Chapter 11

Michael stared up at the ceiling, thinking, "How did I go from searching for her to sleeping on her couch?" He wasn't complaining, but he'd much rather be in bed sleeping with August. Since Michael vowed to take things slow, he had to learn to control himself. Which he thought was a little unfair due to their erotic makeout session earlier that afternoon.

"Well, you did start it, Michael. You didn't buy those strawberries for nothing," he uttered sarcastically to himself. Letting out a deep sigh, he turned on his side and fell asleep.

The next morning, August awoke before Michael and wanted to tease him. He was always pranking people and thought he needed a taste of his own medicine. When she saw that his foot was peaking from beneath the covers, she took a feather and tickled it, making him kick the air. Moving towards his face, she blew in his ear.

"Stop it, stop... I'm coming," he mumbled. August's ears perked up when she heard his half-awake response.

"Coming?" She giggled softly.

With one last tickle to his ear, he jumped up. "Ahhh, I'm sorry, Michael," she squealed as he grabbed her.

"Sorry, baby. Did I hurt you?" he asked tenderly.

"No, Michael, you didn't; I was just surprised," she said, laughing.

Michael grabbed a pillow and hit her softly with it, "I'm never staying over here again!" he teased.

August then pushed him down on the couch and said, "are you sure about that?"

Michael then flipped her over on her back and kissed her cheek. "I gotta go," he said disappointedly.

August pouted. "Ok, call me when you're free."

"You can call me anytime. I just gotta handle some business for the new album," he informed.

After 30 more minutes of kissing, Michael showered, left her apartment, and headed to Sony's Corporate office in Los Angeles.

Pulling into Sony's parking garage unnoticed, he thought suddenly, "I could get used to driving by myself again." Since he crept to August's house without security, he figured he might as well drive to Sony alone. Walking through the underground entrance, his stomach sank. "God, I hate this place," he sighed heavily.

Making his way to the office where the meeting was being held, he bumped into Kenny. "Hey, Michael! How are you? didn't expect to run into you so soon", he exclaimed while shaking Michael's hand.

"Hey, um Kenny. When you were with August that night, was it a date? I'm sorry I'm asking this, but it's just that, uh..." Michael asked nervously as Kenny cut him off.

"No, it's alright! I saw the way you came over to the table while we were having dinner and figured you both had history. I was her mentor at the Recording Institute. A great girl she is Michael. You got a good one."

Though Michael believed August was telling the truth about that night, he still needed to confirm it. Nodding his head to himself, he thought, "Trust, trust. I'm trying to."

Feeling relieved, Michael made his way to his meeting. Sitting quietly, he read a few contracts, agreed, and disagreed on some things, but overall, it wasn't a bad meeting up until that point. Truthfully, his head was somewhere else after running into Kenny in the hall. He was hoping that he wouldn't tell August about their conversation. Snapping out of his thoughts, one of the Sony Execs asked Michael what he thought about doing another remix album?

"Damn it, No! My fans don't want another remix album. I want to give them fresh material. I just worked on remixes for Thriller25 last year and I need a new album! no way!" he yelled.

"Hear us out, Mr. Jackson!" The Exec said calmly, trying to soothe him over.

"Look! I've completed my album deal. I'll be in contact with you soon regarding the future of our business together!"

Michael was through with Sony. He had completed his 90's contractual agreement of 6 albums, and after his turmoil with Tommy Mottola, he wanted out a long time ago. He protested in the streets years ago, calling out Sony Music and Tommy Mottola for their evil business ethics. He tried to make amends with Sony when Tommy Mottola was no longer at the helm of the company.

"I'll get back to you!" he stated firmly, as he got up and abruptly left the meeting. Getting in his car, he drove back to August's place. His kids were spending time with their cousin for a week, and he would have been at Neverland alone, not counting the staff. Thankfully, August gave him a key to her apartment.

Michael usually didn't let his emotions get the best of him. He rarely yelled in meetings, but he was still dealing with some things emotionally. He and August hadn't talked about the trial or his vitiligo, but he felt a sense of comfort with her. "She wouldn't be here with you if she didn't care for you or thought wrong of you," he told himself. Feeling drained, he went and took a shower.

"You give me butterflies, inside, inside, and I," August hummed as she entered her apartment. Not realizing Michael was there, she went into her bedroom and stumbled upon him dripping wet. He had his back turned and didn't hear her enter the room.

"Oh my gosh! Don't look!" he said as he tried to shield himself with a towel.

Moving closer towards him, August slowly pulled his towel down, exposing his chest. After circling a dark blemish on his skin with her index finger, she planted a soft kiss on his chest and whispered, "you're beautiful, Michael."

When she finally left the room, a lone tear dripped down his cheek as he continued drying off and got dressed.

When he came out of the bedroom, August asked if he was OK?

"How do you feel about my? I mean... I know I look different," he spoke quietly, looking down.

"My Michael is beautiful and he is the same. Yes, I notice the Vitiligo, but you still look like the guy I fell in love with years ago. I love you, Michael," she said whilst lifting his head. Hearing those four words meant the world to him.

"You know my heart and know that I'd never hurt anyone," he spoke softly, as a deep pain filled his voice.

"Michael, I know what you're about to ask and I believe you. It hurt me that I couldn't help you at that time, but I'm here now," she spoke genuinely.

He then took her hand in his, kissing each fingertip. "I love you more. All these years, I never stopped.

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