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Episode 29


*After a heated exchange with Keith, an upset Cassie grabbed her keys to leave to somewhere, after verbally lashing out at her parents.

*Keith was surprised when he got a call from Melissa asking him to meet her at the park to discuss something important.

*Tara and Nicole's cousin Jasper made his presence known. Immediately, Derek didn't seem to like Jasper. Jasper seemed to reciprocate the feeling of dislike.



The chirping of birds fills the Florida skies above the small and picturesque park. A woman and her small son happily carry two vanilla ice cream cones from a vendor.

Meanwhile, Melissa parks her car in the adjacent parking lot and surveys the handful of people until she spots Keith enjoying a hamburger and some fries at a picnic table that sits beneath a pine tree.

She exhales deeply. Should I be doing this? Is it even my business to question Keith about if he knows that Jarrod might have been Mason’s flesh and blood? Just seeing Keith makes her feel regret for asking him to meet her here.

Keith’s eyes wonder and then lock in on a newly arrived Melissa. As he puts a fry into his mouth his mind continues to run through the possibilities of what she wants to discuss. After his disastrous visit with Cassie, he is on edge and truthfully he hopes that Melissa doesn’t say anything about her sister. Though he knows he is completely to blame for Cassie’s pain, he’s in a mood where he could go off on the wrong person.

Melissa approaches his table and gives her brother-in-law a half-smile. Her heart is racing and she wonders if she’ll be able to get around to what she really wants to discuss. However, she knows that has to happen because Keith would know she wouldn’t arrange a meeting with him if it weren’t over something important. As she takes a seat across from him, she immediately feels the awkwardness creep in. She realizes that she and Keith have never been together somewhere as just the two of them.

Keith clears his throat and after taking a quick sip of Mountain Dew, he questions: "So Melissa, what exactly did you want me to come here to discuss? I have a feeling it has something to do with Cassie..."

"Look, I’m trying to keep my mouth shut about what went on with you and Cassie though I do want you to know I don’t agree at all with how badly you hurt my sister. But…umm..." She once again exhales deeply. Her adrenaline is rushing through her veins and she realizes that this is going to be harder to do than she originally thought. "It has to do with something that’s been really bugging at my mind since I was rescued from Mason."

At the mention of Mason's name, a flash of fury decorates Keith's eyes. "Melissa, I wish I that bastard was dead and I wish I could have the pleasure of doing the job. He caused all of us so much hell. I hope he never wakes up from the coma he's in." Keith then realizes his angry tone and gets a little red in the face. "Sorry, I just couldn’t help but say something about him. Go on…"

"Yeah, I understand. From what I heard Mason was nothing but bad news to you. Anyways, actually Mason is a huge reason I wanted to talk to you…" Her voice lingers as she hesitates. Just say it, Melissa! Tell Keith how you believe that Jarrod really isn’t his son!

"How does this involve Mason? Come on, just please spit it out…" Keith is getting antsy.

"Fine, I’m just going to say it. There is no other way to go about telling you what I suspect. Keith, the reason I brought you here is to question you if Jarrod is really your son. Is he?"

Keith’s expression is initially a face of shock but it quickly evolves to one of anger. "What in the…" It is obvious that he’s taken aback completely by Melissa’s question. "Melissa, why in the world would you ask me something like that?!"

"I only ask because I care, Keith. I couldn't believe it when I considered the possibility myself."

Keith’s eyes dart downward and then focus back on Melissa. "I think you need to mind your own damn business." He states bluntly as he clenches his fist.


A rapid knocking mixes in with Green Day's "American Idiot" as Jarrod blasts the song through the JVC shelf system in the living room. Grabbing the remote from the where he left it on the couch, he presses stop.

"I'm coming!" yells Jarrod as the knocking continues. He swings the door open and is surprised to be looking into Cassie's face. Her face wears evidence that she's been crying hard.

"Cassie? What in the heck is wrong? Here, come on in." Jarrod points an upset Cassie towards the living room of the apartment. He checks the halls to see if anyone notices Cassie coming in. He then closes the door.

Cassie then hugs Jarrod tightly. "I didn’t know who else to turn to, Jarrod. I really didn’t."

Jarrod returns the hug and is very surprised by the scene that is playing out before him. "Cassie, just tell me what’s going on. I would be glad to help. By the way, I see you are wearing that dress again…"

"Don’t even give me that look! Of course I washed it before wearing it again. I just happen to love it." Cassie chokes through her tears.

"Hey, chill out! I never meant to piss you off about it. I was just stating a fact. It’s the same outfit I saw you wearing when we bumped into each other at the mall." Jarrod leads Cassie to the couch and sits down closely besides her. For the moment, he is trying to ignore his attraction to the older woman that sits next to him and just try to help her out as a friend. There is also the added fac that this his father's ex girlfriend that is driving him to ignore the attraction.

She leans into him again. "Jarrod, do you think that I’m attractive?" She looks him directly in his eyes.

Jarrod’s face immediately grows beat red. He then clears his throat and scoots farther away from her. "Of course…" What in the hell does Cassie want from me?

"You honestly do?" Cassie gives Jarrod a half-smile through her tears.

"Ummm…yeah…Cassie, look," Jarrod swallows hard, "What exactly is bothering you and how could I be the only person you could turn to? We barely even know each other."

She then wipes her eyes, and let’s out a huge sigh through her cry. "Jeez, Jarrod. If I’m such a damn bother I’ll leave you the hell alone and go and jump off a bridge somewhere!"

Jarrod then looks annoyed. "Don’t give me that jumping off a bridge bull! Look, I was asking a completely honest question. We’ve never really even talked to each other and suddenly you are running over here to talk to me like I’m your best friend or something. What’s up with that?!"

Cassie’s eyes then frantically scour the apartment. Without warning, she stands upwards. She avoids Jarrod’s question: "Do you have any tissues in this place?" Suddenly something catches Cassie’s attention from the corner of her eyes. She slowly walks up to a stand which shows a picture of Keith and Jarrod side by side in front of the outstretched ocean. They look like a perfectly happy father and son. Cassie feels a mixture of complete sorrow and complete rage well up inside of her body. Keith, we could have had many more happy pictures to look forward to. I loved you with all of my damn heart and you were my world! But, no, nothing ever works out for Cassie!! No, it’s always my sister who has everything go right for her!! Mom always loved her more and dad probably as well. His always sticking up for me has probably always been just a damn act! Oh well, everyone will get what the hell they deserve! Especially Keith and Annie!

"Cassie, please answer my question! You looked like you were a million miles away." Jarrod then immediately notices that her eyes are locked on the picture of him and his father. He slowly walks up to her and places his hand on her shoulder. "Cassie, look, you really need to get over my dad. He’s moved on with Annie."

"I know he has and I’m completely over him! You don’t have to tell me that!" Cassie yells as she quickly swirls around and looks him in the eyes. Her tone smothered in denial.

"I can tell by the look in your eyes that you aren’t over him, Cassie. Don’t lie about it. I know it was very wrong of my father to have seen Annie behind your back but there is no way to change what went on. What happened has happened." Jarrod says with a neutral tone. He is still taken aback that Cassie would come over to talk to him because she’s upset.

"Don’t tell me that you can look in my eyes and say if I’m over him or not! You have no right to tell me that. I know what I’m feeling inside of me and I’m getting sick of other people telling me what I feel!" Cassie yells as she flails her arms in the air. She then walks quickly into the kitchen and runs cold water to splash it in her face. "It’s so hot in here. Could you please go and turn down the heat?"

Jarrod eyes Cassie, "Yeah it is pretty hot in here. Just a sec. I have to go use the thermostat in my dad’s room because the other one is broken. I’ll be right back." He pauses before heading to his father’s bedroom and looks Cassie over.

"What?! Why are you looking at me like that?" Cassie questions, annoyed.

"Nothing." Jarrod flatly responds before heading towards his dad’s bedroom.

When Jarrod is out of her sight, Cassie quickly scurries to her purse she placed on the counter and pulls out a blue diary. She then lets out a wicked smile. Well, Melissa, for the first time in your life you have genuinely helped me. This journal is all the proof I need to help me turn Keith’s son against him. Her hands tremble as she grasps Shayla’s diary within her sweaty palms.

Keith’s bedroom swings open and Jarrod walks out of it quickly.

His attention is immediately drawn to the blue diary in Cassie’s hands. "What do you got in your hand?"


Derek leaves the kitchen to answer the call from Miami Intensive Care. While leaving the room, he gives Jasper a stern look.

After the door closes, Jasper immediately starts up: "What in the hell is your fiancee's problem?!"

Tara and Nicole both exchange glances. Tara then gives him a disapproving look, "Excuse me?!"

"I swear that Derek has some problem with me. Let me guess, he's not going to let me stay here."

"I won't want let you stay here if you are going to have an attitude like this!" Tara exclaims as she begins clearing the table. She hears crying from upstairs and realizes that Maci is awake.

Nicole notices it too and rises from the table, "Don’t worry about her, sis. I’ll go get her. Do you want me to give her a bottle?" Nicole motions toward the refrigerator.

Tara nods, "Yeah, there is one ready in the fridge. Thanks for the help." She proceeds to place dishes in the dish washer and resumes her exchange with Jasper, "As for you Jasper, do you really need a place to stay?"

Jasper rolls his eyes, "I wouldn’t be asking if I didn’t need a place, Tara."

"Um OK, are you gonna stop acting like you have a stick up your ass and explain the situation to me?"

Jasper once again rolls his eyes, "I don’t have a stick up my ass. For your information, I lost my job at the car garage I was working at in Clearview and had to move out of the mobile home I was renting. I thought of you and Nicole first because you seem to be the only family members that can stand to be around me."

"Well I can honestly say you are already testing my tolerance. I was going to tell you that I may be able to convince Derek to let you stay but if you continue to have this cocky attitude I think you might add another family member to the list of those who can’t stand to be around you." says Tara bluntly as she presses start on the dishwasher. The sound of rushing water begins running inside the cleaning device.

Jasper shakes his head. "She’s obviously having PMS or something, I swear." He whispers under his breath.

"What was that?" says Tara as she gives him a calculative look.

"Oh, nothing. So, what’s your answer? Can I stay or not?"

"That’s up to Derek. Ask him." Tara says while reaching for a strawberry from the bowl that adorns the middle of the table.

Almost on cue, the door swings open and Derek steps in, wearing a very thoughtful expression. "Did I hear you mention my name?"

Tara glances at Jasper and back at Derek then sighs. "Yes, actually. Jasper has a big question to ask you." A smile forms on her face. I love seeing him squirm.

Derek clears his throat and then crosses his arms, "Yes, Jasper? What’s this big question you have to ask?"

Jasper surprisingly gets right to the point: "I was wondering if you’d let me stay with you guys till I was able to find another job and get a place of my own."

Derek gives Tara a brief unreadable expression but turns his attention back on Jasper. I don’t like this kid at all. Do I want him living under the same roof as me, much less the same roof as Maci? Dammit, why didn’t Tara ask me about this first?

"So? Can I stay?" questions an impatient Jasper.

Derek uncrosses his arms and finally answers: "If you plan on working your ass off, then sure. You might be just the guy to help me out with all the stuff I have to fix around this house."

Tara tries to withhold her giggling. That’s my man! Make the kid work!

Not saying a word, Jasper gives Derek a glare.


"I can’t believe you are asking me this! Of course Jarrod is my son." Keith’s tone rises. The woman who is having ice cream with her son throws him a glare signaling him that she wants him to tone it down. He briefly glances at her and then continues in a more hushed tone, "Melissa, where in the heck is this coming from?"

She then feels paranoid as she looks all around to see if people are close enough to hear her, "Look, I know that Mason and Shayla were having an affair. I learned all about it while that psycho had me captive."

Keith leans back and lets out a heavy sigh. He can’t keep eye contact with Melissa. Instead, his eyes take in the scenery around him—the long line forming at the vendor’s stand, a group of seagulls pecking at the crumbs people dropped, and the group of pine trees and palm trees that decorate the area. He knows if he looks his sister-in-law in the eyes he’ll really have to face what she suspects.

"Keith, please just tell me if you knew about this. If you didn’t know anything about the possibility of Jarrod being Mason’s, then I’m real sorry I opened my big mouth about this whole thing." Please, Keith. Just say something! Maybe this was a huge mistake. I’ve probably caused even more uproar than our family needs. Maybe I’ll wait to tell him about Shayla’s diary and I how I found it and lost it yet again. "Keith?! Please say something." Melissa has a look of desperation within her eyes.

Keith then forces his gaze back to her face. He swallows hard. His fists are still tightly clenched. "Why in the hell are you doing this, Melissa?! Huh? Come on, go and enjoy your marriage with Tom! You got another lease on life. Just please don’t stick your nose in other people’s business! Ok? Look, I really have to go…" Keith jumps up and rushes off, not even giving her a second glance.

Melissa sits at the table in shock as she watches Keith’s figure get into his vehicle, start it up, and speed away. The little boy at the other table gets all excited when he sees a seagull swoop down at the table Melissa is sitting at and begin pecking through Keith’s half-eaten hamburger and fries…