Diego stepped into his kitchen after a sleepless night at home.
While he’d thought about going after Heather once he’d read her note,
he’d found himself a bit too shell-shocked to think clearly about the
situation. One minute he was telling himself to keep their
relationship on a friendly level and not to cross any lines with her,
then the next he was sinking deep into territory that was forbidden in
the back of his mind. While he’d tried fighting it, there was
just something about Heather--something that couldn’t keep him from
blocking her out of his mind. Then again he hadn’t wanted that
Glancing over at the table top, he pulled her strange note up into his
fingers. Reading it all over again, Diego realized that something
hadn’t felt right. He’d tried calling her cell phone last night,
but there was no answer. At first he’d thought that perhaps she
too was overcome with confusion at what they’d begun to share with one
another, but given the relentlessness she’d had in trying to seduce
him, he doubted that she’d be experiencing what he had. Then
again, she’d just been raped by Cameron and that was something that
Diego had let slip through his mind. Perhaps in her haste, she’d
left because she couldn’t deal with what was happening. Either
way whatever prompted Heather to leave had left Diego feeling very
“Oh Heather,” he sighed to himself before thinking about her
tear-filled pleas for him to claim paternity of her son. At the
time he’d been hesitant, but after she’d told him about Cameron’s
attack on her, he knew what he had to do. She was terrified and
he didn’t want her to ever have to fear that fear again, yet somehow he
had a strange feeling that her departure meant something more.
“Could she have gone back to Cameron,” he mouthed to himself
remembering the ways in which Cameron did whatever it would take to
keep a hold on his property. Diego had learned that much in
Maria’s death when Maria had challenged Cameron. Maria’s death
had been a brutal attack upon Maria’s retaliation. She’d paid the
ultimate price for challenging him and now Diego feared that the same
could happen to Heather. She’d found the strength to leave
Cameron, but the question was would he stand for it?
“Of course he wouldn’t,” Diego frowned realizing that in the midst of
his confusion, he’d left the door wide open for Cameron to make his
move on Heather again. When Diego had followed Shannon out of his
home, he hadn’t let her words about seeing someone outside sink
in. After the fact on this new day Diego could remember her words
more clearly than he’d wanted to. With that thought in mind,
Diego reached for his jacket unwilling to let go of his concerns until
he was certain his instincts were wrong.
“There was no way that Heather would return to Cameron,” he tried to
reason to himself as he reached for his car keys determined to see for
himself if the worst had transpired for Heather. He was hoping he
was overreacting, but if he wasn’t, then he was going to have to find a
way to break Heather out of the situation before Cameron decided it was
time to show Heather what happened to those who opposed his
desires. If that was the case Diego just hoped he wasn’t too late
to save her.
Dave flashed him an icy smile before arching a curious brow in Thea’s
general direction, “I hope we weren’t interrupting anything.”
“Of course not,” Cameron waved them in before planting a fake smile of
his own over his features, “What can I do for you?”
“You can start by telling us when it was that you first decided to try
to murder Kipp,” Shannon threw out at him bluntly.
“What?” Cameron’s eyes widened in response, “What is this? Some kind of
“No this is no joke,” Dave’s smile faded, “This is about attempted
murder and I’d hardly think that’s a laughing matter.”
“No one is laughing about it,” Cameron’s eyes grew suddenly serious,
“and before you start throwing out wild accusations about something
that is completely preposterous to begin with, I think you’d be best
suited to take a step back and think about this for a moment.”
“I have thought about it,” Dave added with a heavy frown, “and I have
evidence linking you to the apartment on the night Kipp was shot.”
“Evidence?” Cameron raised a curious brow, “What kind of evidence?”
“Enough to make a jury question your innocence,” Shannon piped in
unable to refrain from remaining silent like she’d promised Dave she
would try to do.
“My innocence,” Cameron balked back at him, “I’d thought your forensics
team had a solid case against Grady Denton before his unfortunate
demise. Why on Earth would you be going after me now?
Unless of course you’re looking for someone else to blame now that the
guilty party has met his maker.”
“You’d like for it to be that cut and dry, wouldn’t you,” Shannon
popped in taking a bold step towards him, “but truth be told, I’d be
willing to lay it all on the line in saying that you probably played a
hand in what happened to Grady as well.”
“Once again you’d be mistaken then,” Cameron’s eyes fixed upon her,
“because that’s not how it happened. Your friend over there could
tell you about the man who was responsible for that. I believe
that he was killed evading questioning, was he not?”
“He died too soon for us to know who was pulling his strings,” Dave
threw back at him, “but this isn’t about what happened to
Grady...unless of course you’d be willing to confess to that too…”
“If I did it would be an empty confession because I had nothing to do
with what happened to Grady Denton, nor did I have any reason to shoot
Kipp that night,” Cameron blurted out firmly.
“Yet you were at his apartment the day of the shooting,” Shannon probed
further, “Why was that?”
“Kipp is like family to me,” Cameron stated plainly, “He’s always been
like a brother and when I’d heard about his heartbreak, I thought it
would be best to pay him a visit.”
“So you’re admitting to the fact that you were there around the time
he’d been shot,” Dave questioned quickly.
“No, I’m telling you that Kipp and I have always been very close.
In case you haven’t checked into his background, you’d see that his
domineering, overbearing, manipulative father was my step-father at one
point in time. The two of us practically grew up with one
another. We had only one another to lean on since that bastard
was trying to ruin our lives…” Cameron explained in a smooth and even
“Gee, clearly the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in that
department, now does it?” Shannon snapped back at him catching an icy
glare from Cameron before he continued to speak.
“Nonetheless when Douglas arrived in town, Kipp had confessed that he’d
been having problems with his current relationship at the time.
He and Heather were having difficulties and the last time I’d seen him,
he was rather upset. He’d left work obviously flustered by
something, so I took it upon myself to check up on him…” Cameron
continued to explain.
“You mean to shoot him,” Shannon arched a doubtful brow, “Except you
weren’t really banking on him still being alive after that were you?”
“I love Kipp,” Cameron rose from where he’d been seated up until that
point in time. His eyes were wild with anger in that moment, “He
was like my own flesh and blood and there wasn’t a thing I wouldn’t do
“Including shaking up with the woman he was with right before the
shooting right,” Shannon continued having a strong feeling in her gut
“Heather and I fell in love in the midst of the tragedy,” Cameron
glared at her, “We weren’t anything before Kipp was assaulted. We
merely leaned on one another and…”
“And now that Kipp’s out of the way, she’s yours for the taking right,”
Dave piped in watching Cameron’s face twist with anger.
“Say what you will, but you can’t prove a word of this ridiculous tale
that has brought you here. Yes, I was at Kipp’s apartment the
night of the shooting, but I didn’t shoot him. You can have your
forensics team go in there and see that I wasn’t inside that
apartment. I knocked on the door and when he didn’t answer, I
left. I figured I’d catch up with him the next day at work.”
“Funny how you’d like us to check on what went down in that apartment
considering that you’ve already moved his replacement in with the
company into it,” Shannon added with an impatient tone.
“Susan needed a place to stay and naturally…” Cameron began in a
“You thought you’d use her to help you bury the evidence,” Shannon
growled in response wanting nothing more than to put Cameron in his
“You’re more than welcome to have a look around the apartment if you’d
like to test that new theory of yours. I can give you Susan’s
number and I’m certain she’d be more than willing to comply with
whatever request you might have in sending a forensics team in,”
Cameron stated plainly, his face devoid of any real emotions, “Now if
we’re finished here…”
“Actually I have a few more questions,” Dave began ready to get to the
bottom of what was really going on.
“No, you don’t,” Cameron replied with a slight frown, “because I have
work to do and unless you’re going to charge me with something, I
strongly suggest you and your bulldog take a walk.”
“That doesn’t sound like a man willing to cooperate,” Shannon noted
with another heavy frown.
“Cooperation only stretches so far,” Cameron replied with a chilling
state, “I won’t be harassed any further. Any questions you may
have regarding any of this can be directed to my lawyer from here on
out. Now please leave.”
Susan pushed her way into Brant’s office not even bothering to announce
her presence as she’d had more than enough waiting. Stomping her
foot down when she spotted Brant across the room, Susan’s curled her
blood red lips in a determined pout.
“You’d better start talking Brant,” Susan mouthed, her words full of
venom, “or else?”
“Well hello to you Susan,” Brant mused with a light chuckle, “as always
I can see this is going to be a delight.”
“Quit with the games Brant,” Susan demanded, “You’ve made me wait to
know where Ken is long enough. I want to know now!”
“Susan,” Brant leaned back in his chair, shaking his head at her, “what
is with this sudden impatience here? Haven’t you heard the adage
that good things come to those who wait?”
“Like you’d ever believe that one,” she rolled her eyes in
response. Approaching his desk, she sneered at him, “Quit
screwing with me Brant and just give me the goods.”
“Why should I,” Brant challenged with an arch of his brow, “What have
you done for me lately Susan? Name one good thing you’ve done to
benefit my cause here.”
“I’m sick of the games Brant,” Susan sneered at him, “but if you must
know I did bring a crumb to toss your way since I had a feeling you
were going to give me the run around.”
“Well, I’m waiting,” he leaned back further in his chair watching her
reach into her oversized purse. After a moment, she slapped a
tabloid down on his desk top. Giving him a very pointed look, she
folded her arms in front of her chest before nodding at him.
“It’s a good thing that the media follows you around,” Susan quipped
with a snicker, “Open to page three and you’ll find a copy of what I’ll
be sending my ex-brother-in-law there. Though I must confess I
find it rather odd that you didn’t mention this one to me before now…”
“Huh,” Brant questioned turning to the page in question when there
splattered across the page were half a dozen photographs of him on the
beach, exploring his fantasies with Angela in living color.
Immediately his throat grew dry at the memory and his dark eyes lifted
up to Susan once again. He noticed the smirk that spread over her
“I had no idea that you were holding back the goods on you and Avery,”
Susan chuckled again, “though I have to hand it to you, I can see where
you might be feeling a bit territorial after that tropical
adventure. I’m guessing that Russ doesn’t know about it, but
that’s going to change for him very soon…”
“Susan I,” Brant started ready to explain himself to her when a sudden
thought occurred to him. Turning his attention to the page once
again, he caught a glimpse of the initial snapshot that had been taken
of him and Avery on the island with one another. It showed them
on the balcony in a seemingly innocent embrace leading up to the time
Brant had spent with Angela. Suddenly Brant was struck with a
moment of pure genius. Looking to Susan again, he grinned
brighter than before, “Well I didn’t want to brag, but since you
brought it up…”
“I wasn’t the one who brought it up. My assistant was reading
this trash when I happened to catch her slacking off,” Susan explained
dryly, “However once I saw what had her so captivated I had to wonder
why you didn’t use it yourself to break Russ and Avery apart.”
“I wasn’t aware that the media was around when I was doing that,” Brant
admitted honestly leaving out the part about the woman he’d enjoyed for
the holiday not being Avery at all. “Plus if Russ saw that
because I directed his attention to it, more than likely I’d have to
have him arrested for breaking into my office to try to murder me and I
don’t want that.”
“I’m well aware of that which is why I’m going to take care of this one
myself for you,” Susan nodded in understanding, “if and only if you
tell me where your brother is.”
“Now Susan, this is nothing,” Brant pushed the article aside, “It’s not
really your doing and…”
“And nothing,” Susan cut him off impatiently, “Either you fess up to
where Ken is or I swear Brant I will turn this situation around on you
and make your life a living hell.”
“And just how would you do that,” Brant arched a curious brow, “What
would you possibly do to upset the balance in my life considering this
tabloid speaks for itself?”
“I’ll go straight to Avery and convince her that romp was nothing more
than a setup. I’ll convince her that you were pulling a ploy over
Russell in your quest to destroy him and she’ll believe me.”
“Like hell she will. Avery’s not stupid,” Brant shot back at her.
“No, she’s not, but she also isn’t going to want to risk losing her
husband. If I take that to her before Russ sees it, I’ll help her
spin a tale that paints you as a man who took advantage of her.
I’ll have legal charges pressed against you so fast your head will spin
and I can guarantee that Russ will kill you.”
“You really think you have something on me here, don’t you,” Brant
questioned trying to hide his uneasiness about the truth behind the
“You know I do,” Susan nodded eagerly before leaning in closer to
him. Reaching out to yank at his tie, she pulled him in towards
her roughly, “So fess up. Where is your brother?”
“Excellent,” Ken smiled as he finalized the plans for his latest
surprise where Caitlin was concerned, “Yes, that sounds perfect and
remember to bring everything to my room and not Ms. Vaughn’s.
Hanging up the phone Kenneth couldn’t help but smile as he tapped on
the breast pocket of his jacket. He knew what was inside and
while this waiting was killing him, he knew the moment had to be
perfect before he made his dreams of forever with Caitlin a
reality. Slipping his hand into his pocket, he pulled out the
tiny box to take another look at the gem within. Carefully
opening up the black, velvet box, he couldn’t help but smile as
thoughts of what it would be like for Caitlin to be wearing such a
treasure filled his mind. This was something he’d waited a
lifetime to have in his life and now, well now he was certain this was
just what they needed to take that step towards their dream of
happiness with one another.
“I just hope you love this as much as I’m going to love giving it to
you Caitlin,” Ken closed the box before opting to put it into his
suitcase once again. While he and Caitlin were returning to Coral
Valley later in the afternoon, he didn’t want the surprise to slip past
her at the airport. Putting it in one of his larger suitcases, he
made sure the ring was safe before he took a seat down on the edge of
“This is it,” he thought to himself unable to contain the enthusiasm
that had swept over him. He’d had so many plans for his life with
Caitlin and now after all the problems they’d had between them seemed
to have disappeared there was only room for love.
Love, he thought to himself. It had been the one thing that had
been evading him for so very long. He’d thought that he’d never
feel it again after Wendy had so suddenly walked out of his life, but
then when he was least expecting it, there Caitlin was. She was
everything he’d always wanted in his life, yet he hadn’t been
anticipating ever finding it. Even now as he thought of how far
they’d come with one another, he saw that finally all of the heartache
he’d experienced had been leading towards something wonderful.
His tortured past was only a small price to pay for the happiness that
life with Caitlin provided him. However, everything was falling
into place. They were back on track and he was certain that he’d
found that other piece of his soul that had been locked away for so
“And nothing is going to keep us from having the life we were meant to
share with one another,” Ken mouthed to himself when his thoughts
strayed to one of the problems that he and Caitlin had faced back in
Coral Valley--Brant. While Ken loved his brother, he was well
aware of how Brant was going to take the news of Ken’s wanting to marry
Caitlin. Still, while it would be easy to say that he could shut
his feelings off, the truth to the matter was that Ken wanted Brant’s
cooperation. He knew that Brant would never bend to what Ken
wanted, but maybe just maybe in time Brant would ease up on Caitlin.
“Yeah right,” Ken frowned thinking about his brother’s distrust and
dislike for Caitlin. While Ken wasn’t about to let Brant ruin his
happiness, he knew that Caitlin might see Brant’s opposition as reason
for them to wait on love.
“No, that’s not going to cut it,” Ken decided ready to take a stand in
his life for a change. Reaching for the phone besides him, he
dialed the BBK offices ready to have a preemptive chat with his brother
and set Brant straight one way or another.
“You shouldn’t hold yourself back waiting on a future that isn’t going
to happen Seth. If you’re not going to do anything about what’s
happened between you and Blake, then why not just take the job,” Ria
urged Seth on again after the two had returned to his apartment.
“I mean honestly why hold yourself back if this job is going to give
you an opportunity to explore your passion?”
“Ria, you know it’s not that simple. I mean think about what’s
going on with Jade,” he reminded her with a heavy sigh, “I can’t just
ignore the fact that a madman is obsessed with my sister. If I
left now she could be in the line of fire where Cameron is concerned
and I don’t want that happening to her ever again.”
“Seth you can’t always protect her,” Ria tried to remind him watching
the conflict build behind her friend’s eyes, “Jade wouldn’t want you to
put your life on hold for her.”
“She’d do it for me and besides,” Seth paused thinking about the
horrible secret his sister had lived with after her rape, “there are
things about Jade’s live that you don’t know. Things that she has
gone through have changed her and…”
“We all have that happen to us, but your sister is a fighter.
She’s always on top of her game and some snake like Cameron isn’t going
to take that away from her,” Ria continued to argue with him.
“I understand that, but Ria it’s not that simple. Cameron has
information that could hurt Jade. He knows things that he
couldn’t have possibly known, but somehow he does. He’s ready to
hurt her if I don’t protect her and I know that. He’s threatened
me with it time and time again…”
“But Jade isn’t here. She and Grady are far from Coral Valley and
no one knows where to find them. Cameron won’t find a way to
reach her and…” Ria’s words were interrupted by the opening of the
“Jade,” Seth gasped watching his sister enter the apartment with her
suitcase in hand. Blinking in surprise, he stepped towards her
unable to believe what he was seeing, “What are you doing here?”
“I live here, remember,” Jade flashed him a silly smile before turning
her attention to Ria, “Hey girl, how’s it going?”
“It’s going,” Ria admitted stunned to find her pal home again, “but I’m
with Seth. What gives? Why are you here?”
“Gee and to think you might’ve actually missed me around here,” Jade
shook her head at the both of them, “I was kind of hoping for a welcome
home Jade or something along those lines.”
“Jade, I thought that you were going to stay out of town--that you
were…” Seth started reaching out to embrace his sister before his eyes
grew suddenly serious, “It’s not safe here.”
“Yeah well I have to keep up appearances. If I wasn’t around for
Grady’s memorial, then Cameron would know that something was up,” Jade
informed him poignantly. She inhaled slowly before trying to keep
up her strong front, “I couldn’t let Cameron suspect anything
especially since Grady’s life is still hanging by a thread.”
“Actually, they found the person who stabbed him,” Seth began to
explain to her, “It was Brant’s driver…”
“Simon Dubois,” Jade finished with a nod, “I heard about that.”
“Then you know about Diane?” Seth questioned gently.
“Diane,” Jade repeated in confusion before she noticed the somber
expressions over Seth and Ria’s faces, “Oh God, what’s happened?
Has she been hurt?”
“Diane was in the middle of the chaos at the Ashford mansion,” Seth
explained to her, “Simon held her as a shield against the police and
she was injured in the crossfire.”
“Oh God,” Jade bit back on her fears, “Seth, please tell me that she’s
going to be okay. Tell me that nothing bad has happened to her.”
“It was touch and go there for a short time, but she pulled through
surgery just fine,” Ria added trying to alleviate Jade’s concerns, “Ben
has spent most of his time with her at the hospital where they’re
keeping her for observation.”
“I have to go see her,” Jade insisted unwilling to think of anything
other than her best friend at a time like this. Dropping her
suitcase, she turned to her brother with an air of complete
seriousness, “You’re taking me to see her right now Seth.”
“But what about Cameron’s people?” Seth frowned in response, “I don’t
like the idea of them knowing you’re back home…”
“To hell with them,” Jade declared allowing her concerns for her best
friend to break through the surface, “I could care less about what
Cameron does especially when my best friend needs me. We’re going
to that hospital and don’t even bother trying to argue with me.”
“Diane’s going to be fine Jade,” Ria tried to inform her again.
“But I won’t be until I see that for myself,” Jade insisted unwilling
to accept any other alternative than seeing her best friend.
Brant remained silent for a long moment in time while watching the
anger burning behind Susan’s eyes. While she wanted to believe
that she’d had him by the balls so to speak, he knew full well just how
much she craved the information that only he could provide her
with. Ken had gone out of his way to make sure that Susan didn’t
find him and trusting that Brant would do the right thing, Ken had
allowed that truth to slip out to his brother. Now, however,
Susan was ready for Brant to break that confidence his brother had in
him. Still, Brant wasn’t nearly compelled enough to take the bait.
“Do you really think you have that much power over me Susan,” Brant
questioned giving her a less than enthused expression, “I mean
honestly, do you truly believe that your tedious threats provide
anything more to me than boredom?”
“I know you Brant,” Susan urged on with malicious intent, “I know what
makes you tremble inside and while you might be trying to hide it,
you’re afraid of what I could do to destroy you should I be tempted to
go to Avery with this.”
“Whose to say she hasn’t already seen it,” Brant challenged in response.
“Oh I’m sure she hasn’t because if she had, Russ would already be over
here to pound the life out of you,” Susan chuckled in mild amusement,
“and then things would be very ugly.”
“Susan,” Brant pushed the tabloid across his desk at her with a firm
shove, “this is juvenile at best. I’m sure that while this might
cause a dent in the situation for Russ and Avery, it’s not going to do
anything more than make you look bad.”
“You were the one shagging her on the beach,” Susan frowned down at
him, “I think that puts you in a sling there Brant--not me.”
“The fact that Avery was there with me just proves that I wasn’t the
only guilty party,” Brant shrugged his shoulders, “besides none of this
makes me feel charitable about helping you ruin my brother’s life.”
“Ruining his life would be the direct result of your keeping your
silence about where he is. We both know Caitlin isn’t what he
needs in his life,” Susan continued with heavy emphasis as she leaned
in closer to him, “Ken deserves more from life.”
“That he does,” Brant nodded in agreement, “but something tells me that
something more isn’t you.”
“Don’t play games with me Brant because I’m in no mood for them,” Susan
hissed in response. Her eyes narrowed with rage, “Where is your
“Far from you and enjoying himself I would assume,” Brant shrugged his
shoulders simply pretending to be disinterested, “I suppose you weren’t
as successful in your powers of seduction after all.”
“Brant, now I’m going to give you about five seconds before,” Susan
started to threaten reaching for his tie in a fury, but before she
could finish her fiery words, the phone on Brant’s desk started to ring.
“Hold that thought Susan,” Brant peeled her fingers away from his tie,
watching her less than eager retreat while he picked up the
receiver. He said a quick hello to the person on the other end of
the line before putting them on hold. His dark eyes returned to
Susan, “Susan, I’m afraid that I have to take this, so you and I will
have to continue this discussion later.”
“Brant, you can’t keep putting me off,” she warned him sharply.
“Susan, as much as I’d like to continue this with you, I have more
important things to be focusing on,” he waved his hand at her
dismissively watching her reluctant retreat from his office.
Moments after she closed the door to leave, Brant reached for the phone
again. Picking it up, he had a painted on grin, “Hey Ken, how’s
“It’s going incredible which is something I’d like to keep it as when I
return home Brant,” Ken informed his brother sharply.
“Sounds like you’ve had a high time in Seattle huh,” Brant couldn’t
help but chuckle thinking about Susan’s urgency to find Ken.
“I’ve had the time of my life and I’m calling today to see that you
don’t find a way to ruin that for me,” Ken spoke with urgent warning
behind his tone.
Brant let out a tiny chuckle, “In other words you finally got laid huh?”
“Go to hell Brant,” Ken seethed into the phone, “I’m not going to allow
you to speak like Caitlin that way and I swear to you once we get home,
if you even think about…”
“Relax Ken,” Brant cut him off abruptly, “Gees, you’d think that you’d
have calmed down even the slightest bit there after having had time
away with Caitlin.”
“Being with Caitlin has been incredible, but you on the other hand,
well I’m not about to let you stir up trouble again once we return to
Coral Valley,” Ken warned his brother, “I’ve worked too hard to come to
this point in my life and I won’t allow you to destroy any of what I’ve
done to get this kind of happiness.”
“You make me sound like I’m the devil himself there Ken,” Brant frowned
at his brother’s mere suggestion, “Can I help it if I want what’s best
for you? I mean really does that make me such a horrible person?”
“Brant, I know when you’re up to something and I remember quite well
what you and Susan were trying to pull before I left town. I’m
not about to sit back and take it any longer. If you don’t like
Caitlin’s place in my life, tough. I love her and nothing you can
say or do will change that,” Ken informed him point blank.
“Okay, so now that we have that out of the way, how about we get back
to the part where you tell me when you’re coming back. You have
no idea how many things have been happening since you left and I have
some real issues to discuss with you,” Brant paused thinking about the
situation at BBK.
“Such as?” Ken questioned.
“Such as I think we should really get into these things when you
return. When are you coming back in,” Brant questioned.
There was a long silence on the other end of the line before Ken
answered offering up the details on when his flight was coming
in. Despite Ken’s reluctance, he shared the tentative schedule
with his brother unaware that out in the lobby, Susan had picked up the
phone at Diane’s desk and was jotting down notes about Ken’s
return. Sure Brant might prove to be impossible right about now,
but Susan was a woman with means and determination to find a way to get
Ken back into her life.
Diane sat up straighter in the hospital bed feeling a case of cabin
fever hitting her so to speak. While she’d wanted to be out in
Florida right about now enjoying the warm weather and the time alone
with Ben, she’d found herself having the worst of luck. Sure, the
whole situation that had put her into this place to begin with had her
less than thrilled, but more so she was finding that being suck in the
hospital was worse. Ben had run off to make a phone call as he’d
been paged, but still she wished that she could find a way to coax him
into getting her out of the hospital sooner rather than later.
“How’s the patient feeling today,” she heard a familiar voice
ask. Turning towards the source of the sound she noticed Jade
standing in the doorway looking very concerned.
“Jade,” Diane practically squealed extending her arms out towards her
best friend, “What are you doing here?”
“Making sure that I didn’t lose my best friend while she was out trying
to get herself killed,” Jade confessed rushing over to embrace her,
“Diane, what were you thinking?”
“I wasn’t thinking about much more than leaving to hit the beach with
Ben, but then Simon went nuts on me using me as a shield,” Diane
started to explain, “but that’s completely irrelevant. What are
you doing here honestly? I thought that you‘d left town…”
“I did, but there were some things I needed to take care of back
here--things that couldn’t wait…” Jade started to explain to her.
“You mean with Grady’s memorial,” Diane watched the flicker of sadness
behind Jade’s eyes.
She nodded, “For starters, but more so when Seth told me what happened
to you, I was terrified.”
“So was I,” Diane shuddered at the thought, “I still can’t believe that
someone as quiet as Simon could be capable of such evil. I mean
to have did what he did to Grady.”
“It doesn’t make sense,” Jade nodded in agreement, “I mean okay I get
what they said about him being here illegally, but in all honesty why
would he just up and stab Grady on his own?”
“I don’t know,” Diane admitted thinking about her last moments with
Simon, “While it was crazy, it didn’t seem to make sense to me
either. Granted I think the guy was a lunatic when he was using
me as a human shield, but…well, the truth is he didn’t at all seem
concerned about stabbing Grady when he was confronted. All he
cared about was immigration in his own weird way…”
“See now that seems strange to me as well,” Jade added with a frown,
“Plus there are still so many unanswered questions about the situation
starting with how did Simon get into the jail in the first place.”
“Then leading to why he would risk it all to stab Grady,” Diane
followed her best friend’s line of thinking.
“Exactly,” Jade nodded in response, “I mean if you already know you
could wind up in trouble, why would you go out on a limb and risk it
“That you’d be giving up all that you know and love,” Diane finished
for her. She scratched her head for a brief moment, “You’re right
Jade. It isn’t adding up at all.”
“Which is why I’m certain that someone else was the driving force
behind his actions,” Jade added emphatically.
“You mean that someone being Cameron Stone,” Diane noted with
“Well, it only makes sense doesn’t it? That man was obsessed with
me and he had no qualms about letting it be known that he wanted me in
his life. When Grady was in jail, I almost gave in to him…I
almost gave him what he wanted and then, well…”
“That man is a sick pig,” Diane reached for Jade’s hand stopping her
from going down that dark and ugly path once again, “He’ll stop at
nothing to destroy those who stand in his way. Come to think
about it, that day that Simon was killed, things were really off.”
“You mean other than him trying to take you with him?” Jade questioned
with a tiny shiver at the thought of what could’ve happened to Diane.
“Yes, but no,” Diane blurted out catching the expression on Jade’s
face, “I mean sure Simon was clearly delusional, but it came down to
more than that. When he was holding me standard police procedure
would be not to try to shoot him--to talk him down if you will, but
that didn’t happen. Patrick took a shot and got me in the
“Patrick did this to you,” Jade’s eyes widened in disbelief, “You mean
the same Patrick that you were seeing when you and Ben were on the
Diane nodded, “Yeah the guy was sexy as all hell, but there was just
something about him that didn’t seem right when we were together.
Okay, sure I’ll admit that I was pretty much using him to try to get at
Ben, but there was more to it than that. I’d caught him in the
midst of some really strange phone calls once and then when he wanted
to take me on his yacht…well, we were talking about the works there
Jade. This yacht was something that well, you wouldn’t have
unless you were someone who was loaded.”
“Yet police officers aren’t normally loaded like that,” Jade added
sensing where Diane was going with that one.
“Exactly. I’d asked him once or twice about how he was able to
afford so much because his place is really nice as well. He just
kind of blew it off as good luck, but I’m starting to wonder,” Diane
pondered the thought.
“I just can’t believe he’d try to shoot Simon like that with you right
there in the thick of things,” Jade added with a heavy frown.
“I don’t think I was relevant at the time considering that he clearly
wanted to silence Simon. I mean if Patrick is involved with a man
like Cameron, then there’s no telling what his real agenda was. I
mean maybe it’s a stretch there, but perhaps he wanted to silence me in
the process,” Diane threw out at her.
“I’m not sure I’d go that far. I mean he did date you once upon a
time,” Jade tried to reason herself out of the conversation hoping that
Patrick wasn’t somehow tied into Cameron as well. “Sure, you
might’ve dumped him, but you’d think that he’d at least have some
“Jade, I don’t think this was about sour grapes on his end with me,”
Diane continued with a slight frown, “My father always mentioned that
there were some cops in the place that were easily persuaded at one
time or another. Maybe Patrick is one of them. Maybe he was
interested in what he thought Cameron could provide him for cleaning up
his mess and that’s when he went out on a limb…”
“But if that were true, wouldn’t it be obvious…” Jade questioned
realizing that sometimes the obvious would seem not so obvious in such
cases as the one they were pondering.
“Perhaps there’s a lot more going on to Patrick Sharpe then anyone ever
thought was happening,” Diane blurted out with a sudden thought, “In
fact, maybe he’s the key to discovering what really is happening.”
“Maybe, but I don’t think he’s going to just up and tell any of us what
Cameron is doing to pull his strings,” Jade frowned thinking about the
ways in which Cameron had tried to blackmail her brother, “Maybe
Cameron has something on the guy if he is in fact helping him.”
“Or maybe it’s just plain greed,” Diane added remembering all too well
how Patrick liked to brag about his material possessions, “Perhaps
that’s really what Cameron tapped into there. I mean hey the guy
drives a Hummer. That should tell you something right there…”
“Diane, this is just stupid to even get into considering that I came
here to see how you were doing,” Jade reached out to squeeze her hand
gently, “I was worried about you.”
“And I’m worried about you Jade, which is why it’s probably time that I
start taking a step forward in helping you find out what’s really going
on,” Diane declared with a sudden thought, “In fact, I think it’s the
perfect time to find out if Cameron is calling the shots. I’ll
just call Patrick up and…”
“You can’t do that,” Jade interrupted, “You can’t call him.”
“Why not,” Diane shrugged her shoulders, “I can just charm him a little
and get what we need to know out of him. Then we can bust that
son of a bitch for trying to make you miserable.”
“No, Diane you can’t contact Patrick again if he’s involved with
Cameron. You can’t put yourself in that kind of danger,” Jade
insisted firmly, “If he’s working for Cameron out of greed, then he’s
every bit as dangerous as Cameron is. You’ll only be putting
yourself in the line of fire and I refuse to let that happen to you
again after everything.”
“Jade, I know how much your happiness with Grady means to you,” Diane
tried to convince her, “and besides, if I get in over my head I can
always back out.”
“Diane, you can’t just…” Jade started with a heavy sigh.
“You can’t talk me about of it. I’ll be careful and I’ll just
sneak around a little bit. If I find something, then I swear I’ll
back off, but I just need to know…” Diane began again.
“Diane, I can’t allow you to do that,” Jade shook her head in refusal
to accept her offer.
“Listen to me Jade, there isn’t a thing you can do to stop me when I
have my mind set on something,” Diane informed her bluntly, “and I’m
not about to walk away from this knowing that I can help you reclaim
“But I don’t want it at your expense,” Jade pleaded with her.
“It won’t be, but I swear to you we’ll find a way to put Patrick and
Cameron in their place without this causing us any harm. If he’s
helped that monster, then they both are going to pay,” Diane vowed
doing her best to think about her friend’s future now that she was
empowered with the urge to take control of things once again.
“Besides, Patrick shot me and if it was on purpose than I’m so going to
make him suffer for it. Mark my words on that!”
Heather shifted on the ground in the walk-in closet. While she’d
had more than her fill of torture from Cameron the previous evening,
having had Thea start in on her was the beginning of the end. She
wasn’t about to sit back and take anymore of it. That was if the
damned ropes would just bend a little. Twisting and turning
against the knots that had kept her contained for so very long, Heather
realized that now was about fighting for what she wanted. Sure,
she’d been terrified by Cameron the night before, but now, well after
Thea’s little threats, she found herself ready to tear this place apart
if that’s what it took. She could hear the distinct sound of
people just outside the room she was in and with that thought in mind
Heather kept straining to obtain her freedom.
“You’re not going to get away with this,” Heather vowed silently
thinking about all the ways in which she was going to make Cameron
suffer. She would serve his head on a platter and find a way to
explain everything to Diego, but first, well now was about
escape. She could feel the ropes loosening a bit down by her
ankles and the first hints of freedom washed over her. Biting
down on her lower lip, Heather felt enough strength to wiggle her way
out of the ropes that held her legs.
“Yes,” she cheered to herself using her newfound freedom to propel
herself up off of the floor. At first her knees were shaky, but
then after a few seconds she felt the strength return to her. She
was a woman on a mission and that wasn’t about to change now that she’d
made some progress. Moving in towards the door to the closet she
realized she needed her hands if she was truly going to gain some
freedom. Shifting to lean in against the rack of clothes behind
her, Heather shuffled around a bit before sending some things crashing
down to the ground. Catching a hanger with the tips of her
fingers, she tried to think of that brief week when she’d been in girl
scouts and they’d taught about knots.
Immediately her mind went back to that time when she and her next door
neighbor growing up had played cowboys and Indians. Heather had
agreed to play the damsel in distress, but after a few minutes she’d
found it to be too much of a chore. She’d waited for her neighbor
to ride to the rescue, but when he’d gotten carried away with his own
gun play Heather had been innovative in planning her own escape.
Now was no different as she used the wire hanger in hand to work on her
break for freedom. Cameron might’ve had the upper hand last
night, but damn it she would see herself the victorious one in this
sadistic game he’d initiated between them. She wasn’t about to
let any man put her down and keep her there for long--especially not
the likes of a man like Cameron Stone. That much she was certain
of as she worked the hanger into giving her just enough leverage to
free her hands up from the restraints.
“Aha,” Heather beamed with enthusiasm springing up from the back of the
closet once her hands were released. Feeling herself overcome
with a jolt of enthusiasm, Heather pushed open the closet door ready to
emerge only to be met by Thea’s dark eyes and crooked smirk.
“You’re damn right I am,” Heather declared boldly despite the fact that
Thea’s stance indicated that Thea had other plans where Heather was
Diego took in a breath preparing himself for this confrontation.
While it had taken him years to be comfortable with himself after the
ways in which Cameron had ripped his happiness away from him, he vowed
that he would never allow it to happen again. Heather’s
disappearance was no accident and Diego was going to see to it that he
didn’t make the mistake of letting Cameron destroy another life.
Knocking on the door to the Stone estate, Diego felt his pulse racing
in his chest, his heart guiding him to take a stand that years ago
could’ve changed his fate.
As the door opened Diego found himself met by the curious eyes of
Cameron’s butler. Unwilling to stand down, Diego stepped forward
pushing his way into the estate regardless of how rude or inappropriate
it might seem.
“Where is she,” Diego demanded, his voice rising with anger as he
turned to address Cameron’s butler, “Where’s Heather?”
“Sir, I really don’t think that…” the bewildered butler began watching
helplessly as Diego reached out to seize his collar.
“I know he has her here, so you’d better start talking right now,”
Diego warned sharply, unable to mask his heightened emotions.
“Where is Heather?”
“Home where she belongs,” Cameron’s voice rose through the corridor,
sending a chill through Diego’s body.
Frozen by the moment, Diego forced himself to come face to face with
the man who’d taken away his one true love not to long ago. The
air was thick with tension, the seconds seemingly turning into hours
while Diego faced down one of the greatest demons of his past.
There was no denying the raw hatred he felt for the man in front of
him. As Cameron stood before him with a smug expression, it took
everything in Diego not to tear him to pieces in that instant.
“Where is she,” Diego demanded again, clenching his fists at his side.
“My wife is in her room resting,” Cameron replied in a nonchalant
fashion giving Diego a brief once over.
“I want to see her,” Diego informed him abrasively.
“She requested not to be disturbed,” Cameron added giving him another
look, “not by anyone.”
“I’m not just anyone,” Diego pushed his way further into the estate.
“I don’t think you’re hearing me,” Cameron shoved his hand in the
center of Diego’s chest, “My wife is unavailable at the time.”
“And I don’t think you’re hearing me,” Diego stared him down, “my being
here to see her isn’t negotiable. I’m not leaving until I talk to
“Don’t you think it’s time to give up and call it a day,” Cameron
frowned down at him, “My wife doesn’t want to be bothered with
you. I don’t know what you thought was happening, but the truth
to the matter is that it’s over.”
“I’ll be the judge of what’s over,” Diego snapped back, “and right now
all I care about is seeing Heather.”
“And I said it was time to leave,” Cameron reached out to grab Diego’s
shirt in an attempt to shove him towards the exit.
“Get your hands off of me,” Diego growled pushing back full force into
“Franklin call the authorities,” Cameron called to his butler for
assistance before he seized Diego. “You’re leaving right now.”
“The hell I will,” Diego sneered.
“You’re going to leave right now and stay away from my wife or else,”
Cameron insisted straining to instill some fear behind Diego’s wild
“Don’t think you can threaten me Cameron because I know exactly what
you are and I’m not about to be intimidated by the likes of you,” Diego
informed him point blank, “You may have tried to manipulate Heather,
but I’m not about to let you ruin her life of the life of that child
“My wife is my business, not yours,” Cameron remarked smugly, “You
don’t have a say in her life.”
“We’ll let Heather be the judge of that,” Diego replied quickly before
the sounds of screaming rose up from the hallway. Following the
source of the sound, Diego rushed forward making his way through the
Stone estate only to have Cameron nipping at his heels.
“Get back here,” Cameron reached out to him, watching Diego get closer
to the place where he’d tucked Heather away. Suddenly fear
consumed him and Cameron raced like hell up behind Diego in the hopes
of keeping Diego Hernandez from exposing his latest dirty secret with