“Well, what next?” Kyle questioned turning his attention to Russell
eagerly awaiting his response.
“While I have absolutely no reason to believe any of what I’m hearing,
I’m willing to give this guy a chance to prove I’m wrong,” Russell
shrugged his shoulders turning his attention to Randy once again, “If
you’re bluffing about any of this…”
“I’m not,” Randy professed once again, “I have everything you need to
get Mathis behind bars for the rest of his life. All I’m asking
in return is that you help me find a way out of Coral Valley before
it’s too late.”
“If you have such overwhelming evidence against him, why don’t you just
take it to the police yourself,” Kyle threw back at the man unwilling
to believe the tale he was trying to sell them.
“Because Bruce Mathis destroyed my life. I lost everything and if
I even thought about going to the authorities I have no doubt in my
mind that he’d find a way to finish me,” Randy explained desperately,
“My girlfriend already left me because of what he’s told her, so
there’s no telling what the police will do to me.”
“Oh I can tell you,” Kyle quipped in response, “They’ll throw your
pedophilic ass behind bars where you can become someone’s plaything…”
“Kyle please,” Russell waved his hand to silence him, “Look Randy, I’m
not about to pretend that I like you because I don’t. I can’t
even stand to be in the same room with you, but if you have this
information that you claim to about the man who is terrorizing my wife,
then I’m ready to make a deal.”
“What,” Kyle’s jaw dropped in shock. He took a step forward
towards Russell wanting to clear up a few things with his long time
pal. Turning to look at Randy, Kyle threw out a warning look,
“Don’t you even think about going anywhere while I talk to my pal.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it,” the man offered up with an air of sarcasm in
a moment of boldness before Kyle threw out another glare. Almost
immediately the man grew silent lowering his head to the ground.
“Russ, what are you doing,” Kyle questioned under his breath, “I don’t
trust this guy as far as I can throw him and yeah, okay that might be
pretty far, but I smell something fishy here.”
“Kyle, look I know I didn’t get a chance to get into this with you over
the phone the other night, but there’s this man who has been stalking
Avery…” Russ began with a sigh.
“Yeah, this Mathis character. I get that, but why would you even
bother with this guy,” Kyle motioned towards Randy once again, “It’s
obvious he’s a liar and a loser.”
“Even so, I can’t risk dismissing his words and allowing Bruce another
chance at my wife,” Russ explained with an impassioned tone, “Not so
long ago Mathis got in here and had this guy tear up the place.
He left the body of a dead prostitute in our bedroom…not to mention
that he’s also faked his own death only to have a second coming where
he continually terrorized Avery. He tried to kill her once and
then after that, well he sent her someone’s heart on our honeymoon, so
needless to say I have a little bit of a score to settle with him.”
“Hey, I’m right there with you partner, but I think you need to think
about what we’re about to get into with this guy. He keeps saying
that he’s got some kind of information on Mathis, but that’s where it
ends. He’s not getting more specific than a few photos and some
supposed connections,” Kyle reminded him pointedly, “That doesn’t add
up to a lot there Russ.”
“It’s more than the police have had to go on,” Russell informed him
bluntly, “Bruce just up and walked out of the morgue in the middle of
an FBI investigation and no one saw it happening. Not to mention
that this man has more lives than a cat. Someone is helping him
evade justice and I need to know exactly who it is before Bruce returns
as promised and makes another attempt at getting to Avery. Kyle,
I know it sounds insane can’t risk my future with Avery by letting this
guy walk out of here.”
“So we take him to the police and let them shake him up.
Eventually he’s bound to talk,” Kyle suggested as an afterthought.
“The police can’t be trusted,” Russell’s voice dropped to a muted tone,
“I know it sounds crazy, but within the police station there is someone
working for a man out to get my family. It’s a long story but
because of this man, well Grady’s life has been put into an
uproar. He was stabbed in jail and it’s been a nightmare ever
“Grady was what,” Kyle’s eyes widened in surprise.
“Look it’s a long story, but the gist of it is that if word got around
the station that I was looking into finding Mathis, then there’s no
telling what could happen…” Russell began unable to contain the urge to
find a way to end the nightmare that Bruce had put upon his family.
“And Avery, does she have any idea that you’re doing any of this?” Kyle
asked with a bit of uncertainty.
“Of course not. She’s been under enough stress during her
pregnancy and with her dealing with the situation with Grady, I just
don’t want to add to that. Kyle, you have to trust me on this
one. I love her more than anything in this world and I’d do
anything to ensure her safety even if that means keeping her in the
dark about this.”
“Even if you know she’s going to rip you a new one after the fact when
she finds out,” Kyle inquired once again.
“It’s a chance I’m going to have to take and if this jerk is means to
an end of the reign of terror Bruce has put upon my family, then I have
to take it,” Russell insisted firmly refusing to let this opportunity
walk away from him.
“Fine, but for the record, I highly object to this,” Kyle stood upright
once again spinning on his heel to face Randy. Throwing a glare
out at him, he stalked towards the man and huffed, “What are you
“Listen Randy,” Russell approached the man once again, “this evidence
you say you have, you’re certain that it will put Bruce behind bars?”
“As certain as I the air I breathe. I have documents and photos
that could incriminate him and those working with him,” Randy divulged
with an eager nod, “and I know the last place he was staying at along
with some of the places where he likes to lay low. As I said he
had me working on his girlfriend for a while there from afar, so I got
a chance to really get to get a grasp on his habits.”
“And oh how blessed you must feel,” Kyle rolled his eyes eliciting a
frown from Russell, “What?”
“Just how do you plan to get this evidence our way,” Russell questioned
eagerly wanting nothing more than to believe this lead could lead
somewhere for him.
“You two let me go and I’ll get a few things together,” Randy offered
up straining not to be acutely aware of Kyle’s presence towering over
him, “I’ll come back here later with what you’ve asked for and you see
to it that you get your hands on the cash that I need to get out of
town and be on my way.”
“How about we just break your neck now and get it over with,” Kyle
“You could try that bonehead, but then you wouldn’t be able to have
what I have and he knows that,” Jerry remarked with a fleeting moment
of boldness as he rose from the chair, “The way I see it, you need me
more than I need you two, so you’re going to have to do things my way.”
“Nope, that’s not an acceptable answer, right Russ?” Kyle took a step
forward towards Jerry.
“That’s right,” Russell nodded in response, “we’re going to do things
my way Jerry, or I’ll make sure that not only do the police find you,
but that Bruce knows you were here today.”
“You wouldn’t,” Randy gasped in horror.
“Don’t push me because I’m well past the point of being patient,”
Russell stated in firm, annunciated tones, “Starting now, you’re going
to do things exactly like I tell you to and when you produce the
information that you claim you possess, then we’ll start talking about
what comes next.”
“Blake, what happened,” Brant questioned feeling his sister breaking
into tears in his arms after the police had finally let him enter the
“It was horrible,” Blake sobbed into his chest, “They came in here
after Simon and he had a gun. A gun Brant and he tried to shoot
Diane! Oh God, when I think about what he could’ve done--about
all those times that I’d been around him unaware of the fact that Simon
was some nut job…”
“Wait a second,” Avery’s began with obvious shock, “are you saying all
this was because of Simon?”
“That’s right,” Blake nodded before a frown touched over her lips,
“What are you doing here?”
“She’s with me,” Brant reached out to urge his younger sister to look
at him once again. Touching her cheek gently, he spoke in a
soothing tone, “Blake, how did this all happen? Why were the
police here after Simon?”
“I don’t know,” Blake admitted with a shrug of her shoulders, “Ben and
Diane just showed up before the police did. Diane and I were
arguing and then the door opened and Simon lost it…”
“That doesn’t sound like Simon,” Brant frowned once again, “there has
to be more to this.”
“That’s because there is,” Dave spoke up approaching the trio, “I’m
sorry for all the chaos that ensued here this afternoon.”
“Dave, what happened,” Avery questioned in confusion, “Why were your
men after Simon?”
“Because CSI got those lab results we’ve been waiting for Avery and
Simon’s prints were all over the knife that Grady was stabbed with,”
Dave explained matter of fact before glancing over at Blake, “I know
this isn’t the best of times, but I’m going to need a statement from
you Blake. If you would just go over and tell one of my men what
“Of course,” Blake nodded clinging to her brother’s arm desperately,
“Will you come with me Brant?”
“Certainly,” Brant promised her before looking to Dave again, “but
don’t you disappear because I want to have a few words with you.”
“I’ll be right here,” Dave assured him watching Brant take Blake over
to one of the officers to take her statement.
“So this is it,” Avery questioned unable to curb the unsettled feeling
in the pit of her stomach, “Simon was the man who stabbed Grady and now
he’s what? In the hospital? Are you going to start
interrogating him now about what happened that night in jail?”
“Avery, it’s not that easy,” Dave started to explain.
“Of course it’s that easy Dave. Once you ask him about what
happened, I’m sure he’ll be willing to talk. You can get him to
tell you the truth about why he stabbed Grady as I’m certain that
Cameron was behind it. We can get him to testify and…” Avery
started feeling a faint flicker of hope overtake her at the thought of
justice falling into place despite the state of chaos the grounds of
the Ashford estate was in.
“Avery, you don’t understand…” Dave began again trying to get her to
listen to what he was saying.
“Dave, if Simon tried to fire on someone here, he was obviously
desperate and seeking a way out. We can just go to him and I’m
sure if he’s willing to turn State’s evidence against Cameron, the D.A.
will be willing to listen to what he has to say. I just know that
Cameron was the one who…” Avery rambled on again.
“Avery, he’s dead,” Dave blurted out.
“He’s what,” Avery gasped.
“He tried to shoot Diane and my men had no choice, but to take a shot
at him,” Dave continued to explain to her, “There was no room for error
and when Lieutenant Sharpe took the shot…”
“Lieutenant Sharpe,” Avery repeated with sudden distrust, “now isn’t
“What is that supposed to mean Avery,” Dave frowned down at her.
“Don’t you find it a bit odd that the man who allowed Cameron to come
into the room with Grady and I at the jail is also the one who killed
the only man who can clear Grady’s name? I mean if that doesn’t
wreak of some kind of cover-up, then I don’t know what does,” she
scoffed with an icy tone.
“Avery, Patrick was doing his job,” Dave started to defend his
Lieutenant’s shaky actions.
“Yeah he was doing a job alright, but it wasn’t for you Dave,” Avery
argued with him, “I have no doubt in my mind that what happened here
today was orchestrated by Cameron Stone. If that man saw fit to
have Grady murdered that night, then he wouldn’t want to leave a trail
of evidence behind him, now would he?”
“Avery, you can’t just go making accusations without proof,” Dave
sighed heavily not ready to get into another ten rounds with her.
“Oh we had proof Dave, but your Lieutenant Sharpe eliminated it before
the eyes of the law were able to see it,” Avery scowled back at him,
“I’m certain of it.”
“The only concrete evidence we have working with us Avery is all that
has been stacked up against Grady and now that the man who stabbed him
is dead…” Dave started knowing the inevitable was lurking around the
“Don’t you say it. Don’t you dare say it Dave,” Avery warned him
sharply, “A deal is a deal and until we know the truth, then you can’t…”
“Avery, the truth is that Simon stabbed Grady and he reacted in a
desperate moment once we closed in on him,” Dave stated the story that
had been rehashed to him.
“I don’t believe that is how it is and deep down you don’t
either. I can see it in your eyes Dave. Besides, while you
might keep trying to convince yourself that you don’t have enough
evidence that Cameron has anything to do with all of this, Russ and I
have been doing a little digging of our own. We found something
that we think could very well implicate Cameron in the shooting at the
“Why do I get the feeling that I’m going to be afraid to ask what it
is,” Dave shook his head at her, “Avery, I’m telling you that right now
the best you can hope for is to take your chances on a trial and hope
that there is a sympathetic jury who believes Grady‘s story.”
“Hmm, gee and would that jury be one that Cameron has hand picked for
the task as well,” Avery grumbled in response, “If you’re so convinced
this was all an attempt that Simon made upon Grady’s life of his own
conviction, then give me a motive. Or better yet, give me a
logical explanation as to how he got into the prison that night
Silence surrounded them for a long moment before Dave groaned inwardly.
“I didn’t think you could Dave,” Avery stood taller, “and maybe if you
think about that, then that’s where you’ll find your solution to the
problem at hand.”
“Avery, you know I can’t keep a lid on what’s going on with Grady
forever. I’ve already bent far too many rules and…” he argued
“You owe it to yourself to hear what Russ and I have to say. You
need to see what we uncovered and then maybe you won’t be so reluctant
to buy into what I’m saying,” Avery urged him on while taking a brief
look around her surroundings.
“Avery, believe me there is nothing I could want more in this world
than to put Cameron behind bars for the rest of his life, but until
something comes up where I have something concrete to work with, then
we’re only spinning around in circles and coming up empty.”
“Oh I’ll give you proof Dave. You’ll see,” Avery stated her voice
full of determination as she tossed her hair back over her shoulder,
“That is if your police force doesn’t find a way to eliminate it in the
process of discovery.”
“Avery,” Dave called out to her watching her walk over to join Brant
and Blake. Taking in Avery’s words, he realized with each passing
moment that he was delving deeper into something he was quite certain
would only lead to disaster down the road.
Ben sat in the waiting room head in his hands. His talk with Ria
running over and over through his head. He couldn't believe that
everything was happening like this. How could it be? He seriously
couldn't get reality to sink into where Diane was concerned.
They‘d been so close to sharing the dream vacation with one another,
yet in one instant that was all ripped away from them. A slow
tear dripped down his cheek as he saw Seth walk into the waiting
room. He stayed silent as Seth took a seat right next to him.
"Hey Seth," Ben answered without even looking at him.
"How are you holding up?" Seth questioned patting his knee, "You
"I don't know," Ben shrugged his shoulders and leaned his head against
the wall, "I don't know what I am anymore."
"What do you mean?" Seth questioned placing his hand back on his own
"I feel at any point I'm going to just snap." Ben shook his head and
completely tensed up, "Yep at any second I'm about to lose it."
"You have to pull yourself together," Seth looked at him with worry,
"You need to snap out , if not for you at least for Diane."
"What does it matter?" Ben snapped back, "She might not even be here to
"Don't talk like that," Seth snapped right back at Ben, "You have to
think positive and stop dwelling into the negative. You need to put it
in you're head that she's going to be alright."
"And how do you know?" Ben asked him expectantly, "How do you know she
is going to even make it?"
"She'll be alright bro," Seth gave out a light sigh, "I know you've
probably heard that a lot so far, but I really believe it Ben."
"How did you find out?" he asked staring blankly at the floor, "Why did
you come here?"
"Ria called me. She informed me of what's been going on," Seth ran a
hand through his hair, "And I came here to make sure you were going to
"You didn't have to do that. I'm not worth coming to check on."
"Yes, I did bro," Seth reassured him, "I want to be here for you. I'm
you're friend and I can't imagine being anywhere else but here making
sure you're okay."
"I will be okay the minute they come out here and tell me she will be,"
Ben choked out closing his eyes, "This wasn't suppose to happen."
"I know Ben." Seth sighed not knowing if he would be able to help his
friend, "A lot of things happen in life that we don't like, that we
don't agree with. Many things happen, but they happen for a reason."
"It's all my fault." Ben started to break out into tears, "It's all my
"You weren't the one with the gun," Seth assured him, "You weren't the
one who was going nuts and spitting off a whole bunch of nonsense. You
had no control over what was going on and you need to stop beating
yourself up over it Ben. I’m telling you this as a friend."
"If it wasn't for me we wouldn't have even been there when it
happened," Ben put his head in his hands, "We would have been on
our way to Florida and on our way to the time of our life. Not
this...none of this was suppose to happen."
"Ben, you had no idea what was going to happen," Seth rested a hand on
Ben's shoulder, "You would never purposely put Diane in danger. You
know that and I know that."
"I should have known," Ben sniffled as another tear dropped down his
"And how the hell would you have been able to do that?" Seth asked
raising an eyebrow, "You wouldn't have. Nobody would have been able to
tell you what was going to go down."
"I should have felt something. I should have felt it in my gut."
Ben wiped away his tears with the back of his arm, "I should have felt
"Ben, you are not a miracle worker. You're not a psychic. You had no
idea what was going to happen and I can't stress that enough to you.
You didn't know." Seth rubbed Ben's shoulder in a comforting manner,
"You need to realize that or else you're going to tear yourself apart.
Do you think Diane would want that to happen?"
"I suppose not," Ben sighed, "I just feel so damn guilty for
"Ben, don't feel guilty. You did nothing wrong," Seth assured him
again, "It couldn't have been avoided. You need to make that get
through you're head."
"Well I get to thinking...Like what would have happened if I didn't go
there? What would have happened if I attempted to save her? So many
things are running through my head right now and I don't know what to
"Don't," Seth told him flat out, "Don't think of that kind of stuff.
Think of how you need to pray for Diane. You probably have heard this a
lot but faith and prayer will help you a lot."
"I don't know how," Ben gave out a slight shrug, "I don't know what to
say or how to even pray."
"Ben, don't be dumb," Seth shook his head, "It comes so natural. I'm
here for you buddy. We can pray together. We can get everything we need
to say out right now."
"Thanks Seth," Ben gave out a weak smile, "Thanks for being here for
"Not a problem Ben. Anytime," Seth smiled back, "Now let's start
Ben and Seth started to pray together. It was one of the first times
Ben had ever prayed in a long time but it seemed to help. He needed to
get it out. He needed to get his emotions, his fears, and everything
out. Seth started off saying how he wanted everything to work out
alright, but Ben couldn't help himself. He chipped in and started
praying for Diane. He prayed for her to get better, he prayed for
everything to work out alright, he prayed that him and Diane would be
able to spend the rest of their lives together.
Zack and Johanna arrive back at their hotel room both laughing and
Johanna: I still can't believe some other couple got our bill by
mistake and actually paid for it and left before anyone noticed!
Zack: They clearly didn't look at the bill, cause their dinners cost a
Johanna: I know, I feel a little guilty.
Zack: Hey it's not our fault they gave them the wrong bill. We hadn't
even gotten one yet so we couldn't have known.
Johanna: True. Don't you find it odd though that their bill was so much
Zack: I guess no one at their table ordered the Oysters, Majestic
Lobster, and Chocolate Soufflé.
He winks at her devilishly. She playfully punches him.
Johanna: Hey! I'm eating for two remember.
Zack smiles and laughs.
Zack: Oh give me a break, you've always eaten as if you were eating for
They both laugh.
Johanna: There is nothing wrong with having a healthy appetite.
Zack: Nope. Well, so you want to use the shower first?
Johanna: No, I'll take longer, you go ahead.
Zack: All right.
He starts to head to the bathroom when Johanna gasps and grabs her
Zack rushes to her worriedly.
Zack: Are you okay? Is it the baby?
Johanna looks at Zack with tears in her eyes.
Johanna: Are baby just moved.
Zack looks at her in disbelief.
Zack: It...it moved?
Johanna nods tears willing and takes his hand.
Johanna: Here feel.
She puts his hand on her stomach and they both wait with great
anticipation. The baby moves again.
Johanna: Did you feel that?!
Zack shakes his head.
Zack: This...this is incredible.
Johanna: I know!
Zack: What...what does that feel like?
Johanna: I really don't know how to describe it. Gas bubbles maybe?
Zack is over whelmed by emotion as he looks down at Johanna's stomach
their hands intertwined against her abdomen.
Zack: We really are going to be parents.
Johanna: Scary huh?
He looks at her with a smile.
Zack: Wonderfully scary.
He leans in and kisses her stomach gently then stands and looks deep
into Johanna's eyes.
Zack: Nothing like having a baby with your best friend.
And he kisses her softly then goes on into the shower. Johanna looks
after him unsure how to feel.
Johanna: Will I ever be more then just your best friend, Zack? Or will
Blake always have the one thing I don't. Your heart.
Ken and Caitlin arrive back at her hotel room.
Caitlin: Thank you for an incredible evening. The carriage ride, the
restaurant, the mini symphony, all of it. It was so wonderful.
Ken smiles and gently kisses her.
Ken: Only what you deserve.
She smile up at him.
Caitlin: I really don't want this night to end.
Ken: It doesn't have to.
She smiles and leads him into her hotel room.
Ken: So, what should we do? I can open some wine from the bar and we
can order a movie?
Caitlin looks at him closely.
Caitlin: Is that really all you can think to do?
He smiles and blushes.
Ken: Well, no. But... Look, Caitlin, you just got out of a really bad
relationship, not to mention the hospital. I don't want to rush you,
and I definitely don't want to hurt you.
Caitlin smiles lovingly at him.
Caitlin: Being in your arms could never hurt me and when I'm with you I
know I'm ready to move on.
Ken smiles lovingly at her as she moves closer to him and he pulls her
in tight as they kiss passionately. She then gazes deep into his love
Caitlin: Make love to me, Ken.
Ken takes a deep breath.
Ken: I want this to be perfect for your Caitlin. Not just some romp in
a hotel room after a romantic dinner, but really perfect.
Caitlin: What could be more perfect then the two of us making love?
Ken: Why don't you go into the wash room and change into something more
comfortable. Maybe by the time your out I'll have found the answer to
She looks at him quizzically but only nods and goes into the wash room.
Awhile later she hears beautiful operatic music flowing into the
washroom from the bedroom.
Caitlin: What is he up to now?
She opens the door and sees all the lights are out but the room is full
of beautiful burning candles and there are flowers everywhere, and rose
petals scattered on the bed. She moves in closer and sees that on the
bed there is also a silver tray with wine, chocolate sauce, and
strawberry's. Caitlin has tears in her eyes as she takes in the scene.
Then Ken comes up behind her, wraps his arms around her lovingly and
hands her a single rose as he whispers.
Ken: A rose by any other name would have to be Caitlin.
She laughs as she turns to face Ken who is standing there in his
Ken: Did I find a good answer?
Caitlin smiles at him with tears in her eyes.
Caitlin: A beautiful one.
She puts her arms around him and they kiss passionately. Then they go
sit on the bed and begin feeding one another strawberry's dipped in
chocolate. Both take great pleasure in licking the chocolate off the
other’s fingers. Soon they begin kissing passionately. Ken begins
kissing her neck and nibbling on her ear as Caitlin runs her hands
along his back and returns his hot passion filled kisses. He stops only
for a minute as he looks in her eyes.
Ken: Are you sure?
Caitlin: Make love to me.
With that they kiss again even more passionately then before. His hands
find the straps to her gown and gently push them off her shoulders.
While she pulls his robe off of him and sends it to join her gown which
is now on the floor. Their lips and hands begin passionately exploring
one another as the music plays and they become one for the first time.
Dave walked out of his office after finishing some paperwork and saw
Patrick standing over by the coffee. Patrick seemed perfectly content
and not even upset about the situation that happened. Dave wondered why
Patrick went against orders to shoot and was going to find out right
now. "Hey Patrick can I have a word with you?"
"Yeah, sure Chief," Patrick picked up his coffee and followed Dave back
into his office, "What do you need Chief?"
"I wanted to have a word with you with what went down at the Ashford
home earlier," Dave walked behind his desk and took a seat.
"Oh...that," Patrick shrugged as if it didn't mean anything to him,
"What did you want to know?"
"Like why you went against orders perhaps?" Dave raised his eyebrows
studying Patrick's face for any hint of remorse. He saw nothing.
"I didn't hear that order Sir." he shrugged and leaned back in the
chair, "I honestly didn't."
"Everyone else on the squad was told not to make a move like that until
I arrived," Dave tapped his fingers against the desk, "Every officer I
asked said they heard that order but you."
"Sir, I saw an opportunity and I took it," Patrick shrugged, "I didn't
know it was against orders."
"Because of your defiance an innocent civilian is in the hospital,
possibly dying from a head trauma." Dave looked down at the report then
back up at Patrick.
"I'm sorry that Diane got hurt. I wouldn’t have willingly put her
in danger if I‘d thought it was a possibility," Patrick shifted in his
chair continuing to try and act calm, "I didn't think the gun would go
off. I saw an opening and I took it."
"You made a bad, impulsive decision," Dave flipped through the reports
on his desk, "And I heard from some of the other officers, not naming
names, that Simon was on the verge of being talked down."
"He was making no progress when I tried sir," Patrick told him, "I saw
"That's funny because more then half the squad seems to think that if
you would have talked a little longer we would have gotten him to come
down to the station," Dave studied Patrick's eyes and was surprised to
see the coldness in them.
"Look maybe that's what they saw but I didn't," Patrick shouted
back in anger, "My cop instincts told me that he was going to shoot the
girl and I needed to do something if I could. If the squad didn't agree
with my decision then that's tough for them."
"I'm not approving either Patrick and that's the point," Dave stood up
and walked around his desk and leaned back against it, "I don't see how
you justify your actions."
"Well I'm sorry Chief. I guess you see it as I screwed up," Patrick
shrugged it off as if it was nothing, "but I thought I prevented a
killing spree and I stand by my decision to take the target out."
"You killed a man before we could get information out of him," Dave
pointed out, "And the hostage got shot anyway. So what you did was
"Are you firing me Chief?" Patrick asked leaning back in the chair,
"Because if you are get it over with and stop procrastinating."
"I'm asking where you're head was Sharpe," Dave snapped out getting a
weird feeling in his gut, "I'm asking if you were even thinking."
"Yeah I was," Patrick groaned and stood up, "Can I go now? This
conversation is growing very old."
"Don't lip off with me Patrick," Dave snapped angrily.
"Sorry Chief," Patrick did a mocking bow, "I shall not do it again."
"You are being way to cocky for the position you are in right now
Sharpe," Dave remarked very bluntly, "You are not in a position to be
telling me off."
"Sir right now I don't give a damn," Patrick replied walking out of
Dave's office slamming the door shut.
Dave got to thinking how suspicious Patrick was acting. Something was
telling him there was more to this case then was seen to the eye.
Patrick was hiding something from it. He could read it in Patrick's
face, he could read it in Patrick's eyes. Something was going on and he
was going to get to the bottom of it and be prepared for anything. Dave
wasn't taking anything as a surprise anymore.
Ben and Seth sat in the waiting room for over two hours still waiting
on news from Diane. They had prayed together, but since then they
hadn't said much more to one another. Seth looked over at Ben with
worried eyes, "You alright bro?"
"Better but still not alright," Ben replied staring out the window.
"I know," Seth placed a hand on his shoulder, "but everything will turn
Doctor Carlisle walked into the waiting room and talked to the nurse
asking where Ben was. The nurse pointed over to Ben and Seth sitting in
the corner by the window and he nodded. He made his way over to them,
"Yeah?" Ben shot up from his seat and grasped the Doctor's hand in his,
"Well, I'm Doctor Carlisle and I was the doctor working on Diane," Dean
shook Ben's hand and released it, "I have an update on Diane Stevens."
"Yeas?" Ben asked eagerly, "Is she going to be alright?"
"She's going to be fine," Dean smiled patting Ben's shoulder, "I
stabilized her and she is no longer in critical condition."
"She's not going to die?" Ben questioned a big smile on his face.
"No she's not going to die," Dean gave out a light chuckle, "We're
going to move her to recovery soon."
"Is she going to have any problems?" Ben asked raising an eyebrow.
"Physically, no. She appears to have a good road to recovery
ahead of her" Dean shook his head, "The only thing that concerns me is
that she might be traumatized mentally about the shooting, but
hopefully that won’t happen for her."
"When can I talk to her?" Ben asked eager to see Diane again.
"Well, you can see her right away, but she's not awake. The medication
we pumped into her might keep her knocked out cold for a few more
"Thank you Doc," Ben hugged him tightly, "Thank you for saving my love."
"Not a problem," Dean patted his back and released from his hold, "All
in a day‘s work."
Ben turned to Seth and gave him a big hug, "Did you hear that Seth?
She's going to be alright!"
Seth nodded returning the hug, "Yeah, I heard it. I told you praying
would help, didn't I? Seems like God doesn't hate you after all."
Ben couldn't wipe the smirk off his face, "She's going to be okay!"
"I know!" Seth smiled as Ben's excitement ran all through him, "I told
"Thank you so much Seth," Ben hugged Seth tighter before releasing him,
"I had no faith until you helped me."
"I'm glad Diane's okay now!" Ben smirked unable to hide his excitement.
"Well, get back there and see her," Seth told him shoving his shoulder
urging him to go, "Now go!"
Ben just smiled and took off running into the back almost knocking over
two nurses on his way in. Seth chuckled as he watched Ben make his way
to see Diane. He was happy that Diane was going to be alright and even
more happy that she would be alright with no complications.
Seth turned to the doctor and smiled, "Thanks Doc for saving my friend."
"You are most certainly welcome," Dean nodded in understatement as they
both watched Ben dart down the hallway looking for Diane, "Well, he
could have asked me what room she was in."
Seth gave out a chuckle and shook his head, "He'll find her. They were
meant to be together."
“Are you sure she’s going to be alright,” Avery questioned watching
Blake head upstairs to spend some time alone after the whole situation
had burst out of control with Simon a short while earlier.
“She says she’ll be alright,” Brant nodded with worry evident in his
brow, “but I’m not so convinced. She’s always had a hard time
dealing with death when it’s been right in front of her.”
“You mean after what happened to your mother,” Avery questioned
catching the look of surprise that appeared behind his dark eyes.
She continued to explain, “Your father mentioned it once in passing.”
“Yeah, well Blake’s never really recovered from it,” Brant admitted
poignantly, “I wish that I could say that it hasn’t haunted her, but I
can’t see a way that it wouldn’t. We’ve all worked so hard to
protect her from nightmares, but this time, well it feels like we
invited one right into our home.”
“Brant, you couldn’t have known,” Avery watched him retreat into the
study making his way over to the mini bar.
“I should’ve had some clue about what he was,” Brant argued feeling
guilt eat away at him, “I mean my God Avery the man was wanted over in
France. You think my father would’ve done some kind of background
check on him before inviting him into our lives. Hell, he doesn’t
even have a work visa here…”
“Maybe at the time Simon didn’t seem like the kind of man to pull a
deception over anyone,” Avery suggested following him into the study.
“Or maybe my father was just an idiot. I mean that’s really what
all of this boils down to,” Brant poured himself a drink, lifting the
glass up off of the counter before drinking it in a quick gulp.
“Brant come on,” Avery started watching him refill the glass and
swallow it down once again, “Don’t you think you’re being a little
“My sister was nearly killed in a shooting along with my secretary for
heaven’s sake. I don’t think being overdramatic has anything to
do with it,” he argued with her, “My father has made mistake after
stupid mistake and now it just keeps coming back to haunt us all.
I mean hey, this whole situation with Stone Corp is because of my
father’s wrongdoings. For all we know, he could’ve promised the
guy the world and then decided to take it back.”
“Even if he did, that doesn’t excuse what Cameron has done,” Avery
informed him bluntly, “Cameron has caused nothing but disaster since
he’s come into town and I know he was behind what happened here
today. The police can say what they want, but I don’t buy it for
one second that Simon was some criminal mastermind who just decided to
try to kill Grady for the hell of it.”
“Oh Avery,” Brant paused from his own self-loathing to think about what
she’d said, “I’m sorry. I forgot all about Grady and…”
“Hey, right now I’m just worried about you,” she informed him making
her way towards the mini bar. She reached for the bottle he had
in his hand in an attempt to steal it away from him, “Brant, you don’t
need anymore of this.”
“How would you know?” Brant threw back at her, “My sister is upstairs
probably going through yet another breakdown because of what I invited
into our home. My company is going to fall to ruins because of
this ridiculous association my father made with Cameron, so why the
hell can’t I drink if I want to?”
“Because drinking never solves anything,” Avery insisted snatching the
bottle away from him despite his protests.
“Give me that back,” Brant grumbled in response reaching out to take a
hold of the neck of the bottle once again.
“No Brant,” she held firm on the bottle, refusing to let go, “Drinking
isn’t going to make any of this go away. Trust me. I’ve
lived with an alcoholic in my life for a long time and the only thing
that happens from drinking is that things get ugly. People get
ugly and the act in itself only intensifies problems. If you
really are worried about Blake, then you get up there and talk to
her. You try to be there for her and stop blaming yourself for
the things your father did in the past.”
“Avery, it’s not that simple,” Brant piped in again.
“Nothing worth having ever is, but that still shouldn’t prevent you
from trying. So your father made some bad choices and yes,
it brought danger into your home, but you can’t let that danger
steal your future away from you. You can’t beat yourself up over
the messes that you didn’t create. You can just do your best and
keep pushing forward while acknowledging that the past is the past and
it’s time to get over it and move on,” Avery informed him bluntly, her
dark eyes reaching into his. He released his hold on the bottle
giving it over to her in defeat.
Slowly she set it back on the countertop before facing him once again,
“See, now this is the first step on moving forward.”
“How is it that you have this way about you to get me to pull my head
out of my ass when I’m really in the mood to be impossible,” Brant
couldn’t help but crack a smile down at her.
“Maybe it’s because you’re afraid of what I’ll do to you if you don’t,”
she couldn’t help but tease feeling him reach out to her taking her
hand in his.
“I don’t know what I’d do without you sometimes,” Brant confessed in a
calm voice, urging her fingers into his palm. He lifted her hand
to his lips placing a soft kiss over the top of her hand while never
taking his eyes off of her, “I’d be lost without you Avery.”
“No you wouldn’t be,” Avery shook her head feeling a heat rise up over
her features at the way he was looking at her, “You’d just be
impossible to deal with.”
“Even so, maybe that’s part of why we have one another,” Brant
continued, his tone shifting with the moment as he took a step forward,
“Hiring you was one of the only things that my father did right.
Somehow he must’ve known how special you were going to be.”
“Brant stop,” Avery couldn’t help but smile, “or else you might get me
thinking that you’ve already overdid it with the drinks.”
“Avery, I’m serious,” Brant admitted extending his arm out towards
her. His fingers skimmed over her cheek in a far more intimate
movement than Avery had anticipated as he leaned in towards her, “I’d
be lost without you.”
“Brant,” Avery started feeling an uneasiness come upon her. She
opened her mouth to speak up once again, only to be interrupted by the
sounds of something crashing in the other room. Quickly she
pulled herself out of his reach only to discover one of the police
officers had knocked over a vase on the way out the door after things
had come to a close in the Ashford estate.
“Oh hell,” Brant grumbled catching wind of the damage that had been
done in the foyer.
“You should probably get someone to work on cleaning that up,” Avery
piped in making a quick step towards the door to the study, “I’m going
to go upstairs and check in on my mother since I’m sure she’s probably
fit to be tied right about now.”
“Avery…” Brant called out to her watching her hasty retreat.
“Brant,” she circled around to eye him once again, “you should probably
go check on Blake too after you get that cleaned up.”
“I will,” Brant nodded in confession wondering if he hadn’t just
imagined a spark of something between them just a few short seconds
ago. Watching her walk up the staircase to visit Brooke, he found
himself drawn to her unable to refrain from staring while lost in the
realization that he was far from being able to let go of the dream of
having a future with Avery.
Russell pulled up into his parents’ driveway ready to put the situation
with Kyle and Randy aside for a few hours. After working out the
details with Randy, Kyle decided that the best thing for everyone would
be to have Kyle escort Randy to get the information needed to put Bruce
away. Russ had opted to let the two men take the journey on their
own while he reconnected with his wife and parents. They still
had to work out the details of Grady’s upcoming memorial and while Russ
was putting it off there was no avoiding the inevitable.
Putting the car in park, Russell opened up the driver’s side door
making his way up to his parents porch. Noticing that Avery’s car
wasn’t parked in front of the house, Russell tried to take a quick look
around wondering if he’d just missed her in the midst of
everything. However, before he could get a better look around, he
found his mother standing in the doorway with Rusty in her arms.
“Russ, I thought I saw you pull up,” Cheryl greeted her son, “I’m glad
“I came over as soon as I could,” Russell stepped up onto the porch
leaning over to kiss her cheek quickly while reaching out to pet the
top of Rusty’s little head, “Hey mom, where’s Avery?”
“She called on her way over here earlier,” Cheryl explained inviting
him inside her home, “Her mother called and you know how demanding
Brooke can be…”
“Wonderful,” Russ groaned wondering what his mother-in-law was up to
now, “like we needed that on top of everything else.”
“Avery said that her mother is trying to repair some of the damage that
has been done between them,” Cheryl noted watching Russ pick Rusty up
and out of her arms.
“And you believe that?” Russ gave her a skeptical look.
“Not for a second, but I thought that maybe you might,” Cheryl divulged
offering up a breath of relief.
“Mom you raised me to be smarter than that. Come on,” Russ
pointed out hearing his father entering the room.
“Russ, I thought I heard your voice. I was just in the back room
working on something for the little one on the way. How about you
come and join me for a few?” Elliot greeted him with an eagerness
behind his voice.
“I’ll go put on some tea,” Cheryl suggested reaching for Rusty once
again, “Come on sweetheart. Grandma will teach you all about
working around in the kitchen.”
“Thanks mom,” Russ couldn’t help but smile watching his mother’s
interactions with his kitten. Turning his attention to Elliot,
Russell followed him down the hallway into Grady’s old bedroom which
was now serving as Elliot’s workroom.
“So I hear Brooke is up to no good yet again, huh?” Elliot questioned
making conversation upon entering the workroom.
“Nothing that we can’t handle,” Russ stated with a simple shrug of his
shoulders, “So what are we working on?”
“Actually I’ve already finished up with the thing I was working on,”
Elliot motioned to a toy riding horse he’d setup for his grandchild, “I
just wanted to get a few moments alone to talk with you without your
mother being around.”
“Is something wrong,” Russ questioned in confusion.
“You mean other than the fact that your brother is out there somewhere
and we don’t have the first clue on how to contact him,” Elliot
grumbled, “no everything’s going well.”
“Dad, that’s not what I meant,” Russ began apologetically.
“I know you didn’t son and I’m not trying to be glib, but this whole
situation has really upset your mother. We’ve been hounded by
companies wanting to host the memorial and just the thought has had her
highly upset. It’s very unpleasant to think about losing your
child especially when you haven’t…”
“I know and I hate what’s happened, but Avery and I are working on
that,” Russell promised him, “Just the other day we found some
information that is going to be a great help in Grady’s case.”
“Really? What is it,” Elliot questioned hopefully.
“I’d rather not say anything just yet, but I can promise you that it’s
going to be something that will work great in his defense. Hell,
we found out that Susan has already moved into Kipp Mahoney’s apartment
and that Stone has done a number on erasing the scene of the crime,”
Russell offered up in explanation.
“Susan’s living in that place,” Elliot frowned, “Now why doesn’t that
surprise me? When she came over here the other day I knew she was
up to no good.”
“Susan stopped by,” Russell repeated with obvious surprise.
“She wanted to extend her apologies, but I told her where she and her
apologies could go,” Elliot explained firmly.
“Good for you. I don’t trust her especially now more than ever
considering that she works for Cameron. Not to mention I’ve
caught her and Brant lurking around with one another,” Russell paused
at the memory thinking about the phone message he’d intercepted at
Susan’s apartment. “I don’t think either one of them are on the
up and up.”
“Is he still giving you problems about Avery,” Elliot inquired thinking
to the grief his son had been through over the last few months.
“He hasn’t outwardly made any attempts at trying to persuade her of
anything in the last couple of weeks, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t
trying,” Russell informed him with a tiny wince, “Though right now that
man is the least of our problems. I’m trying to deal with this
situation with Bruce and with everything that’s going on with Grady…”
“Now Russ, don’t you go off and do something stupid,” Elliot warned
sensing the darkness behind his son’s tone, “You have a family on the
way and heaven knows your mother doesn’t need anymore shaking up these
“I realize that dad and I’m not trying to do anything to jeopardize
what I have in my life which is why I have some help on this one.
Kyle Houston is in town and I’m having him dig up some information for
me to help put Bruce behind bars for the rest of his miserable life,”
Russell informed him, his jaw tightening at the thought.
“Kyle huh?” Elliot thought it over, “Well, if Kyle’s in town then I’d
imagine that Bruce does have something to worry about, now doesn’t he?”
“I’d like to think so,” Russell nodded in confession hoping that Kyle
would be able to get his hands on what was needed before Bruce found a
way to shake things up all over again.
Kyle and Randy walked down the street to Kyle’s car. Kyle pulled out
his keys as they reached a red hummer. Kyle pulled out his dark
sunglasses and put them on.
“Nice car,” Randy said gazing up at it.
“Get in the car,” Kyle growled getting in on the drivers side.
“Oh cool,” said Randy getting in the car.
“Hey, don’t touch a damn thing or you‘ll never be able to touch
anything again because you wont have any hands,” Kyle said pointing at
“Okay, a little over protective are we?”
“Put your seatbelt on,” Kyle said starting the car.
“I thought you said I couldn’t touch anything,” Randy said putting on
“Don’t you smart mouth me,” Kyle said smacking him upside the head.
“Okay, just try and keep your hands off me,” Randy frowned sliding
“As long as nothing stupid comes out of that mouth of yours, you wont
have any broken bones,” Kyle warned turning down the street.
“Where am I going?” asked Kyle.
“Just turn down here,” Randy replied cryptically.
“Which way smart one, you could turn left or right. Or were you too
stupid to learn direction?” Kyle asked raising an eyebrow.
“Right,” Randy offered up sighing.
“God, you do know something,” Kyle quipped gasping.
“Shut up,” Randy yelled.
“What was that?” asked Kyle tilting his head.
“Nothing,” said Randy putting his head down.
“That’s what I thought,” Kyle half smiled keeping his eyes on the road.
“Were you in the Navy or something?” Randy asked looking over at Kyle.
“Because your always angry,” Randy said shrugging.
“Is that a bad thing?” Kyle asked scowling.
“No, not at all,” Randy added quickly shaking his head.
“Anyways, I am nice, just not to people like you.”
“People like me?”
“Yeah, loser lowlifes.”
“Hey, could you tone it down on the smart remarks?” Randy questioned in
a screechy voice.
“Oh, is poor Randy offended, boohoo,” Kyle said putting his arm over
his eyes pretending to cry.
“Where do I go now?” Kyle asked as he reached the next light.
“Just turn left and my trailer is right on the corner,” Randy said
turning his head to look out the window.
They reached his trailer and got out of the car.
“Nice trailer you got here,” Kyle said taking a piece of gum from his
pocket and putting it in his mouth.
“You think?” Randy asked tilting his head.
“No, it’s a piece of crap,” Kyle confessed lightly chewing on his gum.
Randy rolled his eyes and walked to his front door unlocking it.
“You even lock your door too, not like there is something valuable in
there unless of course you have something that the police could use to
help lock you away,” Kyle said putting his hands in his pockets.
“You know what,” Randy started pointing his finger at Kyle.
“What?” asked Kyle taking off his sunglasses and glaring at Randy.
“Nothing, I have to grab something real quick,” Randy gave up walking
A few minutes later he came back out with something in his hand. “Okay,
we have to make another stop,” Randy said shutting the door.
Just then the two heard the sound of screeching tires and they both
turned to see. As they did a gun started shooting off as Kyle rolled to
the ground to dodge the bullets. Kyle kept his head down as they shot.
Once he heard the bullets stop, he quickly jumped up opening his car
door and grabbing his gun that was under the seat. He ran to shoot
back, but it was too late they were gone. He put his gun in his back
pocket and then it dawned on him. Randy. He ran to the other side of
the car to find Randy had been shot in the chest and he was breathing
“Kyle,” he said in a whisper.
“What is it?” asked Kyle sliding down next to him.
Instead of words he grabbed his hand and placed a key in it. It looked
like a key to a locker or something of the nature due to his small
“What does this go to?” Kyle asked grabbing onto his shoulders.
No words came out off his mouth, his breathing became lighter.
“You can’t die, you have to tell me what this goes to first,” Kyle said
shaking him. Randy’s eyes slowly closed and Kyle knew that was the end
of him. He stood up and sighed. This must be serious he thought.
“What could be so important that they had to kill a man for?” Kyle
He put the key in his right pocket and pulled out his cell phone.
“Hello, police, there has been a shooting at 42459 Calvin,” Kyle said
looking at the address. “Yes someone has been shot and I’m afraid they
are dead. Yes, I’ll wait here.”
Kyle hung up the cell phone and put it back in his pocket. He sighed
sitting down on the porch and resting his arms on his legs. He gazed up
and his jaw dropped.
“Damn it, oh man,” said Kyle getting up and running over to his car. He
kneeled right next to two bullet holes in his hummer.
“She wasn’t even a month old,” Kyle said sighing, “my baby.”
Kyle’s face turned red with anger, “Whoever did this is dead,” he
screamed out loud.
He ran his fingers over the holes in his Hummer. He’d finally
gotten enough cash for the down payment three weeks ago after a
lifetime of waiting, but now it was tarnished by someone‘s attempt at
silencing Randy forever.
“Now this just got personal,” Kyle said under his breath sitting down
on the ground and running his hand through his hair knowing that
something far more dangerous was in front of him than he‘d imagined
when he‘d offered to help Russ out.