Brooke wandered around her house. She had just gotten Hope to bed after reading her a book she used to read for Bridget. A story about a turtle who was teased because he was brown and not green like the other turtles but at the end of the story realized he should be proud for who he is. It had been a gift from Beth who loved pampering her grandchildren, especially with baby books.
Suddenly Brooke felt a chill, just like before. “Ridge? Is that you again? Ridge?” she asked out. “Ridge, if it´s you, then come out because you are scaring me”. But no Ridge appeared. “Am I going insane?” Brooke wondered to herself as she realized there was no one there.
Stuck in a cold cell, Stephanie sat on a hard bed. There was absolutely nothing to do there and she was frustrated of the feeling of being powerless. She didn´t belong in that cell, she kept thinking to herself. Then she suddenly realized why she was there. Tim was dead, murdered. How would this look? Everything would come out in public and the family would once again be the object of ridicule in the tabloids. Yet another sex scandal for the Forresters. But this time adding a murder.
”What are you muttering about?” a female voice asked. Stephanie looked up to see her cell neighbor. A woman in her late 30s looking very rugged and confidant. “Hey, I asked you a question, lady!” she raised her voice when Stephanie tried to ignore her. Stephanie looked up to her again and simply answered “nothing”. The woman took a longer look at Stephanie to study her. “You´re Stephanie Forrester, aren´t you?” she asked.
”Yes, you are. I didn´t recognize you at first without those classy outfits you wear. So what are you in here for?”
”Apparently I killed someone”
”Get real! Oh man. I assumed it was something big cause you wouldn’t be here otherwise seeing that you are a celebrity. You people always escape the law. I wish I was someone so I could also… Well, I’m sure you will be out of here in no time.”
”That is what I am hoping for” Stephanie said out loudly, but it was to herself.
”So did you do it?”
”Nah, you would just hire someone to do it, right?”
”Something like that…”
”I´m Clare by the way”
”So what are you here for, Clare?”
”Arson. I caught my rat boyfriend screwing some collage hardbody in the kitchen.”
”I´m sorry” Stephanie said in loss for other words.
”That scumbag had the gall to bring his bimbo to MY house. They were humping like bunnies in front of the window for the whole neighborhood to see. So I cashed out my revenge.”
”By setting the house on fire?” Stephanie asked stunned.
”Yeah, but he deserved it. But the fire got out of hand and the neighbors house also burned down. No one died or anything.”
”Well, that´s good to hear…”
”But you know what I am takin´ ´bout, right? Your man cheated on you too.”
”I however didn´t burn down his house…”
”No, you took him back. Sure, he´s a gorgeous sexgod and all, but cheaters are all the same.”
”We love each other”
”What’s that like? Real love, I mean.”
”You’ve never experienced it?”
”Me? Ha! No, I get stuck with the low lives that offer the world but are just using me for some hay rolling until he moves on to the next. So what’s it like? How do you know?”
”It’s no fairytale if that’s what you think. We have our fair share of crises too.”
”I guess you do. But how do you know for sure that you have found the one that is perfect for you?”
”You just know it. I can’t really explain it. You just know in your heart that you want to spend the rest of your life with this one person. I know I am happy just having Eric at home every day. He can just sit watching a football match on TV and I’ll feel like I am the luckiest woman in the world because he’s with me doing that.”
”Really? I get so tired when my boyfriend sits watching TV and sips his beer and totally ignore me until he gets a hard-on. That’s when I just want to kick him out”.
”Well, that’s the difference I assume.”
”So how do you find someone like that?”
”Let me ask you this: Have all your boyfriends been alike each other?”
”Yeah, you mean I should find another type, right?”
”I think it might help. Find someone respectable. Someone with a decent job who can take care of himself. Find someone who looks presentable and not like some slob.”
”Where are they?”
”Where do you like to meet a man?”
”At a bar. I need to change that, right?”
”Maybe not. Just go to a more exclusive bar”.
”I don’t have the money”
”Who says you have to have money? Just sit by the bar and hopefully someone will come up to you and buy you a drink, if he’s interested.”
”There’s just one problem, I don’t have any fancy dress to wear to attract someone like that”
”You know what? If you get out of here, I’ll give you one from Forrester”
”Seriously? Wow, thank you! A friggin Forrester Original, whadoyou know! I could snag some rich dude with that, turn my life a 180.”
”I hope you will”
Shannon was in the middle of packing her belongings in her suitcase when someone knocked at the door. She opened up and was again surprised to see Deacon standing there.
”You came back” she said.
”Look, I don’t know who you are, but obviously you remember me.”
”It is you, isn’t it? Deacon Sharpe. I’m Shannon Davis, Kelly’s little sister.”
”Shannon? I’m surprised you remember me.”
”I wasn’t a baby back then, you know. Of course I remember the man who caused my sister to commit suicide!”
”I never meant for you to ever have to see me again. I didn’t know you were staying with the Forresters.”
”Well, I won’t be staying with them for much longer. I am just about to move out”.
”Didn’t work out?”
”Well, I don’t feel like living with a murder suspect. Mrs. Forrester will probably be released on Monday on bail”.
”Where are you going? Just so I know where not to go”.
”Deacon, you don’t have to avoid me. I don’t blame you anymore. And to answer your question – I don’t know. I don’t really have anywhere to go”.
”An apartment is empty above my bar, but I assume you don’t want to live anywhere near me either.”
”I’d rather not, unless of course it’s free rent” Shannon smiled.
”It is. It belongs to the bar.”
”Really? No, I can’t…. It would feel too awkward.
”I understand. I wouldn’t have accepted the offer either if I were you”.
”Daddy, daddy!!” Little Eric shouted as he ran over to Deacon.
”Little D, my man! Oh, you’ve grown so big” Deacon said as he lifted up his son in his arms.
”Did you just wake up, sweetie?” Shannon asked and Little Eric nodded his head.
”I can tell. You hair looks like it’s been in a big hurricane” Deacon said as he playfully fluffed his son’s hair with his hand.
”Can you stay and play? Daddy Rick gave me two action figures and they have special powers. One fights with electric lights that he throws from his hands and the other can fly and they fight each other” Little Eric said as he demonstrated with his hands. Deacon laughed out loud as the boy got all the more enthusiastic.
”That sounds fun, I´d love to. But you have to wait till we gets back to my place. You are spending the night with me. Why don´t you go change out of those pj´s and go get everything you want to bring with you. But not too much!” Deacon said as he put his son back down on the floor. Little Eric ran back to his room.
”You´re really good with him” Shannon realized.
”He´s my son, I love him more than anything.”
”This is not how I remember you”
”Little D changed me. I was nothing until he came along.”
”You are lucky to have him”
”I know I am.”
”Does your offer still stand?”
”Are you sure?”
”I can try it out for a night to see.”
”Yeah, it´s the very least I can do for you”.
”I´ll just go call Rick to tell him where we are. He is expecting you to take Eric tonight, is he not?”
”Yeah, he is”
”Okay. I am almost set packing. Just give me 10 minutes”
”Take your time”.
A group of crime technicians and other police authorities had gathered around a big round table early that Monday morning as they did once a day to discuss and consult each other about their high profile cases.
”Next case, Stephanie Forrester # BA-446109. Any news on that? Johnson.
”Forensics will have their results ready by tomorrow morning. We are in the middle of questioning witnesses and Stephanie Forrester herself. She is still claiming she’s innocent. We have taken a few main people such as the deceased friend to the station for further questioning. We’ve found fingerprints on the gun, which belongs to Stephanie Forrester. And she has gunpowder residue left on her hands. It’s been established that the deceased, Tim Cameron was hit by the bullet from 5 feet distance. Only one bullet hit him, which is consistent with the gun that was only fired once. We’re in the process of checking Stephanie Forrester’s testimony. We have no other suspects at this moment.”
”She had opportunity?”
”We are looking into that right now. I have 2 men at Forrester Creations, which is where she says she was at the time before the murder. Mrs Forresters bail hearing is scheduled for 9 am this morning.”
”Anyone has something to add?”
”Tim Cameron died between 6 and 6.30 p.m. I have the primary autopsy report here. Stephanie Forrester stated that she got back to her house at about 6.10. And it’s definitive that he died of the gunshot wound.”
”Anything else? Okay, next case then.”
“Hey dad” Ridge said as he entered Taylor’s old beach house.
”Ridge, thank you for coming” Eric replied.
”I went to the police station last night, but you had already left and it was too late for visits.”
”Why don’t you come with me to the courthouse this morning. Your mother has her bail hearing at 9.”
”Yeah, I’ll come with you. So, are you going somewhere?” Ridge said as he nodded to the suitcase laying on the sofa with Eric’s clothes in them.
”I’m moving back to the house.”
”Really?” Ridge said and let out a smile thinking his parents were reuniting.
”Yeah, Thorne can’t be left alone. And your mother may not be available at all times.”
”How is Thorne doing?”
”No change. He can life his hand and blink, but that’s about it. I talked to Helen last night and she mentioned that Thorne had tried harder than usual last night to just get out of bed. He was struggling so hard, like it was a matter of life or death. I don’t want him to push it like that, it’s not good for his recovery.”
”I should go visit him after the bail hearing. I haven’t seen him since just after the accident”
”He knows you’ve been in Japan”.
”What is it?”
”I still don´t understand why it was so important for me to go to Tokyo. Massimo made it sound as if though I was the only one who could straighten up the mess there. But I don´t know. Seemed as though the tasks I got could have been handled by an intern.”
”Sounds to me like he was giving you this assignment to get rid of you for a while”.
”Get rid of me? Why would he want to do that?”
”Take a guess” Eric said as he looked at Ridge in a way that Ridge suddenly realized everything.
”To separate me from Brooke.”
”Well it didn´t work, I´m surprised he even thought it would.”
”What are you going to do about it?”
”Not a thing. I´ll show him that it is no use”.
”He won´t give up. I know him, Ridge. I know him better than you do. Massimo Marone doesn´t give up until he gets what he wants. Trust me on that. Listen, we should get going now.”
”I´ll take the suitcase”
”Thanks, my boy” Eric smiled. Ridge looked up, surprised but thankful that Eric still saw him as his son.
Stephanie laid in her so called bed and stared up in the ceiling. How could anyone sleep there? Then she looked over at the woman she had spent the bigger part of the evening before chatting with. She was sleeping like she was home in her own bed. Stephanie assumed she had experience.
A policeofficer came walking down the empty corridor.
”It´s time for your bail hearing” he said as he locked up the door and walked inside. He took up his handcuffs and put them around Stephanie´s hands. Stephanie hated feeling like a prisoner, so humiliating. The officer then led Stephanie out of the cell and followed her out of the long corridor. Stephanie looked into a few of the cells on the way out, to see who she was locked in with. Most of them looked as thought they were right where they belonged according to Stephanie. She didn´t fit in among them. She needed to get out of there. What would she do if she was denied bail?
Shannon was sipping a cup of morning coffee by the bar of the Lair when Rick walked up behind her.
”What do you think you´re doing?” he asked.
”I worried about you for one hour last night, wondering where the hell you were, worrying that something had happened to you. Then I get a call saying you are living with Deacon. What am I supposed to feel about this?”
”I’m sorry for not calling you earlier, but I got the feeling you would be gone for a while. And I told you very clearly how I felt about staying in the guesthouse after what happened, but you wouldn’t listen to me.”
”And what about this new living arrangement of yours? Deacon Sharpe? You don´t even know him!”
”Actually, I do.”
”He dated my sister”
”Your sister? I thought you didn´t have any relatives left.”
”I don’t. My sister died years ago.”
”And now you are living with her ex. Deacon is bad news.”
”Trust me, I know Deacon very well.”
”Are you staying in his apartment?”
”No, the one next to his”.
”I still don´t like this. Why don´t you come live with me at my mom´s house?”
”Are you serious?”
”Yes, I don´t want you here with Deacon.”
”Is that the only reason, because if it is, then no thanks”.
”No, that´s not the only reason. I want you there because I like having you around me.”
”Don´t you think you should ask your mother first? I haven´t even met her yet!”
”Then I think you should come with me when I nicely ask her for permission” Rick said temptingly.
”No time like the present. Come on”.
Stephanie was led into the courtroom by the officer. He took out his keys and unlocked her from the handcuffs. Stephanie looked around the room and finally saw Eric and Ridge coming towards her. She felt very relieved to see them and smiled lightly.
”Mother, how are you doing?” Ridge asked as he gave his mother a kiss on the cheek.
”I’ve had my better days” Stephanie confessed.
”We’ll get you out of here” Eric said.
”If I get bail…”
”Don’t worry. I will make sure of it” Russell Baxter said as he stood up from a chair he had been sitting in, going through a folder of papers.
”We should go sit down” Eric told Ridge as he noticed the court was ready to start again.
”Case # BA-446109. People versus Stephanie Forrester. One count of murder in the first degree. Mr. Baxter representing Stephanie Forrester. Mr. Palmer representing people. Mr. Palmer, the word is yours” the judge said as he looked towards the tall and gray-haired district attorney that would lead the prosecution side. He was a very well known attorney with a ruthless reputation. He won almost all his cases and looked very sure of himself. But he didn’t scare Russell Baxter. This was a challenge for him, and there was nothing he loved more than a good challenge.
”The prosecution feels that the crime is in such grave form that we feel as thought the defendant should be kept in amend. We have opportunity, motive and means. Stephanie Forrester was seen by the victim seconds after the gunshot with no one else around. She has no alibi and the gun belongs to her. We found fingerprints belonging to her on the gun. There is no doubt she committed the crime” Walter Palmer told the court. Stephanie felt like protesting and it was hard keeping quiet. But she handled it.
”Your honor, Stephanie Forrester is a respected pillar of the community. If she is guilty or not should be decided in the trial. We feel as though a bail of 500.000 Dollars is reasonable.”
”Thank you” the judge said and took a short brake to think things over. He felt the pressure from the reporters sitting in the courtroom with their notebooks and recorders ready. He then made his decision.
”The bail is set for 2 million Dollars cash or bond pledge the collateral” he said and hammered on it.
Russell and Stephanie turned to Ridge and Eric.
”We’ll have you out before the day is over” Eric said.
”Isn’t 2 million a bit much?” Ridge asked.
”The bail is often set by the estimated fortune of the defendant.”
”I can´t wait to get out of here” Stephanie said.
”You have to go back to the cell until the bail is delivered.”
”I know. Eric, please just hurry, okay?”
”I´m on my way” he said as he and Ridge left.
”Mrs. Forrester, what do you say about the charges against you?” a reporter asked as she walked closer to them.
”I have no comments” Stephanie said as the officer walked up to her and walked her out the backdoor. He waited to put on the handcuffs until they were out of sight from the reporters with their cameras, which Stephanie was very grateful for. She even thanked him.
Rick and Shannon entered Brooke’s office at Forrester Creations. Brooke looked up and smiled at Rick.
”Hey honey” she said and got up from her chair and hugged him.
”Hi mom. I want you to meet Shannon Davis”.
”Oh, yeah, Rick mentioned you. Hi, Brooke Logan” she said and reached out her hand. Shannon put her hand in Brooke’s and they shook hands. Shannon felt a little nervous to meet her boyfriend’s mother for the first time, and it wasn’t just any mother. This was Brooke Logan, the scandalous CEO mostly known for her sexlife than for her professional life.”
”Hi”, Shannon simply said.
”So what brings you by here?” Brooke asked Rick.
”Shannon needs a place to live and I have offered her to move in with us, I hope that is okay with you”.
Brooke hesitated for a while but realized she couldn’t turn Rick down. “Of course it is” she said smilingly. Shannon could feel the hesitation in Brooke very clearly even if Rick couldn’t. She smiled at Brooke a little uneasy.
”You’re moving in today?”
”That is the plan” Rick said.
”Then I will order in from Café Russe for the 5 of us”.
”5?” Rick asked surprised.
”You, Shannon, Hope, Little Eric and myself.”
”Well, actually Deacon has Eric until tomorrow. So it´s just 4.”
”Okay. Oh, yeah, Ridge just called. Stephanie is being released on bail today. The family is having a little get-together at the house. Do you want to be there, cause we can always postpone the dinner for tomorrow”.
Rick looked over at Shannon who gave him a stern no look.
”No, I think we’ll just hang out with you and Hope. Besides, Shannon has to pack and unpack tonight, so we have our hands full.”
”Okay then. I’ll make the order for 7 then”.
”Yeah. Thanks mom” Rick said and he left with Shannon. Brooke watched them leave. She seemed a little concerned as she turned around to go back to her desk. The last thing she wanted was to see Rick with someone like Amber again and to see her precious son get hurt. The vibes she got from Shannon felt unsure to her.
Nick Payne was sitting on his boat trying to fix a broken wire when he heard something up on the deck. He took the few steps up to see who had come to visit him.
”Hi Nick” a woman’s voice said.
”Christina? What the hell are you doing here?”
”What kind of way is that to greet your wife?”
”You are not my wife anymore”.
”I have a paper that says otherwise…”
”What are you doing here?”
”I came to see you, of course. How are you?”
”I was doing fine until you appeared again. How’s your boyfriend?”
”Julian? I don’t know. Haven’t seen him in a year”.
”How sad” Nick said sarcastically.
”Aren’t you going to welcome me back?”
”Welcome back. So, when are you leaving again?”
”Not yet in a while. I was thinking we could catch up with each other. We are married after all.”
”Like that ever mattered to you.”
”Of course it does, Captain”
”Why did you come back, really?”
”I missed you. It’s true. I would have come back sooner, but I didn’t think it was appropriate.”
”It’s not appropriate now either. ”Do you have a girlfriend?”
”Then what’s so inappropriate about it?”
”You left me! No warning, no nothing. You took off with your boyfriend!”
”It was wrong and selfish, I know that. But I am here now. We’re both available… What do you say about rekindle some of our magic?”
”You came here for sex?” Nick asked stunned.
”Not just sex. I came here to spend some time with my husband.”
”You are something out of this world, Christina”
”Is that a no?”
”Come here” Nick said as he grabbed her arm and pulled her towards him. Christina looked seductively into his eyes with intense looks. Nick gently caressed her hair as she enjoyed every movement of his hand. He gently pushed back her hair and kissed her neck, moving up and down and up to her ear again. Christina was unable to open her eyes as she explored the inside of his arms again. Nick slowly moved his lips to her chin and up to her lips, which he met in an intense lock.
”Make love to me, Captain” she whispered and Nick lifted her up in his arms, holding her body firmly as he carried her inside. His greasy hands colored her dress black as he steadily caressed her curves. Christina felt his warm skin underneath his sweater before pulling it off. Nick lifted her up and she wrapped her legs around his waste as he laid her down on the bed behind her.
”Be gentle to me…” Christina smiled.
”Shut up” Nick replied and unzipped her dress.
Brooke was on her way home, stuck in traffic in the middle of the day. The radio was playing “Suspicious minds” by Elvis, making Brooke remember a time when her family made a trip to San Diego when she was 14 years old. Her mother had brought with them tape recorder since they didn’t have one built into their car. Brooke’s phone started ringing just as the traffic jam started moving.
”Hello?” she answered.
”Hey Logan, it’s me. Where are you?”
”In my car, on my way home”.
”I was just looking for you here at the office.”
”Can you do me a favor while you’re there? Could you take a folder marked ‘order copies’ and fax over the orders for this year’s fall showing to Forrester International in Paris?”
”Sure, where is it?”
o “Somewhere at my desk. It’s a beige folder”.
”Consider it done. By the way, would you like to come with me as my date tonight for the family get-together?”
”No, I don’t think that would be such a good idea. I’m sure your mother wouldn’t enjoy having me there. Besides, I already have dinner plans tonight, with Rick and his new girlfriend.”
”Okay then. I´ll see you tomorrow”.
Ridge hung up the phone in Brooke’s office and sat down in her chair. He couldn’t find the beige folder so he opened the top desk drawer.
”What is this?” he asked as he lifted up a captain’s hat. “Why would Brooke have this?”
”You’re moving out?” Deacon asked as Shannon had told him her plans.
”Rick asked me to move in with him”.
”At Brooke’s house”.
”It sounds like you know Brooke…”
”Yeah, you can say that.”
”How?” Shannon asked curiously.
”I’m the father of Hope”.
”You’re kidding!” she was completely stunned. “Weren’t you married to her daughter?!”
”Sick is more like it.”
”Good luck with your new living arrangements. I think I should give you a little warning before you move in. Brooke is very suspicious of her kids´ partners. So if you have any secrets, come forward with them now rather than wait for them to come out later.”
”I don’t have any secrets”.
”Of course you have. We all have our secrets. Minor or major, doesn’t matter. If you make one mistake in that family, you’re out.”
”So you call your affair with Brooke a ‘minor mistake’?”
”No, that was a major mistake. But remember what I said, okay. But the best advice I can ever give you is to befriend Queen Stephanie. Look at Amber and Taylor. Stephanie is THE person you´re gonna need on your side. Whatever you do, don´t cross her, or you´ll be out of the family just like that” Deacon said as he snapped his fingers.
”Then I am screwed already.”
”She hates you already?”
”No, but I did move out because I believe she killed the pool guy. I am not so sure she will be my best friend after that!”
”Now, that was a major mistake”.
”Home, sweet home”, Stephanie said to herself as she walked inside the mansion.
”I have a surprise for you” Eric said as he closed the front door.
”You found proof that will clear me so I don´t have to go back to that awful place?” Stephanie asked hopeful.
”Not yet. Look behind you”.
”Felicia!” Stephanie said stunned as she saw her daughter come out from Thorne´s room.
”Hello mother” Felicia said as she walked over to her parents.
”When did you get here?”
”An hour ago. Dad called to tell what happened and asked if I could come back.”
”Well, we couldn´t have a family get-together without all our children present, could we?” Eric said as he smiled at Felicia.
”How long are you staying?” Stephanie asked.
”Until you get sick of having me around” Felicia joked.
”Forever then. Good!” Stephanie smiled. “How is Thorne doing?”
”I´m not sure. It is so hard seeing him like that. I feel awful for saying it, but I can hardly look at him. It breaks my heart.”
”It´s hard for all of us. But I think it helps him to have his family around him. I invited Darla too” Eric said.
”How is she doing? I heard something about her not doing very well”
”She´s doing better now. She just needs to rest more and relax. I think it would help her and the baby a lot if we really made her feel like family tonight.”
”Of course” Felicia said. “I´ll go take a shower now. I am staying in my old room, if that is okay with you?”
”Sure, it´s your room” Stephanie said before Felicia headed upstairs.
”I am staying at the guestroom” Eric informed Stephanie.
”I want to help out with Thorne. I don’t think he should be left alone again.”
”Thank you” Stephanie said.
”Don’t mention it. Now, would you like to tell me what the hell happened here the other night?”
”Eric, please. Can’t we take that later? I just got back home”.
”Fine. You want to lay down before dinner? You look like you could use a rest. You didn´t get any sleep in custody, did you?”
”None at all”.
”It was that awful?”
”Yes. But at least I had company…”
”Yes. A woman who burned down her own house. A real psychopath I thought at first, but she was actually quite… interesting.”
Brooke was still in her car on her way home when she suddenly realized the breaks to her car didn’t take as they normally would. She pushed a little harder, but nothing happened. Brooke got really scared. She pushed and pushed, but the breaks were out of order. She quickly changed to the outer file of the highway. She followed the road, feeling a panic washing over her. She turned off the highway to a smaller road and again pushed down the breaks to the floor of her car, but the car wouldn’t stop. Brooke quickly free geared. There were cars behind her, so she steered her car off the road and on to the grass beside it and pulled up the hand break stick. The car squealed before it finally stopped. Brooke took several quick breaths and collapsed in tears over the steering wheel. “Thank God” she repeated time and time again.