“You really think this one is going to work?” Russell questioned
tugging on Avery’s arm. While they stood together outside the
security offices where the security system was hosted for the building
that Kipp lived in, he thought about the newest idea in the quest to
prove Grady’s innocence wondering if it would really work.
“Do you have a better idea,” she threw out at him with a pointed look,
“The way I see it, we go in and see if we can get our hands on a
security tape from the night about the shooting. Once we do, we
can see first hand if there’s reason for the police to suspect Grady.”
“You mean beyond the bogus evidence Cameron planted,” Russell pointed
out with a scowl.
“If Grady was never at Kipp’s then there’s no way the world can think
he shot him,” Avery stated plainly smacking her lips together.
Standing taller, she adjusted the jacket she was wearing while finding
herself preparing for yet another mind game with the person on the
other side of the doors.
“Okay, so that makes sense, but we have a bit of a problem here with
your plan Avery,” Russ stated plainly nodding towards the front desk to
alert his wife’s attention to the woman seated before them, “I’m
guessing that she’s not exactly going to bend to your feminine wiles.”
“So what now,” Avery questioned before turning her attention to the
woman before them once again.
“Follow my lead,” Russell instructed pushing open the doors to the
security offices. Making his way inside, he approached the front
desk making his best attempts at being sharp and useless. He
focused on the woman before him while thinking about the idea coming
together in the back of his mind. Clearing his throat to capture
the woman‘s attention, he began to tap his foot impatiently.
Watching as she looked up and he offered up a bored yet somewhat polite
“May I help you,” she questioned looking between him and Avery.
“As a matter of fact you can. I‘m Special Agent Mulder from the
FBI and I believe you have a package for me,” Russell nodded
emphatically reaching into his pocket and pulling out his wallet in a
haste. He flashed her a brief glimpse of his identification
inside, before tucking it away once again.
“I’m sorry…” she began apologetically looking over a few papers on her
desk, “what did you say your name was again?”
“Mulder. Special Agent Mulder and I was supposed to have the
package three weeks ago,” he continued with an obvious irritation in
his voice, “I was told that your offices called my offices and that I
would be able to pick up the package this morning.”
“Well, I’m not seeing anything that says that…” she started up again.
“Of course you aren’t,” Russell waved his hands in the air wildly,
“That seems to be the name of the game these days with your company.”
“Sir, I’m sure if you were told there was a package, then it must be
here somewhere,” she offered up in a shaky tone catching note of the
expressions he was making.
“You’re damn right it’s here somewhere and I want it,” Russell
continued bringing his voice to an uproar. He looked around the
room cursing under his breath before focusing on the woman once again,
“Do you have any idea how many weeks your office and its negligence has
put me behind in my investigation already?”
“Sir, if you’ll just get me a moment, I’ll get my supervisor Mr. Rocco
and we can get this cleared up right away. Please just step aside
and…” she rose from her chair attempting to continue to remain polite
despite her obvious level of discomfort.
“Yeah, you go and get your supervisor. I have plenty to say to him
considering that I have a grieving wife and two children at home
wondering where in the hell I am in my investigation now that your
company refuses to cooperate. How do you propose I go about
telling them that the FBI can‘t be on top of the situation because your
company can’t be bothered with the death of a Hispanic man?
Perhaps I should have your company put under investigation for that.”
“Sir, I can assure you that…” the woman continued in a panic unsure of
how to continue on in dealing with him.
“Right now I want more than your assurances. I want to see that
Mr. Lopez and his family see justice served and with your hindering my
investigation, it leads me to believe that you have something to
hide. Come to think of it, can you tell me how many different
ethnic groups you have working here currently?” Russell continued to
lash out at her sending the woman into a tizzy.
“Marie, what’s going on out here,” A man questioned while making his
way out from behind the back wall.
“Justice is being perverted by a company whose racist policies keep me
from doing my job,” Russell announced blatantly before turning to give
Avery a quick look, “Get the Bureau on the phone as I think I’ve found
a reason to bring more men in on this one. Tell them that Mavis
Security is not only refusing to cooperate, but they’re also hindering
the investigation in trying to railroad me.”
“You’ve got it,” Avery fished her cell phone out of her pocket ready to
make a call, when the man before them leaned over the desk trying to
reach out to stop her.
“That won’t be necessary,” the man spoke swiftly.
“Oh I think it is considering that I’ve been waiting over three weeks
for the video surveillance tapes that are an essential key to my
investigation,” Russ glared down at the stubby, balding man before
him. “Clearly there’s a reason for this stalling you’ve been
putting on. Perhaps I should be putting this place under
investigation for a possible tampering with evidence.”
“Sir, I can assure you that won’t be necessary,” the man offered up
urgently, “Mavis Security will be more than willing to accommodate any
of your needs.”
“Well, in that case, you can start by taking us back to take a look at
the tapes you have from over at the Georgian Towers,” Russell demanded
firmly watching as the man was more than eager to comply to his wishes.
“Of course,” the man nodded stepping aside and offering his arm out to
guide Russ and Avery into the back with them, “Right this way.”
“But Paul,” the secretary started in confusion giving him a look.
“Not now Marie,” Paul glared at her before turning his attention to
Russ and Avery once again, “Please follow me Mr…?”
“Special Agent Mulder,” Russ added while nodding to Avery, “and this is
my partner Special Agent Scully.”
“You must be kidding,” Paul gave him a strange look.
“Sir, we’re from the FBI,” Russell stated plainly offering up yet
another trademark look of agitation that he’d grown so very used to in
dealing with the FBI over the past few months. “Joking isn’t
“Of course,” the man nodded dismissing the ridiculousness of Russell’s
words. Turning down a long, darkened hallway, he led Russ and
Avery to a room near the end. Opening the door, the man motioned
to the racks of video lined up within the oversized room. “In
here you’ll find what you’re looking for as this room in particular is
designated for the Georgian Towers complex. Whatever you need,
I’d be more than happy to make a dub for you.”
“Good,” Russell nodded curtly before urging the man aside, “we’ll let
you know when we’re finished in here.”
“Of course,” Paul waved them on eagerly, “Take your time.”
“We intend to,” Russell waved him away dismissively. Once Paul
had slipped out of plain view, Russ felt Avery step in behind him to
whisper in his ear.
“Mulder and Scully?” she squealed in a muted tone, “Russ, that alone
could’ve got us in some major heat here.”
“Could’ve, would’ve, should’ve,” he shrugged his shoulders before
making his way through the labeled rows before him, “We’re in here and
that’s what matters.”
“Yes, but Mulder and Scully?” Avery’s eyes widened with astonishment,
“Russ, even I could’ve come up with something better than that.”
“Call it quick thinking. Besides it worked and from the looks of
things,” Russ reached out to the shelves of video before him to pull a
set of tapes out of the group. Waving the tapes in the air, he
couldn‘t help but grin in victory, “it would seem we hit the jackpot.”
“So it would seem,” Avery noted hoping that whatever was on the tapes
would clear Grady’s name once and for all.
Susan stepped into her office ready to face whatever kind of disaster
Cameron had waiting for her. It seemed like there was always one
thing after another. Granted, she’d been so wrapped up in her own
problems in locating Ken that Cameron’s issues were irrelevant to her,
but now she was certainly feeling the brunt of her neglect.
“There you are,” Thea marched into Susan’s office not bothering to
“What?” Susan spun around to face her co-worker with a scowl, “Oh boy,
if Cameron’s sending you, then something certainly is up with the
“He’s having an off day and you know what that means,” Thea nodded in
“That someone’s head is about to roll. So what now? The
Douglas situation or more worries about Grady’s inability to cooperate?”
“Oh I don’t think Grady’s going to be a problem anymore. Then
again I’m sure that makes your battle over the house a piece of cake in
the grand scheme of things,” Thea snickered with a knowing expression
that puzzled Susan.
“What is that supposed to mean,” Susan scoffed with a frown.
“You mean you don’t know,” Thea’s eyes widened with obvious delight,
“You haven’t heard?”
“Heard what?” Susan frowned deeper, “Has Grady still been fighting the
deal Cameron wants to make with him?”
“I’m sure he would if he was still around, but fortunately for Cameron,
dealing with Grady has become a lot easer now that he’s dead,” Thea
blurted out feeling the satisfaction from Susan’s surprised reaction
spilling over her.
“What did you just say?” Susan questioned in disbelief.
“He’s dead Susan,” Thea repeated watching as it began to sink in.
“No, that can’t be possible,” Susan shook her head in refusal to accept
Thea’s words, “Grady isn’t dead.”
“Oh but he is,” Thea added brightly, “There was a mishap at the jail
and wouldn’t you know it, Grady is all gone.”
“No, no that isn’t true. Grady isn’t dead. Cameron isn’t
finished with him. I’m not finished with him,” Susan continued
with obvious emotion behind her words.
“Apparently he’s finished with you, but hey that works out in so many
ways now that the house is all yours,” Thea shrugged simply, “You could
call in a new designer and get that place just the way you want it to
be without him to irritate you.”
“I don’t believe this,” Susan’s face drained of all color. The
thought of Grady being gone just didn’t register with her at all.
It didn’t make sense for him to just up and disappear like that.
Grady was too stubborn to die and there was no way that…
“Oh believe it because it’s all over the news, which begs the question
of where have you been? Chasing after Ken perhaps?” Thea inquired
taking a seat in one of Susan’s plush office chairs, “Making any
progress there by the way?”
“I really don’t want to get into this now,” Susan reached for her purse
swiftly before heading to her office door in a haste.
“Where are you going?” Thea inquired watching Susan’s quick retreat.
“I have something I need to do. Tell Cameron I’ll call him later
because this can’t wait,” Susan threw back at her while leaving the
office in a rush of whirlwind.
“Oh I’m sure Cameron’s going to love that one,” Thea remarked smugly
realizing that she’d finally found a way to shake Susan’s otherwise
cool disposition up with that hard hitting blow.
“And what a blow it truly was,” Thea grinned whistling a tune knowing
that the wheels were now turning in the plan to rule Coral
Valley. It was only a matter of time.
“Jenna, I don’t know what has you so worked up, but I’m quite certain
that we can find a way to work through it,” Douglas began watching his
daughter pace around the room with obvious irritation. She
clenched her balled fists at her sides as if fighting the urge to lash
out at him in a fury.
“I’d like to think that was possible, but given our history, I’m
starting to have my doubts about you,” she blurted out feeling her
anger boil over while glaring up at him, “How could you do something
like this to Kipp? How could you continue to ruin his life time
and time again like this?”
“Jenna, I don’t know what’s got you so worked up, but you can rest
assured that I’m only trying to look out for your brother’s best
interest and…” he began with a desperate plea.
“I can’t be assured of anything where you’re concerned. You’re
nothing like the man I thought you were,” Jenna threw back in
accusation, “I thought that you gave a damn about your family--that you
really, truly wanted to have that chance to be the father that you
weren’t able to be while I was growing up.”
“I do want that Jenna. More than anything I want to be that man,”
he reached out to her watching her rebuff his advances.
“No you don’t,” she shook her head in disbelief, “that’s not at all a
part of your agenda. All you know how to do is destroy. I
don’t know if it’s intentional or it’s just who you are, but it’s as if
you want to take everyone you care about down in the process of
achieving whatever it is you’re after.”
“I love your brother and regardless of what you think about me, I love
you too Jenna. I want more than anything to be your father--to
show you that I’m the man you want me to be. Granted I might have
some rough edges, but…”
“Rough edges don’t even begin to cover it Doug,” Jenna insisted with a
huff, “You’re dead set on making mistakes time and time again--mistakes
that your children are continually paying for.”
“I know I’ve made some bad choices, but everything that I’ve done has
been for the sake of protecting my children,” Doug began to defend
“By sleeping with Cameron’s assistant?” she blinked back at him, “Do
you have any idea what that man is capable of? Of what he’s done
to people that I’ve loved--people that I’ve cared about?”
“Jenna, Cameron is nothing and while you think that Thea is like him,
the fact to the matter is that she isn’t,” Douglas started to explain
“No, that’s where you’re wrong. She’s as much a part of his evil
as Cameron is. They killed one of my best friends and together
they got away with it. Cameron is only set on destroying those
around him and by your having a relationship with his assistant you’re
asking for trouble.”
“While I appreciate your concern, I must remind you that it’s none of
your business who I decide to take up with on my own time,” Douglas
started with a sigh.
“See now there’s where you’re wrong. I’m your daughter and if you
truly cared about that--if somehow any of the emotions that you felt
for me were real, you’d end it with her. You wouldn’t willingly
put your family out on the line like you’ve been doing. You’re
only asking for trouble…”
“I don’t tell you who you can see Jenna and considering that the man
you’ve taken up has tried to destroy you repeatedly, I don’t think it’s
time for you to lecture me on my romantic notions,” Douglas threw back
at her with a scowl.
“Fine, then we’ll overlook that long enough for me to get to what’s
really bothering me,” Jenna folded her arms in front of her chest
defiantly, “Why are you insisting upon taking Kipp’s child away from
his or her mother?”
“Because Heather Gibbons is a slut and I don’t want my grandchild to be
raised in that environment that Heather will provide. My God
Jenna, she’s married to Cameron and you said it yourself that you know
he’s a danger. Why would I willingly put my grandchild into that
“Oh so now the wheel turns,” Jenna glared back at him, “It’s okay for
you to screw around with that woman, but when it comes to Kipp’s child,
you’d rather crucify the baby’s mother instead of trying to help her
out of the situation she’s in. Did it ever occur to you that
maybe just maybe she put herself in that position because of you?
Because she knew how you drove Kipp to the edge?”
“I didn’t drive your brother to the edge. Grady Denton tried to
take his life away,” Douglas shouted in response.
“That’s a lie and we both know it. Grady had nothing to do with
what happened to Kipp and I swear to you if you don’t stop trying to
destroy the future for Kipp’s child, then you’re going to find you’re
going to lose far more than you ever imagined possible.”
“Are you threatening me Jenna,” Doug’s jaw dropped in surprise at the
venom behind his daughter’s words.
“No Doug, that’s a promise because I swear to you that if you continue
to try to push your way into tearing that child’s world apart, I’ll
fight you with each and every step you make,” Jenna vowed standing
taller, “You might not think I’m capable, but I won’t allow you to
destroy my brother’s legacy all over again.”
“Jenna, that’s not what I’m trying to do and if you’d only stop and
take a look,” he began taking a step towards her.
“Oh I’ve seen enough Doug and I’m warning you back off,” she growled
back at him. Not bothering to look back, she made her way out the
door leaving her words of warning to settle in over him.
Brant entered his office feeling as though he’d spent less and less
time at BBK channeling his energy into all the wrong places, but today
he vowed to change that. He’d opted to quit moping and start
focusing on what was really important to him these days--his
company. Now as Brant settled into his office, he thought to all
the thins he’d neglected and vowed it was time to get back on them.
“Let’s see. Where to begin,” Brant surveyed the phone messages
that had been waiting for him in his absence. Reaching for the
phone, he began to buzz Diane in when he realized that he’d given her
some time off as well.
Groaning he slumped down into his chair, “It figures that today when
I’m motivated all the people I need to work with me aren’t
around. No matter. I‘ll just do this on my own,” he decided
reaching for the first message that had been left for him when he heard
a knocking at his door.
“Mr. Ashford,” a voice beckoned him from the slew of messages before
him. Turning his attention to the door before him, Brant noticed
Michael Winston, his head of research for the company, standing before
him nervously, “do you have a minute?”
“Of course,” Brant nodded waving him inside, “Come on in Mike.
Take a seat. What can I do for you?”
“Actually, Mr. Ashford,” Michael began shifting uneasily in the chair
“Please call me Brant. You know how I feel about the formalities
around her Mike. Mr. Ashford was my father and I’m just Brant,”
Brant greeted him with a polite smile thinking to all the work Michael
had done for the company helping Brant turn BBK around since Nicholas
Ashford’s untimely death.
“Brant,” Michael nodded in agreement offering up a strained expression,
“the truth to why I came up to see you today was because I wanted to
talk about SRL-52.”
“Ah yes, the wonder drug that’s bound to give BBK the new spin that
it’s so desperately needed lately,” Brant rubbed his hands together
excitedly, “So tell me, how is that going along for you? I’ve
been meaning to come down to the lab and talk projections, but with
everything that’s been happening outside of BBK, well I guess I’ve just
been a bit distracted.”
“Actually, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about today,” Michael
“Don’t tell me that you’ve found some new drawback to the drug,” Brant
frowned hating to hear that they’d reached another brick wall after the
months of research that had gone into the latest project that was sure
to set BBK on the map once again.
“No, it’s not that. Research is going as scheduled and within the
next few weeks I expect us to go into the next phase of clinical
trials,” Michael explained further rubbing his palms together while a
moment of silence pressed between the two men.
“So then what’s the problem? You look as if you’ve just been
delivered some bad news--like there’s something wrong with the
project,” Brant noted again seeing the obvious apprehension behind
“It’s not necessarily the project, but there are rumors going around,”
Michael began quietly.
“What kind of rumors?”
“The kind that lead some of the others in the lab to believe that Stone
Corp is taking another jab at the company,” Michael offered up again.
“If it’s the lawsuit you’re thinking about, you can rest assured that
won’t hinder any of our work with the company. I have my best
lawyers on that and…” Brant tried to explain hoping to boost his top
researcher’s confidence again.
“It’s not that, but more so the rumors are going around about Stone
Corp’s latest endeavor that is said to rival what we’re doing with
SRL-52,” Michael informed him, “There is talk about Stone Corp’s having
acquired a partnership with Steven Davies shortly after BBK lost
interest in the merger and there’s a super whiz that they have working
on a drug that is said to put SRL-52 to shame.”
“I seriously doubt that one,” Brant frowned at the thought, “Michael,
you’re one of the best and that’s why I brought you on my team.
Time and time again, you’ve come up with some incredible work and I
have no doubt in my mind that SRL-52 is going to be the top of the list
of achievements you’ve made her at BBK. The drug has been kept
under tight wraps so there’s no way that anyone at Stone Corp could get
their hands on the information we have.”
“Unless there’s some kind of leak within the company,” Michael offered
up, “I know we’ve kept things under wraps, but that doesn’t mean the
others working on the project have been so tight lipped. As it
stands, I‘ve been hearing talk about Stone Corp going after us with
legal measures due to their claims that we‘ve stolen their research.”
“That’s preposterous,” Brant frowned deeper at the notion. “You
were the one who came up with that drug and you’ve brought it to life
from the beginning.”
“Even so I’ve been having some lawyers popping up to hound me at
home--reporters trying to question me on the ‘top secret Ashford
scandal’ as they’ve called it. It really has a feel that
something big is brewing and I thought you had a right to know,”
Michael said bringing his fingers up through his hair. “You know
the truth and I know it, but someone out there is trying to give Stone
Corp some kind of leverage to work with in turning this situation
around to make BBK look as if we’ve been ripping them off.”
“So what are you trying to tell me? That someone on your team has
been giving information to the other side only to make us look like the
bad guy?” Brant’s jaw tightened with the possibilities that arose from
“I’m not sure, but what I’m saying is that maybe it’s time we amp up
what we’re doing with SRL-52 or else Stone Corp might beat us out to
the finish line with this one,” Michael added.
“Do you think you’re prepared to do that without crossing any lines
that could come back to take us down in the process?” Brant questioned
with concern, “I don’t want to repeat some of my father’s mistakes in
pushing this harder than it can be pushed.”
“I can promise you that I’ll get this drug up and out on the market in
a couple of months if that’s what it takes, but for now, I just thought
you should know about what could be happening on the other side.
When reporters come around digging up for a story, it never leads to
anything but disaster,” Michael continued rising from his chair to
“I can’t argue that point with you,” Brant agreed wondering where this
situation was headed now that Michael had brought it to his attention.
“I thought you might like to have an opportunity to work damage control
on this one before Stone turned it into something that we’ve been
working hard to avoid since you took control of the company,” Michael
added in a final moment of conversation.
“I appreciate your taking the time to share that with me and you’re
right Michael. I don’t want things to head down the road we’ve
worked so hard to avoid. I’ll look into the situation and see
what’s happening. You just keep doing what you‘re doing in the
lab and we‘ll make sure that Stone doesn‘t get the credit for your hard
work,” Brant nodded appropriately walking Michael out.
Once Brant said his good-byes to his employee, he returned to his
office ready to look into the situation Michael had presented to
him. Sure, Stone Corp might not be breaking any laws yet, but in
having obtained the support of Steven Davis, it certainly gave them
something of an advantage and Brant couldn’t have that. Not to
mention that another lawsuit was the last thing that the company needed
at such a tentative point in time. With that thought in mind, he
reached for the phone dialing the one person he was certain could help
him gain the upper hand in this current situation.
Susan stood on the front porch of the Denton home contemplating the
words she would say to Grady’s parents. On the ride over to the
house she still couldn’t believe what Thea had told her, but in having
caught the last part of a news brief on the radio, she realized that it
had been true. Grady was gone and there was nothing she could do
to bring him back. Nothing that could’ve made up for all those
moments they’d missed out on with one another. Now she found
herself at a complete loss not knowing where else to turn, but to the
family she’d once had when she and Grady were together.
Clearing her throat, Susan struggled to find the right words when she
heard the clicking of the lock before her. Moments later the
front door opened and she found herself face to face with Elliot Denton.
“What are you doing here,” Elliot questioned, a frown registering over
his features as soon as he took note of the woman standing on his porch.
“Elliot, I heard the news on Grady,” Susan explained desperately, “I
came right over when I found out. I had no idea that something
happened to him while he was in jail.”
“Sure you didn’t,” Elliot glared down at her while keeping the door
still partially closed to keep her from coming inside, “It seems
your boss was eagerly anticipating this kind of outcome Susan, so don’t
you stand there and tell me that you’re sorry.”
“I know how hard this must be for you because I’m feeling the weight of
the loss myself, but I can assure you that Cameron didn’t have anything
to do with this…” Susan started behind a tight voice.
“Of course he did Susan,” Elliot growled down at her, “He made sure
that my son was in jail for something that he didn’t do and you helped
put him there.”
“Elliot, I didn’t come here to fight with you over my boss. I
wanted to see how you were holding up over this. When I think
about Grady, well I just can’t believe he’s gone. I wanted to see
if there was something I could do--someway that I could help out with
“Why would you even bother Susan?” Elliot threw back at her, “You made
it your mission to ruin Grady’s life a long time ago, so why pretend
that anything mattered now that he’s gone?”
“Despite what you might think of me, I did love Grady. A part of
me will always love him Elliot and you can’t deny me the right to
grieve him,” Susan tossed out at him unable to contain herself.
“Susan, as far as I’m concerned you’re just as responsible as Cameron
was for what happened to my son and when the truth comes out, I can
assure you that you’ll all be going down for this,” Elliot added
slamming the door in her face and leaving Susan to think about how far
things strayed from where they were supposed to be where Grady was
“Okay, I give up. Everything is just starting to blur now,” Avery
frowned slumping back in the seat she’d been perched in for the last
three hours. Looking around the small, darkened viewing room she
and Russ had made their way into over at the security offices, she
found herself overcome with an acute feeling of claustrophobia.
“How can you have the patience to keep doing this?”
“Easily,” Russ continued to sift through the flash of images moving in
high speed before them on the television monitor, “back in college I
had a video project to do for one of my elective classes. It was
long and grueling, but eventually I got a knack for it.”
“Obviously not enough to make the transition from print to television,”
Avery noted with a groan sinking further into the chair.
“Oh no, never,” he shook his head giving her a brief perusal before
turning his attention back to the task at hand, “Television is too much
flash and glitter for me. Newspaper is far more real in my
opinion. It’s honest and it sticks to tradition in it’s own ways.”
“And it’s more of who you are,” she couldn’t help but admire him from
where she sat. The dim lighting offered up different shades of
the highlights in his hair and the intensity of what he was doing in
looking through the video tapes had her thinking of that serious,
determined side that had won her heart so long ago, “You know you’ve
really come a long way over the years Russ.”
“Hey, where’s that coming from,” he questioned pausing from what he was
doing to look at her for a lingering moment.
“From the fact that each moment I’m with you, I find myself falling in
love with you all over again,” Avery confessed with a half smile
bringing her hand up over her abdomen tentatively, “You just have this
spirit about you--this drive to never give up and when you set your
mind on doing something, you make it happen. I just love that
“Well then we make a perfect pair because I love everything about you
Avery,” he stopped working with the tape for a moment before leaning in
closer to her. Dropping a chaste kiss upon her lips, he took a
time out from the goal they’d set out for themselves long enough to
just enjoy the moment, “so very much.”
“Mmm, I was just thinking the same thing about you,” she sighed against
his mouth sliding her arms around his neck. Just the simple
movement seemed to work on loosening up the stiffness that had swept
over her joints.
“How about we call Paul back in here and just have him copy the rest of
these as well? That way we can just head on home and you can
relax for a while,” Russell suggested pulling her more completely off
of the chair and into his lap, “I know that chair has to have been hell
on your back.”
“Just a little bit,” she admitted quietly, “but it’s nothing compared
to the hell we’ll have to endure if we don’t find a way to clear
“We’ll do that,” he assured her with a low whisper, “but right now I
think we should just pack it up here and then continue in the comfort
of our own bed.”
“Russ, if you think we’re going to get anything constructive done in
bed, then you’re obviously working harder on this than I thought.
It’s fried your brain,” she couldn’t help but tease as he hugged her in
closer to him.
“Yeah well fried or not, I was thinking about taking a dinner break,
maybe retiring to bed for a massage and then working our way up to
being focused again,” he murmured nibbling on her lower lip knowing
full well the effect his teasing was having on her.
“Russ,” Avery felt a sigh escape her lips. His kisses traveled to
her neck tempting her with a warmth that had been absent from the dark
room they’d been seated in for the past few hours, but before she could
truly melt into his kiss, her eyes flickered over towards the screen
Russell had paused. “Russ, oh my God!”
“What?” he questioned feeling her jump in his arms.
“Look at that,” she shifted out of his lap making her way to the
monitor before them, “Russ, do you see what I’m seeing?”
“Not particularly,” he admitted honestly watching her begin to fiddle
with the tracking wheel.
“Right here,” she motioned to a figure onscreen, “Russ, look at this.”
“Wait a second,” he sat up straighter, “Go back a frame.”
“That’s what I’m trying to do Russ,” Avery insisted feeling him move in
to stand behind her.
“Let me take a stab at it,” Russ urged reaching out to take control of
the tracking wheel. With a few adjustments he found himself
exactly where he wanted to be with the videotape before him, “Bingo!”
“Do you have any idea what this means?” Avery questioned more so to
herself than anything.
“That we’re one step closer to proving that Grady had nothing to do
with this and I’m willing to bet that when we get to seeing Kipp return
home that night, we’ll also see and exit of our unexpected arrival,”
Russell noted with a confident air realizing that it appeared he and
Avery had unlocked the key to the mystery that surrounded Kipp’s
shooting. While the person onscreen was dressed in all black,
there was no mistaking the identity of the face before them.
Thea knocked on Doug's hotel room door and adjusted her skirt. Her
smile was wide on her face until Doug answered the door. He looked as
if he was going to bite her head off. His face was contorted with a
frown and he didn't look pleased to see her. The smile quickly faded as
she walked in and turned to him, "Doug, sweetie what's wrong?"
"I had a disagreement with Jenna. Then to top it off Cameron came
over to have a few words with me about things," he shut the door and
turned to her, "He’s unhappy with my staking a claim on my grandchild
and now he’s insistent upon threatening Jenna."
"Oh my," Thea put a hand over her mouth, "Is she alright?"
"Yeah, she's fine," Doug replied taking a seat on the couch, "but it
seems Cameron knows she's my daughter."
"How on earth did he find out?" she asked walking over to the couch
"I was hoping you could tell me," he looked at her, anger flaring in
his eyes. "Do you know something about it?"
"Are you suggesting..." Thea choked out, "Are you trying to say...."
"Yes, I am trying to say," Doug interrupted her, "I'm trying to say
that I trusted you and you ran and told Cameron about my
daughter. While I thought you were helping me, you gave him
information on Jenna."
"Douglas," she sighed placing a hand on his knee, "I don't know how
Cameron found out, but I promise you it wasn't from me."
"Not many other people know Thea." Doug stared at her with disbelief,
"I just can't belief you would do this after all the things we've
shared. I mean I knew how you felt about him, but I just thought
that we‘d grown beyond this game playing."
"I swear it wasn't me," she pleaded her innocence, "I had nothing to
"That's bull Thea and you damn well know it," he yelled getting up from
the couch and pacing the room, "I trusted you."
"You still can trust me," she watched him cautiously, "I would never..."
"You put my daughter in jeopardy all to appease Cameron," he screamed
throwing a vase across the room.
Thea sat in silence as the vase slammed and shattered into the wall.
She watched him pace the room not knowing what to say or what to do.
Doug glared at her knowing full well that she was lying to him. He was
going to get her to tell him the truth or she was out. No more games
"Doug, seriously I never..."
"Thea we're going to try a little game," He stood over her his lips
snarled, "It's called the be honest or get out game."
"No, no listen to my game," he put his hand over her lips to silence
her, "You either tell me the truth or get out of my room."
Thea quivered her lip as she spoke, "Doug, I didn't tell Cameron
anything about Jenna."
"Ah wrong answer," Doug grabbed her arm and pulled her to her feet.
"What are you doing?" she questioned in horror, "Get your hands off of
"All you had to do was tell the truth Thea." he escorted her to the
front door, "but you can't even do that. So as far as I'm concerned
we‘re finished for today."
With that Doug opened the front door and pushed Thea out. The door
slammed with a hard thud as he took a deep sigh. He ran his hands
through his hair thinking about all that's gone down. Cameron was going
to get what was coming to him. As for Jenna, she'd soon see how good of
a father he could be. Thea, well he'd just worry about her later he
concluded walking over to the couch and kicking back. He needed to
clear his mind and he was going to get some peace for at least ten
“So what was it exactly that you wanted me to do, Brant?” Hart
questioned taking a seat across from his long time pal after having
rushed over to the BBK office once Brant had called in a frenzy.
“I just need some advice here on a situation that’s been brewing behind
the scenes here at BBK,” Brant stated plainly trying to keep his
worries to a minimum after he’d spent the last hour researching on the
information between the Stone and Davies merger.
“It sounds serious,” Hart noted catching the look of apprehension that
seemingly clouded his friend’s otherwise cool and collected demeanor.
“Given that I’m not sure what Stone is planning next, I just want to be
one step ahead of the game. I mean obviously you know he’s got
this lawsuit against BBK going on, but beyond that I have a distinct
feeling trouble is brewing,” Brant continued thinking about Michael’s
words of warning.
“You mean other than the obvious chaos that Cameron Stone seems to reap
upon the world,” Hart arched a speculative brow.
“Of course,” Brant waved his hand dismissively, “I’m not concerned with
all he’s doing outside of this vendetta he has going on against BBK,
but truth be told while I have Avery and her father working the
lawsuit, I don’t want her to be put in the line of fire should the
rumors I told you about come into fruition.”
“In other words, you’re asking for me to step in and do what’s
necessary to make sure that if Stone makes any kind of claim against
BBK, that it only winds up making him look like the liar,” Hart half
questioned catching where the conversation was headed.
“That’s what you’re good at and while I know Avery’s an amazing lawyer,
you’re the only one who can get the job done in such a way that the
media will be eating you up, Hart. You have a way of dealing with
problems that makes them seem irrelevant,” Brant continued thinking
about the details he and Hart had discussed briefly upon Hart’s
arrival. “I’ll pay you whatever you’re asking because I know that
should push come to shove, you know how to make Cameron’s claims
“Do you really think that he has something over in his lab that could
put your project to shame?” Hart inquired thinking about the situation
“Not really, but I wouldn’t put it past him to try to stir up enough
negative press to get the ball rolling back to the stories about my
father’s reign here at the company. I’ve worked hard to keep
those situations from destroying the future of BBK and normally I’d try
to keep this in the family, but Ken’s not up to the challenge.”
“No, he’s not especially not now that he’s out of town with Caitlin and
working on that Midlands case,” Hart nodded in agreement, “I’m not sure
if he’s entirely prepared for the battle that Stone’s people will
launch out at him.”
“I’m sure Ken can hold his own, but the last thing I want around the
company right now is another controversy. I’d like to think we’ve
moved beyond that, but given the way the media loves to crucify my
family, well truth be told, I don’t think that ending this quietly will
be a part of the plan,” Brant frowned back at him.
“All this concern when there hasn’t even been an exchange of legal
papers, huh,” Hart questioned sensing something more was going on with
his friend. “Brant, what’s really happening here?”
“This drug can do things--really important things Hart,” Brant divulged
thinking of his pet project since he’d taken over the active role as
CEO of BBK, “It has a potential to not only change the face of the
world forever, but it could be the key to saving countless lives.
It’s the kind of breakthrough that science has waited a long time for…”
“And if Cameron happened to get his hands on it first, it could wind up
being something that could take BBK under,” Hart finished catching
where this was headed.
“Basically,” Brant nodded in response, “Not that this is just about the
money, but if Cameron tries to get a jump on this, well there’s no
telling how this situation could go.”
“Hey, you don’t have to say anything more as I’d be more than happy to
assist you in any way that I can,” Hart paused pondering the situation,
“although I have to tell you I’m not so sure this whole lawsuit he’s
got going against you is going to run as smoothly as he anticipated
especially now that Grady Denton is dead.”
“What?” Brant’s jaw dropped in surprise, “But how?”
“I don’t know the details, but I saw the news report on the way over,”
Hart admitted with a frown, “I didn’t catch everything, but Jenna’s
been having some drama because of it. It turns out that the
police were saying that Grady shot Jenna’s brother and somehow an
altercation with Cameron brought Grady ultimately to the attention of
“Really?” Brant’s eyes widened, “And now Grady’s dead?”
“That’s the gist of it,” Hart nodded in confession, “though something
seems off about the whole situation. I mean I’ve known Grady for
years and while I never really thought much of the guy, I don’t see
murder in being part of his personality. Even Jenna has her
doubts about the charges that were placed upon Grady.”
“It sounds like you and Jenna did an about face with one another, huh,”
Brant couldn’t help but ask thinking about how his friend seemed
different when it came to speaking about the once infuriating Jenna
“Believe it or not love changes a man,” Hart offered up candidly,
“although I’m really worried about her. She’s convinced that
Cameron is pure evil and after listening to what you’ve had to say
today, well I’m starting to think that she’s really right on that one.”
“I should hope that she’s staying away from dealing with him. I
mean it’s bad enough that I have to for the sake of my company, but if
that man is really as ruthless as the rumors are saying,” Brant frowned
hating to admit that he was in the dark about his latest enemy.
“She doesn’t have any intentions of getting close to anything related
with Cameron, but her father’s sleeping with Cameron’s assistant and
it’s got Jenna in a tizzy,” Hart admitted with a frown remembering the
worry that had been evident in Jenna’s demeanor earlier in the morning.
“Somehow I get the vibe that getting involved with anyone even remotely
close to Cameron is just asking for trouble,” Brant added as an
“Yeah well I just hope whatever Douglas has going on it doesn’t wind up
hurting Jenna more than she’s already been hurt,” Hart replied
wondering if somehow in helping Brant with the situation at hand that
he could help Jenna free herself of the worries that her father had put
Jenna walked into the morgue and looked around. Sure, it was after
hours, but she needed to get some work done. She needed to clear her
mind of all the things that had happened to her and the morgue was the
best place for her to do it. She walked into the office and saw the
empty desk across from her own, "Where's Devin?"
She pondered over it for a second before she realized that it was after
hours and her assistant had been long gone. She took a deep sigh,
"Alone with a bunch of deceased. Welcome back to work, Jenna."
She walked over to her desk and took a seat. Scrambling through the
papers on her desk she noticed all the paperwork she was behind on. She
took a deep breath and began sorting through the pile. After organizing
everything on her desk she got to work on the paperwork on the new
thirty-five year old white male that had come in the previous day.
Jenna was deep in concentration until she heard a loud clatter in the
other room. "Hello?"
She called out and there was no response. With a shrug she went back to
work, but once again was interrupted by a loud clutter. She pushed back
her chair and made her way over to the next room. All was quiet, and
not a thing out of place. The air smelled of cleaning supplies, which
was not unusual. On the table lay the body of the thirty five year old
white male that supposedly died from a heart attack. Jenna glanced at
him and gave a half smile, "I'm sure you can't be the one making all
She glanced around the room and all seemed still. With a shrug she
turned to head back into her office until a voice broke the silence,
Jenna turned around just in time to see Cameron walk out of the dark
corner he was standing in, "What are you doing here?"
"I came for you," he grinned a sadistic grin as he advanced towards
her, “because I think its time we had a little chat.”