Brett had flowers sent
to Samantha Fallmont from Stormy hoping to reignite
their affair. Heather walked in on Brett and
Terri having sex. Brett warned Heather not
to tell Stormy or Miranda or she'd regret it. Kenny
badgered Renee to tell him who Sierra was. Dr.
Anderson cautioned Stormy that he would have
to be there for Heather when she finally came to
terms with shooting Will. Jordan kissed Alex
after she appeared jealous of his relationship with
Renee. Brooke and James argued about her obsession
with Michael. Ethan got drunk at the Mardi
Gras ball and checked into a room with a woman whom
he called by Brooke's name. Jordan warned
Alan Christensen not to dredge up Alex's testimony
at Nathan's trial. A psychic had ominous predictions
for Heather and Alex.
Me That You'll Open Your Eyes"
Reporters from every
network and newspaper in California were gathered at the small
private airstrip in Los Angeles.
The jet had just landed and the pilot had lowered the steps out onto the
tarmac. Moments later, Debralee Scott
emerged from the cabin amidst a hail of camera flashes. She slowly made her way down the steps, a
tight-lipped expression on her perfectly made up face.
“Miss Scott, Los Angeles wasn’t originally on your
scheduled book tour. What made you
change your mind?” asked a reporter as she thrust a microphone into the woman’s
face. “Where have you been hiding since
the trial? Are you in contact with
“My publisher was
recently bought out and the new owner added the stop to my tour,” she said and
brushed her fingers through her windblown hair.
She was a very attractive woman of thirty-four with shoulder-length
blond hair and dazzling blue eyes.
Dressed in a mink coat over an expensive Gucci suit, she exuded
impeccable class and distinction. “It’s just business, I assure you. I have no intention of talking about Nathan
“Miss Scott, what do
you think of the recent attempts to have child molestation charges against
Nathan Blackthorne dropped?” asked another reporter who eagerly fought to the
front of the crowd.
“No comment,” she
said and placed a pair of sunglasses over her eyes. She made her way to her limousine and the
driver quickly opened the door for her.
“Good morning,” said Jordan from the back seat. He grinned mischievously and gestured to the
seat across from him.
got inside while the driver loaded her luggage into the trunk. “Jordan Rydell, I might have expected to see
you here. Although I didn’t expect you
to hijack my car service. If you think
you’re going to convince me to make some altruistic statement about Nathan
Blackthorne, you can forget it.”
He poured them each a
glass of champagne and handed one to her.
“I wouldn’t dream of it,” he said with a self assured smile. “I’m here to talk business.”
“What kind of
business?” she asked.
“Well, as your new
publisher, I’d like to discuss future book deals,” he said and held up a copy
of Help Isn’t a Four Letter Word.
“My new publisher?”
she asked, jaw gaping open. “What are
you talking about?”
“I bought the
company,” he said with a shrug. “Rydell Productions now owns your book.”
She set her jaw and
glared at him angrily. “So what is
this? Blackmail? I exonerate Nathan Blackthorne or you drop my
Jordan laughed and shook his head. “No, I wouldn’t dream of that. I want you to exonerate him because it’s the
right thing to do. That is, assuming you
still maintain that your sexual relationship with him was consensual.”
before replying. “It was.”
"Then why not help
your new boss out with this one tiny favor?” Jordan asked. “If he’s not a rapist, why should he have to
live the rest of his life in seclusion?”
She hesitated again
and tipped the champagne flute to her lips.
“It isn’t as if I’m
asking you to lie,” Jordan continued.
Debralee looked at
him and slowly let out a sigh of agreement.
“When I left Los Angeles twenty-years ago, I was a young
girl of fourteen,” Debralee stated at the impromptu press conference on the
tarmac of the airstrip. “During the
trial, I stated that the sexual relationship between Nathan Blackthorne and I
was consensual. Today my view of those
events has not changed. Nathan
Blackthorne did not coerce me into having sex with him. The prosecutor called it statutory rape, but
I call it a consenting relationship between two people. I was a minor at the time, but I knew what I
wanted. A film career. Nathan Blackthorne promised me that career,
and I believe he would have delivered if he hadn’t been arrested.”
“Miss Scott, what
about chapter four in your new book? It
talks about rape survivors. Is this
based on personal experience?” asked Alan
Christensen from Image
replied, causing Jordan to question her intentions. But just as quickly she continued and he felt
at ease again. “I spoke to many women
who are rape survivors. Their
experiences, coupled with intense research by noted psychologists, were the
inspiration for that chapter.”
about the other witnesses at the trial?” Alan proceeded to ask.
glances with Jordan and then turned back to the crowd. “If you’re referring to Alex Reynolds, we all
know what her testimony did to her reputation.
And as I recall, the testimony was thrown out and stricken from court
Jordan rubbed the sides of his head, fully
aware that Alex would throw a fit when she saw the press conference on the
“That bitch!” Alex screamed
and threw an ashtray across the room.
She lit another
cigarette and began pacing the living room of her house in Malibu, her nightgown billowing behind
her with every step. She glanced back at
the television and fumed with contempt.
What Jordan had done instilled violent anger
inside and she quickly marched to the phone to call Kenny DeWitt. After she reached him, she muted the
television and puffed heavily on her cigarette.
“Kenny, you have to
get my divorce finalized immediately,” she said. “I can’t be married to that bastard Jordan
Rydell for another day!”
“Calm down, Alex,”
Kenny said from his office at Blackthorne-Reynolds. “I suppose you’re watching the press
“Of course I’m
watching the press conference,” she said and continued pacing. “It’s on every station for God’s sake! Now what’s the hold up on the divorce? I can’t be married to a man that would bring
this kind of humiliation to me all over again.”
“Your divorce will be
final in a few days,” Kenny declared. “I’ll
send the final papers to you as soon as I get them.”
“See that you do,”
Alex said and slammed down the phone.
She turned up the volume again on the television and stared in awe at
the way the press hung on Debralee Scott’s every word.
Nathan Blackthorne skipped town before the jury could come to a decision, were
you in contact with him?” Alan badgered Debralee back at the press conference.
Debralee shook her
head. “No, my parents refused to let
anyone contact me during that time,” she said.
“They were very protective. When
I heard that he jumped bail and fled to France, I was just as shocked as
anyone.” A dramatic pause while she
surveyed the crowd. “And I was
Chatter and hushed
whispers exploded and reporters continued their questioning. “What are you saying? That you didn’t want Nathan Blackthorne to go
to jail for what he did?”
“That’s exactly what
I’m saying,” she replied flatly. “And I
personally wish that the District Attorney would drop the charges against him
once and for all. I hold no grudges against
Nathan Blackthorne. I've gotten over it. So should he."”
flashes from cameras lit up the smoggy morning air as Jordan smiled in satisfaction. Finally they were almost there. With Debralee’s statement, the D.A. would
look like a fool for not dropping the charges against Nathan.
walked through the lobby of Hotel
Terranova, her heels clicking on the terra cotta floor as she made her way
to the elevators. Complaints about Ethan
had been coming in since the night before.
She knew that her cousin was going through a hard time,
but now he was there, holed up in the
hotel drinking every drop of liquor in the house.
she arrived at the room, she knocked forcefully and waited for an answer. From inside the room she could hear loud
music blaring, several voices – at least one of them female, and the sound of
ice clinking in glasses. She looked at
her watch and noted the time. Ten-thirty
in the morning and he was already at it.
open up,” she called through the door.
“It’s Miranda. I want to talk to
a minute or so of rustling around inside the room, the door finally opened and
Ethan appeared, naked except for a towel around his waist. He was unshaven and his hair was
tousled. Miranda was practically knocked
over by the stench of stale booze.
what are you doing here?” he asked.
eyed him carefully, looking past him into the room where two blondes were
sprawled out beneath the sheets on the bed.
Empty bottles of wine and champagne were spilled onto the floor and
clothes were strewn in every direction.
run this place, remember?” she replied, heartsick by
the obvious poor shape her cousin was in.
“Ethan, are you okay? Daddy’s
been worried about you. He-“
about me?” he asked with a hiccup.
“You’ve got to be kidding. He’s
got Brooke and a new baby to worry about.
What the hell am I to him anyway?”
was clueless. “What are you talking
about?” she asked. “Ethan, what’s
happened to you? This isn’t like you.”
shrugged and rubbed his hands over his bare chest. “How do you know?” he asked sheepishly. “As a matter of fact, how do I even know what I’m supposed to be
like? I haven no idea who I am, Miranda. I simply follow orders as they’re given to
me. Just ask Brooke.”
confused, Miranda threw her hands up in resignation and gestured into the hotel
room. “Fine. I can see that you’re in no condition to
talk. But you’d better believe you’re
going to pay for the damage in this room.”
She motioned to the women on the bed who were now making out and writhing
around beneath the covers. “That
includes new sheets.”
shrugged indifferently and closed the door, eager to return to his guests.
went to Sunset Studios, desperately
avoiding eye contact with Terri as she made her way into Stormy’s office. She still couldn’t shake the disgusting
feeling of walking in on Brett and their secretary on Stormy’s desk the other
night. It was clear that Brett was still
up to his old tricks, and she wanted so badly to tell Miranda.
didn’t know you were stopping by today,” Stormy said and got up from his
desk. “Is everything okay? Do you have an appointment with Dr.
shook her head and walked languidly over to him. “No, I just can’t stop thinking about what
that psychic said. About my child paying
for my sins. It’s driving me crazy.”
smiled and looked at her light-heartedly.
“People like that are dramatic by nature,” he said. “It’s a character she’s playing. Don’t read into any of it. It’s all in fun anyway.”
sighed and ran her fingers along a shelf of Filmmaker
awards. “I was so paranoid that I took
a pregnancy test this morning.” She saw
the way he looked at her and she quickly shook her head. “It was negative. The only person I’ve been with is…” She stopped herself, thinking about that
night with Philip Whitacre and the other actor.
Thankfully she hadn’t gotten pregnant from that horrible night.
try to relax and don’t let it upset you.”
thought we could hang out today,” she said hopefully. “Maybe go to a matinee?”
smiled apologetically and gestured to a mountain of scripts and paperwork on
his desk. “I’d love to, Heather, but
I’ve got a ton of work to do today.”
“Oh.” Her tone was full of disappointment and her
sad eyes sunk to the floor. “Well maybe
we could have dinner tonight.”
that, the unsettling feeling that Stormy had been trying to ignore for the past
few weeks came at him like a tidal wave.
It was clear that Heather was hoping he could be more than a comforting
shoulder to cry on. Their marriage was
over and he had moved on. Now he
realized that Heather had not.
I think that’s a good idea,” he finally said, deciding that tonight he would
tell her that they weren’t going to get back together. He would be there to support her through her
sessions with Dr. Anderson, but only as a close friend.
can’t tell her that,” Miranda insisted over lunch with Stormy at Hotel Terranova that afternoon.
Heather is in a fragile state right now,” Miranda explained. They were sitting on the terrace that jutted
out from the restaurant overlooking the tennis courts. “She still hasn’t come to terms with what she
did to Will Thomerson. Do you want to
add the disappointment of her dreams crashing all around her on top of that?”
don’t want to lead her on,” Stormy declared.
“I mean, I love Heather and I always will. But I’m not in love with her anymore. I
didn’t think she was in love with me either until recently.”
what do you expect? You’ve been with her
night and day for the past few weeks. I
never thought I’d see it happen, but you’ve developed a savior complex. What happened to the old Stormy who only
thought about himself?”
Stormy rolled his
eyes and playfully flicked a french fry in her direction.
left City Hall that afternoon and went back to his office at Blackthorne-Reynolds where Alex was
waiting for him, poised dramatically by the window.
afternoon,” he said with a smile and removed his suit jacket. “Do we have pipeline business to discuss?”
couldn’t care less about the pipeline right now,” Alex said, her eyes burning
into his. “Why in hell did you bring
that woman back here? Did you hear what
she said about me at that press conference?
She all but called me a liar.”
did not call you a liar.”
might as well have,” Alex said and lit a cigarette. “James, I do not understand why you had to go
dragging all of this up again.”
already told you. He is a brilliant
actor and director and I want him here.”
stepped forward and leveled a look of detriment in his direction. “Even after what he did to me? I realize we’re no longer married, but do you
really have that much disregard for my feelings?”
met her gaze. “It’s a little hard with your
story changing every five minutes at the trial,” he said ominously. “Remind me, Alex, what was your final
decision? Were you or were you not raped by my uncle Nathan?”
lunged forward and grabbed him by the arms.
“You know damn well I was!”
you said on the witness stand when you were called for the prosecution,” James
said angrily. “They wanted to prove that
Nathan was a rapist and you conveniently labeled him as one.”
why did you later change your testimony?”
he threatened me!” Alex cried, turning and burying her face in her hands. “I had no choice!”
instead of sticking to your original story, you chose to go to jail for a month
on perjury charges?” James asked. “Tell
me, Alex, if you had really been
raped, why would you change your story and go to prison if you didn’t have to?”
said he would kill me!” Alex screamed.
not only is my uncle a rapist, but also a murderer?” James scoffed. “Alex, please don’t do this. We don’t have to dredge all of this up
again. Just accept the fact that he’s
coming home and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
hands trembling, Alex shook her head in protest and ran for the door. “I’m sorry but I can’t,” she said, her voice
filled with terror. “That man attacked
me in our own home. He’s a rapist. Debralee Scott lied about their relationship
being consensual. I know it!”
reaching, Alex,” James said angrily.
her head in despair, Alex opened the door and ran out into the reception area. Madam Valda’s words kept playing over and
over in her mind. What if Miranda became
a victim of Nathan’s? Or Heather? She’d never been more frightened in her
entire life. And now, after the
premonition that Jordan would die at the hands of
Nathan, she was beside herself with anxiety.
If only James could see it her way.
If only he and everyone else believed her
about that night so many years ago.
opened the door of her suite at Hotel
Terranova and set her jaw angrily when she saw Jordan standing in the hall with a
bouquet of roses.
know what you’re going to say but please let me speak first,” he said and
walked into the suite.
do you know what I’m going to say, Jordan?” Renee asked and slammed the
door angrily. “If you’re talking about
that press conference this morning then you’re right. I don’t appreciate being lied to.”
didn’t lie to you,” Jordan replied.
“You told me that the
chances of Nathan returning were slim.
Now along comes Debralee Scott with her self help crap and the media
suddenly sees Nathan as a misunderstood matinee idol!”
Jordan set the flowers down on the
partition between the entry and the sunken living room. “I knew how you felt about Nathan Blackthorne
because of his past, but I figured that after you heard Debralee Scott’s
statement you would change your mind.”
I’m supposed to just believe that he isn’t a monster just because this woman
says so?” Renee asked, placing her hands firmly on her hips. “She was one of many young girls that he
seduced into bed. Your own wife claims that he raped her.”
said that she made it up out of spite because of their past together,” Jordan remarked. “So there’s absolutely no reason to believe
that he’s a danger to anyone.”
folded her arms, uncertain whether to let Jordan off the hook or not. She had grown to care about him a great deal
and hated to throw it away on something that wasn’t entirely his fault. He didn’t know the rest of the story. He didn’t know the hell that Nathan Blackthorne had put her through. He may not be a rapist, but she had her own
reasons for not wanting him back in Hollywood.
at Sunset Studios, Brett leaned back
in his chair behind his desk while Terri massaged his shoulders.
you sure she’s not going to say anything to anyone?” Terri asked, running her
hands down his strong arms. “I don’t
want to get fired, you know.”
getting fired,” Brett said with a smirk.
“Heather may be stupid, but not stupid enough to go blab to Stormy or to
my wife. She has too much to lose.”
phone rang out in the reception area and he groaned, frustrated by the
interruption but realizing that they had to carry on with business as usual
while they were at the office. Terri
sighed and reached over for the phone.
“Sunset Studios,” she answered in a
perky, professional voice. “No, I’m
sorry, Stormy isn’t in the office right now.
I’m expecting him back shortly.
Would you like to leave a message?”
slipped his hands beneath her blouse and unfastened her bra, smiling devilishly
as he tried his best to distract her.
Having her on his lap was driving him to the brink of insanity and he
couldn’t wait another second.
Terri said into the phone. “Eight
Suite 520, Hotel Terranova, Samantha.
Got it. I’ll make sure he gets
hung up the phone and Brett quickly pushed her off of his lap and grabbed the
phone message from her hand. “Samantha?”
he asked. “Did she say what it was
frowned and shook her head. “No, but it
sounded personal.” She reached down to
his belt and attempted to unfasten his pants but Brett quickly pushed her hand
away, suddenly more concerned with another project. “What’s wrong? Who is Samantha?”
grinned, looking down at the message with glee.
“The ticket to my future,” he said.
Miranda got home from work later that afternoon, she went upstairs and found
Brooke walking down the hall from the nursery.
She smiled and stopped in the hallway.
my baby brother doing today?” she asked.
good,” Brooke replied and walked down the hall with her. “The nanny’s in giving him his bottle right
Daddy home yet?” Miranda asked.
shook her head. “No, but he just
called,” she said. “He and Jordan are
meeting with the D.A. again. I guess
Nathan will be coming home in a day or so.”
seems really excited about it. It’s
funny, he looks up to his uncle so much, just like Ethan used to look up to
remark caused Brooke pause and she stopped on the landing. “What do you mean used to?”
Miranda thought about that morning at the hotel. “I don’t know exactly what his problem is,
but Ethan is a mess. He’s been at the
hotel since the Mardi Gras ball, drunk, and running through women like they’re
going out of style.”
“What?” Brooke asked in a whisper. She hated the thought of Ethan doing that to
himself. Sadly, she knew it was her
fault. Keeping Michael from him was
taking its toll, and she supposed he was acting out the only way he knew how.
said something strange,” Miranda continued.
“Something about you and James calling the shots where he was
concerned. And then he said that he
didn’t know who he was. Do you know what
he would have meant by that?”
remark sent Brooke into a tailspin. She
knew immediately what he meant. He must
know the truth about his father. Somehow
he must have found out that James hid it from him and he was drowning his
sorrows in booze and women. Her heart
broke for him.
she started down the stairs and grabbed her purse from the table inside the
foyer. “Miranda, if I’m not back by the
time the nanny takes her break, would you mind keeping an eye on Michael for
Miranda said with a frown. “But where
are you going? Is something wrong?”
didn’t stop to answer her. She threw
open the front door and raced outside to her car parked in the circular drive.
cocktail lounge at Hotel Terranova
was deserted, the staff preparing for the evening rush and the host of
regulars and hotel guests alike. Sitting
alone at the piano in the corner, Sierra tinkled the keys lightly and hummed a soft
lovely,” said a voice as a shadow loomed above her. “You’re not only beautiful but you’re
talented as well.”
looked up and did a double take at the sight of Kenny DeWitt leaning against
the piano. Her first instinct was to run
away, but the kind look in his eyes swayed her into staying put. Just because he and her mother were divorced
didn’t mean she wasn’t allowed to speak to him, no matter what
her mother said.
you,” she said sweetly, her dark curly hair framing her face as she leaned over
the keys. “I’ve studied music my whole
life. I was in the drama and music
department at Cambridge.
Plus I took some dance classes.”
you’re what Hollywood would call a triple threat,”
you’re from Europe?” Kenny asked with a grin. He couldn’t place where he recognized her
from. Something about her face looked so
familiar to him. “How long have you been
a few weeks,” Sierra replied while continuing to strum the piano keys. “I came for winter break, but now I’ve
decided to stay for good.”
that’s wonderful,” Kenny announced with a smile. “And how is that you came to live in Europe?”
lived there since I was born,” Sierra explained. “Mother came to visit once a month, sometimes
longer during the summer. I
went to private school at Wycombe
Abbey and finishing school at Villa Pierrefeu, then a
semester at Camridge, and now...I just want to be here.”
the realization slowly dawned on him.
All those times Renee would leave for shopping trips or meetings with
the European division of Merteuil
Industries. It was all a cover.
is Renee your mother?” he finally
asked, looking into her eyes.
couldn’t help but laugh at the question.
“Well of course she is,” she said and pulled her fingers from the piano
keys. “You knew that, right?”
slowly shook his head in reply. He felt
betrayed. Granted, he and Renee were no
longer married but he felt he deserved more than fifteen years of lies.
never told you about me?” Sierra asked in a shrill voice as she shot to her
feet. “I don’t believe this! No wonder she didn’t want me to come
here. No wonder she didn’t want us to
don’t understand it myself,” Kenny exclaimed.
“But you must tell me, Sierra, who is your father?”
frowned. “My mother and father died,”
she said. “When I was just a baby.
That’s when Mother…er…Renee adopted me. She and my parents were close friends.”
was more confused than ever. How could
his wife have had an adopted daughter than he knew nothing about? Why would she have kept that a secret for so
Brooke knocked lightly on the door of room 1013, pausing briefly and
reconsidering her decision to go there in the first place. What good could come of it anyway? She’d already told Ethan that he couldn’t be
Michael’s father in name or in any other way.
How did she expect him to react to her showing up there?
before she could walk away, the door opened and Ethan appeared. He looked worn and haggard, dressed in
rumpled jeans and a plain white tee shirt.
She could hear a woman in the background calling out his name. Quickly, she realized that she was the last
person that he wanted to see.
he said. “What are you doing here?”
shrugged and looked around nervously. “I
was worried about you,” she said.
eyes met with his and she shook her head.
“I shouldn’t have come,” she said and started off down the hallway to
quickly ran after her, bolting from the hotel room and pulling her back by the
arm. “You had to have come for a
reason. The last time we spoke you told
me that I have no place in your life. Or
Michael’s. What else is there to say?”
turned back and looked at him with sad eyes.
Seeing him in such turmoil was breaking her heart. “Miranda
told me what you said to her. She told
me that you know the truth about Will.”
truth about Will?” Ethan asked in confusion.
swear to you, Ethan, James only did it to protect you,” Brooke insisted. “He didn’t want to hurt you. You have to believe that.”
frowned at her and ran his fingers through his hair. “What are you talking about? What did James do to protect me?”
Brooke realized maybe she was wrong.
Ethan didn’t know that Will was his father. She’d made a horrible mistake. “I meant that he…” she stammered
uncomfortably. “He just thinks of you as
a son, that’s all.”
shook his head. “No, that’s not what you
were going to say,” he insisted. “What
did James do to protect me, and what does it have to do with Will?”
exploded into her eyes as she realized she’d destroyed everything that James
had done to protect his nephew. “Ethan,
please, just drop it. I’m begging you.”
me!” Ethan yelled and grabbed her by the wrists. “Damnit Brooke, no more lies! You lied to me for months about being
Michael’s father, now don’t lie to me again!
Tell me what James did!”
lied to you about your father!” Brooke screamed through a fit of tears. “He told you he didn’t know who you father
was but he lied! Ethan, please, let it
go! It doesn’t matter because-“
me!” he hollered, shaking her violently.
Brooke closed her eyes and looked away from him when she told him. “Will Thomerson was your father,” she
said. “James and his parents kept it a
secret from you.”
backwards, Ethan froze and stared at her with wide eyes. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
was my father?” he whispered to himself.
knew,” Brooke answered before he could finish his sentence. “He knew for weeks before he died.”
you and James never told me?” a devastated Ethan asked.
only found out the night I went to his house,” Brooke explained. “The night he was murdered. He told me he kidnapped Michael to pay James
back for keeping the two of you apart. I
wanted to tell you but I-“
don’t you see what that secret did to all of us?” Ethan asked. “Our baby was kidnapped because of this
secret. How can you even stand to be in
the same room with my uncle knowing that?
Knowing that he was the reason Michael was taken from us?”
only kept it from you to protect you,” Brooke cried. “Please, Ethan, if you don’t believe anything
else I tell you at least believe that.”
right, I don’t believe anything you tell me,” Ethan said spitefully. “Once upon a time I might have. But the Brooke Taylor I’m looking at now is
not the woman that I fell in love with.
You’ve changed. Living in that
house has made you into something that I don’t even recognize.”
not fair,” she cried, tears streaming down her face.
tell James that I’m Michael’s father,” Ethan challenged her. “Tell him the truth and I’ll forgive him for
lying to me about my own father.”
by his request, Brooke waited a beat and then shook her head. “I can’t,” she said. “You know I can’t do that, Ethan.”
shook his head in disappointment, realizing that history was going to repeat
itself one way or another. He’d been
lied to about his father, and now Michael was destined to the same legacy.
wait!” Brooke called after him as he went back to the room and slammed the door
shut behind him.
sinking feeling of doom overcame her as Brooke buried her face in her hands and
cried silently. Ethan was right. She was just as bad as James for keeping a
secret that was bound to ruin lives.
sat quietly in the family room at the Blackthorne mansion, tapping lightly at
his laptop and nursing a scotch on the rocks.
When Heather entered the room and looked around, he stopped and called
wait,” he said, running out into the hall after her.
She frowned and
turned to face him. “I’m not in the mood
for you right now,” she said spitefully.
“I was looking for Stormy anyway.
If you’ll excuse me.”
quickly went into action. “Yeah, he told
me to tell you that he’s waiting for you at Hotel
he say where?”
Heather looked at him with unblinking eyes.
“He wants me to meet him in a hotel
room?” she asked. “We were just going to have dinner.”
shrugged with a cocky smile. “It sounds
to me like he’s planning on a little more than dinner.”
by his smarmy tone, Heather turned and started down the hall to the foyer. If Stormy had gotten a suite for them and was
waiting for her there, then maybe the signals she’d been getting from him were
correct. With any luck, they’d be back
together by the end of the night.
watched eagerly as she left through the front doors. He smiled, satisfied that he’d put the
ultimate plan into motion. Actually,
when he had the flowers sent to Samantha Fallmont several weeks before, he
hadn’t expected it to take her so long to contact Stormy. But now things couldn’t have worked out
better. Heather would walk in on them
together and forget all about what she saw the other night in his office. His worries about being discovered with Terri
were over. And, as a side benefit, James
would blow a gasket when he learned that Stormy was seeing Samantha again. Things were definitely turning around.
heard the doorbell ring at her house in Malibu and she quickly got up to answer
it, remembering that Veronique had the night off. She pulled the door opened and gasped at the
sight of Alan Christensen standing at the door.
the hell do you want?” she asked, preparing to slam the door shut on him.
been a long time, Miss Reynolds,” Alan said and forced himself inside. He paused and looked around the
meticulously decorated home. “Very
lovely. I expected nothing less from
haven’t answered my question,” Alex continued.
“What do you want, Mr. Christensen?”
poured himself a drink at the bar and turned to her with a smile. “A quote for starters,” he replied. “Now that Nathan Blackthorne will be
returning I’m sure you’ll want to rethink your testimony…again.”
have no comment,” Alex said with a scowl and snatched the drink from his hand. “Now please leave.”
But Alan sat down on
the sofa and crossed his legs. “I ran
into your husband at the Mardi Gras ball.
He wasn’t happy with a story I ran in my magazine. He said rehashing your testimony was
unfair. I wonder if he knows that you
were the one who gave me the exclusive on what really happened twenty years
folded her arms and looked away nervously.
beautiful starlet is called to testify at a trial,” Alan summarized. “She provides damaging testimony that the
defendant raped her and therefore the jury would have surely issued a guilty
verdict. But suddenly before the verdict
is read, she changes her story and says that she lied. She spends thirty days in jail for perjury
and grants me an interview where she tells me everything.”
a bastard,” Alex seethed, hating to be reminded of her mistakes.
believe you when you say that you were raped, Miss Reynolds,” Alan remarked and
stood up again. “It’s just a shame that
Nathan Blackthorne fled the country before the verdict could be read. I’m sure if you had kept to your original
story, he would have been found guilty and would be in prison. But you were scared. You said that you lied. The judge called a recess until the next day,
giving Blackthorne the opportunity to flee.”
followed him to the door and issued him a look of warning.
the reason he went free,” Alan said. “I
just hope you can live with that now that he’s coming back.”
he finally left, Alex leaned against the door and closed her eyes. She knew that he was right. By changing her testimony, she allowed Nathan
to escape. Now he was coming home and
she was afraid to think of what would happen next.
naked bodies clashed under the sheets of the hotel room. Soft music played and candles illuminated the
dark room. Stormy explored every inch of
Samantha’s body, relishing every second they spent together. In his wildest dreams he never thought he’d
see her again.
I got your message I came straight here and waited in the lobby,” he said,
trying to catch his breath after their exhaustive lovemaking. “I must have been here for hours just waiting
to come up and see you.”
grinned and traced her finger down his chest.
“I just couldn’t stay away any longer,” she said. “I’ve thought about you so much over the past
few months. When I read about you being
arrested I wanted so badly to see you.
But I knew I had to stay away. If
Timothy thought I was seeing you again-“
Stormy said, refusing to think about anything but the two of them. He planned on making love to her all night
and shutting out the rest of the world.
when I got those flowers-“
knock at the door interrupted her thought.
Sighing, Samantha got up from the bed and slipped into a luxurious
Egyptian cotton robe.
answer it,” Stormy pleaded. “Just ignore
it and they’ll go away.”
grinned and leaned in for a kiss. “It’s
just laundry. I had a dress sent down
for cleaning and they’re probably dropping it off. I’ll only be a second.”
Stormy sprawled out on the bed and waited for her to return. Samantha walked to the door and pulled it
open with a flourish. Peering across the
room, Stormy’s gaze landed on a sight that caused panic to course through his
he said and shut up off the bed.
sorry, I thought that-“ Heather began, tears stinging her eyes as she backed up
away from the door. She suddenly felt
like a fool. Brett had sent her there
fully aware of what she would walk in on.
But how could she blame anyone but herself? She’d thought Stormy had changed, that he
really cared about her. Now she was
suddenly reminded of two years ago when she found him in bed with another
a second, Heather, please!” Stormy said, wrapping a sheet around his body and
rushing to the door. “I can explain.”
Heather was already racing back down the hall, tears streaming down her face.
lifted the bottle of vodka to his lips and guzzled it down like water. He wiped his mouth with the sleeve of his
shirt and threw the bottle across the room, sending shards of glass splintering
in every direction.
in heaping gulps of air, he paced the hotel room and ran his fingers through
his tousled hair. The pain of realizing
his entire life had been a lie was like thousands of daggers stabbing through
his heart. James, Brooke, Will, they all
lied to him. On top of that, his son was
destined for the same torture.
more and more agitated, he grabbed his keys from the nightstand and headed for
the door. The only thing left to do was
confront James. Not only about Will, but
about Michael. He was going to tell his
uncle the truth once and for all.
through the doorway, he started down the hall to the elevator in a drunken
pounded on the door of Renee’s hotel room.
He waited impatiently for her to answer and rushed inside when she
opened the door.
I thought I told you that you can’t just drop by here anytime you want!” Renee
spat. “In case you’ve forgotten, our
divorce is final. Now please leave.”
stepped down into the living room and turned to face her. “Not until you tell me why you lied to me
about Sierra,” he demanded. “How could
you not tell me she was your daughter?”
room started spinning and Renee quickly had to brace herself to remain
upright. She took a breath and walked
across the room where she absently shuffled a stack of magazines on the coffee
don’t owe you any explanation, Kenny,” she said. “We’re no longer husband and wife. That means that anything I tell you about my
life is privileged information.”
years, Renee,” he said, grabbing her by the arm and turning her to face
him. “Fifteen years we were married and
you said nothing to me about her. Now I
think I deserve to know why.”
you don’t deserve to know why!” Renee screamed.
“You don’t deserve to know anything!
You slept with other women and you hid it from me for years and now you
have the nerve to accuse me of lying
Kenny had had it. “You know what, Renee,
I don’t care anymore. I don’t care that
I slept around on you and that you found out,” he shouted. “Because what you did was ten times worse. You adopted a child and then hid it from me
and everyone else for twenty years! How
could you do that?”
Renee could answer, the door opened and Sierra walked inside. “That’s what I’d like to know, Mother,” she
Renee felt as though she was being ganged up on. She wanted to give them the answers they
needed but she couldn’t to do it. No one
could know why she hid Sierra for so long.
please. Just go to your room and wait
for me,” she finally said, reaching out to her daughter. “I’ll be in in a few minutes and we’ll talk,
shook her head. “No, I’m not going to my
room. I’m twenty years old, Mother. I want to know why Kenny didn’t know about
me. I want to know why nobody here seems
to have known that you had a daughter.”
Kenny asked, his eyes riveted to hers.
“Answer her, Renee.”
just stay out of this,” Renee said, placing her head in her hands and wincing
from a terrible headache. “I’d like to
talk to my daughter alone, please.”
you ashamed of me, Mother?” Sierra asked.
“Is that it? Is that why you
didn’t tell Kenny about me? Because if
so then why did you even adopt me if you didn’t want me?”
quickly shot toward her. “But
Sweetheart, I did want you,” she
said. “Please believe that. I always wanted you. I just wanted to protect you, that’s all.”
up toward the door, Sierra burst into tears and shook her head again. “I don’t believe anything you tell me!”
that, she turned and bolted out of the room.
Renee started after her and stopped in the doorway, wringing her hands
together with apprehension. She couldn’t
believe how everything had blown up in her face. She wished she could tell Sierra the truth,
but it was impossible.
hope you’re happy now,” Kenny said and walked past her. He paused in the doorway and shot her a look
of disappointment before starting off back down the hall.
Heather raced inside the Blackthorne mansion
and slammed the door so loudly that it rattled on its hinges. Miranda came rushing from down the hall after
hearing the commotion, desperately wondering what was going on.
are you okay?” she asked.
looked up at the staircase landing where Brett had just come from the
guestroom. “Miranda, I’m sorry to have
to tell you this, but I think it’s best that you know what your husband is up
Brett said with a warning tone.
now?” Miranda asked and slapped her
hands to her sides.
walked in on him the other day screwing his secretary at the studio,” Heather
reported, her eyes burning into Brett’s with white hot anger. She didn’t care what he did or said to her
anymore. He was a bastard and he
deserved everything he got. “He’s
cheating on you, Miranda, and I’m sure it’s not the first time.”
turned and looked at Brett up on the landing.
She glared at him with contempt and took a step forward. Suddenly she felt more liberated than she had
in months. She felt in control. Now she knew that there was only one thing
left to do.
I can explain-“ he began, suddenly realizing that all the manipulating in the
world couldn’t save him now.
it, you jackass,” Miranda cut him off with a decidedly self assured tone. “This is the end of the line for you. Say goodbye to this house, to your job at my
father’s studio, and to me. You’re
stared in disbelief, fully aware that he was ruined once and for all.
at Hotel Terranova, Ethan handed his
valet ticket to the driver and waited for him to bring his car around. When his shiny blue BMW arrived, he shoved
the driver out of the way and climbed into the driver’s seat. The driver and the bellman
exchanged worried glances.
I don’t think you should drive,” the valet driver said. “You look like you’ve had quite a bit to
drink. If you’d like me to call you a
ignored his remark and gunned the engine, peeling out from the curb and
starting to make the turn around the circular drive. Through his blurred vision, he steered the
car up onto the curb and nearly hit a couple walking from the tennis
courts. They quickly dodged away just in
the nick of time. The BMW slammed into a
pile of luggage and bell carts, sending them flying out onto the drive. He ignored the near catastrophe, pressing the
gas without a second thought.
that moment, Sierra
raced outside to the porte-cochere. She
wiped the tears from her eyes and glanced around the front drive of the hotel. Where was a cab when she needed one? The only thing she wanted to do was get away
from her mother as fast as she could.
The lies that she’d told her were unforgivable. Hiding her from Kenny all these years was
like a slap in the face. It made her
feel worthless and unwanted. She’d never
felt so alone in her entire life.
do you need a taxi?” asked a bellman as he approached.
shook her head, certain that Renee was probably fast on her heels to lure her
back for more lies. The best thing to do
was get away as fast as she could.
darted off the curb and across the circular drive, paying no attention to
Ethan’s car careening toward her.
cried one of the bellman, but it was too late.
The car hit her head on and sent her crashing to the pavement with a
sick sounding thud.
my God!” a woman cried and raced over to Sierra’s unconscious body.
she alive?” the bellman asked and bent down to check for a pulse. “Somebody call an ambulance!”
As Sierra lay motionless, Ethan
stirred awake in the driver’s seat of his car.
A trickle of blood ebbed down his forehead and he slowly focused on the
road ahead. His eyes flashed open wide,
horrified as he realized what he’d done.
Nathan Blackthorne returns
after a twenty year exile.