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Will You Still Be There?
Chapter 1: Not Like This

" Too often we don't realize what we have until its gone, too often we're too stubborn to say, "I'm sorry I was wrong," Too often it seems we hurt the ones closest to our hearts and let the most foolish things tear us apart,"-Anonymous.


Fate has been defined as an event, or course of events that will inevitably happen in the future. Are we all subject to fate? Is everything we have done, are doing, and will do been predetermined before we're born. Life has been compared to traveling on a road, different choices taking you down different paths. If this is the case do all of the roads lead you in the same direction eventually? Does it all end at the same place? Different roads, same inevitable destination? Do we even really have a choice, or are we all helpless in the face of our own Destiny?


'Mama we have to go back, we have to,' Carly-Ann's voice echoes in my head as I shift her sleeping form to my other shoulder. I find the clock taking a deep breath. Half an hour and this whole thing will be behind us. We'll be safely on the plane, headed back to states, my daughter safe from heart ache, maybe I'm running away for me too. But if it was just me it would be a risk I would be willing to take, but it isn't just me, its me and Carly-Ann. I have to do what's right. I close my eyes, the memory of Michael's lips pressing against mine, the heat of him coursing through my veins making my heart ache. I jump slightly when a voice announces that our flight is boarding. I struggle with picking up our over night carry on, making my way through the crowd. I stand in line, my arms feeling dead from Carly-Ann's wait when a familiar voice calls out to me. 'Oh damn,' I think as I turn slowly, Max and Michael pushing through the crowd. Max catches my elbow in his hands, and I watch as Michael pulls his hat further down on his head covering his face.

" Come on Dani, lets go," Max says, and I stare at him numbly. " We only have another five minutes before people will start recognizing Mike." I pull out of his grasp shaking my head sadly.

" Max, no," I say, backing away from him and Michael slowly. I turn around tears burning my eyes as I fight to hand the flight attendant our tickets.

" Daniella, wait," Michael calls after me as I start walking towards the plane. I turn around my chest heaving as I fight to hold onto my control.

" Michael let us go, okay, just let us go," I plead pulling away from him, searching his face one last time to see if he is going to say anything, beg, plead, demand that we stay. He doesn't say anything, instead he just stares at me with swimming eyes as I turn around walking away from him and from my heart. With cloudy eyes and my heart breaking in my chest, I settle Carly-Ann into her seat, thankful that she stayed asleep for the good bye. I buckle my seat belt burying my head in my hands crying silently beside my sleeping daughter.


Michael's POV

It's been a month. I never knew that a month could seem to pass so slowly, but without Carly-Ann and Dani here, life seems dull and empty. I pick up the phone dialing the familiar number.

'Hey you've reached Dani and Carly-Ann, leave us a message,' Dani's sweet voice and Carly-Ann's giggles resound in my ears as I hang up the phone with a loud slam. I lean back into the leather office chair, rubbing my fingers over my face a building roar of frustration bubbling up inside of me.

" No luck?" Max asks from the doorway of my office, I shake my head running my hands through my hair.

" It's been a month Max. I have tried everything. Calling, writing, no response. I don't know what to do," I say pushing away from my desk to pace wildly.

" I don't know what to tell you Mike, it's too bad that you didn't have some sort of legal tie," he murmurs and its as if like in cartoon strips a light bulb flashes on above my head, as I slowly smile at Max.

" You're a genius Max," I proclaim catching my best friend off guard.

" I am?" he asks, and I laugh as I pick up the phone dialing a new number. She wants to do this the hard way, then we'll do just that.

" Mr. Jackson, are you sure you want to go through with this?" my attorney and long time friend Bob asks me, his face wrinkled with concern.

" Absolutely. She has a contractual duty to see through," I say, smiling as I sip from my mineral water.

" Michael, I understand if you have, feelings for Miss. James, but do you honestly think suing her is going to make her come back?" he asks, closing his briefcase with a flick of his wrists.

" It's a risk I'm willing to take," I murmur, sitting back against my chair. If I'm right about her, she'll be back in my life before I know it. Desperate times, call for desperate measures.


Dani's POV

Life became somewhat normal again. After a week of complete silence from Carly-Ann she has settled back into life. She hardly brings Michael up anymore and I'm thankful for that. My heart is hurting enough, without constant chatter and questions about him.

" Carly-Ann go wash up, its time for lunch," I say, staring out of the kitchen window as I wash my own hands at the kitchen sink. November is in full bloom, including more rain than we have gotten in as long as I can remember, and I smile at the vibrant colors painting the tree's through the onslaught of falling water. I dry my hands slowly when a knock on the front door has me snapping out of my thoughts. " Carly-Ann," I call, smiling when she comes running down the stairs smiling at me. I open the door slowly, still smiling, faltering only slightly when I don't recognize the man standing on my porch.

" Daniella James?" he asks and I nod my head slightly, " You've been served." I stare at the papers in my hands numbly.

" Mama, what is it?" Carly-Ann asks tugging on my shirt.

" I don't know yet baby, go eat your lunch," I murmur pushing her gently in the direction of the kitchen. I sink slowly to the couch my eyes running over the first page.

' Miss. James,

This is to inform you that you are being sued by one Michael J. Jackson for not meeting your contractual agreements. The following pages explain things in further detail.

Mr. Bob Segar.'

" You have got to be kidding me," I murmur, breezing through the pages quickly my head swimming. He wouldn't, yet he is. I pick up the phone dialing my mothers number groaning when she doesn't answer. I hang up trying Brandon and Kyle next, no answer there either. My anger boils as I ball the papers in my hand.

" Carly-Ann, get your coat," I yell as I fumble through my purse in search of my car keys. I finally find them, snatching them and Carly-Ann up, pulling her hood over her head as I slam the door behind us. He wont get away with doing this to me, if he thinks the threat of a court battle will have me crawling back begging to have my job back, Michael Jackson has another thing coming.

I park the car outside of Neverland Ranch, my hands tight on the steering wheel.

" Is this Mikey's house?" Carly-Ann asks, and I grind my teeth at the excitement in her voice.

" Yes," I murmur, driving into the driveway, throwing the car into park. I slam out of the car, grabbing Carly-Ann and the papers in my hand. I knock on the front door loudly, seething with rage. The door opens slowly, revealing a surprised Max.

" Where is he?" I grind out, and Max points to his left. I kneel down to Carly-Ann, smiling when I look at her. " Okay baby your going to go play with Uncle Max okay?" I watch as she nods enthusiastically, kissing her on her head before heading to find Michael. I walk through the hall not noticing anything around me. I push open the door at the end of the hall, finding Michael turned to the window watching as the rain pours on the other side. I slam the door behind me finding some sense of pleasure from the way he jumps.

" What is this?" I ask, crossing the room quickly to slam the papers on his desk.

" Those would be the legal papers I had drawn up. You didn't realize that when you signed the contract, you signed on until the end of tour. You left, so I took legal actions. You can either come back and finish what you signed up for, or you can face me in court," Michael says, his voice slightly amused.

" Why are you doing this Michael. I'm trying to do what is right by my daughter," I ask, standing to look at him with my arms crossed over my chest.

" Because I know why you really did this Daniella. You have feelings for me and instead of exploring them you ran, I wont be doing you any favors if I let you do that, your going to have to let someone in sooner or later," he says, his eyes reading into the very core of my soul.

" You don't know anything Michael. I did this for my daughter. She is too attached, and I am too, what happens when the end of tour comes around and you wont need me anymore? That will kill Carly-Ann and I will be damned if I will let her get hurt again. Not by you or anyone," I say my eyes challenging him to argue the point with me, " You know what? If you aren't going to back down then I'll see you in court." I turn around quickly leaving the office the sound of Michael's footsteps behind me. I pick Carly-Ann up from the living room, pulling the hood of her jacket over her head.

" Mikey!" Carly-Ann calls out excitedly but I rush through the front door before he can reply. I settle Carly-Ann into the car shutting the door on her wails. I skirt around the other side of the car Michael catching my arm in his hand, turning me to look at him.

" Dani, why are you doing this? Why wont you just come back. You should know me by now, know that I wouldn't ever do anything to hurt her, or you," he yells over the pounding rain. I shake my head, my wet hair slapping me in the face.

" That isn't the point, the point is your trying to sue me for doing what I feel is right for my daughter, nobody has the right to question my parenting skills, not even the great King of Pop," I yell back, pulling my arm from his grasp.

" Dani you cant go, at least wait until the rain lets up some," he pleads and instead of listening to him I slam the car door in his face, starting it quickly. I back out of the driveway catching Michael and Max pushing into a dark car. I shake m head as my teeth chatter from the cold soaking into my bones, my wet clothes clinging to me. I reach the bottom of the hill, stopping at the stop sign, the headlights from Max's car cutting through my car. I look both ways, turning quickly before accelerating down the road. The rain pours around us, my heart hammering in my chest. Hot tears course down my face, why did he have to do this to me? I was so ready to forget about him, almost had until this. I roll to another stop waiting for my turn patiently at the four way stop.

" Mama," Carly-Ann meekly calls to me as I start driving through the intersection, the sound of squealing brakes catching my attention. Everything moves slowly as the unfamiliar car hits us, my body tensing automatically on impact. " Momma!" Carly-Ann's terrified screams fill the car. It feels like I'm rolling through water as I hold onto the steering wheel, the car flipping and banging against the asphalt. I open my eyes slowly when everything goes still and silent, the scenery swims before my eyes and I hear someone yelling my name, but they sound so far away. Warm hands cradle my body, pulling me from the wreckage that used to be my car.

" Dani, Dani, can you hear me?" someone asks and I open my eyes trying to make out the form.

" Carly-" I choke out, coughing violently as I gasp for air, " Carly-Ann." My eyes role into the back of my head and then there's nothing.


Michael's POV

I sit in the car behind Dani's cursing myself. Things didn't exactly go as I planned. I never meant to question he parenting skills, I just want her and Carly-Ann to come back. She has to know I would never hurt them. The only noise in the car is the sound of the windshield wipers humming furiously from there work.

" Michael, maybe you should give her some time to cool down," Max offers, and I shake my head furiously.

" No, no, I have to make this right, before I lose them for good," I argue back, watching as Dani starts to roll through the intersection. My heart catches in my throat when I see the black van fly through the stop sign hitting the car carrying two of the most important people in my life, with a sickening boom. My eyes widen when her car rolls, and it seems like it takes an eternity to rush out of the car. My feet slapping against the wet road as I skid to a halt on Dani's side of the car, or what's left of it. I drop to my hands and knee's squinting against the rain in search of any sign of life.

" Dani," I call out as I reach into the wreckage. I feel around, my hands landing on her shaking warm body and I pull her from the car carefully cradling her body against mine. Blood pours from her broken form, mixing with the rain that falls over us. " Dani!," I urge watching when her green eyes open slowly rolling wildly around from her pain.

" Carly-" Dani chokes, blood seeping from the corners of her mouth, " Carly-Ann," she calls out her body going limp in my body. I press my cheek to her head the shrieks of sirens piercing the stillness. I stand next to Max, watching as the paramedics work furiously over Dani and Carly-Ann. I wipe bloodstained hands against my shirt, my body shaking furiously as I wordlessly climb into the ambulance carrying Carly-Ann, watching as Max climbs into the one with Dani's unmoving body. I close my eyes as I take Carly-Ann's small hand in mine. ' Please God, let them both be okay,' I plead, tears pouring down my face. I cant lose them, not like this.
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