and Ethan argued over her inability to commit to him.
She later shared drinks with David, who kissed
her. Heather informed an ecstatic Brett that she
was pregnant. Jordan proposed to Alex, who told
him that she couldn't give him an answer yet, believing
her involvement with Seth Walker to be too dangerous
to get Jordan involved. James had Stormy and Eddie
hijack the truckload of weapons from Costa Mesa and
replace it with an empty one. When Seth learned
that the shipment was missing, he threatened Leigh,
telling her to make James release it or else he would
kill him. Solmenly, Leigh went to James the evening
of the Filmmaker Awards and told him that she
was Seth's partner and that he was in danger if he didn't
do as the Congressman asked. A hurt James sent
Leigh away. Stormy and Eddie were arrested when
police inspected the truck and found the illegal weapons
in the cargo. Desperate to protect James, Leigh
called Seth to her penthouse and pulled a gun on him.
After wrestling the gun from her, Seth shot Leigh
twice in the chest. James arrived seconds later after
reconsidering taking to Leigh, and Seth shot him too.
A cool breeze blew in from the
balcony in the penthouse at Hotel
Terranova. A fast-busy tone emanated
from the phone which hung carelessly off the cradle, dangling to the floor.
“Housekeeping,” called a voice from
outside in the hall. “I have your dry
Another knock and no answer. The maid entered the suite with a
stack of garments in her arms. She made her way to
the bedroom and placed them accordingly before returning to the front
door. She paused before leaving, hearing
the sound of the phone laying off the hook.
Frowning, she rounded the corner and entered the living room. There
she saw two bodies slumped on the
floor, blood spilled everywhere.
Maria," she uttered in horror, backing up with
her hands over her mouth. Her scream was heard throughout the
entire hotel, echoing up and down the corridors and resonating off the walls.
cut through the night, circling the Los
Angeles Theater in downtown L.A.
where fans and paparazzi lined up behind the velvet rope for a glimpse of their
favorite star or their hottest story. The red carpet was
peppered with celebrities, waving to the cameras and posing for
photographs. The 35th Annual Filmmaker Awards were in full swing,
moments from the opening monologue inside the elaborate theater.
Inside the foyer, Alex and Renee
stood in their regalia, dripping in diamonds and covered in Chloe and fur. Their faces wore smiles, but inside they were
in constant turmoil. Neither of them had
spoken to James since earlier that evening when he confirmed that the shipment
of weapons to Panama
had been hijacked by Stormy and Eddie.
The gravity of the situation hadn’t escaped them, and going to the Filmmaker Awards was the last thing on
their minds. But it must be business as
usual, as James had insisted. So here
they were, along with their trusted bodyguards who were always a step away.
“Why haven’t we heard anything?”
Alex asked under her breath. “James was
supposed to be here by now. Stormy
too.” A gasp escaped her throat and she
turned toward Renee with wide eyes.
“What if something happened?”
“Like what?” Renee asked.
“I don’t know. I just have a bad feeling.”
Just then, Miranda and David
approached with Sierra. Miranda kissed
her mother on the cheek and gave Renee a quick squeeze before putting an arm on
Sierra’s shoulder and smiling cheerfully. “Look who I found,” she said.
“Sierra, where have you been?” Renee
asked and looked with concern at her daughter.
“I don’t want you going off on your own tonight. These Hollywood
types can be very precarious.” A quick
glance in Alex’s direction before she added off-handedly, “no offense.”
“None taken,” Alex said with a
“Mother, please don’t treat me like
a child,” Sierra said with a pout and folded her arms across her elegant silver
gown. “I feel like I can’t breathe around
you ever since-“ She paused, glancing
at Alex and then shaking her head in dismissal.
“I’m sorry, Darling,” Renee said and
put a hand on her shoulder. She turned
to Miranda and David again. “You both
look very nice. David, how nice to see
“You too, Renee,” he replied.
“Miranda, I thought you were
coming with your father,” Alex said, determined to get James alone so she could
find out what the hell was going on with the Costa Mesa operation. The only reason she felt safe going
out tonight at all was because she was at a crowded theater with hundreds of other
people. And of course Cliff, her burly bodyguard. Who knew what kind of state of
mind Seth Walker was in. Even
in the midst of all the chaos he could still prove to
“He said he’d meet up with us
later,” Miranda replied, thinking about James and wondering if he had decided
to talk to Leigh about whatever it was they argued about. She hoped so.
The more cemented their relationship, the less
likely her father was to get back with Brooke Taylor.
Across the room, they were being
watched. Seth stood behind a palm tree,
sipping a glass of champagne and eyeing Alex carefully. All he had to do was wait for her to go off
by herself and his opportunity would present itself. Then he’d find out what happened to his
missing truck and get it on its way to Panama. The sooner that happened the sooner he’d get
his money. He’d be on the way to the Cayman Islands
a very wealthy man.
Reaching into his
tuxedo jacket, he secured the pistol he’d confiscated from Leigh.
When Brett and Heather arrived in
their formal attire, Miranda turned to them and forced herself to come off as
anything but a bitter divorcee.
“Heather, you look gorgeous,” she
said and kissed her on the cheek. She
turned her attention to Brett and gave him a quick, next-to-no-contact
hug. They’d shared a recent mutual loss,
after all, and she’d barely seen him since.
He deserved compassion just as much as she’d received from others. But
there were limits, after all.
“I guess we should go in and sit
down,” David said when the lights began flashing in the foyer. He put his arm around Miranda and led her to
the entrance of the theater.
“I can’t believe Stormy’s not here,”
Miranda said, glancing around the crowd as they walked. “Where on earth could he be?”
The guard made his way down the cell
block at the police station several miles away.
He paused at each set of bars and peered inside, inspecting the
prisoners and ensuring they were all accounted for. After he’d walked by, Stormy
approached the bars separating him from Eddie and gripped the cold steel with
is taking my dad so long?” he asked. “I
left him a message over an hour ago. He
never goes this long without checking in.”
Eddie sighed and hung his head
between his legs as he sat on the cold concrete bench. “I don’t know, dude, but I’m about to freak
out. I’m claustrophobic, you know. The
walls are closing in on me. I can't take it. I
can't stand being locked up like a caged animal. Stormy,
if I don’t get out of here soon I’m going to
Stormy gave him a wry
expression. “We’ve been in here for
fifteen minutes, Eddie," he said patronizingly.
“Pull yourself together.”
He groaned and drug himself to his
feet. “I can’t help it. Do you realize what kind of trouble we’re
in? Parking a semi trailer full of machine
guns and grenades at a truck stop isn’t exactly a traffic violation.”
“My dad will get us out. He’ll explain everything to them. Don’t worry.”
“Do you honestly think they’re going
to believe anything he has to say?” Eddie demanded. “It’s his company that owns Stratotech, remember? We’re here for the long haul, and we’ll
probably wind up being somebody’s bitch. I know how things work in prison."
I?" Eddie exclaimed. "Am I?"
Sighing, Stormy plopped down on the
floor and tucked his knees under his chin.
He couldn’t understand what was taking James so long. He should have been there by now.
Miranda was incensed to find Brooke
and Ethan sitting two tables away from theirs.
She had half a mind to walk up and throw a drink in the woman’s
face. The nerve of her to show up at a
function that she knew James would be
was flaunting her relationship with Ethan. It was tasteless.
Alex sat down at the table, scouting
around the room for any sign of James.
She was beginning to get worried.
hadn’t heard from him or Stormy, and the fact that she hadn’t seen
or heard from Seth since the night before was also troubling. He must be planning something, she thought to
herself. She had to be on the lookout
for anything suspicious.
When Jordan arrived her troubles seemed
to fade momentarily. She watched as he
kissed Sierra on the cheek and greeted Renee with a surprisingly civil
hello. He looked so handsome in his
tuxedo, she thought. His proposal the
night before stuck in her mind. As much
as she wanted to be with him again, she couldn’t commit to anything with all
that was hanging over her head. It was
no longer a matter of proving a point, it was for his own safety. She couldn’t get him involved in the trouble
that she’d caused.
Brooke sat rigidly next to Ethan at
the nearby table. His hand rested gently
on her leg, which she didn’t mind so much.
At least he wasn’t forcing her to make a commitment that she wasn’t
prepared for. Since their blowout the
other day they’d resumed a half-way normal existence. If denying the source of the problem was
To her own detriment, she couldn’t
help but glance over at David. She felt
a shortness of breath and didn’t know why.
Possibly because of the kiss they shared and the fact that she hadn’t
been able to think of anything else since.
What was wrong with her anyway?
When he returned her secret stares she quickly turned away, forcing
herself not to react.
the next table, Brett placed an arm around Heather
when he noticed that she looked a little green.
Leaning over, he whispered softly into her ear. “Are you okay?” he asked.
She nodded, placing a hand on her
stomach. “I’m fine. I just feel a little nauseas, that’s all.”
“Morning sickness in the evening?”
Brett asked. “Is that normal?”
“As of lately, yes,” she replied
with a grin. But as soon as she said it,
she realized it was no laughing matter.
Jumping to her feet, she covered her mouth with her hands and darted out
to the restrooms in the lobby.
“What’s wrong with Heather?” Jordan
asked as he looked around, eyeing Brett suspiciously. He was waiting for the right time to confront
his new son-in-law, and naturally give him the obligatory don’t hurt my daughter or
else speech. Perhaps tonight was
just the night to do that.
“She’s feeling a little…under the
weather,” Brett replied, respecting her decision to wait to tell everyone about
Across the table, Alex leaned in to
Renee and whispered in frustration. “I
can’t handle this anymore. I’ve got to
get a hold of James.”
“Don’t draw attention to yourself,”
Renee whispered. “If anyone gets wind
that you’re walking on eggshells they’re going to ask you what’s wrong, and
knowing you you’ll spill the whole thing and get us in even more trouble. Just let James handle things.”
“I can’t wait for that,” Alex
hissed. She stood up and raced down the
aisle and out to the lobby just as the awards presentation began. In the commotion,
Cliff lost sight of her and became stuck behind a bottleneck
of stampeding celebrities rushing for their seats.
Eyeing her from the corner of the room,
Seth discreetly followed her. The lobby
was nearly empty now. He had a clean
shot at her. Calmly, he followed her
into the restrooms, locking the door behind him and pulling the gun from his
As she pulled her cell phone from
her purse, Alex heard someone enter the bathroom. She looked up and froze, paralyzed with fear
at the site of Seth standing there with a gun pointed directly at her.
“Where is the truck?” he asked
Her mouth dry, Alex tried to speak
but no sounds would come. Her first
instinct was to run but she couldn’t will herself to move.
“I’m only going to ask once more,”
Seth repeated. “I know that your
ex-husband switched the trucks. My
contact in Panama
received an empty shipment today. All I
want is the truck with my cargo on it.
After I have it you can go about your evening.”
Still, Alex couldn’t speak. This
was it, she decided. This was the moment she'd
been dreading. Seth was going to kill her. She shook her head as furiously as she
could in response to his question.
“Where is it?” Seth demanded and grabbed
her arm, pulling her to her feet.
don’t know!” she cried. “He didn’t tell
me! I swear!”
Frustrated, Seth realized he was
running out of time. By now someone
would have found the mess he’d left in Leigh’s hotel room. The authorities were probably already on to
him. Getting that truck delivered to Panama
was no longer a reality. His best hope
now was escaping with his life and his freedom, and with enough money to make up for his
“All right, come on. You’re coming with me.” He pulled her toward the door.
The sound of a stall door moving
caught his attention and he stopped dead in his tracks. Someone
else was in the restroom. Swiftly, he tried each of the doors, pushing
them open until he found her. He came to a door that was locked
and he forced it open with all his strength.
The door sprung open and he found Heather cowering against the wall in
fear. Gritting his teeth, he grabbed her
by the arm and pulled her out.
“How fitting,” he said, relishing
the idea of Brett Armstrong’s wife being at his mercy. It served his blackmailing PR man right.
“Heather!” Alex cried when she
realized the she was there and in the same danger she was.
swallowed hard, praying that someone would come in and see what was going on
and call the police. Why was Congressman
Walker holding them at gunpoint? She
sensed that Alex knew why and that only frightened her even more.
Seth grabbed hold of them both by
the arms. “Come on!” he yelled, forcing
them toward the door of the powder room, the gun still aiming directly at them.
“What are you going to do?” cried Alex,
who was almost afraid of the answer.
Seth slowly opened the door, peering
out into the lobby to make sure the coast was clear. As soon as he was sure no one was around, he
pushed Heather and Alex out into the hall.
“Come on, you two are my ticket out of here.”
Alex resisted, trying to pull
herself away from him as she twisted in his grasp. Seth pulled her back toward him and
slapped her as hard as he could. Her hair whipped around
and covered her face as she recoiled from the numbing blow.
inside the auditorium, Victor Distefano had just finished his opening monologue
when a spine-tingling scream erupted from out in the lobby, causing the crowd
to suddenly quiet and turn in their chairs.
Brett stood up from their table,
immediately alarmed. He looked toward
the doors to the ballroom and then back at Miranda, panic showing evident on
“That sounded like my mother,”
Miranda said, following his lead and rising to her feet.
They bolted up the aisle with Jordan,
Renee and David fast on their heels.
Ethan saw the commotion from his and Brooke’s table and ran after them,
certain that something terrible was happening.
They all raced into the lobby and stopped in their tracks, horrified by
Heather and Alex stood across the
lobby, frozen in fear as Seth held the gun to their backs. The panic and confusion in his eyes told them
that he was a loose cannon waiting to explode.
One wrong move and he could shoot them both without hesitation.
“Heather!” Brett yelled, his heart
pounding at the sight of his wife being held captive by the maniac.
Renee gulped, panic-stricken, and
instinctively grabbed hold of Jordan’s
hand without realizing what she was doing.
“Oh my God,” she exclaimed, fearful for Heather and Alex’s lives.
“Let them go, Walker!” Brett yelled as he stepped
forward. He knew
he had to remain calm and try
to reason with the man but seeing Heather in peril was killing him. He had to think of a way to get her away from
Seth insisted, pulling the women closer to him.
Jordan moved up alongside Brett and
watched helplessly. His mind raced in a
thousand directions, desperate to think of a way to save his daughter and Alex.
“Our deal has gone bust,
Armstrong,” Seth remarked. “I’m sorry
but you won’t be getting anything from me after all. And unless you want a couple of dead women on
your hands, somebody’s going to get me fifty millions dollars. It’s a fraction of what I would have gotten,
but it’s better than nothing. And I’m
not leaving this building until I have it.”
Brett shook his head back and
forth. “There’s no way!”
“Find a way!” Seth yelled. “Get me
the money and a helicopter on the roof in an hour. If somebody doesn’t come through, your wife
and the scream queen here will be splattered all over the street!”
Brett looked at Jordan in a panic as they watched Seth
pull Heather and Alex down the hall and through a door leading to the stairs. He started after them, intent on catching up
with them and stopping Seth before he could do something to hurt them. Jordan and Miranda both grabbed his arm and
held him back, their eyes pleading.
“Brett, don’t!" Renee
yelled. "You heard what he
He'll kill them!"
She knew that it was true. If he had been
willing to kill Adrienne
he wouldn't hesitate to kill anyone who got in
Brett looked at her and angrily hit
his fist against the wall. He turned to Jordan
and looked at him with terror in his eyes.
"We have to do something," he said. "Call James and get him down
here." He turned around and looked
distantly in the direction of the stairwell.
Miranda watched helplessly as Jordan
went to make the call and Brett stood in a bewildered daze. David came up and grabbed her hand, squeezing
it and offering her a comforting smile. Her cell phone rang and she fished
it hastily from her purse. Flipping it
open, she answered curtly.
“Miss Miranda, you have to get to
the hospital. It’s your father.”
Frowning, Miranda turned away from
the commotion of the crowd. “Leilani?”
she asked. “What’s wrong?”
“It’s your father. He’s been shot. Please.
Come to the hospital right away.”
Standing in awe, Miranda slowly
closed her phone and stared at the floor in a daze. She couldn’t believe this was happening. First her mother and her step-sister were
taken by a madman with a gun, and now she finds out her father has been
shot. It was too much to take in. She
“Miranda, what is it?” David asked
as Brooke and Ethan came up behind her.
She turned to him with watery
eyes. “I have to go. It’s Daddy.
He’s in the hospital.”
In the stairwell, Seth ran up the
steps, the gun held firmly in his hand as Heather and Alex trotted along
several steps in front of him. They
looked at each other in terror, afraid of what was going to happen to them if Seth's
demands weren't met. Even if they did
get him what he wanted, who was to say he wouldn't kill them anyway?
silently, believing she would never see her husband
again, or that something would happen to her baby. She
didn't know what the Congressman was talking about when
he mentioned a deal with Brett. Something inside
told her that her husband had been up to no good again.
Now she and their baby were paying for it.
she tripped on a step and fell
on the landing, too tired to continue. Seth
picked her up and set her back on her feet.
“Get moving!” he yelled, pushing her
up the stairs to a door marked Roof Access.
Marilee covered her mouth with her
hands, horrified by the details of what had transpired while she sat naively in
the auditorium waiting for her husband.
is he thinking?” she gasped and turned to Renee. “What’s going on? Why is my husband taking hostages to the
husband is a maniac,” Renee said quietly.
She felt for the woman, realizing that she was totally blind to what her
husband had been up to for the past several months.
see that, Renee,” Jordan
said with irritation. “But would
somebody care to explain it to me? How
are Alex and Heather involved with that guy?”
rubbed his face with his hands, terrified by the prospect of his wife and child
in danger. “It’s my fault,” he said
he was dangerous and I did nothing about it,” Brett explained, sick to his stomach
over the prospect. “I blackmailed him,
knowing he was a murderer. Now Heather
is paying for it.”
Walker killed Adrienne Fallmont,” Renee explained, offering an apologetic glance toward
Marilee. “He planned on selling illegal
weapons to Panama,
and Adrienne found out. He’s done
everything he can to cover up his ownership of Stratotech.”
Jordan paced around the lobby in
bewilderment. “How is Alex involved?”
“He tricked her into becoming his
partner,” Renee replied.
Suddenly Jordan realized what had been going
on. It was Seth that had tried to break
into Alex’s house. He was the one she
had been so afraid of.
“James tried to stall the shipment,”
Renee went on. “He had Stormy hijack the
truck last night.”
Brett looked at her with alarm. “That
call Miranda got... James is in the hospital.
Walker must have done something.” He slammed his
fist into the wall and pulled at his hair in frustration. “Damnit, I should have stopped him. If anything happens to James, Alex or
Heather, it’s my fault.”
Jordan had no time for blame. His main concern was getting his daughter and
Alex to safety. He would deal with Brett
turned and headed off through the lobby, intent on taking
matters into his own hands.
Detective Baines approached them
from across the lobby and placed his hands on his hips. "They're getting a chopper ready," he
said. "It should be here in thirty
"What about the money?" Renee
"I’ll call my accountants,"
Marilee claimed. "I’ll get the
money. It’s my husband who's responsible for all of this. If
I hadn't restricted his access to my accounts none of
this might have happened. It’ll
just take a little time to get the cash.”
"He's not going to give us time," Brett
insisted. "This guy is under
the gun. Don't you understand that? What if he doesn't let them go?"
Baines didn't answer right
away. The truth was she didn't know what
mindset the Congressman was in so he couldn’t give him an answer. "We're going to do everything we can to
get your wife and Miss Reynolds to safety."
"But what if he doesn’t let
them go?" Brett demanded again, looking up at him with a tense, helpless
look in his eyes. He couldn't bare the
thought of anything happening to Heather and their unborn baby. After
all the talk he'd done about changing and becoming a
better person, his biggest mistake was blackmailing
Walker. Now the lives of his family were in jeopardy.
Standing up again, Baines
offered a dismissive shrug. "I can't answer that until we get up on
that roof and give him the money."
"Where did Jordan go?" Renee asked suddenly
as she scanned the lobby. He had been
standing there moments earlier, and was now nowhere in sight.
Brett shook his head with a
frown. "I don't know," he
said, wondering if Jordan
was where he the thought he was.
Thirty stories above on the roof of
the theater, Alex and Heather cowered in the corner, the wind blowing against
them as they held on to one another in paralyzing fear. They watched Seth pace back and forth,
mumbling to himself as he held the gun out as a constant threat.
“Please just let us go,” Heather said,
not taking her eyes off of the revolver.
“You don’t need us anymore.
They'll send the helicopter and the money. Just let us go.”
Seth stopped pacing and walked over
to them with a defiant look in his eyes.
“No. You two are my
insurance. If I don’t get that money, you’re going to be the ones to pay the
Heather and Alex looked at each
other, their eyes tearing as they realized they were doomed. The police weren’t just going to hand that
much money over to a criminal. And then Seth
would kill them just as he threatened to.
Alex chewed nervously on her
lip. This was all her fault. All because
of her stupid rivalry with Renee. If it hadn't
been for that, Seth Walker would never have had the
opportunity to come into their lives. All she
could think about now was Jordan and their turbulent
past. After their divorce, she yearned for him
for a year. Everything she did was to get him
back. The fact that she turned him away when he
came to her and professed his love was the dumbest thing
she ever did. She'd give anything now to take
it back and be warm and safe in his arms.
Jordan took the elevator to the
floor just below the roof of the old building, then shattered a window near the
fire escape. He climbed the iron ladder
on the side of the building, taking two rungs at a time as he quickly made his
way to the top. He paused for a moment
when he felt his foot slip off the slick surface. He looked down at the
street far below and closed his eyes.
Regaining his balance, he took a deep
breath and continued up the ladder until he got to the roof. Once there, he paused and peered over the
ledge to survey his surroundings. He
could see Heather and Alex huddled by the far corner of the roof and Seth
pointing the gun at them.
He looked around for something to
attack him with. There had to be a way
to overpower him and get the gun from him.
One thing was for certain, he couldn't wait for the police to handle
it. Even with Detective Baines at the
helm, there was no time to wait around any more. They had to do something now.
Brett pulled Baines off to the side
and looked at him with urgency. “Do they
have the money yet?” he asked.
After taking a deep breath he shook
her head in regret. “No, not yet,” he
replied. “It takes time, Mr. Armstrong. You have to be patient.”
“We haven’t got time!” Brett
exclaimed. “We have exactly thirty
minutes! If he doesn’t have that money
by then he’ll kill my wife!”
Baines knew he was right but there
wasn’t anything they could do. Fifty million
dollars was a lot of money and it would take a small miracle for even Marilee
Walker’s people to pull it together in the time they had left.
“I’m going to talk to him,” Brett
“No, absolutely not.” Baines’ tone was adamant.
Brett glared at her with
contempt. “I’m going to talk to him!” he
Jordan pulled himself up over the
ledge onto the roof and hugged the side of the wall as he made his way along
the length of the building. He could see
Heather and Alex still hovering in the corner.
It was obvious the gunman’s state of mind was bordering on
agitation. He didn’t have much
time. He spotted a tire iron laying on
the thick tar rooftop and slowly picked it up, ducking behind the steel posts
that supported the glowing neon sign.
then the door leading into the stairway opened and Brett stepped slowly out
onto the roof. Seth saw him right away
and quickly aimed the gun at him, his finger resting firmly on the trigger.
“Seth, I just came to talk,” Brett
began, watching him carefully. “It’s
going to take a little longer to get the money.”
“That’s not good enough!” Seth
yelled angrily as he moved the gun from Brett back to Alex and Heather. He was sweating profusely and his back was
drenched from the heat of the exhaust fans on the roof of the building. “I want the money and the chopper up here on
schedule! You have twenty minutes! Otherwise you can say goodbye to your
Jordan ducked behind a
smoke stack a few short feet from where Seth was standing. He gripped the tire iron securely in his hand
and waited for a good opportunity to strike.
He had to plan it perfectly or it could go wrong and someone could end
up shot. It was a risk, but he had to do it. His daughter was in
jeopardy, and Alex was the love of his life.
don’t you let them go, Seth?” Brett said as he stood in the doorway. He heard Baines come up behind him and reach
his hand out but he wasn’t paying any attention. If he could just talk to the madman long
enough to convince him that he was making a mistake by holding them
hostage. “They’re no good to you. Your helicopter will be here soon so why not
let them go?”
“I don’t think so,” Seth replied. “You’ve got fifteen minutes to get me that
money and the chopper. Now go back
downstairs because you’re making me nervous.
And when I get nervous I can’t control my reflexes.” He was
showing his panic and he knew it. After shooting
Leigh and James, he had put himself up against a wall.
He'd doomed himself. This was his last hope
stepped toward him. Swiftly and without warning, Seth
turned and fired a warning shot at a steel barrel right beside Brett. The bullet reflected off to the side and
ricocheted into the night sky.
Heather let out a cry, grabbing tightly
onto Alex’s arm. She was terrified that Brett
was going to get himself killed trying to reason with the Congressman.
“Get out of here!” Seth yelled
used the moment of chaos to
make his move. He quickly jumped out
from behind the smoke stack, raising the tire iron high above his head and
attempting to bring it down on top of Seth’s head.
Standing inside the stairwell, Baines
saw him and yelled out instinctively. Seth
heard his cries and swiftly turned around just in time to deflect the attack
from Jordan. He pulled the trigger and fired the gun, the
bullet grazing Jordan
in the shoulder and sending him staggering back against the cement
“Jordan!” Alex called out in
horror. She started to run over to him
when Seth pointed the gun at her as a warning to stay put.
“Don’t make another move!” Seth
yelled. “You’d better get me that money
if you don’t want someone else getting shot!"
“But we need more time!” Brett
Renee searched the crowded lobby for
Sierra. In all the excitement she had
lost track of her, and in her daughter’s fragile state she wanted to make sure
she was okay. As if the ordeal with Nathan
hadn't been enough for a young woman to take - the realizatioin
that he was her father, the incident on the yacht, and
the incident with the letter opener - she was in no
condition to endure any more.
“Darling, there you are,” she said
when she found her sitting alone in a daze.
“Are you all right?”
“Why do these bad things keep
happening?” Sierra asked, staring blankly at the carpet. “Mother, why?”
“Sweetheart, the police have it
under control,” Renee insisted. She said
the words but she didn’t really mean it.
Everything had gone terribly wrong.
She pulled out her cell phone to see if she missed any calls. Why hadn’t she heard anything from Miranda
Miranda and David raced down the
corridor at Cedars-Sinai, Brooke and Ethan fast on their heels. They reached the nurses station and Miranda
quickly grabbed one of the attendants.
“My father was admitted,” she
began. “James Blackthorne.”
“Miss Miranda,” Leilani called from
the waiting area. She darted over to
them and placed a hand on her heaving chest.
“Thank God you got here.”
Miranda pulled her into an embrace
and turned back to the nurse. “I’m his
daughter, Miranda Blackthorne. What
happened to my father?”
“Your father suffered a gunshot wound
the abdomen,” explained the male nurse.
“A maid found them in the penthouse of Hotel Terranova. He’s in
surgery right now.”
“He’s alive?” Miranda exclaimed,
hope returning to her washed out expression.
“He’s in bad shape,” explained the
nurse ominously. “They’re going to do
what they can.”
Miranda looked at David and covered
her mouth in horror. The thought of
anything happening to her father was worse than anything she could imagine. Who would do something like this to him? “Is my father going to die?” she
asked point blank.
“He’s critical. I’ll let the doctor fill you in when he gets
out of the O.R.”
Miranda sucked in a breath of air
before exploding into tears. She clung
to David and rested her head on his shoulder.
Behind them, Brooke and Ethan watched with wide eyes. They couldn’t believe that James was having
to face such a crisis. Ethan was beside himself. After everything
he'd done to betray his uncle, this was the last thing he deserved.
“Excuse me,” Ethan said to the nurse
before he walked away. “You said a maid
found them. Was someone with him?”
The nurse nodded sorrowfully. “Leigh Purcell.”
Miranda snapped her head back
instantly. “What about Leigh?”
“She was dead when the paramedics
arrived,” he explained. “I’m sorry.”
The news kept getting worse. Miranda covered her mouth with her hands and
turned away as she wept.
street in front of the theater was filled with awed
specators, struggling to watch the events unfold
on the roof thirty story above.
Heather and Alex stood in the corner
on the roof, the wind whipping through their hair as they stared at the
menacing gun that threatened their every move.
Heather could see Jordan
sitting in pain on the ground several feet away and she tried to see whether he
was moving or not. She thought she could
see his eyes open but she wasn’t sure.
It was dark and Seth was standing in the way of her view.
Brett was sitting on the steps just
inside the stairwell, his head hanging between his legs as Detective Baines
stood watch over Seth outside on the roof.
The waiting was killing them all.
Their time was up and it didn’t look like they were going to get the
money in time to save the women. On top of that, news from the hospital
about James wasn't good.
Purcell?" Brett asked.
nodded. "It looks like Walker shot her. He
was seen going up to her room earlier tonight. She
was dead when the paramedics arrived. James was
alive when they found him. He's in surgery."
Just then Marilee appeared at the
top of the stairs with a briefcase held tightly in her hands. Brett shot to his feet and looked at her
hopefully. “Is that the money?”
She nodded. “I had to take it from a Wells Inc. account, but I got it. So what now?”
“The chopper’s on its way,” Baines
replied. “After it gets here and Seth
gets aboard, he’ll find two SWAT officers waiting for him. He won’t get away.”
“I don’t care about what happens to
him after he’s out of the building just as long as my wife is safe,” Brett
insisted as he ran his fingers through his hair. “Let
me take the money out to him.”
Baines shook his head adamantly. “Are you kidding?” he asked. “One man’s already been shot. I’m not risking another civilian going down
in this thing. I’ll take the money out.”
sighed with reluctance and stood aside as Baines walked out onto the roof with
the case of money. He glanced down at Jordan
and saw him moving on the thick tar covering the roof.
Seth pointed the gun at Heather’s head,
watching carefully as Baines approached with caution. “Is that all of it?” he asked, gesturing to
“Fifty million dollars.”
He gave a satisfied smile as Heather
and Alex watched with anticipation.
“Throw it over here,” he said, using the gun to point to the ground.
“Fist let the women go,” Baines
Seth shook his head back and
forth. “No way. Not until the chopper arrives. Now throw the money down.” He waited a beat and then grew
impatient. “Come on! I don’t have all night!”
Detective Baines set the briefcase
down and kicked it across the ground. It
slid a few feet and landed just beside Seth’s feet. "Sounds
like you left quite a mess back at Hotel Terranova,"
he said. "You're in a lot of trouble, Walker,
and this isn't making it any better."
him, Seth grabbed hold of Alex’s arm. “Open it up,” he said to her
and pointed at the briefcase.
Alex reluctantly bent down and
fumbled with the latches until they sprung up and the lid opened. Seth’s eyes lit up as he stared down at the
rows of bundles of cash lined up perfectly inside. He licked his lips with anticipation and told
her to close it up and hand it to him. She
did as he said and Seth snatched it from her and held it tightly in his
Just then they heard the sound of
the helicopter approaching. Seth quickly drug Heather and Alex toward the
edge of the building. The propellers
blew powerful gusts of wind over the top of the building and whipped Heather’s hair into her face. The
ladder from the helicopter dropped and Seth grabbed it, still pointing the gun
at his captives.
“Now start climbing,” he ordered.
Heather looked at him in
bewilderment. “But you said-”
“I’m not through with you yet. Now climb!”
Heather cowered, grabbing hold of
the ladder and placing her foot on the first rung.
The growing crowd of onlookers
watched with confusion. “What are they
doing?” Brett asked, flying into a panic.
“He said he’d let them go!”
“He’s changing the rules,” Baines
remarked with frustration.
his head adamantly, Brett turned to him and gave him look of warning. “I’m not going to let him take them
anywhere,” he said before quickly rushing toward the helicopter. He ducked beneath the propeller blades,
forcing his way through the powerful wind blasts.
Seth saw Brett approaching and he
fired the gun, the bullet missing him by mere inches. Heather screamed out in terror as she stood
half way up on the ladder.
to do something. She grabbed his hand, knocking the gun out onto the roof of the
building. She could barely see what she
was doing because of the strong wind blowing in her face. Seth raised his hand to strike her and she
hit him in the gut with her elbow. Doubling over in pain, Seth dropped the
briefcase and it fell off the building and disappeared from sight. Halfway
down, the latches sprung open and the bills fell out,
spinning through the air like confetti. The crowd below
“God damn you bitch!” Seth yelled,
shoving Alex down off of the ladder. She
landed on the rooftop with a thud.
Brett started running toward the
chopper again. Seth saw him coming and
he climbed further up onto the ladder where Heather was dangling
helplessly. “Pull up!” he shouted at
the pilot. “Pull up!”
The helicopter began lifting higher
into the air, pulling the ladder up with it as Heather and Seth hung onto the
rungs. She closed her eyes, afraid to
look down as the helicopter teetered in the air, half over the roof and half
over the street thirty stories below.
Jordan raced over to see if Alex
was all right while Brett stood underneath of the helicopter, intent on saving
Heather. “Brett! Don’t!” he yelled. “It’s too dangerous!”
He shook his head with
determination. “I have to! She’s
pregnant, for God’s sake!”
With that, he leaped up and grabbed
onto the ladder, pulling himself up onto the first rung as the helicopter
lifted higher into the air and pulled away from the roof.
“Oh God!” Heather screamed while Seth
grabbed onto her foot, trying to pull her off of the ladder. The wind was too strong and her hands were
sweaty. She didn’t know if she could
hold on for much longer.
Brett climbed further up onto the
ladder, trying to pull at Seth’s leg. Seth
turned around and brought his foot down onto Brett’s hand with a startling
slipped and he
started to fall. Quickly, he was able to
reach up with his other hand and pull himself back up again.
Seth managed to pull Heather down
and she lost her grip, sliding down the ladder and practically landing on top
of him. She grabbed onto another rung
and held on for dear life.
But Seth peeled her fingers from the
rung and Heather began falling. She
looked down and saw that they were hovering over the street below, the roof of
the building far out of reach. Her
screams pierced through the night air as she sailed from the ladder in a free-fall.
desperation, Brett reached out and grabbed her hand, stopping her from falling
thirty stories to her death. The helicopter started swaying and Heather
prayed that Brett wouldn’t lose his grip on her sweaty
hand. Seth started climbing down the
ladder again, kicking his leg out to knock Brett off. A missed step jarred him loose from the
ladder and he slipped off the rung.
Brett closed his eyes as Seth fell
from the ladder and plummeted down through the air. The crowd below screamed
in horror, gasping as his body slammed against
the street in front of the theater in a bloody splatter.
On the roof, Jordan and Alex each
let out a sigh of relief. She threw her
arms around him and held on with all her might.
you okay?” she asked, inspecting his bloody shoulder.
better than okay,” he said, relieved that she and Heather were safe. “It takes
more than a little bullet to the shoulder to stop me.”
helicopter hovered back over to the building and lowered to the roof. Heather got down off of the ladder first,
followed by Brett. The others ran over
Heather threw her arms around Brett and held him close, tears falling
down her cheeks as she trembled with fright.
Alex approached and Heather pulled
her into an embrace, relieved that they’d made it through the terrifying
ordeal. Brett turned away and saw Jordan
and Renee embracing happily.
“Brett, I don’t know how to thank
said and shook his hand. “You saved my
They embraced warmly before Jordan
turned and smiled at Alex, wincing from the pain in his shoulder where he’d
taken the bullet. Renee wrapped a torn
cloth around it and tried to stop the bleeding.
Alex led him a few feet away
and kissed him passionately on the roof
of the theater. “Remember what I said to
you the other night at my house?’ she asked.
frowned. “You said a lot of things.”
to ask me again sometime. Remember?”
what she was getting at. Holding her in
his arms, he brushed the hair from her eyes and smiled. “Alex, will you marry me? Again?”
she said. “Yes I will marry you
scowled angrily at Brooke and Ethan while she paced the waiting room at Cedars-Sinai. The devastation of the evening’s events was
so numbing that she couldn’t even bring herself to lash out at
them. It just didn’t seem important right
could tell she was losing her grip, and having Brooke there wasn’t helping
matters. He did what he could to comfort
her, so when he saw on the news that the standoff on the roof of the Los Angeles Theater was over, and that
Alex and Heather were safe, he couldn’t wait to share the news with her. Unfortunately, it did little to ease her
mind. Her father was still in surgery
and Leigh was still dead. All at the
hands of a madman.
the doors to the ER opened amidst a barrage of camera flashes and reporters clamoring
for quotes. Pandemonium had erupted in
the hospital. Jordan rushed in, his wounded
shoulder wrapped in a towel and Alex and Heather tending to him dutifully. Following behind were Brett, Sierra and
Renee. Every news field reporter and newspaper
columnists was on hand, begging for a quote as to what went on on the roof of
the Los Angeles Theater and for
details of Congressman Walker’s death, not to mention wanting to clarify
reports that James Blackthorne had been shot earlier that night.
of nurses darted over to Jordan
and inspected his gunshot wound, announced that it was a flesh wound and that
he would require stitches. They led him
in to an examination room and Heather followed.
shielding her eyes from the cameras, went to Miranda and pulled her into an
glad you’re safe,” Miranda said. “I’m
sorry I had to leave. But Daddy-“
know, Sweetheart. I heard.” Alex led her to a bench and sat down next to
her. “What do the doctors say?”
wiped her teary eyes and held tightly to her mother’s hand. “He’s in surgery. He’s critical. They don’t even know if he’ll make it through
closed her eyes in devastation. “This is
all my fault,” she whispered, tears flowing from her eyes. “I did this to him. I did
it. If your father dies it’s because of
shook her head in agony. “You didn’t
shoot him, mother. Nobody forced that
maniac to do what he did. Just like
nobody forced him to take you and Heather up to that roof.” She glanced up at Brett, knowing fully well
that he had been involved in this mess too, and that he blamed himself for what
almost happened to Heather.
should have went to the police right away,” Renee said, her arm around
Sierra. “It was crazy to think we could
handle this on our own.”
then, Kenny entered the waiting area and Renee and Alex approached him in a
blind fury. “I just heard about
James. How is he?”
shook her head in despair. “We still
don’t know anything,” she said. “Kenny,
I have to find Stormy. James sent him-“
where Stormy is,” Kenny interrupted. “I
got a call a few minutes ago when word got out about James’s shooting. He and Eddie Distefano were arrested
and Renee looked at each other in shock.
arranged for bail to be posted. They’ll
be released in a couple of hours. I
don’t know yet what the charges are going to be. They found the truck and as of right now,
Stormy and Eddie are of great interest to the FBI.”
How could things get any worse? Alex thought to
herself as she turned and muffled her silent cries. Just then, Dr. Farraday
emerged from the operating room. He
removed his surgeons mask and waited until the crowd had turned their attention
is out of surgery. He’s in
recovery. We were able to remove most of
the bullet fragments, but there’s still very small pieces embedded internally. That makes the next seventy-two hours
he pull through, Dr. Farraday?” Renee asked.
can’t answer that, Renee” he replied matter-of-factly. “We’ll monitor him closely and do everything
we can. Right now you should all go home
and get some rest.”
turned and clung to David’s side. “I
can’t go home,” she said. “I’m not
leaving my father.”
stay with you,” he said and squeezed her tightly.
rest of the crowd stood silent, fearing that the worst part of Seth Walker’s
reign of terror wasn’t over, and wouldn’t be until James was out of the woods.
next morning was a somber Sunday. Hazy
sun filtered through clouds and smog hung low over the city. Everyone who had been at the Filmmaker
Awards, and even those were hadn’t, were affected by the tragic outcome.
had told Heather everything after they’d gotten home from the hospital. His greed had gotten the best of him and
instead of helping put a murderer behind bars, he used his wrongdoings to his
advantage. Regret came too late when
Heather’s life was put in danger. He knew
that his actions would make trusting him difficult for her, and he was prepared
to do anything he could to make up for it.
anything had happened to you-” he said as he came up behind her on the balcony
at their condo. “I know I’ve messed up
in the past and I know everyone and their brother warned you about getting
involved with me, but-“
turned and placed her hands on her hips.
“What you did was stupid
and selfish and makes me remember why I loathed you
for so long. And I don’t know that I can just forget
about it. I probably made a mistake
ignoring everyone’s warnings about you.
Hell, I knew who you were and I still married you. How dumb must I be?”
shook his head in quiet despair.
“Heather, you’re not.”
appreciate that you risked your life to save me up on that roof,” she continued. “And we are having a baby together. But this
is just who you are, Brett. A con man. You
always have been and you always will be."
he protested, agonizing over the way he'd hurt her yet
looked coldly into his eyes. "How can I ever
words stung his eyes. He lowered his head as she
turned and walked inside, closing herself inside the
hospital, Miranda and Sierra stood outside of James’ room in the ICU, peering
through the window at his frail body lying empty on the bed.
looks so weak,” Miranda said, her voice filled with gloom. “I’ve never seen him like this before.”
a strong will,” Sierra remarked. “He’ll
pull through this.”
regarded her knowingly. “I guess all the
Blackthornes are strong. It’s how we get
through. You have that gene, you know.
You made it through that ordeal with Nathan and you’ll be a stronger
person for it.”
laughed in spite of herself. “I don’t
feel very strong,” she said softly. “And
no offense, Miranda, but I don’t think that I want to be a Blackhorne.
Look at the trouble that follows you around. There’s always something. My father was the worst of all of them.”
felt for her estranged cousin. She placed
a comforting hand on her shoulder just as Stormy approached from behind.
change?” he asked.
turned and lit up when she saw him there.
“Thank God,” she said and hugged him tightly. “No, there’s no change. He’s still critical. Mom told me what happened last night with you
and Eddie. What’s going to happen
with the charges?”
shrugged. “Kenny says he’s working on
it. If charges are brought, we could be
looking at prison time and a hefty fine for attempting to sell illegal weapons.”
shook her head in dismay. “Seth Walker
really did a number on this family, didn’t he?” she asked and looked back in at
James. “Stormy, what if he doesn’t make
it? Who’s going to hold this family
pulled her into an embrace. “He has to make it.”
Season 3 draws to a
close. An impromptu wedding masks the truth for
Alex. Jordan gets a surprise visit. Miranda
refuses to leave James's side. Criminal charges
weigh in on Alex and Renee.
the Season Finale