I will be getting back to a regular posting schedule now that the school year is winding down. This is what I want to do for sure:
Monday: Don’t Hold Back
Wednesday: Take Away The Pain
Friday: Something in Her Eyes
Requests will be posted as I finish them, not really on a schedule unless it’s a multi-part LARGE story. As for Slave To The Rhythm, that all depends on when Jessica updates, I don’t control her schedule. This is for me.
So… Keep an eye out
Richelle: Yeah you did answer this but thanks for answering anyway!
Me: Haha sorry, I have so many problems with my ask… Half the time it doesn’t come through and then it sends it again -_- Sheesh. I’ll figure this out eventually.
Richelle: I really love the new chapter of take away the pain it was great!
Me: I feel like I answered this already but it came up in my inbox again this morning AFTER I cleared everything else out so I’m answering again.
Thank you! I love you!
We should all make fun of how bad EVERYTHING I wrote before like On The Dark Side was I mean omg. Gross. Nope.
Honestly I keep it here to remind me that I used to REALLY suck lmao
“I think you need to talk to her.”
Ciara looked up at me, her eyes wide. “No. That isn’t going to happen.”
“You can’t just go on living your life like that,” I explained, standing over her. “Talking to your mom will clear a lot of stuff up.”
“I’ve tried to talk to her in the past, I told you that,” Ciara said. “I don’t want to go through that again. I don’t want her yelling at me and telling me I’m not good enough. I can’t handle that, Michael.”
I sighed. “You can’t run away from it forever, Ciara.”
“I would like to handle that when I’ve actually accomplished something,” Ciara muttered.
“You’re further along than you were before. You’re not living in that crappy hotel anymore—”
“Yeah, instead, I’m living with a man I’ve only known a few months—”
“—You’re not cutting anymore—”
“—Because someone else made me stop, not because I reached out for help, which she’s going to see as another failure—”
I made a face at her. “Do you even want to fix this up or do you want to spend the rest of your life waking up in the middle of the night screaming because you never faced your problems?”
Ciara looked down at her lap. “I need something of my own to take back to her, Michael. Living with you is fantastic, and I am so grateful for everything that you have helped me with, because I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without you. But my mother isn’t going to see that as a good thing, that’s what I need for you to understand. She’s going to tell me I’m a failure simply because I didn’t do things on my own the way I said I would.”
“You want something to prove you’re not a failure?”
I smiled at her. “I have someone that I need you to meet.”
“You’re gonna get it for making me do this,” I grumbled as I followed him down the long studio hallway.
“Do to me what you will,” he winked. He opened the door to a tall man sitting at a desk. “James?”
The man looked up and he smiled. “Hey, Mike. Take a seat.”
“This is the girl that I was telling you about,” Michael said. “Ciara, this is James Rodriguez, he’s an old friend of mine, a casting director.”
“I’ve helped Michael with the casting of his music videos,” Mr. Rodriguez said as he shook my hand. “I understand that you’re looking for a career in acting and modeling, Ms. Fredrick.”
“That’s right,” I said.
“I am more than willing to give you a casting and set up a portfolio for you,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “But you do understand that just because you are dating Michael, that isn’t going to influence my choices or the choices of the people who may or may not be interested in hiring you. There are no guarantees in this business.”
“I know,” I said. “I just really want to try this. I mean, I’ve tried in the past, but there’s a lot of things that hold be back…”
“The self harm.”
I gasped and looked at Michael. “You told him?”
Michael put his hands up in innocence. “They wanted pictures of you without makeup! What was I supposed to do? Tell them you have an evil cat?”
I rolled my eyes. “All right. What am I supposed to do?”
I was put through wardrobe and makeup, and taken by a slim blonde lady to a back studio. It was cold, the air conditioning on too high even for the LA heat. I shivered in my seat. Another man with gray hair came in and smiled at me, looking down at my work portfolio in his hands. He had to be in his upper 50s, maybe almost 60, but he’d aged nicely. He was one off the few upper-middle-aged men I’d seen in California who didn’t have an orange tint to his skin from too much self-tanner. He scanned it as he sat down, only making me more nervous. I auditioned for some big-name people and none of them wanted me. I worried deeply that he would see thing, become apprehensive, and not sign me.
“This takes guts,” he said, waving the folder. “You went for the big-wigs right away.”
“Yes, sir,” I said timidly.
His smile grew wider. “I can already see the problem you have. You have a lot of confidence but you’re hiding it. It’s bottled up. You come across as very shy even though there’s a fire burning right under the surface. We just need to crack that shell.” He looked to Michael. “Reminds me a lot of another young kid I know.”
Michael blushed and waved his hand at the man dismissively.
“This is Warren Grant,” Michael explained to me. “He’s a casting director and an acting teacher.”
“You think I need lessons?” I asked desperately, looking because Michael and Warren.
“I think you need to come out of your shell,” Warren said. “I would love to get some shots of you while you’re comfortable and relaxed. That’s why we’re allowing Michael to be here for the test shoot. I want some solo shots and then…” He grinned at Michael. “Plan number two, if you don’t mind?”
“What’s plan number two?” I asked.
Michael bit his lip to hide a smile. “You’ll see. Right now you get in front of that camera and show them what you can do.”
I was given a few different scenes to read off with random extras in the studio, which would be used as audition tapes for future occasions. They didn’t comment, which is normal during the filming. Discussion came later. Then I was taken to change in to a yellow dress in the bathroom. When I came back, I saw Michael standing in front of the camera, pulling his shirt off.
“Um…What’s going on?” I asked.
Michael smiled. “Plan number two.”
“We need you two to pose together passionately,” Mr. Rodriguez explained. “Originally the idea was to have a different model here but Michael thought that this would be a better idea.”
“Because I don’t want another man touching you,” he whispered, pulling me closer to him.
The cameras started to go off around us. Michael lead at first, dipping me to kiss me. In a moment of boldness, I slipped from his arms and darted across the set. He glared at me playfully, before he hurried after me, snatching my waist. He turned me around and I giggled right before he pressed me to the wall. The photographer followed, taking pictures like he was capturing a frame-by-frame, as Michael cupped my chin in his hand and kissed me hard. My arms wound around his neck and he lifted me under my butt pressing his hips in to me as I latched on to his waist.
“I think we’ve got enough,” Warren said casually. “You guys can cut.”
Michael gave me one last lustful stare before gently setting me on my feet. I swallowed hard.
“We’ll be in touch about this,” Warren said. “But you did a wonderful job, Ciara. You know what you’re doing in front of a camera.”
I couldn’t sleep. I could barely eat. Everything that I was doing seemed wrong since Jackie left.
She was right. I was stupid. I was selfish. I’d used her to give me the fantasy and the life that I wanted. I wanted to keep my career going, but I wanted a family. I didn’t let back on my career at all and that caused me to lose one of the most precious things in my life.
I just wasn’t the same person anymore. I couldn’t think straight without Jackie here. She was my rock, she was the reason that I was able to keep my head on straight. Without her, the world came crashing down around me. Everything I did reminded me of her. There was a specific seat that she always took at the table, right across from me. Certain rides were her favorite and I couldn’t bring myself to look at them. There was a specific spot out on the terrace where she would sit and read and when I looked out the window it tore my heart apart.
These months apart were killing me. Two months was too much. In the first few days I thought that she was just upset and she would come back. But she never even returned for her other possessions. Around the first week is when I started to feel the anxiety but I repressed it. The closer we pushed to one month without her here the more worried I got. Only a few weeks after that I was cleaning the dresser and I found her wedding ring in a drawer, and my heart shattered to pieces. People told me that she called when I wasn’t home to talk to the kids, but when asked, she said she had no interest in talking to me at all. She never asked about me. I would have to come to terms with the fact that she wanted nothing to do with me anymore. It would only be a matter of time before the divorce papers would be served.
I love her. I still loved her with all of my heart. I see now that I was wrong and there was nothing I could do about it. She wouldn’t give me a chance to say I was sorry, and she never gave anyone enough time to apologize for me. She didn’t want to even pick up the things she left her—my secretary asked her that a few days ago, and she said he never wanted to set foot on these grounds again.
Today, I spent my waking hours like most, in front of the piano. I played mindlessly, looking out the window, humming under my breath:
“And why…All my dream’s been broken…I don’t know where we’re going…”
I hung my head and tried to repress the tears. My music went back to her, my dancing, my dreams, my whole life. I needed her here. How could I be so stupid as to let her go? How could I ever have been so mean to her that she would want to walk away from me?
I jumped and wiped my eyes fast. Tessa stood next to the piano, looking up at me.
“Where’s Mommy?” she asked me.
I swallowed hard. “Mommy is…not here right now,” I said carefully. The kids asked this almost every day.
“Is she on a trip?” Tessa asked.
“Yes, something like that.” I lifted her in to my lap and clutched her tightly to my chest.
“When is she back?”
“I don’t know,” I whispered. I kissed the top of her head.
“Is she mad?”
I bit my lip, trying to change the subject. “Where’s your brother? I haven’t seen him today.”
“Upstairs,” she said. “Looking for Mommy.”
I set her down on the ground again and I stood. “You should go upstairs and play.”
“But I miss her.” Tessa looked up at me and her lower lip puckered like she was about to cry, so I scooped her up once more to rock her.
“Me too,” I murmured, carrying her to the next room with me.
“Mr. Jackson?” a voice came over the intercom. I pressed the “talk” button.
“There’s someone here to see you.”
“I’m not expecting anyone right now. Who is it?”
“You should probably come see for yourself.”
Leaving him was stupid. I’ll admit it—I was stupid, I was wrong, and I wanted to take back what I said. I don’t regret it, because I firmly believe he needed to learn a lesson. Michael isn’t a spoiled brat by any means, but the way he’s built walls up around himself can make it very hard to force him to see reality. He knew how the real world worked and sometimes still didn’t apply those principles to his own life, and it made me so frustrated that I snapped.
Yes, I have a temper, and sometimes that temper gets the better of me. But I couldn’t do this any longer with him. I wasn’t going to take the blame for a miscarriage that I had no control over. Of course I felt horrible about it, because I was very excited to have another child, but it wasn’t my fault that we didn’t have it. And if he was going to treat me like a criminal because of an accident, I didn’t want to stick around.
A week ago, I got my first phone call from Janet since the split. And she explained to me how Michael was feeling. She told me that he wasn’t sleeping, and that he would call her in the middle of the night and just cry. She didn’t want this to affect my decision, but she felt it wasn’t fair to anyone—Michael, myself, the kids, the whole family—if I didn’t know the other side of the story. According to her he was sorry, and he wanted me back, but at the time I didn’t want to hear it. Since then I’ve been letting this new information sink in and for the first time I realized just how much I missed him.
Before, it was a dull ache, the way a person always feels right after a breakup. I figured that ache would fade with time. This new feeling was stronger, and I realized that I didn’t want to be without him forever. I couldn’t just let this slide, and go back to him like nothing happened. We had problems to work out if he really wanted me back. But now I was willing to listen, and I wasn’t being so bull-headed. I could only hope now that he didn’t completely hate me so that we could actually talk.
It was pouring rain by the time I got to Neverland. I didn’t know if this was a good or bad omen. The guards let me through almost too willingly. I parked in the same spot I used to, and walked right up to the front door, but then I hesitated. This hadn’t been my home for two months. In my heart, I still felt that old connection to this place, like this is where I belonged. But I wasn’t sure that I was welcome in the mansion anymore. I pressed the call button and Michael’s secretary sounded like she was jumping out of her skin. I took a few steps back from the door, wrapping my arms tightly around myself to hide from the biting wind, and I waited.
Within minutes Michael stood before me, opening the door cautiously. I don’t blame him—I can’t say that I would even open the door in his position. His hair was slightly disheveled, falling out of its elastic. He wore pajama pants and a white t-shirt. He looked tired, and his eyes were sad, but he looked so beautiful. For a moment, I saw a glimmer of hope in his eyes, and then his face fell.
“You’re here to see the kids, aren’t you?” he guessed. “You know…I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to see them until we get things sorted out. I know they’re your children too but it’s really going to mess them up.”
“I know,” I said. “But that’s not the reason I’m here.”
He swallowed and straightened up. “Really?”
I nodded. “Michael, I…am really sorry.”
Michael’s face softened again, but he didn’t speak, he just crossed his arms.
“I’m sorry I did this to you.” I gestured to him. “I’m sorry for ripping things apart. I want to…I don’t want to take it back but I want us to be us again. If you’ll still have me.”
“You mean that?” he asked softly.
“I do,” I said. “I’m sorry it took me this long but I really, truly miss you. I shouldn’t have said the things I did but…you do understand why I said those things, don’t you?”
“Yes,” he said. “I was very unfair to you and I am so, so sorry, Jackie. I never meant to do that to you. I don’t even know what I was thinking, or how I could think it was okay to blame you…I wasn’t thinking right, and I’m so sorry I put you through that and I pushed you out that way.”
“We have a lot to talk out about this,” I told him.
“But I’ve missed you so bad.” I rushed the few steps between us and embraced him tightly. He kissed me hard, passionately, pressing me against the heavy wooden doors. I broke the kiss and looked up at Michael’s glistening eyes.
“Please let me come home,” I whispered. “I’m sorry, Michael, I won’t do something like that again.”
“This one was my fault.” He hugged me tightly and buried his face in to my shoulder. “I need you here, Jackie. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I can’t work. I can’t do anything. I’m just going through the motions, I’m not even living. I don’t know how much longer I will be able to go on like this.”
“You won’t have to.” I took his face in my hands and I kissed him again.
“Where are you staying?”
“A hotel…But my bags are in the trunk.”
He smiled. “You must have been pretty confident coming over here.”
“Actually, Janet called me,” I admitted. “And I was kind of hoping that over the course of the past few days you hadn’t found it in yourself to be pissed off and get over me.”
“No, I’m past pissed off,” Michael chuckled. “That was the first two weeks.”
Michael called for one of the guards to get my things from the car and took me by the hand back in to the house.
“Where are the kids?” I asked him almost desperately. I’d missed them deeply and trying to call when Michael wasn’t around was complicated, because he took those children with him everywhere. There was one thing I could never accuse Michael of, and it was being a bad father. Michael was fantastic with our children.
“They’re in the playroom upstairs,” Michael said. He edged the door open when he got there with a small smile on his face and peeked inside. “Guys? Look who’s here.”
Tessa and Justin rushed forward toward me as I crouched on the ground. Sarah moved with much more caution. She got as close as she could without touching me like she didn’t believe I was really here. When I reached out to pull her in to our hug, she was the first to cry, and that set off the others.
“We’ve all really missed you,” Michael said softly behind me. “It hasn’t been easy without you here.”
“I know.” I wiped my eyes and kissed each of them in turn. “How have you all been?”
“We got new Barbies,” Sarah said. She pointed to a tall doll house that hadn’t been there when I left. I smiled over my shoulder at Michael.
“You were bribing them?”
“I needed to do something to take their mind off it,” he shrugged. “Every single day I hear them ask me where you were. I have no way to explain to them that you left so I did this…” He swallowed hard. “It’s bad of me to do, to train them to fill the hole in their life with things that resemble what they’re missing. That’s what I do. I don’t want them to do that.”
“You won’t have to do that again,” I said. “What about you Justin? What did you get?”
“A ball for Batman,” he said. He turned around and clapped twice and the bunny Michael gave Justin for Easter came hoping out in a ball that was surrounded by a frame that looked like a race car.
I raised my eyebrows at him.
“Justin takes that rabbit with him everywhere,” Michael explained. “He likes to bring Batman when we go to the studio and it would make the techs mad so I figured this was a good compromise.”
“Makes sense,” I muttered. I stood and looked at him. “I’m serious when I say that I don’t want to go anywhere again. We just have to reach a balance so we don’t get caught up again. That was the problem last time.”
“It won’t happen again.” Michael tucked a strand of hair behind me ear. “But we can talk about this a little later. Right now I just…Let’s get things settled in first.
“Talk about a long day,” Jackie muttered. She stretched out next to me, her t-shirt riding up a little to show her red panties. Her long blonde hair flowed out around her head. She looked up at me. “I’m ready to sleep.”
“Me too,” I nodded. “But I wanted to tell you something first.” I reached over next to me, grabbing a box from the bedside table. “You left this here, and that terrified me. I felt like this really was the end for you and I, and if it would have been, I don’t know how I would have been able to continue. I would never be the same without you Jackie. The thought of going even a day without you scared me to my core because you bring out a part of me that I thought died a long time ago.
She took a deep breath and looked down at the ring in my hand. “What part is that?”
“The normal part,” I said. “After a while, you start to believe the horrible things people say about you, because it gets inside your head. But you were able to remind me that I am human and that the things these people say are lies. And for that, I thank you. And I don’t ever want to lose you. But seeing this ring buried at the bottom of a drawer, like you forgot it…”
“I did that because I hoped you would find it,” Jackie explained. “Michael, when I left…I did it blindly, obviously, I was very upset with you. I couldn’t understand why you would act the way you did because it wasn’t like you to be so apathetic and hateful. There was a moment when I honestly thought it was my fault that I miscarried. It’s not like I didn’t want to have that child. But with the stress that I was under at the time and then you being a complete ass—”
“I know,” I said, cutting her off. “I know, sweetheart, I’m sorry. I should not have said any of that. It’s not your fault. If anything, it was mine for making you handle everything that you did…”
“Michael, it’s not your fault,” Jackie said sternly. “It’s no one’s fault. That’s why I was so mad at you. You needed me to comfort you, but I also needed you to comfort me, and you wouldn’t. You just pointed fingers. That’s why I left. I was tired of being neglected.”
“So…you did feel like I was neglecting you?”
“Yes, sometimes I did. I know that you’re married to the music first. I knew that before we even started dating. I knew that it would be hard to be in a relationship with you because of the way you’re wired. But that passion, and that drive, that’s what attracted me to you in the first place. I found that passion carried over in to every area of your life, and you were so sweet and gentle, that was really alluring to me. But right before I left you were…colder. You showed me attention but you were so wrapped up in the work that you just…It’s like you didn’t care as much. You were caring on the surface but deep down I didn’t feel it. And I can’t live with something like that.”
I looked down at my lap. “I disappointed you.”
“In a lot of ways, yes, you did. I felt like I was last in your life. I was willing to do that for a little while but this time it was too much. I need some attention.”
I looked at her carefully. “Do you still…love me?”
Jackie’s eyes softened. “There was never a moment when I stopped loving you. I left…because I love you, actually. I thought that you needed space, first. I thought both of us needed space. I thought maybe the distance could bring back what we used to have.”
“Are you willing to take this ring back?”
Now she finally smiled. “Actually I was trying to find it when I first got here but you moved it from where I had it hidden.”
I placed the wedding ring back on her finger again, and I kissed her soft, sweet lips, pressing her down under me. Jackie’s hands knotted in to my hair. Her eyes glowed in the moonlit darkness of our bedroom. I kissed the spot on her neck that always drove her crazy, and as she gave in I slipped my hand in to the front of her panties. She gasped and her hips lifted off the bed a little. Gently I stroked her smooth, wet slit, teasing her.
“Michael,” she groaned softly. She kissed me harder, biting my lip. I rubbed her clit a little and her groaned grew louder.
“I’ve missed you,” I whispered, lifting her shirt over her head. I bent to take her nipple in my mouth. She struggled to get my boxers and shirt off as I hurried off her panties.
I eased in to her slowly and she gasped loudly, her nails digging in to my shoulders. I wanted to show her how I’d missed her, but I held back my urge to hurry, wanted to watch her struggle under me. While I slowly thrust in to her, I enjoyed the view of her gorgeous naked body in front of me.
“Faster,” she pleaded. She opened her lustful eyes to look up me. “Baby, please, don’t tease me…”
I picked up speed only a little, and she thrust back on me, her hips squirming.
“Mmm…like that…” I moaned as her legs clamped at my hips. “Jackie…uuhhh….”
She pushed me in further, kissing my neck. I couldn’t take it anymore, I took her in my arms tighter and pounded in to her harder. She cried out in pleasure, smiling up at me. I buried my face in her neck, our bodies seizing together as we came. She panted heavily under me, her fingers lightly tracing my spine as we came down from our climactic high. I rolled next to her, not letting her out of my arms.
“I meant to tell you earlier…I’m taking a break,” I told her.
“From what?” she asked. “From music? Michael, I can’t ask you to do that, you love music. It’s your life.”
“But so are you and our kids,” I said. “I love music but not as much as I love you. I am not taking break from writing or releasing but…I don’t think I am going to tour with the next album. I haven’t fully decided yet, and I haven’t told the company, but I have missed so much. We end up having birthdays and holidays on the road and that’s not fair to the kids. And what about when they get older? I won’t be there to see soccer games, graduations, whatever else the kids do. I can’t take that away from them.”
“We go with you,” she reminded me.
“Yes, but I told you that I don’t want the kids to grow up the way I did. Always under a microscope, on the road all the time, never having the chance to really be children. They’re headed down that road and that’s not that I want. I want them to be happy.”
She looked at my carefully. “You’re sure about this.”
I nodded. “I hate touring anyway.’
“Aren’t you worried about the impact that will have on your career?”
“I can tour later,” I shrugged. “I’ll still be putting out another album, and music videos to go along with it. I’ll do appearances. Besides, I need a break from all the stress.”
Jackie hugged my neck tightly. “Thank you, Michael. I can’t even find the words to tell you how much this means to me.”
“Don’t even think about it,” I said. “I need to make changes if I want you to stay. And those changes are starting here.”
I haven’t named it yet, naming is usually the last thing I do. (Except in the case but that’s a special instance). I like this idea though
haha no I keep all my requests and story ideas in a special notebook on my desk. That’s how I keep notes and story lines organized. When someone requests a story I write down the basic information they give me in my notebook, then I branch off it from there.
When it’s in the notebook it means it will be written as soon as I have time.
Sorry for the confusion!
Very interesting. I love the secret tension thing… yussss
I will get on this! It’s been written in the notebook
That’s interesting, I’ve never done something like that before. I would love to give this a try. I will write this one down in my notebook and add it to my to-do list!