Blake returned to the guest house at the mansion thinking about the
talk she’d had with Brant. While she’d been in a much brighter
mood before she’d gone to the main house, the sad truth to the matter
was that her brother was hurting. Things were going to be harder
than ever now that Ken had lost Caitlin and in a way she felt guilty
for having indulged so much in her happiness when so many horrible
things had happened. Opening the front door Blake was surprised
to find Seth on the sofa flipping through channels on the television
“There you are,” Seth turned the television off before setting the
remote down on the sofa as well. Rising to his feet, he made a
move towards her, “hey, what’s wrong?”
“Oh Seth,” Blake embraced him unable to contain her tears. She
sobbed into his chest, her heart breaking with the moment. “Why
is the world so cruel at times?”
“I wish I had the answers for that,” Seth offered up not quite sure
what had taken place while Blake was away, but whatever it was, it
couldn’t have been good. Gently, he coaxed her to look at him
once again, “Blake, what happened?”
“I went to the house to leave you and Ben some time to talk, but…well,
I ran into Brant,” Blake started with a sniffle, “He was speaking with
Ken earlier and…”
“And what? Blake, honey, what’s wrong,” he questioned watching
her sad blue eyes divide with a great mixture of emotions.
“My brother isn’t doing good at all. He’s taking Caitlin’s death
so very hard and I’m worried about him Seth. Ken’s always been so
strong and so stable and for him to be falling apart like this…”
“Blake, I’m so sorry that he has to go through this. Caitlin was
a wonderful woman and I know how much he loved her,” Seth urged her
more completely into his arms.
“It’s just that with Ken,” Blake began thinking about her brother’s
broken heart, “He’s just never had any real luck with women. Time
and time again each one of them has had an agenda. The first time
he felt something real was with Wendy and she left to be with her
family. After that he tried to be a rebel--tried to be reckless
like Brant, but it only caused him more pain and frustration. For
the longest time he buried himself in work trying to convince us all
that he was okay--that he was prioritizing his life, but I knew
better. When Caitlin came into town not only was I thrilled that
my best friend was around, but at the same time I also knew that she’d
been burned by love. In so many ways she and Ken were so much
“I could see that,” Seth nodded urging her to follow him over to the
couch. Reaching over onto the table, he grabbed the box of
Kleenex that was there, offering a tissue to her.
“Thank you,” she sniffled dabbing at her eyes, “I mean I know this
sounds crazy, but with everything that’s happened, I’m just so afraid
that Ken is never going to recover from this. He tries to play a
situation like he can handle it, but my brother’s already endured so
much. I‘m just so afraid he‘s going to take a trip down that dark
road again. Last time when Wendy left he became a playboy of
sorts. It didn‘t make him happy, but it kept him from feeling the
pain of losing her. Of course when she left it wasn‘t like it is
now. Wendy isn‘t dead…”
“I realize that Ken’s going through some hard times right now, as are
you,” Seth wrapped his arm around her pulling her into his lap, “I know
Caitlin was your best friend and that this is a difficult time in your
life as well.”
“Yes, but Ken wanted to marry her. They were so perfect for one
another--soul mates and fate ripped that away from them,” Blake began
to sob, “and as much as it’s hurting him and me that Caitlin is gone, I
keep thinking to myself what I would be doing in his position if that
bombing had taken you from me. Seth, if I would’ve lost you…”
“You didn’t Blake,” he squeezed her tighter in his arms, “We’re
together now and everything is going to be okay. With your
brother, well, Blake, anything we can do for him, well you know we
will. I’m willing to help him in any way that I can.”
“I just don’t know if there’s anything anyone can do now that Caitlin
is gone,” she confessed with a tiny whimper, “I mean how can you ever
repair a heart that has lost it’s love?”
“It takes time and no one ever really recovers, but you know…from what
you’ve said about your brother, it seems to me that he keeps it all
inside. Maybe what he needs is someone to talk to--someone who
isn’t involved in all of this,” Seth suggested thinking about the
situation at hand, “I know it might not be much considering it was a
different kind of situation, but when Jade’s life was ripped apart, she
went to see a therapist and he was able to help her deal with
things. He helped her through a very dark spot in her life and
maybe just maybe he can do the same for Ken.”
“I don’t know if my brother would be willing to see someone--at least
not a professional,” Blake admitted with a heavy sigh, “He’s so very
proud and to think about him revealing what’s been held in for so very
long…well I just don’t know how easily he’d resign himself to that.”
“It’s worth a try,” Seth reasoned with her, “and if he doesn’t want to
go that route, then we can try to be there for him. We can find a
way to help him through this time…”
“I just want him to know that Caitlin would want him to keep pushing
on. She wouldn’t want him to stop living and I…” Blake stopped
herself shaking her head, “I just really don’t want to think about this
right now. Ken is with Brant and I’m sure he’ll be okay. I
just was upset because…”
“Because he’s your brother and you love him,” Seth wiped at her tears
gently, “Blake, there’s nothing wrong with that. It shows that
you’re a kind person with a good heart…”
“Not nearly good enough,” Blake sighed shaking her darkened thoughts
before gazing up at Seth once again, “So how did it go with Ben?”
“It went,” Seth shrugged his shoulders sensing her need to change the
conversation, “He’s upset and hopefully he’ll follow his heart and do
what he feels is right in this situation.”
“So what did Diane do now,” Blake scowled thinking about the woman
she’d grown to hate.
“It’s not our concern,” Seth warned seeing her need to vent on
something or someone, “All that matters is that Ben is figuring things
out and sooner or later it’ll work itself out.”
“You’re not really going to tell me anything about this, are you?”
Blake frowned up at him.
“Tell me something. If I did, would you be willing to cut Diane a
break?” he challenged in response.
“Not on her life,” Blake wrinkled her nose at him, “and to think about
her hurting Ben, well it infuriates me to no end.”
“All the more reason why we aren’t going to discuss this,” Seth
explained with a soft sigh hugging her body to his, “You know when it
comes to relationships a lot of people are quick to offer advice, but
when it gets down to it, what’s important is how the people who are
involved feel about one another.”
“I know that,” Blake groaned in response, “I really do, but I don’t
“That’s not really relevant or not to her relationship with Ben.
I mean think about it Blake. How many people said we were all
wrong for one another?” Seth raised a curious brow hoping to bring his
point home with her.
“Okay, so maybe people can be wrong. Not that I’m saying I’m
wrong about Diane, but you’re right. It’s none of my business,”
Blake snuggled into him, laying her head on his chest, “All that’s
important is that Ben finds some happiness.”
“Exactly,” he nodded in agreement before kissing the top of her
head. Running his fingertips over her spine, he thought of how
far they’d come with one another in such a short time since the
“It’s a pity that everyone couldn’t feel like we do right now all the
time…” Blake sighed closing her eyes and listening to the strong, solid
sounds of his heart beating. While she hated to think about it,
she knew in her heart that Ken had found that special feeling. He
had the kind of happiness that she and Seth had with one another and
somehow it had all ended in the blink of an eye.
“Well, you have to remember, we had to go through a lot to feel this
good,” Seth leaned back a bit further on the couch keeping her in close
“I know, but sometimes I wish we could’ve just skipped over all the
pain and the hurt,” Blake confessed reaching out to touch his cheek
gently, “Seth, when I think of all the time we wasted…”
“It’s in the past Blake. It’s not important anymore. What
matters is what we’re feeling right here, right now,” he whispered
sealing his words with a kiss.
Carefully Blake maneuvered herself over him, easing him back further on
the couch as their kisses grew in intensity. Feeling Seth’s hands
over her body, she in turn massaged the warm contours of his chest
needing him now more than ever. He was right, she realized.
Their long hard road had been something that brought them to this--to
the love that they’d found with one another and she wasn’t about to let
“Blake,” he breathed her name, easing his thick fingers into her blonde
hair, watching the way her sad eyes seemed to shine with the love that
she’d felt for him.
“I love you Seth,” Blake whispered dipping down to kiss him once again,
“I love you so much.”
“I love you,” he murmured in response comforting her in his arms
wanting nothing more than to prove to her how magical their love truly
was. Gingerly, he reached out to massage her spine, feeling the
warmth of her above him.
“Seth,” she whispered his name, easing open his robe, allowing the
warmth of him to fill her up inside. Their eyes connected briefly
as she sat upright over him, yanking her shirt up over her body before
coming crashing down upon him, devouring his lips with a fiery
intensity, “make love to me.”
“Oh Blake,” Seth teased his fingers over her spine crushing her body to
his. Feeling the longing behind their intimate caresses and the
burning intensity threatening, he curved his arms around her, using his
strength to hoist her up against his chest. Carefully he rose to
his feet, seeing her confused eyes before he explained, “Let’s not do
this here. Let’s make tonight special.”
Silently she nodded allowing him to take her to the bedroom as they
vowed to spend the night exploring their love for one another.
Tonight they’d experienced a great many emotions, but the one that
would reign supreme would be the one that had ultimately brought them
Ben walked up to Ria’s apartment door thinking about his talk with
Seth. While he’d thought he was sure what he wanted to do, the
truth was he wanted another perspective before he made any decisions in
haste. At the time he’d had his conversation with Seth, he’d been
pretty sure what he wanted to do, but rather than sitting there and
spoiling Seth’s evening with Blake, Ben had politely excused himself
promising to go home and think about things. The only problem was
that home reminded him far too much of Diane and tonight, he didn’t
want to be left with the memories that had been haunting him for the
past few days.
“You should just call her,” Ben silently cursed at himself wishing that
he didn’t have to be conflicted about the situation. He should’ve
been able to just tell Diane how he felt and they should’ve been able
to work through this. Things shouldn’t be so up in the air, but
unfortunately things weren’t anywhere near how they should be.
With that thought in mind, Ben had headed over to Ria’s in the hopes
that she’d had a night off of work to listen to him--or at the very
least kick his ass into shape somehow.
Knocking again, he waited patiently for Ria to answer, but much to his
surprise he was greeted by yet another familiar face. His jaw
nearly dropped as he looked to the woman standing before him, “Valerie?”
“Ben,” Valerie squealed practically leaping into Ben’s arms. She
threw her arms and legs around him, holding onto him for dear life as
Ben took a staggering step back while attempting to keep himself in
“Val, what are you doing here?” Ben blinked back after finding it in
himself to stay standing.
“I had a local shoot,” she explained with a bright, white smile, “and
Ria said I could stay with her for a while. Had I known you’d
been close by, then I would’ve tried to crash at your place instead.”
“Yeah right you would’ve,” Ben shook his head at her, “You would’ve
been there five minutes and then you’d be begging for the classiest
hotel you could find.”
“You’re probably right,” Valerie laughed detangling herself from his
arms, “but still it would’ve been fun. I just really thought that
you were gone. Last I’d heard you were out of Coral Valley--that
you blew this place like me.”
“Yeah well, you know I tried and I found that being back home was where
my heart really was,” Ben confessed following her into Ria’s apartment,
“It just wasn’t the same braving the outside world.”
“Tell me about it,” Valerie sighed heavily, motioning over to the
kitchen, “Can I get you a drink?”
“Sure, why not,” Ben shrugged his shoulders, “I could use one right
about now. Hey, where’s Ria?”
“She’s at work,” Valerie wrinkled her nose in response, “She got called
in last minute, so I’ve been bored out of my mind. You have no
idea how excited I was when I saw you standing there just now.”
“Oh I might have some idea,” Ben laughed lightly smiling as she
returned with two bottles of beer. She handed him one before
motioning for him to take a seat on Ria’s couch with her.
“I’m being totally serious on this one Ben,” she replied taking a long
swig from the bottle, “Here I was thinking that I’d got a break when I
had the night off, but then with Ria gone, I’ve been in sitcom hell…”
“Yeah well I’m surprised to see you like this,” Ben admitted with a
quick nod taking note of her attire, “I haven’t seen you in sweats
since…well, come to think of it, never.”
“That’s because they aren’t mine,” she wrinkled her nose with obvious
disapproval, “They’re Ria’s and they looked comfortable, so I borrowed
them. I figured if I was sitting around the apartment waiting for
excitement to reach me, then well, what was the point of being all
“Good point,” Ben nodded taking another drink of the beer she’d given
him, “So what’s the story? What’s the big project this time?”
“Nothing that would interest you,” she waved her hand at him
dismissively, “So tell me, what brings you to Ria’s tonight?”
“You mean other than the fact that I’m completely screwed up in the
head,” Ben sighed slumping back in the chair, “I guess you could say
that I’m not having the best of weeks.”
“Well that makes too of us,” Valerie frowned slightly before kicking
her feet out from underneath her, “Want to talk about it?”
“Not really,” Ben shifted his head to the side to look at her, “You?”
“Not on your life,” she laughed lightly before a thoughtful smile
spread over her features, “though you know if we’re really just going
to sit around getting totally drunk while avoiding our issues, why not
do it in style?”
“Who said that I was in the mood to get totally drunk,” Ben threw out a
“You didn’t have to,” Valerie sprung up from her seat, “but I’m in the
mood, so let’s go somewhere fun. It’s been far too long for me in
this town. Last time I was here, I was barely legal and I
couldn’t enjoy the finer things that Coral Valley had to offer.”
“The last time you were here, that didn’t stop you,” Ben pointed out
with a tiny chuckle, “Though I have to admit your whole fake ID routine
nearly got us all busted.”
“Yeah well it would’ve worked if you and Seth would’ve stuck with the
plan,” Valerie reminded him sharply, “The fake id’s he cooked up in his
photography class looked too damn real. We could’ve totally
gotten away with the situation if you wouldn’t have gotten all worked
up like you did…”
“Yeah well it doesn’t help your nerves when you’re about to commit a
crime knowing full well your father works for the FBI. It kind of
puts a damper on the fun because if that bouncer would’ve taken the
proper channels, my father would’ve still been kicking my butt to this
very day and beyond.”
“Oh I could’ve smooth talked him into forgiving us,” she threw back in
a moment of laughter, “Your father always did have a sweet spot for me.”
“My father was blinded by the fact that you were really the devil in
disguise,” Ben shook his head at her again.
“Yeah well since you put it that way, I’m in the mood to stir up a
little trouble tonight. Let’s forget being down in the dumps and
let’s party,” Valerie announced making her way towards the guestroom at
Ria’s place, “Just write Ria a note and have her meet up with us if she
gets off early. We’re going to have fun tonight.”
“I guess this means I don’t have a say in the matter, huh,” Ben
chuckled realizing that time and distance hadn’t changed Valerie a bit.
“Nope, not at all,” she waved her hand at him dismissively, “Now write
the note so we can leave…”
“Knowing you, well I could have ten hours to write the note with how
long it takes you to get ready,” he couldn’t help but poke fun at her.
“Not tonight,” she promised bringing her hand up over her chest with
heavy exaggeration, “I have cabin fever and I need to work on curing
myself with a night of music, dancing and beer. Lots and lots of
“Still the same Valerie,” he shook his head at her taking another sip
from his bottle before seeking out a pen and paper to pen a note for
Ria. Perhaps Valerie was right. Perhaps tonight would be a
good night to push his problems aside…for a little while at least.
Diane weaved her way through the crowd over to the bar. Waving
for the bartender she realized that she was going to need a lot more
alcohol if she was going to be pretending to be enjoying herself.
Already Patrick had stomped on her toes at least half a dozen times in
the middle of a line dance and if that wasn’t enough, his hands had
constantly been groping her. It was enough to make her scream,
but in her hopes of playing it safe and finding out what Jade needed,
she’d just grinned and taken it all in hoping he wouldn’t see what she
was really thinking.
“There you are,” Patrick slithered up from behind her, curling his arms
around her waist. He dropped his head down over her shoulder,
teasing his chin over her in such a way that it was more of an
annoyance than anything else, “I was beginning to think that I lost you
“No such luck,” Diane thought to herself before reaching for the drink
that the bartender had just provided her with. Gritting her
teeth, she forced herself to stay focused. She inhaled slowly
before shifting around in his arms only to find him moving in for a
kiss, “I was just getting a drink. Want some?”
“No thanks,” he replied with a slight frown feeling her shove the glass
in his face. “Actually, I was thinking more about you and me
hitting up the dance floor again.”
“That sounds like fun, but you know my feet kind of hurt. Why
don’t we sit down and talk,” she suggested taking his hand and leading
him over to a booth at the far end of the bar. Sliding in one
side of the booth, she expected him to move in across from her, but
instead he eased himself right in beside her.
“This is a much better idea,” Patrick grinned down at her, dropping his
hand down over her thigh, “So tell me sweetheart, what’s on your mind?”
“Actually a lot of things,” Diane reached down to draw his hand away
from her leg. Unfortunately all she managed to do was give
herself a few inches more away from his sliding his fingers underneath
“Such as,” he leaned in closer to her, his mouth moving in over the
side of her neck in a slobbery, clammy movement.
“Such as this big Mahoney murder case,” Diane blurted out shifting just
out of his reach, “I heard you were the one who made the big
arrest. You must be very proud.”
“Word does travel fast around this town, doesn’t it,” Patrick smiled
down at her with devilish intent.
“It really does,” Diane nodded tilting her head away from him once
again as she sensed him moving in for the kill, “though you know you
must be very proud of yourself since it’s kind of put you in the light
of the hero in busting the bad guy.”
“Well, some think they’re above the law, but the truth to the matter is
that they all come crashing down when justice is to be served,” Patrick
grinned proudly before humming the offbeat theme song to the TV show
cops. He leaned forward nibbling on Diane’s neck eagerly, “Bad
boys…bad boys…whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come
“Vomit,” Diane mouthed with a slight groan wondering why in the world
she’d even considered dating such a loser in the past. Sure,
she’d been upset with Ben, but this made her just absolutely desperate.
“So…what do you say we go back to my place and I can give you a full
body massage starting with those aching feet of yours and working my
way up to,” his words trailed off as his hand eased up underneath her
skirt. Diane sat up straighter straining to suppress a squeal
when Patrick shot up as well.
“Damn it!” he cursed releasing her much to her relief. He reached
for the pager at his side and then eyed her once again, “I’ll be right
“Okay, I’ll be waiting,” Diane waved watching him cross the bar before
she reached for her drink. Not caring about whether or not
drinking was a good idea tonight, she downed the glass in one large
gulp before closing her eyes. She was in hell. That had to
be it. No doubt in her mind.
“Having a rough night,” J.T. questioned sliding in the booth across
from her. She opened her eyes to see the smile that spread over
his features, “It could have something to do with the company you’re
“J.T.,” she squealed his name before doing a quick look around the
bar. Dropping her head down, she spoke to him in a muted whisper,
“what are you doing here? You have to leave!”
“Why?” he questioned mimicking her movement as he rotated his head
around the bar, “What am I missing?”
“I’m on a date and you simply can’t be here,” Diane explained waving
her hand at him urgently, “You need to go like now.”
“Actually, I could, but then you wouldn’t hear what I have to say about
your date,” J.T. confessed with a twisted grin.
“What about my date,” she frowned realizing he looked like the cat who
ate the canary, “J.T. what do you know about my date?”
“You mean other than he’s not going to be returning for the rest of the
night,” he wiggled his brow at her.
“What?” she blinked back at him, “No, you’re delusional. He’ll be
back any minute now.”
“No, he won’t,” J.T. shook his head at her, “I ran into him on the way
over and he said he had to leave. Urgent police duty. You
know how hard it is to be a hero these days.”
“Oh you can just go to hell,” she scowled in response shoving away from
him, “I’m going to find Patrick.”
“Diane, I’m serious. He’s gone. I was on the way over when
he and I crossed paths. He recognized me from the sport’s bar and
for some reason he must’ve figured that’s where he was at. He
paid me twenty dollars to deliver the message personally,” J.T. held up
a crisp twenty dollar bill to show her before tucking it into his
pocket, “So now that we’ve got that out of the way, why don’t you tell
me what it really is that you were doing here with that loser
“Do you think she is going to be okay?” Kyle questioned sighing as he
paced back and forth.
“She’ll be fine, she just needs some time,” Elliot assured him watching
Kyle sigh heavily dropping down to the couch.
“This is all my fault, I can’t believe I let this happen,” he insisted
covering his eyes trying to fight back the long lasting headache he had
for so long.
“Kyle, don’t say that. This didn’t happen because of you…it was just,
he was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Elliot reminded him
sitting next to Kyle and putting his hand on his shoulder in his own
attempt to stay strong upon losing his son.
“Yeah, he was there at the wrong time because I let it happen,” Kyle
said hating himself on the inside.
“Kyle…what really happened?” Elliot wondered as Kyle looked up biting
on his lip. “It’s alright you can tell me.”
“Russell got some information,” he started feeling his throat grow dry,
just like every other time he talked about the incident.
“What kind of information?” Elliot questioned.
“Sir, the only reason I am here is because Russell hired me to find
information on Bruce, he just wanted to have a good life with his
wife,” Kyle sighed standing up.
“Kyle…just go on.”
“Well, he got this call from some source and they were to meet at the
airport. Russell insisted that he meet up with this person…I knew I
should have gone, that way Russ could have protected his wife while I
was away,” a deep breath escaped Kyle’s lips and he began clenching his
“Kyle, you know it’s not your fault, you tried,” Elliot assured him
putting his hand on his shoulder.
“See that’s it, I didn’t. When Avery didn’t want him into anything and
he asked me to be a part of this then I could have said no, but you
know what, I didn’t which means I didn’t try my hardest,” Kyle hissed
“Kyle, you wanted him to be happy…and knowing that you were willing to
help him showed that you wanted to be there for him. You were a good
friend and you did all you could do,” Elliot offered up with a sad
smile, “Russ thought very highly of you and I know that if the
situations were reversed that he would’ve stepped up to bat for you as
well. Kyle, I don’t believe that my son would blame you for any
of this. Just like I don’t and neither does Cheryl, Grady or
Avery. We know that you did what you could to try to help
Russ. I realize there’s more to this than you’re telling me, but
we can talk about this later. Right now you need to stop putting all
this blame upon yourself. You did what you could in this
“Which wasn’t enough,” Kyle stated grabbing his leather jacket and
slipping it on, “Listen, I’ve got to go…I’ll come by later to check on
her okay. Tell her that I hope she feels better and that…I’m…. I’m
“Okay,” Elliot nodded with concern watching Kyle shut the door behind
himself as Elliot wondered what it was that his son was truly involved
in. If Bruce Mathis somehow played a hand in Russell‘s death,
then there would be a price to pay.
Guy held the array of balloons he’d brought with him in hand knowing
full well that it was well beyond visiting hours, but he’d managed to
pull a few favors along the way. Tonight he was going to be with
Gabe--staying with him and trying to make up for lost time between
them. Knowing full well that his lover was fit to be tied for
having to stay held up in the hospital, Guy was hoping he would be able
to find a way to keep Gabe’s mind off of the environment.
“Guess who’s here,” Guy announced entering the room only to discover
Gabe in bed with Brittany. Stopping in the doorway, Guy couldn’t
help but watch them in awe thinking about how this was the picture
perfect moment for his lover. Time and time again Guy had
listened to Gabe’s tales about his daughter--about how wonderful and
beautiful she was, but up until now Guy hadn’t seen her first
hand. Sure, he’d seen photographs, but that just didn’t do her
enough justice. Taking a step forward, Guy couldn’t help but
admire the two of them.
Brittany seemed to sense the new arrival in the room despite her
father’s sleepiness. She turned in her father’s arms, her eyes
opening to reveal her sleepy yawn that followed. Rubbing at her
face, she sat upright giving Guy a very thorough inspection.
“Who are you,” she yawned again tired, yet curious enough to want to
know more about the man who’d entered her father’s hospital room.
“I’m Guy,” he explained with a soft smile, “I’m a friend of your
“A friend,” Brittany eyed him with intense scrutiny, “Is that right?”
“That’s right,” Guy nodded with a small smile, while motioning to the
balloons, “I brought these for him, but you can have one if you would
“Actually I think he could use them more than I can right about now,”
Brittany confessed turning to look at her sleeping father, “He’s not
feeling very well.”
“I know that and that’s why I’m here. I came to help him tonight,
but I can see he’s already got the best nurse with you, huh Brittany,”
Guy continued to speak with her watching her big eyes widened before
growing suddenly suspicious.
“How do you know my name?” she questioned with a tiny curl of her lower
lip, “You know I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.”
“I realize that, but when your daddy wakes up, he’ll tell you I’m not a
stranger,” Guy explained taking a step forward. He set the
balloons down before taking a step back, “though what if I take a seat
over there for a while?”
“Well, I really don’t know,” she contemplated the thought for a moment
before speaking to him once again, “So what did you say your name was
“It’s Guy,” he replied with yet another smile.
“That’s a silly name,” she wrinkled her nose at him, “Who would name
“Apparently my mother liked it,” Guy couldn’t help but laugh at the
expression on her face.
“It’s kind of a stupid name,” Brittany admitted with a simple shrug of
her shoulders, “but I guess it’s okay. I’m just glad that my mom
didn’t name me Girl. I don’t think I’d like that.”
“I happen to think that you have a beautiful name Brittany,” Guy
offered up while taking note of the drawings on the wall by the bed,
“Did you make those?”
“I did,” Brittany nodded proudly. She wiggled her finger at one
in particular, “And this one is one that my daddy and I made together.”
“It’s beautiful,” Guy rose up from the chair he’d been seated in, “May
I take a look at it?”
“I suppose you can,” she nodded eagerly, “but just make sure you don’t
get it dirty. It’s very special.”
“I swear to you I won’t,” Guy promised reaching for the drawing.
“So who is everyone?”
“This is me,” she pointed to a stick figure, “and this is my daddy and
these are my ponies.”
“Your ponies huh?” Guy repeated with obvious interest, “Do they have
She nodded, “This is Mercury and this is Lila. They are both cool
ponies, but Mercury is a little crabby sometimes.”
“Why is that?”
“Because he likes Cheese puffs, but my trainer says he can’t have
them,” she confessed in a muted whisper wiggling her finger at him to
move in closer to hear more of her secret, “but I let Mercury have them
when my trainer isn’t looking. Just don’t tell anyone okay?”
“Okay, it‘ll be our little secret,” he vowed holding out his little
finger to her, “Pinky swear.”
“Pinky swear,” she repeated just before Gabe began to move around a bit
restlessly. His eyes opened and a smile crossed over his lips
when he noticed Guy and Brittany speaking to one another.
“Well what is this,” Gabe questioned with obvious exhaustion sweeping
down upon him.
“This is your friend Guy daddy,” Brittany informed him matter of fact,
“He came to visit you because you’re sick.”
“He did huh,” Gabe couldn’t help but smile at the man he loved.
“That’s right and he likes my drawings…especially the one with
Mercury,” Brittany winked up at Guy to remind him of their secret.
“I see,” Gabe nodded again feeling Brittany shift beside him. She
leaned down to whisper in his ear.
“Do you think he can stay for a while,” she questioned, “He seems cool.”
“I don’t know. You’ll have to ask him yourself,” Gabe urged her
on watching her turn to his lover again.
“Will you stay around for a while? If you like to color, well the
nurse brought me a couple of pens,” Brittany reached out for the blue
ink pen she’d been toting most of the night.
“Actually I’d love to color, but how about we use markers,” Guy
suggested pulling out a pack of markers that he’d had in his pocket.
“Markers,” she practically squealed reaching out to take him from his
“I thought you might like those,” Guy explained before looking to Gabe
again, “It’s a good thing I kept them with me after work.”
“A very good thing,” Gabe nodded in agreement.
“Okay well now that we have these, you can go back to bed now
daddy. Guy and I are going to color,” she decided moving down off
of the bed. She looked up at Guy before tugging on his arm, “We
can color over there. It’s a good spot.”
“Okay then,” Guy couldn’t help but laugh exchanging looks with
Gabe. Still he followed Brittany over to where she wanted to
Gabe watched in silence seeing his daughter bond so easily with the man
he loved. In that moment, he realized that he’d never loved Guy
more than he did right then and there. Watching the two interact,
Gabe thought about just how very lucky he was to still have so much in
his life to look forward to. He’d been given a second chance and
he wouldn’t trade that for anything in this world.
“This is insane,” Ben shook his head while following Valerie into the
Cadillac Ranch, “This place has to be the trashiest, cheapest bar on
“Which makes it absolutely perfect for me,” Valerie shouted over the
booming, country music that surrounded them, “Ben, tonight I want to
step out of the world of glamour and glitz and just enjoy being a wild
“Somehow I knew I was in for trouble when I agreed to this,” he replied
feeling her reach for his hand. Together they made their way over
to the bar where Valerie pushed her way in through the crowd.
“Yo bartender!” Valerie slammed her hand down on the top of the bar,
“Bring two boilermakers over here ASAP!”
“Val, don’t you think we should start slow and easy,” Ben questioned
watching her retrieve the drinks before handing him one.
“Not a chance,” she shook her head adamantly before raising the drink
to her lips and downing it in a haste. Once she’d finished, she
spun around to face the bartender again, “You, come here.”
The man did as instructed offering up a goofy looking grin.
Leaning in towards him, she threw out her best flirty tone, “If you
keep them coming all night long, then I can promise you there will be
more where this comes from. Understand?”
The man looked down to where she’d extracted a couple hundred dollar
bills from the low bust line of her shirt. He nodded eagerly
practically drooling over her.
“You’ve got it sexy,” he beamed moving to get her and Ben another
As instructed he did what he was told and Valerie coaxed Ben into
chugging his second drink. Once they’d finished she took the
glass from his hand, and grinned up at him.
“Now it’s time to party,” Valerie shouted over the music practically
dragging him out onto the dance floor. Within a matter of
seconds, she had Ben out in the thick of things, bumping and grinding
to the music.
“I don’t think this is quite the dirty dancing scene Val,” Ben shouted
over the booming country beats.
“Who cares,” she threw back in response, “I want to dance Ben.”
“Val I…” he started a bit uneasily feeling her rub her body against his.
“Come on Ben, you are one of the only guys I know that actually can
dance. You come a close second to Seth,” she clucked her tongue
in a taunting tone before winking at him.
“Second,” Ben shook his head at her feeling a warmth spreading over his
body at the heat the drinks he’d downed had provided him. Boldly
he reached out to grasp her hips, grinding her against him before
spinning her away from him. He stepped in behind her, bringing
his arms up around her waist as she moved in against him. He
leaned down to whisper in the back of her ear despite the pounding of
the music. “Oh hell no. I’m far better than second best.”
“Prove it,” Valerie dared turning in his arms again. Immediately
she threw her arms around his shoulders, bumping and grinding against
him while the music played on.
“You’re on,” Ben decided throwing caution to the wind and leaving his
inhibitions behind while he danced with his long time friend.
While he was quite certain that they were attracting a bit of attention
with one another, he didn’t care. Tonight wasn’t about worrying
about the problems he was having--about the things he should or
shouldn’t be doing. He was just going to enjoy himself in dancing
with an old friend and causing a stir. It had been a long time
since he’d been able to kick back and do just that.
“It’s none of your business,” Diane shot back at J.T. with a glare.
“The hell it isn’t,” J.T. reached out to her refusing to let her walk
away despite her attempts. “Diane, that guy is a crooked cop and
correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t he shoot you?”
“That’s irrelevant,” Diane spat out at him, “What he did isn’t
important to you. I’m not important to you.”
“See now that’s where you’re wrong Diane. I think you’re very
important to me,” he looked down to the table top seeing Patrick’s beer
still there along side of a couple of other glasses, “I mean my God,
how drunk did you have to get yourself to be around this guy?”
“As I said before J.T. Mahoney, I’m none of your concern. We’re
over. O-V-E-R!” she shouted at him before turning around to make
a move away from him.
Suddenly she felt herself frozen in place at the sight of what was
happening before her. She watched in horror as Ben put on quite a
show with a beautiful brunette in his arms. They paraded around
like two long time lovers, giving a free show to anyone who would pay
“Diane wait,” J.T. called out from behind. He rushed forward
making his way through the crowd half expecting a chase to ensue, but
when he spotted her standing there, he was thrown for a loop. He
paused for a moment wondering what had stopped her, but before he could
question it, he noticed the scene on the dance floor.
Listening to the catcalls and the hollers that were coming from all
around them, J.T. could clearly see the dance between Ben and
Valerie. The two of them were all wrapped up in the music,
groping and fondling one another in a dirty dancing type style.
While J.T. was quite sure that he’d witnessed that kind of dancing in
other clubs more times than he cared to admit, he could tell by the
expression on Diane’s face that she wasn’t used to it. Smiling
inwardly, J.T. approached her knowing that this was his moment--this
was his time to move in for the kill.
“Diane,” he spoke her name in an attempt to pull her out of the trance
she’d seemingly slipped into.
“I…” Diane blinked back the tears that were threatening. She had
her fists clenched at her side--her posture rigid and her heart
racing. While she felt the fight in her knowing that she’d wanted
nothing more than to tear the woman with Ben apart, she was paralyzed
with something more.
“Diane,” J.T. reached for her shoulders spinning her around in his
arms. He could now see the trail of tears that were spilling down
her cheeks in that moment.
“Just take me home,” she begged of him, “J.T. please just take me home.”
“You’ve got it angel,” J.T. replied wrapping his arms around her.
He lead her to the exit ready to honor her request, but not before
taking one last look at Ben and silently thanking him for giving him
this new leverage with Diane.
Blake curled into Seth, rubbing her leg up against his as he held
her. Snuggling into his chest, she placed a kiss over his bronzed
skin. This night, this time they spent with one another was
beyond perfect. It was as if she’d stepped out of her fantasy
world only to have her handsome prince return to reality with her.
“Tell me something,” Blake broke the silence between them once her
breathing had returned to normal, “Will we always feel this incredible
“I’m thinking that we’ll be even better Blake as time goes on,” Seth
confessed tenderly teasing his fingers up over her shoulder. He
could feel her shiver against his touch, melting into him now that
they’d satiated their hunger for one another, “Just think…one day we’ll
be looking back upon this time thinking about how we thought it
couldn’t get any better…”
“And we’ll realize that we were wrong because we’ll have so much more
in our lives,” she propped herself up over him, moving up to see his
face, “I mean by then we’ll have a family and our kids will be running
around wanting to know all about how we found one another.”
“And what a tale it will be to tell,” he laughed lightly, his fingers
sliding up into her damp, blonde tresses, “I know they’ll love hearing
how I fell in love with the most beautiful girl in the world. Our
love story will be one that legends are made of.”
“If we’re anything like Sophia and Athan, then I know we’ll have the
kind of love that the world envies,” Blake added with a soft sigh,
snuggling into him again, “Tell me something Seth, did you ever think
we’d get back to this?”
“I always wanted us to, but there was a time when I was afraid it
wouldn’t happen for us,” he admitted painfully, “When I was leaving
town, all I could think about was how much I wanted to stay--how I
hated that I’d pushed you away when all I wanted was to be with you.”
“I should’ve followed my heart and listened to what it was telling me
sooner,” Blake replied with a small frown, “I was so stupid…”
“No, you weren’t,” Seth argued with her, “Given everything that was
happening, you had plenty of reasons to be unsure about me--about what
was happening between us.”
“Even so, I should’ve trusted my instincts,” Blake frowned again.
“Blake, the fact that I was working for a man who was out to get your
family was the first warning clue that you needed to be sure,” Seth
reminded her thinking about the situation that he still had going on
“Yes, but once I learned the truth, I understood,” Blake replied
lifting her head up once again, “I still do which is why I know we
still have to deal with that before we can be free.”
“I didn’t really want to think about him just now considering how much
I hate him. When I think of what he’s trying to do to Jade…” his
body tightened up at the thought of what his sister was going through.
“He won’t get away with it. We’ll find a way to put him in his
place,” she promised him, “Speaking of which, we should probably work
on getting him that microfilm he wants…”
“Blake, we agreed that it wouldn’t be a good idea considering,” Seth
began remembering the task Cameron had set out for him.
“I had a duplicate made. I think I might’ve mentioned that to you
before, but see I have this friend who works these things through with
perfect authenticity. He worked something up for me and I want
you to give it to Cameron. If he knew my father at all, then he
won’t get upset. He’ll expect it to turn out to be something
shady,” Blake informed him point blank, “as my family isn’t one to give
up secrets--not even to themselves.”
“Somehow that is unsettling to think about,” Seth frowned slightly at
the mention of her father. He thought back to the night Jade was
hurt and he tensed up.
“The point is that we need to put a stop to Cameron’s madness,” Blake
explained simply, “We’ll see to it he gets the copy and then we’ll work
on the original. Brant has a researcher at BBK who might be able
to make sense of the formula better than Zack has.”
“Does Zack still have the microfilm,” Seth questioned straining not to
grit his teeth at the mention of Blake’s former lover.
She nodded, “Yes, he does, but if I ask him for it back…”
“Do you think he’ll give it to you,” Seth asked pondering the thought
of her being around Zack again.
“I’m sure he’ll give it to us, and in the morning we can go to the
hospital and ask him,” Blake reminded him sensing his uneasiness at the
mention of Zack’s name. Reaching out to him, she turned his face
towards hers, forcing his eyes upon her, “but right now, well I don’t
want to think about Zack. I’d much rather focus on our honeymoon
“Honeymoon rehearsal,” he repeated with a slightly twisted smirk.
“That’s right,” Blake nodded in confession tipping down to steal a kiss
from his lips, “It starts right about here…and then goes to here…” she
tapered kisses off over his face before returning to his lips again.
“And what about here,” Seth flipped her on the mattress moving in over
“I’d definitely say it continues on here,” Blake laughed lightly
pulling him to her in a tender kiss wanting nothing more than to live
out her dreams of the future with her husband-to-be.
Kyle walked along the empty street thinking back to the old days, when
him and Russell used to hang out. He was going to miss his best friend
it just wasn’t fair that he was taken away from his family and friends
like that. How could this really be happening? Everything was going
wrong first Russell dieing; then Heather; and to top it all off, Grady
going to jail. Boy was he doing a great job he thought to himself
shaking his head lightly. He closed his eyes as a picture from the past
ran through his head.
“What are we doing here?” questioned Avery as they slowed down at a
“Getting directions,” Kyle sighed getting off the motorcycle he was
“Great job Kyle, this was your stupid idea to go on a road trip
brilliant,” she scowled.
“Just come and get a drink or something while I try to find out where
we are,” Kyle laughed opening the door out for her.
She went to speak before Russell’s hand covered her mouth, “Let’s just
Grady laughed from behind them as they walked in to a crowded bar
filled with bikers.
“Alright, all we need to do is find someone who will tell us where we
are,” Russell started before Avery cut him off.
“Just watch,” she started going up to a big guy going to speak before
he whistled looking down at her.
“Look at this hot piece of meat,” he huffed loudly before Russell
stepped in front of her.
“Wanna back off?” Russ questioned before the man stood tall before him.
“Wanna start something boy?” he growled looking down on him.
“No, he doesn’t, but maybe you would want to try starting something
with me,” Kyle scowled taking off his dark shades and then folding his
muscular arms in front of him.
“Just make sure your friend stays out of my way,” the man pointed at
“You have nothing to worry about him, and believe me if you start
something with him, you wont be feeling too good because you would have
to go through me,” Kyle pointed out before several other men stood
around the big guy.
“Is something wrong here?” questioned one of the men.
“Well, it seems like these people right here want to start something,”
he spit on the ground towards Kyle.
“Is that so? You wanna start something?” one of them questioned before
Kyle stood up towards them before being pulled back by Grady.
“It’s fine gentleman we will be leaving now,” Grady lightly said as
they walked out the door.
“What did you do that for?” Kyle questioned with a scowl.
“You know we could have took them on,” Russell insisted standing next
to the muscular Kyle.
“I didn’t feel like fighting,” Grady sighed going back to his
motorcycle and starting it up.
Avery sat on Russell’s motorcycle looking over at Kyle and Russell.
They both looked like they had an idea stuck in their head that wasn’t
“Are you thinking what I am thinking?” questioned Kyle raising his
eyebrow as a grin crossed his face.
“Does it involve the big rows of motorcycles?” Russ wondered as Kyle
nodded biting on his bottom lip. “Then yes.”
“Then what are we waiting for?” questioned Kyle.
“What are you guys doing?” questioned Avery with worry.
Avery watched as Kyle went to one of the two rows and kicked down one
of the bikes and they all went down like dominos as Russell did the
same thing. They both ran towards the motorcycles starting it up as
they sped off. They looked back as they saw the bikers come out to see
the damage. For five miles Kyle could hear Avery yelling about how they
shouldn’t have done it.
A smile overcame his features, but was soon replaced by a frown. He was
never going to have moments like that again with Russell. He was never
going to be the guy who came over to watch the baseball game with
Russell while they watched over the baby. He wasn’t going to be the guy
who would be there when Russell needed help moving things. He wasn’t
going to have his best friend around anymore and that tore a hole right
through his body. He jumped hearing the song “The Game” played his
favorite the group Motorhead on his cell phone. He sighed taking his
cell phone out of his pocket and answering it lightly.
“Hello,” he answered sheepishly.
“Kyle,” the voice came through the receiver.
“Who is this?” he questioned.
“It’s Shannon…listen, I need you here,” she quickly got out as Kyle
rolled his eyes.
“Why?” he wondered.
“I think I found some information that could help Grady, but I need you
too help me out and we need to meet somewhere,” she quickly got out as
confusion spread through his mind before he agreed.
“Meet me at a place called Hunter’s café, it’s about ten miles
north of Coral Valley…we need to be farther than the normal places so
people don’t follow us,” she insisted.
“Okay, I’ll be there in about thirty minutes,” he assured her.
“Hurry,” she got out before he closed his cell phone.
This was one of the things he was going to do for Russell, get his
brother out of jail. Saving his life would have better, but he couldn’t
do that now. He sighed walking to the rental car he had while they were
fixing his hummer.
“Oh great, another piece of shit I have to deal with,” he growled
trying to open the door. “God damn,” he hissed as the door finally
opened. “When can I get my baby back?”
“How could he do this,” Diane sobbed breaking down in the passenger
seat of J.T.’s car. “Why would he do this to me? After all
that I did for him--all I tried to be for him, why would he hurt me
“Because the guy is a creep Diane. He never deserved you and if
he couldn’t love you for who you are, then he’s not worth it,” J.T.
informed her taking a detour to his apartment. “He’s a jerk and
if you didn’t believe it before now, then tonight should’ve proved
“I just thought that he was different. That he was someone
special that I could share my life with,” Diane wiped at her hot tears
feeling them sting her all the way down to her soul, “He was the first
man who really made me believe in happily ever after. I thought
with him that maybe just maybe we could make it work--that we could
have some kind of relationship that didn’t end in disaster. I
mean he was the good guy…the kind of man who never had an interest in
“The good guys are the ones that always make you fall the hardest,” he
explained putting his car into park. He got out of the car,
walking around to help her out of the passenger side before leading her
up to his place, “You know Diane, that’s how they all work. They
try to suck you in making you think that they are all high and mighty,
but in the end, they’re worse than the rest of us.”
“I just didn’t believe that Ben could be like that,” Diane continued
thoughtlessly entering his apartment.
“Yeah well join the club. Disappointment runs high in this
pathetic little town,” J.T. replied tossing his keys on the table top
before making his way into the kitchen, “Want a drink?”
“Yeah, I do,” Diane nodded with a sniffle. Pulling her hair back
away from her face. “I mean I just don’t get it. There he
was lecturing me on how I should try to be a better person, but look at
“Yeah I saw him with that slut,” J.T. returned with two bottles in
hand, “Pick your poison.”
“That one,” she motioned to one bottle before snatching it out of
J.T.’s hand. “I mean what the hell is wrong with him that he
doesn’t see how great I am?”
“Exactly!” J.T. encouraged her on before watching her take another,
long swig of the alcohol he’d provided her with. Halfway through
the bottle, he reached out to seize the neck of the bottle.
“Diane, baby maybe you’d better slow down.”
“Tonight I don’t want to slow down,” she argued with him snatching the
bottle away again. She finished to drink it like there was no
tomorrow until finally she’d emptied the bottle. Tossing it onto
the ground, she looked to J.T. with a wounded expression, “I don’t want
to be good and I don’t want to worry about not being perfect enough for
Ben. Tonight I want to be bad.”
“You are bad Diane,” J.T. replied reaching out to touch her cheek
gently, “but being bad makes you so very good.”
“I could just kill that skinny little bitch right about now. I
mean she’s got nothing on me,” Diane ranted feeling her anger mounting
with each passing second. “I should’ve just decked her…and then
him. They both should’ve just went down because that’s exactly
what they deserve!”
“They had no right to make a fool of you like that,” he goaded her on
watching her body tighten up with tension.
“No, they didn’t and I’m not going to take it,” she vowed reaching for
the bottle he’d started to raise to his lips. She swiped it from
his hand before sucking it down herself. After she’d finished it
off, she threw the bottle aside, sending it smashing down to the ground.
“There’s the spirit,” J.T. encouraged her, his eyes lighting up as he
saw that fire that he’d loved about her. She looked so damn sexy,
so enthralling and as her rage ran rampant, he couldn’t help but reach
out and touch her.
“Damn right,” Diane blurted out, feeling him pulled her into his arms
harshly. He planted a kiss upon her lips, allowing his wild lust
for her to rush over him into her. He felt the surprised tension
that she’d felt in his bold movement and after a moment she pushed her
hand into his chest shoving him away from her.
“Don’t touch me J.T.,” Diane snapped at him before her eyes wandered
over his body. She drew in a ragged breath, her pulse pounding,
her body ablaze and suddenly she felt something else reach out over
her. Lust. She’d pushed that part of her aside for so very
long, but now as she thought about Ben and his bimbo. Licking her
lips, she seized J.T.’s collar tugging him in closer to her for a
Without question, J.T. wrapped his arms around her, urging her up
against him. Wordlessly she did as instructed, threading her
fingers through his hair while nipping and biting on his lips.
She felt him shove her against one of the walls of his apartment, his
hold on her constricting with the moment. She scraped her nails
over his shoulders, up and down over his back before tearing open his
shirt with a heated fury. Sending buttons flying over the living
room, she watched his chest rise and fall with obvious anticipation as
he lowered her to the ground again. His fingers sought out her
hands before bringing them up over her head. A gasp pressed upon
her lips before their eyes made direct contact with one another.
“Be bad with me tonight Diane,” he spoke in a passion laced down, his
body grinding in against hers, the movements growing far more powerful
by the moment.
“I want that,” Diane panted, unable to ignore the intense hunger for
destruction that devoured her completely. Bucking up against him,
she mirrored his movements remembering how well they used to fit
“I’m so glad to hear it,” J.T. replied releasing her wrists before his
fingers reached down over the bottom of her dress tearing it up over
her hips. Within a matter of seconds, he’d tossed it on the
floor, taking the time to admire her nearly naked form before
him. Smiling possessively, he leaned forward biting down on her
shoulder just enough to hear her cry out.
“J.T.,” she spoke his name, the nails on her right hand digging into
his skin before she used her left hand to scratch at his ribs.
Saying nothing, J.T. pressed his arm around her waist, shoving her over
towards the back of his sofa. Watching her body bounce with the
movement, he coaxed her over the side of the couch, tearing away at the
barriers between them before moving in behind her. Leaning
forward, he tugged on her hair pulling her head back just enough to
claim her lips violently in a wild kiss before he indulged himself in
making his fantasies a reality all over again with Diane Stevens.
Smiling inwardly he dropped his pants preparing to feed his hunger for
her once and for all. Turning her in his arms to face him, J.T.
smiled, his desire drove him on with their union, her cries keeping him
crazed in the moment, and with each frantic movement they shared
together, he promised to take in every single second of this knowing
that tonight he’d scored one of the greatest victories to date.
Tonight Diane was his and from here on out there would be no turning
back. He’d never let her go again!