Same day, evening Nick watched with amusement as Julian hurriedly threw dirty clothes into a hamper and made up his bed. “Hey Jules, it’s your sister that’s coming over, not the President. You lived with her for eight years, I’m sure she knows what a slob you are.” Julian looked up and glared at him. “You have some nerve to be lecturing me on cleanliness when you hardly pick up after yourself.” “I would, but it’s hard to vacuum over a certain redhead, if you catch my drift.” Nick winked slyly at him. Julian threw off his black T-shirt, chucked into the hamper, and went to the closet to get a dressier shirt. “I think you need to go into the kitchen and have another glass of wine.” Nick snorted. “I’ve already had four. And why are you putting on your schoolboy shirt? I thought you only wore that when you knew your dad was coming over for one of his social visits.” Julian just brushed past him and went out the bedroom door. “You won’t need to look sharp man---when Melanie sees me, she’ll forget all about you!” Nick called after him. Now in the kitchen, Julian opened up the fridge door and took out a bottle of Chardonnay. He pulled a wine glass out of the cabinet and poured the wine into it. And then he downed the drink. He was working on his third when Nick appeared. “You’re gonna be plastered before Melanie even gets here,” he warned. “At least I can hold my liquor,” Julian retorted. He finished his glass and then the doorbell rang. His blue eyes widened. “She’s here!” He rushed to the front door and smoothed down his shirt. He took a deep breath and opened up the door. Melanie appeared before him, a tense smile on her face. “Hi Julian,” she said softly. He looked at her for a moment, and then engulfed her in a big bear hug. “Hey Sis, I’m glad you’re here.” --------- Meanwhile, Jeanette Wheeler was rushing to answer her door. “I’m coming!” she called out in a sing-song voice. She opened it slightly and saw Kyle standing there. “Kyle, what are you doing here?” she asked. “I need to see Lynda. It’s important,” he replied. Jeanette let him in. “Would you like something to drink?” She motioned to the small bar in the corner of the living room. Kyle shook his head. “No. This isn’t a social call. Where’s Lynda?” “She’s out on the deck. Is everything alright---“ “Is she sober?” Kyle cut in. “Sober? What kind of question is that?” Jeanette demanded. Kyle struggled to stay patient. “Look Jeanette, I really need to see Lynda. It’s a family matter.” He headed towards the sliding glass doors, leaving Jeanette standing there dumbfounded. Kyle saw his soon-to-be-ex-wife sitting in a patio chair, staring out at the choppy waves. The moon hung low in the darkening California sky. He walked up behind her and gently tapped her on the shoulder. “Lynda,” he said quietly. She jumped slightly and turned around, frowning when she saw who it was. “Kyle, what are you doing here?” She stood up and crossed her arms defiantly. “Lynda, I’m not here to fight with you,” he told her. “Melanie’s back.” Lynda’s mouth dropped open in surprise. “What?” “Our daughter’s home---and you need to see her.” He gazed at her intently. Lynda started to shake a little. “You told her you were divorcing me, didn’t you?” All Kyle could do was nod. Lynda turned around to face the beach again. “That’s why she’s returned. She made good on her promise to come home if you left me. It was the only way you could get her back.” She whirled around, her pretty face filled with anger. “You bastard,” she hissed. Kyle ignored the insult. “I have missed out on twenty years with Melanie because of you Lynda, because of your boozing and your whoring around, and I couldn’t take it anymore. Surely you could have realized one day I would get sick of it all." His eyes bored into hers. Lynda became uncomfortable and turned back around. “You were always a saint Kyle.” Kyle sighed. “Jesus Lynda, don’t do this---“ “No, it’s true!” She faced him once more. “You were the best husband any woman could ever have. You stood by me while I was pregnant with another man’s child. You stood by me when I slept with Sean Carlisle, when I slept with Wes and got pregnant with Shelly, and my drinking…you were there for me. And I took you for granted. I’m such a stupid fool.” She began to cry. Kyle resisted the urge to take her into his arms and hold her. “You had choices Lynda. You could have been a faithful wife to me, but you chose not to be. Now you’re facing the consequences of your actions.” He ran his fingers through his graying hair. “But I’m not here to scold you. Our daughter is home, and you two need to start working things out.” “Working things out?” Lynda stared at Kyle incredulously. “She hates me! It’ll be a cold day in hell before Melanie talks to me. Don’t kid yourself Kyle. We will never patch things up.” --------- Melanie looked around Julian and Nick’s bachelor pad. “Pretty snazzy Julian. How did you manage to snag this place without working?” Julian turned red. Nick put an arm around him and grinned suggestively at Melanie. “It was my dad’s. He gave it to us as a gift.” “Very nice gift, “Melanie murmured. “Your dad must be very successful.” “Nick’s dad is Duncan DeLorean,” Julian piped up. “I’ve never heard of him,” Melanie said flatly. Nick gave Julian a look that said “shut up” but Julian ignored it. “He owns Tempted Video. Porno. It’s right up there with Vivid.” Melanie looked at Nick. “You must be very proud of your father,” she cracked dryly. Nick played it smooth. “It’s a legit business. Nothing to be ashamed of.” He inched closer to Melanie. “You know, you’re a lot hotter in person. Julian has showed me pictures of you, and they don’t do them justice.” “What a flattering thing to say,” Melanie replied, but not really flattered. She had met men like Nick right after her husband died; she was used to all the come-ons. It didn’t work with them and it wouldn’t work with this one either. “Well, if you’re trying to recruit for your father, forget about it,” she told him sharply. Nick seethed and Julian couldn’t help but smile. That will teach you to come on to my sister, he thought to himself. He put his arms around his sister’s shoulders. “How’s my niece doing? I’m looking forward to spending time with her. I can’t wait to take her to the beach.” “Kylie is fine. Dad’s friends Rose and Ray are looking after her right now.” She looked down at the carpet. “He went to talk to Ly---our mother.” “You have trouble calling her mother too, huh?” Julian commented. “You don’t know what she turned into after you left Julian. She became a lush. All she cared about was when and where she could get her next drink.” She fought back tears. “I don’t want you following in her footsteps.” “Mel, I don’t think this is the time for one of those cheesy Afterschool Special moments. This is supposed to be a happy reunion, remember?” Julian replied tersely. “I’m sorry. I’m just worried about you, that’s all,” Melanie almost whispered. “It’s okay.” Julian kissed her on the cheek. “I think we should hit the town. A lot has changed since you’ve been gone big sister.” Nick grabbed Melanie’s hand and leered at her. “And I’m just the guy to show you the new hotspots.” Melanie shook her head. “I think I should just stay in Nick. Julian and I have a lot to catch up on. There’s plenty of time for partying.” “Nick, why don’t you make some sodas,” Julian said in a tone that meant “get lost.” He took the hint. “Gotcha.” He gave Melanie another seductive look. “You’re a hard one to crack beautiful, but I’ll soften you up.” And with that, he headed for the kitchen. Melanie rolled her eyes. “What on earth made you pick him for a friend?” Julian put an arm around her and smiled. “It’s simple Sis. Dad hates him.” ------- Tricia DeLorean was home, relaxing outside by her pool, sipping a mimosa when she heard the sound of high heels clicking on the pavement towards her. She knew it could only be one person. “Hello Cheryl. Are you looking for my husband? If so, he’s not here.” She eased herself out of her lounging chair and turned to face her. “No Tricia, as a matter of fact, I’m here to see you.” Cheryl Slade replied, tossing aside her red hair. Tricia gave her a puzzling look. “Me? Now isn’t this a surprise.” “Look, I’m just going to get right to the point of why I’m here,” Cheryl said firmly. She gave Tricia a stern look. “Have you ever heard of Melanie Mackenzie?” “Yes, she’s the daughter of that surfer---Kyle Mackenzie. What does it matter anyway? Didn’t she leave because of her mother?” “Yeah, but she’s back.” Tricia was still puzzled. “And this concerns me how?” “I had a nice chat with Duncan this morning at his office. He’s very interested in making Melanie his newest sex kitten,” Cheryl admitted. Tricia shrugged. “Are you upset because of the competition? Porno is a very cutthroat business Cheryl. I know better than anyone.” “You don’t have to tell me on how ruthless porno is Tricia,” Cheryl shot back. But I’m concerned Duncan is going to manipulate this girl into joining Tempted, and all for the wrong reasons.” “Oh!” Tricia exclaimed, coming to a realization. “I get it now! Melanie Mackenzie just so happens to be the sister of Julian Wheeler, your lover, and you’re afraid that if Melanie gets into the business, Julian will follow, and you’ll lose him. Am I right?” Tricia smiled cattily at Cheryl. “No Tricia, I am not afraid of losing Julian. He knows I can keep him fully satisfied.” It was Cheryl’s turn to smile cattily. “What I am afraid of is this is Duncan’s way of trying to get Julian at Tempted. He has enough problems---one major one being your slimeball of a son.” Tricia was furious at Cheryl’s remark. “How dare you insult Nick! May I remind you, if it wasn’t for Duncan being so generous and allowing Nick and Julian to live in his condo---rent free I might add---your boy-toy’s butt would be out on the streets.” Tricia put her hands on her hips. “I think it’s time you left. I need to salvage what’s left of this evening before Duncan comes home.” “I’m sorry I called Nick a slimeball okay? But you have to watch Duncan. If he keeps up being this manipulative, something bad will happen to him.” Tricia narrowed her eyes. “Is that a threat Cheryl?” “No Tricia. Call it a warning.” Cheryl turned on her heels and walked away, Tricia’s bravado starting to fade. She had to talk to Duncan, and before the night dissolved into morning… --------- Previews for Episode 3: -Tricia lays into Duncan about his plot to get Julian, and now Melanie into the porno business. -Melanie goes job hunting, and runs into Alex. -Cheryl informs Julian about Duncan’s plans for Melanie. -Rose receives a frightening letter.