|Look Back Before You Leave
Author: MistyBluePrincess PM
Tania left her husband acclaimed Actor Cameron Michaels due to many factors leaving behind so much of herself. Three years later she must return to help him and as she does she had to make a choice but only after looking back. R&R Please summary sucks!Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 18 - Words: 61,089 - Reviews: 75 - Favs: 15 - Follows: 23 - Updated: 01-11-11 - Published: 02-06-08 - id: 2472623
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Sighing inwardly Tatania kicked off her loafers and placed her keys on the hall table.
She kicked the door closed with a soft push of her heel. Placing her bags in the hall she looked around at her home. It was the same as she'd left it before leaving to visit her mother and sisters back home in the Bahamas. The rooms of her home were well lit and spacious, colored in beautiful shades and hues of colors as wide and eclectic as she was. It was warm, homey and inviting, as she always wanted her home to be.
She had been gone from her house in Keene, Texas for only two days, yet it had been refreshing. Her sisters had even agreed to baby-sit her daughter Natavia for a few days so that she could have a few days to herself. Something she hadn't had since her college days. For the past seven years everyday of her life had been filled with caring for or worrying about someone else. First it had been her husband, then her son, then getting away from it all and trying to find the girl she'd left behind amidst a very public separation, and then she'd realized that she was carrying her baby. There had not been a chance to be truly by herself.
Walking through the hallway she straightened up papers she had left untidy the day before she had left on Monday. Pins dropped haphazardly around her as she shook her long brown hair out of its tight chignon. It felt so liberating not having to worry about anyone other than herself for a little while.
"Thank you Lord for bringing me home safely. Amen." she softly prayed smiling as she walked towards the kitchen headed for the fridge and more importantly the leftover chicken from Sunday dinner. As she passed the answering machine that sat on a table in the hall, she noticed the blinking light indicating a message. She pressed play and tapped her well manicured elegant long fingers impatiently against the table.
"Tatania..." the voice of her estranged husband Cameron Michaels, her nightly constant tormentor and the only man she had loved came over the machines speaker phone."...we need to talk. CJ's sick and we need you here!"
"Oh Lord help me!" Tania cried and grabbed the framed picture of her son that stood on the table next to the phone, as she crumbled to the floor beside the table helplessly.
"Uhmmm... I know you wanted no contact with us but CJ has leukemia and we think you maybe the only match. Call me as soon as you get this if you can help! Bye!"
Tania was one whom many around her knew to be very strong, she hadn't cried when she'd found out that her husband was cheating on her, nor when she'd left Los Angeles to get away from him and his family, she hadn't cried when she'd had to leave her four year old son. Yet the shock of it all was more than what Tania could handle and for the first time in two years she cried.
Tears rolled down Tania's cheeks as she remembered all she'd had and left behind. It hadn't hurt so much to walk away from it all and simply forget, yet reminiscing tore at her heart each time a hundredfold. "My baby...!" Tania cried soul shatteringly. "My sweet, innocent baby, you don't deserve it! Lord why not me instead? He never did anything wrong!"
Curled up in a tight ball she remembered the last time she'd seen her son, the day she had walked away from it all. From the fame, fortune and lack of privacy that came along with being married to famous Oscar worthy actor Cameron Michaels. Cameron had been her world, she'd almost lost herself trying to love him and keep him pleased yet she had not been enough for him.
CJ had been sick and crying in Cam's arms as she'd run into her car and driven off angrily to her best friend's home. She had heard and seen too much about him and his on screen leading lady Wislene James in the news, the tabloids and even from mutual friends. And to make matters worse his mother and sister had tried to bully her into leaving. These were the straws that had finally broken the camel's back.
"RIIING!!!!" the phone rang jolting Tania from her reverie. It might be Cam calling back! Tania thought to herself sniffling. "Hello?"
"What's wrong Tania?" Lauren one of her closest friends asked intinuitively.
"CJ's sick and he needs me Lauren..." Tania cried to her friend.
"I'll be right over Tania. Stay where you are." Lauren responded before hanging up. It was a good thing that Lauren lived only ten minutes away from her, and in a matter of minutes Tania was opening the door to Lauren. Lauren was an above average height blonde whom Tatania had met during her days as a model. They had become fast friends and Lauren had been there with her as a friend during her troublesome marriage and subsequent break up with Cameron.
"What type of mother am I leaving her baby alone and defenseless?"
"TATANIA!!!! You tried to take CJ but Cameron would not allow you to. The only way we could have gotten him from Cam was some elaborate kidnapping. He refused to let you see him once you had left. Cam is very controlling; I wish we'd seen this before you had married him. It isn't your fault that your husband was cold, scheming and heartless, whose family also hated you. Yeah we can argue that you should not have married him but that is beside the point." Lauren sighed trying to cheer Tania up.
She could not remember a time where Tania had cried. She was always the strong one; tears had always been for her a sign of weakness. Lauren had always been able to count on a word and smile from Tania and now seeing her this way was hard for her. Yet it was time for her to be the stronger one. She only prayed that she could be the ray of sunshine for Tania.
"Don't forget that they were going to use your family's mistakes against you. What could we have done? You were a beautiful mother; you realized that though your sanity and Christianity were in danger with Cam and his family that they would protect CJ and that it would have been for the better so that he wouldn't have to live a life on the run. You chose to give him a life of permanence over the instability of running away. You loved him enough to put him above your needs! You will always be a wonderful mom!"
"As if Lauren." Tania cried heartachingly.
"Tania get over it, we have bigger fish to fry. Your son is sick, now what are you going to do?" Lauren responded.
"Go home to Los Angelos!" Tatania sighed. "Only thing is that I am afraid of what I will find when I return there?"
"I don't know, but I know someone who knows the future and what He has planned for us. Let us ask Him Tania." Lauren suggested leading her into a prayer.
On the flight Lauren kept her spirits buoyed by reminding her of funny memories of her and CJ. She was smiling by the time she got off of the plane. As they walked through the gate she searched the crowd for familiar faces.
"All flights to New York, New York have been cancelled until further notice!" the voice of the announcer came over the speaker. "Just arriving flight 2678 from Keene,Texas at gate 7 and also non-stop flight 1935 from Nassau, Bahamas at gate 12."
Tatania trudged towards the baggage claims area with Lauren following closely behind her. Tania stood off from the baggage claim counter and waited for her bags. Her eyes watered as she remembered the last time she'd been at that airport. The day she and her closest male friend Tevan Peters had gotten on the plane headed to New York so that she could take a break and hideaway from the press. It had only made matters worse.
It had been raining outside and as she ran into the airport she and Tevan had been bombarded by questions. She'd felt swamped internally by her own emotions, now having her private life being thrown back in her face it hurt. She now understood why her mother and aunts had been so adamant about her ensuring that her dirty laundry was not aired in public.
"Mrs. Michaels is this the end of your marriage?"
"Where is CJ Mrs. Michaels?"
"Are you going to fight for custody of your son?"
'Tania, how does Cameron feel about you running off with Tevan?"
The camera shutters and light bulbs had shone upon her straight to New York until she'd arrived at her book agent's ranch outside of Buffalo. There she had found solace for a year. After she'd had Natavia she left to go live in Texas with Lauren. She'd never felt so happy as she had the day she realized that the paparazzi no longer followed her like flies. They had bigger fish to fry, such as her husband and his mistress. Everywhere she turned she found pictures of the two of them, and she never received the dreaded divorce papers, and had come to a point in life where she just only wanted to focus on her daughter.
There was obviously a problem with her morals and thoughts as a Christian when she could allow herself to date and marry a nonbeliever. She'd once been a lady of standards, she'd never even looked at a man outside of the church, what was it about Cameron that had attracted her to him? She had never been impressed by money or prestige; it had to be something deeper inside that she had been drawn to. She probably would never figure it out, had she listened or stuck to her principles she would not have been in such a mess now.
"It'll be okay girl! You can get through this!" Lauren comforted. "The girls should be here soon."
"Tania!" Leanne's familiar voice called out causing Tania to smile as she saw Lee along with her children Scott and Lillian. Leanne was also a former model, stood at about 5'8" with hip length black hair. Lee was a cross of Cherokee and Italian, her coloring and eyes were stunning, and until the day she'd given up modeling for marriage and children, she'd been one of the hottest and most sought after models.
Lee had married one of Cam's best friends Grady Hart a pop star. "Wow you have changed! I could hardly recognize you with this brown hair and paler complexion. You've lost weight too. I know that you aren't modeling, so why are you so thin Caribbean Chica?" Lee teased trying to get her to smile, yet then noticed the unshed tears in Tania's eyes. "Have you been fretting? Other than the leukemia Cam has been taken really good care of."
"Hey Lee, I missed you all so much! Plus I trust you but it's THEM I don't or can't trust!" Tatania exclaimed as she embraced them warmly. "Shouldn't these babies be in bed?" Tania asked looking at her watch. It was just a little after eight pm and she knew that it would be at least another two hours before they all got any rest. "Where are the others?"
"Yes they should, but Scott really wanted to see his aunty Tania. They've missed you like we all have. And the others are awaiting us in the lounge; they thought it would be better if you saw a friendly face first." Leanne replied honestly.
"So I gather that the guys hate me still?" Tania enquired softly as Lauren fawned over the kids.
"Not hate just still angry! They believe that you could have fought harder. I never told them about what Christine and Cam's mom Mrs. Michaels had threatened." Leigh replied sighing as she looked around at the crowded airport and noticed a group of reporters headed their way.
"Good let it stay that way! The threats are between me and his sister and mom." Tania stated also noting the reporters as she turned to look at the flight schedule.
"Let's go before the swarm attaches itself to us." Tania said nodding towards the group of press persons that was headed towards them. News of her arrival home had leaked. "I have to go greet the others so I can go meet my sister and the others at gate 12. Then it's off to a goodnight's rest at the Hilton after I see how my baby is."
"Sure! Why didn't you all stay with us though? There is always space?" Lee responded grabbing one of Tania's bags and heading towards the private lounge as quickly as possible where the gang minus Cam and his brother Kevin were situated away from the mob of reporters outside who'd obviously heard of Tania's eminent arrival.
"Nah people are always popping up there and well at the hotel I can lock them out more." Tania explained then her head dropped as she noticed the crowd awaiting them in the lounge.
"You can do this Tania! Smile even in the bad times!" Lauren advised putting on a smile that did not reach her eyes as she walked into the room were Grady, James, Matthew, Christine, Mr. and Mrs. Michaels, and the security guards were seated.
"Hey all, it's been such a long time! Ya'll remember my Lauren right?" Tania said as she walked in smiling.
"Two years to be exact!" James stated as he hugged her. James was another one of Cam's best friends. James was average height, with thick dark brown hair and green eyes. James was an entertainment lawyer and had represented her on a few cases with her book contracts. He was the one whom everyone knew that they could depend on. He'd had his moments of weakness, having lost his wife five years back to a drunk driver and now recently coming out of rehab for alcohol abuse.
Next to James stood Mathew, who was a writer and he and Tania had spent many days together working on their novels whenever they went on the group vacations. Tania had always looked to Matt as an older brother. He had curly strawberry blonde hair and beautiful brown eyes. He was just a bit taller than her 5'11" with a well toned physique, and was known for his smile.
Next to Matt sat Grady, Lee's husband in his entire Greek splendor. He was tall, about 6'4" with a very muscled physique and looked as if he had recently stepped off of the pages of GQ and seemed comfortable in his skin. Grady was a sweetheart on the in and out, especially when he was dealing with his wife or children.
"Yup! You all haven't changed much!" Christine stated resentfully. Tania looked at the petite framed blue eyed blonde who was only beautiful on the outside. She was also an actress, yet was nowhere as good as her brother, so she always lived in his shadow. Seeing Christine brought her attention to Mr. and Mrs. Michaels. Mr. Kendall Michaels was the friendly one, the one whom Tania had gotten along with famously, even during hard times. Mr. Michaels or Ken as she was allowed to call him was tall like Cameron, yet had thick dark hair like his oldest son Kevin with dark blue eyes. He was now a retired judge and enjoyed seeing his children make names for their selves. Mrs. Jennifer Michaels looked exactly like her daughter and it was from her that Cam had inherited his blonde hair and emerald green eyes. Yet unlike her husband who was warm and open, Mrs. Michaels was cold and exclusive.
"It is truly nice seeing you all again, we do wish it were under different circumstances!" Lauren
stated smoothly before Tania could say something she may have regretted.
"Well can you excuse us for a second? My sister and the rest of my girls should be awaiting me about now. We'll be right back!" Tania smiled as she turned to walk away.
"So you say!" Mrs. Michaels muttered receiving a glare from her husband.
"Are you okay Tania?" Lauren asked.
"Nope! But I'll be okay as soon as I get my princess!" Tania replied honestly.
"You let Jessie bring Tavia? Are you out of your mind?" Lauren asked then switched over to her Cajun French Creole in a sign of exasperation.
"Lauren, chill I can handle it!" Tania replied rolling her eyes.
"I sure hope so!" Lauren stated folding her arms as they walked towards gate 12.
"It's past time my baby meets her brother Suppose something happens to CJ and she never gets to feel him hold her or kiss her? I'd never forgive myself." Tania's voice broke up as she thought of how her life had become.
"It'll be okay!" Lee comforted wrapping her arms around her reassuringly. "There they are!" Lee exclaimed pointing to Tania's sister.
"Momma!" the high chirpish voice of a two year old was heard as they came into view of Tania's sister Jhene and her other best friends Monique Andrews, Jordan Hanna, Francine Martin and Ann Thompson.
"Hey baby! Momma missed you! How did you like staying with Nana?" Tania dropped to Tavia's level and hugged her lovingly.
"I missed you! Are we going home?" Tavia asked smiling brightly and bouncing her blonde curls.
"Nooo... we're going to visit your dad and your big brother. You will have so much fun!" Tania told her laughing at her saucer wide green eyes, eyes that were so like her father's and brother's.
"Hey Tan, how are you holding up? If you get tired of Miss Piggy here, her stroller is right over there and so is her stuff!" Jhene greeted smiling.
"Thanks Jhene!" Tan responded laughing as she hugged her sister in gratitude.
"No prob! Are we going to see my nephew now?" Jhene asked as the others chimed in with their concerns and wanting to see their little prince. They had all missed him.
"Well let's face the squad!" Ann responded securing Tavia into her stroller. They then turned back towards the lounge smiling as they passed the paparazzi and fans that to their surprise still recognized them after over two years. It had been that long since the split and they'd thought that with time it would have dulled the memory of them a bit, but it hadn't. When they walked into the lounge they were singing along with Tavia as she sung "This Little Light Of Mine!"
"Hey who is this little princess?" Matthew asked taken aback by the little girl's eerie resemblance to Cam.
"This is Natavia Angela Michaels! My baby daughter!" Tatania replied smiling.
"I gather that my son is her father?" Mrs. Michaels asked snidely and insensitively flipping her elegantly couiferred blonde hair out of her face.
"Gather what you may! You will anyway!" Tania responded then turned to Grady
smiling as she handed him Tavia.
"Tavia this is your uncle Grady he wants to get to know you! Tell him about your room." Tania said as she gathered up her purse. "Ya'll ready to go?"
"After you!" James responded. "We're going to the hospital so let's head outside to the limos."
"Which way?" Lauren asked.
"Just follow the guards!" Grady directed as he tried to dislodge Tavia's pudgy hands from his curls. "Typical child of Cam's can't listen to a word of warning." Grady teased. "Now Tavia wouldn't you much rather playing with your cousin Scott's hair?" Grady asked the baby as he handed her to Scott. "She can walk right?"
"Yup our girl can walk, talk, write her name, feed herself and say her ABC's. She's our little genius." Lauren related as Grady put Tavia down to walk beside Scott. As they walked the girls related their stories of Tavia's antics trying to make their way through the crowd towards the awaiting limos.
"We should be their in about ten minutes." James stated looking down at his watch. "Let's be off. CJ is waiting on his mom's arrival!"
"Unlike other's of us!" Christine grumbled softly yet loud enough for Tania to hear. Tania felt Ann's hand touch her shoulder reassuringly as Tania's eyes narrowed dangerously.
The moment they stepped out of the lounge they were bombarded by cameras and microphones. Flashes of lights went off around them startling Lillian and Tavia, causing the babies to begin crying in frustration. Tania tried to duck away from it all behind the wall of their security guards and airport security.
"Mrs. Michaels are you home to stay?"
"Mrs. Michaels does this mean that you and Mr. Peters are over?"
"Mrs. Michaels, can you tell us who the little girl is with you? Is it your husband's child?"
"Christine how has Ms. James taken the news of the reconciliation?"
"Is it true that CJ is sick with cancer?"
The questions took Tania back to a place that she had thought she had run from long ago. She had left Cam because she had missed her privacy and had hated seeing her pictures in Supermarket tabloids of her going shopping with friends, out to church or even just jogging with CJ in a stroller through the park. Tania had always felt ordinary, even when she'd begun modeling and could not understand how her life could pass as entertainment. The more it had become publicly displayed, the further she'd become to Cam.
Cameron had long before gotten used to being in the public spotlight and had expected her to let it go as he did. He had always expected her to be beside him at all of his award ceremonies and she would tag along but for each time felt so much more inadequate. She was only the little nineteen year old he'd met and courted as she'd been canvassing door to door Christian books. There was nothing special about her. She'd only been asked to model after tagging along with Lee one afternoon and the agent had thought that her inherently shy mannerism was a breath of fresh air.
She had modeled, and as she and Cam had gotten closer she'd become more popular. That was when she'd met Lauren, who had helped her through very tough times as a model. The more she had modeled the more imperfect and inadequate she felt around Cam and others around her. Then she'd married Cam and everyone had truly begun to seek after her.
Nothing had elated her more than when she'd found out that she was carrying CJ. She'd then had a reason to retire from modeling. But being a full time mother hadn't filled the void she'd begun to feel the more she became public fodder. Cam was never around, always going off to foreign places to shoot his films, so she was very lonely. Until she realized that the only solace she'd had to keep her safe was the word of God.
"It'll all be okay!" Jordan reassured Tania as they stepped into the limos away from the glare of the hot lights of the papparazzi's cameras. Dear Lord, please let everything be alright! Not for me but for CJ! Tania prayed silently as she settled into the limo and looked outside absentmindedly. I just cannot afford to loose him Lord! Take me instead Lord! Just take care of my baby!