Episode 141

“So do you know each other,” Mindy questioned again taking note of the uncanny silence that surrounded the situation.  The color seemed to drain from Brooke’s features as she stared at Hunt with a momentary shock.  Finally she stood up straighter fearing what could happen in this exchange.
“Well Mum?” Guy questioned taking note of this new arrival and the way he had his arm around Mindy.  Suddenly Guy wanted to know more about the man before him, “Do you?”
“Actually,” Hunt started leaving Brooke no room for an answer, but much to his dismay, she piped in quickly.
“He’s an interior designer that I hired in for our new offices in town,” Brooke confessed in a rush of breath, “He’s working with me on a few projects and I guess I was just surprised to see him standing there.  Last I‘d heard he wasn‘t anywhere near this hospital…”
“Well, you know when a situation arises where I’m needed, I can’t help but jump up to the plate there,” Hunt replied with obvious dismay burning behind his eyes at Brooke’s keeping the truth about them under wraps once again.
“And you say you’re an interior designer, eh,” Guy sized him up.  Giving him a complete once over, Guy stepped towards the group, “So how do you and Mindy know one another?”
“We met by chance at while ago,” Mindy explained in a quick breath, “and we just so happened to meet up tonight at the hospital when I was waiting for you.”
“I see,” Guy nodded immediately not liking the guy before him as Hunt seemed to be far too eager to be near Mindy.  Granted he had no right to hold any kind of protest, but given that Mindy seemed to only now be mentioning the guy, Guy didn’t feel that he should have his arm around her.
“It was kind of one of those surprise encounters,” Hunt added uneasily, his gaze lingering back to Brooke once again, “and you are?”
“Guy Morrison,” Guy offered his hand out to him, “I’m Mindy’s boyfriend.”
“Her boyfriend,” Hunt nearly choked out at the words given the lecture Mindy had been giving him.  Leaping back to the moment, he threw Mindy a confused look before reaching out to shake Guy’s hand,  “Guy, it’s nice to meet you and I assume with the name Morrison, that means you and Brooke are related.”
“That’s right, she’s my mother and this is my,” Guy motioned over towards the bed where Gabe lay in silence taking it all in, “my friend Gabriel Teague.”
“Gabriel Teague,” Hunt’s eyes widened with obvious excitement, “You can’t be serious.”
“He’s very serious,” Gabe finally spoke up from his quiet corner of the room.
“I don’t believe this.  I mean of all places to run into someone like you, here at the hospital,” Hunt weaved his way through the crowd, “I’m Hunt Lockhart and I’ve been an admirer of yours for quite some time.  The things that you have done with your companies--I’ve been in awe of your work.  Granted right now I’m doing the interior design thing, but ultimately I’d love to work on building an empire of sorts and…”
“And it sounds like fate must’ve had something in the cards for us here,” Gabe couldn’t help but laugh at Hunt’s enthusiasm before adding, “and besides any friend of Mindy’s is someone that I’d love to get the chance to know better.  Maybe we can shoot a few ideas around and I could give you a few tips on things…”
“You’d really do that,” Hunt’s eyes widened in surprise.  “For me?”
“Sure, why not,” Gabe replied glancing over at his lover and Mindy, “I mean what are friends for?”
“Well Hunt and I only really just met and…” Mindy stared wondering what Gabe’s angle was on befriending Hunt there.
“And you haven’t had time to check out his references,” Brooke piped in fearing what could happen should Gabe and Hunt become pals.  The last thing she wanted was for Gabriel Teague or anyone else for that matter to know about her lover.
“If you’ve hired him for a job, then I’m sure that he’s beyond exceptional.  I have a few things in the states here that could use an updating and I haven‘t found the time to find the right person to work on it,” Gabe smiled at him ignoring the glare that Guy was giving him from across the room, “So what do you say?”
“If you’re willing to give me some time to speak with you, then I’m more than ready to take on whatever challenge you’ve got for me,” Hunt offered up with a firm handshake, giving Brooke one more reason to fear her lover’s arrival in Coral Valley. 
While she’d been very adamant that he should stay at the hotel until she called, she could see that he was still far too stubborn for his own good.  Looking around the room, she eyed Mindy with clear cut contempt.  Just the fact that Mindy knew Hunt meant that Brooke would have to be doing double-time on her toes there.  That was the last thing she wanted to worry about at a time like this when everything was up in the air.  Sure, okay, maybe she had been putting too much focus on Avery’s situation, but that didn’t mean she needed Guy’s annoying little sidekick to ruin things for her.  However, Brooke thought to herself with a wicked smirk, there were ways of dealing with those less than tolerable people in her life.  Now that Guy was out of the picture, maybe it was time to start focusing on little Ms. Mindy Carmichael and ridding Guy of her irritation once and for all.


“So where should we start,” Douglas questioned sitting over a cup of steaming coffee in the hospital cafeteria with Hart.
“Truth be told, I think we should begin with the fact that I’ve completely lost my mind to even be having this discussion with you,” Hart began wondering what in the world life had become to now that he was having a one on one with Jenna’s less than trustworthy father.
“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” Doug offered in response with a simple shrug of his shoulders before shaking his head, “Besides if Dottie has dubbed you a public enemy right along with me, then it’ll be a cold day in hell before you can persuade her to think otherwise.”
Hart pondered that for a moment, his thoughts lingering to Jenna.  If only things weren’t so damned difficult…
“So what is it now?  She think you’re no good for Jenna?  that you’re going to ruin her life,” Douglas probed further before sipping his coffee.
“Let me ask you something,” Hart countered forgetting about his own situation for a moment.
“What might that be,” Douglas replied eyeing him intently.
“Do you love Jenna?  I mean do you really care about her or is this some kind of game on your end to try to make her forget about the mistakes you’ve made,” Hart threw out at him thinking about the turmoil that had surrounded Jenna’s life from the moment she’d discovered the many secrets her father had buried.
“Of course I love my daughter,” Douglas replied almost immediately before shifting in his seat uneasily, “although I will be the first to admit that I haven’t exactly been a good father--to any of my children.”
“Including your son J.T.,” Hart watched Douglas’s face drop upon the mention of his youngest son.
“J.T. is a difficult boy,” Douglas revealed with a tiny groan, “He’s often very misguided and I’ve come to the point in my life where I’ve grown tired of bailing him out of each and every one of his misadventures.”
“So then you’ve turned your back on him,” Hart lifted an interested brow taking it all in.
“I’ve merely given J.T. the room to hang himself if he so chooses,” Doug shrugged once again, “which as a father is often the most humane thing you can do.  If you’re always stepping in and fixing problems for the child, then they aren’t ever going to learn or grow up for that matter.”
“And with Kipp?  Did you feel that you needed to let him hang himself or were you more interested in making sure that he didn’t follow the same path that you did?” Hart accused watching the darkness burn behind Douglas’s eyes,  “Tell me, did you murder William Steed to keep Kipp from finding out that you didn’t really trust him to go it on his own?  That you weren’t ready to let him pull the reigns of his relationships?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Douglas remarked taken aback by the tone in Hart’s voice, “but if you’re going to try to accuse me of something, you’d best be well suited with your facts before you start pointing the finger.”
“Then you’re saying that you didn’t work out an arrangement with William Steed to have Heather Gibbons be a bought lover for your son,” Hart pushed the envelope further.
“Oh heavens no,” Douglas wrinkled his nose in disgust, “If anything I would’ve paid whomever it was necessary to keep that little slut from my son’s life.”
“Is that right,” Hart attempted to read the expression on Doug’s face.
“Somehow I have a feeling whatever answer I may offer up already has me deemed a guilty man in your eyes,” Doug leaned in over the table, “so why not go for the gusto and say what you really want to say?”
Hart thought that over for a moment before finally speaking his mind, “Do you have any idea what your indiscretions has done to the world around you?  To your family?  To Jenna?  The reason she and I were at that airport was because she was hoping to discover the truth about what kind of man you really are.  She wanted to know if it was within your power to murder someone in the hopes of keeping your skeletons locked away in your closets there.”
“Son, I’m from Los Angeles, the only skeletons that aren’t out in the public already are the ones that my maid has tucked away for Halloween,” Douglas let out a hearty chuckle, “Do you really think that I have an issue with others knowing about my history?”
“You clearly had some problems with giving Jenna a lesson on it,” Hart continued thinking about the pain and anger that had consumed Jenna, “The fact that her brother just up and disappeared hurt her very deeply.  Top that off with the fact that you didn’t even bother to share with her that she had another brother out there…”
“J.T. isn’t at all in the same league with Jenna.  He’s had a lifetime of issues that aren’t about to be resolved anytime soon.  With Jenna’s heart, well I didn’t want her to have to get caught up in his drama,” Doug shrugged in response, “especially considering that she’s had enough of it on her own.”
“So then what’s the real story on you and William Steed?  Given that someone saw it fit to mail his ring finger with Kipp’s ring on it I might add to Jenna, I think someone was trying to send her a message,” Hart added reflecting upon that horrifying moment for the woman he loved.
“That was a very cruel joke and when I discover who was behind it, then they are going to have to answer to me personally,” Doug promised him.
“Oh I’m sure they will.  Just like William did right,” Hart added with obvious cynicism.
“My son Kipp was a very spoiled child who lead a charmed life.  He never knew of the evils of the world like men as yourself would.  He was very naïve and when a beautiful woman paid him attention, he tended to see that as a clue that they were seeking out more than the prestige and power that came with being associated with a family like the Mahoney’s,” Douglas explained in a cool and collected tone, “When I’d discovered that my son had taken a liking to models and aspiring young talent on the Hollywood scene, I tried to brush it off--to think of it as a phase that he was going through on the road to being a man, but when I’d heard of his ridiculous obsession with Ms. Gibbons, well that’s when I saw fit to take action.”
“And how did William play into this?” Hart asked wondering just what Douglas wasn’t telling him.
“William had approached me once--shortly after I’d arrived in town.  He wanted to make some kind of deal with me--work out an arrangement if you will in helping me rid Kipp of Heather’s influence.  He said for a price he’d make Heather disappear,” Douglas divulged remembering the one brief encounter he’d had with Heather’s agent, “but at that time I’d had the situation under control and I told him that he and his talent could go rot in hell together.”
“And that was it,” Hart prompted further.   
“What were you expecting?  A cold-blooded confession for a murder that I had nothing to do with,” Doug arched a curious brow, “Perhaps you have been involved in one too many conspiracy theories Mr. Steiner.”
“Or maybe I am just set on protecting the woman I love,” Hart noted with a slight frown.
“As am I.  I don’t want Jenna to be touched by the black cloud that has hung over my family for the last few years.  She’s a beautiful young woman and I’d just like to see some happiness in her life,” Douglas added with a sigh, “I don’t want her to wind up in some situation where things are turned into something ugly.”
“Then why would you willingly step into the line of fire with someone like Thea Valentine?  If Jenna meant so much to you, then why bring thea into this?” Hart inquired.
“My extracurricular activities don’t extend to my daughter,” Douglas shrugged again, “Whom I’m bedding has no relevance on what’s happening with my daughter.”
“It does when she’s being sent severed limbs and being followed by the FBI,” Hart threw back at him, watching his eyes widen.
“Really…” Douglas sat up straighter, interest pouring over his features before his eyes narrowed down at Hart, “Now are you sure that extends to my place in Jenna’s life or yours considering that the rumors around town have been saying that you and Travis Callaway have had your share of words with one another once you’d bedded his wife…”
“That was ancient history,” Hart tried to deflect his comment as his thoughts lingered to what Beth had told him about Sam.
“Is it now?” Douglas leaned back in his chair, “I’m starting to wonder about that one given what I witnessed to day.  Perhaps your history is worth putting under the microscope since you’ve seen fit to pass judgment on me.”
“I’m not going to get into this with you,” Hart frowned back at him, “but I will say that if you didn’t murder William Steed, then someone it trying to plant the idea in Jenna’s head that you did.  Someone is coming after you and if you’re not careful, well there’s no telling what could happen to Jenna.”
“If Dottie lets me be with her, then I can protect her,” Douglas tried to argue with him.
“Like you did with Kipp,” Hart shook his head realizing that this whole conversation was pointless, “In that case Jenna is better off taking her chances on her own.”
“I wouldn’t be so quick to judge if I were you,” Doug noted Hart’s move to leave, “Considering that Dottie doesn’t want either one of us near Jenna, it might be advisable that you and I work together to try to find our way into seeing her.  Should we form some kind of partnership perhaps our chances of making a difference in Jenna‘s life.  Together we may be able to find a way to see her.”
“Given the way Jenna felt about you when we were at that airport, I think I’d be best suited taking my chances on my own,” Hart decided rising up from the table, “Thanks for the coffee.”
“Sure,” Douglas nodded watching Hart’s retreat from where they’d been seated.  While he was certain that Hart was on the verge of opening up to him, something had stopped him.  That in itself had Douglas very curious about just what it was that had Hart on Dorothy’s top hate list.  Perhaps it was time to investigate.


“I came here as soon as I could,” Travis Callaway explained entering his ex-wife’s office only to discover her seated in the chair behind her desk staring aimlessly of a photograph of their daughter, “Beth..”
Gazing up from the image she’d been fixated on after Hart had walked out of the office, Beth finally acknowledged his arrival.  She nodded in response before wiping at her face to rid herself of the tears that had overwhelmed her.  She forced a sad smile before setting the framed photo down on her desk again.
“I didn’t think you’d bother to show up,” Beth admitted with a sad smile, “I didn’t know what to think when you heard about Sammy.”
“How is she doing?  Has anyone said anything about her condition,” Travis began, worry evident in his tone, “I came over here as soon as they told me that she was brought in.”
“So far I haven’t heard anything,” Beth admitted with a lump in her throat, “but I’m scared Travis.  After all we went through in keeping her alive the first time around…”
“We’re not going to lose her.  She’s a fighter and our Sammy isn’t going to give up without a fight,” Travis crossed the room in the hopes of trying to comfort his ex-wife, “She’s been through hell and back again and she’s still as spunky as ever.”
“Yes, but you know what something like this could do to her,” Beth paused her eyes returning to the photo on her desk.
“Why do I get the feeling that there’s something more you aren’t telling me,” he questioned feeling another bout of worry cross over him, “Beth…”
“Travis, I think we need to talk,” she inhaled slowly, “and perhaps it’s best that you sit for this one.”
“Beth, I’m sure that whatever it is that you have to say won’t be…” he began to protest until she cut him off.
“I told Hart about Sammy,” she blurted out unwilling to wait another minute to share the truth with him.
“You what,” Travis gulped in response unable to believe what she’d just told him.  “Beth, what were you thinking?”
“He had a right to know that he was her father.  You told me a long time ago that you didn’t care if I…” she started to argue with him.
“Didn’t care,” he repeated in shock, “Beth, I thought we agreed that we’d never utter a word about that to anyone.”
“Travis, she’s been so sick and…” she started in her own defense.  “He was here when she was brought in and I panicked.”
“Obviously,” he rolled his eyes unable to refrain for showing the animosity he’d held towards that particular subject, “and let me guess you also took it upon yourself to try and see if you two could pick things up where you left off right?”
“I was thinking about Sam,” she argued with him.
“Oh I’m sure you were,” he rolled his eyes, “as she’s always a good excuse when you start seeking out the things you want.  Tell me how long did you and Hart wait this time before you started back up again?  Have you been screwing him already?  I mean is this your polite way of telling me to be prepared for him to move in on my daughter as well now that he’s sleeping with you again?”
“Go to hell,” she slapped him square across the face.
He winced in reaction to her surprising blow, but instead of shouting, he clenched his jaw tighter than before, “I just call them as I see them Liz.”
“Yeah, well you always did have a horrible way with words,” she breathed in response.
“And you always seemed to have trouble keeping your legs together when Hart was around--especially after we went through the whole marriage vows with one another,” Travis shot back at her icily, “Tell me now that he knows about Sam, does this mean you’re making it your missing to bring him back into our lives.”
“It’s my life Travis,” she snapped in response, “You’re the one who left me remember…”
“And I did my best to raise Samantha like she was my own.  I knew all about your dirty little secret, but I kept it like you begged me to.  I gave my life to Sam and if you think for one second that I’m going to let your lover step in and take away my rights to her…”
“That isn’t why I told him,” she shouted up at him.
“Then why Liz?  So you could have him do what?  Take you into his arms and realize just how meant to be the two of you are,” he shook his head at her, “In case you haven’t noticed, whatever promises that Hart Steiner offers you, he’s never around to keep them.  You were irrelevant to him then and eventually you and Sam will mean nothing to him again.”
“I still felt he needed to know.  If she were to leave this world,” she began tearfully.
“Oh spare me the melodrama.  You know damn well as much as I do that the only reason you would bring Hart into this is because you haven’t gotten him out of your system.  This is about you and…” his words were interrupted by a knock at the door.  Seconds later a nurse stepped inside catching the obvious tension in the air.
“Dr. Raines,” she began politely.
“Yes Missy,” Elizabeth replied in response wiping at her tears.
“Your daughter is awake and she’s asking for you,” the nurse hesitated before eyeing Travis closely, “the both of you.”
“Alright,” Travis nodded, “We’ll be right down.”
The nurse left the room giving Travis and Elizabeth a moment alone with one another.  She extended her arm out to him in an attempt to keep him from walking away from her. 
“Travis I…” she began desperately.
“Save it Beth.  Right now the only thing I care about is making sure that Sam is alright,” Travis replied spinning on his heel and stepping out of the room leaving her to her own company.
Straining to pull herself together Elizabeth stood taller, wiping at her eyes in the hopes of keeping the world from seeing the turmoil that she had surrounding her.  Drawing in a slow breath, she took a step forward towards her office door, but before she could walk out, she was met by a pair of dark eyes before her.
“Pardon me Dr. Raines, but do you have a moment,” the man questioned offering up a simple smile.
“Actually I was just on my way out to see my daughter,” she began apologetically.
“Yes, I heard all about what’s been happening with her and you have my deepest sympathies.  That being said, I was hoping I could have a word with you about her father.  You see I was out in the lobby when you were speaking with him and it appeared to me that you might be able to use my assistance,” he offered his hand out towards her, “The name is Stone--Cameron Stone and I should start by saying that Jenna Carpenter is my sister--well close enough to it anyways.”
“I see and what exactly is it that you think you can assist me with,” she eyed his hand wearily.
“Why I can help you make all of your dreams come true--that is if you’re willing to spare five minutes to speak with me,” he threw out on the table hoping that she would take the bait.  She looked to his hand for a long moment before finally shaking it.
“I don’t know if I can give you five minutes considering that my daughter just woke up and is asking for me, but if you can walk and talk fast, I might be willing to give you the time to say what’s on your mind,” she smiled up at him, the beginnings of a determined glimmer in her eyes spreading over her features.
“Wouldn’t you just know,” Cameron winked at her, “fast talking just so happens to be my specialty.”
“You don’t say,” she laughed lightly closing her office door, “Now I should hope that fast talking would come second to your delivering upon the bold promises you make.”
“If you give me that time you promised, I swear to you it’ll be well worth your while,” Cameron informed her thinking of all the ways in which fate must be smiling upon him to have him come upon such juicy information on Jenna’s lover.  Perhaps this was the beginning of something wonderful after all.


“I’m sorry to do this to you,” Avery began to apologize wiping at her own tears while she looked up at Jade.  “You’ve already been through so much and…”
“And nothing.  Russ is like a brother to me.  He’s part of my family even if Grady and I aren’t married yet,” Jade reminded her hating to think of what would happen now that Russell had been claimed a victim in the bombing.
“Oh God, Grady,” Avery’s tears returned to her.  She let out a tiny whimper thinking about her husband’s brother, “He’s going to be devastated.  When he finds out…”
“I’ll have to tell him,” Jade nodded poignantly knowing that there was no avoiding the obvious.
“Maybe the police are wrong.  I mean maybe something happened and Russ is really out there,” Avery decided willing away her thoughts of losing the love of her life, “He could just be missing and that person they found could be someone else…it isn’t necessarily Russ…”
“Avery,” Jade opened her mouth to try to speak reason, but in this instance reason didn’t seem to feel like it existed.  Finally she sighed, “maybe…”
“So then you think it’s possible that Russ is still alive,” Avery questioned, her eyes full of hope.
“I think that a part of him is very much alive in that baby growing inside of you,” Jade offered up thinking about how much the family Russ had started with Avery meant to him.
“We’re having a little girl you know,” Avery smiled behind her tears, “She’s going to be daddy’s little girl just like Russell wanted.  He knew we were having a girl, but I was still unsure.  Though you know I should never doubt him when he says something because he’s almost always right.  When he makes a promise, he tends to stick to it and I’m telling you tomorrow he’s going to walk through that door.  Everyone will see…”
“Avery,” Jade spoke her name watching as Avery sank back against her blankets, exhaustion overtaking her.
“This is just a bad dream and when I wake up, Russ will be with me.  We’ll be at home and everything is going to be okay,” Avery spoke to herself more than Jade while Jade fought to keep her own tears under control.  Hearing Avery so lost inside herself holding out hope for something that could never be, it broke Jade’s heart in two.  After a few minutes, she noticed that Avery had drifted off to sleep--leaving her subconscious to dance over those impossibilities that she was praying for.
“Sleep well Avery,” Jade reached out to touch her shoulder gently, “because I know how hard this is going to be.”
Choked up on her own emotions Jade looked to the heavens above, “Russ, why did you have to leave us like this?  Why now?”
Hearing a knock on the door, Jade nearly leapt out of her seat only to discover Richard Morrison standing in the doorway.
“How is she,” Richard questioned taking note of his sleeping daughter.
“She in hell right now and I just don’t know what happens next,” Jade rubbed her hands over her arms feeling the need to get some air overtake her.
“I was afraid of that,” he frowned turning his attention to his sleeping daughter, “She loves him so very much and when I heard the news…’’
“Nothing’s ever going to be right again,” Jade sighed heavily thinking about how much was going to change after this sudden disaster.  “I just hope that she has the strength to pull through this.”
“My daughter is one of the strongest women I’ve ever known, but with this, well I just don’t know…” Richard trailed off his heart breaking for his daughter.
“This just seems so unreal…so…” Jade began unable to comprehend what came next for them with Russ gone.
“I know,” Richard nodded taking a long look at Jade’s sad eyes, “How are you holding up?”
“I’m fine,” Jade sighed bringing her fingers through her long dark hair, “The bombing didn’t get to me too much luckily.  My brother was brought in as well, but he’s alright thankfully.”
Jade eyed Avery for a moment before going silent.  Choked up on emotion, she wondered how in the world she’d be able to tell Grady about his brother--how she could face another day of knowing that Russ was gone.  It just seemed so horrible, so far out of this world to be happening.
“Why don’t you go get some rest,” Richard suggested taking note of the expression on her face, “I can sit with her for a while.”
“Alright,” Jade nodded after a moment, “I should go check in on my brother and make sure that things are going okay with him.”
“I’ll be here,” Richard offered up with a small, yet poignant smile, “she’s in good hands with me.”
“I’m sure she is,” Jade replied unable to contain her own tears, “at times like these a girl could really use her father.”
“I just wish it was enough,” Richard sighed heavily turning his attention to Avery once again.
“Daddy,” Avery’s voice rose up from where she lay.  Her eyelashes fluttered open to see her father beside her.
“I’m right here,” Richard vowed pulling her into an embrace as her tears consumed her.
She hugged him tightly, overcome with so many emotions in that moment, “Daddy, they can’t be right about Russ.  They just can’t be…”
“I wish they weren’t sweetheart,” he tried to buffer her tears as he wiped at her face.
“Then you can help me show them that this is all a mistake--that Russ isn’t gone,” Avery questioned her voice cracked with emotion.
“I wish I could do that princess,” he replied pulling her into an embrace, “Oh how I wish I could do that.”
Jade looked at the both of them noticing the love between them and in that moment, she found herself reflecting upon the things she’d missed with her own father.  Watching Richard sit at Avery’s side doting his attention upon her, she thought back to her fatherless childhood--to the desire she’d had burning inside of her to have Dimitri back in her life again.  How she wished she’d known then what she knew now.  Still, now wasn’t the time for thinking about what she’d lost.  She had to stay strong for her family--for Grady.  Now as she made a step towards the door to leave Avery’s room, she took one last look at Avery and Richard noting the way he’d had her wrapped up in his arms.
“I wish that things were different too Avery,” Jade mouthed to herself stepping out of the room only to find herself choked up on emotion.  Unable to fight the tears that she’d been holding inside any longer, she began to sob.  However, before she could completely fall to pieces she heard her name being called out over the intercom system.
“Jade Alexander, you have a telephone call at the nurse’s station,” echoed through her head.  Standing up taller than before, Jade wiped at her face hoping to keep herself together if only for a few minutes.  Slowly she made the walk over to the nurse’s station to spot a woman before her. 
Clearing her throat, she spoke up, “I’m Jade Alexander.  I was paged over here.”
“Oh yeah,” the woman motioned to the phone before her, “It’s on line two.”
With that the woman walked away leaving Jade to attend to the phone.  Shaking her head ever so slightly, Jade picked up the receiver only to be met by silence on the other end of the line.  Frowning she eyed the phone with obvious confusion before hanging it up.  Whomever had called, clearly hadn’t had anything too important to say if they just hung up.  Come to think of it, who would be calling her at the hospital at a time like this? 
Frowning slightly she turned in the direction of Seth’s room only to feel a strong arm curl around her waist pulling her back into the shadows over by the linen closet.  Before she could scream, darkness surrounded her.  Feeling a hand clamped over her mouth, she knew panic was setting in.  Opening her mouth to scream once again, she realized that the hand over her mouth was too much.  Making the decision not to be a victim, she bit down on the palm that pressed in over her lips causing the man who’d grabbed her to groan in agony before speaking up.
“Damn it Jade.  It’s me,” Grady informed her with a pained hiss.
“Grady,” she spun around to face him, immediately overjoyed by the sound of his voice.  Immediately she spun around in his arms throwing her own around his body.  He didn’t have time to say much more as he climbed up to seek out his lips in a desperate kiss.
Curling his arm around her, Grady couldn’t help but grin in the moment after they’d parted, “Now that is more like it.  I didn’t mean to scare you but…”
“But nothing,” Jade’s eyes widened in response to his arrival, “Grady what are you doing here?  You know you can’t be here.  It’s not safe and if anyone sees you…”
“And when I heard the news on television about the bombing, none of that mattered.  I just needed to know that you were okay…that you were safe and now that I know…” Grady hugged her closer to him.
“Grady, you shouldn’t have come here.  It’s too dangerous for you and,” she stopped herself thinking about what she knew to be true about his brother.
“And what?” he questioned feeling her tense up in his arms.  Sensing her hesitance, he reached out to touch her cheek gently.  Immediately he noticed the tears burning behind her eyes, “Oh God…Jade, what is it?”

“It’s Russ,” she blurted out painfully not knowing how to tell Grady the worst news he’d ever had to hear.
“What about Russ?  What’s wrong with him,” Grady questioned in confusion noticing the way her lower lip trembled with emotion, “Has he been hurt?  Jade?”
“Grady I don’t know how to say this other than to just tell you…” she sobbed overcome with emotion while words broke up.
“Tell me what,” he asked, his voice rising with the sudden panic and fear her reactions brought about in him.
“Grady, he’s dead,” Jade blurted out bracing herself for his reaction to the news on his brother’s untimely demise.


Dorothy sat at Jenna’s bedside taking her hand.  Unable to contain the tears that overcame her at the thought of what could’ve happened to her daughter, she squeezed Jenna’s hand tighter than before.
“Mom,” Jenna’s voice rose above the silence that surrounded them, “Mom, what are you doing here?”
“Oh Jenna,” Dorothy squeezed her hand gently, feeling her eyes swell with tears, “Thank heaven you’re alright.”
“I’m fine,” Jenna sighed feeling her eyelids heavy with exhaustion weighing down upon her, “Where am I?”
“You’re in the hospital baby, but you’re safe now,” Dorothy promised smoothing out her daughter’s hair, “I’m with you and you’re going to be okay.”
“But what happened?  I was at the airport with Hart and then…” Jenna paused realization sweeping over her, “Mom, where’s Hart?”
“Honey he’s…” Dorothy thought back to her heated confrontation with her daughter’s lover.  Immediately the first flicker of anger surged through her. 
“He’s what?  Mom, is he okay,” Jenna questioned again, her eyes clouding over with a panic.  “Did something happen to him?  Is he…”
“He’s fine,” Dorothy blurted out refusing to take this time to hurt her daughter anymore than she already had been, “He’s just getting some air, but he’ll be back soon.”
That answer seemed to satisfy Jenna’s curiosity while she closed her eyes again as if trying to process what her mother had been saying to her.  Unfortunately however the sedatives she’d been given had other plans for Jenna.  A yawn spilled over her lips as she gazed up at her mother once again.
“Will you tell him to wake me when he comes back,” Jenna’s eyes pleaded with her.
“Of course I will honey,” Dorothy nodded hating to lie to her daughter, but as Jenna returned to relaxation, she decided that it was the best course of action.  However, once Jenna was better, she vowed to make sure that Hart Steiner wouldn’t be a problem in Jenna’s life any longer.  Like Douglas, Hart would be an unpleasant memory that Jenna could do without and Dorothy would do everything in her power to make that happen.


“So what do you say Elizabeth,” Cameron questioned with a bright smirk, “Do we have a deal?”
“I must admit your offer is quite tempting,” she nodded in confession, a smile teasing over the corners of her lips, “but I’ll have to think about it.”
“Take all the time you need,” he reached for her hand lifting it to his lips in a polite kiss before a chuckle teased over his lips, “well, not all the time, but enough to really think it over.  You can’t get a better offer than this one.”
“At this point I’m not even going to try and argue that, although I have to admit I don’t understand why you would step in and volunteer to assist me,” she replied, her cynical eyes upon him.
“Let’s just say I’m doing what’s best for everyone.  You want what you weren’t able to have in the past and so do I.  I want a chance to show my Jenna the kind of man that I really am,” Cameron grinned down at her.
“You mean one who’s ready to do whatever it takes to get what he wants,” she couldn’t help but smirk feeling an elevation in her mood after the little chat she and Cameron had with one another.
“Given what I’ve learned about you in the last five minutes, I’d have to say that I’m not the only one with an ulterior motive here,” Cameron motioned to the window where Travis and Sam sat with one another as she lay on a hospital bed.
“I’m doing what I have to for my daughter,” she reiterated, her eyes darkening with each word that fell from her lips.
“As am I,.  Family is very important to me despite the rumors that have been floating around town about me.  I’ve fought hard to show my true colors, but in times like these it’s often best to take a stand.  I’m sure you can agree, but for now, well go to your daughter.  Be with her and think about what I said.  You know how to reach me if you need to,” he motioned to the card he’d handed her minutes earlier.
She looked down at it for a long moment before tucking it into her pocket and addressing him with a nod, “I’ll be in touch Cameron.”
“I look forward to hearing from you,” he smiled back at her watching her for a moment before she slipped behind the door to the hospital room joining the rest of her family.  While she hadn’t given him a straight answer in their conversation, Cameron knew full well to expect from a woman like Elizabeth Raines.  She was hungry for what she craved and she wouldn’t dream of stopping until she had it.  Hunger and passion were two things Cameron thrived on as he’d known those two cravings rather well.  She would come around and when she did, he snickered to himself, it would mark the beginning of the end for Hart and Jenna forever.


Brant returned to Avery’s hospital room knowing full well that now was not the time to let his demons haunt him.  Sure, he’d been through a lot, but it was nothing in comparison to what she was experiencing.  She was going through hell right now, just as Ken was, but unlike with Ken, he knew that Avery would want him at her side.  Yes he and Ken had reached an unspoken understanding in the small chapel, but ultimately Brant was well aware that the road to repairing the damage that had been done between them had a long way to go on it.  He was reluctant to leave Ken alone, but when Ken had issued the request for some time on his own to think, Brant had no choice but to oblige.
“He needs to find peace,” Brant had tried to convince himself despite the fact he knew that this was going to be one of the hardest things his brother would have to face.  Now however Brant had to stay focused and that focus included making sure that Avery was alright.
Entering the room Brant noticed Richard at her side.  Taking in an uneasy breath, Brant fought to find the right words to speak to the man he knew full well hated him.  Somehow nothing seemed right especially after what had taken place in the hall earlier with Ken.  Clearing his throat, Brant captured Richard’s attention and noticed in the process that Avery had drifted off to sleep again.
“How is she holding up,” Brant questioned lightly, not wanting to disturb her slumber.
“Not good at all,” Richard frowned, his heart sinking at the thought of what his daughter was going through, “This happiness she’d found with Russ meant everything to her and now…”
“I wish that it wasn’t this way,” Brant began apologetically only to be met by Richard’s skeptic eyes.
“No?” Richard began ready to lash out at him, but stopping his words from coming.  Inhaling slowly, he returned his attention to his daughter before addressing Brant again, “The nurse explained to me that you were the one who pulled her out of the fire.”
“I knew I had to save her,” Brant confessed thinking back to that moment in time when fate had guided him to Avery, “I couldn’t bear the thought of anything happening to her or the baby for that matter.”
“I just wish that Russ…” Richard trailed off lost in his own emotion.  Clearing his throat, he glanced over his shoulder at Brant once again, “but for what it’s worth, I’d like to thank you for saving my daughter and my granddaughter.”
“No thanks are necessary,” Brant shook his head in response, his eyes lingering to Avery as she lay before him.  She seemed so peaceful, so serene despite the obvious agony she’d been through.  Unable to contain the way he felt in the moment Brant spoke freely from his heart, “I would’ve done it all over again if I had to.  Losing her would’ve been a horrible tragedy--one that I don’t ever want to face in this world.”
“Neither do I,” Richard admitted letting go of old emotions for the time being now that Avery needed all the love and support she could have in her life more than ever.  Perhaps he had jumped the gun on judging Brant.  While he was far certain he wouldn’t take to Brant like he had with Ken, maybe just maybe Brant’s rescue had shown Brant’s true colors.  Perhaps it could mean that there really, truly was something there behind Brant’s ego where his heart was concerned.  Either way Richard wasn’t about to spend his time worrying about anything more than helping his daughter get through one of the hardest experience’s of her life.


"Are you alright?" Diego asked grasping onto the hand of Sarah.

"I’m okay," she nodded sniffing as Diego wiped away one of her tears.

"So…you’re her sister?"

"Yeah, I’m guessing you haven’t heard about me, right?"

"No…not a word," he shrugged watching Sarah shake her head in disappointment.

"Figures," she sighed knowing her sister never wanted any type of contact with her.

"Listen…" he started, "What’s your name again?"


"Sarah, I know Heather may have made a lot of mistakes, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you."
"I don’t think she would ever say that," she said looking over at the helpless Heather who was now asleep.

"Yeah, I know. I think it helps you being here," he lightly whispered looking into her eyes.

"I guess you’re right…I need to do what is right for her. Better yet, I need to make sure she is going to be okay…that’s all that matters," she nodded standing up and putting her hand on top of Heather’s.

"I’m sure in the future she will appreciate everything that you are doing for her," he reminded coming up from behind her.

"I know," she sniffed lightly. She couldn’t stand to see her sister like this…she may have done things in the past, but she didn’t deserve this no one did.

"All we just need to do is pray and hope for the best. Right now, that’s all we can do," he said putting his hand onto her shoulder.

"Yeah, you’re right," she nodded as a tear rolled down her cheek. "I never wanted anything like this to happen. I feel horrible, I don’t want anything bad to happen…I just want her to be okay."
"I know, how about we just pray for her…together," he grasped onto her hand lightly as she nodded and silence overcame the both of them.

The silence was soon broken by the noise of a door slamming open.

"Diego, what the hell are you doing in here," Cameron growled stepping in Diego’s face.

"I have a right to be here and I am staying no matter what," he tilted his head lightly as Cameron’s face grew red.

"No you’re not," he started grabbing onto the collar of his shirt, "Heather is my wife and I say you’re gone."

"No he isn’t," Sarah said coming up from behind Diego.

"Who are you?" he scowled looking at the tiny woman.

"I’m Heather’s sister and I say he can stay. You get out of here," she insisted.

"Heather doesn’t have a sister," he stated shaking his head.

"Yeah she does and I say you’re out of here," she said pointing to the door.

"I’m not going anywhere," Cameron protested shaking his head and folding his arms.

"Oh yes you are," she insisted.

"Who’s going to make me?" Cameron growled walking towards Sarah.

"I am," said an angered voice from behind Cameron.

Sarah looked on as Kyle and Cameron came up face to face. Both filled with rage.


...to be continued...