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.
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
“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.
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
“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?”
said with wide eyes, pulling at his arm.
“How the hell did
you get in here anyway?” Vaughan
“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
“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
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
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-“
please,” Alex said and pulled him back.
“Don’t. Just let the police
“I wouldn’t call
the police if I were you,” Vaughan
“Are you defending
what he did?” Jordan
demanded. “I don’t care if he’s on medication.
He’s demented. He belongs in
“Like Lola belongs
in prison?” Vaughan
“She killed her
“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
“What are you
asked. “That there’s evidence in Lola’s
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.”
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.”
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
“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
“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.”
got to push,” she insisted sternly. “Get
ready. On the count of three. One…..two…..”
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
“Come on, babe,”
Eddie said, pushing her hair from her eyes. “You can do it.”
“Push,” Dr. Mitchell
“I can’t!” Miranda
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
“She’s fine. Where have you been?”
Alex said breathlessly.
asked as he and Brooke approached.
“Eddie’s father is alive? That’s
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."
you're trembling," James said, taking her hand
“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.”
Brooke said. “Didn't
he masquerade as Heather's psychiatrist by using simple
stage makeup? How could she fall for that?"
wasn't stage makeup, Brooke," James corrected her.
"It was a removable latex mask
created by Lenny Korvanski at the Sunset Studios makeup
people who said it was stage makeup just weren't paying
attention. Or maybe they just thought what they
wanted to think."
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!"
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?
Victor was an accomplished character actor. He
was a master at taking on different dialects and body
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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,”
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.
mid-step and craned his neck toward him.
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.
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
“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.
miserably. “What can I do?”
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
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
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?”
Eddie leaned down and kissed her. “She’s
Dr. Mitchell and the nurse tended to the baby, Miranda struggled to get a
glimpse of her. “Where is she?”
here,” the doctor said a minute later and slid the baby into her arms.
little girl,” Miranda said happily, kissing the top of the infant’s head.
go tell your family the news,” Dr. Mitchell said. “We’ll leave the three of you alone for a few
they’d gone, Eddie moved closer to Miranda and the baby. “Have you decided on a name yet?”
shook her head. “No, I haven’t. It’s too hard to decide. Whatever I pick she’s going to be stuck with
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
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.”
laughed. “Since she’s a girl I guess
Thor is out of the question.”
too bad,” Miranda said, staring into the girls’ brilliant blue eyes.
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?”
feels like I’m getting older by the day,” James said with a good-natured
smile. “You’re not leaving, are
nodded. “Tonight should just be for
are family,” James told her, placing
a hand on her arm. “I know Miranda will
want to see you.”
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.”
kissed her on the cheek. “Okay. I’ll see you at home later.”
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.
De La Cruz?” she asked with a frown.
man looked up and acknowledged her.
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?”
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.”
laughed and stood beside his bed. “I was
here visiting a friend,” she told him. “Are you going to be okay?”
they ever find out what’s wrong with me,” he grumbled.
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
“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?”
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
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.
is there anything I can do for you?” she asked.
“Do you need anything from your room at the hotel?”
shook his head. “I’m fine, young
lady. But I’ll let you know if I
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
left Miranda in the delivery room and met up with Stormy and Jane outside in
the waiting area.
gorgeous,” he said, grinning from ear to ear.
“Wait till you guys see her.”
happy for you, buddy,” Stormy said and hugged him tightly. “You sure you can handle this? Being a dad is a lot of work.”
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.”
what she wants,” Jane told him with a knowing smile. “Trust me, Eddie. She’s always saying how much she loves your
wiped his sweaty hands on his hospital scrubs.
“Well, that eases my mind about one
else are you worried about?” Jane asked him.
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.”
bit her lip, having almost forgotten about that complication.
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.”
think so?” Eddie asked.
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-“
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.”
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.”
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.”
Miranda exclaimed from her bed. “Daddy!”
laughed. “I’m sorry sweetheart, but you
were a terror the day we took you home from the hospital.”
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
did Dr. Mitchell say about the blood tests?” James inquired of his daughter.
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.”
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.”
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.”
should call Jackie in Washington
D.C. and see if she knows
anything,” James decided.
shook her head. “No, don’t do that,
Daddy. I’d like to wait and see what the
results of the blood tests are.”
nodded. “Okay, sweetheart.” He leaned over and kissed her forehead. “I’m proud of you.”
both are,” Alex said, gently handing the infant back to her. “Murder charges and all.”
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.”
leaving?” Miranda asked.
nodded. “We have to. I’m sorry.
I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
can’t believe you and Stormy would do that for me.”
just one thing I want before we go,” Eddie said. “What are we going to name her?”
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.”
James asked with a furrowed brow.
nodded. “Yeah. Tiger.
What do you think?”
grinned and placed a hand alongside the baby’s head. “I think Tiger is perfect.”
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.
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.
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.
Ethan said when he came up behind her at the bathroom mirror. “Did you sleep well?”
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.”
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,
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.
love being with me because Brooke is with Kyle,” she said and moved past him
into the bedroom.
that what you think?” He followed on her
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.”
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?”
took his clothes with a frown. “Brooke
made her choice. She wants your
doorbell ringing alerted her to a visitor.
“Look, I can’t talk about this right now. I think you should get dressed and go.”
that, she turned and made her way down the grand staircase to the front
door. Suddenly, her morning was about to
who do you think you’re screwing?” Elana
Hendricks demanded in a shrill voice as she marched into the entryway.
me?” Mackenzie asked dubiously. The
irony of her statement wasn’t lost on her.
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!”
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.”
the expense of my fans and my viewers?” Elana asked.
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.”
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!”
Mackenzie insisted with a roll of her eyes.
really? His contract wasn’t renegotiated.
What is that?”
sighed. “He’s in a front burner
storyline. The writers have him
committed for the next year. Your
character is more dispensable right now.”
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
if you’re not happy with the terms of your new contract, then talk to Vaughan. He’s the one who approved it.”
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
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.
and Victor embraced warmly, patting one another on the back as Jack Childers
looked on with elation.
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
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.”
sure it’s safe for you to go public?” Jack inquired.
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.”
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
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.”
wonderful news,” Victor said. “It’s been
too long since you graced the screen.”
agree,” Jack said. “Victor, I’m
has plans for your return to the camera?”
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?”
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.”
Victor said. “Any idea who the
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
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… “
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.”
in,” Jack said. “I need to get to the
hospital to see Ashton anyway.”
hasn’t woken up yet?” Victor inquired.
“No. But the doctors hold out hope.”
do I,” Victor said and patted him on the back.
“See you gentleman tonight?”
Nathan said. “I think it’s high time
this town learned how it’s done. And
we’re just the three to show them.”
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.”
realize that,” Stormy argued. “You’ll
have to run the show until I get back.”
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?”
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.”
Miranda’s gotten herself into another mess?”
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.”
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.”
going to happen,” Stormy said. “Just
don’t screw anything up while I’m gone.”
see what I can do,” Brett said with a cool stare.
Stormy left, he turned back toward him.
“Oh, and do me a favor. Don’t
make any more casting decisions without my approval.”
beg your pardon?”
talking about Kelly. I heard you gave
her the cameo role as the control tower operator. I’ve taken steps to correct that.”
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.”
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.
gained weight since last time,” Suzette said, inspecting the tape measure as
she wrapped it around her waist.
grimaced. “I have not!” she
exclaimed. “You’re probably doing it
shrugged. “That’s what they all
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
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.
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.”
done,” Suzette said, putting her tape measure away and pushing the clothing
racks to the back of the room.
do you mean?”
mean we’re done,” Suzette replied plainly.
“You’ve been fired.”
Kelly exclaimed. “What are you talking
about, you crazy old woman?”
shrugged. “I don’t make the decisions,
honey. The owner’s son wants you out, so
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.
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
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
alive?” Blake exclaimed. “I can’t
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.”
Blake said and sat down on the edge of his brother’s bed. “Are you going to go see him?”
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.”
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.
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
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
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.”
okay,” Blake said with disappointment.
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.
anyone see you come in here?” Mason asked as he turned, taking a few paper
towels and drying his hands.
Chip told him. “Paranoid?”
anyone finds out we’re working together, you’ll understand why I’m paranoid,” he
said with a wry expression.
smiled and went to wash his hands in the sink.
“Maybe they’ll just think I’m after what’s in your pants.”
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.
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.”
the logistics of our plan to me,” Mason ordered him. “How much longer can you delay the marina
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
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.”
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.”
worry about that when the time comes.”
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."
looked at him knowingly. “Somehow I
don’t think I’d be interested in what you have in mind.”
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
grew defensive. “Thanks but no
shrugged ambivalently as he watched him leave.
Kyle said as he leaned into the golf cart and kissed Brooke tenderly on the
lips. “I was beginning to think you were
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
De La Cruz?” Kyle asked. “He’s been with
us for weeks. Why is he in the
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.”
is Miranda and baby?”
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
became of Adam?”
laughed. “Adam has disappeared since
Ethan came back. Thankfully. I was beginning to think I’d have to start
charging him rent.”
laughed in turn. “It’s good to see you smile.
It’s been too long.”
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.”
you heard anything about David?” Kyle asked, fishing for information.
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
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.
was it at home this morning being in the same house with Ethan?” he asked in an effort to change the subject.
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.”
just as to blame as you are for things not working out,” Kyle reassured
her. “How about dinner tonight?”
like that,” Brooke said.
Ethan stepped off the elevator at
Cedars-Sinai and ran directly into James as he was stepping on.
hi,” James said. “What are you doing
came to see Miranda and the baby,” he replied.
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.”
Ethan said with disappointment. “Well, I
guess I’ll just look in on Tiger and come back later to see Miranda.”
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?”
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.
you could say that.”
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.”
I don’t intend to stand around waiting for that to happen.”
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.”
nodded. “Yeah, she told me.”
did you see Mackenzie?”
Ethan searched for a way to cover for the slip.
“At the studio this morning. She
just mentioned it in passing.”
she seem upset to you?”
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
“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 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
“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
“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.”
“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
“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
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
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
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.
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
“Stormy Blackthorne needed to recast
a role in The Benefactor at the last
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 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
“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
“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
“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
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 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
“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
She stopped and looked at the
frightened look on his face. “Jordan, what is
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
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,
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 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
“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
“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
“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
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
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
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
“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?”
“Look to the left,” the doctor said
as he shined the pen light in his eyes.
“Now the right. Now look down for
After the examination, he put the
pen in the pocket of his lab coat and jotted a few things down on a
“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.”
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
“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
“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
“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.
“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
“You can’t say it, can you?” he
asked “You can’t tell me you love
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.
“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.
Chip Matthews opened the door of his
hotel room at Moonshadows and was surprised to find Mason standing in the
“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
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
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.
“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
“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
“It’s so exciting,” Cecily said,
waiving to the cameras as they made their way up to the doors of the
“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
“Mackenzie,” Vaughan said as he
approached her at the door.
“Hello Vaughan,” Mackenzie
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
“What happened?” Vaughan demanded
while looking around for the technicians of the elaborate entrance to the
theatre. “Someone better explain this to
“Elana?” Mackenzie asked, noting the
terror on her face. “Are you okay? You were so
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.
did this come from?" Mackenzie asked. "Who
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?"
“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
“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
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
“Our thoughts are with Ashton,” Alex
said as they made their way through the parking garage.
“Thanks,” he said and departed for
“Come on,” Jordan said and led Alex
down the row of cars. “I’ll take you
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
“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
Nodding, Jack walked a few feet to
his car and leaned against the hood. “It
just happened so fast. I barely saw it
“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
“Natalie Davidson,” Alex gasped,
recognizing the woman as the actress who’d vanished over thirty years
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
our Forum to Leave your Comments and Feedback