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Episode 47

"Tragedy Ensues"


*Gary's party event went into full swing.

*Annie was horrified to see her Mother with a man from her past.

*Luke filled Todd in on Creg's knowledge of their relationship. Todd flipped and insisted on confronting Creg, no longer wanting to be a coward about things.

*Eve suspected Gary had something up his sleeves after a brief conversation with him.

*After realizing that Jasper was at the party, Lacey hesistated before deciding to finally have a talk with him after all these years.



The orchestra’s music has intensified, playing a dramatic and energized harmony. The music seems to align perfectly with the situations that are naturally presenting themself in the crowd of people.

Jasper’s eyes meet Lacey’s. He swallows hard as he rummages through his mind quickly for the right words to say to her.

Lacey is first to speak. Her voice is barely above a hushed whisper, "Why are you in Sunrise Bay? I just want to know why you came."

Jasper finally finds words: "Lacey, my cousins live here. Things they...they were messed up at home. I had to find someone to turn to for help. You know how close I am to Tara and Nicole."

Lacey swallows hard and slowly nods. Amy is off in the distance keeping her eyes glued onto the scene, making sure Jasper’s behavior is in check.

"Yeah, you were very close knit, especially for cousins." Lacey feels herself calming quickly. She never expected to be in such a close proximity with Jasper again–much less growing comfortable and being able to carry on a conversation with him. She clears her throat, "Jasper, I...I was scared to death when I first found out you were in town."

Jasper is quick to jump to a defense: "Scared to death? Come on, Lacey. Why?"

"Isn’t it obvious? Hello, Jasper! You kidnapped Connor. I never thought I would see my son again!"

"Don’t you mean OUR son?! I think you’re forgetting my role in bringing him into this world. Don’t you dare label him as your own."

Lacey shakes her head vehemently. The calm demeanor has quickly morphed into angry opposition. "You were never a father to him! You never showed any interest in Connor! The only interest you showed was kidnaping him as a way to get back at me for whatever was going on in your twisted mind!"

"Dammit, Lacey! How old were we then? Do you remember what my parent’s were doing to me? I was in a situation a fucking kid that age should not have been in! I made dumb choices!"

The surrounding crowd’s eyes have darted to the scene of arguing, especially Amy’s. Amy can hear their heightened tones of voice and wonders if she should run to her friend’s rescue. However, a nagging feeling is telling her that this encounter was meant to happen. She decides to let the exchange take it’s course.

An oblivious Cynthia, at that exact moment, spots Jasper and Lacey–who are currently mum. Remembering how he changed her tire and got her set to be at the party, she decides to go and thank him again. Immediately, she notices Lacey standing right next to him. How the hell does he know her?

She decides she doesn’t care and taps Jasper on the shoulder.

Jasper swings around, "What is it?"

"Jeez, I just thought I’d come over here and thank you again for helping me with my car. I truly appreciated it. If it wasn’t for you, I probably would have hitchhiked here."

Lacey crosses her arms and impatiently taps her foot, "Cynthia, I’m glad Jasper helped you out of a crappy situation but him and I were actually in the middle of an important conversation."

Cynthia rolls her eyes, "I should have known. Why does it seem you always have dibs on things? At the restaurant, you act like you are boss and master of the place and now at my own Father’s party you are telling me who I can talk to? I think you need to get over yourself."

Jasper’s eyes dart from Cynthia to Lacey, "So you two know each other?"

"Yeah we do. How did you get the honor of meeting Cynthia?"

Cynthia answers for Jasper, "He got the honor of meeting me when he was nice enough to help me out with my car, thank you very much. Anyway, I don’t want to interrupt another precious moment between you guys so I’m going to go and find my boyfriend." At that, she gives Lacey a wicked glare and heads off in the other direction.

Jasper can’t help but crack a grin at the way Cynthia has left. He turns his attention back to Lacey, "Glad you’re making lots of good friends in Sunrise Bay."

"Oh, shut up Jasper." snaps Lacey as she shakes her head.

"Hey, don’t give me that attitude of yours. I was just cracking a joke. Anyway, why does Amy feel the need to hide behind all those people over their? Are you guys seriously that scared of me?"

At the mention of Amy, Lacey’s attention is quickly diverted to her. Amy tries to read Lacey’s state of mind with her eyes. Amy is surprised when she gets a more relaxed vibes from Lacey than she anticipated. Next, Amy is surprised again when Lacey motions her to come over.

After a long pause of hesitation, Amy approaches Lacey and Jasper.


Luke worriedly scans the crowd of people for Todd. Did him and Creg go somewhere private to talk or something? Dammit, I don’t like this one bit. Todd doesn’t realize that he’s digging himself a deeper hole with Creg if he confronts him.

Suddenly something at the corner of his eyes catches his attention–his Father. His Dad is standing in a shaded corner of the large room, adjusting his pockets. Luke swears he can see the outline of a gun in his pocket. He rubs his eyes to do a double check but by the time he does, his Dad has turned and his back is now facing him.

"I must have been seeing things. Why in the hell would he have a gun in his pocket?" Luke says aloud in a quiet tone. After that thought passes, he resumes his search for Todd and his brother. Todd’s sudden words of courage once again run through his mind. Todd was dead set on proving that he wouldn’t let fear control him. In a way, Luke was relieved to hear him say this. Luke suddenly stops in his footsteps and a dawning about Todd overcomes him:

There is something so genuine in him that I’ve never found in anyone else. The way he looks at me, it makes my heart race. As odd as it is for him to be the first guy I’ve been interested in like this, it’s the first time I’ve felt a true connection to someone. I can’t even put my finger on it. I just know it’s there and that’s all I need to know.

Luke lets out a light chuckle. The thoughts seemed as an epiphany to him. Of all places to have an epiphany...


Annie reaches over and grabs Nicole’s hand tightly and leads her next to a table that is full of fresh vegetables and an array of dips. She looks desperately into her friend’s eyes, "It’s him, Nicole."

"Him? Annie, you’re freaking me out. Who are you talking about?" Nicole says this as she lets her eyes dart sporadically in hopes of seeing the "him" Annie is speaking of.

"Remember the huge secret I told you like 2 years ago? The one I said I’d never want to talk about again? We got drunk and I was overwhelmed with depression. I told you that big story about when I was 15 and how me and my friend Jessica ran away..."

Nicole’s eyes bulge wide open. When Annie first spilled the beans about her life as a prostitute for a year, she was more than ready to blame the appalling story on the alcohol. However, the desperation in Annie’s eyes confirm to her once again that Annie truly experienced pure hell as a 15 year old. She experienced a loss of innocence and exposure to the cruel world that no child should ever have to endure.

"OK, I’m glad I’ve got your attention, Nicole." She moves her friend to a corner of the room to be sure that her mother and the man she’s with don’t spot them.

"Move your eyes slowly toward where the punch bowl is at. I just can’t believe it." Annie swallows hard as a cold shiver moves up the length of her back.

"Who is that man?" Nicole curiously questions, trying to be nonchalant. However, a super giggly Nina makes eye contact from across the room and begins to pull the older man along with her.

"That man is someone I never wanted to fucking see again. We have to leave." Annie grabs Nicole’s wrist and pulls her.

"Annie, stop! I just can’t leave. Brice is going to wonder where I went."

"Annie, darling! Honey! There is someone that I want you to meet!" Nina screams from the distance.

"Dammit" Annie says as she gives up. There is no escaping the situation now.

"I’d like you to meet Max Darber. We met last week and honey, I think I’ve found your new step daddy!" Nina erupts into series of giddy laughs while moving her hand up and down Max’s rear end.

Max erupts in laughter with her and plants a kiss on the top of her head. "Don’t say that unless you’re serious because you know I’d marry you in a second, baby."

Annie steps back, wearing a face of complete disgust. She tries her hardest not to make eye contact with Max.

Max reaches his hand out, seemingly to shake Annie’s hand. However, when she grudgingly allows his fingers to touch her own, he quickly brings her hand up and kisses the top, a devilish twinkle in his eye. Immediately, Annie slaps him across the face, "Don’t ever do that again, you bastard."

"What in the hell was that?!" flips Nina as she immediately pulls Max against herself.

"Let’s go find Brice, Nicole." States Annie dryly as she makes a quick dash from Max and Nina.

Max holds his hand against his cheek, a red welt now decorates his skin.


Todd’s eyes lock with Creg’s. "We need to talk right now, Creg."

His heart is beating insanely fast and he feels as though he might faint from nervousness. I have to do this. If not for me, I have to do it for Luke. He deserves this much. Besides, I can’t keep going through life as a coward.

A smirk forms on Creg’s face and he quickly whispers something in the blonde woman’s ear that he is hanging all over. After planting a long kiss on her lips he moves toward Todd, wearing a face of pure amusement. "Soooo, you want to have a talk with me?"

"That’s what I said, isn’t it?"

"Don’t get cocky with me. Let’s go outside alone. More privacy there. I know an exit from here." Creg grabs Todd’s arm and leads him toward a door that is along the wall at the back of the room.

Creg opens the door and a rush of tropical Florida air encircles both men. The sound of crashing ocean waves continues from the distance at a steady pace.

Creg looks directly into Todd’s eyes and steps real close, "So, what is it? Look, about earlier at the hospital, I was being a bastard."

Todd is taken aback by Creg’s kind demeanor. "Um, yeah."

"Wait, that is what you wanted to talk about, right? I was such a jackass."

"Yeah, you were. Look, Creg, I know what you know." Todd states in a forceful tone.

Creg feigns ignorance as he scratches his chin, appearing to be in deep thought. "Wait, are you talking about how Gabi’s child could be yours? Of course I know about all of that bullshit. Look, the three of us will have a long and hard talk with Gabi tomorrow about the whole situation. I’m sure we can come to some kind of agreement."

"This has absolutely nothing to do with the baby Gabi is carrying though I think that is a good idea. Look, I know you're messing with me so you can stop playing around, Creg. You know about me and Luke and that's why we're out here to talk."

Creg shakes his head and lets out a deep sigh, "Ohhhh you know I thought you might mention that..."

Todd rolls his eyes, "I know you hate your brother for it but it's simply because you don't understand. I don't expect you to either. However, I do expect you to somehow gather some shred of decency from your body and learn to come to terms with reality."

"Reality? Are you fucking talking with me about reality? Last time I checked the reality of the situation is that my brother is a fucking homo ass fairy! He wants to sleep with men. The whole concept makes me want to vomit."

Todd swallows hard as he witnesses Creg's kind demeanor vanish in a nanosecond. He then finds himself searching for words as a rebuttal.

Creg places his hands deep in his pocket and steps closer to Todd, "Do you have anything else to say? There's something very important that I need to be setting up in there and you're wasting my time. Why don’t you go find my Nancy boy brother and paint each other’s nails or something?" Creg states in a harsh tone of voice as he turns toward the door that leads back into the fancy hotel.

Adrenaline rushes through Todd’s veins as he clenches his fists tightly. Before Creg even touches the doorknob Todd yells out: "Fuck you Creg! Fuck you and your idiotic view that Luke’s sexuality somehow makes him any less of a man! Well he’s a lot bigger of a man than you ever could be! He doesn’t hide in the shadows and hire other people to do his dirty work. People like you make me want to vomit!"

Creg’s hand quickly darts away from the knob and he heads quickly towards Todd till he’s not even an inch from him. "Never talk like that to me again. I’ll fucking have you robbed of everything–your job, house, and the rest of the pathetic things you have in your life."

Todd shakes his head in disgust, "I can’t believe you actually feel like you have power over everyone. You are truly a megalomaniac."

"Whatever. I don’t have time for any more of this." At that, Creg gives Todd an intense glare and heads in the direction of the door again. "By the way, by the end of the night, everyone will know about you and Luke’s dirty little love affair." He opens the door and slams it shut.

Todd clenches his fists tightly as his heart feels as though it will beat out of his chest. Suddenly Luke appears from the open door, his eyes lock with Todd’s.

Luke swallows hard, "I saw Creg running back in there. What did he say to you?"

Todd doesn’t respond to Luke’s question. Instead he motions Luke to go back inside. "Let’s go back to the party, Luke. Let’s face this together."

Luke lets out a deep sigh and reaches his hand to touch Todd’s. "Todd, we’re in this together. With the both of us on each other’s side, nothing can bring us down." He squeezes Todd’s hand while leaning in and kissing him on the cheek. With their hands held together, they feel like a powerful tower immune to any disaster.

It’s the fear of the unknown that seems to be the hardest part.


Back inside, the party shows no signs of mellowing out. The orchestra continues playing on with their beautiful music. It serves as a backdrop to conversations, dances, and longing looks from separated people.

Meanwhile, Amy stubbornly keeps her arms crossed and eyes wondering while Jasper tries his hardest to make small talk with her.

"Do you talk to your crazy brother often, Amy? Elliot sure was a riot. Where’s he living nowadays?"

Lacey looks over at Amy, anticipating her response. She often wonders the same thing about Amy’s brother.

After a few more moments of pause, Amy grants Jasper some eye contact, "I talked to him on the phone the other day briefly. He’s got a new boyfriend named Kent, which I’m sure you’re dying to know about. Tell me Jasper, are you still a big homophobic bastard like you used to be?"

Jasper can’t help but grin, "Ouch, Amy. That hit hard. When did I ever give you the idea that I was homophobic?"

"Oh, I don’t know–Maybe when I heard you calling my brother a faggot all of the time? How about when Elliot accidentally brushed against you and you ranted and raved that he was trying to seduce you? God, Jasper, I’m not an idiot. I know how you are and I know you will never change. Lacey, why are you even giving him the time of day?"

"Amy, I didn’t know he was going to be here. We do both live in the same town now and we’re bound to run into each other every now and then. As much time I’ve spent hating you Jasper, I want there to be some semblance of us being able to be around one another."

Jasper looks over Lacey thoughtfully and nods, "I want the same thing, Lacey. Look, I don’t care what Amy thinks, people do change. I’m man enough to admit to the mistakes I made. I was horrible to you during high school."

Lacey shakes her head, "That is putting things pretty damn lightly, Jasper."

"Fine, I was a complete asshole! I didn’t give you the respect that you deserved."

Amy can’t help but put her two cents in: "How about you were nothing but a controlling psycho?! You threatened Lacey all of the time. You guilted her into staying with your miserable ass and used violence to do so. Jasper, get the hell over yourself. You’re nothing but a piece of garbage."

"Wow, I’m glad you have such a strong opinion of me, Amy. This conversation has absolutely nothing to do with you. I think you need to leave Lacey and I alone so we can talk things out. Stop fucking interrupting us!"

Amy now looks as though she is going to lunge into Jasper, "Don’t tell me what to do! You have no right to! I swear I’ll deck you right here in front of everyone. It’s the least you deserve for all the shit you put my best friend through."

Lacey steps between the two of them, "Will you both stop going at each other’s throats? Look, Jasper, you’re right. We should probably talk alone. However, you must be forgetting where in the hell we’re at. I came to this party with Amy to have a good time, not to get into intense and serious discussions with an ex boyfriend of mine who I have recurring nightmares about. OK?" Lacey hesitates before reaching deep into her purse.

Amy watches in horror, "Are you doing what I think you’re doing, Lacey?! You are actually going to give him your number and where you live?! Have you gone insane?"

"Will you please shut up, Amy? I’m giving him my number so he can get a hold of me." Lacey scribbles some digits on a yellow piece of scrap paper.

Jasper casts Amy a smug expression as he accepts the phone number, "Thank you, Lacey."

Lacey hands him the black pen and a blank piece of scrap paper, "Give me yours."

Jasper quickly writes down his number and hands it to Lacey, being sure that his hand touches her own. Lacey and him share a brief glance of eye contact. Lacey notices his eyes soften. The feeling scares her and she quickly looks away while stuffing the number in her purse.

Amy grabs her friend’s hand, "Let’s go find some food."

Lacey glances at Jasper one last time before mixing into the crowd.


Eve Jones can’t help but keep her gaze transfixed on Gary Jackson. She has the sense that he is planning something big. It makes her feel very uneasy.

Cassie touches her mom’s shoulder, "I can tell something is wrong, Mom. What is going on?"

Eve quickly turns around, immediately dismissing her daughter’s worries. "There is nothing going on, Cassie. You must be imagining things."

Cassie rolls her eyes, "I see what’s going on. I guess it must be my craziness stepping in and causing me to see things that aren’t there. Whatever, Mom, I know that you think I’m a lunatic. Just admit to it, already. Stop dancing around the subject with you cautious motherly advice."

"Cassie, stop that! I never said anything about you being a lunatic! I don’t appreciate you putting words in my mouth."

Cassie bubbles to the surface with anger, "You want to know what I don’t appreciate?! I don’t appreciate everybody acting like I’m some piece of fragile glass! It’s really starting to piss me off severely! I’m about ready to do something really crazy just to satisfy their expectations!"

Eve has nothing as a rebuttal to her daughter’s words. Instead, she looks over Cassie as a feeling of sorrow overcomes her. Where did we go wrong with Cassie? How did she turn out so different from Melissa?

"Mom, I can tell you’re disappointed in me. I can tell it every time I walk into a room and interrupt a conversation between you and Dad! Well, no matter what you think, I’m going to be something some day. I’m going to be important. I can guarantee you that you’ll be choking on your words when that day comes."


Suddenly the sound of Gary’s voice overpowers everything. It is obvious that a speaker system has been set up throughout the massive room. Everyone’s attention goes to the stage up front as Gary continues:

"I want to thank everybody who chose to attend this fine event. A lot of careful and meticulous planning went into the details of tonight. I wanted this to be nothing less than a grand success. I want to thank the Royal Highness Orchestra for providing us with exquisite music. I had all of our delicious foods catered from the best of the best around the states. Thanks goes out to everyone who made sure it arrived promptly with the highest of quality. Now onto more heavier things that I’d like to discuss."

Eve swears Gary made direct eye contact with her. She feels herself growing dizzy. Cassie once again notices her Mom’s nervous demeanor.

"As you all know, I have been head of the Jackson empire for about 35 years now. My pride has been what I’ve been able to bring to Sunrise Bay and the United States through my family’s means of power and money. It serves me great pleasure when I see a new project running smoothly and the economy being benefitted by things I’ve invested or partook in. However, with the recent heart attack of my dear father, the man who taught me everything I know. I have given much thought about the significance of what I’m going to be leaving behind–of what all my success has accomplished. I have also thought long and hard about the things that should matter in our lives." Gary pauses and takes a breath. He searches the crowd for the face he’s looking for–Elaine’s face. "I have failed at the point of life, my friends. I have failed miserably!"

Elaine is shocked to hear the words coming from Gary’s mouth. Never has she heard Gary speak so analytically and thoughtfully about the life he lived. Never has he given her the intense stare and attention that his eyes are giving her at this moment.

Gary’s sorrowful eyes stay locked with Elaine’s as he continues his speech: "It may sound cliche. We may hear it every damn day of our lives but love is what truly matters. Love is what I ignored throughout my life. I have drank from the cup of greed, drank till I was full, drank till I had no room for more, yet I managed to buy myself room to drink from that cup again and again. This has eaten my soul away, has sucked out each feeling bone in my body."

Creg studies his father while his thoughts run amok: Am I the only sane one left in my fucking family? My Dad is making a fool of himself up there rambling on about love. What has gotten into him? Damn, this is the perfect time to play my little video. Dad will thank me later. Perhaps he had too much to drink. After that string of thoughts, Creg meanders through the crowd and goes backstage to set his surprise up.

Luke notices Creg as he continues to watch him like a hawk. Todd stands closely to Luke. Luke can sense Todd’s pure fear at what the night has in store for them. Noticing Creg’s rush to the backstage, Luke knows that they’ll find out soon enough.

Meanwhile Gary continues his speech: "I made money my god and have gone to a point of no return. Elaine, I loved you more than anything I ever lied eyes on. However, I’ve realized that I sold my soul for something else instead of focusing on the love I had for you. Yes, Elaine, I said had. I’ve realized that an empty monster like myself can’t possibly love someone how they should. I never will be able to. I’ve gone far too deep. You all may be wondering why I am being so revealing, why I am having not a single drop of hesitation in spilling all. Well, it’s because I know my reality. I’ve finally saw the pure unadulterated truth in my life. Trust me, it isn’t pretty. Truth never lies. As logical as that statement may sound, it is so often overlooked by all of us. With that said–"

Suddenly the sound of Creg’s voice goes over the loudspeakers: "Dad, before you say anything else I have something to show you. There is a lot more truth going on than you realize." Creg walks on stage next to his father. "You need to learn the truth about your eldest son Luke."

Gary’s eyes dart out to the crowd and lock with Luke’s. They then wonder back at Creg’s. "What are you talking about?"

Creg cracks a wide grin, "Well I must first put a warning out there, if there are any young and impressionable children. Please cover their eyes at this time..." He pulls a small black device from his pocket, without hesitation he pushes the button on the top of it.

The whole crowd is in puzzlement when a video is suddenly cast on the white screen above the stage. At first there is a fuzzy black shadow cast but then the image becomes apparent: It is a video of the inside of a house. You see a comfy couch and then the image is zoomed toward two figures on another couch–two men in the heat of passion. Those two men are Luke and Todd. Not gasping for air, not knowing they are being watched, they show no reserve. Their tongues are entwined. Their desires are now revealed to the entire room.

Everyone’s faces are that of complete shock. A scream is heard from Nina near the back. Annie’s eyes bulge out of their sockets practically. Elaine’s hand goes over her mouth and she can’t help but focus her complete attention on Todd and Luke. Todd and Luke are in a complete state of frozen panic. Gary can’t bring himself to watch another second of the video, his face overcome with pure disgust and devastation.

Creg decides to narrate for the sake of his own amusement. "What you see going on here is depravity at it’s purest form. My sick and twisted older brother obviously never learned about the birds and the bees. I think he decided to write his own version of it. As you can see, this will lead to many complications in the future. Father, I’m sorry you had to see this, but I knew an intervention was in dire need. Now you know the real reason why Luke just can’t seem to stay with a girl. The problem is that he is, in fact, a girl himself."

Suddenly Gary’s rage can’t be contained. "ENOUGH! TURN THE DAMN THING OFF! I CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE!" Tears well up in his eyes and he dramatically collapses to his knees. "I have failed at each and everything in my life!"

"Don’t say that, Dad! Please stop this!" yells a crying Cynthia from the crowd, she clings to Nicholas not knowing how to comprehend what is going on.

Gary’s despairing yells continue: "That was the final straw! Luke, you have just further cemented my choice! What I am going to do will be all the much easier now."

As soon as Luke notices his Dad’s hand going to his pocket, things quickly fall into place. Luke runs as fast as he can toward the stage: "Stop, don’t do it, Dad! Don’t!"

Pretty soon everyone in the crowd understands what Luke is talking about as they watch in complete horror as Gary pulls a gun from his pocket. He puts the barrel against his head. The action seems to be going into slow motion as Luke gets closer to the stage. Creg jumps toward his Dad at the same time as Luke does. Before either man can come in physical contact to pull the gun from his hands, Gary pulls the trigger. A loud boom reverberates through the room. Blood goes all over Creg and Luke as they tumble on top of each other and onto their father. Horrified cries are coming from each and every angle of the room as they watch the tragic scene unfold.

Like the saddening conclusion of a Shakespeare tragedy, so is the conclusion of life as everyone knows it in Sunrise Bay.