maui Maui in vanilla sauce, we watched the dancers perform a special tribute to bless our union.
As we walked back to our pavilion, hand in hand, Michael stops me just before we enter the door.
“I just can’t tell you what a beautiful and magical evening this has been. No one has ever done anything like that for me. When we were standing on the beach, I wanted to fall on my knees and thank God for all that he done for me despite the trials. I will always treasure this night in my heart. I share something special with you that I never will with anyone else. Thank you for not only being my wife, but also my best friend.”
I couldn’t help but melt.
“Awww, Michael! I love you so much!”
“And I love you more, baby.” We kissed. “One more thing. I need to do something that I should have done when we first arrived.”
He picked me up and carried me over the threshold to our bedroom and laid me down so lovingly on those soft, white, satin sheets.
I hope you enjoyed this latest update. I really enjoyed writing it. The next update will be posted by the end of the month. I will start to deal with some sticky issues before the Dangerous tour begins. ♥