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Chapter 12

I'm sure Shayla was wondering why I wasn't home in time for dinner. Q and I literally worked on "Speed Demon" all day from reworking the lyrics to creating the instrumental with Greg and everyone else in one day. I'm glad we were able to get the song done. We've already got a hundred songs for the album as is, but I know for sure I want "Speed Demon" and I need it to be a single. I unlocked the door to find all lights out except for the hallway lights. Hopefully, Mariah is already sleeping. That little girl needs some serious home training. I hope Shayla and I are able to make a dent in that as much as possible. The goal is to give her parents a break, but now I'm seeing exactly why they needed a break. I grabbed an apple and went upstairs to our room. I opened the door to find Shayla up reading a book.

She looked up from her book, "hey, baby. How was it at the studio?"

"Amazing!" I took a bite of my apple and shed myself of my clothing. "So, I got pulled over by the cops today."

"You what?!" She looked at me.

I laughed, "listen, babe. So, I was running late for studio time and I'm going fifteen over the speed limit and the cop stops me. After he gives me a ticket, he proceeds to ask me for an autograph, so I give it to him and go about my way. Now, mind you, I'm pissed when I get to the studio and Q can tell. He's already getting on me about why I'm late and so on. Then, he tells me to write about how I feel. I'm like, 'what?' And he tells me to write, so I write, and I ended up writing a song," I shrugged.

"You wrote a song about getting pulled over for a ticket...?" She looked at me.

"Read the lyrics," I pulled the piece of paper out of my pocket. She took it and read it. "It's call 'Speed Demon,'" I smiled.

"Sounds interesting," she nodded.

"We did the entire song in one day, Shayla. One day! And it sounds amazing! I can't wait for you to hear it," I smiled.

She smiled, "me either."

"How was Mariah today?"

She sighed, "a piece of work. We were on our way to Mrs. Fine, who says you're in trouble by the way, and she just kept nagging me about where we were going. Then she found herself having a temper tantrum, so I just left her."

"You left her?" I laughed.

"I left her where she was standing. She ended up running after me though."

"Why did Mrs. Fine say I was in trouble?"

"Because you didn't tell her you were married," she pushed me playfully. "Mrs. Fine will be here tomorrow to begin Mariah's lessons."

"Well, that's good to hear. I'm glad that will be settled."

"Her lessons won't be too long though. If Mariah behaves, I'll take her around LA. By the way, I haven't seen you all day, we have to talk."

"About what...?" I looked at her.

"Joh'Vonnie." I sighed, standing up to go to the bathroom. "No, Michael," she got up and stopped me. "You don't get to avoid it this time. You've avoided this far too long. We're talking about this now."

"Shayla there really isn't anything to talk about. If you want to talk about her, call Joe. I'm sure he would love to talk to you about the topic."

"I don't want to talk to Joseph. I want to talk to you. Sit down. We are having this conversation." I looked at her. She was not going to let this go. I sat back down on the bed and she sat beside me. "Talk to me. You can't reach a solution if you don't talk about it."

"I don't know what you want me to talk about. Do you want me to talk about the affair? That she was born after my sixteenth birthday? The fact that he treats her better than he ever treated any of me and my siblings? Or that Joseph is still cheating on my mother with his whore? What do you want me to talk about?"

She placed her hand on mine, "everything. Clearly, you're upset."

I exhaled deeply, "Shayla, I don't want to talk about this. How come you just can't respect that?"

"Because I know it bothers you! You may not talk about it, but I know it bothers you inside. You need to talk about it to get rid of that hurt."

"I'm not hurt."

She made a face, "you're not hurt that his other child was born the day after your sixteenth birthday?"

"I don't even celebrate birthdays," I shrugged.

"But it still bothers you."

I sighed, "fine. My father met a groupie and had sex with her, which produced his other child. She was born the day after my sixteenth birthday. I've never met her. I don't ever plan on meeting her. I just know what I've heard."

"I already know all of that. Tell me why you won't ever be acquainted with her. She is your sister after all."

"Half-sister. We are not full blood. With that being said, I don't think I should ever be acquainted with her. Why should I? She was produced out of an affair my father had on my mother. No woman deserves to be cheated on no matter what. What did my mother do to deserve to be treated like that? Nothing. She's been his wife all this time. She's adhered to all of her wifely duties. That couldn't stop him from cheating on her?"

"She forgave him, Michael. Don't you think you can too?"

"How would you feel if your dad cheated on your mom? Would you be able to forgive him?"

"I mean... It would take me a while, but I would be able to do it eventually."

"Okay, then. Give me time to forgive him, but as of now, I will not."

"Why do you think he treats Joh'Vonnie better?"

"I think he could be a lot of things really... Maybe because she's 'the baby' on his end. Maybe because he's getting older. Shoot, maybe because she's light skin," I shrugged.

"Light skin?" Shayla was taken aback. "What does being light skin have anything to do with it? I'm light skin and I'm not treated any better than anybody."

"No," I shook my head, "see, you're a caramel complexion, Shayla. You're a whole shade darker than her. What I mean is," I sighed. "Don't take this the wrong way, okay, but have you noticed the women my brothers are with? Dee Dee, Maldonado... Lighter skinned women. The women my brothers would sleep with were all lighter skinned women, aside from some of their wives. I think my dad wanted a lighter skinned woman too. Mother, as you know, is darker brown and they produced darker skinned children. I feel like since Joseph was with that lighter skinned woman and was finally able to get his lighter skinned child, he felt he had to treat her better. Because we all know how the black community treats everyone according to their skin complexion."

"You really believe that?"

"Amongst other things, obviously."

"That's an interesting point of view."

"It's a real point of view. The girl gets lavished with gifts bought by money my brothers and I made for my father. She gets to call him dad and I still have to call him Joseph. No. You really expect me to have a relationship with that spoiled brat? No, thank you."

She shook her head, "you don't have to call her a brat. You don't even know her."

"And I don't want to either," I shrugged. "Did I answer your questions? Are we done with the therapy session now?" I teased.

"We can be if you want," she got under the covers.

"Oh, no you don't," I pulled the covers back. "I've been out all day. I'm not all that tired, but I'd really enjoy it if I could be inside you right now." She tried not to smile. "Is that a yes?" I crawled on top of her.

"What about Mariah?"

"She's a whole three rooms down. She won't hear anything," I smiled, kissing her neck. I feel like it's been a while since we've made love. I mean with me being in the studio, us traveling from Florida to Ohio. It's been a while and my body missed her dearly. I helped in taking her shorts off and lay between her legs. She took my shirt off, running her fingers up and down my back. I kissed along her collarbone, down her chest, navel and finally her inner thighs. Suddenly a knock came to the door, Mariah opened the door crying. I rose up quickly.

"I had a nightmare. Can I sleep with you guys?" She wiped her face. I looked at Shayla who looked back at me.

"Um..." Shayla looked between me and Mariah. Oh, dear, God... She's going to say yes. "Give us a minute. Go, go, um, go back to your room really quick." I rolled off of her. Great. Just, great.

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