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Episode 61

 

Release Date:  May 18, 2007

 Read the episode Recap

 

Previously...

Congressman 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.  

 

 


 

Episode 61

"Hot & Wrong"

 

It 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 went inside. 

“Good morning, Mr. Blackthorne,” said Leilani as she made her way through the foyer with a feather duster.  “Would you care for some breakfast?”

He shook his head.  “No, thank you, Leilani.  I was just looking for Mrs. Blackthorne.”

“I don’t think she’s come downstairs yet,” Leilani replied before making her way into the dining room to tend to the breakfast buffet.

Ethan turned and started up the stairs when Nathan came down, already dressed and smiling big as ever.

“Ethan, how nice to see you,” he said and paused on the landing.  “What brings you by so early this morning?”

He 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?”

Eyeing 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.

“Well, 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.

“Brooke,” 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?”

She 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.

“Is it James?” Ethan asked as he knelt down beside her.   He didn’t notice Nathan spying from the hidden doorway in the closet.   “Has something happened?”

She shook her head and sobbed on his shoulder.  “No, it’s not James,” she said.

“Well what?” he asked, stroking his hand down the back of her head.  “Brooke, you have to tell me or I can’t help you.”

Sobbing, she shook her head again.  “I can’t,” she said.  “I just needed you.  I needed someone.   Please Ethan, just stay with me.”

He 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.

But she’d made her choice.  She married James.  Not once, but twice.  He refused to get his hopes up again.

Jasmes Blackthorne

It 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.

What 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. 

But 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.

Inside 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.

”Did I wake you?” he asked.

Leigh smiled and slid her hands around his bare chest.  “I don’t mind,” she said, nibbling on his neck.  “Is anything the matter?”

He 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.

“I’m going home tomorrow,” James said.  “To my wife and my son.”

Leigh 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. 

James 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. 

Blackthorne Mansion

Later 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

“Brett, 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.”

“You’re not going to work during your pregnancy, are you?” he asked, planting his hands firmly on his hips.

She frowned and shrugged indifferently.  “Of course.  Why wouldn’t I?”

He 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.”

Miranda’s 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 that?”

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.”

He looked at her in disbelief.  “The hell I don’t,” he said.  “It’s my baby too. “

She 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.”

“You don’t mean that!” Brett exclaimed.  “You can’t keep my away from my own baby.  I won’t let you.”

“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 baby, Miranda?”

She 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.

“I 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.”

“You 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?”

“Stormy, that’s enough,” Miranda fumed.  “It was unplanned and unexpected.  I’m just going to have to make the best of it.”

“Make 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.”

“Wrong again, junior,” Brett said with a smug grin.  “Miranda’s pregnant and I’m going to be a daddy whether you like it or not.”

“I don’t like it,” Stormy said, stepping closer and issuing him a look of warning. 

“Knock 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.”

With 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.

Alex Reynolds

“There 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 here, James?”

He 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?”

She glanced across the dining room where Leigh was sitting at a table waiting for him.  “Is that what you call it?”

“If you and Renee aren’t getting anything out of this conference then you have no one to blame but yourselves.”

“Speaking 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.”

James went for a cheese danish and sighed.  “She wanted to leave early so she booked a commercial flight back to the states.”

She left?” Alex exclaimed so loud that the entire restaurant turned in her direction.

“Yes, now will you keep your voice down?  Why do you care anyway?  You didn’t want her to come along in the first place.”

Alex 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. 

“Look, this conference was just a bad idea,” she finally said.  “I’m going to leave too.  I’ll book a flight out immediately.”

James shook his head with aggravation and started over to his and Leigh’s table.  “Do what you want, Alex.  You always do anyway.”

She 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.

Hotel Terranova

Miranda 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.

"What do you want?" Miranda guffawed.

"Miranda, I just want to talk, that's all, " Heather replied.

"Why?  So you can dig around to see if I have any other secrets that you can blab?  Sorry, Heather, I'm fresh out today."

Heather 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 and-"

Miranda raised an eyebrow and looked at her curiously.  "OH really?  What side would that be?"

She 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."

"Listen 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."

With that, she stormed toward her office and left Heather standing with a look of disbelief.  

“And the brush-off continues,” said David Jennings from a corner by the front desk. 

Miranda 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.”

He 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.

“Well 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 vibes here?”

Sighing, 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?”

He hid his surprise with a smile.  “I don’t want anything from you.  I just thought that we were-“

“What?” she interrupted hastily.  “A couple?  An item?  We shared one bad date.”

“I’d like to see you again.”

Miranda 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.”

David 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. 

“I 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.”

Miranda, 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.

Heather Blackthorne

Heather 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.

“I just saw Miiranda at the hotel,” she said hurriedly.  “She is really pissed at me for telling you about the baby.”

He ran his fingers through his blond hair and flopped onto the plush white sofa.  “Not like it matters.  She’s going to do everything she can to keep me from being a part of its life.”

“What?” 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.”

“Well 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.”

Did you?” Heather asked pointedly.

His 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?”

“I’m 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 reconsider.  She's not completley unreasonable.”

Finally 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.”

“I’ll do whatever I can to help.”  She got up and started to the door.

“Heather,” 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?”

She smiled faintly and pulled he purse tight over her shoulder.  “It was…something.”

Grinning 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?”

Unable 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.”

After 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.

Later 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.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to give you a lift?” he asked.

Leigh 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.”

“You’ve turned into quite the businesswoman.”

“And 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 been incredible.”

He 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.”

She 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 Acapulco.  Our lives couldn’t be farther apart.”

A 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.”

“What if you’re the thing that will make me happy?”

James didn’t know how to respond.  “I wish I could be,” he said.  “But as you said, our lives couldn’t be farther apart.”

“I 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?”

He smiled and kissed her warmly.  “No,” he said and picked up his carry-on bag.

“Bye,” 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.

After 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.

"Did you accomplish anything with Blackthorne?" said a voice through the phone.

She scowled and sunk into a leather seat.  "Not yet.  But I'm working on it."

"And I thought you were a pro," the voice said.

"I 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?"

He 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."

"I'll be in touch," Leigh said and clicked off the phone.

In his private room at the Yacht Club, Seth Walker grinned and flipped his cell phone closed.

Back in Los Angeles, 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.

“You 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 shoulder. 

“Renee,” he said with a surprised smile.  “I didn’t expect you back until tonight.  How was the conference?”

“I’ll 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.

“Look, Renee, about that-“

“Don’t 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.”

“Renee, it isn’t like that,” Jordan pleaded.  “Just let me explain.”

“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 any different?”

“Alex, 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-“

“You’re 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.”

“You’ve 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. 

“What’s she talking about?” Jordan asked, unable to resist his curiosity.

“I 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.”

“You won’t get another opportunity, believe me,” Alex said.

“Watch 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. 

“You’re going to pay for that, you bitch!” Alex screamed and pulled at Renee’s hair.

“You miserable-“ Renee began, splashing filthy water in her face and trying desperately to swim away. 

Up 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.

Jasmes Blackthorne

That 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 a victim.

Passing 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 with.

“Good evening, Brooke,” Nathan said with a nonchalant grin.  “Is James home yet?”

She didn’t respond.  Her eyes riveted to him, she backed up against the table in the foyer and grappled for a heavy iron candlestick. 

“I imagine he’s still in the air.  I forgot what a long flight it was from Brazil.”

“When 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 filthy bastard.”

Nathan regarded her casually.  “What is it that I’m going to hell for, pray?”

“You 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!”

Laughing, 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.”

”You 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!”

Suddenly 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 fool, Brooke.”

She 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.

Brett Armstrong

Brett 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.

“Why 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."

"Sure, no problem."

After Seth had departed, Heather approached and sat down across from Brett.   “Hello,” she said.  “Who was that you were talking to?”

“Seth Walker,” Brett replied, mesmerized by the twinkle in her hazel eyes.  “I’m working for him now.  Public relations type stuff.”

Heather 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.”

They both laughed and then grew uncomfortably quiet.  “So…I…“ he began.

“Yeah?” she interrupted.

“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.”

Heather 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.”

“Yeah,” 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 couldn’t.

“Well, I just wanted to say hello,” Heather said and stood up again.  Brett stood up after her.  “Don’t be a stranger, okay?”

“Yeah, sure,” he said.    He looked into her eyes.   He 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.

Heather Blackthorne

Minutes 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.

“You are so beautiful,” Brett moaned between hurried kisses.

She trailed her fingers down his chest.  “I want you so much, Brett.”

There 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 necessary.

Renee DeWitt

Renee 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.

She 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. 

“I 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?”

She 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.”

“Look, 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-“

Their 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? 

Deciding 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 said.

“I just want to know one thing,” Renee was saying.   “Am I being foolish for thinking there could be anything between us?”

“No, 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.”

“But 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.”

Alex 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.

“I 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.”

Renee 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.”

“You already have,” Jordan said and kissed the top of her head.

Alex raised an eyebrow, wondering what secret about Sierra Renee was hiding.  She decided it would be her mission to find out. 

Hotel Terranova

Back 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. 

“Any regrets?” he asked as he pushed a lock of hair from her eyes.

She smiled and kissed him.  “Nope.  You?”

“Nope.”

A 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. 

“Pretend we’re not here,” he said with a sheepish grin.  “They’ll go away.”

Heather 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.”

Tying 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.

“You’re not going to believe what my sister is doing,” he said and forced his way inside the living room.

“Stormy,” she said with surprise.  Her heart skipped a beat and she quickly glanced to the bedroom door.

“She’s 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?”

Just 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. 

“You were saying?” he asked smugly.

Stormy’s 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 face. 

“Stormy, 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.

“Yes, Stormy, why don’t you come back later?” Brett said with a sly grin.

“Are 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!”

“Now wait a minute,” Heather said with a look of warning.  “Who I sleep with is my decision!”

“She’s a grown woman, Stormy,” Brett said.  “If she wants to get it on with me then there’s nothing you can do about it.”

“Shut 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!”

"What’s wrong?” Brett goaded him.  “Afraid that she’ll find out what sex with a real man is like?”

Stormy immediately threw Brett back against the wall. 

“Stormy, stop it!” Heather screamed, standing clear of the war path.

“First 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.

“Just get out of here!” Heather screamed.

“You’ve 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 women.”

Stormy 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 down. 

Brett 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.

“Knock it off!” Heather shrieked, backing up against the wall as the two men beat each other senseless.

Brett 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.

“That’s enough!” she screamed.  “I want you to stop it right now!”

“You 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!”

“Don’t flatter yourself,” Brett said, wiping his sweaty face with the palm of his hand. “You don’t have that much power.”

“Stormy, I can do and see whomever I want,” Heather insisted.  “I’m not a victim anymore and I don’t need you protecting me.”

“So 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?”

She 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!”

Stormy 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.

Slowly, 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.

“Wow, look at this place,” Brett said.  “Can I have a towel for my lip?”

She turned and glared at him.  “Get your own towel,” she said.

“Huh?” 

“You 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?”

“Was 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.”

Heather ran her fingers through her hair and surveyed the damage in the room.  “I’d just like you to leave, Brett.”

“Heather, wait-“

“I said leave,” she said, her eyes jabbing into his like daggers. 

Blackthorne Mansion

Later, James walked through the front doors of the mansion, the driver following with his suitcases.

“You 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?”

Miranda 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?”

James 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?”

Stormy gritted his teeth and nudged Miranda with an elbow.  “Miranda, why don’t you tell Dad your news,” he said.

She 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.

“Where is Brooke, anyway?” he asked.

Miranda shrugged.  “Up in your bedroom.  She’s barely come out of there all day.”

Frowning, 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. 

“Darling, 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.

Brooke 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.

“Brooke?” he said and sat down next to her on the bed.  “What is it?  Tell me.”

Slowly, she sat up on the bed and wiped her eyes.  “James, it was so awful,” she whimpered.  “I was so scared."

“Shhh,” he said and pulled her close.   “I’m here now.  Tell me what’s wrong.  Did something happen?”

She 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…”

“He what?” James asked, growing concerned that something terrible had happened while he was away. 

Brooke 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.

“He 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!”

James 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.

“There you are,” said a voice from the doorway.

They 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.

“Is everything okay?” Nathan asked with mock concern.  He was an actor through and through and knew how to play innocent when he needed to.

James looked at the bathroom door and then back at his uncle. 


Next time....

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 for Brooke.

 

 Read Episode 62

 

 


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