“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eyes despite the fact that the sun had been replaced by the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
“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
“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
“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
“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
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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“Do you have any idea who you’re dealing with,” Thea asked behind an
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“More than I realized,” Seth nodded in response, “but maybe that’s a
“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
“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
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
"These have to be it," he convinced himself walking over to the
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
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
"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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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