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Episode 58

 

Release Date:  April 25, 2007

 Read the episode Recap

 

Previously...

Following Debralee's suicide, James convinced the D.A. to take Nathan off of house arrest, but could not get him to drop the rape charges.  Brooke continued to grow uneasy around Nathan, and blasted James for his callous attitude over Debralee's death.  Nathan taunted Renee over their past relationship.  Miranda met Leigh Purcell in Acapulco, a woman who knew James from a location shoot six year before.  Miranda and Brett's divorce became final.  Alex warned Brooke to be careful around Nathan.  James grew angry by Brooke's suspicions over Nathan.  Brett and Heather both moved into Hotel Terranova.  Heather resisted Brett's attempts to be friendly.  Later, Heather was carjacked and wandered deliriously back to Brett's room.

 

 


 

Episode 58

"David"

 

Heather woke up in Brett’s room at Hotel Terranova and sat up while she tried to get her bearings.  What was she doing there?  She looked around the bedroom and tried to shake the groggy feeling from her head.  Looking down at the scrapes on the palms of her hands, she suddenly remembered about the carjacking the night before.  She sunk into a feeling of gloom and slowly crawled out of the bed.

Sunlight steamed through the windows in the living room as she stepped out and saw Brett lying asleep on the sofa.  Details of the previous night slowly came back to her.  After the thugs took her car, she wandered deliriously a mile back to the hotel.  All she could remember next was winding up at Brett’s door and crying on his shoulder.  He must have held her until she fell asleep and then carried her into his bed. 

Looking down at his face as he slept, she caught a glimpse of a part of Brett that she’d never seen.  A strong, caring and sensitive side that seldom came to light.  It was quite baffling, she decided.  A man who could be so sleazy and corrupt, yet still made her feel safe in light of what had happened.

Brett opened his eyes and stifled a yawn.  Heather quickly tried to act like she hadn’t been watching him sleep.  She turned and smoothed down the oversized tee shirt she’d slipped into.

“Good morning,” Brett said and sat up on the sofa.  He rubbed his face and tried to force himself to wake up.  It had been a long night and he hadn’t slept well on the lumpy sofa.   “How are you feeling?”

She smiled and sat down in the overstuffed chair across the room.  “Better,” she said, pushing a lock of brown hair from her eyes.  “I don’t really know why I came here last night.  I guess I was pretty out of it.”

“No, I’m glad you did,” Brett said and stood up in a pair of boxers and nothing else.  “I called the police last night and reported what happened.  They said you could wait a couple of days before giving a statement.”

“Did they find my car?”

He shook his head and poured two cups of steaming coffee.  “Not yet,” he said and handed her a mug.  When she reached out and took it, he saw the scrapes on her hand and he quickly bent down and examined them.  “This looks bad.  We should get you checked out at the hospital.”

“No, that’s okay,” Heather insisted and pulled her hands away.  She felt uncomfortable with the way he held them.   “It’s just a few scrapes and bruises.  I’ll be fine.”

“At least let me put something on it,” Brett said and ran a wash cloth under cold water in the sink.  He went back and knelt down before her, dabbing the cool rag gently on her hands.  His eyes traveled up and caught her looking direct at him. 

“I should go,” Heather said and quickly stood up.  She went into the bedroom and slipped into her clothes.  “Thanks for everything, Brett.  I appreciate you letting me stay here.”

“You shouldn’t be alone,” Brett insisted and waited for her to emerge.  “Do you want me to call Jordan?”

A minute later she came out of the bedroom and ran her fingers through her hair.  “No, I don’t want to worry my father over nothing.  I’m just going back to my room to take a hot shower.  I’ll be fine.”

Before he could say another word, she was pulling open the door and racing out into the hall.  Once outside, she leaned against the door and tried to gather some perspective.  No matter how kind and gentle Brett had been after the whole nightmare last night, she couldn’t allow herself to forget all the despicable things he’d done. 

Jasmes Blackthorne

James had left the house early that morning and headed to his office at Blackthorne-Reynolds to have a breakfast meeting with Jack Fallmont.  They dined on coffee, juice and freshly baked croissants while discussing the pipeline in Denver.

“Things are going good with the pipeline then?” Jack inquired as he sipped his coffee.  “No more problems with the environmentalists?”

“None so far,” James replied.  “Particularly now that your nephew has given up on his injunction.”

“I want you to know, James,” Jack began, “that I had no say in what he was up to.  I mean, I knew that he and Samantha were having problems, but-“

“But you didn’t know that she was sleeping with my son?” James finished for him.  “Well Stormy knows that he nearly cost me my company because he couldn’t control his hormones.  I don’t think he’ll be making a mistake like that again, especially now that he’s running Sunset Studios by himself.  The last thing I need is Senator Fallmont pushing that injunction again.”

“I hate to unload this on you when things are finally going your way, James, but-“

“Oh great, what now?”

“I was at the racquetball club yesterday afternoon and overheard someone talking about Hotel Terranova,” Jack said.  “Specifically, that it was for sale.”

James frowned.  “That’s ridiculous.  Hotel Terranova isn’t for sale.  Who did you hear this from?”

“Oh, just a few of the yacht club regulars.  One was David Jennings,” Jack replied.

“Jennings,” James murmured to himself.  “Jackie Lamont's boy?”

“Jackie Lamont's boy,” confirmed Jack.   “Trying to make a name for himself since his father’s passing.”

James reached into his desk and withdrew a magazine.  “I was just reading an expose about him the other day in Image,” he said and looked at the cover which sported a full head shot of the attractive young man.  “I wonder what he could be up to.”

Stormy Blackthorne

Stormy and Nathan were seated at the Polo Lounge with Eddie Distefano, dining on the world-famous brunch and waiting for Eddie’s equally world-famous father to show.

“I’m sure I told him to be here at ten o’clock,” Eddie said and looked around the dining room.  “Maybe he got held up.”

Nathan laughed and nursed a Bloody Mary.  “If I know Victor then he’s probably either hung over from the party the other night or he found himself in the company of some ladies.”

Stormy grinned and gave Eddie a wink.  “Eddie, what have you been up to lately?”

“You’d know what I’ve been up to if you bothered to call once and a while,” Eddie said with a wry smile.  “Just because we’re not business partners anymore doesn’t mean we can’t hang out.  I had to hear from Jordan Rydell about you and Heather’s divorce.”

“Yeah, I know, I’ve been sort of caught up in my own stuff,” Stormy replied.  “So what are you doing now?”

“I opened my own P.I. firm,” Eddie declared proudly.  “It’s a pretty sweet racket.  I specialize in trailing cheating husbands for Hollywood wives.  Dude, you gotta come by and check out my new office.  It’s su-weet.”

“No lack of clients in this town, is there, Edward?” Nathan asked.  “It seems there’s always a secret to uncover in Hollywood.”

Eddie laughed and picked up the script Stormy had brought along.  “Is this the film you want Dad to do?” he asked and flipped through the first few pages.

Nathan nodded.  “It’s an action-adventure movie about two brothers who get involved in organized crime,” he said.  “Ryan procured it from a very talented writer.  We’re trying to get Eric Autumn to direct.”

Stormy rolled his eyes.  He hated it when his uncle called him Ryan.  Hardly anybody ever did anymore and it sounded strange to hear it out loud.   “Nathan’s playing the other brother,” he said.

“The younger brother,” Nathan corrected him and flagged down the waitress for another Bloody Mary.  “Victor may be younger in years but I’ve aged much better than he has.”

Stormy and Eddie exchanged looks of amusement.  Glancing across the room, Stormy waited impatiently for Victor Distefano to arrive.  He wanted to pitch the movie to him so Sunset Studios could go into pre-production as soon as possible.  But as usual, his friend’s father was anything but dependable.

As if on cue, Victor strode into the restaurant and darted through a crowd of gawking onlookers.  He shielded his eyes with a pair of dark sunglasses and made his way to the table.

“It’s about time, you old so and so,” Nathan said with a grin and pushed a vodka gimlet across the table.  “I already ordered for you.”

“Perfect,” Victor remarked and swallowed half the drink in one gulp.  He was a tall, distinguished man in his late fifties with grayish brown hair, deep brown eyes and a thoroughly sexy tan.  He was the epitome of the well-aged Hollywood leading man.    “I’m sorry that I’m late.  My limo service hired a female driver.  Can you believe that?”

“Say it isn’t so,” Nathan gawked with a knowing smile.

“Pretty young thing.  She can’t drive to save her life, but she screws like you wouldn’t believe,” Victor continued, then gave Eddie a playful wink.  “What do you think, son?”

Eddie scrunched his face up and sighed.  “I think you’re one of those dads who shares a little too much about his sex life.”

Stormy laughed and listened in amazement as the infamous Victor Distefano gave graphic details about his encounter in the back of his limousine.  He knew that it made Eddie uncomfortable, mostly because since his mother died his father hadn’t slowed down with the women for a second.

“Dad, Stormy asked you here to talk about a script,” Eddie interrupted.  He could tell that his father was drunk, and it wasn’t even noon.  It was typical.   “Did you look at it yet?”

“Well of course I looked at it, Ed,” Victor said and threw his hands up dramatically.  He fished a bottle of black pills from his jacket pocket and swallowed one with a swig of vodka.  “I think it’s brilliant.  What did you think, Nathan?”

“I think it’s a go,” Nathan replied and leaned forward.  “Think of it, Victor.  The two of us starring in a movie together after all this time.  Our triumhpant return.  The fans will eat it up.”

“We’ll be the talk of the town,” Victor agreed and clinked his glass against Nathan’s.  “Not to mention all the fun we’ll have on those location shoots.  Booze and women.  The paparazzi will have a field day.  And you know what they say, a movie is only as big as the scandal.”

“Fantastic,” Stormy said with a satisfied grin.  “Shall I have the contracts sent to your agent?”

“Absolutely,” Victor replied, then waved to a waitress.  “I need another vodka please.”  He swallowed another pill, and then his eyes traveled across the room where Alex Reynolds had just entered the restaurant.  His face lit up and he rose to his feet.  “Now there’s a vision in white.”

“Mom, what are you doing here?” Stormy asked.

Alex looked at the table, growing rigid at the sight of Nathan dining with her son and former co-star of countless movies.  It was unsettling to say the least.  She quickly turned and darted back out of the restaurant.

“What was that all about?” Victor asked and sat back down at the table.

Nathan smiled, perfectly aware that Alex was still not used to his being back in Hollywood.  It was quite clear to him that she was coming unglued.

Miranda Blackthorne

Miranda walked down the stairs at the Blackthorne mansion and started to the door when Brooke came out of the parlor and called after her.

“Good morning, Miranda,” she said.  “On your way to work?”

She nodded.  “Later.  I have an appointment with Dr. Farraday.”

“Is something wrong?” Brooke asked.

“I’ve just felt kind of under the weather since I got back from Mexico,” Miranda explained and tightened her purse over her shoulder.  “I’m sure it’s nothing.  Probably that horrendous food they serve everywhere.”

Brooke smiled.   “Well you should take this time to rest and relax.  You have your whole future ahead of you.”

Sometimes Miranda thought she could handle Brooke, but other times she said the dumbest things and she was right back to thinking she was just a poor makeup girl from the Valley.  Still, she managed a smile and left the house after saying her goodbyes.

“Hi Uncle Nathan!” she called on her way down the circular drive to her car.  

“Good morning, Miranda” Nathan said and then walked into the house where he saw Brooke standing in the foyer.  “And good morning to you too, my dear.  It’s a beautiful day.  Are you going out today?”

Brooke shrugged.  “I’m not sure,” she said.  Michael’s a little fussy so I thought I’d stick around in case the nurse needs me.  Where have you been off to?”

“At brunch with Ryan,” he replied and plucked a tulip from a vase on the center table.  He handed it to Brooke with a wink.  “He’s putting together a deal for my return to the screen.  It’s quite exciting.”

Brooke grudgingly accepted the flower and started into the solarium to pour some coffee.  She decided to make an effort with Nathan.  For James if nothing else.  “I bet you’re anxious to get back to work,” she said.  “Did you do any acting or directing while you were in Europe?”

“It’s easy to see why Ethan fell in love with you,” Nathan said offhandedly, looking at her in admiration.

The remark cut deep and Brooke quickly spun around toward him.  “Why would you say something like that?” she asked. 

He shrugged.  “Don’t be offended, Brooke.  James of course kept me abreast of everything that was happening back here.  I know that things with you and him are much better now, but….well, I just know that you must be a remarkable woman to have two men in love with you at the same time.”

“That was a long time ago,” Brooke said and looked out the French doors at the pool. 

Nathan followed her and paused a relatively close distance away.  “I can’t help but feel for my great nephew,” he said.  “First he lost you, then he learned that he wasn’t Michael’s father, and now he came to the horrifying realization that he was Will Thomerson’s flesh and blood.  I tell you, it’s no wonder the boy’s a mess right now.”

“I think everything will work out for Ethan,” Brooke said distantly.  She didn’t understand why he was talking to her about this now.  It seemed highly inappropriate and perhaps like he was trying to get a reaction out of her.

“Oh, I’m sure it will,” Nathan said with a reassuring smile.  “He’s a Blackthorne after all.”

Brooke turned and looked him in the eyes.  “I’d better get upstairs and check on Michael,” she said.

Nathan nodded and watched as she left the room in a hurry.  He dug his hands into his pockets and took a deep breath, relishing the fragrant scent that resonated in her wake.

Alex's House

Jordan went to Alex’s house in Malibu and pounded on the door.  A minute later she opened it with a flourish, draped in a flowing white suit and her hair pinned neatly up on her head.  She looked down at the documents in his hand and stood clear of the door.

“I waited for you at the Polo Lounge but you never showed up,” Jordan said and barreled into the living room.  “Did we get our wires crossed or something?”

“I was there,” Alex said, thinking about the run in with Nathan.  “Something came up and I had to leave.  What was it you wanted to talk to me about?”

Jordan grew despondent and held up the papers.  “I got the final divorce papers today,” he said.  “I guess this is the end of road for us.”

“It would appear so,” Alex replied rigidly and wrapped her arms around herself. 

Frowning, Jordan took a step closer and looked into her eyes.  “Well, you don’t seem very affected by it,” he remarked.  “I guess the end of our marriage is inconsequential to you.”

“That’s not true and you know it,” Alex spat, her eyes stinging with tears.

Jordan shook his head, confused by how cold and unfeeling she was acting.  “I know we have had our problems, but I honestly never thought they couldn’t be worked out.”

“What about the way you’ve been fawning all over Renee DeWitt?  Or how about your bringing Nathan Blackthorne back here after what he did to me?” Alex insisted, then quickly added, “oh wait, I forgot, you don’t believe he raped me either.”

“I never said that!”

“You didn’t have to!” Alex cried.  “Just the fact that you went against my wishes and helped get him off the hook for his crimes speaks a thousand words.  If you have so little regard for me then I won’t shed a single tear about our divorce.  It’s over, Jordan.”

“You don’t mean that,” he said and grabbed her by the arms.  “You still love me, I know you do.  You love me as much as I love you.”

“I hate you,” she whispered, fighting her feelings with every fiber in her being.

Jordan pulled her close.  He kissed her hard and felt her succumbing to his advances.  He knew that she still wanted him.  The way she kissed him was unmistakable.

Alex wrapped her arms around him and ran her fingers through his hair.  She grew weak with desire, her knees buckling and falling into his arms.  He carried her to the sofa and laid her down gently.  Ripping off his shirt, he leaned in and quickly began undressing her.  He panted with desire, wanting her more than he’d ever wanted anyone.    It seemed the best sex they had was when they were at each other’s throats. 

Hotel Terranova

When Miranda got to her office at Hotel Terranova, she was surprised to find her father waiting for her.  She smiled and set her purse down, hugging him gently and giving him a peck on the cheek.

“Daddy, what are you doing here?” she asked with a bright smile.

“Waiting for you,” he said.

“I didn’t know you’d be coming by,” she said.  “I had an appointment with Dr. Farraday."

“Is everything all right?” James asked with concern.

“Fine,” she replied.  “Just been a little tired is all.  He did some tests.  I’m fine though, Daddy, really.  What is it you wanted to talk to me about?”

James sighed and sat down across from her desk.  “I heard a rumor this morning that someone’s been taking an interest in Hotel Terranova.  I thought I should tell you before you heard it from someone else.”

“What kind of interest?” Miranda asked and got settled at her desk.  “You mean someone wants to buy the hotel?  You’re not selling it, are you Daddy?  You know how much I love running this place.”

“No, of course I’m not,” he insisted.  “I’m going to handle this.  I just wanted you to be aware of what was going on.  Don’t worry a thing about it.”

Miranda leaned back in her chair and studied him carefully.  “All right, so tell me who is it that’s got their eyes set on my hotel?”

“David Jennings,” James replied.

Miranda quickly sat forward and reached into her attaché case.  She shoved a copy of Image magazine at him and raised an eyebrow.  “You mean this guy?” she asked. 

"That’s him.”

Miranda dropped the magazine and folded her arms in frustration.  “Well you’ve got to stop him, Daddy.  I won’t have some spoiled heir to his father’s hotel fortune moving in on my pride and joy.  This is all I’ve got now.  Brett’s out of my life, you have Brooke and the baby and Uncle Nathan.  Even Heather moved out.”

“Sweetheart, I hate to hear you talk that way,” James said and stood up.  He walked around the desk and knelt beside her. “You have so much more than that.  You’re loved more than any other person I know.  You have so much life and vitality.”

Miranda felt her eyes sting with tears and she quickly sucked in a deep breath in an effort to control her emotions.  “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” she said and forced a smile and a laugh.  “I know all that, I just get sentimental sometimes.  It seems like everyone’s lives are going on and mine’s just staying the same.”

“Wrong,” James said and lifted her chin.  “You have your whole future ahead of you, and it’s going to be a wonderful future.  Things didn’t go as you’d hoped they would with Brett and it’s normal for you to be a little sentimental.  But Miranda, you’re a Blackthorne.  You revel in challenges and you don’t let anything hold you back.”

She smiled and threw her arms around him tightly.  “I love you, Daddy.”

“I love you too, Sweetheart.”

Standing up again, James started to the door and paused before leaving.  “Don’t worry about David Jennings.  I’ll take care of him.  No one’s going to hurt my baby girl.”

Miranda smiled in return.  After he’d left, she sunk back in her chair and thought about her life and how positively blah it had become.  At least with Brett there was always some kind of scandal going on.  The excitement was probably the only good thing about their marriage.

Brett Armstrong

That afternoon, Brett took up a heated game of tennis on the courts behind Hotel Terranova.  A tennis pro they’d recently hired as an instructor proved to be more of a challenging opponent than he’d anticipated.   After getting annihilated on the court, he gave the pro a good natured handshake and went to the bench to gather his things. 

After stripping off his sweaty Lacoste polo, he took a few sips of water and felt a presence approach from behind the fence. 

“Dee-licious,” said Marilee Wells-Walker with a playful pout.  She was dressed in pristine tennis whites and a visor shielding the sun from her eyes.   Brett gave her a look of surprise and she quickly added in an off-handed manner, “the water, I mean.  I’m parched.”

“By all means,” Brett said and grabbed a fresh bottle from his bag and handed it to her.  He knew she was ogling him and he couldn’t help but be flattered, if not a little bit aroused.  Older women were always so appreciate of him.  Marilee Walker had to be pushing fifty, but she still looked dynamite. 

“Thank you,” she said and seductively brought the bottle to her lips.  After she was sufficiently re-hydrated, she looked at Brett again and chewed on her lower lip.  “It’s such a shame.  James and Alex are of course dear friends of mine, but their daughter must have something seriously wrong with her.  Why on earth she would have divorced you is beyond me.”

Brett gave a toothy grin and put one leg up on the bench.  “That’s very nice of you to say, but Miranda and I had problems.  I don’t hold any grudges.”

“Sexy and a gentleman,” Marilee cooed.  “How divine.  Have you met my husband Seth?  I think he could really use someone like you on his team.  I mean, I heard that you were ousted from Sunset Studios.  Oh!   I hope I didn’t just open up a sore subject for you, darling.”

He shook his head.  “Nope.  Your husband is the Congressman, isn’t he?”

“That’s right.  He’s going to be the political face of the future in California.  Mark my words.  I’d be happy to set something up with the two of you.  You could meet and see what kind of help you could be to him.”

“I’ve never really had much to do with politics,” Brett said.

“Darling, there’s always a place for someone with your charm and good looks in politics,” Marilee said with a laugh.  She stepped forward and traced a hand down his bare chest, pausing seductively.  Without warning, she tucked her business card between his hot skin and the waistband of his shorts.   “Call me.  You can come out to the house in Malibu and we’ll….talk.”

Before he could reply, she was traipsing across the court to the tennis pro who waited to give her her lesson.  Brett plucked the card from his shorts and pondered her offer.   He was in need of a job, after all.  But he’d been around long enough to know that women like Marilee Walker always wanted something in exchange for her assistance.

Alex Reynolds

"Rio?” Alex guffawed.

“We’ll leave on Tuesday,” James said to he and Renee as they met in his office the next morning.   “We should be gone three, four days at the most.”

“I don’t understand why I have to go,” Alex declared.  “This energy conference was your idea, James, not mine.  I have a lot of things going on here.  I can’t just pick up and leave town for four days.”

James and Renee both looked at her in confusion.   “This is our company we’re talking about,” Renee said.  “It’s an excellent opportunity to network with other oil and natural gas companies.  This could spell enormous profits for Blackthorne-Reynolds.  What could you have going on that’s more important than that?”

Alex rolled her eyes and lit a cigarette.  “I just don’t think it’s a good time.”

James threw a pencil onto his desk and shook his head in aggravation.  “All right, what are you planning this time?”

What?” Alex demanded in an insulted tone.

“You crashed the party the other night, disrupting everyone with that confrontation you had with Nathan,” James began.  “Then you fed Brooke all of your lies about him.  What’s next, Alex?  Are you going to wear a wire to try to get him to confess to raping you all those years ago?”

“I don’t have to listen to this,” Alex insisted and shot up from the sofa.

“Forget it,” James sighed in resignation.  “I have a meeting.  I’ll talk to the two of you later.”  He paused before leaving.  “But you are going to the energy conference in Rio.   Both of you.”

After he’d left, Alex shot Renee a penetrating stare and walked toward her. “I hope you’re happy now,” she seethed.  “This is all your fault.”

“My fault?” Renee asked.  “It wasn’t my idea to go to this conference.”

Alex puffed at her cigarette and shook her head.  “I’m not talking about the damn conference, Renee.  I’m talking about Nathan.  You know what kind of monster he is and yet you sit back and don’t say a word.  Meanwhile, everyone in town thinks I’m a bold faced liar.”

“You have no idea what you’re talking about,” Renee said and started to leave the room.  The last thing she wanted to do was talk about her past with Nathan.

“Not so fast,” Alex said and blocked her from leaving.  “You had a relationship with him.  You wanted to marry him.  Then when he got arrested you broke it off.  You left town for months on end.  You must have seen what a horrible man he was or you wouldn’t have done any of that.”

Renee glared at her menacingly.  “I told you about that in confidence twenty years ago,” she said.  “I swear to God if you ever breathe a word of that to anyone I will make you very, very sorry.”

Alex stepped back and regarded the wild look in Renee’s eyes.  She realized she must have struck a nerve.  “All I meant was that you could attest to the fact that I wasn’t making any of it up.  I didn’t lie about him raping me.”

“I don’t know if he raped you or he didn’t rape you,” Renee said.  “And I don’t really care, Alex.  It’s in the past, just leave it alone.”  She turned around so as not to let her see the panic in her eyes.  If Alex thought about it long enough, there was a good chance she’d put two and two together and realize that Sierra was Nathan’s daughter.  It was best to avoid any further mention of the despicable man.

“How selfish can you get,” Alex said and started to the door.  “That’s right, Renee.  Just keep worrying about your own pathetic life and don’t give a damn about anyone else.”

“Oh, but I do,” Renee said, then added spitefully. “I care about Jordan very much.”

Alex smiled, still in ecstasy from her heated rendezvous with Jordan the day before at her house.  “But the question is, how much does Jordan care about you?” she added before opening the door and leaving.

David Jenner

David Jennings was a dashing thirty-six year old hotel magnate who owned properties all up and down the California coastline.  He was tall, exceptionally well-built, and had a shock of thick dark brown hair and deep brown eyes.    David was the son of Royce Jennings, who died eighteen months before and left his hotel empire to him.  His mother was Jacqueline Lamont, the daughter of famed producer Jonas Lamont.  Now every beautiful socialite in California was after David’s charm, good looks, and incredible wealth.  He’d even been profiled heavily in the current months’ issue of Image magazine.

Yes, Miranda knew all about David Jennings.  What she didn’t know was why he was standing at the front desk of her hotel asking questions to Link, her faithful concierge.   She grabbed her magazine and stormed across the lobby in a huff, her heels clicking repetitively on the Mediterranean tiled floor.

“Excuse me, Link, I’ll take care of Mr. Jennings,” she said and folded her arms suspiciously.  When David turned to her and smiled, she suddenly lost her nerve.  His brilliant smile and ridiculously good looks caught her off guard ever so slightly. 

“I’m flattered that you know me by name,” David said.  “But then again I’m sure you make a point of familiarizing yourself with all of your guests.”

When Miranda finally regained her footing, she thrust her copy of Image at him and raised an eyebrow.  “Yeah, well you’re not a guest of the hotel.   So why don’t you tell me, Mr. Jennings, what the hell you’re doing prying my front desk for information.”

David was instantly mesmerized by Miranda’s feisty nature.  He couldn’t help but smile, finding her adorable and yet semi-threatening all at once.

“What the hell are you smiling at?” she asked, irritated.  “I asked you what you’re doing here.”

“I actually came to ask for a tour of the facilities,” he replied after maintaining his composure.

“Why?”

“So I’ll know if I want to buy you out or not,” was his matter-of-fact response.

Miranda couldn’t believe his nerve.  She clutched her fists and led him away from a group of guests checking in.  “Buy me out?” she asked.  “Who in the hell do you think you are anyway?”

David smugly gestured back to the magazine with his face on the cover.  “I think you already know everything,” he said good naturedly.

“Very funny,” she argued.  “It just so happens that Hotel Terranova is not for sale.  My father owns it.  He assured me that he was not going to sell it.”

“Everything’s for sale,” David said, his cocky attitude blatantly obvious.

“Well I’m not, and neither is my hotel,” Miranda said.  She meant business, but for the life of her she couldn’t stop staring at his handsome face, or swooning over the sound of his deep, calming voice.

After she had stormed off back to her office, David couldn’t help but smile.  He didn’t know it at the time, but Miranda Blackthorne would be on his mind for the rest of the day.

Blackthorne-Reynolds

“I want to know why you’re targeting my hotel for a takeover,” James said to David Jennings who stood in his office at Blackthorne-Reynolds.

David smiled down at James who sat behind his desk.  “Is that why you summoned me here?  You’re worried about your hotel?”

“My daughter runs that hotel,” James insisted.  “It’s the first thing she’s ever really cared about and I’m not about to take that away from her.”

David dug his hands in the pockets of his expensive Gucci trousers.  He thought about his run in with the lovely Miss Blackthorne and the excitement she stirred inside of him.  “I’m certainly not one to stomp on anyone’s dreams,” he said, then decided it was an opportune moment to get some info about the young woman.  “Did I hear she recently got divorced?”

“Yes she did,” James replied.  “Which makes her even more fragile right now.  So any ideas you have of trying to buy Hotel Terranova, you can forget about it.  Do I make myself clear?  David, your mother and father were friends of mine, but I don’t think they would approve of your tactics.”

As if letting the lecture go in one ear and out the other, David shifted subjects with gleeful abandon.  “Does your daughter like flowers?”

“What?”  James asked in frustration.

“Never mind.  I’ll figure something out,” David said and started to the door.  He paused before leaving and turned back to James.  “Your hotel’s safe.  I have no interest in ruffling your daughter’s feathers.”

After he left, James scratched his head, confused by the odd behavior the young man exhibited when he mentioned Miranda.

Renee DeWitt

Later that night, Jordan and Renee sat by the fireplace in his house in Beverly Hills.  They were on the floor, sipping wine and holding one another in the glow of the fire.  The sound of the doorbell ringing interrupted the moment.  Renee started to sit up but he waved his hand and shook his head.

Gordon will get it,” he said.  “I want you right here with me all night.”

Moments later, the butler entered the room and cleared his throat awkwardly.  “Mr. Rydell, you have a visitor.”

Jordan looked up and his eyes flew open in surprise at the sight of Alex standing in the doorway of the living room.  She glared menacingly at them both and took a few steps forward

“Isn’t this cozy?” she asked coquettishly.  “Kind of a warm night for a fire though, don’t you think?”

“It is getting rather hot in here,” Renee spat.  “Alex, what do you want?”

Glaring wildly, Alex thrust a bottle of champagne at her and then shot an evil look in Jordan’s direction.  “I honestly have no idea,” she said, desperately trying to hide the hurt she felt.  Just the day before she and Jordan had shared a passionate afternoon together at her house, and now he was back cozying up with Renee DeWitt.  She felt like a fool for thinking things were going to be different.

“Alex, listen-“ Jordan began.

“No, forget it,” she said and snatched Renee’s glass of wine from her hand.  “I have an idea, why don’t we have a toast?  Here’s to my long overdue divorce from the jackass of the century.”  She clinked her glass against Jordan’s and then drank the whole thing down in one gulp.

“Wait a minute, Alex,” Jordan said and jumped up to go after her.

“Jordan, where are you going?” Renee asked.

Alex paused in the doorway before leaving.  “Yes, Jordan, where are you going?” she asked hatefully before turning and racing to the front door. 

After she’d left, Jordan turned back to Renee and threw his hands up in resignation.

Miranda Blackthorne

It was the next morning when Miranda walked into her office at Hotel Terranova and found a bouquet of African roses placed neatly on top of her desk.  Her eyes lit up brilliantly and she raced over to examine them.  Taking in a deep breath, she inhaled the amazing fragrance and turned them around in the vase to take in their full beauty.

Suddenly feeling a little more upbeat since her talk with her father, she plucked the card from the plastic stem and tore it hastily from the envelope.  Her eyes narrowed suspiciously on the handwritten note inside and she smiled with exhilaration.

Dinner tonight at your hotel?  8:00pm.  David.

She felt butterflies tripping through her stomach as she looked back at the roses and then at the card again.  Something about David Jennings had a hold on her and she couldn’t deny it.  Sure, he was pompous, arrogant, self-assured and cocky, but he made her feel more alive that she had in months. 

Placing the card neatly in her purse, she started back to the door and decided it was time to head back to the hospital to find out the results of her blood tests.  Hopefully Dr. Farraday would have good news and prescribe her an antibiotic to kill whatever bug she had.  At least now she had something to look forward to.  As much as she hated to admit it, she was intrigued by the prospect of a rendezvous with the handsome Mr. Jennings.

Heather Blackthorne

Heather stepped onto the elevator from the lobby and waited for the doors to close.  Before they did, Brett jumped into the elevator car and smiled brightly at her.

“Going up?” he asked with a grin.

Heather managed a faint smile and pulled her room key from her purse.  “Hi,” she said.  “Thanks again for the other night, Brett.  I really don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t been there for me.”

He dug his hands into his pockets and smiled again.  “It was my pleasure, really,” he said.  “I’m just glad that you’re okay.  As if the carjacking wasn’t bad enough, but coming to terms with…well, what happened with Will Thomerson must have been awful for you.”

She sighed and threw her hair over her shoulder.  “I saw Dr. Anderson today and we talked a lot,” she explained.  “He thinks I’m making real progress.  Dealing with the murder was the first step.  He thinks I’ll be fine.”

“I know you will be,” Brett agreed.  When the elevator stopped on his floor and he started to step out into the hall, he propped his foot over the sensor and held the door open.  “Hey, would you like to have dinner with me tonight?  We can talk.  I’m a pretty good listener, too, you know.  And I don’t charge a hundred and fifty dollars an hour.”

Heather looked at him warily and shook her head.  “I don’t think so, Brett.  I’m sorry.  You’re being very nice and frankly it makes me a little nervous.  Let’s face it, you haven’t exactly been a friend in the past.  I don’t want to risk getting hurt again.”

Before he could respond, she pushed the door close button and the doors shut between them.  Sighing, Brett leaned against the hallway and tried to figure out what was going on.  Was it his imagination or was she trying to convince herself more than him?

Cedars-Sinai

Miranda slowly walked out of Dr. Mitchell’s office at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, clutching a stack of pamphlets in her hand and teetering back and forth on her feet.  She paused at the admitting desk and stared off in a daze.  The results from her blood tests had been a complete shock to her.  She hadn’t planned on walking in and hearing that kind of news.

Setting her purse on the desk, she pulled it open and began to stuff the pamphlets inside.  Pausing, she pulled one back out and read it over and over again in her mind. 

What to do if you’re pregnant”.

Ethan Blackthorne

Meanwhile, Brooke was standing outside on the terrace that jutted out from the family room at the mansion.  She took in a breath of fresh air and turned with a start when she heard someone enter the room.  To her surprise, Ethan was standing by the door, and looking better than she’d seen him in weeks.  He was clean shaven and his normal color seemed to have returned.

“Ethan, you’re back,” she began awkwardly.  “I thought your sentence wasn’t complete until next week.”

“My sentence was commuted,” he explained.  “Good behavior and all that.  The community service and the AA meetings start tomorrow.”

She walked toward him, unsure of what to say or how to act after everything that had happened.  “Are you okay?  I can’t even imagine what it must have been like…”

He quickly dismissed the rest of her remark.  It was just a formality, anyway.  “I was hoping to see James.”

“He’s not home,” Brooke replied and walked inside the house.  She studied him carefully, praying that he wasn’t about to unleash into another tirade about Michael.  “What did you want to see him about?” she added nervously.

“I wanted to tell him that I understand why he did what he did,” he announced after some hesitation.  “About keeping the truth from me about my father.”

Brooke smiled brightly and rushed toward him.  “Ethan, that’s wonderful,” she said with a sense of relief.  “He’s been miserable ever since this whole thing started.  He loves you so much.”

“I had a lot of time to think the last few weeks.  After what happened….after what I did, who am I to judge him?” he said softly, then shrugged and backed up a step.  “Anyway, I can come back later when he’s home.”

“No, stay,” Brooke said with a hint of hope in her voice.  She hadn’t seen him so happy and stable in so long.  He reminded her so much of the Ethan that she fell in love with two years ago.

Just outside, Nathan was walking up from the lawn onto the terrace.  He stopped when he heard voices and peered inside through the curtain filtered doors.  Staying hidden from view, he paused and listened to Brooke and Ethan’s conversation.

“I thought I’d ask James and Stormy if I can go back to work at Sunset Studios.”

Brooke nodded hesitantly.  “That’s great.  I think it’ll do you some good to-“

“Why do you keep saying that, Brooke?” he cut her off.  “You keep talking about what you think is good for me.  Do you really care or are you just trying to keep me from focusing on my son?”

Brooke shook her head adamantly, even though she knew it was the truth.  She wanted him distracted and happy, not obsessing over Michael and the fact that he was his father.

Outside, Nathan listened intently.  He processed the information, although not very surprised by it.  He could tell just from their chemistry that they were protecting a lie.  Now he had confirmation that it was true.  James was not Michael’s father.

“Ethan, it’s not that,” Brooke lamented.  “I just know how miserable you’ve been lately, and-“

“I’m not going to say anything to James,” he said.  “I have no intention of breaking up your family.  James kept my father from me because he wanted to protect me.  You’re keeping Michael from his real father because you don’t want to hurt anybody.  I understand that.”

“Ethan, I-“

“Don’t,” he said.  “Don’t say anything, Brooke.  This has been a very hard decision for me.  I’m not thrilled about it, but I respect your decision.”

Before she could say anything, Ethan turned and walked out of the room.  Brooke stood behind, relieved that he was finally over his anger and resentment over the lie she forced him into.  Maybe now she could relax and try to have a normal life for once.

When she left the room, Nathan emerged from the terrace.  He swirled a scotch rocks around in a glass and smiled deviously.


Next time....

Miranda's date with David doesn't go so well.  James, Alex and Renee head to Rio for the energy conference.  Miranda goes to Heather with her secret.  Brett moves into a condo at the marina and gets a personal welcome from Marilee.  

 Read Episode 59

 

 


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