In a heated confrontation,
Will told James that he knew that Ethan was his
son, prompting James to believe Will had kidnapped
Michael in retaliation for his keeping it a secret.
The police intervened and James dropped his
38 revolver under a chair at Will's estate during
the confusion. After spotting
Philip at her father's party, Heather withdrew and
hid away in her bedroom while reliving the nightmare
of the night on Joel Armitage's office. Miranda
refused to forgive Brett for using Heather as a
pawn against Will Thomerson. Janet broke into
Will's estate to steal back her manuscript, but
instead found the DNA test Will had done to prove
Ethan was his son. Fed up with Stormy budding
into his business at the studio, Brett told James
about Stormy's affair with Samantha Fallmont. James
blasted Stormy for putting Blackthorne-Reynolds
at risk. Baines told James and Brooke that
they had no more leads in Michael's kidnapping.
was in the gym at the Blackthorne mansion, lifting weights on the bench press
as he exhaled steadily with each repetition.
When the door opened and Stormy entered, he barely acknowledged him, but
the look on his face told him that he’d just came from seeing his father.
self serving son of a bitch,” Stormy exclaimed, his eyes narrowing on his
brother-in-law. “You couldn’t wait to
corner my father and tell him about what you overheard that night at dinner,
tried his hardest to ignore him while he finished his set. Before he could react, Stormy came rushing
up, standing above him and grabbing hold of the barbell. He quickly tried pushing the weights up off
of him but Stormy leaned in with his body and forced it down, inches from
you honestly think you can turn my father against me?” he asked, gritting his
teeth as he struggled to push the weights against him. “You’re an outsider and you always will be,
Brett. Nothing is going to change
that. I swear I’ll make him see what a
manipulative liar you are!“
body convulsed as he struggled to force Stormy and the barbell off of him. His face and neck turned red with exertion,
finally summoning all his strength and pushing him off. Quickly, he sat up on the bench and
struggled to catch his breath, clutching his neck and breathing heavily.
that he’d made his point, Stormy turned and walked out to the hallway when
Brett came charging after him. He jumped,
knocking Stormy down to the ground outside the gym. Drawing his fist back, he punched Stormy in
the nose and grasped at his neck, slamming his head into the floor repeatedly.
gaining the upper hand, Stormy pushed him off and rolled over, sending his fist
into Brett’s gut over and over again.
Brett quickly kicked him away, sending him crashing to the table against
the wall where a vase topped over and shattered into pieces.
want to get rid of me?” Brett asked, taunting him relentlessly. “Then you should have killed me back there
in the gym because that’s the only way I’m going to leave this house.”
I guess I will have to kill you,”
Stormy shouted in a rage just as James, Brooke and Detective Baines emerged
from the library down the hall. They saw
the two men grappling, throwing punches and rolling around on the floor in a
his hands around Brett’s neck, Stormy shook him violently and slammed his head
into the wall. He drew his fist back
and was about to deliver a mind-shattering blow when James and Detective Baines
grabbed him and pulled him off.
enough!” James yelled angrily. “Just
what the hell is going on here anyway?’
coughed and sputtered, clutching his neck violently. “He was trying to kill me,” he said. “You heard him. He would
have if you hadn’t shown up when you did.”
raised an eyebrow, looked at James with concern. “Is everything okay here, Mr. Blackthorne?”
shook his head in contempt. “You mean
aside from my son and my son-in-law trying to kill each other?” he
asked, glaring at them both. “I ought to
have you take them downtown and booked.
Maybe that will teach them a lesson.”
I was working out in the gym when he came in and attacked me for no reason!”
reason?” Stormy asked, struggling to get free of his father’s grasp. “Dad, if you knew everything he’d been doing
since he got here you would not even listen to a word he has to say.”
I don’t want to hear any more of this,” James argued. “Stormy, do you think I have time to listen
to the two of you bickering? My child
has been kidnapped and we’re doing all we can to find him. Your paranoia about Brett is nothing but a
“It’s not paranoia!”
interrupt me!” James shouted. “Now I
told you that you were on thin ice. One
more stunt like this and you’ll be sorry.”
with contempt, Stormy pulled himself free and bolted down the hall to the
staircase. Brett took a deep breath and
offered an apologetic smile to Brooke.
“I’m sorry about all of this,” he said, gesturing to the broken vase and
table. “I’ll clean it up after I get
he’d gone, James led Baines down to the foyer.
“I’m sorry about that, Detective,” he said. “Now, I assume since you’ve let Thomerson go
you’ll have someone watching him closely.
Even if you didn’t find anything to convict him, I’m positive he’s
hiding something. I know he took my
son. It’s the only explanation that fits.”
shrugged indifferently. “I’d like to, Mr.
Blackthorne,” he said. “But
unfortunately this is the end of the line for me.”
and Brooke exchanged worried glances.
“What are you talking about?” he asked.
“You’re not giving up on my son!”
force is still treating the case as an active one,” he replied. “They’ll follow up on any leads that come
through, but unfortunately it’s no longer considered a top priority.”
a priority?” Brooke gasped, tears threatening her eyes. “My son is still out there somewhere! Someone has him! It is
a priority, Detective!”
looked at them sorrowfully. “I’m
sorry. The FBI will follow up on any new
what, Detective?” James demanded, then waited a beat. “Answer me, damnit!”
his hands into his pockets, Baines shook his head and pulled open the front
door. “I’m afraid the odds that we’ll
find your son after all this time are slim to none. Most cases are very time sensitive. Whoever took Michael could be in another
country by now. They could have given
him a whole new identity.”
you are giving up,” James
deadpanned. “I don’t believe it.”
gave Brooke a final look of regret. “I’m
sorry, Mrs. Blackthorne. I truly am. If your son is still alive, then-“
he’s still alive?” Brooke asked, covering her mouth with her hands. ”What are you saying?”
know it’s harsh, but we can’t rule it out as a possibility.”
he left the house, Brooke collapsed into James’s arms, sobbing
hysterically. He smoothed his hand down
her head in a futile attempt at comforting her.
Futile because there were no words to comfort her. It was like a nightmare coming true.
was more certain than ever that Thomerson had taken Michael, and he was going
to get him back. If not, he’d see the
next day, Alex walked down the stairs at her house in Malibu, rushing to reach the door
before the person knocking gave up.
Praying it was Jordan, she pulled the door open and
sighed with disappointment at the sight of a delivery man from a boutique on Rodeo Drive.
Reynolds, I have your gown,” he said and handed her the garment neatly zipped
up into a vinyl hanging bag.
to hide her frustration, she hastily took the bag and closed the door, abruptly
dropping the twenty thousand dollar gown onto a chair. She quickly sauntered across the room and
picked up the phone, dialing Jordan’s house in Beverly Hills.
it’s Ms. Reynolds,” she said when the butler answered. “Is Mr. Rydell home?”
I’m sorry Ms. Reynolds. He left a little
while ago. Can I have him call you?”
with frustration, Alex shook her head.
“No, no, thank you Gordon.” She
hung up the phone and quickly lit a cigarette, beginning to pace the room.
since Jordan came to her house the night
before asking where he could find Philip Whitacre, she’d had a bad feeling in
the pit of her stomach. Something was going on and all she knew was
that it involved Heather. But what had
him in such an uproar?
only thing she was sure about was that her husband was more upset than she’d
ever seen him. She ran up the stairs to
get dressed, determined to find him and find out what was going on.
Jordan rushed inside the foyer of the
Blackthorne mansion as Leilani opened the door.
“Is Stormy home?” he asked. “I
need to talk to him right away.”
do you want, Jordan?” Stormy asked as he made his
way down the stairs, his right eye bruised from the volatile fight with Brett
the night before. “As you can see I’m
not exactly up for another showdown. As
it is, I’ll look like a prized fighter at the Filmmakers awards tonight.”
Jordan rolled his eyes. “Don’t flatter yourself,” he said. “Listen, I need to know where I can find
Philip Whitacre. Alex said you and James
went to find him when you thought he’d kidnapped Michael.”
Stormy took a few steps closer. It
struck him as incredibly odd that Philip’s name kept coming up. “Why?” he asked. “What’s going on?”
just need to know where he lives,” Jordan insisted. He knew that Philip was the only one who
could tell him who had drugged his daughter and set her up to star in some low
budget porn flick.
this have anything to do with Heather?” Stormy demanded, growing increasingly
she was the one who told us where to find him in the first place,” Stormy
nodded. “I asked how she even got mixed
up with the guy and she wouldn’t tell me.
She just gave us the address of some porn studio in
did you go there?”
yeah, my father and I went to the studio and talked to some greasy
director. I think his name was
Armitage…yeah, Joel Armitage. Anyway, he
was the who told us where Whitacre lived.”
Jordan’s eyes widened. Luckily Stormy had saved him a step. Now instead of going after Philip, he could
go right to the director and find out who had put him up to it.
have to go,” Jordan said and quickly turned back to
a minute!” Stormy yelled and pulled him back.
“Tell me what’s going on. I know
this has something to do with Heather. I
want to know.”
it,” Jordan said and pulled the door
have a right to know what’s going on!” Stormy yelled, grabbing hold of his arm
and spinning him back around.
wildly, Jordan shook his arm free and gritted
his teeth. “If it hadn’t been for you,
none of this would have happened!”
“Yes! If you hadn’t left Heather for that trampy
singer last summer then she’d still be married to you and wouldn’t be involved
with that sleaze Whitacre and this Armitage guy!”
to give up, Stormy followed him out to his car under the porte-cochere and
jumped into the passenger’s seat. “I’m going!” he yelled adamantly. “I can show you exactly where the studio is.”
Jordan, too frustrated to continue
arguing, started the car and sped off down the long driveway to the main road.
opened the door of his house in the Valley and picked up the morning paper from
the front porch. He opened to the front
page and read the headline quietly to himself.
Blackthorne, Thomerson Hollywood Hopefuls at
Below the headline was a picture of James and a picture of
Will. He went back inside the house and
kicked the door closed, scanning the article with a heavy heart. It was true that they were two highly
anticipated nominees in the best picture category, yet ironic because the award
symbolized something so trivial. In
reality, their feud was about so much more than who produced a better
film. And if Will turned out to have
had something to do with Michael’s kidnapping, it was only the beginning.
you going?” Janet asked as she walked up next to him and read the paper over is
shoulder. “To the awards
sighed and rubbed his face with his hands.
“Good question,” he said. “If I
did go, would I be there to support my uncle, whose wife I slept with last
year, or Will Thomerson, who may very well have kidnapped my….Brooke’s baby.”
put her arm around him and pulled him close.
She knew what a difficult position he was in. Being caught between the two men couldn’t be
easy. What made it worse was that she
knew something that could change everything.
And if Ethan found out that Will was his father, it could destroy
him. His uncle’s deceit and his father’s
treachery were powerful weapons. The
fact that it was in her hands troubled her.
you want to go I’ll go with you,” she said.
“I want to be there for you, Ethan.
I think you need someone right now.”
smiled and pulled her into an embrace.
“Thank you,” he said. “I don’t
know what I’d do if you hadn’t come back.”
looked into his eyes, feeling her knees growing weak by his penetrating
stare. She’d never quite expected to
fall for him the way she did. To her he
was just another source for her manuscript.
But along the way he put her into a trance that she couldn’t seem to
wake up from. His deep, sensitive voice;
his smoldering dark eyes; his strong arms wrapped around her at night while he
made expert love to her in bed. How
could she destroy that?
promise I won’t let anything hurt you,” Janet said and laid her head on his
chest. “I will do whatever I have to do
to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
frowned and pulled back. “What’s that
all about?” he asked, flattered that she felt so protective of him, but curious
as to her enigmatic tone.
quickly rebounded and shrugged indifferently.
“I just know how much you care about James and Brooke and that baby and
I-“ A pause while she reflected on
something that strangely enough hadn’t occurred to her before. “Ethan, is Michael your son?”
looked into her eyes for a moment before turning and walking across the
room. “I think so,” he said without much
hesitation. “I mean, Brooke denies it
but I’m pretty sure he is.”
the implications of what was happening came to her. She’d never thought much about people who
said history repeated itself, but in this case it seemed to be dead on. For his entire life Ethan had been lied to
about who his father was. Was Michael
destined to the same lie? It wasn’t
fair. True, Ethan was probably better
off without knowing who his father was, but Michael deserved to know the truth
when he got older. Ethan was a
wonderful man and had so much to offer a child.
are you going to do?” Janet asked.
turned to her and smiled sheepishly. “If
Michael isn’t found then there’s not much sense in fighting it,” he said. “I know it sounds horrible but it’s easier to
handle when it’s my cousin who was kidnapped rather than my son.”
wrapped her arms around herself and grew into a daze. She was more sure now than ever that she had
to protect Ethan. If Will Thomerson made
her manuscript into a movie, it would crush him, and he’d had enough pain and
misery for one lifetime.
haven’t seen Stormy or Jordan today,” James said to Alex as
they stood in the conservatory at the mansion that afternoon. “And speaking of our son, you won’t believe
what he’s done this time.”
do you mean?” Alex asked with a note of concern in her voice.
“It turns out the injunction on our pipeline
that Senator Fallmont is proposing is all because Stormy has been sleeping with
Alex gasped and took off her fur wrap.
“This could ruin everything!”
know, that’s what I told him,” James agreed.
He poured himself a drink and stared at the fireplace in a moment of
reflection. “Now that I think about it,
I might have been a little hard on him.
I said some pretty terrible things.
Tell me, why were you looking for Stormy?”
“Jordan was going to be coming here to
ask him about something and I thought I could intercept.” She shook her head in despair and stepped
forward. “James, what about Michael?”
she asked. “What’s happened? When I got here I could tell there was
something going on.”
leveled his eyes on her and shook his head solemnly. “Detective Baines said they’re pulling him
from the case,” he announced with some difficulty.
no evidence. They arrested Will
Thomerson but couldn’t find anything to implicate him in the kidnapping. Now they’re questioning whether my son is
even still alive.”
“Will?” Alex asked in surprise.
nodded and handed her a drink. “He had
the opportunity, the means, and of course the motive. He…found out about something that I’d kept
from him. Now he’s paying me back.”
Alex was faced with a devastating reality.
Could she have prevented Michael’s kidnapping if she’d come to James
is it, Alex?” James asked, sensing that she was struggling inside.
closed her eyes briefly. “James, I know
about Ethan,” she said. “I know that
he’s Will’s son.”
James set down his drink and walked toward her.
“How could you know that?”
shook her head in despair, overwrought with guilt. “I overheard you on the phone. You were talking to a private detective or a
lawyer or somebody and you said that you never wanted Will to know the truth
about his son.”
was this?” James asked in bewilderment.
shrugged and turned away. “When I came
to the house after Miranda got back from marrying Brett in Las Vegas.”
was a year ago!” James exclaimed. “If you’ve known all that time then how long
has Thomerson known?”
long!” she lamented. “He came to me and
asked if it was true. I didn’t say
anything but he saw right through me! He
didn’t believe me!”
around the room in a huff, James racked his brain and tried to calm himself
down. “Alex, you should have told me
this months ago!” he raged. “Do your
realize that if I’d known this I might have been able to stop him!”
wanted to!” Alex cried. “But Jordan was so jealous and
possessive! He didn’t want me to keep
going to you with every little thing! He
threatened to leave me!”
stopped and shot her a penetrating stare.
“Well he certainly made good on that threat,” he said bitterly. “Damnit.
Now I’m more sure than ever that he’s behind Michael’s kidnapping. Don’t you see? He’s paying me back because I kept Ethan from
shook his head. “No, and I’ll be damned
if I’ll let Will tell him. I swear I’ll
see him dead first.”
got to be a way to stop him,” Alex said, grabbing at her purse with
determination. “There’s got to be.”
are you going?” James asked as he watched her head to the door
she turned back and looked at him with resolve.
“I’m going to make things right,” she claimed. “I should have done something months ago but
I didn’t. At least now I can try to fix
ran his fingers through his hair and turned around, throwing his crystal glass
across the room and watching it shatter to pieces before him. He had to do something fast. Will Thomerson had infected his family like a
disease, and it was high time he ended it once and for all.
arrived at the mansion some time later, finding Brooke upstairs in the nursery
staring into the empty crib. He paused
in the doorway, watching her and fighting back the tears that threatened his
sound of the door creaking sent Brooke spinning around, startled by Ethan’s
sudden appearance. “Ethan, I didn’t see
smiled and walked into the room. “I’m
sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you. I just came by to see how you were doing.”
managed a smile, opening her mouth to reply when she suddenly burst into tears
and sunk to the floor. Quickly, Ethan
rushed over and bent down, placing his arm around her and gripping her hand
tightly in his.
say that Michael may be dead,” she sobbed.
“They think that someone who had a grudge against James might have taken
him. And since we haven’t gotten any ransom
demands, they think that….”
Ethan said, holding her close. “Don’t
think the worst, Brooke.”
can’t help it,” she whispered. “He’s my
baby and he’s gone. How am I supposed to
go on, Ethan? Tell me, please.”
by the prospect of baby Michael being dead, Ethan stifled back the sting of
tears in his eyes. “I can’t,” he
said. “I can’t because there’s nothing that
I can say that will make it any better.”
a few minutes, Brooke climbed to her feet, using Ethan as a brace to steady
herself. She wiped her eyes and glanced
back down at the empty crib. He watched
her from behind, wishing that he could pull her into his arms and hug her until
the pain went away.
isn’t fair,” Brooke finally said after a long silence. She turned to face him and took a deep
breath. “What I’ve done to you isn’t
fair, Ethan. I thought I was doing the
right thing for my baby, and for James, but how can I keep lying?"
looked into her eyes, his heart telling him what she was about to say with
is your son, Ethan,” Brooke
her say the words sent a surge of hope coursing through his veins. He stammered, shaking his head in disbelief at
the idea that she’d finally admitted it.
And even though Michael was gone, it still made him the happiest man in
the world to know that he was the father to a beautiful baby boy.
listen for a minute,” she cut him off.
“I’m sorry that I lied to you. I
don’t know if you’ll ever understand why I did it. I’m not even sure I understand myself. All I know is that it would kill James if he
knew the truth. Please, Ethan, please
don’t tell him.”
why tell me now?” Ethan asked, confused.
shrugged, breaking down into tears again.
“Because we’ll probably never see Michael again,” she sobbed. “And it would be wrong for me to deny you the
right to grieve over your own son.”
closed his eyes, now more intent than ever to find Michael. He couldn’t let his own son go without a
fight. He would do anything to get him
one swift movement, he turned and fled from the nursery. Brooke’s eyes widened and she ran after him,
afraid of what he might do. “Ethan! Wait!”
in a flash he was gone, bolting down the staircase and flying out the front
hysterically, Brooke turned back to the nursery and buried her face in her
hands. A moment later, she wiped her
eyes, a determined look on her face.
Something had to be done, she decided as she fled from the nursery. Her baby was out there and she had to find
him at any cost.
Jordan steered his Mercedes along a
tree-lined street in Burbank, ignoring Stormy’s incessant
rambling from the seat next to him.
don’t believe this,” he said. “Why
didn’t you tell me this sooner? Why
didn’t Heather tell me weeks ago?”
just found out myself!” Jordan replied with a frown. “And Heather didn’t tell you because she probably
knew you’d act the way you’re acting now!”
clenched his fists angrily, staring out the window. “When I find out who put her in that smut
film I swear to God I’ll kill him.”
have to get in line,” Jordan said wryly, then pointed out the
window to a small ranch style house on the corner. “There it is.” He quickly parked the car by the curb and
they both jumped out, walking up the driveway to the stucco porch.
firmly, Jordan stood back and waited for an
answer. A second later, Joel Armitage
opened the door, immediately recognizing Stormy from the visit he and James had
paid to him weeks before.
I know you,” he said.
Stormy asked, then grabbed the man by the collar and pulled him outside onto
the porch. “Well you’re about to wish
Joel asked, trembling with fear. He
looked at them both with wide, frightened eyes. “What’s going on?”
the house, Joel’s wife emerged from the kitchen holding their infant baby, a
streak of panic on her face. “Joel?” she
asked timidly. “What’s going on? Do you want me to call the police?”
glanced inside, shouting over
the crying baby. “That won’t be
necessary ma’am,” he said. “We just need
to borrow your husband for a minute.”
looked at them in horror, backing up and retreating to the kitchen while trying
to calm the child.
Stormy kicked the door closed and threw Joel against the door. “We stopped by your office and your
receptionist told us where you lived. We
said we were from the Academy and that there’d been a mistake and your name got
left off of a ballot.”
not too bright,” Jordan said with a grin. “To my knowledge, adult films have never been
eligible for a Filmmaker award.”
you’d better start talking,” Stormy said through gnashed teeth. “How do you know Heather Blackthorne?”
Joel asked, terrified by the two men glaring wildly at him.
play dumb,” Jordan said, thrusting his forearm
against the director’s neck. “Let me
refresh your memory. A pretty brunette
girl who you doped up on Quaaludes, then filmed with an 8 millimeter on the
sofa in your office with two actors.”
began hyperventilating, his greasy black hair falling flatly in his eyes. “Hey…I was just doing a job,” he said.
job?” Jordan asked and slammed his knee into
his gut. “That’s my daughter you’re
talking about you filthy son of a bitch!!”
groaned from the intense burning pain in his stomach. He saw his life flash before his eyes and he
whimpered helplessly. “I didn’t know! I’m sorry!”
didn’t know?” Stormy asked. “You had to
have known she was somebody’s daughter!
Or somebody’s wife or girlfriend!
Is this how you treat women in your business? You drug them up so they don’t know what’s
going on and then film them doing God knows what just so you can make a buck?”
Joel insisted. “I don’t do that kind of
thing! It was a special request!”
who?” Jordan demanded.
appeared to hesitate, afraid to reveal his sources. He tried to struggle free from Stormy’s grasp
but found himself being pushed back against the door.
hired you?” Jordan repeated, screaming at the top
of his lungs.
Thomerson!” Joel finally admitted. “He
sent her to my office and said she’d already signed a waiver. He said she needed the drugs to make her more
relaxed because she was nervous about performing in front of a crew.”
Jordan looked at him in awe, horrified
by what he’d learned. He quickly
released his hold on the director and raced down the driveway to his car.
after giving Joel one final blow to the gut, turned and bolted after him.
stood in his bedroom in a silk smoking jacket, pulling his tuxedo from the
closet and laying it carefully on the bed.
He smiled, lit a cigar and puffed gleefully. The phone rang and he approached the bedside
table where he lifted the receiver to his ear.
Thomerson, it’s Lou Gunnerson,” said the caretaker from the guard shack. “The driver was wondering when you wanted to
leave for the Kodak Center.”
grinned and glanced down at the elegantly enscripted invitation to the Filmmaker
awards. He put the tip of the cigar in his mouth
and strolled across the room. “Tell the
driver to have the car ready by eight.”
A thoughtful pause. “I plan on
showing up fashionable late, just in time to accept my award.”
good, sir,” said the caretaker before hanging up the phone.
rubbed his chin with his hand, puffing at the cigar and staring at himself in
the full length dressing mirror.
Finally, he had made it. He’d
squashed each and every one of his enemies and he’d gotten away with it. Now, as the icing on the cake, he was about
to be awarded with the award for this year's Best
it was good to be Will Thomerson.
pulled a cashmere blanket over Heather as she slept soundly on her bed that
evening. Tiptoeing to the door, she
quietly ducked out into the hallway and turned around just as Brett appeared
Heather okay?” he asked.
rolled her eyes and started down the hall.
“She’s fine. She’s just tired so
she turned in early.”
to get her to forgive him, Brett ran after her and stopped her just outside
their bedroom. “Hey, you’re not still
mad at me, are you?”
with her feelings, Miranda turned around and paused. She hated what Brett did to Heather. Using her like that was pure and simple
selfishness. But on the other hand, he couldn’t
have known what would come later.
I guess not,” she finally said and turned back toward him.
his devilishly handsome smile, Brett pulled her toward him and kissed her
warmly. “Good. I don’t like you sleeping in the
guestroom. It gets lonely, you
know.” He brushed his lips down her neck
to her shoulders, pausing seductively and placing his hands strategically on
to stop herself from smiling, Miranda pushed the bedroom door open and pulled
that evening, after the sun had gone down, a gloved hand reached up and pushed
the doorbell at the Thomerson estate.
The visitor waited with remarkable patience, thoughtfully
dressed in a black leather jacket which matched
the black gloves.
Moments later, Will answered the door and smiled knowingly.
is a surprise,” he said, cocky as ever.
After a moment or two, he shrugged and stood clear of the door. “Well come in. We might as well get it out of the way.”
visitor entered the house and Will closed the door, the sound of crickets
chirping in the night.
that night, Janet rushed inside Ethan’s house and scouted around for him,
calling out his name in hopes that he was home.
When he didn’t answer, she flung her purse onto the sofa and raced for
the phone, her hands trembling.
later, the door opened and Ethan emerged, his face pale and his clothes and
hair disheveled. He glanced across the
room and paused when he saw Janet.
God,” she said and rushed over to him after hanging up the phone. “Ethan, there’s something I have to tell
you. I’ve done something awful...”
not now,” he abruptly cut her off, heading to the bedroom and pulling a fresh
pair of slacks and a t-shirt from the closet.
“I’m sorry. I have to go. I can’t explain right now.”
him hastily rush about the room, Janet shook her head in despair. “Where are you going?” she asked. “Ethan, I have to talk to you. It’s important. It’s about-“
can’t right now!” he lamented, stopping after peeling off his jacket.
Janet’s eyes traveled to the sleeve of his black leather jacket which was
soaked in blood. “Oh my God,” she
whispered. “Ethan, your jacket-“
grabbed her by the shoulders and looked into her eyes. “Forget about it,” he said. “Just trust me,
okay? And if anybody asks, you haven’t
seen me since this afternoon.”
the severity of the situation, Janet nodded her head and backed up a few steps
while he swiftly changed his clothes.
She turned and walked back into the living room, grabbing her purse and
opening it slowly.
was a black revolver. She stared at the
weapon in a daze, then quickly stuffed the purse beneath a sofa cushion. Pacing the room, she shed her black jacket
and bundled it tightly in her nervous hands.
town, Stormy entered the Fern Bar in
Van Nuys, thinking it may be his best bet for running into somebody he
knew. As he made his way to the bar, he
peeled off his leather jacket and flopped down onto a stool. The bartender quickly approached and he
ordered a vodka on the rocks while glancing back and forth around the room.
at home watching the Filmmaker awards?” asked
the overly friendly bartender.
shook his head. “No, I’m not.”
bartender aimed the remote control at the television on the wall and turned up
the volume. The award for Best Picture was about to be
announced. Stormy watched with meager
interest, nursing his drink and nodding as a gorgeous young woman sat down
me a drink?” she asked, batting her long eyelashes at him.
eyed her up and down and nodded, motioning to the bartender again.
just killing time?” the girl asked.
should have gotten here earlier,” the girl said, her bosom practically
exploding out of her wide open blouse.
“We could have killed time together.”
smiled. “Well I’ve been here all night,”
he lied, willing to do anything to prove he was there, including going to bed
with a pretty, but anonymous face. “I
guess you must have missed me coming in.”
grinned devilishly and sidled up next to him, admiring his bad boy appearance,
complete with a tell-tale cut fresh on his forehead.
walked inside the mansion, pausing in the foyer before making his way upstairs
to his bedroom. Once inside, he closed
the door quietly and glanced around.
he called, scanning the room efficiently.
realizing he was alone, he walked to the dresser and bent down, pulling open
the bottom drawer and removing an empty box.
He reached into the
pocket of his black jacket and removed his gun, placing it neatly
back into the box and carefully returning it to the drawer.
the bathroom, Brooke splashed a handful of cold water on her face. She dabbed herself dry with a towel and
looked at herself in the mirror before turning and emerging into the bedroom,
fully dressed and wearing her coat and shoes.
She saw James kneeling by the dresser and stopped, frowning uneasily at
the troubled look on his face.
there you are,” James said and rushed across the room to her. “Are you okay?”
nodded, her eyes welled up with tears.
James pulled her into an embrace and she stared across the room at the
dresser, her eyes unmoving from the bottom drawer.
Jordan arrived at his house in Beverly Hills and quickly made his way into
the parlor room. He switched on the
television to catch the last few minutes of the awards ceremony. A beautiful young
black actress was on stage preparing to announce the winner of Best Picture.
a sound behind him triggered alarms in his head and he turned just as Alex came
from the entryway, an anxious look on her face.
“Jordan, thank God,” she said and rushed
over to him.
are you doing here?” he demanded. “I
thought I told you to go home.”
shook her head. “I couldn’t go. I came straight here and waited for you. I was worried.” She walked forward and wrapped her arms
tightly around him.
Jordan, annoyed that she had shown up
unannounced, gave in to her and hugged her all too briefly. A few seconds later, he pulled away,
obviously distracted, and tossed his black leather jacket onto a chair.
eyes darted to the chair when she saw a gun fall from his jacket pocket,
slipping to the floor with a loud clunk. She covered her mouth and glanced back at
her husband, studying the consumed look in his eyes.
then, the announcement was made on television.
“And the Filmmaker
award goes to…Will Thomerson for Tour of Duty.”
camera zoomed to the crowd, and the empty seat where Will Thomerson was
were scattered in every direction, covering the floor of Will’s study at the
Thomerson estate. Furniture was
overturned and the desk drawers were open, their contents emptied on top of the
old mahogany desk. A single light from
the desk lamp illuminated the dark room, and a blood stain soaking into the
carpet next to the lifeless body of Will Thomerson, stopped dead with a bullet
in the chest.
Word of Will's murder
spreads. Ethan is nowhere to be found. James
attempts to sabotage the police investigation into
the murder. Alex and Jordan have a clandestine meeting.
Brett becomes suspicious of Stormy's devotion
to Heather. James asks Kenny to be his alibi.