“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
“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
“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,” 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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
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
“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
“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
“He’s what? Mom, is he okay,” Jenna questioned again, her eyes
clouding over with a panic. “Did something happen to him?
“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
“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
“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
“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
"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
"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
"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