Chapter 1 of Special 5 Year Update

   "Hey, baby, don't wait up. I'll be pulling an all-nighter in the studio."

    Michael removed his black-rimmed reading glasses and pinched his eyes. "How much longer will it be until that damn album is finished? Luna misses her mother tucking her in at night—and I, your husband, miss making love to you."

    "I'm sorry, Michael. You know Kenny is busy, and I have to work around his schedule. I promise, once this album is wrapped up, I'll take a break from work."

    "That's what you said a year ago. This is the third album in a row you've worked on for Kenny. Can't he find someone else to engineer his album?"

    August sighed. "Michael, please... Kenny is my mentor, and I'd do anything for him."

    "Anything?" Michael said in a hostile tone. "What do you mean—anything?" Usually, when he and August 'got into it' now and again, he remained calm and mild-mannered. But this time, he felt a fire raging within himself.  

    "You know what I meant." August huffed, rolling her eyes. "I'd do anything for him—work-wise. I'm honored that Kenny thinks highly of my work."

    "Ok, well, remember that you have a family who misses you. At this rate, you might as well move in with him."

    "Michael! Not this shit again."

    "What?" He replied in a dumbfounded manner, knowing exactly what she was referring to.

    "You know what!" She spatted on the brink of tears. She had enough of Michael and his wild delusions. 

    "Listen, I have to go." Michael released a long breath. Before he said something he'd regret, he felt it was best to end their conversation. "Luna has school in the morning, and I need to read her a bedtime story; I'll see you tomorrow."

    "Michael, sweetie... Please. You've gotta stop doing this."

    "I'm not doing anything, August," Michael said softly as a tear rolled down his cheek. "I have to go. Have a good night."

    "Michael, when I get home, there are some things we need to discuss." Her voice trembled as she silently broke down, allowing her tears to flow. 

    "Sure," he said flatly and hung up the phone.


***

    "Hey, August, is everything all right?" Kenny said tenderly, knocking on the door. He could hear August's muffled cries and became concerned. 

    August took a deep breath and wiped her eyes with the sleeve of her blouse. "Hey, yeah, I'm ok," she replied, holding back her tears. "Would you mind if we called it a night? I need to get home—I have a personal emergency to attend to."

    "Yeah, of course. Is something wrong with Michael or Luna? Are the kids ok?" 

    August thought about Kenny's question before answering, Michael's words echoing loudly in her head: "Luna misses her mother tucking her in at night, and I, your husband, miss making love to you." Though Michael and Luna were physically okay, August's heart tanked. She loved her family, and Michael's words had unsettled her. She never intended to neglect her family. 

    When August didn't reply to Kenny's question, he slightly cracked open the door and asked, "may I come in?"

    Swiping her tears away once more, she cleared her throat and said, "Yeah, sure."

    Noticing her blood-shot eyes, Kenny touched her gently on the shoulder, giving it a light squeeze. "Are you sure everything's all right?" Although he didn't want to pry, he was genuinely concerned. 

    "Yeah, Kenny. Everything is fine," she uttered softly, her voice faltering when he began stroking her bare shoulder. It had been a sweltering day in Los Angeles, and August wore an off-the-shoulder bell-bottom blouse. As a shiver ran through her body at Kenny's delicate touch, she cleared her throat and said, "I have to go."

    As Kenny watched August collect her things, he wondered if there was 'trouble at home?' She always spoke fondly of Michael, but had their relationship gone sour? He wondered, narrowing his eyes at her. 

    "I'm sorry to rush out on you... But um, I need to get home," August sputtered as she sprinted towards the door. "I'll see you tomorrow night, ok?"

    "Wait up!" He yelled. 

    When Kenny caught up to her, he grabbed her lightly by the waist. 

    August turned to face him. "I'm sorry, Kenny, but I have to go."

    Kenny stared longingly into her eyes, tucking his index finger under her chin. "I just want you to know that I'm here for you," he uttered smoothly—his breath warm and minty. "You can confide in me."

    "Thanks," she replied shakily, frozen in place. "I'll keep that in mind."

    Tilting his head to the side, Kenny leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on her lips. Though he knew it was wrong to kiss a married woman—he could no longer resist. 

    August reached for the doorknob behind her, nearly stumbling over her own two feet. She was stunned, to say the least. Everything happened so quickly, yet in slow motion. With a snap, the glue loosened from her feet. "Good night," she managed to stutter as she darted out of the studio.

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Authors note:


I love the singer Babyface and just wanted y'all to know that, lol!


And I want to give a shout-out to a long-time reader of mine for inspiring this update... (I hope you're happy, Toni!  (Get out of my brain as I always tell you! haha!)


Per usual, comments are welcomed— and please drop a "Kudos," aka "Like,"—both are very much appreciated. 


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Thanks for reading, and see you all next update!


Have a happy holiday weekend if you celebrate the 4th of July!


Blessings,

Midnight

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