James verbally attacked
Alex for manipulating him in the Caribbean and for
her role in the takover of Sunset Studios. Fearing
that he was losing ground with Alex, Jordan faked
a heart attack to get her sympathy, then later bribed
Winter into telling Alex he was in poor health.
Feeling guilty, Alex accepted Jordan's marriage
proposal. After being tricked into thinking she
was a suspect, Devon admitted to Brett that she
killed Bailey. Devon was arrested and taken
into custody. Miranda became alarmed when
she witnessed one of James's headaches. Stormy and
Lauren continued their affair as Brett became more
convinced they were hiding something. Brooke
suffered from nightmares about Ethan's death. Later,
a delerious Ethan appeared at a mission in
the Dominican Republic where nuns were caring for
Americans in Love"
drove his tricked out Cobra II down Pacific Coast Highway and turned off toward the
marina. He drove down the crowded
streets along the beach and parked next to a group of kids skateboarding in a
out of the driver’s seat, he slammed the door shut and started toward the
apartment building. He jogged up the
three flights of stairs and knocked on the door. A minute later Lauren answered in the nude, a
broad smile on her tan face.
“Winter just left for
work,” she said, grabbing his arm and pulling him inside.
much time do we have?” Stormy asked, covering her with hurried kisses.
got all afternoon,” Lauren replied, unbuttoning his shirt and peeling it off of
his body. She ran her tongue along his
chest as he fumbled with his belt and unfastened it hastily.
on,” Lauren said. She took his hand and
led him into her sun-drenched bedroom.
They laid down on the bed and Stormy covered her with his muscular body,
kissing her neck and working his way down to her shoulders.
I want you,” Stormy groaned as he looked into her eyes and slowly began making
love to her.
walked into Stormy’s office at Good Times
Records and, after finding it empty, went next door to Eddie’s office. She found him sitting at his desk with a
voluptuous blond on his lap, running her hands over his chest through his open
you seen Stormy?” she asked, her long brown hair pinned back with two
braids. Seeing Eddie with the bimbo was
no shock to her. Since Stormy had been
working with him over the years, she had come to expect his womanizing
thought he was here,” Eddie replied,
looking up at her with surprise. The
blond girl tousled his hair and continued groping him in his seat. He shrugged.
“Maybe he’s in the recording booth.”
Heather said, waving before she went down the hall to the studio. When she arrived in the booth, she found it
empty and she sighed with frustration.
felt like she hadn’t seen her husband in days.
He was always working with Lauren.
Even when they were home together he was in front of the stereo
listening to something he’d recorded that day.
She’d try to talk to him, or to initiate contact of some kind, and he
brushed her off. There was always
something more important than her.
with despair, she sat down in the chair and picked up some sheet music laying nearby. Raising an eyebrow, she began humming the
bars quietly to herself. The melody
caught her attention immediately. She wondered
if it was something he’d been working on for Lauren. The composer’s name didn’t ring a bell, but
whoever wrote it certainly had a hit on their hands.
her legs up on the control board, she sang a few notes from the sheet
music. Her leg slipped and pressed a
button on the controls. Suddenly, the
room filled with loud, blaring music.
She quickly shot to her feet, searching for the control to shut it off. As the music progressed, she rolled her
eyes with the realization that it was Lauren singing. She didn’t know why she was surprised.
shut up!” Heather screamed, still searching with no avail for the off
then, the door opened and Eddie bolted inside, immediately switching off the
overhead music. “Let me get that for
you,” he said.
smiled and looked at him apologetically.
“I didn’t know how to shut it off,” she said. “Thanks, Eddie.”
“No problem,” he said, examining her
expression. “Hey, are you okay,
nodded evasively. “Sure. Why?”
Eddie folded his arms and leaned against the wall. “I saw your expression when that song came
on,” he began. “She’s not one of your
favorite people, is she?”
realized she’d been caught. There was
obviously no hiding her feelings for Lauren Spencer. “It’s that obvious?” she asked with a smile.
you don’t have to explain to me,” he said.
“I know how important Lauren’s career is to Stormy. I can only imagine how that makes you feel.”
I don’t think you can.”
the topic made her uncomfortable, Eddie decided to leave it alone and give her
a break. He glanced down at the sheet
music in her hand. “Why don’t you try
looked at him with a frown, then down at the music. “No, I don’t think so,” she replied, shaking
her head with a polite smile.
on,” he coaxed. “I used to love
listening to you sing. Give it a shot.”
embarrassed, Heather cleared her throat and quietly sang the opening notes of
the song. She laughed nervously and
dropped the pages to her side with a shrug.
was very good,” Eddie said.
it was,” he insisted, noting the excitement evident on her face. “You know, I’ve got some musicians coming in
in a few minutes. Why don’t you stick
around and we can run through it live.”
shook her head adamantly and set the music down on the table. “No, that’s okay,” she said. “I should get going. I’m meeting my father for lunch.”
come back after,” Eddie said persuasively.
“You know you want to.”
looked at him and beamed happily. She
was tempted to take him up on his offer.
All she wanted was a chance.
Maybe she should take the opportunity and not turn it down so quickly.
sat in her doctor’s office at Cedars-Sinai and watched her from across the
desk, trying to predict what she was about to say.
in perfect health, Miss Taylor,” said Dr. Laura Mitchell, a pretty blond woman
in her thirties. “All your tests came
back with very positive results.”
shrugged and attempted a smile. “That’s
great, Dr. Mitchell, but that doesn’t explain why I’ve been feeling so tired
lately. Since I got back from the Caribbean
a couple weeks ago I’ve been so
to be expected,” Dr. Mitchell said, folding her arms on the desk and smiling
do you mean?” Brooke asked in confusion.
pregnant,” Dr. Mitchell said happily.
eyes widened and she felt the air rush from her lungs. She leaned back in the chair and stared at
the doctor in a daze. She couldn’t
believe what she was sitting there listening to. Pregnant?
She didn’t know how to feel about it.
take it this is a surprise,” Dr. Mitchell said, noting Brooke’s expression.
nodded, trying to register the information.
“Yes, it is.”
you’re very early on,” said the Doctor.
“I’d like to do some more tests and then I can tell you exactly how far
along you are. But as of right now I’d
have to say no more than a few weeks.”
few weeks?” Brooke asked. She did the
math quickly in her head and closed her eyes in regret. If she was only a few weeks along, that
meant that Ethan was the father of her baby.
A few weeks ago she and James were already having problems in their
marriage and they hadn’t been intimate.
It was days later that she and Ethan had made love. Once in his house in the Valley and two more
times when they were in the Dominican Republic, before he….
news was unsettling at first, but the more she thought about it the happier she
became. Ethan was gone but she was
carrying his baby. She would always have
a part of him with her.
she left Dr. Mitchell’s office, she walked in a daze down the hallway, passing
Winter Austen who stood at the nurse’s station.
looked at her and clenched her teeth.
She looked around, noting that several doctors and nurses were present
and it wasn’t a good time for a confrontation.
But sooner or later she would have her say with Brooke Taylor. She looked down the hallway, wondering what
she was doing at the hospital and why she looked so out of sorts.
arrived at the Valley Beach Club for lunch with her father. Much to her surprise and discontent, it
appeared that Alex Reynolds was joining them.
She took a deep breath and forced a smile on her face. She had to keep telling herself that Alex was
Stormy’s mother and she deserved as much kindness as Stormy gave her
Sunshine,” Jordan said, getting up and kissing her
on the cheek. He reached around and
pulled her chair out for her. “Where’s
have no idea,” Heather replied bitterly, taking her seat at the table and
offering Alex a pleasant smile. “What’s
this all about?”
should wait for Miranda,” Alex said, looking around the dining room. “She said she would be here.”
sighed and took a sip of water. She
thought she was having lunch with her father but it was turning out to be a big
affair of some kind. “Why don’t you just
tell me what’s going on?” she said. “I’m
really not in the mood for any surprises today.”
Jordan smiled and grabbed Alex’s
hand. They both looked at Heather and
spoke at the same time. “We’re getting
jaw dropped. “Are you serious?” she
serious,” Jordan replied. “We got engaged a couple of weeks ago. We were just waiting for the right time to
tell you, Sunshine.”
couple of weeks ago?” Heather asked in disbelief.
didn’t want to spring it on any of you,” Alex explained. “We’re still getting used to the idea
I the first to know?” she asked.
We were hoping to tell Stormy and Miranda at the same time, but I guess
they had other things to do today. And I
called your brother in Switzerland and told him last night. He won’t be able to leave school to come
back, but he’s happy.”
couldn’t believe her father was remarrying.
Granted, it had been ten years since their mother left, but somehow she
always thought she would come back and they would get back together. The fact that he was engaged again made that
a very unlikely possibility.
when’s the wedding?” she asked, realizing she was going to have to start
getting used to the idea.
weekend,” Alex replied. “We’re having it
here at the beach club.”
to herself, Heather took another drink of water. “No sense in putting it off I guess,” she
hope you’re as happy about this as I am, Sunshine,” Jordan said, reaching across the table
and resting his hand on hers. “It would
mean so much to me if you were on board with this wedding.”
forced herself to smile. “Of course I’m
happy for you, Dad,” she said. “I mean,
why wouldn’t I be? This way I don’t
have to worry about having a mother-in-law and a stepmother. This way they’re both the same person so it
really simplifies things.”
studied his daughter’s
expression, and then looked at Alex. He
knew it would take Heather a while to get used to the idea, but she would come
around. In the meantime, he was
thrilled by his upcoming nuptials. The
fact that he had to manipulate his bride into accepting his proposal was beside
the point. He knew she would come to
love being the next Mrs. Jordan Rydell.
was in the kitchen in her apartment fixing herself a snack when she heard a
knock at the door. She quickly ran to
the door and pulled it open while wiping her forehead with the back of her
Brooke,” Miranda said with a bittersweet smile.
Brooke stood in the doorway and blocked her from entering. “What are you doing here?”
pushed her way past her and entered the apartment. She looked around the surroundings and
scoffed before turning and laying her eyes on Brooke. “I thought I’d give you a while to settle
back in after your trip to the Caribbean,” she began. “But I
wanted to stop by and say thank you.”
what?” Brooke asked with irritation as she shut the door.
proving me right about you. I told Daddy
and everyone else that you were not to be trusted, and I was right.”
were not right, Miranda.”
raised an eyebrow and scowled at Brooke.
“So that whole thing about you already being married when you were with
my father didn’t really happen? And you
jumping up and running off to the Caribbean with Ethan didn’t
happen either, I suppose.”
was tired of explaining herself. She
walked past Miranda and stood by the window.
“I went to the Caribbean to get divorced,” she
said. “Ethan went with me because he was
being a friend.”
always was Ethan’s downfall,” Miranda
said. “He thought he could be all things
to all people. I’m sure at the time he
didn’t know he was wasting his time on you.”
had had enough of her animosity and put-downs.
“You can leave now.”
leave,” Miranda said, taking a step closer to Brooke. “But let me make one thing clear before I
do. Your actions caused my father a lot
of pain, and I’ll be damned if I’ll watch him go through that again. He lost his company because he was chasing
half way across the world for you!”
Lost his company? This was news to her. James must be devastated. His studio was everything to him.
shot her one final glare and then turned back to the door. As she did, her eyes traveled to the coffee
table where stacks of pamphlets were sitting.
She squinted, reading the bold block lettering to herself. “What to do if you’re…pregnant?”
immediately saw what Miranda was looking at.
She darted across the room and covered the pamphlets with a book. “Please just go,” she said nervously.
eyes burned into Brooke’s as she stepped closer again. “You’re pregnant?” she asked in a
whisper. “Oh my God. You manipulative little…”
it,” Brooke said, shooting her a look full of warning.
pregnant by my father just so you could hold on to him, didn’t you?” Miranda
asked in amazement. “God,
that's such a typical move for a skank from the
you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Brooke couldn’t believe what was happening. Of all the people to find out she was
pregnant. And of course Miranda jumped
to the conclusion that James was the father.
She realized that’s what most people would think since they were
supposed to be married. No one even
knew about her short-lived relationship with Ethan. Maybe that was for the best.
that you would do just about anything to stay in this family,” Miranda
continued, her eyes jabbing Brooke like daggers. “But to bring an innocent baby into it just
to use as a pawn? I don’t believe
you. You’re hateful.”
not it at all,” Brooke insisted.
think it is!” Miranda shouted angrily.
“And if you think that my father will accept that baby, you’re kidding
yourself! Why don’t you just do
yourself a favor and end it now! Just terminate this pregnancy and get
out of our lives!"
up!” Brooke lamented, fighting back the tears.
Ending her pregnancy was not an option for her. It was her last tie to Ethan and she planned
on cherishing it.
Suddenly, Miranda grabbed the pamphlets off the table and
began ripping them into dozens of tiny pieces.
Brooke quickly jumped forward to stop her.
"Let go of me!"
They struggled for a minute and
then Miranda took a step back.
Trembling all over, she turned and bolted out of the apartment, leaving the
door swinging wide open.
cried silently, bending down and picking up the pieces of the leaflets from the
floor. She couldn’t let what Miranda
said to get to her. She was doing the
right thing by keeping the baby. Miranda
didn’t know the whole story. Nobody knew
the whole story. And they never would.
stood behind the microphone in the recording studio at Good Times Records. The
band played an upbeat pop track as she sang along, barely able to keep from
smiling as Eddie watched her with amazement from the control booth.
finally doing it, she thought to herself during an instrumental break. She was singing just like she'd always wanted
to. The ironic part of it was that her
own husband wasn't the one helping her, it was his assistant, and it stung
deep. Nevertheless, she was thrilled
to be taken seriously by somebody. She
knew she had what it took to become a singer, and if her husband wouldn't help
her she'd find someone who would.
song progressed and Heather sang her heart out, she didn't notice Stormy and
Lauren enter from the back of the studio.
They booth looked at each other in awe when they heard Heather singing
and saw Eddie in the control booth.
of Heather's raspy voice singing the song that Stormy promise to her was enough
to make Lauren see red. "That's my
song!" she shrieked, glaring at Stormy while pointing across the room to
Heather. "Stormy, stop her! That's my song she's singing!"
the music trailed off as the band stopped playing one by one. Heather looked around at them, then through
the glass windows of the control booth where Eddie was sitting. She frowned, then turned to her back where
everyone was staring. To her surprise,
Stormy was standing there with Lauren.
Neither of them looked very happy.
there a problem?" Heather asked.
She wondered where they had been and why they suddenly showed up at the
studio together, hours after Stormy was supposed to meet her for lunch with her
do you think you're doing?" Lauren asked in a shrill voice.
said he wanted to do a demo for me," Heather replied. She turned just as
Eddie came out from the control booth.
with my song he isn't," Lauren snapped, snatching the sheet music away
from Heather. She looked at Eddie and
shook her fists at him. "How could
you do this? That was my song.
We've been working on it for the album.
You can't just go letting anyone else sing it."
sorry," Eddie replied, glancing awkwardly between Stormy, Heather and
Lauren. "I didn't think it would be
a big deal. I mean, you heard her
singing it. It's like it was made for
her vocal range."
it wasn't," Lauren hissed,
glaring at Heather. She saw no reason to
go easy on her. Not after the way she'd
treated her so coldly from day one.
Besides, circumstances were different now. Heather had all but drove Stormy into the
arms of another woman with her constant complaining and difficult
personality. She had no sympathy for her
okay, Lauren," Stormy said, feeling like he was stuck in the middle of an
impossible situation. His wife and his
mistress battling over a song. It was
almost too much to handle. "We can
get a new song."
don't want a new song!" Lauren
ranted. "That song was going to be
the biggest hit of the album! It's my
song and I'm going to record it!"
suddenly stepped forward and challenged her with her eyes. "Consider it a payback for letting you
borrow my husband," she said bitterly.
grew quiet and Lauren looked at Stormy and then back at Heather. She shook her head in frustration and threw
the sheet music at her. "Fine. Take the song. I don't care," she said before dashing
out of the studio.
way out the door, she ran directly into Brett.
He stopped her and looked at her inquisically. Obviously there was some tension between her
and Heather. She pulled away from him
and continued running down the hallway.
Brett frowned, deciding he had to get to the bottom of whatever was
the studio, Stormy felt like the room was closing in around him. He hated the fact that Lauren was upset, but
he also didn't want Heather feeling like he was against her. Despite their problems, and the fact that he
was sleeping with Lauren, he still cared for his wife and didn't want to lose
her. He knew that made him a pig but he
couldn't help it. Couldn't he just this
once have his cake and eat it too?
in his study at the Blackthorne mansion with his lawyer, Brandon Marksman. Brandon
looked over a set of contracts and referred to a giant legal dictionary,
shaking his head with uncertainty.
nothing we can do, James," Brandon
said, looking up from the book.
"I've gone over the terms of the contract with Will Thomerson over
and over and there's nothing protecting you.
It's a binding contract. You
didn't meet the loan terms and he was within his rights by taking possession of
it, Brandon, there's got to be
something we can do!" James insisted, slamming his fists on his desk. "I can't let him walk away with my
studio! Do you realize that I spent my
life building it from the ground up?
From the dirt? Do you have any
idea what I've had to sacrifice to keep that ship afloat all these years?"
sorry, James. I wish I could do
something but I can't."
maintain his composure, James sat down at his desk and took a deep breath. He realized Brandon
was only telling him what he already knew.
There was no way of changing what had happened. He'd lost Sunset Studios to his worst enemy.
It was a simple fact.
then, Miranda burst into the office in her usual fermented state. James looked up at her and knew right away
that something had upset her.
Unfortunately he didn't have time for her theatrics. He had to find a way of getting his company
I was just in a meeting with Brandon,"
he said, hoping she would agree to hold off on whatever announcement she had to
sorry, Daddy. This can't wait."
frowned. "What do you mean? What's wrong?"
stood before him, shaking her head in despair.
"You're not going to believe what that witch is up to now,"
Miranda replied. She knew that once her
father found out about the convenient way Brooke had gotten pregnant, he would
see right through her manipulations just as she did.
slipped into her bathrobe and turned on the faucet in the tub. She thought that maybe after a nice long bath
the tensions of the day would wither away and she could forget about her
troubles. Even for just a few minutes.
tub had finished filling, she started to remove her robe when she heard a loud
knock at the door. Disturbed by the
constant unannounced visitors she’d been having lately, she started out to the
living room, making sure that her robe was securely wrapped around her.
now?” she asked herself as she opened the door.
question was answered when she found Winter standing in the hall, a disgruntled
look on her face.
talk?” Winter asked, not bothering to wait for an answer as she brushed her way
past Brooke and made her way inside the small apartment.
shrugged and closed the door behind her.
She looked at Winter and saw that she was in her nurses uniform. She decided she was either on her way to work
or had just gotten off. Obviously what
she had to say to her was important or she wouldn’t have gone out of her way to
you live with yourself?” Winter asked, whipping her head around and glaring at
Brooke asked in confusion. She had a
feeling she was in for another tongue-lashing.
First Miranda and now Winter.
When would she ever have any peace and quiet?
play dumb with me,” Winter said, taking a few steps purposefully toward
her. “I see the way you manipulate
people. The way you hurt people. I just want to know how you can stand
yourself. I mean, how do you go on
everyday knowing that you ruin lives?”
what is this all about?” Brooke was
happily married to James, but that wasn’t enough for you, was it?” Winter
continued, her wild eyes riveted to hers.
“You had to go after his nephew.
It isn’t enough that you have the attention of one man. No, that wouldn’t do for Brooke. No, you had to go after Ethan too.”
got it all wrong.”
never get tired of playing the damsel in distress,” Winter said. “Anytime you and James hit a bump in your
relationship, who did you call? Ethan. And who did you toss aside when things got
better with James? Ethan.”
looked at the young woman, listening as her voice rose with every word she
spoke. It was almost like she snapped in
the middle of her sentence. Something
went off inside Winter’s head and she started screaming bloody murder.
mind that he had someone who cared about him!” Winter shrieked. “Never mind that he had someone who might
need his attention too! None of that
mattered because poor Brooke needed him and to hell with everyone else!”
Winter, you don’t understand.” She took
a step forward and reached out her arm.
Winter screamed, backing up away from her.
“I understand perfectly! I
understand that you have no use for anybody who can’t give you something in
return! You took and took and took and
eventually Ethan paid the ultimate price, didn’t he? He ran after you when you needed him, and he
wound up dying because of it! He’s dead
because of you and you don’t give a damn, do you?”
an accident!” Brooke replied, thinking back to the assault on the jeep Ethan
had been riding in. “His dying had
nothing to do with me!”
wouldn’t have died if you hadn’t smothered him with your absolute selfishness!”
Winter screamed at the top of her lungs.
“You killed him yourself with the way you pulled him into your sick,
twisted little world!”
had had enough. She couldn’t stand there
and listen to Winter accuse of her being the reason Ethan was dead, and much
less not caring that he was dead. It
wasn’t true and she simply couldn’t stand hearing it. She ran to the door and opened it, then
grabbed Winter’s arm and tried pushing her outside.
out!” she screamed, using all her strength to force her out.
of me!” Winter bellowed, fighting with Brooke to maintain her footing. She struggled with her and pushed her away,
sending her sailing backward.
lost her balance and fell to the floor.
She shook her groggy head and looked up at Winter with a threatening
glare. “Get out,” she said angrily. “Get out right now!”
backing up to the door, Winter stared at Brooke and repeated the same phrase
over and over. “You killed him,” she
said quietly. “You killed him.”
she turned and walked slowly out of the apartment, leaving the door open and
Brooke sitting on the floor trying to catch her breath.
watched their startled faces and couldn’t help but feel a little guilty about
springing her engagement on them like that.
They were her children, after all.
But she hadn’t been able to bring herself to tell them until now. She wondered if part of it was her own
uncertainty about her decision.
getting married?” Stormy asked in disbelief as he looked at his mother and then
right,” Alex replied with a smile. She
hand close around hers and she forced herself to keep smiling.
standing in her beach house in Malibu. Stormy and Miranda agreed to meet them there
since they hadn’t shown up for lunch that day.
believe this,” Miranda said, folding her arms and pressing her lips firmly together. “How long
has this been going on?”
replied. “I’ve been trying to get her
to say yes to my proposal and I guess my persistence paid off.”
this happening?” Stormy asked. He was
overwhelmed by their announcement. He
had a hard enough time getting along with Jordan Rydell as his
father-in-law. Now he had to have him as
a step-father too.
days,” Alex replied. “It will be a small
ceremony at the beach club. Nothing
fancy at all.”
chimed in. “But knowing your mother it
will be an event.”
shook her head in amazement. She
couldn’t believe her mother was getting married again. First her father married Brooke Taylor, and now
this. Why did she feel like she was the
only one who had her life together?
Everyone else seemed to make all the wrong choices.
to get out of here,” she said, turning around and bolting though the open
French doors that led onto the beach.
wait!” Alex called after her.
stopping her from running after her.
reluctantly agreed and stood back while Jordan
ran after Miranda. After he’d left,
Stormy approached his mother and took her hand in his.
sure about this, Mom?” he asked, looking into her sparkling blue eyes. He knew that Miranda was going to throw a
fit about their mother getting married.
It was to be expected. After all,
it was Miranda they were talking about.
The girl who ran their father’s fiancé over with her car the day before
Alex replied, smiling.
hesitated and then pulled her into an embrace.
“Then I’m happy for you,” he said.
“I just hope he treats you the way you deserve to be treated.”
you Sweetheart,” Alex said, a tear forming in her eye as she held him close.
on the beach, Jordan
found Miranda standing by the water gazing out at the hazy horizon. The wind blew hard against them and he
picked up a rock and threw it into the water.
where we have some kind of warm, fuzzy heart to heart about how much you love
my mother?” Miranda asked, not so much as making eye contact with him. “Because if it is you can save your breath.”
going to say anything like that,” Jordan
said, digging his hands into the pockets of his Armani track pants.
Miranda said, then finally turned toward him with a menacing stare. “And let’s get one thing straight. I don’t like you and I don’t like you marrying
shrugged. “I didn’t think you would,” he
replied. He knew Miranda was going to
be difficult to sway but he knew in time she would get used to the idea of her
mother marrying him. “But if you don’t
go to the wedding on Saturday she’ll be very hurt.”
pushed a strand of black hair from her eyes.
“If you hurt my mother in the slightest way, I promise you I will cut
every extremity off your body myself, starting with your penis.”
it difficult to keep from laughing, Jordan nodded his head and tried to appear serious.
“Of course,” he said. He knew
right away where Miranda got her spunk.
second or two, Miranda slapped her hands to her side and started back up to the
house. “I guess I’ll have to pick out a
dress,” she said. “Do you think mother
would take it personally if I wear black?”
think she’d care,” Jordan
said, walking alongside her up the beach.
stepped out of the bathroom, wrapping a towel around her hair and tightening
the belt around her robe. She went into
the kitchen and ran some water into her teakettle, then set it on the
stove. She grabbed a mug from the
cupboard just as the doorbell rang followed by several loud knocks.
she whispered to herself. She didn’t
think she could take one more visitor today.
“Who is it?” she called through the door, taking the towel off of her
it’s James,” he called from the hallway.
“Please open up. We have to
her eyes stinging, she backed up and prayed that he would leave without
breaking the door down like the last time.
“James, go away!” she called. “I
can’t see you right now!”
important!” he called, his voice pleading.
I know about the baby,” James said.
froze, her entire body trembling as she looked around the room for something to
brace herself with. He knew?
But how did he-? Miranda. Of course.
she walked to the door and unlocked it.
She was going to have to talk to him sooner or later. She couldn’t keep putting him off. She opened the door and stood clear while
James walked inside.
you,” he said politely, walking into the apartment and turning toward her. His eyes went instinctively to her
stomach. He didn’t know how far along
she was but he hoped to find that all out in time. “You look wonderful.”
chuckled and ran her fingers through her wet hair. “So Miranda told you?”
nodded. “I think it’s wonderful.”
shot up and she looked at him in surprise.
course I do,” James replied, the excitement pouring out of him. “Brooke, we’re going to have a baby. You and I.
Why wouldn’t I think that’s wonderful?”
her eyes, Brooke realized that James thought the baby was his. She had to tell him the truth. It was the right thing to do. She had
to tell him that Ethan was the father of her baby.
stopped her mid-sentence, stepping forward and taking her hand in his. “I know a lot has happened,” he began, then
stopped, squinting and feeling the searing pain shoot through his head.
Not now, he thought to himself.
“But I think we can move past it and-“
The pain continued, this time getting worse and sending him staggering
backward in agony.
what is it?” Brooke asked, stricken with concern. She moved toward him, wondering what she
nothing,” he said, trying to dismiss the pain.
“Just a headache.” Suddenly he
bent over, physically unable to remain standing upright. He’d never felt so much pain in his life.
God! James!” Brooke cried, realizing that this was no
ordinary headache. Something was
seriously wrong with him.
outside the apartment building, a taxi pulled up to the curb and stopped. A minute later, the back door opened and
Ethan Blackthorne emerged, supporting himself with a cane as he gazed up at the
you like some help, sir?” asked the driver as he got out of the cab after him.
fine,” Ethan replied with a smile. His
face was unshaven and his skin was suntanned.
He handed the driver some money and started up the steps to the
He couldn’t believe he was
finally home. All he wanted was to see
Brooke and hold her in his arms like that night before the jeep explosion. That night was the only thing that kept him
alive all those weeks in the jungle.
Back inside her apartment, Brooke
helped James to the sofa and handed him a cold glass of water. He accepted it and took a drink, beginning to
feel like the headache was subsiding.
“I still think we should get you
to the doctor,” she said, staring at him with concern.
James shook his head
adamantly. “No, I’m fine now. Honest.
It’s just stress, that’s all.”
had no choice but to take his word for it.
Still, she’d never seen him in such agony before. She was genuinely concerned, and she knew
there was something he wasn’t telling her.
She knew he’d lost Sunset Studios,
and that alone must be killing him. It
had been his life for over twenty years.
I have to know that you’ll give us another chance,” James said, turning to her
with pleading eyes. There was nothing
more important to him at that moment than having her with him. “Please, I know we can work through it. And now that you have a baby on the way….our baby…..I know that things will be
different. We’ll be a family
Brooke looked at him in
despair. She knew she should tell him
the truth about the baby. That it
wasn’t his. But how could she? Seeing him in such a weathered state, and
obviously so devoted to making their live together work. There was no way she could destroy him with
the news. After seeing his episode a
few minutes ago, she feared that telling him something like that would kill him.
have to tell him it was his
baby. It was an unthinkable fabrication
but she had no choice. Their separation
had taken its toll on him. Ethan was
gone and she hated the thought of raising her child with no father. Yes, it was settled. She knew what she had to do.
she said with a vague smile. “I’ll come
back. We’ll be a family. You, me and our baby.”
closed his eyes with relief and pulled her into an embrace. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d felt
this happy. With everything else in his
life going terribly wrong, having Brooke back was like a miracle. And their baby was like a gift from God.
half-open door creaked and they both looked up.
Their eyes widened in disbelief at the sight of Ethan standing in the
doorway, weathered and haggard from his ordeal.
God,” Brooke whispered, climbing to her feet.
She thought she was seeing a ghost.
said, looking at Brooke and then at James.
you’re alive!” James exclaimed, standing up and following Brooke across the
room to where his nephew was standing.
stared into his eyes, trying to register what was happening. She reached out to him, wondering if he would
suddenly disappear when she touched him.
But his skin felt real. He was
standing before her like he’d never left.
she fell into his arms, sobbing uncontrollably as she quietly thanked God for
bringing him back. “I don’t believe
it,” she said, tears streaming down her face.
“I thought you were gone forever.”
Ethan soothed her. “I’m alright. Everything’s going to be alright now.”
stood back, watching them embrace warmly, and suddenly feeling like Brooke had
forgotten all about him.
turns bittersweet when he realizes how much
has changed. Lauren sends Stormy packing.
Alex and Jordan's wedding day arrives. Ethan
questions Brooke about her baby.