to buy the Denver Tribune for Janet in exchange
for the rights to her manuscript about the Blackthornes.
Will sent Heather on an audition with a director
named Joel Armitage, who drugged her and filmed
an adult movie with her as the star. Ethan
snuck into the mansion to see Michael, and then
asked Brooke to have a DNA test done to prove who
his father was. Brooke unleashed her anger
on Ethan and James threw him out. Devestated
after her miscarriage, Gwen theatened to expose
Brett's lies, prompting Brett to vow to get rid
of the meddling nanny. Jordan grew jealous
when Alex announced she was going to the premiere
of Angel Assassin, then vowed to make James
sorry for interfering in his marriage. Miranda
was absent from the opening, prompting her family
to wonder what she was up to. Gwen found a
secret door hidden in the basement of the mansion.
After returning home from the premiere, James
and Brooke learned that Michael was gone.
was well after midnight and yet no one was sleeping at
the Blackthorne mansion in Hollywood. Two police cars sat empty in the
porte-cochere with their red and blue lights flashing silently in the
night. Inside, James and Brooke stood in
the library talking to Detective Baines and two uniformed officers.
time did you leave for the Mann Village
Theater, Mr. Blackthorne?” Baines asked as he jotted notes down on a small
pad of paper.
tried to think clearly amidst the chaos of the evening’s events. He glanced next to him where Brooke sat in a
flood of tears. They were still dressed
in their formal attire after returning home from the premiere of Angel Assassin. “It was about
seven o’clock,” he replied morosely.
who was home while you were gone?”
our nanny, Gwen Hardisty, and the baby of course. Our housekeeper, Leilani, had the night off
and she was out for the evening.”
detective nodded and jotted the names down.
“I’ll want to talk to both of them before I leave here tonight,” he
Baines, what can we do to find my son?” James asked. “Someone came into my home and took him. I don’t see what answering these questions is
going to do to bring him back.”
started sobbing uncontrollably and James quickly sat down next to her, his arm
firmly placed around her waist. “It’s
all right, Darling,” he said. “We’re
going to get Michael back. Please
doing everything we can, Mr. And Mrs. Blackthorne,” Baines said. “I’ve got the forensics team dusting for
prints in the nursery right now. I
really need to talk to Ms. Hardisty. She
could have seen something or-“
nodded and bounded toward the doors. He
called down the hall for Stormy or Brett, not wanting to leave Brooke’s side
for an instant. Quickly, Brett came down
the hallway from the foyer where he was directing another team of investigators
up to the nursery.
would you please ask Gwen to come down here?” he asked.
Brett dashed back down the hall to the stairs.
As he approached Gwen’s room, he heard voices from inside and quickly
ducked around the corner so he was discreetly out of view.
Stormy approached Gwen as she sat silently on the edge of her bed. “Gwen, are you going somewhere?” he asked,
motioning to the half-packed suitcase on the floor of her room.
didn’t look at him as she sat tensely on the bed. “I’m sorry, Stormy, but I have to,”
she began. “I can’t stay here
anymore. Too much has happened.”
Stormy stepped closer and examined her distraught eyes. “What do you mean too much has happened?” he
asked. “Gwen, do you know something
about Michael’s disappearance? Did you
quickly shook her head and dried a tear in her eye. “No,”
was her defensive response. “I just have
to go. Please-“
sudden urgency to leave sent alarms tripping through Stormy’s head, but before
he could question her further Brett entered from the hallway.
Detective Baines wants to speak to you,” he said. “They’re in the library.”
stood up quickly, her eyes darting back and forth between Stormy and
okay,” Stormy said and put a gentle hand on her shoulder. “I’ll go with you.”
made their way out of the room and down the hall to the staircase. After they were safely out of view, Brett
walked into the room and surveyed the suitcase Gwen had began packing.
Why was she suddenly in a hurry to leave?
he wondered to himself as he thoroughly inspected the room. Was it because of what had transpired between
them? Was the guilt over the pills and
the affair and the miscarriage too much for her? Maybe she had decided to keep her mouth
closed and just leave without saying anything to the family.
had asked him to have her investigated in order to put Brooke’s concerns at
ease. The detective he’d contacted
hadn’t reported in yet but when he did he hoped that he would have something he
could use against her to keep her quiet.
But his fears quickly returned when he spotted an
envelope with James’s name scribbled across the front. He wasted no time in tearing it open and
reading the contents of the letter.
“Mr. Blackthorne, I want to thank you for
your kindness and your compassion over the last few months,” he began
reading quietly to himself. “But I fear that I must leave your service
and move on. There is much to tell you
and I’m afraid that I don’t have the courage to do it in person so I’m writing
this letter. Your son-in-law has a
lethal hold over your family and I worry that my being here only makes it
eyes widened as he continued reading the rest of the letter. In detail, Gwen had admitted the truth about
the pills, their affair, and the fact that he had been the father of her baby.
heart began beating wildly and he quickly ripped the letter into shreds,
shoving the remains into his pocket and taking a deep breath before leaving the
room. He couldn’t let her ruin him, and
he’d do anything to stop her.
in the library, Gwen sat on the leather sofa while Detective Baines questioned
her about the evening’s events. She
cradled herself in her arms and rocked back and forth while James and Brooke
the main entrances to the house locked at all times after the Blackthornes left
for the premiere?” Baines asked.
nodded instantly. “Yes, the doors were
locked all night.”
what time did you last see the baby?”
Gwen replied. “I went to check on him
before I turned in for the evening.”
you hear anything?” the detective asked.
“Anything at all?”
hesitation, Gwen shook her head in reply.
“No, I didn’t hear anything until the family got home and Mrs.
Blackthorne came into my room.” She sat
forward and looked at Brooke with pleading eyes. “I’m so sorry about this, Mrs. Blackthorne. It’s all my fault. I should have left my door open or slept in
the nursery with the baby. I just don’t
know how this could have happened.”
felt the tears coming on again and she buried her face in James’s
shoulder. He sat her down on the sofa
and pulled Stormy aside. “Call Dr. Farraday and ask him to come
over,” he began. “I’m worried about
Brooke. She’s not handling this well.”
nodded and obediently raced from the room so he could make the call in
private. On his way to the phone in the
foyer, he ran into Brett who had just come down the stairs, a tense look on his
Miranda?” Stormy asked.
shrugged. “Up in our room,” he said
offhandedly. “She’s exhausted.”
nice of her to be so concerned,” Stormy said sarcastically. He couldn’t get over how spoiled and
self-centered his sister was sometimes. Their baby
brother had just been kidnapped and she was up in bed.
give her a break,” Brett retaliated defensively. “You’d think you’d be a little more
sympathetic to your own sister. This is
just as hard for her as the rest of the family.”
frowned and looked at him doubtfully.
“Yeah, that outburst earlier tonight
really proved it,” he said, then
picked up the phone to call Dr. Farraday.
AfterStormy made the call, Brett decided to fish for information about Gwen. He had to know what he knew and if he was on
to him. “So what were you and Gwen
talking about upstairs?” he asked. “It
looked like I walked in on something.”
don’t know yet,” Stormy said. “But I’m
going to find out. Something’s got her
running scared, that’s for sure.”
prayed that Gwen wouldn’t reveal what was in her letter after she found it
missing. The last thing he needed was
Stormy finding out everything he’d done.
He turned and ran up the stairs to check on Miranda. After opening the door, he walked in and
found her pacing the room like she was on pins and needles. Something in her eyes told him she was
tormented and filled with preoccupation.
are you okay?” Brett asked and ushered her to the bed.
She shrugged her husband’s hand off her shoulder and
walked hastily across the room to the window.
“I’m fine,” she said, then looked back nervously. “Are the police still here?”
nodded, realizing she was more upset than he realized. “Yes, they’re dusting for fingerprints and
questioning Gwen right now,” he said.
“Miranda, where were you tonight?
You know how important it was to your father that you be at the
premiere. We were worried about you.”
rolled her eyes and turned to face him.
“I doubt that my father was
worried about me,” she claimed. “You saw
how angry he was earlier today. He could
care less if I was there or not.”
not true,” Brett said and tried to comfort her with a hand on her
shoulder. “Now where were you?”
turned away again and ran her fingers along the top of the dresser. “I just wanted to be alone for a while,” she
said. “I had a lot to think about. Is that okay with you and my father?”
sighed and dropped his hands to his sides.
“Yes, of course,” he said. “I
just wish you would have stayed and talked to me. I want to help you through this. You’re my wife.”
Miranda wasn’t responsive to his plea.
She looked out the window and closed her eyes tightly. “Brett, I’d like to be alone for a little
while,” she announced.
he turned and left the bedroom. Outside
in the hallway, he tried to determine if Miranda was still upset about the
confrontation with her father, or if it was something else entirely.
the library, Stormy watched Gwen’s terrified expression and wondered what was going on inside her head. Should he tell his father and the detectives
that she was planning on leaving town?
Did she really know something about Michael’s disappearance and that’s why she was leaving?
Baines dropped his note pad into the pocket of his trench coat and looked at
Gwen. “Miss Hardisty, that’s all the
questions I have for now,” he began.
“But if you think of anything else at all, please let me know. The slightest detail might make all the
difference in the world.”
nodded, her eyes distracted when Brett entered the room.
please don’t leave the city,” Baines continued.
“I’d like you to be available if we need you for anything else.”
can’t leave?” Gwen asked, her eyes wide and her heart pounding. She hadn’t expected to be ordered into
staying in L.A.
until that baby is back with his family,” Baines replied.
nodded reluctantly and saw Stormy staring at her from across the room. He was a little relieved by the Detective’s
orders. If Gwen was hiding something, at
least now she wouldn’t be able take off and leave town.
you for everything, Gwen,” James said and guided her to the doorway. “You can go back to you room. We’ll see you in the morning.”
walked in a daze down the hall to the staircase, pausing on the landing and
gathering her thoughts before continuing up to her room.
An hour later, James walked down the stairs
and met up with Stormy who waited for him in the foyer. “Dr. Farraday is with Brooke now,” he
said. “He gave her a sedative to calm
her down. Maybe now she’ll get some
need some rest too, Dad,” Stormy said and put a hand on his shoulder. “It’s been a long night and you haven’t
slowed down at all.”
shook his head in deep concentration.
“No, I can’t sleep,” he replied.
“Not until Michael is back with us.”
He walked across the foyer and suddenly stopped, turning back to
Stormy. “Have you seen Heather?” he
asked. “She wasn’t at the premiere and
she isn’t home now.”
shook his head. “I haven’t seen her all
day,” he said. “I hope she’s okay.”
rubbed his tired eyes. “I hope so too,”
he agreed and walked down the hall to the library where the police had set up
an extensive surveillance system. “This
from behind, Stormy watched as the officer turned knobs and pushed buttons on
the phone tracing equipment. “Me too,”
he said. “Do you really think the
kidnapper will try to call?”
police think so,” James replied and turned toward him.
there wasn’t a ransom note,” Stormy insisted.
“Nobody’s made any demands for money or anything and it’s been hours.
I don’t see what all this equipment is going to do.”
don’t either, Son,” James replied with a faraway look in his eyes.
Stormy pulled his father outside of the room and looked at him dead on. “Look, I wasn’t going to say anything, but I have to tell you, Dad. I think Gwen is hiding something,” he said
do you mean?”
Glancing around to make sure no one was listening, Stormy
lowered his voice even further. “Earlier
tonight, after we got home from the theater, I caught her upstairs packing her
suitcase,” he explained. “She said she
was leaving. She said something about
too much had happened.”
the devil was she talking about?” James asked, his brow furrowed.
don’t know, but you’ve seen how strangely she’s been acting lately,” Stormy
reasoned. “Think about it, Dad. What if after she lost her baby something
inside her snapped? Don’t you think it’s
strange that she’s been inseparable from Michael since you brought him home
from the hospital?”
shook his head. “No, she’s his
nanny. She’s just doing her job,
Stormy. My God, you sound like Brooke.”
other day Gwen took Michael out for a walk around the grounds. Brooke flew into a panic and thought someone
had taken him. She must have forgotten
that Gwen told her before she left the house with him.”
over the facts in his mind, Stormy shook his head doubtfully. “I don’t know, Dad. I think there’s more to it than that. I mean, what do we really know about her?”
know, that’s why I asked Brett to do some checking up on her,” James
announced. “Brooke had the same concerns
that you do.”
“And? What did he find out?”
shrugged. “Nothing yet. We’re still waiting for word from the
realized they’d have to wait until the detective contacted them to find out
what Gwen was hiding, if anything. But
one thing was for certain – she wasn’t above suspicion in Michael’s kidnapping. She could have stashed him somewhere and was
packing her things to leave town with him.
Anything was possible.
turned back to his father and saw the determined look on his face. “Dad, why are you so quick to discount Gwen
as a suspect?” he asked. “Do you know
then, Detective Baines came down the hallway and met up with them. “Mr.
Blackthorne, I doubled up on that
APB for Philip Whitacre,” he said. “If
he’s anywhere in the area, we’ll find him.”
James said and nodded to the detective.
“Keep me posted. And please make
yourself at home, Detective Baines.
There’s some coffee in the library.
the detective was out of earshot, Stormy looked at his father with a startled
expression. “You think that Philip Whitacre
kidnapped Michael?” he asked.
damn right I do,” James replied with determination. “He kidnapped Brooke and held her captive in
a cabin in the mountains. Nobody’s seen
just don’t see it,” Stormy argued.
do you think he kidnapped Brooke?” James demanded crossly. “Because he was angry that she left him and
came back here. Brooke said herself that
he saw himself as the baby’s father. He
could have taken Michael because he wants it to be true. Then he could lure Brooke away using my son
how would he have gotten into the house?
The doors were all locked and there was no sign of tampering.”
shrugged. “He got in before,
remember? He came in through the dining
room window virtually undetected. He
took out our driver and tied him up in the supply shed.”
facts began to add up and Stormy had to agree with his father. “Why didn’t you say anything before?”
didn’t want to upset Brooke,” he replied.
“She has a soft spot for Whitacre.
To her he can do no wrong. I told
Detective Baines to intensify the search for him as soon as they arrived at the
by the startling news, Stormy patted his father firmly on the back. “I’ll help
in any way I can, Dad,” he said. “If Whitacre
took Michael he’ll regret the day he ever met the Blackthornes.”
sun had just come up over the horizon when Alex Reynolds climbed out of bed and
made her way to the parlor room of her house in Beverly Hills.
Gordon had set up coffee service and an assortment of croissants and
fruit, which she nibbled at while watching the morning news.
later, Jordan entered from the hall and found
his wife perched languorously on the sofa.
“Good morning,” he said with a biting glare.
shot her sights toward him and scowled angrily. “Where the hell have you been?”
she demanded. “I got home from the
theater last night and you were out.
Don’t tell me you’re just getting in.”
shrugged and poured himself a cup of strong black coffee. “Let’s make a deal,
Alex. I won’t ask you for your daily itinerary if you’ll extend the same courtesy to
huffed resentfully and threw her hair over her shoulder. “I suppose this is my payback for going to
James’s premiere,” she remarked. “How
childish, Jordan, really. I mean why don’t you be a man for once and
accept that I’m allowed to have male friends.
Dare I say it, even if one of them is my ex-husband.”
Ignoring her banter, Jordan
strolled across the room and stood behind the sofa where he watched a news
report coming on the television. “Turn
it up,” he said. “That ex-husband you’re
referring to is on the news.”
frowned and turned back toward the television.
She picked up the remote and turned up the volume so she could hear the
night’s gala premiere of James Blackthorne’s highly controversial film, Angel Assassin, was overshadowed by the
apparent kidnapping of his two week old son, Michael Taylor Blackthorne,” the
reporter said into the camera.
gasped in horror and placed a hand on her heaving chest. She sat forward and hung on every word from
Blackthorne to the premiere was his wife, Brooke Taylor-Blackthorne, his son,
Stormy and his son-in-law Brett Armstrong, both executives at Sunset Studios. Sources say that upon returning to their Hollywood mansion, they learned that the
infant - Blackthorne’s third child and Mrs. Blackthorne’s first - had been
abducted from the nursery. Authorities
are not commenting on whether a ransom demand has been made, but they are sure
that the culprit will be apprehended and the baby returned in a matter of
switched off the television and shot to her feet in a blind panic. “I have to go see James!” she exclaimed and
raced for the doors leading into the hall.
Jordan raced after her and pulled her
back forcefully. “No you don’t!” he
yelled angrily and stared deep into her eyes.
“Alex, leave it alone! It doesn’t
twisted from him grasp and stepped back.
“But James is in trouble! I have
to make sure he’s okay and I have to see if there’s anything I can do!”
Jordan pulled her back, restraining her
with his hands clutched firmly around her frail arms. “There isn’t
anything you can do! That’s what the
police are for! If you go over there now
you’ll just be in the way!”
shook her head in frustration. “I will
not! And if you can stay out all night
long without so much as a phone call, then I can certainly go see my ex-husband
in his time of need! Now let go of me
before I do something I’ll regret!”
let her go and watched as she dashed up the stairs to their bedroom. He let out a sigh and rubbed the sides of his
aching head. What was it going to take
to get her to forget about James Blackthorne?
It seemed that no matter what he did to try to get her away from him she was still
determined to be in his life.
The front door of the Blackthorne mansion opened and
Heather walked inside, hugging her arms around herself and listlessly making
her way to the staircase. She barely
noticed the armed guard standing just inside the door who had already been made
aware of who was permitted inside the house.
After making her way down the hall to her bedroom, Stormy
appeared from another room and spotted her ducking quietly inside. Quickly, he ran after her, the morning
newspaper gripped tightly in his hand.
“Heather?” he asked, knocking lightly on her door.
“Please go away,” she called in a faint voice.
But Stormy didn’t give up so easily. He casually pushed the door open and found her
sitting on the bed, her makeup smeared and her hair matted to her face. “Heather, are you okay?” he asked.
She waited a beat and then nodded slowly. She felt numb after everything she’d been
through. The reality of what Will
Thomerson had sent her to do was horrifying and left a sickening feeling in the
pit of her stomach. It was all because
of Brett, she decided. If she hadn’t
agreed to steal for him none of this would have happened. But Will found out about the betrayal and
paid her back in spades. Now she was
left feeling humiliated.
“Where have you been all night?” he asked. “You didn’t show up at the premiere and you
didn’t sleep in your bed. “ He sat down
next to her. “Should I be jealous?” he
added in hopes that she would manage a smile.
But she knew she couldn’t tell him what happened. She couldn’t tell anyone. She’d destroyed the tape after watching it
and left Hotel Terranova
undetected. All she wanted to do was
forget about the disgusting film she’d been tricked into starring in.
Realizing she was in no mood for jokes, Stormy decided to
fill her in on what had happened in the last twelve hours. “Heather, someone took off with Michael,” he
said. “Last night while we were at the
The news sent her careening back to reality and she shot
him a look of surprise. “Oh my God,” she
whispered. “Poor Brooke. Poor James.
They must be going through hell.”
Stormy nodded. “I
just wanted to ask if you saw anything,” he said. “Where you here at all last
She shook her head.
“No, I was out all night.”
Again he wanted to ask her where she had been, but
quickly realized it was none of his business anymore. They were divorced and she had every right to
run her life the way she saw fit.
Heather looked down at the newspaper in his hand and took
it from him. She spread the pages open
and stared at the front-page headline. Blackthorne Baby Abducted. Search For Suspect Begins. Below the article was a picture of Philip
Whitacre. Heather took a closer look and
examined the picture carefully.
“Who is this?” she asked in a whisper.
“That’s Philip Whitacre,” Stormy replied. “Brooke’s ex-husband. They think he might be the kidnapper.”
Staring in awe at the photograph, Heather closed her eyes
and recalled vivid images from the night before…
She laid on the
sofa in the run-down old office building.
Cameras were rolling and bright lights were shining in her eyes. She was unable to move, her muscles weak and
her reflexes dull. She knew she’d been
drugged. She knew when one of the two
men had entered her because she felt discomfort and pain course through her
body. Desperately she tried to open her
eyes and focus. Camera blocking
instructions were shouted from the director and she felt herself being moved
into another position. Finally she
could see hazy images of the muscular body that was violating her. With his dark brooding eyes and strong jaw
line he was unmistakable. It was Philip
“Heather, are you
okay?” Stormy asked as he tried to break her from the trance she appeared to be
She finally snapped out of the daze and looked at him
with shame in her eyes. “They think
Philip kidnapped Michael?” she asked.
“Yeah. Why? Do you know something?”
As much as she wanted to forget about the ordeal, she had
to do something to help Brooke and James.
They didn’t deserve all the pain they were in. “I know where you can find him,” she finally
said with great reluctance.
Frowning, Stormy took the newspaper and looked at the
picture. “How?” he demanded. “Don’t tell me you’ve gotten mixed up with
She shook her head.
“It’s not important,” she began.
“But I know where he is, or at least someone who can tell you how to
Stormy shook his head in confusion as she handed him the
slip of paper Will Thomerson had given her with the director’s address on
it. “I don’t understand,” he began.
“Just hurry up,” she said, feeling a tear in her
eye. “This man knows where he is.”
Deciding to put his questions on hold for the time being,
Stormy got up from the bed and raced down the hallway.
In the meantime, Brooke was bounding inside the library
where James was conferring with the officers monitoring the surveillance
equipment. He turned to her and quickly
ran to cut her off at the pass.
“Darling, you should be up in bed,” he said. “It’s still early and you need your rest.”
Shaking her head, Brooke thrust the morning newspaper at
him and shot him a menacing stare. “What
is this?” she demanded.
He looked at the newspaper with Philip’s picture on the
front and tried to calm her down. “I
didn’t want you to find out about this,” he began.
Brooke lamented. “How could you allow
this to happen? James, how could you
think that Philip would kidnap our baby?
For God’s sake, I’ve told you how many times that he’s harmless. He doesn’t want to hurt us. I’m sure of it.”
James didn’t listen.
He was convinced he was right in his assumptions, and so were the
police. As far as he was concerned that
was all that mattered. “He kidnapped
you. What makes you think he wouldn’t do
the same to our baby? You said it yourself
that he thought of the baby as his own.
Who knows what’s going on inside that head of his. He could be using our son as bait to get to
Brooke didn’t know how to reason with him. He was adamant that Philip be persecuted for
everything that went wrong in their lives.
“No, I’m sorry Brooke but I’ll be damned if I’m going to
let him try to take you away from me again,” James interrupted. “And if he has our baby, God help him!”
Just then, Stormy raced into the library and interrupted
them. “Dad, I think I know where we can
Without wasting a second, James followed him to the
doorway. “Let’s go!” he exclaimed,
looking back at Brooke and giving her a reassuring nod of the head.
gone, she buried her face in her hands and sunk to the sofa in a fit of
despair. She was so afraid of what would
happen when they caught up with Philip.
A creaking floorboard startled her and she looked up
quickly, hoping that it was James coming back.
But instead, she found Gwen standing in the doorway. Their eyes met in a long, penetrating stare
and Brooke stood up in bated breath.
Meanwhile, Brett was sitting in his office at Sunset Studios. He’d gotten up and left the house early after
getting a call from the detective he’d hired to investigate into Gwen’s
past. The exchange of information was
something he wanted to do away from the rest of the family. With any luck, he would find something that
he could use to blackmail her into keeping her mouth shut. After writing that letter to James, there was
no telling what she would do next.
Luckily he found it when he did.
A knock at the door sent him flying to his feet and he
quickly went to intercept the detective.
“Good morning, Mr. Carlyle,” he said and stood clear of the
doorway. “I’ve been expecting you.”
“I have the report you asked for,” Dennis Carlyle
announced as he handed Brett a portfolio.
“I trust it’s everything you were looking for.”
Brett leafed through the pages inside and raised an
eyebrow after realizing how busy Gwen Hardisty had been over the last ten
years. The information sent chills down
his spine and he had to sit down after reading the first few lines.
Miscarriage at age twenty-two due to
complications with stress induced labor…mental breakdown immediately after.
Two months in a mental institution.
Worked as a private nurse for a family in Paraguay after release. Attempted murder of the mother led to
incarceration for six years in a prison in Paraguay. Returned
States one year ago after being released on parole...
"I know how
shocked you must be,” Carlyle said.
“People have a way of hiding their past even from employment background
checks. The girl’s got an innocent
face. It’s no wonder she got as far as
in deep concentration. He placed the
folder on his desk and gave the detective a friendly smile. “Thank you, Mr. Carlyle. Send us your bill and we’ll make sure you’re
After the man
left, Brett sat down at his desk and pored over the report again. He’d never in a million years thought that
Gwen was this messed up. Attempted
murder? Prison in Paraguay? She’d mentioned she spent some time there but
he never guessed it was in a prison.
possibility of her being behind Michael’s kidnapping was real. She’d already suffered one miscarriage eight
years ago and then a breakdown afterward.
It was highly likely that after her more recent loss she would
facts out in his mind, he realized he would have to be very cautious with the
new information. Telling James would put
Gwen on the top of the suspect list. If
that happened she wouldn’t hesitate to telling everyone about their affair and
their plot to keep James immobile in his wheelchair. He couldn’t risk that.
Brooke was walking up the stairs at the mansion when Gwen
ran down the hall after her. “Mrs.
Blackthorne, wait,” she called up to her.
Brooke stopped on the landing and turned toward her. “What is it, Gwen?” she asked.
Gwen took a step forward and folded her hands in front of
her. “I just wanted to tell you how
sorry I am,” she began. “I know you
blame me for Michael’s kidnapping.”
Frowning, Brooke walked back down the stairs and stood
before her. “Why would you think I blame
you?” she asked inquisically.
about the look in her eyes sent chills down Gwen's spine. “Because I was the only one here when they took him,” she
replied. “I was supposed to be watching
him. I just hope you know that I feel
awful about it.”
Brooke’s eyes darted around the foyer and landed back on
the young woman. “I know how much you
care for Michael,” she said with just the right amount of sincerity. “Gwen, are you sure you didn’t see or hear
anything last night? Voices or
footsteps? I mean, anything that could
give us a clue.”
Gwen regarded her suspiciously. “You don’t think it was Philip Whitacre, do
With a shrug, Brooke thought about the innocence in
Philip’s eyes when they were stranded up in the cabin in Big Bear. She refused to believe that he was capable
of hurting anyone. He would never have
taken her baby because he knew how it would destroy her.
“I’m going to lie down,” she finally said and walked back
up the stairs. The truth was she thought
that James was going after the wrong person.
She still had suspicions about Gwen and prayed that the detective would
As she reached the upstairs hallway, Miranda emerged from
her room and stopped in her tracks when she spotted Brooke.
“Hello Miranda,” Brooke said, eyeing her
suspiciously. She saw that she had on
her coat and appeared to be head out somewhere.
“Where are you off to?”
Miranda looked away and fidgeted with her purse strap
pulled tightly over her shoulder. “I
just have a few things to do at Hotel
Terranova,” she said. “I won’t be
She started down the stairs and Brooke called after
her. “Miranda, wait,” she said.
Stopping reluctantly, Miranda turned and looked back at
“Your father’s been wanting to talk to you,” Brooke
started. “He’s just as upset as you are
about what happened last night. He needs
you, Miranda. Don’t pull away from him
Miranda didn’t understand how Brooke could be so
forgiving after the things she said to her.
It made her uncomfortable and wonder what it was she was after. There had to be an ulterior motive to her
“Like I said, I’ll be home after a while,” she replied
before turning and going down the stairs to the front door.
Brooke continued down the hall to her bedroom, the sick
feeling over Michael's disappearance coming at her in
waves. One minute she felt confident that he would
be returned safely, and the next she feared that she'd
never see her baby boy again.
a sliver of light illuminated the dark room where
Michael lay asleep in a crib. The gentle sounds
of a musical mobil hanging above carried through the
rom. The door opened and a figure stepped
inside, reaching a hand out and gently stroking the
side of the baby's cheek.
James and Stormy track
down Joel Armitage and come across a porn star using
the name "Biff Majors". Brooke
takes her despair out on Alex. Brett barters
with Gwen over her past. Stormy goes on a
stakeout. Renee DeWitt finds a secret in the
Blackthorne mansion and the police are called.