“On the line
how? How is my future on the line?,” Russell questioned in
confusion only to be met by a long silence, “Who is this?”
“Someone who can help you,” the caller explained again, her voice laced
with obvious apprehension, “The envelope should explain it all to you.”
“I haven’t seen the envelope,” Russ insisted only to be met by another
silence. Suddenly fearing that this lead could just up and
disappear, he added further, “I mean I’ve seen it, but I haven’t opened
“Oh,” silence followed the obvious disappointment in the caller’s
voice, “well, I suggest you take a long, hard look at it and we’ll talk
“Wait,” Russ started hearing the line go dead alerting him that the
caller had hung up the phone. Suddenly the package that he’d
discarded in a haste. Frowning he found himself staring at the
phone wondering what was happening right before his eyes. Feeling
a hand on his shoulder, he nearly jumped out of his skin only to spin
around and find Kyle standing behind him.
“You okay,” Kyle questioned, his voice full of concern. “When I
saw you duck out a few moments ago, I was wondering how you were
holding up. Avery thought it would be a good idea if I checked in
you. So, what’s going on?”
“I’m not sure,” Russ admitted thinking about the cryptic conversation
he’d just taken part of.
“Russ, buddy, what’s going on,” Kyle noted the phone wondering if that
had been the key to Russell’s strange response, “Did you just find out
“A woman called me,” Russ informed him honestly, “She mentioned
something about an envelope that was sent to me at work. She said
that it held the key to my future--something about providing the
answers to the secrets that have been circulating around me…”
“Oh really,” Kyle arched a curious brow, “and just what secrets was she
willing to share with you?”
“I don’t know,” Russ admitted with a tiny sigh, “I didn’t take the time
to open the envelope earlier. Things got a bit hectic at the
office and then when I went home with Avery, well I kind of pushed it
out of my mind last night and now…”
“You’re wishing you would’ve stolen a quick look at it huh,” Kyle
caught wind of the expression on Russell’s face.
Russ nodded, “More than anything. Kyle something tells me that
envelope I have could take us one step closer to finding out the truth
about what is going on around here. The caller mentioned
something about Grady’s memorial and…”
“Whoa, back up a second,” Kyle urged him on, “Russ, something about
this whole situation seems off. I mean first we have some putz
leap out of the woodwork wanting to help us--only to wind up
dead. Next I get this key…”
“Which reminds me,” Russ gave him a pointed look, “How is that going
for you in figuring out what it’s meant for?”
“I’m working on it,” Kyle informed him quickly, “but that’s not the
point. What I’m trying to tell you is the last time you got
wrapped up in an unsolved mystery someone wound up dead--not that the
someone was worthwhile anyways, but this time…well this time it could
“Different how,” Russ questioned.
“Different in the sense that you have a family on the way,” Kyle
reminded him pointedly, his dark eyes conveying his heavy disapproval,
“You don’t want to make a big mistake in pursuing this.”
“Kyle, a serial killer is after my wife and a madman has made my family
his target,” Russell’s voice raised with emotion, “I think that in
itself is reason enough for me to pursue this…”
“No way,” Kyle shook his head, “Avery would kill you herself if she
heard you even thinking about that phone call.”
“Avery would understand why I’m doing what I’m doing in wanting to
learn more about those out to destroy us,” Russ continued, his voice
laced with an intensity that Kyle hadn’t caught from him before, “If I
had a chance to put an end to what we’ve been going through due to the
contents of that envelope, then who am I to fight the situation?”
“Russ, a quick and easy solution isn’t always the accurate one,” Kyle
added with an unspoken air of wisdom.
“Don’t play philosopher on me,” Russ frowned back at him, “I need to
know what’s in that envelope. Then I’ll be able to see what I’m
dealing with where my mystery caller is concerned.”
“Just don’t do something stupid,” Kyle warned him, “and if you’re going
to make a move, you’d better damn sure not make it without me.”
“Kyle, I can’t ask you to get more involved than you already are…” Russ
started to argue with him.
“To hell with that. Russ, you either let me in on whatever it is
you think you’re getting into, or else I’ll go to Avery and tell her
about the phone call,” Kyle taunted motioning over to the doorway where
Avery was stepping out to join them. “The choice is yours.”
“Fine, I’ll keep you in the loop,” Russ replied with a frown before
waving his finger at Kyle, “but don’t you dare say a word to her about
“Fair enough. You keep me informed and I’ll do my best to keep
her from learning what kind of trouble you’re getting into,” Kyle
promised watching Russell take a step towards his wife. Sighing
as he watched the newlyweds with one another, Kyle just prayed that he
wasn’t helping his friend walk into a big mistake.
Heather sat at the dining room table after having been beckoned by
Cameron. She’d wanted to do anything but be close to him after
the painstaking choice she’d made about lying to the authorities.
She’d wanted nothing more than to break free of the bonds that Cameron
had upon her, but instead she was trapped--locked inside the world of
misery that her husband had inflicted upon her.
“You could smile you know,” Cameron interrupted her sulking causing her
to look up at him from across the table.
“And give you the luxury of having you think I’m enjoying myself,”
Heather scowled in response, “I so don’t think so.”
“And here I was hoping that we’d turn over a new leaf,” Cameron shook
his head at her making a tsking sound with the motion, “You can’t tell
me that you’re really upset with me for making you get rid of your
“I’m not upset with you. I just hate you,” Heather replied
stubbornly, “There’s a difference.”
“Hate implies passion, so perhaps there is hope for us yet,” he
couldn’t help but grin finding himself more amused than ever with his
wife’s demeanor. While she so desperately wanted to lash out at
him, he knew that she wouldn’t dare cross him anymore than the verbal
outcry he was receiving. He was confident that too would change
with time. Leaning in over the table to eye her more intently, he
continued to question her actions, “You can’t tell me that you truly
felt some kind of connection to that washed up has been doctor, can
“Diego is a good man,” Heather remarked sourly poking at the spinach on
“He’s a boring man,” Cameron replied stating his mind, “Surely that is
something that can’t hold your interest. Granted I’m sure you
liked playing with him, but a man like that doesn’t even seem as if
he’d make a blip on your radar.”
“I guess I learned my lesson after being with you,” she shot back icily.
“Hmm, well as touched as I am about my having ruined you for the rest
of the men in the world, I’d like us to talk about something that we
haven’t had a chance to really keep up with in a long time,” Cameron
tapped his fingers on the table top, “Let’s talk about Kipp.”
“What about him,” Heather tried to hide the surprise in her voice.
“What was your relationship like?” Cameron arched a curious brow, “Were
you toying with him like you do all the other men in your life or did
you have a genuine connection to the twerp?”
“That’s a nice way to talk about someone you claim to care about,” she
rolled her eyes in response to his words.
“Kipp was means to an end for the both of us,” Cameron spoke candidly
leaning back in his seat with a chuckle upon his lips, “and if he never
came back, I’d have to admit I wouldn’t be broken up about it.
Heather watched him for a long moment seeing the sadistic smirk that
overtook him. She sat up straighter feeling a moment of brave
questioning reach over her, “You never gave a damn about Kipp or this
baby, did you?”
“Do you want an honest answer,” he questioned with a wistful expression
before leaning in over the table once again, “Judging by the
dumbfounded expression on your face, I suppose you do.”
“As if you knew the meaning of the word,” she mouthed, her words
dripping with sarcasm.
“In that case, I’ll give you the truth--seeing as I owe you as much,”
Cameron decided thinking about his plans for the future, “Truth be told
I could give a damn less about the pathetic, loser that Kipp had
become, but when he found you, well he became interesting. He’d
always been such a pushover, but then here he was daring to defy me and
for what?” Cameron wiggled his brow before letting out an ironic laugh,
“For a whore who was just going to use and abuse him in ways I hadn’t
ever dreamt of. Now that’s truly classic.”
“Go to hell,” Heather pushed her chair away from the table rising to
her feet in a fury.
“Sit down,” Cameron warned sharply motioning to the chair once again.
“I’m not going to sit here and listen to this any longer,” she insisted
with a huff.
“You’re going to listen to whatever it is that I want you to hear,” he
advised her again while motioning to the seat she’d just vacated.
“Sit down Heather.”
Reluctantly she did as she was told hating every minute of this time
spent with him, but there would be no escaping it--at least not
yet. Reaching for her fork once again, she stabbed the leafy
vegetable before her before turning her eyes to the plate.
“Now, back to what we were discussing,” Cameron insisted with a
clearing of his throat, “We’re very much the same you know. You
used Kipp to get what you wanted and in turn you and I have the same
kind of relationship. You help me with what I want and I’ll give
you what you crave. I’ve already given you full run of a company
and that in itself should be a good down payment…”
“On my life?” Heather blinked back at him, “I so don’t think so.”
“I could take that company away from you if you continue to defy me,”
Cameron warned her with a quick wiggle of his finger, “but for now I’m
still feeling generous. We’ll find a way to work this out and
when we do, you’ll see that this arrangement will benefit us
both. You’ll see.”
“Whatever,” Heather focused on the food before her once again.
Cameron opened his mouth to speak, but instead Franklin entered the
room looking rather urgent. Cameron lifted his gaze to his butler
watching as the older man cleared his throat.
“Sir, you have a phone call,” Franklin explained to him. “A
rather urgent one that simply cannot wait according to the caller.”
Cameron nodded appropriately, “I’ll take it in my study.”
“Of course sir,” Franklin nodded before disappearing.
“Now I’ll be back in a few minutes,” Cameron explained to Heather while
setting his dinner aside. He rose from his chair giving her a
brief once over, “Don’t you go anywhere while I’m gone because we’re
far from finished with one another.”
“I wouldn’t dream of leaving all of this,” Heather groaned upon his
exit. Slumping over the table, she pushed her plate out of the
way while she wondered just what she was going to have to do to secure
her future away from Cameron. With Diego out of the picture
things were a bit more complicated, but Heather wasn’t about to give up
the hope that her freedom would be well within her reach. She’d
just have to find a way to make sure that she didn’t get blamed for
William’s demise and then, well then it would be time to deal with
Cameron once and for all.
Shannon sat at the computer terminal taking in the information as it
came to her. While she’d thought about going off after Diego and
trying to reason with him first hand, she decided that it was time to
give herself some preparation for what she might encounter. After
her talk with Dave, she was convinced that she needed to know more
about what had happened to the woman Diego had loved. Now that
she had the case file up on the computer monitor before her, she almost
wished she hadn’t thought to check it out.
Unable to curb the lump of emotion that Shannon felt building up in the
back of her throat, she read over the notes the primary on the case had
offered up in the investigation. At the time Callaway and Neilson
had been running the show in charge of the case. It was before
Callaway’s big promotion, but somehow the case wasn’t one that had been
easily put to rest from what she’d noted. There were various
witnesses who’d hinted at Cameron Stone’s involvement, but ultimately
there wasn’t enough conclusive evidence linking him Stone to the hit
and run. The few witnesses who had initially named Cameron to the
authorities had all vanished mysteriously over the next few months
leading to the trial, thus making the situation seem all the more
“No wonder you were reluctant to let me in,” Shannon replied reading on
while thinking back to her own encounters with Diego. Diego had
been the picture perfect citizen and as Shannon glimpsed over the
information provided on Maria Sanchez, she could see why he’d fallen
for her. The woman had a heart of gold and clearly was an
advocate for those who needed to have their voice heard. The
twenty-eight year old social worker seemingly had it all until one day
she lost her life in a horrible tragedy. The most poignant part
of the accident had been not only the loss of Maria’s life, but that of
her son hours after his entrance into the world.
The more Shannon began to read what was before her, the harder she
found herself trying to refrain from being emotional about the
situation. Unfortunately in such a disastrous setting, it was
hard to contain any kind of emotion. Diego’s reactions to Cameron
earlier had made perfect sense and in knowing that Diego believed to be
true about Cameron, Shannon couldn’t help but feel for him. She
wasn’t sure herself what had truly gone down the day Maria had died,
but as she scrolled over the pages before her on file, she was struck
with an uncanny feeling.
“Could it be there was corruption in Coral Valley long before now,”
Shannon mouthed to herself noting that the former Coral Valley Police
Chief Vince Shane had written the situation off as a tragic
accident. His opinion as stated on the record was that someone
had clearly not been paying attention to the road and they’d made a
fatal mistake--one that fear had kept him or her from owning up
to. That in itself sounded like one of the most flimsy
conclusions she’d heard in her life. Not to mention that she’d
continued to dig further and she ran a background check on Chief Shane
only to discover that he was now running head of security at Stone
“Something doesn’t add up here,” Shannon decided opting to make a copy
of the file on Maria and the various other things she’d been checking
up on until now. Finishing up with the copy, she logged off the
computer armed with new knowledge and ready to talk with Diego about
his suspicions. While she knew that she wouldn’t be able to erase
the pain that he’d encountered in the past, perhaps she could help him
seek out the justice that he so desperately needed in his life for
Diego knelt down on the ground before Maria’s grave, setting the bundle
of daises he’d brought with him down beside her headstone.
Feeling his heart sink, he reached out to touch the cool stone before
him, thinking about all the ways in which he’d failed her all over
again. Sure, he knew that he was getting in over his head with
Heather, but there was something about making up for the sins of the
past that had made sense with her. Of course there would be no
place for that now, he thought to himself lowering his head poignantly.
“I tried Maria,” he confessed in a low, guttural tone, “I tried to help
her break free of that madman, but he’s won again. He’s never
going to stop unless someone takes a stand against him.”
He paused feeling the cool breeze sweep past him, brushing over his
frigid cheeks causing his body to chill down to the core. Lifting
his head up ever so slightly, his dark eyes shone with tears as a lump
formed in his throat. He opened his mouth to speak only to find
silence surround him until finally the overwhelming need for something
more consumed him.
“I know what you’re thinking. I know how you tried to make the
world see him for what he truly was, but ultimately he stopped
you. He stopped us from having a life with one another--from
having our dreams of happiness--from our family. I wish I
could’ve seen it coming--that I could’ve found a way to fight him, but
like before I failed again. I tried to save her Maria--I tried to
help her see him as he truly is, but he’s manipulated her. He’s
done to her what he did to those people you were trying to help.
He’s imprisoned her with his overwhelming evil and I know that he’ll do
to her what he’s done to us--to you and to our son…”
He paused again his voice cracked with emotion as he brushed his
fingers over her name on the stone before him, “I know what I must
do. While I’m sure you’d try to talk me out of it if you could, I
have to put an end to his madness. I can’t let him destroy
another life Maria. I’ve tried to do things the right way--the
legal way, but he keeps slipping through the system leaving me no other
choice,” he paused lifting his head up to the sky while saying a silent
prayer, “I just hope that one day you’ll understand why I had to do
this. I hope one day you’ll see I had no other choice…”
Deidra put her money into the machine, ready to fuel herself up on yet
another stale coffee for the day. She’d half thought about going
down to the cafeteria, but instead she’d opted to just make this a
quick moment before her next appointment. However, the machine
before her decided it wasn’t about to agree with her now that it had
eaten her quarters and left her without as much as a cup for coffee.
“Not today,” Deidra began to curse hitting the machine with growing
frustrations. She watched it remain silent against her slamming
protests, but still the machine continued it’s stubborn opposition to
her. “Why me?”
“Having problems,” a voice questioned from behind her.
“That seems to be the story of my life,” Deidra groaned outwardly
turning around to see Dean standing behind her. Immediately she
stood taller, feeling the tedious issue with the coffee machine
secondary to the nerves that balled up in the pit of her stomach.
“Maybe I can help,” Dean suggested with a simple smile before taking a
step closer to the machine. He gave it a brief once over before
turning to glance at her once again, “Now what was it you were hoping
for? Regular? Decaf?”
“Given the mood I’m in, I think decaf would be best,” she confessed
with a tiny sigh wondering how it was she always seemed to have the
worst of luck especially around Dean.
“Decaf it is,” he nodded giving the machine a little bit of a
jiggle. He pressed a couple of buttons until ultimately the
machine caved. It spit out the cup along with the hot steaming
liquid after his persuasions. Leaning over he reached for the
Styrofoam cup once the machine had finished it’s pour. He secured
his hold on it before turning around to hand it over to Deidra, “Here
“Thank you,” she couldn’t help but smile feeling truly embarrassed
about the fit she’d been having leading up to his arrival, “I’m sorry
for being such a drama queen there.”
“Oh please,” he shook his head at her, “you should see me when this
thing decides to without my daily dose of java. I’m downright
brutal, which is probably why it was willing to comply to my blunt
force this morning.”
She laughed lightly, “Sounds like you both have a love/hate
“More like a hate/hate relationship, but at the same time Old Bessie
here doesn’t want to be replaced either,” he patted the side of the
“Bessie huh,” she gave him a strange look.
“Don’t ask,” Dean stepped away from the machine, “So how has your day
been going so far?”
“You mean other than my nearly tearing about a coffee machine to get my
drink,” Deidra questioned shifting on her feet uneasily.
“Yeah well, we’ll forget all about that,” Dean stepped in closer to
her, lowering his voice as if he didn’t want the machine to hear, “I
think she’s a bit possessed.”
“Possessed you say,” Deidra repeated with wide eyes casting a look over
to the machine. “Really?”
“That’s right,” Dean nodded in response, “Every time I’m having a bad
day, she’s usually the culprit.”
“I see, so in other words you’re warning me if I wasn’t having a bad
day before I will from here on out,” Deidra arched a curious brow.
“Actually that was how the system went for me, though when I saw you
here I figured that my luck might be changing,” he suggested with a
confident grin, “I mean how often is it that I find myself aiding a
“Well, I’m not sure what your track record is around here, but I’m sure
you’d probably have it happen a lot more often if you weren’t always
having to rescue me from whatever disaster comes my way,” she answered
with a soft sigh.
“Now, why do I sense another pessimistic feel to that statement,” Dean
questioned giving her a curious look, “After all who says that I don’t
enjoy rescuing you?”
“If you do, then you must be far more bored with your life than I’d
thought possible,” she couldn’t help but tease watching the way his
dark hair hung around his face. His features were truly
remarkable and his dark eyes just did something to her every time he
looked at her. It was as if he just had this glow about him that
got her thinking about… No, she wasn’t going to start getting
giddy about every co-worker that looked her way.
“Maybe I see our encounters as a sign that fate wants us to get
closer,” he suggested with a smile, “Like maybe we should explore what
the universe is trying to tell us.”
“And just what might that be,” she asked watching the way that
confidence he’d carried with him rushed over his posture. He
stood up straighter, giving her a look that would surely send any woman
to her knees and offer him anything he’d asked for. He was that
kind of man that clearly set your IQ back a few points with his natural
charm and charisma. That in itself had Deidra trying to find a
way not to be reeled in by him, but it was a futile fight.
“That perhaps we should work on changing both of our luck and have
dinner with one another,” he suggested with sexy, rugged smirk,
“What do you say?”
“Dr. Carlisle, are you asking me out on a date,” she questioned with
wide eyes feeling the warmth radiating from him standing beside her.
“Given that you are by far the most intriguing woman I’ve ever met, I
think I’d be a fool not to ask,” he confessed leaning in closer yet,
“So what do you say Deidra, will you have dinner with me tomorrow
“You sure work fast, don’t you,” she couldn’t help but laugh
nervously. She leaned back against the wall behind her trying to
brace herself up now that her knees had grown shaky at the scent of his
“There’s something to be said for being direct,” Dean nodded in
admission, “and besides, you can’t tell me that you’re not tempted.”
“Temptation often leads to trouble for me,” she revealed unable to keep
her eyes off of him.
“Trouble isn’t necessarily always a bad thing,” Dean mused with a
pleading expression, “and besides, I promise I’ll be on my best
behavior. Anywhere you want to go, just say the word and we’re
“And if I decline the offer,” Deidra arched a curious brow.
“Then I’ll be stopping by here tomorrow say around the same time to try
to persuade you to accept,” Dean smiled at her once again, “Come on
Deidra. What do you have to lose?”
“More than you can even imagine,” she thought to herself remembering
how her impulsive move had lead her into the arms of a serial killer
and before that she’d been bogged down in a marriage that had turned to
misery. Still there was something about Dean--something about the
way he made her feel eager and restless inside wanting to explore the
possibilities of what getting to know him better would provide.
It would be taking a risk, but then again hadn’t she said she’d wanted
to live a little more lately? Hadn’t she wished that she could
break out of the shell that she’d kept herself buried within?
This was her chance to take that leap and with Dean, it could be very
easy to enjoy being lost in the moment.
“Well,” Dean questioned penetrating her thoughts with his brilliant,
white smile, “What do you say?”
“I say you’ve got yourself a dinner date,” Deidra decided accepting his
offer in her step forward in trying to move on with her life.
“Excellent,” Dean couldn’t help but reach out to tuck a strand of hair
from her face in a suddenly intimate gesture. Their eyes
connected and the two grew silent as something was brewing in the air
between them, “You won’t be disappointed.”
“I sure hope not,” Deidra thought to herself memorizing the expression
on Dean’s face wondering if he could be the key to her finally moving
forward in her life.
Dave stepped off the elevators thinking of needing a way to unwind
after the disaster that had happened at the Stone Estate. While
he was certain there was a great deal of paper work waiting for him at
the office, his first instinct had been to go to Deidra. Sure she
hadn’t been expecting him, but when things were giving him mixed
messages lately he’d run to her. There were times when he’d tried
to figure himself out, but ultimately his thoughts had consumed him
leading him back to her. They’d had a few awkward moments lately,
but maybe now that work was a mess, Dave could work on fixing his
personal life starting with Deidra.
“You have to be honest with her,” he’d given himself a pep talk in the
elevators on the way up to find her. He’d stopped in at her
office ready to tell her all only to discover she’d gone on
break. Knowing where he might be able to find her, Dave held the
bouquet of roses in hand knowing that while they might be a bit much,
he needed to do something special for her. Roses were a way of
saying how you feel, his grandmother had once told him. He was
certain that they would say a lot to Deidra--perhaps more than he’d
been willing to say after they’d taken a leap towards something with
one another. Sure, they both might’ve blown it off, but in
retrospect, he couldn’t get her out of his mind. Crazy as it
sounded, he found himself longing to spend time with her more than ever.
“You can do this,” he instructed himself turning around the corner to
go to the coffee machine Deidra had usually picked up her caffeine from
only to discover someone else standing there. He paused in his
step, thinking that he’d just missed her now that there was a dark
haired man leaning over a woman who stood against the wall.
Judging by their posture they were in some kind of intimate moment with
one another and the last thing Dave wanted to do was intrude. He
took a step back ready to seek Deidra out elsewhere, but was stopped by
the sound of her laughter.
“Deidra,” he mouthed to himself turning around again to realize that
she was the woman engaged in the moment with none other than Dr. Dean
Carlisle. In that instant he felt his heart stop, his eyes grow
wide with confusion and then understanding as he watched the two of
them interact. Not only had Dean rescued her from Bruce’s attack,
but he’d also sparked some kind of interest in her. That was
obvious in the way that they continued to flirt with one another.
Feeling his heart sink, Dave forced himself to walk away. He
couldn’t bear to have witnessed what he had, but now he knew the
truth. Now he knew where he stood with Deidra and it was then
that he realized it was time to let go of the stupid infatuation he’d
had with her. She didn’t feel what he felt and it was time to
move on. Looking down to the roses in hand, Dave shook his head
poignantly before dumping them into the trash can just ahead of
him. Heading over to the elevators he was tempted to look
back--to see the woman he’d dreamt about moving on with her life.
Instead he stepped into the elevators never looking back now that
reality had given him the truth that he’d ignored for all these
years. He and Deidra would never be anything more than
friends. That was all there was to it.
The credits began to move over the television screen bringing about the
end of the movie that Hart had put on for him and Jenna to watch with
one another. However, fifteen minutes into the film, the movie
had been nothing more than background music to the drama that was
unfolding between the two lovers. Now as Jenna sank into Hart’s
arms laying against his muscled chest, he ran his fingers through her
hair savoring this time they spent with one another.
“I love you, you know,” Hart whispered kissing the top of her
head. He felt her squeeze in closer to him before she lifted her
head to look up at his goofy grin.
“I love you too,” Jenna mused shifting her body over his so that they
were face to face. Reaching out to trace his jaw line lightly,
she couldn’t help but smile down at him, “How is it that you always
find a way to distract me from all the troubles in my life when I need
it the most?”
“I’d like to think of myself as more than a distraction,” he admitted
with a sheepish smile tracing his fingers up over her spine, “I was
thinking that I was more of an obsession.”
“An obsession,” Jenna repeated with a tiny chuckle before leaning
forward to nibble on his lower lip, “and why might I put you into that
“Because you can’t seem to get enough of me,” Hart suggested curling
his arm around her. He hugged her closer to him before rolling
her beneath him on the couch. Now hovering over her, he couldn’t
help but find himself mesmerized by her beautiful passion spent
“You’d like me to own up to that, wouldn’t you,” she couldn’t help but
tease him in response.
“Actually, I was kind of hoping for a little something else here for
us,” he divulged reaching out to press his palm against her cheek, he
thought about the things that had been on his mind recently.
“Such as,” she questioned taking note of the certain sentimentality
that overtook his handsome features. Feeling his body above hers,
she lifted her hand to touch his face, “Hart, what is it?”
“I’ve been thinking about us,” he admitted with a strange expression,
“and the truth to the matter is that we’ve really found our niche with
one another, haven’t we?”
“I suppose that’s one way of putting it,” she laughed lightly thinking
about how their relationship had evolved over the past few months.
“Well, I was hoping that we could work on taking things to the next
level,” he saw the first flicker of confusion behind her eyes before he
continued, “Just hear me out on this one.”
“Okay,” she nodded in response, “I’m listening.”
“I was thinking that since you and I pretty much have this system
working for us, that maybe just maybe we could work on trying out
something new,” Hart took in a slow breath, “I mean hey you always seem
to enjoy the time we spend with one another.”
“Is that the vibe that you’re getting off of me because if it is I’m
giving you all the wrong signals,” she teased with a tiny chuckle.
“Jen, I’m serious here,” Hart’s voice grew tender and solemn in the
moment, “I was thinking about our situation and I was thinking that
maybe it’s time we give something new a try. I think that we
should live together.”
“Live together,” her eyes widened in response, “You mean as in sharing
the same home?”
“That’s generally what comes along with living together,” he nodded
with a tiny chuckle, “I mean if you think about it, I’m always here all
the time anyways. It’s not as if we haven’t already gotten used
to waking up with one another and spending our days together when we
have free time.”
“Well yes, but…living together is a whole new thing there for the both
of us,” Jenna reminded him, “I’m used to having things my way and you
have things your way. Granted I like being at your place, but I
really can’t see myself living there.”
“Somehow I thought you were going to say that which is why I was
thinking that if you agreed to this, we’d go for the gusto and try
something totally new for the both of us,” Hart informed her honestly,
“There was this place I was looking into and I think it has something
that we both would find very accommodating.”
“You’ve been house hunting for us,” she questioned in confusion.
“Among other things, but I figure that the cohabitation proposal might
be a good start to warm you up for what else I have in mind,” Hart gave
her a stunning smile, “So what do you say?”
“Are you asking me to just up and leave all of this behind,” she
questioned motioning to their surroundings.
“I’m asking you to think about leaving all this behind and trying
something new and different with me,” Hart explained simply, “and it’s
not as if I’m trying to pull the reigns on our relationship. I’ve
just spoken with a realtor and I found a place that I think you might
“And if I don’t,” she arched a curious brow.
“Then we keep looking or we scratch the idea altogether,” he shrugged
his shoulders, “However, what I am trying to convey here is that I love
you Jenna and I want to spend my life with you.”
“Hart, I love you too, but you know how I can be. I get moody and
cranky and sometimes I’m totally off the wall and…” he silenced her
with an impulsive kiss.
“And I love everything about that--about you,” he murmured against her
mouth before their eyes reconnected, “Jen, I need you in my life like
the air that I breathe and if I couldn’t be with you, well, I wouldn’t
know where I would be. However, I’m sure that I would absolutely
hate the man I’d become if you hadn’t changed my life.”
“And you think this living together is a good way to show you’re mine,”
Jenna questioned with the first hints of a smile.
“It’s a start,” he nodded in response, “Plus it gives me a chance to
pamper you when needed.”
“Hmm, now that you mention that, there are some perks to this proposal,
but perhaps we should have a test run at some of what that pampering
would include,” she threw her arms around his neck urgently, “Any ideas
on what that might include?”
“Maybe a little bit of this,” he tipped down to kiss her, “and a little
of this…and perhaps a little of…”
“Oh,” Jenna cried out unable to contain her reaction to him.
Closing her eyes, she grazed her nails over his skin savoring their
intimate moments with one another before their eyes reconnected, “I
think I’m certainly up for considering the offer.”
“In that case, I’ll have to find a way to work on turning that
consideration into an acceptance,” he decided claiming her mouth into a
hungry kiss as the two lovers explored the passion burning between them.
“Mindy, darling you did a wonderful job pulling through for me
tonight,” Paula Carmichael commended her daughter in between schmoozing
her guests. Her genuine smile was enough to give Mindy a strong
sense of pride over a job well done. Well, that along with Guy’s
ingenious trip to one of the local bakeries to make up for what they’d
ruined in their moment of play.
“Thank you mom,” Mindy smiled at her mother vowing to never reveal the
whole truth about the things she and Guy had picked up on the way over.
“I must admit I’m impressed with the whole situation, but most of all
you have me puzzled that he’s here with you,” Paula motioned to Guy who
was over by the bar getting the both of them some drinks, “That’s
something that I’ll admit I wasn’t pleased about knowing was returning
in your life, yet tonight, well you seem happy.”
“Guy’s a good friend,” Mindy added with the beginnings of a smile,
“above everything else we’ve been able to maintain that.”
“I’m glad to hear that,” Paula admitted, “given what lengths his
wretched mother has gone to in order to make you miserable, I’m
surprised that he’s found it in him to stand up to her.”
“He’s grown quite a bit over the years,” Mindy noted watching Guy make
his way over to them once again. He handed Paula her drink before
offering a glass of champagne to Mindy.
“Here you are,” he smiled at Mindy.
“Thank you,” Mindy nodded appropriately.
“Yes, thank you for coming here tonight,” Paula added with a sincere
grin of her own before catching note of the latest arrival at her gala,
“Now if you’ll excuse me I must make my rounds.”
“Of course,” Mindy watched her mother race off to greet the senator.
“See, and you thought this was going to go horribly wrong,” Guy teased
jabbing at her side, “What did I tell you?”
“You’re my miracle worker,” Mindy decided giving Guy the moment of
praise he was fishing for.
“Why thank you,” Guy wrapped his arm around her shoulders, “We do make
a fantastic team, don’t we?”
“That we do,” Mindy agreed turning her eyes up towards him, “It almost
makes everything else seem worthwhile.”
“In that case, how do you feel about a dance,” Guy extended his arm out
towards her, “Shall we?”
“I think we shall,” Mindy replied taking his hand before he lead her
out to the dance floor. He pulled her towards him in a slow,
sensual movement to match the sultry tones of the jazz melody
“Now if my mother’s party only goes half as well,” Guy mused curving
his arm around her slender waist.
“I’m sure it will, although after that the game is over,” she reminded
him with a pointed expression. “There won’t be any room for
pretending or hiding from the truth.”
“I know that and I realize that you’ve been overly patient with me,”
Guy offered up with a low sigh, “You’re too good to be true Mindy and
if I can ever repay you for all you’ve done for me…”
“I’ll think of something that involves manual labor,” Mindy couldn’t
help but tease.
“Alright, you’re on, but just don’t make it too down and dirty,” Guy
teased back, “You know how I feel about breaking a sweat.”
“Tough, you owe me big time slacker,” she laughed lightly feeling him
dip her to the change in the music’s vibrating, pounding beats.
“I could ask pretty much anything of you at this point and you couldn’t
“You’d better be nice to me Mindy,” Guy warned with a pointed
expression, “or else my feelings would be hurt.”
“I’m sure you’ll survive,” Mindy remarked feeling him pull her up into
his arms once again, “You always do.”
“I’m not the only one,” Guy replied a moment of silence falling between
them as he held her. “Has anyone ever told you how incredible you
“Not nearly enough,” she confessed watching the strange expression that
crept over his features. His hold on her constricted, their
bodies inching in closer towards one another. The silence
engulfed the both of them until Guy finally tore himself away from
her. “Guy, what is it?”
“I need some air,” he announced leaving her alone on the dance floor
trying to decipher just what was happening with her friend.
Something about the way he’d looked at her had felt almost like it once
had years ago. Granted time had passed and their situations had
changed, but Mindy had to wonder if she wasn’t the only one reflecting
on how things might’ve been between them. Still considering the
way life had been lately, she wasn’t going to push the issue especially
now that she had her own questions about Guy’s lover and his loyalty to
Gabe stood outside Marc Ashley’s front door finding himself less than
enthused about making the trip to see him. However after Marc had
issued that not-so-subtle threat where Brittany was concerned, Gabe
couldn’t leave things open ended between them. When the front
door opened and Marc’s butler answered, Gabe was more than eager to
just get this whole conversation over with. The man lead Gabe
into a room to wait and after what felt like an eternity, Marc entered
“Why hello Gabriel,” Marc greeted him with the same suave demeanor that
was his trademark, “how are you?”
“Not in the mood to play games,” Gabe replied with a hiss, “So how
about we cut to the point? What do you want?”
“Why you of course, but I think I’ve made my intentions known early
into this relationship. Wouldn’t you agree?” Marc arched a
curious brow before making his way across the room to the small
mini-bar, “Can I get you a drink?”
“No,” Gabe folded his arms in front of his chest, “I only came over
here to tell you to leave Brittany alone. She doesn’t need to be
hassled by you since I have a feeling that’s how you were trying to
bait me here.”
“I was merely expressing my concerns for your lovely daughter,” Marc
shrugged his shoulders before pouring himself a drink, “as you know how
little girls can be about their fathers. They get so very
attached to things in life and…”
“Stay away from her tournament,” Gabe warned him harshly, “My daughter
has already been through enough.”
“Yes, I’d heard about Noelle’s run ins with rehab and about the legal
battle that the two of you are in the midst of. You know while I
realize I’m not a direct part of the situation, I would like to offer
my assistance to you,” Marc explained in a nonchalant fashion, “The way
I see it, you and I can perhaps find an alliance with one another to
help benefit young Brittany’s life.”
“My daughter’s well being doesn’t concern you,” Gabe waved his finger
“But it does,” Marc stretched his arms out across the back of the sofa
he was seated upon. Watching Gabe’s movements, he continued to
speak, “The way I see it, Noelle is going to try to use your current
relationship status to try to keep Brittany away from you, but I could
change that for you. I know someone who will be more than happy
to assist you in keeping that drug addicted hag away from Brittany
“As I said before, stay out of my life Marc,” Gabe warned him harshly.
“Do you really believe that you stand a chance at winning your daughter
back by dawdling with that boy?” Marc taunted him, “You know as well as
I do that a jury will have a field day with the situation. Noelle
will easily win custody of Brittany given that your man can’t even
commit. Do you think he’ll be stand up in a court of law about
who he really is when he won’t even do it for his mother?
Besides, what kind of role model would that be to your daughter?”
“Marc, I’m warning you,” Gabe started before stopping himself and
turning to leave, “On second thought this is a mistake.”
“A mistake would be walking out of here like that especially when I can
tell you the path Noelle’s lawyer has taken to work towards
discrediting you as a father,” Marc watched Gabe stop mid-movement, “It
just so happens that the legal aid she’s obtained happens to run in a
few of my circles and I got my hands on his file he’s building against
Gabe said nothing, yet made no move to leave or return to Marc.
“The man is not only painting you as a sexual deviant that left a
wounded Noelle, but he’s got a much darker, more fictional account of
just how far your lust goes,” Marc watched Gabe’s body tighten up at
the words he was saying, “I’d be more than willing to let you check it
out should you reconsider your decision to leave.”
“Marc, I don’t need this…” Gabe warned him sharply.
“No, you don’t, but you should look at this,” Marc motioned towards the
table top before him, “Take a look at how your ex is painting a
portrait of you. It’s very ugly.”
Unable to quell the curiosity eating away at him, Gabe reluctantly spun
around and made his way over to the table. Reaching for the
envelope before him, he started to thumb through the papers only to be
horrified by the desperate measures Noelle was taking to discredit him
as a father.
“I told you she was brutal,” Marc watched Gabe’s face change with the
knowledge upon him, “but if you let me, we can stop her in her
tracks. We can put an end to this blasphemy.”
“Why did you show me this,” Gabe questioned tightly thinking about what
was waiting for him in Europe.
“Because you had a right to know,” Marc moved in closer to him placing
his hand upon Gabe’s shoulder, “and because I care about you.”
“This is a lie,” Gabe closed his eyes thinking about how far Noelle had
sank into her world of deceit.
“Indeed it is. It’s a lie that needs to be put to rest and I can
help you do that,” Marc tried to assure him brushing his finger tips
over the top of Gabe’s jacket.
“And at what price,” Gabe questioned forcing his own eyes to fall upon
the man who had ruined his life once before.
“You reconsider our relationship,” Marc stated plainly, “I’ve made no
mistake in alerting you to how I feel. You know what I will do
when the time comes for this case to begin. I will give you
everything that you need emotionally and spiritually to help you get
full custody of your daughter. I won’t play games or skirt around
the issues between us.”
“Marc, I…” Gabe started only to be silenced by Marc’s finger upon his
“I’m giving you an opportunity to make things right for both of
us. We can be together again and we can save Brittany from the
fate her mother has in store for her,” Marc explained his voice full of
determination. “If you’d stop fighting your heart, you’d see this
could benefit the both of us--all of us for that matter.”
“I love Guy,” Gabe informed him bluntly refusing to let Marc feel he
“Yes, but is loving Guy worth the price of losing Brittany?” Marc
challenged wondering if he had found the key to ending Gabe’s current
Heather started out the window of the dining room wondering how in the
world she was going to rid herself of Cameron. Sure she had a few
ideas on how to start getting him right where she wanted him, but they
weren’t anything complete just yet. A twisted smile spread over
her features at the thought of what it would be like to be his
widow. Not only would she have the perks of his fortune, but
she’d be free to do as she pleased. With Cameron gone, she could
have the power and influence that was once his and she could used it to
destroy those who opposed her. That thought in itself was quite
comforting after the misery that she’d endured. Most people would
think she was crazy for her having not ratted Cameron out. Truth
be told at the time she’d lied to the police and Diego, she’d wondered
if she’d lost her mind as well. Now however she was a woman on a
mission and that mission included taking care of the husband who simply
refused to live up to his promises.
“We’ll see who learns the next lesson,” she thought to herself a
crooked grin sweeping over her face. She heard the sound of
Cameron’s return. Slowly she spun around to face him now armed
with the knowledge that she would do everything in her power to destroy
“I see your mood has improved,” Cameron couldn’t help but note eyeing
her intently, “Can I trust it’s because you’ve thought about what we
“I have thought about it,” Heather nodded in confession, “and you were
right Cameron. I should’ve been more thoughtful about the
situation we were in. This was a business arrangement from the
start and you’ve given me a great many things to work with. I
should’ve thought more wisely before I acted impulsively.”
“I see,” he nodded listening to her words, “and now?”
“Now I’ve decided to stop fighting the inevitable. I know that
you’re the one thing that is going to keep Douglas from coming between
my child and I. For that I’ll be forever grateful and given that
you’ve allowed me to run my own company, well I should have nothing
less than gratitude for you.”
“Uh huh,” he noted with an air of skepticism, “And you came to this
realization only in the short time that I was gone?”
“You could say I had an epiphany so to speak,” she divulged sauntering
over towards him, “I now understand my role in all of this as your
“You do?” he arched a brow.
“I do,” she nodded fanning her fingers out over the lapel on his
jacket, “and I’m more than willing to live up to your expectations of
me as long as you don’t hold the past against us.”
“I’m willing to forgive and forget,” he stated tentatively in an
attempt to decipher her complete turnaround.
“Good because I was so hoping we could skip past the fighting and work
on making up with one another,” she mouthed fanning her fingers out
over his chest before her lips beckoned him to a kiss.
Cameron was reluctant at first, but ultimately he curled his arm around
her while his other hand slipped up into her hair. He tugged on
her blonde tresses ever so slightly, finding himself mesmerized by her
forward behavior. Granted he was well aware of his wife’s history
of using seduction as a tool for power, but in this instance, he would
enjoy her little game. Feeling her press up against him, he
couldn’t help but think about indulging in what she was tempting him
with, but alas he drew back.
“As much as I’d like for us to make up with one another,” he licked his
lips tasting the sweetness of her upon them, “We have some travel
arrangements to get working upon.”
“Travel arrangements,” Heather questioned in confusion watching the
expression that rose over his features.
“I did promise you that I’d allow you a visit with Kipp didn’t I,”
Cameron reminded her with a simple smile, “Surely, you didn’t think I
“I…I…” Heather was stunned by his words, realizing that was the last
thing she’d expected to hear out of him after the things he’d been
saying to her.
“You need to get your bags packed as we have a long journey ahead of
us,” Cameron urged her on. He touched her shoulder gently
watching the way in which her eyes revealed the confusion she was no
doubt feeling at a time like this.
“I…I just don’t know what to…” Heather started completely shell shocked
by his words.
“Maybe you can just chalk this up to my trying to give us a fresh
start,” he suggested reaching for her hand. He brought it up to
her lips in a tentative brush of a kiss before releasing her, “How does
“Surprising,” Heather admitted taking a step back. Her eyes
perused over him briefly before he stepped aside allowing her exit from
the dining room.
“You should probably rest up considering that we have a long trip ahead
of us,” he called out after her watching her disappear into the
hallway. Once she’d left the dining room, he couldn’t help but
let out a wicked smirk knowing that this journey he’d had planned for
them was about to change their lives forever in ways Heather wouldn’t
even begin to imagine. However, as he thought of his plans for
what came next with Kipp, he was far certain that this trip would be
the key to having Heather at his mercy until he was finished with what
he needed from her.
Shannon stepped through the doors of the smoky bar ready to face the
demons that had haunted her in the past. Being an alcoholic had
never been easy and places like this were always a challenge to her
recovery, but tonight wasn’t about her. This was about righting a
wrong and she knew this was the place to start. Up ahead she
could see Diego at the bar, surrounded by the cheap blue neon lighting
above. His face was darkened by the shadows and perhaps the utter
despair that was obviously surrounding him. Tentatively she took
a step forward pushing aside her own feelings about such a place.
This couldn’t wait and it wouldn’t for that matter, she decided as she
made her way towards him.
“Is this seat taken,” she questioned reeling him back to the reality
that surrounded him in his misery. His head arched upward for the
briefest of moments before his eyes returned to his drink once again.
“Do what you want,” he answered gruffly, seemingly unresponsive to her
moving in beside him.
“You know this isn’t going to help anything,” she motioned to the drink
in his hand.
“What would you know,” he frowned finishing off the burning liquid
relief he’d found.
“More than you can imagine,” she replied watching him waving at the
“How about another over here,” Diego questioned and the man nodded in
“Not tonight,” Shannon interrupted before the man could pour another
glass, “He’s cut off.”
“Look, I didn’t ask for your help,” Diego started to argue with her
while the bartender watched their disagreement. He seemed ready
to pour another drink when Shannon pulled her FBI ID out of her pocket.
“I said he’s finished for the night,” she warned the bartender
sharply. The man raised his hands innocently before moving on to
the next patron.
“Well, this is just wonderful,” Diego sneered at her. He shifted
in his seat, his dark eyes now fixed upon her, “So now what?”
“Now we work on getting you out of here,” Shannon urged him on watching
the scowl that built upon his otherwise handsome features.
“Maybe you’re right on that. There’s another bar across the
street,” he pulled himself up off of the bar stool only to feel her tug
at his arm.
“You’re not going to another bar. I can’t let you do that,” she
insisted refusing to let him walk away from her, “I understand that
you’re upset, but this isn’t the answer.”
“No, it’s not, but it’s helping me find a solution,” he answered flatly
trying to shrug out of her touch.
“Any solution that alcohol can bring is destined for failure,” she
sighed heavily, “trust me I know first hand what kind of damage
drowning yourself in this can do. I’ve been there.”
“Not like this you haven’t,” he shook his head at her reaching for his
jacket in an attempt to leave.
“Maybe I don’t know everything, but I don’t think Maria would want to
see you doing this to yourself,” she watched him flinch upon her words
before he spun around face her again.
“What did you just say?”
“I said that I don’t think Maria would want you killing yourself like
this when there’s justice to be served,” Shannon stepped towards him in
a bold motion hoping to appeal to that part of him she’d been attracted
to upon their first meeting.
“Maria would know that justice has been perverted time and time again
and she would realize why I have to do this,” Diego slurred, his words
heavy with emotion.
“She wouldn’t want you to lose yourself because of what Cameron has
done,” Shannon reached out to him, “Diego, I know what happened to her
and why you were trying to help Heather. I know what Cameron did
and I want to help you.”
“Sure you do,” he chortled refusing to accept her words.
“I do,” she insisted unwilling to back down, “I saw what he did to
Maria and despite what this town refuses to believe, I felt the
truth. I know that he was behind what happened to her and if you
let me help you, then I swear to you we’ll find a way to let everyone
else see that.”
“You don’t mean that,” Diego felt his head spinning with the words now
that the alcohol was getting to him.
“Yes I do. I know what it’s like being so damned close to the
truth only to have someone rip it away from you. I know what it’s
like to be shot down when all you want is for those who wronged you to
be punished,” Shannon continued moving in closer to him, “I’ve seen the
same thing happen time and time again where the guilty party roams free
and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Only this won’t be
like before. We can fight Cameron and win.”
“No one wins where he’s concerned,” he huffed before dropping his head
down low, “they only lose.”
“Not this time they won’t, but Diego, you have to let me help you,”
Shannon reached out to him touching his arm gently. She could see
the thin trail of tears that fell from his cheek and in that instant
she realized that this kind of setting was the last thing they’d
needed, “Let me take you home.”
“No,” he pushed away from her, “I don’t want to go back there.
Not when I can feel her disappointment in me--not when I think about
how I failed her.”
“Diego please,” Shannon urged him on once again, “At least let me take
you somewhere that we can talk.”
“Why,” he questioned raising his head once again.
“Because I do care,” Shannon admitted honestly, “Despite what’s
happened, I do care about what happens to you. I want to get rid
of Cameron as much as you do and maybe together we can find a way to
make that happen. If you help me put the pieces of the puzzle
into place, then maybe just maybe we’ll beat him at his own game.”
“No one ever does,” he reminded her poignantly.
“That’s because they haven’t played by our rules before Diego. If
you let me in, then I swear to you I’ll help you find a way to right
the wrongs he’s put upon you,” Shannon reached out to him hoping that
somehow she could pull him through this dark spot in his life.
She could only imagine what he must be feeling at a time like this, but
the alcohol spoke for itself and Shannon wasn’t about to let Diego
become another victim in Cameron Stone’s reign of terror.
“Are you sure you’re okay honey,” Avery questioned touching Russell’s
arm after they’d arrived home with one another.
“I’ll be okay,” Russ nodded motioning to Jade, “Why don’t you help her
settle in? Then we can take her back to her apartment to get what
she needs. Maybe after we‘ll pick up a quick dinner as well.”
“Alright, but when I get back, we’re going to finish this conversation
before we leave to get Jade‘s things,” Avery informed him
honestly. She eyed him for a long moment before showing Jade to
the guest room at their home.
Once Avery had cleared out of the living room, Russ made his way over
to the desk where he’d dropped off the envelope that had arrived at the
paper. He could still hear Kyle’s warnings about getting in over
his head, but he had to know. What was it that the envelope
contained that could be the key to saving his future? Who was the
mystery caller that had offered up assistance to him? What was
she trying to offer and more so how would it effect his family?
“There’s only one way to find out,” Russ decided tearing into the
envelope. Reaching inside, he pulled out what appeared to be
photographs. At first he wasn’t sure what he was looking at, but
then there was an alleyway with Bruce Mathis standing in the
shadows. He was hovering over someone--someone that was too
blurred for him to see. He flipped to the next photo recognizing
the figure as that of a woman. He wasn’t sure of what more he
could make of the image, but there was something about the shots that
left him feeling unsettled.
“Okay, what are you trying to tell me,” Russ questioned turning to the
next image to find one of Brooke and Bruce with one another in that
same alley. While they stood face to face, the image in itself
seemed less threatening than the former one. However, when he
flipped to the next set of photos, he discovered Bruce with the private
investigator that had paid him a visit. There were also clippings
included on Brooke’s kidnapping--clippings that clearly were put in the
envelope for a purpose.
As if the person who’d sent them read his mind and knew what he was
doing, his phone rang. Reaching for it Russ answered on the
second ring knowing full well who to expect on the other end of the
“I trust you’ve taken a look at the photos,” the woman questioned in a
“I have, but what does all this mean?” Russ asked returning to the
image of Brooke and Bruce with one another. Bruce was handing her
some sort of package--a small box of sorts and with the way she was
looking at him…
“If you want to know everything, then meet me tomorrow at the airport,”
she explained quickly, “I don’t have much time, but you deserve the
“Then tell me now,” Russ urged her on, “Tell me what you think I should
know about Bruce Mathis--about my mother-in-law.”
“I can’t right now. It’s not safe, but I promise you at the
airport you’ll understand everything,” she continued her voice lowering
to a whisper.
“How will I know where to find you?” Russ questioned in confusion
wondering what was waiting for him with this woman.
“I’ll find you around six thirty. I know that you’re leaving town
as well so I won’t be long,” she explained.
“But how did you…” he started up in confusion.
“The same way they know what you’re doing right now. There are
people there watching you--people who don’t want you or your wife to
know the truth, but you deserve that much. The man I loved died
seeking out the truth…”
“Man…what man…” Russ questioned again. “Who died?”
“I can’t say much more because it’s not safe. Please no more
questioned. Just meet me at the airport at six thirty. I’ll
call you when you get there and we’ll make arrangements about where we
will meet up and please, don’t be late,” she urged him on, “because I’m
leaving Coral Valley. It’s no longer safe for me here…”
“Who are you? What’s your name?” he tried to fish for more
“I’ll explain tomorrow, but until then, just be careful,” the woman
warned before hanging up the phone leaving Russ with only about a
million questions. Looking back to the image before him, he found
himself wondering just what had happened between Bruce and Brooke when
he’d ‘kidnapped’ her. Something about her story didn’t ring true
and now with this picture, well he had a feeling there was far more to
the tale than he’d ever imagined.
Reaching for his phone once again, he dialed Kyle’s number. After
three rings Kyle answered and Russell spoke to him urgently, “Listen I
need to ask a favor. Tomorrow I’m going to find out exactly what
is going on here and I’m going to need your help…” Russ started to
explain hoping that whatever the caller had in store for him would be
the key to ending the threat lingering over his family.