Episode 127

Seth stepped out of the bathroom trying to clear his head after the long week he’d been having.  As pathetic as he as starting to seem, he couldn’t help but dwell on what it was like to have Blake so very close to him only to let her go.  He hadn’t heard a word from her since he’d walked out so he figured that by now she and Zack were no doubt reunited enjoying their lives with one another.  That thought in itself sent another wave of misery rushing over him, but it was for the best.  He was certain that Blake was happier without him.  Zack was a doctor and a man that was more of what Blake was accustomed to in her life.  Seth couldn’t compete with that and obviously from here on out he’d have to face the fact that he just didn’t cut it where Blake was concerned.  She’d taken him up on his suggestion and moved on.  So why the hell couldn’t he do the same?
“Because you’d rather sit in self pity,” Seth scowled at himself in the hallway mirror before turning towards his room to get dressed.  He’d spent far too much time dwelling on the what might’ve been, but today he had work to do down at the studio.  However, before he could get to finishing getting dressed he heard the distinct sound of someone at his front door.
Turning around to answer it, Seth felt his pulse rate quicken with a momentarily touch of hope.  Before he could truly take the time to ponder who it could be, his thoughts lingered back to Blake.  Pausing mid-step he wondered if he’d been all wrong about her decision.  Had she come to see him?  To ask for them to start over again?  Could that really be what was happening once he’d decided to give up on any hope for them altogether, he asked himself.  However, when he opened up the door to his apartment, he found Ria standing in the hallway looking less than thrilled.
“It took you long enough to answer,” she marched past him into the apartment, “What were you getting into?”
“More like I was getting out of the shower,” he remarked sourly closing the door behind her entrance.  Standing up straighter, Seth felt a moment of disappointment flood over him until he spun around to find Ria standing in the middle of his living room.  Frowning at the realization that Blake wasn’t ever coming back, he tried to hide his obvious discontent.  “So what brings you over here this morning?”
“You mean other than trying to see if you’ve decided to come out of this sulking you’re doing?” Ria questioned bluntly shaking her head at him, “You know Seth, if breaking up with Blake is bothering you so much, then why did you even think about doing it?”
“Because it’s for the best,” Seth answered flatly making his way past her towards his room in an attempt to finish getting dressed.  However, Ria was relentless in her pursuit of him, following him towards his bedroom.  He stopped at the doorway, turning around to find her at his heels.  “I’m about to get dressed here.  Do you mind?”
“Not at all,” she shook her head in response, “because I think it’s time someone helped you pull your head out of your ass Seth.”
“No one nominated you to do it Ria,” Seth stepped aside, opening up the door to his bedroom, “and for the moment I’m getting dressed without you.”
“Fine,” Ria huffed watching him close the door in her face, “but don’t think that’s going to be your way of getting rid of me Seth.  You need someone to set you straight and I just so happen to be the one to do it.”
She paused only to be met by silence before continuing.
“As much as I wasn’t fond of Blake considering that I thought she was far too flighty and prissy for you, the truth to the matter is if you love her, then you’re being a big moron in just walking away without a fight.  I mean honestly Seth, what man does that?  The pursuit is part of the thrill and if you just lay down and die while Vaughn romances here, then you’re a bigger bonehead than they said you were.”
“Who is they,” Seth questioned opening his bedroom door once again while slipping his sweater over his head.
“The guys in high school who said that you didn’t see a good thing when it was right in front of you,” Ria challenged with a speculative look, “I mean honestly when have you really fought for something you wanted?  You know taken the bull by the horns and just gone for the gusto?” she questioned holding her hands out and squeezing the air in an exaggerative motion.
“Oh that’s good coming from you,” Seth chuckled in response, “considering you’re the last person I would expect to be doing any horn grabbing.”
“Yeah, so maybe it’s not my style,” she frowned at his response before striding in behind him to the living room, “but it should be yours.”
“And why is that Ria?” Seth questioned slumping down in one of the chairs, “What is it that I have that makes me worthy of a woman like Blake?”
“I think the question you should be asking yourself is what does she have to make her worthy of a man like you,” Ria paused for a long moment.  Scratching her head lightly, a puzzled expression washed over her features, “Okay, so maybe I haven’t figured that one out yet, but when I do, well then I suppose I could help answer that, but then again this isn’t about me.  This is about you and what you think.  I mean you obviously love her if you’re going to stay locked up in here like this cutting yourself off from the world.”
“I’m not cutting myself off from the world,” Seth started to argue with her, “I’m merely keeping busy indoors.”
“Right,” Ria rolled her eyes, “and let me guess.  You haven’t thought about Blake once, huh?”
“Not at all,” Seth lied catching note of her long, look of disbelieve, “okay, so maybe I’ve thought about her a little, but what does it matter?”
“It matters a lot considering that you’re not even close to be the fun, easygoing guy you used to be.  You’re all in a rut and I hate that.  Jade would be furious if she was here to see you like this,” Ria chastised him.
“I suppose it’s a good thing that she’s not here then isn’t it,” Seth teased with a sardonic smile.
“If you think you’re funny, you’re not,” Ria complained, “In fact, today is my one and only morning off from the hospital for a while, so we’re going out.”
“Ria, I was about to head over to the studio and work on developing some things,” Seth started to argue with her, feeling her reaching for his arm.
“They can wait, but this can’t,” Ria used all of her strength to pull him up from where he was seated, “We’re going out and you’re going to enjoy yourself even if it kills my in the process.”
“Since when did you become my mother,” Seth gave her a strange look.
“Since you decided to be stubborn and idiotic,” she shook her head at him, “Honestly I don’t know what you men would do without me.”
“You men huh,” he repeated giving her a strange look, “Do I sense the vibe that your mystery man has been giving you trouble lately?”
“Oh we’re so not going there,” Ria caught him trying to get a hint at what she was doing in her after hours, “Today is about cheering you up--not about an interrogation about my love life.”
“Hey now why is it you think you can come on in and tell me what to do where my love life is concerned, but I can’t even ask you about yours?  That hardly seems far,” Seth pointed out watching her reach for his jacket.  She tossed it at him quickly before stepping forward.
“Life is seldom fair,” she replied sharply pushing him towards the front door in an attempt to get him out and moving again before he lost himself to the misery that breaking up with Blake had caused him.


“It’s so great that you could do something,” Blake explained to Sarah as they sat down at a table with one another.

“I know, so how have things been going the last few days?” asked Sarah.

“They’ve been going, what about you? Anything new happen?” Blake shrugged her shoulders wanting to focus on anything, but the miserable state of her personal life.

“Well I got a new job,” she said smiling unable to quell the enthusiasm that had sprouted from within upon getting such a wonderful opportunity in front of her.

“Really? Where are you working?”

“I am a reporter for the Coral Courier,” Sarah explained nodding.  “I wasn’t sure how it would go, but once I was able to let them see that I do have talent, well the rest is history.”

“Oh that’s great, congratulation,”  Blake cheered her on, finding the thought of her friend’s newfound success to be the first sign of hope in a long time around Coral Valley.

“Thanks,” Sarah smiled back at her, “I was a little nervous at first about taking on such a new challenge, but I have a feeling that things are only going to get better from here on out.  Call me crazy, but I have a good feeling about my life.”

“Hmm, that sounds promising and judging by the smile on your face, it’s been more than promising there,“ Blake paused raising an eyebrow.  “So tell me anything new happen with…Kyle perhaps?”

“I guess you could say that,” she said shrugging.

“What does that mean? Tell me more,” Blake encouraged her.

“Well he took me out last night,” Sarah divulged grinning and thinking about last night.

“And?” Blake questioned eagerly.

“Well he took me out to dinner and we ended up getting kicked out of the restaurant,” Sarah confessed laughing to herself.

“How did that happen?” Blake inquired with wide eyes watching the color that rose over her friends features.

“We got into a food fight,” Sarah blurted out with a tiny giggle at the silliness behind her statement.

“Tell me more,” Blake motioned her hands wanting more details.

“It just sort of happened and before we knew it, we were pretty much banned from eating there again I think,” Sarah’s laughter grew in the moment, “After that we went through a walk in the park and we hung out.”

“And then?” asked Blake smiling knowing that there was more to the story that her friend hadn‘t fessed up to yet.

“He took me home,” Sarah shrugged revealing nothing about what had truly happened.

“That’s it? How cheap,” Blake groaned inwardly.  “Even I expected more than that.”
“I didn’t say that was the last thing that happened,” Sarah admitted as Blake smiled.

“So there is more, keep going on,” Blake urged her on.

“Well when I was about to go inside he pulled me back telling me that I meant a lot to him and he kissed me,” Sarah blurted out as Blake clapped excitedly, eager to learn more.

“And what happened after that?” she asked smiling.

“Well, he thought he did something bad and he apologized.”

“He didn’t,” Blake gasped with obvious surprise watching as Sarah nodded back at her.  “What did you say?”

“I told him it was okay--more than okay actually.  Then I kissed him back,” Sarah grinned thinking back to that one moment shared between the two of them.  Even now she could feel her heart sizzling and head swimming with the memory of the vividness of what had taken place.

“So are you two like a couple now?” Blake gave her a curious look before Sarah shrugged smiling.

“I don’t know.”

“Did anything else happen?” asked Blake raising her eyebrows.

“No, not really,” she said smiling, “but it was really magical in it’s own way Blake.  Kyle is just so…wow!”

Blake watched as Kyle walked into the restaurant looking around. He saw Blake and Sarah and he turned in their direction slowly walking over towards them. Kyle put his finger in front of his mouth hushing Blake as she smirked knowing full well what he had in mind for Sarah.

“Hey,” he announced wrapping his arms around Sarah’s shoulders.

“Kyle, hey,” Sarah practically leapt in surprise before tilting her head in his direction.  Smiling she kept her eyes upon him unable to refrain from admiring how incredible he was.

“I have something for you,” Kyle confessed pulling a single red rose from behind his back.

“It’s beautiful Kyle, Thank you,” Sarah confessed smelling the rose.

“Not as beautiful as you,” Kyle said leaning in and kissing her quickly.

Blake smiled looking at how happy the two appeared to be.

“I didn’t expect to see you so early,” Sarah explained as he took a seat next to the two.
“I couldn’t stand not to see you, anyways I wanted to surprise you,” he admitted as she smiled.

“Well you did,” Sarah concluded while Kyle shot a smile at Blake.

“Blake right,” he smiled before pointing her way.

“Yeah,” Blake nodded.

“How have you been? It’s nice to see you again,” Kyle replied leaning over and hugging her.

“I’ve been doing good, you’ve been working out a lot,” Blake noted trying to catch her breath as Sarah wiggled her brow in response.

“Did I hug you a little to hard?” Kyle teased with a tiny chuckle.

“No, it’s okay. Hey, last time I saw you, you were clean cut what happened?” she asked pointing to his light beard.

“I like it like this,” Kyle rubbed his chin proudly.

“I like you with it too, of course I think you always look good,” Sarah added smiling unable to refrain from adding her own two cents in the conversation.

“I know I always look good, if I was a girl I would hit on me,” Kyle boasted as the two girls groaned and laughed.

“No ego right,” Blake shook her head at him.

“Never,” Kyle teased bringing his arms around Sarah. 

Blake watched the closeness between the two of them and found herself feeling oddly out of place.  Granted she was happy that her friend had found happiness, but in that moment she thought about another time when she’d had the man in her life much like Sarah did now.  Of course both men had vanished without a trace it seemed, Blake frowned before realizing she was about to damper the mood of the moment if she kept thinking that way.  Finally she made a decision to leave.

“It was nice seeing you again,” Blake decided standing up.

“You leaving?” Sarah asked raising her eyebrow.
“Yeah, I have a few things to do. Call me later okay,” Blake explained quickly as Sarah stood up and hugged her.

“It was nice seeing you again,” Kyle said standing up and hugging her as well.

“You too, see you around,” Blake relied walking to the door watching Kyle wrap his arm around Sarah’s shoulder.  She felt a soft smile tug over the corners of her mouth as it seemed that her friend had found happiness in her life--now if she could only do the same…


Thea stepped into the foyer at Cameron’s estate, allowing the sounds of her stilettos to rouse interest of the male members of Cameron’s hired help.  While she’d pretended not to notice, the limo driver had nearly fallen over himself when she’d stepped out of the limo in a slow, drawn out stretch to accentuate all the lines of her legs.  Sure she had it going on, but this morning’s ensemble was for Cameron. 
Thea had been wired the previous night unable to sleep while her mind traveled to how Cameron would be doing once they’d parted.  She was certain there had been fireworks last night once she’d told him all about his wife’s little playmate.  Now she couldn’t wait to reap the rewards of such a reveal in his life.  Heather would be history soon enough and then Thea would have Cameron exactly where she’d always wanted him.
Making her way to Cameron’s home office, she took a seat patiently while Franklin went to retrieve him.  Settling in over the black leather cushion of the sofa, Thea stretched her legs out allowing the ultra short skirt she’d been sporting to rise further up her thighs.  She let out a breath before a victorious grin spread over her features.  There was no doubt in her mind that Heather would be an unpleasant memory and Cameron would focus again especially after she did her best to nurse his wounded pride.  With that thought in mind, she unbuttoned another button on her sheer white blouse.
“Thea,” Cameron addressed her making his way into the room to find her perched on the sofa in a seductive fashion, “what are you doing here?”
“I thought I would check in on you since you weren’t coming in to the office,” she explained uncrossing her legs before re-crossing them once again.  “You know how I worry about you.”
“You shouldn’t bother,” Cameron confessed with a heavy sigh making his way across the room, “I’m doing perfectly fine.”
“The dark circles under your eyes tell another tale,” Thea noted his rigid posture, “Care to talk about it?”
“I had a long night, but you can rest assured it’s been taken care of,” he answered cryptically, “My wife won’t be a distraction from here on out.  If you really want to discuss something, I think we should focus on what’s next on my agenda.”
“Which would be,” she questioned licking her lips before a smile spread over her features.  She shifted on the couch guiding her hands over her own body in an attempt to entice him.  Seeing the way Cameron’s eyes followed her fingers and their movement, she slowly spread her legs apart giving him a rather shocking view of what she’d had in mind to celebrate Cameron’s finally giving Heather the boot.
“Not that,” Cameron replied his eyes snapping back up to hers again, “I’m not in the mood.”
“Since when haven’t you been in the mood when you are celebrating victory,” Thea questioned with a pout before rising up to her feet again.
“Since I’m not where near the victory I’ve had planned for my time here in Coral Valley,” he frowned breezing past her to make his way to his desk, “Heather might have been dealt with, but I still have other pressing issues at hand.”
“You mean the ones with BBK?” Thea couldn’t help but smile at the shakeup she’d created where that was concerned.
“That’s one of them, but right now I’m really more concerned with locating Jade,” Cameron explained honestly, “The mere fact that she hasn’t been spotted around town leads me to believe that something strange is going on.”
“Such as?” Thea arched a curious brow.
“She hasn’t been spotted since Grady’s death and quite frankly that disturbs me.  Perhaps you could stop by her apartment and press Seth a bit and see what’s going on there,” Cameron suggested with a slight frown, “Speaking of which, where is he in terms of progress with that microfilm?”
“He’s not working on it any longer,” Thea answered casually sitting on the edge of his desk.
“What do you mean he’s not working on it?” Cameron practically growled at her.  “How did this come about?”
“I have him working on a few other things for us--things that he’d be far more useful at,” Thea shrugged her shoulders, “though I suppose now that you’ve gotten rid of Heather, I could shift his duties back to the microfilm.”
“Who said anything about getting rid of Heather,” Cameron gave her a strange look.
“Why you did,” she pointed out feeling a strange vibe about the situation, “Didn’t you?”
“I said I dealt with her, but I have no intentions of getting rid of her,” Cameron paused, “Although that doctor friend of hers is another story.  He’s been a thorn in my side for far too long.”
“Are you suggesting we work on extracting him from our lives,” she licked her lips wickedly aroused by the thought of taking some of her aggressions out on Diego.
“Not just yet, but that doesn’t mean that I want him mucking up my plans either,” Cameron explained with an icy grin, “Although…perhaps I should pay him a visit later to let him know the ground rules in dealing with my wife.”
“Watch it Cameron,” Thea’s lips curled into a frown, “You sounded almost jealous when you said that.”
“Of Diego,” he couldn’t help but laugh, “Don’t be ridiculous.  Heather is means to an end and as far as I’m concerned, she’s good to me as long as she’s carrying Kipp’s brat.  After that comes to an end, well I have plans for dealing with her.”
“Something tells me that I’d love to hear them,” Thea mused with an eager grin.
“Later,” Cameron waved his hand at her dismissively, “but right now I’d like to focus on finding Jade.  See if you can get some information from Lieutenant Sharpe there.  Maybe he knows more than he’s telling,” Cameron suggested.
“Patrick tells all he knows,” Thea stated with a simple shrug, “He’s far too dense to be duplicitous.”
“Even so, perhaps in the midst of passion you can get him to slip up on something he may have overlooked,” Cameron paused giving her a sideways glance, “I’m assuming you’ve been enjoying that perk of dealing with him.”
“It’s been different,” she sauntered in over towards him. Sliding her arms down over his shoulders, she leaned in closer her breath skimming over the back of his neck, “although I’d much rather enjoy the perks I have with you.”
“All in good time Thea,” he reached out to take her hand in his, “but first we have other things to concentrate on.”
“Nothing that can’t wait,” she stated boldly pushing his chair around so that she could mount his lap.  Teasing her fingers over the lapels of his jacket she grinned wickedly, “Don’t tell me that you can’t find the time for pleasure.  That would be so unlike you.”
“After the night I had in teaching Heather a lesson in respect, I’m really not up for it,” Cameron replied with a heavy sigh.
“Oh I’m sure you are,” Thea leaned forward nipping at his lower lip before letting out a low growl, “In fact, I can feel you are.”
“Thea I…” Cameron started to protest when the sounds of Heather’s screaming flooded through the hallways.  Frowning, he pushed Thea away from him, “Speaking of my wife.  I think it’s time she and I had another talk.”
“But…” Thea began watching him get ready to leave.
“I promise this won’t be long and then after perhaps we can get back to business,” Cameron assured her before heading towards the doorway to leave.
“Cam, wait,” Thea reached out to touch his arm, “Perhaps this situation with Heather could use a woman’s touch.”
Cameron smiled upon her words before motioning for Thea to take a stab at dealing with Heather.  He nodded before moving aside, “Be my guest.  She’s in the suite down the hall.”
“Excellent,” Thea grinned wildly taking a step forward.
“Wait,” Cameron reached out to touch her arm, “you might need this.”
“What is that,” she spun around to watch him place a small key in her hand.
“You’ll understand when you get in there,” he assured her before disappearing into his office again.
“Hmm,” she mused making her way out of Cameron’s office and into the room where Heather’s cracking voice fell from.  Dangling the key from her wrist, she curiously reached for the door knob only to discover it unlocked.  Stepping inside, she looked around for the woman who had grated on her nerves, but instead she was only met by the sounds of Heather’s incessant wailing from across the way.  Turning her eyes towards the closet door before her, Thea grinned proudly realizing where Cameron had stuffed his new bride.  Unable to control her laughter, Thea closed the bedroom door behind her ready to see just how much Cameron had learned from her in dealing with problems.
“Let me out of here you bastard,” Heather’s voice strained to break free through the heavy wooden door.
Unable to contain the laughter that overtook her, Thea unlocked the door only to find Heather seated on the floor kicking away at the door in front of her.  She was bound by ropes and looked less than comfortable in her current position.  Still laughing Thea knelt down before her watching the intensity of rage burning behind Heather’s eyes.
“My, isn’t this an interesting predicament you’ve gotten yourself into,” Thea chortled reaching out to touch Heather’s cheek in a taunting motion.  “I guess you should’ve just watched yourself before you decided to move in on what’s mine.  I told you that you didn’t have a place in Cameron’s life, but clearly I was mistaken.  You fit right in with the trash.”
“Go to hell you bitch,” Heather spat into Thea’s face before letting out another cry for help.
Overcome with anger, Thea wiped at her face before striking Heather against the cheek.  She watched Heather wince upon impact before she rose up to her feet again.  Adjusting her skirt, she glared down at Heather feeling nothing but contempt for the woman before her.
“You’d be best to keep your mouth shut or else the next time I return I’ll cut your tongue out,” Thea vowed slamming the closet door before turning off the light as well.  Locking the door once again, Thea left the room realizing that while Cameron had started dealing with the problem Heather presented, Thea would most certainly finish the job sooner or later. 


"How did you know I was going to be here?" Sarah wondered as Kyle’s thumb caressed the top of her hand.

"I have my ways, let’s just call it a guess?" he teased shrugging his shoulders.

"Oh come on," she whined as he laughed.

"It doesn’t matter how I found you, just as long as I’m with you," he said shooting her one of his sexy smiles. Sarah felt her cheeks go warm as she smiled.

"You’re a charmer," she laughed as he nodded.

"You bet, that’s my middle name," he agreed.

"So what are you going to be doing today?"

"Oh you know, almost getting shot, the usual stuff," he teased.

"I mean what are you really doing?" she asked shaking her head.

"Just going to do some work, I thought I would come see you because you always make my day," confessed Kyle as her eyes glanced up into his.

"You’re just saying that," she replied as he shook his head lightly.

"I would never lie about something so true, I may lie about a lot of things, but this is not one of them," he insisted kissing her hand.

Sarah got goosebumps as he said those words. Something about him made him so charming and handsome.

"Alright, I think you’re making my day," she said smiling.

"If I could, I would try and make all your days," he charmed her.

"Kyle, your to good to be true."

"Tell that to everyone else," he laughed.

"You know, you should really show people the real side of you," she urged him shrugging.
"I would never be able to do that," he insisted.

"And why is that?" she wondered.

"I would never have enough charm for you, and that would be bad," he shrugged getting her to smile.

"I wish I would have come here earlier."

"Why? ‘Cause you couldn’t resist not having me?" he asked.

"Of course that’s why," she nodded laughing lightly.

"Well, I should get going," he said standing up.

"Alright well I guess I will see you," she shrugged.

"You bet you will," he nodded.

Kyle leaned down slowly as he pressed his lips against hers. Sarah’s breath was taken away from him each time he kissed her. She couldn’t believe that they finally had gotten to be with each other. It was to good to be true; Kyle was everything she had wanted for so long. They were both to shy to tell each other, but she knew Kyle felt the way she did. Just by the way he kissed her. He moved back smiling.

"Hey, I didn’t get us kicked out today, what a shame," he laughed.

"Too bad," she shrugged.

"I’ll see you later," he said as his hand caressed the side of her face.

"Bye," she smiled leaning into his warm hand before he started to walk back slowly.

She watched slowly as he walked backwards out the door and waved goodbye. She waved lightly and grinned, Kyle was the greatest and she had him, which made it better.


Russell stood at the stove looking at the remains of the dinner he and Avery hadn’t made the time to get back to the previous evening.  Shaking his head at the waste before him, he reached for the pan carrying it over to the sink.  Scraping out the contents for a moment or so, Russ wrinkled his nose at how far from where he’d wanted dinner to go dinner last night had gone.  Of course Avery’s change of plans had been very nice, he mused to himself before scraping away at the pan again.  It was just the cleanup that sucked.
“Forget this,” he discarded the pan before soaking it in soapy water.  With a new agenda in mind, he pulled another pan out of storage and began to work on breakfast.  Sure, he’d planned on sleeping in, but after a while he’d grown restless and wanted to do something with his excess energy.  Avery was still very much asleep and this time to get breakfast ready would be something to give her a pleasant surprise when she woke up.
“Now what to make,” he thought aloud ready to dive into his next culinary creation when the phone on the wall started to ring.  Walking over to answer it, he greeted the caller on the other end cheerfully, “Good morning.  What can I do for you?”
“Expecting someone huh,” Grady questioned catching Russ off guard.
“What are you doing on the phone,” Russ asked in astonishment, “I thought that Dave specifically said…”
“I know what he said, but for what it’s worth, I’m on a secure line,” Grady continued to explain, “I don’t have much time, but I thought I’d check in with you since Jade is about to be returning for the memorial.”
“I’m sure she’s really enthusiastic about that,” Russ frowned thinking about the rouse his family had to put on for Cameron’s benefit.
“About as excited as I am in letting her leave,” Grady confessed, “but sooner or later things won’t have to be this way.”
“Hopefully sooner considering that Avery and I have come up with a new piece of evidence,” Russell informed him honestly.
“What is it?” Grady questioned, his voice growing eager.
“I don’t want to get into it over the phone, but Dave is working on it.  He knows you’re innocent and after some of the things that have been going on here, well I just think that Cameron’s true colors are going to be showing soon.  He knows something isn’t right,” Russell paused thinking about the shooting at the Ashford mansion.
“Russ, what aren’t you telling me,” Grady asked again unwilling to leave it at that, “What’s happened?”
“There was a shooting,” Russ explained, “The police found prints on the knife that was used to stab you.  They came up with Simon Dubois and they went to the Ashford mansion to confront him, but there was this confusion and…”
“Simon Dubois--as in Brant‘s driver,” Grady repeated with surprise evident in his tone.
“The one and only,” Russell informed him honestly, “Apparently he came into the states illegally and the Ashfords overlooked that somehow…”
Grady remarked gruffly, “You have to be kidding me, right?”
“No, not at all,” Russ answered.
“I don’t buy it,” Grady blurted out after a long moment of silence.
“Grady, are you telling me you remember something?” Russ questioned sensing another silence coming on, “Grady, do you remember who stabbed you?”
“I wish like hell that I did, but I don’t.  Still, I can’t see Brant’s driver having been the one to do it,” Grady hesitated before a frustrated sigh spilled from his lips, “I wish I could remember that night.”
“Grady, that’s not important,” Russ tried to assure him, “What is important is that Cameron’s luck is running out.  In no time I’m sure he’ll slip up and when he does, Dave is going to see to it that you are cleared of these ridiculous charges.”
“As much as I’d like to believe that Dave could do that for me, well I’m not going to hold my breath,” Grady answered with a hint of pessimism.  “Granted I’d like to believe that life was all sunshine and roses, but I know better.”
“I realize that, but I’m not giving up hope.  Avery and I are really working on this…” Russ started up.
“I know you are and I trust that you both will find something to exonerate me, but for now, well I’m calling because I want you to keep an eye on Jade.  I don’t trust for a second that Cameron isn’t going to try something and if he does…” Grady’s worry carried over the line.
“I’m not going to let anything happen to her.  She can stay with Avery and I and she’ll be safe,” Russell promised his older brother, “Cameron won’t get an opportunity to be near her.”
“Good because once the memorial is over, I have another favor to ask,” Grady continued quietly, “Things here have been quiet, but they’d like me to move.  I’m thinking about going overseas for a while and I promised Jade that she could come back to me after the memorial.”
“Say no more,” Russell informed him simply, “Avery and I are planning our second honeymoon, so perhaps we can all meet up somewhere in the middle and…”
“It sounds like a great plan,” Grady cut him off abruptly, “I hate to run like this, but I see Jade coming back and I don’t want to worry her.  I’ll try to call you later and work out the details.”
“I’ll be around,” Russell replied with a soft smile, “and Grady?”
“Yes,” Grady questioned.
“For what it’s worth, I’ve missed you like you wouldn’t believe.  There’s been so much happening that I don’t even know where to begin…” Russell informed him poignantly.
“There will be time for that little brother,” Grady promised him, “that much I’m staying hopeful about.”
“You’d better be Grady because the last thing I want is to think that you won’t be back again.  Sure, you gave me hell for a while, but I’d take that back again if it meant that we’d be able to have some kind of relationship without someone like Cameron causing problems.”
“Russ, I’m sure that with you and Avery on the case, we’ll get this one taken care of and when I return, well you’d better keep me informed on everything that’s been going on,” Grady insisted with a tiny chuckle, “especially about what your wife has been doing to clear my name.”
“You’d be very impressed with her,” Russ mused proudly, “She’s really put a lot into it.”
“I don’t doubt that.  Avery’s very determined and despite our misgivings with one another, I always knew that,” Grady added before growing silent, “Look Jade is back and…”
“And we’ll talk later,” Russell added quickly, “and Grady?”
“Yes,” Grady questioned.
“I love you even if you are a pain in the ass.  Don’t forget that, okay,” Russ informed him honestly.
“Not a chance,” Grady replied with an air of sentiment, “and even if I gave you hell, just know that I love you too little brother.”
“I know…even if it’s hard to figure that out at times,” Russ replied before saying his goodbyes.  Once he’d hung up the phone he just hoped that things would run as smoothly as they all were hoping for.


“See this isn’t so bad,” Ria pointed out with a bright grin.  She sat across from Seth at the small restaurant hoping that he’d just lighten up about things, but much to her dismay he was still brooding over Blake no doubt.  “Seth, come on.  You have to learn to live a little sometime.”
“I’m living,” Seth reached for a forkful of his breakfast, “See, are you satisfied now?”
“Not even close,” she shook her head at him, “You’re just being impossible and you know it.”
“What I know is that I need to really turn this focus off of me and onto you,” Seth informed her simple, “So talk Ria.  Tell me about this guy you’re seeing that encourages you to run off to less than savory hotels.  It sounds like the creep is trying to have his cake and eat it too while treating you with less respect than you deserve.  What is he married?”
“It’s not like that,” Ria began to defend.  Shifting in her seat, she tried to think up some way to drop the conversation between them before she finally sighed, “He’s not like that at all.”
“Then what is he like Ria?” Seth arched a curious brow, “You never bring him around.  He’s never here when you need him.”
“He’s around when I need him,” Ria defended with a huff, “It’s just that his career keeps him out of town.  There are things going on with his business that…”
“You mean like a wife and kids?” Seth questioned doubtful.
“Look Seth, I didn’t bring you all the way out here to have you slam my boyfriend.  He’s a great guy and he’s got a heart full of romance.  It’s just that our situation is complicated, but he gets me.  Do you have any idea how long I’ve waited for someone to do that in my life?” Ria threw back at him with a frown.
“Even so, what kind of guy is he if he’s taking you to seedy spots around town and he won’t meet your friends,” Seth reminded her again.
“It’s because he’s shy about certain things, but I’ll have you know that when the time is right, you’ll meet him.  Well, maybe not you exactly considering that you might give him this kind of questioning and be brutal, but still…” Ria added with a tiny frown.
“I’m not brutal,” Seth informed her bluntly, “I just worry about my friends.  I worry about you.”
“Well don’t because in this particular scenario, things are going better than I’d ever imagined.  I think it’s the real thing Seth and I don’t want anyone screwing this up for me.  Especially not now,” Ria’s dark eyes pleaded with him.
“Fine, but are you at least going to tell me a little something more about him here?  Like maybe his name,” Seth questioned wanting to know about his friend’s lover, but before Ria could answer, his cell phone rang.  Reaching for it, he raised his finger to Ria, “Hold that thought, but don’t think you’re getting out of telling me.”
“Who said I was going to tell you in the first place,” she stuck her tongue out at him. 

Watching as Seth answered his phone, Ria’s thoughts drifted to the man she’d been sharing most of her free time with.  While their romance had started under some rather unconventional beginnings, she couldn’t help but fall harder for him with each passing second.  Truth be told in speaking with Seth it was the first time she’d admitted to loving the man in her life, but once she’d gotten it out, she realized just how good it actually sounded.  He was really something special.  Now, well now she couldn’t help but find herself dreaming of their future in her free moments no matter how far and few they might be.  She just wondered if perhaps she’d jumped the gun in calling it love.  Okay, so maybe it wasn’t love in the traditional sense, but it was something special.
Snapping out of her thoughts, Ria noticed the expression on Seth’s face when he hung up his phone.  “Hey, what’s up?“
“You won’t believe this,” Seth confessed with a surprised look, “That was just one of the editors over at Absolute Sports.  They just called me to ask if I’d be interested in doing some work for them overseas for their annual Beach Beauties issue.”
“Beach Beauties,” Ria repeated giving him a strange look.
“Kind of like the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit thing,” Seth explained watching note of her expression, “It’s a pretty big thing.”
“So what did you say,” Ria questioned with curious eyes.
“I told them I’d call them back,” Seth admitted with a soft sigh, “I mean it’s a great job and the pay is fantastic…”
“But…” Ria ached a curious brow.
“But I’d be gone for the next six months on location,” Seth confessed with another sigh, “I don’t know if I’m ready for that.”
“You’re thinking about passing up the offer because why?” Ria questioned giving him a strange look, “If it’s such a great job, then why wait to call them back.”
“Six months is a long time,” Seth pointed out with a frown.
“Not for you it isn’t.  You’d love to do something like that and don’t even try to tell me you wouldn’t because I know better,” she waved her finger at him.
“Okay, so I do, but still…” Seth started with a sigh.
“Still what,” she stopped herself taking note of his expression, “Oh Seth, please don’t tell me that you are considering not taking it to stay stuck here in Coral Valley.”
“Ria, you know how Jade and I are…” Seth began.
“She’s doing okay and since you’ve been so mopey lately, maybe some time overseas would…” Ria stopped herself when a thought occurred to her, “Oh my God.  You’re not going to take the job because of Blake.”
“I never said that,” Seth started to argue with her.
“You didn’t have to.  It’s written all over your face,” Ria continued with a tiny frown, “Let me get this straight.  Not only do you break up with Blake, but you refuse to try to make things work.  You’re still in love with her, but you won’t try to make a move towards a reconciliation.  Then to top it off, you’ve been offered the assignment of a lifetime and you’re not going to go because you’re what?  Hoping that Blake is going to make the first move?”
“That’s not what I…” Seth started to explain himself.
“Seth, if you’re in love with Blake, then don’t just sit here being stupid about it.  Try to fix things with her,” Ria urged him on, “but if that’s not what you want, then you need to move on.  If you don’t think you have a future with Blake worth fighting for then take the job.  Take the chance to have a new beginning.”
“Ria, I can’t just walk away from life here.  I have Jade to think about and…”
“Seth, for once in your life why don’t you quit making excuses and own up to what’s going on inside of you.  Either you want to be with Blake or you don’t.  You want to move forward with your career, or you don’t have the interest,” Ria threw out bluntly, “but whatever it is that you want, I think it’s time that you stop sitting in the shadows hiding from the world.  You need to figure out what you need to do to move forward with your life.”
“Gee you’re in a great mood, aren’t you,” Seth frowned at the sudden shift in Ria’s attitude.
“It’s not about my mood.  It’s about you making a decision that gives you what you need in your life Seth.  You can’t just sit inside that apartment all day and that’s what I was trying to tell you.  You need to figure things out one way or the other,”  Ria informed him honestly.  “That’s the only way you’ll ever truly start living and you know it.”
“What I know is that I didn’t come out today for a lecture,” Seth frowned in response.
“It’s not a lecture, but a piece of friendly advice,” Ria reached for his hand gently, “Believe me if anyone knows where you’re at right now, it’s me.  How many times have I closed myself off after a relationship has gone bad?  Seth, I just don’t want to see the same happen to you.  You deserve better than that.”
“I don’t know what I deserve anymore Ria,” Seth sighed realizing that while he would’ve jumped at this job opportunity months ago, so much had happened in his life.  Even after hearing Ria’s words, he couldn’t even begin to explain to her just how bad the timing of the opportunity was.  Though maybe she was right.  Maybe he was just making excuses after all.


Blake entered the small, exclusive boutique bound and determined to shop herself to distraction.  While she’d tried not to feel jealous of what she could see happening for Sarah, the brief glimmer of the situation she’d witnessed between Sarah and Kyle had been enough to send her off in another direction.  Sure she was happy for Sarah, but unfortunately it only helped her reflect on all the things she was missing from her life.  However, Blake was now in Marcella’s ready to drown her misery in shopping. 
Armed with her charge card and a few wicked notions for fashion Blake crossed the boutique ready to find just the piece of clothing that would bring her from her blues.  It was in that instant when it seemed that fate had finally given her a good turn.  Right before her hanging on a rack above the other dresses was a sexy, red, strapless dress that immediately aroused her interest.  Weaving through the store, she began to think of all the ways in which that dress could take her one step closer to getting her life back in order.  It’s style and sexy lines were exactly what she needed to get back to the spirit that had guided her for so very long.  She was certain of it.
“You’re all mine,” Blake mouthed to herself reaching for the dress only to have someone else tug at the other end of the hanger.
“Um, excuse me, but you’ve grabbed my dress,” the dark haired woman beside her insisted tugging on the hanger.
“No,” Blake stated firmly, “I saw it first therefore it’s mine.”
“I’m afraid that simply isn’t true,” the woman offered up yet another pull on the hanger, “It wasn’t meant for a woman with your hips and besides this is a size four which is exactly what I was looking for.”
“Too bad,” Blake snatched the dress away from the petite, blue eyes woman before her.  Blake gave the woman a quick once over only to discover the sheer gold material that clung to her body.  It left little to the imagination as the woman before her pursed her lips in a full pout.  She tapped her foot impatiently, the long strappy stilettos she was wearing clicking on the floor with the movement.  Still Blake was not to be deterred.  “This dress is exactly what I need and I‘m not going to let you take it from me.  This dress was meant to be worn by me.”
“Somehow I doubt that one,” the woman rolled her eyes before letting out a haughty laugh, “Although I’m sure they have a size ten or twelve in back to accommodate your less than perfect figure.”
“Size ten,” Blake repeated with a huff, “Look I don’t know who the hell you are, but I can assure you that I’m not a size ten.”
“You’re no size four,” the woman chortled before snapping her fingers at Blake, “so just hand it over.”
“The hell I will,” Blake tucked the dress under her arm, “so beat it.”
“No way.  I came here today to find that dress and I’m not about to let you take it from me when it clearly was made for someone like me,” the woman remarked with a sneer, “Granted I was hoping they’d have a size two, but with the four I can get the alterations I need and…”
“And you’ll just have to find yourself another size two dress,” Blake motioned to the front of the store, “and I think I saw a few of those on the clearance rack up there.  Though if that doesn’t work for you, well I’m sure the Bargain Barn will have something cheap and tasteless to suit your personality.”
“Do you have any idea who I am,” the woman asked her impatiently, “because I’m sure if you had any idea of who you were dealing with…”
“Like I said before I don’t know who you are nor do I care,” Blake glared down at her, “now if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to get back to my purchase.”
“You’re not going anywhere,” the woman behind her lunged at her, reaching for the dress.
“Let go of that,” Blake snapped at her before yanking at the material herself.
“The hell I will.  That dress was made for me,” the woman argued with her continuing to wrench at the dress. 
Within a matter of seconds, Blake and the impolite shopper were at it with one another, each staking their claim on the dress until the distinct cry of the fabric tearing in two sounded out in agony.  Blake fell backward a few feet into a rack of clothing behind her.  The same happened to the woman before her.  Blake noticed the sheer look of horror that had fallen over the raven haired beauty’s features when she fell bottom first into a rack of shoes.
“Val,” another voice cried out from across the boutique before Blake noticed a small, portly looking woman reaching out to the woman Blake had encountered, “What is going on here?”
“That woman,” Val screeched out using the smaller woman as a prop for herself while she shuffled to her feet once again, “ruined my dress.”
“Oh please,” Blake rolled her eyes getting up to steady herself after the fall she’d taken, “it didn’t have your name on it.”
“No, but I would’ve been in it for my photo shoot this afternoon if you hadn’t screwed thing up,” Val screeched at her with obvious disgust.
“Val, now don’t worry,” the second woman patted her arm, “We’ll find something that suits your needs much better.”
“What would suit me just fine is to kill her,” Val started to move forward, dropping the shred of red material that she’d clung to seconds earlier.
“Take your best shot,” Blake snapped back ready to just let loose after the month she’d been having, “I dare you to try because I’m sure it’ll be a great touch for your so called photo shoot.”
“That’s it you cow,” Val started towards her again before the other woman stepped in between the two women.
“You’re meeting with Jean Paul in less than a an half hour.  You really don’t want to be doing this,” the woman tried to persuade Val into seeing things her way.
Val scowled for a moment longer before finally nodding in admission, “You’re right.  She’s not worth it,” her intense blue eyes returned to Blake for a brief moment before she wrinkled her nose at her, “I so hate doing location shoots.”
With that final comment Val spun on her heel, attempting to make her way towards the fitting rooms once again.  However, before she could achieve the holier than thou attitude, Blake watched the heel on Val’s shoe break sending her face forward into another display.
“That had to hurt,” Blake chuckled to herself before setting the damaged dress on the rack once again.  Perhaps shopping wasn’t the answer she was looking for either, but it gave her a moment to get a good laugh.  Taking one last glance at the prima donna before her, Blake shook her head before heading home to try to find yet another way to distract herself from the stagnant state of her life.


Jade gazed out the front window of the cabin she and Grady had been staying at with one another.  While they’d been entirely focused on his safety, this trip they’d shared with one another had proven to be something far more memorable than she’d ever dreamt possible.  Feeling him step in behind her, she couldn’t help but lean into him--wanting to lock in the feel of his arms around her forever. Closing her eyes she let out a soft sigh.
“I wish I didn’t have to do this,” Jade confessed poignantly, “There are so many reasons why this feels so wrong.”
“I realize that,” Grady whispered gently pushing her long, dark hair aside before placing a kiss at the base of her neck, “but we have to think about the big picture here.”
“I still hate the thought of being away from you,” Jade admitted turning around to face him with tears burning behind her eyes, “I’ve waited so very long for things to finally fall into place for us and now…Grady, I just hate to think that we have to push all this aside considering that…”
“Jade, this isn’t being pushed aside,” he caressed her lips with a slow and tender kiss, “It’s just means to ending this hold Cameron has on us.”
“I know that,” she sighed heavily feeling his forehead press in against hers, “it’s just when we talked about it last night, it didn’t feel as real as it does right now.  I mean when I think about what’s waiting in Coral Valley--about what it’s going to be like to pretend that my fiancé is dead.  To let the world think that the man I love has left me forever…”   
“But he hasn’t,” Grady skimmed his thumb against her cheek tenderly swiping at her tears, “Jade, I’m still right here with you and even when we can’t be with one another, I swear to you that we’ll be in one another’s hearts.”
“I know,” Jade nodded in a hoarse whisper, “but that still doesn’t make it any easier.”
“I understand that,” Grady murmured in response wrapping her up in his arms, “but I swear to you when this is over we’re going to have the kind of life you’ve always dreamt about.  No more of the same old mistakes causing us problems.  I want that more than anything for us Jade.”
“I know you do,” she reached out to touch his face softly, “and so do I Grady.  I know that you’ve grown in so many ways and I can’t wait for the day when we can finally have that piece of heaven that we’ve both wanted in our lives for so very long.”
“You’re my heaven Jade,” Grady confessed in a low, impassioned whisper, “You’re the first breath of life I’ve had in years and I’m not about to lose sight of that.  I love you with all that I am and it’s the thought of making you my wife that gives me the hope to keep fighting this battle that’s raging against us.”
“We will win the war one day Grady,” Jade promised him hugging him in closer to him, “I’m certain of it.”
“So am I,” Grady kissed her once again, “but for now I have to tell you I’m hating this as much as you are.”
“Somehow I thought you might be,” Jade trailed off while her gaze darted to her bag, now packed and waiting at the door for her ride to take her away from him.
“When did they say they were picking you up again,” he questioned teasing her neck with his lips.
“At three-thirty,” Jade mouthed tipping her head back to savor the tender brush of his mouth against her skin.
“That gives us a little time,” Grady murmured trailing his way back up to her lips again.  His intense green eyes met with hers and in that instant Jade felt her heart flutter with urgency, “Perhaps we should try to make the most of it.”
“Grady, I’m already packed and…” Jade started to protest despite her body’s readiness to comply with his unspoken suggestion.  She returned his kisses feeling herself growing more and more eager until finally she broke away from him, “but what about your stitches?”
“I’ll be careful,” Grady urged her into his arms, “but I know now if I let you leave without spending some time with you, that will surely be the end of me.”
“I suppose we can’t have that then, now can we,” Jade couldn’t help but smile kissing him in return while savoring the few precious hours she still had to share with the man she loved.


Russell entered the bedroom ready to give his wife the breakfast he’d been so eagerly working on in the morning, but much to his dismay she was nowhere to be found.  Setting the tray in his arms down, he turned his attention to Rusty, watching as the small kitten lay out over the bunched up comforter on the end of the bed.
“Rusty, where’s mommy,” Russ questioned watching the kitten yawn in his usual bored fashion before Russ noticed the sounds of the water running in the master bathroom.  Shaking his head, Russell headed to the bathroom as his kitten rolled onto his side to return to the dream that had carried over him before Russell’s arrival.
“Avery,” Russ questioned noting that the door to the bathroom was open just a crack.  Pushing the door open more completely he smiled to himself.  Surely surprising his wife had been part of his agenda, but he seemed to be the one in for a surprise now that he thought of his wife lost in her shower.  Eager to steal a quick look at Avery, he turned around the corner of the shower only to discover it empty.
Before he could question Avery’s absence from the steaming bathroom, he heard the sounds of crashing coming from outside the bathroom.  Fearing the worst Russell raced out into the bedroom to discover a thin trail of blood leading towards the bedroom door.
“Oh God,” he gasped thinking of all the possible scenarios that could be happening with his wife.  Rushing into the hallway he searched for her, “Avery.  Avery where are you?  Avery!”
He was halfway into the kitchen when he heard her voice from behind him, “I’m over here Russ.”
Spinning around Russell found her in the hallway, wrapped up in her robe with wet hair and a confused look upon her face.  Saying nothing Russell rushed over to her throwing his arms around her desperately.
“Oh thank heaven,” Russell hugged her tighter than ever before pulling back ever so slightly, “Avery, what’s going on?”
“Nothing,” Avery gave him a strange look, “I was about to step into the shower, but then I guess Rusty knocked over one of my perfume bottles and I noticed that I’d cut myself on the glass.  She braced herself against him to lift her leg before she motioned to a bandage that was on the bottom of her foot.
“You cut your foot,” he repeated in confusion, “but the shower was on and?”
“I didn’t realize that I’d cut myself until I noticed the blood in the shower.  I was starting to panic, but then I noticed that my foot stung and I stepped out for a minute.  I was hoping we had some bandages in the bathroom, but when we didn’t I went to the guest bathroom fully intending on returning to the shower, but…”
“You scared the life out of me,” Russell informed her honestly cupping her face in his hands, “I thought that something happened to you or the baby and…”
“Oh Russ, I’m so sorry,” Avery began sensing the fear that had consumed him, “I had no idea that something so small could be so big…”
“It normally wouldn’t be, but given all that we’ve been dealing with,” he let out a breath of relief, “I guess I just panicked.”
“Well I wish you wouldn’t have, but I understand why you did,” Avery wrapped her arms around him holding him closer to her, “I’m sorry for the scare I gave you there.  I didn’t mean to.”
“I know and maybe once things start getting back to normal I’ll quit overreacting…” he offered in response.
“You could, but then again I don’t really mind your being so protective of me and the baby,” Avery couldn’t help but smile at him, “It just shows me how much you care.”
“Of course I care,” he tipped down to kiss her tenderly, “You’re everything to me and I wouldn’t trade what we have for the world.”
“Neither would I,” Avery confessed with a soft smile, “although I must admit that I’d really like to get off of my foot here if you don’t mind.  It kind of stings.”
“Tell you what.  How about I take you back in there and we’ll get a look at it to make sure there isn’t any more glass in there.  Then we can get the mess cleaned up and remind Rusty that perfume bottles are off limits,” Russ suggested with a tiny smile.
“I think we can give it a try, but with him being a baby and all, I don’t think he’s going to be willing to listen to our lectures on what is good and bad for kittens to get into,” she teased back.
“We can at least give it a try and hope he’s not nearly as stubborn as you are,” Russ picked her up in his arms.
“Oh honey, you’re by far the stubborn one,” Avery reminded him with a grin, “but I love every second of it.”
“How can you not,” he laughed lightly carrying her into the bathroom once again to get ready to see what could be done to fix the mess their kitten had made.
Meanwhile the soft sounds of footsteps could be heard in the distance, but Russ and Avery were far too wrapped up in one another to notice.  Suddenly a dark figure emerged from the shadows at the far end of the hallway just enough to take a listen to the newlyweds.  While poor Rusty had gotten the blame for his handiwork, it seemed that would have to do for now because the timing wasn’t right.  He’d had it in his mind to make things a step closer to what he’d wanted, but now that Russ had intervened, it would have to wait.  Dealing with Avery would come about later, but first, it was time to leave before his undetected presence turned into something he wasn’t ready for just yet.  Not when he had so many other plans for the near future.


“All taken care of,” Thea announced returning to Cameron’s home office, “She should keep quiet for a while.”
“Good, I’m glad to hear it,” Cameron rubbed his temple, “because I really wasn’t in the mood for yet another headache this afternoon.”
“Don’t worry.  You won’t be getting one,” Thea flashed him a flirty grin, “although if you’re feeling tense, I’m sure we can come up with a few inventive ways to rid you of that.”
“Somehow I had a feeling that you had a one track mind today,” Cameron mused with a grin watching Thea’s confidence radiate through her when she crossed the room.
“When don’t I where the important things in life are concerned,” she questioned with a wicked smirk feeling empowered by her dealings with Heather.  She snickered at the thought, “And this time I’m pretty certain that your wife won’t be bothering us since she’s a bit tied up at the moment.”
Cameron laughed lightly at the pun before reaching out to her, “So where shall we begin?”
“How about with where you were the night of Kipp Mahoney’s shooting,” Dave announced breaking through the banter between Cameron and Thea.  Cameron looked up in surprise to find the Police Chief and Agent Pryce standing in his doorway and suddenly it seemed that the headache he was battling with had overtaken him now that the law was moving in on him.

...to be continued...