Rodriguez questioned Jordan, claiming
he could be the murderer. James learned of Jack's
murder and joined the investigation. Nathan questioned
Keaton, claiming he was the killer. James and
Rodriguez questioned Denise, who promptly quit. Nathan
and Victor hired Eddie to do his own investigation.
A camera crane toppled on top of Nathan. Moonshadows
was closed due to the arsenic poisoning. Mackenzie questioned
Kyle when she saw Mason talking to Chip Matthews. Mason
convinced Marco De La Cruz's daughter to file a lawsuit
against Moonshadows hoping to bankrupt them. Kyle
ran into Marilee, who was still angry that he'd lied
about being the son she gave up for adoption. Miranda
punched Kelly after she taunted her about Eddie leaving
her. Ethan blew Mackenzie off to spend time with
Brooke at the hospital. Brett got Van arrested
in order to make Deacon fall off the wagon and drop the
lawsuit against Sunset Studios. Later, Stormy
told Brett that Deacon had killed himself. Alex recalled
Deacon Edgewater humiliating her at an industry party
shortly after she arrived in Hollywood.
When the camera
crane came toppling down on top of him, Nathan Blackthorne’s life flashed
before his eyes. He suddenly became aware
of the many blessings he’d been given. A bourgeoning film career
and more money than he could ever spend. But those blessings were clouded with
regret. The last thing he thought of
before he lost consciousness was that he deserved to die. The killer wasn’t just punishing him for what
he and Victor had done to Bianca Burnette.
He was being punished for everyone he’d hurt. For Debralee Scott, for Sheila Buffamonteezi,
for Alex Reynolds, Brooke Taylor, Renee DeWitt, and of course for his daughter,
Sierra. He knew he’d been tested and
failed. At least he would die knowing
his death wasn’t in vain.
But when he heard the voice of his
nephew, James, he realized he hadn’t passed on to the other side. He was still breathing, still fighting. He didn’t pretend that he would awaken and
set out on a mission to make up for his sins.
He knew that was impossible. But
when he opened his eyes, he did decide to make a change. He
would stop pretending he hadn’t done so many despicable things.
“Somebody call 911!” James was
shouting, kneeling over him while inspecting him for injuries. There was a cut on his forehead, blood
trickling down his face as he lay on the back lot of Sunset Studios. “Nathan, can you hear me?”
Through the ringing in his ears,
Nathan could still hear his nephew, so he nodded with exaggerated
movements. “Just a little stunned,” he
said and slowly tried to sit up.
“Hold on,” James said as a crowd
gathered around him. “Don’t move. You could be hurt.”
Nathan shook his head and sat up
anyway. “I’m fine, James,” he said. “It just grazed me.”
“Are you sure?” James asked and
helped him to his feet.
“Quite sure.” He turned just as Eddie arrived on the
“What happened?” Eddie asked.
“The killer tried making me his next
target,” Nathan said.
James handed him a handkerchief for
his cut. “We don’t know that. The crane fell. It could have been an accident.”
Eddie surveyed the scene. “My dad asked me to help out in the
investigation. I thought I’d start at
the studio with Denise."
“Do you really
think she could be behind
this?” Nathan inquired. “I just don’t
see her as a homicidal maniac.”
“She’s definitely holding a grudge against
the studio,” James said with a shake of his head.
“Oh my God,” Keaton Hartley said as
he ran up to the scene. “I just heard
about what happened. Mr. Blackthorne,
are you okay?”
Nathan looked at him
suspiciously. “I’m fine,” he replied
curtly. “Does that disappoint you,
He stepped back and glanced among
the others. “Of course not.”
“Where were you just now?” Nathan
continued. “Rigging the camera equipment
to crush me?”
“No!” Keaton exclaimed. “I wasn’t!”
Eddie watched him closely, using his
investigative skills to analyze the young director’s body movements and the
defensive tone in his voice. “I’m going
to have a look around,” he said. “The
killer always leaves a picture, right?”
James nodded. “Yes, and there’s not one this time, which is
why I think this was probably just an accident.”
Buzzing alerted Keaton to a message
on his phone. He plucked it from his
pocket and shook his head dismissively.
my new app telling me there’s a fax waiting in the production
Eddie frowned and turned back. “Who’s the fax from?”
Keaton shrugged. “The number’s blocked.”
Minutes later, they were down the
street inside the production offices for The
Benefactor. Keaton went to the fax
machine and plucked a page from the fax machine. He looked at it and then exchanged glances
with the others.
“Let me see,” Eddie said and took it
from him. It was a photograph of Bianca
Burnette. He showed it to Nathan and
James. “Looks like it wasn’t an
James sighed and rubbed his eyes
with his thumb and index finger. “Jesus,
who is doing this?” he asked.
“Dead?” Alex gasped as she lounged
on the plush peach colored sofa in her penthouse in Beverly Hills. “Oh my Lord.”
“Why would he kill himself?” Miranda
asked, her feet curled up beneath her in an oversized chair.
Stormy was standing before them, his
hands in the pockets of his lightweight jacket.
He shook his head somberly. “I
He still couldn’t figure out if
Deacon Edgewater’s suicide had anything to do with the lawsuit or whatever
means Brett had gone about getting it dropped.
The whole thing seemed highly
suspicious. And while he knew his former
brother-in-law had never been one to play by the rules, he knew there was a
limit to what he was capable of.
“Mom, you knew Deacon pretty well,
didn’t you?” Miranda asked.
Alex nodded distantly. She couldn’t believe he was gone. The strange part about it was that she’d been
thinking about him a lot recently. He’d
been a big part of her getting her start in Hollywood. And while it hadn’t been the most pleasant
journey, it was now part of who she was….
sorry about what happened the other night,” Deacon said from his office at
Double Strike Studios.
looked at him and his smug expression, his eclectic office, the line of horror
movie one-sheets that lined the far wall.
He seemed to be a man who no one said no to. A man who possessed a lethal combination of
ignorance and arrogance. That in itself
made her feel empowered.
sorry?” she asked incredulously.
my behavior,” he said. “And for Robert
and George’s. But mostly mine. I had no right to humiliate you the way that
act of indifference, Alex put her nose in the air. “I wasn’t humiliated,” she said.
made you feel like one of those common starlets who constantly beat down my
door for a role in one of my films,” Deacon went on.
“Clearly you’re in a different league.”
had difficulty telling whether he was being genuine or not. Something told her he was, but she still
didn’t want to assume his intentions were good.
He had humiliated her at his party,
and she wouldn’t let it happen again.
like you to come by my house tonight to discuss a part that I think you’re
right for,” he said. “I’m casting for
the second lead in Bad Night. It’s a gritty horror flick that we’re rushing
into production. Nothing that will win
you an Oscar, but it might get you noticed.”
this a trick?” she asked, studying his pudgy face carefully.
laughed and shook his head. “No, it’s
not a trick. The truth is, you impressed
me with the way you carried yourself the other night. It’s not often that a seventeen year old girl
impresses me. So can you be there at
she replied almost too quickly. “I can be there at
he said and didn’t make an attempt at moving from his chair.
stood quietly for a few moments until she realized that the conversation was
over. Awkwardly, she backed up to the
giant carved wood double doors and pulled the left side open. Before she left, she turned back to him.
me?” she asked.
looked up from his desk. “You’re
vulnerable but you don’t show it. It’s
what every actress works her whole life to achieve, and you do it with a smile
and a shrug of your shoulders.”
pressed her lips together to keep from gushing over his words. Quickly, she made her way out of the office
and let the giant door slowly close behind her…
“I just don’t understand what would
have made him want to kill himself,” Miranda repeated as she gathered Tiger’s
things into a Chanel diaper bag. “I
mean, what could be that bad?”
“I don’t know,” Alex murmured
softly. She broke from the daze and
looked up at Stormy. “Did he leave a
Stormy nodded in reply. “From what I hear, yes. I’m sure the police aren’t going to reveal
what it said. I guess he was just a very
Alex finally rose from the sofa and
went across the room. “Thank you for
telling me, Stormy,” she said and gave him a quick squeeze. She turned to Miranda who lifted Tiger as she
slept in her car seat. “And thank you
for bringing the baby over tonight. It
really means the world to me, Miranda.”
“You’re welcome,” she said and
kissed her mother on the cheek. “It’s
not like I have anything keeping me at home these days.”
“Eddie will come to his senses,”
Alex said and placed a hand on her arm.
“He has to.”
“I don’t know,” she replied
“Then you’ll just have to make him,” Alex told her. “Sometimes you have to make things happen.”
Miranda had to agree with her. She couldn’t just sit around waiting for
Eddie to come back to her. She had to
take action if she wanted to undo the mistakes she’d made.
“Ready?” Stormy asked and guided his
sister to the door.
Once they were outside in the hall,
Miranda followed him to the elevator.
“What do you think?” she asked.
“Do I still have a shot with Eddie?”
He shrugged and took the car seat
from her. “You might,” he said. “But it might be hard getting hold of
him. He’s investigating the murders, and
you know how seriously he takes his cases.”
Miranda knew this to be true, so she
decided she’d have to be creative. If
Eddie wasn’t going to come to her, she would go to him, case or no case.
Brett paced the living room of his
condo at the marina. While Violet slept
in the next room, he busied himself with a glass of scotch and a million
regrets that plagued his mind.
Never in any of the cons he’d
perpetrated over the years had the outcome been this severe, this final.
When Stormy delivered the startling news, he’d taken a long time to
“He couldn’t have killed himself,”
Brett had told him. “I was just there a
couple of hours ago.”
“Why?” Stormy had asked him. “What did you do, Brett?”
Turning, he’d ran his fingers
through his hair. “Nothing,” he'd
exclaimed. “Nothing that would make him
do something like this.” He paused, not
even sure that that was an accurate statement.
He’d ruined the man’s life. Not
only had he got his son arrested, possibly ruining his medical career, but he’d
put the man’s job in jeopardy and made him fall off the wagon. How was he to know what kind of affect that
would have on him? He was playing with
lives. Just like he always had. It actually surprised him that this was the
first time something like this had happened as a result.
“You said that you got him to drop
the lawsuit,” Stormy had continued. “Now
all of the sudden he’s dead? “
“I didn’t mean for-“ Brett had told
him, then stumbled over his words. How
could this be happening? “Look, Stormy,
I can’t do this right now. I need to be
“That’s just great,” Stormy had said
with a shake of his head. “Well, you’d
better hope this doesn’t come back to bite us in the ass, because if you did
something to make him kill himself and it’s connected to the studio, we’re all
After he’d left, Brett poured
himself another drink and paced the room.
He began to wonder if Stormy had been right about him all this
time. Maybe he was nothing more than a
con man with a track record of leaving disaster in his wake.
When Kelly came by for their nightly
round of athletic lovemaking, he looked at her in disgust.
“I can’t tonight,” he said.
“What do you mean you can’t?” she
asked, unbuttoning his shirt. “I’ve seen
what you can do, Brett, and believe me, you have no problems in that
He moved her hands away from
him. “I mean I can’t,” he repeated.
Irritated by his foul mood, Kelly
folded her arms across her chest. “Okay,
fine. But what about our plan to take
over the studio? What about the look of
satisfaction on Stormy’s face when we become the most powerful couple
in Hollywood and that you’re raising his son?”
Brett finished his drink and went to
the bar to pour another. “Things
change,” he said. “People change.”
“People like us don’t change,” she
corrected him. “What’s gotten into
He slammed the glass down and looked
up at the ceiling. “I just changed my
mind, that’s all.”
“You can’t just change your mind,”
Kelly insisted. “We were going to be a
force to be reckoned with. I was going
to get my revenge on the Blackthornes and you were going to put Stormy in his
place once and for all.”
“There’s more to life than revenge
and scheming and plotting to take people down,” he insisted. “Maybe it’s time you realized that too.”
She frowned. “You’re a chump,” she said, walking toward
him. “You could have had it all,
Brett. The family, the money, the power,
the sex. Now what do you have? A job as a yes-man for James and Stormy? After all you’ve worked for, that’s what
you’re going to settle for?”
“I’m not settling,” Brett told her.
“Yes, you are. You’re going to let them win. You’re going to let them walk all over you
like they have since the day you walked in with Miranda on your arm. You were never good enough for that
family. The only difference if you’re
proving it this time.”
With that, she turned and stormed
out of the apartment. Brett stood
behind, raking his fingers through his hair as he slammed the glass on the bar
By the time Kelly got home from
Brett’s, her anger had multiplied.
Irritated that he’d suddenly gained a conscience, she was left wondering
where she fit into his plans, or lack thereof.
She now not only had no job and no money, but she was without the
prospect of either. Brett had been her
ticket to something bigger. Now she
didn’t know what she was going to do.
Her cell phone rang as she went to
open the front door. Balancing her purse
in one hand, her phone in the other, and her keys dangling from a fingertip,
she was somehow able to answer the call.
“Hello?” she said, half expecting it
to be Brett calling to apologize. Instead, only the sound of static and obscure
background noises could be heard over the broken connection. “Hello?
Who is this? Brett?”
Frowning, she looked at the display
to see who the call was from. The number
was one she didn’t recognize. Annoyed as
she walked into the foyer of the mansion, she spoke again.
“Is anybody there?” she asked, then
shook her head in frustration.
“Fine. Go to hell.”
She dropped her phone back into her
purse and started up the stairs when Miranda appeared outside Tiger’s bedroom.
“Do you mind keeping it down?”
Miranda asked. “The kids just got to
sleep. And in case you were wondering,
R.J.’s finally over his cold.”
“Cold?” she asked. “What cold?”
Miranda sighed and folded her arms
across her chest. “The cold he’s had for
the last week,” she told her. “Don’t
tell me you haven’t noticed your own son has been sick.”
Kelly attempted to brush past
her. “Of course I noticed.”
Miranda turned and watched her make
her way down the hall. “You had no idea,
did you?” she asked in disbelief. “The
gardener knows more about R.J. than you do.
I guess it’s difficult to balance being a mother with….wait….what is it
you do all day again?”
“For your information, I’ve been
trying to find a job so I can move out of this house and take my son away from
you and the rest of your blood sucking family.”
Miranda glared angrily at her. “You wouldn’t dare,” she said. “After all my father has done for you? After Stormy let you stay here even after the
disgusting things you did?”
“You’re one to talk,” Kelly fired
back. “Little Miss Hollywood Madam. And what exactly has your father done for
me? He graciously let me stay under his
roof. My son lives here. He had no choice. Either I stayed or I’d take R.J. with
me. Which is exactly what I plan to do
as soon as I figure some things out.”
“What makes you think Stormy’s going
to let you take his son anywhere?” Miranda asked, moving dangerously close to
her. “You already tried selling him
once. What’s next? Putting him to work in a sweatshop?”
Kelly tossed her mane of black hair
over her shoulder. “Stormy doesn’t have
a say in it. R.J. is mine and I’ll take
him wherever I want whenever I want. And
unless you want it to be sooner rather than later, I’d start treating me with a
little more respect.”
“How about I clock you in the jaw
again like I did the other day in the garden?”
“Just watch yourself and tell Stormy
to do the same. Otherwise he may just
find me and his son gone one day very soon.”
With that, she marched down the hall
to her bedroom. Miranda stood behind,
worried that she would follow through on her threats.
The next morning, James and Kyle
stood in Brooke’s hospital room while Dr. Farraday checked her vital signs.
“Your arsenic levels have dropped
another thousand points,” he said and scribbled a few notes on her chart. “If this keeps up you’ll be out of here by
the end of the day.”
“That’s great news,” James said with
“I’ll say,” Brooke remarked with a
grin. “I promised Michael I’d be home in
time to take him trick-or-treating. He’s
been dragging Ethan to every Halloween store in the city until he found the
perfect astronaut costume.”
“You might want to take it easy for
a few days,” the doctor cautioned her.
“Arsenic poisoning can take a lot out of a person. You’ll feel tired for a few days, but that’s
“What about the construction worker
on Chip’s crew?” Kyle asked.
“He’s being released this
“So maybe this whole nightmare will
be over soon,” Brooke said with a sigh of relief.
“I wish that was the case,” said a
voice from across the room.
They all turned to see Kenny walk
inside, his briefcase clutched tightly in his hand.
“What now?” James asked.
With a firm shake of his head, Kenny
opened the case and removed a stack of court documents. “Jessica De La Cruz is suing Moonshadows,” he
began. “She’s claiming negligence in her
father’s death. She wants a hundred and
twenty million dollars.”
“You’ve got to be kidding,” Kyle
said in dismay. “I knew she was upset
but I didn’t think she would go this far.
A hundred and twenty million dollars?
“Wrongful death suits have been
filed for a lot more than that,” Kenny informed them. “Look, I’m sorry. I know this isn’t what you want to hear
today, but it’s happening and we need to deal with it.”
Brooke shifted in her bed. “Maybe if I talk to her,” she suggested. “Surely she’s a reasonable woman.”
“I don’t know that that’s a good
idea,” Kenny said. “It’s best to leave
any communication with her to me. Maybe
we can settle out of court. The
publicity from a trial alone could destroy the resort’s reputation more than it
already has been.”
“Settle?” Kyle demanded. “But this wasn’t our fault.”
“Her lawyers will find a way to make
it look like it was,” Kenny said matter-of-factly. “Trust me.
I’ve had enough experience in cases like this to know that fighting it
won’t get you anywhere.”
“So they should settle and admit
that they were negligent?” James asked.
“That hardly seems fair.”
Brooke sighed and looked down at her
hands. “How are we going to be able to
pay her a settlement? Even if we pay her
half of what’s she suing us for, it’ll still bankrupt us. Plus not knowing when or if we’ll be able to
“I can help,” Kyle said. “I’ve got money. That’ll get us at least partially
“And I’ll pitch in too,” James
offered. “There’s no reason you should
take the brunt of this, Brooke. I’m sure
once Renee learns what’s happened she’ll come up with the rest of the
Brooke shook her head. “No. I
refuse to make this Renee’s problem. She
lost her daughter a few months ago.
She’s trying to put her life back together. This is the last thing she needs. And I won’t have the two of you bailing me
“What else can we do?” Kyle
She shrugged. “We’ll have to sell. Take the money from the
sale, pay Jessica De La Cruz her settlement, and use the rest to pay off our debts.”
“Brooke, are you sure?” James asked.
“We have no choice,” she
He closed his briefcase. “I’ll get it listed.” He made his way to the door. “I’ll let you know what I hear from Jessica’s
After he’d left, Brooke laid her
head back and sighed with exasperation.
In a way she felt relieved after making the decision. At least the whole ordeal would be over. Now the only thing left to do was to call
Renee. She just hated the thought of
disappointing her after she’d left her in charge.
Mackenzie was surprised when Ethan
called her and asked her to meet him for breakfast at the Polo Lounge. After blowing her off for two days, this had
been the first attempt he’d made to see her.
She’d driven down to the Beverly Hills Hotel with every intention of
telling him where to put his breakfast invitation. But when she saw him standing beneath the
porte-cochere, she caved.
“Hi,” he said and kissed her lightly
on the cheek while guiding her inside the hotel. “Thanks for coming on such short notice. How are things on the show?”
talk, she thought bitterly to herself.
That was fine. She would wait for
him to apologize. “Good, but that seems
to change on a daily basis.”
“What do you mean?” He motioned to the hostess who led them
through the restaurant and to their table.
“The budget we came up with?” she
began. “The network wants it slashed
again. Max’s role has been cut to one
episode a week. I asked what we were
supposed to do since he’s in a front burner storyline, but they don’t
care. I’m afraid the show doesn’t have
much time left.”
“I’m sorry,” Ethan said and pulled
her chair out for her. “Do you think you
should start looking for a job on another show?"
She shrugged. “I’ve considered it.”
“Then again I guess it would just
putting off the inevitable,” Ethan told her.
“The medium has run its course.
People just aren’t watching daytime like they used to.”
She scoffed and folded her napkin in
her lap. “That’s a typical response from
someone who doesn’t watch. Don’t the
viewers count for anything anymore?”
“I’m sorry,” he said and looked away
as the waitress poured them two cups of strong hot coffee.
“How is Brooke?” She decided to get to the real purpose of
their meeting. She fully expected him to
tell her he was going back to Brooke, which was precisely what she anticipated
would happen all along.
“Much better. Once they found out they were dealing with
arsenic poisoning, it was relatively easy to treat. I’m sorry I’ve been so unreachable lately. I hope you understand why I had to stay with
“You mean other than the fact that
you’re still in love with her?”
Disarmed by the remark, Ethan
quietly leaned forward and spoke to her slowly while annunciating each
syllable. “I am not still in love with
Brooke. How many times do I have to
tell you that?”
“Come on, Ethan. You spent the night at the hospital with
her. Forget that Kyle and James were
both there doting over her. You did it
because you still care about her.”
“Or course I do,” he insisted.
“She’s the mother of my son.”
Mackenzie rolled her eyes. “I’m getting sick of hearing that,” she said.
“A lot of single parents find it possible to raise their children without
making sacrifices to their own personal life.”
“Michael is a special case.”
“Why? Because he has an imaginary friend? No, I don’t buy that. Have you ever considered that he’s invented
this Adam boy because you and Brooke
won’t stop coddling him? My God, he’s
six years old. If you can’t trust him
with the fact that his parents aren’t together, then how is he ever going to
learn how to deal with the other
hundred million catastrophe’s life is going to throw at him?”
Ethan waived his hand
dismissively. “I’m not going to argue
with you about how I’m raising my son,” he said. “I’m doing what I think it best. I just wish you could understand that.”
She had no intention of telling him
how to raise his son. She wanted to make
a point and she made it. “So where do we
go from here?”
“Where do we go?” Ethan asked. “Mackenzie, things seem fine between us from
where I’m sitting. I’m sorry that I had other things to tend to
for a few days, but believe me when I tell you I enjoy being with you.”
Either she was getting soft, or he
was a very good manipulator. She managed
a faint smile and picked up her menu.
Maybe he was being sincere. Maybe
if she could overlook his devotion to Brooke, all would be as it should
be. Something, however, told her there
was only so much she could overlook.
They made plans to see each other
that night after Michael went trick-or-treating. After breakfast, they kissed and went their
separate ways. Mackenzie decided to stop
by Mason’s room to try to get to the bottom of what he was up to in L.A. Ethan didn’t trust him and she didn’t
Standing outside the door to his
suite, she began to knock but stopped when she heard voices from inside. When it became evident that the door was
about to open, she quickly backed up and ducked behind a palm tree. All she could see next was Chip Matthews
leaving the room and stopping in the hall when Mason emerged, shirtless and
with his trousers unbuttoned.
“That wasn’t so bad, was it?” Chip
was saying with a grin.
“Yeah, sure,” Mason mumbled.
“If I didn’t know any better, I’d
say you enjoyed yourself,” Chip went on.
“You have to admit men do know what other men like in the bedroom.”
Mackenzie’s mouth dropped open
wide. She couldn’t believe her
ears. Mason and Chip?
“I’m only going along with it
because you’re blackmailing me,” Mason said with a frown. “If you want to believe I enjoy getting head
from another guy, then go ahead and think what you want. Just remember our deal. Not a word to anyone.”
Chip nodded. “No problem,” he said. “See you tonight?”
Mason closed the door without
another word. As Chip made his way down
the hall to the elevator, Mackenzie considered the implications of what she’d
witnessed. What was Chip holding over
Mason that would make him pimp himself out?
“The victims are connected,” Eddie
said when he bound into Detective Rodriguez’s office where James and Jordan
“We know that,” Jordan said with a
frown. “They all worked for Sunset
Studios and they all had secrets that Jonas Lamont covered up for them.”
Eddie shook his head and went to the
marker board with the victim’s names written on it. “Yes, but they were all involved in the original
release of The Benefactor.”
Rodriguez shook his head. “Nathan and Lola starred in the movie, but
what about Elana, Jack and Victor? How
are they connected to the film?”
James began pacing the room,
glancing up at the names as realization slowly dawned. He didn’t know why he hadn’t thought of it
“Jack was originally up for the role
of Norton but he lost it to Nathan,” he surmised. “From what I hear it caused quite a bit of
tension in their friendship.”
“What about Victor and Elana?” Jordan inquired.
When James failed to come up with an
answer, Eddie explained his findings.
“Elana Hendricks was married to the director, Robert Wylan at the
time. She and my father had an affair. Wylan was so distraught he nearly walked off
the set on more than one occasion.”
“So somebody is killing anyone
connected to the original?” Rodriguez asked with doubt in his voice. “Why?”
“Maybe someone thought the movie was
garbage,” Jordan said with a laugh.
“Come on, this isn’t evidence.”
“Keaton,” James said softly.
“What?” Rodriguez asked.
James shrugged. “Nathan thinks the
director is hiding something. Eddie, you
saw him last night after that crane almost crushed Nathan to death. What did you think?”
“I thought he was hiding something
too,” he told them and walked to the wall where Rodriguez had taped the
photograph that had been faxed to the studio.
He studied it carefully. There
appeared to be a flaw in the photo on the top right hand corner. It looked like part of the original picture
had been photo burned. Without the
original picture, however, it was impossible to tell.
“So let’s get him in here and make
him confess,” Jordan said. “This isn’t
rocket science, people.”
“There’s no evidence,” Rodriguez
“Nathan did say that the glasses you
found at Moonshadows looked just like Keaton’s,” James said.
“Circumstantial,” he said with a
shake of his head. “Even if we got a
match to say the glasses were his, there were hundreds of other people there
“And if you question him he could
run,” Eddie confirmed. “Let me handle
“The LAPD doesn’t work with amateur
sleuths,” the detective said. “You could
get hurt. It’s best to leave this to the
“I won’t interfere in your
investigation, Detective,” Eddie told him as he headed for the door. “I’m just going to do some checking up on the
illustrious Keaton Hartley.”
When Eddie left the station, he made
his way to his car and grabbed for the door handle. When a hand reached out and closed the door
from behind, he spun around in a panic.
“Miranda,” he said, his heart
beating wildly. “What are you
“Following you,” she said, her arms
folded tightly across her chest. “We
need to talk, Eddie.”
“You’re following me?” he asked
“Because you may be ready to give up
on our relationship, but I’m not. So if
the only way I can get you to talk to me is tracking you down at the police
station then that’s what I’m going to do.”
He shook his head dismissively. “I
can’t talk to you about this right now.
I’m on a case.”
“Too bad,” she said, blocking his
way of the car door.
“Miranda, move,” he said. When she didn’t budge, he took her by the
waist and physically moved her.
“Hey!” she screamed as he got into
the car. “You can’t just manhandle
me! Get back here so we can talk!”
But he was already speeding off
through the parking lot. Standing behind, Miranda
huffed angrily and decided the only way to get him to talk to her was to go
everywhere he went. From now on, they
were stuck like glue. Quickly, she got
into her car and peeled out after him.
With filming well underway for the
day, Stormy went back to the Sunset Studios offices where he found Brett
sitting quietly behind his desk. He
pushed the door open and peered inside.
“Were you just going to sit around
the office all day or actually come down to the set and help?” he asked. “Tomorrow’s our last day of filming and we
have a lot to do in case you haven’t looked at the call sheets yet.”
“I’m sure you can handle it,” Brett
said and rubbed his eyes with his thumb and index finger.
Frowning, Stormy walked into the
office and stood before him. “Brett
Armstrong not taking the opportunity to make me look bad in front of my
father?” he asked. “I was sure you’d be
doing everything you could to look like the hero when we finished on
“Guess I’m just not really
interested in one-upping you today, junior.”
He leaned back in his chair and tapped a pencil on his knee.
“What’s got into you?” Stormy
asked. “I can buy you taking a day off
from manipulating petty dramas, but you seem…off. Is this about Deacon Edgewater?”
Brett shook his head. “It’s not about anything,” he said. “Just go back to the set and call if you need
“You did do something to him, didn’t you? However you got him to drop the lawsuit, it
caused him to kill himself.”
“Don’t be stupid. The man obviously had issues.”
“Yeah, but you’re not even gloating
about how you saved the day. That’s not
like you. And last night was the first
night in I don’t know how long that Kelly got home before dark. Something happen with your little union of
“Kelly and I didn’t see eye to eye
on a few things,” Brett said. “Now if
you’ll excuse me, I’ve got work to do.”
Stormy realized something was eating
away at Brett, and he knew it had to do with Deacon’s suicide. But for now he decided to leave it
alone. He was sure it would only be a
matter of time before he’d use the whole situation to his advantage
anyway. It was par for the course with
As he turned to go back down the
hall, he ran into Jane who was just coming off the elevator. Surprised, he dug his hands in his pockets
and regarded her anxiously.
“Hi,” she said.
“Hi,” he replied. “I’m glad to see you.”
She drew near, looking at him with
sullen eyes. “I’m glad to see you
Stormy placed a hand on her arm and looked down at
her. “Are you still mad at me?”
She shook her head. “No.”
“I’m really sorry for the way I
acted the day. I never meant to
insinuate that you were my
property. I know you’re very
independent. I just can’t help it
sometimes. Anytime Brett gets near
someone I care about things turn out very badly.”
“I know, but we were just talking. I know how you feel about him. I wouldn’t ever do anything to make you
doubt my loyalty to you.”
Smiling, he kissed her softly. “God, I’ve missed you.”
“Me too,” she said. “Can we do something tonight?”
He grinned. “It’s Halloween. What do you say we stay in, pop some popcorn
and watch scary movies?”
“That sounds perfect,” Jane
It had been too long since James
caught up with Marilee, so he invited her to lunch at Cut that afternoon. The first half hour was spent talking about Renee
and how they hoped she was getting the rest she needed.
“I know the south of France is
exotic and exciting, but I would have at least thought she would call and check
in,” Marilee was saying, stirring an ice cube into her chardonnay.
“Unfortunately some developments with Moonshadows will force her to
check in. It looks like the place is
going up for sale to avoid any financial downfall as a result of this arsenic
“It’s horrible,” Marilee
replied. “I saw Brooke at the hospital
the other day. I hope she’s feeling
“She is,” James confirmed. “As a matter of fact, they’re letting her go
Marilee grew quiet while she stared
into her glass. “I ran into Kyle too,”
“How was that?” James asked, already
knowing how hard she’d taken the news that he’d lied about being her son. “Stupid question. It couldn’t have been easy.”
She sighed. “I’m dealing.
There are worse things than learning the man you thought was your son
was an imposter. He duped the rest of
you just as badly as he duped me.”
“He’s really not a bad person. I know it may seem like it, but I believe his
has good intentions where Brooke is concerned.
He’s trying to make up for his mistakes.”
Marilee looked up at him and grew
into a daze. “I know all about
mistakes,” she said. “Marrying Seth,
that was a mistake. Selling my shares of
Merteuil to Jackie, that was another mistake.
And of course giving my son up for adoption. I still think about him every day.”
“I know how hard it must have been
for you,” James said sympathetically. “But there are things you can do to find
him if you really want to. Eddie’s
helping with the murder investigation.
Maybe he can help track down the son you gave up.”
Marilee smiled. “I’ve already tried.” She quickly changed the subject to something
less personal. “Have there been any
leads on Elana and Jack’s murders?”
James shook his head. “Nothing concrete,” he said. “Whoever it is seems to think the victims
“What do you mean?”
“Jack was responsible for the death
of Natalie Davdison,” he explained. “And
Elana apparently killed two people while drinking and driving. Greg Bender and Cheri Montessori.”
Marilee looked away sadly. As much as she fought it, everything made her
think of the regrets she had over giving her baby up for adoption. If only Will
Thomerson hadn’t turned his back on her things might have turned out
differently. “Haven’t we all lost enough
as it is?”
They were interrupted when Mackenzie
approached. She walked tentatively to
the table and regarded James with a smile.
“I just wanted to say hello,” she
said. “James, how are you?”
Still quick to hide his
disappointment over their failed relationship, James offered a pleasant smile
in return. “Mackenzie. Do you know Marilee Wells-Walker?”
“We’ve met,” Mackenzie said and
shook her hand. “A pleasure.”
“Likewise.” Marilee glanced across the room and noticed
Jim Nordquist enter from the street.
“Would you both excuse me? I see
someone I’d like to say hello to.”
James stood while she departed. After she’d gone, he shifted awkwardly.
“I’ve been hoping to run into you,”
Mackenzie said. “Are you really doing okay?”
“I’m fine,” he said. “Really, you don’t have to walk on eggshells
around me. I’m a big boy.”
“I know that. I just know that the way Ethan and I got
together wasn’t probably what you were expecting. I want you to know that I never meant for you
to get hurt.”
“Mackenzie,” he interrupted and
repeated himself. “I’m fine. It turns out you were right about me. I tend to spend too much time and energy
worrying about everyone else’s problems.
As it is right now, I’ve got about four crises that I’m working
She caught his attempt at humor and
smiled, grateful that they could move on from any feelings of resentment. “Who is that man Marilee is talking to?”
James followed her gaze. “Senator Nordquist. He’s the head of the California Coastal
Commission. Do you know him?”
She thought she might, but now that
he told her who he was, she decided she didn’t.
“He seems very shady.”
“That’s an understatement,” James
said. “He got caught with a prostitute
in a hotel room a few months ago. Let’s
just say his wife wasn’t too happy about that little discovery."
you said he's on the Coastal Commission?" she clarified.
That was awfully convenient,
she thought as she watched the man from across the room.
Alex hadn’t had a cigarette in two
years, but since learning of Deacon’s death, she’d bought a pack and chain
smoked while watching a marathon of Angie Dickinson TV movie thrillers. When Jordan showed up, she quickly tried to
fan the smoke out of the open window.
“I thought you gave that up,” he
said when he entered.
She realized hiding it was
futile. “I did. What are you doing here? Has there been another attempt on Lola’s
I’ve relegated her to home and the acting studio, and Chad doesn’t leave
her side. She doesn’t like it, but it’s
got to be done. Nathan, on the other
hand, was nearly turned into Swiss cheese last night.”
“Oh my God,” she whispered and sunk
into the cushions of her sofa.
“I heard about Deacon and thought
I’d stop by and see how you were,” Jordan told her and took a seat beside
her. “You’ve got to have some feelings
about his suicide being that he was the one who got you your start in the
Alex grew distant as she stared at
the television screen. She went for a
fresh pack of cigarettes but Jordan moved it out of her reach.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” she
“What was it with you and him
anyway? Come to think of it, you avoided
him like the plague ever since I can remember.”
She got up and floated across the
room. The sound of a knock at the door
saved her from having to answer.
Quickly, she went to open it, taken aback when she realized it was Nathan.
“I’m sorry for just stopping by,” he
said from the hall. When he looked up
and saw Jordan inside the apartment, he acknowledged him with a nod of his
head. “Jordan, I didn’t realize you were
“Nathan, is everything okay?” he
“Yes.” He walked in when Alex stood clear of the
door. “I just wanted to talk to Alex but
it can wait.”
“What did you want to talk to me
Recalling his near-death experience
from the night before, Nathan had made a promise to himself to attempt to make
amends with those he’d hurt. While he
was sure the effort would be futile, he at least had to try.
“It really can wait,” he said. “For now
just know that I know who I am and what I’ve done.”
Alex regarded him carefully. She had no idea what he was talking about,
but whatever it was, he sounded oddly sincere.
The sound in his voice was strangely unfamiliar.
Jordan decided to break the awkward
silence with news. “Eddie thinks that
the killer is targeting the people who were involved in the original version of
The Benefactor. He’s tailing Keaton Hartley as we
“The director of the remake?” Alex
asked. “You think he’s the killer?”
“There have been oddities with his
behavior as of late,” Nathan reported.
“At any rate, I hope Edward is careful.
We don’t know what kind of a man we’re dealing with.”
As the sun went down, Eddie followed
Keaton from the production offices at Sunset Studios to his apartment in West
Hollywood. He maneuvered past a group of
trick-or-treaters while pulling up to the curb in front of the building. With a driving cap pulled down over his face,
he watched the man get out of his car and proceed up to the door. There he waited, unbeknownst that behind
him, Miranda pulled up in her car and watched him.
He watched the man’s shadow through
the closed sheers on the windows as he moved about the apartment. Settling back in his seat, he waited for him
to leave again. He adjusted the rearview mirror and surveyed his
surroundings. The one thing he’d learned
as a private detective was to constantly be aware of your surroundings. Notice everything that didn’t belong. A shiny red Porsche with a pretty brunette behind
the wheel didn’t immediately strike him as out of place, but after getting a
closer look, he realized he was wrong.
With a firm grasp on the door, he
pushed it open and darted back to the Porsche where Miranda sat inconspicuously
reading a magazine from behind large Chanel sunglasses.
“What are you doing?” he
She looked up and feigned surprise.
“Oh, hi,” she said and looked around the street. “How funny.
What are you doing here, Eddie?”
“Don’t play dumb,” he told her. “Are you following me again? Look, I told you I’m on a case.”
Before he could walk back to his
car, she quickly jumped out of her seat and went after him. “And I told you I’m not ready to give up on
us!” she exclaimed. “I don’t believe that
you are either!”
“You slept with someone else,” he
protested angrily. “You had a child with
David Jennings. What am I supposed to
“I made a mistake and I’m sorry!”
Miranda exclaimed, ripping off her sunglasses.
“I don’t know how else to prove that to you!”
“There’s nothing you can do. What’s done is done.”
“I don’t believe that. Look at everything we’ve been through. Eddie, you were so excited about Tiger when I
was pregnant with her. You can’t tell me
that you don’t feel anything for her.”
“I never said I didn’t feel anything
for her,” he replied. “I love that
little girl as if she were my own. That
“Then what is it? If you’re pissed at me then yell at me!
Scream at me! Hit me! Something!”
“Do you know who long I’ve been in
love with you?” he suddenly shouted.
“Since I was about six years old.
We kissed on the swing set in your back yard after school one day and I
never forgot it. Then we got older and
you got all rebellious and went to a different school and all I did was think
about you. But you didn’t notice. To you I was always Stormy’s geeky
friend. But then two years ago we spent
the night together and I thought I’d won the jackpot. I couldn’t believe that the beautiful,
popular Miranda Blackthorne was interested in me. I would have done anything for you but you
broke my heart!”
She looked at the passion in his
eyes and started to cry. “I’m sorry,”
she whispered again.
“If you had been any other girl and
cheated on me, I might not have cared,” Eddie continued. “But with you, I was already so self conscious.”
He laughed in spite of the
circumstances. “Look at you! You’re gorgeous. Everyone knows we’re a total mismatch. And when you slept with David, it only proved
to me that I wasn’t good enough for you.”
“That is not true!”
“Oh yeah?” Eddie asked. “Go home and look at your daughter and tell me it’s not true.”
Silence followed while Miranda
searched for something to say. When
Eddie noticed Keaton emerge from his apartment, he threw his hands up in
resignation. On top of everything else,
his cover was about to get blown.
“What is it?” Miranda asked.
“Hide,” he told her, tackling her
down onto the grass in the darkness.
Keaton climbed back into his
convertible Mercedes and tucked his wallet and cell phone into the
center console. Miranda decided to take
matters into her own hands and help in some way. It was the least she could do. Before Keaton could start the engine, she
popped up out of the grass and surprised him so much that he screamed. On the ground, Eddie groaned in frustration
“Jesus, you scared me,” Keaton said.
“What the hell are you doing?”
“Keaton Hartley, right?” Miranda
“Miranda Blackthorne,” she said and
extended her hand.
‘Yeah, I know.” He climbed back out of the car. “I’m sorry, did you come here to see
“No, my friend Susie lives over
there.” She pointed for
clarification. “I was on my way
there. I saw you and thought I’d say
Behind them, Eddie suddenly became
aware of what she was doing. As crazy as
she was, she proved to be a suitable distraction. Quickly, he jumped to his feet and reached
into the car for Keaton’s phone. He
activated the blue tooth and held his phone up to it, waiting for the
information to transfer.
“So my father and my brother can’t
stop talking about what a gem you are,” Miranda went on, tossing her hair over
her shoulders and offering him a toothy smile.
God, just do him all ready.”
She laughed. “Kidding. So what are you up to tonight? Big Halloween plans?”
“Plan on killing anybody?”
Keaton asked in surprise.
Eddie rolled his eyes, positive that
she was going to blow it before he got the information from his phone.
Miranda laughed again and
pointed. "God, I’m totally kidding.
The house where they filmed Halloween is just a
block over on Orange
Grove. Loosen up.
Keaton managed a smile and started
to turn back to his car. Quickly,
Miranda went to block his view.
“So anyway, my friend Suz is having
a party if you want to stop by,” she said.
“Yeah, Susie. Suz.”
“I can’t,” he said. “I was just going out for some pizza and then
I have to make it an early night. Last
day of filming tomorrow.”
“Okay,” Miranda said. “Well, if you change your mind-“
A sound caught Keaton’s attention
and he quickly spun around. Miranda
cringed. To her relief, Eddie was
nowhere in sight, and Keaton’s phone was back where he’d left it.
“I should go,” Keaton said. “Nice to see you, Miranda.”
“You too,” she said and waived as he
got in his car and started the engine.
“Watch out for psycho’s in Halloween masks.”
He nodded uneasily and backed up out
of the drive. After he sped off down the
street, Eddie emerged from behind a bush.
“That was dangerous,” he said.
Miranda smiled. “But you got what you needed, right?”
He nodded and held up his
“See? We’re a pretty good team.”
still doesn't change anything," Eddie said and
stalked back to his car.
Stormy walked into the family room
at the Blackthorne mansion with a bowl of popcorn and positioned himself next
to Jane on the sofa. He kissed her
softly while slipping his arm around her shoulder.
“Okay, what are we going to watch?”
he asked, picking up the remote and flipping through the horror section on
Netflix. “Slasher? Supernatural?
“Just nothing too gross,” Jane said.
“I can handle scary but I can’t handle gross.”
“Then you should return those
hideous shoes,” said a voice from behind.
“They’re scary and gross.”
They turned to see Kelly sashay into
the room. Groaning, Stormy put the
popcorn bowl on the table and rose from the sofa.
“We’re trying to have an evening to
ourselves,” he said. “So if you don’t
mind, go scare up trouble somewhere else.”
Kelly rolled her eyes. “You’re both so lame. Like I want to hang around here with a bunch
of losers anyway.”
Stormy began to get aggravated when
Jane reached her hand out to him. “Just
let her be,” she said. “She’s not worth
While she was right about that, he
did want to talk to Kelly about something, and it might as well happen sooner
rather than later. “Miranda told me what
you said to her last night,” he began.
“That you’re planning on taking R.J. and leaving. I’d strongly suggest you stop making threats
like that unless you want to be without parental rights altogether.”
“What are you going to do about it?” Kelly asked. “I could still get your sister in a lot of
trouble for playing lady pimp to half the men in this town. You wouldn’t want to be the cause for her
going to jail, would you?”
“You have no proof,” Stormy told
her. “So go ahead and try.”
“Don’t push me,” Kelly cautioned
him. “It’ll take one phone call to blow
her little secret out of the water.”
“The point is you’re not taking R.J.
anywhere,” Stormy argued. “He’s my son
and this is his home. If you even think
about trying to run off with him I’ll have you arrested so fast-“
“He’s my son too!” Kelly
shouted. “And I can take him if I
With that, she turned and raced out
of the room. Stormy considered going
after her but decided to let her be for the time being.
“I’m sorry,” he said to Jane and sat
back down beside her. “I’d hoped we
could have a quiet evening together.”
She shook her head
dismissively. “Aren’t you worried that
she’s going to take R.J?” she asked.
“Stormy, you should do something.”
“She can’t leave yet,” he said. “She has no money.”
“That could change before you know
it. What about her threatening to turn
Miranda in? You don’t think she really
would, do you?”
He laughed. “I know
she would,” he said. “And to tell you
the truth, all she’d have to do is suggest it to the police and they’d have
enough to start an investigation. For
now it seems like Kelly’s got me right where she wants me.”
Jane took his hand in hers and
looked into his eyes. She knew he was worried.
She only wished there was something she could do to stop Kelly from
causing any more damage than she already had.
Out in the hallway, Kelly answered
her phone when she felt it vibrating in the back pocket of her jeans. She recognized the number as the same one
that had called earlier.
“Hello?” she answered irately.
A pause while she listened to the
“How did you get this number?” she
shrieked. “Don’t ever call me
With that, she clicked off the call
and looked around in a panic. Quickly,
she darted down the hall and up the stairs to her room, slamming the door
closed behind her.
When James and Ethan brought Brooke
home from the hospital, Michael came racing down the stairs toward her dressed
in an astronaut Halloween costume.
“Mommy!” he yelled and attempted to
jump into her arms.
“Easy, buddy,” Ethan said and
stopped him. “Mommy’s still not feeling a
hundred percent so you have to take it easy on her, okay?”
Brooke smiled and bent down to hug
her son. “I’m happy to see you too,
baby,” she said and kissed the top of his head.
“And I love your costume! You
look like a real space man!”
“I know, huh?” Michael said and
tugged at her arm. “You’re still gonna
take me trick-or-treating right?”
She shook her head
apologetically. “Your daddy’s going to
take you, sweetheart. But guess
what? I heard the house up the street
has a haunted house you can go through when you get there.”
“Sounds scary,” James said with a
“I’m not scared, grandpa,” Michael
said. “It’s just make believe. Like in your movies.”
“Are you ready to go, champ?” Ethan
“Uh-oh, I forgot my glow
“Well go get it,” Ethan said and
ushered him to the stairs.
And just like that, Michael was
flying up to his room.
“Where’s Kyle?” James asked. “I thought he would want to be here when you
came home. He wasn’t even at the
hospital when you were discharged.”
Brooke shook her head
dismissively. “Mackenzie’s having some
crisis he had to help her with,” she revealed.
“He said he’d stop by later.”
She looked at Ethan. “Thank you
for taking Michael out tonight. He’s
been talking about trick-or-treating for weeks.”
“No problem,” he said. “What crisis?
Mackenzie never said anything to me.”
“I don’t know,” Brooke replied.
Ethan couldn’t help but find it
strange that she didn’t mention it. “I’m
seeing her later tonight. I guess I’ll
find out then.”
The doorbell rang and James went to
open it. “Kenny,” he said and gestured
inside. “What brings you by? Not out haunting your usual places?”
He smiled. “I wanted to tell you the good news
first. We got a potential offer on
Brooke asked. “From who?”
“An investor from New York. Loomis Enterprises. They’ve got plenty of capital and they plan
on working with the EPA to get the water cleaned up. It’s still in the early stages but at least
we’ve opened up discussions.”
Brooke shook her head
miserably. “This is all happening so
fast,” she said. “Am I doing the right
“The lawsuit will bankrupt the
resort,” Ethan reminded her. “On top of
that you’ve got the bad publicity from De La Cruz’s death. Let it be someone else’s problem now. You’re doing the right thing, Brooke.”
She sighed. “I guess.
I just can’t help but feel like I’m….”
“What?” James asked her.
“Moonshadows was David’s dream,” she
explained. “And my father’s before he
died. I just hate seeing it sold off to
“Boo,” Chip said from behind a Halloween
Mason leveled an dubious look at him
when he opened the door to his room at the Beverly Hills Hotel. “Aren’t you a little old to be
trick-or-treating?” he said and stood clear of the door.
“Not when your treats are so mouth
watering,” Chip replied with a wink as he entered the room. “Ready for some adult entertainment?”
Resigned to the fact that he was
being blackmailed into having gay sex, Mason retreated to the sofa where he’d
been working. On the coffee table were
papers arranged in neat piles.
“What’s all this?” Chip inquired,
taking the mask off and sitting down.
“The phase of our plan we’ve been
waiting for,” he answered. “I made an
offer on Moonshadows a little while ago.
A ridiculously low offer, but one that Brooke Taylor would be stupid to
pass up considering the legal problems they’re facing.”
“Loomis Enterprises,” Chip read
aloud from one of the documents. “How’d
you come up with that name?”
Mason grinned and gestured to the
television. “There’s been a Halloween marathon on TV all day.
He was the doctor."
Chip laughed, sinking to his knees
on the floor in front of him.
strip of torn orange crepe paper blew across the road and stopped when it got
snagged against a piece of brush on the lookout. Kyle kicked it loose when he stepped out of
his car and approached Mackenzie at the side of the road.
“What’s with the clandestine
meeting, sis?” he asked. “We couldn’t
meet somewhere a little more convenient?”
“I thought you’d appreciate it if no
one was around to overhear,” she told him.
“That I’m on to you,” she said. “I know everything you’ve been up to with
Kyle felt genuinely confused. “What are you talking about? I told you Mason and I are just
“Mason is in cahoots with your
contractor, Chip Matthews,” she said. “I
overheard them talking.”
The information blew Kyle’s
mind. “Are you serious? What does this have to do with me?”
“The minute Mason came to town I
knew he was up to something. After being
privy to his shady deals and cheating ways while we were married, I’ve become
something of an expert. The way he
attached himself to your marina project was deja vu all over again.”
Kyle shook his head. “Mac, you’re going to have to fill me in
“I know you blackmailed Senator
Nordquist into granting Moonshadows the variances,” she continued. “His call-girl scandal was just the
ammunition you needed. The Coastal
Commission would have never granted them on their own.”
Now Kyle was really confused. Mason told him he called in a favor, plain
and simple. He knew nothing about
blackmailing a Senator. “Mason got me
the variance, but-“
“So now I have to ask myself if this
whole arsenic scare was really just more of the same,” she said. “Another plot that the two of you cooked up
to defraud Brooke out of her property.”
“Are you crazy?” Kyle demanded.
“And let’s not forget about
Chip. He found out what you were doing
and is now blackmailing Mason for sex.”
She laughed wickedly. “Isn’t that
ironic? The man was such a pig to me
when we were married. I can’t pretend
I’m not happy to see him in such a squeamish position.”
Kyle placed a hand on his
forehead. She had it all wrong. If Mason had been up to anything suspicious,
he had nothing to do with it. But convincing
his sister of that was going to be next to impossible. She’d always thought the worst of him.
“You don’t know what you’re talking
about,” he said. “Mackenzie, I had no
idea that Mason was up to anything. You
have to believe me.”
She glared angrily at him. “I’ve been saying all along that you were up
to no good,” she began. “That you were
just as underhanded as you were when you first came to town pretending to be
someone else. You haven’t changed a bit,
“Look, Mason came to me and offered
to help with the variance.” Even as he
said it, he suddenly became aware of how suspicious it sounded. Why had
Mason offered to help? What was in it
for him? “Let me just talk to him. I’ll get it sorted out.”
“You mean so you can put your heads
together and find a way to cover your tracks?” she asked. “No, I’m going to Brooke with this. Wait until she finds out that the man she put
her trust hasn’t stopped conning her since the day he showed up on her
He couldn’t let her do that. Despite the fact that he was innocent in all
of her allegations, Brooke wouldn’t see it that way. He had to do something. “If you go to Brooke, she’ll turn against
me,” he began. “And then who do you
think will be there to pick up the pieces?
Say goodbye to your relationship with Ethan because he’s the one she’ll
Mackenzie shook her head in
dismay. “You never stop manipulating
people, do you?”
Kyle knew that threatening her with
Ethan was a mistake. It only made him
look guilty. “Just don’t go to
Brooke. I’ll prove to you that whatever
Mason is up to, he’s acting alone.”
“You’re lying,’ she said and
attempted to skirt past him.
“Mackenzie, don’t!” he shouted,
grabbing her by the arm.
During the struggle, she lost her
footing. The rocks beneath her feet gave
way and she slid to the edge of the cliff.
Her arms flailed, desperately trying to grab something to support
herself with. Kyle reached out to pull
her back but it was too late. She
slipped onto the rocks and fell down the side of the cliff, rolling down the
hill and coming to a crashing halt a hundred yards away.
the sound of coyotes in the distance breaking the unbearable
silence. He waited for her to get up but she
didn’t. A trickle of blood ebbed down
her forehead as she remained unconscious. He backed up a step, unsure of what to
mind spun out of control. Without wasting another second, he turned
and raced back to his car, disappearing into the night and leaving Mackenzie unconscious
at the bottom of the cliff.
When they got home from
trick-or-treating, Ethan left to meet Mackenzie and Michael grudgingly got
ready for bed. A while later, Brooke
went to his room to check on him and paused outside his door when she heard him
talking to himself. When she went inside, she saw him holding a toy walkie
talkie, still in his astronaut costume as he lay in bed.
“Who are you talking to,
sweetheart?” she asked and began straightening things in his room.
“Adam,” he said and pushed the
walkie under the covers.
Brooke remained tight lipped about
his imaginary friend. She knew he’d had
a blast trick-or-treating with his father and didn’t want to open up a
difficult discussion when it was getting so late.
“Tell Adam that you’ll talk to him
tomorrow,” she said. “It’s bedtime. Aren’t you going to put on your
He shook his head and climbed under
the covers. “I want to wear my
astronaut costume, mommy. Can’t I,
“Okay,” she said with a shake of her
head. “Now say goodnight to Adam and go
Michael pushed the talk button and
spoke into the speaker. “Adam, I gotta
go to bed now. Talk to you
tomorrow. Over and out.”
Smiling, Brooke placed the walkie
talkie on the bedside table and kissed the little boy on the forehead. “Goodnight.”
“Night, mommy,” he said.
Walking to the door, she turned off
the light and started to leave. A sound
coming from the walkie talkie caught her attention and she stopped. It crackled and sputtered, and then she
distinctly heard the sound of faint whispering coming through the speaker.
Her heart pounding inside her chest,
she stared at the object and listened.
After a full two minutes of silence, she realized she must have been
hearing things. That or there was some
kind of interference in the radio transmission.
There were enough devices around that could easily be picked up by the
Shaking her head at her own
ridiculous behavior, she walked out of the room and closed the door.
Miranda pulled her car up to the
house and started up to the front door.
While she paused to fish her keys from her purse, she heard a car
approaching from behind. Quickly, she
turned and smiled when she saw that it was Eddie.
“Hi,” she said, walking back down
“Hi,” he said, smiling in
return. “So listen, thanks for your help
“Sure,” Miranda replied. She
wondered if his coming there so late was a sign that he didn’t hate her as much
as he made it sound. Maybe there was
hope after all. “Anytime.”
“I guess we are a good team,” he
“Do you want to come in?”
He shook his head. “I can’t.”
Disappointed, she turned and started
back up the stairs to the door.
“I found some stuff on Keaton’s
phone that I’m going to check out tomorrow,” Eddie called after her. “I could really use some help. Are you free?”
Her face lit up as she turned to
him. “I could probably get Leilani to
look after Tiger again. What time?”
“I”ll pick you up at ten.”
“Okay,” she said. “Goodnight.”
“Goodnight, Miranda.” He put the car in gear and dove off beneath
Miranda watched him go, knowing that
things were going to be all right. It
may not happen overnight, but it would
Slivers of bluish-green moonlight
filtered through the blinds in Brett’s condo.
The room was dark except for the light from the television. He laid on the sofa, dressed only in a pair
of grey sweatshorts, the TV remote clutched tightly in his hand. He couldn’t stop thinking about the last
moments he’d spent with Deacon Edgewater.
Guilt plagued him. It changed the
way he thought about everything. Everyone.
He only now realized that everything he did affected people in ways he
could never imagine. The sad thing was,
none of it seemed worth it to him.
The phone rang and he ignored it for
as long as he could. When it passed the
twentieth ring, he reached to the floor and lifted the receiver to his
ear. It was Jordan calling.
“What is it, Jordan?” he asked
A knock at the door alerted him to a
visitor so he told Jordan to hold on while he got up to see who it was.
“Who’s there?” he called, but there
was no answer. “Hello?”
A look through the peep hole proved
futile, so he unlocked the dead bolt and opened the door with the chain still
attached. Peering into the hall, he
tried to see who was there.
“Hello Brett,” a woman’s voice came
through the small opening between the door and the doorframe.
Eyes wide, he
watched as she came into
view. He wouldn’t have believed it if he
didn’t see her with his own eyes. But
there she was, standing outside his door in the flesh.
“Heather,” he said, blinking a few
times to make sure he wasn’t imagining things.
about Heather. Miranda and Eddie look into Keaton's
activities. Leilani can't stand by Kelly's side.
A man from Brooke's past reappears.
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