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Episode 64

 

Release Date:  June 9, 2007

 Read the episode Recap 

 

Previously...

Alex 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.  

 

 


 

Episode 64

"Explosions"

 

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. 

“James, 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.”

James 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. 

“James?” Leigh asked, crossing her legs and leaning forward on the cognac leather sofa.  “Are you with me?”

He 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.”

“Business,” 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.”

James 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 earlier.”

“I 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?”

“I 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-“

“What happened?” Leigh asked and moved across the room toward him.  She put a delicate hand on his shoulder and caressed it gently.

He 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.”

“James, I’m so sorry.  Is there anything I can do?”

“No, 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 time.”

She grinned and licked her jammy red lips.  “Oh, I’ll make time for you,” she said.  “We had such a good time in Rio.”

James nodded.  “I just need to get things settled with Brooke.”

His 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.”

He 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.

Hotel Terranova

Ethan 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.

“Hi,” she said, dejected, and stood clear of the door.   “Thanks for coming over, Ethan.”

“Are you okay?” he asked as he rushed inside the suite.  “Where’s Michael?”

“He’s 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.”

Ethan sighed and sat down beside her.  “I’m so sorry.  I know how hard this must be for you.”

“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.”

But 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 her forever.

“What are you going to do?” he finally asked after the moment of awkwardness had passed.

She 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.”

Brett Armstrong

Brett 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 lamp

“I came by earlier but you weren’t here,” Brett said with a frown.

“That’s right, I had an appointment with Dr. Mitchell.”

“Is everything okay with the baby?” Brett asked, springing to attention and placing a hand on her shoulder.  “What did she say?”

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?”

“Because 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.”

She 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.

“All 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 desperately wanted.

“Did 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?”

She 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 you don’t.”

He 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 in love.

Renee DeWitt

“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 to?”

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 succeeded?”

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 my mother.”

“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 talking about?”

“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 get this?”

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!”

“Sweetheart, I’ll 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 me?”

“No!” Renee exclaimed.  “Baby, don’t ever think that!  I’ve loved you since the day I first held you in my arms.”

“Then why?  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?” she demanded.

“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.”

“Simple?” Sierra 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.

Brooke Taylor

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 go.”

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 hall.

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.

Miranda Blackthorne

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 town.”

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 after all.

Alex's House

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 market 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 it.”

“Destroying an innocent young woman is your idea of entertainment?” Renee hissed.

Alex intentionally 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 doing.”

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?” he asked.

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 closer? 

“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 father.”

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.

Jordan Rydell

After depositing 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 on Alvarado 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.

“That’s right.”

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 your wife?”

His remark hit deep.  “You don’t know anything about my marriage.”

“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 contact with.”

“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.”

“You’re insane,” 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 his idol?

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 help.”

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.”

Stunned, Nathan looked into her eyes, examined her light skin.  He thought back to his courtship with Renee.  Of course.  “Sierra, what year were you born in?”

“1987,” she replied.  “Why?”

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 asked again.

“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 Reynolds

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 sudden rainstorm. 

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 said.

“What assignment?” Alex demanded.

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 night.”

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, is she?”

Eddie shrugged.  “Nathan?” he asked.  “I doubt it.  He’s out on my father’s yacht.”

“Nathan borrowed Victor’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 suspicions.

Jasmes Blackthorne

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 with surprise.

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 that night.

Jordan Rydell

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 there.”

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.

Nathan Blackthorne

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 stop now.”

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?”

Ignoring her 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 her face.

“Stop it!”

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?”

Sierra cried, 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 reaction.

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 daughter.

“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 of this? 

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.”

“You’re delusional.  It was a friendly romp on a friend’s yacht”

“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. 

Nathan 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. 

Realizing 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. 

Seconds 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 like fireworks.  

On 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.

Hotel Terranova

James 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 along. 

When 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.

“I 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.

James smiled and jumped up onto the curb when a car came careening around he circle drive and skidded to a stop.  “What the-“

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.

“Renee?” he asked, detecting the agony on her face.  “What is it?  What’s wrong with Sierra?”

Unable 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 lobby.

James 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.

Renee DeWitt

The 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. 

“Sierra!” 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!”

No answer.

She knocked again, sobbing uncontrollably at the disaster that she’d set into motion with her lies.  “Sierra, please!  Open the door!”

Still no answer.

Shaking 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.

Alex Reynolds

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 until dawn."

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.

Nathan's House

Alvarado 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 Blackthorne. 

When 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.

“You startled me,” Nathan said, obviously unnerved by his nephew’s sudden appearance.  He wondered what other surprises awaited him this evening. 

James lifted his drink to his lips and took a big gulp.  “I need to talk to you,” he said ominously.

Nathan 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.

“If there’s any way it can wait...” Nathan said, wincing from pain.  “I’ve had a hell of a night, James.”

“This 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?"

"A slight incident on Victor's yacht."

But James wasn't really interested.  "How could you have done it?  I trusted you, damnit.”

Nathan shrugged casually and fixed himself a stiff drink.  “We often trust the wrong person, James.”

“Renee told me what happened with Sierra,” James continued.  “Did you do what she says you did?”

“She’s my daughter,” Nathan interrupted quickly.

“I 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?”

“Sierra 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. “

Nathan barely reacted. 

“I lost my wife because of you!” James shouted.  

“Haven’t we been through this?” Nathan interrupted him.  “I’ve told you what happened that night.  Brooke misunderstood everything.”

But 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.”

Nathan shrugged.  “Then she’s lying,” he said plainly and with a certain deviousness. 

“Brooke wouldn’t lie.”

“Wouldn’t 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.”

James regarded him carefully.  “What are you saying?”

Nathan 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.”

 


Next time....

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.  

 Read Episode 65

 

 


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