called Ethan the morning after Nathan attempted to rape
her, but she wouldn't tell him what had happened. James
continued his affair with Leigh Purcell in Rio de Janeiro,
then later felt guilty and worried about his troubled
marriage to Brooke. Congressman Seth Walker phoned
Leigh in Rio and the two shared a brief, yet cryptic
conversation. Alex and Renee left Rio and confronted
Jordan about playing them both, where they wound up
in a fight in the marina. Miranda informed Brett
that he would have no rights when it came to their child.
Heather gave in to temptation and slept with Brett.
But when Stormy showed up at her door and Brett instigated
a fight, she told them both to leave her alone. Miranda
blasted Heather for betraying her trust. She later
told David that she was carrying Brett's baby. Alex
overheard Jordan and Renee talking about a secret having
to do with Sierra. James returned home and Brooke
told him that Nathan tried to attack her.
looked at Nathan, studying his eyes and his body language and realizing that he
wasn’t looking at a man who would rape a defenseless woman. Alex and the tabloids had been wrong all
those years ago. Debralee Scott admitted
it to the entire world. His uncle was
not the monster they portrayed him as.
He turned to the bathroom where Brooke had locked herself in, wondering
what was going on inside his wife’s head.
The next second he motioned to the hall and led Nathan outside the
Nathan,“ James began awkwardly. “I’m not
sure what happened while I was in Rio, but-“
is it, James?” Nathan asked and sipped his cocktail. “Brooke seemed positively jumpy just
now. Is she okay? Is it Michael?”
shook his head. “No, it’s…” He paused again, unable to keep from
stammering over his words. “What happened while I was gone? Did Brooke seem okay to you?”
Michael wasn’t feeling well so she stayed up in the nursery quite a bit. But we had dinner together last night and she
seemed in good spirits.” He paused for
optimum theatrical affect and then decided to throw in something for his own
benefit. “Come to think of it, that was
right after Ethan left. They spent some
time together in the family room and she seemed very upbeat after that.”
eyes narrowed on him curiously. There
was a time when Brooke and Ethan spending time alone together would concern
him, but not now. That was all in the
past. Wasn’t it?
“Brooke claims that you attacked her last night. She says you tried to rape her.”
usual, Nathan tried playing the situation like a stage direction in a
script. “Oh my God,” he whispered. “James, are you serious? I’m speechless.”
was my reaction.”
placed a hand dramatically on his chest.
“I think the world of Brooke. You
must know that, James. I would never do
anything to hurt her. She must be
listening to the lies Alex has been spreading about me.”
ran his fingers through his hair and glanced back at the bedroom. He’d seen the look in Brooke’s eyes. She believed what she was saying. She believed
that Nathan attacked her.
got to be it,” Nathan continued with a bewildered expression. “She’s been listening to that drama queen
ex-wife of yours. Alex can be very
convincing when she wants to be.
Remember how she pulled off the role of Miranda in The Tempest?”
Brooke wasn’t a liar, James though to
himself. She was level-headed and
intelligent and didn’t have a spiteful bone in her body. So why would she say something so scathing
about Nathan? Maybe she was overly tired and imagined
it. Maybe she caught whatever Michael
had and was delirious and hallucinating.
believe that I’m innocent, don’t you, James?” Nathan interrupted his thinking.
turned to his uncle and patted him on the shoulder. “I’ll talk to her. I’ll get to the bottom of it.”
smiled and watched him go back into the bedroom. Satisfied that he’d removed suspicion from
himself, he took a hearty drink of his cocktail and laughed wickedly to
grudgingly opened the bathroom door after James knocked a few times. She fell into his arms and squeezed with all
I’m so glad you’re back,” she sighed. “I
was so scared. I told you that something bad was going to happen. I knew
it. Nathan, he-“
me what happened, Brooke.”
wiped her forehead with the back of her hand.
“He kept popping up everywhere I went the whole time you were gone. He scared me, James. We had dinner last night and things got out
had dinner with Nathan last night?” James asked and led her to the bed where he
sat down next to her. ”But if you felt
threatened by him why would you have dinner with him?“
surprised me,” Brooke said with a tear in her eye. “I came down from the nursery and he said he
wanted to have dinner together. He’d set
the table. There were candles and wine
started eating. He kept talking about
you and Alex together in Rio. I got upset and I
said I was going to bed. But he grabbed
me and he chased me up here to the bedroom.
He pinned me down and he kissed me and….I don’t remember exactly what
happened then. All I know is I got away
and hid in the bathroom.”
wiped his face with his hand. “Nathan
says that Ethan was here.”
nodded and shrugged indifferently. “Yes,
but that was before. We were in the
family room and-“ She paused, suddenly
realizing that they hadn’t been alone.
“Wait a minute. Nathan was supposedly
out when Ethan was here. If Nathan saw
us then he must have been spying. Don’t
you see, James? He was watching me the
entire time you were gone! He’s
slow down,” James said and stood up from the bed. He began pacing the room, hoping it would
help to clear his head and get a firm grasp on the situation. “The entire time Nathan’s been here he’s been
nothing but a perfect gentleman. You said
yourself how kind he was. Now all the
sudden he’s turned into an obsessive maniac?
Brooke, this doesn’t add up.”
frowned and stood up. “Doesn’t add up?”
she asked, bewildered. “Of course it
adds up. He raped Alex twenty years ago. He went on trial for raping Debralee Scott. He-“
recanted her testimony,” James reminded her.
“She admitted that she lied on the witness stand. She spent a month in jail for perjury. Would she have gone through that if Nathan
really had raped her?”
threatened her,” Brooke exclaimed and
followed him around the room. “She
feared for her life. James, you were
married to her. Didn’t you notice
anything different about her back then?
Weren’t there any signs that she was going through something?”
is an actress,” he insisted. “Being
dramatic is what she does best."
about Debralee Scott?” Brooke continued.
“What about her? She testified on
the stand that she and Nathan slept together She killed herself
in a bedroom down the hall because of what he did to
was consensual,” James added. “She said
so herself. She said so again weeks ago
before Nathan came back. And she killed herself because she wasn't
happy. That's all. Brooke, he just
isn’t the monster that people make him out to be.”
couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
Her own husband was standing there defending the man who attacked
her. He was taking his word over his own
did he say to you?” she asked. “What did
he say to make you believe him?”
ran his fingers through his hair and sighed heavily. “It doesn’t matter,” he said and turned to
her. “Brooke, I understand that you had
a difficult few days. Are you sure that you didn’t
imagine all of this?“
you dare tell me that I imagined what Nathan did to me!” she shrieked
angrily. She couldn’t remember the last
time she felt so hurt and betrayed by anyone.
Holding her head in her hands, she struggled to control her
emotions. “I don’t believe this. I don’t believe that you’re taking his word
not what I’m doing at all,” James said and took her by the shoulders. “I just don’t want to go accusing Nathan of
something unless you’re absolutely sure.”
did he say to you?” she asked again.
“Tell me! I have a right to know,
said that you had dinner together and that everything was fine,” James replied
hastily. “He said that he never attacked
you and that he doesn’t know why you’d say something like that.”
it’s the truth!”
sighed and reached out to her again.
“Brooke, I’m sure that it all seemed very real to you. Maybe you misunderstood what happened. Nathan is from a different era. In his day, Hollywood was a very different place. Things were freer and more uninhibited. He doesn’t mean anything by it.”
glared heatedly at him. “He pinned me
down on our bed, James!” she shouted, pointing down to the bed. “He wouldn’t let me go. I had to fight to get him off of me!”
James began with a certain amount of difficulty. “Please calm down so we can discuss this
rationally. Let’s go downstairs and talk
to Nathan. I’m sure if the three of us
talked it out we could solve everything.“
not going anywhere near that man!” Brooke screamed. “I don’t even want him in this house! I don’t want him near me or our baby! He’s got
threw his hands up in resignation. “I
can’t ask him to leave,” he said.
can’t? Or you won’t?”
answer was clear to James. As much as
she hated to doubt her, he was positive that she was wrong about Nathan. “I won’t,” he said softly.
eyes stung with tears. James was like a
different person to her now. Having him
look at her like she was crazy or a liar was the most hurtful thing she’d ever
felt in her life.
raced from the room and into the nursery.
She didn’t want to be anywhere near her husband. She’d never felt so alone and betrayed by
next morning, Jordan went to Renee’s office at Blackthorne-Reynolds and surprised her
with a picnic basket filled with fresh croissants, succulent fruit, and fresh
orange and papaya juice.
exquisite,” she said and threw her arms around him. She was pristinely dressed in a pink Chanel suit. Her hair, now newly coiffed into an elegant,
modern afro, had seemingly recovered from the spill into the marina the day
before. “Is there any wonder why I don’t
love you? Always so thoughtful.”
have a lot to make up for,” Jordan replied with a grin and began
unpacking their picnic breakfast.
mean for sleeping with Alex?” Renee quipped.
She couldn’t resist throwing it in his face again. She was still so humiliated by the prospect
of Alex Reynolds getting a one up on her.
Jordan sighed and handed her a glass of
papaya juice. “I already told you that I
made a mistake,” he said. “What do you
want me to do? Apologize for the rest of
smiled and sat down at the conference table.
Jordan could reply, Alex walked into
the office with a stack of files in her arms.
“Renee, these reports are strictly slap-shot work. I think you need to rethink some of your
budget proposals because-“ She stopped
short, pretending to be surprised to see Jordan there. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were entertaining during
Jordan rolled his eyes. “Hello Alex.”
is nothing wrong with my proposals,” Renee spat. “If you have a problem with them then I
suggest you take it up with the foreman because I got those figures straight
Jordan stood up and started to the
door. “If you’ll both excuse me, I think
I’ll go out into the reception area and make a phone call while the two of you
finish hissing and scratching.”
he left, Renee stood up and glared at Alex.
“What do you think you’re doing, Alex?” she asked. “You knew Jordan
was here. Your office is right next door. Those reports could have waited.”
sorry, I guess I should rearrange our work load to suit your social life,” Alex
replied bitterly. She looked down at the
picnic basket and managed a fake smile.
“How lovely. Is this a
celebration? Or does this go on every
folded her arms and stepped forward.
“I’m on to you, Alex. You’re
trying to come between Jordan and I.”
can’t stand the fact that he chose me over you so you’re being childish about
it. It’s so obvious. Then again, I don’t think I’ve met an actress
yet who wasn’t transparent. But get this
through your head: Jordan is with me now. You divorced
him. Now why don’t you step back and
accept defeat like a gracious loser?”
Alex turned and stormed out of the office.
She went into her office next door and began pacing the room furiously,
stopping only to throw a crystal cigarette lighter across the room.
sat on the terrace overlooking the tennis courts at Hotel Terranova, sipping lemonade and wiping a bead of sweat from
her brow as she recovered from a grueling lesson with the pro.
job today,” he said. “Same time
see,” she said with a wink before he walked off to the courts. She sighed, put her feet up on the chair
beside her, dabbing a cool towel on her face and fanning herself from the
turned and saw Nathan Blackthorne talking to a few men who looked like movie
stars. She wanted to go up and talk to
him but she held back, realizing that she would probably look like a star
struck little girl to his peers.
Remaining at her table, she casually sipped her lemonade and glanced
over to him only when she thought he wasn’t looking.
she knew it, he was coming up on her and hovering above her table. She felt his shadow loom overhead and she
looked up with surprise.
hello,” she said, pretending to be caught off guard. She knew she was no actress, but she was
fairly confident in her abilities to play coy.
“I didn’t see you.”
“I saw you,” Nathan said with a grin, then gestured to the chair across
from her. “May I?”
nodded and sat forward.
was here meeting some co-stars of my new film,” Nathan explained and motioned
for the waitress to bring his usual. “We
start filming tomorrow on Donnie &
exciting,” Sierra gushed. “I’m sure
you’ll be very busy for a while. You'll
be accepting another Filmmaker award in no timer.”
laughed and ogled her long slender legs.
He thought she saw the direction his eyes traveled, and quickly recovered
by picking a penny up off the ground and handing it to her. “For luck,” he said with a wink. “You know, I have some pull with the
producer. Maybe you’d like to come to the
set sometime and watch a few scenes being filmed.”
eyes lit up instantly. “I’d love to!”
she exclaimed, then quickly regained her composure. It wouldn’t do for him to think of her as a schoolgirl
with a fan website or something lame like that.
She was a woman, and much more mature than a lot of star struck girls in
not wearing the earrings I gave you,” he said.
was playing tennis. I don’t wear diamond
earrings when I play tennis.”
why not?” he asked. “You seem like a
young woman who does what she wants. Why
not break the rules?”
that what you do?” she asked. “Break the
I can,” he said and winked.
smiled fondly and brought her glass to her lips. She was entranced by Nathan Blackthorne. He was so distinguished and worldly. The best part was that he was actually paying
attention to her. After years of living
in stuffy boarding schools in Europe, she was finally living a little and hobnobbing with movie
first, I’d love to have dinner with you,” Nathan said. He accepted his drink from the waitress and
stood up. “Tonight in the dining
room? Eight o’clock?
I should be done with these old cats by then,” he said and gestured to
Victor Distefano and several others on the other end of the terrace.
be there,” Sierra said, staring with wide eyes.
mon doux,” Nathan said, taking her delicate hand and kissing it gently.
voir alors,” she replied. She found
herself staring off in a trance long after Nathan had returned to his
table. When she finally broke from the
daze, she smiled with exhilaration and propped her feet up on the chair again.
was running late for work that morning.
He spent an extra twenty minutes in the shower, fifteen extra minutes getting
his tie perfectly straight, and at least ten minutes trying to tame the
stubborn cowlick on top of his hairline.
truth was he was avoiding Brooke. She
had slept in the nursery the night before, obviously hurt and upset that he
questioned her story about what happened with Nathan. It wasn’t that he didn’t believe her. It went deeper than that. He was a hundred percent certain that she
misunderstood Nathan’s sometimes overly friendly advances. That, coupled with Alex’s paranoia and
slanderous remarks about him, must have sent Brooke over the edge.
he finally came downstairs for breakfast, he ran directly into Brooke in the
hallway on the way to the dining room.
They both paused, looking at one another uncomfortably for several
moments before Brooke tried skirting past him.
wait,” James said and turned toward her.
“Please talk to me.”
she demanded, flaring eyes and hands planted firmly on hips. “Whatever I say you’re just going to tell me
that I’m delusional…or crazy…or…”
never said that I thought you were crazy!” James shouted.
walked down the stairs and paused on the landing after hearing the shouting
between her father and Brooke. She
raised an eyebrow, wondering what it was that had gotten them so riled up. They were usually so private with their
arguments. It must be something big if
they were risking the entire house hearing about it.
you don’t believe that Nathan attacked me!” Brooke replied. “You think I’m making it up!”
said so last night. You stood up in our
bedroom and told me that I was delirious!”
She ran her fingers through her hair, not noticing Miranda peering
around the corner from the staircase.
“Your uncle tried to rape me and all you could say is that I had a
“Look, I just think that you
did NOT misunderstand anything!” Brooke cried.
“I know the difference between a man trying to force me to have sex with
him and a symptom of the flu!”
rubbed his face with his hand and tried to find a way to make her understand
where he was coming from. Nathan was his
flesh and blood, not to mention his idol.
He was the reason he moved to Hollywood and tried so hard to make it in
the movie business. He didn’t believe
the stories about him twenty years ago and he didn’t believe them now.
we please just sit down and try to discuss this rationally?” he finally asked,
reaching his hand out to her. “If you’ll
talk to Nathan maybe you’ll understand his point of view.”
“His point of view?” Brooke lamented,
swatting his hand and backing away from him.
“What about my point of
view? What about Alex’s point of
view? What about all the other women
he’s done this to?”
looked at him with hurt in her eyes. “So
that must mean I’m lying, right?”
shook his head. “I’m not going to do
this again,” he said, turning and starting down the hall to the door. He grabbed his briefcase from the table in
the entryway and stormed out to his car in the front drive.
buried her face in her hands and turned to walk up the stairs when Miranda came
from around the corner, glaring with contempt at her step-mother.
me, Miranda,” Brooke said awkwardly. She
tried to brush past her but Miranda held her back.
always knew you were going to cause more trouble for this family,” she said,
frowning within an inch of her life. “I
warned you when you married my father again that I wouldn’t let you get away
with it, and I meant it.”
don’t know what you’re talking about.”
know that you’re making false accusations against Nathan,” Miranda said with a
look of warning. “He didn’t attack you, Brooke. I saw you with him yesterday morning. There was something going on there but it
wasn’t because he forced himself on you.
Tell me, did you decide that sleeping with my father’s nephew wasn’t
enough, you had to go after his uncle too?
Three generations of Blackthorne men, how impressive.”
up,” Brooke said and felt her eyes sting with tears.
maybe you just couldn’t stand to share my father with anyone else. Nathan’s been back for a few weeks so you’re
not his number one priority anymore.
This phony attempted rape is just your way of trying to get rid of him
so you’ll stay the center of attention.”
up!” Brooke screamed, tearing up the stairs and bolting to her bedroom in a
frenzy. She flung herself onto the bed
and sobbed uncontrollably. She felt like
her world was falling apart. Miranda not
believing her was to be expected, but she never in a million years expected it
That night, the dance floor at Hotel Terranova was packed with couples
dressed elegantly in their formal evening attire, slow dancing to the soothing
jazz band on the platform. Nathan and
Sierra sat at a table across the room.
She was well aware that people were staring. What she wasn’t sure of was whether they were
staring because she was with a world-renowned movie star, or because she was
with a man over 40 years older than her.
the reason, she didn’t care. She wasn’t
involved with Nathan and didn’t have any romantic interests in him, so she
couldn’t care less what anyone thought.
Nathan was an inspiration, an idol from her childhood, a kind and gentle
man whom she loved talking to.
earrings look lovely on you,” Nathan said, admiring the way her brown skin
glowed in the candlelight. “I knew you
would bring them to life the moment I saw them.”
blushed and pulled at the dangling diamond teardrops. “They’re so expensive,” she said. “I still don’t think it’s right that I kept
them. I didn’t even tell my mother you
gave them to me. She would have probably
made me give them back.”
can be like that,” he replied. “Is it
just the two of you or is your father still around?”
mother adopted me. My biological parents
were friends of hers and they passed away when I was a baby.”
regarded her closely. “You know what
they say about adopted children,” he began.
“You’re extra special because you were hand selected.”
kind of you,” Sierra gushed. “My mother
and I have a pretty special relationship.
I was away at boarding school for most of my life. I always looked forward to the times when she
visited me there.”
was interested in getting to know more about the young woman. “What does your mother do, Sierra? Obviously she’s a wealthy woman. The two of you living here at Hotel Terranova and all. And your clothes aren’t those of a girl on a
successful,” Sierra replied simply.
smiled and glanced at the dance floor, then back to her. “Would you like to dance?” he asked.
stood up from the table and pulled Sierra’s chair out for her, leading her
gently to the center of the room beneath the crystal chandelier.
love this song,” Nathan remarked as he effortlessly spun her around the dance
floor. “Takes me back to those days when
music was inspired. That dribble today
could bore a monkey off its branch.”
laughed and looked into his charming eyes.
“I love the classics,” she said.
“Singing them gives me this warm feeling inside. I don’t know…it’s corny, but I feel comforted
mean what I said the other day, you know.
I’d be more than happy to give you a leg up if you’re serious about
singing for real.”
smiled again, her eyes twinkling in the light.
She could see why Nathan Blackthorne had been such a ladies man in his
the room, Renee entered on Jordan’s arm, dressed in a long sequin
gown and looking like a million bucks.
She felt like it too for the first time in a while. Jordan was sticking by her, keeping her
secret, and she was feeling closer to him than ever. Surprising her by sending over a new gown
from her favorite boutique, then showing up in a dapper black suit was probably
the sweetest thing a man had ever done for her, including Kenny.
you sure you don’t want to go somewhere else?” Jordan asked as he led Renee to the bar
and ordered a bottle of champagne. “You
live here. I thought you’d want to go
someplace a little different.”
place is fine with me,” Renee said and looked around the room. “Besides, I’d like to stick close to home in
case Sierra comes back. She left earlier
and didn’t say where she was going.”
sighed and handed her a
champagne flute. “Renee, you’re going to
have to let go eventually,” he began.
“Sierra is nineteen years old.
She’s a woman now. You can’t keep
her on such a short leash.”
know that. I just can’t help but worry
that the longer she’s out of my sight the more likely it is that she’ll find
out who her real father is.”
she hasn’t already,” Jordan said ominously while staring
across the room through the diminishing crowd on the dance floor.
that’s not very supportive of you,” Renee spat hastily and slammed her glass
down on a cocktail table.
said and pointed across the
turned around, her eyes traveling to the dance floor where Sierra and Nathan
slow danced under the spinning lights.
The room closing in on her, she quickly darted through the crowd,
pushing people out of the way with reckless abandon. When she reached the dance floor, she grabbed
Sierra by the arm and pulled her away from Nathan.
shot Renee a look. For the first time
since he could remember he was speechless. Sierra
was Renee’s daughter? All this time
he’d been courting the young woman and he had no idea.
get upstairs,” Renee ordered, not taking her eyes off of Nathan. She knew she’d blown everything she’d tried
to hide from the public, but she didn’t care.
She’d deny that Nathan was Sierra’s father until the day she died. Her rouse of having adopted her was enough of
what is wrong with you?” Sierra demanded.
get upstairs right now!”
twisted from her mother’s grasp, horrified by the way Renee embarrassed her in
front of the entire dining room.
Everyone was turning and staring, awed by the spectacle that had
suddenly erupted. At that very moment,
Alex walked into the restaurant and saw the commotion. Her eyes narrowed on Renee’s display of
outrage and she wondered what was going on.
treating me like a child!” Sierra whispered.
“Can’t you see I was-“
Renee shrieked, her hands trembling and her eyes becoming unfocused.
eyes flooding with tears, Sierra turned and ran through the dining room to the
lobby. Alex watched with growing
interest. What could have caused Renee
to react with such hostility? She didn’t
believe that Nathan was a rapist any more than the rest of Hollywood did. So why was she so protective of her
daughter? Perhaps it had to do with the
secret Renee was hiding about Sierra.
is your daughter?” Nathan asked with a smile.
“I knew she was beautiful for a reason.”
quickly went into defense mode. “Sierra
is adopted,” she said with as much conviction as she could muster. “And just what the hell were you doing with
he replied with a cocky grin. “Would you
like to cut in?”
being so damned pompous,” Renee insisted angrily. “How do you even know my daughter? When did you meet her?”
took a glass of champagne from a passing waiter. “We met in the hotel gift shop,” she
explained. “You know, your daughter is a grown woman. She can see whomever she pleases.”
as long as it’s you,” Renee spat. “The
earrings….they were from you, weren’t they?”
don’t mind spoiling women from time to time.”
took a step closer to him and slapped him across the face. The entire room gasped, chattering quietly
over the escalading spectacle. “I don’t
want you giving my daughter gifts,” she insisted. “I don’t want you slow dancing with her, and
I don’t want you to so much as talk to her!
Do I make myself clear?”
Renee, why are you so hostile?” he asked.
“It isn’t as if we parted on bad terms all those years ago. I was falsely accused. I was taken away in the middle of a romantic
evening on my yacht. Now you’re treating
me like I’m a monster.”
are a monster!” she shrieked.
regarded her carefully. Something was
amiss. “You never believed those stories
about me,” he said. “You said yourself
that Alex Reynolds lied about my attacking her.
Now you think that I’m a threat to your daughter? I don’t buy it. Why is it that you really want me to stay
away from Sierra?”
tensed. Because she’s your daughter, she could hear herself screaming
inside. But she maintained her footing,
bent on keeping the torrid secret. “Stay
away from my daughter or I swear you’ll be sorry.”
that, she turned and raced through the crowd to the lobby and dashed into the
elevator. Alex turned to Jordan and raised an eyebrow. She was shocked by Renee’s reaction to say
better go check on her,” Jordan said and started to walk away.
so fast,” Alex said and pulled him back.
She leveled a look of warning at him and folded her arms. “What was that all about? What is going on with Renee and why is she so
protective of Sierra?”
Jordan rolled his eyes, perfectly aware
that his ex-wife was trying to cause trouble.
“Mind your own business, Alex,” he said and pulled away.
sighed, realizing she would have to work harder to find out what was going on
with Renee DeWitt.
The next day, Leilani
opened the door at the Blackthorne mansion, standing clear as Alex entered into
“Is my daughter home,
Leilani?” Alex asked and looked around the entryway.
“I’ll see, Miss
Reynolds,” Leilani replied and started off in search of Miranda.
Standing in the
foyer, Alex waited impatiently and wondered what the big news was that Miranda
had for her. She sounded positively
giddy on the phone.
Suddenly, the faint
sound of crying came from parlor. Alex
frowned, stepping over to the doorway and peering inside where Brooke sat on
the floor with Michael, a blanket beneath him and toys spread out in disarray.
“Brooke?” Alex said
and walked into the room. “I was just
waiting for Miranda. Do you know if
She tensed, picking
Michael up and placing him gently in his crib.
“I haven’t seen her this morning,” she replied, avoiding making eye
contact with the woman. She felt foolish
for not believing her weeks ago when she warned her about Nathan.
Alex immediately knew
something was wrong when Brooke didn’t throw a sarcastic remark or thinly
veiled insult in her direction. She
followed her across the room and turned her toward her.
“You’ve been crying,”
she said. “What’s wrong? Is it James?”
Brooke frowned and
pulled away from her. “Like you care,”
she groaned. “Alex, just leave me
alone. We both know that you don’t give
a damn about me or my marriage.”
Leilani came into the
room and the door creaked after her. The
sound sent Brooke into a tailspin and she jumped out of her skin. She placed a hand on her heart and backed up
a step, desperately trying to calm her frazzled nerves.
“Miss Miranda is
already gone to the hotel, Miss Reynolds,” Leilani said before ducking back out
of the room.
After she’d gone,
Alex turned to Brooke and eyed her suspiciously. “What’s got you so jumpy, Brooke?” she asked.
“I saw the look in
your face just now. You’re
terrified. What’s happened?”
Brooke cried and
raced to the window. “Just leave me
“I was right about
him, wasn’t I?” Alex asked and rushed over to her. “Nathan attacked you just like he attacked
me. Brooke, tell me. I was right to warn you about him, wasn’t I?”
“He didn’t rape me,”
Brooke said and broke down in tears. “He
tried to but I fought him off and I got away.”
“Dear God,” Alex
whispered in horror. True, there was no
love lost between her and Brooke, but she was human enough to reach out to a
woman in need when she saw one. “Where
is he now? What has James done with
Brooke couldn’t help
but let out a chuckle. “What has he done
with him?” she asked. “He hasn’t done
anything.” A pause while she reflected
on the mess things were in. “He doesn’t
believe that it happened.”
The news rattled Alex
to the core. She couldn’t believe that
history was repeating itself in such a vile way. James had proven himself to be a trusting
idiot not once, but twice.
“You have to make him believe it,” she finally said.
“How?” Brooke cried.
“If I knew how I
would tell you,” she said. “All I know
is that you can’t let Nathan get away with this. Not again.
If you do he’s going to continue doing this to women.” She suddenly thought of Sierra and the danger
she was likely in. Renee had been right
to blow up at Nathan and insist that he stay away from her daughter. She could be his next victim.
“Why did you lie?”
Brooke asked her after a long period of silence. “At Nathan’s trial. Why did you say that you lied about him
Alex took a deep
breath. “Because I was terrified.”
Brooke looked out the
window again and closed her eyes. She
suddenly knew exactly how Alex felt.
Across the expansive
maze of buildings that made up Sunset
Studios, James watched from the sidelines as Nathan acted out a scene with
B.J. Summers, a young blond actress with big breasts and doey eyes.
They acted out a love
scene on a set in studio 4. After only
two takes, the director called for the scene to be printed and the crew
broke. A slew of assistants approached
Nathan with bottled water, cold wet cloths, and a stack of phone messages. He expertly maneuvered himself away and
approached James with a hearty slap on the back.
“Great scene,” James
said with a smile. “I would never guess
that you haven’t acted in twenty years.
It comes so naturally to you.”
Nathan smiled in
turn, wondering if he was making a point.
Had Brooke convinced him that her story was the truth? Was James there to confront him? It
was possible that he'd have to finally use his secret ammunition against the lovely Mrs. Blackthorne.
“How is Brooke?” he
asked. “I hope she’s feeling better
today. I hate the thought of her
thinking of me as some kind of monster.”
James sighed and dug
his hands into his pockets. “She’s
sticking to her story,” he said grimly.
“She has this idea in her head that you forced yourself on her, and I
don’t think she’s going to let it go.”
“The poor girl,”
Nathan said, shaking his head.
“But listen,” James continued. “I don’t for a minute believe that you could
have done what she says you did. I think
she just misunderstood your personality.”
“Oh, of course she
did. That’s all there is to it.”
James patted his
uncle on the back. “Well, I just wanted
you to know that I’m trying to get through to her. I’m sure that after a few days she’ll realize
that you’re not the man she thinks you are.”
Nathan decided he
couldn’t risk it. He’d finally gotten
everything back and he wasn’t about to lose it.
“James, I certainly don’t want to cause tension between you and your
wife. I was thinking that maybe I’d move
back into my old bungalow at Alvarado Court.”
asked. “You’re family. You belong at the mansion.”
“I won’t be far
away,” Nathan said. “We’ll still see
each other every day. I just think that
you need this time to get your marriage back on track.”
realizing that maybe Nathan was right.
Maybe with him out of the house Brooke would feel better and she could
put things into perspective.
“I don’t understand!”
Sierra cried. She hated the way her
mother was acting. For someone who had
spent so little time with her daughter over the years, she was acting like she
had all the answers. It infuriated her.
“I just don’t want
you anywhere near Nathan Blackthorne!” Renee insisted, her heels digging mercilessly
into the high pile carpet as she paced her suite at
“It’s not up for discussion, Sierra.”
“So that’s it?”
Sierra asked behind a wall of tears.
“You tell me who I can and can’t see and I’m supposed to just obey? Well it doesn’t work that way, Mother! I’m almost twenty years old! I’m a grown woman and I can do whatever I
“Sierra, do you have
any idea who that man is? Do you know
what he’s done? He went on trial for
rape! He molested young girls after
promising to help them with their film careers.
He’s a predator! I won’t have him
doing the same thing to you!”
Sierra cried. “That woman, that Debralee
Scott woman admitted that she was with Nathan voluntarily! He didn’t rape her!”
“She was fourteen
when he coerced her into bed with him!” Renee insisted. “And
then she killed herself! Why do you think she
did that, Sierra?"
“I’ll see him if I want to see him,” Sierra
said and fled across the room.
Renee ran after her,
pulling her back and grabbing for the diamond earrings she wore.
“Give those back!”
Sierra screamed. “Those are mine! He gave them to me!”
“Gifts like these are
inappropriate!” Renee insisted, clasping them tightly in the palm of her
hand. “Sierra, don’t you see? This man will ruin your life!”
she claimed. “That’s all. Mother, he’s three times my age. It’s not like I have romantic feelings for
The thought made
Renee’s skin crawl. She had never
thought to ask if Nathan had done anything to her yet. She was almost afraid to ask. He was her father. It would be the worst thing that could ever
“Sierra, if he’s made
any advances on you-“
“Would you stop it!”
cried Sierra. “He hasn’t made any advances
on me! He’s a kind and interesting man
who I happen to enjoy spending time with!
That’s all! And if you can’t
handle that then that’s your problem!”
Renee closed her eyes
with regret as Sierra ran out of the room and slammed the door behind her. She plopped down onto the sofa and buried
her face in her hands, devastated by the sudden turn of events. She felt like her entire life was spinning
out of control.
The phone rang and
she answered it abruptly. It was
“I’m sorry about last
night,” she said. “I couldn’t see anyone
after what happened in the restaurant. I
was too upset.”
Listening to him
voicing concern, she sighed with frustration and shook her head. “Jordan, no, I can’t see anyone right
now. I need to work this out on my own.”
Then, just as
abruptly, she replaced the receiver and sunk back against the cushions of the sofa
in quiet torment.
James stood in his
office at Blackthorne-Reynolds,
staring out the window in despair as he thought about the mess his marriage to
Brooke was in. On top of his affair with
Leigh Purcell, now they had this nightmare with Nathan hanging over their
didn’t know how much more they could take.
“You bastard,” hissed
a voice from behind.
James spun around and
came face to face with Alex. From the
look on her face and the tone in her voice he could tell she had heard the
“What are you doing
“I just wanted to
tell you that you’ve lost yet another wife,” Alex said coolly, hands on her
hips as she stepped toward him.
He frowned and shook
his head. “I haven’t lost Brooke.”
“You will,” Alex
replied. “She’ll walk out on you,
James. She’ll take your child and she’ll
leave you just like I should have done all those years ago. The minute you claimed that I lied about
Nathan I should have taken Stormy and Miranda and left you. I only hope that Brooke has enough sense to
do what I never could.”
do you even care what happens to me and Brooke?"
“Because I still care
about you,” she replied. “I don’t know
why. You’ve given me enough reasons to
hate you. But I don’t want to see you
make the same mistakes with Brooke that you made with me.”
“I’m not making any
mistakes, Alex, I-“
“You know that Nathan is guilty,” she
interrupted. “Deep down you know that
we’re telling the truth about him but you just don’t want to see it. He’s the last tie to your parents, and your sister Georgie and you refuse to
believe that he’s anything but golden.
But James, he isn’t. He’s a
James shot her a
threatening stare and spoke very slowly.
“Alex, I want you to leave right now,” he said. “My wife and my uncle are my business. Stay out of it.”
She sucked in a
breath and shook her head. “Fine,” she
said and headed for the door. Pausing
before she left, she turned back to him and scowled. “I feel sorry for you, you know that? Your undying devotion to your uncle is going
to tear your entire family apart.”
James looked at her
warily, a small part of him wondering if Alex may be right.
Sierra went to the
marina and ambled her way down a row of slips until she came to a yacht with
the name The Emperor emblazoned on
the side. She stepped onto the deck and
smiled as Nathan came up from the lower cabin.
“I see you got my
message,” Nathan said with a grin.
“When did you get a
yacht?” Sierra asked as she looked around the posh digs.
“It belongs to Victor
Distefano, ” he replied. “He
let me use it for the day so I thought I’d invite you over for a drink.”
“I’m glad you did.”
“So your mother
didn’t care too much for our being together last night,” Nathan pointed
out. “I hope she wasn’t too hard on
“How do you know my
mother?” Sierra asked.
evasively. “Let’s just say our paths
have crossed before.” He paused and
watched as she sprawled out on a chaise lounge on the deck. “Incidentally, I’ll be moving to my old place
Court soon. It’s very
private. We can get together there for
our little chats if you’d like. No
overbearing mothers to speak of, anyway.”
Sierra frowned and
wondered what his intentions were. Was
her mother right about him? Was he a
predator who only wanted to get her into bed?
But then after looking into his kind, gentle eyes she realized that it
couldn’t be. He was nothing more than a
matinee idol who’d gotten a bad reputation because of some jealous girl who’s
career didn’t take off like she’d planned.
He was a gentleman through and through.
“I’d love that,” she
Alex hires Eddie to
dig up dirt on Renee. Brett tells Marilee their
affair is over. Heather continues to regret her
decision to sleep with Brett. Jordan issues Nathan