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Episode 2

 

Release Date:  December 16, 2005

 Read the episode Recap

 

Previously...

Angry about her father's impending marriage to Brooke, Miranda caused a scene and then later rebuffed Brooke's attempts at bonding. Distraught over the ugly scene, Brooke turned to James's handsome nephew, Ethan, for comfort.  Heather became frustrated when her husband and her father both turned her away when she expressed interest in show business. Renee Dewitt walked in on her husband Kenny in bed with a nurse and threatened to sabotage his post to the California Land Commission if he didn't end it.  James got a cryptic invitation to a mysterious cocktail party.


Episode 2

"The Necklace"

 

Stormy Blackthorne sat in the control booth at Good Times Records with a team of engineers and sound mixers.  He slid on a pair of headphones and listened to the playback from a session they had recorded several days earlier.   He gave Eddie, his right hand man and incurable twenty-five year old playboy, a nod of approval.

Listening to the track, a song by a new rock artist they had recently signed, he started thinking about how far he'd come in his career in such a short time.   He started Good Times Records with his trust fund when he turned twenty-one only two years ago.  His father praised him for doing something useful with the money instead of blowing it on possessions that he wouldn't care about in a few months.    Instead, he used the money to immerse himself into his biggest passion - music.   At first he didn't know the first thing about running a business.  His cousin, Ethan, being the financial wizard he was, had been his saving grace.

He currently only had two acts signed to the label.  A hard rock band and a female trio.  Stormy knew that good acts were hard to find so he was constantly keeping his ears open.   The fact that his wife kept nagging him about producing a record for her put him in a very tight spot.   The simple truth was he didn't think she was right for Good Times Records, but he couldn't bring himself to tell her that.

His train of thought was interrupted when the lobby receptionist buzzed the sound booth.   "Yeah?" he asked after picking up the phone.

"There's someone here to see you," she said.  "She's waiting in your office."

"I'll be right there," Stormy said with a frown.  He wasn't expecting anyone so late in the day.   He got up and left the control room, deciding it was probably Heather coming in for a sneak attack.  She probably figured that if he weren’t expecting her he wouldn't be able to come up with any excuses.

When he reached his office, he pulled open the door and walked inside the spacious room.   There was orange shag carpet covering the floor, modern leather furniture and plants strew throughout.   He glanced across the room at his desk and his eyes narrowed on a gorgeous redhead with more curves than the Indy 500.

"I'm sorry, did we have an appointment?" Stormy asked, barely able to take his eyes off of her cleavage.   She was practically bursting out of her tight, low cut sweater.

The girl stood up, strutted across the room and grabbed him by the shirt collar.  "I didn't know I needed one," she said before pressing her lips onto his and massaging his tongue with hers.   "I also didn't know you'd be so foxy!"

Stormy's eyes widened with surprise as the redhead licked his face and worked her way down to his neck.   She grabbed his shirt and ripped it open, buttons flying in every direction. 

“What the-“ Stormy began.  He had no idea who this woman was who was throwing herself at him.  He was positive he’d never seen her in his life.   He closed his eyes and willed himself not to get aroused.

“I heard you were looking for an act to produce,” said the girl, running her hands over his smooth chest and backing him up against the wall.   “Well do I have a band for you.”

“And this his how you audition, or-“

The girl laughed and threw him into the sofa.  She jumped on top of him and ran her fingers through his tousled brown hair.  “Well I wanted to make sure I got your attention,” she explained, her lips brushing against his.  “We’re the hottest band around.  Five girls.  We’ve been looking for a break.”

“How did you…..” Stormy began, panting with desire.  It was taking all of his will power not to roll her over and have sex with her right then and there.   “How did you know I was looking for new acts?”

“That guy Eddie came around to some clubs last night,” she said, tracing her finger down his chest and pausing at the top of his jeans.   “He said you guys were real desperate.  He said you’d do anything to get your hands on some talent.”

Stormy frowned and quickly moved her off of him.   “Eddie,” he began, cursing his overly horny friend in his head.  “Why am I not surprised.”

“Huh?”  the redhead said, dumbfounded.

“You can let yourself out,” Stormy said as he left the office.  “We’ll let you know if we’re interested.”

Frustrated that her act of seduction hadn’t worked, the girl got up and grabbed her purse from the desk.

Stormy walked purposefully down the corridor to the control booth and burst through the door, his eyes flaring angrily at Eddie.  “Eddie, do you tell some girls at a club last night that we would do anything to get on hands on new talent?” he asked, trying to remain calm.

Eddie stood up and stammered an apologetic reply.  “Well, not exactly,” he began, backing up against the sound booth.

“Oh really?  Well one of them is in my office thinking that we’ll sign her band if she sleeps with me.   Do you have any idea where she would have gotten that idea?”

Laughing nervously, Eddie backed up away from Stormy.  “I see what happened,” he began.   “She got confused.”

“I know you were just trying to help,” Stormy said, putting a hand on Eddie’s shoulder. “But try to remember that I’m running a business here.   If you want to meet girls, leave me and the studio out of it, you jive turkey!”

Eddie nodded.  “Yeah, sure Stormy.  Whatever you say.”

Rolling his eyes, Stormy flopped down in a chair and tried to regain his focus.

Alex Reynolds

“Oh Mother, I hate it here,” Miranda Blackthorne cried, taking a tissue and wiping her red watery eyes.  “Ever since Stormy got married and moved out it’s been so depressing around this house.   And now that horrible Brooke is going to be moving in and….”

“I’m so sorry, Darling,” Alex Reynolds soothed her daughter.  She held her close, stroking her hand down her soft jet hair.   “I never meant for any of this to happen.”

Miranda shook her head violently.  “It isn’t your fault.  Daddy was the one who threw you out because he met that girl.”

Alex Reynolds sighed and walked over to the bar in the study of the Blackthorne mansion, fixing herself a double scotch on the rocks.   She was a stunning Hollywood legend in her early forties.   Auburn hair, blue eyes and a youthful figure made her the most sought after actress of the day.   She owed most of her success to James, who had cast her in starring roles in over half of his movies.  

“You’ll come live with me at the house in Malibu,” Alex announced, downing half of the glass with one swallow.  “You don’t have to subject yourself to your father’s tirades, and certainly not to that bimbo he’s marrying.”

“I see you’re helping yourself to my booze,” said James Blackthorne as he strode into the study, glaring at his ex-wife with contempt.   “I guess some things don’t change.”

Alex raised an eyebrow and took another drink.  “It’s happy hour.”

James surveyed the tense air in the room, noticing how upset Miranda looked and the smug expression on Alex’s face.   “What are you doing here, Alex?”

“I asked her to come,” Miranda lamented, standing up in a huff.   “I’m sick of the way I’m treated around here and I’m going to live with mom.”

James felt a sting as Miranda’s announcement sunk in.  He couldn’t stand the thought of alienating his daughter.  That was the last thing in the world that he wanted.   “Alex, would you leave us alone please?”

“No, I’m here to see my daughter and I’m staying.”

“You’re not here for Miranda,” James insisted.  "You’re here to spy on Brooke and I.”

“Don’t flatter yourself, James.”

“Oh please, you use any excuse you can think of to come over here and cause trouble!” James shouted angrily.

“I most certainly do not,” Alex replied, slamming her glass down on the bar.  "May I remind you that we share three children together?  I came here to be with Miranda, not to cause trouble."

“Then why is she suddenly saying she’s going to move in with you?”

“Because she isn’t happy here!” Alex retorted, flailing her arms up in the air in a tizzy.  

“Would you both stop it!” Miranda cried.  “You’re talking about me like I’m not even here!”

“Miranda-“ Alex started, moving toward her daughter. 

Before she could finish, Miranda tore out of the study and down the hall.   Alex started to run after her when James stopped her dead in her tracks, his hand clasped around her arm.

“Take your hands off of me,” she ordered, her eyes threatening.

“You’ve done enough damage for today,” James said.  “Just get out.”

Feeling somewhat defeated, Alex grabbed her mink stole and stormed out of the room.  She made her way down the hall to the foyer when she ran directly into Brooke coming down the staircase.

“Well well well,” Alex said smugly, eyeing Brooke up and down.  “If it isn’t the spokesperson for the Sherman Oaks Galleria.”

Brooke couldn’t stand Alex Reynolds.   Even before she met James and fell in love with him, she always had a low opinion of the overdone actress.   “I’m not in the mood for you right now, Alex.”

“I have to tell you that I’m not at all happy with what you’re putting my daughter through,” Alex remarked, disregarding the way Brooke dismissed her so casually.  “She’s a wreck thanks to you.”

“If your daughter is having problems, it’s got nothing to do with me,” Brooke said defensively.    “Maybe it’s because she takes after her mother.”

Disgusted by Brooke’s insulting tone, Alex raised her hand and slapped her clean across the face.  Brooke brought her hand up to her cheek instinctively, ignoring the stinging sensation as she attempted to retaliate.    Alex stopped her hand in mid air, shoving her aside with ease.

“You’ve got to be quicker than that,” she seethed.

Brooke glared at her in defeat.  She hated the smug way Alex looked at her.

“Let me give you a word of warning,” Alex continued as she started toward the front door.  “James will get tired of you too.  He’ll never be the husband you want him to be.”

“Is that so?”

Alex nodded with a smile.  “I’m afraid you’re next in a long line of Mrs. James Blackthorne’s.”

“Don’t count on it,” Brooke replied.

Alex shrugged and left the mansion, slamming the door shut behind and leaving Brooke alone in the foyer.   She shook her head in frustration, angry that she’d let the woman get to her again.   More than anything she wished that someone would put Alex Reynolds in her place.

Miranda Blackthorne

James knocked on Miranda’s bedroom and waited impatiently for her to answer or open the door.   When she didn’t, he took a deep breath and pushed the door open.  He saw her sitting on her bed, tears flowing down her cheeks.

“Sweetheart, I’m sorry,” he said, walking over to her and sitting down on the bed.

“I just want to be alone.”

“I want to work this out,” James said persistently.  “I don’t want you to leave.  I like having you here.”

“Why?  You don’t pay attention to me when I am here,” Miranda replied through her sobs of despair.  “All you talk about is the wedding and Brooke.  It’s like I don’t even exist anymore.”

Brooke came down the hallway and stopped in the doorway.  When she heard James and Miranda in the bedroom talking, she moved to the side and watched the tender scene.

Frustrated, James put his arm around Miranda and held her close.  “If I’ve been ignoring you, I’m sorry.  This wedding is just taking over our lives.   I guess I haven’t done a very good job of juggling my responsibilities.”

Miranda looked at him solemnly and wiped her eyes.   She wanted to believe him but he made it so difficult.   Ever since her mother moved out, the only thing on his mind was Brooke Taylor.

“You’ll always be my little girl,” James said, trying desperately to reassure her of his love.   “It doesn’t matter who comes into our lives.   No one can take your place in my heart.”

“But why do you have to get married?” she pleaded.  “Things were fine before Brooke came along.   Even if you and mom aren’t together anymore, at least we’ll still be a family.”

James thought hard about what he could say to make her feel better.  He’d tried everything and he was at his wits end.   “If I said I wouldn’t marry Brooke, would that make you feel better?”

Miranda paused, examining his face to see if he was serious.   “You’d do that for me?” she asked.

James shrugged.  “You’re the most important thing in my life.”

Outside in the hall, Brooke listened intently.  James’s words hurt like a punch in the gut.  She couldn’t believe that he would ever consider calling off their wedding to make his daughter happy.    She couldn’t listen to any more.  She raced down the hall in despair, flying down the stairs and running directly in to Ethan on the landing.  He grabbed her by the arms and looked deeply into her eyes.

Back in Miranda’s bedroom, James stood up from the bed and picked up a stuffed animal from her dresser, rolling it between his hands and smelling the sweet innocent fragrance that emanated from it.  He remembered giving it to her one year for Valentine’s Day when she was about ten years old.  

“So what’s it going to be?” he asked, his back turned to her so she couldn’t see the smirk on his face.   “Do I go downstairs and tell Brooke the wedding is off?   Or do you agree to give this a chance.”

Miranda was quiet for a minute while she pondered his question.  Finally she lowered her head and let out a big sigh.  “I don’t want you to call it off,” she said.  “I don’t want to be the reason you’re unhappy.”

James smiled and turned around.   “And I don’t want to be the reason you’re unhappy,” he insisted.  “So help me work this out.  Give Brooke a chance.”

Miranda reluctantly agreed.  She finally put on a smile and stood up, throwing her arms around her father in a warm embrace.   “I love you Daddy.”  She hated giving in and admitting that Brooke would make him happy.  Maybe it was time to play her hand.  "I  guess if Ethan can accept her so quickly then so can I.  

“Ethan?” James asked, his ears perking up.

She nodded and looked into his eyes.  "Yes, I saw them outside earlier."

"What were they doing outside together?"

Miranda shrugged.  With any luck, Brooke would get herself thrown out of their house and she would no longer have to worry.  "I guess Brooke was upset.  Ethan was comforting her.  They were hugging."  She paused, then added casually.  "It was all innocent, I'm sure, Daddy."

James nodded, thinking about the frequent incidents when he'd caught them in a close moment together.

Ethan Blackthorne

Ethan led a distraught Brooke into the parlor and closed the doors behind them.   He turned around and saw the look of utter distress on her pretty, tanned face.

“You can’t let what James said get to you,” he said firmly.   “Miranda requires a little extra attention.  You know that.   I think you probably misunderstood what you heard.”

Brooke shook her head, wrapping her arms around herself and staring off in a daze.  “There’s no misunderstanding what I heard,” she exclaimed softly.  “He would rather send me to the curb than hurt his precious little girl.”

Ethan walked over and grabbed her by the arm, turning her toward him.  “James loves you,” he claimed.  “I don’t think you realize how much he loves you.”

Tearing away from him, Brooke walked over to the window and gazed outside at the setting sun.  “I don’t know, Ethan.  I think I’m getting myself into a situation that I can’t win.  If it’s not Miranda, then it’s Alex.  Something is always more important than I am.  Am I supposed to just accept that I’m always going to be dispensable to him?”

“Of course not.”

She spun around and shot him a doubtful stare.  “How do I know he’s not going to decide it’s too complicated and divorce me in a month?” she asked.  “I know these Hollywood producers.  They get married and divorced more often than I buy shoes.”

Ethan couldn’t help but laugh.  He walked over and put his arms around her, pulling her into a warm embrace.   “I think you’re just scared,” he said.  “And that’s perfectly normal.       You’re marrying a very rich and powerful man.  There’s bound to be baggage.  You just have to learn to deal with it.”

“I don’t know if I can.”

Ethan sighed, wishing there was something he could do to soothe her frazzled nerves.

“I’m so glad I have you to talk to,” Brooke said, unaware that James was standing in the doorway watching them hug tenderly.

He clenched his teeth and turned around, marching across the foyer as he tried to register what was going on with Brooke and his nephew.

Renee's House

Winter Austen paced back and forth in the living room of Kenny DeWitt’s mansion in Bel Air.   Her platinum blond hair was perfectly feathered back and she had on a brand new pair of Calvin Klein Jeans and a frosty pink lip-gloss.   She felt like a million bucks.   The unfortunate thing was she was dirt poor.  Being a nurse didn’t pay the bills like she thought it would.   Now Kenny was trying to end their relationship and she was desperate.

When he entered the room and saw Winter standing there, he flew into a panic, closing the French doors and making sure no one was around. 

“Are you crazy?” he asked.  “Do you have any idea what my wife will do if she finds you here?  How did you get in, anyway?”

“Your butler let me in,” she replied.  “And I must commend you for having a white servant.  That's far out, Kenny.  Sort of turning the tables on society.”

“Would you keep your voice down,” Kenny said, his tone full of warning.  “My wife is upstairs changing for dinner.   She could come down here any minute and find you here.   If she thinks our affair is still on, she’ll take the land commission away from me.  Do you have any idea how long I’ve been angling for that post?”

“I don’t care,” Winter pleaded, throwing her arms around him and smothering his face with kisses.  “I don’t want to lose you, Kenny.   We have so much fun together.”

Had,” he corrected her.  “We had so much fun together.  It’s over, Winter.  It’s got to be.”

Angry and hurt, she spun around and folded her arms across her chest.  “So you’re just going to throw away the last six months?  You’re going to just forget about all the things we’ve shared together?”

“I have no choice!” he insisted, whispering under his breath.   “My wife is the backing behind everything I have.  My house, my company, and my position on the land commission.  I do not intend to throw that away on a nurse from the Valley!”

“How dare you!”

“I’m sorry, Winter,” Kenny said.  “This is the way it has to be.   And you should start looking for somewhere else to live.”

“What?” she asked in shock.  “Why?”

“It’s only a matter of time before Renee finds out your condo is paid for by Merteuil  Industries,” he explained.  “She’ll send you packing before you know what hit you.”

“Oh that’s just great,” Winter said with exasperation.  “Not only do you dismiss me like a common whore, but now I don’t have anywhere to live.   What am I supposed to do now?”

“Find a room for rent somewhere, I don’t know,”  Kenny replied.  He stopped when he heard his wife calling him from outside the living room.  “Oh no.  She’s coming.  You’re going to have to leave.”

“Wait a minute,” Winter protested as Kenny pulled her by the arm toward the door leading onto the patio.  “You can’t just throw me out like this.”

“Please, you have to go,” Kenny insisted, opening the doors and shoving her outside into the night.  Quickly and without hesitation, he drew the orange and brown drapes just as Renee entered the living room through the other doors. 

“Kenny, what’s going on?” she asked, scanning the room with sharp eyes.  “I heard voices."

”Not from in here you didn’t,” he replied calmly. 

“I think I did.”

“No, you’re just tense,” Kenny insisted, walking to the bar and pouring her a glass of champagne.  “I think you need a drink, Baby.   It’s been a long day.”

“Indeed it has,” she replied, eyeing him skeptically as she took the glass and sipped the expensive champagne.

Blackthorne Mansion

Meanwhile, Stormy and Heather arrived at the Blackthorne mansion for the rehearsal dinner.  They went into the parlor where Ethan and Miranda were gathered, drinking cocktails in their formal attire.  

“Where are the bride and groom?” Stormy asked, immediately fixing himself a rum and Coke.   He was dressed in a blue suit and white shirt, but no tie as it wasn’t his style.  He had already fought with his father about the tuxedo he was supposed to wear at the ceremony.  After a few rounds, he eventually had to give in and accept that he’d have to go against his personal style.

“Upstairs getting ready,” Miranda replied, gulping down a whiskey sour.

Ethan folded his arms in concentration.  He wished he could be a fly on the wall in James’s bedroom right now. 

Brooke Taylor

Brooke stood in front of the dressing mirror as James walked up behind her and zipped up her dress in the back.  She smiled at him through the reflection in the mirror and turned around.

“Are you okay?" she asked.  “You’ve been kind of quiet.”

Shrugging, James dug his hands in his pockets.   “I’m just thinking.”

“About what?”

“About whether this wedding is what you really want,” James replied sharply.

Brooke frowned and looked into his eyes, trying to figure out what was going through his mind.   “Of course it is,” she replied.  “Why would you ask?”

Visions of Brooke and Ethan standing in an embrace clouded his mind.  Not once but twice today he had walked in on them in a very close moment, whispering to one another timidly.  He hated himself for thinking it, but he was sure something was going on.  Or at least in the making.

“No reason,” he finally said, deciding it was not the time to bring it up.   He turned and walked to the dresser and picked up his cufflinks. 

“There must be a reason,” Brooke persisted, following him across the room.

Feeling more foolish by the minute, James shrugged and forced a smile on his face.  “I just know that things have been kind of tense around here lately,” he replied.  “With Miranda’s outbursts and Alex’s unexpected visit today.   I wouldn’t blame you if you were having second thoughts about being part of this family.”

Brooke smiled and put her arms around him from behind.   “I don’t care about any of that,” she said.  “You said you talked to Miranda and agreed to a compromise.   That’s all I can ask for.   I just want a chance to make you happy.”

James turned and kissed her passionately for what seemed like eternity.  When they finally broke, James reached into his jacket and handed her a large velvet box.  “I was going to wait until tomorrow to give this to you,” he began.  “But I think tonight is as good a time as any.”

Exhilaration coursed through Brooke’s veins as she slowly opened the jewelry box and saw the brilliant diamond necklace resting inside.   Dozens of crystal clear stones lit up her face and she gawked in astonishment.

"James, I don’t know what to say,” she said, a tear trickling down her cheek.

“Just say that you’ll marry me tomorrow and make me the happiest man on earth,” he replied, turning her around and lifting the lavish piece to her neck.  He effortlessly clasped the chains together and turned her back toward him.

“I’d love to,” she cried, throwing her arms around him.  She turned and examined herself in the mirror.  ‘It’s beautiful, James.  I love it.”

“You’re beautiful.   And I love you.”

She admired the necklace for a minute or so and then hugged him again, wishing they could be as happy as they were at that minute for the rest of their lives.

Will Thomerson

By the time they got downstairs, Kenny and Renee DeWitt had arrived for the rehearsal dinner.  As one of James’s oldest and dearest friends, Kenny was going to be one of his groomsmen, along with Stormy as the best man.

They were gathered in the parlor waiting for dinner to be served.   Miranda looked across the room and immediately saw the extraordinary diamond necklace that Brooke was wearing.   Her eyes narrowed coldly on her and she immediately fixed herself another strong drink.   She had lost count on how many she’d had so far, and she was beginning to feel a little woozy.

“Looks like everyone’s here,” James announced, shaking hands with Kenny and kissing  Renee’s delicate hand.    “So nice to see you, Renee.”

“Likewise,” was her polite reply.

Ethan studied Brooke’s face and decided that she seemed happier than she’d been all day.  Whatever went on up in the bedroom must not have been as bad as he had predicted.   Maybe there was hope for their marriage after all, he thought.

“Leilani tells me that dinner will be ready in about ten minutes,” James said to the room.  “By the time we finish a drink it should be time to adjourn to the dining room.”

“I’d like to make a toast,” Stormy announced, holding up his glass and turning to face the rest of the guests.  “To my father and his new bride.  May they prosper and have a blissfully happy life together.”

“Here, here!” Kenny agreed enthusiastically.  

“Thank you, Stormy,” Brooke said kindly, kissing him on the cheek.

Miranda watched her carefully, unable to take her eyes off the extravagant necklace, which was obviously a gift from her father.   Obviously her hint about Brooke and Ethan didn't sway her father.  She noted the way Brooke worked the room so casually and effortlessly, acting as if she fit in with their family and friends.   But Brooke Taylor would always be a poor make up girl from the Valley.  Gritting her teeth, Miranda downed the rest of her drink and went to the bar to fix another one.

“Don’t you think you should slow it down?” asked Heather as she approached her sister-in-law.  “Drinking isn’t going to make her go away.”

Miranda rolled her eyes and slammed down a shot of straight whiskey.  “Then will it make you go away?” she asked hatefully and walked across the room to the sofa where Ethan was sitting.

“Why don’t you take this instead,” Ethan suggested, handing her a glass of club soda.

“Oh God, not you too,” she complained.  “What’s with all you squares tonight?   I can’t have a drink before dinner?”

Irritated, she stood up and found an empty corner to hide in.  She saw Brooke staring at her out of the corner of her eye and clenched her fists in anger.

The doorbell rang and James wondered who they were missing.  He thought that everyone he invited had arrived.   Minutes later, Leilani entered the parlor and approached James discreetly.

“Mr. Blackthorne, there’s a gentleman in your study who says he would like to speak with you,” she said.

James frowned.   “Who is it?” he asked.

“I don’t know, Sir.”

Shrugging, James excused himself from the room and ambled across the foyer to the study, nursing his drink as he entered the room in anticipation.  His eyes narrowed on a tall blonde man standing by the fireplace dressed in a tuxedo and holding a bottle of champagne.

“I don’t believe it,” he said under his breath.  “What the devil are you doing here, Will Thomerson?”

“Can’t a guy come see an old friend?” he replied.  He was a debonair man of forty-seven, oozing power and prestige with every move.

“I don’t see any friends here,” James spat.  “Now get out before I throw you out.”

Will Thomerson smiled devilishly, removing an envelope from his pocket and waving it at James.  “I was disappointed that you didn’t show up to my cocktail party tonight so I thought I’d bring the party here.”

Realizing slowly dawning, James grabbed the invitation from him and read through it quickly. It was the same invitation that had been delivered to the studio that morning.  “You’re the one who bought Jaguar Studios?” he asked.   “How can that be?  I thought I destroyed your career years ago.”

Will shook his head adamantly.  “Not at all.  You may have set me back a little when you sabotaged my Broadway premier, but I bounced back.   Just as I promised.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” James quipped, walking around Will in circles.  “And just what does a Broadway producer want with a Hollywood movie studio?“

“To beat you at your own game,” Will replied smugly.  “I’m going to turn Jaguar Studios around and blow Sunset Studios right out of the water.   Then when you’re left with nothing, I’m going to be sitting in my Hollywood office relishing every second of your ruined existence.”

Miranda Blackthorne

Back in the parlor, a drunken Miranda wobbled toward Brooke, pushing Heather out of the way and grabbed her by the arm.

“You think you’re so fancy with your new diamond necklace, don’t you?” she asked, glaring at Brooke with contempt.  “And your new Gucci dress, and your new Hollywood husband in your Hollywood mansion.”

“Miranda, I thought-“

“You thought we could kiss and make up and be best friends?” Miranda asked, her words coming out slowly and somewhat incoherently.   “Well forget it.  I have enough friends.”  She put her arm around Heather and pulled her close.  “Right, Heather?”

“Miranda, that’s enough,” Stormy said, intervening and pulling his sister away.   “I think you need to go outside and get some air.”

“I don’t need any air, Stormy,” she replied, then turned back to Brooke.  “I just need this bitch to leave my father alone.”

Renee gasped and sat down on the sofa while Kenny moved to break up the ugly confrontation.  “Come on, Miranda.  Let’s go outside.”

She shrugged him away, continuing to give Brooke a wickedly hateful stare.  “Why don’t you take Brooke outside?” she asked, stumbling back a few steps as she lost her balance.   “And leave her.”

“Miranda, please-“ Brooke said, her eyes meeting Ethan’s in desperation.

“God, you’re so fake,” Miranda mumbled as she lost her balance again and fell forward.   She reached out to stop her fall and her hand clasped around Brooke’s diamond necklace.   The chain broke and the diamonds fell off onto the floor, scattering everywhere.

Brooke cried out in horror and clutched her bare neck, watching the diamonds as they spread across the room in disarray.    She shook her head in despair, raced out of the parlor and fled out the front door of the mansion.

James Blackthorne

Back in the study, James was growing more irate by the minute.  

“You have a lot of nerve showing your face here after what you did to my sister,” he said to Will Thomerson, closing his hand tightly around his tumbler of brandy.

“I didn’t do anything to your sister,” Will replied.

“You killed her!” James shouted angrily.

Ignoring James’s theatrics, Will walked across the room and picked up a picture frame from the desk.   “I did not,” he said adamantly.   “Georgie was sick.   She died.”

“She was seventeen!” James yelled, squeezing the glass tightly before he hurdled it across the room.  Shards of broken glass splintered everywhere and the sticky liquid shot up like a volcano erupting.  “You used her, you made her promises, and then you left her broken and alone while you ran off to New York!”

“She was alive when I left,” Will reasoned smugly.

The remark nearly sent James over the edge.   He gritted his teeth and ran his fingers through his hair in frustration.  “She got sick and she didn’t care whether she lived or died because you left her alone!   You were everything to her!  You killed her as sure as if you had shot her with a gun!”

“I had an opportunity to study with the best playwright of the century!” Will exclaimed, his calm and cool disposition breaking down ever so slightly.  “It was either that or stay in Windsor, Kansas and rot for the rest of my life!   Tell me, James, what would you have done in my position?”

James didn’t reply.

“Oh, that’s right,” Will continued.  You did the same thing.  You got out the first chance you got!  You moved to Hollywood and went to film school!  You wanted to follow in the footsteps of your Uncle Nathan, the Hollywood legend!  But when I left the year before that it was the act of a monster, right?”

“I didn’t ruin a young woman’s life and leave her alone and….”  James began, stopping himself before he said something he would regret.

“And what?” Will asked.  “I didn’t know she was sick!”

“That doesn’t excuse the way you treated her,” James said solemnly.

“Well you sure got your revenge, didn’t you?” Will asked, stepping forward as if to challenge his old friend.   “As soon as my first play got on Broadway you made sure our first show was our last.   It took me years to recover from that.”

“That was a small price to pay for what you did to Georgie.”

Will shook his head and laughed to himself in disbelief.  “You’re a delusional old fool, you know that?” he said.  “You would rather blame me for Georgie’s death than realize that it was because your family was poorer than dirt and couldn’t get her the help she needed.”

“We did everything we could for Georgie.”

“Did you?” Will demanded.  “I seriously doubt that.   Any money your family had your mother drank and your father gambled away.”

“Shut up!” James yelled.

“Why don’t you stop blaming me for everything and realize it was because of your dysfunctional family that your sister died when she was seventeen years old!”

Trembling with anger, James rushed toward him in a blind fury.  “I swear to God I’ll kill you!” he threatened, grabbing Will by the tuxedo jacket and throwing him across the room.

Will quickly climbed to his feet and retaliated with a swift punch to James’s jaw, followed by a knee in the gut.   Within minutes, they were tearing at each other, knocking over lamps and vases as they grappled feverishly.

Miranda Blackthorne

Miranda, frozen on her feet, looked around the parlor and saw that everyone was staring at her in disgust and disapproval.   She couldn’t take it anymore.  She was sick of being the bad girl that everyone expected her to be.  She tore out of the room and ran outside to her car parked in the circular drive.   She started the engine and backed up, revving the engine in frustration.  The red Camaro jolted back and hit the car parked behind her.   Ignoring the sound of crushing glass and metal, she turned the wheel and speed along the driveway.       All she wanted to do was get out of there and forget about everyone.  She’d probably be branded the spoiled rich girl for the rest of her life after that scene inside the house but she didn’t care.

Fumbling for the lights, she felt the car strike something head on.  The sound of a scream followed and she slammed on the brakes.   Finally turning on the lights, she looked to the pavement ahead and her eyes widened at the sight of Brooke laying motionless in the bright glow of the headlights.


Next time....

James waits for word on Brooke's condition while a frightened Miranda contemplates the consequences of her actiosn. Ethan grows suspicious of Miranda and demands the trutyh.  James dodges Ethan's questions about will Thomerson. James lashes out at Miranda and sends her fleeing from the mansion

Read Episode 3

 

 


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