chapter twenty - out of the shadows - part ii

Holy freaking crap!

She tried hard to keep her jaw tight and her mouth from falling open. But it was of no use. This was huge! She was in total and complete shock. Her senses were dulled and for the first minute or two all she could do was stare. She couldn't move, she couldn't breathe, she couldn't speak, she couldn't hear. Although she would swear later she thought she could hear Michael laughing quietly beside her.
Oh… oh my god, Oh my freaking gooood.... why the hell didn't he tell me?!? This was no little surprise. This was a ginormous huge colossal dinosaur of a surprise!
Finally her system took over. Her lungs took in a breath and let it out slowly. Her body automatically trying to calm her down even when she couldn't. She met her eyes, then looked away, then looked at Michael who was giving her his biggest smile.

Holy freaking crap... seriously? Elizabeth Taylor??

Oh no…. no….  you didn't. Crap Michael… crap, crap, crap! I am soooo going to kill you.
Elizabeth smiled up in her direction then towards Michael, "oh Michael she is absolutely lovely."
Michael wrapped his arm around Allison who still hadn't moved an inch or said a word.
Elizabeth looked back towards her, “hello Allison, it is so nice to finally meet you. Michael has done nothing but talk forever and a day about you.”
Allison swallowed looking at Michael then back at her. Oh my god, she is talking to me… Allison say something, say something back… anything…. Jesus, say something!
She licked her lips trying to get her tongue to work, then closed her eyes to steady herself before making her attempt to speak.
“Ms. Taylor, I, I , I don't know what to say…” she stuttered. “ I am at a loss for words, I’m so sorry… I mean I’m just so surprised to see you here.”
“Really,” she turned her attention to Michael and gave him a disapproving look, “didn't Michael tell you I was coming tonight?”
She shook her head slowly, rolling her eyes, finally managing to release a slow smile in her direction, “ahhh no… no, Michael likes to surprise me with these things.”
“Michael and his surprises,” she admonished giving him a stern look, but her eyes were smiling. “He is never happy unless he is hiding something from someone.” She returned her gaze to her, “but please Allison, call me Elizabeth.”
“Okay Elizabeth.”
Michael started to laugh as he moved to open the door of the limo for her, "yeah, never ever call her Liz, she hates it."
Elizabeth’s own throaty laughter joined Michael's, "exactly why I can't stand the press. Stupid, silly men shouting it out in all directions," she shook her head. "Insistent on calling me that when I've only mentioned a few hundred times over the last few decades not to."

Allison was still in disbelief as she listened to the two friends speak. She tried her best not to stare so adamantly at her, but she really was absolutely stunning… and her eyes… wow…. it was true, they looked purple. Well not really purple… but they had a deep purplish violet tone and her lashes were thick beyond belief. Allison would learn sometime later that Elizabeth actually had a double set of lashes. Caused by a rare genetic mutation called “distichiasis” it gave her an second full row of eyelashes, making her eyes look even more striking. She also appeared to be much smaller than she would have thought. She had seen in several tabloids and entertainment magazines that she had lost quite a bit of weight in the last year or so, but she never would have guessed her to be so small. Allison had no idea what she was expecting but to her it just seemed like she would somehow be bigger, taller and larger than life. However she was petite and her features were delicate and very refined. As Michael held the door open for her, Elizabeth scooted over so Allison could sit in along beside her.
She patted the plush velour fabric motioning her to sit in near her, “sit here so we can talk before we arrive.”
“Okay.” This was so surreal.
Michael took Allison’s hand to help her in before stepping in himself. Before taking his seat across from them, he kneeled on the floor and leaned over to kiss Elizabeth softly on her cheek.
“Thank you for coming,” he spoke quietly before settling into the soft seat. He let the driver know they were ready to go.

Michael couldn't stop himself from smiling. He sat back rather satisfied with himself that he had managed to arrange this meeting. Finally, he had his two favourite ladies in the world,  together in the same place, and he couldn't be happier. Michael had been wanting to introduce the two woman since last December when he realized that he was falling in love with Allison. By the time his tour kicked off its second leg in Kansas City he had already spoken at great lengths with endless detail to Elizabeth about her. He so wanted to introduce them so they could get to know one another…. and he had made a plan. Knowing how worked up Allison usually got when meeting the people in his personal life he had decided that a good time would be in New York at the annual UNCF anniversary dinner where he was to be honoured. Elizabeth would be speaking on his behalf, so there was no excuse for Allison not to meet her when they attended.  But the opportunity he was hoping for never materialized. The planned face to face dinner fell through when Allison had left the tour at the beginning of March.

However it turned out that tonight would be an even better time for them to meet. Elizabeth was already in Europe. Planning to attend several of Michael’s shows she had been staying at her chalet home in Gstaad, Switzerland. Michael had called her a few days ago when they arrived in Vienna, excited to share the news that Allison would finally be out and about with him. He also told her excitedly that she would attend the after party with him at the Belvedere Palace. But Elizabeth didn't  think that was a good idea and let Michael know it.
“Oh good gracious Michael, do you think that’s wise?”
“Why,” he asked surprised at her question. “What’s wrong with that?”
“Oh Michael, you know what those parties are like. The press is everywhere. Do you really want that to be the first time she is in public with you? They will be all over her.”
“We've already been out a few times here in Vienna and Rome too,” Michael explained. “Nobody’s has taken any notice or reported anything.”
Elizabeth let out an exasperated sigh, sometimes Michael was too unassuming. “Of course not Michael. Nobody is noticing her because you are the main attraction. No one knows why she is there. She is just another one of your endless assistants as far as everyone is concerned. Trust me, if you show up at the party with Allison on your arm, they are going to notice her and notice her right away. You know what the press is like.”
He let out a deep sigh, “I don’t know what else to do. I don’t want to wait forever to bring her out in public.”
“I am not saying you have to wait forever Michael. You just need, hmm, shall we say a little diversion. Something to throw the vultures off the trail and make her attendance look a little more natural.”
Michael chuckled, he knew how Elizabeth’s mind worked. They were like two peas in a pod and so very much alike. He knew immediately she was already thinking of a plan.
“What kind of diversion?”
Elizabeth went on to explain that she could attend the party with them and Allison could spend time with her while Michael attended to his duties. Telling him that, that way she wouldn't be thrown to the wolves and everyone would assume she was with her.
“Well I don’t want to hide that we are together either,” Michael jumped in on her explanation. He liked her thinking, but he didn't want to hide her.
“No of course not, you don’t have to. But you don’t have to show up with just her on your arm, you can show up with both of us. I know you want to show her off Michael. I know what you are thinking, but you need to take it slow. Pick your battles Michael, this is your first time here in a long time.”

By the end of the conversation Michael was convinced that it was not only the right thing to do, it was the best thing to do for everyone. The three of them would show up together, Michael would get to have Allison with him, but not leave her vulnerable to the press, he could attend to his required rounds without putting the pressure on her to walk-through with him and Elizabeth would be watching over her as they got to know one another.  He couldn't think of a better situation for their initial outing.  It would be perfect. Michael returned from his thoughts to catch part of their conversation.

“Yes. I do mostly weddings and christenings some family portraits as well, but my love… my passion is outdoor photography.”
Elizabeth nodded. “Hmm, yes. Michael told me that’s how he found you and how you two met.”
Allison eyes lit up as she smiled towards Michael blushing ever so slightly. “Yes. It was an unusual first meeting.”
Michael started to laugh remembering their initial meeting, “unusual that you almost fell in the pond.”
Her eyes widened in surprised and she shook her head at him, the blush in her cheeks becoming more noticeable by the minute.
“You were so nervous,” he continued.
“Ugh… Michael, of course I was nervous silly.”
Elizabeth reached over and slapped Michael lightly on his knee, “oh Michael you stop that right now. Everyone gets star struck with you and you know it.”
She winked at him before turning back to Allison, “don’t listen to him Allison, I have seen a lot of people meet Michael and I have yet to see one of them that didn't act like a complete fool the first time they meet him.”
Allison smiled agreeing, “yeah…. I've noticed it in action.”

They continued their easy conversation as the limo made its way through the busy streets. Vienna was alive in a golden hue of lights. All the famous landmarks were illuminated in warm yellow lights, the Imperial Palace, City Hall, the Opera House and the Giant Ferris Wheel, the slim spires of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, even many of the apartment complexes and restaurants were adorned in lights.
When the limo came to a stop to enter the gates, Elizabeth took Allison’s hand and explained her plan to her.
“Allison, I have to tell you that I came for a reason tonight,” she confessed.
“Hmm, what’s that?”
“Well, first and foremost I needed to meet the young lady that captured Michael’s heart.”
“Oh..” Allison couldn't help but blush at the compliment.
“But secondly because I want to make sure tonight is not too much for you.”
Allison looked between them apprehensively. On the ride over she had forgotten how nervous she was about the evening. But not anymore, “oh, ummm should I be more worried than I already am.”
“No girl you don’t have to worry,” Michael interrupted reaching to clasp his hand over hers.
“No there is nothing to worry about,” Elizabeth continued. “The press here are going to take notice of you. No doubt about it they will. But if we play it right, it does not have to be too big of a deal to them.”
Allison nodded slowly, unconvinced not to worry, “okay.”
The limo started to move again when it was their turn to enter the gates.
Elizabeth gave her a reassuring smile, “and we definitely don’t want them vying to get the biggest scoop of their careers at your expense.”
“Right,” she nodded. She was still nervous but she got the feeling that Ms. Taylor had a plan and she was going to become a good person to have on her side.

Michael rubbed his fingers over the top of her hand as the car wound around the driveway and up the slope to the palace.
“Okay we are almost there. You should stay close to me, okay? Elizabeth will be on my left side and you will be on my right, so don’t let go of my hand.”
“When we get out there will be lots of press and photographers around, but just ignore them and stay with me.”
“Got it,” she smiled trying to reassure Michael and herself. She was nervous and her heart was racing. She could only hope the entrance would go by quickly.

When the limo stopped so did her heart. They had arrived. Allison could already hear the commotion of the crowd outside.  It was a dull roar of shouting, screaming, It sounded like utter chaos out there. For a moment she thought Michael was going to open the door, but then it was pulled opened from the outside and she saw the familiar face of Bill Bray. She let out a quiet sigh of relief. Of course Bill would be there, why didn't she think of it earlier. There was no way Michael would go anywhere without his head of security as well as some sort of protection. He had obviously gotten there earlier to be ready for their arrival.

Bill’s large frame blocked them from the view of prying eyes. Looking directly at Michael he nodded.
“All set Mike. 40 feet till the entrance, Miko, James are  along the way”
“Alright, let’s go.”
Bill stepped back from the door blocking anyone from moving closer as Michael stepped out. The noise of the crowd suddenly grew louder. Allison was closest to the door, so she was next to exit to be followed by Elizabeth.

As soon as Allison stepped out of the limo there were hundreds of bright flashes of light blinding her. It was so bright she couldn't see anything at first and Michael brought her around so he could reach in and get Elizabeth hand.
Once they were all out, two security men flanked them on either side to escort them to the steps of the palace. Her left hand held on tight to Michael’s hand and her right clutched his jacket sleeve, making sure she didn't lose contact with him. The press and the fans swarmed around them pushing, shoving and yelling for Michael’s attention. Halfway through, Michael squeezed her hand tightly. The sounds were all jumbled together. Allison mostly heard the high pitched screams of his fans. But she could also hear them calling for him to look this way or for Elizabeth to look here. Just as they reached the steps to the palace entrance she could hear someone yell, “you, you, the girl, the girl in the polka dots….” but then that was all she heard as the stepped in in through the grand entrance.
“Well now, that wasn't too troublesome was it,” Elizabeth said matter-of-factly looking over at Allison smiling making her smile in return.

At the entrance a blonde, statuesque woman introduced herself as Anna Steiner, the palace representative, who had arranged the event with Michael’s staff. She was stunning and stood almost as tall as Michael. Speaking in perfect English she introduced the others that stood with her as well as a translator that would be in the ballroom if they should need any assistance with the language. She then escorted them to the lavish ballroom and announced their presence and Allison’s heart leaped into her throat when she heard her name along with Elizabeth’s and Michael. Obviously Ms. Steiner knew who she was without a formal introduction, she would have to ask Michael about that.

As Michael waved and greeted the first initial guests, Allison scanned the room, quickly counting the people in the room, trying to surmise the guests in attendance. The room looked completed different than it had the previous day when they had visited.  No longer completely empty, round tables covered in ivory linen with sparkling crystal vases of flowers  dotted the floor. The room was lite by tall old- fashion glass lamps that surrounded the entire perimeter. At the far end, overlooking the glass doors with the garden view, was a long oak bar with brass finishes and fixtures.

Beside the bar there huge champagne fountain with full glasses available for the taking. About a dozen, elegantly dressed, wait staff walked around the room with silver trays of drinks and hors d'oeuvre. She could hear contemporary classical music playing in the background. It was like a something out of 1930’s movie. All the woman wore beautiful dresses and pant suites and some of the  men wore tuxedos. It was glamorous and chic and Michael was the main attraction.

As they began to make their way around the room she noticed right away there seemed to be just as many press and photographers inside as there had been outside when they arrived. The only difference was they were a little more orderly. They had been invited and they would get the pictures they wanted… and they did. Everywhere they turned someone was taking their picture or wanting to pose with them. It gave her greater understanding as to why Michael wore his sunglasses all the time. After a while she started to see stars.

There were so many people there to just to see and meet Michael, it was hard to fathom. There were local dignitaries, famous actors and musicians, tour promoters, executives, all with their significant others…. All there for one man. It was overwhelming to her but Michael didn't seemed too fazed about it, but he didn't seem too keen on the idea either. She had seen that side of him before at the after party in Kansas. She knew how he was when meeting people. He was such a different person form the one that who took the stage to perform. Night after night she watched him get up in front of an arena full of thousands of screaming and frantic fans and each and every night he performed like it was no big deal. But put him in a room of full of people who wanted to meet him or talk to him and his innate shyness took over. He would immediately tense up and become quieter almost insecure.

Having Elizabeth there actually helped them both. Elizabeth was also shy by nature, but she knew how to work a room. She was from the old school of Hollywood, the golden age, where you were groomed and tutored on just about every facet of your personal and public life.  How to act, walk and talk in any setting. Elizabeth was the consummate professional she could definitely walk the walk and talk the talk. They made their way around the room, Michael did his best to talk with everyone and Elizabeth would always join in. A producer that she had worked with years ago happened to be at the party and they stopped and spoke with him for a while. Elizabeth even mentioned that she was a professional photographer. It was one of the few times she interacted with a guest during the entire evening. But that was no surprise and she really didn't mind. Obviously no one was going to pay that much attention to her. Everyone was interested in meeting Michael or Elizabeth. Even though each time they stopped or met someone new she was always introduced by either Michael or Elizabeth as Michael continued to hold her hand. But it seemed like no one noticed or really found it out of the ordinary and if they did, no one made any mention of it. It was almost like she wasn't there or rather that her attendance was not such a big deal.

If she had thought about it, she really shouldn't had been surprised. This party was no different from any other party. It was par for the course. It wasn't out of the ordinary for Michael to show up at a party or an event with a lady or two on his arms. She knew that, she had already expressed her fears of his lady friends. He always had a ‘date’ with him, but up until now it was just never her. Of course, it didn't hurt that Elizabeth was there on the other side of Michael, holding his hand. But the truth being, no one knew who she was and no one asked. She could have been an American actress or heiress for all they knew.

So unexpectedly as the evening progressed Allison found that she had begun to relax slightly. She enjoyed the grand surroundings of the ballroom as she watched and took in the varied conversations between the many guests. The rich and famous hobnobbing with each other, toasting with wine and champagne, nibbling on caviar. She especially enjoyed the constant babble between Michael and Elizabeth. If she didn't know better she would be insanely jealous.  Seeing them together throughout the evening reminded her of her relationship with Val.

You could tell they were very close friends and they knew the intimate details of one another’s lives. What they shared was a true and genuine connection. She could instantly see why Michael loved Elizabeth and vice versa.

Near the end of the evening as they were getting ready to make their exit, Allison excused herself to go to the ladies room to freshen up. As she washed her hands she gazed up at her reflection in the mirror and gave herself a reassuring smile.
Not bad, she thought as she adjusted her dress smoothing it out down her legs.
Not too bad for your first time out Ms. Wolf.
Overall she was feeling pretty good about the evening and thought that perhaps it could only get better and easier as she attended more parties with him.

As she exited the ladies' room, a hand grasped hers and pulled her to the side. Her heart nearly jumped out of her chest unknowing who it was. She looked up and she met his eyes briefly.
Allison smiled relieved, “hey, hi.”
Michael rubbed his hands up and then down her bare arms to clasp her fingers in his. He looked over her shoulder quickly, “girl you did good tonight.” He smiled warmly, “you did better than good, you did great.”
“Yeah,” she nodded. “It was easier than I thought,” she admitted.
Michael was pleased. He was so happy to have her here with him and even happier she had enjoyed the evening. “Really? You didn't find it too hard?”
She shook her head, “nope, not hard at all. To be honest, I’m not even sure anyone even noticed that I was here. She shrugged happily, “but that’s fine by me.”
“What do you mean by that?”
She laughed, “Michael… really…. who is going to notice me when I am here with you and Elizabeth Taylor? I’m meat and potatoes compared to you two. But really, I don’t mind.”
Her eyes widen as she slapped him playfully, remembering she was mad at him, “which by the way mister, thank you so very much for surprising me with that. Honestly Michael, you are terrible.”
“What, what did I do now?” Michael giggled knowing he did something he forgot about.
“You could’ve at least told me that Elizabeth was joining us. Jeez you almost gave me a heart attack!”
Michael laughed, “girl please! If I had told you she was coming you woulda been all crazy with yourself and fretting with worry… setting me crazy too I might add. This way you got to meet her and you didn't get all out of sorts like you always do.” He gave her a satisfied smile knowing he was dead on.
“Tsk Michael,” she gave him a pout. Dammit, he was right. Her NOT knowing was better. She would have been a complete wreck waiting to meet her. But he didn't have to point it out. He knew her well.
“Girl, don’t pout, when you looked so beautiful all night.”
Michael took her chin between his thumb and forefinger and rubbed the pad of his thumb along the edge of her bottom lip, “even if you are just meat and potatoes,” he whispered leaning in to kiss her lightly on her forehead.
She smiled at his quip, “okay.” Damn him, she could never be mad at him.

They returned to the ballroom to find Elizabeth, Michael leading the way, ensuring to keep Allison close to him, but making it look casual. After a few good-nights and several thank you’s they left the party to return to the limo. There were only a few die hard photojournalist milling about and they left with a lot  less fanfare than when they arrived.
On the ride back Elizabeth was the first to speak, “so Allison, what were your impressions?”
“It was good, I think. I mean it was like I told Michael I don’t think many people noticed I was there.”
Elizabeth folded her hands together and smiled, “you think so?”
“Well it seemed like it anyways,” Allison replied.
Elizabeth smiled knowingly, “don’t kid yourself, they noticed you for sure. Oh yes indeed.  I can practically guarantee it.”
Allison throat suddenly closed as her mouth went dry. She swallowed keeping a lump from forming in her throat, “really? Is that bad? What.. what does that mean?”  She looked between Elizabeth and Michael.
“Oh dear there is no need to worry,” Elizabeth assured her. “But I know the press, and I know Michael. I am pretty sure they took notice of you tonight. Who they think you are or what they might be thinking, that I cannot say. But I can say with100 percent certainty, they noticed you tonight and you were the most important guest on the list.”

To be continued….

Authors’ note: Hello my lovely readers. I do apologize for the delay in getting this short chapter to you. It has been a hectic few months for me… so I just haven’t had time. But please do know that I am committed to this story. Things are easing up now so I promise the next chapter won’t be so long of a wait. Thank you all for your patience with me getting this out.


  1. Yeah, I'm thinking Ally was definitely noticed. Tabloids will have to do exposes to find out who the identity of girl on Michael Jackson's arm.
    Oh and I do think ( if I were Ally) I would not have been able to avoid the green-eyed monster when it came to Michael and Elizabeth. Hard to compete with purple eyes. hahaha

  2. Wow Ally got to meet Elizabeth Taylor..what a way to shock the media...into not realizing who this Other girl was on Michael's arm.. I think the press is going to have a field day.....I am so happy to have read three updates..and will have to check tumblir more regularly for updates. Great update C

  3. Ah the brilliant Elizabeth Taylor. What amazing woman! Allison was lucky to have her there. Although Michael deserves a slap in his gorgeous butt for pulling this stunt on her.

    Any woman on Michael's arm is going to attract attention so I am anxious to see where this is going.

  4. Hello my lovely E. Yes we both agree Ms. Taylor is a fabulous woman.. the more I read about her the more I am amazed by her. She was quite the person... and the perfect lady to help Ally get through the night.. althought I agree, I think some attention will go Allison's way... but we shall see.

    Now now... get in line for the slapping of that sweet Michael tush... it is so cute, i wanna smack it a few times! :) It may be a while, so I will let you know when I am done. Thanks for commenting...

  5. Hi again Nancy... you got spoiled reading three updates at once, when I am normally so slow! :)
    Pretty neat she got to meet Elizabeth before the party... and I do think it might have surprised the press, but I think they may have noticed another brunette on the other side of Michael.

    Thanks for commenting.

  6. Hi Trish... so you are certain Allison was noticed eh? Exposes? Hmmm you never know. They will have to do something, coz we know Michael will not be talking and now she seems liked someone worth looking into.

    Thanks for commenting... and no need to worry about that jealousy for Ally with Liz... Michael is totally devoted to her.



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