Episode 130

“Well, what are you waiting for Heather,” Shannon questioned giving her a brief once over.  While she’d tried to decipher just what was going through Heather’s mind, she couldn’t quite read what was happening.  Heather’s eyes drifted over towards Cameron before she looked to the group again.
“I…” Heather started after a moment’s hesitation.
“Yes,” Dave questioned watching her closely.
“Heather please,” Diego made another step towards her.  His dark eyes pleaded with her, his hand reached out towards her in a protective gesture and as she cast one last look in his general direction, she forced herself to look away from him.
“I don’t have the first clue what any of you are talking about,” Heather blurted out having made her decision.  She turned her eyes away from Diego forcing herself to ignore the disappointment she could feel vibrating over the air in the room.  She looked up at Cameron seeing the first sparkle of approval behind his eyes, “Cam, I’m tired.  Can I just go back to bed now?”   
“Of course you can sweetheart,” he leaned forward to kiss the top of her head gently before directing his gaze towards Diego, “Now get the hell out of our home.”
“Heather, what are you doing,” Diego questioned in confusion, unable to contain the surprise that had overthrown him by her obvious lie,  “Don’t do this.  We both know that I can protect you that…”
“Diego, I’m sorry, but I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Heather found the strength inside of her to face him, “and if you’d take a moment to let go of this, maybe you’ll be able to find some peace as well.  I‘ll assume there isn‘t any need for me to be out here any longer.”
“No, there’s not,” Dave added watching Diego’s reaction to her words.
“But Heather…” Diego started watching her retreat.  He took a step forward only to be thwarted by Shannon.
“Diego don’t,” Shannon urged placing her hand out to prevent him from chasing after Heather.
“I can’t just let him get away with what he’s done.  She’s only lying because she’s afraid,” Diego pleaded with her desperately, “She knows what kind of power he has over this town and…”
“Diego, you have to let it go,” Shannon pleaded with him hating to watch him turn into a complete mess in front of her.
“I can’t let it go,” Diego tried to reach out to Heather again only to discover she’d slipped back into a room down the hall.
“I don’t think you have a choice in the matter,” Dave informed him firmly stepping in front of the frazzled man before him.
“Dave, come on we both know what kind of monster he is.  What he did to Maria and…” Diego started again feeling a panic and fear overtake him now that Heather had shut him out.
“This isn’t about Maria,” Dave explained poignantly, “this isn’t anything like Maria.”
“I’m glad you’re all enjoying your little reunion in my foyer, but as you can see my wife doesn’t want to be disturbed and neither do I,” Cameron sneered down at the group, “So unless you’re going to arrest me, get the hell out of my house.”
“This isn’t over,” Dave warned before grabbing Diego’s arm to lead him towards the front door, “Come on.  You need to cool down.”
“I don’t want to calm down,” Diego argued with Dave struggling all the way to the door. 
“It’s what you need right now more than anything,“ Dave informed him honestly.  Despite Diego’s protests however, Dave and Shannon managed to get him out of the Stone estate without causing too much damage in the path.
“This is bull Dave,” Diego shoved Dave away from him, his eyes full of fire and rage, “and you know it.  Cameron is a monster and…”
“Heather’s his wife,” Dave reminded Diego, “and if she’s not going to file a formal complaint, then there’s nothing I can do.”
“She’s lying,” Diego continued to explain, “She’s afraid and that’s why she didn’t tell you the truth.”
“Heather is a habitual liar Diego.  She uses men to her advantage and then tosses them aside when she finds she has no more use for them.  She wanted to get her husband’s attention and she used you to do it.  Now that she has Cameron where she wants him, she’s turned on you.  It’s her game,” Shannon began hoping to find a way to reach out to Diego and implore his sense of logic.
“No, you didn’t see what I saw.  You don’t know what I do about her,” Diego shook his head in refusal to accept her answer.
“Diego, she uses men when the mood strikes her and she thrives on drama,” Shannon informed him bluntly, “You were just another mark for her.”
“You’re just saying that because you can’t stand her, but Shannon I’m not lying to you.  Heather’s in danger.  She and her child are in horrible danger in that house and if you sit back and do nothing about it…” Diego went into an uproar.
“Diego, I know that this situation rings close to home considering that Heather is pregnant.  I know you two have grown close, but she’s Cameron’s wife.  This isn’t like Maria…”
“You keep saying that, but even then there was no justice,” Diego spat out at him coldly, “Then again in this town that seems to be the name of the game where that man is concerned.”
“Diego, now you know that’s not…” Dave started to defend his position.
“To hell with you.  To hell with all of this,” Diego shook his head at Dave and Shannon before stalking off towards his car in a fury.
“Where do you think he’s going?” Shannon questioned breaking her moment of silence.
“Off the deep end if someone doesn’t try to help him through this,” Dave sighed heavily thinking about the condition his friend was in, “I haven’t seen him like this--not since Maria’s death.”
“Maria,” Shannon repeated thinking about the talk she’d had with Diego about his distrust of those in the FBI.  Turning to Dave she felt another growing realization upon her, “That was the woman he loved that died, yes?”
Dave nodded, “They were like the dream couple.  They had their share of problems, but then one day out of the blue Maria was involved in a hit and run.  She didn’t make it, but their son…well the baby lived about seven hours before his passing.  Diego hasn’t been the same since.”
“And he thinks that Cameron was the one responsible for her death,” Shannon noted with a heavy sense of realization.
Dave nodded, “He wasn’t the only one who felt that way considering that Maria was leading one of the strongest oppositions against a multi-billion dollar project that Cameron was working on.  She was so close to bringing him down and then…”
“He made sure that she didn’t,” Shannon frowned thinking about the situation at hand.
“Which is all the more reason why I shouldn’t let Diego run off and get into something stupid,” Dave explained watching Diego’s quick exit, “He’s a good, moral man with a kind heart, but everyone has their limit.”
“And Diego’s been pushed past his,” Shannon nodded in complete understanding, “Dave, let me worry about Diego.”
“Shannon, you know that I can’t ask you to…” he started surprised by her decision.
“Look, I know more than anything what he’s going through.  I’ve seen creeps like Cameron evade the system time and time again, so I think I can relate.  There have been times when I’ve wanted to rip their hearts out and serve it to them in various sadistic terms, so I can understand where Diego might be at right now.”
“Shannon, it’s just not the same as losing what he’s lost in his life,” Dave sighed heavily feeling an air of sadness sweep over him.
“All the more reason for me to see to this myself,” she decided hoping that she could find a way to help Diego through the misery that the confrontation with Cameron had brought to the surface all over again.


Heather allowed the curtain to fall back into place after Shannon and Dave had made their way to the car they’d come over in.  While she hated what she had to do where Diego was concerned, she knew she had no choice.  Hearing the sound of footsteps entering the room from behind her, she inhaled a slow breath saying a silent prayer that she hadn’t made the biggest mistake of her life.
“I’m very proud of you,” Cameron’s voice encircled her, causing a tiny shudder to fill her down to her core.  She could sense his motion in the room.  She could feel his steady, determined movement while he approached her.  “You did very good out there.”
“Did I,” was all she could manage to get out while guilt plagued her.  Her stomach was nauseous and her heart sinking at what she’d said.  The look behind Diego’s eyes had said it all when she’d forced herself to push him away.
“Much better than I’d anticipated,” Cameron nodded proudly placing his hand upon her shoulder, “You and I are cut from the same cloth Heather and that shows.”
“We’re nothing alike,” Heather spat back at him, finding the fire of her fury consuming her.  She stared him down, unable to quench the need to lash out for what he’d pushed her into doing.
“So you say,” he smiled at her appreciatively, “but in time you’ll see that this was in fact for the best.”
“So what now,” she asked tentatively feeling a tiny shiver racing over her spine.
“We start over,” Cameron reached out to touch her cheek in a smooth, yet gentle motion, “We forget the past and stop trying to destroy one another.”
“And you just expect me to pretend that what happened wasn’t real,” Heather challenged with narrowing eyes.
“Not exactly,” he sighed taking a step away from her, “but more so I would just like us to put that part of our past behind us.  We have so much potential with one another if we choose to work as a team.  You have beauty and intelligence and a power that intrigues me.  If we quit clashing heads and join forces with one another, you’ll find your life to be very pleasing.”
“You mean as long as I give up my free will and who I am, you’ll try not to beat or torment me any longer?” Heather’s words were laced with venom.
“I never should’ve hit you,” Cameron conceded, “I never should’ve taken my rage out on you like I did.  Given what has transpired between us, I can understand your reluctance in letting me in, but know in time you will see that I’m all you need.  I can give you what you need in your life Heather.  As long as we let go of the games…”
“You’re the one who enjoys toying with my life,” Heather stepped towards him lashing out at him.  With one bold move, she slapped him hard across the face unwilling to think about the consequences that would come to her.
Cameron flinched and coiled in response to her lashing out at him for a brief second.  Heather stepped back waiting for him to attack, but for the most part he remained silent, just looking at her.  A tiny tremble swept over her when she caught the cold stare behind his eyes.  It was as if he was contemplating the best course of action in dealing with her, but much to her surprise instead of attacking, he spoke up smooth and evenly.
“Given what we’ve just experienced with one another, I’m going to refrain from holding that against you.  You’ve clearly had a long night and an equally long morning, so I won’t allow that to influence our future with one another.  Consider that a freebie,” Cameron wiggled his finger at her before making his way to the doors.  He turned around to address her one last time with a cocky grin, “And just know that in time you’ll understand why we had to go through this to get what we’ve dreamt about with one another.”
With that Cameron exited the room bringing the French doors to a resounding close behind him.  Heather rushed forward eager to break free of the confinement she’d seemingly stepped into.  However, much to her dismay the doors were locked.  She wiggled on the door knob before taking a step back in defeat.  Sinking into the couch, she buried her head in her hands hoping to find a way to come to terms with her fate now that she’d just pushed the best thing that had happened to her in a long time out of her life forever.


“I’m not ready for this,” Jade admitted thinking about what was waiting inside the church.  She, Russ and Avery had made their way over to the memorial service, but now as they stood outside the building, she found herself dreading this experience more than ever.
“It’s almost over,” Russ replied putting his arm around her supportively, “We can get through this.”
“I know we can, but just to think about it,” Jade paused biting on her lower lip nervously, “I know this sounds crazy considering, but what if this was really…”
“It’s not,” Avery interrupted sensing Jade’s concerns about the situation.  She reached out to take Jade’s hand supportively, “We just have to keep that in mind as we go through today.”
“It still doesn’t make any of this any easier.  To say goodbye to Grady like this…” Jade shivered at the thought.
“I know,” Avery nodded in confession, “but we need to do this for closure.”
“I know,” Jade replied thinking about how hard the next half hour was going to be, but knowing that Cameron no doubt had people watching her, she stood taller.  She turned her eyes to the church catching a glimpse of Cheryl standing near the doorway with Elliot.  Turning back to face Russ and Avery again, Jade took in a slow breath.  “I should probably get over there huh?”
“Go ahead,” Russ urged her on, “We’ll be in there in a few minutes.”
“Okay,” Jade nodded before making her way towards Grady’s parents.  The trio exchanged embraces before disappearing into the church.
“Are you sure you’re up to this,” Avery questioned touching her husband’s arm tentatively, “I know what you just said to Jade, but I know that you aren’t comfortable with this either…”
“We have to do it,” Russ answered behind a clenched jaw before he closed his eyes.  Taking in the scent of the afternoon, he realized that this had seemed a lot simpler when they’d been at home--distanced from the situation.  Sure, he’d told Jade that this was for show, but the truth to the matter was that he’d spend a great deal of the last few months alienated from his brother.  To say a good-bye like this when things were so up in the air--even if it was a fictional goodbye was a bit much.
“Russ, if you’re too upset…” Avery started squeezing his arm gently hoping to help him through the thoughts that had plagued his mind.
“We have to do this,” Russ spoke up in a tight whisper, “More than anything Grady needs us to do this for him.”
“Alright,” Avery nodded motioning to the door, “Shall we go inside?”
“Yeah, let’s get this over with,” he decided bringing his arm around her waist.  They took one step closer to the church before he stopped mid-motion.
“Russ, what is it?” Avery questioned in confusion turning her dark eyes up to search his handsome features.
“I love you,” he breathed unable to contain the emotion that had balled up in the back of his throat forming a lump.  He teased his index finger over the side of her cheek memorizing the way she looked standing beside him, ready to do all that she could to show her support, “I just needed you to know that at a time like this, well, I just don’t know what I’d do in this world if I didn’t have you.  You’re my strength and my reason in this world Avery.”
“And you’re the heart and soul that has kept me alive all these years,” Avery added tipping up on her toes to kiss him tenderly, “I love you Russell Denton and there is no place in this world that I’d rather be than at your side.”
“You have no idea how much that means for me to hear you say that,” he couldn’t help but offer up a soft smile of relief despite the weight upon his shoulders at the idea of having a public goodbye to his brother.
“Believe me,” she reached for his hand bringing it up over her abdomen, “we both know how much that means and we feel the same way Russ.”
Smiling Russ leaned down to kiss Avery taking a moment to savor the bond between them.  He curled his arm around her hugging her closer to him before they parted.  Pressing his forehead against hers, he sighed again.  Finally he drew back and their eyes met again for a long moment of silence.
“Let’s do this,” he decided leading her into the church with him to experience one of the hardest, staged experiences of his life.


Watching the newlyweds enter the church, the man observing reached into his pocket pulling out his cell phone.  He’d seen plenty to give his higher ups the information they were seeking out.  With that thought in mind a twisted smirk spread over his features.  Finally after a few moments the voice answered on the other end of the line.
“It’s me,” he explained simply to his employer, “Yes, that’s right.  I’m here at the church and as expected everything is going as planned.”
Eyeing the church again while more arrivals came to show their respect for Grady, he couldn’t help but feel a rush of enthusiasm jolt from his body upon his employer’s approval.
“And you’re sure there won’t be any mistakes this time,” his employer questioned with skepticism.
“Not a one,” he vowed unwilling to lose sight of the focus before him, “This time there won’t be any room for mistakes.  They won’t see it coming and by the time they begin to see what’s unfolding around them, it’ll be too late--for all of them.  You have my word on that.”
“I’ll need more than just your word this time,” his employer informed him gruffly, “this time you know what I want.”
“Consider it done,” he promised hearing the line go dead on his employer’s end.  Tossing the cell phone onto the passenger seat beside him, he turned his focus to the happenings at the church vowing that he would be the one to finish the mission that others before him had failed at up until now.  He would be a success and soon he would be the key to changing the hands of destiny forever.


Seth gazed around his apartment trying to think of anything else he’d need for the trip ahead of him.  Yet, as he held his suitcase in hand, he couldn’t think of anything else that he’d forgotten about.  He’d had the essentials for the preliminary visit he’d be taking for the shoot.  This was really him doing it--he was taking a step towards making something of his career--something that could take him away from Coral Valley forever.
“Forever,” he thought aloud feeling a frown spread over his dark, handsome features.  His gaze lingered over to the far end of the living room--to the couch where he and Blake had spent a great many intimate moments with one another.  Thinking about the first time she’d arrived at his place armed with her famous strawberry shortcake, he found himself overcome with the magic that accompanied the memory.  He could almost taste her kiss upon his lips, feel the magic of her smile reaching down into his core, but as reality fell upon him, he let out a heavy sigh wondering if he’d ever forget.
Turning towards the door, Seth heard a faint sound of tapping upon it.  Setting his suitcase down, he approached the door, taking a tentative moment to himself before opening it.  However, he found himself completely unprepared for what was before him.
“Seth,” Blake spoke aloud, her crystal blue eyes penetrating his with an intensity that caused his blood to boil.  There was something about her--about the magic of her--about the way she stood before him looking more beautiful than he’d remembered.
“Blake, what are you doing here,” Seth questioned feeling his throat go dry.  She stepped in closer to him, her blonde hair skimming over her shoulders with each movement she made.
“We needed to talk,” she informed him in a slow breath, “There’s something that we didn’t get to say to one another when you walked out on me and I think that it’s time we get back to it.”
“Blake I don’t think that…” Seth began unable to contain the confusion in his tone.  He watched her saunter around his living room, reviewing the way things were before she spun around to face him again.  Her gaze dropped down to the suitcase at his side.
“Going somewhere,” she questioned in a low, sultry tone watching him with an undeniable intensity.
He nodded, “I have a job out of town.”
“A job,” Blake repeated taking a bold step towards him.  She motioned towards the suitcase before her eyes penetrated his, “You can forget about the job because you’re not going anywhere--at least not until I can say what I came here to say.”
“Blake, I…” he started feeling her snake her arms around his neck.  Urging him closer to her, she devoured his mouth in a hungry kiss, tempting him to forget about everything else, but the magic they’d once shared with one another.  Unable to contain the impulses that overthrew him, Seth curled his arm around her pulling her up off of her feet.
“Don’t leave me Seth,” she murmured curling her fingers through his thick, dark hair, “Don’t ever leave me.  I love you.”
“I love you too,” he replied squeezing her in against him ready to make up for lost time, but before he could truly lose himself to the moment, he heard the beeping sound of the alarm on his watch. 
Within seconds Blake fade from his arms and he found himself standing near the door to leave his apartment.  A heavy sigh spilled from his lips when he discovered that he’d allowed his fantasies of a happily ever after with Blake overthrow his sense of what was real.  Clearly he was losing his mind--longing for something that would never be and that was all the more reason why putting Coral Valley behind him was the only option.  Reaching for his suitcase, he gave his apartment one last glance before he stepped out of his apartment putting his past behind him once and for all.


Blake walked around the gardens at the Ashford estate thinking about how confusing her life had been lately.  She’d tried to find peace within herself, but time hadn’t changed a thing.  She was still in that same place alone and miserable except she was without the things that had truly made her life worth living.  She’d had it all within her reach, but alas she’d thrown it all away in the blink of an eye.
“And for what,” Blake questioned with a heavy sigh.  Making her way over to the fountain in the center of the Ashford gardens, she took a seat on one of the benches thinking about a time back in Los Angeles.

“Don’t be shy,” Blake had teased Zack, “Just sit still and let me take this picture.”
“Not a chance,” Zack shook his head reaching out for the camera, “There is no way I’m going to let you get me on film.”
“Of course you are,” Blake giggled snapping away at the camera, “You’re a perfect subject.”
“No, you’re the perfect subject,” he snatched the camera ready to turn the tables on her but instead he frowned upon the realization that she’d finished her roll of film.
“Ha, and you thought you got me,” Blake shook her head at him taking back her camera before sticking her tongue out at him, “How wrong you were.”
“Wrong or not, I want that film Blake,” Zack watched her take a seat at one of the picnic tables set up on the beach where they’d had an event sponsored by the fraternity he was in.
“Too bad, it’s mine,” Blake snubbed him before tilting her head to the side to look at him, “but I might be willing to negotiate.”
“I’m listening,” Zack plopped down beside her at the table, “what are your terms?”
“A little truth telling,” Blake urged him on with a simple flash of a grin, “You game?”
“That all depends,” he shrugged his shoulders.
“On what,” she arched a curious brow.
“On whether or not this is a two way street,” he decided scooting in closer to her.
“You want the film, so I think I should be the one who gets the truth out of you,” Blake urged him on inching in towards him as well.
“That sounds like this was a setup from the start,” Zack frowned.
“If you don’t want the photos,” she started to get up only to be thwarted by his gentle tug on her wrist.
“Okay, I’ll play along.  What do you want to know Blake,” Zack questioned his eyes fixed upon her.
“Why won’t you just give in to what you feel for me,” she threw out at him.
“My, you are blunt, aren’t you,” Zack laughed nervously.
“I don’t believe in beating around the bush.  So really, what’s the story?  Why won’t you just admit that you want me,” she questioned, her voice taking on a sultry tone.
“Blake, you’re my friend…” he started.
“Friends don’t do what we’ve been thinking about,” Blake informed him bluntly, “When you came home the other night and found me in your bed…”
“I told you that never should’ve happened,” Zack shook his head at the thought, “Blake it’s never going to be more than what we have now.”
“But you want more.  I know you do Zack.  I know you want me,” Blake skimmed her hand against his leg in a slow, not so subtle brush.
“Blake, listen to me,” Zack caught her wrist to put an end to the embrace, “It won’t ever work.”
“But why…what is it that you’re so afraid of,” Blake questioned with a pout before her inquiry was answered by the buxom brunette that came their way.
“Zack, there you are,” the woman grinned over at him, “I was starting to think that I lost you.  What’s going on?”
“Libby, I was just thinking about getting back to you,” Zack waved at her quickly.  He began to scoot away from Blake before rising.
“Zack, I asked you a question,” Blake informed him bluntly, “I think you owe me a real answer.”
“Blake you know the real answer,” Zack answered flatly ready to walk away, but he hesitated.  He spun around to face her once again, sincerity shining behind his eyes as he spoke up once again.  He eyed her for a long moment before turning around to go catch up with his companion for the night.

“I guess you knew more than I did at the time,” Blake sighed returning to the here and now.  She’d certainly thought she knew what she was doing in returning to that feeling she’d harbored for Zack, but now, like before he was with someone new.  He was about to be a father and he’d married someone else.  That in itself said something about where she fit in his future.
“Why are you doing this to yourself,” Blake groaned, her eyes traveling over to the stables when another wash of a memory crashed over her.

“How about a little closer,” the photographer had suggested to her and Seth.
“I don’t know about this one,” Seth’s anxiety about being on the other side of the camera had taken control of his otherwise cool and collected demeanor.
“You’re both naturals,” the photographer urged them on further.
“I’m just not so sure,” Seth confessed pulling away from Blake only to feel her tug on his arm.
“Oh I’m pretty sure you’re sure,” Blake flashed him a sexy smirk, drawing him in closer to him.  She touched his chest in a tentative fashion, “Just like I’m sure about what I want the world to see where we’re concerned.”
“Are you sure this is what you want?  Is this really how you want your life to be,” Seth asked her while she curled her arm around his muscled torso.
“What do you think,” she’d teased catching the glimmer of insecurity behind his eyes.
“I think that I want this to be the beginning of a long and happy future for us,” Seth confessed tipping down towards her.  Their lips were a mere breath away from one another as she spoke up once again.
“I know it will be,” she’d promised sealing her words with a kiss.

Now as Blake reflected upon her words, she’d thought of how she too had been deceptive in her promises.  She’d offered her heart to both men in her life and she’d ultimately driven them both away.  All her life she’d craved the love and happiness that could come from finding the one--from being with her soul mate, but in this instance it seemed as though all she’d managed to obtain from her choices was a path full of emptiness and confusion.  Thinking to the journals she’d discovered in her mother’s secret place, Blake rose up from where she’d been seated opting to lose herself to the memories left behind from one of the only people in the world who truly understood her.


Zack and Johanna are just arriving back from a walk. They got caught in a bad rain storm and Johanna's umbrella broke so they are both soaked to the core.

Johanna: I can't believe this rain!

Zack: It sure started fast. Good thing we brought the umbrella.

He laughs

Zack: Even if it did only last us a block.

He hands Johanna a towel and a bathrobe and then begins to get undressed.

Zack: We'd better get out of these clothes before we catch a cold.

Johanna nods.

Johanna: Yeah, and then I'm e-mailing the makers of this umbrella, it's a piece of junk!

Zack stifles a laugh.

Zack: As I recall you've never had much luck with those. You do remember how we met don't you?

Johanna turns beat red and starts laughing.

Johanna: Oh, God, how could I forget. I was struggling down the street in the middle of a horrible rain and wind storm. The wind was so strong it turned my umbrella inside out and yanked it from my hand.

Zack laughs

Zack: And sent it flying into me as I stepped out of a cab.

Johanna: Not one of my shinning moments.

Zack laughs at the memory.

Zack: Yeah but the benefits were nice. You bought me a cup of coffee and a scone to apologize.  We ended up sitting and talking all day.

Johanna smiles thinking back.

Johanna: Yeah it turned into a pretty wonderful day didn't it.

Zack nods. Johanna laughs.

Johanna: Of course I'm not the only klutz around here. Remember, when I asked you to "help" and do the laundry and you ended up stuffing so much clothing and laundry detergent in that the machine started rocking and shaking.  The hoses came out of the wall, and the entire thing had to be replaced. Not to mention the floor since it had gotten so soaked.

Zack grins devilishly.

Zack: But you never asked me to do laundry again did you?

Johanna pretends to glare at him and throws a pillow at him. They both laugh.

Zack watches Johanna drying herself and is suddenly taken back to another time and place. He smiles thinking back to old times. And looking at her now, carrying their child he is struck by her beauty.

Zack: Johanna...

She looks up.

Zack: You know, you really are beautiful.

Johanna laughs.

Johanna: Yeah, soaked and wind blow is a hot look.

Zack looks at her seriously.

Zack: On you it is.

He goes into the wash room leaving a happily surprised Johanna sitting on the bed cleaning up.

Johanna: I wonder what brought that on?

She smiles and rubs her stomach.

Johanna: Not that I'm complaining.

She goes on cleaning up awhile later when they're both dry and in their bathrobes there is a knock at the door.

Waiter: Room service.

Johanna looks confused.

Johanna: We didn't order anything.

Zack gets up.

Zack: I got us a snack.

Johanna: Oh, okay.

The waiter brings in a silver tray with a single rose on it. On the tray are an assortment of scones and cookies, and two hot drinks. The waiter sets it down on the bed.

Zack: Thanks.

He tips the waiter.

Waiter: You're welcome, have a nicer day.

After the waiter leaves Zack smiles and comes and sits next to Johanna on the bed.

Zack: Since we've recreated the rain storm incident I figured why not recreate the whole thing.

Johanna smiles deeply touched.

Johanna: Oh Zack, that's so sweet.

Zack smiles.

Zack: You're welcome.

He hands her, her cup.

Zack: Green tea for the lady, and a cappuccino for me.

Johanna: You remember our exact orders?

Zack nods.

Zack: Yeah. Well, you always get the same thing when we go to a coffee shop.

Johanna laughs.

Johanna: Yeah, I guess I do. I've just never liked Coffee all that much, but I do enjoy the whole coffee shop atmosphere.

Zack nods as he raises his cup.

Zack: To us.

Johanna smiles her hopes beginning to brighten.

Johanna: To us.

They tap cups and begin enjoying their late afternoon snack as the rain pours down outside.


Caitlin is in her hotel room packing.

Caitlin: I can't believe we're already going back. I wish I could stay here with Ken forever.

She sighs as she puts more things in the bag.  Just then there is a knock at the door. Caitlin opens it and is surprised to find Ken standing there fully dressed in a tux complete with gloves and a top hat. Caitlin cracks up.

Caitlin: What on earth are you doing dressed like that?

Ken steps into the room as she closes the door.

Ken: Well, we aren't leaving for another day. So, I figured why not use this time for some old fashioned romance.

He hands her a single red rose. Caitlin smiles very touched by this.

Caitlin: You are a charmer. So what did you have in mind.

Ken smiles mischievously

Ken: You'll see.

He goes over to the CD player and puts in a CD then as the music starts he turns to Caitlin and extends his hand to her.

Ken: May I have this dance.

Caitlin laughs and smiles as she takes his hand.

Caitlin: Of course.

He pulls her close and gently starts gliding across the room.

“Some day, when I'm awfully low,
When the world is cold,
I will feel a glow just thinking of you...
And the way you look tonight.
Yes you're lovely, with your smile so warm
And your cheeks so soft,”

Ken gently strokes Caitlin's cheek as they continue to move with the music.

“There is nothing for me but to love you,
And the way you look tonight.
With each word your tenderness grows,
Tearing my fear apart…”

He twirls her around the room and then pulls her in close for a kiss.

“And that laugh that wrinkles your nose,
It touches my foolish heart.
Lovely ... Never, ever change.”

As he spins her around Caitlin can't help but laugh with happiness.

“Keep that breathless charm.
Won't you please arrange it ?
'Cause I love you ... Just the way you look tonight.
Mm, Mm, Mm, Mm,
Just the way you look to-night.”

As the song ends he dips her and gives her a long passion filled kiss. Then still holding onto her and gazing deeply into her eyes he speaks.

Ken: I love you.

Caitlin is near tears as she gazes back at him full of love.

Caitlin: I love you.

They kiss tenderly.


Jenna surveyed her bedroom thinking about anything else she should be taking with her for her journey out to Los Angeles.  While she wasn’t quite sure why she’d felt compelled to make the journey, her talk with J.T. had gotten her itching to go nonetheless.  Perhaps it had stemmed from the fact that she’d grown up without having any indication of who the man was that had brought her into this world.  Sure, she’d seen enough to know that she wasn’t fond of Doug, but if there was more to this story that could ultimately change her life, then she had to know the truth--no matter how horrible it might be.
“There you are,” Hart broke through her one track mind, “I was hoping you’d return to the kitchen since I was making something special for us.”
“I was getting there,” Jenna explained quietly, “but I just wanted to double check everything here.”
“I’m sure that you thought of everything in the packing,” Hart kissed the back of her neck, urging her to turn around in his arms.  “You always are one step ahead of the rest of us.”
“I don’t feel like I have been lately especially where my father is concerned,” Jenna paused, unable to hide her true feelings about the situation with her father from the man she loved.
“Your father is a man of many faces Jen.  He’s good at what he does and for you to think that you could see it all and not be fooled, well that’s putting a lot of pressure on yourself.”
“Even so, I should’ve seen through him.  I pride myself on being an excellent judge of character and look where it got me,” she confessed with a heavy sigh.
“Hmm, let’s see,” Hart pretended to think of over, “Now correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t you think I was a chauvinistic, pompous ass the first time you met me?”
“Well yes, but…” Jenna felt a heat rise over her cheeks.
“You pretty much cussed me out with every name in the book there on our second meeting and then after that…” he started to remind her.
“That was an entirely different subject considering that you were all those things back then,” she informed him with a huff.
“Even so you love me now so you’re willing to overlook my less than savory beginnings for us,” he pointed out giving her a look that said it all about how ridiculous she was being.
“It’s just not the same Hart.  I mean you were just some jerk lawyer trying to make a few bucks there, but the man in question is my father.  I mean if you think about it my brother is missing and in a coma--or he could be dead.  We have no way of knowing that.”
“True, but at the same time you know nothing about this other brother of yours,” Hart pointed out watching her slump down on the edge of her bed, “Jen, for all we know this guy could be a snake…”
“He’s my brother Hart,” Jenna frowned at his implication.
“And we see what you think of your father.  Plus if all you read about Doug and Cameron was true, then there’s no telling what you’re getting yourself into,” Hart took a seat beside her, “While I know you want the truth about what kind of man your father is, maybe your mother has kept you in the dark about it for a good reason.”
“Hart, I know she did what she did to try to protect me, but this isn’t about me any longer.  My brother has a child coming into this world and if that baby is going to have a real chance at life, then I need to know what the baby is up against,” she informed him pointedly.
“It means that much to you huh,” he questioned curling his arm around her shoulders.
“More than I ever thought it would,” she nodded in confession, “I mean when this all began I was content with my life.  Sure, I didn’t have everything going on that I’d wanted to accomplish by this point in my life, but still.  Then I find out about my father and it’s as if there’s this whole other part of my life that I never knew about--this family that has been foreign to me.  At first I was overjoyed, thrilled even, but now, well now I think about all the lies and the deceptions and I know that I can’t let this go.  While my brother and I didn’t have a chance to get to know one another, I believe in my heart that he wouldn’t want his child to come into a world of madness.  If Douglas is the monster that everyone is saying then he shouldn’t be near that baby.”
“Though Cameron’s not a better option Jen,” Hart pointed out with a frown, “especially given his shady character.”
“I know,” she nodded solemnly, “which is why I have to find the truth out about my father and about the Mahoney family secrets out in Los Angeles.”
“I realize that, but I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t have any concerns about where this could be headed,” he admitted touching her leg gently, “I just don’t want to see this wind up destroying you.”
“If I remain idle and do nothing to stop the things that could come into that baby’s life, then I’ll be just as bad as the rest of them,” Jenna admitted with a soft sigh leaning into Hart’s body.
“Children really mean a lot to you, don’t they,” Hart questioned hugging her closer to him.
She nodded, “Especially when they come into this world with the odds stacked against them.  I truly believe that every child deserves to know their parents, but at the same time I also think that they should have someone looking out for them when push comes to shove.”
“And you’ve nominated yourself to be that someone,” Hart arched a curious brow.
“Take a long, hard look at the other options in this child’s life,” Jenna gave him a firm look, “You’d do the same thing if you were me.”
“I’m not really sure what it is we’re doing,” Hart admitted with a strange expression.
“We’re seeing what the past can tell us about my brother and about the moments leading up to my brother’s shooting.  There’s a whole history there that no one knows about, but I plan on changing that.  I want to know everything there is to know about my brother, my father and about William Steed because I think that’s the key to learning the truth about what is ahead for all of us.”


Brooke checked the clock once again for the third time in the last ten minutes.  Unable to sit still, she shifted in her seat hoping that somehow she would hear something soon.  After she’d received that less than satisfying package the other night she’d been on edge.  She’d taken to calling her partner, yet he’d vowed to handle the situation.  However in handling things, she’d expected him to keep her in the loop--not to leave her in suspense.
“What is taking so long,” Brooke mouthed to herself.  She nearly jumped out of her seat when the phone on her desk rang.  “Hello.”
“Ms. Morrison, it’s Joan.  Joan Simpleton.  I was calling about press release for the upcoming party,” the woman explained quickly leading Brooke down the road to planning for the main event she’d been working on for months.  While the party had been being put off for quite some time, it was well in the works and that had to be her first focus.
After a grueling ten minutes of a tapering mind, Brooke finally decided to call Joan later in the day once she’d obtained a bit more clarity.  Now she turned her attention to the clock again thinking about what could be happening to destroy all her well laid plans.  She tapped her nails on the desktop impatiently before she finally tore open her top desk drawer.  Pulling out her purse, she snapped it open to check on the small vial she’d kept inside.  If she wasn’t quick about things, she could miss her window of opportunity and that simply wasn’t an option.
“You need to stay focused,” she reminded herself as the phone rang again.  Frowning she reached for the phone ready to find a polite way to rid herself of any more distractions, but instead she was met by the sound of her partner.
“I was hoping I’d catch you,” he mouthed into the phone causing her to sit on edge.
“What has been taking you so long,” Brooke frowned in response, “I gave you that information and now you’re avoiding me.”
“I’m not avoiding you, but more so planning for the future,” he informed her coolly, “You should start doing the same.”
“I’ve been trying to, but it hasn’t been easy ever since I received that package,” she insisted with a huff.
“I understand your being uptight and I had the same reservations about moving forward myself until something occurred to me.”
“And just what might that be?” she questioned impatiently.
“I realized that maybe just maybe this is the push we need.  I say we ride this one out and find out just who was behind the package.  We find them and beat them at their own game.  The way I see it, we can’t lose.”
“And if they try to reach out to someone else,” Brooke questioned in a panic.

“You mean someone such as your son-in-law?” he questioned with a hearty chuckle.
“He isn’t stupid,” Brooke shuddered upon her own words, “While he might be a bit thick headed if he starts getting little clues he might start sniffing around our situation and then we’ll both be screwed.”
“No Brooke, you’ll be the one with explaining to do,” he informed her with a sour tone, “I had no part in what you’ve been doing…”
“No part,” she practically squealed before lowering her voice again, “I’ve been doing this because of you--because of what we promised one another.  We made a deal.”
“I realize that and for that deal to come into fruition, there are things that will be needed to be done.  Drastic measures that must not be overlooked, “Brooke, there’s only one way to end this.”
“Well if you’ve come up with some miracle plan, I’d love to hear it,” Brooke decided with a sneer.
“We eliminate the problem,” he explained simply, his voice devoid of all emotion.
“You mean we…” Brooke started hearing a tiny chuckle on the other end of the line.
“You’re damn right we do,” he agreed with an air of amusement in his tone, “It’s time to take action and once we do, there won’t be any more looking back.”
“Just like that,” she asked with obvious skepticism.

“Just like that,” he repeated, “You take care of what’s needed on your end and I’ll finish working on the rest of it.”
“And you really think we can pull this off,” she questioned feeling the first flicker of doubts from within.
“You do what you do best and let me deal with what I’m the expert on,” he urged her darkly.
“Alright then,” Brooke fingered the vial in her hand, a wicked grin spreading over her features, “I’ll do just that.”
“Excellent,” he replied hanging up the phone and leaving Brooke ready to face the possibilities for the future they’d worked so hard to achieve in their alliance.  


Russell stepped out of the church feeling the first hints of a panic attack overtaking him.  While he’d tried to keep himself calm and collected through the small service for his brother, something just felt off.  It didn’t seem right at all to be here doing such a thing.  After it was over his parents and Avery were speaking with some of those who’d arrived to pay their respect to Grady, but Russ had needed some space.  Now standing outside the church, he tried to clear his head--to remember that this was all a rouse, but it felt too real--too overwhelming for him to stay within the walls of the church and pretend.
“Get a grip,” he urged himself on closing his eyes while his heart pounded in his chest.  Leaning up against the brick wall, he forced himself to think about better times--to focus on days gone by when life was less complicated.  So much had happened over the last year and just when he thought things were getting better, this had to blow up around them.
Feeling a vibration in his pocket, Russ realized his cell phone was alerting him to a call.  Thinking about his family inside the church, he wondered if perhaps the one person he’d been thinking about would be calling.  Surely Grady would want to know what was happening at the memorial even if it was a bit of a risk.  Russ had hoped that Grady would refrain from calling, but after Russ had gotten up in front of a crowd and paid his respects to the brother he’d been so very close to, Russ needed to hear his voice to keep the moment in perspective.
“Hello,” Russ answered the phone in a long breath.
“Russell Denton,” a woman’s voice questioned on the other end of the line.
“Yes,” Russ began not recognizing the sound of her voice.
“You don’t know me, but I think that I can help you,” she started to explain to him, “I saw the news about your brother’s memorial and I think it’s important that we meet up with one another.”
“Who is this?” he questioned standing taller.
“Someone who can help you,” she explained further causing Russell to look around the area to see if anyone was watching him.  There was a silence before the woman spoke up once again, “I sent you that package earlier.  I trust you’ve taken a look at it.”
“What package,” he questioned in confusion.
“The one that was sent to your office,” she continued to inform him, “It should explain why I’m calling you.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he started having a flashback to the envelope that Mindy had brought into his office.
“Oh I think you do,” the woman continued, “and I can promise you that envelope is only the beginning.”
“Beginning of what,” Russell asked with an uncanny feeling building up in the pit of his stomach.
“The beginning of the rest of your life,” she explained with heavy emphasis, “as I know the secrets that you’ve been seeking out.  I can tell you everything you need to know about those who are trying to destroy you and your family.  That is if you’re interested in hearing the truth now that your future is on the line.”

...to be continued...