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Episode 39

"The Eavesdroppers"


*After learning that Gabi was pregnant, Todd decided to come clean to Luke about his sexuality.

*Melissa noticed Tara's extremely defensive behavior when she jokingly accused her of getting ready to make out with Tom.



The smell of frying hamburgers and french fries fill the house. Per Philip’s insistence, Melissa decided to prepare a very quick and unhealthy dinner. Since Eve was babysitting Maci and Philip and Carl had the all-night shift at the hospital, Melissa decided to offer her mother to join the family for dinner. Eve happily agreed, saying she’d stop by with a pasta salad she had made.

While pulling out the appropriate vegetables for the hamburger toppings, Melissa’s thoughts become preoccupied on how distant Tara seemed while shopping. She swears something is up with her and plans to get to the bottom of it. However, for now, Melissa must pursue smaller tasks like chopping onions and pickles.

"I guess I should help you with the chopping." says Tara as she picks out a knife from the top drawer." I called Derek and he’s on his way. I also called Nicole and she’s going to bring Brice along, I can’t wait to meet him."

"She’s going to bring Brice? Tara, this isn’t any kind of meal for a Jackson. I’m so embarrassed." She rushes toward her freezer and pulls out a package of expensive steaks. "These shouldn’t take too long to make."

Tara lets out a chuckle, "Are you kidding me, Melissa? Since when were you out on a mission to impress people?"

"It’s not that I want to impress him, it’s just I don’t want him to think I make greasy hamburgers and fries for my family every evening." She hurriedly rips the steak package open and runs hot water over them, hoping they’ll thaw faster.

Tara shakes her head in amusement as she watches her friend get in a panic. Tom then enters the kitchen and her eyes immediately lock with his.

He breaks the eye contact and squeezes his wife from behind, planting kisses all over her head and neck, "Did you know that you are the most beautiful woman to walk the face of the earth?"

Melissa turns around and gives him a calculative gaze, "OK, Tom, what did you do wrong?"

Tom acts appalled, "I compliment my pretty wife only when I’ve done something wrong? When did that rule come about?"

Suddenly an angry voice comes from the entrance of the kitchen, "No, Tom, you’re not the one who’s done something wrong. It’s your wife who has. I need to speak to her alone right now." The accusatory words belong to Keith Hetricke.


Todd Lansing watches as Luke Jackson approaches from the end of the hall. His pulse intensifies as Luke gets closer.

Oh Luke, if you only knew. Wait, he can know. Come on, Todd. It’s time to stop being a coward. I need to come clean with Luke. Coming clean definitely won’t change the fact that Gabi could be having my child but it has to help me feel in control just a little, doesn’t it?

"How are you holding up?" A concerned Luke questions.

Todd gets a whiff of Luke’s cologne and a bolt of excitement darts through his veins. Todd’s heart is racing as he lets words spill from his mouth: "Luke, can we go somewhere in private? There’s something real important I need to tell you."

"Um, of course. There’s a space by the storage closet at the end of this hall. Is that private enough?"

"Yeah, that works." Todd’s voice is shaky as he walks alongside Luke toward the closet.

Once they are there, Luke cast Todd an inquisitive stare, "OK, what’s up, Todd? You look intense."

Todd swallows hard as he feels his mouth going dry. Just do it, Todd. Tell Luke that you are gay.

Luke extends his hand and gently touches Todd’s left arm. "Spill it out, man. I can tell it’s eating away at you."

"Alright, alright." Todd begins to pace nervously. "First of all, Luke, you have been a wonderful and supportive friend through everything. I can’t thank you enough for that. You shouldn’t even be supportive if you think about it. Considering what Gabi did to your brother for me, something that I let her do because I was a coward..." His voice drifts off.

Luke crosses his arms, "Todd, I’m not sure I know where you are taking this. I know that Gabi stealing the money from Creg had something to do with you. However, I’m sure you had a real important reason for needing that money so bad."

Todd shakes his head and then clears his throat, "Will you please let me tell you everything I need to say before you talk? Look, I need to finally get all of this off my chest. Luke, I have to tell you the real reason I needed that money." He pauses, summoning all of his strength to finish his explanation. "Alec Porter, the man you witnessed beating me up, well, he was blackmailing me. Alec he–he knew stuff about me. Alec and I knew each other from New York City when I was a big shot journalist with Gabi. He–he and I got to know each other."

I wonder where in the hell Todd is taking this., thinks Luke as he listens on.

Todd’s palms are sweating profusely, his tone grows more shaky as he continues: "I guess you’re wondering what Alec was blackmailing me for. I’m just going to say it. Luke, Alec and I were...there’s no other way to put it–Alec and I were involved."

Luke is taken aback, "Involved? As in business partners, partners in crime? I’m not sure what you mean..."

Todd exhales deeply, his heart feels as though it’s ready to explode. "There’s no other way to put this, Luke. Alec and I were involved romantically. Luke–I’m gay. OK, there I said it!"

Luke’s eyes widen as he quickly becomes speechless.


Tara wipes the diced onions from the cutting board into a glass bowl. She sets the bowl next to the chopped pickles. After wiping her hands in a dish towel, she turns her attention to Tom, "I thought that was pretty rude of your brother, barging in here like that to talk to Melissa. I know he’s upset about her confronting him over that whole Jarrod thing but he could have used a different approach."

Tom scratches his ear, "Yeah, I know what you mean. I’m going to try my hardest not to get involved because I already made it very clear where I stood on this with Melissa. She shouldn’t have confronted him like she did."

"But you know Melissa, she can’t help but get involved where she thinks she can help out."

Tom nods his head, "Yeah, that’s what I love about her–always trying to help people. However, that approach gets her in trouble sometimes as demonstrated by Keith’s reaction." As Tom talks, he gets the nagging sense that both he and Tara are intentionally avoiding what’s really on their minds. It is apparent in both of their eyes.

I can’t stand this anymore. Tom and I need to talk about what’s happening between us lately. For the sake of my sanity, I need to see where he stands. She glances toward the doorway to make sure that nobody is close, "Tom, I think there’s a subject we have avoided for far too long."

Tom’s eyes wear agreement. "I was thinking the same thing." He lets out a deep sigh.

"Earlier when Melissa made that joke that we were about to make out, I almost had a heart attack."

A small grin forms on Tom’s face, "I could tell."

Tara nods but it’s not accompanied with the same amused grin that Tom wears, "Tom, we have to be honest with each other. It’s been driving me nuts lately."

"I’d be lying if I said you haven’t been on my mind lately. Especially that kiss we shared..."

Tara slowly nods her head. Flashes of the passionate exchange rush to the forefront of her mind. The memory brings a rush of excitement to her veins, "Yeah, our kiss."

As soon as the words hit air, both Tom and Tara realize they are not alone. The two turn their heads as Eve walks slowly in the room, wearing a shocked expression, "It seems I must have walked in on something you didn’t want me to hear."

Tom and Tara’s eyes dart to Eve’s, then towards one another, both exchanging horrified glances.

Eve grips the bowl of pasta salad in her hand tightly as disappointment washes over her. "Your expressions tell me everything, you’ve been doing things behind Melissa’s back, haven’t you?"


Todd’s mouth has become a desert. Oh my god, Todd. You did it, but why in the hell isn’t Luke responding? "Please say something, Luke."

Luke clears his throat, "I..um..I’m surprised." Luke turns around and scratches his head searching for the right words. Holy shit, you weren’t delusional at all Luke! But since when did gay guys have one night stands with women? Wait, he wants you to talk... He inhales deeply and finally decides to look Todd square in the eyes again, "I guess I’m surprised that you’d choose me to come out to first. Wait, I am the first person you’ve come out to, right?"

Todd slowly nods, he feels as though he’s gonna pass out from the adrenaline rush he’s feeling. "Yeah, pathetic right? After all these years you’re the first soul I’ve came out to."

"Well that would be besides Alec, of course." says Luke wearing a wide smile as he tries to inject humor into the situation.

Todd doesn’t wear a smile, "Of course, not that I’m proud at all. Look, Luke, if you’re freaked out by this I understand. Thanks for the friendship while it’s lasted, you don’t even know how much you’ve helped me out..." He begins to make a beeline away from the closet and Luke.

Todd is surprised when Luke grabs his shoulder. He turns around, looking Luke in the eyes, "What?"

"Todd, I’m not freaked out by it. Not a single bit. Well, I have lots of questions for you but I want you to know that I don’t think of you as any less of a person. What you just did was really brave."

Todd swallows hard, "OK."

"Actually this answers a few questions for me." says Luke as a wide grin forms on his face, "There have been these moments when I’ve caught you looking at me and, in hindsight, this really isn’t that huge of a surprise. Well, it is but it’s not, I think you get the drift."

Todd wonders how far he should take his confession, while a smile forms. You bet I was looking at you, Luke. I think the world of you. Should I tell you that? No, Todd. Of course not! That would definitely freak him out and I still want his friendship. He knows that you’re gay, let’s leave it at that.

Luke senses that he’s holding back, "Anything else to tell me, Todd?"

Todd quickly shakes his head, "What? Me coming out to you wasn’t enough?"

Luke lets out a big laugh, "I don’t know. Well, maybe I just wanted you to go into how you have fell head-over-heels in love with me and all that fun stuff."

Todd quickly diverts his gaze to the end of the hallway, being more obvious than he wanted to appear, "I wonder how Gabi is doing."

Luke is onto him, "You completely dodged my comment, Todd."

Todd turns his gaze back to Luke’s, "It was a joke. Since when is it a rule that you have to respond to a joke?"

"I don’t know. Never mind." Luke gets preoccupied with his feet.

Todd notices this and his mind immediately goes amok, Does he want me to say I fell for him? He’s sure acting like it. Before Todd knows it, words are spilling from his mouth, "Fine, Luke. I fell for you. There, I said it."

Luke’s attention quickly springs back onto Todd, "Really? Wow, I’m speechless."

"Is this a good speechless?"

"Since when did being speechless get labeled as good or bad? I’m just speechless in that speechless kinda way, I guess." A sneaky grin forms on his face, "On that note, I’m going to go and see how Gabi is doing." Without even giving Todd a chance to respond, Luke is on his way quickly down the hall.

Todd is confused for a couple seconds but immediately chases after Luke, "Wait! Now you are the one dodging things!"

Luke stops in his place and looks Todd in the eyes, obvious amusement resides in his expression. "My Todd, you sure want to get a reacion out of me, now don’t you?"

There’s something exciting about Luke’s sudden playful attitude, "I guess you could say that. I expected a different reaction."

Luke motions his head toward where Barbara, Patrick, and Creg are still sitting. "We should talk about this whole reaction thing at your place tonight. I think it would be more of an appropriate environment, wouldn’t you?"

Todd slowly nods, as his heart races, "Yeah, my place tonight. Good idea." Whoa, Todd, look at his expression. If I didn’t know any better, Luke’s gonna be making a confession of his own...

The two men don’t notice Creg listening intently from behind the magazine he’s reading.