Amber was stressed. She had just checked that her red lipstick was the way she had applied it for the 3rd time. This time, she took the comb and went through her hair once more. She had to look her best, so she could feel surer of herself and her impression for her job interview. Ginger came out wearing a long t-shirt from her bedroom.
”Chill out, Amber”, she told her friend.
”Ginger, this is important. I have to get this job. Wish me good luck”, Amber said.
”You know I do. But you are always welcomed to live here with me.”
”You’ve fallen in love with Eric, haven’t you?”, Amber smiled.
”How could I not? He’s so adorable.”
”I wonder if he’s awake…”.
”Amber, it’s 8 a.m. He won’t be up for another hour.”
”Ginger, I really need this job. If I am going to take care of him by myself, I’ll need a job. But I appreciate everything you’ve done for us. Letting us stay here and providing for food. I can’t thank you enough”.
”That’s what friends are for. What about you? What do you plan to do next? Is it really over between you and Rick?”
”I think so. Rick will never forgive me or trust me again. I just wish this separation wouldn’t affect little Eric as much as it will. Rick will hardly see him again. Eric will start school and that will mean even less time for him to see Rick.”
”What about you and Deacon? Deacon is his father and I know you care for Deacon.”
”Ginger, why do you always encourage me to be with Deacon? It’s like you want him yourself.”
”Who wouldn’t? He’s a total hottie.”
”I don’t think Deacon and I would ever work out. All I know is that Eric comes first. I will make sure to give him the best life I possibly can. Right now, I have to get going. I wouldn’t want to be late to the interview. See you later”, Amber said, gave Ginger a smile and left.
Stephanie woke up when she felt something touching her arm. Suddenly she remembered everything that had happened that night. She sat up in bed, almost shocked. She turned around and saw young Tim looking surprised at her.
”What’s wrong?” he asked.
”What’s wrong?” Stephanie asked sarcastically. “This! Everything that happened”.
”You regret it?” Tim asked as he too sat up beside her.
”Well, yes and no.”
”I won’t tell anyone about it, don’t worry”.
”Thank you, Tim.”
”You never told me what had you so depressed last night”.
”That isn’t important anymore” Stephanie said as she looked at him.
”I won´t press you to tell me”
”I appreciate it. Don’t you have somewhere you have to be this morning?”
”Nope. I’m free for another couple of hours”.
”I guess I should ask you if you’d stay for breakfast…”
”No, it’s okay. I realize you don’t want people to see me here. I’ll sneak out”.
”How old are you anyway?”, she asked embarrassed.
”30”, he said, as Stephanie looked speechless. She rest back on her pillow.
”I’m a cradle robber” she announced horrified. “Can this day start any worse?”
Eric let himself into the Forrester mansion and ran into Helen.
”Good morning, Mr. Forrester”, Helen said with a smile. She was carrying a breakfast plate that she would bring out to the guesthouse on Rick’s orders.
”Good morning, Helen. Is Stephanie upstairs?”
”I suppose so. I haven’t seen or heard her all morning”.
”Thank you”, Eric said and headed up the stairs.
Brooke arrived at Forrester and went by Megan for messages. She was given two and went into her office.
As she sat down, she read through them.
”Henry needs approval for his spring report ASAP” was the first message.
”Edmund Kelly called” was the second message that Brooke read. Her eyes stopped at the name Edmund Kelly. Brooke felt like she was right back in High School, getting thrilled of any slight interest Edmund might have in her. Brooke took up her purse to look for the napkin with his number he had given her last night. She thought twice before she started dialing the number.
”Edmund Kelly” the voice on the other line answered.
”Brooke Logan” Brooke said back.
”Brooke? I’m glad you called”.
”I just got your message”.
”I hope I don’t seem forward. I was just wondering if you’re free tomorrow night?”
”Yes, I am. What did you have in mind?”
”Well, we’re both chemists, how about we find out if we have any chemistry together?”, he said as Brooke smiled at his bold suggestion.
”Sounds intriguing. Where?”
”How about Mannequins at 8?”
”I’ll see you then”, Brooke said and they hung up without another word.
”Helen, thank you so much” Rick said as he took the breakfast plate from Helen.
”I didn’t realize you were staying here again,” Helen said.
”I’m not. I just stayed with Shannon last night. She wasn’t feeling very good”.
”I see. I hope she can eat” Helen said and left the guesthouse. Rick shut the door and took the plate into the bedroom. Shannon was lying in the bed with a cold towel around her head.
”Helen brought you some breakfast if you think you can eat”.
”That’s sweet of her. Thank you”.
”How are you feeling?”
”Actually, I’m much better. That stomach flue was ruthless” she joked.
”I know. I thought you were going to lose your windpipe there for a while”
”I must be doing great impression on you. First I cry my eyes out on your shoulder and then I throw up on you!”
”It wasn’t that bad. I mean, the vomit wasn’t very nice, but my impression of you is”.
”Really?” she asked doubtful.
”Really. Look, I have to get going to the office. Are you sure you’re gonna be okay?”
”I’m sure. But I still have my mother’s funeral tomorrow”.
”Is there someone I can contact for you?”
”No, I can handle it. But I can’t seem to reach my Uncle Connor. I haven’t seen him in years and the phone number I found is old. I’m gonna call grandpa in Seattle to see if he knows where I can find him.”
”Let me know if there is something I can help you with”.
”You’ve already done more than enough. Thank you for everything, Rick.”
”Don’t mention it. I’ll come after work” he said and left.
Shannon reached over to the telephone and dialed her best friend Jacob.
”Jay, it’s me”
”Shannon, I heard what happened with your mom. I feel awful”
”I know you do. I was wondering if you would come to the funeral. It’s tomorrow at 2. St Mary’s church”.
”I’ll be there. Listen, I called you last night. You weren’t home”.
”No, I’m not. You know that guy I saw when we were playing baseball the last time? Well, he was at the hospital. His step mom and brother were in the accident too. He offered me to stay at their guesthouse because I didn’t feel like being alone at home.”
”You could have come stay with me, you know”.
”I figured you’d have some girl there, so I went with Rick.”
”So it was that Forrester guy after all?”
”Yes, and he is really sweet and wonderful to me. He even stayed with me last night when I got a stomach flue.”
”Don’t tell me he saw you vomit”.
”Actually, I vomited ON him. It was an accident”
”He was totally grossed out, right?”
”No, he stayed with me all night long and had the maid bring me breakfast this morning. I’m lying here in bed eating right now”.
”So he saw you vomit and still is interested?”
”I told you he was great”
”Just don’t let him hear you fart or burp in the next few days or you’ll blow it for sure!”
”Just because you dump women for releasing gas or throwing up doesn’t mean Rick is as superficial as you are” Shannon joked.
”Aoch. I never dumped you because of it” Jacob stated.
”Well, that’s because you were never interested in me that way. I’m just your friend”.
”My best friend”
”Awww, Jay. That’s so sweet of you… Well, I got to hang up now. I need a long shower, cause baby, I stink!”
”Thanks for sharing!”
Tim and Stephanie were still in bed as Stephanie got up and wrapped her cover around her.
”I’m gonna go freshen up” she told Tim and went into the bathroom. She hurried up, realizing she had to sneak Tim out before Helen or anyone saw him come down the stairs.
Eric made his way into the bedroom. The first thing he noticed were clothes on the floor. He looked around confused. He looked over to the bed, which was empty. But something was wrong. He could feel he wasn’t alone. He could hear the water running in the bathroom.
”Stephanie?” he asked. No one answered. He looked around and saw a foot sticking out from the other side of the bed.
”Who the hell are you?” he asked the blonde young man, who was lying naked on the floor. Tim looked up at him embarrassed.
”Mr. Forrester…” he started.
”Who the hell are you?” Eric asked again infuriated.
”I’m Tim Cameron” Nick said as he took the remaining cover to wrap around his waist.
”The pool boy? What the hell are you doing here?”
At that time, the bathroom door opened and Stephanie, dressed in her robe, walked out. She could feel how the color from her face disappeared as she saw Eric standing before Tim. She couldn’t describe the expression on his face because she had never seen anything like it before. Filled with betrayal, rage, confusion and disgust. It was all directed towards her.
”Eric, I…” she said, but stopped herself. What could she say?
”What is this?” he asked her. Stephanie didn’t know what to say, though she tried hard to think of something, anything. Eric shook his head, quickly, in anger and stormed out. Stephanie followed him a few steps but stopped. Looking back at Tim, she realized what had just happened in embarrassment.
Darla was parking her car outside the mansion when she saw Eric rushing outside. He slammed the door to the mansion so hard the house almost vibrated. Darla observed him carefully as he took off in his car and drove away. She realized this wasn’t such a good time to visit Thorne. But she had drove all this way… Darla hesitated before finally walking over to the door and knocked at it. Helen opened, and she looked as stunned as Darla felt.
”I’m here to see Thorne” Darla said, ignoring family problems.
”Come in” Helen said and let Darla inside. On her way to the downstairs study, she looked around to see if the coast was clear. She didn’t want to run into Stephanie after what she just witnessed. Walking into Thorne’s room, she saw he was awake.
”Good morning, Thorne” she said and sat down by his bedside. Thorne looked at her confused. Darla realized he had heard the noise Eric had made, and maybe even what had happened before. As Thorne couldn’t ask her, she decided to just tell him what she had seen. ”I saw your father rushing out of here. He took off in his car when I arrived. That’s all I know. You should just ask your mother” Darla said and quickly realized how insensitive that was. “Oh, God. I’m sorry Thorne! I didn’t mean to be so insensitive” she excused herself panicked. But Thorne didn’t seem upset at all, just amused by her. “It’s just that I think you’re going to say something any second now. It’s hard realizing you can’t”, she said apologetic. “Anyway, I just came by to tell you that I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday. Well, I had some pain and I had to go to the hospital. Just to be safe. There are no problems. The doctor said it was Braxton Hicks symptoms. Or whatever they were called… It’s nothing to worry about. But I did find out the sex of the baby when they did an ultrasound. Would you like to know?” Darla asked as she awaited Thorne’s blinks. He answered her yes. She couldn’t help but smile at the way he cared. “We’re having a boy”, she announced. She could see how Thorne lit up over the news that he was having a son. “The doctor said he was healthy and I could hear his heartbeats. You should have heard it, Thorne. It was so amazing. Here, I got a picture”, she said as she reached to her purse and took up the ultrasound picture. She held it up to Thorne. He immediately felt a connection to Darla and their baby. For the first time, it felt so real. What a beautiful and perfect child, he thought to himself. “He´s kicking!” Darla suddenly said. Thorne seemed interested, so she took his hand and placed it on her belly. “Can you feel it?” she asked and Thorne blinked twice for yes. Darla smiled at Thorne. She could tell she had been successful in brightening up his day.
Rick was walking through the hall of Forrester’s executive offices. He stopped by Megan’s desk to pick up messages. Megan wasn’t there, so he looked through all incoming messages to find something that concerned him. While reading a message for Eric, he felt a hand on his shoulder. Turning around, he came face to face with his future ex-wife.
”Amber, what are you doing here?” he asked surprised.
”I need to talk to you. Please” she said. Rick could tell she was upset about something, so he agreed.
”Is it Eric? Is he sick?” he asked worriedly.
”No, Eric’s fine. I left him with Martha”.
”Are you letting me share custody?” he asked.
”No, I’m giving you full custody”.
”I need to leave Los Angeles. I don’t have time to explain. But I can’t take Eric with me, so I’m leaving him with you. Also, I signed the divorce papers and left them with Martha too. You can sign them and take care of the divorce. I’ll go by and pack up all my things now”.
”Amber, what’s going on? Why are you leaving?”
”I can’t explain”, she said. Brooke and Lucinda walked their way, which had Amber panicked and pulled in Rick to Eric’s office so they wouldn’t be seen.
”Amber, tell me what’s going on. Are you in some kind of trouble?” he asked.
”No. No, I’m not! I just need to leave town, and I think that Eric should stay here. He has his friends here and most of his family. I’ll be back some day. But right now, I need to go. Please, understand that” Amber said a little hurried.
”I understand, but I don’t see what the big rush is about”.
”There’s no rush. It’s just that I have a plane to catch in a couple of hours and I haven’t packed yet. So I need to get going now”.
”Wait Amber! Where are you going? So I know where to reach you”.
”I’ll be in touch”, Amber said. She leaned over and kissed Rick good-bye. Before he could say anything, she hurried out the door. Rick let her go. But he was still confused as to what had happened. It wasn’t like Amber to leave her son behind.
Outside Forrester Creations, Amber broke down in tears.
”I have to do this. Oh, God, I don´t want to leave you Eric, but you´ll be safe with Rick and the Forresters. They´ll take care of you, honey. Rick will never let anything bad happen to you. Mommy loves you, sweetie. I don´t want to leave you, but I have no choice. I love you so much” Amber said to a picture of Little Eric she had taken out from her purse.
Nick arrived at Marone as Massimo had requested. When he walked into Massimo’s office, he found Massimo waiting for him.
”What was so urgent?” Nick asked.
”I’ll go straight to my point. I want you to pursue Brooke Logan.”
”Not this again. I am not about to manipulate her away from Ridge. If she wants to be with me, then she will let Ridge go. I don’t force women to be with me. That might be your style, but it ain´t mine. If that was it, can I go?”
”Look, this is the perfect time to spend with Brooke. Ridge is in Asia. At least spend some time with her. Who knows where it might lead?”
”I am very attracted to Brooke. But I am not about to take advantage. I already told her to solve out her feelings for Ridge once and for all before the two of us got serious. You see, I don’t settle for someone else’s leftovers. If she decide she wants to be with me, than that’s great.”
”You’re being foolish”.
”Maybe so. But I got a clean conscious.”
Stephanie and Tim walked downstairs. She figured it was no idea to sneak Tim out now.
”Breakfast is the least I can offer after what happened with my husband”, Stephanie said.
”I’m starving, so thank you”. They walked into the kitchen and met Helen. Stephanie could tell what Helen was thinking when she saw Tim. She figured she must have heard Eric leave in rage. Stephanie didn’t feel like explaining herself to the maid, so she only asked for breakfast for two. Helen fixed it up quickly and left them alone.
”Wait, Helen. Did you bring breakfast to Thorne?”
”Yes, he drank up everything”.
”All of it? That’s good”, Stephanie stated, as Thorne hadn’t been able to eat a lot since he became paralyzed. Helen left.
”How is your son doing? I heard about the accident” Tim said.
”He’s completely paralyzed. He can’t even talk. All he can do is blink for communication and sometimes lift his hand. I can tell it’s eating him up inside and it’s terrible to see him like that.”
”I can imagine. My grandmother had a stroke and after that could never move again”.
”I’m sorry. How is she now?”
”She died 11 years ago.”
”Because of the paralysis?”
”No, of old age. She was 92.”
”You sound surprised. I’m really not THAT young” he joked. Stephanie smiled.
”Are you okay with me still working here, or do you want someone else to take over?” he asked.
”No, no, you can stay. Besides, how would it make me look? They’d have a sexual harassment case against me”.
”What?”, he chuckled.
”I’m kidding”, she said and they laughed.
After eating up, Tim looked down on his watch.
”I need to head to my headquarters now. Thank you for breakfast, Stephanie. I had a great time”.
”Me too. Bye” Stephanie said and Tim headed out.
Rick stopped by the guesthouse again as he had promised Shannon. She opened the door and Rick walked inside. He got a surprise when he saw her guest.
”Connor?” he asked.
”Rick, how are you doing?”
”Uncle Connor told me about his connection to your family.”
”So you are the uncle Shannon was trying to find?”
”It’s a small world isn’t it?” Connor charmingly smiled.
”I knew her last name was Davis, but it didn’t click with me at all when she said her uncle’s name was Connor” Rick explained.
”You were their lawyer, right?” Shannon asked.
”I did some cases for Rick’s mother Brooke. We’re old friends.”
”If I had known you were Shannon’s uncle, then she wouldn’t have had to search the country for you… So, you are the brother of Shannon’s mother?”
”No, her father”.
”I thought you didn’t have a father?”
”He’s dead. He died just before I was born.”
”I stepped in to raise her when her mother was working. But then we lost contact.”
”Mom and Connor didn’t go well together”, Shannon explained, trying to avoid the reasons behind the animosity.
”Well, it’s great seeing you again Connor.”
”I was thinking about visiting your mother, do you know if she’s at Forrester?”
”She was when I left, so I assume so yes”.
”Shannon, I’ll see you tomorrow. Rick” Connor said and headed out.
Brooke and Lucinda were looking through some designs in her office when Eric walked inside. He seemed preoccupied and angry about something.
”What was so important that couldn’t wait till tomorrow?” Eric asked. Brooke had called him over.
”I need you to make some changes on this design” Brooke said and handed it to Eric.
”What’s wrong with it?”
”I couldn’t get that fabric you chose.”
”Eric, what’s the matter?” Brooke asked. He looked at Lucinda and back at Brooke.
”Will you excuse me, I need to get back to work” Lucinda said and left the office.
”So, what’s the matter? And don’t say ‘nothing’. I know better than that”.
”I found my wife in bed with another man” Eric confessed.
”What? Stephanie?” Brooke asked stunned.
”With our pool boy no less”.
”You’re kidding!” Brooke chuckled.
”I wish I were”.
”With the pool boy? How old is he?”
”I don’t know. Thirty-ish”
”Oh my! I’m sorry Eric. I really am”.
”Do I have to make these changes today?”
”No, I can ask Lucinda or Kristen to do it”
”Thank you” Eric said and left the office. Brooke shook her head in disbelief.
A little later, there was a knock at the door and Connor peaked inside.
”Connor! What a surprise. What are you doing here?”
”I met your son earlier, so I thought I might stop by to see you too”.
”It’s great seeing you again. How’s Janet doing?”
”We split up. It didn’t work out”.
”I’m sorry to hear that”.
”What about you? Are you free for the evening?”
”Actually no. I have a date.”
”Not with Ridge I hope”.
”No. With my old high school crush. Edmund Kelly”.
”High school crush? Must have been a great reunion party.”
”It wasn’t at a reunion party. We just met. He didn’t recognize me at first but we hit it off right away. He asked me out and I accepted.”
”He didn’t recognize you? That’s a bad sign”.
”I don’t blame him. You can say I’ve changed a lot since. He didn’t even know me back in high school. I used to be so shy, really pathetic actually. I didn’t have the guts to go over to him and talk. But I’m free tomorrow. How about then?”
”That sounds good. I have a funeral to go to, but I’m free all evening”.
”A funeral? My son’s friend Shannon Davis´ mother is getting buried tomorrow…”
”She was my former sister-in-law”.
”I’m sorry to hear that.”
”We weren’t close. I just feel so sorry for Shannon. I’m the only relative she has left now”.
”Poor girl. Thorne and Stephanie were in the same car crash.”
”They were? How are they?”
”Stephanie is fine, but Thorne is completely paralyzed. I went to visit him the other day.”
”That’s terrible. I hope he recovers.”
”That’s what we’re praying for…”
”Listen, I have an appointment now. I’ll see you tomorrow. I’ll pick you up at, let’s say 7?”
”7 is fine. See you then” Brooke said and they smiled at each other before Connor left.
Stephanie walked out of the downstairs study after visiting Thorne. He had been asleep and she didn’t want to disturb him. Stephanie took the book she was currently reading and laid down on the sofa. But she couldn’t concentrate on the book. She could see Eric’s face before her, his face expression when he had found Tim in their bedroom. Stephanie shook her head. She should never have let that happen. She realized a reunion with her and Eric was out the window now. There was no way he could ever forgive her for that after finding out Ridge was Massimo’s son. Stephanie again tried to concentrate on the book, but she quickly stopped reading when she heard a noise from Thorne’s room. She looked back on the door. The noise became louder and Stephanie rushed inside. Thorne was having some sort of a seizure. His body was shaking and he looked like he was cramping. Stephanie tried calming him down, but it didn’t work. His eyes looked panicked and Stephanie hurried over to the phone to call an ambulance. The nurse who took care of Thorne was on her lunch break and not in the mansion. After making sure an ambulance was on its way, Stephanie ran back into Thorne’s room. He was still now. She called out his name, but she couldn’t reach him. He was unconscious. Stephanie panicked. She checked his pulse and breathing. He was still alive.
”Hang in there, honey! Just hang in there…” Stephanie asked of him as she held his hand tightly.