"And then what?"
RJ watched Deak's face as he leaned in across the table at Insomnia Cafe, completely and totally engrossed in the conversation, and he tensed. "Well then she uhh...she took off everything."
Deak, hearing the last bit of information he needed for his mind to wander off into the gutter, where it blissfully spent most of its time, sat back in his chair and laughed. "Dude...you're pretty lucky. She's definitely hot, even if she is a prude. Well, at least she WAS a prude."
RJ immediately regretted telling Deak what'd happened, and he couldn't bring himself to make eye contact with the guy anymore. So the two of them sat in awkward silence for a moment, until finally Deak looked up to see Maya and her personal assistant walk into the cafe.
"Oh crap..." Deak sat up quickly. "That's her...that weird chick guy that married your brother."
Frowning RJ turned around to see Maya and her assistant Kevin, and then he shook his head. "Man, she's cool."
"Hell yeah she is. She's freakin' HOT actually." Deak said, lightly licking his lips. "I'd like to take a shot at that." he hesitated for a moment and contemplated his words. "I mean, only if she has female parts."
"Of course she does." RJ replied quickly. "She's a woman."
Deak studied Maya from afar, and without even taking his eyes off of her, he pointed forward. "And what about that thing she has with her? What the hell is that?"
"Kevin is uhh..." RJ shrugged. "He's cool too, I guess. I don't really know him."
"Dude...my dad told me that your brother Rick's party is supposed to be at his club this weekend. He asked me to help out since he's kind of understaffed."
"Cool? Man, I don't think you are getting the awesomeness that could come from all of this. I mean, not only could my dad use the boost in publicity for the bar, but your family...your very RICH family will be all around us. Imagine me being so close to your sister Steffy. Now SHE'S hot."
"Dude please spare me this entire conversation." RJ interrupted as he frowned and looked around.
"I'm just sayin'...you think your folks would break me off with an internship so I could be around all those hot model chicks at Forrester?"
Ignoring Deak's foolishness, RJ sat up. "Anyway, we should probably get to school before Maya sees us and realizes we're cutting class." he pulled back in his chair as Deak rolled his eyes.
The sound of his chair scraping the floor caught Maya's attention and she looked over at RJ and Deak, and with a concerned eye, she grunted. Kevin, noticing Maya's obvious uncomfortable facial expression, followed her eyes over to Deak and RJ, and he chuckled. "Relax, Maya. They're just being kids."
"Eric and Ridge tried to warn RJ about hanging with Deak. I guess it fell on deaf ears." she murmured.
"Oh, well I can think of a few classes I cut back in high school, and look at me...I turned out just FABULOUSLY." Kevin exclaimed as he threw up his hands dramatically and turned around to show off his small framed body. "Besides, RJ seems to be a very respectable and honest young man. I'm sure this is just a one-off thing with him and-"
"And it needs to stop." Maya interjected abruptly. She glanced over at Kevin, and seeing the fire in her eyes, he sighed.
Before he even had time to finish the words, Maya was headed over to RJ and Deak's table where they both stood, RJ trying desperately to hide his face.
"Deveney Dixon?" Eric repeated in disbelief. "The woman who posed as Angela for all of those years?"
"One and the same." Ridge answered. "Now Dad, I know what you're gonna say, but-"
"But WHAT? Ridge, after the year this family has had, and the upheaval with this company, the last thing we need is another scandal, especially one as deeply rooted in our history as this."
Ridge glanced over to Quinn, who sat on the couch, and then grunted with disapproval.
She felt as if she weren't a part of the conversation, and truthfully, out of all of the horrible stories she'd heard about the Forresters, Deveney Dixon was definitely NOT a name that rang a bell for Quinn. So curiously she sat in silence, absorbing details as they were thrown out. She could tell from the grimace on Eric's face that Deveney wasn't exactly a welcomed visitor, which piqued her interest even more.
"Dad, I know what you're going to say, but I have to tell you...I think it's a horrible idea."
"The woman obviously wants money." Eric returned quickly. "And if we didn't learn anything the first time, we know NOW that she'll stop at nothing to get it."
"So then we just automically open our hearts and wallets to the woman who pretended to be my dead sister for twelve years?" Ridge shot back aloud. His voice had raised to just below that of a yell, and he cleared his throat. "Yes, there was scandal when you took Forrester away from me and handed it to Rick...of all people. And sure the tabloids had a field day, but how does that justify just giving this woman what she wants?"
Sheepishly, Quinn held up her finger, as if in a classroom. "Uhh...not to interrupt, but-"
"You're my wife, Quinn. You have as much stake in this as anyone else." Eric interrupted.
"Well-..." she stood from the couch and folded her arms as she walked over to stand next to Ridge. "If this woman has nothing on our family, then why would we give in to her so quickly? And has she even made any demands?"
"My point exactly!" Ridge agreed. He glanced over at Quinn, who looked away quickly to avoid blushing. "The lunatic hasn't even shown her face yet. Thomas just happened to run into her down in the lobby last night."
Quinn frowned. "Wait...she was HERE?"
"Yes, she was." Eric replied. "And I don't care what anyone else says...I want to get rid of her...as quickly as possible."
"Get rid of her HOW, exactly?" Quinn questioned.
Narrowing his eyes, Ridge looked at her and a devious smile creased his face. "What do you have in mind, Quinn?"
Steffy looked out of the window at the waves and the bright sunlight, and she smiled. "YES mom, things are going great." she placed the phone on SPEAKER and put it on the kitchen counter. "Things are going smoothly at Forrester Creations, for a change, and Thomas' big interview with Spencer Publications is in a few hours."
"Oh my goodness, I know he's excited. I have to call him later today. I don't want to interrupt him right now."
"I'm sure he'd be glad to hear from you." Steffy responded as she opened the refrigerator and grabbed the orange juice.
"And how's Liam doing at Spencer?" Taylor questioned.
Steffy sighed. "Well...he's doing great actually."
Sensing the subtle grief in her daughter's voice, Taylor questioned, "Then why do I get the feeling you aren't as happy as you'd like for me to believe?"
Steffy hesitated. Taking a deep breath, she poured the juice. "I'm fine. How are things with you and Thorne?"
"Oh they're great. We're actually thinking about coming home for the holidays."
"Sounds like a plan..."
"And don't think for a second I didn't notice that swift change in conversation." Taylor interjected. "Look, Steffy, if things aren't going well for the two of you because of Liam's job, I don't want to say I told you so, but-"
"Well it kinda feels like that's what you're saying." Steffy laughed a bit, just as the sound of glass shattering caused her to jump.
Quickly she turned around, only to see a horribly disfigured woman standing in front of her, by the fireplace.
"Oh my God..." Steffy called out.
"Boys...aren't you two supposed to be at school?" Maya called out, placing her hand on her hip. She tilted her head slightly to the side as she eyed both Deak and RJ. There was no response from either of them, and she chuckled and shook her head. "I'll take that as a 'yes'."
"We were just-" RJ paused.
"We were getting some caffeine to help kick off our highly productive educational experience." Deak exclaimed with a cheap grin.
Maya threw up her eyes. "Yeah sure...come on you two." she said, reaching down and pulling both Deak and RJ by their arms.
Deak looked at her. "Whoa...you're strong for a-...oh, nevermind." he laughed and nudged RJ, who looked down uncomfortably.
Suddenly, Kevin's voice cut through Deak's laughter. "You need some help over here, girlfriend?" Kevin called out as he studied Deak for a second and then turned his rays of warning over to RJ.
"No I think I have it under control." Maya replied. "Because RJ knows I will call Ridge and Brooke and inform them that their son has been cutting school, and thanks to my new connection to Deacon Sharpe, Deak here knows that one phone call is all it would take for him as well."
Kevin chuckled. "Sounds like a plan to me."
"Fine...fine we're going to school." RJ said as he pulled for Deak. "Just-...don't tell mom. She'll freak completely out."
"Well then you better get a move on..." Maya answered. She watched both Deak and RJ rush out of the cafe, and then with a chuckle, she glanced at Kevin. "I'm going to HATE it when Liz gets that age."
"...or when she gets a boyfriend like Deak Sharpe." Kevin added.
"I was merely stating that...you know, there are ways to handle situations such as this besides just giving in to whatever she's after." Quinn said.
"That's assuming that she's after something." Ridge responded. "I mean, for all we know, she could just be back to apologize. Weirder things have happened, right?" he chuckled. "Who am I kidding? She wants something...but she's not going to get it."
"I think you're forgetting the bigger picture here, Ridge." Eric suggested. "This isn't about your personal macho-persona that you try to hard to keep up. This is about all of us...our family, the company-...our reputation."
"And what reputation would us just GIVING IN get us? Especially to someone like Deveney Dixon, who caused mother so much pain...hell, ALL of us."
"Okay, then fine, Ridge...what do you suggest we do?" Eric questioned.
With a smile Ridge shrugged his shoulders. "I say we track her down, hear her out, ask her what she wants, and then tell her there's no way in hell she's leaving this town with a damn thing from us."
Eyeing Ridge, Quinn nodded her head and then looked at her husband. "I gotta say honey...I'm agreeing with Ridge."
"Who the hell are you?" Steffy called out as she began slowly backing away.
Taylor's voice was calling for Steffy through the phone, but Steffy had no time to answer. Instead, she held her breath, gazing ahead at this woman, who smiled at her.
"You are definitely as beautiful in person as you are in the blogs and magazines." Deveney answered.
Steffy stopped backing away and after a second of staring straight ahead, she quickly lunged forward to grab her phone.
"AH ah ah!" Deveney held out her hand slowly, yet surprisingly peacefully. "I wouldn't do that if I were you."
"What do you want?"
I want-..." Deveney paused. "I want to help you, Steffy." she looked around the house, and then stepped closer to her. "I hope you don't mind me letting myself in. The door was open, and I heard you having a conversation with your mother, so I-"
"Do I know you?" Steffy interrupted.
"I guess you could say I'm an old friend of the family."
Steffy's mind wandered back to all of the stories she'd heard her grandmother tell in the past, and then looking at this woman with a horribly burnt face, she felt a shiver shoot down her spine. Her mouth dried, and she opened it to speak, but couldn't.
"I'm sorry I couldn't make Stephanie's funeral." Deveney continued as she walked over and grabbed the glass of juice. "You don't mind, do you?" Without awaiting an answer, Deveney gulped down the juice and placed the glass back on the countertop. "I'm sure her funeral was the event of the century."
"It's...it's YOU." Steffy whispered in quiet disbelief.
"Whoa..." Deveney laughed. "I guess my reputation precedes me. I'm flattered."
"You're a scammer." Steffy replied. "You-...you're SICK. You pretended to be-"
"Angela Forrester, the poor unfortunate soul your grandmother tried to keep alive, though she really would've been of no benefit to society to live." With a quaint smile, she sat on the couch and crossed her legs. "Then again, it's Stephanie Forrester we're talking about. Her motives were normally, if not always, purely for personal self-gain."
"What is it you're after?"
"Hmm...let's see..." Deveney sarcastically reached up to rub her chin. "Well, 30 years ago there was a plastic surgeon out there who could've changed my life. And obviously that didn't work out, so I left town and tried to do things the right way." she looked at Steffy. "I don't imagine you'd understand, dear. With someone with such timeless beauty as yourself."
"You want me to give you money for a plastic surgeon...so you bombard your way into my home? Are you out of your-...well, of course you are." Steffy once again grabbed her phone. "I'm calling the police."
"Perhaps I could visit Forrester Creations and apply for a job in photography...what do you think?" Deveney questioned. She stood from the couch and walked slowly to Steffy.
"You know, I really don't appreciate this attempt at you trying to intimidate me. In case you didn't know, I'm named after my grandmother...neither of us have ever been easily intimidated."
"So...that's a 'no' to my little photography fantasy?" Deveney questioned with a smile. Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out three large folded photographs, and handed them to Steffy.
Steffy snatched them from Deveney's hand and began to unfold them.
"I particularly like the third one..." Deveney mentioned.
Steffy, looking at herself in the photos, felt a sick feeling hit the pit of her stomach. She could see the fertility pills, the birth control bottle, herself...the betrayal...she could see it ALL caught on film, and she felt her legs weaken.
"What's the matter? Feeling a little sick, dear? Gosh...I would certainly hope it isn't MORNING sickness."
Taking one final look at the photos, Steffy suddenly looked up at Deveney. "Get the hell out of my home."
"I trust that I won't have to reveal the copies that I have put up for safe keeping." Deveney said before turning to walk away. "I think a couple of million will definitely hold them under lock and key."
Tears filled Steffy's eyes. She wasn't sure if they were tears of regret from her own betrayal against Liam, or tears of fear that Deveney would actually expose it, or tears of the anger that she was trying so desperately to restrain. Quickly, she brushed the tears away and stepped forward. "GET OUT NOW!" she yelled.
Smiling, Deveney headed to the door. "You have until the weekend to make your decision." she answered quaintly, before heading out of the door.
After hearing the door shut, Steffy once again looked at the pictures, and angrily, she grabbed the now-empty glass of juice and threw it across the room, sending it shattering down onto the floor.
"She likes me, bro." Deak continued as he headed down the street towards the school. "I've always thought cougars were freakin' HOT."
"She's married to Rick." RJ said, throwing up his eyes.
"Well a guy can imagine." he looked at RJ and then laughed. "You're still scared Maya's gonna tell your mommy, aren't you? Man, will you just relax? You see, this is why I say you are in desperate need of some lovin'."
"Are you? Because you're completely wound up...damn near at panic attack level all because you finally decided to live a little and skip class." Deak chuckled. "Poor CoCo's got her work cut out for her." Laughing, he looked at RJ's stern face, and then he calmed a little. "RJ...would you just relax? I mean you're cool and all, but it's time for you to grow up bro. You're sixteen...man, when I was sixteen, I'd been with...what, a couple of DOZEN women."
"I'm not YOU, Deak."
"Obviously." Deak replied. He stopped for a moment, and pulling RJ off to the side, he looked at him. "So what is it man? Because all this time I thought CoCo was the holdup, but after last night you've proven to me that she's cool with whatever...so that could only mean one thing...YOU'RE the hold up."
Rolling his eyes, RJ pushed past Deak. "Man I've got to get to school before third period."
Deak watched RJ walk away, and then quickly he rushed to catch up with him. "Not trying to bust your balls man, I'm just asking. What are you afraid of when it comes to the ladies? Clearly they like you...hell, even if you were ugly, you're rich which makes it almost impossible for women to not like you."
Suddenly, RJ stopped. "Would you just...SHUT UP?" he exclaimed aloud.
Visibly taken aback, Deak looked at RJ in astonishment. "Chill out man...I'm just joking with you."
"Well my life is not a freaking JOKE, Deak!" RJ exclaimed.
Silently, they both stood gazing at each other in silence, until finally Deak pulled RJ closer to him into a passionate kiss. RJ stumbled back a bit, but finally dropping his defenses, he gave in, wrapping his arms around Deak's muscular body. His heart was beating rapidly, but not as rapidly as his hormones were racing. He closed his eyes to savor the moment, but the sound of Deak's voice distracted him.
"RJ...RJ? Dude...man, you're freaking me out...RJ are you okay?"
RJ snapped from his daydream, only to see Deak standing in front of him looking completely puzzled.
"Dude...where the hell did you just go?" Deak questioned with a smile.
Seeing Deak's mouth give way to a perfect smile with perfectly aligned white teeth and a light shadow of hair along his smooth tan skin, RJ looked down in embarrassment.
"Nothing let's just-...let's just get to school." he murmured.