Episode 133

The shower of light filled the sunroom off the back of the Denton house while Russell watched his wife.  He couldn’t help but smile as Avery shifted beside him, clearly lost in some kind of dream.  She seemed so peaceful, so absorbed in whatever thoughts played upon her subconscious there and he couldn’t help but find himself drawn in by her.  He’d never be able to get past just how perfect life with her was turning out to be.  If it wasn’t for all the outside forces against them, it would be the perfect dream.
Leaning in closer to her, Russ brushed his lips across her forehead before dropping his hand down over her abdomen.  He felt a strong sense of pride fill him up inside at the thought of their child growing inside of her.  While he’d always thought of them having a big family, the fact that they’d lost a child once before made this pregnancy all the more important to him.  The last time they’d been torn apart by the guilt she was feeling over losing their baby, but this time, well this time he was going to do everything in his power to make sure they didn’t suffer the same fate.
“Daddy loves you very much,” he mouthed shifting in over Avery to press a kiss over her abdomen, “In fact, I think it’s time you and I had a talk here.  I know that things have been a bit busy with your mommy and I, but the truth is that that we’ll never be too busy for you.  I know I’ve done a lot of crazy impulsive things in my life, but the best one was marrying your mother.  She means everything to me and I’ve waited a very long time for us to have this.  There are some people who would like to see our family fall apart, but I can promise you with every breath I take that I will do everything in my power to ensure that never happens.  I won’t those bad people take you or your mommy away from me.”
He paused thinking about all the dreams he’d had for a happily ever after with Avery.  For so very long it felt like their time had passed them by, but then like a miracle fate had brought them together again stronger than ever.  Sure, they’d had their shares of ups and downs, but that was the name of the game with him and Avery.  The had intensity, fire and now they were about to have a child on the way.  Life couldn’t get better than that…well, other than the fact there was a serial killer after them, but still.
“I love you so very much,” he whispered, his breath skimming over Avery’s stomach and beckoning her from her dreamland.  Her eyelashes fluttered open as she glanced down at him with a soft smile.
“We love you too honey,” Avery couldn’t help but offer up in confession watching the boyish smirk that spread over his features when he lifted his head up to look at her.  Just the expression on his face was enough to completely mesmerize her.  He had the most stunning green eyes and if their son or daughter took on no other traits from him than those beautiful eyes and his smile, then she was certain the baby would be absolutely breathtaking.
“Hey beautiful,” he breathed climbing in up over her, “How are you this morning?”
“Fabulous,” she curved her arms around his neck, “and yourself?”
“On top of the world,” he mouthed leaning in to kiss her, “I was just talking to our daughter about how wonderful you are.”
“Our daughter huh,” she gave him a curious look, “Russ, how many times have I told you that we might not be having a girl.”
“We’re having a girl,” he insisted confidently, “We’re having a beautiful little princess just like her mother.  You’ll see.”
“And if we have a boy,” she lifted a brow while watching the solemn expression on his face.
“Then we’re going to have an amazing son who will be more than thrilled when we decide to give him a little sister to play with,” he concluded with a thoughtful expression, “because you do realize this is only the beginning for us.”
“The more you say it, the more I’m starting to believe it,” Avery admitted bringing her fingers through his dark hair.
“I thought we were already beyond that point with one another,” he mused nibbling on her lower lip while savoring this wake up between the two of them.
“We are, but sometimes, well you just get me believing in miracles and given what we’ve been living in lately…” she started feeling him cut her off with another kiss.
“No negativity,” he urged her on, “Today is the beginning of the rest of our lives and when I get you out of Coral Valley, well I can promise you nothing short of magic.  We’re going to have a honeymoon to remember from here on out.”
“You mean no severed limbs or unexpected surprises,” she questioned doubtful.
“Not a one,” he vowed, “although I do have one request.”
“What might that be,” she questioned running her fingers over his shoulders.
“That you promise me you’ll do your best to have the time of your life--of our lives,” he added with an air of eagerness in his tone.
“With you by my side, I don’t see how I can’t do just that,” Avery replied savoring this morning with Russ.  He was right.  Things were only going to get better.  They had to at this point.


Jade walked down the hallway yawning lightly. She reached the door of the kitchen as she heard some rustling. She raised an eyebrow going into the closet grabbing a baseball bat and walking back to the door. She opened the door silently as she saw someone she had never seen before going through one of the cupboards. He was tall, had long blonde hair that was pulled back in a ponytail, and was muscular. The only thing Jade knew was he wasn’t suppose to be in this house. She walked behind him and reared the bat back about to hit him as he turned his head. He ducked quickly as she hit the glasses on the counter.

"Hey," he got out of the way before she swung at him again and he fell to the ground. "Wait, I’m Kyle…I’m a guest in this house.  I’m staying here."

He shook his hands back and forth as she eyed him with intense scrutiny.  She contemplated his words for a long moment before making her decision, "The hell you are."

She took the bat and swung it at him as he stood up quickly. The bat hit the ground hard as she grabbed it in her hands. He quickly stepped in behind her grabbing her in his arms so she couldn‘t move easily.

"Like I said, my name is Kyle and I am a guest here alright?" he lightly announced as he grabbed the bat wrenching it out of her hands.

"You better let go of me," she growled as he put the bat on the table with one of his hands and the other one held onto her.

"I will if you don’t try and kill me," he loosened his grip on her.

"I’m a black belt in karate and I’m not afraid to use it," she noted.

"Let that be said," he let go of her arms backing up.

"You jerk," she said kicking him in between his legs meeting her mark straight in his groin area.

Jade watched as Kyle’s face grew flushed and he put his hands over himself. His knees fell next to each other as his body hit to the ground. He groaned on the floor in pain as Jade smiled folding her arms. She heard something behind her and turned around to see Russell and Avery.

"What did you do to Kyle?" Russell wondered walking over to Kyle helping him up.

"Forget Kyle, what happened to my kitchen," Avery frowned as Jade gasped.

"Wait you know him?"

"Yeah, he’s that Kyle we have been talking about.  He’s staying here remember?" Russell titled his head as Kyle sat down in the chair closing his eyes tightly in pain.

"Oh my god, I am so sorry Kyle," Jade rushed over sitting next to him.  She brought her fingers through her dark hair suddenly feeling a surge of embarrassment rush down upon her.  While she’d intended to keep herself safe, she never imagined she’d be fighting off someone who was a friend of the family so to speak.

"It’s okay," Kyle coughed holding up one of his hands.

"Somehow I imagined you to be somewhat smaller," Jade shrugged fighting the blush she was certain had overtaken her features while looking over his figure.

"Somehow I figured you would be less violent," Kyle smiled painfully trying to make light of the situation they‘d just been in with one another.

"Well you know that’s me," Jade shrugged grinning sheepishly. “I react first and think later.  It’s part of my more impulsive side I suppose.”

"Good job Jade, I don’t believe I have ever seen a girl that has Kyle down to his knees," Avery laughed lightly patting her on the shoulder.

"Hey now, I was not on my knees," Kyle pointed at her.

"Oh, I’m sorry. You were on the floor crying like a little baby," Avery jabbed further unable to refuse the obvious pot shot at Kyle.

"Forget you," Kyle shook his head lightly changing the subject looking over at Jade, "So, you’re Grady’s girlfriend?"

"Yeah I am, You got a problem with that?" Jade raised her eyebrow smiling as Kyle shook his head quickly.

"After that, never," Kyle laughed lightly closing his eyes while saying a silent prayer that Jade‘s attack on him didn‘t render him completely useless for days to come.

"Would you like me to get you some ice for that? It’s the least I can do," Jade offered up taking note of the pained expression on his face.

"No, that’s okay.  On second thought do what you want.  I‘m not about to try to argue with you," Kyle threw out in a half hearted attempt at humor as the three laughed.

“Good idea.  Jade isn’t one to dispute with,” Russ added with a light wince thinking about what Jade had done to his pal.
“You know, now that I think about it, ice would be great,” Kyle decided with a tiny groan.

"I’ll get that right away," she said as Kyle gave her a thumbs up.

Not once had someone made Kyle accept ice…better yet no one really never hurt him. Even when he tore his quadriceps he would stay down, but Jade…well she was certainly something.  She was a fighter with a hell of a spirit and despite the pain he was in, Kyle realized that he liked her spunk.  Jade was certainly something special and he could see why Grady had found happiness with her.  She was definitely one of a kind and if someone didn’t think so, well he was quite certain she’d find a way to beat them up until they did.


Diane felt herself restless and anxious about leaving the hospital.  She couldn’t find her way home fast enough.  While Dr. Carlisle had assured her that she’d be out and about soon, he had no idea just how long soon was starting to feel like.  Shifting on the bed, Diane decided she’d had enough.  If Dean didn’t return with her release papers, then she’d just up and start walking out on her own.
“That’s it,” Diane declared reaching for the top drawer at the nightstand beside her ready to just get up and running on her way out the door.  However, before she could even start to get dressed she heard the sound of footsteps from behind her.
“Where do you think you’re running off to,” Deidra questioned with a curious expression watching her sister’s hasty beginnings of a retreat.
“Deidra,” Diane practically cringed at the sound of her sister’s voice.  Slowly spinning around to face Deidra, her eyes narrowed with anger, “what are you doing here?  Spying on me?”
“On the contrary, I thought I’d check in on you and see how you were doing,” Deidra noted the sweater in Diane’s arms, “Little did I know you were planning a great escape this morning.”
“Dr. Carlisle said I could be leaving by this afternoon, so I was merely getting prepared for my release,” Diane answered gruffly before glaring at Deidra once again, “Besides, who the hell said I owed you any answers in the first place?”
“No one apparently, but is it so wrong for me to want to come in and check on you,” Deidra questioned with an obvious frown.  “I mean hasn’t this gone on long enough between us Diane?”
“You’re the one who insists upon being the drama queen all the time,” Diane spat back at her, “While you may have mom and everyone else fooled, I see you as the manipulative bitch you really are.”
“Okay, obviously this was a mistake,” Deidra groaned throwing her hands in the air in defeat, “I’m sorry that I even bothered Diane.  I hope it all works out for you.”
“Yeah I’m sure you do,” Diane rolled her eyes watching Deidra head towards the door, “and I’m sure this is your cue to go play the martyr right?”
“Actually,” Deidra paused from where she’d been standing having had more than enough from her younger sister, “I was hoping you’d just grow up and get over this stupid thing you have had against me for the last decade.  It’s gotten really old.”
“What’s gotten really old is your little sob story about how miserable you are when in reality you thrive on misery.  You love having people kiss your ass and when someone else happens to be in the limelight you have to go and turn it back on you,” Diane accused taking a step forward.
“What is that supposed to mean,” Deidra blinked back at her.
“It means that when I was shot, you didn’t come here to say you were worried about me.  You wanted the world to know that what happened to me couldn’t possibly be worse than the crisis you were having.  I mean you even went as far as making up this stupid story about some serial killer chasing you around,” Diane rolled her eyes shaking her head at the thought, “Talk about desperate.  Have you been that hard up for attention since Andy realized what a bore you were?”
“That’s enough,” Deidra hissed in response, “I’m not going to listen to this any longer.”
“Why not?” Diane placed her hands on her hips defiantly, “the truth hurt?”
“You wouldn’t know the truth if it came up and bit you in the nose Diane,” Deidra marched towards her unwilling to accept any further abuse from her sister, “I don’t know why you feel like everything is a competition between us, but I can assure you it’s not.”
“Oh right.  You just know you hate when I’m the one getting the attention,” Diane’s voice rose with anger, “You couldn’t just sit back and give me my time to shine, could you?”
“Is this about Andy,” Deidra blinked back in confusion, “Did he really mean that much to you when he was with me?  Is that what you’re upset about?”
“He should’ve been mine,” Diane nodded in response, “You were never right for him.  If you wouldn‘t have laid out your sob story on him, then he would‘ve eventually found his way to me.  You know he always liked me more than he did you, don‘t you?”
“He was a jerk Diane,” Deidra shook her head unable to believe her sister’s attitude towards Deidra’s soon to be ex-husband.
“No, he was a great guy until you sucked the life out of him.  He had a lot going for him, but there you stepped into his life sucking him down into a world of misery since you thrive on it,” Diane continued to lash out at her, “In fact, I bet he never told you about how he almost didn’t go through with it--about how if you hadn’t guilted him into taking the leap with him, he would’ve dropped you like a hot potato and never looked back.”
“Diane just stop…” Deidra interrupted not wanting to listen to her sister’s ranting.
“Why do you think he wasn’t around the night before the wedding Dee?” Diane threw back at her with a wicked smirk, “Did you think he was just trying to uphold tradition and give you space?  Wrong again.  He was with me.”
“What,” Deidra’s jaw practically dropped in surprise.
“That’s right,” Diane taunted further, “We met up at a bar just out of town and he spent the night with me Deidra.  He wanted to be with me, but you pushed him into a corner.”
Deidra’s eyed widened in horror at her sister’s admission.  Suddenly all the strength she’d pulled together seemed to explode from within, transforming into a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach.  As if sensing Deidra’s weak feeling, Diane continued to lash out at her.
“He told me how pathetic he thought you were…how you were nothing more than a frigid, useless loser in bed and how he wished he didn’t have to go through with marrying you.  He wanted to back out--wanted to be with me and we would’ve had something if you wouldn’t have suckered him into marriage,” Diane raised her voice with obvious anger.  “That night on your honeymoon when he said he was having some kind of reaction to the shellfish…it wasn’t the shellfish that took him away.  It was what he felt for me.  The two of us spent the entire night in his bed--in your honeymoon suite making love while you were off saving the world.”
“You bitch,” Deidra lashed out at her striking her right square across the cheek.  Unable to refrain from the anger she was feeling, Deidra used all her fury to slap Diane, sending her right back into the hospital bed with the ferocity behind the movement. 
“Deidra,” Dean gasped rushing into the room in the midst of the chaos taking place between the two sisters.  He watched Deidra lunge forward ready to tear Diane apart, and with a quick, desperate move, he tried to hold her back.
“Let go of me Dean,” Deidra writhed in his arms ready to rip Diane apart limb for limb if need be in that moment.
“She’s not worth it,” Dean tried to soothe her down, “It’s not worth it.”
“The hell it isn’t,” Deidra hissed watching Diane pull herself together after the blow she’d taken.  Diane raised her hand to her face, to try to quell the pain that vibrated across her face, but the damage had already been done.
“How could you do that to me?  To your sister of all people?” Deidra continued to throw out at her, feeling her tears of anger and frustration overtake her.
“As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have a sister,” Diane spat out at her, pure vengeance behind her eyes, “You’re dead to me Deidra.  You’re nothing--no I take that back, you’re lower than nothing.”
“I can’t believe that you could do that,” Deidra cried out making one more attempt to go after Diane before Diane rose from the bed armed for attack. 
Diane stepped forward wanting to reciprocate what Deidra had given her, but she was thwarted by the angry sound of Ben’s voice.
“Don’t even think about it,” Ben warned entering the room.
“Ben,” Diane gasped, her jaw dropping in surprise at her lover’s arrival, “How long have you been there?”
“Long enough to know that I wish I hadn’t walked in on this,” Ben explained making his way into the hospital room.  He turned his attention to Deidra.  “Are you okay?”
“No, I’m not okay.  I’ll never be okay,” she shook herself out of Dean’s arms not sure on what she was going to do in that moment in time.  Clenching her fists at her side, she turned her focus to Diane once again.  Speaking up with shaky words, she glared down at Diane, “You want me out of your life Diane?  Well, fine you’ve got your wish.  As far as I’m concerned, this was the last straw.  No more!”
With that, Deidra spun on her heel racing out of the room in an obvious upset.  Dean exchanged looks with Ben and Diane before turning to glance at the door once again.  Finally he eyed Diane once again, unable to mask his upset in having witnessed what had transpired between the two sisters.
“I hope you’re happy now because you have no idea just how stupid that was,” Dean couldn’t help but add his own two cents on the matter before speaking directly to Ben, “She’s free to go now.”
“Thank you,” Ben replied not willing to say much more after Dean left the room to seek out Deidra.
“Ben, I can explain…” Diane started to plead with him, desperate to make him understand what had taken place between her and Deidra.
“Oh I think that speaks for itself Diane,” Ben replied with a neutral tone shaking his head at her, “You know I really thought that maybe just maybe you’d outgrown all of this--that somehow you’d find a way to put the past behind you, but this…well this just made me see that you aren’t at all the woman I thought you are.”
“Yes I am,” Diane reached out for his arm only to feel him withdraw from her touch.
“No, you aren’t at all because the woman I love would’ve never sunk so low.  She wouldn’t have been so blatantly wicked,” Ben shook his head in defeat before taking a step back, “You were wrong Diane.”
“You don’t understand what she did--what she does…” Diane started to argue her side of things.
“Oh I understand completely and from where I stand her only fault was loving you which tells me that you’re not ready to accept family into your life,” Ben mouthed feeling his heart ache with his words, “And it’s a damn shame because I can’t share my life with someone who isn’t willing to embrace the importance of family.”
“Ben,” Diane tilted her head to the side watching him for a long moment of confusion, “What are you saying?”
“It’s over Diane,” Ben blurted out despite the ache that carried over him with the words.
“What?  No!  Ben, you can’t break up with me just because Deidra just…” Diane pleaded with him.
“This has nothing to do with Deidra and everything to do with you.  Until you can grow up and stop behaving like a brat, then that’s it.  We’re finished,” Ben explained throwing his hands in the air before turning and leaving the hospital room.
“Ben wait,” Diane started to chase after him, watching as Ben stepped into the elevators.  She rushed over to him, hoping to stop him from walking out of her life forever, but as the elevator doors closed, she found herself alone again.  Suddenly everything that had made her so very happy had been taken from her and she had only one person to blame--Deidra!


Gabe checked his messages once again for the third time hoping that Guy had tried to call while he was in the shower, but much to his dismay there was still nothing.  Taking one last look around the hotel room, he realized he had pretty much everything together.  The next time he returned to Coral Valley he would try to find something a bit more permanent--that is if he did in fact return to Coral Valley. 

Thinking about Marc’s words, he felt a worry press down upon him.  Would leaving Coral Valley be the first step in his life changing forever?  Would he have to choose between Brittany and Guy just like Marc had alluded?  Would Noelle pull out all the stops to destroy him in this battle for their daughter?  He certainly hoped not, but there was no telling with Noelle.  Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a photograph of Brittany that he’d always carried with him.
“I just wish that your mother didn’t make things so difficult for us,” Gabe sighed sinking down onto the bed with a heavy heart.  How he’d wanted to give his daughter the world--to show her that things could be as wonderful as she deserved them to be, but with Noelle, there was no reasoning. 
He’d tried everything to provide Noelle and Brittany with security in their lives, but it just wasn’t enough for Noelle.  She had to have more--had to be at the top of the elite craving a lifestyle that left little room for Brittany.  Noelle’s idea of being a perfect mother meant having Brittany at social functions when showing her off was necessary for status, but beyond that she couldn’t be bothered.  Frowning as Gabe thought of his beautiful little girl’s hassles that Noelle had brought into her life, he knew what he had to do.
“I’m going to find a way to make life better for you sweetheart,” Gabe promised eyeing the photograph intently before the phone rang.  Nearly leaping up from the bed Gabe reached out for it hoping that Guy was on the other end of the line.
“Hello,” his voice grew heavy with anticipation.
“Mr. Teague, your car is here to take you to the airport,” the man on the other end of the line explained.
“Thank you,” Gabe replied trying to keep the disappointment in his voice from showing.  Hanging up the phone, he gave the hotel a brief once over before grabbing his small suitcase.  He stepped over to the door thinking about how things had started out when he’d arrived in Coral Valley.  He had such high hopes for his relationship with Guy, but now things were far from where he’d imagined them being.  With that thought in mind, he stepped out into the hallway hoping that this trip to Europe would give him some long overdue clarity about the happenings in his life.


“Deidra, wait up,” Dean pleaded chasing after her.  While he’d tried to catch up with her once he’d raced out of Diane’s hospital room, he knew that she’d been obviously upset.  Her rapid speed was enough indication that her sister had clearly wounded her with her words and right now all Dean could think about was trying to find a way to make up for what Diane had done.
“Dean, I’m not in the mood to talk right now,” Deidra replied pulling open the door to her office in an attempt to make herself as isolated from the rest of the world as possible.
“Don’t shut yourself off because of what Diane said,” Dean followed her into her office despite her protests, “She’s not worth getting upset over.”
“No?” she spun around to glare at him, “So the fact that my husband not only cheated on my with all my friends and co-workers and now my sister as well shouldn’t matter?  It’s not worth getting upset over?”
“Deidra, that’s not what I’m saying, but…” Dean began realizing perhaps he’d said the wrong words to her.
“But what?” she threw back at him unable to contain the tears that burned in her eyes.  “What could you possibly do or say to change the fact that not only has my husband betrayed me, but my sister has as well?”
“Deidra, I…” he started finding himself at a loss before he continued.  While he wanted to help--wanted to make some kind of difference, nothing seemed right.
“You what?” she questioned waving her hands in the air wildly while trying to fight her tears, “You just want to take pity on me?  To tell me that hey it happens to everyone?”
“No Deidra, it doesn’t, but what I can say is that if this guy was really stupid enough to do all those things, then he’s not worth it,” Dean continued taking a bold step towards her, “You’re a beautiful, intelligent, amazing woman and for someone to not see that, well that speaks volumes about what a loser he was.”
“I’m the loser,” Deidra continued with a sniffle, “I was the one who was too stupid to think that he could be loyal to me--that I could actually be someone special…”
“You are someone special,” Dean blinked back at her sensing her lack of self assurance, “From the moment I first laid eyes upon you, I could see that.”
“You saw a pathetic victim who couldn’t hold her own against the world,” she charged in response.
“No, that’s not what I saw.  Yes, that night when we finally spoke in the parking lot, it might’ve been a less than savory situation, but the truth is I noticed you the first day you came to work.  You probably don’t remember but we shared an elevator with one another.  I remember thinking to myself when I saw you that right before me was by far the most beautiful woman in the entire planet.  I thought that you were just coming in to check on someone who was here at the hospital, but when I found out that you were working here--that I’d have an opportunity to run into you again and again, it did something to me.”
“Oh please,” Deidra rolled her eyes, “Don’t try to fill me up with stories just so that you don’t have to see me cry.”
“They aren’t stories.  It’s the truth,” Dean stepped in towards her, unwilling to allow herself an opportunity to close herself down.  His dark eyes gazed into her, seeing a lost, miserable woman who needed to find a bright spot in her life again.  While she might take what he was saying as pity, he knew in his heart that was far from what he was feeling.  He’d spent a long time chasing the wrong dream, but now, well Deidra was a new breath of life for him.
“Yeah right,” she rolled her eyes thinking about the hateful things her sister had said to her.  “You don’t mean that.”
“The hell I don’t.  Deidra, you have no idea how hard it has been for me to refrain from taking you in my arms and kissing you,” he confessed in an impassioned tone, “about how I find myself fantasizing about what it would be like to hold you--to taste your lips if only for a brief second--to risk it all for just one kiss…”
“Dean, you can’t possibly mean that,” Deidra began again unwilling to take the time to register what he was saying to her.
“Can’t I,” he questioned reaching out to seize her in a bold movement before urging her in against him.  Their eyes connected for a brief, tense moment of silence, before he tipped his face forward, catching the warmth of her surprised breath over his lips.  His mouth hovered over hers, a mere breath away while Deidra curled her fingers in over his shoulder in an attempt to steady herself in his arms.  Their breathing intermingled, her heart pounding against the solid musculature of his chest and before she could say anything to change what was happening before them, Dean eased his lips to hers refusing to let her believe any falsehoods about his feelings where she was concerned for another second.


Mindy opened the door to the apartment ready to put her feet to rest after the night she and Guy had spent at her mother’s place.  While they’d initially thought about ducking out of the party early, they’d had the misfortune of having been cornered by her mother once again.  As if that hadn’t been bad enough, somehow Paula had talked the two into sticking around to play a part in the clean up crew so to speak.  Now as Mindy flopped down on the sofa before her, she let out an emphatic groan.
“Never again,” she vowed dropping her head back on the sofa, feeling the aches in her body vibrate over her every synapse.
“But it was for charity,” Guy reminded her mocking Paula’s tone.  He too plopped down beside her ready to take about ten hours of sleep with him for the day.
“Ugh, don’t remind me,” Mindy frowned tilting her head to the side to take a long look at him, “Though while I know what prompted me to stick around all night, what was your excuse?”
“Misery loves company,” Guy suggested with a small grin.
“I suppose it does,” Mindy nodded before sinking her head back onto the sofa again, “though I just wish misery didn’t love Mindy as much as it does.”
“Oh it wasn’t that bad,” Guy tried to remind her watching the way she winced before shifting on the sofa.
“Right,” she groaned doubtful, “you try feeling as bad as I do and then say that.”
“It’s really not that bad,” he tried to reason with her before Guy reached out to coax her into moving on the sofa, “Come here.”
“Huh?” she barely opened her eyes gazing at him behind half closed lids before letting out a low groan.
“Come over here,” he instructed not bothering to wait for her words of protest.  Pulling her into his arms, he began to work his hands over her shoulders, easing over the knots in her back in a leisurely fashion.  “How’s that?”
“Like heaven,” Mindy admitted with a soft sigh.
“Good,” Guy smiled continuing with the impromptu massage.  He thought back to the night he and Mindy had shared at her mother’s place tending to the various socialites and the charity at hand.  While it wasn’t the top of his list of things to do, he couldn’t help but enjoy himself with his pal.  Now as she began to unwind beneath his touch, he felt a proud smile tickle over his lips, “better?”
She nodded muttering something rather inaudible before Guy just continued to enjoy the moment.  He could feel her transforming into a ball of comfort in his arms.  Slowly he eased his fingertips down over her arms, sliding over her bare skin.  She arched back into him, tilting her head back into his shoulder with eyes closed.  While she’d been completely wound up before he’d started, there was no denying the level of relaxation that had overtaken her now that her lips parted with a heavy sigh.
“Better,” he questioned once again feeling her melt against him.  He paused in his movements taking note of the way her lips curled in the moment she was at her most relaxed.  She seemed so perfect, so simply beautiful and so very loud.  Frowning as she started to snore, Guy couldn’t help but laugh.  Leave it to Mindy to be so thoroughly entranced by his massage that she fell asleep in his arms.
“Just as well,” Guy repositioned himself on the couch to get more comfortable as he held her.  It had been a long night and he’d just as soon sleep the day away. 
Reaching out across to the coffee table, he grabbed his phone doing a quick skim of his messages.  There were three from his mother stating she was just seeking him out--another from Avery wanting to touch base with him and the final one was from Gabe.  That in itself has brought him back to reality.  Listening to his lover’s tale about having to leave town, Guy quickly dialed the hotel hoping to catch him before he’d left.  Unfortunately he’d been too late as the person who’d answered the phone alerted Guy that Gabe had already checked out.
“Wonderful,” Guy frowned thinking about everything that had been taking place recently.  He turned his eyes to Mindy once again watching her lost in her peaceful slumber before he made a silent vow to touch base with Gabe after this nap.  Yes, that certainly would be the best route to take considering that Gabe was probably on his way to Europe at this very moment in time.


Brant hung up the phone in his study, hoping to get a moment to himself, but just like clockwork Blake arrived.  She stood before him a big ball of nervous energy.  The small pink sweater she’d put on earlier in the morning bounced with her every movement while her nails tapped upon the top of his desk impatiently.
“Well,” Blake questioned with an urgent expression.
“Well what?” Brant feigned innocence taking a moment to yank on his sister’s chain just a bit.
“You know what,” she scowled back at him, “When is Seth’s flight coming back in?”
“It isn’t,” Brant informed her simply.  Sitting up straighter in his chair, he folded his arms in front of him.  After a second he leaned back and let out a slow, unyielding breath.
“What do you mean it isn’t,” she practically squealed in an uproar.
“Just as I said,” Brant stated matter of fact.  “His flight isn’t coming back to Coral Valley.”
“How can that be,” her jaw dropped in horror.  Frantically pacing around the room, she ran her fingers through the loose strands of her long blonde hair, “How could he not becoming back?”
“Well…” he began finally ready to clue her in on the situation.
“This isn’t funny,” Blake’s voice rose with obvious dismay, “Brant, you can’t be serious that Seth isn’t coming back to Coral Valley.  He can’t just up and leave all that we have behind him…”
“I didn’t say that,” Brant started watching his sister transform into a big ball of nerves before him,  “Blake, he hasn’t left yet.”
“He couldn’t just walk out on me considering that I just realized that I…” she stopped herself barely registering his words.  Seconds later they came crashing down upon her, “What did you just say?”
“I said that he hasn’t left yet,” Brant continued to explain, “He was supposed to leave on an earlier flight, but it got postponed.  His flight will be leaving a little bit after Ken is expected to arrive back home.”
“You mean he’s not gone,” Blake half questioned tears of relief washed over her, “Oh thank God.”
“Blake, it’s okay,” Brant moved from his seat over towards her.  Taking a seat on the edge of his desk, he eyed her intently for a long moment, “You really care about this guy, don’t you?”
“Brant, I love him like I’ve never loved anyone before,” Blake nodded in confession, “I know that it probably sounds stupid to you, but I know in my heart he’s the one.”
“Your heart says all that huh?” he arched a curious brow.
“It took me a while to get my priorities straight, but I know now that I want to be with him,” she continued adamantly before stopping mid-movement from her pacing session, “In fact, I have to go to him right now and tell him that.  I need him to see just how much he means to me--I need to tell him that…”
“Whoa, now just wait a second,” Brant reached out to tug on her arm, “Don’t you think you should slow this down a bit?  You know maybe take some time to plan your approach before you go all out like this?”
“No, I’ve waited far too long already and if I don’t do this now, then I know I’ll be making the biggest mistake of my life,” she declared before throwing her arms around his neck excitedly, “Thank you so very much for doing this for me Brant.”
“You’re welcome Blake,” he hugged her in response, “I just hope this guy is worth it.”
“He is.  He really, truly is and I just hope he thinks that I’m worth it,” Blake continued thinking about what she had to do to keep Seth from walking out of her life forever.
“If he doesn’t, then he’s a fool,” Brant announced thinking about his sister’s strong emotional conviction where Seth was concerned.
“I’m the fool for letting things get this out of hand.  I can’t just wait around,” she explained turning to leave the room.
“Now hold on a second speedy,” Brant reached for her arm to stop her, “Don’t you think you might need a ride out there?”
“Well I was just going to drive…” she began with a frown turning to face him again.
“But I’m on my way over there to pick up Ken.  Since Simon had his…well, whatever the hell it was that he was going through,” Brant groaned inwardly thinking about what an inconvenience it had been to lose his driver on top of all else that was happening in his life at this moment in time, “well, the point is that I’m heading on over there, so why not hitch a ride with me?”
“I never thought about that one before,” Blake confessed with an afterthought, “though how about I drive?”
“No, I think I’d rather make it there in one piece and given the way you’re feeling right about now, I think that would be out of the cards,” he couldn’t help but tease her.
“It would not.  Brant, I know what I’m doing…” she started to object not wanting to delay a moment longer.
“So do I,” Brant explained simply, “which is why I’m driving and if you’re in the mood to argue, then you can just stay here and do it with yourself.”
“Not a chance,” Blake shook her head emphatically before racing over to the doorway.  She spun around to look at him watching him collect a few things from his desk.  Tapping her foot, she glared over at him with obvious dismay, “Brant, come on.  We don’t have all day.”
“And here I thought I was the impatient one,” he shook his head at her letting out a tiny chuckle now that his sister was a woman on a mission.  And to think he though she’d finally found herself in a slump, he couldn’t help but think to himself knowing that nothing would stand in her way now that she was a woman on a mission.


Seth took a seat near one of the windows at the airport.  While he hadn’t planned on spending the night locked up in a hotel, it seemed that fate had other plans for him.  First the airport had double booked his place on the airplane.  The flight had been packed and someone else was to be in his seat.  That had been just the tip of the iceberg for him once they’d suggested he leave on a later flight.  Sure, he wasn’t in a big rush to leave, but he wasn’t exactly eager to stick around either. 
He knew he could’ve gone home, but instead he’d opted to stay at one of the hotels the airport had been paying for in an apology for their mistake.  That had seemed like the best thing to do at the time, but after spotting some kind of insect in the room just about the time he was ready for bed, well it didn’t feel too promising.  That had been bad, but it hadn’t prepared him for the turn that would take place once he’d had to endure the icy shower set out to shock him into submission this morning.  Of course the cold hadn’t had a chance to break him for too long after the insect’s cousin decided to pop in. 
Needless to say Seth had quickly checked out of the hotel and had spent the rest of his morning very early on at the airport just taking in his surroundings.  Yes, the seats weren’t exactly the most comfortable, but it beat the roach motel by a long shot.  He’d thought about calling Jade--but he was certain that right about now she didn’t need to hear all of his complaining.  It just didn’t seem appropriate considering how trivial things were in his life compared to hers.  Frowning as he tried to get comfortable in his seat, Seth kept his eyes on the window before him.
“It doesn’t get any better than this, does it,” the woman next to him questioned with a bright and chipper tone.
“Well actually,” Seth started ready to tell the woman his take on the world, but he stopped himself when he took a long, hard look at the woman beside him.  She seemed small, yet confident as she clenched her purse close to her in her lap.  With her grayed hair and age lined face, Seth knew there was no need in being a sour puss about things.  Reluctantly he forced himself to be pleasant, “you’re right.  It is a pretty nice morning.”
“Oh pooh,” she waved her hand at him dismissively, “I’ve been watching you for the last half hour and I can see how miserable you are.  Care to talk about it?”
“Well, you just cut to the chase there, don’t you,” he couldn’t help but smile at the woman’s forwardness.
“At my age, you kind of have to,” she held her hand out towards him, “My name is Eileen.  You are?”
“Seth,” he replied with a smile offering his hand to her, “and it’s a pleasure to meet you Eileen.”
“The pleasure is all mine,” she replied with another grin, “and I must say since I noticed you were alone I thought you might be able to use some company.”
“How could I not when the company is this charming,” Seth flashed her a quick grin.
“Oh there you go,” her eyes lit up again, “if I was about thirty years younger, I’d have to say you were flirting, but now I know you’re just being polite.”
“If I was thirty years older, I’d most certainly be flirting,” he reached for her hand she’d had outstretched to him.  Lifting it to his lips for a brief moment, he kept his eyes upon her, “It most certainly is a pleasure to meet you Eileen.”
She smiled back at him, “In that case now that we aren’t strangers any longer, care to tell me what’s going on with you this morning?”
“What if I said I wasn’t really in the mood to talk about it,” Seth threw back at her watching the scowl build over her features.
“I’d say that you were lying and that you had better rethink that one,” she insisted boldly, her eyes filled with concern, “Everyone needs someone they can talk to.”
“I can’t argue that,” he nodded in confession before letting out a long sigh, “Okay, the truth to the matter is that I’m leaving town on a job assignment and I’m a little bit apprehensive about it.”
“Is that all that’s bothering you,” she gave him a once over, “I mean is that really what has you all tied up in knots?”
“No,” Seth admitted honestly with a shake of his head, “I’ve got a few other things rolling around in my mind right about now.”
“Such as?” she arched a wrinkled brow.
“It’s about what I’m leaving behind,” he admitted thinking about Blake.  While he’d tried to focus on his surroundings, everything kept coming back to her.  He’d tried to pretend that things were over--that he didn’t care, but not even thousands of miles between them would ever change how he felt about her.  He loved her more than anything and that wouldn’t ever change.  That much he was certain of despite his own hopes for a new start.
“So who is she?” Eileen questioned giving him a curious expression.
“Who said it was a woman,” he countered trying to regain his composure.
“It’s more obvious than you realize,” she reached out to pat her hand over his, “Does she have any idea how much you miss her right about now?”
“I don’t think she cares,” he admitted poignantly, “It’s over between us and I don’t think she ever wants to look back…”
“Now, how can you say that yet feel so very strongly about her,” she questioned with a momentary pause, “Would you like some advice from an old fool?”
“Why is there one around here because I see a very charming, young woman beside me,” Seth teased with a playful wink.
“Oh you,” she waved her hand at him dismissively, “No wonder this woman has to have the hots for you.  You’re just too cute for words.”
“I don’t think that would really be an accurate…” Seth started to explain.
“Even so, listen to me good on this one,” she squeezed his hand gently, “You should never run away from your heart.  It is the one thing in this world that won’t lead you astray.  When you find something special to hold onto, don’t ever let it go.  Trust me on this one.”
“Spoken from experience?” Seth inquired watching a sadness sweep over her features.
She nodded painfully, “I had the right one, but I let him slip away.  You see when I was younger I had these big dreams about going out to Hollywood and being an actress--back then it was the one thing I dreamt about more than anything.  He wanted a family and a wife, but I wouldn’t conform to that.  It was beneath me to even dare think about welcoming his dream into my narrow minded world.”
“So you lost him because you wanted to be a star,” Seth questioned watching a cloud of darkness sweep over her.
“I lost him because I was too stubborn to see what I had.  I ran off with this other guy who promised me the moon and the stars.  He swore to me up and down that he’d make my life everything I’d wanted it to be, but when I actually left with him, it was another story.  I’d spent so many years chasing around what was wrong for me until I realized that what I’d longed for all my life was right at home.  I thought I had the perfect dream ahead of me until one day I saw that it was always with me.”
“So what happened?” he inquired sensing her need to continue talking about things.
“I married the wrong one,” she explained with a heavy frown, “We had a life with one another--had a few children and eventually I wound up a single parent.  It wasn’t until I hit the ripe old age of sixty that things panned out for me.  Jared and I reconnected by chance on my birthday when my granddaughter was taking me out to celebrate.  He’d married as well and he’d lived his life without me.  He was a widower by the time we reconnected.  While he had been diagnosed with cancer a few short weeks before we came together again, we knew better than to let things slip away from us again.”
“So it ended up working out for you in the end,” Seth noted watching the smile spread across her features.
She nodded, “It would’ve worked out better if we hadn’t waited so very long.  Granted we both have wonderful children and grandchildren, but I would’ve given it all up to have that opportunity to have things right from the start.”
“You two must still be happy now though, yes?”
“We were,” she nodded with tears clouding her eyes, “until he was taken from me a couple of months ago.  It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with in my life, but I know now that I wouldn’t trade a moment of what we had with one another for anything in this world.  We had that special, once in a lifetime kind of love and I know that if I’d only followed my heart sooner, he and I would’ve had more time here with one another…”
“I’m sure you’ll have an opportunity to be together again one day,” Seth tried to comfort her.
“Of course I will.  True love never dies,” she nodded her voice full of determination, “but don’t you lose sight of that.  Don’t make the same mistakes I made in trying to escape from what was meant to be.  Love is a special thing and if you don’t find a way to make it work, well you’ll wind up wondering what might’ve been.”
“I wish it were that simple, but there’s someone else.  She loves someone else and…” Seth began to explain the situation.
“And if she knew just how bad you were hurting right about now, I have a feeling she might surprise you.  You might discover that maybe her feelings weren’t so clear cut there,” she started with a soft smile, hearing the boarding call for her flight.  Rising from her chair, she smiled down at him, “Just think about it.  Blake‘s a stubborn one there…”
“Wait a second,” Seth’s eyes widened in response.  “How did you know that…”
“I read the tabloids around here,” Eileen confessed with a silly smile, “and beyond that I knew her from the time she was just a little baby.  She’s often in an uproar about something or another, but when she’s committed to something…”
“She is committed to something--someone else…” he started to explain only to have her hand him her copy of the tabloid he and Blake had posed for.  Gazing down at the photos of them together, he felt a soft tug in his chest at the memory.  They’d had something incredible between them and even now he longed to get that back.
“Looks like that don’t just come out of indifference.  I see passion, intensity and most of all I see love,” Eileen pointed out with an encouraging nod, “Don’t run from the inevitable especially when it’s right there in black and white before you.”
“Maybe you’re right,” Seth turned his eyes up towards her, “Maybe I should try to fix this.”
“There’s the spirit,” she encourage him, “You go get her.  Show her that you aren‘t going to walk away from love.  Let her see what she means to you.”
“I just might,” he nodded in response feeling a moment of clarity upon him, “No, I know I will.  I can’t just leave things unfinished between us--not when I feel the way I do.”
“Exactly.  You talk to her and see what I can already see between you,” she prodded him further only to hear the call for her flight once again, “I hate to leave and run but…”
“But nothing,” Seth rose to his feet offering up an encouraging smile, “I don’t think we’re finished just yet.  You helped me with something that has been long overdue here and I’d like to return the favor…”
“Well, that really isn’t necessary,” she began.
“But it is,” Seth continued reaching for her bag, “how about an escort to your gate?”
“Oh you are charming, aren’t you,” she laughed lightly before accepting his arm.
“I try to be,” he added with a tiny wink.
“For what it’s worth Blake is a lucky girl,” she continued allowing him to guide her towards her gate.
“I just hope that at the end of this I turn out to be the lucky one,” he thought to himself wondering if he could muster up the strength to face up to what he’d been avoiding between them from the moment he’d walked out of her life.

“Was this really necessary,” Avery questioned looking over to her husband with a less than enthused expression.
“Was what necessary,” he replied innocently finishing up with checking their luggage in.
“That,” she motioned over to Kyle and Jade, who were now engaged in some kind of conversation about the Dallas Cowboys with one another.  On the way over to the airport the car had discovered that Kyle and Jade were both fans and now the two were carrying on eagerly about the team with one another.
Russ looked beyond Avery to where she pointed and a smile pressed over his handsome features, “What?  They seem to be getting along beautifully after she tried to kill him.  I think that Grady will be happy to know that Jade can hold her own against someone like Kyle and still manage to get along with him.”
“That’s not the point,” Avery shook her head at him impatiently, “and you know it.  I wanted to know why you insisted upon having Kyle drive us here today.  We could’ve just left the car and…”
“I thought it wouldn’t be a smart idea to leave the car here unattended while we were gone,” Russell explained reaching out to touch her arm gingerly, “Considering everything that’s happened since we found our way back to one another, I just thought that it was a good idea to let Kyle drive.  He’ll be watching the house for us and I’m sure that can extend to the car.”
“I suppose, but with his being here at the airport with us sending us off, well I can’t help but wonder…” she paused biting on her lower lip nervously.
“Wonder what,” he questioned encircling her in his arms, “Avery, what’s on your mind?”
“Are you two up to something?  I mean really…are you both up to something together that I should know about--something that could be dangerous,” she threw out on the table giving him room to come clean about what was really happening.
He felt the first twinge of guilt eat away at him before he finally let out a soft sigh, “Of course not Avery.  Why in the world would I dream about doing that when we’re about to get some freedom from all the craziness here in town?”
“I wasn’t sure,” Avery searched his eyes, “but you know if you’re planning something, then now would be the time to tell me before…”
“Have I ever told you how much I love you,” he questioned cutting her off with a kiss, not wanting to continue with the string of lies he’d started.  He felt her hesitance when his lips skimmed over hers, but eventually she’d succumbed to the moment tasting and teasing him in response.
“I love you too,” she mouthed breathlessly after they’d parted, “but don’t think that this changed my wanting to know what you’re up to.”
“Avery, I already said it once before that I’m not…” he began only to have his words come to an abrupt ending when Kyle approached.
“So what am I missing over here,” Kyle questioned with a goofy grin as if he’d picked up on Russell’s need for a little assistance, “Having flight jitters?”
“Not at all,” Avery shook her head back at him spinning around to glare at him, “but don’t think for a second you can take advantage of the situation Kyle.”
“What is that supposed to mean,” he questioned innocently.
“It means no wild parties while we’re gone.  I expect our home to be in the very same condition it was in before we left.”
“It will be,” Kyle promised her with a wide grin, “It will be better even…”
“Somehow I seriously doubt that,” Avery groaned inwardly watching Jade spring up to step in beside Kyle.
“So what did I miss?” Jade questioned with a bright smile.
“Just Avery trying to threaten my life yet again,” Kyle teased with a playful laugh.
“Hmm, then you must’ve been up to something nasty,” Jade decided before turning to Avery, “You two about ready to get this show on the road?”
“Yeah, I think we’re just about finished up here.  Kyle knows where I stand on things,” Avery decided with a quick nod before turning to Russell once again, “You ready to go to our gate?”
“Actually,” Russell began patting the side of his jacket down for a moment, “No, I’m not.”
“What’s wrong,” Avery questioned with a slight frown.
“I left our tickets in the car,” he admitted with a strange expression before his gaze drifted over to the clock for the briefest of moments, “I thought I’d had them tucked away in my front pocket, but now that I think about it, I think they’re in the glove compartment.”
“No, I specifically handed them to you in the kitchen,” Avery started to remind him with a simple shake of her head.
“I know you did, but I was afraid I’d forget them, so I put them in the glove box,” he silently cursed under his breath, “I can’t believe I didn’t think about it before now…”
“Well, it’s not too late to go and get them,” Avery insisted with a half smile, “We can just walk out to the car and…”
“I can do it,” Russ informed her with a quick shake of his head, “It’ll only take a few minutes…”
“We can go together,” she suggested with another quick smile, “I don’t mind the walk and…”
“And you hurt your foot the other day,” he pointed out with the beginnings of a frown, “You know as well as I do that you shouldn’t be walking all over the world right now.  I’ll just zip back to the car and I’ll be back before you know it…”
“Russ, it’s really not a problem…” she started feeling him reach out to her.
“Baby, just indulge me for a little bit,” he suggested leaning down to nuzzle his nose against her neck gingerly.  The warmth of his words whispering upon her skin set her head swimming, “I promise when I get back, you and I can enjoy a completely new kind of journey with one another.”
“Why does this suddenly sound like our cue to exit,” Jade couldn’t help but groan in response before tugging on Kyle’s arm.  “Come on.  I think it’s time to talk shop over there.”
“Over where,” Kyle questioned blankly feeling her yank on his arm again.
“Right there,” she pointed to a spot just across the way before practically dragging him off with her.
Avery couldn’t help but laugh at the sight of the ever petite Jade lugging Kyle across the airport.  That in itself had elicited a chuckle from her while she felt Russell’s hold upon her.
“Well, she certainly has the spirit, doesn’t she,” Russ noted as if reading Avery’s thoughts.
“That she does,” she nodded in confession, “but then again I wouldn’t expect anything less from a woman who is involved with your brother.”
“Good point,” he agreed, his green eyes penetrating hers, “Avery…”
“Russ…” she spoke his name at the same time before a small smile spread over her features, “Go ahead.”
“No, please, you go ahead,” he urged her on squeezing her to him once again.
“Well I was thinking about this honeymoon,” she confessed easing into him, enjoying the warmth and comfort that his arms provided her.  “Not only is it long overdue, but we also have a great task at hand.”
“Which might be?”
“Naming our son or daughter,” she explained simply, “I think that it’s time we really start considering the possibilities that come along with such a goal.”
“You mean you don’t want to just go around the house shouting ‘Hey you!’,” he teased with another grin.
“I don’t that would prove to be interesting in a strange sort of way,” she chuckled in response, “but seriously I really think we should start talking about it considering that it won’t be long before the rest of this pregnancy turns into well, the beginning of parenthood for us.”
“Actually,” he started with a cryptic expression, “I have something back in the car that might be able to help us with just that.  I wanted to wait until we returned, but I picked it up the other day and well…I think you might enjoy it…”
“And it is,” she questioned with a curious look.
“Something you’re going to have to see when I return, but for now,” he nibbled on her lower lip unable to contain the need to reach out and hold her for a moment longer before he spoke up once again, “try not to beat up on Kyle too much, okay?”
“I can’t make any promises while you’re gone.  For all I know the longer you’re away,” she started to tease.
“The more trouble Kyle is in,” he couldn’t help but laugh lightly.  “Yeah I got it Avery.”
“So that means you’ll be quick about getting that surprise and the tickets,” she threw back at him curiously.
“You’ll hardly know I was gone,” he promised reaching out to squeeze her hand in his before taking one, last look at her, “I’ll miss you.”
“I’ll miss you too,” she waved him on, “Now hurry up before I decide to call this overseas trip over and take you to the cabin instead.”
“Hmm, don’t tempt me like that.  I just might give in,” he divulged kissing her once again only to feel her hand press into the center of his chest.
“Russ…come on…” Avery groaned in response.
“I’ll be back in a flash,” he finally decided taking a step away from her. 
Glancing over his shoulder he watched her blow a kiss in his general direction before he took a look at his watch.  He was running a few minutes behind and while he’d planned this meeting to go down smoothly, it wasn’t off to a good start.  He hated lying to Avery about what was going on, but there was no way he was going to get her wrapped up any further than she already was.  He would meet with the mystery woman and get the information he needed and then, well then everything would fall into place.  Until then Kyle had Avery covered and he was ready to uncover just what secrets had been lurking around his life in Coral Valley.


Cameron adjusted his tie having found himself less than thrilled with the storm that had started just as soon as he and Heather had been dropped off at the airport.  While the weather had promised that today would be bright and beautiful, the thick thunder clouds that had helped create a downpour of rain on the way inside the airport hadn’t followed how things were supposed to be.
“Well, this is a great start,” Heather mouthed with a frown, unwilling to truly let Cameron off the hook after everything he’d put her through.  Sure, she as going to be civil for now, but in being too sweet, he’d suspect she was up to something.
“I don’t want to hear it,” he warned waving his finger at her in an attempt to silence her words.
“At least tell me that you have some kind of private jet we’re going on instead of us having to truck around with the masses,” she half rolled her eyes taking a good, long look at the crowed airport.
“We’re taking a commercial flight and I expect you to behave,” Cameron warned sharply, wiggling his finger once again.
“I can hardly wait,” Heather rolled her eyes hating to have to listen to his words despite the fact she’d made a promise with herself on how to get out of the situation with him.
“Neither can I,” Thea’s voice rose up from the commotion that surrounded them.
“What the hell is she doing here,” Heather frowned almost immediately, hating to see Cameron’s little lapdog bothering them once again.  If Heather was to be able to get Cameron when he was most vulnerable, then she would most certainly have to do it without Cameron’s assistant breathing down her neck.
“I thought I could use a vacation,” Thea replied with a wicked smirk before continuing with her words, “besides, I thought I’d pay little Kipper a visit there since I miss him oh so very much.”
“Cameron, why does she have to go along,” Heather turned in towards him reaching out to tug on his arm in protest, “I thought we were going on this trip to turn a new leaf.  You told me that you wanted to try to start over again, remember?”
“I remember,” he nodded accordingly, “but Thea is going to be working on a few things for me that are business related out there.  I can assure you that she won’t be intruding upon our time together.”
“I still don’t want her there,” Heather voiced her protest once again before glaring at Thea.
“Well it seems that you don’t have a choice Heather because I’m not going anywhere,” Thea replied stubbornly, tossing her dark hair back over her shoulders with a proud smile.  She could see how much Heather was hating her presence and that made this trip all the more exciting.
“Now ladies, I think it would be best if you both try to get along considering…” Cameron started before his eyes caught wind of Jade across the way.
“Considering what?” Heather curled her lip in a pout taking note of the blank expression on his face.
“I’ll be right back,” Cameron excused himself unable to stay away from the woman he’d been fantasizing about since he’d come to Coral Valley.  While she was accompanied by a large and burly looking man, Cameron was still compelled to get closer.  He waved his hand at Thea dismissively, “Watch Heather for a minute.  I’ll be right back.”
“But Cameron…” Thea started in a pout having spotted Jade herself.  Unable to mask her irritation, she watched while Cameron weaved through the crowd to get nearer to Jade. 
Heather caught wind of Thea’s gaze and in a few seconds, she started to piece things together--wondering if perhaps her husband had more on his agenda.  Unwilling to let Cameron’s actions get to her, Heather direct her attention to Thea wanting to bait her, “Hmm, I guess you aren’t that good at keeping his attention after all.  And here you had me believing that you had some kind of importance in his life in being his whore, but apparently you weren‘t that good if he has a roving eye, now were you?”
“Shut up,” Thea sneered back at her with eyes full of venom.
“Truth hurts doesn’t it,” Heather continued to taunt her, “Cameron cares about you probably as much as he cares about me.  No, I take that back--it’s probably a lot less considering that he’s married to me.”
“I said shut up,” Thea snarled again, “or else…”
“Or else what,” Heather dared her, feeling a moment of boldness press upon her, “What could you possibly do to me Thea?  From where I stand we’re both in a bad place.  The only difference is I know where I rate with Cameron.  You on the other hand are so delusional that you won’t see it coming when he replaces you and kicks you out of his life.”
“That won’t happen,” Thea argued with her, her brown eyes following Cameron like a hawk while he moved around the airport in an attempt to be closer to Jade, “Cameron needs me.”
“Yeah right,” Heather balked back taking note of Cameron’s behavior.  While she’d wanted the man to suffer, perhaps Thea was the key in making it happen.  The jealousy that flooded over the woman’s face spoke volumes about her feelings for Heather’s husband.  Taking the initiative, Heather spoke up again with another jab, “Keep telling yourself that Thea.”
With that Heather started to step away until Thea reached out to stop her, “Where do you think you’re going?”
“To the ladies room.  Being pregnant does tend to make you have to go there more frequently,” Heather stated simply placing her hand over her abdomen, “You’re more than welcome to tag along--that is if you can stop ogling my husband.”
“I’m not ogling,” Thea cut back sharply before shoving Heather towards the ladies room, “I’m just not interested in watching you.”
“If it’s any consolation, I really hate spending any kind of time with you as well,” Heather blurted out thinking about what direction she could take to turn Thea against Cameron.  Maybe she wouldn’t have to lift a finger to make Cameron disappear after all if Thea was that possessive about Cameron. 


“You sure you’re ready for this?” Hart questioned carrying Jenna’s luggage with his tucked carefully under his arm.
“Do I have a choice,” Jenna sighed heavily thinking about what mysteries would be waiting for her in Los Angeles, “While I wish I could ignore what’s been happening, the fact remains that my father has a whole other life I know nothing about.”
“I realize that, but once you finally see what’s happening, just know that you can’t go back.  They say that ignorance is bliss sometimes,” Hart pointed out wondering if this trip was a good idea after all.
“Yes but in this instance, I think ignorance is dangerous,” Jenna’s eyes scanned the airport until she spotted Cameron up ahead.  “What in the…”
“What’s wrong,” Hart asked reaching out to her.
“What is he doing here,” Jenna frowned taking a step forward around the time Hart spotted Cameron up ahead.
“Jenna, wait where do you think you’re going?” he questioned in confusion not wanting the woman he loved anywhere near Cameron.
“I’m going to find out what the hell he’s doing here,” Jenna declared boldly, her eyes shooting out an icy glare in Cameron’s general direction, “Something tells me he’s here to get in our way.”
“Jen, it’s a big airport.  I’m sure that he could be off doing his thing,” Hart suggested hoping to keep her from doing something stupid.
“Or he’s trying to stop me from learning the truth about what’s been going on, but I’m not about to let that happen,” she declared taking a step forward while Hart chased after her hoping to prevent any kind of an uproar.

...to be continued...