Episode 137

“My what,” Hart blinked back in astonishment wondering if his ears had been playing tricks on him.
“Your daughter,” Beth repeated tearfully, “Hart, there were so many times I wanted to tell you before now, but I knew that you hated me and…”
“No way,” Hart took a step back nearly knocking Cameron over in the process.  He eyed her with obvious disbelief before approaching her once again, “Beth, you can’t be serious.”
“Can’t I?” she snapped back at him, “Do the math Hart.  Sam was conceived when you and I were together.  You know Travis and I had given up on our marriage long before it was over and with Sam…”
“No,” he shook his head again, “no…no, there’s no way that she could be…”
“Hart, why do you think Travis left me,” Beth threw back at him harshly, “Do you really think he left only because of the affair?  When he found out about Sam that was the only reason he stayed with me, but then when she was about nine--well, she was sick…she had an illness hit her and at the time, well Travis learned the truth.  I’d suspected for years that she was yours, but now…”
“This can’t be happening,” Hart brought his fingers up through his hair, “Beth, you can’t be telling me the truth.”
“Why because it doesn’t fit into your picture perfect life now?  Hart, you weren’t always the stand up guy you’re pretending to be now and whether you like it or not, Sammy is your daughter.  She’s your flesh and blood and I thought you had a right to know that,” Beth charged back at him, her eyes wild with mixed emotions.
“But why now,” Hart questioned in confusion, “Why didn’t you tell me before?”
“Because I didn’t want you to ruin her life like you’d ruined mine,” Beth answered sharply, the obvious pain of the past coming back to haunt her, “She was the one good thing that came out of our being together and for so very long I blamed you for destroying what else I had going for me.  I hated you so very much, but then as Sammy grew up, I realized that it wasn’t about hating you at all.  You gave me the one thing in my life that means the most to me and if I lose her…”
“Beth, you aren’t going to lose her,” Hart’s voice softened almost immediately.  While he had a million and one questions running through his mind, right now wasn’t about the hows and whys involved.  It was about being there for the daughter he’d never known.  As Beth began to break into sobs, he found himself reaching out to embrace her.  So this wasn’t the time to get into it with her--so what that he wanted to strangle her for keeping such a secret from him.  Right now wasn’t about what he wanted--it was about Sam and as he hugged Elizabeth he said a silent prayer that fate wouldn’t take away the daughter he’d never known.


Cameron stood in silence thinking about what he’d just witnessed between Hart and Elizabeth.  While he wasn’t expecting such a surprising revelation, just the thought of what Jenna’s lover now had to deal with was enough to get Cameron’s mind reeling with possibilities.  Smiling inwardly, he made a mental note to file this latest discovery into the back of his mind bringing it up at a better time in the near future.  However, right now there were other things to attend to.  Turning around to see Wayne slumped over in a chair, Cameron began to make his next move.
“I’m sorry to hear about your girlfriend, but I’m sure she’ll be okay,” Cameron offered up with an encouraging tone, “If she’s anything like your sister, then I’m sure she’ll be a fighter.”
“My sister,” Wayne repeated in confusion giving him a strange look, “How do you know my sister?”
“It’s a long story, but to get right to the point, I pulled her out of the fire tonight,” Cameron continued to explain seeing the worry evident in Wayne’s features, “but rest assured she’s going to be okay.  She’s a fighter and she’s pulled through so far so good.  I’m sure Sam will do the same.”
“God I hope so.  I just don’t know what I’d do if I lost her,” Wayne spoke candidly to Cameron, his eyes full of worry.
“Wayne,” Dorothy’s voice rose above the madness that surrounded the hospital, “Oh thank heavens you’re alright.”
“Mom,” Wayne looked up from his somber state seeing his parents arriving. 
While Cameron knew all about the Jenna’s family beyond Douglas, he hadn’t actually taken the time to get up close and personal with them until now.  He immediately recognized Jenna’s mother and could see how easily it must’ve been for Douglas to have been taken by her.  She was an exceptional looking woman and the man behind her, well there was no mistaking that he was Preston Rhodes, the great military man that stood to be the one thing keeping Douglas from ever regaining any kind of closeness to Dorothy.  That made Preston all the more intriguing to Cameron.
“I was so worried about you and when I heard about your sister,” Dorothy began throwing her arms around Wayne, “I’m so glad you’re here.”
“I was out with…” Wayne started and then stopped himself, “a friend and then when I heard about Jenna…”
“She’d be so happy that you’re here,” Dorothy nodded before her eyes finally fell upon Cameron.  Almost immediately she froze up.  She stood taller, her lips falling to an even further scowl, “What the hell are you doing here?”
Cameron took that as a sign that it was time to make a move in one way or another.  Stepping forward, he offered his hand out to her, “We haven’t been properly introduced.  I’m…”
“I know who you are,” Dorothy replied flatly refusing to accept his hand, “but you still haven’t answered my question?  What are you doing here?”
“Mom, he saved Jen,” Wayne informed her simply.  He turned to look at Cameron with a strange expression, “He pulled her out of the fire and he’s the reason she’s out of harm‘s way.”
“Oh I wouldn’t go that far, but I must admit I’m happy to hear she’s in recovery at the moment,” Cameron continued surveying the area for the briefest of seconds.  Discovering that Hart and Elizabeth had exited the lobby, a thought occurred to him, “Of course last I heard, her doctor--Dr. Raines was hoping to have a word with the family.  I believe she took Hart with her down to her office so that they could discuss Jenna’s condition further…”
“In that case, I should go find her,” Dorothy decided still obviously wound up by the moment.
“I’m coming along as well,” Preston added breaking his thick silence.  While he’d been quiet up until this point, there was no mistaking the fact that he too was weary of Cameron’s presence.
“Okay,” Dorothy nodded turning to Wayne, “Sweetheart, are you coming?”
“I’ll be there shortly,” Wayne promised watching his parents rush off to seek out Elizabeth Raines in the midst of the chaos.
“So you were with your friend,” Cameron noted catching Wayne’s deception with his parents, “I take it they don’t know about Sam.”
“It’s none of your business,” Wayne remarked with a huff before rising up from his chair opting to seek out information on the woman he loved.  Cameron watched him stalk off wondering why in the world was Wayne insistent upon keeping Sam a secret from his mother.  Of course the cat had been let out of the bag tonight that Sam was Hart’s daughter, but for some strange reason Wayne had missed that.  However, Cameron thought to himself with a tiny smirk, he would have to make sure that Dorothy Carpenter was aware of that fact before Hart was able to tell Jenna the horrible truth about his dirty little secret with Elizabeth Raines. 
First however, Cameron had something else on his agenda for the moment.  Reaching for his cell phone, he ignored the whole rule about no cell phones in the hospital and dialed Douglas’s messenger service.  When he heard the voice of someone on the other end of the line, he spoke up in a disguised tone, “Tell Mahoney, his daughter is in the hospital and from the looks of things she might not make it.”  With that Cameron hung up realizing that the pieces of the puzzle were slowly falling into place all over again.  How tragedy seemed to bring out the best in life--at least the best for Cameron that was.


Diego paced the floor not knowing how to think or feel.  After he’d gotten a brief update on Heather, his heart had been pounding wildly--his mind out of control at the notion that something horrible could happen to Heather.  He’d never wanted this--never hoped for anything bad to happen to her when he’d vowed to protect her, but now--now he wasn’t sure what the future would have in store for her. 
Looking around at the devastation that surrounded him in the hospital corridor, his heart went out to all those who had been caught in the crossfire.  The bombing had been a tragedy--one that Coral Valley hadn’t been prepared for.  Even now he couldn’t even begin to imagine how hard this would hurt the otherwise peaceful town.  Granted there had been some chaos in his own life lately, yet to have something this big hit everyone, it was just horrifying beyond belief.      Pacing around the corridor, he rubbed his palms together ever so slightly.  Nothing felt right at a time like this--nothing could stop this fear that consumed him and as he looked to the door before him, he could feel himself overcome with a strong sense of déjà vu.  Suddenly he drifted back to another time in a very familiar place.

“We’re losing them,” the faceless voiced echoed in the back of his mind, “Someone get me the paddles.”
“What’s going on,” Diego could hear his own strained voice when he was lead out of the emergency room.
“You can’t be in here,” someone had told him.  He’d tried to fight it, but then suddenly the scene shifted.
“I’m so sorry Diego,” he could hear the doctor’s voice ring through his ears, “We did all we could for Maria, but there was nothing more that we could…”
“No,” Diego sank down to the ground, remembering the deep, penetrating ache that had consumed him when his world had been ripped away from him.  That day had been the end of his world--the end of his happiness and when he’d lost Maria he’d thought that he would never be able to breathe in this place without her, yet they’d offered him hope.
“Your son…” he could clearly remember when they’d lead him into the room to see his boy.  His son was so small, so fragile and yet his being born was something that sealed his fate.  In those few short hours he’d been beside his baby boy, he’d promised that he would do everything in his power to be there for him--to do all that Maria would want him to do for their son, yet Diego had failed them as well.  Just as he’d failed Heather--just as…
“No,” Diego forced himself back to the present hoping to dispel the images that haunted him on a daily basis.  He brought his fingers up through his dark hair--hoping that this wouldn’t be the end of the world for Heather and her son.  If he had to watch another innocent go through that again…
“Diego,” Deidra spoke his name as she emerged from the doors before him, “there you are.”
“How is she?” Diego rushed over to her side.
“They’re doing all they can for Heather, but it’s touch and go,” Deidra admitted with a heavy sigh, “She was burned very badly and her vitals are off the charts.  We were hoping that we could stabilize her, but…”
“But what…” Diego questioned in a panic.
“They’re bringing in someone else--a specialist who has more experience with these things,” Deidra continued with sad eyes, “but as for the baby…”
“What happened to him?” Diego replied in a panic.
“Things went smoother than I expected.  Granted, he’s got a long, hard road ahead of him considering that he wasn’t supposed to be born for quite a while.  When we did the emergency c-section there's always a risk…”
“But he’s going to make it?” Diego questioned, hope surrounding him in that moment.
“God I really hope so,” Deidra replied thinking to what she’d witnessed between Diego and Heather at Heather’s last examination, “They took him down to the nursery where a neonatal nurse will be with him.  They’re monitoring him right now down in NICU and they have a lot of prayers for him.”
“Deidra, please tell me he’s going to make it.  That he and Heather will both have a fighting chance--” Diego started to plead with her.
“I hope so Diego, but…” she paused hating to bring reality into the situation, “there’s always a risk when things like this happen.”
“What about Heather?  Can I go in and see her?” Diego questioned thinking about the woman he’d grown attached to, “Will there be any way that…”
“They took her straight into surgery,” Deidra explained behind tired eyes.  “She’s been well taken care of right now and that means we have to leave the experts do their job.  However, if you want to see the baby then I‘m pretty sure that I can pull a few strings and…”
“The baby,” Diego repeated with an emphatic nod, “I want that.  I want to go be with him Deidra.”
“Okay,” she agreed taking a quick look around the busy hospital corridor thinking about all that was waiting for her attention.  She motioned to Diego, “come with me.”
He nodded in silence following her down the hallway to the special place at the hospital designated for those children much like Heather’s son.  As he made the walk, he felt his heart tug at the thought of the fight Heather’s son must have ahead of him.  He remembered his own son’s struggle and when he stepped into the unit seeing the baby boy before him hooked up to a respirator, his heart sank.  It was as if he was back in that place where he’d been completely helpless unable to save the only thing that had mattered in his world in Maria and the baby.
“He’s right…” Deidra began with a nod.
“I know,” Diego replied throwing a grateful expression on her general direction, “Deidra, thank you for all you’ve done.”
She felt him reach for her hand and she offered up a faint smile, “I’m just doing my job and if he needs anything…”
“I’ll be right here with him,” Diego promised thinking about the very trained staff of nurses they’d had at the hospital for this type of situation.  While things had been different before, he now focused on channeling all his energy to the fragile baby before him.  Slowly, he moved in towards the temperature controlled bed, keeping his eyes on the child that Heather had fought like hell to bring into this world safely.  He noted the small tube leading into the baby doing it’s best to assist the little one in his transition into the world he’d been pulled into far before his time.
“Hey buddy,” Diego stood beside him, his eyes fixed upon the fragile creature before him.  He shifted in closer, unable to keep his gaze off the boy before him, “Don’t you quit fighting on me.  You and I we have a lot of work to do and I need you right now.  Your mommy needs you.”
The baby was oblivious to Diego’s words, but as Diego watched him fighting for each breath he took, Diego looked up to the heavens saying a silent prayer to anyone who was listening that history didn’t repeat itself with Heather and her child.
“Please God, don’t take them like this.  Please let them have a fighting chance,” he prayed hoping that the one miracle that hadn’t happened long ago when he’d seemingly needed it the most would come around and save Heather and her son in their darkest hour.

Dean exited the operating room feeling as if he’d been kicked in the gut.  It was in the heart wrenching times like these he’d wished he’d picked another profession--something easier--something that didn’t put him in this position.  In the next few seconds his life flashed before his eyes.  He thought back to the time when he’d taken that college scholarship for football--about how he’d thought about going pro until that damned knee injury had forced him to keep his focus elsewhere.  Oh who was he trying to kid?  Even before he’d taken to football medicine had been his first love--his first real passion, but now, well now it seemed fit to say that he’d wished football had reigned supreme.  These times never made being a medicine man all it was cracked up to be.
Leaning up against the wall behind him Dean closed his eyes trying to think about the right words to say in a moment like this.  He’d tasted the bittersweet moment of hope--the time when things changed in the darkest moments, but this time, unfortunately happy endings weren’t in the picture.  Someone was about to lose something very special and though he’d given it his all, it wouldn’t be enough.  He hadn’t done enough.  Even now, he wished he had more power to change the outcomes--to make things right, but being a doctor didn’t change the fact that you were a mere mortal.  The rest was in God’s hands and fate had delivered a blow that unfortunately would shake up so many lives.
“Dean,” Deidra called out to him, beckoning him from his moment of pondering.  He opened his eyes to find him standing before her, her own tired eyes upon him.  He opened his mouth to speak, but came up with nothing more than a slow sigh before reaching out to her.  He pulled her into his arms despite the fact that they hadn’t really discussed the level of intimacy with one another beyond that impromptu kiss they’d shared.  Still he needed someone to hold onto--someone to help him keep from the harsh reality of what he had to do.
“I’m so glad you’re here,” he confessed feeling her wrap her arms around him as well.
“How did you know I was needing this right now,” she questioned gently, tilting her head upward to gaze at him.
“Because I needed this more than you can imagine,” Dean confessed with a pained breath.
“Dean, what is it?” Deidra asked seeing the first glimmer of tears threatening.
“This is part of the job that we all dread,” Dean admitted thinking to the task ahead of him, “I mean you give it your all and pray that it’s enough but…”
“Oh Dean,” Deidra threw her arms around him once again feeling his emotions pouring out of him.  Completely understanding where he was coming from on this one as time and time again she’d seen it in her field as well.  She’d watched a promising birth turn into the type of nightmare every woman hoped to avoid in her life.  Heather Gibbons-Stone’s case in particular had her on edge.  Just thinking about that baby boy fighting for his life had her making silent pleas with God for the child’s future. 
Suddenly however she thought to what she’d heard about Dean’s patient.  Standing up taller, she looked to him knowing full well what the message was he had to convey, but she wasn’t quite sure on if the identity of the one he had tried to hard to save.  “You did your best Dean.”
“Try telling that to her parents or to Zack or even to Kenneth Ashford,” Dean continued with a heavy sigh, “You didn’t see the look on their faces when she came in.  They were hoping for a miracle.”
“Kenneth,” Deidra repeated thinking to the woman in Kenneth’s life.  Suddenly her worst fears were confirmed, “Oh God Dean, please don’t say that Caitlin…”
“I did my best, but it’s in God’s hands now,” Dean admitted painfully.  With a shake of his head he cleared his throat again, “I can’t keep putting this off.  I need to tell her family.”
“No Dean, wait,” Deidra pleaded with him, “At least--let me tell Ken.  He and I are old friends and…”
“Deidra, I can’t ask you to do that considering you know how hard something like this is…” Dean began to protest thinking about the offer she was throwing out on the table, “It’s my responsibility to…”
“Dean, Ken is one of my best friends and he loves Caitlin,” Deidra continued to explain to him, “She’s his world and given what I know about what’s happening in there, I need to be the one to do this.  He needs to hear it from someone who can help him…”
“Deidra, this isn’t exactly one of those times that…” Dean began again in a pained tone.
“Just give me a few minutes.  That’s all I ask.  You can talk with him after I do, but for now, well I need to do this.  Ken and I…” she struggled for words to explain why this was so important to her, “we have history and I just--I need to be the one to do this.”
Dean remained silent for a long moment before finally nodding, “Okay…I’ll go back in there with Caitlin for now and…”
“And I’ll tell Ken,” Deidra interrupted feeling an ache building up inside the pit of her stomach.  This was indeed the last thing she’d wanted to do, but she knew that Ken would need a friend now more than ever considering what he was about to face.  As Deidra made her way towards the waiting room, she just wondered how she could ever find the right words to tell one of her best friends that the love of his life was about to be taken from him forever?


“This is just so wrong,” Blake announced pacing around the room as she thought about what she’d witnessed upon Ken’s arrival.  While she’d been lost in her own worries about her love life, she hadn’t even considered the possibility that her best friend could be in any kind of trouble.  She never imagined that this horrible disaster could hurt so many of those she’d cared about and loved.  Even now she could feel the weight of Ken’s pain while he sat in silence across the room from her and Brant.  Reaching out to tug on Brant’s arm gently, she motioned to her brother.
“Maybe you should go say something to him,” she suggested.
“I’m the last person Ken right about now,” Brant informed her honestly, “Given my history with Caitlin…”
“Forget about history.  Brant, she’s one of my best friends and she’s fighting for her life right now.  She and Ken are so in love and you can see this is killing him,” Blake reminded him simply, “If you don’t say something…”
“Blake, I want to, but right now maybe Ken needs this time to himself,” Brant offered up thinking about how this must be tearing his brother apart inside.  While Brant and Caitlin had never gotten along with one another, there was no mistaking the misery that the bombing had inflicted upon her when Brant had seen her.  Her body had been brutalized in ways that Brant couldn’t even begin to comprehend.  Ken had gone into a tirade about the doctors saving her, Brant had a sinking suspicion that it wasn’t going to happen.  Deep down he had a feeling eating away at his gut that Ken’s happiness was going to be taken from him no matter how much he’d wanted to believe that wasn’t the case.
“Mr. Ashford,” a nurse approached him, her voice clear and professional.  She eyed him with an emotionless face before she spoke again, “Ms. Morrison is awake now.  They said you wanted to be informed on her condition.  I can take you to her now…”
“Yes thank you,” Brant replied politely before turning his eyes to Blake.  He offered up a pleading look suddenly feeling guilt stab at the center of his chest for not being there for Ken during a time when Ken needed his family the most.
“I’ll stay with Ken,” Blake assured him, patting his arm lightly, “Just go make sure Avery and that baby of hers is doing alright.  After all, at a time like this, nothing should stand between family.  You need to be there for your little one.”
“Blake, about the baby,” Brant started thinking about the implication he’d made to Blake about having been the father of Avery’s child.  He’d done it in a moment of weakness, but now when Blake’s eyes brushed over him, reaching into him with obvious concern for what she believed was a part of her family, he couldn’t help but feel guilty for the lie.
“Brant, you don’t have to explain,” Blake continued thinking about her own situation, “If you and Avery have something special together, then you’re right.  You shouldn’t let anything get in the way of that.  Go be there for her and the baby Brant.”
He finally nodded in agreement before squeezing her hand in his, “Just know I’ll be back soon.”
“I’ll be waiting here keeping an eye on Ken while you‘re gone,” she offered in response watching his retreat before turning her attention to her other brother.  She just prayed that this devastating blow wouldn’t be the one thing to take away the life that Ken and Caitlin had worked so very hard to have with one another.


Ken stands silently by the window in the OR waiting area. He stares out blankly at the rain as it pounds relentlessly at the window, while lightening and thunder fill the sky as if nature its self is having a temper tantrum. People hurry by him and sounds of the hospital and the storm run together into one loud roar. But Ken stands frozen to his spot so still and silent with such a blank look on his face that someone who doesn't know him well might believe he is feeling nothing at all.

Blake enters the room, carrying two coffees her own face a sharp contrast to Ken's. Her red puffy eyes and the streaks of eye shadow declare to all she is suffering with something. Her lip trembles as she sees Ken standing stoically by the window. Her already breaking heart aches even more when she sees him. Trying for the millionth time that night to collect herself she takes a deep breath and moves slowly over to him and very softly addresses him.

Blake: Ken?

Ken doesn't respond.

Blake speaks a bit louder.

Blake: Ken?

Ken is brought out from his thoughts as he finally turns to look at her.

Ken: Is there word?

Blake shakes her head sadly

Blake: No. She's still in OR. I suppose it could be awhile depending on how things go.

Ken simply nods

Blake: Coffee?

She offers him a cup he takes it.

Ken: Thanks.

He stairs down at it intently but never takes a drink. His eyes are almost in a trance as he stares into the dark liquid.

Blake: How's your arm?

Ken glances over at the new bandages now covering the burns.

He shrugs.

Ken: Fine I guess.

He begins to stare back out the window.

Blake: You know, you really are a hero Ken. I mean, not only did you risk your own life to save Caitlin but you saved at least a dozen people or so. It's all over the news how you kept going back in.

Ken turns and looks back at Blake

Ken: Yeah, well all the hero comments and people's lives being saved aside, it won't mean much to me if she...

Ken's face starts to fill with emotion as he violently chokes back the lump in his throat and works to regain his composure.

Blake puts her hand on his arm supportively

Blake: You can't think like that, okay? You, you have to believe she's going to pull through. Hey she made it this far didn't she? You got her out of there, and got her breathing, then brought her here. You've done all you can. Now all we can do is hope and pray that the doctors can save her.

Ken looks at Blake emotionally.

Ken: What kind of monster bombs an airport? What kind of freak intentionally tries to kill thousands of people?!

Blake can only shake her head as she wipes a few tears from her face. She looks at him sadly wishing she had an answer. Ken looks back out the window his stoic expression restored.

Ken: When she gets out of here I'm going to take some time off work and insist she does the same. We're going on a long much deserved romantic vacation.

Blake tries to smile through her tears.

Blake: That sounds lovely, I'm sure she'll like that. And you both do deserve it.

Ken nods.

Ken: Before we left town there had been a lot of tension between us.  We only started to find some peace with one another when we were in Seattle.  Things were so good for us, but now thinking about how much we missed…

Blake: She knows you love her.

Ken: Yeah, but I have been spending a lot of time on other things lately. And that's not right. I'm going to make it up to her, I'm going to take her away and show her just how much I love her, just how much I can't live without her.

He turns to Blake his face suddenly full of fear and emotion.

Ken: I can't lose her, I just can't.

Blake takes his hand in hers and holds it tight.

Blake: No matter what happens Ken, she knows you love her. And I know Caitlin well enough to know she isn't going to leave you without one hell of a fight.

Just then they hear someone coming towards them. They turn and see it's a very tired and somber looking Deidra. Both rush to her.

Ken: Is she okay? Can I see her? Is she awake?

Blake: How did it go? They were able to help her right?

Deidra looks at them both searching her head and heart desperately to find the right words.

Ken and Blake note the sadness in Deidra's eyes and both become full of dread. Ken looks at Deidra closely his emotions wound so tight he looks as though he might explode.

Ken: Deidra, please, tell me she's alive.

Blake puts her hand comfortingly on Ken's arm still trying to compose herself.

Blake: How bad is it?

Deidra takes a deep breath as she rubs her tired neck.

Deidra: Caitlin is presently alive.

Ken and Blake breath a sight of relief.

Deidra: However, Caitlin's injuries are massive and severe.

Ken: Yeah, but, but she can recover right?

Deidra swallows back the lump in her own throat as she tries to hold onto her professionalism.

Deidra: I'm afraid not. While she is momentarily stable, due to the severity of her injuries it is only a matter of time before her body gives out.

Ken: No! No, you're wrong! You, you can't be right! You've made a huge mistake! Now go back in there and save her!

Deidra: Ken...

Ken: I said save her damn it! She can't die, she can't!

A shell-shocked Blake stares numbly at Deidra her mind unable to wrap itself around what she's just heard.

Deidra reaches out to Ken.

Deidra: Ken listen to me, please.

Ken: No! No, I won't! I won't listen to you! You are going back in there and you're going to save her!

Ken's whole body is seething with anger and pain as hot tears come to his eyes.

Deidra: I wish I could, I'd give anything if there was a way to but there just isn't.

Ken: Then find someone who can damn it! She's the love of my life!

Ken's whole body is shaking he grabs ahold of Deidra pleadingly.

Ken: She's the love of my life, don't you get that?! Don't you understand?!

Deidra near tears herself pulls away and grabs onto his hands and holds them tightly.

Deidra: Which is why you have to pull yourself together and go be with her right now while you still can. You need to say good-bye Ken, now. Before time runs out.

Ken jumps back as if he's been burned.

Ken: No! No, I won't let her go! I won't!

He starts to break down.

Blake moves to Ken still in shock herself but wanting to be there for her brother and her best friend.

Blake: Ken, please. Please, go to her. Don't, don't let her be alone.

Ken pulls himself somewhat together.

Ken: You're right, you're right. I... I have to see her, I have to help her.

Deidra: She's in ICU room 7.

Ken nods.

Ken: Okay. You're wrong you know? You are. She's going to be just fine, I know she is.

He races off.

Deidra shakes her head sadly and starts to leave.

Blake: Deidra...

Deidra stops and turns Blake searches her face for hope but sees none.

Blake: She's really? I mean, there's no...

Deidra sighs heavily

Deidra: I'm sorry Blake, but she probably won't even last an hour.

Deidra leaves. Blake stands there her emotions all running together as the words like thousands of knives cut into her heart. Just then Zack comes racing in.

Zack: I just got out of the OR is there any word on Caitlin?

Blake looks at him and simply falls apart.

Blake: Oh Zack....

She collapses into his arms in mournful sobs. Zack holds her as the awful truth hits him.

Zack: Oh God no...


“So why didn’t you tell me Beth,” Hart questioned taking a seat on the sofa in Elizabeth’s office.  While he’d wanted to wait out in the lobby for word on Sam, something about the reality sinking in about him having a daughter had urged him to find somewhere private where they could speak with one another.
“I already told you,” she began again shifting uneasily on the edge of her desk, where she had been perched for the last ten minutes hoping to receive a call on Sam.
“No you told me you didn’t tell me because it wasn’t convenient for you, but what about me Beth?  What about my wanting to play a part in our daughter’s life?  What about that,” he accused with an obvious disappointment.
“Hart, you weren’t father material.  We were only in it for sex and neither one of us had any illusions about that.  It was fun--it was a good roll in the hay every now and then, but the most you got off on was the power trip you received in shagging Travis’s wife.  You weren’t at all ready for the responsibility that came along with being a father.  You still aren’t…” she threw back at him tossing her blonde hair over her shoulder, “Sam needed more in her life.  Travis could give her that.”
“Yet he walked out the moment he discovered that she wasn’t his.  Why didn’t you tell me then,” Hart demanded, “Why wait until it became something like this?”
“Because I never intended on telling you,” Beth informed him bluntly, “Sam and I were doing just fine on our own.  She doesn’t know the truth about you.  In fact, she doesn’t know a thing about you or about what we had together.  As far as she knows Travis is the only father she’s known.  While he despises me, he’s been grudgingly there for Sam.”
“Yet if you knew all this time that she was my daughter,” Hart reiterated.
“It wouldn’t have mattered,” she rolled her eyes, “I saw all the headlines about how you and Brant Ashford were spending your free time trying to see who could rack up the most women.  You both were out for the fast fling and Sam needed someone she could depend on and respect.  You weren’t that…”
“And now?” he arched a curious brow.
“Now I couldn’t live with the thought of our daughter dying without you knowing,” Beth explained tightly, her fingers quivering with emotion, “Sam’s a good girl you know.  She’s really done nothing to deserve any of this.  Hell, she spent most of her time being the parent when Travis and I fell apart…”
“Still…why didn’t you say anything Beth?  Why not tell me when we first met up again in Coral Valley?” Hart paused thinking about the way in which she’d practically assaulted him in the hospital room, “Come to think about it, if you thought I was such a horrible guy, then why were you trying to bed me after I told you it wasn’t happening?”
“I guess they say old habits die hard,” she shrugged her shoulders, “and at the time I realized that things between us are still left undone.”
“And now?” he questioned in confusion.
“Now you do the right thing by our daughter,” Beth explained bluntly, “She needs you and I’m hoping that you can give her what she needs to make it through this.”
“Beth, I’m sure that she’ll be fine.  When Wayne brought her in…” Hart began thinking about how he’d offered to help with Sam, yet he hadn’t thought about her in terms of being his daughter until now.  In reflection, he started to question whether he remembered the details about just how bad she appeared to be upon arrival.
“Hart, this is about more than the accident,” Beth informed him, “Sam has spent most of her life as a very sick little girl.   She was always smaller than the others and now, well, she doesn’t heal as well as everyone else does.  Her level of tolerance to infections is very minimal…”
“How minimal,” Hart questioned in confusion sensing there was something more to Beth’s sudden revelation.
“Hart, the reason why I brought Sammy and I back to Coral Valley wasn’t just because of the job--it wasn’t because of the fact that I’d been missing you like crazy, but more so because our daughter has a very rare blood disorder that if it goes untreated it could kill her.  Exposure to something like what happened tonight could trigger all sorts of horrible outcomes and if it does…”
“Then you needed me here to help her,” Hart pieced it together in a sudden moment of understanding, “You didn’t tell me about Sam tonight because you were feeling guilty.  You told me the truth so that if anything should happen, you could use me to…”
“To save her life,” Beth nodded in response making no attempt to mask her emotions or concerns about Sam, “and if push comes to shove, you owe her that Hart.”
“First of all Beth I will do everything and anything to help my daughter if in fact Sam is mine, but I’m not going to stand for you trying to play me in all of this,” his voice rose with anger.
“Don’t you dare start yelling at me,” she hopped off of her desk, narrowing her eyes at him, “You owe me a hell of a lot more than that Hart.”
“Just like you owed me the truth about Sam,” he snapped back unwilling to let her turn the situation on him.
“The way I see it tonight I saved your girlfriend’s life,” she spat out at him, “so the very least you can do is save our daughter if need be.”
“Excuse me,” Dorothy broke through their conversation.  Immediately Hart spun around to find Jenna’s mother standing in the doorway with Preston at her side.  “Did you just say ‘our daughter’ as in yours and his?”
“That’s right,” Beth nodded in response obviously irritated by the intrusion to their privacy, “and just who the hell are you?”
“Someone who sees things clearly for the first time in a long while,” Dorothy remarked sourly, her eye shooting daggers over at Hart.
“Dorothy wait,” Hart made a move towards her, “I can explain.  What you just saw was…”
“Save it Hart,” Dorothy waved her finger at him indignantly, “I knew what you were from the first time you tried bothering my daughter, but I’m not going to let you hurt her any longer.”
“But Dorothy…” Hart began again.
“Just stay the hell away from Jenna,” Dorothy’s gaze shifted between him and Beth, “The both of you.”
“But…” Hart started in one last desperate plea hoping to explain the situation to Dorothy, but she stormed out of Beth’s office with Preston at her heels.  Feeling his fears and worries consume him, he spun around to glare at Beth, “Look what you just did?”
“All I did was state the facts,” Beth explained with a huff, “and you’d better start facing them sooner rather than later because our daughter needs you Hart.  I’m not about to let you forget that one.”
“And neither will Dorothy,” Hart thought to himself realizing that when Dorothy had walked into the room, Beth had just fed her the ammunition she’d needed to put a wedge between him and Jenna.  Immediately his thoughts lingered to the woman he loved.  Fearing that he would lose her all over again, he faced Beth, his voice firm and unyielding, “If Sam is my daughter, then I will do whatever it takes to help her, but right now…I’m going to be with the woman I love.  She needs me.”
“Sam needs you,” Beth watched him walk to the door ready to leave.
“You know where to find me,” Hart answered flatly realizing that tonight had opened a whole new door that he hadn’t ever expected having to encounter in his lifetime.  Tonight he’d almost lost Jenna, then he’d been relieved to hear she was going to be okay, only for him to discover that he had a daughter and now, well now that Dorothy was armed with that knowledge, he feared that Jenna wouldn’t ever truly understand.  Jenna had already hated the past he’d shared with Beth, but now that Sam was involved--well, there was no telling what would happen next.  Suddenly everything was unclear and it was a feeling that Hart hated more than anything.


Brant entered Avery’s hospital room feeling a heaviness in his chest as he found himself completely unprepared for what lay before him.  Upon arriving at the door, he paused thinking about what he could possibly say to a woman who had been the main focus in his life for months.  Even now as he ascended towards where she was laying in a hospital bed before him, his heart ached with the news that he’d been given before stepping inside.  Tentatively he approached her, drawing in a slow, calming breath.
“Avery,” he spoke her name watching her head shift upon the pillow beneath her.  Her dark hair pooled around her face while her eyes looked tired--her left cheek slightly burned from the fire that had gone on around her.
“What happened…” she questioned in confusion, a tiny cough erupting from her lips, “Wh--where am I?”
“The hospital,” he explained taking a seat beside her.  Instinctively he reached for her hand cradling it in his as his eyes remained upon her, “There was a bombing.”
“A bombing,” she repeated, her lashes fluttering with the words that fell from her lips, “where…”
“At the airport,” he continued to explain to her hoping that he could maintain the strength needed to do what was needed, “someone planted a bomb in a locker and they set the whole airport ablaze.”
“You mean…” she paused vaguely remembering the feel of the walls crumbling down around her.  The fire that rages in the back of her mind, threatening to burn her world apart.  She could feel smoke in her lungs--taste the heat burning the back of her throat--feel the heaviness in her legs after the ceiling had caved in.  It was all slowly coming together.
“You were in the fire, but I found you,” Brant continued to explain to her knowing that he was skirting around a major issue, but for the time being she hadn’t asked the question and he wasn’t ready to provide her with the answer just yet.  This hadn’t at all been what he’d wanted to be doing with her at a time like this.
“You found me,” she repeated in confusion before another flash of memory hit her, “You mean you pulled me out of the fire?”
He nodded, “When I heard you were in there, I ran back inside.  I was going to pick up Ken from the airport when this happened…”
“Ken,” Avery spoke his brother’s name, “Oh God.  Is he okay…is he…”
“He’s fine,” Brant nodded in response, “You know Ken--always the hero.”
“Always,” Avery agreed with a tired smile, her fingers fanning out over the thin sheet that covered her.  While her body was stiff, sore and achy, she managed to glide her palm up over the sheet onto her abdomen.  It was in that instant her eyes widened with fear, “Oh God.  My baby.”
“Avery,” Brant reached out to her watching her practically leap up off of the bed while her fingers played over the hospital gown she was wearing.  It was in that moment it appeared that she’d finally registered what was happening around here.
“Brant, please tell me that nothing is wrong with my baby--that the bombing didn’t…” her eyes filled with tears as she reached out to him.  He extended his arm out to her, his fingertips brushing against her cheekbone to wipe away a single tear.
“The baby is doing just fine,” Brant informed her honestly, “I had the doctors make damn sure of that.”
“You mean my baby is…” Avery’s tears continued while relief spilled over her lips.
“Going to be okay.  Luckily all the damage that you endured was minimal compared to others and with your little girl…” Brant started to explain to her.
“My what…” Avery blinked back at him in confusion.
“Your daughter,” Brant explained his voice thick with emotion, “Avery, I thought you already knew…”
“Knew…” she repeated watching the smile that spilled over his otherwise handsome, concerned features.
He nodded again, “You’re having a little girl.  They ran an ultrasound just to be safe once they knew you were out of the water there.  I put a rush on it just to be sure that everything was okay and that’s when they discovered that you’re having a little girl,” he paused before grinning sheepishly, “At least there’s an eight-five percent chance that the baby is a girl.”
“I’m having a little girl,” Avery mouthed to herself letting the words and reality of what he was saying sink in, “I’m having a daughter just like Russ said we would.  I had my doubts, but he--he knew all along.  Somehow he had this vibe and I wasn’t sure but…we’re really…” she stopped herself mid-sentence before turning to him, “Brant, where’s Russ?  Where’s my husband?”
“He’s…” Brant stalled not quite sure what he was going to tell her now that she’d asked the million dollar question that he had been praying wouldn’t come to her.
“He’s what,” Avery questioned watching the expression on his face shift.
“Avery, I don’t know how to tell you this,” he squeezed her hand protectively, “but as of this moment there’s been no word on him.  They are still pulling people out of the airport mess, but with Russ…”
“No,” she shook her head sensing where he was headed with his words, “No, don’t say it.”
“Avery, you know I wish it wasn’t true, but as of this point there’s no word on Russ, but there were so many people who have been unaccounted for.  The fire caused so very much damage and they have some bodies that were burned beyond belief and there‘s a small chance that he might be…”
“No, no,” Avery shook her head refusing to hear his words, “Don’t say that.  Don’t lie.”
“Avery, I’m just trying to prepare you for what might be…” Brant began again watching her face drain of all color before him.
“No Brant,” Avery cut him off abruptly, “my husband is not dead.  Don’t say it and don’t even think it.  He’s fine.  He’s just helping someone since you said it was a disaster.  That’s what Russ does.  He helps those in need and sooner or later he’s going to come in here with me and we’re going to celebrate our daughter together…”
“Avery…” he tried to reach out to her once again.
“No, don’t touch me,” she pulled away from him, reaching to the sheet that was over her.  She pulled it up to her chin while her legs followed suit.  Wrapping her arms around her legs despite the fact that she hurt like hell in doing so, she began to rock ever so slightly on the bed.  Her eyes fixed upon the door before her, obsessing over what was beyond her hospital room.  She nodded briefly before speaking up again, “He’ll be walking through that door anytime now.  You’ll see….he’ll be coming in very soon.”
“Avery…” Brant started watching her moving on the bed before him, her eyes fixed on the door.  While he wanted to reach out and touch her, it was obvious that she was lost in a thought of what she wanted to see happen.  After a few minutes she addressed him once again.
“I can’t wait any longer,” she decided attempting to get up off of the bed.  She slid her legs over to the side only to discover that they weren’t as secure as she imagined them to be.  Nearly toppling over onto the ground, Avery fell forward only to be caught by Brant just before a collision.
“Let go of me!” she ordered him, her voice rising with the moment, “I have to go find Russ.”
“Avery, you can’t go out there…” he attempted to reason with her.
“Yes I can…I’m not going to stay here when he’s out there and he needs me.  He’s wanting me to find him and…” Avery continued to rant at him when there was a knock on the door.  Turning her eyes to the doorway, her face lit up when she imagined seeing Russ before her, but instead disappointment reigned over her when she realized it was Dave.
“Dave,” Brant spoke his name.
“Brant, Avery,” Dave nodded entering the room, “I know this isn’t a great time but…”
“Dave, have you heard word on Russ?  Where is he?  Is he out there looking for me because the baby and I are fine,” Avery blurted out, her voice frantic as she moved towards him.  Unfortunately that movement was stopped by the IV that was in her arm.  Frowning she turned to work her way out of it, but she was stopped by Brant.
“Avery don’t…” Brant pleaded with her.
“Actually,” Dave sighed heavily, his eyes thick with darkness as he reached into his pocket.  This was always the part of the job that he’d hated the most.
“Actually what…” Avery questioned in between trying to swat Brant away from her.
“There’s no easy way to do this Avery, but I need you to hear this,” Dave continued, his voice tight with emotion.  Withdrawing a single gold band from his pocket, he held it out to her, “I thought you might want to have this.”
“What…” she questioned accepting the token he’d offered her.  Immediately her eyes fell upon it and she recognized it as Russell’s wedding ring.  Shaking her head, she eyed Dave once again before slapping him, “Is this your idea of some kind of sick joke?”
“We found it at the disaster site,” Dave continued to explain while fighting off the ache that rose over his cheek where she‘d hit him, “It was next to a charred body that we believe is…”
“No…” Avery shook her head in refusal to hear him out, “It isn’t Russ.  Russ isn’t dead.”
“Avery, I’m sorry…” Dave felt a lump forming in his throat as her eyes dropped down to the ring once again.
“No, you’re lying,” she argued struggling with Brant.  Clenching the ring in her hand, she marched forward ready to find her husband, “he’s still out there…”
“Avery, I’m so sorry, but by the time we found him…” Dave started to explain.
“No, no, no,” Avery repeated over and over again struggling with Brant until she felt the engravings in the ring with her finger, “Russ would never take this off.  He wouldn’t be…he can’t be…”
“I’ll need you to identify the remains when you’re up to it,” Dave began feeling cold and cruel with his statement.   
“My husband isn’t dead,” she spoke up with cracked emotion in her voice.
“Avery, I wish there was more we could do, but we’ll find the bastards that did this,” Dave promised her watching Avery’s face shift from disbelief to devastation as she suddenly broke down in Brant’s arms.
“No, this isn’t happening,” she mouthed to herself feeling her knees grow weak while the world around her seemingly shattered to pieces.  There was no way her husband could be gone.  No way he would leave her.  Russ promised her a happily ever after and now as she held his wedding ring in her hand, she kept reminding herself of that.  He wouldn’t just leave her.  He couldn’t…he wasn’t really gone.  She needed him--their daughter needed him and right now, this was just some sick, cruel joke.  Russ wouldn’t leave her--he couldn’t leave her, was all she could think to herself as she was overcome by tears in Brant’s arms. 
Feeling her heart sink with the possibility of any truth behind Dave’s words, she clenched onto Russell’s wedding ring digging her nails into her palm all the while trying to convince herself that this was just some horrible nightmare that she would wake up from any minute now.  She was fine.  Everything was fine and Russ would walk through that door at any second.  She felt herself pulling together enough strength to eye the door once again and as her tears got the best of her, she vowed to herself that she wouldn’t look away from that door until Russell came walking inside setting the record straight about what happened once and for all.


Ken reaches Caitlin's room still trying to convince himself she isn't dying with Deidra not far behind.

Ken: I know you're a good doctor Deidra, but you're wrong about Caitlin. She's going to live.

Deidra sighs.

Deidra: I sincerely hope you're right, Ken. Nothing would make me happier then to be wrong about this. But you need to prepare yourself in case...

Ken: No! I'm not going to prepare myself for anything, because nothing is going to happen! She's going to be just fine!

With that he goes into Caitlin's room. The second he sees her he nearly falls backwards. She is covered from head to toe with bandages. There are tubes and wires everywhere and monitors beep and blink keeping tabs on her fragile life. He stares for a minute his mind unable to make sense of what he's seeing. Deidra watches sadly from the window. Having regained some of his composure Ken starts towards her. He pulls up a chair next to her and picks up one of Caitlin's bandaged hands.

Ken: Hi, honey. I'm here, I've been here all night. Just, just waiting to see you. You know, I was thinking, when... when you get better we should take a trip to Italy. I remember you always said you'd love to go there. I haven't had a chance to take you there yet, you know? You can't leave without letting me take you there. You can't leave....

Ken starts to cry but pulls himself together.

Ken: I love you so much Caitlin. I love you so much. More than--more than I can even explain to you. You've made my life so full, so beautiful. I just, I just can't see a life without you in it.

He swallows the hugs lump in his throat as he continues.

Ken: I know I haven't been as attentive to you lately as I should've been, but I thought I was working on that.  I really thought that after our trip to Seattle we’d fixed that, yet there was still so much more I wanted to do.  Things I didn’t say, but Caitlin I love you, I really do. Nothing and no one is as important to me as you Caitlin. I have nothing if I don't have you. Blake said you know that, and I hope to God she's right.

He stares at her still form on the bed.

Ken: That's why you have to live Caitlin, that's why despite everything Deidra told me you have to pull through. We belong together. We are meant to grow old together don't you see that?  Do you know that I picked out an engagement ring for you? Yeah, I did. Okay, I admit I had help, but I did make the final choice and I just know you're going to love it. I figure we'll go to Italy and one night we'll take a ride on one of those gondolas. I'll pay the guy to only take the two of us so we'll have the boat to ourselves, and then I'll turn to you and start singing. Now, I know I don't have the greatest voice, but I think it will still be romantic, don't you? So you want to hear what I'm going to sing to you in Italy?

He looks at her motionless body and tries to ignore the fact that the numbers on the monitors are going down. He clears his throat and starts to sing.

Ken: Have I told you lately that I love you?
Have I told you there's no one else above you?
Fill my heart with gladness, take away all my sadness,
Ease my troubles, that's what you do.
For the morning sun in all it's glory,
Meets the day with hope and comfort too,
You fill my life with laughter, somehow you make it better,
Ease my troubles, that's what you do.
There's a love less defined,
And its yours and its mine,
Like the sun.
And at the end of the day,
We should give thanks and pray,
To The One, to The One.
Have I Told You Lately that I love you?
Have I told you there's no one else above you?
Fill my heart with gladness, take away all my sadness,
Ease my troubles, that's what you do. There's a love less defined,
And its yours and its mine,
Like the sun.
And at the end of the day,
We should give thanks and pray,
To The One, to The One.
Have I Told You Lately That I Love you?
Have I told you there's no one else above you?
Fill my heart with gladness, take away all my sadness,
Ease my troubles, that's what you do.
Take away all my sadness, fill my life with gladness,
Ease my troubles, that's what you do.
Take away all my sadness, fill my life with gladness,
Ease my troubles, that's what you do.

Ken finishes tears welling in his eyes his voice trembling. He kisses her hand softly and whispers shakily.

Ken: I love you.

With that her heart monitor gives out a shrill alarm as her heart stops.

Ken: NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ken jumps to his feet and franticly starts doing chest compression's tears nearly blinding him.

Ken: No, you can't leave me, no! Help someone help! No you're not leaving! Help!! Help!!

Deidra races in.

Deidra: Ken, stop.

Ken: No!

Deidra touches his arm.

Deidra: She's gone Ken.

Ken: No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally over come with emotion he lays himself across her on the bed and wraps his arms around her tightly as he sobs uncontrollably into her chest.

Ken: No, come back, come back, please, don't leave, don't leave me! I love you, I need you!

...to be continued...