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Episode 31


*Nina told Annie that she was upset with Todd because he didn't tell her about Gabi's car accident.

*Luke overheard Creg carrying on a suspicious phone call.

*Cassie shocked Jarrod by claiming that Keith had physically abused her.



"What is taking Luke so long?" thinks Elaine as she impatiently glances at her watch.

She spots a newspaper and decides to check it out while waiting for her eldest son to return. She takes a seat and digs into the days’ news stories. A name is in small print and it catches her eyes: Todd Lansing. The article is about a robbery in a local store. Before reading Todd’s article, she can’t help but flashback to the conversation she had with him before he headed off to the cafeteria:

Elaine awkwardly watches Todd as he reads through a copy of Rolling Stone magazine that has Britney Spears on the cover. She suspects that he is trying his hardest to forget that someone he cares about deeply is fighting for her life in the neighboring room.

Elaine really wants to strike up a conversation with him. She realizes the overwhelming guilt that she feels for being the one that murdered his father. Yes, AJ was trying to kill her but she took away this younger man’s dad! She knows that he never got a chance to say goodbye to him. Then something hits her full force: What if Todd doesn’t even know she is the one who killed AJ? Doesn’t he deserve to know?

She slowly takes a seat next to him as she ponders this. "What article are you reading? Anything interesting?"

Todd quickly raises his eyes from the magazine article, "It’s just something on Jewel."

"Oh, yeah I’ve heard a few of her songs. What’s that one that says something about hands and being broken? I really like that one."

"You’re talking about the song Hands and it’s actually about never being broken. Yeah, that is one of her best songs." Todd suddenly seems comfortable with Elaine’s presence.

"Never being broken, that’s right. Yeah, Hands, that’s the one." Elaine then quickly tries to search for a way to keep the conversation going. "So, um, have you ever been to one of her concerts?"

"No, but I’ve really been meaning to get to one. I’ve heard that she is amazing live." Todd smiles. He then realizes how sweet of a woman Elaine is. He just met her last night but he believes she sincerely cares.

"Well I’m sure you’ll manage to get to one. Of course that’s if you manage to fit it into your busy schedule at The Sentinel. However, I do want you to know I love your articles. I think they are the best written ones in the newspaper."

Todd blushes. "Why thank you Elaine. That’s very kind of you to say."

"Oh, I mean it Todd. I really want you to be the one who writes the big article I have planned for the grand opening of Java Shores. I can’t wait till it opens. Only a couple more days! I’m planning to have a huge party and I want full coverage on the whole event."

Todd smiles wide, revealing his two pronounced dimples. "It would be an honor to write the articles, Ms., ummm, I’m sorry but I’m not sure of your maiden name. "

"—It’s Breese. However, you can call me Elaine, Todd." She smiles wide.

Suddenly Elaine snaps back into the present whenever she feels a hand on her shoulder. She turns around to be looking into the face of an older woman who looks vaguely familiar.

"Aren’t you the bitch who murdered my husband?" questions Nina, venom in her tone.


Creg approaches Gabi’s hospital room slowly. For some reason, his heart beat increases as he gets closer. He clutches his grip tighter on the basket of flowers in his hands. He extends his hands and opens the door to the room slowly.

Look at her, so damn helpless. Thinks Creg intently as he looks up at the IV bag pumping a clear liquid into her system. The steady beep of the monitor is the only sound that fills the room’s four walls besides for the slow tap of his shoes as he approaches Gabi’s bedside. He stares at her. I guess this is truly the only kinda thing that can shut you up, Gabi. You never did know when to shut your trap. I’ll enjoy it while it last.

At that thought, he quickly places the basket next to a wrapped gift with a puffy pink bow. Out of curiosity, he opens up the tag on the gift and is greeted with Todd’s name. Now isn’t that ironic that he’d wrap it up in purple and put a pink bow on it. Good going, Todd. May all your gifts spread gay cheer.

Creg shakes his head and then walks toward the door. While leaving the room, he is greeted with an approaching Todd and Luke, walking side by side. His mind flashes back to seeing them sitting outside on the hospital sidewalk together the night before. That same feeling of disgust washes over him.

"Hello Creg." Luke states in a dry tone, "You actually showing some human emotion and visiting Gabi? I’m impressed."

Creg shakes his head and gives both Luke and Todd a once-over, "You two are sure spending a lot of time together."

"What’s it to you?" snaps Todd.

Creg maintains a cold gaze into Todd’s eyes, "Nothing. I just noticed it–that’s all. I’m a very observant guy."

"Good job at being observant." Luke says, in the same dry tone. As am I, bro. I intend to find out what that hush hush call was about last night. What exactly are you up to and why do I feel like it involves Todd? I know you couldn’t have let him get off scot free for taking the stolen money from Gabi.

Creg walks past the two men, making sure the side of his arm rubs against Todd, "Well I have better places to be than here. By the way, Todd. I really like that outfit." He flashes Todd a big smile and heads on his way.

After Creg has disappeared down the corridor, Todd turns to look at Luke, wearing a confused expression. "Why in the hell did your brother just comment on my outfit?"

Luke shakes his head, "I haven’t the slightest clue. Maybe his latest passion in life is fashion."

Todd absorbs Luke’s response for a couple seconds, "Maybe." Todd looks back near the area where Creg disappeared down the hall, Or maybe he was hitting on me...


On the couch, Cassie continues to bawl her eyes out, "You are not going to like what I have to say but it is the truth. You deserve to know the truth, Jarrod. It has to do with your dad and…" tears stream down her face, "I’m just gonna say it. It’s so awful to say but I have to!"

"Cassie please just tell me already." Jarrod states with an annoyed tone.

"Fine Jarrod. Your father abused me! He beat me up all the time! I don’t know why I loved him so damn much. I must be screwed up in the head or something. But now that I’m broke up with him and have my head more straight I just wanted to tell somebody of the horrible pain Keith caused me, mentally and physically!" She breaks down and begins to hysterically cry and emits a loud-pitched scream as she embraces the young man tightly.

Jarrod wears a face of total shock. He doesn’t even feel the river of tears drowning his T-shirt. He suddenly pushes her upwards and pierces her with an angry gaze. "My father would never lay a hand on a woman! I don’t believe you."’

Cassie continues to bawl and through it says: "You don’t believe me? Jarrod, you don’t know your dad like I do. He…he has such a dark and violent side to him! You know how he has an anger problem. I wasn’t the only one who saw him beat the hell out of the man who shot Tom at the New Years Ball!"

"No, no! Stop it!" Jarrod darts upwards. "You are lying to me. My father didn’t touch you and I know it! You are still very upset about him seeing Annie behind your back so you are trying to get revenge; that’s what this is all about!"

"Jarrod, I swear I am not lying to you!! Look at my arms if you don’t believe me!" Cassie pulls up her sleeves and reveals multiple scratches and a big bruise on her left arm. "Keith…he—he, oh my, I can’t even say it!" She buries her head into her hands.

No! Cassie has to be lying. But those marks! Could my dad done that to her? There is just no way in hell… Jarrod is in a state of shock as the image of the scratches and bruises on the woman’s arms flash through his mind. This is way too much to process.

Cassie reaches for her purse and pulls out some tissues and wipes her eyes with them and blows her nose. She then inhales deeply. "Jarrod, I’m sorry you had to find out about your father this way. I just don’t know what was wrong with me but I still loved your dad even though he abused me. I always saw these kinds of women on talk shows and stuff and I always thought they were so damn stupid but look at me, I still loved Keith to death while he was almost beating me to death!"

Jarrod suddenly feels dizzy and he forces himself to sit down on the recliner that is next to the couch. "There is just no damn way that my dad would hurt you. I know he wouldn’t. My father may have a short fuse and I’ve experienced it first hand but there is no way that he would ever lay a hand on a woman. Cassie, I just can’t believe that he was the one who left those marks on you. If he was, why in the hell would you just be revealing this now? Why didn’t you go to the police a long time ago? Huh? Tell me that, Cassie! Why now? Tell me!"

"Jarrod, please! This has been hard enough and I don’t need you being so angry at me over this whole thing. Look, I think I’m just going to get going. Forget that I ever came over here and told you this. I shouldn’t have opened my big mouth about it all." She grabs her purse and swiftly rises from the couch. "I just want to thank you for dealing with me coming over here and acting like a complete nut job over this. After all, women get beat by men everyday. I shouldn’t feel like I’m the only one going through something like this." She says through her sobs as she heads for the front door.

Jarrod sits at the seat in a completely numb state—half of him really isn’t paying attention to Cassie leaving. He just sits there. Cassie slowly opens the door and hopes that he’ll dart upwards and embrace her and tell her that he’ll do something. To her dismay, he doesn’t. She shuts the door and he remains on the recliner, a solid state of shock glazed upon his face.


"You are! You are the wench who brutally murdered my husband!" Nina vehemently yells.

Elaine is stunned and can’t seem to come up with a "line of defense." So this must be Nina, Todd and Annie’s mother. I can’t believe this is happening right here in the middle of the hospital.

"So, cat got your tongue?" Nina puts her hands at her waist and looks the other woman up and down.

"Mother, what in the hell is going on out here?" Todd and Luke arrive back into the waiting room side by side just in time. Todd gives his mother a piercing glare.

Nina looks her son in the eyes and then "bites her tongue", "Nothing, Todd. I’m just catching up with an old friend, so to speak."

"Luke, I thought you’d never come back!" Elaine seems more than relieved that her son is in the room. She walks over to him and he hands her a cup of coffee.

"Are you sure everything’s OK, Mother?" questions Luke with a curious look on his face. Suddenly it all clicks in his mind: Oh man, wait, Todd must have no idea. I think we walked into a heated confrontation. No wonder my mom is relieved to see me. This must be the first time Nina has seen Elaine since coming to Sunrise Bay.

Nina then gives Todd a tight hug. "Honey, I am so sorry about your friend Gabi being on the verge of death. Tell me if there is anything I can do for you sweetheart, OK? By the way, why didn’t you call me whenever this first happened? I really would have liked to have known that one of my son’s closest friends got critically hurt, you know."

"Mom, I’m sorry I don’t feel the urge to fill you in on things that happen as soon as they do. I’ve been very stressed and worried about Gabi. She means a lot to me. Not to mention that I feel directly responsible for her being here in the first place."

"Oh, Todd. Please stop blaming yourself for this. You had no part in hurting Gabi." Elaine says in a gentle voice. Nina gives the other woman a mean glare. One which Todd and Luke don’t miss.

Todd isn’t in the mood to keep mum and speaks up: "Wait, mom, I saw you glaring at Elaine. Tell me what in the heck you have against her. You can’t tell me that you were just catching up with her as a friend." His tone is forceful.

Nina gives Elaine a brief gaze and then lets her eyes settle upon Todd’s face as he awaits an answer.




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