Benji panicked when Jordan told
him he'd called the police, believing he was the one
who robbed his house. Jordan learned that Heather had
read Suzanne's book, and had a disturbing reaction to
the news of Brett and Suzanne's affair. Brett
tracked Suzanne down at Warren Abbott's compound in
Death Valley, but she turned him away. Ashton
told Benji that Sierra had a right to see whomever she
wanted. Benji went to Blake, who confirmed the
rumors that Sierra and Ashton were growing closer. Blake
pleaded with Benji to talk to the police, but Benji
still had the gun he'd obtained from Van's house. Renee
and Sierra had a heart to heart about relationships
over dinner. Later, T.T. stopped by Renee's asking
if they still had a chance. Despite her true feelings
for him, she turned him away. Benji called Sierra
and pleaded with her to talk to him. She agreed
to meet him. In his car parked at a lookout, Benji
pleaded with Sierra to take him back. When she
refused, he grew distant and shot Sierra in the stomach.
Lost, Nobody Found"
the meandering stretch of Mulholland
Someone ignited a roadside flare and placed it next to the scene of the
accident. Two police cars and an
ambulance were the first to arrive on the scene. A two car pileup awaited them. The driver, who was intoxicated, had
lanes and left both automobiles a twisted heap of smoldering metal and glass.
do you need and where do you need it?” asked a paramedic who maneuvered a
second ambulance onto the scene.
there,” directed a police captain and pointed for clarification. “Two passengers were thrown from the second
car. Haven’t found one of them yet.”
driver?” the paramedic asked cynically.
away without a scratch,” he replied and pressed on through the rubble and
debris from the accident.
reflections of light from the stars flickered across her wide open eyes that
still stared up at the night sky. The
radio still played silently and her hands were still gripping the seat as they
had been in the moments that she took her last breath. The driver’s side door was open and the seat
beside her was empty. Beside the silver
BMW, Sierra’s car was still parked unattended.
had been a car accident a half mile down the road, a body thrown hundreds of
yards and another still missing. When
the police had arrived on the scene, they began scouring the wooded area, and
that’s when they found her, alone with a bullet in her stomach and blood
seeping onto the floor of the car.
officer flashed his light inside the car, across Sierra’s face and down to her
blood-soaked blouse. Just one year on
the force and still completely unused to scenes like this one, he adjusted his hat
and ran a hand over his clammy face.
his training to the letter, he radioed for backup, then proceeded to inspect
the scene with a keen eye. A
dead body, no sign of
the perpetrator, the car still running, an abandoned car a few feet away, and
the murder weapon discarded on the empty driver’s seat. He went to the abandoned car, a shiny new
black Mercedes, and found a purse inside with identification.
Rodriguez arrived as backup and went to the officer for a briefing on what had
like a gunshot wound to the abdomen,” he surmised. “I’d say she came here to meet someone, got
in their car, took a bullet, and the killer ran off on foot.”
was she?” Rodriguez asked.
office flashed him Sierra’s driver’s license.
Rodriguez said with a sigh. He knew who
she was. “Get the dogs out. If this
guy’s still in the area I want him found.”
and Kenny were enjoying drinks at the Polo Lounge. They’d decided it had been too long since
they’d gone out and shot the breeze about life and everything going on in their
worlds, so they’d met up and sat jubilantly at a table near the back of the
dimly lit restaurant.
on,” Kenny was saying with rocks glass in hand.
“Did you ever think at this age you’d be dating again?”
James replied with a laugh that came from deep in his gut. “When Brooke and I divorced the second time I
told myself I was a confirmed bachelor from there on out. No more marriages for me.”
you wouldn’t marry Mackenzie?” Kenny asked, fishing through the dark for his
phone when it began ringing. “James,
she’s a knockout.”
also a pain in the-“ James began, but stopped when Kenny answered his phone
DeWitt,” he answered, still shaking his head in amusement.
it’s Detective Rodriguez,” the man said while standing at the lookout.
Kenny said. “What’s up?”
sorry to bother you but I thought I should call you first.” He watched as more
and more police officers arrived on the scene.
In the distance, the sound of hounds barking broke through the still
night. “You’re still listed as an
emergency contact for your step-daughter.”
Kenny asked. Technically she wasn’t his
step-daughter, but was at one time and came close a second. “Why, what’s wrong?”
at the Hollywood Bowl lookout off Mulholland.
Can you get up here right away?”
detected the look of concern on Kenny’s face and quickly sat forward.
what is it?”
looked back at the car and the body of the young girl in the seat, detectives
snapping pictures and taking fingerprints from every surface. “We found a body. Just get up here as soon as
through the doors of the police station by two uniformed officers, Benji was
thrust into a seat in the already packed waiting room. He looked around the area while the officers
checked with the girl at the desk.
Something about being full up and there had been an epidemic of emergencies
that night. When they returned to him,
he looked up with a confrontational look on his face.
have to keep you out here until an office opens up,” one of them said. His
badge read Robinson.
am I even doing here?” he demanded, blue hooded sweatshirt zipped up to the
nape of his neck.
wanted for questioning in a robbery,” Robinson told him. “What were you doing wandering around the
hills at night?”
went for a walk,” he snorted.
you hiding out?” he asked. “Your
roommate told us you were at home earlier tonight when we came looking for
you. Got a guilty conscience or
something? Did you steal that stuff from
your dad’s house?”
he said, shifting in his seat.
or whoever he was, leaned in to his seat.
“Your daddy wants to teach you a lesson for breaking in and taking all
his stuff,” he began. “Told us he kicked
you out too. Maybe you don’t have much
to lose. What were you doing up there
wandering around Mulholland?”
looked away, folding his arms belligerently while watching two more police
officers leading a drunken man inside the station. Disorder quickly commenced and so he prepared
himself. It would only be a matter of
minutes before they traced the car to him, and then his connection to
Sierra. His big mistake was leaving the
gun behind. But he panicked. He was in shock after what he’d done. But how could he go on knowing Sierra was out
there and choosing not to be with
him? He had to do something. He had to make the pain go away. After, he’d stumbled through the brush and
down the rocky hill in a daze. That’s
when they found him.
do you got?” Robinson asked the newcomers.
is our drunk driver,” the female officer replied, struggling to keep the man
upright. “One critical at the scene and
another still missing. You hear about
that dead girl on the lookout?”
an hour ago. Bad night on Mulholland,” the female officer said.
swallowed hard and began to sweat.
of the road was blocked due to an accident, so they pulled over and continued
on foot. When James and Kenny arrived at
the lookout, there were still a half dozen police investigators combing the
dark area. The first thing they saw when
walking up the road was the coroner’s van.
A bleak look crossed their faces.
Kenny called when he spotted his friend from the force.
detective approached quickly, placing a comforting hand on Kenny’s shoulder and
offering a look of sympathy. “I’m sorry
to have to drag you up here but I need a positive ID.”
got to be some mistake,” James said.
hope so,” Rodriguez said, stopping two men from the coroner’s office as they
wheeled the sheet covered body on a stretcher.
He took a breath and lifted the sheet from her face.
my God,” Kenny whispered, rubbing his eyes with his thumb and index
finger. His eyes filled with tears and
he went to touch Sierra’s face. “God,
put an arm around him for support, his eyes stinging and his face twisted into
a state of confusion. “What happened?”
shot her,” the detective told them. “We
found her in that car right there.” He
gestured to Benji’s BMW for clarification.
ran forward, noting Sierra’s black Mercedes parked beside it. “That’s her car,” he said, hands on his head
in a panic. “What was she doing here?”
don’t know yet.”
turned to James and repeated himself.
“What was she doing here?”
looks as if she was here to meet someone,” Rodriguez explained. “Got in his car and he killed her.”
James asked, unable to take his eyes from the stretcher as the coroner loaded
Sierra’s body into the van.
car’s registered to Jordan Rydell.”
both looked at him, startled.
is Benji’s car,” James said after looking at the vehicle. “She was killed in his car?”
is he?” Kenny asked.
ran his fingers through his hair. “You
don’t think he did this, do you? Maybe he’s
a victim too. Maybe he went to get
expression clued them into the fact that they were grasping at straws. He’d seen this way too many times.
have to go and tell Renee,” Kenny said, his face drawn.
put a hand on his shoulder. “I’m coming
put Benji in a chair in a glass enclosed interrogation room at the police
station. He sat, arms folded, watching
through the glass at the commotion the drunk driver was causing. It took three police officers to restrain
you ready to call someone?” Robinson asked him.
told you I didn’t steal anything.”
other officer walked into the room and handed Robinson a piece of paper which
he read silently to himself before flashing his eyes toward Benji.
you aware there was a murder less than half a mile from where we picked you
up?” he inquired. “Know anything about
he said in a controlled tone.
interesting,” the officer continued.
“She was found in your
car.” A beat while he waited for him to
respond. “Still want to waive your right
to make a phone call?”
car was stolen,” Benji said.
he said with a doubtful shake of his head.
“Of course it was. When was it
“And who took it?”
“A guy named Ashton
Childers. You should be talking to him, not me.”
other office made a note on a pad of paper while exchanging glances with
Robinson. “You’re a real smart ass, you
frowned, annoyed by his response.
the gun used to kill her was stolen from a police officer a few nights ago,”
the officer said to Robinson. “Some
hooker made off with that and some cash.”
turned back to Benji. “Met up with any
hookers lately?” he asked. “Maybe
strangled one in an alley off Hollywood
Boulevard a few nights ago?”
frowned with a roll of his eyes. “I
don’t fuck hookers.”
you just kill them,” he said. “So this girl they found in your car, was she
his arms, Benji sat silently in the chair.
He knew the evidence was already weighing against him. All he could do was deny it. It had worked for his whole life up until
now. To this day, he still maintained
that he hadn’t raped the dean’s daughter at Beau Soleil, even though he could
still see the look of fear in her eyes as he held her down and did what he knew
she’d been begging for.
like he’s done talking,” Rodriguez said to his partner.
stewed angrily. He hated that they
talked like he wasn’t there. He hated
that they assumed he might be a murderer.
When the drunken guy started flailing about making a scene out in the
waiting area, he formulated a plan.
“He ran out in
front of me!” the guy was screaming in a drunken haze. “I couldn’t even see the fucker!”
Once guns were
drawn and the drunk had the female officer in a choke hold and Robinson and his
partner raced out to assist, Benji jumped from his seat. This was his only opportunity to get away
before they locked him up for good.
female officer dropped her keys during the struggle with the drunk driver and
Benji quickly retrieved them, tearing out into the night and checking the squad
cars that were right in the vicinity. He
jumped into one and sped off through the parking lot just as Robinson came barreling
outside, his gun drawn.
paced back and forth in the living room.
Alex sat uncomfortably across the room while watching him stalk from one
end of the room to the other. They spoke
no words, only meeting one another’s glances periodically as if to see what the
other was thinking.
the doorbell rang, Jordan
tensed. Moments later, the butler
ushered Brett inside. In his arms,
Violet slept soundly.
after eleven o’clock,” Brett said. “What
the hell was so damn important that you have to have me come all the way over
here? I do have a three-year-old, you
take Violet into the other room,” Jordan demanded.
she did as he requested. Brett
grudgingly let her go while he looked at Jordan in confusion.
said after Alex had left the room.
what?” The creased in Brett’s forehead
deepened with each passing second.
you and her mother.”
“How?” Panic quickly set in.
read that goddamn book!” Jordan
screeched. “Do you want to tell me how
she got a hold of it?”
blinked a few times and gestured toward his chest. “You think I showed it to her?” he asked in
disbelief. “I can’t even get near her thanks to you!”
“Someone sent it to her,” Jordan said,
his voice rising. “If it wasn’t you,
then who was it?”
the one who threatened to tell her after you lost the custody suit! You wanted to punish Suzanne for testifying
for me! If anyone’s to blame for this,
realized he’d targeted the wrong person.
He turned and started pacing again.
“I was angry when I said that,” he admitted. “I would never hurt my daughter
intentionally. Maybe it was a reporter.”
“Who cares who did it,” Brett said. “What are we going to do about Heather? If she knows about my affair with Suzanne,
I’ll never get my family back
together. Have you seen her or talked to
shook his head. “Dr. Bouvier said I
should wait. He said she’s acting out
toward everyone and that he’s concerned about a setback in her treatment. Just
when she was starting to show promise.”
have to go see her. I have to explain.”
what? That you and Suzanne couldn’t keep
your hands off of each other? That the
only reason I found out was because Benji found out first and set it up so that
stopped mid-sentence as the pieces of the puzzle slowly came together. “It was Benji,” he said, devastated.
think he sent the book to
Heather? Why would he do that?”
else? To punish me.”
Careening through the night in the stolen police
car, Benji gripped the steering wheel with white knuckles. Panic and disorientation plagued his
senses. He had no destination in mind,
only to get away. Far away from the
police and from the horror at the lookout.
He sped down Fountain
Avenue, ran two red lights turning onto Las Palmas, and took Lexington
all the way to Highland. By the time he started heading north, he saw
two police cruisers in the rearview mirror, their lights on and sirens wailing
through the night.
silently to himself, he repeatedly hit the steering wheel with the palm of his
hand. From the police radio he could
hear calls coming from the station alerting all units to be in the lookout for
the car and the murder suspect who’d escaped custody.
A muffled cry
escaped his throat and he quickly shut the radio off. They didn’t understand that it wasn’t like
that. He wasn’t a murderer. He just had to stop the pain of Sierra
in a hot bath, Renee put on her robe and enjoyed a nightcap while listening to
Sinatra on the stereo. The doorbell
interrupted her quiet time and she rose from the sofa, certain that it was T.T.
returning with another attempt at changing her mind about him. In actuality, her resistance wasn’t about
him, it was about herself. Her own fear
of being hurt again by any man.
With a sigh, she
swept across the room and pulled the door open.
To her surprise, it wasn’t T.T., but James and Kenny, each with solemn
expressions on their faces.
“James,” she said,
then narrowed her eyes on Kenny. “What
is this? Kenny, if you’re here with
another lame apology, you can save your breath.
I’ve heard my share of empty promises tonight.”
“It’s not about us,
Renee,” Kenny said.
because it’s not happening,” she said, moving aside when they strode into the
living room. “At least you’ve finally
realized it’s over between us.”
“Renee, we need to
talk,” James said, standing beside Kenny as she shut the door. “It’s about Sierra.”
“Sierra was just
here,” she said and gestured to the door.
“We had dinner and talked for hours.
I really think she’s finally in a good place.”
said, staring at the floor while he tried to summon the strength to tell her
what had happened. He didn’t know where
the words would come from, but he had to find them.
“What did you need
her for?” Renee interrupted. “You should
probably wait until tomorrow. She was
going straight home to bed.”
James closed his
eyes tightly for a moment. “Renee, we
really do need to talk to you.”
She could sense the
severity of his tone. “Okay,” she said.
“But make it quick. It’s late and Sierra and I have plans early in the
They walked deeper
into the sunken living room and exchanged quiet glances. Renee followed them, certain that something
“Okay, so what is
it?” she asked, wringing her hands together.
Sierra,” James repeated.
“What about Sierra?”
Kenny gestured to
the sofa. “Maybe….maybe we should...uh…sit down for a second.”
She shook her head. “No, I’m fine. What about Sierra?” She was beginning to grow frightened by their
faces and the sounds in their voices.
She wished they would just say what they came to tell her.
tonight after she left here,” James said, struggling to maintain his
composure. He couldn’t let her see him
“She went up to
that spot…the lookout point at the Hollywood Bowl,” Kenny added. “It appears that she was meeting someone.”
shaking her head. “She was going
home. She left here and she went
Kenny reached out
and took her hands in his. Behind him,
James’s eyes flooded with tears. “There
was an accident down the road,” he explained.
“The police were searching the area and they found Sierra in a car. She’d been….she’d been shot.” A pause while he waited for her to register
the information. “She didn’t
pulled her hands from his and staggered back a step. “No!” she screamed. “I don’t want to hear it!”
“I’m sorry,” Kenny
said, his eyes pleading as she began walking away.
“No, no, you’re
wrong,” Renee said and gestured to the door.
“You’re wrong. Sierra’s meeting
me tomorrow for breakfast. We’re going
shopping. She’s meeting me on the
she’s not,” James said in misery over the devastation in her eyes.
Kenny went to her
again and tried to reach his hand out to her but she pushed him away.
screamed. “No! No! No!”
“I’m so sorry,”
James cried. “Sierra is gone.”
Renee walked back
across the room and sat down on the sofa.
They quickly went to her and sat down on either side of her.
“No, Sierra isn’t
gone,” she said, her voice quavering.
“She’s isn’t gone. We have
plans. We have plans for breakfast and
to get manicures. She’s thinking of
going back to school. She has her whole
life ahead of her. No, she isn’t
gone. She wouldn’t do that. She wouldn’t.”
“Kenny and I saw
her,” James said. “We went up to the
lookout and we saw her, Renee.”
Quickly, she stood
up. “Well then you know that she can’t
be gone. She’s still alive. If you saw her then…” A muffled cry escaped her throat and she
covered her mouth with her trembling hands.
“We saw her body,”
Kenny went on.
“I know that it’s
so hard to accept,” James said, walking to her.
“How could you
leave her there?” she asked, shaking her head.
“How could you just leave Sierra up there like that? You said you were there so where is she? Where is my baby girl?”
“They don’t know
Sierra,” she said, going to the table where they’d been eating and began
cleaning up. “She had plans to go back
to school. She wanted to sing. She wanted to do things.”
extent of her denial was excruciating to James.
Watching her reason the truth away brought a flood of tears to his
eyes. When she began crying
hysterically, he rushed toward her.
stops Sierra when she wants something, okay?” she went on. “Give me the number of the coroner. Let me talk to them. I’m her mother. I want to know. I want to see my baby girl. I want to help her get better.”
can’t get better,” Kenny said. “She’s gone, Renee.”
I want to see her,” she said, wiping her eyes.
I just supposed to believe you when you tell me my little
girl is gone? No, I want to see her for myself.”
on the door startled Jordan
away from his conversation with Brett.
He couldn’t think of anything else but the possibility that it was Benji
who’d sabotaged Heather’s recovery.
Everything else seemed trivial at the moment.
Rydell?” asked a police officer when he opened the door.
“Yes.” He looked at them blankly.
need to talk to you about your son.”
with frustration. “If this is about the
robbery, I’ve already told you guys everything I know. I’m sure
it was Benji who did it. Just arrest him
not about the robbery,” the officer said.
what?” he demanded crossly. “What has he
done this time?”
we come in?”
Jordan ran his
fingers through his hair and gestured into the foyer before letting his hand
drop to his side with exasperation. Brett emerged from the living room and looked
on with concern.
officers picked your son up a little while ago wandering around Mulholland Drive,”
the policeman began. “They took him in
for questioning in the robbery.”
“Good. Did he confess?”
came down the stairs after putting Violet to bed. She went to Jodan’s side and looked on
later discovered that a young woman had been murdered near the spot where they
picked Benji up,” he continued. “She was
found in your son’s car.”
gasped, holding her hands over her mouth.
She saw the look of confusion on Jordan’s face and lowered her hand
don’t understand,” Jordan
said. “Are you telling me someone was
murdered in Benji’s car?”
Benji escaped custody before he could be questioned,” the officer went on. “He took one of the squad cars from the
and looked at Alex and Brett in disbelief.
was the woman?” Brett asked.
Merteuil,” the officer told him. “Does
she have any connection to your son, Mr. Rydell?”
white as a sheet. “Sierra?” he asked,
his heart sinking in his chest. “Sierra
been shot at close range with a nine caliber pistol.”
my God,” Alex whispered, placing a hand on her chest while trying to comprehend
your son know her?” the officer repeated.
nodded slowly, staring at the floor in a daze.
“She was his girlfriend,” he said slowly. “She broke up with him a couple of weeks
policemen exchanged glances, which Jordan picked up on immediately.
because she broke it off with him doesn’t mean he killed her,” he said
loudly. “My son is not a murderer.”
do you have an explanation of why he fled custody?”
his head in agony. “He was probably
scared,” he said. “He…he was confused
pulled him close as he began to break down.
I’m so sorry.”
he said and pushed her away. He looked
at Brett and then at the police officers.
“No, my son wouldn’t have done that.
He wouldn’t have killed Sierra.
He loved her.”
Rydell, I know it’s difficult, but we’ve seen cases like this far too many
saying that!” Jordan
bellowed. “He didn’t do it! He didn’t…he didn’t kill her!”
looked at each other again. “We have a
number of cars in pursuit of him right now,” one of them said. “They’re proceeding with caution. They don’t want to alarm him or cause him to
act out in any way. We’d like to ask a
few questions about your son if you have a few minutes.”
Jordan was too
bewildered to react. Brett saw the pain
in his eyes and took a few steps forward.
there anything I can do?” he asked.
in spite of the grave circumstances.
“You can find Suzanne and get her ass back here,” he said before turning
and leading the officers into the drawing room.
north on Highland,
Benji watched the police cars through the rearview mirror. His hands were sweaty and his head pounded
furiously. He unzipped his sweatshirt in
an attempt at cooling down, but the tell-tale blood stains on the t-shirt
underneath sent him into even more of a panic.
of Sierra’s lifeless eyes staring up at the night sky plagued him. He’d held her in his arms after she’d
died. She couldn’t push him away. She couldn’t tell him that everything they’d
shared had been a mistake. Those last
few moments that he spent with her were precious to him. No one could take them away.
and Stormy arrived home within seconds of each other and went into the parlor
where Brooke and Ethan were waiting.
They could see the forlorned looks on their faces and immediately knew
something was wrong.
“What’s going on?” Miranda asked. “Brooke, you sounded terrible on the
phone. Is it Daddy? Is he okay?”
fine,” Brooke said and left Ethan’s side.
“He called a little bit ago with some very sad news.”
kind of news?” Stormy asked. He’d just
gotten back from taking T.T. Levitt to the airport when he got Brooke’s
died,” Ethan said solemnly.
looked at him with wide eyes and then turned her gaze toward Stormy. “What?”
slowly sunk to the arm of the sofa, staring off in a daze. “She’s dead?” he asked. “How?”
looked uncomfortably at Ethan before replying.
“She was murdered.”
“Murdered? She couldn’t
have been,” Miranda said in shock.
“Sierra was the sweetest, most giving-“
were just as shocked as you were,” Brooke said.
“James and Kenny are with Renee right now.”
must be destroyed,” Miranda remarked, her glassy eyes beginning to flutter with
the weight of her tears. “Sierra was
everything to her.”
would have murdered her?” Stormy asked.
“I don’t understand.”
cleared her throat. “They seem to think
that Benji had something to do with it,” she said.
Miranda lamented. “Why Benji?”
shook her head dismissively. “They found
her in his car and when they questioned him, he took off,” she explained. “I don’t really know anything else.”
Miranda said and ran to the phone. “I have to call Jordan.”
already tried,” Ethan said. “Brett’s
there with him and said they have to keep all the lines open in case Benji
then I’m going,” Miranda said and started to the door.
nothing you can do, Miranda,” Brooke said.
spun back around. “I’ve got to do something!” she cried.
wasn’t so much that Ashton had been hovering around Sierra for the last several
weeks. He could have dealt with him
himself, the same way he did Malcolm and Hunt.
But he could feel her slipping away from him. He saw the dejection in her eyes and the way
she regarded him as if he were a stranger.
How could she think that after how close they’d gotten?
was so lost in his own thoughts that he didn’t immediately notice the convoy of
police cars that had amassed a few hundred yards ahead. A road block had been established, several
officers with their guns drawn positioned near the line of squad cars.
had turned on him, his father had turned on him, his mother abandoned him. But the thing that hurt more than anything
was that look in Sierra’s eyes when she looked at him. It’s me,
he wanted to say. The same person you gave yourself to that night at Paradise Cove. The one
who held you tight and made love to you.
didn’t listen. She continued to pull
away. The rejection felt like chaos in
his mind. He had to silence it. He had to silence her. He knew if he did he
would feel better.
the roadblock came into view, he gripped the steering wheel harder. He was not going to let them take him. He only did what he had to do. In their minds, he’d done something wrong but
he knew it was the right thing to do. It
was the only way the chaos would stop.
police raised their guns as the car came closer. The lights from their patrol cars created
dizzying patterns on the road. Benji
pushed his foot harder against the pedal.
The car lurched forward faster and faster.
the police realized he wasn’t going to stop, they scattered. Benji squeezed his eyes shut when the car
plowed through the police cars directly in his path. Sparks
from metal scraping metal flew into the air and pieces of steel scattered in
every direction. Glass windows
shattered. The force of the collision
caused Benji’s car to spin around two times before screeching to a stop just on
the other side of the blockade.
took a few moments, but once he realized he’d made it though unscathed, he
looked up at the bewildered faces on the police officers. They started to come for him. He quickly stepped on the gas and spun the
car back in its original path. Squealing
tires and smoke lingered in the distance as he gunned the engine and sped away.
was all for him. The convoy, the
roadblock. He panicked, realizing he
would eventually have to stop running, and when he did, he would see her eyes
staring at him. He would see the vacant
look that was permanently etched into his mind.
The chaos would return and he would be left with nothing but the
realization that Sierra was gone forever.
flooding his eyes, he drove faster. What
had he done? He thought that living in a
world without Sierra was better than living in one where she didn’t want to be
with him. But flickers of doubt kept
eating away at him. Silencing her seemed
devastatingly permanent all of the sudden.
down the stairs wearing a jacket and jiggling his keys in his hand. Before he made it to the bottom landing, Alex
was already approaching fast.
are you going?” she asked. “Jordan, you
can’t do anything to help. You just have
tell me I can’t help,” he said irately.
“I have to help. I have to do
something to…fix this.”
can’t,” she said, stopping him and placing a hand alongside his face. “You have to let Benji go.”
him go?” Jordan
asked with a frown. “He’s my son. Jesus,
Alex, I know I’ve been hard on him lately but it was only to teach him a
lesson. Having the police suspecting him
of murder is entirely different. No, I
have to do something.”
then, his phone rang. He fished it from
his pocket and checked the display. Eyes
wide, he looked at Alex with a hopeful expression.
he said when he answered. “Son, where
are you? What’s going on?”
Benji cried from the squad car as it barreled down the road. “Please help me. I can’t do this.”
don’t have to, Benji,” Jordan
said, pacing the foyer while Alex watched him in painstaking suspense. “I’ll help you. I promise I will. Tell me what’s happened.”
his head in agony, Benji stared at the road ahead through a haze of tears. “I had to make it stop,” he cried. “It just kept getting louder and louder.”
his head. “What kept getting louder?” he
Benji cried. “It just wouldn’t go
away. I thought that if Sierra
was gone not because she wanted to but because she had
to, that it
would stop, but it didn’t.”
his manic pacing. His eyes flickered
past Alex’s and he turned pale and his legs grew weak and immobile. “You…killed Sierra?”
was the only way,” Benji said, shaking his head as he sped through the
night. With his vision blurred, he
swerved into the next lane. Cars honked
at him and he quickly maneuvered back on course. “I just wanted it all to stop.”
swallowed hard. Hearing his son admit
that he’d taken another life, the life of an innocent young woman, made him
sick to his stomach. How could he have
raised a child to grow up and do something so horrific? Where had he gone wrong?
only thing he knew was that he had failed him, and he wouldn’t do it
again. No matter what Benji did, he
would always protect him. No matter what.
please just stop the car,” Jordan
over and let’s talk,
shook his head. “I just want to come
home,” he said. “Daddy, please let me
come home. I promise I’ll stop doing bad
things. I promise. I’ll make it up to you and to Heather and to
everyone I hurt. I just want to come
away a few tears that welled up in his eyes.
“Yes, come home, son,” he said.
“Just come home and I’ll take care of everything.”
promise. Just come home and we’ll figure
Benji said, wiping his eyes and nodding.
with relief. “Okay. Hurry.
I’ll see you soon.”
nodded. “I love you, Dad.”
love you too, son.” He hung up and
looked at Alex.
She went to him immediately, knowing that he
would need someone to lean on. And just as he’d been there for her after rehab,
she wanted to be there for him.
Benji clicked off the phone and dropped it
into the seat beside him. He looked
around to try to get an idea of where he was.
He’d been driving in circles, zig-zagging between the same two streets
so much that he had grown disoriented.
The sky was pitch
black and there weren’t many cars on the road. It made it difficult to see.
Deep down, he knew that his father
couldn’t help him. He couldn’t pull
strings and get him off this time. The
only thing going home would accomplish would be for him to see the look of
disappointment on his father’s face. He
couldn’t do that.
through the windshield, he tried to focus on the road. The pounding in his head grew worse with each
second. Then he saw something ahead,
illuminated in the headlights. It made
everything go away. The voices, the
pounding in his head, the chaos. They
were all gone.
stood in the road in a flowing yellow dress and beautiful ebony hair cascading
down her shoulders. She looked
enchanting. Benji smiled, relieved to
see her. The twinkle in her eyes made
him feel like none of the bad things the past few weeks had happened. They were still married and happy. He wanted to reach out to her and to be with
her. He wanted to take back what he’d
then she changed. Her face turned to one
of pain and misery. Blood poured from
her stomach and ebbed from her mouth.
Benji shook his head to dispel the image. When he looked at the road ahead again,
Sierra was no longer there. In her
place, he saw his mother.
he said, tears exploding from his eyes.
He watched her standing perfectly still in the road, smiling at him like
some kind of angel.
the car got closer, he panicked, turning the wheel in a hasty effort to avoid
hitting her. But in the blink of an eye,
she was gone, vanished as if she’d never been there. In her place were the cement pylons that
supported a stretch of highway 101.
The car smashed head-on into the
pylon, crunched like an accordion, glass and metal flying in every direction.
coroner led them into a room at the hospital.
Renee thought that since they weren’t in the basement, it meant her
daughter wasn’t in the morgue. And if
she wasn’t in the morgue, then James and Kenny were wrong.
you sure about this?” Kenny said before entering the room. “You don’t have to do this, Renee.”
I have to show you that it’s not her,” she said indignantly. “Then we can go home and put this whole
misunderstanding behind us.”
and Kenny exchanged worrisome glances while following her into the room where a
stretcher stood in the center of the room, a sheet covering the body that
rested on top.
James said and reached for her.
please,” she said and pushed his hand away.
She looked at the coroner and nodded.
the man took the sheet and lowered it.
James closed his eyes with sadness after seeing Sierra’s face that was
void of any sign of life.
looked at her daughter, her lip quivering.
She turned away, breathing heavily and fighting to control her emotions. They were right. Her daughter was gone, taken from her quickly
and mercilessly. Inside, her stomach
churned and her heart ached.
Kenny said and reached for her. “Are
baby,” she sobbed, turning back to Sierra’s body and placing a hand along her
face. “Oh my God, my baby girl….”
heart broke over the sound in her voice and the pained expression on her
face. What mother deserved this? No parent should outlive their child.
baby,” she cried, sobbing hysterically and refusing to leave her daughter’s
went to pull her away but she pushed him violently, returning to Sierra and
throwing her arms around her motionless body.
God…” she cried, shaking her head in agony.
“My beautiful baby girl….”
James said, trying desperately to pull her to him. "Maybe
we should step outside."
did this?” she cried. “Who did this to
neither Kenny nor James replied, she turned to them. “Who did this?” she screamed.
we don’t know the details,” Kenny began.
“All we know is-“
murdered my daughter?” she screamed at the top of her lungs.
reached out to her, holding her hands in his.
After she seemed to have calmed down a little, he decided he had no
choice but to tell her. “We don’t know
the details, but the police are questioning Benji-“
sound of his name sent alarm coursing through her body. “Benji?” she said, horrified. “He did this to my baby girl? He killed her?”
James said, but it was too late. She was
tearing out of the room.
paramedics burst through the doors of the emergency room, wheeling Benji’s
mangled body strapped onto a gurney.
Several police officers were present, making mild attempts at
questioning the EMT’s on his condition.
When Dr. Farraday arrived, however, he ordered them out of the
have we got?” he asked the emergency personnel.
lacerations, at least nine broken bones, possible spinal cord injuries,” one of
them stated. “Pulse is very weak. He’s lost a lot of blood.”
he been conscious?”
the O.R.,” he told a nurse who stood in line beside him. “We need to open him up right away and stop
away,” the nurse said and wheeled the gurney down the hall with the assistance
of two other nurses.
took the Sunset Studios helicopter to Death Valley,
cutting the usual five hour drive down to a ninety minute flight. When they neared the compound, the pilot
began to set the chopper down in a clearing a few hundred yards away. Once he got the all clear, Brett darted
through the night. He could see the glow
of the bonfire in the center of the compound, and detected the rustling of the inhabitants
when they became aware of his presence.
Abbot said as he emerged from his ten.
Behind him, Linda followed. “You
certainly know how to make an entrance.”
Suzanne?” he demanded, in no mood for the man’s word games.
made it clear she didn’t want you around,” said Ross when he approached with
several other followers. “She has a new
life here in New Abbott. She doesn’t
need you and the disappointments she left behind.”
has secured her position with us,” Warren
added. “I’m sure she would support me in
asking you to leave.”
it’s just the same, I’d like to hear that from her,” Brett said and barreled
past them. He began searching the tents
for her, calling her name. “Suzanne! Suzanne, where are you?”
now and you’ll avoid the consequences,” Warren
called after him.
later, Suzanne emerged from one of the tents.
She looked at Brett and then at the Warren and Ross who stood by
prepared to stop him.
going on?” she asked.
I have to talk to you,” Brett said, relieved to see her. “It’s about Benji.”
I told you that I’ve left all of that behind.”
your son!” Brett argued. “He needs you,
Suzanne. Something’s happened and you
need to be there. You need to be with
this be the same family who abandoned her?” Warren asked, following Brett.
abandoned her,” he snapped. “Suzanne,
please. Benji needs you. You don’t have to come back for me or for Jordan or for
anyone else, but do it for your son.”
looked at him blankly. “Thank you for
coming, Brett,” she said slowly.
“Triumph in the inner power.”
he turned to leave. Maybe she was a lost
cause. Whatever brainwashing techniques
these people used on her, it had a strong hold on her will power. Maybe she wasn’t strong enough.
he couldn’t just leave without trying.
He turned and grabbed her, throwing her over his shoulder and making his
way up the hill to the clearing where the helicopter was waiting.
“Let go of me!” she
screamed. “Put me down!”
“This is for your
own good,” Brett said, ducking when they neared the chopper blades that kicked
dust and dirt up all around them.
Ross tried to go
after him but Warren
waived a dismissive hand through the air.
“But he’s taking
her!” Ross exclaimed.
“Don’t worry,” Warren said with a
self-assured grin. “She’ll be back. Mark my words, she’ll be back.”
watching as the helicopter rose from the ground and started heading west
his scrubs, Dr. Farraday walked into the waiting area just as Jordan and Alex
raced inside from the parking lot.
what’s happened?” Jordan
asked in a panic. “How is he?”
was in bad shape when they brought him in.
I got the internal bleeding stopped,” Dr. Farraday said, holding a hand out
to calm him. “He’s got some immediate
internal problems that I need to go in and look at again but I need your
consent to do it.”
said. “Anything. I don’t care.”
do everything I can,” Farraday said. “A
nurse will be by with some forms for you to sign.”
his head adamantly. “I don’t care about
the damn forms. I care about Benji. How bad is it?”
doctor leveled a sincere look at him.
“It’s bad,” he said. “I’m not
sure that anything I do in there is going to help.”
saying my son could die?” Jordan
asked. Alex clung to his arm.
Farraday took a deep breath. “The odds
are against him. Time is of the
update you as soon as I can.”
he’d gone, Jordan
turned to Alex who pulled him into an embrace.
When the elevator doors opened and Renee emerged with James and Kenny on
either side of her, he pulled away from her instinctively.
God damn son of a bitch!” Renee
screamed, racing toward him and slapping him hard across the face. “My daughter is dead! My daughter is dead because of your insane,
demented cretin of a son!”
recoiled, shielding his face from her fists as she pummeled him
mercilessly. James and Kenny tried to
restrain her but in the moment she was fueled with grief.
could you let him do this to her?” Renee cried hysterically. “How could you let him take her away from
I didn’t know he would-“
you did!” Renee screamed. “You knew! You
knew what he was capable of! You and I both know that you’ve been aware of what
he’s capable of for years. You just
chose to ignore it.”
son of bitch,” Renee said, slapping him again.
“My daughter is gone because you couldn’t do what needed to be
please, let me take you home,” Kenny said while pulling her back.
watched with wide eyes, tears in her eyes as she saw the devastation that had
is on your head, Jordan,”
Renee said, pointing a finger at him as she trembled uncontrollably. “You should have stopped him. You should have stopped him!”
she allowed Kenny to lead her back out of the room.
take her,” he told James. “You stay
call you in a while,” James said and patted him on the back. After they left, he turned to Alex. “I heard Benji was in an accident. What happened?”
crashed the police car,” she told him.
James asked. “I mean, was it an
accident? Were the police in pursuit?”
shook her head and looked across the room at Jordan who paced back and forth in
misery. “We don’t know,” she said
you think he crashed on purpose?” James asked.
“I mean, do you think he meant to…”
looked at him and sighed. “I don’t
son did not kill himself,” Jordan
railed when he overheard their conversation.
He approached steadfast, eyes riveted to James. “How can you even think something like that?”
sorry, I didn’t-“
me a favor and keep your theories to yourself, James,” Jordan cut him
off. “Or better yet, get out of here and
worry about your own family.”
closed her eyes, distraught over seeing him in such turmoil. She knew it was only a matter of time before
he broke down completely.
Brooke, Stormy and Miranda went to the hospital after getting the call about
Benji’s accident. When the giant
automatic sliding doors opened from the parking lot, they rushed inside. They took the elevator up a floor and
everyone raced over to James and Alex.
Miranda said and hugged him tightly. “Is
there any news? How bad is it?”
bad, sweetheart,” he said. “Benji’s in the operating room.”
is Renee?” Ethan asked, placing a comforting hand on Miranda’s shoulder.
devastated,” he told them. “Kenny took
her home. If you could have seen the
look in her eyes when we told her about Sierra.
It was the most awful thing I’ve ever witnessed.
I don't know if she'll ever recover from this."
doesn’t deserve this,” Miranda said, her eyes tearing up at the thought of
Renee losing her only child. It made her
maternal instincts kick in even more than before. All she could think about was protecting her
daughter from the ugliness of the world.
is just awful,” Brooke said, her arms wrapped around herself as she looked at
Ethan and then Stormy. “All I’ve been
thinking about is how none of us really made an attempt to get to know Sierra.”
nodded in agreement. “She’s family but I
can’t remember the last time I sat down and had a conversation with her.”
weren’t very supportive,” Miranda said solemnly.
beat yourselves up,” James said. “If
anyone’s to blame it’s me. I should have
integrated her into the family more. The
sad fact is that I don’t think she wanted to be. After she found out Nathan was her father,
she sort of withdrew from most of us.”
should have tried harder,” Brooke said tearfully.
. . . . .
Miranda approached Jordan across
the room. She stepped tentatively,
afraid to disturb him but at the same time wanting to let him know that she was
there for him. When Jordan saw her,
he pulled her into an embrace.
“I’m so sorry,”
Miranda said. “Are you holding up okay?”
He nodded, his hand
lingering in hers. “I just don’t know
what happened, Miranda. I don’t know
what was going through his mind.”
“We’ll get to the
bottom of it,” she assured him. “Once
he’s out of surgery, he’ll be able to tell us what happened. Until then…”
“I already know
what happened,” Jordan
said. “The same thing that happened to
Heather. I’ve done such a bang up job of
raising my children that they’ve both literally self-destructed.”
she said, placing a hand on his chest.
“These are two totally different situations.”
his eyes. “My son killed Sierra in cold
blood. Genetics is the only thing I know
that can keep me from believing he’s a monster.”
. . . . .
Alex decided it was as good a time as any to approach Stormy. When she did, however, he greeted her with
the same hostility that he had for the past few weeks.
“Stormy, I want you
to know that-“
“I don’t want to
hear anything you have to say,” he said to her, cold as steel eyes burning into
hers. And with that he turned and walked
to James and Ethan.
Alex stood behind,
eyes watering. Couldn’t he even take a
break from his resentment during a time like this? She began to wonder if he would ever forgive
her. After what happened to Sierra and
Benji, she’d realized how precious family was.
. . . . .
Ethan saw Brooke
hovering across the room and could immediately tell that she was about to lose
it. He knew her better than
“Are you okay?” he
asked tenderly when he approached.
She wiped her eyes
and nodded. “I don’t know why I’m so
“Because you have a
big heart,” he said. “And because you
hate seeing other people in pain. That’s one of the big reasons I fell in love
She recognized his
words as the first glimmer of the old Ethan she once knew. Since he’d returned, he hadn’t said a single
nice thing to her. Seeing the softer
side of him made things a little easier to take.
“Do you remember
when you first moved into the house?” he continued. “Miranda couldn’t stand you. In fact, she was horrible to you.”
“How could I
“I walked into the
parlor one day and found you crying.
When I asked you what was wrong, you didn’t say anything about what it
was doing to you. You were worried about what your being there
was doing to James and his relationship with his daughter. That’s the Brooke that I remember. The one that I fell in love with.”
She looked at him
for a long time, as if realizing for the first time that he’d been gone for a
year and a half. She’d changed a lot
since then. Maybe he was expecting her
to be the same naïve woman she was back then.
Kenny took Renee
home and gave her a sedative. Lying on
her bed clutching a framed photo of Sierra, she shook her head miserably.
“Why?” she cried,
her eyes stained with tears. “Why did he
take my baby away from me?”
“Shhh,” Kenny said,
running his hand alongside her face.
“Try to get some sleep.”
“I can’t,” she
said, although her eyes were growing droopy.
“You’re going to
get through this.”
His eyes fell and
he shook his head. “I don’t know.”
Within minutes, she
was half asleep, the frame still gripped tightly in her hands. She flailed about fitfully, waking once and
screaming out in hysterics. Kenny eased
her back against the pillows and soothed her with a gentle hand on her
murmured in her sleep. “T.T., I need
Kenny sighed, took
off his shoes, and sat in the chair beside her bed. He stayed awake most of the night and watched
her sleep. He knew she would need
someone in the morning. And as much as she hated him, he was determined to be
there for her.
By one o’clock in
the morning, there had been no word from the operating room. Brooke, Ethan and Miranda were sitting
quietly in a row of chairs while James paced back and forth. Across the room, Alex approached Jordan and
placed a hand on his back.
“You haven’t said
anything in over an hour.”
“I don’t know what
to say,” he told her.
“Say anything,” she
pleaded. “Tell me how you’re feeling.”
He laughed in spite
of himself. Shaking his head, he turned
toward her. “You want me to say that I’m
a terrible father because I turned my back on my son when he needed me?” he
began. “You want me to say that if I’d
just believed in him none of this would have happened? Sierra would still be alive and he wouldn’t
be in there on an operating table?”
She put her hands
alongside his face and brought him closer.
“What happened tonight is not your fault,” she said. “Do not do this to yourself, Jordan.”
. . . . .
Across the room,
Stormy entered and Miranda looked up inquisitively. To her surprise, Eddie
appeared just behind. Hoisting herself
up from the chair, she rushed over to him.
“When did you get
back?” she asked, pulling him into an embrace.
“I thought your case wasn’t over for another week.”
called me about Blake so I came right back,” Eddie said, squeezing her tightly.
asked. “What happened?”
“He was in an
accident earlier tonight,” Eddie told her.
“Oh my God,”
Miranda exclaimed. “What happened? Is he okay?”
“He and Ashton
Childers were in driving up Mulholland and a drunk driver came out of
nowhere. They were both thrown from the
car. Blake’s stable but Ashton's
not doing so good. He’s in critical
condition. They don’t think he’s going
to make it.”
gasped. “This is the worst night
“The weird thing is
the accident happened less than half a mile from where they found Sierra,”
Stormy informed her.
asked, alarmed by the coincidence.
Three Hours Earlier
you okay?" Ashton asked when he picked up the phone
and heard Sierra's voice.
“I’m fine,” she
said from her cabana at Moonshadows.
“Benji called me. He wants to
meet and talk.”
“You’re not going
to, are you?”
“I think I am,”
Sierra replied, slipping into her shoes by the door. “He sounds so miserable, Ashton, and I can’t
help but think it’s all my fault. I feel
like if we can just hash things out once and for all it might help him to move
“You’ve hashed everything out, Sierra,” Ashton
said. “Let him get on with his life so
you can get on with yours.”
She sighed. “I knew you were going to try to talk me
about of it.”
“Isn’t that why you
called?” he asked with a smile. “Because
I’m the voice of reason?”
“Maybe,” she said
with a shrug. “But the more I think
about it, the more I’m sure this is what I have to do.”
“Well, just be
careful. I think he’s a loose
cannon. Where are you meeting him?”
“The lookout at the
Hollywood Bowl,” she replied.
“I hope it gives
you the closure you need,” Ashton said, then looked at his phone when an alert
signified that he had another call.
“Call me tomorrow.”
“Bye,” she said and
switched over to the other call, Blake began talking a mile a minute. “Have you seen Sierra? Is she with you?”
“I just got off the
phone with her,” he said. “She’s at
“Benji left here a
little while ago and he was totally freaking out,” Blake told him. “Ashton, he had a gun.”
“Are you serious?”
“He thinks you’re
taking Sierra away from him,” Blake explained.
“People have been talking and-“
going to meet up with him right now. He
said he wanted to talk things out.”
. . . . .
Ashton picked Blake
up in his car and they headed up Mulholland to the lookout point. It was dark on the winding road and Ashton
had to squint to see the yellow lines in front of him.
friends with Rydell for a while. Do you
think he’d do anything crazy?”
“I don’t know,”
Blake said, shaking his head. “I know he wouldn’t hurt Sierra.”
“Still, I think we
should be there in case things get out of control.”
. . . . .
Sierra’s cold body in the passenger’s seat of his car, Benji dropped the gun on
the seat and ran off on foot. He didn’t
know where he was going but he knew he had to get away. His emotions see-sawed back and forth. One minute he felt the rushing sense of
relief that it was over, and the next he felt alone and terrified at the image
of her soul disappearing before his very eyes.
the darkness, he descended on the hill from the lookout and started down the
road on foot. In the distance, he could
see a car coming his way. The headlights
were so bright he had to look away. From
the other direction, another car was racing toward him. One seemed to be veering out of control,
snaking between lanes as it approached.
Blinded by the
lights and by the pounding in his head, he darted across the road to
safety. The car swerved away from him
and hit the other head on. Benji could
hear the sound of twisted metal grinding together, the explosion of glass
shattering, and screaming from the passengers.
He hadn’t a moment
to lose. He had to get away now. He had to get far away from the lookout and
. . . . .
At the moment of
impact when the driver hit them, Blake and Ashton both crashed through the
windshield, their bodies sailing through the air and landing in the brush over
a hundred yards away. In the quiet of
the night with only the sounds of crickets chirping and coyotes howling in the
distance, they laid unconscious and bleeding.
waiting room was silent when Jordan
looked up and peered down the hallway toward the operating room. He saw Dr. Farraday emerge with a nurse and
quickly rose to his feet. The others sat
quietly waiting while Jordan
took the long walk down the hall to where the doctor stood. The sound of his shoes tapping against the
sterile floor echoed down the corridor.
The journey felt like it took hours.
he finally reached the door, the look on Farraday’s face was all he needed to
confirm what he’d felt in his stomach for the past few hours.
did everything we could,” the doctor said with a look of sympathy. “His internal injuries were just too
severe. I’m so sorry, Jordan. Benji’s gone.”
took a few minutes but Jordan
finally let the news sink in. Claustrophobia overtook his senses. He had to remind himself that this wasn’t a
horrible nightmare. Everything seemed so
surreal to him. He wouldn’t have the
opportunity to make things right. He
wouldn’t be able to tell his son how sorry he was for turning his back on him
when he needed him. It seemed so final
Farraday asked if he wanted to see him and he said no. He wasn’t sure why. He just knew that he couldn’t look at him
after what he’d done to him. He knew
that later he would regret it.
and without expression, he turned and walked back down the hallway to the
waiting room. His knees felt like
rubber. His legs only moved because he
forced them to.
he entered the room, the others stood and approached him. He told them the news and looked away so he
didn’t have to see their shocked faces.
Miranda burst into tears, covering her mouth with her hands. James put an arm around her while Eddie and
Stormy embraced warmly. Alex simply
shook her head in disbelief. Brooke,
whose body jolted back a step upon hearing the news, closed her eyes tightly
while Ethan knotted his fingers through hers.
a few minutes, they all gathered their things from their chairs and left the
waiting room with an overwhelmingly sick sense of finality. At the elevator, James placed a hand on Jordan’s back
while guiding him inside. They rode down
in silence with shocked faces and quiet tears.
the parking lot, they dispersed to their own cars. Jordan exchanged a few words of
thanks to James and Miranda before he and Alex got in and drove home. In the quiet of the night, they walked up the
steps to the front door and went inside.
the entryway, Alex turned to say something but Jordan was already walking up the
stairs. He entered Benji’s room and
looked around at the Blink 182 posters and shelves of CD’s and video games that
lined the wall. He closed the door and
sat down on the bed.
his mind, he repeated the words that Dr. Farraday had spoke to him after the
surgery. We did everything we could. Benji’s gone. After a while, he couldn’t remember his exact
words. He didn’t know why it mattered
but it did for some reason. Then he thought about the
last time he saw Benji, and tried to memorize everything about it even though
it hadn’t been a very pleasant conversation.
Instead he tried to think about the last time they were together before
everything went wrong. It seemed too
long ago to remember.
lay on the bed and stared at the ceiling, holding the pillow close. We
tried everything we could. Benji is gone. That didn’t seem right. What were his exact words? At the very least he thought he should
be able to emember what the doctor said when he told him his son was dead.
Eventually he fell asleep, knowing
that when he woke everything would seem even hazier to him. The only solace he found was that the last
words he’d spoken to his son were that he loved him. He hoped it would be enough, but he knew it
gathers to pay their respects. Brett doesn't understand
Suzanne's behavior. Alex and Miranda are concerned
about Jordan. James pays tribue through alcohol.
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