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Episode 15

 

Release Date:  March 17, 2006

  Read the episode Recap

 

Previously...

Alex kept James under the delusion that they were still married.  Meanwhile, James's headaches grew more severe. Lauren rebuffed Brett's attempt at being friendly.  Brett grew more suspicious of Stormy and Lauren's relationship.  Stormy and Lauren made love.  Miranda told Brett that she believed he was innocent.  Winter cried on Miranda's shoulder after learning of Ethan's death.  Alex told Will that she no longer wants a part in their attempt to bring James down.   Brooke located James and Alex in the cabana on the beach and saw them in an intimate embrace.  Devestated, she drove off in tears.  


  

Episode 15

"Escape to L.A."

 

The blazing morning sun permeated Brooke’s skin as she threw her suitcase into the cab outside the Del Mar hotel in Santo Domingo.  She was on her way to the airport to finally get off the island and go back home.    Home meaning her apartment in the Valley.   Her marriage to James was a sham, her relationship with Ethan ended with his death, and now she was back to where she started.  Alone.    The fact that James and Alex were back together came as a shock, but after spending a restless night in her hotel room, she realized she was only getting what she deserved.   Why should James take her back after everything she’d done?   Lying about her previous marriage and then sleeping with his own nephew?  She was beyond contempt.

Before she could get into the cab, Jordan came running up from the hotel, waving his hands in the air to stop her.  She sighed with exasperation and turned to him.

“Where are you going?” he asked.

“Home,” she replied flatly, starting to get into the car.

“Wait,” Jordan stopped her.  “Where were you running off to last night?  Did you find James and Alex?”

Brooke nodded and pushed her hair from her eyes.  “Yes.”

“Well where are they?  What did they say?”

“I didn’t talk to them,” she replied.  “I got the feeling they wanted to be alone.”

Jordan frowned at her enigmatic response.   “I have to find Alex.  Can you at least tell me where they are?”

She reached into her pocket and removed the directions to the beach house the private investigator had given her.  She handed it to him and got into the cab.   “You might be wasting your time, but if you think you need to go, then go,” she said through the open window.

The cab started off toward the airport and Jordan stood behind, perplexed by the strange circumstances in which Brooke was leaving.  He looked at the piece of paper and ran to his jeep, intent on going to Alex and finding out what was going on.

Dominican Republic Cabana

At the cabana, Alex was standing on the veranda sipping a cup of coffee as she stared out at the ocean in a daze.   She thought about the last couple of days and how perfect it had been.   So much had happened.  She’d learned that her love for James wasn’t gone.   She’d simply spent the last year lashing out as a reaction to the way he treated her.

She realized that things couldn’t remain as they were.  Sooner or later James would regain his memory and the charade she’d created would be over.  He’d throw her out of his life just as he did the last time.  Unless she could do something to win him back.    She could prove her love for him and make him realize that she was worthy of being his wife again.  A gut feeling told her what that something was.

She had to stop Will from taking James’s studio from him.   If she could stop that from happening then she would have a chance at being with him again.  He would be grateful to her.

“What are you doing out here by yourself?” James asked as he approached her from behind. 

Alex turned around, her eyes watering and forcing a smile on her face.  “I was just thinking,” she replied.  “How did you sleep?”

“Very well,” James replied then kissed her.  He looked at her and noted the sad, distant look in her eyes.  “Darling, what is it?  What’s bothering you?”

A tear trickled down her face as she swept back her long, auburn hair.  “I have to tell you something,” she began with some difficulty.  “Something’s about to happen with your studio and I think you should know what it is.”

Suddenly James brought his hands to his head and doubled over in pain, crying out in agony.   Alex shrieked and bent down, trying to comfort him with her arm around him.

“James, what is it?” she asked.  “Are you alright?”

He shut his eyes tightly, trying to will the pain away.  “It’s my head.”

Tears ran down Alex’s cheeks as she helped him into a chair.  “Darling, it’ll pass,” she said.  The words came out of her mouth and she hated herself for saying it.   It was so selfish.   She knew he needed to see a doctor but it didn’t fit into her own agenda. 

“The pain….it’s too much,” James groaned, holding his head in his hands.

Alex wept, holding him in her arms and trying to decide what to do. 

Jordan’s jeep came to a screeching halt just outside the cabana.  He pulled himself out and ran to the door.  Finding it locked, he raced around to the back of the house and came face to face with Alex and James on the veranda. 

“Alex!” he said, seeing her with her arms around James as he held his head in pain.

She looked up at Jordan and bit down on her lip, realizing that everything was coming crashing down around her.

“What’s going on?” Jordan continued.  “I’ve been looking all over the island for you.”

Alex stood up and shot him a look full of warning.  “You have to leave, Jordan.  You can’t be here.”

“Why not?” he asked, looking at James and realizing that he was in pain.  “You have to get him to a doctor.  Can’t you see he’s in agony?”

Alex looked back at James and reached her trembling hand to him.   “He’ll be fine,” she insisted.  “It’ll pass just like the others did.”

Thinking that Alex had completely lost it, Jordan pulled her to him.  “What are you doing, Alex?  This isn’t healthy.  You can’t go back, you know.  You can’t change the past.”

“Yes I can,” she said adamantly.  “James and I have another chance and I’m not going to let you or anyone else ruin that.”

“Alex, please-“ James moaned, his head hanging low as he closed his eyes to block out the pain.  “It hurts.”

Jordan looked at James and then back at Alex.  “He could be dying and you aren’t doing anything because you’re trying to live some kind of fantasy!  What’s wrong with you?”

“He’s not dying,” Alex said, rushing back to James and kneeling down beside him.  “I can take care of him myself.  We don’t need anyone else.  Now please just leave, Jordan.”

“I just saw Brooke,” Jordan began, folding his arms as he stared at her.  “She was here last night.  She must have seen you together.  She’s on her way back to L.A. now.”

James lifted his head.  “Brooke?” he asked groggily.  The pain began to subside and he tried desperately to make the connection.  Somehow he’d heard that name before.   He stood up and looked at Jordan, then at Alex.  He felt like he was experiencing some kind of déjà vu.  “Wait, I-“

Alex silently cursed to herself.   She knew that Jordan would ruin everything by being there.  One mention of Brooke’s name and James was already beginning to remember something.  

“Shhhh,” Alex soothed him, trying to get him back into the chair.  “Don’t strain yourself, Darling.  Just sit down and relax.”

James shook his head, growing into a daze as he struggled with a memory that wouldn’t come.   “Brooke,” he said.  “I know her, don’t I?”

“Yes-“ Jordan began.  He had to put a stop to this.  He wasn’t going to stand back and let Alex carry on with her charade.   She was supposed to be with him, not James.  He would do anything he could to stop her from carrying on with him.

“No!” Alex insisted.  “She’s nobody, James.  Just come inside the house and let me take care of you.  I promise I won’t let anything happen to you.”

James resisted, pulling his arm from her as he saw flashes of a young blond woman in his head.   He frowned, trying to grasp the memory.  He saw an altar with flowers on pillars, rows of people seated before them, and a beautiful white wedding dress.

“Brooke…” he murmured to himself.

Alex shook her head in desperation.  “James, no…”

James held his hand up, staring at the ground in a daze.  “She was my wife,” he said softly, then looked up at Alex.  Not you.”

“No, you don’t know what you’re talking about!” Alex cried, running toward him but Jordan held her back.   She struggled in his arms, trying to get free so she could go to James and stop this from happening.

Memories came flooding back and suddenly James realized that he had been living in the past for the last few days.    He took a deep breath and turned away from Alex.  “I have to go,” he said.  “I have to go find Brooke and make her understand.”

“James, don’t go!” Alex lamented, grabbing his arm and trying to pull him back.

He pulled away from her and sent her sailing back into Jordan’s arms.   “No, I have to go find her!” he exclaimed, running off the veranda.

Alex sobbed uncontrollably, watching him disappear from sight.  Her head sunk down with regret as Jordan put his arms around her and tried to console her.

“Don’t touch me!” she screamed, turning around and glaring at him.  “You ruined everything!”  She began hitting him in the chest with her fits.  Everything!  Do you hear me?"

Jordan grabbed for her wrists, trying to stop her from attacking him as she cried hysterically.

Miranda Blackthorne

Miranda knocked on the door at the Sunset Strip Motel and slid her fingers in the back pockets of her jeans while she waited for an answer.   A minute later Devon Graham came to the door.

“Oh great, just what I need this early in the morning,” Devon said angrily, quickly trying to shut the door.

Miranda forced the door open again and pushed her way inside.  “I have to talk to you and I’m not leaving until I do,” she said, looking around the rundown motel room.  She shivered with disgust and then turned to the contemptible woman.   “Just what the hell are you trying to prove, anyway?”

“Excuse me?”  Devon took a threatening pose and rolled her eyes.

“What are you doing?” Miranda asked.  “You blow into town, break into my bedroom, get my husband charged with murder, and all for what?   So you can get back at him for leaving you?”

Devon folded her arms and snarled at her.  “I just want to see that Rick…oh excuse me, Brett gets what’s coming to him.”

Miranda took a step forward, her eyes challenging her.  “You’re pathetic,” she said.  “This isn't the 1950's.  Women don’t need a man to make them complete in this day and age.   Now here you are going after someone that doesn’t want you anymore.  I hope you realize you just set the women’s movement back about thirty years.”

“I don’t need a man to make me complete,” Devon replied.  “As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t take Rick back if he begged me on his hands and knees.   See, I don’t sleep with murderers.”

Miranda rolled her eyes.  “How do you even know he killed that guy anyway?  All that maid from the hotel said was that she saw a man leaving the room.  That could have been anybody.”

“You wish it was anybody else.”

“Why don’t you just go away?” Miranda asked.  “Leave L.A. and go back to wherever the hell you came from.”

Devon took a step closer.  “Because I want to stick around and make sure that he pays for everything he’s done.”

“He didn’t kill anybody!” Miranda shouted in a rage.

“Yes he did!”

“Prove it!”   Miranda felt like she was in a shouting match with a five year old.   This was getting ridiculous.

“I was there!  I saw him push Bailey out of the window!”

Miranda’s eyes widened and she took a step back.  “What?” she asked through squinted eyes.   “You saw him push him?  What are you talking about?”

Devon looked around the room nervously, her eyes darting everywhere but at Miranda.  “Forget it.”

“What do you mean?  Tell me!”

“I was hiding in the closet,” Devon said.  “I got there before Brett did.  He didn’t know I was there.  I saw everything!  I saw them struggling over the money, and I saw Brett push Bailey out of the window!”

Miranda shook her head, refusing to believe what the spiteful woman was saying.

Blackthorne Mansion

“She’s lying,” Brett said to Miranda a while later at the mansion.  They were sitting in the library with Stormy discussing the confrontation she’d just had with Devon.

“How do you know she wasn’t hiding in the closet?” Stormy asked, his arms folded across his chest.

“She might have been in the closet, but she didn’t see me push him out of the window because I didn’t!” Brett insisted, getting up from the sofa and beginning to pace the room.  He ran his fingers through his thick blonde hair and let out a deep breath.  This was getting way too complicated.

“Stormy, I thought you were on Brett’s side,” Miranda said, glaring at her brother.  “I mean, you posted his bail.   Why would you have done that if you thought he was guilty?”

“It’s okay, Miranda,” Brett interrupted.  He thought about the conversation he had with Stormy the other day.   Stormy had all but come out and accused him of being a murderer.  “I don’t expect Stormy to believe me.  I mean, I’ve lied about everything else, right?”

“You said it, not me,” Stormy said with a chuckle.   He didn’t want to believe that Brett was guilty, but the facts weighed against him.  A phony identity, a string of illegal money making schemes, and now this.  It was all too suspicious.

Miranda sighed with frustration and turned back to her husband.  “Brett, tell us again what happened in that hotel room.”  She was sure there was something that he’d overlooked.  Something that could prove he was innocent.

Brett rubbed his aching neck and sat down again.  “I went into the room, packed up my things, got the money and started to leave.   Bailey walked in and we argued.  He accused me of trying to take off with all of our money.  His, mine and Devon’s.”

“Well you were,” Stormy said sarcastically.

Brett ignored his comment.  “I pushed him out of my way and made a run for it,” he explained.  “That was when I went to the casino next door and met Miranda.”

Stormy’s eyes narrowed on him as he tried to recreate the events in his mind.  “Why didn’t he run after you?” he asked.

“Stormy, stop insinuating that Brett pushed him!” Miranda ordered, sick of her brother’s negativity.

He shook his head.  “No, I mean let’s just assume, strictly as a conjecture, that Brett didn’t push him. Suppose he got a clear shot at the door and made a run for it.   If this Bailey guy wanted his money that bad, wouldn’t he have at least ran after him?”

“You’d think so,” Miranda said.

Stormy looked at Brett and suddenly realized he could be innocent after all.  “Didn’t you think that was strange?” he asked.  “That Bailey just gave up the minute you got out into the hall?”

Brett shrugged.  “I guess I didn’t think about it.  I was too worried about getting away.”

“So something must have kept him in that room,” Stormy continued.  “Or someone.”

Miranda’s eyes lit up.  “Like Devon.”

Brett looked at her and then at Stormy.  “What are you saying?”

“I’m saying Devon might know more than she’s letting on,” Stormy said.  “And instead of coming forward, she decided to point the finger at Brett.   I mean, let’s face it.  She didn’t even tell the police she was a witness.   As a matter of fact, she didn’t say anything about it until Miranda talked to her today.”

Brett grew into a daze, wondering if Stormy might be on to something.

Brooke's Apartment

Brooke opened the door of her apartment in the Valley and walked inside, taking in the stuffy air and sweating from the immense heat.   She threw her keys down on a table and went to open the window to let some fresh air in.   It had been weeks since she’d been there and it was in major need of some refreshing.   The fact that she still had the apartment was just dumb luck.   After her wedding to James, things went into an immediate tailspin and she forgot all about moving her things out and handing in her keys.   Luckily her lease wasn’t up yet.   Otherwise she’d have nowhere to go.

Walking around the small apartment in a daze, she started to feel like she was on an emotional roller coaster.    She never thought she’d have to live there again.   She was supposed to be living the good life in a fully staffed, forty-room mansion in Hollywood.   But that turned out to be nothing more than a dream, and when she woke up, she was already immersed into another romance.   Now that was gone too.  And so was Ethan.    And James was back with his ex-wife, Alex.    And she was alone.

Void of energy, she plopped down onto her old wicker sofa, hung her head down and cried silently to herself.   How did things get to be so messed up? 

Stormy Blackthorne

Stormy walked down the hallway at the Sunset Strip Motel, smoothing back his untamed hair and unbuttoning his shirt to just below his chest.   He licked his lips and knocked three times on the door.   Devon opened it and rolled her eyes.

“What are you doing here?” she asked with irritation.  “First your crazy sister and now you?   Don’t you people get it?  I’m not going anywhere so you might as well save your breath.” 

Stormy stopped the door from closing on him.  He leaned against the doorframe and put on his most charming, seductive grin.   “I hope you’re not going anywhere,” he said with a sly raise of his eyebrow.  “Because it’d be a shame if we didn’t get to know each other better.”

Devon frowned as he walked into her room and spun around toward her.   “What’s your trip, man?” she asked.  “Are you high?”

Stormy reached his hand out and gently touched her shoulder, letting his fingers slide erotically down her arm.  “I wanted to check you out for myself,” he said.  “Brett was telling me what a far out chic you were.”

What?”

He nodded, licking his lips as he stared at her, moving closer so that he was mere inches from all five foot two of her.  “He said you were a firecracker in the sack.”

Devon chuckled and looked him up and down.  “Oh he did, did he?”

Stormy nodded.  “Yeah, and you know me.  Stormy Blackthorne the player, the ladies man, the gigolo.  I had to see what I was missing.”

Smiling mischievously, Devon sat down on the bed and patted the spot beside her.  “Well then get yourself over here,” she said seductively.  “Let’s see what you’ve got.”

Not expecting her to be so eager, Stormy reluctantly walked over to the bed and sat down beside her.   He cleared his throat, trying to decide his next move.  Before he could do or say anything, Devon was climbing on top of him, pushing him down onto the bed and licking her wet tongue all over his face.

“I have to confess,” she said in hurried breaths.  “I am dying to find out if all those tabloid stories about you are true.   Stormy the Stallion, isn’t that what they called you in the National Inquisitor?”

Stormy laughed uncomfortably, trying to keep his face away from hers.  She was like a tornado, covering him from every angle so much that he felt claustrophobic.  “Yeah, I think so,” he said, struggling with his words.   She was overpowering him with her freakish strength and it was anything but a turn on.   Thankfully.   He was there to help Brett, not to get laid.

“Hey, you know what would get me really hot?” Devon asked with a grin.

Stormy was almost afraid to ask.  “What’s that?”

“If I could spank you,” she said with a roguish smile.  “Wouldn’t that be far out?”

“Uhhh…yeah,” Stormy replied, all the while thinking what the hell is wrong with you, woman?  Before he knew it, she was rolling him over onto his stomach and straddling his back.   “Oh wow, you’re not kidding, huh?”

“Now tell me how bad you’ve been,” Devon giggled, bouncing up and down on him.

“Yeah, but listen,” he began, trying to block out the stinging sensation from her hand slapping his butt.  “If we’re going to get this personal, maybe we should be completely honest with each other.”

She barely acknowledged his remark.  “Yeah, tell me you’ve been a bad boy,” she said.

“Uhh, yeah, I was thinking more along the lines of you and Brett,” Stormy said with annoyance.  “I mean, he’s such a jive turkey anyway.  How’d you get mixed up with him?”

“I’m not the only one who’s a firecracker in the sack,” she replied with a wink.

“I get it.  So this whole murder accusation is just to get back at him for taking the good stuff away, huh?”

“No,” Devon said with a roll of her eyes.  “What are you-“ 

Suddenly Stormy felt her fingers tighten around his neck in a chokehold.  “Hey!” he said hoarsely.  “Why don’t we stick to spanking?  Save this other stuff for later?”

Devon jumped off of him and pulled him up by the neck.  “I think you’re the jive turkey,” she said, pushing him off the bed.  “Did you really think you could come here and try to get me to renege on my word?   What kind of broad do you take me for?”

Clutching his sore neck, Stormy got up and backed away from her.  “What happened to the spanking and the firecrackers?” he asked, pointing to the bed.  “I thought we could-“

“What you thought is that you could come here and use your boyish charms and good looks to make me take back my accusation!” she yelled, backing him to the door.  “Well I can’t be swayed that easily.  Besides, I’m not into punks.”

“Are you calling me a punk?” Stormy asked defensively.  The woman was starting to get under his skin.

“Hello?  Tattoos!  Spiky hair!  Now get out of my room before I show you my pincer hold!”  She backed him further toward the door until he opened it and ran outside.

After she’d slammed the door shut, Stormy let out a deep breath and tried to regain his composure.  He didn’t know how Brett handled being with her for so long.  She was a lunatic. 

He started down the hallway to the stairs, cursing the failed mission.  He’d have to think of another way to get  Devon to admit what she knew.  On his way to his car, he suddenly got the perfect idea.

When he got back to the mansion, he found Brett and Miranda in the game room and brought them to the kitchen where Leilani was cleaning up after lunch.

“How would you like to do us a big favor, Leilani?” Stormy asked, eyeing her with a broad smile on his face.

Jasmes Blackthorne

Loud, staccato pounding on her door sent Brooke into a panic.  She stood up from the sofa and looked across the room, wondering who would know where to find her.  She wanted to be alone.  She couldn’t face anybody.

“Brooke!  Open up!  It’s James!” 

Her eyes widened and she backed up from the door.  She was frozen, unable to think or speak.  She hadn’t expected him to have gotten back to the states so quickly after she did.  He must have left right after her. 

“Brooke!  I know you’re in there!  I saw your car outside!  Now open up!”

“Go away!” Brooke cried.

“Open the door or I’ll break it down!” James called through the door.

She shook her head in despair.  She couldn’t see him now.  Not after what happened in the Dominican Republic.  Not just for the fact that she’d seen him with Alex, but for what happened with her and Ethan.  She couldn’t face him after that. 

Suddenly she heard a loud crash on the other side of the door.   The lock busted and the door swung wide open.   James came barreling inside, staring at her with pleading eyes.

“Why won’t you talk to me?” he demanded.

She turned her back to him.  “I can’t,” she replied, tears forming in her eyes.  She felt horrible for doing it, but she had to put it all on him.  Telling him about her and Ethan would kill him.  And now that Ethan was gone, it would serve no purpose anyway.

“Why not?” James insisted, walking toward her.

“I saw you with her!” Brooke screamed, spinning back around.  “I saw you with Alex on the beach in the Dominican Republic!   You were kissing her!”

He was afraid that’s what had happened.   It all had gotten so confusing that he still didn’t know how it happened.  “That’s what you don’t understand,” he began.  He had to explain to her about his memory loss and the fact that he was living in the past for those few days on the island with Alex.  “She tricked me.  You have to believe me, Brooke.”

“Tricked you?” she exclaimed.  She suddenly didn’t feel so bad about what happened with Ethan on the island.   If James was going to stand there and tell her some kind of lie about why he was with Alex, then she wasn’t totally to blame for anything that had happened.  It was just as much him as her.   “How did she trick you into kissing her?   And dancing with her?  My God, James, it looked like the two of you were lovers!”

“Brooke, I had a head injury from the plane crash,” he explained.  “It affected my memory.”

“Oh, I see,” she said bitterly.  She didn’t believe a word he said.   If that was the best he could come up with then she didn’t want to hear anymore.  “Just admit it, James.  You wanted to get back at me for what happened with Philip.  You were so angry that I kept my marriage to him from you that you would do anything to get back at me.”

“No!  I’m not like that!  You know that!”

“Do I?” she asked.  “So you’ve never done anything for revenge?  Is that what you’re telling me?”

He shrugged, realizing that wasn’t true.  “Not when it comes to you,” he said.   “I love you.”

“Are you sure about that?” she asked.  “Are you sure your memory hasn’t been affected?  Because the last time I saw you you told me that you didn’t think that you wanted things to work out between us.  Isn’t that what you told me?”

He sighed, realizing again that she was right.   He did tell her that.  But it was after finding out about Philip and their secret marriage.   “I was angry.   I didn’t mean to-“

“It changed everything, James,” Brooke said, finally calming down enough to speak at a normal level.  “I begged you to understand and you wouldn’t.  You said horrible things to me and I don’t know if I can forgive you for that. “

“Brooke, please.”

“I want you to leave,” she said, barely able to look at him. 

He waited for a minute, hoping she would change her mind.   Finally he realized that she was not going to budge.  She was still rattled after seeing him with Alex.  Maybe in time she would be willing to listen.    Yes, he would come back when things had settled down.

Turning away, he went to the busted door and closed it behind him.   Brooke broke into tears and sank to the floor, confused and torn about how she should feel.   Her emotions were in such turmoil that she didn’t know what was right and what was wrong.

Alex's House

Veronique opened the door for them as Alex and Jordan rushed into her beach house in Malibu.  He followed her straight to the bar where she poured herself a glass of scotch.

“You can’t go on ignoring my questions,” Jordan pressured her.  “You barely said a word the entire flight home.”

Alex rolled her eyes and took a gulp of scotch.  “Speaking of home, Jordan.  Why don’t you go home?  I’ve had more than enough of you for one day.”

He grabbed her arm and turned her toward him.  “Why do you talk to me like that?” he asked, hurt showing in his eyes.  “You seem to keep forgetting that I’m the man who asked you to marry him.   That’s my ring on your finger.  Yet you keep pushing me away.”

“Fine,” Alex said, taking the ring off and placing it in his palm.  “Take it.”  She walked across the room with her glass and looked out the window at the beach.

Jordan gripped the ring in his closed fist, angered by her callous attitude and diva-like personality.   Sometimes he wondered why he cared for her so much.   “If you’re expecting a ring from James Blackthorne to replace this one, I think you’re going to be waiting a long time.”

She turned around and shot him a cold, frigid stare.  “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Oh come on.  Don’t think I don’t know what was going on in that cabana back there in the Dominican Republic,” Jordan exclaimed.  “You were trying to hide James from the world so that you could have another chance with him.  Admit it!”

“You’re wrong!”

“You’re still in love with him and you used his memory loss to play house for as long as you could,” Jordan continued, staring into her watery eyes.  “And you might have gotten away with it for a while if I hadn’t shown up.”

“You’ve been in the business too long, “ Alex declared, trying to shrug his accusations off as a joke.  “You’re starting to think everything is a movie script.”

He shook his head, walking up and grabbing her arms.   He stared into her eyes, trying to get her to see that she was being foolish.  “You’re crazy if you think James will ever take you back,” he said.  “He doesn’t love you, Alex.”

She shook her head, tears spilling down her cheeks.  “Yes he does.  He told me he does. “

“Maybe back at that cabana he remembered a time when he did love you,” Jordan said, his eyes riveted to hers.   He began to see another vulnerable side of Alex Reynolds that was seldom seen by anyone.  “But back here there’s only one man who can say that, and that’s me.”

Alex looked at him with surprise.   In all the time they’d been courting, Jordan had never uttered anything remotely resembling that sentiment.   It was a shock.  She didn’t know how to react.   More importantly, she couldn’t react now.   She had James to think about.

“Not James Blackthorne, not Will Thomerson,” Jordan continued.  “Just me.  So stop pushing me away.”

The mention of Will’s name sent her into a panic.  She had almost forgotten his plan to get Sunset Studios from James.   There was a good chance that it was already a done deal.   But if not, she had to at least try to stop it from happening.  She couldn’t let James fall victim to Will’s treachery.   Not after the beautiful days they’d spent together in the Caribbean, just like when they were married. 

“I have to go before he loses everything!” she suddenly uttered aloud, dropping her drink and heading for the door.  

Jordan frowned, wondering what she was talking about.   “Wait, where are you going?”

Blackthorne Mansion

Brett closed the door of his and Miranda’s bedroom at the Blackthorne mansion and sat down on the bed with the phone cradle in his hands.    He took a deep breath and dialed Devon’s number at the Sunset Strip Motel.

“Enjoying your freedom?” she asked when he identified himself.  “You’d better, because things are going to change when you’re convicted of murder.  You don’t get phone privileges in prison, Ricky.”

He shook his head in irritation and held the receiver close to his mouth.  “Look, I want to see you,” he said.  “Right away.”

Devon frowned.  “Why?  You wanna shut me up too?”

Brett shook his head, looking down at the duffel bag of money sitting next to him on the bed.  “No, I want to give you what’s yours,” he said.  “Your share of the money.”

“What kind of sick game are you trying to play now?”

“It’s not a game.”

“Then why are you being so generous all of the sudden?” Devon asked suspiciously.

“I just don’t want to take anything that belongs to you,” Brett replied, staring down at the money.  “I mean, you’re right, I’m probably going to prison soon.   The money’s not going to do me a lot of good in there.  It might as well go to someone who needs it.”

Devon wasn’t about to argue.  “Okay, fine.   Come to my motel room in an hour.  And leave that psycho wife of yours home.  That chick rubs me the wrong way.”

“No, I can’t come there,” he protested.  “Why don’t you meet me at the beach club?  If I go to your room and someone sees, they’ll think we’re in cahoots or something.  I just think it would be better if we met in a public place.”

Devon rolled her eyes.  “Fine.  But I’m warning you, Buddy.  You better not be up to no funny business.  If I fall out of a window, if the breaks go out on my car, if my toaster falls into the bathtub while I’m taking a bath, you’ll be the first person they come looking for.”

Brett recognized her flair for the dramatics.  “I’ll see you in an hour.”

After he hung up he picked up a bundle of money from the bag and felt it in his fingers. He hated the thought of parting with any of that money.   But it was something he had to do.

Beach Club

An hour later, Devon walked into the restaurant at the Valley Beach Club and scanned the dining room for Brett.  When she didn’t see him, she sighed with irritation and took a seat at the bar.   After ordering a drink, she looked over her shoulder and inspected the light crowd of people.   Her eyes traveled toward the table directly behind her where a man dressed in a business suit was seated with a heavy-set Hawaiian woman.  An odd pairing, she thought to herself. 

“Ma’am, I just want to ask you a few questions so we know what we’re going to be dealing with at the trial,” she overheard the man saying to the Hawaiian woman.  “How long have you been an employee of the Flamingo Hilton hotel?”

Devon’s eyes widened and she turned on her stool.   She knew she recognized the man from somewhere.  He was the lawyer Brett’s crazy wife hired.   He must be interviewing the maid from the hotel where they’d been staying in Vegas.

“Two years,” Leilani replied.  “This is the first time something like this has happened to me.”

“You’re doing fine,” said Brandon Marksman.   “I want you to tell me exactly what you saw on the afternoon of January 14th.”

Devon listened intently, straining to hear over the crowd.

“I just came on the evening shift,” Leilani said.  “It was a little after four o’clock.  I had five rooms to clean on the tenth floor so I was in a hurry.   Anyway, I came off the service elevator with my cart and I heard screaming from down the hallway. “

“Could you tell what they were saying?” Brandon asked.

She shook her head.  “No, it just sounded like screaming,” she said.  “I saw a man run from the room with a bag.  I thought he was in a hurry to check out so I held the elevator for him.   Then I heard more screaming.”

“You heard more screaming after the man left the room?” 

“Yes,” Leilani answered.  “I was pushing my cart down the hallway to check it out and that’s when I saw the woman running down the hallway past me.”

Brandon raised an eyebrow.  “Had the yelling stopped by that time?”

Leilani nodded.  “Yes.  So I went into the room.  I saw the mess.  I noticed the window was open and I went to shut it and that’s when I saw the crowd of people downstairs gathered around that poor man’s body.”

Devon felt her stomach doing flips.   She felt like she was going to be sick to her stomach.   Damn that maid for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Would you be able to recognize this woman if you saw her again?” Brandon asked Leilani.

“Yes, of course,” she replied.

“Thank you for your cooperation,” Brandon said with a smile.

Devon jumped up from the bar and found a waiter walking toward the doorway.  She fell in line with him and followed him out of the restaurant, trying desperately to hide behind him.

After she’d gone, Stormy, Miranda and Brett appeared from the back room.

“How did I do?” Leilani asked with a smile, looking up at them.

“You did great, Leilani,” Stormy replied, leaning down and kissing her cheek. 

“Did you see Devon’s face?” Brett asked with a laugh.  “She practically fell off the stool when Leilani said she could identify the woman coming out of the room.”

Miranda laughed and then turned to Stormy and the lawyer.  “So what happens now?”

“I say we go head her off at the pass before she can skip town,” Stormy suggested.  “We can’t let her leave town or we’ll never get her to confess.”

“Now wait a minute,” Brandon said, his tone full of warning.  “We don’t know that she is guilty of anything.   How are you so sure about this, anyway?”

“It’s just a gut feeling I have,” Stormy replied.

“Well I should have my head examined for going along with this scheme of yours,” Brandon announced, then pausing in hesitation.  “But I’ll play along for the sake of clearing this mess up.   Lord knows your father doesn’t need anything else to worry about right now with his business in trouble.”

Sunset Studios

Meanwhile, James parked his car in the lot outside Sunset Studios.    Since he’d flown back from the Dominican Republic he hadn’t managed to get a single thing accomplished.    His attempt at communicating with Brooke went bust.  He went home to check on everyone there but there wasn’t a sole to be found.  He had no idea where his children were, or even his maid.   Since he had free time that evening he decided to head to the studio to try to get some work done.

Walking down the hallway toward his office, he noticed that there was a light on inside.  He frowned, wondering who would be in his office this late, and without him being there. 

When he reached the door, he slowly opened it and took a step inside.   His gaze traveled across the room to his desk where someone was sitting in his chair with their back to him.

“Can I help you?” he asked.

Slowly the chair swiveled around and Will Thomerson smiled at James with conviction.  “I don’t think so, James,” he said.  “I believe I have everything from you I’ll be needing.”

Immediately growing enraged, James glared across the room at his nemesis and took a step forward.  “What the hell are you doing in my office?” he asked.

“You mean my office,” Will gloated.

“What the devil are you talking about?” James bellowed.  He was so furious at seeing him there that he could barely see straight.  “Get out of my chair and get the hell out of this building before I throw you out.”

Will shook his head and leaned forward, his smirk growing into a menacing scowl.  “I don’t think so,” he began.  “As of four o’clock today I own this building and everything in it.”

“You’re insane,” James replied with a scoff.

“It’s true,” Will said, standing up.  “You see, while you were occupied in the Dominican Republic with the lovely Alex Reynolds, you defaulted on your loan with H & Q Consolidated.”

James shook his head in confusion.  “What do you know about my loan with them?”

“Because I am H & Q Consolidated,” Will replied.   “Cutty Sallis was an actor I hired to act as the front man.   Pretty clever, don’t you think?”

Realizing slowly dawned on James as he felt like a blow had been delivered straight to his abdomen.  “You bastard,” he whispered to himself as the full reality of what had happened sunk in.

“Unfortunately, H &Q had to call their loan in early, and since you weren’t available for repayment on demand, we had to collect by means of your production company.”  Will’s tone was joyous and threatening all at once.   He loved seeing his rival squirm, realizing he’d lost it all to the man he tried to destroy once upon a time.  Well now the tables were turned.

“You can’t do this,” James protested.

“It’s already done,” Will said, holding up the loan papers.  Sunset Studios is mine.  And you have nothing.  Everything you’ve worked for your entire life is gone.  Maybe that will make you think twice before you try to mess with me again.”

“You son of a bitch!” James yelled in a rage as he ran at him.   He stopped in his tracks when he saw Will reach into his jacket pocket and remove a .38 handgun.

“I came prepared this time,” Will said, pointing the gun at him.  “Not like that time in your study when I first came to town and you tried to kill me.   This time I have protection.  And after all, you are trespassing.”

James stared at the barrel of the gun, sweat pouring down his face.  He refused to be threatened like that in his own office.  And it was his office, no matter what Will Thomerson said. 

 


Next time...

A struggle over the gun leads to devestation.  Devon gets a surprise on her way out of town.  Jordan asks for Winter's help. Brooke has nightmares about Ethan.

 Read Episode 16

 

 


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