86,400 Seconds 16


I rinse off quickly in the shower and get myself together for the night.  Considering all things I'm amazingly low maintenance.  I'm used to staying in nice places and traveling with a driver and personal assistants around Justin, but for me, a simple shower and some deodorant and maybe a splash of cologne and I'm out the door.  My hair is start enough that I don't have to mess with it other than getting it trimmed every so often, but other than that, I'm pretty much a teeth-brushing session away from being able to go anywhere.  I've always been this way, but it's gotten even worse since I started working in the industry that I work in.

For tonight, I wear jeans and comfortable shoes and as I'm looking for my bigger jacket for the evening, my phone rings again.  I grab it up and look at the screen with a smile.  Tonight is going to be fun.  It's been a while since the whole crew has gotten together and while I love hanging out with Justin and Vivian all day long, I need time every so often to get together with my co-works and just shoot the shit.  Everyone needs that.

When I check the screen I see that it's Loni on the line.  "Hey Big L."

"You in LA?" he asks.

"Yeah," I say not understanding what he's talking about.

The background noise around Loni is amazing and I'm reminded that he's probably already shown up at the party.  "You coming causally late or something?"

I look around instantly thinking that the time change has screwed with the schedule, but I remember that going from New York to LA is something that would be putting us early instead of late to events due to the change time.  "What time is it?"

"I'm just messing with ya T," he says.  "You've got plenty of time.  I was just gonna call you and tell you that traffic down here is a bitch right now so if you guys are coming down without an escort, you'd better count on being later than you want to be here."

"Shit," I say.

"You want a crew to come up and get you?"

Thinking about the added pressure of having Jayden with me tonight isn't helping me feel comfortable about this event.  "Naw," I say.

There is a lot of noise around Loni.  I don't know who all has shown up down there, but it seems like the place is crowded enough to make this evening a considerably successful venture.  Almost everyone around Justin knows that this project is going to be successful.  We just are waiting to see how successful it gets.  For most artists, if they break even or do reasonably well they'll be able to put out another album.  With Justin, he's got the whole world on his back and with that pressure comes along a lot of pressures for the rest of us.  We all are a part of this.  Strange little bits and pieces are doled out to all of us and we have to keep up our ends to make his end work.  "You sure?"

"Yeah."

Loni sits on the phone for a moment while he talks to someone who is standing next to him at the party.  "Naw.  I don't know when he's showing up....No.  I'm talking to my mom."

"Who was that?"

"You remember that girl Angel that always shows up at LA events."

"The crazy one that mooned Justin at the Viper Room and instantly became friends with the paparazzi?"

"Yeah," Loni says.  "That one."

I groan thinking about this girl.  We've had a pretty quiet night and having Angel show up at this event is going to throw a little excitement into the mix.  The girl is harmless really, not a threat at all, just a pest when it comes to hanging out and having friends who would break and arm and a leg to get some trash picture of Justin so that they can make a little money.  I understand that's what those guys do, but when it comes to protecting my charge, I have no issues at all, smashing cameras and such.  I've got a good lawyer and have never done something that I couldn't get myself out of.  "She's there?"

"Yeah," Loni says and then uses a valley-girl sounding voice, strange coming from a guy who is even larger than me.  "And she's perky."

"Oh god," I groan and grab my jacket and start to head down towards the first floor to see if I can get the gang together and out to the car.  "I'm gonna run and--"

The line went dead as Loni started to yell at someone.  It was common to be

Downstairs Paul is in the kitchen again this time stashing his beer bottle in the recycling bin that is under the sink.  I wave to him and point towards the ceiling hoping he'll tell me if the girls are ready or not.  He nods that they aren't.  "J?" I ask.

"Should be down in a bit," Paul said.

"Good."  I sigh.  "Loni is already out there.  It looks like there's a good crowd already."

Paul nodded.  "I hope tonight goes well.  He's worked so hard on this and it would just be heart breaking to see it--"

"See it what?" Justin came into the kitchen wearing dark pants, a t-shirt and a suit jacket.  He wears running shoes.  I'm glad for this.  If we're all in comfortable shoes, it's less likely that something will happen.  That one time in Scotland when the boys were wearing dress shoes and went slip sliding all over the slightly icy street taught us all a good lesson.  Traveling with good shoes was a must.  When Justin was with Britney and she'd wear those spiky heels I used to let Rob know that if she was going to fall over that we were going to leave her behind.

Rob cracked me up because he'd tell me that she was on her own if she started to fall over.  When the two of us found that video of her drunk coming out of a club half falling over we both had a good laugh.

"Daddy!"

I turn around and catch Jayden coming into the kitchen wearing a Justin Timberlake Justified T-shirt that hangs down almost to her knees.  She's looking straight eighties style with a belt around her waist.  Her hair is now up in a side ponytail and she's got a wristband on her hand.  She's not wearing make up.  Just a little lip gloss from what I can see and as she twirls around I find that she's wearing her little running shoes and jeans as well.  It's a perfectly reasonable outfit for her to wear.

"Wow pumpkin," I say.  "You look like a movie star."

Jayden comes to my side and grabs onto my hand.  I love it when she's like this.  She's a little girl and she's just having fun.  "Wait until you see Vivian.  She looks like a beauty queen."

"Really?" Justin says moving to the fridge he grabs out a beer and pops the top.  I give him a look and so does Paul.  He's definitely of age and neither of us can tell him not to drink, but having a beer before a media event really isn't encouraged.  We all know that people are going to be drinking tonight, but facing the red carpet on unsteady feet really isn't going to help things.

"Yeah." Jayden says.  "But I get to be your date tonight.  Vivian says so."

"Oh yeah?" Justin lifts his eyebrows at the thought as he lifts the bottle to his mouth.

"You have to stay with Vivian tonight," I say, "No running off.  No doing anything unless she's with you.  There are going to be a lot of people there and--"

"I know daddy," she says with a slight attitude.  I give her a look and she instantly stops speaking with that tone in her voice.  "Vivian and I are gonna eat ice cream sundaes in VIP.  She says that I can order whatever I want."

My eyes raise.  I don't know what Vivian is doing, but if it keeps Jayden out of trouble tonight I guess I can't be too upset about it.  I have to get through tonight without incident.  Its too important to let things get in the way.  "Oh really?"

"Yeah," she says, "After I eat a sandwich for dinner."

"Really?"

"Yeah."  She breaks away from me and goes towards Justin.  "Vivian says that I gotta ask you to make me a peanut butter sandwich."

Justin puts his beer down and looks at his step-father for a moment before looking back at my daughter.  "Why's that?" He asks.

"Cuz it's your peanut butter," Jayden says with a laugh.

"Oh," he says, "Ok silly."  He moves to tickle her a bit.  "Go grab out the bread and we'll make up a sandwich real quick that you can eat in the car."

"Ok."

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Last updated: 08/14/04.