Michael is patiently waiting in their private villa that is reserved for houx and him in Honolulu. One of the reasons he made sure to pick this place was its privacy and right now that was the critical thing they needed. He cannot wait to hold her in his arms, touch her again, feeling her skin, telling her that he loves her in person. Michael looks over at the alarm clock on the nightstand and realizes that Holly's plane should have landed twenty minutes ago, and she never called to say she was on her way. They always agreed to do that so that way the other could heave a sigh of relief knowing they were out of the air. To calm his nerves, Michael walks out onto the balcony that overlooks the Pacific Ocean montrer beautiful crystal blue waters rippling in the tidal waves. If he looks hard enough, he can see a group of turtles circling together below. The sight makes him smile but something feels off, and he doesn't know what. Maybe it’s not understanding why houx hasn't called him yet, but internally he is trying to act rationally. Maybe the plane didn't leave on time, and it's still in the air, ou she just forgot. Yes, that just could be it. He sighs out loud and rubs the back of his neck trying to calm his nerves. The growing of scuffing shoes grows closer until the sound is behind him it belongs to Bill. Michael turns his head to look back at him. "Bill, where is she?" "I don't know, Mike. I've been calling' Lana, and she won't pick up the phone." Michael sighs again rubbing his neck harder this time. He hates waiting when he's nervous especially about Holly. "Just hang in there Mike, I'm sure she'll be here soon enough," Bill says patting Michael on the shoulder as a caring father would do. Sometimes Michael feels like Bill is his father compared to Joseph who when he heard Michael was staying in Honolulu to be with houx gave him a five-minute talk about not to get her pregnant. The thought makes Michael roll his eyes at Joseph’s insolence.

The phone rings in the bedroom making Michael slightly relax. Bill réponses it quickly knowing Michael is worried about houx wondering where that girl is himself. “Hello? Lana, why didn’t toi answer when I called you? She’s what? Hold on a second." Michael turns around to face Bill who looks pale with a grim face. "Bill, what's wrong? Where's Holly?" "Mike, just remain calm, but Holly's in the hospital in L.A." Suddenly all the blood feels like it is rushing out of his face and his legs feel like Jell-O, unable to support his weight. Michael charges towards the phone. "I wanna talk to Lana,” he barks out before picking up the phone receiver. “Lana, this is Michael, tell me she’s okay.” He can hear her sigh over the phone line. “She’s pretty messed up, Michael, she hasn’t woken up yet. toi better come right away.” It feels as if all the air is being sucked out of his lungs where he can’t breathe, ou that this is some terrible nightmare and he’s waiting for it to end. But the scary part is knowing that this isn’t a dream this is real and its happening right now. “I’m on my way,” he says before hanging up. He looks over at Bill who looks concerned. “Bill, get me on the suivant flight out,” he says grabbing his suitcase stuffing stuff in the drawers his hands shaking as he does try to keep control. "Mike I don't know if there are any plus flights out today." "Then charter one!" Michael barks looking at Bill before he continues to pack more. Bill doesn't say anything but leaves out of the room to do his job.


On the plane ride back as Michael there looking out the window the entire time thinking about Holly. What could have happened? How bad is her condition? What will her recovery time be? These are questions that he needs réponses too, but all he wants at this very moment is to see her, to touch her and know she will be all right. For five and a half hours he sits in agony pondering over these questions; it kills him to know there is something wrong with his houx and there is nothing he can do. No amount of money he could throw at this situation can fix it ou make it go away making him feel utterly helpless, and he loathes this feeling. He has never had to face this problem before of inadequacy. From the landing of the plane to the car ride to the to the hospital Michael has never wanted to get somewhere so badly. His ultimate fear is that he would get there and she would be dead. No, he must not think like that…he has to remain positive, if not for himself then at least for Holly.

Inside the hospital, he and Bill make it to the ICU where he doesn't give a damn about using the front entrance ou going up to the nurse's station. "Excuse me, I need the room number of houx Williams, please. She was brought in several hours ago." The young red-haired nurse looks up from her clipboard and does a double take as she sees Michael standing before her. She looks down and bites her lip, blushing hard, and at this point, Michael does not have it. "Miss this is extremely important, please. Can toi give me the room number?" "I'm sorry, Mr. Jackson, but I can't let toi in unless toi are family." "I'm her boyfriend, so that makes me her family." "Not according to the law it doesn't," she says with a sad shrug. "This is just ridiculous!" Michael says with anger. Bill grabs him par the shoulder to cool his emotions as everyone sitting around begins to look up and observe the scene. "Mike, don't make a scene," he murmurs in his ear. "I don't care!" He says looking back at him with flared nostrils. "I know Holly, she would want me with her, and she won't even tell me how she is!" "Let me find Lana," Bill says calmly trying to take Michael away from the nurse's station as everyone begins to look at them. "I have money, and I don't have any shame in bribing you," Michael says breaking out of Bill's hold and standing in front of the intimidated nurse once more. "Mr. Jackson, if I had authority, I would let toi in, but unfortunately this is hospital policy." "Fuck the hospital policy!" Michael shouts banging his fist on the desk. Bill stands behind gaping at him for swearing. In all his years working security he never once heard Michael swear, until today.

"Michael!" Lana shouts coming down the corridor. She looks tired and on edge, and it frightens Michael. Michael walks towards her slowly with his limbs feeling like lead once again. “Tell me how she is, please Lana,” he asks hoarsely looking down at her strong stature who even at this moment looks frail. Lana takes a deep breath looking down at the orange tiled floor before looking up. “She just woke up half an heure ago.” Michael heaves a large sigh of relief. houx woke up; everything else can be dealt with now. “But she’s pretty banged up, Michael.” “How bad?” “Let’s see, she has four broken ribs, both her shoulders are dislocated, a concussion, fractured collarbone, and a sprained wrist. But no internal bleeding, thank God." "Are the doctors double checking?" "I have them triple check, don't toi worry." "How did this happen?" He asks as they déplacer to the side of the mur where they can talk in plus privacy. Lana shakes her head with dismay. “What the police determined and what onlookers a dit was that on her way accueil from the studio a car came at her head on and that houx tried to get off the berm as much as she could. She was smart enough to get over as much as she could because if she hadn't, they told me it would have been fatal."

Michael clutches his stomach in nausea at the thought. He can’t imagine what houx must have gone through seeing that car coming for her, trying desperately to get off the road as much as she could, knowing she had nowhere else to go. Michael momentarily closes his eyes, rubbing his forehead before looking back at her. “What happened to the person?" "Walked away without a scratch. The goddamn bastard was so drunk he just moved with the wreck. Of course, the mustang is completely gone, so I need to take care of that tomorrow." "Did toi tell Holly's family?" Lana rolls her eyes. "Oh, I did." "And?" "And except for Kenny, nobody is coming; I talked to Mrs. Williams, who very rudely told me that she was too busy to come." Michael shakes his head in dismay at Holly's mother's behavior. "Lana, let me see her, they let toi go back with her so why can’t I?” "Because, I'm her manager and I take care of everything, but let me go back and speak with the doctor, I will take care of it. Just give me a few minutes, for right now go sit down over there, and I'll come to get you." She turns to go back through the double doors, but Michael stops her before she does. "Lana." She stops and turns around to look at him. "Yes, Michael?" "Thank you…for everything." She nods. "My pleasure, don't worry, I'm not losing this girl as a client yet. Now sit tight." When she walks back through the double doors, Michael plops himself in one of the waiting chairs beside Bill. Bill looks over at Michael with concern. “You want me to get toi anythin', Mike?" Michael shakes his head slowly looking out into the l’espace of the waiting area looking and feeling vacant. "No, I just want to see Holly."

The minutes slowly creep par as he waits, looking around the waiting room seeing everyone hunched over looking at dated magazines, the smell of disinfectant lingering in the air, and thinking about houx and the pain she must be in makes him feel dizzy. Suddenly he hears the double doors balançoire, swing open where Lana is standing there. “Come with me,” she says calmly. Michael gets up and quickly follows her through the doors and into another corridor where it leads to a line of patient bedrooms and another nurses station. Michael can tell Holly’s is the last door at the end of the hall because her security is standing outside. “Now be prepared, she is groggy from all the medication they have her on, plus she is vomiting off and on from her concussion. Go on in, I'll give toi two some privacy," she says backing away from the closed door. Michael sighs before opening it up. When he does, it is gentle, making a creaking sound. When he steps inside the room, all he hears is beeps of machines and the figure of houx laying in lit covered under white blankets with her eyes closed. The closer he walks towards her, the plus he realizes how badly mangled her face is with both eyes blacked and blued, her hair pulled back in a makeshift ponytail, and bandages around her collarbone, and wrist with an IV coming out of her other hand. Holly’s eyes slowly open towards him, he smiles trying to hide the tears that are welling up behind his eyes. “Hey, baby,” he says sitting down in the chair beside the bed. She groans and opens her eyes plus to look at him fully, her eyes are bloodshot as Michael observes. “Michael?” “Yes, I’m here my love, now if toi wanted to meet me in a change of venue toi could have just a dit so,” he says with a forced chuckle touching the haut, retour au début of her hand. “I didn’t want toi to see me like this,” she remarks looking away from him. "You're still beautiful to me," he adds back touching her cheek with his palm. When she looks back at him, her eyes are filled with tears. “Hey, don’t cry it will only make toi feel worse,” Michael says looking at her intently “I’ve missed toi so much, and now I ruined our trip…I'm Such a failure as a girlfriend," she says crying now. Michael knows this has something to do with the medication. "Don't say that none of this is your fault." "I shouldn't have gone to the studio this morning; I should have stayed accueil like planned." houx is full on sobbing now loud enough for the nurses outside and Lana to come rushing in. "What's going on in here?" Nurse number one asks with a condescending tone jouer la comédie as if Michael was upsetting her.

Michael shrugs still holding the haut, retour au début of Holly's hand looking up at all of them. "We were just talking, and suddenly she burst out into tears." "She's just hysterical, that's all," Nurse number two says with calm serenity. "I'll go get her something," Nurse number one says walking quickly out of the room. "Baby, please calm down, I'm here, everything is going to be okay now," Michael says trying to reason with her, but houx cannot stop uncontrollably crying and sobbing. Nurse Number one comes back in with a syringe in her hand. “What are toi giving her?” Michael says defensively, covering her hand before the nurse tries to stick it in. “Something to calm her down, now please Mr. Jackson let us do our work,” she says with hostile. A few moments after she sticks the syringe on the haut, retour au début of Holly's hand she calms reduced to only sniffles. Michael wipes the tears from his eyes as they fall freely now seeing her this way. Lana touches the side of his arm, "Michael, it's best to leave her tonight and come back tomorrow." "I can't leave her…not like this," he croaks out looking at her now very peaceful with her eyes closed. "She is not herself, Michael. Leave her be tonight, and I promise if I have anything to say about it she will be better tomorrow." Michael looks down at Lana and nods sadly before turning away and out of the room. As the door closes, he wipes his eyes again. “Where’s the man that hit her? Tell me what happened to him.” “They arrested him for DUI, and under the circumstances, he won't be getting out on bail any time soon." "Good because if he was anywhere, he was near this place right now I would kill him with my bare hands," Michael says with anger. "Calm your jets wonder boy; houx doesn't need toi to go play the hero right now. I assume you'll be coming tomorrow to visit her?" "Do toi have to ask?" Lana shrugs her shoulders and nods her head. “Right, my mistake. Now toi are going to thank me in your prayers tonight because I did talk to the doctor again and he did say that Holy will make a full recovery so rest easy tonight, Michael.” Internally, Michael feels a thousand pounds lighter. “When Kenny comes par again tomorrow I will let him know too.” Michael nods his head in agreement. “Alright.” “Now get some sleep, Michael.”


But that was the last thing Michael got that night. Later that evening he sat in the apartment at the edge of the lit thinking about houx and the accident. The flashes of her today seemed to haunt him plus than he wants to admit. Nothing he seems to do is helping him go to bed, but the one thing that is particularly bothering him is Mrs. Williams not coming to the hospital. The plus he thinks about it, the plus it makes his blood boil. Without thinking he suddenly grabs the phone receiver and begins to dial the Williams’ accueil phone number. It rings three times until Mrs. Williams réponses it with a grunt. “Mrs. Williams.” “Who’s this?” “This is Michael.” “Do toi realize, Michael that it’s eleven p.m.?” “That’s good, that mean’s I woke toi up and disrupted your sleep kinda like how mine is disrupted par worrying about Holly." Mrs. Williams sighs. "Michael this is hardly appropriate." "No, toi know what isn't appropriate, Mrs. Williams? Is treating your daughter as an employee for years until she decides to go her own way and then treat her like a leaper." "Michael toi are not family, and toi don't' know our family issues." "Maybe so, but I know houx better than toi know Holly. I know toi don't approve of us…in fact I know many who don't, but for once in your daughter's life, she is happy. And as her boyfriend I just called to tell toi this, houx is lying in the hospital right now with four broken ribs, a fractured collarbone, a concussion, and a sprained wrist, so I'm here to tell toi what’s real about this situation…I don’t care what toi think about me ou our relationship, but that gives toi no excuse for being a pitiful mother. avaler, hirondelle your damn pride, get in your car, and come down and see your daughter, tomorrow!" Michael hangs up the phone with a slam. If houx were sitting here beside him right now, she would be proud of him, and the thought makes him smile. Maybe she has rubbed off on him after all. Today he has not acted himself, and he realizes it, but when it comes to Holly, he will déplacer the hell on earth to defend and protect her.


The suivant morning Michael goes to the hospital bright and early trying to avoid the crowd of fans that have assembled outside the hospital entrance because of Holly's accident. When Bill stopped for gas before they left for the hospital, he saw all the newspaper stands plastered with photos of Holly's mangled red mustang making Michael turn away from the pictures. When he arrives on the floor, he is automatically taken back to Holly's room without protests from the nurses, in the back of his mind Michael knows it was Lana's doing. Walking towards her room he sees a woman walk out with a bent head vaguely resembling Holly. As he gets closer to her, he realizes it is Mrs. Williams dressed in all black. She looks up and notices Michael without saying a word to him. It makes Michael smile that even he was able to get Mrs. Williams to do something. Inside the room he observes houx sitting up in her lit with the same amount of tubes and beeps coming out and around her. She sees Michael walks in and weakly smiles looking less pale today. "Michael," she says warmly. Michael feels a wave of relief wash over him seeing houx in a better state today. "How are toi feeling today, my love?" he asks s’embrasser the haut, retour au début of her head before sitting down in the same chair as yesterday. "Tired…very tired and sore.” “So you’re not in pain?” She shrugs her shoulders, “Come and goes. I’m glad you’re here though.” She reaches out and takes his hand weakly, which he happily complies. “Where’s Lana?” “Terrorizing some poor nurse, most likely. Did toi see mom came to visit me?” “I did.” “I didn’t think she would come, ou want to, and she only a dit three mildly passive aggressive things to me while she was here.” “Then it was a success.” He kisses her hand with his lips.

"I am sorry Hawaii is ruined." "Don't apologize, we're still together, and that's all that matters, and I'm just happy you're safe. I think after this you've donné me some grey hairs." He chuckles where houx lightly joins it with a small smile. "Good, it can match these shiners, here," she remarks pointing to her black and blue eyes that look like she was repeatedly punched. Michael chuckles and grabs her chin to inspect them closer. “Look at those bad boys toi got there, and I’m sure you’ll wear them with a badge of honor.” “Don’t make me laugh,” she says with a small smile lying further back in the pillows as she feels her ribs give her a sharp stabbing pain, making her lose her breath for a moment. “I’m sorry, would toi like me to go so toi can rest?” “Don’t toi dare,” she says grabbing his hand tighter, “I’ve dreamt of holding your hand for so long and now when I do it hurts my wrist,” she adds sadly looking down at their locked hands. Michael returns the sad smile. “What can I do to help you?” “Just give me a kiss, Michael.” “Are toi sure? I don’t want to hurt you.” “That’s the last thing toi can do to me?” Michael stands up and touches her lips with his gently not wanting to hurt her. For Holly, this feels like a soothing tonic out of this blanket full of pain, misery, and bullshit.

Lana suddenly barges in breaking their kiss. "Well, I see somebody is feeling better. See Michael; I told toi I'd get her feeling better today," she says coming in with a smile as look at her. Michael smirks at her, "I never doubted you, Lana." "Well, I got some great news, I was able to get the camera crews to leave the premises, and I started the paperwork for the insurance money on the car.” houx grimaces. “I forgot all about the car…my beautiful Mustang.” “You’ll get another one, baby,” Michael says touching the side of her arm. “Oh and I forgot to tell toi that your aunt called while toi were napping this morning,” Lana remarks. Holly’s eyes widen. “Aunt Lynda? What did she say?” “She heard about the accident and wanted to talk to toi what toi felt up to it, which reminds me toi don’t want to see the piles of fan letters you’re receiving.” houx smiles, “Michael can toi hand me the phone, please?” Michael hands her the phone off the side table. “You never told me toi had an Aunt Lynda,” “Just another fruit loop to the bowl in my family, but she is someone I actually like.” houx slowly dials the number trying not to wince out in pain at the task. “You want me to do it?” Michael asks cautiously as he notices her pained expression. “No, I can do it.” “Before toi call your aunt, do toi need anything, Holly? I have to head across town to see John Branca about some legal stuff for you, but I'll be back in an hour." "What legal stuff?" she says putting the receiver down. "When toi get feeling better then we'll talk about it." "Just tell me now," houx demands. "About suing the man who hit you." houx sighs and looks up at the ceiling before looking back at Lana. "I don't know about that, Lana." "Baby, let's not get too hasty…he could have killed you." "Yes, but he didn't, and the last thing I want right now is to drag this out with some lengthy lawsuit with someone who most likely doesn't have a dime to his name." "Oh no, he does," Lana remarks, "I've been doing some digging, and he is one of L.A.'s premier plastic surgeons, he's loaded." "But I already have enough money; I don't need more." Michael sits down again and grabs her hand again hoping maybe she will listen to him, usually he is not a suing man himself, but this time he wants blood from this man after making houx go through this trauma.

"Holly, if toi sue this man, toi would be setting an example of how drunk driving is not acceptable, it's the least he could do." houx sighs again, clutching the phone handle so hard it makes her wrist throb, after moments she looks at both of them. "Fine. But whatever money we do receive, I don't want it. Instead, I want to make a foundation for victims who have been through this and it can help them with whatever they need…I can't think of specifics right now, my head still hurts." Michael smiles proudly at her choice and kisses her on the forehead. "I'll let John know of your decision," Lana says before leaving the room. “I’ll give toi some time alone to talk to your Aunt, but I’m not leaving, I’ll be right outside if toi need me.” houx smiles. “You don’t have to stay here, Michael, I’m fine.” “There’s nowhere else I want to be but here.” He kisses her hand and walks out leaving her alone to make her phone call.

Again, she slowly punches the tiny keys on the phone box before putting the receiver up to her phone, it aches to hold it in her hand because of her wrist, and she realizes she can’t place it on her shoulder because of her collarbone. Four rings later the same sweet voice greets her making her feel like she was six years old again. “Hello?” “Aunt Lynda…” “Sugar baby! How in the world are you? I heard toi were in that car wreck and I told Greg that I had to call toi and see how toi were.” Her voice is dripping in pure southern hospitality and Houston lingo making houx miss home. “I’m fine, pretty banged up.” “Is Michael takin' care of you?" "How do toi know about Michael and me?" "I read everythin’ about toi since your mama won’t talk to me.” “It’s been eight years since I’ve seen you,” houx croaks out her eyes welling up with tears. “I know sugar; I tried though, please know that…but toi know your Mama, she didn't want me around your kids anymore. But I have watched toi sweetheart, and I am so proud of toi and everythin’ you’ve done so far…” Aunt Lynda’s voice sounds choked up with emotion. "Well, now things are different…mom isn't managing me anymore." "I heard that through Kenny, he called me this morning. When toi get out of the hospital would toi like to come down here and we can talk and catch up? I want to see your sugar, and it may do toi some good." "To Houston?" houx hasn’t been to Houston there since she was thirteen because her mom would not allow it, she thought going back there was beneath them. “You can even bring your fella with ya, and we would l’amour to meet him.” “I’d have to discuss it with him first, but I'd l’amour to come down for a couple of days." "I'm excited sugar! toi talk with Michael and let me know about him and when toi are coming down, we will be ready for you." houx smiles. “I will.” “Holly…” “Yeah, Aunt Lynda?” “I l’amour ya, baby.” “I l’amour toi too.”

For twenty minutes after houx looks out the window thinking about Aunt Lynda and wondering if Michael would consider coming down with her to Houston. It seemed like a significant step, but it felt right, after all, he did tell her he loved her. To hear Aunt Lynda's voice for the first time in years makes her long for those years when she was younger, and she would go over to visit her when she was little. Some of her happiest memories were with Aunt Lynda and Uncle Greg. She hears the door open again. Looking over she sees Michael walking in with his hands in his pockets with a smile on his face seeming curious. "Hey, how was your call?" She smiles. "It was great; I haven't talked to her in years." "Hence why toi never told me about her," He remarks with a wink. "It's a long story," she says grabbing his hand for security. "I got time if toi want to talk about it." She shakes her head, pressing his hand against her cheek, "Not really. She invited me down to Houston after I get released from the hospital, and I want to go…she also invited toi as well." Michael's eyes widen as he looks down at her with surprise. "Really? She wasn't angry with toi and me?" "Aunt Lynda isn't that type of woman. She and Uncle Greg want to meet toi that's if toi want to go."

To know a couple of Holly's family members want to meet him makes him feel good inside like he is being accepted as Holly's boyfriend…finally! “Once toi get feeling better and the doctor gives toi the go ahead I’ll be happy to go with toi and meet your aunt and uncle.” “Really?” “Really, really.” “You know it’s a big step meeting the family, ya know?" "I've already met your family." "Yes, but this is family that I like it will be different, so be prepared they may ask toi a lot of questions." Michael chuckles. “Questions don’t frighten me. Just get better so we can go, baby.” “I will, I promise.” “Promise me one plus thing.” “Anything,” she says. “Promise me you’ll never scare me like this again.” She smiles. “I promise, you’re not going to lose me.”