Part 25:

Eric and Ridge had arrived back to the mansion and informed the others that Thorne indeed knew something about the murder, and theyīd probably find out what tomorrow. There was a knock at the door and Eric went to open. Stephanieīs lawyer Russell Baxter entered.
"Hello everyone" he greeted.
"Do you have any news?" Ridge asked.
"Yes, but I fear you wonīt like them".
"How could this possibly get any worse?" Felicia asked.
"I have been talking to Stephanie and she has made a few decisions".
"Concerning what?" Kristen asked.
"All of you".
"Let me guess. She wants you to tell us to move on with our lives without her, because she doesnīt want to be a burden to us?" Eric asked.
"Something like that, yes".
"Why can she never realize that her problems are our problems too?"
"Our mother thinks our problems are hers, but her problems are only hers" Ridge explained to Russell.
"I have realized that" Russell replied.
"If that was it, then you are free to leave" Eric said.
"I am afraid my visit here will be longer. Stephanie had a few more requests" Russell said and took his briefcase with him to the sofa, sat down and opened his briefcase.
"What did she want?" Eric asked.
"I think this will explain" Russell said and handed over to Eric a document.
Eric took the document and started reading.
"What is it dad?" Ridge asked.
"Sheīs filing for divorce" Eric said mildly enthusiasticly.
"What?" Kristen asked in disbelief.
Eric turned to Russell for an explanation.
"She doesnīt see a point of staying married anymore. She wants you to move on".
"I am not signing this. Not until I talk to her" Eric said.
"Thatīs okay. I am not here to pressure you to sign anything".
"And this one is also for you" Russell said and handed over another document for Eric.
Eric read it through quickly while the others were waiting.
"Sheīs giving me controlling rights for her stocks in Forrester until the divorce goes through, and then I will be given all her stocks."
"And sheīs signing over this property including the house and the Big Bear cabin on you as well, in the divorce settlement" Russell filled in.
Eric shook his head. The rest of the family started to realize the seriousness of the verdict more and more. Stephanie was giving up her life. It was like she was giving away her things in a last will of testiment.
Russell turned to face Kristen and Felicia.
"She also wants to divide her jewlery between the two of you. I have a list here she wrote down on how to distribute her other belongings. Most of it she wants to go to charity".
"Weīre not touching her things" Kristen said firmly.
"I can only tell you that this is what she wanted" Russell said.
No one felt like accepting his words, so Russell decided to leave them alone for now. He said good-bye and left. Felicia decided to follow him to his car and took off.
"Russell, wait up!" she said.
"What is it?" he asked.
"Canīt you talk to mother, see if she can change her mind?"
"Miss Forrester..."
"Call me Felicia"
"Felicia, your mother has made up your mind"
"I know she thinks so. But she canīt do this to us. Please, talk to her. She might listen to you, cause I know she wonīt listen to us. Please, for me...".
"How can I say no to that?" he laughed.
"Thank you" Felicia said and kissed him quickly on his cheek before she headed back inside. Russell watched her leave and smiled before he got into his car.
"Where did you go?" Ridge asked as Felicia returned.
"I talked Russell into talking to mom for us".
"I donīt know how much good that will do" Ridge said.
"I will talk to her myself" Eric said determinded.

Brooke arrived at Forrester Creations and decided to go straight to the supply-room at the executive floor to see if she could find any empty boxes she could use. Her mind was set up to clear out her personal things out of her office that evening. Before she would get hazzled by her former co-workers for selling her stocks before informing them of her plans. She was going to set up a meeting in the morning for all the staff to introduce them to their new boss. She looked around and found a good box she could use. It was a few things in it, so she moved them and put them on a shelf. She suddenly heard something coming from the hall. Sounded like a fight. Was anyone still at the office?
"Noooo!!!" a womanīs voice screamed. Brooke thought it sounded like Megan. She got worried and peaked out from the supply-room when suddenly she saw Megan running towards the corner, being on her way Brookeīs way. But she was stopped in her tracks as three quick gunshots went off. Brooke gasped and as a reflex covered her mouth with one of her hands. Megan fell to the floor, hitting her head to the wall before she hit the ground. Brooke was paralyzed. She quickly closed the door to the supply-room in fear of being the next victim. Her breath was fast, her heart was pounding fast. Her body was tense and shaking slightly. She listened for footsteps, but she couldnīt hear anything. It was dead silent. She decided to go out and check on Megan. Why had she left her cellphone in her car? She opened the door and noticed that the hallway was empty. Megan was laying still on the floor. No movement. Brooke feared the worst. She took a few quick steps to the corner of the hallway, and took a deep breath before she peaked if anyone was in the other corridor. She saw a person wearing a dark coat, with a hood, exiting the executive corridor. Brooke knew it was a bad idea to follow the person and concentrated on Megan. She rushed over and turned Megan over and was horrified to see the feared look in Meganīs opened motionless eyes. Brooke immidiately placed two fingers on Meganīs neck, checking for a pulse. Nothing. Brooke started performing CPR with compressions and mouth-to-mouth. But it wouldnīt work. Megan was dead.

Stephanie was laying on her bed. The lights had gone out for the evening. It was time to fall asleep. But how could she fall asleep? She wasnīt the least bit tired. The bed was uncomfortable, the pillow didnīt smell welcoming and it was chilly. All around her was women who she didnīt know, some of them very intimidating, although it took a lot to intimidate Stephanie Forrester. Stephanie turned to the other side and pulled up her cover to her neck. She started thinking about her family. How she longed for them. It brought a tear to her eye. Soon the tears had filled her eyes. She was homesick.

Eric was alone in the living room. Ridge had left for his house. Pam had gone to the guesthouse together with Felicia, and Kristen had gone to bed. Eric was reading the documents he had been given. He still couldnīt believe it had come to this. Stephanie was dead wrong if she thought her family would just give up, Eric thought. The phone rang, and Eric got up to answer.
"Eric Forrester... Hello?... Brooke is that you?... Calm down, tell me what happened... What are you saying?... Iīll be right there" Eric hung up the phone and rushed out.

"Shannon, what a surprise to see you here" Connor said and invited her into his apartment.
"I wasnīt going to come, but Rick talked me into it".
"I am glad he did. Please, sit down".
"I donīt really feel like talking about any details. You are my father, my biological father. I just want to know one thing. Why didnīt you want me to know? I mean, after my dad had died. Why did you keep lying to me?"
"We were actually going to tell you. You and your sister. But then, when she took her life, we decided we couldnīt tell you".
"But what about the years between my fatherīs death and my sisterīs?"
"You were too young. Your mother and I didnīt want to rob you of your childhood memories of your dad. We wanted to wait till you got old enough to understand."
"Did Kelly know?"
"You know what? I forgive you".
"What?" Connor asked surprised.
"I donīt want to fight with you. I lost my father, my sister and my mother. I have no other relative in my life, only you. And I donīt want to lose you".
"You wonīt. Iīm your uncle Connor".
"Yes you are. I donīt know if I can ever look at you as my father. But at least you are uncle Connor".
"And I am here for you, whenever you need me."
"Thanks. I do appreciate that."
"And I appreciate you for being so understanding. You are one very special young woman".

CJ and Bridget were having dinner together.
"Youīre very quiet tonight" he told her.
"Iīm sorry. I am thinking of something my mother told me earlier today".
"What did she say?"
"It was more an advice. She said she thinks we should take it slower"
"What?" CJ said frustrated.
"CJ, I think she is right. We have been moving a little too fast".
"What is that any of her business?"
"Sheīs my mother".
"She hurt you"
"I know that. But she does have a point. CJ, I am not sure about us, and to be frank, I donīt think you are either".
"Fine, weīll slow down".
"Donīt be angry".
"You just dumped me".
"No, I didnīt. I meant that we can be friends before we find out where it might lead".
"Sounds like a good ole fashion dumping to me" CJ said with an attitude. Bridget didnīt like his reaction at all.
"Fine" she said and left the table to go back to her room.

Eric arrived at Forrester. He had passed several police officers on his way and was now escorted by one to Brooke. She was in tears. Eric hugged her quickly, grabbed her by her shoulders and asked her what happened.
"Megan was running away from someone and she was shot. Eric, sheīs dead!"
Eric went over to the crimescene. Meganīs body was covered up and the police was gathering evidence. Eric went back to Brooke.
"Did you see the shooter?" he asked.
"No, just the back. I think it was a woman."
"What about you? Are you okay?"
"Yeah, Iīm fine" she said, meaning she was physically okay.
Eric hugged her again, seeing she needed comfort.

Nick and Christina were sitting in a café. Their divorce had just been made official.
"What are your plans now?" she wondered?
"I feel committed to Brooke."
"I think the two of you fit great together" she admitted.
"I hope so".
"It will work you, youīll see".
"What about you?"
"I think I will stay in L.A. Find a job."
"What about you and Forrester?" Nick teased.
"He doesnīt even know Iīm alive".
"Then make sure he gets to know it".
"You honestly think I have a chance?" she asked doubtful.
"He loves beautiful women."
"And Brooke".
"His relationship with Brooke is over. He knows that now".
"Then you could introduce us, and then weīll see if I could have a chance".
"Itīs a deal".

Lucinda stepped out of the shower. She grabbed her towel and quickly dried her hair before she wrapped the towel around her body. She leaned forward to the mirror and checked for potential zits or blackheads. She couldnīt find any and took out her nightcream and applied it on face and neck. She quickly brushed through her hair and went to her bedroom. She sat down on her bed and turned off her TV with the remote control. It was getting late and time for bed. It was going to be a long trying day tomorrow. Lots of questions and whispers. Would the staff at Forrester accept her as their new boss? Would they be angry with Brooke for selling the company to her? Lucinda decided not to think about that anymore. She picked up the small pile of papers laying on her bed and read them through.
"You made a very big mistake, Megan" she said to herself. The papers gave a deep background search on herself, and there was just no way she could have let anyone find out.

Rick was about to turn in for the night when the phone rang. He answered.
"Rick Forrester"
"Rick, itīs me..."
"Amber?" Rick asked surprised.
"Where the hell are you?"
"Itīs better you donīt know"
"Eric misses you. He wonders where you are. You have to tell me"
"I canīt. I wish I could. Trust me, itīs better this way. I just wanted to tell you that I miss you".
"Amber, what is going on? Are you in trouble?"
"Yes you are. Are you alone?"
"Then please tell me. You can trust me".
"Rick, please tell Eric that I love him and that I am fine."
Rick called out Amberīs name twice more, but she hung up on him. Rick got worried. Something had definitely happened to her.

Bridget didnīt feel like staying at Insomnia so she had decided to go out with her friend Faye. Faye had told her about this new club that had opened recently that was said to be hot. Ozzz. So the two of them had gone there. Bridget immidiately liked the atmosphere. She and Faye had sat down by the bar and ordered a drink each. Bridget looked around the place and suddenly saw something that surprised her.
"Oh my god" she said.
"What?" Fays wondered, thinking Bridget had seen some very cute guy.
"Macy Alexander will sing here tonight" Bridget said and pointed to a sign with Macyīs picture on it.
"Macy Alexander? Isnīt that your sister-in-law, or what was it?"
"Yes, she was married to Thorne".
"Is she any good?"
"Sheīs great. Wait till you hear her".
The music in the club stopped, and the spotlight was turned on pointing to the stage. A cute blonde guy came up on stage. Bridget smiled.
"Could I get everyoneīs attention, please" the guy said. "My name is Oscar Marone, but you can call me "the wizard". I have the proud honor of introducing one of the best voices in town. Give it up for the stunning Macy Alexander!" he said. The audience clapped, Bridget included. Macy came up on stage and the music started playing for her. She had chosen to sing "Every breath you take" by Police.
"Wow, she is great" Faye told Bridget in her ear after half the song.
Bridget didnīt reply. She was following Oscar with her eyes. He was coming her way and she turned around to face the bar again. He walked behind the counter and started a conversation with another guy, also sitting by the bar. Bridget ordered another limedrink. She and Faye got into a conversation about CJ. Bridget felt frustrated with CJ. She could understand his feelings about what had happened to Deaconīs sister, but not his attitude. Oscar came up to them.
"Enjoying yourselves?" he asked.
Bridget almost blushed and smiled at him.
"Weīre having a great time. I love your club" Faye told him.
"Iīm glad to hear that" Oscar said back to her and smiled at Bridget before he left them.
"What was that look all about?" Faye wondered.
"What look?"
"That look I just saw between you and the wiz".

A new morning had arrived in Los Angeles. Stephanie hadnīt slept for a minute that night, and was releaved when the night was over with. A prisonguard walked up to her cell and locked it up.
"Youīre meeting with the boss, now" she said.
Stephanie got up and followed the guard. She was taken to an office part of the prisonbuilding and was told to sit down and wait. She was feeling watched, apparently they thought she would be stupid enough to try escaping. Finally she was called inside. She was ordered to sit down in front of a desk. A man was sitting across from her, obviously the boss, he looked up at her.
"Mrs Forrester. What can I do for you?" he asked.
"I would like to file a complaint" she said.
"I heard so. For what?"
"You canīt leave me in here with Sheila Carter. That woman has tried to kill me. Twice. And she killed my daughter-in-law. It canīt be right to let us be in the same room together" Stephanie said.
"Yes, I can see your point of view. On the other hand, we donīt give special treatment to any of our guests here. All I can promise you is that we will separate you two the best we can."
"Thatīs it?" Stephanie asked.
"Obviously we will never leave you alone with Miss Carter unsupervised. You are safe".
"Safe maybe, but I donīt want to be stuck with the woman who murdered my daughter-in-law!"
"With all due respect, Mrs Forrester, but you are here because you too murdered someone."
"No, I didnīt!"
"The court said you did, and I am following their orders".
"This is useless. Just make sure sheīs no where near me, okay?" Stephanie said and left together with the guard.

Eric and Ridge met up at the hospital to talk to Thorne. Eric informed Ridge of what had happened the night before at Forrester since Ridge hadnīt heard about it yet. Ridge was absolutely shocked and very sad to hear about Meganīs death.
"Brooke described it as an absolute execution in cold blood".
"Did you leave Brooke alone last night?" Ridge asked.
"No, I drove her home. Rick and Shannon are there with her".
"Dad, do you suppose what happened to Megan has something to do with who murdered Tim Cameron?"
"It may very well be like that. If it does, we may all be in danger" Eric said.
"Then weīd better talk to Thorne immidiately"
"I am getting better security for him. I was thinking maybe moving him to the house, but since the murderer proved she could easily access our house, I think he is safer here".
"She?" Ridge asked surprised.
"Brooke thinks it was a woman who shot Megan. She saw the murderer from behind".
"You donīt think it was Sheila, do you?"
"It could be. Sheila has had a way of escaping before. I am going to talk to your mother today. But right now, we should find out what it is Thorne knows".
The two men went into Thorneīs hospital room. He was awake. Eric smiled at his son.
"Hi Thorne" he said and went to sit by his bedside.
"How are you feeling?" Ridge asked and went to the other side of the bed.
"Bett-er" Thorne said.
"What a relief to hear that" Eric said.
"Do you remember what we talked about last night?" Ridge wondered.
"Yees" Thorne said after a few seconds of remembering.
"Here is what we know. You were alone inside the house and the window facing the poolside was opened. So we think you heard something the night Tim Cameron was murdered. Something that could help prove your mother is innocent. What did you hear?"
"A wo... a wo-man"
"A woman? Who?"
"Donīt know"
"What did she say?"
"She... killed him"
"Youīre absolutely sure of that?"
"Can you give us some clue of who she might be? Did she seem to know him?"
"How can you be sure of that?"
"He asked... who..."
"Did he ask who she was?"
"Did they talk about your mother?" Eric asked.
"Did you hear when your mother came home?"
"Was it before or after you heard the gunshot?"
Thorne looked confused for a minute, so Eric asked again.
"Had your mother arrived home before you heard a gunshot?"
"How do you know when mother came home?" Ridge asked.
"Her car"
"You heard her car come. What happened then?"
"Silence. She was... shock"
"So let me see if I got this straight now. You were alone in your room and you heard Tim Cameron and a woman talk outside. Then you heard a gunshot. After that you heard a car and then it was silent and then you heard your mother being shocked. Thatīs when she found Tim Cameron dead?"
"Yes" Thorne confirmed.
"And you donīt recognize the womanīs voice?" Ridge asked.
Thorne thought for a moment.
"Donīt... think so".
"Could it have been Sheila Carter?" Ridge asked.
Thorne is confused, wondering if maybe it had been Sheila, but decided against it.
"Donīt think so"
"Morgan DeWitt?" Eric asked.
"How long did they talk?" Eric asked.
"Not long"
"3 minutes?"
"Longer or shorter?"
"Do you have any idea how she got there?"
"No. He sur-prised"
"He was surprised at how she got there?" Eric asked
"That means he didnīt see her until she was there" Ridge realized.
"She sneaked up on him, probably".
"Yes" Thorne said.
"So she sneaked off the same way, just before Stephanie got there" Eric concluded.
"Throught the bushes or over the fence to the neighbour" Ridge said.
"She didnīt run into Stephanie, so itīs safe to say this woman took a different way".
"So she must have known first hand how the property looks like, in order to avoid being seen. Rick and Shannon was home, and they didnīt see her. Mother didnīt see her either. And none of the neighbours saw anything."
"She was... inside" Thorne rememberd.
"Inside the house?" Ridge asked.
"Of course. Stephanie said she hadnīt moved her gun. This woman must have gone inside the house, gone up to the bedroom, taken the gun, and gone down to the pool to kill him and then sneaked off just in time before Stephanie got home" Eric said.
"Why do I get the feeling that we have to know this woman?" Ridge asks.
"We probably do" Eric said.
"But Thorne didnīt recognize her voice" Ridge said.
"Maybe someone of us knows her, but not Thorne?"
"Do you think itīs possible that there was more than one person there?" Ridge asked.
"Could be" Thorne said.
"Look, we should get going now. Let you get some sleep. You have been very helpful, Thorne. Is there anything else you remember before we go?" Eric asked.
"Not now"
"Weīll talk to you later then. Rest now, okay?"
Eric and Ridge said good-bye and left his room.
"Why didnīt you tell her about what happened last night?" Ridge asked.
"He doesnīt need to know about that yet. It wouldnīt do any good"

It was time for lunch and Stephanie and the others were instructed to go to the big dining room. Her neighbour with the evil eyes made eyecontact with her to remind her she was supposed to sit by her table. Stephanie smiled quickly in return.
When they got to the dining room, they got their food on their plates. The woman had directed her over to her table and Stephanie decided to just go along with it. There was no need making enemies on her first day there. She sat down with the others.
"Everyone, say hello to our new friend. This is Stephanie Forrester"
"Hello Stephanie" the others greeted.
"Hello" Stephanie said back at them.
"Stephanie comes from the rich and famous in Beverly Hills, donīt you, Stephanie?"
"Apparently so, yes"
"So what are you in for, Stephanie?" someone asked.
"Murder" Stephanie answered.
"You wacked some tramp, thinking youīd be cleared of all charges. Is that so, Stephanie?" someone else supposed.
"Actually no. I didnīt kill him. I got framed for it though".
"Sure you did, Stephanie. We are all innocent in here".
"And now you are one of us. Isnīt quite how you pictured yourself, is it Stephanie?"
"No itīs not"
"But donīt worry, Stephanie. Weīll take good care of you here. You donīt have to worry, Stephanie"
"You havenīt eaten anything. Whatīs wrong, Stephanie? Donīt you like the food here?"
"Iīm not very hungry"
Stephanie was getting annoyed with their questions and remarks. She almost started missing Sheila, to her own surprise.
"But you have to eat, Stephanie"
"Maybe for dinner" truth was that the dinner looked good enough for rats only.
"Are you looking down on us, Stephanie?"
"Of course not"
"I think you are lying, Stephanie"
"But itīs okay. We will teach you some respect here, Stephanie"
The woman next to her leaned over and spit in Stephanieīs food. Stephanie was disgusted.
"Respect is important, Stephanie" the woman said.
"Always respect your dictator" another woman said.
"And who is the dictator?" Stephanie asked looking around the table. Her eyes stopped at the woman with the evil eyes.
"Youīre looking at her" she informed her.
Stephanie looked away from her and realized this stay at the prison was not going to be very pleasant.

Pam Douglas was at the Forrester guesthouse. She has slept long this morning. Her back was killing her, so she decided to stay in bed a little longer. She reached over to the phone and dialled a number.
"Drew Douglas" a manīs voice answered.
"Hi sweetie" Pam said.
"Mother, hi"
"How are you?"
"Iīm on my way to a meeting?"
"Then I wonīt take up much of your time. I just wanted to hear your voice"
"How are you? You sound strange"
"You know your aunt Stephanie was convicted"
"Yes, itīs all over the news"
"Itīs horrible. I donīt know what to do"
"I donīt think there is so much you can do"
"I know. But sheīs my sister. Itīs hard."
"How long are you staying on the west coast?"
"I am not sure"
"I can understand you wanting to be there for my cousins and uncle Eric. Stay another week or two."
"Look, mom. I have to go. Iīll talk to you later"
"I lov..." Pam said but realized her son had already hung up. She started crying.

Brooke was nervous. She was on her way to in to Forrester Creations. Rick was with her, but it still felt very uneasy to go in there. The police had worked there half the night, and now it showed very little signs of anything of what had occured the night before. But it was apparent on the staff. Everyone seemed worried. Brooke realized she had to say something to them and gathered them together with Rickīs help. She explained to them quickly what had happened, and pointed out that they didnīt need to be afraid. The police had things under control, and she was sure they would arrest someone soon. She gave them the advice not to be alone. Brooke didnīt want to tell them yet they had a new boss at Forrester, until she had talked to Lucinda.
Then she and Rick headed up to the executive floor. Meganīs desk had been cleared out. They looked around. Everything seemed normal, but the tension was thick. Ridge came out of his office.
"Hi. How are you?" he asked.
"Iīm okay" she said.
"Youīre sure of that?" he touched her arm gently.
"I canīt believe what happened"
"It was horrible. Meganīs actually dead..." Brooke said, still shocked about it.
"Weīre only here for a little while. Ridge, could you arrange for a big staff meeting in 30 minutes?" Rick asked.
"Of course" Ridge said, thinking they would talk about the events of last evening.
"Thank you" Rick said. Ridge left. He passed Lucinda on his way. She walked up to Brooke and Rick.
"How are you?" Lucinda asked Brooke.
"Iīm fine" Brooke said. The last thing she wanted was for Lucinda to feel uncomfortable in her new role, so she tried to downplay her fears of what had happened.
"I just canīt believe it. Meganīs actually.... dead?" Lucinda asked acting shocked.
"I am so sorry. This isnīt how your first day as CEO should be like".
"No, Brooke. Donīt worry about that. That doesnīt matter. Megan is what matters."
"Weīre having a staff meeting in 30 minutes. I am going to announce you as the new CEO of Forrester Creations. And I thought maybe you should hold a press conferance tomorrow?"
"Shouldnīt we wait announcing it to the world? I mean, with Megan and until I have actually paid you the full sum for the company...?" Lucinda suggested.
"That may be a good idea" Brooke said. "Next week then. I can show you the office, and everything important you need to know. Do you have time now?"
"Yes, I am free".
Brooke and Lucinda headed to Brookeīs old office.

Stephanie had been notified of a visitor. She was lead to the visiting room. A chair and a glass window in every booth, with a phone. She was lead to a booth and found Eric on the other side of the glass window. She sat down and picked up the phone.
"Hi" Eric greeted.
"What are you doing here?" she asked.
"Your lawyes paid us a visit last night. Divorcepapers, stocktransfers..."
"Just sign them, Eric"
"Not until you are out of here. We are not giving up, and you canīt either"
"What is the point? I have already been convicted".
"This is not my wife I am talking to" Eric told her.
"What are you talking about?"
"My wife is a fighter, and she doesnīt give up. Especially not on her family!"
"If that is all you came here to say..."
"No, itīs not. I have some bad news. Megan was killed last night. At Forrester"
"What?" Stephanie asked stunned.
"Someone shot her. Brooke was there, she saw it".
"Who would kill Megan?"
"We donīt know yet. But we think there is a connection between Meganīs murder and the poolboyīs murder" Eric told her.
"Connection how?"
"Brooke think it was a woman who killed Megan. She saw this person from behind. And I just came from talking to Thorne and he said..."
"Is Thorne talking?" Stephanie asked hopeful.
"Yes, he is getting better each day"
"Oh thank god..." Stephanie relaxed.
"We were right. He did hear something that night. He is sure that he heard Cameron talking to a woman, after he had heard someone in the house. And he is also sure that the gun was fired before you pulled up the driveway."
"Does he know who this woman is?"
"But she was able to get inside our house?" Stephanie sounded skeptical.
"Thatīs just it. She must know our house pretty good to be able to find your gun in our bedroom, go down to the pool and know Tim Cameron was going to be there, alone, shoot him and then find her way out without being seen."
"Who do you think it was?"
"I donīt know. My best guess would be Sheila"
"No" Stephanie said doubtless.
"Why not?" Eric asked.
"Because sheīs here"
"What? Youīve seen her?" Eric said outrageously.
"Yes. Iīve even talked to her."
"That isnīt right. She shouldnīt be allowed anywhere near you!"
"I filed a complaint" Stephanie said calmly.
"Why arenīt you more upset? What did she say to you?"
"Itīs not what she said, Eric. Itīs the others. I actually prefer Sheilaīs company to them, at least I know where I have Sheila".
"Who are these people?"
"I donīt know. Some group of women."
"What did they do to you?" Eric asked worried.
"Nothing. Itīs more the feeling I get around them."
"Donīt worry about that. I will get you out of here, I promise that".
"Eric, no"
"Stop it. We are your family. We are here for you. Besides, we owe you for all the times youīve been there for us."
"One month"
"One month, what?"
"If you havenīt found any trace to go on within one month, I want you to give up and move on with your lives."
"I canīt make a deal like that"
"Please, Eric. I donīt need any more to worry about in here. Promise me!"
"Fine, I promise" Eric lied. Stephanie didnīt quite believe him.
"You look tired" Eric noticed.
"I didnīt sleep last night"
Eric placed his hand on the glasswindow. He signaled for Stephanie to do the same, so she did.
"I may have let you down in the past, but I swear to you I will come true for you this time. I will not leave you in here"
"One month" she reminded him.
"One month" he repeated.
"Timeīs up" the guard behind Stephanie said. Stephanie took one last look at Eric before she hung up the phone and stood up to leave. She could read Ericīs lips saying "I promise" before the guard walked her out of the visitation room.

The staff meeting was over. Ridge hadnīt believed his ears when Brooke had announced to everybody that she was stepping down as CEO. He pulled her aside.
"Are you for real?" he asked.
"Yes. I made the decision long ago"
"Lucinda Freeman. Why didnīt you sell the company to dad or to me?"
"I wanted a clean break. You and Eric were seeing me as the traitor. I trust Lucinda."
"But she has no connection to the family"
"Maybe that is a good thing, Ridge"
"I wonīt accept this"
"You accepted me taking over"
"That was not the same thing"
"No. Because I "stole" the company. Lucinda bought it".
"What are you going to do now?"
"I am starting a new company. With Rick".

Lucinda was getting comfortable in her new office. She had moved Brookeīs computer to the desk for easier access.
"Letīs get started" Lucinda told the screen. She logged inside the companyīs bank account. This was too easy, she thought to herself.
After a few clicks back and forth to get the hang of it, she made her move. Moving the sum of 30 million dollars to another bank account owned by "L. Forrester"
"Yes, come to momma" she said. Now she would have more money to pay Brooke. Soon, she would have enough to pay for the whole company, and the company would pay the bill for it. And no one would suspect a thing. It was amazing how smooth things had gone. Getting rid of nosey Stephanie, creating problems between Brooke and the Forresters, and finally taking over the company. All under their noses. Except Megan. But she wouldnīt be a problem anymore. She logged out and picked up a skiss Eric had made recently.
"Yes, I think this will work out wonderfully".

Stephanie and the other inmated were gathered once more for laundry. Seemed like there was endless of laundry to do. As Stephanie stood by the dryer like the day before, she felt someone standing behind her.
"Filed your complaint yet?" Sheila asked.
"Go away" Stephanie told her.
"Not that attitude with me"
"What attitude do you want, after killing Taylor?"
"It was an accident"
"Just like your whole miserable life"
"Who the hell do you think you are?"
Stephanie turned around, ignoring Sheila.
"You smug selfrigheous bitch. If you had been there at the house that day, I wouldnīt have hesitated to shoot you" Sheila told her.
"Been there done that"
"Itīs a shame Amber came in when she did"
"Donīt you even mention Amber. She lost her baby because of that fight with you. But that wasnīt enough for you. You had to force your daughter to steal her husband."
"Erica fell in love"
"You brainwashed her. I just thank god sheīs with James now, and never has to be tourmented by you again. Youīve lost your hold on her"
"That was always your goal. To steal everything from me. Eric, James, Erica".
"I didnīt have to steal them. They didnīt want anything to do with you. Youīre dead to them. Youīve lost, Sheila. You have nothing anymore, you ARE nothing".
Sheila snapped and grabbed Stephanie by the throat, pushing her down on the dryer.
"Donīt you EVER say that to me, or Iīll kill you!" Sheila threatened. Within a few seconds, two guards wrestled Sheila off from Stephanie. Sheila had mad look in her eyes. Stephanie smirked at her. Sheila realized she had fallen in a trap. The guards dragged Sheila to an isolation cell and locked her inside. Sheila was fuming with anger at Stephanie.
"You are not getting away with this, Stephanie" Sheila spit through her teeth.