Brooke was getting ready for her date with Nick Payne that night. She had decided to put on her sexiest black dress that glittered with every move she made. She heard the doorbell ring and automatically smiled. She answered the door – to Ridge.
”Ridge? What are you doing here?”, she asked a little disappointed.
”I wanted to talk. Me and Bridget talked and we decided to break this off for good.”
”Well, that´s terrific news. But we have nothing to talk about anymore, Ridge”
”I realize you said good-bye. But can´t we…?”
”No, Ridge. I´m not going through this again. I love you, I admit that. I will always love you. But us together? No, I can´t do it. I want you to respect that and please don´t try anything.”
”Because I´m vulnerable to you. It would be so easy for me to go back to you. But my head is telling me no. Please, respect that.”
”Okay, I will. I just think it´s a shame. By the way, you look gorgeous. Bye, Logan.”
Ridge left and Brooke sighed. She really hoped he wouldn´t try anything.
Rick and Amber were at the office. Rick was trying to go through some papers while Amber tried kissing him.
”Could you stop it?”, Rick gently asked.
”Stop? Why?”, Amber said as she continued.
”I´m trying to get some work done here”
”So am I…”
”Amber, really. Stop!”
”Why are you so grumpy? It never bothered you before…”
”Well, not it does”
”Me kissing you bothers you? Well that´s just great”, Amber said as she took her purse and headed for the door. Rick didn´t even bother to stop her from leaving. Finally he could get some work done… Or could he? His mind started drifting back to his encounter with the girl at the baseball court.
”Okay, what was it you had to say?”, Eric asked his wife.
”I want you to come home”
”Well, that´s not going to happen any time soon”
”I realize you´re mad with me and you have every right to be. I shouldn´t have lied to you. But come on. This shouldn´t break us up.”
”You really have no idea what this has done to us, have you?”
”You´ve lost your trust in me and you´ve lost your son. But let me win your trust back. And Ridge will always be your son, no matter what”
”If that´s all you think this has done to us, then obviously we´re not on the same page. I can´t even look at you the same way again. I don´t think I can ever look at you as a husband should look at his wife again. I´m staying here”
”With that woman?”
”Her name is Jackie”
”Whatever… Can´t you just check into a hotel, or go live with Ridge? Reconnect with him?”
”Ridge, Ridge, Ridge. It´s always Ridge with you, isn´t it? You and Massimo really do belong together. Why don´t you go be with him?”
”Stop it, Eric. You know I don´t love Massimo like I love you”
”How can I trust you on that? Huh? You always spend time with him, despite the horrendous things he has done to this family.”
”This is getting us nowhere. Do we still have a future together?”, Stephanie asked as Eric hesitated about answering.
”Well, at least that wasn´t a no…”, Stephanie smiled lightly. She walked over to Eric and took a vulnerable tone with him.
”I´m so sorry for what I did to you, to us. I never meant to hurt you. I love you”, Stephanie said as she kissed him. Eric grabbed hold of her arms and freed himself angrily.
”I think you´d better go… NOW!”, he said as he could barely hold his anger back.
”Do you really want me to go? Walk out of your life for good?”
”Maybe it would be for the best”, Eric angrily snared. Stephanie was silent for a few seconds.
”Then I will”, she sadly said and left. Eric angrily sat down on the sofa to release his frustration.
A young woman in her early 20s stepped off the bus she had gotten to town with. She hung her backpack on her shoulder and looked around the new city. She had never been to L.A. before. She was hard to impress, and the new place didn´t accomplish any success in that department. She was more interested in getting to meet the person she was in town for. She pushed her way in the crowd, shoving an old lady in the back. She didn´t seem to notice her bad behaviour. The old lady´s husband called out to her, telling her to watch out where she went. But she didn´t even look back at him. She had more important things in mind. She headed to the ladies restroom at the bus station. She took a booth and picked up a new set of clothes from her backpack. Surprisingly, she changed from good to bad as she put on some dirty and washed out sweats. She put her hair up in a ponytail and smiled at herself. When she was ready, she left to call a cab.
Brooke heard the doorbell ring and once again went to open. This time, it was Nick Payne. She smiled at him confidently. Nick smiled back and eyed her from top to toe.
”Very nice”, he said.
”Thank you”, Brooke said as she stroke her dress.
”No, I meant your house”, Nick corrected her. Brooke felt embarrassed.
”Oh… Yes, I like it”, she said.
”I´m just kidding you. Relax. You look fantastic”, Nick said as Brooke relaxed with a chuckle.
”Are you ready to go?”
”Yes, I am”, Brooke said as they walked off to his car for their dinner date. Nick opened the door for Brooke like a gentleman.
”So, where are you taking me? Café Russe?”, Brooke asked.
”I´m afraid it´s not that fancy. In fact, I think you´re a bit overdressed”.
”You should have told me that before so I could have changed”.
”Oh, no. It´s quite alright.”
”But if I´m gonna feel uncomfortable this dressed up to where we´re heading…?”
”Oh, I don´t think you have to worry about that. No one will notice”, Nick said mysterious as Brooke wondered what he was up to.
Massimo was in his office wondering how things were going between Ridge and Bridget when the intercom buzzed.
”Jacqueline Payne is here to see you”
”Let her in”, Mass said and a few seconds later, Heidi and Jackie walked through the door.
”That will be all Heidi”, Mass told his secretary and she excused them.
”Massimo”, Jackie greeted.
”Jacqueline, what do I owe this pleasure?”, Massimo asked.
”I´m here to tell you to stay out of my son´s life. I´ve heard your plans for Ridge and Bridget Forrester, and I think it´s just grotesque. You mentioned Nicky and Brooke Logan, so I had to come over. I´m telling you, Massimo. Don´t manipulate them, or you deal with me. Nicky will not be one of your chess pieces. I know he is only working here because you wanted to separate Brooke Logan and Ridge. I should be advising Nick to get away, but I won’t since I see what a wonderful opportunity this is for him. But I will not accept you interfering in his personal life.”, Jackie said determined.
”Very well”, Mass answered.
”I mean it, Massimo. I don´t want Nicky involved in your sick plans. He will not be used to break someone apart, you hear me? Eric has told me how far you can go and it repulses me.”
”Eric Forrester is the last person you should be talking to about me.”
”I know he hates you, but I also know there is a reason why.”
”Two reasons actually. Stephanie and Ridge.”
”Yes, and look how you have manipulated Ridge. Pairing him up with his half sister! I can see why Eric hates you. I would too if you had done anything like that to Nicky.”
”I wouldn´t want you hating me. I have no interest in manipulating your son.”
”Yet… Tell me, what happens when Ridge and Brooke get close again?”
”That will never happen. Brooke has seen what her daughter feels for Ridge. She doesn´t like it one bit. She may be obsessed with my son, and she may lack integrity, but she will never look at Ridge the same way ever again.”
”I´m glad you say that.”, Jackie said as she left.
”I´m sorry Jacqueline, but if Brooke sets her eyes on Ridge again, I may have to keep Captain Payne close.”
Bridget entered Insomnia and eyed around the place until she found the person she was looking for.
”CJ, hi”, she said as she got up to him.
”Hi”, CJ answered with a smile.
”I have a big favor to ask”
”You want your old job back?”
”Ummm… Yes…”, Bridget admitted with a smile.
”Then it´s yours. You start tomorrow. The apron is in the back and you´ll get the keys then”, CJ said in a huff.
”Okay”, Bridget said.
”Welcome back”, CJ smiled and they hugged.
”It´s good to be back”.
Nick parked his car by the docks.
”We´re having dinner on your boat?”, Brooke realized.
”I hope it´s not too shabby for you”, Nick said.
”Not at all. It´s just that it´s very… private”
”Yes it is, just the way I like it.”
”Don´t tell me you cooked yourself…?”
”I hope you like fish”, Nick said to a stunned Brooke.
”Well, I didn´t fish them up myself! Don´t look so shocked! It´s actually from Mannequin’s.”
”Good, then it´s safe to eat it”, Brooke teased.
”Ouch!”, Nick said as he pretended he had gotten a kick in his stomach. They chuckled as they went onboard the boat. Brooke was very impressed to see a dinner table in the middle, with lit candles and their food waiting for them. A waiter from Mannequin’s greeted them and helped Brooke to her seat. Nick paid the guy and he left.
”Good service!”, Brooke said.
”Good and expensive…”, Nick said as Brooke laughed at the face Nick was making.
”Hello?”, Stephanie answered the phone.
”Bill, is that you?”
”The one and only, I hope… Listen, I´m in town over night. Are you free for dinner tonight?”
”Yes, I´m flying to Brussels tomorrow”.
”What business would you have in Bulgaria?”
”It´s Belgium, Stephanie. I´m meeting with a potential sponsor”.
“Well, tonight isn´t a good evening for me, I´m sorry.”
”You have problems? What has Ridge done this time?”
”It´s not Ridge. Eric left me”
”Well then you SHOULD come out with me. It´s not often I´m in town these days. How about Café Russe in one hour? I´ll pick you up”.
”Well, okay then. Bill, thank you.”
”Thank me later. See you in an hour”, Bill said and they hung up.
Deacon Sharpe stood by the bar disk at The Lair, finishing a beer.
”Another one”, he told Alexandra who obeyed his orders.
As he started off on his second beer, he spotted a young woman coming in. He followed her, wondering what a girl dressed in baggy old sweats would be doing alone in a bar. He smoothly walked over to her.
”Aren´t you a little young to be here, girl? How did you pass the bouncer? Fake ID?”
”That wasn´t necessary. I just told him I was a friend of yours”
”No, I don´t buy that.”
”Well, I didn´t exactly say “friend”. I said “sister””
”Sister? I think you would have to come up with a better excuse than that. I don’t have a sister”.
“Not that you know of anyway.”
”I don´t know what you´re up to, young girl. But you came to the wrong place. I´m the last person you should be hassling.”
”And I´m the last person you should be throwing out. Bruno Sharpe, does that sound familiar?”
”You know my father?”
”Well, considering his my father too, yes”
”I haven´t seen my father since I was 6 years old. Why did you come here?”
”My… Our father is dead”, she said. Deacon was touched, but refused to let the girl know that.
”Don´t tell me I have to take care of you now?”, he said bothered.
”No one takes care of me, I can do that myself thank you very much. I came by here to tell you that you had a sister. And I was curious when I found out I even had a brother. I may not have to like what I see before me, but I have to accept it. And now that that´s taken care of, I´ll leave you to your drinking”, she said as she turned around to leave.
”Wait!”, Deacon called out. The young woman stopped and looked annoyed. ”I don´t even know your name”, he said.
”Dina Sharpe”, she said after turning around.
”Deacon Sharpe”, Deacon replied as he shook her hand. “Why did you really come here?”
”I told you”, Dina replied with an attitude.
”No, you told me a lie”.
”And how would you know?”
”I´m a Sharpe, am I not? If Bruno Sharpe raised you, then there´s no way in hell you´d come here to meat your brother if you didn´t stand to get something”.
”Fine. I came here to get a free ride on some sucker. But I can see this isn´t so much to freeload on, so I´m outta here”
”Where are you going?”
”What´s it to you?”
”If you need a place to crash, I have a room upstairs.”
”I don´t have any money”
”I won´t charge you”
”IF I stay, I don´t want to be some fu(king charity case, got that?”, she said as Deacon winked. “Got any pot?”, she asked.
”No. If you want to do that shit, then do it somewhere else.”
”Fine”, Dina said as she followed her big brother upstairs. “Hey, thanks”, she said.
Jackie and Eric sat down at a table.
”The waiter will be with you shortly, Mr Forrester”
”You haven´t said anything about your talk with Stephanie”, Jackie said as a conversation starter.
”And I would like to leave it at that”, Eric said, ending that conversation. “Can we talk about something other than my problems tonight?”
”Fine with me”, Jackie smiled.
”How do you like Los Angeles so far?”
”I am getting used to it. Especially with a friend like you. And I can finally spend more time with my son.”
”You´re close with him?”
”Yes, we are. He´s the most precious thing in my life. I don´t know what I´d do if I ever lost him.”, Jackie said honestly. She noticed Eric´s face getting sad and realized what he got to think of. “I´m sorry, I shouldn´t have said that”, she apologized.
”No, it´s alright.”
”But it hurts to get reminded of what you´ve lost”
”I don´t think it´s something I´ll ever get over. I´ve lost a son”.
”But you haven´t lost Ridge. He will always be in your life”
”I know that. There´s no way I´m going to lose my relationship with him over this.”
”You will recover from this. You´re a strong man who believes in love and family”, Jackie said comforting. Eric smiled.
Brooke and Nick had finished their dinner and was now up on deck, watching the stars in the sky with some wine.
”This is so peaceful. I can see now why you love it so much”, Brooke said.
”Looking up, seeing all the stars, you feel like you´ve got the whole world all to yourself. You just want to grab it. I can sit out here for hours, just relaxing. Sometimes you get the feeling like you´re all alone on this planet”.
”Sounds pretty depressing”
”Oh no. Just the opposite. This feeling of loneliness is the kind that strengthens you. Or what psychiatrists would say, soul-searching. I come out here to get strength. All you need is here.”
”It sure sound pretty relaxing.”
”You should try it”
”There´s no place like the present”, Nick said as he took her wineglass. “Here, lay down”, he lead her to a blanket. Brooke laid down and Nick handed her a pillow to rest her head on. He took place next to her.
”And now you just gaze at the stars?”, Brooke asked.
”Not just gaze. You relax first. Focus on a spot in the sky and forget everything else in your mind. Listen to the sounds you hear. Listen to the ocean. The wind. Take deep breaths. In and out… In and out…”, Nick told her in a calm, deep voice. Brooke did as she was told and felt all bad energy leave her body.
Eric and Jackie finished their meal.
”Finished?”, Eric asked.
”Yes. It was delicious.”
”You want to dance?”, Eric asked.
”I´d love to, but I have to visit the ladies room first. I´ll be right back”.
Eric´s mind started drifting away to his problems again. Stephanie´s words “Ridge is not your son” kept echoing in his head as he thought back on the day Ridge was born. How the doctor had put a little wrinkled screaming baby in his hands. And how the baby had stopped screaming as Eric had wrapped up the boy nicely in his arms. “Ridge IS my son”, Eric whispered silently to himself. His thoughts were interrupted when a familiar song started playing. “Lady in red”. He looked up and saw Jackie by the stage smiling at him. Eric got off his chair and walked over to her.
”I thought we´d continue where we left off”, she said. The two of them started dancing. Eric was starting to enjoying himself again but as the course of the song started, he spotted Bill Spencer holding his arm around a red dressed Stephanie. Eric followed them with his eyes as he automatically continued dancing. Eric started getting more and more frustrated. His face angered when he saw his wife letting out a smile to Bill. Finally, Jackie noticed there was something wrong and she stopped dancing.
”Eric, what is it?”, she asked, but all she had to do was look in the direction Eric was looking at to figure that out. “I don´t believe this. What is she doing here?”, Jackie asked.
”That´s what I like to know. Would you excuse me for a second?”, he said and left Jackie standing. He walked over to Bill and Stephanie´s table.
”Eric? What are you doing here?”, Stephanie asked surprised.
”Just what I was going to ask you”, he replied, waiting for her to answer the question first.
”Obviously, I´m having dinner with Bill”.
”Give me a break, you´re here spying on me!”
”Eric, please. I was the one who asked Stephanie out because I happened to be in town tonight”, Bill said.
”I didn´t know you´d be here… With Ms Payne”, Stephanie said as she noticed Jackie.
”Fine, you stay. Enjoy your dinner”, Eric said coldly and went back to Jackie. “Come on, let´s go back to the beach house”, Eric said as he hurried Jackie away from the restaurant.
Stephanie and Bill watched them leave. Bill noticed the hurt look in Stephanie´s eyes.
”Please don´t let this spoil the evening. Forget about him, will you?”
”Forget about who?”, Stephanie granted him.
”I have to admit that it was very relaxing”, Brooke said as she crawled together to warm herself.
”Here”, Nick said as he covered her with the blanket. They moved to the side of the boat, dangling their legs out to the ocean.
”I could definitely spend a weekend out here”, Brooke admitted.
”Maybe you should”, Nick suggested.
”How did you like the evening?”
”It was terrific. Good food, good wine, great company. Quite romantic.”
”I just offered you the simple things in life. The ones we take for granted.”
”I think you taught me a lesson tonight, Captain”, Brooke chuckled.
”I realized tonight how much I complicate my life for no real reason. I should learn to relax more. Take a step back and listen to myself. I know that´s what I always should do, but when it comes to it, I don´t. I do the exact opposite and I always get burned. Or burn someone else.”
”Tonight, I find it hard to believe you could ever burn someone else”
”Well, according to Stephanie Forrester, I wrote the book.”
”According to me, Stephanie Forrester is wrong. But maybe that´s because I don´t know you very well”, Nick teased.
”Oh, just wait, Captain!”, Brooke laughed.
”I don´t think I can wait”, Nick said and stunned Brooke with a sudden kiss. Brooke was so stunned that she moved too fast away that Nick lost his balance and fell into the water below. Brooke´s hands covered her mouth as she realized what she had done. As Nick´s head popped up and Brooke realized he was okay, she burst out in laughter.
”Yes, you laugh. Just laugh”, Nick said. Brooke bent down to help him up. Nick shook off some water as Brooke handed him the blanket.
”I think I taught you a lesson too, about what happens when you move too fast”, Brooke said amused.
”Oh, you´re going in”, Nick said as he grabbed Brooke and threatened to push her in the water. Brooke playfully objected and finally screamed as Nick moved her dangerously close the edge before he finally pulled her back to safety.
”You wouldn´t have dared anyway”, Brooke smiled smugly.
”Oh, wouldn´t I?”, Nick once again threatened to push her in the water.
”Okay, okay!! You would have!”, Brooke laughed out. Nick dried himself up as they continued laughing and joking.