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Episode 6

 

Release Date:  January 13, 2006

 Read the episode Recap

 

Previously...

Brooke was disappointed when James postponed their honeymoon.  Alex put off Jordan's offer to star in his next movie, hoping to align herself with Will in his plot to destroy James by having Angel Assassin slapped with an X rating.   Winter was fired from the hospital. James manipulated the situation by suggesting to Winter that she start dating Ethan again, secretly hoping it would keep Ethan away from Brooke.  In exchange, he convinced Renee to give Winter her job back. With James busy with other problems, a lonely Brooke went to Ethan and they wound up sharing a passionate kiss. Miranda finally returned home and announced that she was married.


 

 Episode 6

"Ethan's Father"

 

Brooke put her arm around James and tried calming him down.  “Just relax, James,” she began.  “Try not to get too upset.”

“How can I not get upset?” James shouted, startling Brooke and causing her to pull away with a jolt.  “My twenty year old daughter flies off to Vegas and comes home three days later married to a stranger!”

“Brett is not a stranger, Daddy,” Miranda insisted, her arm latched securely through Brett’s.

“Mr. Blackthorne, if you’ll just let me explain,” Brett began.  “When Miranda and I met it was like fate.”

“Do me a favor, Brett,” James interrupted.  “Don’t talk.  This is between my daughter and I.”

“Stop treating me like I’m a child!” Miranda insisted.  Brett is my husband and I expect you to treat him with respect.”

“What do you even know about him?” James asked, pacing around the foyer in frustration.  “How can you possibly know someone that you just met three days ago?  I don’t think you’re grasping the seriousness of this, Miranda!”

“Yes I am, Daddy!  I got married!  I love him!”

“No you don’t!” James argued.  “You can’t possibly!”

Miranda stepped toward her father, shaking her head in disbelief.  “You were the one who wanted me to accept Brooke into our family,” she began.  “It’s been the most important thing to you for God knows how long.   Well here I am ready to accept her.  So guess what, Daddy?   You’re going to have to do the same thing with Brett.”

James rubbed his aching head and let out a chuckle.  “So that’s what this is all about,” he began.  “This is my punishment for marrying Brooke, isn’t it?  Well it’s not going to work, Miranda.  This is the most childish thing you’ve ever done.”

“No, Daddy,” Miranda corrected him.  “It’s the most grown up thing I’ve ever done.  Your little girl is all grown up.  She’s going to start a family of her own.  You’re just going to have to accept that.”

She gave Brooke a brief stare before grabbing Brett’s arm and leading him up the stairs.

“Where do you think you’re going?” James called after her.

Miranda stopped and turned back to her father.  “Upstairs to my room.”

“If you think that man is going to stay in my house-“

“Are you saying my husband isn’t welcome here?” Miranda asked, challenging her father relentlessly.  “Because if that’s the case-“

“It’s fine, Miranda,” Brooke interrupted, stepping forward and holding James back.  “Of course Brett is welcome here.   Will the two of you join us for dinner in a few minutes?”

Miranda hesitated, rather startled that Brooke was standing up for her.  “Yes, we’ll join you,” she said before leading Brett up the stairs to her bedroom.

Brooke reached for James and he pushed her away.  “Why did you do that?” he asked, full of contempt.

“I was just trying to help.”

“Why don’t you stay out of it!” James yelled.  “This is none of your business!”

He turned and stormed down the hall to his study, leaving a stunned Brooke alone in the foyer.   She felt her eyes stinging with tears, deeply hurt by James’s words.

Polo Lounge

Alex Reynolds stared across the candlelit table as Jordan Rydell went on and on about his new movie.   She would have been bored to tears if he wasn’t such a dashingly handsome man.  Sometime during the middle of his sales pitch she had drifted off into a daze and imagined the two of them in a Jacuzzi filled with bubbles while drinking champagne.

She felt a little bit like she did first coming to Hollywood when she was seventeen.  Falling under the spell of every charming producer and director who offered to help her was par for the course in her younger years.  A prime example was her relationship with Nathan Blackthorne, James's uncle, the legendary director and matinee idol. Then after her stormy marriage to James, she swore she'd never get involved with another Hollywood mogul.  But here she was at the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills with Jordan Rydell.  Would she ever learn?

“Earth to Alex,” Jordan said with a smile as he tried to get her attention.

“What?”

“Where were you just now?” he asked.  “You look a million miles away.”

Alex smiled and lifted her glass to her perfectly lined lips.  “Let’s not talk about business any more tonight,” she said.  She had no intention of doing Jordan’s film so she wanted to get as far off the subject as she could.   The truth was she just wasn’t ready to go back to work.  It was too soon after the humiliation brought on by James.   She couldn’t possibly face her fans or the critics after the scandal that followed their bitter divorce.  She was crucified in her last film, Sandman, and she had no intention of reliving that nightmare.

“What would you like to talk about?” asked Jordan with a sly grin.  He knew there had to be a way of convincing her to do his film.  If appealing to her instincts for revenge against James didn’t work, he’d have to think of something else. 

Before she could reply, Stormy and Heather spotted them from across the room and approached their table.  “Mom, I didn’t expect to see you here,” Stormy said, bending down and kissing his mother on the cheek.  He looked at Jordan and nodded politely.  “Jordan.”

“Hello Stormy, hello Heather,” Jordan replied, standing up and kissing his daughter tenderly.  “Would the two of you care to join us?”

“That’s okay,” Heather said, all the while not taking her eyes off of Alex.  “Daddy, I didn’t realize you and Stormy’s mother were friends.   Does this sort of thing go on every night?”

“Heather, your father and I have always been friends,” Alex replied.  “We were just never allowed to speak while James and I were married.”

“Mom, don’t start,” Stormy said, rolling his eyes.  He hated the animosity between his parents and wished they could get along.  Sometimes he felt like he was caught in the middle of their constant bickering.  It was that way even when they were still married.

“We have a table over there,” Heather announced, pointing across the room.

“Yeah, we’ll leave the two of you alone,” Stormy said, smiling as he led Heather off to their table.

They sat down and Heather slammed her purse on the table in a tizzy.

“What’s that all about?” Stormy asked with a frown.

What is he doing with her?” she asked, staring at her father and Alex from across the room.

“You heard them.  They’re friends.”

Heather rolled her eyes.  “Oh sure, friends.  I’m sorry, Stormy, but your mother doesn’t have any friends.  She uses people.  That’s all.”

“I had no idea you felt this way about my mother,” Stormy said defensively, waving off the waiter as he approached.  “Do you hate the rest of my family too or is it just her?”

“I don’t hate her,” Heather replied.  “I just don’t like her hanging around my father.”

“Why?”

“Just forget it,” Heather said, wishing she’d never brought it up.  The truth was she had never gotten over her mother leaving them.  One day in the seventh grade she came home from school and her father told her that her mother was gone.  Barely an explanation other than that they weren't happy, then assured her it was nothing she had done.  But to this day, she held on to the hope that her mother would some day come back, and she wanted her father to be ready.

She picked up the menu and sighed.  “Let’s just order.  I’m starving.”

Stormy shook his head in aggravation.  He didn’t like the insinuation that his mother wasn’t good enough for the mighty Jordan Rydell.

Winter Austen

Meanwhile, Ethan and Winter were walking along the beach under the moonlight, carrying their shoes as their bare feet squished into the sand.  Ethan stopped to pick up a seashell, hurdling it out into the choppy ocean waves that rolled in and swirled around their ankles.

“So what are you going to do now?” he asked.

Winter shrugged.  “Not get involved with any more married men for starters,” she joked light-heartedly, then laughed.   “I don’t know.  The first thing I have to do is find an apartment.  There just hasn’t been anything decent that I can afford.”

Ethan thought purposefully, his hands dug into the pockets of his linen pants.  “If you find a place I can help you get settled,” he offered.  “Just until you get back on your feet.”

Winter shook her head.  “No Ethan, I can’t ask you to do that,” she said.   “I’m through taking handouts. I want to do it on my own.”

“Well you’re not asking.  I’m offering.   And don’t think of it as a handout.  It’s just a friend helping out another friend.”

Winter stopped and turned to him, the warm ocean breeze blowing her blond hair in her eyes.  “You’re amazing,” she said with a smile.  “Running into you was the best thing that could have happened to me.”

Ethan smiled and kicked the sand with his bare feet.  He couldn’t keep his mind from wandering back to Brooke and the kiss they shared that day.  It flashed in his mind over and over again like a movie reel playing back the same scene.  He wondered what she was doing at that moment. 

Blackthorne Mansion

The dinner table at the Blackthorne mansion was quiet.  James, Brooke, Miranda and Brett sat in silence as they ate their last course.  Finally, Brett set down his fork and looked around the table with a grin.

“Miranda tells me the two of you just got married,” he said. 

James didn’t reply.  Brooke waited a few seconds and then nodded.  “Yes, three days ago,” she said.  She was still terribly upset by the way James had dismissed her earlier.  He made her feel like she wasn't part of the family, something she already felt insecure about.

“Oh my God!” Miranda said with a gasp.  “We got married on the same day!  I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before!  We have the same anniversary, isn’t that a hoot?”

James looked at her with a stark, blank expression and gulped down half a glass of Shiraz.  He knew what Miranda was doing.  She was trying to play off her marriage as no big deal.  She wanted to hurt him to get back at him for marrying Brooke.  It was so obvious to him.  Rather than fly off the handle again, he decided to play into her hand.

“So what do you do for a living, Brett?” he asked, folding his hands on the table.

Brett’s eyes darted nervously around the table.  “Well in Vegas I ran a charter tour company,” he explained.  “Basically that means I shuffled a bunch of blue haired ladies around the strip.  It paid pretty good though so I can’t complain.”

James was horrified.  “Where are you from originally?”

“All over really.”

“Ever been to Los Angeles before today?”

“No.”

“How old are you?”

“26.”

“Any family?”

“I’m not really close with my family.”

James sighed and leaned back in his chair.  “Let me get this straight,” he began, trying his best to maintain his composure.  “You’re six years older my daughter, your last job was as a bus driver, you live like a gypsy, and there’s no family to speak of who can vouch for you.”

“Daddy!” Miranda yelled angrily.  She hated that fact that no one was good enough in her father’s eyes.  She could marry Prince William and her father would still give him the third degree.

“I’m sorry, Miranda,” James said.  “I simply cannot have my only daughter married to a man she barely knows!  What on earth were you thinking?”

Miranda stood up in a hurry, fed up with her father’s protests.  “Brett and I may not have known each other very well when we got married,” she began.  “But we’ve spent every minute of the last three days together.  I feel like I know him better than I know anyone.  He’s good to me and he loves me.”

“You can’t say that after three days!” James insisted, standing up in protest.

Brooke watched uneasily.  She wished James would just accept the fact that his daughter was a grown woman and had a mind of her own.  At least this way she was distracted from the animosity she felt toward her and their marriage. 

“I thought about never coming back here,” Miranda said solemnly.  “I was so upset about what happened before I took off that I never wanted to set foot in this house again.  But then Brett told me I’d be making a big mistake.  He turned away from his family and he’s regretted it every since.”

James listened and realized that some of what she was saying actually made sense.

“It’s because of Brett that I’m here right now,” Miranda continued.  “Now are you telling me that my husband isn’t welcome here?  Because if you are then we’ll leave and go someplace else.”

James closed his eyes and sighed with defeat.  He knew she was bold enough to follow through on her threats.  He had no choice but to accept the fact that she was married, no matter how much he disapproved.   For now he had to bite his tongue and welcome her daughter’s husband into the family.  When the dust settled he would work on putting an end to the ridiculous so-called marriage.

“If you need anything, Brett, just ask Leilani,” he said, digging his hands deep into his pockets.  “She’ll help you get settled.”

“Thank you, Mr. Blackthorne,” Brett replied eagerly.

James nodded and started out of the dining room.  Miranda ran up to him and stopped him before he left. 

 “I love you, Daddy," she said and gave him a warm hug.

James let out a deep breath, kissing the top of her head.  He knew she was making a big mistake but there was no arguing with her.  He’d have to give it some time.  Maybe this Brett Armstrong character would disappear as quickly as he appeared.  Drifters had a tendency to do that.

Alex's House

Jordan drove Alex back to her beach house in Malibu and opened the door of his shiny red Ferrari.  Taking her hand, he helped her out of the car and walked her up to the front door.

“Thank you for a lovely evening,” Alex said, adjusting the sheer wrap around her bare shoulders.

“I enjoyed myself,” Jordan replied with a smile.  “Although I must admit I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t get to discuss my script.  You still haven’t told me what you think of it.”

“I have a few more scenes to finish,” she said.  “I’ll give you my verdict then.”

“Do you always keep men waiting?”

Alex smiled devilishly and opened the front door.  “Not always,” she said, gesturing for him to come inside.

Jordan walked into the entryway and put his arms around her, kissing her passionately in the glow of the moonlight that streamed in through the windows. 

Ethan's House

Winter showed up at Ethan’s door bright and early the next morning.  He opened the door in a towel and she grinned mischievously. 

“I thought you might be able to help me look for apartments,” she said, holding up the newspaper ads.  She couldn’t take her eyes off his strong, muscular body.  He was in even better shape now than when they dated before.

Ethan smiled.  “Sure, just let me get dressed.”

Winter went inside and waited for Ethan to change.   Minutes later, they were in his BMW driving through the Valley with the top down.

After looking at several apartments, they stopped at a snack stand on the beach for a cold drink.   Sitting at a table shaded by an umbrella, Winter eyed him carefully and sipped her drink through a pink straw.

“I feel like I don’t even know you anymore,” she said.

“What do you mean?” Ethan asked with a frown.

She shrugged, her blond hair whipping around in the breeze.  “Just that it’s been so long since we’ve really talked,” she explained.  “I don’t know what’s been going on in your life. “

Ethan sighed and pushed up his Gucci shades.   “Not a lot, to be honest.”

Winter shrugged.  “Tell me anything,” she said with a smile.   “I want to know all about the Ethan Blackthorne of 2006.”

He laughed and glanced around at the crowded beach.  “There’s not much to tell,” he replied.  “I’m still working for my uncle James.   I spend a lot of time with him and my cousins.”

“What about your parents?” she asked.  “I mean, I know your mother died when you were born, but did you ever find out what happened to your father?  If I remember correctly, that was a pretty big issue a few years ago.”

Ethan grew distant and wasn’t sure that he wanted to get into it.   “According to James, my father was a carnival worker who came into town and got my mother pregnant.  He left town and no one ever heard from him again.”

Winter shook her head in despair.  She knew how hard it had been for Ethan to come to terms with.  It still was obviously.  Not much had changed in the past few years. 

“I guess I have no right to complain about my parents,” she said, staring off out at the calm blue ocean.  “They may not have been the best parents in the world, but at least they were there for me before they died.   I can’t imagine what it must have been like for you.  Never knowing your mother or father.”

Ethan nodded, trying not to get too down about it.  He was through grieving over his dead mother and his absent father.   He’d wasted enough of his life on all of that.  He had his uncle James and that was more than a lot of people had. 

“Come on, that apartment isn’t going to find you,” he said, getting up from the table and sipping from his drink.

Alex Reynolds

Alex showed up at the Blackthorne mansion and pushed her way past Leilani when she opened the door.

“I want to see my daughter,” she said.  “I talked to the pilot and I know he brought her home last night.  Where is she?”

“Good morning, Alex,” Brooke said as she walked into the foyer from the dining room.

Alex turned to Brooke and scowled bitterly at her. “Where’s Miranda?”

“She’s upstairs in her room,” Brooke replied casually.

Alex pushed her way past her and made her way up the staircase.

“I wouldn’t go up there if I were you,” Brooke called after her.  When Alex ignored her, she broke into a devilish smile.  She wished she could be a fly on the wall when Alex Reynolds walked in on her daughter in bed with her new husband. 

Alex walked purposefully down the hallway and pushed open Miranda’s bedroom door.  “Miranda, I-“  She stopped in her tracks when she saw her daughter on the bed with Brett, his sweaty, naked body covering her, moving rhythmically against her.

“Mom!” Miranda cried out in surprise.    Brett jumped up off of her and covered himself with a pillow.

“Miranda, what the hell is going on?” Alex asked in shock.

“Mom, this is Brett,” she said, pulling the sheet over her naked body.  “My husband.”

“Hello Ms. Reynolds,” Brett said, extending his hand to her.

Alex looked at him and squirmed uncomfortably before backing up and ducking out of the room.    She closed her eyes, unnerved by the incident.  Seeing her daughter in the throws of passion with a man was not something a mother relished seeing.   And what the hell was Miranda talking about anyway?  Her husband?

Deciding she would get the story from another source, she started back down the hallway and walked down the stairs.  She spotted Brooke coming out of the parlor and rushed over to her.

“You did that on purpose,” she said angrily.

Brooke smiled, enjoying the fact that Alex had been caught in the uncomfortable position.  “I’m so sorry,” she said.  “I guess I forgot to tell you.  Miranda got married in Vegas and her husband moved in last night.”

“You think you’re so smart,” Alex said, raising her hand and bringing it down to slap her across the face.

Brooke stopped her hand in mid air, gritting her teeth and shoving her away.  “You’ve got to be quicker than that,” she said, enjoying being able to throw the words back in the woman’s face.   “Now get out of my house.”

Alex rolled her eyes.  “Listen, you little tramp.  I wouldn’t get too comfortable here if I were you.  You’ll be thrown out just like-“

“Like you were?” Brooke finished for her.

Alex glared at her and stormed out of the mansion. 

Laughing, Brooke made her way up the stairs to her bedroom.  She finally had given Alex Reynolds a taste of her own medicine and it felt great.

Winter Austen

Ethan grew distant for the rest of the afternoon and eventually had to go take care of some business for James, so Winter continued apartment hunting on her own.  She felt terrible for bringing up such a sore subject.  It was obvious that Ethan still hadn't come to terms with growing up an orphan.   She'd come to care for him so much in the last couple of days, and she felt like kicking herself for causing him any grief.

An ad for someone needing a roommate to share a two-bedroom apartment on the beach proved to be worth checking out.  She fell in love with the apartment.  It was ten feet from the beach and there were lots of people her age who inhabited the small building.  The girl who lived there, Lauren something, was a sweet girl who worked as a waitress at a local diner.    They clicked instantly and Winter was going to start moving in the next day.

When she got back to her condo at the marina, the phone rang and she scrambled across the room, thinking it might be Ethan calling.

"Hello?" she answered.

"Winter, it's Hattie Alves from Cedars-Sinai," said the caller.

"Yes, Mrs. Alves?"  Winter wondered why the head nurse from the hospital was calling her.  Hopefully it was more good news.

"The hospital board has reconsidered.  You can start back to work tomorrow night."

"Oh, thank you Mrs. Alves," Winter said happily, jumping up and down with excitement.  "You won't regret it, I promise."

"Just keep out of trouble, Winter.  We'll be watching you."

"I will, thank you."   She hung up the phone and spun around the room jubilantly.

Things were finally looking up for her, just as James Blackthorne promised.  She owed him a debt of gratitude.  First for getting Ethan back in her life, and secondly for getting her job back.

She was on her way to the top, and no one could stop her.

Stormy Blackthorne

That night at the Blackthorne mansion, Stormy and Heather arrived, greeting Leilani as she opened the door for them.   They went into the family room where Miranda and Brett were having a drink with Brooke.

"Welcome back, kid," Stormy said with a grin, playfully punching Miranda on the arm.

She smiled and gave him a quick hug.   "Stormy, I want you to meet somebody," she said, gesturing to Brett.   "This is Brett Armstrong."

"So it is true," he replied, shaking Brett's hand and staring him straight in the eye.   "You went out and got married."

"Yep," Miranda said gleefully.

"Nice to meet you, Stormy," Brett remarked.

Stormy laughed and poured ice and vodka into two glasses.  "I don't know why dad was so surprised by this," he began.  "This is so you, Miranda.  Who else would run off to Las Vegas and come back married?  You've outdone yourself this time."

Miranda smiled, not sure whether her brother was being his usual wisecracking self or not.   "Thanks."

"Welcome to the family," Stormy said, handing Brett the drink and taking the other for himself.  "I hope you know what you're getting into."

Brett laughed.  "That's what everyone keeps saying."  He looked down at Brooke and laughed again.  "Brooke and I are the newbies.  I guess we'll have to stick together."

"Just let me know if you need anything, Brett," Brooke offered.

Miranda quickly put her arm around Brett and gave Brooke a toothy smile.  "He knows who to come to if he needs anything," she said coldly.  She couldn't believe Brooke was trying to be so friendly with her husband.  Brett was one man that Brooke was not going to sway into her court.

Deciding to break the tension, Heather stepped forward and pulled Miranda down onto the sofa with her.  "So tell us all about your trip, Miranda," she said sweetly.  "How did you guys meet?"

"I was playing the roulette wheel at the Flamingo Hilton and-"

"You were at the Hilton?" Stormy inquired.  "Did you get to see any of that excitement going on?"

"What excitement?" Miranda asked with a frown.

Stormy picked the evening paper up from the cocktail table and flipped through the pages.   "I'm surprised you haven't seen this," he said, handing Miranda the paper and pointing to a story.

"Man dies from ten story fall at Las Vegas Hotel," she read aloud, then turned to Brett with a shocked look on her face.  "Oh my God, I can't believe we didn't hear about any of this when we were there."

Brett fidgeted nervously with his cocktail and took a big gulp.  "Well, we were sort of occupied at the time," he joked, scanning the article quickly.  He began to sweat and feel like the room was closing in on him.   "What else does it say?"

"Witnesses say the man, twenty-eight year old Bailey Freeborn, was seen falling from the ten story window," Miranda read from the article.   "Investigators at the scene determined that a struggle occurred in the room at the luxury hotel-casino where the victim had been registered as a guest, and are treating the death as a homicide.  Hotel personnel are assisting the police in locating a man who was seen fleeing from Freeborn's room."

"That's awful," Brooke remarked, shivering from the unsettling news. 

"Yeah, did you know about any of this?" Miranda asked Brett, handing him the newspaper.

 He shook his head, his heart beating wildly.   "No, it's news to me."

Blackthorne Mansion

Ethan walked into the study and found James sitting at his desk doing some paperwork.   He took a deep breath and cleared his throat to announce his presence.

"Ethan, good to see you," James said, looking up from his papers.   "Everyone is in the family room."

"So is it true?" Ethan asked.  "Did Miranda really get married?"

James sighed with frustration and rubbed his aching head.  "Yes, it appears that she did," he replied.  "As if I need something else to worry about.  I don't know what's going on with that girl, Ethan.   I feel like she's slipping away from me and I don’t know how to stop it."

Ethan put his hands in his pockets and stared down at his uncle.  "James, can I ask you a question?"

"Sure, what's on your mind?"

"It's about my father," Ethan announced.

James shot him a quick stare and then went back to shuffling papers around on the top of his desk.  "What about him?" he asked somewhat distantly.  He wanted to dismiss the topic as soon as possible.  Ethan's father was a subject that was better left alone.

"I need to know more about him."

"We've been through all this before," James insisted.  "He was a drifter who came to Windsor with the carnival.  He took advantage of your mother and then left town.  She was pregnant and alone.  It's sad, but true."

Ethan struggled to understand and come to terms with the facts.  "How long was he in town?"

"A few weeks, I don't remember," James replied, trying to hide his frustration.  "Ethan, why are you bringing this up again?  I thought we covered all of this-"

"I just need to know, that's all."

Sighing, James stood up and walked around to the other side of the desk.  "Look, I know this is difficult for you to understand," he said.  "Just remember that your mother was a victim in all of this.  She didn't plan on getting pregnant and having the father of her child run out on her.  She didn't plan on getting sick and dying.  It was all just an unfortunate turn of events."

"An unfortunate turn of events?" Ethan said in disbelief.  "This is my life we're talking about."

James put a hand on his shoulder and looked him in the eye.  "You've turned into a very upstanding, descent young man.  I couldn't be prouder of you if you were my own son.  I know it sounds egomaniacal, but I attribute a lot of who you are to my influence."

Ethan realized what James was saying.  He had a loving caring family, despite any misgivings he had about the way he was conceived or the way his father had deserted him before he was even born.

"Why don't you go on in and see everybody," James said, leading Ethan to the doorway.   "I'll be in in a few minutes."

Ethan nodded and left the study, starting across the foyer.  He stopped when he heard the doorbell.  Rather than wait for Leilani, he went over and opened it himself.  He was surprised to see Alex Reynolds standing outside in a black and white dress and wide-brimmed hat.

"Hello Ethan," she said, making her way inside.  "I'd like to see Miranda if she's home."  She was bound to see her daughter this time.  After the way Brooke set her up earlier she was in no mood for any more games.  She was going to get to the bottom of Miranda's latest stunt if she had to break legs to do it.

"I'll go get her," Ethan replied before he turned and walked down the hallway to the family room.

Alex glanced round the foyer and spotted a light emanating from the study.  She raised a curious eyebrow and casually made her way to the door.  Just then, Miranda appeared in the foyer and raced over to her mother with open arms.

"Mother, I've been meaning to call you," she said, giving her a big hug.  "I'm sorry if I worried you."

"Darling, what is this nonsense about you being married?" Alex asked.  "I don't understand.  Why would you say that?"

"Because it's true, Mother," Miranda replied.  "I met him in Vegas and we got married.  He's the greatest guy in the world."

Confused, Alex grabbed her daughter by the shoulders and looked deeply into her eyes.  "Sweetheart, you can't know him well enough to marry him.   It's as simple as that.  I'm going to call my lawyer and we'll get it annulled.  It'll be quick and painless and then you can move on with your life."

"Mother, I don’t want an annulment!" Miranda yelled angrily.  "Aren't you listening to a word I’m saying?  I love him."

"You couldn't possibly love him, Miranda," Alex insisted, trying to reason with her daughter.  "Love is something that you build and work for.  You don't run off to Vegas and find it in a matter of days."

Miranda pulled away and scowled at her.  "Daddy understands," she said.  "He's accepted Brett as my husband, and if he can do it then why can't you?"

"Your father has accepted him?" Alex asked in disbelief.  She couldn't believe James was actually condoning this travesty of a marriage.  Did he have any regard for their daughter's well being?  "We'll see about that."

Terribly distraught, Miranda turned and bolted back down the hallway to the family room. 

Alex tightened her jaw and glanced over at the study.  She was going to give James a piece of her mind.  There was no way she was going to let him stand by while their daughter ruined her life.

Brooke Taylor

Ethan found Brooke standing alone on the terrace outside the family room.  He ducked outside and closed the doors so that no one could hear them. 

“Are you okay?” he asked, noting the faraway look in her eyes.

She didn’t look back at him, but kept staring out at the starry night sky.  “That can’t happen again, Ethan,” she said.  “It’s wrong.”

He nodded in agreement.  “I know.”

“I love my husband.”

“Do you?” he found himself asking, and regretted it almost immediately.

Brooke finally turned toward him.   "Of course I do.”

He looked down to the ground, feeling awful for questioning her love for her husband, for his uncle.   But he couldn’t help noticing the unhappiness in her eyes.   “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.”

She turned back to the sky and felt the cool evening breeze on her face.  “You need to move on, Ethan.   Whatever your feelings are for me, you need to move on.”

“Is that what you’re going to do?” he asked.

She closed her eyes.  Yes, she did feel something for him.  But whatever it was, it was wrong.  She owed James so much more than that.

“It’s what we have to do,” she said. 

Ethan nodded.  He knew she was right.   Whatever had been building up for the past few weeks was over.  They had to forget about the kiss they shared at his house and move on with their lives.    He turned and went back inside the house, leaving Brooke alone on the terrace.

Gazing at the stars, Brooke felt a tear trickle down her cheek.

Jasmes Blackthorne

James held the phone to his ear, tapping a pencil on the desk as he talked to the private investigator he'd hired to look into Will Thomerson's past.

"It's been two days and you're telling me you haven't found anything?" he asked angrily.   "Maybe I didn't make myself clear, Mr. Saunders.  When I said I needed that information right away, I meant this century."

"Mr. Blackthorne, there just isn't anything," said Saunders.   "The guy is clean as a whistle."

"That's impossible," James replied.  "Will Thomerson has got to have a few skeletons in his closet somewhere, and I'm paying you good money to find them."

"Do you want me to make something up?"

James didn't appreciate his cavalier attitude.  He was dead serious about finding something on Will Thomerson.  Something he could use to get him out of his life for good.

"You don't seem to understand," James continued.  "I need to get him as far away from L.A. as possible.  The longer he stays here, the better the chances are that my nephew learns the truth."

"I understand that, Mr. Blackthorne-"

"I don’t think you do," James snapped.  "If Will Thomerson finds out that Ethan is his son, he'll never be out of our lives.  Now please find something on him and find it quick."

Alex stood in the doorway, watching as James hung up the phone.  She stared with wide eyes, unable to believe what she'd just heard.   All this time James knew that Will Thomerson was Ethan's father and he never told him.  

This was definitely something she could use.  Finally she had the ammunition to get back at James for treating her like dirt.  Suddenly she forgot all about Miranda and her surprise marriage.   This was more important. 

Revenge was going to be sweet.


 Next time...

Alex hires a private investigator to look into Brooke's past.   Winter gets a new roommate. Stormy and Heather argue about her career.  Will and Jordan comes to blows over Alex.  Brooke packs her bags.

 Read Episode 7

 

 


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