Suzanne returned to New Abbott in
hopes of exposing Warren to his followers. White
investigating, she found explosives and weapons. Brett
arrived to take her home with him, but was knocked unsconscious
by Ross. Eddie found Gemma's client book and mistakenly
assumed Miranda was meeting a man at a hotel. Jane
warned Miranda about the mix-up, so Miranda claimed
the book belonged to Sam, a girl she met at Dr. Mitchell's
office. Hugh had his men follow Sam, one of their
prostitutes, and learned that she was working for someone
else. Hugh ordered his right hand man, Trevor,
to send whoever it was a message. James tried
to patch things up with Mackenzie, but after receiving
flowers from someone named Mason, she grew distant and
blew him off. Later, Ethan saw a man hasseling
Mackenzie and punched him out. Mackenzie later told
him the man was Mason Stone, her ex-husband a a very
shady character. Kyle invented a meeting at Moonshadows
to keep Brooke from spending time with Ethan. When
she found out, she chastised him. An expansion
project at the marina kept Kyle and Brooke working closely.
Stormy wanted Brett out of Sunset Studios, so
in exchange for a role in The Benefactor, Nathan
told him a way to go about it. He would need to
get James or Brooke's approval to take Brett's shares
and return them to Nathan.
With his hands
bound by thick rope behind his back, Brett had spent most of the night
struggling to get free. The last thing
he remembered was being clocked over the head.
Some time later, he woke up bound to a chair in a tent at New
Abbott. Now the sun was up and he heard
movement all about him.
Thoughts of Suzanne
and what they may be doing to her plagued him.
He knew he had to get free in order to rescue her. If they thought for a minute that they were
working together, then she was probably in the same boat as she was. The prospect propelled him to work fervently
at trying to loosen the ropes. His arms
exhausted, he realized it was useless.
When the door
parted and Ross entered the tent, Brett stopped his attempts at breaking
free. His eyes narrowed on him and he
waited cautiously for him to make a move.
“Suzanne is fine,”
Ross said. “Luckily we apprehended you
before you could brainwash her into leaving with you. Or maybe your plan was to throw her over your
shoulder like a caveman and drag her off like last time?”
“Her son died,”
Brett told him. “Did you expect me to
leave her here?”
“Regardless, she came back,” Ross said with an irritating smirk. “She belongs here with us. It’s time you realize that, Armstrong.”
“The only reason
you need her is because she has connections.”
He continued struggling with the ropes that bound him, hoping to break
free so that he could punch his lights out.
already conned every dime out of her.
Now you’re going to use her to target more unsuspecting people.”
“You think you’ve
got it all figured out, don’t you?”
“It’s not a
terribly clever scheme,” Brett said with a patronizing smile. “The only thing I can’t figure out is what
are you getting out of this, Fuller? Warren’s living the high life in San Francisco depositing every dime of that
money you stole into his personal bank account.
Did he cut you in for being his recruiter?”
Ross looked blankly
at him. “You don’t know what you’re
“Or let me guess,”
Brett continued, “he promised that he’d give you a cut once you were done,
“Shut up,” Ross
said. “You’re just pissed because she
didn’t fall back into your bed. Because
despite all of your heroic acts, she still knows getting involved with you was
the biggest mistake of her life.”
“I’m not here
because I want something from Suzanne.
I’m here because she’s needed back home.
Why are you here, Ross? Because Warren
makes promises that you have yet to see kept?
You’re forgetting who you’re talking to.
I was the best damn con man out there.
I was an expert at screwing my partners.”
“I’m not getting
screwed,” Ross insisted, his face twisting into pained looks of agitation. “Now shut the hell up.”
“So if you are in
this with Warren, why are you still working as a
professor at a community college and living in a tiny studio in West Hollywood while he’s living it up in a four million
dollar house and driving a BMW?”
“I said shut up!”
Ross said and punched him in the face.
The force from the
blow caused Brett to rock back on the chair and crash to the ground, his hands
and feet still bound. Lying motionless,
he spit dirt and blood from his mouth and groaned in agony as Ross left the
the camp, Suzanne paced anxiously back and forth in her tent. She knew something had happened because she
hadn’t seen Brett since the night before when he set out to clear their way to
the jeep. The fact that he hadn’t
returned for her caused her to think the worst possible scenarios. Not knowing was killing her.
finally came when Warren
entered in his usual ceremonial robes.
She quickly turned toward him and forced herself to act normal.
seems your friend came back last night,” he reported. “It was his jeep we found abandoned up the
she asked with faux-confusion.
“Armstrong. No doubt he came to cart you away
is he?” She tried to control the urgency
in her voice, an effort that she was sure proved futile.
captured him last night,” Warren
told her. “He’s in the medical tent.”
least he was still alive, Suzanne thought to herself. After hours of waiting to hear word on what
had happened, she felt a small sense of relief.
How she was going to get him free didn’t immediately enter her
you speak to him, Suzanne?” Warren
wanted to know. He approached her
slowly, his kind but ominous eyes boring into hers. “Did he come here to turn you against
she said, almost too quickly. “I told him before I left that this is where I
belong. This is where I want to
Warren smiled and placed a
hand alongside her face. “I’m so happy
to hear you say that,” he said. “Because
this journey that we’re about to go on couldn’t happen without you. You are very important to our tribe of
simply smiled, finding his every word to be nauseating. She wanted to reach out and smack him across
the face. She wanted to rage against him
for filling her head with his phony promises of enlightenment while her son was
self-destructing back home.
leave after sundown,” Warren
she asked. “Where are we going?”
are bound to start looking for him,” Warren
explained. “And when they do, they’ll be
led right to our doorstep. I can’t have
everything we’ve worked for ruined by your ex-lover. Besides, we have a mission.”
mission?” she asked him as he headed out of the tent. “Where are we going?”
worry, my dear,” Warren
said. “You’re about to embark on a life
of fulfillment and adventure. By my side
you’ll flourish in your own inner power.”
turned back once more before leaving.
“We can’t bring him with us,” he said.
“And if we leave him here he’ll tell everyone what he knows. Your ex-lover will have to be a
sacrifice. He’ll have to die.”
face flushed with terror. Backing up,
she swallowed hard and desperately tried to think of a way out of the mess
made plans to meet Sam at Moonshadows for breakfast so she could get Gemma’s
client book back. After the debacle the
night before at the Beverly Wilshire, she knew she had to be more careful. Had Eddie found out what she’d been up to, it
would have spelled trouble for their already shaky relationship. They’d never really had it out about her
affair with David, mostly because by the time he found out, she was
pregnant. And although this time she
wasn’t cheating on him, keeping her new profession from him was almost just as
bad. She shuddered to think how he would
react to find out she was the new Hollywood Madam.
her new business phone for messages, she walked down the stairs at the mansion
and paused when she reached the foyer. After
scavenging through her giant Hermes purse, she realized she’d forgotten her
pre-natal vitamins. Dr. Mitchell had
stressed the importance of taking them with each meal, and with an appointment
scheduled for that day, she wanted to follow her orders specifically.
she placed her purse and phone on the table in the foyer and dashed back up to
get her vitamins. As she did, Kelly
emerged from the breakfast room and glanced around. She detected the glaring scent of Miranda’s
signature perfume and rolled her eyes.
she made her way down the hall to the gym, she heard the chorus from Tell Me Something Good. Frowning, she paused and glanced at the phone
lying next to Miranda’s purse. The
display read Sam. Unable to control her curiosity, she picked up
the phone and started to press the Talk
button. Before she could, however,
Miranda appeared at the top of the stairs and shouted down to her.
my phone,” she said, glaring menacingly. “Don’t you touch it.”
by her harsh tone, Kelly shrugged.
“Sorry,” she said. “I just
thought it might be important. Who’s
of your business,” Miranda said and snatched the phone from her hand. She plucked her purse from the table and
headed to the door without another word.
up and out early this morning,” Kelly called after her, always ready for a
match with her former sister-in-law.
“When I was pregnant with R.J. I never got up before noon.”
because you and I are very different, Kelly,” she said with a sigh as she
turned back toward her. “You sit around
waiting for people to do things for you, while I go out and make them happen.
That’s why you were never cut out to be a Blackthorne and that’s why your time
sponging off of my family is almost over.”
count on it,” Kelly spat back while folding her arms. “So who is Sam? Is that who you’re running off to meet in
such a hurry?”
it’s none of your business. Now if
you’ll excuse me-“
Eddie know about this?” Kelly pressed on.
“Or does he not care what you do with other men since that thing with
laughed. “You have no idea what you’re
talking about. Now do yourself a favor
and stay out of my business. I may be
six months pregnant, but I can still beat the hell out of you if I need to.”
that, she turned and left the house.
Kelly stood behind, curious as to who Sam was and what Miranda was
meeting him for.
the conference room at the administrative building at Moonshadows, Brooke sat
across the table from Chip Matthews as she read over his new proposal. Between them was a three dimensional model of
the new marina.
trust this is more to your liking,” Chip said with a sly grin.
nodded thoughtfully. “It is,” she
said. “You’ve managed to minimize the
effects of the expansion on our customers, and at the same time sped the
project up by a month.”
aim to please.”
regarded him from over the top of the portfolio and shook her head with a
slight laugh. She knew he was being coy
and a little full of himself. He was
very young and cocky, and sometimes she got the feeling he was ogling her.
only one problem,” she began. “Your
proposal takes the marina out another two hundred feet from shore. That exceeds the standards set by the
California Coastal Commission. We’ll
need to get a variance.”
can be done,” Chip said. “Otherwise I
wouldn’t have suggested it.”
raised an eyebrow and closed the presentation on the table. “With the environmental groups watching
everything that goes on up and down the coastline like a hawk? The Coastal Commission has denied permits
right and left because of the pressure they’re under by these groups.”
but what’s another two hundred feet?”
a lot to these people,” she said and stood up.
“Your proposal is solid, but I’m going to have to give it some
thought. The last thing we need is bad
press because people think we’re damaging the environment.”
said you wanted to minimize the effects to your guests,” Chip said
belligerently. “Now you’re worried about
the Coastal Commission. I’m beginning to
said I’d give it some thought,” she cut him off. “Thanks for coming in.”
he gathered his things and made his way out of the office. Brooke
followed him, noticing that Kyle was standing talking to their secretary, Marcia.
morning,” Kyle said with a confused look as Chip passed.
he replied with a groan, storming through the lobby and outside the
he’d gone, Kyle turned to Brooke. “What was he doing here? Did we have a meeting I didn’t know about?”
“We didn’t,” she replied and retreated to
Kyle followed her. “Is this about
yesterday? Look, I said I was sorry for
screwing up my times.”
didn’t screw up your times,” Brooke said.
“You used business to distract me from Ethan so you could spend time
alone with me. I decided to take the
project on myself. You obviously can’t
give me that,” Kyle said. “You excluded
me from the meeting to punish me because you know how invested I am in the
marina expansion. Now who’s being
talk to me about dishonesty!”
waited a beat before continuing, realizing they were both thinking with their
emotions when it came to business, which was never a good idea.
you at least tell me how the meeting went?” he asked.
went fine,” she said, busying herself by shuffling papers on her desk. Anything to keep herself from paying too much
attention to how sexy he looked. A
tight-fitting polo, well-cut chinos, and his trademark face stubble all had a
way of turning her on. “We’ll need a
variance from the Coastal Commission.”
doesn’t sound so bad,” he said.
I don’t have time to go into all of it with you. I need to start talking to lawyers about this
so we can-“
Jesus, here we go again. Stop trying to
cut me out to prove a point. Yes, I
screwed up yesterday. I wanted to spend
time with you. Is that so awful?”
is when you intentionally try to make me look stupid!” she screamed.
did not try to make you look stupid.”
you sure as hell gave it a good try!”
argument was interrupted when Ethan entered the office, startled by the sound
of their voices carrying out into the reception area.
I interrupting something?” he asked.
shook her head while trying to avoid Kyle’s penetrating stare. “No, we’re through.”
Kyle began in protest.
the new proposal,” she said and thrust the report at him.
just came to see if you wanted to go to breakfast,” Ethan said to Brooke. “I can always come back if-“
that sounds perfect,” Brooke said and grabbed her purse. Anxious to put an end to the tension, she led
him out of the office.
Kyle watched them go, frustrated that she was being so hostile with him since
they slept together.
leaving town for a few weeks,” T.T. said into his phone while standing on the
terrace that jutted out from Renee’s penthouse at Moonshadows. “I need an answer on my offer to head up the
west coast division of Titan Records.”
can’t give you an answer right now,” Stormy replied from his office at Sunset
Studios. “The studio is demanding a lot
of my attention. The Benefactor is still in pre-production while we finish casting
and I have to make sure I keep an eye on Brett in case he tries to pull another
can still work at the studio,” T.T. told him.
“You’ll be more of a figurehead than anything with Titan Records. I need someone in that seat or no producer today
is going to look at us seriously.”
don’t know,” Stormy said, raking his fingers through his jet black hair. “If I can get Brett out of the company then
I’d feel better about things. But as it
is, he has control of Nathan’s shares. If
I can’t get my father or Brooke to agree to turn them back over to him, I’ll
never get rid of my former brother-in-law.”
glanced down at the beach where he saw Renee walking slowly across the
sand. “If that’s all that’s standing in
your way, then make it happen. Whatever
personal issues your family has with Nathan shouldn’t affect business.”
a nice thought, but I don’t now how realistic it is. There’s no way my father
is going to agree to let Nathan back into the company. And Brooke-“
you at least think about accepting
the position?” T.T. repeated.
all I need to hear.”
later, T.T. was on the beach calling after Renee. She stopped after a few moments and turned
back to him. Her feet were sifting
through the sand and the warm ocean breeze blew her hair away from her un-made-up
didn’t see you slip out,” he said after aligning himself beside her. “You okay this morning?”
nodded distantly while staring out at the water. “Yeah, I think so.”
look good,” he said, his hand snaking around her waist as they walked. “I’m glad to see you out of the
penthouse. It’s been a long time.”
know, T.T. And I thank you for being
patient with me. I know I haven’t been
easy to be around these past few weeks, but-“
don’t have to apologize,” he told her.
“You never have to apologize
to me. I just want to do whatever I can
to help you.”
hand slipped down and clasped through his.
“I think I’ve finally accepted that I can’t change what’s happened. I spent so long telling myself that if only
I’d done this differently or that differently that Sierra might still be
were a good mother,” he said. He was
dressed casually in khaki’s and a flowing white linen shirt. “Sierra was so lucky to have you as long as
smiled, tears forming in her eyes. “It
still hurts so much.”
will get better.”
shook her head. “I don’t know that it
will, but I know that holing up inside my penthouse isn’t the answer.”
you thinking of going back to work?” he asked.
she shook her head. “No. I want to go with you.”
with me?” he asked with surprise.
“Really. I need to get a change of scenery for a
while. I’ll go anywhere you want.”
did have a trip planned in the South of France but I had a few stops to make
first,” T.T. said. “Just some business in
New York. It should only take a couple of days.”
sounds perfect,” Renee said and stopped in the sand so she could turn to
him. “That is, if you still want me to
you kidding?” he asked. “Of course I
want you to go.”
she pulled him into a kiss. “I just need
to say goodbye to James.”
T.T. reached out and clasped his hands around hers. “Okay, but we should leave first thing in the
morning. Make sure you bring
swimsuits. It’s beautiful in the South
of France this time of year.”
smiled and continued walking, her hand still in his.
you sure about this?” T.T. asked. “I
mean, if you need more time…”
sure. Sierra will be with me no matter
where I am.”
Sam arrived, Miranda was already seated at a secluded table in the back of the
Cahuenga Room at Moonshadows, her face hidden by a scarf and big sunglasses. She stood up and flagged her down, then
quickly retreated to her seat and looked around to ensure no one had seen
her. Her decision to have her meet her
at such a public place was beginning to seem like a bad idea. All the cloak and dagger stuff that went
along with taking over for Gemma was relatively new to her.
I’m late,” Sam sad and slid into the seat across from Miranda. She was also thinly disguised in a scarf and
sunglasses. From her giant purse, she
produced the leather bound black book and presented it to her. “Here it is.”
Miranda said gratefully. “And thanks for
covering for me yesterday. When I heard
Eddie was at the hotel waiting for me I almost died.”
we covered for it pretty well,” Sam said.
“And the Senator was a perfect gentleman.”
Miranda said. “You know, I’m beginning
to think this madam business is more than I can handle. I hate hiding it from Eddie and my family,
but it’s not the type of thing I can just announce over dinner.”
appreciate it, for what it’s worth.
Working for you is so much better than turning tricks on the street for
Hugh Rogers. And it’s not forever. As soon as I have enough money saved, I’m
going to enroll in that modeling school.”
glad,” Miranda said with a smile. Her
eyes traveled to the entrance of the building where she saw Mackenzie enter
with a man she didn’t recognize. “Damn!”
she whispered and quickly ducked under the table.
she definitely had to get better at selecting her meeting places.
with plenty of spending money from her last few jobs, Farrah Bale set out on Rodeo Drive for an
old fashioned shopping marathon. With
plans to meet her cousin Jane for lunch, she popped into a few stores to get
some browsing done beforehand. After an
hour of power shopping, she happily ambled her way down the street, perusing
store windows and silently calculating how much money she’d spent so far.
inside her purse alerted her to a phone call.
While juggling shopping bags in one hand, she struggled to retrieve her
cell, cursing loudly when she inadvertently dropped it to the ground.
me get that,” a man said from behind.
for the assistance, Farrah watched as the man bent down and picked the phone
up. When he stood up again, however, her
morning, Farrah,” said Hugh Rogers’ assistant, Trevor.
she turned to run, but he’d already grabbed her and ushered her to the curb
where a long black limousine was waiting.
Before she even had a chance to scream, she was being thrown into the
back seat where another man in a business suit was seated. She recognized him from Hugh’s house, and
realized they were probably sent for her.
the hell do you think you’re doing?” she demanded, blond hair flying as she
struggled to get out of the car.
Farrah,” Trevor said. “We’re not going
to hurt you.”
“Right. Like that dead girl they found in an alley a
few weeks ago? I’d rather not end up
like her, thanks anyway.”
we help it if Hugh misses you?” he asked.
“He was very happy with your performance. He doesn’t understand why you would leave him
“Hello?” Farrah said. “Dead girl?
Alley? Any of this strike you as
a red flag?”
could you think Hugh would have anything to do with that poor girl’s
death? He cares about his girls. He doesn’t want them falling into situations
that could put them in any danger.”
doing fine, thanks.”
can see that,” Trevor said and peeked into one of her bags. “Nice shoes.
Whoever you’re working for now must be taking very good care of
do all right.”
has it someone’s taken over for Gemma Sanders.
That wouldn’t be who you’re working for now, would it?”
eyes darted away, her defiant nature fading at the thought of giving him
information that he could use against her.
Trevor said in a patronizing fashion.
“Make it easy on yourself and just tell me the truth.”
don’t have to tell you anything,” she replied, anxiously shifting in her
seat. Her hands instinctively went to
the door handle but the man seated next to her quickly pulled her back. She screamed out in terror as Trevor leapt
forward and clasped his hands around her throat.
me who it is and nothing will happen to you,” he said, his dark eyes staring
forebodingly into hers. “Be smart,
Farrah. I’d hate for such a pretty
package to return to Marquette Cove in pieces.”
she stared with wide eyes. She couldn’t
move. Her entire body was paralyzed by
his strong grasp on her. She had nowhere
Blackthorne,” she said. “She took over
for Gemma.” Immediately, she regretted
telling him. Miranda had been nothing
but good to her. But what choice did she
girl,” Trevor said and released her.
Farrah began coughing and wheezing, clutching her neck from where he’d held
her. She felt sick and as though she
would pass out at any minute. Before she
knew it, the man was reaching over and pushing the door open.
Trevor said. “And Farrah, if you tell
anyone about this, we’ll find you.”
looked at him and then at the door.
Quickly, she bolted out onto the street, forgetting about her shopping
bags in her haste to get free of the clutches of Hugh’s men. Panicked, she watched the limo pull out from
the curb and drive off through mid-day traffic on Rodeo Drive.
her better judgment, Mackenzie agreed to meet Mason for an early lunch. They took a table at the Cahuenga Room where
they sat beneath the tropical foliage and wicker ceiling fans in the sun-bathed
dining room. Aside from two young women
wearing scarves and sunglasses attempting to hide in the corner, the restaurant
was virtually empty.
you for meeting me,” Mason said. “I
wanted to apologize for the way things went yesterday. I shouldn’t have let my
temper get the better of me.”
rolled her eyes while stirring a packet of sweetener into her iced tea. “You mean because you got clocked?”
haven’t changed much. Still attracting
men who can’t accept that you’re an independent woman. That’s what I always loved about you.”
what did you love about all the other women you were sleeping with while we
were married?” Mackenzie inquired. “My guess
it wasn’t their independence.”
admit I made mistakes,” Mason said grudgingly.
“I tried to make up for them but you wouldn’t give me the chance. I got served divorce papers and found out
you’d moved out here to L.A.
all in the same day. How do you think
that made me feel?”
couldn’t care less how it made you feel,” was her quick retort. “I couldn’t put up with it anymore. The philandering, the shady business deals,
the secrets. It’s no wonder I have
problems opening myself up to new relationships.”
relationships as in Ethan Blackthorne?”
obviously done your homework,” she replied meekly. “And for the record, there’s nothing going on
between Ethan and I. I was, however,
seeing his uncle for a time. Things just
haven’t worked out is all.”
you’re saying it’s because of me that they didn’t work out?”
you’re burned over and over again, it’s hard to trust people. It hardens you.”
were hard before our marriage ended,”
Mason reminded her.
the room, Kyle entered through the French doors and immediately noticed
Mackenzie’s presence. He waited for the
server to bring them their meals before approaching.
morning,” he said with a cordial smile, his hand resting on the back of
Mackenzie’s chair. “Nice to see you,
sighed while folding her napkin in her lap.
“Kyle,” she said, her lips pursed.
haven’t seen you in a while,” he continued.
fine.” She looked at Mason and decided an
introduction was in order despite her apprehension to do so. “Mason, this is my brother, Kyle
Fenwick. He’s the general manager of
stood up and reached across the table with his hand outstretched. “Mason Stone,” he said. “You’re the brother who was in prison?”
nodded regretfully. “That’s right. And you must be Mason Stone, the ex-husband I
know nothing about.”
laughed at the remark while regarding Mackenzie with a dubious expression. “No surprise there. Mac tends to keep her private life
“Very private,” Kyle agreed. “How long are you in town for?”
he replied, again glancing at Mackenzie.
“I checked into one of the cabana’s a few nights ago. Very nice accommodations.”
aim to please,” Kyle said. “Let me know
if you’d like the grand tour later.”
will,” he said. “I just might be
sticking around for a while and it’d be nice to get the lay of the land.”
Kyle said, then looked at Mackenzie. “Good to see you, sis.”
rolled her eyes as he turned and departed their table. “What was that?” she asked Mason.
bromance that just blossomed,” she said sarcastically. “The last thing I need is my ex-husband and
my trouble-making brother getting chummy on me.
I’d just as soon have you both out of my life for good. No offense.”
regarded her with a smile. “How could I
take offense to that?”
brings you by?” James asked and looked up from his desk when Ethan came into
stopped by to see how business was going,” he replied. “Pre-production on The Benefactor going well?”
bit slow, but yes,” James replied. “Do I
detect a bit of nostalgia for the business?”
grinned while offering a slight shrug of his shoulders. “Maybe a little. But I’m not ready to come back yet. I want to spend as much time as I can with
Michael before I commit to anything.”
James said. “Just tell me when you’re
you sure there’s room for me? With
Stormy and Brett working under you there’s got to be a lot of elbow rubbing
sighed. “They do clash, don’t they?”
seems some things haven’t changed,” Ethan said.
are things with you and Brooke?” James inquired. “Things getting better?”
sat down across from him and folded his legs.
“A little, but it’s still so strained.
We can’t seem to communicate. I
tell her I want to talk and she cancels on me.
This morning I stopped by Moonshadows and went to breakfast with her.”
did that go?”
spent the whole time talking about Michael.
And don’t get me wrong, we need to focus on our son right now, but we
also need to make time for us. Christ,
we were about to get married before the earthquake. Now we’ve never been
do you think it is?” James asked. “I
mean, you obviously still care about each other.”
don’t think we’re the problem,” he replied.
“Kyle is. She’s constantly thrown
into situations with him and don’t think for a minute I don’t see him working
it to his full advantage.”
think he’s trying to get her back?”
course he is. He didn’t lie to her and
everyone else for a year about who he was so he could give up the minute things
went south. I just hope she’s smart
enough to see through him.”
is,” James assured him. “Brooke is a
different woman that she was before that earthquake.”
think that’s part of the problem.” He
traced his finger along the sole of his shoe while quickly changing subjects. “So what do you know about Mackenzie’s
regarded him with a frown. “What are you talking about?”
Stone,” he said. “Her ex-husband. He showed up in town the other day and has
been harassing her. I ran into them in
the parking lot yesterday and belted the guy because he was being such an
James stood up from his desk. “Wait a
minute,” he began. “Mackenzie was
married? She never mentioned that to
“Really? Well, I guess it makes sense. She’s not the most forthcoming with personal
seem to know Mackenzie quite well,” James said while walking across the room
and pouring himself a glass of bourbon.
“When did this friendship develop?”
wouldn’t say we’re friends,” Ethan
replied, his eyes following his uncle across the office. “We just happened to bump into each other a
few times. Anyway, this Mason guy seems
like bad news.”
and a little hurt that Mackenzie hadn’t shared that part of her life with him,
James began to wonder if their relationship had ever been based on anything
real at all. He felt like he barely knew
Mackenzie is a smart woman. I’m sure if
this guy is what you say he is, she’ll be smart enough to stay away from
the stress she’d been under the past few days, Miranda was relieved that she’d
been given a clean bill of health at her appointment with Dr. Mitchell. Aside from a slightly elevated blood
pressure, she and the baby were progressing normally.
speaking, she decided. The strain of
still not knowing who the father of her baby was constantly weighed on
her. Eddie had been so accommodating to
her, always there for her when she needed him, and attended her OB checkups whenever he could. The fact that he still didn’t know if he was
the father was probably eating away at him.
Something inside led her to believe it would work out in the end,
however. Whatever the outcome, she could
count on him, and that was reassuring.
When she emerged from
the building, she proceeded to her car parked on the surface lot. Keys clanging in one hand and her purse
clutched in the other, she unlocked the door and went to reach for the handle. As she did, a figure loomed behind and
Blackthorne,” said Trevor, his eyes beating down on her.
“Who the hell are
you?” Miranda asked with a scowl. She
reached into her purse and fingered her pepper spray just in case he was a sexual
“We haven’t met,”
he replied. “Let’s just say we have
“Oh. Are you a friend of my father’s?”
“No, but we could
be if necessary.”
She raised an
eyebrow and looked on him suspiciously.
“Okay, so then who do we know in common?”
narrowed on him and she backed up to the car.
“Who are you?” She noticed a
black limousine parked a few feet away and wondered who else was inside.
“I work for Hugh
Rogers. He’s asked me to deliver a
“I’m not really
interested.” She turned and started to
open the door again, but Trevor quickly closed it. Instinctively, she placed her finger on the
trigger of her pepper spray and turned back to him. “Are you going to let me go?”
“Oh, you’re free to
go,” he said carefully. “But I have to
caution you, you could be looking for trouble if you continue operating the way
you have been.”
girls off the street and employing them in your organization may have the
opposite outcome from what you’re expecting.
Do yourself a favor and stick with the girls you already have.”
She raised an
eyebrow and looked at him incredulously.
“And what if I don’t?”
Trevor smiled. “Accidents sometimes happen when you least
She turned and
opened the door. “Tell your boss he can’t
intimidate me. I have no intention of
caving to your quasi-threats. I’ll run my
business as I please.”
With that, she
climbed into the car and started the engine.
With one final look of contempt through the window, she put the car into
gear and sped out of the parking lot.
Jane found herself
without lunch plans when Farrah inexplicably called to cancel on her. Not wanting to waste her day off, she decided
to pick up some take-out and pay Stormy a surprise visit at Sunset Studios. After much difficulty getting clearance to
enter the lot from the front gate, she finally made it to his office.
“This is a
surprise,” he said, climbing out from behind his desk and greeting her at the
door with a kiss. “What are you doing
“I brought lunch,”
she said, happily holding up the bags of food.
“I hope you’re hungry. I wasn’t
sure what you wanted so I got some of everything.”
his head and followed her across the room to the conference table. “That’s really sweet of you, but I wish you
would have called. I’ve got so much
going on today.”
“You’re busy?” she
asked with disappointment but still working at unpacking the containers from
“Yeah, I’ve got a
lot to do. I feel kind of overwhelmed to
tell you the truth.”
“Maybe I can help
you sort it out,” she said. She stopped
and turned toward him, pulling him into a tender embrace. “What’s going on?”
He sighed. “It’s nice of you to offer, but I doubt that
you could help.”
“Try me,” she said
and handed him a container of salad.
Deciding to take a
few minutes, he sat down and began picking at the lettuce. While he didn’t want to go into every detail,
the prospect of trying to convince his father or Brooke to give Nathan his
shares of the studio back was weighing heavily on him. But how else was he going to get rid of
Brett? He refused to let him be his
father’s right hand man for another minute.
On top of that, he’d verbally committed to T.T. that he would head up
Titan Records. His plate was full.
“Look, I appreciate
this, but I really should get back to work.
I’m sorry, babe. I’ll make it up
to you. I promise.”
Jane couldn’t hide
her disappointment. She stood up and
walked over to him, straddling him in the chair and gazing into his eyes. “You need to relax,” she said, her hands on
his shoulders as she brushed her lips against his. “You’ve been so tense lately. Just let me help you.”
Although having her
in his lap was arousing, he couldn’t get his mind off work long enough to take
advantage of it. He found himself
“I’ll relax when
things start to settle down around here,” he said.
“Or maybe a little
break would do you some good,” she said, whispering in his ear and letting her
tongue dart playfully across his face.
“Why don’t we lock the door and-“
“Jane, I said I
can’t right now,” he snapped.
quickly climbed off of his lap and went back to the table where she’d set her
sorry.” He got up and went to her. “I didn’t mean to say it like that. I love that you came to see me today. I love how spontaneous you are. It’s just…”
“It’s not a good
time,” she finished for him. “I get
it. Really. You’ve got a lot going on and I don’t
necessarily fit into it.”
“That’s not what I
said,” he replied, chasing her to the door.
“You fit perfectly. I just need
to get some decisions made before I can really take time to relax. Please understand. It won’t be forever.”
“Sure,” she said,
standing at the door. “I’ll just talk
to you later, I guess.”
“I love you,” he
said, leaning in and kissing her softly.
“Thank you for lunch. I’ll call
“K,” she said,
still unwilling to let it go. She got
the feeling that Stormy’s job meant more to him than she did, and that wasn’t
what she signed up for. After managing a
faint smile, she turned and left.
unning into to
Mackenzie and Mason that morning, Kyle was surprised to get a phone call from
Mason later in the afternoon. He wanted
to take him up on his offer to show him around Moonshadows, so after arranging
a time, they met outside the administrative building and took off in a golf
“The whole project
was really Royce Jennings’s vision,” Kyle was saying as they rounded a curve next
to one of the swimming pools. “When he
died, his son David took it over, and then he sold it to Renee Dewitt.”
“How does Brooke
Taylor fit in?” Mason wanted to know.
“Royce was her
father too. When they found out, David
gave part of it to her as a good will gesture.
She’s only recently become involved.”
“Was that before or
after she stabbed you in the dining room?” Mason asked with a hint of a smile.
Kyle looked at him
for a second and then laughed. “You’ve
done your homework, I see.”
shrugged. “It’s interesting how much
information you can get just by asking a few questions. So why the animosity between you and Mac?”
Kyle sighed. “We’ve just never had an easy
relationship. Lots of resentment and
built up hostility over the years.”
“I get a lot of
that myself,” was Mason’s muffled reply.
“Our split wasn’t amicable to say the least.”
“And what brings
you out to L.A.?”
He shrugged while
taking in the resort’s lush grounds. “A
little of this, a little of that,” he replied enigmatically.
“So it wasn’t just
to try to woo my sister back?”
Mason laughed. “When have you ever known Mackenzie to be
woo’d into doing anything?”
Kyle laughed in
turn as they made their way to the beach.
He stopped the cart and got out while pointing to the existing
“This is the site
of the future marina expansion,” he said, stepping up a rocky hill and
gesturing to the stretch of coastline that extended toward a set of dunes and
cliffs a mile ahead. “We’re in
negotiations to expand and become the third largest port in the county.”
said while following him. “Should bring
in a lot of business.”
“We hope to capture
yacht rentals from Marina Del Rey and the Port of Los Angeles. People will pay just about anything if they
feel the location warrants it.”
“Snuff out the competition
and drive business?” Mason asked.
“The only problem
is in order to start the work we need a variance from the Coastal Commission.”
“Are they giving
Kyle shrugged and
dug his hands in the pockets of his jeans.
“Not so far, but I have a feeling they will, and any delay in
construction means displacement of guests and lost business.”
“Do you know anyone
on the Coastal Commission who can help cut through red tape?” Mason asked and
followed him along the fence.
Kyle shook his head
“Well, I’m sure it’ll
“Let’s hope so,”
Kyle said and led him back to the golf cart.
“Listen, I gotta get back. Sorry
to cut the tour short.”
“Not at all,” Mason
said while looking around the area. “I
think this place has a lot of potential.
You and your partners should guard it with your lives. You wouldn’t want anyone to have designs on
waited for him to climb inside before backing up and steering off along the
how Nathan’s tarnished reputation had affected his family, Stormy decided to
forgo bringing up the issue of his shares.
When Brett came back from wherever he’d run off to, he would be back in
control of the studio, and he couldn’t let that happen. Especially now that he had a son who deserved
his share of it. So taking a page from
his former brother-in-law’s book of underhanded deeds, he armed himself with
the proper tools and went to Brooke’s office at Moonshadows.
time for a visitor?” he asked, popping his head into her office and grinning
course,” she said and got up from her desk.
have some papers that need your signature,” he told her and produced a stack of
didn’t have to bring them all the way out here,” Brooke said. “You could have had them messengered over, or
brought them home tonight. We do live in
the same house, you know.”
smiled. “I know, but I thought the
sooner we got these out of the way the better off we’d be.”
laid the documents down on the desk.
“The final insurance papers from the kidnapping fiasco in Acapulco.”
looked at the papers and shuddered in apprehension. “Oh.”
gauged her reaction before continuing.
“I know. I had the same reaction. We both went through a lot those weeks we
were held captive, and I know all I want to do is forget about it. I know you do too.”
not kidding,” she said, the mere thought of the torturous weeks they’d spent
locked up in a cave causing her to grow agitated. “God, it seems like just yesterday. I can’t believe it’s been months.”
know. I’m sorry to have to bring it up
again. But Dad assigned the cleanup to
me, so…” A pause while he took a pen from
his trouser pocket. “Look, just your
signature on a few forms and it’ll all be over.”
took the pen from him and looked at the forms as if they were more than a mere
bitter reminder of the hell they’d gone through.
you don’t want to deal with it right now,” Stormy went on. “In which case I’ll bring these back to the
office and we can deal with them later.”
she shook her head. “No, don’t do
that. Let’s just get it over with.”
she bent down and scribbled her signature on all three forms. Stormy watched her nervously, sweating
profusely until the last document had been signed. When she was finished, he handed her the top
is yours,” he said.
held her hand up in repulsion. “I
can’t,” she said. “Just file it at the
problem,” Stormy said. “Look, I’m sorry
to bring all this up again. It’s just
details that have to be taken care of.”
I understand,” she said and walked to the door with him. “I just want to put the whole thing to
do I,” Stormy said, smiling meekly before leaving.
the reception area, he looked at the documents Brooke had signed. He hated doing it, returning Nathan’s shares
was the only way to get Brett out of the company. And tricking Brooke with phony documents was
the only way to accomplish that.
day when the sun went down, Warren
instructed his followers to adjourn to their tents and meditate alone for an
hour. Suzanne utilized the opportunity
to find Brett and warn him of Warren’s
emerging from her tent, she inspected the clearing to ensure no one was
around. Then, tip-toeing to the medical
tent, she proceeded with caution. With
as much agility as she could, she unzipped the tent and snuck inside where
Brett was lying on the ground still tied to the chair.
my God,” she whispered, rushing to his side and checking to see if he was
hurt. “What did they do to you?”
shouldn’t be here,” he said, wincing in pain from the way his body had been
contorted on the floor for most of the day.
I won’t leave you,” she said, struggling to untie his arms. “We have to get out of here. Warren
is crazy. He’s moving the camp and he
plans on killing you.”
began to set in and Brett found the energy to help her untie his hands and
feet. Once he was finally free, he
rolled over and wiped the dried blood from his nose. His face was stained with dirt and his skin
glistened with sweat.
hurt,” Suzanne said and gently touched his face. “Brett-“
fine,” he whispered, struggling to his feet.
“Come on. We have to get to the
followed him to the door of the tent.
When they opened it and stepped outside, Warren, Ross, and two other
male followers appeared in their path.
disappointed in you, Suzanne,” Warren
said. “You were our inspiration.”
swallowed hard and looked at Brett. She
now regretted her decision to confront Warren herself. She should have never come back.
stopped by Renee’s penthouse and was greeted at the door by T.T. “Is this a bad time?” he asked.
at all,” he said and gestured inside. “Renee went out for a little while and
I’m just packing.”
leaving for New York
in the morning,” T.T. revealed. “Then an
extended vacation in the South of France.”
glad she’s getting away,” Stormy declared.
“And I’m glad I caught you before you left. I’ve decided to accept the position at Titan
wonderful. Have you decided to leave the
family fold at Sunset Studios then?”
shook his head while standing in the foyer.
“No, I’m going to do both. I’ve
secured my place in the studio so I feel more confident about taking on another
this mean the shares in question have been returned to their previous owner?”
did you pull it off? Who gave their vote
to Nathan? James or Brooke?”
Stormy replied with a great deal of guilt.
I’m surprised. Was it difficult
convincing her after her history with him?”
wanting to get into his deceitful tactics, Stormy simply responded with a shake
of his head. “Not as difficult as I
I’m sure you’ll find equal time to split between Sunset Studios and Titan
Records. Expanding your business portfolio is how billionaires are made. I’m
very excited to have you on board, Stormy.”
He extended a hand to him. “I’ll
be in touch.”
a good trip,” Stormy said, shaking his hand before leaving the penthouse.
his way to the elevator, he thought quietly about his actions and wondered if
it would all be worth it in the long run.
While being a billionaire didn’t necessary appeal to him, having respect
from his family did.
you sure this is what you want?” James asked as he and Renee stood in the foyer
of the Blackthorne mansion. “I mean, you
have people who care about you here. I
hate to see you going off alone.”
won’t be alone,” Renee said with a gentle smile. “T.T. and I are getting to know each other
again. I’m excited about spending time
alone with him.”
around the French Riviera on a yacht has a tendency to spark romance,” James
said with a knowing grin. “Maybe by the
time you come back you’ll be ready to make it official.”
don’t know about that,” Renee said. She
was in no way ready to start thinking about marriage again. She did enjoy being with T.T., though, and
this trip was the first step in making sure it wasn’t solely based on her
miss you,” James said and drew her into an embrace. “I want nothing but the best for you,
too, James,” she said, squeezing him tightly.
“I value our friendship and I want to thank you for always being there
for me. I know I haven’t said it since
Sierra died, but you were her family and I appreciate everything you did to
make her feel special since she came here.”
know it’s only three weeks, but it'll feel like a lot longer. Call me when you get back.”
will,” she said and walked to the door in her fur stole and beaded hat. Before she left, she turned back to him and
smiled. “Goodbye, James.”
smiled in turn and closed the door after she’d left.
Warren circled them like
prey, grinning from ear to ear as he watched their frightened faces. Seated back to back and their hands tied
behind their backs, Brett and Suzanne listened to his maniacal ramblings.
worst part is I trusted you, Suzanne,” he was saying. “You were a great supporter to our
movement. Now I find you with him trying to leave us. Haven’t I taken care of you? Haven’t I taught you about self
only way I supported you was financially,” Suzanne said angrily.
Warren shrugged. “New Abbott doesn’t operate without
money. We need a steady cash flow to
organize our efforts, to protect us from-“
who?” she demanded in a shrill voice.
“You keep saying that you need to protect the compound from outsiders,
but who are they? Who even knows you’re
here? Who even cares?”
don’t understand what I’m trying to do,” he said.
rolled her eyes. “You mean people you
screwed out of their money like you did me?” she asked. “I guess I’m not the first one who got a clue. You’re worried that they’re going to find you
and prosecute you and you’ll lose your fancy house in San Francisco and the cushy life you’ve
see your friend has been filling your head with lies.”
a fake!” Suzanne screamed, struggling to loosen the ropes that bound her
wrists. “I trusted you! I looked to you for help and for guidance
when my life was crumbling around me! I
believed in what you taught us! Now I
find out it was all a bunch of bullshit!”
“You heard what you
wanted to hear,” he said.
Her long chestnut
hair splayed across her face and her eyes watery with tears, Suzanne sunk her
head for a moment before turning to glare at him. “The worst part was while I was listening to
the crap you spewed from your mouth, my son self destructed and I wasn’t there
to help him. Because of that, I want you
to rot in hell, you filthy bastard.”
“You’re upset,” Warren said in his usual
She struggled with
the ropes and screamed hoarsely at him.
“You’re damn right I am. Now why
don’t you be a man and let us go so you can answer for what you’ve done. How many of these other people did you con
out of their money? How many are you
holding hostage with your lies and your meaningless preaching?”
“Just tell us what
you want,” Brett chimed in. “More
money? Fine. We’ll give it to you. Just let us go.”
Warren hesitated for a
minute before answering. “No, too
risky. You’ll talk. You’ve already learned too much. Unfortunately, because of your little
investigation into my past, we’re forced to move on. On the run, as they say.”
“We won’t talk to
anyone,” Brett assured him. “Just let us
“There are plenty
of other hapless victims with pitiful lives that need a group like ours to
belong to,” Warren
said. “We’ll find them and we’ll bring
them into the fold. All the while I’ll
be adding to my bank account so that when the time is right I can disappear
“You’ll never get
away with it,” Suzanne said. “You’re too
self righteous to know your time is almost up.”
“Not if the two of
you are silenced permanently. Those
explosives in the supply tent? I’ve set
them up around the perimeter of the camp.
As soon as the rest of us are a safe distance away, you and everything
around you will be gone like that.” He
snapped his fingers for maximum effect.
Brett craned his
neck and looked at Suzanne, panic in his eyes.
Kelly was making
her way down the stairs at the Blackthorne mansion when she heard the doorbell
ringing. Since no one else was around,
she opened the door to find Eddie standing on the porch.
“Hi, Kelly,” he
said, making his way inside.
Kelly closed the
door and turned as he entered the foyer.
“Hi, what’s up?”
“Just came by to
see Miranda. She up in her room?”
Kelly flipped her
long black hair over her shoulders and shook her head. “No, she hasn’t been home all day. Did she know you were coming over?”
Eddie frowned. “No, but she didn’t say anything about having
plans. Do you know where she is?”
really, but maybe she’s with Sam,” she replied with calculated efficiency.
guy she was meeting this morning. I
asked her about it but she seemed pretty secretive about it, whoever he is.”
shook his head. “I think Sam is a girl
she met at her OB. She picked up her address book by mistake the
other day. Strange, though. I know she gave it back to her.”
could that girlfriend of yours be up to?” Kelly asked with a slight
Eddie went back to the door. “Maybe they
bonded over pregnancy or something.”
nodded. “Yeah, that’s got to be
it.” She wondered if that were
true. Miranda seemed very secretive
about the call from Sam that morning, which made her wonder if there was more
to it. She decided to make an effort to
find out what her sister-in-law was up to.
leaving the Beverly Hills Hotel where she’d met with one of the girls about an
upcoming job, Miranda climbed into her car and pulled out onto Sunset. She was exhausted, having been out since
early that morning with hardly a break in her day. By the time she reached Coldwater Canyon Drive, she was racing to
in her rearview mirror blinded her and she adjusted the mirror to reduce the
glare. She rolled her window down half
way to let the air revive her. Reaching
down to change her satellite station, she took a deep cleansing breath and
turned back to the road.
car behind her was now inches from her rear bumper, its headlights now
illuminating her car’s interior.
Frowning, she honked her horn and motioned for them to pass her. L.A.
drivers could be so obnoxious.
something happened that made her realize it wasn’t just an impatient driver
behind her. The car, which she now
realized was a large Mercedes SUV, tapped her rear bumper and sent her Porsche
hell?” she screamed, shaking her fist in the rearview mirror. “You better have insurance, ass hole!”
attempted to signal that she was pulling over, but the SUV continued in
pursuit. It hit her car again, only this
time harder and with more force. Miranda
could feel the impact and she suddenly grew terrified.
foot pressed hard against the gas pedal, accelerated enough to leave a safe
distance between her and the SUV. But
moments later, it was rushing up behind her again and ramming into her.
she murmured, unsure of what to do or how to handle the situation.
the SUV pulled out and swerved into the next lane. It idled beside her car for a few moments
before veering over and slamming its side into hers. She lost control of the wheel and felt the
car careening onto the side of the road.
Miranda attempted to keep the car from barreling through the guard rail. Her heart pounding furiously and her face
contorted into hysteria, she felt her car come to a stop on the gravel shoulder,
dust and debris billowing up all around her.
back in her seat, she tried to catch her breath. After the close call, she could feel her
heart thudding hard inside her chest. A
quick glance out the window told her the SUV had disappeared into the
distance. Whoever it was, she slowly
began to realize it wasn’t just a disgruntled driver. This was a warning.
followers prepared to leave the camp, Brett and Suzanne struggled to free
themselves of the ropes that held them together. A jagged rock that Brett found on the ground
beside them proved beneficial in slowly cutting through the thick fibers. He ignored the deep cuts in his wrists that resulted
from the vigorous action. Minutes later, he felt the rope snap in half and he
quickly proceeded to untie himself, then Suzanne.
what if they have guns?” Suzanne asked.
“The supply tent was full of them.”
won’t risk doing anything in front of everyone,” Brett reasoned while helping
her to her feet. “He needs them to keep
up his phony guru status.”
are we going to do?” Suzanne pleaded.
him where it hurts,” Brett said enigmatically before leading her outside into
flurry of activity awaited them. People
were gathering items into their backpacks and throwing unwanted items onto the
campfire. Once they were spotted,
silence fell over the group.
all being mislead,” Brett announced loudly so that they could all hear
him. As soon as he said it, Warren emerged from his
cabin. Determined not to let him
intimidate him, he pressed on with his plan.
“Warren Abbott is not the leader you think he is.”
listen to him,” Warren
called out to his followers. “He came
here to find fault in what we’re here to accomplish. He isn’t a believer.”
that’s the truth, then why did he have us tied up in that tent?” Brett asked
the others while showing his bloodied wrists.
“The man you choose as your leader – who preaches about self empowerment
– planned on killing us so we couldn’t tell anyone about his real
motivations. He’s a criminal. He’s using all of you for your money and for
not true,” Warren
insisted, smiling as he attempted to rally his followers around him. “He’s in love with Suzanne and he’s acting
out of spite because she chose us over him.
Don’t you see? This is exactly
what we’re trying to get away from here.
The personal trappings of every day life. New Abbott is about doing what your heart
tells you to do. Free you mind,
people. Triumph in the inner
seen his bank accounts,” Brett continued.
“He’s kept every bit of money he’s taken from you people. And when he says he’s leaving to go on a
mission for the good of the community, he’s living it up in his fancy house in San Francisco. He drives a Mercedes. He isn’t who he says he is. Do yourselves a favor and leave now.”
comes so easy for people who haven’t learned of the inner peace my teachings
rambled. “Don’t listen to this man.”
telling the truth,” a voice cam from amidst the crowd.
and Suzanne peered through the smoky haze of the campfire as Ross emerged. They looked at each other with surprise.
“Warren is a fake,” Ross continued. “He chose every one of you because of what you
could offer him financially. He’s used
me to draw you in to the compound.”
you see what they’re doing?” Warren
shouted. “They’re trying to undo
everything we’ve accomplished! They’re
Suzanne said. “They don’t believe you
anymore. You expect them to trust you
when you won’t even tell them where you’re taking them. Give up already.”
so stupid,” Warren
spat bitterly. “You think because your
life turned out badly that you’re owed something? You cheated on your husband with your
daughter’s husband, then you wrote a book about it and got upset when people
read it. And let’s not forget the sicko
who tied you up in his apartment for two days.
You’re damaged, Suzanne. You’re
life is a mess and you have no one to blame but yourself. No one else wanted you.”
others listened in shock. Slowly, they
began retreating to the outer limits of the camp. Ross followed them, glancing back and shaking
a disapproving head at his former mentor.
do you think you’re doing?” Warren
yelled. “You can’t just go back, you
know! You can’t make them want you! You ruined your lives and you can’t go back
they continued walking, hiking out of the compound. Disillusioned, they listened to his raving
until they were too far away to hear.
going to pay for this,” Warren
said back at the camp as he stared menacingly at Brett and Suzanne. “You’ve ruined everything. Those people needed me!”
they just needed someone to listen to them,” Suzanne corrected him. “And you took advantage of that. You’re the worst kind of human being there
he backed up and reached for something in his pocket. “I can start over,” he said. “There are outcasts from society
everywhere. I don’t need them and I
don’t need you.”
won’t get to the state line without being arrested,” Brett informed him.
again,” he said, fingering a small remote control in his hand.
my God,” Suzanne whispered and looked at Brett in terror. “The explosives.”
said before pushing a button on the remote and turning away.
Brett took Suzanne’s hand and raced away from the camp. They made it a few feet before the first
explosion happened. Dirt and debris
showered the sky as fire erupted from the perimeter of the tents. Desperately seeking cover, they turned and
ran in the opposite direction. The
second explosion erupted in the same way, this time throwing them twenty feet
away and leaving them slumped over onto the dirt.
covered her with his body, shielding her from the third and fourth
explosions. Pieces of wood and fabric,
smoldering with ash, rained over his body.
They waited until the deafening sounds had ceased before looking up and
gazing in amazement at the devastation left behind.
“Warren,” Suzanne said and
scrambled to her feet. She peered
through the smoky haze. “He’s
turned a complete circle, inspecting the ground for any sign of his body “He couldn’t have gotten away.”
gone, Brett. Look, the jeep isn’t there.”
his head, he darted through the remains of the camp. “No, we have to find him. We can’t let him get away with this. He has to pay for what he did to you.”
followed him. “Brett, it doesn’t
matter. He’s gone. Just let it go.”
can’t,” he said. “I can’t let him do
this to someone else. We have to stop
pulled him into an embrace. “He’s gone
and we’re safe. Let’s just go home and
forget about Warren Abbott.”
that what you want?” he asked her.
nodded, her hands resting on his chest.
“Yes, I want to go back and start over.
I want to fix what’s wrong with my life.
I don’t care about this place anymore.
I don’t care about him.”
into her eyes, he kissed her warmly before taking her hands in his. “Okay, if that’s what you want. We’ll go home.”
she took his hand and led him away from the compound and up the hill to the
main road. It was a five mile walk to
the next town, but they’d be home soon.
She decided she had a lot of soul searching to do.
working an excruciatingly long day, Brooke left her office at Moonshadows and
proceeded to her car in the parking lot.
Fishing her keys from her purse, she looked up and saw that someone was
waiting for her. A smile crossed her
lips as she strolled toward him.
are you doing here?” she asked.
you might need a friendly face at the end of the day,” Ethan said with a wink
while he leaned against her car.
“You’ve been kind of stressed lately.”
I know,” she said and looked into his eyes.
“I’m sorry if I’ve been kind of standoffish.”
shook his head. “It’s no problem. But I do think we should talk. If you still want to, that is.”
she began nodding. “I do. I think we should talk.”
mean, what are we doing, Brooke?” Ethan asked.
“I know things were kind of strained when I first came back, but it’s
us. We’ve been in love for the better
part of six years. It shouldn’t be this
know it shouldn’t,” she said. “I just-“
thought was interrupted when Ethan leaned in and caught her off guard with a
passionate kiss on the lips. Their
bodies moved together and within moments they were entwined in one another’s
we should talk tomorrow,” she said with a wink once they broke from the
you at home?” Ethan asked, aroused by her forward nature.
race you,” she said and climbed into the driver’s seat.
sheepishly, Ethan went to his car and followed her out of the parking lot.
behind in the shadows next to the administration building, Kyle watched them
leave together. Jealousy plagued him as
he pictured them together. He wanted to
be with her more than anything. They had
been through so much together. He
decided it was time to step up his efforts.
A reunion between her and Ethan was something he refused to let
At a table in the
corner of the room at La Mirada
bar, Mason Stone ordered two beers from the waitress before turning his
attention back to his companion. Dim
lights filtered around them, and the rest of the bar was loud enough where they
weren’t risking being overheard.
like Brooke Taylor and Kyle Fenwick are going to bite,” Mason said over the
flicker of candlelight. “Your proposal
must have caught their interest.”
Chip Matthews replied. “So are we in
didn’t come out here to L.A.
just to reconnect with my bitch of an ex-wife,” Mason said. “What’s our next step?”
break ground on the marina expansion as soon as the variance gets approved,” he
explained. “Which could take longer than
expected, I’m afraid.”
shook his head while sipping from his glass.
“Don’t worry about the variance,” he said. “I’ll make sure it gets approved, and
quickly. We don’t have a lot of time to
act. If we don’t start drilling for that
oil, somebody else is going to find it and beat us to the punch.”
raised his glass. “Then here’s to acting
quickly,” he said.
Mason grinned and clinked his glass
against his. “And all the money we’re
going to make once we do.”
retaliates against Hugh Rogers. Mason delivers
good news to Kyle and Brooke, but Brooke isn't so sure
about accepting his help. Brooke spies Ethan with
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