"Who are you? Her brother now or something," Cameron laughed loudly at
the man before him--not to be intimidated by his size.
"No, I’m not," Kyle started pushing Cameron against the wall and put
his arm across his neck, "But I suggest you leave right now."
"Calm down big fella," Cameron grinned.
"I’m not going to calm down until you’re out of this room," Kyle stated
pushing his arm harder across his neck.
"Well, I guess in that case I should be leaving," Cameron snickered as
Kyle set him down and pushed him toward the door.
"Then I would say it’s time for you to leave," Kyle growled as Cameron
fixed his shirt.
"Alright I will, but if I were you…I would watch your back," Cameron
commented walking out the door.
"You two okay?" Kyle wondered shutting the door.
"Yeah…who are you?" Diego questioned raising his eyebrow.
"That’s Kyle…a close family friend," Sarah stated as Kyle shook Diego’s
"Who was that punk?" Kyle wondered pointing towards the door.
"That was Cameron Stone," Diego sighed.
"I see he gives a lot people trouble here, huh?" Kyle questioned
pulling the bottom of his shirt down.
"Yeah," Diego sighed.
"So how is Heather?" Kyle asked as Diego stepped aside and his jaw
dropped. "Oh my god, is she going to be okay?"
"We don’t know yet," Sarah shrugged with a fear going in her mind.
Heather moved slowly as her eyes opened slightly, "Sarah."
Sarah watched as Heather closed here eyes again.
Tears started building up in her eyes, "I’m so scared."
Kyle took her in his arms pulling her in close to him. Tears came down
her face as Kyle’s hand ran through her hair lightly.
"It’s okay baby, we’ll take care of her. Cameron will never get to her
I promise. I will make sure, I will never let anything happen to her,"
he assured her kissing the top of her head.
"Actually," started Diego rubbing his chin lightly, "There is one more
thing to worry about."
"What do you mean?" questioned Kyle as an urge of worry overcame his
"Heather had a baby and…well it was born to early," Diego sighed as
Sarah looked up.
"What?" Sarah asked raising her eyebrow suddenly finding herself in a
whole new situation upon Diego‘s admission.
Stepping off the elevator, Hart found himself in the lobby area
wondering what to do next. While he’d tried to get a level head
about the situation that surrounded him, he felt helpless--felt trapped
in the moment that had come upon him. On one level, he knew he
belonged at Jenna’s side, supporting her and being there regardless of
what Dorothy said, yet he wondered how in the world he’d be able to
face her after what Beth had told him. He had a daughter--a child
he’d never been aware of until now. It all felt so surreal--kind
of like he’d just leapt out of the pages of a twisted novel, yet this
was no novel. This was his life and that life had been altered
simply by Beth informing him that he was a father.
“A father,” he mouthed to himself recalling the very brief encounter
he’d had with Beth’s daughter. At the time emotions were running
high and he hadn’t really given her much of a second thought, but now,
well now he tried to remember all the things he’d overlooked during
that encounter. Could it be possible that she was his
child? That he’d had a daughter out there that had never factored
into his perception of reality until now? That thought in itself
had him shell-shocked.
How in the hell could he be a father when only recently he’d learned to
grow up? He’d been one hell of a rebel for so many years until
Jenna had stepped into his life. He’d devoted his days to
enjoying the fly by the moment type of situations, but Jenna had
changed that. He’d now found himself wanting to be the kind of
man he’d frowned down upon over the years--the kind that had a real
chance at happiness and love, but with having a daughter…well, that was
another story. Sure, he had to admit that he had thought about
what it would be like to settle down with Jenna and start a family of
their own, but never did he imagine having an almost fully grown child
out there--with Beth no less!
Closing his eyes Hart thought back to his fling with Beth. At the
time they’d both been very young. She’d been a bored newlywed and
he’d been just the kind of guy to spice up her life. It had been
a wild, reckless and shamefully sexual period in his life where he
hadn’t thought about consequence. He and Beth burned hot and had
fun, but that’s where it ended. She was married, hence someone he
could easily end it with before things got too emotional. She
wasn’t looking for anything substantial either as it was one of those
things that was fun while it lasted. After it fizzled, he’d had
more than enough of that.
When Travis Callaway had found them in bed with one another and
threatened to blow Hart’s heat off with his nine millimeter glock, that
had sealed the deal for Hart. He’d been there, done that and he’d
opted to step out of the situation with his life still in tact.
After that he’d vowed to steer clear of the married women as there were
far enough single ladies out there bidding for his time. Still,
he couldn’t help but reflect upon that fateful period in time and
wonder why Elizabeth hadn’t said anything to him. How could she
not considering how far off the deep end Travis had to be?
Frowning again Hart realized that perhaps he’d answered his own
question with Travis’s clear instability. Not that Hart could
blame the guy for being upset. He would’ve been furious as well
to find his wife in bed with someone else, but then again given how
little it appeared that Travis and Beth cared about one another, Hart
really hadn’t felt guilty. Yes, having Travis threaten to blow
his head off had put his life in perspective a bit, but he’d just
brushed that less than savory memory to the back of his mind never to
be revisited again. Now however, as he stood outside Samantha
Callaway’s hospital room looking in, he couldn’t keep that memory
buried from his mind.
“You son of a bitch,” he could still hear Travis’s raging voice in his
mind, “How the hell could you to this? Beth, how could you bring
him into our lives?”
“Travis please,” Beth had begged of him, reaching out desperately from
across the bed in an attempt to keep her husband from helping put Hart
into a premature burial there. The situation had been painstaking
and in her own way Beth had managed to save Hart’s life.
But did that make up for what she hadn’t told him, Hart pondered
watching the exchange between Travis and Samantha from the window
before him. The two were clearly engaged in some kind of
father/daughter conversation. With Beth at the other side of the
bed, it clearly felt like a family moment in the making. Hart
felt like an intruder looking in upon a life that he wasn’t meant
for. So he was Sam’s biological father… She didn’t know
him--didn’t care to know him and as he watched her throw her arms
around Travis, he suddenly felt as if he’d be doing her a great
injustice to shake things up. Beth had taken away his right to be
a father and if he stepped in now, there was no telling what he’d do to
“You’re a screw up son,” his father’s voice echoed inside his head,
“You were born a screw up and you’ll die a screw up at the rate you’re
going. Nothing you do can change that. You’re a miserable,
horrible disaster in the making.”
“Maybe I am, but today I won’t make another mistake,” Hart mouthed to
himself banishing the voice in the back of his head. His gaze
returned to the sight of Sam and Travis before her and reluctantly he
let out a long sigh. He knew what he needed to do and it couldn’t
wait. Taking a step backward, he turned away from the family
before him making his way to Jenna’s room in the hopes that he could
get past Dorothy to speak be with her. Things with Sam seemed
under control and right about now given the turmoil he was feeling, all
he wanted to do was be with the woman he loved.
“Dead,” Grady repeated the color draining from his face, “No, Jade
that’s not possible. My brother isn’t dead.”
“Grady I wish that were the case, but somehow he got caught up in the
explosion and…” Jade began reaching out to touch his arm gently.
“No, that can’t be happening. My brother isn’t dead Jade.
There has to be some catch here,” Grady shook his head in refusal to
accept her words, “The police have to be wrong. They have to be…”
“Grady, they aren’t. Dave brought Avery Russell’s wedding ring
himself and he told her to go down to identify the remains in the
morning,” Jade admitted in a tearful confession, “Avery’s falling apart
“No, this can’t be happening,” Grady took a step back allowing Jade’s
words to sink in, “My brother can’t be dead. He was just coming
to see me and…”
“And there was the bombing,” Jade recalled tearfully, “No one knew what
was happening, but now…”
“I just can’t believe this,” Grady shook his head, guilt and fears
rushing over him, “You were all coming to see me--to be with me and…”
he paused thinking about what she’d told him, “How could Russ have
gotten caught up in the bombing if you and Avery are alright?”
“He wasn’t with us. He left to go back to the car,” Jade
explained remembering the time before the accident, “He said he’d
forgot something, but in reality he was going to meet with someone…”
“Meet with who,” Grady’s voice rose with emotion.
“I don’t know, but Kyle told Avery it had something to do with Bruce
Mathis,” Jade admitted wiping at her own tears.
“With Bruce,” Grady’s eyes widened in horror, “Oh God, then that could
mean that Bruce was the one who…”
“I really don’t think so Grady,” Jade continued to cry, “So many people
were wounded and killed in that explosion. For Bruce to make such
a bold statement…”
“I can’t…I won’t…” Grady muttered aloud to himself before looking to
Jade, “You said that Avery is okay, yes?”
Jade nodded, “She’s upset but she wasn’t hurt too badly. She and
the baby are…”
“I need to see her,” he reached out to touch her shoulders, “I need to
talk to her--to try to make sense of this…”
“Grady, you really shouldn’t be here. If anyone sees you,” Jade
started to plead with him knowing what a risk he was taking in coming
back to Coral Valley.
“To hell with them. If my brother just died, then I want answers
and I’m not leaving town until I get them,” Grady vowed an iciness
behind his green eyes now that his mind feared that his worst
nightmares were becoming a reality.
Judy stands in one of the small waiting rooms in the hospital staring
out at the raging storm thinking of everything that's happened. With
tears in her eyes she sighs and turns from the window wiping her face.
As she starts to leave she practically walks right into and equally
Richard: Oh! I'm so sorry.
Judy: No, no, it's my fault. Pardon me.
Richard: It's no problem.
There is an awkward moment as both just stand there looking at each
other searching for words.
Judy: Uh, how...how's Avery?
Richard sighs running his hand through his hair.
Richard: Physically? Her and the baby will be just fine.
Judy: Thank God.
Richard: But emotionally...
He shakes his head worry etched in his features. Concern fills Judy's
face as she instinctively reaches out and takes Richard's hand.
Judy: What is it, Richard?
Knowing he should pull away but not wanting to Richard allows her to
hold his hand.
Richard: Russell's been declared dead.
Judy gasps in horror her hand flying over her mouth.
Judy: Oh, dear God.
She sighs and shakes her head sadly.
Judy: First Caitlin, now Russell. This just isn't fair.
Richard: No, no it isn't. Now my daughter is a grieving widow and will
be a single mother.
Judy looks at Richard compassionately.
Judy: I'm so sorry. Russell...Russell was a good man.
Richard: Yeah, yeah he was a good man. A lot better then that Brant
character. God knows what I'm going to have to do to keep them apart.
He sighs rubbing his neck. Judy nods understanding his concern.
Judy: If there is anything I can do, anything at all, please, please
just let me know, okay?
Richard half smiles.
Richard: Thanks, I just might take you up on that. So, I guess you've
Judy nods thinking of the pain her friend is in.
Judy: I don't think I've ever seen anyone quit so devastated. He's
completely destroyed, Richard. I'm really worried about him.
Richard: Yeah, that makes two of us.
Judy: I tried to speak with him earlier but I'm not sure it did any
Richard: Yeah, I tried too. But I think he's just to hurt right now to
hear much of anything.
Judy: This is such a horrible mess.
Richard: Yeah it really is. It...it makes you really appreciate what
you have, and the people around you.
Judy: Yes, I'm very thankful for all my blessings and it's times like
these I really hold onto them.
Richard: You have to. It's the only way to get through times like
these. You have to hold onto the people in your life that you love.
They both look at each other closely as another awkward silence comes
over them. They stare at each other longingly both painfully aware how
much they need the other. Suddenly without warning driven by an over
load of emotions they go into one another's arms and fall into a
desperate kiss clinging to each other for the support and security they
both miss. As quickly as it starts it stops both knowing they can't do
this. Both their faces flushed with embarrassment.
Judy: I have to go!
She races out.
Richard: Judy, wait!
But she's already gone. He sighs and shakes his head tiredly then flops
down in the nearest chair and resting his head in his hands allows the
emotions of the night to over take him and he begins to cry.
Avery felt the soft nudge of fingers upon her as her eyelids fluttered
open and she felt the warmth against her arm. She looked to the shadowy
figure before her as his hand lifted to her face and her eyes opened
fully to reveal the man she’d been dreaming about standing before her.
A gasp fell from her lips as he reached out to her.
"Avery, what are you doing here," Russell questioned as he looked down
at her curiously.
"Russ, you’re here," she sat upright reaching out to hold him as she
threw her arms around his neck, "You’re really here."
"Of course I’m here," he replied squeezing her in his arms surprised by
her welcome, "did you really think that I would just walk away from you
"They said you were gone--that you went away and that you weren’t
coming back," Avery explained tearfully, "I was so afraid that I’d
never see you again!”
"For a moment there I wasn‘t sure," he answered after a moment’s
hesitation as he touched her cheek, "but then I realized that I
couldn’t leave you--not like that--not when I knew that you were the
only woman I’d ever love. Avery, I couldn’t walk away from you knowing
that you were worth fighting for--that our love was the only thing
worth fighting for. That‘s why I had to do what I did," he paused
urging her to meet his impassioned green eyes, "I know that I should’ve
been honest with you about what Kyle and I were doing, but then when it
all happened like it did, I didn’t want you caught up in it. I
didn’t want you to be…”
"None of that matters anymore," she interrupted tearfully, "Russ,
you’re back and we can work through this. We can find a way to have our
happiness once more now that you‘re here. I don‘t care that you
lied because that‘s not important anymore. What we have together
is all that matters."
"You mean you’re willing to give me another chance--to forgive me for
not being honest with you," he questioned a smile lifting over his
features as he wiped at her tears, "Oh Avery you have no idea how long
I waited to be able to put this behind us. I know that I
shouldn’t have kept you in the dark, but I knew that it was the only
way. If you knew the truth, then you might’ve gotten hurt and I
couldn’t live with that. When I left you to go meet with my
contact, I hated what I was doing. I hated walking away and I
prayed that you’d forgive me for not being up front with you.”
"Russ, you gave me the greatest joy I’ve ever known and I couldn’t just
walk away from you especially not now that we’re about to bring our
daughter into the world," Avery blurted out unable to contain the tears
that rushed over her, "Our daughter."
"Our daughter," he repeated searching her eyes, "Avery, are you
"You were right Russ. We‘re having a little girl," she nodded
eagerly, "I found out when they said you were gone. They told me
about our daughter when they said you’d died. I was so lost
without you Russ. I couldn’t imagine my life without you and when
they told me I had to…Russ I was so afraid that we wouldn’t be able to
share in our little miracle together. That you wouldn’t ever see
“I’m here Avery,” he tried to soothe her tears, “I’m right here with
you just like I promised I’d always be. I’m here with you and our
little miracle. I couldn’t walk away from you when we have
“Our little girl shows how strong our love really is and I can’t let
you walk out of my life forever,” she sobbed harder throwing her arms
around him in a moment of desperate anguish.
"Oh Avery," he scooped her up into his arms tears of joy taking over
him as he held her, "I love you. I love you so much."
"I love you Russ and I don’t ever want to be without you again," Avery
pleaded with him, "I need you."
"I’m always going to need you," he whispered warmly in her ear, "and
now that you’re having our daughter, oh Avery I was a fool to think I
could somehow move forward without you knowing the truth. I
should’ve told you everything that was going on because your love is
the only life I’ve ever truly known," he kissed her passionately as he
pulled her completely into his arms, "and now that I know what we have
ahead of us, I’m never going to lose you again as we really do have it
"Yes we do," Avery agreed overcome with emotion as she kissed him never
wanting to let go of him or the family they were bringing into this
world with one another as his arms held her tighter, warmer by the
moment until suddenly a coldness surrounded her and she opened her eyes
finding herself still laying upon the hospital bed as the darkness
Suddenly the reality of the moment hit her harder than before as she
sat upright and searched the room seeking out Russell, but the truth to
the matter was that he’d never returned. He’d never been with her
holding her in his arms and promising her forever again as he was truly
gone. He’d left her life and now as she sat alone thinking of the
promises they’d made to one another, she buried her head in her hands
and sobbed over the happily ever after that would never be--about the
man who’d captured her heart and taken it with him as he left her
life. In that instant, Avery found herself buried in the hopes of
what might’ve been as her world came crashing down around her leaving
her without the one man she’d ever truly loved.
“That son of a bitch,” Diego cursed pacing around Heather’s hospital
room. While he’d wanted to keep himself under control after what
had happened, there was no way he could keep his anger to himself, “Who
does he think he is?”
“He may be smug, but he is her husband,” Shannon pointed out the
obvious hating to be the one to do so, but given what they just
witnessed with Cameron Stone, she knew that the battle was far from
“Yeah well he doesn’t care about her,” Diego insisted, his fury
overtaking him, “She’s not important to him. He only want to
manipulate the situation to his favor.”
“I understand that Diego, but we have to find a way to beat him at his
own game,” Shannon tried to appeal to his sense of reason, “if nothing
else, then for Heather.”
“Heather’s already been through enough hell because of that man,” Diego
mouthed turning his attention to Heather as she lay in the hospital bed
before him oblivious to all that was happening around her.
“You know I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that I’m Heather’s
biggest fan because I’m not, but no woman deserves any of this,”
Shannon confessed thinking about everything she’d witnessed thus
far. Turning her eyes to Diego, she reflected upon what she’d
read about his past. She knew full well what was driving him on
in his quest to save Heather, but she wondered if he’d be successful in
the mission he’d made for himself. “Maybe there is a way to help
her out of all of this…”
“Oh believe me there is and when I find it, Cameron is going to pay,”
Diego promised his jaw tight with tension.
“Diego, I know that you want to help Heather, but is this about helping
her or about seeking out justice for what was done to you,” Shannon
blurted out in her straight to the point action that often wound her up
in a world of trouble. She watched his body grow rigid before he
spun around to face her once again, his eyes lost in a moment that
Shannon was certain went well beyond the here and now.
“When I lost Maria, I lost my life,” Diego explained in a smooth,
distant tone, “It wasn’t one of my finer moments, but when it happened,
I fought like hell to stop it. I tried to keep her and my son in
this world--to find a way to save them…”
“But that wasn’t in your hands. Diego, you did all that you could
for them and to keep punishing yourself like this…” Shannon reached out
to him sensing so very much happening beneath the surface.
“This isn’t about punishing myself Shannon,” Diego answered flatly, his
voice devoid of any emotion, “This is about doing what’s right.
This is about justice for Maria and for Heather. I may have
failed the woman I loved, but I won’t stand back and let Heather go
through that kind of a nightmare. She’s already endured more than
“That she has,” Shannon couldn’t help but agree. Turning her eyes
to the woman in the bed before her, Shannon wondered if Heather had any
idea of what she had waiting for her when she resurfaced. Sure,
Heather Gibbons had always been a bitch in Shannon’s eyes, but now that
Shannon watched Diego doting on Heather--giving her his undivided
attention, Shannon found herself a tad bit envious. Shannon had
met her share of losers--bedded a few of them along the way, but never
had she found someone with the intensity and passion that Diego
Hernandez seemed to have about him. Yes, he was a man with a
tortured past--a man with his own inner demons, yet there was just
something about him that had Shannon longing to get closer--to know
what he fought so hard to keep buried from within.
“I just want to protect her and her little boy. I want to spare
them the pain that I know Cameron will bring them,” Diego continued
reaching for Heather’s hand, “I promised I would protect her and I
can’t walk away from that. I’m a man of my word.”
“And I’m a woman of mine,” Shannon finally broke her silence, “I swore
to you that we’d find a way to get Cameron and make him pay. I
haven’t forgotten Diego. We’ll make it happen and I swear to you
if he had anything to do with this bombing--anything at all, well I
promise you that I’m going to nail him. Sooner or later his luck
will run out and when it does I’ll be there to put him away.”
“It won’t be soon enough. It’ll never be soon enough,” Diego
sighed his focus upon Heather as he found himself reflecting upon the
love he’d lost--on the hopes that had died at Cameron’s hand, but most
of all on the future that he swore to make happen for the woman who’d
put her faith in him. One way or another he would save Heather
and her boy and maybe just maybe in the process he would be able to
"There he is," Sarah pointed to the little baby in the incubator who
was nearly motionless.
"Poor little guy," he sighed wrapping his arms around her waist and
resting his head on her shoulder.
"Kyle, I’m so scared. First it was Heather and now it’s him, it’s like
I am an aunt now and I don’t even get to enjoy it," she got out as she
felt her throat grow dry and tears burn behind her eyes.
"Listen to me," Kyle started making her turn towards him as his hand
caressed her face lightly, "Everything is okay. Heather will be fine
and so will this little guy."
"See that’s the thing Kyle, you don’t know that," she protested wiping
away one of the tears that slid down her face.
"I may not, but all you have to have is faith. I will be here for you,
no matter what," he assure her as his thumb wiped away another tear
that lingered down her face.
"I know, I’m just so scared Kyle," she cried as he pulled her into his
arms and she rested her head on his chest.
"It’s okay sweetheart, as long as I can I will do whatever it takes to
help them okay?" he questioned kissing her forehead lightly.
"Thanks Kyle this means a lot to me. I know you have better things to
do…" she started as he cut her off.
"Don’t say that, you’re my everything. I don’t mind being here for you,
it’s what I want to do," he hushed looking down at her as she smiled.
"Did you just say I am your everything?" she wondered as he nodded
raising his eyebrow.
"Of course you are, I thought you would know that by now," he nodded
running his hand along her cheek lightly. He leaned in pressing his
lips against hers as his hand ran through her hair.
"I appreciate everything you are doing," she smiled as he rested her
head against his.
"It’s really no problem," he assured her as his fingers entwined with
hers, "I love you."
"What did you just say," she questioned with a gazed look on her face
as he smiled.
"I told you that I loved you," he kissed her again as his hand rested
against her back. "Is that okay?"
"Yeah," she started speechless, "I love you too."
"Well, this whole bombing thing got me thinking…and I realized that I
loved you. Some people lost their loved ones and I couldn’t imagine not
having you in my life."
"Kyle, I truly do love you," she grinned turning around and looking at
the baby that lie there. Kyle wrapped his arms around her as they
looked at the baby.
Hart rounded the corner of the hallway, taking a long look around
before spotting Jenna’s room. Knowing full well how much Dorothy
loathed him, he knew it might be a challenge walking in and seeing the
woman he loved, but he didn’t care. It was worth facing the wrath
of Dorothy to see Jenna again. He needed to know that she was
alright…that she was okay and right now that was all that
mattered. Slowly he inhaled a breath before marching into the
room. If Dorothy wanted a fight, then he’d give her one--later,
but now was about being with Jenna. However, much to his surprise
he discovered Jenna all by herself in bed with Dorothy nowhere in sight.
Carefully closing the door behind him, Hart moved quietly towards his
sleeping girlfriend. He didn’t want to disturb her if she was
finally resting, but he couldn’t bear the thought of being away from
her a moment longer either. Reaching for one of the chairs next
to the bed, he took a seat beside her. Unable to help himself,
his eyes traveled leisurely over her features, thinking about how close
he’d come to losing her. That sent a pain rushing straight to his
heart as he’d wanted nothing more than to hold onto her forever.
Of course given all that had happened, he was starting to wonder if
that would be possible any longer.
“Tell me something,” Jenna’s voice beckoned him from his thoughts, “How
long are you going to sit there and stare at me? I was kind of
hoping you’d just kiss me.”
“And here I thought you were sleeping,” Hart gave her a silly look
noticing the way her eyelids fluttered open when her smile touched over
the corners of her lips.
“I was thinking about it, but then I sensed that you were here,” she
sighed up at him stretching her arm out to draw him nearer to
her. “I was beginning to think you’d never show up.”
“You were thinking wrong then,” Hart leaned in towards her, “because
all I could think about was being with you.”
“Hmm, then why are you stalling when I know you want to kiss me,” she
teased lightly feeling his lips brush in over hers in a tentative
kiss. Once they’d parted, she threw out a pouty expression,
“Hart, I’m not broken and that most certainly doesn’t qualify as a
“In that case,” Hart dipped down, nibbling on her lower lip gingerly,
“how was that?”
“Much better,” she purred in approval, her wide eyes opening to him,
“So tell me how bad were you hurt?”
“I’m fine,” he reached for her hand lacing their fingers in one
another, “Well other than the fact that you had me worried out of my
mind about you that is…
“I’m going to be just fine,” she tried to assure him in that same
confident tone that she’d always carried with her, “My mother mentioned
there was some kind of bombing.”
“There was,” he nodded in recollection, “The authorities are still
looking into it, but there was a lot of damage.”
“How bad was it,” Jenna questioned in confusion.
“I think it’s going to be a long time before the airport is open
again,” he admitted with a shudder thinking about the disaster they’d
both been swept up in.
“Were there a lot of people hurt,” she questioned taking note of the
expression that spread over his features, “Of course there were.
What a stupid question on my end. Hart, what about Heather?
Is she okay?”
“I honestly don’t know,” he ran his fingers of his free hand through
his hair, “Things haven’t been anything but hectic since we were
“How did I get here?” Jenna questioned blinking back at him, “Did you
“I wish I had, but at the time of the bombing, there was this
situation…” he paused thinking about the moments before the bomb went
off, “You were being followed by someone and I stepped aside to catch
him before he could do anything.”
“Who was it,” she asked noticing the color had drained from his face,
“It was an FBI agent. Callaway had him tailing you. I tried
to get more information out of him, but the bomb went off,” Hart closed
his eyes feeling a tremor race over him, “He didn’t get to tell me much
more and when I woke up, well the man was dead.”
“Dead,” she gasped in horror, “Oh Hart, that’s horrible. I mean I
had no idea that our going on a simple trip would be…”
“I know,” he nodded cutting her off, “I shouldn’t have agreed for us to
go to Los Angeles.”
“Or maybe that’s why that bomb went off. Maybe someone didn’t
want us to get there. Maybe someone has something to hide.
What if Cameron saw that Heather and I were talking and he decided to
put a stop to it,” Jenna theorized taking note of the expression on his
face, “Hart, what is it?”
“There’s something you should probably know,” he admitted in
confession, “You see while I’m sure you aren’t going to like it, I
should tell you that Cameron is the one that pulled you out of the
“What,” she blinked back in shock and astonishment, “Cameron as in
He nodded, “The one and only. I don’t know how he did it, but
when he found you, he pulled you out--made sure you were safe…”
“Cameron saved my life,” she repeated letting it all sink in, “You mean
“I wish to God it was me, but when he did it, well I have to say that
I’m glad he did,” Hart confessed finding himself choked up on emotion,
“If I would’ve lost you…”
“But you didn’t,” she squeezed his hand tenderly, “You’re alive and I’m
alive and we have each other.”
“Jenna, if I lost you,” Hart began, his eyes filling with tears at the
thought of what could’ve happened, “If we weren’t able to be together
“Shh,” she tried to silence him, “Hart we are together now and nothing
can change that. You know when I was sleeping before I had the
most beautiful dream…”
“Oh yeah,” he questioned seeing the smile that spread over her face,
“About us,” she confessed lightly, a breath escaping from her lips, “I
was dreaming about us living together--about us really taking that next
step that we’d talked about and in the dream I found myself rather
“How so,” he questioned moving in closer to her, longing to wrap her up
in his arms.
“Because I found myself happier than I’ve been in years,” she paused a
sincere smile spreading over her features, “In fact it felt like the
happiest moment of my entire life and I knew that I didn’t want it to
end. I didn’t want to let go of you in it--not ever.”
“Then don’t let go,” he gave in to his urges sliding in beside her on
the hospital bed and holding her in his arms, “Don’t ever let go Jenna.”
“I won’t,” she promised holding him close to her and saying a silent
prayer for the powers above that kept her alive to share such a moment
with him, “I love you Hart.”
“I love you Jenna,” he replied needing to keep her in his arms--to feel
her love as he thought about all that happened since that bomb went
off. So many explosive things had transpired but he needed to
hold the reigns on the things that really, truly meant the most to
him. He’d spent his whole life a screw up and now he’d found
love. He’d found the one thing that he’d ran away from time and
time again, but now, well now it was Jenna and her love that had kept
him from going under. Holding her in his arms he realized that he
never wanted to fall down to that dark place ever again.
Brant entered Avery‘s room after making a trip downstairs to get
himself a cup of coffee to keep him going. While Richard had
urged him to go home earlier in the evening, Brant had insisted upon
staying knowing full well that Avery would need someone at a time like
this. He realized that Richard probably wasn’t happy about his
idea to stick around, but he didn’t care. He’d decided to
camp out in a chair in the far corner of Avery’s hospital room and stay
with her if she needed him. Upon arriving in the room, he heard
her soft sobbing from just beyond the other side of the curtain that
divided the room.
“Oh Russ,” her voice broke down with obvious emotion.
Rushing over to see what was happening, Brant pushed the curtain aside
noticing she’d curled up into a ball on the bed, hugging her legs to
her chest in a fetal position. It was a heartbreaking scene and
as Brant watched her, he feared for what the future would bring to her
and her baby.
“Avery,” he spoke her name gently, making a move towards her in the
hopes of breaking her out of the nightmare that had consumed her.
Avery shifted on the mattress, hearing a voice speak out to her among
the shadows that surrounded her. She lifted her head seeking out
the source of the sound. Her eyes were overwhelmed with tears,
but through the shadows, she could see the silhouette of a man before
her. He was reaching out to comfort her, his hand pressing in
against her shoulder and she spoke out to him desperately.
“Please don’t leave me,” she threw her arms around him pulling him in
closer to her.
“Avery, shh,” Brant whispered sensing her overwhelming grief as he
stroked her cheek. She clung to him with obvious need--with a
pain that was too deep for mere words, “I’m not going anywhere.”
“Please don’t,” she begged of him dropping her head on his chest,
“Please don’t ever leave me again.”
“I’m not going anywhere sweetheart,” he whispered over the top of her
head keeping her close to him. He kissed her dark hair, wishing
that he could somehow erase the pain that she was going through.
This was going to be anything, but easy for her and as her tears soaked
through his shirt, he wished that there was something more that he
could do for her--something that would take all of her pain away.
“Please promise me…” she lifted her head up, her dark eyes penetrating
his. “Promise me that you won’t ever leave me again…”
“Avery I,” Brant began realizing that she still must be asleep or not
truly realizing it was him with her when she crawled up over him
kissing him with an exaggerated movement. He nearly gulped at her
kiss, feeling her tears press in against his cheeks as her mouth
claimed his with a fiery intensity.
Reaching out to stop her from what she was blindly going into, Brant
tried to keep his own racing thoughts from spinning out of
control. So many times in the past he’d longed to hold Avery, to
have her kissing him like she was kissing him now--only this time she
wasn’t thinking about him. She was dreaming about the husband who
had slipped out of her world--about the father of her child who would
no longer be around to share another moment of his life with her or
their daughter. Her kiss was desperate, needy and full of that
emotion that Brant had no doubt had only been reserved for Russ.
Gently he pressed his hands down over her spine massaging her tenderly
while he prepared to seek out an easy way to break away from the
kiss. Coming up empty, he kissed her in return, selfishly
savoring the moment despite the fact he knew it was wrong. Her
lips were like a hot fire that burned down to his soul and with each
breath they shared with one another, he felt that desire he’d kept
buried inside resurfacing. She was so deep in his system that to
ignore her touch would be the end of him. Finally Brant found
himself so swept away from her touch that he felt he had no other
He reluctantly tore his lips away from hers only to catch a brief,
flickering movement behind her eyes. Their sadness seemed to ease
up replaced by what felt like a small peace of mind. With that
ending, she shifted above him, keeping her arms locked tightly around
him while laying on his chest. She mouthed a few whispers that
Brant could barely make out before her eyes closed again.
“I need you,” she breathed with a heavy sigh, exhaustion overtaking her.
“I need you too,” Brant confessed thinking about all the ways in which
he’d been unable to get Avery out of his system. Sure, he’d been
planning ways to be with her, but having Russ die was never part of the
program. He wasn’t concerned with winning her that way. It
wasn’t what he was looking for and yet the stranger irony of the moment
was that fate had given him a way to be with Avery. Sure, it
sounded heartless, but Russ wouldn’t want her to be alone. He
wouldn’t want Avery to spend her life as a widow with no one to protect
her. It was then and there that Brant promised to himself that he
would step in and be whatever Avery needed him to be. Bringing
his fingers through her dark hair, he silently vowed to bring her
through this horrible time she was experiencing. Perhaps together
they could find some light beyond the darkness that had surrounded them.
“Mmmm…” she murmured snuggling in closer to him, warming his heart with
the movement. Sure, he’d vowed not to fall into old habits, but
old habits died hard when the woman Brant loved was hurting so very
much. Squeezing her closer to him, he couldn’t help but kiss her
“I love you Avery,” he spoke from his heart feeling that he’d suddenly
found purpose and reason in his life after the hell he’d endured.
Sure, this wasn’t how he’d planned it, but he was doing the right
thing. He was being what she needed him to be and he’d move
heaven and Earth to give her and her daughter the world if she’d let
“I love you too,” she mouthed bringing a warmth to his heart before her
final word brought him back to the reality of the situation, “Russ.”
“Russ,” he thought to himself thinking about the man who’d been a rival
for Avery’s heart. Sure, Russ had won out. He’d gained
Avery heart and her love, but maybe just maybe in time Avery would see
that Brant could give her all that Russ had--even more. Maybe
just maybe Avery would realize that this was truly how it was meant to
be. Maybe just maybe…he stopped himself looking to the ceiling
above him as he thought about Russell Denton. No doubt Russell
Denton was in heaven telling everyone like it was--probably kicking and
screaming that he couldn’t keep Brant away from his wife, but now that
was irrelevant. Now was about helping Avery heal.
“And that’s what I’m trying to do Russ,” Brant spoke in a whisper
wondering if Russell could hear him wherever he’d drifted off to in the
afterlife, “I’m keeping her safe and I swear to you that I won’t let
anyone hurt her. You at least have to trust me on that one.”
Okay maybe not, Brant thought to himself, but in that moment he lay
silent holding Avery in his arms, he vowed that he would make sure that
she never experienced this kind of pain ever again. She would
have happiness and joy in her life and when her daughter came into the
world, Brant would give them everything they would have otherwise
missed out on. He would be everything she needed. Sooner or
later she would see that.
Judy marched through the hospital parking lot praying to God that she
didn’t run into Rick again. That kiss had been too much--too
amazing and too very close to the truth that still remained between the
both of them. She loved him--more than she wished she had after
all this time. She’d tried to keep a distance between them, but
it was no use--denying her heart was just plain foolish considering
that she loved him so very much. When she’d felt his arms around
her, she’d wanted to stay with him forever--to forget that he was
married--that she’d urged him to stay with his wife, but she couldn’t
lose sight of the promise she’d made. However, her word was hard
to stay true to after being close to him again.
“You can do this,” she tried to assure herself making her way back
upstairs to Deidra’s office. In her shuffle she’d left her car
keys in her daughter’s office and she wouldn’t be going anywhere
without them. She just prayed that fate wouldn’t have her and
Richard crossing paths. That would just be too much right now.
“Please, please,” she begged aloud turning a corner of the hospital
only to discover Brooke in the hall with the man who’d shown up at the
office to speak with Hart not so long ago.
“What the hell did you think you were doing showing up here tonight,”
Brooke’s voice accused with obvious anger coursing through her words.
“I wanted to be here for you,” Hunt replied trying to justify his
actions, “I know you said to leave, but I couldn’t considering…”
“Considering that you’re just trying to destroy me,” Brooke threw back
at him harshly, “I told you that I needed my space--that I needed you
to just leave me be, but you wouldn’t give me that. You couldn’t
give me what I asked for when it was against what you wanted.”
“Brooke, I was trying to help you,” he extended his arm towards her in
an attempt to comfort her it seemed.
“The hell you were,” she sneered back at him withdrawing from his
touch, “You were just thinking about you…”
“No I wasn’t. I was thinking about us and if you’d just stop
pretending that I don’t matter…” Hunt pleaded with her, his eyes full
“I’m not having this conversation right now,” she replied lowering her
voice before taking a quick look down the hallway. Sensing
Brooke’s motion, Judy slipped back around the corner, still close
enough to listen, but not to be spotted.
“Listen to me Hunt,” Judy heard Brooke’s voice echo through the
hallway, “If you really care about me, then please just let me do this
“But…” he began with a heavy sigh, “fine, but Brooke I can’t wait
“I’m not asking you to. I’m just asking that you be patient with
me for a little while longer. You can do that for me, can’t you,”
her voice softened and a puzzling silence followed, “Please?”
“Brooke,” Hunt spoke her name before sighing, “oh alright, but I won’t
“You won’t have to,” Brooke promised him as Judy pondered whether or
not she should step around the corner and confront them. The
whole conversation seemed off--the whole sentiment seemed too personal,
“That’s it,” Judy decided realizing that she had to catch Brooke at her
own game. If Brooke had a secret she was keeping, Judy was about
to uncover it. However, when she slipped around the hallway, she
discovered that Brooke and Hunt had disappeared.
“Interesting,” Judy mouthed to herself wondering if there was more than
met the eye between the two of them. Given what Judy had
witnessed there was something transpiring that didn’t feel
right--didn’t seem right at all and as Judy headed to Deidra’s office,
she vowed to find out exactly what it was that Brooke was trying to
keep secret with the interior designer. Perhaps that was the key
to figuring out exactly what games Brooke was playing with the lives of
those around her.