Dr. Bouvier announced that Heather
was ready to rejoin society. Brett brought up
his affair with Suzanne but Heather quickly changed
the subject. Jordan told Brett he wouldn't let
him to hurt his daughter again. Kyle made an anonymous
tip to 911 about Mackenzie's fall. He told Brooke
that he had seen Mackenzie the night before, but told
the police he hadn't. Kyle professed his innocence
to Mackenzie, who decided to keep quiet for fear of
losing Ethan to Brooke. T.T. told Kyle that David went
away to have an experimental operation, but Kyle kept
it from Brooke. Mason created a front company
to purchase Moonshadows, then made a call to his anonymous
partner. Brooke and Ethan continued to grow concerned
for Michael's imaginary friend Adam, whom he'd been
seemingly communicating with via a walkie talkie. Philip
Whitacre returned and lectured Brooke on her man-juggling
ways. Kelly received several anonymous phone calls.
Eddie proposed to Miranda. Miranda and Eddie
learned that Keaton had contacted a company called Reconnections
to find his biological parents. When they found
Marilee had contacted the same company, they assumed
he was her son, but she said it turned out to be a false
lead. They then concluded that Keaton was Nathan's
son. After filming ended on The Benefactor,
Keaton asked Nathan if they could meet so he could tell
him something important. A witness claimed to
hLola gave her blessing to Jordan and Alex, then was
later stabbed by the killer. Nathan pulled a gun
on Keaton, fearing he was going to kill him. James
and Detective Rodriguez arrived in time to stop him,
announcing that Keaton was his son. Meanwhile, Denise
appeared in Alex's penthouse uninvited.
Everything happened in slow
motion. The paramedics wheeling Lola out
of the Playhouse on a gurney, an EMT tending to the wound on the back of Chad’s
head, and camera flashes from a swarm of paparazzi.
stood at Detective Rodriguez’s side, tears staining his eyes as he watched them
load his mother into the back of an ambulance.
Everything seemed so surreal to him.
* * *
is all around us,” Victor said slowly as he stared into the fireplace at
Vaughan’s house in Beverly Hills. He
turned to his old friend and continued.
“The grim reaper beckons. I feel
his icy grip ‘round my throat. The
breath of his hounds at my heels. The
unrelenting rat tat tat of his scythe
on my chamber door.”
swirled the cognac around in his glass and sighed. Since news of the evening’s events they’d
retreated to his study and reflected on the murders, on life and death, and on
their own mortality. Victor had launched into a monologue from one of his
Victor continued. “I only hasten his
inevitable triumph. Is that what he
desires? Is it?”
a fresh glass, Vaughan padded across the room.
“We cannot predict the precise moment when our time has come,” he
said. “Would we dare try?”
turned back to the fireplace. “No. Fate is in the hands of the
* * *
Playhouse, the sound of sirens in the distance echoed in Jordan’s ears. Muffled voices from a nearby news crew found
their way into his mind.
vicious attack by who the media has dubbed the Hollywood Slayer,” said a news reporter into the camera. “Days after the murder of A-list actor Jack
Childers, the killer has struck again.
The intended victim his time was Lola Lamont, the widow of late film
producer Jonas Lamont. Investigators
aren’t giving many details, but what we have learned is that Ms. Lamont was
alone in the Playhouse Theatre just behind me when the attack took place. The actress was found by her bodyguard, who
had been clubbed and tied up by the killer.
Ms. Lamont was in critical
condition when paramedics arrived, and is apparently
clinging to life. Still no word on the
person responsible for their vicious attacks.”
* * *
“Denise, how did you get in here?” Alex
asked as she stared at the woman standing in her living room.
unfocused eyes, Denise gazed across the room.
“You don’t know how it hurts,” she said.
“Tossed into the basement, constantly told you aren’t good enough, made
to feel like you don’t belong.”
you talking about?” Alex asked. Standing
behind the bar in her penthouse, she discreetly lifted the phone and dialed
911. She could tell the woman was
have been Alex Reynolds,” Denise whispered.
“Or Lola Lamont.” She moved
forward which prompted Alex to retreat.
“If only he’d let me.”
you talking about?” She could hear the tinny sounds of the operator coming
through the receiver. She only hoped
they would trace the call and get there soon.
remained silent for a few tense moments.
“Jonas,” she finally said, a faraway look in her eyes. “He would have done anything for you. For Nathan.
For Lola. For all of you.”
what did you do?” Alex whispered in horror.
* * *
lights outside Alvarado Court cut through the darkness. Keaton was led outside the bungalow in
handcuffs. Nathan stood behind with a
dazed expression on his suntanned face. At
his side, James placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.
it had to turn out this way,” he said to his uncle.
“Keaton? My son?
If that’s true then why would he….”
A pause while he tried to wrap his mind around the alleged crimes the
young man had committed. Horrible
crimes. “That must have been what he
wanted to tell me tonight.”
okay?” James asked.
shook his head as he watched the police car maneuver away from the
building. “None of this is okay.”
get a look at him?” Rodriguez asked Chad back at the Playhouse.
his head. “He hit me from behind. When I
came to, I untied myself and found Ms. Lamont out in the theatre. She’d been stabbed and that picture of her
twin sister was lying next to her.”
matter anyway,” Rodriguez said with a shake of his head as he turned to
Jordan. “We arrested Keaton Hartley just
a little while ago. A dagger was found
in his car. The blood we found on it
matches your mothers.”
understand why he would do something like this,” Jordan was saying.
Nathan Blackthorne is his father. Until
we can question him, all we can gather is that he found out and snapped. His entire apartment was covered with Sunset
Studios memorabilia. I think we’re
dealing with a very obsessive young man.”
watched as the ambulance took off with Lola in the back. “I need to get to the hospital.”
drive,” Rodriguez said and ushered him to his car. “Mr. Rydell, where were you when your mother
at him with a frown. “What difference
does it make?”
curious,” he said. “A secretary was
working late at the law firm across the street and said she saw a car leaving
the Playhouse shortly after the attack.
She said it was a silver Mercedes.”
“A lot of
people drive silver Mercedes, Detective,” Jordan said and opened the car
door. “Just focus on putting this guy
away for a very long time. And find
Denise Syswicki. If she was in cahoots
with him, it could have also been her that
tried turning my mother into Swiss cheese.”
interrupted when Rodriguez got a phone call from police dispatch. Afterwards, he hung up and raced to his
it?” Jordan asked.
emergency call just came from your ex-wife’s apartment,” he said.
of emergency?” Jordan asked in a panic.
know, but let’s go.”
into the car and drove off across town, sirens and flashing lights cutting
through the darkness of the night.
away from Denise, tripping over an ottoman and flailing across the floor of her
penthouse. She crawled away, terrifying
of the deranged look in the woman’s eyes.
have been a star,” Denise was saying. “I
could have been anything but the lowly record keeper stuck down in the basement
of the studio.”
killed them, didn’t you?” Alex shrieked, struggling to her feet in her
nightgown. “My God, you’re insane. Elana and Jack…why?”
looked at her in confusion. “I didn’t hurt those people,” she
said. “They hurt themselves. They got into trouble and let Jonas and
Vaughan bail them out. They had it
all. The money, the fame, the
celebrity. I had nothing.”
Alex searched for something to defend herself with. She picked up a silver candlestick from the
table and held it above her head.
know that Jonas and I slept together?” Denise continued. “He promised me a role in his next film. He promised I would get out of the basement
and in front of the camera. He swore to
me that things would change!”
sorry,” Alex said and shook her head in terror.
what happened to you,” Denise went on.
“At Deacon Edgewater’s house that night.
Robert Wylan and George Dunning were there. In his screening room. You remember, don’t you, Alex?”
her eyes to block out the images. “Yes,
I remember. Of course I remember.”
covered up that night too, didn’t he?” Denise asked. “He made it all go away.”
Alex said, circling the room in desperation.
She didn’t know if Denise had a weapon but she couldn’t risk it. Getting away was the only thing she could
“I had to
tell Keaton all your secrets,” she went on.
“I had to tell him. You don’t
deserve anything you’ve been given. None
of you do…”
Alex raced to the door and pulled it open frantically. To her surprise, Jordan was standing on the
other side with Detective Rodriguez.
Crying, she clung to Jordan while Rodriguez raced in and apprehended
God,” Alex cried. “Thank God you got
okay?” Jordan asked. “Are you hurt?”
her head, turning just as Rodriguez led Denise out in handcuffs.
she said somberly. But the truth was,
she couldn’t get what Denise said out of her mind. Her secrets were about to come out.
morning at breakfast, Miranda and Eddie walked into the solarium where James,
Brooke, Stormy and Ethan were seated around the table. James looked up and noticed the look on
elation on their faces.
into the two of you?” he asked, folding the newspaper onto the table.
look like you’re both up to something,” Stormy said. He paused, noticing that their hands were
clasped together. “Wait a minute. Does this mean…?”
nodded. “We got back together,” she said
great news,” Brooke said and folded her napkin in her lap. “I knew you’d find your way back to each
more,” Miranda went on. “We’re getting
faces and cries of excitement erupted as everyone jumped up to congratulate
wonderful,” James said, hugging Miranda tightly. He went to Eddie. “I couldn’t be happier.”
going to be brothers!” Stormy said and patted his best friend on the back.
that?” Eddie said.
“How did it
happen?” Ethan asked.
us everything,” Brooke said.
looked dreamily into Eddie’s eyes. “It
was so romantic. We were at the police
station and we looked into each other’s eyes and just knew it was right. We’re going to be a family. Me, Eddie and Tiger.”
happy for you both,” James said and shook Eddie’s hand. “It’ll be an honor to have you in the family,
Eddie. When is the big day?”
week,” he replied.
“Next week?” Stormy and Brooke exclaimed in
awfully fast,” Ethan agreed.
don’t see the need to wait,” Miranda explained.
“We want to make it official as soon as possible. We thought we’d have the wedding here if
James said. “The biggest, most lavish
wedding Hollywood has ever seen. The biggest and most lavish that can
be planned in a week," he added.
shook her head. “Nothing too extravagant,
Daddy. I really just want it to be
something simple with family. I just
hope it’s not in bad taste with everything going on.”
all,” James said. “Keaton and Denise are
in jail, and Lola is recovering in the hospital.”
she?” Eddie inquired.
unconscious,” James replied. “But she’s
Denise and Keaton confessed to the murders?” Miranda asked.
but the evidence is all there. Denise
supplied Keaton with the motivation he needed.
Once Keaton learned Nathan was his father, he became derranged. We just don’t know which one of them actually
committed the murders. The police seem
to think they both had a hand in them.”
Jordan,” Miranda said. “He’s already
been through so much. I just hope Lola
James began in hopes of lightening the mood. “Looks like we’ve got a
wedding to plan.”
but I need to go take care of some Moonshadows business first,” Brooke
said. “Loomis Enterprises is ready to
buy. I just want this whole nightmare to
be over with. Oh, then Ethan and I are
taking Michael to his appointment with the child psychologist.”
I have to pick Mackenzie up from the hospital,"
need to go see Heather,” Stormy said to Miranda.
a minute. I hope you
all don’t expect me to plan this whole
wedding,” James said with a wry smile.
“Don’t forget I’ve got the private screening coming up for The Benefactor. Stormy, how is the editing coming? Will we have a rough print to show in a few
one, yes. I hope Keaton’s arrest doesn’t
taint the media. The last thing we need
is another scandal on our hands with one of our movies.”
Lola’s hospital room and intercepted Alex and Heather who were waiting just
outside in the hall.
change?” Alex asked.
his head. “No. She’s still unconscious.”
she wakes up soon so she can tell us what happened,” Alex announced.
frowned. “We know what happened. Keaton
Hartley came after her. Or Denise. Or both
of them. They’re behind bars. That’s all that matters.”
her head and looked away.
it?” Heather asked her. “You don’t think
they were responsible?”
shrugged with uncertainty.
practically admitted it to you,”
“Not in so
many words,” she told him. “I mean, what
if the police are wrong? What if the
killer is still out there?”
killers are in jail,” Jordan maintained.
“I’m going to go talk to Dr. Farraday.
I’ll see you both in a minute.”
gone, Heather looked at Alex and tried to offer a comforting smile. “You must have been so scared,” she
said. “Alone in your apartment with that
woman. Why did she come after you, Alex?”
hadn't revealed everything Denise had said to her. To anyone.
don't know. All I know is she seemed very sad.
she was jealous of me."
reached out and brushed a few pieces of glitter from Alex’s face. Alex touched the area and groaned in
glitter,” she said. “Once it gets on you,
it never comes off.”
frowned. “Where did it come from?”
Playhouse. It was all over the floor
when I went to see Lola yesterday afternoon.”
again. “Was my father with you?”
her head. “No, I went by myself. Why?”
reason,” Heather said, wondering why her father had glitter on his shoes when
he came back to the house last night.
Back at the Blackthorne mansion, Miranda
kissed Tiger and collected her purse and car keys. She and Stormy had plans to go visit Heather
at Jordan’s, plus she wanted to get a jump on wedding planning. She walked down the staircase and scouted
around for her brother. When he wasn’t
anywhere in sight, she made her way down the hall and looked in the game room,
the family room, and finally the conservatory.
surprise, a strange man was standing across the room by the windows. Intimidated by his height and physical
prowess, she lingered in the doorway for a minute before walking inside.
you?” she asked.
turned and looked at her with a cocksure grin.
“I could ask you the same thing, little lady.”
recognized a slight drawl to his voice.
“Well, I live here and you don’t, so who the hell are you?”
Wheland,” he answered. He was well over six
feet tall, broad-shouldered, and sported a closely cropped sheath of dark
hair. Tan, weathered skin made him look
older than his true age of forty-seven.
Blackthorne. What are you doing
to see Kelly,” he answered.
laughed and folded her arms. “Now I get
it,” she said. “Who are you? Her lawyer?
Well, for your information, you’re messing with the wrong people. No way in hell are the Blackthornes going to
let her take off with my nephew, so you might as well not even try.”
it wrong,” he said. “I’m not a
lawyer. I’m Kelly’s daddy.”
raised an eyebrow. “Daddy...as in who’s your daddy?”
“No. Daddy as in, her mother and I had sex and
Kelly was born nine months later.”
Miranda took a few steps forward. “You’re Kelly’s father? The soldier Leilani met in Hawaii who knocked
she’s mentioned me.”
her arms. “Yeah, she said you wooed her
into bed when you were on a bar crawl off base with your marine buddies and
then you took off a few months later.”
exactly what happened. I got orders to
transfer off the island. Leilani never
told me she was pregnant.”
Leilani know you’re here?” Miranda asked.
knows I’m in town,” Matthew replied.
“I’ve tried calling her but she won’t talk to me. I thought I’d come here and see if she’d see
me face to face.”
shrugged. “She started screaming bloody
murder and ran up the stairs. Leilani’s up there trying to convince her to come
like Kelly,” Miranda said with a roll of her eyes.
interrupted when Stormy entered the conservatory with his car keys in
hand. “There you are. Are you ready or not?”
gestured to Matthew. “Stormy, this is
meet you,” Stormy said and shook his hand.
eyes widened. “Seriously? Wow.
Nice to meet you…I guess?”
grinned and turned back to the man.
“Look, why don’t you let me talk to Kelly for you. I’m sure I can convince her to spend some
time with you.”
great. All I really want is a chance to
get to know my daughter.”
turned and led Stormy out into the hall.
“You’re lucky to have me around, big brother.”
your baby sister is about to solve all of your problems.”
office by the marina, Brooke sat across from his desk waiting for him to finish
sorting through piles of paperwork.
someone from Loomis Enterprises would be here,” she said. “Don’t they have to be in on the transfer of
his head. “They gave me a power of
attorney. Apparently the owner lives on
the east coast and can’t get here. Don’t
worry. I’ve read their business plan and
they have all the right intentions as far as the resort goes. It’ll be in good hands, Brooke.”
interrupted when the door opened and Kyle walked inside. Brooke turned around in her chair and rested
her eyes heavily on him.
you doing here?” she asked.
you might need me,” he replied. “Either
for emotional support or otherwise.”
herself to Kenny and led Kyle outside the office. “I don’t need you here, Kyle. You don’t have a stake in Moonshadows so it’s
at how detached she was acting toward him.
It was almost as if they were strangers.
“Are you okay?” he asked. “What’s
you. I just don’t need you here.”
there’s something else. What is
wanted to get into it yet. Not until she
was through with the sale of the resort.
But since he was there, she decided she might as well confront him about
you tell the police that you weren’t with Mackenzie the other night?” she
asked. “When I asked you about it, you
said that the two of you talked.”
considered that Brooke might put the two stories together. “I don’t know,” he
answered dismissively. “I guess I just
got confused. I didn’t see
Mackenzie. We just talked on the phone
his face and the way he avoided looking into her eyes. “No, I’m positive you told me that you saw
her. You said she wanted to discuss
family business. Why did you lie to the
police? What are you hiding, Kyle?”
you always think the worst of me?” he demanded, hoping to deflect the attention
from himself. “For the last time, I’m
not out to hurt you. I love you, Brooke. I wouldn’t have proposed if I didn’t. Now do you trust me or not?”
her head in frustration. “It’s not that
is,” Kyle argued.
he stormed down the hall to the elevators.
Brooke refrained from going after him because she knew that’s what he
wanted. She knew Kyle too well. He was
hiding something about the night Mackenzie fell.
had she returned to Kenny’s office and resumed business did the door fly open. They both turned just in time to see Renee
hovering in the doorway dressed in a champagne mink coat, her hands
planted firmly on her hips.
two of you mind telling me just what the hell is going on?” she demanded.
Kenny began as he rose from his chair.
selling my resort?” she asked. “Over my
hated feeling this way. She’d never
tried so hard or put up with so much to be with a man, yet here she was going
out of her way to make things work with Ethan.
She overlooked the way he clung to Brooke, and vice versa. She turned the other way when he put
everything before her. She even kept
quiet about Kyle’s involvement with Mason just so Brooke wouldn’t dump Kyle and
go straight back to Ethan. It’s like
she was a different person. Like she’d
abandoned everything she’d stood for her entire life. How had Ethan
Blackthorne turned her into such a weakling?
forgot the shoes I was wearing when they brought me in,” she said as he wheeled
her toward the exit in a wheelchair.
“No problem,”Ethan said. “I’ll go get them.”
and dashed down the corridor at the hospital.
He stopped outside a nurses station and did a double take when he
noticed a familiar woman in an orderly uniform.
It took a few seconds for him to realize who it was, but when he did, he
took a few steps toward her.
he asked in disbelief.
up and offered a vague smile. “Hello
Ethan. Nice to see you.”
Austen was the thirty-year old ex-nurse who Ethan had once been involved
with. She was tall with long blond hair
and had deep, penetrating blue eyes. She
looked exactly as she had when he’d last seen her four years ago.
you doing here?” he asked. “Are you out
institution,” she finished for him.
“Yes. I’m on a work release
program. I’m glad that I ran into
you. My therapist told me if I did and I
handled it well, it was a sign that I’m fully recovered.”
are you handling it?” he asked.
bigger this time. “Pretty well, I
think. Look, now that I’ve run into you,
I really do want to apologize for everything.
I’m sorry for my part in keeping you and Brooke apart. I’m sorry for getting so crazy about
pressed his lips together as he thought about the months they spent searching
for Michael when Will Thomerson had kidnapped him. They’d been certain it was Winter who took
him. As it turned out, however, it was
just a figment of her imagination.
glad that you got help,” he finally said.
“I should go. It was very nice
seeing you, Winter.”
gone, a nurse approached her and nudged her.
“Handsome fellow. Friend of
smiled. “Sort of,” she said, finding
herself fantasizing about how great it had been between them once. It seemed so long ago to her.
bell rang at Valley View Elementary and within moments, herds of children went
screaming outside to the playground.
Michael, clutching a Buzz Lightyear doll in one hand and a walkie talkie
in the other, raced to the merry-go-round and jumped on top of it.
Stars!” he screamed, swishing the doll around in the air as the merry-go-round
spun around and around.
watched him from a distance. Positioned
on the other side of the fence and shrouded by the brush, he waited until the
boy was alone. When he was sure that he
was, he lifted his walkie talkie and pushed the alert button. He watched as Michael quickly went to answer
said over the crackling speaker.
“Hello Michael,” the man said. “Guess
right. It's Adam. Meet me by
the fence so we can talk in person, okay?”
out,” Michael said before dashing across the playground and slipping between
the bush and the fence. “Hi Adam. Did you just get back from space?”
certainly did,” the man said. “Do you
still want to go for a ride with me?”
Michael shouted. “That would be
awesome! Wait till I tell all my
The man quickly
went to convince him otherwise. “You
can’t tell anyone,” he said. “It’s super
secret. Remember how no one can know who
Michael said. “Do I get to see your space
uniform when we go? I can wear mine from Halloween!"
he said. “Now run along and I’ll see you
“Okay! See you soon, Adam!”
Michael,” he said and watched the boy run off.
believe this,” Renee said as she paced back and forth in Kenny’s office. “How could this have happened in the few
months that I’ve been gone? Arsenic
poisoning? People dying and getting sick
at my resort?”
we’d be able to recover from the bad publicity, but with the lawsuit Jessica De
La Cruz filed against us…” Brooke began to explain. “We’re in over our heads.”
lawsuit alone is enough to bankrupt Moonshadows,” Kenny told her. “Even if you can cover the cost of a
settlement, there’s the cleanup of the water to think about. That’s at least another twenty million. Not to mention how difficult it’s going to
be to get anyone to stay there again after what’s happened. Trust me.
Selling is the best thing you and Brooke can do right now.”
Renee flopped down into a chair across the room. “I made a promise to your brother that I
would protect that place,” she said to Brooke.
“How could you let this happen?”
mean for this to happen,” she said. “I’m
so sorry, Renee. I really am.”
shrugged out of her fur and crossed her legs.
“So am I,” she said somberly. “So
this Loomis Enterprises. Can we trust
nodded. “They’re a new corporation based
out of New York, but they have good intentions.
More importantly, they have a lot of money and they’re willing to do
what it takes to fix these problems.”
placed a hand over her eyes and took a deep breath.
buy another resort,” Kenny said with the hopes of putting the discussion to
was the French Riviera?”
Riviera was fine, Kenny,” she snapped.
She met his
gaze. “T.T. is fine. He’s in New York doing some business. I flew back here as soon as I saw the notice
of sale in the Wall Street Journal.”
going on with the two of you?” Kenny asked, still jealous.
“When you left you weren’t sure how you felt about him.”
“How I feel
about T.T. is not the issue right now.
Thanks to this arsenic mess, my resort has been closed and I have
nowhere to live. My penthouse is
stay at the mansion,” Brooke suggested.
“I’m sure James would love to have you.”
the tension by handing them each a pen.
“Shall we get this over with?” he asked.
sighed with despair and hastily scribbled her name on the bottom line of the
suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Mason handed Senator Nordquist a glass of
straight bourbon and sat in the chair across from him.
sorry to hear about your family,” Mason said.
“It’s a shame your wife had to find out about your extracurricular activities and take off with your children like
that. It must have been so hard.”
not sure what I’m doing here,” Nordquist said.
“Haven’t I lost enough already?
And you can’t exactly blackmail me into doing you any more favors. All my secrets are out thanks to that dead
pimp’s murder investigation.”
you is not at all what I had in mind,” Mason said with a grin. “More of an I scratch your back, you scratch
mine kind of arrangement.”
haven’t heard me out yet,” Mason told him.
“See, I know your divorce is going to cost you a pretty penny. On top of that, your wife would be a fool not
to come after you for every penny of alimony and child support she can, so the
way I see it is you’re going to be strapped for the next…oh…eighteen years or
be easy, but I’ll deal. I still have my
senate seat. That’s one thing that
hasn’t been taken from me.”
Mason said. “Politicians have have
been forceably removed
after sex scandals like this one. But
still, your salary as a senator will maybe cover your legal expenses. I’m in a position to help you with
that.” He slid a briefcase of money
across the table and opened the clasps.
looked at the bundles of cash and found himself perspiring. “What do you want?” he asked.
much. Just another favor.”
grinned. “I recently came into some land
and learned that it sits on an oil field. The only problem is, I know the
Coastal Commission is going to give me grief over drilling. I need you to make it happen.”
granting a variance for a marina expansion is one thing, but drilling
permits? That’s a whole other ball game.
This is a very political time when it comes to environmental issues.”
more of this where it came from after my first well comes in,” Mason said and
gestured to the money.
Nordquist closed the briefcase and picked it up by the handle as he rose from
the sofa. “I’ll do what I can,” he said.
so,” Mason told him and showed him to the door. After he’d gone, he picked his cell up from
the credenza and made a phone call.
“It’s done,” he said. “In a few
weeks we’ll be bathing in oil.”
A knock at
the door alerted him to a visitor, so he ended the call and went to see who it
was. When he realized it was Kyle, he
opened the door and gestured for him to enter.
“You son of
a bitch,” Kyle said and punched him in the nose.
flying to the floor, his noise bleeding from the impact of the blow. “Jesus, Kyle.
What is your problem?”
hell have you been up to?” he demanded.
“Just what kind of game are you playing?”
you talking about?” He climbed to his
feet, holding a hand over his bleeding nose.
“I just saw
your friend Senator Nordquist leaving,” Kyle announced. “What did you need him for this time,
Mason? The marina project is dead so it
has to be something else. Just what the
hell is in all this for you?”
business with a lot of people,” Mason argued.
“A lot of
people on the Coastal Commission who recently got busted for solicitation of a
prostitute?” Kyle said. “You blackmailed
him into granting those variances.
Why? Why do you care so much?”
“I can’t do
a favor for a friend?” Mason asked.
“Christ, you were my brother-in-law once. Where I come from, family matters.”
his head. “No, there was something in it
for you. What was it?”
Kyle. I wasn’t doing it for me.”
“I hate to
tell you this, brother-in-law, but Mackenzie is on to you. She also think I’m involved somehow, which is
why I’m going to do everything I can to prove that whatever the hell you’re up
to, you acted alone.”
out of the room and down the hall to the elevator. When the doors opened and Chip Matthews
emerged, he suddenly got an idea.
Whatever Mason was involved in, Chip had to know about it. Mackenzie said he was blackmailing him with
something for sex. It was time to play
to see you,” Kyle said.
Kyle. Listen, I heard the resort was
going to be sold. I’m so sorry to hear
we won’t have the chance to finish the marina project. I’ve really enjoyed working with you.”
an eyebrow, leaning against the hall and doing his best to display his best
assets. “I am too. Listen, I’d love to get a drink. We barely know each other and we’ve been
working together for months. You free
smiled. “Yeah, I’d love to get a drink
dropped by Victor’s house where Nathan and Vaughan were gathered in the parlor
room. He declined a drink and updated
them on the day’s activities.
still hasn’t confessed to anything,” he told them. “He’s also refused an attorney.”
“How can he
refute the evidence?” Nathan inquired.
“The bloody dagger, the faxes, the housekeeper who saw him fleeing from
Deacon Edgewater’s house?”
he’s been framed,” James replied. “He
admits to being at Deacon Edgewater’s house but he hasn’t said why. He claims that he was alive when he left.”
strange that a photograph wasn’t left at Deacon’s house after his alleged
suicide,” Vaughan speculated. “The
killer always leaves a photograph. If
Keaton is the killer, why didn’t he leave one there?”
Deacon to the list of victims doesn’t mesh with Eddie’s theory that all of the
victims were involved in the original production of The Benefactor,” Victor
suggested. “Edgewater didn’t have any
connection to the first film.”
“And he wasn’t one of the people Jonas and I
covered up a mistake for,” Vaughan confessed. "At leat that I know
Edgewater is a total wildcard,” Nathan surmised. “If Keaton killed him and made it look like a
looked wordlessly at one another.
Denise?’ Nathan went on. “Do you really
think there’s a second killer?”
know she has more information on the stars of Sunset Studios than anybody
does,” James said. “She would have known
about all of your past mistakes. She has
access to the photographs from archives.
She told Stormy and Alex that
she felt betrayed by Jonas because he kept her out of the limelight. They even had a brief affair before he
“But a murderer?” Victor asked. “It’s preposterous.”
“So far she
hasn’t said a word,” James said. “She’s
in some kind of catatonic state after her blowup with Alex last night. I really think working down in that basement
for so many years has affected her mentally.
All we know is that Eddie found phone records showing phone calls
between her and Keaton before the murders started.”
Nathan said and finished his drink. “At
least this whole nightmare can be put behind us. Onward and onward, as they say.”
you,” Victor said. “You have to live
with the fact that your own son tried to kill you.”
“Who do you
think Keaton’s mother was, Nathan?”
thought back. “Honestly, I have no
idea. Keaton is thirty-three. I don’t seem to recall having much female
companionship in seventy-eight.”
right, you old so and so,” Victor said and took a swig of bourbon.
Nathan said. “Jonas had me working night
and day back then. But I suppose there
could be someone I’m not remembering. I
have been known to tie one on now and then.”
do you well to get a paternity test just to be sure,” Vaughan suggested.
entered and alerted Victor that he had a visitor. He excused himself from the others and made
his way out to the foyer. When he
arrived, he found himself surprised to see that it was Eddie.
he began. “I’m so happy to see
to come by and talk to you,” Eddie said.
“Are you busy?”
all,” Victor said and gestured into the parlor.
“I’m here with Nathan and the boys.
Would you like to come in for a drink?”
his head. “No, I can’t stay. I just wanted to tell you that Miranda and I
are getting married. We’re planning a
small ceremony for next week. I hope
that you can be there.”
face lit up and he laughed heartily, pulling his son into an embrace. “I’d love to,” he said, patting him firmly on
the back. “You don’t know how much this
means to me, son.”
“Good. Then I’ll put you on the guest list.”
left, Victor went after him. “You know, Edward, I’m very impressed with the
work you did to bring Keaton Hartley to justice. You’ve become a very talented
investigator. I’m very proud of
Eddie said. "I'll try to get Blake
to come. I can't promise anything, though. If
he knows you're there, he might not want to."
happy to see you,” Miranda said and squeezed Heather tightly. “You look wonderful. Your hair….I like it!”
with her shoulder-length locks.
“Yeah? I wasn’t sure if it was me
or not. They had a beautician come by
the institution once and a while and I decided to go for something
beautiful,” Stormy said.
in the drawing room of Jordan’s house in Beverly Hills. The butler brought a tray
of iced tea and cookies and left them to their reunion.
“So tell me
what’s going on around here,” Heather said and climbed onto the sofa. “I want to know everything.”
looked at Stormy and then back at Heather.
“Eddie and I are getting married,” she said, barely able to contain her
God!” Heather exclaimed in elation. “I’m
so happy for you. I can’t wait to see
Tiger. My father showed me some pictures
but I bet they don’t do her justice.”
light of my life,” Miranda confessed.
Immediately after saying it, she wished she hadn’t. “I’m sorry.
I didn’t mean to-“
okay,” Heather interrupted her. “You don’t
have to walk on eggshells around me. I
know I have a long way to go to be able to care for Violet. But it’s okay. I’m just happy that I’m here and I have the
chance to get to know her again.”
know you’ll be a wonderful mother,” Stormy said.
you?” Heather asked. “Any new women in
your life, Stormy?”
grinned. “Actually, yes. You’ll meet Jane at the wedding, if not
before. I know you’ll like her.”
“I’m sure I
“How did it
go when you saw Brett?” Stormy asked him.
“I can only imagine how hard it was to look him in the eyes after
reading your mother’s book. I just-“
some cookies,” Heather said and handed them each two enormous chocolate chip
cookies. “Miranda, when is the
to regroup after the sudden change in subjects.
It was obvious Heather was not ready to talk about Brett and
Suzanne. “Uh, December
said. “It’ll be at the house. I want it to be very small, but I’d love for
you to be a bridesmaid.”
Heather squealed. “I’d love to!”
Miranda said and fished her phone from her purse when it started ringing. “Jane is the other bridesmaid. Oh, and this is her calling. I better take it. I asked her to go out and look for dresses. Be right back.”
left the room, Stormy moved over to the sofa next to Heather. “You really look good,” he said.
“Thanks. It’s strange being home, but I love being
here with my father. I can’t imagine how
hard it’s been for him since Benji died, and since he lost the studio. I feel so awful for him. Now with Lola in the hospital….it’s a lot for
him to deal with.”
he’s missed you a lot.”
grew quiet and stood up from the sofa.
She couldn’t help but think about the glitter her father had tracked in
the night before after Lola’s attack. He
claimed to not have been there, but Alex had it all over her. Something didn’t sit well with her.
think people can ever get over something that horrible?” she asked.
you mean?” Stormy asked her.
child like that,” she explained. “He’s
carrying around so much guilt. I know
he’s just reaching for something to grasp on to.”
studied her face. “What are you afraid
of?" he asked.
a smile and shook her head. “Just
worried about him, that’s all. It’s
not nothing," Stormy said and went toward her.
"I know you, Heather. We were married,
remember? We dated since the ninth grade. What
Miranda raced back into the room in a panic, her hands outstretched in
agony. “Mint…green…taffeta,” she
groaned, then looked at Stormy. “That’s
what your girlfriend has chosen for the bridesmaids gowns.”
laughed and looked at Heather. “I hope
you like mint green.”
Marilee embraced warmly as they stood in Marilee’s office at Wells Inc.
good to see you,” Marilee gushed, standing back and looking her over. “You look fantastic. Obviously the south of France agreed with
you. How is T.T.? Where
“T.T. is in
New York,” Renee said with a clever smile.
“He has a few things to do at Titan and then he’ll be coming for a
“Just a visit?” Marilee prodded. “What happened on your trip? I want details.”
never kisses and tells,” Renee said and followed her to the sofa where there
was a bottle of chilled champagne and a tin of caviar awaiting them. “To tell you the truth, I’m glad he isn’t
here right now. This mess with
Moonshadows has me positively in utter fits of agony.”
terrible,” Marilee agreed. “Thankfully
David isn’t here to see this happen. He would be devastated. Have you heard anything? Frankly I’m surprised we haven’t. I know his
prognosis was not good when he went to the clinic.”
frowned. “What do you mean,
Marilee? Didn’t Brooke tell you?”
underwent surgery to have his tumor removed.
T.T. told me about it months ago.
He told me that he told
Kyle. Are you telling me Kyle did not tell Brooke that her own brother was
not going to die?”
didn’t kill himself?” Brett asked in dismay after Stormy told him the
news. They were standing in Brett’s
office at Sunset Studios reviewing the first set of edits on The Benefactor. “I don’t understand.”
shrugged. “The housekeeper saw Keaton
leaving the house minutes before she found his body,” he explained. “Keaton was arrested for the other
murders. It seems pretty clear that he
killed Edgewater and made it look like a suicide.”
up and walked across the room. “Why?”
know,” he answered. “Obviously we’re
dealing with a very derranged young man.”
thought about the torture he’d put himself through over the past few days. Thinking Deacon killed himself because he
made him fall off the wagon had been excruciating. It had made him question everything.
Stormy went on. “I can’t believe I’m
going to say this, but I’m sorry for doubting you and thinking you had anything
to do with it.” He extended his hand to
Brett looked at him warily for a few minutes before shaking his hand. “Thanks,” he said.
I went and saw Heather. She looks really
Brett said, still trying to wrap his head around the news. “Um, I was going to bring Violet over later
to see her.”
“Is that a
good idea?” Stormy asked.
shrugged. “I just don’t think she’s
ready to jump into anything with you.
She needs time to deal. I asked
her about the book and she totally changed the subject.”
minute,” Brett said with a frown. “You
just gone done telling me you were wrong about me. Now you’re still saying Heather is better off
walked to the door and paused before leaving.
“I said I was wrong about you having something to do with Deacon’s
suicide. I didn’t say anything about you
After he’d left,
Brett shook his head in aggravation.
Some things never changed, he realized.
Sitting down behind his desk, he breathed a sigh of relief.
a single-file line, the fleet of limousine drivers carried suitcases and
rolling trunks through the doors of the Blackthorne mansion. Behind them, Renee entered in a cream
pantsuit, her mink coat draped delicately over her shoulders. Her heels tapped over the tiled floors as she
approached James and Brooke in the foyer.
she said and kissed him once on each cheek.
home, Renee,” he replied, his hands alongside her shoulders. “You look wonderful.”
“I feel wonderful,” she said, removing a
pair of Gucci gloves. “With the
exception of having to sell Moonshadows, of course.”
sorry,” Brooke said again. She didn’t
know what else to say. She’d done the
best she could.
Brooke. Actually, I’d like to talk to
you for a minute if I can. In
means,” James said and gestured down the hall.
the two of you and see that your bags get up to you room.”
Brooke followed her down the hall to the family room. Once inside, she turned and looked nervously
on her. “Renee, I know what you’re going
to say,” she began.
don’t. I don’t want to talk about
Moonshadows. I want to talk about
he’d be upset if he were here.”
don’t you find it strange that no one has called with information on David’s
prognosis?” Renee asked. “He left here months ago to die in that clinic.”
called the clinic several times to ask for updates but they won’t tell me
anything.” She went to a tray of tea
service and poured them each a cup of chamomile. “I’ve got to follow David’s wishes. He didn’t want anyone to see him in the final
stages of his disease.”
didn’t go away to die,” Renee told her.
“He went away to have an experimental procedure.”
you talking about? They said his brain
tumor was inoperable.”
shook her head in confusion. “How do you
know this? Have you talked to
T.T. as much before he left, and T.T.
sent Brooke staggering back with surprise.
“Kyle knew that David was having this procedure? Since when?”
Renee shrugged. “Since before he and I left for Europe. Brooke, I’m sorry to say this, but you need
to ask yourself why Kyle would keep something like this from you.”
got to be a good reason,” Brooke said and paced across the room. “Maybe he didn’t want to get my hopes
up. That’s the only explanation. He….Kyle proposed to me. He wouldn’t have done that if he was lying
to me. “
reached a hand out to her. “I’m
sorry. What are you going to do?”
shook her head. “About Kyle? I don’t know.
But I need to see David. I need
to talk to him. I can’t believe he
hasn’t tried to contact us. He knew
there was a possibility Miranda’s baby could be his.”
he just wanted to wait until he had made a full recovery. That’s David’s excuse. But what’s Kyle’s? Brooke, you have to get to the bottom of
this. What kind of relationship are you
going to have with Kyle if you can’t trust him?”
that she was right. First she caught him
lying about being with Mackenzie when she fell, and now this. He knew how devastated she was when David had
left to die. How could he keep it from her?
successfully talked Jane down from the mint green taffeta, Miranda swung by the
mansion to check on Tiger. As she made
her way down an upstairs hallway, she paused outside Kelly’s bedroom. She could hear her and Leilani arguing
don’t want to see him, that’s why!” Kelly shrieked.
he’s your father,” Leilani pleaded. “He
just wants a chance to get to know you.”
is not my father. Until yesterday I
never even laid eyes on him. I’m
surprised that you even want to give him the time of day, mama. He left you pregnant and alone after you met
him on a military base.”
fault,” Leilani said. “I didn’t know I
was pregnant and he got stationed off the island.”
twenty-four years later he comes looking for me?” Kelly asked. “Why now?
What does he want?”
are so naďve,” Kelly snorted. “He knows
you work for the Blackthornes and he knows I had a baby with one of them. He’s after money. Wake up.”
Leilani tore out of the room. As soon as
she’d disappeared down the stairs, Miranda proceeded into the bedroom.
problems?” she asked.
rolled her eyes. “Eavesdropping? Isn’t that beneath even you?”
smiled and made her way around the cluttered bedroom. “You know, Kelly, you might not want to turn
your father away so quickly. It’s not
like you have a whole lot of people in your corner. You could use all the friends you can
need friends, and I don’t need my
father.” She rose from the bed. “As long as I have my son, that’s all I care
about. And I will have him. It’s only a
matter of time before I take R.J. and leave all of you behind.”
can’t,” Miranda said. “You don’t care
about R.J. You care about yourself and
what’s in it for you.”
her head, the beginnings of tears forming in her eyes. “I am so sick of hearing that from you
people,” she said. “You don’t know
anything about me. Maybe all I’ve ever
wanted was to feel like I belong.”
studied her carefully, surprised that she was showing what appeared to be
genuine emotion. In a rare moment of
self expression, Kelly seemed like a human being. She did have to wonder if maybe all her
lashing out had been as a result of her environment.
minute later she thought better of it. Kelly was
a dangerous. A parasite that must be dealt with
quickly and efficiently. And her father was just the
ticket to doing that.
wasn’t much Kyle hadn’t done to get ahead in life. He knew what the payoff would be so he kept
that in mind anytime he had to lie, scheme, or manipulate someone. He followed this same rule that afternoon
when he and Chip drank their second bottle of wine on the terrace of his house in Malibu.
going to miss working with you every day,” Kyle was saying. He knew Chip had information on Mason. Mackenzie hinted that he was blackmailing him
for sex. And as much of a ladies’ man as
Mason was, it had to be something big to get him to go along with it.
admit, I’m disappointed that the marina expansion won’t be seen to completion,”
he replied. “But then again, I guess
there are other jobs.”
frowned. “I’m sure once the new owners
get things organized, they’ll want to see the marina finished. Your firm would be the natural choice to do
the work since you started the project.”
shifted nervously in the patio chair.
“Right. Well, we can only
him carefully, Kyle reached over and refilled his wine glass. “You and Mason seemed to have hit it off,” he
said. “Does that just come from spending
so much time at Moonshadows?”
“We had a
lot in common,” Chip said with a grin.
He took a drink even though he was already feeling slightly
inebriated. Wine hit him like a ton of
very good looking guy,” Kyle said.
an eyebrow. “You noticed?”
noticed. No harm in looking, right?’
Chip took another drink. “This is
crazy,” he said. “I thought you were
this big macho ladies man. Are you
“Don’t get me
wrong, I love the ladies.” Kyle leaned
forward. “Just making an observation,
that’s all. So what do you know about
this Loomis Enterprises?’
Chip replied quickly.
“Yes.” He knew he couldn’t give anything up. His partnership with Mason depended on
maintaining their innocence.
there was something he wasn’t telling him.
Deciding to up the stakes, he lifted his wine glass to his lips and
purposefully let the red liquid spill onto his white linen shirt.
he shouted, quickly standing up and gesturing to the stain. “I can’t believe I did that.”
instinctively to his feet. “Sorry,” he
said, moving toward him. “That’s going to stain.”
unbuttoned his shirt and removed it from his tanned torso. He saw Chip staring at him and knew that he’d
successfully hooked him. “It’s
okay. My dry cleaner can get anything
closer to him, aroused by the proximity of their bodies. After a few moments of awkward silence and lingering
looks, he reached his hand out to Kyle’s chiseled abs.
instinctively wanted to politely tell him to step back, but he had to push the
limits enough to disarm him. He’d never
get the truth otherwise.
“You are so
fucking hot,” Chip said, letting his hands run up and down Kyle’s body. “I’ve always thought so. I would have made a move a long time ago but
I thought you were all into Brooke Taylor.”
and backed up a foot. “I am,” he
said. “I didn’t mean to give you the wrong
his head with embarrassment. “Oh. Right.
I’m sorry. God, what was I
thinking? I think I’ve had too much wine."
problem,” Kyle said as they sat back down.
drown his damaged ego, Chip finished his wine and filled his glass up
again. “Really, I’m just
embarrassed. Please don’t tell anyone
this happened. I respect your boundries,
really okay,” Kyle said and watched him drink.
“Let’s talk about something else.
Loomis Enterprises. Do you really
think they’re going to get the water cleaned up?”
quickly becoming intoxicated. He shook
his head dismissively. “They don’t care
about the resort,” he said. “They just
want the oil underneath of it.”
forward with alarm. “Oil?”
hiccupped. “Royce Jennings knew about it
but he died. No one knew about it but
him. The new owner just wants the oil.”
Mason fit into this?”
again, staring across the table at Kyle’s sculpted body. “Damn, you are fine.”
Kyle repeated. “How does Mason fit
back in his chair. “Mason
is Loomis Enterprises.”
his eyes with frustration. He couldn’t
believe how they’d been duped by Mason since the day he showed up in town.
police station, Nathan was led into an interrogation room where Keaton sat
silently. The guard told him to knock
when he was through, and promptly left them alone.
being edited,” Nathan said after a long initial period of silence. “You’ve really done some amazing work,
Keaton. It’s a shame that you won’t be
able to enjoy it. Prison tends to do
that to a person. I should know.”
up at him with his arms folded tightly across his chest. “I’m not going to prison because I haven’t
still denying that you killed Jack and Elana?” he asked. “And that you nearly killed Lola last
night? That it was you who’s been after
Victor and me? The evidence claims
them that someone is framing me,” Keaton insisted. “How could you think that I would try to hurt
you after everything I’ve said to you?
After I’ve worshiped you my entire life?”
Nathan paced the room. “You’ve
worshipped me because I’m your father,” he said. “You had this fantasy about what it would be
like when we met.”
whatever reason, you couldn’t tell me the truth. For months we worked together on the film and
yet you said nothing. Why?”
back in the chair and folded his arms again.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
that you were adopted. You came out here
to Los Angeles in search of your real parents.
Why didn’t you just tell me that I was your father instead of pretending
to be someone else? You were hurt, I get
it. But why take it out on the
film? Why kill everyone connected to The
you, I didn’t kill anybody.”
Denise is the one who told you who your father was. We know that she supplied you with the
information on your victims. Their
secrets. Lana, Natalie Davidson,
Cheri Montessori, Bianca Burnett.
Was killing the others your idea or hers?”
better start talking,” Nathan cautioned him.
“Because a jury is going to find you guilty. And you do know what the penalty is for
murder in this state, don’t you?”
young man refused to reply, he turned and left the room. Outside in the hall, he approached James and
denying he killed anyone,” he reported.
“But there’s something more.”
shrugged. “I don’t know. Just a feeling. Sometime inside tells me we’re wrong about
looked at Rodriguez and then at Nathan.
He couldn’t for the life of him think of anyone else making more sense
as the killer.
wandered up the stairs and paused outside of Benji’s bedroom. Since she’d learned that he’d died, she’d
searched for some way to make peace with it.
She hated that she wasn’t there when it happened. That she couldn’t help him overcome whatever
troubles he’d endured. But
she was fighting her own demons.
hand on the door knob, she slowly pushed the door open. To her surprise, everything in the room was
exactly as it had always been. The same
posters on the wall, the same shelf of CD’s and videogames next to the window,
a pair of discarded jeans and tennis shoes crumpled on the floor next to the
closet. A movie ticket stub even still
lay untouched in the corner.
you doing?” came a voice from behind.
she turned to see her father standing there.
“I was just…”
want you going into your brother’s room,” Jordan said.
don’t you think it’s time that you-“
never go in to that room,” he said, walking inside and closing the door between
Heather turned and went down the stairs.
She found Alex in the drawing room and went to pour herself a cup of
okay?” Alex asked her.
her head and turned toward her. “How has
my father been since Benji died?” she asked.
sighed. “Not very well, I’m afraid. He’s pushed people away. Myself included. I’m afraid that it’s just too painful for him
still. Why do you ask?”
looked away. “I’m just worried about
him. Do you know that he’s left Benji’s
room exactly the way he left it before he died?”
odd,” Alex said. “I know he blames
himself for what happened. Maybe keeping
his things close is his way of dealing with it.”
“He told me
that he was trying to make things right,” Heather said.
“What do you think he meant?”
shrugged. “I know he’s also troubled
about losing his studio to Sunset Studios.
He always talked about leaving it to Benji one day when he was
ready. When he was mature enough to
handle it. Maybe’s he’s trying to get it
back from James. Benji's gone, but maybe he thinks it would make some
kind of difference."
nodded, wondering if maybe her father was just grasping for anything that could
take away the pain of losing his son.
arrived at Valley View Elementary at three-thirty to pick Michael up for his
appointment with Dr. Podany. To her
surprise, Ethan pulled up in the parking lot next to her.
I was picking him up,” she said.
laughed and met between their cars. “I
guess it’s better than neither of us showing up,” Brooke said with a
smile. “How’s Mackenzie?”
well. She’s at home recuperating.”
nothing else about her fall?”
his head. “She claims she was alone, but
I tend to think she’s hiding something.
I have a feeling it was Mason that she was with and for whatever reason,
she’s protecting him.”
thought about the new information she’d learned about Kyle. On top of him lying to the police about being
with Mackenzie when she fell, he’d also kept information from her about
David. She wondered if there wasn’t more
he was keeping from her.
I ask you something?” she began. “Do you
Taylor, Mr. Blackthorne,” said a voice from behind. “I thought that was you.”
to find Michael’s teacher approaching.
Trustee,” Brooke said, deciding to wait until she had more information before
talking to Ethan about Kyle. “Hi. I hope we’re not late. Is Michael still inside? We’ve got an appointment at his psychologist
and I don’t want to miss it again.”
woman looked at her with a frown. “I’m
sorry. I came out because I thought
you’d forgotten something.”
at each other with a shrug. “No, just
here to pick up Michael.”
you already did,” said the teacher. “He
left a little while ago.”
immediately set in. Brooke took a step
back and felt her hand instinctively go to Ethan’s.
you mean he left?” she asked. “With
truck,” she said. “I assumed it was one
of the two of you.”
drive a truck,” Brooke snapped.
“Jesus, how could you just let him go off with a stranger?”
already on the phone calling the rest of the family. Surely one of them had gotten wires crossed
and picked Michael up. There
was obviously some
mistake. But when he
got through talking to James, Miranda and Stormy, he realized it was not the case.
God,” Brooke whispered, taking off across the school yard. “Michael!
Michael, where are you?”
sorry,” Miss Trustee said, her hands clasped tightly before her. “I really thought it was okay.”
after Brooke, taking her by the shoulders and leading her back to their
cars. “Get a hold of yourself,” he
said. “Michael has got to be around here
somewhere. He knows better than to get
in a strange car.”
staining her eyes, Brooke looked down at the ground and shrieked when she saw
the walkie talkie discarded by the curb.
“Oh my God,” she said and picked it up.
“This is Michael’s.”
it from her and then let his eyes travel to the ground. He spotted something else and frowned,
swooping down to pick it up. It was a
patch of some kind. A U.S. flag with the
NASA embled embroided below it.
Michael’s too,” Brooke said. “I think he
found it a while back and claimed that Adam gave it to him.”
couldn’t figure out why the patch looked so familiar to him. Something about it
struck a chord but he couldn’t quite place where.
a woman came running over from a car parked across the street. She was blond and was wearing hospital
scrubs. Ethan turned to her and
immediately grew suspicious.
Brooke began, staring at her in amazement.
“What are you doing here?”
everything,” Winter said. “I was
watching Michael from my car and I saw him get into the truck with a man.”
Ethan asked. “What man? And why were you here at my son’s school
away uncomfortably. “I was just thinking about the past, that’s all,” she
said. “I come here sometimes and watch
him because it reminds me of when things were different. Before I went off to
bitch, you took my son!” Brooke exclaimed.
“Where is he? Where did you take
tearing off across the street and inspecting Winter’s car. When she found it empty, she turned and raked
her fingers through her hair.
take him,” Winter said. “I swear to
to take him once before,” Brooke insisted when she drew near again. “This time you succeeded. You took my son to punish me, didn’t you?”
Winter exclaimed and looked at Ethan. “Ethan, I swear to you. “
at them both, each staring pleadingly at him.
He couldn’t help but be taken back four years to when Winter and Brooke
were battling over his affection, and Michael had been put snack dab in the
middle of it.
sped down the road in the old beat up truck, watching Michael playing with a
toy space ship in the seat next to him.
On the rusted floor lay a copy of The Great Gatsby.
He stopped at a light and began to recall images from the not so distant
“So what kind of work did you do for the
government, Emmett?” Ethan asked as he finished his plate of steak and
“How’s that?” he mumbled without
looking up from the book. Sophie turned
from the sink and flashed him a look.
“When you worked for the
government,” Ethan repeated, ignoring the warning he got from Sophie. “What did you do?”
“That’s classified,” he
replied. In one quick movement, he slid
the tablet between the pages of the encyclopedia and closed it. “Think you’re up to helping out outside
today, Dan? Winter’s coming and that
snow fence needs repaired.”
“Yeah, of course,” Ethan told
him. “I owe you so much for saving my
“Don’t need your first born or
anything,” Emmett said, rising from the table and grabbing his jacket from the
hook by the door. “Just need you to
hammer a few nails.”
Ethan grinned and flashed Sophie a
look after Emmett left the house. “Is
there something I should know?”
"What do you mean?” she asked.
“Come on,” he said. “Your father may be a little out there but
he’s obviously a very intelligent man.
And those NASA supplies we were loading into the bunker aren’t sold at
Sophie dried her hands on a towel
and shook her head. “You’d be wise not
to ask him again. Daddy doesn’t like to
talk about it.”
over losing his precious Sophie had been too much to bear. He couldn’t forget the day in the courthouse
when her killer had been set free…
“Five years!” a voice boomed from the back
of the courtroom. Heads turned and the
judge hit his gavel to call order. “For
killing my daughter he only gets five fucking years!?”
And just as Ethan turned, Emmett was
tearing across the courtroom and attacking him mercilessly. Pandemonium erupted and the bailiff sprung
into action, desperately trying to pull the man away from him.
“I took you in!” Emmett was
screaming, beating him with his fists.
“I saved you when you needed saving!”
Instinctively, Ethan shielded his
face from the man’s powerful blows. He
couldn’t argue with anything he was saying to him. He deserved to be attacked, and so much
“She was all I had,” Emmett said,
tears running down his face as two police officers drug him away. “She was all I had an’ you took her from me.”
Tears welled up in Emmett’s eyes as he sat
behind the wheel of the truck. It had
been months but the pain was still fresh in his mind. He’d come to Los Angeles for one thing and
one thing only. To make the man who’d
killed his daughter pay. And the best
way to do that was to take his son from him….
“I bet you have a lot of friends,” Emmett
said when he approached Michael at the library.
He knew his mother was nearby,
so he only had a few minutes.
Michael shrugged. “Some.
I had an imaginary friend but then my daddy came back. Dr. Podany says he was just a replacement for
Emmett smiled. “You’re very grown up,” he said. “What was your imaginary friend’s name?”
"What a coincidence. That’s my name.”
“Really?” Michael asked.
He nodded and noticed that the
little boy was reading a book about space travel. He reached into his pocket and removed his
patch of the U.S. flag with the NASA logo embroidered beneath it. “Here, take this.”
"Wow! Where’d you get it?”
“I worked for NASA for many
"Cool,” Michael said. “I’ve never met a real live space man
Emmett smiled and ruffled his
hair. “Well now you have. What do you say you and I be friends,
"I’d like that,” the boy said.
He disappeared around the corner
when he heard the boy’s mother coming.
“Who are you talking to, sweetheart?” she asked.
Brooke sighed. “Adam’s back?” she asked. "Great."
driving away from the stoplight, Emmett thought about his revenge finally being
exacted. Finally Ethan Blackthorne would
know what it was like to lose your own child.
To see their life slip silently away right in front of you.
is on for Michael. Brett pleads with Heather for
another chance. Eddie surprises Miranda. Alex
and Heather worry about Jordan's mental state. Documents
belonging to Jonas are found in the tunnels.
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