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Episode 27


*For their date, Brice took Nicole to his docked boat where he had champagne waiting for them. Later on, Brice got silly and jumped in the ocean water, taunting Nicole to join him. She eventually gave in and jumped in with him.

*Tom and Melissa was worried that Shayla's diary, which she misplaced, would get into the wrong hands.

*Tom and Tara discussed feelings they had for one another.

*Todd continued to blame himself for Gabi's accident. He also continued to realize that he was growing deeper feelings for Luke, though he tried to dismiss them.



"Oh my gosh! I am sooooooo cold!" exclaims Nicole as she wraps the thick blue towel that Brice gave her around herself. A burst of wind makes the "cold factor" increase.

"Ohhh come on. That swim was s-s-sooo refreshing! In fact, when I'm done drying myself off I might go for another round." Brice jokes as he sets down next to her while trying to dry off with a maroon towel.

Nicole looks up into his eyes, "Yeah, so refreshing, Mr. Shiverhead!"

"Mr. Shiverhead? I musssst say that soundsss like a derogatory name that a two year old would come up with." Brice is obviously doing his best to repress the shivers that are overtaking him.

Nicole just shakes her head but maintains her gaze into his eyes. "Call me a two year old then. I think the nickname fits you perfectly."

Brice just smiles and moves in a little closer--being sure that his left leg is against her own. "Nicole, I feel ssso happy around you."

Nicole is caught by surprise. There is something different in his eyes when he says the words.

"Am I making you feel uncomfortable? That would be the last thing Brice Jackson would want a woman to feel like." He gives her some distance and slowly rises from his spot next to her.

"No no no. I don’t feel uncomfortable. It’s just, I..." Nicole loses where she wanted to take the thought.

"You??" Brice makes gestures with his hand as signaling that he’s asking for more of an explanation.

She sighs and then stands up, tightening the towel around her shoulders and front side. "I guess I’m just overwhelmed with how much you’ve done for me since meeting you. I know it’s so early in our–our friendship and more than friendship if it comes to that. Not that I wasn’t thinking more would come of it, well not to feel all forward and giddy and oh my god, I am rambling!" Nicole then shakes her head and breaks her eyes contact with Brice. She now wears an embarrassed expression.

Brice lets out a small laugh. "Don’t worry. Ramble all you want. I understand what you mean. Maybe I’m the one being a little too forward. I have been showering you with compliment after compliment since meeting you. I don’t know, I think you have me under some kind of spell. You should be impressed with yourself, I rarely ever fall under spells. Usually I’m the one trying to concoct and cast them..."

Nicole grins. "Actually, I must admit. I think you’ve managed to concoct and cast one of those spells on me." Their eye contact resumes.

"Well at least I’m not failing at what I do best..." Brice says quietly. His expression reads of intensity and passion.

Brice walks up closer to her and gently touches his hands on her shoulders. He leans in slowly. Nicole’s heart rate increases as Brice moves his lips closer to her own. The breeze picks up at that moment and her blonde hair waves into his face, tickling his cheeks just as their lips lock into a passionate kiss.


Melissa carries the tray of crackers, cheese, and cookies carefully into the living room, looking out the side of her eyes to make sure she doesn’t trip on any of the toys that are scattered from where Maci and Philip "went to town".

Eve and Carl look up at Melissa with faint smiles. Worry is still plastered over their expressions.

"Eat some goodies, it will hopefully get your mind off of Cassie." encourages Melissa as she reaches for a chocolate chip cookie that is in the middle of the tray.

"This looks great, dear. Thank you for preparing it." Eve says kindly as she smiles wide and begins to make a cracker and cheese sandwich. "I just can’t believe that Cassie would raid my purse and steal our credit card. I just don’t know what to do with her."

Carl slowly brings a piece of cheese to his lips as he looks in serious thought. "Do you realize it sounds like we are talking about Cassie as though she’s some juvenile delinquent? She is 26 years old, for heaven’s sake!"

Melissa shakes her head at the thought of her sister, "I tried having a talk with her earlier about her big breakup with Keith. I can’t believe all the stuff that happened to her while I was gone. Why would Tom’s brother do such a thing?"

At the mention of Tom’s brother, Carl’s face evolves into pure anger. "He’s nothing but an inconsiderate bastard if you ask me."

Eve shakes her head, "No need to use such a harsh words against Keith, Carl."

"What? Are you kidding me, Eve? Who’s side are you on exactly? Wait, I know exactly why you are showing sympathy for Keith...." Carl states this and then abruptly ends his sentence.

Carl’s words sting through Eve. He’s talking about my affair. I can’t believe he’d bring that up.

Melissa feels the sudden tension. "Look, mom and dad. Come on, this isn’t a time to be arguing. How about I go and call Cassie’s cell phone again? OK? You two keep digging into this tray." At this, Melissa proceeds to head out to the kitchen to fetch her phone.

While walking toward it, something catches her eye. Oh my gosh! There it is! Shayla’s diary! She reaches down and picks it up from its spot between a chair and a toy Spiderman. How in the world did it manage to get there? The diary is blue with Shayla’s name engraved in silver on the front. The phone ring pierces the air and distracts her from the diary. She proceeds to place it on the counter.

Melissa reaches for the phone and pushes the talk button, "Hello?"

"Hey, it’s Tara. You’ll never believe what I have to tell you. It’s about Jake." Tara’s voice sounds panicked and it sends a shot of worry throughout Melissa’s body.


Tom hears the faint sound of Carl and Eve arguing downstairs and just shakes his head. Now that is a rare thing to hear. Those two barely even raise their voices. He thinks while lifting his shirt and scratching his stomach. A pain rushes through him as he touches near the bullet wound from the attack at the New Years Ball.

He suddenly has a brief flash of all the hectic confusion. I can’t believe everybody lied to me about Melissa being on a business trip. I swear , when Mason Heights awakes from that coma he is in...he will regret laying a hand on my wife, that’s for sure.

Tom proceeds to the dresser drawer and opens it up, pulling out the medication that the doctors ordered him to take. He begins to feel dizzy and decides to sit down on the bed for a moment. Ever since returning from the hospital, he has been getting dizzy spells off and on followed by very vivid flashbacks. He has excused them as a side effect of all the medication.

Just as pattern follows, when the dizzy spell is weakening, vivid memories come to the peak of his brain. He hears Melissa say Tara’s name downstairs so that prompts the image of Tara, standing at his doorway, she looks as though she’s been crying. Tom then relieves the memory of that certain night, a few years ago:

Tara wipes the rushing tears and looks Tom in the eyes. "Hi." The word is very faint from her lips.

"Hi Tara. What is wrong?" Tom rises from his bed slowly, concern plastered onto his expression.

"I’m just...just not feeling right at all. Derek and I had a huge argument. Carly is playing her emotional head games with him again. Tom, why can’t she just be out of his life? Is that too much to ask for?"

Tom absorbs her questions and answers quickly: "I don’t know, Tara. If you ask me she is just trying to get her claws into him again. I don’t trust Carly as far as I can throw her. You should also take into consideration how she is his ex wife. You know Carly never got over him." He suddenly realizes that Tara smells of alcohol.

"Were you drinking tonight?" Tom questions.

"Yeeeess. Why you ask?" Tara questions while she walks closer to Tom.

"Well I was just wondering, I suppose. I actually was just about to go downstairs and watch some late night TV. Wanna join me? Melissa is probably going to be at her parents’ place for most of the night. I wouldn’t mind the company. Besides, Jay Leno cracks me up and I like having someone else here to watch it with me."

Tara giggles, "Aw, I find that cute–your thing for Jay Leno, that is." Her eyes are no longer flowing with tears but are still very puffy and red.

"Thing for Jay Leno? You make it sound like I have a crush on him or something. I just happen to think he’s a real funny guy. By the way, am I going to have to help you down the stairs, alcoholic?"

"Hey, I’m not an alcoholic for drinking a few mixed drinks." says Tara defensively while tripping toward the staircase.

Tom quickly reaches over and breaks her fall and has her lean against him. He slowly helps her to the bottom of the staircase. He proceeds to lead her toward the living room where the TV is currently the only source of light. He plops onto the couch and she comes plopping next to him. He is surprised when she begins to cuddle next to him. Their eyes lock and Tara leans in and kisses him on the lips. For some reason, he doesn’t hold back. The two continue the passionate embrace for about three minutes before Tom breaks it and stands up quickly. "No, we can’t do this. It’s a big mistake."

Tears start to rush to Tara’s eyes and she quickly jumps from the couch. "Yeah, you are right. That was so wrong. No, no. Derek can never know what just happened."

Tom breaks out of the flashback and realizes that his head is sweating profusely. Man, Tom, you have to keep these thoughts of Tara out of your mind. You have a wonderful and beautiful wife that you adore. There’s no reason to think of things that happened in the past, just let it stay there.

He then rises from the bed and heads down the staircase. He enters the kitchen to see a worried Melissa.

"It’s Tara." says Melissa as she points to the phone that is in her hand.

"Oh, Tara." Tom repeats and then swallows hard. So much for not getting Tara on the mind...


The tropical night air engulfs Todd Lansing as the main doors open before him and let him enter the late Florida night. The breeze is at a perfect motion and the distant sounds of waves from the Atlantic Ocean set a calming feeling against the foreground of Todd’s frenzied mind. He watches as an ambulance zooms into the parking lot of the hospital. It gives him the goose bumps as he recalls Gabi being put in the ambulance earlier.

Todd finds himself looking up at the sky. He doesn’t know whether in some way he is trying to look for God for guidance or if he’s just trying to get lost within the stars so he doesn’t have to face the reality of the whole situation. Whatever the reason is, he keeps staring. He then rubs his eyes and realizes that he’s been crying again. Todd then sets upon the concrete step. It is much cooler on his rear end than he expected. However, that thought is only present for a split second before his frenzied and sad thoughts take over. What am I supposed to do? I have nowhere to turn now. Gabi could die in there. Die with a broken heart because of my selfishness. I think I saw this coming. Her feelings for me were obviously growing over the years and I let them build. It’s not like I gave her any reason to think that I wanted to be with her. Damnit, I can't believe this is happening! I just wish someone could be there to take away all of this pain. Elliot. Yes Elliot! No, or Luke. Luke could be there. Stop it already, Todd! Stop it! What in the hell is wrong with you? Luke will never be there in the way you want him to be. He’s just a friend. You can’t be getting deeper feelings for him… He wipes his arm across his watered eyes.

He jumps when he feels a hand upon his shoulder. He turns his head and is looking right into Luke’s eyes. The eyes of the man he is growing to feel deeply for. Luke is there—standing near the steps. Luke is there for him at this moment—and nobody else.

Todd watches at the corner of his eyes as Luke moves onto silently sit next to him on the stairs. Luke clasps his hands together. "Barbara’s inside the hospital room with Gabi. The doctor told her that she could visit her for like 10 minutes before she’s sent to get more tests in the intensive care unit. Nicholas is there too."

Todd is silent for a moment and doesn’t know what to say though for some reason he feels the response should be easy. Todd then realizes he is still in surprise that Luke has come out to sit next to him in the breezy Florida night. However, the fact that Luke is showing such concern leaves Todd with a sad feeling. Damnit, Luke. If you only knew how you’re starting to get to me more and more…

A silence falls between the two men. Todd’s mind is loud with racing thoughts, though. He then swears that Luke just moved his leg closer to his. Quit imagining things Todd!

Luke then breaks the quiet: "So is there anything you want to talk with me about? I know this whole thing is bugging you more than you’re letting on. I can just see it your eyes I guess."

Todd glances at Luke’s face and then quickly away. The sound of a crying baby makes his eyes dart towards a younger couple in the parking lot. He realizes they must be returning home with their first child. He then responds to Luke, "I don’t know how to put what I’m feeling, actually. There’s just too much going on in my mind I guess. I don’t know…"

"Yeah, I hear ya. I just want you to know that I’m here for you even though I think I’ve said that like a gazillion times but it’s just because I mean it." He then cracks a smile.

It then brings a slight smile upon Todd’s face. "Yeah, I guess you have told me that a lot. But hey it means a lot to me."

"Good, good…" The words linger from Luke’s mouth.

Just as pattern proves, silence once again falls between them. However, it doesn’t feel like an awkward silence. There is this intangible understanding that seems to lie between Todd and Luke. It’s this intangible understanding that Todd continues to push from his mind as wishful thinking. While the comfortable quiet hangs, Creg’s figure appears near the doors right within the building.

He spots Luke and Todd sitting close upon the stairs and he once again is overcome with a surge of anger. What the fuck is going on? Now they are sitting by the sidewalk together? Maybe Luke is a fucking fairy like Todd after all. Creg shakes his head in disgust while watching on.