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Episode 24


*Carl was furious at Keith for causing Cassie so much pain.

*Cassie flipped on Melissa and proceeded to burn pictures of her and Keith. Images of her violently killing Keith and Annie played in her mind.

*Tara was overcome with nonstop worry about Jake's prediction that someone was going to die.

*Gabi came over to Todd's place to confront him.




The smell of coffee emanates from the kitchen and makes its way to the noses of Eve and Carl Jones as they sit closely on their comfy sofa and watch some television. At the smell, Eve immediately darts up. Her nerves are on edge and nothing can compare to how much a cup of coffee helps to ease those nerves for her.

"Do you want me to get you a cup, hon?" pauses Eve at the entryway to the kitchen.

"Yes and add loads of sugar. I’m in the mood for something very sweet." Carl says while flipping to another channel after his patience has run out from the overload of commercials on channel 12.

"Yes, me too. I thought I wouldn’t be on edge like this after Melissa was rescued and brought home safely but now Cassie is sending my nerves on edge. We can never win, it seems." Eve speaks loudly from the kitchen as she prepares the coffee. She stirs in two large tablespoons of sugar in each. She only adds a small portion of cream to hers. None for Carl, he’s lactose intolerant.

"I know what you mean, Eve but we’re not the only ones dealing with stress, trust me. You should see some of the things I see while working at that hospital on a daily basis. It gets quite depressing. But all of that aside, yes, I am very worried about our daughter. Though I am quite furious with Keith. How could he do such a horrible thing to her? If only Cassie listened to us whenever we told her not to take him back after everything that was brought to the surface during that Hawaii trip." As Carl is finishing this final sentence, his wife is making her way back with the two cups of steaming coffee.

" I have always been rather fond of Keith but this is the last straw. I know that Cassie shouldn’t have flipped out like she did at the Seaside Café but he shouldn’t have lied to her that he was sick and then have gone on a date with Annie! That’s just an awful thing to do!" She then brings the hot liquid to her lips and takes a slow sip.

"I just wish I knew what to say to her so that she would get over Keith and move on with her life. She seems to be obsessed with him and I’m worried that…" He lets the thought linger in silence because the reality is too sad.

"You’re worried that she might be headed towards the mental ward again, just say it! There is no sense in us trying to live in a fantasy world about Cassie especially after everything that happened before. She tried to kill Melissa, for heaven’s sake!" Eve is surprisingly angry with her words. She almost spills some of her coffee in the process.

"Do you think I forgot about that, Eve? I’m not living in a fantasy world about her. I know what she’s capable of when she’s thrown off of the edge. It’s just so…so devastating and I wish I didn’t have to face this as someone who loves her so dearly!" Carl then turns off the TV. His eyes start to get watery as he thinks of Cassie.

A strange silence falls between the two of them as they re-hash the past within their minds. Cassie truly did go over the edge when her resentment towards her sister went way too far.

"Speaking of Cassie, shouldn’t she be home by now? She left over an hour ago to take a drive and clear her mind." Worry smothers Carl’s tone as he questions his wife.


"I’ll take it." smiles the gleeful blonde woman as she checks herself out in the mirror. She is wearing a stunning red dress and it looks perfect on her. Cassie hands the salesperson a credit card and then goes right back to checking herself out. Hopefully, my parents won’t care that I borrowed their credit card. They should be happy that I’m trying to do something with my life.

Earlier, after Melissa left her bedroom and she had an intense cry over Keith, Cassie suddenly came to a conclusion that quickly began to fill her with a happy feeling. She decided to try her hardest to makeover her life and find a purpose other than Keith. Whenever it hit her mind, Cassie was amazed that she hadn’t thought of it before. But after seriously thinking over the plan, her feet were practically already out the door. She snuck into her parents’ room and took their spare credit card from their bottom desk drawer, and then left, telling Eve and Carl that she needed to take long drive to clear her mind.

However, as much as she wants to block the thought of Keith and Annie from her mind, it still lingers with great force. For two years, he has meant almost everything to her. She would give up everything to just touch him but now Annie can touch him all she wants. Cassie can’t help but feel a mixture of despair and rage. She fell dangerously in love with Keith. How can she face life without him by her side?

"Here’s your credit card. Now if you would just take off that dress, we could get it in a bag for you." The salesperson says with a warm smile. She is a tall woman with curly black hair. She looks about 40.

"Actually, I had other plans. I think I’ll put my other outfit in the bag to carry. I am going to be keeping this dress on." Cassie wears a sly smile. It’s time to debut the new me! Well, after I stop at the beauty salon. I can’t wait to show everyone what I got!

"Fine, I’ll put your other outfit in the bag." The woman holds out her hands and Cassie places the outfit in them. "Have a nice day." She hands Cassie the plastic bag labeled Bellas with a huge smile.

Before leaving the store, Cassie takes another peak in the mirror. This dress was made for my body. She exits the store and heads in the direction of the beauty salon. I’m going to shock the hell out of everyone once I’m done with this makeover. Especially Keith…


Tom, wearing a blue towel, enters the master bedroom. He smiles when he sees his wife busy cleaning dirty clothes off the floor. I am so damn lucky. I can’t even believe how my life has been lately. I got shot and was in a coma for like a month. Melissa was kidnapped and now she is safe at home. I’ve got a wonderful little boy who thinks the world of his parents and I am the luckiest man to be living such a rewarding life, especially considering I almost lost it.

Melissa puts a big pile of clothes in the white hamper adjacent to their king’s sized bed and then she looks up into Tom’s eyes with a huge smile. "Come over here, big guy." She reaches out her hands to motion him towards her.

He immediately heads to Melissa and they embrace in a passionate kiss. He feels complete with her near and he realizes yet again how he was meant to be with her. As cheesy as it sounds, he can’t live without this woman.

They slowly break the kiss and both look into one another’s eyes with appreciation. Melissa’s hands travel the lengths of his back up and down as she pulls him into yet another fiery embrace. Tom can feel the intensity in her motions and he knows exactly what she wants as he moves her gently towards the bed. They land and Melissa throws the blue towel that is covering Tom’s body to the floor. They go under the blankets and make love.

Later, the two of them cuddle beneath the covers. Something is weighing on Melissa’s mind and Tom begins to notice. "What’s going on, Melissa? Is there something you need to tell me?"

Melissa lets out a heavy sigh and begins to bite her bottom lip as she thinks hard. I have to tell him about what I discovered while Mason had me captured. Jarrod is probably not his brother’s son. He needs to know this. She then breaks her thoughts to answer her husband: "Yes, actually. It’s pretty important…"

"Look, if this has anything to do with you feeling guilty about hiding—you know what—from me. I have forgiven you completely. We’re starting on a clean slate, I promise." Tom then rubs his hand through Melissa’s long blonde hair. "Is that what you are going to tell me about?"

"No—actually. But thank you. I don’t think you realized the extent of how horrible and awful I felt for keeping my rape from you. I swear I was going to tell you. It’s just---"

"Hey, remember, I forgive you. Now tell me what’s really on your mind…" His hand brushes her cheek as he looks deep into her eyes.

Melissa swallows hard. Should I even tell him? I don’t even know for sure if Jarrod really isn’t Keith’s child. It’s just that Mason’s story…It just points in that direction. I should read that diary so I can be completely sure. Wait, where is that diary?

"Melissa, are you going to tell me? You look like you are in your own little universe." Tom lets out a small grin as he studies her face.

Melissa breaks out of her train of thought, "Yes, of course. Look, don’t hold what I’m going to say as 100% fact. It’s more like, it’s more like highly possibly a fact—if you know what I mean…"

Tom squints. "Ok…"

"It has to do with your brother. His son, actually. Jarrod. Tom, whenever I was…was being held captive by Mason. I…I learned something. Mason was secretly having an affair with Shayla."

Tom then clears his throat. "He told you about the affair? Look, I already think that Keith knows about Shayla and Mason having this affair. I think that’s the main reason that Keith hated Mason so much. Mason better hope he stays in the coma he is in because Keith is going to tear him to shreds. Not to mention, I'm finding the notion of doing it pretty appealing as well."

"Look, I know that Keith hated Mason and all of that but I’ll just say it, plain and simple, the whole time frame of this—it’s real fishy."

"What are you trying to say, Melissa?" Tom tries to comprehend.

"I’m saying—What if Jarrod is not Keith’s son? And I just thought of this now, what if that is even more part of Keith’s hatred towards Mason—knowing that Jarrod isn’t his flesh and blood?"

Tom is stunned as he tries to process what his wife is saying. As much as he wants to deny it and jump to other conclusions, the wholes scenario is unfortunately plausible.

Melissa rises from the bed and slips into a pink nightgown. "I found a diary, Tom."

"Wait, what do you mean you found a diary?" Tom looks confused.

"When I was rescued by that guy Zachary. I was so excited and everything but I managed to spot a diary lying in the brush. It was Shayla's. Unfortunately, I've misplaced the damn thing."

Tom scratches his head while wearing amazement in his eyes. "You found Shayla's diary? Wow. What are the chances of that?!"

"I know!" Melissa heads back to the bed and gets under the covers with her husband. "The fact remains that I've misplaced it. That diary could answer all of our questions. I think Keith deserves to have it, Tom. I want to personally give the diary to him."

"Well let's just hope it doesn't end up in the wrong hands before we find it." states Tom bluntly. He and Melissa then exchange worried looks.


"Wow, so he's picking you up in a few minutes for a date? That's awesome, Nicole!" Tara says enthusiastically to her sister on the hotel phone. "You are definitely going to fill me in on all the details."

"Of course I will, Tara. I'm soo nervous. I still can't get over how he asked me out right in front of Creg. I guess I felt some twisted sense of satisfaction out of it."

"I understand what you mean. Creg hurt you so bad. To have him witness a guy, his own uncle nonetheless, asking you out on a date--who wouldn't get satisfaction out of that?" Tara says this and then plops down on the uncomfortable bed that is in the middle of the room. Her mind begins to wonder to everything that happened with Jake earlier at Miami Intensive Care.

The running of the shower in the neighboring room distracts Tara as Nicole talks to her about the latest happenings in her life. Tara then forces herself to focus on her sister’s voice but can’t help but let her mind stray to the screams of Jake’s voice, a voice warning of the death of someone they know.

 After a long pause, "Tara? Are you still there?"

Tara snaps back to the present, "Yeah, yeah. Of course. I’m here."

"Good. Anyway, how is Jake? I bet Derek is thrilled to see his brother awake after all of this time."

Nicole doesn’t realize that her question weighs so heavy on Tara’s mind. Tara tries to think of a good answer. He mind goes into overdrive: Yes, Jake is awake. He’s alive; that’s always a good thing. However, is Jake stable? How is Jake truly? I never really believed in the psychic stuff but what if Jake’s prediction comes true? What if someone I know and real close to is going to die?

"Well, Jake’s awake and we couldn’t be happier about that but…." is the response that finally emerges from Tara.

"But what? Is there something still wrong with him?"

"No, it’s just real weird. This is going to sound very out there but...Nicole; I guess Jake has been making all of these predictions. Some of them even came true from what the one doctor told us. It’s really eerie. Jake has been having all of these visions ever since he’s come out of the coma."

"Visions? Do you mean like a psychic? That is very out there. For some reason, I remember reading a book that sort of had something to do with that. I can’t remember the name of it now, though…"

"The Dead Zone by Stephen King? That’s exactly how the desk attendant explained it to us. It’s just all so freaky and I don’t know what to believe of it! I can also tell it has Derek all worked up. Jake is not the same person as he was when he went into that coma, Nicole. It’s breaking my heart."

She suddenly gets a flashback to a few years ago when Derek and Jake challenged each other to a race along the beach. They were always competitive with each other like 12 year olds. Back then, she found it outright annoying over the stupid things they’d have competitions over but now she wishes they’d be engaged in the childish games.

Suddenly a loud banging noise comes from the hotel bathroom where Derek is showering. Tara’s pulse immediately races and she drops the phone to the floor without giving Nicole a warning.

"Derek!! Derek!! Are you OK in there!?" No response, just the running water of the shower. Tara is horrified as she quickly opens the door. She is immediately greeted with the sight of a naked Derek lying on the floor with blood coming from his head. She rushes up to him. "Derek! Talk to me, are you OK?"

She is very relieved when her fiancé begins to moan and move his head. Derek slowly opens his eyes. "Tara...I must have…have fallen. Shit! My head hurts."

"You scared the hell out of me, Derek! I thought something awful happened to you and that you were dead or something." She embraces Derek tightly and kisses his lips. "Look, you need something for that gash on your forehead. Wait, Nicole’s on the phone. I have to tell her that you’re okay. Just lay here until I come back, OK?"

"Tara, I’m fine. I just had nasty fall and holy shit--can you get me some Aleve or something? My head is hurting like hell!"  He reaches upwards towards the towel rack and pulls down a maroon towel and holds it against his head to soak up the blood.

"Yeah, of course I'll get you some pain medicine. Are you sure that we shouldn't take you to the emergency room or something? Oh my God, Derek. I'm freaking out here!" She puts her hand to her head.

He keeps the towel firmly pressed against his wound and rises from the floor. "Just please calm down, babe. I'll be alright. Please get me something for the pain." 

"OK, I can do that." says Tara as she hurries to the adjacent room. Her thoughts are rushing a million miles an hour as she scoops up the abandoned phone. There is a dial tone so she decides to give Nicole a call back after fetching Derek some pills. This day really really needs to end... Tara thinks while heading toward her purse.



"Thank you." Rafael, a tanned waiter in his late 20's, says as he reaches for the menus. Elaine, Creg, Cynthia and Luke have a window table that has an amazing view of the outstretched ocean. The light of the day is starting to fade as night slowly begins to creep in.

Elaine gives her three children a warm smile. "I am so delighted that you three were kind enough to join me for dinner. When was the last time we were able to do something like this? Now that I think of it, I don’t think all of us have gone out for a nice dinner together like this before."

"It’s no problem, mom. Especially since I’m gonna be real busy with moving into my new house. I want to get in as much quality time as possible." smiles a cheery Cynthia.

"Oh, sweetheart. It's not like you are moving eight states away. I will be sure to visit you and Nicholas as often as possible. So did the movers arrive and get everything unapacked properly?"

Cynthia nods, "Yes, there are only a couple things that I'm waiting for. Other than that, the house is looking like home sweet home."

Elaine smiles warmly at Cynthia and then notices that her eldest son seems to be oblivious to the conversation going on. "Luke, is there something on your mind? You have barely spoken a word on the drive here and since we’ve gotten to the restaurant."

"I’m fine, mother. Don’t worry about me. I guess I’m just not in the chatty mood tonight. If you would excuse me, I have to go to the restroom." With that, Luke scoots his chair back and heads towards the men’s restroom.

Elaine studies Luke’s figure as he walks away. Her eyes then settle on Creg. "Do you know if anything is bothering Luke, Creg?"

"All’s I know is that he’s been hanging out with that idiot Todd Lansing. You know sometimes I really don’t know about Luke. I think if he had a choice he wouldn’t even be part of the Jackson family. He’s so damn self-righteous about things."

Elaine gives Creg a glare. "Look, I didn’t want to start any conflict right now but I can’t let you go bashing Luke like that. Luke is a very kind and compassionate person. In fact, he seemed to be the only one there for me, besides Cynthia, when I was going through the divorce with you father. Creg, it seemed to me like you were on your father’s… wait, I’m not going to get into this conversation now. We didn’t come for this dinner to discuss things that would bring up conflict."

"No, keep going. I want to hear what you have to say, mother. Were you angry with me for trying to stay out of the middle of whole situation with you and Father? Trust me, I didn’t want to be between any of that. And as for you getting ready to say that I was on Father's side, I wasn’t on any side!"

"Chill out, Creg!" exclaims Cynthia as she throws back her layered brunette hair and brushes off a small piece of lint that she spots on the top of her white spaghetti-strapped dress.

"Yes, Creg. Let’s just all chill out as Cynthia puts it. I know you are upset about your breakup with Gabi and that must be why you are getting worked up so much." Elaine says as she takes a sip of wine.

"I'm the one who broke up with her so I'm not really worrying myself about the whole thing. I’m glad to be rid of her. She caused so many problems in my life and I don’t know why I stayed with her as long as I did." Creg then lets out a small grin as he recaps his plan of revenge against her.

"Well, whatever makes you happy. If you are sure that you are better off without Gabi, then I support the breakup fully. Oh, here comes Luke." Elaine then finds herself forcing a big smile as Luke gets back in his seat.

"Did I hear mother right? You and Gabi broke up?" Luke acts like he’s oblivious to this news though he obviously knows very well all about it. The image of Todd and Gabi going at it on the couch flashes through his mind.

"There’s no way you didn’t know about it, Luke. You’re so damn buddy-buddy with that jackass Todd. I heard how Gabi went running into his damn arms."

"I can be friends with whomever I want, Creg. Also, Todd is not a jackass. He’s a cool guy."

"And an excellent writer at that. I was reading an article in the Sunrise Sentinel that he wrote on the rescue of Melissa Jones and he covered it so vividly and precise." Elaine adds before taking a long sip of her wine. She then sets the glass down. "Which reminds me, Luke? I want Todd’s phone number. Do you have it? I was so impressed with his article that I thought I’d assign him the task of writing the big feature on the grand opening of Java Shores. I trust that he’ll do the event justice."

"Yeah, I have it. Just get out a pen and piece of paper and I’ll write it down for you." Luke takes a slow sip of his wine. He then notices that Creg is intently studying his face. "Do you have a staring issue, Creg?"

"No, I just can’t believe you know his number off the top of your head." Creg then focuses his attention on his own glass of wine. He looks as though he’s thinking very hard about something.

"What’s the big deal about me knowing his number off of the top of my head?" Luke questions with an annoyed expression.

"Nothing. Never mind."

Luke rolls his eyes and busies himself by writing down on the scrap paper that his mother handed him.

Elaine studies her sons’ expressions. What is up with the hostility about Todd Lansing between the two of them?


Todd’s eyes meet Gabi’s and he is forced to once again realize the pain that resides within them—pain that he caused. "Words can’t express how sorry I am for hurting you, Gabi."

"Well then why won’t you try to use words because I’m afraid that’s all we have to use at this moment." Gabi then crosses her arms and puts on her "strongest" expression. "Last night was a wonderful night for me but you claim to not remember a damn thing about it. I just can’t accept it. I know you were there when it happened. There’s no way that you forgot everything."

Todd pushes his mind harder to try to at least remember an inkling of what happened to the two of them. Everything’s blurry. He swallows hard, "I’m sorry but I want to be completely honest—I don’t remember anything about us having sex."

"Well at least Luke was a witness to it. Maybe he can fill you in on the details, seeing how you two have been so close of friends anymore." Gabi is growing frustrated and it is leading to anger. "So I guess I was nothing but a drunken fling, wasn’t I? If you only knew how horrible and used I feel right now!"

"Please stop making me out to be so damn guilty in this situation. You had to of realized I was dead drunk but you obviously let it continue. Not that I’m pinning what happened on you, but you were the sober one!" Todd’s guilty conscious is starting to pull out defenses towards Gabi’s continued accusations.

This comment makes Gabi stop dead in her tracks before uttering another word. She feels a surge of emotion rushing back to her but she quickly forces her tears from being released

"Look, I’m sorry I just blew up on you like that. This whole damn situation is my fault. You were the vulnerable one last night after breaking up with Creg and I—I—I guess I took advantage of that in some way…" He looks down at his feet and realizes how foreign the "concept" of what he just said is to him. Took advantage of a woman? That’s definitely not what happened. But that’s the only way I can explain things to her without letting her know I’m not even interested in women. My body must have been abducted by aliens or something last night because I’ve never had a sexual thought for a woman ever!

"So you’re admitting you were just taking advantage of me last night? I thought you didn’t even remember us having sex!"

 "No—no—that’s not what I meant, Gabi. I was just trying to explain what must have went on because it seems that I’m not making you feel any better by keeping on saying I’m clueless about last night. Please just understand…"

Gabi’s hands move to her face. "Everything’s so wrong with my life." She gives into the emotions and tears come rushing. "Todd, I—I’m just a wreck—plain and simple! I was in a very unsatisfying relationship. I’ve never found someone who can just love me—love me for me! Am I just that detestable? Tell me, Todd! What makes you so fucking ashamed of sleeping with me! Huh? What is so damn wrong with me that makes me so unlovable!?"

I knew this wouldn't go good. At least Luke left to go to dinner with his family and doesn't have to witness this. Todd swallows hard and begins to pace. He doesn't know where to take the talk with Gabi.

"Todd, all the time we spent together in New York City means nothing to you?! We've helped each other through so many rough times!"

"Look, that is what you are going through right now--a rough time. You just recently broke up with Creg and I think it's normal for your emotions to be through the roof with what went on between us. I'm really sorry but I know it was a big mistake." He finds a sudden fascination with his feet as he looks down. He can't bring himself to look her in the eyes.

Gabi buries her face in her hands as she finds another strong cry coming on, "My mother's right, this isn't me!"

Todd suddenly looks up, "What'd you just say?"

She just holds her hand up for him to be silent and shakes her head back and forth. "I have to get out of this damn house. I just can't take this right now!" She rushes toward the door and swiftly opens and slams it shut. This time, there is no picture to go falling and crashing to the ground.

"Damnit! What should I do?" says Todd aloud as he stares at the slammed door for a few seconds. Before he can go onto his "plan of action" he hears Gabi's car speeding out of the driveway.

He makes a dash out his front door into the tropical evening air. He watches as Gabi's car speeds down the road. A mental image of her crying hysterically and pushing on the gas pedal forms within his mind. He crosses his fingers and makes a prayer to God that she gets wherever she is going safely. He no longer can see her vehicle as it disappears in the distance.

Todd lets out a deep sigh and slowly heads toward his house. He stops dead in his tracks when the sound of crashing echoes from the distance. His heart feels as though it's dropped to the sidewalk.