Nathan and James sparred over his
return from prison. Nathan later confessed to
Jack that he wanted to return to the big screen. Brett
learned that Warren Abbott was a wealthy businessman
from San Francisco and had been making regular cash
deposits that matched those withdrawn from Suzanne's
bank account. When Brett tried to reason with
Suzanne, she told him to leave her alone. Later,
Marilee told Suzanne about the break-in at Jordan's
that Benji was supposedly responsible for. Distraught,
Suzanne returned to New Abbott to confront Warren. Jane
cautioned Miranda against taking over for Gemma, but
Miranda insisted that she would make a difference to
the girls, and added a few new members whom she pulled
from the street. Brooke put Ethan off so she could
attend a meeting with Kyle about the marina expansion.
Later, she and Kyle had sex in her office. Ethan
overheard a heated phone coversation of Mackenzie's.
When he asked her about it, she told him to mind
his own business.
The worst thing
about being woken up in the middle of the night by the phone was that he was
running on barely three hours of sleep a night.
The best thing was that he’d been in the middle of a dream that reminded
him of every mistake he’d made with Benji. After
sitting up in the dark bedroom with Alex sleeping beside him, Jordan waited for the grogginess to
wear off, then quickly dressed and left the house in a matter of minutes.
By the time he got
onto the Santa Monica Freeway, he was awake and alert, squinting through the
glaring headlights in his path. The
clock in his Porsche read 3:45am, but he knew it was slow so it must have been
closer to four o’clock. Either way, it
was far too early to be awake, and too late to be called to the scene of an
Once he took the Pasadena exit, he maneuvered toward the Actors Retirement
Village. Upon arrival, he could see the blaring red
and blue strobes from two police cars and an ambulance. Standing just outside one of the residence
halls were a smattering of spectators, most still dressed in their
“Mr. Rydell,” a
nervous, stout man with glasses and hardly any hair said as he approached. “Dean Walchuk, Director of Operations. Thank you for coming down.”
“I’m here, Jordan,”
a voice said from behind. When he
turned, Lola approached him steadfastly.
“I don’t know why they had to call you.
It’s really not a big deal.”
“They said somebody
tried to kill you,” Jordan said with a wry
expression. “That’s a pretty big deal.” He turned to Walchuk. “What the hell happened? I thought this place was secure.”
The man stammered
for a few seconds before a woman approached with a great deal of fanfare. Dressed in a peach silk robe with fringed
sleeves, an eye mask pushed up to her forehead, and a martini in hand, she
addressed the entire group.
“I’m afraid the
perpetrator mistook me for Lola,”
Blanche Elizabeth said. She was the
seventy-four year-old actress who’d appeared in a popular cop show in the
sixties and seventies before appearing in several movies while in her fifties,
the majority produced by Lamont 3 and Sunset Studios.
“How?” Jordan asked.
Blanche placed a
hand out before her. “Picture a crazed
killer stalking toward his prey, pillow outstretched, murder in his eyes and in
his heart, with nothing driving his actions but the sheer desire to snuff out
the life of his poor, hapless victim!”
Jordan rolled his eyes
and turned to Lola.
“We traded rooms
two nights ago,” his mother explained.
“You know how I can’t sleep with crickets chirping and I swear there was
one hiding out somewhere in my room.”
“I sleep through
anything,” Blanche added. “Once at a
party hosted by Don Ameche, I slept through a four piece jazz quarter playing
the entire first act of All that Jazz.”
happened?” Jordan asked crossly.
shrugged. “Well, I woke up in the
morning and got a cab to my apartment on Seventh Avenue.”
“I mean what
happened tonight,” Jordan said
with a sigh.
“Oh, I woke up to
find someone standing over me trying to smother
me with a pillow!” she explained dramatically.
“I screamed but it was futile. My
vocal chords strained, my heart beating wildly, I clawed at the intruder and
tried to push him off of me but he was too large. I simply couldn’t do it.”
“That’s when one of
our security guards heard the commotion and stopped him,” Walchuk added.
“The guy ran off
before I could call for back up,” offered the guard in question.
Jordan scratched his head
in confusion. “But how do you know this
person was after my mother? Chances are
it’s someone here who would have known she switched rooms.”
“Because he left
something behind,” Detective Rodriguez said when he approached and handed him a
photograph. “Is this or is this not your mother, Mr. Rydell?”
Jordan looked at the
picture, a headshot of Lola from some forty years before. He hadn’t seen that particular photograph
before, which was unusual because her apartment at one time had been filled
with self portraits.
“He left it on the
bed before Harry chased him off,” Blanche exclaimed with a shriek, then quickly
swallowed a couple of pills and washed them down with her martini.
glanced between the photo, Rodriguez, and Lola. “So somebody dropped a photograph. It doesn’t mean anything.”
“You could be
right,” Rodriguez said. “We just wanted
you to be aware in case-“
“In case of what?”
“In case he tries
it again,” Blanche said ominously.
Jordan sighed and rubbed
his temples with his fingertips. “Okay, I want someone posted outside my
mother’s door every minute of the day.
No one goes in to see her unless you clear it with her or myself.”
“Of course, Mr.
Rydell,” Walchuk said and went through the motions of writing something down on
a notepad. “No one gets in.”
led Lola off to the side of the crowd and placed a hand on her arm. “Are you okay? Do you want to come stay at the house for a
“Of course not,”
Lola replied and pushed a few silver curls from her eyes. “I’ll be fine, Jordan. This was probably some fluke mishap. Honestly, who would want to kill me?”
Jordan simply leveled a you’ve got to be kidding look at her
before returning to talk to Rodriguez.
Suzanne knew that Warren was in the next
town for the night, and Ross and the rest of New Abbott never rose before
sunrise, so she decided to take the opportunity to do some investigating. After dressing, she crept out of her tent and
emerged into the clearing, embers from the campfire smoldering in the fire
pit. Not wanting to waste time, she
quickly embarked on her fact-finding mission.
Her first and most important stop was the cabin where Warren slept.
Since learning that
her actions had caused a further rift between Jordan and Benji, she had spent
hours berating herself. How could she be
so stupid as to fall for the manipulations of a man like Warren Abbott? He’d taken her away from her family when they
needed her most. And while she was
responsible for her own actions, she knew it was because of Warren’s promise of a better life that she
grew dependent on him. Now it was time
to put a stop to it.
Creeping into the
cabin, she quickly went to work at searching for evidence that he was a
phony. She didn’t know what she was
looking for, but she knew there had to be something she could use to disband
his group of followers.
Unfortunately, Warren was good about not
keeping anything around, or at least not in his own cabin. The place was practically bare. Nary a trace of paperwork or even a note
scribbled on a piece of scrap paper.
Frustrated, she left his cabin and continued around the camp. When she came to a tent tucked back behind
Ross’s, she stopped. She had seen a lot
of activity there before but never knew what was inside. As a matter of fact,
the only one’s she’d seen going inside it were Warren and Ross.
opened the door and proceeded inside. To
her surprise, the room was full of wooden boxes. Supplies of some kind, she decided. Nothing that could be of any use.
But before she
turned to leave, she saw a large drum positioned near the door with the word Explosives stenciled on the side. Frowning, she attempted to see what it was. The lid was sealed tightly and she didn’t
want to make a lot of noise trying to get it open, so she went to one of the
boxes to try to find something to pry it open with.
When she opened
one, however, she saw something that made her heart pound furiously inside her
chest. Guns. Handguns and machine guns, along with
ammunition, tucked away inside the wooden box.
She opened another
and found cases of thick wax. Inside,
sticks of dynamite and other assorted explosives were carefully encased. Eyes wide, she backed up a few steps and
placed a hand over her mouth. What was Warren doing with enough
weaponry and explosives to destroy an entire town?
returned home, the sun was just coming up.
Alex was quietly sipping coffee in bed when he walked into the bedroom
and threw his keys on the dresser.
have you been?” Alex asked, twisting off the bed and approaching him. “I woke up and you were gone.”
got a phone call,” he replied briskly.
“A problem with Lola.”
I could have helped,” she said, her face full of concern. “You haven’t had a full night sleep in
days. I could have gone instead.”
“You?” he asked with a chuckle. “You and my mother aren’t exactly best
friends. I handled it. I’m going to get a shower and do some work in
thought we could spend some time together today,” she protested. “Maybe go out to the beach and have a picnic
I don’t want to do anything today.”
don’t want you to just lock yourself up in your study all day. You need to be around people today. Let me help you.”
he grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her forcefully. “How many times do I have to tell you, I
don’t want your help! I don’t want anybody’s help!”
she looked away and waited for him to release her. Jordan wasn’t a violent man and she
didn’t fear him. What she did fear was that he was shutting
everyone out to such a degree that he’d never let them back in.
he began, letting her go and running his fingers through his hair. “I’m
sorry. I’m just trying to deal with this
the best way I can. I threw my son out
of the house, turned my back on him and refused to listen when he asked me for
help. Because of that he died. It’s not something I can just get over, so
you’re going to have to bare with me. I
realize that. You can have all the time
you need,” Alex said. “All I ask is that
you don’t shut me out. Let me be there
for you like you were for me when I got out of rehab, when I thought Stormy was
dead, and when my entire family had turned their backs on me.”
Stormy didn’t die,” he said and
looked at her. “Did he?”
she looked away because she couldn’t stand the pained expression in his
think maybe you should go home,” he said while heading to the bathroom.
turned quickly toward him, startled by his request but unsure of what to
just need to be alone right now,” he continued before going into the bathroom
and closing the door.
Alex turned and realized she had to do as he asked. She had to step away and give him time. As much as it pained her to do so.
watched as Miranda slept soundly beside him in her bedroom at the Blackthorne
mansion. He leaned over and waived his
hand in front of her to see if she reacted.
Once he was sure she was in a deep sleep, he quietly crept out of bed,
careful so as not to disturb her.
only in a pair of red and blue briefs, he went to the dresser and picked up her
cell phone. To his detriment, the keypad
was locked and for the life of him he couldn’t think of what the password
was. After trying a few birthdays and
name combinations with no success, he gave up and set it back down.
outside in the hall alerted him to a presence, so he tip-toed across the room
and peered out into the hall.
quiet,” he whispered.
you get it?” Stormy asked from outside the door. He looked him up and down and frowned. “Jesus, you couldn’t put some pants on
it wasn’t my top priority,” Eddie said with a hush. “Her phone’s locked. I don’t know the password.”
you try her birthday?”
idiot, I tried her birthday.”
sighed. “Then we’ll have to get on
only has three friends on Facebook, me you and Jane.”
Stormy said, then scrunched his face up.
“My sister doesn’t have many friends, does she?”
keep looking,” Eddie said. “I think she
has an old address book.”
he closed the door and turned to make sure Miranda was still asleep. He went to the nightstand by the bed and quietly
opened the drawer. Nothing but romance
novels and a neck massager.
this for?” he whispered to himself.
a shrug, he closed the drawer and went to her desk. When Miranda started stirring in the sheets,
he quickly stepped up his efforts. In
the drawer, he noticed a black binder and quickly skimmed through the
pages. Jackpot. Inside were pages of names complete with phone
numbers and email addresses.
on his pants and rushing to the door with the address book, he slipped out into
the hallway just as Miranda opened her eyes.
Safely out of sight, he trotted down the hall and went into Stormy’s
bedroom where he and Jane were laying on the bed.
Stormy exclaimed. “Ever heard of
knocking? We could have been naked.”
were just down the hall,” Eddie said
and pointed. “Oh forget it. Look, I found an address book.”
Stormy said and reached over Jane.
“Instant guest list for her baby shower next month.”
is going to be so surprised,” Jane said, placing a hand on Stormy’s back. “This is really sweet of you guys to do. I know Miranda doesn’t usually like this type
of thing, but once she sees her friends there she’ll be glad she did it.”
the kind of guys we are,” Stormy said and kissed her.
rolled his eyes and turned just as Miranda walked in, sleepy-eyed and pregnant
stomach protruding in her nightgown.
babe,” he said, turning and discreetly handing the book to Stormy behind his
back. “You’re up.”
“Yeah. What’s going on in here?”
three looked at each other for a few moments before looking back at her.
she asked, then shook her head with indifference. “Fine, don’t tell me.” Slowly, she turned back to the door. “I’m going down for breakfast. When you’re all done with your threesome you
can come down and join me if you want. I'm starving."
she’d gone, Eddie turned back and let out a deep breath. “That was close.”
guys should start calling people today,” Stormy said with a grin, holding the
book tightly in his hand.
left the mansion early that morning so she could get an early start on business
at Moonshadows. While the impending
marina expansion was still a source of concern, her main reason for starting
her day at the crack of dawn was so she didn’t have to see Ethan. The guilt over standing him up the night
before ate away at her, especially after what transpired between her and Kyle
in her office.
on to shield her eyes from the bright morning sun, she entered the administrative
office building and proceeded directly to her office. Her secretary, Marcia, was already positioned
at her desk in the reception area.
Brooke,” she said.
Marcia. Is Kyle in yet?”
yet. Want me to have him see you when he
that’s okay.” She slipped into her
office and closed the door, relieved that she’d made it there before he
did. She didn’t know how she was going
to look him in the eye after what happened.
off her sunglasses and throwing her purse on the white leather sofa, she became
transfixed to the spot where they’d made love.
It had been undeniable hot, just as sex with Kyle had always been. She couldn’t get the image of his naked body
out of her mind. Why was he such a weakness
to her? He’d done despicable
things. The old Brooke would have never
let herself be taken in by him and his charm and sex appeal. Maybe Ethan was right. She’d changed a lot over the past two
herself to push the thoughts from her mind, she sat down at her desk and opened
the file on the marina expansion. A
knock at the door alerted her to a visitor and she cringed, knowing full well
it was Kyle.
she walked to the door just as Ethan entered with Michael in tow.
the six-year old squealed and threw his arms around her legs.
sweetheart,” she said, kneeling down and giving him a quick squeeze. She looked up at Ethan. “What are you doing here this early?”
wanted to go to the playground, so what could I do?” he said with a grin and
ruffled the boy’s hair. “You were up and
out early today. Are you avoiding me?”
she asked nervously. “Why would you say
you didn’t come home till late last night, then this morning you were out the
door before sunrise. I thought we were
going to talk.”
are,” she said with a smile. “Just as
soon as I get this mess with the marina expansion straightened out. I’m sorry I’ve been distracted. I really do want to talk.”
he said with a grin. “Because I think we
have a lot to discuss. I’m starting to
realize how one-sided I’ve been acting since I came back.”
are?” she asked with surprise. When he
told her he wanted to talk, she assumed it was to berate her again for her agreeing
to work with Kyle. Now that she knew it
wasn’t, it made their passionate night of sex together seem all the more sordid
long, lingering look between them was interrupted when Kyle appeared behind
them in the doorway. Brooke immediately
grew tense, positive that she was going to say or do something to blow things
out of the water.
going on here?” he asked, placing a hand on Michael’s shoulder. “Bring your family to work day?”
daddy’s taking me to the playground!” Michael shouted.
is?” Kyle asked, flashing Brooke a smile.
“That sounds like fun.”
just came by to see if you’d like to join us,” Ethan said to Brooke. “What do you say? Care to test your skills on the monkey
purposefully avoided Kyle’s smoldering stares.
“Actually, I would.” She tickled
Michael in the stomach. “I intend to
give this monkey a run for his
noticed the pleased look on Ethan’s face and quickly went to stop it from going
any further. “Actually, we have that
breakfast meeting with Chip Matthews. He
has the revised plans for the marina.”
Brooke asked. “Wow, that was fast.”
after we met with him yesterday I called his boss and put a heavy thumb on it,”
Kyle said, obviously pleased with himself.
“I’ve got a table ready at the Sierra Room.”
okay,” she said, then offered Ethan an apologetic look. “I guess I’ll take a rain check on the monkey
nodded, a look of disappointment on his face.
“Yeah, sure, that’s fine. Come
on, champ, let’s go.”
mommy!” Michael yelled.
sweetheart,” she said.
they left, Ethan met Kyle’s stare with a penetrating look.
Kyle said with a smarmy grin once they were alone. “I thought you’d be pleased about
I am,” she said casually. “I’ll just
grab my things.”
smiled, watching her walk to her desk and then turning and staring at the spot
where they’d made love the night before.
being counseled by Kenny at lunch the other day, James decided it was time to
knock the walls down between him and Mackenzie.
They’d had a good thing going for a few months and despite its rocky
times, it still felt very right to him.
He hadn’t felt this way about a woman in a long time, so it made sense
to try to work things out with her.
After all, their problems weren’t big.
Most of the time it was their own stubbornness or lack of communication
that were to blame.
at the Young at Heart studios
informed him when he called that Mackenzie was on set, but in her office behind
closed doors. He decided an impromptu
visit was in order, much like hers when she showed up at his hotel room in New York a few weeks
with low carb bagels because she always seemed to be watching her figure, and
two cups of steaming coffee, he knocked on her door with his elbow and tried
balancing his offerings in his hands while shimmying open the door.
looked up and smiled. “Famished. This is a surprise.”
thought it was time we stop dinking around,” James said matter-of-factly.
didn’t know we were.” She rose from her
seat and rifled through the box of bagels until she found an oat bran. “I don’t dink around.”
just feel like we haven’t been connecting.
But things are calmer now. My
family seems to be going on with their lives and they don’t need my help so
that means I can concentrate on us.”
the next disaster happens,” Mackenzie said guardedly.
not fair,” James told her. “Every family
goes through tough times. But things are
finally good. I’m happy. I just want to share that with someone.”
he was right, Mackenzie walked out from her desk and perched on the edge. “You’re right. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t spend time
together and see where this thing goes.
We have chemistry.”
like that,” James said with a grin as he moved toward her. Their lips met in a soft, wet kiss. “You’re a challenge, Mackenzie Stone, but I’m
up for it.”
sure?” she asked. “I’ve been told I’m a
you are,” he replied with a laugh.
knock at the door interrupted them and Mackenzie sighed with exasperation. “Come in,” she said, mouthing an apology to
the door opened, a crew member entered with an enormous bouquet of red
roses. “Look what just arrived for you!”
she said, excited.
immediately pulled back, eyeing the flowers and then gauging Mackenzie’s
on earth?” she asked, directing the woman to set them on her desk.
not your birthday, is it?” the woman asked.
shook her head. “No. Thanks, Melissa. That will be all.”
that she didn’t get to see who they were from, the woman ducked out of the
office and left them alone.
wants you to know how they feel,” James said while trying not to sound jealous.
not from you?”
shook his head uncomfortably.
plucked a card from the arrangement and opened it. “Great
seeing you again, Love Mason,” she read silently to herself.
she didn’t offer up any explanation, he decided to take it upon himself to get
to the bottom of the lavish arrangement.
“Who are they from?”
away a look of sheer panic, she shoved the card back in its tiny envelope and
forced herself to smile. “An old
friend. Nobody important.”
regarded her carefully. “An old friend
who has this kind of affect on you?”
don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said.
decided to drop it. They weren’t close
enough yet for him to be jealous over flowers from an ex-boyfriend. “Well, they’re very lovely.” He made a move toward her again. “Just like you.”
body suddenly rigid, she placed a hand alongside her head and winced
uneasily. “You know, I’ve suddenly got a
terrible headache. I think I’m going to
go home for a bit and lie down.”
frowned while watching her scramble for her purse. “Do you want some company?” he asked
I think I just need to be alone,” she said and headed for the door. “I’m sorry, James. We’ll do this again, okay?”
he stood and watched as she flew out of the office. A quick glance back at the flowers prompted
him to pick the card up and read it.
Just as he thought, they were from someone she obviously had been with
recently. Whoever Mason was, they
obviously meant something to one another.
Jealousy quickly overtook him.
he picked up his coffee and walked to the door.
He shouldn’t be surprised, he told himself. Mackenzie was a beautiful, vibrant woman with
loads of charisma. She probably had a
slew of ex-boyfriends clamoring for another chance with her.
it seemed that their reconnecting was nothing but a pipe dream. Some things weren’t meant to be.
his office at Sunset Studios, Stormy paged through the business plan for Titan
Records’ west coat operation that T.T. had messengered over. The offer, though out of the blue, did
capture his interest. He was tired of
battling for control over Sunset Studios with Brett, who after everything he’d
done, was still his father’s golden boy.
But if he stepped down from the studio, he’d be handing the reigns over
to his former brother-in-law. Miranda
had no interest in the business, Ethan had relinquished any involvement when he
returned from the dead, and Brooke was now more interested in Moonshadows than
the movie business. A sigh escaped his
throat as he realized there was a real danger of Brett becoming permanently
ingrained in the family business. He
couldn’t let that happen. He’d have to
turn T.T.’s offer down.
sound of the door opening and closing didn’t immediately register with
him. Too lost in his own thoughts, he
didn’t notice Nathan enter the room and slowly approach his desk.
if this isn’t a déjà vu I don’t know what is,” he announced.
looked up and frowned. “Pardon?”
sitting there at the helm of the studio,” Nathan explained. “It’s like looking at your father twenty-five
smiled meekly. “Great,” he
murmured. “What are you doing here,
question seemed to instill the confidence that his presence was welcome, so
Nathan sat in the chair across from him and half-crossed his legs. “Isn’t it obvious?” he asked after a few
moments of deliberation.
return to Hollywood
has been unmarked with scandal,” Nathan continued. “I feel that I’ve finally shed myself of the
vicious rumors that were circulating around me at one time. The people are ready for a comeback.”
comeback?” Stormy asked with a scoff.
“Like last time? You skipped town
in the middle of production on Donnie
was tricked into returning to Paris,”
Nathan corrected him. “Of course I would
have loved to see Donnie & Johnny
make it to the screen. Unfortunately, your
father and David Jennings had other ideas for me.”
Stormy sat back in his chair. “Well, I’m
not sure what I can do to help you. My
father calls the shots and I don’t see him casting you in another picture.”
even The Benefactor?” Nathan
asked. “I made that film what it was in
the sixties. It’s a cult classic. The remake begs for me to appear.”
what role?” Stormy asked incredulously.
“No offense, but you’re a little old to play Norton again.”
laughed. “You obviously haven’t done
your homework. The original script that
Jonas commissioned in sixty-seven described Norton as a man in his sixties. His experience and wealth of knowledge was
what made him such a perfect choice to lead the expedition. Norton was
the benefactor. I only got the role then
because Jackie insisted her father
give it to me. Of course now I know that
was probably a way to distract me from her affair with Royce Jennings.”
didn’t want to argue with him. The more
he fueled his fire, the more off subject the conversation would steer. It was par for the course with his great
just going to have to talk to my father and Brett,” he told him, putting his
hands up to signify his constraints.
Nathan asked. “Frankly, I’m surprised
you’ve let him ingratiate himself into the family like this. Sunset Studios was always a family business,
Ryan. Jonas started it with his two brothers.
That’s where the name Lamont 3 came from. Then he died and James took over and it
remained a family run business. Now
we’ve got Brooke Taylor and Brett Armstrong putting their paws all over it.”
scowled. “Brett’s only involved because
of you,” he insinuated. “You married Jackie so she could have your
ten percent, then when she left town she gave them to Brett.”
smile crept across Nathan’s suntanned face as he uncrossed his legs and crossed
them again in the opposite direction.
“Well, now I’m back. All it would
take is one vote from a shareholder and I reclaim my proxy votes. Armstrong would be left without a single
claim to the studio.”
prospect gave Stormy pause. A way to
remove Brett from his position in Sunset Studios? How could he not take it?
do you need a vote? If the shares are
yours, why can’t you just take them back?”
tape created by Jonas in his will,” Nathan explained. “Once shares are transferred, the new owner
has to relinquish them. If they refuse,
a vote is called. Since there are only
two other shareholders, a tie automatically goes to my favor.”
basically my father or Brooke have to vote to give you your shares back,”
Stormy surmised with a frown. “You might
as well forget it. Neither one of them
is going to go for that.”
why you have to convince them,” Nathan said and rose to his feet. “Of course, there’s always the
alternative. You could continue taking
orders from Brett Armstrong.”
notion was nauseating. Stormy knew he
had to find a way to convince his father or Brooke to return Nathan’s
shares. It was the only way to protect himself
and his son’s legacy.
took place every morning at New Abbott, so in an effort to appear
inconspicuous, Suzanne joined with the same vigor and dedication that she
always had since first arriving at the compound. As Warren
led the group in their daily exercises, she took the opportunity to brainstorm
on her next move. The first thing was to
find out why there was an arsenal of weapons in a place where peace and
serenity were so highly valued.
Opportunity arose after meditation when Ross approached
and asked if she wanted to go for a walk.
She anxiously accepted his offer and ambled along the rocky terrain away
from the camp.
Abbott is in danger of being run off again,” he confessed to her after a few
moments of silence. “I wanted to tell
you personally because you’re a valued and trusted confidant to myself and
Warren. The rest of the camp doesn’t
will happen?” she asked, pushing her hair over her ears and desperately trying
to gauge his expressions. It was
impossible to tell what was real and what wasn’t when it came to anything he
have to relocate somewhere else,” he said.
“Unless we can come up with more money to build our defenses.”
wasn’t the first time Suzanne had heard them talk about defending the camp
against outsiders. Maybe that’s what the
explosives and the guns were for. She
decided that since he trusted her so much, it wouldn’t hurt to tell him that
she knew about the secret tent.
know about the tent next to yours,” she confessed.
stopped and looked into her eyes. “What
do you mean?”
tent that we were instructed to stay away from because of its sacred values or
whatever,” she said. “I saw what was
inside. Is that what you mean by
defending the camp?”
he continued walking.
can trust me, Ross,” she said. “Tell
me. Who are you defending the camp
who don’t want us here,” he replied vaguely.
“They don’t understand what we stand for.”
“Really? Peace and self empowerment? Who wouldn’t understand that?”
of Warren,” he
said. “There are people who disapprove
of him. He has enemies.”
raised an eyebrow. Based on what Brett
had told her, Warren was a wealthy businessman
from San Francisco. Wealthy because he’d conned other people into
giving him everything they had just like she had. So if that were true, the arsenal of weapons
and explosives didn’t make sense. If
someone wanted them to relocate, he would relocate. In the end, the financial gain would be well
worth it. Something didn’t add up to
back at the camp alerted them to a situation.
A look of concern crossed Ross’s face, and moments later he was running
back to the camp. Suzanne followed,
anxious to see what was going on.
they arrived, Warren and the others were gathered on the hill staring at an
abandoned jeep in the clearing. Drawing
closer, they saw Linda and one of the other followers rifling through the
going on?” Ross asked.
have a visitor,” Warren
told him. “One who appears to be hiding
looked at the jeep and wondered who had been driving it. Something about it seemed vaguely familiar to
registration,” Linda said when she emerged from the inside.
they broke down,” Suzanne said.
love that you see the good in everything, Suzanne,” Warren said.
He turned to two male followers.
“Stand guard until they return.
I’ll be in my cabin. I want you
to bring them to me.”
the group turned to retreat to the camp, Suzanne continued staring at the
jeep. Slowly, she began to recognize it
as the same one she’d ridden in months ago on the beach with Brett. He’d surprised her one day and picked her
up. They’d driven along the coast with
the top down and then made love by a fire beneath the cliffs.
come to get her. The only question was,
where was he?
the lobby of the Beverly Hills Hotel, Miranda placed a folder in each of the
girls’ hands. Sam and Veronica, two of
the new additions to the organization, accepted them timidly.
are your assignments for tonight,” Miranda said. “Your rooms are reserved at the Beverly
Wilshire. Everything about the men
you’ll be meeting is enclosed. Their
likes, dislikes, as well as a waiver in the event of an emergency.”
kind of emergency?” Sam asked with a cringe.
realized she was being too cryptic for girls of their inexperience, so she
quickly downplayed it. “Like dirty
sheets or running out of ice,” she said.
“The point is, these men have been clients of Gemma’s for a long time so
they know the drill. But if you feel
uncomfortable at any time, I’m on speed dial.”
She handed them both a cell phone encased in blue and silver jewels.
a senator?” Sam exclaimed with
wide eyes as she flipped open her folder.
“Oh my God! I think I’ve seen
this guy on TMZ.”
Miranda said and closed the folder for her.
“Don’t be flashing that stuff around in here. Our clients expect anonymity and that’s what
they’ll get.” She was then quick to add,
“as long as they hold up their end of
anyone had ever told her she would be employing sixteen call girls for a living
while being six months pregnant, she would have laughed in their faces. While prostitution was mainstream in Hollywood, she still felt
a little dirty for being involved. Not
to mention the fact that it was illegal.
What she didn’t need was to give birth in prison and only see her baby
on visitation days. The prospect made
her proceed with total caution.
you okay?” she asked them when they stared blankly at their files. “Because if you’re hesitant about this, you
don’t have to do it. There are other
ways to make a living. I’m just giving
you an option.”
fine,” Sam said with a vague smile. “A
lush suite at the Beverly Wilshire beats the back of some john’s car in an
alley off Hollywood Boulevard.”
“Yeah. Thanks, Miranda.”
smiled in return. Maybe this wouldn’t be
so hard after all.
had an early shift at the restaurant so Eddie took a booth by the window and
pored over Miranda’s address book. Every
once and a while Jane would stop by his table to refill his coffee and see how
the guest list selection was going.
luck?” she asked as she neared his table.
haven’t really started,” he said with a guilty expression and held up his
iPhone. “Angry Birds distracted
Jane grabbed his phone from him and pointed at the address book. “Well focus.
If we don’t start planning this shower now, Miranda’s going to be in
labor by the time we get everything figured out.”
okay,” Eddie said sheepishly and opened the black leather-bound book. “Gosh,
you’re so bossy. No wonder Stormy digs
her arms, Jane looked over his shoulder.
is weird,” Eddie said as he flipped through the pages.
I know Miranda doesn’t have many girlfriends besides you, but there are no
women in here.”
frowned and looked at the fist page he turned to. “She’s got to have more girlfriends than
that. What about girls she went to
regarded her with a scrunched up forehead and a raised eyebrow. “You didn’t know Miranda in high school. She was a nightmare.”
what the hell is this?” Eddie asked, pointing to a name on the list. “Jim Nordquist, 12727 Sierra Vista. There’s even a note next to his name. 8:30pm.
Beverly Wilshire. Room 1305.”
my God,” Jane said, realizing finally dawning.
It wasn’t Miranda’s address book they were looking at – it was Gemma’s
book of clients. Panic immediately set
in, and she began cursing her friend for her negligence with the
know.” Eddie looked at her with a
horrified look on his face. “She’s meeting
some guy at a hotel! Can you believe
Miranda wouldn’t do that,” Jane said, closing the book and attempting to grab
it from him. “I’m sure there’s an
tugged at the book. “Yeah, my pregnant
girlfriend is meeting Jim Nordquist at the Beverly Wilshire! Not many explanations for that, Jane!”
she tried to think of a way to calm Eddie’s suspicions without telling him
about Miranda’s new profession. “Maybe
she’s opening another hotel and wants to get decorating ideas.”
that’s probably it,” he said with a roll
of his eyes.
think?” Jane asked, hoping it didn’t sound too weak.
Eddie exclaimed and shot up from the booth.
“First she messes around with David Jennings and now some guy from the
valley? Well nobody treats Eddie
Distefano this way.”
what are you going to do?” Jane asked, panicked as he raced to the door.
But he was already bolting outside
into the bright morning sunlight.
Frustrated, Jane turned and dug her phone from her apron so that she
could call and warn Miranda.
Brooke sat across from Kyle on the veranda at the Sierra Room, she couldn’t
help but feel as though he were staring at her.
Looking up from her notes on their last meeting with Chip Matthews, she
caught him grinning at her.
is it?” she asked.
been staring at me for the past twenty minutes,” she complained. “I would ask if I have anything in my teeth,
but we haven’t eaten yet. What time was
he supposed to be here?”
he’s a few minutes late,” Kyle said with a shrug. “And can you blame me for staring? You look positively beautiful today.”
sigh escaped her throat as she slid out from the table and prepared to rise to
her feet. “I’m going to call him.”
he said, his eyes pleading with hers.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t
resist. I just can’t stop thinking about
last night. You have to admit it was
she sat down again so as not to create a scene.
“Regardless of how good the sex was, it was wrong.”
don’t think it was wrong at all,” he said.
“It seemed very right to
shouldn’t be together like that. We work
together now. It’s very
is sex appropriate?” he asked with a
grin. “Brooke, we’re both adults. We knew what we were getting into. You wanted me and I wanted you. I think you’re making too much out of it.”
seems to be your reasoning for everything.
I was making too much out of your keeping the truth from me about
Ethan. I was making too much out of the
fact that Mackenzie is your sister. Tell
me, do you have a conscious at all?”
I have a conscience. I also had reasons
for everything I did. Reasons that have
everything to do with how I feel about you.
Just give me a chance to prove it to you.”
can’t,” she said. “Ethan is….”
is what?” he cut her off. “He’s finally
showing some interest in you so you’re just going to wait around and see if he
makes a move? Come on, Brooke. You’re worth more than that.”
irritated by the conversation, she looked at her watch again. “I think we should call. He’s half an hour late.”
Kyle stood up. “I’ll call.”
he’d gone, she stared out at the ocean and tried to put the image of last night
in her office out of her mind. Hot
didn’t even begin to describe how she felt about their encounter. Kyle may be cocky and full of himself, but he
had every right to be. She’d never been
with a man who was such an expert at pleasing her.
on the other hand, had also been a fantastic lover. They differed in many ways but in that
department they did not. With Kyle it
had been sweaty and passionate, while with Ethan it had been erotic and
sensual. And while sex was important,
she ultimately had to think of her own happiness and the well being of her
thoughts were interrupted when Kyle returned to the table and sat down across
like I got my times mixed up,” he said with an apologetic shrug. “Sorry about that.”
leveled a penetrating gaze on him. She
knew him better than he thought she did, and she could see right through
him. “You just got the times mixed up?”
she asked with a disbelieving tone to her voice.
“Yeah. I guess it was too good to be true that he’d
have a new proposal drawn up already.”
her head in amusement, she began gathering her things from the table. “Yeah right,” she said. “You know, I thought you might be on the
level for once, but I see you haven’t changed a bit.”
are you talking about?” he asked. “My
calendar went berserk today and I messed up.
What else would be going on?”
trying to keep me from spending time with Ethan this morning, that’s what,” she
said and rose to her feet. “Is this what
you’ve resorted to? Petty high school
games? You know, I may be gullible at
times but I’m not a complete idiot.”
never said you were gullible or an
idiot,” Kyle protested.
time you want to call a meeting, have Marcia arrange it with me first. This whole morning has been nothing but a
huge waste of time. And what’s sad is
that instead of getting closer to me, you’ve just pushed me further away.”
he could respond, she was turning and darting inside the restaurant. With a sigh, Kyle sat back down in his seat
and cursed himself for his sloppiness.
If he was going to get Brooke back, he was going to have to be a little
leaving the children’s park at Moonshadows, Ethan led Michael up the hill to
the parking lot.
Michael shouted while pointing to a purple rock on the ground.
know, weird, huh?” Ethan said while opening the door and ushering the little boy
inside. “Buckle up.”
he waited to close the door, he heard yelling from across the parking lot and
instinctively turned in the direction of the commotion. To his surprise, Mackenzie was barreling up
the path from the cabanas, a man whom he didn’t recognize following her and
shouting angrily. Curiously, he stopped
not being reasonable, Mackenzie!” the man was shouting. He appeared to be in his late thirties,
fairly well dressed, and looked at Mackenzie with pleading eyes.
“I’m not being reasonable?” she asked
incredulously. “I’m not the one who
showed up after two years expecting a big fat welcome reception!”
it wrong for me to want to see you?” he asked while grabbing her arm and
pulling her back. “Two years is a long
sure the hell is,” she said, her eyes flashing major danger signals. “So why now?
Why show up here all the sudden?
What do you want?”
to see you!” he lamented. “You could
show a little more appreciation. I take
time out of my life to come see you and you ignore my phone calls, berate me
for sending you flowers, and then show up here demanding I stop contacting
yet you still don’t get the picture. Let
me make it perfectly clear. I don’t want
to see you, so get the hell out of my life!”
could tell things were growing more heated so he decided to step in. Whether it was necessary or not, he didn’t
know, but despite Mackenzie’s defiant nature, he could see the look of fear in
in the car, buddy,” he said to Michael before closing the door. “Daddy just has to go talk to someone for a
he made his way across the parking lot, he saw the man grab Mackenzie by the
arm again and pull her forcefully toward him.
okay here?” he asked as he drew near.
“Mackenzie, is this guy bothering you?”
can handle it,” she said, pulling away from the man.
mind your own business,” the man said, turning his powerful gaze toward
Ethan. “This is a private conversation.”
because it looks like she doesn’t want to talk to you,” Ethan said. “Why don’t you take a hint and leave her
man’s full attention was now directed at Ethan.
He left Mackenzie’s side and approached him swiftly, eyes flaring
don’t you take a hint and get lost?”
could tell the guy was not going to back down.
“I’m not going to ask you again.
Leave her alone.”
man belligerently pushed his chest toward him, dark eyes penetrating into his
as he drew his fist back in attack mode.
But before he could deliver a blow, Ethan kneed him in the gut and
brought his hands swiftly down onto his head.
When the man staggered back a step, Ethan punched him hard in the
nose. Blood spattered from his nostrils and he fell
back into the pavement.
you okay?” he asked Mackenzie, barely winded.
the man stood up, he flashed a look of warning toward Mackenzie. “This isn’t over,” he said, wiping blood from
his nose. He turned to Ethan and grinned
smugly. “And you better watch your back,
he retreated back down the path to the cabins, Mackenzie started toward her
car. Ethan quickly went after her.
was that all about?” he demanded.
she said while fidgeting with her key fob.
“You didn’t have to do that. I
can take care of myself.”
sure you can, but that guy was a jackass.
I did it more for me than for you.
Who is he?”
she turned to face him. “Mason Stone,”
she replied. “My ex-husband.”
Ethan watched as she got into her car and sped off through the parking
lot. For some reason he couldn’t fathom
Mackenzie ever being married, let alone to a tool like Mason.
he returned his car and got inside. As
he did, Michael was jumping around in the seat with excitement.
you really beat the crap outta that guy!” he exclaimed happily. “That was so
your language,” Ethan cautioned him.
“Put your seatbelt back on.”
but that was really cool,” Michael said while buckling himself in. “How’d you learn how to fight like that,
Daddy? That guy was no match for you!”
he pulled out of the parking space, Ethan had to remind himself that Michael
was still unprivy to some of his recent activities. The fact that he learned to fight while in
prison was definitely not something he wanted to tell his son.
dinner that night, Suzanne decided to adjourn to her tent early. She said her goodnights to Ross, Warren, and the others,
while proceeding across the campsite amidst the glow of the fire pit. She needed time to think. Time to process what she was going to do to
get back at Warren Abbott for taking advantage of her. Not just
that she was taken advantage of, but that her son had to be blamed for their
into her tent, she felt a hand clasp over her mouth. She tried to scream out for help but it was
useless. Her eyes wide and her heart
beating wildly in her chest, she struggled to get free of the powerful
me,” came a whisper of a voice. “Be
he lowered his hand from her mouth and she turned. To her surprise, it was Brett standing before
her. Panic turned to relief and she
found herself embracing him warmly.
are you doing here?” she asked.
couldn’t let you come back here,” he said.
“Suzanne, I know you’re feeling rejected and confused because of
everything that’s gone on in the past few months, but these people aren’t the
answer. They’re not your friends. You have to believe me.”
know,” she said. “After you told me
about Warren I
started to realize that he really isn’t who he says he is. Brett, it wasn’t Benji who broke into Jordan’s
house and stole that stuff. Jordan
just assumed it was. It was us.
Ross and I drove to L.A.
and ransacked the house. Warren said he needed
money to protect the compound.”
he said, drawing her into another embrace.
He could tell what it was doing to her.
The feelings over what transpired with Benji must be more than she could
handle. “I’m so sorry.”
now I’m starting to think they’re lying about that too,” she went on. “I found a tent filled with guns and
explosives. Brett, I think they’re up to
why did you come back here?” he asked.
“I think Warren Abbott is dangerous.
You shouldn’t be here.”
shrugged. “I just couldn’t let him get
away with it.”
I’m getting us out of here,” he admonished.
guarding the jeep,” she told him. “If
they have guns then how are we-“
take care of it,” he whispered. “Just
meet me on the hill when the rest of the camp goes to sleep.”
are you going to do?”
wait here until the coast is clear.”
took his hands in hers. “I’m so glad
you’re here,” she said.
he kissed her softly. “I’m going to get
us out of this,” he promised.
Jim Nordquist loved his wife and children,
enjoyed his work as a California State Senator, and appreciated the finer
things in life that his position had brought him over the years. He seemingly had it all. Underneath, however, he was a very unhappy
man. That’s why Gemma Sanders had been
so instrumental in changing his outlook on life. With his fetish for totally anonymous sex,
she always provided a different girl who could fulfill his every fantasy. Tonight was no exception. He poured himself a drink while waiting
patiently for the girl to arrive.
had tried unsuccessfully to get in contact with Miranda all day. Her phone was going straight to voicemail, so
she left about a dozen messages. When
she got off work from the diner, she quickly changed and sped down to the
Beverly Wilshire in hopes of stopping Eddie from doing something stupid.
knew that Miranda would regret her decision to take over for Gemma. Not a day into the gig and Eddie was already
on the verge of finding out. How did she
expect to keep this from him?
she got to the hotel, she scouted around the lobby for any sign Eddie. As she did, her phone rang and she answered
quickly after seeing that it was Miranda.
have you been?” she asked. “I’ve been
trying to call you all day.”
had my phone off,” Miranda told her. “I’ve got another phone I use to contact
the girls. It’s better that way in case
Eddie were to get a hold of mine.”
Jane said and dropped her free hand to her side in resignation. “But don’t you think you should pay the same
careful attention to where you put Gemma’s client list?”
address book thing in your bedroom.
Eddie thought it was yours and he took it so he could get names of
people to invite to your shower.”
my God!” Miranda exclaimed. “He didn’t
look at it, did he? And how sweet of
about the shower for now. He not only
looked at it, but he also now thinks you’re meeting someone in room 1305 of the
Beverly Wilshire tonight. I think he’s
going to show up here, Miranda.”
God, oh God, oh God,” Miranda chanted in a panic. “Okay, I’m on my way down there.”
already here,” she said while looking around the crowded lobby. “I don’t see him anywhere.” A pause while she peered across the way to
the elevators. Her eyes narrowed on a
tall lanky man standing by the elevators looking at his watch. “Never mind.
He’s here. I’ll call you back.”
she hung up the phone and raced to the elevators. The doors were closing but she slid in just
in time. Once inside the car, Eddie
looked her up and down with surprise.
can’t let you do this,” she said. “I
know you think you know what’s going on, but you don’t.”
go home and let me deal with it,” he said, lurching forward when the elevator
doors opened. “Miranda’s my girlfriend,
she might be carrying my baby, and I want to know if she’s screwing around on
just wait a second.” She followed him
fast on his heels but he was too quick.
In a flash, he was standing outside of room 1305 knocking firmly on the
door. Moments later, a man
Miranda here?” he demanded.
looked at him blankly. “Oh…Miranda? Not yet.
Who are you?”
the guy who’s gonna punch your lights out,” Eddie said while drawing his fist
back and clocking him in the face. He
watched as the man stumbled back and hit the floor with a thud. “She’s pregnant, you
sick son of a bitch.”
that, he turned and retreated back down the hall. Jane, feeling as though she should apologize
to the man, closed the door and ran after Eddie.
you did your part. Now let’s just go
back to the diner and call Miranda and she’ll sort this whole thing out.”
Eddie said and got into the elevator.
“I’m going to wait downstairs for her to show up. That way I can catch her in the act.”
the doors closed, Jane stayed behind.
She quickly fished her phone from her purse. “Miranda, whatever you do, do not come down to the Beverly
Brooke got home, she entered the foyer and saw James eating alone in the dining
room. Before going up to check on
Michael, she ducked inside and walked toward him.
is everyone?” she asked.
he replied. “You’re late getting
home. Busy day at Moonshadows?”
an understatement,” she said and plopped into a chair across from him. “I hope you weren’t expecting me.”
shook his head. “No, I just got home a
bit ago myself. Want some dinner?”
fix myself a sandwich later,” she said.
sighed. “It just never gets
smile crossed her lips. “Let me
he pushed the plate away from him and took his napkin from his lap. “Is it that obvious?”
obvious that you care for her. Is this
still about what happened at the funeral?”
mean when I acted like a class A jerk?
No. At least not that I’m aware
of. I think she’s interested in someone
kidding,” Brooke said. “The two of you
seemed so happy. I can’t believe she’d
have already moved on this quickly. I
mean, did you even ever officially call it quits?”
he said with a shrug. “But maybe I
missed something. I haven’t exactly been
a master dater.”
stood up and placed a comforting hand on his.
“You’ll work it out,” she said.
“Have you seen Ethan?”
he hasn’t come home either. I’m not sure
where he is.”
walked into the bar at the Yacht Club and found Mackenzie seated by herself at
the bar. Slowly, he ambled toward her
and sat down two stools away.
you serious?” she asked when she looked up at him. “You’ve got to be following me.”
he asked with a grin.
I’m getting a stalker vibe from you.”
I was hoping I’d run into you here,” he told her. “I’m just concerned, that’s all. That guy earlier today seemed to really shake
Stone is not quite enough to shake me up,” she said. “He’s an annoyance, yes, but I can handle
myself around him. Lord knows I’ve had a
lot of practice.”
long were you married?”
a year,” she replied. “Back in New York. I moved out here right after it ended.”
to talk about it?” Ethan asked. No
matter how hard she pretended to be, he could tell something about her ex got
to her. Whether it was fear or something
else, he couldn’t tell.
she said. “I mean, we all have a past,
don’t we? You and Brooke have
yours. James and I have ours. This is no different.”
it is different,” Ethan said. “What is it about this guy? I heard you talking to him on the phone the
other day. You don’t want him
around. I’m just wondering why.”
better off not knowing,” Mackenzie said and finished her drink. “Stay out of his way if you run into him
again. Trust me.”
she rose to her feet and turned to leave, Ethan followed her. He blocked her path, standing inches from her
and staring down into her mesmerizing blue eyes.
something about you,” he said. “I can’t
quite put my finger on it.”
smiled. “Not many people can. But what can I say? I like to march to my own drummer.”
more than that,” he said, his hand reaching out and resting on her waist. “I notice it more every time we’re
moved his hand away and clutched her purse beneath her arm. “You’re very handsome, Ethan. And that whole white knight thing today was
very sexy, but I’m going to have to stop it there.”
what?” he asked, toying with her.
for starters, the love of your life is probably at home waiting for you.”
hasn’t exactly shown an interest in reconnecting with me.”
things with James and I aren’t quite finished.
I need closure before I jump into bed with another man.”
didn’t say anything about bed,” he replied with a sheepish grin.
to his soft green eyes and strong facial features, she forced herself to look
away. “It’s still better if you stay
away. With Mason showing up in town,
things could get ugly. And you’ve
already made a bad impression on him.
I’d hate for anything to happen to you.”
I look worried?”
smiled again before turning and leaving the bar. Ethan watched her go, wondering what it was
about her that he was so attracted to.
sundown, Brett crept out of Suzanne’s tent and ambled around the perimeter of
the camp. He had to clear a path for him
to lead Suzanne back to the jeep, but wanted to ensure they could proceed
undetected first. The fire had slowly
died down to embers and a cool chill had enveloped the desert.
as to remain silent, started up the hill where he’d left the jeep. Two men were positioned nearby standing guard. Swallowing hard, Brett crouched down to the
ground and waited to make his move. How
he was going to take down two of them was unclear, so he decided his only
recourse was to distract them.
a rock from the ground, he threw it across the clearing and ducked. As if on cue, the two men took off in the
direction of the sound. Quickly, Brett
rose to his feet and started toward the jeep when something struck him on the
back of the head. Unconscious, his body
crumpled to the ground in a heap.
above him, Ross gripped a rock in his hand and looked down at his motionless
sat on a sofa in the lobby of the Beverly
Wilshire watching as Eddie paced back and forth. He looked at his watch, at Jane, and then at
the door before sighing and continuing his manic pace.
let’s just go,” Jane said. “Miranda
isn’t coming. I think you’ve got the
wrong-“ She stopped when her eyes
traveled to the door and saw her friend barreling through the doors. With a sigh, she dropped her hands to her
sides in resignation. “Oh, and here she
Miranda said and breezed across the lobby toward them.
on cue,” Eddie said and looked at his watch.
do you mean?” Miranda asked innocently.
are you doing here, Miranda?” Eddie asked.
meeting a friend. How did you know I was
going to be here?” She decided the key was to pretend Jane hadn't
already warned her.
Eddie showed her the leather bound address book. “I found this this morning in your bedroom.” He opened to the page in question. “Jim Nordquist. Room 1305.
Ring a bell?”
Miranda asked. She stepped forward and
took the book from him. “Oh my God, you
found it. Eddie, where was it?”
your bedroom!” he yelled. “’Right out in
the open for anyone to walk by and see all the skanky details!”
this isn’t mine,” Miranda said, hoping to cover for her carelessness.
yeah, well whose is it?”
girl who goes to the same OB as me,” she
answered. “We were talking in the
waiting room last week and I must have picked up the wrong book. I was supposed to meet her here to hand it
off tonight but I panicked when I couldn’t find it.”
laughed. “Like I’m supposed to believe
that?” he asked. “Okay, so where is
she? This elusive friend from the OB?”
a voice called from across the lobby. “Over
turned just as Sam approached. “Hi,” she
said. “I’ve got your address book.”
face lit up and she took the book from her.
“Thank God. My whole life is in
here. I was just going up to meet my Uncle Jim from Sacramento.
Thank you so much for bringing it to me.”
I wanted to make sure you got it back,” Miranda said. “See you at Dr. Mitchell’s next week.”
Sam said and headed off to the elevator.
she’d gone, Eddie looked at Miranda with an apologetic look on his face. “Sam?” he asked. “From your OB’s
she’s just a couple months pregnant.
She’s a sweet girl.”
looked at Jane and then back at Miranda.
“Sorry,” he said. “I don’t know
what came over me. I just got crazy for
a minute when I saw all those men in that book.”
smiled. “I forgive you. Just next time ask me if you’re looking for
something. What did you need it for anyway?”
looked nervously at Jane. “Uh,
nothing. Just wanted to get the name of
that….uh….” Unable to think of a
plausible excuse, he decided to leave it at that. “Oh, hey, I forgot that I have to go meet
Stormy. See you girls later.”
he’d flitted away, Miranda held her hand up in acknowledgement of her disapproving
look. “Don’t say it,” she said.
simply shook her head as if to say I told
High atop the hill on Torreyson Drive, Hugh Rogers stared out
of the enormous floor-to-ceiling windows in his octagonal shaped house
overlooking the city. Swirling a brandy
in a snifter gripped in his right hand, he heard the presence of someone enter
the room behind him.
found her, I’m assuming?” Hugh asked, his sinister eyes boring down on his tall
assistant, Trevor. Assistant sounded
good to him. Henchman sounded
followed her to the Beverly Wilshire,” Trevor said, dapper in a black suit with
matching tie and a sterling silver tie clip.
“She’s definitely turning tricks again.
I told you she wouldn’t get out of the business.”
she working on her own?” Hugh asked.
“That hardly seems like a smart business decision for a young woman like
he said. “The guy she was meeting was a
California State Senator. Hotel room
costs more than what she used to make in a night working for you.”
who is she working for?” Hugh pondered, walking across the plush carpet into
the sunken living room. “That relic
Gemma is in prison, so who else is there?”
has it that Gemma got a replacement,” Trevor told him. “Whoever it is, do you think they could have
taken Sam, Veronica and Farrah from you?”
gave a maniacal laugh. “I sincerely hope
not for their sake. I’d hate to be the
man….or woman who steals one of my
girls – let alone three. Find out if it’s true and if so, who this
idiot is. Then send a message from me.”
away,” Trevor said before backing out of the room and closing the double doors
Suzanne discover Warren's plans. Another incident
occurs at the Actors Retirement Village, putting several
residents in danger. Stormy is chastised by Brooke.
Renee agrees to leave with T.T.
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