Episode 163

“We are by the water?” Deidra questioned watching Dean nod with a slight grin.

“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 sight.

“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 gracefully.

“Why, I would love to dance with you,” she nodded as he twirled her around.

“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 lightly.

“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 determination.
“May I help you,” a man questioned as he opened the door to Cameron’s house.
“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 in.”
“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 questioned wearily.
“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 lips.
“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 knew better…”
“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 upsetting Sami…”
“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 war.
“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 direction?”
“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 you’ve been?”
“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, tough.”
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 things…”
“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 towards her.
“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 through him. 

“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 computer.

“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 here…”

“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 table again.
“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 band.”
“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 the table.
“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 for you?”
“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 time.”

“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 small smile.
“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 tonight.”
“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 say?”
“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 bury next?”
“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 any trouble.”
“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 his mind.
“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 before him.
“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 Thea.”
“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 his brow.
“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 surprise you?”
“Immensely,” he confessed placing a quick kiss over the side of her neck.
“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…”
“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 me?”
“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 that point.”
“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 his throat.
“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 there…”
“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 doorbell ring.

“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 really was.

“Why hello Cameron,” Sarah smiled putting her hands on her hips seeing him scowl.

“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 heads.

“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 direction.

“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 Cameron scowl.

“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.

...to be continued...