hired Eddie to dig up dirt on Renee & Sierra. Eddie
discovered that Sierra was Renee's biological daughter,
and Alex happily revealed the information to a devestated
Sierra, hoping to stick it to Renee. Sierra ran
off into Nathan's arms before Alex got the chance to
tell her Nathan was her father. Heather continued
to push Brett away, despite his proclomation that he
was falling for her. Brett informed Seth that
Kenny denied the variance on a piece of land he was
interested in. Brett dodged Marilee's advances.
Ethan blasted James for his devotion to Nathan.
Jordan and Alex slept together again. Jordan issued
Nathan a stern warning. Fed up with James not
believing her about the attack, Brooke moved out of
the mansion, just as Leigh showed up.
James handed Leigh a glass of red wine and then poured
himself a bourbon and branch. They were
in the library at the Blackthorne mansion, the fireplace roaring and the sun
beginning to set through the enormous floor to ceiling windows.
your home is beautiful,” Leigh Purcell said, taking in the richly decorated
room. “It’s all so stylish and old Hollywood, exactly the way I pictured it.”
smiled and sat down in the chair across from her. “Thank you,” he said, unable to take his mind
off of Brooke. She’d packed her bags and
left an hour ago. He was determined to
go after her, but Leigh had shown up at that very moment, a surprise that proved
extremely distracting. How was he going
to make things right with her? Never in
a million years did he think that Nathan’s return to Hollywood would spell the downfall of his
marriage. Or that Leigh’s return to his
life would make it so much easier.
Leigh asked, crossing her legs and leaning forward on the cognac leather
sofa. “Are you with me?”
smiled again and tried suppressing his worries over Brooke. “Leigh, you still haven’t told me you’re
doing in Los
Angeles. When we left the
energy conference you were on your way back to Acapulco.”
she replied casually and without further explanation. “And to be honest, I was hoping I’d get a
chance to see you while I was here.”
got up and moved restlessly around the room.
“I hate to say it, but this isn’t exactly a good time,” he said. “That was Brooke leaving when you showed up
thought it might be. I also saw her
carrying suitcases. What happened,
James? Did you tell her about what
happened in Rio?
Is that why she left?”
never got a chance to tell her,” James replied. “I fully intended to. Thought I’d never see you again. I wanted to be honest with her, but-“
happened?” Leigh asked and moved across the room toward him. She put a delicate hand on his shoulder and caressed
didn’t want to get into the whole mess so he shorthanded it as best as he
could. “She made some accusations about
someone in my family. I questioned her,
so she left, and took our child with her.”
I’m so sorry. Is there anything I can
but thank you,” he finally said, his eyes twinkling as he gazed at her. “Things are a mess right now, but I hope that
you’ll stay in Los Angeles for a while. That is, if business doesn’t take up all your
grinned and licked her jammy red lips. “Oh,
I’ll make time for you,” she
said. “We had such a good time in Rio.”
nodded. “I just need to get things
settled with Brooke.”
devotion only made him even more attractive to her. “Just as long as you know that I’ll be here
when you need someone. Think about it, James. It can be just like that night in Rio.”
smiled fondly, growing slightly flushed when he thought of that night and how
passionate and intense their lovemaking had been. He’d be lying if he said he didn’t want it to
happen again. But for now, he’d have to
control himself. If there was a chance
of repairing this mess with Brooke then he had to take it.
knocked on the door of room 829 at Hotel
Terranova, digging his hands in his pockets and offering a sympathetic look
as Brooke opened the door.
she said, dejected, and stood clear of the door. “Thanks for coming over, Ethan.”
you okay?” he asked as he rushed inside the suite. “Where’s Michael?”
in the bedroom,” Brooke replied and sat down on the sofa in tears. “I left James.
I told him that if he didn’t believe me about Nathan then I didn’t want to
be anywhere near him.”
sighed and sat down beside her. “I’m so
sorry. I know how hard this must be for
“How could he have
done that? I’m his wife. We have a child together and-“ She paused, realizing that that wasn’t even
true. She could see the hurt in Ethan’s
eyes. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that.”
he was used to the lie now. Maybe not
comfortable with it, but he knew it was Brooke’s choice to continue leading
James to believe that he was Michael’s father.
He had no right to interfere in that.
Besides, right now the issue was the insulting way his uncle was treating
her. It wasn’t fair. He wanted to put his arms around her and hold
are you going to do?” he finally asked after the moment of awkwardness had
looked into his eyes and shook her had in despair. “I don’t know. But I do know that I can ever forgive him for
what he’s done.”
walked into Miranda’s office downstairs, tennis racket in hand and perspiration
beading down the sides of his tan face.
She looked up and offered a look of frustration, standing up with her
purse in hand.
“I’m on my way home, Brett, so whatever
you want to talk about will have to wait,” she said and switched off her desk
“I came by earlier but you weren’t here,”
Brett said with a frown.
“That’s right, I had an appointment with
everything okay with the baby?” Brett asked, springing to attention and placing
a hand on her shoulder. “What did she
Miranda shrugged his hand off of her and
sighed heavily. “Relax, it was just a
monthly checkup. Everything’s fine.”
He threw his hands up in resignation and
looked at her in disbelief. “Did you
ever think to ask if I wanted to go along?”
“Why would I?”
I’m the baby’s father, that’s why,” he insisted. “I told you I wanted to be involved, and now
you’re trying to cut me out again, well I’m not going to let you get away with
it, Miranda. I’m going to be part of our
baby’s life whether you like it or not.”
rolled her eyes and started to the door.
“I don’t like it,” she said
and started out into the lobby. Brett
followed fast on her heels, pulling her back angrily.
“I have rights, you know,” he said, his
eyes challenging her.
right, relax,” Miranda said with
irritation. “Yes, you have rights, but
does that mean you have to tag along to every single doctors appointment I
have? Seriously, Brett, you need to
chill out. You can be involved with Biff but you’re not going to suffocate me for the next six months.”
He folded his arms and turned just as
Heather stepped out of the elevator and made her way across the lobby. She turned and saw Brett, immediately tensing
up and picking up her languid pace so she wouldn’t have to talk to him.
Brett frowned, hurt that she was going out
of her way to avoid him lately. Since
their night of passion she’d quickly made it clear that she wanted nothing more
to do with him. They had nothing in
common but sex, she’d said. For the
first time in his life he felt that he couldn’t have something that he
it just get cold in here?” Miranda asked as she came up on Brett from
behind. “I warned Heather to stay away
from you, and from the looks of it, she listened.”
He turned around and shot her a look. “What is it with you and your brother?” he
demanded irately. “You divorce your
spouses, but you don’t want anyone else to be with them either?”
“I don’t care who you use as your next
victim, just as long as it isn’t Heather or anyone else that I care about,”
Miranda said, a warning tone in her voice.
“Heather has been through a lot during the last year and she doesn’t need
you causing more trouble for her.”
“Who says I’m causing her any trouble?”
leveled a you’ve got to be kidding
look on him. “We are still talking about you,
aren’t we?” she asked, her tone dripping with sarcasm. “Everything you touch you manipulate and
destroy. I just want to make sure that
Heather isn’t next in line.”
“Well it looks like you got your wish
because she’s not talking to me now.”
“Good,” Miranda said before starting away
from him. “Just stick with your
secretaries and your bimbos and leave Heather alone. You’ll have to answer to Stormy and to me if
exhaled deeply, irritated that they had gotten to Heather. He meant what he’d told her the other day, he
was falling in love with her. Hopelessly
“I can’t believe that
he attacked Brooke Blackthorne,” Renee said as she and Jordan stood in her suite at Hotel Terranova. “That poor woman. How many more women is he going to do this
Jordan regarded her carefully, almost
afraid to tell her of his latest fears.
“Renee, I think you may want to consider telling Sierra the truth.”
She shot him a look
of disgust and placed a hand on her heaving chest. “Jordan, are you crazy?” she asked. “How am I supposed to tell my daughter than
Nathan Blackthorne, a known rapist, is her father?”
“He didn’t rape you,” Jordan considered. “Sierra was conceived through love, or
whatever it was you felt for him at the time.
You have nothing to be ashamed of.
A lot of women get pregnant out of wedlock.”
“But don’t you see?”
Renee asked. “If Sierra learns what kind
of man her father is she’ll be destroyed.
Not to mention the fact that I’ve lied to her for her entire life. Her whole existence is a product of fiction. No, I can never tell her the truth. It will destroy her.”
Jordan rubbed the sides of his
head. “But what if he does the same
thing to her?” he asked. “Nathan is just
as in the dark about who she is. He
could try to seduce her, Renee. His own
daughter. How would you feel if he
Before she could
reply to the horrifying thought, the door burst open and Sierra entered, her
eyes still glazed over and a look of despair on her pretty young face.
“Sierra,” Renee said
with surprise. “Darling, where have you
been? You look upset. Has something happened?”
Sierra glared at her,
then turned to Jordan and spoke very slowly. “Jordan, may I speak to my mother alone
for a minute, please?”
He looked at Renee
and waited for her to give him the OK.
Grudgingly, he grabbed his jacket and headed for the door. After he’d gone, Renee approached Sierra and
attempted to pull her into an embrace.
Sierra quickly and violently pushed her away.
“Sierra, what is it?”
Renee asked, alarmed by her reaction.
“I’m your mother, you can tell me anything.”
She laughed. “My mother. Yes, you are
“What is it?
Tell me what’s bothering you.”
“For my entire life
you’ve lied to me,” Sierra cried, tears streaming down her cheeks. “Kept me away at boarding school to hide me,
only coming when it was convenient or when I begged you to. I was the poor orphan who you adopted
nineteen years ago.”
“Sierra, what are you
“You lied to me!” she
shrieked, pulling the birth certificate from her pocket and thrusting it at
her. “You’re my mother! My biological mother! You said you adopted me but you didn’t! You gave birth to me!”
Renee closed her eyes
tightly, horrified that the truth had gotten out. She looked at the birth certificate and shook
her head in disbelief. “Where did you
“Alex Reynolds showed
it to me,” she said. “She told me that you’ve
been lying to me all this time. Why
would you do it, mother? Why would you
pretend that you’d adopted me instead of admitting that I was your true
daughter? I don’t understand!”
explain it to you, just come sit down,” Renee said and floated across the room
to the sofa. “I’ll tell you everything.”
“Were you ashamed of
exclaimed. “Baby, don’t ever think
that! I’ve loved you since the day I
first held you in my arms.”
Why go through all this trouble just to hide the fact that you’d given
birth to me?”
Renee placed a hand
on her forehead. The room was spinning
and she felt nauseous. “It’s
complicated. I was young.”
“That’s not a
reason. Help me to understand,
Mother. Was it because of my
father? Is that it? Does he even know I exist?”
The reality that she
still didn’t know about Nathan was of minor comfort. At least she had that going for her. “No, he doesn’t.”
Sierra shook her head
in disgust. “So all right, who was he?”
“What?” Renee asked
in a lame attempt to stall.
“Who was my
father? I have a right to know. I just found out that you’re my biological
mother and I’d kind of like to know who my father is.”
“It doesn’t matter,”
Renee said, refusing to admit the truth.
She didn’t care what Jordan said, she would never reveal
that Nathan was her father. “He didn’t
mean anything to me. You’re better off
without him, Sierra.”
“Well where is he?”
“I don’t even know,”
Renee lied, throwing her hands up in resignation. “He was a graduate student and we had a
weekend of romance and then the next thing I knew he was gone. It’s as simple as that.”
asked angrily. “There’s nothing simple
about this. I don’t even know who I am
thanks to you. Because of your lies, my
entire life has been taken away from me.”
Renee shook her head
adamantly. “You’ve always known me as
your mother, and that hasn’t changed. If
anything our bond is stronger now that you know the truth. Sierra, I love you so much. If only you would realize that.”
“You don’t know what
love is,” Sierra spat hatefully as she backed up to the door. “All you care about are appearances and what
people think of you. I was the child
that you didn’t want to acknowledge so you wrote me off as some charity case!”
“No!” Renee cried and
ran after her.
“I hate you! Do you hear me? I hate you!”
With that, she turned and bolted out into the hallway in tears.
Renee sunk to the
floor in the doorway, burying her face in her hands and wishing that this
nightmare had never started. She’d never
felt so defeated in her entire life.
It was almost
midnight and Brooke was still awake, her mind racing. She checked in on Michael in the bedroom and
tucked him in gently before walking out into the living room of her suite. A knock at the door sent butterflies
tripping through her stomach and she timidly started across the room.
“Brooke, it’s James,”
he called from the hall.
She backed up
instinctively, in no way ready to talk to him so soon after leaving the mansion
that night. She needed time to think and
to put things in perspective.
“It’s late, James,”
she called through the door. “Please
He dug his hands in
his pockets, shaking his head in despair.
“I want you and Michael to come home.
Please, Brooke. We can work this
out. We’ve been through worse
together. We can get through anything.”
A tear trickled down
her cheek and she shook her head. “Not
this,” she said quietly.
“I love you,
Brooke. I need you. Just open the door and talk to me.”
She grew angry by his
insistence. “No, I told you that I don’t
want to talk to you and I meant it. You
hurt me, James. I don’t think that
anyone’s ever hurt me as much as you have.
I want you to leave.”
There was a moment of
silence where James tried desperately to think of something he could say to
make her understand. But sadly he knew
that there were no words that would make it all okay. The damage was done.
“Please call me
tomorrow so we can talk,” he finally said before turning and starting down the
After she was sure
he’d gone, Brooke turned and wrapped her arms tightly around herself. She was so confused. She did love James but his betrayal was
something that she couldn’t get over. It
was like a thousand knives sticking in her back.
There was nothing
that tomorrow could fix.
The next morning,
Miranda made her way through the lobby at Hotel
Terranova. She approached the front
desk and stopped when Leigh Purcell entered from the terrace.
“Leigh?” she asked in
surprise. “Daddy told me you were in
Leigh turned and
smiled at Miranda, approaching her quickly and purposefully. “Hello Miranda, so nice to see you
again. You look wonderful. I guess divorce really suits you.”
Miranda laughed and
threw her long dark hair over her shoulder.
“I feel great,” she said happily.
“Your hotel in Acapulco had a lot to do with that. I can’t remember the last time I relaxed like
that. Getting rid of the extra baggage
didn’t hurt, either.”
“It never does,”
Leigh said with a playful wink.
“Are you seeing my
father today?” Miranda asked, wanting to quickly change the subject.
She lit up with a
twinkle in her eye. “We’re getting
together for dinner tonight.”
“How nice,” Miranda
said genuinely. “I think you’re exactly
what my father needs right now. This
mess with Brooke has really gotten him down.”
“It seems that way,”
Leigh replied. “I only hope that my
being here won’t cause any further problems between them. The last thing I want is to fan the flames of
an already rocky situation.”
A grin spread across
Miranda’s face and she folded her arms.
It suddenly occurred to her that Leigh Purcell was just what she had
been hoping for. Her father needed a
woman like her in his life, not a tacky makeup girl like Brooke Taylor. With any luck she’d be able to push them
together and then Brooke would be a distant memory.
“I wouldn’t worry
about Brooke if I were you,” she said in a thoroughly calculated manner. “Any problems between her and my father are
her own doing. I think that you should
enjoy each other’s company for as long as you can.”
Leigh smiled, quite
happy that she had someone like Miranda Blackthorne on her side. Perhaps she would land James for herself
Alex walked down the
stairs of her house in Malibu with a wicked smile spread
across her face. She was sprayed into a
white cat suit and her hair was piled on top of her head after taking a sauna
for most of the morning.
The doorbell rang and
she called for Veronique, but then remembered she’d sent her out to the farmer's
for fresh coconuts. Sighing, she made
her way to the door and pulled it open with a flourish.
“Renee,” she said,
half-expecting that she would show up after hearing that Sierra was finally in
the know. “It’s a bit early for a social
call, don’t you think?”
Setting her jaw,
Renee strode purposefully into the room and planted her hands firmly on her
hips. “How dare you stick your nose into
my business,” she said, then thrust the birth certificate in her face. “Where the hell did you get this?”
Alex shrugged and
picked up a bunch of grapes. “I found
out your dirty little secret purely by accident,” she said and popped a grape
into her mouth. “But my, my, what a
juicy one it is. To think that you’ve
been lying all this time about Sierra’s true parentage. The poor girl actually thought that you
adopted her. I’m not going to lie to
you, Renee, when she learned the truth she was devastated. I felt badly for her, but…well, it was worth
innocent young woman is your idea of entertainment?” Renee hissed.
avoided the question. “The good news is
your daughter still doesn’t know who her father is. At least you’ve got that going for you. But a word of caution, when she does find out
that her father is a rapist, it will destroy her and it’ll be all your own
Unable to control her
rage, Renee lunged forward and tackled Alex to the floor. She screamed at the top of her lungs,
struggling to keep her pinned down while she slapped her across the face.
Alex, quickly switching
to defense mode, pushed Renee off of her and sent her crashing into the coffee
table a few feet away. The legs buckled
and the top crashed to the floor, narrowly missing Renee while she rolled out
of the way.
“You bitch!” Alex
shouted, crawling across the room and grabbing Renee by the hair.
They struggled around
the room, desperately clawing at one another amidst a shower of debris. Renee climbed to her feet and pulled Alex up
by the arm, throwing her onto the sofa and causing it to tip onto its
back. She raced over and straddled her,
slapping her across the face with mind shattering strength. Alex tried desperately to push her off,
picking up a pillow and swatting it against her head.
Renee jumped off,
grabbed a vase from the console table and hurdled it across the room. Alex ducked just in time, the vase hitting
the wall, glass shattering in every direction.
Breathing heavily, she charged forward, grabbing Renee by the arms and
throwing her against the far wall.
“Get off of me!”
Renee squealed and tried to escape her firm grasp. Seconds later, her knees buckled and she
pulled Alex down with her. They rolled
on top of broken glass and wood splinters.
Moments later, the
front door opened and Jordan walked inside. He surveyed the disaster in the room and
immediately raced over to stop the two women from beating each other to a pulp.
“That’s enough!” he
yelled, pulling Alex up by the arm and separating the two. “What is going on here?”
“That lunatic came
over here and accosted me!” Alex shrieked, panting with exhaustion while
brushing a few stray leaves from her hair.
“She’s crazy, Jordan!”
Renee shook her head
in anger. “You know damn well why I came
here,” she exclaimed. “Jordan, she told Sierra that she wasn’t
adopted! She hired a private
investigator and found her original birth certificate.”
Jordan glared at Alex angrily. Suddenly he felt like he didn’t even know
her. She wasn’t the tender woman that
she made love to for hours the day before on his yacht. How could she do something so hateful?
“Is that true, Alex?”
She looked at him and
froze. The look in his eyes was
unforgiving and made her skin crawl. Had
she really messed up again? Had she
further alienated Jordan instead of drawing him
“I’m not the one who
lied to my daughter for her entire life,” she said. “All I did was point out the truth. Sierra still doesn’t know that Nathan is her
But it was too
late. Jordan took Renee’s arm and led her
outside, slamming the door shut so loudly that it rattled on its hinges.
Alex threw her hands
up in despair, looking around at the disaster and realizing that she’d made a
mess of things in more ways than one.
Now she feared that she’d never get Jordan back.
Renee back at Hotel Terranova, Jordan went to his office to take care
of a few business matters. Namely to
find out where Sierra went without causing Renee too much alarm. He knew she hadn’t gone to Nathan’s bungalow
Court, which meant they were probably somewhere else together.
He called Eddie
Distefano, faxed him a picture of Sierra, and told him to find her within the
hour. In exchange he would forgive the
way he helped Alex snoop into Renee and Sierra’s business. Eddie bit.
There was a knock at
the door and James entered, smartly dressed in a navy suit and striped
tie. Jordan raised a curious eyebrow and
stepped away from his desk in the mod furnished office.
“What are you doing
here?” he asked.
“Wanted to talk to
you about Nathan,” was James’s easy reply.
“That’s probably a
good idea,” Jordan conceded and gestured to the
bar. “Can I get you a bourbon?”
James nodded and dug
his hands into his pockets. “Nathan
tells me you paid him a visit on the set yesterday,” he began. “He says you said some pretty harsh things.”
“He told you?” Jordan asked with surprise.
“He said you reneged
on your offer to put him in your next film,” James continued.
James crossed the
room and eyed him suspiciously. “After
all we went through to bring him back here you’re turning your back on
him? What happened to all of our
plans? I know it’s your studio but I
think you’re making a mistake.”
“You have the nerve
to talk to me about turning my back on someone?” Jordan asked, his brow furrowed in
anger. “What about what you’re doing to
His remark hit
deep. “You don’t know anything about my
“I know that you
would rather believe the word of a rapist than Brooke.”
James shook his head
in aggravation. “You really have turned
your back on him, haven’t you?” he asked.
“You said as much at the welcome home party, but I didn’t think you’d
actually go this far.”
Jordan knew he had to get through to
James. He had to make him see what kind
of man his uncle was once and for all.
“He’s been courting Sierra.”
“Sierra?” James asked
in surprise. His heart drummed in his
chest, although he didn’t know why.
“I’m afraid he’s
going to do the same thing to her that he has ever other woman he’s come in
“He hasn’t done anything,” James insisted.
“Wake up, James. It’s time you realized that your uncle isn’t
the idol that we made him out to be when we started our careers. He raped Alex, he tried to rape Brooke, and
he will try to rape Sierra if we
don’t stop him.”
James said and started to the door.
“Do you know where he
would have taken her?”
James turned and shot
him a look of disbelief. “I’m not going
to help in this witch hunt. I want you
to leave my uncle alone and stop listening to Alex and Brooke.”
“You’re a damn fool.”
“Go to hell,” James
said. He pulled the door open and walked
out into the reception area. Closing his
eyes tightly, he couldn’t help thinking about Renee’s daughter. The thought of anything happening to her was
devastating. He refused to believe his
uncle would do anything to her, but maybe Jordan and the others were
right. Was he a fool for believing in
The Emperor bobbed up and down on the waves at the marina. She was docked but it was growing cloudy and
windy and a storm front was blowing in from the sea. Inside the lower cabin, Sierra sat with
Nathan, soft music playing on the radio.
“Are you sure you
don’t want to call your mother?” Nathan asked, knowing full well what her
answer would be. “You left the hotel
last night. She’s got to be getting
worried by now.”
Sierra shook her head
and sipped from a can of cola. “I don’t
care,” she said. “I want her to
worry. I want her to know what it’s like
to not be in control.”
Nathan frowned and
moved over beside her. The sound of rain
tapping against the deck outside filled the cabin. “Sierra, why don’t you tell me what’s going
on with you and your mother? Maybe I can
She looked down,
ashamed by the lie that her life had become.
“My mother didn’t really adopt me,” she said, tears forming in her eyes
again. “She lied. She gave birth to me and she came up with
this big elaborate lie because she was ashamed.”
looked into her eyes, examined her light skin.
He thought back to his courtship with Renee. Of
course. “Sierra, what year were you
The facts were
there. He slowly put everything together
in his mind and realized that Renee’s lie went much deeper than Sierra
suspected. The only reason Renee would
have made up such an elaborate lie was to hide Sierra’s paternity. It was finally clear to him why she was so
protective of her daughter. He was Sierra’s father.
“What is it?” Sierra
“Nothing,” he finally
said and slid closer to her on the sofa.
“I understand how you must feel.
But I want you to know that I’ll be here to help you through it.”
Sierra looked into
his red, watery eyes and smiled. She
felt safe with him. She trusted him more
than she trusted anyone. After all,
everyone else had lied to her for her entire life. She didn’t even flinch when his hand crept up
to her thigh.
Alex arrived at Hotel Terranova to meet Miranda for
dinner. She dashed up the porte-cochere
with the assistance of a bellman carrying an umbrella to shield her from the
As soon as she
approached the lobby she spotted Eddie Distefano skulking about asking
questions to passing guests. Frowning,
she approached and tapped him firmly on the shoulder.
“Eddie, what are you
doing?” she asked.
He looked around,
lowering his dark sunglasses and placing a finger over his closed lips. “I’m on assignment for your ex-husband,” he
Eddie resisted but
put his hands up in resignation when Alex threw him a look of warning. “He wanted me to find Sierra Merteuil. Apparently she’s been missing since last
Alex sprung to
attention. “Missing?” she asked,
suddenly feeling guilty for her part in the revelation that Renee had lied to
her. “She isn’t with Nathan Blackthorne,
Eddie shrugged. “Nathan?” he asked. “I doubt it.
He’s out on my father’s yacht.”
"He uses it from time
to time,” Eddie said then gave her a nudge and a wink. “If you ask me, I think he takes his ladies
there for a little romance if you know what I mean.”
Suddenly, Alex knew
that Sierra was in trouble. She’d driven
the young woman right into his arms, and he knew exactly how to take advantage
of it. She quickly dashed back out to
the porte-cochere, snatching her cell from her purse so that she could call Jordan and fill him in on her
Across the room,
James and Leigh sat in the lounge having cocktails before dinner. He’d just finished telling her the details of
his and Brooke’s separation and she quickly reminded him of his priorities.
“I’m sorry to say
this, James, but you’re being an idiot.”
“Excuse me?” he asked
She leaned across the
table. “No matter what happened between
us in Rio, Brooke is still your wife. As much as I want you, James, I can’t help
but feel sorry for that woman. You
turned away from her when she needed you.
You took your uncle’s word over hers.
Even with all the proof that’s been handed to you lately, you still
believe in him.”
James realized she
had a point. Maybe all it took was a
fresh point of view to make him see things from Brooke’s perspective. He did
owe her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe
he needed to confront Nathan again, to find out once and for all what happened
The driving rain washed
over the streets by the marina, darkening the sky and causing treacherous
conditions. Jordan sped down the road, the windshield
wipers on full speed and the headlights cutting through the night. Renee sat in the seat beside him, clutching
his hand tightly and staring at the road ahead.
He looked over at her
and offered a comforting smile. “Try not
to worry,” he said. ‘We’re almost
Renee shook her head,
wiping a tear from her eye. “Please let
my daughter be okay,” she said, her voice quavering. “Please don’t let that monster hurt her.”
The car hit a puddle
and hydroplaned a few feet. Jordan expertly maneuvered the car back
onto the road and took a deep breath. He
hoped that Alex was wrong in her assumption that Nathan had brought Sierra to
Victor’s yacht. Hopefully it was nothing
more than another one of her wild speculations.
Sierra jumped off of
the sofa in the lower cabin of the yacht.
She nervously made her way across the room and wiped her hands on the
front of her pants. “I think the rain
might be letting up,” she said. “Maybe I
should go back to the hotel.”
Nathan followed her
across the room, clinking ice in his empty glass of scotch. “No, it’s still coming down pretty hard,” he
countered. “Why don’t you stay here for
the night? There’s plenty of room and
it’ll be much more cozy that going out in the rain.”
Sierra felt his hands
slide around her waist and she quickly spun around. “Please don’t,” she said uncomfortably. “I just want to go.”
“Why do you want to
rush off all of the sudden?” Nathan asked, a devilish smile creeping onto his
face. He grabbed hold of her arm and led
her back to the sofa. “We were getting
along so well. I don’t see any reason to
She twisted away from
him and ran to the door that led upstairs.
Before she could pull it open, Nathan approached and pulled her back
again. She struggled in his hold,
panicking at the thought of being trapped in the close quarters amidst a dark
and threatening rainstorm.
“Nathan, please-“ she
cried. “I don’t want this.”
He laughed. A wicked cackling that reverberated
throughout the cabin. “Don’t be silly,”
he said, forcing her down onto the cushions and covering her with his
body. “This was meant to be. Your mother cast me aside all those years
ago, and I’m not about to let you do the same.”
“My mother?” Sierra
asked in surprise and struggled beneath his weight. “What about my mother? What do you mean?”
question, he ripped her blouse open and used his knees to hold her legs
down. Ignoring the way she screamed and
beat her fists against his chest, he leaned in and ran his razor tongue over
Just then, the door
to the cabin burst open and Jordan rushed inside. He immediately saw the disgust on Sierra’s
face and flew into action. Behind him,
Renee and Alex were huddled in the doorway in fear.
“You son of bitch!” Jordan yelled, grabbing hold of Nathan
and quickly pulling him off of Sierra.
He drew his fist back and sent it shattering into his jaw. “What the hell are you doing?”
clamoring to cover her exposed chest with her blouse. Tears ran down her face and smeared her
mascara. She covered her face with her
hands and wept hysterically.
“She wanted it as
much as I did,” Nathan said in bated breath.
He shucked away Jordan’s death hold and straightened
his shirt collar. “Jordan, you don’t believe that any malice
happened here, do you? We were just
having some fun.”
“How dare you!” Renee
screamed, rushing up to him and slapping him clean across the face. “How could you do it? She’s your daughter for God’s sake! You
tried to rape your own daughter!”
Sierra’s eyes flashed
open in horror and she brought her hands instinctively to her mouth. He felt as though she would be sick. “Nooo!”
she shrieked at the top of her lungs.
Nathan looked at
Renee with disinterest, he glared at Alex who stood behind her, he shrugged
indifferently at Jordan. All eyes were on him as if waiting for a
“Oh dear God,” Renee whispered under her breath. The look on his face was a tell-tale sign
that he was more of a monster than she’d ever thought. “You knew. You knew she was your daughter and you went
ahead and forced yourself on her anyway!”
Nathan took a step
back, fully aware that he was about to suffer the full wrath of Renee
DeWitt. He was right. She came at him with blinding rage, slapping
him and pounding her fists into him frantically. Jordan came up behind and restrained
her but she fought him off. She hit him
in the gut with her elbow during her explosive outburst, immediately continuing
her assault on Sierra’s father, the monster who had tried to rape his own
“Renee, stop!” Jordan said, finally succeeded in
restraining her and pushing her up the stairs with Alex. He turned back and pulled Sierra up from the
sofa. “Come on, let’s go.”
Sierra's eyes flickered
past Nathan’s. She was numb and
confused. What was her mother saying? Nathan
was her father? He was the man she wanted to protect her from all this time?
“Jordan-” Nathan began, rubbing the
tender spot on his chin where he’d punched him. For the first time he was at a loss for
words. How would he maneuver himself out
on the dock, Jordan ushered Renee and a catatonic
Sierra into the car. He knew they had to
get out of there before Sierra had a complete breakdown, and before Renee
killed Nathan with her bear hands. That
was something he wanted the pleasure of doing.
Renee looked through
the car window at Jordan and gunned the engine, peeling
off away from the marina in a mad dash. Jordan ran his hands through his hair
and turned as Alex place a delicate hand on his shoulder.
“I’m…I’m so sorry,” she
managed to stammer through her veil of disbelief. “I had no idea any of this would happen. I wouldn’t have went digging around if-“
The sudden sound of
the yacht’s motor interrupted her and she and Jordan turned toward the water.
“He’s getting away,”
Alex said, her fingers dug into Jordan’s arm.
Jordan backed up a few steps, gauged
the distance of the yacht from the dock, and then ran, leaping from the edge
and landed on the edge of the lower deck.
Alex watched in fear, afraid of what Jordan might do. Nathan Blackthorne
wasn’t worth it.
Climbing down to the
lower cabin, Jordan found Nathan at the control helm
adjusting the navigational aids. Nathan
spotted him and darted around him with cat-like agility.
“Not so fast,” Jordan said and pulled him back. He looked into his former mentor’s eyes and
shuddered at the evil, sick, twisted monster that he’d become. He was so angry that his entire body shook
and convulsed, his eyes flickered, and his heart pounded in his chest.
“Can’t we just forget
this, Jordan, ol’ boy?” Nathan said with a nervous smile. The movement of the yacht made him
nauseus. They hit waves from the wake of
other boats and the ship rocked back and forth.
“Naturally if I’d known the girl was my daughter, I would never have
tried to seduce her.”
“You didn’t just try
to seduce her,” Jordan said with disgust. “You tried to force yourself on her, like you
did Brooke the other day. And like Alex
twenty years ago.”
delusional. It was a friendly romp on a
“You’re the one who’s
delusional, you disgusting pervert!”
Nathan laughed. A nervous laugh. He looked over at the controls and heard
honking from passing boats, yelling from people warning them of the yacht’s out
of control path.
“I warned you that if
you hurt Renee or Sierra, I would kill you with my bare hands,” Jordan said, gritting his teeth so hard
that his head hurt.
backed up, swallowing hard as he felt Jordan looming before him. “Jordan, I assure you, it was a
misunderstanding. I would never hurt
that poor child.” He could tell his
words didn’t hold water. Not anymore. They were all seeing through him. Everyone except for his prized nephew
James. “Now look, the controls…I didn’t
set a course. Just let me go back and
turn off the engines.”
Jordan pushed him hard against the wall
of the cabin. Nathan got a clear view
out the portal. They were on a collision
path. A tanker a few yards up the
channel was positioned directly in their way.
he had to stop the small yacht before they met with disaster, Nathan pushed Jordan back and raced for the
controls. Jordan, unaware of the imminent danger
and fixated only on his anger, pulled him back and punched him swiftly in the
jaw. Nathan stumbled back and quickly
recovered to his feet, tackling Jordan to the ground.
later, the impact rocked them both about the cabin.
The port side of the yacht struck the freighter,
flames erupting from the gas lines. The
hull of the vessel was quickly engulfed in dancing flames.
Finally, an explosion ripped through the yacht,
fiery debris flying into the night sky and crackling
the edge of the dock, Alex looked on with horror. “Jordan!” she yelled over the roar of
the explosion. The rain had almost
stopped and she stood wet on the dock with her hands plastered over her mouth.
and Leigh made their way through the hotel lobby after dinner. They didn’t notice Brooke waiting by the
elevators. She spotted them from the
corner of her eye and frowned, wondering who the auburn-haired woman with him
was. He certainly wasted no time in picking up the next thing that came
the elevator doors opened, she stepped inside and watched for ten excrutiating
seconds with James and the woman in clear view, laughing and touching
intimately. By the time the doors
closed, she remembered why she left the mansion in the first place. She didn’t care
what James did or with who. Their marriage was over.
had a wonderful time tonight,” Leigh said to James as they walked out to the
porte-cochere and he handed his ticket to the valet.
smiled and jumped up onto the curb when a car came careening around he circle
drive and skidded to a stop. “What the-“
car door flew open and Sierra raced up to the hotel, tears streaming down her
cheeks. Renee climbed out and darted
around the car to catch up to her. James
clasped his hand around her arm and pulled her back with a look of concern.
he asked, detecting the agony on her face.
“What is it? What’s wrong with
to control her anger, Renee yanked her arm away from him and stared at him with
watery eyes. “Your damn uncle, that’s
what’s wrong!” she screamed. “He
attacked her! His own daughter! Now do you see what kind of disgusting
monster he is? Do you?” With that, she turned and raced inside the
stared after her in awe. He felt Leigh’s
hand touch his shoulder gently and he shuddered. The terrified look on Sierra's
face was permanently etched into his mind.
door to Renee’s suite burst open and Sierra raced inside. Tears trickling down her face, she flew to
her bedroom and slammed the door shut. Seconds
later, Renee entered in a panic.
Renee screamed, pounding on the bedroom door.
“Sierra, please let me in! I need
to talk to you! I need to explain to you
why I didn’t tell you the truth!”
knocked again, sobbing uncontrollably at the disaster that she’d set into
motion with her lies. “Sierra,
please! Open the door!”
her head in despair, Renee wrapped her arms around herself and cried. There was nothing that she could do to make
things right and she had to accept it.
She’d set this whole nightmare into motion herself.
An officer at the marina
placed a blanket over Alex's shoulders to shield her
from the cold after the rain. Another handed her
a styrofoam cup of steaming coffee and ventured off
to confer with his partner.
Staring out at the disappearing
embers from the yacht, Alex closed her eyes and silently
prayed. She was not a religious woman. She
was selfish and vain. But she prayed that God,
whoever he or she was, would hear her. If she'd
lost Jordan, just as Madam Valda had predicted, she
didn't know how she would go on.
Moments later, the officer
approached her and knelt down. "Miss Reynolds,
the divers haven't found your ex-husband. The
current could have taken his body more than a mile off
shore by now. We won't be able to resume our search
Alex felt tears welling
up in her eyes. She stood up and walked onto the
dock. The last flame from the gas-infused water
died out and night sky became eerily dark.
Court was a posh complex of six individual bungalows surrounding
a tree-strewn courtyard on the north side of Hollywood.
The center bungalow was the former, and current home of Nathan
Nathan got home he was drenched from head to toe, covered in lesions and his
clothes tattered. He felt his way through the dark living room
and flipped on the light. There, sitting
silently in an armchair across the room was James, nursing a bourbon and branch
in a crystal tumbler.
startled me,” Nathan said, obviously unnerved by his nephew’s sudden
appearance. He wondered what other
surprises awaited him this evening.
lifted his drink to his lips and took a big gulp. “I need to talk to you,” he said ominously.
tried to appear casual as he went to the kitchen and rustled around in the ice
cube tray. Moments later he returned
with an ice bag which he placed on his jaw where Jordan had sucker punched him.
there’s any way it can wait...” Nathan said, wincing from pain. “I’ve had a hell of a night, James.”
won’t take long,” James said and stood up from the chair. He approached him steadfastly, meeting his
eyes with a deadly serious gaze when the light illuminated his rough condition. “What
happened to you?"
slight incident on Victor's yacht."
James wasn't really interested. "How
could you have done it? I trusted you,
shrugged casually and fixed himself a stiff drink. “We often trust the wrong person, James.”
told me what happened with Sierra,” James continued. “Did you do what she says you did?”
my daughter,” Nathan interrupted quickly.
know that.” He knocked the drink from
his hand and sent it crashing onto the floor in an explosion of glass, liquid
and ice. “Did you attack her?”
is my daughter,” he repeated. “Renee hid
her from me.”
“Can you blame her?”
James demanded. “If
you did this, Nathan, then you are a sick, twisted man,
and I'm a damn fool. All this time I’ve been defending you. My own wife left me because I took your word
over hers. “
lost my wife because of you!” James shouted.
we been through this?” Nathan interrupted him.
“I’ve told you what happened that night.
Brooke misunderstood everything.”
James wasn’t hearing it. “I don’t think
so, Nathan. Brooke wouldn’t confuse
someone’s intentions for being malicious.
She’s a smart woman.”
shrugged. “Then she’s lying,” he said
plainly and with a certain deviousness.
she?” Nathan asked, finally deciding he’d been pushed far enough. When backed into a corner he came out
throwing punches. Luckily he had been
saving up ammunition. “A woman who would
lie about the father of her baby would lie about anything. It’s second nature to her.”
regarded him carefully. “What are you
smiled inside. Finally he had a path to
being cleared. After he dropped the
bomb, Brooke would become the target of James’s suspicions. “I
overhead her talking to Ethan a few weeks ago, before you went to Rio.
Michael is Ethan’s son, not yours.”
Alex waits for word
on Jordan's fate. James struggles to cope with
devestating information about Michael. Renee struggles to keep Nathan
from their daughter.