Brooke could see that she wasn't getting anywhere with Ridge, so she started to leave his office, saying that of all people, she was sure he would be the one who would understand. Ridge stopped her and told her that she wasn't leaving the office until she gave him an answer. He demanded to know if she was going to stop seeing Thorne or not. Brooke told him it was not Ridge's business, and she would thank him to stay out of it.
"So that is your answer?" Ridge asked, "You are not going to give up my brother?" Brooke said that she wasn't going to stop seeing Thorne, and unless he could apologize for the way he had been talking to her, then they had nothing else to say. Ridge told her that no good would happen with her relationship with Thorne, and at the same time, she was jeopardizing his mother's life. Brooke scoffed at that, saying that his mother would make a full recovery. Stephanie was a strong woman.
Ridge reminded Brooke that the reason his mother had suffered the stroke in the first place was because she had seen Brooke and Thorne together. Brooke said something like that didn't cause a stroke. It was the stress she'd been under for a long time, worrying about Taylor and the children, plus all the others in the family. Ridge said there was too much at stake. Brooke had to think about what she was doing to his family. Having the family back together was something that his mother had wanted for a long time, and it had finally happened. He wouldn't allow her to upset things.
Ridge asked Brooke if she was really that selfish. He asked if her infatuation with his brother was really more important than his entire family. Brooke said that she wasn't out to destroy anyone, and she wasn't just fooling around with Thorne. She really loved him. She loved him more than anyone she had ever loved. Ridge said that he still couldn't understand how that could happen. He sarcastically asked if she had just suddenly woken up one day and realized this great love.
Brooke tried to explain how her love for Thorne was different than any love she had ever known. She ended by saying that he made her happy. "Isn't that what you always wanted?" she asked him, "If that is what you want for me, then let me have it." She told him that he was holding her future in his hands. She said that she knew he had always put family first. That was the reason he had left her to go back to Taylor.
Brooke said she didn't blame Ridge anymore because she understood and respected him for what he had done. She ended by begging him not to take Thorne away from her. When he started to say something, she told him not to speak but to just think about it. She left the office.
Stephanie was telling Thorne and Macy what a miracle it was to be a family again. She told him that she was going to be fine. She wanted him to stop worrying about her and concentrate on his beautiful Macy. Thorne was visibly uncomfortable. Macy said it was fantastic that Stephanie was taking such a positive attitude about her condition.
Stephanie said that she saw things very differently. When she looked at her paralyzed arm, she didn't think about all the therapy she would need to get it working again. Instead, she thought about the ring on her finger. When she looked at the two of them, she didn't see obstacles but love and commitment. She could see things as they really were.
Giovanni finished a picture-taking session with Kimberly. As he began to talk to her, Amber went to the doorway and listened. Kimberly told him that she had been thinking about what had happened at his place the other night. She said that she wasn't comfortable with it. She had liked kissing him, but she wanted their relationship to be professional.
Giovanni said that he understood. Kimberly was still young, and her feelings needed time to develop. He told her not to worry and said there wouldn't be any tension between them. She was young and sensitive and not ready for something personal with him yet. He left, and Amber walked in. She began talking about what a hunk Giovanni was. Kimberly said there was nothing going on between them; it was a professional relationship.
Amber asked Kimberly why there was nothing there. She asked if it was because Kimberly had a boyfriend from school. Kimberly denied that, also, but when Amber implied that no one was asking her out, she said she got plenty of offers. Amber became direct and said that she knew the reason Kimberly wasn't dating anyone else -- she was still hung up on Amber's husband. She said that Kimberly needed to get it through her head that Rick was a married man with a child.
Amber told Kimberly not to bother denying it because it was so obvious that she could see it in Kimberly's face. Amber said if Kimberly was hoping she would end up with Rick, she was crazy. She said that it wasn't pretty the way Kimberly followed him like a little puppy, salivating after him. Amber said the pursuit of her husband was over -- "right now."
In Paris, Raymond invited Becky to have a bite to eat with him. They went to a sidewalk café, where Becky impressed him by ordering in French. He asked her how Amber was doing, and Becky talked about how good she had it. She was surprised that Amber hadn't been bragging about knowing such a big star, but Raymond said that when he'd known Amber, they had both just been kids living on the street.
Becky began talking about Eric, going on and on about what a cutie pie he was. Raymond asked how the marriage was going and inadvertently mentioned Kimberly. Becky said that she didn't know Kimberly very much; she was friends with Stephanie and C.J. But, she added, they had just been breaking up when she'd entered the picture.
"What?" Raymond exclaimed, "Rick is still seeing Kimberly?" Becky was confused, but from all that Raymond had to say, she realized that Rick had been hung up on Kimberly in the past. It was news to her, she told him, wide-eyed.
As Brooke left Ridge's office, she ran into Thorne. She told him that she had been appealing to Ridge to allow them to see each other. She said that she thought she had gotten through to him. They embraced happily. However, inside the office, Ridge was pacing. Finally, he said that he would do anything for Brooke, but he "can't do this."
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At Insomnia, Rick wanted to study for the following day's chemistry test, but C.J. was more interested in fooling around. He showed Rick a magazine with the latest pictures of Kimberly modeling for the Princess Line. He went on about how beautiful she was and said that she was probably still hung up on Rick. Rick said that was ridiculous; he was a married man with a baby. C.J. sobered up long enough to tell Rick that he admired how Rick had handled the whole situation.
In Paris, Becky wanted to know about Rick and Kimberly. Raymond said that he didn't think they were an item at that time, since Becky had already said that the marriage was sound, but there was a time when the two had been pretty heavy. Becky wasn't reassured. Raymond insisted that Rick loved his son and would never abandon him.
Amber went on and on at Kimberly about being hung up on Rick. She said that the only reason Kimberly had the job at Forrester was because Brooke was hoping that if Kimberly and Rick spent a lot of time together, it would break up Rick's marriage. Amber said it wasn't going to work. Rick was just as committed to the marriage as he had ever been. She flaunted her position and put Kimberly down because she was only being used.
"You are just a big old fat worm wiggling on a hook to Brooke," Amber taunted. Kimberly retorted that Amber was one to talk, since she had used every trick in the book to get Rick. She said that Rick would never have married her if it hadn't been for Amber being pregnant. The two got into a fight, and Amber was pulling Kimberly's hair out when Rick walked in.
Rick demanded that Amber go home. When she had left, he demanded to know what had been going on. Kimberly said that it had just been something that had gotten out of hand. She was sorry that she had let Amber push all her buttons, but it was clear that she had been there to humiliate Kimberly. She said that Amber was the most vicious and vile person that she had ever met, and she was sorry that Rick had ever married her.
Rick said that Amber was just insecure, even though she didn't have any reason to be, but Kimberly thought it was something else. She said that the only reason Amber would be that mean to her was if she had another secret out there that she was scared to death they would learn about. There was nothing she would like more than to discover what Amber was hiding.
While Raymond was away from the table for a few minutes, Becky decided that she needed to find out just how secure her baby's home life was. She whipped out her cell phone and made a call to Amber. Amber had just walked in the door from the confrontation with Kimberly, and Becky's voice was not what she'd hoped to hear. Becky asked if she had sent the pictures of the baby.
Amber stalled, saying that she wasn't sure that was a really good idea. Becky wanted to know if Rick was seeing much of Kimberly. The question confused Amber, since it seemed to be out of left field. Becky said that a little birdie had told her that Rick and Kimberly had had something special going at one time. Amber insisted that just was not the truth, and she wanted to know who would tell Becky something like that. "Oh, here is my little birdie now," Becky said as Raymond returned to the table, "say hello to my little birdie."
Becky handed the phone to Raymond, and he asked Amber how she was doing and how the baby was. Before Amber could find out what Raymond had been saying to Becky, Becky took the phone and told Amber that she had to hang up -- it was an expensive call. Amber was left wondering what was going on. She grabbed the phone and called her mother but got the machine. She left a message that she needed her mother to go to L.A. that night.
In Paris, Becky said goodbye to Raymond and told him that she lived just upstairs if he ever wanted to stop by. He said that since he would be in Paris for a few weeks, he just might do that. But, the next time, he wanted them to talk about something else besides Amber.
The phone rang just as Amber was going out, and she made a dive for it. She thought it was her mother. Becky said it was just like Amber to call her mother as soon as she hung up. She then told Amber that if she thought she was safe just because Becky was in Paris, she'd better think again. If Becky thought that her son was not in a happy, loving home, she would return and take him. To start with, she said that maybe pictures would ease her mind that her son was happy.
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Becky looked through a fashion magazine at Kimberly's pictures. She asked herself why she was badgering Amber about her marriage. She wondered why she couldn't let it go. It was because of her baby, she decided. She had to know if the marriage was sound or not. If her son was the only thing holding that marriage together, then the happy home Amber bragged about was just a disaster waiting to happen.
Becky relived Amber's passionate plea to her for Eric, recalling that Amber said that loving and taking care of Eric was the most important thing in her life. She knew it was true for Amber, but she wanted to know about Rick. She had to find out the truth. There was no use asking Amber because she wouldn't get a straight answer. She was sure that Rick wouldn't admit the truth either. She realized she had to have a talk with Kimberly. She remembered Amber talking about Kimberly's father working at Spectra. She called the international operator and asked for the number for Spectra Fashions.
Amber met Rick at Forrester and tried to apologize for what had happened with Kimberly. Rick said that they were married, and he was committed to her. If she couldn't believe that, then that was something they needed to discuss, but not there and not at that moment. Amber told Eric that he shouldn't worry. She had handled Kimberly, and she could handle Becky. She wouldn't let anything threaten his family.
Amber and Rick took the baby to see Stephanie in the hospital. Stephanie said that Eric was really her grandson -- legally. She told him that she loved him. She looked at the parents and told them that she loved them also; she loved them as if they were her own children. She told them that when she got home, she was expecting them to babysit her at times until she was strong enough to babysit Eric, and Amber agreed. "We feel the same way," Amber said, "we are family, and family comes first. Right, Rick?"
Rick agreed, but from the look on his face, Stephanie knew that something was wrong. She asked if anything was wrong, but Rick assured her that there wasn't anything. Rick said that it was time to leave. As they were heading out, Stephanie asked Amber if she could talk to Rick alone for a few minutes. Amber said that she would go on home and meet Rick there later. Once they were alone, Stephanie asked what was going on, and Rick told her about the fight between Amber and Kimberly. He couldn't figure his wife out. He had tried to assure her that nothing was going on, but she was still insecure. He said it was very frustrating.
Tawny was relaxing at the Forrester pool and giving Helen a hard time when Amber arrived at home. She told her mother about her latest conversation with Becky. Tawny told Amber to leave her cousin to Tawny. She would take care of Becky.
Kimberly went to Spectra and told Sally about her fight with Amber. She told Sally about how much she disliked Amber and how she knew Amber wasn't good for Rick. Sally told her that no matter what she thought, Rick was married to Amber, and he was devoted to his child. She said there was nothing Kimberly could do, but from the look on Kimberly's face, she wasn't so sure about that. The phone rang, and Sally answered it. She told Kimberly that it was an international call for her. It was a Paris reporter.
Confused, Kimberly took the phone. Sally left to take care of business and to give Kimberly privacy. Becky was on the phone, speaking with a fake accent. When Kimberly said that she needed to clear an interview with Forrester, Becky said that she wasn't after an interview about the Princess Line. She wanted something more personal for her readers. She asked what kind of food Kimberly liked, whether she had ever been to France, and if there was a man in her life.
Kimberly said that there wasn't a man in her life, and Becky feigned shock and disbelief -- a beautiful young girl like her, and she had no boyfriend. Becky wondered if Kimberly was involved with one of the Forrester men. She asked if the youngest Forrester son was about her age. Kimberly denied that there was anything there except friendship and told Becky that Rick was married. As Becky continued to insist that there were rumors that there was something between the two, even though Kimberly continued to deny it, Kimberly threatened to hang up.
"Wait! Wait!" Becky called out. "Who are you, and why are you asking me all this?" Kimberly asked, "You aren't a reporter, are you? Amber is behind this, isn't she? Tell me who you are right now or I'll hang up."
"All right, I'll tell you," Becky said.
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Kimberly told the "reporter" that she had the phoniest French accent Kimberly had ever heard and wanted to know why she was doing that to her. Becky tried to get her to listen to her, but Kimberly said that she was going to hang up. Quickly, Becky admitted that she wasn't a French reporter. She said that they had a lot in common. Kimberly didn't believe her until Becky revealed that she had the same empty feeling in her heart. She knew how it felt to want to be with him but not be able to. She knew because she had the same feelings.
Kimberly was aghast. She couldn't believe that Becky was in love with Rick also. Becky said that Rick wasn't the one, and Kimberly demanded to know who she was talking about. Becky said she couldn't tell because she had made a promise. Kimberly wouldn't accept that and said that if Becky didn't tell her, she would hang up. Becky was beside herself, torn between telling Kimberly and keeping her word to Amber. "I could change your life with one sentence," she cried out. Angry at not getting a straight answer, Kimberly hung up. Becky yelled into the phone, but there was no one there.
Stephanie told Rick that she really wanted to help him and Amber. Rick assured her that she was a help just by being around. She asked him what Amber had to feel insecure about, but he didn't know. "I think you do know," Stephanie quietly said. Rick looked nervous but didn't answer. Stephanie asked if he spent time with Amber and if they talked or went out He said that he didn't have the time for those things. He was a college student with a part-time job.
Stephanie said that if the job was interfering with his time with his family, then he should quit the job. He answered that he enjoyed the job. Stephanie wondered if it was the job or the girl he saw at the job that he enjoyed. When Rick asked what she was talking about, she told him that Amber was insecure about him spending so much time with Kimberly. She then asked him what it was that he wanted to do with his life. He answered that he wanted to be a good father and husband. Stephanie reminded him that what he wanted for himself was just as important as what he wanted for his family.
Stephanie then asked Rick how he felt about Amber. "She's my wife," Rick answered, "I know you want me to say that I love her, but..." Stephanie said she wanted him to be honest. He then revealed that Amber was acting like she had something to hide again. It couldn't work if she wasn't open with him. "Are you open with her?" Stephanie asked, "Are you open with her about Kimberly?"
Tawny told Amber not to worry about anything; she would handle Becky. Amber wanted to know what Tawny meant by handling it. She warned that if she was too confrontational with Becky, it could backfire on them, and Becky could take the baby away from her. She couldn't stand it if she lost her baby. She thought that if she just sent the pictures to Becky, Becky would be satisfied.
Tawny ranted that Becky was a stupid, ungrateful twit, and she wasn't going to let her get away with the game she was playing. If Amber sent the pictures, it would only satisfy her for a little while, then it would be something else and then something else. Tawny insisted it had to stop, and it had to stop at that moment, or the truth would be discovered -- Becky would make sure of that. She was a loose cannon who had to be put in her place. "You cannot pussyfoot around someone like that, or you would just be creating a monster," Tawny said.
Amber gave in and told her mother to go ahead and call Becky, but Tawny said that she wasn't going to call her. She was going to Paris to see her in person. She was going to let her know for the last time that the game was over. It would stop in Paris once and for all. "You won't do anything stupid, will you?" Amber asked, worried. Tawny said that nothing was ever stupid when it meant protecting her daughter.
Sally returned to her office and asked how the interview had gone. Kimberly said that it hadn't been a reporter, after all, but someone asking questions about her and Rick. That only proved to her that Amber was hiding something. She said she would love to know what that secret was. Later, when she was alone, Kimberly wondered how Rick would feel if she found out Amber's secret and told him. She decided that he would be happy about it because it would mean that he was free, and they would be free to be together.
Taylor was ready to leave the hospital. She stood there with her two girls in her arms with Jack and Ridge standing beside her. The doctors and nurses were there to say goodbye to her. They said that she was an inspiration to the entire staff the way she had fought the disease and won. Taylor told them that she had learned a lot about the frailty of life while confined to that small room.
Taylor said she'd never fully understood how caring for someone could have such far-reaching effects, but she understood that even a simple act of kindness could provide unimaginable joy in someone's life. As they started to leave, she mentioned that she needed to take the girls home, but she was sorry that they didn't even have a room of their own. "But who cares?" she asked, "we are out of here." Ridge looked at Jack and repeated, "Who cares?" and the two men smiled knowingly.
Later, Ridge led a blindfolded Taylor up to the door of a strange house. He led her inside then took the blindfold off. Taylor was stunned when she looked around, and Ridge told her, "Welcome home." She was very happy at what she saw. Ridge explained that he'd bought the house from Pierce because she'd always loved it; besides, Pierce was always in New York and didn't need it.
Ridge told Taylor that they would raise their children there in that house, and it would be a happy house. He told her that it was her faith that had pulled them all through the ordeal. He felt like he had gotten some of her faith, and he could only thank her for that. Taylor handed the babies to Jack so she could throw her arms around her husband and kiss him.
Amber told herself that she just had to focus on Little Eric and Rick and let her mother take care of Becky. "Oh, Mom, keep your cool over there -- just keep your cool!"
In Paris, Becky was devastated. "Raymond was right," she said, "Rick and Kimberly do love each other. Where does that leave my baby? It leaves him in a loveless home. I can't let that happen to him!"
In her seat on the plane, Tawny thought, "You are not going to do it. I won't let you. I will stop you for good! It is time to bury this secret for once and for all!"
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The doctor went in to see Stephanie and asked how she was doing. She said that she was stronger but a little shaky, and he said that that was to be expected. He told her that he was really impressed with her quick recovery. She told him that she couldn't wait to recover enough to go home and be with her family. "Then today is your lucky day," the doctor announced, "you are going home today."
Thorne and Brooke started the day with a long kiss. She asked about his mother and said that she was glad that she'd had a good night. "Soon, she can go home," Brooke said, "she will get better and better until she is well. Then we will be free to get on with our lives as well. I promise you that when that day comes, I will make you the happiest man in the world."
Thorne said that he just hoped that Brooke had gotten through to Ridge. She believed that she had but said that they had to block out the things that Ridge and Eric had to say and listen to their hearts. Thorne received a call and told Brooke it was the nurse. She had called to tell him that his mother was going home that day. Brooke was excited by the news. He grabbed her hand and told her go with him.
Meanwhile, Ridge and Eric were in the waiting room, talking. Ridge told Eric about his visit from Brooke. He said that Brooke had pleaded with him to allow her to be happy with Thorne. She was in complete denial, he said. She had it in her head that Thorne was the only one destined to make her truly happy. "Far be it from me to interfere with true happiness," Eric said, "but I can't allow them to hurt Stephanie."
It was night in Paris, but Becky was sitting at her desk at Forrester. She studied Brooke's business card. "If you only knew," she said, "if you only knew the secret Amber is keeping from you and the rest of the family!" Aloud, she said that the precious little boy was hers -- "He is my child!" Raymond walked in and heard Becky talking to herself. He said that he was there to pick up a few things, and she said that she was glad he was there.
Becky had something interesting to tell Raymond. She said that after they had talked the other night, she had done a little digging on her own. She'd called Spectra and had a long chat with Kimberly Fairchild, and it had been very enlightening. "Why did you do that?" Raymond questioned, horrified at what she had done. Becky told him that she'd had to be sure of Rick and Amber's marriage for Little Eric's sake.
Raymond told Becky that she was letting herself get too involved in the marriage and the life of the child. "What does it matter to you anyway?" Becky asked. He said that Amber was a friend of his. He didn't want her thinking that he was gossiping about her marriage behind her back.
"Relax," Becky told Raymond, "we are in Paris, thousands of miles from Amber and Tawny. They can't touch us here. I needed to be sure that Eric was all right, that is all." He told her that she was tripping. She sat behind her desk and went on about how all she wanted was just one little picture, and that witch, Tawny, wouldn't send her one.
"Let it go!" Raymond told Becky. He told her that she had a good thing going. She was in Paris with a wonderful job. He would hate to see her blow it. "Don't worry about me," Becky told him, "Amber is the one you should be concerned about." He shook his head and said that he had to get going. Alone, Becky again contemplated Brooke's business card.
The plane was getting ready to land as Tawny finished her drink. "Look what you have driven me to," she said, "do you think I would let you ruin my daughter's life? No, I am stopping you dead in your tracks!" She took out her address book and went over Becky's address.
Stephanie was alone, thinking about going home. Since Taylor was well and home with the twins, all they needed to complete the family was for Thorne and Macy to marry. Ridge and Eric entered, happy that she was going home. Ridge told her that she was going to have the whole family waiting on her hand and foot, but she said that she would rather be well enough to take care of herself.
Eric warned Stephanie not to expect too much too soon. He told her that there was to be a welcome home party for her. The doctor entered with the discharge papers, and Eric went to the desk to sign them for her. The nurse arrived with the wheelchair, and everyone left so she could get Stephanie ready to go home. Alone, the nurse helped Stephanie into a sitting position at the edge of the bed and began to take her blood pressure. Stephanie stared at the wheelchair and down at her useless hand.
Stephanie suddenly broke down and began to weep uncontrollably. The nurse left her sitting there alone and went for the doctor. Eric entered and rushed to her side. She told him that she had made a big mistake by marrying him. He deserved someone whole to be with him in the years that should be so good for him. He told her that he loved her, and they would get back what they'd had when they had been young. He knew that she would walk again, and he would be there beside her when she did.
Eric refused to let Stephanie give up. She broke down and told him that she loved him "so much." As she cried on his shoulder, neither of them was aware that Ridge was standing there, watching. Ridge looked out the viewing window just as Thorne and Brooke walked up hand in hand. "Damn you both!" he whispered.
Tawny was pounding on Becky's door when the apartment manager walked up the stairs to see what all the commotion was about. She began charming him. She told him that she was Becky's mother, and she had traveled a long way to see her daughter. She finally talked him into letting her into the apartment.
Amber held Eric and paced beside the pool. She told Eric that Grandma had gone to Paris to make sure that his Aunt Becky didn't do anything to ruin his happiness. Her mother wouldn't let her down again -- "not this time." She couldn't She would make Becky realize that Eric was better off with Amber.
Becky arrived at home and let herself into her dark apartment. She was shocked to see someone standing by the balcony. She rushed to turn on the lights and asked what Tawny was doing in Paris. "You didn't think I would allow my favorite niece to go live in Paris and not pay her a visit, did you?" Tawny asked sweetly. Becky said that she had to go back to work, but Tawny grabbed her by the arm and told her in no uncertain terms that she wasn't going anywhere.
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