Jane told Alex about Jordan's visit
to her apartment, prompting Alex to warn her against
talking to anyone about R.J. or the adoption. Later,
Alex grew nervous when Stormy came by and asked to hold
R.J., fearing that he would instinctively know he was
his son. Miranda felt a connection to Jane due
to her own pregnancy. Stormy met Jane in the parking
lot of Alex's apartment building and grew drawn to her.
When she dismissed his advances, he left a note
on her car. Jordan used Violet's custody hearing
to force Suzanne to give a detailed account of her affair
with Brett. Later, a tearful Suzanne blasted Jordan
for his hateful behavior. Jordan responded by
telling her their marriage was over. The judge
gave Brett full custody of Violet. Benji received
the galley proofs of Valley of Temptation, the
book Suzanne had written about her affair with Brett.
After learning that Sierra was back in town, Benji
paid her a visit whereby he told her about Hunt's drug
usage. Sierra angrily turned him away. Later,
Sierra did cocaine with Hunt. Summer grew jealous
when she learned of Benji's feelings for Sierra. She
asked him to meet him in the pool house where she seduced
him. Benji began to comply but then pulled away
when he thought about Sierra.
moon hung low in the sky and cast shadows through the windows of the pool house
where Benji pawed at her blouse, his tongue darting in and out of her
mouth. Summer pulled him closer, her
hands hooked around his neck. As she’d
predicted, seducing him had been easy.
Gauging his mood swings was not.
In a flash, he was jumping off of the bed and buttoning his shirt, a
pained expression on his face.
wrong?” Summer asked. “Why did you
out,” he said in bated breath.
she asked in confusion. “I thought-“
the fuck out!” he yelled and pointed to the door.
she grabbed her shoes and purse and headed for the door in an attempt at
staving off any further humiliation. In
her haste to leave, her blouse became snagged in the doorway. A quick tug released it, tearing the fabric
in the process. She didn’t care. She just wanted to leave before the
embarrassing situation got any worse.
ran through the night, her bare feet bounding across the dew-covered grass
until she got to her car and drove blindly for twenty minutes. By the time she calmed down, she was outside
of Duke’s family’s palatial estate high up in the hills. Tentatively, she rang the bell and resisted
the urge to cry when he came to the door.
as usual,” he said as he led her into the ornately decorated parlor room. He was dressed in black trousers and a
Burberry shirt that was unbuttoned, revealing a tight body and a faint trail of
hair peeking just above his waistband.
didn’t know where else to go,” she said and threw her purse onto the sofa. “I was just with Benji.”
personal drama's you're facing this week, Summer, take
them somewhere else,” he began with a wry expression as he poured himself
a glass of bourbon.
you for once just be a decent human being?” she asked. “I came here because we used to mean
something to each other. I thought you’d
help me. I guess I was wrong.”
rolled his eyes. “Why would I help you?”
want Benji,” she said with as much conviction as she could muster.
shrugged and dug his hands into his pockets.
“So what do you need my help for?
You said you just came from his house.
I assume he fucked you.”
he stopped it from happening. I know
it’s because of that Sierra girl. Why are
you trying to help him get her? Can’t
you see how all wrong she is for him?”
her mother is a douche bag, I will give you that. She’s badmouthed me up a storm since I came
to town. And she certainly has no love
lost for Benji, that’s for sure.”
help me,” Summer insisted.
regarded her carefully. “If I help you,
what do I get in return?”
do you want?” she asked with a cringe.
She was almost afraid to ask.
considered her request for a moment before continuing. “Help me destroy Jeff Branigan. He’s been fucking with me for years and I’m
done playing his games. By the time I’m
through with him, he’ll be finished in this town.”
do I have to do?”
tell you when the time is right. But if
you help me, I’ll help you land Benji.”
circled the room, running her hand along the back of the cognac leather
sofa. “There’s something you should know
first,” she began. “I should have told
you a long time ago.”
wasn’t Jeff who gave me Chlamydia last summer,” she began.
saw the video of you swallowing his donkey dick, Summer. If you’re trying to protect him for whatever
I’m not trying to protect him. What you
saw in the video was true, but it wasn’t him that I got it from. It was Benji.”
Duke asked incredulously.
nodded. “We hooked up before that. He came into Area and we started
talking. Next thing I know we were on
the hood of his car in the back alley. I
didn’t mean for it to happen, and you and I were fighting because you were
still in New York.”
little shit,” Duke said in disbelief.
can’t be mad at him,” Summer said. “He
didn’t know we were dating. He was going
through some stuff.”
else is new?” he murmured.
promise me you won’t hurt him. Benji is
your friend. He wouldn’t do anything to
deliberately cross you. Promise me that
you’ll still help me.”
nodded, his mind a whirlwind of thoughts.
“Of course.” When his eyes
landed back on her, he noticed the tear in the blouse. “What happened?”
looked down and shook her head dismissively.
“I was in such a hurry to get out of there. I got caught on the door.”
the room in deep concentration, Duke suddenly had an idea. “How much do you know about Sierra Merteuil?”
to know she’s all wrong for Benji.”
smiled. “Her father is Nathan
Blackthorne, the child molester. I hear
he actually tried to force himself on her once.”
Summer said with a grimace.
how devastated poor Sierra would be if she learned that Benji got caught up in
the moment with you, you resisted, and he tried forcing himself on you, thus
ripping your blouse and sending you over here in a fit of tears.”
looked at him with wide eyes. “That didn’t
shrugged. “The suggestion would put a
wrench in any plans Benji has of reuniting with her. She would look at him as a monster. So when her relationship with Hunt Roberts
goes kaput – and it will – she’ll have no one to turn to.”
I’ll be there to comfort Benji,” she said with a smile. “But wait, if I falsely accuse him of
attempted rape, he’ll hate me.”
dismissed her concerns with a wave of his hand.
“There are plenty of ways to protect yourself if that happens. Trust me.
If you want to eliminate any chance of Benji and Sierra getting
together, this is our golden ticket.”
don’t want anything to happen to him,” she said firmly. “What if he winds up in jail?”
not going to go to the police,” he told her. “You’re simply going to tell someone who tells
someone else and eventually it will get back to Sierra.”
chewed on her lip. “If you’re sure it
sure,” he said with a grin as he took a sip of his drink. “Benji’s a loose cannon with tendencies to
take his aggressions out on the nearest thing to him. Sierra will have no problem believing
the bluff overlooking Paradise Cove, the bonfires that burned on the beach
resembled tiny candles dotting the sand.
Standing on the rocky stretch of ground jutting out from the road, Benji
found himself entranced by the light. He
left his car and began the short hike down to the beach, grey hooded sweatshirt
pulled up over his head. For a few
minutes he trudged through the sand by the rocks, ignoring the groups of people
gathered at the small campfires. He made
his way to the spot where he and Sierra had consummated their relationship and
stood angrily while thinking about their argument earlier that night.
went back there frequently. At least
five times over the summer. He’d sit in
the sand and stare out at the waves and up at the moon. He hated himself for being so angsty about a
girl. Girls had been easy to get for as
long as he could remember. There had
line of them at the door of his dorm room at school. He’d been the one to turn them away, to tell
them they were just a plaything, not the other way around. Maybe that’s what it was about Sierra. She wasn’t like the others. And she knew what it was like to have led a
privileged life but abandoned by her parents.
She’d given him her virginity.
She’d cried a little and said it hurt which only made him grow harder,
and yet more gentle with her.
she left for months, and when she came back she had someone else.
man, you got a cigarette?” asked a homeless man with straggly hair and an
unkempt beard, dressed in a dirty old army jacket and tattered jeans.
beneath the hood of his sweatshirt, Benji shook his head in reply.
said you got a cigarette?” the man repeated, his speech slurred.
kid, answer a simple question,” murmuered the bum as he slowly passed.
off,” Benji grumbled. The homeless were
frequent inhabitors of the beaches in L.A. Usually they left you alone, but time and
time again he’d be stopped and asked for money or cigarettes. Even the politest reply usually earned him
hostility on their part.
tell me to fuck off, you little punk,” the man said, teetering back and forth
on his feet. “All I want is one damn
cigarette. Well fuck you.”
a gas station three blocks down the road,” Benji said while pointing up the
hill. “How about you go buy yourself some fucking cigarettes?”
a smart ass.”
out of here,” Benji said and turned away with disgust. He was in no mood for a confrontation. First his blowup with Sierra and now
this. He felt his temper rising.
the man yelled and pulled belligerently at his arm. “Fuck yyy..”
at his breaking point, Benji turned and pushed the man away. He went at him mercilessly, raising his fist
and sending it shattering over and over into his face until he was on his back
on the sand. From a campfire a hundred
yards away, several people heard the commotion and got up to see what was
above the man, Benji kicked him in the ribs.
The man rolled over onto his side, coughing up blood and crying out for
help. He kicked him again, sand flying
into the air and matting over the thick pool of blood from his nose. When the people down the beach began
approaching faster, he turned and ran in the opposite direction and didn’t stop
until he reached a path that led up to the bluff.
he reached his car a half mile down the road, he was out of breath and felt
sick. He climbed inside and pulled the
hood from his head. Angrily, he slammed
his fist against the steering wheel and jumped when it sounded the horn. His hands trembled and were bruised from the
violent attack on the man.
catching his breath, he started the engine and carefully pulled out onto the
road. It wasn’t his fault. The man provoked him. And in his already irritable state of mind,
the guy should have known better.
awoke the next morning to a welcome surprise.
A tray of wheat toast, egg whites, orange juice, coffee, and a single
red rose in a crystal vase. Kenny stood
beside the bed in his robe, gently prying her awake with tender kisses on the
morning, beautiful,” he said when she opened her expressive brown eyes.
morning,” she said with a yawn as she slid upright.
brought all of your favorites,” Kenny said, sliding the tray toward her and
then positioning himself at her side.
remembered.” Hungrily, she stuffed a
forkful of eggs into her mouth. “How
were married for ten years, remember?” he asked. “I’m not one of those husbands who doesn’t
know you’re not.”
the way I noticed you’re wearing the engagement ring I gave you,” he said with
a sly grin. “That must mean you haven’t
decided not to marry me. I mean, it’s been two days since I popped the
question. I was kind of hoping for an
smiled and wiped her mouth with a cloth napkin.
“Kenny, I’m sorry for neglecting you these past few days,” she
said. “It’s just been such a whirlwind
lately with Sierra coming home for a visit and all these fires I’ve been having
to put out at Moonshadows. I haven’t forgotten,
do you have an answer for me?” he asked.
“Renee, I’m a patient man, but I need to know where we stand. I love you and I want to prove it to
held her hand out before her and admired the dazzling Tiffany engagement
ring. How could she say no to him? Whether he just knew all the right things to
say, or he really was a changed man, she didn’t know. The only way to find out was to try, and she
did want to.
she said with a smile.
“Yes! I will marry you!”
Kenny pushed the breakfast tray aside and scooped her into an embrace. “You have made me the happiest man in the
world,” he said, smothering her with kisses.
“I hope you know that.”
made me the happiest woman in the world,” she said, bursting with
excitement. In a flash, she threw the
covers off of her and slid to the side of the bed.
are you going? We have to
know, darling, but I can’t wait to tell Sierra.
She’s going to be so excited!”
he could stop her, she was pulling on her robe and flying down the hallway to
the stairs. Descending to the first
floor of her penthouse suite, she called out to her daughter.
she called, rapping at her bedroom door.
“Baby, are you up? I have
few moments later the bedroom door opened and Sierra appeared, her eyes
fatigued and her movements listless.
“Mom, I was still asleep. What’s
going to be a wedding,” Renee said, grinning as Kenny joined her at her
side. “And you have to make sure you’re
back in town so you can be my maid of honor.”
she asked. It took her a few moments to
register. She couldn’t remember what
time she’d finally gone to sleep but it couldn’t have been more than three
hours ago. By the time Hunt went down to
his room, they were both very high.
accepted Kenny’s proposal.”
wonderful,” Sierra said, forcing herself to sound excited. She genuinely was, but her state of mind made
it nearly impossible to show it. She
went in and gave them each a hug. “I’m
so happy for you both.”
her daughter’s hand and leading her to the sofa, she grinned from ear to
ear. “There’s so much to do I don’t know
where to start,” she began. “Baby, when
do you have to go back to school? I’d
love for you to help me make some plans.
Tell me you can stay for a few more days.”
she said, running her fingers through her hair.
She still hadn’t told her that she wasn’t going back to school. That she couldn’t
go back. “I don’t think that will be a
poured a cup of coffee and watched them with amusement. “I predict a lot of bridal magazines coming
into the picture,” he said. “You better
know what you’re getting into, Sierra.”
my Lord, how am I going to do it all?” Renee said with a gasp. “Thank goodness I’m looking at hiring a
manager for Moonshadows. Planning a
wedding is a full time job, and now that I’m back at the helm of Merteuil
Industries...I couldn’t possibly do everything.”
her head in her hands, Sierra willed herself to sober up enough to show some
excitement for her mother. She’d need to
if she was going to give her the bad news that she’d been kicked out of
Alex asked as she glared at Jordan
across the room.
R.J. is healthy? Yes,” he replied, arms
were in Dr. Farraday’s office. Alex was
holding R.J. while Jordan and Miranda looked on.
why don’t you look like it?” Alex demanded.
“I got him a full checkup and he’s absolutely fine. Can you please stop interrogating me at every
sighed with exasperation. “I only-“
I remind you that we are no longer married?” Alex continued, her voice full of
hostility. “You have no right to make
demands of me. What I do is my business,
Jordan. That means leave me alone and leave R.J.
just have questions about his mother,” he said.
“I care about what happens to you, Alex.
I don’t want to see you turning to pills again if anything should go
you know what I think?” she snapped. “I
think you’re projecting your own pathetic life onto me. You couldn’t get custody of your
granddaughter so you’re trying to use R.J. as something else to focus on. Well find another outlet for your anger
because I don’t need it.”
realized she was doing no good in the room so she quietly ducked out into the
hallway where Jane was anxiously pacing with a cup of coffee clamped between
is fine,” she told her. “Just as we knew
he would be.”
nodded dismissively and continued her manic pace.
is it with that guy?” Jane asked. “I
mean, why does he care if I give my baby to Alex?”
took a deep breath. “Jordan is just
being….Jordan. Trust me, he’ll let it go
eventually. I really think he’s just
very protective of my mother. They’ve
been through a lot together.”
not a bad person,” Jane said defensively.
I know that.” Miranda put a comforting
hand on her shoulder. “It’ll be okay, I
promise. Do you want to go somewhere and
talk? We can go get some real
the office door opened, Jane’s eyes locked on to Jordan’s. A few seconds of intense stares brought her
attention back to Miranda. “Yeah, let’s
go. I need to get out of here.”
placed a hand on her mother’s and smiled.
“I’ll talk to you later, okay?”
nodded, cradling R.J. in her arms. She
hoped that Jane was able to hold it together a little while longer. Kenny was supposed to have the final adoption
papers ready the next morning and after that the whole ordeal would be over.
rolled out of bed a little after ten.
His television was still on from the night before and the first thing he
heard was a news anchor talking about a homeless man who’d been beaten and
taken to USC for treatment. It was then
he realized the night before hadn’t been a bad dream. His upsetting conversation with Sierra, the
incident with Summer in the pool house, and the run-in with the bum on the
beach had all really went down. He
looked down at his hands and saw the proof in the form of bruises on his
to forge on with his plan to talk some sense in Sierra, he threw on some
clothes and went downstairs. His mother
was in the drawing room when he appeared in the doorway. Slowly, he turned to walk away.
wait a minute,” Suzanne said and approached him swiftly. “I need to talk to you. It’s very important.”
seriously doubt that,” he said with a snarl as he turned back toward her. “What is it this time? You found someone even younger than Brett to
cheat on dad with?”
took a deep breath and tried to let the comment slide. She knew he was angry so she wouldn’t hold
him to his distasteful remarks. “Your
father and I are getting a divorce,” she announced. “I’ll be moving out soon and I want you to
come with me.”
“Are you for real?” he
asked. “Your’re getting divorced
looked away with humiliation.
“Things….didn’t work out the way we planned.”
didn’t work out because you fucked Heather's huband,” he said. “What is wrong with you two? First Dad has an affair with Blake’s mom and
now you and Brett? What the hell were
these past few weeks about? Did you ever
even love each other?”
of course we did,” she said, raking her fingers through her hair. She was tired. Tired of the arguments and tired of
trying. “The house in Sherman Oaks is
still available. I’ll have our things
moved there on Monday.”
shook his head with an incredulous look.
“I’m not going anywhere with you,” he said and started back to the
Suzanne called after him, but it was useless.
He was tearing up the stairs with usual brute force.
his room, Benji went to the desk, opened the bottom drawer, and removed the
galleys for Valley of Temptation. He looked at the cover the editor had
proposed – a glossy relief printing of a Fabio-type character holding a petite
woman from behind. In the background was
a suburban house with a sparkling pool.
He groaned, finding the whole thing cliché in the biggest sense of the
word. Still, it was effective
enough. A typical romance novel. This one, however, just happened to be based
on his mother’s life.
his cell phone from the desk, he speed dialed Thomas Manzer from Holt
Benji Rydell,” he said. “Yeah, the book
looks great. My mother gave it the go
ahead. Print them.”
awoke to warm sunlight streaming into the bedroom and Blake hovering over her
in his underwear. She pulled away
instinctively while attempting to roll out from under him. She felt his erection on her thigh and
immediately knew what he had on his mind.
don’t feel very well,” she said, turning away when he tried to kiss her.
Blake said. “Can I get you anything?”
shook her head, reaching for her cell phone when it vibrated on the
nightstand. It was a text message from
Duke telling her to get over to his house as soon as possible.
just need to shower,” she said and twisted off of the bed.
you go last night?” Blake asked. “I
waited up for you.”
was…at Benji’s,” she said.
Blake repositioned himself on the bed.
He was horny but knew better than to push it with Summer. She was moody as hell and rarely in the mood
for sex. And while he didn’t compare to
Benji or Jeff Branigan in the endowment department, he still felt as though he
was good at it. Her standoffish
behavior often concerned him, especially when she admitted to being with Benji
the night before.
were you at Benji’s?” he asked.
was upset about my mom,” she called from the bathroom. “I’m sorry I didn’t call you and tell you
where I was.”
she knew it, he was standing behind her.
“If you were upset about your mom, why didn’t you come home and talk to
me? I thought we were together.”
are,” she said and held her hair back while spitting toothpaste into the
why can’t you talk to me about stuff like this?
Why did you have to go see Benji?”
sorry. You’re right. I keep forgetting that your dad died
too. Next time I will, I promise.”
“Did you have sex?”
he asked. “Just tell me right now. I mean, I didn’t ask you to stay with me at
my brother’s place so you could stay out all night with Benji.”
she asked. “Why would you ask me that?”
I…” He stopped himself, unsure if he wanted to show the jealousy card so soon
in their relationship. He’d never been
good with girls and this was a common mistake.
“Look, I know you had a thing with him before we hooked up. If you want him just tell me so-“
don’t,” she cut him off, unwilling to give up the convenience of having Blake
around. Not yet, anyway. He could still be useful to her. “Look, I’m sorry. I was just freaked out last night."
he said with a roll of his eyes. He went
back and sat down on the bed, a pout forming on his face.
don’t be mad,” Summer said and started toward him. She could see him growing distant so she
quickly went to remedy the situation.
Sinking to her knees before him, she began massing him through his blue
Diesel underwear. “I didn’t think it
would bother you. I thought we were all
sour mood relaxed as she worked him back into a state of arousal. Summer had the magic touch and knew exactly
how to appease him. He threw his head
back and moaned with pleasure when she lowered the waistband of his briefs and
closed her mouth around him.
do you mean you already sent it out?” Stormy demanded as he stood in Brett’s
office at Sunset Studios.
what it sounded like,” Brett shot back.
He was shuffling papers on his desk in Jackie’s old office, sleeves on a
royal blue shirt rolled up to his elbows.
“We’re under a time crunch here.
If that press release hadn’t gone out yesterday then we’d still be
fielding questions from the media about House
should have let me-“
day we waited caused more speculation from our competitors,” Brett cut him
off. “So while you were playing X-Box at
home I was actually doing something to clean this mess up.”
should have let me see the press release before you sent it out,” Stormy
said. He knew what Brett was doing. Trying to make him look bad. It was the same story as the last time they
worked together. Well this time he
wasn’t about to let him sabotage his place in the studio. He
was a Blackthorne after all, Brett was not.
you’re so savvy at public relations?” Brett chortled. “I did PR for a congressman. I think I know what I’m doing.”
we all know where that little gig got us,” Stormy snarled. “Because of you, Heather and my mother were
kidnapped by that madman and nearly killed.
So forgive me if I don’t have great respect for your skills in PR. At the very least you should have told my
father what you were doing.”
approved the press release,” Brett told him with a certain amount of
satisfaction. “He signed off on it. If you’d have been here you could have
reviewed it as well. As it was, you were
he didn’t have much of a leg to stand on, Stormy grabbed the copy of the press
release from him. He skimmed the
document and shot him a penetrating stare.
“You have got to be kidding me. Sunset Studios regrets that further
exploration of the intended location shoot did not occur prior to the selection. You know damn well I chose the location. You’re basically pinning the whole thing on
said Sunset Studios. I didn’t name
gave my name three lines before that,” Stormy argued, then read from the
document again. “Conditions appeared stable at the time of the initial location scout,
according to junior executive Ryan Blackthorne. Did you just make that up to suit your
acting like I was the one who screwed up,” Brett said and walked out from
behind his desk. “In case you forgot, I
saved your ass from those people. What
difference does who said what make
right now? The important thing is that
we clean this up so we can resume normal operations. So do you want to stand there arguing like a
little bitch or are you going to dig in and starting helping?”
Stormy drew his fist back and punched him in the jaw. Brett stumbled back and crashed into the
credenza. Stunned for a few seconds, he
placed his hand instinctively on his mouth and realized he was bleeding. In a flash, he was on his feet retaliating
with a shattering blow to the eye.
Stormy flew back against the wall, causing a photograph to crash to the
floor. Blood immediately swelled to the
area around his eye, leaving a red welt where he’d been hit. He went at Brett again, punching him in the
stomach and kicking him to the floor.
Before he could step away, Brett snaked his hands around his feet and
pulled him to the ground.
seconds, they were wrestling on the floor of the office, knocking into
furniture and leaving a trail of destruction in their path. James entered after hearing the commotion and
quickly went to intervene.
the devil is going on?” he demanded as he pulled them apart.
for breath, they each glared heatedly at one another, bloodied and bruised from
me,” James said. “What are the two of
your tearing each other up about?”
took the first punch,” Brett claimed, wiping blood from his mouth.
was antagonizing me,” Stormy maintained.
enough,” James said firmly. “I know the
two of you have had your differences over the years, but this has got to
stop. I cannot run this place alone, and
with Jackie gone and Brooke taking a leave of absence, you’re the only ones I
have to turn to. If you can’t make this
work then I’ll have to find someone else to run the place. Is that understood?”
both nodded grudgingly.
“Good. Now clean this place up. We have a staff meeting in ten minutes.”
left and silence filled the room. Death
stares from Stormy and Brett lingered as they quickly went to putting the
office back together.
decided that the easiest way to do something about Sierra and Hunt was to turn
the world against them, and that world began and ended with Renee DeWitt. He couldn’t go directly to her with his
concerns, of course, because she couldn’t stand him. His parents had filled her in on one too many
of his misdeeds for her to look the other way where he was concerned. The fact that she could be a problem when he
finally got together with Sierra didn’t immediately spark concern. He had a way of dealing with adults. They all eventually loved him. This was proven when he bought a bouquet of
cheap flowers, forged a tacky card, and went downtown to the Wells Inc.
headquarters where he was granted admittance to see Marilee Wells-Walker.
dad must be proud that you went out and got yourself a job all on your own,”
Marilee was saying as she gushed over the flowers that now sat on her
desk. “I mean, floral delivery is an
honest profession. We all have to start
somewhere, don’t we?”
Benji said, finding her exceptionally irritating. But she had been close to Renee and Kenny
DeWitt for eternity, so if anyone was going to start the chain of events into
motion, it might as well be her.
wonder who they’re from,” Marilee went on while inspecting the flowers as if
they were hiding some secret. “The card
just says love Richard. That could be anyone. I know literally dozens of Richards.”
Perched on the edge of the desk, Benji leaned
in and spoke in a quiet voice. “I’m not
supposed to say anything because of the confidential nature of our work, but I
happen to know the flowers are from Richard Roberts. I saw his name on the credit card statement
back at the shop.”
Rober….” Marilee began with shock, her head darting back and forth between
Benji and the flowers. “Oh my Lord. Has he and Amy split up? I just can’t believe it.”
don’t know,” Benji said with mild amusement.
Amy Roberts has been a close friend of mine for longer than I can
remember. I couldn’t think of accepting
these flowers from her husband. What a
pig. What kind of a man does he-“
son Hunt is in town,” Benji
interrupted. He was satisfied that his
roundabout method of bringing him up had worked. It wouldn’t do to look too eager to blow the
punk out of the water. “He’s apparently
attached himself to Sierra Merteuil.”
gasped for no apparent reason. “That’s
right. I forgot Renee told me they were
an item. Maybe I should try to get some
information out of him. You know, like
if his parents are on the outs, or if Richard has a tendency to send random
luck trying to get any answers from him,” Benji said with an air of nonchalance
as he hopped off the desk.
do you say that?”
shrugged indifferently. “Sometimes when
people are that high all the time their brain matter tends to turn to mush.”
Marilee gasped. She walked around the
desk and folded her arms with great interest.
“Drugs? Like pot?”
Benji said, looking around the room to ensure no one was in earshot – a move
strictly for her benefit. “Cocaine.”
“Yes. I hear his supplier is right here in L.A. He’s probably coked out of his mind as we
speak.” A sigh. “I just hope it doesn’t end up another
heartbreak for Sierra. She’s been
through so much already.”
she has,” Marilee said thoughtfully. “It
wouldn’t do at all for her to be caught up in this drug thing. I wonder if I should tell Renee.”
kind of friend would you be if you didn’t?” Benji asked with a brief smile.
afraid I haven’t been a very good one.
Renee and I haven’t spoken for months.
Not since I sold my shares of Merteuil to Jackie Blackthorne. She probably hates me.”
sure she doesn’t hate you,” Benji said.
“You should talk to her. If
anything, she’ll be grateful that you warned her about Hunt Roberts. You know how protective she is of
right,” Marilee said. “I’m going to do
Benji thought as he made his way to the door.
Before he left, the turned around and gave her the most vulnerable look
he could muster. “By the way, would you
not mention that you heard this from me.
This job is the first step in trying to get on my parents good
side. I wouldn’t want to be accused of
being a trouble maker.”
worry,” Marilee said and followed him to the door. “My lips are sealed.”
Benji said with a smile before he turned and started down the hallway.
Summer arrived at Duke’s, he was in the parlor, the sound system blasting to
his favorite new Swedish band, The Mary Onettes. When the maid led her in, he quickly grabbed
the remote control and lowered the volume.
you long enough,” he said. He was
dressed in dark pants and a white v-neck monogrammed sweater. “I thought you wanted to land Benji this
had to find a way to get away from Blake,” she told him. “He’s already suspicious enough. Especially after I told him I was with Benji
you clueless?” Duke asked. “You told
didn’t think it would be a big deal,” she said with a shrug. She felt weak, which probably had something
to do with the fact that she hadn’t eaten in two days. Anorexia was such a nuisance at times.
grew into a state of concentration.
“Lucky for you, that might work to our advantage,” he began. “Tonight is
he night that you’re going to spill
about how Benji tried forcing himself on you in a fit of rage.”
she asked. She was still unsure if this
was a good idea. How could it not come
back to hurt Benji?
a party for Magnum Rainer’s birthday tonight.
I happen to know that Hunt Roberts will be there. He was a counselor at Magnum’s summer camp
five years ago and became something of a big brother to him. And of course wherever Hunt goes, Sierra will
be right along with him. All we have to do
is start our little game of telephone at the party and before the night’s over,
Sierra will be frightfully disillusioned by her dear friend Benji. “
watched him pace the room in concentration.
could he do something so horrible?” he said in a pretend-Sierra voice. “Especially after what my big
bad father did to all
still worry that Benji is going to get in some kind of trouble,” Summer
complained. “Besides the fact that he’ll
hate me for telling everyone something that I know is a big lie.”
rolled his eyes. “Grow up,” he
said. “Do you want to keep Benji from
Sierra or not?”
relaxed and nodded. “Okay. I’m sorry, Duke. I know you’re only trying to
help. I really do appreciate it. If there’s anything I can do to pay you back,
I’ll do it.”
deviously, he approached her. “Actually,
you could give me a hand with something,” he said, glancing down and motioning
with his eyes to the area below his belt.
gulped, caught off guard by his request.
“You want me to…”
horny,” he said, resting his hand on his belt.
“Besides, what’s the big deal?
It’s like a handshake anymore.”
she did owe him for helping her, she sunk to her knees before him and began to unzip
his pants. Suddenly, Duke began laughing
and pulling away from her.
was kidding,” he said and zipped himself up again. “Like I’m going to let you suck my dick after
all the guys your lips have been on lately.”
she rose to her feet, unable to look him in the eye. “That was cruel, Duke.”
we’ve got to have some fun now and then, don’t we?” he asked. “Or in your case, several times a day.”
welled up in her eyes just as a voice came from across the room.
without a girl around. I see nothing’s
turned as Hunt Roberts made his way into the parlor.
“Hunt, I heard you were back in town,” Duke
the flesh,” he replied, scooping a handful of M&M’s from a bowl and popping
a few into his mouth. “How you doin’
you know, playing lord of the manor while the parentals are in Geneva.” He extended a hand and carried out the
motions of a complicated handshake.
looked around the ornately decorated room.
“I can see that,” he said, and gestured to Summer. “Part of your harem, I’m assuming?”
right, you haven’t met Summer,” Duke said.
“Summer Solomon, this is Hunt Roberts.
We go way back.”
shook her hand. “He means I used to kick
his ass on and off the racetrack.”
spent summer’s at his family’s place on Shelter Island,”
Duke explained. “He’s four years older
than me which is the only reason he kicked my ass. We played polo.”
spied Hunt closely. So this was the guy Sierra was seeing. Handsome, stylish, obviously wealthy. She hoped those qualities kept them together,
and kept her away from Benji.
to meet you,” she said.
“Likewise. You wouldn’t be the Summer Solomon who broke
my boy’s heart, would you?”
looked at Duke uncomfortably. Was there
anyone who didn’t know that she’d strayed during her and Duke's brief relationship?
worry,” Hunt went on with a smile. “Duke
didn’t say anything to me. My buddy Jeff
Branigan, however, had great things to say about your gag reflex. Or lack thereof.”
grimaced as he closed his hand around a statue of David and simulated a handjob
while poking his tongue against the inside of his cheek.
have to go,” she said, snatching her purse from a chair and starting out of the
starts at nine!” Duke called after her.
nodded miserably before leaving.
girl,” Hunt said after she’d gone.
“You’re going to Magnum’s party tonight?”
wouldn’t miss it,” Duke said as he flipped through a stack of CD’s.
we can catch up more then. We should be
there around ten.”
and your new plaything? What’s her name
again? Sienna? Sirrocco?”
Hunt corrected him. “Have you met?”
don’t think so,” he replied. “But I’ve
met her mother.”
made a face and pulled a small vile of cocaine from his pocket. “You mean that prancing diva Renee DeWitt?”
he asked, dipping a tiny utensil inside and snorting it up his nose . “The woman is exasperating. You’d think someone who had an affair with a
pedophile twenty years ago would be a little more solitude. But no, she’s always right there holding
Sierra’s hand morning to night.”
not let Renee catch you with that stuff,” Duke said. “I can only imagine her reaction if she were
to find out you shovel that stuff up your nose around her daughter.”
laughed and wiped a trace of powder from his nostril. “I think her reaction to that would pale in
comparison to finding out Sierra’s just as into it as I am.”
raised an eyebrow. “Sierra does
coke? That’s a surprise. Your bad influence, no doubt.”
got tired of hiding it from her,” Hunt said and stuffed another handful of
M&M’s into his mouth. “I thought
she’d freak, but she actually wound up loving it. The girl has issues. I think she’s masking them with the
turns me into a stallion in bed.” He
offered the vial to him.
shook his head. “No, thanks. I don’t touch the stuff, remember?”
sighed and did one more bump. “Still
afraid that your father is going to find out his son isn’t the golden boy he
thinks he is?” he asked sarcastically.
“The woes of being in the political spotlight. How is the Ambassador these days?”
dick as usual.”
I heard you and Branigan got into it a couple months ago over a dirtbike. I guess there was a gun involoved? But you got some movie mogul’s son to take
the fall so your daddy wouldn’t get angry with you.”
rolled his eyes at his condescending tone.
“Yeah, Benji Rydell.”
the second time I’ve heard that name,” Hunt said. “Sierra has mentioned him. Who is this kid?”
graduated a year after me at Beau Soleil.
You’ll meet him at the party tonight.”
forward to it,” Hunt said and wandered across the room. “Should I feel guilty about corrupting
do you mean?” he asked, following him with his eyes.
shrugged and picked up a statue. “She
was a goodie two shoes when I met her.
All she cared about was school.
Now she can’t even go back because her grades slipped. Academic suspension.”
sure the drugs have a lot to do with that.”
Hunt said thoughtfully but with no trace of remorse.
you said, she has issues,” Duke said. He
saw no reason for concern. If anything,
watching Sierra spiral downward as a result of drugs was the perfect way to
teach Benji a lesson for screwing Summer behind his back last year. Especially if he got away with his alleged attack
on Summer last night. Either way, he
would be taught a lesson. “Drugs are
probably the only thing keeping her sane.
My advice is to get her so hooked that she can’t feel any pain.”
up in the powder room of her mother’s penthouse seemed like an amusing pun to
Sierra as she snorted two lines of cocaine off of a small decorative hand
mirror. She wiped the remnants with a
finger and rubbed it on her gums before inspecting herself in the mirror. Taking a deep breath, she flushed the toilet for
good measure and then proceeded back out to the living area where Renee was
bathroom break?” her mother asked, kneeling on the floor with bridal magazines
surrounding her on all sides. “That’s
the third one in an hour. Maybe you should
lay off the liquids, sweetheart.”
maybe,” Sierra said and rejoined her on the thick plush carpet.
so what do you think about the new club for the reception?” Renee asked. “Construction should be done in plenty of
time if we stick with a December date.”
stared distantly across the room. The
numbness in her mouth and the slight burn from the trickle down her throat too
intense to allow her to concentrate on anything else.
Renee asked, trying to garner her attention.
“Are you listening to me?”
finally turned her attention to her.
“Yes, I’m listening.”
you sure? Because you seem a million
miles away. Darling, you’ve been distant
since you got back. What is going on?”
it was the cocaine propelling her to spill, or the guilt over not coming clean
right off, Sierra suddenly launched into a rapid half-truth. “Mom, I’ve been meaning to tell you something
but I haven’t been able to find the right words.”
is it, Darling? Tell me.”
not going back to school,” she said. “I
didn’t register for the fall semester.”
“What? I don’t understand. Did something happen?”
realized she couldn’t tell her the truth that she’d been put on suspension for
the entire semester because of her grades.
She couldn’t bare to see the disappointment in her eyes. “No, nothing happened. I just decided that I needed some time away from
school, that’s all. I’ve learned
everything I can. I want to be a
singer. Singers don’t have to have an
education to make it.”
may not need one to sing but they most certainly need one to make it in this
world,” Renee argued. “Especially for a
woman of color. Sierra, what has gotten
into you? What does Hunt say about
supports me,” she replied. “He got an
Ivy League education and it’s been useless for him. He’s still being groomed by his father to
work for the family business next summer.
College just doesn’t matter these days.”
beg to differ,” Renee said. “Sierra, I
don’t understand why-“
telephone rang and she sighed, frustrated by the interruption. Realizing it could be a problem with the
resort, she got up and went to answer it.
she said. “Oh, Marilee. I’m sorry but I have nothing to say to
glanced at the powder room. The stress
over the argument made her crave another line.
Quickly, she got up and headed across the room, ignoring the looks of
frustration from her mother.
you have to tell me you can just say it on the phone,” Renee was saying. Protest from Marilee caused her to sigh and
waive her hand through the air.
can meet you tonight. Eight
o’clock in the dining room.”
she hung up, Sierra emerged from the powder room.
“I’ve got to go,” Sierra said. “Hunt is expecting me.”
we’re not done talking about this.”
we are, mom. I told you I’m not going
back to school. It’s not up for
that, she collected her things and left the penthouse. Renee stood behind, perplexed. She felt as though she had no idea what had
gotten in to her daughter over the past few months.
felt awkward sitting in a booth at Du Pars with Miranda. Awkward because they were sitting in the same
booth in the same restaurant that she’d sat in with Alex when they came up with
the whole adoption fiasco. Things were
moving so fast, and the worst part was that Miranda was actually a very sweet
girl who genuinely cared about her. She
hated lying to her.
you feeling better?” Miranda asked.
nodded as she sipped a mug of tea.
“Yeah, thank you for talking to me.
I just never expected this to be so hard.”
mean giving up your baby?”
shook her head. “No, I mean having to
explain to everyone why I’m doing it.”
smiled knowingly. “And by everyone you
is his deal?” Jane wanted to know. “I
mean, why does he care?”
Miranda sunk back into the leather booth.
“I think Jordan’s
just going through some stuff right now,” she explained. “His fixating on my mother is just his way of
dealing with all of it. I think he has
just be glad when this whole thing is over,” Jane said. “As soon as I sign those papers this evening
I’m finally going to be free.”
looked at the girl with concern. “Is
that really how you feel?” she asked.
realized how the remark sounded and decided put it a different way before
Miranda was totally disgusted by her. “I
never wanted to get pregnant,” she said.
“It was a surprise. It just
didn’t fit in with my plans. Not that my
life has been all that perfect since I moved out here. I haven’t gotten one acting job. I can barely pay my rent or put gas in my
if it wasn’t for all of that, would you have still wanted to give the baby up?”
though the discussion was hypothetical, it caused Jane to contemplate her
question with more thought than was necessary.
“I don’t know.”
looked down at the table and looked up again.
“Can I tell you something that I haven’t told anyone yet?”
pregnant,” Miranda confessed.
are? That’s wonderful. Isn’t it?”
think so,” Miranda said. “I mean, I know
I’m ready to be a mother. I was pregnant
before but I had a miscarriage. Then it
seemed almost like fate intervening because I really didn’t want a baby. This time I didn’t have any doubts.”
the father?” Jane asked. “I didn’t even
know you were married.”
not,” Miranda said with a laugh. “And I don’t know who the father is. I mean I know it’s one of two guys that I’ve
been with recently.”
do they say?”
haven’t told them. I can’t. I’ve barely been able to deal with them now
that they know about each other. I’m
not very far along. I haven’t even been
to the doctor yet. But I know my
body. I feel exactly the same as I did
when I was pregnant the first time.”
are you going to do?” Jane asked.
are you going to do?” Miranda
countered. “If you could afford to raise
a baby and if you were successful and all those other things that you
mentioned, would you still be giving your baby up for adoption?”
question was ridiculous, Jane thought to herself. It wasn’t even her baby they were talking
about. More guilt over lying to her set
in. “Yes I would,” she answered, hoping
to put the issue to bed.
I’ve got to get going,” Miranda said and slid out from the booth. “You ready?”
think I’ll just hang out for a while longer,” Jane said. “I’ve got my car and I just live around the
“Okay. I’ll see you tomorrow at Kenny’s office.” She made her way through the restaurant and
nearly knocked someone onto the ground as she darted through the front door. “Sorry,” she said hastily, then shrieked when
she looked up and realized that it was Eddie.
he waited for the bomb to drop in Hunt Roberts’ lap, Benji decided to head to
Moonshadows in hopes of running into Sierra.
He hated the way they left things the night before, and genuinely felt
bad for the impending realization she would come to about her new
boyfriend. He wanted to make sure that
she knew he was there for her no matter what.
she was darting through the lobby of the hotel just as he entered through the
main entrance. They both stopped
suddenly when they spotted each other.
She immediately waived her hand through the air in hopes of dismissing
can’t deal with you right now, Benji,” she said and attempted to skirt past
wait a second,” he said and grabbed her arm.
“You seem upset. You’re
shaking. What’s wrong?” Had Marilee already gone to Renee? If so, he had no doubt that everything had
already blown up.
“Nothing. Just let me go.”
until you tell me what’s wrong,” he said and led her to a corner by the
window. “You may not like it, but I care
just my mother,” she said hopelessly.
“She doesn’t understand me.”
told her that I’m not going back to school,” she revealed. “She didn’t like it very much.”
not going back to school?” Concern for
her future did not immediately enter his head.
Instead, he felt his spirit soaring with the prospect of her remaining
in L.A. for the
“No. And she flipped out like she always
does. When is she going to learn that
I’m twenty-one years old and I can make my own decisions?”
just being a mother,” he said, unable to resist throwing in a little praise for
Renee. It could come in handy when she
lectured her about the trappings of dating a coke fiend. “So I guess Hunt will be returning to New York without you
were going to stay here for a while,” Sierra said. “But now that my mother’s acting this way I
don’t see any reason to stay. We’ll
probably go back to New York
together sooner than we expected.”
caused major alarm in Benji’s mind. “You
can’t,” he lamented. “I mean, you can’t
run away from it. You should stay and
make her understand your decision.”
think?” she asked.
“Yes.” He looked into her eyes, disturbed by what he
saw. For the first time she didn’t seem
like herself. She was jumpy, moody, and
looked exhausted. “Are you okay? You look…”
look what?” she demanded hastily.
he could reply, Hunt approached and slid his arm around her.
baby,” he said and kissed her on the cheek.
“Am I late?”
you’re just in time.” Her response was
delivered with a cool glare in Benji’s direction. “We were through anyway.”
extended a hand to Benji. “Hi. I’m Hunt Roberts.”
Rydell,” he replied, sizing him up with a quick once over.
the legendary Benji,” Hunt said with a smirk.
“I’ve been hearing a lot about you since we got here. I understand you and Sierra are old
wondered what Sierra had told him, if anything.
Certainly not that he had been her first. He doubted that Hunt would be as smug if he’d
father and her mother used to be involved, right?” Hunt went on.
right,” Benji said. He wanted to shout
in his face that he’d fucked her last summer.
He wanted to brag about how much she bled and that despite the pain, she still came several times. But he wouldn’t talk about her that way. Their night together was private and meant
more than to be used as a jab.
on, let’s go,” Sierra said and tugged at Hunt’s arm.
Rydell,” Hunt said with a nod as they disappeared outside.
angrily in the lobby, Benji tried to remind himself that very soon Hunt Roberts
would be history. Once Renee found out
about his drug habit, she’d most certainly send him packing, just as she had
are you guys doing here?” Miranda asked outside of Du Pars.
to get some lunch,” Stormy replied as he came up from behind Eddie. “You?”
was meeting a friend,” she replied. She
could see the way Eddie looked at her and it broke her heart. She’d put him off long enough. She owed him an explanation. “Can we talk for a minute?”
don’t know. Can we?” He dug his hands in his pockets while giving
her a chilled out expression.
to avoid the awkward situation, Stormy headed for the door. “Uh, I’ll be inside. Take your time, Eddie.”
He patted his
friend on the back and entered the restaurant.
As he made his way to the back, he spotted the same girl who he’d run
into the day before at his mother’s apartment building.
so we meet again,” he said, fully aware that he sounded horribly cliché.
looked up and laughed. “Yeah, it seems
that way. Are you following me?”
you did leave that note on my car. I
figured if you were desperate enough to do that you wouldn’t have any problem
resorting to stalking.”
am not desperate, and I’m not stalking you.”
He slid across from her in the booth.
“I’m here with my buddy. So why
haven’t you called me, anyway? I thought
you’d find it flattering that I left that note on your car.”
suppose it was flattering,” she said.
“What happened to your eye? Did
you hit on some other girl and she slugged you?”
“No. Just a slight disagreement at the
so you work then?” Jane asked.
course I work. What does that supposed
shrugged and leaned back in the booth with her hands wrapped around her mug of
tea. “I just thought you were one of
those spoiled Hollywood brats with a trust
instant diagnosis infuriated him. “You’ve
got me all wrong,” he said.
do I, Mr. I’ve Got a Guy and He Can Be Here in Fifteen Minutes?”
dropped his hands to the vinyl seat and smiled.
“Okay, I admit that was a little pretentious. I just felt bad leaving you stranded. Did you get your car running?”
she said. Luckily Alex had given her
another check which covered the repairs.
“Good. Then you can drive tonight.”
beg your pardon?”
coming to a party with me,” Stormy said with a cocksure grin. “Don’t worry, it’s nothing too pretentious. It’s the brother of a friend of a friend’s
birthday. I figured you’d want to drive
instead of rolling up in the car of some spoiled Hollywood
couldn’t help but find him adorable. “I
don’t even know your name.”
he said and extended his hand.
she replied and accepted the handshake.
Maybe she would go. A party could
be just what she needed to get her mind off of the craziness that was her life
in the parking lot, Eddie leaned against his car, staring belligerently into
the distance as Miranda pleaded with him with expressive brown eyes.
never meant to hurt you,” she said.
“This thing with David…it just happened.”
huh,” he said dismissively.
it doesn’t mean that I love you any less, because I do love you, Eddie.”
hmm,“ he mumbled.
“I don’t know. I was just going through a rough time, and
“He….” She thought better of telling him the truth,
but it seemed to be the only way to explain herself. “He’s dying.”
Finally, the indifferent look faded
from Eddie’s face and he looked directly at her.
“When he found out, he had this
renewed zest for life and it excited me,” she explained. “Since Hotel Terranova was destroyed I feel
like I haven’t done anything worthwhile.
Nothing that was my own.”
"So all the sudden I’m not
“You are,” she insisted. “But David brought out these feelings in
“You mean feelings like you love him feelings?”
“I don’t know,” she said with a
shrug. “I care about him. But I care about you too. When you were in Acapulco I was worried sick that I was never
going to see you again.”
“Did you worry that you weren’t
going to see David again?” he asked.
“Yeah, of course,” she said with a shrug. “But Eddie, I-“
“Okay, I see how it is,” he cut her
off. “Well, listen, take your time
deciding on which one of us it is that you want. And while you’re doing that, I’ll be going to
Magnum Rainer’s birthday party tonight and guess who’s probably going to be
there? That’s right, Quinn Rainer. And I think you know what happened last time
we got together. She lured me to a
secluded cabin at Storm
Lake and tried to put the
moves on me but I turned her down because of you, that’s right, because I belonged
to you. Well, I guess this time I might
just have to see where things go because you know what, you need to learn how
to take what you give.”
“Eddie,” Miranda said with
“No, too late. Let me know what you decide, Miranda, and maybe
I’ll be here when you do and maybe I won’t.”
He made his way to the door and jerked it open so fast that it hit him
in the head. Miranda cringed. After recovering, he pulled the door open
again, this time smashing it against his foot.
“Ow, damnit!” he yelled and limped
his way inside.
Summer got a call from her family’s
lawyer telling her that the first deposit from her mother’s life insurance
policy had been wired to her bank account.
After a moment of reflection, then a few hits off of a joint, she set
out to buy herself something to wear to the party. She was sure Benji would be there, and that
meant she had to look good enough to make him regret stopping things in the
pool house the night before.
Walking into one of her favorite boutiques
on Rodeo Drive,
she immediately spotted someone that made her bubble with envy and
resentment. Sierra. She was with Hunt near the back of the store,
no doubt also looking for something to wear to the party.
“Can I help you?” asked a salesgirl
Quickly, Summer grabbed the nearest
garment and fled into the dressing rooms.
“Miss? Can I help you find a size?”
“Uh, I’m fine,” she said, tucked
away on the bench as she waited. The
last thing she wanted was for them to see her.
Hunt would comment that he’d seen her at Duke’s, and then anything they
had planned would be seen through and exposed as a lie.
Moments later, her heart began
beating wildly when she heard them enter the room next to her. Laughter and the sounds of lips smacking
together were followed by hushed whispers and other sounds she couldn’t make
Desperate to see what they were
doing, she climbed up onto the padded bench, lifted herself onto her toes and
peered over the top of the divider.
There, she saw them dipping into a small vial of powder and snorting it
up their noses. Not just Hunt, but
Sierra too. Her eyes flashed open
Quietly reaching into her purse, she
withdrew her cell and activated the camera feature. As quietly as she could, and with a steady
hand, she videotaped an obviously high as a kite Sierra doing bump after bump
When the bench began to teeter
beneath her, she inadvertently hit the divider with her knee. Sierra and Hunt both looked up in unison, but
she’d already jumped down and bolted from the dressing room.
“How did everythi-“ the salesgirl
called, but Summer flung the dress at her and tore out of the store.
Benji decided to work off his
aggressions so he called Blake and they met up at the gym. After listening to him ramble on for
forty-five minutes about Summer, Benji went off to lift free
weights on his own. He
didn't know how else to make it clear that he had no
interest in Summer Solomon.
After a few sets, his cell phone
alerted him to a message. Wiping his
face with a towel, he picked up the phone and saw that he had a video message
from an unknown number. He activated it
and watched the jerky movements of Sierra and Hunt Roberts snorting lines in
what looked to be a dressing room at Fred Segal. He only knew this because he’d fingered a
sales girl there once a year and a half ago.
Eyes growing wide, he played the
video over again. At first he thought he
was seeing things, but after repeated viewings it became clear to him. Sierra was doing coke. His heart sank. Seeing her high and tucked away in a stall
like a common junkie made him sick to his stomach.
she sent the text, Summer smiled cleverly. Those
throwaway cell phones were a blessing when you were
determined to be anonymous. Benji would now be
so disillusioned by his precious Sierra that he would
have no one to turn to but her. It was perfect.
Why did she even need Duke's help?
went to another store on Rodeo Drive to find a dress.
The salesgirl was someone she remembered from
high school and couldn't stop talking about how sorry
she was about her mother's death.
the dress for?" the salesgirl asked as she rung
up her purchase.
going to a birthday party tonight."
Rainer's party?" the girl squealed. "Omigod,
I am too. I hear it's going to be insane."
smiled knowingly. "Yeah, insane is one way to put
party, treachery and deceit lead to dangerous circumstances.
Mackenzie and Kyle are forced to make small talk.
Suzanne cries on her professor's shoulder.
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