“This is insane,” Diego repeated once again not wanting to cooperate
with Heather’s request, “No one is going to believe that I’m the father
of your baby and I find myself wondering if I should make an order to
commit myself for even thinking about it.”
“So you think you might be up for the challenge, huh,” Heather beamed
“Heather, have you completely lost your mind,” Diego questioned
bluntly, “Not only is this wrong on more levels than I care to think
about, but we both know that Kipp Mahoney is the one who fathered your
child. Douglas now believes that and…”
“And we can prove him wrong,” Heather insisted with a fire behind her
eyes, “You’re a good man and people listen to you. You can just
tell them that we had something, but you weren’t ready to face up to it
until push came to shove.”
“Heather, that’s not something I would do,” Diego argued with her.
“Diego, haven’t you ever found yourself in a place where you needed
help so desperately that you had to cling to what little hope you were
given,” Heather questioned with tears behind her eyes, “Diego, I’m
desperate and there’s no other way about this. I can’t go back to
Cameron and I can’t let Douglas get my baby. Without Cameron,
then I’m certain that Douglas will find a way to steal my child away
from me. He’s insistent upon seeing to it that my baby never gets
a chance to know me.”
“But Heather you married Cameron. He is your husband and that’s a
choice you have to live with. It was a decision you made against
my advice and now…” Diego started with obvious frustration.
“He raped me Diego,” Heather blurted out tearfully, “That’s what I
didn’t want to tell you.”
“What?” Diego’s eyes widened in astonishment while her tears continued.
“After you tried to help me, I went to Cameron for help,” she confessed
painfully, “I tried to convince him to be what he promised me he would
be and one thing lead to another. He did this to me and the
“Heather,” Diego’s jaw dropped. Her tears continued while she
continued to tell him her tale, “why didn’t you say something before?”
“What could I say?” Heather sobbed harder, “I’m his wife for God’s
sake. How is going to believe me that he did what he did?
Furthermore, why would anyone want to help me? You know what the
world thinks of me.”
“Heather, that’s irrelevant to what happened to you. If Cameron
raped you, then you can’t keep quiet about this,” Diego continued, his
voice overcome with shades of anger, “If he hurt you…”
“Diego, you’ve seen what my husband is capable of. Do you really
believe that he’s going to allow me to file charges against him,”
Heather questioned behind a mask of tears, “He’ll use my past against
me to hurt me. Diego, I’ve done things--horrible things and
Cameron knows it. If he spills the word around town, then I know
Douglas will use it to prove I’m an unfit mother. Cameron won’t
hesitate to hurt me again for defying him. I know that he’ll try
to take my baby from me if I even think about standing up to him and I
can’t live with that. Diego, you have to help me.”
“Heather, I want to help you, but with what you’re telling me, I can’t
stand back and do nothing. You need to speak with someone about
what happened. You need to tell the authorities…” his mind was
reeling with the thought of what Heather had told him. Suddenly
her behavior was starting to make sense. The things she’d said
when she threw herself at him--the way she’d behaved--it all lead to
signs of a woman who’d found herself in an undesirable situation.
“You have to say something Heather. He can’t get away with
“No, I can’t do that. Diego please,” Heather reached out to tug
on his shirt, “I can’t bring myself to do that right now. It was
hard enough telling you and now…”
“Heather, I’ll be there for you each and every step of the way.
Right now we need to see if there’s a way that we can…” Diego started
attempting to keep his emotions under control.
“Right now I need you to be my baby’s father. More than anything
that’s what I need. If you truly care about me and want to help
me out, then you’ll do this one favor for me,” Heather pleaded with
him, “You said you’d do everything in your power to help me once upon a
“I know what I said, but Heather what you’re asking could…” Diego spoke
up in a shaky voice.
“Could save my life and my child’s,” Heather sniffled her blue-green
eyes reaching up into his, “now how can you walk away from that?
If you care as much as you say you do, then you’ll see this is the only
alternative for me. Diego please…”
“Heather I…” Diego replied ready to say something more when there was a
knock on the door. Seconds later Deidra entered the room eyeing
them both intently.
“Is everything okay in here? I was just about to let them setup
the ultrasound, but if you need more time…” Deidra started to explain.
“Actually…” Diego cleared his throat uneasily.
“No, we don’t need anymore time. Come on in,” Heather piped in
throwing out one last pleading look in the hopes of getting Diego to
work with her in her latest quest to keep her child.
Brant squeezed Avery against him, unable to resist taking things to
another level between them as their kiss continued. She’d been
reluctant, but now her mouth moved in complete synchronicity with his
tempting him on so many levels all over again. When he’d
suggested the kiss, he was far certain that she’d want to murder
him--that she’d fight him tooth and nail at every twist and turn.
To some degree she had, but once he’d pushed the kiss upon her, her
reluctance seemed to give way to the sheer pleasure she was deriving
from his attention. Sure, she’d tried to hide from the fact she
was attracted to him by covering it with the married veil, but Brant
knew better. She liked kissing him and by God he loved kissing
Dropping his arms down around her body, Brant slid his palm over her
bottom, cupping her against him with evidence of his own desire
springing up front and center. She let out a tiny whimper with
the movement, her body growing rigid until his tongue tasted of hers
again. He wanted nothing more than to lock this feeling inside of
him forever--to convince her to be with him, but sensing her reluctance
to be sharing the moment, he pulled away from her.
“See, now was that so bad, was it,” Brant questioned taking note of the
breathlessness that had overtaken her with the kiss they’d shared.
Avery stayed silent for a long moment unsure on what to do or say while
the taste of Brant’s kiss lingered upon her lips. His assault
upon her had been unwanted, undesired and yet, she could taste the
passion behind him in ways she was certain she’d just as soon
forget. Watching his eyes cloud over with a dreamy expression,
she felt the reality of what he’d just pushed upon her register and a
scowl overtook her.
“You son of a bitch,” she slapped him across the face unable to contain
her rage that flooded over her, “how dare you!”
“Avery, I…” Brant started reaching out for her.
“Don’t touch me,” Avery warned him sharply, “Don’t you ever think about
doing that ever again. Do you understand me Brant?”
“Oh please,” Brant rolled his eyes at her, “Avery, I know you can’t
possibly mean that.”
“I can and I do,” Avery waved her finger at him harshly, “You had no
right to kiss me like that.”
“If you didn’t notice, we kissed each other.”
“The hell we did,” Avery snapped unwilling to accept that answer after
the way he’d pushed the kiss upon her. “I told you not to do
“Yet, you really don’t regret the fact that I did, now do you?” Brant
challenged with an arched brow, “Even now, you’re wishing that I hadn’t
ended the kiss. Admit it.”
“The only thing I’m going to admit to is that you’re driving me crazy,”
Avery scoffed back at him wiping at her lip in an attempt to banish the
taste of him from her.
“Exactly,” Brant nodded eagerly, “just as you drive me crazy.
Avery, can’t you see we’re meant for one another. This is
something that we’ve fought for a long time, but you can see that the
spark is still there. We can be so good together.”
“No Brant, we can’t,” Avery shook her head at him, her eyes shooting
daggers at him, “I’m married to Russ and that’s exactly where I want to
be in my life.”
“You say that, but I really think that you’re hiding behind him because
he’s safe,” Brant challenged, “You fear the unknown and that’s what I
am to you. You’ve never allowed yourself to love a man like me
and that terrifies you.”
“Brant, I don’t love you,” Avery insisted with a huff, “Yes, I’ll admit
that you’re very attractive and any woman would be very lucky to have
your attention, but I’m not that woman it’s meant for. I love my
husband very much and he’s everything to me.”
“He’s only been put in that position because you’re lying to yourself
Avery,” Brant argued with her, “You knew as soon as I felt something
for you that it would be easier to go to Mr. Good Guy because you were
uncertain about what someone like I could do for you…”
“No, I’m with Russ because I love him and I’ve always loved him,” Avery
stated matter of fact, “He’s the great love of my life and nothing is
ever going to change that.”
“Not even the fact that you feel something for me,” Brant arched a
curious brow, “That somewhere deep inside you know your heart yearns to
be with me?”
“Brant, what we had was nothing more than some kind of twisted
attraction--lust at best and lust always leads to disaster,” Avery
continued in a rant, “especially when my heart truly belongs to another
man. I was miserable without Russ and I wouldn’t do anything in
this world to lose him again. Not for you or anyone…”
“But Avery, we could be so good together,” Brant reached out to her,
attempting to forge a bond between them once again. “If you’d
“No,” she pushed his hand aside, “there is nothing happening between us
now or ever and that’s final.”
“All because you’ve committed yourself to a life with the wrong man,”
Brant curled his lip in a pout, “That hardly seems fair to me.”
“Fair would be your giving me space to live my life without all your
little games,” Avery stated firmly, “because Brant I’m warning you I’m
right at my wit’s end right about now…”
“And I’m at mine because I know that you and I were meant to be
together Avery,” Brant began with an impassioned plea.
“No we aren’t and it’s about time that you deal with it,” Avery cut him
off unwilling to listen to anything more from him.
“Maybe I don’t want to deal with it,” Brant cut back stubbornly.
“Deal with what,” a voice piped in as Avery spun around to find Russell
standing in the doorway. “What’s going on?”
Mindy entered Alexandria’s ready to get a quiet cup of coffee before
retiring for another movie night at the apartment. Sure, she’d
been working on looking into a new place, but with Guy having been out
with Gabe most of the time, things hadn’t been so difficult.
Okay, so she hadn’t exactly been less than miserable either, but she
was at least trying.
“What can I get for you,” the man behind the counter questioned.
“I’ll have a café caramel and a chicken club to go,” Mindy
replied watching the man go tend to her order while she took a seat at
the bar. Looking around she could see it was a rather quiet
evening unlike the last time she’d been at the place. However,
tonight she found herself more wired up than she’d been before.
Perhaps it was just that she’d been far too distracted in having had
nothing else to do but dwell on her misery, she reasoned.
However, she had made a trip to the video store and vowed that she was
well on her way to forgetting about all else that was falling to pieces
in her life.
“Hey there,” a voice beckoned her from her thoughts. She felt
spikes of adrenaline up and down her back at the sound of his
voice. Sure, she’d thought that it might be possible to hear from
him again, but nothing had prepared her for the charming hints of Hunt
Lockhart’s arrival, “Mindy, I thought I saw you come in.”
“What?” she questioned forcing herself to turn around and look at him
for a brief moment, “or it’s you. Hi.”
“Hi,” Hunt smiled back at her taking a seat beside her, “I’ve been
trying to call you, but you aren’t ever around it seems.”
“I’ve been busy,” she replied dismissively turning her attention to the
man who’d taken her order moments earlier.
“I kind of figured, though you know I was kind of hoping that I’d get a
chance to speak with you,” Hunt continued focusing on her, “I owe you
an apology about the other night.”
“It’s no big deal,” Mindy didn’t bother to look at him.
“Yes, it is. I asked you out and then well, I was out of line to
not show up like that. It’s just that I had this emergency and…”
Hunt began again hoping to capture her attention.
“Save it. You don’t have to tell me anything,” Mindy informed him
bluntly, “It’s no big deal.”
“Then why do I get the feeling that you’re avoiding me because of it,”
Hunt questioned point blank, “Mindy, I never meant to…”
“You don’t have to say anything,” Mindy shook her head at him, “I
realize we hardly know one another, so it’s really no big deal.
Besides, I spent the night with someone else anyways after you didn’t
bother to show up.”
“You did,” disappointment shone behind his eyes.
“Yeah and we had a really nice time, so it worked out for the best,”
Mindy nodded in confession watching the man behind the counter return
with her things.
“Oh, well I guess that‘s refreshing to hear,” was all Hunt managed to
get out. His eyes remained upon her as he contemplated his next
words, “So do you think that maybe we could give dinner another chance?”
“I don’t think so,” Mindy shook her head paying for her meal and
getting up from the seat she was in.
“Mindy, look I…” Hunt started apologetically.
“It’s just not the right time for me…for either of us,” she lied hating
to risk having him see just how disappointed she was about the other
night. Furthermore, she didn’t want to set herself up for yet
another let down given the way her luck had been lately. “I
really hope that you enjoy your stay in Coral Valley. Good luck
“Mindy wait,” Hunt attempted to keep her from leaving.
“I really have to go Hunt,” she spoke his name with a coldness that
shocked him to silence. Taking a step back, he was forced to
watch her leave realizing that he‘d yet again screwed up what could‘ve
proven to be something interesting in his life.
“Well despite the fact that we had the little scare earlier,” Deidra
announced with a grin, “It would appear that mother and baby are fine.”
“You’re sure,” Heather questioned with traces of worry in her voice.
“I’m positive,” Deidra nodded in confession, “in fact, if you’re
interested, well I’m sure we could tell you whether you’re going to
painting the nursery blue or pink here.”
“You can do that now?” Heather’s eyes widened with eagerness. She
looked to Diego with a smile reaching for his hand only to discover him
offering up a light squeeze.
“That’s right,” Deidra added with a soft smile, “So what’s it going to
be mom? Want to be surprised or would you like a jump start on
“Hmm, let me see,” Heather pretended to think it over for a moment, “oh
hell, I can’t wait. I have to know.”
“Well in that case, let me show you,” Deidra moved the wand of the
ultrasound once again before smiling, “There you go.”
“Oh my God,” Heather’s jaw dropped in surprise while her eyes fell upon
the image before her, “Diego, that’s…”
“Your son,” Diego smiled proudly seeing the way in which Heather’s baby
boy was moving around on the monitor.
“I’m going to have a son,” Heather’s eyes filled with tears at the
realization, “a baby boy.”
“And a very active one at that,” Deidra added with a tiny laugh
pointing out the ways in which the baby was kicking out his legs in
response to the ultrasound.
“I just never thought…I mean I wanted a healthy baby and I was hoping
for that, but I never got to the planning ahead as to what I would be
having,” Heather’s face lit up at the thought, “but a baby boy.”
“He’s amazing Heather,” Diego squeezed her hand once again from where
he’d been seated. He reached out to touch her face gently,
pushing her hair aside. He couldn’t help but smile watching her
turn her attention to the monitor once again.
“I just can’t believe this…” she confessed watching the screen intently
as Diego found himself touched by this moment she’d invited him to
share with her.
Looking to the screen before him, he thought back to a time when he and
Maria had been together just like this. He’d been so excited when
he’d learned that his child was coming into the world--that they’d be
having a son who would bring them joy for years to come. Only
that joy had been ripped away from him from the man that Heather had
married. Her husband had stolen his happiness a long time ago and
now as Diego thought of Heather’s painful confession, he realized that
there was only one thing he could do to make things right. He’d
made up his mind and now he knew there was no turning back.
Mindy slammed the door shut behind her upon entering the
apartment. Of all the days to have a confrontation with Hunt, why
did it have to be today when she was already feeling like hell?
Sure, she’d tried to pretend that seeing him again didn’t stir up some
kind of response inside of her. Unfortunately however things just
weren’t working that way in her life.
“First you fall head over heels in love with a gay man all over again,”
she chastised herself while taking a long look at her appearance, “and
now you’re getting all worked up about some commitment phobic newcomer
that you’ve met less than a few times. Mindy, what are you
turning into,” she paused at that thought before frowning and speaking
aloud again, “A nutcase.”
Groaning with the thoughts that consumed her, Mindy made her way into
the living room ready to take her place on the couch. Setting her
the bag with her food in it on the coffee table, she searched around
for the remote control to the television. Reaching down deep into
the cushions, she hoped to find it buried beneath her, but much to her
dismay there was nothing to be found.
“It figures,” she grumbled crawling down into the floor ready to seek
out the infamously absent remote control in the darkness beneath the
couch. Fanning her fingers underneath, she pushed her palm flat
out into the darkness underneath the sofa hoping to come up with the
remote, but once again things were coming up empty.
“Ugh,” Mindy groaned rolling onto her side away from the sofa.
She tried to take another look underneath from a distance before giving
up. Moving upright just enough to maneuver herself out of the
small space she’d been in, Mindy shifted to the left and wound up
hitting her head on the bottom of the coffee table.
“Damn it,” she cursed feeling an ache over the back of her head while
the magazine rack that had been set up beside the table toppled over
sending the various magazines out across the floor in a wild
display. She took in a breath trying to stay calm while making a
mental note to pick the magazines up in a few seconds.
“Okay, can you please just give me a break here,” Mindy pleaded to the
heaven’s above only to hear the dripping sound of something beside
her. Turning to look at the table, she noticed that her coffee
had tipped over and was now pouring out onto Avery’s beige carpeting in
a steady stream of brown.
“No,” Mindy cried out sliding across the floor to prevent any further
damage to the carpeting. In her quick movement, she reached for
one of the magazines placing it over the spot where the coffee was
dripping. A second later, she set the cup upright letting out a
breath of relief that something wasn’t a complete disaster just yet.
“Score one for Mindy,” she cheered under her breath before turning her
attention to the magazine before her. Noticing that the page it
had been opened to had taken the most abuse, she made a mental note to
get rid of the magazine in the midst of cleanup.
“Hopefully Avery won’t miss you,” Mindy spoke to herself rising up to
her feet while carefully collecting the soaked magazine. She
crossed through the living room into the kitchen ready to dump the
magazine in the trash when a familiar face on the page before her
caught her attention.
“What in the…” she gasped setting the magazine down by the sink.
Her eyes skimmed the page as she immediately recognized the man before
her as Gabe. There were various photos of him in what appeared to
be his European villa--some with him arm in arm with another man.
Mindy’s eyes widened as she carefully turned the page back to the
opening of the article only to find a photo of the two men seemingly
wrapped up in some kind of intimate embrace.
“Take a tour of paradise with Gabriel Teague and his longtime companion
Marc Ashley. Marc Ashley,” she read aloud suddenly making the
connection with a gasp. Continuing to read through the blurred
coffee stained page, she saw that the article went on and on about Gabe
and Marc‘s longtime relationship as the two men planned on committing
themselves to one another in a formal service in the not so distance
future. Suddenly Mindy thought back to the upcoming party that
Brooke was holding for Beholder. A rush of panic washed over her
when she realized that Marc Ashley‘s involvement with Gabe could only
mean one thing for Guy and the rouse he was carrying on with his
“Russ,” Avery gasped her husband’s name while her heart leapt into her
chest. Fearing what he might’ve walked in on, she took a few
steps away from Brant hoping that he hadn’t witnessed more than she was
ready to explain.
“Hey babe,” he approached her, cutting a glare in Brant’s general
direction, “I’m sorry it took me so long to get here. I was
caught up in traffic.”
“I’m just glad you’re here,” Avery threw her arms around him offering
up an eager embrace.
“You know there’s no place I’d rather be than with you,” Russell
informed her while turning his attention to her flushed features.
Reaching out to touch her cheek gently his concerned eyes brushed over
her, “Hey, are you okay?”
“Why wouldn’t she be okay,” Brant questioned gruffly, “She was just
talking with me.”
“All the more reason to ask,” Russell glared back at him before
directing his attention to Avery.
Avery nodded, “I’m fine Russ. Really.”
“Then what was all the yelling about,” Russell questioned in confusion,
“I heard a little bit here and there on my way up.”
“We were just discussing a heated issue going on at work,” Brant
offered up with a smug expression, “It seems your wife and I are on
opposite ends of the issue despite the fact that we’re both hoping for
the same outcome in time.”
“No we aren’t,” Avery turned to glare at him, “I think that what you’re
planning will only lead to disaster and if you keep pushing it the way
that you have, then you’re going to lose more than you ever imagined.”
“See now I think in this particular venture, it’s well worth taking a
gamble on,” Brant began to address Russell, “Don’t you think that
sometimes the best things in life are worth going out on a limb?”
“I think that if Avery’s got bad feelings about your approach, it’s
probably well worth listening to her,” Russell remarked, his jaw tight
with tension. He looked around the room, “Where’s your mother?”
“She went downstairs for a bit, but she got lost it would seem,” Avery
confessed wishing that Brooke had just stayed put long enough for her
to avoid the confrontation with Brant. “You know maybe we should
go find her. I really am kind of tired and I’d like to get on
home if you don’t mind.”
“Not at all. My parents were taking it easy tonight and after I
called, well I figure you and I have some things to discuss that would
be better left said at home,” Russell nodded in agreement unwilling to
clue Brant in on the things they’d been doing to clear his brother’s
“That’s a wonderful idea,” Avery added reaching for his hand, “We can
just go say our goodbyes to Brooke and go home.”
“If that’s what you want sweetheart,” Russell accepted her idea while
feeling her lead him out of the room without so much as a goodbye to
Brant watched Avery’s hasty retreat while flashes of the kiss they
shared danced through his mind. Sure, Avery might be looking for
an escape, but he knew better. After the kiss they’d shared, he
came upon the realization that Avery could try to run as long as she
liked, but when it came down to it, she couldn’t hide from her
heart. She was clearly conflicted about the way Brant could make
her feel. Knowing that Brant realized it was only a matter of
time before he was able to coax her into his arms. And coax her
he would because sooner or later they would have that future he’d been
banking on between them.
“So what’s on your mind,” Shannon questioned taking a seat in Dave’s
office. She could see that there was worry over his brow and that
something was far from being right in his mind.
“Something just isn’t adding up,” Dave admitted lowering his voice
before slumping down into his chair on the opposite side of the desk,
“I mean okay, so the print we found was Simon’s…”
“But?” Shannon arched a curious brow.
“But it’s too easy,” Dave sighed shaking his head at the thought,
“Avery railed into my about that back at the Ashford estate and then I
really started thinking about it. How could Simon gotten in here
without some kind of assistance?”
“Dave, I wish I could tell you that,” Shannon offered up thinking about
the details of the crime that had taken place, “but if your gut is
telling you that there’s something more happening, then you have to run
with it. You can’t ignore your instincts.”
“That night I made sure that Grady was safe,” Dave confessed with a
frown, “I did everything in my power to keep him out of harm’s
way. The only way anyone could’ve gotten back there, well would
be if they had some kind of help from the inside.”
“You mean from someone on the department?” Shannon arched a speculative
“I hate to think that one of my men could be involved in something like
this, but too many things keep happening Shannon. I don’t want to
bring Internal Affairs into this, but…”
“But you have some idea of who it might be, don’t you?” Shannon
interrupted sitting up straighter in her chair, “You’re starting to
think that this goes beyond that night Grady Denton was stabbed.”
“That’s what’s starting to worry me,” Dave nodded in confession, “I had
the lab work on the print we found at the crime scene right away.
Simon’s name came up, but…”
“When they moved in on him, some of my men were saying that all he
could talk about was his being a foreigner in the country--as if he
believed they were coming after him for his illegal status,” Dave
frowned back at her.
“Not exactly the first thing you’d be expecting to hear out of a
murderer’s mouth now is it?” Shannon caught on to what he was saying.
“I wasn’t there, but from what I gathered, it didn’t appear that he was
the least bit concerned about what had transpired with him and Grady,”
Dave divulged wearily, “and then when I discovered that he’d been shot…”
“Yeah, I thought that was kind of interesting when I read the
report. Sharpe shot him point blank in the center of the head,”
Shannon recalled the details, “which usually isn’t the first option.”
“No it’s not…especially when there’s a hostage…” Dave stopped himself
mid-sentence when a thought occurred to him, “Oh God, I didn’t mention
to Deidra about Diane. They took Diane to the hospital yet I
didn’t think to tell her that Diane was injured.”
“Dave, it’s okay,” Shannon watched the color drain from his face, “I’m
sure that she’ll understand that you were busy and besides by now I’m
sure that someone has mentioned something to her. Coral Valley
isn’t exactly a large place so I’d imagine someone at the hospital
must’ve said something.”
“I should’ve said something,” Dave reached for the phone dialing
Deidra’s office in the hopes of delivering the information to her about
“Let me see the reports again,” Shannon leaned over his desk snatching
up the file before her while she tried to make sense of the mystery
“She’s gone,” Dave frowned hanging up the phone with guilt eating away
“Maybe she heard the news and she’s on her way to her sister’s room,”
Shannon suggested once again.
“Perhaps, but I think I’m going to page her just to be sure. She
has a right to know what’s happening with her sister,” Dave decided
unwilling to skirt around the issue where Deidra was concerned.
One way or another he vowed to keep Deidra in the loop about her family
even if it meant pushing aside the real issue at hand for a while
Deidra stepped out into the night unable to keep from thinking about
what she’d witnessed between Diego and Heather. While she wasn’t
quite sure about the state of their relationship, she couldn’t help but
feel a bit envious to watch the two with one another. It wasn’t
often that a woman found someone to care about them as completely as it
appeared Diego cared about Heather. Sure, Deidra wasn’t one to
form opinions and state them aloud, but there was certainly something
brewing especially after Heather had found out she was having a
Okay, so maybe Deidra was spending far too much time focusing on
anything other than her own life, she thought to herself. Maybe
that was the real heart of the problem, or perhaps it had more to do
with the fact that Andy had been a true failure as a husband.
Time and time he’d made her feel like she was the one to blame, yet she
was convinced that she’d been a good wife to him. She’d given her
all to their marriage in the hopes that it would keep Andrew satisfied,
but his multiple affairs had only shown her just how delusional she’d
been about that very fact.
“But it’s in the past,” Deidra reminded herself stepping up the pace
while making her way out to her car. She’d parked in the far lot
this afternoon upon having to come in on a later shift, but now that
the parking lot wasn’t nearly as full as it had been, she almost wished
that she hadn’t decided to be so far away from the hospital.
A shiver of fear rushed over her at the thought that Shannon wasn’t
around tonight to keep an eye on her. Sure, she’d thought it
ridiculous to have to be watched all the time, but when she remembered
the mistakes she’d made on the island due to Andy’s withdrawing from
their relationship, she knew she could never truly be free. She’d
stepped into the lion’s den with Bruce Mathis and unwittingly become a
target. That in itself sent another rush of tremors up over her
“You’re almost there,” she mentally instructed herself reaching into
her pocket to pull out her keys when the sound of footsteps from behind
her captured her attention. Turning around she scanned the lot
seeing nothing out of the ordinary other than the light flickering over
head. The dim glow above her buzzed with the reality that it
would burn out and expire shortly much like her own social life had
“Would you stop already,” she grumbled returning to her path to her car
in the hopes of putting her worries aside. Right now a long
bubble bath and an even longer nap sounded incredible. That much
she was certain of, she decided picking up her pace again.
Suddenly another crashing sound rose up from behind her, but before
Deidra could get a look at what was going on, she felt a hand clamp
down over her mouth and the cold, hard taste of steel pressed up
against her throat.
“Going somewhere,” a low, raspy voice questioned while she became very
aware of the man behind her. His body crushed up against hers
while he kept the blade flush against her skin. She tried to move
only to feel a tiny pang of ache over where he’d held the blade to her
“Now don’t wiggle too much sweetheart,” he urged her on while squeezed
her in his arms, “because I really wouldn’t want to hurt you just yet.”
Deidra felt a pinched scream build up in the back of her throat, but
the blade kept her silent. She felt the man release her mouth,
yet the blade remained.
“Don’t you get any funny ideas about screaming here because I swear to
you I’ll cut your throat out if you even try it Deidra,” he warned his
nose nuzzling the side of her neck, “I missed you.”
“What do you want from me,” she questioned with a tight whisper
straining to find some way out of the situation.
“Why to finish what we started on the island sugar,” he mouthed into
her ear before tracing his tongue over the side of her throat.
Deidra felt another whimper build up in her throat as her fears got the
best of her.
“You know I’ve waited a long time for this especially after you left me
hanging like you did,” he practically growled, his hand moving in over
her body in a lecherous fashion, “I wasn’t finished with you. I’m
still not finished with you.”
“Let go of me please,” Deidra begged of him, “I won’t tell anyone what
I know if you do.”
“Of course you won’t,” he grinned nefariously, his mouth moving in to
nibble on her neck once again, “because I’m not about to let you leave
“Bruce please…” Deidra cried out with a whimper.
“Ah, so you have been keeping track on me now haven’t you,” he chuckled
with amusement, “Though I must confess that I much rather enjoyed being
Christian with you on the island. However, tonight I can give you
your first taste of Bruce if you like.”
Deidra’s heart pounded in her chest upon completion of his words.
Suddenly images of the heart he’d dropped off on Avery’s honeymoon
suite filled her head. The things the reporters had said about
him clouded her memory causing her body to react with repulsion and
“Don’t worry though,” he tried to assure her, “I’m going to make
tonight very good for you.”
“Hey, what are you doing over there,” a voice sounded out through the
darkness catching Bruce clearly off guard in the moment.
The blade slipped away from Deidra’s neck as he looked out into the
direction of the sound. Taking advantage of the opportunity,
Deidra stomped on his foot, wiggling out of his grasp
frantically. Screaming as loud as she could, Deidra raced forward
towards the sound of the man who’d no doubt come to her rescue.
“Help me,” she cried out watching the man rush towards her in a
haste. “He’s trying to kill me.”
After that words weren’t registering in her with her movement.
The pounding of her heart kept her moving forward--the need to get away
and to survive overwhelming her with each step she took.
“Hey, you’re going to be okay,” the man explained to her, his dark eyes
glancing out to the direction that Deidra had come from. Reaching
into his pocket, he withdrew his cell phone handing it over to her,
“Call for help. I’m going after him.”
“No wait,” Deidra began watching her rescuer chase off after the man
who’d haunted her nightmares. With trembling hands she dialed 911
and prayed that the heroic stranger who’d happened upon her wouldn’t be
wounded in his attempts to save her. A few minutes later, she
noticed the shadows of a man approaching and a sudden dread overtook
“He’s gone,” the man she’d just met in the parking lot announced as he
emerged from the shadows, “I tried to catch up with him, but he had too
big of a head start.”
Deidra said nothing while she clenched the man’s phone in hand.
Unable to come up with anything, but the terror that consumed her, she
began to tremble before him shaking like a leaf.
“Hey, it’s going to be okay,” he reached out for her watching her
retract from his attempts at comforting her. Sensing her heavy
distrust in the moment, he reached into his pocket pulling out his
hospital ID badge, “It’s okay. I’m a doctor here. My name
is Dean Carlisle and I’m a surgeon. I was just walking out to my
car and I thought you might need some help.”
Deidra took another step back finding herself up against a car.
“Hey, I’m not going to hurt you,” Dean promised her holding out his
“I…” Deidra started reading the nametag before turning her eyes to him
once again realizing that it made no difference. She tried to be
strong--tried to keep from behaving like a blubbering idiot, but all
that came out were the tears she fought so desperately to hide from the
world. There was no denying her past any longer. Bruce
Mathis was going to see to that one way or another and when he finally
caught up with her, she knew exactly where she would wind up. The
man before her had only denied the inevitable, she realized feeling her
knees give out as she collapsed into his arms.