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Episode 48

"Forbidden Fruit Plucked"


*Everyone watched in horror as Gary shot himself

*Creg broadcasted a video of Todd and Luke making out, in front of all the guests at the Jackson Charity Event Party.

*Tara and Tom were both worried that Eve would spill the beans about a kiss she witnessed so long ago. Meanwhile, both Tara and Tom continued to struggle with their attraction and feelings for one another, believing they never would go away.

* There were palpable bitter and spiteful feelings between Patrick and Barbara–ex husband and wife.



Luke stands over the closed casket in a complete state of numbness. The room seems to completely lack light around him. He’s looking at his lifeless father and surreal is now a proper noun to him. Surreal, Surreal... I can’t believe he is gone. To shoot himself in front of all those people. I still can’t wrap my mind around it.

A sound from the front of the funeral home makes him jump and he turns quickly, locking eyes with an approaching Cynthia and Creg. His siblings wear the same downcast face as he does. The past two days have been a blur almost for the three of them. After the horror of Gary Jackson pulling the trigger in front of the whole party, life seems to be moving in slow motion. Every little movement is liquid and unreal.

Cynthia slowly approaches Luke, lightly touching her older brother’s shoulder, "This didn’t really happen, did it? This is all a big cruel joke, right?"

Cynthia’s denial and need for reassurance is like a poke of reality to Luke as he brings himself to look his sister in the eyes. "Yes, this is very real. Dad is gone, Cynthia. Forever."

Cynthia’s expression makes it seem as though she has just learned of this. "No...you’re lying to me. He’s not. No..." Tears make their way to her eyes once again and she keels over in another set of cries and screams that the two brothers have gotten used to so much over the past two days.

Creg walks over to his sister, being sure not to make eye contact with Luke. "Get up, Cynthia. Stop doing this. Dad wouldn’t want you acting this way."

"Creg, quit being so damn insensitive. Let her grieve in her own way." rebukes Luke as he quickly leans down to bring Cynthia into his arms for comfort. She bawls into Luke’s white shirt, staining it with tears.

Creg steps away from the scene, trying to detach himself from the room. His eye catches sight of the casket but he finds that his mind won’t let him maintain a gaze on it. It’s too powerful of a sight, it represents too much. Fuck this, I have to get out of here. I have to. I can’t stand the sound of my sister crying anymore. I can’t stand hearing everyone say how sorry they are. I can’t take it! I just can’t fucking stand it anymore! After the raging trail of thoughts, Creg quickly makes a beeline for the front door.

Luke and Cynthia dart upwards to their feet as they hear the slamming door. Cynthia wipes her puffy red eyes and looks at Luke, "Creg is dealing with this harder than he’s letting on. Why can’t he just show his emotions?! It’s our Dad who died, for heaven’s sake! Creg hasn’t shed a single tear! Dammit, Luke. Our whole family is falling apart...we’re over. We’re done for without Dad..."

"Don’t ever say that." Luke bursts, firmer than he intended to. "Our family will get along just fine without him." He glances at the coffin as he says this.


Annie goes mum as Todd puts his back to his sister. He can feel her stare digging into his skin. His heart is racing.

"Ever since what happened at the party you disappeared Todd. Look, I know having you and Luke making out for the whole world to see wasn’t exactly your idea of a good day but locking yourself in this house for almost three days straight is not helping matters! Now we are going to have a talk here and now."

Todd swallows hard as he absorbs the sound of Annie’s forceful and demanding words.

Annie crosses her arms and lets out a deep sigh, stepping closer to her brother. "Todd, don’t be ashamed of yourself. What Creg did...it was awful, horrendous, evil, whatever other bad word you can come up with. I now hate him for what he did to you. I just...I just want you to know that I’m not ashamed of you being...of you being--"

Todd suddenly turns around and interrupts Annie mid-sentence "–Gay?! Just say it already, Annie. For claiming you’re not ashamed of me you have a pretty hard time getting the word out."

"Don’t even do that! When I said I wasn’t ashamed of you, I meant it! It’s just the circumstances of me learning the truth are well unique, to say the least. How many gay men are thrown out of the closet by a huge video screen displayed to a party showing him making out with a guy?!" As soon as she says it, she focuses her gaze on the couch in Todd’s living room, the very couch that Luke and Todd were kissing on in the video. "Now, come on. You have to understand why I may be having a little trouble with my words here."

Todd scratches behind his ear and begins to shake his head at the ridiculousness of what Creg did at the party. What the hell is Creg’s agenda anyway?! Why the hell did he do something like that?!

Just as Annie is about to say something else, the loud sound of her cell phone pierces through the air. She looks at the ID screen to see Keith’s name displayed. "I’ll get back to you, Todd. I really need to talk to Keith."

While Annie is taking her call, Todd walks toward the living room and slowly sits down onto the couch. He stares blankly at the television, which is muted, while it displays the NBC soap opera "Passions". On the soap, Sheridan Crane is being chased by somebody with a gun and Todd swears that he saw the same episode over a year ago. Come to think of it, the year before that also had a storyline along the same lines. He quickly reaches over and grabs his remote, swiftly shutting off the TV. However, it seems as though the television isn’t off at all. He watches as it displays his very own living room and the camera pans over to the couch where him and Luke are making out. Suddenly Creg appears at the forefront and laughs a cruel laugh and then mouths "Now everybody knows that your nothing but a queer! How does it feel?" Todd closes and rubs on his eyes, trying to get the image out of his mind. He suddenly hears his sister crying and pleading over the phone. Happy that his TV is indeed off he decides to be nosy and listen in on Annie’s conversation.

"Keith, you are talking crazy. There is no damn way I am going to let you move to San Francisco! That’s it, I am coming over to talk some sense into you!" Annie turns off her cell phone and hurriedly grabs her purse off of the kitchen counter. "Look, bro, something very important came up and I have to leave right now. I hope you understand. I’ll call you later before I come back over. I insist we finish this talk we started."

Todd rises from the couch, "Ok, yeah, your phone call did sound pretty urgent. Don’t worry about it, be along your merry way."

"Yeah, my boyfriend’s gone crazy, I tell you. He’s been different ever since him being in the hospital after that huge fight with Jarrod. I have to go talk to Keith right now." She proceeds to give Todd a big tight hug. "I love you, Todd. I don’t say that enough. I really mean it. Now please stop beating yourself up over this. Call Luke. I know he needs your support, especially after what happened with Gary. I’ve been sleeping with my light on ever since it happened. Some people need to learn what the meaning of a party is. Anyway, I have to get going. Bye Todd." She blows her brother a kiss before heading out the door.

Todd looks at the closed door quietly, "Bye Annie." Echoes of Creg’s demented laugh ring through his mind once again. He quickly looks over towards the TV screen, double checking that it is off.


The usually very rowdy club is a bit somber and mellow this evening. A mid-tempo tune plays in the backdrop as Patrick and Barbara sit up front at the bar. Both of them have melancholy written all over their face, a melancholy that only alcohol will cure for now.

"I want to be completely plastered, plain and simple." States Barbara in an emotionless tone just before downing the rest of her vodka and coke. "I can’t handle life anymore, I might as well live the rest of it drunk."

Patrick Kane can’t suppress the laughter of hearing Barbara’s plans on being drunk for the remainder of her life, even though he knows it is completely uncalled for. After he forces himself to stop, he turns and looks Barbara in the eyes, "That is definitely not the fighter I used to know. Where is your fire?"

"Shut up, you bastard! My fire went away as soon as the bullet entered Gary’s skull!"

Barbara’s words cut Patrick like a knife. Suddenly he feels as though he is her. He is feeling the excruciating grief in her shoes. Patrick reaches over and gently squeezes Barbara’s right hand. She quickly pulls it back.

She gives him a glare that almost cuts into his soul, "I don’t know what you are trying to do, Patrick. Why in the hell did you take me here? Wait, there has to be one reason and one reason alone. The only reason you are being so damn nice and buying all these drinks is because you want me to sleep with you. You really are a bastard!"

Patrick is hurt by Barbara’s accusations and immediately jumps into a line of defense: "I have no such plan in mind! Barbara, please, believe me when I tell you that I am trying to help you. I can’t even imagine the horrible grief you are enduring right now. What happened a couple nights ago should never happen to someone. Nobody should ever witness such a horrendous thing before their very own eyes."

"You’re damn right! I mean why would Gary do such a thing?! He couldn’t have been in the right state of mind, he just couldn’t have. Why the hell did he have to do it?! Dammit, I can’t think anymore. I really need another drink. I really need Gary to be alive again!" Barbara proceeds to bury her head in her hands as fresh tears come to the fore.

Patrick rubs Barbara’s back slowly. Watching his ex-wife in tears makes him feel like crying. He swears a lump is beginning to form in his own throat.

"What are you doing?!" comes the voice of Nicholas behind Barbara and Patrick’s backs.

Patrick looks his son in the eyes, "I’m comforting your mother." He quickly moves his hand from Barbara’s back, realizing that Nicholas is probably not so keen on seeing him touching her. "Nicholas, please, I swear I only took her here to try and help her find a way to alleviate all the pain she has been feeling."

"Dad, since when did you come to help lessen any of this family’s pain? Huh? You come waltzing into town because you heard Gabi was in a car accident. That seems to be what it takes to get you to show any interest in this family–a huge catastrophe. If you will excuse me, I can handle the comforting of my Mom from here on out." Nicholas sits on the bar stool close to his weeping mother, being sure to get in a glare towards Patrick.

Patrick swallows hard and tries to digest all of the words Nicholas just threw at him. No matter how much he wants to defend himself, he just can’t seem to find the words. Maybe Nicholas is right, I am a shitty father. No, I know that’s not true. Damn Barbara. What did she tell Nicholas to make him hate me so damn much?! No, it wasn’t just her. I have to prove to Nicholas I can be a good father. I have to. I have to help put this family back together. As the thoughts jumble around his mind, he watches as Barbara leans against Nicholas. A single tear makes its way from his eye.


Tom Hetricke pulls off his boxer briefs and reaches for a maroon towel from the closet of his bedroom. Suddenly remembering how the upstairs shower isn’t working, he makes his way down the stairs to the lower level bathroom. As he walks down the stairs, his mind is racing with various thoughts: What is taking Melissa so damn long? She said her and her Mom were only doing a little bit of shopping. I should know by now that when women say ‘a little bit’ they mean seven damn hours.

He reaches the bottom of the stairs just in time to hear the door bell go off. After pondering for a couple seconds over whether it’s proper to answer the door in a towel, he opts to do it. However, his heart begins racing wildly when he sees that it is Tara.

Tara’s eyes look from Tom’s perfectly chiseled chest to his face, she feels her cheeks redden. "Umm I...Where is Melissa?" She breaks eye contact with Tom and diverts her attention to over his bare shoulder.

Tom can tell that she is nervous as he closes the door behind her. He can’t help but notice how beautiful Tara looks though and pauses to take in her appearance before giving her a response to her shaky question: "Melissa has been out shopping with her Mother for the past three hours. I have no idea if they’ll ever get home. Was there something in particular that you needed to ask her?"

Tara taps her nails against the wall in a quick rhythm, "No, no, nothing in particular really just...um...I was just going to ask her about Christmas and what she’s doing and stuff like that. It’s coming up so quickly."

Tom looks lost in thought and steps toward Tara. For each step he goes closer, she steps just the same amount back. It’s almost as though she is afraid of him. Tom stops in his place and then says: "You know I’m really glad we convinced Eve not to say anything about our kiss. She’s doing the right thing."

Tara nods her head, "Yeah, you’re right. Yesterday was such a relief. It would have been devastating to both Derek and Melissa to learn what happened between us. She would have caused unnecessary pain and drama for everyone."

"Yeah, I completely agree." Tom nods slowly and swallows hard, stepping closer to Tara. This time Tara doesn’t move back.

Suddenly a loud boom sounds from the kitchen sending Tara into a frantic scream. She jumps toward Tom and grabs him, unintentionally digging her nails deep into his bare back. He bolts backwards out of pain and his towel almost falls off in the process. Tara bolts away after sharing an eyelock with Tom.

"What in the hell was that noise?!" yells Tara as she tries to ignore the overwhelming magnetic attraction she is feeling for Tom. "I’m sorry for scratching you by the way." She turns around to look at him again, "Is it bleeding?"

"Ouch, I can’t tell." He swivels around to show her his back. "You tell me if it’s bleeding. As for the sound, it was our damn cat knocking down the toaster. That obese glob of fur can knock down anything. Anyway, am I bleeding?"

She walks toward him, looking at the spot where she scratched him. A tiny trickle of blood is seeping from it. "It’s bleeding, yeah."

"I have a first aid kit in the bathroom, I’ll go get a bandage." Tom says as he walks diagonally toward the bathroom.

After a sigh, Tara proceeds to follow him. "That bang scared me so much because I thought it was a gun shot. Ever since that horrifying party, if you even want to call it that, I’ve been having nightmares. That booming sound frightened me to death."

Tom cracks a smile, "I could tell."

She reaches and takes the first aid kit from his hands.

"Hey, someone has grabby hands!" jokes Tom.

"Silly, you aren’t going to be able to put that bandage on your back yourself. Turn around and I’ll do it for you. Besides, I am the cause of you losing pints of blood per second."

"Is it really that bad?" questions Tom with concern layering his tone. He tries his best to get a better view of the cut but because of it’s positioning, he’s having a very hard time doing so.

"Ohhhh yeah, I might even have to call the ambulance." smiles Tara as she opens up a bandage and maneuvers it the right direction so it will cove the length of the deep scratch. As she does so, her hand touches his bare flesh once again. Adrenaline kicks in. Why must I be so overwhelmingly attracted to Tom? Why? Why do I have to have feelings for him...why?

She then notices him turn his head and look into her eyes, "Thanks." He says it very gently. He turns all the way around, desire paints the depths of his eyes.

Tara can’t help but notice the bulging in the front of his towel. She is even more shocked as he slowly drops it and pulls her up against his naked body, leaning in to seal a passionate kiss. At first she resists but then gives fully into it, letting the attraction take over any mind and reason. Tom leans her against the counter by the bathroom sink, proceeding to rip off her top. The two show no signs of stopping as a spell seems to be casted on the two of them as their naked bodies eventually entwine.

Plucking the forbidden fruit from the tree

Passion overtakes, Igniting everywhere

The forbidden has won over in the end.

Sin’s fruit always tastes so good.

Consume it now

Regrets are for later...