Home                Episodes                Cast                On Location                The Insider                 Forum       

 

 

 

Episode 157

 

Release Date:  November 16, 2011

 Read the episode Recap

 

Previously...

 

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.  

 


  

Episode 157

"Adam"

 

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.  

Jordan 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. 

* * *

"Death 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.”

Vaughan 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 plays.

“And I,” Victor continued.  “I only hasten his inevitable triumph.   Is that what he desires?  Is it?” 

Handing him 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?” 

Victor turned back to the fireplace.  “No.  Fate is in the hands of the reaper.” 

* * *

At 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.

“Another 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.

With 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.” 

“What are 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 unhinged. 

I could have been Alex Reynolds,” Denise whispered.  “Or Lola Lamont.”  She moved forward which prompted Alex to retreat.  “If only he’d let me.” 

“Who are 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.

Denise 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.” 

“Denise, what did you do?” Alex whispered in horror. 

* * *

Flashing 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. 

“I’m sorry 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.” 

“Are you okay?” James asked. 

Nathan shook his head as he watched the police car maneuver away from the building.  “None of this is okay.” 

Jordan Rydell

“You didn’t get a look at him?” Rodriguez asked Chad back at the Playhouse.

He shook 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.”  

“It doesn’t 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.” 

“I don’t understand why he would do something like this,” Jordan was saying.

“Apparently 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.” 

Jordan watched as the ambulance took off with Lola in the back.  “I need to get to the hospital.” 

“I’ll drive,” Rodriguez said and ushered him to his car.  “Mr. Rydell, where were you when your mother was attacked?” 

He looked at him with a frown.  “What difference does it make?” 

“Just 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.”

They were interrupted when Rodriguez got a phone call from police dispatch.  Afterwards, he hung up and raced to his car. 

“What is it?” Jordan asked. 

“An emergency call just came from your ex-wife’s apartment,” he said.

“What kind of emergency?” Jordan asked in a panic.

“I don’t know, but let’s go.” 

They got into the car and drove off across town, sirens and flashing lights cutting through the darkness of the night. 

\Alex Reynolds

Alex backed 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. 

“I could 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.” 

“So you killed them, didn’t you?” Alex shrieked, struggling to her feet in her nightgown.  “My God, you’re insane.  Elana and Jack…why?” 

Denise 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.” 

Desperate, Alex searched for something to defend herself with.  She picked up a silver candlestick from the table and held it above her head.

“Did you 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!” 

“I’m sorry,” Alex said and shook her head in terror. 

“Just like 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?” 

She closed her eyes to block out the images.  “Yes, I remember.  Of course I remember.”  

“But Jonas covered up that night too, didn’t he?” Denise asked.  “He made it all go away.”

“Stop it,” 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 think about. 

“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…” 

Terrified, 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 Denise. 

“Thank God,” Alex cried.  “Thank God you got here.”

“Are you okay?” Jordan asked.  “Are you hurt?”

She shook her head, turning just as Rodriguez led Denise out in handcuffs.  

“I’m fine,” 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. 

Blackthorne Mansion

The next 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. 

“What’s got into the two of you?” he asked, folding the newspaper onto the table. 

“Yeah, you 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…?” 

Miranda nodded.  “We got back together,” she said happily.

“That’s great news,” Brooke said and folded her napkin in her lap.  “I knew you’d find your way back to each other.” 

“There’s more,” Miranda went on.  “We’re getting married!” 

Shocked faces and cries of excitement erupted as everyone jumped up to congratulate them. 

“That’s wonderful,” James said, hugging Miranda tightly.  He went to Eddie.  “I couldn’t be happier.”

“We’re going to be brothers!” Stormy said and patted his best friend on the back. 

“How about that?” Eddie said.  

“How did it happen?” Ethan asked.

“Yeah, tell us everything,” Brooke said.

Miranda 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.” 

“I’m so 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?” 

“Next week,” he replied.

“Next week?” Stormy and Brooke exclaimed in unison.

“That’s awfully fast,” Ethan agreed. 

“We just 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 that’s okay.”  

“Absolutely,” 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.  

Miranda 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.”

“Not at all,” James said.  “Keaton and Denise are in jail, and Lola is recovering in the hospital.” 

“How is she?” Eddie inquired. 

“Still unconscious,” James replied.  “But she’s a fighter.”

“Have Denise and Keaton confessed to the murders?” Miranda asked.

“Not yet, 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.”

“Poor Jordan,” Miranda said.  “He’s already been through so much.  I just hope Lola makes it.” 

“Well,” James began in hopes of lightening the mood.  “Looks like we’ve got a wedding to plan.”  

“I’ll help, 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.”  

"First I have to pick Mackenzie up from the hospital," Ethan announced.

“And we need to go see Heather,” Stormy said to Miranda.

“Wait 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 weeks?” 

“A rough 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.” 

Jordan Rydell

Jordan left Lola’s hospital room and intercepted Alex and Heather who were waiting just outside in the hall. 

“Any change?” Alex asked. 

He shook his head.  “No.  She’s still unconscious.”  

“Hopefully she wakes up soon so she can tell us what happened,” Alex announced.

Jordan 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.” 

Alex shook her head and looked away. 

“What is it?” Heather asked her.  “You don’t think they were responsible?” 

Alex shrugged with uncertainty. 

“Denise practically admitted it to you,” Jordan rationalized.  

“Not in so many words,” she told him.  “I mean, what if the police are wrong?  What if the killer is still out there?” 

“The killers are in jail,” Jordan maintained.  “I’m going to go talk to Dr. Farraday.  I’ll see you both in a minute.” 

After he’d 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?” 

Alex hadn't revealed everything Denise had said to her.  To anyone.   “I don't know.  All I know is she seemed very sad.  I think she was jealous of me."

Heather reached out and brushed a few pieces of glitter from Alex’s face.  Alex touched the area and groaned in frustration. 

“Damn glitter,” she said.  “Once it gets on you, it never comes off.”  

Heather frowned.  “Where did it come from?” 

“The Playhouse.  It was all over the floor when I went to see Lola yesterday afternoon.” 

She frowned again.  “Was my father with you?” 

Alex shook her head.  “No, I went by myself.  Why?” 

“No reason,” Heather said, wondering why her father had glitter on his shoes when he came back to the house last night.

Miranda Blackthorne

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.  

To her 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. 

“Who are you?” she asked. 

The man turned and looked at her with a cocksure grin.  “I could ask you the same thing, little lady.” 

She recognized a slight drawl to his voice.   “Well, I live here and you don’t, so who the hell are you?”  

“Matthew 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.

“Miranda Blackthorne.  What are you doing here?”  

“I’m here to see Kelly,” he answered. 

Miranda 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.”

“You’ve got it wrong,” he said.  “I’m not a lawyer.  I’m Kelly’s daddy.”  

Miranda 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.”   

Jaw open, Miranda took a few steps forward.  You’re Kelly’s father?  The soldier Leilani met in Hawaii who knocked her up?”

“I see she’s mentioned me.” 

She folded 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.” 

“Not exactly what happened.  I got orders to transfer off the island.  Leilani never told me she was pregnant.”  

“Does Leilani know you’re here?” Miranda asked.  “Does Kelly?” 

“Kelly 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.”  

“How’d that go?”  

He shrugged.  “She started screaming bloody murder and ran up the stairs. Leilani’s up there trying to convince her to come down.” 

Sounds like Kelly,” Miranda said with a roll of her eyes.   

They were interrupted when Stormy entered the conservatory with his car keys in hand.  “There you are.  Are you ready or not?” 

Miranda gestured to Matthew.  “Stormy, this is Matthew Wheland.” 

“Nice to meet you,” Stormy said and shook his hand. 

“He’s Kelly’s father.” 

Stormy’s eyes widened.  “Seriously?  Wow.  Nice to meet you…I guess?” 

Miranda 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.” 

“That’d be great.  All I really want is a chance to get to know my daughter.” 

Miranda turned and led Stormy out into the hall.  “You’re lucky to have me around, big brother.”

“Why?” 

“Because your baby sister is about to solve all of your problems.”  

Brooke Taylor

In Kenny’s office by the marina, Brooke sat across from his desk waiting for him to finish sorting through piles of paperwork. 

“I thought someone from Loomis Enterprises would be here,” she said.  “Don’t they have to be in on the transfer of title?”  

Kenny shook 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.”  

They were interrupted when the door opened and Kyle walked inside.  Brooke turned around in her chair and rested her eyes heavily on him. 

“What are you doing here?” she asked. 

“I thought you might need me,” he replied.  “Either for emotional support or otherwise.” 

She excused 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 really unnecessary.” 

He frowned at how detached she was acting toward him.  It was almost as if they were strangers.  “Are you okay?” he asked.  “What’s going on?”  

“I told you.  I just don’t need you here.” 

“No, there’s something else.  What is it?”  

She hadn’t 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 her suspicions. 

“Why did 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.”

He hadn’t 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 is all.” 

She studied 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?” 

“What do 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?” 

She shook her head in frustration.  “It’s not that simple.”

“Yes it is,” Kyle argued. 

With that, 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. 

No sooner 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. 

“Would the two of you mind telling me just what the hell is going on?” she demanded. 

“Renee-“ Kenny began as he rose from his chair.  

“You’re selling my resort?” she asked.  “Over my dead body.”  

Mackenzie Stone

Mackenzie 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? 

“Oh, I 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.” 

He turned 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. 

“Winter?” he asked in disbelief. 

She looked up and offered a vague smile.  “Hello Ethan.  Nice to see you.” 

Winter 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.  

“What are you doing here?” he asked.  “Are you out of the….?”

“The mental 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.” 

“And how are you handling it?” he asked.  

She smiled, 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 Michael.”  

Ethan 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. 

“I’m just glad that you got help,” he finally said.  “I should go.  It was very nice seeing you, Winter.”  

“You too.” 

After he’d gone, a nurse approached her and nudged her.  “Handsome fellow.  Friend of yours?”  

Winter smiled.  “Sort of,” she said, finding herself fantasizing about how great it had been between them once.  It seemed so long ago to her. 

Michael Blackthorne

The lunch 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.  

“From the Stars!” he screamed, swishing the doll around in the air as the merry-go-round spun around and around.  

The man 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 it.  

“Hello?” Michael said over the crackling speaker.

“Hello Michael,” the man said.  “Guess who?”  

“Adam!” he shouted happily.

“That's right.  It's Adam.  Meet me by the fence so we can talk in person, okay?”  

“Over and 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?”  

“I most certainly did,” the man said.  “Do you still want to go for a ride with me?” 

“Yeah!” Michael shouted.  “That would be awesome!  Wait till I tell all my friends!” 

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 I am?”  

“Okay,” Michael said.  “Do I get to see your space uniform when we go?  I can wear mine from Halloween!"

“You bet,” he said.  “Now run along and I’ll see you very soon.” 

“Okay!  See you soon, Adam!” 

“Goodbye, Michael,” he said and watched the boy run off.  

Renee DeWitt

“I don’t 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 thought 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.”

“Renee, the 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.” 

Frustrated, 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?” 

“I didn’t mean for this to happen,” she said.  “I’m so sorry, Renee.  I really am.” 

Renee shrugged out of her fur and crossed her legs.  “So am I,” she said somberly.  “So this Loomis Enterprises.  Can we trust them?”  

Kenny 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.” 

Renee placed a hand over her eyes and took a deep breath. 

“You can buy another resort,” Kenny said with the hopes of putting the discussion to rest.  “How was the French Riviera?” 

“The French Riviera was fine, Kenny,” she snapped. 

“And T.T.?”

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.” 

“What’s 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 off-limits.” 

“You can stay at the mansion,” Brooke suggested.  “I’m sure James would love to have you.” 

Kenny broke the tension by handing them each a pen.  “Shall we get this over with?” he asked.

Renee sighed with despair and hastily scribbled her name on the bottom line of the sale documents. 

Mason Stone

In his suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Mason handed Senator Nordquist a glass of straight bourbon and sat in the chair across from him. 

“I was 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.” 

“I’m still 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.” 

“Blackmailing 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.”  

“Not interested.”  

“You 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 so.” 

“It won’t be easy, but I’ll deal.  I still have my senate seat.  That’s one thing that hasn’t been taken from me.” 

“Luckily,” 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. 

Nordquist looked at the bundles of cash and found himself perspiring.  “What do you want?” he asked. 

“Not much.  Just another favor.”

“Be more specific.” 

Mason 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.” 

“Look, 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.” 

“There’s more of this where it came from after my first well comes in,” Mason said and gestured to the money.

Sweating, 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.

“I thought 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. 

Mason went flying to the floor, his noise bleeding from the impact of the blow.  “Jesus, Kyle.  What is your problem?”

“What the hell have you been up to?” he demanded.  “Just what kind of game are you playing?”

“What are 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?”  

“I do 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.”

Kyle shook his head.  “No, there was something in it for you.  What was it?”

“I swear, 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.”  

He stormed 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 dirty. 

“Chip, good to see you,” Kyle said. 

“You too, 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.” 

Kyle raised 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 now?” 

Chip smiled.  “Yeah, I’d love to get a drink with you.”  

James Blackthorne

James 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.  

“Keaton 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 claims 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.”  

“It is 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?”  

“And adding 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 about."

“So Edgewater is a total wildcard,” Nathan surmised.  “If Keaton killed him and made it look like a suicide, why?” 

They all looked wordlessly at one another. 

“What about Denise?’ Nathan went on.  “Do you really think there’s a second killer?” 

“We all 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 died.” 

“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.”  

“Well,” Nathan said and finished his drink.  “At least this whole nightmare can be put behind us.  Onward and onward, as they say.” 

“Except for 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?”  James asked.  

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.”

“Yeah, right, you old so and so,” Victor said and took a swig of bourbon.  

“Honestly,” 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.”

“It might do you well to get a paternity test just to be sure,” Vaughan suggested.   

The maid 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. 

“Edward,” he began.  “I’m so happy to see you.” 

“I wanted to come by and talk to you,” Eddie said.  “Are you busy?”  

“Not at 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?” 

He shook 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.” 

Victor’s 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.”  

Before he 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 you.” 

“Thanks,” 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."  

Miranda Blackthorne

“I’m so happy to see you,” Miranda said and squeezed Heather tightly.  “You look wonderful.  Your hair….I like it!” 

She fussed 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 different.” 

“You look beautiful,” Stormy said. 

They were 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.”  

Miranda looked at Stormy and then back at Heather.  “Eddie and I are getting married,” she said, barely able to contain her excitement.

“Oh my 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.” 

“She’s the light of my life,” Miranda confessed.  Immediately after saying it, she wished she hadn’t.  “I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to-“

“It’s 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.” 

“Well, I know you’ll be a wonderful mother,” Stormy said.

“What about you?” Heather asked.  “Any new women in your life, Stormy?”

He grinned.  “Actually, yes.  You’ll meet Jane at the wedding, if not before.  I know you’ll like her.” 

“I’m sure I will.”  

“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-“

“Here, have some cookies,” Heather said and handed them each two enormous chocolate chip cookies.  “Miranda, when is the wedding?” 

She tried to regroup after the sudden change in subjects.  It was obvious Heather was not ready to talk about Brett and Suzanne.  “Uh, December tenth,” she said.  “It’ll be at the house.  I want it to be very small, but I’d love for you to be a bridesmaid.”  

“Really?” Heather squealed.  “I’d love to!” 

“Good,” 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.” 

When she 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.”    

“I know he’s missed you a lot.” 

Heather 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. 

“Do you think people can ever get over something that horrible?” she asked. 

“What do you mean?” Stormy asked her. 

“Losing a child like that,” she explained.  “He’s carrying around so much guilt.  I know he’s just reaching for something to grasp on to.”  

Stormy studied her face.  “What are you afraid of?" he asked.  

She attempted a smile and shook her head.  “Just worried about him, that’s all.  It’s nothing.” 

"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 is it?"  

Suddenly, 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.”  

Stormy laughed and looked at Heather.  “I hope you like mint green.” 

Renee DeWitt

Renee and Marilee embraced warmly as they stood in Marilee’s office at Wells Inc.  

“It’s so 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 is T.T.?”

“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 visit.” 

Just a visit?” Marilee prodded.  “What happened on your trip?  I want details.” 

“A lady 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.” 

“It’s 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.” 

Renee frowned.  “What do you mean, Marilee?  Didn’t Brooke tell you?” 

“Tell me what?”

“David 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?” 

Brett Armstrong

“Deacon 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.” 

Stormy 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.” 

Brett stood up and walked across the room.  Why?” 

“We don’t know,” he answered.  “Obviously we’re dealing with a very derranged young man.”

Brett 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. 

“Anyway,” 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 him. 

Surprised, Brett looked at him warily for a few minutes before shaking his hand.  “Thanks,” he said.  

“Miranda and I went and saw Heather.  She looks really good.” 

“Yeah,” 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.

“What do you mean?”

He 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.” 

“Wait a 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 without me?” 

Stormy 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 and Heather.” 

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. 

Blackthorne Mansion

Walking in 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.  

“Hello James,” she said and kissed him once on each cheek. 

“Welcome 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.” 

“I’m sorry,” Brooke said again.  She didn’t know what else to say.  She’d done the best she could.  

“It’s fine, Brooke.  Actually, I’d like to talk to you for a minute if I can.  In private.” 

“By all means,” James said and gestured down the hall.  “I’ll leave the two of you and see that your bags get up to you room.” 

Grudgingly, 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.

“No you don’t.  I don’t want to talk about Moonshadows.  I want to talk about David.”

“I know he’d be upset if he were here.” 

“Brooke, 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.”

“I’ve 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.” 

“David didn’t go away to die,” Renee told her.  “He went away to have an experimental procedure.” 

“What are you talking about?  They said his brain tumor was inoperable.” 

“Apparently it wasn’t.”  

Brooke shook her head in confusion.  “How do you know this?  Have you talked to David?” 

“He told T.T. as much before he left, and T.T. told Kyle.” 

The news 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.” 

“There’s 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. “ 

Renee reached a hand out to her.  “I’m sorry.  What are you going to do?” 

Brooke 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.”  

“I’m sure 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?” 

Brooke knew 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?

Kelly Blackthorne

After she 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 inside.  

“Because I don’t want to see him, that’s why!” Kelly shrieked. 

“But Kelly, he’s your father,” Leilani pleaded.  “He just wants a chance to get to know you.”  

“That man 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.” 

“That’s my fault,” Leilani said.  “I didn’t know I was pregnant and he got stationed off the island.”   

“So twenty-four years later he comes looking for me?” Kelly asked.  “Why now?  What does he want?” 

“To know his daughter.”

“God, you 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.” 

Frustrated, Leilani tore out of the room.  As soon as she’d disappeared down the stairs, Miranda proceeded into the bedroom.  

“Family problems?” she asked. 

Kelly rolled her eyes.  “Eavesdropping?  Isn’t that beneath even you?” 

Miranda 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 get.” 

“I don’t 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.” 

“You can’t,” Miranda said.  “You don’t care about R.J.  You care about yourself and what’s in it for you.” 

Kelly shook 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.”  

Miranda 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. 

A 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.  

Kyle Fenwick

There 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. 

“I’m really 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. 

“I must 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.” 

Kyle 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.”  

Chip shifted nervously in the patio chair.  “Right.  Well, we can only hope.” 

Studying 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 bricks. 

“He’s a very good looking guy,” Kyle said. 

Chip raised an eyebrow.  “You noticed?”

“Oh, I noticed.  No harm in looking, right?’

Laughing, Chip took another drink.  “This is crazy,” he said.  “I thought you were this big macho ladies man.  Are you saying 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?’ 

“Nothing,” Chip replied quickly.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”  He knew he couldn’t give anything up.  His partnership with Mason depended on maintaining their innocence.  

Kyle knew 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.

“Damnit,” he shouted, quickly standing up and gesturing to the stain.  “I can’t believe I did that.” 

Chip rose instinctively to his feet.  “Sorry,” he said, moving toward him. “That’s going to stain.”

Kyle 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 out.”  

Chip moved 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.  

Kyle 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.” 

Kyle smiled and backed up a foot.  “I am,” he said.  “I didn’t mean to give you the wrong impression.” 

Chip shook his head with embarrassment.  “Oh.  Right.  I’m sorry.  God, what was I thinking?  I think I’ve had too much wine."

“No problem,” Kyle said as they sat back down.  “I’m flattered.” 

Hoping to 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, Kyle.” 

“It’s 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?”

Chip was 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.” 

Kyle sat forward with alarm. “Oil?” 

Chip hiccupped.  “Royce Jennings knew about it but he died.  No one knew about it but him.  The new owner just wants the oil.” 

“How does Mason fit into this?” 

Chip drank again, staring across the table at Kyle’s sculpted body.  “Damn, you are fine.” 

“Chip!” Kyle repeated.  “How does Mason fit in?” 

He leaned back in his chair.  “Mason is Loomis Enterprises.”

Kyle closed his eyes with frustration.  He couldn’t believe how they’d been duped by Mason since the day he showed up in town. 

Nathan Blackthorne

At the 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.  

“The film’s 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.”  

He looked up at him with his arms folded tightly across his chest.  “I’m not going to prison because I haven’t done anything.”  

“You’re 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 otherwise, Keaton.” 

“I told 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?” 

Sighing, 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.”

“What?” 

“And for whatever reason, you couldn’t tell me the truth.  For months we worked together on the film and yet you said nothing.  Why?” 

Keaton sat back in the chair and folded his arms again.  “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” 

“We know 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 Benefactor?” 

“I told you, I didn’t kill anybody.”

“We know 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?” 

Keaton remained silent.

“You’d 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?” 

When the young man refused to reply, he turned and left the room.  Outside in the hall, he approached James and Detective Rodriguez. 

“He’s still denying he killed anyone,” he reported.  “But there’s something more.” 

“What?” James asked. 

He shrugged.  “I don’t know.  Just a feeling.  Sometime inside tells me we’re wrong about this.” 

James 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. 

Heather Armstrong

Heather 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.  

Placing a 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.  

“What are you doing?” came a voice from behind.  

Startled, she turned to see her father standing there.  “I was just…”

“I don’t want you going into your brother’s room,” Jordan said.

“But Dad, don’t you think it’s time that you-“

“I said never go in to that room,” he said, walking inside and closing the door between them. 

Distraught, Heather turned and went down the stairs.  She found Alex in the drawing room and went to pour herself a cup of tea. 

“Are you okay?” Alex asked her. 

She shook her head and turned toward her.  “How has my father been since Benji died?” she asked. 

Alex 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?”  

Heather 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?” 

“That’s 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?” 

Alex 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." 

Heather nodded, wondering if maybe her father was just grasping for anything that could take away the pain of losing his son. 

Brooke Taylor

Brooke 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 thought I was picking him up,” she said. 

“I thought I was.”

They both 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?”  

“She’s well.  She’s at home recuperating.”  

“Still nothing else about her fall?”

He shook 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.” 

Brooke 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. 

“Ethan, can I ask you something?” she began.  “Do you think Kyle-“

“Miss Taylor, Mr. Blackthorne,” said a voice from behind.  “I thought that was you.”  

They turned to find Michael’s teacher approaching. 

“Miss 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.” 

The young woman looked at her with a frown.  “I’m sorry.  I came out because I thought you’d forgotten something.”

They looked at each other with a shrug.  “No, just here to pick up Michael.” 

“I thought you already did,” said the teacher.  “He left a little while ago.” 

Panic immediately set in.  Brooke took a step back and felt her hand instinctively go to Ethan’s.   

“What do you mean he left?” she asked.  “With who?"  

“A man in a truck,” she said.  “I assumed it was one of the two of you.” 

“We don’t drive a truck,” Brooke snapped.  “Jesus, how could you just let him go off with a stranger?” 

Ethan was 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. 

“Oh my God,” Brooke whispered, taking off across the school yard.  “Michael!  Michael, where are you?”

“I’m so sorry,” Miss Trustee said, her hands clasped tightly before her.  “I really thought it was okay.”  

Ethan ran 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.”  

Tears 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.”  

Ethan took 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. 

“That’s Michael’s too,” Brooke said.  “I think he found it a while back and claimed that Adam gave it to him.” 

Ethan 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. 

Just then, 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.

“Winter.” 

“What the…” Brooke began, staring at her in amazement.  “What are you doing here?” 

“I saw everything,” Winter said.  “I was watching Michael from my car and I saw him get into the truck with a man.”

“Man?” Ethan asked.  “What man?  And why were you here at my son’s school watching him?”  

She looked 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 the institution.” 

“You crazy bitch, you took my son!” Brooke exclaimed.  “Where is he?  Where did you take him?” 

She went tearing off across the street and inspecting Winter’s car.  When she found it empty, she turned and raked her fingers through her hair.

“I didn’t take him,” Winter said.  “I swear to you.” 

“You tried 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?” 

“No!” Winter exclaimed and looked at Ethan. “Ethan, I swear to you. “

He looked 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. 

Michael Blackthorne

The man 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 past…

“So what kind of work did you do for the government, Emmett?” Ethan asked as he finished his plate of steak and eggs. 

“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 life.”

“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 Walgreens, so-“

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.” 

The pain 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 more. 

“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 him.” 

Emmett smiled.  “You’re very grown up,” he said.  “What was your imaginary friend’s name?”

“Adam.” 

"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 years.” 

"Cool,” Michael said.  “I’ve never met a real live space man before.” 

Emmett smiled and ruffled his hair.  “Well now you have.  What do you say you and I be friends, Michael?” 

"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.

“Adam.” 

Brooke sighed.  “Adam’s back?” she asked.  "Great."

Finally 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.


Next time....

The search 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.  

 

 

Read Episode 158

 Visit our Forum to Leave your Comments and Feedback

Read about this episode in this week's BLOG

 

 


 Home    Episodes    Cast    On Location    The Insider    Forum  

 Contact the webmaster: mailto:admin@theblackthornes.com

 Copyright(c) 2005-2018 Sunset Studios. All rights resrved