Nathan returned to Los
Angeles and was immediately taken into police custody.
Jordan began to doubt Renee's story about Sierra's
adoption, and after confronting her about it, she
admitted that she was Sierra's birth mother. James
blasted Brooke for inadvertantly telling Ethan that
Will was his father. Miranda kicked Brett
out, then boarded a plane to Mexico to get a quickie
opened the door at the Blackthorne mansion and greeted James and Nathan with an
enthusiastic welcome. They entered the
foyer, followed by the limousine drivers who wheeled in several large designer trunks
I don’t know how to thank you,” Nathan said.
“Your attorneys did a remarkable job of getting me released so quickly. Eighteen hours in that cell was long enough.”
thank me yet,” James cautioned his uncle.
“The D.A. hasn’t dropped the charges, despite all Jordan and I have done to try to
convince him otherwise.”
painfully clear,” Nathan said and motioned to the sensor locked around his
ankle. “House arrest is better than
jail, I suppose. At least until they
decide if a re-trial is in order. And
for the sake of our family, I hope it isn’t.
Don’t they get it that I’m innocent?”
make sure that they do get it,” James
promised, knowing in his heart that his mentor couldn’t have done the things
they accused him of. He was a good,
descent man. A man whom he looked up to
since he was just a boy. A man who he
had wronged and had never had the opportunity to make it up to him. This time he would.
and Stormy walked out from the parlor room and approached them eagerly. “James,
how did everything go at the court house?” Brooke asked. “What did the D.A. say?”
fill you in later.” His reply was short
and bittersweet. “I’d like you both to
meet Nathan Blackthorne, the greatest actor and director this town has ever
home, Nathan,” Stormy said and firmly shook his hand. “I can’t tell you what an honor it is to
finally meet you. I’ve seen every one of
your movies. Dad has them all down in a
refrigerated vault in the screening room.”
we have met before,” Nathan
replied. He’d left Hollywood before Stormy’s nickname
took. “You were only about so high but I
remember you well enough. You were a
ladies man back then and from the sounds of it you still are.”
flushed and dug his hands into his pockets.
“I take after my old man,” he said jokingly.
and Nathan laughed in unison, then Nathan turned his sights on Brooke and he stepped toward her, his watery
Brooke, you are every bit as lovely as James said you were,” he said and took
her hand in his. “The pictures in those
horrible European rags don’t do you justice.”
shrugged immodesty. “That’s very kind of
you,” she said. She couldn’t help but
feel like an outsider. James still
wasn’t talking to her, angry over her betrayal of his secret about Ethan. She decided to suck it up and fight for their
marriage even if James was prepared to continue with his silent treatment. “James has told me a lot about you. I hope you’ll make yourself at home.”
didn’t take his eyes from hers for several awkward moments. He licked his lips and turned to James with a
look of uncertainty. “Well I don’t know
that I’ll be staying at the house,” he said politely. “I certainly don’t want to impose. I can just as easily take a suite at that
hotel of yours, James. I understand
Miranda is running the place now?”
be ridiculous,” James insisted. “We want
you to stay here. Besides, it’s part of
the conditions of your house arrest.” He
looked around the entryway and realized someone was missing. “Where is Miranda, anyway?” he asked. “I thought she’d want to be here to meet
eyed Stormy and then put a hand on James’s shoulder. “She had to leave town for a few days on
business,” she replied and changed the subject from Miranda’s impromptu trip to
get a divorce from Brett. “I think
Nathan’s room is ready. Leilani made up
the suite at the west end of the hall.”
you’re sure I’m not in the way,” Nathan said.
you stop?” James said and directed the chauffer to the staircase. “Maybe you’d like to take a nap before the
party tonight. You’ve had a long night.”
followed him up the stairs and shook his head with irritation. “You seem to forget, James, I was the entertainer back in my day. There would be parties at my bungalow on Alvarado Court every night. I never took naps then and I don’t need to
smiled and put an arm around Brooke as they watched the two men make their way
upstairs. Brooke couldn’t help but wonder
how Nathan’s return would affect her marriage to James. Would she fail to be as important to him
now? The not knowing if they were going
to be all right was killing her.
Nathan got settled, he took a walk through the house. He explored the halls and various rooms where
he’d once roamed, long before James had bought the house. He pushed open the door in the family room to
the hidden tunnels. They were darker
now, unlit and dusty, cracked paint and chipped brick crumbling to the floor. A far cry from their origins.
. . . . . . . May, 1965 . . . . . . . .
walked down the long corridor from the main house. A tunnel of some kind with elegant sconces
lining the walls. Probably a servant’s
passage, he decided. All the big Hollywood moguls had them in their fancy mansions
in the hills. Through the thin walls he
could hear the music and voices from Jonas Lamont’s cocktail party. How he even got invited to his daughter’s
birthday party he wasn’t quite sure.
After bit parts in three poorly received films he wasn’t exactly a
star. But his agent told him that Jonas
Lamont had seen his work in Hathaway
House and took an immediate interest.
So after buying a suit he couldn’t afford and driving his beat up
Volkswagen to the mansion, he spent half an hour waiting for Lamont to approach
him but as of yet it hadn’t happened. So
he decided to go on a sightseeing tour of the enormous mansion. That led him through a secret passage from
the family room. As he made his way down
the hall, the sounds of the party grew faint.
Now all he could hear was the silent crying of a woman.
he pushed the door open when the passageway ended and emptied out into the pool
house across the north lawn. There,
weeping on the side of a bed, was a young woman more beautiful than any he’d
sorry, I must have taken a wrong turn-“ Nathan began, drawn to the young
woman’s sad eyes. “I’ll leave you
she said, suddenly feisty and devoid of the emotional mess he’d walked in on.
beg your pardon?” Nathan asked with a frown.
He was a dapper nineteen year old with black hair that was slicked
neatly to the side.
is it that men turn and run the other way anytime they see a woman crying?” she
asked, dried her eyes with a handkerchief and stood up with a flourish. She was a raving beauty with red hair and
deep green eyes. Quite spectacular,
was dumbfounded. “I’m sorry, I…” he
stammered. “I just didn’t want to
disturb you. And not all men are the same, by the way.”
that to Royce Jennings,” she sighed angrily.
“He shows up late to my own birthday party, smelling like another woman,
and then leaves before the cake is even cut.”
Nathan understood. “You’re Jonas
nodded and extended her hand. “Jacqueline
Lamont,” she said. “Who the hell are
Nathan Blackthorne,” he replied awkwardly.
“Your father invited me. I’m not
quite sure why, but-“
wants you to star in his next movie,” Jacqueline cut him off. “I heard him talking about it.”
news sent butterflies through Nathan’s stomach.
“Oh, well, I…I….”
smiled and regarded him carefully. “Do
you want to swim?” Before he could
answer she walked outside to the pool and stripped off her wrap dress,
revealing a turquoise one-piece bathing suit underneath.
ah…I didn’t bring a swimsuit.”
dove in, swam the length of the pool, and then bobbed to the surface with a
smile. “You don’t need one,” she said
with a wink.
. . . . . . . Present Day . . . . . . . .
made his way to the library and inspected the dusty volumes of books that lined
the walls. He ran his hand along the
shelf, impressed by how well the mansion had held up over the years. He gazed up at a wall full of pictures
hanging in concentric arrangements. Some
were of family, some were of old friends, some actors and actresses, and some
friends long gone since the golden day.
. . . . . . . April, 1966 . . . . . . . .
Lamont was sixty-six years old and the most famous producer Hollywood had ever seen. He’d had five wives, one of which, Elena,
bore him a daughter, Jacqueline, and then passed away in ’64. His single status now afforded him the luxury
of having many tantalizing women at his beckon call.
Seated beneath the
umbrella at a patio table by his pool, several young beauties tended to him
dutifully while he sipped a long island iced tea. He looked across the table at his newest
protégé and slid a script across to him.
“The Benefactor?” Nathan asked as he read the title page. “This is that script you’ve been talking
about for a year, isn’t it?”
“The usual tale of
love, murder, organized crime, everything that the public wants to see, and
more,” Jonas explained. “The lead is
yours if you want it.”
Nathan was blown
away. He’d already starred in two of
Jonas’s films, both catapulting him to fame in a matter of a year. The
Benefactor was the film that Hollywood had been buzzing about for as
long as he could remember. He couldn’t
believe Jonas was offering it to him.
“You want me as the lead?” he asked. “Are you sure that I’m right for it?”
“Of course,” Jonas
replied as one of his doting lovelies massaged his shoulders. “This is a part tailor made for you, Nathan
my boy. I guarantee it will seal your
destiny as Hollywood royalty, right alongside me.”
“I don’t know what to
say,” Nathan gushed with gratitude.
“No thanks required,”
Jonas smiled. “Just a favor that I ask
“Marry my daughter.”
Nathan wasn’t sure if
he heard him right. “You want me to
marry Jackie?” he asked. “But she’s with
Royce Jennings. She’s crazy about him.”
“He’s bad for her,”
Jonas insisted. “Makes her miserable,
creates a bad name for himself as a playboy running amuck with a new woman
every night. And for some reason
Jacqueline takes it from him. You’re
much more suited for her, I think.”
struggled for words. “Jonas, I-“
“I know you love
her,” he interrupted. “You have for the
past year. I can see it every time you
look at her. And I see the way she looks
at you. Why not make it official and
take her away from the heartache that is Royce Jennings?”
“What makes you think
she’d marry me?”
“Royce will never ask her,” Jonas reasoned.
Nathan hated the idea
of Jackie’s father manipulating her life like that. If she wanted Royce Jennings then who was he to
tell her it was wrong?
. . . . . . . Present Day . . . . . . . .
through a dusty old photo album, one of the relics left behind from when Jonas
owned the house. He swirled a brandy
around in a sifter and turned the pages with tan, overly-manicured hands. He stopped, a pang of emotion that he hadn’t
felt in almost thirty years as he looked at the photo of Jacqueline, himself,
and Jonas posing out on the back lawn….
. . . . . . . November, 1969 . . . . . . . .
Benefactor was a huge success. Nathan
became a household name in a matter of weeks after
its release. The joy over his newfound fame
was clouded, however, in Jacqueline's insistence
to have a child. Despite her urging, he resisted,
claiming that having a baby now would only distract
him from his budding career. Jacqueline somberly
said she understood.
weeks of location shooting on his next film, Stockholm Syndrome, left their marriage strained. He returned home early from shooting in the
Swiss Alps just before Thanksgiving, stopped at a flower stand by the road and
picked up a dozen red roses. He entered
the house, shook off his trench coat, and glanced around the dark
entryway. It was late, but Jackie was a
night owl so he was sure she was still up.
He went upstairs and walked into their bedroom. A flash of lightening illuminated the room,
casting an eerie glow over Jackie and Royce as their bodies clashed together on
was at that moment that Nathan realized his own quest for fame had become his
undoing. Jackie had gone back to
Royce as surely as he had broken them up for his own personal gain. Jonas had been the catalyst, but he went into
it with open eyes, and lost his one and only love in the process.
couldn’t make her happy and so she went back to Jennings, what else is there to
explain?” Jonas had demanded several days later. “I should have known I couldn’t trust you to
do right by my daughter!”
went back to him because I was on location nine months out of the year working
for you!” Nathan exploded. “Or have you
forgotten that? You were so busy worrying
about getting her away from Royce Jennings that you didn’t stop to think of her
don’t hear you complaining about your newfound fame,” Jonas insisted. “You made a choice. Your career or Jacqueline, and you chose your
never gave me a choice! You wanted to
control everything and everyone. No
wonder you’ve failed so often in marriage.
I don’t think you’d know how to love someone, I mean really love someone, if you tried. Instead you sit all alone in that big mansion
of yours with nothing but your servants and your secret passageways to make you
daughter made me happy, but you drove her away,” Jonas exclaimed. “She left town with that man and I don’t know
when I’ll ever see her again.”
glared angrily at his mentor. He knew
arguing with him was useless. It was his
own fault for the way he treated Jackie.
Leaving her for so long while he cultivated his precious career. Now he was paying for it. And he would never be the same.
again,” he said to himself quietly. “Never again.”
Alex was sprawled out in bed at her home in Malibu.
She flipped through the television and found herself hard pressed to
find a station that wasn’t talking about Nathan’s arrival and subsequent arrest. She was floored to learn that he had already
been released, remanded on house arrest until the D.A. decided when a re-trial
would happen. At least he was out of
harms way at the mansion. All she had to
do was stay away and she’d be fine.
herself up off the bed proved to be exhaustive.
She lit a cigarette and gazed out the window at the roaring ocean. Suddenly she realized that while she was safe
from Nathan’s harm, others weren’t.
Miranda lived at the mansion, and could easily be one of Nathan’s
victims. Related or not, she wouldn’t
put it past him. And Brooke. Well, did she really care about Brooke? No. But in good conscience she wouldn’t wish that
kind of torture on any woman, even Brooke Taylor. And she was certain that someone else would
fall victim to his legacy. Madam Valda
had predicted it.
she fled from the bedroom and down the hall.
Her nightgown billowed behind her as she made her way down the spiral
staircase. She paused on the landing,
reflecting on a row of framed one-sheets from her film career. Her eyes narrowed on the poster from Serendipity Express, her first film with
Nathan. It had been so long ago. Now he was back and she was taken right back
to that first time they’d met.
. . . . . . . January, 1979 . . . . . . . .
Alex’s agent arranged
a meeting for her with Nathan Blackthorne.
He seemed to have learned quite a bit about her prior to their meeting. Like that she moved to Hollywood from Detroit just a year before, did some
modeling and went through some auditions that didn’t pan out, until Double Strike Studios cast her in Bad Night, a B horror movie that got
banned in most countries. After that
came Midnight Show, and more
controversy over its graphic content.
Alex Reynolds, just 17 years old, had made a name for herself in the
schlock shock basement, and Nathan was determined to turn things around for the
raven haired beauty. He was infatuated
met at the Polo Lounge at the Beverly
Hills Hotel. Alex tried hard not to
appear star struck, but she soon realized her efforts were futile. Nathan Blackthorne was the most famous actor
of their time. She’d seen every picture
he’d ever made and found him incredibly dashing, not to mention sexy. Why he fought so hard to get a meeting with
her was beyond her imagination.
really are lovely,” Nathan said as he watched her sip her Shirley Temple. “I could see it on the screen the other
night, despite your less than attractive makeup job.”
pays the bills,” Alex replied. “Stephan
Brackett was a joy to work with. He’s a
by visionary you mean a director who douses his lead actress in buckets of
blood, then yes, I suppose he is,” Nathan said with a grin. “Jonas Lamont has a new film he’s preparing
for Lamont 3 called Serendipity Express. A romantic comedy. It’ll be my first stint at co-starring and
directing the same picture. I think it’s
time you were involved in something really meaningful.”
Alex asked, the innocence in her eyes shining blatantly across the table. “I’ve only always wanted to be a working
actress. I’m not interested in making a
you don’t have to make a statement to star in a self respecting film,” Nathan
reasoned. He took a deep breath and
smiled at the exotic scent that emanated from her from across the table. “Tell me that you’re satisfied with working
for Stephan Brackett and I’ll leave you alone.
only hesitated briefly before offering a coy response. “I’m never satisfied.”
stared at the silky smoothness of her shoulders, covered ever so slightly by a
satin halter top, and grinned devilishly.
“Then hold on to your hat, sweetheart, you’re about to become a star.”
. . . . . . . June, 1979 . . . . . . . .
photography for Serendipity Express
took place in upstate New York aboard a real life passenger
train. Alex relished the attention from
the cast and crew. She had her own cabin
as a dressing room instead of a dirty shack outside the studio at Kismet where she shot Midnight Show, and an actual hair and
wardrobe person who made her more beautiful than she could have imagined. It was all thanks to Nathan. She’d quickly grown accustomed to his
charms, to his attentiveness, and to his promises of stardom.
the second day of filming they were to share a passionate kiss, which she felt
a little apprehensive about as it was her first on screen kiss. Of course the fact that Nathan was dashing
and worldly made it all the more easy to get into the part. She let him lead, and she felt herself grow
weak at the knees even while the cameras were rolling and all eyes were on
they shared a drink on the bar car and talked about the day’s scenes.
you love her?” Alex asked, stirring her Shirley Temple with her straw.
I love who?” Nathan asked with an arched eyebrow.
didn’t blink. “The woman you were
thinking about during that scene.”
could see how astute she was, the mark of a good actress. He smiled fondly and nodded. “I did, yes,” he said distantly.
shrugged. “The business got in the
way. She couldn’t handle it so she took
long ago was that?”
“Ten years,” Nathan
replied, thinking bitterly about Jackie.
Since she left he hadn’t come to grips with it, or felt compelled to
become involved with anyone else.
Alex moved over next to him. She could see the hurt in his eyes, which was
the first time since their meeting that she saw any real emotion.
“Was she an
“Shh,” Nathan said
and covered her lips with his finger. He
didn’t wish to talk any more about Jackie or their marriage, or the way he
destroyed it with his devotion to her father and the business. Despite his love for her, she wound up
nothing more than the business arrangement Jonas had instigated. But it was much easier to blame Jackie for it
He put his hand on
Alex’s leg and leaned in, kissing her on the lips and then pulling away to test
her reaction. Moments later, he kissed
her again, and she succumbed to his advances.
A short while later they were in her private cabin making love until
found James in his study downstairs.
Tightening the belt around her nightgown, she waited in the doorway
until he looked up and took notice to her.
to bed?” he asked coldly, rifling through a stack of drilling reports from Blackthorne-Reynolds.
she replied. “I was hoping that you
would come with me. You didn’t sleep at
all again last night. You must be
shook his head distantly and went back to his task at hand. “I’m too busy,” he said quickly. “The pipeline, Nathan, Ethan, whatever’s
going on with Miranda and Stormy. I just
have too much to do, Brooke.”
can’t fix everything in one night.
Please just come to bed and get a good night’s sleep and-“
said not now!” James yelled angrily. He
ran his fingers through his hair and walked around the desk to where she
stood. He decided she didn’t deserve
that. She was trying, after all. “Look, I know you mean well. I just can’t think about anything else right now.”
looked at him through cloudy eyes. “I
think you just don’t want to be around me because you blame me that Ethan’s in
never said that,” James argued.
didn’t have to,” she said in despair.
“Look, I am sorry that I told Ethan about Will. I never meant to hurt you or him.
I just wish you’d give me the benefit of the doubt.”
he could reply, she turned and walked back out of the room. James poured himself a glass of scotch and
leaned over his desk in frustration. In
some small way it was a relief to be free of the lie about Ethan’s father. The war with Will started so long ago. He didn’t know what it felt like to be free
of the lies.
. . . . . . . November 1980 . . . . . . . .
“Alex, I’d like you
to meet my nephew, James,” Nathan said proudly and ushered her into the parlor
room of his bungalow on Alvarado Court.
“He just flew in from Kansas, and it’s about time if you ask
me. I’ve been trying to get him out of
that backwards town for years.”
“Nice to meet you,
James,” Alex said and extended her petite hand to him. She found him quite attractive, tall and
lanky with dark hair and dark eyes. He
was eighteen and extremely impressionable.
But something told her that he had an agenda behind those dark innocent
“I’m sorry I didn’t
make it back for Georgie’s funeral,” Nathan said, speaking of his niece who had
died recently, shortly after childbirth.
“How did your folks take it?”
James shook his head
solemnly and took the glass of iced tea he offered him. “Not well,” he said. “But they promised to keep the secret. They swore they wouldn’t tell Ethan who his
real daddy was.”
. . . . . . . One Year Earlier . . . . .
. . .
baby cried in its crib in the back of the old dilapidated farm house. James could hear him all the way outside
where he kicked stones and waited for the doctor and his mother and father to
come outside. They’d already been in
there for so long.
hour later, the old creaky screen door sprung open and closed again when Dr.
Recht came out, carrying his medicine bag and his hat tucked under his arm. He exchanged sorrowful glances at his mother
and father and hung his head low.
have the funeral home in the next county send a hearse over right away,” said
the doctor. He reached his hand out to
them and offered a hopeful smile. “She’s
in a much better place now.”
shook his head, tears forming in his eyes over the loss of his beloved sister
Georgie. She was only seventeen and she
was gone, and he blamed one man for sending her straight to her grave.
boy’s got to know who his daddy was,” said James’s mother a few days later
while she fed Ethan his bottle. “We
can’t just act like he never existed.”
wish that he never existed,” James vowed.
“He left Georgie pregnant and sick, mama. He never even called to check on her. She loved that rat bastard and he just took
off for his fancy new life in New York City.”
wasn’t nothing but a kid himself, James,” his mother pleaded.
shook his head. “One day I’m gonna make
him sorry,” he claimed. “I’m gonna go
see Uncle Nathan in California and we’re gonna make little
Willy Thomerson wish he’d never met any of us Blackthornes.”
. . . . . . . December 31, 1980 . . . . . . . .
had thrown a New Years Eve bash to end all bashes. Everyone in Hollywood was there. James tagged along with Nathan and Alex, in
awe of his Uncle and his mastery. He was
also quite jealous of his relationship with Alex. She seemed to have it all, and they were a
beautiful couple. But something told him
that she wasn’t in it for love.
you just love New Years Eve?” Alex asked, slightly drunk and very carefree as
she twirled around the garden beneath the glow of the moon. “It’s filled with such promise and hope. I feel like I could do anything, go
laughed and eyed his uncle across the lawn.
“Where is it you want to go?” he asked, mesmerized by her beauty.
jumped up onto a chair beside the patio table and looked up at the starring
night sky. “To the moon!” she laughed
and spun around again. This time she
lost her balance and James caught her in his arms.
stared at each other for a few seconds.
“Put me down,” she said softly.
obliged and dug his hands into his pockets.
“You and my Uncle gonna get married?” he asked.
shot him a look of surprise. “Married?”
she asked. “What on earth gave you that
shrugged. "You spend a lot of time
together. The papers say you’re
Hollywood’s golden couple.”
sighed and flung herself onto the cold, damp grass. “The papers see what goes on up on the big
screen,” she said and gestured dramatically to the sky. “They like seeing us as lovers in films, so
that’s what we give them. Jonas insists
on it. It makes him a lot of money.”
what do you want?” James asked.
regarded him coyly. “I want to be star.”
that why you’re with my uncle?” James asked.
“So he can make you a star?”
looked at him patronizingly. “Don’t
pretend that it’s some crime, James,” she insisted. “Nathan helps me with my career, and I give
him what he wants.”
a star can’t be all you want. What about
James Blackthorne, I never knew you were so philosophical. What does a boy from Windsor,
Kansas, know about love?”
without warning, he leaned forward and kissed her hard on the lips. Alex twisted away from him and pushed him
onto the wet grass.
sorry,” he said and started to get up again. “I shouldn’t have done that.”
stared at him with surprise. Not
surprised that he kissed her – she knew he would eventually – but surprised
that she liked it. She and James were
close in age, unlike her and Nathan, but they had nothing in common. James was a small town boy and she was one of
the most well-known women in Hollywood.
What possible future could they have?
stricken with guilt over kissing his idol’s girl, darted off across the yard,
ignoring Nathan when he tried calling after him.
Jordan left Renee at the hospital with
Sierra while he headed home to shower and change clothes. Now that Sierra was out of the woods, he expected
Renee to divulge more information about her startling admission. How she could have lied to her daughter for
her entire life was beyond him. It
angered him, and yet it made him want to protect her.
cleaning himself up and slipping into a burgundy velvet Gucci tracksuit, he went to the answering machine and checked his
messages. James had called, telling him
there was to be a huge party at the mansion that night in Nathan’s honor. He wasn’t sure how to feel about Nathan’s
return. Obviously there was some kind of
history between him and Renee that she hadn’t felt comfortable enough to
divulge. He wondered what had went on
between them all those years ago.
. . . . . . . September, 1981 . . . . . . . .
Jonas, now at the golden age of 76, had a
garden party at the mansion to introduce his newest bride, Lola Beauchamp-Rydell-Lamont,
a 54 year old woman who happened to be the oldest of all six of his
brides. She was an actress from the
forties who was also a USO girl touring during the second world war with Bob
Hope. She had a nineteen year old son
named Jordan who immediately took to Nathan
for inspiration. Jordan, like James, had made himself a
fixture in Nathan and Alex’s relationship, joining them on the set of their
latest films, and spending long nights at Nathan’s bungalow on Alvarado Court in deep conversation with
Alex. Lola didn’t hide her disapproval
of her son’s infatuation with Alex Reynolds, the scream queen turned
serious actress through the help of Nathan.
Ann, I must talk to you about that scene yesterday,” Lola said and drug Alex
off to a corner of the lush green lawns of the estate.
rolled her eyes and shrugged her off.
“I’ve told you a thousand times, my name is Alex now. Alex Reynolds.”
smiled. “Oh that’s right, I just keep
thinking that if someone is going to change their name, why pick something so androgynous
was co-starring with Alex in The Briar
Patch, another Lamont 3
production directed by Jonas in an effort to re-expose his new wife to the Hollywood scene. Her days as an actress were over, so it was
with the assumption that throwing Alex into the cast would reinvigorate Lola’s
Alex,” she continued, drawing her
name out in a thoroughly patronizing fashion.
“Do you think that you were upstaging me just the tinsiest bit in that
scene on the docks yesterday? I mean, I
feel that my character really has the upper hand. Your portray was over the top, in my opinion,
cut the crap, Lola,” Alex cut her off.
She’d learned to stand on her own in the two years that she’d been
exposed to Nathan’s influence. Women
like Lola Lamont didn’t intimidate her.
Not even when she knew what the real reason was for her confrontation.
cut the crap if you leave my son alone,” Lola said, her piercing eyes shooting
into Alex’s like daggers.
have no interest in Jordan,” Alex insisted and folded her
turned and saw her son staring at Alex from across the lawn, a sheepish grin
while he talked casually to Charles Merteuil over an investment
opportunity. “I know my son,” she said while
waving across the crowd at him. “He’s
smitten with you.”
that would be so bad because?”
are with Nathan, aren’t you?”
shook her head. “I’m not with
Nathan. Nathan is helping me with my
career. End of story.”
dramatically brought her hands to her mouth and gasped. “Oh, I’m so sorry, dear,” she began. “I just assumed that since you live with him,
sleep with him, and are never seen apart, that you’re together. My mistake.”
close,” Alex said.
you saying that you don’t love him?” Lola asked.
shrugged and considered her reply carefully.
“No, I don’t love him,” she said reluctantly. After all, she didn’t. He was a great influence, a wonderful lover,
and a huge stepping stone for her career, but that was all. She loved the man and the legend, but not
the catering tent a few feet away, Nathan watched them with a taut
expression. Hearing Alex admit her
feelings was a shock, but he quickly pushed any feeling down below the
surface. It wasn’t worth it to him. Not this time. He wouldn’t make the same mistakes he made
with Jackie. He wouldn't let a woman get to him again.
. . . . . . . Five Minutes Later . . . . . . . .
her next mission, Lola cornered Jordan by the gazebo where he played a
crochet match with Renee Merteuil. She
pulled a young woman along with her, nudging her before her son as if offering
look who it is,” Lola said with a grin.
Jordan said with a smile as he extended
his hand to the ravishing brunette. “How
well,” replied Suzanne Rogers, an eighteen year old brunette and former star of
the daytime drama, The Young at Heart. She
was now starring with Nathan in another of Jonas’s current productions, Happy Neighbors.
the two of you know each other?” Lola asked, surprised that her match making
skills were so finely tuned. Maybe her
intrusion wasn’t necessary. Maybe Jordan wouldn’t be so dumb as to fall
for Mary Ann McCormack, or Alex Reynolds of whatever she was calling herself
“Yeah, I met Suzanne
the other day on the set with Nathan,” Jordan said, finding the young woman to
be startling beautiful. He couldn’t take
his eyes off of her.
“How lovely,” Lola
said. “Well, I should leave the two of
you alone. I’m sure you have a lot to
talk about.” She kissed Jordan on the cheek and sauntered off
to join her husband.
“I wonder what that
was all about,” Suzanne said with a grin and waved a polite hello to Renee
Jordan blushed and dug his hands into
his pockets. “She’s always trying to fix
me up. I guess she just worries about me.”
“I think it’s sweet.”
Jordan laughed. “Nothing about Lola Lamont is sweet,” he said
and quickly switched subjects. “This
isn’t the first film of Jonas’s you’ve done, is it?”
Suzanne shook her
head and flashed her effortless smile at him.
“No, I was in Hollow Tree. Just a small part, but I had a great
time. Wasn’t your brother in that too?”
“Half brother,” Jordan
corrected her. “Troy is Lola’s son from her first
She smiled sweetly
and began plucking petals from a single white Shasta daisy. Jordan watched her carefully, finding
Suzanne Rogers to be refreshingly sweet.
. . . . . . . Two Weeks Later . . . . . . . .
Filming on the set of Happy Neighbors wrapped
up, at least for Suzanne. She was in her
trailer tissuing off her heavy stage makeup when the door opened and Nathan
“What do you want?”
she asked after viewing his reflection in the mirror. “I just want to get out of here and leave
this nightmare behind me.”
“Oh, my dear, it
hasn’t been that bad, has it?” Nathan asked and walked up behind her. He placed his hand on her shoulder and
caressed her neck. A flinch from Suzanne
told him the advances weren’t welcome.
"You mean having you
make inappropriate suggestions to me for the last two weeks?” she asked. “Gee,
it’s been a picnic. I’ll be sure to tell
the union what a fabulous co-star you are to work with.”
“I think I’m a pretty
good co-star,” he said meekly and stepped closer.
Suzanne shot to her
feet and backed up away from him. “You’re a sex fiend,” she said. “And you’re supposed to be with Alex. Meanwhile you’re hitting on me and every
other woman on the set of this movie?”
“Alex and I are not
an item, contrary to public opinion,” Nathan said. “I, however, can’t say the same thing about
you and Jordan. He used to hang out on
the set of whatever picture I was working on.
Now it seems he’s only hanging out to see you.”
She glared heatedly
and skirted away from him. “Jordan and I
are friends. His mother introduced us.”
“Good old Lola,
always on the lookout for the greater good,” Nathan said and leaned in to
her. He attempted to brush his lips
against her neck but she expertly dodged away from him. She’d gotten good at that lately.
"He looks up to you,
you know,” Suzanne insisted. “Jordan idolizes you, and this is how
you treat him?”
“The two have nothing
to do with each other,” he said with a sheepish grin.
Fed up, Suzanne
brought her knee up and hit him between the legs. She grabbed her macramé bag and pulled open
the trailer door. She was thrilled
beyond belief to be done with Happy
Neighbors, and with any association with Nathan Blackthorne.
night, the Blackthorne mansion was brimming with activity. Dozens upon dozens of actors, directors, producers
and models filled the foyer and ballroom, schmoozing and mingling while sipping
champagne and nibbling at caviar. A four
piece band played in the corner while butlers passed canapés on sterling silver
and Nathan stood in the foyer, both dressed in tuxedos, and Brooke in a
floor-length cream colored Armani gown. They chatted politely with Marilee Walker and
her husband, Seth.
“So Brooke, when can
we expect to see you returning to the workforce? Or is taking care of that beautiful baby boy
becoming a full time job in itself?”
smiled and tossed her long blond hair over her shoulder. “Actually I haven’t really thought about it.”
right, James told me you did makeup for a few pictures,” Nathan remarked. “I don’t suppose that kind of grunt work
appeals to you anymore. You’ll probably
want to spent as much time with Michael as you can, I’m sure.”
now, yes,” she replied, eyeing James uncomfortably.
you want my opinion, you belong in front
of the camera, my dear,” Nathan said with a wink. “A face like that begs to be looked at. And I should know. I’ve worked with some of the most beautiful
women in the world.”
blushed with embarrassment and clutched to James’s side. She saw Nathan looking at her with his glossy
eyes and perfect smile and she felt a sense of unease. There was something in his eyes, something
she couldn’t put her finger on.
. . . . . . . February, 1982 . . . . . . . .
didn’t tell you because frankly it’s none of your business,” Alex said coldly
in between takes on Cannons Fire. “We’re a screen presence, Nathan. Hollywood’s golden couple. It’s all an image. You’ve said so dozens of times.”
tried to appear disaffected. “I just
thought that when my own nephew is involved I would get a little advanced
and I are in love,” she said stubbornly.
“Nobody could help that. Nobody
could prevent that.” She turned and
started toward her trailer when Nathan grabbed her arm and pulled her
back. “Let go of me!”
don’t know what you’re giving up by marrying James, sweetheart,” he said with
steely grey eyes.
swallowed hard, for the first time frightened by the way Nathan looked at
. . . . . . . May, 1982 . . . . . . . .
The wedding was the biggest and most lavish that Hollywood had seen in decades. It was held on the grounds of Jonas’s mansion
and the whole town was in attendance.
Alex wore a flowing pearl white Chanel
gown with a beaded headdress; James dapper in a classic white tuxedo. His best man was Kenny DeWitt, a law school
student who he’d met at one of Jonas’s parties.
Alex’s maid of honor was Suzanne, despite the fact that neither women
really cared for the other that much. But
Alex didn’t have many female friends.
attended, despite his reluctance.
Getting emotionally involved with Alex had been a mistake, one that he’d
vowed to never do again. After Jackie,
he had sworn off any real emotion with other women. Then Alex came along and he fell in love. Now, again, he was left devastated. He was a fool for thinking by denying his
feelings for all these years they would be any less significant.
The ceremony went off
without a hitch. Lola was thrilled
that Alex was no longer a threat to her precious
Jordan, who was incidentally getting along roses
“I’m sorry about the
way this happened,” James said to his uncle in a private moment
at the reception. “You just always said that
Alex didn’t mean anything to you. We
spent a lot of time together, and-“
“You don’t have to
say anything, James,” Nathan insisted.
He had mastered the art of hiding his feelings. “Couples on the screen often have off screen
romances that don’t mean anything. Such
as Alex and I. I’m just happy that
you’ve found your way here. You’re on
the road to becoming a powerful man in Hollywood.
Alex is the perfect accessory to that success.”
you," James said, unsure of whether he believed
him or not.
got you a present," Nathan admitted.
you shouldn't have gotten me-"
finally sealed Will Thomerson's fate. That
injunction I filed in your name against his play about
Georgie has been approved. Georgie's Song
won't be premiering on Broadway or anywhere else
for that matter. His career is ruined, and
he'll know that you were behind it.."
thrilled, but he didn’t have an opportunity to
show it. Across the lawn a small group had
gathered, gasping and chattering and pointing.
“What’s going on?” he
asked and became nervous after seeing the solemn looks on faces of the wedding
They ambled over to
the scene, first spotting Lola drenched in tears, flailing her arms about and
crying dramatically. Jordan and Suzanne
were stationed beside her trying to calm her down.
“Lola?” Nathan asked
and moved to the front of the crowd.
There, he saw what the commotion was all about. Jonas was laying on the grass, his collar
unbuttoned and his face glistening beneath the warm sun.
"He’s dead,” Jordan said and clutched to his
had gone upstairs to check on Michael in the nursery, thankful for a few
minutes of peace and quiet alone in the dark room. She switched on the glowing butterfly
nightlight beside the crib and reached down to stroke the baby’s face. Smiling at his peaceful slumber, she barely
noticed when the door creaked open behind and a figure entered the room.
floor creaking resonated through the room and she quickly spun around, startled
to see Nathan standing there in the dark.
Struggling to catch her breath, she placed a hand on her beating heart
and managed a faint smile.
sorry if I startled you,” Nathan said.
“I saw you come upstairs and I thought you might be checking on
Michael.” He motioned to the crib and
then looked at Brooke. “May I?”
Brooke stood aside and watched as he peered down into the crib where Michael
lay fast asleep.
a beautiful baby, Brooke,” Nathan said, then turned back to her. “Beautiful just like his mother.”
Brooke saw that same look in his eyes.
She swallowed hard, trying her best to be as polite as possible. Nathan was James’s uncle, after all, and a
guest in their home.
you,” she said quietly. “Well, I should
reached out and stopped her from leaving.
“I’m sorry, was I bothering you?” he asked. “You probably wanted to come up here to get
away from that madness downstairs. And
here I am intruding.”
it isn’t that,” Brooke insisted. “I
just….know that James will be wondering where I am.”
nodded and smiled again. A calculated
smile, Brooke decided. Probably from
years in show business. “Of course,” he
said, and then gestured to the door.
“I’ll walk with you.”
eyed him carefully, trying to shake off an eerie feeling in the pit of her
stomach. She started to the door,
deciding it was probably just everything she’d heard about him over the
years. He was actually a very sweet and
docile man. James adored him so she was
certain she would too.
Alex arrived to the
party after much hesitation. She was
dressed in a beautiful sequin gown and a black veil covering her face. She ignored the hushed whispers and stares
from onlookers, all in amazement that she would show her face But she
had to. She had to show that she wasn't afraid..
can’t believe she came,” whispered Victor Distefano, one actor she’d worked on
several films with.
what she said about him on the stand?” murmured Eric Autumn, a director of
Holding her head
high, Alex entered the foyer and exchanged pleasantries with a few people. Her eyes traveled up the stairs to where
Brooke and Nathan were just coming from the nursery. Suddenly she began to see
flashes from an ugly scene from the past.
. . . . . . . July 1984 . . . . . . . .
After Jonas’s heart attack and subsequent death, Nathan
became an embittered man. The set of his
and Alex’s next movie, Daylight in St. Thomas was sheer torture for Alex. It
was James' first production with his newly
branded company, Sunset
and he was particularly eager for Nathan, his idol,
to be involved.
Alex didn’t want to do the
movie, as she had a one-year old, Ryan, at home
during most of the filming. Plus James was always away so she felt
particulary alone. She knew Nathan
hadn’t gotten over their relationship, despite the 2 years that had passed. As soon as filming in the Caribbean was done,
she and James were home again, but James had to leave for Berlin to do location shooting forhis next film. James
had bought Jonas's enormous house for her. She was alone, and
Nathan had paid a late night visit.
A burst of lightening
illuminated the house, echoing through the walls and shaking the
foundation. Alex raced down the stairs,
her nightgown billowing behind her with every step. Suddenly, a pair of hands wrapped around her
and pulled her back. She screamed,
fighting him off and realizing it was a futile effort.
so fast, my dear,” Nathan said and carried her back up the stairs. He ignored her screams and her constant
struggle. Entering the master bedroom,
he set her down and threw her across the room to the bed.
away from me!” Alex screamed as he loomed over her and covered her with his
used to enjoy our lovemaking,” Nathan said and quickly ripped off her
nightgown. “You said I was the best
there was. Or was that just so that I’d
help you with your career? Now that
you’re married to my nephew you discard me, is that it?”
stop!” Alex screamed as he brutalized her on her and James’ bed.
I found you and I introduced you to my nephew,” Nathan said, gritting his
teeth. “You were my protégé. You belong to me.”
cried silently, wishing that he would stop, but he ravaged her relentlessly.
. . . . . . . Present Day . . . . . . . .
As soon as Brooke was
a safe distance from Nathan, Alex ran to her and pulled her to the side.
“I have to talk to you,” she said urgently.