After Brett made a
scene at the Lauren's album premiere, Lauren told
Stormy that Brett had blackmailed her into sleeping
with her. An angry Stormy attacked Brett by
the pool and a vicious brawl ensued. Brett
told Heather there was more going on between Stormy
and Lauren than she realized. Heather followed
Stormy to Lauren's dressing room and found them
making love. Brooke was rushed to the hospital
and was successfully kept from going into premature
labor. When Ethan learned that Winter was
with Brooke when she fell, he angrily broke off
their relationship. Alex revealed to Will
that she signed over Sunset Studios back to James,
and then served him with annulment papers. Later,
Will cornered Alex at home and threatened to seek
revenge against her and James.
Stormy stood in front of the window at Lauren’s apartment,
staring outside at the crowds of care-free beachgoers frolicking in the sand
and surf. He closed his eyes,
remembering a time when his life was much simpler. Simple certainly wasn’t the case now,
especially since Heather had thrown him out of their house the night
before. His marriage was over, his
friendship with Brett was over, and he felt like his entire family was against
him because of his affair with Lauren.
Meanwhile, Brett was still sitting pretty back at his father’s house,
unsuspected of any wrongdoing whatsoever.
If anyone was the bad guy in the whole scenario it was him. He blackmailed Lauren into sleeping with
him. He cheated on his wife and lied to
everyone about it. Who knows how many
other evil deeds Brett Armstrong had done since he came into their lives.
he knew it, Lauren was wrapping her arms around him from behind and gently
kissing his neck. She loved having him
spend the night. It was the first time
he’d ever been able to since they started their affair. Little did Stormy know she was secretly
thrilled that Heather was finally in the know.
Maybe now they could get on with some sort of a normal relationship.
are you thinking about?” she asked.
sighed and turned toward her.
“Everything,” he replied. “Mainly
about Brett and the way he seems to have gotten off squeaky clean in this whole
shrugged. “So why don’t you tell Miranda? She’s your sister. She has a right to know that her husband is a
cheating, blackmailing liar.”
stared off in concentration and shook his head.
“I don’t know. Telling Miranda
bad news is kind of like lighting a firecracker while it’s still in your
hand. You’re bound to get your head
then there was a knock at the door and Lauren walked over to answer it. After she pulled the door open, Jordan Rydell
rushed inside and landed his gaze on Stormy, his eyes flaring wildly.
looked up at him and gulped. He knew why
he was there. As Heather’s father, he
was doing his obligatory visit to threaten him and tell him that he always knew
he’d wind up hurting his daughter.
he could react, Jordan was rushing up toward him and
sending him flying to the floor with a swift punch in the nose. “You son of a bitch,” Jordan seethed, glaring down at his
son-in-law. “How could you treat my
daughter like this?”
quickly ran to Stormy’s side and tended to his bloody nose. She looked up at
Jordan and scowled at him. “I don’t know who you think you are, but you
can’t just come barging into someone’s house
throwing punches! Now you’d better
leave before I call the police.”
shook his head and struggled to his feet.
“Lauren, it’s okay,” he replied.
“I guess I had that coming.”
damn right you did,” Jordan said. “I told my daughter from the minute she met
you that you were nothing but trouble.
She chose not to believe me, but now it seems she’s singing a new
tune. You just couldn’t keep it in your
pants, could you, Blackthorne?”
Jordan, you don’t understand,” Stormy
protested. “I love your daughter.”
“That’s a bunch of bull and you know
it,” Jordan exclaimed. “You don’t cheat on
someone you love. But then again I guess
I shouldn’t expect anything else from you.
Look at your parents, for God’s sake.
They wouldn’t know a moral if it bit them on the-“
hold it right there,” Stormy cut him off.
“Is this about my mother? Are you
just pissed that she dumped you and married Will Thomerson instead? Because you were the one who gave her the
ultimatum. You can’t bully my mother
into doing anything. She won’t stand for
has nothing to do with your mother,” Jordan said. Truthfully it had more to do with Alex than
he let on. The whole Blackthorne family
seemed to be administering one painful blow after another to his family. He was fed up with it.
you think of me or my family, I swear to you, I never meant to hurt your daughter,”
Stormy went on. “That’s the truth.”
Jordan shook his head angrily. “Now that we’ve seen you for the snake you
are, I expect you to be out of my daughter’s life for good. I don’t need her coming crying to me again
because of something you did. So stay
here with your trampy lounge singer and leave Heather alone.”
sighed in desperation as Jordan turned and bounded back out of
at Cedars-Sinai, James walked into Brooke’s private room and flashed her a
handsome smile. “Good news,
Darling. Dr. Mitchell signed your
release papers so I can take you home right away.”
smiled and sat up on her bed. “Oh that is good news,” she said with a certain
amount of relief. “So everything’s okay
with the baby?”
nodded and kissed her warmly. “It’s more
than okay. She says our baby is
perfectly healthy and as long as you stay reasonably stress-free, there
shouldn’t be any more problems.”
threw her arms around him and pulled him close. She was more than relieved by the news. After her fall down the stairs, she was
terribly afraid that she would lose the baby.
why don’t you get dressed and I’ll be back in a few minutes after I pull the
car around, okay?” James said.
nodded eagerly and hugged him again.
James smiled and walked out into the hall. He started toward the elevators and paused,
nearly doubling over from the searing pain that coursed through his head. Holding himself up against the wall, he
closed his eyes and tried to block out the pain. But it wouldn’t subside. It persisted just as it had for the last
couple of days.
his headaches were brought on in times of stress or when something happened to
upset him. But as the days went by he
began getting them for no reason. It was
a sure sign that his condition was worsening far sooner than Dr. Farraday
predicted. But he couldn’t let it happen
now. He couldn’t lay down and die before
he ever got a chance to hold his baby.
sat down on the sofa and Lauren followed him, trying to guess what was going
through his mind after Jordan’s impromptu visit. She put her arm around him and tried to calm
him down but it was useless. He was
already in a tailspin over Heather.
need to go see her,” he said, holding his face in his hands and staring down at
the floor. “I can’t just leave things
the way they are.”
sighed and pulled away from him in protest.
“But what is that going to solve?” she asked.
don’t know!” Stormy insisted, standing up and pacing the room.
him with her arms folded, Lauren searched for something to say to get him to
reconsider. “Do you want to stay married
to her? Is that what you’re saying?”
Stormy shrugged and shot her a look. “Maybe. I don’t know.
I just know that I can’t go another day without talking to her and
trying to explain.”
that’s just great!” Lauren exclaimed.
“So where does that leave me? I thought we were going to be together,
Stormy. I asked you to go on tour with
me, remember? Have you even given that
course I have!”
you haven’t given me an answer!” Lauren replied hostily. “And now you tell me that you might want to
get back together with her? To save your
marriage. Is it just me or
are you trying to give me the
truth was that Stormy didn’t know what he wanted. He did
still love Heather and he always had.
Falling in love with Lauren was an accident. It had nothing to do with his marriage. “Look, I just need to talk to her. That’s all.
If you can’t understand that then I’m
opened her mouth to respond but Stormy was already barreling out the door and
down the steps to his car. She threw
her hands up in resignation and ran into her bedroom, slamming the door
at the hospital, James sat on an examining table while Dr. Farraday checked his
vitals and examined a new set of x-rays.
wasn’t expecting this,” said the doctor, shaking his head as he looked at the
James asked nervously.
brain swelling is progressing more rapidly than I’d anticipated. I may have overestimated the time table we’re
closed his eyes with regret. “So you’re
saying I could die much sooner than you originally thought?”
buttoned his shirt and jumped down from the table. He was at a loss for words. He was now faced with the possibility that
he wouldn’t survive long enough to see Brooke give birth to his baby, much less
have a hand in raising it.
I told you there was a procedure that could make a difference,” said Dr.
Farraday, taking off his reading glasses and looking at him
sympathetically. “There are no
guarantees but it’s the only option you have.”
said the chances that I’d survive the operation are less than half,” James
right,” said Dr. Farraday. “But at this
point, I don’t see there are any other alternatives. If you go without the surgery, you could be
looking at a matter of weeks before you die.”
cursed to himself and turned around in despair.
The last thing he wanted was to go through a risky operation and cause
more stress on Brooke and the rest of his family. They’d all been though so much already. But if he didn’t, he wouldn’t have the joy of
watching his baby grow up, or the pleasure of having Brooke as his wife again.
a deep breath, he turned back to the doctor and nodded hesitantly. “Okay,” he said with some regret. “Schedule the surgery.”
Heather opened the front door of her house and immediately
tried pushing it closed again when she saw Stormy standing on the porch.
away,” she said, trying to force it closed.
need to talk,” Stormy insisted, pushing his way inside.
glared at him and ran into the living room.
“There’s nothing to talk about so why don’t you just leave.”
can you say there’s nothing to talk about?” he asked, pulling her toward him.
to look into his eyes for fear that she would cave, Heather resisted, turning
away and looking out the window. “Do you
have any idea what it’s been like for me?” she asked, growing into a daze. “All those months that I begged you to help
me with my career. To at least just take
me seriously. You ignored me and told
me that you didn’t have time, that someday you’d get around to it.”
that’s not what this is about,” Stormy protested.
you dare tell me what this is about!” Heather yelled, finally turning and
glaring at him. “This is about what I
say it’s about. I’m angry and you have
no right to tell me that I shouldn’t be.”
backed up a step. He’d never heard her
talk like that before. The anger showed
in her eyes and all over her face.
deciding she had his attention again, Heather turned away and continued. “I asked you over and over again to just give
me a chance. Then when Lauren showed up
and you took her under your wing and signed her to your label, I thought it was
just because I wasn’t good enough, and I accepted that.” She glanced at him and felt a tear forming in
her eye. “But I never thought that you’d
start sleeping with her and that I’d have to accept that I wasn’t good enough
in that department either.”
that’s not how it is!” Stormy insisted.
it is!” she exclaimed. “That’s exactly
how it is! I wasn’t good enough to be a
singer, and I wasn’t good enough to satisfy you in bed! Just admit it!”
it, Stormy!” Heather screamed, walking forward and hitting his chest with her
fists. “I wasn’t good enough so you went
out and found someone who was!”
grabbed her arms to stop her from hitting him.
He hated the fact that she blamed herself for everything. It wasn’t like that at all, but how could he
convince her of that?
he could say anything else, Heather ran past him and dashed up the stairs to
their bedroom. He ran his fingers
through his hair and turned around in frustration. Maybe now wasn’t the best time to try to get
through to her. Maybe he’d have to wait
until she’d had time to calm down.
drove up to the driveway of a house in the Valley and parked the car, smiling
with excitement at Miranda who sat next to him in the car.
what are we doing here?” she asked with irritation. “Whose house is this?”
got out of the car and opened her door for her. “It’s our house,” he said, taking her hand
and leading her up to the front porch.
Miranda asked with a frown. “What are
you talking about?”
the key in the knob, he opened the front door and led her inside the quaint
cabana style house. “This is our house,” he said, beaming from ear to
ear as he walked around the wood floors of the living room. “I just signed the papers this morning.”
looked around the small surroundings, shaking her head in dismay at the
surprising news. “You bought a house?”
she asked. “What’s wrong with where we
Brett replied, walking up and putting his hands on her waist. “But it’s your father’s house. Besides, Brooke's living there now and the
baby will be following soon after. I
thought you’d be thrilled to have a place of our own. Somewhere we can start our own life together. Away from your family.” He was desperate to get away from the rest of
the Blackthorne’s. After everything that
went down with Stormy and Lauren, James wouldn’t rest until he had him exiled
If they continued living in the mansion, it would only be a matter of
time before things hit the fan. They
needed to be as far away from everyone as possible.
guess I never thought about it like that,” Miranda said, looking around and
touching the bare walls with her hands.
“Living with Brooke would be like a nightmare. And once that baby comes who could get any
you like it then?” Brett asked with excitement evident in his eyes.
shrugged. “Yeah. I mean, it’s kind of small, and it’s in the Valley. But I guess it might be okay.”
smiled and picked her up, spinning her around as he kissed her cheerfully.
butler opened the door to the vast mansion in Beverly Hills and led Alex into the sitting
room. He disappeared through the giant
paneled doors and she looked around nervously.
Wringing her hands together, she paced the floor of the stylish room and
admired a photo of Jordan and his two children.
sound of the doors opening again sent her into a panic and she looked up, spotting Jordan entering the room with a somber
look on his face.
are you doing here?” he asked.
“Shouldn’t you be at home with your new husband?”
put the photo down and ran across the room toward him. “Jordan, please. I wanted to talk to you before it was too
frowned. “Too late for what?”
us,” Alex replied, her eyes pleading. “Jordan, I love you.”
scoffed and walked over to where she’d been standing. He looked down, noticing the picture she’d
been holding when he entered the room.
“Unless I’m mistaken, the minute you said I do to Will Thomerson kind of signified the end of us.”
there’s something you don’t understand,” Alex said. “Will and I aren’t married anymore. I had the marriage annulled.”
looked at her with surprise. “That was
quick.” He walked over to the window and
looked outside at the flowing green lawns.
“I can’t imagine what could have happened to change your mind in the two
days you were married to him.”
just it,” Alex continued eagerly. “It
was a setup. I was helping James get his
studio back. We wanted to stick it to
Will just like he stuck it to James.”
Jordan turned toward her and rolled his
eyes. “Ahhh, so James is the catalyst
here. Why am I not surprised?”
does that supposed to mean?”
means that James seems to be your first priority lately,” Jordan replied. “It was James that you ran off to be with
when we were supposed to be getting married.
It was James that you manipulated into thinking you were still married
back on that island. It seems that he’s
the one you should have married, not Will, and certainly not me.”
that’s not the way it is,” Alex said in desperation. “I was just trying to undo some of the damage
I’d done. It was partly because of me
that James lost his studio, and he’s been having headaches because of that
plane crash and it was my fault that he-“
stopped mid-sentence and shot him a troubled look.
I’m hearing is how you did everything for James,” Jordan continued. “Well what about me, Alex? I’m the one who asked you to marry me.”
so you could manipulate me into starring in your damn movie!”
first, yes!” Jordan replied. “But then I fell in love with you! I was planning our life together, Alex! I wanted to be the envy of every couple in Hollywood!
I wanted to shower you with affection and show you how special you are!”
you know what happened instead?” He cut her off. “You shot me down, left me at our own
wedding, and made a fool of me.”
felt her eyes stinging with tears. “I
never meant to hurt you. I thought I was
doing the right thing.”
shook his head. “You did the right
thing. For James.” He turned and left the room, disappearing
from view and leaving Alex standing in despair.
She couldn’t accept
what she’d done. She had spent so much
time trying to destroy James and then trying to help him, that she completely
ignored Jordan’s feelings. Now she’d lost him forever, and she would
never forgive herself for that.
evening, Ethan returned home from a four-mile jog through the Valley and
trotted up to his front porch where Winter was sitting, impatiently waiting for
him. He let out a deep breath and
stopped just as he got to the steps.
are you doing here?” he asked in bated breath.
“I thought I told you I never wanted to see you again.”
shot up to her feet and reached out to him in despair. “But Ethan, I can’t just walk away from
everything we had together,” she said, following him to the door as he unlocked
it. “I love you. We belong together.”
shook his head and turned back to her. “We
do not belong together,” he replied
bitterly. “Anyone who would harm a
didn’t hurt her!” Winter protested.
“Can’t you understand that? It
was an accident! How many times do I
have to tell you!”
should I believe you?” Ethan asked with a frown. “Brooke told me about all of the horrible
things you’ve said to her. Name one thing she ever did to deserve any of
with words, Winter shook her head in exasperation. “Look, Ethan, I was jealous. I admit it.
I was jealous of all the time you were spending with her. Does that make me a terrible person?”
he replied after hesitating for a few seconds.
“And maybe her falling was an accident, but I think that you secretly
hoped she’d be hurt. I mean, you did run off without so much as calling
for help. You left her there alone.”
was scared!” Winter cried, trying to keep her wits about her. “I didn’t know what to do. I just froze up.”
opened the door and started inside.
“Whatever it was, it doesn’t matter now,” he said.
“Don’t say that!” Winter argued, trying to stop him from
closing the door on her.
over, Winter,” Ethan said, forcing the door closed and locking her out on the
turned around in desperation, fighting back the tears that formed in her
eyes. She couldn’t believe Ethan was
tossing her aside like that, ike their
relationship meant nothing to him. And
it was all for Brooke. All for his
walked down the hall at the Blackthorne mansion and found Stormy in the game
room playing PS3 in front of the TV.
She frowned and sauntered inside, flopping down on the couch and eyeing
you’re moving in now?” she asked, watching the television with annoyance.
didn’t look up at her. “No, just killing
laid back and put her feet up on the coffee table. “So you’re moving in with Lauren, then?”
sighed and shut of the game. He realized
he wasn’t going to get a moments peace at the house so why did he even
bother. “I don’t know yet. Lauren’s leaving tomorrow to go on tour for
four months. She asked me to go with
you going to?” Miranda asked with surprise.
I don’t know,” he replied, growing more and more irritated by her questioning.
Heather know?” Miranda asked, glaring at him.
rolled his eyes. “Heather probably
couldn’t care less if I left town. She’s
not very happy with me right now.”
sat forward and threw her hands up in aggravation. “Why should she be?” she asked irately. “She just found out her husband has been
cheating on her. I would have kicked
your sorry ass out too.”
words made him see red. If only she knew
that her own husband was doing the exact same thing to her. He wished he could just tell her everything
about Brett. It was the only fair thing
to do since he was her brother and all.
Before he knew it he was standing up and shouting down at her.
by all means kick your husband out!” he began.
Miranda asked in shock. “My husband
hasn’t done anything. You’re the issue
here. Not Brett.”
didn't see Brett appear in the doorway.
He heard their volatile words and quickly ducked around the corner out
of sight. He strained to hear their
conversation, leaning as close to the door as
he could without being noticed.
been lying to you all along!” Stormy yelled, already regretting that he’d
brought it up. Just like he’d told
Lauren earlier, telling Miranda anything was asking for trouble. “He found out about Lauren and me and
blackmailed her into sleeping with him!"
ridiculous!” Miranda exclaimed as she lurched forward. “Like Lauren would even go along with something like
went along with it because she didn’t want Heather finding out that way!”
Stormy insisted. “She was trying to
rolled her eyes. “Oh yeah, right. When faced with a choice like that, Lauren’s
first instinct is to protect you from your wife? That doesn’t make any sense, Stormy! If she wanted you so much then she wouldn’t
have cared if Heather found out or not!”
ran his fingers through his hair and chuckled.
“How did I know you would react this way?” he asked. “You refuse to see the truth that’s right in
front of you. I’m really surprised by
you, Sis. You’re usually the first to
jump on the attack when you think something’s going on behind your back.”
because there isn’t anything going on behind my back!” Miranda exclaimed angrily. “You’re just trying to shift the blame onto
someone else so you’re not the only one who looks like a total jackass! Brett is a good guy, Stormy. He’s proven that over and over again. You used to think so too. Remember Devon and the way you helped him
expose her? You found out then that you
were wrong about Brett. So what happened
all the sudden? One minute you’re best
friends and the next you’re beating each other to a pulp in the pool!”
a fraud, Miranda,” Stormy persisted.
“He’s using you for your money.
He’s using you because of this house and all your connections with Mom
laughed and shook her head. “That is not true,” she said. “Brett just bought us a house. With his own money. He didn’t want to live here anymore because
it’s not something we can call our own.
He wants to make it without mom and dad’s help.”
moving out?” Stormy asked in shock.
so there goes your theory about Brett using me.”
in the hall, Brett listened carefully.
He couldn’t be happier with the way Miranda had handled herself. Thank God she was so naïve that she believed
he bought the house so they could become independent from her family. It couldn’t have worked out more perfectly.
him,” Stormy continued. “Ask him about
Lauren and see what he says.”
don’t have to ask him anything! I know
he didn’t do the things you’re accusing him of!”
Sighing with frustration, Stormy turned and raced out of the
room. Brett heard him coming and
quickly ducked around the corner. When
he was gone, he waited a minute and then proceeded into the game room where
Miranda was leaning thoughtfully against the pool table.
baby,” he said with a grin, walking over and putting his arms around her.
Miranda replied, forcing a smile on her face.
leaned in and kissed her. “Something
hesitated and then shook her head with a smile.
“No, everything’s perfect,” she said, trying to shake off the lies
Stormy had told her. “I was just
thinking about the new house and how excited I am to move into our own place.”
grinned and hugged her close. “It’s
going to be so great,” he said, then added deliberately. “The most important thing to me is to make it
on our own, without your dad’s help.”
smiled contently, burying her face in his shoulder as he held her close. She was more secure in her marriage than
ever. Her brother was an idiot for
thinking Brett could be anything but honest with her.
knew he couldn’t put it off any longer.
He had to tell Brooke that he was checking into the hospital for surgery
tomorrow. A surgery that was so serious
there was a fifty percent chance he wouldn’t even make it out alive. As the mother of his expected child, she had
to be told, and it couldn’t wait another minute.
Knocking on Brooke’s
bedroom door, he waited a beat before walking inside. He smiled at her as she was turning down the
bed, glowing in her radiant blue chiffon robe and her long blond hair cascading
down her shoulders.
look beautiful,” he said with admiration.
smiled and got into bed. “I was hoping
you would stop by before turning in,” she said.
James asked, walking into the room and standing above her.
nodded and pulled the sheets down on the opposite side of the bed. “I was hoping you would stay with me
face lit up. “Are you sure?” he asked,
praying that it was for real, that she actually did want to share their bed
with him again.
I’m sure,” she said.
took off his robe and climbed into bed next to her. He looked into her beautiful blue eyes and
put his arm around her, pulling her close and kissing her. “I’ve waited so long
for this,” he said. “Just to hold you close again. It means so much to me. Having you home where you belong, and
knowing that our baby is safe. I
couldn’t ask for anything more.”
going to be all right,” Brooke assured him.
kissed her again, trying to find the words to tell her what he desperately
needed to. But what words could he use to
tell her such horrendous news? What
words could he use that wouldn’t spoil the magical night they were spending
together? Maybe it was better to just tell her later so she wouldn't worry.
it could wait until morning, he put it out of his mind and nestled close to her
in the bed. If there was a chance of him
not making it out of the surgery, he wanted to spend his last night with the
woman he loved.
next morning, Miranda went to her mother’s house in Malibu and sipped a cup of coffee while
Alex got dressed in her bedroom.
let me get this straight,” Miranda started.
“You married Will Thomerson, Dad’s worst enemy, and divorced him two
right,” Alex replied, powdering her face with a makeup brush as she examined
herself in the mirror. “It was strictly
business. Your father now owns Sunset Studios again, as he should.”
Miranda said with a smile. “It’s kind of
nice having my parents on the same side for a change. I don’t remember the last time the two of
you did anything nice for one another.”
I’m a changed woman, Miranda,” Alex said, turning around and smiling happily at
her daughter. “Revenge is not my main
what is?” Miranda asked skeptically.
“Are you going back to work?”
sighed and walked across the room to her enormous walk-in closet. “That’s a possibility,” she replied. “I’m keeping my options open.”
what about Jordan?”
pretended not to seem phased by the mention of his name. “What about him?”
got up from the chair and followed her mother across the room. “Come on, Mom. I haven’t seen you so happy with someone in
like forever. I thought you two were
kind of cute together, to be honest. And
don’t ever tell him I said that or I’ll deny it.”
“Jordan isn’t very happy with me,” Alex
said regretfully. “He seems to think
that I cater to your father a little too much.”
ridiculous,” Miranda replied, pulling a gown out of the closet and holding it
up to her small frame as she looked in the mirror. “You were set to marry the guy. Then things got kind of messed up and now you
can go back and fix it, right?”
sighed and flung herself onto the bed.
“I don’t think so, Darling. I
think Jordan has finally had it with me.”
pursed her lips together, upset that her mother seemed so unhappy, despite the
brave face she put on.
and Brooke sat at the breakfast table with Stormy as Leilani served them coffee
and juice. The room was eerily quiet
until the doorbell rang and James got up to answer it.
get it, Leilani,” he said, heading out into the foyer. He needed a distraction from the tense
morning they’d had so far. He was on
edge, trying to think of a way to tell Brooke about the operation. But he kept putting it off. He was going to have to tell her that
morning because he was scheduled to check in to the hospital in the afternoon.
he opened the door, Kenny DeWitt entered, offering a booming good morning as he
patted James on the shoulder. “James, I
stopped by to give you my congratulations,” he said, holding up the morning
looked at the headline and smiled vaguely.
Kenny turned to his old friend and folded his arms. “You don’t sound like a man who just got his
company back,” he said. “What’s wrong,
then, Brooke and Stormy came out of the dining room after hearing the
commotion. Brooke looked at James with
a frown, suddenly realizing that she was right about him trying to get his
studio back, and doing it behind her back.
didn’t you tell me?” she asked.
was going to, Darling,” James said, walking over to her. “I just didn’t want to jinx it, that’s all.”
frowned. “Is that what all those secret
meetings were about?”
nodded reluctantly. “Well, yes. I had to put the wheels into motion, but Alex
and Brandon really did most of the work.”
Brooke exclaimed. “Your ex-wife helped
you get your studio back?”
didn’t want to argue. He knew she didn’t
want him going out of his way and making their lives chaotic while trying to
get Sunset Studios back. But he hadn’t done that at all. He’d succeeded in getting it back with very
it was just a simple business deal,” James said.
“That’s why she married Will Thomerson,”
Stormy said, snapping his fingers.
shook her head in aggravation and headed for the door. “I have to get out of here,” she said.
wait!” James said, pulling her back.
“Please, don’t be upset.”
sorry,” Brooke said as she turned to him.
“I believed you when you told me that your family was the most important
thing to you. I guess I was wrong.”
James watched in sorrow as she
left the mansion. He slammed his fist
against the door and turned back to Kenny and Stormy.
I’m sorry,” Kenny said. “I had no idea-“
it’s okay, Kenny,” James replied, patting his friend on the shoulder. “It’s not your fault.”
hated to change the subject from something obviously so important, but he had
to let his father know what was going on in his life. “Dad, I need to talk to you.”
now, Son,” James said, turning away and trying to decide how he was going to
smooth things over with Brooke.
Particularly since he was going into the hospital later that day.
then, Miranda and Brett walked down the stairs, holding hands gleefully and
running over to James. “Hi Daddy,”
Miranda said, kissing him on the cheek.
rolled his eyes and turned to his daughter.
He wasn’t in the mood for her dramatics today. “What is it, Miranda?”
and I are moving out,” she announced, squeezing her husbands hand firmly in
glared at Brett, summoning all of his self control to keep from lurching
forward and beating the tar out of him.
what?” James asked with a frown.
bought us a house in the Valley,” Brett said.
“You won’t have us crowding you anymore.”
going to start moving in today!” Miranda exclaimed, heading for the door.
closed his eyes in frustration and tried to focus on one thing at a time. All he needed now was to hear that his
daughter was moving out with the scumbag she’d married in Vegas.
you sure that’s what you want?” he
asked, hating the idea of his daughter not being close to him. He wouldn’t have the luxury of keeping an eye
on her anymore. She was a wild child at
heart, and he feared she needed particular guidance now that she was married to
Brett. “There’s plenty of room here at
want our own place, Daddy,” Miranda said happily. “Please understand.”
didn’t want to argue about it now. He
had to concentrate on Brooke and his impending surgery. “Fine.
Whatever you want, Darling.”
waved goodbye and made their way outside, leaving James in the foyer with
Stormy and Kenny.
gotta go too,” Stormy said, angry that his father didn’t have time for him as
usual. He fumbled with his keys in his
pocket and headed outside to his car.
wait-" James began, but it was too late.
He was gone. He sighed and shot
Kenny a look of exasperation. He
couldn’t believe how his day was turning out.
can’t believe he lied to me!” Brooke exclaimed as she paced around Ethan’s
living room. “He promised me he wasn’t
going to put any more energy into that vendetta against Will Thomerson. He
said our baby was the most important thing in his life.”
sorry, Brooke,” Ethan said, taking her hand and looking into her eyes. “Try not to get too upset. Dr. Mitchell said you have to take it easy
from now on.”
nodded and slowly sat down on the sofa.
She had to get a handle on her anger over the situation. She looked up at him and winced
uneasily. “Did you talk to Winter?”
nodded. “I told her I never wanted to
see her again.”
Ethan, I’m so sorry,” Brooke said regretfully. “I feel like this is all my
not,” Ethan snapped. “Winter was the one
who was jealous. She’s the one who
pushed you down those stairs.”
looked down, terrified that her life was never going to go back to normal. She had so many things to worry about. Winter, James, her baby’s health, and not to
mention the fact that she was lying about the father of her baby. It was all too much.
she knew what was happening, Ethan was placing his hands alongside her face and
drawing her closer. She closed her eyes,
instinctively giving in to him as he kissed her with his soft, warm lips.
she said, quickly pulling away. She
stood up and held her head in her hands.
“I can’t, Ethan. I’m sorry.”
exhaled with frustration, confused by his feelings and hating that he couldn't
act on them.
why haven’t you told anyone about this?” Kenny asked back in the living room at
the mansion. “Brooke doesn’t even
know? Or your children?”
shook his head. “I couldn’t tell
them. I didn’t want to worry them.”
sighed heavily. “James, you can’t
protect everyone all the time.”
know,” James said, leading Kenny out into the foyer. “I’m going to tell Brooke as soon as she gets
check in tonight?”
“Yes. The surgery is first thing in the morning.”
I’ll be there for you, old friend,” Kenny said, giving him a quick squeeze.
Kenny,” James said, showing him out the door.
he’d left, James turned and started up the stairs when the doorbell rang again.
He sighed and pulled it open, thinking
Kenny had probably forgotten something.
To his surprise, Winter was standing on the porch, a distraught look on
what are you doing here?” James asked.
made her way inside, clutching her purse tightly as she turned toward him with
a scowl. “You have to do something about
Brooke and Ethan,” she said.
frowned again. “What are you talking
play games with me, James,” she said.
“You bribed me into getting back with Ethan a few months ago so you
could keep him away from Brooke. Well
now that Ethan and I should be perfectly happy together, Brooke is slowly
sinking her claws into him again.”
not so,” James insisted.
is!” Winter exclaimed. “She’s with him
all the time. Every word that comes out
of his mouth is Brooke this and Brooke that.
I’m telling you, James. You’d
better put a stop to it or I’ll-“
you’ll what?” James asked, eyeing her skeptically. “I think you’re the one who needs help,
Winter. You have the nerve to come over
here telling me that there’s something going on between Brooke and my nephew,
when you nearly caused her to lose her baby.”
did not,” Winter said in aggravation. “I
told Ethan and I’m telling you. That was
were you confronting her in the first place?” James ordered. “Just who in the hell do you think you are?”
glared at him and took a step forward.
“I’m the woman who wants to make her relationship work. But your wife, or fiancé or whatever you call
her, isn’t making that possible.”
leave Brooke alone or I swear I’ll make you wish you were never born.”
that he wasn’t taking her seriously, he left her no choice. “You’d better wake up and realize that
there’s more going on than you know,” she began. Then
before she knew it she dropped the bomb. “Brooke is carrying Ethan’s baby.”
eyes widened and he looked at her in awe.
She couldn’t possibly be telling the truth. How could something like that even be
possible? In order for Brooke to be
pregnant with Ethan’s child, that would have to mean they slept together. And recounting the months that had passed,
it would mean that it had to have happened around the time they were in the Dominican Republic.
the prospect didn’t seem quite as far-fetched.
Suddenly everything began to make sense to him.
opened her apartment door and looked at Stormy with a biting glare. He waited a beat and then walked inside when
she stood clear of the doorway.
“I’m sorry about yesterday,” he said glumly.
folded her arms and watched him squirm in his own discomfort. “Did you get everything worked out with
Heather?” she asked.
he replied quickly. “I mean, sort of.”
sighed and walked across the room, fiddling with a knick-knack on the
television while she prepared herself for the bad news. “Let me guess. She said she would take you back and you
walked up behind her and yearned to reach out to her. “She said it was over and she can never
swallowed hard. What did that mean for
not going back to Heather,” Stormy continued, grabbing her arm and turning her
toward him. “Our marriage is over. It was over a long time ago.”
prayed he’d tell her what she wanted to hear.
She wanted him so badly she could taste it.
want you,” he finally said. “I’ve wanted you since the day I met you.”
expression turned to one of great content as she threw her arms around him and
pulled him into an embrace. “Oh God, I
love you,” she said. “I’m so glad you came
back. I was packing for the tour and I
kept thinking about how I didn’t want to leave things the way they were. “
know,” Stormy said, kissing her repeatedly.
“I just want to be with you all the time.”
stood back and looked at him hopefully.
“Does that mean-?”
nodded, smiling from ear to ear as he hugged her again and picked her up off
the floor in elation.
Miranda walked into Jordan’s house in Beverly Hills and followed the butler into the
sitting room where Jordan was just hanging up the
“I don’t suppose that
was my mother,” Miranda said, moving swiftly into the room.
Jordan frowned. “No, as a matter of fact it wasn’t,” he
replied. “Is there something I can help
you with, Miranda?”
She nodded, flashing
her attitude blatantly at him. “Yes, you
can get your head out of your ass and marry my mother.”
sighed and went back to his desk where a slew of paperwork was laid out from
end to end. “Thank you for coming by,
Miranda. It’s been lovely seeing you as
to give up, Miranda stepped forward and slammed her hand on the desk in an
effort to get his attention. “You love
her! So why are you being such a pompous
ass about this?”
by her candor, Jordan looked up and raised an
eyebrow. “Whatever I felt for your
mother is gone. She ruined it when she
chose your father over me. I’ve moved
on, and so should the two of you.”
on?” Miranda asked angrily. “Don’t tell
me you found some Hollywood bimbo to cavort around town
with. I hear that was your specialty
once upon a time.”
Jordan replied flatly. “I’m going away for a while.”
It’s beautiful this time of year, and I haven’t taken my yacht anywhere
in years. I figure it’s about time I did
something for myself.”
can’t leave!” Miranda exclaimed. “You
have to stay here and marry my mother!”
don’t want to!” Jordan said, finding it amusing that he
had to defend himself against her.
“Since when did you become such a supporter of my relationship with your
hesitated, not willing to admit that she had a soft spot, but realizing it was
the only way to get through to him.
“Because it’s been years since I’ve seen her as happy as she was when
you were together. And since you broke up, I haven’t ever seen her as
Jordan paused, wondering if there was
some truth to what she was saying. He did still love Alex, and wanted more
than anything to be with her. But
no. She made her choice and now she had
to live with it.
send you a postcard from Hawaii,” he said, quickly looking down
at his desk and trying to act busy.
huffed in frustration and then turned and raced back out of the room.
Jordan looked up and watched her go,
desperately trying to get Alex out of his mind.
followed Brooke across the room to the window, trying to get her to talk to him
after the awkward moment had passed.
sorry, Brooke,” he said. “I know I
shouldn’t have done that. I just can’t
help myself. The way I feel about you
the phone rang and interrupted his sentence.
Brooke looked at him and shook her head.
“You better get that,” she said dismissively. She couldn’t stand the guilt over her
feelings. Why hadn’t she gotten Ethan out
of her system yet? She was supposed to
be reconnecting with James, and instead she was at Ethan’s house discussing the
kiss they shared. It was all wrong.
answered the phone in a hurry, anxious to get whoever it was off the line so
they could finish their conversation.
are you free right now?” James asked as she stood in his study back at the
Ethan shot Brooke a nervous stare.
“Uhhh, sure James. What’s going
quickly turned to him, her heart beating wildly as she realized he was on the
phone with James. What could he be
calling for? Did he know she was there?
that I am in control of Sunset Studios
again, I wanted to go over a few things with you,” James said. “I don’t see any reason why we should put it
off, do you?”
Ethan ran his fingers through his hair and nodded. “Uh, sure, I guess not.”
“Good. I’ll see you in a few minutes then?” James
asked with a smile.
“Sure. I’ll be right over.”
hung up the phone and stared across the room in a daze. Disturbing images of Brooke and Ethan in bed
together ran through his mind over and over like the reel of a movie. He couldn’t get it out of his head. It was haunting him.
make you very sorry, Ethan,” he said to himself, staring down at the
phone. "I'll make you both very sorry."
at Ethan's house, Brooke
walked over to Ethan and looked at him with great anxiety. “What did James want?” she asked with wide
wants to talk about business,” Ethan replied, grabbing his wallet and keys off
of a nearby table. “I have to go over
there right away.”
should I do?” Brooke asked. “He can’t
know I was here. It’ll be too hard to
stay here for a little while and then you can go home,” Ethan suggested. “He won’t know we were together when he
turned around, overcome with anxiety as she felt her eyes stinging. “God, I hate all this lying and sneaking
around. I haven’t even done anything
wrong and I feel like I’m some kind of evil, manipulative-“
not,” Ethan said, grabbing her arm and giving her a comforting look. “You were just upset, so you came to see a
friend. That’s all.”
nodded, stifling tears as he opened the door and started outside.
see you in a little while,” Ethan said before turning and leaving the house.
he’d gone, Brooke turned around and wrapped her arms around herself. She
was so confused about
everything. Her feelings were a mess
and there didn’t seem to be any hope of ever sorting them out.
pounded on the massive door of Kenny DeWitt's mansion in Bel Air and then stood
back, running her fingers through her hair.
She raised her fist to knock again when the door opened and Kenny stood
before her, frowning at her sudden appearance.
you have to help me," she pleaded, tears forming in her eyes. "I didn't know who else to go to."
you have any idea how much trouble I'll get into if Renee sees you here?"
Kenny yelled, grabbing her arm and forcing her outside onto the porch.
don't have anywhere else to go!" Winter exclaimed, shrugging her arm away
from him. "You're the only one who
doesn't think I'm a horrible monster."
count on it," Kenny said sarcastically, shutting the door so no one inside
could hear them. "Now what is it
that I can do for you, Winter?"
need money," she said in desperation.
rolled his eyes. "I'm not giving
you any money."
grabbed him and looked at him with wide eyes.
"Please, Kenny. I need to
get out of here. Away from these
a minute," Kenny cut her off.
"You're leaving town?"
nodded. "I've ruined
everything. I tried holding on to Ethan
but he couldn't get Brooke out of his mind.
Then I told James the truth about Brooke's baby and now I'm sure Ethan will go to her. Don't you see, Kenny? I ruined any
chances I had with Ethan."
didn't even pretend to know what she was talking about. All he knew was that his friends were
miserable because of her, and it might do them all a world of good if he did
give her the money to leave town with.
right, calm down," he finally said, realizing how disturbed she was. "But if I give you the money, you have
to promise me you'll never come back to L.A.
Nobody needs you causing trouble here anymore."
nodded in agreement, wiping a tear from her eye as Kenny went back inside to
get his checkbook. She would leave all right. But one day she'd
be back. As soon as all of this blew over
she'd settle the score with Brooke, Ethan,
James, and every other Blackthorne who messed up
felt like the family mediator when she left Jordan’s house in Beverly Hills and headed over to Heather’s
place in the Valley. She was
unsuccessful at getting Jordan to reconsider marrying her mother, so maybe
she’d have a chance at helping her brother’s marriage out.
for coming by,” Heather said as she led Miranda into the living room. “When I heard the doorbell I thought it was
going to be Stormy again.”
don’t want to talk to him?” Miranda asked.
shook her head adamantly. “No, of course
not. Miranda, he cheated on me. He was probably doing it for months. If I hadn’t walked in on him and Lauren together
at the club, I think it would have went on forever.”
he tell you he was thinking of going on tour with Lauren?” Miranda asked.
eyes shot upwards and she looked at Miranda with surprise. "He is?” she asked in dismay.
nodded. “She’s leaving today.”
stared off in a daze, trying to predict what was going to happen. It was almost a given that he would go with
her. As into her career was he was, he
would give anything to be there when she promoted her album.
listen, if he decides to stay here, the good news is that Lauren will be out of
the picture,” Miranda continued. “At
least for a few months. You can get
your marriage back on track.”
looked at her skeptically. “Why are you
being so supportive?” she asked. “You
haven’t given a damn about our marriage in the past. What changed?”
does everyone keep asking me that?” Miranda asked in disbelief. “I’m just trying to make sure that everyone
else is as happy as I am. That’s all.”
at the floor in concentration, Heather shook her head. “So you think that if Lauren weren’t around
that Stormy and I could maybe work things out?”
Miranda replied adamantly. “You know
what they say. Out of sight, out of
her lip, Heather thought about the possibility of working things out with
Stormy. She did still love him more than
anything. They’d been sweethearts since
the ninth grade and her feelings had only gotten stronger since then. She would be a fool to give up their
marriage now. Maybe all they needed was a little time to
work things out and talk about their feelings. And with Lauren out of the picture, that
might be a strong possibility.
are you going to do?” Miranda asked as she watched Heather stand up and grab
going to go find Stormy,” she said. “I’m
going to tell him that I’m not giving him up without a fight.”
smiled, happy that at least one of her attempts at spreading happiness had turned out favorably.
walked into the Blackthorne mansion and found James sitting behind his desk in
he said with a nonchalant smile. “Are
you ready to get down to business?”
stood up and glared at his nephew with contempt. “I most certainly am,” he replied. “But first I have to confess that I told you
a little lie to get you over here.”
frowned in confusion. “What do you
around the desk and stopping just inches from Ethan, James looked down at him
and clenched his fists angrily. “I
didn’t ask you here to talk about business.
I asked you here to talk about the affair you’re having with Brooke.”
eyes widened with surprise as he saw the dead serious look in James’s
the matter, Ethan?” James asked. “You
seem a little nervous.”
James, whatever you think you know-“
know that you slept with my wife!” James yelled in a blind fury. “You lied to me and betrayed me after
everything I’ve done for you!”
closed his eyes, wishing he knew how James found out about him and Brooke. It had happened so long ago. How could he know?
raised you after your father left you and your mother died!” James
continued. “I took you in and I gave you
money and a job and a life! I protected
you from everything, from everyone who could destroy you! From everything that could hurt you!”
stopped, placing a hand on his forehead and praying that his headaches didn't
come on. He didn't want his anger to be
overshadowed by his illness. Thoughts
of Will Thomerson flashed through his mind.
He considered the years and years he'd kept the secret from Ethan that
Will was his father. Just to protect
him. It seemed inconsequential now.
grateful to you for that, James,” Ethan said.
He knew he couldn’t deny anything to him now. It was too late for that. Telling James that he didn’t have an affair
with Brooke would be like stabbing his Uncle in the back.
you show your gratitude by going to bed with my wife?” James asked in utter
devastation. “I loved you like I love my
knew he had to do something to make James understand. “It happened while you were separated,” he
“It started a long
time before that!” James yelled. “I saw
it building for weeks! Months
maybe! I saw the way you looked at each
other, the way you held her a little
too close and a little too long every time you came or
left the house. I saw you dancing on
our wedding day! I saw the look in your
eyes, Ethan! You wanted her then!
On our wedding day!”
Ethan didn’t let
himself lose control. He had to try to
explain. “After Brooke left the house
that day that Philip came to town and announced that they were still married,
she came to me. She was upset. She thought she’d let you down and that your
relationship was over for good. I tried
to comfort her. I-“
did a damn fine job of that, didn’t you?” James bellowed. “You comforted her so well that she got right
into your bed!”
was a mistake!” Ethan exclaimed. “The
next morning she got up and flew to the Dominican Republic to get her divorce. I was worried about her so I went after her.”
what a romantic setting that must have been,” James interrupted, glaring at him
smugly. “The balmy tropical breeze, the
sunsets, the sound of the waves. You
must have felt like you were in paradise.
And to think, I was actually afraid I’d lost you forever in that jeep
explosion. I actually felt like I lost
something precious to me. If only I’d
known that the only thing I lost was the man who tried to take my wife away
after I came home it stopped,” Ethan insisted.
“The two of you were trying to get your relationship back on track and I
accepted that. I realized that you were
the one Brooke wanted. She was carrying
your child. It was only right that she
went back to you.”
I should be grateful?” James asked with a slight chuckle.
that’s not what I mean-“
took a deep breath and stepped closer to him.
“I have to ask you something, Ethan,” he began. “Why didn’t you fight for her after your
miraculous return from the dead?”
told you, because she was carrying your child and I-“
“Your child!” James screamed.
words shocked Ethan to the core, sending him staggering back a step. “What?”
nodded, glaring at his nephew with contempt.
“It’s not my child that she’s carrying,” he said. “It’s yours.”
eyes widened in disbelief as he stared at James in awe.
pulled up into the circular drive outside the mansion and quickly went inside,
trying to act as casually as she could under the circumstances. She didn’t want James to suspect that
anything was going on.
upon entering the foyer, she heard loud voices from the study. She quietly crept over to the door and
paused just outside, listening to the conversation going on between James and
“I’m the father of
Brooke’s baby?” Ethan asked in disbelief.
act like you don’t know!” James shouted.
“It’s written all over your face!”
she tell you that?” Ethan asked, feeling numb all over.
covered her mouth to keep from crying out.
She leaned against the wall just outside the study and tried to catch
her breath. How did James find out? She hadn’t told anyone!
she didn't tell me. She’s been lying to
me since the day she announced that she was pregnant,” James replied. “Making me believe that's our baby she's carrying! A life that we created out of love! But it's not!
It's a life that you created
out of your own lust and deception! "
James, I swear to you I never knew about this,” Ethan insisted. “If that child she’s carrying is mine, then I
am just as shocked as you are.”
typical,” James said, growing into a daze as he stared past him. “It looks like Brooke is going to have some
explaining to do when she comes home."
nodded, agreeing with James one hundred percent. He asked Brooke point blank if there was any
chance her baby could be his, and she said no.
If that was a lie, then he deserved to know the truth.
do you have any idea where she is?” James asked. “I’d like to get this settled as soon as
in the hall, Brooke closed her eyes in despair, feelings tears threaten to
explode. She couldn’t deal with it
anymore. All of her secrets were out
and she couldn’t bare the thought of what was going to happen next. She’d ruined her life and she’d ruined
James’s and Ethan’s too.
she raced across the hall and went up the stairs to her bedroom.
gave Alex a tour of the new house, smiling happily as they walked from room to
room, weaving through stacks of boxes piled on the floor.
is lovely, Sweetheart," Alex said distantly.
it's kind of small, I know," Miranda said.
"But I thought I'd call that decorator
you used for your house. She could do wonders."
Alex replied, although her mind wasn't on houses or decorators. She couldn't stop thinking about Jordan and the way they'd left
is coming back over in a few minutes," Miranda said as she took a peek
inside the refrigerator. "He went
back over to the mansion to get a few more things but I know he'll be upset if
he misses you."
Staring out the window in a daze, Alex forced a smile on her
face and turned back to her daughter.
"Yeah, I'd love some, Sweetie."
Miranda took a step closer to her mother examined her carefully. "Mom, are you even listening to
me?" she asked.
"What? Of course I am."
you're not. You're thinking about Jordan, aren't you?"
that she couldn't fool her perceptive daughter, Alex nodded with a sigh. "Yes, I guess I was."
not too late, you know," Miranda said.
"He hasn't left for Hawaii yet. You can still catch him."
turned around and floated across the bare floor. "No, it's over," she said. "He's made that quite clear."
when does Alex Reynolds give up on anything?" Miranda asked
with a knowing smile. "You used to
fight until you got what you wanted.
changed," Alex declared. "I
just don't think there's any hope for Jordan and I. He said it himself. He's fed up with me."
pulled her mother into an embrace, wishing there was something she could do to
help her. She hated seeing her so
walked down the upstairs hallway at the Blackthorne mansion with a suitcase in
each hand. She passed Miranda and
Brett's bedroom just as Brett was walking out into the hall with two boxes in
Brett said, noticing her sullen expression and the fact that she was carrying
her suitcases as if she were going somewhere.
ignored him, refusing to stop and be talked out of leaving. She had to get out of that house before she
hurt anyone else. She had to get as far
away from L.A. as possible.
watched her race down the staircase and head directly to the front door. He frowned, wondering what was going on and
if James knew about her leaving.
Brooke pulled open the front door and slipped outside.
and Ethan came out from the study just as Brett was walking down the
staircase. "Who was that?"
James asked after hearing the door open and close again.
Brett replied, struggling with the heavy boxes.
"She just left."
looked at Ethan in confusion. "She
Brett announced. "She just left
with her suitcases. Is she going
Quickly, James ran to the door and yanked it open. He looked out at the driveway and saw
Brooke's car speeding down the road a ways up ahead. He sighed with regret and turned back to
gone," he said.
stared off in a daze, feeling a sense of anxiety overcome him. He had a strong feeling that Brooke wasn't
coming back, and they'd never know for sure whose baby she was carrying.
afternoon sun blazed down over the marina as Jordan climbed onto his yacht and asked
the attendant if they were ready for shove off.
you're ready, Mr. Rydell," said the young man as he adjusted the
let's get out of here," Jordan said, his tan skin glistening
with sweat beneath the hot sun. He
adjusted his hat and opened the door to the lower cabin. He wanted nothing more than to change into
his swim trunks and lay out in the sun and forget about everything and
his way down the steps to the luxuriously decorated cabin, he walked into the
bedroom where the attendant had stowed his suitcase. Glancing at the bed, he stopped and stared
in astonishment at what he saw.
soon before we're in the Islands?" asked Alex as she laid naked beneath a plush fur
blanket on the bed. "I'm dying to
wear one of those grass skirts."
Jordan's jaw dropped at the surprise
awaiting him in his cabin. He felt the
yacht slowly floating away from the dock, then the vibration from the engine
rumbling beneath his feet. He smiled at
Alex, amused by her persistence and ingenuity.
knocked on the door of Lauren's apartment, eagerly awaiting an answer but none
came. She tried the knob and found it
unlocked. Quickly, she raced inside and
called out for Stormy. She knew he'd be
there because Leilani said he left the mansion earlier that day.
she called out, checking each room for any sign of her husband or his mistress.
didn’t care what had happened before.
Whatever drove Stormy into Lauren's arms could be fixed. They still had a chance at being happy and
getting things back on track in their marriage.
All she had to do was stop him from going on tour with Lauren and
everything would work itself out. She
just couldn't lose her husband.
Going into Lauren's bedroom, she was startled to find the
bare walls and the empty dresser drawers pulled out halfway. She felt her heart thudding inside her
chest, rushing to the closet and pulling open the door. Her eyes were unmoving as she stared at the
empty hangers inside.
down to the floor, she saw a few pieces of Stormy's clothes discarded and left
behind. She bent down, picking up a
ratty old T-shirt and lifting it to her face as tears formed in her eyes.
was too late. Lauren already left for
her tour and Stormy went with her.
She'd wasted too much time and
now her husband was gone.
prospect was too much to bear. She
stood up and grabbed a lamp from the bedside table, hurdling it across the room
and shattering a mirror into dozens of pieces.
A second later, she raced back out into the living room and began
her hand back, she swept it across a bookshelf, sending books and tiny
knick-knacks crashing to the floor. Her
tears kept coming and she nearly hyperventilated, distraught that her husband
had left with another woman.
her rage, Heather picked up a pillow from the sofa and used it to break
everything she could find. Glass
shattered everywhere, books and records piled onto the floor, and feathers from
the pillow exploded into the air like a giant cloud. Hysterically, she dropped the pillow and
walked out the door.
made her way down the stairs and walked over to the beach where she collapsed
to her knees, burying her face in her hands as she cried. The pain over her husband leaving came at her
in waves, flooding her eyes with tears and leaving her hollow and empty.
languidly walked into his house and threw his keys on the table in the
entryway. He sighed deeply and went
into the living room and stood in a perplexed state of mind. Everything had gone so wrong so fast, he
thought to himself.
if his confrontation with James wasn't unsettling enough, but to find out that
Brooke could be carrying his baby.
And now she was
gone. Disappeared without a clue as to
where she went or why she left.
why wasn't as much of a mystery, he
decided. She couldn't handle the
pressure anymore. Knowing that she'd lied to James, and lied to
him. It must have sent her over the
edge. She must have gotten to the point
where she had no choice but to leave them all.
sat down on the sofa and held his head in his hands. "Brooke, why didn't you tell
me?" he whispered to
himself. "Why didn't you tell me?"
walked down the stairs at the mansion, holding a small suitcase in his hand and
staring off in a state of bewilderment.
He was numb all over. He didn't
know how to react to the day's events.
Everything was such a mess.
Blackthorne," Leilani said as she entered the foyer. "The car is here to take you to the
closed his eyes and started to the door.
On top of everything else, he was about to go into surgery and there was
a chance he wouldn't come out of it alive.
He never got the chance to tell Brooke about it. He never got the chance to live the happy
life with her and the baby.
the door, he turned back and glanced back at his house. All it was now was a reminder of a happier
time. He closed his eyes and remembered
standing in the foyer with his family and friends as he and Brooke declared
their love for one another and exchanged wedding vows.
seemed like a million years ago. So much
had changed since then.
reluctantly walked outside and closed the door, leaving his house quiet and