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Episode 18


Release Date:  April 7, 2006

 Read the episode Recap



Eddie enthusiastically offered to help Heather record a demo using a song intended for Lauren.  When Lauren heard Heather singing her song, she blasted Stormy.  Brooke learned that she was pregnant with Ethan's baby. When Miranda found pregnancy brochures in Brooke's apartment, she assumed the baby was James's and accused Brooke of trying to trap her father into staying with her.  Alex and Jordan announced their engagement to a stunned Heather, Stormy and Miranda.  Winter accused Brooke of being responsible for Ethan's death.  Still believing Ethan to be dead, Brooke falsely named James as the father of her child and agreed to go back to him. Minutes later, Ethan showed up.


 Episode 18



The Valley Beach Club was busy with activity that afternoon.  The swimming pool and tennis courts were packed, the beach was crawling with bikini-clad women enjoying the sunny day, and people made their way along the boardwalk on foot, skates, and bikes.

Stormy and Brett were on the tennis court parallel to the beach, sweating as they played an exhaustive match against one another.   Brett served and won the point, throwing his arms up and crying out in victory.

“I let you win that one!” Stormy called from the other side of the court.

“In your dreams!” Brett replied with a chortle, walking over and meeting him by the gates.  “Good game, though.”

“Thanks,” Stormy replied, giving him a high five and then peeling off his sweat-soaked polo. 

Brett looked at him and cocked his head in amusement.  “You weren’t in the navy by any chance, were you?”

Stormy laughed.  “Me?  Hell no.  Why?”

“Because you have more tattoos than a sailor,” Brett said, motioning to the intricate designs on Stormy’s arms and back.

They walked up the path to the men’s locker rooms, passing several bikini-clad beach beauties who ogled them incessantly. 

“That’s what happens when your parents are in show business,” Stormy said.   “You do everything you can to get their attention.”  He looked at Brett and shrugged.  “We should go get you a couple.”

“Tattoos?  Yeah right,” Brett said with a laugh.

“I’m serious,” Stormy said as they walked into the locker room.  “If you’re going to be part of this family you need to have your own identity.”

Brett laughed, pulling open his locker and taking out a clean towel.  He wondered if that’s the kind of man Lauren liked.  The rebellious, bad boy type.  

“So is everything okay with Heather and Lauren now?” he asked as he followed Stormy into the showers.  “Looked like they were about to tear each other apart at the studio this afternoon.”

Stormy shook his head and hung his towel on the hook outside of the shower room.  “Heather’s jealous of Lauren’s success,” he said, stepping into the hot spray.  “And when Lauren heard Heather singing her song, she freaked.”

Brett got into the stall next to him and began lathering himself up.  “Is that all Heather’s jealous about?” he asked.

Stormy raised a curious eyebrow and sighed.  “I don’t know,” he said.  “I guess she feels like I’m not paying enough attention to her.  But I keep telling her it’s what I have to do to succeed in this business.   When I started my record company I told Heather that it would require my undivided attention.”

Brett wondered if Stormy was telling the truth, or if there was more to validate Heather’s jealousy over Lauren.   He saw the way they acted around one another.  The flirtatious laughter, the teasing and the long gazes into one another’s eyes.  It wasn’t the kind of relationship a producer normally had with his star. 

Brooke's Apartment

Ethan sat on Brooke’s sofa between her and James, sipping a glass of water as they stared at him in disbelief.  It was like they were looking at a ghost.   He told them about waking up in the jungle after the explosion.  His body had been thrown from the jeep and rolled down a shallow embankment covered in trees and shrubs.   When he woke, there were conservatives roaming the area and he knew he had to remain in seclusion until the coast was clear.   He had a sprained ankle and other injuries that prevented him from going far anyway.   A loyalist found him and took him to the shelter where the nuns nursed him back to health.  

What he didn’t tell them was that through the whole ordeal the only thing that got him through it was Brooke.   Thoughts of her never left his mind.  He counted the days until he could be back with her again, and relive the joy that they shared in the few days before the explosion.

But now he didn’t say anything because from the minute he walked in the door he could tell something was going on with her and James.   She apparently hadn’t wasted any time in coming back to the states and rekindling her love for him.

“It’s like a miracle,” James said, patting his nephew on the shoulder.   “I know you’ve been through an ordeal, Ethan, but I can’t tell you how relieved we are that you’re home safe and sound.”

He still had questions about what brought Ethan and Brooke to the Dominican Republic together.  Were his suspicions about them accurate?  Did something happen between them?

Regardless, he knew he shouldn’t make an issue of it now.  All was right with him and Brooke again.  They were back together, and they were going to have a baby.   Now Ethan was home again and everything was back to normal.   He didn’t want to upset the balance of things.

Ethan looked at his uncle and forced a smile.  “So what’s been going on around here?” he asked.  He felt like he already knew what the answer was going to be.

Brooke bit her lip and looked down at her stomach.   How could this all be happening?  She had no sooner lied to James and told him that she was carrying his child, when Ethan returned from the dead.   She couldn’t go back and admit she lied about the baby’s father.   She had to stick to her original story that she was carrying James’s baby.

“Brooke and I are going to work things out,” James beamed happily, putting his arm around her and pulling her close.   “And we have very exciting news.  You’re really the first to know, Ethan.  Well, besides Miranda.”

Ethan frowned.  He didn’t know what else there could be that would shock him as much as Brooke and James’s reconciliation.  “What is it?”

Brooke looked at James and then back at Ethan.  How was she going to tell him?

“We’re going to have a baby,” James said.  “Isn’t that fantastic?  I mean, what a perfect way to start our new life together.”

Ethan’s eyes widened in shock.  “Pregnant?” he asked in disbelief.  He looked at Brooke, his eyes full of sorrow and discontent.

Brooke felt her eyes sting.  She saw how much the news hurt him and it upset her to see it.  “I just found out today,” she said uncomfortably.

“I’m thrilled about it,” James continued.  The fact was that he was mostly thrilled by the prospect of having a tie to Brooke.  Something that would guarantee their relationship’s survival, and guarantee to keep her and Ethan apart now that he was back, alive and well. 

“That’s…wonderful,” Ethan stammered.  He was beside himself.  For weeks he had dreams of coming back to Brooke and starting their life together.   It was the reason he fought so hard to get well again.   But now those dreams were shattered.  She was pregnant with James’s baby and he was nothing more than an outsider looking in.

“After we work through some things, we’ll remarry and have this baby together,” James said, stroking Brooke’s hair and smiling at her fondly.  “This time we’ll have a wedding bigger and better than the first.”

Brooke feigned a smile and looked at Ethan, wishing she could reach out to him and explain everything.

Beach Club

Meanwhile, Alex was standing amidst the lush green grasses of the park area of the Valley Beach Club.   The park sat several yards from the beachfront, surrounded by majestic palm trees and meticulously landscaped with roses and hibiscus. 

She spoke with her wedding planner and rattled off a list of instructions for him to personally oversee.  “And I want two trellises on either side of the aisle, woven with red and yellow roses.  Make sure they’re African roses.  I have to have African roses.”

“Yes, ma’am,” said the young man.

Alex looked down to her notepad and reviewed some of her notes.  When she looked up again she saw Will Thomerson walking up from the clubhouse.   Her eyes narrowed on him and she clenched her teeth in anger.

“That’s all for now,” she said to the planner. 

The young man disappeared in the distance just as Will approached, a smarmy self-satisfied grin on his handsome, tanned face.   “If I didn’t know any better I’d say you were planning a wedding,” he said.

“I am,” Alex replied coldly and started to walk past him.

Will grabbed her arm and pulled her back.  “I guess my invitation got lost in the mail,” he said.  “So who is the lucky groom?  Jordan Rydell or James Blackthorne?  I understand you had quite a reunion with him down in Santo Domingo.”

“I’m marrying Jordan Rydell,” she replied.  “Not that it’s any of your business, because you’re not invited.”

“So you went with your second choice?” Will asked.

“What do you mean?”

“It’s no secret that you still carry a torch for your ex-husband.  All that talk about wanting revenge on him and wanting him to beg for mercy was just a rouse, wasn’t it, Alex?”

“Leave me alone,” Alex replied, trying to walk past him again.   She rolled her eyes in frustration when he pulled her back once more.  “Let go of me.”

“You know, there will come a day when you’ll regret turning my proposal down,” Will began.  “But I guess if you had to choose between the three of us, Rydell is an acceptable alternative.  After all, he at least has a career.  Blackthorne is all washed up.”

“James will get back on his feet,” Alex said.  “He always does.  Then you’ll be the one begging for mercy.”  She pulled her arm away and finally darted off through the park toward the clubhouse.

Ethan's House

Ethan walked into the front door of his house, numb of all feelings after his homecoming with Brooke and James.   Things didn’t go as he’d hoped, and at that moment he didn’t care if he was home or not.  He could be back in that mission, alone and miserable for all he cared.  What was there to come home to now?  The love he found with Brooke had been taken away from him as quickly as he’d found it.

He dropped his keys onto the table inside the doorway and proceeded into the livingroom where Winter sat, sobbing silently on the sofa.   His eyes began transfixed to her and he stopped in his tracks.   After everything that had happened, he’d almost forgotten about her.  He felt like a scoundrel for having left town in such a hurry to find Brooke, not even so much as giving Winter a second thought.

“Winter,” he said softly.

Suddenly her sobbing ceased and she spun around, her mouth gaping open at the sight of Ethan standing there.

“Oh God,” she began, standing up and rushing toward him.  She threw her arms around him and squeezed him so tightly she thought she would hurt him.  She didn’t know what had brought him back to her and she didn’t care.   He was there and that was all that mattered.

Winter's Apartment

That night, Lauren was sitting in her apartment flipping through the channels on the TV when she heard a knock at the door.  Sighing, she got up and pulled her sweatshirt down below her thighs, covering her lacy pink panties beneath.   She pulled the door open and found Stormy standing outside, a red rose between his teeth.

“What are you doing here?” she asked with a sigh, leaning against the doorway.

Stormy pulled the flower out of his teeth and handed it to her.  “I wanted to apologize for today,” he said.  “I know you were upset about what happened with Heather in the studio.”

Lauren shook her head and walked inside the living room.  “Didn’t I have good reason to be upset?” she asked.  “She was singing my song.  And you didn’t say anything.   You’re supposed to be my producer, and your feelings for your wife are getting in the way of making smart business decisions.”

Stormy couldn’t believe what he was hearing.  “That’s got nothing to do with why you’re upset,” he said.  “You’re upset because I didn’t blast my wife in front of you, Eddie and everyone else.”

“If it had been anyone else you would have,” Lauren spat, her hands resting on her hips.

“Heather is my wife,” Stormy said.  “She’s having a hard time with me taking such an interest in your career.  This is something that she’s always wanted for herself.  We’re just going to have to cut her some slack.  She’s allowed to feel a little jealous.”

Lauren glared at him angrily.  “So I’m supposed to just sit back while she gets special treatment?  While everybody treats her with kid gloves just because she’s your wife and she’s fragile?” 

“Yes,” Stormy replied matter-of-factly.

“Well forget it,” Lauren yelled.  “I’m the star here.  Not her.”

Stormy shook his head, not wanting to get into a big argument over something so trivial.  “Fine, you’re the star.  No one’s debating that.”

“Then tell her to forget about recording that song,” Lauren demanded.

He paused, not knowing what to say or do to smooth things over. “I can’t,” he replied.  “Look, we can get a new song.  There are plenty of other songs for the album.”

Lauren stared across the room in a daze.  She contemplated her next words very carefully.  “All right, fine,” she said unforgivingly.  “The song is a dead issue, and so are we.”  She turned and walked to the door, pulling it open in a rage.  “Please get out.”

Stormy looked at her in disbelief. “Lauren, what are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about our affair,” she said, barely looking at him.  “It’s over.  From now on we’re strictly business.  You can get everything else you need from your wife.”

“Lauren, look-“ Stormy said, walking up and putting a hand on her shoulder.

She quickly shrugged him away, still looking away as she waited for him to leave.

Realizing there was no reasoning with her at that moment, he walked outside.  He stopped when he heard the door slam behind him. 

Back inside, Lauren buried her face in her hands and cried in despair.  She hated the thought of Stormy picking his wife over her for anything.  In or out of bed she wanted him for herself, and she hated herself for it.  She was no home wrecker, but that’s exactly what she was turning into.

Stormy and Heather's House

Later, Heather was laying in bed reading a copy of Image magazine when Stormy came out of the bathroom.  He shut off the light and got into bed next to her, then turned off the lamp next to his side of the bed. 

Heather looked over at him and frowned.  This had been the typical night with her husband lately.   He got home late, said he already ate dinner, listened to recordings of Lauren’s new songs over and over again, and then went to bed without even a word.  It was getting to the point where she felt like she didn’t even have a husband.

“Are we going to talk about what happened today?” she finally asked, setting her magazine down.

“What’s there to talk about,” Stormy replied with a frown.  He didn’t want to get into it with her.  Not tonight.  He had too many things on his mind.  Lauren ending their affair being the big issue.

Frustrated, Heather leaned over and turned his lamp back on.   Stormy grunted with annoyance and sat up against the headboard.

“You heard the way Lauren yelled at me today and you did nothing to defend me,” Heather said, her arms folded across her chest.  “Am I your wife or aren’t I?  Because my God, Stormy, sometimes I don’t know.”

“I did defend you,” he insisted.  “You heard me tell her that we’d find her a new song to replace that one.  What’s the big deal?”

“How about ‘Heather’s my wife and what she wants is the most important thing’?”

Stormy rolled his eyes.  “Because sometimes in business that isn’t always the case,” he replied.  “I stuck up for you, Heather.  What more do you want from me?"

Irritated by his dismissal of her feelings, Heather turned off her lamp and rolled over.  She didn’t know what she wanted from him.  It wasn’t something she could put into words.  She just wanted to feel like she was his number one priority for once. 

Stormy sighed and turned his lamp off, turning his back to hers.  He quickly began thinking about Lauren and their argument from before.  He had come to need her more than he ever thought possible.   The thought of their affair being over was tearing him up inside.

Blackthorne Mansion

The next morning, Brooke awoke at the Blackthorne mansion and looked around the bright, sunlit room.   She heard the door open and closed her eyes, pretending to still be asleep.    A minute later, she felt a shadow loom over her and she opened her eyes to see James setting a breakfast tray on the bed.

“Good morning,” he said with a smile.   “I thought you and the baby might be hungry.”

Brooke smiled and sat up against her pillow.  “What’s all this?” she asked.

“Toast, pancakes, and scrambled eggs,” James said.  “Oh, and juice.  You need all the vitamin C you can get.  It’s good for the baby.”

Taking a sip of juice, Brooke looked to the other side of the bed and noticed that it hadn’t been ruffled at all overnight.  “Where did you sleep last night?’ she asked.

“In one of the guestrooms,” James replied.  “I thought you might need some time before we….you know, begin sleeping together again.   I don’t want to rush you, Brooke.”

She looked at him in admiration.  She couldn’t believe how attentive and patient he was being with her.   He must sense that coming back to him was a difficult decision for her.  

“I appreciate that,” she said.

“I just want to do things right this time,” James continued, looking into her brilliant blue eyes.  “I know a lot of our problems were because of me, and I intend to do a lot of changing.  I want to make this a happy family.”

Brooke smiled, looking down in concentration.  “Yesterday Miranda told me that you lost the studio,” she said, then looked up at him.  “Is that true?”

A look of devastation overcame James’s face and he nodded.  “Yes, it is,” he replied.  “Will Thomerson swindled it out from under me.”

“What are you going to do?”

James thought for a minute and then smiled at her.  “Nothing,” he said.  “There’s not a damn thing I can do about it so I’m going to let sleeping dogs lie.  The most important thing in my life right now if you and our baby.”

Brooke couldn’t believe what she was hearing.  Maybe James was trying to change for the better.  Before, most of their problems revolved around his dedication to his work.  He never stopped, not for a minute.   He canceled their own honeymoon because of work.  It seemed that Sunset Studios was more important to him than his own wife.  Maybe now that would all change.  She hoped it would for the sake of their relationship.

Brett Armstrong

That afternoon, Brett walked into the restaurant at the beach club and found Lauren sitting by the piano rehearsing a number with the piano player.  He stopped in the doorway and listened to the slow, melodic ballad.  A smile spread across his face as he watched her sing.  She was so talented, he thought to himself.   She was going to make it big and he’d be rising to the top right along with her.

When the song ended, he clapped and moved forward.  Lauren approached him and grabbed her purse and keys off of one of the tables.

“That was amazing,” he said.  “Is that the number you’re singing tonight?”

Lauren nodded. ‘Yeah.  What are you doing here?”

“Just wanted to see how things were going with rehearsal,” Brett replied.  “We haven’t had much time to talk lately.   I booked you here for the next four weekends.”

“Great,” Lauren replied, heading to the door.  “But you could have told me that on the phone.”

Brett ran to catch up with her.  “Where are you off to in such a hurry?” he asked.  “I thought we could talk.  You never even congratulated me for having those murder charges dropped.  Stormy was a genius in getting Devon to confess.”

Lauren rolled her eyes.  “So am I supposed to think you’re this great standup guy now just because you aren’t a murder suspect anymore?” she asked.  “I still don’t trust you, Brett.  I mean, you lied about your name and your past so who knows what other secrets are hiding out there.”

“We all have secrets,” Brett replied with a devilish grin.

His gaze sent shivers down her spine and she shrugged.  “Anyway, I gotta get going,” she said.

“Do you need a ride?” Brett asked.

She shook her head.  “No, a friend is picking me up.”

Just then, a tall, muscular surfer type walked into the restaurant and put his arm around her.  “You ready to go?” he asked.


Brett raised an eyebrow.  “Who’s your friend?”

Lauren rolled her eyes again.  “Guy, this is Brett Armstrong, my manager.   This is Guy, he’s a lifeguard at the club.  We were both running on the beach this morning.  We’re going to a new club in Burbank tonight.”

“Oh, well see you later then,” Brett said, waving as they left the club together.  

The fact that Lauren was with this Guy character puzzled him.   Maybe there wasn’t anything going on with her and Stormy after all. 

Stormy Blackthorne

An hour later, Brett found Stormy at the gym.  He changed into his workout gear and headed for the bench press where his brother-in-law was on his last set.  He spotted him for a while and then handed him a towel.

“I saw Lauren today,” Brett said.

“Yeah?” Stormy asked, wiping his sweaty neck and face.   He had almost been able to get her out of his mind for an entire five minutes until Brett mentioned her name.

“Yeah, she was at the club rehearsing,” Brett replied, following him to the leg press.

“For tonight?” Stormy asked.


Stormy tried not to sound too affected by the sound of her name.   The last thing he needed was for Brett to suspect anything.   “Good.  I think I’ll sit tonight out.”  He thought about the way Lauren had told him it was over.  He didn’t want to show up at the club and make a scene like a jilted lover would.  It was best to stay away for a while.  They had to see each other at the studio every day, but that was strictly business. 

“Yeah, it’ll probably be an early night anyway,” Brett said, taking a seat at the leg press.  “She said she was going to some new club in Burbank tonight with one of the lifeguards from the club.”

Eyes widened, Stormy stopped what he was doing and snapped his head around toward Brett.   “What guy?” he asked, immediately consumed with jealousy.  

Brett shrugged.   “His name is Guy, if you can believe that,” he laughed.  “He’s the typical blond beau hunk they hire out there.  You know, all brawn and no brains.”

Stormy stared off in a daze.  He couldn’t believe the overwhelming feeling of jealousy that swept over him.  Not being with Lauren was hard enough, but the thought of her being with another man drove him crazy. 

Alex's House

That night, Alex and Jordan stood on the terrace of her beach house in Malibu, sipping champagne and gazing up at the moonlit sky. 

“By this time tomorrow we’ll be on our honeymoon,” Jordan said, clinking his glass against hers.

Alex pulled away and looked at him with a frown.  “Honeymoon?” she asked in disbelief.  “Who said anything about a honeymoon?”

“It’s kind of customary,” Jordan replied with a laugh.  “Does that meet with your approval?”

She shook her head.  “I think we’ve had enough island getaways to last us a lifetime,” she said.   “Couldn’t we put it off for a while?   I really don’t think I can take another trip right now.  Not after that last jaunt across the ocean.”

Jordan pressed his lips together and sighed in agreement.  “I suppose you’re right,” he said, leaning in closer and staring at her with his smoldering, seductive hazel eyes.  “I guess we’ll have to settle for a night at the Beverly Hills Hotel.  Making love in the jacuzzi, making love on the terrace, making love on the…”

“Hold it,” Alex said with a smile.  “Is that all you care about?  What we’re going to do on our honeymoon?  What about the rest of our lives together?”

Grinning mischievously, Jordan took her glass and set it down.   He grasped her hand and led her into the house.  “Okay,” he began.  “Forget the honeymoon.   Let’s start tonight.”

Alex pulled away and crossed her arms.  “The night before our wedding?” she asked.  “What kind of girl do you take me for?”

Jordan knew what she meant and he wasn’t pleased.  She was actually going to make him suffer through the night without her warm body next to his.  “Aren’t we a bit too experienced in the marriage department for this?  Besides, it’s not like we haven’t-”

She shook her head and led him to the door.  “Not in the slightest,” she said.  “I need my beauty sleep and you need to wait until we’re married.”

“Seriously?” he asked.

Alex nodded and pushed him out the front door.  “Goodnight, Jordan.  I’ll see you at one o’clock tomorrow.  Don’t be late.”

Closing the door, she turned and started up to her bedroom.   She hoped she was making the right decision by marrying him.   She definitely had no more feelings for Will Thomerson.   But the few days she spent with James in the Caribbean kept playing in her mind over and over like a movie reel. 

Lauren Spencer

Stormy pushed his way through the crowd at the Aquarium, a hot new club in Burbank.  He saw a few of his old friends and drinking buddies and waved to some, stopped and talked to a few others.    All the while he kept a lookout for Lauren.  

The pulsing disco beat filtered through the small establishment and he stopped when he found Eddie dancing with a sexy brunette on the dance floor.   He asked if he’d seen Lauren and Eddie pointed him in another direction.

Quickly, Stormy made his way through the crowd and spotted Lauren standing by a cigarette machine with a tall, beefy blond jock.   He took a breath, attempting to calm himself down before approaching them.  Finally he walked over and tapped her on the shoulder.

“What are you doing here?” Lauren asked, putting her arm purposely around Guy’s thick body.

“I need to talk to you,” he hollered over the music.

“I’m busy,” Lauren replied, turning away from him.

Quickly losing his patience, Stormy grabbed her and pulled her to the side.   Guy stepped up and pushed Stormy back a few steps.

“She said she’s busy, pal,” he said.

Stormy frowned.  “Shouldn’t you be off practicing for the Iron Man or something?”

“Listen, buddy-“ Guy started, assuming a defensive pose as he drew his fists up.

Lauren stepped between them and put her arms out.  “All right, stop it!” she yelled, glaring at both of them.   “Stormy, I don’t know what you thought by coming here, but you can forget it.  I told you it’s over.   That means I can do whatever I want, and see whoever I want.”

Feeling defeated, Stormy stood back and shook his head in frustration.  “Whatever Lauren.  Do what you want.  I don’t care.”

Lauren watched him turn and make his way back through the crowd.  She cursed herself for letting things get so bad between them.  All she wanted was to feel like she meant something to him.  Something more than a casual affair.

Beach Club

The next afternoon at the Valley Beach Club, dozens of guests were gathered in the park, dressed to the nines for the small but elegant wedding ceremony.  

Miranda and Brett arrived in her shiny red Camaro and she handed the valet her keys.   They made their way to the back of the clubhouse where the ceremony was to take place.    She immediately spotted her father and Brooke standing by the champagne fountain a few yards away.   A waiter passed by with a tray of champagne glasses and she snatched one up in an instant as she made her way across the grass.

“Tell me something, Daddy,” she began.  “Did I see Brooke’s car at the mansion the last two mornings when I left for school?”

“Yes,” James replied.  He knew what was on his daughter’s mind and he was not going to allow her to spew her venom this time.   “Do you have a problem with that, Miranda?”

She clenched her teeth, glaring at Brooke and downing her glass of champagne.  Another waiter passed and she handed him the empty glass while taking another.  Brett stood by, almost afraid to see what she was going to do next.

“So that’s it?” Miranda continued.  “All is forgiven?  You’re just going to take her back after everything she did to you?”

“Miranda, look-“ Brooke began.

“Miranda, Brooke and I are together again,” James interrupted.  “We were both to blame for the things that went wrong with our marriage and we’re willing to work on it.  We have to for the sake of our baby.”

Hearing the words made Miranda sick to her stomach.  The thought of Brooke being pregnant with her father’s baby was enough to send her over the edge.   She didn’t even know where to begin with her feelings on that subject.   

“I’m going to need a lot more champagne,” she finally said, rolling her eyes before she turned and led Brett off through the crowd.

Brooke’s expression turned to one of despair and she looked to the ground as James pulled her into an embrace. 

“She’ll come around, Darling,” he said, trying to sooth her nerves.  “She’ll learn to accept you, and she’ll accept our baby.  Just you wait.”

Brooke shook her head, gazing across the crowd at Ethan and Winter who had just arrived, arm in arm.    She had a lot more to worry about than Miranda this time.

Miranda Blackthorne

Miranda and Brett made their way to the first row of seats where Stormy and Heather were standing with Jordan, Ethan and Winter.

“Have you heard the news?” Miranda asked, pushing her way between them and glaring at her brother.

“What news?” he asked.

“Daddy and Brooke are getting back together.”

Stormy shrugged. “I think that’s wonderful.  It’s about time things got back to normal around here.   First Ethan came home, and now Dad is back with the woman he loves.  What could be wrong with that?”

“She’s pregnant!” Miranda exclaimed with a pout.

Stormy’s eyes widened and a smile broke out across his face.  “Pregnant?” he asked in disbelief.  “Why hasn’t he said anything?”   He turned and started across the park where his father was standing.

Winter quietly absorbed the news.   She couldn’t believe it.   Brooke was pregnant?  This was incredible news.   She would be forever tied to James now.   Maybe her worries about Brooke’s interference in her and Ethan’s relationship were about to become non-existent.  

“That’s wonderful,” she said, then looked up at Ethan.

He nodded and put her arm around her, watching Brooke from across the way.  “Yes, it is wonderful,” he said in an uneven tone.

“I hope this news doesn’t take away from Alex’s spotlight,” Jordan commented with a chuckle.  “You know she’ll never let us hear the end of it.”

Miranda folded her arms and glared at Brooke, so filled with rage that she didn’t know what to do.     Once again she had weaseled her way into her family, and this time she was actually carrying her father’s child.

Alex Reynolds

After talking to Stormy for a while, James excused himself and made his way into the clubhouse where Alex was putting the finishing touches on her makeup.   She looked up at him with surprise, the corners of her mouth turning upward into a slight smile.

“I didn’t expect to see you here today,” she said.  “But thank you for coming.”

James smiled and approached her.  “You look very lovely,” he said, admiring her simple white satin gown.  "Jordan’s a very lucky man.”

Alex couldn’t believe her ears.  “Does that mean you’ve forgiven me?” she asked.

Hesitating, James nodded his head and put his hands in the pockets of his tuxedo.

“Oh James, I can’t tell you what that means to me,” Alex said, leaning in and giving him a quick squeeze.  “All this time I’ve been such a fool.   Lashing out at you and using our children as a weapon against you.   All because our marriage didn’t work.    Then that fiasco in the Dominican Republic.   I honestly didn’t mean any harm.”

James nodded and ran his hand down her bare arm.  “It’s all in the past,” he began, then looked around to make sure no one was in earshot.  “Alex, I am willing to put it all behind us, but there’s something I have to ask you to do for me.”

She looked at him suspiciously.  “What is it?”

“Help me get my studio back from Will Thomerson,” James announced.   He looked at her with pleading eyes, forgetting about the promises he made to Brooke.  There was just no way he could let it go.   He’d worked his whole life for Sunset Studios.  He couldn’t stand back and let his enemy steal it from him.  Even if it meant lying to Brooke.

Ethan Blackthorne

Ethan and Winter stood alone by the hors d’ oeuvre table in a warm embrace, the afternoon sun casting a warm glow over their bodies.   He looked through the crowd and spotted Brooke alone next to a tree.   She looked sad and he couldn’t help but feel like she needed him.   Besides, there was something he had to know.  It had been driving him crazy ever since he got back.

“Hey, I’ll be back in a minute,” he said to Winter, kissing her on the cheek before starting off to the other side of the clearing.

Winter frowned, watching him heading straight for Brooke.   She clenched her fists, angered by the way she still had him wrapped around her finger.    When would it end?

Ethan approached Brooke and stood silently before her.  

“Hi,” she said, her expression perking up at the sight of his handsome face.

“How are you?” Ethan asked.

She shrugged.  “I’m doing okay.  How is your leg?”

“Better every day.”

Brooke nodded, uncomfortable by the awkward situation.   She finally decided to stop putting it off and she looked up at him again.  “Listen, I’m sorry about everything.  I know that it must have been a shock for you.  Finding out about James and I.   And the baby.”

Ethan dug his hands in his pockets and squinted in the bright sun.  “It wasn’t your fault,” he said. 

“I thought you were dead,” Brooke claimed.  “Ethan, I stayed on the island for days waiting to hear something…anything that would make me believe you were still alive.”

“You don’t have to explain,” Ethan replied insistently. 

Their eyes met and Brooke quickly turned away.   She could barely face him after everything that had happened. 

“Brooke, if I ask you something will you tell me the truth?” Ethan asked.

She finally looked back at him and nodded.

“The baby you’re carrying,” he began.  “Is there any chance it could be mine?”

Brooke froze, paralyzed with fear as she looked at him blankly.  How could she stand there and lie to him after everything they’d been through?    She had to tell him the truth.  He deserved that much.

Beach Club

Stormy walked into the restaurant at the beach club, the sound of a tranquil piano tune carrying through the open aired room.   He stepped forward, feeling the cool breeze from the ceiling fans blowing gently against his skin.  

He walked up to the stage and saw Lauren sitting behind the piano, tapping effortlessly at the keys and humming an angelic melody.

“I’m sorry about last night,” he said without really thinking first.  Wincing, he waited for her to start blasting him again.  He knew it was coming.  He’d blown things so far so what was another round?

She stopped playing and looked up at him.  “You are?” she asked in a somewhat sedated voice as she stood up from the bench and walked toward him.

Stormy nodded.  “You were right.  You can see anyone you want.  I have no say in your life.”

“You could if you wanted,” Lauren replied, staring into his dark sexy eyes.

They watched each other carefully for what seemed like forever.   Finally the tense moment was broken when Lauren rushed forward and wrapped her arms around him tightly, kissing him hard and with passion.

“I’m so sorry,” Stormy said, smothering her lips with feverish kisses.

“I know,” Lauren replied in bated breath.   “Just be with me now.”

Stormy nodded, taking her hand and leading her backstage where her dressing room was.

Stepping inside from the terrace, Brett watched them with a look of astonishment on his face.   He’d been right all along.   They were having an affair.  

Suddenly Heather walked in through the front door, pausing in the doorway and calling across the room to Brett.  “Have you seen Stormy?” she asked.  “I’ve been looking all over for him.”

Brett bit down on his lip, glancing at the back room where Stormy and Lauren had just disappeared to.  He looked back at Heather and weighed his options carefully.


Next time...

Alex makes a choice on her wedding day.  James's condition worsens and he receives devestating news.  Brett feels excluded from Lauren's career.  Winter searches Brooke's apartment and is horrified by what she finds.

 Read Episode 19



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