Monday, March 14, 2011


Ronstad & Bradshaw, LLP - Downtown Las Vistas
Ep. 23_Sc._01_01

Little children were playing in the park across the street, running around after each other, taking turns on the swings, teetering up and down on the seesaw. For the second day in a row the same older couple came and sat on down on one of the benches, sharing a bag of what she could only assume were peanuts from the street vendor they had stopped at before. She watched a flock of birds move from tree to tree, taking off and landing in sync together. Simple events that weren’t very interesting and probably happened day after day, but for some reason she couldn’t help but be sucked in as if her life depended on cataloging each one.

She could hear Blair’s voice in the background, words coming a mile a minute, muffled, peripheral; few of them penetrating the wall that was around her now as she starred off into space, escaping again. She could stay suspended in this mental purgatory forever, wedged somewhere between consciousness and daydreaming. It felt better than paying attention to what was happening in the real world, infinitely better than listening to the deafening sounds of her world crashing down around her.
Ep. 23_Sc._01_02

Every morning she woke up with the foolish notion that things would be a little better, a little easier to deal with, but every morning, despite having changed her number three times, the phones would start ringing off the hook again and she would realize that she had been wrong.

The press was relentless, calling every and anyone she ever knew, news vans posted outside of her neighborhood and her office, everyone desperate to get a comment or a statement of some kind. Law enforcement was no better, they had been crawling around MSI headquarters and the shipping yard looking for any shred of evidence that would nail her to the wall. They had even searched all of her houses and impounded all of the cars that hadn’t been in storage. Nothing was off limits anymore, everything about her business, her family, and her personal life was exposed and the only thing left for anyone to wonder about was how she felt about it all. That was a question that even she hadn’t come up with an answer for.
Ep. 23_Sc._01_03

“Issy? Issy! Did you hear me?” Isabella finally broke her gaze out the window and looked at Blair, shaking her head affirmatively. “I heard you. I’ll do whatever you think is best.” Blair put down the file she had been looking at and walked around and sat on the edge of her desk. “Why don’t we pick this up tomorrow. I’ve got enough to work on for the rest of my life and we only have a few more details to cover to get ready for the board meeting anyway.” Isabella gave her a weak smile. “I’m so sorry about all of this Blair. I should’ve told you what was going on, I just never thought..... but its no excuse. I should’ve been thinking, I should’ve known better. I can’t believe I let him do this to me.”
Ep. 23_Sc._01_04

“Don’t focus on what we can’t change. We have to look forward, not back. Things are under as much control as they can be right now. I have everyone on my team working on this and we are going to find a way to suppress anything they might find in this investigation. Your publicist is working on a statement as we speak and all of the shareholders I’ve talked to are on your side. They don’t think for a minute you had anything to do with this.”
Ep. 23_Sc._01_05

“What about my father? What does he have to say? Have you gotten in touch with him yet?”

“No, his assistant said that he was already on a business trip before everything hit the fan. He’s supposedly unreachable.”

“That’s what she told me too. I’ve called the staff at all of our houses, the pilot, the captains on both yachts, no one has seen or heard from him in over a week. He would never stay out of touch for this long. Something’s up.”

“I’m sure he’s fine, he’s probably keeping a low profile.”
Ep. 23_Sc._01_06

“Even from me? He should be all over this and ripping into me for letting it happen, but he hasn’t said a word. This is way out of character for him. Something is definitely not right.”

“Well what do you think he’s doing then?”

“I don’t know, but whatever it is, I know I’m not going to like it.”


De Santos Residence - Azura BeachEp. 23_Sc. 02_01

What in the world is going on?, Bianca thought as she watched from the window as her father argue with someone over the phone for the third time in an hour. Bits and pieces where all she had been able to pick up but there were three things she knew for sure: 1) It was about his “business” as he always referred to it, 2) It wasn’t good, and 3) Isabella Monacco was involved. How it all fit together was the missing piece she hoped to find on this latest eavesdropping mission. She unlocked the window and began to slowly ease it up so that she could hear better, when she felt some one's hand on her shoulder.
Ep. 23_Sc. 02_02

“What are you doing in here?!” she shouted as she jumped back from Rider’s touch. “That’s a question I should be asking you. But I think I already know the answer, he said as he moved past her and put the window back down and locked it. “He’s not talking in the house because he doesn’t want you to hear it. You don’t need to anyway.” He watched her walk away from him to sit on her bed. The protected little princess, pouting on her pink bed, in her pink room.
Ep. 23_Sc. 02_03

He had never been in here before and as he looked around he took in all the little details he never knew. The stack of CDs on her desk revealed that they liked some of the same bands; they had one or two of the same books; she liked, no, loved Paris, as she had multiple pictures of the Eiffel Tower strewn around.

He peaked into the bathroom through the open door. More pink there too, a small bottle of Channel No. 5, which must have been the powdery, yet floral fragrance that he had smelled on her skin lately, and a delicate pair of pink lace panties she had left laying on the floor. He abruptly looked away, closed his eyes, and shook his head, trying to loosen the thoughts that came with the sight of those panties. He shouldn’t have come in here in the first place and now it was time for him to leave; way past time. He moved for the door but her defeated little voice stopped him.
Ep. 23_Sc. 02_04

“I’m tired of everybody trying to keep things from me. Why does he act like I’m so fragile? I can handle things; I’m not a kid anymore.” Rider turned back in her direction, just in time to see a single tear form in the corner of her eye that she quickly wiped away. Reluctantly, he sat down on the bed beside her, purposely maintaining as much space between then as possible without falling off. “You are a kid,” he said, reminding herself of that fact just as much as he was reminding her. “He’s trying to protect you. Their business is no joke Bianca and it’s nothing you want to be involved in at all. Trust me, it’s for your own good.”
Ep. 23_Sc. 02_05

“God I'm sick of hearing that!” she shouted, jumping up from the bed. “First of all their “business” is drug dealing. I’m not an idiot Rider, I know what they do. My father is a drug dealer, so is Rook. Auto body work didn’t buy this house, or the cars, or all the shoes and clothes I get; drugs did. They don’t carry guns for fun. They use them to threaten and kill people. I know all about it, I’ve always know, no matter how hard you’ve all tried to keep it from me. I know and I don’t care. What sucks is not knowing what’s going to happen next. Is my father going to get arrested? Is he going to get hurt or killed? Should I be happy when he comes home with presents for me or should I be concerned that he’s going to disappear for days after that? Am I going to find out something else crazy, like all the stuff about my mother? Am I ever going to really know everything? I don’t know! That’s why I have to spy on him. I can’t trust him to tell me anything. And if you think that’s for my own good, I can’t trust you either.”
Ep. 23_Sc. 02_06

Rider reached out and grabbed her arm when she turned to walk away, and, surprising them both, pulled her into his arms against her resistance until she relented and broke down into tears. She let him hold her for a long moment and this time he let himself enjoy the feeling he had shrugged off before. When she had calmed down, she released herself from his grip and took a step back, taking in a look in his eyes that she had never seen before. Rider had his moments, but other than the night by the pool he hadn’t shown her the slightest bit of kindness or sympathy. What was different now?
Ep. 23_Sc. 02_07

“You can trust me,” he said breaking the tense silence. “I know this hard for you, that’s why I didn’t say anything about you being at that diner the other day. That and the fact that I was covering my own ass. I was hoping that you would get the hell over all this, but I see you’re just as nosy as ever,” he said with a smile that she cautiously returned. “I’m just tired of being in the dark about my own life,” she said increasing the space between them, which he quickly closed, placing his hand on her shoulder. “I’ll tell you what; If you stop snooping and sneaking out of the house, I’ll help you find out what you want to know. Deal?” She squinted at him skeptically before shaking the hand he had extended. It was improbable and out of the blue, but Rider’s new-found kindness and generosity were the only things she had to work with right now. What other choice did she have but to take them at face value. “Deal,” she replied.


Later that afternoon........De Santos Bros. Auto Body - Downtown Las Vistas
Ep. 23_Sc. 03_01

“I hope you’re happy now!” Reese said startling Nico and the two mechanics that were standing next to him. He motioned for the men to leave and they quickly obeyed as he spun around to face his visitor. “You got a warrant or something?” Nico asked, clearly agitated by his presence. “I don’t, but Luke will be by with one at some point today.” “Well then I’ll deal with him later. You can get the fuck out,” he growled as he turned his back and began to walk away.

Reese let out a laugh as he followed him further into the garage bay. “I don’t get you. You’re one of the most calculating, defensive, slick ass criminals I know but five minutes around her makes you dumb as a bag of rocks. I just want to know if it was worth it. Whatever it is you think you have with her, was it worth all this? I knew she was beyond saving a long time ago, but you? I thought you’d have had the sense to stop things before they went this far.
Ep. 23_Sc. 03_02

Nico rattled around with some tools on the bench, not speaking, refusing to look back, trying to keep his temper in check, realizing he wouldn’t be able to, when Reese started talking again. “There are Feds all over her office, her house, everywhere. She’s not used to this shit and she’s scared to death. If they find anything, if this has your name written on it in any way-” Nico spun around, rage propelling his body, knocking screw drivers and wrenches to the floor with a piercing clang. “What?!! What the hell do you mean if I had anything to do with it? You know I would never do this to her. What the fuck is wrong with you?!!”

“Come on Nico, all the pieces fit. You’ve got “product” to buy and sell, she’s got a yard full of boats and empty crates that get shipped all over the world. It’s the perfect scenario. You just kept pouring gas on that stupid torch she’s still carrying around for you so that you could get what you wanted and leave her holding the bag. The problem is you got greedy, stayed too long and now you’re neck deep in shit too. She doesn’t deserve this, especially not from a thug like you. Be a man! Take the wrap for the mess you’ve made and clear her name. For once in you life do that right thing.
Ep. 23_Sc. 03_03

Nico sucked in a ragged breath and slowly walked up close to Reese, keeping his voice venomous and low. “I guess you would know all that; doing the right thing. Because you’ve never made a mistake in your life have you Boy Scout? You’ve never slipped up and gone down the wrong path, right? And you’ve definitely never gotten caught up in some bullshit over a woman right? Reese’s face drew up tightly, stiffened with anger as Nico continued. “No, that’s not something anyone would ever believe you were capable of. Never in a million years. Right?”
Ep. 23_Sc. 03_04

He paused for a moment, watching the heat coming off of his former friend. He had never seen him this angry before and the thought of Reese loosing control, charging at him was enticing. One hit, that’s all he needed to take and then he would have free reign to beat the crap out of him, a vice he was dying to indulge in.

But Reese pulled back, took a breath and did his best to remain calm. “That was a long time ago and helping me then didn’t make you some kind of hero. You were in the wrong place at the right time and that situation is the only reason you’re on this side of a jail cell. Remember that!”
Ep. 23_Sc. 03_05

“Well you remember this. You and I both know that I didn’t do this to her. I love her; she loves me and there isn’t a damn thing you or anyone else can do about it. So if you thought coming over here huffing and puffing and poking your chest out was going to make you her hero, you’re dead wrong. Take your cape off and stop wasting your time. As long as I’m breathing you are never going to be anymore to her than you’ve always been; just a friend. Now get the fuck out of here!!”


  1. Oh! I love tense moments like these. What a sticky situation. I feel badly for those who will be hurt by all of this!

    Great writing, muze!

  2. I love Bianca and Rider together. I just love them.

    Isabella is in a terrible situation, and to be unable to reach her father compounds it. I wonder in the long run if this will make her stronger or more cynical.

    Nico. What can I say about Nico. Alpha male who doesn't like being challenged. Defensive and angry and explosive and he's directing his anger at someone who he should be actually talking to instead of pounding his chest and demanding to know whether Reese ever made a mistake. Like that's what the issue is. I love the way you frame that 'argument' because it is so damned typical.

    The soft focus you use in the shots with Biana and Rider is particularly beautiful. All your shots are gorgeous!!

    I missed this story: very glad you are writing again!

  3. Christina!! So, so happy to hear from you. Issy and Nico are in a pickle that is getting worse by the second. Only time will tell if they can work this out. Thank you very much for the compliment, I really appreciate it.

  4. Hi Beth! I love Rider and Bianca together more and more. There's a lot there that I want to flesh out between them so they will definately be in the spotlight more (hopefully soon).

    Nico will do just about anything but admit when he's wrong, especially about being with Isabella. He hates to hear "I told you so" especially from someone like Reese, so, yeah, this was a fight just waiting to happen.

    That soft light thing is so compeltely by accident and I wish I knew how to create it on command. I think it is just the fact that Bianca's room is in the sun spot on that lot.

    Thank you so much for reading, commenting and everything.

  5. I managed to get a little caught up! I wondered when it would come out that Bianca wasn't as naive as everyone thought. She and Rider have a relationship that can grow into something really good.

    Nico...I love him and I love him and Issy. I am afraid that relationship won't survive although I am rooting for them.

    Gorgeous update and wonderful writing!