Chapter 29

    As Calvin drove off at full speed, Michael dropped to his knees in the middle of the street. "No... No...No!" He sobbed loudly, punching his fist on the concrete.

    "Come on, Michael... Get up! We can catch up to him if we hurry!"

After getting inside of Wayne's car, they tried catching up with Calvin but lost him when they got cut off by a group of tourists crossing a busy street.

    After the crowd cleared away, Wayne continued to drive at full speed, but Calvin's car was nowhere in sight. They lost him. "Damn it! Now, what am I going to do?" Michael cried helplessly, banging his head against the dashboard.

    When Michael returned home that night, he sat quietly on his patio. His heart was hurting terribly, and he didn't know what else to do. At first, he thought about having Wayne file a missing person's report for Leila but decided to do it himself. Leila meant the world to him, and at this point, he could care-less about what the media thought about him.

    When he reported Leila missing, he told the cops he would give a $50 million reward to anyone that could provide information regarding the kidnapping or Leila and Calvin's whereabouts.

    As tears streamed down his face, he felt as though his whole world was crumbling before his eyes. Before their trip to Japan, Michael had completed his Alcohol Anonymous program, and couples therapy was working out well for them. After all, they had overcome together; he was looking forward to spending the rest of his life with Leila.

    But now it all seemed so far away.


***

    As Calvin escaped with Leila, she took mental notes of her surroundings. She was surprised that Calvin didn't blindfold her or toss her into the trunk to keep her from seeing where they were headed. Instead, he had her sit next to him in the passenger seat.

     When he tried engaging her in small talk, she didn't utter a single word. "That's alright Leila, you don't have to speak to me, but if you ever want to see your family and friends again, you better come to your senses and call off the divorce!"

    Breaking her silence, Leila grimaced. "So what are you going to do if I don't? I want a fucking divorce!"

    Calvin scoffed. "Then welcome to your new home!"

     After arriving at a two-story cabin, Calvin pulled Leila out of the car. When she started kicking and punching him, he shouted. "Stop it, Leila! Do you want me to shoot you? Now come on!"

     "I'd rather be shot then spend one more second with you!" She retorted.

    Once inside the cabin, Calvin immediately tied her up again. Even though they were in the middle of nowhere, he didn't want to run the risk of her escaping.

   Feeling light-headed, Leila leaned her head over to the side.

    "Please untie me, Calvin, it's been 24 hours since I've gone to the restroom. I'm not feeling so well."

    "Hmpf-- If you wouldn't have cheated on me... Then you probably wouldn't be in this predicament right now."

    Leila cried. "Calvin... Please. I'm about to throw-up!"

    Feeling slightly bad for Leila, Calvin untied her. As he led her to the restroom, he kept his gun pressed firmly against her back. Pushing her forcibly inside, he snarled. "Don't take too long, or else I'm coming in there."

    As soon as Leila was alone, she removed a small cellphone out of her bra. When leaving Zina's home the day before, she absent-mindedly placed it there due to her not feeling well.

     Nervously turning on the cellphone, Leila's hands began to shake uncontrollably.

    [Michael! I'm at 'Forest Emerald Cabins.' It's about 10 hours north of L.A. Calvin has a gun. I'm scared. Were in cabin 23.] Leila quickly texted, turning her phone off immediately after.

   As she placed the phone back inside of her bra, she leaned over the toilet and vomited. "Oh God! What's wrong with me?" She spoke aloud. As she continued regurgitating, she wondered if she was coming down with the flu or had a bad stomach virus. Whatever it was, she felt horrible.

    When she exited the bathroom, Calvin was standing outside of the door, waiting for her. As he grabbed her by the arm, Leila felt an excruciating pain shoot through her left shoulder.

    "Calvin! is it really necessary to keep me tied up? We're out in the middle of nowhere, and I have a dislocated shoulder... I'm not going anywhere!" She screamed.

    "Alright, alright! I'll leave your arms untied, but your feet are staying strapped to the chair."

    After re-tying her legs and feet, Calvin stood in front of her.

     "You need to drink something, Leila. Are you hungry?"


    "Wow! That's amazing. You still have a heart in your chest, after all. I could have sworn you had a rock there instead."


    "Don't get smart with me, Leila! I'm just trying to be nice."


    "Calvin! Please let me go! You stopped being faithful to me years ago. Won't you just go and marry one of your little side-chicks? They're the ones you care about... Not me."

   

    "Leila-- please listen to me. I know that I've been unfaithful, but I do care about you. We can't just throw 14 years down the drain! Don't let him come between us, baby... I love you."


   "Really, Calvin? Really? After all, you've put me through? Not only did you abuse me verbally... But you also abused me mentally and physically as well. The only reason I stayed with you is because I was brainwashed! Look at what you're doing now! I'm not falling for this shit! I DON'T FUCKING LOVE YOU!"


    "So do you really think that Michael Jackson... The world's biggest star... Is really in love with you? He can have any woman that he wants. Don't play yourself! That man doesn't want you... You're nothing but an extended booty-call to him."


    "You know... I also thought that once but it's not true. Michael loves me, and I love him. He's proved his love to me more in these past 12 months than you have during our entire 14 years of marriage."


    "How? By spending his money on you? That's the only reason you're with him, Leila. Come on... Be honest with yourself!"


    "No, Calvin... That's not the reason why I'm with him. I'm with him because he's a wonderful guy. He respects me. He's tender with me. He makes me feel loved... He makes me feel like a woman."

     Knowing what Leila was saying was true, Calvin got up and walked away. He would never admit it to Leila, but he knew she would never marry a guy for his money.

    All of the beautiful qualities that attracted him to her long ago were the very same things that attracted Michael. Calvin knew deep down that he could never measure up to Michael. He felt threatened.


***

[Beep Beep Beep] Michael's cell-phone blared, alerting him of a new text message. As he read the text quickly but efficiently, he exclaimed. "I'm on my way, sweetheart! Please stay strong until I get there!"

    After 45 minutes of driving, Michael alerted the police and Wayne of where he was headed. He wanted to make sure he had enough time to confront Calvin before the cops arrived.

    The closer he got to the woods, the more nervous he became. With the knowledge of Calvin having a gun, he donned a bullet-proof vest. The only reason he owned one is because of death threats that had been made towards him in the past.

    If Wayne or his former head of security, Bill knew what he was doing, they would have thought he lost his mind. But nothing was going to stop him from rescuing Leila.   

    Michael had been driving for nearly 10 hours straight. The only stop he made was to put gas in his car and use the restroom. To make sure that no one noticed him, he wore his best disguise and drove one of his simpler cars.

    Instead of taking his brand new Rolls, he decided to drive his 1997 Lincoln Town car. He bought the car because it was nice but regular. It wasn't a car anyone would suspect Michael Jackson to own, let alone drive.

    When Michael arrived at the cabin, he parked his car a considerable distance away, as he didn't want to alert Calvin of his arrival.

    Retrieving a baseball bat from the trunk of his car, he quietly snuck towards the cabin. Once he arrived undetected, he listened quietly outside of the door but didn't hear any movement.

    He knew he couldn't just bust through the door, so he tried peeking through the windows instead. But unfortunately, every single window had it's blind pulled down except for the ones at the very top of the cabin that so happened to be open.

    Grabbing a nearby ladder, he peered through the window. When he spotted Leila, his heart tanked, but soon he was filled with rage. Her right eye was blue, and she had ropes tied around her feet to a chair. Trying to get her attention without alerting Calvin, Michael made a faint chirping sound that resembled a bird.

    When Leila looked up towards the window, she almost screamed. She couldn't believe it. Was Michael there, or was she hallucinating?

    "Where's Calvin?" Michael mouthed.

    "Sleeping." She whispered just loud enough for him to hear.

    As Michael climbed through the window, he tried to keep quiet as much as possible. The last thing he needed was for Calvin to become startled and risk getting himself or Leila killed.

    When Michael approached Leila, he bent down to untie her. His main goal was to rescue her first and deal with Calvin later. But later happened much quicker than he anticipated.

    Waking up from his nap, Calvin grabbed his gun from the nightstand and headed towards the living room. When he saw Michael un-tying Leila, his blood boiled over.

    "You just don't know when to give up... Do you? You must really think you're a gangsta or something! This isn't one of your short films! If you make one sudden move, I'll fucking kill you. I swear." Calvin spoke in an agitated tone.

    "If that's what you have to do, Calvin, then so be it. But I'm not leaving here without Leila." Michael responded defiantly.

    "Whatever Mr. Wanna be tough guy. Try being a hero if ya--"

    With one quick movement, Michael leg-sweeped Calvin before he could finish his sentence. As Calvin dropped to the ground, Michael kicked the gun out of his hands.

    Michael smirked. "So, not only are you weak, but you're slow as hell!"

    When Calvin tried to stand, Michael, punched him in the mouth. "That's for hurting Leila, you asshole! No real man should ever hit a woman! You're not a man... You're a wimp!" He growled.

    Picking up his baseball bat, Michael started hitting at Calvin's body repeatedly. With every swing, he reprimanded Calvin for every horrible thing he had ever done to Leila. 

     ["This is for abusing Leila (bap), This is for all the horrible names you called her (bap) this is for causing her to turn to drugs (bap), This is for--"]

    Leila yelled. "MICHAEL! PLEASE... PLEASE STOP! That's enough-- it's alright. It's alright, baby... I'm safe."

    Dropping to his knees, he placed his arms around her waist, burying his head into her stomach. As Leila consoled and thanked him, they heard police sirens wailing in the distance. When the police and Wayne entered the cabin, they were shocked to find Calvin lying in a pool of blood.

    Noticing the gun in the corner, they stared at Michael in complete silence. 

   "Don't worry! I didn't shoot him... But I did whoop his stupid ass. The gun belongs to him-- not me."

    "Are you two, alright?" Wayne asked with a worried expression upon his face.

    "Yes, Wayne, we're OK, but I dislocated my shoulder." Leila winced.

    Without saying a word, Michael lunged towards Calvin, but Wayne stopped him before he was able to clobber him once more. "Come on, sir... Relax. After the police take your statements, the ambulance will be here shortly. Leila is in desperate need of medical attention."

    After squaring things away with the police, Michael rode in the back of the ambulance with Leila. The paramedics urged him to ride with Wayne to the hospital in his car, but Michael refused. There was no way he was leaving Leila's side.

    Caressing her hair, Michael kissed her long and deep. "I'm sorry, baby... I'm so sorry for all of this! This is all my fault."

    "No, Michael! None of this is your fault. This was all Calvin's doing." Leila reassured him, smiling weakly.

    Later that night, when Leila was released from the hospital, They made their way home. For the entire duration of the drive, Leila asked Wayne to pull over several times. She was still feeling quite queasy, and her head ached badly.

    When Leila told the doctor about her symptoms, he simply thought she was dehydrated after not drinking anything for the past 24 hours. Other than replenishing her electrolytes, the doctor gave her some pain medicine and instructed her on how to care for her shoulder.

    "Leila-- maybe we should stop at another hospital on the way home. I'm worried." Michael spoke tenderly while caressing her in his arms.


    "I'm OK, Michael-- It's probably my nerves. I've never experienced anything like that before. I knew Calvin was crazy, but not that damn crazy."


    "Ok, baby, but please-- If you start feeling any worse, let me know, and we'll find the nearest hospital. As for Calvin, I hope they never let his ass out of jail. I hope he rots in there."


    "So do I, sweetheart. I thought he was going to kill me. I was afraid I might never see you again."


    "Everything is OK now, please try and get some rest sweetie. We should be home in a few hours or so."

     Snuggling closer into Michael's arms, Leila rested her head upon his chest. The sound of his heartbeat was like music to her ears, and the rise and fall of his chest soothed her soul.

    As they relaxed in each other's warm embrace, Michael silently recited a prayer of thanks. Their nightmare was finally over.

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