Episode 134

“Could you be any slower,” Blake frowned impatiently making her way through the airport doors with Brant practically running at her heels in between trying to duck the storm outside.
“This isn’t a race Blake,” Brant tried to remind her watching his sister run around in a frenzy while seeking out the one man she’d let slip away not so long ago.  “Blake, slow down.”
“I can’t slow down,” Blake continued, her voice full of desperation, “I can’t just let Seth leave town thinking that I don’t love him.  I know that I made a mistake before, but I can’t allow myself to do it again.  I know what I want…”
“And you’re sure this is because it’s really what you want, yes?  It’s not because Zack married Johanna,” he pondered what Ken had briefly filled him on in their last phone conversation.
“No,” Blake shook her head again, “this isn’t about Zack.  Granted I love Zack and I’ll always love Zack, but he and I…well, we were tempting fate.  Everyone else was right about how wrong we’d be with one another.”
“And Seth?” Brant questioned watching the flash of emotion that spilled over her heat colored cheeks.
“He’s everything I’ve ever wanted,” she confessed feeling her damp hair press in against her face, “I can’t blow this one Brant.”
“You won’t Blake.  From what I was able to gather on the way over, Seth’s departure will be taking place close to where Ken and Caitlin’s plane is coming in.  We can head over there together and…” he started only to watch her turn towards the direction they were supposed to go.  He opened his mouth to speak once again only to discover Blake was sprinting off in a frenzy.  Shaking his head, he reluctantly followed her hoping that things would work out like Blake was hoping for with Seth.  Somehow given his sister’s level of desperation, he was fearing what would happen if Seth didn’t reciprocate the feelings.


Susan stood back by the telephone area, sunglasses covering her dark eyes despite the fact that the sun had been replaced by the thunderclouds above darkening the sky.  While she’d tried to behave in a mature and responsible way, she knew that there was no way she was going to play it foolishly.  She wanted Ken and nothing was going to get in the way of that.  Once Brant and Blake had passed on, she followed them with her eyes thinking about how she would not be thwarted in her mission.  Ken would realize just how right they were for one another--one way or another.
Reaching for her cell phone, Susan fished it out of her pocket and quickly dialed a number.  While she hated taking things to an extreme, she had no choice in the matter.  Caitlin’s presence in Ken’s life had to be put to an end.  Susan was meant to be with him--at least until she’d finished using him for what served her purpose.  Hearing the familiar voice on the other end of the line, she spoke up in a dark and determined tone.
“Yes, I just wanted to let you know they’re coming in at Gate D-6.  Yes…of course.  I’m well aware of it…yes…I understand,” she finished hanging up the phone.  Dropping it back into her purse she contemplated going to the gate to watch the drama unfold before her.  However, she knew the risk she would be taking if someone spotted her on the scene.  Smiling to herself she adjusted her jacket before turning towards the airport’s exit knowing full well that Ken would be hers very soon.


Russ stood outside his car realizing that while having him meet up with the woman caller at this very spot seemed like a bright idea at the time, the storm overhead had other plans for him.  Now soaked by the downpour that had gone into full effect less than five minutes earlier, Russ was convinced this was a mistake.  This had all been nothing more than a blatant attempt to get him away from Avery, he rationalized shaking off the water droplets that now soaked the ends of his dark hair.  Reaching for the newspaper that he’d been using as a shield against the raging storm, he started to walk away from his car only to be met by a small woman in a long, black trench coat.
“Russell Denton,” she questioned, her fearful eyes sliding up over his body.  He could see her rosy cheeks were glowing from the winds that had picked up when the rain had started and her plastic looking auburn colored hair clung to her face like a second skin.  She had freckles and a cracked, nervous smile that lead him to believe she’d seen better days.  In her hands she’d held a package--a small bag of sorts that clearly held something very important to her.  She clenched it to her chest tightly as if her life depended on it, “I’m sorry I’m late.  I think I was being followed before.”
“So you’re the one who called me,” he questioned taking note of the way she eyed the parking lot wearily.
“Yes, I am,” she nodded urgently, “but it isn’t safe here.  Can we go somewhere else to talk?  If they see me…”
“Who?” Russ asked watching the fear flash behind her eyes in unison with the lightening above.
“Them,” she answered honestly, “if they had any idea that I was doing this, then I’d be dead like Randy.  He knew too much and now so do I…”
“What is it they are after,” he questioned further realizing that the key to what she must’ve been holding onto was inside that bag she was clinging to.
“Come with me and I’ll tell you everything you need to know,” she promised urging him to follow her to a place where she could reveal all her secrets to him.


“What is taking him so long,” Avery frowned taking another look at her watch.  While Russ had promised it would be a quick run to the car and back, fifteen minutes had passed and there was no sign of him.  Tapping her foot impatiently, she thought about his strange behavior over the last week.  Could he be up to something?  Doing something that he didn’t want her to know about?  Hating the nagging feeling that had overtaken her, Avery spun around to face Kyle.
“I’m sure he’ll be back soon,” Kyle offered up with a slight frown unable to mask his own growing concerns about what Russ was stepping into without him.
“What’s really going on Kyle,” Avery questioned in an accusatory tone, her lips curling into a pout, “He’s not going for the tickets, is he?”
“Why would you say something like that,” Kyle shrugged his shoulder simply, “You know that you can’t get on the plane without the tickets…”
“I’m well aware of that, but something tells me he has more going on than a simple trip to get the tickets,” Avery started placing her hands on her hips impatiently, “So what is it?”
“Avery, it’s nothing.  It’s just…” Kyle bit on his lower lip hating to lie to Avery after everything that they’d been through over the years.  He wasn’t happy with how Russ was approaching things either and the longer Kyle sat back doing nothing, the more agitated he was getting with the situation.
“Just what,” Avery ordered an answer from him, “Kyle, what is Russ doing?”
“Hey, what’s going on,” Jade questioned joining the two of them once again after she’d made a quick stop to purchase a magazine from the magazine stand before the trip.
“Russ and Kyle are up to something and Kyle’s not talking,” Avery stated bluntly, her eyes narrowing up at him, “What?  Is it some kind of secret boy’s club thing that you have going on here?”
“No, Avery that’s not it…it’s just…” Kyle started nervously feeling guilt tug at his insides.
“Just what?  I can tell it’s something major,” Avery insisted suddenly struck with an uncanny feeling, “Oh God, he’s gone back to investigating Bruce again, hasn’t he?”
“Avery, I’m not saying that…” Kyle’s voice pleaded with her.
“He is,” Avery concluded sensing his hesitance, “Kyle, what is going on?  What is he doing?”
“He got a phone call the other day.  Some woman told him that she could provide him with information on Bruce’s whereabouts.  She said she knew who was funding him while he was evading the law and she asked to meet with him today…” Kyle confessed feeling as if he’d been kicked in the gut by the expression that crossed over her features.
“You mean he’s meeting with someone he doesn’t know?  He left to go check out a lead that could get him killed if he’s not careful,” Avery’s eyes widened in horror, “Kyle, just who is this woman?”
“He doesn’t know, but she swore that…” he began to inform her.
“Oh God, it has to be a trap.  How could you be so stupid to let him do this Kyle? Bruce said if Russ didn’t back down that he’d find a way to get rid of him and a surefire way to do that would be to appeal to the one thing that Russ has been longing for--peace of mind,” Avery’s jaw dropped as she thought back to the dead woman that had been left as a warning in her home.  Suddenly she felt fear consume her, a panic overtake her and in that instant, she realized she had to find Russ.  “I have to find him!”
“Avery wait,” Kyle reached out to grab her arm, “if it’s as dangerous as you think it is, then you shouldn’t go alone.”
“Let go of me,” she seethed wrenching her arm away from him.
“I just want to help you,” he offered up catching wind of the sheer disgust burning behind her eyes.
“I think you’ve done more than enough in bringing danger into our lives.  You’ve filled my husband’s head with these notions that he can take justice into his own hands and now…  I just hope I’m not too late,” she announced racing off in the opposite direction while leaving Jade and Kyle to watch her retreat.
“Avery wait,” Kyle called out after her in a futile attempt to get her to reason with him.  He glanced over at his shoulder at Jade, then back to Avery again.
“Go after her,” Jade urged him on, “She shouldn’t be alone right now especially if what she’s saying is true.”
“I promised Grady that I wouldn’t leave you either,” Kyle informed her honestly thinking about the promise he’d made to protect both Jade and Avery.
“I’ll be fine,” Jade tried to assure him, “I’ll wait right here for the both of you, but please hurry.  I don’t want something to happen to either one of them.”
“It won’t even be an option,” Kyle promised with a quick nod going off after Avery in the hopes of keeping disaster from striking for his best friend and his wife.


Jade watched Kyle’s retreat wondering just what was going on with Russ.  While he’d been unusually quiet on the ride over to the airport, Jade had just attributed it to nerves about the trip they were about to make.  She’d thought that he too was worried about the safety issues involved in catching up with Grady again.  Even now she couldn’t help but think about how she’d been missing Grady like crazy.  This distance was killing her and she couldn’t wait to be with him.
Running her hands up over her arms, Jade turned towards the magazine stand once again hoping to find a way to keep herself from the lingering thoughts that had haunted her since she and Grady had parted.  It was bad enough that they had to keep the fact that he was alive a secret from the world, but what made it worse was that she had to pretend without him.  How she wished he was here during a time like this.  If Russ was in trouble, then he would know what to do.  Sighing to herself Jade reached for one of the magazines before her only to feel a warm breath down over the back of her neck.
“Excellent selection,” Cameron mouthed just above her.
Immediately Jade froze up, her body tight with tension as she thought of the man behind her.  Straining to keep from cringing, she pulled together the strength to turn around and face him down.  There was no mistaking the want behind his eyes--the obvious need that spoke volumes about the hunger he’d had for her.  She’d seen it the day she’d run out of his home after she’d almost offered herself to him, but now, well now it was stronger than ever.
“Cameron,” she spoke his name in a tight, tentative tone, “what are you doing here?”
“Checking in on how you’re doing,” he commented with a greedy smile.  Leaning in closer to her as if to trap her in against the rack behind her, his eyes traveled over her body avariciously, “I haven’t seen you around town lately.”
“I’ve been keeping to myself,” she replied behind gritted teeth holding the magazine she’d purchased earlier up against her chest.
“I kind of figured, although I must confess I wasn’t expecting to see you here today,” Cameron commented his gaze dropping down over the low neckline of the shirt she’d put on earlier in the morning, “Where are you going?”
“Away for a while, so if you’d excuse me,” she replied curtly in an attempt to brush past him only to have him catch her arm.
“Actually, I was hoping we could have a few words with one another,” Cameron grinned like the cat who ate the canary.
“I’m kind of in a hurry,” Jade tried to pull out of his reach only to feel his fingers curl tighter around her arm.
“You’re not in that big of a hurry I’m sure,” he replied unwilling to allow her to leave him, “so how about we take that time to have that long overdue talk with one another?  After all, what are friends for?”
“I’m not your friend Cameron,” she spat back at him trying to wrench her arm away, “And if you don’t let go of me right this instant, I swear I’ll scream.”
“There’s no need for that Jade,” he explained finally releasing her arm with one swift movement, “I merely wanted for us to catch up with one another.  The last time we encountered each other there were quite a few misunderstandings taking place between us.”
“Oh I understood everything that was happening between us,” she shot back icily.
“No, I don’t think you do, but I would like to prove to you that I’m not nearly as horrible as you must be thinking I am at this moment in time.  I know that this must be hard for you in losing Grady like you have and all, but you should know that I still consider you someone rather important to me…” he continued romanticizing his words as he went along.
“Spare me the smooth talk Cameron because it’s not going to work,” Jade snapped back at him balling her fists up at her sides before she leaned in a bit closer to continue lashing out at him, “I see you for exactly what you are and sooner or later everyone else will as well.”
“Jade…” he began only to catch wind of her dark hair spinning with her movement.  She stalked away from him, clearly in a state of upset by their encounter, but as Cameron eyed her making her retreat, he vowed that he would find a way to win Jade over yet.  After all she was meant to be his and he wasn’t stopping until that goal was well within his reach.


“Excuse me,” Jenna began stopping Heather and Thea from leaving the ladies room after she’d followed them inside.  She kept her eyes fixed upon Heather, ready to know more about the woman who was pregnant with her niece or nephew, “may I have a words with you?  My name is Jenna Carpenter and while we haven’t been formally introduced, you were dating my brother for a while.”
“Come again,” Heather gave her a strange look trying to register who the woman in front of her could be related to.
“Kipp Mahoney,” Jenna explained quickly realizing that she didn’t have time to play around with pleasantries.  She needed to know what Douglas had done to destroy Kipp and if Heather had played a part in her brother’s downfall, she needed to know, “and if I’m not mistaken that baby you’re carrying is his child, yes?”
“Well actually…” Heather started not quite sure on how to approach the situation with Jenna.  She opened her mouth to speak up once again before Thea stepped up beside her.
“We’re in a hurry,” Thea cut Heather off abruptly in an attempt to scoot her out of the ladies room, “so if you’ll excuse us.”
“No, I won’t,” Jenna stood her ground glaring at Thea, “I’d like to have a few words with Ms. Gibbons, so if you don’t mind…”
“Actually I do,” Thea scowled in response trying to move past Jenna once again.
“Then that’s too bad because I really need to speak with Ms. Gibbons and as long as she doesn’t mind, then that’s exactly what I’m going to do,” Jenna stood her ground refusing to allow Cameron’s assistant to thwart her quest for the truth.
Thinking about Thea’s association with Douglas, Jenna felt her blood boil.  It was bad enough that her father was sleeping with that woman knowing full well what kind of evil she was, but now Thea was trying to push her weight around with Jenna.  Jenna had news for her though.  It wasn’t going to happen.  That much she was certain of.
“Do you have any idea who you’re dealing with,” Thea asked behind an arched brow.
“I have every inclination of what I’m dealing with,” Jenna wrinkled her nose at Thea before giving off a less than approving face, “and I really don’t give a damn what objections you might have to my speaking with Heather.  You’re just going to have to deal with them.”
“Wrong,” Thea started to say something further when Heather stepped in between the two women.
“I really don’t mind,” Heather flashed Thea an icy smile before directing her attention to Jenna, “In fact, I’m glad you approached me because I think you and I have a great many things to discuss with one another.”
“Excellent,” Jenna smiled in response feeling as if she’d made some progress in her search for the truth about the past.  She shot a glare back at Thea before turning to Heather once again, “Do you have time for a drink?”
“As a matter of fact I do,” Heather nodded in response heading towards the door to the ladies room with Jenna.  While Cameron had thought he’d keep her on a tight leash with Thea, Heather had plans all of her own.  No man--especially not Cameron--would tie her down and keep her from the life she was meant for.  Glancing over at Thea one last time, she could see Thea burning with obvious animosity and irritation at Heather’s opting to leave with Jenna, but as it stood right now Heather could give a damn less.  Let Thea suffer for a while--or worse let Cameron take it out on Thea for not being able to do her job.  Yes, that sounded like the perfect plan indeed, Heather decided before motioning over to Jenna, “After you.”


Hart stood outside the ladies room just far enough away from what was happening inside for him to keep an eye on Jenna.  While he’d hated the idea of her going directly up to Heather and Cameron’s assistant, he knew that there was no trying to talk her out of it.  She’d had her mind made up and she was desperate to seek out the truth one way or the other.  Still, Hart knew the type and he was certain that the people that Douglas Mahoney had been keeping up with were nothing but trouble.
Douglas Mahoney, he thought to himself thinking about Jenna’s playboy father.  While Doug and Hart had reached some kind of understanding, Hart still didn’t trust the guy.  There was something about him that was obviously shady and clearly off.  However, the more Hart thought about Jenna’s father, the more he started to understand him.  Had Hart not met Jenna, he might’ve taken a trip down the same dark and dangerous path himself. 
Frowning at the thought of what might’ve been, Hart directed his attention to the ladies room once again.  He noticed that Jenna was no emerging with Heather Gibbons.  While Hart had minimal interactions with Heather when she and Brant were engaged to one another, he had perceived her as anything, but agreeable.  Jenna had still wanted to try to reason with Heather and get the scoop on Kipp.  Much to Hart’s surprise it appeared that she had succeeded.  Watching Jenna motion for him that she’d be right back, he leaned up against the wall wondering just what Jenna would discover.
“Hopefully this will be a step in the right direction,” he mouthed to himself taking a long look around the airport. 
Somehow he had this strange feeling about the trip he couldn’t quite shake and while some would classify it as paranoia, Hart knew it was something more.  Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted someone dressed in all black.  While normally that wouldn’t even capture his interest, the fact that the man’s eyes were on Jenna like a hawk said something more about Hart’s immediate reaction to him.  Hart glanced over at Jenna once again seeing that she and Heather had entered the small restaurant tucked away in the corner of the airport.  Turning to the man again, he watched the man step forward in a slow, sly movement approaching where Jenna had drifted off to.  That was all it took to get Hart’s radar up. 
Moving forward, Hart sped up to step in behind the man sensing that the man wasn’t planning on Hart intervening.  As the man started to reach into the inside pocket of his trench coat, Hart seized him by the collar, pushing him back into a wall.
“Just where the hell do you think you’re going?” Hart demanded with questioning eyes.
“Look buddy, you’d be best to let go of me,” the man blinked back in surprise before his gaze traveled over to Jenna and Heather once again.
“Not until you tell me why you’re following my girlfriend,” Hart demanded, his eyes full of protective awareness for Jenna.
The man hesitated before speaking up again with obvious reluctance, “I’m on assignment.  My name is Lawson--Special Agent Lawson and I’m under strict orders to keep a watch in Ms. Carpenter.”
“Strict watch by who,” Hart shoved him once again, noting the expression of sheer panic that pressed over the man’s features.
“Assistant Director Callaway,” he blurted out opening up a whole new line of questions for Hart.
“And why is that?” Hart demanded with a low growl in his tone, “Why did he send you here?”
“It’s classified,” Lawson explained with a grumble.
“Too bad,” Hart sneered sharply ready to shake him down completely if he had to, “Make it unclassified right now or else…”
“Because we had a tip that she’s in danger--” Lawson reluctantly offered up, “That you’re both in danger if I’m not here to intervene.”
“Intervene with what,” Hart questioned blankly as if trying to decipher what the man was telling him.
“Someone wants to make sure you never get on that plane and if you don’t let me help you, then you and Ms. Carpenter are both in for a world of disaster,” Lawson explained solemnly in an attempt to express the weight of whatever situation was presented before them.


Seth made his way back towards his departure point after escorting Eileen to her plane.  While she’d had a point, he wasn’t quite sure if he could muster up the strength to call Blake after the way things had been between them.  While he wanted nothing more than to be with her, he was afraid that too many things had happened--too much time had passed and that he was too late.  By now she and Zack were no doubt reunited with one another and that was the end of where he fit in her life.  He wasn’t sure he could stand that kind of rejection yet again from her.
“Seth,” he heard a voice call out to him.  Tilting his head towards the source of the sound, he noticed Gabe up ahead waving at him.  Gabe continued to approach with a smile on his face, “I thought that was you.”
“Gabe, hi.  How are you,” Seth smiled in response greeting his newfound friend, “What are you doing here?”
“Leaving Coral Valley for a while,” Gabe explained simply, “My daughter needs me back in Europe so I have to go back there for a bit.  I was meaning to call you…”
“Oh?” Seth replied curiously.
Gabe nodded, “I heard about what happened to the man that your sister was seeing and I wanted to send Jade my condolences.  She and I were able to talk things out not so long ago and she was really there for me.  I’d been meaning to call her, but one thing after another kept happening.”
“Tell me about it,” Seth nodded in understanding, “It seems like it never ends around here.”
“Isn’t that the truth,” Gabe agreed with a heavy sigh, “So what about you?  What brings you here today?”
“I have a job assignment overseas,” Seth explained quickly, “Someone caught wind of my work and they’d like me to do a spot for the magazine Absolute Sports.  They are working on the Beach Beauties Issue and they were hoping I could get out there to follow them around Europe.”
“Really,” Gabe’s eyes widened in surprise, “My that is quite an accomplishment, isn’t it?”
“That’s if I get there,” Seth confessed with a slight frown.
“Having second thoughts about leaving?” Gabe noted searching Seth’s expression.
“More than I realized,” Seth nodded in response, “but maybe that’s a good thing.”
“Perhaps,” Gabe agreed before thinking it over for a moment, “So what flight are you on?”
“Over there,” Seth nodded to the gate before him, “although with all the airport security issues, I had to wait a night to get the flight.  I was supposed to leave last night, but then they had this horrible mix-up with my flight.  Needless to say I would really like to get moving one way or another instead of being stuck in this endless contemplation.”
“Maybe you’re being delayed for a reason if you have something on your mind,” Gabe suggested with a small shrug, “Perhaps fate is trying to tell you something.”
“Yeah, that I’m clearly incapable of doing what’s best for those that I care about,” Seth ran his fingers through his dark hair.
“Well whatever you think it is, perhaps you should take some time to relax.  When does your flight leave?” Gabe inquired while thinking about his own retreat from Coral Valley.
“Not for another hour.  Yours?” Seth asked in response.
“About the same.  How about we get a coffee or something?  Maybe we can talk about what it is that you’re thinking about staying in Coral Valley for,” Gabe suggested in an attempt to help someone figure things out since he was clearly in a state of turmoil in his own life.
“That sounds good,” Seth decided hoping that one way or another he’d be able to get this confusion he’d been carrying around with him off his chest.  Maybe after a talk with Gabe, he would know what he should do.  Maybe then he’d find the strength to follow his heart back to Blake or at the very least he’d be able to step forward and leave her behind forever.


Kyle ran after past all the people in the crowd looking for Avery. He shouldn’t have allowed her to race off like she had because now he could no longer see her in his sight. He looked around as the airport seemed to spin as his eyes searched the place.

"Avery!" he called out as the he turned around. His eyes searched the place as he came to a sudden stop.

He spotted a set of lockers before him as he pulled the key out of his pocket.

"These have to be it," he convinced himself walking over to the lockers.

He scanned over each locker number until he came to a stop. This was the locker he had been looking for. He sighed not knowing what to expect from this, this had been a major thing. What could be in that locker? Better yet, what kind of item could be in there to help him? He took the key and put it in slowly, he grasped onto the lock and unhooked it. He pulled the lock off and opened the door.

"Oh shit!" exclaimed as his throat went dry and fear over came him.

All these people were here, he had to get them out. He couldn’t let this happen.

Kyle ran over to a security guard, "Listen you have to get everyone out of here.  There’s bomb in the building."

"Calm down and explain to me what you just said," the guard said lightly.

"Never mind," he grunted running back towards the pile of people.

"Everyone, you have to get out of here," he yelled but no one listened. "There is a bomb in the building."

Gasps came, but still some were not alarmed by what he was saying. God, why couldn’t people just listen sometimes? Kyle sighed running back towards the lockers. He looked at the bomb as he tried to figure out what to do. His attention finally went to little red numbers marking the time on it.

"Oh my god," he got up and jumped over the bench and started to run. He had to find the three of his friends and get them out of there. He couldn’t let them get hurt, if they did he would blame himself for everything as finding this bomb was the last thing he’d ever expected to have happen.


Russ was hesitant to follow the woman before him into her car, but as he thought about what was happening with Bruce Mathis in his life, he couldn’t afford not to comply with what she was asking.  Taking a seat in the passenger side of the car, his gaze drifted to the roaring thunderclouds above.  This day had started out so bright and beautiful and now it felt dark and twisted--much like things had been going for his family lately.  He had this stinging feeling in his gut that something was off, but he wasn’t about to let that keep him from learning the truth.  Turning to look at her once again, he watched her withdraw a cigarette from her oversized purse.
“So what is it you’d like to show me,” Russ questioned watching her inhale another thick puff from the small cigarette in her hand.
“First you have to understand that I’m not a bad person,” she began, her voice cracked with emotion, “I didn’t ask for any of this and when Randy said he had something big in the works, well I didn’t think it would be like this, you know?  I mean here he promised me we’d get a place outside the trailer park--that we’d get a cozy little house on the water after this score.  He said to me time and time again, ’Kristy baby…we’re headed for the big time.  I can feel it.  I’m going to change our lives forever’” Kristy let out an ironic laugh before using her free hand to press her hair behind her ear.  Her dark eyes returned to Russ once again before she shook her head, “I just never imagined that the big time would mean that in changing our lives forever it would take mine away from me.  You know I used to want to be someone.  I had dreams--I had plans for my future, but Randy changed that you know…he came into my life and promised me the world, but all we got was--” she puffed on her cigarette again, “well you know what we had.”
Russ nodded not wanting to cut her off, but finding himself desperate for the information she’d carried with her, “What was it you wanted to show me?”
“It’s not something to be taken lightly.  When I was first around this thing, well Randy thought he’d be smooth and play both sides.  I mean he had this Mathis character who’d hired him to take some sleazy photos--not that it was anything out of the ordinary.  Randy was always doing that sort of work--on some levels I think he got off on those things, but still this time it was different.  He started following that woman around that Mathis hired him to watch, but then Mathis wigged out on him.  Randy told me he was afraid of him--really terrified about who Mathis was and more so about the connections he’d made over the years…”
“What connections,” Russ questioned curiously, “who was Randy afraid of?”
“The people that Mathis was working for.  I mean sure guys like that very seldom have partners in crime, but then that’s where Mathis screwed up.  Randy did a little digging and he came up with this,” Kristy reached into her bag withdrawing an envelope.  She handed it over to Russ, “Those are more of the photos that I sent you the other day.”
“With my mother-in-law and Bruce,” Russ nodded in response, “Yes, I saw them, but what do they mean?”
“You know that kidnapping story she cooked up,” Kristy took another long drag of her cigarette, “That’s all it was.  There was no kidnapping.  Mathis didn’t take her--didn’t even touch a hair on her head there.  She made the whole thing up…”
“What,” Russ blinked back tearing open the envelope to gaze upon the images of Bruce and Brooke with one another in an alleyway.  The scene showed them engaged in a seemingly heavy conversation, building to some kind of exchange were Bruce handed Brooke a box.  There were another couple of heated shots where it seemed that Bruce was going to attack, but ultimately Bruce walked away leaving Brooke alone in the alley where she made a phone call promptly after his departure.
“She made the whole thing up,” Kristy continued to inform him, “Turns out not only did she set Mathis up for the fall with that bogus kidnapping story, but the two have been in cahoots for years with one another.”
“How do you know that,” Russ asked unable to process what he was witnessing fast enough.
“Randy did some digging after he saw your mother-in-law with Bruce.  It turns out the two have a whole shady history with one another going back to a few months before you and your wife’s first failed wedding.  Apparently she made a few phone calls and she and Mathis have a few common associates.  The night she was meeting him up in that alley, she wasn’t expecting him.  She was hoping for another one of her contacts from the pharmaceutical company that she was going through for the drugs…”
“What drugs,” Russell asked in a panic suddenly fearing the worst.
“The ones that ended your wife’s pregnancy the first time,” Kristy informed him point blank before reaching into her purse for another cigarette.  Fumbling with it while her fingers began to tremble, she spoke up hoarsely, “She’s one sick bitch you know.  She not only killed your child the first time, but she’s out to do it again.  That’s what was in the box that Mathis gave her.”
“What…” Russell’s jaw dropped in horror upon the realization of what Brooke had been doing.  All this time--all the things leading up to the present were just thrown out to get Avery to trust her again and in setting up Mathis, she’d taken the heat off of herself.  Suddenly feeling desperate to be with Avery again, he glanced over at Kristy.  “Do you have concrete proof of all of this?”
Kristy nodded reaching into her bag again, “Randy got the medical records that Mathis kept in his own personal stash.  It turns out that Bruce didn’t trust your mother-in-law either especially when he uncovered the deal she’d made with her silent partner.”
“Silent partner,” Russ repeated in confusion, “what partner?”
“The one who is calling the shots this time around.  He’s the reason that Bruce is still out there--the reason why your future is in jeopardy and more so he’s the reason that my Randy is dead.  When Randy discovered what was really going on, he tried to blackmail them.  He tried to get them to pay him for his silence, but instead, they silenced him,” Kristy’s eyes filled with tears, “They killed the man I loved and set him up for a fall all because he learned the horrible truth about what money and power will do to destroy…  They’re evil and I know that it’s only a matter of time before they find me.  They’ll kill me.  He won’t let me live knowing what I know and now that you know…”
“Who is he,” Russ reached out to her watching her break into sobs, “Please you have to tell me who is behind this.  Tell me who Brooke is working with so that I can save my family.”
“It’s too late.  They’ve already set the wheels in motion,” Kristy continued with heaving whimpers, “They won’t stop until we’re gone--until all evidence of their evil doings have been erased permanently.”
“Listen to me,” Russ reached for her shoulders forcing her to face him, “I’ll help you.  I’ll find a place where you’re safe--a place where they can’t touch you.  If you just help me bring Brooke, Bruce and their partner to justice…”
“There isn’t justice for their kind.  Not after all they’ve done,” Kristy argued with him, unable to refrain from her tears, “It’s gone too far--it’s too late.”
“It’s never too late,” he pleaded with her, “Kristy, listen to me.  If you don’t tell me who Brooke is working with--if you don’t let me know everything Randy found out about them, then his death will have been in vain.  My family will be taken away from me and I can’t face that.  I can’t lose them…especially not now that I know Brooke is trying to take my child away from me again…”
“Russ, I just wish…” Kristy started before stopping herself.  Wiping at her tears, she bit down on her lower lip.  With a sniffle she reached into her purse withdrawing another package from within, “You’re right.  You have a right to know, but I warn you, once you see what’s inside, there won’t be any turning back.”
“Maybe not, but I swear to you I’ll put an end to the madness.  I‘ll use whatever is inside her to put a stop to the misery.  You have my word on that,” Russell vowed reaching for the package ready to uncover his mother-in-law’s dirty little secrets one by one.


“Where is he,” Blake questioned looking around the airport in the hopes of locating Seth before his flight took off.
“I’m sure he couldn’t have gotten far,” Brant replied scanning the crowd for any signs of Ken’s arrival, “You’ll find him.”
“I certainly hope so,” Blake replied feeling her stomach tied in knots at the prospect of what lay before her.  She surveyed the travelers that surrounded her hoping that somehow she would be able to spot Seth in the midst of the crowd.  Moments like these only came along once in a lifetime and she wasn’t about to blow it.
“Hey there’s Ken,” Brant announced pointing in the general direction where his brother was coming from.
Blake turned her head in the direction where Brant had pointed Ken out.  She saw Zack walking with Johanna, arm in arm and for the briefest of moments she felt a pang of jealousy overtake her.  How she’d thought once upon a time that it would’ve been her and Zack, but alas the tables had turned.  Fate had taken her down a new path and she didn’t want to blow it.
“Are you coming with me,” Brant questioned nudging her slightly.
“No, I have somewhere else I have to be,” Blake announced spinning around to catch a familiar movement out of the corner of her eye.  Seeking it out once again, she spotted Seth with Gabe inside one of the small restaurants near the center of the airport.  While it had been a long shot that she’d run into him, she could see him clearly and in that instant her pulse leapt up into her throat.
As if sensing her progress, Brant’s eyes followed her gaze over to the man she’d been seeking out.  He gave her another nudge before whispering in the back of her ear, “Well what are you waiting for beautiful?  Go get him.”
“Oh I will.  I‘m not going to blow it again,” Blake smiled eagerly hoping that she could really find a way to make things right.  Keeping her eyes on the goal at hand, she took the first step towards Seth, praying that she could persuade him to hear her out.
“Good for you Blake,” Brant encouraged her under his breath before turning to face Ken and Caitlin again.  While he’d hated the idea that his brother would be coming back with the hopes of having something permanent with Caitlin, Brant was going to try his best to grin and bear it--for now anyways.


“Home at last,” Ken sighed heavily ready to get his bearings about him once again.  While the flight home had been somewhat peaceful, the storm outside had left him on shaky ground.  Wrapping his arm around Caitlin securely, he turned her in towards him ready to steal yet another quick kiss from her, “You ready for this?”
“I don’t think I have a choice, now do I,” she couldn’t help but tease tilting her head up to gaze into his dark eyes, “though with you by my side I think we can accomplish anything.”
“There’s no doubt in my mind about that,” Ken brushed his lips against hers in another soft kiss, “I love you.”
“I love you too,” Caitlin replied reaching for his hand.  She laced their fingers in one another, hoping that she could keep up to her own promise to be on her best behavior around Brant despite their less than savory past.  Stepping forward, she spotted Brant about thirty feet ahead of them, approaching rapidly.  Okay, so maybe the moment would be coming sooner than she’d hoped for, but she would grin and bear it for Ken.  After all, if he could put his differences with Zack aside for her, then she would most certainly do the same for him with Brant. 
Forcing a smile Caitlin continued forward, hoping that Brant wouldn’t pick this time for another confrontation between them, but before it could even get to that, she heard another sound.
“Where the hell do you think you’re going,” Jimmy questioned gruffly.  Freezing upon hearing the voice of the man who’d tried to kill her, Caitlin felt his words pierce through her, striking her straight to the core.  She shifted her gaze in what felt like a millisecond as Jimmy stood before her, a gun in hand.
“Did you really think that I’d just let you have a happily ever without me?” Jimmy accused, his eyes wild with madness, “Did you really believe I’d just let you go?”
“Jimmy don’t,” Caitlin gasped in horror watching him wave his gun around.  While she’d never been expecting to see him under these circumstances, he was there in vivid color, alive and ready to take action against her.  When he aimed the gun at Ken, she felt her fear overtake her.
“Did you really believe that I would let you move on without me?  That I’d let you become his whore?” Jimmy threw back at her icily, “You belong to me Caitlin.  We are soul mates.  We’re meant for one another.”
“The hell you are,” Ken spoke up behind gritted teeth.  He’d spotted security out of the corner of his eyes and as he watched them rapidly approaching, he knew that he had to find a way to stall Jimmy.
“Shut up,” Jimmy screamed at him, “You just shut up.  You know nothing about Caitlin and I.  We belong together for always.  That’s what we said…”
“You’re right Jimmy,” Caitlin agreed placing herself in front of Ken in an attempt to shield him from whatever attack Jimmy had planned, “I did promise you that.”
“Then why are you doing this?  Why do you keep torturing me by running away,” Jimmy’s voice cracked with emotion.  He was clearly a man on the edge, ready to lose all control in that moment in time.  He was a time bomb ticking to that final breaking point.  His eyes continued to penetrate Caitlin as she spoke up again.
“I was wrong,” she took a step forward hoping to dissuade her former lover from doing something horrible again, “but Jimmy, I swear to you that I’ll make up for it.  If you put the gun away, then I’ll come back to you.  I’ll be with you and we can start over again.”
“No it’s too late for us.  I know all about him,” he waved the gun wildly again, “He’s tainted what we have…”
“No, Jimmy, that’s not true,” Caitlin extended her arm out towards them watching him with fear brewing behind her eyes.  She spotted Brant sneaking upon Jimmy from the back, but as Jimmy waved the gun at her and Ken once again, she knew that Brant wouldn’t make it in time.
“Say good-bye to your lover boy Cait,” Jimmy held the gun up high, his finger pulling back the trigger ever so slightly when Caitlin lunged forward in an attempt to stop him.
“Caitlin no,” Ken cried out leaping forward ready to shield her from Jimmy’s madness when the ground beneath him started to shake.  He stumbled backward watching Jimmy fall to the ground, firing the gun off at the ceiling randomly while others began to scream. 

“Got him,” a security guard announced leaping on top of Jimmy in what appeared to be a moment of victory, but within a matter of seconds, the world went from chaotic to being ripped apart while flames licked up and down the floor.  Hearing another sound a sudden explosion ripped through the airport sending it to pieces with its greedy, untamed hunger for destruction.
“Ken,” Caitlin cried out whirling around to face him when another vibrating boom sounded out through the airport sending everything into an uproar--spinning out of control.
“Caitlin,” he moved forward in an attempt to reach her, but as the ceiling came crumbling down around him, he realized it was too late.  There was no way from running from the disaster that had staked it’s claim on Coral Valley.  The bomb Kyle had spotted earlier had gone off and no one could save them from what would happen next.

...to be continued...