family gathered at the hospital, where they learned
Miranda had lost the baby. Miranda and Alex lashed
out at Brooke for her role in Miranda's fall, but James,
Ethan and David all came to her defense. Brooke
allowed David to comfort her. Brett and Miranda shared
a tender moment over their loss. Heather lashed
out at Stormy, then comforted Brett. Renee decided
to have Sierra begin seeing Dr. Anderson to help her
get through her recent traumas. Renee saw Jordan
and Alex in a tender moment, and told Jordan that they
were through because she needed to concentrate on Sierra.
Alex became furious when Renee purposefully
kept her from Blackthorne-Reynolds business.
In bed, Seth and Leigh conspired to use James
and Alex. Seth proposed to Alex that they form
an offshoot of Blackthorne-Reynolds and buy an
oil field in Costa Mesa so that she may break free from
her partners. Seth had a geologist, Logan Mackenzie,
forge phony land surveys and submitted them to Kenny
for the Land Commission's review. Adrienne made
plans to meet Renee for lunch, unaware that Eddie was
following her as ordered by Jack.
Fallmont woke up that morning with a plan.
She’d have coffee and watch the Today
Show with the housekeeper, Magda.
Then she’d thin out her closet, parting with only the items she could
positively do without, and give to the gardener to take to a local clothing
drive at the battered wives shelter.
Next she’d attend the hospital board of director’s meeting. A few stops at her favorite boutiques would
follow before going home and taking a luxurious bath in her hand-carved marble
claw-foot tub. Finally, she’d head over to the Yacht Club for
lunch with Renee DeWitt.
wasn’t part of Adrienne’s plan that
day was being murdered.
house was set back in a wooded area of Glendale,
surrounded by a tall black iron fence with a giant F soldered into the center. Eddie followed Adrienne home from the
hospital, keeping Jack updated on every stop she made. The
furrier, the jeweler, the bank. He parked his car discreetly outside the gate
and watched the house from behind sunglasses, a tweed driving cap pulled down
over his face.
cell phone rang and he snatched it up from the seat beside him. It was Stormy calling from Sunset Studios.
up?” Eddie asked.
Dad, that’s what,” Stormy replied irately.
“Since we shut down production of Donnie
& Johnny after Nathan went up the river, he’s threatening to sue for
breach of contract. You’ve got to do
do you want me to do about it, dude?”
Eddie asked, fidgeting with his key fob.
“When have you ever known me to be able to convince my dad of anything?”
came in here with his attorney a little while ago ranting and raving.”
sighed, distracted just long enough to miss someone go inside the house and
close the door securely behind. “You
know he was probably drunk or high, Stormy.
He won’t even remember it tomorrow.
Besides, it’s not your fault.
What are you worried about?”
already on thin ice with my dad and the studio.
If I can’t make this thing go away then he’ll hold me personally
just like send a prostitute over to my dad’s house, compliments of Sunset Studios. He’ll forget all about this breach of
contract shiz, believe me.”
the master bath of the two-story house, hot water ran from the faucet filling
the tub while Adrienne passed through her dressing area. She undressed, discarding her wrap dress and
nylons, her breasts tumbling out of a white satin bra.
into a robe, she scanned her expansive closets, carefully choosing an outfit
for her lunch date. After making a conservative
selection, she placed it neatly on the dressing valet and walked to the
bathroom. She went to the wicker étagère
and turned on a small portable radio, ensuring it was plugged into the wall
before tuning into her favorite afternoon radio talk show.
before the mirror, she brushed her long auburn hair and pinned it up away from
her neck. She set the brush down next to
her hairdryer, deciding to give her nails a quick file while waiting for the
tub to fill. She picked up a nail file and
went to work at a jagged thumb nail.
with her makeshift nail repair, Adrienne turned and tested the water in the
bathtub. She turned off the water and
began to untie her robe when she heard a thump out in the bedroom. Frowning, she peered through the dressing
room walkthrough and immediately grew wary.
she called. “Is that you?”
brave, she made her way into the dressing room, her feet stepping lightly on
the plush carpet. She scanned the
bedroom, realizing it must have been Magda coming home from the market. A fresh pile of towels on the bed caught her
eye and she realized her faithful housekeeper must have come home and finished
she turned back and started to the bathroom again. She didn’t hear the closet door open, or the
dark figure creep out and sneak up behind her.
By the time she realized what was happening, she couldn’t utter a
word. He wrapped her pantyhose around
her neck and pulled tight, cutting off her airway.
struggled in desperation, clutching her throat and trying with every ounce of
energy she had to pry the nylons from her neck.
Her attacker was merciless, tightening the makeshift weapon as hard as
he could, throwing her about and knocking her into the rows of hanging
later, Adrienne’s eyes fluttered and then closed. She struggled for her last breath, failing
and then slumping to the carpet.
Eddie was busy watching the house, his eyes transfixed on the 70’s stone
façade. His cell phone rang again and he
answered it quickly. To his delight, it
was the hot redhead number he’d met at the Ivy.
heeeey,” he said with a sheepish grin, again turning away just as the intruder
left the house and disappeared undetected.
walked down an upstairs hallway at the Blackthorne mansion, arm in arm with
Leigh Purcell after checking in on Miranda in her bedroom.
poor thing is putting up such a brave front,” Leigh said and looked up at James
with a sigh. “Thank God she has you, James. I see the way she looks at you, you
know. You’re her hero. A truth father to your daughter.”
patted her hand with a smile. “That’s
sweet of you to say, but I have to admit I feel like I’ve failed her.”
“What makes you say that?”
Leigh asked, stopping him before they reached the grand staircase.
shrugged and dug his hands into his pockets.
“The last few years I haven’t been much of a father to her. There’s always some excuse. Work, Brooke, Michael and lately this thing
with Nathan. It seemed the minute she
married Brett I handed her off to him and she stopped needing me. Or I stopped being there for her, one or the
there for her when it counts,” Leigh said with a reassuring smile and a warm
hand on his shoulder. “You’re here with
her now, aren’t you? She lost her baby
and you dropped everything, despite all that’s going on in your life.”
led her down the stairs to the foyer, still arm in arm. “Well, Brooke and Michael seem to be out of
my life, Stormy is running things at the studio, and I’m fairly confident in
Alex and Renee’s abilities to handle things at Blackthorne-Reynolds.”
nodded distantly, thinking about her and Seth’s arrangement. If she was right in Alex Reynolds’ usefulness
to them, she wouldn’t have to use James after all. And by keeping him out of it meant that she
didn’t have to feel guilty about using him when she was clearly falling head
over heels for him all over again.
now that you’re not spread so thin, maybe we can have dinner tonight?” Leigh
asked hopefully. “That is, unless it
would interfere with your time with Miranda.”
smiled tentatively. Despite he and
Leigh’s recent closeness, he couldn’t stop thinking about Brooke. The sadness in her eyes at the hospital the
day before reminded him of why he fell in love with her in the first
place. And even though they’d been
through some rocky times lately, he didn’t want their marriage to end. He had to give it one more try.
“I’m afraid I can’t
get away this evening, Leigh,” he finally said, ignoring the disappointed look
in her eyes. “How about a raincheck?”
Leigh said, wondering if James was beginning to have second thoughts about
their recent lovemaking.
made it to the Yacht Club right at two-thirty, took a table on the terrace and
waited for Adrienne to show. She thought
briefly about canceling, her thoughts jumbled with recent developments with
Jordan and Alex. Quite why she decided
to hand him over to her was a mystery.
Then she reminded herself that she needed to simplify her life for
Sierra’s sake. Her daughter was going
through a terrible time, and she had to make sure she was there for her. Jordan was a distraction. But giving up everything to Alex was out of
the question. She still insisted on
maintaining her role in Blackthorne-Reynolds,
whether the aging drama queen liked it or not.
glanced at her watch and then at the door.
To her surprise, Jordan
entered with Heather. She immediately
worried that seeing him so soon after giving him the brush-off would sway her
decision. She would have to stay firm.
me, would you Princess?” Jordan
said to his daughter, showing her to their table and then making a b-line to
Renee’s. “Meeting someone?”
meeting Adrienne for lunch,” she replied.
“We have a lot to discuss so if you wouldn’t mind-“
she could react, Jordan
sat down across from her and grabbed for her hand. She instinctively pulled away and her eyes
why are you doing this?” he asked. “We
were good together. You know that as
well as I do.”
already told you. My daughter needs me.”
shook his head. “I realize that, but I
care about Sierra as much as you do. I
wouldn’t dream of standing in the way of your relationship with her. I just don’t want you to make any rash
decisions based on what’s happened in the past few weeks. A lot’s happened, and-“
mind is made up, Jordan,” Renee said and stood up. She suddenly
forgot about Adrienne and their lunch appointment. “Besides, you and Alex are part of each
other’s lives. You always will be. If you’ve cared about me at all you’d let me
walk away with some dignity.”
Jordan was at a
loss for words. He ached for her but
something she said he knew was true. He
and Alex weren’t finished. As much as
they tried to tell themselves otherwise.
Renee had gone, he turned and rejoined Heather.
“Sorry about that.”
going on with you and Renee DeWitt?” Heather asked. “Are the two of you okay?”
shook his head sorrowfully. “No, we’re
heart broke for him and she reached across the table. “Daddy, I’m so sorry,” she said. “I had no idea. Is there anything I can do?”
he flagged down the waiter. “No,
does this mean you’ll be getting back with Alex?” Heather asked and surveyed
you still love her, don’t you?” Heather asked and shot him a quick look.
suddenly realized that he and Alex’s destiny was public knowledge. Maybe he’d just been too blind to see it
how are you?” he asked, desperate to change the subject. “Have you been to see Miranda?”
nodded. “I feel horrible for her,” she
said. “I mean, she didn’t want this baby
to begin with, but she grew to love it. And
about him?” Jordan
asked with a frown and swallowed a hefty gulp of his gimlet.
don’t know. He’s broken up about
it. If you could have seen him yesterday
in the hospital chapel. He’s so
misunderstood, Daddy. He’s just like a
Jordan, full of
skepticism, shook his head. “Brett
Armstrong is a conman, Heather,” he reminded her. “Don’t let his phony show of emotion fool
you. I know men like him and they are
shook her head. “He wanted that baby so
wanted that baby to stay connected with James Blackthornes’ family,” Jordan
insisted. He paused, suddenly alarmed by
how adamantly she defended Brett.
“You’re not thinking of becoming involved with him, are you?”
tried to play off his concern as unwarranted.
“Daddy, you worry too much,” she said and buried her face in her
menu. “Let’s order. I’m starved.”
regarded her carefully, wondering just how close she and Armstrong had gotten.
was in her office at Blackthorne-Reynolds
when Renee entered, draped in a cashmere coat and a pillbox hat. She sat down across from Alex’s desk and
crossed her legs.
all means, make yourself comfortable,” Alex said and raised an eyebrow.
intend to,” Renee replied and pulled a report from her purse. “Just as I intend to make you uncomfortable. I was just looking over your summary of the
progress at the Colorado
pipeline, and I have to say, I am unimpressed.”
not interested in impressing you, Renee,” she replied with irritation. “But just for amusement sake, what is it you
starters, I don’t like the way you chalk up these various expenses to
maintenance,” Renee said. “We’re in the
business to make money, Alex. I don’t
want to have to audit every single report you try to smuggle past James and I.”
not smuggling anything by you and James,” Alex said and stood up in a
huff. “Those reports are one hundred
percent accurate, and if you have a problem with them then I suggest you do us
both a favor and go back to Merteuil
Industries. I’ve said it before and
I’ll say it again. We don’t need you,
Renee. Now take your meddling self and
rose and looked at Alex in a bold and haughty manner. “For the last time, I’m not going
anywhere. I’m in this company to make
money and there isn’t a thing you can do to get rid me. You, on the other hand, are way out of your
league. It’s only a matter of time
before James realizes that.”
glared angrily as Renee turned and left the office. She’d had enough of her holier than thou
attitude and irritatingly accurate eye for details. It was time for her to branch out onto
bigger and better things. She lit a
cigarette and buzzed for the receptionist.
me Congressman Walker on the phone.”
sat huddled in her suite at Hotel
Terranova, sipping a cup of tea and smiling graciously at Ethan who sat
down beside her on the sofa.
better?” he asked.
nodded begrudgingly. “A little. I just felt so nauseas there for a minute.”
making yourself sick over this thing with Miranda,” Ethan said.
was so angry,” Brooke said, staring off in a daze. “The things she said to me. I don’t understand how she could think that I
would deliberately hurt her or her baby.”
put an arm around her and held her close.
He knew that nothing he could say would make her feel better, so he
didn’t try. He hoped that by just being
there he could help her through the difficult time.
I’ve been thinking about something,” he said and turned to face her. “I know you said you wanted to take things
slow, and so far we have been, but I…I think we should take the next step.”
next step?” Brooke asked with surprise.
She didn’t know where this was coming from.
nodded, setting her tea cup on the coffee table and taking her hand in
his. “I want to make a commitment,” he
not talking marriage or even engagement. I know you’re not even divorced
yet. I just want to know that we’re
going somewhere. I want to know that all
that time we wanted each other, and then spent years apart, wasn’t for
nothing. We belong together,
Brooke. Don’t you think so?”
Brooke stood up and moved across the room.
“Of course I do. I still think
about that night in the Caribbean.”
that was two years ago. I’m talking
about now. I’m talking about us making a
commitment, raising our son together, maybe leaving this place.”
Brooke asked and spun around. “Leave Los Angeles?”
is there keeping us here?” Ethan asked, running his fingers through his hair
and pacing the room. “Think about it,
Brooke. We can go anywhere. We can start a new life somewhere else. We can get married, we can have more
children. I want that so badly. Tell me that you do too.”
turned to him and shrugged awkwardly.
“Ethan, I do love you. You’ve
been so wonderful to me. And I want you
to be part of Michael’s life, but I-“
he asked, the hurt welling up in his eyes.
“Brooke, I don’t understand.”
just need time,” she said. “I’m not
saying no. I’m just saying that I-“
she could finish, Ethan pulled her into his arms and kissed her
passionately. He knew that if they
didn’t make love now, their conversation would end in an argument, and then
awkward silence, and then the possibility of losing what they’d only recently
didn’t resist. Just as she always had,
she melted in his arms. He lifted her up
and carried her into the bedroom, laying her on the bed and stripping off his
shirt. Kissing her feverishly, they
undressed and he took her slowly, guiding himself in and savoring every second
until they both exploded in ecstasy.
sat next to Miranda in her bedroom at the Blackthorne mansion, holding her hand
and smoothing her hair from her face.
sweet of you to come by, David, but you don’t have to stay,” she said. She was laying in bed, a blanket covering her
and dozens of stuffed animals surrounding her
on all sides. The room was filled
with balloons and flowers from well-wishers.
Sympathy cards lined the cedar chest at the foot of the bed with
thoughtful notes from all reaches of the city.
else would I be?” he asked with a tender smile.
“You can stop pretending that you don’t need someone. You’ve been through an ordeal.”
face flushed and she tightened her hold on his hand. “Thank you.
You’re right. I am glad you’re
face contorted to an exaggerated state of mock surprise. “What’s this?” he asked with a grin. “Miranda Blackthorne admitting that someone
else is right? Call the presses.”
playfully hit him and drew him into a kiss.
“Well, at least now you won’t have this pregnant woman as your
it,” he said seriously. “Your pregnancy
was never a problem for me. How many
times do I have to tell you that I’m crazy about you. Nothing you could do, baby or not, would
nodded, still somewhat unconvinced.
Suddenly she got an idea and looked up at him with excitement. “Let’s go away somewhere,” she said. “Just me and you. Take the weekend and go to someplace in the
mountains. Somewhere warm and cozy.”
raised an eyebrow. “I don’t think you’re
in any condition to travel. Dr. Mitchell
said you needed to rest.”
what’s the difference if I rest in my father’s house or in a hotel somewhere?”
she asked. “Come on, David, I need to
feel like a normal person. Take me away
and make me forget about all this.”
can I say no to that?” he asked, leaning in and kissing her softly. “I’ll go make the arrangements."
got up to leave just as Stormy entered the bedroom. They exchanged nods and Stormy sat down in
my little sister feeling?”
smiled and nestled back into her bed.
“Better now,” she said. “Where’s
shrugged. “I don’t know. She isn’t speaking to me. I sort of went off on Brett at the hospital
and she didn’t take too kindly to it.”
sighed and shook her head in aggravation.
“What is it with you and Brett anyway?” she asked. “I realize he hasn’t been a particularly
upstanding citizen since he came here, but he did just lose his baby. Why can’t you give him a break?”
are you defending that man?”
not defending him. I just think there’s
more important things than holding a grudge for things that are ancient
eyes narrowed on her and he crossed his arms.
“Like you’re doing with Brooke?”
head snapped in his direction and she scowled.
“That’s completely different and you know it. Brooke Taylor is the reason I lost my
baby. Not to mention the fact that our
father is broken hearted over this whole thing with Ethan and Michael. I warned all of you when they got married
that she would be his undoing, and look what’s happened.”
rolled his eyes. “Jeez, you take after
mom,” he murmured under his breath. “Why
can’t you let it go? Brooke’s out of the
house. Isn’t that what you wanted?”
decided to drop the conversation.
Obviously she and her brother couldn’t agree on anything today. “Fine, whatever.”
things seem to be getting serious with you and David Jennings,” Stormy said,
swiftly changing the subject. “He’s a
little old for you.”
is just a number,” Miranda said and picked up a plush toy. “David and I are the same age
scrunched up his face and chuckled out loud.
“That doesn’t speak so well of David.”
hit him playfully and folded her arms.
“We’re going away this weekend.”
for you,” Stormy replied. “You deserve a
little happiness in your life.”
conversation was cut short when the door creaked open and Eddie popped his head
turned and frowned at the site of his friend standing in the doorway. “Eddie?
What are you doing here?”
need to talk to you,” he said dramatically, then made eye contact with
Miranda. “Hey Miranda, how are you?”
Eddie,” she replied.
I’ll be back,” Stormy said and tucked the blanket up under his sister’s
chin. “You need to get some rest if
you’re going to go on your weekend sex marathon with Jennings.”
threw a stuffed monkey at him and nestled into her pillow after he’d left.
in the hall, Stormy immediately detected the severity in his friend’s
eyes. “What’s going on? I thought you were on a stakeout?”
and I’m about to get fired from it,” Eddie said in a panic and led Stormy down
the hall to his bedroom.
was supposed to be following Jack Fallmont’s wife and I blew it.”
Fallmont?” Stormy declared as they entered his room and Eddie picked up the TV
remote control. “Why?”
thought she was having an affair,” Eddie explained as he switched through the
channels. “Anyway, I followed her around
this morning, waited outside her house for her to leave for her lunch date, and
she never came out. I figured she must
have given me the slip. So I went to the
Yacht Club to see if she was there and she wasn’t.”
where is she?” Stormy asked.
not going to believe it,” Eddie replied and tuned the television into a news
channel where reporters were gathered outside the iron gates of the Fallmont’s
home in Glendale. A coroners van could be seen in the distance,
the front door blocked off with yellow crime scene tape.
today, Adrienne Fallmont, wife of California
businessman Jack Fallmont, was found murdered in the upstairs bedroom of their
home in Glendale,”
said a reporter from the wooded front of the house. “The body was found by the housekeeper, who
came home from shopping and discovered Mrs. Fallmont’s body. Jack Fallmont was phoned and came home to a
the-“ Stormy began, watching the coverage on the television. He saw Jack come out of the house, his eyes
red and puffy from crying as he shielded his face from the camera flashes.
told there are no suspects in the homicide,” continued the reporter. “And details of the cause of death have yet
to be revealed. More information as it
would have killed Adrienne Fallmont?” Stormy asked in bewilderment.
husband, that’s who,” Eddie said ominously and clicked off the television.
met Seth Walker in his office at the Marina. Joining them was Logan Mackenzie, eyeing her suspiciously
as he sat cross-legged next to her
really quite simple,” Seth said with a swarthy grin. “We start a brand new company with you as the
CEO and combine your ten million with my ten million. With that capital we’ll buy the land in Costa Mesa and start
about your variance?” Alex asked and stubbed out a cigarette in a crystal ash
tray. “I thought the Land Commission was
trying to keep you from drilling.”
just got word that the variance was granted,” Logan chimed in. “Drilling won’t be a problem.”
there you go,” Seth said with a self assured grin.
looked over a stack of papers and frowned.
“Why am I listed as the sole owner of this company?" she asked. “Your ten million makes you an equal partner,
exchanged harried glances with Logan
and shrugged indifferently. “Well, as a
public official, I can’t officially be named as co-owner. It would be a conflict of interests. For the sake of public knowledge, you’re the
only person involved in Stratotech.”
if anyone finds out that I’m involved I could go to prison-"
one will know that you’re involved, trust me,” Seth insisted. “I have contingencies in the event that
people start asking who’s involved in the project.”
stared at the paperwork carefully, part of her telling her that she was going
into something far to risky, but the other part anxious to be rid of Renee
DeWitt as a business partner. Starting
out on her own in a venture involving this much money was the only way to do that.
she reached into her purse and withdrew a check. She tentatively handed it over to Seth,
begrudgingly letting go as he took it from her.
“Where, may I ask, are you getting your half from, Mr. Walker?” she
asked. “Ten million dollars isn’t
exactly in the budget of a Congressman.
Or did Marilee decide to loosen the purse strings and dish out the
capitol for your new venture?”
grinned mischievously. “Let’s just say
that my entrepreneurial spirit affords me the capitol. I had a backer. They reneged on the deal, and now I’m able to
invest that money. It’s really just
legal jargon that you wouldn’t be interested in.”
sighed and put pen to paper. “Where did
you get the name Stratotech?”
Seth said with a grin and took the contracts from her.
“How creative,” Alex
said and handed him a check. “How can I
be sure that Renee and James won’t find out about these missing funds? They’re bound to look at the books and realize
ten million dollars has gone unaccounted for.
I could be accused of embezzlement.”
“Technically it’s not
embezzlement if you’re using the funds to start up an offshoot of Blackthorne-Reynolds,” Logan reminded her. “Stratotech will be part of Blackthorne-Reynolds. Your partners just won’t know it exists.”
“Let me handle your
books,” Seth replied. “Some creative
accounting and they won’t notice one missing dollar.” He stood up and extended his hand to her. “Congratulations. You just bought yourself an oil field.”
took a deep breath, confident that she’d made the right decision. Renee DeWitt would no longer push her
around. Soon she would be in control of
her own life.
she’d gone, Seth poured two tumblers of bourbon, handing one to Logan. “Here’s to you, me, and Leigh and the
fortunes we’re about to uncover. I
promise all your hard work will pay off, Logan, my friend. Two hundred and
fifty million dollars splits three ways
smiled and swallowed the drink in one gulp.
“Don’t your mean four ways?” he asked.
“What about your other
what Alex is for. She’s taking the place
of that partner, Logan. I only go into
business with people I can trust.”
Logan watched Seth walk
across the office and stare outside at the marina. “And how long do you think it’ll be before
Alex Reynolds realizes it isn’t oil we’re digging for in Cosa Mesa.”
not until we’re rich, fat and happy,” Seth replied with a knowing grin.
she’s left holding the ball.”
Seth said and swallowed his drink.
slipped into her robe and left Ethan in the shower. She couldn’t help but smile with elation
after their afternoon of lovemaking. It
had been a long time since they’d been together, but she’d never forgotten what
a sensual and virile lover he was. It
was as if they’d never been apart. The
way he held her in his strong arms and entered her slowly, taking care that she
was one hundred percent satisfied…
knock at the door interrupted her thoughts and her glorious mood dampened when
she opened the door to James.
sorry for not calling first,” he said, standing in the hall. “May I come in? This won’t take long.”
didn’t have a chance to respond as James whisked his way into the hotel suite and
turned to face her.
was wondering how you were doing,” he began, his hands in the pockets of his
trench coat. “The other day at the
hospital you were very upset. I want you
to know I don’t blame you for what happened to Miranda and the baby.”
regarded him carefully. “You don’t?”
“No. I know you, Brooke. I know you could never hurt anyone
intentionally. Miranda is just high
strung. She’ll realize that it was an
accident. Give her time.”
she feeling okay?” Brooke asked. She
couldn’t help but be concerned for the young woman. “I mean, do you think she’ll be able to put
things in order?”
strong,” James said with a twinkle in his eye.
Slowly he walked toward her and reached his hand out to hers. “Brooke, this whole thing has made me see
things in a new light. I know I’ve been
horrible, but this thing with Miranda has made me realize what’s
important. It’s family.”
never been any doubt about what’s important to you, James,” Brooke said and
glared angrily at him. “Family is
everything to you, which is why your uncle’s word was more important to you
sighed with defeat. “I’m sorry about
that. I really am. There’s no excuse for the way I acted. I was a fool.
But Brooke, we can start again. I
still love you and I don’t want our marriage to end.”
Michael?” she asked, unable to believe that he could be so presumptuous to
think that she would want him back after how he’d treated her. “Are you saying that you could look past the
fact that he isn’t your son?”
lived the past year believing he was my son.
I love that boy. Nothing has
the idea that he was conceived while the two of us were married is-“
question was interrupted when the bedroom door opened and Ethan emerged, a
towel wrapped around his waist and his bare chest and arms glistening from the
sorry. I didn’t know you were here,”
Ethan said, making quick eye contact with his uncle.
looked at him and then back at Brooke.
“Obviously I’ve interrupted something,” he said, his heart sinking in
his chest with the realization of what he’d walked in on. “My mistake.”
Brooke began. She knew what he must be
thinking. Not that he deserved an
explanation, but she wanted to tell him that she and Ethan only just
forget it,” James said with a chuckle and shook his head. “Boy, I’m a bigger fool than I thought. These past few weeks I’ve been under the
impression that you weren’t a total slut, that you weren’t using our
differences as an excuse to leave and jump into the arms of my nephew.”
enough!” Ethan shouted. “You can’t come
in here and talk to her that way.”
“And you,” James
continued with disgust. “I practically
raised you and this is how you repay me?”
“Don’t hand me that,”
Ethan said, gripping his towel closed around his waist. “You only raised me because you refused to
let my father in on the fact that he had a son.”
“I did you a favor by
not letting your father raise you!”
"Stop it!” Brooke
screamed and turned to her husband.
“James, no matter what you may think, Ethan and I haven’t been planning
anything behind your back. We slept
together years ago but I married you. Then you betrayed me in the worst, most
despicable way you could have. Who I see
now is none of your business.”
“And the man that you
turn to just happens to be Ethan?” James asked.
“Come on, Brooke. I wasn’t born
yesterday. This has been your plan all
“What plan?” she
“You know, I came
here to try to find some common ground so that we could work on our marriage,”
James continued. “But now I see the two
of you together and realize that you’re just a slut who manipulates her way
into people’s beds for her own personal gain.”
“That’s it,” Ethan
said, pulling his fist back and sending a shattering blow into James’ jaw.
Brooke covered her
mouth with her hands and watched as Ethan grabbed James by the jacket and
forced him out into the hallway.
“You can both rot in
hell for all I care,” James said, rubbing his jaw and starting down the hall to
Ethan slammed the
door shut and walked over to Brooke, pulling her into an embrace as she cried
quietly against his shoulder. “I’m so
sorry about that,” he said. “Are you
She nodded and wiped
her eyes. “Take me away, Ethan. Take me away from here. I have to get away from this place.”
Brett sat in front of
the television in the darkness of his condo at the marina. There was a knock at the door and he
attempted to ignore it. He didn’t feel
like seeing anyone. After Miranda lost
the baby he withdrew to his condo and started taking stock in his own life and
what it meant to him. The answer was a
sobering nothing. Not his job with Congressman Walker, not his
swanky new condo, and not his attractiveness to the opposite sex. Nothing in his life seemed worthwhile
The visitor didn’t
give up, knocking again and finally calling through the door.
Heather. Open up.”
He barely moved from
his position, instead taking a hearty swig from a bottle of beer in his
“Brett, I want to see
you. I’m worried about you,” Heather
persisted from the hall.
begrudgingly got up and pulled the door open.
Standing in the doorway bare chested and wearing a pair of ratty
sweatpants, he attempted to stand in her path of entry.
“What are you doing?”
she asked. “It’s five o’clock in the
afternoon and dark as midnight in here.”
She walked to the windows and pulled the blinds open.
Brett shielded his
eyes from the blinding sun as Heather began picking up empty bottles of beer
and chucking them into the trash can.
“What are you doing here?” he asked.
“Trying to be a
friend,” she replied. “It isn’t healthy
for you to sit here by yourself in the dark.”
“Like anybody cares.”
“I care,” she
insisted and took the bottle from him. “Look,
I know you’re hurting and you feel like you have no one to turn to, but you’ve
He walked into the
bathroom and splashed water on his face.
After that he felt a little better and he walked back into the living
room. “Thank you,” he said and wiped his
hands on his pants. “It really does mean
a lot to me that you came here.”
She smiled and pulled
him into an embrace. “I hate the thought
of you going through this alone. I mean,
of course I’m sick over what this has done to Miranda, but she has her family. I just don’t want you to forget that someone
He pulled from the
embrace and looked at her with a slight smile.
“You’re incredible,” he said.
Heather grew woozy
from his gaze that penetrated her eyes.
Something about the way he looked at her sent butterflies soaring
through her stomach and she felt weak in the knees.
Before either could
react, they were kissing tenderly. Brett
pulled away as if to gauge her reaction, then proceeded, leading her to the
sofa and undressing her sensually. She placed
her hands alongside his torso and pulled him on top of her. They made love slowly, taking their time,
their lips never parting.
Heather knew she was
allowing him to use her as a warm body in leiu of his pain, but she didn’t
care. She wanted to be there for
him. She was through fighting her
feelings for him.
hearing news of Adrienne’s murder, James headed for the police station where
Stormy and Eddie were talking to Detective Baines in the waiting area. He darted over to them in search of answers. He felt like he’d come from one bad situation
into an even worse one.
just heard about Adrienne,” he said.
“Stormy, what happened?”
Blackthorne, what are you doing here?” Baines interrupted. “Haven’t you been involved in enough homicides?”
Fallmonts are dear friends of mine,” James insisted. “I just heard that Adrienne’s been murdered
and Jack is being held for questioning.
I’d like to know what the hell is going on if you don’t mind.”
hired Eddie to follow Adrienne,” Stormy explained. “He thought she was cheating on him. Eddie was staked outside their house this
afternoon when she was murdered.”
were no signs of forcible entry, so we have to assume that the killer had means
of gaining access to the house,” Baines indicated. “And Jack
Fallmont does have motive.”
motive?” James demanded.
jilted husband flying into a jealous rage, it’s not that uncommon,” Baines
admitted. “And Mr. Distefano says he
didn’t see anyone enter or leave the house during the hour he was parked
outside, indicating that Mr. Fallmont was probably already home when Mrs.
Fallmont got there.”
your case?” James demanded.
the killer did take the surveillance tapes of the property with him before he
left the house,” Baines explained. “How
would anyone else have known where to get them?”
irrevelant. If Jack was home when she
got there, why would he have bothered taking the tapes?”
he would have known the coroner would be able to determine an exact time of
death and he wouldn’t have been able to say he wasn’t home at the time. Like I said, he’s just being held for
questioning,” Detective Baines claimed with a shrug of his shoulders. “We’re checking his alibi right now.”
he’d left, James turned to Stormy and Eddie in bewilderment.
later, he was in the visitor’s area of the detention center. He sat down across from Jack, a glass
partition separating them. They each
picked up a phone and spoke through the receiver.
I’m so sorry. This is just awful.”
Jack simply nodded
his head, his eyes red with tears. “I
haven’t told the children yet.”
“I’ll call them if
you want me to,” James offered.
Silence on the other
end of the receiver.
“How did it happen?”
James asked. He knew he wasn’t looking
at a man who would kill his own wife.
The look on Jack’s face was one of devastation and utter disbelief.
was strangled,” Jack said, choking on tears while desperately trying to hold
himself together. He had to be strong
closed his eyes tightly. “Dear God,” he
whispered under his breath. “Jack, I-“
didn’t do it,” Jack said, his voice suddenly filled with conviction. “James, I swear. I didn’t kill my wife.”
I know you were upset about the thought of Adrienne cheating on you.”
enough to kill her,” Jack said, sobbing under his breath.
of course not,” James said. “Jack, I
know this is hard, but you have to try to look at this from another
perspective. Maybe whoever Adrienne was
sleeping with was the person who killed her.”
suddenly looked up at his friend and swallowed hard. He shuddered at the thought of the danger
Adrienne could have been in without even knowing.
was on the terrace of his and Marilee’s house in Malibu, tapping furiously on his laptop. The ocean waves crashed onto the shore and
the moonlight illuminated the stretch of beach where Logan Mackenzie stood,
gazing up at the house. He made his way
up the steps to the terrace, clearing his throat to announce his presence.
“Logan, did we have more
business tonight?” Seth asked and looked up from his computer. “Marilee’s out for the evening. Pull up a seat and I’ll pour you a brandy.”
Logan sat down and folded
his hands in his lap. “Did you hear
about Adrienne Fallmont?” he asked.
twisted his face into a frown and he shook his head sorrowfully. “Yes, it’s awful. To think that Jack Fallmont would murder his
wife in cold blood. It’s a shock, it
Logan regarded him
carefully and accepted a snifter of brandy.
“So you believe that Jack killed her?”
shrugged. “Well they’re holding
him. I assume it’s for a good reason.”
you think he found out about the affair?” Logan
asked. “Or maybe the ten million
up from the table, Seth walked to the railing and gazed out at the ocean. “It’s possible,” he surmised. “But we were careful. No one ever saw us together.”
Logan stood up as well
and followed him across the terrace. “You
don’t seem very upset about her death,” he said. “Were you still sore about her backing out on
hadn’t spoken since then, if that’s what you’re getting at.”
Logan leaned over the
with the third degree?” Seth demanded crossly.
just think it’s strange is all. A few
days ago she threatened to blow the whistle on this operation and now she’s
dead, and you’re suddenly partners with Alex Reynolds and the project is full
have every bit as much to lose as I do, Mackenzie,” Seth remarked. “And for that matter, so does Leigh. Your cut of this deal would be a huge loss if
Adrienne had blown the whistle. How do I know you aren't hiding
Logan raised an
eyebrow. “Then I guess Jack Fallmont did
us both a favor.”
eyes met in a stalemate and Seth went back to the table to pour another glass
mile down the beach, Alex flopped onto the sofa with a glass of champagne in
one hand and the TV remote in the other.
She took a sip, smiling in celebratory cheer over her new company. Soon she would be the wealthiest woman in the
state and Renee nor James could make her take a back seat to Blackthorne-Reynolds. The company she started, nonetheless.
on the television, she caught the middle of a news story from Glendale at Jack and Adrienne Fallmont’s
house. News of Adrienne’s murder had escaped
her until then. She quickly set her
glass down and covered her mouth with her hands at the horrifying news.
say that Mrs. Fallmont was found in her walk in closet, apparently the victim
of strangulation,” said the reporter from the news station. “Once again, Jack Fallmont is currently being
held on suspicion in the murder, and is at this moment at the Beverly Hills
Police Station awaiting charges. No
arrest has been made as of this hour, but we will keep you informed of the
story as it progresses.”
clicked off the television, chilled to the bone after hearing the news of her
friend’s passing. She jumped when the
doorbell rang, her heart beating wildly in her chest.
she had given Veronique the night off, she jumped up from the sofa and wrapped
her nightgown tightly around her body.
She fluttered across the room and paused at the door.
is it?” she asked, her voice wavering and unsteady after the startling news.
she pulled the door open and looked at the attractive young man standing
outside with a bottle of champagne in his hand.
are you doing here?” she asked.
you’d join me in a celebration,” he replied with a wink. “It’s not every day that you start a new
multi-million dollar venture.”
looked at him suspiciously. “I really
wasn’t expecting company. I-“
have time for one drink, don’t you, Miss Reynolds?” Logan asked.
“If we’re going to be working together we might as well get to know each
getting late," she said. "I just received
some devestating news and I really need to be alone."
the most reason for you to not be alone,"
a little, Alex stood clear of the door and allowed him entry. “I suppose you’re right,” she said. “Maybe one glass.”
Logan watched her scuttle
across the room to retrieve another glass.
He loosened his collar and followed her to the sofa.
us,” he said after he poured them each a fresh glass. “May it be a long and profitable
Alex sipped from her glass, trying
to figure out why it was that Logan Mackenzie gave her such an uneasy
Couples pair off in
Details of Adrienne's last few days alive are
made public. Logan threatens Leigh. James
tells Leigh they have a future. Alex pushes Jordan