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Episode 126

 

Release Date:  November 7, 2010

 Read the episode Recap

 

Previously...

 

Stormy asked Jane to accompany him to Magnum's party without realizing she was allegedly R.J.'s biological mother. Quinn Rainer staged an elaborate rouse to lure Eddie into the mountains, hoping to start a relationship with a wealthy suitor after her parent's divorce left them penniless.  Fed up with Miranda refusing to choose between him and David, Eddie threatened to hook up with Quinn at the party.  Miranda and Benji paid Summer a visit to tell her about Cassidy's death.  After Sierra turned him away, Benji came close to having sex with Summer.  Later, he went to Paradise Cove and was harassed by a homeless man.  Angry, he beat the man up.  Summer professed her love for Benji to Duke, who said he would help her.  But when Summer revealed that she and Benji had hooked up while they were dating, Duke decided to teach Benji a lesson.  He suggested Summer claim that Benji attacked her, claiming that would ensure he and Sierra didn't reunite.  Duke urged Hunt to continue forcing drugs on Sierra, hoping she would become a junkie and thus destroy Benji.  Benji manipulated Marilee Wells-Walker into going to Renee with information that Hunt was a drug user.  Summer saw Hunt and Sierra doing cocaine and videotaped it.  She anonymously sent the video to Benji.  Blake grew jealous of Summer's infatuation with Benji.  

 


  

Episode 126

"Evil Genius"

 

“Snuffleupagus was that hairy elephant that Big Bird was dating,” insisted a girl named Elana who was positioned at the kitchen island quartering limes.

“But isn’t Big Bird a guy?” another girl named Valerie asked while handing her a joint. 

“Oh my God,” Elana gasped and stabbed a lime with the knife so she could take a hit.  “Big Bird is gay?”

“I think he is. Yeah, I’m pretty sure he’s gay.” 

“I can’t fucking believe this,” Elana said as she stood at the island and inhaled the pot.  “How did I never know this?  Jesus, how many limes do we need?  Like I’m going to stand in the kitchen all night and cut limes for these drunk assholes.  Where’s Magnum?  He should be in here doing this.  Or like, the maid.” 

“Has anyone seen the maid?” Valerie called out into the next room where it was standing room only.

“Well don’t expect me to clean up after you guys,” said Duke Summerfield with a grin as he entered the kitchen with two paper bags full of bottles of alcohol.  Elana took one while he set the other on the island.

“Jesus, Duke, do you think you brought enough booze?” Valerie asked while snooping through the bags.

“I’m going to have to cut more limes,” Elana complained as she picked up the knife again. 

Duke placed a hand on her arm.  “I’m sure you’ll find some sap to do it for you, Elana.  You always do.  Has anyone seen Summer Solomon?”

“Have you checked the bathrooms?” Valerie asked with a snarl.  “Odds are she’s purging up the cracker I saw her eat five minutes ago.”

Duke smirked and started off through the house while the girls erupted into a fit of laughter, causing Elana to slice her finger with the knife and scream at the top of her lungs while blood seeped onto the kitchen counter.

Duke Summerfield

Duke weaved his way through the crowd.  Magnum’s mother’s house in Bel Air was an enormous estate that at one time had been the embodiment of luxury.  Since her marriage to Magnum’s father ended, however, she’d had to sell off a great deal of their possessions, leaving a lot of the floors and walls surprisingly bare.  Good thing, he decided, because with the crowd that had amassed for the birthday party, things were bound to get messy. 

Heading into the living room, he spotted Magnum Rainer and gave him a high-five.  “There’s the birthday boy,” he said, screaming over the music that blared through the sound systems.  The third song in a row by Blink-182.  “The big 2-0 huh?”

“Yeah,” said Magnum, already slightly inebriated and it was only a little after nine.   He was wearing a phallic looking balloon hat that Duke eyed suspiciously.  “Where’s your drink, man?”

“I’ll get one in a minute,” Duke said, screaming over the music that blared through the sound systems.  “You seen Summer?”

A guy with a tray of shots arrived and thrust them in Magnum’s face.  “With Blake in the other room,” he shouted, gesturing with one hand while throwing a shot of tequila back with the other. 

“Thanks,” Duke said and meandered through the crowd.  He smiled at a few passing acquaintances and nodded to a few others.  He stepped cautiously over a broken glass or bottle, edged his way around a couple making out in a hallway, and avoided eye contact with a girl he screwed over back in New York. 

When he arrived in the sprawling family room with direct access to the pool, he spotted Blake standing with several guys holding drinks.  Beside them, summer was perched on the arm of a tacky paisley sofa in a short skirt and sheer blouse.  A pair of designer heels hung delicately off of her foot. 

“Hey guys,” Duke said, patting Blake on the back and shaking hands with Van Edgewater and Ashton Childers and two other guys he didn’t know.  “Summer, you look great tonight.  Is that your bra I can see under that blouse?”

She looked down and nodded uncomfortably.

“Van, how’s medical school?” Duke inquired.  He never understood how the guy could function in a classroom, let alone a hospital environment being high all the time.  He suspected that his father, Deacon Edgewater the B movie producer had a lot to do with how far he’d gotten.  It didn’t instill much confidence in the medical school profession. 

“Started interning this semester,” Van said, sweeping blond surfer locks away from his face.  “It’s awesome.  Last night some homeless guy got brought in.  Someone beat the shit out of him at Paradise Cove.  He’s still in the E.R., poor loser.”

“I was there.  It was brutal,” confessed Ashton.

“Sad,” Duke said with little empathy while patting Blake on the back.  “Well, at least we know who to call if there’s another accidental shooting, don’t we, Blake?” 

Blake groaned and tipped his drink back.  Memories of the gangrenous stitches Van had administered two years ago plagued him.

Duke turned to Summer who looked slightly uncomfortable.  “Can I talk to you for a minute?” he asked, then looked at Blake.  “You don’t mind, do you?”

“No, go ahead,” Blake said, running a hand down Summer’s bare arm and kissing her on the lips.  “I’ll be here.” 

Duke led Summer outside to an empty corner by the pool where it was quieter.   “What’s wrong with you?” he asked her.

She looked at him crossly, folding her arms across her chest to cover her sheer blouse.  “What do you mean?”

“You’re acting like you got caught with your pants down,” he replied, then grinned at the irony of the remark.  “Which is usually the case, but-“

“Can you blame me for being a little unsure about this?” Summer said, glancing around the crowded pool deck to ensure no one could hear them.  Benji’s going to hate me, which is exactly the opposite of my intentions.  Do you have any idea what we’re about to do?”

“Yes, we’re going to make sure that when Benji succeeds in splitting up Sierra and Hunt Roberts that she doesn’t go running into his arms for comfort.  Once she hears what Benji tried doing to you in the pool house, she’ll be destroyed.”

“This is dangerous, Duke.  If she’s that screwed up, we don’t know how she’ll react.” 

He frowned at her.  “What do you care about Sierra Merteuil?  As long as she’s far away from Benji then you’ve won.  You can seduce him back into bed, or on the hood of a car or whatever it is you envision happening.”

Sighing, she looked into his dark, scheming eyes.  “Well, it may not be necessary to turn Sierra against Benji.”

“Why the hell not?” 

She fished her cell from her tiny purse.  “I sent this to Benji earlier.  Anonymously, of course.”

“Of course,” he said and waited as the video of Sierra and Hunt in the dressing room at Fred Segal cued up.  Once he saw the evidence that she’d captured, he groaned with frustration.  “You sent this to Benji?”

“Yes,” she replied proudly.

“God, you are more stupid than I thought.”  He shoved the phone back at her and rubbed his eyes with his thumb and index finger. 

“Why?  Don’t you get it? All this time we thought Sierra would freak when she learned Hunt was a coke head.  Benji was going to use that to get her back.  This video proves she’s just as much a loser as Hunt is.  Now Benji won’t want to have anything to do with her, and I don’t have to make up some lie about an attack that never happened.”

Logistically she was right, Duke realized, but the development put a kink in his plans for getting back at his old friend Benji Rydell.  It was too soon.  He’d suggested to Hunt that he should get Sierra as hooked on the junk as he could, and when Benji found out he’d been crushed.  That, on top of being labeled the town monster for forcing himself on Summer would destroy him. 

“Don’t you see what this is going to do?” he asked, deciding to spin things around to his favor again.  “It’s going to launch Benji into full hero mode.  He’s probably looking for Sierra right now, ready to convince her that she’s throwing her life away and that she should leave Hunt for him.  Did you really think that showing him this video was going to magically turn him against her?  I’m starting to think anorexia is causing your brain to deteriorate.”

Summer’s expression turned to one of panic.  “I just thought that-“

“No, you didn’t think at all,” he cut her off.  “Now listen to me.  The only way to fix this is to go ahead with our original plan.”

She nodded eagerly.  “What should I do?”

“You’ve got to find out how to spread our rumor so that it will get to Sierra, and fast.  I only hope it’s not too late.  Your little stunt could have cost you Benji for good and driven Sierra right into his arms.” 

Panicked, Summer realized she had to act fast. 

Renee DeWitt

Renee retreated to her car after having dinner with Marilee Wells-Walker at the Yacht Club.  Devastated, she buried her face in her hands and wept silently.  She’d spent so many years protecting her daughter.  She’d carried on with the pretense that she was adopted for nineteen years just so she wouldn’t find out that her father was Nathan Blackthorne.  She kept her hidden away at boarding schools and universities in Europe just so she wouldn’t have to endure the humiliation of having a child molester as a father.  Then she blackmailed T.T. Levitt’s son into staying as far away from Sierra as possible.  He wasn’t good enough for her daughter.  No one was.  Until Hunt Roberts, or so she thought.

“I have it on very good authority that Hunt uses cocaine,” Marilee had told her at dinner, and although she wouldn’t reveal her sources, claimed it to be the truth. 

“Are you sure?” Renee had asked, a horrified look on her face.

“I’m so sorry.  I thought you should know before things got too out of hand.” 

They already were.  Renee sped back to her penthouse at Moonshadows and, after finding Sierra not home, searched through her room until she found a small wooden box under the bed containing a vial of white powder.  Her worst fears confirmed, she threw the box across the room and raced back out into the night.

Benji Rydell

“I just got done having dinner with Renee,” Marilee said into the phone as she sat drinking a glass of chardonnay at the Yacht Club.  “Is something wrong?”

“You told her about Hunt Roberts?” Benji wanted to know.  He was in his car headed to Moonshadows, visions of the anonymous video still playing over in his mind. 

“Well, yes.  You told me that I wouldn’t be a good friend if I didn’t.  Is everything okay, Benji?”

Frustrated, he clicked off the phone and threw it onto the passenger’s seat of his BMW.  “Moron,” he murmured to himself. 

Things had taken a very wrong turn.  Exposing Hunt’s drug usage to Renee DeWitt would have been a good idea until he learned that Sierra was doing it too.  Now he’d opened up a whole other level of misery.  Who knew what Renee would do if she learned Sierra was doing drugs.  She’d probably send her away and then he’d never see her again.  He had to get to her and talk some sense into her. 

When he arrived at the penthouse, he found no one to be home.  Checking his watch, he realized it was almost ten o’clock and Sierra was probably already at Magnum’s party.  Quickly, he set off toward Bel Air. 

Miranda Blackthorne

Miranda did everything she could to get her argument with Eddie out of her mind.  Nothing worked.  She played an excruciating game of Scrabble with Leilani, and when she spelled out the word doofus she thought of Eddie.  She looked at old photo albums, grimacing at the horrific Goth makeup she wore in the tenth grade, and thought about the crush Eddie had on her back then.  Finally she decided to look on line for baby names, prompting her to wish she’d have leveled with him about her pregnancy. 

No, it was impossible to think of anything else.  Earlier that day he’d threatened to hook up with Quinn Rainer at Magnum’s party.  The thought made her scream with jealousy, so she put on skinny jeans, a ruffled blouse and did her hair and makeup before heading off to Bel Air. 

When she pulled up, she thought she saw Stormy with some girl she couldn’t place.  It was too dark.  She got propositioned by the valet, which gave her a boost of confidence.  And when she entered through the giant front doors of the house, all eyes were on her.  It wasn’t often that Miranda Blackthorne made an appearance at a party like this one.  When she did, people flocked toward her.

“Hey, sweetheart,” said Sheldon Novak, flanked on either side by a group of guys.

When she turned, she groaned and rolled her eyes.   “Forget it, Sheldon.  I’m looking for Eddie.  Have you seen him?”

“What do you need with him for when I’m right here?” he said, sidling up alongside her and placing a hand on her arm. 

“Get serious,” she said, slapping his hand away.  “How many times do I have to tell you I’m not into teenagers?”

“Why?  You could totally be a cougar.” 

Her mouth opened in shock.  “Cougar?” she gasped.  “Jesus, I’m not that  much older than you.  Have you seen Eddie or not?”

He shrugged and waived her off.  “Blake said he was in the hot tub with Quinn Rainer.”  Before he turned away, he leveled his beady eyes on her and grinned.  “If you wanna get back at him just let me know.  I’ll think about it.” 

Hot tub?  It was worse than she’d thought.  She made a face and started off through the growing crowd of people.  She stopped and asked a girl where the hot tub was. 

“Was that an offer?” the girl asked coyly and with something resembling a wink.

“Never mind,” Miranda said and continued on her way until she ran into Summer Solomon.

“Hi Miranda,” Summer said. 

“Summer, hi.  You look so pretty.”

“Thanks,” she replied with a shrug.  “Listen, can I talk to you for a minute?”

Miranda looked around, eager to find Eddie but at the same time feeling like the girl may need a friend.  “Yeah, sure,” she said.  “Hey, I’m sorry that I haven’t reached out to you since I came to you house that night.  How are you holding up?”

“I’m okay,” she replied and led her into a nearby room.  “I heard your mom was coming back to the show for the tribute to my mom.  That’s nice.” 

“Yeah, they were….friends.”  She couldn’t even keep a straight face while saying it.  “So are you really okay?  I heard you were staying at Eddie and Blake’s.”

“Yeah.  I think I need to get out of there though.  Blake is sweet, but I just can’t give him what he wants right now, you know?  It’s too hard with my mom being gone and all that.” 

“It’ll take some time to feel like a whole person again,” Miranda said and sat down across from her.  She was anxious to find Eddie and possibly kick the crap out of Quinn, but she felt a connection to Summer and she felt bad for what she was going through. 

“Even more so now,” Summer said with calculated efficiency. 

“What do you mean?  Has something else happened?”

Growing serious, Summer leaned in and squeezed out a few tiny tears.  “I don’t know if I can talk about it.” 

“You can tell me anything,” Miranda said and placed a hand on hers.

Summer thought back to one of her mother’s scenes on the soap and tried to emulate her faux vulnerability.  The benefits of being the daughter of a legendary actress.  She only hoped Miranda couldn’t see right through it being as she was in the same boat. 

“The other night I was feeling really sad about my mom,” she began.  “I went to see this guy – someone I thought was a friend.  He….”

“He what?”

“He tried to rape me,” Summer said and hung her head low so as not to look her in the eyes.

“What?” Miranda asked.  “Oh my God, Summer.  I’m so…  Did you file a police report?”

She shook her head.  “No. I just got out of there as fast as I could.  I was so humiliated.  You’re the first person I’ve told.” 

Horrified, Miranda pulled her into an embrace.  “No wonder you’re such a wreck,” she said.  “Summer, you have to go to the police.” 

“No,” she said firmly, then shook her head and wiped her eyes.  “It was a couple of days ago.  Besides, I stopped him before he could go through with it.  There’s no proof.  It would be my word against his.” 

Miranda sighed.  “Who was it?”

After pausing for an appropriate amount of time, Summer looked into her eyes.  “Benji.” 

Miranda blinked.  “Benji?  Benji Rydell, my step brother?”

She nodded.  “Please don’t tell anyone, Miranda.  I just want to forget it happened.  I knew that I had to at least tell someone.  You know, to get it off my chest and all that.  And you were so nice to come to my house that night to tell me about my mother.  That’s why I thought I could trust Benji.  He seemed so sweet that night.  Little did I know-“

“I know Benji has some issues, but to take it this far is really a shock.” 

Summer watched her expression, satisfied that the chain of events had been set into motion. 

\Sierra Merteuil

Hunt handed the keys to the valet and escorted Sierra up the walkway to the front door of the Rainer’s house. Music emanated from the inside, reverberating off the walls and rattling the windows.  Before they entered, Sierra’s phone went off.  She paused on the porch and fished it from her purse. 

“It’s my mom,” she said to Hunt with a frown.  “Mom?  What’s up?” she asked after answering.   “Yeah.  Where?  Okay.” 

She hung up and looked at Hunt.  “My mom’s pulling up in her car.  She needs to talk to us.” 

“What about?” Hunt asked and followed her back down the driveway to the iron gates surrounding the estate.  

“I have no idea,” Sierra said and waived when she saw her mother’s car come into view.   “I told her we were coming here.  Maybe there’s an emergency.”

Standing beside the car, they watched as Renee made her way around from the driver’s side.  She approached Hunt and slapped him hard across the face. 

“You bastard,” she hissed. 

“Mom!” Sierra exclaimed.  “What is wrong with you?”

“Mrs. DeWitt, if there’s something-“ Hunt began, placing a hand instinctively on his stinging cheek. 

“How dare you treat me with such disrespect,” Renee cut him off indignantly. 

“I beg your pardon?”

“Mom, what is this all about?” Sierra demanded in a shrill voice.  She shivered in her strapless mini dress. 

“I’ll tell you what this is all about,” she said and reached into her purse for the vial of cocaine.  “You’ve turned my daughter onto drugs, you son of a bitch.” 

Sierra’s eyes flashed open in shock.  “Where did you get that?”

“In your bedroom,” she said.  “The maid found it while cleaning.  Now I want an explanation, Sierra.  How could you bring this into my house?  How could you do this to your body?”

Frozen in panic, Sierra couldn’t speak.  She looked at Hunt and then back at the vial.  The last thing she ever wanted was for her mother to find out about her recent behavior.   She still hadn’t told her she’d been kicked out of school.

“I….I….” she stammered.  

“It’s mine,” Hunt said and reached for the vial.  “Sierra didn’t know anything about it.” 

Renee pulled it from his grasp.  “How did it get under her bed?”

“I put it there while she was out of the room,” he replied.  “I was stupid and I was holding it for a friend of mine.” 

“What friend?” Renee demanded skeptically.

Jeff Branigan,” he replied.  “He’s a dealer.  He asked me to give it to someone for him.  I know, it was stupid, but I-“

“No, what’s stupid is that you think you can pull the wool over my eyes,” Renee said, her eyes flashing major danger signals.  “I just had dinner with a friend who filled me in on your sordid history with drugs, Hunt.  I know that you’re a user.” 

“Who told you that?” Sierra shrieked. 

“Yes, I’d like to know who’s spreading tacky rumors about me,” Hunt said, calm as ever.  “Because I assure you, I’ve never touched the stuff.” 

“It doesn’t matter who,” Renee said, emptying the contents of the vial into the grass and throwing the vial across the lawn.  “What matters is that I trusted you to take care of my daughter.  My God, I pushed the two of you together.  All your talk about your upbringing and your family’s’ social status.  All the while you’re doing drugs in my home and corrupting my daughter.” 

“He isn’t corrupting me!” Sierra lamented.  “Mom, you’ve got this all wrong.  If Hunt says the drugs aren’t his then I believe him.” 

Renee looked into her eyes and took a step toward her.  “Tell me you didn’t know about this, Sierra,” she said, her eyes pleading.  “Tell me you aren’t into this stuff too, because it would break my heart if you were throwing your life away like this.” 

“Mom…” Sierra said, her voice trembling and her eyes threatening to explode with tears.  “Please just go.” 

“Baby, please tell me that you aren’t doing drugs.” 

Tears finally rolling down her face, she turned and ran up to the house.  After she’d gone, Renee looked at Hunt and issued him a look of warning. 

“I want you gone by tomorrow morning,” she said.

“Mrs. DeWitt, if you’d just-“

“Let me be perfectly clear,” Renee began, an ominous tone to her voice.  “You have no idea what I’m capable of, Mr. Roberts.  You are not to see my daughter again.  If I find out that you have, the police will find enough cocaine in your possession to put you away for the next thirty years.  And when you are fortunate enough to get out, you’ll have nothing because your family will have disowned you.  I’ll make sure of that.  No trust fund, no estate on Shelter Island, no job at your father’s company.  You will have nothing.  Do I make myself clear?”

He couldn’t remember the last time someone actually made him question his future.  Renee DeWitt seemed capable enough.  Behind all of that beauty and glamour was someone willing to do anything for her daughter.

Stormy Blackthorne

Stormy and Jane got to the party a little after ten and she said she had to go to the bathroom.  While she waited in line, he set off to find them drinks and to wish Magnum a happy birthday. 

“Thanks for coming man,” Magnum said, flopped onto a sofa with two girls positioned on either side of him and his hand up the blonde’s skirt.  “Help yourself to the bar.”

Before Stormy could say anything, Miranda approached and shook a threatening finger at Magnum.  “Where is your skank of a sister hiding?” she demanded.

“Miranda?” Stormy said, surprised to find her there.  “What are you doing?”

“Looking for Eddie,” she said.  “He told me he was coming here and was going to let Quinn have her way with him.  Can you believe him?  He knows how pissed I got when she tried that stuff last summer at Storm Lake.”

“Eddie wouldn’t do that,” he said and led her off away from the crowd.  “He was probably just angry about you and David.  Can’t say that I blame him.  You did kind of screw him over.”

“You’re not helping,” she said, looking at him with eyes flaring.  “What are you doing here anyway?  Did you come by yourself?”

“No, I have a date,” he said proudly.

Frowning, she folded her arms.  “A date?  With who?”

“This girl I met.”

Miranda looked around and dropped her hands to her sides.  “Okay, well where is this alleged date?  Or are you imaginings people like Michael?”

“She’s in line for the bathroom.  Come on, I’ll help you find Eddie.” 

Sighing, she shook her head.  “All right, but I have to get into kick ass mode first.  I got some surprising news a little while ago that kind of knocked me off track.” 

“What kind of news?” 

“About Benji,” she said quietly into his ear.  “He tried to rape Cassidy Solomon’s daughter.” 

“What?” Stormy asked.  “Are you kidding?  Like that girl hasn’t been through enough already.” 

“I know,” she said, throwing her hands up.  “I mean, what’s next?”

Summer Solomon

Summer met a girl named Jane while in line for the bathroom.  They talked for a few minutes about how Jane didn’t know anyone there, but Summer assured her that everyone knew everyone in one way or another in Hollywood.  Jane thanked her and went into the bathroom when it was her turn.  Summer thought she recognized Jane from an audition her mother drug her to a few months before.  Then Duke approached and leaned against the wall beside her.

“How is our little game of telephone going?” he asked with a grin. 

"So far so good," she replied meekly.

“That little time bomb shouldn’t take long at all to get back to Sierra.  And speaking of Sierra, she got here a few minutes ago.  Hunt is out back.  I don’t think they’re speaking.”

“What?”

“My guess is it had something to do with your amateur filmmaking in the ladies lounge at Fred Segal,” he said.  “Benji just texted me and he’s on his way.  You’d better hope that word of his attack on you spreads before he gets here or you can say goodbye to any chance of being with him.” 

Sick to her stomach, Summer watched as he sauntered off through the crowd.  Forgetting about her need to use the bathroom, she headed down the hall, through the living room, and spotted Sierra standing miserably by herself, tears in her eyes and a drink clutched in her right hand. 

When she turned, her heart stopped at the sight of Benji walking inside the house, a determined look on his face.  Paralyzed with fear, she began to assume the worst was about to happen. 

“Hey, there you are,” Blake said when he approached her.  “I’ve been looking all over for you.” 

“Sorry.  I got caught up talking to some people,” she said, distracted and praying that Benji wouldn’t see Sierra. 

“Oh, well this party is getting kind of lame.  What do you say we take off and head home?”

She nodded without even looking at him.  “You can go.  I want to stay.” 

“I don’t want to leave without you,” he said with a coy smile and moved closer to her.  “I was hoping we could be alone for a while.” 

Irritated, she pushed him away.  “Blake, I said no.  Leave if you want but I’m staying here.” 

He frowned at her hostility and backed up a few steps.  “What is your problem?” he asked.  “You’ve been ditching me all night.  First with Duke and now…”  He paused, finally seeing what it was that had her attention.  “Of course.  Benji.  How could I have not known?”

She shook her head dismissively and headed off to the kitchen. 

Jane Wheeler

Miranda set off on her own while Stormy found Jane and told her they had to try to find Eddie.  They made their way upstairs and into the master bedroom. 

“Eddie?  You in here?”  Stormy called as they crept inside.  Light from beneath the bathroom door cut through the darkness. 

“What are we doing in here?” Jane whispered, clinging to his arm. 

“Wait here,” he said and went to the door.  “Eddie?” he called.  “Are you in there?”

“Uh, hey Stormy,” Eddie called through the door.  “Yeah, it’s uh…not a good time.  Kinda busy.” 

Frowning, Stormy tried the door and found it unlocked.  “I’m coming in,” he said, slowly opening the door.  Once inside, he saw Eddie in the hot tub, a girl with dark hair whom he couldn’t identify with her back to the door. 

“Hey man,” Eddie said.  “Sorry you had to walk in on this.  I know it’s a low blow but what’s good for the goose is good for the-“

“Quinn?” Stormy asked and moved forward.   As he did, it became clear what his friend was up to.  He’d risen to new heights in the goofball department.  Reaching down, he grabbed the girls’ hair and gasped when it came off in his hand. 

“Hey, don’t do that-“ Eddie exclaimed in a panic. 

“Oh Edward,” Stormy said, throwing the wig onto the floor and picking up the inflatable doll.  “What is going on inside that tiny little brain of yours?”

Sighing with defeat, Eddie sunk back against the whirlpool tub.  “It was a rouse,” he said.  “I was hoping you’d come in and find us together and tell Miranda.” 

“You and your inflatable sex dummy?” Stormy asked with a laugh.  “Yeah, that’s sure to get her jealousy going.” 

“No, man, I thought you’d come in and see the back of her head and think I was with Quinn!” Eddie proclaimed.  “Then she’d know what it felt like to get screwed over.” 

“Isn’t Quinn here?” Stormy wanted to know.

He shook his head.  “No, I found out she’s hooked up with some military guy from Calabasas.  This whole idea has been a waste of time.  How did I think Miranda would get jealous of me?  She probably doesn’t even care.” 

“I got news for you, bro.  Miranda’s been here for an hour looking for you.”

“She what?” Eddie asked, jumping out of the water and exposing himself. 

“Jeesh, put that thing away,” Stormy said and turned away.  “Miranda’s here.  At the party.  She’s been looking all over for you.  And news flash: she is jealous.  She thinks you’re up here with Quinn right now.” 

“I gotta go find her,” Eddie said, grabbing a towel and wrapping it around his waist as he rose out of the water. 

“Hey, before you do,” Stormy said.  “There’s something else you should know.” 

“What?”

“Are Blake and Summer Solomon still going out?”

“Yeah.  She’s staying with him in his former lair of masturbation.” 

Stormy sighed.  “Well, apparently she went over to Benji’s the other night and he tried forcing himself on her.” 

“What?” Eddie exclaimed, pulling on his pants.  “Are you freakin’ serious?”

“Yeah.  She told Miranda.  Miranda says she’s really upset.” 

“Shit,” Eddie said in disbelief.  "Poor Summer.  And poor Blake.  If he wasn't such a boner I'd almost feel sorry for him."

Benji Rydell

The last thing on Benji’s mind that night had been going to any trouble to make himself look good for Magnum’s party.  He threw on some jeans, tennis shoes, and the same black hooded sweatshirt that still reeked of smoke from the fires at Paradise Cove.  People still stopped to talk to him as he wove his way through the house.  First was  Blake, and for the third time he had to tell him that he wasn’t interested in Summer.  Despite being his best friend, he was starting to get on his nerves. 

The second person to stop him was Sheldon Novak, who claimed to have seen him at Saw 3D a few nights ago and thought about saying hello but he was with people, and Sheldon was with people, so it didn’t seem like the right time. 

“Yeah, okay,” Benji said with disinterest.  Where was Sierra?

“Hey man, I haven’t told anyone about that time at Van’s pool last summer,” Sheldon went on, eyes darting right and left.  “I just want you to know that.”

“You mean when you jerked me off?” Benji asked with a trace of a grin.  “Okay, man, whatever.”  He continued scanning the crowd for Sierra or Hunt. 

“Yeah, so if you ever…you know…want to do anything again that’d be cool with me,” Sheldon was saying.  “I won’t say anything to anyone.”

Irritated that he wouldn’t leave him alone, besides still being pissed because of the video he snapped of him with Scott Kelly, Benji stopped and picked the first person from the crowed to address. 

“Sheldon Novak gave me a hand job last summer,” he said and then walked away. 

The girl stifled a fit of laughter with her hand and turned to her friends who all gawked at Sheldon.  He stood, glaring at Benji as he disappeared into the crowd.

Hunt Roberts

In the backyard, Benji found a group of guys gathered around the barbecue pit.  Among them was Hunt Roberts, smugly sipping a vodka soda while leaning against a rock pillar. 

“I’m telling you, she cut her fucking finger off in the kitchen,” Magnum was saying, barely able to formulate a coherent sentence.  “I heard they had to carry it to the hospital in a bowl of ice.” 

“That is bullshit,” Ashton Childers interjected.  “She just cut it.  Valerie drove her to the hospital and she got like four stitches.”

“If she gets blood on my mother’s carpet she’ll freak,” Magnum said as his feet slid out from under him and he fell to the ground.  “Oops,” he said, looking up as Benji appeared.   “Hey Rydell, you made it.” 

“I need to talk to you,” Benji said to Hunt.

“I’m kinda busy, dude,” Hunt replied, clad head to toe in black Versace pants and button up shirt.  He looked away and attempted to take up a conversation with Ashton. 

“Too bad,” Benji said and stepped closer. 

“What’s your problem, Ben?”  Hunt asked.

“That’s Benji.”

“Oh, sorry, Benji,” he said patronizingly and stepped away from the pillar.  “What is it you need?  Besides a shower.  Jesus, you reek of smoke.” 

Benji pulled his phone from his hoodie and played the video of him and Sierra doing cocaine.  “Look familiar?” he asked, clenching his fists.

“Holy shit,” Ashton said with a laugh as he hung back and watched. 

“Where’d you get this?” Hunt asked, grabbing the phone from him. 

“Doesn’t matter.  Did you get Sierra turned on to coke?”

Hunt flicked his nose with a thumb and glared at Benji.  “You showed this to her old lady, didn’t you?” he demanded angrily.  “That’s how she found out about the coke.”

Benji realized that Renee must have confronted them already.   “You haven’t answered my question.  Did you get Sierra turned on to this stuff or was this the first time she did it?”

Hunt smiled.  “She’s been into it for months,” he said with satisfaction.  “She’s snorted the stuff off my cock.” 

Just as he said it, Duke emerged from the house.  Behind him, Summer followed.

Gritting his teeth angrily, Benji tried futily to control his temper.  The smug look on Hunt’s face propelled him into action.  With blinding speed, he attacked him, punching him in the face and sending him flying back into Ashton and Magnum. 

“Stop him,” Summer said to Duke. 

He held her off, placing a hand between them as he watched with amusement.  “Are you kidding?  Things are just getting interesting.”

When Hunt recovered from the blow, he retaliated, punching Benji in the jaw and then slugging him in the gut.  While he was down, he brought his knee up to his face, sending blood spraying from his nose. 

“Benji!” Summer cried and ran to break it up. 

“Sure you wanna do this, Benji?” Hunt asked belligerently.  “Cause we can go another round.”

“Benji, please,” Summer said.  “Come inside with me and Duke.” 

“Stay out of this, Summer,” Benji said, wiping the blood on his sleeve. 

“Yeah, stay out of this Summer,” Hunt mocked him and lifted Benji’s hood over his head.  “Listen to Benji.”

In a flash, Benji was upon him again, pushing him to the ground and kicking him in the ribs.  He kicked him mercilessly as a crowd began to gather.  Sheldon Novak stepped outside just as Ashton grew into a daze watching the attack. 

“It was him on the beach,” he murmured to himself.

“What?” Sheldon asked. 

“I was at the beach when that homeless guy got attacked,” Ashton said.  “I swear to God it was Rydell.  I don't know why but it just hit me."

Duke finally went to break up the fight.  Pulling Benji away, he restrained him long enough for Hunt to climb to his feet. 

“You’re dead, man,” he said.

“Stay away from Sierra or I swear to God I’ll fucking kill you,” Benji said through gnashed teeth, Duke on one side and Summer on the other. 

“You better get your boy out of here, Duke,” Hunt said in bated breath. 

“No problem.”  Duke pulled a resistant Benji inside the house where the crowd parted for them.  “Get a hold of yourself, man.  I’m serious.  She’s not worth it.” 

“Fuck you,” Benji said angrily and pulled away.  He started off through the house, leaving Summer and Duke behind. 

“He’s never going to give up on her,” Summer said somberly.  “No matter what we do or what happens.” 

“You’ll just have to make it happen,” Duke said.

Miranda Blackthorne

Miranda wandered through the upstairs, opening doors and peeking into rooms.  She still hadn’t found Eddie and had somehow lost Stormy, so she continued her search on her own.  The thought of him being with Quinn Rainer was enough to get her blood boiling.  But more than that, she actually felt jealous.  It gave her some idea of how he must have felt when he learned about her and David.  She had to get him to listen to her.

Arriving at the master bedroom, she ambled through the darkness and paused when she heard voices coming from the bathroom.  Steam hovering in the air informed her that she’d found the hot tub, or at least one of them. 

She stopped, unsure if she wanted to go through with it or not.  How would she feel walking in on them together?  They could be doing anything.  The image may never be removed from her mind. 

Still, she had to know.  Taking a breath, he turned the knob and bolted inside. 

“Ah-ha!” she yelled, pointing with one hand and covering her eyes with the other. 

“What the-“ Stormy called out and slid down beneath the water.  “Miranda?”

Frowning, she spread her fingers and peered through them.  “Stormy?  What are you doing?  Where’d Eddie?”  When she removed her hand from her eyes, she saw who was in the hot tub with him.  “Jane?”

“Miranda?”

“You two know each other?” Stormy asked, trying to cover himself with his hands. 

“Of course.  Mom’s adopting her baby,” Miranda said. 

“You’re R.J.’s mother?” Stormy asked in disbelief. 

Jane blinked a few times, he hands covering her breasts.  “Yeah,” she said uncomfortably.  “And you’re….?”

“Alex’s son,” Stormy replied. 

“My brother,” Miranda added. 

“Oh my God,” Jane said, the room spinning.

“Stormy, you didn’t know who she was?” Miranda asked.

“No.”

“Then how did you meet?”

“In the parking lot at...”  He paused, kicking himself for his own lack of perception.  “The friend you were there to see was my mother, wasn’t it?”

She nodded.   “Small world.” 

Miranda laughed.  “Well, this is certainly interesting.”  She backed up toward the door.  “I’ll just leave the two of you alone to discuss.  Good luck.” 

With that, she turned and raced out of the bathroom.  Stormy looked at Jane and she managed an awkward smile.  They sat in silence in the water, unsure of how to go about breaking the tense situation. 

Sierra Merteuil

Still fuming over his run in with Hunt, Benji went off in search of Sierra.  He found her in an upstairs bedroom.  Much to his disappointment, she was sitting on the bed next to Jeff Branigan snorting coke through a straw.   They were seated dangerously close, him in his trademark wife beater and oversized jeans, and her in a skirt that barely peeked below her thighs.

“Jesus,” he said, darting inside and pulling her to her feet. 

“Hey!” she exclaimed.  “Benji, what do you think you’re doing?”

“What the hell?” Jeff said, rising from the bed. 

“You’re coming with me,” Benji said, leading her out of the room and down the hall.  She fought him the whole way, screaming and pushing him away until they arrived at a bedroom at the end of the hall.  He pushed her onto the bed and slammed the door behind them.

“Are you crazy?” she demanded, springing off of the bed and racing to the door. 

“Are you?” he asked, barely able to look at her.  She had traces of white powder under her nose which made him cringe with heartache.  Quickly, he wiped it away.  “You’re seriously doing coke?  Sierra, I don’t get it.  Why?”

“Let me go,” she said impatiently. 

“Not until you tell me what the hell is going on.  You’re smarter than this.  Hunt Roberts and Jeff Branigan?  This is who you choose to spend your time with?”

“What? I should spend it with you instead?  Benji, you may be clean but you’re far from perfect.  You said so yourself.” 

“Yeah, I’m not perfect,” he said.  “But I would never turn you into this person.”

“What’s the big deal?” she asked.  “I’m not allowed to have a little fun now and then?”

“You call this fun?  What did you have to do to get the stuff from Branigan, or do I even have to ask?”

“You’re an ass,” she said angrily, turning and pacing across the room.  “I’m in love with Hunt.” 

“And where is he right now?” Benji demanded.  “Not with you.  He’s outside.  Have you even spent time with him tonight?  Or is that not how your relationship works?”

“My mother showed up and blew a gasket,” she said.  “We just need to figure out what to do.  We might leave tomorrow and go back to New York.”

“Why?  So you can sit and get coked out of your mind in peace?  What happened to school?  To your career as a singer?”

“I don’t need school to be a singer,” she said.  “Besides, I don’t do it that much.  Only when we’re out partying.” 

“Or shopping on Rodeo Drive,” Benji mused with a laugh.

She spun around and shot him a glare.  “Are you following me?”

“No, but someone saw you and thought I’d be interested to know what you’d been up to.  Do you have any idea how that made me feel?”

“I don’t care!” she screamed and went back to the door.  She tried desperately to move him out of the way so she could escape.  “You’re nothing to me.  Don’t you get that?”

“That’s not true,” he said.  “We share something.  A bond.  And that night on the beach we made love and we were closer than either of us have been to anyone.  You’re just in denial.” 

“Yeah, well that was a long time ago.  You need to move on, Benji.  I have.” 

He went toward her and grabbed her by the shoulders.  “To what, though?  To a life of waiting for your next hit?  You’re better than that, Sierra.”

“No I’m not, okay?” she cried.  “I’m no better than Hunt or Jeff or any of the people here.  Look who my father is!  Look at the genes I’ve been cursed with.  I deserve exactly what I’m getting.” 

“It doesn’t have to be that way,” Benji insisted, looking into her eyes.  “But you can’t keep doing this.  You’re fading into something that you’re not.”

Finally seeing escape in sight, she darted around him and pulled open the door.  Before he could stop her, she was racing down the hall.

“Sierra!” he called after her.

In the hall, he bumped into Summer who had just come up the stairs.  She looked at him and then back at Sierra.  She felt destroyed.  Would Benji ever look at her with the same longing in his eyes? 

“Benji-“ she said softly, placing a delicate hand on his arm. 

He shrugged her away and ran down the stairs. 

Eddie Distefano

After roaming around the party all night and still no sign of Eddie, Miranda decided to give up.  Maybe he’d already left, or maybe they were destined to never cross paths.  Either way, she realized her adventure had been for nothing.  All she’d succeeded in doing was learning disturbing information about Benji and about Stormy.  Now all she wanted to do was go home and fall asleep in front of the television.  Eddie had probably already left with Quinn, anyway. 

With as much sincerity as she could muster, she smiled and waved goodnight to a few people who approached her on her way out.  One of the most startling things about the night had been the realization that many of the girls she used to be friends with in high school were still hitting the same parties with the same people.  It was as if they hadn’t changed at all.  Wasn’t there more to life than all of this?

She handed the valet her ticket and waited somberly for them to pull her fire red Porche to the curb.  Sighing, she gazed up at the full moon and wondered how she’d gotten to this place.  She and Eddie had been so happy.  A clumsy courtship had culminated in a mutually respectful relationship.  Then she had to screw it up with David.  The sex was amazing, but there was more to life than sex.  God, she was driving herself crazy.  Why couldn’t she be satisfied with being happy?

When the valet returned with her car, he handed her the keys and held the door open for her.  Smiling, she started to climb in when she saw a familiar face leaving the house. 

“Eddie?” she said in disbelief.

“Hey,” he said with an uncontainable smile.  “So I heard you were looking for me.”

“Yeah, I guess I was.”

He put his hands in his pockets and rocked on the balls of his feet.  “So….you leaving?”

“I was going to.  You?”

“Yeah, me too.  I mean, I was going to.” 

A few moments of silence followed while they looked awkwardly around the driveway. 

“Look-“ they both began in unison.

“Sorry, go ahead,” Miranda said with a smile.

“No, you first.” 

Slowly she walked toward him.  “Eddie, I’m sorry about earlier today.  I’m sorry about David.  I’m sorry about everything.  I know I hurt you and I hate myself for it.  I didn’t realize how much I had hurt you until I came here tonight expecting you to be with Quinn.  Where is she, anyway?  I thought you-“

“Quinn wasn’t here,” he said with a shrug.  “And when I found out I still wanted to make you jealous so I…I got in the hot tub with an inflatable woman.”

She stifled a fit of laughter.  “An inflatable woman?  Oh Eddie….”

“Knock it off.  I saw it on some romantic comedy the other night and thought it seemed like a good idea.  Anyway, I wouldn’t have gone through with it anyway.  With the real Quinn, I mean.  I love you, Miranda.” 

She smiled as he leaned in and kissed her.  “You really weren’t going to hook up with Quinn Rainer?”

“No. Besides, my lip still hasn’t healed from when she bit it.  I’m not into biters.” 

With her arms wrapped around his neck, she leaned against the car door and looked into his eyes.  “I’ve made mistakes,” she said.  “It took tonight to make me realize that.”

“Are you and David through?”

She nodded.  “Yes.” 

Relieved, Eddie pulled her into an embrace.

“There is something else you should know,” Miranda said, staring over his shoulder.  “I wasn’t sure how to tell you.” 

“Whatever it is, it can wait,” he said with an amorous grin.  “If we hurry we can still claim the hot tub.”

She pulled away and looked into his eyes.  “I’m pregnant.” 

Eyes wide, Eddie staggered back a step while he processed the information.  “Pregnant?”

She nodded.  “Yeah.  I haven’t been to the doctor yet but all the symptoms are there.  It’s just like last time.  I found out when you were in Acapulco.”

“Oh my God,” he said.  “I don’t know what to say.  A baby? “

“There’s more,” she said, biting her lip.  “I’m not sure if…..well….it’s just that….the baby could be David’s.” 

Of course it was too good to be true.  One step forward and two back, Eddie decided.  He could forgive Miranda for her indiscretion, but this he couldn’t.  With one final look in her eyes, her turned and walked to his car.

“Eddie, wait,” she called after him.  “I’m sorry, I-“

But he was already gone, speeding out of the drive and leaving a trail of exhaust behind.  Miranda screamed inside, turning and hitting the car with her purse. 

Duke Summerfield

“Now what?”  Duke asked as he approached Summer in the living room. 

“Look at him,” she said, tears in her eyes.  “He can’t keep his eyes off of her.”

Duke followed her gaze to Benji who did her best to stay in Sierra’s line of sight.  “You need to get him alone.” 

“I tried but he ran after little miss black America.”  Angrily, she folded her arms across her chest and glared at Sierra.  

“It might be time for a more drastic course of action.”  

“Like what?” she asked.  “It’s only a matter of time before this thing about the attempted rape hits the fan.  Isn’t that enough?"

Duke smiled and leaned in next to her.  “You need to ensure that you have time alone with Benji tonight.  That means making sure that Sierra isn’t around to distract him.” 

“But how?” she asked. 

“I’m sure Branigan has something that could render her useless for the rest of the night.” 

Summer pondered his suggestion.  It did seem drastic, but she was desperate.  She felt that if she didn’t get Benji alone tonight it would never happen.  This was her only chance.

She found Jeff in the game room playing pool with his brother Joba and a few other guys from their apartment building.  When she spotted her he handed his cue to the next player and met up with her in the corner.

“Ditch that tool Benji and come back for more?” he asked, his breath hot on her face. 

She bit her lip and glanced around to make sure no one could hear them.  “Actually I need something else.  Can you help  me?”

 Sheldon Novak

Irritated over Benji’s rejection of his offer, Sheldon sought out a way to pay him back.  Luckily the fates had aligned and Ashton had seed him attack the homeless guy on the beach two nights ago.  Apparently it had only hit him when he saw Benji with the hood over his head kicking the crap out of Hunt.

Armed with the damaging information, he went to Hunt and filled him in on their discovery. 

“Oh, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” Hunt said with a laugh as she cleaned up his cuts and bruises in the downtstairs bathroom.  “Rydell’s picking on the homeless?  Jesus, he’s even more fucked up than I thought.” 

“Ashton saw the whole thing the night he got home from Greece,” Sheldon went on.

“This is priceless,” Hunt said when he turned from the mirror.  “Sheldon, you’ve come through again.  Now to put that tool Benji Rydell in his place.”

“What are you going to do?”

Hunt smiled.  “You'll find out.  First I need you to do me a favor.”

Summer Solomon

Summer pretended to be talking to Valerie about Elana’s stitches while following Sierra around the party.  She hadn’t seen Benji in a while so at least they weren’t together.  Still, she didn’t want to take any chances.  She had to make sure she would have the opportunity to be alone with Benji without Sierra interrupting. 

She followed her to the downstairs bathroom, which was occupied, so she followed her upstairs.  Sierra entered one of the bedrooms, set her drink on the dresser while she went to use the bathroom.  While she was out of sight, Summer quickly went into action. 

Reaching into her purse, she removed the pill that Jeff had given her.  He said it was ketamine or something; something that would make her totally unaware of anyone or anything around her. 

She broke the pill up with her nails, dissolving it into the drink and swirling the glass a few times to make sure it was mixed.  The sound of the toilet flushing told her she was almost out of time, so she quickly placed the glass back on the dresser and took off out of the room. 

Just as she’d shut the door, Sierra emerged from the bathroom and walked to the door.  She started to leave, then turned back when she remembered her drink.  Quickly, she grabbed it from the dresser, took a sip, and headed back out into the hall.

Benji was there when she emerged.  She scowled and attempted to skirt past him. 

“Sierra, wait-“ he said. 

“Leave me alone,” she insisted, jerking away from him and flying down the stairs. 

Stormy Blackthorne

Stormy and Jane dressed in silence, temporarily forgetting about how close they came to having sex in the hot tub before Miranda had arrived to spoil the mood.  With the revealing information that had come to light, neither could think of an appropriate reaction.  Finally, Stormy decided to break the ice. 

“Why didn’t you tell me you had a baby?” he asked, pulling on his shirt and starting to button it. 

Jane kept herself from looking him in the eyes.  She’d never considered herself a very good liar.  “It’s not the kind of thing you tell a guy on your first date,” she said awkwardly. 

“I guess,” he said.  “It’s just that my mom is adopting him.  It kind of complicates things.” 

“How was I supposed to know she was your mom?”

“I don’t know.  I just assumed you knew who I was.  Who my parents were.”

She rolled her eyes.  There’s the guy I met in the parking lot.  I wondered what had happened to him.” 

“What does that supposed to mean?”

“Mr. Hollywood,” she said with a laugh.  “Knows everyone and expects everyone know him.  Forgive me, but I don’t have time to keep up with your family tree.  Since I came to L.A. I’ve been trying to make it.  Whether it be acting or waitressing.”

“I didn’t mean it like that,” he said and sat down to put on his shoes.  “I don’t know.  This whole thing is so bizarre.  My mom’s adopting your baby, who she happened to name after me.  Then we meet and it seems like we could have some fun together.  It just goes to show I have terrible luck with women.” 

“Yeah, well I don’t have much luck with men.”

“Do you mind if I ask you about R.J.’s….er….your baby’s father?” 

She only minded because it meant more lies.  And yes, she had found herself starting to like him.  He was cute, smart, funny, attentive.  Why wouldn’t she like him?  But now things were complicated and she couldn’t see herself continuing anything with him. 

“Don’t, Stormy, please,” she said somberly.

“Don’t what?  I feel like I don’t know you.  I’m trying to change that.” 

She shook her head.  “I can’t talk to you about this.  I can look in your eyes and see the judgement.” 

“I would never judge you.” 

“You will.  Just like everyone else.  I’m giving my baby to your mother.  It’s natural for you to have concerns.  You’ll wonder if I’m going to change my mind or do something to complicate things for her.”

“I never said that,” Stormy insisted, moving toward her. 

“But you will.  Look, you’re better off without me.  This thing between us, whatever it is, would only get messy.

“It doesn’t have to.”

“Okay, say we see each other, start dating or whatever, and then what happens when it comes to your family?   Can you imagine me coming to Thanksgiving dinner with your mother and R.J.?”

He knew she had a point, but it didn’t warrant ending things so soon in his opinion.  “I don’t know.  We can work that out.”

“No,” she said, shaking her head as she backed up to the door.  “You’re fooling yourself.  This would never work.”

“Jane, please-“

“Goodbye, Stormy,” she said, turning and leaving the bathroom.

After she’d gone, Stormy ran his fingers through his hair in frustration.  Why did he always have to like the girls who were unattainable?

Benji Rydell

When Benji reached the crowded foyer, he saw someone coming at him.  By the time he realized who it was, it was too late.  Blake punched him in the eye and sent him staggering back into a group of people.

“Blake, what the hell?” he demanded, his eye feeling like it could explode out of its socket. 

“You tried to rape my girlfriend?” Blake screamed, obvious to the party-goers who had flocked around the scene.  “What the fuck is wrong with you, man?”

“What are you talking about?” Benji replied. 

Summer had descended on the stairs, paused halfway down while she watched the events unfold.  Her heart pounded inside her chest.  This was the moment she’d been waiting for.  And just as she predicted, she was positive the results would backfire.

“I heard about the other night,” Blake said, his face contorted in feelings of hurt and disillusionment.   “At your pool house.” 

“Yeah?” Benji asked.  Suddenly he remembered the incident with Summer when she came to see him. 

“That’s all you have to say?” Blake demanded.  “It’s okay to go around forcing yourself on people?”

“You’ve got it all wrong,” Benji insisted.  “I mean, yeah, she came to my house and we talked.  She was upset about her mom.” 

“So you decided to make her feel better by raping her?”

After hearing the commotion, Duke came down the stairs.  As it turned out, the girl he’d screwed over in New York wasn’t the type to hold a grudge.  She let him fuck her standing up in the linen closet as long as he promised not to come inside of her.  Happily, he obliged.  Now it seemed the real fireworks were about to start. 

“I didn’t rape her,” Benji went on.  He paused, realizing he owed it to his best friend to tell him everything, no matter what the repercussions.  “I mean, yeah, I started something with her.  I had just come from Sierra’s and I was pissed.  But I stopped it before anything happened.”

“You prick,” Blake said, rushing toward him again and drawing his fist back.  “I knew you were after Summer.” 

“I am not!”  He shielded his face from another blow.

“Oh, you mean not today.  No, because Sierra’s back.  But when she rejects you again you’ll corner my girlfriend and take your aggression out on her.  You’re sick, man.” 

“Look, I don’t know what she told you, but it’s a lie,” Benji insisted. 

They both turned and saw Summer standing on the stairs.  Silence filled the foyer for a few moments until she scampered down and raced through the crowd to the front door.   On her way, she intercepted Sierra. 

“Is it true?” Sierra asked, already staggering and slurring her speech from the effects of the drugs. 

Summer turned just as Benji approached.

“Sierra, don’t listen to her,” he insisted.  “She’s lying.”

“Isn’t that why they kicked you out of your boarding school?” Blake asked.  “Because of those charges the dean’s daughter made against you?”

He rolled his eyes.  “She was lying too.” 

“Of course she was,” Blake said with a laugh.  “What is wrong with you, man?”

Duke stood at a safe distance, smiling with satisfaction as he watched the events unfold. 

“I have to get out of here,” Sierra said, turning and stumbling on a stair in the foyer.

Fully aware that she was on something, Benji went to her aid, which was met with her slapping his hand away. 

“Let me go!” she groaned, her eyes dropping more with every second. 

The commotion continued as Hunt and Sheldon came inside through the front door, wicked smiles on their faces as they witnessed the debacle.

“Hey Rydell, we’ve got a surprise for you,” Hunt said.

“What the hell did you give Sierra this time?” Benji asked.  “She can barely walk.” 

Hunt barely acknowledged her, too caught up in his own revenge plot.   He motioned to Sheldon who ducked outside and returned moments later with an inebriated and confused looking man in tattered clothes and with unkempt facial hair. 

“Looks like you’re having a bad night,” Hunt went on.  “So we went out and got you something to take your aggressions out on.” 

“What are you talking about?” Benji asked, his heart racing. 

Whispers and silent gasps from the crowd began to fill the foyer.  Everyone wanted to know who the smelly guy in dirty clothes was.  He looked like someone they’d plucked off of the street. 

“What’s wrong, Benji?” Hunt asked, enjoying every second.  “We thought you got off on beating poor homeless people to near death.  You know, like the guy at Paradise Cove the other night.” 

Eyes flashing major danger signals, Benji glared angrily.  He saw Sierra slipping further into oblivion.  No matter what childish act of humiliation Hunt had decided to inflict on him, she was his number one concern.  Something wasn’t right. 

“Get out of my way,” he said and went to pull Sierra off the floor. 

Hunt blocked him.  “Come on, man.  Take a swing at him.”  He looked through the crowd and spotted Van standing among the spectators.  “Yo, Van, remind Benji how many bones were broken in that guy they brought in the other night.”

“I just wanted some money for the bus,” the intoxicated homeless man was saying.  He looked around, still confused, until he found Sheldon.  “And you said I could have some money.”

Hunt patted the man on the back and shoved a hundred dollar bill in his jacket pocket.  “Here you go, buddy,” he said smugly.  “Looks like you’re going to luck out tonight.  Rydell’s not looking for an easy target.” 

Sheldon grinned, leading the man back outside the house.

“You’re fucked up, man,” Hunt said to Benji.  “Attempted rape?  Beating up the homeless?  And you said I was bad for Sierra?” 

Duke slid next to Summer and watched eagerly.  She shook her head in despair, horrified by the way things had played out.  Why did Hunt have to get involved?  Things were already out of control before he showed up with his little stunt.  On top of that, Sierra didn’t look well at all.  She searched the crowd for Jeff and spotted him standing nearby. 

“What did you give her?” Duke whispered in her ear. 

She shrugged.  “I don’t know.  Something Jeff gave me.”

Benji decided he had to take action. Hunt obviously didn’t care that something was very wrong with Sierra, and everyone else was too busy looking at him like a pariah, so he raced forward and knelt next to her. 

“Sierra?  Can you hear me?”

“Benji?” she asked, eyes barely open.  “I don’t feel so good.”

“Come on, let’s get you out of here,”  Benji said and lifted her to her feet. 

“You’re not going anywhere with her,” Hunt said and issued him a look of warning. 

“Get out of my way.”  He slung her arm over his shoulder and headed out into the night.  Hunt ran after him and pulled him back. 

“Leave her, Rydell.  You take another step and I’ll fucking kick your ass.” 

Ignoring him, Benji went to his car parked in the driveway and helped Sierra into the passenger’s seat.  Hunt followed, with Duke, Summer and several others behind.   Hunt charged at Benji, pushing him hard and sending him staggering back a few steps. 

“What did you give her?” Benji demanded. 

“I didn’t give her anything,” Hunt said.  “She’s been on her own all night.   I can’t control what she takes.”

“You’re a fucking asshole,” Benji said and charged at him. 

Standing helplessly to the side, Summer watched as they went at each other again.  She began to regret trying to keep Sierra out of the way.  She hadn’t been positive what Jeff had given her, and now it seemed that whatever it was was having a dangerous affect on her. 

She looked around and spotted Jeff standing with his brother and some others.   Quickly, she went to him and grabbed his arm.  “What was that I gave her?” she demanded.  “Look at her!”

“Relax.  She’ll be all right,” Jeff said with a shrug.

Panicked, she started off toward Benji.  “Look, you’ve got to get her to the hospital.  I think she took something.  She’d been doing coke too.  Benji, I’m serious.”

“Where’d she get it?” Benji asked, frantically running back to the car and prying Sierra’s eyes open.

Summer simply shook her head.

“Where’d she get it, Summer?!”

“Jeff,” she said.  “She got it from Jeff.” 

Enraged, he turned and set his sights on Jeff.  “You son of a bitch,” he said, rushing toward him and grabbing him by the shirt.  “What was it?”

“Keep your hands off me, Rydell,” he said, pushing him away.  “I didn’t give her anything.  It was your fucking girlfriend Summer."

“You’re lying!  Now tell me before I fucking kill you!”

Sirens in the distance alerted them to the arrival of the police.  It was no wonder.  Things had gotten out of hand and no doubt neighbors had begun to complain.  As soon as he heard them drawing closer, Jeff bolted down the driveway toward the street.  He had enough drugs on his possession to land him in jail until he was forty.

Refusing to let him get away with drugging Sierra, Benji ran after him.  He caught up with him in the street and pulled him back.  They exchanged blows, landing Benji on the pavement with scrapes on his arms.  He jumped up, retaliating by punching him twice in the face.

During the commotion, Sierra jumped forward in the car.  Eyes wide and alert, she felt as though her heart was about to beat out of her chest.  Unable to think, unable to process her surroundings, she leapt from the seat and went screaming down the driveway.  The spectators watched her drug induced reaction and a few people ran after her.

Benji saw her come into the street and he went to push her out of the way.  “Sierra, go back!” he yelled.

Jeff came at him, pushing him to the asphalt again.  “I’m sick of you always getting in my face, Rydell,” he yelled, raising his fist to punch him.  “It’s time you learned to mind your own business.”

Headlights illuminated the dark street and Benji could see a car approaching fast.  Instinctively, he scanned the area for Sierra. She was standing in the middle of the street in the same state of confusion.  He reacted immediately, pushing Jeff off of him and racing to get Sierra out of the way.  He shoved her out of the street and she rolled onto the curb.  Just as she cleared the path of the car, Jeff attacked again. Benji pushed him and he went flying up onto the hood of the car.  The windshield shattered from the impact.  The driver threw on their brakes and sent Jeff’s body sailing twenty feet through the air and landing with a sickly sounding smack on the pavement. 

Temporarily stunned from his quick escape, Benji gazed over and saw the thick pool of blood forming under Jeff’s body.  His face looked like it had gone through a meat grinder, his lifeless eyes pointed at the sky.   He knew he was dead.  A person didn’t get hit by a car that hard and walk away. 

Standing on the curb, Duke watched as the pandemonium dwindled.  How had making one suggestion to Summer on how to get rid of Sierra wind up like this?


Next time....

Mackenzie and Kyle are forced to make small talk.  Suzanne cries on her professor's shoulder.  James and Mackenzie take their relationship to the next level.  R.J.'s adoption becomes official.

 

 

Read Episode 127

 

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