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Episode 42

 

Release Date:  October 6, 2006

 Read the episode Recap

 

Previously...

James threw a dinner party at the mansion and invited Timothy to discuss the pipeline. When he arrived with his wife on his arm, Stormy realized his wife was Samantha. Later, Timothy informed a surprised Stormy that he already knew about the affair, courtesy of Janet's photos. A defiant Stormy had no choice but to back off when Timothy issued him an ultimatum: Leave Samantha alone, or risk being the cause of the injunction against the pipeline going through. Brett overheard and decided he could use the information to his advantage in his war with Stormy. At a wild industry party of Jordan's, Philip Whitacre blabbed about his night with the girl in Joel Armitage's office. When Heather came in and Philip recognized her as that girl, Jordan put two and two together and flew into a rage over what the man had done to his daughter. Will caught Miranda and Heather breaking into his estate again, and a delerious Heather attached him mercilessly for putting her through the torture with Joel Armitage. Later, Heather blocked the attack from her memory. Miranda filled James in on their findings and a vengeful James raced to Will's house with a gun in hand, certain that Will had Michael.

 

 


 

Episode 42

"Yesterday, When I Was Mad"

 

James swallowed hard, aiming the .38 at Will with a remarkably steady hand.  He stood up from the chair in the parlor room of the Thomerson estate, taking a few steps toward his enemy.  

“You’ve lost it, James,” Will said, his eyes transfixed to the barrel of the shiny silver revolver.  “You think I kidnapped your son?”

“I know you did,” James replied.  “When I think of all those weeks I wasted on other suspects.  People who don’t have the history that you and I have.  I accused my own daughter, for God’s sake, not to mention my nephew.  And it was you all along.”

Will eyed him closely, avoiding any sudden movements while the weapon was aimed straight at him.  “And exactly how did I pull off this baby heist?”

James backed up, motioning to the open bookcase in the wall that led to the hidden tunnels.   “My guess is that you’ve known about these tunnels for quite awhile.  Just how many times have you snuck into my house since then?  Prowling around the halls and stalking my family?”

“I have better things to do than skulk around your house listening to your petty family squabbles and oversexed children,” Will spat.   “If that’s the only reason you came here, if that’s the only proof you have, then take your gun and go home.”

James shook his head, rushing up to him with blinding speed and aiming the gun straight at his chest.  “You could have easily gotten into my house that night,” he said.  “You knew we’d be at the premiere.  You knew you could get away with it so you went into the nursery and took my son from me.”   He cocked the gun and glared menacingly at him.  “Now if you don’t tell me where he is-”

“What are you going to do?” Will scoffed.  “Shoot me?  Suppose I did kidnap your son.  If I’m dead, how would you find him?”

James gritted his teeth angrily.  “I know about the birth certificate,” he said.  “What were you planning to do?  Adopt my son and pass him off as your own?  Give him to an orphanage?  Anybody to raise him as long as it wasn’t me, right?  Isn’t that what this is all about?  You wanting to get revenge on me?   You wanting to take something away from me?  Well you’ve already taken my sister.  You killed her with your lies and your black heart.  Now you want to take more from me, is that it?”

Finally Will had heard enough and he boldly moved his body against the gun.  “You mean like you kept my son from me for twenty-eight years?” he yelled loudly.  “Is that the kind of revenge you’re talking about, James?”

Startled that he knew the truth, James staggered back a few steps, his eyes wide. 

Blackthorne Mansion

Brooke paced around her bedroom at the Blackthorne mansion, worried out of her mind that James would do something he would regret. 

“You don’t think he’d really kill him, do you?” she asked, stopping long enough to glance across the room where Miranda was standing.

“If Daddy thought Will Thomerson kidnapped Michael, then yes, I do,” she replied with certainty.  “You know how much he hates that man.  He still blames him for what he did to Georgie.  I think he would kill him without hesitation.  I really do.”

Throwing her hands up in despair, Brooke started to the phone and began dialing.

“What are you doing?” Miranda asked.

“I’m calling Detective Baines,” she said and waited for an answer.  “I’ll be damned if I’m going to let my husband go to jail.”

Miranda knew that Brooke was right.  She hated to have the police intervene, but her father wasn’t thinking straight.  They had to stop him before it was too late.

Will's House

“Is everything okay, Mr. Thomerson?” asked Will’s caretaker who had came in through the servants entry in the back.   He regarded James carefully, although not surprised by the vast number of enemies his employer had.

“Everything’s fine, Lou,” Will said with a smile.

Shrugging, the caretaker turned back and left the house.  After he’d gone, James looked back at Will and gripped the gun tightly in his hand. 

“What did you mean by that?” he asked, still in awe of Will’s revelation.

“You seem surprised,” Will said as he met James’s stare.  “You didn’t think I’d ever find out about Ethan, did you?  You thought you could keep it buried forever with your dear sister.  Well you had to know that I’d find out eventually.  I kind of blame myself for not realizing it sooner.  According to your story, Georgie met a carnival worker mere weeks after I left Windsor for New York.  They had a whirlwind romance, there were flowers and hearts and broken promises, and voila – the carnie guy was conveniently gone.  Nine months later she gave birth to Ethan, and then she died of tuberculosis.” 

“That is what happened,” James said, refusing to admit the truth that he’d fought so hard to keep from Will and Ethan.   “Whatever you think you know is-“

“There was no carnie!” Will screamed.  “You made it up because you couldn’t stand the thought of Ethan finding out that I was his father.  You held Georgie’s death against me all that time and you filled his head with lies and manipulations!  My flesh and blood!”

James shook his head.  “You’re wrong.  Ethan is not your son.”

“I had a DNA test done,” Will announced, a threatening look in his eyes.  “It proved conclusive within 99.9 percent accuracy that I am Ethan’s father.”

Devastated by the turn of events, James fought to maintain his grounding.  He had no choice but to admit it to his enemy.  The lie was over.   “Does Ethan know?”

He shook his head with a smile.  “No.”

James looked at him with a frown.  “Why haven’t you told him?”

Shrugging, Will walked across the room and peered into the hidden tunnel.  “Because I’m setting the stage so that when he does find out about what a lying bastard you are, he’ll turn his back on you and help me destroy you.”

“So you’re using your son as a pawn?”

“I sent away for Ethan’s birth certificate.  Father unknown, it said.  Another example of the lengths you’d go to to play God when it comes to your family.  When Ethan finds out that you’ve lied to him his whole life - his supposed champion and role model - he’ll finally step over to my side and help me squash whatever’s left of your miserable existence.”

James finally realized Will’s sick plan.   “This is payback, isn’t it?” he asked, tightening his grip on the gun.  “You took my son from me because I kept you from Ethan.”

Will didn’t reply.  “Do you hear any crying babies?” he asked.  “Do you think I have him locked away in a sound proof room somewhere in this house?”

“I know you took him,” James declared.  “You practically admitted it.   An eye for an eye, right?”

Biting his lower lip, Will dug his hands into his pockets and stood before James with a defiant look in his eyes.  “Why don’t you shoot me?  If you’re so sure I did this heinous act then now’s your chance to make it right.”

James held the gun out to him, his hands trembling with hatred.  He wanted to kill him so bad he could taste it.  He wanted to make him pay for everything he’d done. 

“But you can’t do it, can’t you?” Will continued.   “Because if you think I kidnapped your son, killing me would solve nothing.  You’d never see him again as long as you live. I wonder what would poor Brooke Taylor think of the man who single-handedly ruined any chances of being united with her son?”

“You son of a bitch!” James shouted, tossing the gun to the floor where it slid beneath an antique chair.   He lunged forward, his arms outstretched and his hands clasping around Will’s throat.

They struggled around the room, knocking over lamps and tables and sending shards of glass shattering everywhere.  Will pushed James back, sending him crashing into the wall and knocking a portrait to the floor.  James recovered quickly, struggling to his feet and racing back to attack him.

Suddenly Detective Baines appeared in the doorway with Brooke, Miranda and a uniformed officer.  He rushed over to break up the violent struggle but was quickly knocked clear of the scene.

“James, no!” Brooke cried in despair as she watched the men grapple.

“Daddy!” Miranda cried.

Finally the officer had them separated.  Brooke rushed over and grabbed onto James with all her might. 

“I swear to God as soon as my son is home safe I will kill you!” James yelled at the top of his lungs.

“Easy,” Baines said, standing between the two men.   “What’s going on here?”

“I’ll tell you what’s going on,” Will began, struggling to catch his breath from the physical exertion.  “This man is trespassing. “

Baines looked at James.  “Is that true, Mr. Blackthorne?”

James took a deep breath and nodded.  “With probable cause,” he said.   “He kidnapped my son.  He all but admitted it to me.”

“I admitted no such thing,” said Will.  “He broke into my house and started waving a gun at me.   I want him arrested.”

James gritted his teeth and tried lunging toward him again.  Baines stopped him in his tracks, holding him back physically.  

“He has access to my house,” James said and motioned to the hidden staircase.  “I know he kidnapped my son, Detective Baines.”

Brooke clutched onto James, staring at Will with contempt.  Suddenly she knew how her husband felt.    Just looking at him made her want to kill him.

“You have no proof,” Will taunted, then turned to Baines.  “Detective, are you going to make an arrest or not? “           

He nodded and motioned to the officer.  “Yes, I am.   Mr. Thomerson, I’m placing you under arrest for suspicion of child abduction.”

“What?” Will exclaimed, struggling as the officer placed a pair of handcuffs on his wrists.   “This is an outrage.  He comes into my home uninvited, threatens me, and I get arrested?”

They led him out the front door and James threw his arms around Brooke, pulling her close and kissing her softly. 

“James, I was terrified,” Brooke said.  “I thought you were going to kill him!”

He took a deep breath and put his arm around Miranda.  “I think I would have if you hadn’t gotten here when you did.”

“Did he confess to you, Daddy?” Miranda asked.

“Not in so many words,” James said, thinking about Ethan and the secret he’d hidden from him his whole life.  “But I’m never been more convinced of anything in my life.”

Heather Blackthorne

Heather arrived home in a daze after her trip to her father’s house.  The whole disgusting incident was a blur and all she could remember was Jordan sitting at home talking to Philip Whitacre.  How could he associate with a pig like him?  After all the trouble he’d caused, not to mention the fact that he took part in the film she was tricked into starring in.

“Heather!” Stormy called as he spotted her dashing upstairs to her room.  “Wait a second!”

“Leave me alone!” she cried and slammed her bedroom door shut.

Frustrated, Stormy stopped midway up the staircase and turned around just as Jordan dashed inside the house.

“Where’s Heather?” he asked and started up the stairs after her.   “I have to talk to her.”

“What’s going on?” Stormy asked.  He knew something was up.  Heather was upset about something, and Jordan looked guilty as hell.   “What did you do to her?”

Jordan stopped on the top landing, turning to Stormy and glaring at him.  “Don’t mess with me, junior.  For once this has nothing to do with you.”

“Hey, wait a minute!” Stormy said and chased after him.  

They arrived at Heather’s door and Jordan pounded mercilessly.  “Heather!  It’s your father!  Open the door!”

“Go away!” she cried from inside the room.   “I don’t want to talk to either one of you!”

“What the hell is she talking about?” Stormy asked.  “Tell me what happened, Jordan.”

Furious over his inane demands, Jordan grabbed him by the shirt collar and forced him up against the wall.  “You have no right to bark orders at me, kid.  After the way you treated my daughter when you were married, you’re lucky all I did was give you a bloody nose.”

Stormy shook himself loose and looked at him warily.  “Look, whatever’s going on with Heather I want to help.”

He glared at him warningly before turning and starting back down the stairs.  “Just stay away from my daughter,” he said.

After he’d gone, Stormy looked back at Heather’s bedroom and slammed his fists against the wall in frustration.  Why wouldn’t anybody tell him what was going on?   He was trying to help, to make up for the way he’d hurt her in the past.  Now all he got was hostility.

Frustrated and angry, he went next door to his room and slammed the door.  It hadn’t been his night.  First he was blackmailed by Timothy into ending his affair with Samantha, and then no one would tell him what was going on with Heather.  It made him want to give up and wash his hands of the whole situation.

Brett Armstrong

Brett heard Miranda come home and quickly intercepted her in their bedroom.  He saw her at the dresser taking off her earrings and necklace and approached her slowly from behind.

“What went on over there tonight?” he asked.  “Is James okay?”

Rolling her eyes, Miranda shrugged him off and turned around to face him, a scowl etched across her face.   “I haven’t forgotten about what you’ve done, Brett,” she said.   “You’re sleeping in a guest room tonight.”

He frowned and slapped his hands to his sides.  “Why are you so upset?” he asked in dismay.

“I’m upset because of the way you used Heather for your own selfish reasons!” she screeched.  “I can’t believe my own husband would put someone in a situation like that!”

“Heather didn’t do anything she didn’t want to do!” he insisted.  “I never asked her to get romantically involved with Will Thomerson.  That was her idea.  All I did was ask her to help me find out what movie deals Jaguar Studios was involved in.”

“You still used her!”

Brett ran his fingers through his hair and followed her across the room.  “Look, your father was in a wheelchair.  He put me in charge.  I was only doing what I thought he would do in the same situation.  It’s just business, Miranda.  It’s not personal.”

“Not personal?” she asked.  She felt herself weakening, unable to blame him for what happened to Heather.  The fact that Will found out about the betrayal and set Heather up with the sleazy porn director wasn’t exactly Brett’s fault.  But nonetheless, he put her in a bad situation.  “Did you ever stop to think what Will would do if he found out Heather used him like that?”

“But he didn’t, did he?  It all worked out okay.  Heather’s fine.”

Realizing she couldn’t tell him the whole truth, she decided to shelf the topic for the time being.  There were other things going on now.  More important things like Michael and the fact that Will Thomerson may have kidnapped him.  

“Fine.  If you won’t sleep in the guest room then I will.”  She turned and started out of the room when Brett grabbed her arm and pulled her back.    “Let go of me!”

“Why don’t you stop worrying about your brother’s ex-wife and concentrate on your own husband for once!”  He pulled her into a kiss and threw her down onto the bed.  “You’re my wife!”

Miranda shot up to her feet and punched him swiftly in the gut.   He doubled over in pain and groaned miserably.   “Jesus!” he howled.  “What is this?  First you clock me in the jaw and then you sucker punch me?”

Shrugging indifferently, Miranda started to the door, pausing before leaving.  “Your wife is going to sleep down the hall until you realize that you can’t use people like that.  Not even to score points with my father.”

He watched her go and dropped to his knees, panting to catch his breath. 

Brooke Taylor

The next morning, Brooke entered the dining room where James was reading the paper over coffee and toast.   She sat down beside him and feigned a smile as Leilani poured her a glass of juice.

“Has there been any word from Detective Baines?” she asked.

James shook his head.  “No, not yet.  The paper says they kept Thomerson overnight for questioning.  I pray they find something to nail him.  There’s got to be some way to link him to Michael’s kidnapping.”

“I hope so too,” Ethan said as he entered the room.   He paused in the doorway, glancing at Brooke and managing a faint smile.  “I read the paper and heard about what happened.”

“Ethan, I was going to call you,” James said.

“Do they really think they have evidence that fingers Will in the kidnapping?” he asked and sat down across the table.   “I knew Will had a vendetta against you but this is going too far.  Kidnapping a baby?  It doesn’t seem like his style.”

“It’s exactly his style,” James declared, consumed with the knowledge that Will was merely getting back at him for his lies about Ethan.  “They’ll find something on him.  I know they will.”

Ethan nodded, letting his eyes graze past Brooke.  Something was different about her today.  Recently they’d grown closer again, but today she seemed distant all over again.  He wondered if something else had happened that she wasn’t admitting.

Brooke, still plagued with images of Ethan with Janet at his house the night before, tried desperately to put it out of her mind.  The affair they’d had was over.  She was with James now.  There was no turning back.

“I suppose with everything going on, you won’t be making an appearance at the Filmmakers awards on Sunday night,” Ethan said, swiftly changing the subject.   

James shook his head.  “No, it’s out of the question.  I can’t think about awards at a time like this.  Not until my son is home.  Besides, I can’t handle the media circus right now.”

“James, Angel Assassin was nominated for best picture,” Brooke said.  “Are you sure you don’t want to be there?  After all the trouble you had with its release, it would be a shame to-“

“Brooke, it doesn’t matter to me,” James insisted, then shook his head.  “Luckily with Thomerson being in jail, he won’t be able to attend either.  His film Tour of Duty was nominated.  The last thing I need is seeing his sickening face up on that stage.”

“I can’t say that I blame you,” Ethan agreed.

James, still reeling from the news that Will knew he was Ethan’s father, felt a renewed instinct to protect the young man from the truth.  He wouldn’t let his life be destroyed by the lies he’d told him.  They were necessary, after all.  The truth would prove too much for Ethan to handle.

Will's House

Janet expertly picked the lock in the servant’s entry to the Thomerson estate, easily gaining access and moving swiftly through the dark mansion.  She had a lot of ground to cover and she had no way of knowing how long she’d have to do it. 

After hearing that Will had been arrested, she knew it was her chance to break in and search for the manuscript.  It was vital that she got it back before he could use it to hurt Ethan.  He didn’t deserve it, and he’d be crushed when he learned that it was her poison pen that wrote it.  The rest of the Blackthornes she was less concerned about.  The affair Stormy Blackthorne had had with Samantha Fallmont in Denver the pervious summer had made for a juicy chapter, one that she was particularly proud of because she’d more or less stumbled on the tidbit by accident.  Alerting Timothy to it beforehand was merely to cushion the blow before he saw it in the movie.

Still, she now had reservations about her handiwork.  Hurting the Blackthornes meant hurting Ethan, and she had grown to care for him more than she’d realized.  The unfair way he’d been blacklisted from their lives because of his involvement with Brooke Taylor was unmerited.  He’d been through enough.

Quickly, she made her way into the parlor room and scavengered through the old mahogany desk.  It was there that she’d seen him with the manuscript the other day when she’d paid him a visit.  It had to be there somewhere.

But after searching the drawers and a stack of scripts, she realized it wouldn’t be that easy.  A smart man like Will Thomerson would have it hidden somewhere no one could find it, least of all her.  Instead, her eyes grazed across a fax that laid on the top of the center drawer. 

Frowning, she held it beneath the light and read the illogical sets of letters, numbers and percentages presented on the transmission.  Upon further investigation, she realized she was holding in her hands the results from a DNA test.  Her eyes widened in awe, alarmed by what she’d discovered.

“Will is his father,” she whispered under her breath, then looked up and shook her head with regret.  “Ethan, you poor man.”

Stormy Blackthorne

Brett stepped out of his office at Sunset Studios and handed the secretary a stack of file folders.  “Terri, would you contact these agents and see where we are on these auditions?” he asked.

“Sure Brett,” she replied and picked up the phone.

Just then, Stormy emerged from his office across the hall and followed on Brett’s heels.   “I noticed that Miranda spent the night in the guestroom last night,” he said as they entered the office.   “Trouble in paradise?”

“Mind your own business, Stormy,” Brett said distantly.  “I have a lot of work to do so if you’ll excuse me.”

“It is my business.  She’s my sister.”

“She’s my wife,” Brett shot back and glowered heatedly.  “Miranda and I are fine.  I don’t think we need input from you about marriage.”

Deciding to leave it alone for the time being, Stormy positioned himself across from the desk.  “Another thing,” he began.  “Where is Gwen?  I find it hard to believe that you know nothing about her sudden disappearance.”

Brett frowned and slammed a stack of papers on his desk.  “How in hell should I know where Gwen is?” he asked, struggling to hide his guilt.  “I barely knew the woman.”

“That’s not what it looked like to me,” Stormy replied.  “On more than one occasion I walked in on the two of you in some kind of secret confab.  Just what was going on there anyway?”

“You must have too much time on your hands.  Nothing was going on with Gwen and I.  You’re just trying to make trouble as usual.”

Stormy leveled his eyes on him and shook his head skeptically.  “Well I guess we’ll find out sooner or later,” he said.  “My father asked me to look into it, and that’s just what I’m going to do.  Maybe when I find her she’ll tell me what’s been going on with you.”

Brett rolled his eyes and pretended to type at his computer.  “Good luck with that,” he said, trying his hardest to ignore him. 

Fuming at his arrogant posture, Stormy turned and left the office.   After he’d gone, Brett ran his fingers through his hair and took a deep breath.  He felt that his nosy brother-in-law was getting too close for comfort.  He couldn’t let him find Gwen because if he did it would be all over for him.   He had to do something to discredit him.

Luckily he had the ammunition to do it.

Jasmes Blackthorne

“Stormy did what?” James asked, his brow furrowed as he stood in his office at Blackthorne-Reynolds with Brett some time later.   “How could he be so stupid?”

Brett shrugged and knowingly watched the furious look in James’ eyes.  “Apparently he met Mrs. Fallmont last summer while he was on tour with Lauren Spencer.”

“Yes, right after he left Heather,” James declared.  “Damnit, what is wrong with that boy?  He couldn’t even stay faithful to the woman he left his wife for.  I swear sometimes I think he thinks with his-“

“I only told you because I know how much this venture means to you and Alex,” Brett continued, carefully choosing his words so that he didn’t come across as an opportunist.  “Apparently there are pictures of their rendezvous at the hotel in Denver.  Senator Fallmont was adamant that they stop seeing each other.  He said that if Stormy didn’t back off, he’d make sure the injunction went through.”

“Damn!” James shouted and ran his fingers through his hair.  “So all this time it had little to do with the environment, and more to do with my son sleeping with his wife.”  He paused, shaking his head in frustration.  “I wonder if I made a mistake in having Stormy take part in the running of the studio.  Another lapse in judgment like this one could cost me everything.”

Smiling inside, Brett studied James’s face and dug his hands into his pockets.  “I hope you don’t mind that I came to you with this, James,” he said.  “I certainly don’t want to cause any conflict with you and your son, but under the circumstances-“

James immediately cut him off, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder.  “No, I’m glad that you came to me, Brett,” he said.  “You’ve always been like another son to me and I appreciate you looking out for me.  I’m just glad that Miranda has you in her life.  At least one of my children has their head on straight.”

Brett couldn’t help but feel victorious in his attack on Stormy.  Maybe now the question of Gwen and her mysterious disappearance would fade away and he’d be home free again.  And with any luck, James would realize that having Stormy at Sunset Studios was a liability.

Miranda Blackthorne

Miranda walked down the hallway at the Blackthorne mansion, pausing when Heather came out of her room and looked at her. 

“Are you okay?” Miranda asked, rushing over to the girl.  “What happened last night?  You tore out of here and then came back looking like you’d lost your best friend.”

Shaking her head, Heather attempted to move past her.  “I don’t want to talk about it,” she said.  The truth was that everything was a blur.  She knew she’d ran over to her father’s house and saw Philip there, but everything after that was a foggy haze.  Strangely enough it wasn’t the first time she’d had a blackout.  When she and Miranda went to Will’s house the same thing happened.  Only bits and pieces of the events registered in her mind.

“Heather, come on!”

“Everything’s just getting worse,” she said.  “I shouldn’t have told you about what happened in that director’s office.”

“Heather, you couldn’t keep it in any longer,” Miranda said, pulling her back.  “You can’t just ignore something like this.  What Will Thomerson did to you was wrong.”

Throwing her hands up in resignation, Heather looked at her stepsister with resignation.  “All I care about is getting that tape back from him,” she said.  “Nothing else matters.  Not Stormy and not my father.  Whatever they think they know.”

“Wait a minute, how does your father know anything?”

“I’m not sure that he does.  But when I went over there last night he was having a party and Philip Whitacre was there.  God, just looking at that man made me sick to my stomach.”

Suddenly Miranda got an idea.  “Why don’t we go pay Philip a visit?  Maybe he’ll tell us where the tape is.  And if he doesn’t, we’ll beat it out of him.”

Offering a vague smile, Heather shook her head.  “No, I’m pretty sure Philip was used just as much as I was.”

“True,” Miranda said after hesitating for an instant.  “He’s not exactly the smartest tool in the shed.  But listen, there’s got to be someone we can blame for this.  If Brett hadn’t used you to steal from Will Thomerson, none of this would have happened."

“Brett doesn’t know what happened,” Heather renounced.  “He’s a jerk, yes, but he’s not evil.  No, this whole thing was Will Thomerson’s brainchild.  He knew what he was doing and he has the whole thing on tape.  I’ll get it and destroy it if it’s the last thing I do."

Alex Reynolds

Alex walked down the stairs at her house in Malibu, her frilly nightgown billowing behind her as she made her way to the door and pulled it open.   Her eyes flashed open in surprise at the sight of Jordan standing on the porch.

“What do you want?” she asked.  “I have an appointment at the boutique for the final fitting of my dress I’m wearing tomorrow night at the Filmmakers awards.  I really don’t have time for you.”

Ignoring her unresponsive tone, Jordan brushed past her and entered the living room of the sprawling beach house.  “I need your help,” he said, incredibly distracted.

Alex closed the door and turned toward him.  She could see that he was on pins and needles, struggling with something that was obviously weighing on him.  “What is it?  What’s wrong?”

Taking a deep breath, he turned toward her and ran his fingers through his hair.  “I need to find Philip Whitacre,” he said.  “It’s urgent.”

“Wasn’t he at your party last night?” Alex asked sardonically as she fluttered across the room to the bar.   “I know I saw him slithering around somewhere.”

“Yes, but I need to find him today,” Jordan deadpanned.  In his haste to throw him out the night before, he failed to get any pertinent information about the incident involving Heather.  He was adamant about finding out who was behind her debut into the porn industry, and make them pay dearly.

Sensing the severity in his tone, Alex handed him a scotch neat and gestured to the sofa.   “Tell me what’s wrong,” she said.

Feeling as though his world was collapsing, Jordan sat down and buried his face in his hands.  “Heather’s in trouble,” he murmured.  “I think Philip Whitacre has something to do with it.”

Alarmed, Alex put a hand sensitively on his forearm.  “What is it?” she asked.  “What did that man do to her?”

“I don’t want to get into the details.  I just have to find Whitacre.”

Alex shrugged apologetically.  “I don’t know where he’s living now,” she said.  “We don't exactly swap recipes.”

“Damnit, there’s got to be a way to find him,” Jordan insisted, standing up and pacing the room.  He had to find out who put Philip up to it.  Somebody had to have been calling the shots.  It wasn’t a coincidence that Heather was the one being drugged and taken advantage of on film.  It was someone who deliberately chose her, quite possibly to get back at him for something.

“Wait a minute,” Alex said and snapped her fingers.  “I know who might know where you can find him.”

“Who?”

“Stormy,” she said.  “He was the one who found him when they thought he might have kidnapped Michael.”

Jordan closed his eyes with regret.  Anybody but Stormy.  He turned and started back to the door when Alex rushed after him.

“Jordan, what’s going on?” she demanded.  “I don’t want you getting into trouble.”

He paused and looked back at her, seeing a flicker of concern in her eyes.  It made him think that they hadn’t crossed the line yet, that there was some fragment of their love that still remained.

“Don’t worry,” he said, placing a hand alongside her face before he turned and raced back out of the house.

Alex closed the door, unable to shake the feeling that Jordan was running into a path of destruction

Blackthorne Mansion

When Stormy got home from the studio, he went down the hall to the library and picked up the phone.  After going over it in his mind all day long, he’d finally decided that he couldn’t give up on Samantha just yet.  He had to fight for her, even if it meant going up against Senator Timothy Fallmont.

“This is Stormy Blackthorne,” he said to the pilot.  “I need you to get the jet ready to fly to Denver tonight.”

Suddenly James entered the library and scowled angrily at his son.  “Over my dead body,” he said.   “Put the phone down, Stormy.”

Stormy frowned and hung up the receiver, turning to his father with a perplexed look on his face.  “Dad, I was just-“

“I know what you were doing,” he bellowed.  “You were going to go see her, weren’t you?”

“What?  Dad, I-“

“I know about your affair with Samantha Fallmont,” James said, rushing up to him in a rage.  “How could you be so careless?  I knew you were a playboy but this is crossing the line.  Do you realize that my company is in jeopardy because of what you’ve done?”

Closing his eyes, Stormy realized that James knew about Timothy Fallmont’s ultimatum.  The only question was how?  “Did you talk to him?  Is that how you found out?”

“It doesn’t matter how I found out,” James contended.  “The point is that you could have destroyed all the work your mother and I have put into Blackthorne-Reynolds.  Do you even think before you jump into somebody’s bed?  Or is it all just a good time to you?”

“Of course not, Dad,” Stormy replied.  “I had no idea that Samantha was actually Samantha Fallmont, the senator’s wife.  If I’d know that when we met I would never have gotten involved with her.”

“I doubt that very much.  You’re blind to the consequences of your actions.  Look what happened when you got involved with Lauren Spencer.  Your marriage to Heather obviously didn’t matter to you because you just up and left with that girl.  Then you couldn’t even stay faithful to her!”

“Lauren and I were over when I met Samantha,” Stormy insisted, growing irate by his father’s condescending words.  He thought he could sum him up and slap a label on him as a playboy, but that wasn’t all he was.

“It doesn’t matter,” James argued.  “What’s done is done.  I don’t like the future of my company being left in your hands.  You cannot go see her, Stormy.  If you do then you’ll have destroyed everything.”

“Well I’m not going to let her stay with that bastard!” Stormy exclaimed.  “He’s only using her for the sake of appearances!  He doesn’t give a damn about her!   Dad, I love her and I want to be with her.”

Shaking his head, James turned and threw his hands up in despair.  He didn’t know how to get through to his son.  “I don’t care.  She’s a married woman and it’s not up to you to decide if it’s a happy marriage or not.”

“So I’m just supposed to step aside and forget about her?” he asked in a rage.  “I can’t do that!”

“You have no choice!” James shouted.  “I won’t have everything ruined just so you can get your rocks off!  Find someone else!”

Stormy balled his fists angrily.  What his father was asking him to do wasn’t fair.  He cared more about Blackthorne-Reynolds than he did his own son.

“Listen to me, Stormy,” James continued.  “You are a member of this family and everything you do reflects on us.  All I’m asking is that you step down and respect Senator Fallmont's marriage.  Don’t make me sorry that I put you in charge at Sunset Studios.”

“This has nothing to do with Sunset Studios.”

But James didn’t listen.  “Everything was fine when it was just Brett running things, but I wanted you to be part of it because you’re my son.”

Finally Stormy realized what was going on.  This was another one of Brett’s maneuvers to make him look bad.   “Oh, so Brett is the golden boy and I’m just the disappointment you call a son?” he asked bitterly.  “That’s typical.  If you knew half of the things that Brett had done, you’d be singing a different tune.”

James shook his head in irritation.   “I’m not interested in mediating between the two of you,” he said.  “I told you that you’d have to get along if you were going to work together at the studio.  I think you could take a few lessons from Brett on decorum and how to handle yourself when you’re a member of this family.”

The remark sent Stormy into a tailspin.  He couldn’t believe he was standing there listening to his father sing Brett’s praise.  He had them all totally fooled. 

“Dad, I’m sorry,” Stormy finally said with reluctance.  “I’m sorry I’m such a disappointment to you.”

“I didn’t say you were a disappointment,” James insisted, but it was too late.  Stormy was rushing from the library in a huff.  

He ruffled his hair and slammed his fists into the wall.  He wasn’t sure that he’d handled the situation in the best way he could.  The only thing he knew was that he couldn’t let his son’s mistakes cost him everything.

Moments later, Brooke entered the library and saw the concerned look on her husband’s face.  “Darling, is everything okay?” she asked.  “I saw Stormy run out of here like a bat out of hell.  What happened with you two?”

James shook his head and put his arm around her.  “It’s nothing,” he said.  “Tell me, how are you holding up?  I know this waiting is killing you.  It is me too.”

“I just don’t understand why they don’t tell us something,” Brooke said and walked across the room in a daze.  “It’s been twenty-four hours since they arrested Will.  He’s got to have told them something by now.”

Just then, Ethan entered the room and approached them swiftly.  “I just talked to Detective Baines,” he said.  “He’s on his way over.  I hope you don’t mind but I wanted to hear what he had to say myself.”

“Of course it’s all right,” James said.  “I wonder what he has to tell us.”

“Hopefully that Will confessed to the kidnapping,” Ethan said, digging his hands in his pockets.  “You know, James, I made a huge mistake.”

“What do you mean?”

“I should never have went to work with him,” Ethan admitted.  “I knew what kind of a man he was, but it didn’t matter to me.  After things blew up with you and I last summer, I guess I wanted to punish you by working for him.  I’m sorry.  I was wrong.”

James shook his head, unconcerned with the past.  “There’s no need to apologize,” he said.  “I had your hands tied.  I was so concerned with my own hurt that I pushed you away.  I won’t make that mistake again.”

Smiling, Ethan stepped forward and they embraced warmly.  Brooke stood by, watching happily at the final step in their reconciliation.  She was relieved that they had patched things up, especially since she’d been the reason they were estranged for so long.

“I just don’t know how I could have associated with him for so long,” Ethan said, a look of hurt in his eyes.  “Now that we know he kidnapped Michael, all I can think about is getting revenge.  I just want him to feel the pain that you’ve felt over the loss of your son."

The moment was interrupted when Leilani entered the room with Detective Baines, a solemn look on his face.

“Detective, what’s happened?” James asked, rushing toward him.  “Did Thomerson confess?  Have you found my son?”

Baines surveyed their hopeful faces, shaking his head with regret.  “I’m afraid not,” he said.  “He’s clean.”

“What?” James asked in a rage.

“That can’t be!” Brooke cried, clutching to her husband’s arm.  “What about the tunnels going from his house to ours?”

The Detective shrugged.  “We have no proof,” he said.  “There’s absolutely nothing we can do.  I’m sorry.”

The news came as a devastating blow to James.  He gnashed his teeth and turned around in dismay.  He couldn’t believe that Will had gotten away with taking his son away from him.   

 


 Next time....

Don't lose your invitation to the 38th annual Filmmaker Awards, the event that everyone in Hollywood has been waiting for.  This year, one guest is noticably absent from the festivities.  Care to venture a guess who, and why?  It's a killer of a party.

 

 Read Episode 43

 

 


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