was arrested for suspicion of kidnapping after his
handkerchief was found in the secret tunnels outside
the nursery. James visited Ethan in jail and
they had it out over their differences involving
Brooke and the baby. Later, Will provided
a false alibi for Ethan, who was subsequently released.
After Jordan still couldn't account for his
whereabouts the night of the kidnapping, Alex told
James that he should have him investigated. Stormy
became wary of Heather's strange behavior. Stormy
discovered that the detective's report Brett had
gave to James about Gwen's past was phony. Brooke
went to Ethan and tearfully claimed that she
believed in his innocence.
Tale of Two Women"
decided to go across the street
to the Bel Air Carlton for
lunch. He left his office at Rydell Productions and informed his
secretary he'd be back in a couple of hours, then proceeded to the
elevators. When the doors opened, his
eyes darted to Detective Baines who stood in the car with another police
Rydell?" Baines asked and showed him his badge. "Do you have a minute to answer a few
to hide the guilty look in his eyes, Jordan nodded and gestured back into his
office. "Hold my calls," he
said to the secretary before closing the door.
Inside, he turned to the detective and folded his hands neatly in front
of him. "What can I do for you,
can start by telling us where you were the night before last," Baines
questioned in an authoritative manner.
eyes narrowed on him and he sat down on the edge of his desk. "I was on my yacht," he replied.
night?" Baines asked with a raised eyebrow. "Your wife says you didn't come home
until the next morning. Do you spend the
night on your yacht frequently, Mr. Rydell?"
Jordan became alarmed. What had Alex
been saying about him to the police?
"Yes, as a matter of fact I do," he replied and then frowned
harshly. "What is this about,
just following up on a lead," the detective replied smugly. "Did anyone see you at the marina who
can verify your whereabouts that evening?"
shook his head. "No. You're following
up on a lead about what?"
leveled his eyes on him. "The
kidnapping of Michael Blackthorne," he replied flatly. "It seems that you've made some comments
about James Blackthorne that could be construed as threatening."
from his wife's betrayal, Jordan flew to his feet and placed a
hand on his forehead "You have got
to be kidding me," he shouted.
"My wife asked you to come here?"
ask the questions," Detective Baines ordered, a flicker of warning in his
dark brooding eyes. "Did you take
the baby, Mr. Rydell?"
Jordan bellowed. "What would I have
to gain by kidnapping a baby?"
because you think Blackthorne is moving in on your wife. They were married once, and now they're in
business together. Do you harbor any negative
feelings about that?"
shrugged with frustration. "Of course I do but that doesn’t mean I would
kidnap his son. This is
ridiculous." A thoughtful pause. "I want my lawyer present before I
answer any more questions."
your right," Baines replied.
"And when you talk to him tell him that we're getting a court order
to have your property searched. That
includes your yacht."
that could clue us in to the location of the missing Blackthorne baby."
blew a strand of hair from his eyes and looked around in amazement. "Am I being arrested?" he
asked. "Because all you're going on
is speculation. You have no proof of
anything. My lawyer will see that these
charges are dropped so fast your head will spin, and then you'll look like a
hesitated briefly and then shook his head.
"You're not under arrest.
But I'd like to remain available for further questions."
gritted his teeth angrily. He couldn't
believe what was happening. Alex had gone too far this time.
was in the parlor with Miranda and Brett when Stormy came home and darted into
the room. His eyes burned into Brett's
and held up a copy of Dennis Carlyle's original report about Gwen.
what the hell are you trying to pull over on us?" Stormy asked in a
Brett knew that his deception had somehow been discovered. He stood up and looked at his brother-in-law
with wide eyes. "What are you
talking about?" he asked, feigning innocence rather unconvincingly.
Stormy could respond, the front doors opened and Brooke rushed in with Ethan
fast on her heels. She spotted everyone
in the parlor and led him inside the room, a panicked look on her face.
James asked. "What's wrong? You've been gone a long time." He looked past her when Ethan entered the
room from behind. "What the hell
are you doing here? I can't believe
you'd have the nerve to show you face here. Criminals don't usually return to
the scene of the crime."
didn't kidnap our son," Brooke claimed, shaking her head in protest.
Brooke! You can't keep looking at this
with blinders on! "
James," Ethan said. "I didn't
kidnap Michael. I told you that."
Angered by the way
his wife persistently defended him, James folded his arms and leveled his eyes on Ethan
menacingly. "Nobody buys your phony
alibi. Will Thomerson isn't exactly a
strong defense," he announced. "Besides, the police have evidence
that places you outside the nursery on the night of the kidnapping. They found your handkerchief."
wasn't in the tunnels that night," Brooke said, her eyes darting toward
by the inevitable accusations that would surely be made against her, Miranda
took a step back and looked at her father with red, watery eyes. She swallowed hard, feeling everyone turn to
look at her.
Miranda was," Brooke continued,
then glared accusingly. "Weren't
you, Miranda? You were the one who
dropped the handkerchief outside the nursery."
Brett and Stormy turned to look at her, immediately noting the guilty look on
her pale face. She was hiding something
and James knew it. But kidnapping her
own brother? He knew she was jealous but
to go that far was unthinkable.
what if I was?" Miranda said defiantly.
Brett said, suddenly realizing why she'd been acting so strangely since the
kidnapping. "What were you doing in
did you even find out about them?" Stormy questioned his sister, unwilling
to believe she had anything to do with the disappearance of their baby
brother. "We just found out
yesterday that they even existed."
felt her eyes sting with tears and she looked at everyone with hurt in her
eyes. She hated the fact that her own
family was treating her like she was some kind of monster. "What are you saying?" she
asked. "That you all think I'm the
would make sense," Brooke replied, her tone full of contempt. "You've been jealous of Michael since
the day we brought him home. Hell, you
were jealous before he was even born."
not true!" Miranda sobbed, the walls feeling like they were closing around
were you in the tunnels or not?" James demanded.
said it yourself, Miranda," Brooke continued relentlessly. She glared at her furiously, a year of
resentment culminating in one heated moment.
"You hated my baby because he was taking your father away from
Miranda cried and backed up away from her.
you weren't daddy's little girl anymore," Brooke taunted, trembling from
head to toe. Her eyes were clouded with
tears and she felt like she would break down at any minute. "Just like when I moved into the house
last summer. You couldn't stand having
to share your father so you did everything you could to break us up. You could have killed me that night in the
please-" James said, reaching out to his tortured wife.
She shrugged him
away, her eyes riveted to Miranda.
"But that baby. He was
innocent. You couldn't handle it so you took him away from us!"
it!" Miranda screamed.
are you happy now?" Brooke shrieked.
"Our baby is gone and now your daddy is all yours again! You don't have an innocent little baby to
share him with anymore! Is that what you
me alone!" Miranda lamented and buried her face in her hands.
is he?" Brooke cried, grabbed her by the arms and shaking her hard. "Where did you take my baby? Tell me the truth before I shake it out of
struggled to get free of her grasp, her hair flying in her face and whipping
through the air. "Fine! I did hate that baby!" she screamed,
bringing the room to an eerie silence.
"I wanted him gone! Is that
what you want to hear? I didn't want him
a fit of despair, Brooke brought her hand up and slapped Miranda neatly across
the face. Her eyes unmoving, she stared
at the willful young woman in a rage.
She didn't care if she'd acted on impulse, she wouldn't have her talking
about her baby that way.
James looked at his
daughter with a startled expression. He
never thought his daughter would feel so much anger and resentment toward a
baby. How far had she gone to get her
did you do, Miranda?" Stormy asked as he looked at her with wide eyes.
looked at Brett and then back at her father, ignoring Brooke's penetrating
unmerciful stare. Her face stung from
where Brooke had hit her but she ignored it.
The pain was numbing compared to what she felt inside.
had seen Ethan at Hotel Terranova,"
she began, her voice slow and methodical.
"I was upset because you had cancelled our lunch plans." Her eyes flickered past James and then back
to the floor. "Ethan comforted me
and gave me his handkerchief. I left to
go home in such a hurry that I forgot I still had it."
listened intently, recalling the disturbing conversation they'd had that
I got home all hell broke lose," Miranda continued. "I was so hurt that I ran out the door
and went around to the pool house. I
stayed there most of the night, watching when everyone left for the
frowned as he listened to his wife's story.
He'd looked all over the grounds for her that day and came up with
nothing. He never thought to look in the
not sure how it happened, but I found a lever against the wall that triggered a
hidden door," she explained.
"It was dark and I couldn't see very well but I made my way all
the way up here to the main
house. I got lost and couldn't find my
way back." She paused
momentarily, scanning the room with undaunting eyes. "Then I heard the baby crying. I knew I was near the nursery so I kept
going, letting Michael guide me to his room."
happened then?" Stormy asked.
hard, Miranda pushed a lock of long black hair from her eyes and wrapped her
arms around herself. "Finally I
came to a door. It was open and I could
see right into the nursery. It was dark
but I knew someone was in the room with him."
was it?" James demanded. "Did
you get a look at him?"
shook her head. "It was too
dark. Whoever it was had on a ski mask
and black clothes. I don’t even know if
it was a man or a woman. It all happened
news unsettled James and he stepped forward, reaching out to his daughter. "Go on, Miranda."
called out to them and they saw me. But
by that time it was too late. Whoever it
was already had Michael in their arms and was coming at me." She stopped,
taking a deep breath before going on.
"All I can remember next is being knocked down. When I looked up
they were gone. I tried to go after them but
the tunnels are like a maze. It took me
half an hour just to find my way back to the pool house. I guess I dropped Ethan's handkerchief when I
shook her head angrily. "I don't believe you," she said. "You're lying. Do you expect us to believe that you wished
for my baby to be gone and the next thing you know he's being kidnapped right
before your eyes?"
I'm telling you the truth," Miranda insisted. "You don’t honestly think that I could
have kidnapped him, do you?"
exactly what I think!" Brooke exclaimed.
if you saw Michael being taken, why didn't you do something?" James asked
in a rage. "My God, if you'd acted
sooner we could have found him before this maniac got off the property!"
don't know that!" Miranda cried.
"By the time I tracked you down at the premiere he still would have
been long gone."
yet you said or did nothing," Brooke said through clenched teeth. "Until you decided to come home the next
day, that is, when you pretended to act all surprised that Michael was gone.
her head, Miranda could see that everybody blamed her. Even if they didn't suspect she was the
kidnapper, they still held her responsible. "What good would it have done?" she
asked, suddenly feeling drained.
"He was gone. There was
nothing I could do."
could have done something," Brooke said and buried her face in James's
right, Miranda," James interrupted.
"If you saw something you should have come forward
immediately. I could have left the movie
premiere and been home in five minutes.
I think you just didn't want us to find him."
with guilt, Miranda felt a stream of tears flow from her eyes. She couldn't stand the look of disappointment
in her father's eyes. The hurt he was
enduring was tearing her up inside.
a flash, she was darting out into the foyer and up the staircase to her
room. Brett looked around and decided he
should go after her. She shouldn't be
alone at a time like this. James and
Brooke were relentless and Miranda probably felt like an outsider right now. He of all people knew what that was like.
go talk to her," he said and started out of the room.
wait-" Stormy said.
Brett turned and flashed him a look of defiance. "She's my wife. I think you all just did a pretty good job of
ripping her apart. I'm going to go talk
walked up and stood before him. "First
we need to discuss this," he said, holding up the report from the private
investigator. "I think we might
have scratched Gwen off the suspect list a little too soon."
going on, Son?" James asked with a frown.
He took the report from him and scanned through it. "What the-"
the report Carlyle did on his investigation into Gwen's background,"
Stormy explained, his eyes riveted to Brett's.
He knew he'd catch him in a lie soon or later, but he couldn't for the
life of him understand what he had to gain by covering up for Gwen.
reading the details of Gwen's sordid past, James shot his attention to Brett
and shook his head warily. "Brett,
do you have an explanation for this?" he asked.
the innocent act to the hilt, Brett took the report and pored over it with mock
enthusiasm. "Oh my God," he
gasped. "I don't understand. This is not the report I saw."
his eyes, Stormy decided he didn't believe him for a second. "So what happened? It mysteriously vanished and the phony one we
saw took its place? Come on, Brett, how
dumb do you think we are?"
let Brett explain himself," Ethan said.
"I’m sure there's a logical explanation."
swallowed hard and glanced around the room.
All eyes were on him and making him feel very uncomfortable. He'd have to do some quick thinking if he
wanted to cover himself this time.
"Well obviously Gwen found the original report and switched it with
the phony one."
don't know!" Brett replied defensively.
"It was in my office all day before I got a chance to look at
it. She probably came in, found it and
switched it. Obviously we're dealing
with someone very resourceful here."
reviewed the new information in his mind.
The facts were right there in plain English. Gwen had been institutionalized after having
a miscarriage. She was later sent to
prison for the attempted murder of a woman she worked for as a governess. Suddenly he realized how fragile a state of
mine Gwen must really be in. She'd
recently suffered another miscarriage, afterwards becoming alarmingly
possessive of Michael.
a minute," Brooke said as she read the report over James's shoulder. "Stormy said that Gwen was planning on
leaving that night. She had her suitcase
packed." She looked at James with
fear in her eyes. "She could have
been planning on leaving town with our son, James."
closed his eyes with regret. All hell
was about to break lose and Gwen wouldn't hesitate to admitting everything they'd
done. The pills, the affair, her
pregnancy. It was all going to come out.
walked into his house in Beverly Hills and slammed the door shut so hard that
it nearly came off its hinges. He looked
around the entryway and called up the stairs to his wife. "Alex!" he bellowed. "Alex!
Where the hell are you?"
she came downstairs, a timid look on her perfectly made up face. "Hello Jordan," she said, studying
him carefully. By now he had to have
been paid a visit by the police. She expected
him to be angry but the look on his face was far worse than anything she'd ever
you enjoy playing with people the way you do?" he asked as he walked
slowly toward her. "Just tell me
the truth. What kind of sick pleasure do
you get out of torturing everyone in your life?"
before you say anything-" she began, backing up the staircase.
"Don't!" he yelled, his voice
booming through the entryway.
"Don't you dare try to
talk your way out of this! I just got
back from the marina where my yacht has been searched from stem to stern by the
police looking for anything that could connect me with the kidnapping of
Michael Blackthorne. This was after they
came to my office today and badgered me for two hours because of something you said."
continued retreating up the stairs, terrified by the deranged look in his
eyes. "You can't blame me for
thinking you had something to do with it," she said. "How many times have you told me how
much you resent him?"
Jordan grabbed hold
of her arm and pulled her back down to the landing. "My own wife accusing me of baby
snatching!" he yelled hoarsely.
"How could you do it, Alex?
How could you think I would do something like that, and then have the
nerve to go to the police?"
She shook her head insistently. "I didn't go to the police. I told James that I was concerned that maybe
hollered. "Of course you went to James! He
seems to be the only reason you do anything
You're so jealous you can't even see what you're doing!" Alex
lamented as she tried dodging her way around him. "Am I really that far off for thinking
that you would do something to get back at him?
And the other night you didn't come home so I thought that-"
that I was out stealing babies?" Jordan yelled. After taking a moment to gather his thoughts
and calm down, he took a deep breath and looked at her directly. "Well for your information, the police
found nothing to connect me with it.
They have no evidence and nothing to go on except for the paranoid
delusions you saw fit to share with your ex-husband."
relieved, placing a hand on her heaving chest.
"I'm glad. Jordan, I didn't
want to believe it, I just-"
"You just chose
Blackthorne over your own husband again," Jordan finished for her and
started up the stairs.
"Where are you
going?" she asked.
He turned and met her
gaze. "I'm going to pack. I'm leaving you, Alex."
Back at the
Blackthorne mansion, James and Brooke walked down an upstairs hallway and paused
outside of Gwen's bedroom door.
"James, I think
we should call Detective Baines," Brooke said with pleading eyes. "I don't want to risk messing this up
and having her get away. I want our son
Nodding, James put a
hand on her shoulder and tried to comfort her.
"I do too, Darling," he reassured her. "But we can't go in there accusing Gwen
of anything. She's liable to run off and then we'll never
see Michael again. We have got to do this so she doesn't feel
Realizing he was right,
Brooke waited patiently as James knocked on the bedroom door, then stood back
and paused. A few seconds later he
knocked again. When there was still no
answer, he reached out to the knob and pushed the door open.
Inside the empty
room, they could feel a draft coming through an opening in the closet. Stepping closer, James noticed that the
doorway to the tunnel was ajar and Gwen was nowhere to be found.
she?" Brooke asked and peered through the secret doorway in the closet.
Down the hall, Brett
entered he and Miranda's bedroom and found his wife crying silently in the
chair by the window. She clutched onto a
stuffed cat and curled herself into a ball, barely acknowledging when her
husband came in.
he said, his heart breaking for her.
Despite his behavior at times, he loved her very much and hated to see
her strong will shot down by James and Brooke.
"Babe, are you okay?"
She shook her head
and sobbed into the stuffed cat.
"Why does everyone have to think the worst of me?" she asked
behind her river of tears. "Am I
that horrible of a person?"
Hoping to convince
her otherwise, Brett knelt down and put his arm lovingly around her. "No, you're a beautiful, vibrant young
woman. You're passionate and you're
demanding, but that's who you are, and that's why I love you."
Miranda wiped her
eyes and looked up at his tan, handsome face.
"You probably wouldn't have married me if you'd known what I was
Smiling, Brett kissed
her warmly. "No, probably
not," he said with a smirk. "But now you're stuck with me."
Unable to keep
herself from smiling, Miranda wrapped her arms around him and allowed him to
hold her close. "I don't know what
I'd do without you," she said.
"You're the only one who understands me. You're the only one I can trust."
Brett closed his eyes
and prayed that that wouldn't change.
When they confronted Gwen she would surely tell them everything.
Baines,” James called to Stormy as he and Brooke rushed down the staircase to
the foyer. “Gwen’s gone. She took her suitcase with her.”
exclaimed as he rushed for the phone.
“Why would she leave now?”
“She’s been in the
tunnels!” James shouted, pulling open the front door. “She must have heard us talking about her inthe
parlor room. We’ve got to get her before
she takes our baby!”
Brooke plastered her
hands over her mouth and stood helplessly.
“James, the pool house! She’s
probably planning on getting out that way!”
Deciding she was
right, James darted out the front door and across the front lawn to the back of
the house. He made his way along the
hedged walkways and started down to the pool.
Inside, Brett and
Miranda came out of their bedroom after hearing the commotion downstairs. “What’s going on?” Brett asked.
Stormy had just hung
up with Detective Baines when he looked up at them and offered a furious
scowl. “Gwen took off,” he said. “She knows we’re on to her about her past.”
“I’ll help find her,”
Brett announced as he raced down to the landing.
“I think you’ve done
enough!” Stormy shouted as he moved closer until he was inches from his
face. “You may have everyone else fooled
but to me you’ll always be Rick Shively, a con man. Now I don’t know what’s going on with you and
Gwen but as soon as we catch up to her I’m going to find out.”
With that, he turned
and darted out of the house to help James.
Brett stood on the landing, fully aware that Miranda and Brooke were
looking at him with confusion. All he
needed was either of them to start asking questions. As far as he was concerned, Gwen was a
risk. A risk that he’d have to deal with
once and for all.
James scrambled into
the pool house with Stormy falling fast on his heels. They stopped inside the small building and
“Dad, the lever!”
Stormy shouted. “Find it!”
fast, James began searching the walls for the hidden door lever. Miranda hadn’t said where it was but she
seemed to have found it easily enough.
It was probably right under their nose and they didn’t even know
that bookcase,” Stormy said as he clattered through the fixtures inside the
raced to a built in bookcase in the wall and started pulling books from it
right and left. Each dusty volume
toppled to the floor and still nothing happened. “It’s got to be here somewhere,” James
murmured, frantically searching for the one item that would open the hidden
Stormy felt his hand scathe across a switch along the doorframe to the
bathroom. He paused, frowning as he felt
around for the lever. “I think I’ve got
it, Dad,” he said, quickly pulling the lever down.
The hidden door in
the wall slowly sprang open, revealing Gwen, suitcase in hand, just as she was
about to enter into the pool house.
short while later, Gwen was seated in the library of the main house, her head
sunk down as Detective Baines, James, and the rest of the family interrogated
did you first come to find out about the tunnels?” Baines asked as he stood
before her, his hands firmly planted on his hips.
took a deep breath and kept her eyes directed at the floor. “It was a few nights ago,” she began. “The night of the movie premiere. I was doing the baby’s laundry down in the
basement and I found the tunnel by accident.”
you go inside the passageways?” Baines asked.
at first,” she said, shaking her head.
“But later on I heard noises and I thought they were coming from inside
that’s when you went inside?”
she replied softly. “I got a flashlight
and made my way through the hallways…”
in her nightgown, Gwen shined the light into the eerie darkness, her hands
trembling uncontrollably. She heard
voices and scuffling in the distance.
Quickly, she stopped and ducked around the corner, switching off her
light, terrified and frozen in fear.
heard crying and footsteps. She knew it
was the baby. She was near the nursery
but she couldn’t get her bearings long enough to tell where she was in the
sordid maze of tunnels.
thought the coast was clear, she stepped out from the crevasse and went to turn
the flashlight back on. Suddenly the
sensation of a presence nearby sent chills down her spine and she ducked back
into her hiding spot. Miranda darted
past her, heading in the direction where the crying had disappeared to.
heart beat wildly inside her chest and she waited until she decided Miranda was
far enough away that she could emerge from the dark corner. Finally, she switched on the light and made
her way back to her bedroom, stepping through the hidden door in the closet and
shuddering with fear.
Quickly, she bolted across the room and closed
the door with a start. She’d never been
more frightened in her life. She wanted
nothing more than to get into bed and forget the awful feeling of walking
around in the dark tunnels alone…
put a hand on her beating heart. She
couldn’t believe that Gwen had been so close to her in the tunnel and she
didn’t even know it.
you heard the baby crying and noises coming from the tunnels then why didn’t
you do something?” James asked in anger.
“You didn’t go check on him again?
Nothing seemed wrong to you?”
finally looked up, a tear falling from her eye.
“I was terrified,” she said. “I
thought I was hearing things. I thought
the baby was crying from his crib and that he’d stop like he always does.”
me,” Detective Baines interrupted and looked back and forth between Gwen and
Miranda. “The two of you were both in
the tunnels at around the same time and neither one of you thought to check on
the baby? That doesn’t make any sense.”
held up his hand and tried to get a grasp on the situation. “So Gwen, you’re telling us that when we came
home from the premiere, you had no idea that the baby had been taken?”
honestly Mr. Blackthorne. I just wanted
to forget the whole terrible ordeal.”
you have been in the tunnels since that night, haven’t you?” Detective Baines
asked. “Suddenly it didn’t seem so scary
to you anymore?”
shrugged. “Not after I began exploring
them, no. It was actually kind of fun
sneaking around and seeing where I could end up. It’s like every kid’s dream.”
brushed past Ethan and made her way up to Gwen, flashing her piercing eyes
directly at her. “So that’s it?” she
asked. “You went into the tunnels
because you heard noises and then you just went to bed? Come on, I know there’s more to it than
that. Ever since we brought Michael home
from the hospital you were stuck to him like glue. You didn’t want to be apart from him for a
minute. That day you took him for a walk
outside….I was terrified that something had happened to him, and meanwhile he’s
with a convicted felon and mental patient!”
flinched from her harsh words, feeling the sting from the verbal assault.
brings us to our next question,” James said, eyeing Stormy and Brett across the
room. He handed her the report that
Dennis Carlyle had done on her. “Did you
take this report and replace it with a different one?”
looked at him with a frown, then her eyes traveled across the room where Brett
was nervously waiting for his comeuppance.
He knew he was busted and she had the power to bring him down. On the other hand….
I did,” she said apologetically. “I’m
sorry, Mr. Blackthorne, I just didn’t want you to find out about my past. I made some mistakes and I didn’t want you to
hold them against me. I really am a
looked at her in disbelief. He never
thought in a million years that Brett had been telling the truth. He thought this time for sure he would catch
him in the act and would finally be able to prove to everyone that he was still
nothing more than a con man.
secret transgressions about your two miscarriages?” Baines asked.
do you mean?” Gwen said in confusion.
there was no easy way to say it, he decided to be straight with her. “Mrs. Blackthorne thought that maybe since
your pregnancies hadn’t come to term, you might be replacing the babies you
lost with Michael.”
looked at Brooke with wide eyes. “You
think I would kidnap your son to take the place of my own?” she asked. “I would never do something like that. Those babies that I lost are
irreplaceable. No one can take their
place. Not even a baby as sweet as
couldn’t help but feel somewhat guilty for her suspicions. On the surface it seemed like Gwen was the
culprit, but the more they talked to her the more it seemed that she was simply
you were ready to leave,” Stormy interrupted.
“Not just tonight but the night of the kidnapping. Why then?
started crying silently and buried her face in her hands. “I was planning on leaving town before the
kidnapping,” she said. “After my
miscarriage, I didn’t think I could handle being around another baby. Not being I was afraid of what I might do,
but because it was just too hard.”
tonight?” James asked.
shrugged and wiped her eyes. “I guess I
figured that since you found out about my past that I would be asked to leave
anyway. I just wanted to make it easier
James rubbed his face with the palm of his hand. It had been a long day and they had gotten
nowhere in finding out who had taken Michael.
All the time they were wasting on innocent people took away from the
possibility of finding the real kidnapper.
Gwen stood up and looked at
James uncomfortably. “Mr. Blackthorne,
what are you going to do?” she asked. “I
realize that I lied to you about my past but I swear to you I didn’t know
anything about your son's kidnapping. I
would give my life for that baby before I let anything happen to him.
didn’t want to deal with it now. He had
to focus on finding Michael. “We’ll
discuss it tomorrow, Gwen,” he said, then looked around the room, his eyes
darting toward Ethan. “It’s late. We should all try to get some rest.”
turned and started out of the room, pausing long enough to give Brooke a nod of
his head. He felt terrible for what she
was going through. Her own baby taken
from her, not knowing if he was safe or not.
It was the worst thing that could happen to a parent, and he felt every
bit of her pain.
the room cleared out, James held back, standing by the fireplace as Brooke
approached him from behind.
are we going to do now?” she asked.
by the glow of the fire, he reached his hand out and clasped it around
hers. “I don’t know,” he said softly.
entered Gwen’s room and found her sitting on the bed. Quietly, he closed the door and approached
didn’t you tell them?” he asked. “About
the phony report, and about us and….”
“Why did I save your ass?” she asked, shooting him a cold
he said with a nod of his head. “You
took all the blame for the switching of the reports when you knew you were off
the hook as a suspect in the kidnapping.
Why didn’t you blow me out of the water down there?”
sighed and stood up from the bed.
“Because I know that eventually after the baby is returned and all of
this dies down, the Blackthornes will ask me to leave. They may be okay with me staying on right now
but that’s just because there’s no baby around.
When they bring him home a convicted felon is the last person they’re
going to want taking care of him.”
don’t understand,” Brett said, his forehead crinkled.
without a job to support myself I’m going to have to get money some other way,”
Gwen explained. “And that’s where you
come in. “ She folded her arms and
stepped closer to him, a wicked smile on her face. “If you want me to keep quiet about all of
your little schemes, then you’re going to have to cough up some big bucks.”
stared at her in disbelief. She was
Ethan stopped on his way home for gas,
pulling into an all night convenience store just off Ventura Boulevard. He stood at the pump, hypnotized by the giant
neon sign hanging above the store as he reflected over the day’s events.
the fact that Michael was still missing, he felt a surge of hope that things
were mending themselves with him and James.
Even Brooke, who had all but insisted they never see each other again,
had seemed to soften in light of the recent events.
But as welcoming a
thought as it was, he was still convinced she was lying to him and James. He knew that Michael was his son. All it took was one look into his eyes and he
was certain that he was looking at his own child. Brooke had to know that she couldn’t keep it
from him forever, and certainly couldn’t fool James for long. Once Michael was home safely he would try his
damnedest to get the truth from her.
After his gas tank
was full, he replaced the nozzle and went inside the store to pick up a bottle
of water for the ride home. Standing in
line at the checkout, he glanced around and couldn’t help but notice a young
blond woman with a scarf tied around her head placing items into a basket.
For an instant, he
thought he recognized her. Without
risking losing his place in line, he squinted and tried to get a better look at
her. “It couldn’t be…” he
whispered to himself.
The woman, who seemed
preoccupied with hiding her face, absently bumped into a man at the end of an
aisle and she dropped her basket of items.
“Damnit!” she called out angrily and quickly bent down to retrieve them.
The sound of her
voice was all that Ethan needed to realize it was her after all. He darted across the store toward her. “Winter!” he called out.
She looked up
instinctively, her face in full view, and quickly looked away when she saw
Ethan barreling across the store toward her.
Without wasting a second, she
dropped her purchases and bolted outside into the night.
Ethan ran after her,
intent on catching her and making certain there was no mistaking her
identity. But by the time he got
outside, she had disappeared. He looked
around the parking lot and saw no sign of her.
Regretfully, he went
back inside the store and fended off the clerk who yelled at him about not
paying for his water and gas. He walked
over to the basket of items abandoned on the floor and examined them closely.
A box of diapers, two
cans of baby formula, and some baby wipes.
He frowned, wondering if the woman was really Winter Austen, and if so,
what was she doing back in L.A? The last
he’d heard she left town with a bundle of Kenny DeWitt’s money.
The door to the
rundown motel room opened and the woman walked inside with a bag of groceries
in one arm, her purse in another, and her head and face covered by a scarf and
She threw her keys
onto the table and set the groceries down.
“I’m home,” she called out, removing the scarf and sunglasses from her
head and discarding them quickly. “I had
to go to two different stores if you can believe that. I ran into somebody and….well, it would have
been a sticky situation so I left.”
Unpacking the groceries
from the paper bag, Winter Austen hummed cheerfully to herself. When she was finished, she walked across the
room to a crib nestled against the far wall beside the TV.
“My sweet little
baby,” she said, smiling down inside the crib.
“I couldn’t let those people raise you, could I? I know they’re frantic and they think they
have some kind of claim on you, but I had to take you. You’re Ethan’s son. “ Her voice trailed off into a low-pitched
moan. “My darling Ethan. If I can’t have you then at least I’ll
have your son.”
Jordan, The manhunt
for Winter Austen begins. A treacherous chase leads
to the edge of the pier. Brooke and Heather
have a heart to heart. Jordan moves into Hotel