Stormy, Eddie and Miranda broke
Jane out of the drug treatment facility, but before
they escaped, Miranda was detained and arrested. Stormy
went to Alex to ask why she'd had Jane committed, and
a broken Alex revelead that she'd gotten R.J. from Kelly,
and that R.J. was his son. Brett rescued Suzanne
from Lon's apartment, but Jordan reacted to her ordeal
with contempt. Devastated by the direction her
life was going, Suzanne went with Ross Fuller to see
his self-help guru in Death Valley. A smug Brett
revealed to Jordan that he'd secured ownership of Rydell
Productions for Sunset Studios. After realizing Duke
had manipulated his emotions for Sierra, Benji went
to Sierra and asked her to go away with him and get
married. Gemma Sanders, the Hollywood madam, on
a mission for Jackie, presented Renee with evidence
that Kenny had cheated on her with one of her call girls.
Renee promptly called off the wedding minutes
before it was to take place. Mackenzie flew to New York
to check up on Kyle's story that Dan Cody was a man
blackmailing him into taking Brooke's money. Meanwhile,
Brook heard voice messages someone left on Kyle's cell
phone and thought she recognized the man's voice. Mackenzie
revealed to Brooke that Dan Cody was really Ethan, and
that Kyle had been lying to her about who he was. Angrily,
Brooke attacked Kyle and he fell, impaling himself on
a broken lamp. A frantic Brooke told James about
Mackenzie's claims, so James went to New York to see
if it was true. While James came face to face
with Ethan in prison, Brooke was being arrested for
the attempted murder of Kyle.
the full season five recap here
The dogs led them through the night,
flashlights cutting through darkness and their boots trampling piles of wet
leaves. They searched the perimeter of the property, then the rusted shed near
the compost heap, and then under the old pickup truck parked to the side of the
house. The old man stood behind, his
face painted with agony while he held a broken porcelain doll that had
aquamarine eyes that seemed to stare up at the stars in the night sky.
here,” the leader said when the hounds picked up the scent from a wooden door
in the ground.
others followed, the dogs barking wildly and pulling on the leashes that bound
them. The leader knelt down and lifted
the door. Wind scattered leaves about
their feet and swirled around the entrance to the underground bunker.
he climbed down the makeshift steps and into a dark cavernous room. Guided by his flashlight, he saw three beds,
stacks of old magazines and books, and a dusty transistor radio. When he heard the faint sounds of whimpering
in the darkness, his hand instinctively went for his gun.
not going to hurt you,” he said, scanning the room with his light. “I’m the sheriff. Why don’t you come out and tell us what
followed while the sheriff continued to search the bunker. He could still hear the wind scattering
leaves around up on the surface, the old man and his deputies with their dogs
standing by at
hear me?” the sheriff repeated.
Suddenly, he heard movement from behind and quickly spun around. His flashlight seemingly paralyzed the one
they’d been pursuing.
“Please….” Ethan Blackthorne said, shielding his eyes
from the light with blood-soaked hands.
“It was an accident. You have to
sheriff whistled to his deputies. “Got
him,” he called up to them.
the men descended the stairs, Ethan backed his way into the corner, cringing
when they came at him…
James Blackthorne entered a room, everyone noticed. Not only was he over six feet tall,
handsomely aged at forty-nine, and exceptionally well-groomed, he exuded power
and confidence. With a thick shock of
brown hair, intense dark eyes, and a strong nose, he would be noticed either
way. But add a multi-billion dollar Hollywood film studio, two infamous ex-wives, and a
personal life worthy of Bravo to the
mix and everyone paid attention, even in prison.
As he sat staring
through the glass window of the visitation area at the Arthur Kill Correctional
Facility, the stares and the whispers from onlookers faded into the background.
understand,” he said with wide eyes.
“You’re alive? How?”
“It’s a long
story,” replied his nephew. “How did you
find me? Did Kyle tell you I was here?”
with the rapid fire succession of events that had transpired over the past few
hours. “Sort of,” he said, rubbing his
eyes. “Look, Ethan, what are you doing
in prison? And why didn’t you tell us
you were alive?”
His question was
answered with a question. “Does Brooke
Ethan sighed. “Does Brooke know that I’m alive?”
James nodded. “Yes.
She found out when I did. Neither
of us could believe it. That’s why I
“That woman that
was here,” Ethan began. “She told
James realized he
must be referring to Mackenzie.
“Yes. She told Brooke and then
Brooke told me. Look, I’m still trying
to wrap my head around this. Do you know
how much your leaving hurt us? We
thought we’d lost you forever.”
“It was no picnic
for me either,” said Ethan. He was thirty-four
years old with a defined physique and pale skin, a five o’clock shadow framing
his strong jaw line. “I didn’t want you
to find out this way. You were supposed
to find out months ago, but in my
way. Not from some nosy broad who shows
up here staring at me like she’s seen a ghost.”
thought she had,” James said wryly.
“Ethan, talk to me. Tell me
what’s going on. Brooke is at home
waiting for me to call her with news, and I don’t want to do that until I know
“It wasn’t supposed
to happen this way,” Ethan said adamantly.
“I thought I could trust Kyle.”
“What does Kyle
Fenwick have to do with this?” James wanted to know.
“I saw them on the
news,” Ethan said, again ignoring his question.
“When you were coming back from Mexico. He had his arm around her. Did she fall in love with him?”
James looked down
instinctively. “Ethan, just start at the
“Did Brooke fall in
love with Kyle?” Ethan repeated, this time slowly and more insistently.
James, unable to
look him in the eyes and lie, could only nod his head.
slammed the phone back on the cradle and jumped up from the window. He went to the door and called for the
shouted as he rose to his feet. “Ethan
don’t walk away from me! She thought you
were dead! We all thought you were
But Ethan was
already gone, the heavy door in the visitation room slamming closed
behind. Defeated, James slammed the
phone down and turned in frustration.
Winds traveled through
the canyons surrounding the meandering streets of the Hollywood Hills as Stormy
Blackthorne steered his Cobra II down the long driveway home. He parked his car under the porte-cochere and
dashed inside, scouting the first floor and calling out for their dutiful
bellowed, going from room to room with determination. “Leilani!”
Behind him, the
front door opened again and Jane Wheeler entered, rushing down the hall and
“Stormy, you need
to calm down,” she insisted.
“Don’t tell me to
calm down!” he shouted. “I need to find
“We will, you just
have to let me explain why I did what I did,“ she pleaded with him.
Stormy stopped long
enough to catch his breath. The oldest
offspring of James Blackthorne and Alex Reynolds, he was twenty-eight, had
short dark hair, a true baby face, and intricate tattoos covering much of his
arms. After several misguided ventures
of his own accord, he was now a top executive at his father’s studio.
“Do you know where
R.J. is?” he asked Jane, all business.
“No,” she replied,
long, wispy blond hair framing her narrow face.
She was a twenty-five year-old struggling actress from Illinois who’d unwittingly become immersed
in the complicated lives of Stormy and his family.
“Then I’m not
interested in what you have to say,” he told her. “You helped my mother lie about where she got
R.J. from. You went along with it! You’re just as bad as she is.”
“I didn’t know he
was your son!” Jane insisted, on the verge of tears. “Do you honestly think I would have gone
along with her charade if I’d known that?
Much less gotten involved with you?”
Stormy didn’t have
time to argue. He turned in search of
Leilani. Just as he started down the
hall, she was coming out of the family room.
asked the portly Hawaiian maid. “Did
“When was the last
time you talked to Kelly?” he asked her.
Leilani shook her
head in confusion. “Kelly? Not for long
time. Months maybe.”
“You’re sure she hasn’t contacted you recently?
Leilani, it’s very important that I find her.”
“No, she told me
not to call her. She said she too busy
and that she call me when she has time.”
“Do you have a
number? Her cell phone number?”
stared with worrisome eyes.
“Well get it!”
another second, the maid scurried down the hall and to the mud room behind the
kitchen where she kept her coat and her purse on a row of silver hooks.
“She said use this
in emergency,” Leilani said and handed him her cell phone with Kelly’s number
on the display.
Gruffly, he took
the phone and pressed talk. “I’d say this was an emergency,” he said
aloud and waited for an answer. While he
listened to it ring, he shook his head in disbelief. “I can’t understand how my own mother could
keep my son from me. And how you could help her do it.”
Jane saw him
staring directly at her. “I told you
that I didn’t know he was-“
He cut her off by
turning away. When a voice came over the
line he swallowed hard.
“This isn’t a good
time, mama,” Kelly said when she answered.
gripped the phone tightly in his hand.
“Where are you, you stupid bitch?”
moment of silence was followed by a tentative reply. “Stormy?”
it’s Stormy,” he said and walked through the kitchen. “I know you were at my mother’s apartment
today. Where did you take him? Where did you take my son?”
don’t believe it,” Kelly said with a demure laugh. “She actually told you the truth?”
disappeared with the baby she was passing off as her own,” Stormy said. “What did you expect her to do?”
come up with the money,” Kelly said easily.
“Two million in cash and the baby was hers again.”
mill-“ Stormy repeated, then stopped
before he began yelling again. “What the
hell kind of a mother are you? Selling
your own son to the highest bidder?”
covered her mouth with her hands and began shaking her head repeatedly when she
heard the one-sided conversation.
kid is a goldmine for me,” Kelly told him.
“I was stupid to let your mother get off so cheap to begin with.”
gave a heavy sigh and turned around.
“Unbelievable. I want my son,
Kelly. Where are you?”
not telling you where I am,” she said.
“Not until I know you’re not going to do anything stupid. You’re not the only one who thinks he knows
give you the money,” Stormy said. “Two
million, you said? Tell me when and
where and I’ll be there.”
a few moments of silence, Kelly finally reacted. “I’ll call you back,” she said and hung
his teeth, he called the number again but it went straight to voicemail. Angily, he turned and leaned against the
kitchen island, pacing his erratic breathing.
now?” Jane asked. “Should we call your
shook his head. “No, I’m going to get my
son back myself.”
Miranda Blackthorne wasn’t as easy as most people would believe it to be. Yes, she was young and beautiful and
rich. Yes, she had men who adored her
and women who wanted to be like her. Her
parents were legendary. James
Blackthorne, the suave, sophisticated mega-millionaire in charge of Sunset
Studios. And Alex Reynolds, the beautiful movie star with the
tendency of ending up on the front page news.
At twenty-five, Miranda
was exceptionally beautiful with long dark hair and mesmerizing eyes. Her body was a playing field of delights, and
her style always up to the latest trend.
Scars that once marred her face as a result of the earthquake a year and
a half ago were now subtle and, more importantly, immaterial to her.
with all of her good fortune, there were also the bad. She was pregnant. Four months to be exact. The father undetermined. Possibly Eddie Distefano, her doting
boyfriend and son of the late resident Hollywood
psychopath Victor Distefano. Or David
Jennings, whom she’d had an ill-conceived dalliance with in a few moments of
weakness, who had since left to succumb to his terminal brain cancer in a San Francisco
and pregnant, unsure of the identity of the father, and also currently residing
in the Los Angeles county jail as a result of a madcap plan her brother and
Eddie came up with to break Jane Wheeler out of a rehab facility. This was definitely not one of the finest
times in her life.
thought you’d be out of here by now,” said her neighbor as she was led back
into the cell next to her. “Daddy hasn’t
gotten his lawyers to spring you yet, sweetie?”
sure he’s working on it,” Miranda said with a scowl.
I know your daddy, you’ll be out in no time,” Gemma Sanders quipped with all
the confidence one would expect from a legendary Hollywood
madam. The Hollywood madam, in her
act like you know my father,” Miranda said, folding her arms and crossing her
legs with a pout. “James Blackthorne has
class, which is a lot more than I can say for you and the men you
a heavily botoxed blond woman of about fifty, shook her head and approached the
bars that separated them.. “I’m used to
women looking down on me the way you do,” she said. “I’ve put up with it for years. I can deal
with the looks. What I can’t deal with
are the unfair judgments.”
run a call girl operation,” Miranda said incredulously. “You set girls up with men for sex. I think in this case the judgments are
provide a service,” Gemma said,
perfectly manicured nails clutching the cold steel bars. “To a select group of men whom I personally
screen. They have a lot of money and
they’re very generous. Some men in the
business don’t have time for the phonies and the game players. They want a sure thing.”
Miranda said with a grimace.
step-father has certainly found the arrangement fitting from time to time,”
Gemma said proudly.
shot her a scowl. She didn’t
know that she wanted to know about Jordan’s
activities in the bedroom. Only that she
hoped it hadn’t been either time he was married to her mother.
the girls that I employ are the best in the business. They don’t do anything they don’t want to
do. They may not be CEO’s or lawyers,
but they are smart enough to know they can make in one night working for me
what they would normally make in two months waitressing.”
of hearing her cell-mate’s justification for her career, Miranda shot to her
feet and went to the other side of the cell.
Had Eddie gotten in touch with her father? What was going on with Stormy and Jane? There were so many unknowns and she was going
crazy sitting there.
the sound of doors opening and keys clanging against metal alerted her that
someone was coming. Peering through the
bars, she stood on her toes and gazed down the corridor. Finally, salvation came in the form of Kenny
thank God,” Miranda said. “You have to
get me out of here!”
he approached her, he paused at Gemma’s cell.
well, well,” the woman replied coyly.
“If it isn’t one of my best customers.”
could you do it?” Kenny asked her. He
was a tall, forty-eight year old African American man with close cropped hair
and weathered skin. He’d not only been
friends with the Blackthornes for years, he was also James’s private retainer
was only delivering a message,” Gemma replied.
not only succeeded in destroying my life with that videotape, but you also
destroyed an innocent woman.”
will pull herself together. She always
does. Besides, don’t expect me to shed a
tear for her. Don’t think I don’t know
it was her who pulled the strings to get me thrown in here.”
words were slow and halting. “I’m going
to do one better on her. I’m going to
destroy you the way you destroyed me.
Only you’re not going to have a damn thing left to cling to.”
by his biting words, she slunk back to the corner of her cell and sat
Kenny approached Miranda, she was looking at him with concern. “Is everything okay?” she asked. “What happened at the wedding?”
not important,” Kenny said. He’d deal
with his broken engagement to Renee soon enough. For right now, it seemed everyone needed
him. “Eddie called me and filled me in
on what happened at the treatment center.”
it bad?” Miranda asked with a cringe.
“Can you get me out?”
bail has been posted. They’re working on
the paperwork,” Kenny told her.
God,” she said with a sigh. “When can I
“Soon. But you’ll still have to answer to the court.
I expect a hearing to be set within a few weeks.”
she said sarcastically and flipped her long dark hair over her shoulder.
I’ve got to go,” Kenny said. “I’ve got
to go upstairs and see Brooke.”
been arrested for attempted murder.”
Descending the spiral staircase of her
penthouse at Moonshadows, Renee DeWitt clung to the banister while teetering on
impossibly high heels. When she reached
the plush carpeting of the living room, she marched toward the television and
turned on the news, fully expecting there to be a scathing report on her
disaster of a wedding day. Luckily, news
of Kyle Fenwick’s stabbing still eclipsed anything that may have transpired
between her and Kenny.
in a lime green satin robe, she poured herself another glass of vodka and
sipped it slowly by the bar. At
forty-eight, Renee DeWitt was a classically beautiful and elegant black woman
who’d had just the right amount of nips and tucks along the way. She’d refused to fall into the same trap that
so many women in L.A.
did. Many of her peers were now barely
recognizable after so many age-defying surgeries. But then again, most of them probably didn’t
get jilted on their wedding day.
her former groom-to-be, was simply not to be trusted. She’d made that mistake once before and the
fact that she nearly did it again caused her a great deal of
embarrassment. She’d actually believed
he’d changed, that the slutty nurses and two-bit hookers were a thing of the
again,” she whispered to herself after taking another sip.
at the door caused her to turn on her heels.
guess just put those over there,” Marilee Wells-Walker said as she led the
wedding planner inside with an armload of discarded presents. “On the table.” She pointed for further clarification.
sight of the wedding gifts arriving brought tears to Renee’s eyes. Quickly, she turned away.
wasn’t sure what to do with these,” Marilee said and took a few steps toward
her. “The police just gave permission
for the club to be reopened and I didn’t want anything to happen to the gifts,
damn, damn,” Renee sobbed into her hands.
stopped in her tracks, turned to the wedding planner and motioned to the
door. Maybe bringing the gifts to her so
soon was a mistake. Quickly, the planner
did as she instructed and ducked back out of the penthouse.
sorry,” Marilee said and continued toward her.
“Are you all right? This has got
to be awful for you.”
shook her head while drying her eyes.
“I’ll get over it. I’ve done it
before and I can do it again. I’m just
glad I found out now as opposed to after we got married.”
led her to the sofa and sat down beside her.
“I thought Kenny had changed,” she said.
“That that gigolo you were married to years ago was a thing of the
past. I guess he fooled everyone.”
he won’t fool me again,” Renee insisted while taking a deep breath. “No man will make a fool of Renee Merteuil
again. I guarantee you that.”
you need anything?” asked Marilee, pushing her fingers through her short blond
hair. She was in her fifties and had an
amazingly athletic body, an asset each of her four husbands had appreciated to
no end. She and Renee had been friends
for years, had entered into countless business deals together, and weathered
many heated arguments. Today, however,
none of that mattered.
I just really want to be alone.”
you sure? Where is Sierra?”
asked her to leave,” Renee explained. “I
mean, don’t get me wrong, she was of great comfort, but I just needed some
space. I think she’s with some
don’t like leaving you alone,” Marilee said and grabbed her hand as they rose
from the sofa.
a dear friend,” Renee said and led her to the door. “But this is really what I need right
now. Besides, you should be at the
hospital checking on Kyle. Has there
been any word on his condition?”
critical,” Marilee said with a sigh. “I
just can’t believe this happened. I was
talking to him minutes before he got hurt.
We argued. I was so horrible to
own son! Now all I can think about is if he
doesn’t make it-“
will,” Renee said. She had to be
positive, if only for her own selfish reasons.
Without Kyle she had no one to manage Moonshadows for her, and she
definitely didn’t have the motivation to do it herself right now.
talk to you soon,” Marilee said, kissing her before ducking back out into the
she’d gone, Renee turned back and looked at the empty apartment. Sinking to the stair leading into the sunken
living room, she hugged her knees to her chest and stared at the floor in a
Kenny had secured Miranda’s release, she met up with him in a private
visitation room upstairs. When the door
opened and the guard led Brooke inside, they both raced toward her.
my God,” Miranda said and drew her into an embrace. “Are you okay?”
responded with a nod. “Has there been
any word on Kyle?”
looked at her in confusion, and then turned to Kenny. She still had no idea what was going on.
critical,” Kenny replied. “The hospital
knows to call me when there’s a change.”
happened?” Miranda asked and led her to a small table in the center of the
such a mess,” Brooke Taylor sobbed. Her
usually vibrant blue eyes and shiny blond hair were dull and listless. Her happy existence had once again been
shattered. But in her thirty-one short
years, she’d come to expect nothing less.
With money and power came problems that she’d never dreamed would be an
issue back when she was merely a sales girl at the makeup counter in a Phoenix shopping mall.
claiming that you tried to kill Kyle in a fit of rage,” Kenny said after
referring to the notes from his meeting with the D.A. “Can you tell me what happened?”
squeezed a few tears from her eyes as Miranda clutched her hand
comfortingly. “Kyle had been getting
these phone calls from an old prison mate named Dan Cody. Mackenzie went to see
him in New York
to find out who he was.”
Stone?” Miranda asked. “What does she
have to with it?”
and Kyle are brother and sister,” Brooke explained. “He lied about being Will Thomerson’s
son. She said he only said that to get
close to me.”
close to you why?” Kenny inquired.
shook her head. “I don’t know.”
what happened after Mackenzie went to see Dan Cody?”
saw a man but his name wasn’t Dan Cody,” Brooke explained with great
difficulty. Desperate to control her
quavering voice, she squeezed Miranda’s hand tighter. “She told met he man she saw in prison was
wide, Miranda looked at Kenny and then back at Brooke. “Ethan?” she exclaimed. “I don’t understand. Ethan’s alive?”
nodded in a fit of tears. “So I went to
confront Kyle about what she told me and he confirmed it. He said he’d been lying about who he was and
that he knew that Ethan was alive.”
did you do?” Miranda asked in a whisper.
with her hands, she replayed their argument for them. “I started screaming at him. He was backing away and putting his hands up
in front of him as I hit him. I pushed
him like this and he slipped. The floors
were slick. When he fell he landed on
one of the lamp centerpieces that had been knocked on the floor.”
so it was an accident,” Miranda said simply.
“Kenny will explain it to the D.A. and they’ll drop the charges.”
may not be that simple,” Kenny cautioned her.
“Mackenzie already filled the police in on her side of the story. They know about Kyle keeping Ethan’s
resurrection a secret. They’re using it
as your motive for the attempted murder.”
insane,” Miranda said. “Brooke wouldn’t
intentionally hurt anyone.”
only one who can corroborate that is Kyle, and so far he hasn’t woken up. No one knows if he even will.”
with defeat, Miranda went for her cell.
“I’m calling Daddy. I can’t
believe he’s not here.”
went to New York,”
Brooke said. “To see Ethan. To see if it was true.”
hasn’t been answering my calls,” Kenny confirmed. “We’re going to have to handle this on our
looked at Brooke and squeezed her hand again.
the circumstances, Brooke managed a smile behind the tears.
life ever turned out the way they planned it, and that was especially true for
Jordan Rydell. In the past few months,
he’d lost more than he ever thought possible.
His second marriage to Suzanne had ended bitterly, he lost a custody
suit over his granddaughter, his daughter was locked away at a mental
institution, and his son was estranged – a painful maneuver designed with the
hopes of teaching him responsibility. To
make matters worse, he’d just learned that financial troubles had cost him his
studio to his biggest rival, Sunset Studios, now at the helm of his conniving
when Alex Reynolds, another ex-wife, called him for help, he was tempted to
tell her to find another sucker. He’d
had enough, and after two failed marriages to her he knew well enough to know
she was in some kind of trouble. But the
distraction got the better of him, so he drove over to her apartment in Beverly Hills and waived
to the door man on his way up the elevator.
was sexy and fit. He had a stocky build,
dirty blond hair and a deep suntan.
Removing his blackout Porsche sunglasses, he knocked on Alex’s door and
waited for her to answer.
God,” she said, drawing him into an embrace.
“I didn’t know who else to call.”
into the apartment, he immediately led her to the sofa. “Alex, I’m not in a great mood today. Brett stole my company, Suzanne up and took
off again, and I still don’t know what the hell I’m going to do about Benji,
were right about R.J.,” she blurted out in an effort to get him to realize how
serious it was. “When you were
suspicious of where I got him. You were
are you talking about?” He looked into
her eyes and could see the seldom-displayed vulnerability in them. Despite her sadness, she was beautiful. Perfect, some would say. Clouds of auburn hair that fell just below
the shoulders, flawless skin, and a body that defied her true age of
forty-eight. Her beauty made her sadness
even more heartbreaking to him.
didn’t get him from Jane Wheeler,” she admitted. “Jane was an actress that I met and paid to
play a role for me.”
his eyes in despair, Jordan
sat down on the ottoman across from her.
“Tell me you didn’t steal that baby, Alex.”
shook her head. “I didn’t. I mean, not exactly. I bought him.”
the black market?” It was worse than he
thought. His instincts told him to get
up and leave. He had enough of his own
problems to worry about. But Alex was a
person he could never turn his back on no matter how hard he tried.
she said, tears running down her face.
had Stormy’s baby and never told anyone.
She showed up here wanting James to
give her money for him, but I intercepted her.”
widened. “And Stormy?”
shook her head. “I never told him.”
Alex,” he said with a defeated sigh and stood up again.
was when he was in Mexico
and we thought he was dead!” she insisted.
“I didn’t think it would hurt anybody.
But then he came home and-“
you couldn’t give R.J. up,” Jordan
finished for her.
nodded. “But now he knows the
truth. Jane told him we lied about her
being the mother and he confronted me.”
told him R.J. is his son?”
had to. Kelly arrived just before he
did. She wanted more money. Two million dollars. When I wouldn’t give it to her she took him
and left. But I knew if I gave her the
money she would come back for more. It
would never end. I couldn’t live that
way so I told him the truth.”
her up by the arms. “You did the right
thing,” he said, calming her hysterics.
were interrupted by the sound of pounding on the door. Exchanging glances with Jordan, she
floated across the room and opened the door.
Stormy nearly knocked her over on his way in.
I’m so glad you came back,” Alex said with relief. “I know you hate me right now but if you just
let me explain-“
don’t care what your explanation is,” he cut her off bitterly. “I told you before you are not my
mother. You’re dead to me.”
don’t you take it easy, Junior?” Jordan said, coming to Alex’s
to hell, Jordan,”
Stormy said dismissively, then looked at Alex again. “I only came here because I need to find
Kelly. She won’t tell me where she is or
where she’s keeping R.J.”
shook her head slowly. “I don’t know, I-“
had to have told you where she was staying,” Stormy said. “How else were you going to get her the money
if you decided to pay her?”
just said she’d call me. I-“
once why don’t you do the right thing?” Stormy interrupted again. “Tell me where she is and maybe all your
lying and scheming, committing Jane to a sanitarium and everything else you’ve
done wouldn’t have been for nothing.”
told you I don’t know!” Alex cried. She
stopped, placed her hands on her mouth and looked at him again. “The last time she was here she was at the
Beverly Hills Hotel. She stayed
there. There’s where I ran into her and
found out about R.J.”
wasting a second, he turned and headed for the door. Alex dashed after him.
me try to help!” she screeched, latching onto his arm. “I can try to fix this!”
he demanded and shoved her away.
“Everything you touch you ruin!
Everything you do is for your own selfish reasons! Why would you do anything to help me?”
I love you! Because you’re my son!”
glared hatefully at her while pulling the door open. “You kept my son from me. For that I will never forgive you. Never.”
he’d gone, Alex collapsed into Jordan’s
arms, burying her face in his chest and crying hysterically.
comforted her as best he could. He was
fully aware of the maniacal way he bounced between women, and Alex’s breakdown
was a prime example. First Suzanne, then
back to Alex, then back to Suzanne. The
only difference was Alex had never hurt him the way Suzanne had. No woman had.
the drive to Death Valley, Suzanne Rogers
thought of nothing but the horrific days she’d spent in Lon Christensen’s
filthy apartment, tied and gagged to the bed.
The fact that her attacker was now in jail was of little comfort to
her. Jordan’s reaction to her ordeal, or
lack thereof, had been nearly as horrifying.
How someone she once loved and shared children with could be so cold was
beyond comprehension. It was clear her
reckless affair with Brett did more damage to their lives than she’d originally
was forty-seven, tall and statuesque with long locks of golden chestnut hair
and emerald green eyes. An ethereal
beauty, as she’d often been called in her acting days by producers who wanted
her for her body and not for her talents.
one man who hadn’t disappointed her and seemed to want nothing from her was
Ross Fuller, her creative writing professor.
He was young – twenty eight or so – and very handsome. Her interest in him was based on something
far different, however. Young and
handsome aside, he was a genuine friend and one who cared a great deal about
her well being. So much so that he
recommended she visit Warren Abbott, the self help guru who he’d studied
with. After finally having enough, she
joined him on the trip.
was dark when they arrived at the compound.
At first look, it appeared that the small community was made up of
several ramshackle cabins and tents. In
the center was a bonfire ablaze with a few people gathered around, some seated
on folding chairs and some on blankets in the dirt.
you Warren was into roughing it,” Ross joked when they got out of the car and
started down the path to the clearing.
you weren’t lying,” Suzanne replied, slightly nervous as she followed him on
the rough terrain. The setup wasn’t what
she’d expected at all. When Ross said compound, she pictured the Kennedy’s. Roughing
it could have meant they frequently ran out of ice. How was she to know they lived like
her trepidation, he placed a comforting hand on her arm. “Don’t worry,” he said. “Just clear your mind. Nobody here will judge you if you don’t judge
took comfort in his words and before she knew it they were standing before the
bonfire, several people falling into formation before them. Smoke filled the clearing, and when it
dissipated she could see a man coming toward her from behind the fire.
made bowing gesturing to those beside him and then turned forward. “Hello Suzanne,” he said in a soft and
soothing voice. “We’ve been expecting
you. I am Warren Abbott, the leader of
Abbott?” Suzanne asked, studying the faces that stared back at her. They were young and old, male and female, and
many different races. Their eyes were
kind and calming, as were Warren’s.
Abbott is the ground you’re standing on,” he said and gestured with his
hands. “The community of empowerment
that I’ve created for people like you.
For people who need guidance
Warren was younger than
she’d expected. Mid-thirties perhaps,
with longish brown hair and deep inset eyes.
He had sharp features and a lanky body sheathed in some kind of
ceremonial robe. But despite his
appearance, he seemed to have a great deal of charisma. She immediately felt drawn to him.
joins us after a great deal of personal strife,” Ross finally spoke up. “She needs our knowledge and our
knowledge and support are what she shall have,” Warren said, suddenly taking her hands and
leading her to the fire.
she knew it, the group of twenty or so had encircled her, joining hands and falling
into some kind of meditation. She felt
slightly awkward standing among them, all eyes on her. Moments later, they were coming toward
in the inner power,” Warren
said, embracing her gently.
he’d moved aside, the others took turns embracing her, each repeating the same
mantra. Triumph in the inner power.
It became ingrained in her mind within minutes, and she couldn’t help
but smile and feel that she was where she needed to be.
the nurse inquired if she was related to the patient, Mackenzie Stone found it
difficult to break the habit of lying.
But then she reminded herself that the secret was out. She’d told Brooke the truth that she and Kyle
were brother and sister. His story about
being Will Thomerson’s son was a carefully executed lie to get close to
her. Now after months of pretending her
little brother was a stranger to her, she could finally stop lying.
I am,” she said and walked into the room filled with the sounds of heart
monitors and beeping machines. The
sterile hospital smell was thick in the air.
Kyle was on the bed, eyes closed, his face pale and there were dark
circles surrounding his eyes.
herself he deserved what he got was harsh, but true nonetheless. The lying, the pretending, the
threatening. It was par for the course
with Kyle, and part of the reason she’d allowed them to drift apart over the
years. What he did to Brooke Taylor
wasn’t her concern, but jeopardizing her relationship with James was something
completely different. James was the
first man she’d cared about in a very long time and she hated lying to
him. For Kyle’s sake, she hoped that
James would forgive her. But he was
still in New York
so it was impossible to gauge his state of mind.
are he would never forgive her, and her leap of faith in attempting an actual
adult relationship would have been in vain.
She’d had men who were interested in her before, and why wouldn’t
they? She was exotically beautiful with
long silky black hair, cat eyes, and a body that rivaled many women in Hollywood, despite the
fact that she was thirty-eight – over the hill by some standards. She could have any man she wanted.
problem was she didn’t want them. James
was the first man to interest her in years and she could very well have blown
the door behind her opened, she turned and saw Marilee Wells-Walker coming inside.
sorry,” Marilee said. “I didn’t know
anyone was in here.”
all right,” Mackenzie replied. She knew
who she was. The woman Kyle allowed to
believe was his mother. She had a mind
to tell her she was being lied to, but realized it wasn’t her place. Who would want to deliver that kind of news? She may be a cold bitch at times, but that
was extreme even for her
change,” Mackenzie told her while looking at her brother.
doctors said they’re hopeful that he’ll recover,” Marilee said. “That’s good news. I’m sorry, how do you know Kyle?”
to leave, she looked at her watch. “You
know, I have to go. I’m late for an
appointment.” On her way to the door,
she placed a hand on her shoulder. “I
hope he does recover.”
she opened the door and started down the hall, her heels tapping loudly on the
tile floor. If and when Kyle did wake
up, she wanted to take comfort in the fact that she’d made peace with their
past. Because she planned on cutting him
out of her life permanently.
and Miranda met up with Stormy at the Beverly Hills Hotel a little after nine
o’clock that night. After Miranda filled
him in on the developments with Brooke, Kyle, and Ethan’s apparent
resurrection, he took a minute to process the information.
don’t believe it,” he said, standing in the lobby with a dazed look on his
face. “How can Ethan be alive?”
shook her head. “We don’t know anything
yet. It may not even be true. Nobody can get a hold of Daddy. Brooke said he would call when he knew
something but so far he hasn’t.”
is Brooke?” Stormy asked. “Can Kenny get
shook her head. “Not until after the
arraignment, and that’s not until tomorrow morning. Unless Kyle wakes up and is able to say what
happened, she could be in a lot of trouble.”
ran a hand over his face, frustrated that everything was going to hell and that
he couldn’t devote his full attention to his family’s problems. He had his own to worry about right now. Namely finding his son.
what are we doing here, anyway?” Eddie asked.
Tall and with a solid build, he was a twenty-eight year old
self-proclaimed goofball who had been best friends with Stormy since the first
for Kelly,” he said and led them to the front desk.
Miranda asked. “She’s here?”
anyway. And she has my son.”
son?” they both asked in unison, jaws agape at the startling revelation.
you ring Kelly Blackthorne’s room, please?” he asked the front desk agent
before turning back to his sister and Eddie.
“She gave him to Alex and she tried passing him off as Jane’s.”
has known R.J. is your son all this time and she never said anything?” Miranda
asked in a shrill voice. “I can’t
can’t?” Stormy asked her incredulously as the agent returned to the desk. “Try Kahoano,” he said, already knowing what
she was going to say. He then began to
spell it for her.
maybe I can,” Miranda continued. “But it
doesn’t make sense that Jane would not tell you R.J. was your son.”
probably why she resisted our getting together in the first place,” Stormy said
as the agent handed him the phone. “She
knew I’d pick up on her guilt.”
shook her head. “No, Jane wouldn’t have
done that. I know she wouldn’t
handed the phone to Eddie who quickly picked up on his plan.
Kahoano, this is Yorik from the front desk,” Eddie said into the phone in a
phony accent. “There’s a problem with
your credit card. We’ll need you to come
down to the lobby and straighten it out immediately. Thank you.”
that, he hung up and smiled. The desk
clerk gave them a look of disapproval while taking the phone back.
Alex fell asleep, Jordan
left her apartment to go to his office at Rydell Productions. He wanted to remove some of his personal
belongings before Brett had a chance to have the place locked down.
through the gate in his Mercedes, he was overwhelmed with feelings of regret
and disappointment. He’d spent years
building the studio into what it was today.
Or what it was before his life was turned upside down and he let it
slowly deteriorate into bankruptcy.
Unlike James, he hadn’t had the financial backing of Jonas Lamont, the
main reason Sunset Studios rocketed to the same ranks as Universal and
Paramount. Always the little engine that
could, Rydell had been a distant follower to the big studios, but always
produced top quality films. The latest, Ocean
Avenue, would sadly never make it to the
made his way through the dark reception area outside his office and paused at
the door, fully aware this was the last time he would ever walk through
it. He heard voices and
laughter coming from inside. Quickly, he
turned the knob and rushed inside.
the hell is going on here?” he demanded.
the room, Brett was standing shirtless and dressed only in a pair of trousers
with the top button undone. In his hand
was a bottle of champagne and a half empty glass. Lying on the sofa was a woman he didn’t recognize, but was stretching languorously in a
skimpy pair of pink panties and matching bra.
is a private party, Jordan,” Brett Armstrong said, facing him to reveal a
tight, sculpted body and six pack abs.
He was thirty-two and boyishly good looking with thick blond hair, blue
eyes, and a permanent suntan.
is my office,” Jordan
lamented. “And do I have to remind you
you’re still a married man? Or are you
forgetting about Heather? My daughter?”
and I were just celebrating,” Brett said, slightly drunk. “Nothing inappropriate, I assure you.”
“Bridgette,” the young woman corrected
him with a playful grin.
Bridgette,” Brett said, filling her glass with more champagne. “Oh, and this is not your office. This studio now belongs to Sunset Studios,
remember? Your flagrant mismanagement of
your assets left it ripe for the taking.”
son of a bitch,” Jordan
said and rushed toward him. He took the
bottle from him and threw it across the room, watching as the pieces of glass
broke into shards. “You think you can
get away with taking my company from me and treating my daughter this way? I was right about you all along. You’re nothing but a conniving playboy out
for his own well being. Did you ever
words cut deep and Brett quickly changed his dismissive attitude. “You don’t know what you’re talking about, so
why don’t you get the hell out of here and accept that you’ve lost!”
menacingly at him. “I’ll leave,” he
said. “Just know that I’m waiting for
the day that my daughter comes home and finds out what kind of a man you really
are. And when that happens, I’ll only be
too happy to help her take everything that’s ever meant anything to you,
starting with Violet.”
that, he turned and stormed out of the office.
After he’d gone, Bridgette got up from the sofa and sidled up beside
Brett. She kissed his neck and worked
her way up to his mouth, allowing her tongue to massage his while unzipping his
was that guy?” she asked, her speech slurred.
Brett said, determined not to let Jordan ruin his good mood.
returned to Alex’s apartment, she was awake and staring at a bottle of vodka on
the bar top.
I left,” he said. “I had something to
take care of. How are you feeling?”
tear fell down her cheek as he approached.
“I don’t have anybody left,” she said softly.
have me,” Jordan
said, taking the bottle and dumping its contents into the sink. “And you don’t need this to get through
opened her hand and revealed two pills nestled in her palm. Her lip quivering, she began sobbing. “I didn’t take them,” she said. “I wanted to but I didn’t.”
going to be fine,” Jordan
said, taking the pills and washing them down the drain. “I’ll help you get through this.”
shook her head in despair. “No, I can’t.
I can’t do it, Jordan.”
to me,” he said and grabbed her by the shoulders. “I will not
let you fall apart again, do you hear me?”
she fell into his arms and sobbed against his chest. Jordan closed his eyes and let out
a deep breath, hoping he had the strength to do as he promised. With everything going wrong with his own
life, he didn’t know how much more he had for Alex.
Blackthorne had the it factor and she
knew it. After a role in the highly
successful film, Angel Assassin 2,
she became a hot commodity. Long black
hair, olive skin and big brown eyes, not to mention a curvaceous figure that
turned heads everywhere she went all got her a long way. She was only twenty-four and had a whole
lifetime of success ahead of her, which was why raising a son at this point in
her life was not an option.
came Neil Winslow, the agent she’d met in New York who promised her fame and
stardom. While Neil was great in bed and
had an enormous dick that never failed to put a smile on her face, he lacked as
an agent. On top of that, he had an
ex-wife who had taken everything but his girthy member. With no money to speak of, she had no choice
but to renegotiate the deal she’d made with Alex Reynolds. The paltry sum of money she’d paid her for
R.J. was long gone. She needed
more. What she didn’t expect was for
Alex to turn her down flat and reveal the truth to Stormy, R.J.’s father.
when the front desk called her about a problem with her credit card, she wasn’t
surprised. Most of her accounts were
maxed out or over the limit. Suddenly
staying at the most expensive hotel in L.A.
didn’t seem like such a good idea.
she got down to the lobby, she went straight to the desk and waited for the
agent to acknowledge her.
had a call from Yorik,” she said impatiently.
she knew what was happening, she was being pulled aside and led into the front
of the Polo Lounge. Standing there was
Stormy, with Miranda and Eddie flanking him on either side. Without wasting a second, she turned and
attempted to run.
even try it,” Miranda said, blocking her path.
that she’d let herself be set up, Kelly turned and scowled at Stormy. “If you try anything I swear I’ll scream.”
ahead,” he said, daring her. “Where is
not getting your hands on my son,” she said defiantly. “So whatever you have in mind, you can forget
my son too,” Stormy argued, taking care not to draw too much attention to their
who?” she asked, folding her arms.
“Maybe he’s not yours. You’re not the only man I was with, you
know. Remember Jared? The photographer I worked for when I first
got to New York?”
wouldn’t have slept with that guy,” Stormy said. “I know you, Kelly. You don’t put out unless it’s for someone
that can get you exactly what you want, and a spread in a dirty magazine isn’t
your thing. Besides, you told my mother
he was mine.”
could have been lying,” she said belligerently.
make me freak out on you, bitch,” Miranda said, stepping toward her and
clenching her fists. “I will take you down.”
it,” Kelly said and then eyed her sister-in-law’s pregnant stomach. “Don’t tell me someone knocked you up?” She looked at Eddie. “I’d be careful. Just because she says it’s yours doesn’t mean
knew there was a chance Miranda’s baby wasn’t his, but he still found himself
brooding over the remark. While forgiving
Miranda was easy, forgetting that she slept with David Jennings wasn’t.
seen R.J.,” Stormy said. “I know he’s my son. Now where is he?”
safe,” she said. “And if you try to take
him from me, I’ll call the police and have your ass arrested.”
according to his birth certificate. I
had them mark it unknown. You have no legal rights to that baby. Your mother has more rights to him than you
mean the little scheme you cooked up so that she could adopt him?” he asked
with a laugh. “That whole thing reeks of
fraud. It’ll never hold up in
court. I’ll get a DNA test if I have to,
will take days,” she said. “By then R.J.
and I will be long gone.”
is you want, Kelly?” Eddie asked.
shrugged and looked at Stormy. “You said
you’d give me two million dollars.
That’s the price. And if you keep
arguing with me and trying to intimidate me, the price will go up.”
unbelievable,” he said with disgust.
that the going rate for babies, Kelly?” Miranda asked.
for yours, I can tell you that,” she snapped.
held his sister back before she could retaliate. “I’ll need some time to pull it
have until tomorrow morning. Otherwise
we’re on a plane back to New York.”
then what are you going to do with him?” Stormy wanted to know. “Give him up for adoption? Sell him on the black market? I guarantee you won’t get two mil that
sure as hell try,” she said. “Tomorrow
morning. Be here at nine o’clock with
looked at Miranda and Eddie, realizing he had no alternative.
don’t want to see you,” Renee said through the partially open door the next
morning in her penthouse at Moonshadows.
don’t do this,” Kenny pleaded with her.
“Can we please just talk? Give me
a chance to explain.”
what?” she hissed. “I know everything I
need to know. You’re still a
philandering scoundrel who can’t be trusted.
Now leave before I call security and have you escorted off the
with defeat, Kenny turned and retreated down the hallway. Inside, Renee leaned against the door and
closed her eyes, fighting the tears.
She’d cried herself to sleep the night before and woke up promising
herself she wouldn’t waste the effort.
Kenny DeWitt simply wasn’t worth it.
started to the breakfast bar to pour herself another cup of coffee when she
heard someone at the door. With a sigh,
she stalked across the room.
I told you-“ she began.
when the door opened and Sierra entered, her face relaxed.
Sierra said. “Everything okay?”
Renee pulled her into an embrace.
“Everything’s fine,” she said.
“How are you, baby? Listen, I’m
so sorry that I sort of forced you out of here last night. This is your home. I shouldn’t have done that.”
okay,” Sierra said. She was a young
African American woman of twenty-one with jet black hair and a light skin. Dressed in designer jeans and a black blazer
over a low cut white blouse, she hovered by the doorway and gave her mother a
squeeze. “I know you needed some time.”
you, Sweetheart. Tell me, what did you
do last night? Did you get together with
shook her head, smiling crookedly while resting her fingertips in her back
pockets. “Not exactly,” she said. “I went to Vegas.”
Renee asked in shock. “My Goodness! Well who did you go with? Not by yourself, I hope. Sierra, I know you’ve spent much of your life
on your own, but-“
I didn’t go by myself,” she said, pulling the door open and standing clear as
Benji walked inside. “I had company.”
smile faded and she leveled her eyes on Benji Rydell. “I see,” she said, her tone dripping with
disapproval. “Well, how did this little
adventure come about?”
was my idea,” Benji spoke up. The
youngest child of Jordan Rydell, he was twenty years old, stood over six feet
tall, and had a lean body. Brown hair
that fell lazily into his dark, brooding eyes, and a mesmerizing grin lent
themselves to his charismatic presence.
it was both of our idea,” Sierra said, unable to control her excitement. “We wanted you to be the first to know. We got married last night.”
expression darkened further. She looked
on as Benji put his arm around her daughter and stood boldly before her.
got married?” she finally asked in disbelief.
Sierra said. “I know it’s sudden, but it
just felt right. After everything that’s
mean after you spent months using drugs and cavorting with that unsavory Hunt
Roberts?” Renee interrupted. “Do you
think getting married is the wisest decision you could have made? Particularly to someone that you barely
been close for some time,” Benji said.
“Since I came back from boarding school.
We just haven’t really been open about it.”
not because this is the first I’ve heard of it.
I knew you were acquaintances,
but exactly how close have you been?”
and I have a mutual respect for one another,” Sierra confirmed. She had predicted that her mother wouldn’t be
thrilled about the news, but to stand there and humiliate her was extreme, even
for her. “He was there for me through
the whole disaster with Hunt.”
aware of that,” Renee said behind pursed lips.
She knew all too well what Benji had done to ensure Hunt was out of the
picture. “I’m just not sure you’re aware
that you’ve jumped from the frying pan into the fire.”
tried to control her erratic breathing.
Taking a deep breath, she gestured into the living room. “Okay, let’s just take a minute and
regroup. Where did this wedding take
a chapel on the strip,” Benji said, smiling down at Sierra who stood at his
side. “It wasn’t elaborate, but we had
everything we needed.”
I know you’re upset about Kenny and that your wedding didn’t happen, but please
try to be happy for me. This is exactly
the direction my life needs right now.”
what about school?” Renee asked, her arms folded primly. “How can you go back to school when you’re
shrugged. “I don’t know that I’m going
back to school. At least not to Sarah
Lawrence. Maybe this summer I’ll take
classes at UCLA.”
Renee scoffed. “Tell me, what vocal
program does UCLA offer, Sierra? Have
you even thought about your future? What
you’re going to do with your life? Where
you’re going to live?”
began forming in her eyes. “No, I
haven’t. I haven’t thought about any of
those things because you’ve always thought of them for me. You decided to leave me with friends and with
nannies my entire childhood. You decided
that I would go to prep school in Paris and college at Oxford.
You decided I wasn’t fit to know the truth about my real parents. So forgive me if I don’t have all the answers
right now. The only thing I know is that
Benji is the only person who is always there for me and doesn’t ask anything in
by her words, Renee fought the tears that threatened her eyes. Swallowing hard, she decided she needed to
choose her next words carefully. If she
said the wrong thing or did anything to hurt her daughter, she knew the risk of
right,” she said. “We have time to figure
all of that out.”
have everything we need,” Benji said, pulling Sierra close.
need somewhere to live,” Renee said, deciding that keeping her daughter close
was the only chance she had of rectifying her mistake. “I assume you’ll want privacy, and since
Benji isn’t welcome at his father’s house anymore, I’ll arrange for you to stay
in the suite downstairs.”
very generous,” Benji said. “But you
don’t have to-“
don’t think you’re in any position to argue.”
rather have one of the cabanas,” Sierra said.
“No offense, mother, but how can we relax if you’re right upstairs all
her lips, Renee smiled in spite of herself.
“Of course. I’ll arrange for it
turned and went to the phone across the room.
She knew she was a hypocrite, but if she didn’t try to keep the peace
with her daughter, she’d never be able to get her to see what a mistake she was
was no way she was going to allow her to stay married to Benji Rydell.
stretched out on the bed in her room at the Beverly Hills Hotel. She got up, and after tying a robe around her
petite waist, went to check on R.J. who slept peacefully in his crib.
sound of the shower cutting off brought her attention across the room where
Neil Winslow was emerging from the bathroom.
She rolled her eyes, knowing by the look in his eyes that he had sex on
his mind. When didn’t he?
wake him up,” Neil said and led her to the bed.
“That kid’s been screaming his head off since last night. I got no sleep and we haven’t had sex in two
days. I gotta get it while I can.”
a sock on that thing,” she said with a grimace and pushed him away. “I’ve only got a few minutes to spend with
him and I want to take advantage of it.”
Neil asked crossly. He was a balding man
of forty-seven with a perverted smile and an inflated ego. Getting involved
with Kelly Blackthorne had been the best and worst thing to happen to him in
years. “You don’t care about that kid. I thought money was what you were after.”
can still feel something when I’m about to walk away from him,” she
kid’s gotta be worth more than two million dollars,” Neil said and flopped
naked onto the bed. “These are Hollywood people.
They make two million dollars off of one theatre’s ticket sales. I say we go for at least double that.”
we?” she demanded crossly. “You were the one who couldn’t get me a
single job. Then you had to go and let
your ex take everything you had, which wasn’t
much to begin with. You want more money,
go get your own kid and try to sell him.”
a pain in the ass,” Neil said, grabbing her arm and pulling her on top of
him. “Now take this robe off and give me
a good morning.”
yourself a good morning,” she said, twisting off of him and storming into the
arraignment took less than five minutes.
After Kenny presented her case to the judge, he deemed her fit to be
released on bail, with a strong word of caution that things could have been
simplified had she not ran from the scene.
The D.A. refused to drop the charge of attempted murder and a
preliminary hearing was set for the following week.
happens now?” Brooke asked when Kenny and Miranda led her out of the
you go home and hope that Kyle makes it through another day,” Kenny said, his
mind still back on his failed attempt at talking to Renee. It was a wonder he was able to function as a
lawyer at all. “And that if he wakes up
he’ll corroborate your story that he fell during your struggle.”
if he doesn’t wake up?” Miranda asked.
sighed. “Then we go to trial and it’s up
to a jury to decide.”
ran her fingers through her hair. “I
can’t think about that right now. I need
to call James. I need to know what he’s
found out about Ethan.”
my cell,” Miranda said and handed her Droid to her. She waited nervously while
she made the call.
a few rings, Brooke’s face lit up.
“James? It’s me. What’s going on? Are you still in New York?”
clung to Kenny, anxiously gauging Brooke’s facial expressions as she spoke to
her father. The mere thought of Ethan
being alive and well was enough to make all of their problems seem
minute later, she hung up, tears streaming down her face.
did he say?” Miranda asked. “Brooke?”
nodded, placing her hands over her mouth.
“He’s alive,” she said. “James
saw him. Ethan is alive.”
Miranda pulled her into an embrace and they laughed happily.
James hung up his cell phone, he went back inside the office of the public
defender who stood impatiently waiting.
“Sorry, I had to take that.”
Mr. Blackthorne,” the man said, shuffling papers on his desk and filing them
into a worn leather attaché case. “I
told you I’m due in court in five minutes.
I don’t know what else I can tell you.”
can tell me what my nephew is doing in prison,” James said. “It’s that simple.”
don’t you ask your nephew?”
won’t talk to me. All I know is a year
and a half ago we thought he died in an earthquake. Now I find out he’s been here in New York this whole
time. All I need from you is to fill in
the blanks for me. Do you even remember
the man said. When he saw the
exasperated look on James’s face, he sighed and went to a file cabinet across
the room. “You said your nephew’s name
“Yes. Ethan Blackthorne.”
“We knew him as Dan Cody. That’s the name he was using when they
brought him in.”
assure you that is not his name,”
may be, but he had identification stating it is.”
remark made no sense to James. “How
long has he been at the prison?” he demanded.
months. He’s serving a sentence of three
to five years.”
raked his fingers through his hair and paced the office. “Three to five years for what? My nephew is the most morally centered person
I’ve ever known. I doubt very much that
whatever he did to get himself thrown in prison was that serious.”
that to his wife,” the public defender said and handed James a picture of a
wife?” James asked with a frown, staring with confusion at the photograph.
Stormy brought Eddie with him to meet Kelly at
the Beverly Hills Hotel. He needed all
the backup he could get, and he trusted Eddie with anything. If Kelly tried to pull a fast one on him,
they’d be one step ahead of her.
managed to get a million from his accounts.
The other million was going to take a day or so. He’d forgotten how hard it was to get your
hands on that much money. The
last time he had the occasion to do so was years ago when he started Good Times
Records and needed an overflow of capitol.
if she won’t go for half?” Eddie asked as they waited on a bench in the
lounge with a clear view of the elevator.
doesn’t have a choice,” Stormy said.
“It’s half now and half later or she walks away with no money and a baby
she doesn’t want.”
later, they saw the elevator doors open and Kelly emerge alone. R.J. was nowhere in sight. Quickly, they got up and intercepted her a
few feet away.
is he?” Stormy demanded with hostility.
“Relax. He’s upstairs in the room. I’m not going to bring him down here and let
you run off with him before paying me.”
got the money,” Stormy said and lifted a small duffel bag. “Now go get my son or the deal is off.”
me see,” she said insistently.
Stormy opened the bag and showed her the bundles of cash.
kind of light for two million.”
is half,” he said. “The other half will
take a day or so.”
looked at him with sudden alarm. “Forget
it. The deal was two million up front or
I leave with R.J.” She began to turn
and walk away when Stormy ran and grabbed her arm.
you leave now you get nothing,” he said.
“And I drag your ass to court to prove he’s my son and that you’re a
unfit mother. So what’s it going to be,
Kelly? Half or nothing?”
angrily at him, she realized she had no choice but to go along with his
terms. “Come on,” she said and led them
to the elevator.
ride up to her small room was enveloped in silence. Once
when Kelly looked at Stormy he reacted by rolling his
eyes with disgust and looking away. When they reached the door she removed a key
card from her back pocket and opened it slowly.
me the money,” she said before they went inside.
are such a whore,” Stormy groaned, thrusting the bag at her. “I hate to say it, but my family was right
his comment, she took the bag and led them inside. “We’re here,” she called out, making her way
into the living area.
are you talking to?” Stormy asked. “Are
you not alone?”
agent came with me,” she said.
agent?” he asked with a roll of his eyes.
“I’ve heard that before.”
she called out, ducking into the bedroom and scouting about.
is he?” Stormy demanded. “Where is
my God,” Kelly said, emerging from the bedroom with a piece of paper clutched
in her hand. “He took him.”
“What?” He snatched the note from her and read it
aloud. “The price went up. I’ll be in
bastard,” Kelly hissed.
flaring, Stormy grabbed the bag of money from her and pulled her into the
bedroom, throwing her onto the unmade bed.
Eddie went back into the hall to see if the
agent or R.J. were still nearby.
did he take him?” Stormy demanded.
fucking lie to me, Kelly! I know you’re
in on this! Now tell me where he took my
told you I don’t know!” she screamed.
his fists in anger, Stormy turned and tried to get control of his
emotions. “If you’re lying to me, I
swear to God I’ll-“
no sign of them,” Eddie said when he returned to the room. “R.J.’s gone.”
screamed in anger and punched a hole in the bedroom door. How could this have happened? How could he have lost his son again?
to get to the bottom of Ethan's prison sentence. Kyle's
fate is revealed. Mackenzie hopes for another
chance with James.
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