Seth Walker offered Brett a position as his head of
public relations. Later, Brett worried that Marilee's
advances would risk the new opportunity. Heather
tried to convince Miranda to keep her baby. When
she refused, Heather told Brett about the baby, who
intercepted MIranda at the hospital just after she called
off the abortion. Alex gleefully told Renee that
she and Jordan slept together. Ethan admitted
to Brooke that he was still in love with her. At
the energy conference in Rio de Janeiro, James slept
with Leigh Purcell. Back in Hollywood, Nathan
cornerned Brooke and tried to rape her, but she escaped
and locked herself in the bathroom.
was early in the morning in Los Angeles and a steamy haze hung over the
city. Smog warnings had already been
issued twice that week and it looked to Ethan as though they could expect
another one today. Getting out of his Mercedes
in the porte-cochere of the Blackthorne mansion, he jogged up to the door and
morning, Mr. Blackthorne,” said Leilani as she made her way through the foyer
with a feather duster. “Would you care
for some breakfast?”
shook his head. “No, thank you,
Leilani. I was just looking for Mrs.
don’t think she’s come downstairs yet,” Leilani replied before making her way
into the dining room to tend to the breakfast buffet.
turned and started up the stairs when Nathan came down, already dressed and
smiling big as ever.
how nice to see you,” he said and paused on the landing. “What brings you by so early this morning?”
ran his hands through his hair. He was
dressed in gym shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt, having just finished a workout
when Brooke phoned him and asked him to come over. “I’m here to see Brooke,” he said. “Have you seen her?”
him knowingly, Nathan shrugged and gestured up the stairs. “I think she’s in the nursery. Michael hasn’t been feeling well and I think
she spent all night in with him.” He
watched Ethan’s expression, wondering if Brooke had already cried to him about
last night and their unfortunate miscommunication. Knowing Brooke, she would blow everything
that happened out of proportion, just like all the others had before.
I think I’ll go check on her,” Ethan finally said. When he got to the nursery, he pushed the
door open gently and peered inside.
Michael was asleep in his crib and Brooke was curled into a ball in the
rocking chair, staring into a daze across the room, her face white as a sheet. The curtains and blinds were drawn shut and a
few thin rays of light filtered inside the dark room.
he said gently and approached her. He
could tell something was terribly wrong.
He couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen her so despondent. “Brooke, I came as soon as you called. Is everything okay?”
shook her head, crying silently as she privately relived the terrifying
incident with Nathan the night before.
Alex had been right about him all along.
She’d warned her about what kind of man he was. She was lucky to have gotten away from him in
time. The first thing she did when the
sun came up was call Ethan. Perhaps it
was a mistake, but he’d been there for her in the past when she needed him, and
she knew he would be again.
it James?” Ethan asked as he knelt down beside her. He didn’t notice Nathan spying from the
hidden doorway in the closet. “Has
shook her head and sobbed on his shoulder.
“No, it’s not James,” she said.
what?” he asked, stroking his hand down the back of her head. “Brooke, you have to tell me or I can’t help
she shook her head again. “I can’t,” she
said. “I just needed you. I needed someone. Please Ethan, just stay with me.”
obliged with no hesitation, holding her in his arms and wishing she would tell
him what was wrong. Her frail state of
mind was breaking his heart and all he wanted to do was kiss her and tell her
everything was going to be okay.
she’d made her choice. She married
James. Not once, but twice. He refused to get his hopes up again.
was well after midnight in Rio de Janeiro. James was standing
outside on the terrace that jutted out from Leigh’s hotel room at the Peninsula.
He watched the city lights and listened to the hustle and bustle of the streets,
cars honking and tires squealing. He
took a deep breath of night air and swirled a cocktail around in his
glass. It was late but he couldn’t
sleep. His actions the night before were
weighing on him and he began to feel guilty.
happened between he and Leigh felt perfectly natural. It was like coming home to an old
friend. It had been six years but they
slipped into the same comfortable niche that they had those few weeks in Acapulco in 2000.
Brooke was his wife and he loved her, despite their recent troubles. They had a son together and a life
together. They’d even survived her
affair with Ethan. How was his sleeping
with Leigh going to affect that? It was
a secret that would weigh on him heavily.
Even if he did go home tomorrow and forget about his tryst in Rio, he would never be able to look
Brooke in the eyes. He would have to
tell her the truth.
the room, Leigh stirred awake on the luxurious bed and stretched languorously as
a cool breeze blew against her skin. She
sat up and saw James outside. Smiling,
she wrapped herself in a silk robe and joined him on the balcony. Her long, auburn hair flowed down her back
and she smelled of papaya and coconut lotion.
James detected her fragrance before she announced herself.
I wake you?” he asked.
smiled and slid her hands around his bare chest. “I don’t mind,” she said, nibbling on his neck. “Is anything the matter?”
finally turned and looked at her. She
immediately knew what he was going to say.
It was the same story each time she met a man who was otherwise spoken
for. It wasn’t that she made a habit of
sleeping with married men; sometimes they didn’t even tell her first. She spent a lot of time at her hotel in Acapulco and unfortunately had the bad
luck of falling for the wrong men.
Married men. But James was
different. She knew exactly what she was
getting into but she didn’t care. He was
everything she’d ever wanted.
going home tomorrow,” James said. “To my
wife and my son.”
nodded and put her arms around his neck.
“I know,” she said and brushed her lips against his. Closing her eyes, she drew him into a passionate
kiss and pulled him back inside the hotel room.
didn’t fight her. He lowered her robe and buried his face in her cleavage,
panting with desire as he let his lounge pants drop to the floor. He lifted her into his arms so that she straddled
him, and they joined instantly. Leigh
threw her head back and licked her lips as James carried her to the bed and
gently set her down. He made love to her
with more vigor and stamina than he had to any woman in years. It seemed so right to him that they were
together and intimate.
that morning in Los Angeles, Leilani opened the front door and
greeted Brett as he entered the foyer.
He started to ask if Miranda was home but his question was answered for
him when she walked down the stairs in a lavender pantsuit and matching Chanel handbag
now isn’t a good time,” she began. “I’m
on my way to Hotel Terranova. My banquet manager quit and we have a
banquet tonight in the Ambassador
room. I have to go over the seating
arrangement with the staff.”
not going to work during your pregnancy, are you?” he asked, planting his hands
firmly on his hips.
frowned and shrugged indifferently. “Of
course. Why wouldn’t I?”
stepped forward and reached out to her stomach.
“Because you’re carrying my child.
I want you and him or her to
take it easy for the next nine months. I don’t want you taking any chances with
my baby’s life.”
eyes narrowed on him and she crossed her arms in disapproval. “Hold on a minute, Brett. You may be Biff’s father, but I’m his
mother. I make the decisions-“
“Wait a minute,”
Brett cut her off. “Biff? Are you serious?”
“Yes,” she replied
defiantly. “Do you have a problem with
He expected nothing
less from Miranda. “How do you even know
it’s a boy?”
She shrugged and ran
her hand over his stomach. “I just have
a feeling, that’s all,” she replied. “So
as I was saying, you can’t just start giving me orders and telling me that I
have to put my entire life on hold.
We’re not married anymore. You
have no rights when it comes to this baby.”
looked at her in disbelief. “The hell I
don’t,” he said. “It’s my baby too. “
rolled her eyes and stretched her purse tightly over her shoulder. “Don’t start this, Brett. This is exactly why I didn’t think I wanted
to have the baby in the first place.
Just because I’m pregnant does not mean that we’re getting back
together. And it doesn’t mean that
you’re going to be in this baby’s life.”
don’t mean that!” Brett exclaimed. “You
can’t keep my away from my own baby. I
won’t let you.”
have to be kidding me,” said a voice
from down the hall. They both turned and
saw Stormy coming out of the gym, sweaty and panting with exhaustion from a
workout. “Are you pregnant with his
let out a deep breath and threw her hands up in resignation. This wasn’t the way she wanted the news to
get out. First Heather blabbed to Brett,
which she still wasn’t sure that she could forgive her for. Now her brother, who had a permanent hate-on
for Brett, knew everything too. All she
needed now was Brooke to walk in and stick her nose into it.
do have rights,” Brett insisted. “I’ll be damned if I’m going to let you and
your family keep me from being part of my baby’s life.”
dirty son of a bitch,” Stormy exclaimed, his chest heaving as he walked up to
Brett and met him square in the eye.
“You did this on purpose, didn’t you?
You knew you were going to be kicked out of this family so you got my
sister pregnant just so you’d have a tie to the Blackthornes forever. How did you do it? Tamper with her birth control pills? Poke holes in your condoms?”
that’s enough,” Miranda fumed. “It was
unplanned and unexpected. I’m just going
to have to make the best of it.”
the best of it?” Stormy asked in a rage.
“Jesus, Miranda, are you forgetting why you divorced him? He lied, cheated, and manipulated everyone
within four hundred miles. He’s out of
your life and it’s got to stay that way.”
again, junior,” Brett said with a smug grin.
“Miranda’s pregnant and I’m going to be a daddy whether you like it or
don’t like it,” Stormy said, stepping closer and issuing him a look of
it off, both of you,” Miranda insisted.
“Stormy, this is really none of your concern so please keep your
opinions to yourself because they really don’t interest me.” She turned to Brett and gritted her teeth
angrily. “And if you ever want to see
this baby or have any part in his life, then you had better keep your opinions to yourself because I
won’t stand for being bullied.”
that, she bounded over to the door and raced outside to her car. Brett turned back and looked at Stormy,
ignoring the determined look in his eyes.
He wouldn’t let Miranda or her brother stand in his way of being a
father to his baby. He had rights and he
was going to make damn sure they were acknowledged.
you are,” Alex said to James when she found him in the restaurant at the
Peninsula Hotel in line for the continental breakfast. “Don’t tell me you’re skipping another
seminar today. Why exactly did we come
rolled his eyes. “Alex, do you ever
stop?” he asked. “We’re here to
network. What do you think I’ve been
doing this whole time?”
glanced across the dining room where Leigh was sitting at a table waiting for
him. “Is that what you call it?”
you and Renee aren’t getting anything out of this conference then you have no
one to blame but yourselves.”
of Renee,” Alex said with a groan.
“Where did she go, anyway? I saw
the hotel van carting her off somewhere about an hour ago.”
went for a cheese danish and sighed.
“She wanted to leave early so she booked a commercial flight back to the
“She left?” Alex exclaimed so loud that
the entire restaurant turned in her direction.
now will you keep your voice down? Why
do you care anyway? You didn’t want her
to come along in the first place.”
set her jaw, certain that she knew why Renee was returning home early. She was going back to see Jordan and confront him about what she
told her. One thing would be certain, Jordan would be furious with her when
he found out she told Renee that they slept together.
this conference was just a bad idea,” she finally said. “I’m going to leave too. I’ll book a flight out immediately.”
shook his head with aggravation and started over to his and Leigh’s table. “Do what you want, Alex. You always do anyway.”
clenched her fists, angry that Renee was trying to outfox her. There was no way she would let her sink her
claws any further into Jordan.
She would make damn sure of that.
parked her car at Hotel Terranova and made her way into the
crowded lobby, her heels tapping on the tiled floor. Big sunglasses covering her eyes, she
snatched a stack of phone messages from Link, the concierge, and continued on
her way. She stopped in her tracks when Heather approached, a timid look
on her face, as if she knew she was about to get a tongue-lashing
to end all tongue-lashings.
do you want?" Miranda guffawed.
I just want to talk, that's all, " Heather replied.
So you can dig around to see if I have any other
secrets that you can blab? Sorry, Heather, I'm
fresh out today."
followed her across the lobby and grabbed her arm. "Please
understand. I didn't mean to break your trust.
I've just seen a different side of Brett lately
raised an eyebrow and looked at her curiously. "OH
really? What side would that be?"
quickly dismissed the question. The truth was
she had not slept with Brett. She had seen
him for a different person though, even if Miranda and
Stormy never could. "He's trying to get his
life together. To be a better person. I
think getting out of that house is helping. I
just thought he needed to know, that's all."
to me," Miranda began angrily. "I make
the decisions on who I tell about my pregnancy. Not
you. The next time you tell anyone, especially
Brett, something that I told you in confidence, I swear
to God I'll go carnival freak crazy on your ass."
that, she stormed toward her office and left Heather
standing with a look of disbelief.
the brush-off continues,” said David Jennings from a corner by the front
finally stopped her manic pace and turned toward him. She lowered her sunglasses and offered an
exasperated sigh. “Am I supposed to know
what that means?” she asked. “I didn’t see
you there if that’s what you’re getting at.”
grinned his absurdly handsome grin and took a step forward. Clad in white shorts and sprayed into a tight
navy blue Lacoste polo, he looked
sporty and confident.
did you forget how to listen to your voicemail?” he asked. “I must have left you four or five in the
last couple of days. Am I getting some
Miranda opened her office door and rushed inside. She dropped her purse and the phone messages
onto her desk and tried to catch her breath.
“If you’re getting vibes they’re not coming from me,” she said, then
turned to face him. “David, what exactly
do you want from me?”
hid his surprise with a smile. “I don’t
want anything from you. I just thought
that we were-“
she interrupted hastily. “A couple? An item?
We shared one bad date.”
like to see you again.”
ran her fingers through her wild, untamed hair and laughed. “Why on earth would you want to see me
again?” she asked. “David, let me let
you in on a little secret. I’m pregnant
with my ex-husband’s baby. It’s not exactly
an ideal way to start a relationship, and from the impression I get from your
reputation, you aren’t the type to start settling down with an instant family.”
leaned in and kissed her, refusing to give her another opportunity to push him
away. After a second of two of
hesitation, Miranda wrapped her arms around him and kissed him back.
never said I wanted to settle down,” he said with a wink after they broke from
the kiss. “But I do think you’re the
most exciting woman I’ve ever met, and I’d like to see you again.”
entranced by the magical kiss, felt her entire body tingle as if telling her to
go after David with everything she had. But
she knew she should hold back in light of everything that was happening. The complications were endless.
knocked on Brett’s door and waited impatiently for him to answer. After a second or two she knocked again. When he finally answered, she rushed inside
and barely gave him a chance to acknowledge her.
just saw Miiranda at the hotel,” she said hurriedly.
is really pissed at me for telling you about
ran his fingers through his blond hair and flopped onto the plush white
like it matters. She’s going to do everything she can to
keep me from being a part of its life.”
Heather gasped and sat down beside him.
“She can’t do that. You’re the
baby’s father. You have every right to
be in his or her life.”
she’s not going to make it easy for me, I guarantee you that. And neither will Stormy. He thinks I got her pregnant so I could be
part of her life forever.”
you?” Heather asked pointedly.
brow furrowed and he shot her a harsh frown.
“Of course not,” he said. “It was
an accident. I told her I wanted to have
a baby months ago but she said it wasn’t the right time. I accepted that. How was I supposed to know that one of my
little swimmers would make it through?”
sorry,” said Heather with a certain amount of dejection. “But look, after she has the baby if she
still tries to keep you from it then you’ll just have to make her
not completley unreasonable.”
able to smile, Brett placed a hand on her bare knee and mouthed a quiet thank-you. “I appreciate you being on my side. It seems like you’re about the only who
is. I can tell this is going to be a
very rocky few months ahead.”
do whatever I can to help.” She got up
and started to the door.
Brett called after her. “The other day
when you came over…” A pause while he
contemplated his words. “Things got
pretty hot and heavy. Was that for real
or was that something else?”
smiled faintly and pulled he purse tight over her shoulder. “It was…something.”
from ear to ear, he walked up and reached his hand out to hers. “Well, we could always pick up where we left
off.” He gestured to the bedroom and
winked. “What do you think?”
to hide her interest, Heather decided it was best not to rush into
anything. “I think I’d better go before
we let ourselves get too carried away.”
she’d gone, Brett folded his arms and thought about the prospect of he and
Heather in bed together. Maybe it would
never happen, but he enjoyed the process of imagining it.
that day, the Sunset Studios jet
stood by on the airstrip in Rio. James watched as
the pilot loaded his luggage into the cargo hold and readied the aircraft for
departure. He turned to Leigh who stood
by on the tarmac and smiled fondly.
you sure you don’t want me to give you a lift?” he asked.
shook her hair over her shoulders and laughed.
“That’s very nice, James, but I know you want to get home. Besides, the Greek shipping tycoon is giving
me a lift. We actually came up with a
business plan that might do both of our companies some good.”
turned into quite the businesswoman.”
you’ve turned into somebody that I am so happy to have had in my life,” she
replied wistfully. “I really mean
that. These past couple of days have
nodded and dug his hands into his pockets.
“Yes, they have,” he said, then pondered her statement further and
raised a curious eyebrow. “It sounds
like this is another goodbye.”
shrugged. “I guess it kind of is. You have a life and a family back in Los Angeles, and I have a business to run in
Our lives couldn’t be farther apart.”
sense of gloom enveloped him as he lifted his hand and stroked her soft, supple
cheek. “Promise me that you’ll try to
get over Roger,” he said sorrowfully. “You’re
a beautiful, vibrant, intelligent woman.
You deserve to be happy.”
if you’re the thing that will make me
didn’t know how to respond. “I wish I
could be,” he said. “But as you said,
our lives couldn’t be farther apart.”
know, I know. You have your wife and
your children and you can’t give that up.
I understand that. But can you
blame me if I’m a little jealous?”
smiled and kissed her warmly. “No,” he
said and picked up his carry-on bag.
Leigh whispered, pressing her finger against his lips and backing up a few
steps. She watched as he turned and
climbed aboard the jet. It seemed so
final, she thought. Six years ago they’d
said the same goodbye. This time she
didn’t want to believe it was for good.
the jet taxi'd down the runway, she turned and started
toward the shipping tycoon's G4. She climbed the
steps to the main cabin and fished her cell phone from
her purse when it began to ring.
you accomplish anything with Blackthorne?" said
a voice through the phone.
scowled and sunk into a leather seat. "Not
yet. But I'm working on it."
I thought you were a pro," the voice said.
know what I'm doing," Leigh said firmly, then changed
subjects. "I thought you were going
to try to make it here for the conference. Or
wouldn't your wife let you out of the country with that
short leash she's got you on?"
laughed. A static, crackled laugh through the
broken connection. "Marilee
has a new plaything to keep her busy. Besides, I have
work to do here."
be in touch," Leigh said and clicked off the phone.
his private room at the Yacht Club, Seth
grinned and flipped his cell phone closed.
Jordan was on his yacht preparing for
an afternoon sail around the bay. He
stepped around the deck, preparing the navigational aids when he saw a blur of
white swarming toward him from the dock.
have a lot of explaining to do,” Renee said, her fists planted firmly on her
hips as she glared menacingly at him.
She was clad in a white pantsuit and a giant bag slung over her
he said with a surprised smile. “I
didn’t expect you back until tonight.
How was the conference?”
tell you how it was,” she said irately.
“Your ex-wife was a thorn in my side the entire time, right up until she
filled me in on your little post-divorce reunion last week at her beach house.”
Jordan’s jaw dropped and he immediately
knew that the cat was out of the bag.
Alex had opened her big mouth and gloated to Renee about their afternoon
of bonus sex following their divorce becoming final. He should have known that she couldn’t keep a
secret like that, especially from her biggest rival.
Renee, about that-“
you dare try to talk your way out of this, Jordan!” she continued. “You slept with her and lied to me about it. How dumb was I to get involved with you and
to think that you could ever stay faithful to any woman for any length of time. You were a playboy for your entire adult
life. I honestly think that’s why your
poor wife Suzanne left you all those years ago.
She couldn’t handle your philandering ways.”
it isn’t like that,” Jordan pleaded. “Just let me explain.”
what?” said a voice from the distance.
They both looked up and saw Alex coming down the dock. “Don’t waste your time, Jordan.
This floozy couldn’t keep Kenny satisfied in bed so why should you be
you’re back,” Jordan said, suddenly feeling like the
sky was falling down on him. What had
started out as a peaceful afternoon of sailing was quickly turning into an
episode of a bad reality show. “Renee
and I were just-“
one to talk, Alex,” Renee spat. “You were
divorced by not one but two men in the last three years. It sounds like you’re the one who can’t keep
a man satisfied.”
got a lot of nerve talking to me like that after what you pulled in Rio,” Alex said, stepping closer and
issuing her a look of warning.
she talking about?” Jordan asked, unable to resist his
slapped her,” Renee admitted. “And with
good reason.” She turned her sights back
to Alex. “Now I suggest that you leave
right now unless you want to get slapped again.”
won’t get another opportunity, believe me,” Alex said.
me.” Renee said and drew her hand
back. Before she could bring it down
again, Alex grabbed her arm and pushed her away. They struggled briefly on the dock and
Renee’s heel got stuck between two wooden planks. Before she knew it, she was losing her
balance and falling over the edge, bringing Alex in with her.
Jordan watched with wide eyes as both
women splashed into the water next to his yacht. They screamed and shouted at one another,
both covered in seaweed and muck from the gasoline-infused water.
going to pay for that, you bitch!” Alex screamed and pulled at Renee’s
miserable-“ Renee began, splashing filthy water in her face and trying desperately
to swim away.
on the yacht, Jordan couldn’t help but smile in
amusement at their catty antics. He
decided that it was going to be an interesting turn of events if he continued
to see either one of them.
afternoon, Brooke finally decided to make her way downstairs. Michael had finally fallen asleep after a day
of fussing and crying. She needed to
stretch her legs and get something to eat.
Ethan had left hours ago after she did her best to convince him that
nothing was wrong. She couldn’t tell him
the truth. Telling him about what Nathan
did would turn her into a victim again in his eyes, which she hated the thought
of entirely. She’d spent too long being
through the foyer, she froze in her tracks when the front door opened and
Nathan entered the house. She looked at
him with wide eyes, backing up and searching for something to defend herself
evening, Brooke,” Nathan said with a nonchalant grin. “Is James home yet?”
didn’t respond. Her eyes riveted to him,
she backed up against the table in the foyer and grappled for a heavy iron
imagine he’s still in the air. I forgot
what a long flight it was from Brazil.”
James does get home he’ll find out what a monster you are,” Brooke finally
said. “I’ll tell him everything and
he’ll throw you out and send you straight back to hell where you came from, you
regarded her casually. “What is it that
I’m going to hell for, pray?”
know damn well what you did!” Brooke screamed, her hair whipping around and
hitting her in the face. “You tried to
rape me! You held me down and you forced
yourself on me!”
he dug his hands into his pockets and circled her in the foyer. “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever
heard,” he said. “You’re my nephew’s
wife. I wouldn’t do anything of the
sort. Honestly Brooke, you’re as bad as
Alex with trying to tarnish my good name.”
did rape Alex! She was telling the truth on that witness
stand at your trial! You raped her and
you raped all those other girls too!”
Nathan’s eyes turned dark and ominous as they bore into hers. “I hope you’re not foolish enough to go
around spreading that kind of lie to anyone else. I’d hate to have to make you look like a
looked into his eyes, wondering what possible way he could make her look like a
fool. She was the victim, and she
wouldn’t cave to his manipulations.
finished a meeting with Seth Walker in the lounge at Hotel Terranova where they’d discussed details of his new PR
position. They both stood up and made
their way through the lounge as Brett turned his gaze and spotted Heather with
her father. He saw Jordan give her a kiss and then
leave. A second later, she glanced in
his direction and smiled, waving and tilting her head in a thoroughly sexy
fashion. “Listen, I’ll have those proofs
for you tomorrow, Seth,” he said.
don't you drop them by the house?" he said with
a calculated smile. "I'll be in hearings
all day so just give them to Marilee."
Seth had departed, Heather approached and sat down across from Brett. “Hello,” she said. “Who was that you were talking to?”
Walker,” Brett replied, mesmerized by the twinkle in her hazel eyes. “I’m working for him now. Public relations type stuff.”
lit up immediately. “I think that’s
great,” she said enthusiastically.
“Public relations suits you. You
could talk your way out of a paper bag.”
both laughed and then grew uncomfortably quiet.
“So…I…“ he began.
“Nothing.” He shook his head. “You look great tonight. Really.
You’re glowing. I can see that
you’re in a very happy place in your life.”
shrugged and smiled brightly. “I’m
starting to be,” she said. “So are you
it seems like. I mean, you’re going to
be a father, you’ve got this new career, a new condo. Things are really taking off for you.”
he said. He didn’t know why it was so awkward
talking to her. They’d gotten so close
lately that they should be more at ease.
Maybe the sexual tension from the other day was taking its toll. They couldn’t think of anything else. At least he
I just wanted to say hello,” Heather said and stood up again. Brett stood up after her. “Don’t be a stranger, okay?”
sure,” he said. He looked into her
knew she felt the same way he did so why was she fighting it? They obviously cared about one another. They couldn’t hide it forever.
later, they rushed into Heather’s suite like rabid animals. As soon as the door closed they attacked each
other with hard, deeply passionate kisses, removing clothes with a no-nonsense
speed bordering on the obsessive.
are so beautiful,” Brett moaned between hurried kisses.
trailed her fingers down his chest. “I
want you so much, Brett.”
was no conversation after that as he took her with a powerful urgency. It was something he had to do before he could
even begin to think of anything else.
His body remained rigid as he held himself above her with his strong
arms. They fit perfectly together and
their mutual release was fast and sweet, earth-shattering and very, very
decided to go to Jordan’s house that evening and talk to
him without Alex around to interrupt.
The incident on his yacht that afternoon was humiliating enough. It took her hours to get the muck and grime
out of her hair and clothes. She now
wore a pillbox hat over her coiffed hair to hide its disarray until she could
get in to see Fernando at Spa 415.
went into the parlor where Jordan was practicing his game on a
portable golf mat. He barely looked up
as he swung the nine iron and sent the ball rolling across the green Astroturf
mat. Once the ball sunk into the hole,
he turned to her with a smile.
take it your coming here means you’re over that little fiasco at the marina
today,” he said. “Or should I expect
Alex to drop by for a round of mud wrestling outside where they’re digging my
new koi pond?”
glared angrily at him. “How dare you
turn this around to make it my
fault,” she said and charged forward.
“You slept with your ex-wife while you were involved with me.”
I can say I’m sorry only so many times.
But here it is again. Renee, I’m
sorry. Alex and I have a long history
together and when our divorce became final things just got emotional. One thing led to another and we-“
conversation continued as Alex pulled up outside in her car. She noticed Renee’s Bentley parked in the
driveway and she set her jaw angrily. Of course she was here, she thought
bitterly. Where else would Renee be but at Jordan’s
trying to discredit her any way she could?
to forego the front door, she traipsed across the side of the house and peered
into the open French doors that led into the parlor. She could hear every word Renee and Jordan
just want to know one thing,” Renee was saying. “Am I being foolish for thinking there could
be anything between us?”
you’re not,” Jordan insisted. He placed his hands alongside her head and
looked into her deep brown eyes. “I told
you before, Renee, I care about you very much.”
you don’t love me, right?” she interrupted, turning away and keeping her back
to him so he couldn’t see the hurt in her eyes.
“Give it to me straight, Jordan.
I can take it.”
watched and listened with keen eyes and ears.
She gripped her purse tightly in her hand and fumed at the way Renee
manipulated Jordan with her crocodile tears.
do love you, Renee,” Jordan said and turned her toward
him. “You’re an exciting, beautiful,
sexy woman and I want to be with you and only you.”
fell into his arms and wept silently.
“Oh Jordan, I love you too. Having you in my life makes everything seem
better. The way you took charge and
protected my secret about Sierra. The
way you saved her life in the hospital. I can never repay you enough.”
already have,” Jordan said and kissed the top of her
raised an eyebrow, wondering what secret about Sierra Renee was hiding. She decided it would be her mission to find
at Hotel Terranova, Heather laid on
top of Brett and kissed his chest. The
feel of her soft skin on his was better than he could have imagined. Making love to her was second nature, like
they should have been together all along.
She was soft and gentle, delicate and sensuous, but took charge and knew
exactly what she was doing.
regrets?” he asked as he pushed a lock of hair from her eyes.
smiled and kissed him. “Nope. You?”
knock at the door sent Heather rolling off of him and grasping for her
robe. Brett, in no mood to be kept
waiting, pulled her back and kissed her passionately.
we’re not here,” he said with a sheepish grin.
“They’ll go away.”
laughed and twisted off of the bed.
“What if it’s important?” she said.
“I can’t leave a door unanswered.
It’s just this thing I have.”
the short silk robe around her waist, she made her way out to the front door
and pulled it open. To her surprise,
Stormy was standing on the other side with a scowl on his face.
not going to believe what my sister is doing,” he said and forced his way
inside the living room.
she said with surprise. Her heart
skipped a beat and she quickly glanced to the bedroom door.
pregnant,” he continued, running his fingers through his hair. “Miranda is pregnant and Brett is the
father. She’s actually going to have
that son-of-a-bitch’s baby and raise it!
Can you even imagine how screwed up this kid is going to be with a
father like Brett Armstrong?”
then, Brett emerged from the bedroom after having slipped into his pants. He looked at Stormy, glowering at his former
brother-in-law with contempt.
were saying?” he asked smugly.
eyes shot open. He looked at Brett and
then back at Heather. “What is he doing
here?” he demanded. A second later he
answered his own question. The truth was
right in front of him. Heather, dressed
in only a robe and her hair tousled; and Brett, bare chested and flushed in the
maybe you should come back later,” Heather said. She didn’t want the two men to get into a
shouting match. Everything had been
perfect so far that evening and she didn’t want anything to spoil it.
Stormy, why don’t you come back later?” Brett said with a sly grin.
you sleeping with him?” Stormy yelled in a rage, pointing at Brett and glaring
at Heather. “Jesus, Heather, where’s
your head? Are you forgetting everything
that he did to you? He pimped you out to
Will Thomerson! If he wasn’t for him you
would never have had to go through that nightmare with Philip Whitacre! You would never have shot Will Thomerson and
you wouldn’t be hiding away in this hotel!”
wait a minute,” Heather said with a look of warning. “Who I sleep with is my decision!”
a grown woman, Stormy,” Brett said. “If
she wants to get it on with me then there’s nothing you can do about it.”
your face you sick bastard!” Stormy raged, rushing up to him and issuing him a
threatening stare. “If you ever touch
her again I swear to God I’ll kill you!”
wrong?” Brett goaded him. “Afraid that
she’ll find out what sex with a real
man is like?”
immediately threw Brett back against the wall.
stop it!” Heather screamed, standing clear of the war path.
you get my sister pregnant, then you manipulate Heather into sleeping with
you!” Stormy continued, drawing his fist back and sending it shattering into
Brett’s jaw. He flew back and tumbled
onto a phone table, splintering the wood and crashing onto the floor.
get out of here!” Heather screamed.
got a lot to learn, junior,” Brett said, wiping his bloody lip and climbing to
his feet. He rushed toward Stormy and
sent his knee crushing into his gut.
Stormy doubled over and coughed and gasped as Brett kicked him to the
floor. “You’ve got to learn how to treat
wheezed and struggled to his feet. “Yeah,
you’re one to talk!” he said. He charged
to him, knocking him on the ground and wrestling feverishly to pin him
slammed his fists into Stormy’s head, desperately trying to push him off. Stormy retaliated and kneed him between them
legs, punching him in the face once, then again.
it off!” Heather shrieked, backing up against the wall as the two men beat each
kicked Stormy off of him, sending him flying back against a bookshelf. The shelves collapsed and sent glass
figurines and books to the floor in piles.
Stormy raced forward to attack him again when Heather darted in front of
him and held her hands up in protest.
enough!” she screamed. “I want you to
stop it right now!”
can’t see what he’s doing!” Stormy yelled, wiping a trickle of blood from his
forehead. “He’s using you,
Heather! He just wants to get to me and
to pay me back for getting him thrown out of the family!”
flatter yourself,” Brett said, wiping his sweaty face with the palm of his
hand. “You don’t have that much power.”
I can do and see whomever I want,” Heather insisted. “I’m not a victim anymore and I don’t need
you protecting me.”
this is your way of proving it?” He
shook his head in frustration. “How
could you do this to me, Heather? How
could you sleep with the one person
who you know I can’t stand?”
glared wildly at him. “Excuse me?” she
asked in disbelief. “You slept with
Lauren Spencer while we were married, remember?
And as far as I know, we’re no longer married, which means whoever I
sleep with is none of your concern!”
realized she had a point. He had done
the unthinkable by sleeping with Lauren while they were married. Heather being with Brett didn’t compare to
that, no matter how wrong it was.
he started to the door, his eyes riveted to Brett’s as if issuing him a silent
warning. He walked out into the hall
and left them alone in the hotel room.
look at this place,” Brett said. “Can I
have a towel for my lip?”
turned and glared at him. “Get your own
towel,” she said.
couldn’t wait to throw this in Stormy’s face, could you?” she demanded. “Was he right? Was that why you tried so hard to get me into
bed? You wanted to feel like you got the
last word on him?”
I not the one who was just attacked?” Brett asked, folding his arms and shaking
his head in confusion. “Because I don’t
seem to recall asking Stormy to come over here and catch us together so we
could play WWE.”
ran her fingers through her hair and surveyed the damage in the room. “I’d just like you to leave, Brett.”
said leave,” she said, her eyes jabbing into his like daggers.
James walked through the front doors of the mansion, the driver following with
can just set those down here for now,” he said, turning just as Miranda and
Stormy emerged from down the hall. “Well
hello. How is everybody?”
hugged her father and kissed his cheek.
“We’re fine, Daddy. How was the
conference? Did you and Mom kill each
other while you were there?”
laughed and patted Stormy on the back.
“No, I think we escaped unscathed,” he joked. “Stormy, you look a little flushed. Is everything okay? What happened to your forehead?”
gritted his teeth and nudged Miranda with an elbow. “Miranda, why don’t you tell Dad your news,”
shot him a crooked smile and desperately tired to change the subject. “I will, but first I’m sure he wants to see
Brooke and Michael, don’t you Daddy?”
James knew his children were
hiding something. Knowing them it could
be any number of tragedies. But Miranda
was right, he did want to see Brooke and Michael before he did anything else.
is Brooke, anyway?” he asked.
shrugged. “Up in your bedroom. She’s barely come out of there all day.”
James started up the stairs and went down the hall to their room. Pushing the door open, he entered and saw
Brooke lying on the bed.
I’m home,” he said, slightly unnerved by her lack of enthusiasm. He wondered if maybe she was angry by the way
they’d left things before he left. He
hadn’t called her the entire time he was gone, mostly because he was afraid
she’d be able to hear the guilt in his voice over his affair with Leigh.
didn’t respond. She turned her head and
looked at him blankly. James saw the
puffiness around her eyes and the smeared mascara that told him she’d been
crying. He decided she must be more
upset than he’d realized.
he said and sat down next to her on the bed.
“What is it? Tell me.”
she sat up on the bed and wiped her eyes.
“James, it was so awful,” she whimpered.
“I was so scared."
he said and pulled her close. “I’m here
now. Tell me what’s wrong. Did something happen?”
nodded and pulled away, trying to remain as calm as possible so that she could
explain to him what had happened. “It
was Nathan,” she whispered in a quavering voice. “He….he…”
what?” James asked, growing concerned that something terrible had happened
while he was away.
looked at him and fought back the urge to keep it to herself. As much as she wanted to shield James from
the pain of finding out what kind of man his uncle was, she couldn’t do it.
attacked me,” she finally said. “He
tried to rape me. Alex was telling the
truth all those years ago. He’s a
monster, James. He’s a monster!”
sat in bewilderment. He didn’t know what
to say or how to react. Suddenly telling
her about Leigh was the farthest thing from his mind.
you are,” said a voice from the doorway.
both turned and saw Nathan standing there, a broad smile on his face and a gin
ricky in one hand. Brooke covered her
mouth with her hand and fled to the bathroom.
The door slammed shut and startled James off the bed.
everything okay?” Nathan asked with mock concern. He was an actor through and through and knew
how to play innocent when he needed to.
looked at the bathroom door and then back at his uncle.
Brooke receives consolation
from a surprising source. Nathan learns the truth
about Sierra's identity. Renee forbids Sierra
to go near Nathan again. Miranda has choice words