“We are by the water?” Deidra questioned watching Dean nod with a
“I figured we could have a nice dinner, with a little dancing,” he
shrugged with a slug smile.
“That sounds great,” Deidra smiled walking into the house as Dean
motioned her to sit down as she stared out the window at the amazing
“You like?” he questioned walking into the room to catch her gaze.
“I love it,” she smiled feeling his hands grab hers pulling her up as
she caught a glimpse of the candle lit dining room. “Is that for me?”
“That it is, but first I figured we could do something else,” he winked
before leading her outside to the deck.
“What do you want to do?” she wondered watching him smile and turn
around reaching for a radio and turning it on.
“May I have this dance?” he held his hand out to hers as she took it
“Why, I would love to dance with you,” she nodded as he twirled her
“I hope you are ready for an amazing night of fun,” Dean informed her
as a smile of enthusiasm spread across his features.
“With you, I think I always have amazing nights,” Deidra informed him
watching him smile.
“I am really glad to hear you say that,” he started pulling her body
close to his, “Did you know that?”
“No, I didn’t,” she pointed out as he leaned forward kissing her
“Well, you should have,” he whispered twirling her once more.
“I guess I should remember that next time,” she confirmed as he twirled
her around once more.
No matter what happened tonight, she was going to have a great time and
that was a given. Anytime she was with Dean she usually had a good time.
Jenna took in a slow breath thinking about what she had to do.
While she could quite clearly remember all of Avery’s warnings, there
was no denying what she had to do. She had to discover if Cameron
had something to do with Kipp’s disappearance and even if it meant
becoming friends with the enemy then, so be it. She just hoped it
wouldn’t backfire in her face.
Making her way up to the front door, Jenna took in a slow breath,
knowing once before taking a step back. Her stomach was tied in
knots, her heart racing in her chest and as she tried to make sense of
this whole situation, she found herself armed with a newfound
“May I help you,” a man questioned as he opened the door to Cameron’s
“I’m here to see Cameron,” she explained with a polite smile, “My name
is Jenna Carpenter and…”
“Ah yes,” he nodded, “Mr. Stone has been expecting you. Come on
“Thank you,” Jenna followed the butler to a room where he informed her
that Cameron would be there shortly. She took a long look around
the room thinking about what she hoped to achieve in this meeting, but
before she could really clear her thoughts about what she wanted to
say, she spun around to find Cameron standing in the doorway watching
her with a wide grin.
“Jenna, it’s so good to see you,” he offered up taking a step into the
room, “I was wondering when you’d finally come around and I must admit
I’m surprised that it happened so soon given our last interaction.”
“I’ll admit I’ve had my doubts about coming over, but I got to thinking
about what you said about Doug,” Jenna explained simply, “while I’m not
exactly your biggest fan, I was hoping that maybe you and I could have
a chat about him--to kind of let me know some more insight on my father
since it’s obvious you know him much better than I ever could’ve.”
“Really?” he arched a curious brow, “So you came here today to mend
fences and compare notes on Doug, then huh?”
“If you’ve got a problem with that, I can just go,” Jenna informed him
point blank, “After all, I don’t really need to ask you as I have my
own means of information there.”
“So what is this?” he folded his arms in front of his chest, “A
courtesy visit then?”
“Look, Cameron I’m not going to lie to you. I’ve heard all about
you and I’m not really fond of the package that I see before me.
When I listen to the stories…” she started with a frown.
“See now that’s your first mistake. You should never listen to
the stories as they are nothing more than rumors and fabrications
there. They are meaningless and do nothing but offer up false
illusions to the gossipmongers in this town.”
“So you’re saying that none of the stories are true then, huh?” she
“I’m saying that I’d like an opportunity to prove to you that they are
very much wrong indeed,” he nodded before motioning to the couch before
her, “How about we take a seat?”
She said nothing, but walked over to where he’d instructed knowing that
if she’d made herself seem too ready to be social then he’d never
believe she was here for anything other than to pump him for
information. Despite the way she felt about him, she had to find
a way to bait him in and this seemed like a good approach without
revealing too much.
“This goes without saying that I wish you’d think differently of me,
but perhaps when you listen to what I have to say about Douglas you
might see who the real enemy in all of this is. He has this
controlling, vindictive way about him that he uses to hurt his children
with each twist and turn,” he explained going over to the mini bar and
pouring the both of them a drink before returning to sit next to her,
“I hope you’ve at least seen that by now.”
“I’ve seen what he’s capable of to a degree,” she accepted the drink,
curling her fingers around it carefully, “but I still don’t quite
understand what it is that made you hate him so very much.”
“The man ruined my life. He ruined my father’s life and for that
he is completely unforgivable,” his jaw tightened with obvious anger,
“You see my mother was happily married to my father…they had a
wonderful love until Douglas stepped in and decided that my mother was
the next on his line of conquests. He forced his way into her
life and manipulated her into leaving everything my father had worked
so hard to build in their life together behind her. She threw it
all away in the name of being with a man like Doug who would never
truly love her and in the end it was the end of her.”
“How so,” she questioned taking in his words.
“When my mother left my father it was the end of the woman we all
knew. She became this hollow shell of what she was and eventually
her marriage to Doug killed her. She died broken hearted and
miserable because a man like Doug was clearly incapable of feeling any
kind of emotion towards her. She was no more than a trophy wife
to display as a token of what he’d taken from my father. For
years that was all I knew--all I lived in since Douglas refused to let
my father into my mother’s life. The fact that I was able to see
him was only because Douglas despised me. I was never what he’d
wanted in a child since he’d already had his own son…”
“Meaning Kipp,” Jenna noted curiously.
Cameron nodded, “Yes, Kipp was the apple of his eye. Kipp was his
son from yet another one of his illusive relationships. Kipp’s
mother bailed on them years before Douglas became obsessed with my
mother and he doted on Kipp. He gave him absolutely everything he
could ever want, yet it didn’t teach Kipp a thing about
character. I was the one who taught him that.”
“How so?” Jenna questioned noting the faraway look behind Cameron’s
eyes as he spoke to her.
“Kipp couldn’t see things as they truly are. He had real issues
in living in reality, so I showed him what reality was all about.
Doug hated me for it, but it needed to be done,” Cameron reflected
tightly, something dark and sinister brewing behind his eyes.
“What needed to be done?” Jenna probed further wondering if she’d made
some ground with Cameron.
“Douglas needed to be taught a lesson,” Cameron lifted his drink to his
“What kind of lesson?” she prompted further.
“The kind that J.T. and I knew only too well due to him,” Cameron let
out an ironic laugh, “You know it’s amazing that Douglas felt no love
or compassion for J.T. either, but since J.T. was my brother--a part of
my family that he’d shared with my mother, I guess J.T. wasn’t good
enough for Douglas either. He wasn’t the pampered prince like
Kipp…never could be…”
“So J.T. didn’t get along with Doug either?” she noted taking it all in.
“They never got along,” Cameron shook his head, “When my mother
announced she was pregnant with J.T., Douglas demanded she have an
abortion saying that there was no room for another brat in our
home. He repeatedly tried to force her into getting rid of J.T.
until finally my mother found the courage to leave him. When J.T.
was born, she and Doug had separated…hell, my parents were almost on
the way to a reunion, but then, well at the hospital they’d said she’d
died of complications, but I knew better.”
“Your mother died after having J.T.?” Jenna’s eyes widened in response.
He nodded, “And only then did Douglas step forward and claim his
property with J.T. when my mother was gone. He had no other use
for him, but when my mother left this world, Doug found his own agenda
was there to serve him. He never gave a damn about J.T.--still
doesn’t--and to this day I’m certain he’s the reason my mother
died. Yes, they might’ve said there were complications, but I
“So that’s why you hate him,” Jenna noted aloud, “because you blame him
for your mother’s death.”
“No, I hate him for all the years he took from my family--from my
father and from me. That bastard deserves to suffer for his
actions. He can’t get away with hurting someone like that
again. He needs to pay…” Cameron rose from his seat clenching the
glass in hand tightly.
“And what about Kipp? Did he need to pay too for what his father
had done,” Jenna questioned unable to keep her thoughts to herself.
“I cared about Kipp. I tried to show him the light, but he
refused to see it. He couldn’t bring himself to admit what a
monster Doug was until it was too late,” Cameron spun around to face
her again. Step by step he headed in towards her, making his way
to the place before where she sat. Kneeling down, his dark eyes
penetrated hers and he reached out to touch her cheek boldly, never
breaking his gaze over her, “Tell me Jenna, will that be your fate as
well? Will you only see the truth when it’s too late?”
Jenna felt the power behind his words, the hint of darkness behind his
voice and in that moment she pulled back attempting to break away the
contact he’d made in touching her face. She opened her mouth to
speak not knowing what to say when she heard a crashing sound coming
from down the hallway.
Cameron’s eyes shifted towards the source of the sound, his face
changing as he rose to his feet. He held up his finger for a
moment, “I’ll be right back. Excuse me.”
Jenna nodded wondering just what had caused him to sprint off in such a
panic. Standing up, she walked towards the exit he’d taken only
to witness him shooing someone out of the hallway. But who, she
wondered sensing that there was more to this story than Cameron was
letting on. She’d thought about the way he’d looked at her, the
obvious venom behind his words and she realized that she’d just pushed
herself into a world of danger that she was going to have to get deeper
into before she could pull herself out of. Still if Cameron hated
Doug that much, then where would she stand in all of this?
Knowing how Cameron clearly held contempt for Kipp, how would he feel
for her knowing that she was the daughter that Douglas Mahoney never
had, but always wanted to control?
“I’m sorry about that,” Cameron apologized returning to find her in the
doorway, “Now where were we…”
“Actually,” Jenna reached for her purse, “I was just called into work
and I was looking for you to say good-bye, but hopefully we can get
together again soon. I think I learned a lot today and maybe you
were right about us becoming closer. I’m not making any promises,
but it sounds like we’ve both been burned by that man.”
“You’re making the right choice Jenna,” Cameron offered up what almost
looked like a genuine smile. He reached out to her touching her
shoulder gently, “I just don’t want to see Doug hurt you like he’s done
with everyone else in his life. You have a chance to break free
of his madness and I’d like to help you if I can.”
“I’ll think about it,” she offered in response leaving it at that
before taking a step forward, “I should get going…”
“Let me walk you out,” he suggested hearing another sound from down the
hallway. “Actually on second thought Franklin can show you the way…”
“I remember it. I can walk myself out,” she informed him with a
polite smile wondering what secrets he was harboring in this
house. Something told her whatever it was, it was something that
could quite possibly be the key to uncovering the truth about what was
really going on where Kipp was concerned. After today’s visit she
was more convinced of that then ever.
Hart stood outside Sam’s hospital room seeing her within sleeping as if
she didn’t have a care in the world. While he wasn’t quite sure
what he was going to say to her once he’d gone inside, he was certain
that he had to find a way to make some kind of contact with her.
Knowing that she was his daughter was something that he couldn’t shake
regardless of how he’d tried, and with Jenna’s encouragement he’d hoped
that he could find a way to reach out to her there.
Hart had thought about this time and time again and maybe in her
sleeping it might make things easier on him. It could give him
time to find the right words after all. Taking a step closer to
her room, he prepared to go inside when he heard Beth call out to him
in a fury.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing here?” she demanded
angrily. “If you’re even thinking about going in there and
“Beth, that’s not at all what I have in mind, but you, well if you
don’t keep your voice down that’s exactly what’s going to happen,” he
warned with an angry glare, “She needs her rest.”
“Which is exactly why she doesn’t need you going in there and upsetting
her,” Beth informed him with a heavy scowl before tugging him away from
Sam’s hospital room. Guiding him down the hallway towards her own
office, she motioned for him to step inside, “I think it’s past time we
had a talk.”
“Yeah, you know maybe you’re right on that one,” Hart finally agreed
entering her office armed and prepared for battle. Once she’d
stepped inside closing the door behind her with an obvious slam he knew
he was in for some trouble of his own there. She looked ready for
“So, let me get this straight. It’s not bad enough that you
destroyed my marriage, but now you’re set on destroying Sam just
because of what? Your wounded ego?” she threw out at him harshly.
“Beth, you’re the one who told me that I was Sam’s father. You
were the one who finally got over herself and stopped lying. What
did you think I was going to do? Turn the other cheek and forget
what you told me? That I was going to go running in the opposite
“That’s usually what you do,” she glared up at him, “so why make a
change this time?”
“Because Sam is my daughter too and I’m not about to sit back and
ignore that truth,” he informed her point blank, “I have a right to
know my daughter.”
“You don’t have anything here Hart. You didn’t raise her--you
weren’t actively involved in her life…” she began.
“Only because you chose to keep me out of it. If I would’ve known
that Sam was my daughter,” he started in frustration.
“Then what? What would you have done Hart? Would you have
come back into our lives? Would you have given me financial
support for her? Would you have done the stand up thing and
married me when Travis left?” she assaulted him with her words.
“Beth, we were never in love,” Hart reminded her simply, “That’s not at
all what we were about.”
“No, we were about your desire to stick it to Travis while banging his
wife for a good laugh on him,” she stated sourly, “I mean that’s really
you were after there wasn’t it?”
“Beth, you were the one who chased me around and at the time I didn’t
know you were his wife,” Hart defended his position.
“Yet it didn’t stop you from coming back to me once you knew the truth,
did it?” she challenged with a skeptic look.
“Listen Beth, I’m not going to argue about our motives right now
because that’s irrelevant to the present we’re living in. The
fact remains that Sam is my daughter and I want to get to know
her. I want a chance to be a father to her that you didn’t give
me the first time around.”
“She has a father Hart. She doesn’t need you,” she informed him
bluntly, “Sami is doing just fine without you.”
“If that was true, then you never would’ve told me the truth
then. You were seeking out some kind of shock value there Beth
because I know you, but it didn’t work the way you wanted. You
were hoping I’d just walk away or let it hurt me. Granted it hurt
in some ways, but it would hurt worse not to know my daughter.
I’m not going to let you put me in that position again. I will
get to know Sam whether you like it or not.”
“And what do you think that’s going to accomplish? Do you think
she’s going to be happy with you when she sees what a dead beat dad
“I would’ve been there for her,” he raised his voice with emotion, “I
would’ve given her everything that I could’ve Beth.”
“And what about me? What good did you ever do for me? What
had you done that could’ve possibly lead me to believe that you’d be
worth a damn when it came to our daughter,” she stepped towards him,
her eyes glaring him down.
“Beth, I’m not going to get into this with you. I’m not going to
argue or try to tell you anything you’re hoping to hear. The fact
is Sam’s my daughter. I’m going to find a way to get myself into
her life and that’s all there is to it. If you don’t like it,
With those parting words, he turned to leave, ready to put this
unsavory fight with Beth behind him, but before he could step out of
her office completely, he felt her reach out for his arm.
“Hart wait,” her voice softened a bit as she urged him to turn around,
“Look I’m just upset okay? This isn’t how I planned on doing
“None of us did Beth, but you can’t be on the attack all the
time. It’s not helping anything,” he replied firmly, “It’s not
going to benefit any of us if you keep behaving in such a way.”
“I know that. I really do,” she stepped in towards him lowering
her hand from his arm. “Hart, it’s just when I think about
us--about what we had together, well there were so many things that we
missed out on together with Sami. She had so much happen in her
life already that I just know if we would’ve been together it would’ve
been so different for her. If she would’ve had the both of us…”
“She will have the both of us Beth, just not like you were planning on
it happening,” Hart reminded her tightly, his back to the hallway.
“But why not?” Beth flashed him a seductive smile, her composure taking
on an about face as she threw her arms around him, “What do you say
Hart? How about we take a trip down memory lane together again?”
“What in the hell are you…” he tried to shove her away, but his words
were lost as she stepped up on her toes to kiss him heatedly, her
determination and force behind the kiss catching him totally off guard
until he heard the squeal from behind him.
“I knew it!” Dorothy shouted out as Hart finally shook Beth off in time
to see Dorothy out in the hallway taking in every incriminating moment
of Beth’s madness.
“Dorothy this isn’t what it look like. It’s…” Hart took a step
“Save it. I always knew you were no good for my daughter and this
just proves that between you and your bimbo,” Dorothy stomped off to
the elevators leaving Hart to stand there dumbfounded.
Once she’d slipped out of sight, he turned to glare at Beth again, “You
did that on purpose, didn’t you?”
She licked her lips before dragging her thumb over her bottom lip
proudly, “You’re damn right I did. You ruined my life Hart and I
swear to God I’ll ruin yours if I have to if it means keeping you away
from Sam. Back off or else I swear things will get ugly.”
He reached out to snag her arm before she could exit her office.
His eyes were filled with anger and annoyance as his grip around her
arm tightened, “You listen to me Beth. If you try to pull a stunt
like that again, you’ll find that it’s going to cost you more than you
ever dreamt possible. Plus if you even think about trying to keep
me away from my daughter, well you’ll find that my cordial attitude
towards you will turn into one that you’ll wish you never encountered.”
With those words he stepped away from her making his way down the
hallway in a haste hoping to catch up with Dorothy somehow. Beth
chuckled in amusement watching his reaction to Jenna’s mother spying on
them in a moment. Oh he was going to pay alright. It was
just a matter of time.
“You said that you could possibly find a clue,” Shannon blurted out
seeing an agitated Don turn around and glare at her and then looking
back at his computer screen.
“Time and patience is golden,” Don pointed out with a slight shrug
looking through his files.
“Well, when someone is up on trial for killing someone, don’t you think
it would be a little bit easier to find some clues faster?” Shannon
questioned raising an eyebrow.
“Do you always have to have a right answer for everything?” Don
wondered with a slight shake of his head.
“Not really, when I said I do to you…that wasn’t a right answer,” she
shrugged seeing the disapproval look on his face.
“That’s not nice,” Don declared rolling his eyes, “I thought you would
at least give me some credit.”
“For what?” she questioned as he ignored her. “You really haven’t done
anything, but screw up my life this far.”
“I never screwed over your life, you brought this upon you, I had
nothing to do with it,” Don guaranteed her feeling her glare right
“I suppose I am the one who made you say yes…am I right?” Shannon
questioned folding her arms out in front of her eager to hear what he
had to say.
“Just forget I ever said that,” Don rolled his eyes hating the way that
every time they had a conversation they were fighting.
“No, I want to know,” Shannon growled as Don turned around in his chair.
“Am I really that bad? I mean sure, you never expected any of this, but
really,” Don wondered seeing her nod.
“No I really don’t like you, but for this moment I have to deal with
it,” confirmed Shannon with a small frown.
“Whatever, just let me look around,” Don sighed turning back to his
“Just look, I don’t want to talk to you,” Shannon scowled as Don looked
over his shoulder.
“Who would want to talk to you? And just start up another fight?” Don
wondered hearing silence and looking around.
“Fine,” she blurted out hearing nothing else from him.
“Look what we have here,” Don smiled nodding in approval of himself.
“What? I can’t see behind your fat head,” Shannon hissed making Don
roll his eyes.
“Let me just try and shrink it down to the appropriate size for you,”
Don laughed sarcastically rolling his chair back slightly.
“Very funny,” Shannon nodded.
“Just look, it says that he was placed into a different place,” Don
pointed out scrolling down.
“Well what’s the name of it?” Shannon questioned seeing Don shrug and
rub the back of his neck lightly.
“I don’t know, it doesn’t have one,” Don acknowledged scrolling down to
find anymore information.
“What do you mean it has no name? All hospitals have a name,” she
assured him watching him shake his head.
“Well apparently, this one doesn’t,” Don sighed not knowing exactly
where this was leading them, if anywhere.
“I can’t believe your parents talked us into going to a karaoke bar,”
Diane shouted over the music while leaning over the table to get closer
to Ben. His parents were on stage doing a rendition of “I‘ve Got
You Babe” for the crowd and in that moment she couldn’t help, but be
overcome with laughter, “this is just beyond any of my wildest dreams
“Yeah, well I warned you that my parents were eccentric,” Ben chuckled
in response curling his arm around the back of her chair to pull her in
closer to him, “I just hope you aren’t too afraid of the thought of
becoming a part of the family now.”
“Are you kidding,” she giggled harder as his father did a little
circular dip to Cassie on stage, “This is great. I absolutely
love the both of them. I wish my parents were half as cool…”
“Try growing up with this,” Ben teased tilting his head to the side to
look at her--really look at her as his heart was filled with
love. Unable to resist the urge, he tipped down to kiss her just
in time to hear the crowd go into an uproar upon completion of his
parent’s latest act.
Diane quickly joined in standing up and leading the rest of the bar in
a standing ovation for Alan and Cassie. Somehow she seemed to fit
so perfectly into Ben’s family and she was loving every minute of this
almost as much as he was.
“See, I told you we’d bring the house down tonight,” Cassie informed
her husband, nudging him in the ribs as they made their way over to the
“Nah, we weren’t that great. They are just kissing up because
they know if they don’t, then well it’s going to be an ugly golf game
next week at the country club with you,” Alan teased pulling the chair
out for his wife to take a seat.
“Oh now, admit it, we’re still as good as we always were,” Cassie
chuckled before turning her attention to Diane, “Don’t let my husband’s
modesty fool you. Before we were married, he was a part of a rock
“Cassie,” Alan gave her a firm look.
“Well it’s true. There’s no point in hiding that fact,” Cassie
continued with a proud grin, “He was the lead singer in a very
controversial rock band back in college and you should’ve seen the way
he looked in leather pants…”
“Mom,” Ben felt his face grow flushed with embarrassment.
“I’m telling you Diane, back then I would’ve done anything to get him
back to my place backstage after a concert,” Cassie continued with a
sensual undertone, dropping her hand down on her husband’s leg beneath
“Mother!” Ben’s voice rose with the color in his cheeks as Diane
couldn’t help but laugh. “That’s way too much information.”
“I think it’s adorable,” Diane tried to assure him as she smiled
further, “After all I think it’s wonderful that after all these years
you both are still so very happy together. How long has it been
“We’ll be married thirty five years this April,” Alan explained
proudly, “of course I feel like I’ve known Cassie forever here. I
can’t even remember what life was like without her in it.”
“Oh now who is being the kiss up,” Cassie wrinkled her nose at him
before leaning forward to kiss him, “but it’s true. This time
we’ve had together is something we’ve both wanted for a long
time. We’ve really had some fun years though.”
“That’s the key to a strong and healthy marriage,” Alan added with a
laugh of his own, “being able to have fun together.”
“And trust,” Cassie offered up with a quick nod, “those are two
essential key elements that bring together a marriage like ours.
Without those two things, well, you don’t have anything…”
Diane’s smile faded a bit as she suddenly flashed back to her night
with J.T. at his place. While most of it was a blur, what she
could remember was enough to make her feel horrible as she sat with
Ben’s parents talking about the ways to keep a marriage going strong.
“How about a toast,” Cassie raised her glass.
“To Ben and Diane,” Alan piped in with a smile of his own, “May they
have as many wonderful years together as we do.”
“I’ll second that one,” Ben raised his glass to toast before he turned
to Diane seeing the faraway expression on her face, “Diane?”
“Oh right,” she quickly lifted her glass as well, “To a great many
years of happiness and love between us.”
A the foursome clinked their glasses together celebrating the special
occasion at hand, Diane just prayed that somehow she could find a way
to keep that particular toast in check. She had to be able to
find a way to keep things as wonderful as they were now. She and
Ben were going to make it together. She was almost completely
sure of that. Still, with J.T. in Coral Valley, she knew that
might be a bit of challenge, but hey, she was used to challenges and as
it stood Ben was everything she’d wanted. When it came to what
she wanted, Diane always found a way to make it happen. This
would be no different, she vowed sipping her drink thinking of nothing
more than the life she and Ben would share together as husband and
wife. Everything was going to be perfect.
“It’s beautiful out here,” smiled Deidra as Dean pulled out a blanket
for them to sit down on.
“It’s not as beautiful as you,” he winked at her sitting down on the
blanket as she took a seat next to him.
“You don’t mean that?” she blushed feeling his hand rest against hers.
“I do mean it and that’s only the beginning. Your beauty goes way
beyond words. Words couldn’t even describe how beautiful you are,” he
smiled kissing her lightly.
“Your not too bad yourself,” she chuckled lightly gazing up at the sky
and lying back.
“So what are you thinking about?” he questioned lying down next to her
leaning on his elbow.
“What am I thinking? I’m thinking that this may be one of the best
nights I have ever had,” she started with a smile looking over at him.
“I mean this whole thing is great…the water and the stars as our
lights. I can say this is one of the most romantic nights I have had in a long
“I’m glad I make you feel that way,” he grinned leaning forward and
kissing her lightly.
“You always make me feel that way,” she informed him with a slight
shrug. “Somehow it’s like from the moment that we first
encountered one another it was like the beginning of a new life for
me. You saved me from the demons of my past and in some ways
you’re my hero.”
“I’m not really that great,” he shook his head lightly watching her
frown looking up at him.
“No you are great. I have had so many bad people in my life and you
make all those bad people seem to disappear. You are the greatest
person I have ever met. You take my mind off everything else in
such a good way,” she assured him watching him smile.
“You know what else takes your mind off a lot of things?” he whispered
in her ear lightly making her smile.
“What’s that?” she giggled lightly as he pulled her down next to him as
she cuddled into his arms.
“The stars, you could stare at them all night,” he sighed deeply
running his hand through her soft hair.
“As long as you’re holding me like this, I’m sure that I could,” she
nodded in confession snuggling in closer to him, “Dean, I can’t even
begin to thank you for all you’ve done for me.”
“No thanks are necessary. Just in being able to spend this time
with you, well it gives me all the encouragement I need to hope that
there are good things ahead for the both of us,” he confessed with a
“You know when we’re together like this, I believe that will happen for
us,” she propped herself up on his stomach, “Dean, there’s so much
happening here and…”
“I know,” he nodded. “You don’t have to push yourself to say
anything because I know.”
“Still, I just want you to know that this means a lot to me. You
can make me laugh, smile and relax. I care about you so very much for
that Dean. You make me want to believe in happily ever afters and romance
and all the silly things that I stopped holding onto after Andy left me.”
“You can do a lot better without him Deidra,” he bent down to kiss her
gently while his fingers swept through her hair, “I’m the lucky one
“I think we’re both pretty lucky,” Deidra confessed turning her
attention to the stars again and saying a silent prayer for this second
chance at happiness she’d been given in her life. Maybe things
would work out for her after all.
“Hey beautiful,” Wayne smiled entering Sam’s hospital room only to
discover her flipping through the channels on the television set.
Seeing him standing in the doorway, her face lit up enthusiastically.
“Wayne, I am so glad you’re here,” she let out a breath of relief
shutting the television off eagerly, “I was almost about to watch a
knitting program for lack of something else to do. You’re saving
me from a horrible fate.”
“In that case you’ll really think highly of me for this,” he confessed
pulling the bag out from behind his back to reveal the carry out from
Irvin’s that he’d brought with him.
“Oh my God. I could just kiss you right about now,” Sam threw her
arms out to him urging him to come over to her side, “Come to think of
it I want nothing more than to do just that.”
“Good answer,” Wayne slid in beside her engaging in a tender kiss
before the two parted. He touched her cheek gently, worry evident
behind his dark eyes, “how are you feeling?”
“I’d be lying if I said I feel incredible, but I think part of why I’m
not feeling that great is because I’m cooped up in here. Not to
mention that they keep coming in here poking and prodding at me with
those stupid needles,” Sam frowned heavier, “and then to make matters
worse not only did they turn me into a pin cushion, but now my feet
have been subject to the torture as well.”
“You’re kidding,” Wayne frowned.
“Do I look like I’m kidding,” Sam threw out a pointed look, “I don’t
take after my mother or my father in the sense that I have the most
hard to find veins. I had the stupid person from the lab come in
here four times today to try to draw blood, but then when that didn’t
work, they went straight to my foot there. Wayne, I feel like I’m
in hell here…”
“Well, then we’re going to work on changing that,” he promised easing
his fingers through her soft hair, “because I brought dinner and
entertainment for tonight…that is if you’re up for company.”
“If you even think about leaving now, I will have to hunt you down and
kill you,” she teased with a small smile despite the aches and pains
she was feeling.
“In that case, I think I won’t rethink my decision to stay here…if my
life is on the line and all…” he teased back leaning down to kiss her
forehead. “However, you do have to give me one minute to collect
myself here. I’ll be right back…”
“Wayne, where are you,” she paused watching him slip out of the room
only to return moments later with a medium sized box in hand, “What did
you just do?”
“I figured since you’re in a fighting mood,” he made his way over to
the television, “that I needed to get you something to help you work on
those aggressions of yours Sam.”
“What did you…” her jaw dropped as she saw the X-box he’d brought with
him, “Wayne, you didn’t!”
“You bet I did. I had a feeling you’d have all this pent up
aggression so I thought what better way to get it out then dinner and a
good old fashioned video game,” Wayne dangled one of the controllers in
hand after he’d hooked the X-box to the television set, “So what do you
“I say you’re completely insane, but I love it,” she grinned from ear
to ear, “This is like the best thing that anyone has done for me since
I wound up in this nightmare.”
“In that case, why don’t you slide over so I can fit in bed with you
and we’ll see if you’re ready to rumble,” he wiggled his brow at her
teasingly before she complied to his request.
“Oh I’m more than ready Wayne, but I’ll tell you straight up, I am so
going to kick your butt on this game tonight,” she laughed lightly as
he moved in beside her. Reaching out to turn his face to her
again, she kissed him quickly, “Thank you.”
“For what?” he questioned.
“For this, for everything--for just plain loving me,” she confessed a
moment of tenderness passing between them, “Wayne, I love you so very
much and you have no idea how much your being in my life has changed
things for me. Before we were together, well I always felt like I
was alone, but with you…well, it’s like someone finally gets me.”
“Of course I get you Sam,” he teased his lips against hers gently,
“You’re the love of my life…the only woman for me. Besides that,
well anyone else would think that I’m absolutely insane.”
“Good thing for you, I’m just as crazy as you are,” Sam laughed lightly
before laying her head on his shoulder, “So are you going to give me
something to eat here or what? Hospital food has been killing me.”
“First things first,” Wayne motioned to the television set, “We’re
going a few rounds there on this exhibition match because I have a
score to settle with you.”
“Face it Rhodes,” she nudged him in the ribs perking up at the thought
of a challenge, “You’re so going down tonight!”
“We’ll just see about that,” Wayne replied with a chuckle realizing
that this was exactly the right medicine for Sam. Tonight was
something they both needed.
Cameron sipped his brandy taking a moment to look out the window over
his vast property. His estate in Coral Valley was nice, but the
private villa he’d had out of this small, pathetic little town was more
to his liking. It was days like these that he’d missed that time
he’d spent at the villa and even now as he pondered the things he’d
left behind, he wondered if perhaps he’d take another trip out
there. When Grady’s trial was over, perhaps he’d take the time to
sweep Jade away to the romantic local with him. It would be
something he would truly enjoy sharing with her as it was a place he’d
thought about experiencing with her from the day he’d first met
her. Jade. What a beautiful, wonderful woman she was and
soon, he was far certain that she would be his.
“Tell me Cameron,” Thea questioned leaning up against the doorway to
the library, “Were you thinking about me or about who you’d like to
“That all depends,” he spun around to smile at her, “What do you have
for me? Anything to pique my interest?”
“Actually,” she reached into the front of her blouse withdrawing the
small microfilm that she’d collected from Seth, “I thought perhaps I
could tempt you with something…”
“Something indeed,” Cameron smirked making his way across the room
towards her. He extended his arm out towards her, curling it
around her waist before kissing her enthusiastically.
“I knew you’d be pleased,” she murmured fanning her fingers out over
his shoulders before he swiped the microfilm from her hand.
“You never cease to amaze me,” Cameron nodded approvingly, “I knew
there was a reason why I kept you around.”
“You mean other than the fact you’d be absolutely lost without me if I
wasn’t with you,” Thea questioned seeking out more approval.
“I’m sure I would survive,” he shrugged before opening the casing to
take a closer look at the microfilm, “I take it Seth didn’t give you
“He just wants to find his way out of the situation,” she stepped in
closer to him, “but I’ve assured him it won’t be that simple. We
can still use him for our plans…”
“That we can,” Cameron nodded in agreement, “He may be vital in what I
have planned for the future.”
“Care to let me in on the latest plan,” Thea batted her eyelashes at
him, ready to delve into whatever trouble he had burning in the back of
“Actually, I was thinking that perhaps we could celebrate and then…”
his words were stopped when the rumbling sound of footsteps
approached. Looking over her shoulder he noticed his brother JT
“There you are,” JT greeted him with a wave, “I was hoping you’d still
be around tonight…”
“JT,” Cameron stepped away from Thea leaving her less than pleased, “to
what do I owe this visit?”
“Well, remember that friend I was telling you about,” JT began to
explain before finally noticing Thea in the room behind him, “Oh, hi
“JT,” she nodded politely all the while attempting to mask her
disappointment that JT had come in and ruined her moment of glory.
“Look Cam, I know this is kind of short notice, but I have someone here
that I’m sure you’d love to meet,” JT insisted motioning to the hall
he’d come from.
“And just who might that be,” Cameron questioned with a quick raise of
“The name is Valerie. Valerie Madison,” Valerie moved forward
making her presence known as she held her hand out to Cameron for his
immediate attention, “and I’m positive that I’m the key to helping you
get exactly what you want out of Jade Alexander. I can get you
exactly what it is that you want.”
“Is that right,” Cameron couldn’t help but smirk. He gave her a
brief perusal thinking about the complete package before him.
Sure, she was sexy as all hell, but there was something about her
demeanor that had sparked his interest, “And just how might you be able
to do all of that?”
“Because Seth and I have a very long, very rich history together that
I’m certain you’d be more than eager to hear about,” she continued with
a confident grin, “and if you help me with my little problem, then I
know that I can be more than accommodating to yours.”
“Since you put it that way,” Cameron offered his arm out to her, “How
about a drink? Interested?”
“I’d love one,” she accepted his arm following him into the library as
Cameron turned to Thea.
“Make us some drinks,” he replied before shooing her out of the library
ready to see just what it was that Valerie was about to offer
him. Judging by the expression on her face, he had a feeling that
the night was certainly about to pick up.
Hart stepped into Jenna’s apartment thinking about what her mother had
witnessed. He wasn’t quite sure what Dorothy was going to say to
Jenna, but he knew that he had to explain himself before things were
completely taken out of context. Upon discarding his coat he
found Jenna standing in the kitchen working away over her stove.
“What’s this?” Hart couldn’t help but raise a curious brow, “What’s
going on in here?”
“I’m cooking dinner,” she explained matter of fact feeling his arm slip
around her waist before he rest his head upon her shoulder, “Does this
“Immensely,” he confessed placing a quick kiss over the side of her
“And just why is that,” she questioned tilting her head back to see the
smirk he had on his face.
“Just because I’m usually the chef of the group,” he teased further,
“Are you sure you don’t want me to step in an salvage what’s left of
what you’re trying to cook before it’s too late?”
“Ha, ha,” she threw out a dry laugh, “Why don’t you take a step back
before you find yourself going to bed very hungry and very alone?”
“In that case,” he raised his hands in the air, “the kitchen is yours
to run. I won’t say another word about it.”
“Good man,” Jenna smiled pleaded by his reaction, “though if you want
to help you can set the table.”
“That I think I can handle,” he nodded in agreement making his way over
to the cabinets, “So how was your day today? Talk to your mother?”
“No, but I did have a run in with Cameron,” she admitted bracing
herself for his reaction.
“Come again?” he blinked back at her, “What did you just say?”
“I said I ran into Cameron today,” she faced him again, “I wanted to
see if he knew anything about what’s happened to Kipp.”
“What? Have you lost your mind,” he frowned bringing the plates
over to the table, “Jenna, that man is a lunatic.”
“I realize that, but with Grady’s trial soon approaching, well I just
thought that maybe I could find a way to get some information out of
him. Avery believes that Cameron is the one who found a way to
get rid of Kipp and…” she started to explain.
“And what? You just thought you’d go over there and help him find
a way to get rid of you as well?” he shook his head at her, “Jen, have
you lost your mind? What were you thinking?”
“I was thinking that I want to know what happened to my brother before
an innocent man gets put in jail for a crime he didn’t commit,” she
stated point blank stirring the contents of her pan for a moment,
“Hart, you can’t blame me for wanting to find the truth, can you?”
“Of course I can’t, but you have to take some caution in dealing with
someone like Cameron Stone. Given what you and I both know about
him, he’s someone that you can’t just schmooze and expect for
everything to go smoothly,” Hart reminded her simply.
“And just why not?” she arched a curious brow, “It’s obvious Cameron
wants something from me, so why not spin the tables in my favor to seek
out what I’m looking for?”
“Um, for starters the man is a certifiable maniac and second of all
given what you mentioned about his hatred for your father and anyone
related to him, it could mean you’re setting yourself up for something
horrible,” he stepped in closer to her, “And Jen, that’s the last thing
I want to see happen to you. When I think of how I almost lost
“You won’t lose me Hart,” she stepped away from the stove, curling her
arms around his waist, “I promise you that. I’ll be careful in
dealing with Cameron.”
“I still don’t like it,” he frowned.
“You don’t have to like it Hart, but you can’t stop me from
trying. You know how stubborn I can be and when I have my mind
made up,” she warned him adamantly.
“I know what that means Jen, but I also want you to be cautious and
careful if you’re going to run with this one. I don’t want you to
end up getting hurt again,” he confessed cupping her face in his hands,
“You’re my world and if I lost you…”
“Trust me, it’s never going to happen,” she leaned up to kiss him
impatiently, “Hart, that’s not going to be an issue for us.”
“I really hope not Jenna, although,” he paused thinking about what her
mother had witnessed outside of Beth’s office.
“Although what?” she asked noting the expression on his face, “Hart,
what is it?”
“I think we need to talk,” he confessed with a heavy sigh taking a step
back, “You know how I said that I was going over to see Sam today?”
She nodded, “Did it go bad?”
“Yes and no,” he explained, “I didn’t actually get in to see Sam, but I
ran into Beth…”
“And so the trouble begins,” she rolled her eyes, “Okay what did that
bitch do now?”
“She gave me a lecture about how I have no business being a part of
Sam’s life,” Hart started to inform her.
“Please don’t tell me you listened to her Hart because she’s absolutely
wrong about this. If you don’t at least try to find a way to
communicate with your daughter and let her know that you want to be a
part of her life, then she’s never going to know that…”
“I didn’t listen to Beth, but Jen, I have to tell you something.
In the middle of our fighting, she had this moment where she flipped out on
me and when I say flipped out, she was threatening me, but then the next second
she kissed me,” he informed her honestly.
“She what,” Jenna’s eyes widened with obvious irritation, “Okay, it’s
official. I’m going to kill her. I knew that it wouldn’t
take long for her to try to pull something like this on you given that
she’s got some kind of ploy she’s running to bait you in and…”
“And it didn’t work Jen. It could never work given that the only
woman in this world that I have eyes for is you,” he placed his hands
on both of her shoulders, “Jen, you’re the only woman I could ever want
that way and Beth is an irritation and nothing more than that.
Yes I’ll try to be civil with her because of Sam, but that’s where it
ends. I have no desire to ever get back together with her in this
lifetime or any others for that matter.”
“I believe you on that, but I’m sure that she doesn’t,” she scowled, “I
knew that woman was going to be trouble for us.”
“We can handle her. Together we can find a way to do that, but
what I am worried about is your mother,” Hart revealed with a frown.
“My mother? Why?” she blinked back at him.
“She saw Beth kiss me and she went into an uproar as well. I
tried to explain the situation, but Jen, I don’t think she’s going to
ever stop hating me now. She was furious and I don’t think I
could really blame her as I’d probably jump to conclusions too if I was
in her shoes at this point,” he informed her with another sigh, “Jen, I
don’t think she’s ever going to approve of us given that she doesn’t
think I’m any good for you.”
“Hart, she probably just didn’t understand the situation. Once we
tell her what Beth is all about…” she offered up.
“She’s not going to change her mind. I know that Jen, but I just
don’t want you to let this become a problem for you. I love you
and I know how important your mother is in your life…” he started.
“Hart, she’s very important to me, but she’s got no place to judge
you. You’re the man I love and if she can’t accept that we’re
together, then that’s her problem, not ours. Do you understand
“Of course I do, but I just hate for things to get ugly with you and
your mother again after you worked so hard to come together again,” he
confessed squeezing her in his arms.
“In time she’ll see you as I do,” she hugged him tightly, “I have no
doubt about that. She’ll just take longer than most to get to
“I hope you’re right on that one,” he replied wondering if he’d ever be
able to prove to Dorothy that he wasn’t at all like the man he’d once
been. He just hoped one day she’d see how true his heart was
where Jenna was concerned. Though after what happened today, he
was starting to believe that was never going to happen.
Dorothy walked down the isle at the supermarket thinking about what
she’d witnessed between Beth and Hart. For Jenna to be so blind
about the womanizer she was with had her tied in knots. She’d
been half tempted to call Jenna and tell her what she saw, but she knew
that Jenna would refuse to believe what a dog Hart was until she saw it
for herself. Still that didn’t make things any easier for Dorothy
as she continued to fret over the position her daughter had put herself
in with the latest man in her life.
“Oh Jenna, why can’t you see you’re setting yourself up for
heartbreak,” Dorothy sighed as she reached for a head of lettuce only
to be met by another hand over hers.
“Oh I’m so sorry,” a voice explained as the hand fell back and Dorothy
looked up into a pair of familiar green eyes.
“Devante?” she questioned with a surprised gasp before a smile spread
over her lips, “Is that really you?”
“Dorothy,” he embraced her readily, “How are you?”
“I’ve been better, been worse,” she admitted with a bright smile before
giving him a once over, “but look at you. You look amazing.
How have you been?”
“Busy,” he admitted with a small sigh, “but I’m working on changing
that while I’m in town.”
“So you’re back in Coral Valley again, huh?” she questioned with
obvious interest while taking in the appearance of the man before
her. Dropping her gaze to his finger, she was pleased to discover
there wasn’t a ring on his hand, “Does Jenna know you’re in town?”
“I’ve only been here for a few hours actually,” he confessed with a
small smile, “and I’m not staying in town long. There’s a seminar
just a few blocks from here, so I’ll be around for a week or so…”
“And you were thinking you could just slip in and out of town without
letting any of us know that you were around,” she shook her head at him
before wiggling her finger at him, “Shame on you.”
“Well, you know I realize it’s been a while and,” he started clearing
“And Jenna would be highly upset if she knew that I ran into you and
didn’t insist upon your coming around for dinner while you were in
town. She and I were just talking about you the other day and I
had no idea that you’d be around,” Dorothy began an idea suddenly
formulating in the back of her mind.
“Really?” his eyes widened in surprise, “Well that’s quite a
coincidence as I’d been thinking about Jenna a bit lately as well.”
“Really?” she couldn’t help but smile eagerly, “then I suppose it’s a
good thing that we ran into one another tonight. I’m certain that
she would love to see you while you’re here. Say sometime this
week? Tomorrow night perhaps?”
“I actually have seminars all day tomorrow to go to,” he explained with
a slight frown, “but maybe later in the week. Here’s the number
to the hotel I’m staying at. You can have Jenna give me a call
“Oh believe me, I’ll be sure to do that,” she promised taking his
number and carefully putting it into her purse, “I know she’s going to
be overjoyed that you’re in town. Things just haven’t been the
same since you left for any of us.”
“I’ll admit it does feel a bit strange to be back,” he confessed
looking around the supermarket, “but then at the same time there’s no
place like home they say. I can now see why.”
“Well, in that case, we’ll have to see to it that you get back in check
with all the good things about being back home,” Dorothy assured him
thinking about how much her daughter and Devante had fallen into love
with one another once upon a time.
“Maybe you’re right,” he checked his watch, “but I really have to get
going since I was in the middle of something and…”
“And I’ll be sure to give Jenna your number,” she waved at him, “I’m
really happy to see you again.”
“Likewise. It’s always a pleasure Dorothy,” he leaned down to
kiss her on the cheek before taking a step back, “Tell the rest of the
family that I said hello.”
“I’ll do just that,” she assured him watching him leave to head on over
to the checkout as Dorothy suddenly knew exactly what she needed to do
to ensure that her daughter was free of that jerk she had herself tied
down to. Devante’s arrival in town was perfect timing and now,
well now it was only a matter of time before Dorothy helped Jenna come
to her senses again.
Cameron sighed walking back to the main doors after hearing the
“What do they want now?” he asked himself opening the door expecting
him to see JT and Valerie before him, but he was surprised who it
“Why hello Cameron,” Sarah smiled putting her hands on her hips seeing
“What are you doing at my house?” Cameron questioned seeing her smile
as Kyle and Diego came up from behind her.
“You mean what are we doing here?” Diego smiled seeing Cameron’s face
turn red with anger.
“Get off my property!” Cameron yelled seeing all of them shake their
“No can do,” Kyle shrugged with a grin.
“Excuse me,” people pushed through the group of people.
“What are you doing in my house?” Cameron wondered following them
before Kyle grabbed him by the shoulder.
“Well, in case you should know. Heather is not well enough to make
decisions for herself, so we are taking her to a place that can help
her help herself. And one more thing I am going to be the one taking
care of both Heather and the baby and you are not going to be going
near any of them,” Sarah declared seeing Cameron clench his fists.
“You bitch, what makes you think you can do all this? You’re going to
pay,” Cameron growled walking towards Sarah being pushed back by Kyle.
“You put a hand on her and I swear, I will kill you,” Kyle promised
glaring right through him.
“Get out of my way Houston,” Cameron warned him before pouncing at Kyle
as he was put in an arm lock.
“No, and I will kill you if you come close to Sarah,” Kyle promised
letting him go and pushing him forward.
“You three will pay for this,” Cameron declared pointing in their
“You’re right we will, but this is for Heather and not to get back at
you,” Diego confirmed folding his arms.
“Nothing you can do, can hurt my sister anymore,” Sarah nodded seeing
“You don’t know what you just got yourself into bitch,” Cameron smiled
cocking his head.
“Oh, but I think I do,” she nodded with a smile as Diego and Kyle
stepped next to her.