Brett, Jackie and Eddie saved Miranda
from the cartel. At their hotel in Acapulco, Brooke
and David were held at gunpoint by Bryan Carlson. Kyle
saved them but Bryan escaped after hinting about secrets
that Kyle was hiding. Brooke inadvertantly learned
of David's illness. Stormy blamed Kyle for Brooke's
kidnapping, then told hiim he was fired from Sunset
Studios. Armed with evidence that Jackie knew
about the shipping deal, Renee threatened to tell authorities
if she didn't fix things. Fearing that she would
be blamed for the murders and kidnappings, Jackie gave
a press conference announcing she'd been awarded a government
post in D.C., and then she announced she was returning
Merteuil Industries to Renee. Before she could
leave town, however, she was paid a visit by Bryan Carlson.
Bryan was shot and killed by an FBI agent. Eddie
witnessed David proclaiming his love for MIranda. After
learning that Stormy was alive, Alex feared that she
would have to give R.J. up. Alex hired an actress
named Jane Wheeler to pretend she was R.J.'s biological
of the Damned"
Stormy Blackthorne, there was nothing worse than wasting time. That, however, hadn’t always been the
case. Growing up he embodied the
definition of laziness and the stereotype of the spoiled son of a Hollywood power couple.
Long days of lazing at the pool and even longer nights of carousing
about town were once the most important things in his life. For years he never so much as thought about
what he wanted to do with his life. Then
around the time he turned twenty-three, he started his own record label with
the assistance of his cousin Ethan Blackthorne and his best friend and partner
Eddie Distefano. And even that venture
he only gave partial effort to. When
Good Times Records folded, he finally succumbed to the pressure from his father
and joined him in running Sunset Studios.
Now it was his passion. Making
his father proud was the thing that gave him determination and drive. The fact that he was laid up in the hospital
was like torture to him. He wanted to
get back to work and he wanted to do it now.
not leaving until Dr. Farraday says you can,” James informed him sternly in his
room at Cedars-Sinai
Medical Center. “You have a concussion and that is nothing
to mess around with.”
I feel fine,” Stormy groaned from his bed.
On the television across the room were repeated reports of his and
Brooke’s release from their Mexican prison, as well as bulletins regarding
Bryan Carlson’s death. “He said
twenty-four hours. I’m ready to get out
of here and get back to work.”
James could protest, the doctor entered the room and gave Stormy a stern look
of warning. “Noel, would you please tell
my son that it’s for his own good to stay put until he’s completely healed?”
to your father,” Dr. Farraday said while flashing a pen light in Stormy’s eyes
and then checking the dressing on the back of his head.
I feel fine!” Stormy complained restlessly.
“If I have to lay here for another day listening to Miranda talk about
Eddie or Eddie talk about Miranda I’m going to explode.”
stubborn,” James said.
both stubborn,” Dr. Farraday said, clicking a pen and jotting a few things on a
clipboard. “But I am going to allow you
to go home today. Under the condition
that you take it easy for a few days,” he added quickly.
Stormy exclaimed just as Alex entered the room.
sounds like good news,” she said, beaming in a vibrant blue blouse that brought
out the electric color of her eyes.
he said happily. “I’m going home
wonderful,” she said, darting over and kissing him on the cheek. She turned to James. “Are you going to hire someone to look after
he needs someone to look after him then yes, of course I will.”
don’t need nurse-maiding,” Stormy maintained.
He looked at Dr. Farraday. “Do
but as I said, you have to take it easy.”
He jabbed his pen into the pocket of his lab coat and offered a pleasant
smile. “Nice to see you Alex.”
too, Noel,” she said, then pulled up a stool and sat beside the bed.
know, it might not be a bad idea to have someone around to look after you for a
few days, son,” James suggested. “Just
until you’ve regained your strength. You
took quite a beating down in Mexico
from that damn cartel. I’d hate for you
to have a setback.”
thank you,” he said and folded his arms belligerently. “I don’t want some pushy
nurse warden ordering me around.”
to your father,” Alex said, tucking the blanket around him. “It might not be a bad idea.”
things at the mansion are going to be hectic for the next few days,” James went
on. “I have a ton of work to do at the
studio having to deal with the fallout of this House of Palms disaster. Alex, what do you say Stormy recuperates at
idea sent her into a panic. She’d hoped
to prolong having Stormy see R.J. in person.
The possibility that he would look into the infant’s eyes and see
himself scared her to death.
can’t,” she blurted, looking at Stormy.
“I mean, R.J. has been up all night every night. You wouldn’t get any rest.”
about your downstairs suite?” James asked.
stammered nervously. “The walls are so
thin. Believe me, Stormy, it would be a
nightmare for you.”
okay. I’d kind of like to stay in my own
room anyway. I do want to meet my new
little brother, though. Mom, it’s been
such a whirlwind since we got back yesterday and I don’t think I told you how
much it means to me that you named him after me.”
brought a tear to her eyes. Squeezing
his hand, she was reminded of the torture she felt after she’d learned he’d
supposedly died. The feeling of
emptiness over losing a child was something she never wanted to experience
thought I’d lost you,” she said. “And I
guess I wanted to keep you alive in some way.”
exchanged a warm embrace as James looked on.
“Alex, when do we get to meet this new addition to the family?” He still had his reservations about her adopting
a child, especially so soon after being released from rehab. She did seem to be more together than he’d
seen her in a long time, however.
she said, wiping her eyes. She looked
back at Stormy and tried to push aside the guilt she felt over deceiving
him. “Very soon.”
a room down the hall, Kyle sat on the edge of an examination table while Dr.
Farraday examined his gunshot wound.
good,” he said. “The doctor in Mexico
did a good job. But
considering the infection you had, It’s a
miracle you’re still able to move that arm.”
winced when Farraday applied a fresh bandage.
“I had a lot of motivation to keep going,” he said.
other problems since you returned?”
Kyle replied. “I feel fine.”
was the last time you had a complete physical?” the doctor asked as he finished
the bandage and handed him his shirt.
prison, I guess,” he answered. “Why?”
Farraday sat down at a desk and scribbled out a prescription for pain
killers. “I know that the Fenwicks were
your adoptive parents and that your biological father was Will Thomerson…”
Thomerson had a heart condition. In
studies it’s been proven that heredity has a lot to do with it and I thought
you might want to get checked out. Just
a precaution. You’re still young so I
wouldn’t worry too much yet.”
keep that in mind,” Kyle said as he buttoned his shirt. “Thanks, Dr. Farraday.”
he said and left after handing him the prescription.
the open door, Kyle caught a glimpse of a woman passing by on her way down the
hall. When she spotted him, she stopped
and looked into the room.
Kyle said, moving toward the door.
Stone regarded him carefully for a brief moment, then wordlessly continued
along her way, a bouquet of flowers clutched in her hands. Kyle stood in the doorway and watched as she
made her way down the hall and disappeared around the corner.
are you doing here?” Alex asked once Mackenzie had entered Stormy’s room.
it another peace offering,” Mackenzie replied, jet black hair falling like silk
down to the middle of her back. “For my
part in driving you to the pills and for firing you from the show. I should have known you and Cassidy Solomon
were going to clash on set. Truth be
told, I was secretly anticipating the amusement it would bring.”
you bring me flowers?” Alex asked, surprised. “How
did you know I was here?”
didn’t,” she said and set the bouquet next to Stormy’s bed. “I thought I could butter you up by being nice
to your family. I’m glad you’re feeling
better,” she said to Stormy. “I’m
Stormy said with a wave.
have you met my ex-husband?” Alex asked and gestured across the room.
she looked at James and smiled while extending a delicate hand. “Once or twice in passing,” she said. “But it’s nice to officially meet you.”
he said with a twinkle in his eye. “Last
time I saw you was at the premiere of Angel
Assassin 2. You went with Jordan
Rydell if I remember correctly.”
sighed. “A small lapse in judgment. Don’t hold it against me.”
laughed, enchanted by her exotic looks and fiery personality. “I won’t.”
I guess I’m being awfully transparent,” Mackenzie said and turned back to
Alex. “I want you back on the show. We’re planning a special memorial episode for
Cassidy and we want Faye Richards to be part of it. Their ongoing rivalry on the show has to be
wrapped up or viewers will be left feeling cheated. You know how picky soap fans can get.”
great news, isn’t it Alex?” James prodded.
it?” she asked, caught off guard by the offer.
It was no secret the network wanted her back. The last attempt she refuted as well. “It’s just that being a mother again is
taking up so much of my time. I don’t
know how I’d feel about going back to work.”
just for two episodes,” Mackenzie informed her.
“Look, you can bring the little bambino to the set. I’ll call Vince with dates and details,
sure,” she replied with uncertainty.
finally meeting you, James,” Mackenzie said, letting her hand graze delicately
down his forearm. She turned to
Stormy. “Glad you’re home safe.”
she’d gone, James couldn’t help but smile.
“She’s quite a character,” he said.
she certainly is,” Alex agreed. "Truthfully,
I've never seen her act so nice."
and Kenny dined on a leisurely breakfast that morning in her penthouse suite at
Moonshadows. A single yellow rose
decorated the table as Renee stared distantly at its delicate petals.
okay this morning?” Kenny asked.
she said when she broke from the daze.
“Everything’s fine. I just can’t
believe that it’s over. The worrying
about Stormy and Brooke, the humiliation over losing my father’s company to
that viper Jackie Lamont…”
are finally as they should be,” Kenny said, placing his hand over hers. “Except for one thing.”
Renee asked with surprise. “Don’t tell
me something’s about to ruin my perfect day.”
I don’t think so,” he grinned, reaching into his breast pocket and removing a
small blue box from Tiffany. ”I hope
this?” she asked.
she obliged. Her eyes landed on the
sparkling diamond ring that rested inside and she gasped. “Oh my…” she began in amazement. “It’s beautiful.”
tried to find something as beautiful as you, but I realized that was
impossible,” Kenny said, taking the ring from its velvet casing and holding it
don’t know what to say.”
“Say that you’ll
marry me again,” Kenny replied, slipping the ring onto her finger. “We’ve gotten so close these past few weeks. I know I hurt you in the past but I’m a
changed man. You’re the only woman in my
life, Renee, and I want to make it official.”
A knock at the door
stopped her from saying another word.
Her first instinct was to ignore it, but when the knocking continued,
she sighed and rose from her chair.
“Hold that thought,”
she said, grinning from ear to ear and floating across the room.
waited behind at the table. He went back
to his breakfast and nearly choked on a piece of bacon when he heard the
shrieks coming from the door.
Renee screamed, drawing her daughter into an embrace in the doorway. “Oh my goodness, what are you doing
here? I wasn’t expecting you!”
a radiant African American woman of twenty years old, clung tightly to her
mother with teary eyes. “I heard about
Stormy on the news and I had to come.”
that is wonderful,” Renee said with a sigh.
part of my family, after all. I was so
relieved when I heard he was alive.”
glad you came.” She led her into the
suite and to the plush sofa in the sitting room where Kenny joined them.
“Hi sweetheart,” he
said and pulled her into a bear hug.
“How are you?”
fine, Kenny, how are you?”
better now that I see how happy you’ve made your mother,” he said with a
good-natured smile. “You look
she said, still holding Renee’s hand in hers.
have to go upstairs and get some things to bring to the office,” Kenny
declared. “I’ll let the two of you catch
are you sure?” Renee asked. “I’m
sorry. We’ll talk later. I promise.”
offered a look as if to say damn right we
will and proceeding up the winding staircase to the second floor. After he’d gone, Renee turned back to her
daughter and lowered herself onto the sofa.
can’t tell you how happy I am to see you.”
too,” Sierra replied, then regarded her with a knowing grin. “Mom, it’s barely eight-thirty in the
morning. What is Kenny doing here
Renee leaned back against the plush cushions.
“A woman never kisses and tells.”
coyness brought a smile to Sierra’s mouth.
“You mean the two of you are…”
nodded. “We’ve reunited. Isn’t that wonderful?"
Mom, it is.” She leaned in to her and hugged her tightly. “I’m so happy for you both.”
he’s asked me to marry him.”
what?” Sierra exclaimed, grabbing her hand and examining the ring on her
finger. “What a rock! I can’t believe it. When’s the wedding? I want to help plan every detail.”
I haven’t exactly said yes yet,” Renee explained. She didn’t want to risk making her feel bad
with the news that the proposal only just happened moments before she arrived.
are you waiting for? Mom, Kenny adores
you. He’s always been there for
you. You belong together.”
know, I know. I just need a little time,
that’s all.” Quickly, she changed the
subject. “Enough about me. I want to know how you are.”
is school? The semester should have only
just started. Are you on a break so
Sierra replied hastily. “Like I said, I
heard about Stormy and Brooke and wanted to come for a visit. I hope that’s okay.”
of course it is.” She narrowed her eyes
on her and tilted her head inquisitively.
“Are you all right? You look
shrugged. “Just a long flight, that’s
“How are things
with Hunt Roberts?”
wonderful,” she said and twisted off of the sofa. “He may join me here later.”
can’t tell you how relieved I am that you’re with such a fine, upstanding man
from such a respected family. Baby,
you’ve been hurt so much in the past.
All I want is for you to find happiness.”
am happy, Mom,” she said softly, laughing as Renee drew her into another
her townhouse in Glendale,
Brooke sipped from a cup of coffee while she watched Michael play raucously
with a slew of toys on the living room floor.
She made a point to take in every moment of his vibrant activity. Being away for so long meant that she now
only cared about etching every single second of their time together into her
mind. Luckily he was resilient and
didn’t seem too affected by her long absence.
doorbell alerted her to a visitor and she walked to the door with one eye still
focused on him. With a smile, she pulled
open the door and was happy to see David standing on the porch.
she said, standing clear of the doorway.
at all. I’ve got a pot of fresh coffee
followed her into the house and knelt to his knees when Michael came barreling
over to him.
kiddo,” he said, kissing the top of the boy’s head. “How are you doing?”
good. Wanna see my new robots Uncle
James got me?”
why I came over,” David said.
be right back!” He went tearing up the
stairs, feet stomping all the way back to his bedroom.
he was gone, David turned just in time to accept a cup of steaming hot coffee
from Brooke. “Thanks,” he said. “Is he really okay?”
fine. Just glad to have me home I
think. He seems to have adopted an
imaginary friend while I was gone.” A
smile broke as she gestured to the spot where he was standing. “Be careful, you might be standing on Adam
David said with a good natured laugh and took a seat across from her on the
sofa. “You look good. Refreshed.”
feel refreshed. Now that that nightmare
with Bryan Carlson is over I can at least sleep. I can’t believe he came back here intending
to kill your mother.”
can,” David admitted with a sigh.
could somebody be that crazed over money that they would go to the lengths he
did?” Brooke asked. “He had to have been
planning it for months.”
you asked Kyle about what Bryan
said up in your hotel room?” David asked.
said something to Kyle about the Fenwicks not adopting him from where everyone
thinks they did,” David reminded her.
“And that it was their secret.”
truth was, with everything that was going on at the time, Brooke had barely
noticed. “I don’t know,” she said. “What do you think he meant?”
shrugged. “All I know is what I’ve said
from the minute Kyle showed up in town.
I don’t trust him.”
was definitely something she would have to address, Brooke decided, but in the
meantime, she could only deal with one secret at a time. Silence filled the room for a few awkward
minutes while David waited for her to bring up the inevitable, and because he’d
come to know her so well, that’s exactly what she did.
didn’t you tell me?” she asked. “About
responded with a shake of his head.
know we aren’t exactly close like some brothers and sisters, but I think I at
least deserved to know the truth,” she went on.
“How long have you known?”
long,” he told her.
mother and Miranda.”
told her by accident,” David explained.
couldn’t help but feel hurt. She looked
away for a minute and then suddenly things began to make sense. “That’s why you sold Moonshadows to Renee. It’s always been special to you. You wanted her to finish the expansion while
you were still around to see it.”
still own ten percent,” he assured her.
“And everything else once I’m gone.”
rose to her feet, unable to comprehend the amount of money and assets he was
talking about. She could see how someone
like Bryan Carlson could be so seduced by the prospect of having it all.
me?” she asked, then looked at him and repeated herself. “I mean, why
shrugged. “I believe our father would
have wanted it that way.”
her arms wrapped around herself, she paced around the room while contemplating
the information. After a minute of
silence, she stopped and looked at him with a frown. “I don’t want to think
about profiting from your death, David.”
know but it’s inevitable.”
do you know? Have you tried to see a
specialist? Maybe there’s something-“
seen a specialist. There’s nothing they
can do.” He stood up and walked toward
her. “I’m going to die, Brooke, and
you’re going to become a very wealthy woman.”
stung her eyes and she tried desperately to hold herself together. When Michael came running down the stairs she
turned in an effort to hide her tears from him.
robots are broke,” the little boy said, holding up two battered toys for David
say they are,” David replied, inspecting the mangled pieces of plastic. “What happened?”
his attention dissipated. Pain in his head nearly
knocked hiim to the floor. With as much strength
as he could gather, he forced himself to ride it out.
didn’t do it,” Michael said.
don’t tell lies,” Brooke snapped and grabbed one of the toys from him. “What did you do? You’ve only had them for a day.”
didn’t do it, mommy,” he insisted. “Adam
Brooke took the other toy from him and placed them both on the kitchen
counter. “That’s enough,” she said
sternly. “These were a gift from your
Uncle James and look what you’ve done to them.”
I didn’t! Adam broke them!”
go to your room,” Brooke said, pointing at the staircase. “I mean it.”
by his demeanor, she grabbed his hand and led him across the room to the
stairs. She pulled him to his room,
lecturing him as they went.
behind in the living room, David closed his eyes and squinted, painful
vibrations in his head nearly knocking him off his feet. His vision blurred and his body went numb for
several seconds. Steadying himself next
to a bookcase, he waited for the episode to end. He knew it would. It was the second one he’d had since they’d
returned from Mexico.
later when Brooke returned, he felt semi-normal. Not wanting to alarm her, he put on a
carefree smile and dug his hands into his pockets.
the mystery of the broken robots?” he asked.
sighed and plopped down onto the sofa.
“No one told me being a mother was going to be this much work.”
as she’d predicted he would, Jordan
called Alex and asked again if he could meet R.J.’s mother. She put up just the right amount of protest
so as not to alert him to anything unusual going on, and then finally
agreed. After hanging up, she quickly
summoned Jane Wheeler, whom had already been coached on exactly what to say to
each and every one of Jordan’s
questions. To her surprise, Miranda was
when he arrived.
I wasn’t expecting to see you too,” Alex said when Miranda went in for a
squeeze and a peck on the cheek.
said he was coming to meet R.J.’s mother so I thought I’d come along,” she said
as the three huddled in the doorway of the apartment. “I want to make sure you’re not getting into
something that could get you hurt in the long wrong. Is that her?”
Alex said, leading them into the living room.
“I’d like you to meet Jane Wheeler, R.J.’s biological mother.”
stood from the sofa and fidgeted nervously. She wore the clothes that she’d
asked her to. Cutoff jean shorts and a
pink tank top. Her hair was unwashed and
her makeup sparse. She didn’t know if
she looked like a former drug addict, but she didn’t feel especially
this is my daughter, Miranda, and my ex-husband, Jordan Rydell.”
Jane said, taking her hand from her pocket only long enough to offer a brief
waive before she shoved it back in again.
Jane,” Miranda said and walked toward her.
She looked at her and realized they
were probably about the same age. “Thank you for agreeing to meet
with us. We just wanted to talk to you
about R.J. and make sure this is what you want.
My mom’s been hurt in the past and I don’t want that to happen again.”
okay,” Jane replied, teetering back and forth on her feet.
tell us you’re a drug addict,” Jordan
said and stepped forward.
okay,” Jane said with a good-natured smile.
“I had a problem with drugs, yes.
But I went to rehab and I’m trying to get my life on track again.”
why are you giving your baby up?” Miranda inquired. She couldn’t help but put herself in the
girls’ shoes and vice versa. No, she
didn’t have a drug problem, but she was pregnant and the same age. She couldn’t imagine how difficult it would
be to give her baby over to someone else.
exchanged brief glances with Alex. “I’ve
been in recovery before and I always go back to my old ways,” she
explained. “I don’t want to put my baby
in jeopardy in case it happens again.”
you could try harder to get clean for your baby, couldn’t you?” Jordan
demanded. “You’re his mother. You’re saying you’d rather give him to
someone else than keep him and make sure you stay clean?”
tone rattled her and she found herself continuously glancing to Alex for
direction. “I…uh….I’ve tried
before. I’ve tried everything. I just can’t do it.”
you done any drugs since you left rehab?” Jordan asked.
clamped her arms over her chest and shifted her weight. “Have I done any drugs?” she asked in an
effort to stall. “Yes. I have.”
you still had R.J.?” Jordan
at Alex again, Jane began to feel pressured.
“I told you I couldn’t keep him.
It wouldn’t be right. That’s when
I remembered Alex from Promises and I called her and asked if she would take
like that?” Jordan
asked. “You had no problem giving him
course I did. It was the hardest thing
I’ve ever done, but I knew it was the right thing to do.”
troubled look in the girl’s eyes spoke to Miranda and she began to feel for
her. What she was doing was the most
selfless thing a person could do and she wouldn’t let anyone make her feel
guilty for it.
stop,” she said, placing a hand on his arm.
“Jane, are you absolutely sure this is what you want? Once the adoption papers go through you’ll
have given him up for good. There’ll be
no going back.”
she looked at Alex. “Yes, I’m sure. This is what I want.”
you doing drugs while you were pregnant with him?” Jordan asked, refusing to let it
she said. “I mean, yes, I-“
told you I had R.J. checked out by a pediatrician,” Alex said. “He’s perfectly healthy.”
that’s all that matters,” Miranda declared, trying to lead Jordan to the door. “Come on, let’s go.”
he went with her. Before they left, he
turned back and looked at Alex. “I want
to know if anything goes wrong with this adoption. I mean it.
If Kenny can’t do it, I’ll get one of my lawyers to do it.”
was nice meeting you, Jane,” Miranda said and finally got Jordan outside into the hall.
they’d gone, Jane turned to Alex and placed her hands over her mouth. “That was intense,” she said. “I mean, you said your ex was pushy but that
was extreme. Do you think he bought it?”
Alex handed her a check. “You did very
Jane said while looking in wonderment at the tidy sum she’d made for such a
short time. “Easiest money I’ve ever
you earned every cent.”
in the hall, Miranda pushed the elevator call button repeatedly, wanting
nothing more than to get Jordan out of there before he changed his mind and
went back to bully the girl some more.
didn’t sit right with me,” he said.
are you talking about?”
don’t know,” he said, glancing back down the hall to Alex’s door. “I felt like she’d been coached on what to
whom?” Miranda exclaimed as the elevator doors opened and she pushed him inside
don’t know. Just a feeling.”
anyone would seem nervous with you grilling them. I think she’s just a messed up girl who’s
trying to do what’s right for her son. Don’t
worry so much.”
he dug his hands in his pockets as the elevator doors closed in front of them.
balloons, and an enormous cake awaited Stormy upon his return home from the
hospital that afternoon. The second
James led him inside the foyer, Leilani, Miranda, Eddie and David were there to
Stormy, welcome home!” Leilani shrieked, pulling him into a bear hug.
he replied with a smile, making sure so as not to suffocate against her bosom. “It’s good to see you,
made all your favorites for dinner,” she gushed. “Lasagna, fried chicken, fried spam…”
Leilani, you’re going to send him back to the hospital with all those carbs and
fat!” Miranda mused with a laugh.
sounds wonderful, Leilani,” Stormy said.
could stand to put on a few pounds anyway,” Eddie said and playfully patted his
friend’s stomach. “You’re as skinny as
you were in high school.”
was not skinny in high school,” he insisted.
yeah you were,” Miranda chimed in,
lingering by her father’s side.
you'd know. I’m
surprised you could see anything with all that black eye makeup you wore,” he
goaded his sister. “I miss that look.”
I think Stormy should go up to his room and rest before dinner,” James broke
not tired, Dad,” he replied.
“Really. I’d like to hang out for
James said and led him and Leilani down the hall to the family room.
behind, Miranda was left alone with David and Eddie standing on either side of
her. They both looked at her as if
awaiting some kind of prounouncement, and she quickly attempted to diffused the
should probably get in there,” she began.
“Leilani’s likely to have him in the fetal position on her lap if we
leave them alone too long.”
she started down the hall, Eddie called after her. “Miranda, when are we going to talk about
this?” he asked.
stopped and cringed before turning to face him.
“Talk about what?”
you and me,” he replied, then gestured to David, “and you and him.”
been pretty evasive since we came back,” David agreed. “All we want to know is which one of us it is
you want to be with.”
or David,” Eddie added.
truth was Miranda didn’t know. She
wanted to be with both of them. But how
could she tell them that without sounding horrible?
that,” she said, not even contemplating the impending conversation she’d have
to eventually have about being pregnant and not knowing who the father
was. It would take a lot of guts to even
bring it up, so she put it off as long as she could. “Can we talk about it later? My brother just got home and I want to spend
with him, thanks.”
either of them could protest, she was bounding down the hall to the family
room. They stood behind, perplexed, and
in more awkward silence.
I guess we’ll discuss it later,” Eddie said, then started after her.
later, I guess,” David said with a sigh and followed him.
evening, Renee and Sierra entered the dining room at Moonshadows and were
greeted by the maitre’d who lead them to their table that awaited.
can’t believe you named this place after me,” Sierra said, elegant in a black
dress and beaded wrap. “The Sierra
Room? Honestly, Mother.”
put my own stamp on things when I took over,” Renee winked.
approached the table and as they were being seated, a young man in a navy
blazer and yellow tie approached and slid Sierra’s chair out for her. Startled by the sudden presence, she turned
and lit up with excitement.
she exclaimed, throwing her arms around him.
“I wasn’t expecting you so soon!”
wanted to surprise you,” replied Hunt Roberts, a twenty-four year old
well-built man with thick brown hair and a cleft chin.
you did!” she sing-songed, then quickly gestured to Renee. “Hunt, I want you to meet my mother.”
DeWitt, it’s so nice to finally meet you,” Hunt said and shook her hand. “Sierra talks about you all the time.”
sweet,” Renee replied with a glowing smile.
“How do you do, Hunt?”
fine,” he said as they all took their seats.
“I feel like I already know you.
My father was a shareholder in Merteuil Industries when your father was
in charge. He was very excited when he
learned that Jacqueline Lamont relinquished control back to you.”
that was a good day for everyone,” Renee agreed. “Are you folks still on Shelter Island?”
as of a week ago,” he answered. “They
spend their summers on our estate there, but in the fall and winter they stay
at our place on Park Avenue. Mother had a field day with the cobwebs when
laughed and smiled graciously as the waiter brought them menus and she ordered
a bottle of their best champagne with two glasses.
tell me you’re not going to not let me have a glass of champagne,” Sierra said
while raising her eyebrow. “I’m almost
doesn’t count,” Renee said primly.
a sigh, Renee gestured back to the waiter.
“Very well. Three glasses.” She turned back to a smiling Sierra. “Kenny sends his regards. He wanted to join us this evening but he’s
working on a custody case.”
didn’t think Kenny did family law,” Sierra said.
doesn’t normally, but he’s representing Brett Armstrong against Jordan. He’s trying to take Violet from him.”
doesn’t sound like Jordan,”
sighed. “I don’t think he’s acting like
himself lately. Some things have
happened recently…family problems…and he’s acting out in anger.”
kind of family problems?” Sierra inquired.
“Is Benji okay?”
yes. He still seems to be the same
shook her head sorrowfully.
Benji?” Hunt asked after detecting the sad look in Sierra’s eyes.
Rydell’s son,” Renee explained. “He went
to Beau Soleil and since he returned to the states he’s been a constant
nightmare to his mother and father. I
really feel sorry for them. I think he
really resented being sent away for all those years.”
think there’s more to it than that, Mom,” Sierra said. She’d been one of the few people who had
gotten to know Benji and she knew for a fact that he wasn’t just a spiteful
spoiled brat. Much like herself, he’d
grown up being lied to, which anyone would have a tendency to react negatively
know another guy who went to Beau Soleil,” Hunt revealed. “Duke Summerfield.”
yes, his new best friend,” Renee said in a disapproving manner. “They got into quite a bit of trouble a few
weeks ago. Something involving a dirt
bike and drugs. I don’t know. The whole thing nearly sent poor Jordan
over the edge.”
Sierra grew quiet. She would
make a point to
call him while she was back. She
often felt bad for blowing him off after they made love
last year. He'd been her first, after all. He
still had a special place in her heart.
anyway, Sierra, tell me how the semester is going,” Renee began. “How are your vocal coaches this year? I’d love for you to sing in the lounge one
Sierra asked. “Oh Mom, that would be
great. School is fine.”
haven’t told her?” Hunt asked.
me what?” Renee wanted to know.
to change the subject, Sierra’s expression brightened when the champagne
arrived. “I’ll tell you later,” she
said. “It’s nothing. Look, champagne!”
right,” Renee said suspiciously. “Well,
we should order quickly if we want to get to the mansion later to see
held her menu in front of her in deep concentration in hopes of diffusing any
further discussion of school. Something
told her that her mother wouldn’t be pleased when she learned that she hadn’t
registered for the fall semester.
raucous laughter in the family room at the Blackthorne mansion barely paused
for a second when the doorbell chimed to announce a visitor. Leilani disappeared for a few minutes and
when she returned, Brett was following close behind.
to interrupt,” he said once there was a break in the conversation.
not,” Miranda said and got up from between Eddie and David. “Come ion
actually just wanted to drop these financials off to James,” Brett said,
lifting a folder of papers in his hand.
moved forward and took the folder from him.
“Thanks, Brett. I appreciate you
dropping these by, even though it means I have to face reality. God only knows how much money we lost on
production of House of Palms. I’ve never been so glad to back out of a film
in my entire life.”
not as bad as you probably think,” Brett replied.
James said and patted him on the shoulder.
“Listen, I know I’ve said it a hundred times in the past two days, but I
want to thank you for everything you did to end this whole nightmare. If it wasn’t for you, I’m afraid that my
children wouldn’t be here with me right now.”
was precisely what Brett had anticipated would happen. He got Jackie to tell him everything, then
assumed the role of the hero when he notified James and put the pieces
together. After a long-brewing falling
out with the Blackthornes following his split with Miranda, he was now back on
the inside and he wanted it to stay that way.
Being rewarded by Jackie for keeping her secret didn’t hurt either.
said I would take care of things while you were away and that’s all I did,” he
said with as much modesty as he could summon.
“I’m just glad everyone’s all right.”
did a lot more than that,” Miranda said.
“You saved my life on that yacht.
thanks Brett,” Stormy said when he approached.
“You did a pretty good job of babysitting the office while we were
away. I hope you find another
soon. Maybe you could do PR work again
for the new congressman.”
Brett and James exchanged glances, then both
looked at Stormy in unison.
son, Brett is going to be sticking around Sunset Studios,” James said.
are you talking about?” asked Stormy, his brow furrowing.
was only too happy to announce his news.
So far James was the only one who knew, and it had the possibility of
knocking Stormy flat on his ass.
Jackie left town, she gave her proxy shares of Sunset Studios to me,” he said,
hands tucked into his front pockets.
what?” Stormy exclaimed.
gave her…” Brett began to repeat.
can’t do that,” Stormy insisted angrily.
“Those are Nathan’s shares.
They’re not hers to give away.”
held up a hand in an effort to squelch any further outbursts. “But as Nathan’s spouse, Jackie has power of
attorney while he’s in prison. She can
give them to anyone to vote with until he’s released, at which time they’ll
revert back to him.”
so we go from having Jackie forced on us to having….” Stormy began, but stopped
himself before he said anything else. He
could see that his father was fooled by Brett again, and what’s more, so was
Miranda. As if she didn’t learn what a
troublemaker he was back when they were married.
had ulterior motives,” David chimed in from across the room. “She felt that the studio was her birthright
and she was going to use every underhanded trick in the book to take it. I doubt Brett has the same intentions.”
Miranda agreed and shot her brother a cool stare. “I’d think you’d be a little more grateful
for what Brett did, Stormy. Instead
you’re acting like he’s some outsider.
He knows the studio and he cares about this family. He wouldn’t do anything to mess that up,
would you Brett?’
course not,” Brett replied with a grin.
arrived at Brooke’s door shortly after seven o’clock that night and they spent
half an hour in awkward conversation while tip toeing around one another,
although he couldn’t understand why. To
him, things were just as they had been that night in Acapulco.
Just before they were taken from their hotel room. He’d spent every day since then thinking of
nothing but their reunion. But since then,
she seemed distant.
Michael upstairs in his room, they picked at their dinner in near complete
silence. By the time he’d finished his
plate, Kyle had had enough.
everything okay?” he asked, far more irately than he intended it to sound.
looked up and managed a smile. “I’m
sorry. Michael was acting up earlier and
it’s still got me upset. It’s so unlike
don’t just mean tonight. Even back in Acapulco you were
just spent over a week in captivity,” she said with a shrug. “If I wasn’t super talkative or personable,
I’m sorry, but I-“
shook his head dismissively. “No, you
don’t have to apologize. I was just
worried, that’s all.”
of how to broach the subject, he stood up from the table and poured himself a
drink at the bar. “Stormy said something
to me back at the hotel. He more or less
blamed me for you being there when the kidnapping happened. I was afraid you shared his opinions.”
that’s crazy,” Brooke said and went toward him.
“It was not your fault. I went
down to Mexico
because I wanted to see you. We had just
made love and we were already apart. You
had nothing to do with it You didn’t
even know I was going down there.”
if it wasn’t for me-“
she said. “If it wasn’t for you, we
might still be held prisoner in that awful place. Or worse.
You got away so you could get help, and you did. Stormy just doesn’t realize how much he owes
you for that. But I do.”
brought a smile to Kyle’s face, and even more so when she put an arm around him
and kissed him tenderly on the lips.
we’re good?” he asked.
good.” She pulled away and turned to the
table. “But there’s one thing I’m
“What’s that?” he
asked, much more relaxed now.
“When we were in
the hotel room yesterday; you, David and I, Bryan said something to you that struck me as
odd,” she began. “Actually, I didn’t
even pay it any mind but David brought it to my attention later.”
“What?” Kyle asked,
certain that he knew what she was going to say.
“He said that the
Fenwicks didn’t adopt you from where everyone thinks they did. What did he mean by that?”
A few seconds of
panic quickly turned to an easy smile and a playful tilt of his head. “Nothing that should surprise you if you
consider who my adoptive father is. My
adoption wasn’t exactly legal.”
“What do you mean?”
Brooke asked in awe.
“Don Fenwick bought
me on the black market. After my father
– my biological father, Will Thomerson - turned his back on my mother, she
abandoned me and I was sold to the highest bidder by some thug who found me on
“What?” She was bewildered by the news. “They bought
you? And they told you this?”
“It came up when I was applying for my
passport,” Kyle said. “I needed to
supply the name of the adoption agency and when the Fenwick’s couldn’t, well-“
Brooke said, drawing him into an embrace.
“What a horrible thing for someone to hold over you. I mean, if Bryan Carlson wasn’t already
enough of a monster. To taunt you with
something like that.”
“I’ve dealt with
it,” he said, holding her tightly. “I
just don’t like to discuss it.”
“I understand,” she
said. “I’m sorry I brought it up.”
He dismissed her
concerns by kissing her softly on the lips.
She reciprocated, then placed a hand on the back of his head as she drew
him closer. Within minutes, they were
making their way to the stairs and down the hall to her bedroom.
Once inside, Kyle
stripped her of her clothes and laid her gently on the bed. Standing above her, his muscular torso heaving
with excitement, he lowered himself on top of her and began making urgent,
passionate love to her that lasted for hours into the night.
Jordan went through the
normal channels to locate Jane Wheeler.
He had to talk to her again, to get to the bottom of whatever was going
on. He still couldn’t shake the feeling
that something was very wrong with the entire situation. So after being denied any information from Promises Treatment Center
pretense that he was seeking her out for a part in a film. They were more than happy to give him her
address. After driving to her rundown
apartment building just off Sepulveda, he got out of his car and proceeded to
the door where he knocked repeatedly.
She came to the door in a short silk robe, immediately checking to
ensure it was closed when she saw it was him.
“What are you doing
here?” she asked in a frightened voice.
“I’m sorry to
bother you, but I had some more questions for you,” Jordan said. “Can I come in?”
lingered in the doorway while trying to decipher if he was on the level or just another sleazy
producer. It wouldn’t be the first time
she’d been propositioned, and this guy had the look.
“I don’t know,” she
said. “Miss Reynolds said I shouldn’t
talk to anyone without her being around.”
“Why did she tell
you that?” He brushed his way past her
and entered the apartment. “Are we
“My roommate's out,”
Jane said and reluctantly closed the door.
“How did you find me?”
with the union,” he told her.
“You said you had
Hands in his
pockets, he looked around the apartment, furnished mostly with what appeared to
be hand-me-downs and thrift store finds.
A circular, peach-colored shell sofa and lots of wicker furniture
adorned the spacious two-bedroom unit.
He knew girls like her before.
Desperate for money because their careers in the business hadn’t gotten
off the ground as quickly as they’d hoped.
“You have family,
Jane?” he asked.
"Yeah. Back in Illinois.”
She wondered if she’d already said too much. Alex was very specific on what she could and
couldn’t reveal about herself, and she didn’t want to risk losing the five
grand she’d been paid for her services.
At least until she got a chance to take it to the bank. She had big plans for that money.
“Do they know about
She simply shook
her head. They hadn’t gone over any of
this in their few practice runs. What
should she say?
“How do you know
that someone in your family wouldn’t have wanted to take him?” Jordan
inquired. There were too many holes. Too
many unknowns to let it go with the rehearsed conversation they’d had
earlier. “Your parents, a sister…?”
“They wouldn’t have
approved of my having him in the first place.”
“Where did you say
you had him?”
“I didn’t,” she
replied, proud of herself for catching him trying to slip her up. “USC.”
“Ah,” Jordan said,
meandering around the living area. “So
Alex says you’re an actress. Gotten any
roles since you’ve been here?”
replied. “Why are you here? I told you I have every intention of giving
my baby to Miss Reynolds. What else do
you want? I’ll sign something if I have
“You will have to,” Jordan informed
her. “When the final adoption papers are
drawn up. And then as Miranda said,
there’s no going back. You’ll have given
up all rights to your son. Are you
prepared for that?”
“Yes.” He was confusing her, and even more than
earlier that day, he seemed extremely pushy.
“I hope so. So…you have the hospital records to give to
the adoption attorney then?”
“Yes. They’ll need documentation that R.J. is your
son and not just some baby you stole.
Junkies have done far worse.”
“I didn’t steal
him!” Jane exclaimed.
He could sense that
she was nervous and it only fueled his suspicions. “I didn’t say that you did. But the attorneys will need
documentation. They may even need to
speak to the doctor who delivered him.”
she crossed her arms over her chest. “I
know what this is about,” she said.
“You’re just trying to find out if I was on drugs when I was pregnant
with him. Well I told you I wasn’t. He’s healthy and he’s happier now than when
I had him.”
Jordan continued his questioning;
hoping that it would rattle her enough for her to reveal whatever was going
on. “It must have been difficult
spending your pregnancy in rehab. Did
you have him in or out of treatment?”
“In,” she replied
confidently because this was one of the items Alex had coached her in. “He was placed in foster care until I was
“And that’s when
you realized you couldn’t raise him?”
“I see,” Jordan said.
to the door. He at least had enough to go on for now.
“I’ll tell Alex
that you were here,” Jane said as she followed him.
“Do that,” he
replied and started into the hall.
Before he left, he turned back and thought of one final question to ask
her. “Before you gave your baby to Alex,
what did you name him?”
Standing with her
mouth agape, Jane struggled for an answer.
She hadn’t thought of the answer to the question if it were to come up,
and Alex certainly hadn’t brought it up.
After a few awkward
smiled. “Never mind,” he said and closed
the door after him.
“I’m glad that you
were free tonight.”
“I’m glad that you
“Well, to be
honest, I wasn’t sure how you would react,” James said, the candlelight
twinkling in his eyes. “We did just meet this morning. I wouldn’t have blamed you if you’d hung the
phone up on me.”
coyly and picked up her glass of champagne.
“It isn’t as if we haven’t met before,” she said. “Today just made it more official. And I was glad to have run into you at the
“I feel the same
the truth is, you're nothing like the stories I've heard."
"You mean that I'm a cold hearted bitch,
an emotional robot, and a cold shell?"
in turn. "Something like that. You're
actually very warm and personable. The change
They were seated at
a secluded table at Spago. James would
have never predicted he would have been so bold as to pick up the phone and
call Mackenzie Stone at the studio where The
Young at Heart was taped, make some lame attempt at small talk, and then
ask her to have dinner with him that very same night. Maybe it was because he was out of practice,
or maybe because he was still a little gun-shy after what happened in his last
relationship with Leigh Purcell, but this kind of thing was rare for him.
tell me,” Mackenzie began. “Was that
ordeal in Acapulco
as horrific as the news reports made it sound?”
sighed and balled his napkin on his plate.
“It was pretty awful. I tell you,
there was more than one occasion where I thought I would lose my family. You never know how desperation feels until
you’re in a situation like that.”
here you are,” Mackenzie said with a grin.
smiled in return. “Here I am.”
a few moments of silence, Mackenzie poured them each another glass of champagne
and leaned back in her chair. “So how
does a man like James Blackthorne wind up single at this stage of his life?”
laughed. “Just haven’t met the right
woman, I guess.”
Alex Reynolds the right woman?”
was for a long time. But I don’t think I
could ever get past the fact that I stole her from my uncle Nathan.”
fair in love and war, as they say.” She
paused, tracing her finger along her glass.
“What about Leigh Purcell? If I
remember correctly, you and she were very much in love.”
still hurt for James to think about Leigh.
Glumly, he glanced down at the table and waited a beat before
answering. “We had a romance years
before that. While I was still married
to Alex and always out on location shoots. It just seemed like fate when
she came back into the picture.”
then she was killed,” Leigh said with a shake of her head.
nodded, then forced a smile on his face as he turned back to her. “So what about you? Any romances other than your one night out
with Jordan Rydell?”
shook her head. “No. I’ve been all
about work for the past few
years. There hasn’t seemed to be time
looked at her doubtfully. “Come on. Not even one man who really shook your life
up for a while?”
thoughtfully at the table, she shrugged.
“I guess there was one guy,
but I haven’t thought about him in years.”
that night, as the full moon hung in the sky and a gentle gossamer of fog
rolled in from the canyons, Kyle pulled his car onto an outlook off of Laurel Canyon Boulevard. He sat behind the wheel for a few tense
minutes as he scrolled back through his recent text messages.
I need to see you. He’d sent the text shortly before excusing
himself from Brooke’s under the pretense that he didn’t want to upset Michael if he
should awake and find him there in the morning.
She had agreed and given him a tender kiss goodbye.
I’m busy. The response was short and biting. Just as he’d expected. But still, he persisted.
His final plea must have done the trick because a meeting was arranged
for eleven o’clock at a secluded location.
he pulled up, she was already waiting in her car. A black vintage Rolls Royce with dark windows
and license plates that read Heart. Slowly, he climbed out and approached the
driver’s side door. She lowered the
window and looked out at him with a pained expression on her face.
shouldn’t be seen together,” Mackenzie said. “Your rules, remember?”
know that,” he replied. “But these are
grudgingly opened the door and got out.
“What do you want, Kyle?”
his foot against the rocky ground, he lifted his eyes to hers. “I just need to make sure that you’re not
going to tell anyone about us. I have a
lot riding on this.”
laughed and tossed her mane of black hair over her shoulder. “When you got out of prison four months ago and
came to Los Angeles,
you told me in no uncertain terms that I meant nothing to you. You’d moved on. Well I have too. Nothing you do concerns me. So believe me when I tell you I have no
intention of telling anyone about our relationship.”
silent, he nodded his head with the knowledge that they understood each other
happened down there in Mexico
must have got you really scared,” Mackenzie went on. “Don’t tell me someone is finally on to
green eyes flashed quickly over hers. “I
can’t let anything mess this up. Just
please give me your word.”
she opened the car door again. “Don’t
worry. No one’s going to find out that
you’re my brother, or that you’ve been lying to everyone about who your biological
closed his eyes tightly for a few seconds, and when he opened them again she
was back in her car starting the engine.
have no intention of crushing your dreams, Kyle,” she said, shifting her car
into reverse. “But please don’t think
you can crush mine.”
behind, he watched as she floored the car and peeled back out onto the
road. He hoped she kept her word. He had too much riding on his new identity.
Sierra. Duke sets the second phase of his plan
to humiliate Jeff Branigan into motion. Violet's
custody hearing begins.
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