Chapter 31

"Oh, baby... Do you have to leave so soon? Sparkle mumbled sleepily, as Michael hopped out of bed.
    "Sorry, Spark, but my meeting today is very important. I'm still renegotiating my record deal with Sony, but I hope to reach some sort of deal with them today."
    Taking her hand in his, he placed a gentle kiss on the inside of her palm.
     "I'll try to come home early, OK? But uh... don't you have a doctor's appointment later this morning?
     "Yeah... Dr. Greene wants to make sure that my blood pressure is fine. I told her that I'd been stressed out, and she suggested that I come in."
    Over the past couple of weeks, Sparkle hadn't been feeling well. The media had gotten wind that she and Michael had married and discovered their case against Byron.
   If it hadn't been for the peacefulness that came with living at Neverland, she would have had a major breakdown by now.
   Even though they were protected behind Neverlands gates, they still got attacked by the relentless media whenever they ventured out in public.
    "I need you to relax, Spark. I know that's easier said than done, but our baby's health and yours depends on it."
   Leaning in to kiss his cheek, Sparkle wished him a good day.

***
   When Michael arrived at Sony Corp. for his meeting, he was utterly floored by who he saw sitting at the board table. 
    "What is she doing here?" He asked angrily through clenched teeth.
    "This is Danielle Miller, our New A&R rep!" The President of Sony announced cheerfully. "She was hired a few weeks ago, and I thought it would be a good idea for her to sit in on a contract meeting."
   "I'm sorry, Mr. Schulhof, but I don't want her here. I didn't approve of her to sit in on this meeting."
     "I promise Mr. Jackson-- Ms. Miller will not be of any trouble."
   After shooting Danielle a menacing look, Michael turned his attention back to Mr. Schulhof and said, "Either she goes, or I go!"
   Fearing that Michael would leave the meeting, Mr. Schulhof politely asked for Danielle to leave.
    While Michael was a sweet guy to work with, he was also a shrewd businessman, and the two weren't to be confused.
    "So Mr. Jackson, we're willing to offer you fifty million dollars if you agree to a twenty-year contract in which you'll be required to release eight albums." Mr. Schulhof happily offered.
    After looking over the contract, Michael looked at everyone like they had lost their mind. "I'm sorry, but this deal isn't good. I'm your biggest selling artist, and this is the best you have to offer me? Other record companies have offered me way more money with fewer albums to complete."
    As Michael stood up from his seat, Mr. Schulhof presented him with another deal.
    "Alright, alright! What if we offer you a billion-dollar contract for fifteen years?"
     "How many albums?" Michael replied hastily.
      "Seven albums Michael! We can't go any lower than that."
     Feeling as though they were wasting his time, Michael proceeded to walk towards the door.
   "Damn it! Wait Michael!" Mr. Schulhof yelled, blocking him from leaving the room. "Six albums Michael! That's our final offer."
    As Michael set back down, he took a small notebook out of his pocket and began to jot down some notes.   
     "Listen... The only reason I'm here is because CBS was bought out by you guys. I'm willing to stay if you throw in an eighteen million dollar cash advance and an additional five million dollars for each album I release-- Oh! And a twenty-five percent royalty rate."
    Not wanting to lose the world's biggest music artist to another record company, Mr. Schulhof gave into Michael's demands.
    After the meeting was over, Michael stayed behind while a new contract was being drafted up for him.
     Growing restless, he got up from his seat to admire a beautiful painting on a nearby wall.
     As he studied the beautiful piece of art, a pair of red manicured nails raked slowly down his chest.
     "Hey, baby... Did you miss me? The familiar voiced chimed.
   Becoming incensed, Michael spun around quickly and scowled, "Get the hell off of me please!"
      "Oh, come on, Michael... You know you want me." She remarked silkily as she unbuttoned her blouse.
    Staring at her dumbfoundedly, he exclaimed, "Oh God... You really are fucking crazy!"
     Taking him by surprise, Danielle pounced on him forcibly, causing him to stumble backward onto the desk.
    "Come on, Michael... Doesn't this feel nice?" She cooed softly as she settled atop him.
    When she attempted to kiss him on the lips, he covered her mouth with his hand as he pushed her back onto her feet.
     "I don't know what you see in her, Michael! Let me take care of you. I'm the one that should be having your baby, not her!"
    Feeling his anger turn into complete rage, he glowered at her ominously and said, "Let's get one goddamn thing straight, OK? I love my wife with all of my heart! You're not even one percent of the woman that she is, so stop fooling yourself. Please go and find a man that wants you because I sure as hell don't!"
    At the sound of approaching footsteps, Danielle scurried to button her blouse and smooth out her clothes. "This isn't over, Michael!" She grinned evilly. "Deep down, you know that it's me you want and not Sparkle."
     As Danielle slipped out of the back-door into the adjoining office, Michael punched his fist angrily in the air.

***
   "How are you feeling today, Sparkle?" Dr. Greene asked cheerfully.
    "I'm doing alright, I guess. Things could be better."
    "I guess it's not easy being married to the world's biggest star." Doctor Greene sympathized, as she prepped Sparkle for her ultrasound.
    "Oh! Michael is great! It's just the media and some other things bothering me, but I've been trying to remain calm."
    "That's good to hear Sparkle. Too much stress is not good for the baby, and your blood pressure is slightly elevated, So I need you to work on relaxing a bit more."
   As Doctor Greene took a closer look at the monitor, she noticed that Sparkle was pregnant with twins.
    "Oh, wow! I'm surprised I didn't catch this during your first ultrasound, but it happens."
     "What's wrong, Dr. Greene? Is the baby ok?" Sparkle shrieked.
      "Yes, the baby-- or well I should say, The babies... Are doing fine. You're pregnant with twins, my dear."
     Leaning forward to take a closer look, Sparkle's eye's widened in surprise when she saw a second baby on the monitor.
    "I hope Mr. Jackson's schedule clears up soon!" Dr. Greene chuckled. "You two are going to be very busy."
    When Sparkle returned home, she placed two onesies that read 'Thing 1 and Thing 2' on the kitchen table.
    She wanted to tell Michael in a unique way that they were having twins, so she had Wayne take her to 'Babies' R Us' on her way home.
   At first, she worried about someone from the media recognizing her as Michael's wife, but Wayne made sure to take her to a less populated location.
    Later that afternoon, when Michael returned home, she took one look at him and knew that he was exhausted.
     "Hey, baby... How was your day?" She asked sweetly.
     "Tiring," He groaned as he kissed her on the cheek."I just need to take a hot shower... I'll be right back, OK?"
    "Want me to join you?" She asked friskily, batting her eyelashes.
      "No, no baby... I'm gonna be in and out." He replied hastily as he made his way up the stairs.
     Michael would have loved for Sparkle to join him, but he desperately needed to wash the memory of Danielle off of his body quickly.
     Sensing that something was wrong, Sparkle tried her best not to worry.
    Dr. Greene had just warned her that her blood pressure was a bit high and that she needed to relax more.
    Taking heed of the doctor's advice, Sparkle performed some deep breathing techniques while she waited for Michael to return downstairs.
     Plopping down beside her on the sofa, Michael placed a pillow behind her back.
    "I'm sorry that I didn't ask you this earlier, but how did your appointment go?"
    "It's alright, Michael-- I understand. We all have those days." She smiled.  
   "As suspected... Doctor Greene wants me to keep my stress levels down. My blood pressure is a little high."
    Feeling as though he was contributing to her anxiety, Michael looked down sadly in his lap.
   "Are you OK, baby? Why do you look so sad?" 
   "I don't even know where to begin Sparkle."
   "How about the beginning?"
   Caressing her stomach, he placed a kiss on her forehead. "Please try to stay calm OK?"
   "I can't promise you that, but I'll most certainly try."
    After Michael finished recounting his encounter with Danielle, Sparkle mentally counted to ten.
   Getting up from the sofa, Sparkle retrieved the telephone and gave it to Michael. "Now." She replied calmly as she stood directly in front of him.
     Without any further context needed, Michael called up Xavier and reported what Danielle had done.
    Wrapping his arms around Sparkle's waist, he placed his head softly against her stomach as he began to cry. "I'm sorry Spark, I feel horrible for this happening."
     Massaging his head, she replied. "But you didn't do anything wrong, sweetheart. It's not your fault Danielle is crazy! Why do you feel horrible?"
    "Because I didn't want to cause you any further stress." He replied tearfully.
   "Everything is going to be OK, Michael. See-- I'm already learning to control my emotions. Sure, I still want to kick Danielle's ass. But instead... I'll let the authorities do their job.
     Pulling away from him gently, Sparkle wiped the tears from his eyes. "Let's go into the kitchen Michael. There is something I want you to see!"
    Standing over the table, Michael's face lit up with happiness when he saw the cute onesies.
     "Oh, I love Dr. Seuss!" He exclaimed. "But why are there two of the same onesie?"
     Smiling brightly, Sparkle handed him the ultrasound photo of the babies.
     "Um... Sparkle-- is everything OK with the baby? I see two heads, two eyes and-- Oh my God! Are we? Are you? No! This can't be!" He exclaimed in shock.
   "Yes! We're having twins Michael!"
    Steadying himself against the table, he asked Sparkle to repeat herself once more.
    "You heard correctly, baby!" Sparkle shrieked. "We're having twins!"
     After the initial shock wore off, Michael pulled Sparkle into his arms and gushed, "Wow! You're amazing, sweetheart! My heart is completely overjoyed."

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