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Episode 15



*Because of his overwhelming guilt for sneaking around with Annie, Keith lied to Cassie saying he was sick so she wouldn't come and see him.


*Annie was thrilled to get a promotion at Jackson Industries. She told Nicole that she planned on taking Keith out to celebrate.


*Tara had memories of her and Tom while watching Tom fight for his life in the hospital. It seemed she felt more for him than just being a friend.


*Luke ran into Todd on the beach and overheard Todd having a conversation with Gabi. He was stunned when he realized Gabi stole the money for him. The two then started talking.







The fancy restaurant is full of various people dining and enjoying the exquisite foods that the place has to offer. The waiters and waitresses have their hands full as they quickly realize that tonight is going to be an extremely busy night for the restaurant. At the distant corner of the café, a waiter by the name of Rafael has just seated Annie and Keith. Annie is wearing beautiful blood red dress and sparkling red earrings to match. Her smile has been wider than ever since she learned the news of her big promotion. After leaving Jackson Industries, she immediately headed over to Keith’s apartment to tell him the news and she insisted on taking him out for a celebration.

            “Thank you very much.” Annie says with a smile as she takes the menu from Rafael.

            Keith takes a menu as well but doesn’t have as big of a smile upon his face. “I still can’t get over how I lied to Cassie about me being sick today, Annie. We better hope that her and her family aren't planning on coming here to eat or something. Imagine how she’d react if she saw the two of us together!”

            Annie looks up from her menu and gives Keith a flustered look, “Would you please get over your big guilty thing with Cassie? It is obvious that you and me are a better pair so you have no reason to feel guilty for being with the woman you know makes you happier.”
            “Annie, how many times do I have to tell you? I am guilty about doing this to Cassie for the simple fact that their family is going through hell right now. My family, actually. You know I need to be there for them.”
            “Keith, please don't be so guilty about everything! Yes, I know that you are worried about this just as much as all of them are because your brother is in a coma at the hospital and your sister-in-law is missing but that doesn’t mean you can’t mourn in your own way.”
            “You know this really isn’t my own way of mourning and that’s a good thing, Annie. My type of mourning was when I was beating that assailant at the New Years Ball to a pulp. I’ve really been trying to keep my anger in tack lately and it’s been real difficult.”
            Annie looks as though a light bulb has flashed in her head, “So that’s it, huh? You are replacing all of your anger with guilt. I see…”
            Keith closes his menu and sets it aside. “I guess you could say that. Anyway, I’m guilty for a reason and that’s my whole point.”
            Annie also sets her menu aside and she then holds Keith’s hands and questions, “Well, just for tonight, could you please forget about all of that guilt over Cassie and everything else? Remember, I invited you here to celebrate me getting a big fat promotion!”
            They are then temporarily interrupted by the arrival of their champagne. Rafael pours the both of them a tall glass and Annie happily thanks him. Both Keith and Annie also order their meals.

            Once the waiter is gone, Keith gives Annie a smile. “Annie, you are right. We are here to celebrate you getting a promotion. I am real proud of you.”

            Annie smiles delightfully. See Cassie, I told you! I knew that Keith was going to fall into my arms like he was supposed to! I even have to admit it all happened quicker than I expected! Annie then raises her champagne glass, “I think I want to make a toast to me getting a promotion and you finally coming to your senses.”

            Keith is about click his glass against hers in approval but stops in mid air when something catches his eyes-- Eve, Carl, and Cassie have just walked in the restaurant. “Oh no.” Keith says as he sets his glass onto the table and turns his head to the side, as if to hide it.

            Annie is confused, “What is the big problem now?”

            Keith doesn’t utter a word but instead points into the direction of the Jones waiting to be seated. Annie turns her head and immediately understands.

            “I can’t believe this!” yells Annie as she rolls her eyes.





♪“Come on ride the train.” ♪
    ♪”Choo-Choo, Ride it!” ♪

♪ “Come on ride the train…”♪


            The whole dance club, except for about five people are making a train around the entire span of the building. Everyone is having a great time and enjoying the night. Todd and Luke are near the middle of the chain.

            “See, I told you we’d have a fun time!” yells Luke as he turns his head to Todd who has a hold of his sides from behind. The music then fades out and everyone breaks from the chain and scatters energetically to different locations of the club. Todd and Luke head back to their place up at the bar and sit to finish off their drinks.

            “Yeah, this is better than what I’d probably be doing if I didn’t come here.” states Todd.
            “And what would that be?”
            After taking a sip of his martini, Todd replies: “Sitting at home thinking about the same crap I always do--mainly my messed up family. My thoughts always manage to focus on that.”

            Luke cracks a slight smile, “Yeah, families are a great source of deep thought, aren’t they?”

            Todd nods, “They sure are. But I think I just need to face the music and get over it. It’s not healthy to constantly dwell on things but I have a way of doing just that. Besides, I have new and better things to think about--such as my job at the Sunrise Sentinel.”
            “You got a job there? How’d this job come about?” Luke questions after he finishes off his current Bloody Mary.

            Todd sighs and then wonders if he should tell him that Gabi is the one that got him the job. He decides to just be honest, “Don’t get any ideas or accuse me of lying to you earlier but Gabi is the one who got me the job.”
            Luke pauses and then gives him a calculative smile, “Ohhh, I see. This way you two don’t have to sneak around all over town and have your fun. You can just go at it on your desk!”

Todd burst into laughter, “I tell you, you’re like that-that-that with this humor stuff!” He snaps his fingers with each “that”. “Luke, maybe you should do standup or something.”
            “There’s my calling. I’ll have enough dysfunctional family jokes to last me a lifetime. I could borrow some of yours too.” Luke chuckles as he signals for the bartender to come his way.

            Todd studies Luke's face while Luke tells the bartender what drink he wants. Luke, you are such a cutie. Too bad you're straight. I wonder if you're really as cool as you've been all this time. He just seems too…cool.

Todd doesn’t realize that he has been staring until Luke gives him an odd look. Todd suddenly moves his eyes from Luke to the busy dance floor as people are getting down to a dance remix of Pink’s “You Make Me Sick”.  Todd can feel his cheeks burning.







            Nicole, I am thrilled for you! I am shocked. My own sister is going to be on a movie!?” Nicole called Tara’s cell phone just as her and Derek entered Tom’s hospital room to visit him. She knows she shouldn’t be speaking on it in the hospital but she decides to wait until somebody tells her to hang up. When Nicole called she sounded real excited and Tara didn’t want to tell her that she was at the hospital.

            A nurse then walks up to her, “Please, turn your cell phone off.”
            Well there’s my cue, she thinks with a smile. “Look, Nicole. As much as I want to keep talking to you, I am actually at the hospital here with Derek. We are visiting with Tom. I’m going to have to let you go. Talk to you later. Bye!” With that, she presses the off button.

            Tara puts her cell phone into her purse and heads into the direction of the room where Tom is hooked up to all of the machines that are giving him life. She glances in the window and sees Derek chatting at an unconscious Tom. I bet he’s thinking of Jake while he talks to Tom. I know it’s been killing him inside ever since he called that Miami hospital and learned that his brother was awake but that Jake was a different person. I wonder what the hospital meant by that--a different person. How different could Jake be? Hopefully, Tom comes out of this coma as the same man.

            She exhales deeply and continues to watch as Derek stands above his friend's hospital bed. A feeling of guilt begins to stir within her. She tries to push it away but it keeps bubbling to the surface, as does the image of Tom Hetricke.

            She then decides to enter the hospital room. Derek looks up at her from his spot and walks up to her and gives her a peck on the lips, “Tara, I guess I’ll leave you alone in here to speak with him. I just have to get something to drink. Do you want anything?”

“Sure, get me a Diet Sprite.” Tara says as she touches Derek’s right arm. She glances at Tom lying lifeless and then back at Derek’s face. “Look, Derek. Do you think you are ready to go to Miami and see your brother tomorrow morning? I just want to know that you are fully prepared for what we can expect.”
            Derek lets out a sigh and then swallows. “Yes, I have to go visit Jake in the morning. I’m his brother. I know that it is going to be very hard but it’s just one of those things you have to do.”
            “I love you Derek and I just want what’s best for you.” Tara says in a sincere tone. Her eyes water.

            Derek smiles slightly. “I know you do and trust me, Tara. Seeing Jake tomorrow morning is what is best for me at the moment. Now I have to go get those drinks. See you in a little bit.” He leaves and shuts the door gently.

            Tara studies Derek’s figure disappear down the hall and she slowly moves towards Tom’s bed. The monotonous beeping of the machines gives her an eerie feeling. Suddenly something catches the corner of her eye. Oh my gosh…Tom’s hand is moving! Her heart skips a beat and her eyes widen.






Melissa and I can’t stay in this deserted cabin forever, thinks Mason as he stares out at the dark forest that surrounds the cabin. Someone is bound to find us. He turns and stares at Melissa who lies in a deep sleep on the bed. She is such a beautiful angel. I can’t believe I hurt her like I did. What in the hell was wrong with me? Oh well, I have the rest of my life to make that up to her. But my son, Mark, I have to meet him. I’m sure that Melissa is aching on the inside to see our son again. There has to be a way I can get him to us.





            His breaths are heavy as he runs as fast as possible through the wilderness making his escape. He stops to catch his breath as he leans against a gigantic tree. “There is no way in hell that the cops are going to find me here.”

            He is a man of age 20 and has just managed to escape arrest for robbing a local grocery store. He held the place up and acted as though he was holding the place up with a gun when in actuality it was nothing but a black squirt gun that he was carrying. He then pulls out the cloth bag that the money was placed in and quickly counts his “earnings”.

            “Damn it! There’s only a little over two hundred in here!” He then places it all back in the bag. Those idiots tricked me into thinking that I got it all from them. Shit, how am I going to get enough money to buy a plane ticket to Dallas? I have to get to my aunt and uncle’s place.  Suddenly he thinks he hears footsteps, There’s no way that the cops managed to catch up with me. He is then relieved as the two eyes of a deer glisten from the moonlight. The creature pauses to stare at him for about five seconds before bolting elsewhere through all of the trees and brush.

            The man makes a relieved sigh and then slowly walks and surveys the forest that surrounds him. “Damn, I’m in the middle of nowhere.” Then there is something that catches his eye that is about thirteen yards ahead of him. “Shit, I swear that looks like a log cabin.” He says aloud as he walks towards it.




“Keith, quit hiding your damn face! If they see you, they see you. They are going to have to find out the truth about the two of us eventually.” Annie rolls her eyes and takes a big chug of her champagne as she says this.

            Keith can’t help but keep his face turned. “I don’t want Cassie to learn about the two of us like this, Annie! Imagine the scene that would erupt right here in the restaurant. Besides, she thinks I’m at home sick with some contagious illness.”

            Annie turns her head once again. Eve, Carl, and Cassie are being seated at the moment. “Look, you don’t have to worry, Keith. Cassie is being seated with her back facing us. So let’s forget about them and get on with our celebration.” She picks up the bottle of champagne and fills her glass to the top. "Do you want some more? You definitely need the alcohol. You look like some paranoid schizo."

He nods his head and slowly brings his face towards Annie. His eyes are constantly darting towards the table that holds the three family members. “Out of all of the places they could have gone--Why did they have to come here? I think this is a sign that I am a horrible person for sneaking around with you, Annie.”

            Annie then slams her glass down hard. He is surprised that it didn’t shatter. “Keith, I’m not sure I can take any more of this. This is the complete opposite of the way I wanted things to turn out tonight!”

            Keith darts his eyes back to Annie, “What?”

            “You weren’t listening to me? Give me a break! You know what; I am going to clear this up once and for all right now!” Keith is stunned as he watches Annie quickly scoot back her chair and begin to head in the direction of the other table.

            “No, you can’t!” Keith quickly darts upwards from his chair to reach out to stop Annie by grabbing her arm. On the way up, Keith miscalculates things and his knees slam against the bottom of the table, knocking all the glasses and silverware to the floor. By this time, almost every eye close to them is staring at this scene. Just when Keith thought things couldn’t get any more embarrassing, he stumbles over his own left foot and goes falling backwards and hits a waitress that is carrying a huge chocolate cake. Things seem to go in slow motion as Annie watches on shockingly as the cake falls and lands on Keith’s head! Annie can’t control herself as she erupts into extreme laughter. Keith lies on the ground, his face covered with chocolate cake.




            “I saw his hand move!” Tara tells Dr. Brockwell excitedly as she leads the way to Tom’s room.

            Dr. Brockwell immediately checks out Tom’s heart rate and his pulse and he is very happy to be getting a strong response. “I can’t believe it. Tom should be waking up from his coma any moment now. This is a miracle, we never expected him to pull through this quickly. Look, I’ll be right back. You stay here and hold his hand and talk to him. That might help him awaken sooner.” The doctor hurriedly exits the room.

            Tara picks up Tom’s left hand and squeezes it. “Tom, come on. Wake up! It’s me, Tara! Talk to me, Tom.”

            Suddenly Derek enters the room holding a can of Coke and a Diet Sprite. “What in the world is going on in here? I saw that doctor burst out of here like a speeding bullet.” He hands Tara her Diet Sprite. She hurriedly grabs it.
            “Tom is waking up from his coma! Isn’t that wonderful?” Tara smiles widely as she opens her can of pop and continues to speak to Tom. “Come on, wake up!”

            Derek bolts to the other side of Tom’s bed, “That is awesome. I can’t believe that we are getting some more great news in one day.”
            “I know. First, you learn that your brother is now out of his coma and now Tom is just about ready to wake up from his! You know what?-- stay here with Tom. I have to go and call Eve and Carl. They have to know what’s going on. I’ll be right back!” Tara disappears from the room quickly.

            Derek does exactly what Tara was doing before she left and he squeezes his friend’s hand. Derek is very happy when he sees Tom begin to move his head. He realizes that Tom is faintly saying something. He leans in closer so he can hear better, “What are you saying, Tom?”

            He then faintly hears Tom whisper: “Melissa. I want to see Melissa.” Derek swallows hard. A pit of grief grows in his stomach. Should he tell Tom the truth about Melissa being missing?




                “That is a cabin! I can’t believe it. It looks as though a light is on in there, too.” The man cautiously approaches the cabin. His feet make crunching noises on the ground as he walks through the leaves and brush. “Who in the hell would be staying in a cabin that is in the middle of nowhere?” He slowly moves towards a window to peak in. Suddenly a pair of hands grabs him by the shoulder and he feels the barrel of a gun at the side of his face.

            “Who in the hell are you?” Mason states with rage as he cocks the gun.