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Episode 9

 

Release Date:  February 3, 2006

 Read the episode Recap

 

Previously...

Brett and Stormy told Lauren they wanted to produce a record with her.  Jordan proposed to Alex.  When Will found out, he proposed to her as well.  Following the news that Angel Assassin wouldn't be released in time to repay investors, James went to Jack Fallmont for an extension on his loan but Jack turned him down.  Brooke agreed to go home with James but when they arrived Philip Whitacre was waiting for them.


 

 Episode 9

"Uncharted Territory"

 

"Tell him, Brooke," Philip said.  "Tell him that I’m your husband."

Brooke felt the room spinning.  She was standing in the parlor at the Blackthorne mansion and everything was a blur.  Philip and James both stared at her, their eyes demanding an explanation.  But all she could do was stand and quietly wish she were dead.

“What is he talking about?” James exclaimed, throwing his hands up in frustration.  “Brooke, I’m your husband!  Tell him!”

“Apparently you’re not, because Brooke never got our divorce finalized,” Philip Whitacre said smugly.  “We’re still married, aren’t we Brooke?”

She tried to snap out of it, realizing that she had to do some fast explaining or she was going to be in a world of trouble.  How could this be happening?  No sooner had she and James reconciled than a mistake from her past showed up at her door.

“I did get the divorce,” she finally said.  “Or at least I thought I did.”

“You thought you did?” Philip asked with a chuckle.  “You surprise me, Brooke.  I always thought you were a stickler for details.”

“James, please-“ Brooke began, trying to ignore Philip, wishing she could snap her fingers and make everything go away.

“Tell me what’s going on, right now!” James insisted.

“Your wife is a bigamist,” Philip remarked.

“You shut up!” James yelled.  “I ought to throw you out of my house!”

“Why?” Philip asked boldly.  He wasn’t intimidated by the legendary James Blackthorne.  “It seems that I’m the only one here who knows what’s going on.”

“Please, stop it,” Brooke said, shaking her head in despair.

“Stop acting like you’re so shocked by all of this,” Philip continued, walking across the room and stopping inches from her.  “How could you have gone all these years knowing we were still married?   Hell, do we have any kids that I don’t know about?”

“No!” Brooke lamented.

“Are you sure?  Or do you just think so?”

“Knock it off!” James yelled, grabbing Philip by the collar and shoving him back.  He turned to Brooke, his eyes flaring angrily.  “Brooke, were you or were you not married to this man?”

“No,” Brooke replied, then shook her head in confusion.  She felt like the walls were closing in on her and she couldn’t think straight.  “I mean yes.  Yes, I was married to him.  But it was for just a short time.  And it was so long ago.”

“Why am I just finding out about this now?” James asked.  “Don’t you think this is something you should have told me before we got married?”

“I didn’t think it was important,” Brooke insisted, her eyes pleading.  “It was six years ago, James.  I was twenty-one and I didn’t know what I was doing.   It lasted less than a year.”

“Yeah but that was one hot year, wasn’t it?” Philip asked with a sly grin.

“I told you to shut up!” James shouted.  He turned back to Brooke.  “Is what he’s saying the truth?  Are you still married to him?”

She wiped a tear from her eyes. “I don’t know!  I signed the divorce papers but I…”

“You what?”

Brooke took a deep breath, trying to remember.  It was a long time ago and her memory of that time in her life was fuzzy at best.  “I don’t know if I mailed them back to the lawyer.”

“Oh Jesus!” James hollered, turning around and kicking the cocktail table so hard that it collapsed onto the floor.  “How could you be so stupid?”

“I don’t know!” she replied in a fit of tears.  “I was young and I didn’t know what I was doing!  I thought that if I signed the papers it was enough!”

“You thought the court system would magically sense that you signed the papers?  My God, how hard would it have been to put a stamp on it and mail it?” James asked bitterly.  He couldn’t believe how negligent she had been. 

“I’m sorry!” Brooke shouted back in tears.  “I messed up, okay?”

“You’re right,” James replied.  “You did.”

His cold words hurt Brooke deeply and she buried her face in her hands.  When she looked up James was storming out of the parlor, leaving her alone in the room with Philip.

Philip didn’t waste a second.   “Well Brooke, it’s been a long time,” he began, starting back toward her.  “You’re looking boss as ever.”

She looked up at him in disgust.  “Shut up,” she whispered.  “What are you doing here?”

He shrugged.  “I wasn’t going to come at all, but after that nice lady came to tell me the news about us still being married, what else would I do but fly up here?"

Brooke frowned.  “What lady?”

“That movie star.  Alex Reynolds.”

Brooke immediately saw red.  Alex Reynolds came to see you?” she asked in disbelief.  “When?”

“Yesterday.  She’s every bit as sexy in real life.  I was pleasantly surprised.”

Realization finally dawning, Brooke began pacing the room.  Alex had always been out to get her.  She must have done enough digging until she found out about Philip, then told him to come to L.A. to ruin her and James’s marriage.  It was a typical Alex Reynolds stunt.  Maybe if James knew the truth…

“I have to go,” she said, rushing to the door.  “You’d better leave now.”

“Wait a minute,” Philip replied, grabbing her arm and pulling her back.  “Don’t I even get a hug and a kiss?  It’s been six years.  I thought you might have missed me.”

“Get out,” Brooke hissed, heading back to the door.

“But what are we going to do about us still being married?”

“I’ll fix it,” she replied.  “Just go back to Phoenix and don’t ever come back here again.”

She rushed out of the parlor and up the stairs to her and James’s bedroom.  She found him sitting on the edge of the bed with a drink in his hand, a menacing scowl on his tanned face.

“James, you have to let me explain,” she began.

“Explain what?” he replied bitterly.  “That you were too ignorant to do what was necessary?  It’s a little late for that, Brooke.  Do you realize what you’ve done?”

“Wait, listen to me,” she pleaded with him.  “Alex is the one who brought Philip here.  She’s trying to drive us apart, James.  Don’t you see that?  She’s trying to get revenge for the way you an I came together.”

“Alex has nothing to do with this!” James said, his voice full of hostility.  “It’s your fault that this happened, Brooke!  Because of you, our marriage isn’t legal!" 

“We can fix it,” Brooke insisted.  “I can get the divorce from Philip and then we can get remarried.  It’ll be just like it never happened.”

James shook his head, pacing the room anxiously.  “And what about the lies?” he asked.  “What about the fact that you never told me you’d been married?  How am I ever supposed to trust you again, Brooke?  How do I know you’re not keeping anything else from me?”

“I’m not!”

“So was Philip right?” James continued.  “Do you have kids that you haven’t told anyone about?”

“Of course not!

“Are you sure?”  James took her by the shoulders and shook her forcefully.  “Or is that just another lie?”

“Stop it!” she cried.  “I told you we can fix it!”

James shoved her away and turned his back to her.  “I’m not sure that I want to fix it.  I’m not sure that this all didn’t happen for the best.”

“You don’t mean that.”

James turned and glared at her, hurt and angry that he’d been in the dark about something so important.  He felt like he didn’t even know who he’d married.

The look in his eyes sent chills down her spine and she backed up a step.  She turned and raced out of the bedroom in tears.  As she tore down the staircase, Miranda peered from around the corner, a devilish smile on her face as she watched Brooke run out of the house.

She knew Brooke was bad news all along but nobody believed her.  Maybe now they would start listening to her more often.

Ethans House

Ethan laid alone on his bed flipping through channels on the television when he heard a car screech into his driveway, then a door slam and then footsteps.   Sitting up, he waited a beat and then heard frantic knocking at his door.   He wondered if it was Winter.  They’d spent all day together until she had to go on duty at the hospital for an overnight shift.   Maybe she got off early and came by to surprise him. 

He got up and walked out into the front room in a pair of pajama pants.  Running his fingers through his hair, he pulled open the door and found Brooke standing on the porch, tears flowing down her cheeks.

They stood silently for what seemed like an eternity.  Finally Ethan pulled her inside and led her to the sofa.  He knew something awful had happened, and he had a feeling it had to do with James. 

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know where else to go,” she said, sobbing as he held her tightly.

“Shhhh,” he soothed her, pulling her close and kissing the top of her head.  He loved the way her hair smelled.           

Brooke looked up at him, drying her tears and staring into his eyes.  She felt safer with him than anyone in her life.   When she was with Ethan nothing else mattered and all of her troubles floated away.

Ethan put his hand under her chin and lifted her face to his.  Seconds later they were kissing passionately, wrapping their arms around one another in a heated embrace.  They stopped for a minute as if considering the reality of what they were doing.  But the look of desire in Brooke’s eyes made Ethan forget about morals and values.  All he wanted was to be with her, even for just one time.  He kissed her again.

Lifting her up into his arms, Ethan carried her into the bedroom and laid her down on his bed.  The warm glow of the bedside lamp reflected off of her tan, flawless skin and he yearned for her with every bone in his body.   Staring down at her for a minute or two, he soaked in every inch of her, relishing every second.

He turned off the lamp and Brooke pulled him down on top of her.  He slowly undressed her and they made love in the moonlit room.

Good Times Records

The next morning Stormy and Brett went down to Good Times Records for their meeting with Lauren Spencer.  They checked with Eddie and asked if she’d made it in yet.

“Haven’t seen her,” Eddie replied, chomping on a stick of gum.   “Who is this chic?”

“She’s the chic who you’re going to be hearing on the radio soon,” Stormy said with confidence.  “Wait till you hear her, Eddie.  She’s friggin’ far out.”

Impressed, Eddie raised an eyebrow.  “Is she hot?”

Stormy rolled his eyes and turned to Brett.  “Didn’t we say eight o’clock?”

Brett nodded.  “Maybe she’s not a morning person.  She’ll be here, don’t worry.  She probably just overslept.”

Stormy sighed and took a seat behind his desk.  He couldn’t help but be impatient.  Ever since he heard Lauren sing at the Fern Bar the night before she was all he could think about.

Alex Reynolds

Alex Reynolds walked down the hallway at the Sunset Strip Motel.  She cringed at her frightening surroundings.  The run down, dilapidated motel in West Hollywood wasn’t the type of establishment she was used to being seen in. 

She came to the end of the outside hallway and knocked on room 13.  A minute later the door opened and Philip Whitacre stood inside in a pair of tennis shorts.  She smiled and looked over his firm, athletic body.

“I see you changed your mind,” she said, pushing her way past him and walking into the shabby, mildew scented room. 

Philip grinned and closed the door behind him.  “How did you know I was here?”

Alex turned to him with a shrug.  “I have my sources.”

“Are those the same sources that brought you all the way to Phoenix?”

“Precisely.”  She looked around the room.  There was a lopsided old twin bed and a chest of drawers and a nightstand.  A small refrigerator that sounded like a crippled airplane engine sat in the corner.   “Have you seen Brooke yet?”

He nodded.  “I went to see her last night.”

“And?”

“And let’s just say that her husband…or…the guy who thought he was her husband, wasn’t very happy,” Philip explained, scratching his bare chest and mentally pawing Alex with his eyes.

She smiled with glee.  “I can imagine his reaction.  He probably threw her out and told her never to come back.”

Philip shrugged.  “I waited outside and saw her speed off in her car.  She looked pretty upset.”

“I have no doubt that she was,” Alex remarked.  “Why wouldn’t she be?  One minute she thought that she had a millionaire Hollywood producer as her husband, and the next minute she was just the same piece of trash from Arizona that she’d always been.”

“Why do I get the feeling you have some kind of grudge against her?”

Alex smiled.  “I just don’t want to see James getting hurt,” she lied.  “He’s a very special person to me.”

Philip rolled his eyes and sprawled out on the bed.  “Is that right?” he asked, his tone full of sarcasm.  “You know, I picked up a few tabloids to read on the plane up here.  You never told me that you were married to that guy.  And that he threw you out so that he could marry Brooke.”

Pursing her lips, Alex looked down at him and glared.  “But you still came up here to help me, didn’t you?”

He shook his head, putting his hands behind his head.  “I didn’t come up here to help you.  I came up here to see Brooke.”

“Don’t tell me you still have a thing for that tramp.”

“She’s got a hot little figure,” Philip said, then eyed Alex again.  He couldn’t help but notice what great legs she had.  He decided he’d love to have them wrapped around him sometime.  “But then again, so do you.  For an older woman.”

The remark sent Alex into a tailspin.   She grabbed an ice bucket from the top of the refrigerator and turned it over on top of Philip, sending ice and water splashing all over his bare skin.

“Holy-“ he shouted at the top of his lungs, jumping up off the bed and shivering from the freezing water.  “Jesus, lady!  What’s with you?”

“I may be an older woman,” Alex started, walking to the door.   “But you’re all wet.”

After she left, Philip stared in a daze at the door.   He didn’t know whether to be pissed off or turned on by the beautiful Alex Reynolds.

Ethan Blackthorne

Ethan woke up to a ray of sunlight hitting his face through the window.  He stirred slowly, stretching and coming to life with a broad smile on his face.  He couldn’t remember the last time he’d slept so well.   Even after spending most of the night awake, staring at Brooke as she slept, he still felt rested.

After they’d made love, Brooke had confided in him about the events that led her to his doorstep.   She told him about Philip, the divorce that never was, and James flying off the handle.  It made him sick with anger at the way his uncle treated her.  He refused to give an inch.  In his eyes, if you crossed him once you were never to be trusted again.   Life wasn’t always that simple to Ethan.  Especially when you had someone as wonderful as Brooke to spend it with.

He rolled over, stretching his arm out expecting to find Brooke’s warm body lying next to him.   To his surprise, she was gone.    Frowning, he jumped up and looked in the bathroom, thinking she might have gotten up before him.    When he didn’t find her there, he searched the rest of the house, still finding no trace of her.

He rushed back to the bedroom to get dressed, realizing that she must have gotten up and left without him knowing.  But where would she have gone?  Last night she talked about going to see about finalizing the divorce from Philip first thing in the morning.  But where?

His questions were answered when he found a notepad by the phone on the bedside table.  On it was written the name of an attorney and an address.  Beneath that was flight information to Santo Domingo. 

He rubbed his face and took a minute to take everything in.  She must have been in such a hurry to end her marriage to Philip that she booked a flight to the Dominican Republic to get a quick divorce.  But why wouldn’t she have told him?  He would have gone with her and not let her go through the ordeal alone.   Not to mention the fact that that there was a revolt happening on the small island.   Tank assaults and bombings between liberals and conservatives were not uncommon in the last several months.

He went to the kitchen and got out the phone book.   Searching for an airline, he dialed the number and waited for an answer.

“I’d like to book a flight to Santo Domingo,” he said into the receiver.  “Yes, the first available flight.”

Winter's Apartment

Stormy and Brett knocked on the door of Winter and Lauren’s apartment on the beach.  Winter opened the door with a smile, slipping her purse strap over her shoulder. 

“Hey guys,” she said.  “What’s up?”

“Is Lauren here?” Brett asked.

“Yeah, she’s in the kitchen,” Winter replied.  “I’m on my way to Ethan’s.  I’ll see you guys later.”

They went inside and found Lauren sitting on the kitchen counter eating a bowl of cereal while reading through the morning paper.   She looked up and gave them an apologetic smile.

“Lauren, you were supposed to meet us at the studio!” Stormy exclaimed.  “We were worried.  What happened to you?”

She jumped off of the counter and put the milk back in the refrigerator.  “Look, I’m sorry you guys,” she said.  “I know I should have called.  I just don’t think this is going to work out.”

“What are you talking about?” Stormy asked, following her around the kitchen.   “What isn’t going to work out?  I’m offering you an amazing deal, Lauren.”

“I know,” she replied with uncertainty.  “It just seems too good to be true.  I mean, things like this don’t happen to me.  All I’ve ever been is a waitress.  A waitress in a diner, a waitress in a hotel, a cocktail waitress.  I’m just not a star.”

“But you are a star,” Brett interjected.  “And you’re amazing.  You could be the biggest star in America, Lauren.”

“Yeah, right,” she mused, leaning against the counter and shaking her head.

“What are you afraid of?” Stormy asked, stepping closer to her and looking into her brilliant blue eyes.  “Do you still think we’re trying to take advantage of you?  Because believe me-“

“No, it’s not that,” Lauren cut him off with a laugh.  “I don’t know.  I just don’t know if I want it.”

“Are you crazy?” Stormy asked.  “You don’t want to see your picture on an album sleeve?  You don’t want to be driving down the road in your car and turn on the radio and hear your voice?”

She folded her arms, thinking about what he was saying.  He did make it sound like a dream come true.  Maybe she was just being paranoid and over analyzing everything.  Maybe she should put her trust in Stormy and not worry about everything so much.  She didn’t know him that well but he seemed like a good guy.

“Come on,” he pleaded.  “All I’m asking for is a few hours to do a demo.  I guarantee you you’ll wind up having a blast.  You’ll be thanking me later.”

Lauren broke into a big smile and nodded her head in excitement.  “Okay, let’s do it.”

Winter Austen

Meanwhile, Ethan slung a bag over his shoulder and headed for the front door of his house.  Just as he stepped outside onto the porch, Winter came jogging up to him with a bubbly smile on her face.

“Hey gorgeous,” she said, kissing him on the cheek.  “Miss me?”

Ethan’s expression turned sour as he remembered he and Winter had planned to spend the day together again.   With everything that had happened with Brooke, he regrettably forgot all about Winter. 

She noticed the bag on his shoulder and frowned.  “Where are you going?”

“Listen Winter,” he began.  “I have to go away for a day or two.”

“What do you mean?  Where are you going?”

“Brooke’s in trouble,” he explained.  “I have to find her and help her. “

“Brooke?” she asked in disbelief.  The very sound of the woman’s name made her see red.   This was the second day in a row that her name came up in conversation.

“I’m worried about her,” Ethan continued.  “Please understand.  There’s nothing I can do about it.”

“You can just not go,” Winter insisted.  “What’s so difficult about that?”

“I told you, she’s in trouble.  I can’t just forget about her.”

“Let her husband worry about her!” Winter argued.  She couldn’t believe she was having to take the back seat to Brooke Taylor.  “Who made you her personal savior?”

Frustrated, Ethan ran his fingers through his dirty blond hair.  “Look, I can’t go into it right now,” he said.  “I have a plane to catch.  I promise I’ll make it up to you when I get back.”

Winter opened her mouth to reply but Ethan was already bolting down the driveway to his car.  She slapped her hands to her sides and exhaled with irritation.  She wondered what was going on with Brooke and her marriage, or if James knew that Ethan was flying off somewhere to find her.

Merteuil Industries

James took the elevator to the top floor of Merteuil Industries and walked down the hall to Kenny’s office.   He stopped by the secretary’s desk and she told him to go inside.

“Good morning,” James said as he entered the room and saw Kenny sitting at his desk playing basketball with wadded up pieces of paper and the wastebasket.  “Hard at work, I see.”

Kenny laughed and stood up to shake his friend’s hand.  “Taking a break,” he said with a laugh.  “This is a surprise.  What brings you downtown?”

James sighed and sat down across from Kenny’s desk.  “It’s business,” he said.  “I need a favor.”

“Name it.”  Kenny sat down in his chair and propped his feet up on the desk.  “I told you I’d do anything if you got Winter Austen off my back.  And you have.  I assume things are going well with her and your nephew?”

James nodded.  “Yeah, you shouldn’t have any more problems with Winter.”

Kenny looked relieved.  “Good.  I would hate for Renee to find out otherwise and have her take my post to the land commission away from me.”

“Don’t worry about that,” James insisted, somewhat preoccupied.  “Listen Kenny, there’s a problem with Angel Assassin.  The ratings board has me up against a wall and it looks like I won’t be able to release it.”

“James, I’m sorry.”

“I know you invested some money into it, and I hate to do this, but I have to ask you if you’ll extend the loan terms,” James explained.  “I can get you your money, but I need more time.”

Kenny shrugged.  “I trust you, James.  I know you’ll make good on it.  I’m just sorry that you’re in this position.  I know how hard you worked on that film.”

“Thanks Kenny, that’s a big load off of my mind.”

“Jack’s going to be a different story though,” Kenny continued.  “He was the major investor in that picture.  It took a lot of convincing on your part to get him to put up the capitol.  He invested millions of-“

“I know,” James cut him off with a look of regret in his eyes.  Jack already told me he needs his money back now.  I wanted to come to you to see if that’s the same position you were taking.”

“Not at all.  You know you can count on me, James.  I owe you my career.”

“Enough to loan me the money to pay Jack?”

Kenny sighed and shook his head.  “I’m sorry, James.  I can’t come up with that kind of money.  Renee would have my hide if I loaned out millions of dollars.  She’s looking into buying the beach club and she’s got me on a tight spending leash.”

James nodded and stood up.  “I understand.  I had to ask.   I hope you understand that.”

Kenny followed him to the door.  “You know I’d loan you the money if I could, James.  I meant what I said.  I owe you my career.”

James patted his friend on the back and feigned a smile.  “No problem.”  He opened the door and started to leave.  “I’ll catch up with you later, Kenny.”

“Sure.  Say hello to Brooke for me.”

The sound of Brooke’s name sent pains through James’s heart.  He hadn’t seen Brooke since the night before when she ran out after their explosive confrontation about Philip.  He’d be lying if he said he wasn’t worried.  The truth was he had no idea where his relationship with Brooke stood at the moment.

Miranda Blackthorne

Miranda steered her red Camaro into the parking lot of her brother Stormy’s recording studio and screeched into a parking spot.   She jumped out and jogged up to the front door of Good Times Records.   The receptionist waved her on as she made her way to the recording booth.

She entered the room in the middle of a recording session with Lauren.  Stormy and Brett were sitting in the booth listening as Lauren sang an uptempo rock tune.   She quietly went inside the booth and waited until the song was finished.

“That was amazing!” Stormy exclaimed, standing up and speaking through the intercom at Lauren.  “How did it sound to you?”

“I wasn’t happy with the reverb,” she said into her microphone.  “Do you think we can do it again?”

“Absolutely,” Stormy replied, then noticed Miranda standing behind him.  “Just relax for a few minutes.  We’ll pick it up again after that.”

She nodded and took a sip of water.

Stormy and Brett stood up and went over to Miranda.  “Hey Honey,” Brett said, kissing her on the cheek.  “What brings you down here?”

“My missing husband, that’s what,” Miranda replied, glaring through the glass booth at Lauren.  “You’ve been gone since this morning.  When are you coming home?”

He looked at Stormy and then kissed Miranda again.  “I’m sorry Babe, Stormy and I got a late start with Lauren.  We’re trying to get this demo put down so we can start getting her name out there.  She’s gonna be a big hit, Babe.”

“What’d you think, Sis?” Stormy asked, full of excitement as he stared through the booth at Lauren.  He couldn’t get enough of her.  She was amazing in every way.  Just the talent he’d been after.

“Sure, she’s great, but what about our marriage, Brett?” Miranda asked, looking into her husband’s deep brown eyes.  “You were out last night, gone all day today.  When are you going to pay attention to me?”

He pulled her into an embrace and tired soothing her frazzled nerves.  “I’m just taking an interest in your family,” he said.  “Stormy and I are buds now.  We’re in business together.  I thought that would make you happy.”

“In business together?” Miranda asked and pulled away.  She looked at her brother and shook her head in aggravation.

“Sure.  I’m Lauren’s manager.”

“Her manager?” Miranda asked.  “What-“

“Yeah.  I mean, I was the one who found her.  I discovered her and told Stormy about her.”

“What do you know about being a manager in the music business?” Miranda asked.

Brett gave her a big grin and put his hands on her shoulders.  “I’m a man of many talents,” he said.  "There isn't a job out there that I haven't done before.  Believe me, this is going to be great.  This way I’m making my own money and your father doesn’t have to accuse me of using you for your family’s money.”

“That’s got to make Dad happy, Miranda,” Stormy agreed.  “Besides, you’ve got school.  You can’t expect Brett to sit around the mansion all day watching movies in the screening room.”

She gave her brother a sarcastic smile and shrugged.  “Okay, whatever,” she said and turned back to Brett.  “Will you be home tonight?”

“Yes, and we’ll spend the whole night together,” Brett said and kissed her again.

Alex's House

That afternoon, Alex opened the door to her beach house in Malibu and smiled at the sight of Will Thomerson standing before her.

“This is a surprise,” she said.

“I came by to see if you have an answer for me yet,” Will said, making his way into the house.

“An answer?” she asked coyly.

“To my proposal.  I realize it wasn’t a conventional one.  I mean, I have to admit I was a little surprised when you told me Jordan Rydell asked you first.   But mine was no less sincere.”

Alex turned and walked across the room to fix a drink.   “I’m sure it wasn’t,” she said and turned back to him.  “But the answer is no, I don’t have an answer for you yet.”

Will examined her hand closely and took in a deep breath.  “But you’re still wearing Jordan’s ring.  I take that to mean you haven’t told him no yet.”

She looked down at the enormous rock Jordan had given her when he proposed a few days ago.  “Let’s just say I’m keeping my options open,” she said, sipping from her glass of sherry.

Will put his arms around her waist and pulled her close, staring into her mesmerizing blue eyes.  “Is it because I didn’t give you a ring?” he asked.  “Because I’ll give you a ring if that’s what you want.  I was planning on it anyway.  I just wanted to make sure that-“

“You wanted to make sure I was going to say yes?” she finished for him.

“Something like that.”

Alex looked away, still torn between Will and Jordan.  The truth was she couldn’t give Will an answer while she had the secret hanging over her head.  She knew that Ethan was his son, and hadn’t told him.  How could she agree to marry him under those circumstances? 

But on the other hand, if she did tell him the truth, their mission to destroy James Blackthorne would fade into the background.  Making her ex husband beg for mercy was the top priority on her list.  He was going to know what it felt like to lose everything.

“So what do you say?” Will asked.

Hoping to distract him, she pulled him into a kiss, wrapping her arms around him and running her fingers through his blond hair.

Blackthorne Mansion

“Ethan left town to go after your wife,” Winter said to James as they stood in the foyer of the Blackthorne mansion.

“What are you talking about?” James asked in disbelief.  “Left to go where?”

She shrugged.  “I have no idea,” she replied.  “But your plan to use me to keep them apart isn’t working.”

“What plan?” James asked, feigning innocence.

Winter rolled her eyes.  “Don’t play dumb.  I know that’s why you wanted Ethan and I to start seeing each other again.  Keeping me away from Kenny DeWitt was only half of the plan.”

Realizing it was no use in denying it, James nodded and began pacing the floor.  He racked his brain trying to think of where Brooke might have gone off to.  And the fact that Ethan went after her was upsetting.   Who knows what sorts of things they could be doing together.  True, he was angry at her last night and wasn’t sure if he even wanted to remarry, but after some time he realized she was his true love.  He had to have her in his life.  Secrets and all.

Dominican Republic

The bright afternoon sun beat down over the island of the Dominican Republic, reflecting off of the crystal clear water and the snow-white beaches.   Ethan sat in the passenger's seat of a jeep as a native drove him down a gravel road in Santo Domingo, stopping at a small building off the main road.

He handed the man some money and jumped out of the jeep, pulling his bag out and slinging it over his shoulder.   The jeep sped off and he ran up the steps to the building, entering the small Mediterranean style law office.  He looked down at the piece of paper Brooke had left on his nightstand back home, making sure it was the right place.

Looking around the waiting room, he saw no sign of Brooke, or of anyone else for that matter.   He sighed and sat down in a rattan chair by the window.  If Brooke was in the office she’d have to come out soon.  If not, maybe someone there would know where he could find her. 

Jordan Rydell

Back in the states, Jordan Rydell parked his car outside of Alex Reynold’s house in Malibu.  He ran up to the porch and knocked, then waited for an answer.  A minute later he knocked again.  He knew Alex was home because her car was parked in the open garage.

After several more attempts, he stood back and looked up at the second floor windows, wondering if she had given the maid the day off and couldn’t hear the doorbell.  He decided he would go around to the back door and see if it was unlocked.

Alex Reynolds

Upstairs, trails of clothes were strewn haphazardly down the hallway leading into the bedroom.  Alex thrashed about in her bed, pulling him deeper inside of her as they made love in the bright afternoon sunlight that cascaded into the room.  She moaned in pleasure, tightening her fingers around his strong arms and closing her eyes in ecstasy. 

He covered her with his sweat-soaked body, smothering her neck and breasts with kisses as he worked feverishly at pleasing her. 

Philip Whitacre

Jordan entered the house from the back door on the beach, calling out for her and looking all over the downstairs floor of the house.  When he didn’t find her anywhere, he made his way up to the second floor.  Pausing, he picked up a pair of men’s shorts from the floor.  A few steps further he found a pair of men’s underwear.   Frowning, he dropped the articles of clothing and looked around the staircase, wondering what was going on.

Deciding to proceed, he opened the door of her bedroom and walked inside.  Alex sat up with a start while Philip Whitacre rolled off of her, glistening with sweat and a pleased smile on his face.

Jordan stood in the doorway, wide-eyed as he caught Alex in bed with an obviously much younger man. 

"Jordan, I wasn’t expecting you,” Alex said, trying to catch her breath from the intense experience with Philip.  She knew Jordan would be upset but she couldn’t help herself. 

After Will had left a short while ago, Philip showed up unannounced.  She took one look at his hypnotizing smile and tan, defined body and knew she had to have him.

Brooke Taylor

Meanwhile, in Santo Domingo, Ethan waited on the steps outside of the law office, tossing rocks into the grassy courtyard surrounded by palm trees.  He heard the door open behind him and he rose to his feet, spinning around anxiously.  When he saw Brooke emerge from the law office building, he called her name and ran toward her.

“Ethan!” she exclaimed, looking around in wonderment.   “How did you know I was here?”

He walked up the steps and took hold of her hand.  “I was worried about you,” he said.  “You took off without saying anything.  I found a notepad with the address of this place, and your flight information written on it.”

Tossing her long blond hair over her shoulder, she started down the steps.  “Well you shouldn’t have come,” she said defensively.  “This is something I have to do myself.”

“Did you get the divorce from Philip?”  Ethan asked, grabbed her arm and pulling her back.

She nodded, waving a folded piece of paper in the air.  “Yeah.  Nothing beats a quickie divorce.”   She laughed.  “I guess I should have done this a long time ago.  Then none of this would have happened.”

“What wouldn’t have happened?” Ethan asked.

Brooke shrugged.  “I wouldn’t have messed things up with James,” she said.  “We wouldn’t have had that argument.  I wouldn’t have shown up at your door last night.”

“And we wouldn’t have made love,” Ethan added, then took a meaningful pause.  “Are you sorry it happened?"

She hesitated.  “It was a mistake, Ethan.  I love my husband.”

“But he’s not your husband.  You and James weren’t legally married.  We didn’t do anything wrong.”

She shook her head and started away from him again.  She couldn’t even look him in the eyes.  If she did, she was afraid she’d repeat the same mistake again.  The night they spent together was the most wonderful night of her life.  She’d never felt so safe and secure.

“I love James,” she said.

“But what about us?” Ethan asked, his eyes pleading as he turned her toward him again.  “Didn’t last night mean anything to you?  Because it meant a lot to me, Brooke.”

“I told you, it was a mistake,” Brooke replied, fighting back the tears.  “I’m going back to Los Angeles and I’m going to try to work things out with James.  And you should go back to Winter.  You have a good thing with her and you don’t want to mess it up.”

Ethan stood speechlessly, watching as she ran down the road away from him.

 


Next time...

Heather unleashes her wrath on Stormy for giving Lauren a record deal.  Alex returns Jordan's engagement ring.    Stormy and Lauren grow close.  James gets an offer that's too good to be true.  Sexual tension mounts in Santo Domingo.

 Read Episode 10

 

 


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