04/15/1999 Erica Receives Hate Mail

""I didn't expect you back so soon," Belinda said softly upon seeing Adrian standing outside her apartment. Not to be misunderstood, Belinda quickly clarified that she was happy to see him, but she knew that Adrian's early return signaled that Braden had been located. In a normal situation Adrian would probably be relieved that his missions was completed. This case, though, didn't exactly have a happy ending. Braden fled to Singapore, a country with which the United States hasn't established a firm extradition treaty. This meant that Braden would likely not be brought back to the United States. Belinda noticed that Adrian was very sad and wondered if he was starting to miss how work for the government. Actually, it was just the opposite. For the first time, Adrian realized that his life-and-death missions came at a price. When he was flying solo, Adrian was willing to take chances and go all out to complete a mission. Now that Belinda was in his life, however, he realized that he no longer wanted to play fast and loose. If something were to happen to him, he said that he would never forgive himself for not being able to see Belinda's face again.

"I see you've made yourself at home," Erica snapped upon entering her office. She scolded Vanessa for not following her instructions; She was supposed to have dropped off a package and returned home. "Forgive me," Vanessa replied nervously. She explained that Val had asked her to help sort through some of Erica's fan mail. One of the letters, she stated, was from Debbie Reynolds. Vanessa mentioned that she and the actress were good friends from the "golden days of MGM." Vanessa also mentioned that another of the letters included an invitation to a party. Since Erica was obviously not able to attend, Vanessa hoped that she could go as Erica's "understudy." Erica was taken aback by Vanessa's remark. She was in no way her understudy. Erica announced that she was still in charge and assured Vanessa that she would attend all events---just as soon as she had recuperated. Erica then complained about the mess Vanessa had made of her desk. Vanessa apologized and took a few moments to tidy things up. She snatched an oversized manila envelope from the desk and put it behind her back. Erica demanded to know what Vanessa was hiding from her. Vanessa asserted that the envelope's contents were none of Erica's business, but that only increased Erica's curiosity. Against her better judgment, Vanessa handed over the envelope. Erica hurriedly opened the package and removed its contents. Her hand covered her mouth and muffled a slight whimper. Someone had taken a pair of scissors to a photograph of Erica. The right side of the photograph had several slivers taken out of it, representing the scars on Erica's face. A letter had also been enclosed from the sender stating that Erica had gotten what she deserved. Another line in the letter said that Erica's face was now as ugly as her soul. Vanessa stepped in to damage control, but Erica was surprisingly calm. At first she refused to believe that any of her fans would root for her demise. Then she determined that the letter was from a crazed lunatic. She announced that she would turn the envelope over to the authorities. Vanessa wanted to continue sorting through the mail, but Erica told her that it was time to return home.

Opal and Janet showed up at Erica's house and were alarmed when they could find no sign of their friend. They briefly discussed Erica's state of minding. Janet told a concerned Opal that Erica needed to vent her anger any someone or something---and it venting to her friends was the only thing Erica knew to do. Vanessa and Erica returned home and immediately wanted to know why they had uninvited guests. Opal tried to make small talk, asking Erica if she and Vanessa had gone out for a drive. Vanessa could see that Erica was angered and suggested that she run upstairs to bed. Erica refused. Opal couldn't help but look at the bandages on Erica's face. "If I wanted to be stared at, I'd donate myself to a museum," Erica snapped. Opal tried to apologize, but Erica wasn't interested in hearing any more excuses. She claimed that she was "appalled" that she and Janet had shown up at her home. For the first time, though, Erica showed signs of realizing that her anger was misplaced. She asked the two women to leave because she was unable to see them "for the time being." Opal was ready to cede to Erica's demands, but Janet didn't budge. She blasted Erica for playing "the ice princess." She informed Erica that none of her friends had betrayed her, as she repeatedly accused them of doing. What they wanted to do, Janet continued, was to hold Erica in their arms and give her a big hug. She then cast a quick glance in Vanessa's direction and told Erica that she should "hold [her] real friends close." Opal announced that she had plenty of free time now that her divorce from Palmer was final. She asked Erica if she and Petey could spend some time with her. Erica, however, announced that she already had a houseguest. Janet was stunned by the news that Vanessa was staying with Erica. She worried that Erica didn't really know Vanessa all that well. Erica ordered Janet and Opal to leave and stormed upstairs. Janet pulled Vanessa aside and demanded to know how she'd ended up as Erica's houseguest. Vanessa claimed that when she'd shown up on Erica's doorstep with a gift, Erica begged her to stay with her for a few days. Janet headed into the kitchen and made some tea. When she returned to the parlor, she made a special note that the tea was the same tea that Mona used to make for Erica. Vanessa suggested that the two women leave before Erica lashed out at them again. Before they could leave, Vanessa asked them how they'd gotten into the house in the first place. Opal smiled slightly and explained that she had a key to the front door. Shortly after the two women left, Vanessa headed to the phone and called a twenty-four hour locksmith. She told the person on the other end that she wanted all of the locks in the house changed. Erica returned downstairs just as Vanessa was finishing up her call. Vanessa told Erica that she'd made her some tea. Erica smiled when she learned that the tea was the same tea that her mother used to make for her. Vanessa made up a bogus story about her mother having served the same tea when she was a girl. Erica asked Vanessa if she really had worked with Debbie Reynolds. Vanessa nodded and said that she'd been present when the actress learned that her husband had been having an affair with Elizabeth Taylor. "Who told her?" Erica asked curiously. The corners of Vanessa's mouth turned up slightly and a laugh escaped her lips.

Ryan arrived at WRCW to speak to Liza about a letter she'd sent him. Liza expounded upon the contents of her letter, informing Ryan that she wanted him to return to work for WRCW. Ryan was stunned by Liza's loyalty to him. Most other companies, he noted, would have found someone to take over his position a long time ago. The conversation turned into a pep talk with Liza telling Ryan that no one can sell advertising like him. Sure, they had a temporary hire in the position, but the job was and would always be Ryan's. Ryan worried that her personal life would get in the way of his job. What if a client remembered his name or face from the newspaper headlines? Liza assured him that the station had not received any negative feedback from any of its advertisers during Ryan's ordeal. Still, Ryan wasn't sure that he could so easily return to work and pretend that nothing had happened. Liza urged Ryan to take a temporary leave of absence from his duties. No one had every shown Ryan this kind level of concern before and it was obvious that he was having a hard time getting used to it. Jack knocked on the door and told Ryan that he had some news for him. Ryan instantly knew that Jack must have located his brother. Jack filled him in on the details of Braden's whereabouts and their inability to have him extradited to Pine Valley. Ryan was noticeably distraught. "So there's no end to this thing," he said glumly. Ryan turned and started walking towards the door. Liza called out to him and asked him to stick around for a while, but Ryan said that he needed some time alone. After Ryan left, Liza asked Jack about his decision to resign his post. Liza wondered if anyone would ever be the same after what had happened. Liza remained in her office to do some work. As time passed, Liza developed a craving for some ice cream. She rose from her chair and started walking across her office. She got halfway to the door when she felt a sharp pain in her abdomen. "Not yet, Colby," she said through gritted teeth. "It's too soon."

Adam told David that he would have "swatted" him sooner had he not been so concerned for Liza and the baby. He cited a list of things that David had done in recently weeks to draw his ire, including his offer to get Jake out of Liza's life, the stolen amniotic fluid, and his threat that their wedding would never take place. David told Adam that he'd stumbled across a piece of information that he was sure would shake up Adam's life. David smiled haughtily and asked Adam why beads of sweat were forming on his brow. Adam never answered. Instead, he chose to shift the pressure back onto David. After hearing David state that he needed to wait until the right time before dropping his bombshell, Adam concluded that David was just bluffing. Believe it or not, Adam was somewhat amused by David's antics. He recalled numerous times when, during business dealings, he'd tried to pull off the same trick. Everyone, Adam said, has some degree of guilt---and playing to a person's guilt is a great way to keep them in line. While on the subject of guilt, Adam reminded David that he had had him investigated when he returned to Pine Valley. There was nothing of much interest in the profile and the one "little nugget" that he'd hoped held promise turned out flat. That nugget, as Adam called it, was David's father's death. No death certificate had ever been filed. David's blood boiled as Adam referred to his father's suicide as a non-event. Adam smiled evilly and announced that just perhaps he did have "some cards to play." He threatened to call Jerry Reeves, the reporter who'd interviewed Erica at the Pine Valley High School library, and report David's involvement in Erica's accident. David took a deep breath through his nose and told Adam that he would tell him what he knew. "Let's talk about Colby Marian," he sneered. "What a lucky girl." Adam became angry when the doctor mentioned the baby's name. He told David that some things were off limit---and he ordered David never to utter the baby's name again. David reminded Adam that about the fertility clinic exposé that he'd been working on for WRCW. While the report had never been completed, David said that he learned a great deal from the experience. Adam shrugged off what David was saying, but David ordered him to listen to what he had to say. "You'd better listen, Adam," David snapped. "Or should I say daddy?" Adam's face froze. He looked towards David and asked him to explain what he was talking about. David grinned wryly as he announced that he knew that Jake was not Colby's biological father---but Adam was."

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