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Episode 130

 

Release Date:  December 10, 2010

 Read the episode Recap 

 

Previously...

 

Benji pleaded with Jordan to give him another chance. When he refused, Benji went to Sierra and broke down in tears. They later made love in Sierra's bedroom.  Jackie blackmailed Kenny into letting her see David's will, using video of him with a prostitute as ammunition.  David told Brooke that he was going away to die soon.  Brett learned that Jordan was filing chapter 11, then slept with his intern to get a look at the creditors who were involved in the deal.  A fan began following Suzanne.  Ross asked Suzanne to go with him to Warren Abbott's compound in Death Valley, but Suzanne was abducted before she made it to their rendezvous.  Alex ordered Jane to stop seeing Stormy.  When she didn't, Alex planted drugs on her and had her committed to a treatment center. James questioned Mackenzie about an argument someone overheard her having with Kyle.  When she brushed it off, James asked Brooke if she knew what it might be about.  Mackenzie decided to fly to New York to see Dan Cody, the prisoner who was blackmailing Kyle into taking Brooke's money.  

 


  

Episode 130

"Dial M for Mackenzie"

 

Snow fell from the sky as Mackenzie left her New York City hotel room and hailed a cab.  On the ferry to Staten Island, she placed a call to James which went straight to voicemail.  It was very early in L.A. so she wasn’t surprised he didn’t answer.

“James, it’s Mackenzie,” she said.  “I’m sorry again for having to take off like that.  I’ll be finished with auditions later this morning and on the next flight back.  Who knows, I may even have time to pick up a sexy number to wear to the wedding.  See you then.” 

She started to end the call, but before she did, brought the phone back to her ear.  “I miss you,” she said and then hung up. 

For the remainder of the ferry ride, she sat in deep concentration.  She hated lying to James, but saw no alternative until she found out what Kyle was up to.  His story about Dan Cody, the mobster who was after Brooke Taylor’s money, was plausible enough, but something still didn’t sit right with her.  She didn’t know what going to see the man would prove, but all she knew was she had to talk to him.  Anything to keep her dear brother Kyle from wrecking things with her and James. 

Once she arrived at the prison, she was led down a maze of corridors to a visitation area.  Rows of chairs that were separated by bullet proof glass lined the heavily-guarded room.  She took a seat at one of the booths and was instructed to wait for Mr. Cody. 

As she waited, she couldn’t help but grimace at the unsavory characters on the other side of the glass.  Dangerous looking men sat talking to visitors on phones that connected the two sides of the partition.  She found it hard to believe this was where Kyle had spent three years of his life.  How had he made it out alive?  A very brief instant of guilt overcame her for not having visited him there.  She quickly got over it, though.  Kyle was out for nobody but himself, and always had been.  Any trips she would have made to see him in prison would have been met with demands and ultimatums. 

She looked at her watch and sighed.  She didn’t have much time.   She needed to talk to this Dan Cody character and then get back to Los Angeles, hopefully with something that could get Kyle out of her life for good. 

When Cody arrived and they began talking, she realized it was far more complicated than she thought.

Brooke Taylor

Six a.m. came very early, especially since Brooke had been wide awake for most of the night worrying about Michael.  It broke her heart that he was dealing with these abandonment issues.  She second guessed every decision she made as a result.  It had been her intention to leave him with a sitter when she went to Renee and Kenny’s wedding that afternoon.  Maybe she’d reconsider and bring him along.  It seemed silly to worry about a few hours without him, but she was determined to do whatever was necessary to make him feel secure and loved. 

When she went downstairs to get a cup of coffee, Kyle was already up and dressed.  She smiled and went to him, pulling him into an embrace. 

“Did I wake you?” he asked, nuzzling his nose against her. 

“No, I needed to get up anyway.  I have a lot to do before the wedding.  Are you already headed to Moonshadows?”

He nodded and poured her a cup of coffee.  “I have a lot to do also.  I never realized that when I took the job as general manager I’d be relegated to wedding coordinator duties as well.”

Brooke laughed and took the cup from him.  She decided now was a good time as any to bring something up to him.  With so much going on that day, it would probably be their last chance for a while.

“How do you know Mackenzie Stone?” she asked casually, paying close attention to his reaction.  He had none to speak of. 

“Why do you ask?” 

She shrugged.  “Well, James said that Alex heard the two of you arguing at the studio yesterday.  He said when he asked Mackenzie about it, she made up some story that he didn’t necessarily believe.” 

He raised an eyebrow while leaning against the kitchen counter.  “And you don’t believe it either, I’m assuming.” 

“It’s not that,” she said.  “It’s just that when we ran into them the other night at dinner the two of you acted like you’d never met.  So did you know her before or not?”

“Yes,” he said with a sigh.  “We did know each other.  A long time ago.” 

“How?” Brooke wanted to know. “Why the cover up?”

He shrugged.  “I just didn’t know how to tell you.”

“Tell me what?”

“Mackenzie and I used to date,” he said, hoping that the lie would appease her for the time being.  Meanwhile, he knew it was a mistake to go to the studio to see her yesterday.  How was he to know Alex would be there?

“You did?  Well, why didn’t you say anything?”

“I don’t know.  I just don’t like talking about my past with other women around you.  I assume that it would make you uncomfortable.” 

“It doesn’t,” she said with a shrug.  “We all have romantic pasts.  I mean, I was married to James…twice.  I’ve got an ex-husband in Phoenix that I don’t talk about.  Actually he's in prison right now.  It just concerns me that you feel you need to hide these things from me.” 

“I’m sorry,” he said.  “I’m not trying to hide anything from you.”

“Yes, you are,” she said firmly.  “And more than that, you flat out lied by pretending you didn’t know her.  Are you really saying that was for my benefit?”

He groaned in frustration.  This was precisely why he didn’t want Mackenzie seeing James Blackthorne.  It got too complicated.  “I’m sorry if I went about things the wrong way,” he said.  “All I want to do is focus on you and I together right now.  No one else matters to me.  You believe that, don’t you?”

She hesitated for a second.  This hadn’t been the first time he’d lied to her.  And while it wasn’t something huge, it still sparked concern.  “Yes, I do, but-“

“Then can we just move past this?  Mackenzie is not part of my life anymore.  That’s all there is to it.” 

With that, he kissed her goodbye and headed for the door.  Brooke decided to drop it for the time being.  “Are you coming back before the wedding?”

“No, I’ve got too much to do,” he said.  “I’ll meet you there.”

After he’d gone, she turned and refilled her coffee.  She wondered if it was a mistake to confront him.  It really wasn’t a big deal that he’d lied about Mackenzie, but the thought of him keeping things from her made her uncertain. 

With a sigh, she headed up to get dressed before Michael woke up.  As she did, she noticed that Kyle had forgotten his wallet on the counter.  She picked it up and went to the door but he was already gone.  She’d have to make a trip down to Moonshadows before the wedding in case he needed it. 

Unable to control her curiosity, she opened the leather billfold and pored over the contents.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  Cash, credit cards, drivers license.  She didn’t know what else she expected to find, and suddenly felt foolish for acting so suspicious of him. 

Benji Rydell

Everything that had gone down in the last twenty-four hours seemed to fade into irrelevance.  Even his father’s harsh words weren’t as biting after spending a perfect night with Sierra.  Benji woke up feeling positive and hopeful for the first time in a long time. 

While Renee was flurrying about the penthouse getting her hair and makeup done for the wedding, Sierra snuck him out, through the front door and down the hall to the elevator. 

“Last night was amazing,” he said, devouring her with kisses while he waited for the elevator to arrive.  “Are you happy?”

She nodded and smiled.  Strangely enough, she was.  There was something about him that put her at ease.  She never questioned why he loved her.  She just knew that he did.  Everyone should know that feeling sometime in their life.  And no matter what rumors people started about him, she knew that’s just what they were.  With her, he’d never been anything but gentle, starting with the way he held her and kissed her tenderly while they made love.

“Meet me at the club this afternoon,” she said.  “You can be my date for the wedding.” 

“An actual date?” Benji asked with a brilliant smile.  “Wow.” 

She smiled, kissed him once more and started back to the penthouse.  “Don’t be late.” 

“I’ll be there,” Benji said and disappeared into the car when the elevators arrived. 

On the way down, he thought about how often he’d prayed for this to become a reality.  Finally, Sierra was his and no one could change that.  Not his parents, not his alleged friends, nobody. 

When Sierra got back inside and closed the door behind her, Renee was descending on the staircase dressed in a robe and her hair in curlers.   She bounded toward her in a frenzy. 

“You’re not going to believe it,” she said, panicked.  “Kyle just called.  They aren’t done buffing the floors in the Cahuenga Room.  I doubt it’s going to be dry by the time the wedding starts!”

“Mom, relax,” Sierra replied.  “The wedding’s outside.  By the time the reception starts in the club the floors will be dry.  You’ve got to stop worrying about every little thing.” 

Renee nodded and poured herself a glass of champagne.  “You’re right.  Nothing can ruin this day.  Not slippery floors or inept florists.  Everything’s going to be perfect.”  She walked toward her and pulled her into an embrace.  “And I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you’re here with me.  I know I haven’t been very pleasant to you lately…”

“Mom, don’t,” Sierra said uncomfortably.  “Can we just not talk about everything that’s happened?  I just want to take things a day at a time.” 

“Of course,” Renee said.  She didn’t want to push her. Anything she did might drive her straight back to drugs.  In her delicate condition, she had to be very careful.

Stormy Blackthorne

Pacing the parlor at the Blackthorne mansion, Stormy grew more worried with every step he took.  He went over every minute he’d spent with Jane over the past couple of weeks, trying to remember if anything stood out that would make sense of what had happened.  She didn’t give any indication that she’d been abusing pills.  She was always very lucid and put together.  He knew when someone was taking pills.  His mother had been a prime example.  Jane displayed none of those traits. 

“You should have seen it,” he said solemnly.  “She was fighting them off and screaming.  Mom just stood by and watched.” 

Miranda, who was seated on the cognac leather sofa with Eddie, looked away in concentration.  “I can’t believe I never saw the signs,” she said sadly.  “I mean, I can’t count how many times Jane and I talked and I never got the impression that she was struggling with something.  Least of all her addiction.”

“That’s what doesn’t make any sense,” Stormy said.  “She was fine.  So how did mom know something was going on and we didn’t?”

“Well, Alex did know her better than any of us,” Eddie suggested.  “They were in rehab together. She probably knew the signs.” 

Stormy shook his head.  “She still could have gone about it in a different way,” he said.  “I mean, calling Promises and having them come get her?  Against her will?  It was horrible.” 

“Jane’s not at Promises,” announced James when he walked into the room and clicked off his cell.  “She’s at a state run treatment center in Costa Mesa.  Apparently it’s for addicts who don’t have the financial resources to get clean.  That would be Jane, unfortunately.”

“What?” Stormy asked, running his fingers through his hair.  “A state facility?”

“They usually take cases like Jane’s because they’re the only ones who can,” James explained, knowing it wouldn’t make his son feel any better. 

“But Jane went to treatment at Promises the first time,” Miranda said and stood up.  “She had to have paid for it somehow.  Stormy, did she ever talk about it?”

He shook his head.   “She barely talked about her addiction except to say that it was in the past.  I always assumed her stay at Promises had been paid for by her parents.” 

“We should try to locate them and tell them what’s going on,” James said.

“I’m going to go see her,” Stormy said intently.

“I’ll go with you,” Eddie volunteered and followed him to the doorway. 

James looked at Miranda.  “And we should go see your mother.”

“Yeah, that’s a good idea,” she replied. 

Jane Wheeler

Since being brought in to the facility the night before, Jane hadn’t gotten any sleep.  She was too upset, too angry that she’d gotten mixed up with Alex Reynolds in the first place.  All she’d wanted was to make some money so that she could pay her rent.  Her father had always said there was no such thing as easy money, and now she realized exactly what he meant. 

They’d taken her clothes, her shoes, her jewelry, and stuck her in a white hospital gown.  The room she’d been relegated to was cold and stark, nothing but a hard mattress and a chair to soften its rigid lines.  A single window with bars soldered to the outside provided her with a view of the roof.  At least the sun was up and she didn’t feel so alone and terrified as she had while sitting in the dark through the night. 

The worst thing about her relative imprisonment was the thought of Stormy believing she actually was an addict.  And why wouldn’t he believe it?  It had been part of the story Alex had concocted.   They met in rehab while she was pregnant.  She wasn’t ready to be a mother so she agreed to give the baby up for adoption.  Alex planted the drugs in her purse because she didn’t go away when she’d asked her to.  Now she was paying the price.   She blamed herself for getting involved in the first place.

The sound of keys clanging against the heavy metal door alerted her to a visitor.  Quickly, she jumped off the bed and hovered across the room while a man in a hospital uniform entered with a tray of food.  She recognized him as one of the men who’d taken her from her apartment. 

“Breakfast,” he said, locking them in before he went to place the tray on the chair. 

Jane watched him, realizing she had to make herself heard.  If she didn’t, she’d be locked in there for another day.   “Look, I know you’re probably just doing your job,” she began.  “And I don’t want anyone to get fired over this, but this is a mistake.  I shouldn’t be here.” 

“Push the tray under the door when you’re through,” he told her.

“I’m not a drug addict,” Jane continued, her eyes pleading desperately.  “I’ve never even smoked a cigarette.  I only told people I was in rehab before because she made me.  It was part of this plan she had.”

“Group therapy is at ten,” the man said as if he didn’t hear a word she said.  “Someone will be by to escort you.” 

“Aren’t you listening to me?” she asked.  “I don’t need therapy.  She planted those drugs in my purse.  They were probably hers.  She was the one in rehab.  You can call them yourself.  They’ll tell you I was never a patient there.” 

And just like that, he unlocked the door and left.  The sound of the heavy door closing caused her to jump with a start.  She went to the door and started beating on it with her fists.

“You can’t keep me in here!” she screamed.  “I have rights!  I’m not a drug addict!  Do you hear me?  You can’t keep me locked up in here!” 

Kelly Kahoano

Kelly Blackthorne paced the floor of her tiny Manhattan apartment, stopping once or twice and gazing outside at the falling snow that had begun to blanket the city.  With a shiver, she wrapped her arms around herself and sighed just as the door opened and Neil Winslow bounded inside. 

“What did you find out?” she asked hurriedly and raced toward him.

He shook his head somberly.  “The bank denied the loan.  I told you they would.  Since Lucy took everything in the divorce I have no collateral.” 

Aggravated, she turned and threw her hands up in resignation.  “Great, so now what are we supposed to do?  This is not how I envisioned my life, Neil.” 

“And you think it’s how I envisioned mine?” he asked crossly.  “Before I met you I had a lot going for me, sweetheart.  I had a marriage, a talent agency, money.  You were the one who insisted I leave my wife, and look what happened as a result.” 

“I wasn’t the only woman you were screwing around with,” she hissed.  “So don’t blame me that your wife finally caught on and dumped your ass.  And how dare you insinuate that because of me, your agency suffered.  I was your only client, Neil, remember?  And you couldn’t even get me one single job. “

“This again?” he asked in annoyance.  She had a big mouth and the only thing it was good for was giving him head. 

“I’m a freakin’ star!” she screamed.  “I was in one of the biggest movies of last summer!  I should have had offers lined up outside the door, but instead I got zilch because you didn’t know what you were doing.” 

“Put a muzzle on it,” he said, grabbing her arm and shaking her.  “Is it my fault that you’re unmarketable?  One too many bad choices landed you in the position you’re in, baby, so don’t blame me.” 

“Listen,” she said, shaking her arm free.  “I sold my son because you told me if I held on to him I’d be committing career suicide.  So tell me how my career has benefited from doing that?”

“You’d be a lot worse off if you hadn’t,” he said.  “It’s not my fault that you blew all the money that Reynolds bitch gave you for him.”

“I wouldn’t have blown it all if I’d known you weren’t going to get me a gig!” 

He shook his head in frustration, unbuttoning his pants and pulling out his gigantic penis.  “I’ve got a gig for you,” he said.  “Now why don’t you stop running your mouth long enough to suck my-“

“Fuck you,” she said and turned away in repulsion.  Yes, there was a time she went wild over sex with Neil, but lately she’d been too resentful to bother.  “Until we find out a way to get our hands on some money, I’m not putting my hands on your dick.”

Neil buttoned up again and suddenly got an idea.  “Seems to me there’s more money to be had where it comes to your estranged baby,” he said, raising an eyebrow.

She turned to him.  “What do you mean?”

“That kid’s a friggin’ Blackthorne,” he said.  “There’s got to be a lot of people who would pay money to get him from Alex Reynolds.  Your father-in-law, for example.” 

“She did say that no one could know that R.J. existed,” she said thoughtfully.  “Which leads me to believe she hasn’t told anyone.” 

Grinning, he went toward her and placed his hands on her waist.  “See what I’m talking about, baby?  There’s still money for us to make where that kid is concerned.”

Kelly slowly began to relax.  Maybe he had a point.  She started formulated a plan while he unzipped again and pushed down on her head. 

Alex Reynolds

“Why are you making me out to be the bad guy?” Alex demanded while R.J. wailed in the background.  “I was the only one who cared enough to notice what the poor girl was going through.” 

“I care about Jane very much,” Miranda insisted, flashing her mother and father a determined look.

“I’m not saying you didn’t, Darling,” Alex went on.  She lifted the baby from his crib and began bouncing him gently in her arms in an effort to quiet him down.  “But it takes another addict to know when someone is in trouble.  I saw the signs.”

“What signs?” James asked.

“The look in her eyes, the nervousness, the shaky hands,” she said, then looked at Miranda.  “You saw her that day at Kenny’s office when we were signing the adoption papers.  She was strung out.  She was probably counting the minutes until her next fix.”

Miranda sighed.  She did have to admit that Jane did seem very nervous that day.  She’d chalked it up to the fact that she was giving up her son, but now that she thought about it, maybe it was more than that.

“So why this rehab facility?” James asked.  “I did some research on the place and it doesn’t have a very good reputation.  They’re lacking funds from the state.  They’ve been accused of mistreatment of patients.  The last administrator was put on suspension while they investigated him for accepting bribes.”

Miranda flashed her mother a look of panic.  “Is that true?  Did you know about this, mother?”

“Of course not,” Alex said.  “I’m sure those stories are greatly exaggerated anyway.  Good treatment costs money, you know.  I care about Jane and I’m grateful to her for R.J., but do you expect me to foot the bill for another stay at Promises?  That’s a lot of money for a girl who is obviously resistant to treatment.”

“She’s R.J.’s mother,” Miranda said.

“No, I am R.J.’s mother,” Alex corrected her.  “And thankfully so.  The whole reason she agreed to give her baby up was because she knew she wouldn’t stay on the wagon for very long.  And here we are.  But I’m the one getting the blame!” 

James sighed and placed his arm around Miranda.  “Your mother’s right,” he said.  “At least she’s getting the help that she needs.  I’m afraid there’s nothing more we can do for Jane until she wants our help.” 

Stormy Blackthorne

“What do you mean we can’t see her?” Stormy asked as he and Eddie stood in the reception area of the facility in Costa Mesa.  “Are you denying her her rights?”

“Of course not,” said Walter Clements, the hospital administrator, a peculiar looking man with a nineteen eighties hairstyle and a cheap brown suit.   “But treatment for abuse of pain killers, as well as any illegal substance, is serious business.  The first seventy-two hours are critical.  All outside stimuli must be avoided or we could risk setting Miss Wheeler’s recovery back.” 

“She was taken here against her will,” Stormy insisted.

“Your mother was the party who signed the admittance papers,” said Walter.  “As I understand they became very close during a previous stay in rehab.  Believe me, there are a lot of addicts who I’m sure wished they had someone as caring as your mother standing behind them.” 

“Can we at least get a tour of the facility?” Eddie asked as he looked around the dingy surroundings.  For a state run facility, the place seemed to be suffering from deferred maintenance.  “We’d like to see what kind of accommodations Miss Wheeler is being cared for in.” 

The man smiled pleasantly.  “Of course.  Stop by the receptionist on your way out and she’ll be happy to set up a time when you can be given a tour.” 

“Why can’t we do it now?” Stormy asked matter-of-factly. 

“Due to state regulations, nobody is permitted past that door,” Walter explained with ease.

“Nobody?” Eddie asked. 

“Nobody except for patients, staff, and delivery personnel.  Anyone else must be cleared before they can enter the facility.  Again, if you’d like to stop by the receptionist and make an appointment, we’ll be happy to accommodate your request.” 

With that, the man turned and left the room.  Stormy and Eddie looked at each other blankly before turning to the door and watching him disappear down a corridor. 

Jane Wheeler

Two men came to her room at ten o’clock and announced that it was time for group therapy.  Jane used the opportunity to get a good look at her surroundings.  When they passed by other rooms like hers, she saw patients much like herself sitting on their beds or being escorted up and down the hallways.  It seemed like any ordinary treatment center.  Not that she had any first hand knowledge of them, but things seemed to be on the up and up.  And if that were the case, then how on earth did Alex manage to get her admitted so quickly and so easily?

They passed by a payphone on the wall in the corridor prompting Jane to look at one of the men.  “Can I make a phone call?” she asked. 

“No phone calls for seventy-two hours,” he replied.

“But I just want to call someone,” she pleaded.  “I’ll be quick.  No one has to know.” 

This time she got no response.  They entered a skywalk that connected one part of the building to another.  As they did, Jane glanced through the glass and spotted something that propelled her into action. 

“Stormy!” she screamed after spotting him with Eddie in the parking lot.  “Stormy, wait!” 

Before the men could restrain her, she broke from their grasp and went to the glass enclosed skywalk.  With her fists, she pounded against the walls and tried desperately to get their attention. 

“Stormy!” she screamed as loud as she could.  They were only a short distance away, so there was a chance they could hear her.  If only she could do something to get their attention. 

The men grabbed at her but she successfully evaded them.  Lined up along the wall of the skywalk were several chairs but they were bolted to the ground.  Next to one of them, however, was a small side table with magazines stacked on top of it.  Quickly, she picked the table up and drew it back, sure that if she could break through the glass she’d cause enough of a commotion that Stormy would stop and see her. 

Before she could hurdle it to the glass, one of the men took the table from her while the other restrained her. 

“No!” she screamed, hitting the glass again with her fists.  “Stormy!”

Outside, Stormy and Eddie got in the car and drove away.   With tears in her eyes, Jane let her body go limp while the men carried her back to her room.

Duke Summerfield

Living alone in a twenty room mansion in Beverly Hills had begun to grow tiresome for Duke Summerfield.  Housekeepers and servants flitted about on a daily basis, a few friends would come by now and then, and an occasional booty call wasn’t out of the question.  His father the Ambassador, and his mother the socialite spent their time in Switzerland or New York and had left him in charge of their west coast home while he was living there.  But he’d begun to grow bored of Los Angeles.  With winter approaching, he craved to be on the slopes or bar crawling in the west village. 

Operation Destroy Jeff Branigan had been accomplished – although not in the manner he’d anticipated.  No matter what Summer said, his intention wasn’t for the punk to wind up dead.  Was he sad that it happened?  No.  But nonetheless….

A final calling card was necessary before he went back east.  His friend Benji Rydell had crossed him by sleeping with Summer when they were still dating, then lied about it to his face.  He’d never been good at accepting that any guy was preferenced over himself.  And since his idea of labeling him a violent rapist backfired due to Summer’s unwillingness to continue with the story, he decided to attack him where he knew it would hurt the most. 

Blake said that Benji and Sierra spent the night together last night,” Summer screamed at him over the phone.  “What the fuck, Duke?  I thought you were supposed to help me?” 

She was standing in her house in Palos Verdes, screaming loudly into the phone while the maid bolted for cover. 

“What do you expect?” he asked.  “You decided to renege on your claim that he tried to rape you.  What kind of a dumb fuck move was that?”

“I couldn’t go through with it!” she screamed.  “It was your idea anyway and it was a dumb one.  Just like giving that drug to Sierra.  She could have died.”

“That would have left you to pick up the pieces,” Duke said.  “Are you saying you wouldn’t jump at the chance if she had died?”

“I don’t want her dead,” Summer said.  “That’s how you operate, not me.”

“Yawn.”

There was a pause before she continued.  Jeff’s funeral is today.  Are you going?”

“No,” he said and paced along the dark wood floors of the living room, then stopped while he let the question sink in.  Hell no.” 

“Of course not,” she said.  “Because you killed him as surely as if you’d shot him with a gun.”

“Blow me,” he said with a roll of his eyes and stopped to brush a spec of dirt from his black Prada loafers.  “So listen, there may be a chance with you and Rydell yet.  He called and said he’s on his way over.  I have a plan…”

“No,” she said, shaking her head.  “Screw you and your plans.  I’m going to land Benji on my own.” 

“You couldn’t land a paper airplane,” he said.  “Good luck.”  And then he hung up.

As soon as he did, Benji entered the room, hair tousled and yesterday’s clothes wrinkled and unkempt.  He dropped his keys onto a table and went to the bar and poured himself a drink. 

“Rough night?” Duke asked, hands in the pockets of his pants.  He already knew where he’d been, but wanted him to tell him himself.  In order for his plan to work, he’d have to be as cagey as possible.

“Actually, no,” Benji replied.  “It was a great night.  I never thought my parents kicking me out would turn out to be the best thing that happened to me.” 

“Do tell,” Duke said and walked toward him.  Sunlight streamed into the room from the floor to ceiling windows that lined the west wall. 

Benji set his glass down and took off his jacket.  “Sierra believes me,” he said.  “About everything.  That bogus lie that Summer told everyone.  She knows it wasn’t true. I spent the night in her room.” 

Duke traced his hand along a dusty table by the wall.  “Did you sleep with her?”

“It was amazing,” he replied.  “Just like that night at the beach.  But better.  This time she’s not going to run away.  Something happened after Hunt left.  She’s different.” 

Duke frowned.  “Speaking of Hunt.  Any idea what happened to him?  Jeff’s brother said he snitched on them.  Him and his buddies still can’t go back to their apartment because it’s crawling with cops.”

“I don’t know,” Benji said, his eyes turning dark and brooding.  “My guess is he probably took off before they could retaliate.”

“That’s probably it.”  He didn’t believe him so even as he said it he shook his head back and forth.  “So you and Sierra?  This is what you’ve wanted.  Hunt’s out of the picture, I got my revenge on Branigan, and you and Sierra are together.  Looks like our deal panned out.” 

“Looks like it,” Benji said hopefully. 

“Except there’s one thing that’s bothering me,” Duke said after a suitable amount of time had passed.  “How long do you think this thing with Sierra is going to last?”

“I’m not thinking about that right now.  Why?”

He shrugged.  “Well, no offense, Benji, but you’re cut from a very different cloth than most of us.  Look at the wake of destruction you’ve left in your path since you graduated from Beau Soleil.”

Benji watched him travel around the room, busying himself with straightening gaudy knick knacks while he spoke. 

“Your parents threw you out because they were tired of your rebellious behavior,” he went on.  “If you were a year or two younger you’d be classified a juvenile delinquent. And knowing how much you care for Sierra, and knowing how much she’s already been through, I’m surprised you would want to put her through anymore heartache.  Because when you get angry, you don’t think, and when you don’t think, your temper explodes.”

“Sierra brings out the good in me,” he said, pretending to ignore the criticism he detected in his friends tone. 

Duke laughed.  “But for how long?” he asked.  “Sooner or later you’re going to return to that dark place that made you do all those things. And who knows?  Maybe you’ll do something to hurt her like you-“

“I would never hurt Sierra,” he interrupted, the anger and resentment showing on his reddening face. 

“Like you never meant to hurt Blake, and Summer, and Branigan, your parents, that actor you flattered with a baseball bat….”  A pause while he gauged his reaction.  “Face it, Rydell, you’re a loose cannon.  A danger to yourself and others.  I hate to say it, but Sierra will wind up like everyone else in your life.  How are you going to feel when you look her in the eyes and see the broken young woman that you’ve turned her into?  If she’s the only thing you care about, then how will you live with yourself when you drag her into that place with you?”

The thought made Benji sick to his stomach.  Until his mother kicked him out, he never gave much thought to anything he did.  There was always a reason.  He couldn’t help it if he got enraged.  He had a lot to be angry about.   But the thought of turning that onto Sierra alarmed him.   She was precious to him.  A light that never went out, even during the whole thing with Hunt and her drug usage he never saw it flicker. 

“I have to go,” he said, grabbing his keys and heading for the door.

Duke stood behind, smiling wickedly with satisfaction. 

Jordan

Jordan sat with his head in his hands in his office at Rydell Productions.  His intern Celia stood by taking frantic notes as he shouted orders at her. 

“Then get on the phone with G.E. Capitol and find out if they’ll reconsider an extension on my loan,” he barked.  “How in the hell they found out I was filing a chapter eleven is beyond me.  They’re the third bank to call in their loan in the past two days.  What the hell happened?”

“I’m not sure, Mr. Rydell,” she said, cringing uncomfortably as he stood up and began pacing the office. 

“And where the hell is John Berry?” he suddenly shouted.  “My lawyer should be here!  I’ve got twenty-four hours to make good on these debts or they’ll seize this entire studio.  I will not watch it be stripped away and sold for parts.” 

“I’ll get him on the phone again,” Celia said and turned to race out of the room.  As she did, she bumped directly into Ross Fuller.  “Oh, I’m sorry.” 

“No problem,” Ross said, turning his gaze inward to Jordan.  “Mr. Rydell?”

“Who the hell are you?” Jordan asked crossly. 

“I’m Ross Fuller,” he said, walking into the room.  “Your wife is a student of mine.” 

Jordan eyed him suspiciously.  “Oh, yeah, her professor,” he said with a certain amount of sarcasm.  “Look, it’s not a good time.  If this is about that book-“

“No, it’s not about the book,” Ross said.  “Suzanne was supposed to meet me last night at the school and she never showed up.  She’s not answering her phone, either.  Have you heard from her?”

“No, I’ve been too busy to worry about what my wife – my soon-to-be ex-wife - is spending her time doing.  Try my son-in-law.  Odds are she’s shacking up with him again.” 

Ross looked at him with obvious disdain.  “You’re not even worried about her?  What if something happened to her?” 

Jordan took a breath and let it out slowly.  “What was she meeting you for, Mr. Fuller?”

He wondered if it was a good idea to tell him she was planning on going away with him for the weekend.  With the hostility between them growing daily, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea.  Suzanne had enough to worry about without more scrutiny from her husband.  As it was, he had to send the recruits he’d secured to the compound in Death Valley without him. 

“Something for her class,” he lied. 

Jordan laughed in spite of himself.  “Sure,” he said, wondering if he was Suzanne’s latest play thing.  He was young and handsome like Brett.  He seemed to fall right in with her tastes.  “I’m sure that’s how it started out, but you know as well as I do your relationship is about more than homework and grammar lessons.  Like I said, check with my son-in-law.  He lives at the condos at the marina.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to doing damage control on the mess she’s made of my life.” 

Glowering contemptuously, Ross turned and left the office.   He could see why Suzanne was so unhappy.  Her husband was a piece of work. 

Suzanne Rogers

For over twelve hours, Suzanne laid in the same position on the bed in Lon Christensen’s West Hollywood apartment.  Her hands and feet were still bound with leather rope to each bedpost.  The pain had gotten so intense that she eventually went numb.  Her throat was dry and her lips were chapped and bleeding. 

He hadn’t attempted intercourse with her but what he had done was equally as horrific.   Stripped of her blouse and only her bra covering her breasts, he had straddled her and pleasured himself on top of her several times.  Each time he would verbalize how he was going to make her feel good.  The second and third time she noticed through squinted eyes that he couldn’t get hard which seemed to frustrate him.  Then he would leave for a few hours at a time and come back reeking of booze. 

She cried and screamed through the gag he’d placed in her mouth.  Whenever he returned, she would flinch and start screaming louder. 

The sun was up and by the clock on the DVD player by the television she could see that it was almost noon.  Surely people would begin to wonder where she was, especially when she didn’t show at Renee’s wedding that afternoon.  She purposefully hadn’t told anyone she was planning on leaving town.  She wondered if Ross had gone to Death Valley without her.  Probably.  When she didn’t show up at the school he probably assumed she’d changed her mind.  That left Jordan and possibly Renee to wonder what had happened to her. 

But how would they find her?  He’d taken her car back to his apartment which mean no one would find it at the school.  Chances of anyone driving by that particular building in this part of town were slim.  Her eyes scanned the apartment for a phone.  He probably only had a cellular like most people.  Her only chance was getting free and getting out while he was out on one of his tantrums. 

But minutes later he returned, did something in the kitchen, and approached her slowly.  To her relief, he was holding a bottle of water with a straw in it. 

“You need to drink,” Lon said, holding it to her mouth while removing the gag. 

Once he did, she eagerly sipped the water through the straw.  Screaming did not enter her mind.  She was too thirsty.  Besides, there was probably no one around to hear her. 

“Thank you,” she said, going for a few more heaping gulps. 

Suddenly and without warning, he leaned in and pressed his hard against hers.  Startled, Suzanne tried futily to pull her head away.  He restrained her, slipping his tongue inside of her mouth.  Instinctively, Suzanne did the only thing she could think of.  She clamped her teeth onto his lower lip and bit hard. 

“Shit!” Lon yelled and stood up in flash, blood dribbling down his chin.  He drew his hand back and slapped her hard across the face.  “Stupid bitch!” 

“You have to let me go,” she screamed breathlessly.  “You can’t just leave me tied up here like this.  I have family and friends who will be looking for me.” 

He didn’t acknowledge her words, instead fixated on his bloody lip.  “You like to play rough, huh?” he asked with a grin.  “Well no problem, honey.  I can get as rough and dirty as you want it.  You want to get fucked hard?”

“No,” she cried, shaking her head.  “Please just let me go.” 

Angrily, he unbuttoned his pants and climbed on top of her.  She screamed at the top of her lungs until he placed his hand over her mouth.  Quickly, he slid her underwear down and pressed himself against her.   She bit down on his hand with her teeth but he ignored the pain.  

After a few frustrating moments, he realized he could not rise to the occasion.  The fact angered him even more.  He climbed off of her, pulled his pants up, and went tearing out of the apartment. 

Eyes wide, Suzanne wept on the bed, grateful that he hadn’t been able to go through with it.  With him out of the apartment, she knew there was only one thing to do.  She had to find a way out.

Brooke Taylor

Brooke got dressed for the wedding and headed for Moonshadows.  She’d ultimately decided to leave Michael with the sitter and gave her prompt instructions to call her cell if he started acting up.   The wedding was still a couple of hours off but she needed to stop by Kyle’s office and give him his wallet that he’d left at her house.  Plus she still felt uneasy about their argument that morning and wanted to make an attempt at smoothing things out.  It still struck her as odd why he’d lied about not knowing Mackenzie Stone, but she conceded that she might have overreacted.  

After parking, she made her way up to the administration building where Kyle’s office was located.  Before she entered, she spotted David walking through the lobby.  

“Hi,” she said with a hint of a smile as she walked toward him.  “What are you doing here?”

“I found some Moonshadows papers at home  and thought I’d leave them for Renee,” he said.  “I wasn’t aware she’d hired Kyle as the manager.” 

Brooke bit down on her lip.  “Yeah, I didn’t tell you the last time I saw you because I knew how you’d react.  David, I know how you feel about Kyle but I wish you wouldn’t worry so much.  He really is a good guy.” 

“I just want you to be happy,” he said, reaching out and touching her hand. 

She smiled.  “You look better today.  Has there been an improvement in your condition?”

He shrugged.  “It changes from day to day.  Today happens to be a good day.  I was hoping I wouldn’t run into anyone while I was here.  I know it’s Renee’s wedding day but-“

“Why were you hoping that?”

Still holding her hand, he took a deep breath.  “I’m leaving today for the clinic in San Francisco.” 

Her eyes immediately stung with tears, her expression turning to one of devastation. 

“Don’t cry,” he told her calmly.  “You knew this was coming.”

“I just didn’t know it would be so soon,” she said, fighting the tears back.  “Are you sure this is what you want?”

“It’s what I have to do,” he said.  “I won’t let you watch me die.”

She covered her mouth to keep from sobbing.  When he squeezed her hand she nodded as if to acknowledge that she wasn’t going to cry. 

“Remember your promise,” he told her.  “Don’t tell Miranda until I’m gone.” 

“You won’t even let her say goodbye to you?” Brooke asked.  “David, you meant something to her.  She could be carrying your baby.”

“Promise me,” he said.  “I can’t deal with her if she becomes an emotional mess.  I don’t want her to remember me walking away to go die.”

“Then don’t,” she sobbed, clutching his arms and staring him in the eyes.  “Stay here.  Let us be with you until…”

Now it was David’s turn to tear up.  He pulled her toward him and embraced her tightly.  “Take care of yourself and that little boy of yours.  That nephew of mine has a lot of greatness that’s been passed on to him.”

“What will I tell him?” she asked.  Michael adored David, and it hadn’t occurred to her until just now that he could be affected by his going away.  Another blow to deliver to the troubled young boy. 

“Tell him that he’s a Jennings and a Blackthorne and that he can take on the world if he wants to.” 

She wiped her eyes, now full with tears.  “I love you.” 

“I love you too, little sister,” he said, kissed her forehead and hurried off through the lobby. Once he’d left, he stood outside the window and looked in at her crying silently to herself. 

Mackenzie Stone

The Virgin American flight back to Los Angeles arrived on time but had come to a dead stop on the runway.  No explanation was given other than that they were waiting to be cleared to approach the gate. 

For twenty minutes, Mackenzie sat impatiently in her seat, coat and purse in hand while she waited to bolt from the plane.  She looked at her watch every two minutes, aggravated by the seemingly pointless delay.  She hated flying commercially.  She should have taken the studio jet to New York, but knew that explaining the reason for her trip to the brass would be difficult to maneuver.

Another glance at her Gucci timepiece told her that the wedding was in just over an hour.  She’d promised James that she’d be there, and she would be.  But more than that, she had to tell him about her trip.  He would be angry that she’d lied to him, but once he heard the reason, he would understand. 

She decided to call him and let him know she was on her way.  Swooping into her purse, she grabbed her cell and dialed his number.  It went straight to voicemail again. 

“James, it’s Mackenzie.  I’m back in L.A but we’re stuck on the ground for a while.”  She looked out the window as if hoping to see something that would clue her into their arrival time.  “Look, I’ll head right to the wedding from the airport.  There’s something I need to talk to you about.  It’s urgent.  It’s about-“

“Ma’am, you’re going to have to hang up,” said a snippy flight attendant who appeared over her seat.  “The captain hasn’t cleared usage of electronic devices.”

“I’m just leaving a message,” she said crossly. 

“Put it away until we reach the gate,” the woman said.

Sighing, Mackenzie clicked the phone off and dropped it into her purse.  “Satisfied?” she asked. 

The flight attendant scowled and continued down the aisle.  When she’d gone, Mackenzie glanced at her watch again.  Sighing with frustration, she shifted in her seat and turned out the window again.

Kyle Fenwick

Standing in the center of the Cahuenga Room a half mile across the resort, Kyle inspected the tables that had been dressed for the wedding reception.  The event manager followed him closely behind, taking notes on everything he told her to do. 

“Have one of the servers re-polish this silverware,” he said, picking up a spoon and holding it up to the sunshine that streamed in through the skylights.  “Some of them are really spotty.” 

“Right away,” she said. 

“Make sure they start lighting the candles in the centerpieces twenty minutes before the ceremony starts,” he went on, gesturing to each table where there was a glass Tiffany lamp with a rounded shade.  “They need to be lit before everyone comes in from the garden.” 

“No problem.” 

He went to the French doors that led outside to the garden courtyard where the ceremony was to take place.  “These doors stay closed and locked until the ushers gives you the word.”

“Absolutely.” 

Kyle turned on his heels.  “And see what you can do about these floors.  The last thing we need is a lawsuit when someone falls.” 

She took the final notes down and set off through the club, leaving Kyle alone in the room.  He sighed, fanned his hot skin and removed his suit jacket. 

The fact that he was wealthy in his own right and yet was reduced to overseeing a wedding made him angry.  Yes, it was his choice to take the job at Moonshadows – a job he financially didn’t need – but the fact remained that he wasn’t the type to sit around doing nothing.  And working there kept him close to Brooke. 

Renee DeWitt

A cabana across the courtyard acted as Renee’s dressing room.  Sitting at the vanity, she touched up her makeup while an attendant prepared her dress – an off white Christian LaCroix with pearl beading across the bodice.  Sierra hung back and paced the room, glancing at her watch and looking out the window to the courtyard. 

“What’s got you so preoccupied, Darling?” Renee asked as she spied her in the mirror.

“Huh?”

“You keep looking at your watch.” 

“Oh,” Sierra said with a sigh.  She was beginning to wonder why she hadn’t heard from Benji. The wedding was in less than an hour and he still hadn’t showed.  “I’m just excited, that’s all.” 

Renee smiled and twisted off the chair.  “I’m so happy to hear that,” she said and pulled her into an embrace.  “I know I keep saying it but it means so much to me that you are here on this special day.” 

“It means a lot to me too.” 

“You know, we’re both strong women and we’ve been through a lot, but I don’t think I’d be able to get through any of it without you.  We hold each other up.  We’re resilient.” 

Sierra smiled.  Her mother did have a point.  As much as she resented her for a time, she looked up to her.  There was no one as strong as Renee DeWitt.

When she noticed the time, Renee turned in a huff.  “Where on earth is Suzanne?  She’s my maid of honor and she’s not even here yet.” 

“Maybe it’s got something to do with Benji,” Sierra said hopefully. 

“I’m going to call her,” Renee said and went for her phone.  She called but it went straight to voicemail.  Sighing, she hung up and turned back to the mirror.  “I hope she gets here soon.” 

Brett Armstrong

“Can I help you?” Brett asked when he answered his door, half-dressed in only a pair of black suit pants.  He was running late for the wedding and hadn't expected an unannounced visitor.

“You’re Brett Armstrong, right?” Ross asked. 

Brett frowned and regarded him carefully.  “Where do I know you from?”

“We sort of met a few weeks ago,” he told him.  “At the Polo Lounge.  I was having lunch with Suzanne and you stopped by-“

“Oh, that’s right,” he said suspiciously.  “You’re her professor.” 

Ross nodded.  “Yeah.  I’m sorry to bother you but I was wondering if you’ve heard from her.”

“Suzanne doesn’t talk to me much anymore.  Why do you ask?”

“I think something’s happened to her.”

Moonshadows

After collecting herself following her talk with David, Brooke went looking for Kyle in his office.  She knocked on the door and popped her head in only to find the room empty. 

She looked at her watch.  He couldn’t have gone far as the wedding would be starting soon.  Maybe he was already at the club down the pathway.  She decided to leave his wallet in the office rather than carrying it around with her. 

She went to his desk and sat in the chair.  After leaving the wallet inside the drawer, she started to get up but paused when she heard a phone ringing.  It wasn’t his office phone.  Frowning, she looked in drawers until she found a cell phone.  She thought it was strange that he didn’t have it on him.  Instead, it was tucked away in a drawer in his office.  It didn’t even look like his phone.  Did he have more than one?

As the phone continued ringing, she picked it up and looked at the caller ID display.  A 718 area code flashed on the screen and she struggled to think where it originated from.  Unable to help her curiosity, she flipped the phone open and brought it slowly to her ear.

“Hello?” she asked tentatively. 

A few second of silence followed before a male voice on the other end spoke.  “Hello?”

Brooke suddenly lost her nerve.  She quickly snapped the phone shut and placed it on the desk.  What was she doing anyway?  As if rifling through Kyle’s wallet wasn’t bad enough, now she was answering a phone that he obviously intended to keep private.  If it was even his phone.  

Further temptation came when she noticed there was a voicemail.  She looked around the office to ensure she was still alone before opening the phone again and reviewing the call history.  Every call had come from the same number.  718 rang over and over in her mind as she tried to think of what city it was from. 

After a few seconds of hesitation, she activated the voice mail and listened.  Just like the call she’d just intercepted, the message was from a man.  

“Fenwick, it’s me,” the message went.  “I don’t know what the hell you’re doing out there but some lady from L.A  just came to see me.  She was asking lots of questions about you.  I’m starting to think you’ve been lying to me.  Call me as soon as you can.  We need to talk.” 

When the voicemail ended, Brooke stared thoughtfully at the phone.  Confusion set in and her suspicions escalated.  On top of that, there was something oddly familiar about the man’s voice.

She listed to the message again.  Then a third time.  Quickly, she shot up off the chair and raced out of the office to find Kyle.

James Blackthorne

“Nervous?” James asked as she approached Kenny in the courtyard and patted him on the back. 

Kenny grinned and straightened his bow tie. Guests were beginning to arrive and he did his best to acknowledge them all.  “A little. Is that weird?”

“Not at all,” James said with a laugh.  “I was nervous both times I married Brooke.  Luckily I had my best man there to stand up for me.” 

“Well I’m glad that you’re returning the favor,” Kenny told him.  “You’ve been there for us since Renee and I met.”

“And I’ve never given up on the two of you.” 

They turned when Stormy, Miranda and Eddie approached and offered their congratulations to Kenny. 

“What’s with the three of you?” James asked them.  “Those faces don’t look happy.”

“We’re worried about Jane,” Miranda said solemnly.  “I keep thinking of her in that treatment center.  And those things you said about how the place is run…are you sure there’s nothing we can do, Daddy?”

“They wouldn’t even let us see her,” Stormy said.  “Only authorized personnel.”

“Well, when your mother was in rehab we couldn’t see her either.”

Stormy shook his head warily.  “The whole thing just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.”

“Tell you what,” Kenny suggested.  “After the wedding I’ll make some calls.  Maybe I can get one of you in to see her.   There’s got to be some legal strings I can pull.” 

The conversation was interrupted when Stormy’s cell rang.  He walked away and answered it, certain that it was probably something pertaining to the studio.  But when he heard the frantic calls from the other end, he knew it wasn’t. 

“Stormy, you have to get me out of here,” Jane pleaded from the payphone in the hallway at the treatment facility.    She glanced up and down the corridor, hoping to tell him what she needed to before anyone found her. 

“Jane?” he asked in a panic.  “Jane, are you okay?”

“I don’t know how she did it but she pulled some strings and had me admitted,” she said hurriedly.  “I promise you I haven’t done any drugs.”

“Who pulled strings?” Stormy asked.  “Jane, are you all right?’”

“Just get me out of here, please!” she screamed, and then the line went dead as one of the men in white coats took the phone and hung it up.  She tried twisting away as they grabbed her arm and pulled her back to her room. 

Eyes wide, Stormy turned and tried to get Eddie’s attention. 

“What’s up?” he asked when he approached. 

“That was Jane.”

“Jane?” Miranda asked after overhearing.  She raced over and took the phone from him.  “What did she say?”

Stormy looked at them, his face stricken with worry.  “Something’s up.  I could hear it in her voice.  We have to go back and get her out of there.” 

“I'll help any way I can,” Eddie said and patted him on the arm. 

“Wait,” Miranda said and stopped them from walking off.  “I’m going with you.” 

“No, stay here,” her brother ordered.  “I don’t want you involved.” 

“I already am involved,” Miranda insisted.  “Jane is my friend.  I’m going with you.” 

Sighing with resignation, Stormy motioned for her to follow him and the three disappeared in the growing crowd of wedding guests.

Benji Rydell

Benji borrowed one of Duke’s suits since he hadn’t thought to bring one from home before he moved out.  They were the same size and Duke had excellent taste.  He stopped by a florist and picked up a small bouquet of flowers before arriving at Moonshadows.  In the parking lot, he hung next to his car while staring at the Cahuenga Room.  He saw Sierra leave the garden courtyard where the ceremony was about to take place.  He could tell she was looking for him, wondering where he was.  Hoping she didn’t see him, he got back into his car and laid the flowers on the seat.  

Everything Duke had said to him that morning played over and over in his mind.  What if he did wind up hurting Sierra?  What if his anger and resentment over everything in his life wound up ruining hers?  He’d tried so hard to keep her from throwing her life away with Hunt Roberts.  He began to wonder if he wasn’t just as toxic as any drug.

It wasn’t worth the risk, he decided.  His cell phone rang and he picked it up.  It was Sierra.  With a certain amount of regret, he ignored the call with a press of a button.  Then, hating himself for it, he started the engine and drove away. 

Standing outside the courtyard, Sierra noticed his car leaving the parking lot.  A look of sadness came over her face and she turned back to the garden.  She didn’t need answers.  Her heart told her everything she needed to know.  She’d been a fool for letting him in. 

As she wove her way through the assembling crowd of guests, she didn’t notice Summer appear and begin to follow her. 

Marilee Wells-Walker

Marilee found Kyle alone inside the Cahuenga Room.  She approached him, weaving through the tables that had been perfectly decorated for the wedding reception. 

“Hi,” she said when he turned toward her. 

“Hi,” Kyle replied, eyeing her curiously.  “What are you doing here?”

She motioned outside to the courtyard.  “For Renee and Kenny’s wedding.  I went by your office but you weren’t there.  I had hoped I’d have heard from you since we last talked, Kyle.”

He grinned sheepishly.   “I’m sorry.  I guess I just hoped to have a little more time to get used to this, that’s all.  I mean, can you blame me for still being upset?  You did give me away.” 

She let a few tears well up in her eyes. “I didn’t have a choice,” she said.  “Kyle, please.  I’m here now.  I want to get to know my son.  Please just allow me that.” 

He felt a little guilty for letting her go on the way she was.  If she only knew the truth.  While she may have had a son with Will Thomerson and given him away thirty-two years ago, it wasn’t him. 

“I’m not saying it won’t happen,” he said.  “But you have to understand that I need time.”   Anything to put her off. 

She wiped her eyes and just like that her disposition changed.  “I can’t believe you’re being this cruel,” she said.  “I came to you with the truth.  I tried reaching out to you.  But all you can do is turn me away.” 

“Look, I’m sorry, I-“ 

“Forget it,” she said angrily.  “If you don’t want to know your own mother, then I get it.  Just don’t expect me to keep trying.” 

With that, she turned and went to the French doors that led outside into the courtyard.  He followed her with intentions of stopping her, but she’d disappeared into the crowd. 

Sighing, he locked the doors and flinched when he heard the sound of glass breaking from behind.  He spun around just as a piece of china went flying past his head, porcelain shards scattering across the floor.

“What the-“ he started. 

“You lied to me,” Mackenzie screamed as she walked through the room.  “I mean, I knew you couldn’t be trusted, Kyle, but this is on a completely different level.” 

“Mackenzie,” he said, backing up from her.  “What are you talking about?  Just put the plate down and we’ll talk.” 

She set the plate back onto a table and instead took one of the Tiffany lamps from the center, hurdling it across the room and watching it shatter. 

“Jesus!” he screamed and went toward her.  “What’s gotten into you?”

“I just got back from New York,” she said angrily.  “I went to visit your old cell mate Dan Cody.”

“You did?” he asked nervously. “Why did you do that?”

“Because you’re a liar,” she said.  “You're not after Brooke Taylor for her money!  That was all just a bunch of crap, wasn't it?"

“Mackenzie, wait-“  He held up his hands to ward off her frantic attacks.  

Renee DeWitt

In the cabana, Renee admired herself in the mirror.  She smiled at her reflection, smoothing her gown down along her perfect figure while turning to view all angles.  

A knock on the door sent her floating across the room.  First checking to make sure it wasn’t Kenny, she opened the door and saw the wedding planner standing outside.

“There’s someone here who would like to speak to you,” the girl said. 

“Well can it wait?” Renee asked.  “I’m about to walk down the aisle.  My guests are all-“

“She says she’s a friend.”

Renee sighed.  “Fine.  Let her in.  But no more visitors until after the ceremony, is that clear?“

She walked back to the mirror and continued examining her dress.  Moments later, the door opened and a woman entered the cabana.  Renee turned and leveled her eyes on her. 

Gemma Sanders,” she said with a look of disapproval.  “I don’t remember inviting you to my wedding.  I don’t commonly associate with prostitutes and their employers.” 

Gemma, a woman whom nobody knew her actual age but most guessed was somewhere in the vicinity of fifty, smiled pleasantly at her.  As the premiere Hollywood Madam, she was used to dirty looks from society women like Renee DeWitt. 

“I came to deliver a wedding present,” she said.

“No doubt you paid with nature’s credit card so I’m guessing it’s nothing I’ll be able to exchange,” Renee jabbed. 

Gemma reached into her purse.  “It’s not from me.  It’s from Jackie.”

Renee raised a perfectly arched eyebrow.  “Oh?  This should be interesting. What is it?  A piece of poison crystal?  Steak knives with her name engraved on them?”

“I’ll spare you the suspense,” Gemma said and handed her a CD in a clear plastic case. 

“What is this?” Renee asked.

“It’s a video of your groom to be with one of my girls.  He was resistant to do a favor for her so Jackie had me catch him in a compromising position.”

“Favor?” Renee asked, her heart beating wildly.

Gemma shrugged indifferently.  “She needed to get a look at someone’s will or something.  Either way, Kenny didn’t seem to oppose.” 

Refusing to let the woman see her cry, Renee did her best to hide the shock and dismay that slowly built after hearing the news.  Kenny, forever the philanderer, had promised her fidelity, all the while had lied to her and slept with a prostitute while they were together. 

“Well, I’ll leave you to your special day,” Gemma said and turned toward the door.

Renee finally broke from her daze and started after the woman.  “Oh Gemma, you didn’t let me thank you for the present.”

As soon as the woman turned, Renee slapped her with a firm hand across the face.  She brought her hand instinctively to her cheek. 

“Please pass my feelings along to Jackie as well,” Renee said before turning away.   She looked down at the CD and closed her eyes, allowing a tear to fall down her cheek. 

Brooke Taylor

Brooke frantically made her way across the resort to the Cahuenga Room.  She started down the sidewalk that led up to the building when she bumped into Mackenzie who was on her way out.  

“Mackenzie,” Brooke said, startled.

“Hello Brooke,” she said after taking a deep breath.  She pushed a lock of hair from her eyes and fidgeted with her purse.   “On your way to the wedding?”

Brooke nodded.  “And you?  James said you were out of town.” 

“I just got back,” she said.  “I was just going to go find him.”

She looked around and gestured to the building.  “Do you know if Kyle’s inside?  I really need to talk to him.” 

“I’m not sure,” Mackenzie replied quickly.  “I’m sure he’s around somewhere.” 

Hesitating before she continued, Brooke gripped her bag and tucked it beneath her arm.  “I thought you should know that Kyle told me the truth about the two of you.” 

Mackenzie raised an eyebrow.    “He did?” 

“Yes.  I don’t understand why he didn’t tell me the truth to begin with.  I don’t think it’s such a big deal that the two of you used to date.”

“Excuse me?” Mackenzie asked, trying to focus on what she was telling her.  “Kyle and I used to date?”

Brooke nodded.

“He told you that?” Mackenzie asked.  "Brooke, you have no idea what you're talking about. And you have no idea the lies that Kyle is capable of."

"What lies?" Brooke demanded.

Jordan

“I should have known you’d be here,” Jordan said with a scowl when Brett marched toward him as everyone was taking their seats outside.   “Don’t have the good taste to stay away, I see.” 

“Shut up for a minute and listen to me,” Brett told him.  Behind, Ross followed. 

“What is he doing here?” Jordan demanded and gestured to the professor.  “Don’t tell me the two of you are hanging out together now?  Are you fighting over Suzanne or are you actually looking for a three-way?”

“Suzanne’s missing,” Brett told him.  “And it doesn’t seem like you even give a shit.” 

He rolled his eyes.  “Suzanne is not missing.  If she’s not with one of you two, then she probably found another young jock to jump on top of.  Try not to take it too personally, guys.  Since waking up from hypnosis she seems to have developed quite a sex drive.” 

Fed up with his cavalier attitude, Brett lost control.  He drew his fist back and punched him in the jaw.  Jordan sailed backwards, flying into a group of guests who kept him from falling to the ground.

Kenny DeWitt

Across the courtyard, Kenny looked at his watch and then at the minister.  He had no idea what was keeping Renee.  Aside from some disturbance at the back of the garden, everyone was in place and ready. 

“I’ll go see what’s keeping her,” James offered.  He left Kenny’s side and made his way down the path to the cabana.   Knocking once, he waited for an answer. Nothing.  Again, he knocked. 

“Is she not coming out?” Kenny asked when he appeared behind him. 

James tried the door but found it locked.  He frowned and turned toward his friend.  “Maybe she’s not in there.  I’ll go check inside the club.” 

Kenny sighed with irritation and decided to wait for James to look around for this bride to be. 

James Blackthorne

After finding the French doors leading inside the Cahuenga Room to be locked, James walked around the building and checked two more entrances.  The third, a door leading from the sidewalk, was open.  He entered the sunlight room and scouted around for any sign of Renee.   He heard silent whimpering coming from the dining room.  He continued walking until he found someone.  All color quickly drained from his face.

Brooke was  crying softly while crouched down next to Kyle, her hands covered in blood.  James stopped in his tracks, alarmed by the gruesome sight before him.   On the floor, surrounded by a pool of blood, Kyle writhed in agony, one of Tiffany lamps broken and embedded deep into his back, his shirt soaked in blood.

 

 


Next time....

Season five draws to a close.  David settles into the clinic.  Stormy, Eddie and Miranda plan to rescue Jane.  A face from Brooke's past resurfaces.  A tragedy interrupts Renee and Kenny's wedding day.  

 

 

Read the Season Finale

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