Who's Who in Springfield

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Christina Blake Thorpe Marler
Who's Who in Springfield: Blake Thorpe Marler | Guiding Light on Soap Central
Actor History

Gina Foy (June 1975 to May 1978 [recurring])

Cheryl Lynn Brown (January 1979 to September 26, 1980 [recurring])

Elizabeth Dennehy (May 1988 to June 27, 1989)

Sherry Stringfield (July 21, 1989 to August 3, 1992)

Elizabeth Keifer (August 1992 through July 2003 [contract]; August 2003 to September 18, 2009 [recurring])


Born on-screen on July 9, 1975

Birth date revised to April 30, 1965, when she was about 22 in 1988

Celebrated her 30th birthday in April 1995


Author of Jenna Bradshaw's biography

Former talent agent for Henry Cooper Bradshaw


Formerly ran "Harley's Angels," a non-profit detective/legal aid service with Harley and Mel

Spaulding Enterprise board member

Ordained minister

Former romance novelist under the name Darlena LaCrosse (books One True Love and Hearts Alone)

Briefly worked as Dr. Eve Guthrie's assistant at Cedars

Briefly worked at WSPR

Public relations specialist

Formerly worked in PR for Spaulding Enterprises


A house in Springfield with her daughter

Marital Status

Single/Widowed (Ross Marler)

Past Marriages

Phillip Spaulding (divorced) [married: Jul 1989; divorced: early 1990]

Alan-Michael Spaulding (divorced) [married: Jun 1990; divorced: late 1990]

Ross Marler (divorced) [married: Jun 13, 1994; divorced: Spring 1998]

Ross Marler (deceased) [married: Dec 24, 2003]


Roger Thorpe (father; deceased)

Holly Lindsey Reade (mother)

Dietrich Lindsey (former stepfather)

Sebastian Hulce (half-brother)

Hart Jessup (half-brother; deceased)

Meg Reade (half-sister)

Adam Thorpe (paternal grandfather)

Stanley Norris (maternal grandfather; deceased)

Marjorie Thorpe (paternal grandmother; deceased)

Barbara Norris (maternal grandmother; deceased)

Andrew Norris (uncle)

Ken Norris (uncle)

Peter Reardon (nephew)

Roger Joshua Winslow (nephew)

Emily Norris (cousin)

Amanda Spaulding Thorpe (stepmother)

Dinah Marler (stepdaughter)

Justin Marler (brother-in-law)

Lainie Marler Bowden (sister-in-law)

Ben Warren (brother-in-law; deceased)


Kevin Ross Marler (with Ross)

Jason Frederick Marler (with Ross)

Clarissa Marler (with Ross)

Flings & Affairs

Gary Swanson (lovers)

Alan Spaulding (lovers; deceased)

Johnny Bauer (dated)

Alan-Michael Spaulding (affair)

Gary Swanson (affair)

Frank Cooper (lovers)

Leo Flynn (dated platonically)

Ross Marler (lovers; deceased)

Alan-Michael Spaulding (one-night stand)

Rick Bauer (affair)

Ben Warren (affair; deceased)

Gus Aitoro (kissed; deceased)

Ron Steele (dated platonically)

Jeffrey O'Neill (lovers)

Frank Cooper (dated)

Crimes Committed

Corporate espionage [Fall 1988]

Falsely committed Phillip to a mental institution [Nov 15, 1989]

Used Rusty Shayne in an attempt to keep Phillip Spaulding and Beth Raines apart (backfired because the two were already in Willow Hills sanitarium) [Nov 30 to Dec 7, 1989]

Lied to Alexandra Spaulding that Phillip committed himself voluntarily [Dec 5, 1989]

Plotted with Neil Everest to keep Phillip and Beth apart [Dec 14 to 20, 1989]

With Gary Swanson, broke into and rummaged through Neil Everest's trailer [Mar 6, 1990]

Destroyed Beth Raines's art sketches [Mar 6, 1990]

Looked at Dr. Margaret Sedgwick's patient file for Beth Raines [Mar 28, 1990]

Falsely insinuated to Alexandra that Roger and Holly were having an affair [Mar 29, 1990]

Fraud; faked her pregnancy and miscarriage [Apr 18, 1990, to Aug 1990]

Coerced Holly, Roger, and Ross to keep silent about her faking her pregnancy and miscarriage [Jun 1990 to Dec 19, 1990]

Blackmailed Gary Swanson and later destroyed evidence linking him to a construction accident [early 1990]

Shot Gary Swanson [Jun 1990]

Attempted to kill Gary Swanson [Nov 26, 1990]

Accidentally shot Alan-Michael Spaulding [Nov 26, 1990]

Jailed for shooting and killing Alan-Michael Spaulding (Alan-Michael later turned up alive) [Nov 26, 1990]

Attempted entrapment: phoned immigration officials about Eleni Andros to get Eleni deported in an attempt to get Alan-Michael back for herself [Feb 1992]

Stole a file from Ross Marler's office, regarding the investigation into then jewel thief Jenna Bradshaw [May 13, 1992]

Broke into Leo Flynn's office to retrieve incriminating evidence concerning her affair with Ross Marler [Oct 1992]

Bugged the telephone of her own house to spy on her stepdaughter, Dinah Marler [Apr to Jun 1995]

Locked Amanda Spaulding up in a building with no heat (was arrested for the crime; Amanda later dropped the charges) [Feb 14, 1996]

Falsified her medical records to show that both her unborn twins were fathered by Ross (since she believed they were fathered by two different men) [early 1996]

Knew that Annie Dutton had stolen drugs from Cedars and did not tell anyone [1996]

Coerced Annie Dutton to erase Cedars computer files about Kevin Marler's paternity [Sep 4, 1996]

Falsely accused Phillip of trying to get revenge on her [Dec 3, 1996]

Looked into Ross Marler's briefcase and stole a file for Annie [Jan 30, 1997]

Bugged Ross's office phone [Feb 1997]

Kept quiet about Annie not being Reva Shayne's sister [Feb to Jun 1997]

With Reva Shayne Lewis, chloroformed Annie Dutton at the Spaulding mansion and kidnapped her to Cross Creek [Sep 26, 1997]

Assaulted Ben Warren [Jan 1998]

Falsely accused Ben Warren (her brother-in-law) of rape [Jul 1998]

Kidnapped her children [Sep 1998]

Forged Cassie Layne's passport [Jul 13, 1999]

Broke into Holly's home in order to erase her name off an email [Nov 4, 1999]

Stole Holly's computer [Nov 4, 1999]

Kept the whereabouts of fugitives Michelle Bauer and Danny Santos a secret from the police [Apr 3 to 14, 2000]

With Harley Cooper Spaulding, broke into Edmund Winslow's apartment to find proof of his collusion with Rob Layne [May 22, 2000]

Posed as a prostitute [May 22, 2000]

Falsely arrested for prostitution [May 22, 2000]

Broke into Gus Aitoro's hotel room and snooped around (was caught by Gus) [Jul 12, 2001]

Made up a fictitious story so she could snoop into Gus's files at the Chicago Police Department's archives [Jul 18 and 19, 2001]

Spied on Ross Marler and Tory Granger [Nov 30, 2001]

Broke into Tory Granger's room at the Reardon Boarding House and looked in her diary [Mar 22, 2002]

Drunk and disorderly conduct; caused a public scene at the homecoming party for Beth Raines at the Lakeland Country Club [Apr 1, 2002]

Snooped in Tory Granger's house in Pennsylvania [Apr 10, 2002]

Imprisoned Tory Granger at the Harbormaster office [May 2 to 24, 2002]

Stole Rick Bauer's prescription pad and got medicine from Cedars with a forged script [May 15, 2002]

Impersonated a prostitute to get information from a file on Ramona Hendon's murder at the Springfield Police Station (caught by Ross) [Jun 4, 2003]

Snooped around the Lighthouse and stole a gold coin [Sep 22, 2004]

Posted a photo of Gus kissing Dinah on her blog, www.SpringfieldBurns.com [Jul 19, 2006]

Posted FBI surveillance reports from Mallet regarding Dinah on her website [Jul 25, 2006]

Arranged for a tape of her and Jeffrey having sex to be televised during a live debate [Aug 1, 2006]

Posted a photo of Dinah and Jeffrey in the lake together the night of the Beacon fire [Aug 14, 2006]

Attempted to frame Olivia by pointing surveillance photos in her bag [Aug 16, 2006]

Posted a photo of Olivia referencing the Labor Day birth of her first child [Aug 18, 2006]

Posted a photo taunting Josh and Cassie [Aug 24, 2006]

Placed a surveillance camera in Alan-Michael's apartment [Prior to Sep 12, 2006]

Posted a video of Alan-Michael and Dinah meeting in his apartment [Sep 12, 2006] Posted pictures of Dinah drunkenly dancing with Jeffrey [Sep 13, 2006]

Graffitied "Springfield blogger -- shame, shame" on Dinah's wall [Sep 18, 2006]

Attacked Dinah when she set up a meeting with the Springfield blogger [Oct 17, 2006]

Claimed to be Gus's wife to gain access to his FBI file [prior to Nov 8, 2006]

Brief Character History

Christina Blake Thorpe, known as "Chrissy" as a child, was born in 1975 and was originally raised as a Bauer. Not wanting to admit that she'd had an affair with Roger Thorpe, Blake's mother, Holly, led everyone to believe that Chrissy was her daughter with her husband, Ed Bauer. However, a few months later, she was forced to reveal the truth when Chrissy became ill and needed a blood transfusion, and Ed's blood wasn't a match. Though Ed quickly divorced Holly in 1976 after learning the truth, he'd grown to love Chrissy and stayed friends with Holly for Chrissy's sake.

Chrissy's parents finally married in January 1979 with the four-year-old girl in attendance. Unfortunately, the marriage ended in disaster, with Roger raping Holly. Chrissy was too young to understand what was happening, and the Bauers sheltered her. She spent much of her time with them when Holly was in prison for apparently killing Roger. When it was discovered that Roger was alive, Holly fled with Chrissy to Santa Domingo in 1980.

However, a demented Roger was determined to be close to Chrissy and followed the pair to Santa Domingo. Though Holly was able to save Chrissy from being kidnapped, she was kidnapped herself. Fortunately, Ed and his brother saved Holly. After Roger's fateful death, Holly was too traumatized by what Roger had put her through, so she refused to ever talk about him with Chrissy and told the Bauers not to contact them when they moved to Switzerland, where Chrissy spent most of her time in boarding schools.

In 1988, an adult Chrissy, who went by the name Blake Lindsey, anonymously returned to Springfield after her relationship with her mother became strained. Before her return, she had briefly been involved with Alan Spaulding in Mexico, and Alan had sent her to Springfield to spy on his son, Phillip, who had wrested power away from him. Hired as a PR agent at Spaulding Enterprises, Blake befriended Johnny Bauer until he was about to find out her true identity. While Alan had plans of regaining control of Spaulding, Blake planned to double-cross Alan and keep power for herself, out of revenge for the way Alan had treated her late father. However, she soon started to fall in love with Phillip.

One day, on a business trip with Phillip, a frustrated Blake got drunk and apparently married Phillip's business partner, a sheik. The next morning, however, she recognized the sheik as a barkeeper and realized that Phillip had set her up. After, Blake got Phillip's confession of his illegal takeover of Spaulding on tape and planned to give it to Alan, when Phillip's Aunt Alexandra exposed her and forced Blake to cooperate with her against Alan. When Phillip learned the truth, he bitterly left Blake and, feeling guilty, she overdosed on sleeping pills and was sent to Cedars, where her former stepfather, Ed, discovered her true identity. Soon Blake reconciled with not only her mother but also Phillip, to whom she soon became engaged. Though Alan tried to stop the nuptials by staging a series of accidents intended to scare Blake, the couple married in May 1989.

The wedding ended in tragedy when Phillip and a man named Adam Malik were shot. To Blake's shock, Adam turned out to be Roger, who had been presumed dead for fifteen years. In shock, Blake quickly left Springfield after marrying Phillip but returned a few weeks later and tried unsuccessfully to convince Phillip that Alan had been the shooter. Though Alan was sent to jail after Roger exposed him as the shooter, before going to prison, Alan informed Phillip that he had falsified the death certificate of Beth Raines, the love of Phillip's life. So, in essence, Beth could be alive.

Terrified that Phillip would leave her for Beth, Blake burned the report that Roger had found, stating that the body in Beth's grave wasn't Beth's. Unfortunately, Vanessa Chamberlain later exposed Blake, and Phillip became more and more obsessed with Beth and became certain that she was still alive. Insecure about Phillip, Blake started having an affair with her old flame, the devious Gary Swanson, who was working for Phillip.

Soon Blake met Beth alive, living in a trailer with Spaulding's new architect, Neill Everest. When she realized that a mute Beth had amnesia, Blake, desperate to hold on to her marriage, kept quiet about finding her. Though she cooperated with Neill in keeping Beth hidden, when Phillip exhumed Beth's grave, Blake took drastic measures and had him committed to a mental institution. Unfortunately for Blake, Phillip found Beth there, and they reunited.

A bitter Blake still refused to divorce Phillip until, in 1990, she ran into the arms of Alan-Michael, Phillip's brother, who was just separated from Harley Cooper. They had a secret affair that ended when Alan-Michael learned of Blake's schemes against Phillip. Desperate to hold on to the Spaulding fortune, Blake faked a pregnancy test to trap Alan-Michael into marriage, unaware that Harley's secretly installed camera would film her actions. While Blake left Gary, who wanted to marry her, and married Alan-Michael, Gary found the camera and took the explosive tape to blackmail Blake with it. Instead, she turned the tables and blackmailed him with the secret that Gary was responsible for a construction accident years earlier that had killed Neill's family because Gary had used faulty materials.

Unfortunately, Gary set Blake up and ended up destroying the evidence. Then Neill was killed and, though Phillip was accused of the murder, Blake found out it was Gary but kept quiet. Meanwhile, Gary, who felt Blake had only used him, wanted revenge on her, so he kidnapped Alan-Michael for money during Alan-Michael and Blake's honeymoon in Costa Verde. When Gary claimed to be innocent, Blake was initially untrusting but later believed him -- but not before she accidentally shot him in the arm. When Roger and Holly arrived to help Blake, Roger convinced her that Gary was indeed the culprit, and he saved Alan-Michael near a church when he knocked out Gary's two henchmen. When Gary arrived, Roger beat him up but couldn't turn him in to the police because Gary knew of Blake's schemes, so he threatened Gary and forced him to quit at Spaulding.

Meanwhile, back at home, when Blake didn't succeed at getting pregnant, she went to a hospital out of town and told Alan-Michael that she'd lost their baby. When Gary continued to threaten Blake and Alan-Michael's brakes failed, a panicked Blake was certain it was Gary's fault, and to get rid of him, she attempted to shoot him when they met in a park. Unfortunately, Alan-Michael, who suspected something was wrong with Blake, followed her, and she accidentally shot him instead.

While Alan-Michael fell in a coma, Blake was sent to a psychiatric hospital for observation. However, Gary managed to break in, kidnap her to an abandoned warehouse, and demand four million dollars in ransom. Luckily, Detective A. C. Mallet and Roger overpowered Gary and saved Blake while a recovered Alan-Michael hurried off to save her. When he arrived, Gary claimed that Blake was his accomplice, but no one believed him, so he told Alan-Michael about the fake pregnancy, and Alan-Michael bitterly divorced Blake.

In 1991, Blake tried to get back into Alan-Michael's good graces by helping him to become president of Spaulding Enterprises. Unfortunately for Blake, Alan-Michael was in love with Greek immigrant Eleni Andros. To break them up, while Eleni and Alan-Michael were in Europe, Blake told immigration officials that Eleni was an illegal alien. Her plan backfired when Alan-Michael married Eleni to keep her in the States. A devastated Blake slept with Frank Cooper, who was also in love with Eleni.

Blake continued to pursue Alan-Michael, and though she had a one-night stand with him in 1992, she not only definitely lost him to Eleni but also lost her job at Spaulding. Blaming her interfering mother for her problems, Blake vowed to get revenge on Holly. Knowing that Holly loved Ross Marler, who was running for senator against Leo Flynn, Blake decided to seduce him in order to hurt Holly. After spending weeks flirting with Ross and showing her vulnerability, the plan seemed to work, with Ross softening.

However, Blake hadn't totally redeemed herself, and when Ross found his files on jewel thief Jenna Bradshaw, who was married to Roger, missing, he immediately suspected that Blake had taken the files. The night of the Springfield blackout, an angry Ross confronted Blake. In the course a heated argument, the pair fell into each other's arms and into bed. Though he still saw Holly because of his career, Ross continued sleeping with Blake until one morning a shocked Holly caught them in bed together. By that time, Blake had really started falling in love with him, but Ross didn't realize his true feelings until Blake ran off after he tried to explain away the affair to Holly.

Meanwhile, Roger suspected Ross of having an affair, so he hired Gilly Grant to get photos of Ross and his flame, and Gilly was successful. When a shocked Roger saw Blake with Ross, he confronted his daughter, but she lied to him that she was only sabotaging his elections. When Roger gave Blake a new car and Blake mistakenly thought it was from Ross, she went to him and confessed her love for him.

Feeling betrayed, Roger planned to send the incriminating photo to the press, but Holly did it instead. Wanting to test Blake, Roger set her up by telling her there was an incriminating tape in Leo's office. When Blake tried to salvage Ross's career by breaking into Leo's office and getting the tape, Roger got the break-in on tape. Though Ross became senator anyway, Roger blackmailed him with the tape and gave him the option to step down as senator or charge Blake. So Ross stepped down as senator to devote more time to Blake.

In 1993, Blake had to move in with Ross because her garage apartment was flooded. Although she was hoping it would cause their relationship to progress to the next level, to her disappointment, Ross wasn't ready for marriage. At that time, Jenna Bradshaw wanted to take over Spaulding, since she thought she had a claim on it, so Vanessa arranged for Ross to be Spaulding's lawyer in this case. To Vanessa's dismay, Ross also arranged for Blake to help him. During the case, Ross and Blake's relationship was strained because Roger was involved in the takeover of Spaulding. Finally, Alan-Michael lost the document that would save Spaulding from Jenna, but because he lost it, Ross lost the case, so Roger and Jenna took over Spaulding for a time.

After the case, Ross still wasn't able to admit his love for Blake, so a disappointed Blake found Alan-Michael at the Bauer cabin, and they slept together while drunk. Although Alan-Michael's wife, Eleni, caught them in bed, she kept quiet after Alan-Michael, at Blake's urging, gave her a divorce so that Eleni could be with Frank Cooper. Unfortunately, Ross found out the truth anyway when he rented a limo, and the chauffeur, who'd also driven the car when Eleni had arrived and caught the lovers in bed, recognized Blake as the "tart." Although Ross was enraged, he soon forgave Blake, and they became engaged.

After Blake shared the great news with her parents, a man named Pauly returned to Springfield after Ross had prosecuted him for a bank robbery. Pauly did everything in his power to destroy Ross, including putting the stolen money in the desk drawer. Pauly wooed Nadine Cooper, and he was also able to get a job as an artist at Mindy's design studio. This was a great help in Pauly's plan to ruin Ross's life. Pauly put the stolen bills in Melinda's place and took Ross's money. Ross and Blake remained blissfully unaware of what Pauly was up to and enjoyed each other.

Later, Ross's engagement party ended abruptly when Detective Cutter arrested Ross because of Pauly. Ross thought it was a joke at first until Detective Cutter started with the Miranda Rights, and Ed's smile disappeared. Roger offered Blake a trip to Europe if she left Ross, but she refused to leave his side. Blake hid in a laundry cart because she missed Ross so madly, and they made love in his jail cell. Luckily, Buzz, Nadine, and Blake were able to get Pauly to admit to Ross's innocence regarding the stolen money, while Ross vowed to help Buzz. Finally in June 1994, Ross and Blake married in a beautiful ceremony, surrounded by friends and family. Holly gave Blake the greatest gift for the ceremony: her grandfather Adam appeared.

Soon after the wedding, Blake started working for Frank's detective agency, which was backed by Ross's money. However, her career ended before it even began, since Frank decided to join the police force instead. Meanwhile, Alan returned from prison and started harassing Blake, Vanessa, and Alex to give him back the rights to Spaulding. To get Blake to comply, he found a Ross look-alike named Howie, who stole money from a Spaulding account while posing as Mr. Marler. Luckily, Ross and Blake were able to prove that the man wasn't Ross.

The couple then fooled Alan into giving them back the money, and they returned it to the company. Once that occurred, Ross tendered his resignation to Alexandra. In 1995, Ross's daughter, Dinah, caused some trouble between Ross and Blake. Although Ross and Vanessa thought she was on break from school, they were shocked to discover that she'd actually dropped out. While Dinah tried to pass herself off as a wealthy debutante, Blake suspected that Dinah was, in fact, broke. Blake's suspicions were confirmed when Vanessa learned of Dinah's money woes, and since Dinah's flirtatious ways were grating on Vanessa's husband, Matt, she suggested that Dinah live with Ross and Blake.

Although Blake wasn't happy about the situation, she caved in and let Dinah move into the carriage house. However, like Matt, Blake didn't totally trust Dinah, either, and decided to find out what her new stepdaughter was up to by bugging the telephones at her house. Unfortunately for Blake, her plan wasn't totally successful; not only couldn't she make out who Dinah was speaking with, but Dinah caught on and starting speaking in code. As Dinah continued to annoy Blake with her smoking and general selfishness, she had her parents, especially Ross, wrapped around her little finger.

Meanwhile, Dinah had found a perfect way to get money -- she'd arranged for Viktor to kidnap her, and they'd split the ransom money. Unfortunately for Dinah, Viktor double-crossed her and left her tied up while he decided to ask for more money, which he planned keep for himself. Luckily, that same day, Ross found the bugs that Blake had planted, and she tried to get him and the others to see that Dinah was planning something. Not long after, the family received Viktor's ransom demand, and Matt convinced everyone, including Detectives Patrick Cutter and Frank Cooper, to have him take the money to the location Viktor had mentioned. Rescued by Matt, Dinah was resentful when Ross and Vanessa read her the riot act about setting up her own kidnapping. Angry at her parents, Dinah lashed out by sleeping with Roger.

In 1996, Ross's ex-flame Amanda Spaulding tried to win Ross back, so a jealous Blake felt insecure and even locked Amanda up in a building with no heat on a winter night. When Ross learned of it, he angrily went to a cabin to clear his head and ended up kissing Amanda, who had followed him there. Unfortunately, Blake also followed and saw the kiss through the window. Not knowing that Ross turned Amanda away, she headed for a bar and ran into Rick. The two proceeded to drink heavily and wound up in bed with one another.

The next morning, Ross found Rick in his bathroom, and not even considering anything, he and Blake made up. Then Blake became pregnant with twins and learned that they each had a different father. With help of her friend Annie Dutton, she manipulated the test results to show that Ross had fathered both babies. Unfortunately, her manipulations gave the impression of the twins being identical. Although Annie, in a drug-induced stupor, told Rick the truth, Blake was able to convince him to keep quiet in order to preserve her marriage and his relationship with Abigail Blume. At the end of the year, Blake gave birth to Kevin and Jason at the Bauer cabin, with Ross and Rick in attendance. Even though the twins turned out to not be identical, Ross still suspected nothing.

In 1997, Annie blackmailed Blake with her schemes, forcing her to break into Ross's office and bug Ross's phone in order to get secret information about Reva Shayne's long-lost sister. Annie acted as Reva's sister and blackmailed Blake to keep quiet about her fraud. Blake was guilt-ridden about what she knew, so she decided to confess all to Ross, and while driving with the twins to Rick and Abby's engagement party, she had an accident. Though everyone survived, Rick, who performed an emergency operation on Kevin, confessed the truth of Kevin's parentage to Ross. Angry, Ross wanted to divorce Blake, despite all her pleas for forgiveness.

Just as Ross had finally decided to forgive Blake, they suffered a setback, again thanks to circumstances surrounding Annie Dutton. As Annie was making life miserable for Josh and Reva, Blake was on the sidelines, feeling guilty about having spied on Ross. However, when she threatened to go to Ross with the truth, Annie scared her by saying that Ross would never forgive her. Terribly confused, Blake made her fateful decision when Reva was on trial for pushing Annie down the stairs. Knowing of Annie's schemes, including having herself artificially inseminated, Blake announced in the courtroom that she had proof that Reva was innocent.

Unfortunately, knowledge of Annie's deceit was not proof of Reva's innocence, as a furious Ross, who was the District Attorney, showed while cross-examining Blake. Days later, Ross again decided to forgive Blake if she would guarantee to never hurt him again. Unable to promise that, Blake went away for a while, and when her purse was stolen and Ross had to identify a dead body in the morgue, he realized he loved her. Luckily, the dead body turned out to be the purse thief, and when Blake returned, Ross totally forgave her and promised to always stand by her. Later, Blake helped Reva by kidnapping Annie so that Reva was able to confront Annie with her schemes.

Ross's brother, Ben Warren, arrived in town with a vengeance. He soon became obsessed with Blake and created quite a bit of tension between her and Ross. Although she initially hated Ben, since she knew he was after vengeance, it soon became apparent that there was some intense chemistry between her and Ben. Knowing of the animosity between him and Ross, Blake went to Ben, who had become District Attorney, and he offered her a wager -- if he lost the case of the State v. Abby Blume, for the murder of Roy Meechum, then he had to leave town; if he was able to get a conviction, Blake had to sleep with him.

In 1998, wanting to get Ben out of their lives, Blake entered his hotel room, and pretending to try to seduce him, she handcuffed him to the bed. To make him sweat, she pulled out a knife to "talk," and though Ben was nervous, he proceeded to push the truth in front of her -- he held her hostage emotionally. Unnerved by him, Blake set out to leave when Ben pulled her into a kiss. To free herself, Blake hit Ben over the head with a vase, and he faked being knocked out. Thinking she'd killed him, she called Rick for help then learned that Ben was playing dead.

Later, Blake was surprised when Ross found her in a lie, and Ben bailed her out by confessing that he had come on to her. Later, when Ben taunted Blake by playing the tape of Roy threatening Abby Blume -- a tape that could help Ross clear Abby of murder -- he told her that he'd give her the tape if she slept with him. Resistant at first, Blake caved in and started to unbutton her shirt. Although she insisted that she was repulsed, it was obvious that she was responding. However, just as Blake was about to cave it, Ben pulled back and said that he didn't want her until she really wanted him.

Despite herself, Blake kept thinking more and more about Ben, even confessing to Holly that her relationship with Ben was like Holly's with Roger. Finally Ben announced to Blake that he was leaving town. As Ben and Blake said goodbye, things became intense between them. Blake couldn't help giving in to her passion, and they made love. Once she realized what they had done, she began to tearfully regret it, and Ross walked in. Blake made it sound as if Ben had raped her and, in an attempt to shoot Ben, Ross accidentally shot Blake, who became paralyzed.

Upon waking up, a confused Blake was unable to remember whether or not Ben had raped her, yet she kept insisting that it couldn't be true. Soon, Blake remembered that the sex had been consensual but was too afraid for her marriage to speak up. Though Ben succeeded in getting a taped confession from Blake that the sex had been consensual, he had a change of heart about using it. Not long after, the Marlers were horrified when Rick, as a result of Holly's drinking, sued for custody of Kevin. Then Ben revealed shocking news -- Annie had fixed the tests; Ross had fathered both of Blake's children. Though relieved that she wouldn't lose her children, Blake was angry that Ben had known the truth for months and had never told her. She refused to drop the rape charges.

Unfortunately for Blake, Ben's show of destroying the damaging tape was just a show, and a mobster named Mick Santos got hold of a tape of Blake confessing that the sex had been consensual. Mick began blackmailing Blake and Ben. Mick played a game of cat and mouse with a desperate Ben and Blake, giving them each 24 hours to gather their resources. Whoever gave him the most money got the tape.

Once alone, Ben told Blake that they could solve the problem by having Blake tell Ross the truth. Unable to bear the thought of losing Ross, Blake refused, and they each set off to destroy the other. As Blake frantically tried to raise the money so she could outbid Ben for the tape, she realized that her lies were dragging her and her family down, and she visited Ben and offered him a deal -- if he bought and destroyed the tape, she'd drop the charges against him. Meanwhile, Blake's Uncle Ken found out everything, beat Mick to a pulp, and got the tape back. In the end, she gave the tape to Ross and forced him to listen to it.

Heartsick and bitter, Ross left and sued for custody of the boys. Though Blake was at first hopeful that Ross would return to her, he made it abundantly clear that he no longer loved her. Desperate to get custody of her kids, Blake enlisted Ben's help, and although they planned to kidnap the boys, Blake realized she couldn't do that to Ross. However, when an enraged Ross caught them, he refused to believe Blake's assertion that they weren't kidnapping the boys. Afraid, Blake ran off with the boys and, with help from Hart, hid out at a hotel. Although she had planned to run off to California with the boys, Hart convinced her to return to Ross with the children.

Grateful for the return of his children, Ross agreed to drop the custody suit if Blake agreed to never see Ben again. Agreeing to the deal, Blake set out to tell Ben and was horrified to find an unconscious Ben ready to drown in his own bathtub. When her wheelchair wouldn't go through the door, Blake managed to pull herself from her wheelchair and walked to save his life. Though she and Ross briefly reconciled, it was obvious that he couldn't trust her, and Blake left. After their breakup, Blake still had to deal with a custody fight for the boys, as well as Ross's new relationship with his lawyer, Anita Blackwell.

Though Blake was in danger of losing her boys, Ben saved the day by having Ross admit in court that Blake was a good mother. Later, after Blake uncovered information about Ben's abusive upbringing, she finally let her guard down and fell for him. After Holly warned Blake that she could be a target of the Nursery Rhyme Stalker, in early 1999, after many arguments with Holly over her relationship with Ben, Blake walked in to find her mother ripping her clothes to shreds and realized that Holly was the Nursery Rhyme Stalker. At that point, Ben walked in, and although Blake tried to cover, she broke down and confessed the truth to Ben. Not wanting to send her mother to jail, Blake kept quiet about the incident and convinced Holly to go to a rehab center for treatment. Unfortunately, unknown to Blake, a vengeful Ben was determined to lock Holly away for good and arranged for her to be committed to a harsher facility.

Soon after, Holly escaped from the mental hospital, and Ben convinced Blake that they had to go to the police and tell them that Holly was the stalker. However, when Blake was reluctant, Ben went ahead and told the police. Blake was furious until she discovered that her children were gone. After learning that Holly had kidnapped several Springfield children, Blake went on television to plead with Holly to return home. When Holly was sent to a mental institution, Blake and Ross helped her and grew closer again.

At the same time, Hart died, and though Ben tried to comfort a distraught Blake, it was apparent that she wanted Ross to ease her pain. When Ben began working for mobster Carmen Santos, Blake realized that he wasn't the man for her and ended their relationship. Meanwhile, though Ross and Blake seemed to bond over their desire to get Holly released from the hospital, it wasn't enough, and they divorced while enjoying one passionate day of lovemaking after being trapped in Blake's bathroom. Soon, Blake found herself pregnant. Thinking Ross regretted making love to her and mistakenly believing him to be involved with Holly, Blake decided to keep her pregnancy a secret from them.

Although she initially planned to get an abortion, Blake couldn't go through with it. After telling Ross that she was running off with another man, whom she identified as her friend, Joe, she went to the Bauer cabin, and to fight her boredom, she started writing a novel, imagining Holly as "Clarissa" and Ross as "Armand." The couple was separated by the war, and now "Armand" has an obligation to his wife and family. One day, Blake sneaked back home to spend some time with her children, and after looking through Ross's window and seeing him and Holly dancing, Blake assumed they were a couple and ran off, accidentally dropping part of her manuscript.

When Blake learned that Holly had found the manuscript and wanted to serialize the novel in the Journal, Blake, who was writing under the name Darlena LaCross, agreed. Later, on Thanksgiving, a lonely Blake needed a friend and called Ben. To her shock, Ross answered the phone and told her Ben was dead. Promising to attend Ben's funeral, Blake had hoped to sneak out unseen, but ended up being seen by Ross, who was shocked by her pregnancy.

When Ross assumed that the child was Joe's, Blake played along but stated that Joe had left her. When Ross offered to take care of her and her unborn child, Blake accepted the offer, but her relationship with Holly became tense, since she was jealous over Holly's supposed relationship with Ross. Sensing that the living arrangement wasn't working because he had feelings for both Holly and Blake, Ross made plans for an extended stay in Philadelphia with Holly. After fielding questions from Ross about how their conversation ended up in Darlena LaCross's story, with Blake maintaining that she knew the author, Blake decided to leave Springfield with the twins.

Not long after, Ross met face-to-face with the man he believed to be the father of Blake's baby and was shocked when Joe denied being the baby's father. Then, on Christmas Eve, Blake suddenly went into labor. Unable to call for help, she struggled to get up and go to the hospital when suddenly Ross walked in the cabin, demanding to know if she was Darlena. Unable to lie to the man she loved, Blake admitted the truth and told him the child was his. Ross then delivered his daughter, Clarissa, who was named after the heroine in Blake's story, and took Blake home with him, and there, they reaffirmed their love for one another.

By 2000, Blake and Ross were reunited. However, Ross was reluctant to remarry her, as he thought Blake would grow tired of him and stray again as soon as she was settled down. Though not wanting to jeopardize her happiness, Blake found herself in a dilemma when, in San Cristobel, working on an idea for a second novel, she found Michelle Bauer, who was on the run after being convicted of Ben's murder. Knowing that Ross would be legally bound to report Michelle's whereabouts, Blake agreed to keep her whereabouts a secret.

Meanwhile, Blake became involved in more San Cristobel intrigue, since Cassie was engaged to marry the prince of San Cristobel, Richard Winslow. Unfortunately, Cassie had an enemy in Richard's brother, Edmund, and so Blake and Harley broke into Edmund's apartment to find proof of his alliance with Rob, Cassie's ex-husband. Caught by the hotel manager, Blake pretended she was a prostitute to get rid of them. Though the plan worked, it led to the pair getting arrested for prostitution. Surprisingly, instead of berating her, Ross told her that he understood.

Later, Blake began working on her third novel, a fictionalized version of the life of Selena Davis, Buzz Cooper's fiancée. While appearing on Reva's talk show, Blake accidentally blabbed details of her "fictional" character's past as the mistress of a mobster, and how the mobster had been tied up and beaten to death. Unfortunately, Maria Santos recognized the comments as being applicable to her son, Miguel, and soon pieced together Selena's identity. She then began terrorizing Selena, which caused Selena to flee town.

Over a year passed before Buzz could forgive Blake for her stupidity. In the midst of all the drama, Blake was still desperate to get Ross to marry her, even becoming an ordained minister so she could perform the ceremony herself. On Valentine's Day 2001, Ross discovered Blake's certificate of ministry and asked her about it. Although she tried to cover, she finally admitted her plan to marry them. Though Ross was amused by Blake's scheming, he realized something needed to change between them and refused to marry her.

Later that spring, FBI agent Gus Aitoro attracted Blake's attention after he grilled her about who her source was for the book. An angry Ross demanded that Gus stop. Ross tried to warn Blake to keep quiet, but at that point, Blake was so excited about being on the best seller list that she was considering writing a sequel. So, the pair struck up a deal -- if Gus gave Blake lots of useful information for her next book, she would tell Gus her source.

Later, Blake learned that Gus was trying to circumvent her by asking other people questions about her source. Gus accused her of not knowing anything and just playing games with him. After Gus told her another story about Miguel Santos Jr.'s past. Blake finally reciprocated by revealing to Gus that her source was Miguel Jr.'s mother. However, to Gus's annoyance, Blake refused to reveal the name of the woman. Blake, wondering if his curiosity had a connection to his vendetta against Danny Santos, decided to do some investigating of her own and broke into Gus's apartment in order to get some information on him. When Gus caught her in the act, she was forced to pretend that she was there to seduce him.

Though she and Gus kissed after she broke into Gus's hotel room, it went no further, and Blake left with a photo of Gus and his father. Doing some detective work, Blake later discovered that Gus's father had been a cop killed by Miguel Santos and gave the information to Ross during a critical moment in Danny Santos' murder trial. Though he thanked her for her help, Blake didn't want to take credit for hurting Gus and started to explain what happened between her and Gus. At this moment, in an effort to save Blake, Gus told Ross about the kiss but added that it had meant nothing. Ross then chastised Blake, who was hurt when she realized that he wasn't jealous; he disapproved of her tactics for getting a story.

Not long after, Ross began suffering a severe loss of faith in the law and in his abilities as a lawyer. Concerned about Ross's apathy, Blake decided that he needed a change and so she arranged for her old friend Felicia Boudreau's husband, Clayton, to get Ross a teaching job at Springfield University. Ross soon blossomed in the new environment, befriending nerdy, shy student Tory Granger. Suspecting that Tory had a crush on Ross, Blake gave her a sexy makeover to help her find interests besides Ross, but the move backfired when Ross realized how beautiful Tory was.

Jealous and concerned, Blake began digging into Tory's life before Springfield and learned that Tory and her late husband had been separated for some time before his death, only making up shortly before their car crash. Blake told Ross, who then learned that the woman who had given Blake the information was a former friend of Tory's with an axe to grind. Chagrined, Blake apologized and felt even more insecure in her life with Ross and was convinced that Tory was after him. But Blake's blatant jealousy only made Ross angry and protective of a seemingly vulnerable Tory. Then, in January 2002, Ross had sex with Tory.

Guilt-ridden, he finally proposed to Blake. Blake's blue skies turned cloudy, though, as Tory began stalking her and Ross, following them to San Cristobel, kidnapping their children for a night, and lunging at Blake in a church while dressed as a nun. Though Tory repeatedly insisted that she and Ross were in love and that Ross had made love to her, Blake refused to believe it, especially since Ross denied it.

A few months later, Tory was reported to have committed suicide. Ross was devastated and felt responsible, while Blake didn't think she was actually dead. The more Blake investigated, the more doubts consumed her. Breaking into Tory's room at Company, she discovered Tory's diary. Events in the diary matched up to events in Ross's life at the time, so Blake tracked down bartender Romeo Jones at Infierno and learned that Ross had "saved" Tory from Romeo one night after Tory drank too much. Her walls of denial crumbled as she finally realized Ross had cheated on her.

Returning home, Blake greeted Ross, who finally confessed his indiscretion to her. Blake told him she already knew and threw him out. Blake was inconsolable, especially after she learned Holly had known for weeks and had kept the truth from her. Blake couldn't accept the idea of her perfect Ross, the saintly man who always forgave for all the mistakes she made in their relationship, being a human being. Attending Beth's welcome home party, Blake got roaring drunk and reminded the guests of the Blake Marler of old by jumping up on a table and delivering a bitter speech about love, poking fun at Beth's multiple personalities, doing a very dirty dance with town villain Edmund Winslow -- which ended with her spinning right into the arms of Ross, and exposing her fiancé/ex-husband's scandalous affair to the entire town. Blake let her pain control her.

Meanwhile, Harley and Gus began investigating Tory's past and realized Ross was a near dead-ringer for her husband, Stuart, and that Tory had been investigating him for months before arriving in Springfield. Harley told Blake, who traveled to Tory's old hometown to look for herself. Realizing Tory's machinations, and touched by Ross's kind words at a memorial service for Tory a few days earlier, Blake began to thaw toward Ross. The winner of an award for her writing, Blake planned to leave, telling Ross she would use that time to think more clearly. Soon before her departure, a policeman called asking her to go down to the docks to identify Tory's body.

Blake, wanting to get the entire mess of Tory behind her, agreed. As she arrived at the pier, she climbed a few steps. The officer greeted her, shining the flashlight in her eyes. As the light faded, Blake realized the male officer was none other than...Tory Granger with a voice synthesizer. Tory and Blake struggled, but Tory pulled a cord, and Blake fell through a trapdoor into a jail built below a fishing shack. Blake was dependent on Tory for nourishment, which was always junk food, and in return, Tory taunted her and forced her to videotape a goodbye to Ross and the kids. Blake, sickened by this insane woman who believed she and Ross were soul mates, repeatedly insulted and played mind games with Tory, also trying to escape several times.

Finally, Tory decided to kill Blake and burn the shack down. Blake managed to find pipes on the ceiling to cling to, and when Tory entered the cell, Blake jumped her, locking her captor in the cell. Free at last, Blake went home, and wanting to put the whole terrible situation behind her, decided to go to her stylist. She returned to confront Tory, and Tory made her realize that she had no evidence of suffering to give to the police, that the police would believe Blake had kidnapped Tory. Not knowing what to do, Blake kept Tory prisoner for the next few weeks, battling worries that she was becoming as evil as her father Roger.

When Tory became sick, Blake stole medication to help her, but as she entered the cell, a very healthy Tory attacked her. They stayed together for a day and a night, until Blake managed to drug Tory's drink and flee. This time, Blake told Ross the whole story. Unfortunately, their visit to the room revealed that the cell was long gone. Blake also notified the police, but when Frank doubted her, as well, she lied that she was making up scenarios for her next book. When Ross finally realized that she was telling the truth, because of fake cobwebs, they began faking fights in public to lure Tory out of her hiding place. Tory fell for the bait then figured out the scheme.

Blake ran toward the upstairs to save Ross from drowning in the bathtub, but Tory shot her. Tory went to finish the job on Ross, but Blake, who had been wearing a bulletproof vest, stopped her. She knocked Tory out, and as Tory began regaining consciousness, the cops arrived. Though Tory was finally out of their lives, Blake was still unsettled and unsure. She turned down Ross's marriage proposal, preferring to live together for the time being. They both realized the carriage house had too many bad memories -- of Ben Warren, Tory, and Carrie, among others -- and after throwing most of the living room out the front door as an exorcism, decided to stay at the Beacon while renovating and redecorating their home.

In early 2003, Blake started becoming concerned about her mother's emotional state. Knowing that Holly was under a great deal of stress at work, Blake wasn't entirely convinced that her mother wasn't the person stalking Reva Lewis. Though she told her mother she didn't believe it, she had to admit to Ross that she did have doubts. Luckily, Holly was cleared of suspicion, and Blake apologized for having ever doubted her.

Months later, Blake offered to help Eden August when people connected to her escort service started dying. Using her private investigator's license, which she had kept current since 1995 despite never using it, Blake teamed up with Harley to figure out who was murdering people connected to Eden. However, in the course of the investigation, the only two viable suspects were Eden herself or Blake's former stepbrother, Ben Reade A break in the case arrived when Gus, in Europe investigating Ben's past, sent Harley a fax regarding a teacher who had been fired for molesting young teenaged boys at a boarding school in Switzerland, Ben's old school. When Ross suddenly remembered Fletcher telling him that Ben had acted out after returning from boarding school, they looked into the matter and learned that a teacher had indeed been convicted of molesting teenaged boys.

Eventually, Ben decided to take his own life. That night, Blake, with Ross, Holly, and Ben's friends, Bill and Michelle, kept vigil at Cedars where Ben, after giving a full confession, died. After the tragedy, Blake and Harley decided to open a detective agency/legal aid service with Mel. Months later, the town of Springfield was abuzz with the news that reformed mobster Danny Santos was running for mayor. In December, Blake voiced what Ross had been thinking all along -- it should be him running for mayor. After convincing Ross to go after his lifelong dream of entering politics, Ross made plans to run against Danny. In preparation for the campaign, Blake and Ross decided to make their union official and married on Christmas Eve.

As Ross was gaining support in 2004, Blake heard from a bartender at Towers that Danny's cousin, Tony, had just been involved in a scuffle with another mobster. The next day, the news hit the papers, giving Ross the opportunity to convince the mayor to support him instead of Danny, stating that having Danny as mayor could be detrimental to Springfield. Although Blake felt guilty about the news leak, since it was entirely possible that a reporter might have overheard her conversation at Towers, Ross didn't feel an ounce of regret and placed the entire blame on Tony for getting into trouble.

Finally, in April, it was Election Day. Although Danny started out by gaining on Ross in the polls, as the day progressed, it looked as if he would lose to Ross. A sudden upswing in votes from 5th Street led to Danny's totally unexpected win. However, immediately following the election, there an accusation that the votes were tampered with, and a recount was ordered. Not long after, the press made allegations that Danny had used mob money to finance his campaign. Although Danny didn't confirm the allegations and no charges were filed against him, he quickly conceded the election to Ross.

As the months went by, Blake continued her work at Harley's Angels, even finding time to get her Realtor's license, since she was rather bored due to the lack of business. Then in midsummer, Blake was thrown when Ross suddenly mentioned Dinah. Wondering if he had, in fact, heard from his wayward daughter, Blake questioned him, only to have him called away on business. Not long after, Dinah was arrested in Springfield, after her heroic rescue of Cassie and her son, R.J., at the Jessup farm. Although Ross was anxious to protect his daughter, who he was convinced had changed, Blake made no secret of her desire for Dinah to be locked away for Hart's murder.

While Ross pleaded with Cassie, as one parent to another, to go easy on Dinah, since, as the sole witness, it was Cassie's testimony that could free Dinah, Blake worked with Cassie to decide whether or not a seemingly remorseful Dinah had really changed. So the next day, Cassie, Reva, and Blake cornered Dinah and blasted her for her crimes. Though an emotional Dinah defended herself and tried to convey remorse over what she'd done. Blake remained convinced that Dinah should stay behind bars. However, after hearing warnings from Jeffrey about how hard a trial would be on her family, Cassie began to wonder if it was worth it. Finally, Cassie decided it wasn't, and Dinah was set free.

At the same time that was happening, Blake received a letter from Roger sending her on mission -- a request to find something at the lighthouse. Following her father's instructions, Blake found what Roger wanted -- a gold coin. Soon after, Blake received a letter from Roger stating that he would be arriving for a visit. However, on the day of his arrival, Roger never showed up. Instead, a man named Sebastian Hulce approached Blake and claimed to have news of Roger. After asking to speak with Holly, also, Sebastian delivered startling news -- Roger had died from a lingering illness. Although a shocked and saddened Blake immediately believed him, Holly was more skeptical.

However, Sebastian was able to offer proof -- Roger's ashes. He then revealed another secret -- he was Roger's long-lost son. Later, Sebastian asked both Blake and Holly to take a trip with him to celebrate Roger's life. Although Holly declined, Blake immediately accepted the offer. However, while Blake immediately trusted Sebastian and bonded with him, Ross immediately distrusted him. Fearing that Sebastian was dangerous, Ross locked Blake in a cell so she couldn't leave with Sebastian.

Later, a still-furious Blake shocked Ross when she informed him that she felt that Dinah was a threat to her family and got a restraining order against her. During the course of their argument, Blake demanded that Ross choose between her and Dinah and was crushed when Ross picked Dinah. As tensions were high with Ross, Blake was becoming increasingly concerned about Holly, who hadn't called her since she'd gone with Sebastian. Finally, Blake was shocked when she saw Sebastian back in town, at Cedars.

Blake wanted to know why she hadn't heard from her mother. Sebastian insisted that Holly was fine, and she just wanted to be alone. Although Blake tried to insist on speaking with Holly, Sebastian convinced her that there was nothing to worry about. A little later, Blake was shocked when a friend of hers told her that Sebastian was at Cedars because he was deathly ill and gave Blake the two-way radio that he had left at the hospital, but when Blake tried the radio, nothing happened.

In 2005, Holly finally returned home and informed Blake and Ross that Sebastian was dead. Insisting on details, Blake was horrified to learn that Sebastian had lied about Roger's legacy and had kept Holly locked away in a cell in Santo Domingo until Ed Bauer could be found to cure Sebastian's fatal illness. Although a grieving Blake wanted to go to Santo Domingo to see the body of the brother she had never gotten a chance to know, Holly begged her not to, leading Blake to be very curious as to how Sebastian had died. Blake finally decided to drop her restraining order against Dinah for Ross's sake.

In the meantime, Blake couldn't shake the feeling that there was something Holly wasn't telling her, and Blake interrogated Michelle. Blake then learned that Michelle had expected Sebastian to live when they left the island. She was further shocked to learn that Holly seemed to have feelings for Sebastian. Weeks later, a distressed Holly finally confessed to Blake that she was obsessed with Sebastian, just as she had been obsessed with Roger. Days later, both Blake and Holly were shocked to see Sebastian alive and well.

At the same time, Dinah was becoming obsessed with Cassie's husband, Edmund, causing her family to stage an intervention to convince her to leave town. Unfortunately, that only succeeded in alienating Dinah from everyone. Although Blake thought their problems would soon be over when Ross arranged for Dinah to be judged incompetent and forcibly sent back to Europe, Edmund unexpectedly rescued Dinah. His reasons for doing so would become clear when Dinah dropped a bombshell -- she was carrying Cassie and Edmund's baby. Later, Blake received another shock when she learned Holly had sold her newspaper to Alan. At the same time, Sebastian revealed to Blake his plan to take Alan down and finish the job their father could not.

Intrigued, Blake wanted to help, but Sebastian hesitated. He explained that his plan depended on having Alan trust him implicitly, and Blake couldn't help him do that. Later, a crafty Blake created a scene, giving Sebastian the perfect opportunity to show Alan his loyalty. Meanwhile, Blake tried to recruit Josh to their cause, but he declined to help. The question became moot however, since by summer's end, Sebastian, who turned out to be as villainous and dangerous as Roger, disappeared from Springfield.

In the meantime, Blake became intrigued when Harley's ex-husband, Mallet, returned to town. She was intrigued because she knew the kind of love Harley had for Mallet, though Harley's heart supposedly belonged to Gus. Harley insisted that she did love Gus and was going to marry him; she and Mallet were in the past. Still intrigued at the thought of a juicy triangle, Blake started to make notes on a potential plot for a novel. Months later, Blake's new novel hit the shelves. Although Blake claimed the book was only loosely based on Harley's time in prison, it was clear to everyone who "Marley Trouper" and her passionate love affair behind bars with the prison warden, "D.C. Hammer," referred to.

Harley was left totally humiliated by the book, and despite himself, Gus felt unsettled as well. Although the scandalous book could have threatened Harley's standing as Spaulding's new CEO, with help from Dinah, she remained unscathed. At the end of the year, Ross, who'd been running for Congress, was suddenly appointed to the post and moved to Washington, DC, while Blake and the kids stayed in Springfield. In 2006, Blake counseled Dinah on her new relationship with Mallet, warning her that although Mallet was a good guy, he was still in love with Harley. Although Dinah seemed to ignore her advice, Blake's words did give her pause.

That spring, district attorney Jeffrey O'Neill gave Blake some devastating news. Contact with the plane that Ross was flying home on had been lost after takeoff, and the plane had crashed. Blake refused to believe it until Holly arrived to verify. After Blake collapsed in tears, Mallet arrived and informed her that the FAA has confirmed the crash. There were no survivors and no bodies to recover. When Blake asked Jeffrey about whether there had been other passengers, he stated that Ross had been traveling with his assistant, Nicole Landers.

Dinah immediately suspected her father was having an affair, but Blake refused to believe it. Blake decided to take Ross's seat as mayor. Meanwhile, Blake couldn't shake her doubts and soon discovered, on the night of Ross's funeral, a credit card statement and checked on one item -- a dinner for two in a restaurant outside DC for Valentine's Day. Furious, Blake crumpled the statement and hurled it across the room.

At that point, Jeffrey walked in and comforted her. Afterwards, he informed her that he was running against her as mayor. Weeks later, Blake was still bitter about that fact that Ross had apparently cheated on her and went looking for some revenge sex with Jeffrey. Jeffrey was all too willing to oblige. However, days later, Blake got a shock when Frank approached Blake and Jeffrey and reassured Blake that they were doing everything they could to get to the bottom of Ross's murder. This was news to Blake, since Jeffrey had neglected to tell her what the police had discovered -- Nikki Landers hadn't been Ross's assistant; she had been a private investigator -- and a lesbian.

Later, Blake and Dinah decided to do some investigating of their own, despite Mallet's request that Dinah not get involved. While Mallet thought Dinah was at a spa with Blake, Blake showed up and told Mallet, Harley, Gus, and Jeffrey that her stepdaughter had disappeared. Jeffrey, however, accused Blake of knowing exactly where Dinah was and using her to avenge Ross. Blake denied it, and Gus remembered that the last time he had seen Dinah, they had both suspected Alan-Michael was on an island somewhere. The group tracked Dinah down to San Gabriel.

At San Gabriel, the group learned something startling -- Phillip was alive. Apparently Ross had suspected the truth and hired a P.I. to find Phillip. It became apparent that someone had sabotaged the plane to keep Ross from finding Phillip. At that point, Rick made a horrible confession. He'd known Phillip was alive for months and had helped him keep his secret.

Rick told the group, including a horrified Blake, that he had paid the man to sabotage the plane but sobbed that it had never been meant to take off -- Ross was supposed to have switched planes. Rick tried to explain that he had never wanted it to happen -- all he had wanted to do was protect everyone from an unstable Phillip. He had loved Ross and respected him more than his own father. He asked Blake's forgiveness, but she refused to give it.

A month later, Blake made an appearance at the Bauer Barbecue, not because she'd forgiven Rick but because her children had looked forward to attending. When Rick thanked her for being there, she coldly told him that she was there because Ross had loved it so much. Later, a lonely and unappreciated Blake approached Jeffrey and suggested that they have another tryst. Jeffrey reminded Blake that they were opponents in a very bitter mayoral race, and to be seen leaving together would be scandalous. He then got up and walked away -- leaving her his room key, which she later used to join him.

The next day, Blake again urged Cassie to go after Josh -- primarily so Blake could have Jeffrey for herself. At the same time, throughout the summer, someone had been airing the secrets of Springfield residents on the Internet -- specifically on a website called SpringfieldBurns. The site drew the interest of the Springfield police when it posted a photo of Gus and Dinah kissing. Soon after, the blogger attacked Dinah again by posting surveillance reports that Mallet had been writing up on Dinah for the FBI.

However, Dinah wasn't the only person the website was targeting. Soon, the blogger posted pictures of Olivia, taunting her about her love triangle with Buzz and Frank and later mentioning Labor Day -- a reference to the child Olivia had given up as a teenager. Even Blake and Jeffrey became a target when, during a scheduled debate, their tryst ended up shown on television via the website.

Blake decided the only way to hold off the press was for her and Jeffrey to go public with their relationship, but Jeffrey thought it best, since they were not in a relationship, to just ignore it. Meanwhile, Blake took another stab at furthering the Cassie/Josh relationship by encouraging Josh to go after Cassie, since Reva wasn't around. She then reminded him how she had stolen Ross from her mom, and she was very glad that they had done something so wrong because it had led to many happy years together. Josh took her advice, and his and Cassie's relationship became fodder for SpringfieldBurns.

Meanwhile, Dinah had broken up with Mallet and seemed to be spending time with Jeffrey. Jealous, Blake tried to persuade Dinah that losing Mallet would be a mistake, since he was so much like Ross. Dinah saw through her act and accused Blake of wanting Jeffrey all to herself. Later, when Blake saw Dinah in Jeffrey's room, she squealed to Mallet, who accused her of the same thing. In the meantime, Dinah ended up on the blog again, this time meeting with Alan-Michael. In Alan-Michael's room, the police found a hidden camera on his computer. Throughout the next several weeks, Blake worked on the election, while bemoaning that she missed having a man in her life.

Later, Blake confessed to Frank that she needed to win the election so Ross and her children would be proud of her and the town would take her seriously. On Election Day, Blake nervously awaited the results and was elated when she won. However, as Blake was making her speech and drinking a congratulatory drink of champagne, she suddenly collapsed. Because poison was found on her breath, Frank sent the glass away for analysis, and Blake was rushed to Cedars. Meanwhile, looking for evidence about who had poisoned Blake, Marina opened up Blake's computer and discovered all of the source files for the blog site; Blake was the blogger all along.

Later, Harley realized that the poison had been meant for Jeffrey. Finally, a week after the poisoning, Blake regained consciousness, and Harley and Gus interrogated her. Blake bemoaned the fact that nobody had taken her seriously after Ross died, and all her friends had abandoned her -- even Harley was closer to Dinah than she was to Blake. She explained that she had felt she had to do something to make herself matter again. She had once had all the power, back before she had simply become a wife and mother. Once she had started the blog, she hadn't been able to stop; she had felt like she had power again. After becoming distraught, Blake slipped back into a coma.

Blake finally emerged from her coma in the spring of 2007 as Mallet was telling her his darkest secret. After being discharged from Cedars, Blake invited herself to stay with Dinah and Mallet. After complimenting Mallet on what a great guy he was -- like Ross -- Blake made it very clear that it would be in Mallet's best interest if he got the criminal charges against her dropped -- insinuating that she had heard every word he had said to her. Fortunately for Mallet, the matter was moot when the governor -- an old friend of Ross's -- had all of the charges dropped. Still unsure of what Blake actually knew, Mallet tried to coax it out of her, to no avail. Soon after, Blake saw Mallet looking into a mysterious metal briefcase.

Finally, Dinah got fed up, especially when she saw Blake and Mallet in close proximity, and while taking Blake to her physical therapy, threatened to throw her off the dock unless Blake revealed what game she was playing. Suddenly, a sympathetic Mallet interrupted. Though Blake tried to convince Mallet that she was much better for him than Dinah, Mallet was committed to his wife and let Blake down gently. That was when she dropped the bomb and blackmailed Mallet.

However, Mallet didn't believe Blake was a heartless blackmailer and told her so. That same day, in a pique of anger, Blake got Mallet's briefcase and invited his former boss to Springfield. Unfortunately, her actions had unforeseen consequences. Griggs's arrival led to Dinah being shot in the head. After being in a coma, Dinah awoke but had suffered brain damage. Though Dinah eventually recovered, her marriage to Mallet crumbled as Blake slipped into the background.

In 2008, Blake took it upon herself to become Coop Bradshaw's talent agent after his first book was published. Blake quickly wormed her way into the position by declaring that she had made his book deal possible. While complimenting Coop on what a bright future he had and telling him of all the plans she had for him, Blake was dismissive toward his girlfriend, Ashlee Wolfe. As the weeks went by, Blake groomed Coop for success by arranging book readings and even suggesting that Coop move out of Company to avoid distractions. It was obvious that Blake had a serious crush on Coop, and she admitted it to Harley and Cassie. Harley was not happy at all to hear about that and made it clear that it was inappropriate. A few weeks later, Blake kissed Coop, but he turned her down by reminding her that he had a girlfriend.

In the meantime, after returning from a book tour, Blake and Coop went to his place to work on the last chapter of his book. When Coop told Blake to get comfortable while he stepped out, Blake took advantage and, undressing, made herself comfortable in his bed. Before a shocked Coop had a chance to throw Blake out, Ashlee walked in. When Ashlee rushed out, Coop made it clear to Blake that she had to leave.

Afterwards, Coop made it clear that he was not interested in Blake. Later, both Mel and Blake tried to cheer up Cassie after her divorce from Josh. Blake also was the real estate agent selling Harley's house after Haley left Springfield. In the meantime, Reva decided that Josh needed a woman and randomly set him up with Blake. On a lark, the two spent the day with R.J., but Blake ultimately told Josh that she couldn't compete with Reva for his affections.

Meanwhile, Josh and Blake continued to spend time together. It didn't take much for her to realize that he was worried about Reva's pregnancy. Noticing that he was still wearing his wedding ring, Blake suggested that she be his "life coach" in exchange for him putting an extension on her house. Meanwhile, although the boys were away at boarding school, Clarissa went to school in Springfield. Since Clarissa was friends with Maureen Reardon, Matt invited both Blake and Clarissa over for Thanksgiving.

In 2009, at Company, Blake accidentally picked up the manuscript that Coop was throwing away. Blake was riveted by the tale of a young man's love affair with an older woman. Convinced that the heroine was based on her, Blake called her publisher and arranged for the prose to be published. Weeks later, Coop found out what Blake had done and insisted that the book could not be published, but by that point, it was too late. Though Coop was extremely uncomfortable, Blake reveled in the publicity and was certain that it would be Coop's best work.

Several weeks later, Blake was shaken to learn of Coop's tragic death in a car accident. Not long after, Blake and the rest of Springfield were shocked when Phillip returned to town. Though Phillip apologized for his role in Ross's death, Blake refused to forgive him. Meanwhile, one day, Blake impulsively invited Josh to lunch. Though she and Josh had a good time, when Reva arrived, Blake was all but ignored. After slipping out, Blake went to Jeffrey and warned him that he just might lose Reva to Josh.

Meanwhile, there were rumors that Olivia was involved in a romantic relationship with Natalia Rivera, Frank's former fiancée. While interviewing Natalia for a job as her assistant, Blake realized that the rumors were true. Immediately accepting, Blake suggested that they throw a luncheon to announce their relationship to the entire town -- an idea that Natalia rejected. Meanwhile, Natalia's queasiness led Blake to wonder if she was pregnant. Natalia discovered that Blake was right and confided that she was pregnant with Frank's baby. Unsure about what to do, Natalia left town and asked Blake to keep her pregnancy a secret. Though Olivia tried to get Blake to tell her where Natalia was, Blake refused to give her any information. Several weeks later, Natalia returned and told a shocked Frank about her pregnancy.

In the meantime, the Coopers were faced with losing Company due to a financial crisis. At the same time, Buzz discovered notes that Coop had been collecting in order to write a book about his mother, Jenna. To save Company, Blake decided to turn Coop's notes into a book. Enlisting help from Cyrus Foley and Ashlee Wolfe, Blake was able to write the book of Jenna's life and save the restaurant. Meanwhile, Blake bonded with Frank and asked Natalia not to shut him out of his baby's life. At the same time, Blake started chatting with an unknown person in an Internet chat room. After a few weeks of enjoyable conversation, Blake asked to meet her friend, who turned out to be Frank. By the following year, Frank had a new daughter, and he and Blake were a couple.

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