determined that James should have regained feeling
in his legs, and asked if he was taking any medications
that might inhibit his healing. Stormy confronted
Gwen and asked what James was currently taking.
Brett convinced Gwen not to say anything about the
pills they were giving him. Will wondered
if Ethan was his son. Philip Whitacre returned to
town and asked Alex to help him get settled. When
she refused, he stole keys to her cabin in Big Bear.
Gwen told Brett that she was pregnant with
his child. Rather than risk her exposing his
lies, he made her believe that he would leave Miranda
for her when the time was right. A jealous Ethan
watched from the shadows as Brooke celebrated the
4th of July with James.
arrived at Will Thomerson's estate, grabbed a glass
of champagne and stood in the corner watching the boring industry types hobnobbing with each other
at the less than exciting industry party.
He sighed and sidled along the wall, wishing to stay clear of anyone who
might draw him into a conversation. He
was in no mood to talk to anyone tonight. After all, it was Independence
day, and he'd never been more independent. His family had disowned him, the woman he
loved was with another man, and overall there wasn't much worth celebrating.
this a small world or what?" asked a voice from behind.
he spun around and came face to face with Janet Harper. His frown immediately turned to a smile and
he laughed at her remark.
"I think it might be," he said, taking
a glass of champagne from a passing waiter and handing
it to her
got here awfully late,"
she said with a playful smile. She was
dressed elegantly in a black evening gown and a festive red bag clutched in her
was getting a little uncomfortable. I don't know
anyone here, I only got in with my press ID, and everyone
seems to be coupling off. Kind of reminds me of
high school dances when I was the only one not getting
cleared his throat and nervously learned forward to kiss her. Once their lips touched, he knew he had to
have her. The sweet taste of her lips
and the exciting smell of her perfume left him panting with desire. Seconds later, they were embroiled in a
passionate kiss and everyone else in the room seemed to fade into the
definitely makes up for the senior prom," Janet said and
licked her glossy red lips. "Would
you like to dance?"
nodded eagerly and gently led her to the dance floor where they began a slow
effortless motion in the twinkling lights of the ballroom.
Thomerson watched them from a distance, nodding graciously to a few passing
guests and lifting a glass of champagne to his lips. He studied Ethan’s face and wondered if his
hunch was right. If so, they
were all going to be in for a big surprise.
later, the butler opened the doors in the entryway and bowed regally at Heather
Blackthorne who entered the estate dressed in a flowing silver gown, adorned
heavily around the neck with Will’s generous ruby and diamond necklace.
entered the adjoining ballroom and spotted Will standing alone. Taking a deep breath, she walked over to him
and smiled gleefully, gesturing to the necklace.
do you think?” she asked.
turned to her and a maniacal smile spread across his face. The loathing he felt for James Blackthorne
surfaced ten fold. The fact that his
nemesis had used young Heather as a spy for his studio was beyond
contempt. His first instinct was to
throw her out of his house and damn her for daring to
tread on his territory.
after quickly reminding himself that he needed her to exact his revenge on his
enemies, he politely took her hand and drew him toward him. “You look ravishing, my dear,” he said
elegantly and kissed her cheek. “I
thought you'd never get here. May I
have this dance?”
course,” Heather said and began waltzing across the dance floor with him. She’d made the difficult decision to remain
with Will Thomerson despite her better judgment, and despite Ethan’s warnings against
it. Ethan knew of her betrayal but with
any luck he wouldn’t tell Will. If Brett wasn’t going to help her get into
the business, then Will certainly would.
and Miranda remained in the family room after the rest of the family had gone
up to bed. They looked through old photo
albums and reminisced about childhood summers with their family. When Brett left them twenty minutes after
Gwen did, Stormy grew immediately suspicious.
He knew something was going on but couldn’t quite put his finger on
it. But just as quickly his attention
was shifted when Miranda brought up a sore subject.
“Stormy, what ever
happened to that woman?” she asked. “The
one you said you met when you were on tour with Lauren?”
Frowning, he looked
at her and shook his head. “Why are you
bringing that up?” he asked in dismay.
different about you since you came back,” Miranda said, turning to him on the
sofa and closing the photo album. “You
seem determined. Not like when you
started Good Times Records. This
is different. I can’t help but wonder
what happened during those five months you were away.”
He smiled awkwardly
and thought about the brief affair he’d had with the woman in Denver.
“It was just a fling,” he explained.
“I met Samantha at the bar at the hotel and…one thing led to another.”
“Have you seen this
since then?” Miranda asked curiously.
“Or talked to her?”
Shaking his head, he
turned and looked at his hands resting in his lap. “I wouldn’t know where to find her,” he
said. “She didn’t say much about
Miranda rolled her
eyes. “Oh how romantic,” she mused. “An anonymous hookup in the hotel bar and
then it’s back to your own lives. When are
you going to stop treating sex as something so trivial? Need I remind you of what happened when you
were married to Heather and decided it would be okay to dip into Lauren
He shot her a look of
warning. “No, you don’t,” he said. “Believe me, if I could find this woman I
would. There was something about
her. She was lonely. I felt like we really connected.”
“I bet you did,”
Miranda scoffed, then hit him playfully on the shoulder.
at Will Thomerson’s estate, the party was dwindling down and only a few sole
guests remained in the vast ballroom on the first floor. He’d sent Heather home, not able to summon
the energy to put up a front with her for an entire evening. He’d deal with her later. He had other things to worry about in the
taking off then?” Will said to Ethan as he caught up with him at the door.
nodded and finished his champagne.
“Yes. It was a great party,
Will. A success in every way.”
can see that,” Will said with a grin as he gestured to Janet Harper who waited
for Ethan just outside the doors.
“Ethan, you do know about Miss
Harper’s reputation, don’t you?”
beg your pardon?”
built quite a name for herself back in Denver,” Will announced. “I just hope you know what you’re getting
into. Nothing you say is off the record
with women like Janet Harper.”
chuckled heartily. "I seriously
doubt that anything I know is of interest to her,” he said. “As if there’s something to tell that hasn’t
already been uncovered by the tabloids.”
offered him a friendly pat on the back and took his empty glass from him. They exchanged goodnights and Ethan left to
meet up with Janet on the porch. Just as
Will closed the door, his butler appeared and handed him a plastic bag.
you, Gerald," Will said and sealed Ethan's glass tightly inside the bag.
next morning, after the family enjoyed an elaborate breakfast, James followed
Brooke into the foyer as she slipped on her white fur coat.
don't like you going by yourself," he said. "Why don't I have Stormy or Brett go
with you, Darling."
shook her head in protest. "Don't
be silly," she said. "It's
just a doctor's appointment, James. I'll
be back in an hour tops. And just think, this will probably be the
last one before the baby comes."
prospect made him smile from ear to ear.
"I hope so," he said.
"I just want my wife and baby home with me."
she said and bent down to kiss his lips.
"And when I get home we'll start thinking about a name. How does that sound?"
on," James said and watched her exit through the giant doors leading to
the chauffeured limousine parked in the porte-cochere.
uniformed driver was wearing dark sunglasses and a hat pulled tightly down onto
his forehead. He opened the rear door
for Brooke and she climbed into the back, bundling her white fur tightly around
her body. The driver secured his
uniform hat snugly over his head and glanced carefully around the front drive
before returning to the driver's seat and adjusted his sunglasses.
car quickly lurched forward and started down the long driveway toward the main
road. In the back seat, Brooke sat in
quiet reflection of the glorious summer evening she'd shared with James.
Thomerson paced back and forth in his study that morning, continuously glancing
at the fax machine in heated anticipation.
He wrung his hands together and paused at the window, then back at the
phone and the fax.
exhilaration was insurmountable. The
possibility that a simple DNA test taken from Ethan's champagne glass could
prove that he was his son was enough to keep him up all night. The lab at Cedars-Sinai had promised to get
him the results by mid morning and he was on pins and needles waiting.
Years of betrayal by
James Blackthorne were about to bubble to the surface and finally come to
light. And if that were the case - if
Ethan was indeed his son - he would
make James pay dearly for keeping it from him.
had been so busy with warm thoughts of her and James' new life together,
and of the joy they would soon share when their baby arrived, that she didn't
immediately notice when the limousine had passed by the hospital and kept heading
east toward the Valley.
she finally glanced out the window she saw pebbles of rain hitting the windows.
Seconds later the sky opened up and a downpour
of rain emptied onto the roads. She sighed, only
then noticing that they were a good half-hour
outside of the city. She pressed the button to lower the partition so she could
speak to the driver.
everything okay?" she called to the front, still glancing nervously
outside the foggy windows. "We passed the
hospital a while ago."
driver didn't reply, which only made her more uneasy. He stared through the windshield,
wiper blades swishing rapidly. He stayed hidden
behind his hat and sunglasses and drove intently along the highway.
increasingly alarmed, Brooke began breathing heavily and peering through the
windows to get a better idea of where they were. The
rain was coming down so hard that she could barely see
a thing. The speed which they traveled made her
stomach turn and she had to physically prevent herself from getting sick. She
hoped that the driver could keep the car on the road
and not send them hydroplaning off into a ditch.
are we going?" she called to the driver.
"Does my husband know about this?"
the chauffeur remained silent, staring straight ahead with steadfast
control. He ignored Brooke as she
thrashed about in the back seat in a blind panic.
"Oh my God," she whispered to
herself as she realized she was being held against her will. Fear crept into her mind as she desperately
tried to think of a way out. A quick
glance to the seat beside her reminded her that she didn't bring her purse,
which meant her cell phone was at home as well.
spent the morning lounging in the new silk robe Jordan had given her as a guilt
sipping tea and pouring over business plans for her new venture with Marilee
Wells-Walker. Jordan had gone out for a ride at the
stables after unsuccessfully trying to convince her to come along. Riding had never been here forte. Now
she expected him back momentarily because of the sudden
at a heaping of caviar, she was interrupted when the doors to the parlor opened
and the butler entered to announce a visitor.
"Ms. Reynolds, Mr. Thomerson is here
to see you."
unwelcome visit sent her into a tailspin and she quickly rose from the velvet
settee that she'd spent the morning perched on. "Tell him to get the hell out of
here," she ordered. "I have no
know it's bad manners to hide behind your servants," Will Thomerson said
as he forced himself into the room.
stood back and positioned himself by the phone.
"Shall I call the police, ma'am?" he asked.
took a deep cleansing breath and shook her head with frustration. "No,
that won't be necessary," she replied. "Mr. Thomerson won't be
butler obligingly ducked back out of the room and closed the doors. After he was out of sight, Alex floated
across the room and positioned herself inches from Will, her hands plastered on
the hell do you want?"
on a fact finding mission you might say," Will replied, then smiled and
removed a piece of paper from his jacket pocket. "Well, I actually already have the
facts. I just want to know how involved
rolled her eyes and walked over to the desk and lit a cigarette. "I'm sure I don't know what you're
talking about," she said. "Get
to the point and get out. I’m in no mood
to talk to you. Not after trying to kill
me last summer. You remember, don't you? Your hands ever-so delicately tightened
around my neck?"
had good reason for threatening you," Will countered. "You married me on the pretense that we
were going to destroy James Blackthorne.
Then you doublecrossed me just to try to win him back. As far as I'm concerned you've waged a war
that it?" Alex asked with a laugh.
"You've lost your touch, Will.
I'm not even trembling."
he rushed toward her and presented the DNA results from the hospital. "And you'll have no reason to as long as
you tell me you had no idea about this lie that James Blackthorne has
perpetuated for the past twenty-eight years."
glanced at the paper and then quickly took a step back. "No…."
right," he continued. "I know
that Ethan is my son. I have the DNA
results to prove it. Now how long has
James Blackthorne known? And how long
have you known? You were his wife. I’m sure he told you everything."
she darted across the room and poured herself a stiff drink. What on
earth made him decide to get a
DNA test done? She knew that James never
wanted Will or Ethan to find out the truth.
Now this. James was going to be
silence tells me that you've known for quite some time," Will said solemnly.
"And James? I suppose he's
known since the beginning."
turned to him in a panic. "What
difference does it make?" she lamented.
"Who cares who knows or how long they've known? The important question is what are you going
to do now? Does Ethan know?"
he doesn't know," Will replied.
"I just found out myself.
And how dare you tell me it doesn't matter. Do you realize that I've had a son for
twenty-eight years that I knew nothing about?
We've been working together in the same house for the past five months
and we had no clue we were father and son.
Does that seem right to you, Alex?
failed Alex as she searched for something to say to justify James's
actions. She knew he had his reasons for
keeping it a secret, mostly surrounding the way his sister had died all those
years ago. But it wasn't her battle to
fight. She only found out by accident.
James didn't even know that she knew.
get out of here!" she finally said in a craze.
gritted his teeth and threw a crystal carafe of vodka across the room in a
blind fury. "I swear to God I'll
make you and James Blackthorne pay for this betrayal," he groaned
menacingly. "You people can't go
around playing God like this. Life
doesn't happen the way you and James Blackthorne command it to. I won't rest until every person who kept this
from me is rotting in hell!"
that, he turned and bolted from the room. A crash of thunder echoed through the house and
Alex covered her mouth with her hands and let out a terrified gasp. She knew Will would carry out with his
threats. He wasn't about to sit by and
let something this big go unpunished.
whimpered silently in the back seat of the limo. She looked at her watch and saw that she'd
already been gone for over an hour.
People would start wondering where she was before long. She was only going to Dr. Mitchell for a
final checkup prior to her due date.
in her ears told her they were climbing higher into the mountains, probably
northeast of L.A. The mountain
terrain was clearly visible from their location. She peered outside and saw that the
rain was falling harder than ever from the sky, a sure sign that they were getting further and further
away from the city.
are you taking me?" she demanded, tears streaming down her face. "Please!
I just want to go home! I swear I
won't tell anyone!"
the driver continued driving silently, ignoring her pleas. He had to keep
his eyes on the road. One wrong move and they
could go sliding off the road into a pool of mud.
she had to do something fast, Brooke tried the door handle. Locked.
driver had set the safety lock
from the front seat preventing her from opening it. She pulled at the handle anyway, frustrated
and desperate to escape from her certain doom.
She didn't know who was behind her kidnapping but whoever it was
obviously had a plan. Where was he taking
a frenzied moment, she lunged forward and tried to sabotage the car to get it
to stop long enough for her to make an escape.
She knew it was dangerous on the wet, winding road but with any luck the
fates were on her side.
fumbled for the gearshift and the driver pushed her hand away, struggling to
return her to the back seat. Brooke
persisted, crying out in desperation as she scratched at his face and knocked
his hat and sunglasses off his face.
driver quickly tried looking away from her but Brooke had already gotten a long
look at her kidnapper.
she gasped in horror.
Heather ran out of
the conservatory at the Blackthorne mansion and raced down the hall to see if
James was in his study. She pushed the
door open and found him quietly reading next to the window.
"James, Dr. Mitchell just called," she
said in bated breath. "Brooke never
showed up for her appointment."
He immediately looked
up and flew into a panic. A flash of lightening lit up the room. "What? Are you sure?"
she never made it to the hospital. Her
appointment was almost two hours ago."
news rattled James to the core. Quickly,
he wheeled himself out into the foyer and hollered for Leilani. "Leilani, has my wife come home
yet?" he asked.
sir," she replied.
did she call?"
and Heather exchanged worried glances.
Brooke's disappearance gave him a bitter sense of déjà vu. Only six months ago she disappeared without a
trace. She took off in the middle of the
day. Now he had her back again and he'd
be damned if he'd let history repeat itself.
going on?" Stormy asked as he walked down the hall from the gym, dabbing
his sweaty face and neck with a towel.
gone," Heather said in a panic.
"We have to find her, Stormy."
immediately flew into action. "I'll
paced back and forth in his and Miranda's bedroom, holding the bottle of muscle
relaxers in his hand. He'd successfully
taken them from Gwen without her knowing, and now he had to make certain nobody
the bottle, he poured the remaining pills into his hand and started toward the
bathroom. Just then, there was a loud
knock at the door and hollering from outside in the hallway. His hands instinctively went behind his back
to hide the evidence, but by that time Stormy was already bounding inside the
you seen Brooke?" he asked.
pills flew from Brett's hand and scattered all over the floor. He looked down in horror and then back up at
Stormy. The empty pill bottle was in one
hand, the cap in the other hand.
eyes flashed open in surprise. He rushed
over and picked up one of the pills but Brett struggled to push him away.
out of here!" Brett shrieked, grasping for the remaining pills.
the hell-" Stormy shouted, realization slowly dawning. He looked at Brett and then at the empty
bottle of pills. "What are
Brett replied and wiped a bead of sweat from his forehead. "You're not the only one who likes to
work out around here, you know. They're
studied his brother-in-law's expression carefully. "You're this jumpy and nervous about
vitamins?" he asked, his tone full of doubt. He shook his head and rolled one of the pills
around between his thumb and forefinger.
It all made sense to him now.
"What are these, Brett?"
are you? The pill fairy?" Brett
asked resentfully. "What do you
care what drugs I’m taking anyway?"
defensive attitude spoke for itself and Stormy immediately saw straight through
it. "Are these what kept my father
in that wheelchair?" he demanded.
"Is this why Dr. Farraday said he wasn't getting any better? What are they, Brett?
out of my way," Brett said and tried forcing his way past him.
not going anywhere," Stormy said and physically pushed him back inside the
room. "What the hell were you
trying to do to my father? Were you
trying to kill him, is that it? Did you
want him dead so you could assume the head of the house? And what about me, Brett? What plans did you have for me when I came
back from Phoenix?"
don’t know what you're talking about," Brett shouted. The windows
in the bedroom rattled from a booming thunderclap, the
walls practically shaking fromn the force.
can easily have these pills tested in a lab," Stormy said menacingly. "And I promise you once I get the
results I'll go straight to my father and tell him what you've been up to
laughed at Stormy's dramatic overture and attempted to skirt past him
again. "I think you have too much
time on your hands," he said.
"Your imagination is running in over drive."
I get the pills back from the lab we'll see if I'm imagining things,"
by his self-righteous attitude, Brett grabbed Stormy by the shirt and shoved
him across the room. His body slammed
into the dresser and sent perfume bottles and vases falling to the floor. Once he recovered, he set his jaw and
charged toward Brett, hurdling himself against him in a mind-shattering body
they were on the floor in a heated struggle, each taking violent punches at the
other. They twisted in each other's
grasp, dodging fists that flew at great speed.
Stormy got Brett onto his stomach and took hold of his hair, smashing
his face into the carpet repeatedly.
threw him off of him and picked up a flower vase from the floor, cracking it
effortlessly over Stormy's head. The
glass shattered in every direction but Stormy didn't falter. He kicked Brett away from him and raced over
to continue the brutal attack.
then, the door opened and Miranda raced inside, instantly alarmed by the
violent display between the two men.
"What are you doing?" she screamed, trying to pry her brother
off of her husband. "Knock it
off! Both of you!"
Stormy backed away and wiped a trickle of blood from his mouth. He panted with exhaustion, wanting nothing
more than to rip Brett limb from limb for what he did to his father.
suddenly appeared in the doorway and cried out in a frenzy. "Stormy, come quick! They just found the driver. He's been tied up and gagged in the
all looked at one another, paralyzed in shock for a split second. The news of Brooke's disappearance, followed
by news of the driver quickly put all other thoughts out of Stormy's head. He raced out into the hall and Heather
followed close behind. Miranda stayed
back and tended to Brett who climbed weakly to his feet.
you okay?” she asked. “What the hell was
that all about?”
struggled to catch his breath. “Nothing,
just go help your father,” he said.
“I’ll be down in a minute.”
threw her hands up in resignation and started back out of the room. She didn’t want to get into it with her
husband now. Her father needed her and
that was all she cared about at the moment.
quickly dropped to his knees and scavengered for the pills that had spilled out
everywhere. He made a conscious effort
to find every single one until no remaining traces were left. If Stormy didn’t have anything to take to the
lab, then he’d be in the free and clear.
No one would believe that he would do anything to hurt James.
he was satisfied that he’d found them all, he ran into the bathroom and flushed
them down the toilet. His chest
heaving, he leaned against the wall and closed his eyes.
The rain in Big Bear
came down in buckets, flooding the ground and the isolated cabin nestled high up
in the mountains. Philip struggled with
the keys and kicked the door open, throwing Brooke inside with one swift
let me go!” Brooke cried as she laid on the floor of the luxurious cabin. “I won’t tell anyone what you’ve done,
Philip. I promise. Just let me go home!”
locked them inside and searched for lights to turn on. Swiping those keys to Alex Reynolds’ cabin
was the smartest move he could have made.
No one would think to look for them all the way up there. They’d be alone with no distractions. It was perfect.
can’t do that,” he finally said, lighting the room and then making his way to
the fireplace. “I haven’t gone to all
this trouble just to turn back and let you go, Brooke, and especially not after
the two hour drive up here.”
what do you want from me?” she cried and slowly climbed to her feet. “I thought we were friends, Philip. Why are you doing this to me?”
fidgeted impatiently with the fireplace until he realized it was gas powered,
and with one click there was a blaze of flames igniting the stone hearth. He turned around just in time to see Brooke
grasping for the lock on the door. She
managed to pull it open and start out into the pouring rain when Philip raced over and
grabbed her from behind. She screamed
mercilessly as he drug her back into the cabin and threw her down onto the
not going anywhere!” he yelled angrily, wiping beads of sweat from his
forehead. “I told you that you can’t go
back and I meant it!”
laid helplessly on the sofa and cried hysterically. Philip had changed since their long summer
together in Phoenix.
He wasn’t the kind, helpful man she’d lived with for five months. Now something in his eyes frightened her and
she didn’t know what he might do.
she sobbed, bundled in her white fur on the couch. She placed her hands on her stomach and felt
her baby kicking mercilessly.
“Why?” Philip asked as he drew nearer to
her. “Why do you think, Brooke? My God, you act like we meant nothing to each
other this past year. After everything
we went through together and you have to ask why?”
continued crying, her eyes traveling to the window at the falling rain. It was coming down harder than ever. The last few miles to the cabin were next to
impossible for the limo to get through.
She didn’t know if it would be able to get back down the mountain until
the rain stopped and the roads cleared. Mudslides were forming everywhere.
loved you, Brooke,” Philip continued.
“You can’t not know that. You can’t be stupid enough to not have seen
it. Why else would I have taken you in
and given up everything for you and your baby?”
shook her head in despair.
looked out the window and grew into a daze.
“I wished so hard that you could be carrying my baby instead of James
Blackthorne’s,” he said distantly. “I
wanted that baby to be mine. I was ready
to raise it as my baby.” He looked back
at her, his eyes wide and penetrating.
“I would have done anything for you, Brooke.”
sat up and wiped her eyes. “Philip, I’m
you left just like you left the first time,” he interrupted, his voice suddenly
growing angry and explosive. “You walked
out on me like you walked out on our marriage.
And what was I supposed to do?
Sit back and forget everything while you married James Blackthorne and
lived it up with all those rich people in L.A.?”
shook her head slowly. “No…”
he yelled. “That’s right! I’m not going to sit back and accept
this. I’m going to make you love me and
then we’re going to be a family. You, me
and our baby.”
eyes shot open in terror. “Philip, you
can’t make someone love you!”
his tone shifted back to normal just as quickly. “Oh but I know you love me, Brooke,” he
said. “The other day at the bridal store
when you were trying on your wedding dress.
You had those words with Alex Reynolds and then I followed you outside
to your car.”
was you?” Brooke asked in a whisper.
then the other day in the dining room. I
was going to take you with me then but your cripple husband had to go and ruin
it.” He turned and inspected the
meticulous interior of the cabin. “But
this time no one can stop us from being together. The rain’s going to keep falling and the
roads are going to wash out. Sooner
or later we’ll be trapped here. Maybe
shook her head in frustration. “You
can’t keep me here forever!”
looked at her with ominous eyes. “Yes, I
can. I’m sorry, Brooke, but you have no
choice in the matter.”
Blackthornes' driver sat in the parlor room rubbing his wrists from where the
ropes had bound him. Detective Baines, a
tall, athletic, dark haired man in his late thirties, glanced at a pad of notes
and questioned the driver further.
you be able to give a description of the man who attacked you?” he asked from his
seat across from him. “Sometimes artists
are able to sketch out a rough resemblance of the perpetrator.”
driver shrugged. “I didn’t get a look at
the guy,” he said. “He got me from
behind. I didn’t even know what hit me.”
slammed his fists on the arms of his chair in frustration. “Damnit, we’re wasting time here!” he yelled
angrily. “This monster could have my
wife a thousand miles away by now! “ He
wheeled over to the detective and met him square in the eye. “Tell me what you plan on doing to get here
Blackthorne, we’re doing everything we can,” said Baines sympathetically. “I have your wife’s photograph being faxed to
every police station up and down the entire west coast. An all points bulletin is our best bet right
all points bulletin isn’t good enough!” James bellowed.
walked up and put a hand on her father’s shoulder. “Daddy, there’s nothing else we can do. Maybe whoever took Brooke will contact us.”
right,” the detective agreed. “I’d like
to set up some surveillance equipment here in case he does try to make
contact. There could be a ransom
nodded eagerly. “Fine. Whatever you have to do. I’ll pay any ransom they want to get my wife
back.” He looked at the detective and
grew suddenly quiet. “She’s pregnant,
Detective Baines. We have to get her and
my child back safely.”
do everything possible,” the detective said.
Heather approached and offered to show him out while the rest of the
family gathered around James to lend their support.
got to turn up, James,” Brett said, placing a supportive hand on his arm. He slid his other arm around Miranda and
kissed her on the forehead.
Across the room, Gwen
watched with hurtful eyes. Seeing the
way Brett was so intimate with his wife made her wonder if he was on the level
about leaving her so they could be together.
Was she crazy for thinking he wanted the baby she was carrying?
Stormy ran into the
room and Miranda immediately raced over to him.
“Did you find anything?”
He shook his
head. “Nobody on the grounds saw
anything. I don’t get it. How could someone take out our driver and
stuff him in the garden shed without anyone else seeing?”
James sighed and
buried his face in his hands. “The same
way he got in the other day.”
Gwen gasped and threw
her hands up over her mouth. “The day
Mrs. Blackthorne fainted in the dining room,” she began. “She said she saw a man come in through the
regretfully. “And we all tried to make her
think it was a side effect from her pregnancy.
My God, my wife is going through hell all because I didn’t do anything
to stop this!”
“Daddy, no,” Miranda
insisted. “It’s not your fault. You were going to search the grounds, but you
angrily. “Yes, and if I wasn’t in this
damn wheelchair none of this would have happened! I could have caught the bastard that day and put an end to this!”
Brett swallowed hard
and glanced over to Gwen. He knew she
was probably wallowing in her guilty conscious by now. In her naïve mind Brooke’s kidnapping was
probably their fault for giving James the pills. It never ended with her it seemed. And now that Stormy knew something was up, it
would be difficult to keep it all under control.
the cabin in Big Bear, Brooke sat on the sofa and watched as Philip paced back
and forth across the hard wood floor.
She prayed that he would come to his senses and drive them back to town. Or at least call and get
someone to come help them out of theret. But it seemed that he’d
planned for everything. He had gone out
to the limo and returned with bags and bags of food and bottled water. The fact that he was so prepared was
frightening to her.
we listen to the weather?” she asked timidly.
She wondered if James had notified the police regarding her
disappearance. It had been hours since
she left the mansion that morning.
People were bound to start wondering where she was by now.
idea. I suppose I will have to go out for more food eventually. Who knows when that’ll be possible in this
storm.” He searched for a radio since
there was no television except in the bedroom upstairs. In an old trunk in the corner her found a
stack of blankets and a transistor radio.
He switched it on and tuned the dial until he came to an all news
station. No weather yet. At least they would know what they were up
you remember that day at the beach?” Philip suddenly asked after a long period
of silence. “In August I think it was.”
immediately knew what he was talking about and she nodded, barely able to keep
herself from smiling out of instinct. “I
buried you in the sand and those kids from fat camp couldn’t see you so they
walked right over you.”
laughed in return. “What were the odds
of that happening?” he asked with a chuckle.
“I asked you why it had to be fat camp and not cheerleading camp.”
memory from the past summer made her break out into laughter in spite of
herself. She knew there was nothing
funny about the situation they were in now, and Philip’s decline to insanity
was nothing to joke about, but she had to admit they’d had some good times
glanced up at him and paused. The look
in Philip’s eyes at that moment was pure innocence. She suddenly got the impression that he
wasn’t insane after all. Maybe he was
actually just a sad man with a broken heart.
moment was interrupted when a news bulletin came over the radio. The mention of Brooke’s name caught both of
their attention and Philip quickly went to turn the volume louder.
Angeles today reported the apparent kidnapping of Brooke
Blackthorne, wife of film producer James Blackthorne,” the report said through
the fuzzy reception. “Sources say that a
limousine driver working for the Blackthorne family was knocked unconscious and
his uniform stolen by the kidnapper. The
limousine is black with license plates reading NC1J7. Authorities in Los Angeles are asking citizens to be on the
lookout for this and-“
quickly cut the report off and stood up with a jolt. The panic returned to his eyes and he began
pacing back and forth. Brooke looked at
him with concern, knowing that he had suddenly been set off again.
are you okay?” she asked.
shook his head angrily. “I’m not going
to let them ruin this for us, Brooke!” he yelled. “I’m not!
I will not let anyone take you from me again!”
cowered away in fear. Just as quickly as
Philip had softened and shown her his gentle side, he was now flying into a
tirade again. It seemed that he was
constantly at odds with himself.
then something else sparked concern in her fevered mind. She frowned, shifting on the sofa and placing
her hand on her stomach. “Oh God,” she
whispered to herself.
kept pacing, absorbed in his plan to keep Brooke for himself.
Brooke cried as she felt the wetness beneath her. “Philip! I think I’m going into labor!”
James stared out the window in his study,
holding a picture of him and Brooke on their wedding day. He was determined to find her and bring her
home. He wouldn't let someone come
between them again. Not after everything
they'd be through.
with frustration, he turned and wheeled toward his desk. Pulling his arm back, he swept everything off
onto the floor. The racket carried out
into the foyer and Miranda quickly rushed inside to see if her father was all
found him seated in his wheelchair weeping silently. The painful sight was too much for her to
bear. She rushed over to him and bent
down to his side, placing her arm around him and holding him close.
cried out in agony, her face dripping in sweat and her hair matted down onto
her clammy skin. She breathed heavily,
panting with exhaustion at the excruciating pain from the contractions.
I really think this baby is coming!” she cried.
“Please do something!”
Frozen in fear, Philip looked at her
and wondered how they were going to get her to a hospital in the middle of a
flood two hours from civilization.
James searches desperately
for Brooke. Will decides to keep quiet about
his recent findings. While trapped in Big
Bear, Brooke goes into labor with only Philip to
help her! James gets good news about his condition.