In New Martin, Brad King drugged
Farrah to keep her from revealing that he was Hugh Rogers
Killer. A delerious Farrah stabbed Brad with a
letter opener and was arrested after Brad led her to
believe she killed Hugh. Keaton Hartley told Nathan
that he bought the headshots of the Lamont 3 stars at
a memorabilia store for a scrap book he was working
on. Jordan told Detective Rodriguez that he wanted to
help find the killer, since he was targeting Lola also.
Lola inferred that Jordan was trying to make up
for turning his back on Benji. Nathan and Victor
were shot at before finding a photograph of an actess
named Bianca Burnette whom they both once knew. Lola,
Jack, Nathan, Victor, and Vaughan grew suspicious of
one another. While tring to comfort Mackenzie
after Elana's murder, Ethan and Mackenzie slept together
and later decided to keep sweeing each other secretly.
Miranda told Gemma that she was through with the
business. Later, Ethan revealed to Miranda that
he knew her secret but that he wouldn't tell James.
In Monte Carlo, James made amends with his father
and grew closer to Brooke in the process.
When Stormy and
Eddie returned home two days later, they were greeted by Leilani at the door
before proceeding through the foyer with their luggage.
“You’re home!” Miranda exclaimed as
she emerged from the hall, Jane padding loosely behind.
Eddie pulled her into a tentative
embrace. “We got a flight out first
thing this morning,” he told her. “How’s
“She’s good.” Miranda made a concerted effort to hide her
wariness over delivering the paternity test results to him. She knew she’d have to, but for now she
wanted to enjoy his homecoming.
Jane and Stormy hugged as she
expressed her bittersweet feelings over the outcome of their trip. “Have you seen Farrah?”
Stormy put his arm around her while
he addressed the others. “Not since they
arrested her in New Martin,” he explained.
“She’s being extradited to L.A. today where she’ll wait for a
“I guess we were right in trying to
protect her,” Miranda said. “I only wish
it would have worked out.”
“Miranda,” Stormy said with a shake
of his head.
“What? I’m sorry, but I’d do it over again if I had
to. There’s no way Farrah should be put
in prison for offing that guy. He
deserved what he got.”
“You should have seen her at that
restaurant opening,” Eddie told her.
“She was running around like a crazy person. Blood was everywhere. She was unhinged.”
The doorbell rang and Leilani went
to open it. It was Kenny, clad in a
business suit and hauling a leather briefcase.
Stormy approached him swiftly. “Kenny, what are you doing here?”
“Is it about the murder charges?”
Miranda asked. “Has the D.A. officially
had them dropped?”
“The murder charges, yes,” Kenny
explained. “But now you’re being charged
with abuse of a corpse.”
“What?” Jane asked and flashed a
worried look toward Stormy. “We didn’t
“No, but you shoved his body in a
freezer,” Kenny explained. “That’s a
misdemeanor. I’ve petitioned the court
to have the charges dropped but I don’t know that they’re going to go for it considering
how difficult Miranda was during the investigation. Not to mention the break-in of the rehab
facility a few months back.
“We were all guilty of breaking in to that place,” Eddie reminded him.
“But Miranda’s the only one they
Miranda shrugged indifferently. “So
what are we talking?
A fine and some probation time? A
misdemeanor’s not so bad.”
“Not for you,” Jane said. “When I
decide to look for a new job, this could prevent me from getting hired. I can’t have this on my record. It just proves how unfair this whole thing
is. Hugh Rogers was a son-of-a-bitch who
terrorized women. Now my cousin, Farrah
is probably going to jail and we get stuck with a record for trying to help
“Maybe there’s something we can do
to help Farrah,” Eddie said. “If her
family intervenes, maybe they can get her committed to a mental institution in
lieu of prison.”
“It’s probably her only option,”
Jane took her cell phone from her
back pocket and hastily dialed. She
looked at the others while waiting for an answer. When her aunt in Chicago answered, she turned
“Aunt Kate, it’s Janey,” she
began. “Look, Farrah’s in trouble. She needs your help.”
While she made the call, Stormy
turned to Kenny. “Have you heard from my
“He should be on his way back now
“Did he go to the funeral alone?”
Stormy wanted to know.
Kenny shook his head. “Your mother is with him.”
Thirty thousand feet in the air
somewhere above Las Vegas, the Sunset Studios jet careened through the clouds
as James and Alex sat quietly in the cabin.
He looked over at her a few times as he leafed through a magazine. Finally, he decided to break the
“Are you going to tell me what you
and my father talked about in Monte Carlo the other day?”
She looked up at him and shrugged
indifferently. “We talked about a lot of
things,” she replied. “Stormy and
Miranda, Nathan, and that first time he came to visit you in Hollywood.”
“And that’s it?”
Alex paused the episode of Police Woman she’d Netflix’d on her
iPad. “Yes, that’s it. James, what is it you’re trying to ask
“I’ve just never understood the
relationship you had with him. From the
first day he showed up in L.A. you were very close. We weren’t even married yet. What was it you bonded over?”
“James, the man had recently lost
his daughter,” Alex said. “You said
yourself that Georgie’s death was extremely hard on him. He felt guilty for years that he couldn’t
help her. Of course he’s going to latch
on to another young woman. I don’t know
why it bothered you so much.”
“It didn’t bother me,” James told
her and shifted in his seat. “I just
always got the feeling there was some secret the two of you were hiding from
Alex sighed and glanced at her iPad
screen and the frozen image of Angie Dickinson running from a car
explosion. She remembered arriving in
Hollywood in 1978 at the tender age of seventeen, green and penniless and
wanting nothing more than to follow in Angie Dickinson’s footsteps. A television show seemed highly
attainable. But after months of
auditions, she’d gotten nowhere. She
remembered the first time she met Suzanne was at the audition for the role of
Faye on The Young at Heart. Little did she know that day that Suzanne
would win that role, and that thirty years later, she would spend several
months in the role that she ultimately lost out to her…
things don’t work out with the soap, you should look up this producer I met at
a party last weekend,” Suzanne was saying as they waited for their numbers to
be called. Of the millions of teenage
actresses in L.A., half of them had shown up to audition for the role of
Faye. “He mostly produces horror movies.”
smiled and took the card from her. A
horror film wasn’t what she had in mind, but she was beginning to get
desperate. Maybe she would call this
Deacon Edgewater guy. She’d seen in the
trade papers that Double Strike Studios was casting for a film called Bad Night.
Maybe she’d be right for the lead.
“Thanks. What did you say your name was?”
Rogers,” she said and extended her hand to her.
made a face. “Yeah, you might think
about changing that. Try something that sounds Hollywood.
Something androgynous. Androgyny
is in. It is the seventies, you
know. You’ve got to move with the
with the times,” Alex repeated to herself as she looked at the business
card. “Why not?”
Alex did get the part in Bad Night, but the cost had been far too
great, and unfortunately had shaped who she was for the rest of her life.
“Alex” James asked. “Are you listening to me?”
She nodded. “I’m not hiding anything from you, James,”
she said, not wanting to discuss it any further. “Your father and I just understood each
other, that’s all.”
As she went back to her iPad, James
sighed and laid his head back against the headrest. Maybe he was just projecting because of his
insecurities about having never been close to his father, while Alex walked in
and did it with a smile and a handshake.
“I was beginning to think you were never
coming back,” Kyle said as he pulled the golf car up to the administration
building at Moonshadows. He caught Brooke
as she made her way from the parking lot to the door. “I thought you got back in town a couple of
“I did,” she said, turning to look
at him through amber sunglasses. “I
wanted to spend some time with Michael before I got back to the office. I don’t think my going away for two days
helped his insecurities.”
She nodded. “I think he senses the friction between Ethan
and I. Dr. Podany said he might be
afraid one of us is going to leave again.”
Kyle wrinkled his forehead. “Well you can’t stay living in that house
with him forever. How is Michael ever
going to accept that you and Ethan aren’t together if you don’t start breaking
it to him now?”
“It’s just a very difficult
situation,” Brooke told him, her keys jangling in her hand while she pushed her
sunglasses up on her nose. “You saw how
difficult Michael was last year before Ethan came back. I don’t want to go through that again.”
Kyle refrained from pushing it. He wasn’t about to tell Brooke how to raise
her child, but he still felt that she was using her son to keep Ethan close. “Well, I’m glad to see you,” he said, leaning
in and brushing his lips against hers.
“How was Monte Carlo?”
“I didn’t see much of the city,” she
told him as they made their way inside to their offices. She smiled at Marcia, their secretary, and
took a stack of mail from her. “James
went on to Kansas for the funeral. I
should call him today and see how it went.
It was such a difficult time for him.”
“I’m sure it was,” Kyle said
and I also want to run by the hospital and check on Mr. De La Cruz. I hope he’s feeling better. He’s been in the hospital for days.
Have you heard anything?”
Kyle nodded. “No change,” he said, then shifted
subjects. “Just as long as you can make
some time for me. I missed you, Brooke.”
She turned as he pulled her into an
embrace. “I missed you too,” she
said. “And we’ll get together this
week. I promise.”
“This week?” Kyle asked with disappointment. “I was thinking dinner tonight at my
“I can’t,” she said and flipped
through the mail. “I need to spend time
with Michael, I have to talk to James, visit Mr. De La Cruz, not to mention the
marina expansion and Questicon starting today. I feel like after just two days away I’m so
Again, Kyle bit his tongue to keep
from expressing his disappointment.
Bombarding her with his needs was the last thing he wanted to do. “Okay.
Well, let me know when you can fit me into your schedule.”
She sighed as he turned to walk
away, pulling him back. “I’m sorry,” she
said and kissed him tenderly. “You are a
priority, no matter what it may seem like.
Just give me a day to get settled back in and I promise I’ll make it
worth your while.”
He grinned mischievously. “Sounds filthy.”
“You have no idea,” she replied and
kissed him again. She pulled away,
suddenly feeling dizzy.
“Are you okay?” Kyle asked. “You look a little pale.”
Shaking her head, she kissed him
again. “I’m fine.” She decided that she was probably still
jet-lagged from her trip to France.
Jordan followed Lola down the stairs
of his house in Beverly Hills, wringing his hands with exasperation.
“You’re doing what?” he demanded.
“I’m teaching an acting class,” Lola
repeated, pausing in the foyer to give herself a once-over in the mirror. “And before you say anything smart, I’ve
taught acting before. While Jonas and I
were married I ran a class at the playhouse that was quite successful.”
“That was thirty years ago,” Jordan
reminded her. “Tell me it’s not because
you need the money. You have plenty of
“Your craft is a muscle that must be
flexed if you don’t want to lose it,” Lola said. “And since nobody is beating down my door
wanting to give me parts, I decided this was the next best thing.”
“How did you even get involved in
the first place?”
“Suzette over in the wardrobe
department at Sunset Studios suggested it to me,” she replied. “Her daughter used to take classes there and
then the instructor skipped out with their money. The owners of the playhouse were really quite
taken with my techniques.”
“What techniques?” Jordan
asked. “Every part you ever got was
given to you by Jonas.”
“Are you saying I’m not an effective
actress? Because if that’s what you’re
saying I don’t even know what I’m doing here living in this house.”
“I didn’t say that,” Jordan said
with a sigh. “I just worry about you
going out in public where this madman can try something again.”
Lola opened the door with a raised
eyebrow. “Don’t worry. I have Kevin
Costner here to protect me.”
“That’s Chad, ma’am,” the bodyguard
who stood on the porch told her. “Are
“Yes,” she said and allowed him to
lead her down the steps to the car.
“Listen,” Jordan said and pulled
Chad back. “If you notice anything out of
the ordinary, I want you to get her back here.
She has the tendency to be sneaky, so you have to watch her like a
“I heard that,” Lola called out
before climbing into the car. “Honestly,
Jordan, you worry far too much. I may be
in my eighties but I’m not helpless.”
Jordan watched as the car started
and pulled out of the drive. He hoped he
wasn’t wrong by letting her go.
During a break from filming The Benefactor, Nathan made his way
across the back lot of Sunset Studios.
He passed by sets being moved back and forth between sound stages, crowds
of extras in costume, and an odd replica of Robbie the Robot that was on loan
to Questicon for the convention that weekend.
With his plastic keycard, he
accessed the archives building and took the stairs to the lower level where Denise
Syswicki was organizing files in a rusty metal filing cabinet.
“If you’re not a site for sore
eyes,” he said to her from behind.
Denise smiled and turned. “If they’re sore it’s because you haven’t
seen anything this perfect in a long time.”
A laugh while twirled
and then approached him, arms outstretched. “How are you, Nathan?”
“Extraordinary,” he said and kissed
her on the cheek. “You look ravishing as
usual, my dear.”
“Not that anybody would care with me
being crammed down here in archives all day,” Denise said and stepped back, a
taut expression on her face. “But I
suppose some of us weren’t meant to be in front of the camera.”
“I’m sure you could have been one of
the biggest screen sirens of our time,” Nathan said with a wink. “But no one knows these archives the way you
do. It’s the reason I stopped by today.”
“Flattery will get you
everywhere. What can I do for you?”
He withdrew the photograph that the
killer had left after trying to gun him and Victor down. Denise lit a cigarette
and took the picture from him.
“Bianca Burnette,” she said
aloud. “I’d almost forgotten how pretty
she was. This was one of the last
photographs taken of her before she died.”
“It was tragic.”
“I’ll say,” Denise said and blew a
stream of smoke into the air. “She goes
to an A-list party, leaves alone, falls into a coma, and dies two days later.
One of the great unsolved mysteries of her time. When did she die? Eighty-one, was it?”
“I think so,” Nathan said
dismissively. “So you don’t have any
inside information on what happened to her?”
Denise handed the picture back to
him. “Are you asking me because you want
to know what happened to her? Or do you already know and you’re just fishing to
see if anyone else does?”
He couldn’t help but smile at how
quick she was. “Let’s just say that what
happened to Bianca Burnette was a closely guarded secret. There are only four people who knew the truth,
and one of them is dead.”
“Jonas Lamont,” Denise surmised. “He did
have his secrets, didn’t he?”
Denise leaned forward in her chair
and took the photograph from him again.
“Let’s assume that you do know what happened to Bianca,” she began. “Or that you were involved in some way. What does this picture have to do with it?”
Nathan didn’t reply. The less said the better.
“Someone’s using it against you,
aren’t they?” Denise asked. “What do
they want? Money? Revenge?”
Again, Nathan avoided her
question. “Who else would Jonas have
told about something like this if he
had been involved?”
“You mean besides Vaughan Novak, his
resident Fixer? Almost anybody. Jonas had a tendency to talk a lot, even
about things he tried like a dickens to keep to himself. You
were there, Nathan. There were parties
at his mansion almost every night. The
man loved to tell stories. Stories about
the early days with his unscrupulous brothers, stories about his wives, his
daughter, and stories about those close to him.
And who was closer to him than the actors who worked for him?”
Nathan considered her theory. The idea that Jonas, who had been like a
father to him, would have told their secrets after working so diligently at
covering them up, was hard to fathom.
Lola and Lana, Jack and Natalie Davidson, Elana and the people she’d
killed while driving drunk, and finally he and Victor and Bianca Burnette. Jonas had as much to lose as they all did if
the truths had gotten out. Lamont 3
would have foundered with such scandals hovering over it.
No, there had to be someone
else. Someone who was there and knew
firsthand what secrets they’d tried so hard to rise up from. Someone who was now taunting them, stalking
them, preying on their weaknesses.
After being away for a few days,
Stormy wanted to get caught up on the progress with The Benefactor, so he and Keaton went to lunch at The Ivy. The reports were good. They were ahead of schedule and under
budget. When that happened, everyone was
happy, especially his father. And when
he returned from Kansas, he wanted to have good news to report.
“I saw the dailies you emailed me
while I was in Tennessee,” Stormy said as he looked over a few stills from the
set. “Things are really looking good,
Keaton. I think we’re going to have a
blockbuster on our hands.”
“I’m glad,” Keaton said, pushing his
hair away from his forehead.
“What items are left to shoot
“A few things on the shuttle set,”
he told him. “I’m more concerned with
Monday’s shoot in the control tower set with Cecily Davidson. I’m happy that you gave her the part, but I’m
sending her to a few acting classes first.
Regardless, she’s much better casting than your ex-wife, if you don’t
mind me saying so.”
Stormy sipped his drink while laying
the photos on the table. “I don’t mind,”
he said, glancing across the room just as Kelly entered. “Speak of the she-devil.”
Keaton craned his neck and
laughed. “Too funny,” he said. “Who’s the guy with her?”
Contempt quickly set in as Stormy
realized she was not only with Brett, of all people, but that they looked very
comfortable with each other. A thousand
scenarios began playing out in his mind.
After excusing himself from the
table, he quickly darted across the room and stepped in front of them before
they could make their way to their table.
“What’s going on here?” he
asked. “Brett, is this is another
attempt at putting her in the film, you can forget it. It’s not going to happen.”
Kelly glared contemptuously at him
while Brett slid an arm around her. “Nothing
like that,” he said. “Just grabbing some
lunch. Same as you. I see you’re back in town but haven’t made an
effort to check in at the studio.”
“I was just going over the progress
with Keaton,” Stormy said and gestured to his table. “And in case you care, Miranda and Jane are
off the hook in Hugh Rogers’ murder.”
“So they won’t be starring in their own women-in-prison flick?” Kelly asked
with a wicked laugh. “Too bad. Orange is really Miranda’s color, too.”
Stormy ignored her jab. “I guess I don’t have to ask you how R.J. was
while I was gone,” he began. “From the
looks of it you’ve been keeping yourself busy.
What did you do? Leave him for my
sister and your mother to take care of?”
“R.J. was taken care of just fine,”
“No thanks to his mother,” Stormy
“Easy, junior,” Brett said. “I’ve made sure she got home to tuck the
little tike in every night.”
Enraged by his smug expression,
Stormy made every attempt at keeping his cool.
“What does that supposed to mean?”
Brett shrugged while playfully
running a hand down Kelly’s arm. “Just
that we’ve been enjoying one another’s company.” He paused for maximum effect. “That doesn’t bother you, does it?”
“Actually, the two of you are
perfectly suited for each other. The
thing that bothers me is you poisoning my son’s mind with your sorry ethics and
sleazy lifestyle. I don’t want you
anywhere near R.J. Is that
“Aren’t you being a little
melodramatic?” Brett asked. “In case
you’ve forgotten, I have a daughter and she’s perfectly well adjusted, even
with my influence. So why don’t you just
say what’s really on your mind? That you
can’t stand that I’m sleeping with another one of your ex-wives.”
“I couldn’t care less who she sleeps
Brett laughed. “Please.
It’s written all over your face, junior.
First you flipped over me and Heather getting together, and now me and
Kelly. Afraid she’s comparing me in bed
“If she’s thinking about other men
in bed, I’d be worried if I were you,” Stormy said with a deadpan
expression. “And what does it say about
you that you can’t find a woman of your own?
It seems to me you’re always feeding off my leftovers.”
Brett looked away long enough to
reveal that Stormy’s words had gotten the best of him. “You know what? The truth is you just don’t know how to
please a woman so they always come running to me. I show them what a real man can do.”
“Keep telling yourself that,” Stormy
said, then looked at Kelly. “Watch out
for this guy. Like you, he’s never done
anything that didn’t serve his own needs.
I won’t let R.J. get caught up in the middle of that.”
After he’d stormed off, Kelly folded
her arms across her chest in aggravation.
“Can you believe him?”
“Yes,” Brett said, glaring defiantly
across the room at him.
Kelly smiled and ran a hand over his
chest. “All that macho talk about
showing me what a real man can do got me turned on,” she said
coquettishly. “How about we skip eating
and do lunch at your place?”
Brett couldn’t think of a better
idea. He put his arm around her and led her
out of the restaurant while making sure Stormy saw them.
Kyle wanted to survey the progress
at the marina expansion, so he drove a golf cart from the administration
building to the construction site where he met up with Chip Matthews. Brooke arrived at the same time and followed
them to the site.
“Things are finally back on track
now that we’ve got the power lines fixed,” Chip assured them. “There shouldn’t be any more setbacks. We should finish on schedule next
Even as he said it, he still had no
idea what Mason was planning. Nothing
he’d engineered so far had had the financial consequences that he’d predicted
for Brooke Taylor and her partners. He
began to think drilling for oil was a pipe dream.
“I have every confidence in you,
Chip,” Kyle told him.
“I don’t,” Brooke disagreed. “What are you doing to ensure the
environmental impact to the coastline isn’t compromised? And what about all the expenses you chalk up
to maintenance? I’ve yet to see an itemized list of costs
associated with the project. I thought
it was understood we would reconcile it weekly."
“Brooke, there’s no reason to
attack,” Kyle said, smiling in an effort to diffuse the tense situation. “Chip gave me his report while you were in
Monaco. I meant to go over it with you
“I’m sorry,” she said. “It’s just that we’ve got a very busy weekend
with the sci-fi convention and I can’t afford any more problems.”
“The convention won’t be affected,”
Chip assured her.
“I hope not.”
The ground foreman interrupted their
conversation as he approached and gestured to one of the crew members who was sitting
on an overturned bucket. There were several
others gathered around him as he sipped from a plastic cup of water.
“Chip, I’m worried about Meyer,” the
foreman said. “He came in looking pale
this morning and it’s been downhill ever since.
Says he’s having trouble breathing.”
“Send him home,” Chip said. “The last thing we need is the entire crew
getting a bug and being out sick for a few days.”
“You got it,” he replied. “But I think one of us should drive him. Don’t think he’s in any condition to drive
Sighing, Chip nodded and slipped off
his hard hat. “You take him, but then
get right back here. I don’t want to
fall behind again.”
He turned as Kyle was grinning,
shaking his head in amusement.
“I think you jinxed it,” Kyle said.
“Don’t even joke about it,” Chip
replied with a shake of his head.
Behind them, the foreman and another
crew member helped Meyer away from the job site. As they did, the man began coughing
uncontrollably, collapsing to the ground and turning white as a sheet.
Immediately, Chip raced toward him
and bent down to the ground. Kyle and
Brooke fell in line behind and observed in anticipation.
“Call an ambulance,” Chip shouted to
them. “He’s burning up.”
“Oh my God.” Brooke quickly pulled out her cell to make
the call, leaving Kyle standing above watching the man coughing and wheezing on
“Saw you on E.T. the other day,” Mason said as he approached Mackenzie in the
Sierra Room on the other side of Moonshadows.
“Quite the impassioned speech about Elana Hendricks’ murder. For a minute I thought you almost had real
She shifted her purse to her other
hand and took a deep breath. “What do
you want, Mason? I’m in no mood for you
today, especially if this is about my turning you down the other night.”
“Call it a temporary lapse in good
judgment,” he told her in response to his ill advised attempt at getting her
into bed the night of the premiere. “How
silly of me to think you would let go of our past together.”
She regarded him with a snarl. “You want me to let go of your affairs, your
shady business deals, and the constant lies you told me while we were
married? Fine. It’s forgotten. And so are you.”
As she turned to make a grand exit,
he pulled her back. “So who’s my
replacement this time?” he asked. “James
Blackthorne kissed you off, that much I already know. Who’s the warm body you’re sucking the life
out of now?”
Incensed by his smarmy tone, she
raised her hand to strike him. Mason
stopped her mid-air, grabbing her wrist and issuing her a look of warning.
“What the hell’s going on?” Ethan
asked when he arrived in the doorway of the restaurant. He looked at Mason. “Take your hands off of her.”
Mason grinned defiantly while
releasing her. “I guess this answers my
question,” he said to Mackenzie. “I
should have known it would be the nephew that you started shacking up
with. Why not keep it all in the
“Take a hike,” Ethan said, stepping
forward. “Unless you want my fist in
your face again like last time.”
“Relax, Blackthorne. You aren’t back in the prison yard.”
Ethan tensed, poising to strike when
Mackenzie stopped him. “Leave him alone,
Ethan,” she said. “He’s just trying to
cause trouble.” She looked at
Mason. “If you’re bored and looking for
a fight, go somewhere else. Or better
yet, just leave town already."
“I’m not going anywhere,” he
replied. “I have business to take care
He didn’t answer her. After issuing Ethan a final look of defiance,
he turned to leave. “See you around,
After he’d gone, she tried to calm
herself down. When Ethan reached out and
touched her hand, she started to feel better.
“He just gets to me sometimes,” she said. “I can’t believe I was ever married to that
“I can’t either,” he replied. “Are you ready to go back to the
“We got here as soon as we could,”
Kate Louis said as she embraced Jane in the bullpen at the police station. “Thank you so much for calling, Janey.”
“I didn’t know what else to do,”
Jane said, then looked at the man standing with her. “Hi Uncle Charlie.”
“Hi sweetheart,” the man said and
took her into his arms. “It’s so good to
“How is Farrah?” Kate asked. “Have you seen her?”
She shook her head. “They just flew her back from Tennessee. I think she’s being processed.”
Farrah’s mother wrapped her arms
around herself and fought back a few tears.
“What was she doing there?”
she asked. “The last we knew she left
Illinois to move out here. She hasn’t
even called us in I don’t know how long.
The only thing that gave me any sort of peace of mine was that you were
here to look after her.”
A surge of guilt washed over Jane as
she looked at her aunt and uncle. The
truth was she hadn’t looked after her very well at all. While she’d gotten her off the streets
working for Hugh Rogers and into a safer environment with Miranda, she hadn’t
been able to keep her from spiraling out of control. First murdering Hugh, then stabbing Brad
King. It’s like she was a different
“I just think Farrah needs help,” Jane
said. “She’s been so lost for so
long. Everything that she went through
back in Marquette Cove. Faking the
pregnancy. I think those people there
really messed her up.”
“My poor baby,” Kate said and
muffled a few whimpers of despair.
Suddenly, the sound of a woman
screaming caused them to turn in search of the commotion. Through a set of glass doors, two officers
emerged, leading Farrah through the bullpen in handcuffs. She struggled in their grasp, thrashing about
and screaming at the top of her lungs.
“Farrah!” Charlie Louis said when he
spotted his delusional daughter. “My
The officers stopped and Farrah
turned to look at Jane and her parents.
A blank look washed over her face as she stood in handcuffs before
“Farrah, baby,” Kate said, taking a
step forward. “It’s your mom.”
She looked at them and mumbled
incoherently, “I shot him,” she said, then erupted into maniacal laughter until
the officers led her off to the holding cell.
“What’s happened to her?” Kate
sobbed into her hands.
“It’ll be okay,” Charlie assured
her. “We’ll get her help.”
“Did you see the look in her eyes?”
Kate exclaimed. “It’s like she didn’t
even recognize us!”
“I’m sorry,” Jane said. “I feel like this is my fault.”
Charlie shook his head and watched
as they led his daughter to the detention area.
“No, Janey. It’s not. We’re going to get her psychiatric help. There’s no way I’m going to let them take my
daughter to prison in this condition.”
“Do you think she’ll ever go back to
being our Farrah again?” Kate asked.
“I hope so,” he said and hugged her
Jane stood by, hating what happened
to her cousin, but happy that she was going to get help.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Eddie
asked his brother as they climbed out of the car. “We don’t have to do this if you don’t want
Blake shook his head while staring
up at the house they’d grown up in. The
house they lived in when their mother left fifteen years ago. The house they lived in when their father
went insane and died after going
overboard a yacht on a dark and foggy night two years before.
“No, I want to see him,” he finally
said, tensing when the door opened and Victor smiled at them from the
“My boys,” he said. “I’m so happy you decided to come. Please excuse the dust. Since the house has been uninhabited for two
years, I’m afraid it’s gone a bit on the wayside.”
Eddie ran his finger along the
banister, grimacing at the black dust that coated it. “It’s fine,” he said and wiped it on the back
of his jeans. “When did you move back
“Just this morning,” Victor said and
led them to the parlor room. “My
recovery is complete thanks to Vaughan and Dr. Kanning. Time to spread my wings and leave the
proverbial nest.” He looked at
Blake. “Your room is much as you left it
if you’d like to have a look.”
Blake looked up the staircase,
remaining tight lipped. Eddie could
sense how uncomfortable he was being there so he quickly tried to steer the
conversation to a lighter topic.
“Have you talked to mom to tell her
Victor sighed and shook his
head. “I’m afraid not. Sylvie stopped caring what happened to me a
long time ago. I’m afraid her dalliance
with Jordan Rydell was our ultimate undoing.”
Blake snorted and shook his head in
aggravation. “No, your undoing was your crazy ass behavior.”
“Blake,” Eddie said, hoping to stave
off any conflict. As much as he hated
what their father had done, he wanted to at least hear him out.
“What?” he continued with a
frown. “The only reason mom had that
affair with Jordan Rydell was because she couldn’t handle our dad’s whack job
“Blake, I’m sorry, but I-“ Victor
“No, I’m sorry. This reunion is
nothing but a load of crap.”
“I was off my medication,” Victor
insisted. “You have to believe I would
have never done those despicable things if I’d been in my right mind.”
“That’s what you keep saying, but do
you have any idea how many people you screwed up after your last stunt? Benji, Heather, their parents… Do you have any idea what they’ve been
through?” He took a step closer. “Benji is dead. My best friend. He was so screwed up after what you did to
that family that he….” A pause while he
fought back the tears and the dryness in his throat. “Everyone may be able to forget what you did,
but I can’t. I won’t.”
“I know I haven’t been a good
person, but I-“
Blake shook his head adamantly. “What makes you think you can come back into
our lives and act like nothing has happened?” he asked. “We’ve
moved on. We have our own lives
“And I want to know all about it,”
Victor pleaded. “I want to know
“Do you?” Blake asked. “How about this for starters? I’m gay.
Didn’t expect to come back from the dead to that, did you?”
Eddie looked at his brother in
“Still want to know everything?”
“Yes…” Victor told him. “Blake, you’re my son. Regardless of who or what you-“
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Eddie
“It’s doesn’t matter,” Blake
said. “The point is that this is a
stupid. We’re not a big happy
family. He ruined that when he started
With that, he turned and darted back
out of the house, leaving Victor and Eddie standing in awkward silence. After a few seconds, Eddie cleared his
throat and gestured to the door.
“Look, I’m sure he’ll come
“No,” Victor said with a shake of
his head. “He won’t. Blake has your mother’s stubborn
Eddie dug his hands into his
pockets. “Look, I’m glad you’re back,
dad. Regardless of what you did, I never
wanted you dead. But it is going to take
some time for us to get over what happened.”
“I understand, Edward,” Victor
After a few more awkward moments,
Eddie left the house and closed the door slowly behind.
When Ethan left the studio that
afternoon, he stopped by the hospital to pick up Miranda’s overnight bag that
she’d left after she and Tiger were discharged. When he entered through the main doors, he
saw Kyle standing by the elevators talking on his cell phone.
“What are you doing here?” Kyle
asked when he ended the call and pocketed his phone.
Ethan furrowed his brow. “What’s it to you?”
Amused at his hostility, Kyle dug
his hands in his pockets. “You know,
Ethan, there was a time we were friends.
We had each other’s backs in prison, remember?”
“That was before you moved in on
Brooke while failing to tell her that I was alive,” Ethan replied, impatiently
waiting for the elevator. He hit the
button a few more times and hastily looked at his watch.
“Come on,” Kyle said with a self
serving grin. “It’s not like it mattered
anyway. The two of you couldn’t get past
your own stubbornness long enough to see your way back to each other.”
“Wasn’t that your plan all along?”
Ethan asked, finally turning toward him.
“Keep me away long enough to make her fall in love with you?”
“You could have had her if you
wanted. Instead, you chose to spend
weeks punishing her for moving on while you were away. What did you expect her to do, anyway? Create a shrine to your memory and join a
“You don’t know anything about my
relationship with Brooke.” Ethan fired back.
“I know that she chose me over you,” Kyle said with a smug expression on his face. “Seems like I’m giving her something that you
Ethan resisted the temptation to
punch him in the face. He knew that’s
what Kyle wanted. He was good at pushing
his buttons. “You’ve been together for
how long? A few weeks? I give it another month tops.”
Before Ethan could turn to walk
away, Kyle called after him. “We may
have officially only been back together for a few weeks, but things were hot
and heavy a long time before
Ethan stopped in his tracks and
turned toward him. “Meaning?”
“Meaning after she moved back into
the mansion with you, she and I were working late one night and wound up
getting naked on the sofa in her office.
I did things to her that night that you’ve only fantasized about doing
Finally, Ethan had had enough. Whether Kyle’s story was true or not, he
wasn’t about to stand there and bait him.
He drew his fist back and prepared to punch him when James appeared and
stopped him mid-air.
“Ethan, don’t,” he said. “It’s not worth it. Just walk away.”
“Listen to your uncle, Ethan,” Kyle
“Shut up,” Ethan lamented, still
wanting nothing more than to knock his lights out.
“I must say,” Kyle continued, “it is
rather touching that your uncle would come to your defense. Especially after you’ve been sleeping with my
sister. The same one who he just
recently broke it off with.”
James looked at him and then at
Ethan, who closed his eyes with regret.
The last thing he wanted was for James to find out this way. He looked at his uncle and shook his head
“Look, James, it’s not what you
think,” he began. “It’s not like we
didn’t care about your feelings. After
we got back from Palm Springs, it just sort of happened.”
James issued him a look of
disapproval. “We’ll talk about it
“James, please. I would never-“
“I said we’ll talk about it later,”
James repeated. “I assume you’re here to
pick up Miranda’s bag.”
“Yes,” Ethan said while running a
hand through his hair.
“I’ll do it,” James said. “And I’ll see you at home later.”
When he’d gone, Ethan turned to Kyle
and issued him a look of warning. Kyle
simply smiled and stepped onto the elevator when the doors opened. The last thing Ethan saw before the doors
closed was the satisfied look on Kyle’s face.
Jane dropped by the The Benefactor production offices that
afternoon and caught up with Stormy where she told him about the developments
with Farrah and her parents.
“At least she’ll get help,” Stormy
said. “It’s hard to believe she just
snapped like that. Killing Hugh Rogers
and then attacking Brad King with the letter opener. It’s chilling.”
“I’m just glad that it’s over,” Jane
told him, then grew quiet as she watched him shuffle papers on his desk. “But are we
He looked up and frowned. “What do you mean?”
“You were pretty angry with me for
not telling you what Miranda was up to,” Jane reminded him. “Are you still angry? You shot out of the house so fast this
“I’m not angry,” he said and walked
toward her. “I was, but not really at
you. I know you were just trying to be a
friend to my sister. She’s lucky to have
you in her life. We both are.”
Jane smiled. “Does that mean we’re on again?”
“We were never off,” Stormy said and
took her hand. “There’s going to be
times when we disagree or we do something that the other doesn’t understand,
but that doesn’t mean we don’t love each other.
Jane, I want to make this work.
You’re the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time.”
Happily, she fell into his arms when
he went to embrace her. “I’m glad,” she
said. “Because I don’t want to mess this
“I don’t either,” he agreed, pushing
her hair from her eyes. “I promise now
that this murder thing is over with, I’ll take more time out for the two of
“You mean it?” Jane asked.
“Yeah. I just have a few things to finish up here
and I’ll see you at home later.”
“You mean at my place,” Jane corrected him.
“I moved back in
to my apartment. Since the
murder charges were dropped, I don’t have to stay under your father’s roof
“Jane, I don’t want you to move
out,” Stormy said. “I like having you
“I know, but when and if we live
together, I don’t want it to be because it’s been court ordered. For now I think I should go back to my
apartment and the way things were before.”
He could see her point. “Okay,” he said and kissed her softly. “Then I’ll pick you up tonight and we’ll do
something. Just the two of us.”
She nodded happily.
The lobby of Moonshadows looked like
a casting call for a science fiction movie, Brooke thought as she made her way
through a throng of Questicon attendees
who were waiting to check in. From her
vantage point, she surveyed the overzealous fans who were beginning to arrive
in droves. Robots, Wookies, several
Captain Spock’s, a few hooded Sith Lords, and countless girls in metal bikini’s
were spread out across the terra cotta floor.
A huge banner hung across the ceiling with the words Welcome to Questicon 2011 emblazoned into
She ambled across the lobby toward
La Mirada bar, maneuvering around several cloaked figures and authentic looking
robots. One group of rowdy
conventioneers seemed to be replicating a scene from the latest remake of The Thing.
Nearly regretting her decision to
host the popular science fiction conference, Brooke stopped to remind herself
of the money it would bring in. And with
the mounting expenses with the marina expansion, they needed it.
Stopping in the entrance to the bar,
she groaned at a sign propped against an easel.
It was a photograph of Nathan with details of his special speaking
engagement the following day. Another
reason to regret hosting the conference.
“Good afternoon, Brooke,” Yvonne,
the hostess said as she entered. “Are
you feeling okay?”
Brooke nodded. “Just a little overwhelmed,” she said and
motioned to the crowd in the lobby. “I
left my phone in my office and I need to call Kyle. May I?”
“Of course,” the hostess said and
handed her the phone.
Brooke started to dial, eager to
check on the crew member that had become ill.
Kyle said he was going to call her with details but so far she hadn’t
heard from him. When the call went
straight to voicemail, she hung up and decided to try again later.
“Hello Brooke,” a voice said from
Brooke turned and groaned at the
sight of Alex approaching from the lobby.
“Alex, you’re back.”
“James and I flew back from Kansas
this morning,” she told her, straightening the collar on her jacket. “It was a lovely funeral service. Just a few close friends and family.”
“That’s nice,” Brooke said.
“Curious that James didn’t ask you
to come to the funeral,” Alex went on.
“Maybe the two days he spent with you in Monte Carlo were all he could
take. You always did have a way of
outliving your usefulness.”
Brooke glared at her. “You’re one to talk.” She began to feel light-headed, mostly
likely as a result of the exasperation she felt any time she was around
Alex. “If you’ll excuse me.”
“You just never learn, do you?” Alex
persisted and followed her. “It took two
marriages and two bitter divorces to realize you’re way out of your league with
James. Even Ethan realized you’re
nothing but trash from Phoenix who will never amount to anything.”
“I beg your pardon?” She steadied herself against the hostess
stand, suddenly feeling warm.
“I know you think you’ve made
something of yourself what with your stake in this resort and with your share
of the studio, but you wouldn’t have any of that if it wasn’t for David, would
you? Had he not found out you were his
illegitimate sister, you’d probably still be running around with men like that
scoundrel ex-husband of yours, Philip Whitacre.
I guess even Kyle Fenwick is a step up from that.”
“Interesting that you’d feel that
way since he dumped you after your brief affair when he first got to town,”
Brooke fired back. “And where is Jordan
these days? Obviously he got tired of
your pills and your baby-stealing antics.”
Alex glared menacingly at her. “There was a time I thought we shared a
bond,” she began. “What with what Nathan
did to me all those years ago and what he tried
doing to you. I thought we were kindred
spirits. But since then I’ve come to
realize you’re still just the naïve opportunist you were when James threw me
aside for you. I really think that this
latest upheaval in your romantic life will be you undoing.”
“I don’t care what you think,”
Brooke said, turning to walk away. She
stopped, swaying on her feet as she broke out into a cold sweat. She could hear Alex talking to her from
behind but the sound of her voice was drowned out by the pounding in her
“Did you hear what I said?” Alex
Staggering back a step, Brooke
suddenly felt the room go dark. She
collapsed to the floor with a thud,
everything around her fading into the background.
Kenny heard back from the D.A. so he
called ahead to let Miranda and Jane know he was on his way over. They assembled in the family room with Ethan
as he and James entered from the hall.
Immediately, Ethan tensed from the look his uncle gave him.
“The D.A. is willing to go easy on
you for moving Hugh Rogers’ body,” Kenny announced. “You’ll both have a year of probation and
fifty hours of community service.”
“Thank God,” Miranda said and pulled
Jane into an embrace. “Wait, Kenny, what
kind of community service?”
“Whatever the judge decides,” James
said curtly. “You’re lucky you got off
this easily. This could have gone very
differently for you, Miranda. You could
start with thanking Kenny for going to bat for you.”
“Thank you, Kenny,” Miranda said and
hugged him. “I really do appreciate
“Definitely,” Jane agreed.
“I still want to know what the hell
you were doing cavorting with a man like Hugh Rogers,” James said. “I saw on the news that Farrah Bale girl
claimed he was her pimp. Jane, did you know
your cousin was a prostitute?”
“Yes,” Miranda answered for
her. “That’s why he was after us. We tried to get Farrah off the streets and he
retaliated. That’s really all there is
to it, Daddy.”
Ethan gave Miranda a knowing look,
still unsure about keeping her secret from James.
“No, that’s not all there is to it,”
James replied. “Now I want to know what
went on with the two of you and Hugh Rogers and why you were wrapped up in his
“Daddy, I just told you,” Miranda
said. “Look, can’t we just forget about
it? Farrah’s going to a mental
institution and we get to pick up trash on the side of the highway or something
equally as gross.”
“I really do want to thank you for
everything you’ve done for me,” Jane said.
James decided to shelf the topic for
now. He looked at Ethan and dug his
hands into his pockets. “Ethan, can I
speak to you privately for a few minutes?”
He nodded and followed him to the
“Ethan,” Miranda called after
“Don’t worry,” he said and turned
back. “It’s not about you. I’ll keep your secret, Miranda.”
She nodded with appreciation as he
turned and walked out of the family room.
After an hour of explosive sex,
Brett stood in the shower letting the hot water run over his body. Kelly climbed in and snuck up behind him,
wrapping her arms around him and running her hands down his chiseled
“You never get enough, do you?” he
asked with a grin.
“Not used to a woman who can keep up
with you?” Kelly asked.
Brett instantly grew hard again,
turning and pinning her to the shower wall, the curves of her taut body fitting
perfectly against him.
He entered her from behind, the water raining relentlessly over their
bodies as they found their rhythm and worked slowly toward another explosive
“Won’t it be something when we turn
the tables on this town?” she asked, biting her lip to keep from crying out. “You and I reigning over Hollywood and
knocking Stormy and the rest of the Blackthornes down where they belong.”
“Is that what turns you on?” Brett
asked, nibbling at her ear.
“Don’t tell me it’s not important to
you. I saw you back at the restaurant
with Stormy. You loved how pissed he got
when he saw us together.”
“Tell me that I’m better than he
is,” Brett said, panting. “Tell me that
I’m a better lover.”
Kelly grinned. “You’re better at everything,” she said
between squeals of delight. “You could
take Stormy down with one swing and I’m going to help you do it.”
Brett picked up his pace, pushing her
against the shower wall as he frantically brought her to orgasm. “We could finally put him in his place,” he
grunted. “And take it all.”
“God, yes,” Kelly said, screaming
“I’ll take it all from him,” Brett
continued, growing closer with every vengeful thought that crossed his
mind. “The studio, the respect of his
father, and finally his son.”
“God, you are hot,” Kelly said.
“He’ll finally be left with
nothing,” Brett said, emptying himself inside of her as they screamed out with delight.
As they entered the study, Ethan
flinched when James turned and latched the door closed. Waiting for his uncle to speak was like
waiting for a bomb to drop. At least the
secret was out, he thought to himself.
At least there was no more wondering how he was going to break the news
to him that he was sleeping with Mackenzie.
“I’m sorry,” Ethan said, deciding to
speak first. “I never meant for this to
James crossed the room. “It just
happened, right?” he said. “Just
like when you and Brooke just happened
to fall in love while she was married to me.”
Ethan shook his head. “No. Regardless
of how I felt about Mackenzie, I didn’t act on it because I knew how much you
cared about her. But after we got back
from Palm Springs, you broke it off with her.”
“So that makes it okay?” James
asked. “My God, did you even wait an hour after we ended things before you
jumped into bed with her?”
“It wasn’t like that,” Ethan
said. “We were both hurt. Brooke had turned me away for Kyle and you
kept putting Mackenzie off. We acted out of impulse. Afterwards we swore it wouldn’t happen again,
“But you couldn’t keep your hands
off of her?” James asked. “I cannot
believe this is happening again.”
“It isn’t,” Ethan insisted
defensively. “You’re forgetting that
when you and Brooke were married the first time, you were a different
person. You were controlling, you gave
your soul to the studio, and you treated Brooke like a possession. You drove her away, James.”
“And into your arms?” he asked
incredulously. “If I’d driven Brooke
away, I could handle that, but to my own nephew? I practically raised you, Ethan. I took you under my wing. I brought you out here to Hollywood, away
from that sink hole in Kansas and I gave you every opportunity. Then not once but twice you thank me by taking the woman that I loved.”
Ethan grew silent. There was no denying that James was
right. He’d taken his generosity for
granted and stabbed him in the back.
“So what are you going to do?” he
asked. “Disown me again like you did
James laughed in spite of the
circumstances. “We all know what happened
when I did that,” he said. “You went to
work for my arch rival. The man who
destroyed your mother with his selfishness and his cold heart.”
“Will Thomerson was my father,”
Ethan reminded him. “I went to work for
him not knowing what he’d done to my mother.
And why didn’t I know? Because
you kept it from me for my entire life.”
“You know why I did that,” James
said. “I was protecting you from the
“And because of that we almost lost
Michael. That bastard kidnapped him to
get revenge on you for keeping me from him all those years.”
“And I nearly killed him for that,”
James protested. “I would have if
Heather hadn’t beaten me to it.” He
turned and looked out the window, remaining silent for a few moments. “I guess this is payback for my taking Alex
from Nathan all those years ago.”
“Let me ask you something,” Ethan
began, walking toward him. “If you cared
about Mackenzie so much, why did you end things with her? Ask yourself, James. Is she the one?”
James didn’t know how to answer his
question. The truth was he didn’t
know. “What about you?” he asked in an
attempt to avoid answering. “Is
Mackenzie the one for you? Can you see
yourself with her in five years? In
“I don’t know,” Ethan replied.
After a few minutes of stifling
silence, James poured a drink and swallowed it in one gulp. “You know what’s painfully obviously,
“What?” he asked.
“That Brooke is the only woman that
either of us could see ourselves with,” he replied. “And she’s with Kyle.”
Before Ethan could comment on his
remark, the door flew open and Leilani came barreling inside.
“Mr. Blackthorne,” she said in a
panic. “Miss Reynolds just called. It’s Miss Taylor. She’s been taken to the hospital!”
The paramedics burst through the
doors of the emergency room, wheeling Brooke on a gurney as Kyle followed in a
“Is she going to be okay?” he asked,
frantic to get answers. After Brooke
collapsed, Yvonne paged him and he arrived just as the paramedics did. All Alex seemed to know was that they’d been
arguing and she fainted dead away. She
hadn’t regained consciousness since.
“We’ll update you as soon as we
can,” Dr. Farraday said as he got the vitals from the EMT’s. “Can you check in with the nurse?”
Before Kyle could protest, they were
taking Brooke down the hall into an exam room.
He ran his fingers through his hair and turned just as Chip approached
through a set of glass doors.
“Kyle, what’s wrong? I heard that they brought Brooke in.”
He shrugged. “She collapsed. That’s all I know. The doctor’s in with her right now.” He looked up as Mason moved toward them. “Mason, what are you doing here?”
“I went to the bar for a drink and
they told me about Brooke,” he said. “Is
“I don’t know,” Kyle said with a
shake of his head.
“Is there anything I can do?” Mason
“No, thanks,” he said. “I won’t know anything until they examine
her. I think I’ll check on Mr. De La
Cruz while I wait. Maybe I can give her
some good news when she wakes up.”
He turned and went to the nurse’s
station where a young nurse was finishing up a phone call.
“Excuse me,” he began. “Can you tell me if there’s been any
improvement with Marco De La Cruz? He
was brought in a few days ago.”
“Are you a relative?”
“No, but he was a guest at the
resort that I manage.”
“I’m sorry,” the nurse began. “I can only give information to immediate
Frustrated, Kyle turned just as Dr.
Farraday emerged from the exam room. “How is Brooke? Do you know what’s wrong with her?”
“Her vitals are stable but she
hasn’t regained consciousness,” Dr. Farraday told him. “I’m running some more tests. Hopefully we should know something soon.”
Kyle ran a hand over his face as Chip
and Mason fell in line behind him. “You
have no idea what’s wrong with her?”
He shook his head. “Has she displayed any unusual symptoms
“She looked a little tired and worn
down this morning,” Kyle told him. “She
said she felt a little feverish.”
“A lot like Meyer did before we
brought him in,” Chip noted. “He said he
felt dizzy just before he passed out.”
“I’ll let you know as soon as I have
any information,” Farraday said.
“Dr. Farraday.” Kyle stopped him before he turned back to the
exam room. “I was trying to get some
information on Mr. De La Cruz but the nurse wouldn’t tell me anything. Do you know how he is? He was staying at Moonshadows when he got
Dr. Farraday looked apologetically
at him. “Mr. De La Cruz passed away
earlier today,” he told him. “We weren’t
able to get to the bottom of his respiratory problems. We’ve got a tox screen ordered.”
“Tox screen?” Kyle asked.
“Based on his symptoms, we have
reason to believe he ingested a poison.”
As Dr. Farraday turned and walked
away, Kyle tried to take in the information.
Brooke was going to be devastated when she heard the news. She’d grown quite fond of De La Cruz. He wondered what kind of poison the man would
have ingested that killed him. He spent
most of his time at Moonshadows before being hospitalized.
“Where’d Mason go?” he asked
“I don’t know.”
Around the corner, Mason ducked into
an enclave in the wall and struggled to catch his breath. Panicked, he held his head in his hands and
repeated the doctor’s words over in his head.
Mr. De La Cruz passed away. Tox
Screen. Ingested poison.
He hadn’t meant for it to go this
far. And now two more people were sick. What had he done?
“I’m sorry things didn’t go better
with your boys, Victor,” Nathan said as they gathered at Vaughan’s house that
evening. “Maybe they’ll come
“Just be thankful Eddie and Blake
are healthy,” Jack Childers told them from across the room. “Ashton and I had a good relationship but I’ve
been unable to talk to him since he fell into the coma. I only hope one day I’ll be able to tell him
just how much I love him.”
Vaughan put a hand on his shoulder
as he sipped his drink. “Any more
incidents since the other night with Nathan and Victor?”
They all looked at each other and
shook their heads. ‘It would appear even
the random stalker takes a day off now and then,” Nathan said.
“What of that photograph of Bianca
Burnette?” Jack asked him and Victor.
“Obviously the two of you were involved in her demise.”
“That’s speculation,” Victor said
and swallowed a pill down with a swig of bourbon.
“Then why the photograph of her
after the other night’s shootout?” Jack asked suspiciously.
Nathan crossed the room while
staring at the floor. “You’re right,
Jack. Victor and I were indirectly
responsible for poor Bianca’s accident.”
“Accident?” Jack asked with a
“We were at an industry party,”
Nathan explained. “Bianca was
there. She was at the top of her career
that year. A true femme fatale.”
“Nathan and I both had a thing for
her,” Victor added. “We had a friendly
wager to see who could seduce her into bed that night. And while Bianca was no prude, it was a bit
of a challenge coercing her, so unbeknownst to one another, we both drugged
“Good Lord,” Jack said with an
upturned nose. “Have you two no
“This from the man who got drunk and
pushed poor Natalie Davidson off the side of his yacht?” Nathan asked.
Jack stifled his next comment with a
large shot of whiskey.
“Needless to say, neither of us got
to enjoy Bianca’s company that night,” Victor went on. “She left and went home alone where she fell
into a coma and died two days later. A
fatal combination of drugs and alcohol.”
“And of course our friend Jonas
covered up for you?” Jack asked.
Vaughan stepped forward and finished
his drink. “He paid the coroner to
falsify her autopsy, eliminating the suspicion that drugs were involved. Then he created alibis for Nathan and Victor,
eliminating any link to them being at the party.”
“Who’s party was it?” Jack
Vaughan shrugged and looked at the
others. “I don’t recall. Some starlet, I believe.”
“Well who was there?”
“Anybody and everybody,” Nathan
said. “Drugs were flowing freely that
night so it was easy to convince people that we weren’t there.”
“Not everyone,” Jack reminded
him. “Someone knows what went on at that
party, and now you’re the fourth and fifth targets of this lunatic.”
They all looked at one another with
dread, silently sipping their cocktails.
James and Ethan raced into the
emergency room, approaching the admitting desk when Kyle walked over from the
“Where’s Brooke?” Ethan
“They’re running tests on her,” he
replied. “They said she’s stable but
they don’t know what’s wrong with her.”
“What do you mean they don’t know?”
James bellowed and turned to the nurse’s station. “I want to see Dr. Farraday. Tell him James Blackthorne is here.”
“James,” Farraday said as he emerged
from the emergency room.
“How is she?” he asked and rushed
over to him. “What happened to
Farraday shook his head. “Her condition is deteriorating. She seemed to be responding to stimuli for a
while but she’s having difficulty breathing.
We have her on a respirator now.”
“A respirator?” Ethan asked. “What’s wrong with her?”
“We’ll know more once we get the tox
screens back.” He turned to Kyle. “Were you with Brooke for most of the day
“I’m going to need a list of
everything she ate or drank,” Farraday said.
“What do you think it is, Noel?”
“Whatever’s wrong with Brooke, it’s
the same thing that killed Marco De La Cruz, and the same thing that affected
the construction worker they brought in earlier today. They all suffered similar symptoms. Dizziness, hot flashes, difficulty
“I’ll check the restaurants,” Kyle
said and pulled his phone from his pocket.
“Noel, is Brooke going to die?”
“I’ll do whatever I can to make sure
that doesn’t happen,” he told him before turning and leaving him and Ethan
Eddie knocked on Miranda’s bedroom
door before entering. Seated at her
vanity, she turned and smiled when he walked in.
“I tried calling you,” she said and
went toward him.
“I was with my father and
“How did it go?”
Eddie sighed. “Not good.
Blake doesn’t even want to give him a chance to make things up to
us. I guess I can see where he’s coming
from, but I wish he’d at least try.”
“I’m sorry,” Miranda said and pulled
him into an embrace.
“And there’s more,” Eddie
continued. “Blake’s gay. He blurted it out when he was letting Dad
have it. “
Miranda tilted her head and reached
out to him. “He told you?”
Frowning, Eddie took a step
back. “You knew?”
She nodded. “He told me a few months ago. I tried telling him that he should talk to
you but he was afraid of how you’d react.”
“Wait a minute,” Eddie said, pacing
the room. “Why didn’t you tell me? How long have you known?”
Miranda didn’t immediately pick up
on the resentment in his voice. “Since
Benji’s funeral,” she said. “I didn’t
say anything because he asked me not to.
It wasn’t my place to say anything to you, Eddie.”
“He’s my brother,” Eddie protested.
“I worry about him without our parents around, and you decide that
keeping me in the dark about something like this was a good idea? I don’t get you, Miranda.”
“It wasn’t my place,” she repeated,
this time louder. “Are you really pissed
at me for not telling you Blake’s personal business?”
“It’s just that you have been pretty
good lately about keeping secrets. First
that you were a madam, then that you stuffed some guy in a freezer, and now
this. Is there anything else that you
haven’t told me?”
She bit her lip and looked
“There is, isn’t there?” Eddie
asked. “Tell me. What else are you hiding from me?”
“It’s not like that,” Miranda
insisted. She knew it was time to come
clean about Tiger. It would hurt him, but the truth had to be told. “I got the paternity tests back.”
Eddie immediately moved toward
her. “You did?”
She nodded, unable to hide the
despair in her eyes.
“Tiger’s not my daughter, is she?”
Eddie asked without even having to hear her say the words. He knew her well enough to know something
wasn’t right. “David’s her
Slowly, Miranda nodded in reply. The hurt look in his eyes tore her apart. “I’m
sorry, Eddie. I wished the results had
been different. I really did.”
Fighting back the tears, he took a
step back and pushed his fists into his pockets. “Okay,” he finally said, words failing
him. “So that’s that.”
Miranda reached a hand out to
him. “It doesn’t mean that you’ll be any
less of a father to her,” she insisted.
“She’ll grow up knowing who her biological father was, but you’ll be the
one who’s there for her. You’ll be the
only father she knows.”
“Except that I’m not her father.” He hooked his hand on the back of his neck as
he paced back and forth a few times.
“Only by sheer chance,” Miranda told
Eddie frowned and shook his
head. “David’s her father because you
slept with him while we were together,” he said. “You wanted excitement, remember? We were fine and then all the sudden I wasn’t
good enough for you anymore.”
“That is not true.” Tears fell down her face as she watched his
expression change from hurt to anger.
“I love you, Eddie.”
“But not enough to stay faithful to
Miranda looked at him in
confusion. “I thought we’d settled all
of this,” she said. “I admitted that I
was wrong for sleeping with David. I
never meant to hurt you. Why are you
bringing it up again?”
“Because everything you do is for
your own selfish reasons,” he snapped.
“To hell with how your actions affect anyone else. This thing with Hugh Rogers was a perfect
example of that.”
“I was trying to help people.”
“At my expense,” he added. “And at the expense of everyone else who got
railroaded by your little stunt. Your
sleeping with David was the same damn thing and you know it.”
“Eddie, please,” Miranda said, tears
exploding from her eyes. “I’m sorry that
I hurt you. But you said that it
wouldn’t matter if Tiger wasn’t your daughter.
You said you would love her as much as if she were your own.”
“I do,” he said, shaking his head in
misery. “But I can’t do this. I can’t raise another man’s child knowing
that the only reason we’re in this situation is because you got bored with your
life again. I can’t pretend things are fine when the whole time I’ll be
wondering what’s next. What selfish
thing are you going to do next?”
“Don’t do this,” Miranda
“I have to go,” he said, turning and
storming out of the room.
Miranda buried her face in her hands
and wept. She couldn’t let him walk out
on her. Desperate, she raced out of the
bedroom and down the hall to the staircase.
Stormy was standing outside of his bedroom
watching the events unfold but she ignored him.
“Eddie!” she called as he ran down
the stairs. “Eddie, please!”
He didn’t look back as he made
his way across the foyer to the front door.
“Eddie!” Miranda cried again, her
body jolting when the front door slammed closed.
Sobbing, she sunk to the top step
and buried her face in her hands.
and Kyle sit vigil by Brooke's bedside. Miranda
finds her world crumbling around her. Stormy takes
steps to extradite Brett from Sunset Studios. Another
murder is committed in the case of the Hollywood scandals.
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