Ethan, Brooke and James
chased Emmett to Griffith Park where he planned on pushing Michael off the Hollywood
After convincing him to let Michael go, Emmett jumped to his death. Brooke and Ethan rejoiced happily, prompting
Brooke to believe they were getting back together. Kenny asked James if he thought he and Brooke
were meant to be together. Ethan went to
Mackenzie to work things out, but she turned him away, believing he’d never be
over Brooke. Defeated, Ethan slept with
revealed his plans to open a theatre for underprivileged youth in Benji’s
name. Ashton woke up from his coma and Jordan
about Benji and Sierra. Nathan went to
meet the killer and was surprised to learn it was Marilee. She explained that the son she gave away had
been adopted by Cheri Montessori, the porn actress Elana had hit with her
car. After Jonas got rid of her body,
the toddler was left at home by himself and died. Marilee admitted to framing Keaton for the
murders. She reported finding out that
Keaton had mental issues as an adolescent.
Stormy, Jane, Eddie and Miranda arrived and apprehended Marilee until
the police arrived. Meanwhile, Keaton
revealed to Alex that he was the illegitimate child of her and Deacon
Edgewater, and that Deacon killed himself when he confronted him about it. Jordan
arrived and Keaton was
arrested. Mason bribed Nordquist into
getting the drilling permits approved.
Jackie was revealed to be the financial backer for Loomis Enterprises,
the company that bought Moonshadows.
When Jackie tried to force Mason out, he alerted the media to her
involvement in defrauding Renee. Jackie
and Nathan wed while he was in prison so she could gain control of his interest
in Sunset Studios. Miranda chose Eddie
over David, but told David that he may be the father of her baby. David underwent an experimental operation to
remove his brain tumor, but did not tell anyone except for T.T. Afterwards, he recuperated at a clinic in San Francisco. Renee learned about the surgery from T.T., who told Brooke. Brooke ended things with Kyle when she
learned that he knew about David too.
Miranda and Eddie planned to marry, and have Eddie adopt Tiger. Heather continued to ignore attempts by Brett
to talk about their relationship.
Finale - Part 2
They made a movie about
them. The stars. The children.
Their journey. The bravery of
their leader as they embarked on their mission.
Some didn’t return. Others were
never the same again. A quilt of
darkness dotted with their teardrops. In
their hearts, they had hope.
remake, these same values held true. It
wasn’t a film about space travel or science fiction fantasy. It was about the hope of the human race. The tests we’re challenged with and the
endurance of our resolve. This is who they were.
after the events leading up to what they now referred to as the black day, James Blackthorne was in
uncharacteristically high spirits. His
son, Stormy, had just delivered the rough cut of their soon-to-be blockbuster, The Benefactor for a private screening
following Miranda’s wedding. The
twenty-room house was buzzing with activity; caterers loading crates of caviar
and champagne through the service entrance, florists positioning bouquets of
exotic arrangements in the foyer, and the rental company setting perfectly
aligned rows of chairs on the back lawn.
ceremony was to be held outside. Luckily
the weather had held out. Sunny skies,
highs in the mid-seventies, and a break from the especially gusty Santa Ana’s all
contributed to their good fortune.
“Daddy!” Miranda screeched from the top of
the stairs. “This place is like a circus!”
his neck and stopped his manic pace, taken back to his wedding day to
Brooke six years before. “What
did you expect? It’s your wedding, remember?”
you think you could get the noise under control?” she asked. “I have a splitting headache from all the
stress I’m under, and that racket outside isn’t helping!”
and continued on through to the kitchen.
It was nice to see things were
back to normal. Inside the kitchen, he
found Leilani signing for a case of champagne.
Inspecting its contents, he smiled with approval and turned to admire
actually surprised this wedding got pulled together in a week,” he said. “Do you have your dress ready, Leilani?”
“Soon as I
get these things in the oven, Mr. Blackthorne,” the Hawaiian maid said in a
frenzy as she darted around the kitchen.
there are caterers that can do that,” James said and gave her a playful swat on
the behind. “Get upstairs and start
getting ready, woman! The wedding’s in
running up the back stairs to the second floor.
When James turned, he saw
his best friend Kenny DeWitt enter through the back door in a
dapper black tuxedo.
you know?” James said and licked a dollop of cake icing from his finger. “You clean up nice.”
“Thanks. You too.
I got the adoption papers for Miranda and Eddie and wanted to drop them
off right away. Is she around?”
a face. “I’d hold off on giving those to
her, Kenny. She’s giving the term
Bridezilla a new meaning.”
Kenny said and filed the envelope in his pocket. “What about Renee?”
seen her. But I have a feeling I know
where she went.”
Renee,” Jackie Blackthorne said after she opened the door to her penthouse
suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel. She
wore black pants and a white military inspired blouse with large gold
buttons. Her shoes were
comfortable. They reflected her hope for
Renee DeWitt said indignantly as she brushed past her and stood, hands balled alongside
her hips. “I should have known you were
back in Los Angeles. I thought
the air reeked of cheap perfume and blatant self loathing.”
closed the door. “I’d hoped to avoid
another long, brutal winter on the east coast.
sunshine is just what I-“ She stopped
when she turned and saw Renee positioned up against the cushions on the plush
overstuffed sofa. “By all means, make
to,” Renee replied. “Just as I intend to
make you uncomfortable. You may have
wormed your way out of the drug cartel business last year in Acapulco, but this time you’ve hung
yourself. I won’t rest until you are
behind bars for defrauding me out of Moonshadows.”
forgotten how dramatic you could be.”
Renee said and helped herself to a glass of champagne from the cocktail
table. “I know that you own Loomis
Enterprises, the company that bought Moonshadows with the intent of destroying
it and the land it sits on. Did you
think it wouldn’t come out eventually?
Your late husband bought that land to begin with. No one else could have known about the oil
except for you.”
a great many connections in the business world,” Jackie told her. “Your father, for one. What would you say if I told you that Royce
and Charles were in on it together from the start?”
calmly rose from the sofa. “I’d say you
were trying to take my father’s reputation down along with yours. That, dear Jackie, is something that I won’t stand for.”
snatched the glass of champagne from her.
“Then you didn’t know your father as well as you claim to have. Charles Merteuil knew a profitable venture
when he saw one.”
I’ll bite,” Renee said and moved toward her, the heels of her stiletto’s
digging into the high pile carpet of the parlor room. “If this oil was such a good venture, why
didn’t they drill? Why build Moonshadows
your father couldn’t come up with his share of the capital to get the drilling
started,” Jackie snapped. “He was
back, you viper.”
“Did I push
a button? Could it be the great Charles
Merteuil was not the savvy
businessman you thought he was?
Everything your family had was on loan.
Frankly, I’m surprised Merteuil Industries survived. Face it, your father was a loser.”
was met with a head rattling slap across the face. Renee stood, glaring angrily at her, her
entire body trembling. “How dare you
speak about my father that way?”
touched her stinging face. “It’s a
fact. Your mother hid it from you. She
didn’t want you to know that your father was a drunk and a gambler.”
slapped her again, this time harder and with more conviction. Jackie immediately retaliated by slapping her
in return. Renee teetered on her heels,
regaining her balance and going at her with arms outstretched.
bitch!” she screeched.
before he could get another investor,” Jackie said, fending her off. “The land sat empty until David took the
project over. By that time, no one knew
about the oil. It’s your father’s fault,
Renee. He couldn’t manage his finances
to save his life, so everyone lost
out. All I’m doing now is taking back
what was mine to start with. And I’ll be
damned if I’m going to let you stand in my way.”
obviously haven’t heard,” Renee said, grabbing her by the shoulders and
throwing her again the wall. “The
permits were denied just this morning.
You can’t drill there, Jackie. It
looks like you went through the trouble of buying the land for nothing.”
lying,” Jackie said, pushing her away.
for yourself,” Renee said. “Kenny’s
still on the Land Commission, remember?
It pays to have an ex-husband around when you need one.”
snap your neck in two!” Jackie screeched and attempted to slap her again.
caught her hand mid-air and smiled. “Oh,
and I’d start contacting some of those friends you made in Washington, because the FBI is investigating
you for fraud and arsenic poisoning. It
looks like you won’t have to worry about another cold, harsh winter for a very
long time. Because it’ll be years before
you take a step outside of your prison cell.”
won’t rest until you ruin me, will you?” Jackie asked.
glared menacingly at her. “Like you
ruined my wedding to Kenny with that videotape of him in bed with a
prostitute?” she asked. “Believe me. I’ve haven’t even begun to pay you back for the string of injustices you’ve done to
she turned and left the penthouse.
Jackie let out a deep breath, unnerved that Renee had seemingly
one-upped her again.
Blackthorne put the finishing touches on her makeup as she sat before the
mirror in her bedroom. Across the room,
Brooke Taylor stared adoringly at Tiger who cooed in her crib, laughing each
time she shook a toy giraffe at her.
is so precious, Miranda,” Brooke said.
“She’s very lucky to have you and Eddie.”
smiled. “At first I was worried that
Eddie wouldn’t be able to raise another man’s baby, but the fact that he wants
to adopt her really gives me hope.”
her?” Brooke asked with surprise. “Are
nodded and pushed a powder brush over her nose.
“Well, yeah. We’re going to be a
family. Eddie wants Tiger to grow up
with a father.”
suddenly realized that she’d made a mistake by not telling her about
David. She had no idea things had
progressed the way Miranda described.
“There’s something you need to know first,” she began. “Miranda, I found out that David-“
was interrupted by a knock at the door.
Ethan Blackthorne walked inside and avoided eye contact with Brooke
while addressing Miranda.
minister wants to know if you finished writing your vows,” he said. “If not, he said he can just go ahead and use
the standard stuff.”
looked at him knowingly. “Tell Eddie
that it’s not going to work. We’re not
using some generic fill-in-the-names vows that have been around for centuries. He’s had a week to write these vows and I’m
not letting him out of it. Nice try,
tell him,” Ethan said with a grin, then finally acknowledged Brooke with a nod
of his head. “Hi,” he said.
Brooke replied awkwardly.
he’d gone, Miranda stood and walked toward her.
“Wow, whatever went on with the two of you these last couple of days
must have been pretty bad. That tension
just now was ridiculous. Are you
her head, Brooke sat down on the bed. “I
honestly don’t know, Miranda.”
she said and sat down next to her. “You
can talk to me. We’re not enemies
anymore, Brooke. I promise there won’t
be any tantrums from me like on you and daddy’s wedding day.”
couldn’t help but smile at the remark.
“We have come a long way,
“Absolutely. You know, I never gave you a fair shake when
it came to you and my father. I was just
a jealous brat. I was afraid of another
woman coming in and taking my father’s attention away from me. And when you came along, I just lost it. I was horrible to you. I retaliated by
marrying Brett just because I knew it would piss daddy off, which I know put a
strain on your marriage. How did you not
slap the snot out of me?”
made it difficult to not want to,” Brooke admitted, then grew serious
again. “I don’t know. After we got Michael back the other day, it
was looking like Ethan and I had finally got on the same track. We had such an amazing night together,
Miranda. It was exactly like it had been
before the earthquake. We really
what happened?” Miranda asked. “Brooke,
something in the last two days had to have changed that because now you’re
leaving. It’s just not going to be the
same around here without you.”
need a fresh start,” Brooke said.
“Somewhere far, far away.”
are you doing here?” Brett Armstrong asked when Stormy Blackthorne walked into
the offices at Sunset Studios. “Your
sister is getting married in less than two hours.”
I came here to see you,” Stormy told him, digging his hands in the pockets of
his tuxedo. “I promised Miranda I’d make
sure you were coming to the wedding. She
said she wants you to be there.”
about Heather?” Brett asked. “I’m sure
I’m the last person she wants to see.
We’ve barely talked since she came back.
Every time I try to bring up the thing with me and Suzanne, she changes
the subject or runs away. She’s not
ready to talk about it, and seeing me just reminds her of it.”
can still go to the wedding without making things uncomfortable for Heather,”
frowned. “Why do you care? We’ve hated each other for years. I’d think you would be doing cartwheels that
I’m not at the wedding.”
didn’t always hate each other,” Stormy said.
“When you and Miranda first got married, we were actually pretty
tight. It was like you were the brother
that I never had.”
that now you do,” Brett told him with
a smirk. “Remember you have a
shook his head. “Keaton may be my
brother by blood, but you were my friend.
What happened? It can’t just be
about Lauren Spencer and the way we passed her around like a piñata.”
take this the wrong way, junior, but you were always jealous of me. Jealous because your father respected me more
than he respected you.”
began to fire off a slew of defensive remarks, but stopped himself when he
realized something. “You’re right,” he
said. “I was jealous. I spent my
whole life trying to please my father, and you walk in and do it with a hello. “
respects you, Stormy. He just holds you
to a higher level than anyone else because you’re his son. You’re a Blackthorne. When he’s gone, you’ll be the one to carry on
the name. Not Miranda. Not me.
nodded thoughtfully. “Are you
rose from the desk, lifting a box of personal items from the floor. “Yes.”
are you doing?” Stormy asked with a frown.
“Why are you packing your office?”
leaving Sunset Studios,” Brett told him.
“I’m finally giving you what you’ve always wanted.”
surprise me,” he said with a raised eyebrow.
“I thought you’d cling to this ship until you took your very last
smiled. “I would have,” he said. “But
it’s time to move on.”
now?” Stormy asked. “Buzz surrounding The Benefactor is at an all time
high. My father has every confidence in
your abilities to help run the studio.”
got an offer from the board of directors at Double Strike Studios,” Brett
explained. “Since Deacon’s suicide,
they’ve been searching for a new CEO and they think I have what it takes.”
incredible,” Stormy said. “And a little
laughed. He had to agree with him. While he’d gotten Deacon’s son arrested and
pushed him into falling off the wagon, it hadn’t been all his doing that drove
the man to suicide. It seemed that
confronting Keaton about his true parentage had been the last nail in his
coffin. Now he was reaping the rewards.
walked to the door with his box and paused while Stormy opened it for him. “So I hope you can handle some friendly
competition. Now that I’m at the helm of
Double Strike, I’ll be giving Sunset Studios a definite run for their
laughed. “Why do I get the feeling we’ll
be at each other’s throats for some time to come?”
a pretty good bet,” Brett said and left the office after him.
Jordan Rydell arrived at the Blackthorne mansion, he was dressed for the wedding
in a brand new Hugo Boss tuxedo. Heather
had just come down the stairs from Miranda’s bedroom and approached him with a
she said and kissed him on the cheek.
“You look very handsome.”
thank you, madam,” he said with a good natured smile. “And you look very beautiful.”
I’m glad you’re here early because I wanted to talk to you about some ideas I
had for the theatre.”
led her off to the side of the foyer.
“I’d love to talk to you about that, princess, but I actually came to
talk to you about your mother.”
grew tense and turned away instinctively.
“Wait till you see Miranda’s dress.
She’s going to look so beautiful.
I think it’s really great that she and Eddie found each other. You remember how in love with her Eddie was
all through high school. He-“
said in an effort to get her attention.
“I talked to Dr. Bouvier this morning.
I told him I was concerned that you weren’t dealing with what happened
between your mother and Brett. I need
you to talk to me about what you’re feeling.
Because your mother had such a big part in the problems that you-“
needs me,” Heather interrupted. “I’m
sorry, dad. I can’t talk about this
he could protest, she was racing from the room and upstairs to Miranda’s
bedroom. Sighing, Jordan turned
just as Alex Reynolds
walked in through the front door.
she said and walked toward him in a winter white dress complete with matching
beaded jacket. “How is Lola?”
woke up this morning,” he told her. “The
doctor said she’s going to make a full recovery. She was relieved when I told her Marilee was
in custody. Alex, white? Really?
Your daughter’s getting married today.”
shrugged and adjusted the lapels on her jacket.
“Miranda knows I can’t have another woman getting all the attention. Besides, I’m the mother of the bride. I can wear whatever I want.”
grinned and kissed her softly. “You
never stop amazing me.”
she said with a wink.
the door opened and Renee entered, they both turned to acknowledge her.
I heard that you were back,” Alex said.
“How was France?”
wonderful,” Renee said, just as T.T. emerged from the study. He fell in line beside her and kissed her
guess congratulations are in order,” Jordan said. “I heard the good news.”
you,” T.T. said and shook his hand.
“It’s been a long time in coming but I finally convinced this lady to
make an honest man out of me.”
about the two of you?” Renee asked. “Are
there wedding bells in your future? They
say the third time is a charm.”
and Alex looked at each other silently for a few minutes. “We haven’t really discussed that yet,” they
both said in unison, then laughed.
testing the waters,” Alex added, looking into his eyes.
did it go with Jackie?” T.T. said to Renee.
“She’s doing her
best to hide it, but I think she’s scared.
These charges aren’t going to go away.
This time, she can’t manipulate her way out of it.”
“No, she can’t,”
James agreed as he walked out of the parlor room. “Unfortunately, Jackie is up to her old
tricks again and I don’t see any way that she’s going to get out of it.”
“Did she tell you what she was going to say at
the press conference?” T.T. asked.
“What press conference?” Renee demanded angrily.
her suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Jackie rose from the sofa as Mason Stone
you for coming by, Mason,” she said.
invitation had me curious.”
“Champagne?” she asked
and gestured to an open bottle on the bar.
he said and sat down in a chair across the room. “Just
tell me why you
called me here. You have to know it was
me that sold you out to the media as owner of Loomis Enterprises. But you really left me no choice.”
not one to hold a grudge,” Jackie said and poured herself a glass. “Instead, I think we should get right down to
business. I’m sure you’ve heard about
the press conference that I’ve called.”
doubt your attempt at trying to weasel your way out of the charges Renee DeWitt
has made against you. I hear prisons are
overcrowded in California. With any luck you’ll be out in two or three
smiled and lifted the glass. “I won’t be going to prison, Mason.”
not what the word is on the street.
You’ve defrauded the owners of Moonshadows. Loomis Enterprises is in your name. I’m afraid you’re
fooling yourself if you think this is just going to go away.”
you’re the one who is going away.” She
walked to the desk and opened a drawer.
Inside was a stack of photographs.
“I didn’t necessarily trust you to handle things in an appropriate
manner, so I hired a detective to follow you while I was in Washington.
He got some interesting shots.”
tensed and sat forward.
picture of you with Senator Nordquist,” Jackie said as she flipped through the
stack of pictures. “This one shows a
close up of the senator leaving your hotel room with a briefcase. I wonder what was inside.”
are circumstantial,” Mason said. “It
doesn’t prove anything.”
it does,” she said. “The senator
deposited quite a substantial sum of money into his bank account last week. Now he seems to have disappeared.”
paid him to get the drilling permits passed,” Mason said and jumped to his
feet. “I did that as much for you as I
did for me.”
turned to him. “Oh, didn’t you
hear? The drilling permits were denied. There’s not going to be any drilling at
Moonshadows. I assume the senator knew
this and that’s why he left town with your money.”
news rattled Mason. He began pacing the
room. “You’re saying we can’t get to the
oil? When did you find this out? Now what are we going to do?”
afraid you aren’t going to do
anything,” Jackie told him. “These
photographs went to the FBI today, along with a statement from Chip Matthews
indicating you admitted poisoning the water at Moonshadows.”
raked his fingers through his hair.
“This can’t be happening,” he said.
“I am not going to prison for you.”
a politician and murder were not part
of my plan,” Jackie said.
shook his head. “Buying the land was
still your idea,” he said. “It was your
money. There’s nothing you can do to
count on it,” Jackie said as she raised her glass and took a sip of
Mason raced from the room and down the hall to the elevator. As soon as the doors opened, two men dressed
in suits emerged brandishing their badges.
Stone, you’re under arrest for bribing a federal official, one count of murder,
and multiple counts of attempted murder.”
making a mistake,” he said, struggling. “It
was her idea. I didn’t do anything that
she wouldn’t have done herself.”
watched from the doorway as they led him away in handcuffs. Smiling, she closed the door and finished her
do own Loomis Enterprises,” Jackie
said half an hour later in a small conference room in the hotel. “It is
reporters at the press conference watched intently, some holding microphones or
cameras and others recording her statement on various handheld devices. At the back of the room, Renee watched with
her arms folded.
purchased the company only two days ago from Mason Stone, an acquaintance of my
late husband, Royce Jennings. When I
learned that Mr. Stone intended to destroy the beautiful land that was once
Moonshadows by drilling for oil, I knew I had to do something. As many of you know, Moonshadows was a dream
of both my husband and my son, David.
Stopping Mason Stone and Loomis Enterprises from turning it into an oil
field was my only motivation.”
do not believe this,” Renee said to
herself, amazed that Jackie was going to wiggle her way out of yet another one
of her messes.
ago, Mason Stone was apprehended by the FBI for a list of crimes he committed
in association with the purchase of this land,” Jackie went on. “Now that all the red tape has been cleared
away, I can announce that no drilling will take place at Moonshadows. Furthermore, I have donated the land to the
state of California
for millions of people to enjoy as a public park.”
erupted from the crowd. Reporters began
asking questions, but Jackie stepped down and left the microphone to the
concludes the press conference,” the woman said. “Questions can be directed to the state in
regards to plans for the opening of the park.”
walked to the back of the room where Renee stood. “Looks like I’ll won’t be going to jail
after all,” she said. “Sorry to
disappoint you, Renee.”
gave that land away knowing how important it was to David,” Renee said with a
shake of her head. “I have a feeling
he’s not going to share in your victory when he returns.”
frowned. “What do you mean when he returns?”
Renee pulled her purse over her shoulder.
“Oh this is too much. Your own
son didn’t tell you the good news? Well,
I won’t spoil the surprise.” She turned
and began walking away.
Jackie called after her. “What do you
mean when David returns?!”
continued walking, happy that Jackie at least lost out when it came to what
his bedroom window, James could see the wedding guests beginning to
arrive. He turned just as Alex entered
the room and smiled.
never could tie a bowtie,” she said,
walking toward him and making the necessary adjustments. “Can you believe our little girl is getting
sighed. “She isn’t our little girl
anymore,” he said. “She’s a grown woman
with a daughter of her own. This time
tomorrow she’ll be living in her own house.
I feel like it’s the end of an era.”
looks up to you,” Alex said, tilting her head and admiring him. “You’ve been her world for her entire
life. Now it’s time for her to be that
to her own daughter.”
looked up to you too, you know.”
shook her head and walked across the room.
“No, I haven’t been there for her the way you have. Our relationship is
taught her how to be strong, independent,” James corrected her. “You’ve done that for both of our
children. Everything that’s good about
them, they get from you.”
turned and walked across the bedroom.
She stopped and arranged a bouquet of flowers that rested on the
Keaton?” she asked. “What wonderful
qualities does he get from me?”
didn’t grow up with you as a mother,” James reminded her. “Listen to me. You did what you had to do. You were young. Things were different then. Despite what Keaton may feel about his
childhood, he did not grow up wanting for anything. From the sounds of it, the Hartleys were very
loving parents. You have nothing to feel
shook her head. “You didn’t see the look
in his eyes the other day at my apartment.
The sense of abandonment he felt.”
told Nathan that Keaton had abandonment issues,” James said. “It stemmed back long before he found out he
was adopted. Friends, girlfriends, it was always the same story. Let it go, Alex.”
he’s my son,” she said and looked at him solemnly.
pulled her into an embrace and did his best to soothe her worries. “I’m glad that my father was there for you to
confide in, but I wish you would have told me.
I was your husband for almost twenty-five years.”
told Marcus in a moment of weakness,” Alex said. “It had nothing to do with how I felt about
you, James. You have to believe
smiled and took her hand in his. “Are
you ready to give our daughter away?”
you stop talking like I’m a litter of kittens?” Miranda said when she entered
the room in a silk robe, her hair and makeup nearly finished. “I hate that expression. Giving me away.”
least they found someone who would take you,” Stormy joked when he entered
Miranda said. “Daddy, I need help with
my vows. Eddie and I decided to write
our own but I can’t put them into words.
What am I going to do?”
say what’s on your mind,” James
said. “You’ve never had a problem with
that in the past. Why should now be any
definitely strong willed,” Alex agreed with a smile. “You both are. That’s what makes you Blackthornes.”
“Some of us get ourselves into trouble
when we say what’s on our mind,” Stormy said wryly as he gestured to his
rolled her eyes. “I can’t wait to move
out of here so I don’t have to listen to that
know,” Alex began. “It’s not very often
that the four of us are together in the same room. I like it.
We should try to make it a more regular thing.
smiled. “I agree.”
that include Keaton?” Stormy asked cynically.
“He’s technically our brother.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that you had another
me too,” agreed Miranda. “At least you
told us before we found out from the
mother has her reasons for what she did,” James said. “All we can do is support her. That’s what families do.”
smiled and gave her mother a quick squeeze.
“I love you.”
love you too, sweetheart,” Alex said, then turned to Stormy. “Both of you.”
Eddie was pacing back and forth in the family room, murmuring to himself as he
tried to memorize the vows he’s written in a few moments of haste.
never going to be able to do this,” he said, placing the palm of his hand on
his forehead and hitting it repeatedly.
“You know how I freeze in front of a crowd. I won’t be able to remember any of this. “
you will,” Stormy said as he entered with Jane.
speak from your heart,” Jane said. “You
know how you feel about Miranda. Just
tell her that.”
easy for you to say,” Eddie told her, sweating profusely.
door opened and Blake walked in.
can you guys excuse us for a minute?” Eddie
problem,” Stormy said and led Jane out of the room.
they were gone, Eddie walked over to Blake and pulled him into an embrace. “Thanks for being here, bro. I really need all the support I can
wouldn’t I be here?” Blake asked.
“You’re my brother. I have to see
for myself that there’s a girl that actually wants to marry you.”
laughed and went to pour a glass of water.
“Is Sheldon with you?”
just thought he would be. Aren’t you two
like…you know…a couple?”
shrugged. “I guess. I don’t know. I just didn’t want to bring him
and like rub your face in it or anything.”
shook his head and went toward him. “You
seem to have this idea that I’m pissed or disappointed that you…you know…like
dudes. I’m not. I’m happy for you. I mean, whatever makes you happy makes me
we’re brothers. There’s nothing you
could tell me that would make me stop loving you. I’m marrying Miranda and adopting Tiger, but
you’ll always be my little bro. That
will never change.”
Blake said and dug his hands in the pockets of his tuxedo. “So…you seen dad?”
nodded. “He should be here soon if he’s
not already. Look, Blake, I can’t tell
you what to do or how to feel, but I know he wants to be in your life. It doesn’t have to be anything major. He just went through a pretty hairy
ordeal. And he’s been on his meds since
he came back. I really think he’s in a
shrugged. “I don’t know. I haven’t told him specifically that I forgave him for all the nutty shit he did, but
he’s our dad. Doesn’t he deserve a
sighed and adjusted the cufflinks on his shirt.
“Maybe,” he said, then paused for a few minutes. “So it’s okay if I call Sheldon and ask him
course it is,” Eddie said and pulled him into an embrace. “Besides, I gotta warn him about some of your
bad habits. Dude, seriously, clean your
room. Once I’m gone no one’s going to be
there to remind you. It’s sick.
hit him playfully and hugged him again. Just
then, Stormy walked into the room again.
he said and motioned to the doorway.
Brooke left Miranda with Jane and walked out into the hall where she ran into
bride all ready?” she asked.
about,” Brooke said with a smile.
her aside and placed a hand over hers.
“Brooke, I know it’s none of my business, but what is going on with you
and Ethan? Two days ago you appeared to
be on the road to a reunion, and now you’re leaving town, and not with him. What happened?”
* * *
was wonderful,” Brooke said as she dressed the following morning. “I feel like the last two years never
happened. Kyle, Emmett, the
earthquake. It’s like it was all a bad
managed a faint smile as he buttoned his shirt by the window. He nodded but managed to concern her enough
to get up and approach him.
it?” Brooke asked. “Did I say
He placed a
hand over his face before taking her and leading her to the bed. “I have to be honest with you about
something, Brooke,” he said. “Last night
when I left, I went to see Mackenzie.”
swallowed, unsure of what he was getting at.
“I went to
tell her that I wanted to keep seeing her,” he explained. “That nothing had changed between us and that
I wanted to make it work with her.”
Brooke said again, this time in a clip tone as she pulled her hand away from
me that it was over,” Ethan went on.
“That you and I getting back together was inevitable.”
stood up. “Is that why you came back
here and made love to me?”
shouldn’t have happened like that,” he said and followed her across the
room. “I’m sorry. I was hurt and angry. Maybe a little bit still in shock over
everything that happened with Michael. I
didn’t mean to lead you on, Brooke. The
truth is, I don’t think we can make it work.
Too much has happened.”
A tear fell
from her eyes as she made her way across the room. “You’d think you would have told me that
before we slept together again.”
“I think we
needed each other last night,” he said.
“But Brooke, can you honestly look at me and say that you believe we
have what it takes to make it? That
after everything, we can still be a family?”
hard about what he asked of her. Voices
echoed in her mind reminding her that she’d questioned the very same thing over
and over again since the day he came back into her life. Even Philip questioned it. The truth was, she didn’t know. Reaching out to him last night had been in an
effort to feel comfort in the arms of someone she felt safe with. And yes, Ethan did make her feel safe. But beyond that, she didn’t know.
not,” she finally said.
to her and took her hands in his.
“You’ll always be very important to me,” he said. “We’ll always share something. We’ll always have our son. Right now I just don’t think we can have more
wiped a tear from her eye and nodded. “What
is wrong with us?” she asked. “Why has
it always been so hard?”
know,” he replied.
silent for a long time, holding each other, walking away, then winding up in
each other’s arms again. It felt very
final. Tears were shed by both of
them. Finally, Brooke wiped her eyes
and turned toward him.
to take Michael and go away for a while,” she said.
asked. “Brooke, you can’t run
her head adamantly. “I’m not running
away this time. I just need time to sort
things out. I need a fresh start, and
getting away from everything here is the only way I know how to do that. I know how much you love Michael, and I would
never dream of taking him away from you.
But I need to do this, Ethan. At
least for a little while.”
you go?” he asked.
know,” she said. “I’ll figure that out
when I get there.”
toward her and took her hands in his. “I
just want you to be happy,” he said.
I want for you too,” Brooke replied, placing a hand alongside his face before
turning and racing from the room.
* * *
you leaving?” Renee asked.
morning,” Brooke replied.
pulled her into an embrace. “You are one
of the strongest women I’ve known,” she said.
“You’re so brave.”
shook her head. “Please. I have nothing on you. After what you’ve lost, to pick yourself up
again and find happiness. I can only
hope that I find even a fraction of the strength you have.”
looked down solemnly. She had lost quite
a bit. A business, a home, and above all
else a daughter. She’d went away and
done just what Brooke was planning to do.
Now she was on the road to happiness.
She couldn’t fault her for wanting the same for herself.
the door to the bedroom opened and Jane emerged. Behind her, Miranda appeared in a flowing
white vintage Alexander McQueen gown with beaded accents and a veil hanging
from a diamond tiara.
beautiful,” Renee said and kissed her.
waiting downstairs in the foyer to walk you,” Brooke announced. “Are you ready?”
nodded affirmatively. “Ready as I’ll
they heard commotion in the foyer. They
gazed down over the top of the stairs and spotted Jackie barreling inside, a
furious expression on her face.
“Jackie? What the devil are you doing here?” James began.
she?” she demanded. “Where is that
no-good ex-wife of yours?”
you talking about?” James demanded.
“We’re about to have a wedding.
One that you weren’t invited to, by the way.”
brushed past him and started across the foyer.
Just then, Brooke walked down the stairs, Renee hovering close
behind. Miranda and Jane remained at
the top of the stairs watching the awkward situation unfold.
it’s me you’re looking for,” Brooke said.
“What is it, Jackie? Like James
said, we’re about to have a wedding. Or
did you decide to ruin that, too? It
wasn’t enough that you took Moonshadows.
You have to take a young woman’s wedding day from her too?”
hell didn’t you tell me about David?” Jackie demanded.
interest peaked. She walked to the edge
of the staircase so she could listen more clearly.
that David underwent an experimental surgery and you never bothered to tell
me,” Jackie went on. “He’s my son. You didn’t think I’d want to know that he
wasn’t going to die?”
James asked. “Is this true?”
God,” Miranda gasped and grabbed Jane’s hand for support.
shifted uncomfortably on her feet. “I
only found out a few days ago,” she said.
“Kyle knew about it but he kept it from me.” She directed her attention back to
Jackie. “This is not the time or the
place to discuss this. Can you blame David for not telling you himself?
What does that say about the relationship the
two of you have?"
because you and David have the same father does not mean you get to call the shots where he is concerned,” Jackie
spat hatefully. “I’m
not going to die?” Miranda asked.
anyway,” a voice said from the other side of the foyer.
Brooke saw David Jennings enter from the kitchen where the side door of the house
was located. He was thinner and his hair
was very short, but he was the same brother she remembered.
God,” Jackie said, brushing past her and throwing her arms around her son. “David!
I don’t believe it!”
it,” he replied and hugged her. “It
looks like I’m interrupting something.”
her way toward him and paused, looking into his eyes and smiling with
elation. “You’re really here,” she
said. “And you’re-“
free,” he said. “By last check,
anyway. How are you, little sister?”
him close. “A lot better now that you’re here,” she said. “I can’t believe you’re okay. The doctors were so sure that you weren’t
going to make it.”
“Not all of them,” he said and shook James’s
hand. “I’m sorry I had to keep this all
on the down low. If the operation didn’t
work, I didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up.”
have told me,” Jackie said. “David, I’m
about you later, mother. I have a few
things I’d like to get off my chest about your recent activities. About Moonshadows, in particular. I bought it back, by the way.”
say the state of California’s
economy just got a big boost thanks to me,” he said. “It’ll cost me a bundle to get it up and
running again, but at least I'll know my father’s dream wasn’t for
nothing. Well, his dream after
abandoning plans to drill for oil.”
about the oil?” James asked.
I did,” David said with a smile. He
turned just as Miranda arrived at the bottom of the stairs. Looking at her in her wedding dress, he
couldn’t help but take a step back.
“Wow. You look…amazing.”
up and threw her arms around him. “I’ve
never been so happy to see someone alive in my life,” she said. “David, you have no idea how much I’ve
Brooke looked at each other warily.
go tell them that it’ll be a little bit,” Jane said and made her way outside
through the back door.
like you’re busy,” David said to Miranda with a good-natured smile. “I’m sorry to just barge in like this. I was hoping I could see you. And the baby.”
froze, unsure of what to do or say.
David didn’t know that he was Tiger’s father. How could he?
He’d been away for a year.
Outside, Canon in D played over the speakers. Guests were in their seats. The minister was standing beneath the
trellis, and Eddie was in position waiting for Miranda, with Stormy and Blake,
his best men, standing to the side. On
the right, Heather was standing quietly.
A fleeting moment of panic overcame him when he kept checking the house
for any sign of Miranda. It seemed to be
taking a long time for her to emerge.
He wondered if something was wrong.
came rushing outside and up to the trellis, his worries were confirmed. She leaned in and whispered in his ear. Stormy approached to see what the problem
was. Wedding guests began to chatter in
hushed whispers. Eddie stood back and
attempted to hide his panic.
difficulty,” he announced, backing up down the aisle. “If everyone can just…you know….hang on for a
few minutes, we’ll get this show on the road.”
he tore up the lawn to the house with Stormy and Jane following fast on his
heels. Heather went after them. As she made her way down the aisle, Brett got
up from his seat and approached her.
everything okay?” he asked, reaching a hand out to stop her.
fine,” she said and shrugged him away.
if I can help-“
she said and darted off.
front row, Kelly sat between Leilani and Matthew, grinning as she folded her
arms in amusement. She couldn’t help but
wonder what Miranda had done this time.
Tiger from Miranda and held her in his arms.
They were alone upstairs in the nursery, the others still waiting down
in the foyer for them to emerge.
beautiful,” David said. “She’s-“
Miranda told him.
eyes lit up as he held the infant. “I
have a daughter?” he said as more of a statement than a question.
gone for a long time, David,” Miranda said and moved across the room in her
wedding dress. “We thought you were
going to die.”
I was too,” David told her. “But when
you told me that you were pregnant, and that the baby could be mine, I thought
about how much I would regret not being able to hold my own child. I knew I had to have the surgery. I didn’t care about the risks.”
I are getting married today,” she said.
“He loves Tiger. He loves her as
if she were his own.”
placed the baby back in her crib. “I
can’t pretend that I feel like I missed out on something,” he said. “I mean, I know it was never easy between us,
but it was very hard leaving here, and you were the big reason for that.”
room, Eddie appeared. He hung in the
doorway and watched them for a few minutes.
don’t,” Miranda said, tears in her eyes.
“You knew how I felt about Eddie before you left.”
and walked toward her, reaching a hand out and holding it alongside her
face. Miranda placed her hand around
his and looked into his eyes.
yeah…uh… hi…” Eddie said and burst into the room.
acknowledged. “I hear congratulations
are in order.”
too,” Eddie said and put his arm around Miranda. “You know, for being alive and stuff.”
“I told him
about Tiger,” Miranda said.
great,” Eddie said. “Well, thanks for
stopping by, David. If you’ll excuse us,
we have vows to recite. Vows that I
wrote myself, by the way, and with no help from Stormy or Blake.”
there’s something else you should know,” Miranda began. “Eddie was going to adopt Tiger. We wanted her to have a father.”
David asked in surprise. “Oh. I see.”
mean I’ve been here the whole time.
Watching her in these first few weeks of her life. Doing all the things a father’s supposed to
now that you’re back, that won’t be possible,” Miranda continued. “David, you’re Tiger’s father. You have a right to be in her life. She needs to know you.”
groaned in frustration and turned away.
“Great,” he murmured. “So he
decides to go away and not tell anyone that he’s not dying, we go on with our
lives, and then he comes back and we’re just supposed to forget
everything? Forget the plans we
Miranda said and reached out to him.
“We’re still getting married, Eddie.
I still love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you. But David is Tiger’s father. What else am I supposed to do?”
know,” Eddie said sullenly. “Everything
is just messed up as usual.”
don’t want to get in the way of your plans,” David said. “If Miranda’s found what makes her happy,
then I’m happy too. But I do want to be in my daughter’s life.”
a deep breath. “And you should be,” he
said with great difficulty. “I guess
being a step father is not so bad.”
going to be a great step-father,”
Miranda said and kissed him. “Thank you,
he reached his hand out to David. “I am
glad you’re back, and…you know…not dead.”
David said. “Look, I’ll leave you to
your special day. I’m sorry that I
nearly ruined it.”
didn’t,” Eddie said quickly and pulled Miranda close again. He looked at her. “Babe, you look super hot, by the way.”
“Thanks.” She walked to the door. “David, we’d like you to stay. I know there are people who would like to see
that,” he said.
his lip, realizing he would have to deal with David Jennings being in their lives
from there on out. He still felt like he
had everything in the world. A beautiful
wife, a daughter whom he thought of as his own, and a perfect life that awaited
take you to be my wife,” Eddie said a short time later once they were back in
front of the minister. “I met you when I
was five years old. I remember thinking
you were just my best friend Stormy’s bratty little sister. But then we got older and you turned into
this super hot babe. I felt like such a
dork whenever I was around you, even during your goth phase. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to
ask you out, but I was so insecure. I
don’t even think you knew who I was most of the time aside from being Victor
smiled, holding his hand as they stood before their guests. Alex cried in the front row, clutching Jordan’s hand
as she dabbed a tissue around her eyelids.
On the other side of the aisle, Victor sat laughing at each joke his son
“But then I
got my wish,” Eddie went on. “You
finally stopped and looked at me, and that’s when my feelings for you turned to
wow, this super hot babe is a beautiful person inside and out. I was hooked.”
behind him, Stormy rolled his eyes at his friend’s choice of words, then
exchanged smiles with Jane standing beside Heather on the other side of the
vow to love you for the rest of my life,” Eddie continued. “To protect you and to cherish you. I’ll be the greatest stepfather in the world
and I will do everything I can to make our home a warm and loving place. I love you more than anything in the
collecting on her eyelashes, Miranda blinked them away and tried to control her
quivering voice. “Eddie, I take you to
be my husband. Ever since I can
remember, I thought you were just my brother Stormy’s dorky best friend. I seriously knew more about the homeless guy
who lives under the 405 than I did about you.”
booming laugh erupted from Victor as he swallowed a small black pill and took a
flask from Nathan.
“But then I
looked past the geeky façade, the dorky haircuts, the stuttering and the tripping
over stuff, and saw a man with a bitchin’ body and a heart the size of California. Eddie, you see things in me that no one else
does. You overlook the things that I
hate about myself and you make me laugh every single day that we’re together. I can’t wait to spend the next sixty years of
my life with you.”
place the ring on Miranda’s finger,” the minister said.
exchanged rings and stared adoringly into one another’s eyes. In the back row, David watched and managed a
faint smile. When the minister asked if anyone had reason
to object to the wedding, he remained silent.
His time with Miranda had passed.
He’d been given a second chance at living, and at being a father. For now, that was all he cared about.
power vested in me by the state of California,
I now pronounce you husband and wife.
You may kiss the bride.”
rang out as they kissed. The guests rose
from their chairs and cheered as they made their way back up the aisle. James placed an arm around Alex and kissed
her on the cheek. Brooke watched Ethan
and wondered what would happen if things had turned out differently for
them. Renee embraced T.T. and rejoiced
in their own happiness. Jackie sat in
the back, stewing over the outcome of her plans. Brett watched Heather and
wondered if they would ever come to terms with their past. He knew he had to keep trying. He finally felt like he was settled and in a
good place. Without her, none of it
mattered to him.
out of the reception when no one was looking.
Since her talk with James and the children, she couldn’t think of
anything else but confronting her past.
As much as she wanted to pretend it didn’t exist, she couldn’t. She had to see Keaton again.
being detained on charges of breaking and entering and possession of an illegal
firearm with intent to do harm. She
still believed he wouldn’t have hurt her.
No matter what happened in his past, he just seemed like a very
emotionally damaged young man.
thought I’d see you again,” Keaton said, holding the phone receiver and staring
through the glass pane that separated them.
sure why I came,” she said. “I just knew
that I had to see you. How long are you
going to be in here?”
shrugged. “My lawyer said it could be a
treating you well?” she asked but didn’t know why. It sounded like such a motherly thing to say,
and she felt like anything but his mother.
Keaton replied. A few moments of awkward
silence passed. “I meant what I said,”
he began. “I had no intention of hurting
you the other day in your apartment. I’m
so sorry for scaring you.”
understand why you did it.”
about it and shook her head. “Maybe not
entirely. But I know that you haven’t
had an easy time of it. You’re a very high-strung
man, Keaton. You remind me…” Her voice trailed off.
you of what?”
me of myself,” she finished, choking back a few tears. “What are you going to do when you get
shrugged. “Try to get another job. I love what I do. I love making films. It’s all I’ve ever cared about.”
Alex said and nodded affirmatively.
“You’re a natural director. I
have a feeling you’ll be very successful.”
you?” Keaton asked her. “What’s next for you?”
sure,” Alex told him. “I realized
something about myself recently. I came
here to make it big and I did. I’ve had many
have always been well received.”
talking about my films,” Alex said. “I’m
talking about my children. Stormy and
Miranda. They’re what I’m most proud of. Everything else is just a paycheck.”
wedding was today,” Keaton observed.
“Aren’t you missing it?”
back there now,” Alex said. “I just
wanted to come and tell you that I hope you find happiness in whatever you’re
looking for, Keaton.”
shuddered at the finality of her words.
of yourself,” she said and rose from her chair.
After one final glance into his eyes, she hung up the phone and walked
away, the sound of her heels clicking on the tiled floor.
she pulled her phone from her purse and unfolded a scrap of paper she’d
received from the police. It was the
phone number for the Hartleys in upstate New
dialed the number and waited for an answer.
Hartley?” she said. “My name is Alex
Reynolds. Keaton is in trouble, Mrs.
Hartley. He needs you. He needs his mother.”
Back at the
reception, Brett watched Heather interacting with Stormy and Miranda from
across the room. He only took his eyes
off her when James approached, a taut expression on his face.
this I hear about you moving over to Double Strike Studios?” he asked him gruffly.
Brett swallowed hard. “I was going to
tell you myself, James, but I know how crazy things have been around here
lately. Look, I want you to know that I
appreciate the opportunities you’ve given me.
It’s just time that I move on.”
nodded. Was James really pissed that he
was leaving the studio? His question was
answered when he was suddenly pulled into an embrace, James patting him firmly
on the back.
of you, Brett,” James said. “You’ve made
your own way in this industry and created a name for yourself. Not bad for a con man who hitched onto my
daughter one drunken night in Vegas six years ago.”
smiled, relieved that there appeared to be no hard feelings. “Thanks.
I meant what I said. I appreciate
everything you’ve done for me.”
been like another son to me. You’ve
gotten this family out of our share of jams.
I’m going to miss not having you in my corner. But I have a feeling this isn’t the last
we’ll be seeing of you. I’m sure you’ll
turn Double Strike around and make it a force to be reckoned with.”
“I’ll do my
best,” Brett said, shaking his hand when he extended it to him.
left, he turned and looked at Heather again.
He decided it was now or never.
He had to get through to her.
Things were going too well for him to not try again.
“I told you
I can’t talk to you right now,” Heather said when he approached. “Brett, just leave me alone.”
said defiantly. “Look, I know you’re dealing
with things the best you can, but you have to talk to me. We have to work this out. If nothing else so we can get some
said no!” she snapped and ran off into the foyer.
Miranda and Stormy saw her reaction, they went to intercept her.
okay?” Miranda asked. “I’m sorry if his
being here upsets you. It was my idea.
I can ask him to leave.”
Miranda,” Heather said, preoccupying herself with arranging the card box on the
“Do you need
to talk?” Stormy asked. “I’m always here
for you, Heather.”
said, growing frazzled.
want to leave, princess?” Jordan
asked when he approached.
drive you,” Stormy indicated.
Heather screamed, backing up away from them and placing her hands alongside her
Miranda said and reached out to her.
“What is it?”
“I wish you
would all just stop acting like I’m going to break!” she screamed. Brett heard the commotion and walked over to
them. “I’m not a child! I don’t need to be coddled!” Heather
coddling you,” Jordan
said. “We’re just worried about
“I am not going to lose it again,” she said,
annunciating each syllable clearly. “I
am fine. I feel like ever since I came back everyone
has been walking on eggshells around me.
Why can’t you all just accept that I don’t want to talk about my mother
wanted to explain,” Brett said to her.
what?” she demanded in a shrill voice.
“Look, I get it. I read all about
it in her book. The two of you got
close. You were raising Violet on your
own. My mother was there. You slept together. What more is there to say?”
frowned and looked between her and Brett and Jordan. “We just thought you were trying to suppress
it. You know, like you did those other
things before you went away.”
if it’s not my favorite topic of conversation,” Heather protested. “Look, I appreciate your concern. All of you.
But you don’t have to do this. I
Heather, maybe you should talk to
Brett,” Stormy suggested. He ignored
the looks of wonderment that came from Miranda and Jordan. “You have a child together. It might make things easier if you get things
out in the open.”
and dropped her hands to her sides in resignation. “Fine.”
She motioned to Brett. “Let’s
returned from the police station, she ran into Nathan smoking a cigarette
outside on the front drive. Frowning,
she walked up the steps and regarded him carefully.
you gave up smoking years ago,” she said.
sighed and looked at the cigarette in his hand.
“I did,” he said. “But in light
of recent events, I started again.
Curses. The way I figure it is, I
didn’t get off’d by a serial killer so I can afford a few of these.” He handed one to Alex and she took it
grudgingly. “I won’t tell Jordan.”
for getting Marilee to confess,” she said.
“If you hadn’t, she would have come after Lola again, and I know how
would be to lose her.”
with the unwarranted niceties?” Nathan asked with a grin. “Could Alex Reynolds be softening toward her
said matter-of-factly. “You and I are not going to be friends, Nathan. But I do think you’ve changed. Not that it takes away anything you may have
done in the past.”
enough,” he said. “You went to see
nodded. “He’s a very troubled young
man. His parents are on their way out here
to take care of him.”
you? You’re his mother.”
her head. “His mother is Alice Hartley.
I’m just the woman who gave birth to him.”
inhaled and blew a stream of smoke into the air.
you come to my apartment that day a few weeks ago?” Alex asked him after a few
minutes. “You said you wanted to tell me
about the day he was faced with his own mortality, not knowing if he would live
or die at the hands of the killer. He’d
grown to regret many of his mistakes, starting with what he’d done to
I was sorry,” he said.
stubbed out her cigarette and walked to the door. “Thank you for saying that, Nathan. But you’ll understand if I can’t forgive you. Sadly, what you did to me was not nearly as
bad as what Deacon Edgewater did. He
made me feel like I wouldn't amount to anything in Hollywood
without his help. That’s
about the only consolation I can give you.”
Nathan said and watched as she walked back inside.
her in the foyer and led her off through a group of wedding guests and into the
looking all over for you,” he said.
something to do,” Alex replied and kissed him.
“But I’m back now. Did you miss
smiled. “Of course I did.”
and sat down on the sofa. “Things are
really starting to look up, aren’t they?”
getting better,” Jordan
and sat down beside her. “I’m very lucky
that you’ve stuck by me. You had every
right to walk away and never look back.”
in pain. Not the kind of pain that I
could ever comprehend, but I still understood.”
Jordan took her
hand. “So what did you think of the
beautiful. Miranda and Eddie look so
think we could ever be that happy?”
smiled. “I do. As long as we don’t repeat the same mistakes
into his pocket and casually slipped a ring on her finger. “What would you do if I asked you to marry me
exclaimed as she stared at the enormous diamond ring. “When did you-“
day,” he said. “Look, we don’t have to
rush into anything. We can see where
things go. Like you said, as long as we
don’t keep making the same mistakes, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work this
him into an embrace, gazing at the ring over his shoulder.
“You’re moving out too?” James
exclaimed. “What is this? All my children are leaving me?”
“At least we’re married,” Miranda said while
giving her brother a jab with her elbow.
“Stormy and Jane are going to be living in sin.”
thought it was time I moved out on my own,” Stormy said. “And Jane agreed to move in with me. I didn’t want to say anything until after the
wedding. Miranda hates being
Miranda said with a shrug and a flip of her hair.
it’s wonderful,” James said and gave them each a hug. “But I must say, I’m going to miss having
detected a look of dejection in his eyes.
“Daddy, are you okay?”
nodded. “It’s going to be a very empty
house in a couple days. Brooke and
Michael leaving, Miranda and Tiger, now Stormy and R.J. I’m sure Renee and T.T. will be moving into
their own place soon. I’m not sure how I
feel about having my own bachelor pad.”
still be here,” Stormy said, realizing it was little comfort to him. “Listen, we’ll probably be here all the time
anyway. I mean, Miranda can’t cook, and
R.J. is going to want to ride those horses when he gets old enough. Believe me, you’ll be wishing we would go
home and leave you to your bachelor pad.”
laughed and glanced around. “Speaking of
Ethan. Has anyone seen him?”
me talk to you,” Ethan said as he stood on the porch of Mackenzie’s house. “Just for a minute. I promise.”
she stood to the side and let him in. “I
would have thought you’d be at your cousin’s wedding. Wasn’t that today?”
everyone’s at the reception,” Ethan told her, his hands dug in the pockets of
his suit trousers. He looked around and
noticed packed boxes and paintings removed from the walls. “Where are you going?”
“Back to New York,” she said. “I got a job as producer of another daytime
soap. The last one they still film in New York. It probably won’t last but another year, but
I have to go where the work is.”
looked down at a half-open box filled with photographs. “I’ve been trying to think of a way to get
through to you. To make you believe me
when I tell you that I love you.”
across the room from him, her hands dropping to her sides in exasperation. “What about Brooke?”
Brooke that it was over between her and I.
She agreed that getting back together would be a mistake.”
Mackenzie remarked cynically.
leaving town,” he stressed to her.
“She’s taking Michael and she’s going away to get her life in
order. Mackenzie, it’s you that I
love. It’s you that I want to be
with. Can’t you see that?”
away in an effort to avoid looking into his mesmerizing hazel eyes.
me,” he said and turned her toward him.
“Why would I be here if I didn’t mean what I’m saying to you?”
flooded her eyes. “I can’t,” she
said. “I’m supposed to be in New York the day after
tomorrow. It’s too late, Ethan.”
briefly and then shook his head adamantly.
“Then I’ll go with you,” he said.
“I’ll go to
New York with
you. Mackenzie, I want to be with
you. I’ll go wherever you are.”
she threw her arms around him and held him close. “Are you sure?” she asked.
been more sure of anything,” he said, taking her by the hands.
been more sure of anything,” Brooke said to James as they stood in the family
room at the Blackthorne mansion. They’d
escaped to a private section of the house, away from the madness of the wedding
reception and from prying ears. “I need
to get away for a while.”
sighed. “I’d hoped that I could change
your mind. It’s not going to be the same
around here without you and Michael.”
be forever,” she said, placing a hand alongside his face. “James, thank you for everything. You were a caring husband, a good friend, and
a man that I can truly say I feel honored to have in my life.”
twinkled as she stared into hers. “I
“I love you
too,” Brooke said, leaning in and kissing him tenderly.
left, James walked to the bar and poured himself a glass of brandy. Renee appeared from behind and approached him
you stop her?” she asked.
to her and shrugged. “It’s not for me to
decide. Brooke has to do what’s right
“I saw the
look in your eyes when you were just talking to her,” Renee insisted, the beads
on her beige gown crinkling as she walked closer. “I saw the look in her eyes. Whatever was
between the two of you has never really gone away, has it?’
smiled. “Renee, you’re happy. You have a husband who adores you. Maybe it’s time to stop the meddling.”
his way with words, Renee placed a hand on his shoulder and laughed. “Fair enough.
So what are we going to do about Jackie?
She obviously isn’t going anywhere.
How much more of her are we going to have to take?”
like a force of nature,” James remarked.
“She does her damage, makes herself look like Mother Theresa, and then
moves on to the next thing.”
wondering what the next thing is
going to be,” Renee said with a resigned shake of her head.
“There’s my beautiful bride,” Nathan said
when he found Jackie outside pacing by her car. “It’s been a long time, Jackie.”
at him and turned away from the door.
“Yes, it has. How are you,
that you weren’t one of Marilee’s victims,” she said. “Hopefully she’ll be in prison for a very long time.”
lucky that’s not where you are right
now,” Nathan said. “From what I
understand, you barely got out of that mess with Moonshadows with your Manolo’s
intact. I always said you were like a
cat. You always land on your feet.”
and hooked her arm through his. “I have missed, you, Nathan. But I guess it’s time to annul our
shrugged. “I only married to you to get
your shares of the studio. Besides,
don’t you miss the swinging single days of bachelorhood?”
are long over,” Nathan remarked and placed his arms around her. “You know you were the only woman I ever
loved. I’d like to say you were the only
woman who ever broke my heart, but you weren’t.
Still, I could never measure up to Royce Jennings. He gave you what I never would.”
she said, recalling Nathan's unwillingness to give her a child when they were
married the first time. “You
were still a very special part of my life, Nathan..”
“What? The first time I met you, it was here in the
pool house. We went skinny
laughed fondly at the memory. It had
been her eighteenth birthday party. “What can’t it be like that again?”
it can’t?” Nathan asked. “Maybe we
should just stay married. There are
worse things. As a matter of fact, come
frowned and followed him around to the back of the house. A few lingering wedding guests were mingling
outside while the caterers took down the chairs from the ceremony.
“What are you doing?” Jackie
young again,” Nathan said and jumped into the pool in his tuxedo.
covered her mouth and laughed at how ridiculous he looked. “Nathan Blackthorne! What has gotten into you?”
you of what it was like,” he said, wiping the water from his eyes. “Come on, Jackie. It’s time to get your hair wet.”
her head in protest. “You’re
definitely crazy,” he said and climbed out of the pool. He went to her and took her hand. “What do you say? Stay Mrs. Nathan Blackthorne for a while
longer? It’s not like we’re doing
would like the tax breaks."
regarded him carefully. “We can live in
“And I can
see other people?”
frowned. “As long as I get first dibs on
smiled. “I guess staying married won’t
be so bad.”
his arms around her and she screamed out loud.
he kissed her softly and placed his hands alongside her face.
Miranda’s bedroom, Heather sat on the bed while Brett paced back and forth
expect you to forgive me for what I did,” he was saying. “I know I acted like a jackass. You were gone and I was alone and
confused. Suzanne was just there. I never meant to hurt you, Heather. Please know that.”
listened to him for twenty minutes but had held her tongue until now. Finally, she stood up and walked toward
him. Raising her hand in the air, she
slapped him hard across the face. Brett
staggered back from the shattering blow, checking his lip to make sure it
that was a long time in coming,” he said.
and I are never going to be close,” she said.
“I don’t even know where she is right now. She left when I was so young, I feel like I
never really knew who she was. Not the
real her, anyway. But you, you were
someone that I never thought would hurt me.
I never thought you would betray me the way you did, Brett.”
apologize,” she cut him off. “Not
again. I can’t take it, Brett. I loved you so much. Maybe a little too much. You came along
when I needed someone and I guess I fell for you out of gratitude.”
what’s happened, I still love you. I
want you and Violet and I to be a family.”
asked. “How can we go back to what we
had before after everything that’s happened?”
hard about her question. He wanted to be
realistic. The truth was, they couldn’t
go back to how it was, because it never was perfect to begin with. All they could do was start over and go from
start over,” he suggested. “Let’s build something
real this time. Something that we can
call our own. Something perfect. No more secrets, no more pain from the past,
no more outside influences. Please say you’ll at least give me a
chance. It doesn’t have to be all or
nothing. But don’t say that it won’t
happen. I can’t stand the thought of not
having you in my life.”
silent for a few moments and finally nodded in agreement. “I can’t promise anything,” she said.
dinner this week when I come visit Violet?
Just to talk. Nothing more.”
practically burst with excitement. He
rushed forward, gleefully nodding his head in approval. “That’s perfect,” he said through a haze of
tears. “That’s more than I could hope
for and more than I deserve.”
a deep breath. “Then I will see you and
Violet at the condo at our next scheduled visit.”
nodded happily. “Heather, thank
you. I swear to you I’m going to show
you that I’ve changed. I’m going to make
you fall in love with me all over again, and this time gratitude will have
nothing to do with it.”
Eddie were busy mingling with guests downstairs when Kelly appeared from the parlor
room with Leilani and Matthew. Leilani
seemed to be pushing her toward her as if to coerce her into something she
didn’t want to.
your dress is really pretty,” Kelly said with a sigh. “And I guess your hair turned out cute too. “
Kelly,” Miranda said and smiled politely.
“I like your dress too. I saw it
in the October Vogue a year ago.”
glared at her. “That’s it. Mama, I told you this wasn’t going to
work. I can’t be nice to her. She makes it impossible!”
wanted to thank you for getting my little girl to agree to listen to me,”
Matthew spoke up. “We’ve managed to work
some things out. I bought a little house
and she’s going to be moving in.”
great,” Eddie said and put his arm around Miranda.
really happy for you,” Miranda greed with as much sincerity as she could
either that or I have Kelly help me clean around here,” Leilani said and then
rolled her eyes, then acknowledged Stormy when he and Jane approached. “Uh, listen, Stormy. I thought maybe we could meet next week and
talk about visitation with R.J. For me,
I mean. I know he’s better of with you
right now. I would like to see him,
said with a meek smile.
a breath and turned to her parents.
“Great, so can we go?”
called after her before she walked away.
“Kelly, wait,” she said. “I know
a girl who runs a dress shop in Riverside. I’ll get you the number. Tell her you know me and she’ll give you a
“You know someone in Riverside?” Kelly asked in disbelief.
smiled and shrugged. “I have what I like
to call an equal opportunity fashion sense.”
morning, Brooke set her suitcases down in the foyer and bent down to ensure
Michael’s jacket was securely zipped.
Ethan walked out of the dining room and smiled, bending down to Michael
and giving him a kiss.
good for your mommy, little buddy,” he said.
“I’m going to talk to you on the phone every day and I’m going to come
visit as often as I can.”
“Can I get
a smile?” Ethan asked.
smiled and laughed. Just then, James
emerged from his study and approached.
has the jet ready to go,” he said. “I
had the driver pull up front. He’ll take
you to the air strip.”
James,” Brooke said as the driver came in and collected her and Michael’s
things. She turned and surveyed the
house. “I can’t believe I’m leaving this
always stay,” James said. He thought
about what Renee said to him at the reception.
But it was a pipe dream. What he
and Brooke had had been lost a long time ago.
He didn’t see any way they could go back.
you,” Brooke said. “But I have to do
James into an embrace and whispered a tearful goodbye. Turning toward Ethan, she walked awkwardly
toward him and shrugged.
of yourself,” Ethan said and kissed her on the cheek.
Taking a deep
breath, she grabbed Michaels’ hand and started through the door. “Ready?”
Michael chirped, following her out to the car.
closed the door and turned, patting Ethan on the shoulder before retreating
upstairs to his bedroom.
carried a box of clothes in from the car and set it down in the entryway of her
and Eddie’s townhouse. Looking around
with a grin, she turned just as he came in, struggling with an armful of her
blouses on hangers.
this isn’t how we’re spending our honeymoon,” he said, toppling to the floor on
top of the clothes.
the honeymoon could wait,” Miranda said.
“We wanted to hurry up and get into our new place, remember?”
right,” Eddie said. “I just wasn’t
expecting it to be the day after our wedding.
I thought we were hiring movers, anyway.”
going to let the movers touch my
clothes!” Miranda exclaimed.
to his feet, he took her by the hands.
“Maybe I should go back to David's and check on Tiger. Didn’t she seem a little feverish this
laughed. “You’re not getting out of
this, mister. There are two more
carloads of clothes we have to pick up.
Now get moving!”
Eddie stumbled back out to the patio.
Miranda came up behind him and slipped her arms around his waist.
“I know I
wasn’t thrilled about moving to begin with, but now that we’re here, I think
I’m going to love it. It’s ours, after all. No nosy relatives lurking outside your door,
no fights over big family dinners, no one falling down that big ass staircase
every few months.”
Eddie said and pointed to the townhouse next door. There was a sold sign staked into the ground. “Looks like we’re going to have new
crossed her fingers and grimaced. “Oh
God, please don’t let them be freaks.”
the patio door to the neighboring town house opened and Stormy and Jane
emerged, hand in hand with bright smiles on their faces. When they saw Miranda and Eddie next door,
their mouths dropped open in surprise.
you doing here?” they all asked in unison.
the place I bought for me and Jane,” Stormy said and gestured to the
townhouse. “Wait a minute…”
“You’re our new neighbors?” Miranda asked
incredulously. “Oh, hell no.”
Eddie asked with raucous laughter. “This
is going to be great!”
yeah!” Stormy agreed and high-fived him.
groaned. The last thing she wanted was to move out of her father’s crowded
house only to wind up living right next door to her brother. It would be like she never left
attendant on the Sunset Studios jet took Michael from Brooke and got him
situated in the cabin with a juice box and a stack of coloring books. After using the ladies room in the private
terminal, Brooke made her way out to the tarmac where the pilot was standing by
the steps waiting for her.
voice called out.
and turned, surprised to see Kyle Fenwick standing by the doors. “Kyle?
What are you doing here?”
“On my way
to New York,”
he said and gestured to the Fenwick Industries jet that was parked nearby. “You?”
shrugged. “Just going away for a while,”
she said. It felt strange seeing him
again after the volatile end to their relationship days before. She’d wondered if she would regret her
decision to break it off, but after seeing him, she realized she didn’t. She and Kyle were never meant to work
out. It took his lies for her to realize
to take my family’s offer up in heading up Fenwick Industries,” Kyle
explained. “I was going to say goodbye
to you but-“
her head. “It’s okay. We said everything we had to say the other
awkwardly. “Good luck to you,
Brooke. I hope you find whatever it is
that’s going to make you happy.”
Kyle,” she said and waited until he’d gone to board the jet.
Leaving Los Angeles didn’t seem
real to her until she heard the cabin door close, then the pilot announcing
that they’d be in the air soon. Minutes
later, the jet was speeding down the runway, lifting into the air and leaving
everything she’d come to know behind her.
evening, in the private screening room in the basement of the Blackthorne
mansion, James proudly showed the rough cut of The Benefactor to his friends and colleagues. By the time the end credits rolled, applause
had erupted from the small audience.
Vaughan Novak said with a robust pat on James’s back.
outdid yourself, James,” Kenny agreed.
take much of the credit,” he said modestly. “Stormy and Brett did most of the
heavy lifting with this one. “And I
really think Nathan shined in the role.
A much different take on Norton from the original.”
is actually very sad,” Renee remarked. “When
the kids were on the shuttle facing disaster, we really got a glimpse of their
struggles. Even though Norton was their
leader, he couldn’t do anything to help them overcome their personal demons. All he could do was steer the ship to
safety. The rest was up to them.”
what I loved about Jonas’s original film,” James said. “All the special effects and the over the top
circumstances essentially took a back seat to what really mattered. The big draw for me was always the inner
conflict of each character.”
sure it’ll blow the rest of the summer blockbusters out of the water,” Vaughan said as he
followed the others up the stairs to the foyer.
“Which will of course benefit me because every one of those kids is
going to need representation.”
laughed as James got their coats and bid them goodnight. Kenny remained behind with Renee and T.T.
adjourn to the library and have a drink?” Renee asked.
nodded. “That sounds like a great idea,”
he said. “I’ll be there in a
was spectacular, James,” T.T. remarked as he led Renee down the hall.
in the foyer, glancing up the stairs and then at the door. Kenny approached him with his jacket in
James?” he asked.
at him and nodded. “Yeah, sure. You leaving already, Kenny?”
“I need to
get an early start in the morning. First
day at Wells, Inc. taking over for Marilee.”
He paused and gauged his friend’s expression. “I can stay if you want.”
you?” James asked, then laughed. “It’s
silly. This place feels so empty to
me. It’s been a long time since it’s
been this empty.”
“I have a
few minutes,” Kenny said and gestured to the hall. “Let’s go have that drink with Renee and
his head and gestured to his study.
“Actually, I have a better idea.”
He led him into the room where he opened a leather bound box on the
desk. Inside, he withdrew a thirty year
old bottle of single malt scotch. “This
is where I keep the good stuff.”
grinned and looked at the bottle while James produced two glasses. “Very nice,” he said. “How long have you been holding on to this
he said and poured them each a glass.
“Cheers,” he said and held his glass up before taking a swig.
down, exhaling as he did, and then laughed at himself. “I feel old,” he said. “It’s bad when sitting down takes it out of you.”
turn, James sat down in the cognac leather chair across from him. “I don’t feel old,” he said. “I should. I’m damn near fifty.”
isn’t it?” Kenny asked and finished his scotch.
“One day you’re young and virile and thinking you can conquer the whole
world, and the next you’re…”
James finished for him.
alone,” Kenny said and held out his glass as James refilled it. “James, you have more people who love and
respect you than most people can ever imagine having. You’ve got a successful film studio, this
house, family, children, grandchildren.
You’ve got it all. You’re the
American dream. Or at the very least
you’re the Hollywood dream. It’s what everyone who comes here wants.
You followed your uncle Nathan out here from Kansas
with nothing. Now look at you."
sighed and looked across the room in a daze.
“But who do I have to share it with?” he asked. “Lord knows I’ve had my chances. All of them ending in disaster. Alex, Brooke, Leigh, Jackie, Mackenzie. I guess I’m destined to be the one who takes
care of everyone else. I’m no better
off than Vaughan Novak, fixing things for Jonas Lamont. Look at him now. Alone.”
nothing like Vaughan,”
Kenny insisted. “Vaughan is alone. You’re…not
sighed and walked across the room. “I
don’t know, Kenny. The kids moving out,
Brooke leaving, I just feel like….”
He waited a
few moments and shook his head dismissively without uttering a response.
regarded his friend carefully. “James, you never did answer my question the other day.”
“I asked if
you thought you and Brooke were meant to be together. We got interrupted before you could give me a
“Do I think
Brooke and I were meant to be together?” he repeated. “That’s
nodded. “Yes. It’s a simple question. Do you or don’t you?”
difference does it make?”
“It makes a
I had our chance. We were married. Twice. Both times Ethan came between us. She chose him. Not me.”
choose him this time,” Kenny reminded him.
well, she didn’t choose anybody. She left.”
you try to stop her?”
his head with a chuckle. “Come on,
Kenny. Why didn’t I try to stop
her? Do you not know Brooke? When was the last time someone tried talking
her out of doing anything? Come on. Be serious now.”
“I am being serious.” He nursed his drink, glancing up at his
friend every so often and gauging the expression on his face. Finally, he came out with the bit of information
he’d been waiting to give him. “You
know, the pilot called me after he cleared the flight plan this morning.”
not to react. “Interesting,” he
nodded and rose from his seat. “I hear Bermuda is lovely this time of year. I’m sure Brooke will find herself enjoying
every minute of it.”
Bermuda, James repeated to himself. She hadn’t said where she was going. She didn’t even know herself until she left.
need to get going,” Kenny said. “See you
the Polo Lounge at one,” James confirmed and gave his friend a quick squeeze and a firm pat on the
back. “Goodnight, Kenny.”
left, James walked out into the foyer and gazed around again. The house did
feel empty to him. Ethan was leaving for
New York the
next day, and Renee and T.T. would be leaving soon. Gone would be the laughter, the arguing, the
bad jokes and the tears.
walked to the far corner of the foyer and looked up at a portrait of Jonas that
had hung on the wall since he’d bought the mansion after Jonas’s death. He smiled, straightening the picture and
taking a step back to reflect on it.
Blackthorne?” Leilani asked when she approached from behind. “Can I get you anything else? I was going to go out and meet Kelly and
smiled and shook his head. “No, no thank
you, Leilani. Have a nice evening.”
and left through the front door.
turned around, glancing into his study at the phone and then checking his
watch. He thought about what Kenny had
said. Did he think that he and Brooke
belonged together? He honestly didn’t
know. He did know that he’d never felt as connected to another person as he
did with Brooke.
The sound of the front door rattling alerted
him to a presence. Slowly, he walked
across the foyer and pulled the door open.
No one was there. Probably the
wind, he decided.
turned to go down the hall and meet up with Renee and T.T. but then realized
something he did need Leilani to do
for him. He opened the door and tried
calling after her but she was already gone.
he closed the door and walked into his study.
Picking up the phone, he dialed the number for his pilot. Rash decisions weren’t his thing, but in this
case, he didn’t see a reason not to.
it’s James,” he said. “Can you file a
flight plan for me? Yes, tonight. I’m
going to Bermuda.”
hung up and took a deep breath. With
nothing but his wallet and the clothes he was wearing, he left the house and
got in his car to head to the air strip.
He’d tried alone. It didn’t work
They made a
movie about them. The stars, their
children, their journey. The bravery of
their leader as they embarked on their mission.
Some didn’t return. Others were
never the same again. Their families
and their loved ones made promises of holding them to a higher regard, thankful
that they’d been given the second chance at love and at life. In their hearts, they had hope.
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