(The following episode of The Restaurant deals with the topic of suicide. Viewer discretion is advised.)
Stanley Clark stands on top of the Tanner building that overlooks the city of Seattle. The news of the past several days has taken its toll on him mentally, emotionally, and physically. He recalls the earlier conversation with Dante Schumer and Brandon Tanner. The reminder of how this scandal, when it becomes public, will tarnish the reputation of not only himself but his daughter as well. He knows that Schumer’s intent was for him to talk his daughter into backing off of the restaurant, but Stanley knows she’ll never do that.
No matter the cost.
This only leaves him with a single option to clear her conscience. Clear it in a way she can move forward with her investigation without worrying about harming her father.
Earlier in the day, he went to her apartment.
Straightens her clock.
Walks into her dining room and looks at her crime wall.
He recalls her screaming at him, wondering how he could fall so easily.
He picks up a photo of the two of them and stares at it, regret written all over her face.
On the roof of Brandon Tanner’s building, he steps up onto the ledge.
“Don’t you think someone is setting him up? He’s about to be seated in one of the most important positions in the city,” Brandon Tanner asks Sue Ann Clark. They sit in a diner, and it’s very apparent that Sue Ann has had a very rough day. “I don’t think he’s the type of man who would do such a thing.”
Sue Ann shrugs her shoulders, “I’m not quite sure yet.”
Brandon scoffs, “I’ll find out who is doing this and make sure they pay.” Brandon is carefully gauging Sue Ann’s response to everything he says, the wheels turning in his head. “Don’t worry. I will find a way to protect him.”
“I appreciate your concern,” she tells him, “But I need to ask you a question. You seem very close to Dante Schumer of Schumer Construction. Does he ever talk about my father?” The words have barely come from her mouth when her phone starts to ring. The Caller ID tells her that it’s ‘Dad.’ She hesitates, considering whether or not to answer.
Brandon’s eyes are drawn to the phone as well. “Does he have something to do with what’s going on with your father?”
Sue Ann looks down at the phone again and flips it over, ignoring the call.
Stanley watches as the call to his daughter is dropped.
As he stands on the ledge, a look of determination crosses his face. Then, he slowly closes his eyes.
Sue Ann runs onto the chaotic scene, “Dad! Dad!” she screams as she pushes past the police cars and police officers in her path.
Douglas sees her, and there’s a part of him that’s relieved that it wasn’t her that fell from the building. He runs to her and catches her in his arms before she can get to the actual crime scene.
“Just wait, Sue Ann,” he tells her softly.
“Dad. Dad,” she cries in his arms. “Let me go!” she screams and tries to get out of his grip.
“You need to calm down,” he says to her.
She stops struggling but begs Douglas, “Let me go. I have to see him.”
A pained expression crosses Douglas’s face as he knows what this will do to her.
“I need to,” she tells him.
He slowly releases his grip on her, and as she stares at the covered body on the pavement, she walks over and drops down to her knees next to it in shock. She reaches up and wipes the tears from her face and then slowly reaches down and draws the white sheet back, revealing the bloody face of her father.
She gently touches his face and looks around, “Can someone help him? He’s bleeding,” she cries. She suddenly screams out, “Why are you doing anything?!?” The truth is that she knows he’s dead. She just wishes he wasn’t.
Douglas watches her, pain etched across his face. His attention is drawn to Brandon Tanner, who watches the scene with Sue Ann with a look of awe on his face. Almost as if he’s feeding off the emotions that she’s emoting. As if feeling Douglas’s gaze, Brandon looks up at him.
The two men stare at each other as the red and blue lights flash across their faces.
Dante Schumer sits in his office with the men who were arrested earlier by Sue Ann. “Our Chief Prosecutor felt that the evidence that Ms. Clark had was fabricated. I’m glad Mr. Koff released you.”
“What about Clark? We heard the news on the way over. Is any of this restaurant business going to blow over on us?”
Dante shakes his head, “We will need to find a way to pin it all on Stanley Clark. His death, as tragic as it was, is a convenience for us. We just need to come up with evidence that proves this point.”
“Once we have the evidence, I’ll saturate the market with all of my media outlets to ensure that the story that we want to be told in a way that benefits us.”
Dante looks around the room, “We should get started then. The sooner we put this behind us, the sooner we can move on. For now, I need you all to lay low.”
“Until the dust settles, you shouldn’t go out alone. You should avoid the media,” Dante Schumer tells Brandon Tanner. They are meeting at Brandon’s house.
“I thought everything would be settled now that Stanley Clark is dead,” says Brandon.
“His suicide was not something we planned for,” says Schumer. “Our plan would have worked better if he had continued on course and became the Attorney General. We needed him to force Sue Ann Clark to stop her investigation.”
“You don’t think she’ll stop now?” asks Brandon.
“You don’t see it?” Dante asks him. “Stanley Clark committed suicide to free his daughter to go forward with the investigation. He was the only thing that could have held her back, and now there’s nothing to stop her. You need to do everything in your power to make sure she doesn’t suspect you.”
Brandon is quiet for a moment, then says, “You seem to be giving me many lectures these days.”
“If you want to keep your position, you should listen to what I tell you.
Sue Ann is sitting in a chair of a lobby. Douglas is standing there keeping an eye on her when Paul Young, Carlos, and Desiree rush in.
Desiree looks at Sue Ann, “I’m so sorry.”
“Look,” says Douglas, “We are going to have to help her prepare for a funeral. The decision hasn’t been made yet as to whether or not to do an autopsy…”
“No,” says Sue Ann as she sits there, still in shock. “I won’t allow it.”
Douglas looks at her sympathetically for a moment and then nods, turning to Carlos, “Can you get everything started on the funeral?” Douglas turns to Paul, “Detective Young, can you find out what they’re doing with this case?”
Paul just nods his head but doesn’t otherwise respond.
“I’ll let you know when everything is handled,” says Carlos.”I’ll take Desiree to help.”
As everyone turns and leaves, Douglas turns to look at Sue Ann, who sits there looking devastated.
As Dante suggested, the news is now reporting on Stanley’s death, and they’ve linked it to the sex scandal. A reporter is standing outside of the funeral home as he goes live.
“We are live at the funeral of Stanley Clark, the former candidate for Attorney General. The reports are coming in that his suicide resulted from a scandal that occurred years ago that was about to be uncovered. We also have heard that his daughter, a sitting prosecutor was aware of the scandal and chose to ignore it.”
Douglas is listening to this, and when the reporter says the final part, he storms down the steps, snatches the microphone from the reporter’s hand and hurls it across the parking lot.
“You’re a piece of shit,” he tells the reporter. “Don’t fucking report anything unless you have facts!” Douglas gives the man a shove before turning and walking back up the steps.
Inside the funeral home, Brandon Tanner is rather overdramatic as he weeps aloud. Sue Ann Clark sits stoically in the front row next to her mother.
Tanner turns and walks over towards Sue Ann, who stands up.
“I’m sorry. If I had known, I would have tried to help him,” sniffles Brandon with tears running down his face. “I am really sorry.”
Sue Ann politely nods her head. “Thank you.”
Brandon moves closer to her and embraces her, but it’s clear by his expression it’s all for show as he continues to cry in a fake manner.
Douglas Frost watches the entire thing.
A few minutes later, Brandon walks out of the viewing room and stops in front of Douglas, “I’m sorry for your loss.”
Douglas isn’t amused with his antics today, “You seem to be taking it very hard yourself.”
“I am just worried about Sue Ann, but I’ll be sure to take good care of her from now on,” Brandon tells Douglas.
“Will you?” asks Douglas. “I do have a question, perhaps you can answer. Why do you think he chose to jump off your building?”
“I couldn’t say. I’d like to know the answer to that one too,” says Brandon as he turns and walks off before Douglas can ask anything else.
Douglas watches him go, only to find himself looking at Dante Schumer heading his way with Tenta on his heel. As Dante starts to walk by Douglas, Douglas says, “Don’t you dare go in there.”
Dante pauses for a moment, annoyed. He starts to step into the room again when Douglas yells, “If you have a conscience, you won’t step foot in that room.”
Dante turns around to face him, “This is none of your business.”
Dante turns to go back in, but Douglas grabs him by the arm. Tenta is quick to pull Douglas’s hand off Dante, stepping up to him.
Douglas looks like he might take a swing at Tenta but instead turns to Dante, “This is on you. It’s all on you. You did this.”
“Douglas,” Dante says.
“Go ahead, deny it.”
Dante shakes his head, “He made his own choice. He was weak.”
“What did you have on him, Dante? You threatened him with something. What was it? You know the only reason he did this was to protect her.”
Dante shrugs, “What’s your point? How much longer do you think you can protect her?”
“Fucking try me, Dante. I dare you,” spits Douglas. “I’ll show you exactly how far I’ll go.”
Dante shakes his head, “We will only know once this is over.” With that, Dante turns and walks into the room, leaving Douglas in the hallway fuming.
Once the funeral is over, Douglas walks into his office. He’s deep in thought, and he doesn’t see Desiree is working until she speaks.
“Oh, you’re back,” she says to him.
Douglas turns and looks at her.
A few moments later, he sets the stack of Ellen Sinclair’s diaries in front of Desiree. She looks at them, confused, and asks, “What are these?”
“I want you to read them,” says Douglas Frost. “This is our case now. If you’re going to work for me, I’ll need you to help me on it.”
Desiree seems a bit confused.
“It also ties into my brother’s death as well,” Douglas explains.
Desiree tries not to get choked up at the mention of Justin, but she nods her head, “I understand. I’ll read them.” She reaches down and picks up the stack and turns, and limps away from Douglas’ desk.
Desiree walks into the house with a stack of diaries that Douglas gave her. She walks into the living room where Dante is sitting. She sets the pile of diaries on the coffee table as her father looks up, “You’re getting home late.”
Desiree takes a seat on the couch and removes her backpack, “I have a lot of work to do,” she admits.
Dante looks at her like a proud papa as she reaches for the first diary on the stack. Dante’s eyes drift to the stack of books, and he knows exactly what they are because, at one time, Douglas showed him the same stack. He looks up at his daughter, “What are those?”
“Diaries,” she tells him. “Douglas wanted me to read them, so I was caught up for an upcoming case.”
Dante nods as Desiree goes back to reading. He looks from his daughter back to the stack of books on the table.
Douglas is having a shot of scotch when Dante walks into his house. “What took you so long to answer the door?” Dante asks as he walks over and takes a seat on the couch.
“Because you’re not fucking welcome here anymore,” Douglas spits out.
Dante lets out a large sigh, “Look, Douglas. You wanna take a shot at me, take a shot at me. I can handle it. Fuck, kill me if it’ll make you feel better. But don’t you dare involve my daughter in this bullshit between us.”
Douglas fills his glass again and looks over at Dante, “She’s precious to you, hm? I bet you would give your life for her. You see, Dante, that’s how precious my brother was to me.”
“So, you’re going to use Desiree to get back at me? Is that your great plan, Douglas Frost?” asks Dante.
“Why the fuck not? I mean, you went so far as to kill my brother. Don’t think for one moment I won’t do whatever I wanna do to get even with you for that,” Douglas says.
Dante nods his head, “But let me ask you this. What exactly do you think will happen if you get even with me by using my daughter?”
Douglas shakes his head, “You’re at my place. I’ll ask the fucking questions. How do you think your daughter will feel when she finds out that she’s been spending blood money. The money you received by killing people. Think she’d be okay with that? What if she finds out that all those evil things you did were so that she would benefit?”
Dante doesn’t answer him, so there’s a long moment of silence. Finally, Douglas tells him, “I’ve got fucking nothing to lose now, Dante.”
Dante rises to his feet to leave, “I hope you can protect Sue Ann Clark.” He starts to walk down the hallway when Douglas calls his name, “Dante.”
When Dante keeps walking, Douglas yells it louder, “Dante!”
Dante stops walking and turns to look at Douglas.
“I hope you can protect Desiree.”
Desiree is reading through the diaries when she comes upon an entry that catches her attention:
“My name ‘Ellen Sinclair’ was on the screen for the first time. It was a small role, and you couldn’t even tell it was me, but it was still exciting!”
She reaches into her backpack and pulls out a charred piece of paper she salvaged from when her father was burning some trash, or so he said. She suddenly realizes that these two things are connected in some way.
She’s starting to wonder how her father is involved in all of this.
Sue Ann holds her weeping mother close as they watch her father’s casket lower into the freshly dug grave.
Somewhere in the back, Douglas is watching as well.
Sue Ann stumbles into her apartment, still in shock. She just sort of shuffles her feet around. She walks into her dining room and stares at the pictures and post-its on the wall.
Suddenly, she notices somethings that weren’t there before.
Her father has added more post-its with notes of his own, guiding her.
Then she finds ‘the note.’ The personal note left just for her.
Dear Sue Ann.
I’m sorry. I will take everything with me. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Without any fear, investigate this case with your head held high. I will watch over you from above. Please take good care of your mother for me. I have been proud and happy to have been able to live as your father. Be careful of Brandon Tanner.
She begins to weep as she reads the note, hearing every word in her father’s voice. Weeping turns to sobbing.
“It’s not true,” Sue Ann tells Brent Koff as she stands in front of his desk. The TV behind him is running a story stating that she covered up the scandal.
Brent shrugs, “Whether it’s true or not isn’t the issue right now. What we have to take into consideration is that the public believes you did cover this up.”
Sue Ann just stares at the floor, “I will prove this isn’t true.”
“How?” When she doesn’t answer right away, Brent continues, “Look, I know you’ve been through a lot recently. Perhaps with all this on top of everything else, wouldn’t it be best if you just resigned from your position? This entire thing has brought nothing but a disgrace to our office because of you and your father.”
Sue Ann is starting to get angry, “That’s exactly why I won’t quit. I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Sue Ann!” Brent is tired of fighting with her. “You’re still in shock. Your father isn’t around to help you anymore.”
“I never needed his help,” she tells him. “I am only trying to tell the truth. And if you say one more word about my father, I will slap the shit out of you. My boss or not, I will not let you talk shit about my father.”
Brent is appalled. “Did you just threaten me?”
“Here’s what I need you to do,” Brent tells her. “Go out, get some fresh air while I determine if I am going to suspend you or not.”
“She didn’t do anything wrong,” Brenda explains to Brent. “She informed us she was investigating. She went by the rules.”
“She threatened me!” exclaims Brent.
Brenda nods, “I would have too if you talked shit about my father.”
Brent scoffs. “Fine. The media scrutiny will only get worse if we keep her on. You better keep her under control until I get her paperwork filed to have her transferred.” He stands up and walks out of Brenda’s office.
Brenda rises from her seat, walks over to her file cabinet, and opens a draw and pulls out the seven-year-old murder case files. She sits there staring at it as if trying to draw up the courage to do something.
Brenda walks into a diner, and Douglas Frost is already seated. He rises as she approaches and takes a seat, “I wanted to talk to you in person,” she tells him.
“You should know that Stanley Clark met with me before he died,” Douglas tells her.
Confused, Brenda asks, “Wait, he came to you?”
Douglas nods, “He told me about you. He told me that seven years ago, the two of you were working on that murder case.”
Brenda nods her head, “It haunted him his entire life. He was determined to resolve it no matter what it took.”
No one speaks for a long time until Brenda finally tells him, “Sue Ann is being transferred.”
“Wait, what?” asks Douglas.
“They’ve decided to pin the blame for everything on Stanley Clark. He will be the scapegoat. And by relation, Sue Ann will take some of that blame. She’s determined to continue to investigate, but they want her out of their hair now. So, they’re going to send her to Bellevue or Redmond. Whoever will take her.”
Douglas curses under his breath.
Brenda nods, “I’d try and do something, but if I do something rash and they do the same to me, then there’s no one in this office who’ll investigate this case. So, I’m asking you to take care of her.”
Douglas nods his head, “I will.”
Douglas is walking in an underground parking garage, and he walks to the passenger side of a car, opens the door, and sits inside.
“Why are we meeting like this?” asks the mayor’s chief of staff.
“It’s cozy. And discreet. You don’t like it?” asks Douglas.
The chief smirks, “Gonna try and pull that shit with me again? With the same evidence as before?”
Douglas shakes his head, “I mean, you’ll just say it’s fake, that it’s not an original copy. I mean, legally, I can’t do much to you.”
“Damn right,” the chief says, “So what’s this about?”
“Well, just because I can’t get you legally doesn’t mean I can’t just release this video onto the internet and watch it go viral.”
“Hey! I will sue you for everything you have if you pull a stunt like that,” says the chief.
“If you don’t want to see that, I need a favor.”
“I mean, just suspend her. It can’t be that difficult. At best, put her somewhere she can’t cause us any more trouble,” Dante tells someone on the phone. He glances up and sees Sue Ann Clark walking down towards his office and hangs up the phone.
She walks in and sets herself on the couch without even waiting for an invitation.
Dante walks over and sits across from her. “You must be in mourning. Is there something I can do for you?” he asks her.
“My father’s will was found on his laptop,” Sue Ann tells him.
Dante nods, “I believe I heard that on the news,” he tells her.
“But,” she tells him, “He left his real will with me.” She reaches into her briefcase and pulls out the sticky note that her father left her. “Isn’t that odd?” She lays it on the table between them, so Dante Schumer has a good look at it.
He looks over the note and then looks up at her, “Why is it you came to see me?”
Sue Ann picks up the note, “It means someone forged a will on his laptop.” She looks up at him, “I thought you might have an idea of who might do that.”
“How would I know that?” Dante asks.
Sue Ann’s pleasant demeanor sours a little, “No matter how much you try to cover this up, I’ll never let it close all the way.”
Dante nods his head, “I see, so you’re here to warn me? That’s why you came all the way here to see me?”
Sue Ann begins to chuckle, “You catch on really quick.”
“Then let me offer you the same in return,” Dante tells her. “If you continue on this course, you’ll find out just how hard living can be without your father’s help.”
“Then I’ll show you how tough a prosecutor can be when she can’t be reigned in like an obedient pup,” she tells him in return.
Dante looks at her very seriously, “You’re very brave, Sue Ann Clark.
Douglas picks up the note that Stanley Clark left for Sue Ann and reads it as she sits across from him at his office.
He sets the note back on the table and turns to her, “I had a feeling. He came to see me that day.”
Surprised, Sue Ann turns to look at him as he begins to explain.
“I came to ask you a favor,” Stanley tells Douglas as they sit in his office.
Douglas nods his head, “Of course. What can I do for you?”
“I know that you’ve been looking into Spinet Entertainment and the murders surrounding them with my daughter. I know your brother’s case is connected.”
Douglas isn’t sure where this is going, but he responds, “Right.”
“Sue Ann has been having a tough time recently because of something I’ve done.”
Douglas shakes his head, “She’s tougher than you think.”
Stanley continues, “Perhaps, but it’s only going to get harder for her. Please look after her. Can you do that for me?”
Douglas nods his head, “Of course. I can do that.”
When Douglas finishes telling the story, Sue Ann looks down at the note in her hand and says, “You have no idea how much he despised you.”
Douglas doesn’t seem shocked by that revelation, “I don’t blame him one bit.”
“Do you know why he warned me to be careful around Brandon Tanner?” Sue Ann asks him.
“Your father mentioned Tanner to me as well, saying he has an abnormal interest in you,” Douglas tells her. “Your father said in no uncertain terms that Brandon Tanner was dangerous.
Later that night, Brandon Tanner’s picture is placed on Sue Ann’s crime wall next to Dante Schumer.
Brandon Tanner walks into Ellen’s room and sits down on the bed as she stays still.
“You know, there’s a story about Stalin and…,” but before he can say another word, she grabs him around the neck and pulls him back down on the bed, and tries to choke him out.
“I wouldn’t move if I were you,” she tells him. “I stab you in this artery, and all of your blood will gush out onto the floor.”
“What are you doing?” Brandon asks her. His expression is a cross between being afraid and laughing.
“Give me your phone,” she demands. She appears to have a broken piece of glass at his neck. She holds that glass in place as she reaches down and slips his phone from his pocket. He tries to fight her, but she manages to flip him over though he can snatch the phone from her. She straddles his back and keeps the glass at his neck. “Call the police. Put it on speaker.”
He can’t seem to help the creepy smile that is plastered on his face as he dials 9-1-1 and hits the speaker button.
“This is 9-1-1. What is your emergency?” comes the voice.
Ellen quickly responds, “I’m at Brandon Tanner’s house. The CEO of Tanner Electronics. He has me captive! Please send someone to help me!”
“What is your name?”
Ellen screams out, “My name is Ellen Sinclair. I’m an actress for Spinet Entertainment.”
“I suggest you don’t make prank calls. This line is for emergency use only. If you call again, you can be arrested.”
Ellen is getting desperate now as she shrieks, “I’m not lying! I’m telling the truth! Track this phone and come! Again, my name is Ellen Sinclair. I’ve had to have been reported missing by my grandmother.”
There’s silence on the phone, and then she hears someone say, “She really is at his house. We should send someone over.”
“Please help me,” Ellen cries.
Twill walks into the room and throws her off of Brandon, who gets to his feet. Still smiling, he checks his neck to make sure he’s not bleeding as he hangs up the phone. Blood seems to be coming from a small cut on his neck.
Twill holds her in place, and Brandon just smirks at her, “You really think they’ll come? Good luck with that. Nice try, anyway.” He turns and walks out of the room.
Twill gets off her and takes the glass away from her, and walks out as well, closing the door behind him.
Ellen lies there, panting as she knows it may have been her final opportunity to find a way out.
“Locked up?” asks Brandon Tanner as he talks to the police officers in his driveway.
“Right. Some lady called us and claimed she was locked up in here. The dispatcher thought it was a prank at first, but the call did originate from here. We need to check it out.”
Brandon nods, “Was this the number of the call?” he hands over a business card.
The officer takes the card and looks at it, “This is the number.”
Brandon sighs, shaking his head. “I apologize. My niece was visiting me from out of state…” he starts to explain, but a car pulling into his driveway distracts him from his lie. He’s even more baffled when Sue Ann Clark gets out of the car.
Sue Ann walks over and sees the two officers, finding it curious.
“What brings you here?” asks Brandon.
Sue Ann looks at the officers again, then back to Brandon, “I called your office, and they said you were home. I tried your number as well but didn’t get an answer.”
Brandon nods, “If you’ll give me a minute to finish this up.”
He turns back to the officers, “She got a hold of my phone.” He reaches into his pocket and pulls out his phone, and shows them it’s his. “She likes to reenact scenes from movies. I apologize for the confusion.”
The officers become relaxed at the explanation, “We had a feeling it was a prank when she said she was locked up here. We just had to follow up.”
However, the words “locked up” get Sue Ann’s attention.
“We won’t keep you any longer,” they say and get back into their car.
As the cops drive away, Brandon turns to Sue Ann, “I wish I could stay and chat, but I’m already late for a meeting. I’m glad you stopped by though, are you feeling any better?”
“I am,” Sue Ann responds, “Since you’re running late, I’ll just ask one question. You said you met with my father on the day he died. Can you think of a reason he would jump from the top of your building?”
Brandon considers her question, “I guess that would be something you’d want to know. He called me that way. I was on my way back to the building after I met with you. I told him I was on my way back to the office, and we could meet there.”
“What did he want?” she asks.
Brandon gets a little teary-eyed, “He asked me to take care of you.”
Sue Ann finds it a little odd that he said the same thing to both Douglas and Brandon. “He did? He said that?”
Brandon nods, “Our fathers were very close. I don’t know if you knew that. They often confided in each other until my father passed. I think he came to me because he was worried about you. I think he’d already decided what he was going to do when he came to see me.”
“It doesn’t really explain why he chose to do it from the top of your building,” Sue Ann says.
Brandon shrugs softly, “I can only imagine that it’s because he wanted me to take care of him after. He asked me to take care of you, so I’ll do as he asked.”
Desiree walks into Douglas’s office. He’s sitting on the couch going through some paperwork.
“Douglas?” she starts to ask. “About that day…”
Unfortunately, she doesn’t get to finish her question as Sue Ann walks into the office. Desiree changes the subject, thinking she’ll ask him later. “I’m going to meet with someone about the methanol case.”
Douglas nods, “Okay.”
Desiree turns and walks out of the office as Douglas directs his attention to Sue Ann, “Have a seat. You said it was urgent?”
Sue Ann sits across from him, “I just came from Brandon Tanner’s house and heard something extraordinary.”
A little while later, Paul Young and Carlos are talking to the two officers who went to Brandon’s house earlier that morning.
One officer hands over his notes to Paul, “As you can see, there were no calls from the Tanner place.”
Paul flips through the notes as Carlos walks over and leans against the window, “Sue Ann Clark said she was there when you were there. Are you saying that a prosecutor is lying? She said she showed up as you were inquiring about a 9-1-1 call.”
“Wait? Prosecutor?” asks the cop.
Carlos nods, “The lady that showed up was a prosecutor. She may not look like it, but she has a horrible temper. I wouldn’t want to be the one to call her a liar.”
“We were on patrol,” the cop interrupts. “By coincidence, we ended up at the Tanner place. We just had a chat, that’s all.”
Young hands the cop back his notebook, “How much did he pay you?”
The cop waves him off, “It’s nothing like that. Don’t try to get us into trouble over this.” The cop drives off in his car as the two watch him go.
“What do you think?” asks Carlos.
“They took a payoff,” says Young. “One hundred percent.” He picks up his phone and dials.
Sue Ann Clark is still at Douglas’s office when she gets the call. When she hangs up, she says to Douglas, “It’s just as we thought.”
“Money talks,” he tells her. “Tanner must have paid off the cops to eliminate all traces of the complaint.”
Sue Ann nods, “The only reason to get rid of it is that there’s some truth behind it.” She sighs as she leans back on the couch, “Without evidence, I can’t get a warrant to search the place.”
“Even if you had evidence, you’d have a hard time getting in there,” Douglas says. “But we need to find a way.”
Desiree walks into a diner and sees the person she’s meeting. She limps over as the two greet each other and takes a seat, “I haven’t seen you since college, Dan.”
“It’s been a long time, Desiree,” Dan tells her.
“What are you doing in Seattle?” she asks him.
A waitress comes over and places coffee on the table for them, and after they order, Dan answers, “I’m here to cover the latest smartphone release from Tanner. I hear it’s a major upgrade and will blow away anything on the market today. It’s supposed to be phenomenal.”
“Wait, you’re covering Tanner?” asks Desiree. “I might have something for you if you’re interested.”
“About Tanner?” asks Dan.
Desiree nods, “You want headlines? I can give you a scoop that will guarantee headlines.”
Brandon Tanner is in the back of his car as it drives down the road.
“Please keep that story out of the headline,” he tells whoever is on the other end of the phone call. Thanks.”
Unfortunately, the story is already on the web as he pulls it up on his phone, “The Two Faces of Tanner Electronics.”
“Make an appointment with Desiree Schumer,” he tells his driver.
Brandon Tanner does not look happy at all as he dials Dante’s number.
Brandon is waiting in his conference room when Desiree is led in. She limps towards him, and as the two greet each other, Brandon asks, “Were you surprised I asked to meet you?”
Desiree shakes her head, “I expected it.”
“So, you did give a tip about my company to a reporter?” Brandon asks.
Desiree knows that Brandon Tanner has deep pockets, but she hoped her friend wasn’t someone who would rat her out. “How’d you find out about that?”
Brandon smirks, “I have plenty of connections. Especially in the media.”
The door to the conference room opens, and Desiree turns around to see her father walk into the room.
As Dante approaches, Desiree turns back to Tanner, “I guess the article won’t be published after all. But, I have to wonder, if your company isn’t at fault for the blinding of your employees, why go to such great lengths to squash a story?”
“You’re young. You wouldn’t understand,” says Brandon. Dante stands nearby but hasn’t said anything. Brandon takes on a serious look, “I suggest you don’t try this again. Your father has bragged about how smart you are, but this was not smart. Not smart at all.”
Desiree looks from her Brandon to her father and then back again, “I plan to continue to give information to the media. I’ll find someone who’ll publish the information.” Desiree turns around to leave and walks towards her father, “I’ve got to go. I’ll see you at home,” she tells him.
Dante nods his head, “Sure.” Desiree walks by him as he watches her go out the door of the conference room.
When the door closes, Brandon says, “If she continues to dig into the methanol case, there’ll be trouble. She met with a reporter today.”
Dante is still looking at the door, “Your point?”
“Are you scared?” asks Dante. “Are you scared you might lose the methanol case? I totally understand. I mean, if you lose the case, your stocks will plummet.”
Brandon looks concerned, “Do you not know what your role is here? Don’t you know what you should be doing right now?”
Dante finally turns around to face Brandon, “I think it’s you who’s misunderstanding the circumstance right now.”
Brandon is appalled to be talked to in such a way, “Excuse me?”
“I said, it’s you who can’t read the situation. Because of that, you’re throwing a tantrum. Don’t you get it? When you kidnapped Ellen Sinclair, you made everything worse. Before, it was all about the restaurant, which you are involved in. You let Douglas Frost see you there.”
Brandon stands firm, “I can do whatever the fuck I want. You should know that more than anyone.”
Dante shakes his head, “I have told you time and time again that you can’t just do what you want. How about we just end this entire thing right now. If you lose this case, your company is done. Finished. Your mobile phone division is the core of your company. If the public finds out that Tanner Electronics grew out of prostitution to power-hungry parasites, what exactly do you think will happen? If the world finds out that you are a psychopath who takes girls and kills them, do you think you can remain the CEO of this company? More than that? Your toys will no longer be available to you.”
Brandon is listening to Dante’s lecture, and he has a look of concern on his face, “What about you? You were the one who got me these toys in the first place.”
Dante begins to laugh, “Who on earth knows that? Do you think I was stupid enough to leave a trail of evidence that points to me? Are you fucking serious right now?”
Brandon is getting pissed. He looks at Dante, “Are you setting me up?”
Dante points at Brandon, “Don’t you forget. You can’t protect Tanner Electronics on your own.” Dante turns and walks out of the conference room, leaving Brandon to digest that piece of information.
Dante walks into his home and into his office. Recalling his earlier conversation with Brandon Tanner, he sits down and opens up a file drawer with multiple folders labeled “Tanner Electronics.” He begins to flip through them until he finds the one he’s looking for, which is tagged “Tanner Cell Phone Division,” and he begins to flip through it.
He grins as he reads through the chart, “We’re almost there,” he says to himself.
He puts the file back when Desiree walks into the home. He pulls out another file and shuts the drawer, glancing up as Desiree walks in, “Did you stop somewhere? I was surprised to beat you home.”
Desiree doesn’t answer that question. Instead, she asks, “How well do you know Brandon Tanner?”
Dante shrugs, “He’s just a businessman that I know and occasionally do business with. I think he’s just upset you’re working with Douglas, and Douglas is working against him.”
Desiree nods, “I was just surprised that he was able to stop me before I even got started. It’s as if he knows what I’m doing before I do.”
Dante picks up the brown file and sets it in front of Desiree, “Read this when you have time.”
Curious, Desiree picks it up and flips open the first couple of pages, “This is an analysis report for Tanner’s profits. Why are you…?”
“I thought you were going up against Tanner. It’ll be helpful.”
Desiree looks at her father and nods her head, “It will be.” She smiles, “But, where’d you get this? Isn’t this information confidential?”
“If you were the owner of the company, how would you handle this case?” Dante asks her.
“I’m not sure,” says Desiree as she thinks about it. “I guess I’d come out and apologize and then compensate the victims. I’d take responsibility.”
Dante stands up, “Listen to what I’m about to tell you. You. You are the owner of Tanner Electronics. An owner of a conglomerate with millions of people as employees.”
Desiree isn’t sure what he’s getting at, “If I’m the owner, I would have values that centered around people, not objects.”
Dante nods his head, “Do you plan to continue to work as an attorney?”
“I really like this job,” she tells him.
“I want my daughter to have the guts to be an owner of a bigger world. I know you are capable of so much more. I’ll help you wherever I can,” he tells her.
“I’m happy doing this, and I have so much to do.”
Dante nods his head, “Read the file.”
Douglas is flipping through some folders on his desk and finds out, walking back to the couch and handing it to Sue Ann. “There was a murder recently with one of Spinet’s girls. She was murdered in a garage. Did you know that house is near Brandon Tanner’s house?”
Sue Ann remembers being at that crime scene. She looks up from the papers to Douglas, “You’re right. And the stab wound from that incident is similar to the one from seven years ago.”
“What if she managed to escape Tanner’s house and tried to hide in that garage? Ellen Sinclair may be trapped in Tanner’s home,” Douglas tells her.
Sue Ann nods, “It had to be her on the 9-1-1 call. And that means she’s still alive.” She is starting to feel hopeful, “But how do we get inside?”
Douglas is walking to his car in an underground parking garage, “Your daughter is taking a keen interest in Ellen Sinclair.”
On the other end of the line is Dante, “I warned you.”
“I think it’s time to bring her in on everything I know,” Douglas tells him. “I’m on my way to meet with her now. You’re welcome to join us.”
Dante’s face grows serious, “Tell me where.”
Sue Ann is trying to think of a way, any way, she can legally get into Tanner’s house. She picks up her phone and pulls up his number, and dials.
When Tanner answers, she says, “Hello. I need to talk to you about something, but it’d be better in person. Could you spare me some time?”
Tenta drives the car right up to the door of a fancy restaurant, and Dante barely waits for the car to stop when he gets out of the vehicle and rushes inside. He doesn’t notice Carlos sitting in a booth by the door. Carlos picks up the phone and calls.
Waiting for that piece of information, Douglas gets out of his car and walks into Dante’s house.
Dante walks into a private room where Desiree is sitting, “Where is Douglas?”
“He’s on his way,” she tells him. “He’s running a bit late because of a traffic jam.”
Dante senses something isn’t right.
“I’ll be right back. I need to use the restroom,” she tells him. She gets up and starts towards the door and pauses next to her father, “Who is Twill?”
Dante’s eyes go wide as he looks up at her.
“Douglas told me to ask you when you got here.”
Douglas walks into Dante’s office and over to Dante’s desk. He starts pulling out drawers, searching for something. He finds Dante’s stash of cell phones and begins to pick each one up and dials. The first few give him a disconnect message. However, the fourth phone begins to ring.
Douglas’s phone rings, “What?”
“Where are you?” asks Dante.
“I’m almost there,” Douglas tells him as Twill answers on the other phone, “Yes, sir?”
“I’m just about there,” he tells Dante as he hangs up on Twill. He hangs up on Dante and shoves the other phone into his pocket, and hurries out.
“I invited you here because I felt bad for having to rush you off this morning,” Brandon tells Sue Ann as they walk into his backyard.
Sue Ann shrugs it off, “Don’t mention it.” She looks around, “This place is great. My dad always mentioned you, so I guess he trusted you quite a bit.” She’s trying to put her plan in place, but she’s also not trying to rush things.
Brandon nods, “I’d like to think so.”
Douglas gets into his car and pulls out that cell phone again, and dials.
“Yes? Did you call because Ellen Sinclair called the police?” Twill’s voice.
Douglas hangs up immediately. He pulls out his phone and sees he has a message from Sue Ann.
I’m at Brandon Tanner’s place. I’m going to see if Ellen is here.
Douglas tries to call her, but she doesn’t pick up. He makes another call, “Carlos, I’ve confirmed that Ellen Sinclair is at Brandon Tanner’s house. Sue Ann just texted me that she’s there as well. Call everyone, including Detective Young, and be ready for my call. We may have to rush in. I’m heading there now.”
Douglas hangs up and drives off.
Dante walks back into his house and throws open the doors, and rushes into his office.
He’s certain when he was on the phone with Douglas, he heard Twill’s voice. He opens his drawer and shuffles around the cell phones, realizing the one he used to contact Twill is missing. He opens some of the other drawers just in case he misplaced it, but it’s gone.
A look of concern crosses his face.
Sue Ann finishes her glass of wine and sets the glass on the table. Brandon Tanner is watching her like a creepy stalker.
She turns to look at him looking at her like that and starts to get uncomfortable. “You’re place is huge. I bet it’s easy to get lost here.”
Brandon shrugs, “I bet someone could die here, and no one would realize it for some time.”
Sue Ann wasn’t expecting that comment and looks at him.
“You’re not scared, are you?” asks Brandon.
She doesn’t answer, so Brandon laughs, “I’m just joking. I guess you get scared easily. I apologize.”
Sue Ann laughs, “I must be drunk. I thought you might be serious for a moment there.” She reaches for the wine bottle, “Oh. It’s empty.” She looks at him, “Do you have a wine cellar?”
Brandon nods, “In the basement.” Snapping out of his creepy stare, he moves to get up, “Let me get you some more.”
Sue Ann dumps some wine on her lap, “Oh!”
“Are you okay?” asks Brandon.
“I just spilled,” she tells him. “May I use your restroom?”
Brandon nods, “It’s around the corner and to the left. You’re welcome to pick up more wine on the way back if you like. Once you come out of the restroom, there’s a spiral staircase that goes down.”
Sue Ann seems surprised, “You don’t mind if I do that?”
Brandon leans back on the couch, “Why would I mind?”
She gets up from her seat and walks off. The look on Brandon’s face when she leaves seems to indicate he doesn’t quite believe she’s looking for more wine.
Sue Ann begins the walk down the spiral staircase, and when she reaches the bottom, she finds a room off to the side. The glass door slides open when she gets close, and she walks through, looking around.
It is the wine cellar, as there are a number of bottles stacked up here and there. She walks down to the end and sees another door there. She tries the handle, but it’s locked. She hears some noise behind the door and leans in and asks, “Is anyone there?”
When no one answers, she tries to pull at the door a bit more frantically now.
“Sue Ann? Are you alright?” comes Brandon’s voice.
She steps back to see him coming down the stairs, “I’m fine. I was just looking at all the different types of wine in your collection.”
“Really? Feel free to look all you like,” he tells her.
She smiles at him, “Oh, thank you. I’ll be up soon then.”
Brandon turns and walks out of the room, and heads back up the stairs.
Sue Ann waits for him to disappear and hurries back to the door, and begins to try and force the handle open.
Suddenly, it just opens.
She steps through the doorway and walks through the corridor, lined with paintings of all types. She notices the door at the end of the long hallway.
She hurries down / the hall and notices the door has four locks on it. However, none of them are locked. Sue Ann opens the door and steps through, and the first thing she sees is the computer set up with four monitors that Twill uses, but he’s nowhere around.
She can see the room on the monitors, but there doesn’t appear to be anyone inside.
She glances around and sees the wide-open metal gate. She walks through to the door. The padlock on that door is unlocked as well. She opens the door and steps into Ellen’s room, but the room is empty.
She sees the four cameras.
Then Brandon Tanner walks up behind her.
“Are you looking for someone?”