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Episode 30

 

Release Date:  July 14, 2006

 Read the episode Recap

 

Previously...

Ethan and Janet Harper grew closer, and Will cautioned him not to get too involved with the nosy reporter.  Later, Will had a DNA test done to prove that Ethan was his son, then confronted Alex about it.  Miranda questioned Stormy about Samantha, the woman he'd had an affair with while on tour with Lauren. Stormy accused Brett of poisoning James. Heather continued her relationship with Will in hopes that he would help her with her career.  Philip Whitacre kidnapped Brooke and took her to Alex's cabin in Big Bear.  While an unbalanced Philip professed his love for her, Brooke went into labor amidst a torrential rainstorm in the mountains.

 


 

Episode 30

"Michael"

 

A downpour of rain and wind pelted the cabin in Big Bear.  Rain flooded the clearing and nearly submerged the long black limousine that sat in the driveway.  The road that once led down the mountain to the highway had disappeared asmidst a wall of water and mud.

Philip Whitacre opened the door to the cabin and hurried inside to the warmth of the fireplace.   Shivering from the rain, he warmed his hands near the bright orange flames and shook his head in frustration.

"I don't think we can get out of here," he said.  "I can't even see the road leading out of this place."

Brooke's eyes widened in horror as she panted with exhaustion on the sofa.  "There's got to be a way!" she cried.  "Philip, I can't have my baby here!  Please do something!"

The prospect of Brooke giving birth in the cabin sent Philip into a panic.  He knew they were unequipped to deliver the baby themselves, and the possibility that they could get out of there in time was next to none.  Aside from that, the phone was out because of the storm.  They were essentially trapped with no one to help them.

"Oh God!" Brooke screamed as another contraction started.  She closed her eyes and tried to block the excruciating pain from her mind.   Her body was covered in sweat and her hair matted down to her clammy skin.   "Please Philip!  The baby's coming!  Don't let anything happen to my baby!  Please!"

Quickly, Philip raced to the sofa and dipped a cloth into a small dish of water, wringing out the excess before placing it on Brooke's forehead.  He held onto her hand and allowed her to squeeze with all her might until the contraction passed.

Tears poured down Brooke's face as she thought about James and how badly she wished he were there.  If anything happened to their baby it would crush him.  The pony and saddle he'd surprised her with the night before would be all that was left of their joy.   Her only hope was that the storm would let up and they would be able to make it down the mountain in time.

Blackthorne Mansion

James wrung his hands together as he sat in his wheelchair in the library at the Blackthorne mansion.  The fireplace crackled and he looked outside at the setting sun.  It was getting late and Brooke had been missing since that morning.  The terrifying prospect that someone knocked their driver unconscious and took off with Brooke in the limousine was enough to make his skin crawl.  If only they'd taken her more seriously when she claimed she saw someone in the house a few days earlier.  If anything happened to his wife and baby it would be his fault and then he'd never be able to forgive himself.

"Daddy, has there been any word?" Miranda asked as she tore into the room, followed by Brett and Heather.

He shook his head and stared blankly into the fire.  A burst of thunder echoed throughout the house and the light flickered once, then again.

"No one has even spotted the limo?" Brett asked with a frown.   "That doesn't seem possible."

"They could have ditched the limo by now," James speculated.  "This guy obviously knows what he's doing.  He's not about to make any mistakes.  My God, they could be halfway across the country by now."

Suddenly Leilani hurried into the room and interrupted the discussion.  "Mr. Blackthorne, Ms. Reynolds is here to see you."

James turned around in his chair to face the door, a scowl permanently etched across his face.  "Not now, Leilani.  Tell her whatever it is will have to wait."

But Alex was already barreling her way into the library.  “James, I have to talk to you!” she cried.  “I just heard about Brooke on television.”

James groaned and shook his head dismissively.   “Not now, Alex.  If you’ve come to gloat now is not the time.”

She shook her head with urgency.  “No, I think I know who kidnapped her!”

James shot her a penetrating stare.  What?”

“Philip Whitacre came to see me today,” Alex explained in a panic.  “He was acting very strangely.  He said he needed my help and then asked if I could find him a place to stay while he sorted things out.”

“Go on, Alex,” James urged.

“I told him to forget it and he left,” she continued.  “But then I noticed the keys to our cabin in Big Bear were missing.  James, I think he took them.  He made a point of saying he needed to go somewhere out of the way.  Somewhere quiet and isolated.”

James closed his eyes in despair.  “That man has my wife,” he said.  "I’m sure of it."

"We should call the police!" Heather exclaimed.

Stormy entered the room and saw his mother and the shocked expressions on everyone's faces.  "What's going on?"

"Philip Whitacre took Brooke to Mom's cabin in Big Bear," Miranda explained hurriedly.  She folded her arms and thought about what chaos Brooke Taylor had brought into their lives since she appeared over a year ago.  As if everything that had happened wasn't enough.  Now she had to worry her father about something like this.  It never ended.

"I'll call Detective Baines," Stormy announced and raced to the phone.

James shook his head adamantly.  "No, don't," he ordered his son.  "If the police get involved it'll just scare Whitacre away.  There's no telling what he'd do with Brooke then.  No, we have to go up there ourselves."

"It's a two hour drive," Miranda said, wishing her father would listen to reason.

"We'll take the helicopter," James said after a brief moment of hesitation.  "Stormy, call the pilot and have him get the chopper ready."  He felt a surge of panic run through his body and suddenly his right foot jutted from the foot pedal on his chair.  His eyes widened in disbelief and he quickly tried to move it again. 

"Daddy, what is it?" Miranda asked after seeing the stunned expression on his face.

James successfully moved his foot back onto the pedal.  At long last he was beginning to notice the feeling returning to his legs.  It was like a miracle.  He closed his eyes and quietly tried moving his legs but after barely a few seconds the attempt proved to be futile.  He couldn't do it.

"I don't think you should be going anywhere, Mr. Blackthorne," Gwen said as she appeared in the doorway.   "You're in no condition to be traveling up to the mountains right now."

Brett nodded in agreement.  "She's right, James.  With this storm there's no way you can get around in your chair."

The prospect made James feel useless and weak.  He hated the fact that his wife was in trouble and he couldn’t even do anything to save her.

"Let me go, Dad," Stormy said after hanging up with the pilot.  "I can handle it.  Trust me."

James nodded and wheeled over to his son.  "Okay, but I want you to take Brett with you.  Lord only knows what kind of mindset Whitacre is in.  You might have a fight on your hands."

Brett and Stormy looked at each other and their eyes locked for what seemed like forever.  The resentment building, Stormy began to protest.  He didn't think Brett would be any help at all.  He had shown how loyal he was to their family.  Drugging his father to keep him dependent on the wheel chair was unthinkable.  If his father’s mind wasn’t on Brooke’s kidnapping, he would blow Brett out of the water that very minute.

"Well don't just stand there!" James bellowed.  "Get moving!  My wife is in trouble!"          

Stormy nodded, deciding to put his suspicions about Brett on hold for the time being.  "We'll bring her back," he said and gave his father a reassuring look.  With that, he and Brett flew out of the library and down the hall.

James looked down at his legs.  He didn't want to say anything until he was certain, but the more he tried, the more feeling he gained in his legs.  Maybe it was best that he stayed there and conserved his strength so that when Brooke did get home he would be able to make certain nothing like this ever happened again.

"Don't worry, Daddy," Miranda said as she put her hand on his shoulder.  "They'll find Brooke and they'll bring her home."

 He nodded.  "I hope so, Sweetheart," he said in a daze.

Blackthorne Mansion

In the foyer, Brett grabbed an orange slicker from Leilani and started for the door when Stormy pulled him back forcefully. 

“Not so fast,” Stormy said, his eyes menacing.  “I want you to know that I’m only agreeing to this because Brooke needs help.  If Whitacre hadn’t taken off with her I promise you would be out the door by now.  I don’t care if you’re my sisters husband or not.”

“You can threaten me all you want as soon as we get Brooke home,” Brett said and pulled his arm away.  “My God, Stormy.  Don’t you think your father has lost enough already?  All I care about right now is making sure he doesn’t lose anything else.  You should be doing the same.”

Stormy rolled his eyes, fully aware that Brett was full of it.  He was putting on an act to appear brave and helpful to James.  Unfortunately he was the only one who knew the truth about what he tried doing to him.  One way or another he’d make sure he was held accountable.

Without further delay, he grabbed his rain coat, flew past Brett and started out the door to his car.  It was a five minute drive to the helicopter pad and then another half hour to Big Bear.  With any luck they’d make it before the storm got any worse.

Alex's Cabin

“Oh God, it hurts!” Brooke screamed in agony as she huffed and puffed on the sofa in the cabin.  She closed her eyes and tried to block out the pain.  She thought of James and their special wedding day, and the magnificent days they’d finally spent together as a family.  “James, please don’t let anything happen to our baby,” she cried to herself.  “Please help me, James.”

Philip returned to the room with more cold towels, which he placed on her forehead and tried to calm her down.  He’d covered her lower half with a sheet and propped her up with a pillow from behind. 

“Brooke, you have to breath,” he coached her.  “Remember back in Phoenix when I bought you those books on childbirth?  Try to do what it said to.”

She shook her head and grunted.  “I can’t.  I don’t remember, Philip.”

“Yes you do,” he replied sternly and pushed her sweat-soaked hair from her eyes.  “I know you can do it, Brooke.  Breath.  You have to.  Your baby is counting on you.”

Brooke forced air from her lungs in short, quick spurts, trying desperately to recall the patterns she’d learned from the books.  It was simple enough.  But the contractions were coming faster and faster.  She felt like she could have the baby at any minute.

The helicopter cut through the rain high above Los Angeles.  Brett and Stormy sat in the back seat while the driver steered them toward the mountains.  He turned and shouted over the roar of the engine and the swoosh of the propeller blades.

“We’re going to be coming up on some bad weather in a few minutes,” he yelled.  “I’m going to try to go around it!”

Stormy shook his head and leaned forward.  “No, we’ve got to get there fast!” he shouted back.  “We’ll have to risk the storm!”

The driver shook his head in disagreement but followed his orders anyway.  He knew that if the helicopter was caught in the storm they would run the risk of being forced down out of the sky.  But he also knew that his boss, James Blackthorne had been through enough hell and didn’t need another trauma in his life.  He decided that getting there fast was risky, but the risk was probably worth it.

Blackthorne Mansion

James stared at the phone in the library as if willing it to ring.  He prayed for news soon from Stormy and Brett about Brooke’s whereabouts.  Hopefully Alex was right and that Philip took her up to her cabin in the mountains.  If she was off base, then they would have wasted a lot of time and Brooke could be that much farther away by then.

Alex Reynolds

Down the hall in the conservatory, Miranda and Alex talked over a cup of coffee while they waited for news.  Miranda thought it was terribly hypocritical of them to be so concerned about Brooke, a woman that she and her mother both admittedly couldn’t stand.  But the thing that made all the difference was her father.  James loved Brooke for whatever reason, and that was enough to instill hope that she would be found. 

Heather entered the room and paused uncomfortably when she saw Alex and Miranda together.  “’I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt-“

Alex stood up and raised an eyebrow.  “You’re not interrupting, Heather,” she said with a polite smile.  “Please come sit down.  I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something anyway.”

Miranda stood up as Heather entered the room.  “I’m going to go check on Daddy,” she said.  “Mom, I’ll see you in a few minutes.”

After she left, Heather turned to Alex and approached her.  “What is it you wanted to talk to me about?”

Alex smiled again and sat back down.  “Your father is very worried about you,” she began.  “He doesn’t understand why you’re putting these walls up between the two of you.  I mean, you moved in here to James’s house, despite the fact that you and Stormy’s divorce is nearly final, and you won’t tell us who it is you’re working with to help your career.  Why are you trying to punish him, Heather?”

She rolled her eyes and threw her long brown hair over her shoulder.  “I’m not trying to punish anyone,” she refuted.  “I’m looking after myself for once in my life.  I would think my father of all people would appreciate that.  He’s always said that if you want something bad enough you have to make it happen.  Well that’s what I’m doing.  Now suddenly he has a problem with it.”

Alex crossed her legs and leaned forward in the chair.  She’d never felt close to Heather, even when she and Stormy were married, but since she was Jordan’s daughter, she did feel the need to try to help in some small way.  Heather didn’t always make it easy, however.  

“I’m all for a woman taking matters into her own hands,” she said.  “But you’re a very young, pretty girl.  There are a lot of people in this town who wouldn’t think twice about taking advantage of that.”

“Are you speaking from experience?”

“As a matter of fact, I am,” Alex replied bluntly.  She couldn't help but be reminded of the way James's uncle, Nathan Blackthorne had helped her with her career.  But as always, in Hollywood, help came with a price.  “I had to learn the hard way that Hollywood is not for the faint of heart.  I was burned many, many times.  I was used, humiliated, you name it.  But I learned from my mistakes and I came out on top.”

Heather shrugged.  “Shouldn’t I be able to make the same mistakes?” she asked, thinking only of her relationship with Will Thomerson.  Since Brett announced that he wouldn’t help her with her career, she’d reluctantly decided to continue her relationship with Will in the hopes that he would help her.   And why wouldn’t he?

Ethan's House

Across town, Ethan Blackthorne sat on the sofa in his house in the Valley, pouring over the evening newspaper after getting the first word of Brooke’s kidnapping.  He couldn’t believe this was happening.  After everything she’d been through she was now put in more danger than ever before.  

Closing his eyes with despair, he leaned back and rubbed his face.  His first instinct was to rush over to the Blackthorne mansion and demand an update.  But after a moment of reflection, he realized he wouldn’t be any more welcome there now than any other time.  In  James’s mind he had delivered the ultimate betrayal, and perhaps he was right.  Falling for Brooke and sleeping with her was the act of a selfish man.   But James had found it in his heart to forgive Brooke, so why not him?  He was his nephew.  He’d stayed by his side for his entire life.  Now that James needed him he couldn’t do anything to help.  It was a horrible feeling.

A knock at the door interrupted his thoughts and he quickly went to answer it.  To his surprise, Will Thomerson was standing on the porch dressed in a navy polo with the collar turned up around his neck.

“Will, what are you doing here?” he asked in surprise.  “Is everything okay?”

A smile from Will told him that it was a mere social visit.  “I just wanted to stop by and see how you’re doing,” he began.  “I imagine you’re pretty anxious to hear about Brooke Blackthorne.”

Ethan nodded and gestured into the living room.  “Yes, I am,” he said and offered Will a seat.  “I can’t imagine who would want to kidnap her.  I wonder if there’s a ransom involved?”

Will shrugged and sat down across from him.  He looked into his eyes and felt a pang of hurt and betrayal.  Obviously Ethan knew nothing about the fact that he was his biological father.  James had hid it from him as well.  He’d spent the entire day wondering how to handle the information.  The DNA test proved it.  But was it the right time to tell his son the truth? 

“I’m sure James will do everything in his power to get her back,” he finally said, crossing his legs and leaning back against the chair.  “Particularly since she’s carrying his baby.  A father and his child have a very special bond.”

Ethan nodded and offered him a drink.

“No, thank you,” Will replied, still staring at him thoughtfully.  “Ethan, what do you know about your father?”

Finding the question to be somewhat personal, Ethan shifted uncomfortably in his seat and looked away with hurtful eyes.  “Not much,” he replied softly.  “I know that my mother met him shortly after you left for New York.  He was traveling with the carnival that came into Windsor and they had a whirlwind romance.   It wasn’t until he left for the next city that she found out she was pregnant.”

Will closed his eyes and cursed James Blackthorne for the disgusting lie that he’d fabricated.  As if a lowly carnival worker was a better scenario than the truth. 

“And you never knew your mother, did you?” he continued.

Ethan shook his head.  “No, she died shortly after I was born.  James and his parents raised me.  Then when I was old enough I moved out here to L.A. to work with James.”

“Did you ever think about looking for your father?”

“Yes,” Ethan replied, a distant look in his eyes.  “James hired the best private investigators in the country.  They came up with nothing.  It’s like he vanished off the face of the earth.  The life of a carnival worker isn’t exactly stable.”

Slowly the lies built up and Will saw the lengths that James had gone through to keeping the secret.  James blamed him for Georgie’s death and always would.  He never hired a private detective.  Another lie to add to the collection.

“Why are you asking me this?” Ethan wondered, pushing his fingers through his short brown hair.

Will broke from his daze and sighed, forcing a smile on his face.  “No reason,” he said dismissively.  He decided it wasn’t the right time to tell Ethan the truth.  First he had to deal with James Blackthorne.  He refused to let him get away with what he’d done.

Brooke Taylor

Brooke felt as though she would die from the pain.  Each time Philip ordered her to push through a contraction, she grew weaker and weaker.   Her muscles ached and her body convulsed.  Sweat dripped onto her lips and she tasted the salty moisture, drying her mouth and leaving her hoarse and gasping for air.

“Push!” Philip yelled.

Her face reddened and she grunted faintly.  “I can’t!” she cried breathlessly.

“You have to!” Philip argued.  He lifted the sheet and saw that she became more dilated every minute.  The baby was coming and there was nothing they could do about it.

Stormy Blackthorne

Outside, the helicopter chopped its way through the rain and wind, teetering back and forth in the perilous conditions.  Stormy and Brett looked down through the windows as they reached the top of the mountain in Big Bear.  The roof of the cabin suddenly came into view and Stormy called up to the pilot.

“There it is!” he yelled over the loud wind and noise.  “We’re right over it!  Land this thing now!”

The pilot did as Stormy instructed and sought out a safe clearing to land.  He scanned the ground like a hawk, weighting the risks of several different locations.  There was no way of knowing how deep the flood water was but they didn’t have much of a choice.  He had to land the chopper immediately.

Slowly, the aircraft descended to the ground and finally touched down a few yards from the cabin.  Once it was safely on the ground, Brett threw open the door and dashed out into the storm, wading through two feet of water and sludge.  Stormy followed him close behind, ducking below the windtunnel effect from the propeller blades.

Philip Whitacre

Inside the cabin, Philip heard the noise from the helicopter and raced to the window to see what was happening.   He swallowed hard when he saw Stormy and Brett barreling through the rain toward the cabin. 

 “What is it?” Brooke cried softly as she pushed her breath out in short, quick spurts.

“Someone’s here,” he replied and ran to the door.  Just as he pulled it open, Stormy raced inside and grabbed him by the shirt collar, throwing him across the room in a blind fury.

“Whitacre, you son of a bitch!” he yelled, charging at Philip relentlessly.  He ran toward him and sent him flying back with a swift punch in the jaw.

When Brett entered the cabin he saw the struggle between Stormy and Philip, then glanced over to the sofa where Brooke was laying, crying and panting in agony.   His eyes flashed open in a panic and he raced toward her, kneeling down and immediately realizing she was in labor.

“Brooke, are you all right?” he asked, checking her over and seeing that the baby was coming at any minute.

“My baby!” she cried, reaching out for Brett with a trembling hand.  “Brett, please save my baby!”

Frozen in fear, he looked over his shoulder and saw the violent struggle escalating between Stormy and Philip.  “Stormy!  She’s in labor!  We have to do something!”

But the announcement fell on deaf ears as Philip charged toward Stormy and sent him flying backwards.  He stumbled and tripped over his feet, knocking his head against the stone hearth of the fireplace.  For a second he laid there, his eyes half-closed in a groggy state before he fell limply to the ground and lost consciousness.

Philip stared wide-eyed at Stormy’s unconscious body.  Brett raced over and pushed him out of the way so he could examine Stormy’s condition.  He felt for a pulse and realized he was still breathing.  

“It was an accident,” Philip stammered, backing up away from them.  He looked at Stormy and then back at Brooke on the sofa.   Suddenly the reality of what he’d done sunk in and he felt a pang of conscience.  First kidnapping and now the possibility of killing Stormy Blackthorne.  It was evident that he was in a lot of trouble.  

“Stormy, can you hear me?”  Brett called, trying to revive his brother-in-law.  He turned his head just at the instant when Philip raced outside the cabin and disappeared into the dark night. 

“Help me, please!” Brooke called from the sofa.  She writhed around in pain, clutching the sheet tightly in her hand.  “Another contraction is coming!  Please do something!”

Realizing that he was alone and had to help Brooke himself, Brett left Stormy’s side and raced over to the sofa.   “Brooke, you have to try to relax,” he said.   He didn’t know anything about childbirth except what he’d seen on TV and in the movies.  He knew that babies were born outside of hospitals all the time.  All he had to do was coach her through it and everything would be fine.  “Push hard, Brooke.”  He lifted the sheet and saw the head of the baby coming through.  “I can see the baby, Brooke.  Push.  Push hard!”

She gritted her teeth and clutched Brett’s hand as she pushed with all her might.  She was determined to fight like hell to save her baby.  She knew that ever second that passed was putting her baby’s life in jeopardy. 

“Come on, Brooke!” Brett yelled, positioning his hands alongside the baby’s head and gently guiding it out.  “You’re almost there!  Keep pushing!”

“Oh God!” she cried.  The pain was worse than anything she’d ever felt in her life but she knew it would be worth it.  If she could do it then everything would be okay.  Brett and Stormy would get her baby to safety.

“Here it comes!” Brett cried, unable to help the emotions that came flooding to the surface.  He’d never witnessed anything so miraculous in his life.  Slowly the baby inched its way out and slid into his hands.

And at that instant Brooke felt the pressure subside and she gulped heapings of air into her lungs.  She heard the baby crying and she felt a rush of relief sweep over here.

“It’s a boy,” Brett said with a smile as he cradling the small child in his arms.  “You have a baby boy.”

Brooke cried happily and looked at her perfect baby in Brett’s arms.  Suddenly everything seemed okay and all she cared about was that her baby was alive and safe. 

Gently he handed the baby to Brooke and stood up.  He glanced over and saw Stormy slowly regaining consciousness.    He knew they had to get Brooke and the baby back to town and to the hospital as soon as possible. 

“I’ll be right back,” he said.  “I’m going to tell the pilot that we’re ready to go.”

The baby cried in Brooke’s arms and she kissed it gently.  She’d never been happier in her entire life.  She couldn’t wait to get home and show James their baby.  If this wasn’t enough to motivate him to start walking again then nothing would.

Miranda Blackthorne

Miranda raced into the library where James, Heather, Alex and Gwen were waiting impatiently for word from Brett and Stormy.  She threw open the door and grinned happily at her father who sat in his chair by the fire.

“Brett just called from his cell phone!” she squealed.  “They found Brooke!”

James’s eyes shot up and he felt his heart beating wildly in his chest.  “Is she okay?” he demanded, his feet slipping off the foot pedals of the wheelchair.  “Please tell me she and the baby are okay!”

Miranda nodded happily.  “They’re both fine!” she said.  “Daddy, you have a baby boy!”

The news hit him like a tidal wave.  “She had the baby?” he asked, his eyes clouding over with tears.

“Yes, Brett delivered the baby himself,” Miranda replied proudly.

Heather and Alex stood up in surprise.  They looked at James who appeared to be shaking with excitement.    “That’s incredible,” Heather said with a bright smile.

“I have a son,” James said, suddenly overcome with the desire to throw his arms around Miranda and hug her tightly.  Without warning, he stood up out of his chair and stumbled across the room to her, embracing her warmly.

Miranda shrieked with surprise and stood back, gazing in awe at the sight of her father standing up before her.  “Daddy!  You’re walking!”

The reality of the situation having escaped him for a moment, James quickly backed up and looked down at his legs.  She was right.  He was standing on his own two feet for the first time in six months. 

“James, this is wonderful!” Heather cried and raced over to him. 

Alex covered her mouth with her hands and ran over to join in the celebration.  It was like a miracle that he’d recovered after the news of Brooke and the baby.

“I’m walking!” James lamented, barely able to contain his excitement.  He took a step forward and curled his toes, overwhelmed by the sudden sensation he was feeling.  It was like he was given a new life.

“How do you feel, Mr. Blackthorne?” Gwen asked with a twinkle in her eye.

“I feel like a million bucks!” James replied and threw his arms around Gwen.  “My God, I can actually walk again!”

Miranda hugged him again, thrilled that she had her father back.  For so long he’d been a shell of the man he used to be.  Now he was back and she could see in his eyes that there was nothing to stop him now.

Gwen watched them happily, thrilled that the pills Brett had coerced her into giving him hadn’t done any long-term damage.  Now she was pregnant and Brett was the father of her baby.   She wondered what he would do about his wife and his position with the Blackthorne family.  She wanted to believe that he would do the right thing and divorce Miranda so that they could get married and raise the baby as a family.  But something inside of her told her that it wasn’t going to be that easy.

Hotel Terranova

After hearing on the news that Brooke was being flown to Cedars-Sinai by helicopter, Ethan decided to seek solace in the arms of the only person he felt he could trust.  When Janet Harper opened the door to her suite at Hotel Terranova, he immediately put his arms around her petite waist and kissed her hard and passionately. 

“This is quite a surprise,” Janet said after he pulled away.  “I’m sorry, did we have a date?”

Ethan shook his head and kissed her again.   “I just took a chance that you were free,” he said.  “You don’t mind, do you?”

She ruffled his hair with her fingers and threw her head back, succumbing to the pleasure as he kissed the nape of her neck.  “Actually I was on my way out,” she said.  “I have a story to cover.”

“It can wait, can’t it?” Ethan asked between hurried kisses.  He led her over to the bed and pawed at the buttons on her white silk blouse.

She put her hand up and stood back a step.  “Unfortunately, it can’t,” she replied apologetically.   “I really have to go.  The worst thing to a reporter is someone else getting the story first.”

He frowned and looked at her questioningly.  “What story did you say you’re working on in L.A?”

Purposely avoiding his question, Janet tucked her blouse into her skirt and attempted to revive her tousled mane of black hair.  She slipped into a pair of heels and turned to him with a smile.  “Now, now, now, Mr. Blackthorne, you wouldn’t want me to give away my secrets all at once, would you?”

Ethan couldn’t help but smile at Janet’s coy nature.  It was part of what attracted him to her ever since they met.  She gave only as much information as she saw fit, and everything else about her was a mystery.  It was something of a turn on, he decided.

“But I’ll happily take a rain check,” she said before kissing him on the lips and opening the door for him.

“Okay,” he replied and paused before leaving the room.  “Sooner better than later.”

Janet smiled coquettishly as Ethan kissed her again and left the room.  She closed the door and walked over to her laptop sitting on the bed.   That was close, she thought to herself.   She hadn’t had time to close the file she’d been working on before Ethan showed up unannounced.   And if he had seen the story she was working on she would have had to do a lot of explaining.  

Sitting on the edge of the bed, she read through the title page of her manuscript and smiled to herself.

The Blackthornes Exposed  

Secrets of a Hollywood Family

 

Cedars-Sinai

After the helicopter arrived at Cedars-Sinai, Brooke and the baby were taken immediately to the maternity ward to be examined by Dr. Mitchell.  Brooke laid in bed in a private room when the doctor entered with a smile on her face.

“You have a very healthy little boy, Brooke,” she said.  “You were both very lucky.”

It was the best news Brooke had heard in a long time.  She felt her eyes tearing up with happiness as she buried her face in her hands.  She couldn’t believe that after everything that had happened, her baby was safe and sound in the nursery just a few short feet away.  She couldn’t wait to tell James the news.

But as soon as she opened her eyes she got her wish.  The door to the room opened and James walked in, a bright smile on his handsome face.   Brooke flushed with excitement and stretched her arms out to him.

“Darling, thank God you’re all right,” he said, rushing over and embracing her with all his heart.  “I was so worried that you’d been taken away from me again.”

“So was I,” Brooke cried, running her hands down the back of his head.  “Oh God, James, I was so scared.”

“Shhh,” he soothed her in a calming voice. “It’s all over now.  You and our baby are safe.”

“Did you see him?” she asked with wide eyes.  “Isn’t he the most perfect baby you’ve ever seen?”

He nodded and caressed the side of her cheek.  “He’s as beautiful as his mother,” he said.  “And I can’t tell you how relieved I am that you’re both home safely.”

Suddenly the reality of the moment caused Brooke to sit up with a start, staring at James with big blue eyes.  “Oh my God, James!” she gasped, covering her mouth with her hands.  “You’re walking!  You’re actually walking again!”

He nodded with excitement, holding her hand tightly in his.  “Yes, I am,” he said.

“When?  How?  How did it happen?”

“It happened just after we got word that you and the baby were okay,” James announced, staring into her eyes with joy.  “It was like a miracle, Brooke.  First you made it through your ordeal with Philip, and then I finally got up out of that chair.”

“I’m so happy for you,” Brooke said, weeping contently as she held him close.  “It is a miracle.  We have so much to be thankful for today.”

James nodded and softly kissed her cheek.  “The doctor says you and the baby can come home in the morning,” he said.  “That’s the best news of all.  Finally we’ll be a family again.”

Brooke smiled, looking forward to the happiness that lied ahead for them.  “James, would you ask Brett and Stormy to come in here?” she asked.  “I’d like to thank them for everything they did for me.  You would have been so proud.  Brett delivered our baby.  If he hadn’t been there I don’t know what would have happened.”

“I know, I can’t tell you how glad I am that they got there when they did,” he said.  “If Philip Whitacre had done anything to hurt you or our baby-“

“Oh but he wouldn’t have done anything to hurt us,” Brooke interrupted.  “James, I know it seems unbelievable, but he really wasn’t trying to hurt anyone.  He was just alone and sad.  When I left him in Phoenix, I broke his heart.  Apparently he thought we meant more to each other than I did.  This was his way of dealing with that hurt.  But I know he wouldn’t have hurt me or our baby.”

James shook his head doubtfully.  “He still kidnapped you, Brooke,” he said.  “He put yours and our baby’s life in jeopardy, regardless of whether he meant to or not.  What if something had happened up there at that cabin?  I’m sorry but I can never let that happen again.”

Brooke sighed and leaned back against her pillow.  She knew James was upset and wasn’t about to let it rest.  It was just his way.  She knew there was no arguing with him about it.  In time she would convince him that Philip wasn’t a threat to them.

“Well, what should we name him?” she asked, deciding to put the subject of Philip on hold for the time being.

James smiled brightly and squeezed her hand in his.  “I was thinking of Michael,” he suggested.  “It’s my Father’s name.”

“What about for a middle name?”

Pondering for a moment, James shrugged and winked at her.  Taylor?  So he never forgets where his beautiful mother came from.”

“Michael Taylor Blackthorne,” Brooke said aloud and then smiled happily.  “I love it.”

James nodded and hugged her close, never wanting to let her go again.  It seemed every time he turned his back, someone or something tried to drive them apart.  But not anymore.  Never again would he let it happen to them.

Brett Armstrong

Standing outside the nursery, Brett and Miranda looked in at baby Michael sleeping peacefully in the crib.  Miranda put her arm around her husband and kissed his cheek tenderly. 

“What was that for?” he asked with a smile.

“Because you’re a hero,” she replied.  “You delivered my brother into this world and I think you’re fantastic.

He grinned and looked back in at the baby.  Suddenly he was overcome with thoughts of Gwen and the baby that she was carrying.  His baby.   How was he going to tell Miranda?  Would he tell Miranda?  He didn’t love Gwen and had no intention of marrying her or leaving Miranda for her.  Sure, they had great sex together and she served her purpose, but that was as far as it went.  If she told anyone about them he would be ruined.  And not even delivering James and Brooke’s baby was enough to keep him in their good graces.

Realizing he had no choice but to convince Gwen to terminate the pregnancy, Brett suddenly felt better about things.  That was it.  He would convince her that having the baby was a mistake.  And now that James was walking again, her services at the mansion wouldn’t be needed anymore.  She would leave and he’d never had to deal with her again.

James approached them from behind and patted Brett on the shoulder.  “Brett, I’d like to thank you again for everything you did up there tonight,” he said and pulled him into an embrace.   “If you hadn’t acted so quickly, I hate to think of what would have happened.”

Brett smiled and shook his head in protest.  “I just did what anyone would have done,” he said.  “I’m just glad that Brooke and the baby are doing okay.”

“What was Stormy doing while you were delivering the baby?” Miranda asked.

“He and Philip got into it pretty good,” Brett answered, deciding this was the perfect time to paint himself as a better son than Stormy.  “I tried pulling him away from him but he was bent on pummeling the guy to the ground.  One thing led to another and Stormy took a hit.  He was unconscious and I had to deliver the baby myself.”

“And what happened to Whitacre?” James asked.  “That man has got to be held responsible for what he did to my wife.”

Brett put a hand on James’s shoulder and sighed apologetically.  “He got away, James.  I’m sorry.  Stormy was out of it and I couldn’t go after him myself.  I had Brooke and the baby to worry about.”

Just then, Stormy approached from behind and overheard Brett’s announcement.  He glowered at him angrily and forced his way up to the window of the nursery.  “Yeah, you were a big hero, Brett,” he began.  “Why don’t you tell everyone what you’ve been up to for the past few weeks?  Then we’ll see how much everyone appreciates you.”

Brett swallowed hard, knowing full well that Stormy was about to blow him out of the way by revealing his attempt at keeping James in the wheelchair. 

Janet Harper

The elevator doors opened on the maternity floor of the hospital and Janet Harper made her way down the hallway.  Brooke Blackthorne’s kidnapping and the fact that she gave birth to James Blackthorne’s baby in a cabin in the mountains was certain to be a blockbuster chapter to her manuscript.  She was determined to get a full account of what exactly had happened, and how better to hear it than from her new friends, the Blackthornes themselves.

She approached a nurse at the admitting desk when suddenly she spotted a familiar man standing in the waiting room.    Quickly, she hunched down and attempted to hide her face while she looked for an escape.  Dashing through a crowd of nurses, she fled down a hallway in hopes that she wasn’t spotted.

But Jack Fallmont was already racing down the hallway after her.  He caught up to her and grabbed her arm, spinning her around to face him.

“I thought I smelled a rat,” he said angrily, his dark hair slightly unkempt and falling into his face after the brief struggle.   “If it isn’t Janet Harper.  The woman who single handedly gave journalists a bad name.  What he hell are you up to now?”

 


Next time....

Jack gives Janet a warning.  Gwen becomes Michael's nanny.  Brett wants Gwen to have an abortion.  Miranda becomes jealous of her new baby brother.  James makes a decision that affects Stormy, Brett and Alex.  

 

 

 

  Read Episode 31

 

 

 


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