James questioned Alex about her
connection to his father. Alex recalled an invitation
from Deacon Edgewater to come to his house so they could
discuss a movie role. Everyone questioned what
Deacon Edgewater had to do with the other murders. Denise
broke into Alex's apartment but Jordan arrived in time
to save her. Lola was taken to the hospital in critical
condition. After confronting Keaton, Nathan began
to question whether he was the killer. Heather
grew concerned over her father when she realized he'd
kept Benji's bedroom as-is in a makeshift shrine. Alex
indicated that Jordan was distraught over losing his
studio to Sunset Studios. Miranda and Eddie announced
their engagement and their nuptials that would take
place in less than a week. Miranda met Kelly's
father, who wanted a chance to get to know his daughter.
Kelly, meanwhile, refused to have anything to do with
him. Kyle got Chip to reveal Mason's plans, then
went to Mason and threatened him. Mason bribed Senator
Nordquist into granting the oil drilling permits at
Moonshadows. Brooke blasted Kyle about his lies regarding
the night Mackenzie fell. Renee told Brooke that
T.T. told Kyle that David was not dying, but asked why
Kyle had not told her. Renee returned from France
and was devastated about the sale of Moonshadows. The
man claiming to be "Adam" approached
Michael at school, then later took him before Brooke
and Ethan arrived. With Winter Austen newly released
from the psych ward, Brooke became convinced she had
taken him. "Adam" was revealed to be
Emmett Lawson, the father of the woman Ethan married
while he had amensia, and accidentally killed.
Spread out across the floor in
the game room at the Blackthorne mansion were bridal magazines, linen samples,
photos of floral arrangements, and an empty pizza box. Knelt down amidst the middle of it all was
Miranda, pulling at her hair and screaming out in frustration.
was it to try planning a wedding in a week?”
she screeched and frantically grabbed for a glass of wine that rested on the
table. “Am I crazy? It’s impossible! There’s too much to decide! Why didn’t I get that wedding planner like
always push it back,” Stormy told her from across the room. He and Eddie were engaged in a game of pool,
eating the last of the pizza while Miranda, Jane and Heather tried piecing details
of the wedding together on the floor.
can’t!” Miranda exclaimed. “We’ve got
to do this it weekend or…”
Jane asked and flashed Heather and Stormy a look of concern. “Miranda, you don’t have to do it this weekend.
The two of you just got
engaged. Maybe you should step back and
enjoy it for a while.”
what I tried telling her,” Eddie
mused from across the room. “I got an
elbow in the gut and a death stare so I decided to keep my mouth shut from now
to her feet and dropped her hands in resignation. “You’re the one who was so eager to give
Tiger a family. I’d be fine if we just
went down to the courthouse and tied the knot in front of a judge.”
dare,” Heather said and flashed her a photo in a magazine. “Look at this dress. If you don’t walk down the aisle in this, I
will kill you. Besides, you eloped for your first
wedding. You have to do it right this
laughed. “I’d like to think we already
have a leg up. I mean, look who she
married the first time.”
Miranda snapped, not wanting to bring up Brett’s name around Heather. It still seemed like a sore subject with
“Sorry. I didn’t mean-“
you guys,” Heather insisted. “You don’t
have to walk on eggshells around me.
Anyway, I’m counting on being a bridesmaid.”
“Are you sure you want to be a bridesmaid?”
Miranda asked and then flashed Jane an incredulous look. “You still haven’t seen the dresses someone picked out.”
and threw her discarded pizza crust at her.
“The dresses are fine,” she said.
“You’re just stressed.”
relax, babe,” Eddie said and shoved a fistful of pretzels in his mouth. “It’s totally cool. I mean, whatever. As long as we get to walk down the aisle
together, I’m good.”
rolled her eyes and turned to Jane and Heather and whispered. “Typical.”
Kelly walked into the room and stopped when she saw the five of them
gathered. Slowly, she tried backing out
before they saw her.
Miranda said. She’d made a decision to
try to be civil with her. After the talk
they had about her father showing up in town, she’d started to realize that
Kelly just felt excluded. Maybe it was
time to change that. “You can join us
if you want.”
at her with a frown and flashed Stormy a look of disapproval. The others grew silent and watched them like
deer’s caught in headlights.
thanks!” Kelly scoffed and tossed her black hair over her shoulders. “The last thing I want to do is hang out with
you losers.” She directed her attention to Heather. “Oh, I see the psycho’s back. Great.
Keep her away from my son.”
moved away from the pool table. “Kelly,
why don’t you learn some manners?” he snapped.
“Apologize to Heather. Now.”
her eyes and folded her arms tightly over her chest. “What-e-ver.”
up from the floor and wiped her hands on her jeans. “Look, we’re just trying to be nice. If you don’t want to hang out with us,
fine. But don’t attack us just because
you’re feeling excluded.”
laughed. “Oh my God, you are so
hilarious. Like I’d ever feel excluded
from the bunch of you. Like I said, I’ve
got my son and that’s all I need.”
“No, I have R.J.” Stormy moved closer to her
still. “You’re here because I let you stay here. Don’t even think
about abusing that and taking off with him or I swear to God I’ll track you
down and make you sorry.”
scared,” Kelly said and flounced out of the room.
“Sorry,” Stormy said to
Heather. “I just wish she’d leave
already. I know it’s important for R.J.
to have his mother in his life, but I don’t think I can take much more of her.”
very unhappy,” Heather noted. “Maybe
it’s not her fault.”
to agree with Heather. Maybe her father
never being around had an effect on Kelly.
Maybe getting them together to talk was the best thing for everyone.
front door opened, Brooke went barreling inside the foyer with Ethan fast on
her heels. James and Renee emerged from
the parlor room and could immediately see the worry on their faces.
okay?” James asked. “Brooke, what is
she ran to him. “Is Michael here?” she
asked. “Did you pick him up from
Michael isn’t here,” he said and looked at Leilani as she came down the
stairs. “Leilani? Did you pick Michael up at school?”
it?” Renee asked.
gone,” she said, tears staining her cheeks.
“We went to pick him up at school and his teacher said he got into a
strange car. We’ve been looking
everywhere for him!”
down,” James said and placed a hand over hers.
“There’s got to be an explanation.”
He looked at Ethan in hopes of detecting a look or a gesture that would
indicate Brooke was overreacting.
“Yeah, that witch took him!” Brooke cried.
looked at her in confusion.
Austen’s out of the mental hospital,” Ethan explained. “I ran into her at the hospital and then she
was outside of Michael’s school. She
claims she was just watching him.”
him,” Brooke said with certainty. “She’s
always been obsessed with you, Ethan.
She couldn’t handle it when I got pregnant with Michael. She tried
splitting us up. Now she’s taken Michael
she now?” James asked.
“She had a
double shift at the hospital,” Ethan said.
call some of Michael’s friends and see if they’ve seen him,” Brooke said and
headed to the stairs. “The school directory
is up in my room.”
you,” Renee said and followed her.
they’d gone, James looked at Ethan with concern. “Did you call the police?” he asked.
replied. “They’ve got units out looking
for him now. But James, I don’t think
Winter did this. It just doesn’t make
sense that she would kidnap Michael after all this time. I saw
her. She seemed relatively normal.”
would have taken him?”
his head. “I don’t know.”
involved with Moonshadows, maybe? Maybe
Jessica De La Cruz? She could be lashing
out in retaliation over her father’s death.”
unlikely,” Ethan said, holding the walkie talkie that Michael had dropped. From his pocket he withdrew the NASA patch
that Brooke claimed Michael had found some time ago.
frowned. “You know who it is, don’t you?”
stared at the items in deep concentration.
“It’s just a hunch,” he said.
“Winter claimed Michael got into a beat up pick-up truck. He dropped these on the ground before he
it?” James asked and studied the patch. “Ethan, what does this patch have to do
with Michael’s disappearance?”
fingers through his hair, he turned and paced the foyer. “After the earthquake, when that man found me
and brought me to New York,
I noticed things about him. Things he
didn’t talk about.”
these NASA supplies. He had crates full
of them down in that bunker. Food
and supplies. At first I
thought he was crazy, but then Sophie told me he worked for the government his
whole life and then went a little berserk when his wife died. All Michael’s been talking about lately is
Adam and how he’s from outer space.”
looked at the patch in deep concentration.
“You should have seen him that day at the courthouse after Sophie
died. The pain in his eyes. He looked at me like I’d taken the last thing
that meant anything to him. I guess in a
way I did.”
quickly toward him. “And you think this
Emmett Lawson guy took Michael?”
better way to get back at me for killing his daughter? Take my son and-“
tell this to the police?”
his head. “No, it
didn't start to make sense until just now.. I’m going to
call them. God only knows how we’ll even
go about finding him.”
As he got
on the phone, Brooke and Renee came back down the stairs. “No one’s seen him,” Brooke said in a fit of
tears. “He’s gone and I don’t know if
I’ll ever get him back.”
that,” Renee said. “Michael was
kidnapped before and you got him back.
You will again.”
Brooke in his arms and held her tightly.
He hated that history was repeating itself. When Will Thomerson and Joel Armitage
kidnapped Michael, it took months to get him back. With as unstable as Emmett Lawson sounded, he
wasn’t sure they ever would this time.
got off the phone, he walked up to Brooke.
“I need to go talk to Winter.”
Brooke exclaimed. “Why? She isn’t going to tell you what she did with
him! She’s insane! Just like she’s always been!”
“I need to
find out if she remembers anything else about the truck that Michael got into,”
Ethan said. “It could be the only lead
he turned and darted out of the house.
Brooke rested her head on James’s chest as she sobbed silently.
"You’re Loomis Enterprises?” Kyle
exclaimed as he bulldozed his way inside Mason’s suite at the Beverly Hills
backed up, staring at him with wide eyes.
“What are you talking about?”
Chip gave you up. Funny how he likes to
talk when he gets a few drinks in him and tries to score with his former
over the news that Chip had told Kyle about their plans, Mason turned and tried
to think of a way to wrangle his way out of the mess. “Chip obviously doesn’t know what he’s
talking about. That or he was just trying to get you into bed. He probably would have said anything if he meant he could get his
mouth on your-“
weasel your way out of this,” Kyle told him.
“You orchestrated this whole thing.
All the setbacks with the marina expansion, the arsenic, the convenient
way a buyer popped up the minute Brooke decided to sell.”
have anything to do with the arsenic,” Mason lied. He realized he was not going to be able to
lie his way out of everything else, but he wouldn’t go down for murder. There was no proof that he’d poisoned the
water, and as long as he stuck to his guns, it was Chip’s word against
his. “No one can prove that I did.”
“I will prove it. The only thing I can’t figure out is how you
came up with enough capital to buy Moonshadows.
Granted, you got it for a steal thanks to the publicity problems your
little stunts caused, but that’s a lot of money even for you. So all I can come up with is that you have a
“Chip was my partner.”
laughed and shook his head. “Chip was
the sucker you conned into helping you with your plan. I’m sure you would have found a way to cut
him out when and if you finally struck oil.
He’s gone, by the way. I told him
if he left town and never came back I wouldn’t put the police on to him. The ironic thing is you let another man put
his hands on you for money. Then he went
and sold you out anyway.”
Mason backed up and turned when he heard his cell phone ringing.
Kyle cautioned him. “We’re not through
here. You’re going to jail, Mason. You defrauded Brooke, you defrauded Renee,
and what Chip Matthews did to you will look like a walk in the park compared to
what some of those guys in prison will do to you. Believe me.
Mason went to his phone and hastily answered.
He turned away from Kyle and ran his fingers through his hair as he
listened to the caller.
the voice said.
Mason asked. “Where?”
penthouse. Get up here. Now.”
hard, he hung up the phone and turned back to Kyle.
his head. “No. Look, Kyle.
I can explain everything. None of
this was my idea. You’re right. I have a
the FBI will have plenty of questions for you when they get here. You can tell them all about your partner
wouldn’t I?” Kyle asked. The truth was,
he hadn’t. Yet. First he had to get Mason to tell Brooke that
he wasn’t involved. It was his only way
of making things right with her.
Mason grabbed a candlestick from the credenza and rushed toward him, striking
him on the back of the head. Kyle
toppled to the ground unconscious.
Without wasting a second, Mason grabbed his keys and fled the room.
Deacon’s suicide now being declared a murder thanks to the housekeeper’s
account of seeing Keaton fleeing the scene, Nathan decided to do some of his
own investigation. He, Vaughn and Victor
limousine to the Edgewater estate and bribed the police officer who was
guarding the premises into letting them enter.
always been a big fan of yours, Mr. Distefano,” he said to Victor after getting
him to sign an autograph. “I loved you
my good man,” Victor said graciously while walking inside after Nathan and
Vaughan. “We’ll just be a moment. Sentimental reasons.”
course,” the officer said and allowed them to pass.
gothic Hollywood Hills mansion, stillness descended over the expansive lower
level. Nathan led them into a dark and
dusty parlor room and switched on a Tiffany lamp that rested on the ebony
we looking for?” Victor asked, running a finger along the dark wood
paneling where a crop of photographs were clustered together.
that makes any of this make sense,” Nathan told him. “The
housekeeper said that Keaton was seen fleeing this house just before finding
Deacon’s body. They’re prepared to add
him to the list of victims. But they
haven’t explained why a photograph wasn’t found.”
“It is peculiar,” Vaughan agreed. “With each murder, or attempted murder in Lola’s case, the killer left a photograph of
someone from their past. Lana, Bianca
Burnett, Cheri Montessori, Natalie Davidson…”
“But no one after Deacon’s alleged murder,”
Nathan said in summation.
something foul in the state of Denmark,”
Victor said, summoning an Elizabethan accent.
Nathan said and rifled through the contents of the desk. “So what, pray, was Keaton doing here?”
was working on a deal to direct a film for Double Strike?” Vaughan suggested. “It makes sense. Shooting for The Benefactor was nearly over.
Could it be something as simple as that?”
“It could,” said Nathan, moving across the
room and looking on at the crime scene tape sectioning off the sofa where
Deacon’s body had been found. He opened
another drawer and held up a photograph of Alex. “But I doubt it.”
lord,” Victor said and took the photo from him.
“Could this be the photograph in question? The one we thought Keaton failed to leave?”
shook his head. “No. In a
drawer? He would have left it in
plain sight. No, this is not the same. There’s some connection between Deacon and
“He did give her her start in the business,”
suggested. “When she first came to Hollywood, that is. Before I began representing her.”
cell phone ringing interrupted his concentration. It was Detective Rodriguez calling. After a brief conversation, he hung up and
looked at the other two men. “Keaton
has an alibi for the night of Lola’s attack,” he reported. “The police checked it out. He was at the Urgent Care clinic on Santa Monica getting
treated for an STD.”
earth?” Victor asked.
he was telling the truth about the Vulcan girl at Questicon. The little minx gave him the clap.”
“So if he didn’t try to kill Lola, why was there a
knife in his car?” Vaughan
someone is trying to frame him,”
Nathan suggested. “Denise? We thought they were in on it together, but
maybe Denise was acting alone all along and making it look like Keaton was the
looked at his cohorts with squinted eyes.
“Gentlemen, all that glitters is not
opened the door at the Blackthorne mansion and moved to the side as Jordan and Alex
Alex, what are you doing here?” James asked when he came out of his study.
about Michael and wanted to see if there was anything we could do,” Jordan
placed a hand on his shoulder and nodded with appreciation. “Thank you, but there’s nothing any of us can
do right now. Ethan is with the police
and Brooke is up in her room. She’s
frantic, of course. How is Lola? Any change?”
his head. “She still hasn’t woken up. The doctors say her injuries caused her body
to shut down. There’s no telling when or
if she’ll come out of it.”
what about R.J. and Tiger?” Alex asked.
“What are you doing to keep them safe?”
her hands on her hips. “I mean what if
whoever took Michael comes for them too?
It could be somebody with a grudge against the Blackthornes. If that’s the case, any of the children could
be in jeopardy.”
grandchildren are fine, Alex,” James reassured her. “Ethan has a handle on this situation. I don’t think this person means any harm to
the rest of us.”
much comfort,” she said. “Is Heather
game room,” James said.
departed, he looked at Jordan
and decided it was the best time as any to bring up a sore subject.
Rydell Productions,” he began. “I want
you to know that merging it with Sunset Studios was purely business. I hope there are no hard feelings.”
him with a frown. “It’s never been just about business between
us, James,” he said. “It’s always been
about family. About your son and my
daughter getting married, about my relationship with Alex, about everything but business.”
know you’ve had a difficult year,” James went on. “I’d hoped that not having the studio to
worry about would have helped you in some way.”
“Helped me?” Jordan asked, growing irate. “You took the one thing I had left. You took the company that I built from the
ground up and took it from me like you took everything.”
asked. “What have I taken from
your family,” Jordan
went on. “Jonas, Nathan. You think that nothing you do affects anyone
else. You think you’re invincible. It wasn’t enough that you stole ideas from
me, stole directors and stars, upstaged my films at every turn, but you had to
go ahead and take it all from me.”
he turned and walked back outside. James
stood behind, perplexed by the gravity of the contempt in his voice.
can I speak to you for a minute?” Alex asked after saying a brief hello to
Stormy and Miranda. “It’s
course,” Heather said and followed her out into the hall. “Is everything okay? Is it about Violet?”
her head. “I'm
concerned about your father."
appeared relieved. "Really? Because
I am too." She couldn’t get the recent events
out of her mind. The glitter on Jordan’s
shoes from the theatre when he specifically said he hadn’t been there, his
insistance that no one go into Benji’s room, and Alex’s claim that she thought he
was trying to bring down Sunset Studios.
She considered confiding in Alex about her suspicions. Could her father really be a cold blooded
killer? That would mean he had tried to
kill his own mother. But the rest of
their family had self destructed. Was
it a stretch to believe he would too?
concerned because I can see your eagerness to
push the issue,” Alex went on.
“Anytime I tried to talk to him about his feelings he pushed me
away. I just don’t want that to happen
to you. You’re very important to
should just overlook the pain he’s obviously in?”
up to us when he’s ready,” Alex insisted.
looked at her in concern. “He’s hurting
inside, Alex. I can see that.”
dealing with things in his own way. Let
him do that. Don’t force him to talk
about things he’s trying to work out on his own.”
realized it wasn’t the time to tell her about her suspicions. But she still felt like something had changed
in her father. He just wasn’t the man he
was before she went away.
Ethan stepped off the elevator at the
hospital and walked to the nurses’ station while scouting around for
Winter. When she emerged from a
patient’s room, he quickly darted toward her.
she asked. “What are you doing
here? Has there been any word about
He took her
by the arm and led her off to the side where they could talk in private. “Listen to me, Winter. If I ever meant anything to you in the past,
you’ll level with me. Did you take
exclaimed. “Ethan, I swear to you I
didn’t. I know how crazy it must have
seemed with me being at the school today, but it really was just kind of a….it
sounds stupid….I was saying goodbye. Not
just to Michael but to that whole life and all the mistakes I made. I don’t expect you to understand.”
me about the truck you saw Michael get in.”
her head helplessly. “I don’t remember,”
she said. “It happened so fast. All I saw was the truck and a man reaching
over across the seats opening the passenger door. Then Michael got in and the man drove
see a license plate?”
about the man?” he pressed. “Did he have
so,” Winter told him. “I’m not
sure. I’m sorry. I wish I could be more help.”
frustration, Ethan turned just as his cell phone rang. It was the police detective assigned to
Blackhthorne, we did a check on the name you gave us. Emmett Lawson owns a 1983 Chevy pickup. We got his plate numbers from the DMV and we’ve
got patrols out looking for him right now.
If he’s in the area, we’ll find him.”
breathed a small sigh of relief. It was
better than nothing, he decided. But
there was no telling what Emmett had planned for Michael. He could be doing anything to him.
knows everything,” Mason said as he paced back and forth in the penthouse of
the Beverly Hills Hotel. His partner sat
on the sofa eating a plate of chocolate covered strawberries. “He called the FBI. I could be charged with fraud, murder, and
God knows what else. This was supposed
to be easy. You said it would be cut and
dry. Get them to sell the resort and we
get the oil. Now Kyle Fenwick is going
to ruin everything.”
Fenwick to me,” Jacqueline-Lamont-Blackthorne said from her position on the
plush sofa. She bit off the tip of a
strawberry and stood up in her skin tight leopard print dress. “Meanwhile, I think you should get out of
town, Mason. The less you’re involved
from now on the better off you’ll be.”
“Get out of
town?” Mason asked. “We’re partners,
Jackie. I’m the one who found out about
the oil that your ex-husband was hiding.
Without me you would never have known about it.”
“Without me none of this would have been
possible,” Jackie told him. “I’m the
bank, remember? All you’ve done is
create one disaster after another.”
here orchestrating this whole thing while you’re off in D.C. playing politician
in your cushy government post.”
poisoning?” Jackie asked, her eyebrows arched.
“What on earth made you think that was a good idea?”
“I had to do something. How was I supposed to know that someone would
sloppy and unnecessary.”
“Look, I get
it,” Mason said in a panic. “I missed up
with that one.”
messed up with everything. Bribing a
state senator into granting your variances?
Who do you think he’ll blow the whistle on if it gets out?”
won’t say anything. He needs the
still dumb,” Jackie said, standing before the bay window of her opulent
penthouse suite. “Make yourself scarce,
Mason. Go back to New York and lay low.”
“And leave the
oil profits to you?” he asked. “No. I don’t think so. I’m staying until the first well comes
in. And if I go down, you’re going down
with me. Murder, defrauding Brooke
Taylor and Renee DeWitt. All of it.”
he stormed out of the room and left Jackie standing behind. She realized she had work to do. Mason Stone was going to be a problem.
checked the address on the piece of paper to make sure she was at the right
hotel. She was in a relatively sketchy
part of town near the airport. Getting
out of her car to walk up to the building had her stomach in knots. But for the good of the cause, she powered
through and made her way inside and up the elevator to the third floor of the
and waited for an answer. Moments later,
Matthew Wheland appeared in the doorway, shirtless and with his muscular torso
exposed for her to gawk at.
well, well,” he said with a grin. “What
brings the lady of the manor out to the slums?”
“I came to
talk to you about Kelly,” Miranda said and forced her way inside.
made it perfectly clear she wants nothing to do with me,” he said. “Is that really why you came here? I usually don’t like them as young as you,
get serious,” Miranda said with a frown and threw a t-shirt at him that she
found on the old worn sofa. “And put a
shirt on, please. You’re in the company
of a lady.”
ma’am,” he said and slipped the shirt on.
She obviously was in no mood for joking around. “So what about my daughter? She change her mind?”
folded her arms and walked toward him.
“Do you really want a relationship with Kelly or was that just
B.S.? If you’re after money then you can
just forget it. She doesn’t have any,
and Stormy won’t give her a dime.”
“Do I look
like I care about money?” Matthew asked.
“I’m trying to make amends. I
don’t have any family to speak of except for Kelly. I’d like a chance to get to know her.”
regarded him suspiciously. She had no reason to believe him. But she also had no reason not to. “Then you need to tell her that.”
he exclaimed. “She won’t let me get near
her. She still thinks I’m to blame for
leaving her and Leilani. The truth is, I
didn’t know I had a daughter until
Kelly was grown.”
Kelly to me,” Miranda said. “I’ll make
sure she hears what you have to say.
Just do me one favor. Don’t hurt
stopped her from leaving. “Why do you
care whether I hurt Kelly or not?” he asked.
“From the sounds of it yesterday, you don’t care for her much.”
“I don’t,” Miranda said after turning
back. “She’s a liar, a whore, a gold
digger, a slut, and a pain in the ass.
But nobody deserves to be used by their own father.”
stopped her from leaving. “What’s in all
this for you?” he asked.
back one final time. “Because I want her
as far away from here as possible.”
a billowing chiffon nightgown, Renee clicked off the light in the bathroom of
her room at the mansion and padded to the vanity. She hummed along to One Less Bell to Answer on the stereo while brushing her hair. A knock at the door turned her attention away
from the mirror.
“Come in,” she
later, the door opened and T.T. walked inside, a broad smile on his face and a
bouquet of African roses in his hand. “Hello
exclaimed and jumped to her feet. She
raced across the room and threw her arms around him. “What are you doing here? I thought you were going to be in New York for at least a
few more days.”
wait to come see you,” he said and handed her the flowers.
beautiful,” she said and set them on the dresser. “But T.T., honestly. A husband usually gives his wife some notice before just dropping by.”
and lifted her into his arms. “Can I
help it if you inspire spontaneity?” he said and carried her to the bed. “I know you wouldn’t fault me for wanting to
spend every day for the rest of my life with my beautiful new bride.”
not,” Renee said as he stretched languorously on the bed. She snaked her arms around his neck and
pulled him on top of her. “Come here,
covered her with his body, kissing her tenderly.
hall, Brooke paced back and forth in her bedroom. When she heard the door open, she quickly ran
to intercept it. Ethan walked inside and
uttered a brief hello before shedding his jacket.
been any word?” she asked, placing her hands on his chest.
his head miserably. “They’re still out
looking for Emmett’s truck,” he answered.
“But they’ll find it, Brooke. They’ll
find the truck and they’ll find Michael.”
they don’t?” she asked, tears streaming down her face. “Ethan, I can’t lose him. I can’t lose my little boy. Not again.
It almost killed me last time.”
around to face him, he placed his hands on her shoulders and looked into her
aquamarine eyes. “Listen to me,” he
said. “They will find him. Michael is
going to come home to us. I promise you
know that!” Brooke cried. “They don’t
even know where to look!”
pulled her into an embrace and held her tightly.
how can this be happening again?” Brooke asked when she broke free and walked
across the room. “Six years ago we were
going through the same thing.”
didn’t know that Michael was my son at the time,” Ethan said. “James thought he was. It wasn’t until we got Michael back that you
have never kept him from you,” Brooke said.
“I thought I was doing the right thing.
I thought I owed it to James because he and I were married at the
time. He was my life back then.”
now?” Ethan asked. “Who do you want now,
Brooke? If it’s me then just-“
interrupted when the door opened and Kyle appeared. “I’m sorry for interrupting,” he said. “I just heard about what happened. Brooke, are you all right?”
at Ethan. “Can you leave us alone for a
nodded and left the bedroom. When he
did, Kyle raced over to Brooke with outstretched arms.
touch me,” she said and backed away.
her reaction, Kyle followed her across the room. “Brooke, I got here as fast as I could. I would have been here earlier but I didn’t
know about Michael. Has there been any
stand there and pretend like you give a damn,” she said.
I do. Why would you-“
that you lied to me about David,” Brooke said.
“I know T.T. told you that David wasn’t going to die. How could you not tell me that, Kyle? How could you keep something like that from
me about my own brother?”
caught off guard. He hadn’t realized
that Brooke had made the connection.
“Look, I can explain. I-“
“So you did know?” she asked for confirmation.
him hard across the face and looked into his eyes, tears welling up beneath her
eyelids. “Get out of here. I never want to see you again.”
refused to back down. “You don’t
understand. I didn’t tell you because I
didn’t want you to get your hopes up. I knew that David’s operation was
experimental and if it didn’t work it would be like losing him all over
me,” she said with a scowl. “You knew
that David never trusted you, never approved of our relationship, and that’s
why you kept it from me. The longer
David stayed away the longer you’d have to go on lying to me.”
actually right about that, but he couldn’t admit it. Not to her and not to himself. “I haven’t lied to you,” he said. “Listen, I got the truth out of Mason. He and Chip Matthews were in on it
together. There’s oil under the ground
at Moonshadows. Royce knew about
it. Mason found out and concocted this
scheme to steal it from us so he could drill.
I had nothing to do with any of it, Brooke. He just clobbered me over the head when I
confronted him about it.”
care about any of that!” she exclaimed.
“My son is missing! Do you
honestly think I care about Moonshadows right now?”
us?” Kyle asked and moved toward
her. “Don’t you care about us? I asked you to marry me. I love you, Brooke.”
you?” she scoffed. “I don’t trust you,
Kyle. Why in hell would I marry
you? There is no us. Not anymore. You’ve lied to me for the last time. God, I should have slammed the door in your
face the day you showed up at my door claiming to be Ethan’s brother. I should have looked the other way.”
this,” Kyle said, his smoldering eyes pleading with her. “Brooke, we’re good together.”
manipulate me with your words anymore,” she said. “Too much has happened. There have been too many lies.”
she screamed. When he refused to move,
she flew toward him, eyes flaring. “Get
out, Kyle! Get out!”
there was no hope in changing her mind, he turned and ran out of the room. On his way down the hall, he brushed past
James who paused to gauge the situation.
After seeing Kyle leave through the front door, he proceeded into Brooke’s
room where she stood in tears.
okay?” he asked.
her head, going to him and pulling him in an embrace. “Why is everything such a mess?” she
“I wish I
could make it all go away,” James said, kissing the top of her head.
morning, Heather waited at the playground near the marina. Caught up in her worries over her father, she
didn’t notice Brett walking toward her with Violet in his arms.
said and stood up from the bench. “I
thought Tiffany was bringing her.”
he said, dressed in khakis, a blue shirt that brought out the color of his
eyes, and a black fleece jacket. Ruffled
hair and a stubble on his face indicated he’d made the decision to come himself
at the last minute. “But I wanted to see
Heather went to greet her daughter. “Hi
princess,” she said. “You look very
pretty too, mommy,” the little blond girl said while sucking on her
fingers. She reached out and touched her
hair. “I want to swing.”
Heather said, staring in wonderment at her.
“Then that’s what we’ll do. Run
over and pick one out and I’ll be right there, okay?”
Violet said and ran off after Brett set her down.
realized before how much she looks like you,” Brett said once they were
alone. “Did you notice that you call her
princess just like Jordan
does to you?”
didn’t take her eyes off her daughter.
“What are you doing here, Brett?”
“I want to
talk,” he said, his hands dug into his pockets.
“Since you came back, we haven’t done much of that. Don’t you think there are things we need to
said, turning away from him.
don’t want to push you. I know you have
to take time to readjust to everything, but there are things you have to
understand. When you went away I was
destroyed. I was the one who had to sign
those commitment papers. I had to
explain to Violet where her mother was.
You don’t know how hard it was. I
made some bad decisions and I-“
aware of how difficult it was for
you, Brett,” Heather said with a hint of sarcasm in her voice. “It wasn’t a picnic for me either.”
that. I’m just trying to explain why I
did what I did. The truth is, Heather, I
wasn’t sure that you would ever get out of the institution.”
matter,” Heather snapped. “Brett, I
can’t worry about those things. I have
to get my life back. I have to be strong
for my daughter. I have to figure out
what to do next. Can’t you understand
at her silently for a few moments. “What
about us?” he asked. “Whatever you think of me, you have to believe I never stopped loving
looked at the ground. “I’m going to
swing with my daughter,” she said and walked toward the Violet who was standing
by the swing set.
exhaled deeply. He knew it was going to
take time, but he was impatient. He
wanted his family back together more than anything in the world. More than the studio, more than one-upping
Stormy, and more than all the dirty, nasty sex in the world.
we going, Eddie?” Miranda asked as she sat impatiently in the passenger’s seat
of his car. “Do you know how much crap
we have to do? We still don’t have a
minister for the wedding, Jane is making decisions that seriously make me
wonder if she was born in a barn, and on top of that, Michael is missing. Take me home.”
what I’m trying to do,” he said and pulled the car into a carport beside a
courtyard town house near the marina.
“Welcome home, Miranda.”
asked and got out of the car. There were
two buildings shrouded in trees, a courtyard pool, and a sign in front that
read Villa Antibes. “I don’t get it.”
on the corner,” Eddie said and went up to the door of one of the
townhomes. “It’s ours. I bought it.”
“You what?” Miranda asked and flashed him a
look of wonder. “Eddie, are you
and handed her a set of keys. “Look, we’re
getting married in a few days. We can’t
exactly live in your father’s house forever.
We’re starting a family.”
“Why can’t we live there forever?” Miranda
asked. “It’s my home. There’s plenty of room. Brooke and Ethan won’t live there forever,
and with any luck Kelly will be out soon. And Stormy will.....well, he'll
probably never leave, so..."
he interrupted her. “I want to marry
you. I want you and Tiger and I to be a
family. A real family.”
Eddie,” she said. “And we will be a family. I just don’t see why we can’t do it at
need to start out on our own. You can’t
have your father by your side for the rest of your life. Don’t you want to find out what it’s like to
“I am very
independent,” she admonished. “I mean,
this is a great place for our first home, but I can’t leave my father.”
“Your father is a grown man. I’m sure
he’ll be very happy for us. It’s not
like it’s all that far from Hollywood.”
traffic, yes it is. It’s like forty minutes.”
way you drive,” he said and placed
his hands on her waist, drawing her close.
“Please say yes. I want to be
alone with my wife and my daughter. I
want to wake up in the morning to the smell of coffee and bacon frying.”
frowned. “Well, unless you plan on
getting a live-in cook, that’s not going to happen.” She looked out at the grounds of the small
complex. “I guess this place is kind of cute.” She paused.
“Wait. You said my daughter.”
shrugged. “Well, yeah. Is that okay?”
great,” Miranda said with a smile. “I
want you to think of Tiger as your daughter.
Actually, I was thinking that maybe you’d want to adopt her to make it
Distefano,” Eddie said with a grin. “I like it.
Are you sure? Because if you’re
not, believe me, I’ll be-“
I’m sure. You’re right. We need to start our own lives. The three of us.”
busy serving coffee to the police officers who had begun using the family room
as their base of operations. Phone
tracing equipment was set up in case the kidnapper called, and a hotline was
installed for tips pertaining to Michael’s whereabouts.
arrived at the mansion, she found Brooke standing alone in the breakfast
room. Deciding to make a gesture of good
will, she proceeded down the hall and approached her tentatively.
to see if there was anything I could do,” she said. “Has the kidnapper made contact?”
shook her head solemnly.
got to be word soon,” Alex said hopefully.
“Try not to worry.”
serious?” Brooke asked incredulously.
“My son is out there in the hands of a maniac and you’re telling me not
“That was a
stupid thing to say,” Alex admitted.
“I’m sorry. I’m just trying to
to help? Get me son back here safe and
happy. That’s how you can help. Make this whole nightmare go away. Rewind the tape a day and make it so that I
got to his school ten minutes earlier.”
remained silent for a while before continuing.
“I wish I could, Brooke.”
there’s nothing you can do so you might as well go away.”
“We’re more alike than you think, Brooke.”
disagree,” Alex said. “Do you remember
the day six years ago when I walked into this house and you came down the
stairs and I slapped you? The whole time
I was thinking that James had traded me in for a newer, prettier model. But in fact, he was trading me in for someone
that probably reminded him of me when we first met.”
determined, you don’t let anyone stand in your way, and you love your family
more than anything in life. My problem was I never knew how to show
it. I pushed people away more than
anything. That’s the big difference
looked at her inquisitively. “Do you
really think we’re that much alike?”
smiled. “We have the same taste in
couldn’t help but smile in return. Soon,
the smile turned to tears and she sobbed into her hands. Alex, realizing she had to do something,
approached her and placed her hands over hers.
strong, Brooke. I’ve seen that in
you. You’ll get through this.”
interrupted when James appeared from behind.
“Alex, I’m glad you’re here. Can
I speak to you for a minute?”
to him. “In a minute, James.”
shook her head. “It’s okay. You can go.
I’ll be fine.”
to make sure she had pulled herself together.
She turned and walked out of the room.
Brooke called after her before she left.
began. “You don’t push people away. You just care too much. That’s not a bad quality.”
offered a smile and followed James into the study where Kenny was already
seated. “What’s going on?” she
got a copy of my father’s will,” James announced. “He left all of his money to you, Alex.”
Alex stepped forward. “Me? Why?”
gestured with the stack of legal documents.
“He wrote you a letter.”
the sealed envelope and looked at Marcus Blackthorne’s handwriting on the front
of the envelope. “I don’t
two of us,” James said. “I know you and
my father were close before he and I fell out of touch, but this is beyond my
comprehension. What was it between the two of you, anyway?”
into a daze. She knew what the letter
would say. She recalled the first visit
Marcus had made to Hollywood. It was a few months after she and James had
sad, my dear,” Marcus said over dinner in the dining room at the mansion. “Does this have anything to do with the
answer right away. “If you’re asking if I’m
upset that James went to Deacon Edgewater’s party without me, I’m not. I chose not to go with him.”
Marcus asked. “In the few days I’ve been
here, you and my son haven’t spent more than ten minutes apart. I heard you arguing earlier this
evening. Is it because of the party?”
A look of
terror crossed Alex’s face. “I just
didn’t want to go, that’s all.”
than that,” Marcus insisted. “Every time
that mans’ name comes up, you tense.
Why? What is it about Deacon
Edgewater that has you so upset?”
Alex broke down and told him everything.
Three years of silence had broken her.
The devastating events that had transpired at Deacon’s house the night
he invited her over to discuss Bad Night
had eaten away at her. She’d told no
one. Until now.
thing,” Marcus said and reached out to her hand. “James doesn’t know?”
her head. “You can’t tell him. Please, Marcus. It’s humiliating.”
course,” Marcus said. “Alex, it means a
lot to me that you would entrust this secret with me. You have my word that I will never tell a
you,” she said and wiped her eyes.
too hard on yourself. What Jonas did for
you after that night was the best thing for everyone. You have to believe that.”
in spite of the circumstances. “I know
Jonas did many things to protect his stars, but this?”
things would have turned out otherwise.”
“I was seventeen,” Alex cried. “I couldn’t raise a baby.”
James asked. “Answer me. What was it that bonded you so closely with
the memory away. “We just shared a
lot. That’s all.”
she turned and left the office.
left, Ethan walked down the stairs just as the lead detective passed her on his
way inside through the front doors.
Brooke heard the commotion and quickly darted out to see if there had
been a development.
“One of my
men just found this outside the front gate,” the man said and thrust a box at Ethan.
it?” Ethan asked and opened the flaps.
To his horror, there was a porcelain doll inside. One of Sophie’s. The head was cracked in pieces. Taped to the inside was a note. He lifted it and read it aloud. “You killed my daughter. Now I’ll kill your son. I hope your fancy Hollywood
life was worth it.”
God,” Brooke cried, shaking her head in complete despair. She slowly sunk to the floor. “Oh my God, no! My baby!”
closed his eyes and blinked away the tears.
“You have to find him, detective.
My son’s life depends on it.”
opened the door of her house in the hills, her head still bandaged from her
fall, and a wary gaze as her eyes fell on Kyle.
you doing here?” she asked.
over,” he said and walked inside. “I’ve
lost it all. Brooke washed her hands of
surprised?” Mackenzie asked with a frown as she closed the door and followed
him into the living room. “You’ve done
nothing but lie to her since you showed up in town. You have no one to blame for this but
yourself, baby brother.”
you be so cold?” Kyle asked and spun around to face her. His face was unshaven and his clothes
unkempt. “Like you’re not on the verge
of losing Ethan? He and Brooke have never been closer, you know. Their son has been kidnapped. Do you really think they’re not going to wind
up together after this?”
walked across the room in a daze. She
had thought of nothing else for the past twenty-for hours. But worrying about it would do her no
good. What kind of relationship would
she have with Ethan if all she did was wonder if he and Brooke were going to
difference between you and I, Kyle, is that I accept defeat when it’s inevitable. You need to learn that for yourself. Walk away.
You and Brooke were never going to make it.”
“You may be
willing to accept defeat, but I’m not.
She and I belong together.”
because you’ve manipulated everything from the start. I know you fell in love with her, but it’s
not enough. Love, unfortunately, doesn’t
conquer all. I’ve accepted it. You’d be wise to do the same.”
frowned. “What’s gotten you in such a
up a letter that had been messengered over that morning. “The network was kind enough to alert me
before the media. The Young at Heart has been canceled.”
you going to do now?” Kyle asked her.
shrugged and fell back onto the sofa. “I
don’t know. Leave town. There’s nothing keeping me here.”
up too easily,” Kyle said and made his way to the door.
realistic. Sometimes no matter how hard
you fight, you can’t change fate. The
sooner you understand that the better off you’ll be.”
his head with frustration, leaving the house and sliding a pair of mirrored
aviators on to shield the blinding L.A.
police station, Nathan circled Denise in the interrogation room. She said quietly in her chair, so far without
any attempt at acknowledging him. Detective
Rodriguez had indicated she hadn’t said a word since she’d been arrested. He was determined to change that
beginning to put the pieces together, Denise,” Nathan said to her. “Keaton has an alibi for the night Lola was
attacked. Do you?”
up with her eyes but still didn’t answer.
known each other for a long time, Denise,” Nathan said. “You, Jonas and I go back a long way. Since
the days of Lamont 3.”
across the table, Nathan glared at her.
“You knew about our secrets, didn’t you, Denise?” he demanded. “Lana, Cheri Montessori, Bianca Burnett. It has to be you who’s doing this. No one else knows as much about the studio as
you do. Now admit it. This isn’t a game. You’re not auditioning for a role. People are dead. Good
“I can see
the hate in your eyes,” Nathan continued.
“I can see the-“
hate that I feel for you, Nathan,” she finally said. “It’s pity.”
asked and stood up again. “Whatever
you have no idea what you’re talking about.
You think Jonas shared his secrets with me? You think I knew about those people? I didn’t.
I worked in archives. I’m not psychic.”
supposed to believe you’re just a jealous Hollywood
disgusted,” she responded. “And I’m done
talking to you.”
aren’t. Tell me the truth. If it isn’t you who’s doing this, and it
isn’t Keaton, then who?”
know!” she exclaimed in a guttural voice that shook the table.
being straight with me. You know far
more than you’re saying.”
across the table and wriggled a cigarette from her leather case. “You’re right,” she said. “I do
know something. But it’s not about what
thing that you know,” Nathan began.
“Does it have anything to do with why there are records of phone calls
between you and Keaton?”
“Yes. I thought he had the right to know.”
laughed. “You’re not his father,” she
wasn’t sure if he felt relieved about the news or not. In a way, the possibility of having a son was
strangely comforting. It made his entire
existence seem less trivial, particularly since losing Sierra before he ever
got a chance to know her.
“But he was
obsessed with me,” he said. “All the
photographs, the studio memorabilia, getting the directing job on The Benefactor.”
a stream of smoke into the air and leaned back in the chair. “He was trying to get close,” she
explained. “It was never about you,
Nathan, you pompous self-righteous son-of-a-bitch. It was about his mother.”
mother? Who is his mother? Denise, answer me.”
grew silent again, calmly sitting in her chair smoking her cigarette. When she refused to answer, Nathan turned and
stormed out of the room. He ran into two
guards were who leading Keaton out of the holding cells.
you taking him?” he demanded.
released,” one of the officers said.
“There’s no evidence to hold him any longer.”
watched the young man intently. He was
convinced Keaton was not as innocent as they thought him to be.
walked out of James’s study as Renee and T.T. made their way down the
staircase. He paused and watched them,
their hands knotted together, tender kisses as T.T. left her and made his way
into the breakfast room.
want to say anything before,” Renee began as she approached Kenny in the foyer. “T.T. and I were married on
a yacht on the French Riviera a few
pretend the news didn’t upset him.
Despite all their ups and downs, he somehow always thought they’d find
their way back to one another. Seeing
her so obviously happy with another man felt like a punch in the gut. Still, he had to look at the bigger picture.
happy?” he asked.
smiled. “I am.”
next words were difficult for him to get out.
“Then I’m happy for you.”
Kenny.” She followed him back into the
study and examined his expression carefully.
“I want you to be happy too.
I hope that you find whatever it is that’s going to accomplish that for
I’m working on some new career enhancements,” he said with a twinkle in his
eyes. On the television across the room,
a news bullet came on. The mention of
Moonshadows brought both of their attention to the report. Quickly, Kenny went to turn up the volume.
Enterprises, the New York based firm that recently purchased the faltering
Moonshadows hotel and resort, has just been fingered in a scandal that will
certainly be on the front page headlines for some time to come,” the reporter
said. “An anonymous source has come forward
with information that claims Jacqueline Lamont-Blackthorne, daughter of the
late film producer Jonas Lamont, is in fact the entity behind Loomis
Enterprises. Our sources told us that
the forty-acre oceanfront resort sits on a vast oil field. Permits to drill have recently been applied
for with the Coastal Commission, which is head up by Senator Jim Nordquist, who
has been no stranger to recent scandals.”
looked at Kenny with wide eyes. “Oh, you have got to be kidding me,” she
said. “I’ll kill the bitch.”
walked into the crowded restaurant off Sunset and scouted around for
Stormy. At first glance, he was nowhere
to be found. She frowned and checked her
phone messages. Maybe she’d gotten the
time or place wrong. Either way, she was
eager to hear what he had to say about R.J. and the custody issue.
Kelly,” a voice from behind said.
she turned and glared with contempt at the sight of her father. She knew immediately that she’d been
tricked. “Forget it,” she said and
attempted to skirt past him. “I’m not
talking to you.”
please,” Matthew said and reached out to her.
“I just want to talk.”
what?” she demanded. “About how you
abandoned me before I was born? About
how you stayed away for twenty-five years?
Sorry, not interested.”
neared the front doors of the restaurant, Miranda stepped in front of her,
blocking her path.
what are you doing here?” Kelly asked.
“I supposed you’re to blame
for this little sting operation?”
want you to know the whole story,” Miranda said. “You need to give your father the chance to
you care?” Kelly asked in a shrill voice.
“God, you are so nosy! When are
you going to stay the hell out of my life?”
“You and I
have never been friends,” Miranda said.
“And we never will be. But I
think I am starting to understand you.
All your lashing out, your angry outbursts about taking R.J. away, your
entitlement issues, your bad choices in fashion.”
maybe not that last one,” Miranda said. “Kelly, you’ve never had a father. My
father has been the most important man in my life. Without him I would not be who I am
today. You owe it to yourself to find
to him,” Miranda said. “Maybe you’ll
find out that things aren’t as bad as you think they are.”
planted her hands firmly on her hips.
“Get out of my way.”
Miranda moved closer to her and whispered discreetly. “Do it or I’ll tackle you to the ground and
pin your arm behind your back until you beg me to let you go.”
glared at her. “You wouldn’t.”
Reluctantly, Kelly turned to face
her father. “Fine. Let’s just get this over with.”
smiled and watched as they made their way to the table. She felt accomplished. Helping her worst enemy coming to grips with
her demons? She deserved a medal.
Ethan looked all over the mansion for
Brooke. Her bedroom, the grounds, the
family room where the police had set up headquarters. Finally, he stepped out to the porte-cochere
and found her getting into her car.
he called after her. “Where are you
just sit here anymore!” she cried. “I
have to do something! I have to try to
find our son!”
know where to look!” Ethan insisted.
“Driving around in your condition is not going to help Michael. We have to stay here in case Emmett calls.”
“I can’t sit
here for another minute!” she cried.
“I can’t do nothing!”
her into an embrace, trying to soothe her fits of hysteria. Just then, the police detective came racing
out of the house and calling after them.
had a call from a unit who spotted Lawson’s truck,” he said.
Ethan asked in a panic.
“Griffith Park,” he replied. “We’re headed up there now.”
with you,” Ethan said and followed him to his car. Several officers went to their patrol cars
and turned on the sirens.
Brooke said and followed him to the car door.
him back,” he said, placing his hands over hers and kissing her. “I promise I’ll get him back.”
she knew it, they were speeding off down the drive. She covered her mouth with her hands,
silently praying that they got there before it was too late.
they find him,” Jane said as she and Stormy walked down the hall that emptied
into the foyer. “Miranda’s not going to
want to go through with the wedding if Michael isn’t home in time.”
“He will be,” Eddie said as he met up with
them in the foyer. “Ethan would do
anything for their son.”
“Where’ve you been?” Stormy asked. “I thought we were powering through until the
wedding was planned. All the sudden you
and Miranda were nowhere to be found.”
grinned. “It’s a secret,” not wanting to
reveal his and Miranda’s plans for moving out quite yet.
the door opened and Nathan entered the house.
He quickly intercepted them. “Is
your father around?” he asked Stormy.
sure. Is everything okay?”
shook his head. “I’m not Keaton’s
father,” he announced.
“How do you
know?” Eddie asked.
do,” Nathan replied. “Look, I tried
tailing Keaton from the police station but he lost me. I’ve got to find him before he-“
released?” Stormy asked. “Why?”
“He has an
alibi for the night Lola was attacked.
He didn’t try to kill her.”
was Denise. They’re in on it
emerged from the back of the house and approached Nathan with a thin envelope
tucked between her fingers. “Mr.
Blackthorne, this was delivered to the house.”
the envelope and inspected it. “Who
shrugged. “I don’t know. I
found it with the mail. There's no postmark on
the envelope open, not very surprised to find a photograph of Bianca Burnett
inside. He turned it over and read the
writing on the back.
Meet me on sound stage 4. One o’clock.
It’s your turn.
it?” Stormy asked.
quickly tucked the photo inside his jacket.
“Nothing. If you see your father,
tell him I was looking for him.”
could respond, he was tearing off to the front door. Eddie went after him and cornered him beneath
the killer, isn’t it?” he asked.
avoided his stare. “Go back inside,
Edward. Call your father and make sure
he’s somewhere safe.”
Eddie asked. “Where are you going?”
it,” Nathan told him. “I need to put an
end to this once and for all.”
called after him as he raced to his car.
“At least tell me where you’re going in case something happens.”
studio,” Nathan said while climbing into the car. “Where this whole thing started.”
found her father in Benji’s room. She
opened the door a few inches and peered inside. He was sitting on the bed holding his head
in his hands. She could see the pain
that he was going through.
looked up and nodded. “I’m fine,
princess. Go back downstairs.”
said defiantly. She walked into the room
and stood before him. “I’m not going to
let you shut me out, and I’m not going to let you go through this alone. Not anymore.”
nothing you can do,” he said. “I have to
do it. I have to make things
you going to do?” Heather asked. “Daddy,
tell me. Tell me what you’ve done.”
rose from the bed and placed his hands alongside her arms. “Nothing I could possible do would ever be
enough. I was a terrible father to you
and to Benji. I was a terrible husband
and a terrible businessman. Can you ever
none of those things,” Heather said, blinking away tears. “Dad, let me help you.”
suddenly sounded. Repetitive beeping
sounds coming from Jordan’s
phone. He pulled it from his pocket and
looked at the time. Twelve-thirty.
“I have to
go,” he said and made his way to the door.
stay,” Heather called after him. “Daddy,
we need each other.”
you soon, princess,” Jordan
said before leaving the room.
sighed with despair. She thought it was
a lost cause, but suddenly decided to do something. She had to help him. She had to follow him to wherever he was
she raced out of the bedroom and waited at the top of the stairs until she
heard the front door close. Without
wasting a second, she ran down to the entryway and grabbed her car keys and
sun glared across the Hollywood sign as Ethan
climbed out of the detective’s car.
Beside them was Emmett’s truck, rusted and covered in chalky maroon
paint. He dashed to the window and
peered inside, praying that he would find Michael inside safe and sound.
gone,” Ethan said in despair. He looked
around the area and saw no sign of Emmett or Michael. “Where are they?”
out!” the detective called to the uniformed officers. “I want every inch of this area
his fingers through his hair. He looked
inside the truck again and saw something that made his heart sink inside his
chest. A copy of The Great Gatsby. The same
book he’d seen in the truck the day Emmett rescued him from the
he heard the detective say.
quickly turned in his direction, following his gaze up the hill to the Hollywood sign. A
sickening feeling of dread overcame him as he saw his son struggling in
Emmett’s grasp, climbing the steps onto the forty-foot tall H.
God,” Ethan whispered in horror. “He’s
going to push him off.”
leaving the mansion and getting the news about Marcus’s will, Alex had driven
around for an hour trying to clear her head.
Her past was slowly catching up with her. The secrets she thought she’d left behind
were now bearing down on her again. No
matter what Jonas had done to fix things, he hadn’t done enough. She grew into a daze, thinking about the
night Deacon had invited her to his house in Bel Air to discuss the role in Bad Night. When she arrived, he wasn’t alone...
look lovely, Alex,” Deacon said and led her into his grand screening room. There were velvet sofas and chairs all
pointed toward a large screen in the front of the room. She knew men like him had places like this
tucked away in their homes. It was to be
expected he did much of his business there.
“You remember Robert Wylan and George Dunning, don’t you?”
her lips firmly. How could she
forget? The two directors who had joined
him in chiding her the other night at his party. It still left a bitter feeling of resentment
in her mouth.
evening,” she said politely.
like a drink?” George asked and handed her a glass of champagne.
you,” Alex said and accepted the glass from him. She hadn’t had much experience with
drinking. At seventeen, she’d only had a
sip here and there. It didn’t take much
for her to start feeling its effects.
Before she knew it, she was on the sofa with George and Deacon
positioned on either side of her.
very pretty, Alex,” Deacon said. “And
we were going to discuss the film,” Alex said, growing uncomfortable with the
men and their proximity to her.
we get to know each other a little more first,” Robert said and topped off her
just like to keep this as focused on business as we can.”
Deacon said and pawed at her blouse.
“Now why don’t the three of us get a little more…comfortable.”
think so,” Alex said and rose to her feet.
“I’m sorry. If I knew this was
what you had in mind, I would never have come here tonight.”
only reason you’re here,” Deacon said with a
sharp edge to his voice. “You
didn’t really think I invited you over because I was just going to hand you a
movie role, did you, Alex? Or should I
say Mary Ann.”
their homework on her, she decided. All
the more reason to leave before things got too complicated. “I should go.”
walk out that door you’ll be giving up any chance of making it in this town,”
Deacon called after her. “Stay and
you’ll enjoy the benefits of stardom.
It’s what every young woman wants when she shows up here with dreams of
making it big. Tell me, Alex, is what
we’re asking really enough to make you turn your back on your dreams?”
hard. It was true. They were dangling a part in a movie in front
of her in exchange for sex. She felt
like nothing but a common whore.
But she did
come to Hollywood
to succeed. She had to do whatever it
took. Nervously, she walked back to the
sofa and sat down. The men looked at
each other and clinked their glasses together in some kind of macho
ritual. She closed her eyes and waited
until they were through...
By the time
she got back to her penthouse, she was sufficiently unnerved by the
memories. She’d given herself to those
producers in exchange for a part in a lousy horror movie. She’d let them do things to her willingly,
but the outcome had been far more devastating than she could have
predicted. And much more scarring than
what Nathan had later done to her against
the bar, she pulled a bag out of her purse and set it down on the
countertop. From inside, she withdrew a
bottle of prescription pills. Calmly,
she poured two of them out of the bottle and filled a glass with straight
pills to her lips, she suddenly saw something that made her stop from
swallowing them. From going back to the
dark place she’d crawled her way out of.
A picture of herself. Her first
professional headshot she’d had taken when she got to Hollywood at the age of
seventeen. It rested on the corner of
her hand, she backed up and set the glass and pills down. Racing to the living room, she stopped and
shrieked when she saw another picture.
This one of a tiny infant. The
same one she’d clutched in her hand two years ago when she nearly overdosed on
pills. Hyperventilating, she turned and
bumped into someone standing directly in her path. Another shriek tore loose from her throat as
she backed up away from Keaton Hartley, standing before her holding a gun in
mother,” he said with a deranged look in his eyes.
takes its final bow as six-years of intrigue, romance,
shady business deals, and murder lead up to the ultimate curtain
The Series Finale
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