"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"WILD THINGS"

Screenplay by

Stephen Peters

January 21, 1997



FADE IN:

MAIN TITLE SEQUENCE -- BLACK INTERCUT -- QUICK FLASH-FORWARDS

INSIDE A STEAMY SHOWER -- A wet naked woman and man wrapped
around each other in ecstasy -- legs, arms, hair, mouths.

BLACK -- MORE TITLES -- then Moonlight reflects on a vehicle's
shiny surface. FISTS THUD into flesh. O.S. -- a man slams of
the hood, rebounds away.

BLACK -- MORE TITLES -- then LOVERS -- caught in FREEZE-FRAMES
of green neon -- off, on, off, on -- like a strobe's instant-
images -- of gasping, tough sex.

BLACK -- MORE TITLES -- then ON A GLEAMING POOL DECK of black-
and-white tile -- two women in soaked, clinging clothes --
fight -- hands squeeze a throat.

BLACK -- MORE TITLES -- then A SCREAM -- a sickening hollow
THWACK -- an arc of blood, two teeth fall on dark stone.

BLACK -- MORE TITLES -- then GUNSHOTS -- Blood sprays across
the glass of a picture frame -- obscures the photo inside.

BLACK -- MORE TITLES -- then THE SURFACE OF A SPARKLING SEA --
a distant emerald island. A 40-foot sloop APPEARS -- shapes
on deck -- we are about to SEE --

BLACK -- MORE TITLES -- then SHARKS -- underwater -- rip
something into a bloody cloud.

END MAIN TITLES.

FADE TO:

EXT. BLUE BAY SCHOOL - DAY

A place of money and privilege. White coral buildings surround
an open yard. Tile roofs rise among banyan trees and banana
palms, shimmering before a blue blaze of sky.

Beyond the yard is the school's playing field and beyond
that the waters of Biscayne Bay, dappled in sunlight where
the sloops of the school's sailing class bob at their
moorings.

For a moment all is quiet. Then, faintly, the HUM of many
VOICES, rising and falling, LAUGHTER.

The CAMERA PANS to the open windows of a building somewhat
larger than the others. The SOUNDS grow louder.

INT. BLUE BAY AUDITORIUM - DAY

A hundred high school kids sit before a raised, hardwood
stage. The students are not unlike the campus, radiant, well-
tended -- a veritable sea of adolescent sexuality -- bronze
boys who seem to have just come from the boats or tennis
courts -- girls in tight shorts riding high up shapely thighs,
as...

SAM LOMBARDO strolls out onto the stage. The man is thirtyish,
drop-dead handsome. Dressed not that differently from the
kids, in an Izod polo shirt, khakis and boat shoes.

His entrance has an effect upon the audience, particularly
upon the girls.

KAREN and JANELLE, 16, pretty blondes, whisper then giggle.

NICOLE, a dark-eyed beauty, 17 but going on 25, watches Sam's
walk, then turns to the girl at her side...

KELLY VAN RYAN, 17, a fully-developed knockout.

NICOLE
When we graduate the only thing I'm
going to miss is...
(with a nod to the
stage)
Know what I mean?

Kelly's eyes are locked on Sam. Nicole has to nudge her.

NICOLE
Kelly?

KELLY
(still staring)
Oh yeah.

Sam is at the podium. He looks out across the audience. There
are a couple of flirtatious whistles, laughter. Sam smiles,
silencing them with a wave of his hand.

SAM
We've come to the halfway point in
my senior seminars...

Cheers, applause. Sam waits for the kids to settle.

SAM
Come on. Beats study hall, doesn't
it?

JIMMY (O.S.)
No!

Boos as we FIND...

JIMMY LEACH, 18, grunge look, long hair. He sits with a clique
of white trashy types, or at least what passes for such at
Blue Bay School. Jimmy appears a bit more genuine, as does...

SUZIE TOLLER, a boyish brunette, seated nearby, but with
just enough space between her and everyone else to mark her
as a loner. She studies Sam Lombardo with a dark, sullen
stare.

SAM
Thank you, Jimmy.

JIMMY
Hey, man, at least in study hall I
could meditate.

KIRK (O.S.)
He means masturbate...

This remark is greeted by a chorus of laughter as we FIND...

KIRK, one of the golden boys, seated with Kelly and Nicole.

SAM
Something Kirk with which I'm sure
you have hands-on experience.

Loud laughter. Sam quiets them again, then turns to the
blackboard, where he begins to write, in big letters -- S-E-
X.

The kids start to cheer.

Sam writes another word -- C-R-I-M-E-S.

The cheering fades into silence.

SAM
We've all heard the words, date rape,
sexual harassment. We've talked about
some of these things in this room.
(beat)
Our speakers today head up the Blue
Bay Police Sex Crimes Unit --
Detectives Ray Duquette and Gloria
Perez.
(beat)
They're here to give you what we
hope will be a fresh perspective on
these subjects, and to answer any
questions you night have.

Sam turns to the wings, his hand out to welcome the
visitors...

RAY DUQUETTE, mid-thirties, with the lanky build of a light
heavyweight, walks out onto the stage. He's dressed in a
dark suit, dark hair combed straight back above steel-rimmed
glasses.

GLORIA PEREZ walks at his side. She's a good six inches
shorter than Ray, with a sweet face. Attractive but no
stunner.

About five kids applaud. Ray takes the podium.

RAY
Thank you for having us. We'll each
talk for ten or fifteen minutes,
then open it up to your questions...

IN THE AUDIENCE

Suzie Toller suddenly gets to her feet. As she passes behind
Jimmy, we HEAR her VOICE, beneath her breath.

SUZIE
I'm not going to listen to this jack-
off.

She marches down the aisle and bangs out the rear door..

Ray pauses, a dark look on his face, then goes on...

RAY
Let's begin with a question. What is
a sex crime?

A moment.

JIMMY
Not getting any.

This draws a few laughs from the kids, a couple of thin smiles
from Sam and Gloria. And none at all from Ray Duquette.

EXT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

The kids change classes. Sam, Ray and Gloria CROSS the grass.

The kids swarm past. A pair of girls flash by.

CAROLE
Have a nice weekend, Mr. Lombardo.

SAM
Hey, Carole, you too. And be good.

CAROLE
(beneath a pouty look)
I hate to be good.

The three adults ENTER an old wooden building.

INT. BUILDING - DAY

SAM
This is one of the original buildings.
We have the offices here now.

The walls are paneled in wood, decorated with framed
photographs.

Gloria stops before one of the photos.

ANGLE ON PHOTOGRAPH

An old black-and-white, with that sepia caste harkening back
to another age.

A handsome young man of perhaps 14 stands at the helm of a
boat under sail. His hair is swept back, his eyes fixed upon
an unseen horizon. There is something in this boy's pose, in
the line of his jaw, in the clarity of his gaze, as if what
he has fixed upon is the future itself.

GLORIA
Anybody in particular?

When no one answers, she turns to find Sam at her side. He
stares at the picture, then looks at Gloria.

SAM
Sam Lombardo. The first. Class of
'Forty-Two
(beat)
My father.

Gloria does a slow double-take, looking from Sam to the photo
and back again.

VOICE (O.S.)
Can't seem to get rid of the Lombardos
around here.

Sam and the detectives turn as a professorial-looking guy in
a baggy brown suit (ART MADDOX) arrives on the scene.

SAM
Art. Say hello to Detectives Perez
and Duquette.
(to the cops)
Art Maddox. A fellow guidance
counselor.

Art and the detectives shake hands.

ART
So, did you set 'em all straight on
the ugly facts of life?

SAM
I have the feeling, they got it down
already. They're a step ahead of us,
Artie.

Gloria seems to find this amusing. Ray stands at her side,
looks at Sam. Sam feels it, makes eye contact with Ray -- a
beat -- at which point, Ray puts a hand on Gloria's back.

RAY
I've got that two o'clock in town.

GLORIA
(nodding)
Back to the land of grownups.

The detectives shake hands once more with San and Art.

SAM
(to Gloria)
If old pictures interest you, come
back some time, there's quite a
collection down in the pagoda. I'll
see you get a proper tour.

GLORIA
(smiling)
I'd like that.

Ray opens a door for her. The detectives pass through it.

Art claps Sam on the shoulder, then walks off down the
hallway. Sam remains near the doors, watching as...

ANGLE ON THE DRIVE LEADING TO THE SCHOOL

Ray and Gloria walk past half a dozen expensive cars -- Range
Rovers, Beamers and Mercedes, to a plain, white Ford Taurus,
which they get into and drive away.

EXT. BLUE BAY SCHOOL - LATER

Cheerleaders perform a sensual dance on the porch of a wooden
pagoda. A rugby team runs drills on the grass, as out on the
bay, six tiny racing sloops tack toward the docks.

ANGLE ON DOCKS

As the sloops enter the narrow channel between the slips one
student from each boat jumps onto the dock where he or she
sets about tying off the boat.

Sam is on one of the boats. Jimmy Leach is at the rudder.

SAM
(loud enough to be
heard by his class)
Okay, you guys. Good work. Now coil
those dock lines and I'll see you
all on Monday.

He watches his class clamber up the docks. His eye falls
upon the pagoda, the dancing cheerleaders -- Kelly Van Ryan
in work-out tights -- bare arms reaching for the sky.

EXT. SCHOOL DOCKS - SAM & JIMMY - LATER

hosing down boats, stowing sails. They look up as...

A HUGE POWER BOAT glides past. The docks rock in its wake.

JIMMY
All right. I could party on that.

Sam just laughs at him.

SAM
That's about all it's good for.
(beat)
That's the one to have.

He points to a beautiful triple-masted schooner headed out
of the bay, under sail.

SAM
The Windward Passage. I crewed on
that one summer.
(beat)
Long time ago.

He pulls his eyes from the boat, sets about coiling a line.

JIMMY
You know, I want to thank you for
getting me into this class... No way
was my old man going to spring for
the fees...

SAM
Hey, you're working for it.
(beneath a laugh)
Least you're supposed to be.

He tosses Jimmy the coiled line. Jimmy's caught off-guard,
but catches it at the last second, then shares the laugh
with Sam.

VOICE (O.S.)
Can I play too? Or is it just for
boys?

Sam and Jimmy turn to find Kelly Van Ryan at the far end of
the dock. She's fresh from cheerleader practice, in a white
blouse knotted at the bottom to REVEAL a flat, tanned stomach;
open at the top to REVEAL the swelling of her breasts. She
favors Sam with a coy smile.

KELLY
So who's washing your car this
weekend, Mr. Lombardo?
(off Sam's blank look)
The senior car wash, remember?
(beat)
Tamara's making a schedule. She said
you bought a coupon but you're not
on anybody's list.

Sam smiles, remembering.

SAM
Well, you know. Figured I'd buy a
Washing ticket, support the effort.
That old Jeep of mine's kind of a
waste of time, don't you think?

Sam places the coiled hose on top of a locker then starts up
the dock, Jimmy at his side. Kelly falls in with then.

KELLY
Not at all. How about if Nicole and
I do it? We're working as a team.

Sam just looks at her. She looks back -- big, pleading eyes.

SAM
Okay, try me on Sunday. I'm going
out to the Everglades on Saturday.
You guys can wash the mud off.

KELLY
Deal.
(beat)
You know, I just looked out front.
My ride wasn't there. You suppose
you could give me one?

Sam doesn't answer right away. He looks toward the school.

KELLY
You wouldn't want me to walk, would
you? I mean like, something bad might
happen.

Sam hesitates, momentarily at a loss, then turns to Jimmy,
who seems to regard Kelly with something akin to physical
pain.

SAM
What about you, Jimbo, you need a
ride?

JIMMY
(still looking at
Kelly)
What?

SAM
A ride. You want one?

JIMMY
Yeah. But I got my bike.

EXT. BLUE BAY SCHOOL - DAY

Sam's Jeep rolls out of the drive, Jimmy's bike in back,
meaning that Jimmy and Kelly are squeezed into the passenger
seat, which is fine with Jimmy. Kelly's thigh is pressed
against his. His arm pushes against her breast. Kelly is not
so happy.

As they near the school's entrance, they come upon a beat-to-
shit VW bug -- stalled at a stop sign.

A John Deere tractor mower sits nearby. A groundsman -- a
tall black guy with a shaved head, waits at the wheel of the
bug as...

Suzie Toller -- in black platform shoes, a T-shirt and cutoff
jeans, leans over the engine, fiddling with the car's linkage.

Sam pulls up next to the bug and stops.

SAM
We got room for one more, Suzie.
You need a ride?

Kelly rolls her eyes as Suzie turns to look at them.

KELLY
Jesus. Where'd she get those shoes?
Whores-4-Less?

Suzie's eyes go cold. She signals the groundsman, who turns
the key. The CAR SPLUTTERS to life. Suzie flashes a smile,
then sticks out her tongue -- which has been pierced by a
silver stud.

KELLY
That's cute.

Suzie gives her the finger. Sam makes eye contact with Suzie,
offers a sad smile, while putting the Jeep in gear.

KELLY
(to Suzie)
I hope you swallow it.

Jimmy turns, waving to Suzie as the Jeep pulls away.

EXT. UPSCALE NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY

Magnificent old mansions occupy five-acre bay-front parcels
amid lush, tropical settings.

Sam's Jeep stops before a pair of gates with the words "VAN
RYAN" woven into their wrought-iron design. Beyond the gates
a long drive leads toward a huge stone house. Kelly jumps
out, punches in a code. The gates swing open.

KELLY
Don't forget the car wash.

SAM
I won't.

SANDRA VAN RYAN, Kelly's mom, big, sexy, aggressive, a young
42 in a string bikini, comes out from the side of the house.
When she sees the Jeep, she starts down the drive.

Kelly waves to Sam, then walks up the drive. When she sees
her mother coming toward her, her face hardens.

SANDRA
Is that Sam Lombardo?

KELLY
(sarcastic)
Hi, Mon.

SANDRA
Sam! Hi!

Sam has already hung a U.

Sandra comes through the gate and up to the Jeep.

Jimmy is checking her out. All eyes.

SANDRA
(to Sam; as if Jimmy
wasn't even there)
What? You're going to drive off
without even saying hi?

SAM
Hi, Sandy.

SANDRA
Why don't you come in, have a drink?

SAM
Can't. Got a passenger.

Sandra looks down her nose at Jimmy.

SANDRA
He can wait.

Sam glances past her, to Kelly, who stands languidly at the
front of the house, watching.

SAM
I can't, Sandy. I've got to run.

SANDRA
I'll bet.
(then, softening)
Look, Sam. Why don't you come by
this weekend. We'll take the boat
out...

SAM
(cutting her off)
Sorry, Sandy. I've got plans.

SANDRA
What? Running over alligators with
that silly swamp jalopy when you
could be sailing a real boat...

SAM
Swamp's where it's at, Sandy. Gives
you a look into the muck we all
crawled out of. You ought to try it
some time.

Sandra gives him a hard stare, then marches off toward the
house.

CLOSE ON KELLY

still at the door, a cold smile on her face.

FADE TO:

EXT. SUBURBAN CUL-DE-SAC - DAY

Neat little stucco houses -- some not so neat -- simmer in
tropical heat.

A BMW Z-3 Roadster stops at the head of the cul-de-sac.
Nicole is driving. Kelly sits beside her.

NICOLE
This is it?

Kelly looks at a pad of paper, nods.

KELLY
Four-thirty-seven.

They pass a couple of teenagers playing basketball in a
driveway, a guy mowing his yard.

NICOLE
Nice.

KELLY
What do you want, he's a teacher for
Christ's sake.
(beat)
It's here. Pull over.

Nicole does, before one of the not-so-neat houses. Sam's
muddy Jeep Wrangler is parked in the drive. Behind that is a
red Mercedes convertible.

INT. SAM'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - SAME

Sam and BARBARA, 28, a lean, beautiful country-clubber roll
on the bed. Barbara is dressed for tennis. Sam wears a baggy
pair of khaki shorts. Barbara struggles to escape. Sam grabs
a leg, kisses the back of her knee.

He pushes up the little white skirt, kissing her between her
thighs.

BARBARA
(getting just a little
breathless)
Sam, come on... I'm gonna be late
for my game...

Sam keeps at it. She's starting to weaken.

BARBARA
Not that I'm going to be much good
after last night...

SAM
Eat a power bar.

Barbara starts to giggle. He's just about got her when...

The DOORBELL RINGS. Sam lets go. Barbara sighs.

INT. LIVING ROOM - SAME

Sam goes to the front door, opens it, to find...

Kelly and Nicole, holding plastic pails full of rags. The
girls are dressed in Blue Bay High T-shirts, cropped to REVEAL
flat tummies, shorts and running shoes.

GIRLS
Hi, Mr. Lombardo.

Sam looks over the girls -- a small, exasperated smile.

KELLY
Look, he forgot. I knew it.

SAM
No I didn't. Check out the Jeep.
It's nice and dirty for you.
(beat)
But you might want to wait a minute.
The Mercedes is leaving.

NICOLE
You mean that isn't yours too?

The girls giggle. Sam smiles.

KELLY
Where's the hose? We can set up.

SAM
In back of the garage.

As they walk away, he is joined by Barbara. She watches the
girls with an appraising eye.

BARBARA
Is that Sandra Van Ryan's kid?

SAM
Kelly.

BARBARA
She's going to wash your Jeep?

SAM
Senior class fund-raising gig. I
told 'em they could hose down the
Jeep.
(off Barbara's look)
Hey, come on. It's for a good cause.

Barbara laughs at him.

BARBARA
Sam the philanthropist.
(a beat)
Tomorrow, right?

Sam nods. Another kiss.

EXT. SAM'S DRIVEWAY - SAME

As Barbara goes to her car she sees the girls coming from
behind the garage. She looks at Sam, standing in his doorway,
watching the girls. When he sees Barbara looking at him, he
shrugs, then waves.

EXT. FRONT DOOR - SAM'S HOUSE - LATER

Kelly and Nicole, looking very much like the finalists in a
wet T-shirt derby, ring the bell.

Sam answers. He looks them over. A couple of houses down he
can see the guy with the mower, dumping grass into a can,
watching the girls, then turning to walk back to his house.

SAM
So, where you off to now?

KELLY
Aren't you forgetting something?
(off Sam's look)
Your coupon. We gotta have it.

SAM
Jeez, that thing... Can't you...

KELLY
(smiling)
Rules are rules, Mr. Lombardo.

Nicole laughs.

SAM
All right. I'll have to look for it.

KELLY
(as he starts to go)
Mr. Lombardo.
(as he stops)
We're running kind of late. How about
if Nicole goes on to the Mansons?
You could give me a ride when you
find the ticket.

Sam looks at her, as does Nicole.

SAM
Give me a minute.

He hurries from the room. Kelly turns to Nicole, giving her
the eye, pointing toward the drive.

NICOLE
(mouthing the words)
Are you sure?

Kelly nods, a mischievous smile on her face.

INT. SAM'S BEDROOM - SAME

Sam is rummaging through drawers. He stops when he hears the
SOUND of a CAR. He goes to the window in time to see Nicole's
BMW headed down his street.

INT. SAM'S LIVING ROOM - SAME

Sam ENTERS the room to find Kelly just inside the doorway,
where the water from her wet clothing has formed little pools
on the linoleum.

Sam looks at the water. He looks at Kelly. She moves a step
closer, allowing the door to SWING shut behind her.

EXT. SAM'S NEIGHBORHOOD

A long, slow, Antonioni PAN -- time passes -- the cul-de-sac --
the sparkling lawns -- the kids with the basketball -- a
jogger passing by...

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. SAM'S PORCH - LATER

The front door. The door opens. Kelly comes out, fast,
slamming the door behind her. She walks down the drive.

There are tears on her face. As she hits the street, she
begins to run.

The man with the mower is now seated on his parch, drinking
beer.

He watches as the girl runs by.

The teenagers are still playing hoops. They stop as Kelly
jogs past, sobbing. They watch as she hits the end of the
cul-de-sac and DISAPPEARS around a corner.

EXT. THE EVERGLADES - DAY

Sam, perched in the pilot's seat of a beat-to-shit old air
boat, rips through the Florida swamp land.

He glides across channels of water, then turns into the tall
grass which whips at the hull of his boat. Bits and pieces
of debris fly through the air. Sam smiles, swinging the boat
through a series of wide, sliding turns.

Suddenly he spots something. He throttles down gliding into
a shallow pool where... A HUGE ALLIGATOR, aware it has been
found out, whips about, stirring up mud, then scuttling OUT
OF SIGHT

SAM
Sly old fucker. How you got so big,
wasn't it?

Sam sits for a moment in the silence. He pulls a pair of
binoculars from beneath his seat and looks through them.

ANGLE ON HORIZON

All we SEE is a shabby collection of whitewashed buildings
shimmering in the last long light of afternoon.

Sam watches for some time. At last he lowers the binoculars,
revs up his engine and leaves.

ANGLE ON SAM'S BOAT

as it moves away, as SEEN from water level where...

The old gator has risen once more -- just the eyes -- a cold
primordial intelligence, gazing out, unblinking across the
murky waters of the swamp.

EXT. SAM'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Sam's Wrangler pulls in next to Barbara's Mercedes. The Jeep
is muddy once more. So is Sam. He gets out.

INT. SAM'S HOUSE - SAME

Sam ENTERS. The house is dark.

SAM
Barbara?

Nothing. He CROSSES the living room and starts down the
hallway, where a faint light issues from beneath the bedroom
door.

INT. BEDROOM - SAME

Sam opens the door. He hears the SOUND of RUNNING WATER. He
walks across the room and into the bathroom.

INT. BATHROOM - SAME

Clouded mirrors, a shower stall full of steam. Behind the
glass door we SEE an indistinct shape, moving about in the
hot water.

Sam opens the shower door. The steam clears to REVEAL
Barbara's gorgeous athletic body.

BARBARA
It's hot in here, just the way you
like it.

She grabs his shirt, pulling him into the shower's flow.
They kiss. She pulls his shirt open, loosens his pants. His
clothes fall away. Sam pushes her up against the tile wall,
hard. She holds to his shoulders, nails sinking into his
flesh, wrapping her legs around his hips as...

The water, dark with swamp mud, spirals down the drain.

EXT. VAN RYAN ESTATE - NIGHT

Kelly Van Ryan sits on the dock, looking back toward the
huge stone house, where...

A YELLOW LIGHT burns in one of the upstairs windows.

Kelly has a shotgun laid across her knees. Slowly, she raises
the gun, pointing at the yellow window.

She holds it there for some time, then, softly, to herself...

KELLY
Bang...

INT. MASTER BEDROOM - VAN RYAN ESTATE - NEXT DAY

Sunlight streams through open windows, mingling with loud
sighs of pleasure... Sandra Van Ryan on top of FRANKIE CONDO,
a big, buffed-out Cuban. They're making love on the bed. She
throws her head back -- an explosion of hair -- gasps -- an
orgasm is near, as...

A cordless PHONE RINGS on the night table. They try to ignore
it. No dice. Sandra groans, finally pulling away.

SANDRA
Goddamnit!
(she answers)
Hello.

COMPUTER VOICE (V.O.)
Hello, this is the attendance office
at Blue Bay School. Your son or
daughter is absent today, Monday...

SANDRA
Jesus H. Christ!

She hangs up hard. Sits on the edge of the bed.

FRANKIE
What?

Sandra waves him off. She pulls on a T-shirt, then grabs up
the phone once more, punching in a number.

INT. SAM'S OFFICE - BLUE BAY SCHOOL - DAY

Desk, files, a terrarium full of swamp lizards, above which
a photo of the Windward Passage decorates the wall. There's
a Waterford bowl on the desk -- etched with "Sam Lombardo --
Blue Bay Educator of the Year."

Sam is working on the computer. The PHONE RINGS. He answers.

SAM
Counseling.

INTERCUT - SANDRA/SAM PHONE CONVERSATION

Sandra seated on the bed, one long leg tucked beneath her.

SANDRA
Sam, Sandy Van Ryan.

Frankie's eyes go cold when he hears the word "Sam."

In his office, Sam pushes himself away from the computer,
stiffening noticeably.

SAM
Sandy... What's up?

SANDRA
Listen, Kelly skipped school. Have
you talked to her?

SAM
No.

SANDRA
Shit. Here we go again.

SAM
Didn't you see her this morning?

SANDRA
To tell you the truth, I haven't
seen her since Friday.

BOOM -- A SHOTGUN BLASTS outside Sandra's window. She jumps.

BOOM, BOOM -- more BLASTS. She jumps up to look outside.

SANDRA'S POV - KELLY

stands at the edge of the bay, launching skeet then blasting
them high above the water.

BACK TO SCENE

SANDRA
Never mind. I found her.
(a long beat)
Listen, Sam. It was good seeing you
the other day.
(beat)
I haven't found anyone else can handle
the Jonathan like you can.

She glances at Frankie -- who has heard enough. He gives her
a long hard look, then rolls from the bed to walk from the
room.

Sam remains silent, watching the lizards with their blank,
unblinking eyes.

SANDRA
Look. I know you're seeing Barbara
Baxter. So what?

SAM
So maybe I'm a one-woman man.

Sandra laughs.

SANDRA
Right.
(beat)
You really think you're gonna get
one of these Blue Bay women to marry
you?

Sandra pauses to laugh once more.

SANDRA
Grab a clue, Sam. You're a hired
hand around here. Enjoy it while it
lasts.

SAM
Goodbye, Sandra.

Sam puts down the phone, looks at it -- a long moment as --
the barest hint of a smile plays upon his face.

Sandra slams down her phone. She looks to the bay, to the
sleek racing sloop floating beyond the private dock.

SANDRA
The nerve of some people.

EXT. VAN RYAN ESTATE - DAY

The SHOTGUN BLASTS away. Kelly pauses to reload. She catches
sight of...

Sandra, approaching from the main house.

SANDRA
You seem to find guns therapeutic.
Maybe I oughta try it.

Kelly lets the gun's barrel drift over Sandra, then turns to
walk away. She moves toward the guest house. A used-brick
cottage tucked among the gnarled branches and roots of a
huge banyan tree. Sandra follows.

SANDRA
Let me guess, some boy didn't call
and screwed up the weekend. So you're
taking the day off.

Kelly looks toward the main house, in time to see...

Frankie walk from the bedroom and dive into the pool.

KELLY
Which one of your "bodyguards" is
that?

SANDRA
Whichever one I want.

Kelly turns away, starts for the guest house once more.

INT. GUEST HOUSE - DAY

PAN to REVEAL room -- the gun case, the animal trophies, the
photos -- One of a stately old gentleman in an elaborate
wicker chair, a cane at his side, a bowler on his knee. Others
of Kelly and a handsome middle-aged man in safari gear, posing
with their rifles above slain wildebeests and bison.

Sandra and Kelly ENTER. Kelly puts down the shotgun, turns,
tears in her eyes.

SANDRA
Okay, what's the matter?

KELLY
You notice my new jumper?

Kelly does a three-sixty, like a model on a runway.

KELLY
My friends buy me clothes, so I don't
look like trash.

SANDRA
I would hardly say you look like
trash.

KELLY
No thanks to you.

She sits on the bed. Sandra moves to stand over her, angry
now.

SANDRA
Come off of it.
(a beat)
You run with all these little trust
fund brats... They think money grows
on trees. It doesn't. Believe me.
And a lot of your little friends are
gonna learn that one the hard way.
(beat)
I'm trying to spare you that.

Kelly goes to one shoulder on the bed, sobbing now. Her mother
continues to stand over her, suddenly more perplexed than
angry.

SANDRA
Kelly. What is it?

KELLY
I miss Dad.

SANDRA
Jesus.
(a long beat)
Well, I do too, sometimes...

KELLY
No you don't.

SANDRA
He didn't have to kill himself, Kelly.
He could have gone out and gotten a
job. Christ, he could've found another
rich woman... He never had a problem
fucking my friends when we were
married.

She pauses as Kelly cries all the harder.

SANDRA
I don't know why he did it. I really
don't...

Her voice trails away, as meanwhile Kelly has drawn herself
up into a fetal position on the bed. The sobbing has stopped
but her shoulders continue to shake. Sandra sits on the edge
of the bed, reaches over to rub Kelly's back.

SANDRA
Can I get you anything?

Kelly shakes her head, no.

Her mother looks at her, clearly at a loss. At last she
stands.

She is headed out of the room when Kelly says something, but
the words are indistinct, as her fists are pressed against
her mouth.

SANDRA
What, honey? I can't hear you.

There is a long beat as Kelly collects herself. She stares
at the wall, her eyes filled with tears, but when she speaks
she enunciates each word.

KELLY
I said. I was raped.

Sandra looks as if she has been struck.

SANDRA
What?

KELLY
I was raped.
(a long beat)
By Sam Lombardo.

Sandra moves over to the bed, sits once more.

SANDRA
He... Sam Lombardo?

KELLY
Yes. God, Mom...

Kelly begins to cry. Sandra pulls her upright, cradling her
in her arms, eyes on fire.

EXT. BLUE BAY POLICE STATION - DAY

An old Spanish-style building sits before a neat square of
grass.

SANDRA (V.O.)
My daughter does not get raped in
Blue Bay!

INT. STATION HOUSE - INTERVIEW ROOM - DAY

Sandra slams a fist on the conference table.

Kelly is seated between her mother and her mother's attorney,
TOM BAXTER. Baxter sports an Italian suit and a lethal
Alexander Haig look.

Seated across from these three are Ray, Gloria and BRYCE
HUNTER, the local D.A.

Silence follows Sandra's outburst. Baxter reaches to squeeze
Sandra's shoulder. Kelly puts her face in her hands.

RAY
(in a quiet voice)
You're saying that Kelly was raped
by Sam Lombardo.

SANDRA
That's right.

Ray and Gloria exchange looks. Gloria in particular looks
slightly stunned.

GLORIA
The guidance counselor at Blue Bay?

SANDRA
(sarcastically)
The guidance counselor at Blue Bay.

GLORIA
We understand your feelings, Ms. Van
Ryan. But please, we'd like some
time with Kelly. We'd like to take
her statement alone.

Baxter nods, yes. Sandra looks at Kelly.

SANDRA
Are you okay for this?

Kelly nods.

SANDRA
The man must be insane to think he
can do this to me...

Tom Baxter takes her by the arm as Ray CROSSES the room to
open the door. Bryce Hunter walks out with then.

Gloria takes a seat closer to Kelly. When she speaks, she is
very calm and quiet.

GLORIA
How are you, Kelly? Would you like
to take a break for a minute?

KELLY
(shaking her head)
I just want to get it over with. My
mom's making me do this. I just want
to forget it.

GLORIA
I know you do.

She waits as Ray sets up a camera on a tripod.

GLORIA (CCNT'D)
We'd like to videotape the statement
if that's all right with you.

Kelly shrugs.

GLORIA
I know this is not pleasant, Kelly.
But these are serious charges and we
need to know everything that happened
between you and Mr. Lombardo.
(beat)
Are you ready?

Kelly nods.

CLOSE ON VIDEO MONITOR - KELLY'S STATEMENT

KELLY
He started rubbing my shoulders.
Said must be sore after washing cars.
I... let him, I mean he's a nice
guy.
(beat)
I don't know... It was so fast. I
closed my eyes. I remember his hands
moved to my breasts. I mean just for
a second it was nice... I forgot who
I was. I mean he's so gorgeous...

PULL BACK to REVEAL...

INT. STATION HOUSE - DAY

Ray, Gloria and Bryce Hunter stand at one end of the long
conference table, watching the playback of Kelly's tape.

BACK TO VIDEOTAPE

KELLY
The next thing... his hand was in my
shorts... you know, from behind.
His fingers... his fingers...

GLORIA (O.S.)
Take your time.

KELLY
They were in me. Both places... you
know.

GLORIA (O.S.)
I understand.

KELLY
He said something like, "Do you want
it dirty?" or something.
(beat)
I tried to turn away, but he pushed
me to the floor.

GLORIA (O.S.)
Was there penetration? Did he put
himself inside you?

KELLY
Yes. I said stop. I screamed. I mean
that's how it sounded in my head. He
hurt me...

GLORIA (O.S.)
(as Kelly breaks into
tears)
That's okay, Kelly. You're doing
fine.
(beat)
But I have to ask you something here.
When you say it hurt. Was this the
first time a man was inside you?

KELLY
No. I've done it a couple of times,
I mean with guys I dated. But this
hurt... like, he was built... you
know...

GLORIA (O.S.)
He was large?

Kelly nods, starts to break down again, then holds it off.

GLORIA (O.S., CONT'D)
Did you try to fight him?

KELLY
I... he had my wrists pinned behind
me. I remember my hands were cold.

GLORIA (O.S.)
Then what?

KELLY
He kept saying, "Let it happen, let
it happen." Then he just stopped.

GLORIA (O.S.)
You mean he withdrew...

KELLY
Not at first. He was still inside
but he wasn't moving or anything...
He said we had this secret. And that
now he'd be able to help me... because
we were close... Something like that.
I don't know. It's hard to remember,
exactly.

GLORIA (O.S.)
Try, Kelly.

KELLY
I know one thing he said. It was
when... when he took himself out and
was standing up.
(beat)
He said, "Don't worry, I didn't come."
I can't forget that. He said, "No
little girl can ever make me come."

The tape is paused -- FREEZES on Kelly's face ON SCREEN.

BACK TO RAY, GLORIA & HUNTER

HUNTER
"No little girl can ever make me
come." Jesus. Too bad. We might have
some physical evidence.

Ray and Gloria stare at the screen.

GLORIA
I don't know. It feels wrong.

Ray and Hunter look at her.

HUNTER
Why?

GLORIA
I think she's acting. I think she
set it up to be alone with him because
she wanted him to come on to her.
(beat)
I think maybe she's upset that he
didn't...

RAY
Or maybe she thought that was what
she wanted and she got a little more
than she bargained for...

HUNTER
The line I get on this guy, is that
he's done half the women in Blue
Bay.

GLORIA
That doesn't make him a child rapist.
(beat)
There's something else. This girl's
had some problems. Wrecked a couple
of her mom's cars. Ran away...

HUNTER
Where's this coming from?

GLORIA
I worked Juvenile in Dade County for
three years. We had a missing persons
on Kelly Van Ryan for two weeks...
Maybe a year ago... The family kept
it out of the papers.

RAY
That would make it about the time of
her old man's suicide. You don't
think that could explain some erratic
behavior?

GLORIA
All I'm saying is, I think we should
go slow here.

Hunter puts his hands together, thinking. He looks from Ray
to Gloria, than back to Ray.

HUNTER
I want a full-scale investigation.

GLORIA
You know what that will mean for
Lombardo.

HUNTER
I don't care. You heard that girl's
statement. I think he's dirty. Get
me a case.

Gloria and Ray watch as Hunter gets up and leaves the room.

GLORIA
Well you were a big help. You know
what's going to happen if we go full-
bore on this.

Ray looks at the screen.

RAY
It's our job, Gloria.

GLORIA
Hunter's making it our job because
Sandra Van Ryan's got a bug up his
ass. You know that as well as I do.
(beat)
We're gonna trash this guy's life
and I keep asking myself if it's
really necessary.

Ray thinks this over. He continues to study the screen.

CLOSE ON SCREEN - KELLY'S FACE

RAY (O.S.)
Yeah, well, maybe you're wrong about
him. Maybe he's got it coming.

BEGIN MONTAGE - INVESTIGATION

EXT. CUL-DE-SAC - DAY

Ray takes notes, talks with neighbors, kids, lawn mower man.

EXT. BLUE BAY SCHOOL - DRIVEWAY - DAY

Gloria talks with students -- Jimmy, Nicole, others.

INT. SAM'S OFFICE - DAY

Sam sits at his desk, toying with a pencil. He watches
students pass -- no smiles, no waves, an occasional dark
look.

Through the press of students Sam sees Art at the door of
his office. The two men look at one another. At which point...

Gloria, followed by Ray, steps INTO SCENE. The detectives
shake hands with Art. As Art turns to close the door, Sam
falls within his line of vision. Art looks away. The door
swings shut.

EXT. BLUE BAY SCHOOL DOCKS - LATER

The sky has begun to color. Art Maddox stands on the grass
at the end of the channel separating the slips, watching
as...

A lone sailboat tacks toward the school.

ANGLE ON BOAT - SAM & JIMMY

Sam drops his sail, leaving himself just enough momentum to
cruise expertly into the little channel then into the slip.

Art watches as Jimmy jumps from the boat, ties it off.

SAM
That's good, Jimbo. I'll see you on
Monday.

Jimmy hesitates, he wants to say something. Sam waves him
off.

Jimmy gives Art a hard look and heads for the grass.

SAM
(to Art, nodding after
Jimmy)
What's left of my sailing class.

Art studies the dock between his feet.

SAM
Talk to me Artie.

ART
Kelly Van Ryan...

SAM
...is accusing me of rape. Jimmy
told me. Apparently I'm the last to
know...

ART
Sam... I...
(a long beat)
Sandra Van Ryan's been on the horn
with every member of the school board
all day long. She's pushing for
suspension...

SAM
This is insane.

Art shakes his head.

ART
All I can tell you Sam, is hang in
there. They clear you of this mess,
you get reinstated, with back pay...

SAM
That's great. I'll just tell my
creditors I'm not a rapist. No
problem... Shit.
(beat)
I can't believe the board's going to
act without even hearing my side of
it.

ART
The Van Ryan family created Blue
Bay. They built the school... Sandra
Van Ryan calls up the board and says
kiss my ass, they say, left, right,
or in the middle.
(beat)
You're gonna need some help on this
one, Sam. You're gonna need a lawyer,
and he'd better be a good one.

EXT. STRIP MALL - DAY

Typical of its kind -- a Blockbuster Video, a 7-Eleven, half
a dozen small businesses, one of which, sandwiched between a
donut shop and the Mongolian Beef Bowl, bears the sign:
"KEN BOWDEN -- ATTORNEY AT LAW."

INT. WAITING ROOM - DAY

Sam sits in a cramped waiting room, leafing through a
magazine.

An attractive young SECRETARY sits a few feet away, behind
her desk. Her PHONE RINGS. She picks it up, then turns to
Sam, favoring him with a flirtatious smile.

SECRETARY
Mr. Bowden will see you now.

INT. OFFICE - DAY

Ken Bowden, a slightly oily-looking young man in a nice suit
and a large, padded neck brace, rises to shake Sam's hand.

KEN
Sam, hey, it's been a while.
(beat)
Looked for you at the ten year
reunion. You missed out. Three days
at the Disneyworld Hotel... Partied
ourselves silly.

Sam nods.

KEN
Couple of your old flames were there.
You remember Jill, with the knockers.

Ken holds his hands out in front of his chest.

KEN
Blew up like the Goodyear blimp.

Sam forces a smile.

KEN
But check this...

SAM
(interrupting)
Ken. I'm in some trouble. I need an
attorney and you're the only one I
know. So I figured I'd start here.

Ken stops, puts on a serious face.

KEN
Well, I'm glad you did. And I'm sorry.
(folding his hands
before him)
Why don't you tell me about it.

Sam looks at him. He starts to speak, then checks himself.

SAM
What did you do to your neck?

Ken puts a hand to his throat, as if aware of the brace for
the first time.

KEN
Oh this... chiropractor did a number
on me.

He takes the brace off, tossing it on his desk.

KEN
I don't really have to wear the thing
all the time.
(beat)
A guy from the insurance was here.

Ken smiles. Sam looks slightly ill.

KEN
Go ahead, Sam. Shoot. Let's see what
we've got here.

EXT. A BLUE HAY RESTAURANT - NIGHT

Trendy nouveau. A valet parks Sam's Jeep.

INT. RESTAURLNT - SAME

Sam walks across a tiled entry. He looks tired, but smiles
at the maitre d'.

SAM
Georgie, hey. I'm meeting Barbara.
She here yet?

GEORGE looks stiff, maybe a little nervous. Sam picks up on
it.

He scans the room...

ANGLE ON ROOM

Dimly-lit, crowded, but we PICK OUT Barbara, stunning in a
delicate white sun dress, tanned arms resting upon a table.

Sam starts toward her. George reaches out to touch his arm.

GEORGE
Mr. Lombardo.

Sam ignores him, threading his way among the people at a
lavish bar, then stopping short as he sees who Barbara is
with -- her father, Tom Baxter.

Tom Baxter sees Sam, gets to his feet.

BAXTER
This is not appropriate Lombardo.

Sam steps to one side, makes eye contact with Barbara.

Barbara has tears in her eyes. She looks at Sam, then shakes
her head, looking away.

SAM
Barbara...

BAXTER
You're finished in Blue Bay, Lombardo.
You've been scratching at the door
long enough...
(as Sam faces him)
I ever see you around my daughter,
you're going to be finished, period.

The two men square off, but already we can SEE Georgie,
trailed by a pair of beefy characters in blue blazers making
their way across the room.

Sam sees them too. He takes a final look at Barbara. When
she refuses to meet his eye, he pushes past Baxter, through
the crowd and out of the restaurant.

EXT. AN EVERGLADES ROADHOUSE - NIGHT

Red neon identifies it as Jim's Recovery Room. A handful of
trucks sit in a dirt parking lot, Sam's Jeep among them.

INT. ROADHOUSE - NIGHT

The air is thick with smoke. Locals shoot pool. The walls
are decorated with dusty fishing nets and inflated blowfish.

An aging BARMAID -- good-looking -- once, runs a rag around
a pitcher, looks down the bar, smiles, finding...

Sam, alone, awaiting service.

BARMAID
Sam, honey... Haven't seen you in a
while. How's life treatin' you?
(off Sam's look)
That bad, huh? Well, you came to the
right place.

EXT. ROADHOUSE - LATER

Sam walks outside. He stands in the red glow of neon light,
looking toward the road... On the opposite side of which...

...sits a sorry little collection of whitewashed stucco
bungalows, identified by a green neon sign as the Glades
Motel.

Beyond the motel are the Everglades, a great expanse of
darkness.

Sam stares at the motel. At last he gets in his Jeep. As he
EXITS the lot, a second pair of headlights flashes on.

EXT. EVERGLADES - NIGHT

A deserted two-lane road cuts through the swamp. Trees bearded
with moss appear as ghostly shapes in the lights of Sam's
Jeep.

INT./EXT. SAM'S JEEP - MOVING - SAME

San drives -- a tired face. Soft MUSIC on the RADIO.

Something APPEARS in the road, caught for a moment in the
headlights. Sam swerves, whirls his head around, sees...

A GATOR sliding of the shoulder and into the murky water.

Sam lets out some air, relaxing a bit, then catches sight of
something else -- Headlights finding reflection in his
rearview mirror, coming fast. Sam watches as the lights get
closer. He looks back to the road -- an approaching curve...

Sam is into the curve when the lights catch him. A black
Range Rover moves out to pass, then turns suddenly into Sam's
lane, cutting him off.

It happens quickly. Sam swerves to avoid hitting the larger
car, but the road affords little margin for error.

The JEEP slides across a narrow shoulder, then plummets down
a steep embankment, CRASHING through cattails, rolling over
to SLAM BACK DOWN on its tires in a swampy gulch.

Sam slumps back from the steering wheel. Somewhere over his
head he can see headlights shining into the trees.

He hears a CAR DOOR SLAM, the SOUNDS of someone scrambling
down the embankment.

Sam tries to get out of his seat harness. Someone is
approaching, splashing through the muck. Suddenly a hand
reaches through the broken driver's window, helping him.

MAN'S VOICE
Are you all right?

The hands get him loose. Sam stumbles from the car.

SAM
Yeah, I'm okay.

He looks up to find -- Frankie Condo, looming over him.

FRANKIE
That's too bad.

He grabs Sam, pulling him OUT OF FRAME. What we are left
with is the SOUND of FISTS THUDDING INTO FLESH -- then Sam,
hitting the hood of his Jeep, slumping down into the muck.

Frankie is breathing hard. We HEAR him SLOGGING back up the
embankment. We HEAR a DOOR SLAM, the RANGE ROVER driving
away, leaving only darkness, and the EERIE SOUNDS of the
swamp.

EXT. THE STRIP MALL - DAY

Dazzling light. Sam's smashed-up Jeep is parked before Ken
Bowden's office, next door to the Mongolian Beef Bowl.

INT. BEEF BOWL - SAME

Sam and Ken eye one another over a green plastic table --
Ken with his neck brace, Sam with a bruised face.

KEN
I figured, you know, it would be
darker in here.

He moves a hand to his face.

SAM
Good thinking.

KEN
You can tie whoever did it to Sandra
Van Ryan...

SAM
Forget it.

KEN
Lady has some deep pockets. That's
all I'm saying.

SAM
I know how deep her pockets are,
Ken. I thought I might be able to
save my fucking house with an equity
loan. Guess who's on the board of
directors at the bank?

He pauses to look at Ken Bowden.

SAM
Can't you take that stupid thing
off?

KEN
Not in here. Chiropractor comes in
here for lunch sometimes.

San sighs, slumps back in his plastic seat.

KEN
You're not in bad shape, really. I
know you think you are, but you're
not. Let me tell you why.
(beat)
Sandra Van Ryan.

SAM
What's that supposed to mean?

KEN
For you to be getting this kind of
heat, for what they have on you...
It doesn't add up. Sandra Van Ryan's
got 'em running scared.
(beat)
And I'll tell you something else,
you rush, you get careless.

Ken reaches into his briefcase. He pulls out some papers,
tosses them on the table. Sam picks one up, starts to read.

SAM
Nellie Gail Ranch...

KEN
Sound nice? It's a fucking drug rehab
farm. It's where Kelly Van Ryan went
when her morn fished her out of the
swamp.
(beat)
Meanwhile, you get educator of the
year I mean there's no way they can
put this thing in front of a jury.
(beat)
Shit, they haven't even taken your
statement yet. Reason? They're still
shoveling dirt and my guess is,
they're coming up empty. Now tell me
I'm right.

SAM
There's nothing for them to get.

KEN
Good. So what we're going to do is
march right to Hunter's doorstep.
We're going to insist they take a
statement. We're going to tell them
to charge your ass or get off your
back.
(beat)
They're walking a fine line here.
Defamation of character, malicious
prosecution...

SAM
I just want my life back...

KEN
Fair enough. Let's go make a
statement.

INT. POLICE INTERVIEW ROOM - DAY

Everyone's looking a little tired, with the possible exception
of Ray. At this moment he sits back in his chair, staring at
Sam.

RAY
Why don't you tell us one more time,
how Kelly came to be with you, alone
in your house.

SAM
(with growing
impatience)
Story's the same, Detective...

Ken pats him on the arm. When Sam speaks again, it is in a
calmer voice, calm but tired.

SAM
I had to go look for this coupon.

RAY
The one you bought at school.

SAM
(nodding)
Like I said, I hadn't really expected
to use it.
(beat)
Anyway, I'm going through a drawer.
I hear a car. I look out the window.
I see Nicole driving away. I leave
my room, and there's Kelly.

RAY
In cutoffs, a wet T-shirt.

SAM
Yes.

RAY
And she wanted to talk.

SAM
Yes.

RAY
But you can't tell us what she wanted
to talk about.

SAM
I could, but it's confidential. Look,
the point is, we didn't talk. I told
her this was not an appropriate time
or place.

RAY
And she began to cry. And you put an
arm around her.

SAM
Yes. Mainly to turn her toward the
door. I told her we would talk on
Monday, in the office.

GLORIA
And when you turned her toward the
door, where did you expect her to
go, without a car?

SAM
Again. I think we covered this. I
told her I was going to call a cab.

RAY
But she ran away.

SAM
That's right.

GLORIA
Did you call anyone? Did you call
her house to see if she got home?
Did you call the Masons?

SAM
No.

GLORIA
Weren't you a little worried about
her...?

SAM
There's a strip mall not half a mile
from my house. There's phones there.
I cruised the place, but I didn't
see her. I figured she was probably
there but that she was angry and
didn't want to be found. I don't
know... Maybe I should have called.
But it's not like Kelly can't take
care of herself. I figured we'd just
take it up on Monday, in the office.

There is a moment of silence in the room.

RAY
But you do admit to touching her, to
putting your arm around her. Isn't
that against the rules?

SAM
It is and I don't. Ordinarily...
(beat)
But, I mean... there's this kid
standing in front of you crying...

RAY
With a thirty-five inch bustline in
a wet T-shirt with no bra...

He is cut short as Sam shoves his chair back from the table.

SAM
Fuck you. This is bullshit. I'm outta
here.

RAY
Sit down, Lombardo.

Sam and Ray stare at one another. Ken puts a hand on his
client's arm.

KEN
All right, all right... Enough.

Ken stands up. He walks to the two-way mirror set in one
wall, rapping on the glass with his knuckles.

KEN
We came down here to make a statement.
We've made it.
(beat)
If you're going to charge my client,
do it now.

INT. OPPOSITE SIDE MIRROR ROOM - HUNTER

stares at Ken's face, about a foot away. Ken of course can't
see him. Hunter gives him the finger.

INT. INTERVIEW ROOM - KEN

stares into the mirror, waiting.

KEN
I didn't think so.
(to Sam)
Let's go.

Ken opens the door. Sam turns back to Ray and Gloria.

SAM
I've spent the last ten years of my
life working with kids. I love what
I do, and I think I'm good at it.
(beat)
These kids trust me, and there is no
way. No way in hell I would ever
betray that trust.

As Ken and Sam leave, Ray and Gloria are joined by Bryce
Hunter.

HUNTER
Nice speech. Either of you buying?

Ray shrugs.

RAY
Not that stuff about her running
away, him trying to find her. That's
bullshit.

HUNTER
What about witnesses?

RAY
We've got three. Guy mowing his yard,
couple of kids playing hoops.

HUNTER
And what do they say?

GLORIA
Same as him. They saw her come. They
saw her go. They saw him follow.

RAY
Still doesn't explain why he couldn't
catch up with her. I mean how long
does it take to put on a shirt?

At which point, a COP APPEARS in the doorway.

COP
Phone, Bryce. It's Sandra Van Ryan.

HUNTER
Christ Almighty. That woman's calling
me six times a day.

He starts away, then stops.

HUNTER
I think you're onto something, Ray.
Stay with it.

Hunter bangs out of the room. Gloria slumps in a chair, tired,
disgusted.

GLORIA
We failed to mention the mower guy's
a drunk, that he was after more beer
and never really saw Kelly go into
the house, so he can't say how long
she was in there. Same with the kids.
They saw her running down the street,
but that's it.
(beat)
With no physical evidence, what do
we have? Her word against his.

RAY
You're telling me you believe the
guy?

GLORIA
All I'm saying is, we let Sandra Van
Ryan push us too hard, we're going
to wind up looking stupid.

Ray is paged by his BEEPER. He pulls it off his belt, looks
at the number.

RAY
I'd better return this.

Ray leaves. Gloria pulls a cigarette from her purse and lights
up, rests her head back in the chair, blowing smoke at the
ceiling.

INT. INTERVIEW ROOM - LATER

Gloria is grinding out the butt as Ray walks back in. There
is something in the way he carries himself, some sense of
urgency.

RAY
(off Gloria's look)
Seen any good gator wrestling lately?

EXT./INT. DETECTIVES' CAR - MOVING - DAY

Ray and Gloria drive through the Everglades, past marshlands
punctuated by thick stands of melaluca trees.

GLORIA
They say it was old man Van Ryan
planted the melalucas to dry up the
swamp.

Ray nods.

GLORIA
You can go up to one of those trees
and peel the bark. You know what you
get? More bark. And more bark. There's
no core. Tree's not good for anything
but sucking up water. And now they
can't get rid of them. They've tried
poisons. Nothing works. They don't
die.

RAY
Yeah, well, Van Ryan got his. I don't
imagine he gives a shit now.

Gloria just looks at him. Ray stares into the dusty light of
an approaching sunset. At last he slows, turning off the
highway and onto a narrow dirt road.

A sign pokes out from the tall grass -- "SMILIN' JACK'S FISH
CAMP."

The Taurus bounces along the washboard road.

GLORIA
You're sure we're not lost?

They are driving now at the edge of a canal.

RAY
You remember that little girl walked
out of our talk at Blue Bay?

GLORIA
The skinny brunette.

RAY
This is where she lives. She wants
to talk.
(beat)
Beats the shit out of me why she
would call me at all. I busted her
once for possession. She wound up
doing about six months at Camp Nine.

GLORIA
You mean Camp Sixty-Nine.

Ray gives her a look. Gloria shrugs.

GLORIA
That's what they called it when I
was in Juvenile. It's a pretty dismal
place.

RAY
It's a shithole. But she was dirty,
what was I gonna do?

They pass a sagging chain-link fence, entering a quarter-
mile run of shabby trailers and cheap shacks.

The squalor of the buildings is seat in contrast to the beauty
of the Glades where the waters have gone to the color of
polished brass beneath an immense, darkening sky.

Ray parks before a ramshackle building covered in vines and
peeling paint. A sign reads: "NIGHT CRAWLERS $1 A BUCKET."
The jawbones of numerous gators hang beneath the eaves.

As they get out of the car, something catches Gloria's eye --
along the bank of the canal...

ANGLE ON BANK

where a tall man (WALTER) with long white hair and tattooed
arms kneels inside a pen, slapping a huge gator on its snout.
The reptile lifts its upper body, hissing, opening its jaws.

Walter takes a stick from his hip pocket, passing it through
the gator's mouth. The jaws snap shut, incredibly fast, with
a hollow snapping sound.

Gloria jumps instinctively, then watches, aghast, as Walter
slaps the creature once more. This time moving round to the
front of the gator, sticking half his arm inside its mouth.

VOICE (O.S.)
He's just showin' off for you now.

Gloria starts, then turns to find a woman (RUBY) has walked
up beside her. The woman is in her sixties. She's dressed in
polyester. Her hair is piled on top of her head -- too dark
to be anything but a dye job. A cigarette bobs from her lips.

Before Gloria can respond, Ray steps up behind than.

RAY
Evening Ruby.
(beat)
I see you still got Walter. I was
sort of hoping something had eaten
him by now.

RUBY
(a long beat)
Can I help you with something?

Ray and the old lady look at each other.

RAY
Suzie called. You know where we can
find her?

Ruby looks toward the store.

RUBY
You know the way.

She watches as the detectives CROSS the road, then calls to
them as they start up the steps.

RUBY
You won't shoot her will you? I don't
believe she's armed.

Gloria turns, surprised. Ray gives the woman a long, cold
stare, then opens the door for Gloria.

INT. CAMP STORE - SAME

It's dark inside. The main light source is a tiny, beat-up
black-and-white TV.

Two elderly women in colored bouffant hairdos sit on a ratty
old couch watching reruns of "Family Feud." They look up as
Ray and Gloria ENTER then EXIT through a door in the back.

INT. SUZIE'S ROOM - SAME

Black walls. Cheap bookshelves, filled to overflowing. A
wire strung with dismembered doll parts runs the length of
the room.

Suzie is propped on a ratty futon, an open book on her
stomach, her thin, white arms crossed behind her head.

SUZIE
Jesus. It took you long enough. What
if somebody was trying to strangle
me? Or fuck me in the ass, even?
(beat)
I mean, you guys are Sex Crimes.

Ray manages a thin smile.

RAY
Meet my partner, Gloria Perez.

SUZIE
I did. At Blue Balls.

GLORIA
Seems to me you left early, before
we could meet. But hi, Suzie.

Gloria puts out a hand. Suzie looks at it, puts out a hand
of her own.

As the women shake, Gloria looks at the book on Suzie's
stomach, turning her head as if to read the title.

SUZIE
It's Celine. He's okay. He had a
pretty good line on what cheap fucks
people are.

RAY
So Suzie, you called us, remember?

Suzie takes a cigarette from a pack at her side, lights up,
blows smoke at the ceiling.

SUZIE
Did they arrest Mr. Lombardo?

Ray and Gloria exchange looks.

RAY
No.

SUZIE
Will they?

RAY
It doesn't look like it.

SUZIE
Then he'll be back at Blue Balls?

Ray shrugs.

GLORIA
That bothers you?

SUZIE
(a long beat)
Yeah, maybe, a little.

GLORIA
Why is that?

Suzie lets out her breath. She rests her head against the
wall.

GLORIA
You can talk to us, Suzie. That's
why we're here...

INT. POLICE INTERVIEW ROOM - DAY

Suzie, Gloria and Hunter sit at the conference table. Ray
operates the video cam.

GLORIA
Okay, Suzie. We want you to tell us
about the day Mr. Lombardo gave you
and Jimmy a ride.

Suzie stares at the three cops around her, then at the camera.

SUZIE
You didn't tell me you were gonna
put me on the fucking news.

GLORIA
We need to tape the interview, Suzie.
No one will see it but us.
(beat)
Now when was this, that Mr. Lombardo
gave you the ride?

Suzie stares at the camera. She's lost the cockiness she had
on her own turf. She looks small, white and frail in the
sterile room, surrounded by the detectives.

SUZIE
About a year ago.

GLORIA
He dropped Jimmy off first?

SUZIE
Yeah.

GLORIA
And when he arrived at your house,
was anyone there?

SUZIE
No.

GLORIA
So you were alone.

SUZIE
Yes.

GLORIA
Did he come in with you?

SUZIE
I guess.

HUNTER
You guess? Did he or didn't he?

SUZIE
Yeah... okay... he did

HUNTER
And then what... he touched you? Did
you maybe flirt a little...

SUZIE
I wanna go home now.

Gloria glares at Hunter, shakes her head.

GLORIA
Suzie, look, I know you feel bad. I
know it's harder to talk here than
in your room, but we need to get it
on tape.
(beat)
Just tell us what you told us before.
Tell us the truth.

Suzie huddles in her skinny arms, studying the detectives.

SUZIE
I didn't say a thing to him. He just
put his arm around me. Told me I was
pretty... I could be really pretty,
he said.

Another moment -- she looks at Ray, then at Hunter.

HUNTER
What did you do then?

SUZIE
(a long beat)
Shit, what difference does it make...
Nobody's gonna believe me anyway...

HUNTER
Suzie! Did this man rape you?

SUZIE
Okay! He did. He pushed me to the
floor and he did it to me. Now, can
I go home?

She stands up.

GLORIA
At that point were you able to fight
him off?

SUZIE
No. He stopped by himself. Okay?
That's all. Let me go.

Gloria gets to her feet as well; she tries to put an arm
around Suzie. The girl jumps back as if she has been shocked.

SUZIE
Don't touch me.

Gloria's hands fall to her sides.

Suzie heads for the door.

The detectives exchange looks.

At which point, Suzie stops, turns to face the room.

SUZIE
He did say something.

GLORIA
What was that?

SUZIE
He said, "No little bitch can ever
make me come."

THE SLIDING BAR DOOR

of a jail SLAMS shut on Sam Lombardo. He turns to...

TWO menacing PRISONERS.

PRISONER
So you're the new chicken licker.

CUT TO:

COURT TV IMAGE

The graphic -- "Prime Time Justice" -- then the anchor --

CYNTHIA.

CYNTHIA (TV)
Today from Superior Court in Miami,
Florida -- Dade County versus Samuel
J. Lombardo.

PULL BACK to REVEAL...

INT. ART'S OFFICE, BLUE BAY HIGH - DAY

Art, students, faculty members huddle around the TV.

CYNTHIA (TV, CONT'D)
The Lombardo rape case has galvanized
the upscale town of Blue Bay...

EXT. COURTHOUSE - DAY

Video crews surround a limo as Sandra and Kelly EMERGE.

CYNTHIA (V.0., CONT'D)
...with its tabloid appeal -- Sandra
Van Ryan -- jet-set real estate
heiress...

Tom Baxter and Barbara jostle up the steps.

CYNTHIA
The powerful Blue Bay elite...

Suzie, in the company of Ruby and Walter, pushes past the
video crews.

CYNTHIA
...the girl from the wrong side of
the tracks...

INT. COURTROOM - DAY

Bryce Hunter confers with his team.

Ken in his neck brace, ENTERS with Sam and a bailiff. Sam
wears a suit. He's clean-shaven, recovered from the car wreck
and beating. Still, there is a weariness about him we have
not seen before. He makes eye contact with Sandra -- a cold
stare.

CYNTHIA
In the end, the prosecution's case
will come down to...

INT. COURTROOM - DAY

Hunter in front of the jury.

HUNTER
...what happened to Kelly Lanier Van
Ryan and Susan Marie Toller that
will forever change the lives of
these two young women? What happened
in those fifteen minutes alone with
Samuel Lombardo?

CLOSE ON SAM

The dark, seductive eyes.

INT. COURTHOUSE - WITNESS WAITING ROOM - DAY

Suzie, nervous, paces the floor, stops, lights a cigarette.

The other witnesses sit in chairs along the wail -- the lawn
mower man, cul-de-sac kids, Barbara, Nicole, as...

IN THE COURTROOM

Kelly Van Ryan sits in the witness box, dabbing her eyes
with a handkerchief while Bryce Hunter stands before her.
The room is silent, the spectators riveted on the scene.

HUNTER
Do you need more time?

Kelly shakes her head, no.

HUNTER
I know this is hard, Kelly, but I
have just one more question and even
though its something we've been over,
I want us all to be very clear about
it.
(a long beat)
When you made the decision to stay
at Mr. Lombardo's house, after he
had offered you a ride. When you saw
that he intended to have sex with
you, what were your exact words?
What did you say?

KELLY
I told him, no. I said stop, Mr.
Lombardo, please... I screamed for
him to stop...

HUNTER
And did he?

Kelly looks defiantly at the courtroom.

KELLY
No. He raped me on the floor of his
shitty house.

CUT TO:

WITNESS WAITING ROOM - SAME - SUZIE

still pacing, as Ray and Gloria ENTER the room.

Suzie shoots them a nervous glance, drops her cigarette,
bends to pick it up, burns her fingers, drops it again. She
curses beneath her breath, wrapping her fingers about her
shoulders.

Ray and Gloria watch her, exchange glances. Gloria picks up
Suzie's cigarette for her, puts it out in an ashtray.

GLORIA
You've got nothing to be scared of,
Suzie, just take a deep breath.

INT. COURTROOM - LATER

PANNING the spectators, we SEE Sandra, Baxter, Ray, Gloria.

Hunter is on the witness stand.

Suzie is in the box. She looks pale, even more nervous.

SUZIE
He pushed into me... I couldn't stop
him... it hurt.

HUNTER
I'm sorry... you said it hurt? Why?

SUZIE
Because... it was the biggest I've
ever seen. And I've seen a lot on
their way through Jack's Fish Camp.

Chuckling in the courtroom. The JUDGE glares, silencing it.

HUNTER
Ms. Toller, did Samuel Lombardo rape
you in your family's home on the
23rd of April last year?

Suzie glances at Sam, hesitates.

HUNTER
Ms. Toller?

SUZIE
I said he did.

HUNTER
Ms. Toller. I'm asking you now, under
oath, did Samuel Lombardo rape you?

Suzie looks around, as if for help. The spectators stir.

Ray rubs his eyes. Gloria's are closed.

SUZIE
This wasn't my idea.

HUNTER
I'm sorry?

Suzie looks at Sam once more.

SUZIE
Look. I just don't want to get into
any more trouble...

Tom Baxter rises to his feet. The Judge raises a hand,
motioning him to sit back down.

JUDGE
(to Baxter)
The Court would like to hear what
Miss Toller has to say.
(to Suzie)
Miss Toller.

SUZIE
Mr. Lombardo didn't rape me. He didn't
rape Kelly either. He didn't do
anything.

QUICK CUTS

Hunter slumps back against the prosecution table.

Sandra's hand covers her mouth. Baxter mumbles a curse.

Sam hangs his head in relief. Ken grins above his neck brace.

COURTROOM LOBBY

The press corps scrambles for cameras.

BLUE BAY HIGH

Teachers, students, Art, Jimmy -- crammed around the TV.

JIMMY
I don't believe it...

IN THE COURTROOM

Bryce Hunter and Tom Baxter are both on their feet, trying
to make themselves heard above the din.

HUNTER
Your Honor... I must object...

JUDGE
(hammering for order)
I think I made it plain that the
Court intends to near Miss Toller's
story.

The Judge turns a cold eye on Suzie.

SUZIE
I'm sorry.

JUDGE
Sorry? Just how far did you intend
to let this go?

SUZIE
I don't know. I just wanted to hurt
Mr. Lombardo.

Sam looks up, confused.

SUZIE
He was my friend at first. Then I
got busted... he didn't even stick
up for me. I had to go away to that
hellhole. It's like, you're his
favorite, then who cares? You wanna
know something? When Kelly said we
should do this, I thought cool, all
these big shots screwing me over,
like that cop, Duquette. Now they're
gonna get screwed.

HUNTER
Your Honor... Please...

JUDGE
Any more interruptions Mr. Hunter,
and the Court will hold you in
contempt.
(to Suzie)
What you are telling me, Ms. Toller,
is that Kelly Van Ryan is responsible
for conceiving this entire charade...

SUZIE
Kelly's pissed at Mr. Lombardo, too.
She's in love with him. I mean her
whole fantasy is him since her old
man died. Then she found out that
Mr. Lombardo was doing her mom. I
mean that was it...

Gasps in the court as --

Kelly BURSTS from the witness waiting room, trailed by a
bailiff.

KELLY
You stupid little bitch...

She grabs the first thing she can get her hands on -- a glass
of water from one of the tables and hurls it toward the
witness stand before the bailiff can pin her arms against
her sides.

INT. COURTHOUSE LOBBY - LATER

A mob scene. Video crews are herded to one side by bailiffs
as Sandra and Baxter, with Kelly in tow, move toward a side
door.

Sam and Ken round a corner, followed by Ray and Gloria who
walk on either side of Suzie.

Kelly sees them. She makes a run at Suzie. For a moment the
girls shove and kick but Ray and Gloria are between them in
a hurry, pulling then apart as Baxter arrives to take charge
of Kelly, pulling her toward the door.

Ruby and Walter arrive now too. Suzie runs to them and they
lead her through the crowd, Walter pushing people aside with
his long, tattooed arms.

Gloria heaves a sigh. Ray pushes a hand through his hair,
then turns to find Sam looking at him. Most of the press
have run off to follow the girls -- looking for more action.
It is a quiet moment. The two men lock eyes.

SAM
I've found that adolescents make the
best liars. They're old enough to be
good at it, but you want like hell
to believe them, because they're
still children.

Ray just looks at him -- a hard stare.

EXT./INT. KEN'S T-BIRD - DAY

top down, speeds on a highway, banana palms on one side, the
blue Atlantic on the other.

Wind buffets Ken and Sam -- who has a dazed look.

KEN
(hyped)
Come on, let loose!

SAM
I was just thinking about where I'm
gonna stay. I lost the house. It's
like waking up from a goddamn
nightmare.

KEN
You'll get over it. We've got a
knockdown, airtight, motherfucker of
a lawsuit against Sandra Van Ryan.

SAM
Just like that?

KEN
Just like that? These people ruined
your life, bro.

Ken pauses to thump the wheel with the butt of his hand.

KEN
I told you they were going overboard
and they did... They'll settle.
Believe me. They'll be begging to
settle...

At which point Ken spots something up ahead. His smile
broadens.

He swerves into the other lane, tooting his horn, waving,
as...

The T-bird draws even with a sleek black limo.

SAM
You don't think you're overdoing it?

He pulls off his neck brace, dangles it in front of Sam's
face, then tosses it out the window.

INT. LIMO - MOVING - SAME

Tom Baxter watches as the T-bird rockets off into the
distance, a white piece of foam rubber bouncing across the
road in its wake.

A console TV is on -- news of the courthouse chaos.

Sandra is next to Baxter. Kelly is on the opposite bench
seat.

SANDRA
I hope you're going to nail his
scrotum to the nearest wall.

BAXTER
That might have been a possibility,
if little miss not-so-bright here
hadn't started throwing things.

KELLY
Fuck off.

Sandra lunges to slap Kelly. Baxter stops it in midair.

BAXTER
See what I mean...

SANDRA
You're going to let them get away
with this... this shit? On the word
of one little white trash bitch...

BAXTER
You like seeing your name in the
papers?

Sandra glares at him.

BAXTER
Leave town, Sandy. Go to your place
in St. Barts. Let things cool down.

Sandra concentrates on the TV.

BAXTER
They'll try for twenty million. The
cheaper the lawyer, the higher the
demand.

SANDRA
You've got to be kidding.

BAXTER
The man's life has been destroyed.
There will always be doubters, no
matter what happened in court.

SANDRA
I'm not paying any idiot twenty
million dollars.

BAXTER
I said that's what they'd ask for.

Sandra stares from the window. At last she turns to Kelly.

SANDRA
I hope you're happy.

Kelly seems to give this a moment's thought, then, smiling.

KELLY
Ecstatic.

EXT. EVERGLADES - DAY

Sam cruises slowly across the water in his junked-out air
boat.

He kills the engine, allowing the craft to glide to a stop.

He's close to where he found the big gator -- the same shabby
collection of whitewashed buildings we now RECOGNIZE as the
Glades Motel, shimmers in the distance.

Sam leans back, enjoying the silence. He reaches into a
cooler, takes out a beer, opens it, takes a drink, then pulls
something else from the cooler --

-- a bundle of white butcher's paper. Sam opens the paper,
takes out raw meat -- something disgusting to look at -- big
red turkey necks, maybe, which he tosses into the water.

ANGLE ON WATER

as the meat drifts down -- then, a sudden boiling, as --
quick as the strike of a snake -- the huge gator EMERGES,
jaws wide, to snap up the morsel before slipping beneath the
surface once mare.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. LAW OFFICE - DAY

Ken's Secretary opens the inner office door for Baxter. Ken
rises from a desk to greet him.

KEN
Tom Baxter. Good to see you again.

BAXTER
Let's cut the crap. What does your
client want?

KEN
Besides an apology?

BAXTER
Unless you're planning on leaving
Blue Bay, there's gonna be other
cases, other days... You might want
to keep that in mind.

KEN
Okay Tom. My client wants your client
to saddle up... so we can ride her
ass all the way to the bank.

EXT. BLUE BAY SCHOOL - DAY

A hot morning in June. Shadows angle across the campus.

Students line up at the old wooden pagoda, picking up caps
and gowns. A few turn, surprised to see...

SAM LOMBARDO cross the parking lot, ENTERS a building.

INT. ART'S OFFICE - ART

working at his desk. Sam's terrarium is behind him, his
"Educator of the Year" Waterford bowl, a storage box of files.

Art looks up at a KNOCK on the DOOR. Sam walks into the room.

It is a slightly awkward moment.

SAM
Lizards don't seem to miss me.

The two men smile, breaking the tension.

SAM
How you doing, Artie?

ART
I... You know... I...

Sam waves him off.

SAM
Take care of my lizards, Art.

Art stands up. The two men shake hands.

OUTSIDE GUIDANCE OFFICE

Sam comes out, then stops suddenly.

Kelly waits for him. Kirk and Nicole are with her. A long
moment.

SAM
Kelly...

KELLY
Drop dead... You know where my mom
is trying to get the money to pay
you off? She's trying to break my
trust. How do you like that? I can't
touch it until she's dead and she
won't give me a dime and now she's
trying to break it to pay you...

SAM
Look, Kelly... I'm sorry... I know
what you've been through... I
should've seen something like this
coning.

Art APPEARS in the door behind Sam. Kelly comes closer.

KELLY
Why don't you start fucking her again.
You can spend it together.

Kirk tries to take Kelly's arm. She jerks away, swings at
Sam.

He ducks, dropping the Waterford BOWL, which SHATTERS upon
the floor.

Kirk bear-hugs Kelly. She throws a notebook at Sam.

KELLY
I hate you!

She starts crying. Kirk and Nicole drag her away as a crowd
gathers.

Sam, shaken, kneels over the broken crystal. Art bends to
help him pick up the pieces.

SAM
You see. I couldn't stay, even if I
wanted to.

EXT. STRIP MALL - NIGHT

Sam's Jeep is parked next to the T-bird and Jaguar.

INT. KEN'S OFFICE - SAME

Baxter, Ken, Sandra, Frankie stand watching, as Sam signs
papers.

At last Sam looks up, faces Sandra -- not a happy moment.

Sandra gives him a long, hard stare, then walks from the
room.

Frankie prepares to follow her, then stops, looks at Sam.

FRANKIE
I'll be seeing you.

Sam just looks at him. The big man leaves. Baxter closes his
briefcase.

KEN
So long, Tom. Come by sometime. We'll
have lunch at the Beef Bowl.

Baxter stops, gives him a cold look, then a surprising smile.

BAXTER
I don't think you're gonna be eating
at the Beef Bowl anymore, kid.

He EXITS. Ken goes apeshit -- whoops, dances around the desk,
drops into his chair, holds up the documents.

Sam watches, smiling, finally.

SAM
Thanks Ken, you did okay.

Both men stand, they shake hands. Ken claps him on the arm.

KEN
(no clowning now)
Look, I know there's a part of you
wishes none of this had happened.
But it did. Now take the money and
get out of here. Find a happy place.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. EVERGLADES - NIGHT

Moonlit fog -- the vast swamp.

EXT. GLADES MOTEL - NIGHT

It's late. A neon palm tree flashes across an empty lot as...

Sam's Jeep pulls in out of the night, parks before its
bungalow.

Sam gets out, lifts his storage box of files from the rear.

INT. BUNGALOW - NIGHT

The neon's green light slashes across the dark walls through
old Venetian blinds.

Sam ENTERS, puts the file box on the floor. Arches a sore
back.

He reaches for a bedside lamp, stops, listens, decides it's
nothing, reaches again for the lamp, stops again, listening...

BZZZZZ -- the high-pitched WHINE of a MOSQUITO. Then more --
a flurry of BZZZZZZZZS Sam frowns, sees...

A cloud of mosquitoes circling him.

He checks the front windows -- closed. He goes around the
bed.

The slightly ajar bathroom door with full-length mirror comes
up on his right. Ahead is a rear window -- wide open.

Sam stops fast.

Thinks. Lets out a breath.

SAM
Damn maid.

He steps to the window. He looks down --

Muddy footprints.

Sam freezes. He whirls around --

A sudden green FACE APPEARS in the big mirror -- like a
nightmare image -- lit by the neon flash, then DISAPPEARS.

Sam jumps back.

SAM
Ahhhh!

The neon green face flashes again in the mirror -- DISAPPEARS.

Now the bathroom door slowly opens all the way.

Sam backs up, hits the wall.

Kelly Van Ryan steps out of the bathroom, a long object held
at her side, wrapped in a towel.

SAM
Jesus Christ, what are you doing?

KELLY
So you got my mom's money.

Sam tries to breathe, manages a nod.

KELLY
How much?

Kelly prods him with the concealed object.

KELLY
How much?

SAM
About six and a half million dollars.

Kelly raises the abject covered by the towel, aims it at
Sam.

KELLY
Your turn to pay.

A moment -- then she yanks the towel away to REVEAL --

-- a two-foot-long novelty penis with giant balls. Her hand
grips the acrylic scrotum like the butt of a gun.

KELLY
King Dong! That's you, Sam!

She screams with joy, vaults into his arms, wraps those
perfect thighs around him. The dildo goes flying. They fall
on the bed.

KELLY
It worked! We screwed the bitch!

She's all over him now -- tongue kisses.

KELLY
It worked just like you said it would.

He kisses her, finally gets her to sit, straddling him.

SAM
God, you scared the shit out of me.
You must be crazy coming here.

KELLY
Of course I'm crazy. Ask my mom.

She kisses him again, more passionately now. He gets into
it, tears her blouse open, putting his tongue to her breasts.

A SHADOW moves on the wall, looming above them. Sam sees it,
his eyes widen. He tries to sit up, as...

BANG! -- an EXPLOSION. Sam jumps, knocks Kelly to his side.

A champagne cork hits the ceiling.

Suzie Toller stands over the bed with a foaming champagne
bottle.

SUZIE
How much is about six and a half
million divided by three?

SAM
Jesus. Two million one hundred thirty-
three thousand three hundred thirty-
three and change.

Kelly screams in joy again.

SAM
Now calm down. Both of you.

The girls put on mock serious expressions.

SAM
From now on, if we're seen together,
it's got to be accidental. I thought
that was understood...

KELLY
Hey, come on... We've got to have at
least one victory party.

Kelly grabs the champagne, takes a long gulp, pours some on
her breasts as she straddles Sam once more, inviting him to
lick them clean.

SAM
Kelly, for christ's sake...

She has begun to move like a lap dancer, inviting him to
take her breasts in his mouth, putting a hand to his crotch...

SAM
The only way we're gonna blow this
now, is if we do it ourselves...

KELLY
(her hand in his crotch)
Do it to ourselves?

SAM
(weakening)
We have to stick with the plan.

KELLY
Stick?

Sam gives up, lays back as Kelly undoes his pants, then moves
to get him inside her.

Suzie watches. She takes another drink, then tosses the
bottle, pulling off her top, REVEALING her small, white
breasts, a couple of tattoos, a pierced nipple. She slips
behind Kelly, fondling Kelly's breasts as Sam arches beneath
them both -- all of them totally into it now, losing
themselves in the sex...

FADE TO:

INT. DETECTIVES ROOM, BLUE BAY POLICE STATION - NIGHT

The room is dark and empty, with the exception of a single
desk lamp, by which halo we find...

Ray Duquette, in an aloha shirt, waiting as his computer's
printer finishes a job, as suddenly...

...a new light rushes into the room. Ray turns to find Gloria
standing in the doorway. He stops as his printer finishes
the job. He pulls out the paper, looks at it, smiles. Gloria
walks to his desk.

RAY
You saw the news today?

GLORIA
Lombardo's settlement?

Ray nods.

GLORIA
Yeah, well, I told you they were
gonna make us look stupid.

Ray gives her a long look. Gloria waits a moment, shrugs.

RAY
Hey, don't back away from it, you
were right. We did look stupid.
(beat)
What you were wrong about, is who
made us look that way.

Gloria just looks at him, puzzled.

RAY
Think back, before the suit was filed,
before the trial. Lombardo had an
affair with Sandra, right?
(Gloria nods)
So why not tell us about the affair?
I mean it could be a hell of a motive
for Kelly to fabricate her charge in
the first place.

GLORIA
Maybe Lombardo's attorney was saving
the affair for the trial.

RAY
I thought of that. Then I said, come
on, you're Lombardo. Your reputation
is getting trashed. You want to stop
the bleeding. You don't want to sit
in jail for three months. Unless...

GLORIA
Unless what?

RAY
Unless you're setting up Sandra Van
Ryan for the big payday.

It is quiet in the office, save for the soft BUZZ of Ray's
COMPUTER.

RAY
They chumped us, Gloria, right from
the start.

GLORIA
Why? You ask me, Lombardo had it
pretty good already, nice job in a
beautiful setting, popular, an active
social life.
(beat)
He's gonna put this all on the line
for some dicey play like what you're
describing...

RAY
(interrupting)
The job looks okay to us. But look
at it from his point of view. The
man's surrounded by wealth and
privilege. But for him... it's just
a reminder of what should have been
his.

Gloria gives this a moment's thought.

RAY
Your old man graduates from Blue Bay
School, you're not supposed to wind
up there. Board of Directors maybe,
but not in the lousy guidance office.
Now. Point number two.
(he taps at the
printout on his desk)
I've run a financial on Lombardo.
Guy was eyeball-deep in debt before
this all happened -- trying to keep
up with pricey trim like Barbara
Baxter.

He passes the printout to Gloria. She looks at it, thinking.

GLORIA
So what about the girls? Suzie's
poor, but why would Kelly have to
steal from her own mother? Surely
her father...

RAY
(interrupting)
Her father didn't leave her squat.
The kid's got money in trust from
her grandfather, but she can't touch
that till her mother dies and Sandra
seems to have the idea that Kelly
ought to learn the value of a buck.

Gloria looks over Lombardo's financial once more, tosses it
on the desk, then studies Ray -- long beat.

GLORIA
This one's got you working overtime,
hasn't it?

RAY
I flat don't like the guy, Glory.
He's dirty. And I'll tell you
something else. You want to know how
old man Lombardo lost his money?
(beat)
He was fucked out of it by old man
Van Ryan, on a little item known as
the Salt Creek Land Deal.
(beat)
It was after the war. Van Ryan set
up a corporation to develop swamp
land, got investors like Lombardo to
put up money, then turned around and
got the state to declare the area an
ecological preserve, on the sly, of
course, but everyone knew it was
him. The freeway went to the coast,
right where Van Ryan wanted it.

GLORIA
Eliminate the competition.

RAY
You got it. The rich got richer.
While the saps like Lombardo went
belly-up in the swamp.

Gloria looks at him a long moment.

GLORIA
Where'd you come up with this stuff,
anyway?

RAY
(a long beat; then
beneath a smile)
I met a guy in a bar.

EXT. A BANK, BLUE BAY - DAY

Sam walks down the steps, gets into his Jeep, and drives
away.

Across the street -- the white Taurus -- Ray and Gloria watch.

EXT. YACHT BROKERAGE - DAY

Sam comes out, rounds a corner and is gone.

Ray Duquette steps INTO FRAME, turns into the brokerage.
The door swings shut behind him.

INT. SWIMMING POOL, BLUE BAY SCHOOL - DAY

Girls in tank suits finish laps, towel off. As the girls
begin to walk toward the lockers, they encounter...

Ray Duquette, threading his way among the girls, his eye
on...

Kelly, alone on the deck, still dripping -- a Botticelli
vision.

RAY (O.S.)
Nice stroke.

Kelly, startled, turns to find Ray walking toward her across
the deck. She snatches a towel from one of the racing
platforms and begins to dry herself, wrapping the towel around
her.

KELLY
Is there some reason why you're here?

RAY
Curiosity, I guess.

KELLY
About what? How to improve your breast
stroke?

Ray gives her a cold smile.

RAY
Actually, I was curious about how
you see things working out, for you,
Sam and Suzie.

This appears to give her pause, a moment of hesitation.

KELLY
Excuse me?

RAY
You all gonna go down to the Caribbean
together?

Kelly looks around the pool area. A number of girls are
watching from a corner of the deck, but no one is close enough
to hear.

RAY
The thing about it is, threesomes so
rarely work out.

KELLY
You're out of your mind.

RAY
I've been a cop for a while, Kelly.
(beat)
It's hard enough for one person to
keep a secret, let alone three. And
then there's the love angle. I mean
do you and Sam really want that little
pill-head around, now that you have
the money?

Kelly starts to walk away. Ray cuts her off.

RAY
Am I right, did Sam sell you on the
idea right up front, of whacking
Suzie? That's murder, Kelly.

KELLY
Police -- God -- get a life.

She moves around him and walks calmly away.

RAY
(loud enough to make
himself heard)
You're good. But you don't think
that little ditz Suzie's gonna hold
together, do you?

Kelly continues to walk, her face giving nothing away, as
Ray's WORDS ECHO over the pool.

EXT. BLUE BAY SCHOOL PARKING LOT - LONG SHOT - LATER

Only a few cars left -- one of them Suzie's old VW bug, at
the side of which Kelly and Suzie engage in heated
conversation.

CLOSER - SUZIE

paces around Kelly.

SUZIE
You don't know Duquette. I'm the one
he busted... He's a fucker, man...
He'll fuck us both over...

Kelly tries to take her by the arm. Suzie jerks away.

SUZIE
I'm not going back to that prison.
That's what it was... a fucking hell
hole...

Kelly looks around the lot. She takes Suzie by the arm once
more, this time more firmly, pulling Suzie to her.

KELLY
Will you calm down. Duquette's gonna
come to you just like he did to me.
You're gonna have to be ready for
him.

SUZIE
Yeah, but he can't push you around
like he can me. You've got family
and they've got clout. With we it's
different... with me...

KELLY
(circling her with
her arm)
Yeah, I've got family and they've
got clout and now you have me. Right?
And Sam. Believe me, Suzie, this
dickhead's not going to send you
anywhere. He's gonna try and rattle
your cage, and that's it. Stay strong
and he can't do shit.

SUZIE
(a long beat)
Man, I wanna smoke a joint.

PULL BACK to REVEAL -- in the distance -- the white Ford
Taurus at the side of the road leading to the school.

The car is pulled just far enough off the road to be mostly
hidden among pampas grass and oleander, but angled in such a
way as to afford a view of the two girls now hugging in the
lot.

EXT. SMILIN' JACK'S FISH CAMP - NIGHT

Suzie wanders along the canal, smoking a joint. At her back
a few faint lights flicker here and there in the windows of
trailers. She walks down to the little dock, sits on a rail,
takes another hit.

VOICE (O.S.)
'Evening, Suzie. How was school today?

Suzie freezes, holds back her exhale, looking around...

A shadow stirs in one of the skiffs tied to the dock. A man
stands, walks up the couple of wooden stairs. The light from
a trailer across the road glances off steel-rimmed glasses
as Ray Duquette steps onto the dock.

Suzie gags on the smoke in her lungs, coughs. She squeezes
the lit roach into her palm, then tosses it into the canal.

RAY
You ought to watch it with that shit,
Suzie. You get busted again, you go
back in a two-tine loser.

SUZIE
You got something against cigarettes?

Ray just laughs at her.

RAY
Yeah, they're bad for your health.
(beat)
I'm tryin' to look out for you...

SUZIE
That's cop bullshit.

RAY
Well, you're half right. Best thing
you could do for yourself right now
would be to talk to me.

SUZIE
About what?

RAY
Every triangle I've ever seen never
lasts. Somebody's got to go.

SUZIE
Is this supposed to mean something
to me? What triangle?

RAY
You, Kelly, Sam.

SUZIE
I don't have to listen to this. And
you can't shove me around. I have
friends now...

She catches herself, falters.

Ray laughs once more.

RAY
Is that what you think? You have
friends? Is that what they told you?

SUZIE
I don't mean who you're thinking. I
have other friends...

RAY
Suzie, Suzie... This is me, Ray,
you're talking to. We both know you
don't have shit, never have had shit,
never will have shit...

He takes a sheet of paper from his coat.

RAY
Here, Suzie. I want you to look this
over. Know what it is?
(as Suzie takes it)
Sam deposited his check, transferred
the funds to an offshore bank, a
numbered account. Not even the cops
can find out whose names are on it.
Think one of them's yours?

Suzie looks over the paper.

RAY
He also put a down on some island
property, and a lease-to-buy on a
forty-foot sailboat. You're into
sailing, aren't you, Suzie?

Suzie thrusts the paper back at Ray.

SUZIE
Get away from me.

RAY
Don't you see what this means? You
really think Sam and Kelly are gonna
give you a third of the money? You,
the pill-head with the rap sheet?

SUZIE
Shut up.

Ray smiles at her. He moves up close.

RAY
You know, I don't think I ever told
you I was sorry about your little
friend... What was his name?

Suzie tries to back away. She bumps against the rail. Ray
reaches out, takes her hand in both of his.

RAY
Come on, Suzie, help me out here.
You know his name.

Suzie looks scared, in a way she hasn't before. When she
speaks her voice is scarcely above a whisper.

SUZIE
Davy.

RAY
(nodding, a scary
smile)
That's right. That was his name.

The smile fades, as if he's thinking about something, still
holding her hand, rubbing it with his fingers.

RAY
Sometimes I wonder if you're really
as dumb as you pretend to be.

He looks into Suzie's eyes, slowly opening her hand to REVEAL
the burn mark on her palm.

RAY
But you know what? I'd be keeping a
clear mind right now if I were you.
(beat)
I'd hate to see you come to a bad
end. Like Davy did.

He holds her hand a moment longer, then drops it. He goes
back down he steps to the little skiff. An outboard MOTOR
STARTS in the night.

INT. SUZIE'S ROOM - NIGHT

Suzie cones in fast, grabs the phone, punches out a number.

SAM (V.O.)
(answering machine)
This is Sam. I'm not in right now...

EXT./INT. RAY'S PICKUP - NIGHT

parked behind some cottonwoods in a small launch area where
the highway crosses both the canal and the road to the fish
camp.

The skiff has been shoved into the bed. Ray sits at the wheel.

He removes his glasses, wipes his face with a handkerchief,
then starts at the uneven SOUNDS of a tired ENGINE, looks up
to see...

HEADLIGHTS

Suzie's VW bouncing along the dirt road, turning onto the
highway.

RAY'S TRUCK - RAY

watching, then starting his truck and pulling out onto the
highway, following the tiny red lights of Suzie's bug.

SXT. VAN RYAN ESTATE - MAIN GATE - NIGHT

Suzie's VW idles. She leans out the window, talks to the
intercom, the gate opens. The VW ENTERS. The gate closes.

Ray's pickup drives past. He drives to a big lot where one
of the mansions has been torn down. He drives up onto the
dirt, keeps going, right down to the water's edge where he
pulls his little skiff out of the back once more.

He walks back to the truck, pulls off his sport coat, hangs
a Hi-8 video camera over his shoulder and wades out into the
calm waters of the bay, pushing the skiff, then climbing in.

EXT. VAN RYAN ESTATE, REAR OF MAIN HOUSE - NIGHT

Suzie follows Kelly past the pool, which is all litup, and
on toward the jacuzzi. The whole deck is tiled in black-and-
white.

Kelly's in a bikini -- the killer body. Suzie, the contrast --
pale, skinny, boyish, in a T-shirt and cutoff jeans. They
argue -- we CANNOT HEAR.

EXT. THE BAY - SAME

Ray has arrived near the docks. He has killed his engine,
maneuvering here with a single oar. He ties the skiff off
behind the Jonathan, then climbs to the dock, moving around
the guest house and coming close to the pool. He takes a
position behind the cabanas, readies his camera.

EXT. POOL AREA - SAME

Kelly and Suzie continue their argument in front of the
jacuzzi.

KELLY
I can't believe you called Sam. What's
the matter with you?

SUZIE
I'm scared, that's what. I'm scared
there's no one to trust.

KELLY
You can trust me.

A cordless PHONE RINGS on the patio chair. Kelly and Suzie
are startled by it. Kelly answers.

INT. SAM'S BUNGALOW - NIGHT

The bedside lamp is on. Sam is on the phone.

SAM
Kelly. Is Suzie there?

KELLY (V.O.)
Yes.

SAM
Shit. I was afraid of that. She left
this garbled message on my machine.
(beat)
Can you calm her down?

KELLY (V.O.)
Why can't you come...

SAM
No! Christ. Listen, Kelly, I'm
counting on you. You calm her down.
I mean do whatever you have to,
whatever it takes...

KELLY (V.O.)
You know what it takes.

SAM
Then do it. I need you on this Kelly.
Do it tonight. We'll figure something
out... Okay?

EXT. JACUZZI - NIGHT

Kelly glances across the steamy water at Suzie.

KELLY
Yeah, right. Can you at least talk
to her, on the phone?

NT. SAM'S BUNGALOW - SAME

Sam lies on his bed, waits for Suzie's voice on the line.

SUZIE (V.O.)
Sam...

SAM
Put Kelly on too.

EXT. JACUZZI - SAME

The girls stand cheek-to-cheek, the phone between them.

KELLY
I'm here.

INT. SAM'S BUNGALOW - SAME

SAM
Okay. I want you to hear this too.
We've got to be cool. All of us.
People think I'm rich, for Christ's
sake. I'm doing what rich guys do.
(beat)
I'm spending my money. It's more
suspicious if I sit around doing
nothing. Now don't let this cop fuck
with your minds.

EXT. CABANAS - NIGHT

Ray tapes the scene.

The girls still hold the phone.

SUZIE
But I..

SAM (V.O.)
Shut up. Don't fall apart. The only
people who can blow this is us.
Remember?

KELLY
Right.

Suzie says nothing. Kelly nudges her.

SUZIE
Yeah, right.

SAM (V.O.)
Good. Just keep telling yourselves
that, the only people who can fuck
this up is us.

The line goes dead. Kelly hangs up. Suzie stares into the
jacuzzi.

SUZIE
You're gonna fuck me over, aren't
you?

KELLY
Oh, for Christ's sake.

SUZIE
You are.

KELLY
Are you retarded, or just brain dead
from whiffin' fumes out there in the
swamp...

Suzie's face goes hard.

SUZIE
That's what I am to you, isn't it?
Swamp trash. It's what I am to
everybody, just like my mom...

Kelly tries to put an arm around her. Suzie slaps her -- a
mistake -- Kelly's bigger, faster. She slaps the side of
Suzie's head, then grabs her legs, dumping her on the tile
deck.

ON RAY

focusing the camera.

Suzie tries to kick Kelly.

Something changes in Kelly, a scary, calm rage.

KELLY
Stupid bitch.

She very methodically grabs Suzie's hair, dragging her into
the jacuzzi, holding her under the hot water.

Suzie thrashes, breaks free, gags, arches out of the water,
the wet T-shirt clinging to her small breasts.

Kelly is on her again, slaps her, puts her hands to Suzie's
throat -- violently sexual in her wet bikini.

Kelly slams Suzie back onto the black-and-white tile, gets
on top of her, knees between Suzie's legs, her hands on her
throat.

Suzie's skinny shape writhes underneath Kelly on the gleaming
tile. She gasps for air. Kelly finally lets go, but remains
on her knees between Suzie's legs, breathing hard. A moment.
Kelly touches Suzie's face.

KELLY
Why do you make me hurt you? It's
like you want it or something.

Suzie sobs, takes Kelly's hand.

KELLY
God, you are scared, aren't you?

Suzie runs her lips over Kelly's fingers, then pushes her T-
shirt up, pushing Kelly's hand onto her breast.

KELLY
And this is going to make you feel
better, make you trust me...

Suzie nods, tearing her T-shirt, getting both of Kelly's
hands onto her breasts, then pushing at Kelly's wrists,
getting her to pull at her nipples, hard... Kelly obliges...

Suzie cries out in pain. Kelly's hands move down to pull off
Suzie's bottoms...

ON RAY

still at it with the video, his face impassive, watching.

As Kelly pulls Suzie back into the jacuzzi, as the girls'
hands slide round the curves of each other's hips, pulling
themselves to each other, as the layers of steam rise to
envelope them...

CUT TO:

VIDEOTAPE

Kelly and Suzie making love in the jacuzzi.

PULL BACK to REVEAL --

INT. POLICE ROOM - DAY

Gloria, Ray, Hunter watch the tape. Hunter's seen enough. He
slams the stop/tape.

HUNTER
Are you crazy, Ray?

RAY
You heard Kelly say "Sam." That was
Lombardo on the phone. And you saw
the girls...

HUNTER
Ray. The conversation on this tape
is totally unintelligible.
(beat)
What we have here, is you on the Van
Ryan property, without a proper
warrant, shooting a porn flick...

RAY
I don't believe I'm hearing this. A
month ago you were pulling these two
apart at the courthouse.
(beat)
They were acting. They were all
acting, from the beginning. And we
bought it, hook, line and sinker...
And now they're home free with six
million of Sandra Van Ryan's money.

GLORIA
Which she might have saved, if she
hadn't set out to destroy the man's
life.

RAY
(turning now on Gloria)
What? You wouldn't go after some guy
you thought raped your daughter?
(beat)
Come on. She bought the same story
we did...

Ray stops as Hunter brings the palm of his hand down on the
table a loud SLAP.

HUNTER
Listen, both of you. You're not on a
case. There is no fucking case.
(beat)
I've had it up to here with Sandra
Van Ryan. Ray, you keep mucking around
like this and you are going to have
her suing us for invasion of privacy.
Get out of these people's lives.
(beat)
Am I getting through on this?

Ray walks to the door, jerks it open --

INT. CORRIDOR - DAY

Sam, angry, sits in the corridor with a uniformed officer.

Hunter sees Sam, rolls his eyes.

HUNTER
Oh, Ray... no...

RAY
You think this is just about money,
about us looking foolish? Question
him. You're gonna find a stone cold
manipulative psychopath. And those
girls are going to wind up dead...

Sam lunges at Ray. The officer and Hunter restrain him. Gloria
looks on, taken aback by Ray's accusations, Sam's response.

HUNTER
Mr. Lombardo, please. I'm sorry about
this.

SAM
Give this idiot something to do. Let
him look into the Kennedy
assassination.

Ray flares, grabs Sam, shoves him against the wall, before
they can be separated once again.

SAM (CCNT'D)
(to Hunter)
Next time this guy drags me down
here, I'll sue you. You're goddamn
lucky I didn't sue you the first
time!

Sam storms from the room, followed by Hunter. Ray stares
after them, finally he turns, looks at Gloria, collecting
himself.

RAY
Guess I kind of lost it there.

GLORIA
You could say that.

RAY
Were you ever in a situation where
you could see a thing coming and you
didn't do what you could to stop it?

Gloria studies Ray, clearly concerned.

GLORIA
We all have...

RAY
I mean something bad, Gloria,
something bad you saw coning, and
you didn't do anything, and then it
happened.
(off Gloria's silence)
I did that once. I don't want to do
it again.

EXT. MALL ENTRANCE - LATE AFTERNOON

Sam EXITS a building, a large package of wrapped goods beneath
his arm. He looks toward the parking lot where --

Barbara Baxter stands beside the red Mercedes. She tips a
valet then starts toward the mall. She sees Sam. Their eyes
meet. A moment of hesitation, as neither is quite sure what
to say.

SAM
You look pretty.

BARBARA
Thanks.

Sam smiles. She points to the stuff beneath his arm.

BARBARA
Quite a shopping spree...

She's kidding, then seems to consider how Sam might take it.

BARBARA
I didn't mean...

Sam laughs it off.

SAM
Hey, I've got it, I may as well spend
it, right? I've always wanted to
live where I could dive for my dinner.

BARBARA
And where might that be?

SAM
I was thinking, Antigua, maybe.

BARBARA
I love Antigua.
(beat)
Maybe I'll come visit you.

SAM
I'd like that.

A moment, she touches his face. Sam raises a hand to cover
hers, as...

...in b.g., a BLACK RANGE ROVER -- just the roof VISIBLE
above the tops of the other cars, cruises the lot.

INT. RANGE ROVER - KELLY VAN RYAN

seated at the wheel, parks, stares toward the mall entrance.

ANGLE ON ENTRANCE - KELLY'S POV

Sam and Barbara stand in the orange light, hand-in-hand.
Barbara leans forward, kisses Sam on the lips.

CLOSE ON KELLY

lost in thought, when she is startled by a sudden CACOPHONY
of ENGINE NOISE. She turns to find...

Suzie's BUG, SPLUTTERING and BELCHING smoke, parks next to
her.

Suzie opens the door of the Rover, jumps in. She's wearing a
black ball cap, armed with a huge straw bag. As she settles
in the seat, she lets out a long breath.

Kelly makes a face, fans the air.

KELLY
Jesus. What are you drinking?

Suzie laughs, pulls a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 from the bag.

KELLY
(looking at the bottle)
Anybody ever tell you that stuff
will rot your brain?

SUZIE
What brain?

Suzie takes a big drink. Kelly shakes her head, looks back
toward the entrance.

ANGLE ON ENTRANCE - KELLY'S POV

empty. Sam and Barbara are gone.

Kelly continues to stare.

SUZIE
What are you looking at?

KELLY
(starting the car)
Nothing.

EXT. THE BEACH - NIGHT

The Atlantic rolls before a long stretch of empty sand as
the last red light drains from the sky.

The Range Rover comes down onto the sand, parks.

INT./EXT. RANGE ROVER - SAME

Kelly turns off the engine. Suzie tokes on a joint, swills
the MD 20/20. She gazes upon the sea, eyes at half-mast.

SUZIE
I thought we were goin' to a movie.

KELLY
I think we just need to get wasted.

Suzie shrugs, gets out. Kelly gets out with her. Suzie
staggers. Kelly circles her with an arm, looks nervously
around, begins leading her down the beach.

SUZIE
I wanna live at the beach someday.

KELLY
Shit.

She stops walking. Suzie takes a few more steps then turns
to look at her.

KELLY
I left the keys. I'll get 'em.

Suzie plops down on the sand, drinks from the bottle. She
watches Kelly fading into the darkness, mumbles something
beneath her breath, then lies on her back.

SUZIE'S POV - THE NIGHT SKY

The SOUND of CRASHING WAVES. She rolls to one side, looking
down the beach Murky blackness.

She tries to focus, sits up.

SUZIE
Kelly?

She stands -- wobbly -- peers down the beach.

A shape EMERGES in the blackness, moving toward her.

SUZIE
Kelly?

The shape gets closer and closer, until...

Sam Lombardo steps up to loom over Suzie.

She takes a step back.

Sam puts a hand on her shoulder. He carries something in his
other hand -- hard to see on the dark beach.

SAM
Suzie, it's okay. It's me.

Suzie steadies herself. A face APPEARS behind Sam -- Kelly.

SAM
I was worried about you, Suzie. I
decided we should all get together,
one more time, before we split up.

SUZIE
Are you mad at me?

SAM
No, no. Look, I probably should have
told you a little more, about the
part I intended to play.
(beat)
We'll go through it all again tonight.

Sam takes the bottle from Suzie, looks at it.

SAM
This is a celebration Suzie, not a
suicide pact.

He lifts the object in his other hand -- a champagne battle.

SAM
We'll chill out first, have a drink,
watch the stars.

Suzie nods.

SAM
Kelly, there's a beach blanket in
the Jeep. Could you get it for us?

Kelly nods, starts back, looks once over her shoulder as...

Sam leads Suzie toward a huge rock formation.

SAM
Let me tell you about this boat I
picked out for us...

They move OUT OF SIGHT. Kelly continues to walk, back along
the sand toward the cars.

INSERT - A SCREAM

A sickening hollow THWACK -- an arc of blood and two teeth
fall silently on dark stone.

Kelly begins to run, stumbling through the sand to Sam's
Jeep, where she pulls a big roll of clear plastic from behind
the seats. She stuffs it under her arm, then runs back along
the beach. As she runs, she can hear them -- more THWACKS,
MOANS --

it seems like forever Sam APPEARS before her on the sand.
The champagne bottle swings loosely at the end of one arm.
it looks shiny now, dripping with Suzie's blood.

Kelly goes to him. She looks at the bottle, then throws
herself against him -- a hard kiss.

SAM
I'm sorry, Kelly. I'm sorry it had
to happen like this. She was losing
it...

KELLY
(breathless)
There was no way. That cop would've
gotten her to tell him... everything.
She was weak and dumb...

She kisses him again, her hands moving over his body. Sam
takes a step back, looks into Kelly's face -- the parted
lips, sultry eyes -- as if seeing her for the first time --
a long beat -- at which point he turns, heaving the champagne
bottle as far as he can into the black waves.

EXT. RANGE ROVER ON THE SAND - LATER

Rear hatch open -- overhead light on.

Sam and Kelly drag Suzie's body -- wrapped in the plastic --
to the rear hatch. As they heft her inside, the light catches --

SUZIE'S FACE

A mask of blood.

Kelly turns away in disgust. She goes to the passenger side
door, gets in.

Sam gets in behind the wheel. For a moment the two of them
just sit there, in the darkness, with the SOUND of the SEA,
and their own BREATHING. Sam looks at Kelly.

She is focused on the dark Atlantic.

SAM
Are you okay?

Kelly turns to him -- an anxious face.

KELLY
(a long beat)
My mom would kill me if she knew I
took the Rover.

EXT. EVERGLADES - NIGHT

Kelly waits by the Rover, swatting mosquitoes.

SLOSHING SOUNDS -- a shape approaches in the dark -- Sam in
waders, muddy, tired, carrying a shovel.

EXT. GALLERIA PARKING LOT - NIGHT

Almost empty of cars. The Range Rover cruises past Suzie's
VW, circles, comes back. Sam jumps out, pulls on latex gloves,
gets into the VW and backs it out.

EXT. BUS TERMINAL (MIAMI) - DAY

Almost dawn. A long parking lot fronts the terminal. Suzie's
VW arrives, parks, Sam gets out. He goes to the waiting Range
Rover, gets in and drives away.

EXT. FRONT GATE - VAN RYAN ESTATE - DAY

THIN STREAM OF MUDDY WATER

flows beneath the gate, down the drive, toward the street.

A HAND touches the water.

PULL BACK to REVEAL the hand as that of Ray Duquette.

EXT. VAN RYAN DRIVEWAY - SAME

Ray kneels, fingers wriggling in the water, then straightens,
looking toward the house where...

On the other side of the gate, Kelly, in a tube-top and tight
shorts, washes mud from the Range Rover. She looks up, sees...

Ray, drying his hand on a handkerchief, walking up the drive,
arriving at the wrought-iron gates.

RAY
Been four-wheelin'?

Kelly freezes -- not so cool this time.

KELLY
Get off my property.

RAY
I'm not on your property!

He grabs the wrought-iron gate -- rattles it -- harder and
harder.

Kelly backs away, frightened.

EXT. SMILIN' JACK'S FISH CAMP - DAY

Gloria and Ray stand in front of the ramshackle wooden
building, talking to Ruby. Walter sits nearby, sharpening a
knife.

RAY
You say she didn't come back last
night.

RUBY
She's been sayin' she was going to
go to L.A. But I don't know. I mean
all her clothes are still here. An'
she's missin' her graduation.
(a long beat)
She should graduate. She's a smart
girl...

Ray nods. He makes a note in his pad.

RAY
May have been she just partied too
much... But we'll look into it. We
find something, you'll be the first
to know.

Ray turns and walks to the car. Gloria follows.

INT. CAR - SAME

Ray sits for a moment behind the wheel.

RAY
It's starting, Gloria. This is how
it begins...

GLORIA
Ray. We don't know anything yet. She
could be anywhere...

Ray silences her with a look.

RAY
I'm gonna take you back to the office.
Will you put out a call on Suzie's
car for me?

GLORIA
You have someplace to be?

Ray starts the car, doesn't answer.

GLORIA
If you want company...

RAY
Just check out the car.

Gloria nods. She looks toward the camp store where the old
lady can still be SEEN standing on the porch, beneath the
jawbones.

EXT. BLUE BAY SCHOOL - DAY

Caps and gowns -- kids and parents on the lawn -- taking
photos.

Kelly poses with Sandra. Tom Baxter aims the camera.

BAXTER
Smile.

Kelly and Sandra force miserable smiles. CLICK.

BAXTER
That's one for the scrapbook.

Baxter moves away, greets Nicole and her parents.

Kelly puts some room between her and Sandra.

KELLY
You didn't have to fly back -- from --
wherever, for me...

SANDRA
I'm here to congratulate my friends
and their children. I'm leaving again
tonight.

KELLY
Don't bother. I'm taking a trip.

SANDRA
Where, the mall?

KELLY
A friend of mine bought a boat.

Sandra shakes her head, walks off.

Kelly turns away, freezes, as she catches sight of --

Ray talking with Jimmy.

EXT. THE BEACH - DAY

Ray and Jimmy walk along the sand, moving in the direction
of the big rocks. Jimmy wears bagger shorts, a surfer T-shirt.
Ray wears a suit. He carries the coat over his shoulder.

JIMMY
It's those rocks, up there.

RAY
You and Suzie used to come out here
together?

JIMMY
Yeah, sometimes. Lots of the kids
hang out here.
(beat)
You really think something bad
happened to Suzie?

RAY
(ignoring the question)
Lombardo ever come out here?

Jimmy looks at him, surprised, sees that Ray is serious.
Still, the idea generates a laugh.

RAY
I say something funny?

JIMMY
No. But I mean... just the idea that
Mr. Lombardo would...

RAY
Way I hear it, he was pretty tight
with the kids, one of the guys...

JIMMY
Yeah, but...

He breaks off as Ray kneels over a big flat rock. Ray brushes
away some sand, drapes the sport coat over his arm, taking
tweezers and latex gloves from the pockets.

Jimmy moves closer, curious, seeing what Ray sees.

CLOSE ON GLOVED HANDS

as tweezers pick up two teeth from a crevice in the stone.

Ray straightens, holding the teeth in the palm of his hand.

Jimmy stares at the teeth.

Ray takes a couple of bills from his pocket, hands them to
Jimmy.

RAY
I'm going to be staying here, Jimmy.
You can catch a bus up there at the
lot, okay?

Jimmy looks a little sick, but he takes the money. He starts
toward the lot.

Ray watches for a moment. Then calls out to him.

RAY
People aren't always what they appear
to be, kid. Remember it.

Jimmy looks at him, trying to make sense of what Ray is
saying, clearly disturbed by the implications. But he asks
no more questions. He turns, trudging alone back through the
sand.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. OCEAN COVE - LATER

THE TEETH go into a plastic bag.

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

Black-and-whites, county cars -- police tape across the site.

Ray, Gloria and Hunter watch as DAVE MERRITT, a forensic
expert bags the teeth. He passes the bag to Ray, then bends
to the rocks where he begins to take a blood sample.

RAY
Lonbardo and Kelly killed her here.

Hunter and Gloria exchange a look.

GLORIA
Two kids could've gotten into a fight,
lost a couple of teeth.

RAY
Those are Suzie Toller's teeth.

GLORIA
Where's the body?

RAY
The swamp, most likely... Lombardo's
a swamp rat, knows the body will
never be found there. But he's made
a mistake.

He holds up the evidence bag containing the teeth.

GLORIA
Her grandmother said she'd been
threatening to run away. And I found
the car at the Miami bus terminal.

RAY
You don't think Sam could've put it
there?

HUNTER
Dust it for prints. My guess is, if
anybody murdered Suzie it was probably
that little sociopath Kelly Van Ryan.

Ray shakes his head; he turns to Dave, still working.

RAY
How soon can we get something?

DAVE
We can get blood type right away.
Dental records will take longer.
You want DNA, that can take weeks.

Ray nods, looks out to sea.

RAY
Poor dumb Suzie, she never had a
chance.

GLORIA
We don't know that, Ray...

Ray turns to her -- an intense look.

RAY
Kelly's next, Gloria.

HUNTER
(ice cold)
Get off this Ray, now.
(beat)
If there is any evidence here, it's
for Homicide.
(turning to Dave)
You get an ID, you call me.

Dave nods. Hunter stalks off toward his car. Ray turns to
Gloria.

RAY
Will you do me one favor?

GLORIA
Ray, you heard him...

RAY
What if I'm right, Gloria? What if
I'm right and Hunter's wrong?
(beat)
What do you do if you see a bad thing
coming?

Gloria looks toward the highway, trying to decide.

RAY
Stick with me on this Gloria. I need
you...

GLORIA
And if the teeth aren't Suzie's?
You'll give this up?

RAY
If I'm wrong about those teeth --
it's a promise.

EXT. GLADES MOTEL - SUNSET

Sam's Jeep -- a "FOR SALE" sign in the window -- sits in the
lot.

Across the road -- Gloria sits in the white Taurus.

EXT. VAN RYAN ESTATE, MAIN GATE - SUNSET

Ray sits in his truck, picks up his cellular, punches in a
number.

DAVE (V.O.)
(speaker)
Merritt, Forensics.

RAY
The teeth doin' any talkin'?

DAVE (V.O.)
Ray. Stop calling. I told you the
dental records will take time...

RAY
What about the blood?

DAVE (V.O.)
(a beat)
Could be hers. Types match. Could be
a lot of other people's too...

RAY
(cutting him off)
Second you get something on those
teeth, I want it.

Ray hangs up without waiting for a reply. He turns to the
Van Ryan house, an orange light slanting across its facade.

EXT. GLADES MOTEL - NIGHT

Gloria waits in her car. She looks toward the motel.

Sam's Jeep is parked before one of the bungalows. There is a
light on in the room. We can SEE inside.

Gloria sighs, picks up a pair of binoculars and trains them
on the room.

ANGLE ON ROOM - GLORIA'S POV

Suitcases and boxes are stacked everywhere. Sam, bare-chested,
in khaki slacks, moves about the room.

CLOSE ON GLORIA

watching Sam, as...

IN THE ROOM

The PHONE has begun to RING. Sam looks at it until it stops,
then picks it up and dials a number. Kelly answers.

KELLY (V.O.)
Hello?

SAM
Hello.

KELLY (V.O.)
God, I've been calling you.

INTERCUT - KELLY/SAM PHONE CONVERSATION

Kelly is in the guest house, pacing in front of the gun case.

KELLY
I'm really serious. That cop, he
keeps watching me.

SAM
Duquette. Forget him...

KELLY
I can't help it. He gives me the
creeps... I mean why was Suzie so
scared of him? She's not that way. I
think he did something...

SAM
Yeah, he got her busted for
possession...

KELLY
I don't know... I think it was
something else... Suzie says the
bust was bullshit...

SAM
And you believe her?

KELLY
(a long beat -- a
sigh)
I don't know.
(beat)
I want to see you...

SAM
Kelly... Relax. Take one of your
mom's valium or something. In another
week you get on the plane. It's over.
We're rich.

KELLY
But what if they find out... God,
they'd put you in the gas chamber...

Sam is about to respond, then looks out the window, sees...

ACROSS THE STREET, the white Taurus.

SAM
So if they're tapping your phone,
we're dead. Stay in the guest house.
Skip the graduation parties. You'll
never see Duquette. Okay? I love
you.

KELLY
(beat)
Okay. I love you too.

INT. TAURUS - SAME - GLORIA

sees the light go out in Sam's room, lowers her binoculars,
sits for a moment, then begins to write something on a pad.

She's still at it when something KNOCKS at a FENDER. She
looks up, startled, to find...

Sam in the street, still shirtless, his arms and shoulders
back-lit by the neon light of the Glades Motel.

SAM
Isn't that against the law, peeking
into windows?

GLORIA
(a long beat)
Suzie Toller is missing.

Sam lets out his breath, shakes his head.

SAM
How long?

GLORIA
She didn't cone home last night. We
found her car at the bus terminal,
but nothing to suggest she bought a
ticket.

SAM
Maybe she used another name.

GLORIA
Ray thinks she was murdered.

Sam shakes his head once more.

SAM
I don't know what to say...

GLORIA
You could tell me where you were
last night.

Sam stares at her.

SAM
Goddamnit... I don't have to...

He stops himself, calms down.

SAM
Come here. I want you to see
something.

Gloria hesitates, looks up at Sam, then puts down the phone
and opens her door.

INT. GLADES MOTEL - SAME

Sam and Gloria walk among the boxes and suitcases.

GLORIA
Looks like goodbye.

Sam nods. He goes to one of his cardboard filing boxes, pulls
out a file, hands it to Gloria. As she takes it, he goes to
the closet, takes a shirt from a hanger.

SAM
Kelly's file. Read it. You're going
to find an angry, sexually confused
girl who's made threats on her
mother's life and a female lover
she'd never identify.

GLORIA
Suzie?

Sam shrugs.

SAM
You're telling me Ray thinks Suzie
was killed. I don't have to ask you
who he thinks did it, do I?
(beat)
All I'm saying is, read that, you'll
have a new perspective on things.

Gloria sits on the bed, the file in her hand. She watches as
Sam pulls on the shirt.

GLORIA
Why didn't you tell us about this
before the trial?

Sam holds her eyes.

SAM
Then -- I still had ethical standards
to protect. They meant a lot to me.
Now, I don't care. And no amount of
money can buy that back.

Sam is interrupted by the HONKING of a HORN. He looks outside.

ANGLE ON LOT - SAM'S POV

A taxi waits in the glow of the green neon.

Sam looks down on Gloria, seated on his bed, her skirt short
enough to REVEAL shapely legs. For a moment the two hold one
another's eyes.

SAM
My ride. If you're not planning on
arresting me, that is.

INT. RAY'S TRUCK - NIGHT - LATER

The PHONE RINGS. Ray picks it up.

RAY
Ray. What's happening?

INTERCUT - RAY/GLORIA PHONE CONVERSATION

She's still in Sam's room, the file spread across the bed.

GLORIA
I'm tired, Ray. I'm going home.

RAY
Where's Lombardo?

GLORIA
He's leaving the country. And I don't
give a shit.

RAY
The blood type on the rocks matches
Suzie's.

GLORIA
It's Homicide's job now, Ray, let
'em do it. I'll tell you something
else, there's more to this story
than you know, Ray... If Suzie is
dead, I think Hunter may be on the
right track...

Ray clicks off his phone.

GLORIA
Ray?
(nothing but dial
tone)
Shit. Ray.

EXT. VAN RYAN ESTATE, FRONT GATE - NIGHT

Ray gets out of his car, presses the intercom.

SANDRA (V.O.)
(intercom)
Who is it?

RAY
(into intercom)
Detective Duquette, Ms. Van Ryan.
Let me in. Now.

EXT. POOL & JACUZZI - NIGHT

Ray CROSSES the deck, Sandra at his heels.

RAY
Where is she?

SANDRA
Where she lives. In the guest house.
Now will you tell me what this is
about?

RAY
I'm placing your daughter under
arrest.

SANDRA
You can't...

RAY
(turning, cutting her
off)
Suzie Toller is dead. You don't want
Kelly to be next, then take my advice.
Stay out of my way.

INT. GUEST HOUSE - SAME

A cap and gown lay strewn on the sofa.

Kelly wears jeans and a bra. She looks up to see Ray moving
across the tile. Her eyes go wide, then move to the gun case.

EXT. GUEST HOUSE - SAME

Sandra stands near the jacuzzi, not exactly sure what to do,
watching as...

ANGLE ON GUEST HOUSE - SANDRA'S POV

Ray knocks at the French door. It swings open. He steps
inside.

A long moment, then VOICES, the SOUND of things being knocked
about, BREAKING GLASS.

Sandra starts toward the house then stops at the SOUND of a
single GUNSHOT.

A SECOND GUNSHOT follows, then a THIRD.

The guest house door opens. Ray stumbles out, his shoulder
bloody, a .357 in his hand.

FADE TO:

VIDEOTAPE - RAY'S STATEMENT

We SEE him from the waist up -- a white T-shirt, his shoulder
bandaged, his arm in a sling. There are red scratch marks on
his face. His eyes look blankly into the camera.

RAY
I fucked up. I lost control of the
situation, the one thing they train
you for... God, what did I do?

HUNTER (O.S.)
Just tell us what happened.

RAY
I told Kelly Van Ryan she was under
arrest for conspiracy and murder. I
did her rights.

INTERCUT --

EXT. CARIBBEAN BEACH RESORT - LONG SHOT - DAY

Perfect crescent of sand. A man in white shorts reclines in
a beach chair, beneath a gaily-colored umbrella, sipping a
drink.

VIDEOTAPE - RAY

RAY
Kelly went crazy, started screaming.
I grabbed her, put her on the floor.

EXT. BEACH RESORT - CLOSER SHOT - DAY

Sam, in white shorts, looking good, watches a beautiful island
girl in a thong bikini frolic in the surf.

She seems to sense Sam watching, turns toward the beach.
Her eyes meet Sam's. She breaks into a beautiful smile.

VIDEOTAPE - RAY

HUNTER (O.S.)
She bit you?

RAY
Bit, scratched. But I had her pinned.
She calmed down. I was going to cuff
her... She said she thought she was
going to be sick. She asked to use
the bathroom.

EXT. BEACH RESORT - DAY

Sam and the island girl sit at an outdoor table. The girl
wears a short, terry cloth robe, Sam the white shorts and a
flowered shirt. They sip drinks. Their eyes meet. Their
fingers touch.

VIDEOTAPE - RAY

RAY
I told her I was coming with her.
She nodded, like she understood. We
stood up together.

HUNTER (O.S.)
You didn't cuff her?

RAY
She looked shaky, but lucid. I
thought, I would just go with her,
stand at the door...
(shaking his head)
I think I looked away. A split second.
Then, bingo. Just like that. She
puts a knee into my groin.
(beat)
There was this coffee table between
us and the wall. She got one foot on
that thing and launched herself at
the gun case. Thing had a glass door.
I could hear it breaking.
(beat)
I didn't go down, but she slowed me
up, just enough. Before I could get
to her, she'd turned on me with this
small caliber handgun. I yelled at
her to put it down. She got off a
shot. I took it in the shoulder.
I... I had no choice. I returned
fire. Two rounds, I think. In the
chest.

INT. POLICE ROOM - SAME

A moment of silence, save for the BUZZING of the MACHINE. A
number of plainclothes police, Hunter and Gloria among them,
watch the tape.

RAY
I went there to protect her...

He hangs his head, then looks up, his eyes focusing.

RAY
The teeth, were they...

HUNTER (O.S.)
Suzie Toller's. And that's the only
thing saving your sorry ass.

EXT. BOAT HARBOR (CARIBBEAN ISLAND) - DAY

Brilliant sun on turquoise water. A few boats anchored in a
lagoon. A quiet place.

Heading out -- a forty-foot sloop, Sam at the helm.

INT. HEARING ROOM - DAY

Gloria, Baxter, a tearful Sandra, sit in seats, watch as --

Ray stands before a panel, A SUIT, A CHIEF in uniform, Hunter.

Ray wears a suit, his hair neatly trimmed. His arm is no
longer in a sling, but one of his hands is still bandaged.

CHIEF
Detective Duquette; our investigation
concludes that this was a good
shooting. But that's irrelevant. You
were not assigned to this case --
whatever you imagined this case to
be. And now two young women are dead.
You are terminated with forfeiture
of pension and benefits.

Ray looks at the floor.

Hunter coughs. His hands rest on a file -- we SEE the video
cassette inside -- labeled "TOLLER/VAN RYAN -- CONFIDENTIAL."

HUNTER
Suzie Toller's teeth and blood were
found near the area known as Stoner
Rocks. Suzie's blood was found in
the Van Ryan Range Rover. This, in
conjunction with evidence obtained
by Detectives Duquette and Perez has
led this office to the conclusion
that Susan Marie Toller was murdered
by Kelly Lanier Van Ryan...

Sandra chokes back a sob. She gets to her feet, to be led
from the room by Tom Baxter.

Gloria Perez watches, a sad look in her eye, then turns to
look at Ray. His back is to her -- the broad shoulders,
expensive suit. His hands are clasped behind his back.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. BLUE BAY CEMETERY - KELLY'S FUNERAL - DAY

Gloria stands among a considerable number of mourners. She
is just back from Sandra and Tom Baxter, who, in turn, are
just back from the open grave.

As Gloria watches, Sandra looks off to the side, where
something catches her eye. Gloria sees her start, then follows
her gaze.

ANGLE ON CEMETERY - GLORIA'S POV

On a rise some fifty yards from the Van Ryan plot, two people
stand near an old oak -- Ruby and Walter.

When Gloria looks back at Sandra, it seems to her as if the
woman has slumped against Tom Baxter, who now stares at the
two people on the rise as if, by doing so with sufficient
intensity, he might make them disappear.

Gloria turns to the grave site, her eye lingers on the open
grave, then moves to the huge marker which dominates the Van
Ryan family plot and, in fact, the entire scene.

ANGLE ON MARKER

The angel Gabriel, trumpet in hand, carved in relief upon a
huge obelisk of black marble. Beneath the angel is a carved
scroll and upon it the words:

"I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE," and below that:
"WILLIAM TECUMSEH VAN RYAN. MAY HE REST IN PEACE."

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. A BEACH - NIGHT

Sam Lombardo walks along a moonlit lagoon, headed toward a
lone bungalow.

The bungalow is simple, picturesque -- whitewashed walls, a
thatched roof. A patio opens onto the beach.

EXT. PATIO - SAME

As Sam steps in off the sand, he sees something and stops
short.

Wet spots lead toward the bungalow.

Sam listens. Everything is quiet.

INT. BUNGALOW - SAME

Sam ENTERS in a room lit only by the blue light of a large
aquarium. He listens once more, hears it -- RUNNING WATER.

He moves down a short hallway, observes the light which spills
from beneath a bedroom door. He pushes it open, goes inside.

INT. BEDROOM - SAME

He CROSSES the room.

The bathroom door is ajar, the room leaking steam.

INT. BATHROOM - SAME

Sam steps inside, looks at the shower stall -- an indistinct
shape moves there in the steam.

San watches, then jerks open the shower door. The steam clears --
REVEALING a tall, athletic body, and now the face --

Ray Duquette, grinning at Sam out of the swirling steam.

RAY
Buy you a drink?

Sam takes a step back.

SAM
Jesus. I wasn't expecting you 'til
tomorrow.

Ray turns off the water, steps out of the stall, wrapping
himself in a towel. There's a fresh, raised scar across one
shoulder and Ray winces a little as he tucks the towel about
his waist. He looks at himself in the mirror, touching the
scar.

RAY
Nice girlfriend you had there.

Sam just looks at him.

SAM
Yeah, well, you fixed that.
(beat)
What the hell happened, anyway?

RAY
The bitch shot me, is what happened.

Sam shakes his head, walks back into the bedroom. Ray follows.

RAY
Hey, what did you want me to do,
die?

SAM
Well, shit, you're the cop, they
don't teach you to disarm people,
shoot them in the leg or something?
You weren't supposed to kill her for
Christ's sake.

Now Ray just looks at Sam, his eyes narrowing.

RAY
Did you become squeamish about these
things before or after you bludgeoned
little Suzie Toller to death with a
wine bottle?
(off Sam's silence)
Jesus, man. It couldn't have worked
out better. They're convinced Kelly
whacked Suzie. I can't talk 'em out
of it.
(beat)
We should be celebrating. This thing
worked out just like you said, only
better.

SAM
Kelly was supposed to be framed, not
killed.
(beat)
What I'm telling you is, I don't
like surprises.

Ray walks to a dresser where a bottle of champagne sits in a
bucket of ice. He opens the bottle, fills two glasses. He
hands one of the glasses to Sam.

RAY
Every cloud has a silver lining,
partner. Here's to no loose ends.

He raises his glass in a toast.

Sam looks at it, then raises his glass as well. Ray smiles.
Sam doesn't.

SAM
Here's to no more surprises.

Ray shrugs. The two men's eyes meet. They touch glasses and
drink.

EXT. SMALL BOAT HARBOR (ISLAND) - DAY

Sam and Ray work on the deck of Sam's sloop, stowing gear,
loading supplies.

The boat's mast shines in the sunlight before a brilliant
sky.

Palms sway. The men work in silence.

EXT. SMILIN' JACK'S FISH CAMP - DAY

Gloria drives up in the white Taurus. She parks before the
ramshackle old building and the gator pen.

Walter is in the pen. Ruby stands just outside of it. She
looks toward the road as Gloria gets out, then back to the
pen.

Gloria comes down the bank to stand beside Ruby. She's just
in time to see the huge old reptile raise itself, hissing,
on its front legs, jaws sprung wide. The women watch as Walter
sticks his arm into the gator's mouth.

RUBY
Gator can't see what's in front of
it for shit. They see out the sides.
(beat)
That one don't even know Walter's
arm's in his mouth.

GLORIA
What if something distracts it and
it snaps anyway?

RUBY
Then I guess Walter can kiss that
arm of his goodbye.
(loud enough for Walter
to hear)
He don't use it for no good deeds
anyway.

Walter looks at the ladies, picks up the stick and sweeps it
between the gaping jaws, which snap in its wake.

RUBY
You come all the way out here to
watch Walter?

GLORIA
I was wondering if I could ask you a
few questions.

RUBY
About Suzie?

GLORIA
Actually, I was wondering if I might
ask you about Ray Duquette.

RUBY
(a long beat)
He used to come around here. He had
a thing going with one of the girls
over at the Glades.

Ruby nods toward the motel, a bitter smile on her face.

RUBY
Got sort of hung up on her, from
what hear.

GLORIA
She still work there?

RUBY
No. Not after that night.
(a long beat)
I don't know what happened. Maybe he
caught her with some john... All I
know is, the next morning the girl
was gone and there was a dead boy...
Indian kid named Davy. Used to live
down the road there in a wrecked
car. Him and Suzie were at the Glades
that night.
(beat)
It was right after that, Ray got
Suzie busted and sent her away. That's
what there is to say about Ray
Duquette.

GLORIA
Was there ever any kind of
investigation...

Ruby cuts her off with a short laugh.

RUBY
Duquette always claimed the kid was
dusted, came after him with a knife.
But it was Jack's Fish Camp... This
could be the moon for all most people
care.
(a long beat)
Wasn't supposed to be like that
though. This place was supposed to
be something once. There were going
to be roads and houses. There was
going to be a town. They were going
to call it Salt Creek.

EXT. OCEAN - DAY

From the surface of the sea -- the emerald island in the
distance. The bow of the sloop comes INTO FRAME.

On board -- Sam stands in the cockpit, at the helm. Ray
lounges on the deck. The boat sails easily before the wind.

SAM
Ray... you see that winch by your
head? Take a couple of turns on it
for me, she's luffing.

Ray cranes his neck to look at the winch.

RAY
You mean this thing?

SAM
Yes, we call it a winch.
(pointing at pieces
of the rigging)
And these are shrouds, and these are
stays.

RAY
I thought this was supposed to be a
vacation. Why didn't you buy a nice
big power boat?

SAM
Come on, man. I'll make a sailor out
of you yet.

RAY
Yeah, or get me drowned.

Ray kneels. He begins to tighten the winch.

Sam watches him for a moment, then reaches around behind his
back to unhook the short line which holds the boom.

The mainsail catches wind, swinging the boom in a wide arc,
directly at Ray.

Ray looks up, sees it coming just in time to catch it on his
arm.

The blow is enough to send him sprawling through the
lifelines, where he just manages to grab one of the nylon
cords.

Sam ducks as the boom continues to swing erratically above
the deck, watching as Ray hauls himself on board.

The boat no longer driven by the wind, bobs up and down on a
small ground swell.

The two men face each other.

SAM
Jesus, man... You okay?

RAY
That how you planned it? You take
out Suzie, get me to hang it on Kelly,
then dump me in the ocean...

SAM
Come off it, man... It was an
accident.

Ray nods, then reaches down, pulls off the winch handle and
starts with it toward Sam.

Sam looks around. He jerks open a storage compartment. A
diver's weight belt tumbles out. Sam grabs it, swings it
over his head in circles, letting the weight pick up momentum,
preparing to throw.

Ray crouches, still brandishing the winch handle. The boom
sweeps the deck.

Sam throws the belt.

Ray grabs a shroud, dances out of the way, then steadies
himself, a mean grin spreading across his face.

There's no tine for Sam to look for anything else.

Ray moves quickly across the deck -- a menacing sight --
tall, well-muscled, the handle gleaming in his hand.

Sam pulls himself out of the cockpit. Ray jumps in. But that's
as far as he gets.

WHOOSH -- A spear pierces Ray's thigh. He screams, goes down,
the handle skittering across the deck.

Ray follows it with his eyes, reaching out, then freezing as
he sees something else. He draws in his hand as if bitten.

RAY
You... You're...

He scuttles backward, pulling himself onto the deck, clutching
at his leg which squirts blood as if an artery has been
severed.

But his eyes never leave the hatchway leading belowdecks.

RAY
You're dead... for godsake...

The boat heels over. The spear in Ray's thigh bangs against
the edge of the cockpit. He grimaces in pain as...

Suzie Toller steps up from belowdecks. She's wearing a bikini
and showing a nice tan. She's carrying Sam's new spear gun,
a fresh spear at the ready.

SUZIE
Rumors of my demise have been greatly
exaggerated.
(to Sam)
Nice move. Good thing I was here to
save your incompetent ass.

Sam secures the boom. Ray stares at Suzie, his face twisted
with some combination of pain, rage and fear.

RAY
You... I should've killed you myself.
Should never have left it up to him...

SUZIE
Shoulda, coulda, woulda...
(to Sam)
Get him in the water.

San starts for Ray.

RAY
Sam, for Christ's sake...

Sam's feet slide in the bloody smear. He stops.

Ray clings to a safety line.

SAM
I can't.

WHOOSH -- A second spear penetrates Ray's shoulder. He loses
his grip. The boat heels over, dumping Ray into the water.

Suzie puts down her spear gun. She goes to a storage locker,
takes out a bait bucket. She steps up on the deck.

Ray is floating not far from the boat, the water going red
around him. He calls out...

RAY
Sam, for godsake.

SUZIE
Hey, Ray. Guess whose name is on the
numbered bank account besides yours
and Sam's?

She raises the bucket, heaves bloody chum into the water.

SUZIE
I like these joint survivorship
accounts. Something unfortunate
happens to one of the signatories,
the others don't have to worry. Are
you worrying, Ray?

She heaves more chum -- a big red slurp across Ray's face.

Ray gasps, goes under, thrashing around in the red slick.

SUZIE
Men, use 'em abuse 'em lose 'em.

INSERT - SHARKS

from underwater, in a frenzy, rip a human body into a bloody
cloud.

EXT. SAILBOAT - LATER

Suzie comes up from below with a champagne bottle and glasses,
already filled.

SUZIE
Feeling better?

Sam gazes out to sea.

SAM
That was about as grim as it gets.

SUZIE
The guy was history when he killed
Kelly. You knew that.

SAM
But then you knew what he was like
all along... Maybe his killing Kelly
was a thing you had counted on...

SUZIE
But then it is better this way, don't
you think? No loose ends.

Sam just looks at her.

SUZIE
What?

SAM
That was the same thing Ray said.

Suzie smiles -- showing the big gap where her two front teeth
used to be.

SUZIE
Poor Ray.
(a beat)
Come on Sam, we did it. We put the
screws to the Van Ryans. We won.

She hands a glass to Sam, takes the other. He puts it to his
lips, suddenly hesitates, thinks, sniffs the glass.

A moment. Suzie shakes her head.

SUZIE
Talk about paranoid. Now are you
gonna teach me to sail this big old
boat or not?

Sam downs his drink.

SAM
Okay. Grab that winch there.

Suzie gives him a pouty look.

SAM
What's wrong?

SUZIE
Fuck the winch. I wanna drive.

Sam sighs.

SAM
Okay. Come here and take the helm.
I'll get the winch.

Suzie gives him her best, gap-toothed smile, then comes
forward to take the gleaming chrome wheel, as Sam scrambles
up on deck, kneeling where Ray had kneeled before him to set
the jib.

Suzie watches -- a long beat, then, slowly reaches behind
her, unhooking the line which holds the boom...

ANGLE ON BOOM

sweeping the deck -- coming right at us, blotting out the
sky.

EXT. SMILING JACK'S - SUZIE'S ROOM - DAY

Gloria sits on Suzie's bed, books spread out around her.
Ruby stands beside her.

RUBY
You asked if Suzie knew about the
Salt Creek land deal? Girl read every
book she could find on it, the Van
Ryans too.

Ruby takes a photo album from among the books, opens it,
tosses a photograph on the bed. It is one we have seen before.

ANGLE ON PHOTO

A stately old gentleman in a three-piece suit. White hair, a
white handlebar mustache. A derby on his knee, a walking
stick at his side. He stares out at the world from a high-
backed wicker chair, flanked by potted palms and two small
terriers.

Across the bottom of the picture is the name -- "WILLIAM
TECUMSEH VAN RYAN." And beside that, in another hand -- "Dear
old Dad."

RUBY
Wasn't enough Van Ryan had to destroy
the people who invested here. He got
to be old, he and his rich cronies
would come down here, hunt and whore,
act like assholes. One trip he showed
up with this young girl he'd picked
up somewhere, gotten her pregnant
then dumped her in the swamp.
(indicating the photo)
That came with her.

GLORIA
And the child...

RUBY
She had it, before she drank herself
to death. Wasn't exactly a love
child...

GLORIA
Suzie.
(beat)
Then you're not her grandmother...

RUBY
Raised her like she was, but no,
Walter's my only child.
(beat)
He was a good boy, till the army
took him.

Gloria looks once more at the old photograph.

GLORIA
So Suzie and Sandra Van Ryan were
half-sisters.

RUBY
And the other girl, Kelly. Suzie's
niece.

Gloria stands, a little weary. Ruby walks her from the room.

GLORIA
Thank you for talking to me, Ruby. I
am sorry about Suzie, she...

They have gotten to the main room and Gloria stops short,
noticing for the first time that the beat-up old black-and-
white TV has been replaced by a high-tech, giant-screen
television.

RUBY
You okay?

GLORIA
I'm fine. Nice TV.

The old lady nods, walks her outside.

EXT. SMILIN' JACK'S FISH CAMP - DAY

The dusty road, the little dock, the gator pen.

RUBY
There's an old saying from the
Everglades -- virtue may be missed
but sin can't hide.
(a long beat)
Folks pay in the end.

Gloria nods. She is distracted by a movement in the gator
pen.

CLOSE ON PEN

For a moment there is nothing more than a few ripples across
the surface of the pond which lies inside the pen, then,
slowly, the GATOR'S EYES -- cold, reptilian, unblinking,
rising up to gaze across the oily waters.

HARD CUT TO:

BLACK. CREDITS...

for about ten seconds, enough to fool the audience, then...

INTERCUT - LIKE OUTTAKES...

...PIECES OF SCENES WE COULDN'T SEE, or SCENES WE DIDN'T SEE
AT ALL, in reverse chronological order.

INT. GUEST HOUSE - NIGHT

Kelly is frantically trying to unlock the gun case as Ray
comes through the French doors. She can't get it done. He's
there in an instant.

She screams, backs away, then watches as Ray stops, wraps a
hanky around his hand and breaks the glass.

He takes out a small caliber handgun, checks the clip, aims
the gun at his own shoulder and fires.

BLACK -- MORE CREDITS -- THEN

EXT. EVERGLADES - DAY

A Jeep and a truck parked in the mud. Sam and Ray meet under
heavy, moss-draped cypress. Sam hands Ray a plastic bag --
the teeth.

SAM
You know the place I'm talking about --
the big rocks?

BLACK -- MORE CREDITS -- THEN

EXT. BEACH - NIGHT

SAM & SUZIE

behind the big rocks. He's got vise-grip pliers jammed in
her mouth. Suzie moans, for real. He loosens his grip.

SUZIE
You've got the pressure too tight.
You'll crush the fucking evidence.

Sam takes a breath, prepares to try again. Suzie pops a couple
of pills with gulps of wine. Sam goes to it once more.

BLACK -- MORE CREDITS -- THEN

INT. SAM'S HOUSE - DAY

Kelly and Sam on the floor, naked. He's on her from the rear.

It's getting wild. He suddenly stops, rolls to the floor.

SAM
We gotta stop. I'm gonna come.

Kelly laughs, straddles him.

KELLY
That never seemed to worry you at
the Glades.

SAM
That's not your line.

KELLY
Say you love me.

SAM
(a beat)
I love you. Now give me the line.

KELLY
(a whiny voice)
No little girl can ever make me come.

BLACK -- MORE CREDITS -- THEN

EXT. THE GLADES MOTEL - NIGHT

Suzie's VW is parked across the street, in the shadows of
tall trees. She and Sam sit inside, watching as...

Ray Duquette EXITS a bungalow, a sport coat over his arm. He
heads for Jim's Recovery Room. In another moment, a young
hooker in a leather miniskirt walks out of the same bungalow.

SUZIE
Seems to like some of the same places
you do. Funny you never met.

SAM
Yeah, real funny. You're wrong about
this, I could get busted on the spot.

SUZIE
Trust me, the guy's dirty. He'll
like it. Especially the part about
offing me.
(beat)
Now get out of here. Go make yourself
a new friend.

INT. JIM'S RECOVERY ROOM - NIGHT

Ray is at the bar. Sam sits down next to him. A moment of
silence, the twang of a country JUKE BOX -- then...

SAM
Buy you a drink?

BLACK -- MORE CREDITS -- THEN

INT. SAM'S OFFICE - BLUE BAY SCHOOL

Suzie Toller framed in the doorway. She walks in.

SUZIE
You like bein' a caddy for rich kids'
problems?

Sam just looks at her.

SUZIE
I've seen you out there in your old
air boat, thinking about what might
have been, old man Van Ryan hadn't
fucked you out of it.
(beat)
What if I told you I had a way we
could get a big piece of it back?

SAM
We?

SUZIE
Well, I'd need the famous Lombardo
charm, not that you'd have to do
anything you haven't done already.

She takes an envelope from her notebook, tosses it in front
of Sam. Pictures slide onto his desk -- Sam and Kelly -- in
various poses of coked-out debauchery at the Glades Motel.

SAM
(white-faced)
How...

SUZIE
Walter. He's been aimin' that Brownie
through knotholes for years. I saw
these, I knew he'd finally struck
gold.
(beat)
I can't decide which came out better,
that little straw Kelly's got up her
nose, or that vibrator you've got up
her ass. What do you think, Mr.
Lombardo?

SAM
(a long beat)
I think there's some things you do,
you don't want to see yourself doing
them.

BLACK -- MORE CREDITS -- THEN

INT. JIM'S RECOVERY ROOM - DAY

Sam lounges in a booth. He looks hot, bored. He stirs a drink.

Kelly walks in out of the light. She is looking a little
strung out, a big straw bag slung over one shoulder, but oh,
so sexy in skimpy cutoffs and cowboy boots -- long legs
flashing as she nears Sam's booth. Sam looks up, as...

KELLY
I'm running away.

SAM
(a beat)
You think that's wise?

KELLY
(sitting next to him)
Um-huh. And guess what else?
(reaching into her
bag)
I have toys.

She takes out a small bag of white powder, taps out a line
on the table top.

Sam looks at it. He looks at Kelly. He's had a few drinks.

SAM
(a long beat)
Well, I guess one taste wouldn't
hurt.

END CREDITS.

The seal comes up. It's over. They head for the lobby -- but --

EXT. SMILIN' JACK'S FISH CAMP - LATE AFTERNOON

Gloria stands beneath the jawbones, looking toward the channel
as the shadows lengthen across the dirt road.

ANGLE ON CHANNEL

Walter hangs a "FOR SALE" sign on a small, shabby sloop.

Gloria CROSSES the road.

GLORIA
Selling your boat?

Walter shoots her a look.

WALTER
This was Suzie's boat. Guess she
won't be needin' it.

GLORIA
I wouldn't have guessed Suzie was a
sailor.

Walter finishes with the sign.

WALTER
Old lady had her tested once. They
said her IQ was way up there, round
two hundred or some such shit.
(beat)
That girl could do just about
anything, she put her mind to it.

Gloria has nothing to say. She stares at the little sloop
bobbing in the muddy water of the swamp.

EXT. THE CARIBBEAN - WIDE ANGLE - SEA LEVEL - DAY

A head bobs among the groundswells.

CLOSE - SAM LOMBARDO

sucking wind through a smashed face, struggling to stay
afloat, as...

...in the distance, the sloop races toward a far horizon.

ANGLE ON SLOOP - HELICOPTER SHOT

Suzie, at the helm, looking good, face to the wind.

THE END
(Really)

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