The अगला morning, Michael and होल्ली, होली sit outside on their private balcony having breakfast in the warm sunshine. Both of them are silent but are saying so many things द्वारा the expressions on their faces. Periodically one will look up at the other over their coffee cups with a sly smile या a giggle, या give a subtle touch of the hand that makes shivers run up each other's spines. Michael and होल्ली, होली feel so happy and content that it almost feels unreal या suspicious. To know both can go घर together and face the harsh realities of life and their careers make getting up in the morning now seem easier and और enjoyable. “I can’t stop smiling,” होल्ली, होली admits as she looks out towards the view of the lake in the distance where ripples are forming sporadically द्वारा the wind. “Me too, I don’t think I’ve slept so well in my entire life last night,” Michael adds looking at her with a daze. Even though nothing sexual happened, just her presence made it easy enough for him to sleep, which has become rare lately. “You think we can do that again when we get home?” होल्ली, होली asks looking at him before she bashfully looks down at her plate of सूअर का मांस, बेकन and eggs. Just her saying the word घर makes his दिल thump harder. “You mean stay in the same bed?” “Yeah, I mean, nothing’s gonna happen because we won’t let it so why not?” Internally, Michael doubts if he can always maintain his self-composure around her all the time, especially down the road. His religion prevents him from sexually sleeping with her, but they never कहा anything about staying in the same bed. They could give him this one little thing. Michael grins and nods his head, “Alright, let’s try it out. But before I forget,” Michael looks down and pulls something out of his जैकेट pocket that is slung on the back of the chair before turning back to Holly. “Happy belated birthday,” he says sliding a medium-sized black velvet box towards her. होल्ली, होली looks down at it with surprise before looking up at him with a glimmer of playfulness in her face. “Go ahead, say something,” Michael says with a smirk. “What? I’ve कहा nothing?” “I can read your eyes and you’re searching for a quip, but can आप just open the box?” होल्ली, होली blushes and grabs onto the box. “Well if आप insist.” She opens the box and sees a strand of dainty pearls and two pearl studs to match in a gorgeous shade of ivory. होल्ली, होली catches her breath at the beauty before looking up at Michael with a stunned expression. “M-Michael…they’re gorgeous.” “I know आप कहा आप didn’t want a gift for your birthday, but I saw these one दिन when I was out and I thought of you. Do आप like them?” “I absolutely प्यार them! I’m gonna put them on now.” Michael smiles as he watches her take them out of the box and begin to put them on herself. “I was meaning to give them to आप last night, but with our unexpected run-in with the press last night, I completely forgot. Plus it was jewelry and everyone कहा women and jewelry आप can’t go wrong.” होल्ली, होली smiles back at him as she puts in the last pearl stud and shows it to him as it glimmers in the morning sunlight. “It still was a wonderful surprise, thank आप Michael.”

“Well it’s already started!” Bill announces as he comes out onto the balcony with newspapers in his hand and under his arm. “Do I need to drink और coffee before I hear it?” होल्ली, होली asks as she grabs her mug sliding further down into the wicker lounge chair. Bill sets the papers down with a flop with pictures of Michael and होल्ली, होली last night holding hands, talking, and smiling at each other with captions above that read “ARE THEY DATING?” “MICHAEL AND होल्ली, होली THE SECRET COUPLE!” and “HOLLYWOODS CUTEST INTERRACIAL COUPLE!” All three of them look at the papers, पढ़ना the लेखाए where they talk about both of them last night and how it alludes to a possible relationship and they are waiting for confirmation. होल्ली, होली bites her lip as she looks down at the लेखाए before looking up at Michael wondering what he is thinking with his head bent down engrossed in पढ़ना as well. Bill looks at both of them before saying, “We are gonna need to beef up security today because the press will be all over आप two.” Michael looks at him with a grimace. “Is that absolutely necessary?” Bill snaps his head back at him, “Do आप really wanna take a chance?” Michael slightly bows his head in defeat before giving a sigh, “No, you’re right.” “I’ll go call a couple of my men I know down here,” Bill says before going back inside the suite leaving them alone with the papers in front of them. The wind suddenly kicks up forcing होल्ली, होली to stop the papers from blowing away द्वारा placing her hand on the front picture of them. “Well, it’s out,” होल्ली, होली murmurs looking over at Michael trying to smile but failing drastically. He looks up at her and smiles but it does not meet his eyes, “I guess so.” “Are आप upset that it’s out?” “No, I knew this was going to happen, just not so quickly, I wanted a period of adjustment for us.” “Yeah, but now we won’t have to hide anymore. Doesn’t that make आप feel good?” होल्ली, होली asks feeling a sinking sensation in the pit of her stomach slowly start to form. “It does, that doesn’t bother me, what does bother me is the attitude these papers have about us being interracial…” Michael looks down at the papers again and lets out a deep sigh before shaking his head. He looks up at her before continuing, “Why can’t people understand that this is 1979?” “Exactly Michael, this is 1979 and the Deep South, they won’t understand our relationship…not everyone will and that’s okay. What truly matters is that we’re happy.” “I know, but it hurts. Plus I can’t even imagine what Joseph is going to say.” होल्ली, होली rolls her eyes. “The fact that you’re dating me, या a white girl?” Michael shrugs, “Both.” होल्ली, होली takes a deep breath before letting it out. “As soon as we get back I need to find a new manager to handle this stuff.” “Hey, don’t think about this stuff right now, we are still in celebrating mode,” Michael grabs the papers and throws them to the floor on the balcony, “now finish eating we still have a big दिन ahead of us.”

And just like that the intimate and carefree moment was over. Reality had ensued and now it was in the back of their minds festering of what was to come. For Holly, when she returns she realized that she was returning to a full schedule, on चोटी, शीर्ष of finding a new manager, unpacking at Michael’s, and now trying to fight off the press about their relationship all within a short span of time. Michael, on the other hand, felt strange calmness overtake him knowing that although there was a lot to deal with at least they could deal with it as a couple and nobody could do anything about it. To him, that was the most comforting and happy notion even among this ancient thought process of them being interracial.


Later that evening होल्ली, होली and Michael arrive back in LAX where they are greeted द्वारा a mob of प्रशंसकों and photographers waiting. होल्ली, होली looks out the window with annoyance. “How did they know we were coming?” “The press are vultures, they come every night,” Bill murmurs as he comes up to them before turning to the temporarily extra hired bodyguards to divulge the plan for when they exit. Michael turns his head around to Bill. “Bill, give me your shades, please.” Bill hands him his sunglasses where Michael gives them to Holly. “Here, where these when we go out.” होल्ली, होली holds the black aviators in her hand before looking up at him in confusion, as it is nearly dusk outside. “But why?” Michael smirks, “It’s harder for them to take your picture of your expression when your eyes are covered up.” होल्ली, होली sighs and puts the sunglasses on adjusting her eyes to the tinted frames. “How do I look?” she asks. “Perfect.” “Alright आप two, the car is ready to go,” Bill announces before they stand up. Michael stands in front of होल्ली, होली and takes a deep breath. “You ready?” “With you, always.” Michael nods and grabs her hand before they descend the stairs with the security guards surrounding them. The shouts and cheers of the प्रशंसकों while the flashing bulbs of the cameras going off makes होल्ली, होली stick closer to Michael and makes her head pound. So many shouting, “ARE आप A COUPLE?” “HOW LONG HAVE आप TWO BEEN TOGETHER?” “WILL आप TWO GET MARRIED?”

To Michael dealing with a crowd such as this has always been the norm, but for होल्ली, होली this was new. Since her rising fame, the crowds have increased each साल but not to this magnitude. Keeping their heads down and walking as quickly as possible to the car they both take a sigh of relief as the door closes after them leaving them to privacy. “Well it’s सुरक्षित to say that the west coast now knows about us,” होल्ली, होली murmurs as the press tries to run after them as they हटाइए out of the tarmac. “This is crazy, we are just two people,” Michael says looking out the back glass, as the people grow smaller in the distance. Bill looks at them in the rearview mirror. “Individually आप two are just people, together, आप are a sensation,” he remarks focusing back on the road before adding, “I’m gonna need to stop for gas आप guys cool with that?” Michael and होल्ली, होली look at each other and shrug as होल्ली, होली nestles herself closer to him. “We don’t care, Bill.” Michael remarks as Bill turns into the nearest gas station that is twenty cars deep with cars in line. Both of them stare out the window in shock before होल्ली, होली looks over at Michael. “I now see why he asked us. Gotta प्यार the oil crisis,” she says sarcastically resting her head against him. Michael rests his head on चोटी, शीर्ष of hers. “Bill, turn on the radio as we wait.” “Sure thing, Mike.” When he does “Don’t Stop Till आप Get Enough” is playing making होल्ली, होली giggle and हटाइए to the beat of Michael’s voice. He looks down at her rolls his eyes playfully as he can feel the embarrassment rising. After all these years he still gets embarrassed when someone close to him dances to his songs.

As Bill pulls closer to the pumps the DJ comes on. “Well that was Michael Jackson’s latest song ‘Don’t Stop Till आप Get Enough’, which from what I hear is up going to be certified platinum very shortly. After being released only for one महीना this song and ‘Rock with You’ is already on चोटी, शीर्ष ten of the Billboard Charts. We’re gonna have some और jams coming your way until then sit back, relax, and let the संगीत groove with you…” होल्ली, होली straightens herself up to look at Michael with a surprised expression. “Did आप know?” “No, I’m just as surprised as आप are.” होल्ली, होली grabs him and gives him a hug, “I am so proud of you!” “Thanks, Holly,” he murmurs, internally he is beyond shocked द्वारा the news. He knew some of his songs would be up on the चोटी, शीर्ष ten lists, but not going for platinum. For him this feels like a turning point to know once and for all that he can be just as successful without his brothers, something to remember for the future. He looks over at her with a smirk. “Now it’s your turn.” She rolls her eyes. “One step at a time.”


As Michael and होल्ली, होली hold each other on the elevator ride up to their apartment they can hear the boom of Joseph’s voice before the doors open. Michael gravely sighs as the elevator dings with the doors opening up. “What now?” He murmurs as they walk in and see Joseph pacing inside the living room with Katherine sitting on the couch. Michael is wondering how they got in here till he realized he gave his mother a spare key. When Joseph sees the two walking in together with Michael’s arm wrapped around होल्ली, होली his nostrils flare. “Joe, now just calm down,” Katherine says looking up at him with pleading eyes. “Well I see the press was actually true about this one,” Joseph says as Bill brings the luggage up behind them before vacating the room. “So how long has this been going on?” He says waving in the direction of their embrace.” Michael looks down at the floor to take a breath before looking Joseph in the eyes. “Just a few months.” “And now we’re gallivanting off to Florida, I see,” he spats back before turning around on them. Michael looks at his mother who looks concerned at both of them. “Michael, honey, I have to ask something, is होल्ली, होली living here now?” Michael looks at होल्ली, होली before pulling her closer to him. “Yes, mother, she is.” Katherine takes a deep breath before looking down at the floor. Joseph turns around to face them again. “Oh good, just what we need, an unexpected pregnancy on the rise.” “It’s not like that!” होल्ली, होली defends. “You should be the one to talk, Joseph,” Michael retorts. Joseph’s eyes dilate as starts to walk closer towards them. “Boy, what did आप say to me?” Katherine stands up to get in between them. “Both of आप stop it now! Joseph, आप hush up! Michael, don’t speak to your father that way. Now, your father has a point, if होल्ली, होली is living here we have to make sure nothing unexpected happens for आप two.” She looks at होल्ली, होली and grabs her hand with tenderness. “Mother, it is not like that. होल्ली, होली and I aren’t sleeping together.” “But you’re living together? Bullshit!” Joseph murmurs. Katherine looks back at Joseph with a stern face. “Hush up!” “Mother, होल्ली, होली and I are waiting awhile. But she is staying with me now and that’s the end of discussion.” “No, the discussion is not ended. Mike, don’t आप see, आप get involved with होल्ली, होली and the प्रशंसकों are gonna look at आप differently.” Michael shakes his head. “You कहा the same thing to Tito and Jermaine when they got involved with girls.” “Yeah, but not white girls,” Joseph says shooting होल्ली, होली a look of disdain. होल्ली, होली inhales sharply at the insinuation. “Joseph, I’m warning you, आप make और टिप्पणियाँ like that to या about होल्ली, होली and I will leave the group. So go ahead, make yourself a bigger grave because it’s होल्ली, होली या nothing, and that is the end of discussion.” In the back of his mind, Michael cannot believe he is actually standing up to Joseph of all people. Joseph walks up to Michael and looks at him in the eyes. “This girl is gonna drag आप straight to hell. I still expect आप to be ready to finish touring अगला month.” He goes to walk out brushing Michael on the arm before leaving the remaining three alone.

Michael looks at Katherine. “Mother, I know आप don’t approve either but –“ She holds up her hands and halts what he says. “Michael, I’m your mother, I प्यार आप and I want the best for you. If होल्ली, होली makes आप happy and from what I can tell she does then आप grab onto happiness with both hands and don’t let it go. Now, in terms of your living arrangements, आप are now twenty-one years old, I can’t decide what’s best for आप anymore, आप have to do that. आप know how I raised आप and if आप feel this is the right decision then I’m sure it’s the right one.” She gives him a किस on both cheeks before looking at होल्ली, होली and facing her. “You treat my boy right, आप hear? Michael deserves every happiness in this world and so do you. I know आप never had much of a…home life, so if आप need me to answer any सवालों at all please call me at any time, दिन या night.” “Thank आप Katherine,” होल्ली, होली mutters as Katherine grabs her in for a hug. As she pulls back she looks at both of them with a smile. “Well, I should be going before your father leaves me here.” “Here, I’ll walk आप to the elevator, Mother,” Michael says grabbing ahold of her arm.

होल्ली, होली watches as Michael escorts her to the elevator and watches as she leaves. When he walks back in the living room he looks tired. “Well, how do आप feel now that आप stood up to your dad?” होल्ली, होली asks as she crosses her arms looking at him. “Nauseous,” he says with a grin. He walks towards and holds out his hand grabbing her arm, pulling him towards him. “And how are आप feeling? I apologize that Joseph कहा many nasty things about you.” “Oh forget about it. After living with my mom, Joseph is like a nice vacation.” Michael begins to laugh at her words until he is doubled over causing होल्ली, होली to laugh with him. Once he stops he looks up at her and searches her face. “You still in?” “In?” “This relationship? आप ain’t scared off yet?” “Listen here, Michael Jackson, nothing short of a bunch of wild jackals couldn’t drag me away from you…even then I’d crawl my way back, so yes, I’m always in.” Michael smiles and kisses her quickly before announcing, “C’mon, let’s go get unpacked. We got some busy days coming up.” Together they walk away together as it will always be for them. They know that no matter what happens they well face it (fans, friends, family, and press) together side-by-side. Sure, it was going to be a pain in their assess, but once they both looked at the other, the aggregation made it all worth it.