Eric hurried down the hall at the hospital. He had just gotten the phone call from Stephanie telling him of Thorne’s attack. At the information desk, he stopped a nurse from walking away.
”Thorne Forrester, how is he?” Eric asked. The nurse looked through a paper she carried in her pocket.
”He’s in room 163” she told him.
”How is he?”
”I can’t answer you that. You have to talk to his doctor or the head nurse”.
Eric backed away to start look for room 163. He walked right inside and saw Stephanie sitting by Thorne’s bedside. Eric seemed uncomfortable seeing her there, which Stephanie picked up.
”I’ll wait outside” she told him and left. Eric didn’t even look at her while she passed him. Before she was out the door, he asked her to wait. Stephanie turned around immediately.
”What happened?” Eric asked without facing her.
”He had a seizure. He started cramping before he lost consciousness. The doctors took some tests but can’t do anything before they get the results back.”
Eric was silent. Stephanie put her hand on his shoulder for comfort. She felt relieved as he put his hand over hers. Then he took away her hand and turned his back to her. Stephanie realized he was just waiting for her to leave the room, so she did.
“I haven’t been here in a long time” Brooke said as she sat down by the table at Mannequin’s.
”Then it was about time” Edmund replied.
”What will you have?”
”The filet mignon looks good”
”Then we will have 2 filet mignon. And I will have ice-water to that” Brooke told the waitress.
”Make that 2 ice-waters” Edmund said. The waitress took their menus and left with their order.
”Hard to believe it’s been 22 years since I last saw you” Brooke said.
”Feels like yesterday, doesn’t it?”
”Yes, it does. Although you look much better these days”, Brooke smiled.
”Let me return that compliment. You, Brooke, you look amazing.”
”Thank you” she replied appreciative.
”What ever happened with that Dave guy?”
”We broke up after collage. When I met Ridge Forrester”.
”The love of your life?”
”So far, yes, he has been. What about you?”
”Well, I’m divorced. The marriage was a big mistake from day 1. We got married because she was pregnant, which is not a good reason to get married. Those marriages never last long. You never stand a chance without love. I’ve come to that insight, you see” he joked.
”You should never stay in a marriage that lacks love, that I have learned myself”.
”You’ve done it?”
”Yes, I have. Only last year, I married a man I didn’t love. And that lasted for about 2 months”.
”There you go. My marriage to Janet was over before it started. We both had affairs, but were determined to stay together because it was the best for the kids”.
”So what finally drove you to divorce?”
”The kids actually. One evening after a big fight, they stormed into the living room, I guess they had overheard everything, and just screamed out to us ‘if you hate each other so much, then get a divorce’”.
”Kids sense these things. You can’t try pretending everything’s okay. They see right through you”.
”I know what you mean. My kids can always tell when something is bothering me.”
Rick again returned to the Forrester guesthouse where Shannon was living. He knocked at the door and Shannon shouted out to come in. When Rick opened the door, he saw Shannon on the couth with her cover wrapped around her. She had pushed the TV closer.
”What are you watching?”
”Will & Grace” she responded, not taking her eyes of the screen. “Come here, sit with me” she asked of him and Rick did what she requested. Shannon put some of her cover on Rick as she snuggled up to him. Rick put his arm around her and started watching the show. He had never seen the sit-com before, he wasn’t so fond of them, but he gave it a shot for her sake.
Bridget and CJ closed down Insomnia for the evening. The last customer had left 5 minutes earlier. Bridget started putting up the chairs on the tables as CJ counted the money. When CJ was done, he started cleaning the floor. Bridget studied him as he went front and back with the mop. CJ felt he was being watched and looked up at her. She smiled at him lovingly and then turned her head the other way. CJ smiled and looked down to the floor. He decided it was clean enough and put the mop away.
”How about a dance?” CJ asked Bridget as he put on the stereo. Bridget went over to him without a word and they started slow dancing to the melodious song CJ had picked.
They followed each other’s moves as they kept eye contact. CJ got closer to her and hugged her while still swaying to the music. Bridget hugged him back as she enjoyed his hands running up and down her back. They both felt the passion come over them and couldn’t resist anymore. They melted into a kiss. CJ caressed her hair as their tongues played with each other. Bridget caressed his back under his sweater. It felt good. They ended the kiss at the same time and just stared at each other. Bridget could feel her heart skipping a few beats before CJ pulled her T-shirt off. CJ wasn’t sure how Bridget felt about his action before he saw her enjoying it. CJ´s brown eyes followed her blue before they started kissing again. This time, more passionate and needing. They fell back on the counter and made love for the first time.
Thorne’s doctor arrived with 2 nurses for the evening rounds. Stephanie followed them in. She went to stand by Eric as they checked on Thorne. The doctor filled something in on a journal and went through some test results that had come in earlier.
”How is he?” Stephanie asked.
”He’s doing fine for now. I saw nothing on the tests we ran.”
”What caused the attack?”
”My guess would be overdoing his training. He cramped up. I expect him to wake up within the next couple of hours. There’s really nothing to worry about – this time. Just make sure he follows the physical therapist’s order the next time.”
”So you won’t be doing anything?”
”There’s nothing I can do” the doctor said and they left.
”Well, I should get going. Visiting hours are over soon” Eric said, ready to leave.
”No, wait Eric. We need to talk about what happened.”
”I don’t think we have anything to discuss, Stephanie” he said coldly.
”You have every reason to be upset, but then again, you haven’t.”
”What?” Eric asked angry. “How do you figure that?”
”You moved out. I asked for another chance. You refused to give me that.”
”And that gives you the right to have an affair. We are still married in case you didn’t know”.
”I know that. And it doesn’t give me the right. But you are not completely blameless either.”
”Tell me how this is my fault, please. I am very interested in hearing this” Eric said.
”You’re no stranger to cheating exactly.”
”That’s history, please don’t get so desperate to bring that up”.
”Why not? You slept with Brooke while married to me and had two kids with her. My worst enemy. Well, now it turns out Ridge is not yours. He’s Massimo’s – your worst enemy. I call that even.”
”I thought we were talking about your affair with that… that pool boy!” Eric said angered.
”But this whole thing comes down to you not accepting Massimo being Ridge’s father. You can’t forgive me for that”.
”You lied to me”
”I am sick of telling you how sorry I am. For the last time, I am sorry I lied to you when I found out the truth. I thought I was doing what I had to. I never wanted to hurt anyone, least of all you. I knew how you would react and I was right. But now when I think about it, I have nothing to be sorry for. Eric, I have forgiven you for so much and you just can’t do the same for me. I’ve finally gotten my answer now, haven’t I?”
Eric glared angrily back at her but kept silent.
Rick and Shannon were getting cozy under the cover. Rick had taken off his sweater even. They were now watching an old movie starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Shannon loved old movies. Rick completely forgot about Amber – until Shannon brought it up.
”So what’s the deal with you and Amber?” she asked. Rick was caught off guard.
”What do you mean?”
”Are you still married?”
”Technically yes, I filed the divorce papers today.”
”It’s completely over?”
”Yes. She left town in a huff today”.
”She’s fine with it being over?”
”I think so, yeah. Why?”
”No reason” Shannon said as she smiled embarrassed. Rick smiled back at her. He knew what she was thinking. He was thinking the same. Rick pretended to straighten the cover out as he discreetly moved closer to Shannon. She realized what he was doing and liked it. The movie came back on after the commercial, so Shannon turned up the volume with the remote-control and then put it back on the table by the couch, while leaning over Rick. She stayed in that position and crawled together in his arms. They continued watching the movie.
Brooke and Edmund walked into Brooke’s house. Brooke had offered him some coffee and he had accepted it. Martha heard her boss arrive and walked downstairs.
”Hope and Eric are asleep” she informed Brooke.
”Is Rick home?”
”No, he hasn’t been home all day”.
”Thank you, Martha. You can go home now”.
”Yes, Ms Logan” Martha said and left them alone.
”Hope and Eric, are those your children?”
”Hope is. Eric is my grandson.”
”Your grandson?” Edmund asked stunned.
”Yes, hard to imagine, huh? I’m a grandmother” Brooke joked.
”You certainly don’t look like one”
”Thank you” Brooke smiled. “I’ll go put on the coffee”
Brooke went into the kitchen while Edmund walked around in the living room. He looked at a few framed pictures. There was one of Brooke, Bridget and Rick. But the one he picked up was one of Brooke and Ridge. “Ridge Forrester” he said to himself. Brooke came back and Edmund quickly put the picture back where it had been.
”The coffee should be ready in a few minutes” she said.
”So I am to blame for you hopping into bed with the pool boy?” Eric angrily sneered.
”His name is Tim”
”I don’t care. I am not to blame”.
”I didn’t mean that. I take full responsibility for what I did. But I don’t feel like I have to apologize to you indefinitely. That’s not fair.”
”Are we talking fairness here? How fair was it for you to decide that I should never know I wasn’t Ridge’s father? Huh?”
”And how fair is it that I forgave you for everything you ever did to me while you can’t forgive one thing I do wrong? You seem to forgive everyone else around you for everything, but yet you can’t forgive me, your wife!”
”So I should just forgive you for sleeping with the pool boy. Saying ‘that’s okay’ because I too have been unfaithful? Is that what you want?”
Stephanie was just about to open her mouth again when she quickly glanced over at Thorne in the hospital bed. His eyes were opened.
”Thorne?” Stephanie asked and quickly moved over to the bed. Eric too leaned over to his son. Thorne just looked at them.
”Are you okay?” Eric asked. Thorne blinked twice for yes. This pleased Eric and Stephanie, but they still realized Thorne had heard them argue. They felt ashamed of that.
”Eric, why don’t you go get a nurse?” Stephanie suggested. He left without a word.
”I’m sorry you had to hear that, honey” Stephanie told Thorne.
Brooke and Edmund sat on the sofa, talking and drinking their coffee. Then the phone rang. Brooke answered to Rick.
”Hi honey, where are you?” Brooke wondered.
”I’m over at the guesthouse with Shannon”.
”I figured that”…
”I just wanted to let you know I’ll be staying here tonight.”
”Oh… Are you two serious?”
”I’m not going to answer that question yet”.
”I see. Well, have a good time. Eric’s asleep already”.
”Then I’ll just see him tomorrow morning then. Goodnight, mom”.
”Goodnight honey”. They hung up and Brooke walked back to Edmund.
”He’s staying out tonight?”
”How did you know?”
”Boys that age usually got one thing on their minds”
”I don’t think I want to know about that…” Brooke laughed.
”You know, men my age also got that one thing on their minds…”
”Edmund…” Brooke tried to stop him.
“You know you want to...” he said as he kissed her neck. Brooke closed her eyes, but something didn’t feel right. This wasn’t what she had thought it would be like.
”Wait” she whispered. But he didn’t stop. Brooke tried again to stop him, but he grabbed hold of her and kissed her lips. Brooke gave in for a few seconds, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that it didn’t feel right.
”I can’t” she said. But Edmund wouldn’t stop. He forced her down on the sofa. Brooke tried fighting him back, but he was too strong.
”Stop it!” she practically screamed out. He stopped kissing her and looked down at her. His eyes had changed. He wasn’t the kind man she had seen before. Brooke got scared.
”Please leave” she said.
”I can’t do that” he said.
”This doesn’t feel right” Brooke said.
”Maybe I’m doing it wrong?” he suggested and started kissing her again, in a different way. Brooke tried to break free, but his hold on her was too strong.
”Please, Edmund. Stop!” Brooke cried out while trying to get loose. Edmund wrestled her down to the floor. Brooke landed on her stomach and tried to escape. He grabbed hold of her arm and twisted it behind her back.
”Just relax, I won’t hurt you if you stop fighting me” Edmund told her. But Brooke knew now she had to get away from him. She pretended to stop fighting against him and let him let loose of his grip. When he let go of her for a second, she kicked him off of her and tried running for something she could use as a weapon. But he was soon after her and once again wrestled her down to the floor. Brooke cried as she used everything she got to break free. Edmund was too strong for her. He tore her dress and held her arms apart to the floor. He sat down on her, with her arms under his legs. She couldn’t move. Edmund started removing his pants.
Then the doorbell rang. Brooke realized this was her chance and screamed out for help. Edmund quickly covered her mouth with his hand. The person behind the door banged on it, but it was locked. Brooke didn’t remember locking it and realized Edmund had planned on this. She tried getting out a scream, but it was to low. The banging on the door stopped.
Brooke lost hope again. Edmund pulled off Brooke’s dress while fighting her for it. Brooke closed her eyes because she didn’t want to see him. Suddenly he fell onto her. Brooke realized this was it.
”Brooke?” a man’s voice asked out. Brooke immediately recognized the voice and opened her eyes. She found Edmund knocked out. She had been saved.
”The end” Rick commented as the credits started rolling.
”How romantic” Shannon smiled with a warm smile. They looked at each other for a few seconds.
”Did you say good-night to Eric?”
”No, mom said he was asleep already. I guess it was a long day for him. I wonder what Amber told him before she left him…”
”I can’t believe she just left like that. I thought she loved that child.”
”She does. That’s what’s not making sense here. She loves Eric more than anything and wouldn’t leave him for anything. Something must have happened.”
”What do you suppose that is?”
”I don’t know. But I get the feeling she got herself in some trouble. Like always. Maybe this time it was something major? I would like to know what, but she wouldn’t tell me anything.”
”Do you think she’ll be back?”
”She said she would be, but the way she left… I don’t know. She said she’d stay in contact with me. I believe she will.”
”Then maybe she’ll tell you why she left?”
”Maybe. But I still don’t like this. What am I supposed to tell Eric? Why he may not see his mother for a long time?”
”I don’t think you should tell him the whole story until you know yourself. Just tell him Amber had to leave town for awhile and that she loves him.”
”You’re right. I just with I could count on Amber.”
”Hey, don’t think about it until you hear from her. Maybe there’s a perfectly good reason why she left. Not that I can think of one, but there might be. She might even be back in a few days?”
”True. Enough thinking about Amber. How about you? How are you holding up?”
”I´m better. I never thought I’d last this long. I have you to thank for everything.”
”It was nothing. You are worth it.”
”Oh, I am?” Shannon smiled.
”Definitely” Rick said seriously as he leaned his face closer to Shannon’s. She smiled at him, the smile that made Rick’s heart melt. That was the only way he could describe the feeling he had when he saw her smile. He knew he was in love. He had been since the first time he laid eyes on the blonde young woman. She might not be a knockout beauty, but her warm and light-hearted personality shined through and made her the beautiful woman he saw before him. Rick found her to be so sexy when she looked at him. He couldn’t resist anymore. He kissed her. Shannon didn’t hesitate. She knew this felt right. They crawled together under the cover and kissed passionately.
”Wow….” Bridget said as she sat up. “I’ve never done anything like that before”.
”That was… amazing” CJ confessed as he sat up next to Bridget. She smiled at him, not really being able to look him in the eyes. She had never had passionate sex like that – especially behind a counter at a coffee house. She was surprised with herself. She never realized she had that in her.
”I don’t know what to say” she confessed.
”You don’t have to say anything. We were just two friends who needed each other”.
”I don’t think you will ever be just my good friend after this” Bridget realized.
”No, I guess not”.
”How do you feel now? I mean, about us?”
”How do I feel? Well, I wouldn’t mind doing that again…”
”Do you wanna try? I mean, having a relationship?”
”Do you think it could work?”
”I don’t know. It could…”
”Maybe it could… Can you imagine what my dad would say?” Bridget laughed.
”A Spectra and a Forrester again. We would be the new Thorne and Macy” CJ laughed.
”We would combine the two families again”.
”I think my mother would support us.”
”Well, she never really said it, but I think she want to be part of your family.”
”I think that’s sweet”.
”Your parents wouldn’t agree.”
”Oh, I think they would. And all they want for me is happiness. With anyone but Deacon Sharpe that is…” Bridget laughed.
”Then maybe I’ll stand a good chance?”
”I can’t thank you enough, Nick” Brooke said for the 5th time.
”I’m just glad I came by. They creep was going to rape you!”
”I almost got raped once before. Years ago.”
”But you weren’t?”
”No, I got away. Thank God…”
”You want me to stay here tonight?”
”You don’t have to”.
”It’s no problem. You shouldn’t be alone.”
”The kids are asleep upstairs”.
”But they can’t protect you”.
”I don’t think he will be coming back. But I would really like you to stay. Just so I can feel safe”.
”Then I will”.
”Thank you, Nick. I don’t know what I would have done without you”.
”Let’s just be glad we won’t have to find out about that. Should I call the police for you?”
”I don’t know…”
”Are you just gonna let him get away?”
”Well, I wasn’t exactly innocent. I did accept him in…”
”What? You can’t be serious. This guy had no right to force himself on you because you invited him in.”
”But I think I gave him the wrong signals. I told him I could be interested. He knew I were at one time.”
”I can’t believe this. Don’t try justifying his actions like women whose men beat them up do. You didn’t do anything wrong! What if this guy goes out and does this again. And succeeds?”
”I know, I know! But I just can’t. I cared a lot for him in high school. The sweet guy I knew then could never have done anything like this”.
”I’ll tell you what. Sleep on this and tomorrow make your decision. You have his name, don’t you?”
”Good. Just think about it, Brooke. You can’t let him get away. He’ll do this again to someone else.”
Stephanie and Eric left Thorne’s room. Visiting hours were over for the day a long time ago. The doctor had been by again as Thorne had woken up and he was releasing Thorne the next day. There had been no damages.
”Thank God it wasn’t anything serious” Eric said. He looked at Stephanie and saw her disappointment. “Aren’t you relieved?”
”Of course I am. It’s just that I had hopes he would wake up and be himself again. But he’s not. He’s like a vegetable lying there. It breaks my heart seeing the frustration and fear in his eyes. Eric, what if he stays like this forever?”
”We don’t know that. We have to stay optimistic. For everybody’s sake, including Thorne’s. We can’t give up on him”.
”I have no intentions of doing that. I am just being realistic here”.
”And I’m not?” Eric raised his voice.
”You’re making it sound as though he had some minor attitude adjustment to make! You have no idea what it takes to come back from being paralyzed. He can’t even talk!”
”He will fight it. He’s a Forrester. Or is he?”
”Don’t be ridiculous!”
“I used to think Ridge not being my son was ridiculous and look where that got me!”
”Stop victimizing yourself”.
”And you can…” Eric shouted back, but was interrupted by an angry nurse.
”This is a hospital! Please, take your argument elsewhere!” she hissed at them.
Stephanie looked from the nurse to Eric. She quickly shook her head and left.
”You two are not welcomed here again if you cause another scene like that, is that clear?” the nurse asked Eric.
”Yes, I’m sorry” Eric said. The nurse left him standing in the corridor.
The chief editor of “The Insider”, one of many Hollywood gossip magazines was closing his workday for the evening. As he was about to shut off his computer, his secretary, a blonde woman dressed in a short skirt and with way too much eye-shadow, walked inside.
”You just got a letter. No return address”.
”Let me see” he said and took the letter from the secretary. He was used on getting anonymous letters about celebrities. He opened the letter. It was written on a computer, which probably meant the sender didn’t want to be traced. He read the letter through and raised his eyebrows. Ayleen, a lover of good gossip was always interested in the latest. Her friends always wanted the scoops before it was printed and Ayleen could very often provide the information for them.
”What does it say?” she asked intrigued. The man before her cleared his throat and started reading the note.
”I spy… Stephanie Forrester (of Forrester Creations) with young pool boy - having hot love affair. Husband raging mad. It´s signed with a letter. I can´t really see which. Looks like a B”.
”Looks like an L to me.”
”Or an F? Find out the identity of this pool boy at the Forrester mansion. We should be able to put it in the outgoing number. Maybe we’ll be first out with this?”
”Don’t you think every gossip magazine has gotten one of those? The person obviously wants this to come out in public.”
”We´ll see within the week. Call down to the pressing. Tell them to hold it. I think we can take out the William H Macy article on page 4 and move it to page 31. And tell in Amanda to come in here.”
”I´m on it” Ayleen said and left the office.