Austen found a letter that Brooke wrote to Ethan but
didn't deliver. In the letter, she named Ethan
as the father of her baby. Winter told James,
who confronted Brooke about the baby's paternity. Brooke
denied the truth to James and Ethan. Nathan overheard
Brooke and Ethan discussing the fact that Michael is
Ethan's son. Leigh had a secret meeting with Congressman
Seth Walker, then later showed up at James' door and
expressed an interest in resuming their romantic relationship.
Miranda pushed Leigh to go after her father romantically.
Brooke left James after he refused to believe that
Nathan had tried to rape her. Heather shot down
Brett's attempts at reconnecting following their romantic
interlude. Alex told Sierra that Renee was her
real mother. A devestated Sierra ran to Nathan
and spent the evening with him on Victor's yacht.
James began to believe the rumors about Nathan.
Alex, Jordan and Renee raced to the marina and
stopped Nathan from molesting Sierra. Renee blurted
out that Sierra was Nathan's daughter. Jordan
and Nathan got into a violent brawl on the yacht. The
yacht collided with an oil tanker and burst into flames.
James confronted Nathan about his relationship
with Sierra, and Nathan deviously revealed that Ethan
was Michael's father, not James.
Reynolds was wet, tired, and wanted nothing more than to go home and pretend
the past three hours had never happened.
But she couldn’t go home. She
couldn’t rest until she got word that Jordan was safe. After hours of dragging the marina, the
search had been called off until morning.
And no matter how much she threw her name around and threatened every
member of the search team, their decision stood firm. So rather than sit and do nothing, she raced
to Hotel Terranova to check on
Sierra. After all, it was her fault that
the young woman had nearly been molested by her own father. Now she was racked with guilt.
through the lobby, she paused outside the lounge when a news break flashed up
on the television screen. A reporter at
the marina was giving details of the explosion.
A mass of onlookers stood by in the drizzling rain, umbrellas and
slickers peppering the background.
tonight, the private yacht reportedly owned by entertainment legend Victor
Distefano, collided with an oil tanker en route to San
The thirty-foot yacht, known as The
Emperor within the entertainment industry, exploded into flames just after 10
p.m. Sources say the only two passengers aboard
were Jordan Rydell, CEO of Rydell
Productions, and Nathan Blackthorne, the legendary actor/director currently
awaiting a re-trial for his 1987 statutory rape and child molestation
charge. Divers have been searching the
area since just after ten, and minutes ago announced that they would have to
resume tomorrow morning. More details as
they become available….”
placed a hand on her heaving chest. She
didn’t give a damn what happened to Nathan Blackthorne. He could rot at the bottom of the marina for
all she cared. But Jordan didn’t deserve this. He risked his life to protect Sierra and now
he was missing, possibly dead and it was all her fault.
in misery, she fled to the elevators, spotting James inside the car and the
doors closing in front of him.
“James, wait!” Alex
cried after him, but it was too late.
Sighing, she waited impatiently for the
elevator to return. A sudden commotion
across the lobby caught her attention and she took a few tentative steps
backward. Reporters were flocking about
a small area, snapping photographs and clamoring for quotes.
did you survive the explosion?” she heard one of them ask.
you thrown clear of the debris? Do you
know the fate of the other passenger?”
heart racing, Alex fled across the lobby in hopes that Jordan had surfaced. Adrenaline coursed through her body as she
pushed onlookers and reporters aside.
Then, to her dismay, she came face to face with Nathan, smug as ever in
dry clothes and his dark hair neatly slicked to the side.
she gasped. “No, you can’t be alive.”
Blackthorne, can you give us an account of what transpired on The Emperor tonight?” a reporter
asked. “What caused the collision with
expertly avoided their questions, instead coming up on Alex with eyes fixated
on hers. “And yet here I am,” he said
arrogantly. “My dear, you look a wet cat. Being caught out in the rain doesn’t suit
you. Might I find a change of clothes
patronize me, you disgusting jackass!” Alex shrieked. She took a breath, calming herself and
glancing around the lobby. She spotted
Brett enter in a hurry and make his way quickly to the elevators. Trying to focus, she turned back to Nathan. “Where is Jordan?
What did you do to him?”
isn’t back yet?” Nathan quickly asked amidst the barrage of camera
flashes. “I do hope he faired as well as
anything happened to him I swear to God I’ll kill you,” Alex whispered. She didn’t care that there were witnesses to
her threat. She wanted everyone to know
how much she hated the man. “Now how in
the hell did you make it off that yacht alive?”
. . . . . . . Two Hours Earlier. . . . . . . .
A ceiling of rippling
waves hovered above. From beneath the
surface it seemed peaceful and quiet.
When his eyes opened he was suddenly aware of his surroundings. White foam rushed into his mouth. Limbs thrashed about and soon fatigue invaded
his entire body. Swimming to the calm
surface seemed too difficult, but he managed.
His lungs felt like they would implode from the pressure.
Finally, air made its
way into his welcoming lungs. He took in
huge gulps, relieved, but suddenly alarmed by the fiery inferno surrounding
him. To his right were the burning
embers of The Emperor, nary a dent in
the freighter it collided with. To his
left were the docks, crowded with gawking onlookers. He heard sirens in the distance and then
spotted a marina patrol boat speeding to the scene.
Eager to get to dry
land, he paddled through the oil-slicked water and pulled himself up onto the
edge of a dock a hundred yards from the commotion. Soaking wet and his face nicked and bruised
from the explosion which he’d been thrown clear from, he laid on the wooden
planks for a few minutes to catch his breath.
He avoided the
pandemonium at the marina, instead choosing to retrieve his town car and return
Court. When he arrived, he
was confronted with a déjà vu. This time
it wasn’t the mother of a scorned protégé, or a woman seeking retribution, but
his own nephew, casting the same look of doubt and suspicion that so many had
“You startled me,”
“I need to talk to
you,” James 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 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 approached him steadfastly, meeting his eyes
with a deadly serious gaze. “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. “Did you attack her?”
is my daughter,” he repeated. “Renee hid
her from me.”
“Can you blame her?”
James demanded. “What on earth were you
thinking? All this time I’ve been
defending you. My own wife left me because
I took your word over hers. I lost my
wife because of you!”
we been through this?” Nathan interrupted him.
“I’ve told you what happened that night.
Brooke misunderstood everything.”
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. “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
overhead her talking to Ethan a few weeks ago, before you went to Rio.
Michael is Ethan’s son, not yours.”
a lie,” James said quickly, his eyes flashing major danger signals. “You’re lying just like you’ve lied about
me, James. I wouldn’t lie to you about
this,” Nathan admonished and circled his nephew like a predator watching its
prey. He had him right where he wanted
should I believe you? Why should I
believe anything you say?” He knew if he
denied it enough it would make it not true.
All the speculation had been put to rest when Brooke returned from Phoenix and named him as Michael’s
father. She’d sworn that Ethan wasn’t
the father. Now the speculation had
returned and it itched beneath his skin.
you know it’s true,” Nathan said with a calculated smile. He saw the look in his nephew’s eyes. His plan was working. James was suddenly less interested in his
sexual escapades with Sierra and more concerned with his own personal
up,” James said, his breathing erratic as he paced the room.
is it so hard for you to believe that she would lie about this? She slept with your nephew while you were
I slept with Alex when you and she were together, right?” James quickly asked. “Isn’t that what this is about? You’ve never gotten over my marrying her,
have you? You said you forgave me but
you’ve been keeping it bottled up all this time. And you’ve used that to your advantage. You’ve guilted me into believing that you
were a man and not the monster that everyone said you were.”
did forgive you about Alex. If you have guilt over that then I suggest
you look to yourself for the answers.
Besides, that’s all in the past.
This is Brooke we’re talking about.
The woman who has masqueraded that bastard as your son for the past
turned and looked outside at the few remaining flashes of lightening that
illuminated the night sky. By all
rights he shouldn’t believe a word his uncle said. But this was something he knew was coming. Deep down he knew.
Nathan could say another word, James was tearing out of the bungalow and down
the courtyard to his car. Standing on
the porch, Nathan watched the car peel out onto the street and speed toward the
short while later, James barreled inside the lobby at Hotel Terranova, marching through a crowd of reporters and ignoring
their barrage of questions. He stepped
into the elevator, his mind on one thing and one thing only. He had to confront Brooke about Nathan’s claim. He had to know if she’d been lying to him for
the past year.
the elevator doors began to close, he spotted Alex railing and shouting his
name as she approached. He knew what she
wanted but he didn’t care. He didn’t
have time for her now.
later he was at Brooke’s hotel suite. It
was after midnight and his unannounced visit was bound to be a surprise at
this hour, but this was something that couldn’t wait until tomorrow.
Brooke said when she opened the door.
I wake you?”
shook her head. “No, I was up. What are you doing here?’
need to talk,” James replied. “Can I
don’t think that’s a good idea.”
folded his arms and glared angrily at her.
“Would you rather I stand out here in the hall and discuss your affair
with my nephew?”
frowned and took a step back. “What are
you talking about?”
walked into the room and dug his hands deep into his pockets. “You and Ethan shacking up in the Dominican Republic two years ago. You remember that, don’t you?”
the door, Brooke walked into the living room and crossed her arms. “Why are you bringing that up?” she
asked. “I thought we came to terms with
what happened in the Dominican Republic.”
we?” James asked. “All I remember was
you coming home pregnant with Michael. You
said you’d gotten pregnant after our wedding, didn’t you?”
was her uneasy reply. She didn’t
understand where all this was coming from.
Why was he talking about something that happened so long ago?
I believed you, even though everyone seemed to know otherwise. Who was it that came to me the first
time? Winter Austen, wasn’t it? She told me about your affair with Ethan, and
about a letter she’d read that you wrote to Ethan naming him as the father.”
Austen was crazy. Who knows what kind of state of mind she was in when she said
whatever she said was sane to make you skip town for five months, wasn’t it?”
James asked. “You ran to Philip and hid
from us so you wouldn’t have to answer to Winter’s accusations.”
I came back and I told you that you were Michael’s father.”
laughed and ran his fingers through his hair.
“Yes, you did. You came back and
I was in a wheelchair. You felt sorry
for me. My family was all I had and you
stung Brooke’s eyes and she turned away in an effort to hide her guilt. James came up behind her and continued.
that why you told me I was Michael’s father?” he asked. “Because you felt sorry for me?”
when did you tell Ethan the truth?” he pressed, unrelenting to her state of
misery. “I know the two of you talked
about it before I left for Rio, so-“
please-“ she implored him.
realization dawned and James chuckled in spite of himself. A defense mechanism, he decided. “Ethan went to Will Thomerson’s house the
night he was murdered. I always thought it was strange that he went to all that
trouble to find his baby cousin. It
makes a lot more sense if it was his son he was looking for. He’s known since Michael was kidnapped,
knew her eyes gave her away. She was too
tired to lie anymore.
walked closer and looked into her red, teary eyes. “You told him the truth because you thought
we’d never see Michael again. You wanted
to set things right with his real father.”
did what I thought was best for everyone,” she finally said. She felt an enormous weight lifted from her
shoulders. It was euphoric.
gritted his teeth and turned, pushing a stack of books off of the credenza to
the floor. “Damnit!”
you don’t understand! I lied because I
turned back and glared menacingly at her.
“All you’ve done is lie to
me. You’ve been lying since before we
got married. First with your secret
ex-husband and then with your secret feelings for my nephew. Well congratulations, Brooke, you’ve outdone
yourself this time. Our marriage is
officially one big lie.”
in his words caused her tears to cease.
She took a breath and looked at him in disgust. “You’re just as much to blame for the
problems in our marriage as I am,” she began.
“You took your uncle’s word over mine.
I begged you to believe me and you didn’t. Then the minute I left you started cavorting
around town with that woman.”
is an old friend.”
I supposed to believe you?” Brooke demanded.
“I’m supposed to just trust you like you’ve trusted me all this time?”
caught on to her sarcasm. “I did trust you!”
hell you did!” she exclaimed. “I feel
like ever since we met you’ve been waiting for me to mess up! You used Winter Austen to distract Ethan from
me because you didn’t trust me enough to do the right thing!”
I used Winter to distract Ethan! But
guess what, Brooke? It didn’t matter
because you slept with him anyway!”
shook her head in frustration. Wiping
her eyes, she refused to shed another tear.
“You pushed me to him with your crazy obsession with the studio and with
your preoccupation with your children’s lives!
Your ex-wife was always around and I couldn’t breath! I turned to the only person who paid any
attention to me!”
poor Brooke doesn’t get enough attention so she jumps onto the first available
stud, is that it?” James demanded.
to hell,” she said and walked to the door.
“I want you to leave.”
gritted his teeth and glanced at the door to Michael’s room. He never imagined when he woke up that
morning that he would have lost his wife and
his son. He didn’t know what to do. Everything was a mess.
out, James,” Brooke repeated. She held
the door open and looked at the floor in an effort to avoid eye contact.
another word, James stormed out of the hotel suite and down the hallway. Brooke slammed the door closed and buried her
face in her hands. She couldn’t stop
hearing of the explosion at the marina, and the search party being called off
for the night, Brett quickly dressed and sped across town to Hotel Terranova. It was after midnight but he knew that Heather would
be awake and devastated by the turn of events.
He wanted to make sure he was there to comfort her in her time of
need. Maybe that was the only way to
prove that he was serious about her.
pulled his car into the porte-cochere, jumped out of the seat and handed the
valet his keys all in one expert maneuver. On his way through the lobby, he spotted a mob
of reporters flocking around Alex Reynolds and Nathan Blackthorne. It seemed word of what happened at the
marina was spreading quickly.
He missed the
elevator on its way up and he impatiently slammed the palm of his hand against
the door. Frustrated, he went to the
stairs, taking them three at a time.
the time he reached Heather’s door, he was out of breath and panting. He knocked on the door and waited a beat,
then knocked again. Moments later, he
proceeded inside on his own, expecting to find Heather alone and sobbing over
the news reports of her father’s disappearance.
Instead, he found something much worse.
are you doing here?” Stormy asked.
stopped in his tracks. His heart sank
and he suddenly realized his instincts weren’t fast enough. There was Heather, crying miserably on the
sofa in front of the news channel, and Stormy holding her hand with his arm
wrapped tenderly around her.
heard about Jordan on the news,” he managed to
utter between heaping gulps of air. “l
wanted to see if you were okay.”
can’t believe this is happening,” Heather said, staring at the coverage of the
explosion on the local news affiliate.
doesn’t need anything from you,”
Stormy insisted and shot up from the sofa.
He walked over to Brett and pulled him by the arm toward the door. “Now why don’t you go home and mind your own
business. This doesn’t concern you,
about we let Heather decide that,” Brett said and shrugged him away. He rushed over and knelt down beside
her. “Heather, is there anything I can
at the news reports that came flooding in, she shook her head in a daze.
you want me to call Benji?” Brett continued.
already tried calling Benji,” Stormy chimed in, arms folded and lips
pursed. “He’s on a ski trip in the Alps and there’s no service. So as you can see, I’ve got everything under
control. Now why don’t you get out?”
ignored him and placed a hand on Heather’s.
“Please, just tell me what I can do to help.”
shook her head and finally looked at him.
“There’s nothing you can do,” she uttered slowly. “Just go home, Brett. Stormy’s here. I don’t need you.”
words cut deep but Brett refused to let his disappointment show. He didn’t understand what had happened. After they slept together she suddenly grew
cold toward him. Now with Stormy hanging
around it was doubtful if he’d ever get the chance to make her see what they
could have together.
heard her,” Stormy said and opened the door of the hotel suite. “Go.”
Brett sulked to the door and left without another word. He felt completely helpless. The tragedy over Jordan’s disappearance only made him
want to protect her more. Now that
seemed like an impossibility.
Renee paced back and forth in the living room of her hotel suite, her stiletto
heels digging mercilessly into the high pile carpet. She looked at her watch and sighed. Almost twelve-thirty and she was still wide
awake, wired up after the evening’s events.
her repeated attempts, Sierra had yet to respond to her pleading. If she could just try to make her understand
why she lied to her. She knew that by
withholding the truth about Nathan she set a course of destruction into
motion. If she hadn’t arrived at the
yacht when she did, she shuddered to think of what might have happened.
the bedroom door opened and Sierra emerged, a duffel bag slung over her
shoulder and her eyes red and puffy. She
didn’t make eye contact with her mother, instead heading right for the door and
grabbing for it swiftly.
please-“ Renee exclaimed and raced toward her.
“Just talk to me.”
don’t want to hear anything you have to say,” she responded bitterly. She pulled the door open and flinched when
Renee slammed it shut again.
are not going anywhere, Sierra. Not
until you listen to me.”
finally turned and glared angrily at her mother. “Listen to what? More lies?
More half-truths about who I am? More of you worrying about your image and what
people think of you? If it wasn’t bad enough that you lied to me
about adopting me, but to keep the identity of my father from me…” She paused and stifled a flood of tears.
I was wrong. I know that now. If I could take it back and change the way
things happened I would do it in a heartbeat.”
too late!” Sierra cried and grabbed for the door handle again. “Because of you and your stupid pride I was
almost raped by my own father. Now
you’re going to have to live with that.”
covered her mouth with her hands and shook her head in agony. “Sierra, don’t leave like this!”
turned back before walking out into the hall.
“I hate you for what you’ve done,” she said.
she started to leave, she bumped into Nathan when he approached the open
door. A shriek tore loose from her
throat and she backed up a step. Her
eyes locked onto his and she began trembling in fear.
away from her!” Renee roared and sprung into action. She flew to the doorway and slapped Nathan
hard across the face with the ball of her hand.
if you’ll just allow me to-“ Nathan began, but Sierra turned and raced back
inside, barricading herself in her bedroom.
have a lot of nerve showing your face here,” Renee hissed, silently thankful
that Sierra hadn’t left. She needed more
time to reason with her. “I swear to God you’re going to regret what
you’ve done. I’m going to file a police
report and you’re going straight back to jail.
When your re-trial starts there isn’t a jury in the world that will let
you stay free.”
laughed and folded his arms, leaning against the door frame with a smug
expression on his tan face. “I don’t
believe you,” he said. “You wouldn’t
risk your precious reputation by admitting that Sierra is our daughter. Isn’t that how we got to this point in the
smug son of a bitch,” Renee spat with revulsion. She knew that to a certain degree he was
right. Telling the authorities what he’d
done would mean her secret would have to be made public to the world. She could learn to live with the humiliation,
but Sierra could not. She wasn’t about
to let that happen to her daughter.
night on my yacht,” he began, forcing his way into the living room. “You were about to tell me that you were
pregnant, weren’t you? Then the police
came and arrested me, and you decided to keep it a secret.”
damn right I did.”
gave birth to her in secret and passed her off as an orphan that you took in
out of the generosity of your own heart,” Nathan surmised. He clapped his hands together in applause and
laughed. “I have to give you credit for
your ingenuity. You had everyone
never wanted her to know what a monster her father was.”
then she showed up here in Los Angeles and she and I bumped into each
other,” he continued with a smile. “How
coincidental. To think the two of us
went about our friendship with no idea that we were father and daughter.”
tried to rape her,” Renee said with disgust evident in her voice. “I saw the look on your face when we walked
in on you tonight. You knew she was your
daughter and you didn’t care. You’re the
most reprehensible human being I’ve ever known.
Someday someone is going to make you pay, and I will be there to cheer
Renee, Renee,” he began arrogantly. “I’m
going to get you back for what you’ve done to me. Keeping my daughter from me all these years
was a mistake. I’m going to be a part of
her life whether you like it or not.”
leveled her eyes on him and took a step closer.
“I’ll see you dead first.”
by her threats, he turned and walked out of the hotel room. Renee rushed forward and closed the door
securely. She glanced at Sierra’s
bedroom door and took some comfort in the fact that she was still home
safe. For now.
Moments later, there
was another knock. Expecting
that it was Nathan returning, Renee stepped closer and yanked the door open
swiftly. To her surprise, it was Alex
“Not now. I’ve had more than enough of you for one
day,” she said and began to shut the door again.
“Renee, please,” Alex
said and blocked her from closing the door.
“I just wanted to make sure Sierra was okay. I just saw Nathan leaving. He didn’t hurt you, did he?”
“Now you’re suddenly
concerned? Where was this concern when
you did everything you could to destroy me and my daughter?”
Alex sighed and shook
her head. “I made a mistake and I regret
it. If I’d known what would have
happened I never would have set any of this into motion.”
“It’s a little late
for that. Tell me, Alex, are you that
threatened by my relationship with Jordan?”
realized that Renee might not have heard the news. She placed a hand on her chest and looked at
her sympathetically. “You don’t know
about the explosion, do you?”
“There was an
explosion on the yacht tonight. Nathan
and Jordan were on board. Nathan was
thrown clear, but Jordan….they haven’t found him yet.’
Renee brought her
hands to her mouth and felt her eyes sting with tears. On top of everything else that had happened,
she didn’t know if she could handle another blow.
After his explosive
blowout with Brooke, James made a B-line directly to Leigh’s suite, pent up
angst threatening to boil over with every second that passed. When she came to the door in a silky negligee
and her skin still glistening from a bubble bath, he knew that he had to have
her. And what was there to stop him?
“James, I was just
about to turn in-“ she began, caught off guard by his sudden appearance.
Without saying a
word, James rushed into the room and took her in his arms. She didn’t resist, instead allowing him to
carry her to the bedroom and strip her of her nightgown.
“I want you,” he
murmured as she quickly undressed him and pulled him into a passionate
kiss. He wanted nothing more than to
forget about Brooke and the shambles that his life had become.
They made love until
the early hours of the morning. By the
time they both drifted off to sleep, James still hadn’t been able to forget
about Brooke, Michael, and the life that had slipped through his fingers.
above the water, their cries carrying through the pier as Brooke and Ethan pushed
Michael in his stroller along the boardwalk.
The sounds of summer were in full bloom; children running and playing,
teenagers skateboarding, sun worshippers stretched out in the sand with the
latest trashy novel.
“So James knows,”
Ethan mused, staring out at the water and then down at Michael who appeared to
be chewing on the bill of his L.A. Galaxy
cap. “How did he find out?”
Brooke shrugged and
took the cap away from Michael. “I don’t
even know. Ethan, it was horrible. He dredged up everything. The Dominican Republic, Philip, Winter… He was so angry and so hurt.”
“Can you blame him?”
Ethan asked and cast her a wary look.
“I’m sorry, Brooke, but I warned you that this would blow up in our
She threw her hands
up in resignation and glanced out at the water.
“I don’t need an I told you so
“I’m sorry. I guess it’s all kind of a shock to me. I expected Michael to grow up never knowing
that I was his father.”
“Like you grew up never knowing that Will was your father?” Brooke asked, unable to deny that there were
similarities in the situations. “Ethan,
I’m sorry. I know you never wanted to
keep this secret from James. It wasn’t
fair that I asked you to. It was selfish
of me. But after James turned his back
on me because of Nathan, I realized that I was just fooling myself. Michael and I weren’t his family. We were property to him.”
They stopped and he
turned her toward him. “Promise me there
won’t be any more lies. We’ve had enough
to last us a lifetime.”
She nodded. “Michael’s going to be a very lucky little
boy. You’re going to be a wonderful
Ethan couldn’t help
but smile. They continued walking along
the path and he glanced over at her curiously.
“What about us?” he asked.
“You know how I feel
about you. Now that you and James aren’t
going to be working things out, does that mean that we finally have a shot
after all this time?”
The breeze blew a
strand of hair into her face and Brooke quickly swept it away. “I think we need to take things slow,” she
said. “James and I have to clear the
air. I can’t pick up with someone else
until I know what he’s going to do. I’m
scared that he’s going to make things difficult, Ethan.”
He realized she might
have a point. When pushed far enough,
James was an enemy that anyone would regret making.
Miranda sat down
beside Heather and handed her a cup of hot herbal tea. Heather, still in a seemingly catatonic
state, shook her head and pulled the pillow up to her chest. She rolled over onto her side and stared
quietly at the wall of her bedroom.
“I’ll leave it here
if you change your mind,” Miranda said and placed the cup on the
nightstand. She walked out into the
living room where Stormy was pacing, still dressed in yesterday’s clothes, his
“Has she said
anything since last night?” she asked her brother.
He shook his head
grimly. “Not much. I think she’s in a state of shock. I think I’ll call Dr. Anderson and see if he
can come by this morning. He may be the
only one she’ll talk to.”
“That’s a good idea,”
Miranda agreed and poured them each a steaming cup of black coffee. “I don’t understand how this could have
happened. What else did Daddy say when
you talked to him?”
There was a knock at
the door and Stormy went to open it.
“That’s probably Dad now,” he said.
James walked into the
room, patted Stormy on the back, and pulled Miranda into a warm embrace. “How is she?” he asked and motioned to
“Not good,” Miranda
answered, her arms crossed tensely.
“Daddy, what happened last night?
Why was Jordan
on that yacht with Uncle
James went into the
whole story, or at least as much as Alex had told him on the phone that
morning. He left out the part about
Sierra being Nathan’s daughter. The fact
that he tried to force himself on her was bad enough. Miranda and Stormy weren’t prepared for the
rest. Not yet. Besides, he had to take Renee’s feelings into
He felt like an idiot having to recount a
story that cast such a horrific light on his idol. After all of his ranting about how innocent
Nathan was, he was now forced to admit that he was wrong.
“Well if Nathan
survived the explosion, then there’s a chance Jordan could have,” Stormy said,
blinking several times.
“I hope so,” James
“Are you going to the
D.A.?” Miranda asked. “If Nathan did
this to that poor girl, then there’s every reason to believe everything else
he’s been accused of were legitimate. All
those years ago when mom accused him of raping her? My God, and no one believed her. I feel sick about it.”
“I do too,
Sweetheart,” James said. He had many
regrets. Too many to list, and too many
to even think about trying to make right just yet. One thing at a time. “I need to talk to Renee before we do
anything. Nathan isn’t going anywhere.”
“What about Donnie & Johnny?” Stormy asked. “We’ve already started filming. We’re going to take a huge loss if we have to
stop production now.”
“Don’t worry about
that,” James said and shook his head.
“For now you have to continue with production. The minute that film gets shut down Nathan
could flee again. He doesn’t have much
to lose, except his big comeback.”
“I hope you know what
you’re doing,” Stormy said, unsure of the mindset his father was in these
else I have to tell you both,” James continued.
He hated to say it out loud because it made it all the more true. But his children were adults and they had a
right to know what was going on. “Last
night Brooke and I had a talk. It’s
“What about Michael?”
Miranda asked suspiciously.
“Brooke admitted that
he isn’t my son,” James continued.
“Ethan is his father.”
“Dad, no-“ Stormy
“That bitch,” Miranda
exclaimed under her breath.
“I’m sorry, Daddy,
but I knew this was going to happen. I
knew she was going to hurt you again.”
“This doesn’t concern
you, Miranda,” James said sternly. “I
only brought it up because I wanted you to know what was happening.”
“She’s lied to you
for over a year, Daddy!” Miranda exclaimed.
“All this time she’s been using you.
Can’t you see that?”
“That’s enough!” he
father snapped. “This is between Brooke
and myself. Right now I want you to
worry about Heather and how we’re going to get her through this. Besides, you have your own baby to worry
about. Leave Brooke and Michael to me.”
“What are you going
to do Dad?” Stormy asked, sensing the wild look in his eyes.
set his jaw, determined not to let himself be played a fool any longer. He would make certain of that.
slipped the letter opener beneath the flap of the envelope and slid it clean
open. She half-heartedly opened the
letter and skimmed through it with disinterest.
Finally unable to stand it any longer, she got up and knocked on
Sierra’s bedroom door, pressing her ear against the door and listening for any
sound of her daughter. Nothing. She sighed and knocked again.
I’m going downstairs for breakfast,” she said timidly. “Can I get you anything?”
was no answer, but this time she heard rustling around. She realized it would be a while before the
traumatized young woman would trust her again.
If ever. The least she could do
was give her some space to breath. She
just didn’t want her trying to run off again.
Keeping her close by was the best thing for both of them.
be back in a few minutes,” she said, setting the stack of mail on the desk
inside the door and leaving with a frustrated sigh.
watched her from behind a tall potted palm in the hall. He pushed a giant leaf aside and waited until
Renee got onto the elevator and disappeared from view.
the coast was clear, he ambled across the hall and entered her hotel
suite. The door closed behind him and he
locked it securely. Just as he turned to
survey the room, Sierra stepped tentatively out of her bedroom. Before she could react, Nathan was looming
above her. A gasp tore loose from her
throat and she darted back into the room.
run away, my dear,” he said and stopped her from shutting the door on him. “We have a lot to talk about.”
away from me,” Sierra said, backing up into the bedroom. “I swear I’ll scream.”
laughed. “That’s not necessary.” His tone was confident and patronizing. “Your mother left so it’s just the two of
us. I want to explain about last night.”
Sierra circled the perimeter of the room in search of a way past him. Images of being trapped on the yacht with him
flashed before her eyes and she suddenly felt claustrophobic and panicked.
misunderstood my intentions,” Nathan continued.
“I’m from a different time, you see.
A different era. A time when men
were aggressive and women were submissive.
It’s all role playing, you see.
It’s all very theater.”
didn’t misunderstand anything,” Sierra exclaimed timidly. “You tried to force yourself on me. You knew I was your daughter and you tried to
shook his head adamantly. “No, you’re
wrong. I had no idea until your mother
made her big reveal on the yacht. The
moment she said it I regretted ever trying to seduce you. You must believe me, Sierra.”
lying. You forced yourself on all those
girls and you did the same to me. I’m
disgusted that I have your blood in my veins.
You make me sick!”
finally saw an opportunity for escape and darted past him, through the doorway
and into the living room. Nathan
followed fast on her heels. He grabbed
for her, pulling her back and positioning himself between her and the door.
me go!” she whimpered, praying that her mother would come back.
I hate seeing you like this,” Nathan remarked.
“I just want to explain things to you so we can put this all behind us
and get to know each other as father and daughter.”
shook her head violently. “Never,” she
said. “I will never think of you as my
father. As far as I’m concerned my
father is dead.”
took a few steps forward, his hand outstretched to her. Panicked, Sierra glanced around for something
to defend herself with. Her eyes landed
on the letter opener on the desk in the entryway.
Quickly, she snatched
it up and blindly thrust it forward. She
felt the blade sink into his chest.
Blood poured from the wound and she heard the air rush from his
Nathan stared down at the object protruding from his rib cage. He lifted his hands and saw the scarlet
liquid covering them. He began to feel
light-headed, his breathing shallow and his heart rate slowing. His knees began to feel weak and
he fought to stay conscious.
met Jack Fallmont and Kenny DeWitt for breakfast in the dining room
downstairs. They caught up over coffee
and commiserated over their recent troubles.
It was difficult for James to reveal the latest news about Brooke and
Michael, but he knew his best friends were the only people he could truly
I’m so sorry,” Jack said. “You and
Brooke were an inspiration. After all the
troubles you’ve had you’ve always stuck together. I can’t believe that this is the end.”
yet it is,” James said, removing a flask from his jacket pocket and pouring a
shot of bourbon in his coffee. “She’s
probably with Ethan as we speak.” He
grew into a daze and stared thoughtfully into his cup. “Damnit.
He’s got my wife and he’s got my son.
He’s taken everything from me.”
Another pause while he reflected on the irony. “Just like I took everything from Nathan.”
on, James. You can’t blame yourself,”
Kenny chimed in. “You and Alex fell in love. Nobody could prevent that. Brooke and Ethan lied to you for the past
year. They made you believe that Michael
was your son. You’re the victim here.”
shook his head. “I should have believed
her." He looked up just in time to see Alex racing across the lobby
toward the elevators. What now? he wondered
to himself. Sighing, he tried to remain focused.
"Brooke told me that my uncle attacked
her and I took his word over hers. How
can I accuse her of anything when I was just as wrong?”
we’ve all been trumped by a woman,” Jack said and took the flask from
James. “It’s the nature of the human
race. Men and women can’t co-exist
not in the same boat as us,” Kenny said with his brown furrowed. “You and Adrienne have the perfect marriage.”
looked at him skeptically and poured more bourbon into his cup. “That’s where you’re wrong,” he said, then
paused for optimum dramatic effect.
“Look, I was trying to keep this to myself but I might as well spill
it. I think Adrienne is having an
would you say that?” James asked. “She’s
the most devoted wife I’ve ever seen.”
sighed and traced his finger along the table.
“I’ve picked up on things,” he explained. “It doesn’t take a genius to figure it
out. But I haven’t been able to find out
anything concrete because things at Fallmont
Industries have been so hectic lately.
It’s becoming difficult to concentrate on that and worry about who my
wife is sleeping with.”
idea who it is?” Kenny asked.
shook his head.
sighed and finished his coffee. “Do
yourself a favor, Jack,” he said bitterly.
“Don’t let it go. Find out and
put a stop to it. Take it from me, if
you do nothing, the next thing you know you could be sitting alone in your
mansion with nothing but your work to keep you warm.”
all looked at each other grimly, fully aware that as bad as things looked, they
could always get worse.
Renee spotted Kenny in the dining room with James and Jack, she decided against
staying for breakfast. She was in no
mood to discuss anything with her ex-husband, and knowing Kenny, he would have
a slew of questions about various subjects.
made her way back upstairs, swooping into her Chanel bag for her keys as she stepped off the elevator. By the time she realized she’d left them in
the room, she looked up and spotted Alex standing outside her door.
are you doing here again?” Renee demanded.
“I thought I told you last night that I don’t need or want your
concern. I think you’ve done just about
don’t apologize often, Renee, but when I do I expect the person to accept it in
the spirit in which it was given.”
sighed and knocked on the door. “I don’t
have time for you, Alex,” she said. “I
have to take care of my daughter and try to undo some of the damage that you’ve
I’ve done?” Alex asked in
amazement. “You have a very short term
memory because if it wasn’t for you and your stupid lies none of this would
“Wrong! If you had just stuck to your story on the
witness stand twenty-years ago then Nathan would be in prison right now and
wouldn’t be coming after my daughter!”
second later the door opened. Renee
flitted inside, nearly losing her balance when Sierra flung her arms around her
and held her in a frantic embrace.
I didn’t mean to do it,” she whimpered, her entire body trembling. “I was so scared and he came at me and I
didn’t know what else to do.”
what is it?” Renee asked.
God,” Alex whispered when her eyes traveled to the floor.
Renee broke from the embrace,
keeping her arm around Sierra and staring down at the writhing body of Nathan
Blackthorne, blood ebbing from the wound in his chest, soaking into the cream
carpet in the entryway. She covered her
mouth with her hands, turning to Sierra and the horrified look on her face.
okay," Renee said in a panick. "Baby,
it's okay. Just go wash your hands and change
your clothes. It's going to be okay."
mom-" she whimpered, unable to keep from staring
at Nathan, quietly moaning in pain and slowly drifting into
finally turned and raced into the bathroom, leaving
Alex and Renee alone with an injured Nathan.
going to have to call the police and then they're going
to ask questions," Renee began, pacing frantically
around the room. "They're going to ask why
Sierra stabbed him and then it's all going to come out.
Everything I've done to try to protect her will
be for nothing."
get ahold of yourself!" Alex shrieked, grimacing
at the blood that poured from the wound in Nathan's
tabloids are going to be all over this!" Renee
insisted. "You know that as well as I do!"
racked her brain, wishing that things hadn't gotten
so out of hand. It was because of her that any
of this happened. Not just for revealing the truth about
Nathan and Sierra, but for letting the man go twenty
years ago at his trial. Now an innocent young
woman was going to pay the price.
there was a knock at the door.
my God, they're here," Renee said and cowered away
from the door. "This is it. This is
the end of my life. My daughter is never going
to forgive me when this gets out."
have an idea," Alex said, staring down at Nathan.
Alex, Renee and Sierra
are questioned when Nathan is rushed to the hospital.
Miranda unleashes her anger on Brooke. Davidformulates a plan. David is intrigued by Brooke.