Steffy closed her eyes and exhaled aloud. Liam's arms tightened around her, and the rapid heartbeat of his chest beating against her back soothed her. It was another night of incredible lovemaking, perhaps the best sex she'd had with Liam since their marriage, and though she was pleased to be satisfying him, she wondered if this was a pattern that would continue. Deep down, it sort of felt as if Liam's new rise to power as CEO of Spencer Publications increased his sexual appetite, and though she wasn't complaining, this new sexual awakening in their marriage would've been far more enjoyable had SHE been the cause.
"You are SO damn sexy." Liam's voice was just above a whisper as he slightly nibbled on her ear.
She smiled through the thoughts and self conscious paranoia that was gripping her, and she managed to mumbled out, "You're not so bad yourself."
With that, Liam threw back the covers and jumped to his feet. Steffy glared at his tight butt in his black fitted boxer briefs and she giggled. "Let me guess...you're hungry." she said before pulling back the covers and standing up. "I can whip up a couple of grilled cheeses and a bottle of wine or something-"
"No, no actually I've got to get down to the office." he spoke.
"What?" Looking over at the clock, she narrowed her eyes. "Honey, it's almost midnight. What is there to do this late that can't wait for morning?"
Liam looked at his wife, knowing full well that he was being unreasonable, and he sighed. "I know I've been spending a lot of time at work, I just-..."
"You're just obsessed with that office, obviously." Steffy interjected. "And I have to say, I don't like it."
"Look Steffy, I understand how you feel, and I don't want to be there just as much as you don't want me there. But, I have to make sure things are running smoothly."
"With WHOM?" she called out as she threw up her arms dramatically and laughed. "Who the hell is at work at midnight? I'm sure even Allison goes home to her empty apartment and her Ben & Jerry's after a certain time."
"But I'm the boss. And I've been the boss now for several months. Baby I don't think you understand...there's been more than enough time for me to prove myself. Spencer Publications should be a well oiled machine by now." he finished as he buttoned the top button of his grey shirt and then looked at himself in the mirror.
He was being dismissive of his wife, and he knew it. In fact, the reflection in the mirror looking back at him was a shell of the man he was when he'd married Steffy, but he couldn't allow his love for Steffy to ruin him. Work was a top priority, at least until things settled down at the office.
As he gazed at himself through the mirror, he saw Steffy step up behind him at the mirror, and with a concerned glare, she eyed him. "That's the question Liam...you want to prove yourself, but who exactly are you trying to impress? The fashion world, or your dad?"
Her words hit him like a stack of bricks, and he hesitated, before turning around to look at her in her deep mysterious eyes. "I'll text you when I get to work." he replied before pecking her on the cheek, and leaving out quickly.
"LIAM!" Steffy's voice was followed by the sound of the front door slamming shut.
"Deacon Sharpe..." Maya's voice caused him to break his concentration on the television screen above the bar at the new and improved "Lair", and he turned around to look at her.
"Who the hell are you?"
Maya hesitated and then she stepped down into the bar and headed over to him. "I'm Maya Avan-"
"Oh, you're Ricky boy's wife...the trans supermodel of the year." he chuckled and sipped his bottle of seltzer water and slammed it back down on the bar. "I hope you know that when I throw your ass out of here and ban you, it won't be because you were born a man. It'd be because you're married to a douche."
Maya forced a smile on her face, and then shrugged. "I guess I could accept that."
Silently Deacon studied her. She was beautiful, and she seemed nice enough, but something was up. "What do you want? Our grand opening isn't until the weekend, so-"
"Actually, I didn't stop by for a drink." nervously, Maya chuckled. "But I'm sure you know that."
"Well unless what you're here for is going to make me a very rich man, I'm not interested."
Maya looked at him and then she shook her head. "You know what? You're right...I don't even know why I thought this would be a good idea."
As she turned to walk away, Deacon stood from the bar and held out his hand. "Wait...stop." she turned around, and he grunted. "What is it you wanted?"
"I wanted to help you jumpstart this place into an LA Hotspot." she offered with a slightly excited grin.
"You're grounded...for a week." Brooke demanded as she faced RJ.
He looked into his mother's infuriated eyes and then down at his phone, which was once again vibrating. His eyes followed Brooke's down to the phone, and subconsciously he gripped it in his hands tighter.
"And give me that." she held out her hand in anticipation.
"Mom, come on...are you serious right now?"
"Give me the phone, RJ!" Brooke exclaimed aloud.
RJ looked down at it, and the picture of CoCo that was up on his screen because she was calling him, and then he rolled his eyes and spitefully slammed the phone into his mother's hands. "You're really overreacting here."
"Am I?" Brooke called out as RJ turned to head up the stairs. "So my sixteen year old son has every right to be RECORDING himself with some young girl for the entire world to see?"
"The entire world? We were just fooling around mom, and it was totally between Coco and me. NOT the entire world. God, you're so overdramatic sometimes."
"Yeah? And what happens when the two of you take it a step further?"
"I'm sixteen! If we decide to have sex, don't you think I'm old enough to be responsible?"
"At sixteen, you're not even responsible enough to do your homework, much less engage in-..." she paused awkwardly. "WHATEVER the two of you were doing."
She glared at him and watched as his face slowly softened. He took a deep breath and stepped back down into the living room and walked over to Brooke. "Mom...we're not having sex, okay? And I know you're worried about me, but you've raised me the right way. I'm not going to take that step until I know I'm ready."
Brooke nodded her head and smiled, though she felt like crying. "That's the correct answer." she responded playfully. "But you're still grounded for two weeks."
"TWO? You just said ONE week."
"Well that was before you turned your back and tried to leave in the middle of our conversation." Brooke added before handing RJ the phone. "Now call your girlfriend and tell her you'll see her in a week."
RJ smiled and took the phone, before looking at Brooke. "I love you mom."
"Yeah sure..." she grunted before chuckling. "I love you too, now don't be on the phone all night. You've got school in the morning."
She watched her son as he ran upstairs to his room, and after walking back over to the couch, she sat down. It was hard to believe that she was once again left to be the big bad mom in this scenario. It was the third time that she'd caught RJ and CoCo in the midst of inappropriate behavior, and she had yet to see any improvement. It was obvious to her that CoCo was the problem. Not only was she a Spectra, but she was clearly an opportunist. She had to stop her from ruining RJ's life, and his chances at getting into his dream college.
Suddenly, the sound of the doorbell broke her from her train of thought, and curiously, she looked up at the door. She sat silently for a moment, and then looking at her watch and seeing that it was midnight, she slowly stood from the couch. The doorbell was followed by several loud bangs at the door, which caused Brooke to pick up speed in her trek to the front door. Once there, she briefly flashed back to the night of her rape, when Andy had shown up at her door, a night much like this one, and a shiver shot down her spine.
"Wh-...who is it?" she stammered.
"Brooke...please. PLEASE open the door. It's Thomas! Please!" His voice was cut off by more banging.
Hurriedly Brooke opened the door and was almost pushed back by Thomas who bombarded his way into the house.
Frowning, Brooke shut the door. "Thomas, what the hell is going on?"
His face was pouring with sweat, which dripped down his shirt almost sticking to his body. He seemed visibly out of breath, and with silent panic, he turned to look at her. "You won't believe what I just saw..." he replied. "Or more like WHO..."
"Sounds interesting enough." Deacon replied. He pulled out the barstool next to him and unenthusiastically motioned for her to take a seat. "I'd offer you a beer but we haven't taken inventory yet."
"No, it's fine." Maya replied cautiously as she stood, still clutching her purse in her hands and standing behind him stiffly. "I just want to make an offer, and beer isn't required for that."
"Yeah, well an offer for what? And why are you out here this time of night? Shouldn't you be home being bored senseless by that bland beige husband of yours?"
"I'll pretend to ignore your insults toward Rick, especially since he'll be the one who is instrumental in making this place a success."
Deacon paused and looked at Maya in disbelief. "Rick? Helping to make ME a success?" he erupted with laughter and then shrugged his shoulders. "Now I see what Rick sees in you. Has to be your sense of humor."
"Well as you know, or maybe you don't, but Rick's birthday is this weekend." Maya continued as she walked up to the bar and placed her purse on it. "And since he's now acting CEO at Forrester, I thought it'd be a great idea to throw this huge birthday bash in celebration of his promotion as well as his birthday and-"
"And let me guess...no other venue in this area would be available at such short notice, not even the dumpiest shadiest of places, so you came here, thinking I'd jump at the opportunity to cash a Forrester check."
Maya sighed. "That's one way to look at it."
"Well before you get into details, let me preface it by saying this: You're out of your damn mind if you think I'd make accommodations for Forrester and his family of hypocrites." Deacon warned. "You know as a matter of fact, I think I'll post his picture in the lobby with a big fat red caution sign around it."
"I'm prepared to offer you $25,000 for the venue." she said as she looked around the room nervously. 'And don't say it's worth more, because obviously you wouldn't get that amount of money in a month, much less one night."
Deacon shrugged. "Meh, you're right. But then again, you want what I have, and not the other way around. And since my property is your last resort, I'd say the appraisal rate just went up dramatically...to let's say $50,000."
"Deacon...SERIOUSLY?" Maya's eyes widened. "You HAVE to be kidding me. That's absolutely ridiculous and I hope you don't think I would-"
"Fine. Offer's off the table. See yourself out and try not to get your heel caught in sidewalk crack out there."
Maya watched Deacon turn and head to the kitchen, and regretfully once again, she took a look around the bar. It had the potential to be an elegant, classy, yet gritty place, just as she'd imagined. And she really had no other choice. THIS was the place, and unfortunately, she had to make a deal with Deacon to get it.
Frustrated, she flopped down on the barstool and waited for him to return.
Liam yawned a bit before opening his office door and stepping inside. He closed the office door and threw his keys down on the table, and just as he was about to turn to walk to his desk, he heard Wyatt's voice.
"So Insomnia must run in the Spencer blood."
Liam looked at his brother, dressed in pajamas and holding a stack of folders in his hand, and he chuckled. "Only you, bro...only you."
"Yeah well about THIS..." Wyatt dropped his hand motioning toward his pajama set. "I was under the impression that I'd be the only lifeless loser in the office at this time of the night. I laid in bed, next to Nicole, and she was talking about Rick's birthday party that Maya is planning, and then she went on and on about some shoot they have coming up Forrester and she was so excited, but all I could think about was if the clicks to our site were down from last month, you know...since Jared left."
Liam smirked. "And you just had to come in and see for yourself..."
"It seemed way more heroic and less boring in my head. And look at you...you may not be wearing pajamas, but you're here."
"Yeah, I just wanted to make sure things were set up for our big interview tomorrow with Thomas, covering the Forrester Fall Men's line. You know just wanted to make sure Allison sent over the list of questions to him, and that everything is going to run smoothly..."
Wyatt studied his brother for a moment, and then he smiled. "If it's any consolation Liam...I think you're doing a hell of a job." Liam smiled, as Wyatt patted him on the shoulder and then headed towards the door. "Now it's time for me to head back home and beg for Nicole to share the covers with me."
"Goodnight Wyatt..." Liam spoke as Wyatt stepped into the hallway.
Wyatt shut the door and looked at it for a moment, before his smile slowly faded, and he reached into his pocket to grab his phone. As he headed for the elevator, he heard Bill's voice.
"It is 12:13 am. It better be DAMNED good." Bill spoke sternly.
"Dad...the uhh...the questions have been replaced." Wyatt spoke, as an evil smirk creased Bill's face.
"Okay, okay just relax and tell me what's going on..."
Thomas sat down on the couch for a moment to gather his breath and his thoughts, and then he looked up at Brooke. "Maybe I'm crazy...maybe I'm overreacting, or maybe I'm seeing things, but-...Brooke, I swear I'm not making this up."
Brooke chuckled. "Well you'd have to tell me what you're making up before I can respond to anything. Just calm down and tell me what's up." she said, sitting next to him.
"I was leaving the office when I noticed you'd left your briefcase-"
"Yeah, I meant to swing back and get it. I got called away...something dealing with RJ." Brooke explained.
"I was pulling a late night, you know, preparing for my interview at Spencer tomorrow, and I grabbed your briefcase on the way out, and when I got off the elevator, I noticed a strange woman walking out of the building."
"Strange woman?" Brooke repeated curiously.
Thomas shrugged. "It was weird...she had a scarf around her head, and these large sunglasses. I couldn't really see who she was, until-..." he paused.
Brooke leaned forward. "Thomas...just tell me."
"I left out of there as fast as I could, and ran to tell Dad, but he was obviously asleep because he wouldn't answer the door. And then-" he paused suddenly and his mouth dropped open. "Oh my god...I hope he's okay."
"Thomas you're scaring the hell out of me."
"I have to call the police." he continued as he stood from the couch and grabbed his phone.
"Wait...wait would you just tell me who it was?" Brooke called out. "Thomas, who did you see at Forrester Creations?"
"Grandma and Uncle Thorne told me the stories about her..." Thomas continued as he looked straight ahead, almost as if in a daze. "But I thought it was over...I thought she'd have to be long gone by now." he glanced over at Brooke, and then he looked down at the floor. "Have you heard the story of Deveny Dixon?"