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Episode 103

 

Release Date:  September 4, 2009

 Read the episode Recap

 

Previously...

Kyle told Brooke that he was the son of Will Thomerson and Maureen Adams, an actress Will produced on Broadway. David confronted Kyle and warned him to stay away from Brooke.  Alex and Kyle made love.  T.T. warned Kyle not to cause trouble and to forget about the past.  Renee broke it off with T.T. while on their cruise.  Before leaving the ship and flying back to New York, T.T. mailed a key and a note to David claiming that it would lead him to answers about Kyle. Benji grew suspicious when Brett started hanging around Suzanne at the new house.  Joba Branigan, an acquaintance of Benji's, invited him and Blake to a wild party but Benji said he didn't want to go.  James criticized Brooke for losing the rights to The Stanoff to Brett.  Brooke and Stormy theorized that Jackie might have sabotaged the deal.  Alex's agent, Vince Campbell, got her the role Suzanne turned down on the daytime soap The Young at Heart.  Miranda, Eddie and Quinn arrived in Storm Lake to search for Magnum.  Aftering growing suspicious of Quinn, Miranda took a fall and hurt her ankle.

 


 

Episode 103

"Tonight"

 

The camp’s nurse examined Miranda and gave her the good news that her ankle wasn’t broken.  She had suffered a mild sprain as a result of her fall down the steps from her cabin, requiring her to keep off of her feet for the next few days.  After getting her settled in bed, propping up her leg with a pillow, and collecting a stack of magazines from the female campers, Eddie went in to make sure she was comfortable.

“This sucks,” Miranda groaned, dropping a copy of last month’s Readers Digest and throwing her head back.   “How am I supposed to help you guys find Magnum if I’m stuck here in bed?”

“You’ll have to stay here,” Eddie insisted, rubbing her hands in his. 

“Maybe the nurse has crutches I can use,” she suggested, eyes lighting up.

“No way.  We’re hiking up to the other side of the lake.  It’s way too dangerous for someone in your condition.”

Miranda groaned again.  “My condition.  God, you make it sound like I’m terminal.”

Eddie grinned.  “We’ll be back as soon as we can.  The girls will be back from stage combat class in a little while and then they’ll be here to keep you company.  Do you need anything else?”

“Oh great.  Stuck in a cabin with eight pre-teen girls.  Can’t wait.” 

He kissed her warmly, pushing her dark hair from her eyes and fluffing the pillow behind her head.  The door opened and Quinn entered.  Miranda craned her neck in her direction, still unsure of why she had such a bad feeling about her. 

“Sorry.  I didn’t mean to interrupt,” Quinn said, hoisting her backpack over her shoulder.   “Miranda, how are you feeling?  I can’t tell you how horrible I feel.  This is all my fault.”

Miranda shook her head dismissively.  She didn’t care to make the girl feel any worse than she already did.  Besides, her brother was missing.  She’d have to cut her some slack.  “Don’t worry about it.  It was an accident.”

“You’re so sweet.”  She walked up and put a hand on Eddie’s shoulder.  “It just sucks that you have to stay here instead of coming with us.”

“She’ll be fine,” Eddie said.  “She needs to rest that ankle.  Right babe?”

“Right,” Miranda said through gritted teeth.  She was perfectly aware of the flirtatious way Quinn touched him.  She just had to keep reminding herself of the reason they were there.  To find Magnum.  Besides, Eddie and Stormy both had said what a sweet girl Quinn was.  Absolutely nothing to worry about.

“Okay, we should get going,” Quinn said, hand still resting on Eddie’s arm.  She squeezed his bicep and flushed with excitement.  “Wow, Eddie, I had no idea you were so buff these days.  You’ve really changed since high school.”

“I call it the gun show,” Eddie said with a grin, flexing his arms.  He looked at Miranda and waved as they made their way to the door.  “See you later babe.”

Laughing, Miranda waited until the door was closed before throwing her magazine across the room.  Wow, Eddie, I had no idea you were so buff,” she said, mimicking Quinn in an exaggerated high-pitched voice.  “Whatever.  I hope you both drown in the lake.” 

Alex's Condo

Back in Los Angeles, Alex stood clear of the door as James entered her apartment.  He glanced around the posh surroundings, admired the view, and then noticed there were breakfast dishes for two resting on the dining table. 

“Have I interrupted something?” he asked.

“What do you want?” Alex huffed.  She was still furious with him for the way he’d treated her when Miranda was in the hospital.  Blaming her for their children’s problems, insinuating that she wasn’t a good mother, it was all very offensive. 

“I wanted to find out if you were going to make an appearance at the premiere of Angel Assassin 2 next week,” James said.  “You haven’t made it to any of the press junkets.”

“I haven’t had time,” she replied, taking a sip of orange juice laced with vodka.

“It’s in your contract,” James reminded her, all business. 

“So sue me.”

James knew she was being flippant because of the harsh words they’d shared, but it was unprofessional and he wasn’t about to stand for it.  “I know you don’t care about anything but yourself these days, but you’re the only cast member whose either still alive or still around to promote the damn thing.  After everything we’ve been through, I’d think you could put aside our differences and do me this one favor.”

“You’ll have to call my agent,” Alex said, handing him Vince’s card.  “He handles me now.”

James frowned, reading the name on the card.  “What happened to Bruce?”

“Jail,” she told him.  “Now if you’ll excuse me, James, I have lines to learn.  I’ve joined the cast of The Young at Heart.”

Before James could react, Kyle Fenwick emerged from the bedroom in a towel, his chiseled chest glistening with steam from the shower and his sandy brown hair dripping water onto his shoulders. 

“I’m sorry.  I didn’t know anyone was here,” he said, eyeing James carefully. 

James flashed Alex a look of amazement, shoving his hands awkwardly in his pockets.  “Alex?  What’s going on here?”

She sighed and gestured between them.  “James, this is Kyle Fenwick.  Kyle, this is James Blackthorne, my ex-husband.” 

“I know Mr. Fenwick,” James said, raising an eyebrow.  “He’s made quite a splash since he arrived in town.  Fresh out of prison, revered for saving your life, claiming David Jennings framed him, announcing that Will Thomerson was his father.”

“What?” Alex exclaimed, shooting her attention to Kyle.  “Is that true?”

“Don’t tell me you knew him too,” Kyle said, hands on his hips and not a bit afraid that his towel would fall.  “Seems like everyone around here had some grudge against him.”

“We were involved for about five minutes,” Alex said.

“They cooked up a scheme to take my studio from me,” James filled him in.

“But I saw him for who he was,” she insisted.  “James just likes to hold grudges.  Get used to that.”

He shrugged.  “I can’t imagine what grudge James would have against me.  We’ve only just met.  Of course I’ve heard all about you.  Your marriage to Brooke which ended as a result of her affair with Ethan, who happened to be my brother.”

“Who did you say your mother was?” James asked, his voice laced with suspicion. 

“Maureen Adams.”

“Maureen Adams.  Actress, right?”

The conversation was spinning out of control and Alex had barely had time to react to the news.  She approached Kyle and looked into his green eyes.  “Why didn’t you tell me that Will Thomerson was your father?  Is this why you're with me?”

James sneered at her self-absorption.

“Of course not.  I didn’t know it mattered,” he said with a shrug as he poured himself a cup of steaming coffee.  “If it makes any difference, I only met him briefly.  He turned me away and told me that the Fenwicks were my parents now.  I figured it was his loss.”

“Alex, you seem to have given a nice warm welcome to Kyle to Los Angeles,” James said, amused.  “Or is this behavior that you reserve only for gentlemen who rush to your rescue after an accidental overdose?”

“You have no idea what you’re talking about,” Alex seethed, marching to the door and opening it for him.  “I’d like you to leave.”

“I’d like to know what your new beau has in mind now that he’s dropped his bomb on us,” James said.  “Obviously you have something to gain by approaching Brooke with your information.”

“Meaning?”

“Will’s estate,” James said.  “If you’re his son you have every right to half of it.”

“I have money,” Kyle said.  “My father is a shipping tycoon.  I don’t need Will Thomerson’s money.” 

“Then you want something else,” James surmised, walking to the door.  “Whether it’s from Brooke or from David, who you claim set you up and sent you to prison.  Whatever it is, you’re messing with the wrong people.  Look what happened to your father when he crossed the Blackthornes.” 

With that, he brushed past Alex and left the apartment.  Once he was gone, she approached Kyle quickly.

“Kyle, what is going on?” she asked.  “I demand to know if you’re up to something where Brooke Taylor is concerned.  That woman ruined my life once before.  I don’t want her involved with us.”

“Us?” he asked, stepping closer.

“Yeah, us.  You and me.  That is if there is an us.  Or is that something I have to find out from my ex-husband too?”

He started to smile, pulled her into an embrace and kissed her hard on the lips.  With a flick of his wrist, he pulled the towel from around his waist and lifted her into his arms, carrying her back to the bedroom. 

Renee Dewitt

When Renee landed in L.A., she went to her office at Merteuil Industries and collapsed into her chair.  She’d wasted enough time lately on her personal life.  It was time to get down to business, starting with getting her father’s company on track during this recession.  She may be a loser in love, but she wouldn’t let her company fail.

Diving into a stack of mail, she swiveled her chair to the window and gazed out at the Los Angles cityscape.  After a few moments of peace and quiet, she cringed when the door opened.

“Haven’t you ever heard of knocking?” she demanded, turning in her chair.

“I brought the usual,” her faithful assistant, Ira, proclaimed, setting a box of chocolates and a bottle of red wine on her desk.  “This time I got all nougats.  I know how you hate cream-filled.”

Smiling, Renee tore open the candy box.  “Ira, I love how you know me so well.”

“Well, after five years of working for you, I know what gets you through a breakup with a man.  Kenny was pralines and shiraz, Jordan was turtles and merlot.  For T.T., you get nougats and cab.”

“Good choice,” Renee said and leaned back in her chair with a chocolate in each hand.  “Word travels fast.  I only left the ship six hours ago.”

“I know a bartender who knows the cruise director who sleeps with one of the front desk agents who said you checked out early and T.T. went back to New York.  Are you okay or do I need to bring in the chocolate fountain?”

“I’m fine,” she said dismissively.  “It was my choice to end it.  It never would have worked.”

“I’ve been saying that for weeks!” Ira lamented.  “He doesn’t go with anything.”

“He’s not a hat, Ira!”

“He just hasn’t done much since he’s been in town, that’s all.  Besides, he’s so far removed from the rest of the people in your life.  Not a good match.  You did good kicking him to the curb.  Nobody liked him."

“You always look out for me, don’t you?”

“I got you, boo.”   He reached for one of the chocolates and was met with a slap to his hand.  “Ow, bitch!”

“Hands off.”

Ira sighed.  “Okay.  Hey, Suzanne Rogers is here to see you.  Do you want me to send her in?”

Renee shrugged and poured herself a glass of wine. “I suppose.  It’s only a matter of time before people find out about me and T.T.  I might as well get it over with.”

“I already told her,” Ira singsonged, already halfway out the door.

Brooke Taylor

Brooke couldn’t remember her first day of school, but she had no doubt in her mind that it was Mick Taylor who’d held her hand all the way to the front door while her mother was at home getting drunk.  She wanted to be a better mother to Michael than Roz had been to her, so she decided to make his first day of Kindergarten special in every way, even if Ethan couldn’t be there with him. 

“Excited about your first day?” Brooke asked as she waited in the drop-off line at Valley View Elementary.  “Gonna make lots of friends?”

“Yeah,” Michael Blackthorne chirped from the passenger’s seat.  He was the spitting image of Ethan with thick sandy blond hair and brilliant hazel eyes.  He lifted a stuffed pig and waved it in front of his mother’s face.  “But I’m not gonna let anyone hold piggy.”

Brooke smiled and ruffled his hair as they made their way to the drop-off point.  “Maybe you should leave piggy at home today.”

“Why?”

“Weeellll, because you’re a big boy now and big boys don’t need to bring their piggy’s to school with them.” 

“I wanna bring him,” Michael said firmly.

“What if Miss Cone doesn’t like piggy in her classroom.  You don’t want to make her mad on the first day, do you?”

“Miss Cone likes pigs. She told me at parent’s night.”

Brooke smiled behind a veil of tears.  She had no idea that she’d be so emotional when this day came.  For five years he’d been at her side every minute of the day and she’d grown accustomed to it.  It didn’t seem real that he was already starting school.  The time had flown by and it made her more than a little weepy. 

When they reached the curb, she parked and led him up to the door.  Before she could say her goodbyes, a prissy looking woman with a bobbed haircut and wearing an orange traffic vest approached her, arms flailing.

“What are you doing?” she asked as if her life depended on it.  “You’re not supposed to exit your vehicle in the drop-off line!  You’re supposed to let the child exit and then keep moving around the circular!”

Brooke regarded her with amusement for a split second until she realized she was serious.  From the drive, she could hear honking and beeping of car horns.   “Okay, just give me a minute so I can say goodbye to my son.”

The woman furiously shook her head.  “You aren’t supposed to exit your vehicle.  Now you’re holding up the entire drop-off line!”

“Like I said, let me say goodbye to my son and then I’ll move my car.”

The woman grew increasingly agitated.  “But you aren’t supposed to exit the-“

“I’m not supposed to exit the drop-off line, I know.  Please stop saying that.”

“But-“

“Look, lady, the longer you hold me up the longer your drop-off line is going to get, now back off and let me say goodbye to my son or I’m going to do this again tomorrow just to hock you off.”

When that seemed to shut the woman up, Brooke took a deep breath and knelt down in front of Michael. 

“It’s okay, mommy.  I’ll see you later,” he said and kissed her on the cheek.

Amazed by his bravery, she pulled him into a hug and quickly stood up again.  Just then, his teacher, Miss Cone emerged from the school and smiled down at Michael.

“I see you brought your piggy,” said the young woman.  Brooke decided she couldn’t be more than twenty-three.  “I’m so glad.  Come on, Michael.”

He took her hand and waved back at Brooke.  Swallowing hard, she sucked back tears that threatened to explode.  She could get through this, she told herself.  It was only four hours. 

Returning to her car, she was caught off guard by the sight of Kyle Fenwick leaning against the door, silver aviators masking his eyes.   Her eyes narrowed on him as she approached with caution.

“What are you doing here?” she wanted to know.  “Are you following me?”

“I knew he was starting school today,” Kyle replied.  “Thought I’d come by and play the old favorite uncle routine.”

She cast a suspicious gaze on him.  “You just happened to know that he was starting kindergarten here today, at this school.”

Kyle shrugged.  “I knew he just turned five, and this school is in your neighborhood, so I put two and two together.  This isn’t a stretch, Brooke.”

“We don’t even know you.”  She walked around to the driver’s side and opened the door.  “I think it’s odd that you even came here.”

“Whether you like it or not, your son and I are family.  I’m just trying to get in touch with that fact.  I didn’t mean to step on your toes.”

“I don’t want you anywhere near Michael,” Brooke admonished.  “I don’t trust you.” 

“Why?  Because David Jennings told you not to?  Come on, you’re not even giving me the benefit of the doubt.”   He paused for a response, and when she didn’t offer one up, he removed his shades and continued.  “He looks just like Ethan.  And he’s got my eyes.” 

 “I know,” Brooke murmured under her breath as she got into the car and strapped on her seatbelt. 

“Admit it,” Kyle said, leaning down to the window.  “You’re intrigued by me.  You want to know if I’m anything like Ethan.”

She slid on her sunglasses and looked at the slimy way he smiled at her.  “I already know the answer to that.  You’re nothing like Ethan.”

Kyle grinned as she sped off, fully aware that she was hiding her feelings.  He could tell by the way she looked at him.  It was only a matter of time before she came to him on her own.

Benji Rydell

Benji was getting used to his father dropping by unannounced.  It was clear to him that he was checking up on him.  Whether it was a case of Jordan not trusting in Suzanne’s influence, or guilt over washing his hands of the entire situation.  Either way, he could see right through his father, and if he wanted to, could easily manipulate it to his advantage.

“Your mom talk to you about getting a job?” Jordan was asking him, inspecting the house as he made a quick walk-through.

“A job?” Benji asked incredulously.

“Yeah, you know, the thing that you go to every day and get paid.  She said she was going to talk to you about it.”

“She hasn’t,” Benji said, rather put off that they were talking about him when he wasn’t around.  He wasn’t a kid anymore.  Anything they had to say they should just say to his face.   “Why would I get a job?”

“You’re living with your mother now.  She doesn’t have the financial resources that you may think she does.  Remember she hasn’t worked in thirteen years.  And she’s not accepting any handouts from me, so-“

“So that means I don’t get any either, right?” Benji said with a shake of his head.  “You know, why do you even bother coming by here if you’re so intent on washing your hands of us?”

“That is not what I’m doing.  Your mother wanted it this way and I have to accept that she knows what she’s talking about.  You, on the other hand, are nineteen years old and have no plans for your future.”

“I have plans.”

“What?  Partying with Blake every night?  I’m talking about school, or a job.  Why don’t you go work at the studio with Brett?  I’m sure he could use the help.”

Benji groaned and flopped onto the sofa.  “Yeah, especially since he’s spending all his time here.” 

“What do you mean?” Jordan asked, knowing full well that his son’s comment was not an off-the-cuff remark.

“Brett seems to be the regular handyman around here, and mom’s new best friend.  They’ve had dinner three times this week.”

Jordan knew what he was getting at but refused to entertain it for a minute.  “I’m glad that your mom has help,” he said.  “And she should get to know Brett.  He’s raising her granddaughter.”

“If you say so.”  He picked up the remote and flipped through channels.  Being a good boy and staying out of trouble was one thing, but getting a job when his father was a mega rich film producer was out of the question.  He’d find a way to put an end to that discussion one way or another.

Stormy Blackthorne

“Are you sure she’s not coming back?” Brooke asked as she and Stormy rifled through Jackie’s office at Sunset Studios later that day.

“Not for a few hours,” he answered.  “She never misses her daily massage and facial.”

Brooke stopped and looked at him.  “I didn’t know you paid that much attention.”  She groaned and sorted through stacks of papers on the desk.  When all she found here magazines and catalogs, she dropped her hands to her sides in resignation.  “I don’t even know what we’re looking for.  She obviously doesn’t do anything all day.”

“You said you wanted to prove she was trying to sabotage you,” Stormy reminded her.  “Are you thinking that she gave The Standoff to Brett intentionally?  Because that would be crazy.  She’d be shooting herself and the company in the foot.”

“If it meant showing me up, would you really put it past her?”

Probably not, Stormy decided.  But there was no way to prove it.  Brett didn’t know where he got the script from.  Apparently it was anonymously delivered straight to his office.

“You might have to suck it up this time,” he sighed.  “I know that’s not what you want to hear, but think of it as a wake up call.  From now on you’ll know to be careful when it comes to Jackie.”

“Careful about what?” James asked when he passed by the office and head them talking.  “What are you two doing in here?”

“We were…looking for…” Stormy struggled to find a quick excuse. 

“This copy of Vogue,” Brooke finished for him and picked the magazine up from the desk.  “It has an article in it about something we thought would make a good movie.”

“What is it?” James asked, knowing full well they were lying.

“It’s an article about a girl who works for a real domineering fashion magazine editor,” Stormy explained off the top of his head.  “She has her do all sorts of demeaning things and eventually she wakes up and quits.” 

“Hmm,” James said suspiciously.   “That’s The Devil Wears Prada.  Now why don’t you tell me what’s really going on here?”

Brooke stepped forward, pushing her long blond hair over her shoulders and looking directly into his eyes.  “I think Jackie is tying to discredit me.  I think she got Finn Lambert to give his script to Brett so I’d look stupid for losing it.”

James sighed.  “Brooke, you need to just forget about this.  There’ll be another screenplay.  I don’t like Jackie being here any more than you do, but I’m not going to have the two of you out on some witch hunt.  Next time make sure you seal the deal.”

“Well I’m going to talk to Finn Lambert,” Stormy declared.  “Eddie said he goes to some annual Labor Day bash in the Valley every year.   I’m going to be there to find out what the hell happened.”

“I don’t know what good it would do,” James insisted.

Realizing they had no proof and therefore couldn’t do much to Jackie, Brooke decided to drop it for now.  She would be on guard, however, and Jackie had better watch out if she tried to mess with her again. 

“Now that you’re both here, I have some interesting information about our friend Kyle Fenwick,” James said, leading them out into the hall.  “And it has to do with your mother, Stormy.”

“What about them?” Brooke asked. 

“Apparently they’re sleeping together.  I stopped by Alex’s apartment this morning to talk to her about the premiere, and they were quite cozy.” 

“Isn’t he a little young for her?” Stormy asked, eyebrows raised.  “Her divorce from Jordan isn’t even final yet and she’s already on to her next conquest.”

“Did you talk to Kyle?” Brooke still didn’t know how to feel about his announcement that he was Ethan’s brother.  She was intrigued to know more about him, but based on what David had told her, she didn’t know if she’d dare.

“Yes.”

“Has his story changed?”

“Not one word,” James declared.

Against her better judgment, Brooke decided to reveal the latest information she had on Kyle.  Namely his appearance that morning at Valley View Elementary.  “He showed up today when I took Michael to his first day of school.” 

“What?” James asked.  “When?”

“This morning.  He says since he’s Michael’s uncle that he wants to know him.  I don’t know, the whole thing seemed very strange to me.”

“You’re not going to let him near Michael, are you?” James asked.  “Brooke, this man may not even be who he says he is.”

“But what if he is?” Brooke asked.  “He said he can prove it.”

“Right, Maureen Adams, his mother.  I’m inclined to track her down.  Maybe I’ll have Eddie look into it.”

“You’ll have to wait until he and Miranda get back from Storm Lake,” Stormy reminded him.  “They’re looking for Quinn Rainer’s brother.”

“He’s missing?” James asked.  “Wow, that’s a blow that family doesn’t need.”

“What do you mean?”

James dug his hands into his pockets.  “Well, I just heard that Trevor Rainer hasn’t been paying the mortgage on their Bel Air house while he’s off in Europe with his new twenty-year old girlfriend.  He’s broke.  Mitzi has to move out soon.  They went from having so much to having nothing.”

Stormy thought hard, wondering if their financial troubles had anything to do with Magnum’s disappearance.

Eddie Distefano

“So what’s up with these strange occurrences going on around here at night?” Eddie asked while he and Quinn parked the heavy duty jeep they’d borrowed from the camp. 

“I don’t know exactly,” she said, plucking her backpack from the cargo area.  “According to Magnum, some kids go out to the north woods at night and search for some Indian spirit that was laid to rest there.  They’ve run into some weird things and Magnum was going to investigate.”

“What kind of weird things?” Eddie asked, glancing nervously over his shoulder as they began hiking up the mountain. 

 “Animal carcasses, sticks laid out in strange formations, things like that.”  She pulled a white ball cap over her head and tucked her hair up underneath.

Animal carcasses? Eddie mouthed animatedly.  “What..uh…did anyone ever see the spirit?”

“I don’t think so.  Hey, maybe we’ll see something.”

“Is this where…”

“Yeah, these are the woods where they’ve seen this stuff going on,” Quinn said, pointing to the thick brush of trees that lied ahead.  “Where Magnum was headed before he disappeared last week.”

“Great,” Eddie said uneasily.

And just like that, Quinn changed the subject. “Hey, remember in high school when we went to our senior prom and you got carsick in the back of the limo?”

The driver was fishtailing,” Eddie said defensively.  “He couldn’t drive a straight line to save his life.”

“You were nervous!” Quinn giggled.  “And when you get nervous you toss your cookies.”

“So?”

“So don’t toss your cookies now.”

“I’m not nervous,” he admonished.  “I’m just bummed Miranda couldn’t come with us.  I know she wanted to help.”

“Miranda’s sweet,” Quinn replied tersely.  “If you don’t mind me saying, I don’t think she appreciates you.”

“What do you mean?” Eddie asked.

She shrugged.  “You’re a catch, Eddie.  You’re hot, you’re sweet, you’ve got your own business, not to mention all the stuff you had to deal with with your dad.”

“You heard about that?”

“Uh huh.  I just think you need a girl that appreciates you for everything you are.”

“How do you know what kind of girl Miranda is?” Eddie asked, a little irked that she was putting her down.

“I’ve known you since high school, Eddie.  You fall hard for girls.  A lot of girls.  I don’t want to see you get hurt.  I mean, don’t you miss how great things were between us back then?  We had so much fun.”

“We did have fun,” Eddie agreed, falling a step behind.  He suddenly got a bad feeling about this trip.  Quinn’s brother was missing and she was using the opportunity to sway him away from Miranda.

On the other hand, Miranda didn’t always appreciate him.  She called him a dork and she made fun of his laugh and his big goofy grin.  Maybe Quinn was partially right.

Alex Reynolds

Stormy decided to clear the air with his mother.  After her hospitalization, it seemed that they had made up on the surface, but deep down there were still feelings of resentment between the two of them.  He called her and they agreed to have lunch at her apartment so they could talk in private.

“I was surprised to get your phone call,” Alex said, gesturing to the beautifully set table.  "I barely had time to have anything suitable sent over.”

“This will be fine,” Stormy said, referring to the twin chicken Caesar salads and crusty rolls that were elegantly placed on the table.  “You didn’t have to go through any trouble, Mom.”

“Nonsense,” she said, taking her seat and placing her napkin in her lap.  “It’s not everyday my son calls me and asks me to lunch.  Besides, I wanted you to see my apartment.  This is your first time here, isn’t it?”

“It’s very nice,” he said, already tired of avoiding the real subject.  “Look, Dad told me the news.”

“About The Young at Heart?” she asked.  “I know it’s not ideal, but it’ll be good to have a steady project to focus on.  And let’s face it, the bad press from Angel Assassin 2 isn’t going to get me any Oscars.  This show is hot right now.  It won seven awards last Sunday at the Emmy’s.” 

“I’m not talking about the soap,” Stormy said.  “I’m talking about Kyle Fenwick.  Dad said that you’re involved with him.”

“That’s right,” she confirmed.

“Well, don’t you think that might be a bad idea?”

“Why?”

Stormy didn’t even know where to begin with his concerns.  “Well, for starters, he’s like fifteen years younger than you.”

“Oh, I see.  Your father married a woman fifteen years younger than him and it was acceptable.  I enjoy the company of a younger man and suddenly I’m on a collision course to disaster?  That is such a double standard.”

He knew he wasn’t going to win any arguments with that one.  He knew better than to bring up James and Brooke’s marriage.  “All right, well how about the fact that he’s Will Thomerson’s son?  You loathed that man.  You wanted to kill him.”

“And you didn’t?  You were the number one suspect for a while there, remember?  Besides, Kyle is not Will.”

“Will came here with the intention of ruining lives,” Stormy claimed.  “How is what Kyle is doing any different?  He’s already talked to the media about some bogus claim that David Jennings set him up.”

Alex sighed and cut into her bread.  “He was trying to set the record straight.  You can’t honestly blame him for that.”

“But how far do you think he’s going to go to prove his case?”

Alex had finally had enough.  She slid her chair out, balled her napkin up and threw it onto the table.  “I see what’s going on here,” she began, tearing across the room.  “You just don’t want me to be happy, do you?”

“Mother, that’s ridiculous.”

“It’s true.  I interfered with your relationship with Kelly so you’re trying to talk me out of being with Kyle because you know he makes me happy.”

Sighing, Stormy followed her across the room.  “I want you to be happy, but there’s something off about this guy.  I think he’s dangerous, Mom.  I just don’t want you to get hurt.”

“He saved my life, Stormy,” Alex lamented, discreetly fishing in her purse for her pills.  “I’m not going to get hurt.  Look what’s happened since he came into my life.  My relationship with you and Miranda is back on track, I’m about to start a new chapter in my career, and I am finally living out of the shadow of your father and forgetting the past with Jordan.”

“What about these?” he asked, pulling her arm and causing her to drop the bottle of oxycontin.  “You never used to need pills to make yourself feel better.  You’re unhappy.  I think your split from Jordan is harder on you than you realize.”

“I have back pain,” she insisted, bending down and picking the bottle up.  “These were prescribed by Dr. Farraday.”

Stormy took the bottle from her and read the label.  “These are your maid’s.”

“I just haven’t had time to get my prescription filled.”  She felt like a child being reprimanded.  In a show of self control, she placed the bottle back into her purse.  “Fine, I won’t take them.  Happy?”

Stormy could tell when she was lying.  Quickly, he snatched the bottle of pills and went to the sink at the mini bar, pouring them down the drain with a shot of cold water. 

“What are you doing?” Alex demanded, running after him.  “Stormy, those are Veronique’s.”

“Then she can get more.  I don’t want you losing control, Mother.  You don’t need these pills and you don’t need Kyle Fenwick.”

Angrily, she tore across the room and plopped onto the sofa.  “Maybe you should go,” she huffed.  “I have a splitting headache.”

Stormy realized he’d been too hard on her.  She had been through a lot lately and he seemed to have forgotten that momentarily.  “Look, I’m sorry.  I love you.  I’m worried about you.”

“I appreciate that, but I’d really just like to be alone.”

“I’ll call you tomorrow,” Stormy said and made his way to the door.  He knew he’d blown it, but sometimes with his mother it was necessary to up the dramatics.

After he’d gone, Alex buried her face in her hands and resisted the temptation to cry.  She had to keep in control.  Tomorrow she her first day on set and she had to stay grounded.  She wouldn’t blow this opportunity.

David Jenner

David came for dinner at the mansion that evening.  While Leilani slaved away in the kitchen, he and James had drinks in the parlor. 

“I thought Brooke was coming for dinner,” David said, staring at a family portrait of James, Stormy, Kelly and Miranda. 

“She’s upstairs with Renee,” James told him.  “And listen, before she comes down, there’s something I need to tell you.  You have to promise you won’t fly off the handle when you hear it.”

“No deal,” David said and gulped down a glass of bourbon before refilling his and James’s glasses. 

James sighed.  “Fenwick showed up at Michael’s school today.”  He continued quickly, wanting to head off any tirades before it went too far.  “They just talked.  He said he wanted to get to know his nephew.” 

“I don’t believe this,” David raged.  “That man is everywhere.  James, he’s only doing this to try to get to me.  He knows I have a protective nature when it comes to Brooke and he’s willing to exploit that any way he can.  We can’t let him get away with this.”

“All because he thinks you set him up?” James inquired.  He hated to sound suspicious, but he hadn’t once heard David deny the fact.  “Maybe there’s something we can do to prove that you had nothing to do with that drug operation.”

“There’s only one person who can validate that, but she’s staying out of it.  So far he hasn’t been able to get to her.”

“Detective Callahan,” James surmised. 

Jordan Rydell

“I thought maybe you’d prefer coming here rather than going to a crowded restaurant,” Jordan said from his house in Beverly Hills, escorting Stephanie onto the outdoor patio where a dining table for two was set up with all the requisites for a romantic evening.  Candles, wine glasses, waiters in tuxes, and a trio of musicians playing soft music. 

She stifled an urge to break out into laughter.  This was so predictable.  She figured his bed was probably covered in rose petals.  God!  What had she gotten herself into?

“Uh…lovely,” she managed.

“Private,” he corrected her, quite pleased with himself. 

One of the waiters approached with a flute of champagne. 

“No thanks,” she said with a shake of her head.  “I’ll have water.”

“Water?” Jordan asked.

“I like to keep my wits about me.”

“Of course,” he said.  Predictable.  Did she ever let her guard down?

“Jordan, this is all so unnecessary.  It’s excessive.” 

“I thought you’d enjoy it.”

“Why would you think I’d enjoy something like this?  It’s way too formal.”

“Do you complain about everything?” he asked with a good-natured laugh.  “I’m just trying to show you something different.  Away from the paparazzi and the media hoarding around us.”

“I was expecting something more original from you, that’s all,” Stephanie said and took a sip of water.

Studying her eyes, Jordan tried to decide his next move.  She didn’t like the classically romantic route, obviously.  He considered throwing in the towel.  This woman was too tough a nut to crack.  Then suddenly he got an idea.

“Come on,” he said, standing and offering a hand to her.

“Where are we going?”

“You’ll see.” 

Blackthorne Mansion

“You look happy,” Renee said as she and Brooke made their way down the stairs at the mansion.  “Really happy.  Your new responsibilities must be agreeing with you.”

“They are,” Brooke agreed, beaming.  “I finally feel like I’m doing something worthwhile with my life.  I have Michael, I have my career, and I have absolutely no one to complicate it.”

“Romantic ties can sometimes get in the way,” Renee said thoughtfully.  “Use this time to enjoy your life as an independenbt woman.  You’ve earned it.  Take Sunset Studios and lead it into the next generation.  I know you can do whatever you put your mind to, Brooke.”

“If Jackie doesn’t mess it up before then.”

“What do you mean?”

Brooke sighed.  “I don’t know.  I think she’s trying to sabotage me.  What’s worse is she doesn’t seem to have any regard for what it could to do the studio.  She hates me that much.”

“Jackie.”  Renee said the name aloud and shook her head with a sigh.  “I don’t know her that well, but I do know just by what I’ve seen that she is dangerous.”

“I can’t even prove that she’s done anything.  All I can do is hope she tries something again and that I can catch her in the act.  Until I do, James won’t lift a finger to do anything about her.  Not that he could do much anyway.  She’s part-owner since she married that cretin Nathan.”

“Which is all the more reason for you to be on guard,” Renee cautioned her as they made their way across the foyer to the parlor where James and David were waiting.  “Any woman who would use a pervert like that to gain power and influence is someone you don’t want to cross.  I’m telling you, there’s nothing she wouldn’t do to take you, James and probably even David down.”

"But my hands are tied.  She may only own ten percent of the studio, but she has a lot of power.  Probably more than any of us realize.”

Renee broke into a devious grin and squeezed her hand in hers. “Why don’t you let me have a crack at her?  I have a lot of experience in dealing with women like Jackie Blackthorne.”

“Sounds like a dare,” Brooke said, beginning to smile. 

“One that I wouldn’t mind taking.”

Stephanie Callahan

“Is this original enough for you?” Jordan asked with a smirk as he and Stephanie walked along the boardwalk munching on hotdogs. 

“It’s a step in the right direction,” Stephanie replied.  She had to give him credit.  A hot dog stand at the pier was more along the lines of her ideal date.  It reminded her of her days back in New York.  The fact that she and Kyle’s first date was a stroll through Coney Island did not escape her, but she decided not to dwell on it.

“I would have never taken you for mustard connoisseur.  I thought ketchup for sure.  Maybe pickles.  You’re full of surprises, Detective Callahan.”

“Let’s face it,” she said, gazing out at the full moon hanging over the ocean.  “You know next to nothing about me.  The fact that you tried to woo me with champagne and a three-piece band speaks volumes.”

“Not fair.  I’ve tried to get to know you but you won’t put your walls down.  Frankly, I’m surprised that you opened up about your past with Fenwick.”

“Momentary lapse in judgment.”

Jordan stopped, pulled her back and turned her toward him.  “What are you even doing here?” he asked.  “With me, tonight.”

“Having dinner,” she said. 

“I mean why?  You obviously have no intention of letting me in.  What do I need to do?”

She raised an eyebrow and smiled, although realizing he didn’t intend the double entendre.   “Look,” she began, all serious.  “I think you know by now how I feel about you.  You’re exciting, you’re gorgeous, and you’re a good guy.  If I didn’t want to be here with you, I wouldn’t be.  But don’t push so hard.  If you want us to keep seeing each other you’ll have to accept that I’m not one of these Hollywood bimbos who puts it all out on the table.”

Now it was Jordan’s turn to smile at her choice of words.  “So that’s the key to having a relationship with Stephanie Callahan.”

"Yep.  Take it or leave it.” 

“I’ll take it,” he said, swooping in for a long, hot kiss. 

“That doesn’t mean you can rush me,” she warned him, breathlessly extracting herself. 

“Who’s rushing?” he questioned, moving in again for a leisurely second kiss. 

This time she found herself unable to resist.  Twining her arms around the back of his neck and pulling him close, she realized how satisfying it would be to make a real connection after all this time.  She deserved to be happy too, didn’t she?

“That’s a good start,” she said with a wink, taking his hand.  “But I should get home.  I have work in the morning.”

“Tomorrow’s Saturday.”

“My busiest day.” 

Jordan reluctantly gave in.  They piled back into his car and he drove her back to her small bungalow in Burbank.  Sitting in her driveway, he kissed her again, his tongue exploring her mouth.   Was she going to invite him in? he wondered. 

“I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” 

No, she wasn’t.  “Okay,” he said, making a conscious effort not to push. 

He watched as she got out and went up to her front door.  Waiting until she was in, he started the car and sped off down the street.  Once he was gone from view, a figure emerged from a parked car on the street and started up to the house, fists clenched.

Standing in the driveway, Kyle watched the light go on inside the house.

Benji Rydell

Jeff and Joba Branigan’s parties were always wild, but their annual Labor Day party at their apartment complex in the Valley was legendary.  There were three-hundred half-naked bodies packed into the courtyard and crammed into the pool and the overhead balconies.  Through the enormous speakers that lined the sides of the building came the sounds of Blink 182.  Empty beer bottles and discarded plastic cups littered the ground. 

When a group of drunken shirtless frat guys began jumping off the second floor balcony into the pool, Benji knew the party would soon be coming to an end.  He and Blake watched their suicidal antics with disinterest while guzzling two bottles of warm beer. 

Suddenly, a drunken metal head stumbled over and passed out on the pool lounger beside them.   Benji and Blake looked at each other and stifled a fit of laughter. 

“You ggunna juuummp?” murmured the intoxicated kid with the tattoo sleeves and the Alice Cooper t-shirt. 

“No fuckin’ way,” Benji replied. 

“Benji!” a voice was calling out through the crowd.  “Benji!  Over here!”

He turned around and there was Stormy, looking lost as he made his way through the throng of party-goers.  “Hey, what are you doing here?”

“Looking for someone,” he said.  “Do you know Finn Lambert?”

“Yeah, I know him.  Why?”

“I need to talk to him.”

“I saw him up in one of the upstairs apartments a little while ago,” Blake explained.

“Thanks,” Stormy said and attempted to squeeze through a pack of half-naked guys doing shots off a drunken girls tits. 

In the commotion, he heard yelling from up above.  When he finally registered what they were saying, he stopped mid-step and surveyed the area.

“Magnum!” someone was yelling.  “Hey Magnum!  Get your lame ass up and take your turn!”

Stormy looked up at the group who was diving off of the balcony.  They were looking straight down at him.  Turning, his eyes became fixated on the inebriated metal head lying groggily on the lounger.

“Magnum?” he asked, eyes wide.  “Magnum Rainer?”

“Dude…don’t think I can jump,” he murmured.  “You go ahead of me.”

“I thought you were missing,” Stormy said.  “Quinn’s been looking for you for days.” 

“Was Quinn’s idea,” Magnum slurred.  “Said I should lay low while she worked out a plan.”  He hiccupped and tried sitting up.  “Wasn’t my idea to come out tonight.  Those guys made me.”

Stormy frowned, wondering what the hell Quinn Rainer was up to.  He fished his cell phone from his pocket and moved to the end of the courtyard where he dialed Miranda’s number.

Miranda Blackthorne

The girls Miranda was bunking with had coaxed her into playing poker and she grudgingly went along.  Without realizing it, she had begun to actually have a good time with them.  They were all sweet girls with big dreams and lots of attitude.  Some of them reminded her of herself when she was their age, minus the rebellious nature.

“I’m folding,” said a feisty blond girl with pigtails named Tiger.

“No way!” squealed a black girl named Yvonne, who seemed to be her best friend.  “You’ve won every hand and now you’re finally giving up?  Put it on the record books!”

“Sorry to disappoint you, Yvonne, but check this out,” Miranda said, fanning her cards out onto the bed.  “Full house.”

“No fair!” the other girls all screamed in unison. 

They were gathered around Miranda’s bed, the radio blasting and empty cans of soda and bowls of popcorn strewn throughout the cabin.  As much as she’d worried about leaving Quinn and Eddie alone together, she had barely thought of them all night.

When her cell began ringing, she pointed to Tiger and motioned to her purse at the foot of the bed.  “Get that for me, Sweetheart.”

The girl obliged by rifling through her purse and answering the phone.  “Miss Blackthorne’s cabin,” she said, stifling a fit of giggles.  “Who is this?”

“Tiger, give me the phone,” Miranda said, snapping her fingers.  “Now.”

“Huh?  Who is it?  Stramy?  Stormy?”  She covered the phone with her hand and looked at Miranda.  “It’s someone named Stormy.”

“Give it to me,” Miranda said, leaning forward and snatching the phone from her.  “Stormy?  What’s up?  You won’t believe what happened today.  We were getting ready to hike up to the other side of the lake and I stepped on a bottle of water and twisted my ankle and-“

“Magnum’s in L.A.,” Stormy said.

“What?  Stormy, I can’t hear you.  It’s really loud there.  Where are you?”

“I said Magnum’s in L.A.!” he shouted.  “He said Quinn put him up to the whole disappearing act.  Look, Miranda-“

And just like that she clicked off the phone and folded her arms in anger.

“What’s wrong?” Yvonne asked.

“Girls,” she began, glaring heatedly.  “Find me some crutches.  We’re going on a little hike.”

“Where to?”

“To kick some ass.”

Kyle Fenwick

Stephanie locked her deadbolts and rummaged around her small bungalow, tired but also a little wound up after her date with Jordan.  Despite its rocky beginnings, she’d wound up having a very good time.  There was something genuine beneath all of that Hollywood fluff.  If only she could get him to show that side of himself more often. 

Not that she had a right to talk.  She had walls up herself.  Major walls that she’d surprised even herself by lowering long enough to give Jordan a chance.  For three years she’d sworn off all romantic entanglements.  Friends were even scarce.  Too risky to trust anyone.  She had herself to look out for and that was all she could handle.

Noises from outside caught her attention and her mouth drew into a smile.  As if he hadn’t been persistent enough, Jordan was obviously not ready to say goodnight.  It was sweet, but also a little irritating that he had such a hard time following her wishes.

“I thought we weren’t going to rush,” she said, unbolting the door and pulling it open.

“What are we rushing?” Kyle asked from the porch, a cocksure grin on his face. 

On the immediate defense, Stephanie turned to run.  How could she be so stupid?  Answering the door without confirming who was there?  Not being armed when she needed to be most?  All she had to do was reach her holster on her nightstand.

But Kyle, too quick, came up from behind and restrained her.  “What’s the rush?” he sneered, turning her to face him.  “Our long-awaited reunion is finally here.  Three years, Stephanie.  That’s a long time.”

“How did you find me?” she asked, refusing to let him see her fear.

“It took a while, but I have a pretty good detective’s instinct.  Your skills rubbed off on me.

Shit! she murmured under her breath.  “What do you want?”

“I want to know why,” he growled, kicking the door closed with his foot.  “Why did you help Jennings set me up?”

“I didn’t,” she said, her eyes swiveling to encompass the hallway.  She had to plan an escape.  “We’ve gone over this a thousand times.  You set yourself up when you killed Dugan.”

“I didn’t fucking kill Dugan,” Kyle spat at her.

“That’s why you were interested in me,” Stephanie said.  “To distract me from the cartel.  David had nothing to do with that.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

His grip tightened on her arm and she spin around, jabbing him in the collarbone with her other elbow.  As he staggered back in pain, she raced into the living room, reached behind her antique secretary, and withdrew a double-barrel Remington 1100.  He came up on her again and she turned, cocking the rifle and aiming it inches from his face. 

“Look like our reunion is going to be a short lived one,” she said ruefully

Jordan Rydell

Jordan was almost home when he decided he’d given up too easily.  Yes, he wanted to respect Stephanie’s wishes and take things slowly, but he also wanted to make sure she knew that he meant business.  He couldn’t remember the last time he felt this way about a woman and, right or wrong, he wanted to shout it from the roof. 

Speeding back to Burbank, he neared her house and parked on the street behind a black Porsche, which seemed extremely out of place in Stephanie’s neighborhood.  He instinctively inspected the details of the car as he made his way up to the porch.  Once there, he heard voices from inside. Then, moments later, a gunshot.

Miranda Blackthorne

Miranda and the eight girls from her bunk piled into the caretaker’s pickup truck and headed to the north side of the lake.  Cindy, the oldest of the girls, drove, despite the fact that she was only fifteen.

“I have my learners permit,” she’d declared proudly.  Miranda didn’t argue.  She was determined to find Eddie and Quinn and didn’t want to wait another minute.  The entire way the girls sang camp songs, and Miranda found herself singing along in spite of herself. 

They reached the bottom of the mountain where the jeep was parked.  With help from Tiger and Yvonne, Miranda inspected the interior.  She knew they’d driven it up there that afternoon so they must still be on the mountain somewhere.  The only question was where.

“There’s a cabin over there,” Cindy said and pointed to the west.  “Just a half a mile up the path.  They were going to expand the camp last year but they ran out of money.  Maybe they’re there.”

“If I know Quinn, they probably are,” Miranda said, staring off with steely cold pale green eyes.

Quinn Rainer

“I can’t believe the jeep broke down,” Quinn said as she watched Eddie stoke the fire.   “You sure you don’t want to just hike back to camp?”

“Walk back there?” Eddie asked nervously.  “In the dark?  No thanks.”

“I just didn’t want Miranda to worry about us.”   She wrapped her arms around herself, chilly from the night air.  The fire would help, she decided.  Luckily they had supplies in their packs. 

“Yeah, it’s weird that I can’t find my cell phone,” Eddie said and looked around the small cabin.  “I was sure I had it when we left.”

“She’s probably out like a light anyway.  Injuries like that really take it out of you.”

Eddie found an old blanket in a chest and wrapped it around her.  He knelt down by the fire and warmed his hands.

“Sorry we didn’t get any leads about Magnum today.  I know how worried you are.”

“What?” Quinn asked.  She nestled down beside him and placed her head on his shoulder. 

“Magnum,” Eddie repeated.  “We’re no closer to finding him.  I was sure we would have found some clues up on the mountain today.”

“Well, tomorrow’s another day.”  She quickly changed the subject.  “Hey, remember that time you and I were up in your room at your dad’s house and the door opened and you jumped off the bed and broke that lamp?  How funny was that?”

“Uh…yeah, that was funny.”  He frowned.  “Quinn, what’s with all the trips down memory lane?  You seem more concerned with remember when’s than with finding your brother.”

“I do?” she asked indifferently.  “I guess I’m just trying to keep my mind off of things.  You know, it’s been really hard since Magnum disappeared.”

Eddie regarded her carefully.  If he didn’t know better, he’d swear this whole Magnum caper was an act.  But why on earth would Quinn and her mother put on such a show?

Suddenly he felt her hand move down and rest on his inner thigh.  At first it seemed like an isolated incident, a non-threatening friendly gesture, but when she rested it there for a bit too long, he quickly jumped to his feet.

“Uh, what are you doing?” he asked nervously.

"Eddie, we’re going to spend the night together,” Quinn said.  “We might as well make the best of it.  Don’t you miss that?  We were so good together, remember?”

“No, no, I don’t remember.”  He backed up, pulling away from her.

“We used to have the best time together.”  She came at him swiftly, pressing her body against his and trying to get a clear shot so she could swoop in for a kiss. 

Eddie screamed, going tense and covering his face with his hands.   Nervous laughter followed as he struggled in her grasp.  He pursed his lips together tightly, shaking his head when she tried kissing him again. 

And then they heard voices from outside.  Miranda burst through the door, using one of her crutches to point across the room at Quinn.  Behind her, the girls gathered around with shocked looks on their faces.

“A-ha!” Miranda screamed, glaring angrily at Quinn.  “I knew it!”

“I didn’t touch her!” Eddie yelled, twisting away from her grasp and dodging across the room.

“Miranda,” Quinn said, surprised, her tone laced with disappointment.

“You’d better start explaining, bitch,” Miranda hissed.  “What the hell are you up to with my boyfriend?”

“Yeah,” Tiger said, bravely pushing forward.

“Girl’s gonna get a beat down,” Yvonne added, forming a fist and slamming it into the palm of her hand.

“Miranda, how did you find us?” Eddie asked, remaining a safe distance from Quinn’s tentacle-like hands. 

“I found the jeep down the road.”

“It broke down,” Eddie commented.  “We decided to spend the night here.”

“I bet you did,” Miranda said, moving slowly toward Quinn on her crutches.  “Quinn’s full of surprises.  I got a call from Stormy who told me that Magnum is alive and well in L.A.”

“What?” Eddie exclaimed.  “He’s not missing anymore?”

“Assuming he ever was in the first place.”

Realizing she’d been caught, Quinn hung her head low and folded her arms tight across her chest.  “I’m sorry,” she murmured.  “I set the whole thing up.”

“Pardon?” Miranda asked, leaning forward and straining her right ear.  “I didn’t get that.”

“I set it up, okay?”

“This whole case has been a sham?” Eddie asked.  “Quinn, why?”

“Because she wants you for herself,” Miranda answered in an accusatory tone.  “She’s totally in love with you, Eddie.”

“Ewww,” Quinn grimaced.  “No, I don’t think so.”

Pretending to ignore the insult, Eddie shrugged and sat down on the sofa. 

“Then why?” Miranda demanded. 

Sighing, Quinn took the blanket from her shoulders and threw it on a chair.  “My dad split a few years ago,” she began.  “Then he started sleeping with some French bimbo and totally forgot about me and my mom and my brother.  He stopped paying alimony and he stopped paying the mortgage.  We’re going to lose our house.  We’re broke and my mom is desperate.”

“What does this have to do with Eddie?” Miranda wanted to know. 

Quinn turned her gaze toward him.  “I heard about your dad’s death and I knew how wealthy he was.  I thought maybe if I got close to you we could start something and eventually get married.  I just had to find a way to make this right for my mom.”

“So you pretended Magnum was missing?”

She nodded.  “I figured if I became a client then we’d eventually grow closer.  It was all my mom’s idea.”

“You were just after me for my money?” Eddie asked.  “It had nothing to do with the gun show?”

Miranda rolled her eyes and shot her cold gaze at Quinn.  “You bitch.  You actually had me feeling sorry for you.  How stupid can I get?”

“I’m sorry,” Quinn said, tears forming in the corners of her eyes.  “I know it was a dumb idea, and I hated that I was hurting you.  Please just understand.”

“What about all that spirits in the woods business?” Miranda asked. 

“I made it up.”

“And the jeep breaking down?”

“It was in neutral the whole time,” Quinn admitted.

Eddie flushed with embarrassment.  “Yeah, I knew that.”

“Look, I’m sorry you guys.  I know this was wrong.”

“It’s okay,” Eddie said, walking over and putting a comforting hand on her shoulder. 

Quinn smiled weakly, sliding into his arms.  

Miranda raised an eyebrow, watching the way she used his kindness to her advantage.  “Oh no you don’t, you slut.”

Tears quickly disappearing, Quinn turned and dashed out of the cabin with Miranda hobbling behind her, raising her crutch in the air.

“You’d better run!”

Jordan Rydell

Red and blue lights illuminated the night, casting a bright glow on the side of Stephanie’s house.  Jordan hung against the side of his car on the street, watching the front door and waiting.  When two unformed police officers emerged with Kyle restrained by handcuffs, he walked up and waited for news of the developments.

Everything had happened so quickly.  After he’d heard the gunshot, he raced inside the house and found Stephanie holding a shotgun on Kyle, a hole blasted in the wall behind him.  He’d quickly called the police but they were already on their way.  For two minutes he watched the determined look in her eyes, afraid of what she might do.  Kyle was unarmed, but Stephanie appeared to be trigger happy.  He didn’t even think she acknowledged his presence.  For a few moments he was sure she was going to blow a hole in Kyle as big as the warning shot she’d fired into the wall. 

Jordan moved forward when he saw her come outside onto the porch.  She exchanged a few words with one of the officers, accepted a warm pat on the back, and then looked directly at him.   After the squad cars had vacated, Kyle in custody, he approached her warily. 

“You okay?” he asked.

“I will be.  Until he gets out, that is.”

“Will he get out?”

“Of course,” she sniffed.  “Nothing to hold him on.” 

“But he broke in,” Jordan reasoned.

Stephanie rolled her eyes.  “He didn’t break in.  The only reason he’s on his way downtown is because I’m a cop and cops look after each other.  He wouldn’t have hurt me.  Not this way.”

“Then why was he here?” Jordan asked.

“To warn me.”

Jordan kicked the ground, unsure of how to respond.  She had a lot of baggage and wasn’t sure if he could ever break through her walls.  He wanted to try.  More than anything he wanted to try.

“I’m glad I came back,” he said, moving closer.  “Not that you needed me.  You seemed to have things handled just fine on your own.”

“You should go,” she commanded, her face taut and expressionless. 

He realized she probably needed to be alone.  “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“Don’t.”  She shook her head. 

“What?”

“Don’t call me, Jordan.  I’m sorry, I thought I could do this thing between us, but I can’t.  I don’t want to see you again.”

“Hey, wait a minute.”  He lurched forward, his arm outstretched.  “If this is because of Kyle and your history with him, I think you’re overreacting.”

“Goodbye,” Stephanie said firmly before turning and going inside the house. 

After she’d gone, Jordan turned and dropped his hands in resignation.  They’d made such progress tonight.  Now because of one loose canon she was ready to chuck the whole thing.

Feeling like he’d gotten the wind kicked out of him, he turned and walked back to his car on the street.


Next time....

Benji learns of Sierra's recent activities.  Jackie visits Kyle in jail.  Brooke reaches out to the enemy.  Alex has her first day on the set of her new series.

 

 

Read Episode 104

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