David rescued Brooke and Kyle from
the burning building. Kyle and David each accused
one another of starting the fire. When the rescue team
found Steven unconscious, Brooke suspected Jackie, who
admitted to trapping them together but insisted she
didn't know anything about the fire. Kyle's father,
Don Fenwick, arrived in town and warned Kyle to stay
away from Brooke. Kyle detected the scent of gasoline
on Don's jacket. David and Stephanie turned to
each other for comfort. Miranda urged Jordan to go back
to Alex, claiming her mother was on a downward spiral,
but Jordan refused. Still jilted over Stephanie's
rejection, Jordan asked Mackenzie Stone to accompany
him to James's premiere. To get back at Summer
Solomon for cheating on him, Duke got Benji to help
him seduce the site administrator of Cassidy Solomon's
fan site. Then, when she wasn't looking, they
uploaded the sex video of Summer and Jeff in his car.
When Cassidy learned of the video, she blamed
Alex, claiming she was out to get her. After Don
threatened Brooke, Kyle went to confront his father.
In his hotel room at Moonshadows, Don admitted
to starting the fire in hopes of killing Brooke. He
also admitted to tampering with the brakes on Royce's
car as payback for Royce blowing up the hotel that sent
Kyle to prison. After overhearing the admission,
David flew into a rage and attacked Don. With
Brooke and Kyle watching, the two went over the balcony
and fell eleven floors to the ground.
assembled at the gruesome scene, pointing and gasping at the spectacle that had
taken them away from their activities.
Some pointed to the eleventh story balcony that they had fallen from;
others swooped for their cell phones to call for help. A man coming off of the tennis courts
identified himself as a doctor and leaned in to the tangle of bodies that had
seemingly dropped from the sky.
someone call an ambulance?” asked one spectator, eyes darting around the
they dead?” another inquired, cringing while trying to see through the crowd.
doctor gave a quick visual inspection of the victims. One man – the younger of the two – had fallen
on top of the other and appeared to be breathing. He stirred and slowly rolled over onto the
crap,” someone said when they realized he was alive.
you okay?” the doctor asked.
Jennings looked at his hands, bloody and embedded with gravel. He didn’t know how but he had survived. Don, on the other hand, didn’t appear to have
fared as well. Somehow between falling
from the balcony and hitting the pavement below, he’d managed to position
himself so that he landed on top of the old man. The crunch from Don’s bones breaking when
they hit the pavement was permanently fixed in his senses.
try to get up,” the doctor cautioned David, steadying him with a hand.
fine,” David insisted.
Brooke and Kyle
emerged through the crowd, amazed to see David alive and standing on his own
two feet. Brooke quickly went to embrace
him, backing up at the last minute for fear of causing him any pain.
“Thank God,” she
exclaimed, raking a hand through her silky blond tresses.
“I don’t believe
it,” murmured Kyle.
repeated David, ignoring the shocked outcries from their audience.
A police cruiser
pulled up from the path along the beach and Stephanie jumped out. She saw Don’s body lying on the cement and
then at David, bruised and bloodied from the ordeal.
“What the hell
happened?” she asked, exchanging quick glances with Brooke and Kyle. “Is that Don Fenwick?”
killed my father,” David said, not bothering to hide his contempt.
“And tried to kill
Brooke,” Kyle added.
“He started the
fire at the club?” Stephanie asked.
“He hated Royce
that much,” Brooke explained. “All he
saw when he looked at me was my father.”
tried to process the information. The
doctor who had appeared on the scene stood up from Don’s broken body and made a
pronouncement which instilled further gasps from the throng of onlookers.
old guy’s alive. I got a pulse.”
snapped his head back and looked at the man lying in a pool of his own
blood. How could he have survived?
walked into his father’s office at Sunset Studios where he was staring
thoughtfully out the window. He cleared
his throat to announce his presence and proceeded inward as James turned to
thought you went home to get ready for the premiere,” James said.
much to do,” Stormy replied. “Have you
think she went to see David,” James replied.
“Look, son, anything you have on your desk can wait until after
tonight. It’s not like we have anything
pressing coming up on the pipeline now that Angel
Assassin 2 is about to hit theatres.”
what I wanted to talk to you about,” Stormy said, handing James an ecru
envelope and sitting across from his desk.
script. It’s about a two warring
American families. Kind of an amped up Romeo & Juliet.”
you read it?”
times. It’s good. I mean really
what you said about The Standoff,”
James mused. “Look what happened with
that. We spent all that time chasing a
prospect that never panned out. We’re
running out of time to get a viable film into pre-production.”
won’t happen again, Dad. This time I
think we really could have something. There’s
just one problem.”
am I not surprised?” James said and sat down behind his desk. “Okay, let me have it.”
script was written by Will Thomerson.”
James guffawed. He reached for the
envelope and pulled the script from inside.
He read the title page. The House of Palms. “Where’d you get it?”
you were looking for Maureen Adams, Eddie, Miranda and I went up to the attic
and looked through some of Will’s old things to find some clues. Well, we obviously found what we needed, but
I also found this script. I don’t know
what made me read it, but it was good and I think it could be our next big
blockbuster. We’re talking location
shooting, lots of special effects, big name stars…”
expensive,” James said.
could make us a lot of money,” Stormy retorted.
a gamble,” James said. “Especially if we
can’t even secure the rights.”
Will’s dead,” Stormy said.
need permission from his next-of-kin.”
talking about Kyle,” James replied.
“After the way this family’s treated him, why in the hell would he want
to do us this favor?”
sighed, realizing their new endeavor may also be out of reach. James was right. Kyle Fenwick owed them nothing.
premiere wasn’t for a few more hours, but Alex was eager to get home to start
getting ready. Luckily, Cassidy’s
tantrum on the set of The Young at Heart
had halted production for the rest of the day, which freed her up to transform
herself into a ravishing beauty.
through her door, she was delighted to find the Escada gown she’d picked up
from the boutique on Rodeo Drive
awaiting her. The concierge in her
building was prompt to deliver it as she’d requested. Her hair and makeup she preferred to do
herself. She had no intention of walking
into Grauman’s Chinese Theatre looking like a clown or like so many prostitutes
who walked the streets in Beverly
unsheathing the garment bag from her floor-length black sequin cocktail gown,
she scampered back to her bedroom. She
turned on the television to see if there was any advance coverage of the
premiere. What she came across instead
was a report from the hotel at Moonshadows.
Quickly, she adjusted the volume.
say the men fell from the eleventh floor of the high rise hotel here at the
Moonshadows resort,” said the reporter from the parking lot of the
building. “How they both survived was
unclear, but a doctor who was at the scene called it nothing short of a
miracle. Confirmation of the men’s
identities was just released. David
Jennings, owner of Moonshadows, suffered superficial injuries during the
fall. The second man, New
York shipping magnate Don Fenwick, is currently in critical
condition at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Fenwick is the father of Kyle Fenwick, who
held an impromptu press conference weeks ago claiming his innocence of charges
that sent him to prison. He had no comment when asked about his father’s
Alex shut off the television and threw the remote onto her bed. In a flash, she was flying out to the front
door. She had to get to the
hospital. As usual she was left in the
dark where it came to Kyle and his mysterious life.
dead?” Kyle repeated in disbelief. He
knew he and his father had problems and hadn’t always gotten along, but this
was happening too fast. “He’s….”
heart is beating but he suffered a severe head trauma during the fall,” Dr.
Farraday confirmed. “I’m afraid he’s not
going to come out of it.”
stood by, alarmed by the news. Despite
the sleazy persona Kyle carried with him everywhere he went, she couldn’t not feel for him. And despite what a murderous thug his father
was, she could tell how much it hurt him to hear the news.
“I’m very sorry,”
continued Farraday. “You don’t have to
make any decisions right now, but you should know that the longer you wait, the
less of an opportunity we’ll have to donate his working organs.”
just need a little time to process this,” Kyle stammered. He felt the room spinning. Slowly, he turned and sat down on a row of
benches in the waiting room. Brooke sat
down beside him.
you okay?” she asked. “What do you want
should call my mother,” he said, his voice trailing off distantly. “She’ll want to know that he isn’t coming
sighed and hung her head low. “I feel
like this is all my fault.”
I set this into motion. I went to David
about Don confronting me today. You
were angry. I should have just kept out
turned to her and took her hand in his.
“You are not to blame for this,” he said very slowly. “You heard him up in his hotel room. He killed your father because of some stupid
grudge. He tried to kill you.”
was avenging his family,” Brooke reminded him.
stood up and fished his cell phone from the back pocket of his jeans. “I better go make this call,” he said. “Thank you.”
realized he was in no mood to talk so she decided to let it go. The moment seemed to call for more, however,
so she pulled him into an embrace that lasted a bit longer than she’d meant it
Kyle turned and made his way down the hall, Brooke turned and saw Alex standing
in the open elevator, lips pressed into a tight thin line. Wanting to avoid any confrontation with her,
she turned and started to walk away.
on a minute,” Alex said, rushing toward her.
“Where is Kyle going?”
went to call his mother,” Brooke answered.
“His father died.”
of jealousy made their way through Alex’s body leading her to go on the
offense. “And you were there to comfort
him. How convenient.”
beg your pardon?”
not stupid, Brooke. I saw the two of you
just now. How typical of you to use this
tragedy to get close to him.”
was there when it happened, Alex. Kyle
is devastated. Forgive me for trying to
offer up some sympathy for the man.”
little display had nothing to do with sympathy,” Alex retorted in a huff. “I’m getting a little tired of you
insinuating yourself into his life every time I turn around. This is such déjà vu.”
vu?” Brooke asked. “What on earth are
you talking about?”
placed her hands no her hips and glared at her with contempt. “I’m talking about you taking everything that
means anything to me. First James and
by the woman’s overreaction, Brooke held up a hand in hopes of putting an end
to her ridiculous accusations. “I’m not
going to go through this again. James
and I fell in love at a time when your marriage was rocky at best. I’m sorry if you got hurt in all of that.”
doubt that,” Alex began.
I most certainly am not trying to take Kyle from you. As I said before, he’s in pain. I was doing what any decent person would
nothing decent about you,” Alex seethed.
then, Kyle returned from the hall.
“Alex,” he said, his voice acting as a warning.
she realized he’d returned, Alex’s expression did a one-eighty. She raced to him, arms outstretched. “Darling, I heard about your father. I’m so sorry.
What can I do?”
looked at Brooke and then back at Alex.
“We need to talk,” he said, taking her arm and leading her down the
in the hospital, David was giving a formal statement to Stephanie when James
and Jackie arrived, having heard the news on an afternoon bulletin.
are you all right?” James inquired after swooping into the room.
fine,” he replied, bandages on his hands.
“A little stiff, but-“
it true? Don Fenwick fingered Royce in
the New York
looks like it,” David replied.
guess it all makes sense now,” James said distantly.
can’t believe Royce would have done that,” Jackie said. Her husband may have been a philandering
womanizer at times, but he wasn’t criminal.
more,” Stephanie added. “It appears that
Don Fenwick was responsible for Royce’s accident. He fixed his brakes so that he’d crash that
night coming back from Santa Barbara.”
closed her eyes, placing a hand to her chest.
James drew her close, realizing how hard it was for her to
truth. They’d suspected Royce’s death
wasn’t an accident, but to hear it confirmed was difficult to say the least.
him,” Jackie whispered, clenching her fist.
She looked up at David, realizing she wasn’t the only one affected by
the revelation. Emotionally, she pulled
him into an embrace. “Darling, I’m so
sorry. Despite the differences in our
marriage, your father was a good man.”
right, David,” James agreed. He looked
up when Brooke entered the room. “Are
fine,” she replied, purposefully avoiding eye contact with Jackie.
has to be so hard for you,” James remarked, placing a hand tenderly on her
shoulder. “As if finding out Royce was
your father wasn’t enough of a blow. But
to learn of his involvement in all of this, and that he was murdered because of
doesn’t change anything,” Brooke said.
“I didn’t even know him.”
you didn’t know him!” Jackie hissed. “Your
father was Mick Taylor. As far as I’m
concerned Royce had one child. Just
having you was enough of a desecration of his memory.”
David cautioned her.
didn’t know him because you wouldn’t allow it,” Brooke snapped. “You paid my parents off to keep it from me,
you had to go digging until you found the truth,” Jackie continued
angrily. “His precious babydoll. Well you don’t get to grieve over him. You have no right.”
that, she turned and fled from the room.
David shook his head in frustration, offering a look of condolence to
Brooke who appeared remarkably poised after the vicious attack.
“Anyway.” James decided it best to change the
subject. “I guess this gets Kyle off the
hook. Turns out we branded him as the
bad guy for nothing.”
and Stephanie looked at each other warily.
I wrong?” James asked. “The two of you
were damn near instrumental in labeling him a murderer. Surely you can’t blame him for his father’s
knew his reaction to Kyle’s arrival in town was extreme, but under the
circumstances he felt vindicated in doing so.
Besides, Kyle had been gunning for him since he got there. Using Brooke to prey on his weaknesses,
making idle threats, insinuating himself into their lives.
James continued, waiting for a response.
go file the report,” she said dismissively.
She flashed David one final look before exiting the room.
is Kyle now?” James asked while turning to Brooke.
Alex on the terrace.”
can I do for you?” Alex asked, reaching a hand out to him.
Kyle replied, his back toward her.
did all of this happen? I mean, David
and your father going over the balcony?
All this business about Royce Jennings blowing up that hotel in New York?”
doesn’t matter now.”
does matter. You went to prison for three years for
something you didn’t do!”
he didn’t reply, she walked up behind him and placed a hand on his
sorry for doubting you,” she said. “The
other night in my apartment I said some things that I didn’t mean. I was just angry because I thought you were
keeping things from me and-“
“Alex, stop,” Kyle cut her off
and turned toward her. “I told you none
of that matters now. We need to talk
knew what was coming so she tried to change the subject. “There’s nothing to talk about. We’re fine.
You’re still picking me up for the premiere, aren’t you? Six o’clock sharp. Wait till you see the gown I picked up.”
closed his eyes. All he could think
about was Brooke. What started out as a
way to get to David turned into something more.
He hadn’t felt for a woman as he did for Brooke in a very long
Alex blinked away tears that threatened to fall from her eyes. “Please don’t, Kyle. Don’t say what I think you’re going to say
because I don’t think I can handle it.
Not now. I need you.”
care about you very much…”
prove it,” she said, clinging to him for dear life. She placed a hand alongside his face, pulling
him into a deep kiss.
unable to do what he knew was right, kissed her in return, holding her close
and giving in to her demands. Hurting
her was the last thing he wanted to do.
He couldn’t walk away now. No
matter how he felt about Brooke.
Jackie got back to her office at Sunset Studios, she threw her purse onto a
chair and stormed about in a huff. Not
only had she learned that her ex-husband had been murdered, but Brooke Taylor
had the nerve to pretend to be damaged as a result. She had nothing to do with Royce Jennings, and
certainly had nothing to do with Sunset Studios. She didn’t belong there.
thoughts overwhelming her senses, she didn’t realize when the chair behind her
desk swiveled around to reveal Renee DeWitt perched across the room.
day?” Renee asked.
the hell are you doing in here?” Jackie asked with a shriek.
this James’s office?”
know it’s not. And to answer your
questions, I’ve had better days.”
smiled and stood up from the chair.
“Well, it’s about to get worse,” she said, her stilettos digging into
the carpet as she made her way around the desk.
“I warned you not to mess with Brooke, and yet I find out that you were
the one who locked her and Kyle Fenwick in the club the other day in an effort
to discredit her. They could have died."
old news, Renee,” Jackie said, shuffling papers on the credenza. “You need better spies.”
I need is for you to take a
hike. Go back to New
York and hole up in your Park Avenue
do what I please, now get out of my office.”
until you understand me, Jackie,” Renee said, stopping mere inches from
her. “All you’ve done since you got to Los Angeles is create
havoc everywhere you go. I’m here to
tell you that I will not stand for it.”
what are you going to do about it?” she asked, her eyes challenging her.
prepared to wage war against you. And
this time nothing can protect you. Not
even your marriage to Nathan.”
came here to tell me that?”
came here to give you fair warning.
After I get my company back on track, I’m going to devote every ounce of
my energy to destroying you the way you’ve destroyed so many lives.”
not scared of you,” Jackie said with a roll of her eyes.
underestimate your enemy,” Renee said with a wicked smile before brushing past
her and leaving the office.
she was gone, Jackie slid into her chair behind her desk. She placed her face in her hands and took a
deep breath. Her day couldn’t get any
worse, she decided.
down the upstairs hall at the Blackthorne mansion, Miranda stopped at Stormy’s
bedroom and noticed the door ajar. She
paused, knocked once, and slid inside where she found him fresh out of the
shower, coiffing his hair with a palm full of waxy styling product.
good, I can finally collect on that bet I’ve got going with Leilani,” she said,
leaning against the doorframe.
bet?” Stormy asked, frustrated when he couldn’t get his jet black hair to
much of that grease you use to get your hair to do that,” she replied with a
Stormy said. He stood in front of the
mirror in black tuxedo trousers and unbuttoned white shirt. “Why aren’t you getting ready for the premiere?”
was about to. Just thought I’d check in
on you. You’ve seemed kind of on edge
lately. What’s up?”
keep forgetting you’ve never worked for Dad.
If you had, you’d know why I’m on edge.
He expects a lot. This premiere
and everything that follows is riding on my shoulders.”
you are an executive at the studio,”
Miranda remarked, flopping stomach down on his bed and swinging her legs in the
air. “He’s put a lot of trust in you.”
for the reminder,” Stormy said wryly. He
buttoned his shirt and plucked a bow tie from a hook in the closet. “Sometimes I think it was easier when I
worked for myself. I had nobody to
disappoint when things didn’t go well.”
your problem, big brother. You expect
things not to go well. You could do with
some positive thinking.”
shook his head with a chortle. “Let’s
see, both of my marriages ended in disaster, Angel Assassin 2 went way over budget and nearly put us in the
hole, and the script option I spent months trying to obtain blew up in my
face. Why would I expect things to turn south?”
could sense his sarcasm blaring loud and clear. “So don’t screw up. There.
Do you want to tackle something bigger now? How about world hunger?”
grunted with annoyance, not only over her sarcastic jibes, but over the mess
he’d made of his tie. “That’s easy for
you to say. You did wonders with Hotel
Terranova when Dad gave it to you to run.
You never gave him a reason to doubt you.”
easily you forget my younger days,” Miranda said, twisting off the bed and
attacking his tie with nubile fingers.
“I gave Daddy plenty of reasons to be disappointed in me. Brett, for one. He was livid, remember? I show up married to a stranger that I’d met
in Vegas exactly one day earlier. And
let’s not forget about my reaction to Brooke getting pregnant with Michael, or
mowing Brooke down with my car, or…”
I get it,” Stormy groaned, fidgeting as she worked at his tie.
anything having to do with Brooke.”
Stormy said, turning and examining his reflection in the mirror. She’d actually done a decent job. “Not bad.”
brother,” Miranda said seriously. “Yes,
Daddy is hard to please. Yes, he expects
a lot. But you’re a smart guy most of the time. Wherever you take Sunset Studios is bound to
be an improvement over recent years.
Just trust your own judgment.”
looked at her watch and gasped. “I’d
better get ready. Eddie’s going to be
here to pick me up in an hour.”
watched her run to the door, calling after her before she left. “Miranda?”
“You really have
changed since those younger days you were talking about. I’m proud of you.”
disappearing into the hall and leaving him to his reflection in the dressing
After leaving the
hospital, Kyle went home to change into his tuxedo for the premiere. As much as he didn’t want to go, he’d made a
promise to Alex. With her fragile state,
he couldn’t consider disappointing her.
What started out as
a mutual attraction turned into a feeling of obligation where she was
concerned. Starting with their first
meeting - finding her unconscious from an overdose on the floor of her empty
apartment - he’d come to slowly realize the turmoil she was in. Her children had all but turned their backs
on her, her ex-husbands seemed to rue the day they met her, and even he had
done his part in tarnishing her reputation, thanks to his stint in prison.
Somehow he would
turn it around, prepare her for facing the world alone, and then delicately let
her go. Whether or not that freed him up
to explore any feelings for Brooke Taylor remained to be seen. His cocky attitude anticipated it, but inside
he wanted to tread carefully.
After he finished
getting dressed, he decided to swing back by the hospital to see if there was
any change with his father. He knew what
Dr. Farraday said – that there was no hope - but he had to be sure. And when he told his mother the news, she was
characteristically cold and detached. Rather
than offer to fly to L.A.
to take care of matters, she informed him that she was sending Bryan Carlson,
the family attorney who Kyle had known since his youth. So much for family togetherness, he
Much to his
was already at the hospital waiting when he arrived. The company jet was always on standby, as
evidenced in the stealthy ways his father came and went from Los Angeles over the years.
“Typical that she’d
send you instead of coming herself,” Kyle said, hands slung in the pockets of
his tuxedo pants.
“She wanted to but
she’s been inconsolable since we got the news,” Bryan replied, stepping away from the bed
where Don Fenwick’s lifeless body laid amidst a tangle of machinery.
“Yes, she sounded
like it on the phone,” Kyle remarked with a wry expression. “How are you, Bryan?
It’s been a few years.”
“Since before you
went to Arthur Kill,” the young attorney replied. He was a tall, well built man in his early
thirties with thick blond hair and a cleft chin. A permanent smarmy grin was etched on his
face at all times. “Adjusting to life on
Kyle roamed into
the room, hands still firmly planted in his pockets. “Let’s cut the idle conversation. Did you come to tell them to unplug the
machines? I assume that’s what my mother
“Actually I’ve come
to take him back to New York.”
“But the doctors
say there’s no hope. He won’t wake
up. He’s brain dead.”
Bryan rubbed his
stubbled chin and went to his briefcase that rested on the end of the bed. “Fenwick Industries has shareholders and
those shareholders may get nervous if they learned their leader was dead. Nervous shareholders mean our stock values
take a dive. As long as he’s hooked up
to that machine he’s legally still living.”
Kyle shook his head
in disbelief. “So you’re just going to
keep him like this forever? What
happens when someone wants to see him face to face?"
“I’ll let you know
when that happens,” Bryan
said with a smug grin. He looked at him
with a shrug. “No one ever wants to see
your father in person. Speaks volumes
about his character, doesn’t it?”
“So I’m supposed to
stay quiet, is that it?”
“Don wanted you to
head up the company in the event of his death or incapacitation. My hope is that you’ll come back to New York with us and
take second chair.”
“Second chair to a
man who’s brain dead?” Kyle said with a guffaw.
“He’s always looked
up to you, Kyle. You’re
independent. You’re hard as hell, but
you’re your own man. It’s a shame you
never saw that.”
“He did nothing but
tell me what a disappointment I was. You
were always more of a son to him than I was.
You, the blue-eyed Yale graduate.
How many times did I hear why
can’t you be more like Bryan?”
“You act like we
were enemies growing up. We weren’t. We
were tight, Kyle.”
“We competed on
every level imaginable.”
Bryan laughed. “All boys do.
Sure, maybe we unzipped and pulled out our rulers one too many
times. Well…only once literally."
He laughed again. "I always thought we both wanted to be
accepted by your father. Don’t make it
Kyle dismissed the
trip down memory lane. “What if I don’t
want to head up the company?” he asked.
“What if what I want is here
“Get serious. What are you going to do in L.A.?”
“Anything I set my
Grinning, Bryan took a step
forward. “Who is she?” he asked.
“Nobody. None of your business.”
“I can’t see you in
La La Land for any length of time, bro.
The sun’s going to eat at your brain and turn you into one of these
sheep. Are you sure about this? Look what you’re giving up.”
Kyle looked at his
father and then back at Bryan. “I’m sure.”
Bryan sighed and turned
back to his briefcase. He withdrew a
piece of paper and handed it to him.
“I’ll tell the board. I guess
I’ll have to step in as acting director for the time being.”
“It’s what you’ve
always wanted,” Kyle said knowingly.
Bryan met his gaze,
realizing that he saw through him.
“Sure, I want it. Who wouldn’t?”
Kyle turned to the
piece of paper and skimmed through it.
“What is this?”
“A memo I typed up
on the flight out here. It exonerates
you from the blast that killed Detective Dugan in New York three years ago, complete with
evidence your father had in Royce Jennings’s involvement. I know your father’s signature better than
anyone. Consider it a consolation for
your three years in prison.”
Kyle reviewed the
document carefully. This was what he’d
been after since the day he walked out of Arthur Kill. Retribution.
A clean slate. It would be so
easy to let Bryan
send the document out to every media outlet in the country. Finally he’d have what he longed for.
Then he thought
about Brooke and the fact that she was forced into accepting her father was a
man she never knew. Despite all of that,
to have his name dragged through the mud was something he didn’t know that he
could do to her.
Shaking his head,
he ripped the paper in half and handed it back to him.
“What are you
“Moving on,” he
said. “And don’t worry. I’ll keep your secret. No one will know that Don Fenwick is a
Picking up his
stopped and patted him on the shoulder.
“Good to see you again, Kyle.”
He nodded, glancing
back at his father as Bryan
left the room. Someone came up behind
him as he turned to leave. Stephanie.
“Hi,” she said,
obviously unsure of how to broach the difficult subject of admitting she’d
blamed the wrong man for so many years.
“Look, I owe you this so don’t make it hard for me…”
“Forget it,” he
said softly, throwing his jacket over his shoulder and heading out of the
back, amazed at how differently that scenario went in her mind as she’d
“All of Hollywood is buzzing
today over the long-awaited premiere of Angel
Assassin 2: Halo and Goodbye, the follow-up to the blockbuster 1995 Sunset
Studios production that raked in hundreds of millions at the box office,” said
the entertainment news correspondent from her position beside a giant red
column at the Grauman Chinese Theatre.
“Tonight’s guest list is limited to select media outlets, as well as
close friends, family and business associates of James Blackthorne, the CEO of
Sunset Studios. Word has already began
circulating that the film could be up for a Filmmaker
Award this November – the first time in history a sequel has held that
The mob of rabid
fans circled the theatre, corralled behind barricades that separated Hollywood Boulevard
from the red carpet where stars and invited guests arrived in droves.
James, Stormy and
Brooke arrived first, stepping out of the limousine and waving to a blinding
flash of camera clicks. They stopped and
gave a reporter from E! a brief interview.
he said to James, thrusting a microphone at him. “What are your thoughts tonight as you unveil
the second installment in the Angel
“Relief,” he said
with a good-natured smile.
“I can imagine how
difficult production of this film was,” the correspondent continued. “The tabloids fed on the scandals for
months. Scott Kelly’s horrific beating which
sent him into early retirement, your son’s wife’s sudden departure following
last year’s earthquake, Alex Reynolds in and out of the lead role in the film,
not to mention the psychotic breakdown of Victor Distefano. Did you ever think this film would get made?”
“The film did get
made,” James said, patting Stormy on the back.
“Primarily to due my son’s hard work.”
“Stormy, how much
of the film did you actually produce?”
“Without him the
film wouldn’t have gotten made, let’s just say that,” James answered for
him. He gestured to Stormy and
Brooke. “These two are the future of
“Does that mean
you’ll be taking a step back from future productions?”
James laughed and
shook his head. “Not at all. New blood won’t hurt anything, though. You can expect great things from these
standing between Stormy and James as cameras and videographers continued
“Look at her
standing there like God's gift to the media,” Jackie said bitterly
from the chaise lounge in her penthouse at Moonshadows. “She doesn’t
personal nineteen-year-old assistant, nodded along as he knelt shirtless on the
floor before her, massaging her feet with scented oils.
“I should be there
with James, not her,” Jackie continued, sipping from a glass of champagne as
she glared angrily at the television.
“The only reason I’m not is because I’m too upset about Royce. But seeing that woman there stealing all the
spotlight makes me want to run down there and shake her senseless.”
Steven refilled her
champagne and switched his hands to her other foot.
“First she steals
the spotlight as Royce’s illegitimate daughter, ruins my marriage, and pulls
David to her side,” she said, dipping into a box of chocolates and searching
for a coconut crème. “Then she
insinuates herself into Sunset Studios, the company my father built from the
She switched the
stations, finding another angle of the same interview and throwing the remote
with contempt across the room.
“I’ll find a way to
take care of her,” she said with determination.
“Sooner or later.”
Steven worked at
her feet, the muscles on his finely sculpted arms flexing each time he pressed
the palms of his hands into her heels.
She enjoyed having him around. He
was very young and enjoyable to look at, but that was where it ended. Even she had her limits.
“Now on top of
Brooke Taylor, I have Renee DeWitt to worry about.” She knew it was possible he wasn’t even
listening to her rambling, but she proceeded anyway. “She’s going to be a problem. However, I think I might just have the
perfect way to deal with her meddling.”
Her thoughts were
interrupted when the phone rang. Steven
lifted it from the cradle and handed it to her before quickly going back to
work at her foot massage.
answered. “How are you? It has
been a long time. Of course, I’d love to
meet you for a drink. The Mediterranean
Lounge at Moonshadows. Seven o’clock. Yes, I’m looking forward to seeing you too. “
Handing the phone
back to Steven, she clasped her hands together and smiled with
exhilaration. “Steven, I have to
go. Why don’t you go play with some
people your own age?”
With that, she rose
from the chaise lounge and scurried across the room, her nightgown billowing
behind her as she disappeared into her bedroom.
hope that wasn’t too uncomfortable,” Miranda said to Eddie as they entered the
theatre. “When that reporter started
talking about Victor.”
shrugged, pulling at the collar on his tuxedo which he felt as comfortable in
as sleeping in a bed of glass. “Yeah,
it’s all right,” he said, sweating profusely as he looked around the
Miranda asked, dressed in a simple black mini dress with black beading covering
the bodice. “Are you okay?”
he said, tripping over a stanchion and correcting himself before falling into a
waiter carrying a tray of champagne glasses.
no you’re not. What’s up?”
a lot of cameras here. Cameras and more
cameras and people with microphones.”
His eyebrows arched to oblivion, he swallowed hard and grabbed a flute
of champagne, downing it in one swallow before coughing it up and spraying the
sticky liquid into an old woman walking by obliviously.
it easy,” Miranda said and grabbed the glass from him. “What are you so nervous about?”
hate being on camera,” he said. “I hate
interviews and reporters and having to say….things.”
Miranda clarified, amused by the hilarity of his behavior. “Your father was a mega movie star. Are you telling me you avoided cameras and
interviews for your entire life?”
he said quickly. “Never came to one of
his premieres. Couldn’t do it.” He grabbed another glass of champagne from
another waiter and swallowed it quickly, again spewing the liquid when he
started coughing uncontrollably.
she cautioned him, yanking the glass away.
“Look, why don’t we just go inside and find our seats. At least that way you’ll be able to pull
Eddie said, nodding repeatedly. They
proceeded to the theatre entrance and he stopped when a waiter passed with more
even think about it,” Miranda said hastily.
then, a reporter from Entertainment Tonight stopped them, shoving a microphone
at them before they could even react.
here at the premiere of Angel Assassin 2 where I’ve just ran into Miranda
Blackthorne,” the perky reporter with ultra long legs said into the camera.
“Are you going to
be okay?” Miranda whispered to Eddie.
“Relax,” he replied
confidently. “I got this.”
“Miranda, you look lovely tonight,” the
reporter continued. “Who designed your
you, Mary. It’s Dolce & Gabana,” she
replied, flashing white teeth and tossing her mane of black hair for good
you look radiant,” the reporter continued.
“Miranda, tell us the inside scoop on what it’s like to have James
Blackthorne as a father and Alex Reynolds as a mother. You were literally born
into Hollywood royalty.”
father is amazing,” she said cheerfully.
“Hardest working man in Hollywood
and yet he still finds time for his family.”
like the only daughter of a movie mogul,” the reporter said. “And who is your date tonight? He looks very familiar.”
is Eddie Distefano,” Miranda said, hoping Eddie would be able to handle the
course! Strangely I haven’t seen you at
many of these, Eddie. Tell us, how are
you doing since losing your father so tragically?”
working man in Hollywood.”
Eddie said in a monotone while staring robotically into the camera. “Love the movie. I mean…um….it’s been hard. Not the movie, the movie’s not hard and
loving the movie isn’t hard but losing my tragedy…er…my father was not
hard. Damn. I mean, it’s hard...but it’s not easy.”
I see. It must be difficult seeing
Victor on screen knowing that this is the last picture he appeared in.”
Eddie said loudly, eyes wide and unmoving from the camera as he continued to
sweat profusely. “I’m wearing Diesel,
the reporter said, signaling to her cameraman to cut. “Thanks,” she said with a roll of her eyes
before jaunting off in search of another subject to interview.
did I do?” Eddie asked with a grin, finally breathing once the cameras were
a natural,” Miranda said, rolling her eyes and pulling him inside the
Jordan arrived with Mackenzie Stone
on his arm. After picking her up at her
place on Mulholland Drive,
he quickly surmised that she was no Stephanie.
The comparisons ended at their no-nonsense demeanors. At least Stephanie was capable of talking
about something other than a damn soap opera.
he was determined to get over his feelings for the heartless detective, so he
decided to make the best of his night with Mackenzie. They entered through the grand doors and
smiled cordially to an assault of camera flashes. Several reporters asked Jordan about
his sabbatical from Rydell Productions and others asked Mackenzie for a scoop
on the storylines coming up on The Young at Heart. At least she didn’t look down on the
industry as Stephanie had. Sometimes it
was a good thing to socialize inside the Hollywood
circuit. Others didn’t understand.
look lovely tonight, in case I didn’t already tell you,” Jordan
told me in the car, but thank you just the same,” was her robotic
sell, Jordan thought to himself as they mingled through the crowd in the theatre lobby. When the crowd parted and
Stephanie walk in with David Jennings, he felt butterflies trip through is
stomach. And at the same time: Damn, why did she have to come
tonight? Even though she’d made it
clear there could be nothing between them, he hated for her to see him with
another woman already. To her it would
be further ammunition against his alleged philandering Hollywood
for a quick escape, Jordan
glanced around the vicinity. Nowhere to
run. Besides, they were approaching
Stephanie said, somewhat out of place in a long silver gown that didn’t quite
fit as it was intended to. Not her
fault. She was beyond those superficial
things, which was part of the intrigue.
he said, only a little sure that his response was bitter. “David.
Nice to see you.”
David replied, reaching over and shaking his hand. He turned his attention to Mackenzie and
offered her his hand as well. “I’m David
Stone,” she replied. Her cell phone rang
inside her purse and she excused herself before walking off to an open area of
the theatre lobby.
“I heard about what happened today,” Jordan
after she’d gone. “Real
unbelievable. David, I’m glad to see
you’re still in one piece.”
accident you can get up and walk away from, right?”
said with a nod. He couldn’t take his
eyes off of Stephanie. She seemed
different somehow. Like she’d had a
weight lifted off her shoulders.
you and Mackenzie are here together?” she asked.
that a pang of jealousy he detected?
No. A woman like Stephanie
Callahan didn’t get jealous. She’d sooner cut her right arm off than show an ounce of emotion.
I asked and she accepted.”
seen her around,” David said. “She’s
she is,” Jordan
agreed, his eyes unmoving from Stephanie.
Of course he was talking about her.
Was that a smile? She smiled at
him? What the heck was going on
we should get inside,” David said.
“Yes. Nice to see you Jordan.” Stephanie turned and followed David toward
they’d gone, Jordan
began to analyze the entire conversation.
Maybe he was imagining things.
Stephanie had told him in no uncertain terms that they couldn’t be
together for one reason or another.
Obviously since then she’d decided that David Jennings was a more worthy
candidate for her affections. Strange,
because David was just as opulent and womanizing as he was.
it, he thought, turning back to find where Mackenzie had ran off to.
her red lace gown, she watched as the limo arrived. It took several minutes for the driver to get
out and open the door. Tension mounted
in the bull pen behind the blockades.
Pandemonium had erupted outside the theater. She could hear the E! news correspondent’s
voice carrying through the crowd….
“With most of the films’ stars missing or
deceased, Reynolds is going to be of particular interest at this premiere as
all eyes will definitely be on her.”
All of this for her? What was so special
about Alex Reynolds anyway? She was a
half-talent who’d spent the better part of ten years not even working. The film was supposedly her big comeback, but
she’d heard she only got first billing because she used to be married to the
minutes of waiting behind the sidelines, she watched as she finally emerged
from the limo. And when she did, she
emerged seemingly carefree, waving to her adoring fans in a black sequin gown
and a rugged, handsome man on her arm.
Alex Reynolds was
the center of attention. And she hated
“This is quite the
reception,” Kyle said as he led Alex down the red carpet. “This must make you feel good.”
“It’s lovely,” Alex
replied with her painted on smile. She
felt good because she was with Kyle. But
where was her family? Miranda and
Stormy? James and Jordan, despite being
her ex-husbands, weren’t even waiting to greet her and show their support. “Thank God for you,” she said.
pictures and shouted questions about the actress’s personal life until she met
up with the E! correspondent standing at the doors.
from the premiere of Angel Assassin 2: Halo and Goodbye,” the reporter began as
Alex and Kyle stood alongside her. “I’m
here talking to Alex Reynolds who’s just arrived amidst a clamor from fans and
press. Alex, tell us what it was like
making this movie. Your big return to
the silver screen.”
“Can you confirm or
deny the rumors that tension mounted on the set between you and the
director, Frank Dunning?”
Either she was out
of practice, or Alex hadn’t anticipated the line of questioning. “Frank was a wonderful director and he’ll be
missed in this town,” she replied as amicably as she could.
about your daughter-in-law, Kelly Blackthorne?
Tabloids were buzzing about friction between the two of you. Was it a matter of her marriage to your son,
or that she upstaged you on set?”
Alex stammered. She panicked under the
light of the camera. “Kelly did an
amazing job with her role in the film. I
know the audiences will appreciate that.”
what about the talk of extramarital affairs between you and your co-star, Scott
Kelly? Neither of you denied those
rumors. Any truth to that? And if so, was that what led to your divorce
form your second marriage to Jordan Rydell?”
“No, that had
nothing to do with it,” Alex said, her bubble finally burst. “There was no affair. If you’ll excuse me.”
Kyle held his hand
up to the reporters in protest, leading Alex inside the theater and to a
private corner. “I’m so sorry. That woman had no right to badger you like
“Is that the only
reason these people even care about me?” she cried. “Because I make good tabloid headlines?”
“No, of course
not. You’re a star. Don’t let them get to you, Alex.”
She closed her eyes
and took a deep breath. “Thank you,
Darling. Would you get me a drink,
He nodded. “Champagne?”
“Yes, thank you.”
disappeared into the crowd, Alex did a quick scan of the area to ensure no one
was watching. Quickly, she reached into
her purse to a bottle of oxycontin and swallowed one swiftly.
The woman in the
red dress watched her closely, hidden behind a grove of potted palms across the
managed to make his way to the overcrowded bar after having no luck finding a
nearby waiter. Standing in line, he
bumped into a woman in front of him and politely excused himself. When she turned, he realized it was
he said with a perfect smile.
“Hi.” Her eyes lit up when she saw him. Why, she didn’t know, but she suddenly felt
foolish. “I didn’t see you show up. Are you with Alex?”
we just got here. The press was brutal.”
pushed a wisp of blond hair from her eyes. “Tell me about it. All they seem to want to focus on is how many
scandals the movie produced. Is that
what I’m in for in this business?”
grinned again. “I have a feeling you’ll
be able to hold your own.” Then without
realizing it, he placed a hand on her back for a few too many seconds. As soon as her eyes made contact with his
hand, he realized he was probably making her uncomfortable.
are you holding up?” Brooke asked him, disregarding the gesture. “I can’t imagine you’re that into this whole
premiere thing after the day you’ve had.”
had better days,” he replied, trying to laugh it off.
about your father? Have you made any
mother’s having his body flown back to New
York. I guess
they don’t want to give up.”
“Really?” She was genuinely surprised. “The way Dr. Farraday made it sound, there
was no hope for-“
my call,” he cut her off.
realized he didn’t want to discuss it.
“Well, what are your plans now? I
imagine you’ll be going back to New
York. I mean,
you got what you came here for. You’ve
cleared your name.”
didn’t tell her that he’d arranged for her father’s name to remain clear. There was no point in singing his own
praises, at least not yet.
was thinking about sticking around for a while.”
“Yeah? What are you thinking of doing?”
shrugged. “I don’t know yet. Maybe
something will fall into my lap the way Sunset Studios did for you.”
The premiere less than ten minutes away,
Brooke raced into the ladies room for a final check of her makeup before they
took their seats. Miranda was already
there, standing at the mirror with a compact in her hand.
getting less noticeable,” she said when looking at her scar.
guess the laser treatments are helping,” Miranda suggested.
long it’ll be a distant memory.”
shrugged and popped the compact back into her tiny clutch. “I barely notice it anymore. Either I’m not paying attention or I’ve
gotten used to looking like a monster.”
look beautiful,” Brooke assured her, reaching over and squeezing her hand.
I saw you talking to Kyle,” Miranda said, switching subjects completely. “He seems to be in fair spirits based on
everything that’s happened.”
really seen a different side of him these past few days,” Brooke said
thoughtfully. “He comes off as this
cocky, arrogant son of a bitch, but he’s really not like that at all. He’s actually very sweet.”
smiled knowingly and turned to the mirror.
“Sounds like someone is sweet on him.”
she said with a chuckle. “Come on. I saw you two together. You lit up when he approached you.”
didn’t notice,” Brooke lied.
I did. He has Ethan’s eyes, you know?”
a meaningful pause, Brooke took a deep breath and nodded her head. “I know.”
hesitated, hoping she didn’t say anything out of turn. She knew how much Brooke loved Ethan. “Look, if that’s what’s bothering you, don’t
let it. Ethan died a year ago. He would want you to move on.”
not moving on,” Brooke insisted. “I
mean, I would if there was something
to move on to. But there’s not. There’s nothing between Kyle and I.”
of course it’s plutonic. Wait, no. It’s not plutonic because it isn’t even
shrugged and primped her hair. “I think
you should go for it.”
you serious? I can’t believe you’re
saying this to me. You’ve been going on
and on for weeks about how wrong he is for your mother and now you’re trying to
push us together?”
wrong for my mother. He’s not wrong for
his name’s been cleared for one thing,” Miranda said plainly.
“Fine. So Alex is free and clear to see him.”
sighed. “It’s more than that. If you want the truth, my mother’s making a
fool of herself with Kyle. He’s almost
twenty years younger than her. And with
the bad wrap she’s gotten lately, being seen with a younger man is the last
thing she needs. She’s just asking for
left the restroom together, the door swinging closed behind. After they’d disappeared from view, Alex
emerged from one of the stalls. Her face
pale and listless, she stood perfectly still, hurt and humiliated.
Jackie walked into
the Mediterranean Lounge at Moonshadows and all eyes fell on her. She walked confidently through the maze of
tables and perched herself at the bar next to a well-built man in his early
look better every time I see you,” she purred as he leaned in for a kiss on the
haven’t seen each other in years so that’s not saying much,” Bryan Carlson
replied with his trademark grin. “You,
on the other hand, look amazing. Not a
boy,” she said with a wink, laying a delicate hand on his cheek. “I was surprised to get your call. What brings to L.A.?”
something up for the family,” he replied easily.
not still working for the Fenwicks, are you?”
recently secured a slightly more lucrative position with the company, but yes.”
say I’m sorry to hear about Don now that certain information has come to
light,” she said bitterly.
held up his hand and shook his head.
“You know I can’t discuss family business. That’s not why I called you.”
sighed. It didn’t matter anyway. The truth was out about Don’s involvement
with Royce’s death. Now he was gone and
it was a mute point. “So why did
you call me?”
heard you were here and thought I’d look you up. It’s been a while since we had one of
our…mutually beneficial encounters.”
flattered you remember,” she preened, sipping from a glass of white wine that
the bartender placed in front of her.
could I not?” he asked in a low voice, his eyes traveling up her long
do know that I’m a married woman again.”
Her tone was filled with playful innuendo.
husband’s in prison. I thought we might
keep that in mind.”
not suggesting we go up to my suite, are you, Bryan?”
he began, looking around the lounge, “we could do it here but I’m not sure
these people paid for a show.”
traced her finger along the base of her wine glass. “Agreed.
Besides, I have something you might be able to help me with.”
it,” he said, placing a hand on her thigh.
kind of help,” she corrected him.
“There’s somebody that I want to teach a lesson to. I’m thinking of attacking her where it
the boardroom,” Bryan surmised. “I could
help you that. It is my specialty.”
thought your specialty was in the bedroom?” she joked, taking his hand and
standing up from the bar.
“How about you
refresh my memory?”
the way,” he said, following her out of the lounge.
With the film ready to begin and Alex nowhere
to be found, the projectionist was informed to delay the start of the
movie. The audience gathered in the
lobby area, most uncertain of what the delay was all about.
scouted around the theatre for any sign of his missing date. When no one had seen her, he decided to hang
back. Sooner or later she would show up.
She wouldn’t leave before her own
seen Brooke emerge from the ladies room twenty minutes before and hadn’t taken
his eyes off of her since. Everything
about her caused him to pant with desire.
After looking at his watch again, and then finding her alone, decided to
go in for another chat.
as he reached her, however, Alex emerged from the ladies room. She spotted him with Brooke and flew into a
rage, stumbling in a drug-induced haze across the carpeted floor of the
the hell away from him,” she hissed at Brooke.
“You already stole James from me.
You want to make it two for two?”
Kyle began, instantly recognizing her impaired senses.
quiet. You think you’re doing me a favor
by staying with me, don’t you? Well
you’re not. You’re not doing me any
commotion was detected by the rest of the crowd, who began to gather around. Miranda and Stormy watched
their mother stumble about, distraught over seeing her in such a pathetic
state. James, along with Jordan and
Mackenzie arrived next, eager to put an end to her rant but unsure of how to do
come on,” James said and reached for her.
“Let’s go into the theatre.”
“No!” She pulled way violently. “You set it up, that whole affair with Scott
Kelly, just to pimp your stupid movie!
Well I did not have an affair with Scott Kelly.” She pointed her finger through the crowd. “Do you hear me!?”
please don’t do this,” Stormy said.
spun toward him, a smile breaking out across her face. “My baby boy,” she said,
teetering toward him with her arms outstretched. “You forgave me for wanting to get rid of
Kelly, didn’t you? I only did it to
protect you. You have to believe that.”
closed his eyes, fighting the urge to cry.
turned to Miranda. “And
my sweet Miranda. You are your father’s
daughter. You put up with me but I know
you love him. And I forgive you for
those things you said about me making a fool of myself. I know you didn’t mean it.”
suddenly realized she must have heard her and Brooke talking. Swallowing hard, she turned and looked
away. Did what she said cause this
somebody get her out of here?” Mackenzie ordered. “She’s wasted.”
leveled a look of disgust on her. “You’re
a bitch,” she snapped. “You’re the
producer of an stupid daytime soap, not a world leader. You need to get over yourself, lady.”
looked at Jordan and shook her head in amazement.
James, Stormy and Kyle decided to get her out by any means necessary. They all went for her at once and she reacted
by throwing up her arms and twisting violently away. As she did, she lost her footing and fell into
a pack of reporters who snapped away at pictures of her tirade.
gasp fell over the crowd as Alex lay sprawled out over the red carpet. While the reporters continued snapping
pictures of her, Cassidy Solomon emerged in a flowing red lace dress. Finally, she would have her revenge. Nobody
could humiliate her or daughter and get away with it.
In a flash, Cassidy raced to the ground and
picked up Alex’s purse. Reaching inside,
she removed the bottle of oxycontin and held it up to the audience.
“Here! Get a good look! Your star is a pill popping mess!” she
screamed, then handed the bottle to Mackenzie. She broke down in tears.
"And she....is the worst kind of person.
She preys on the weaknesses of others."
and James looked away, unable to watch the spectacle unfold. It was too painful. Mackenzie looked at the bottle in her hands
and marched toward Alex, still half-laying on the ground.
fired,” she said before turning and marching off.
took in her surroundings, humiliation mounting. Her
and her family each stood above her, casting looks of disapproval as she lay
stunned on the ground.
to his mother's recent behavior. James and Stormy
have a proposition for Kyle. Renee finds her company
under attack. Alex tries to pick up the pieces.
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