Chapter 1

Author's Note:


 (After a 15 year writing hiatus, this was the second story I publishedand I switched up my writing style from my first book. Writing has been a process for me, and with every book that I write, I learn more and become better. My latest book, "Dr. Black," reflects my growth, but even now, whilst working on future stories, I'm still progressing and growing as a writer.)


Story Begins Below:


***
   Michael had been staying at his Los Angeles based condo for the past few weeks while his home; Neverland Ranch, was being renovated. When he returned to his condo after a long day of attending various meetings, he plopped down into a chair to relax, but within five minutes of closing his eyes, his phone began to ring. "Hello?" He groaned.
  "Hey, Michael! This is Kevin, your publicist. I think I've found the perfect gig that will generate some extra buzz for your new album!" He exclaimed joyfully, bursting at the seams.
   Leaning back into his chair, Michael pressed the phone closer to his ear, eager to hear Kevin's latest idea. "What do you have in mind?"
  "Well, sir. I know how much you love giving back to those less fortunate, and I..." Kevin paused, struggling to get his words out.
  "Just tell me what it is! I'm either going to say yes or no," Michael spoke louder as he sat upright.
  At times, Michael felt as though people were too nervous around him. He never wanted anyone to disrespect him, but there was no need to walk on eggshells around him, either. While he was a meek and soft-spoken person, he was also a shrewd businessman that spoke up when needed.
   Drawing a deep breath, Kevin said, "how about volunteering at a community center that serves warm meals to the homeless during the holidays?"
   "That's a wonderful idea, Kevin! And it's something I've never done before! But uh... I don't want this to get out into the press," he stated firmly.
   "Well, that kinda defeats the purpose, we're trying to promote your album," Kevin said, shaking his head sideways.
   "I understand. But this opportunity should not be used to promote my album. We can find other avenues to explore for that. However, I would still love to volunteer, but from my heart only! The promotion of my album will have nothing to do with this!"
   "Got it! And I feel you, sir. But there is one last thing I need to tell you," he said hesitantly.
   "What is it? Just blurt it out, Kevin!"
Michael didn't mean to get loud, but he was tired and needed his bed desperately.
   "The community center is located in Compton, but I'll make sure that Bill hires extra security and police for the detail." He informed Michael, trying to assure him of his safety.
   At first, Kevin thought that Michael would be afraid to go anywhere near Compton, as it wasn't exactly the best place to visit. Still, the location of the community center was in a reasonably safe area, and it was protected 24/7 by police officers.
   "What's the problem, Kevin? I know about the violence there, and now that I know about the community center that's trying to make a change, I'd love to be apart of that! So, what's the time and date that I'll be volunteering?" Michael asked as he opened up his planner to jot down the information.
   "November 28th," Kevin replied as he placed his hand on his forehead, knowing good well what day that was.
   "Oh, That's Thanksgiving! Hmm. I didn't have any plans that day, so this is perfect!" Michael exclaimed as he stood up from the chair to stretch his legs.
   "So, you'll still volunteer? Even on Thanksgiving? Kevin asked, feeling surprised.
  "Yes, of course, I will! This is a fantastic chance to help others, and it also provides me with the perfect excuse to avoid Thanksgiving dinner at Jermaine's house. The entire family is going to his place for dinner, and I don't want to go. I still haven't forgiven him for releasing that horrible song he directed towards me called 'Word 2 the Badd'. If I saw him right now, I'd probably kill him," Michael glowered as he balled his left hand into a tight fist.
   "Um, yeah. Volunteering is probably the better choice of the two. Get some rest, and I'll talk to you later!"
   "Take care, Kevin. Keep me updated, and I'll talk to you soon!"
   Michael was tired and still a little sore from filming his short film for "Black or white." Even though he was in great shape, doing the same dance numbers over and over again until everyone else got it right; took its toll on him.
    Hopping into the shower, he thought back to the conversation he had with his publicist. "Damn it! Why did I say yes to volunteering? I'm already going to be busy, and I could have used that day off to rest. But on the other hand, I do want to volunteer."
   As he continued to fuss with himself, he stood directly under the showerhead, letting the warm water cascade powerfully over his entire body.
   Although the next few months were going to be extremely busy for him, he never turned down a chance to make others happy if he could.

***
  Michael awoke early to get a jump start on his day. He had several meetings to attend, and the album release party was that night. His publicist kept asking him who he was taking for a date, but Michael wanted to ride this one out solo. Sure, there were women that he could take, but he wasn't feeling any of them at the moment.
  Later that evening, at the party, Michael was growing tired of the usual industry talk and needed something to quell his boredom. He scoped the area for a bar but didn't see any nearby.
  Just as he was about to give up on his search, he saw a waiter in the distance and approached him quickly.
    When he reached for the last flute of champagne, he felt a soft hand brush against his, as his gaze set tenderly upon the gorgeous redhead standing before him.
   "Ladies first," Michael said coyly, as he let go of the glass.
  "No, you can have it, Mr. Jackson! This is your party," she chimed.
  "No, please... I insist!" he retorted, flashing her a soft smile.
  "Well, thank-you Mr. Jacks--"
   Cutting her off abruptly, Michael led her to a secluded corner and said, "Let's talk here. It's too busy and loud out there."
   While staring at her intently, Michael tried to figure out where he might have known her from, but nothing was ringing a bell.
   "By the way, my name is Danielle, but you can call me Dani, and who are you again?" she teased, as she touched his shoulder lightly.
   "Nice to meet you, Dani; do you work for Sony?" He asked inquisitively.
   "No, no. I work in the A&R department for Arista records. We met briefly once at a party hosted by Whitney Houston last year."
   "Ahh, ok! That's where I know you from!" Michael exclaimed as he lied through his teeth.
   Not wanting to make her feel bad for not remembering who she was, he just went along with what she said.
   During their conversation, Michael could feel his crotch growing tight. Although he enjoyed speaking with her, he didn't feel any connection.
   Since he had been celibate for a year now, he really couldn't take his erection into account, as it didn't take much to get him excited these days.
   "Hey, Michael! we need you over here." A Sony exec called out to him. Sighing heavily, Michael pulled out a mini notebook from his pants pocket.
   "Can you write down your phone number, please? I have to go. I'm sorry," he said, wishing he could stay longer to talk.
   "Sure, Michael, and no need to be sorry! I'm surprised that we were able to chat for this long." She spoke cheerfully, as she wrote down her number for him.
   As Michael grudgingly looked between her and the record exec, he politely excused himself.
   "It was nice speaking with you, Dani. I hope we can meet again soon." He spoke swiftly, as he made his way back to the party.
   After returning home, Michael was still aroused from his encounter with Dani.
   He was tempted to invite her over to his condo but decided against it. He didn't believe in one night stands, but after not having sex for one year, it was taking its toll on him.
   "I guess this is gonna be another long and lonely night," he drawled as he turned down the covers on his bed and hopped in.

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