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Chapter 63

It was like no matter what I said to my wife, she wasn't going. I'm confused because I was trying to be proactive about the situation. We ultimately decided we were going to announce our marriage together at the end of the tour, but since it got leaked, I felt I had to do something about it. Shayla didn't see it that way though. Initially, she was as stunned as I was. She was fine when I told her that Frank was going to fix this. It was almost as if something in her mind had switched instantly.

"Shayla, where are you going?" I asked her as she continued filling her suitcase.

"Home. I can't take this anymore."

"Take what anymore? Explain to me what you can't take. I thought you wanted me to shut it down so we could announce it for ourselves."

"See, you think it's that. I'm not bothered about that at all. I'm not. It's just the way Frank is talking about it and you just sat there and let him talk about our marriage like it was trash. You just sat there, Michael! And then for you to call it damage control? How would you feel if you were in my shoes and I referred to our marriage as damage control?"

"It is! That's what I'm so confused about. You're throwing me through a loop, babe. I don't understand."

"Well, I'll give you some time to think about it then," she put on her shoes and rolled her suitcase out of the room.

"Why can't we just talk about it?" I followed her.

"Because, apparently, talking about it isn't enough. I've talked to you too much about it. I'm tired of talking. Don'tfollow me," she turned back to look at me before opening the front door. I stopped dead in my tracks as she opened the door and left. Everyone watched in shock.

I sighed, "Roland, keep my wife safe, will you?"

"Yes, sir," he quickly got up and followed her out. If she wants space, fine. I get it. We've been through a lot these past couple of days. Maybe we do need time to ourselves for a while.

"Sheesh," Frank chuckled. "Was it something I said?"

Once he said that, it was like all sadness went out the window, "get out, Frank."

"What? I was just doing my job! You asked me to take care of the problem and I did. Why is she in such a pissy mood about it? She's the same one indecisive about whether she wants to announce the marriage or not. Now, it's my fault because you called me up here to shoot down the story? Yeah, whatever, Mike. I'll leave. But you just remember who got you to where you are today," he exited the suite. What? Does he really think I am where I am today because of him? Did he forget I was a star before I even hired him? It's because of Frank that I'm even having this problem with Shayla. I mean, I kind of let him since I agreed to this whole single persona... I was being selfish. I was thinking of my fans and being at my prime instead of thinking about how this would affect my wife. My biggest fan. I should have thought about her, but I didn't. Now, we're ducking and dodging everyone and everything so no one will know I'm married to the love of my life. Who wants to hide their marriage like that? No one. We're about to be five years in and while we've celebrated our marriage in our own way privately, we should also be able to celebrate in public. I didn't think about how this would affect Shayla's family. I've got her father threatening to whoop my behind because I've let this whole single thing go too far. How would I feel if Shayla allowed a public persona to go too far?

"You okay?" Bill asked me.

I sighed, "no. Now, I have to figure out how I'm going to fix this with my wife."

"You really shouldn't have let Frank talk about your marriage like that," he offered. "If you really wanted him to take care of it, you should have told him to just say it's not true and left it at that. He took it too far and really showed his true colors about how he feels about your marriage. Do you really want someone working for you when they think that of your marriage?"

"No... I wasn't thinking."

"I know! Even I felt slighted at how he was talking about it. The only reason I didn't say anything is because I thought you would. I expected you to stand up for you and Shayla, but you didn't. You should have told Frank to speak out about that Tatiana story. With both of these stories out at the same time, people probably believe you're in love with Tatiana meanwhile, you're married to Shayla. That is not a good look," he shook his head in disappointment.

"It's not," I groaned. I didn't even think about that. Either way, both stories are out. It's up to the public to decide if it's a rumor or not. They may believe the Tatiana story more being that there's visual evidence of her. No one knows what Shayla looks like. I don't believe they got her name the first time our relationship was outed. When we did the opening for Captain EO, I called her by her full name. They don't have as much evidence as they do for the Tatiana story, so this story will more than likely be swept under the rug... I wish it was that easy for the Tatiana story... Maybe I should have been more adamant about it. While it certainly hurt for my marriage to be leaked the way it was, I think I understand why Shayla is so livid. There are a multitude of factors. Frank has never liked our union, to begin with. We finally heard him first hand explain just how much he dislikes it. The story wasn't really as serious as the Tatiana story provided that they didn't have evidence. I should have just let the story run. Shayla and I could have just continued to live our lives the way we have, let the story die based on false evidence and announced it at the end of the tour like we originally planned. I was just acting on impulse. I don't know what I was thinking.

"So, what are you going to do now?" Bill asked me. "You need to put your foot down when it comes to Frank. He doesn't take you seriously."

"His time is coming. Let me finish this tour first."

"What are you going to do about Shayla?"

"She won't listen to me," I sighed. "I'll give her the space she needs. I can't fix this right now."

"Well, you better before you lose your wife." Lose Shayla? Over this? No... I don't see that happening... At least I hope it wouldn't happen.

"Do you really think Shayla would leave me over this?"

"You better hope she doesn't, however, I imagine she's been pretty fed up over the past couple of years. And if her family gets in her ear about this, it's over for you, Mike..."

"Don't say that... I get she's upset. But come on..."

"How would you feel if your sister's husband humiliated her the way you have?"

"Oh, come on, Bill," I scoffed. "I have not humiliated Shayla."

He shot me a look, "Frank has disrespected her numerous times, and you never put your foot down. You left her for weeks with no communication because her sister disrespected you. I mean... you even had me cover for you for that bullshit. I'm never doing that again. Having to keep information from Shayla is a no go. Elizabeth still feels some type of way about Shayla. Then Tatiana... And you've allowed this Tatiana crap to drag out way longer than it should have. Your wife is humiliated, Michael. She's had to force people to show her some respect around here when you should have done that from day one. If this wasn't leaked and you guys announced your marriage, did you really think that was going to make people respect her? No. You have to establish respect before you announce it. The public doesn't give two shits about you and Shayla. They're going to rip her to shreds regardless, but you can do something about your inner circle and let me tell you I've only noticed so many people respect Shayla. If everyone respected Shayla around here, that kiss wouldn't have happened. Tatiana would have been gone a long time ago," he got up and left leaving me alone with my thoughts. Does Shayla feel humiliated? I never realized how fed up my wife was. She's made her frustrations known about the whole Tatiana thing and Frank, but other than that, I didn't know it's been building up inside for so long. Have I not been listening to my wife? Have I been sweeping her problems under the rug for the sake of my career? No... I don't want to believe I did that, but maybe I did. Shayla deserves better. She deserves a wholehearted apology from me. Not now though. She's probably on her way to the airport. She's upset. Like, really upset. I'll let her calm down for a bit. Maybe she needs a day or two to herself. I don't want to make her even more upset. I'll apologize when the time is right.


Roland and I sat in the cab in silence. I almost didn't even want him to come, but I need the company. Michael just doesn't understand. He probably never will. He's so selfish. All he and Frank have done is think about this single image while ignoring how this has affected me. For Michael to think it's about me announcing the marriage is the crazy thing. It's deeper than that. It's not even that simple. Since Michael hired Frank, problems in our personal lives have grown. The only issue I had before Frank was Michael's manager was that Michael didn't want me coming to his show in fear of our marriage being outed. Frank brought on more issues than I can even imagine and the fact that Michael never put his foot down never helped the matter. I almost feel betrayed by my own husband. He can't even stick up for me. He doesn't even understand why I'm so upset. It's like he doesn't know what's going on. Like, he's living in La La Land or something. Like, everything regarding us is perfect when it's not. There was a time when it was, but now it's not. I may not even come back until Michael fires Frank or something, because as far as I'm concerned, I'm done. I'm over it. My mama didn't raise a fool and my daddy didn't raise some weak little girl. I am the complete opposite of that. Even if I have to leave Michael for him to understand, then so be it. There's only so much a person can take.

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