Chapter 28

“It’s all a misunderstanding,” Desiree hears as she walks into Douglas’s office. “The truth will come out, you’ll see,” Carlos is telling someone on the phone as Desiree turns the corner. Carlos seems surprised to see Desiree as he hangs up the phone, “I thought you were going out of town?”

Desiree shakes her head, “I came right back after I saw the news articles. What is going on?”

They’ve tried hard not to put Desiree in a tight spot. She’s going to have to make up her own mind about her father without influence on their part. Carlos considers what to tell her, “I think the people behind this are the same people behind the disappearance of Ellen Sinclair.”

Carlos phone rings and he picks it up, “Hello? Oh? Thanks. We’re on our way.”  After he hangs up, he turns to Desiree, “Can you mind the office for a bit? Ellen is awake and I have to run and see her.”

“Can I go see Douglas?” she asks.

Carlos shakes his head, “Sorry. They’re not letting anyone see him. But, I was gonna go see him later, if you want to come along.”

Desiree watches as he leaves the office and then turns her attention to his desk.

Ellen lies in her bed, looking at the ceiling when her door opens.  She immediately turns onto her side, away from the door.

Sue Ann and Carlos walk into the room. Carlos leans over and whispers, “The doctor said she was in a huge state of shock and she might not be up for a conversation about what happened just yet.” He lets out a sigh and mutters under his breath, “Those fuckers.”

Meanwhile, Sue Ann leans down towards Ellen and is a soft voice says, “Ellen?” Still laying on her side, facing away from the door, Ellen’s eyes turn up towards Sue Ann, but she doesn’t otherwise move.

“I hope you get well soon,” Sue Ann simply says. “Try not to worry about anything. Rest and get better,” she says.

Ellen pulls the covers up closer to her chin. 

Brandon Tanner walks into Dante’s office uninvited and plops himself down on a couch. 

“Ellen Sinclair has awoken,” Tanner says. 

Dante doesn’t look too pleased to see Brandon right at this moment.

“It would have been better if she didn’t wake up,” Brandon continues. When Dante doesn’t move from his desk and doesn’t respond to anything Brandon has said, Brandon slowly turns his head to look at Dante and asks, “We should kill her, shouldn’t we? She saw my face.”

Still, Dante doesn’t say a word.

Brent Koff is eating dinner with Dante Schumer and the mayor’s Chief of Staff, “I’ll make sure Sue Ann Clark takes her hands off this case for good,” Brent promises Dante.

“Isn’t Douglas Frost your lawyer, Schumer?” asks the Chief of Staff. “Maybe it’s time to put him out to pasture as well. He’s really mucking things up for us here. There’s gotta be a way to get him disbarred or something. I mean, he still has that video.”

As with Brandon before, Dante just sits there, eating his meal.

Dante is sitting in the back of his car in a parking garage when the backdoor opens up and someone slides into the seat next to him.

“I’ve known you for a very long time,” Carlos tells him. “So, this visit is out of courtesy.”

Dante nods his head, then asks, “I hear you have some siblings looking for work. And you? Shouldn’t you be making far more than you’re making working for Douglas?”

It’s obvious this conversation is making Carlos uncomfortable.

“I need that video,” Dante finally tells him. He finally turns to look at Carlos who now doesn’t want to make eye contact back.

Dante is led into the police station where they take him back to an interrogation room. As soon as the door opens, he sees Douglas already seated inside. Dante pauses for a moment and then walks inside and sits down across from him.

Douglas smirks, “I must have you terrified if you felt the need to go out of your way to kill Twill.”

Dante doesn’t seem amused with Douglas’s cocky attitude, “And who do you think will be next?”

Douglas’s smirk fades.

“I can’t allow you to continue investigating this case,” Dante continues.

Douglas looks around the room, “I guess there’s no one monitoring us in here so you can just say whatever you want.”

“Douglas,” Dante says, obviously not in the mood to play games, “It’s not too late. We can go back to the way things were before all of this. You can go back to make a shit ton of money and enjoying your life. You can’t honestly tell me that you weren’t enjoying your life back then.”

“Thinking back, I can’t say with all honesty that it was fun, Dante,” Douglas tells him. “Were you honestly not afraid? Not even for a moment that you might have to pay a price for everything you’ve done?”

Dante thinks about it for a moment, then shakes his head, “No. All I cared about was go so high up that no one would even think of messing with me. I knew if I could do that, I can do anything.”

“All the sacrifices, real people with real lives, Dante,” Douglas says to him. “It’s time for you to stop. It’s time for you to pay for what you’ve done.”

Dante shakes his head, “No. What you need to do is let this thing go. If you continue to dig, there will come a time when I can no longer just sit by. You’re going to get hurt.”

That familiar smirk returns to Douglas’s face, “If I was afraid of that, I wouldn’t have come as far as I have in this investigation.” The smirk fades again as Douglas gets serious, “The only way you can stop me now, is to kill me.”

Dante sighs deeply as he leans back against his chair, “You always have to make things painful. 

Later that evening, Dante walks into his backyard and for a moment, it’s almost as if he sees Douglas sitting there at the picnic table. Slowly, Dante comes to the realization that it’s just his mind, playing tricks on him.

Paul Young walks into a police precinct and speaks to the desk sergeant, “Did they bring that lawyer here yesterday?”

The desk sergeant nods his head, “Yes.”

“How much time is left before you have to release him?” Young asks.

The sergeant glances up at the wall clock and thinks for a moment, “Roughly about 32 hours. Why are you asking?”

“I think this all may have something to do with a case I’m working on,” Young explains. “Can I see what you have?”

The sergeant shrugs, “There isn’t much to them,” he walks over to another desk and hands over a yellow folder.


Young takes a moment to flip through the folder before handing it back. It really isn’t why he’s here anyway, “Thanks,” he says.

Young walks into the room that oversees the interrogation room that Douglas is being held in.

“Hey,” says the cop that’s sitting there watching him.

“Is that the lawyer you guys brought in yesterday?” Young asks. “He looks tough.”

The cop shrugs.

“Need a break? I can sit here and watch him if you need to go get a bite to eat,” Young offers.

The cop seems surprised but isn’t going to let this act of kindness go. He gets up, “Thanks, I appreciate it. I’ll be back.”

“Sure, no problem.”

As soon as the door closes, Young pulls out his phone, “You can come in now.”

Carlos, Sue Ann and Paul are all convened in Douglas’s holding room. “Those scumbags,” Douglas says. “I should have expected they’d try something like this.”

Sue Ann nods, “Here’s the problem. They have roughly 32 hours before they have to charge you or release you. They’re trying to dig up whatever evidence they have so they can keep you behind bars where you won’t be in their way. So, we need to get try and get Ellen to speak and release the video before they formerly charge you. Once they charge you, this will look like desperation and won’t have the same effect.”

“Who has the video?” Paul asks.

“Carlos has the original video,” Douglas says as he glances up at Carlos who isn’t paying attention to the conversation at all. Douglas reaches up and snaps his fingers in front of Carlos face, snapping him out of his daydream. “Right,” he finally say. “I got it.”

“What’s wrong with you?” Douglas asks.

Carlos just shakes his head.

“The USB?” Douglas asks again.

Carlos reaches into his pocket and pulls out the drive but Douglas stops him, “I don’t need it here. I need you to get that to all the networks in town. And please, I need you at your best for this so whatever’s on your mind, snap out of it.”

“I got you,” Carlos tells him, stuffing the drive back into his pocket. Douglas watches him for a moment, getting a bad vibe about all of this.

Young interrupts, “Once the video is released, I don’t think they’ll have any way to counter it.”

Sue Ann shakes her head, “We can’t anticipate that. Even when we release the video, they’re going to continue to deny everything. But the defamation charge should be dropped.”

“Listen,” Douglas says, “Once this blows up, they’re going to come at us harder. Probably sent reporters to try and trip us up. Watch your back. If something seems off, just tell them you don’t have any comments and walk away. And for fuck’s sake, don’t lose any of our evidence.” Douglas is specifically looking at Carlos, “Okay?”

Carlos bobs his head, “Right, right. Okay, no problem.” But it’s very apparent that Dante’s offer has given Carlos a lot of think about.

Desiree is sitting in front of her computer at the office, just staring at nothing. Something is definitely on her mind as she suddenly turns towards Carlos’s desk.  She rises from her seat, and she walks over. She slides open one of the drawers and reaches for the voice recorder. 

She thinks about it for a moment before she clicks the ‘play’ button on the device. 

Twill’s voice is heard. 

Dante Schumer told me to kill your brother because he saw what was on the sex favor video.

Desiree’s eyes get wide as Twill continues.

Anyone who had anything to do with this video, including just looking at it, has died.

She hears Douglas’s voice asks.

What about Ellen Sinclair? Did Schumer have anything to do with her disappearance?

Twill answers.

Dante Schumer was the one who ordered all of the kidnappings, except for Ellen Sinclair. That was Brandon Tanner.

She stops the recording as she brings her hand up to her mouth as she digests what she just heard. Tears well up in her eyes as she looks around the room to see if anyone else is around. 

Dante is back in his office when his phone begins to ring. The Caller ID exclaims that it’s “My Daughter.”

He picks it up. “Hello?  When do I finish work?  I’m about to.”

Father, I need you to go somewhere with me,” she asks over the phone.

A little while later, Desiree opens the hospital room door and steps in, with Dante stepping in after her.  It’s Ellen’s room.  Ellen’s grandmother is sitting on the edge of the bed as they both walk in.

Ellen immediately sits up and scoots as far back from them as possible as the grandmother turns to them. Desiree looks at Ellen, “I’m glad to see you’re awake,” she tells the actress.

Ellen’s grandmother recognizes Desiree, “You came with the lawyer last time.”

Desiree nods her head, “That’s right. I wanted to bring my father with me if that’s okay.” She turns to face her father, but when Ellen sees him, she begins to panic and clutches to her grandmother.

“It’s okay,” her grandmother tells her, “They’re good people. They just came because they were worried about you. It’s okay.”

Dante stands there looking at Ellen without much expression, but Desiree is watching him and has taken note.

Dante walks into his home, though it’s not the same Dante we saw at the beginning of the series. This Dante walks a little more slower, doesn’t look quite as confident as he had been.  He walks down the hall and disappears into his office.  

Shortly after, Desiree walks in and pauses when she sees him go into the room.

Dante walks in, takes a seat on one of the couches, and lets out a big sigh.

Desiree follows him into the room and sits down in a chair across from him. There’s a long moment of silence before she finally looks at her father and asks, “How did you feel when you saw Ellen Sinclair? I was waiting for you to tell me something.” Her eyes begin to fill with tears, and her voice is choked up when she speaks. “I wanted to hear it from you. Not someone else.”

Dante looks tired. His eyes are closed, and he slowly opens them, and they are teary as well, “I know what you want to know.”

“I brought you to her as a way to give you once last chance to come clean to me. When I couldn’t pay my college tuition because of mom’s hospital fees, he paid for it by working late at night. Justin was a good friend to me.” Tears begin to roll down her cheeks. “Now, I can never see him again after what you’ve done to him.” The last part comes out more like a scream. “How could you do that? What am I supposed to do with this now, knowing what you’ve done!”

Dante just sits there, taking it all.  When she finishes screaming at him, all he has to say is, “I had no choice. I did it all to protect you.”

Desiree has calmed her tone, “I never asked for that. You did it because of your own fucking greed.”

“Desiree,” he says, “I didn’t want to be poor and powerless again. I didn’t want to be a horrible parent for you. I had sat and watch your leg deteriorate.”

“I would rather be crippled for life. I would rather them amputate my leg than to know that I’ve lived all this time thanks to your blood money. The sick blood money that you got by sacrificing innocent people.  I’d rather they cut my fucking leg off!”

“Stop being childish,” Dante scolds her, showing a bit of life in him for the first time since the conversation started. “You know very well the life of luxury that you’ve lived. Are you willing to give that all up?”


“Since you have money and power, you can see all the pain and justice in this world. You don’t know what it’s like to be hungry and watch your daughter dying.” Dante is starting to get angry, and his words just spit out like fire. “Your conscience, justice, and sympathy are all…”

Desiree interrupts, “Still. I won’t ever be like you.”

That one hurt Dante as he sits there with a pained expression on his face.

“Get Douglas out of jail immediately,” Desiree demands.

“No.” Dante won’t even look her in the eyes now, “The moment he’s out of jail, he’s going to come after me.”

“Then you know what? You deal with it,” she tells him. “You fucking deal with it! Because whatever it is he does to you, father, you deserve every bit of it.”

Tears begin to fall down Dante’s cheek at his daughter’s sharp words.

“Release him, or I swear to God, you’ll never set eyes on me again,” she tells him. “And if you try and stop me, I’ll follow Justin.”

Dante doesn’t say anything in response, so Desiree stands up and walks out of the office.

Dante watches leave, and the moment she closes the door, he begins to sob.

Carlos is sitting at his desk, contemplating Dante’s offer. 

After a few moments of thinking it over, he picks up the phone.

“Sir? It’s Carlos. I wanted to give you my answer to your offer.”

Brent Koff is on the phone, “I think moving Clark to one of the outlying communities is probably for the best. I also feel we should transfer Brenda Wright out as well. She’s been helping Sue Ann as of late.”

Suddenly, there’s a knock on his door and Brenda walks in. 

“What is it?” Brent asks as he lowers the phone.

“I think you have a problem,” she tells him as she shows him her phone. On it there are articles about corruption in the prosecutor’s office, specifically mentioning him by name.

“Sex Video Emerges featuring current Chief Prosecutor.”

His eyes go wide as he looks up at her.

“To be honest, the offer you made me was quite enticing,” Carlos tells Dante on the phone. “I don’t have too many chances to make that kind of money in my life. But, as a human being with compassion inside of me, you can take your offer and stuff it.”

Carlos pulls the phone away from his ear as he hears yelling on the other end and finally just hangs up the phone. Carlos begins to chuckle.

“How did this happen?” someone is yelling at Dante over the phone. He has the article up on his tablet and he’s scrolling through it. 

“I’m looking into it as we speak, don’t worry,” he tells the person on the other end. 

The voice isn’t happy with that answer, “I have reporters camped outside my office and my home, Schumer! What are you going to do about that? Goddammit!”

“Listen to me. First, deny everything. I’ll find a way…” Dante starts to say when the person on the other end hangs up.  He pulls the phone back and looks at it and then just slams it down on his desk in anger. 

He doesn’t have long to be angry as he looks down and sees another important person calling him up. For the first time, Dante is feeling the weight of his kingdom about to fall down around his feet.

Standing out on the patio, Desiree is looking at the voice recorder she took from the office. 

She suddenly remembers that day when her father fell to his knees to apologize for something she didn’t do just so she could have the surgery she needed to get her leg fixed. Deep down she knows that her father did everything that he has done for her sake and it kills her.

But she knows she could never put him at risk. Regardless of what she told him last night, she really did owe him.

She clicks a button on the recorder and it asks her if she really wants to delete the file.

Desiree pauses at this screen as tears roll down her face. She knows if she does this, Ellen Sinclair, Justin Frost and all the others would probably never get justice.   But as she answers yes and clicks the button, and she’s told the file was deleted, she knows her debt to her father has been paid. 

She drops the recorder on the cement and stomps on it until it’s in pieces on the ground as she begins to sob, knowing what she has just cost everyone who trusted her. She stumbles, falling to her knees and she reaches for a rock and hits it over and over again.

Off in the distance, Dante walks into the yard and he watches her for a moment. He isn’t sure what she’s doing, but he remembers her words from the night before as tears come to his eyes. 

Dante sits at his desk, thinking over what he saw earlier. He isn’t aware of the sacrifice his daughter made for him, but he remembers her threatening words.  He picks up his phone and dials. 

“Release Douglas Frost.”

Paul walks into the interrogation room where Douglas is sitting and motions towards the door, “You’re free to go.”

Douglas looks confused, but he doesn’t question anything. He grabs his jacket and walks out of the room. 

As he walks out of the police station, Carlos is there waiting for him with food. 

“Do you know what just happened?” Douglas asks.

Carlos shrugs, “I think Dante Schumer got you out. I was certain he was going to frame you, so why all of a sudden?”

Douglas shrugs his shoulders, “I couldn’t tell you. But, how’s Ellen doing?”

“She’s better,” Carlos explains. “In fact, she said she’s ready to testify.”

“That girl has been through so much.”

Carlos nods his head, “I wonder if she’s doing it because she feels indebted to us for saving her?”

“I hope that’s not the reason she’s offering to testify,” Douglas says, “What about her health?”

“The doctors are saying she should be discharged soon,” Carlos tells him. “You’re going home, right?”

“No. I need to go see Deliah Loper. Her testimony is crucial to this case,” he says as he hands the bag of food over to Carlos, “I appreciate the food, but go ahead and eat it. I won’t get to it before it gets cold.”

Carlos takes the food and watches as Douglas walks out.  He’s about to complain about Douglas not taking the food when he realizes he now has dinner, so he grins and heads to his car.

Deliah Loper walks into the empty mall food court and sits down across from Douglas Frost, who has gotten some food. 

“What’s this about?” she finally asks him when he doesn’t say anything for a few moments.

Douglas takes a drink from his cup and looks across at her, “I made myself clear the last time we spoke. I told you I had the video from Kam Loon Restaurant. You’ve had to have seen it by now. It’s all over the news.”

“So? What’s that got to do with me?” she asks him, looking like she doesn’t really give a damn about any of this.

“The investigation is going to kick into gear here soon. Once it begins, you’ll be one of the first arrested.”

Now Deliah looks a little uncomfortable. “I really didn’t do anything wrong.”

Douglas looks amused, “Don’t tell me that Dante Schumer said he would protect you. All the way up to the chief prosecutor is gonna get snatched up in this racket. Hell, the mayor’s chief of staff has already been fired. Dante has no one left to protect him. How do you think he’ll protect you?”

When she doesn’t answer right away, he asks, “You were aware that Ellen has been found, right? She’s going to testify. We want you to join her.”

Deliah is now looking for a way out of this thing, “I don’t want to. I don’t know,” she is trying to think of some way, so she just rambles, “I’m not doing anything.”

“You realize if she testifies, there’s no way to keep your name out of this. If you agree to testify, I’m sure the prosecution will make a few concessions for you. We know that what you did for Spinet wasn’t exactly of your free will.”

Things are starting to become very clear to Deliah Loper.

Ellen’s hospital room door opens, and Deliah Loper steps in.

As she walks in, she stops when she sees Ellen sitting there. Ellen’s eyes fall on Deliah, and the two look at each other for a long moment.

Deliah, at that moment, seems to have come to a decision.

For the next few minutes, scenes are shown of Sue Ann and Paul going around arresting those involved in the restaurant scandal to include the mayor’s former Chief of Staff and the chief prosecutor.

Chapter 29

Our top story today, the mayor’s chief of staff has been arrested in connection to the leaked sex video that has gone viral. It is believed that other high ranking political and business names will be connected to this scandal in the coming days. The young actresses are holding a press conference to detail how they were forced to participate in these sexual escapades. That presser is being held later today. The mayor’s office has only issued one statement in that they have released the chief of staff of his position, and they were unaware of any part of this scandal. The scandal itself revolves around a relatively unknown local business that calls itself Kam Loon Restaurant. Ellen Sinclair was most recently in the news when she was abducted and held captive. We are told the press conference will reveal more details.

Ellen Sinclair and Deliah Loper are being led up some stairs by a security team, as they are flanked by reporters just shouting out questions to them, which go ignored. A few moments later, they are both sitting at a table, looking stoic.

“The majority of those who I entertained were highly-ranked politicians and businessmen.” Deliah Loper tells the crowd of reporters. 

A report chimes in, “Can you disclose their names?”

Deliah shakes her head, “I will make my full testimony during the trial.”

Another reporter asks, “Miss Sinclair, we are told that the man who abducted you has now died. Was there anyone else involved?”

Ellen pauses at the question. As if drawing up her resolve, she finally leans into the microphone, “The man who kidnapped me and kept me locked up was the CEO of Tanner Electronics, Brandon Tanner.”

All hell breaks loose after she speaks.

The CEO of Tanner Electronics has emphatically denied the allegations that he abducted and held Ellen Sinclair against her will at his residence. He called the story “completely made up.” He has stated that legal action will follow if the allegations were not retracted.

The estimated number of actresses that have gone missing or were murdered since their involvement with Spinet Entertainment or an affiliated agency is said to be five or more.

People are shocked to find out that the men who were involved in the murders of rookie actresses and those who received sexual favors were powerful men in politics. An owner of an affluent top 10 company in Seattle is also reported to be involved.

Over a million petitions are urging the FBI to investigate the Spinet Entertainment case. People are angry, and they are demanding to know the truth. Since the investigation involves a public chief prosecutor, the police are taking full control of the investigation of this case.

Douglas barges into Sue Ann’s office, “Is she here yet?”

Paul shakes his head, “She’s been gone for a while now. It can’t be good.”

Confused, Douglas asks, “How long has it been since she was summoned there?”

Before Douglas finishes his sentence, Sue Ann walks in, looking unhappy.

“What happened? What did they say?” Douglas asks her.

Instead of answering, she grabs the remote and turns on the television.

The prosecution has announced it will not investigate the case but will put together a Special Investigation Unit. They are committed to finding out the truth about the murder, kidnapping, and sex scandal surrounding Spinet Entertainment and Kam Loon Restaurant. Prosecutor Sue Ann Clark has been chosen to lead the SIU. Despite the pressure, she insisted on investigating…

Carlos is confused, “Did you just get a promotion?”

Everyone looks confused. Douglas asks, “What happened?”

She looks around the room to those gathered and asks, “You’ll all stick with me through this, right? I need a team, and I can’t think of a better team than this one right here.”

Paul groans, “I hate being the center of attention.”

“Not like you’ll be anyway,” Carlos says with a grin. 

“Until they find us an office, and because we need to distance ourselves from the current prosecution administration, I thought we could use Douglas’s office for the time being,” Sue Ann suggests.

“Just gonna throw your weight around already?” Douglas asks her, though it’s evident that he’s fooling around with her. “Can you abuse your power like this?”

“So, that’s a yes, I take it,” she tells him. “Let’s all meet there starting tomorrow. I suggest we move all of our files and such there today. We can’t be sure who might try to find their way in here to tamper with stuff.”

As Carlos and Paul begin hauling out boxes, Douglas looks at her, “How did this happen? Surely you’re the last person they wanted to put in charge of this case.”

“I think I had a little help from an unlikely source,” she tells him.

A maintenance man is removing the sign with Brent Koff’s name and replacing it with a sign with Brenda Wright’s name on it.

Inside, she sits very comfortably behind the Chief Prosecutor’s desk.

Chief Prosecutor Brent Koff has been arrested on charges of abuse of power and receiving bribes. Assistant Chief Prosecutor Brenda Wright has been promoted to Chief Prosecutor.

We flashback to a scene earlier where Brent Koff is drug out of his office by officials, as he kicks and screams.

Desiree is sitting outside, scrolling through the news feed on her phone. Mostly stories about Ellen Sinclair returning after being held captive. 

He puts his phone down and recalls the words spoken by Twill on the voice recorder about her father. She already regrets smashing it.

Her phone begins to vibrate, and Carlos’s name pops up on the screen.

Carlos is standing outside the courthouse with Douglas. Carlos turns to Douglas as he waits for Desiree to answer her phone when it goes to voice mail. He shakes his head, “She’s not answering.”

“Keep trying,” Douglas tells him, unsure of what’s going on.

Dante is sitting at home in his office, scrolling through the latest news about the scandal, when his phone rings.

“Hello?” he answers. “I saw it. From this point forward, everyone is on their own,” he tells whoever is on the other end of the line.”

And he hangs up on whoever was on the line.

He sighs as he reaches for a book in his drawer. He opens it, and hiding inside is a key. He takes the key and uses it to open another cabinet in his desk, and he pulls out a ledger that says “Daily Records.”

He opens the book, and inside we see names, numbers in dollars, and reasons for the money changing hands listed inside. He closes the book.

Next, we see him walking up the long steps to the prosecutor’s building with that journal in hand.

Douglas is in Sue Ann’s office, “Deliah has agreed to testify.”

“I’ll draw up the summons,” she tells him.

“We just have to make sure we can tie Tanner into all of this mess. Ellen’s testimony is going to be crucial,” he tells her.

Sue Ann shakes her head, “I’m not letting that piece of shit escape this.”

Douglas is about to say something when the door opens. Both of their eyes go wide when Dante Schumer walks in. He walks to the conference room without a word, and he takes a seat, making a show of slamming the records book onto the table.

Sue Ann and Douglas walk over, but they don’t sit. “What is this?” Sue Ann asks.

Dante looks up at her and says, “I’m turning myself in.”

Dante looks over at Douglas, “I have been providing the members of Kam Loon Restaurant with sexual favors and sponsorship.”

Dante has been placed in an interrogation room, and Sue Ann has her phone recording the conversation.

“I won’t lie,” she tells him. “I’m trying to figure out your game here. There’s no way you didn’t consider every option, and yet here you are, confessing to this horrible series of crimes that will more than likely put you away for life.”

When Dante decided to turn himself in, he was going to come clean. “I was struggling to stay afloat with the construction company. I knew what I was about to do was immoral, but the pressure to provide these favors to those in power was too great.”

“Let me make sure that I understand what you’re telling me,” she says to him. “You’re trying to tell me that you felt you had no choice but to provide these powerful men with women who would provide them with sexual favors. Is that it?”

“I was a small-time businessman looking to get bigger. A hand was offered by a much larger company. If I refused to do as they asked, I would have no business. I would have easily gone bankrupt and would have been left with nothing.”

Sue Ann seems to be finding this all very amusing, “A larger company? Which company was that?”

Dante gives a small shrug, “You should know. You’ve investigated them before.”

“Are you talking about Tanner Electronics?”

“Seven years ago, Tanner Electronics was in financial hardship. What saved them? Kam Loon Restaurant,” Dante explains to her. “For the past seven years, they’ve been providing sexual favors and bribes to those in power. Then they used that as leverage to gain more power.  All the evidence is right here.” Dante slides his record book across the table to her.

Sue Ann scoffs, “You’re trying to weasel your way out of this, aren’t you? It’s pretty smart, though, to try and pin everything on Tanner.”

Dante laughs, “No. It’s not like that at all. I’m planning to take full responsibility for my crimes. It wasn’t easy coming here, but the guilt was killing me.”

“Let me ask you another question then,” Sue Ann says. “How were you involved in Spinet Entertainment’s kidnappings and killings?”

Dante looks confused for a moment, “I’m afraid I don’t know anything about any of that.”

Sue Ann Clark was fully expecting that answer, and even so, it makes her laugh.

Dante walks into his office, surprised when he sees Brandon Tanner sitting at his desk.

“I knew it was going to happen,” Tanner says, “I just didn’t suspect it would be this soon.” Brandon hasn’t even looked up at Dante, head propped up on his hand as he stares at the surface of the desk.

Dante watches the man, not stepping closer to him.

“What exactly were you thinking when you went to the prosecutor’s office?” Tanner asks him.

Dante tries to play it cool as he sits in a chair facing away from Tanner, “I figured you’d find a way to get out of it. I doubt anyone would dare wield their sword at the mighty Brandon Tanner.”

Brandon scoffs. “You knew they’d come after me, and yet you still made such a rash decision?” Brandon rises from his seat and walks around the desk towards Dante, “You didn’t have to tell them about the restaurant. There were so many ways to get around that without bringing it up.” He walks behind Dante’s chair, “I could have easily found a way around that, but now it’s out in public. Once again, you failed to see the bigger picture.”

Brandon picks up the statue on Dante’s desk. The same statue Dante used to murder someone seven years ago. Brandon grips it in his hand tightly. 

“Have you forgotten how many times I warned you?” Dante tells him. “I don’t think either of us are in the position to protect each other.”

“Right now, we protect what we can protect,” Brandon says as he takes that statue and smashes it down on the desk, putting a large dent into the surface. Dante remains still, seated in his chair. Brandon scowls at the back of his head, “Even if it costs us our lives.”

Brandon walks out of the room.

As soon as the door closes, Dante begins to laugh.

“You don’t have to be there when Brandon Tanner testifies,” Sue Ann is explaining to Ellen. 

Ellen shakes her head, “No. I need to be there. I feel like if I’m not there, he’ll get away with everything he’s done.”

Douglas nods his head, “We’ll be right there with you. Don’t you worry.”

Ellen’s grandmother leaves home, which is being guarded by police officers. She thanks them for their service and walks up the street when a young woman walks up to her. “Aren’t you Ellen Sinclair’s grandmother?”

The grandmother looks at the girl, “Do you know my Ellen?”

The girl smiles big, “I’m a big fan of hers.  I have this present for her, could you give it to her for me?” The girl offers her a pink box. “I hope it cheers her up!”

“Oh, thank you!” the grandmother says as she accepts the box. “I’ll make sure she gets it.”

“Okay! Thank you!” the girl says. 

As they go separate ways, the girl picks up her phone and dials.

Ellen sits with the pink box in her lap. She slowly lifts the lid and sets it to her side on the bed.

There’s a photo album on top, and she lifts it and sees a few trinkets underneath. She opens the photo album, and she immediately recognizes the first picture of her at Brandon’s place. Each page after the first is another picture of her in the same room. As she begins to panic, she gets about halfway through the album when the images suddenly change.

The pictures are of the dead actresses from Spinet Entertainment. She flips through faster until she reaches the end where there is a mirror, and she sees her own face in the mirror. She dumps the entire box onto the floor as she lets out a scream. 

Brandon Tanner is led into Douglas’s office, and a seat is motioned for him to sit. Brandon is followed by a couple of lawyers. As soon as Brandon walks in, he notices something and looks to Douglas and asks, “Is she not here yet?”

Douglas gives him a cocky grin, but Sue Ann’s face has a look of concern on it.

“How dare he use your grandmother like that,” Paul says as he flips through the album. Carlos is there as well. Ellen is sitting on her bed still. When Paul gets to the end, he closes it, “That fucking jerk.”

“Can the police accompany my grandmother when she goes out?” Ellen asks.

Paul nods his head, “I’ve already asked them to. Anytime she leaves, someone will be with her.”

“Thank you.”

Carlos sits down next to her, “Listen, you don’t have to go to the questioning if you don’t feel up to it. No one would fault you after all you’ve been through.”

Ellen is obviously scared, but she shakes her head, “No. I want to go.”

Everyone is already seated around the conference table when Carlos leads Ellen into the office. As soon as she walks through the door, Douglas rises up to meet her. He leads her to a seat across the table from Brandon, sitting next to Sue Ann. 

As she sits, her eyes stay on the table in front of her, but Brandon looks right at her.

Douglas excuses himself and rises from the table to walk back to his desk for a moment. Ellen takes this moment to lift her gaze and look at Brandon, who looks right back at her. Sue Ann is looking down at her notes, and Brandon takes the opening to mouth the word “hello” to her.

Ellen begins to shake in her chair, though as Douglas returns, Brandon’s smile fades.  Sue Ann sets her phone down and turns on the recorder.

Brandon looks at Ellen, “It’s nice to see you again.”

Sue Ann looks at him like he’s crazy.

“You don’t look very well,” Brandon tells her, and Douglas has had enough.

“Brandon Tanner. Have you met Ellen Sinclair before?”

Brandon shakes his head, “This is my first time meeting her.”

Ellen is starting to choke up a little as she stares at Brandon, and Douglas turns to look at her, “Ellen? Have you met Brandon Tanner before?”

She stares at him and finds it within her to calm herself. As Brandon smiles at her in his creepy way, she says, “He kidnapped me. He locked me up.”

“Where did he lock you up?” Sue Ann asks her.

Eyes still on Brandon, Ellen responds, “I was locked in the basement of Brandon Tanner’s home.”

Brandon leans forward, “I heard you had a grandmother. She’s well, right? I hope she says well.” 

Ellen begins to lose her bearing as he speaks these words she’s taken as a threat to her grandmother. She begins to cry, and Sue Ann tries to calm her. Brandon’s lawyer is recording the entire thing on his cell phone.

Douglas notices and screams at him, “What are you doing?”

The lawyer responds, “We have to maintain a record of this meeting for us as well.”

“Give us a moment,” Sue Ann says as she helps Ellen to her feet and leads her out of the room.

As Ellen and Sue Ann disappear, Brandon scoffs. It’s enough to piss off Douglas, who stands up and reaches across the table, grabs Brandon by the jacket, and nearly pulls him across the table.

Brandon immediately holds his hands up. 

Douglas looks at him, “If I could, I’d kill you right now.”

“Why?” Brandon asks. “Is it now impolite to ask about the well being of someone’s grandmother?”

Douglas suddenly cracks a smile, “It figures that a crazy son of a bitch like you would stoop so low as to threaten someone’s grandmother.”

Brandon’s smile fades at being called ‘crazy.’ “Do you really think you can win this fight?”

“Considering I haven’t lost a case yet, I am very confident that I will put your ass in jail for the rest of your life. Do you doubt me?” Douglas asks him as he releases Brandon’s jacket. “If for one moment you thought I wasn’t going to win this case, you may as well put those thoughts out of your head. I’m going to crush your fucking skull in.”

Brandon and Douglas hold each other’s gaze before finally, Brandon pulls back. He motions to his lawyer, and they pack up to leave.

As they’re walking out, Sue Ann rushes in. Douglas notices Ellen’s absence, “Where is she?”

“Carlos is taking her to the hospital. She’s shaken.”

“That crazy fuck messed with her on purpose,” Douglas says.

“It doesn’t change the fact that with her testimony, I can request a warrant. I’m heading to the office to take care of it,” Sue Ann tells him. 

Brandon Tanner is watching the video of Ellen breaking down on repeat. When Douglas gets angry, Tanner starts to laugh. 

One of his lawyers walk in, “I submitted her doctor’s note as well as the original copy of this video to the court.”

Brandon doesn’t take his eyes off the screen, “That should be enough for anyone to see that she’s the crazy one.”

“With that, we can block her testimony,” the lawyer says. 

Brandon finally lowers the phone and turns to look at him, “So, there’s a good chance without her testimony, they’ll never get a warrant.

Sue Ann walks into her office and sits down. She slides out the paperwork in the envelope she carried in.  She sighs and picks up the phone, and calls Douglas.

“They made Ellen look like she’s mentally impaired.”

With the video?” he asks.

“That and the report from her psych eval,” Sue Ann tells him. “And, the person who’d grant us a warrant on this case is someone who’s on Tanner’s side in all of this.”

She can hear Douglas sigh on the other end of the line, “It’s gonna be tough to get that warrant unless we have something concrete to show them.”

“What about Twill’s recorded statement?” Sue Ann asks. “It’ll be tough since he’s died, but I can try to get it into evidence.”

“Okay,” Douglas tells her and hangs up the phone.  He turns and walks into the office where Carlos is working, “Can you get me that notarized copy of Twill’s recording?”

Carlos thinks for a moment, “Notarized copy?” He starts looking through the drawer he placed it in and is confused when it’s not there. He begins to shuffle folders around, but it’s not there. He checks his other drawers, but it’s not there either. “I know I had it in this drawer,” he tells Douglas. “It’s gone.”

Douglas seems confused, “Are you telling me someone broke in here and took it?”

Carlos shakes his head, “No way. This place is like Fort Knox when we aren’t here. The only other person who could get in here is…” Then he shakes it off, “No. It can’t be that.”

“What? What aren’t you telling me?”

Carlos sighs, “The other day, Desiree was in here when I put the recording in my desk. You don’t think Schumer had his daughter take it, do you?”

Douglas isn’t too sure what Dante would do to cover his own ass, “Is she still unreachable?”

Carlos is about to answer when something catches his attention. Douglas turns and sees Desiree slowly walking into the office. Douglas asks her, “Did you take the recording out of this drawer?”

Desiree looks very distraught, “Douglas, can we talk?”

After Desiree explains what she did with the recording, Douglas asks her, “Do you know what you’ve done?”

“I’m sure my father wouldn’t have done it,” Desiree says. “I mean if he knew that Justin was my friend.”

Douglas is confused, “What are you saying?”

“When I was in my accident, Justin befriended me. He carried my bag every day to and from school,” she explains. “When anyone would make fun of me for the way I walked, he would be there to defend me.” Tears are rolling down her face now.

Douglas is trying to piece this all together, “Justin. Wait, you knew about this, and you still erased that recording? If you knew how my brother was wronged by your father and if you cared about him as much as you say you do, how in the hell could you destroy that recording?”

“I’ll take whatever punishment you think necessary. If you want to send me to jail for destroying evidence, I’ll accept it. But what about you? Didn’t you use me in all of this to get back at my father?” she tells him. “Isn’t that why you had me read those journals? Isn’t that why you told me to ask him about Twill? Do you even feel the least bit guilty for using me against my own father?”

Douglas shakes his head, “Why in the world would I feel guilty? Do you even know what your father did to my brother? I was thrilled to make good use of you. I hope it tormented your father, and I hope it always will.”

“Well, it worked. Not only have you tormented my father, but you have tormented me as well. I will be tormented for the rest of my life at what my father has done,” she tells him. “I guess I’m fired, so I’ll clear out my things.” Desiree turns and limps out of the room, and Douglas watches her go, with a look of guilt on his own face now. 

Chapter 30

Dante is pacing in his yard, just going back and forth. He isn’t sure when this all will drop on him, but as he walks, something catches his eye. He turns around to see the broken voice recorder lying in the grass.

He leans down and picks it up. He didn’t know it at the time, but thinking back and remembering Desiree kneeling on the ground and smashing something with a rock, Dante now sees what it was.

Suddenly, the recorder is snatched out of his hand.  Dante looks up to see Desiree standing there, eyes puffy from crying. She stares at him for a moment before she turns and limps towards the house.  As she passes the trash can, she drops the recorder into it.

Dante watches her disappear into the house and then slowly follows.

As Dante turns the corner into the hallway, he sees her. She can hear him behind her, so she stops walking and turns around to face him. “You’re quite a man, aren’t you? This entire city has been turned upside down because of Kam Loon Restaurant and Ellen Sinclair. And you seem perfectly fine with it all.”

“Do you finally understand how significant money and power can be?” Dante asks his daughter.

Desiree actually looks disgusted with her father, “How can you not feel a shred of guilt over what you’ve done?”

“What difference does feeling guilt make?” He asks her, “Having a conscience only makes you weak. I chose the path of power and money, which will always cover any guilt I may have.”

Desiree begins to raise her voice, “So many innocent lives were lost because…”

“Then why did you destroy the recording?” Dante interrupts her to ask.

She doesn’t have an answer for him.

Dante knew she wouldn’t. “It means you already made a choice.”

“No. I did it to save you. After what you did to save me, I figured that I owed you,” she tells him.

“Desiree, don’t take this all to heart,” Dante tells her. “Let it go and look at all you can gain if you do. Then, you can have your justice and your happiness and your conscience.” 

They look at each other for a moment, and Dante starts to walk past her when she says, “I quit the law office.”


“But,” she continues, “why didn’t you just kill him?” Dante has stopped walking, but he doesn’t turn to face her. “You killed Justin. Why did you keep his brother by your side for so long?”

Dante stands there as if unsure what to say. So, instead, he doesn’t say anything as he turns and walks into his office, leaving Desiree to stand in the hallway and wonder what the answer could be.

Dante lowers himself into his chair, and his eyes are drawn to the statue. He remembers exactly the first moment he met Douglas Frost.

“Father! I need to come back to Washington! My friend has died in a car accident!” a frantic Desiree yells into the phone seven years earlier.

“Let me check into it,” he tells her.

As Dante walks to the cemetery, in front of Justin’s grave sits a young man. 

Douglas Frost.

As we return to Dante sitting at his desk, staring at that statue that links him to Douglas forever, a tear rolls down his cheek.

The next morning, Dante walks into Douglas’s office and sits down at the conference table that has been set up. 

Douglas is already seated. “This is an official interrogation led by the Special Investigation Team, so I’ll be addressing you as Mr. Schumer for the duration of the interview. I will be recording the interview.

Dante nods his head, “That’s fine.”

Douglas reaches towards his phone and hits the record button, and begins, “You voluntarily visited us and reported evidence of sexual favors that took place at Kam Loon Restaurant. Is this correct?”

Dante nods his head, “That’s correct.”

“However, according to Deliah Loper, you instructed her to falsely accuse Stanley Clark of receiving sexual favors at Kam Loon Restaurant. Is that correct?”

Dante seems confused. He shakes his head, “I never asked anyone to do that.”

Douglas chuckles, shaking his head. He knows that Dante is lying. “Then why did you meet with her? We have photos of her leaving your home.”

“I never denied meeting with her, however when she came to see me, it was to threaten me,” Dante tells Douglas. “She threatened to tell the media that she gave sexual favors at Kam Loon Restaurant.”

Douglas isn’t buying this for a moment, “Are you claiming that it was entirely her decision to falsely accuse Stanley Clark of receiving sexual favors?”

Dante shrugs his shoulders, “I can’t speak to the fact that someone may have coerced her to tell that story or that she made it up herself. I can only speak to the fact that the order to do so didn’t come from me. It’s not implausible that she wanted to use that story to make herself famous and garner sympathy from the public to further her career.”

Douglas sighs deeply and reaches over and turns off the recording. “I should have expected that you’d have no trouble walking over those who are weak.”

“Are we done? May I leave now?” Dante asks. When Douglas doesn’t answer right away, he rises from his seat and starts to walk off.

“Desiree seems to be struggling as of late,” Douglas mentions. 

Without even turning to look at Douglas, Dante responds, “She’s none of your concern any longer since she doesn’t work for you.”

“Do I look concerned?” Douglas asks. “I’ll never forgive you for what you’ve done. I’ll make sure she knows every crime you’ve ever committed in her name. You want to walk in here and continue to lie to save your own ass, that’s fine. But, I won’t stop until you pay for your sins.”

Dante turns to look at Douglas and looks for a moment like he might respond, but instead, he just turns and walks out of the office. Tenta stays behind for a moment, and as Douglas turns from Dante to Tenta, the two stare at each other for a long moment before the bodyguard turns and follows his employer out.

Dante is standing in his backyard when Tenta walks up, “Sir, it’s time to get rid of Douglas Frost.”

Dante turns to look at him, and the bodyguard continues, “He’s not going to stop until he puts you in jail for the rest of your life.”

Dante starts to walk back into the house, ignoring Tenta, but the bodyguard is persistent, “I don’t understand. You’re putting your life at risk by letting him walk around doing as he wishes. Why are you so protective of him, even at your own peril?”

“Are you worried about me?” asks Dante. “If you are, don’t lay a finger on Douglas Frost.” Dante walks off, leaving Tenta to sit and stew. 

Sue Ann is looking at her email, “Our warrant was approved.” She seems shocked.

Paul runs over to take a look, too, because they all assumed their request would be blocked.

Sue Ann looks up at him as he reads the documents, “Let’s go get those motherfuckers,” she tells him.

Warrants have been issued in the case involving sexual favors at Kam Loon Restaurant, and the prosecution has wasted no time in making their arrests.

This is a rare case where arrest warrants were granted for the chief prosecutor, high ranking media officials, and large company CEOs. Also, several politicians have been arrested, including the Tax Assessor and several city council members. Public interest is high in regards to the outcome of this case. The people of Seattle want the truth.

The only outstanding warrant remaining is for the CEO of Tanner Electronics, Brandon Tanner. His warrant is for the kidnapping and murder of several young actresses that were employed by Spinet Entertainment. Tanner has stated that the actress who accuses him is mentally unstable and provided evidence to the court through his lawyer. On top of this, the final verdict in the Tanner Electronics methanol case has not yet been declared as the jury has moved into their second day of deliberations.

Buddy is leading Jewel down the sidewalk when a car drives up next to them.

A few moments later, Buddy is being led into a large conference room where Brandon Tanner stands looking out of the window.  Buddy walks over to stand next to Brandon.

“Isn’t the view amazing from here?” Brandon asks him.

Buddy isn’t here for pleasantries, “Why am I here?”

“I’m hoping Jewel can get her surgery as soon as possible,” Brandon tells him. “That way, she can see this view as well.” Brandon finally turns to him, “Hasn’t your family been through enough? All I want is for her to have a comfortable life.” Brandon offers some papers to him.

Buddy looks down at the papers before taking them. The paper provides a substantial amount of money, though not as much as they might win in court.  It also includes a house that Brandon currently owns being transferred into his wife’s name.

Buddy looks at the document, and it’s apparent that he’s wavering now.

Douglas and Carlos are walking up to the courthouse, and Carlos is trying to reach Buddy on the phone, “No one is answering. I tried Buddy. I tried Jewel. I’ve tried as many relatives as I have numbers for, but no one is answering.”

“Perhaps they’re on their way?” Douglas speculates. 

Carlos nods, “I just talked to them this morning, and they said they were on their way.”

Douglas thinks for a moment, “Perhaps they’re already inside and turned off their phone. Let’s just go on in and see.”

They were not inside, and Douglas sits at the plaintiff’s desk all alone, and he looks worried.

Douglas glances at his watch and then notices Brandon Tanner in the courtroom. 

Brandon doesn’t look worried at all.

“Council? You need to check on your witness and find out if they’re coming. We can’t continue to hold up the court,” the judge says from the bench.

Douglas nods, “We’re checking now, your honor. Can you give us just a few more minutes?”

Outside, Carlos is blowing up their phones as he dials and dials again.

Back inside, the judge finally says, “The witness has yet to arrive. We will proceed without them.”

Douglas knows his case is lost now.

Brandon is well aware of that fact now, too, as he grins from his seat.

Douglas is sitting on the patio of his favorite bar. The same one he has sat on multiple times in the show so far.  Sitting in front of him are two beers, and he doesn’t have to wait too long as someone approaches his table.

Buddy takes a seat at the table, and Douglas pulls open the tab on one of the cans of beer, “Do you drink?” he asks and slides it to him before opening the second. 

Buddy starts to say something, but Douglas interrupts him, “It’s hard, right? Things are the same every day. Every day it’s a fucking struggle, right? You just wish that for one day, one single day, that you’d get a break.”

Buddy looks at him as if trying to formulate what he’s going to say, but instead, he takes the beer and drinks a healthy swallow.  He sets the beer back on the table, takes a deep breath, and says, “I’m sorry. To tell you the truth, I’m not feeling very confident about all of this.”

Douglas bobs his head a couple of times, “Do you want to drop the lawsuit?”

“To be honest, I thought that revealing the truth might not be important. In exchange for our silence, I’d rather get Jewel her surgery and help my family have an easy life. My wife has suffered so much, and I thought this might be the wisest choice to make. That’s what’s going on in my head right now,” Buddy explains.

Douglas listens and then nods his head, “You’re probably right. Perhaps that might be a more beneficial solution for you. But, Tanner will continue to use methanol because no one is holding him accountable. In this world, money and power will continue to cover up the truth. It’s the part of this world that scares the shit out of me.”

Buddy drops his gaze at the words, but Douglas continues, “But I’ll understand whatever decision you make. I’m sure this has caused you so much pain and suffering, and there’s a part of me that says if I were in your shoes, I might make the same decision.”

With that, Douglas rises from his chair and walks off, leaving Buddy to think about it all.

Tenta is sitting in his car outside of Dante’s home.  He’s not doing anything in particular but appears to be deep in thought.

Then, as if suddenly making a decision, he puts the car in gear and drives off.

Douglas walks into his office with a bag in his hand. He turns on the lights and suddenly sees Tenta sitting at the conference table.

Douglas walks to the table and sets his bag on top, “What’s this?” he asks.

“You need to stop all of this,” Tenta warns him.

Douglas scoffs, “Dante sent you?” But before he can say another word, Tenta gets to his feet and punches him right in the face. 

“Stop now, or you’ll die. You need to get back in line, or I’ll kill you myself,” the bodyguard tells him.

Douglas immediately punches him back, “Then you may as well kill me now, fucker. That’s the only way you’re gonna stop me.” Douglas goes to punch him again, but Tenta blocks him, sticks a knife at his throat, and backs him against the wall.

“You’ll stop right now,” Tenta tells him, but then he sees Paul and Carlos walking down the hallway, and they haven’t seen him yet.  He pulls Douglas in close, “If you don’t, I’ll come back and finish the job.”

Douglas laughs, “Just do it then. I ain’t stopping until Schumer is behind bars.”

Tenta gives him a push and walks out of the conference room, right past Paul and Carlos. Carlos watches him leave and turns to Douglas, “Wasn’t that…”

“Yeah, yeah, it was,” Douglas says as he wipes a bit of blood from the corner of his mouth.

Paul watches Tenta leave, but Carlos rushes over to check on Douglas, who has taken a seat at the table, “Are you okay?”

Douglas nods as he flexes his jaw, “I’m okay.”

“What was that?” Paul asks, but Douglas just scoffs at the notion that Dante would have the balls to send his muscle to warn him off. 

The next morning, Dante walks out of the home with Tenta on his heels when out of the blue, Douglas rushes over and punches Tenta right in the face, sending him sprawling to the pavement. 

Dante turns around and looks confused at this exchange.

Douglas turns to him, “You want to kill me? Come do it yourself. Don’t send your thug like a fucking coward.”

They stand there looking at each other for a moment, then Douglas turns and walks back to his car as Tenta gets back up onto his feet.

Dante looks over at Tenta, putting it all together, and Tenta’s expression says it all.

Inside Dante’s home, we hear the sounds of some sort of smacking. As the camera pans around the corner, we see Tenta kneeling on the floor, and behind him, Dante is whipping him with a riding crop across the back repeatedly.  Tenta is taking each blow like a champ. 

Finally, Dante gets exhausted from striking his bodyguard and stops, “I was very clear to you that you weren’t to lay a finger on him,” he says, breathing heavy.

“Why on Earth? I have never once gone against your orders,” Tenta tells him. “I’ve never questioned a single one of them either. I have put my life on the line to serve you.”

“So fucking what?” Dante says as he looks down at Tenta. 

Finally, Tenta looks up at him, “If you don’t kill him, you’re the one who will die.”

Dante pauses at his words before responding, “You’ve gotten too comfortable. You’re becoming unpredictable. Let me say this to you one more time. Do not lay a finger on Douglas Frost.” Dante throws the riding crop, then turns and walks off, leaving Tenta kneeling there on the floor. 

Dante leaves the office and walks right into Brandon Tanner, who looks at the kneeling bodyguard with a questioning look. “I came to discuss something with you, but it looks like it might be a bad time,” Brandon says. He holds out a newspaper towards Dante, “Douglas Frost is talking to the press, and now they’ve linked Schumer Construction with Tanner Electronics based on his word.”

When Dante doesn’t take the paper, Brandon drops it at his feet, turns around, and walks out of the home.

Douglas is leaning against the window sill at his office when Sue Ann walks in. The first thing she sees is the nice bruise at the corner of Douglas’s mouth, “What happened to you? You out looking for fights?”

“I just fell down,” he tells her with a cocky smirk.

Sue Ann doesn’t believe it for a second, “Sure you did. No fall makes that type of bruise.”

Douglas grins when he responds, “If you’re so worried about it, you can kiss it and make it feel better.”

“Gross,” she tells him, then seriously, “Are you sure it’s nothing?”

“I’m not saying that at all. In fact, you need to be careful,” he tells her. “We’re bringing down a lot of powerful people, and they aren’t going to take it lying down.”

Sue Ann chuckles as she leans against the wall, “If I were scared of something like that, I’d have just stayed in my office and prosecute traffic violations.”

“Any word on Tanner’s warrant?” he asks.

That brings her mood down, “It was rejected.” She looks over at him, “It’s as we expected, though. They are questioning Ellen’s mental capacity.”

Paul and Carlos walk in. Paul is carrying a box, and he sets it on the table.

“What’s this?” asks Douglas.

“Twill’s possessions from the prison,” Paul tells them. He pulls the top off, and they begin to go through the box of items. There are some clothing items, shoes and the like. Douglas sees something pink and picks it up, “What’s this key for?” he asks.

“Is it for his house?” Sue Ann asks.

Carlos takes the key, “Doesn’t look like a house key, so it must go to something else. What’s this?” he looks closer at the key, “B13, it says. This is probably a storage box, but for where? I’ll see if I can find out.”

Paul is looking at one of the shoes when something catches his eye, and he pulls out a long piece of paper that was stuck inside the shoe, “What’s this?” Turning it over, we see that it’s a chopstick wrapper for a Chinese restaurant. 

Sue Ann takes the wrapper and dials the number listed on the wrapper, but it just rings, “No one is answering.” She hands it to Paul, “Track this number and find out where it’s at.”

Paul has tracked the number to the mall. He’s asking around for the restaurant, but no one can tell him where it is or if it even exists. As he stands there frustrated, he sees someone in the distance wearing a vest with the restaurant’s name on it, and they disappear down some stairs.

He runs after them, “Hey!” but they don’t hear him. When he gets to the stairs, the person is gone, so he goes down them into a long hallway.

He follows the hallway until they come to another set of stairs. He goes up and turns the corner, and right there on the glass door is the name of the restaurant he’s looking for.  He walks inside, but it’s not a restaurant but more of an office. The man at the desk asks him, “Dropping off or picking up?”

Paul is confused for a moment, then it dawns on him. “Picking up.” He fishes into his pocket and produces the key with the pink tag, and hands it over. 

The man tells him, “I need the passcode.”

“Oh,” Paul says, then reaches into his pocket and pulls out the chopstick wrapper and hands it over. The man takes it and disappears through a door.

Paul looks over the room, and when the man returns, he hands him a small baggie. The baggie has an SD card in it. Paul takes the card and walks out of the office.

Everyone is gathered around the laptop as Douglas inserts the SD card into it. “Here goes nothing,” he says to them. 

When the folder box pops up, there’s a single video file on the drive.

Everyone is watching when their eyes all go wide. When we finally see what they’re seeing, it’s the secret room in Brandon’s home. Sitting on the bed is Ellen Sinclair and walking through the door is Brandon Tanner.

“We’ve got that fucker now,” Douglas says.

Brandon Tanner is driven to the front of his building and let out of his car. As he walks to the entrance, he slows his steps as he sees Douglas coming to meet him.

“What brings you here?” Brandon asks.

Douglas is so happy to bring him the news, “All the shit you pulled has finally caught up to you. In a matter of moments, everything you’ve done will be spread all over the city.” Douglas motions to the side, where two vans pull up.

Sue Ann leads a group of officers towards the two. “Brandon Tanner, you are under arrest for the kidnapping, imprisonment, and murder of several Spinet Entertainment employees.”

Brandon looks at her like she’s lost her mind, “Are you insane?”

Sue Ann returns his gaze without wavering, “You’re the one who’s insane.”

Someone hands Brandon a phone, and he looks down at it. He smirks and looks at Sue Ann, “I think you’ve jumped the gun.”

Douglas snatches the phone, and inside there’s an article linking Dante Schumer to the sex scandal directly. 

On the television, Tenta is giving a press conference.

“As an employee of Dante Schumer and Schumer Construction, acting as his personal secretary, I sent Spinet Entertainment actresses to Kam Loon Restaurant under his orders. It was Dante Schumer who instructed me to send the actresses. Brandon Tanner was unaware of any order given by Dante Schumer.”

Dante looks up as he watches the scene unfold on his tablet.



Sue Ann Clark   ARLEY KIRK
Dante Schumer   RICKY STANTON
Brandon Tanner   KIERAN QUINN
Douglas Frost   ERIC DONOVAN
Ellen Sinclair   HAYLEY FIEN
Brenda Wright  MELISSA AKI
Paul Young   GABE KHANE


Leave a Reply