of telephone poles and
the swaying of power lines loomed ominously in the distance along the long
stretch of highway. He turned his eyes
to the rearview mirror and surveyed the devastation coming his way. His car began vibrating softly, its low hum
breaking the eerie silence. Within
seconds, the entire ground was shaking beneath him. The rumble of the quake exploded like gunfire
through his ears. He quickly stopped and
turned around in his seat.
Blackthorne was a mile from Hotel Terranova and had no idea if Brooke or the
rest of his family were safe back at Stormy’s wedding. Was it better to be inside or outside during
an earthquake? He couldn’t
remember. All he could think about right
now was avoiding colliding into obstacles in his path.
object began traveling toward him from behind.
He squinted, trying to get a closer look. By the time he realized what was happening,
it was too late. The ground opened up,
forming a gap in the road that got wider the farther it traveled. Before he could maneuver to safety, his car
collapsed inside the sinkhole. He
screamed for help, pounding on the car windows and trying to get them to open,
but realizing all too quickly that he was trapped, slowly becoming buried
struggled with the car door, desperate to open it enough to crawl through and
lift himself back to the surface. He
could smell gasoline leaking from the tank which only instilled further panic.
me!” he screamed, pounding on the roof of the car as the engine caught fire and
the interior filled with smoke.
“Someone help me!”
car shifted, rocking on its wheels as it settled into the ground. Large pieces of earth fell onto the car and
caused his head to slam against the steering wheel with mind blowing
force. For a few moments he lost
consciousness, his head bleeding from the crushing blow.
he heard the pounding and the yelling from above. He coughed uncontrollably as the interior
filled with smoke and the engine continued to burn. More pounding. He could almost hear someone above him. It sounded like a man.
came the glass that shattered from the sunroof above his head. He closed his eyes to shield them from the
debris. A shovel came down inches from
his head. Before he knew what was
happening, he was being pulled up through the sunroof, through the thick dirt
and rubble, and safely onto the road.
a few moments he laid coughing and sputtering, his head bleeding and his skin
covered in dirt and soot. He wondered
how hard he’d hit his head because he could barely focus his eyes. But moments later, when he finally opened
them and saw the man standing above him, the late afternoon sun peering just
behind, he realized he’d miraculously been saved.
coming!” the man was yelling. “It’s
coming, I’m telling you! I told the
others but they didn’t listen! But it’s
Ethan mumbled, still unable to focus. All he could make out was the outline of
the portly man. He saw long, straggly
hair and an unkempt beard, but details came in and out of focus. “Please, help me. My head-“
gotta get outta here!” the man continued, lifting Ethan up and hoisting one of
his arms over his shoulder. “This is
just the beginning!”
to resist, Ethan found himself being loaded into the front seat of an old beat
up pick-up truck idling nearby. He lay
against the window with exhaustion, still coughing, his head feeling like it
would explode. The man climbed into the
drivers seat and slammed his foot onto the gas, propelling them immediately
said it was gonna happen in 2012, but it’s here. It’s happening.”
could barely hear him. He stared at an
old, worn copy of The Great Gatsby
wedged between the dash and the windshield.
He couldn’t concentrate on anything else.
naysayers,” the man went on. “Yep. It’s the Apocalypse. Armageddon!
First come the earthquakes, then the fires, then the floods. Pretty soon the whole damn world is nothing
but a big fire ball!”
Ethan mumbled, slowly losing consciousness.
you should sleep while you can,” the man said as the truck barreled down the
highway, rocking up and down on its well worn shocks. “We’ve got a long drive ahead of us. Long drive to safety.”
the last thing Ethan saw was the book slide across the dash and ricochet onto
the floor between the seats. His eyes
fluttered closed and everything went black.
sun peeking over the horizon was the first thing Ethan saw when he awoke. The next thing was a copy of The Great Gatsby that sat between the
seats of the old truck, which seemed to be stationary. His head ached and he could feel dried blood
matted to his forehead and the hair that lined his right temple. Wincing, he went to touch the wound and
cringed when it sent pain drilling through his skull.
but unable to move very quickly, he looked around at his surroundings. He was in an old truck parked at a gas
station somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Nothing looked familiar to him. The driver’s side door opened and the old man
climbed inside with a bag, regarding him carefully.
awake,” he said. “Thought you were a
goner for a while. Slept nearly twenty
frowned and craned his stiff neck.
“Twenty hours?” he asked. “Where
80 near North Platte,”
the old man replied and pulled two sodas from his bag. He opened the first and handed it to
Ethan. “Here, drink this. I’ve got sandwiches too. You must be starved.”
looked at the drink and nodded. “Yeah, I
figure we’ll be in New York
by tomorrow night if we keep going at this rate. I got a paper to see if they’ve been hit
yet. Doesn’t look like they have. So far California’s
the only casualty. But it’s coming. Trust in that,
“New York?” Ethan
where I live,” the man said while cramming a cold Chuckwagen in his mouth. “Got a bomb
shelter we can hide out in. It’s stocked with supplies. We should be good for a few weeks while we
wait it out. I’m Emmett, by the
way. Emmett Lawson.”
noticed he was extending his hand to him so he shook it tentatively. He looked at the man, tall and overweight
with a brownish red beard and hair that was covered by a Yankees ball cap. He wore a pair of stained overalls that
seemed to be busting at the seams.
a few moments of silence, Emmett looked at him.
“What’s your name, partner?”
looked down. He was dressed in a black
tuxedo, now stained with dirt, soot and blood.
He vaguely remembered the old man pulling him from a car, and the more
he thought about it, the further away the images seemed to get.
got a name, ain’t ya?” Emmett repeated, then bit off another piece of his
looked down at the copy of The Great
Gatsby. He remembered reading
it. Remembered the characters, the
story, the parts he liked and the parts he didn’t like. So if he remembered all of that, why couldn’t
he remember his own name? Or how he came
to be dressed in a tuxedo? Or where he
feelin’ okay, buddy? That bump on your
head looks pretty bad.”
blurted out the first thing he could think of.
“Dan,” he replied, realizing he needed to come up with a name, and one
that belonged to a character from The Great Gatsby was the only
one he could think of. “Dan Cody.”
to meet you, Dan Cody,” Emmett said. “So
how’d you happen to be on that road when that sinkhole opened? Headed somewhere?”
don’t know,” Ethan replied and shook his head in confusion.
regarded him suspiciously. “Don’t know,
huh? What kind of answer is that?”
took a drink of the soda. It was
sickeningly sweet but the moisture felt good on his lips and throat. “I don’t know.”
“Hmmm. Well, we better get moving. Got about twelve hours of sunlight. Want to get as far away from the west as we
can before more devastation hits.”
wasn’t sure what he was talking about.
At first listen, he sounded crazy.
He didn’t have to remember anything about his life to know that much.
. . . . . . .
signs told him they were somewhere in Indiana
when the sun went down that night. Ethan
had begun to feel a little better, especially after washing up in a bathroom at
a small gas station off the interstate.
His head still hurt, mainly from the struggle to remember even the
smallest details of how he’d ended up there.
The more he concentrated, the less he remembered. He knew Emmett had picked him up in Los Angeles, but aside
from that he knew nothing.
were you doing in California if you live in New York?” he asked
Emmett after they’d been driving in silence for a while.
up supplies,” he told him, steering the old truck through the night.
kind of supplies?”
you mind that,” was the only answer Emmett offered. “I was headed out of town and that’s when I
spotted you. Couldn’t believe my eyes
when that sinkhole opened up and swallowed you whole. Thought you were a goner.”
appreciate you coming back for me,” Ethan said, realizing he’d never thanked
the crazy old man for saving his life.
I heard you screaming for help I knew you were a kindred spirit,” Emmett said
while chewing on a toothpick. “I could
tell when I pulled you out of there you knew it was the apocalypse. A lost soul.
Figured we could do right by each other if I brought you along with
decided to humor him rather than doubt his eccentric beliefs. “So you believe the earthquake was the start
of the end of the world?”
looked at him with certainty. “I don’t
just believe it, son, I damn well know
it. Mayans predicted it. So did that Nostradamus fella. You seen those documentarian things they did
on him on those cable channels? Creepy
as shit. Soon as everyone started
talking about it I got to planning.
Turned my old cellar into a shelter.”
you think we’d have heard if there was anything else happening? Earthquakes and things like that?”
could be down,” Emmett said with a shrug.
“Might do us good if you call home and check things out. Next time we stop you see if the lines are
wouldn’t know who to call,” Ethan said while looking out the window.
about that name you were mumbling before?” asked Emmett. “Pond or River or something…”
mumbled a name?”
before you passed out. Oh, I know, it
was Brooke. She your old lady?”
struggled to remember but grew frustrated when he couldn’t. He shook his head. “I don’t know. Maybe.”
shook his head and sighed. “Well,
chances are she’s with the rest of California
floating around in the Pacific Ocean
anyway. If she did survive the quake,
the fires and the floods will kill her.
Hell, the whole west coast is probably under water by now.”
injury or not, Ethan could still tell the man had a few screws loose. His own safety didn’t appear to be
threatened, however, so he decided to overlook it. What alternative did he have, anyway? He had nowhere to go. He wouldn’t know where home was if he
did. He had no ID and nothing in his
pockets that was of any use. Right now,
Emmett Lawson was all he had.
. . . . . . .
day later they had reached New York. Ethan watched out the window of the truck as
they meandered along winding roads surrounded by trees and brush. Judging from their surroundings, he could
tell they were far from any major cities.
They passed a few rundown houses set back off the main road, leading him
to believe they were in a fairly unpopulated region. He didn’t know New York very well so it was impossible to
tell where they were exactly.
A flurry of
activity began when they reached a house nestled at the end of the road. Emmett cut the engine and jumped out of the
truck in one fluid movement.
Immediately, he began removing items from the bed of the truck and
carrying them to the side of the ramshackle house.
“Sophie!” he called
as he worked. “Sophie, get out here!”
tentatively out of the truck and surveyed his surroundings. At that moment, the rusted screen door of the
old clapboard house swung open and a pretty girl who looked to be in her mid
twenties stepped outside. Ethan noticed
her immediately. She was small and
petite with short blond hair and an innocent face. When their eyes met he managed a faint smile
which she returned before rushing off to assist Emmett.
“Help me unload
this stuff and then we should get down to the bunker,” he said, frantically
carrying the boxes from the bed of the truck.
“The bunker?” the
girl, Sophie said in a panic. “What
Emmett stopped only
long enough to look at her with fear in his eyes. “It’s bad,” he said. “Earthquake out in California hit as I was leaving. Should be more headed this way soon. We’ll take what we can down there today. Rest might have to stay out here. Ain’t much room with the three of us.”
Sophie assisted him
in the unloading, watching as Ethan joined in to help. He moved a box to the side of the house and
paused when he began to feel light headed.
His head was better, but the sudden movement hit him like a ton of
“Are you okay?”
Sophie asked and ran to catch him before he fell.
Ethan nodded while
trying to maintain his balance. “Yeah, I think so.”
“He was hurt in the
quake,” Emmett said and joined them.
“This is Dan Cody. My daughter,
Sophie. We should get you inside and
into bed. Sophie, help him inside while
I finish up here.”
She did as her
father instructed, allowing Ethan to lean on her as she maneuvered him inside
the house. They went through a kitchen
and into a dark living area with several antique televisions placed throughout. On a shelf against the wall was a line of
transistor radios. He barely had time to
take everything in before she was laying him on a worn textured sofa.
you,” Ethan said. As soon as he turned
his head, she was gone. When she returned
moments later she had a cold cloth that she laid on his forehead.
just take it easy,” she said, kneeling down beside him. “You’ve had a long drive.”
bunker?” he began to ask.
being cautious,” she told him, although he got the feeling she wanted to say
more. “It won’t be that bad.”
decided to trust her. What other choice
did he have?
. . . . . . .
first night in the bunker was easy because Ethan slept soundly until the next
morning. When he awoke, he was more
clear headed than he had been in days.
His name and other details of his life, however, were still a mystery to
bunker was an old converted cellar with cement poured walls and three cots
positioned against the walls. They used
candles and lanterns to see by, and a sterno to heat water for cleaning up and
making coffee. A smattering of
dehydrated foods with Property of NASA
written on the labels filled several of the boxes Emmett had carried down from
the truck. There was a working toilet
and sink with running water, but nothing to heat it with but the sterno.
of decade old magazines and newspapers were piled around the room, and a
transistor radio provided news updates from a local AM radio station. Despite his memory loss, Ethan still recognized
that Emmett and his daughter hadn’t kept up with the times. Maybe living out in the middle of the
wilderness was a sign that they’d defected from society.
second night in the bunker while Emmett slept, Ethan decided to question
Sophie. In the dark with only a single
candle to see by, they whispered from their cots.
he still think something else is going to happen?” Ethan asked. “The earthquake was days ago, and three
thousand miles away. There’s been
nothing on the news-“
does this any time there’s a natural disaster,” Sophie whispered. “I know you must be thinking we’re
checked to make sure he was still asleep, then got up and went to Ethan’s cot
and knelt down beside him. “Since my
mother died his mind just isn’t what it used to be. Spends all his time thinking about the end of
the world. Lost his job with the
government and now we live on his pension.”
you don’t think the world is coming to an end?” Ethan asked.
smiled and shook her head. “In a couple
days he’ll decide it’s safe and we’ll go back up to the house. It’s just better if he decides on his own
rather than me telling him. He doesn’t
like that much.”
smiled with a sense of relief. At least
he wasn’t going to be stuck in a cramped cellar for the next few weeks.
just take care of him, you know?” Sophie continued. “Nobody else will.”
a good daughter,” Ethan said in admiration.
“He’s lucky to have you.”
into his eyes, she paused for a few awkward seconds before flying back to her
cot. “Better get some sleep. He’ll be up listening to the news in a few
Ethan said and nestled his head down against the flat pillow. “Good night.”
night, Dan,” she said.
. . . . . . .
as Sophie had predicted, by the third day in seclusion Emmett decided it was
time to leave the bunker. There had been
no incidents since the big earthquake, so he conceded that this time it was an
isolated incident. His obsession over
the eventual end of the world, however, didn’t waver. While Sophie made breakfast, Emmett sat the
kitchen table reading an encyclopedia from 1979. He concentrated on every word and jotted
things down in a spiral bound tablet of graph paper. When he got up to check something on a map
that he’d taped to the wall, Ethan studied his notes. Emmett’s handwriting was precise and as neat
as any he’d ever seen. More surprising
than that were the series of formulas and equations he’d written all over the
page. He was no mathematician, but it
appeared legitimate. He decided to try
to get more information about the crazy old man.
what kind of work did you do for the government, Emmett?” Ethan asked as he
finished his plate of steak and eggs.
that?” he mumbled without looking up from the book. Sophie turned from the sink and flashed him a
you worked for the government,” Ethan repeated, ignoring the warning he got
from Sophie. “What did you do?”
classified,” he replied. In one quick
movement, he slid the tablet between the pages of the encyclopedia and closed
it. “Think you’re up to helping out
outside today, Dan? Winter’s coming and
that snow fence needs repaired.”
of course,” Ethan told him. “I owe you
so much for saving my life.”
need your first born or anything,” Emmett said, rising from the table and
grabbing his jacket from the hook by the door.
“Just need you to hammer a few nails.”
grinned and flashed Sophie a look after Emmett left the house. “Is there something I should know?”
do you mean?” she asked.
on,” he said. “Your father may be a
little out there but he’s obviously a very intelligent man. And they don’t sell those NASA supplies at
dried her hands on a towel and shook her head.
“You’d be wise not to ask him again.
Daddy doesn’t like to talk about it.”
it was none of his business, Ethan stood up and headed for the door, stopping
and flashing her a smile before he left.
. . . . . . .
perimeter of the house was shrouded in trees, most dead and rotted, so Ethan
suggested they cut them down. After a
great deal of protest, Emmett grudgingly agreed. They spent several weeks going through the
painstaking effort of cutting them down, chopping the branches into mulch, and
loading compost at the back property line.
returned home one day from the market with two paper bags full of
groceries. As she climbed out of the
truck, she lifted the bags into her arms and Ethan came running over to assist.
me get those,” he said, sweaty and shirtless and arm muscles bulging.
quietly submitted to his offer to help, blushing as she watched him
effortlessly lift the bags from her.
When their skin touched, she let out a tiny gasp of excitement and
secretly hoped he hadn’t noticed. Her
eyes didn’t move from his strong physique and his tanned skin. Being around him made her weak in the knees. She’d grown quite fond of him in the weeks
he’d been there. She couldn’t remember
the last time she’d felt these feelings take over.
she followed him to the old screen door, clumsily opening it and waiting for
him to go inside before following. Once
in the kitchen, he set the bags on the counter and turned toward her.
pretty hot out,” he said.
nodded awkwardly, staring at his body for a few moments until she forced
herself to turn away. “I should get you
some lemonade,” she said and hurried to the refrigerator. “Made it fresh this morning.”
Ethan said and wiped his forehead with the back of his dirty hand. “I could use a break.”
Daddy?” She busied herself with pouring
a glass of cold lemonade, her hand trembling.
at the compost,” he replied, graciously accepting the glass from her and taking
a few heaping gulps. Afterward, he
looked at the bags. “Do you need any
help with these?”
I’ve got it,” she said. “Sit down and
relax for a few minutes.”
did as she suggested, watching her hurriedly place the groceries in their
proper places. “You like living out
here all alone?”
not alone,” she said. “I have
laughed. “I mean no one else
around. Nearest house is a mile
away. It’s forty-five minutes to the
nearest store. Must get kinda
shrugged and pulled a bottle of milk from the bag. “I get used to it. I have my dolls.”
stopped what she was doing and moved to the doorway. “I’ll show you.”
went down the hall and into a room beside the kitchen. Ethan followed her inside where there were
shelves attached to the wall with dozens of dolls propped against it. On a table in the center of the room was
sewing machine and piles of fabric.
made these?" he asked, walking up and examining one of the dolls. A porcelain-faced figure with blond hair and
blushed and nodded with a smile.
really good. I always wondered what was
in this room. Do you sell them?”
she replied, picking up “There’s a
store up in town that buys them. Usually
around the holidays. I don’t get much
for them but it helps out with what the government gives us.”
into the doll’s eyes, Ethan got a strange feeling. Almost like a déjà vu, though he didn’t know
why. It was just a doll.
Sophie asked when she noticed the faraway look in his eyes. “Something wrong?”
set the doll back on the shelf and turned to her. “No. I
guess not.” As he turned, he bumped
into her and knocked a box of plastic eyeballs onto the floor. “I’m
sorry. I feel like a bull in a china
laughed and knelt down to assist him.
“It’s okay. Really, I’ll just-“
hands touched and they both stopped and looked into each other’s eyes. The proximity of their bodies propelled him forward
and he kissed her on the lips. To him,
it seemed like a natural progression.
They’d been living in the same house for weeks. They’d shared thoughts and feelings and had
an obvious attraction to one another. He
hoped that she wasn’t offended by his actions.
When she returned the kiss, going as far as to place her hand on the
back of his head, he soon realized she wasn’t.
rose to their feet but their lips never parted.
Sophie moved closer to him, letting her hands move across his chest and
arms as they kissed passionately. The
sound of the front door opening and closing didn’t immediately register with
either of them, but when Emmett’s voice called out from the hallway they
quickly pulled away from one another.
going on?” Emmett asked when he appeared in the doorway.
was just showing Dan my dolls,” Sophie replied while grinning knowingly at
really amazing,” Ethan said, playing along, though wanted nothing more than to
continue where they’d been interrupted.
see,” Emmett said gruffly. “Well, when
you’re done playing with dolls I could use some help getting this stump out of
stifled a giggle after her father left.
Ethan placed a hand on hers and gave her a lingering stare before
leaving. When he’d gone, she continued
picking up the plastic eyeballs, staring dreamily toward the doorway.
. . . . . . .
the next several weeks, they would wait for Emmett to go to bed, which was
usually by nine o’clock, and then Sophie would creep into Ethan’s room and they
would spend hours making love and holding each other. Their first night together was amazing,
partly because Sophie had been a virgin up until then and being with a man was
new to her. She’d never felt such
pleasure in her life and she’d come to look forward to their secret meetings
more than anything.
their relationship from Emmett became increasingly difficult, but Ethan
insisted on it. The old man had taken
him in, given him a place to live and food to eat, and sleeping with his
daughter was no way to repay him. Sophie
cold afternoon in the spring while Emmett was in town gathering supplies, Ethan
and Sophie went for a walk. They held
hands and talked and when Sophie began to shiver from the cold, he put his arm
it bother you that you can’t remember?” she asked him.
don’t think about it anymore, really,” he replied. “Does it bother you?”
shrugged. “No. I just worry that one
day all of this will come to an end.”
you had a life before,” she reasoned.
“People who cared about you. A
family. A woman maybe. What if you start to remember her and you
love being with you,” he said. “Can’t
that be enough?”
is,” she said and stopped alongside the road.
“I just worry about what might happen, that’s all.”
in hopes of putting her fears at ease, he pulled her into an embrace. “I can’t say what will happen, but right now
I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be.”
he replied and kissed her.
stood alongside the road for several minutes, wrapped in each others arms and
blocking out everything around them.
When Emmett drove by in his pickup truck and saw them holding each other,
neither of them noticed.
. . . . . . .
they returned from their walk, they resumed their usual pretense and walked
inside the house. Emmett was sitting at
the kitchen table with a sour look on his face and looked up when they entered.
when did you get home?” Sophie asked.
minutes ago,” he said. “I got your
newspapers. They’re back in your doll
Daddy,” she said. “I guess I better
start making lunch. What are you hungry
can wait,” Emmett replied gruffly. “I
need to talk to Dan in private for a minute.
Can you leave us?”
she walked out of the kitchen and down the hall to her doll room. Once she was out of earshot, Ethan went to
sit down at the table.
on your mind, Emmett?”
question was answered by the barrel of a shotgun that Emmett drew from under
the table and pointed straight at him.
Eyes wide, he swallowed hard and immediately began sweating.
long you been groping my daughter?” Emmett asked plainly.
the polite good ol’ boy routine. I saw
you on the side of the road. Your tongue
was so far down her throat I’m surprised she didn’t choke. How long this been going on?”
swallowed hard. This was exactly what he
didn’t want to happen. “A few months,”
he replied, deciding the truth was his only recourse.
let me get this straight,” Emmett said, jabbing a toothpick beneath a
fingernail to clean it, all the while the shotgun resting on his leg crossed
beneath the table. “You’ve been
sleeping with my daughter under my roof all this time?”
didn’t mean to disrespect you, Emmett,” Ethan said nervously. “Honestly.
I just…it just happened.”
“Sophie. Do you love her? You’re sleeping with her, ain’t ya? Gotta mean you love her.”
I suppose I do.”
a few moments of silence, Emmett stood up from the table and hoisted the
shotgun over his shoulder. Then in one swift movement, he put an arm
around him and drew him into a bear hug.
Terrified at first, Ethan analyzed his actions and then finally began to
be damned,” Emmett said with a big hearty laugh. “Well this is just the best news I could had
gotten. My baby girl’s finally landed
herself a man.”
Ethan stepped back, still a little nervous.
“Really?” he asked. “It’s okay
I’m not happy with the way you was sneaking around behind my back, but I guess
I can overlook it if you really do have good intentions where my daughter is
concerned. I reckon you’re about the
best thing to happen to her since she was born.”
you,” Ethan said, relieved.
calls for a shot of whiskey,” Emmett said and went to the cabinet where he
produced a bottle of Wild Turkey. “You
do shoot whiskey, don’t you?”
nodded. “Yeah, sure.”
the hall, Sophie stood in the doorway and smiled. She knew her father was protective of her,
and was overjoyed that he’d accepted her relationship with Dan. At least now they didn’t have to sneak
around. One less thing she’d have to worry
about, she decided.
she went to the worktable in the middle of the room where several new dolls
were lined up in rows. She took the first stack of old newspapers her father
had gotten from town and started packing them securely in a box. A new store in the next town had taken an
interest in them and wanted to sell some, so packing them safely for the trip
there was first on her list of priorities.
With any luck, she’d make enough money to get them out of that little
town and into a decent house. She also
had dreams of getting her father the help he needed to return his mind to what
it once was.
along softly, she placed each doll in the makeshift padding and then gently
secured them inside the box. The next
stack of newspapers she grabbed from the pile boasted a picture that caught her
eye. She paused, unfolded the paper and
began trembling as the words came into focus.
article was tucked into the corner of the local newspaper and was dated
November of the previous year. She read
the headline first and then proceeded to the brief story.
Heir to Hollywood Studio Dies in California Quake
the headline was a picture of Dan, looking well groomed and smiling for a
publicity photo. The text of the article
referred to him as Ethan Blackthorne, the son of a Broadway producer and nephew
of a Hollywood film mogul. It went on to report that he’d been at a
wedding for his cousin when the earthquake hit, and that he had a son and a
fiancé who were mourning his death.
she whispered to herself, tracing her finger down to a second photo, this one
of a beautiful blond woman. “Oh my
immediately set in. Never in a million
years did she think Dan Cody, the man she’d grown to love more than anything,
was from a wealthy family in Hollywood, with a son and a woman he was about to
marry before the earthquake happened.
worst fears began to be realized. As
soon as Dan…or Ethan, saw this, he would know who he was and where he came
from. He would be gone in a flash, back
never to be heard from by her again. A
tear slowly formed in her eyes.
called a voice from the doorway.
looked up when Ethan entered, a bright smile on his face. “No,” she said, quickly turning the paper
over onto the table. “How did it go with
news,” he said, walking up and placing his hands on her petite waist. “He gave us his blessing. He’s actually thrilled that we’re
together. Isn’t that wonderful?”
smiled. “Yes, it’s wonderful,” she said in a daze as he pulled her into an
embrace. Tears flowed down her face until she began sobbing.
what is it?” he asked. “I thought this
would make you happy. We don’t have to
sneak around anymore.”
into his eyes, she realized she couldn’t let him go. The past few months had been the happiest she’d
been in her whole life. How could she
give that up? Send him back to a woman
he didn’t even remember? A son he
wouldn’t even know if he ran into him on the street?
just really happy,” she said and wiped her eyes.
kissed her softly on the lips and went back to the doorway. “I’m gonna go help you dad with
something. We have to celebrate
she said. When he’d gone, she looked at
the newspaper again and quickly folded it into a neat square. Turning, she tucked it securely beneath the
base of one of her dolls.
. . . . . . .
late that summer, wedding plans were well underway. It was to be a very simple affair, with only
Ethan, Emmett and Sophie present, along with the local pastor and his
wife. But being that Sophie only
planned on getting married once, she wanted it to be perfect.
spent weeks sewing a dress with fabric she bought from the sale of some of her
dolls. At an estate sale in a
neighboring town, she found suits that fit Ethan and her father well enough, so
she splurged on them and mended holes with a needle and thread. Since Ethan had no identification to apply
for a marriage license, she had him apply for a new one which was easier than
anticipated. The fact that he now had
proper identification showing that he was Dan Cody made her feel a little
better about things. She still hadn’t
revealed that she knew who he really was.
He was happy marrying her, so she didn’t see a reason to spoil
ceremony took place in the living room, which Sophie had painstakingly cleaned
and decluttered, decorating it with wild flowers from the field behind the
house and some papers streamers. It was
brief but poignant, bringing tears to everyone’s eyes, including her father
which surprised her.
may kiss the bride,” the pastor said while his wife played a recording of an
organ playing the wedding march.
Ethan lifted Sophie’s veil and kissed her.
Emmett wiped his watery eyes and embraced them both. Afterwards, he announced that he was taking
off for a few days to go on another supply gathering mission. He joked that leaving them alone as newlyweds
was his present to them.
in the house that night, they made love for the first time as husband and
wife. For the next three days they lounged
in bed, went for walks, and laid in each other’s arms under the sun.
last evening before Emmett was to return, they finished dinner and Sophie said
she wanted to get some work done on her dolls.
He sat on a stool across the room poring over a book while she
worked. He couldn’t help but look up
every so often and admire her soft beauty, her brilliant eyes and her glowing
you trying to make me nervous?” she asked while painting a face onto a
porcelain doll head.
he said. “I can’t help it. You’re just so beautiful.”
distraction got the better of her and she tipped the bottle of paint over. Slowly, the liquid seeped out across the
table, instilling panic as she jumped up to try to stop it.
shoot!” she said and jumped up from her stool.
“I’d better go get something to clean it up with.” In a flash, she was darting out of the room.
walked across the room to try to assist.
He bent down to pick up the paint brush and when he stood up again he
bumped into the shelves, knocking one of the dolls off and onto the floor.
in a china shop,” he murmured to himself with a chuckle. But when he looked down, his smile
faded. The doll’s head had broken into
several pieces. That’s when he spotted
the newspaper clipping tucked beneath the base. Frowning, he picked it up and unfolded
quickly set in as he saw his own picture, then the headline and the story about
his apparent death in the earthquake.
Realization slowly set in. This
was the life he’d left behind. The
people he couldn’t remember. The wedding
he was racing to get to when he got stuck in that sinkhole.
swear it’s those eyes,” Sophie was saying gleefully when she walked back into
the room. “I can’t concentrate on anything
when you’re looking at me like that, Dan Cody.”
stopped in her tracks when she saw him holding the newspaper article.
this?” he asked, eyes wide with alarm.
couldn’t speak. Swallowing hard, she
tried to think of what to say. The truth
seemed too selfish. “Please don’t be
upset,” she said, trembling. “I was
going to tell you eventually. I was just
waiting for the right time.”
right time?” Ethan demanded. “The right
time to tell me I have a son? A fiancé
that I was going to marry before that damned earthquake?”
suddenly burst from her eyes. “I was
afraid of losing you!” she cried. “I
knew that the minute you found out about them you would have taken off and left
don’t know that!”
on, Dan! If you’d have known where you
came from would you have thought for a second about staying here in this house
with my father and I?”
never got the chance to decide that for myself!” he screamed. “How long have you known about this?”
long,” she said. “A few months.”
walked toward her. “You’ve known about
this for months and you never said anything? You let me marry you knowing that
there were people who thought I was dead?”
was selfish, I know!” she cried. “I’m a
terrible person! But I would do it again
in a heartbeat! We have a life together
here! You’re part of our lives, not
says I have a son,” Ethan said in a rage.
“A five year old son that thinks I’m gone forever! How could you do that?”
she could say a word, he was rushing toward her and shaking her hysterically by
the shoulders. She pleaded with him to
listen but he was too angry. In one
movement, he pushed her away and watched as she fell back and hit the
floor. The sound of her head cracking
against the cement foundation sent chills up and down his spine. At first glance, she didn’t appear to be
he said, standing above her. “Sophie,
she didn’t. He quickly scrambled over to
her and placed his hands behind her head.
When he brought them back up he saw the blood. It oozed out onto the floor in huge amounts,
covering his hands and matting the back of her head.
wake up,” he said in a panic and shook her gently.
he brought his ear to her mouth and listened for breath. Nothing.
he stood up. She was dead. He’d killed her.
On the floor, he
spotted the newspaper clipping and picked it up in his bloody hand. Confused and frightened, he ran outside into
the night, as far away from her as he could get. Without thinking, he decided to hide out in
the bunker. It was the only place he
could think of to escape to.
hid in the dark until they came and found him.
public defender was assigned to Ethan’s case and there was a brief trial in the
county courthouse. Misery had overtaken him during the weeks he spent in a
small cold jail cell waiting for sentencing.
Whatever happened to him now, he didn’t care. He’d snuffed out the life of a vibrant young
woman whose only crime was loving him.
He’d taken her from her father, a man whom he owed his life to. Whoever he was in the past didn’t
matter. His real name may indeed be
Ethan Blackthorne, but he still felt like Dan Cody, the man who’d spent a year
of his life with two fine people who asked nothing of him.
Cody, are you prepared for your sentence to be read?” the judge asked.
your honor,” he said. He could feel
Emmett’s eyes burning into his back from the row of seats in the back of the courthouse.
Cody, you have been found guilty of manslaughter in the death of Sophia Jeanine
Lawson. It is hereby ordered that you
will be remanded to the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility in the State of New York for a minimum
of three years but not more than five years.”
lowered his head and felt a tear wash down his face. Five years seemed like such a short time for
taking a life as good and innocent as Sophie’s.
At their wedding they exchanged vows they’d written themselves. Hers were filled with love and emotion. Eloquent words of devotion that he truly
believed came from her heart. And
despite that he had an entire life that he couldn’t remember, he’d still given
her as much of himself as he could.
years!” a voice boomed from the back of the courtroom. Heads turned and the judge hit his gavel to
call order. “For killing my daughter he
only gets five fucking years!?”
just as Ethan turned, Emmett was tearing across the courtroom and attacking him
mercilessly. Pandemonium erupted and the
bailiff sprung into action, desperately trying to pull the man away from
took you in!” Emmett was screaming, beating him with his fists. “I saved you when you needed saving!”
Ethan shielded his face from the man’s powerful blows. He couldn’t argue with anything he was saying
to him. He deserved to be attacked, and
so much more.
was all I had,” Emmett said, tears running down his face as two police officers
drug him away. “She was all I had an’
you took her from me. I was right about the apocalypse! It was you!
You were the apocalypse!"
Ethan watched as the man was taken miserably from the court room. He was led through the back of the room where
a transport was waiting to take him two counties away to the prison.
. . . . . . .
took several hours once he arrived at Arthur Kill on Staten
Island. Prisons in New York State were overcrowded as it was, thus
the journey several hundred miles to a facility outside of the normal
jurisdiction. Visions of Emmett’s
breakdown in the courtroom plagued him and were far worse than the humiliation
of undergoing cavity searches and being sprayed for lice. By the time he got to his cell, his body
ached and his skin was dry and irritated.
in the dark, he tried to process the events of the past weeks. With everything that had gone down since
Sophie’s death, he’d barely had time to react to the revelation of who he
really was. The name Ethan Blackthorne
meant nothing to him, nor did the details of his life and death that were
depicted in the brief newspaper article.
All he knew was that he’d been presumed dead, so anyone who may have
known him before the earthquake had no idea where he was. He was alone.
you in for?” a voice called from the darkness.
Ethan looked up, unaware that he had a cell mate. He stood up just as a man emerged from the
dark corner of the cell. Once he was in
view, he saw a man about his height and build, short cropped hair and green eyes.
don’t want to talk about it,” Ethan replied.
man went to his bed positioned against the wall across the cell and sat
down. “I’m in for drug trafficking,
illegal use of explosives, and murder.”
He seemed to gauge Ethan’s face as if waiting for a reaction. “I’m innocent.”
didn’t feel like talking. He sat rigidly
on his bed with his hands hung between his legs. Whoever his cell mate was, he seemed adamant
about his innocence. He only wished he
could say the same about his own situation.
Fenwick,” the man said. “Kyle
Fenwick. What’s yours?”
not being able to remember anything about his life, he remembered seeing enough
prison movies to know that it was a bad idea to start your sentence on a bad
note with his fellow inmates, so he obliged the question.
to meet you, Dan.” Kyle stood up and
extended his hand to him, which Ethan shook politely. “How long you in for?”
to five,” replied Ethan.
to ten,” Kyle said as if trying to one-up him.
long have you been in?” Ethan asked purely to keep the conversation at an even
walked across the room and leaned against the cold cement wall. “Two and a half.”
bad is it?”
be worse. It’s medium security. There’s a library and a gym. You can watch TV in the lounge if you
want. Most guys are pretty okay. They keep to themselves. Occasionally there’s a bad seed though. Especially if you turn out to be a rapist or
child molester or something. For some
reason they get after those guys.”
sighed and laid down on his bed.
you fit into that category?” Kyle asked.
Ethan replied. “I killed my wife.”
first week at Arthur Kill was like being in a fog. Ethan went about his days getting used to the
routines of prison life but barely reacting.
The situation he was in seemed so surreal to him. His life had changed in an instant. He half expected to wake up each morning back
at the old clapboard house with Sophie cooking breakfast in the kitchen. Nothing seemed real to him.
begun to open up and relate a little more with his cell mate, Kyle, including
asking him once over breakfast if he was really innocent of the charges against
him. To him, it seemed everyone claimed
their innocence in prison. Half the guys
he’d talked to said exactly the same thing.
was set up,” Kyle revealed to him, his tone very serious. “I was never involved in that drug operation
and I didn’t blow up that hotel.”
set you up?” Ethan asked.
guy that owned the hotel I was working at.
He and his son had it out for me and my father so they made it look like
I was running drugs through the place.
You heard of Royce Jennings?”
shook his head.
and my dad had it out for each other.
His son David was working with the detective assigned to the case. They made it look like the whole thing was my
idea, including the fact that the place was blown to bits, taking the evidence
was killed in the explosion?”
a cop is a big time offense,” Ethan said, thinking Kyle was lucky to have only
gotten seven to ten years.
charged me with third degree murder since it wasn’t premeditated and I
supposedly didn’t blow the place up with the intention of killing anyone. But the fact is I was with the detective when
the bomb threat was called in. She and I
you think she turned on you?” Ethan asked.
know she did,” Kyle said with dark and brooding eyes. “She and Jennings were in on it together. And when I get out of here I’m going to prove
don’t remember anything before you
met these people?” Kyle asked in disbelief a few weeks later when they were
working out in the gym.
shook his head, grunting while finishing a set of bicep curls. “It’s like the day I got pulled out of that
car was the beginning of my life,” he said after lowering the weights onto the
floor. “Crazy, huh?”
“Yeah. Did you ever go see someone? Like a doctor or somebody that might be able
sweat from his forehead, Ethan walked to the floor mat across the room and
started doing crunches. “Didn’t really
think about it. Besides, Emmett and
Sophie lived like it was thirty years ago.
They had no money to speak of. I
doubt there was even a doctor within fifty miles of their house.”
sat down at the chest press and laughed in spite of the circumstances. “If I were you I’d be curious as hell where I
came from. Jesus, Dan, what if someone’s
out there looking for you?”
not,” he said when he finished his sit-ups.
can you be sure?”
got up and went back to the barbells.
“They think I’m dead.”
“The Fence” Esposito was a Hispanic inmate serving five years as part of a plea
bargain made after a police raid of a New York gang. Feared by many at Arthur Kill, he ruled his territory with an iron fist. Over the course of the months since Ethan’s
arrival, he’d begun to target him as an enemy.
afternoon when the prisoners were allowed free time, Ethan and Kyle were in the
lounge with several other inmates who were each glued to the television during
the day’s episode of The Young at Heart.
you serious?” Ethan asked with a grin when Kyle took the remote control from
don’t mess with these guys and their soaps,” Kyle warned with a shrug. “A few months ago a riot broke out because
someone said a disparaging remark about Cassidy Solomon’s acting skills. He was in the infirmary for a week.”
Ethan looked back at the television where Cassidy was amidst one of her
legendary scene stealing moments. When a
figure blocked his path, he looked up and saw Marco’s thin form standing before
up,” Marco said.
me?” was Ethan’s response.
the problem, Marco?” Kyle asked.
friend, that’s what. I don’t like the
way he looks at me.”
wasn’t looking at you,” Ethan said, hoping to avoid another altercation with
the man. “Just watching the show.”
responded by grabbing him by the collar of his jumpsuit and pulling him to his
feet. “Think you’re better than
everybody else cuz you got money?” he asked, gnarled teeth baring
threateningly at him. “Your daddy left
you all that money before he took a cap to the chest and now you think you
don’t belong here?”
Ethan asked, alarmed. “You know me?”
ease up,” Kyle said and intervened. “Let
know who you are, muchacho. You can tell
everyone your name is Cody but you’re still that guy’s son. Oh yeah, I read all about you in the papers.”
I don’t know who you think I am but-“ Ethan said, prying his hands from
slipped behind Marco and pulled his arm tight around his neck, muscles bulging
as he yanked him forcefully away from Ethan.
He backed him against the wall and held him by the throat while flashing
him a look of warning.
off, man,” he said. “You’ve got my
friend mixed up with someone else. Now
go cause trouble somewhere else.”
struggled to get free, then caught the eye of a prison guard who entered the
room. He finally relaxed and Kyle let
him go. Before venturing off, he flashed
Ethan one final glare.
Ethan replied and patted him on the back.
“Thanks for having my back, man.
I don’t now what that guy’s problem with me is.”
like he knows you,” Kyle said and watched Marco walk belligerently from the
lounge. “Any of what he said mean
anything to you?”
frowned and concentrated. “A
little. I don’t know. It’s like something is right there but I
can’t quite place what it is.”
headaches still bothering you?”
. . . . . . .
in sweat and startled awake in the middle of the night several days later,
Ethan sat up on his bunk and stared at the wall across the room. Breathing heavily and his chest heaving, he
uttered the first thing that came from his mouth.
awoke from his sleep and sat up on his bed.
“What’s up?” he asked groggily.
remember her,” he said. “Brooke. We were going to get married. We were…we were
going away together to start over with our son.”
you remember anything else?” Kyle asked through the darkness.
Ethan shook his head. “No. I mean, just bits and pieces.”
memory could be coming back a little at a time.
Don’t force yourself. Just let it
Ethan laid back down and stared at the ceiling of the prison cell. He tried to sleep but couldn’t. He couldn’t stop thinking of the face that
had came to him in his dream. The face of
the woman he’d left behind.
. . . . . . .
memories continued to return over the next few days. Ethan talked them out with Kyle as they came
to him. His tumultuous relationship with
Brooke, the way he’d stolen her from James, the time he was denied the rights
to be a father to Michael, and even the details of learning that Will Thomerson
had been his father all surfaced within days of one another. During another free hour in the lounge, they
realized that they shared a surprising connection.
fiancé is David Jennings’s sister?” Kyle was asking in disbelief.
sister,” Ethan corrected him. “She was
Royce’s daughter with a woman named Roz Taylor.
She only learned the truth a couple of years ago.”
don't believe it,”
Kyle said in a daze.
makes things awkward between us, doesn’t it?” Ethan asked. “I mean, in the six months I’ve been here you
haven’t had a single good thing to say about David Jennings. Now come to find out I was in love with his
sister. Pretty unbelievable.”
laughed. “Yeah, it’s a lot unbelievable.”
said your father and Royce were enemies?”
“Yeah. Business deals went bad and they wound up at
each other’s throats.”
father like son, I guess,” Ethan suggested.
nodded. “You’d think so. I was actually adopted by the
happened to your biological parents?”
in a car crash when I was a baby. My
sister and I went to foster homes and eventually we got split up.”
shook his head dismissively. “So what
are you going to do? You’ve gotten your
do you mean what am I going to do?”
looked at him with a shrug. “Well aren’t
you going to call and tell them that you’re alive?” he asked. “You have a fiancé and a son who are mourning
you. Not to mention the rest of your
family. Think of how floored they’ll be
when they pick up the phone and it’s you.”
exactly why I haven’t called,” he said.
“Can you imagine how devastating it would be for them to hear that I’m alive
and in prison for murdering my wife? All
in one sentence? No, I can’t do that to
you can’t just let them keep believing you died in that earthquake. What are you going to do? Wait till you get out of prison and show up
at their door?”
I have to,” Ethan said. “I just can’t
tell them is what my life has become.”
. . . . . . .
few weeks later, Ethan was playing basketball in the prison yard when Kyle
emerged in jeans, a gray t-shirt and mirrored aviators covering his eyes. Grinning, he went to Ethan and gave him a
way,” Ethan said. “You got parole?”
my way out the door,” Kyle said with elation.
“Wanted to make sure I said goodbye first.”
gonna miss you, man,” Ethan said and pulled him into a quick embrace. “I want you to know how much I appreciate
everything you’ve done for me these last few months.”
take care of yourself, Ethan. Look me up
when you get out.”
moved to the side of the court and grabbed his sweat soaked shirt from a bench
bolted to the ground. “Where you headed,
Kyle told him. “I’ve got my name to
David Jennings,” Ethan said aloud. “At
least you can clear your name. You’re
innocent. I’m here because I deserve to
death was an accident, Ethan. It’s time
you stopped punishing yourself for it.”
sighed and folded his arms across his bare chest. “Would you do me one last favor?”
up Brooke when you get to L.A.” Ethan said.
“Find a way to tell her that I’m alive.
Tell her what happened and that I’m sorry.”
want me to deliver the news that the love of her life is alive?” Kyle said with
a laugh. “Oh man.”
do this for me,” Ethan said. “It’ll be
easier coming from a live person rather than me calling her and telling her
this kind of news on the phone.”
Kyle reluctantly agreed. “Okay. I mean,
I don’t know how in hell I’m going to walk up to someone and tell them their
fiancé is alive and well and living in prison three thousand miles away, but
yeah, I’ll do it.”
Ethan said and shook his hand. “Call
me after you tell her.”
care,” Kyle said before turning and headed through the prison yard.
watched him go, smiling as he called after him once more. “And don’t go falling in love with her
laughed and turned as he continued walking.
“I never make promises I can’t keep,” he said with a laugh.
few weeks later, when Ethan was sitting in the lounge for the inmate’s daily
viewing of The Young at Heart, he was
surprised to see a familiar face on screen.
role of Faye Richards is now being played by Alex Reynolds,” said a voiceover
at the beginning of the first scene.
Ethan leaned forward and watched his Uncle’s ex-wife deliver her lines in a
scene with the evil Dr. Max Crawford.
someone there?” she asked from the attic set.
“Dr. Crawford, is that you?”
the scene commenced, a news break interrupted the show. To Ethan’s surprise, reporters were gathered
on the steps of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, microphones pointed at Kyle
Fenwick as he made a statement to the media.
set you up?” a reporter was asking.
Jennings,” Kyle announced before the entire crowd. “He used me as a scapegoat to cover up his
own involvement with the drug operation.”
are you in Los Angeles? Is it because
David Jennings lives here?”
“No. I’m just trying to start over.”
about the other charges? That you killed
a police officer?”
not a murderer,” Kyle maintained. “David
Jennings killed that cop.”
turned away from the television, wondering if Kyle had gotten in touch with
Brooke yet. He obviously had his own
agenda to work out in L.A. first. He
decided to give him a few more days to make contact.
went by with no word from Kyle. Finally,
he was informed he had a phone call in the lounge, so he hurried in and
still bugging you?” Kyle asked from the other end.
smiled. “How are things in L.A.? I see you’ve created quite a stir
things have been pretty crazy.”
say,” Ethan said. “I saw the coverage of
the premier of Angel Assassin 2. Looks like Alex had a pretty bad
meltdown. Were you with her?”
kind of stumbled into a friendship,” Kyle told him. “But listen, I haven’t made contact with
Brooke yet. I think she’s out of the
country or something.”
of the country?” Ethan asked. “What
used the money you left her to buy herself a share of Sunset Studios. I guess she’s pretty busy.” He
decided there was no harm in fudging the truth a little.
Brooke wasn't out of the country, but they were
planning on scouting locations in Mexico together. He
couldn't resist letting that scenario play out before
telling her about Ethan.
will she be back?”
sure. But I’ll keep you posted.” He ended the call after giving Ethan a cell
number he could use if he needed to reach him.
. . . . . . .
more weeks passed again with no word from Kyle.
The next thing he knew he was on the news again, only this time
reportedly missing in a location shoot in Acapulco.
“Breaking news from
Acapulco this afternoon as details are surfacing involving a film crew on
location in the drug-torn Mexican city,” said the news anchor. “Reports are coming to us that late last
night several Sunset Studios crew members were kidnapped from their hotel. Among them were legendary film star Jack
Childers, renowned film director Eric Autumn, and soap opera star Cassidy
Solomon. We’ve just learned that a
security guard traveling with the cast and crew was found shot to death in his
hotel room. Mexican authorities claim to
be on top of the investigation but no word yet on confirmation that the murder
and apparent kidnappings have ties with the warring drug cartels that have
plagued much of the country for the last few years.”
he went to the phone. It was time to
take matters into his own hands. Kyle
had said that Brooke was working with the studio, which meant she could very
well be one of the crew members kidnapped.
He had to know for sure. Calling
home was his only recourse.
you think you’re doing, hombre?” came a voice from behind.
a call,” Ethan said and lifted the receiver.
“Not that it’s any of your business.”
your rich lawyers to try to get you out of here?” Marco asked, pushing his
chest toward him. “How bout you tell
them to get me out of here and maybe
then I’ll let you live, pretty boy.”
I’ve got to make this call, Esposito.
Back off, will you? I don’t have
time for this.”
cocky, ain’t you, boy?” Marco said and inched closer. “How bout I fuck that smile off
panicked over the latest news from home, Ethan reacted in the only way he knew
how. He took the phone cord and wrapped
it tightly around Marco’s neck, pulling hard and forcing him against the
not going to say it again,” Ethan said through gnashed teeth. “Back off or you’ll regret it.”
him go!” called a prison guard who entered the room. He darted over and released Marco from
Ethan’s restraints. “What the hell’s
going on here?”
attacked me,” Marco said and coughed and wheezed, clutching his neck. “I just wanted to use the phone and he
freaked out on me.”
lying,” Ethan said. “I’ve got to call
home and find out if Brooke is okay. I-“
happening,” said the guard, pulling Ethan’s arms behind his back. “Because of that stunt you’ve lost your phone
privileges for a month.”
can’t do that!” Ethan said, writhing in his grasp as he was pulled out of the
lounge. “I have to call home! It’s an emergency!”
despite his protests, he was led back to his cell and thrown onto the bed. The sound of the door clanging shut caused
him to cringe.
Ethan’s relief, news reports weeks later alerted him to the fact that Brooke
had been safely returned home. The jet’s
arrival back in L.A. was heavily covered by the media. He sat in the lounge and watched them
de-board the plane. When he saw Brooke
emerge on Kyle’s arm, he sat in silence while staring at the screen.
began using his daily phone privilege to call Kyle using the number he gave
him. In the few short conversations they
had, Kyle told him that he was still working on their arrangement. Telling Brooke that he was alive was risky
business and he claimed to have to proceed with caution. Ethan began to realize he was lying to
one day in December a woman came to see him.
In six months of being in prison he’d never had a single visitor. No one knew he was there. What was more strange was that the woman
called him by the name he invented for himself.
Dan Cody?” she asked in disbelief while sitting on the other side of the glass.
wants to know?” Ethan asked, staring at the woman with the long black hair and
the porcelain features.
Mackenzie Stone. I’m Kyle Fenwick’s
Ethan sat forward.
said you knew each other during his sentence.”
we were cell mates. Did he send you
here? Is this about Brooke?”
mean that you’re blackmailing my brother into taking Brooke Taylor's fortune?”
looked at her in confusion. “What are
you talking about?” he asked. “Kyle is
supposed to tell her I’m alive. He’s
supposed to explain how I got in here.”
looked into his eyes. “How do you know
the mother of my son,” Ethan told her.
“We were supposed to be married a year and a half ago but I got hurt in
the earthquake and-“
Ethan Blackthorne?” Mackenzie asked.
he replied. “I’m Ethan Blackthorne.”
ran a hand over her face and gripped the phone tightly in her hand. “I hate to be the one to tell you this,
Ethan, but Kyle hasn’t said a word about you to Brooke. As a matter of fact, he’s been masquerading
as your brother to get close to her.”
brother?” Ethan asked in confusion.
gotten her to fall in love with him,” Mackenzie said.
that same day, Ethan received another visitor. This
time, when he was brought out from his cell into the
visitation area, he sat down and looked into the eyes
of the last person he expected to see. But then
again, the woman who'd been there that morning probably
filled him in on her discovery.
Uncle James," Ethan said through into the receiver.
Suddenly, he came to the realization that everything
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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