Chapter 26

Eli was on his way to the bank when he heard an unexpected knock at his door.
    "Hello, are you Eli Roberts?"
    "Yes I am, but you caught me at a bad time, is this an emergency?" Eli asked hastily.
     "Yeah, well, this is about your business partner Byron Harris. I'm prosecutor 'Xaiver Smith', and I have a couple of questions I'd like to ask you. Can we go inside to talk?"
    Letting out a deep sigh, Eli stepped to the side and let the prosecutor pass into his apartment.
    "Can I get you anything?" Eli asked courteously as he grabbed a bottle of water for himself out of the refrigerator.
    "No, thank-you," Xaiver replied, taking out a notebook and tape recorder from his satchel.
    When Eli finally took a seat, he felt his heart drop in his chest. He knew that the law firm was pretty much over and hoped to steer clear of any future drama concerning Byron.
    "So, were you aware that Byron would be visiting Sparkle on January 25th at 2 pm?"
    "Uh... Yes and no. I mean-- he made mention of visiting her, but he didn't say why. The two used to date back in the day, so I know he's been trying to reconnect with her."
   Pausing to write down some notes in his notebook, Xavier gave Eli a quizzical look when he was done.
    "So did he mention anything else about her? Per the police report, Sparkle said that he had broken into her apartment another time earlier and stole a few of her things. Did he tell you that he had been to her apartment previously?"
    Before Eli answered, he thought to himself: [I'm not even gonna admit to knowing he broke into that girl's apartment and stole a sex tape! I'm out of here once I bail that fool out.]
 "No, no-- Mr. Smith. This is my first time hearing about this." He replied nervously.
    "Alright, Byron! Since you've answered all of my questions, you're free to go but stick around. I'm sure we'll be speaking again soon." Xaiver replied with a nod and a wink, as he saw himself out of Eli's apartment.
    Once the prosecutor pulled out of the parking lot, Eli left his apartment and headed towards the bank.   
    Amazingly, he was able to obtain the loan but at a high-interest rate.

***
    Michael and Sparkle were sitting in the living room when they heard a knock at the door.
    She had been sitting comfortably in his lap while he went through his mail and made some business calls.
    Not wanting to get up, Michael shouted for whoever it was to come in.
   "Hey boss!-- there is a prosecutor by the name of Xaiver Smith outside the gates. Sorry but we pretty much have to let him in." Wayne informed regrettably.
     Looking at Sparkle tenderly, Michael kissed her lips softly as he eased her off his lap and replied to Wayne.
     "It's ok... Just let him in and escort him directly here."
    "Sure thing, Boss!" Wayne replied as he dashed out of the main house to retrieve the prosecutor.
    "You have a lovely home, Mr. Jackson. With the craziness of your life, I'm sure this is a Godsend." Xavier remarked as he greeted Michael and Sparkle.
   "Thank you. It is," Michael replied graciously as he extended his hand towards a chair. "Especially now-- please have a seat."
    After sitting down and thanking Michael for his hospitality, Xavier smiled at Sparkle and said, "How are you doing?" 
     "I could be better," she murmured as Michael wrapped his arms around her.
    "Well-- the good thing is that I've decided to bring charges against Byron, but I'm going to need your help to make them stick. Are you and Michael willing to help?"
    "Of course!" Michael and Sparkle replied simultaneously, causing them both to let out a mild chuckle.
    Even though they were both mad about the whole situation with Byron, they still managed to smile.
    "So Sparkle-- you mentioned that Byron broke into your apartment a previous time and stole some personal belongings. Can you tell me what they were? The more information that you provide will help make the charges stick."
    Looking at Michael nervously, he cut her off as she began to speak.
    "Mr. Smith, can you promise me that what I'm about to tell you won't get leaked to the press? I know it will be mentioned, but I don't want the actual evidence out for all to see."
    "Sure, Michael. Any evidence I obtain will be kept under wraps."
    Xaiver Smith seemed like a trustworthy guy, and Michael wanted Byron to pay. He wanted to keep their tape a secret, but he also didn't want there to be any chance of Byron going free.
    "Go ahead, baby, you can answer... It's alright." Michael gently prodded.
    "Well, you see Mr. Smith... Michael and I recorded an intimate moment on film not to be shared with others. But a few weeks prior, Byron had broken into my apartment and stole the tape. When he broke into my apartment the second time, he told me that he would give me the tape if I had sex with him. He also wanted me to extort ten million dollars from Michael to give to him."
    "And this was after he attacked, punched and threw you to the floor, correct?"
   "Y-yes... That's correct." She replied on the verge of tears.
    "Thanks for your honesty! Michael, do you have that tape? I need it for fingerprints, and don't worry-- we won't go through the entire thing. I have three precious daughters of my own and a loving wife. I, too, wouldn't want such an intimate detail to be spread about their lives." Xavier smiled caringly.
    After Xavier finished questioning Michael and Sparkle, Michael asked if he could speak with him in private.
    Once Sparkle left the room, he lowered his voice and spoke in a more quiet tone.
   "I just want to say thank you for understanding our situation."
    "It's quite alright, Mr. Jackson. I get it. Also, I just want to let you know that I'm good friends with Bill Bray-- Your chief of security. I already knew about the tape but didn't want to ask about it unless you mentioned it first. Bill also told me that you all broke into Byron's apartment." Xaiver laughed.
   "Shit! So am I being arrested now?" Michael asked nervously.
     "Naw! I'll let this one slide since Bill, and I are good friends. He saved one of my daughters from being sexually attacked herself. I owe him big-time for that."
    "So, did he just call you up and ask you to take on Sparkle's case?" Michael asked inquisitively.
    "Pretty much..." He chuckled. "It's a good thing that you're letting the tape be entered as evidence. Byron will be going away to prison for a long time.
   As Michael went to shake Xavier's hand, he thanked him profusely.
    "No, thanks are needed, Mr. Jackson, but I do have one special request."
   "What's that?" Michael asked curiously.
    "Can you sign my daughters 'Thriller' album?" He laughed heartily as he pulled the record out of his satchel.
    "Yes! Of course!" Michael exclaimed happily.
   When Xavier left Neverland, Michael let out a deep breath as he went looking for Bill.
    As he neared the security trailer, he shouted. "Bill! We need to talk!"

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