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Episode 149

 

Release Date:  August 29, 2011

 Read the episode Recap

 

Previously...

 

Miranda and Jane were released on bond pending their trial in Hugh Roger's murder.  Stormy and Eddie made plans to fly to New Martin to find out if Brad King had anything to do with it.  Brett promised Kelly the part in the remake of The Benefactor that was originally played by Lola, but she toyed with him and held off sleeping with him.  Miranda went into labor.  David claimed he was going to a clinic in San Francisco to die from his brain tumor, when in reality he was going for an experimental surgery.  T.T. told Kyle about David's surgery but Kyle chose to keep it to himself.  Mason arranged power lines at Moonshadows to be disrupted during the marina expansion, hoping to delay the project even further.  Mackenzie told James that he was pushing her away for his family, and he agreed, indicating that they should cool things off for a while.  Brooke confided in Ethan that she still had feelings for Kyle and that she wanted to see where it went.  Angry, Ethan called Mackenzie and told him he wanted to sleep with her.  Another attempt was made on Lola's life.  Jordan questioned Vaughan, since he worked for Jonas and was privy to Lana's death and the coverup that ensued.  Vaughan pointed the finger at any number of Sunset Studios personnel. Jordan and Alex broke into Vaughan's basement to investigate the strange noises Alex and Kelly had heard.  Alex was surprised to find Victor Distefano living in the basement.  

 


  

Episode 149

"Tiger"

 

Jordan could tell that Alex was about to do something to reveal herself, so he quickly scurried across the floor of Vaughan Novak’s basement in an effort to pull her back.  As he did, however, he caught a glimpse of the person hidden away in Vaughan’s basement.

“Son of a bitch!” Jordan bellowed at the top of his lungs while flying to his feet.

Immediately, Vaughan turned to the source of the distraction.  Behind him, Victor lowered the hand mirror and took a few steps backward. 

“Jordan, what the hell are you doing here?” Vaughan demanded.  His eyes narrowed on Alex when she climbed to her feet beside him.  “Alex?  What is going on?”

“That’s what I’d like to know,” Jordan demanded, pointing at Victor, the creases in his forehead deepening with each second that passed.  “How is he alive?”

“How are any of us alive?” Victor asked with a dramatic sigh.  “Honestly, Jordan, you always ask the most inane questions.” 

“I saw you go over the side of that yacht,” Jordan reasoned.  “I was there.  I watched you burn.  You were covered in flames.  How are you still alive?” 

“Jordan,” Alex said with wide eyes, pulling at his arm.

“How the hell did you get in here anyway?” Vaughan demanded. 

“Never mind that,” Jordan insisted.  “I asked you a question.”

“This thing has zombie written all over it!” Alex screeched, moving behind him.

Victor got up from his chair and moved across the room.  “I’m not a zombie, Alex, my dear,” he said.  “I simply didn’t die at the marina that night.  I woke up under the pier and somehow made my way here to Vaughan’s house.”

“The first place you went to was your agent’s house?” Jordan asked and then looked at Vaughan.  “Of course.  You fixed Victor’s mistakes just like you fixed my mother’s.”

“My private physician brought him back from the brink,” Vaughan explained.  “Then Nick Kanning worked his miracles with his burns.”

Alex glared at him.  That’s why you’re so friendly with your plastic surgeon?” 

“I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you the truth, Alex,” Vaughan said.  “I really did have a good time with you the other night.” 

She smiled.  “I did too.  It was the first time I’ve been with a man who-“

“Can we not discuss the high points of your date right now?” Jordan said incredulously.  He gestured to Victor.  “This man is a psychopath.  He’s been hiding out here for two years while he should be rotting in jail.  Well miracle or no miracle, that’s exactly where you’re headed.  I’m calling the police.” 

“You can’t do that,” Vaughan told him. 

Jordan frowned and pointed angrily again.  “The man terrorized my family for fifteen years!” he bellowed.  “He tried to kill Heather and Suzanne on that yacht that night.  Everything that happened to my family is because of him.” 

“Don’t you think it’s time you took some of the blame for what happened to your family?” Vaughan asked. 

The remark sent Jordan into a tailspin.  He lunged forward, arms outstretched with the intention of beating Victor Distefano to death.  Quickly, Victor darted away, standing behind Vaughan and holding his hands over his face. Vaughan tried to prevent Jordan from attacking, warding him off with his hands.

“I was off my medication then!” Victor pleaded.  “I was sick.  I’m better now.  I swear to you, Jordan.  I’ve forgotten all about that.”

“I haven’t!  You’re going to wish you had died that night on that yacht, because when I’m through with you-“

“Jordan, please,” Alex said and pulled him back.  “Don’t.  Just let the police handle it.” 

“I wouldn’t call the police if I were you,” Vaughan cautioned him.

“Are you defending what he did?” Jordan demanded.  “I don’t care if he’s on medication.  He’s demented.  He belongs in prison.” 

“Like Lola belongs in prison?” Vaughan asked. 

“What?” Jordan asked. 

“She killed her twin sister.” 

“Yeah, because you and Jonas decided it was a good idea to have her take over my mother’s life!  This is not the same thing!”

“It may not be the same thing, but that doesn’t change the fact that she could spend what little time she has left behind bars,” Vaughan continued.  “Jonas may have fixed things after Lana’s death, but he didn’t do it blindly.  He was generous to his movie stars, but he wasn’t stupid.  He made sure there were contingencies in case any of them turned on him.” 

“What are you saying?” Jordan asked.  “That there’s evidence in Lola’s guilt?” 

“That’s exactly what I’m saying,” Vaughan confirmed.  “So unless you want me to turn it over to the police, I’d suggest you turn around, walk out that door, and forget what you saw here tonight.” 

Jordan shook his head in anger.  “What are you going to do, Vaughan?  Stage a comeback for the great Victor Distefano so you can be touted as the greatest agent in history?  This is sick.” 

“Jordan, let’s go,” Alex said while pulling at his arm.  “Come on, do you want your mother to go to prison?” 

Before they left, he flashed them a final look of warning.  “This isn’t over,” he said.  “I will find a way to bring you down.” 

Miranda Blackthorne

When Miranda was pregnant with Biff, she had waking nightmares about the pain of childbirth.  Her mother had warned her about it, constantly reminding her that she’d been in labor for forty-eight hours with both her and Stormy.  So when she miscarried, she never got the chance to find out for herself.  And part of her hadn’t thought about it with this pregnancy because she didn’t want to think that far ahead just in case something went wrong again.   Luckily, she’d gone to full term. 

Now she realized her mother had been telling the truth.  Childbirth, despite being pumped full of the legal limit of drugs, was excruciating.   She hated every minute of it.

“This SUCKS!” she screamed in the delivery room while Eddie sat by in a hospital scrubs, cringing each time she had a contraction because it meant she would squeeze his hand so hard he thought she’d crush bone.  “For Christ’s sake make it stop!”

“You’re doing fine, babe,” Eddie said, forcing himself to smile and to ignore the pain in his hand.  “Just keep pushing.” 

You push!” she cried, sweat matting her hair against her face and smeared mascara circling her eyes like a raccoon.  “I can’t do it anymore.” 

“Come on, Miranda,” Dr. Mitchell ordered.  “We’ve got a ways to go and I need you to stay strong.  When I tell you, I want you to push as hard as you can.” 

“I’m tired,” she said, shaking her head back and forth in agony.  “Eddie, please…tell this bitch to leave me alone.”

“Miranda, you’ve got to push,” she insisted sternly.  “Get ready.  On the count of three.  One…..two…..”

“Mother fuuuu-“ Miranda groaned, then gritted her teeth and pushed so hard she thought her eyes were going to pop out of their sockets.

“That was good,” Dr. Mitchell said.  “I need another one now.”

“Come on, babe,” Eddie said, pushing her hair from her eyes. “You can do it.”

“Push,” Dr. Mitchell ordered. 

“I can’t!” Miranda screamed.

James Blackthorne

In the waiting room, James paced the floor as Stormy and Jane sat in the corner.  Beside them, Brooke busily tapped at her Blackberry to pass the time.  When Alex entered the room in a panic, they all looked up. 

“Where have you been?” James asked and approached her.  “You left the courthouse and said you’d be right here.  That was hours ago.  Miranda’s in with Dr. Mitchell and-“ 

“Is she okay?” Alex asked.

“She’s fine.  Where have you been?”

“Victor’s alive,” Alex said breathlessly.

“What?” Stormy asked as he and Brooke approached.  “Eddie’s father is alive?  That’s impossible.” 

“Eddie’s father?” Jane asked in surprise.

Alex nodded, a hand on her heaving chest.  “Jordan and I just saw him.  Vaughan Novak’s been hiding him out at his house.  He had plastic surgery to fix his burns and everything."

“Alex, you're trembling," James said, taking her hand in his.  

“I’m sorry,” she said and struggled to avoid hyperventilation.  “I’m just so freaked out right now. You should have seen Jordan.  He was ready to kill him.” 

“Understandably,” Brooke said.  “Didn't he masquerade as Heather's psychiatrist by using simple stage makeup?  How could she fall for that?"

"It wasn't stage makeup, Brooke," James corrected her.  "It was a removable latex mask created by Lenny Korvanski at the Sunset Studios makeup department.  The people who said it was stage makeup just weren't paying attention.  Or maybe they just thought what they wanted to think."

"A latex mask?" Brooke exclaimed.  "That's preposterous!  Such a thing has never happened in real life, and certainly not on any fictional television show or feature film!"

James shrugged.  "What about Mission Impossible?  Or Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle?  Or that horror movie Happy Birthday to Me that starred the blind girl from Little House on the Prairie?   Plus Victor was an accomplished character actor.  He was a master at taking on different dialects and body movements."

"I'm still going on the record saying it is purely implausible!  Even if this were some melodrama I wouldn't buy it!" Brooke exclaimed, striaghtening the lapels on her white Chanel pantsuit.    "So Alex, did you call the police?"

“We can’t,” Alex said.  “Don’t ask me for details, but Vaughan’s got something on Lola and if Jordan tells the police he’ll blow the whistle.” 

James rubbed his thumb and index finger.  “Okay, this is all a little too much.  I’m sure we’ll get to the bottom of this Victor thing, but for right now, Miranda needs us.”

“Yeah,” Alex whispered, taking another deep breath and patting her chest.  “I’m fine.  I’m just worried about what Jordan might do.” 

“Come sit down, mom,” Stormy said and led her to the benches beside Jane. 

When they were alone, James sighed and turned toward Brooke.  “Never a dull moment,” he said. 

She smiled.  “That’s the truth.  Have you seen Mackenzie since you got back?”

“I did,” he replied solemnly and walked across the room to get some coffee.  “I don’t know, Brooke.  I care about her very much, so why can’t I just focus on that?  Instead there’s always some problem that needs my attention.” 

She followed him and took a cup of coffee that he handed her.  “James, don’t take this the wrong way, but your family can take care of themselves.  You don’t always have to drop everything and run to them.” 

“That’s what Mackenzie said.” 

“She’s right,” Brooke said.  “Wow.  Did I just say that?  Anyway, you put yourself in the position to choose family over everything else.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but sooner or later you’re going to have to do something for yourself.” 

“Maybe I don’t know what I really want,” he said.  “I mean, maybe Mackenzie isn’t it.  Do you know what you want?” 

“I thought I wanted Ethan, but now I don’t know.  I still have these feelings for Kyle that I’m going to explore and see where they go."

“How does Ethan feel about that?”

She sighed and stared into her coffee.  “Ethan’s not to happy with me right now.  Not that I can blame him.  I haven’t exactly been acting like an adult recently.  I just hope he’s not too hurt and lonely over all of this.”

Ethan Blackthorne

Their clothes began to come off the minute they walked inside the house.  Kissing passionately as they undressed, they fell back against the door and explored one another’s bodies with their hands.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Mackenzie asked between hurried kisses. 

“Absolutely,” Ethan said, devouring her lips with his mouth. 

Enraptured by the feel of his body against hers, she threw her head back and closed her eyes.  She shivered as his tongue made its way from her mouth to the nape of her neck and down to her breasts. 

Ethan lifted her into his arms, pinning her against the door with her legs entwined around his waist.  Slowly he entered her, staring into her eyes as he made love to her.   Guilt or remorse didn’t enter his mind for how his actions could affect anyone else, particularly Brooke.  She’d made her decision.  She wanted Kyle.  And even if she decided she didn’t, he wasn’t the type of man to sit by and wait.  He was determined to prove it. 

Brett had just put Violet to bed when Jordan showed up at his door.  Reluctantly, he let him in while crossing the room and picking up a few stray toys. 

“If this is about Heather again, I’m not interested,” Brett was saying, scooping a Barbie and her accompanying pink car up from the floor.  “We’re divorced.  You won’t even let me talk to her to explain about Suzanne and me.  So what more is there to say?” 

“This isn’t about Heather,” Jordan told him.  “Not exactly.” 

“Then what is it?  It’s late and we start shooting The Benefactor tomorrow.” 

“Victor’s alive,” Jordan said plainly.  He realized there was no other way to say it than to just come out with it.

Brett stopped mid-step and craned his neck toward him.  “Shut up.” 

He shrugged.  “I’m serious.  I just saw him.  He’s alive.” 

Slowly, Brett sunk to the sofa in his small living room.  “How?” he asked after taking a minute to process the information. 

“Vaughan Novak found him and got one of his private physicians to take care of him,” he explained.  “He’s had plastic surgery to repair his burns.  He swears he’s on medication and isn’t a threat to anyone anymore, but-“

“But you don’t believe it?” Brett asked knowingly.  “Why don’t you just let the police handle it?” 

Shaking his head, Jordan crossed the room and picked up one of Violet’s puzzles from a small plastic table.  “And have them do what?  Open up the whole mess again?  I can’t do that to Heather.  Besides, I don’t know where Suzanne even is.  We’d need her testimony to bring charges against him.  Don’t forget that the D.A. didn’t exactly buy the story about Victor’s revenge plot against me.” 

“But after what he did to Suzanne and to Heather…”

“I know,” Jordan said, a hand in his pocket as he picked up a picture of Heather.  “That’s what angers me most about this whole thing.  My family’s been decimated.  Meanwhile, he’s alive and…”

“What are you going to do?” Brett asked.

Jordan shrugged miserably.  “What can I do?”

Miranda Blackthorne

“MOTHER FUCKER!”

Eddie cringed away from Miranda as she writhed about in the delivery room.  At that moment she seemed more like Linda Blair from The Exorcist than she did his girlfriend.  Her eyes flashed fire red and her voice produced deep, guttural sounds that terrified him.  He wanted to turn and run from the delivery room, but forced himself to stick it out.  After all, they were close to finding out who the father of the baby was.  Him or David.  And while he hoped it was him, he had to prepare himself for the alternative.  He told himself that it wouldn’t matter either way.  He loved Miranda so he would love the baby no matter what. 

“You’re almost there, Miranda,” Dr. Mitchell said, guiding the baby’s head from her uterus.  “I can see the head.” 

“Is it a boy or girl?” Eddie asked.  He’d thought it was rather traditional of Miranda to wait to find out.  And since she insisted on it, she’d bought clothes for both sexes just in case. 

“It’s a little girl,” the doctor said as the baby shot out and started crying at the top of her lungs.  “A beautiful, healthy baby girl.”

Eddie grinned, tears dotting his eyes as he squeezed Miranda’s hand.   “Did you hear that?  We have a little girl.” 

Tears and laughter followed as Miranda looked down at the slimy infant.  “A girl?”

Nodding, Eddie leaned down and kissed her.  “She’s beautiful, babe.” 

As Dr. Mitchell and the nurse tended to the baby, Miranda struggled to get a glimpse of her.  “Where is she?”

“Right here,” the doctor said a minute later and slid the baby into her arms.

“My little girl,” Miranda said happily, kissing the top of the infant’s head. 

“I’ll go tell your family the news,” Dr. Mitchell said.  “We’ll leave the three of you alone for a few minutes.” 

After they’d gone, Eddie moved closer to Miranda and the baby.  “Have you decided on a name yet?” 

She shook her head.  “No, I haven’t.  It’s too hard to decide.  Whatever I pick she’s going to be stuck with forever.” 

“Not necessarily,” Eddie said with a shrug while looking into the little girls’ eyes.  “If she turns out to be an actress she can always change it.  Your mother did.” 

“Shut up,” Miranda said and slapped him on the back of the head.  “Our little girl is staying far away from that life.  I won’t let her turn into another Alex Reynolds.”

Eddie laughed.   “Since she’s a girl I guess Thor is out of the question.” 

“Yeah, too bad,” Miranda said, staring into the girls’ brilliant blue eyes. 

Brooke Taylor

“Congratulations,” Brooke said to James in the waiting room.  She gave him a quick squeeze and went to get her purse.  “You’re a grandfather again.  How does it feel?” 

“It feels like I’m getting older by the day,” James said with a good-natured smile.  “You’re not leaving, are you?”

She nodded.  “Tonight should just be for family.” 

“You are family,” James told her, placing a hand on her arm.  “I know Miranda will want to see you.” 

“I’ll come back tomorrow,” she told him.  “I know she’ll be exhausted, and you and Alex should spend some time with her tonight.  Really, I’m fine.”

James kissed her on the cheek.  “Okay.  I’ll see you at home later.” 

She turned and walked down the corridor, passing a few rooms and inadvertently looking inside.  As she did, she recognized a guest from Moonshadows laying on the bed in one of the rooms.   Curiously, she backtracked and hovered in the doorway before entering. 

“Mr. De La Cruz?” she asked with a frown. 

The man looked up and acknowledged her.  “Yes?” 

“I’m Brooke Taylor,” she said, walking slowly into the room.  “I’m one of the owners of Moonshadows.  We’ve met a couple of times.  What are you doing in the hospital?”

Marco De La Cruz was a stout Latin man in his late-fifties with a thick shock of black and silver hair and crow’s feet under his gentle eyes.  “Damn respiratory infection,” he indicated.  “Wow, you sure do deliver on that service promise.  I never expected anyone from the hotel to visit me here.” 

Brooke laughed and stood beside his bed.  “I was here visiting a friend,” she told him.  “Are you going to be okay?”

“If they ever find out what’s wrong with me,” he grumbled. 

Brooke felt for the man.  She knew he traveled a lot for his job, and had spent the past two weeks staying at Moonshadows while he was in L.A.  Getting sick so far from home couldn’t be an easy situation. 

“It must be hard being away from your family when you’re in the hospital,” she said.  “Have you called them to let them know?  Would you like me to?”

Mr. De La Cruz shook his head.  “No family, Miss Taylor.  Never married and never had any children.  I’ll be okay.  Doctors say I should be out of here in a day or two.” 

Brooke didn’t know if it was that she was overemotional over Miranda becoming a mother, or about her failed relationship with Ethan, but she felt genuinely sorry for the man. 

“Well, is there anything I can do for you?” she asked.  “Do you need anything from your room at the hotel?” 

He shook his head.  “I’m fine, young lady.  But I’ll let you know if I do.” 

“Okay,” Brooke said, backing up to the door.  She made a mental note to stop by and see him again when she came to see Miranda tomorrow. 

Eddie Distefano

Eddie left Miranda in the delivery room and met up with Stormy and Jane outside in the waiting area. 

“She’s gorgeous,” he said, grinning from ear to ear.  “Wait till you guys see her.”

“We’re happy for you, buddy,” Stormy said and hugged him tightly.   “You sure you can handle this?   Being a dad is a lot of work.” 

“I can handle it,” Eddie said with determination.  “I mean, Miranda and I aren’t married or anything, but I guess we’ll talk about that later.  I don’t even know if it’s what she wants.” 

“It’s what she wants,” Jane told him with a knowing smile.  “Trust me, Eddie.  She’s always saying how much she loves your dorky ass.” 

Eddie wiped his sweaty hands on his hospital scrubs.  “Well, that eases my mind about one thing.” 

“What else are you worried about?” Jane asked him.

Eddie looked at her and then at Stormy.  “Well, there’s still the paternity test,” he said.  “We’ll be finding out soon who the father is.” 

Jane bit her lip, having almost forgotten about that complication. 

“Look, you said yourself that it doesn’t matter either way,” Stormy told him.  “Whether the kid is yours or David’s, you still love each other.  When we get back from New Martin and get Brad King to confess to killing Hugh Rogers, you can get married and you’ll be a real family.” 

“You think so?” Eddie asked. 

“I know so.  Speaking of, are you going to be okay with flying out in the morning?  I know you’ll want to spend time with Miranda and the baby, but-“

Eddie nodded.  “We have to go.  We have to prove that Miranda and Jane are innocent.  We’ll never be able to be a family if we don’t.” 

Alex Reynolds

Alex marveled at the tiny infant as she held her in her arms.  “She’s perfect,” she said, noting the girl’s jet black hair and brilliant blue eyes.  “She looks just like her mommy did when she was born.” 

“Do you remember how feisty she was even at this age?” James asked while peering over Alex’s shoulder.  “I swear she came out of you with an attidude.”

“Hey!” Miranda exclaimed from her bed.  “Daddy!”

James laughed.  “I’m sorry sweetheart, but you were a terror the day we took you home from the hospital.” 

“No, she wasn’t,” Alex said, still staring thoughtfully into the infant’s eyes.  Long buried feelings of regret washed over her as she did.  While she’d resigned to the knowledge that she’d never have another child, she still couldn’t help but wish things had turned out differently.  Secrets plagued her. There was so much that even her own family didn’t know. 

“What did Dr. Mitchell say about the blood tests?” James inquired of his daughter.

She hung her head solemnly.  “They’re typing her blood now.  If it comes back with a match to Eddie’s, I guess we’ll know.” 

“Have you heard from David?” James wanted to know.  “I mean, it’s been months since he went to the clinic and we haven’t heard anything about his prognosis.”

“David wanted to die alone,” Miranda said with her lips pursed.   “I just hope he cared enough to have them let us know when he does.”

“I should call Jackie in Washington D.C. and see if she knows anything,” James decided. 

Miranda shook her head.  “No, don’t do that, Daddy.  I’d like to wait and see what the results of the blood tests are.” 

He nodded.  “Okay, sweetheart.”  He leaned over and kissed her forehead.  “I’m proud of you.” 

“We both are,” Alex said, gently handing the infant back to her.  “Murder charges and all.” 

When Eddie entered the room again, they all turned to face him.   “We’re going to find Hugh Rogers’s killer,” he announced.  “Stormy and I are flying to New Martin in the morning to find out what Brad King knows.” 

“You’re leaving?” Miranda asked. 

He nodded.  “We have to.  I’m sorry.  I’ll be back as soon as I can.” 

“I can’t believe you and Stormy would do that for me.” 

“There’s just one thing I want before we go,” Eddie said.  “What are we going to name her?” 

Miranda sighed while looking down at her daughter who yawned while wiggling in her arms.  “I think she’s going to be outspoken but soft on the inside.  She looks like a Tiger to me.” 

“Tiger?” James asked with a furrowed brow. 

She nodded.  “Yeah.  Tiger.  What do you think?”

Eddie grinned and placed a hand alongside the baby’s head.  “I think Tiger is perfect.” 

Mackenzie Stone

When Mackenzie awoke in her bed the next morning, sunlight streaming through the floor to ceiling windows, she found herself surprised that she wasn’t alone.  Rising to an upright position, she looked at Ethan’s naked body lying next to her and placed a hand over her face as she sighed with regret. 

While the night before had been full of passion and explosive sex, it came at a cost that she wasn’t prepared for.  Neither of them were necessarily attached at the moment.  James had told her he couldn’t commit to a relationship, but it still felt wrong sleeping with his nephew behind his back.

Twisting off the bed, she pulled a robe over her clammy skin and went to the bathroom.  She knew exactly why Ethan had called her.  He was angry that Brooke had chosen Kyle over him.  He didn’t make love to her over and over again because he desired her.  He did it to sooth his ego.  And while they’d been flirting for the past few weeks, winding up in bed was the last thing she expected.

“Morning,” Ethan said when he came up behind her at the bathroom mirror.  “Did you sleep well?”

“I did,” she said, looking at his naked body in the mirror.  She could feel him pressing against her, and while it got her aroused, she also knew that if they had sex again it would be in a fully conscious state. “I need to get dressed,” she said and turned toward him.  “I’m going to Elana’s premiere tonight and I have a ton of work to do beforehand.”  

Ethan couldn’t hide his disappointment as he brushed his lips against her neck.  “Are you sure you don’t have a few minutes to spare?  I love being with you, Mackenzie.” 

She found it difficult to resist his advances.  His incredible body and the expert way he brought her to orgasm over and over again were impossible to say no to, but it’s what she had to do. 

“You love being with me because Brooke is with Kyle,” she said and moved past him into the bedroom.

“Is that what you think?”  He followed on her heels.

“Yes, it is.”

“Last night wasn’t about revenge,” he insisted as he watched her flit about the room.  “I thought it was what we both wanted.  It’s been brewing for weeks.” 

“Let me ask you something, Ethan,” she said and turned to him while handing him his clothes.  “Would we have made love last night if you hadn’t just come from seeing Brooke?”

He took his clothes with a frown.  “Brooke made her choice.  She wants your brother.” 

The doorbell ringing alerted her to a visitor.  “Look, I can’t talk about this right now.  I think you should get dressed and go.” 

With that, she turned and made her way down the grand staircase to the front door.  Suddenly, her morning was about to get worse.

“Just who do you think you’re screwing?”  Elana Hendricks demanded in a shrill voice as she marched into the entryway. 

“Excuse me?” Mackenzie asked dubiously.  The irony of her statement wasn’t lost on her.

“My new contract,” Elana said and thrust an envelope at her.  “You’re taking me down to two episodes a week and two mandatory vacations of three months each?  This is ludicrous!  I’m the star of the show!  You can’t do this to me!”            

Mackenzie sighed and rubbed the sides of her head.  It was too early for this.  “The network needs us to make cuts, and since you’re the highest paid actor on the show, we had to make some sacrifices.” 

“At the expense of my fans and my viewers?” Elana asked. 

“It’s that or the show gets canceled,” Mackenzie said, all business.  “Just think of it this way, Elana.  You can do two films a year.   Your income won’t change.” 

Refusing to listen to her, Elana stormed through the room and poured herself a drink at the bar.  “This was Max’s idea, wasn’t it?” she demanded.  “My husband wants me off the set as much as possible so he can carry on with that tramp!”  

“No,” Mackenzie insisted with a roll of her eyes.

“Oh really?  His contract wasn’t renegotiated.  What is that?” 

Mackenzie sighed.  “He’s in a front burner storyline.  The writers have him committed for the next year.  Your character is more dispensable right now.”

“Then get new writers!” she bellowed, swallowing a mouthful of bourbon before pouring herself another one.   Mackenzie could tell she was already inebriated and it was only nine o’clock in the morning. 

“Look, if you’re not happy with the terms of your new contract, then talk to Vaughan.  He’s the one who approved it.” 

“You better believe I’ll talk to Vaughan about it,” Elana said, staggering toward her.  “Tonight at the premiere I’m going to have a few words with him, and then we’ll see if this contract stands!” 

With that, she slammed her glass on the table and stormed out of the house.  Mackenzie cringed as the door closed with a thunderous bang, then dropped her hands to her sides as she heard the squeal of tires in the driveway. 

Victor Distefano

Nathan and Victor embraced warmly, patting one another on the back as Jack Childers looked on with elation. 

“It’s good to see you, old friend,” Nathan said and stood back to take in the sight before him.   “When Vaughan called me this morning and told me it was safe to come see you, I called the studio to push my call time back.  I hope you don’t mind that I brought Jack with me.”

“Not at all,” Victor said and gave Jack a friendly embrace.  “My two partners in crime are the thing I’ve missed most these past two years.” 

“You’re sure it’s safe for you to go public?” Jack inquired.

Victor nodded.  “I was discovered last night by Jordan and Alex.  Vaughan is fairly certain there’s nothing they can do.  I’m back for good, boys.  I’m only sorry our reunion was so long in coming.” 

“Vaughan came to see me in prison in Paris after your fiery incident on the yacht,” Nathan explained.  “He told me there would be reports of your death, but that he was taking care of the situation.  Jack and I have just been waiting for the go ahead to see for ourselves that you’re alive and well.” 

“That I am, Nathan.”  Victor crossed the living room and poured them each a glass of champagne.   “A toast to the biggest stars to come out of Sunset Studios.”

“Here, here,” Nathan said and raised his glass.   “You did hear about my role in the remake of The Benefactor, I’m assuming?  Principal photography starts today.” 

“That’s wonderful news,” Victor said.  “It’s been too long since you graced the screen.” 

“I agree,” Jack said.  “Victor, I’m assuming Vaughan has plans for your return to the camera?” 

“That’s under discussion at the moment,” he explained.  “I don’t want to rock the boat, as it were.  The sight of me among the living could cause a spectacle.   It must be carefully executed.  Speaking of the reclusive, what of our dear comrade, Lola?” 

Nathan sighed and walked across the room.  “It seems someone has taken an interest in seeing her dead.  Yes, I’m afraid several attempts have been made on her life.” 

“Scandal,” Victor said.  “Any idea who the perpetrator is?”

“It’s unclear at the moment.  But whomever it is has information about Jonas orchestrating her relocation to the Alps, and about that whole nasty business with Lana.” 

“Interesting,” Victor said.  “Actually, I’m surprised she hasn’t been targeted before now.  She has that nasty streak, after all.  Anyone who could kill their own sister… “  

Nathan finished his champagne and put his hands in his pockets.  “I’m afraid I must go,” he said.  “My producers will have my hide if I delay production any more than I already have.   But I think we should have drinks tonight.” 

“I’m in,” Jack said.  “I need to get to the hospital to see Ashton anyway.”

“He hasn’t woken up yet?” Victor inquired. 

“No.  But the doctors hold out hope.” 

“As do I,” Victor said and patted him on the back.  “See you gentleman tonight?” 

“Yes,” Nathan said.  “I think it’s high time this town learned how it’s done.  And we’re just the three to show them.” 

Brett Armstrong

“You’re leaving town?” Brett demanded as he and Stormy stood on the soundstage at Sunset Studios, the director, Keaton Hartley, hovering nearby.   “We’re starting filming today.  If Nathan ever gets here, that is.” 

“I realize that,” Stormy argued.  “You’ll have to run the show until I get back.” 

Brett ran his fingers through his hair and dropped his hands to his sides in amazement.  “Unbelievable.  I should have known you would pull something like this.  Just when things start to happen, you take off.  When are you going to grow up and learn some responsibility?” 

“I’m trying to save Miranda’s life,” Stormy said with a deadpan expression.  “If you can’t understand that then you have no business being here.  This is a family business, and that means family sometimes has to come first.” 

“Because Miranda’s gotten herself into another mess?”  Brett asked. 

“If you can’t handle it, Brett, I’m sure my father will be happy to step in.  It’ll prove what I’ve been saying all along.  That you aren’t the golden boy he makes you out to be.”

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?  Well maybe your father will realize that you’re the one who isn’t of value.  You may just find yourself without a place here when you get back chasing after your sister’s mistakes.” 

“Not going to happen,” Stormy said.  “Just don’t screw anything up while I’m gone.”

“I’ll see what I can do,” Brett said with a cool stare.

Before Stormy left, he turned back toward him.  “Oh, and do me a favor.  Don’t make any more casting decisions without my approval.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“I’m talking about Kelly.  I heard you gave her the cameo role as the control tower operator.  I’ve taken steps to correct that.” 

Kelly Kahoano

“Come on in, honey,” said Suzette at the Sunset Studios wardrobe department.  She was an eccentric looking woman in her sixties in a flowing gown and her hair in tight blond curls.   “Let’s see what we’re working with.” 

Kelly lifted her arms up as she waited for Suzette to take her measurements.  As she did, she gazed around at the racks of clothing that lined the walls.  It had been a long time since she’d been there.  Since she was outfitted for her role in Angel Assassin 2, to be exact.  Somehow she always knew she’d be back. 

“You’ve gained weight since last time,” Suzette said, inspecting the tape measure as she wrapped it around her waist.  

Kelly grimaced.  “I have not!” she exclaimed.  “You’re probably doing it wrong.”

Suzette shrugged.  “That’s what they all say.”

She wrote down a few numbers on a tablet as the phone on the far wall began ringing.  She traipsed across the room and tucked the receiver between her ear and her shoulder as she continued writing. 

“Wardrobe,” she answered.

Kelly waited impatiently for her to finish.  She knew Suzette had worked at the studio for decades, and for some reason James held her close to the vest, but she found her incredibly abrasive.  Sometimes longevity meant things were becoming stagnant, so she made a point to suggest they look at replacing her.   By the looks of the outfits she planned on fitting her for, she was still living in the past. 

By the time Suzette had finished the call, Kelly was growing irritated.  “How long is this going to take?  I’m starving and I skipped breakfast.”

“We’re done,” Suzette said, putting her tape measure away and pushing the clothing racks to the back of the room. 

“What do you mean?”

“I mean we’re done,” Suzette replied plainly.  “You’ve been fired.” 

“Fired?” Kelly exclaimed.  “What are you talking about, you crazy old woman?” 

Suzette shrugged.  “I don’t make the decisions, honey.  The owner’s son wants you out, so you’re out.” 

Standing with her arms still outstretched, Kelly fumed in anger.  How could this have happened?  Brett promised her the role.  There was no way she was going to let Stormy get away with this. 

Eddie Distefano

After seeing Miranda and Tiger at the hospital, Eddie went home to pack for the flight to New Martin.  On top of already having to leave them for a few days, he was also now faced with another curveball. 

“I didn’t know how to tell you, little bro,” he said to Blake while throwing things into his suitcase.  “If your reaction is anything like mine was when I found out, you’re probably in shock.” 

“Dad’s alive?” Blake exclaimed.  “I can’t believe this.”

“I know.  After everything he did, I don’t know how to feel.  He’s our father but he was so far gone near the end that I felt like I didn’t even know him.” 

“Yeah,” Blake said and sat down on the edge of his brother’s bed.  “Are you going to go see him?” 

Eddie shook his head adamantly.   “I can’t.  Not right now anyway.  Stormy and I have to find a way to prove Miranda and Jane are innocent.  That’s all I can think about right now.” 

He stopped his manic pace and looked at his younger brother.  He was obviously affected by the news of Victor’s resurrection, and he felt terrible for not having the time to sit down and talk to him about it. 

“Look, you can go see him if you want,” Eddie continued.  “But I don’t think you should go by yourself.  Bring a friend.  Maybe Sheldon since he lives there anyway.” 

Blake nodded.  He wasn’t sure if he wanted to see his father.  He did want to come clean about him and Sheldon though.  Maybe now was the time. “Eddie, can I talk to you about something?” he asked.  “It’s not about Dad but it’s kind of important.”

“I’d love to, bro, but I’m already so late.”  He looked at his watch and sighed while pulling his bag off the bed.  “We’ll talk when I get back in a few days.  I promise.”

“Yeah, okay,” Blake said with disappointment. 

Mason Stone

After finishing lunch at the Cahuenga Room, Mason Stone signed for his check and proceeded to the men’s room.  He inspected himself in the mirror and saw the reflection of the door opening, then Chip Matthews appear behind him.  

“Did anyone see you come in here?” Mason asked as he turned, taking a few paper towels and drying his hands. 

“No,” Chip told him.  “Paranoid?”

“If anyone finds out we’re working together, you’ll understand why I’m paranoid,” he said with a wry expression.

Chip smiled and went to wash his hands in the sink.  “Maybe they’ll just think I’m after what’s in your pants.” 

Mason raised an eyebrow and chuckled.  He wondered if that’s what Chip had in mind anyway.  One too many times he’d noticed the way he looked at him.

“The accident with my crew damaging the power lines to the cabanas doesn’t seem to have had the financial upset that you predicted,” Chip went on.  “I have a feeling you’re going to have to come up with something better if you’re going to drive this place to bankruptcy.” 

“Leave the logistics of our plan to me,” Mason ordered him.  “How much longer can you delay the marina expansion?” 

“As long as you need me to.  But sooner or later Brooke Taylor and Kyle Fenwick are going to start questioning my abilities to do the job.  I told you going into this that I don’t want my firm to be held accountable for anything.” 

“Your construction company is small change compared to the amount of money we’re going to make once I buy Moonshadows and drill for the oil under the ground,” said Mason.  “Even your ten percent will make your company’s earnings look like pennies.” 

“Even if you are able to buy the resort from under Brooke Taylor and Renee DeWitt, what makes you think you’ll be granted the variance to drill?  Hope for another political scandal with Senator Nordquist seems a little unlikely.  He’s already been outed as a client of Gemma Sanders.”

“We’ll worry about that when the time comes.” 

Chip walked past him, brushing into him with a flirtatious grin.  “You’re the boss,” he said.  “Speaking of prostitutes, any more thought to letting me set you up with something instead of having to pay for it? I hate to see you throwing your money away for sex."

Mason looked at him knowingly.  “Somehow I don’t think I’d be interested in what you have in mind.”

“Come on,” Chip said and blocked him from leaving.  He looked him up and down with a keen eye.  “You don’t know that unless you give it a try.” 

Mason grew defensive.  “Thanks but no thanks.”

Chip shrugged ambivalently as he watched him leave.

Kyle Fenwick

“Hi,” Kyle said as he leaned into the golf cart and kissed Brooke tenderly on the lips.  “I was beginning to think you were avoiding me.”

She smiled uncomfortably.  It still felt strange being so open about their feelings for one another.  “No, just a busy day.  Michael didn’t want to go to school, then I stopped by the hospital this morning to see Miranda and check on Mr. De La Cruz.”

“Marco De La Cruz?” Kyle asked.  “He’s been with us for weeks.  Why is he in the hospital?” 

Brooke shrugged.  “They don’t know yet, but he’s very sick.  I kind of feel sorry for him.  Maybe I’ll have someone go to his room and bring him some of his things.  I’m sure he’s going stir crazy.”

“How is Miranda and baby?”

She leaned back in the seat of her golf cart and smiled.  “Good.  Tiger is adorable.  I kind of miss Michael at that age.  He’s such a little monster anymore.” 

“Whatever became of Adam?” 

She laughed.  “Adam has disappeared since Ethan came back.  Thankfully.  I was beginning to think I’d have to start charging him rent.” 

Kyle laughed in turn. “It’s good to see you smile.  It’s been too long.” 

“Yeah,” she said.  “I’m worried about Miranda though.  They’re doing the paternity test today to determine whether Tiger’s father is Eddie or David.” 

“Have you heard anything about David?” Kyle asked, fishing for information. 

She shook her head.  “Not a word.  But based on his last prognosis, I imagine he doesn’t have much longer.  It’s sad.  I wish he hadn’t decided to go away to die.” 

Kyle grew distant, recalling the conversation he’d had with T.T. before he left town with Renee.  The news that David had undergone an experimental operation to cure his brain tumor was still something he’d been tight lipped about.  With as much as David hated him, the last thing he wanted was to give Brooke reason to seek him out.  He could see David poisoning her mind against him all over again, so he chose to continue keeping the secret to himself. 

“How was it at home this morning being in the same house with Ethan?”  he asked in an effort to change the subject.

Brooke shrugged.  “I don’t know.  He didn’t come last home last night.  He’s pretty pissed off, I guess.  Not that I can blame him.” 

“He’s just as to blame as you are for things not working out,” Kyle reassured her.  “How about dinner tonight?” 

“I’d like that,” Brooke said.

Ethan Blackthorne

Ethan stepped off the elevator at Cedars-Sinai and ran directly into James as he was stepping on. 

“Ethan, hi,” James said.  “What are you doing here?”

“I came to see Miranda and the baby,” he replied.

Stepping to the side of the hall to allow several others to get on the elevator, James dug his hands in his pockets.  “Miranda’s asleep.  Poor thing’s been exhausted since the delivery.  I don’t think she was prepared for how difficult the labor was going to be.”

“Oh,” Ethan said with disappointment.  “Well, I guess I’ll just look in on Tiger and come back later to see Miranda.” 

Before he walked away, James called after him.  “I didn’t see you come last night,” he said.  “And you weren’t at breakfast this morning.  Everything okay?  Or are you just avoiding Brooke?” 

Ethan nodded awkwardly.  He didn’t expect to feel so guilty about sleeping with Mackenzie, but after seeing his uncle, he started to realize the implications of his actions.

“Yeah, you could say that.” 

“Well, if it’s any consolation, I think she made the wrong decision.  The two of you obviously belong together.  Maybe in time she’ll realize that what she had with Kyle is over.” 

“Well, I don’t intend to stand around waiting for that to happen.” 

“That’s valid.  I suppose that’s similar to how Mackenzie is feeling about her and me today.  We talked yesterday and decided it wasn’t the right time for us to be in a relationship together.”

Ethan nodded.  “Yeah, she told me.” 

“When did you see Mackenzie?” 

Immediately, Ethan searched for a way to cover for the slip.  “At the studio this morning.  She just mentioned it in passing.” 

“Did she seem upset to you?”

Uncomfortable with the whole discussion, Ethan looked around nervously.  “To be honest, we didn’t talk about it in much detail.  Listen, I should get over to the maternity ward.  I’ll see you at home later.” 

“Okay.  I have to run anyway.  Thought I’d check in at the production offices and see how the first day of filming is going.” 

“Good luck,” Ethan said and walked down the hall.  Relieved to have the conversation over, he made his way to the nursery.   As much as he knew sleeping with Mackenzie was a reaction to Brooke’s decision to go back to Kyle, he still couldn’t get her out of his mind.  Imagining what James would think if he knew made him feel like the lowest person in the world.

Stormy Blackthorne

Stormy and Eddie boarded the jet, the Sunset Studios logo emblazoned on the side.   The pilot greeted them and informed them they’d be taking off in a few minutes, so they each poured a drink and took their seats while they waited. 

“Are you sure about this?” Stormy asked.  “I can always go by myself to find out what Brad King knows about the murder.  I know you probably hate leaving Miranda and Tiger.” 

Eddie shook his head.  “No, I have to do this.  I have to prove that she’s innocent so we can be a family.” 

“Any word on the paternity tests?” 

“Coincidentally, David and I have the same blood type, so they have to do a DNA test to see who’s a match with Tiger.  It could be a couple of days before we hear back.” 

“I know she’ll turn out to be your daughter,” Stormy said, placing a hand on his friend’s shoulder.  “Everything’s going to work out.”

“Let’s just hope my dad doesn’t cause problems,” Eddie sighed.  “The last thing I need is him complicating my life even more.” 

Vaughan Novak

“I can’t believe you would do this,” Sheldon said.  “You’ve known he’s been alive all this time and you never said a word?” 

“I couldn’t say anything until his treatment was complete,” Vaughan replied, then turned to his side.  “Blake, I’m sorry that you had to find out this way.  Believe me, I would have said something if I could have.” 

“You could have,” Sheldon argued.  “You just like controlling people.  It must come from your profession.  You always have had a God complex.”

“That’s enough,” Vaughan ordered.  “Get upstairs and make sure your tuxedo fits.  We’re leaving for the premiere right at five o’clock.” 

“I’m not going,” Sheldon insisted.  “Blake is important to me and I’m not just going to leave him just so you can look like a caring family man in front of your clients.”

“You’re going and that is final,” Vaughan said.  “Cecily is meeting us here and will be riding to the theatre with us.” 

“Cecily?” Sheldon asked.

“Cecily Davidson, your date for the evening.”

Sheldon and Blake looked at each other with surprise.  “What are you talking about?  I’m not going to the premiere with some brat who thinks she’s entitled to celebrity just because her famous aunt took a spill off a fishing boat forty years ago.  I’m going with Blake.”

“What you do with your personal life on your own time is up to you, and I told you I’m supportive of that.”  Vaughan folded his arms while looking down at his son.  “But when you’re representing this family and my company at a public event, I expect you to do as I say.” 

Sheldon groaned with irritation.  “You always have to be the fixer, don’t you?  Well I’m not one of your clients, Dad.  I’m your son.  You can’t spin my life to please the public.” 

The argument was interrupted when Victor appeared in the doorway.  Blake turned and swallowed hard, alarmed by his presence despite having already been told the whole story.  Seeing his father alive and well was enough to make him feel overwhelmed with emotion. 

“Blake, my boy,” Victor said.  “I can’t tell you how happy I am to see you.” 

Unable to cope with reality, Blake turned and raced out of the house.  Sheldon went after him but ran directly into Cecily Davidson as she approached the door.

“Hi.  Sorry I’m early.  I was so nervous I got ready in no time at all.  Omigod, is that Victor Distefano?  Freeeaakyyyy.” 

Sheldon sighed, realizing that he’d have to tend to Blake later.  For now, he was resigned to the fact that he had to go to the premiere with Cecily as his father had arranged. 

“Cecily, my dear,” Vaughan said and kissed her hand.  “How lovely to see you.” 

“Thank you,” she said.  She was a mousy looking twenty year-old girl with long legs and long, frizzy brown hair.  Her only claim to fame was that her aunt was Natalie Davidson, a famous actress from the 1960’s who mysteriously disappeared after going boating on the ocean one foggy November night in 1980.

“How’d you decide on her?” Sheldon asked his father with a snarl.

“Stormy Blackthorne needed to recast a role in The Benefactor at the last minute,” Vaughan announced.  “Luckily Cecily was available so she’s starting work tomorrow on the set.” 

“Isn’t that everything?” Cecily gushed.

“Yeah, it’s everything,” Sheldon groaned with a roll of his eyes. 

Brett Armstrong

Brett was watching the action on set as Keaton directed Nathan in his next scene.  In the story, Dr. Norton, who Nathan was portraying, was telling his accountant that he was commissioning the construction of the shuttle that would eventually veer off on a collision course to the sun.

With the scene completed, Keaton cut the action and the crew dissipated to the craft service table.   Brett congratulated Nathan on the powerful work he’d done, commended Keaton on his abilities, and turned to check his voicemail.  As he did, however, Kelly came barreling inside the sound stage. 

“I knew you were going to blow this for me,” she bellowed.  “You were just out for a piece of ass, weren’t you, you son of a bitch?”

“Look, if this is about Stormy firing you, I had nothing to do with it,” Brett insisted while holding up his hands to deflect her.  “It just so happens that he does have more pull here than I do.  Some battles I’m just not going to win.”

“Did you even try?” Kelly demanded, her hands planted firmly on her hips.

“So this part didn’t work out,” he began.  “There’ll be another one.”

“Are you kidding?  Stormy is never going to give me a part in a Sunset Studios production.  And Vaughan Novak won’t return my calls so there goes my chances of getting a decent agent.”

“What do you expect me to do about it?” Brett exclaimed. 

She hit him twice on the shoulder and folded her arms as she pouted.  “I don’t know,” she said with defeat. 

If getting a part was going to be this hard, she thought, she’d have to change her focus.  Maybe all she needed was a man with the means to support her in the way she’d become accustomed.  And maybe that man was standing right before her. 

“I’m sorry for overreacting,” she said and took a step forward.  Playfully, she traced her finger down his chest and paused at the waistband of his pants.  “I just had my heart set on that part.” 

“Like I said, I can’t win every battle with Stormy.” 

“Your poor ego must be bruised,” Kelly said, looking up at him while coyly batting her eyelashes.  “Maybe there’s something I can do to make us both feel better?” 

Brett grinned and became instantly excited.   “Be more specific.” 

She pulled him down and whispered in his ear.  Brett’s smile grew wider and he instantly pulled her from the soundstage and down the hall to the production office.  He locked the door and drew the blinds on the window to the hall, the whole time using his free hand to unbutton his shirt in a heated frenzy.

When he turned, Kelly was already on the sofa, her arms above her head exposing her perfect cleavage.

“I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” Brett said and ripped off his shirt as he stood above her. 

She reached up and unfastened his belt, pulling at the clasp on his pants until they came down around his ankles.  Once he was naked, Brett stripped her of her simple wrap dress and buried his face between her legs.  

Yes, Kelly Blackthorne thought as she threw her head back in ecstasy, maybe all she had to do was land herself a man.  And with as much drive as Brett Armstrong had, he was definitely going places. 

Jordan Rydell

Jordan looked everywhere for Lola.  She wasn’t anywhere to be found in the house nor was she outside by the pool.  Her driver indicated that she hadn’t left the house all day, so assuming the worst had happened, he took off through the grounds in search of her. 

Finally, he found her strolling by the wooden fence at the back of the property line, far on the other side the grove of trees and the rolling hills of the estate.   Parked on the access road nearby was one of his cars which he determined she’d driven from the garage.

“Are you crazy?” he asked.  “A psychopath is trying to kill you and yet somehow you thought it was a good idea to drive down here and take a leisurely stroll through the grounds by yourself?”

She plucked a petal from a honeysuckle bush and flashed him a cool stare.  “Don’t treat me like a child, Jordan.  I’ve never treated you as one so the least you could do is show me the same courtesy.”

“I’m sorry, but can I help it if I’m worried?  The police don’t seem to care about investigating these attacks so the only thing I can do is make sure you’re safe and that this lunatic doesn’t try it again.”

“I refuse to live my life in fear,” Lola proclaimed.  “I’ve lived eighty-three years without letting the public keep me from living my life and I don’t intend to start now.” 

Jordan sighed and walked with her along the fence.  “I know you’re independent and you think you’re untouchable, but you have to take this seriously.  I’m afraid what will happen if you-“

She stopped and looked at the frightened look on his face.  “Jordan, what is it?”

Her question was answered when he gestured to a photograph that had been nailed to the fence. Like the others that the killer had left, it was of Lana.

“Someone’s watching us,” Jordan said, plucking the picture from the fence and looking around the grounds in a panic.  With all the trees that surrounded them, the killer could be anywhere.  It felt like they were being toyed with.  He put his arm around her and started to lead her to the car.   “Come on, let’s get back to the house.” 

As they neared the car, it exploded into flames.  Huge balls of fire shot into the air as they were thrown backwards by the force of the explosion.  Pieces of twisted metal and melted plastic erupted into the air as the car disintegrated before their eyes.

Stunned for a few moments from the impact, Jordan quickly turned to Lola who was lying motionless beside him. 

“Mother?” he asked, realizing she was unconscious.  “Lola, wake up.”

Panicked, he listened for her pulse.  It was weak but she was still breathing.  In a flash, he took his cell phone from his pocket and called 911.

“I need an ambulance right away,” he said, placing a hand alongside his mother’s pale face.   “Hurry.” 

Jane Wheeler

Jane entered Miranda’s room with a bouquet of flowers and a balloon floating on a string above it.  When Miranda looked up and saw her, she smiled in elation.

“You’re so sweet,” she said.  “Thank you, Jane.”

As Jane entered, she saw the myriad of flower arrangements that had already been delivered, most of which were three times as big and elaborate as hers.  But on her paltry waitressing tips, modest was all she could afford. 

“Wow, these are all from people you know?” she asked while searching for a place to position the small vase.

“Not really,” Miranda said and read the card.  “Most are from friends and associates of my mother and father.  Yours means a lot more, though.”

Jane smiled and kissed her on the cheek.  “How are you feeling?  Sore?”

“A little,” Miranda admitted.  “Isn’t she the most precious baby you’ve ever seen in your life?  She’s absolutely perfect.” 

“She is,” Jane agreed.  “And Eddie is so excited.  I know leaving for a few days with Stormy was upsetting to him, but I can understand why he felt like he had to go.  We could go to prison, Miranda.  And all because we tried to help my cousin Farrah.” 

“What if they find out that Farrah is guilty?” Miranda asked.  “I hate to say it, but the truth might have to come out.  She might have to face charges.  Are you going to be able to live with that?” 

“What choice do we have?” Jane asked.  “Hiding Hugh’s body to protect her seemed like a good idea, but that was before they arrested us.  I just hope she can get a good lawyer.  She shouldn’t spend a day in jail for what she did to that monster.”

Miranda picked up a stuffed monkey that Jordan had sent to her and brushed her fingers through its plush fur.

“You okay?” Jane asked   “You’re obviously worried about more than these murder charges we’re facing.” 

She sighed.  “I’m just thinking about Eddie.”

“And the paternity tests?”

“He’s going to be crushed,” Miranda told her with certainty. 

Jane sat down in the chair beside her bed.  “You don’t know that for sure.  Wait until the results come back before you start looking for trouble.” 

“They already came back,” Miranda said. 

Jane shook her head in confusion.  “But I thought they had to do a DNA test because David and Eddie have the same blood type.”

“I lied,” Miranda confessed.  “When Eddie came by this morning before he and Stormy left, the doctor had already told me what the blood tests revealed.  I just couldn’t tell him.  It’s selfish, I know.” 

Jane tilted her head and placed her hand around hers.  “Eddie’s not the father?” 

Miranda shook her head.  “No, he’s not.  He’s going to be so hurt, Jane.” 

Determined to think positively, Jane squeezed her hand tightly.  “Eddie is going to love this baby no matter what,” she assured her.  “He wouldn’t have stuck by you all this time otherwise.” 

“I hope you’re right,” Miranda said.  “I really do love Eddie and I couldn’t imagine raising Tiger without him.  Now I just have to decide if telling David is the right thing to do.  I mean, he’s dying of a terminal brain tumor.  Do I really want to throw this at him while he’s in his final days?” 

David Jenner

“Look to the left,” the doctor said as he shined the pen light in his eyes.   “Now the right.  Now look down for me.”  

After the examination, he put the pen in the pocket of his lab coat and jotted a few things down on a clipboard.

“You’re optical nerves seem to be intact,” he announced.  “That’s good news.  With this experimental operation, optical nerve damage is one of the big complications that sometimes arise.  I’m hopeful that it was a success.”

“What about the tumor?” David Jennings asked.  He sat before the doctor, his head wrapped in bandages, dark circles surrounding his eyes.  “Has it shown signs of returning?” 

“Not yet,” the doctor told him.  “By this time, if the operation hadn’t been a success, I’d expect to see it returning.  The fact that it still doesn’t show up on x-rays gives me a lot of hope.” 

“So when can I go home?” 

“I’m afraid you’re not out of the woods yet, David.  Just as important to your recovery is daily therapy.  Three months ago you couldn’t speak or move your legs.  You’ve come a long way since then, but you have a lot of work left to do.”  

Determined, David put his wheelchair in reverse and backed up a few feet.  “Then let’s get to it.  I want to beat this thing so I can go home.   I have people there I need to see.” 

Elana Hendricks

The shutter of camera flashes followed Mackenzie down the red carpet that afternoon at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  She evaded questions from the media about the future of The Young at Heart, rumors of its impending cancelation, and what it would mean for its biggest star, Elana Hendricks.

She approached the doors of the theatre and waited for Elana to arrive.  Looking at her watch, she felt someone approach and quickly went to deflect any further questions that she wasn’t prepared to answer.

“No comment,” she said, then stopped when she realized it was her ex-husband. 

“Wow, that was waiting in the chamber, wasn’t it?” Mason asked with a grin.  He stood before her in a tuxedo, his thick brown hair tousled in a thoroughly sexy manner.

“Mason, what are you doing here?” Mackenzie asked with a frown as she plucked her phone from her tiny clutch.  “And what’s with the monkey suit?” 

“I’m your date, silly,” he told her.  “I couldn’t let you walk down the red carpet alone, now could I?”

“Since when did my social calendar become any of your concern?  We’re not married any more.  I don’t even like you.”  

“Don’t be petulant,” Mason said, taking her arm and grinning for a picture when a photographer from Image magazine fluttered by.   “I heard through the grapevine that you and James Blackthorne are no longer, and that white knight Ethan Blackthorne doesn’t appear to be around, so I came to your rescue.” 

“What’s your game?” she asked.  “You want something.” 

“Just to relive old times,” Mason said, running his hand down her bare arm. “You know we used to be good together.  I always went to premieres with you.” 

“That was a million years ago,” she said, finally spotting a limousine pull up and hoping it would be Elana.  She wanted to congratulate her in front of the media so they didn’t think she was a heartless bitch, and then go home and drink a bottle of wine by herself.

“You miss it, don’t you?” Mason asked with a growly seduction to his voice.  “Admit it, Mac.  We had a good thing going in and out of the sheets.” 

“Get lost,” Mackenzie said, stepping forward and sighing when she realized it was Vaughan and his son stepping out of the limousine, not Elana. 

Brooke Taylor

“What are you thinking about?” Kyle asked as he and Brooked sat quietly having dinner at the Cahuenga Room that evening.  “Let me guess.  Ethan.” 

She sighed and dropped her fork onto her plate.  “A little.  I’m sorry.” 

Kyle leaned across the table and looked at her with determination.  “What do I have to do to convince you that I love you?” he asked.  “That I would never do anything to hurt you?  What do I have to do?” 

She looked at him with alarm. “Kyle, I know that.  You don’t have to convince me of anything.  I know you love me and-“ 

“You can’t say it, can you?” he asked  “You can’t tell me you love me.” 

She looked away.  “I’m just not ready for that,” she admitted.  “Not yet.  I just need time.” 

“How much time?”

Brooke shrugged.  “I’m here with you now.  Can’t that be enough?” 

“It’s a start,” he said.  “But I’m not just with you to pass the time or to wait until something else comes along.  I’m here for the long haul.”

She smiled.  “I’m glad to hear that.” 

“Marry me,” Kyle said.

“What?”

“I want you to marry me.  I want you to be my wife.” 

Brooke looked at him blankly, taken off guard by his sudden proposal.

Mason Stone

Chip Matthews opened the door of his hotel room at Moonshadows and was surprised to find Mason standing in the hall. 

“What’s up?” he asked, standing clear of the door. 

“I was thinking about what you said this afternoon at lunch,” Mason told him as he walked into the room and turned toward him.  “Your proposition, I should say.” 

Chip frowned and closed the door.  “My proposition?” 

Mason took his jacket off and threw it on the chair, then untied his bowtie and loosened the top button on his shirt.  “If you tell anybody about this, you’ll be sorry,” he said, unzipping his trousers and looking knowingly at his business partner. 

Chip grinned, stepping forward and dropping to his knees in front of him.  “My lips are sealed,” he said, coaxing him out of his pants.

Vaughan Novak

“The who’s who of Hollywood’s A-list are showing up for this spectacular night in droves,” said an entertainment news reporter from the red carpet.  “Tonight the industry gets a sneak peak at the newest Double Strike Studios production, a thriller entitled Extreme News, which stars veteran actress Elana Hendricks.  Hendricks filmed the picture on her last hiatus from her day job, daytime soap The Young at Heart, whose future on the alphabet network is rumored to be shaky at best.” 

“Don’t look so unhappy to be here, Sheldon,” Vaughan said as he led his son and his date along the red carpet.   “Would it kill you to smile?” 

“It’s so exciting,” Cecily said, waiving to the cameras as they made their way up to the doors of the theatre. 

“Reporting live from the red carpet and the premiere of Extreme News,” said another reporter into the camera.  “World renowned agent of the stars Vaughan Novak has just arrived on the red carpet accompanied by his son Sheldon and what would appear to be his date, none other than Cecily Davidson, the niece of Natalie Davidson who you may recall disappeared over thirty years ago.  One can only guess if this means Cecily is slated to take over her aunt’s unprecedented popularly before her disappearance.   You can bet if she’s with Vaughan Novak’s son, something must be in the works.  This is Erica Masters reporting for The Insider.” 

“Mackenzie,” Vaughan said as he approached her at the door.

“Hello Vaughan,” Mackenzie replied.

Behind them, the crowd went wild as Elana’s limousine arrived and she stepped out among a roar of cheers and the flutter of camera flashes.   As she made her way down the red carpet, she became flocked with reporters who surrounded her on all sides.   Before she realized it, a photograph was being thrust at her.  A quick look to see who it came from proved futile.   At first she thought someone wanted her to sign an autograph.  But when she looked at the photograph, she realized it wasn't of herself.  Her face immediately turned white with panic.    

“Who did this come from?” she demanded, pushing her way through the crowd and ignoring questions from the paparazzi on the status of her marriage and why her husband, Max Howell wasn’t with her.  “Who’s sick idea is this?” 

Feeling claustrophobic, she darted from the crowd and up the red carpet.  She didn’t notice the scaffolding that held the film’s fifty foot poster above her begin to buckle, the metal structure crashing down to the ground on top of her. 

With a shriek, she darted out of the way, the photograph still clutched tightly in her hand as she barely escaped being crushed by the structure.  

Gasps and screams from the crowd erupted, prompting Vaughan and Mackenzie to rush over to make sure she was okay.

“What happened?” Vaughan demanded while looking around for the technicians of the elaborate entrance to the theatre.  “Someone better explain this to me now!”

“Elana?” Mackenzie asked, noting the terror on her face.  “Are you okay?  You were so lucky.” 

Wide eyed, Elana clutched the photograph to her chest, her eyes darting around her nervously.  Mackenzie noticed the picture gripped tightly in her hand and pulled at it, frowning at the photograph of a young man.  It was a head shot of some kind, she realized.  The actor, however, she didn't immediatley recognize.

"Where did this come from?" Mackenzie asked.  "Who is he?"

Elana shook her head, paralyzed with fear as she sat on the red carpet, cameras blinding her.  "How did they find out?" she gasped quietly.  "Who's doing this to me?"

Jordan Rydell

“Your mother is going to be fine,” Dr. Farraday said to Jordan as they stood outside Lola’s room at Cedars-Sinai.  “She has a mild concussion sustained from the impact of her fall, but it’s nothing serious.  I would like to keep her overnight, however, just because of her advanced age.  We should just keep an eye on her for the next few hours.” 

Jordan nodded and turned to Alex and Detective Rodriguez who stood behind him.  “Are you satisfied?” he said to the detective.  “Are you going to do something about this now or does my mother have to die before you take these threats seriously?”

“I’ll get someone on it right away,” Rodriguez said.  “And a guard posted outside her room tonight.” 

“Good,” Jordan said and started off down the hall.  Alex followed fast on his heels. 

“Jordan, I’m sorry about all of this,” she said.  “I know how worried you are about her.”

“I just feel helpless,” he said and stepped onto the elevator when it arrived.  As he did, he saw Jack Childers inside.   “Jack, what are you doing here?”

“Visiting Ashton,” he said once they were all three in the elevator.  “I try to visit him twice a day.” 

“Has there been any change?” Alex asked sympathetically. 

He shook his head.  “No, he’s still in the coma.  The doctors said it’s not permanent, but I just wish he would open his eyes.” 

“I’m so sorry,” Jordan said, placing a hand on his shoulder.  “Is there anything I can do?” 

Jack shook his head as the elevator stopped on the third floor of the parking garage.  “No, thank you Jordan.   But I appreciate your concern.” 

“Our thoughts are with Ashton,” Alex said as they made their way through the parking garage.

“Thanks,” he said and departed for his car. 

“Come on,” Jordan said and led Alex down the row of cars.  “I’ll take you home.” 

Behind them, the sound of tires squealing out of control alerted them to an approaching car.  The sound reverberated through the structure.  As they turned, they saw a dark sedan with tinted windows careening toward Jack, knocking him out of the way and sending him crashing onto the hood of a nearby car. 

Quickly, Jordan raced over to try to stop the car but it barreled past him and sped through the garage, its tires squealing as it rounded the next corner and exited onto the street. 

“Jack!”  Alex exclaimed and raced toward him.  “Are you okay?” 

“I think so,” he said, touching his forehead and grimacing when he realized he was bleeding.  “It came out of nowhere.” 

“Whoever it was wasn’t just here by accident when you happened to be leaving,” Jordan surmised.  “It looked like they were trying to hit you.” 

“What?” Jack asked in disbelief.  “Who would want to kill me?” 

“That’s a good question,” Jordan said as he helped him up.

Alex took a handkerchief from her purse and blotted the blood away from Jack’s forehead.  “Maybe you should sit down for a minute,” she said. 

Nodding, Jack walked a few feet to his car and leaned against the hood.  “It just happened so fast.  I barely saw it coming.” 

“What that?” Alex asked, pointing to an object tucked beneath the windshield wipers of the car. 

Jordan walked over and removed a photograph from the windshield of Jack’s car.  He turned it over and looked at the young woman in the picture.  It appeared to be a publicity still from some time ago. 

“Natalie Davidson,” Alex gasped, recognizing the woman as the actress who’d vanished over thirty years before. 

 


Next time....

Jordan and Alex question Jack about Natalie Davidson.  Elana reveals a secret from her past.  Brooke struggles over Kyle's proposal.  James gets devastating news about his father.  Plus, the crossover event Girls of Summer, continues!

 

 

Read Episode 150

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