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2007: November (Sweeps)


DavidEvanSmith

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November 2007 - Sweeps - Premiere Month

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Opening Sequence

Watch the Opening Sequence on YouTube!

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Terrence Applewhite (Walt Willey), a famed theatre director/producer in his 50s, had already made one big leap in his life: coming out of the closet to his wife Emma and their two grown children, Rodney (Forbes March) and Fiona (Connie Fletcher). Emma didn't take it well and promptly abandoned the Applewhite family for parts unknown, devastated and humiliated that her husband of over 30 years was gay. Luckily, Rod and Fiona stuck by their father, recognizing how difficult his decision to come out must have been. In some ways, even though Emma had left, the Applewhite family was stronger than ever. But when Terrence found his first real love, he didn't expect it would come in the form of Christian Avery Field (David Evan Smith), who happened to be an aspiring actor in his mid-20s. Despite the age difference, love blossomed between the men, and within months, Terrence decided to ask Christian to move in with him. But first would come the difficult task of introducing Christian to Rod and Fiona... who both happened to be older than Terrence's lover.

Terrence arranged an introductory dinner for the Applewhite family to meet Christian. Fiona, who interned at the law offices of Royale & Klein, postponed her dinner plans with new boyfriend Leo Von Stadt (Jeff Branson), in order to be home for her father's "big announcement." Rod didn't have much going on that evening, he was spending the afternoon rolling around in bed with his girlfriend since college, Crystal Halperin (Kerry Butler), and invited Crystal along when word came from Terrence that there would be a mandatory Applewhite family dinner that night. Crystal called her mother Eleanor Halperin (Catherine Hickland), to let her know that she wouldn't be able to work that night at The Redeye as hostess, and Rod wouldn't be able to tend bar, since there was a "super-important" family dinner at the Applewhites.

Leo Von Stadt mentioned to his father, President and CEO of high-powered conglomerate Von Stadt International, Heinrich "Henry" Von Stadt (Sebastian Roché), that he would be dining with Fiona the next night, rather than that night. Henry couldn't believe his son's irresponsibility, given that he had a video conference call with the Olin Publishing Company the next night. Leo shrugged it off, preferring to delegate the call to VSI executive Shawn Marks (Tobias Truvillion). Henry reminded his son Leo that it most likely wasn't smart to let their business affiliates in every corner of the world know that Shawn Marks was more qualified for Leo's position than the Von Stadt heir himself. Leo fought back that having a girlfriend who works in a law office could come in very handy in the future, should any of his father's dirty secrets ever become public. Henry refused to back down, reassuring Leo that Henry makes sure that all of his secrets remain secrets. Their relationship was obviously tense.

Shawn Marks, working late at VSI, got word that he would be handling the conference call the next night and quickly canceled plans with Jenna Baldwin (Kari Wuhrer), who he had met days earlier and intended to go clubbing with. Jenna was disappointed, but figured it was for the best -- she should be at the hospital, at her elderly father's bedside, as he recovered from his heart attack.

Jenna's hunky brother James (Alec Musser) called her back to the hospital room, since their father Theodore Baldwin (John Ingle) was awake again. Aside from Jenna and James, their 19 year old half-brother Thomas (Bobby Steggert) was seated at Theodore's bedside. Jenna was glad her father's been getting his rest. Theodore couldn't get used to having all three of his children with him at one time... while he runs up a huge hospital bill. James assured him he'd have no problem paying it with his lottery winnings. Jenna marveled at how lucky her father was to be the only winner of a 350 million dollar jackpot. Theodore thought the greater purpose was that it brought his two wayward older children back home to him. Jenna and James revealed plans to move back in with him and encouraged him to think about buying a bigger home now that he could afford it. Thomas couldn't believe that his half-siblings were home for all of five minutes before they started plotting and planning how to spend their father's money. But Thomas was very defensive of his father Theodore. After all, it has just been the two of them for Thomas's entire life. Thomas never knew his mother or his older half-siblings.

Dr. Julia Lawless (Melissa Archer) called the children out of Theodore's room to give his children a progress report, and James was instantly smitten. Thomas attentively listened as Julia gave them instructions about diet and exercise restrictions, while Jenna kind of fiddled with her frilly blouse, and James stared into Dr. Julia's big, beautiful... eyes. Thomas snatched the printout of the restrictions from Julia's hand and returned to his father's room, while Jenna stepped away to make a phone call and James tried to get Dr. Julia's phone number. Sensing James was an immature playboy and citing that she had no time in her busy schedule for something (and someone) so frivolous, Julia warned James that he shouldn't waste his time. Julia walked off, but it seemed from James's face that he welcomed a challenge.

Julia returned to the nurses station of the hospital to look over other charts, and orderly Carina Reynoso (Natalia Livingston) delivered the third message from Julia's mother that week, asking Julia to call her back. Julia told Carina to let her mother know that Julia's transferred to another hospital, but isn't sure which one. Carina wished she had a mother as attentive as Julia's. Julia assured Carina that if Carina knew Julia's mother, she wouldn't be so quick to say that.

Rod, Crystal, and Fiona curiously speculated what Terrence's big announcement was, that couldn't wait. Rod couldn't help but hope, in the back of his mind, that his mother Emma had come back home, since there was seating for five. It had been nearly a year since she'd left. Upon Christian's arrival to dinner at the Applewhites, Rod and Fiona had difficulty taking Terrence and Christian's relationship seriously. Rod was certain it was some kind of practical joke. Not only was Christian young enough to be Terrence's son, but he was an aspiring actor as well! Rod saw Christian as a young man determined to use Rod's father for all the money, fame, and power Terrence had to offer. Fiona, ever the family peacemaker, hoped to approach the situation with more of an open mind -- trust her father's heart and instinct -- and believe that even though there was an age difference, Terrence and Christian's relationship was based in love. But even Fiona had to admit that Rod was right... Christian definitely stood to gain a lot more from this "relationship" than Terrence did.

Eleanor got her other bartender, Ramon Valdez (Kamar de los Reyes) to take Rod's shift at The Redeye that night, and Eleanor would fulfill hostessing duties herself. Eleanor was eager for anything that would take her mind off of her recently deceased husband. Eleanor had lived what she thought was an idyllic life with her husband Charles Halperin. One day, everything changed when word came that he had died in an automobile accident. Even more disturbing, however, was that all evidence pointed to the fact that Charles was in the process of leaving her and their two daughters for good when he perished. Charles's car was packed with his belongings and he was on his way out of town, without a word to his family, when fate stepped in and he was gone for good. Now Eleanor had to decide exactly where to go from here? Continue raising their daughters Crystal and Rebecca (Lindze Letherman) and running their two bars, The Redeye and Large Bar as if nothing had happened? How could Eleanor continue to mourn a husband who was apparently walking out on her when she had no idea there was anything wrong in their marriage?

Theodore told Thomas to take a break from standing guard at his hospital bedside and go call his new girlfriend. Thomas asked if Theodore wanted him to hide his credit cards in case James and Jenna came back while he was gone. Theodore laughed and asked Thomas to cut his siblings some slack. Thomas doesn't know James and Jenna well, but Theodore is certain they came back home because they were concerned with his health, not because of the lottery winnings. Thomas marvels at how deeply his father loves. Thomas steps out to call his girlfriend Rebecca Halperin, who is relieved Thomas's father is going to pull through. Rebecca's trying hard to get her head together to prepare for her professor's pre-finals test in her Psychology course. Thomas just wanted to check in, so he gets off the phone so Becky can get back to her studies.

Ramon called his younger brother Rolo Valdez (Ignacio Serricchio) and asked if he was bartending at Large Bar that night. Rolo was, and they made plans to meet up after their 1am shift ended. Ramon then called his girlfriend Aviva Reynoso (Christina Chambers), who was busy grading papers for her English Literature course she teaches at Hunter College, and invited her to keep him company on his surprise shift at The Redeye. Aviva thought that sounded nice and could use the relaxation that a drink after work would offer.

Terrence was furious at Rod's jokes and assumptions about Christian, and asked that he be respectful. After all, they would have plenty of time to get to know each other, since Terrence has asked Christian to move in with them all! Rod immediately protested, believing it was too soon, and certain that Christian was seeking to be supported financially while still using Terrence to gain fame in the acting profession. Privately, Fiona worried as well that Terrence would end up getting his heart broken by his "first love."

Aviva roped her younger sister Carina into drinks at The Redeye, since they hadn't seen each other since Labor Day. It was obvious that Carina hadn't missed seeing her sister and wasn't eager to spend the evening watching Aviva coo across the bar at her boyfriend. Aviva didn't take "no" for an answer before hanging up. Carina reluctantly joined her sister, who was dying to know what's been going on in her life since they last saw each other, but Carina had to admit that not one thing in her life had changed or gotten interesting since Labor Day. Everything was exactly, monotonously the same. Aviva's unrelenting cheer didn't help matters, since everything was blissfully perfect in her life. Aviva was a successful, bright, beautiful, well-respected college professor, while Carina was a virtual unknown, faceless orderly in a sea of doctors and nurses at the hospital.

Christian moved in on the one year anniversary of when Emma Bailey Applewhite abandoned the family. The coincidence shook Rod and Fiona, and Terrence apologized that Christian ended up moving in on such a sensitive day.

Thomas Baldwin returned home to find his greedy half-siblings Jenna and James going through their father's clothing and throwing out whatever they deemed "expendable". Thomas saw his half-siblings as nothing more than money-hungry jackals only out for themselves. This was further proven when, upon their father Theodore's release from the hospital, he revealed that Jenna and James had convinced him to buy a three-floor brownstone for them all to live in, moving out of the small apartment where Thomas had lived with his father for most of his life. Thomas thought Jenna and James needed to get their own places with their own money!

Jenna and James agreed that Thomas played concerned for their father, but is only cleverly trying to protect his own inheritance. Jenna tried to appeal to Thomas, swearing they didn't want to spend their father's money, only help him enjoy it. Thomas didn't quite believe his half-sister. Jenna, meanwhile, continued to expand her wardrobe with her father's money, and James decided to buy a hot new car!

Christian couldn't bear another night of staying home and dragged Terrence out to a night at Large Bar, the local gay bar with no attitude and plenty of fun, eventful nights (also owned and run by Eleanor Halperin). Terrence had never been much for bars, and wasn't feeling up to going out. Christian intuitively wondered if Terrence was insecure about going out in public with him. Terrence assured Christian that he wasn't ashamed of him at all, and loved him completely. Christian didn't think Terrence was ashamed of him, he thought Terrence might look like a foolish old man going out with young Christian. Terrence admitted that maybe he wasn't so eager to receive the stares from those judgmental gays about their age difference. Christian thought it was all the more reason to go out and show them that love can happen at any age between any two people. Terrence was won over by Christian's free spirit, and agreed to go out.

Shawn Marks handled the VSI conference call with the Olin Publishing company masterfully, and decided to celebrate by going for a late night drink -- at Large Bar?! Shawn sat in a dark corner and ordered a martini, while others like Christian and Terrence took seats near the stage for that night's drag show. Aurora Borealis (Jeffrey Carlson) was the biggest attraction at Large Bar. The Canadian-born drag queen did musical numbers, comedy, hosted the weekly karaoke night, and usually had a talent for getting boys to come up on stage and strip out of their clothes! That night, Aurora performed "Fever" to the crowd, who loved every second. Shawn Marks was definitely entertained by Aurora's act, and made plans to see it again. Eleanor Halperin always made sure to catch her biggest entertainment attraction Aurora's act, and while Aurora always did lift Eleanor's spirits, Eleanor was starting to drink more and more during the nights she was working at her bars.

Hattie Wilson (Kate Collins) impressed Henry Von Stadt in an interview, and was hired as his secretary at Von Stadt International. Hattie was thrilled to be working for one of the most influential international businessmen of our time! Hattie couldn't wait to share the news with her daughters. Hattie returned to her small studio apartment to share the news with younger daughter, Tiffany Lawless (Ambyr Childers), and then dragged her to the hospital to tell older daughter Dr. Julia, that not only have they moved to NYC permanently, but Hattie is finally making steps to get herself together, by landing a job as secretary to Henry Von Stadt at VSI! Julia was shocked to see her mother and sister show up at the hospital, and contemplated leaving town to avoid getting sucked into her mother's drama again. After chatting with friend Carina, Julia realized she worked too hard to establish her life in NYC, and decided instead just to freeze her mother out.

Another person Julia didn't particularly care to see was James Baldwin, who was still frequenting the hospital even though his father had already been discharged. James was more and more attracted to Julia the more Julia refused to go on a date with him. James certainly loved a challenge, but Julia had seen men like him before, coasting on their looks and charm with ultimately no direction or maturity. "So you'd only be willing to date me if I had no looks or charm?" James smiled... Julia's cold exterior cracked ever-so-slightly. James promised he had substance, but Julia continued to brush him off.

Thomas confided in his girlfriend, Rebecca Halperin, in between classes at Hunter College. Rebecca always had smart and strategic answers for Thomas when it came to dealing with his half-siblings. Thomas and Rebecca felt close the minute they met, and only grew closer when Rebecca's father was found dead and Thomas's father suffered a heart attack soon after. Thomas and Rebecca's connection was cemented by the reality of their fathers' mortality. It was coming time in their relationship that they'd be thinking about sex. They had been dating for two months, and that was longer than anyone usually waited to have sex at their age. But being that Rebecca's mother Eleanor was urging her not to give herself as freely to a man as she did, Rebecca wondered if sleeping with Thomas would mean he'd lose interest in her.

Everything changed for Rebecca when she met Tiffany Lawless, a new transfer student to Hunter College. Tiffany just moved to NYC, but seemed the perfect fit for the city. Tiffany was more open with her sexuality than anyone Rebecca had ever met. Rebecca was equal parts intrigued by Tiffany and jealous of her, since Rebecca wasn't nearly as experienced. Chatting about boys after class, Tiffany thought Thomas looked like he'd be a tender and sensitive lover. Rebecca lied that he was the most sensitive and sensual lover she'd ever had. What Rebecca didn't anticipate was that rumors got back to Thomas that he was a sensual lover, and wondered why Rebecca would have lied that they slept together when they hadn't. If sex wasn't in the forefront of their minds before, the thought was sure hanging heavy over their relationship now.

Thomas urged his father to put all his money in a trust (establishing a will) with stipulations, hoping it would stop Jenna and James from spending it through. Theodore wasn't sure that was necessary. While Thomas took an afternoon to consult with Fiona Applewhite at the Royale & Klein law firm about Theodore's money, Jenna and James decided to take a different route, asking for loans to start businesses and access their father's money that way. It would sort of force Theodore to invest in his children in the long run.

Hattie developed a bit of a fixation on her handsome and charming boss, Henry Von Stadt. He was just as amazing and charismatic as the press always portrayed him to be, besides being dashing and obscenely wealthy! Hattie was away from her desk when Eleanor arrived at Von Stadt International to clean out her husband's old office. Eleanor let herself into Charles's office and broke down in tears over a picture of herself on her husband's desk. President and CEO Henry arrived to meet Eleanor, and offered his condolences to the emotional widow. Henry offered to buy Eleanor dinner sometime, in case Eleanor ever wanted to talk. Eleanor agreed that sounded nice. Hattie definitely didn't agree, when Henry told Hattie to call Eleanor to schedule an intimate dinner at an expensive french restaurant.

Rod decided that the only way to be certain about Christian's intentions toward Rod's father was to hire a private investigator. Rod found the best in the business, fiercely determined Private Investigator Rachel Marks (Sherri Saum), and hired her to investigate exactly where Christian Avery Field came from. Rachel ran a background check on Christian and learned he had been shuffled through several adoption agencies and foster homes throughout the years, until he was 18, and his adoption records were sealed. Rod was intrigued by this information and immediately believed Christian had something to hide. Rod connected Rachel to his sister Fiona, hoping Fiona could use some connections at the Royale & Klein law offices to open up Christian's sealed adoption records. Fortunately, Fiona is a talented performer as well, and one well placed phone call managed to open up just what information Rod wanted to know.

Eleanor met Henry for dinner and Henry offered his sincerest condolences. Henry spoke highly of Charles Halperin and said he would have a difficult time replacing him. Eleanor, drinking champagne too quickly, misinterpreted that Henry was trying to replace him in Eleanor's life, but Henry clarified that he meant replacing Charles at VSI. Eleanor was embarrassed and apologized... she has had a little too much champagne and Henry is very intimidating. Henry was taken aback by being called intimidating and wondered where anyone got the notion that he didn't go home after work and watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune like everyone else. "Would that be on your home theater system with full-size projection screen?" Eleanor teased. Henry said if she was really curious about how he lived, he would be willing to give her the full tour of his home sometime. The champagne and candlelight continued to go to Eleanor's head and she fell victim to her own vulnerabilities. Eleanor broke down, admitting that Charles appeared to be abandoning her and their children when his body was found, and Eleanor wasn't sure whether she should be heartbroken, or embarrassed, or devastated or angry. Henry advised her not to think about how she SHOULD be feeling, and just allow whatever feeling that comes. In a weak moment, Eleanor fell into a kiss with Henry that turned passionate. Immediately regretting the kiss, Eleanor fled the dinner date and ran home, pouring herself a glass of scotch when she got there.

Thomas was outraged when he learned from his father that Jenna and James were taking loans to start businesses and Thomas knew what his half-siblings were up to immediately. Thomas tried to stop Theodore, but Theodore liked each proposal and decided to invest. Jenna would be using the investment to design and launch her own clothing line, while James plans to open an auto body repair shop in downtown Manhattan.

Rachel informed Rod that Christian was placed with the Fields at 13 years old and spent three years as their foster son. As soon as the formal adoption went through, the Fields died in a mysterious auto accident. Rod jumped to the conclusion that Christian was waiting until he was a viable heir to whatever money they might have had, and somehow killed them!

Henry Von Stadt had secretary Hattie continue to call Eleanor... but little did Henry know that Hattie was only pretending to call. Hattie was certain that whoever this Eleanor is, she's not worthy of a man of Henry's influence. Since Hattie's already proven she had a place in Henry's world, it's Hattie that Henry was destined to fall in love with. Eleanor called VSI to apologize to Henry for her behavior, but Hattie told Eleanor that Henry was not taking personal calls. Eleanor realized she made a mess of herself again, and poured another drink.

Jenna began spending her father's "investment" on the most expensive materials and a down-payment on a pricey loft in a New York City skyscraper, while James took a chunk of the investment and nabbed a hot, spacious property way down on the Lower East Side for his repair shop. Thomas sat his father down for a heart to heart and finally got Theodore to agree to drawing up contracts to make his investments "official" and protect Theodore's interest and ensure a return on his investment. Theodore agreed, to appease Thomas, and Thomas was relieved.

James used some of his seed money to grow another opportunity -- his potential date with Dr. Julia Lawless. James rented out an expensive rooftop restaurant for the sole purpose of wooing Julia, but while Julia was a little impressed that someone would go to the trouble for her, Julia hid her feelings well. Julia challenged James at every turn, from his choice of attire to his choice of champagne, but it only attracted James more. James tried to prove he had direction by telling Julia of the new auto body repair business he was going to open up.

Tiffany Lawless told her mother Hattie about her new friend Rebecca Halperin. Tiffany boasted that Rebecca's mother Eleanor owns and runs two of her own bar/restaurants. Hattie realizes that this Eleanor is the same one Henry was trying to date, and Hattie takes it upon herself to "befriend" Eleanor. Hattie showed up on Eleanor's doorstep to introduce herself as Tiffany's mother. Eleanor hadn't even heard of Tiffany before, but Hattie didn't allow that to get in the way. Hattie struck up conversation about how their daughters don't confide in them anymore, since they're all grown up going to college. Eleanor, just happy to have a sensitive ear to talk to, opens up to Hattie about her recently deceased husband, and wonders if that's why her daughter Rebecca isn't sharing as many details about her life anymore. Hattie latches on to this information and turns the conversation toward how difficult it is to lose a husband and father, and it will only get worse as the issue arises about whether Eleanor should start dating again. Eleanor confesses that her husband's boss, Henry Von Stadt, recently took her to dinner and she made a fool of herself. Hattie tells Eleanor it's too soon for Eleanor to start dating and urges Eleanor to ignore any overtures from Henry and focus on Eleanor's own healing right now. Eleanor takes Hattie's advice to heart.

Shawn Marks was surprised to be visited at his office at VSI by his big sister, Rachel Marks! Rachel stunned Shawn with the news that she was in NY on an investigation, and she decided to move to NY! Rachel needed a place to stay while she looked for her own place, so she asked to crash with Shawn. Shawn grew nervous about having his sister stay with him, since she never knew that he liked to hang out at "certain" kinds of bars, and she was an ace private investigator... how long before she figured out his secret? Seeing no way to turn her down, Shawn agreed to let Rachel stay with him until she found a place, but knew that keeping his secret life a secret just got a lot more complicated.

Certain he would never graduate college, Rolo contemplates dropping out to work full time. Rolo then met new transfer Tiffany Lawless, and when they were partnered on an assignment together in class, Rolo decided to postpone his plans to drop out. Soon after, Hattie dragged Tiffany with her to receive a tour of the Von Stadts' home, and Tiffany was bored out of her mind until she came upon Rolo, who she learned had a weekend job as the Von Stadt landscaper. Turned on by watching Rolo work on the garden patio shirtless, Tiffany seduced him and they had sex right there on the Von Stadts' garden patio while her mother was elsewhere getting the grand tour! Tiffany later told gal pal Rebecca of her hot encounter with Rolo, and Rebecca couldn't believe the kind of stuff Tiffany had no hesitation about doing! Rolo received another failing grade on a test in Aviva's class, and Tiffany decided to boost his spirits after class by sexing him up right there on Aviva's desk! Rolo and Tiffany apparently couldn't get enough of each other!

Shawn Marks attended the same show by Aurora Borealis the following week, and Aurora couldn't help but notice the handsome Shawn in the audience this time. After the show, Aurora joined Shawn at his table in the darkest corner of the bar, and wanted to know his story. Shawn lies that his name is "Mark" and he just likes good solid entertainment. Aurora is flattered. "Mark" admires how comfortable Aurora is on stage, in her own skin. It took Aurora a lot of time to get that comfortable, Aurora admitted. Aurora had a lot to sort out before realizing that the only way to live life was out loud. "Mark" told Aurora to keep doing what she was doing... and "Mark" would be right there to see it, every time. Aurora makes "Mark" promise to be at her next show.

Ramon and Aviva's relationship remained harmonious until Rolo got his grades back from Aviva's class. Rolo had failed! Ramon was furious and defended his brother to Aviva, arguing that Rolo works long hours at Large Bar and can't always work to his potential because he's tired. Ramon and Aviva don't see eye to eye and Aviva thinks Rolo needs to reprioritize if he's at all concerned with his future. Their argument sends Ramon for a drink at The Redeye. Brooding Ramon catches a sexy Rachel Marks's eye. Rachel makes conversation while also making it painfully obvious that she finds Ramon attractive. Dirty girl that Rachel is, she is eager to find out how good he is in bed!

Drunk, Ramon tells Rachel he has a girlfriend, but Rachel doesn't care about all that, and takes a fairly willing Ramon back to her place, and they have a scorching hot night together. Ramon is actually left with a few scratches and bruises! Ramon snuck out of Rachel's place while she was still sleeping, with no intention of calling her ever again. Guilt-ridden, Ramon tries to put the night behind him and lies to Aviva that the marks left on his body are from breaking up a fight at the bar the night before. Somehow, Rachel isn't so easy to get out of his mind. Still racked with guilt, and starting to fantasize about Rachel, Ramon is driven to side with Aviva about Rolo's poor grades, and Rolo is furious that his brother chose his girlfriend's side over his.

Thomas invited Rebecca to Thanksgiving dinner at the Baldwin family brownstone to meet his father. Rebecca had known him from around the halls at Hunter College, but never formally met him. Thomas was sure that Jenna and James weren't the type to attend a family dinner for the holidays, so Thomas figured it would be a nice intimate setting to introduce Rebecca to his father. Surprisigly, Jenna and James took charge of Thanksgiving dinner and organized an elaborate feast at their new family brownstone. Theodore then surprised Jenna and James with the legal contracts over Thanksgiving dinner. Jenna and James reluctantly signed the contracts, in order to appear legitimate about the business loans. Jenna knew that she and James won the battle, but to win the war... they would need to shake Theodore's trust in Thomas. After dinner, Rebecca and Thomas went to Thomas's mini-apartment in the basement and talked about why Rebecca lied to her friend that they had had sex already, and Rebecca admitted that she felt she was missing out. Rebecca confessed she was a virgin. Thomas admitted that he was as well. Rebecca and Thomas began to make love, but fell off the bed! Thomas bumped his head against the headboard and Rebecca's hair got caught in her own necklace. Thomas and Rebecca broke out in laughter, and figured maybe they should wait a little while longer before taking the next step, and they quietly fell asleep in each other's arms.

Rod took the initiative to plan the Applewhite family's Thanksgiving dinner and did his best to make Christian feel welcome for his first Applewhite family holiday. Rod invited Crystal, and once Crystal learned Rebecca was dining with the Baldwin family, Crystal invited her mother Eleanor to the Applewhite Thanksgiving. Christian shared his hopes with Terrence that his children might end up accepting their relationship after all. Halfway through Thanksgiving dinner, Rod begins asking probing questions about Christian's family, which Christian's not too forthcoming about. Christian will only share that he didn't have the most ideal childhood and wants to focus on the family he's been welcomed into now. Terrence intervenes and asks that Rod respect Christian's privacy. Rod wished he could, but wouldn't be comfortable not letting Terrence know that Christian's adoptive parents were mysteriously killed in a car crash. Christian was obviously affected by the reveal, but puts Rod in his place. Christian revealed that being formally adopted by the Fields was the happiest day of his life, and that's the day he chose to come out of the closet to his new parents. Unfortunately, the Fields were so unprepared for the news that they lost control of the car and were tragically killed. The day Christian felt closest to his family, the day he felt like he was a part of someone's life, he lost them. He was to blame, but it wasn't murder.

Terrence revealed that he knew about the Fields' deaths already, and was so hurt that Rod would go to such lengths to try to force Christian out of his life, when Rod knew how happy Christian made him. Crystal and Eleanor were horrified that Rod chose Thanksgiving dinner to make a spectacle of his father's lover. Rod felt remorse for what he had done because Christian's story seemed genuine, but still didn't quite trust Christian's motives with Terrence. Terrence issued Rod an ultimatum -- Either accept Terrence and Christian's relationship or move out! Rod was shocked at his father's ultimatum, and even more shocked when Christian stepped in to call a truce. Christian knew that Terrence's children would have a tough time accepting the relationship and didn't want Terrence to be forced to choose between love and family. Christian offered to move out, but Terrence wouldn't hear of it. Terrence held Christian up as an example of selfless love, versus Rod's display of selfish love. Terrence forced Rod to agree to try harder to accept Christian, while Christian promised to prove to Rod and Fiona that he was worthy of Terrence's love.

Jenna Baldwin met with Shawn Marks for drinks at The Redeye and asked his help in establishing a design label for herself. Jenna hoped Von Stadt International would be interested in backing the label and helping with distribution. Shawn saw potential in Jenna, and agreed to put his all into helping her dreams come true. Jenna and Shawn went clubbing afterwards, and Jenna didn't know how to thank him for all that he had to offer... so she took him to bed.

Henry confesses to his son Leo that he feared he lost his opportunity with Eleanor Halperin because Hattie hasn't been able to schedule a new date. Leo relished in the opportunity to remind his father how important Eleanor might be to keeping their secret. Leo urged his father to take more personal initiative and pursue Eleanor more directly -- rather than having his secretary keep calling. Henry saw his son's point and made an effort with Eleanor which paid off. Eleanor agreed to attend a night at the opera with Henry that Friday. When Henry told Hattie to cancel his appointments for Friday because he had a date, Hattie had to work quickly to intercept and derail Henry and Eleanor's evening. Hattie runs out on her lunch break to buy an audio tape of Henry's favorite opera.

Hattie "innocently" called her pal Eleanor, who was already second-guessing her decision to go on another date with Henry. Hattie advised Eleanor to stand Henry up, because it's still too soon after Eleanor's husband's death, and this man was obviously not respecting Eleanor's need for space. Eleanor struggles with the decision but ends up standing Henry up. Hattie arrived at the opera dressed to impress and delivered a message to Henry that Eleanor changed her mind. Henry told Hattie she might as well stay when he realized how much she loved that opera (little did he know she had only bought the tape of it two days earlier to train herself to be a fan!) Hattie impressed Henry with her knowledge of his favorite opera.

Hattie's scheme backfired during the intermission when Eleanor arrived! Eleanor had changed her mind again, and apologized to Henry for almost not showing up. Henry was glad that Eleanor came, and Hattie was forced to sneak away so Eleanor didn't see her. Hattie was furious that her date with Henry was cut short, and realized she needed to take more drastic measures to end Eleanor and Henry's flirtation. Leo called his father after the opera to check on how the date went. Henry revealed the date almost didn't happen, and if he can't get Eleanor under his thumb -- and soon -- the truth about her husband's death could ruin them.

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Stay Tuned for scenes from the next Beyond the Horizon

>>>

Coming in December, on Beyond the Horizon:

Evan Royale (Ian Buchanan) reads Charles Halperin's will, and it alters the lives of all the Halperin women.

Crystal's inheritance makes her reflect on the value of her life.

Hattie tries to push daughter Julia off onto Leo Von Stadt.

Hattie sees red when the press raves about Henry Von Stadt's gorgeous and sophisticated date Eleanor.

Hattie sets a dangerous plot against Eleanor in motion.

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Shawn Marks begins to realize how valuable he is to VSI.

Rachel catches little brother Shawn at Large Bar!

Shawn becomes further wrapped up in Jenna Baldwin's life.

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Carina gets an eyeful at Christmas dinner... and afterward.

Ramon sweats it out over Christmas dinner that he's sharing with Aviva AND Rachel...

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Christian and Rod have a steamy encounter in the shower!

Rod goes to great lengths to keep an eye on Christian.

Christmas turns out to be a sensitive time for the Applewhite family.

Emma phones her family for the holidays, and Christian answers the phone call!

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James lands a spot for his new auto body shop.

Jenna's plans to go to VSI for support of her new fashion label hit a snag when she learns Thomas will be interning at VSI starting in January.

The Baldwins share a tense Christmas dinner with several colleagues and friends.

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