THE BREAK-UP BLUES

For the umpteenth time, Brooke and Ridge look headed for splitsville, per­haps even di­vorce, af­ter a bomb­shell dis­cov­ery!

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Brooke and Ridge im­peril their mar­riage in the cus­tody war fall­out on B&B!

O n Bill’s be­half Brooke’s been stren­u­ously in­ter­ven­ing in the bit­ter cus­tody bat­tle with Katie for their son Will. How­ever, what she doesn’t know is that Ridge has gone against his ear­lier warn­ing to her not to in­ter­fere by do­ing just that, and it’s a move which could ul­ti­mately bring down the mar­riage of fash­ion’s golden cou­ple!

Mo­ti­vated by the news that the hear­ing has been sched­uled and a judge ap­pointed, Ridge (Thorsten Kaye) stealth­ily vis­its the court­house to “catch up” with the judge – Craig McMullen (Joe Lando) – who just so hap­pens to be his old friend, whom he also put through law school! Grate­ful for the ca­reer boost, Craig wants to re­pay Ridge’s gen­eros­ity – but is

stunned by his re­quest for him to do just that by award­ing full cus­tody of Will Spencer (Fin­negan Ge­orge) to his mother Katie (Heather Tom)!

Un­set­tled at the prospect of end­ing his judge­ship, the law­man hes­i­tates to en­ter­tain Ridge’s cut-and-dried plea… but a ma­nip­u­la­tive Ridge thanks him for not re­fus­ing out­right, leav­ing the judge to wres­tle with his con­science. Cock­ily con dent that Judge McMullen will bend to his will, Ridge bluntly tells a rag­ing Brooke that the judge “will” de­cide the boy’s fate, re­tort­ing, “The they can’t!” when

Brooke says the courts can’t sep­a­rate a mother from her son. En­raged at her hus­band’s an­tag­o­nis­tic stance to­wards Bill (Don Di­a­mont), Brooke im­me­di­ately seeks out her “Stal­lion” to spill the beans: Katie and Thorne’s (Ingo Rademacher) wed­ding is booked for the next day at the For­rester man­sion. Sooth­ing his rant­ing tirade, she begs him to re­main calm while she nds out ex­actly what her sis­ter is think­ing. Even though Brooke agrees to be her youngest sib­ling’s ma­tron of honour, she pleads with Katie to pur­sue a ra­tio­nal out-of­court set­tle­ment with Bill in the in­ter­ests of ev­ery­one, es­pe­cially Will. But Katie is too far into the process and there’s too much wa­ter un­der the bridge to backpedal now.

That’s just the de­ci­sive­ness Ridge is count­ing on from his sis­ter-in-law as he de antly con rms to Eric (John McCook) on the morn­ing of the nup­tials that his in­ten­sive in­ter­est in the out­come of the cus­tody bat­tle is all about his vendetta against Bill! He’s not even con­sid­er­ing the pos­si­bil­ity that his at­ti­tude could ul­ti­mately drive Brooke away, as he hap­pily ac­cepts Thorne’s in­vi­ta­tion to be best man, al­lud­ing to do­ing all he can to en­sure the judge rules in Katie’s favour. Af­ter re­mind­ing Judge McMullen that he owes him, Ridge in­ter­rupts Katie and Bill’s wed­ding eve con­fronta­tion to throw a few barbs his way in re­sponse to him la­belling the For­resters “cock­roaches”!

The ten­sion doesn’t ease on the big day, ei­ther, as Brooke pres­sures the bride to re­think the le­gal pro­ceed­ings; but the only con­ces­sion Katie will make is to grant Bill vis­i­ta­tion. Will needs stability and con­sis­tency in his life and she’s ght­ing for her son’s rights. Un­der­stand­ing her sis­ter’s view­point, Brooke’s ght­ing, too, but for Bill... and de­spite a few min­utes of shared hap­pi­ness with Ridge as they watch their sib­lings for­mally seal their love for each other, her smile fades when she learns of him in uenc­ing the ar­bi­tra­tor! Livid that he’s done what he told her not to, Brooke vows to honour Bill’s sub­poena to tes­tify from the wit­ness box! Ridge can’t be al­lowed to get away with sep­a­rat­ing a lit­tle boy from his dad just be­cause he hates Bill! Even Brooke’s guilt at hid­ing

her se­cret meet­ings with Bill is put aside as court is con­vened and pro­ceed­ings open, with Ridge sweat­ing on the judge do­ing as he asked, and Brooke pas­sion­ately tes­ti­fy­ing for her ex to re­main a vi­able pres­ence in Will’s life...

Once the case con­cludes and Judge McMullen ren­ders his ad­ju­di­ca­tion, the ten­sion be­tween Brooke and Ridge is pal­pa­ble! Staunchly in Bill’s cor­ner, Brooke con­tin­ues ar­gu­ing with her hus­band and is fu­ri­ous at over­hear­ing a con­ver­sa­tion not meant for her prej­u­diced ears. Anx­ious to get the truth of what went on be­tween Ridge and the judge, Brooke goes to see him… be­fore

ex­plod­ing as Ridge dares bad­mouth Bill!

Ridge stands rm yet still doesn’t grasp the grav­ity of what he’s do­ing to his own mar­riage. At the end of her tether, Brooke’s will­ing to do any­thing to see that jus­tice is served as she sees it, even if her mar­riage ends!

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