Bridget had stopped by her mother´s house to talk. It was early and she wasn´t surprised to see her mother in her robe, newly up from bed.
”I´m sorry I´m so early. I just needed to talk to you”.
”It´s okay. I wanted to talk to you too. Come in”.
”Mom, I just want you to know that I am really sorry for what this has done to you”.
”Bridget, don´t worry about that”.
”I owe you an apology. I ruined your wedding.”
”No, you don´t owe me anything. If anything, I owe you. What I did to you. It was awful and I feel very ashamed. It´s nothing I like talking about.”
”You want to forget it ever happened, huh?”
”Honestly, yes. But I can´t. Not ever”.
”Because of Hope. She will always be a reminder”.
”Unfortunately, yes. Don´t get me wrong. I love Hope with all my heart. It´s just that she was brought into this world in a way that was so wrong. I wish her birth could have been nothing but joy. But the truth is, I lost my other daughter at the same time.”
”She deserves better, doesn´t she?”
”Yes, she does. I´m just sorry I can´t give her that”.
”You will never be able to change who her biological father is, but you can change another thing.”
”Is there a chance I could have my other daughter back?”, Brooke asked hopeful.
”If you really want that, there is a big chance”, Bridget answered.
”Oh, honey. There´s nothing I want more than that”, Brooke said as she carefully hugged Bridget. Bridget hugged her mother back, as both of them smiled.
”I´ve missed you so much”, Bridget said.
”I´ve missed you too. I love you so, so much Bridget”
”I love you, mom”.
Stephanie woke up a little later than usual that morning. She rolled over to Eric´s empty side and decided to skip work yet another day. She was just about to go back to sleep when the phone rang. She sighed as she jumped out of bed to answer.
”Did I wake you?”
”Thorne… No, I´m up”, Stephanie lied.
”Good, I need a ride to Forrester. My car has broken down, I´m having it fixed. So if you and dad are heading to Forrester, can you come pick me up?”
”Sure. I´ll be there in an hour”
”An hour? I thought you said you were up?”
”Well, I am… now.”
”Mom, it´s okay. I can just take a cab”.
”No, don´t do that. I really need to talk to you. I´ll try to hurry”
”Okay, see you then”, Thorne said and they hung up.
”It´s time you knew the truth too, Thorne”, Stephanie said out loudly.
Dina and Deacon was down by the bar having breakfast. Dina had put on her better clothes again and actually looked beautiful. Deacon noticed her eyes. They were the same blue color he had.
”So do you have some birth certificate with you?”, he asked casually.
”I don´t have one of those. All I have is my drivers licence”, she said and took it out of her backpack and showed him. Dina Sharpe, born 1984. Deacon realized there was a big chance he was actually looking at his baby sister. Although she was no baby anymore.
”You said your father died. When?”, Deacon asked.
”Last month. He was in a fight and was beaten up. He died at the hospital.”
”Huh…”, Deacon said as he opened a bear.
”Can I have one?”, Dina asked.
”No you can´t. You´re not allowed to be drinking yet”.
”And what do you care?”
”I don´t. But out policy in this bar is ‘no minors allowed’, so you´re out of luck, girl”.
”Fine, ‘dad’”, Dina said back with an attitude that made Deacon recognize his old self.
”Hey, stop that. I´m letting you live here for free, so show some respect!”
”You know, I don’t have to live here. I can find someplace else”.
”Oh, really? That´s why you came here, to a brother you´ve never met? Let me ask you, do you got a job? Family? Large inheritance?”
“No. But there are other ways.”
”Please don´t tell me it´s something illegal or degrading”
”Depends on what you think is illegal”.
”That´s it. You´re staying here until you find something. You can work in the bar – serving, not drinking!”
Dina was about to say something smart, but she changed her mind as she opened her mouth and simple let out a “thank you”.
Stephanie pulled up on Thorne´s driveway. As she got out of the car, Thorne walked out of the house.
”Thorne, I need to talk to you. Can we go inside?”
”Can´t you tell me on the way? I have plenty of work to get done with today.”
”This isn´t exactly something you say in the car”, Stephanie hinted.
”You sound serious. Has something happened? No one is sick, right?”
”No. Nothing like that. Come on”, Stephanie said as she took the lead back to the house.
”Okay, out with it. You´re making me nervous here!”
”Ridge isn´t Eric´s son”, Stephanie just blurted out to a hurried Thorne. “I realize this isn´t a good time to tell you. But you were going to hear it sooner or later”. Thorne was stood gazing at her with an open mouth. He looked just like a big question mark.
”What?”, he finally got out.
”Eric is not Ridge´s father. Massimo is.”
”Wow, those sure were big news… So, let me get this straight. You have lied about…”, Thorne was interrupted.
”No! I didn´t know this until Ridge´s accident. You know when he cut his throat and needed blood.”
”Let me guess, the blood didn´t match.”
”Why didn´t you tell me that then?”
”I didn´t tell anyone. You see, I lied about it. Not just to you. I thought it was best if it never got out. But Massimo then went ahead and told Bridget and then Ridge”.
”How did Massimo know?”
”I told him, which wasn´t very cleaver considering I wanted it to stay a secret. Massimo told Sally and that´s when the troubles really started.”
”She blackmailed me. Well, they both did. You see, that´s why I left your father last year. I had no choice it I wanted them to stay quiet, which I desperately wanted…”
”This is finally making sense now. That´s why Ridge works for Massimo, isn´t it? And why Massimo is so obsessed with him. See, I always thought it was because everyone seems obsessed with Ridge.”, Thorne said and Stephanie ignored that last comment.
”But that isn´t all. When Bridget found out that Ridge wasn´t her brother… And this was just after she found out about Brooke and Deacon… You don´t know about that either, do you?”
”What do you mean, Brooke and Deacon? What did they do to Bridget?”
”To make a long story short: Deacon is Hope´s father”, Stephanie said as Thorne was even more shocked.
”Don´t tell me… My God! And this was when Deacon was married to Bridget?”
”Yes. Brooke tried covering it up by marrying Whip. But Bridget found out anyway. The poor girl was destroyed. Then the had to witness her mother giving birth to her husband’s daughter.”
”Oh no… How could Brooke do that to her?”
”I´ve been wondering the same. But that´s not all. When Bridget then found out Ridge wasn´t her half-brother, her feeling for him started to change. She was so confused and disillusioned. As she spent more and more time with him and the kids, she started developing feelings for him. Romantic feelings”, Stephanie told a completely shocked Thorne.
”Bridget´s in love with Ridge??”, Thorne was absolutely stunned and horrified.
”She thinks she is, yes.” Thorne took a long while to absorb all information.
”Where have I´ve been all this while?”.
”I realize this is too much for you. Maybe you should just stay home today?”
”No, I can´t. I still have too much work…”, Thorne said automatically as he still looked puzzled. Stephanie took his hands in hers and that´s when Thorne noticed yet another thing.
”Where´s your wedding ring?”
”Eric left me, when he found out about Ridge”
”No! Although he did move out and is currently living in Taylor´s old beach house. With another woman…”
”Oy, oy, oy… This is just… Too much in one time”
”Yes, believe me I know. But you were bound to hear it all sometime. Might as well be now.”
”Yes, it well as might. Wow…”
”Are you sure about going to the office today?”
”Yes. I need to talk to… a lot of people.”
”Okay than”, Stephanie said as they walked out to the car.
Amber returned home in a mess. Rick immediately flashed back to when Amber came home after her night with Lance.
”Where have you been all night? I´ve been worried sick!”, Rick said angry.
”Rick, I´m so, so sorry…”, Amber cried out.
”Oh, no… Amber!”, Rick immediately realized what she was going to say.
”It was so stupid. I had been drinking and we had had that stupid fight. I´m sorry, Rick. It will never happen again. I swear!”
”Do you realize how many times I´ve heard that before? Do you? After Deacon, I swore it was the last time and the last chance I would give you.”
”But this is different. I don´t love him. It was nothing. Less than nothing.”
”For you to sleep with someone else, I´d say there is definitely something!”
”I wouldn´t have done it if it wasn´t for that fight. Rick, you´ve been somewhere else for weeks now. You´re not interested in me any more. I didn´t know what to do!”
”So you decide to sleep with someone else!”
”I shouldn´t have done it”
”No, you know what? Maybe it was for the best. Maybe we´re not supposed to be together at all. I should have realized that long ago. God knows I´ve had plenty of signs. Raymond, Kimberly, CJ, Deacon, Erica, Lance and now this.”
”What are you saying…?”
”I´m saying it´s over. Our marriage is over.”
”Ridge? What are you doing here?”
”I just dropped by, with these”, Ridge said as he handed her a bouquet of flowers.
”Ridge, I can´t accept those”, Brooke said kindly.
”Oh, come on. It´s just some flowers. Nothing more. Can´t a guy buy flowers for a woman without it meaning anything?”
”No, most definitely not!”, Brooke chuckled.
”Okay, then see it as a peace offering. A new start – of friendship of course”.
”Of course! Well, then I accept them. Thank you. They´re wonderful.”
”Hello there!”, a voice behind Ridge said. Ridge turned around and was surprised to see…
”Nicholas Payne”, he said annoyed, but with a touch of sarcasm.
”It´s DomiNick Payne. Captain Payne, to you”, he teased.
”What are you doing here, Pain?”
”Nick is taking me out to lunch. Do you mind, ‘friend’?”, Brooke smiled.
”Not at all”, Ridge smiled back as if it was just fine with him.
”See you later, Cliff”, Nick waved at Ridge as he took Brooke´s hand and led her to his car.
Bridget and CJ were taking their break as the other staff members took over. They went up to Bridget´s room upstairs.
”How do you like being back so far?”
”I like it, but my boss is making me work all days long. I don´t know how I´m going to put up with it”, Bridget teased.
”You should tell him”.
”Oh, I wouldn’t dare. He doesn´t seem to give people any slack”.
”Let me see if I can take care that problem for you. When do you need time off?”
”Tomorrow. I´m spending the day with my mother”.
”Your mother?”, CJ suddenly lost his smile.
”I know what you think of my mother. She may not be innocent, but she doesn´t mean to harm people. And look at how things turned out. Macy is alive and well. She has Thorne back. Everything is back to the way it should be!”.
”Actually, no they´re not. Your brother hurt my sister again. He got Darla pregnant”
”I wish I were. Actually, I think I´m glad Thorne chose Brooke. He doesn´t deserve my sister”.
”CJ, I don´t think we should get into that discussion. I love Thorne, you love Macy. It might get ugly”.
”You´re right. Let´s leave it. And get back to work, now. If you´re going to be off tomorrow, then you´d better work hard today”.
”Yes, sir!”, Bridget said warmly.
”So, where are we off to now?”, Brooke wanted to know.
”Where would you like to go?”, Nick answered.
”I´ll let you decide. You are so good at it”.
”How about Café Russe? I´ve never been there.”
”You´ve never been to the Café Russe? Boy, have you missed out on a first class meal!”
”Well, you can´t miss it if you´ve never had it”.
”How about you? Have many memories from there?”
”Quite a few”…
”Then I suggest we get you a few new memories”.
”What did you have in mind?”
”You´ll see, you´ll see”.
”This is another surprise isn´t it? You´re just full of them, aren´t you?”
”Or just full of IT…”, Brooke said as they both smiled.
”I think the lady needs proof. And proof she shall get”.
”Helen, it´s Eric. I need to talk to my wife. Is she there?”, Eric said in the phone.
”No, Mr Forrester. She headed out a while ago. Mr Thorne called earlier and needed a lift to the office. You should try Mrs Forrester´s car phone.”
”Thank you Helen”, Eric said and hung up.
”So you never thought it was possible Massimo was Ridge´s father?”
”I know I should have. But I didn´t. We didn´t know very much about cycles and all that when I was so young. It was almost a taboo. And I had all kinds of pressure on me. Your grandfather would have gone insane if I had told him I had slept with Massimo and then Eric. I mean, it was hard enough for me to admit to him I was pregnant. He was so mad at me that I couldn´t confess. And as I was sure Eric was the father, I saw no reason why I should tell.”
”You didn´t think dad deserved to know about Massimo?”
”Of course he deserved to know. But I couldn´t tell him. If I had thought there was a chance Massimo was the father, then I would have told him. But as that wasn´t the case, I really thought it was best he didn´t know and therefore my parents would never know either.”
”Were you really that afraid grandma and grandpa would find out? I know they were strict, but what could they do?”
”Oh, Thorne… You never really did know my parents, did you? Did you ever wonder why I moved away from Chicago and never looked back? Why I hardly ever talk about my family?”
”That bad, huh?”
”Worse. I felt so bad for Eric the first time he met my father, just after I had told them I was pregnant. He was so intimidating, I was scared myself!”
”Ouch! What happened?”
”Not much actually. My father was very short to both of us. My mother was still in Chicago, refusing to talk to me. My father gave me a choice. More like an ultimatum. It was either come back to Chicago and give the baby up for adoption or marry Eric and be on my own. Your father proposed and that´s what I chose. I never looked back again.”
”I never knew that”
”We never told you kids much, did we? I guess it was because it was bad memories and we didn´t want to burden any of you with it. But hey, things worked out just fine.”
”And then you find out Massimo is Ridge´s real father. Do you ever think about how different everything would have turned out if you had known?”
”I did when I first found out. I would have married Massimo. Probably created a family with him. And I wouldn´t have had you and your sisters. So I can´t really say I regret anything. I´ve had the life I wanted.”
”Well, then I´m glad things turned out the way they did. And for the fact that I was born”, Thorne said as they both chuckled.
”So Bridget really thinks she´s in love with Ridge?”
”I´m not sure what it is, I don´t even think they do.”
”Tell me nothing has… “happened”… between them!”
”I wish I could…”
”No! God, don´t tell me they have gone all the way!”
”They haven´t! And God forbid they ever do! The only thing I know is that they kissed, which is bad enough”.
”This is… What is Ridge thinking?”
”Don´t blame Ridge for this”, Stephanie asked of her son.
”Don´t try defending Ridge now, mother! He kissed Bridget.”
”He shouldn´t have. I can´t defend him there. But he would never have done it if Massimo hadn´t pushed for it all to happen”.
”What has Massimo got to do with it?”
”He was the one who convinced Bridget she was in love with Ridge”
”What is wrong with that man?”
”He wants what´s best for Ridge”
”And that´s Bridget?”
”He thinks it´s anyone but Brooke, and I agree with him there. But he has gone too far with Bridget.”
”That man needs to get something straight”, Thorne said infuriated.
”Thorne, you´re not going to confront him. Please, let me handle this”.
”It doesn´t appear as if you have succeeded yet. Maybe I can change that”
”What would you say that hasn´t been said already?”
”I don´t know, but he will know what he has against him”, Thorne said determined as Stephanie tried to cool him down. Just then, the phone rang. Stephanie pushed the speaker button.
”Hello?”, she answered.
”Stephanie? Are you on your way to the office?”
”Is Thorne there with you?”
”Yeah, dad, I´m here”
”Drop him off and then you can leave again”
”What?”, Stephanie asked offended.
”I don´t want you in this building.”
”Eric, you can´t be serious!”
”If this is about last night…”
”It´s not. Right now, I think it would be best if you stayed away from here”
”Dad!”, Thorne started objecting.
”Eric, you can´t do this. I have every right to be there. That building is as much mine as it is yours!”
”Do I need to get Brooke to barr you?”
”Fine, I won´t go in the building. Happy now? I´m out of your life completely!”
”Dad, I really think you should calm down.”
”Thorne, you don´t know what´s been going on, so please stay out of this”.
”I do know what´s been going on. Mom told me everything.”
”From her point of view, I´m sure”
”Eric, would you stop!”
”Dad, don´t get me wrong, but I have to side with mom on this one. You´re overreacting.”
”Don´t you dare tell me I´m overreacting, Thorne! Don´t do that.”
”She didn´t know!”
”Can you two stop arguing?”, an upset Stephanie told them as the situation had gotten pretty heated. Eric started yelling at the other side of the line as Stephanie tried to get the situation in control. But doing that while driving in full traffic turned out to be pretty hard. Especially when a car from behind wanted to pass while a car before them was changing files. Suddenly, it was as if things went in slow motion. Stephanie saw Thorne on her right being upset, she pictured a furious Eric on the other side of the line as she had to keep an eye on three cars. Suddenly, another car wanted to pass on the other side.
The young man in the blue Dodge was in a hurry. He was very late for an important meeting and needed to get there ASAP. He was anything but relaxed as he thought of what his boss would say. This was no time for him to waste time on the road. He started passing car after car, going faster and faster. He saw a car to the left trying to pass another car, would he make it before? With no time to think, the young man took the place and drove out right before Stephanie’s car and a chaos was a fact. As the car before him started driving out before him, he realized there was no space for him and he was forced to make a right turn back to his original spot. The young man with very little driving experience acted fast and surprised everyone around him. At that time, Stephanie should have hit the breaks and turned left, but as she was already worked up and trying to break off the argument in the car, she noticed it too late and the young man went smashing into her car. A serial collision was a fact as car after car smashed into them from behind. Cars were thrown into each other, causing enormous damage and injuries.
Eric heard the screams and the explosions and the screeching wheels like he was right in the middle of it. He immediately realized what had happened and was shocked.
”Hello? Stephanie! Thorne!”, he yelled out a few times. But none answered. Suddenly he was cut off line. He put the phone down and ran out of his office.
We see the crash site from above. Everything calmed down and we hear heartbeats in the background, louder and louder. Smoke was raising into the air. 14 cars on the highway were all in a pile of junk. Other cars were stopping by the side of the road. We hear nothing anymore and the picture slowly gets blurred out.