Written by: Dallas Walsh
   

"You two are sick, do you know that?" Mac Rockwell fumes as he listens to Kent Blackmore and Sabine Andrew give him an ultimatum: either they take over Rockwell Mining or Mac returns to Sabine and Lydia returns to Kent. Mac can't believe that they would go to the authorities and reveal that he and Lex worked together to obtain the Kelsey Lake mine because he knows that they only did that because they learned that Kent shot Stacey. "Making me choose between my company and Lydia?"

Kent uneasily smiles back to him. "You didn't really think that we'd let you get away with it, did you? Taking Lydia away from me?"

"You did that all on your own," Mac spits back to him. "I would lose count of everything you've done to me and my family; that family includes Lydia."

"Mac, please try to look at the big picture here," Sabine interjects. "I made you very happy once upon a time. We could have that again. This way, we all get what we want."

"Do you realize that I could go to the police with the information that Kent shot Stacey?" Mac replies to them as he folds his arm across his shoulders.

"But you won't do that," Kent tells him. "Because if you did, I'd have no choice but to tell the police about you and Lex. All three of us would end up behind bars. You know very well, this is the best option for all of us. You simply have to move Lydia back into my penthouse and get engaged again to Sabine. It's simple really."

"Simple?" Mac laughs back to him. "Nothing about this is simple. And Lydia, my God, she's going to lose it when I tell her what you guys have done."

"I'll take care of her," Kent tells him. "Just make it happen, or else."

"We'll give you 24 hours Mac. Do the right thing, for everyone," Sabine pushes her lips together.

***

Vivian Blackmore squeals in delight as she feels the powerful force entering her for the final time before her lover explodes in climax, giving a loud grunt in the process. Vivian rolls over and looks up at Cole Rockwell, who is dripping in sweat and smiles at him. She recalls how she met him at the club and revealed that she knew that he had a role in Dixie Ryan's death but she would agree to keep it a secret if he made love to her again. She was positive that if he was able to be back with her, he could realize that they are meant to be together. Plus, she had missed him in her bed; he is a fantastic lover, knowing exactly how to handle her and give her what she needs.

"God, I had missed you," she purrs as he lays beside her, still trying to catch her breath. "You haven't lost your touch."

Cole uneasily chuckles back to her. "I needed that more than I realized I did," he tells her, thinking about his sorted past with Celeste Baldwin, whom he recently broke up with because it was revealed that she is pregnant with Marat Kafelnikov's child. Cole, of course, kicked Celeste to the curb, so finding release with Vivian was just what the doctor ordered, especially since he and Lex are also not seeing eye to eye.

"You know," Vivian purses her lips together. "You and I always had chemistry, regardless of what has happened between us."

"Yea, the sex has always been off the charts," Cole grins back to her.

"This could be a regular thing," she looks back at him. "It didn't have to be a onetime thing."

"You know how my family would feel about that."

Vivian sighs back to him. "Since when do you care what they think? There is obviously something between us, Cole."

"I'll think it over, that's the best I can do," Cole replies to her. "A lot has happened, Vivian."

"Well, you better think fast, because you might not have a lot of time," Vivian leans up bed as Cole looks at her with concern.

"What does that mean?"

"Grant Shaw is the one who told me that you were with Dixie Ryan when she died," Vivian reveals to him.

"What?" he gasps back to her. "So, all this time, you knew that the police would likely get involved and you still tricked me into bed?"

"Hey, hey, hey," Vivian tells him, as he jumps out of the bed. "You just admitted that you had a good time. And, in my defense, I am telling you now."

"That doesn't make what you did, okay!" he yells at her. "God, just when I think maybe, maybe, we could actually be together, you go and do this. You'll stop at nothing to get what you want!"

"And I want you."

"Well, I hope you enjoy this time, because it is the last time it will ever happen!"

"I've heard that before," Vivian giggles as she lays back in the bed. "And, you always come back."

"Not this time," Cole spits at her as he collects his clothing. "We are really over this time!"

***

Celeste Baldwin walks through the estate at the Rockwell mansion, trying to get the images out of her head of seeing Cole and Vivian leave the country club together. She knew that Vivian was trying to gloat by telling her that she and Cole would be leaving together, but she never actually believed that Cole would go through with it. After everything that Vivian has done to her, Celeste really believed that Cole would be done with her for good.

"What a fool I was," she whispers to herself, as she approaches the stables.

She knows that she shouldn't even be on the property right now, but she needed to have walk in a place where she knew that she would alone; she didn't think anyone would be out near the stables at this time of the day, so she came here. While she lived at the mansion, she would often come down to the stables because she loved horses, as she grew up with them. And, it was always a nice escape from the craziness that usually was going on in the mansion; and not many of the Rockwell's visit the stables. In fact, she's only ever seen Mac down here.

She pauses when she hears a voice coming from inside the stable. She moves closer to the door way and peers inside. She arches her eyebrow immediately, when she sees Lex standing in the center of the stable and he appears to be having a full blown conversation, only no one else is there.

"I'm telling you Toby, everything is going to work out perfectly," Lex says out loud. "And, I owe it all to you."

Celeste peers inside the stable again, and once again, doesn't see anyone standing next to Lex. Celeste shakes her head in confusion wondering what is going on with Lex, and wondering who the hell Toby is.

***

"I can't fucking believe this," Mac storms into the living room of the Rockwell mansion and moves over to the bar where he pours himself a scotch. He takes a drink as he tries to calm his nerves, but his heart is beating a million times per second.

"Mac, darling, what has gotten into you?" Lydia asks, as she looks up at him from her wheelchair. "I haven't seen you this upset in a very long time."

"Do you want a drink with me?" he asks her before he turns around and makes her one. He then moves over to her. "I got you one; you're going to need it after you hear what I have to tell you."

Lydia slowly takes a sip of her brandy. "I'm worried," she admits to him. "Please, tell me what is going on. I don't like seeing you this upset."

"Kent and Sabine are out to get me," he reveals to her. "Both of us."

"That doesn't make any sense," Lydia shakes her head back to her. "Kent just visited me. We ended it on good terms, although he did say he had some cryptic next move. Sabine, we just saw her at the club, and she said she was moving on."

"It was all a lie," Mac tells her. "They paid me a visit today at Rockwell Mining and revealed that unless I get re-engaged to Sabine and move you back in with Kent, they will go to the authorities with the information that Lex and I worked together to reclaim the Kelsey Lake mine."

"I'm not sure I follow," Lydia admits to him. "Why would they care? Lex works for you."

"But at the time, he was working for Blackmore Ltd."

"That son of a bitch," Lydia spits as she starts to fume. "Wait, we can use that he shot Stacey against him!"

"I tried," Mac shakes his head back to her. "He said he would still go to the police and Lex would end up in jail too. We can't let that happen."

"What are you saying?" Lydia asks him. "Do you want to give in to their demands?"

"Just until we can get something on Kent or Sabine and use it as proper leverage," Mac admits to her. "I can't give them Rockwell Mining, Lydia; they'll ruin it into the ground."

"You're right they would," Lydia nods back to him. "I know this isn't the best of timing, but I've been keeping something from you," Lydia tells as Mac shoots her a look. "I've been getting feeling back in my legs."

"What? Why didn't you tell me?"

"I am now," Lydia tells him. "The point is, Mac, if I move back in with Kent, I can look around for you. I know that penthouse better than anyone. I'll be able to find something, anything, to use as leverage. We won't let those two get away with this."

"You'll do that for me?"

"Of course," Lydia grabs his hand. "In case you hadn't noticed, I still care about you Mac."

Mac leans in and kisses her on the lips. "Promise me you'll be careful."

"I will be," Lydia nods back to him. "Let's sink those two for good."

***

"Was that Cole I saw racing out of here?" Houston Blackmore asks his mother, who walks into the living room of her mansion only wearing a lavender silk robe. Houston watches his mother move to the bar and pours herself a brandy.

"It was," she tells him. "And, before you ask, no we are not back together."

"I wasn't going to ask," Houston stands up and moves to the bar himself. "What you and Cole do, is your business."

Vivian chuckles back to him. "How are things going in your quest to get Stacey back?" she asks him, knowing that she gave him the information about Celeste's pregnancy so he could stop Stacey from leaving Kelsey Lake with her husband, Marat Kafelnikov.

Houston sighs as he takes a sip of his whiskey. "She won't hear me out," he admits to her. "She's still reeling over the fact that I slept with Lydia while I was in the cage in Lucinda's basement."

"I don't understand why she is being so difficult," Vivian says back to him. "You thought you were never getting out there alive!"

"I've tried to tell her that so many times," Houston tells her. "She won't listen."

"Oh baby," Vivian moves up to him and puts her arm around him. "You know, time heals all wounds. Right now, Stacey is upset with you and Lydia but she's also dealing with Marat's betrayal. That's a lot for anyone to take in. I do believe that she will come around. You just have to be patient."

"You know I'm not patient."

Vivian chuckles back to him. "I know," she purses her lips together. "That's why I told you what Tanner told me about Celeste's baby."

"Wait, what?" Houston looks up at her in surprise. "Tanner Young told you about Celeste's baby? How did he find out?"

Vivian shrugs her shoulders. "I have no idea, I didn't ask him. But, darling, this has to stay between us. I wasn't supposed to reveal that he was the one who told me. It was his one condition."

"Yea, whatever," Houston waves his hand, as he starts to think about Tanner's motives. Tanner is dating Lex and they are seemingly happy together, so why would Tanner try to ruin Lex's brother's and sister's lives by revealing this secret. "That is something I'm going to have to find out," Houston whispers to himself.

***

Grant Shaw looks down at Tanner's muscular, pumped out, chest as he finishes sitting down hard on a climaxing Tanner. Grant moans out in delight before he collapses down on to Tanner's sweaty chest. He slowly leans up and looks into Tanner's eyes.

"God that was good," Grant smiles back to his lover. "You sure know how to give it to me."

Tanner chuckles back to him. "I've been deprived lately," he admits to him. "Lex has been so busy with this Dixie mystery."

"I'm not complaining," Grant replies to him. "I never liked that you had to go that far to carry out this plan."

"Don't worry," Tanner says back to him as he licks his lips again. "It's always been you, Grant. You know that."

"I know," Grant rolls over. "I just can't wait for this to be over and we get our money. Then, we can get away from this and start our lives together. The way it was always meant to be."

Tanner nods back to him. "We are close," he nods to him. "So very close. In fact, I should shower and head over to see Odette to find out what I need to do next."

***

About an hour later, Tanner is opening the back door to the Williams home and moving inside. He looks around and sees Odette Williams sitting in the living room with an old fashion next to her.

"Odette, hi," Tanner says moving into the living room, catching Odette deep in thought. "Sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you."

"Its fine," Odette waves her hand. "I was just thinking about my husband and my son," she admits to him. "Bernie and Jarek, they are the reason that I'm doing all of this."

"They were taken from you too soon," Tanner agrees with her. "I don't think anyone blames you for what you're doing."

"Well, the Rockwell's might," Odette chuckles back to him. "What brings you by? I don't think we had a scheduled meeting."

"We didn't," Tanner replies to her. "I just wanted to know what our next step is. I want to make sure we get this done."

"I love how eager you are," Odette nods back to him. "But right now, the next step lays with Garrett. He knows what he has to do with Cole. Once that happens, we can move forward."

Tanner grins back to her. "Good, I can't wait to see how this unfolds."

***

Stacey moves into the main office at Rockwell Mining and closes the door behind her. After the last couple of days that she has had, she hopes to bury herself in to work so she can forget the mess her personal life is right now. She finds herself, however, moving to the bar to make herself a drink. She quickly checks her watch and realizes that it is still rather early in the day, but she doesn't care.

"I need a drink," she whispers to herself. "Just one to take this edge off."

She takes a large sip of her brandy and refills her glass before she moves over to the desk and sits down. She sees a large stack of files next to her, so she sighs heavily. "I guess I've been away for a couple of days," she says to herself as her phone starts ringing. "Ugh, whoever that is, has horrible timing."

She grabs her phone from her large Michael Kors bag. "Stacey Rockwell," she says into her smart phone.

"Stacey, it's me," Marat says from Moscow. "How are you?"

"Marat?" she asks him back. "I'm…I'm surprised to hear from you."

"I'm your husband," he replies to her. "After I got settled here, I had to call. I had to hear your voice and see how you're doing."

"I'm fine," she shakes her head back to him. "I'm glad that you got there safe, but Marat, you shouldn't called me."

"You still haven't forgiven me for getting Celeste pregnant, have you?"

Stacey lets a tear fall down her cheek. "How am I supposed to forget that? How am I supposed to forgive that? Every time I see that woman, all she says is 'My baby is a miracle!', it hurts because I know you're a part of that."

"I wish I could do something or say something to make you understand," he admits to her.

"That's the thing Marat, there is nothing you can say or do," she tells him. "Now, I have to go. I have work to do. Marat, please don't call me again, please respect my decision for privacy right now."

Before Marat can reply, Stacey hangs up the phone and moves back to her desk. She picks up her glass of brandy and quickly drinks it all. She moves back to the bar and pours herself another.

Meanwhile, in Moscow, Marat moves the phone away from his ear, upset that Stacey hung up on him. "I was going to tell you I'd be home soon," he whispers to himself. "But that's fine. You take your time because when I get back, you will be my wife again. I'll see to that."

***

Stacey stumbles into the country club and moves up to the bar. After having multiple drinks at the office, she realized that she should have some food to help soak up some of the booze. Thankfully, she still had her driver waiting for her in the car, so she didn't have to drive herself. She groans heavily when she arrives at the bar and sits next to Celeste.

"Don't worry," Celeste wipes her mouth with her napkin. "I'm almost done. You won't have to sit with me for very long."

"Lucky me," Stacey replies to her. "Because, you're the last person I want to dine with."

"Have you been drinking? I can smell it on you!"

Stacey shoots her a deadly glare. "Don't question me and what I do and don't do," she barks back at her. "You should know, I heard from Marat today."

"You did?" Celeste asks him. "How is he? How are things at the Kremlin Diamond?"

"I didn't ask," Stacey replies to her. "He just told me that he loves me and blah blah blah."

"You can be so selfish Stacey," Celeste looks back at her. "Your husband just lost his father, and you don't even ask him how he's doing? God, Marat deserves so much better than you."

"Let me guess, you want to be that better person?" Stacey rolls her eyes back to her. "Because, let's face it, you've already spread wide for him. Might as well have it all the time."

Celeste slaps Stacey across the face. "Do me a favor," Celeste stands up from her chair. "Stay away from me and my baby until you've sobered up. You're an unbearable bitch when you're drunk."

"How dare you," Stacey rubs her cheek as Celeste walks away from her. Stacey turns and watches her leave before she turns back to the bartender. "I'll have a double bourbon."

Celeste stops when she arrives outside the club and she takes a deep breath. She doesn't often get violent with other people, but the way Stacey was talking to her, she deserved it.

"Oh Celeste," Vivian calls out as she rushes up to the front door. "I was hoping I'd run into you."

"What the hell do you want?"

"I just wanted to give you a little update," Vivian purses her lips together. "Cole and I made mad, passionate love. We're back together."

Celeste feels a knife go through her heart. She knew that this is what happened but she was still hope that it wasn't the case, but Vivian wouldn't be gloating if it didn't happen.

"What's wrong?" Vivian asks her. "Cat got your tongue?"

"Go to hell Vivian," Celeste quips before she storms off, leaving Vivian with a gleeful smile on her face.

***

"Welcome home, darling," Kent opens the door the penthouse and sees Lydia in her wheelchair on the other side. "You have no idea how much I've missed having you here."

"I'm sure," Lydia replies as a nurse pushes her into the living room of the penthouse. "That'll be all, thank you," she tells the nurse, who leaves the room.

"You have to admit, you missed this place too. You lived here for so many years."

"Yes, yes," Lydia waves her hand in the air. "I'll admit that I missed the penthouse."

Kent chuckles as he sits on the sofa and looks at her. "Come on, Lydia. I know this reunion is unconventional…"

"That's putting it mildly."

"But," he continues. "You are back where you belong. We've always belonged together, you know that."

"I know this, Kent," Lydia replies to him. "You blackmailed me into coming back here. I've agreed, but there are rules and conditions."

Kent chuckles back to her. "Such as?"

"I'm still in a wheelchair; I'll be staying in the guest room until I'm healed. And, I'll be staying there alone."

"That's fair," Kent nods back to her as he grabs her hand and kisses it. "I'm just happy you're back. We will make it work this time, Lydia. I am positive of that."

Lydia uneasily smiles back to him, already wondering when he will be out of the house so she can look for something to use against him.

***

"Darling, I'm home," Sabine announces as she opens the front door the mansion, which has been completely renovated now. She looks around the foyer and can't believe that after everything that has happened, she is back in the mansion and living with Mac. It's where she feels like she has always belonged.

Mac emerges from the living room and scowls at her. "Take your bags upstairs before someone trips on them."

"Mac, darling," Sabine comes up to him. "We agreed that we would be together in this. That's not exactly a warm greeting."

"I know I agreed to this, Sabine," Mac looks back into her eyes. "But you have to realize that a lot has happened since you last lived in this house. If this is going to work, this will have to go very slowly."

"I can work with that," Sabine nods back to him. "As long as I see you making an effort. If not, one little phone call…"

"Save it," Mac snaps at her. "Take your stuff upstairs and join me for dinner in a half hour."

"I'd love too!" Sabine smiles back to him. "See, this is already going off as we planned."

***

"I can't tell you how happy I am that you are going to be able to get back at Cole," Toby Sinclair tells Lex Rockwell as they stand next to one another in the stables. "I know how much you've wanted this."

"Yea," Lex nods back to his friend, who he has shared a couple of stolen kisses with. Lex knows that Toby has been key in helping him with his quest to find out what happened to Dixie. If it hadn't been for Toby, Lex knows that he wouldn't be in the position that he was in. "I owe so much to you."

Toby chuckles back to him. "I've already told you how you could repay me," he winks back to Lex.

"I know and I'm flattered, but I'm with Tanner."

"Ugh," Toby groans back to Lex. "Come on, Lex. You know damn well you're attracted to me. And I am attracted to you. There's no harm in exploring your options. You were telling Brock that you didn't want anything serious."

"That is true," Lex nods back to him as he licks his lips. "I did say that, didn't I?"

Toby takes his shirt off and reveals his muscular chest to Lex. "So, come explore…"

Lex quickly moves up to Toby and they kiss passionately. Toby grabs Lex's ass as Lex moans out. "In the stables?" Lex asks him as their lips part ways.

"Yea, right here. Right now," Toby kisses him again as he starts to unbutton Lex's pants. "I can't wait Lex, I need you so badly."

***

Tanner slowly opens the door to Lex's bedroom in the Rockwell mansion and moves inside. He looks around and realizes that he is alone, which is exactly what he needs. He walks over to the dresser and picks up a picture of Lex and Jarek. Tanner slowly runs his finger over Jarek's face as he recalls his time with him in Toronto, all those years ago. Those few days he spent with Jarek, changed his life, Tanner thinks to himself. They were so young, so carefree back then.

"That's why I'm okay with making you pay," he whispers to himself as he sets the picture back down on the dresser. "You killed Jarek. And for that Lex, you deserve everything that is happening to you."

Tanner slowly pulls out a small vile from his pocket and looks at the liquid inside it. "As long as I keep giving you this, you everything will continue to fall perfectly into place," he says with a wicked grin on his face.

***

"Houston, what a nice surprise," Kent says as he opens the door to the penthouse and lets his son come inside. He goes to close the door, but the door doesn't close all the way. "What brings you by?"

"I just wanted to see how you and Lydia were doing," Houston admits to his father, as he sees Lydia in the living room of the penthouse. "Lydia, I haven't seen you since you got out of the hospital. How are you feeling?"

"Better and better each day," Lydia looks back at him. "It is nice of you to stop by."

"Like I said, I just wanted to make sure that you were getting settled okay," Houston admits to them. "I know it's been a lot of back and forth lately."

"Well, that will end now," Kent looks over at Lydia. "She's home, to stay."

At the doorway, Stacey peers inside the penthouse and feels her heart move into her throat. She had come to see Lydia, thinking maybe her mother could give her some advice. Instead, she sees Lydia and Houston sharing a seemingly close moment, and immediately the thoughts of them being lovers coming flooding back to her. She moves back with tears in her eyes and quickly rushes off.

***

Tanner walks down the staircase of the Rockwell mansion and lands in the foyer. He is about to leave the mansion when he turns his head and looks into the living, where he sees Stacey looking into the fireplace. He pulls his phone out of his pocket and reads a text from Garrett. "Get Stacey drunk ASAP."

He walks to the doorway which causes Stacey to look over at him. "Oh, Tanner," she stands up, her mind reeling from what she just witnessed at the penthouse. "I was just about to go to bed."

"Nah, why don't you have a drink with me first?" he suggests as he walks over to the bar. "I've had a long day, I could use a brandy."

"No, I don't think I should," Stacey waves her hand. "I've been drinking a bit more than usual lately."

"Really?" Tanner asks her. "I mean, I don't think it's uncommon to have a night cap. Haven't you had a long day? Just one, to take the edge off?"

"I have had a day," she admits to him. "Sure, I'll have one with you. One won't hurt."

"Not at all," Tanner winks back to her as he passes her as brandy.

***

About an hour later, Stacey finishes her fifth brandy and sets her glass down. Tanner has long left, but she couldn't stop herself from having a second, third, fourth and finally a fifth brandy as her night cap. She slowly stands up from the sofa and feels the room spinning out of control.

"I'm fine," she whispers to herself. "I'll sleep like a baby tonight."

She wobbles out of the living room and is about to walk up the stairs to head to bed when she hears a knock on the front door. She turns slowly and arches her eyebrow. "Who the hell could that be at this hour?"

She slowly walks over to the front door and opens it.

"Ms. Rockwell, I'm glad you're still up," Garrett Owen looks back at her. "I'm here on official police business."

"At this hour?" She asks him, her breath smelling of booze. "What could be so important?"

"I have a search warrant," Garrett holds up a piece of paper that Stacey can't read. "I need to search the premises for evidence."

Unsure of what to do, Stacey moves out of his way and lets him into the foyer of the mansion. "You don't look so great, do you need to lay down?" Garrett asks her. "I will only be a minute if you want to go to bed?"

"Yea, I should go to sleep," a wasted Stacey replies to him. "You'll be fine?"

"Absolutely, I will," Garrett winks back to her, knowing that he has all the evidence he will find on Cole in his bag. Now that Stacey is going to bed, he will have no trouble claiming he found it in the mansion. "I'll only be a moment or two."

"Okay, sorry detective, I'm just not feeling great."

"Don't apologize," Garrett tells her. "Go rest, like I said, I'll only be a moment."

***

Cole opens the door to the club and moves inside, desperate for a drink. He can't believe how stupid he was believing Vivian, again. He keeps going in circles with Celeste and Vivian; he realizes that they are like his drugs, he is addicted but he has to end that.

"I will end that," He shakes his head as he orders a brandy from the bartender. "I can't keep making these same two mistakes. And those two, they are poison," he tells himself before he takes a sip of his brandy.

Suddenly, Garrett approaches Cole as he quickly walks up to the bar. "Detective, hi," Cole turns to face him. "Would you care to join me?"

"I'm afraid I'm here on police business," Garrett replies to Cole, causing the younger man to arch his eyebrow. "Cole Rockwell, you're under arrest for the murder of Dixie Ryan."

"What? This is insane!" Cole protests as Garrett continues to read him his rights and places the handcuffs on Cole's wrists. "This is wrong! I didn't do anything! I didn't kill anyone!"

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