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Episode 23


*Annie and Keith made up.

*Carl bailed Cassie out of jail. Though Cassie was happy her sister was finally saved, she couldn't get maddened thoughts of Annie and Keith out of her mind.

*Derek and Tara were shocked after the doctors told them that Jake now had psychic visions. They were frightened when Jake started screaming that someone they were close to was going to die.

*After an emotional Gabi told her mom everything about her night of passion with Todd, Barbara convinced Gabi to not let Todd "off the hook."

*Todd and Luke were left alone after a distraught Gabi left.



A crackling sound and an accompanying aroma of greasy air fill the apartment’s four walls. Annie busies herself with chopping onions and adding them to the fatty steak that cooks in the pan. Laughter comes from the living room as Jarrod and Keith sit side by side on the couch and have a father-son conversation. Annie is smiling on the inside and out. I’ve finally got what I want! Keith has finally gotten rid of Cassie and realized that he was meant to be with me. Things couldn’t be more perfect.

"Are you sure that you don’t need any help out there?" questions Keith from the living room.

Annie turns around and gives him a disapproving look. Earlier she insisted to him that she was going to prove that she could do stuff around the house. She never had a good track record in the kitchen and she is dead set on proving herself for Keith. "Keith, I already told you. I don’t need any help. I have everything under control."

Keith lets out a wide grin, "Hey, just checking!"

Jarrod eyes Annie as she busies herself by the stove. He notices the sweat from her forehead and for some reason his mind wonders to his mother.

"Dad, how was mom around the kitchen? Was she a great cook?" he questions with curious expression.

Keith gets a thoughtful look. The recent events with Mason and his link to Shayla come to the forefront of his mind like many times before. He suddenly realizes how bad he wants to confront Mason once the doctors let him. There are so many unanswered questions. He then answers his son’s question: "Well, your mother made some of the best desserts ever. I wish you could have tried some her pumpkin cheesecake. I’m telling you, it was to die for."

Jarrod notices that his father seems to be lost in thought after the comment. He then feels a tad guilty making his father recollect his past once again. "Dad, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have mentioned Mom. Annie, I’m sorry as well. You are just starting a new life with my dad and you probably don’t want to hear about his past."

Annie then turns around from the stove. "Look, Jarrod. Don’t feel guilty about mentioning Shayla. She’s in Keith’s past. You can’t change the past, you know."

Keith then glances at Annie and then back at his son. "Jarrod, Annie’s right. It’s natural that you want to know stuff about your mom. Don’t feel guilty about asking things about her."

Suddenly the ring of the telephone pierces the air accompanied with a yelp from Annie. She sucks on her finger, "Damn grease!"

Keith tries withholding laughs as he reaches for the black telephone on top of the adjacent stand. "Hello? Annie Lansing’s residence."

There is a brief pause before a pained voice comes through: "Well I should have known! So are you two having a cozy little time over there? You better enjoy it while it last!" Then there is a click as the woman on the other end slams down the phone. Keith is left with a stunned look upon his face. He slowly places the receiver back on the hook.

Anne is wiping her hand with a kitchen towel as she makes a curious expression, "So who was it?"

Keith lets out a hesitant sigh while shaking his head. "It was Cassie." His voice is faint.


Cassie stares at the phone. She hears footsteps come from behind her and she quickly turns around. She’s looking into Melissa’s face.

"I heard what you said. I’m guessing it was Keith. Do you want to talk?" Melissa’s tone is sincere.

"What could you say to make anything better, huh? There is nothing that nobody can say to make things right again." Cassie is clenching her fist tightly as she gazes and sets her focus on a painting that’s on the wall. It is of a bright and cheery forest complete with colorful flowers and cute animals running around. It has a crystal clear stream running through the trees and winding till it disappears. Cassie stares at it intently and wishes she could go off to this far off place to escape.

"Cassie, this is not the end of the world. I know that it hurts. I’ve been through it before. Breaking up is a horrible thing. But trust me. Things are going to start looking up."

"Stop talking down on me, Melissa! I’m not a child!" Cassie looks her sister in the eyes with an intense expression.

Melissa is taken aback. "I wasn’t talking down on you, Cassie. I’m trying to help you through your breakup with Keith."

"I saw you talking with mom earlier, Melissa. I know you two were talking about how she was so worried that I was going crazy again. Don’t think I don’t know what you two have been talking about. Man, you just got recently rescued from being kidnapped and you can only talk about me and how nutty I’ve been? I can’t believe it!"

Melissa is almost at a loss of words. "Cassie, please. Nobody has said anything about you being crazy. Don’t go putting words in our mouths. I’m your sister and when I heard about what went on with you and Keith while I was gone I felt like I needed to talk with you about it."

"Well, it’s not helping. OK? Just please leave me alone. I’m going to take a nap." She motions Melissa towards her bedroom door, making a face that she wants her sister to make an exit as quickly as possible.

Melissa sighs and briefly pauses in her place but she listens to her sister and makes her way to the door. Before closing it she says: "Please come and talk to me sometime."

Cassie rolls her eyes. "Just close the door and let me get some sleep."

With that, Melissa disappears and closes the door gently behind her. Cassie can hear the creak of Melissa’s footsteps making their way towards the staircase and heading downstairs.

Cassie inhales deeply and scans the contents of her bedroom: the solid oak dresser that is a light brown tint, her queen sized bed with its blue comforter, the painting on the wall of the forest, and the ripped up photos of Keith scattered on her bed. She feels a surge of emotions take over her body and she completely gives in and cries uncontrollably. She falls to the floor and buries her head into hands as her sobs overtake her.

Keith and Annie’s faces rage on the inside of her like a quiet scream. Just the existence of them makes her want to rip down the world and tear everything apart that is within her sight. She held Keith and his love within her grasps only to have it all ripped from her with the sight of the two having dinner at Seaside Café. In that moment, she knew that Keith had been lying to her consistently and that he never truly loved her. Annie even warned her of this at the New Years Ball. Cassie refused to believe it because Keith’s seemingly true love for her gave her such confidence that nothing could tear them apart. Though, at the same time, she feared more than anything that he loved Annie more than her. Now she is left only to her cries echoing within the four walls of her bedroom. The pain and anger she’s feeling has become a living creature and its trapped within her and is forcing its way out but can’t escape fully because it will always be stuck there at the edge of her mind and throat.


Luke sits next to Todd on the couch that is appropriately placed in front of the entertainment system. He puts a cup of Coke to his lips and takes a sip, "I can see the worry for Gabi in your eyes, Todd. If you are going to keep thinking about her I think you should give her a call."

Todd has his hands clasped together and is wearing a very thoughtful expression. His eyes dart from the neighboring phone to Luke's face. "She's probably still an emotional wreck. Man, I didn't realize how much she truly cared for me. I'm such an asshole to let something like that go on." He then rises from the couch and paces back and forth.

Luke studies Todd as he paces. Though the pacing is driving him crazy, he really isn't focusing on the bad habit that Todd is displaying. He's letting his thoughts about the whole situation run amok. "Can I ask you something, Todd?"


Luke clears his throat, "Well, I know you and Gabi have known each other for years. Why after all this time has something happened between you two? I mean, if I found a mutual attraction to someone and it was recieved back, I wouldn't hesitate to make sure something would happen."

Todd turns away from Luke's expression, "I've already told you before, Luke. I only see Gabi as a friend. Nothing more, nothing less. That's all there is to it."
"A friend you slept with last night, Todd." Luke then rises from the couch. "Whether you want to deal with it or not--things are probably never going to be the same with you and Gabi."

"I don't even understand why I slept with her!" Todd suddenly yells.

Luke is surprised by this comment. "Well, Todd. You see when a straight man and woman get together and you factor in alcohol..."

Todd's face starts to burn red. "Whatever, Luke. I don't want to talk about this anymore.

Suddenly there is a loud knock at the front door. It makes Todd jump. He grudgingly heads to it and opens it. Just like a screaming reminder of the conversation he would like to have ended, it is Gabi standing there with an expression as though she wants to have some heavy talking.

"Hi Gabi."

"Hi Todd." She can't seem to make full eye contact with Todd. "Can I come in? We really really need to talk about what happened between us last night."

Todd inhales deeply while closing the door and pointing Gabi inside. "I don't know what else to tell you but that I'm very sorry. It should have never happened."

Gabi suddenly turns around. "That is where you are wrong Todd!! This is not over by a long shot!"

Both Todd and Luke exchange glances. Todd swallows hard as a feeling of dread hangs over him. There's no way this conversation is going to be productive...


After breaking Tara’s warm embrace, Jake speaks up loudly, "DEATH! SOMEONE YOU GUYS ARE CLOSE TO IS GOING TO DIE! DEATH!!"

Derek and Tara give each other horrified glances as Jake goes crazy and continues to scream the same thing repeatedly. Suddenly doctors bursts into the room and yell for both Derek and Tara to get out as Jake continues to wildly yell about impending death on someone they are close to. The whole scene is surreal to Derek and Tara as they follow the doctors’ orders and watch the action from outside of the room as Jake still yells with terror.

Tears stream down Derek’s face as the realization that his brother is truly not the same person comes at him full force. Tara pulls him into a tight embrace. They both can share the shock without uttering a single word. The desperation for Jake’s well-being could be sliced with a knife.

"What are we going to do for him? Tell me, Tara! What can we do for Jake?" He looks her in the eyes. Derek’s intensity pierces through her.

For some strange reason, Tara finds comfort in the way Derek’s eyes and mouth plead for answers to the sad situation that is before them.

The two of them then realize that Jake’s screams have calmed down as they watch from outside of the room.

Derek quickly reaches for the doorknob to the room and makes his way in. "Is he going to be alright?" he asks a doctor.

The tanned doctor let’s out a heavy sigh and motions Derek towards the door. "Come with me outside so I can speak to you about him."

Meanwhile, Tara slowly approaches Jake’s bed. They must have injected him with something to calm him down. Man, what Jake says has me chilled to the damn bone. Who does he think is going to die? Should I even believe the crazy idea that he somehow possesses psychic powers?

Her hand touches his upper shoulder, "Jake. It’s me—Tara. How are you feeling?"

Jake is breathing heavy as he turns his head and his eyes lock in on Tara’s. He swallows hard, "Tara, it’s so good to see you."

Tara let’s out a warm smile. "It’s wonderful to see you as well. Though I wish you didn’t have to stay in this bed."

She suddenly has a flashback to one day when Derek and Jake challenged each other to a race across the beach. The two brothers were always fiercely competitive and she was constantly telling them to grow up. The constant competition between the two always got on her nerves. However, right now, she wishes that Derek and Jake were in a mad competition to race across the beach.

"I bet you think that I’ve gone crazy. Well, if you believe that. I guess it’s partly true. But hey, I’ve always been a nut job, right?" He let’s out a chuckle and cracks a smile. "I bet Derek and that doctor is having some fun gossiping about me out there. It’s probably a big conspiracy that there is even something wrong with me. I bet the hospitals paying Derek some mad money to do experiments on me. Hey, wait. Are you in on this too?"

Tara’s giggly laugh fills the air and mixes in with Jake’s chuckle. Suddenly it seems Jake has become his normal self. It warms Tara on the inside to see glimmers of the old Jake shining through. "Now that you’ve figured our big scam to get rich I’m going to have to kill you, Jake. We can’t have the world learning that we’ve prostituted you to the hospital as a guinea pig for the past 3 years!"

Jake laughs some more. "Tara, you don’t realize how this visit is helping me already. Can you believe it? I’ve been asleep for like 3 years! I can’t believe it. So much must have happened since I slipped in a coma. This much I do know—you and Derek have gotten closer than ever. By the looks of that ring on your finger, you guys have gotten very very close."

Suddenly the door to the room swings open and the doctor and Derek head back in. The doctor let’s out a smile and goes up to Jake and checks on the monitors and machines to ensure that they are still working properly. "Jake, how are you feeling? In case you didn’t know, you slipped into one of your blackouts again."

"I thought I did. So what grand psychic prediction did I make this time?" Jake looks downwards as he says this and Derek and Tara can tell that the blackouts bother him deeply.

Derek clears his throat and then says, "Jake, you predicted that someone Tara and I are close to is going to die."

The mood in the room drops to gloom with the drop of a hat. Jake absorbs what Derek filled him in on and shakes his head. "Why in the hell would I say something like that? What in the hell is wrong with me?"

"Look maybe you just need some more rest." This is Tara.

"Tara, you don’t understand! All’s I’ve been doing lately is resting. I need to leave this hospital and get some fresh air before I go completely cuckoo—if I’m not already at that point. I mean, who in the right mind would have blackouts in which during they’d make up these stupid predictions? That’s just fucking nuts!"

"Jake, I think you need to calm down. I don’t want your monitors going crazy." Just as the doctor says this his pager goes off. "This is an important beep. I have to get going. Please don’t get him worked up. It won’t do him any good." With that he gives Jake a glance and disappears out of the room.

"Have any of your predictions come true, Jake? I mean ones that you know of." Tara questions with curiosity.

Jake clears his throat and gets lost in deep thought. Derek studies his brother while Jake thinks hard.

Finally Jake speaks up, "They claim that I predicted this big house fire that killed 3 people next door. That’s the only one they’ve told me of that came true. Look, Tara. I don’t want you worried that someone you two know is going to die. I’m putting no stake into my psycho babblings and you guys shouldn’t either."

Hearing this doesn’t reassure Tara a single bit. Fear is lingering in her mind and she has a horrible feeling that Jake’s prediction of death just might come true. But if it does—who in the heck is the one who’s going to be dying?


"She better never call again or I’ll turn her into the police for harassment!" Annie’s tone is of anger as she turns her attention back onto the steak that she is cooking. "What did Cassie say anyway?"

Keith rises from the couch. "As soon as she heard my voice she went on asking if I was cozy over here and she also said that I should enjoy it while it last. Whatever the heck she meant by that. I do know one thing-- her voice was filled with hurt."

"Well my damn head was filled with lots of hurt when she slammed it against the side of that table while she was violently attacking me and you at the restaurant! She’s a grown woman. I think she can get over the hurt she feels in her heart for realizing what an idiot she was for thinking that I wouldn’t end up with you in the end."

"Please, let’s not get into this again. Remember what we discussed earlier? How about we forget that Cassie even called and just have a nice dinner with the three of us."

Jarrod also rises from the couch. "I second that, dad. I’m hungrier than ever and I’d rather talk about other stuff. Such as my new job at the cool new place that Cynthia's mother is opening up. It’s an awesome place called Java Shores. Since I’m friends with Nicholas and Cynthia Elaine Breese assured me a job when it opened. They are going to sell cappacino, magazines and stuff like that, there are these awesome computers that people are free to use, and she also mentioned trying to get live music to play there sometimes."

"Really? That place sound kick ass. So when’s it opening up?" Annie questions while reaching into the cupboards above the stove to fetch some plates.

"In a few days. She still has some remaining odds and ends before the grand opening." Jarrod responds as he reaches for the three plates and sets them on the table. Keith heads to the silverware drawer.

"Well Keith. In case you didn’t know, I’m a music freak. Ask Todd. We are going to be chilling at Java Shores a lot. This way you can monitor Jarrod to make sure he’s not picking up every single lady and jam to some tunes while doing it!"

"Yeah, we’re going to spoil all of his fun." Grins Keith as he gives his son a wink.

"Maybe I’ll have to give some of the other employees you guys’ pictures to make sure they don’t even let you into the place!" Jarrod laughs and pulls out a seat.

Annie happily busies herself with making everybody’s plates. She places a piece of overly greasy steak on each one and makes a mental note that one of them may be visiting the hospital tonight due to a heart attack. She is suddenly struck with how out-of-character it is for her to volunteer to make dinner for everyone. She realizes how truly happy she is to know that Keith is hers. Cassie quickly flashes in her mind and she wears a satisfied grin. She knows that nothing—especially Cassie—will be able to get in her way of finally having true happiness in her life.


Behind watered eyes, Cassie stares ahead. She is still on the floor. Images of Keith and Annie continuously dance in her mind and bring her constant torture. Her eyes wonder upwards towards the phone upon her stand. Maybe I’ll call again and tell Annie how I truly feel. How I wish that she would get her body broken up by getting slammed by a truck or how I’d push her off a cliff and laugh while she screamed all of the way to the bottom. Keith as well. That lying bastard. He could get his head chopped off for all I care. Cassie then slowly rises from the floor. She then realizes that she is wildly shaking all over.

"They are not getting away with this." She faintly says as she makes her way towards her bed. She gazes at the ripped up pictures that scatter on top of her blue comforter. She picks up a photo that she has not yet ripped up. It is of her smiling happily to the camera while in a tight embrace with Keith. Her blood boils. Quickly she scurries over to her dresser as she gets a creative idea to destroy the picture. She fetches a lighter and places its flame at the bottom corner. Satisfaction fills her body as the photo catches fire and Keith’s face is eaten by the merciless flame. This sparks a vicious scene within her mind. In her little daydream, it involves a flame of no sort but her repeatedly stabbing him while blood splatters on the walls…