took the blame for Sierra in Nathan's stabbing, but
Jordan and James saw through the rouse. Nathan
was taken to the hospital where he survived. Alex
made a last ditch attempt to convince Lola to tell the
truth about the night she was raped, but Lola refused.
At the hospital, Alex described to Nathan how
she wished him nothing but misery. Victor arranged
for Nathan to fly to China on his private jet, but David,
James and Jordan switched planes and arranged for French
Police to be waiting for Nathan when he was re-routed
back to Paris. He was taken into custody for rape
charges in Paris. David told Brooke he remembered her
from when she worked as a makeup counter clerk at the
mall. David and Miranda made love. Seth
and Leigh talked about a plan to use James in a money-making
scheme. Brett informed Seth that the Land Commission
denied the variance he needed to drill onto a stretch
of land in Costa Mesa. Jack Fallmont hired Eddie
to follow Adrienne whom he thought was having an affair.
Miranda unleashed her anger on Brooke. The
two struggled and Miranda took a violent fall, which
caused her to have abdominal pains.
in a Lifetime"
waiting room at Cedars-Sinai was full, everyone on pins and needles waiting for
word from Dr. Mitchell on Miranda’s prognosis.
James, Stormy and Heather sat in a row of chairs against the window while
Alex paced back and forth with a steaming cup of coffee gripped in her
hands. David Jennings stood in the corner
with his arms folded, uncertain of whether his presence there was intrusive or
not. He and Miranda had a casual
relationship consisting of a few bad dates and one magnificent night in
bed. Regardless, he had grown to care
for her very much and he couldn’t think of anywhere else that he wanted to
Brett raced into the waiting room, all eyes landed on him. His gaze immediately went to Heather and
Stormy, holding hands beside one another across the room. Rather than take time to brood over his forlorn
feelings for her, he kept in check with what really mattered. Miranda and their baby.
just heard about what happened,” he said quickly. “How are they?”
of you to finally show up,” Stormy scoffed and shot to his feet. “We’ve all been here for half an hour. Where the hell have you been? I thought you cared about the baby you
tricked my sister into having.”
knock it off,” James ordered and followed him across the room. He wasn’t thrilled with Brett’s actions
leading up to the divorce, but he knew he had a right to be there as well as
any of them. He was the father of
Miranda’s baby, after all.
was at the racquetball club,” Brett announced without bothering to exchange the
usual jabs with Stormy. “Heather
left me a message and I got here as soon as I could.”
in with Dr. Mitchell now,” James said.
“We still don’t know anything.”
what happened?” Brett asked and ran his fingers through his blond hair. “All they said was that she fell.”
still not sure,” James claimed.
but apparently she was with Brooke when it happened,” Alex spat bitterly. “She did this to my daughter. That tramp you brought into this family.”
listened inquisitively. He wondered what
Brooke did have to do with Miranda’s accident.
The woman he saw that morning in her hotel room wasn’t the monster that
Alex Reynolds described.
stop it. We don’t know what happened,”
James insisted. “And throwing blame
around isn’t going to help Miranda or my grandchild.”
looked at Brett from across the room and couldn’t help but feel for him. The look in his eyes reminded her of why she
began to let her guard down with him in the first place. Behind all that raw sexual energy and
penchant for backstabbing, he was a truly compassionate and sensitive man. That night she spent with him after her carjacking
was both tender and exhilarating. No man
had made her feel the way he had. Now
his heart was breaking over his baby’s uncertain future. Her heart went out to him.
then, Dr. Mitchell entered the waiting room and looked sorrowfully at the
gathering of vigils. “I just came from
talking to Miranda,” she announced.
is she?” Alex asked in a panic.
is the baby?” Brett added.
a breath, the doctor shook her head as if to brace them all for the bad news
prior to delivering it. “I’m afraid she
lost the baby.”
hush fell over the room and Brett felt his eyes sting with tears. He held his breath, forcing himself to hold
it together. Stormy shook his head in
sorrow and pulled Heather into an embrace.
Alex clung to James’ side and gasped, her hand clutching her chest in
know how you all must feel,” Dr. Mitchell continued. “In the first trimester, any number of things
can go wrong. In this case, the physical
trauma from the fall halted the baby’s normal gestation period.”
is she, Dr. Mitchell?” David asked.
visibly shaken. The good news is that
after completing my examinations, I don’t foresee there will be any problems
with Miranda getting pregnant again in the future.”
you, Doctor,” James said appreciatively.
“Can we go in and see her?”
family only,” Dr. Mitchell replied. “And
keep it brief. She’s been through a
lot. I’d like to keep her here a day or
so, but after that she should be fine.”
left the room just as Brooke and Ethan entered.
All eyes landed on Brooke and she suddenly realized she was not a
town at Seth Walker’s private cabin at the Yacht Club, he and Leigh Purcell
made love on the bed, sunlight filtering into the shaded room through wooden
blinds. Taking her with exceptional
stamina and vigor, Seth smiled in satisfaction at the pleasured look on her
face. Marilee never looked that way when
they made love anymore. Her eyes never
rolled back in her head and she never even made a sound. He realized he’d probably spoiled her by
hiring Brett Armstrong as his PR guy, and he knew full well that Marilee would
sleep with him, he was just her type.
Hiring him proved to be a distraction for Marilee for a while at least,
which was his intention from the start.
Better to have her satisfied and content with some young stud than start
paying attention to his business dealings.
Her disinterest in sex with him was a small price to pay.
they’d finished their acrobatic round of lovemaking, Leigh lit a cigarette and
pulled the sheet over her chest.
was the best one yet,” she said and blew a stream of smoke into the air.
than James Blackthorne?” Seth asked with a wink and started to get dressed.
eyed him flirtatiously and pushed her hair over her shoulder. “If you want me to continue seeing him, you
don’t get to ask me questions like that.”
I want to know if I should be worried about the competition,” Seth grinned,
zipping his trousers and leaning over to kiss her. “I need you to get information from him, not
fall in love with him.”
you jealous?” Leigh asked.
laughed and stubbed out her cigarette.
Twisting off the bed with the sheet around her, she made her way to the
bar and poured herself a glass of water.
“Not while you’re married to Marilee,” she declared. “Besides, I’m not so sure that this
arrangement with James is in our best interests.”
why is that?”
just not sure that Blackthorne-Reynolds
is going to help us,” she explained.
“It’s still a relatively new company.
They have limited drilling capabilities, and besides, James has two
partners. His ex wife and Renee DeWitt
have to agree on any ventures the company gets involved with. This is a high-risk deal. Not to mention the legal ramifications. Judging from the way they conduct their
personal lives, I don’t think they’re all going to go along with it.”
why they will never know what deal they're really getting
involved in. Until it's too late," Seth added and slipped his
crisp white shirt on over his tanned broad shoulders. “There’s a lot of money in this for the both
of us. A lot of money.”
wished she hadn’t even brought James into the picture. She had grown to care for him again very
much. She hadn’t thought about him in
years, until she ran into his daughter in Acapulco. She and Seth needed a partner and James
seemed like the answer to their prayers.
Now she wasn’t sure if it was worth it.
Was she really falling in love with him?
sat outside at the Yacht Club with Sierra.
She watched as her daughter lethargically nibbled on her salad with one
elbow propping her head up on the table.
She waved the waiter away when he came to check on them, leaning across
the table and trying to get the distraught young woman’s attention.
aren’t you hungry?” she asked.
shook her head. “Not really,” she
that’s okay,” Renee replied. “Would you
rather do something else? We could go to
the movies or shopping. Anything you
want to do, baby, just name it.”
hesitating briefly, Sierra finally looked into her eyes. “Can we just go back to the hotel?”
sighed and nodded with defeat. She had
had no luck in getting her daughter to snap out of her withdrawal since the
incident with Nathan at the hotel. The
poor young woman was bottling all of her emotions up and hadn’t said a word
about what happened in days. The only
saving grace was that she seemed to have forgiven her for not telling her the
truth about her true parentage.
later they were in the parking lot on the way to the car. Renee unlocked the door and opened it slowly
for Sierra. A jagged piece of metal on the
doorframe caught her skin resulting in a small surface wound on her
forearm. Before she could react, Sierra
grabbed her mother’s arm and shrieked in horror.
your arm!” she cried hysterically as a trickle of blood appeared. “You’re bleeding!”
it’s okay,” Renee said, alarmed by her daughter’s reaction. She plucked a few tissues from her purse and
wiped the wound clean. “It’s just a
little scrape. See? It’s fine.”
pulled Renee into an embrace and cried hysterically. “Mommy, please don’t die. Please don’t ever die. I love you so much. I don’t want anything to ever happen to you!”
stroked the back of Sierra’s head, shocked by how troubled she had become over
something so small. She wondered if it
might do her some good to see a therapist.
At least that way she’d be able to work through some of the feelings she
was keeping inside.
and Ethan exchanged glances as they stood in the waiting room. James knew that Brooke probably felt under
fire with all eyes on her, and as much as he hated the sight of her and Ethan
together, and hated the lies she’d told him about Michael, his compassionate
side made him want to be there for her.
you okay?” he asked.
flew into a rage. “Why are you asking
her if she’s okay?” she demanded. “She
isn’t the one who’s lying in a hospital bed after losing her baby.”
covered her mouth with her hands and shook her head in despair. “I am so sorry,” she said, horrified by what
transpired after her and Miranda’s struggle in her hotel room. “If there was any way I could take back what
happened, I would, I swear.”
did happen, Brooke?” Stormy asked,
positioned next to Heather.
Brooke didn’t do anything,” Ethan said.
“What happened to Miranda was terrible, but-“
it’s okay,” Brooke interrupted. She
turned back to James, Alex, and the others and cleared her throat
awkwardly. “Miranda came to my room this
morning and we argued. She was very
angry with me for several reasons. She
said some very hurtful things and I slapped her. She came at me and we struggled. I pushed her away and she lost her balance
and fell on one of Michael’s toys.
Before I knew it, she tumbled onto the coffee table, and that’s when I
called the ambulance.”
you pushed her?” Stormy asked.
turned to Brett with tears in her eyes.
“Brett, I’m so sorry. I promise
you I never meant any of this to happen.
But she fell and I-“ She stopped,
realizing there was no way to explain her actions. It was her fault that Miranda lost the
walked up and drew her hand back, slapping Brooke hard across the face. “That’s for my daughter,” she said.
brought her hand up to her face, ignoring the stinging sensation. Ethan pushed Brooke behind him and stood
before Alex. “That was uncalled for,” he
said. “How dare you attack Brooke. It’s obvious that Miranda was the one who
instigated the argument. If she hadn’t
gone to Brooke’s hotel room, none of this would have happened.”
that’s not fair,” Stormy chimed in.
stood back, still too shocked to react to anything going on. He was in disbelief, the joy of having a baby
on the way suddenly ripped away from him.
didn’t hurt Miranda or her baby intentionally,” James said. “Now can we all please stop arguing?”
your wife has never liked Miranda,” Alex chimed in. “Since the day she moved into the mansion
she’s done nothing but make her life hell.
Or are you forgetting the time she called me crying and saying how much
she hated living there with her?”
was a long time ago,” James said in frustration. He felt like one family crisis had been
solved with Nathan’s arrest, only to have another start right up again.
took your son away from you, James,” Alex continued. “And now she’s taken away your
grandchild. How much more are you going
to let her take from this family?”
by the backlash of scrutiny, Brooke turned and raced back out of the waiting
room. Ethan ran after her, praying that
she wouldn’t hold herself responsible for the tragedy.
in the waiting room, David watched the dysfunction unfold with mild
curiosity. He’d grown up thinking his
family was offbeat. Now after witnessing
the spectacle today, he was convinced they were normal after all. Remaining invisible to the chaos, he quietly
ducked out of the room.
going in to see Miranda,” James said.
“Alex, are you coming?”
nodded breathlessly and followed fast on his heels.
they’d left, Stormy approached Brett and folded his arms. “You can go now,” he said. “Your role in my sister’s life is finally
me?” Brett asked with a frown.
don’t,” Heather cautioned him. She knew
this wasn’t the time. Brett was
obviously in a fragile state. He didn’t
need Stormy egging him on after the news he’d just been delivered.
Stormy asked. “Heather, this is what
we’ve been wanting. He doesn’t have anymore
ties to us. He’s done.”
“I said not now,” Heather
not now, when?” Stormy continued. He
turned to Brett and moved closer yet as if testing him. “You can finally go back to Vegas or Sacramento or wherever
the hell you come from and we can forget we ever knew you. Your association with my family is finished,
and so are you.”
squinted hard, expecting another knock-down drag out dog fight to erupt at any
second. Whenever the two got together it
was always the same story. But to her
surprise, Brett turned and walked out of the waiting room without another
notably disappointed in the lack of Brett’s reaction, threw his hands into the
air and turned to his ex-wife. “I’m
going in to see Miranda. Do you want to
scowled angrily at him. “I’ll go later,”
she said and started to the door.
wait-“ he said and pulled her back gently.
honestly don’t know, do you?”
know you and Brett aren’t on each other’s Christmas card list, but was that
really necessary?” she asked. “It was
not only hurtful to him, but it’s as if you’re glad that Miranda lost the baby
for the sole reason of having Brett out of the picture.”
that’s not what I meant,” Stormy said defensively.
shook her head and shrugged him off of her.
“You know, you really haven’t changed at all. You’re still the same old insensitive jerk
that you’ve always been.”
by her reaction, Stormy’s jaw hung open while he watched her race down the hall
Miranda’s private hospital room, James and Alex sat on either side of the bed
holding her hands gently in theirs. She
sobbed silently as her mother dabbed the tears from her eyes with a tissue.
isn’t as if I even wanted a baby,” Miranda said. “I was shocked as anyone was to find out I
was pregnant. I wasn’t even going to
keep it. Do you think this is my
punishment for considering having an abortion?”
no,” Alex insisted. “Don’t even think
that for a second. You would have been a
wonderful mother and this baby would have been lucky to have you. It just wasn’t the right time, that’s
all. Nothing you did made that happen.”
mother’s right,” James said tenderly and caressed the side of Miranda’s cheek. “It was a terrible accident and you’re not to
blame. Nobody is to blame.”
shook her head and sniffled. “Except for
and Alex exchanged glances. “What do you
mean, Miranda?” he asked. “Brooke said
that it was an accident. She said you
tripped on a toy of Michael’s.”
pushed me, Daddy,” Miranda said. “She
couldn’t stand me having a baby. She was
jealous of Biff. She pushed me and she
knew exactly what she was doing.”
Miranda, I know you’re upset and I know this is a horrible thing that’s
happened, but you can’t use this as an opportunity to make things difficult for
you heard what she said. Brooke pushed
her. Now are you going to do anything
about this or not?” Alex asked.
James rubbed the sides of his head and realized he was put in the middle of a
very difficult situation. “Look, I know
the two of you were arguing this morning.
I know she slapped you and you struggled with her. I think she pushed you away in defense and
still a monster, Daddy,” Miranda claimed.
“You’re so lucky she left the house.
I know you’re upset about Michael and all, but believe me, Daddy, you’re
better off without her. The sooner you
divorce her and get her out of our lives the better off we’ll all be.”
the patio garden at the hospital, Ethan stood behind Brooke and struggled to
find something to say to make the pain go away.
He knew she felt incredibly guilty about Miranda’s baby, but beating
herself up wasn’t going to change things.
overreacts to everything,” he said.
“Don’t worry about her.”
wiped her eyes and tucked her hands under her arms. “It isn’t just Alex,” she said. “It was everybody in the room. Did you see the way Stormy looked at me? And Brett?
I’m the reason that baby is dead.
How can I live with myself knowing that?”
pulled her toward him. “Now listen to
me, you didn’t do anything intentionally.
I won’t have you blaming yourself.
Stormy and James and everyone else will come to realize that it was an
shook her head and turned away from him again.
“Thank you, Ethan,” she said. “I
know you’re right, I just… I’d like to
be alone for a little while if that’s okay.”
nodded. “I’ll wait for you inside.”
I mean I want you to leave. I need to
see Miranda and I need to prepare myself before I do that. Can you just go home and I’ll call you
he pulled her into an embrace and kissed the top of her head. “All right, but please think about what I
said. Don’t let anyone make you feel
guilty. You are not to blame here.”
managed a faint smile and turned as he walked back inside. Wrapping her arms around herself, she sat
down on a concrete bench and gazed in at the colorful water fountain as it
changed colors from blue to pink to green.
opened the door of the chapel at the hospital and scanned up and down the
pews. She took a few tentative steps
forward and spotted Brett seated in the back row, his head hung low.
a second she considered leaving him to his thoughts, but then realizing he had
nobody to turn to in his time of grief, she sat down beside him on the bench.
looked up at her in surprise, his eyes red and watery and filled with
despair. “I didn’t see you come in,” he
began. “Look, if you’re here because of
what Stormy said, don’t worry about it.
It was nice of you to try to defend me, but it’s not necessary. I’ve been dealing with Stormy for a long
not here because of Stormy,” she said. “I’m
here because I think you need someone right now.”
chuckled to himself. “And I have nobody,
right?” he asked. “I know I don’t. And I don’t have anyone to blame but myself. All my scheming and my cheating paid off and
now I’ve got nothing and nobody.”
pretending like you’re okay with that,” Heather said and looked into his
eyes. “I know you’re not. I know how happy you were about the prospect
of having a baby. Having that taken away
has got to be very hard.”
looked down at his hands resting in his lap.
“Do you know Miranda already had a name picked out?” he began. “She wanted to call him Biff. She was convinced it was going to be a
boy. Biff Blackthorne. Sounds like a movie star in the making,
couldn’t help but smile. “That or a real
Brett turned to her and stared off in a faraway daze. “You know, I bought a book on baby names and
gave to her but she didn’t want to consider any other names. I have a feeling he would have been just as
head strong as she is.”
Heather said with a laugh. “And just as
determined as his father.”
regarded her carefully. “What, you don’t
think he would have been the spawn of satan?
Your ex-husband sure did.”
placed a hand on his and looked into his eyes.
“I think he would have been the best of both worlds. Part you and part Miranda.”
I got a chance to screw him up, that is.”
shook her head. “I think you would have
been a great father. I told you that
weeks ago and I meant it.”
in his seat, Brett felt his face becoming flushed and his eyes stinging with
tears again. “Yeah, well now none of
that matters, does it? I’ll probably
never get another chance to have a baby of my own. But hey, it’s probably for the best. The world doesn’t need another Brett
Armstrong running around, does it?”
watched as he slowly broke down into tears and buried his face in his
hands. She pulled him into an embrace
and stroked her hand down the back of his head, wishing that she could comfort
him and make him feel as safe as he had made her that night after her
the tears streaming down his cheeks made her see him in yet another light. The cold, selfish man she had known for the
past three years kept surprising her with very real human emotions.
short while later, Brett
entered Miranda’s room and spotted her laying peacefully on the bed, her hair
matted to her face and her eyes red and puffy from crying. Slowly, he made his way across the room and
managed a faint smile when she turned to him.
he said softly.
she replied, offering the same weak smile.
Instinctively her hand went to her stomach.
are you feeling?” He ran his hand along
the side of her face and gently took her hand in his.
let out a deep breath and squeezed his hand.
All animosities and feelings of blame and resentment toward her
ex-husband disappeared for the moment as she silently cried and turned her head
it’s okay. Just let it out. You don’t have to hide anything from me. Not about this.”
sorry, Brett,” she said and wiped her eyes with her hand. “I’m sorry that I went to the hospital to get
an abortion without telling you. I know
that wasn’t fair. I know how much you
wanted a baby. We talked it about it
before we split up, and I pretended like I didn't care.”
shook his head and knelt down beside the bed.
“It doesn’t matter now. You
didn’t go through with it.”
probably don’t deserve to have a baby. I
mean look at me, I’m a selfish spoiled brat just like everyone says. I can’t be bothered to take care of a baby, soinstead
I check into an abortion clinic.”
it,” Brett said. “You were going to have
the baby and that’s all that matters.
He was taken away because of a tragic accident. It isn’t your fault.”
shook her head and sobbed uncontrollably, pulling him into an embrace and
praying that the pain would stop. Brett
held her tightly, smoothing his hand down the back of her head as she trembling
in his arms.
door slowly opened and Heather peered inside, surprised to find Miranda and
Brett in such a close and tender moment.
Despite her rationalization, she felt pangs of jealousy that made her
hate herself more than anything. Why her
feelings for Brett were so complicated was a mystery to her.
turned and walked down the hall, passing Brooke as she made her way to
Miranda’s room. Brooke paused in the
doorway, watching Brett across the room pouring Miranda a cup of water. She decided this was as good a time as any.
knock,” she said and stepped cautiously inside.
head snapped toward her, her expression instantly turning to one of
contempt. “What the hell are you doing
had expected the reaction but she pressed forward. This was something she had to do. “I wanted to see how you were doing. Miranda, if there’s anything I can do for you,
think you’ve done enough,” she snapped, ignoring Brett’s attempts at calming
you in any pain?” Brooke inquired, realizing her words sounded awkward and
irrelevant, but nothing that she’d rehearsed in her head sounded right.
do you think? I lost my baby.”
know and if there was anything I could do to take back what happened I
would. I don’t know what happened, it
was all just a blurr.”
tell you what happened,” Miranda snapped bitterly. “You pushed me. You killed my baby.”
stop,” Brett said and placed a hand on her arm.
He knew she was upset, and it was easy to cast blame, but deep down her
knew that Brooke wasn’t the monster that she made her out to be. Whatever happened in her hotel room that
was an accident, plain and simple.
Miranda roared at him. “Brett, she
killed our baby, isn’t that enough? It’s
time she finally got what she deserved.”
She turned back to a visibly shaken Brooke. “Pack your cheap Ann Taylor and Nine West and
go back to the Valley. Leave my father
and my cousin Ethan alone. You’ve done
enough damage to this family.”
Brooke stifled the tears that welled up in her
eyes. She turned, raced out of the room
and down the hall in a fit of hysterics, stopping only when she ran directly
into David Jennings.
startled me,” she said, placing a hand on her heaving chest. As much as she tried, she couldn’t hide the
effect Miranda’s words had on her.
look upset,” David said. “Are you okay?”
shook her head. “No, no, I’m not
okay.” Tears finally flooded her cheeks
and she collapsed into his arms. The odd
circumstances of his visit to her hotel room that morning suddenly faded to the
background. Despite how strange it was that
he remembered her after all these years, he was a welcome body to lean on.
quickly led her across the floor to the sunroom. Positioning her at a small
cafe table, hetrotted across the room and poured her a glass of water.
drink this,” he said and sat down beside her, pulling their chairs together
with ease. “Feeling better?”
nodded, running her hand over her face and taking a deep breath. “I’m sorry, I guess I couldn’t hold it
together any longer.”
okay,” David replied. “You need to let
it out. You’ve been through a lot
stared into her cup of water and squeezed her eyes shut. “She hates me so much. I mean, we’ve never gotten along. Since the day that James and I announced our
engagement she’s made it clear that I wasn’t welcome. But this…this is different. She actually thinks that I deliberately hurt
hurt and she’s in shock. It’ll pass.”
offense, Mr. Jennings, but you haven’t known Miranda that long. She can hold a grudge like nobody else.”
glad you think it’s so funny,” Brooke said angrily and stood up.
her across the sunroom, David placed a hand on her shoulder and the other on
her waist. Brooke quickly spun around
and slapped his hand away.
is it with you?” she demanded.
sorry,” David replied. “I just…I’ve
thought about you often over the years, and-“
“Why? Why would you think twice about a woman who
waited on you at a department store makeup counter? You’re a good looking guy. Almost too good looking if you ask me. You could have anyone you wanted. What was it about me?”
beautiful. Surely I’m not the first man
who’s told you that.”
about Miranda?” Brooke asked. “I thought
you and her had something. Isn’t that
why you’re here? Shouldn’t you be in
with her right now instead of our here with me?”
Miranda and I have is very unstructured.
I care about her, but I-“ He
stopped, suddenly and without warning changing subjects altogether. “Are you saying you don’t remember me at
shook her head. “No, I don’t. I’m sorry.”
sighed, watching as she ran back inside the hospital. He turned, digging his hands into his pockets
and thinking about the circumstances that brought him to that store three years
ago. If only Brooke knew that there was much more
to their meeting than she realized.
next morning, Renee managed to convince a reluctant Sierra to speak to Dr.
Anderson about the events of the past few days.
Nathan’s attempted attack on her on the yacht, the subsequent stabbing
in her hotel room, and learning of her true paternity were enough to level
anyone. Since the day of the stabbing,
Sierra hadn’t wanted to leave her side for a second. The incident in the parking lot at the Yacht
Club was the final straw.
depositing Sierra safely in Dr. Anderson’s care, Renee proceeded to the
hospital administrative offices to begrudgingly attend the board of directors
meeting. On her way, she ran into Stormy
coming out of the cafeteria.
I heard about Miranda. How is she?”
Renee asked, her hand on her chest.
shrugged, balancing two cups of coffee and a bagel. “She’s dealing. Losing the baby was a blow, but I think she’s
going to pull through. How is Sierra?”
sighed and folded her hands neatly in front of her. “She’s seeing Dr. Anderson. I hope he can help her.”
sure he will. He’s done wonders for
Heather.” He led her to the elevators
and pushed the button with a free finger.
“Do you want to come upstairs and look in on Miranda?”
think I will.” Renee said, checking her watch to make sure she had enough time
before the meeting.
took the elevator up two floors and proceeded down the hallway. Renee stopped in her tracks when the waiting
room came into view and she got a glimpse of Alex and Jordan amidst a tender
them together made her realize as much as she denied it, they would never be
completely out of one another’s lives.
Alex would make certain of that.
Miranda’s miscarriage was just another in a long line of pretenses that
Alex would use to lure Jordan
into her arms. It was almost too much
for her to handle. With Sierra’s recent
troubles, she didn’t have time for the constant battle.
to leave well enough alone, Renee turned and went back to the elevator. She started to the conference room, intent on
putting everything trivial to bed. She
had to be there for Sierra now and that was the most important thing.
walked by a payphone where a man in a tan bomber jacket and a plaid driving cap
huddled, the receiver nestled between his shoulder and his ear. She spotted Adrienne Fallmont pacing the area
just outside the conference room, sipping coffee from a Styrofoam cup.
has the meeting started yet?” Renee asked.
sound of her voice startled Adrienne and the cup went plummeting to the floor,
hot coffee spilling in every direction.
Adrienne said with frustration and bent down to pick up the cup.
sorry, I didn’t mean to surprise you,” Renee said and put a hand gently on her
arm. She sensed Adrienne’s distracted
state of mind and led her away from the mess on the floor. “Are you okay? You look positively jumpy.”
nodded absently. “I’m fine, Renee. Just too much coffee I guess.”
Renee tucked her purse under one arm.
“Coffee will do that to a person,” she said.
a minute of awkward silence, Adrienne shot a look of panic in Renee’s direction
and looked at her with wide eyes. “Renee,
can we have lunch after the meeting? There’s
something I need to ask you about. It’s
is it? Is everything okay? Is it Jack?”
glanced around uneasily and clutched her bag tightly. “I’d rather not talk about it here if you
don’t mind. What do you say? Two-thirty? The Yacht Club?”
glanced at her watch and considered the time.
She should be able to pick Sierra up at Dr. Anderson’s office, get back
to the hotel, and make it to the Yacht Club by then. It might do her some good to listen to
someone else’s problems for a change.
Anything was better than wallowing in her own self misery.
she said with a smile.
gave her a look of relief before they turned and went inside the conference
room. After they were safely out of
view, the man at the payphone hung up and turned around. Removing the plaid driving cap, Eddie
Distefano pulled out a small pad of paper and jotted down a few notes. He fished his cell phone from his pocket and
called Jack Fallmont.
Eddie. Not much going on so far
today. She’s going to lunch with Renee
DeWitt after the hospital board meeting. Says she wants to talk about something
personal. Do you want me to follow?”
of course I do,” Jack replied from his office at Fallmont Industries. “She could very well give up the name of her
suitor and I want you to be there to get it.”
clicked off his phone and pulled the cap back over his head.
are you?” Jordan
asked Alex as they sat in the waiting room downstairs. “Did you get any sleep last night?”
sighed dramatically and placed a hand on her forehead. “Not really. I just kept thinking about
Miranda and the baby. I mean, goodness
knows I wasn’t thrilled about being a grandmother, but I never wanted my
daughter to lose her baby. It’s so
strong. She’ll get through this just
like she has everything else,” Jordan
said and placed a hand on her knee. He
loved the way her skin felt. So soft and
smooth. How could such a pain in the ass
be so perfect to the touch?
eyes fluttered at the touch of his hand on her leg. She smiled and tried to get her mind off of
Miranda and the baby but it was futile.
Tears welled up in her eyes and she leaned into him.
does life throw us these things?” she asked.
“Why are we constantly tested?”
it helps us grow,” Jordan
replied, tracing his finger along her arm.
“We screw up, we go to bed at night, we get up in the morning and we try
think I’m out of chances,” Alex said, surprised by her own philosophical nature. “I’ve screwed up a lot, Jordan.”
turned her head toward him and smiled.
“I think you’re pretty terrific,” he said. “The way you took the blame to protect Sierra
after she stabbed Nathan. I don’t think
I’ve ever been so surprised by you.”
chuckled and allowed him to hold her tightly.
“Sometimes I have my moments.”
at a table on the veranda at the Yacht Club, Seth ordered a drink and gestured
to his breakfast partner.
coffee,” said Logan Mackenzie and gestured to the waiter.
they were alone, Seth slid a manilla envelope across the table to him and
looked around discreetly. “Here’s the
report I want you to file with the land commission. I’ve got a copy for Kenny DeWitt.”
Logan peered inside the
envelope and frowned. “How did you get
this?” he asked. He was a thirty-eight
year old geologist whom Seth had worked with in the past, and recently hired to
survey a plot of land that he was interested in purchasing.
the internet,” Seth replied with a grin, just as Kenny DeWitt approached and
sat down between them.
I’m late,” he said. “This morning has
turned out to be problematic to say the least.”
to hear that, Kenny,” Seth said and introduced Logan.
“Have you met?”
or twice,” Kenny replied and shook Logan’s
hand. “So, I’m assuming this has to do
with the land that you’re requesting the variance on.”
does,” Seth replied. “Can I get you a
drink?” His tone was slick and overly
shook his head. “No, I’m good,” he
replied. “Do you have a land survey?”
Logan handed him the
envelope that Seth had provided him. “I
think you’ll find everything in order,” he said.
the point of this meeting is to come to some kind of agreement with the Land
Commission. Our variance was denied so quickly the first time. The land in Costa Mesa is a goldmine in oil. I look at it as a win
win for the state and the country. We
all know what the oil prices are that we’re importing from the mideast.”
quite the entrepreneurial congressman,” Kenny said with a wink. “Tell me, Seth, why does the husband of a
wealthy dynamo like Marilee Wells need with an oil field? Not feeling supported in the manner you’re
there anything wrong with a man wanting to branch out when a good deal
presents itself?” he asked. “I’m
working on raising the capitol to buy the land, but I need to find out if I can
sighed and shook his head while glancing over the report contained in the
manilla envelope. “It looks like
everything’s in order,” he said. “The
commission originally denied your variance because the land was an army gunnery
range in the sixties. But
strangely this time it doesn’t look
like the toxicology reports detect anything hazardous.”
convince the commission to grant the variance,” Seth asked. “Look Kenny, as you can see everything is on
the up and up. The land is free and
stood up and clutched the envelope in his hand.
“I’ll see what I can do,” he said, offering a wary look.
"Logan, we'll be in touch to discuss the
survey. I'm sure the comission will have some
questions about your findings."
asked after Kenny left the table.
it to me,” Seth said and took a drink from his glass. “We’ll get the variance. And you’ll get your cut for all your hard
better,' Logan replied. "I'm risking my career
on this deal. I expect to be paid well for it."
will," Seth said, staring out at the ocean in a
dropped Sierra off at Hotel Terranova
and proceeded to leave to run a few errands before her lunch date with
Adrienne. When she left the suite, Jordan was
standing in the hall about to knock.
said, caught off guard by his unannounced visit. “I was just on my way out.”
thought we could talk,” Jordan
said and placed a hand on hers. “We
haven’t really talked since I returned from the dead.”
offered a wry smile and hastily scavenged through her purse to avoid eye
contact. “Well with everything that’s
happened,” she began. “Nathan’s being
extradited to Paris,
Sierra acting so peculiar lately, and-“
everything okay?” he asked. “Nothing
else has happened, has it?"”
finally looked at him. “I just need to concentrate on my daughter right now,”
she said. “I’ve made so many
mistakes. The things she’s gone through
are my fault and I need to put every ounce of myself into making sure she makes
it through this ordeal.”
about us?” Jordan
asked, obviously disappointed.
Renee shook her head and dropped her hands to her sides. “Was there really an us Jordan?” she asked. “I mean, we had some fun and you were there
when I needed you, but how far can that take us? You belong with Alex. You always have and you know it as well as I
floored by her sudden change in attitude.
“Renee, we had something. It was
much more than that, I-“
was a distraction,” she said with a certain amount of defeat. “How long could this have really gone
on, Jordan? You and Alex divorced but you haven’t stopped
loving each other or caring about each other.
You need to be with her now. Not
could reply, she brushed past him and made her way down the hall to the
elevator. She felt her eyes sting with
tears but she held them back. She had to
be strong now. Her failed relationship
wasn’t nearly as important as her daughter.
She had to think about what was important now.
she reached the lobby she ran into the last person she wanted to see.
is Sierra?” Alex asked, planting her hands on her hips.
managing,” was Renee’s brief reply. “I
just left Jordan
upstairs. You’ll be happy to know that
he and I are over. You have a clear path
to seeing him again. Who knows? Maybe you’ll make him husband number three.”
eyes narrowed on her and she scoffed haughtily.
“What’s your game, lady?”
game,” she replied. “I just have other
things in my life right now that are more important than competing with you
over a man."
laughed. “As if that would be a fair
competition. Renee, you’ve always been
out of your league with Jordan
and you know it. He and I have years and
years of history. All you have is an ex-husband who
cheated on you, and a daughter with Nathan Blackthorne.”
her generous act of giving Jordan
up seemed too kind a gesture. Alex’s
diva like attitude made her surge with anger and she quickly forgot about their
dare you,” she said.
hope you’ll follow suit and realize you’re also over your head with
Blackthorne-Reynolds,” she said. “Do
yourself a favor and sell your shares to James and I. We may have needed you at one point, but rest
assured, we’re doing quite well now.”
by the woman’s hateful words, Renee took a step forward and flashed major danger
signals. “I have no intention of selling
my shares,” she spat. “You may have won
is concerned, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to hand over my share of the
company. I’ll never let you take that
glared heatedly, watching as Renee stormed across the room to the exit. She didn’t notice Leigh Purcell listening
from behind a pillar several feet away.
quickly plucked her cell phone from her purse and dialed Seth’s private line at
his office at the marina.
is it?” Seth asked.
think we’re going about this all wrong,” Leigh said with conviction. “Forget James. It’s Alex Reynolds that we should be
concentrating on. She's our scapegoat.”
went back to the hospital to be with MIranda, incensed
to learn that she had been released without her knowledge.
She quickly made a b-line back to the Blackthorne mansion,
pounding on the door until Leilani
opened it swiftly.
I need to speak to James," she said and marched
into the foyer, glancing around for any sign of her
upstairs with Miss Miranda," Leilani trilled in
her Polynesian accent.
marched up the stairs, stopping on the landing when
James came down from the second flooor. "How
could you not tell me you were taking Miranda home?"
she demanded angrily.
regarded her carefully. "I'm sorry, Alex.
The doctor gave her the all clear after you'd
left. She thought the best thing for Miranda right
now would be for her to recover at home. I would
have told you, but I-"
her mother," Alex spat. "I have every
right to be involved with her recovery."
are you getting so upset about?" he asked. "Look,
I just figured you had a lot going on. You've
been through a lot latley."
relaxed a little and followed him back down the stairs
to the foyer. "I'm sorry, James. I'm
just a little on edge I guess."
smiled. "That's okay. Look, why don't
you stay home for a day or so. Renee and I can
handle the meeting with the pipeline crew tomorrow."
meeting?" Alex asked.
Renee tell you? There's an update on the progress
of the pipeline in Colorado. They're ahead of
Renee did not tell me," Alex replied furiously.
This wasn't the first time Renee had tried to
exclude her from Blackthorne-Reynolds business,
and she knew exactly why she was doing it. She
wanted to make a point that she was an equal partner
and was there to stay.
I'm sure it was an oversight," James said.
seriously doubt that," Alex said angrily before
turning and storming back out of the house.
minutes later, Seth was waiting for Alex in her office at Blackthorne-Reynolds. She
raised an eyebrow and tossed her purse on the desk, lighting a cigarette and
pouring herself a drink in aggravation.
is an unexpected visit, Congressman.”
one that I’m sure will be beneficial to both of us,” he said with a sly
grin. “I understand you and your partner
aren’t exactly seeing things on the same level these days.”
did you hear that?” Alex asked. "Do
you have spies working for you now, Seth?"
Reynolds, what if I told you you could be independent from your partners and
become the most successful independent business woman in the state?” Seth
sat down at her desk and flicked her cigarette into a crystal ash tray. “I’d say you’ve got me intrigued. But what does a Congressman from California care about
business? Aren’t you interested in
passing oppressive laws for the rest of us to follow, bailing out the president
when he claims the war is a benefit to the country?”
got a right to live the American dream just like everybody
else,” he said with a clever grin. “But a partner would speed up the
process. I’ve got my eye on a piece of
land in Costa Mesa. Oil rich.”
I’m in the natural gas business,” Alex reminded him.
oil is so much more in demand,” Seth replied.
“And we’re talking millions of barrels.
An investment in this deal will render you totally independent from
Renee DeWitt and Blackthorne-Reynolds.”
couldn’t help but be interested.
Renee had been a thorn in her side for months. The possibility of breaking out on her own
was more than she had hoped for.
Walker, I’m sure I don’t have the kind of capitol that you’re looking for,” she
Blackthorne-Reynolds does,” he said.
she asked. “I can’t just take money from
Blackthorne-Reynolds accounts to finance another project. There are penalties
for that kind of thing, Congressman.”
smiled. “There are ways around that,” he
said. “My accountant can create an
offshoot of Blackthorne-Reynolds. He’ll
hide it in your books so well that even you couldn’t find where the money went. By the time we strike oil, you’ll have more
than enough to pay the money back.”
flags flashed in front of Alex’s eyes.
She knew this sounded too risky.
Embezzlement was a felony and she had had her fill of prison time.
don’t know,” she said.
shrugged and leaned back in the chair
“You could always continue working with Renee DeWitt. Eventually she’ll try to oust you from the
company, take your shares, and you’ll be left with nothing. Not even the land your uncle left you in his
stubbed out her cigarette and took a drink.
“When can you start drilling?”
he said. “Trust me, this is a once in a
Alex folded her hands together, determined
to get Renee Dewitt completely out of her life.
She’d bowed out of their competition over Jordan, but now she was more
rooted than ever in Blackthorne-Reynolds.
Perhaps Congressman Walker’s proposition was the best way for her to
Heather finds herself
growing closer to Brett, which infuriates Stormy. Alex
plays with Blackthorne-Reynolds funds. Jordan
refuses to give up on Renee. Ethan
wants a comittment. Brooke gets served. A