Episode 170

Avery entered the courthouse thinking about the day ahead of her.  While she’d tried to maintain an air of professionalism about the situation, the truth to the matter was that she was more nervous than ever about what was going to take place today.  Today was the day she’d dreaded since this whole obnoxious trial had been in the making and as she looked to the empty rows before her, she just prayed that she would come through for Grady.
“Hey, you okay,” Brant questioned nudging her slightly as Avery offered up a quick nod.
“I’m fine,” she replied knowing that it was a blatant lie, but as she saw Grady being brought out into the courtroom escorted by a guard.  “I need to just stay focused right now.”
“If anyone can help him,” Brant motioned to Grady, “I know it’s you.”
“I hope you’re right on that,” Avery thought to herself before taking a step forward to approach Grady.  She’s hadn’t spoken with him as recently as she would have liked to, but now, well now she hoped that she could do her best to make him believe that she was the one who could pull him out of this.  She knew she had a fight on her hands with Carly, but this time she wouldn’t lose.  She couldn’t afford to.
“Avery,” Grady greeted her with a small smile despite the fact it was obvious that he was exhausted.  Immediately she reached out to him touching his arm gently.
“How are you holding up,” Avery questioned before shaking her head, “Stupid question.  You look terrible.  You haven’t been sleeping, have you?”
“Would you sleep in this place,” Grady threw out a pointed look.
“We’re going to put an end to this madness,” Avery promised him, offering up a simple squeeze on his arm before she noticed Jade approaching, “I’ll give you a minute.”
“Thanks,” Grady replied with a small smile before turning his attention to the woman he loved.
“Hey there,” Jade leaned forward to kiss him knowing full well that the guards might protest, but she didn’t care.  She missed Grady like crazy and in seeing him again, she felt as if she’d found some freedom for the first time in a long time.  Still as she noticed the expression on his face, she knew that this battle was a long way from over.
“I missed you,” Grady confessed with a low breath, “I’ve missed you so much.”
“I’ve missed you too, but I’m confident that we can find a way to get through this,” Jade promised him hearing the sounds of the doors opening.  She stiffened as she noticed Cameron entering the courtroom looking smug as ever.
“Hey, forget him,” Avery piped in knowing full well that Cameron’s presence in the courtroom today was for sheer intimidation purposes, “We can’t let him think he’s won.”
“Avery’s right,” Grady nodded in response reaching out to touch Jade’s cheek gently, “Cameron’s not going to beat us.  The truth will come out.”
“I know,” Jade replied in a feeble attempt to keep her fears from surfacing.
“All right,” the bailiff spoke, “for the honorable Judge Carmichael.”
“Here it goes,” Avery mouthed watching Jade take a step back before she looked to Grady, “Ready for this?”
“Do I have a choice,” Grady questioned nervously rubbing his palms together.
“We’re going to win this one,” Avery assured him before glancing over at the prosecutor’s table only to discover it empty.
“Please be seated,” Paula Carmichael started ready to address the court when she too took note of the discovery Avery had made.  Immediately her somber expression transformed to a full blown scowl as she turned to the bailiff, “Where the hell is the prosecution?”


“Where am I,” Ken slowly groaned out opening his eyes, his vision blurry.

“You’re in the hospital,” a person informed him as he looked over at them trying to clearly see who was next to him.

“What’s wrong? Why am I here?” Ken questioned trying to sit up as the person next to him tries to motion him to sit back down and he pushed their hands back.

“I’m your doctor,” the person got out as Ken rubbed the top of his head taking in a deep breathes. “You were in a car accident.”

“I was?” Ken looked up his vision still blurry.

“How are you feeling?” the doctor questioned as Ken half laughed, “That bad?”

“I am fine,” Ken insisted trying to stand up as he slightly fell back.

“You shouldn’t be doing that,” the doctor declared as Ken blew him off and stood up anyways wobbling before trying to stand up straight. “I don’t think you should be doing that.”

“Don’t think then,” Ken yelled blinking his eyes trying to see something in front of him, until a face appeared clearly across from him…everything else still blurry.

“Sir,” the doctor started before seeing the dazed look on Ken’s face. “Are you okay?”

“Caitlin?” Ken questioned recognizing the face of the person before him, “You came back for me.”

“What?” the doctor questioned a slight bit confused.

“Caitlin,” Ken said her name again trying to walk closer to her as he swayed back and forth.

“Sir?” the doctor questioned once more before Ken gasped seeing her face disappear. 

“Caitlin, no don’t leave me,” Ken whispered trying to call her back as his heartbeats became faster. “Take me with you.”

“Oh my,” the doctor sighed as Ken fell back and they caught him in their arms. “Are you okay?”

The doctor tried to wake him up, but he was out cold.


“Just a second,” sighed Seth standing up and walking to the corner of the room and answering his cell phone. “Hello?”

“Seth, it’s Ria. I have some bad news,” she sighed as worry overcame his mind thinking the worst.

“What? What’s wrong?” he questioned quickly as he heard the sigh escape from Ria’s mouth.

“It’s Ken,” she stated lightly making him raise his eyebrow in curiosity.

“What about Ken?” he questioned lightly before looking back at Blake.

“He was in a car accident,” she informed him as he shook his head.

“What? Is he okay?” Seth quickly questioned hearing her assuring voice start up again.

“He is fine, but he is unconscious right now,” she stated as he nodded.

“Alright, thanks,” he sighed before hanging up his phone and walking over to Blake. “Blake?”

“Yeah,” Blake half smiled looking up at him seeing his worried expression on his face. “What’s wrong?”

“Blake, it is Ken,” Seth started before she cut him off.

“What did he do now?” she questioned lightly before she stood up resting her hands on her waist.

“He was in a car accident,” he informed her as she gasped and looked away quickly.

“Oh my God.  Is he okay?” she questioned looking back up at him and seeing him nod. “We have to go see him. We have to make sure he isn‘t hurt.  That he hasn‘t done something stupid that…”

“Hey calm down, everything is going to be alright.  Ria said that he‘s okay, and I believe her,” Seth assured her as he started up again, “She just wanted us to know because she thought you might want to be there for him.  We can go see him, but she said that he‘s going to be alright, I made sure of that.”
“I’m not so sure about that Seth,” Blake replied thinking about her brother’s retreat from Caitlin’s memorial, “After what we saw at the church, I’m so afraid things will never be alright again with him.”


“Avery, can I talk to you?” Brant questioned seeing her motion to hold on a second while she finished up her conversation with Grady.  Things had been put on hold as they waited for Carly to arrive and she was doing her best to keep Grady calm under the circumstances.  Still Brant knew that what he had to say couldn‘t wait. “No, I really need to talk to you.”

“Okay fine.  Hold that thought Grady,” she suggested turning her attention to Brant before nodding unsure of what he was up to.  She leaned in towards Brant, “What is it?”

“I think we should take this elsewhere,” Brant motioned to the doors behind him.

“Brant, we’re in the middle of a trial here.  While the ADA doesn’t think it’s smart to be here on time, I’m not leaving my client,” she replied with a small glare, “Whatever you have to say, you can say it here.”

“Fine,” Brant frowned looking around the courtroom before dropping his voice to a muted whisper, “You know how Carly isn’t here?”

“Yeah, I think we‘ve all kind of realized it seeing as she‘s more than half an hour late here,” she nodded impatiently not knowing where he was getting at.

“Well, she was with Ken last night,” he started taking in a deep breath thinking about the news that had just been sent on his cell phone in a text message from Blake, “They were in a car accident together.”

“What? Is Ken okay?” Avery questioned with obvious concern as he nodded.  “How did this happen?  Does that mean that they’ve been hurt…that Ken…”

“They said he is okay, just unconscious right now,” Brant informed her as she shrugged.  “Blake’s message was rather vague, but as you can see it looked urgent.”

With that Brant handed his phone over to Avery for a moment’s inspection.  Finally she looked up to him with worried eyes.

“What about Carly?” she questioned seeing him shake his head.

“I‘m not sure, but I’m willing to guess that’s why she was not here. They really didn’t give too much information on her,” Brant stated rubbing his chin lightly.  “I suppose though that the judge should know about this.”

“Well duh,” Avery threw out a pointed look, “but still what are you going to do about Ken?  If he‘s at the hospital and he was in some kind of accident, surely you can‘t ignore the message.”

“I have no idea, but I know that I have to go see him,” Brant declared before she nodded.

“Of course you do.  Just let me even this out with the judge and pass the information along and I’ll go with you since obviously we‘re not going to have a trial without the prosecution here.  I can tag along with you to the hospital after that…to make sure he is okay,” Avery assured him as he rubbed the back of his neck.

“I’m sure this is nothing.  Ken‘s all about drama these days, but the fact that he‘s dragged Carly Matthews into it, well that doesn‘t say a lot about what‘s going on.  Somehow I have a feeling there‘s only a half story we‘re getting since they‘re both in the hospital,” Brant shrugged thinking of how stupid his brother must have been now.

“Carly,” Dave whispered to himself after hearing part of Brant and Avery’s conversation.  While he hadn‘t intentionally gone out of his way to pay attention to what they were saying, he‘d been worried himself about Carly and when she didn‘t show up, he knew that wasn‘t a good sign.  Quickly rising from where he sat, he silently excused himself from the courtroom ready to find out if there was something seriously wrong with his ex-lover.


The heat felt smothering as Angela leaned over her desk hitting on the old heater beside her.  The damn thing hadn’t worked in months, yet now for some unknown reason it was cranking out heat like she couldn’t believe.  Then again as she smacked the heater, she realized that it wasn’t really shooting out any kind of air.  More so the warmth in the room was coming from inside her head once again.
“Damn it,” she pushed away from her desk feeling another wave of nausea rush upon her.  As if she didn’t have enough to deal with at a time like this, she thought to herself.  Trying to regain her bearings, she leaned over the desktop breathing in slowly.
“You can do this,” she tried to coax herself into staying focused despite the crazy morning she’d had.  If every day had been like this one, then she might seriously consider a career change, she thought to herself trying to help her mind come up with a distraction, but instead her train of thoughts were brought to an end by a tapping on her door.

“Come on in,” Angela spoke out to the person on the other side of the door.
“Doctor,” the woman before her began desperately, “you must come with me…”
“What’s wrong,” Angela questioned sensing the nervousness behind the woman’s tone.
“There’s been an accident…there’s a man…he’s….” the woman began desperately, “Please come and see.”
“Alright,” Angela nodded reaching for her jacket, but then stopping short after she thought of the heat that had been smothering her all morning.  “Give me a second.”
“Come quick,” the woman commanded desperately.
“Doctor, I tried to explain that you were busy in here, but…” Angela’s assistant offered up once she’d reached the office.
“It’s alright,” Angela nodded in complete understanding.  She grabbed her medical bag before turning to her assistant, “I’ll be back in a little while, but for now get a room prepared just in case.”
“But what about your patient?  About…” her assistant began again.
“I’ll tend to him when I return.  You said it yourself that there haven’t been any changes in his condition,” Angela reminded her thinking about the coma patient she’d been tending to over the last few months.  It was bad enough that she’d had Cameron trying to push himself into her life when she simply wasn’t interested in dealing with that.  However, she wasn’t about to turn her patient away.  She had so much going on--so many things happening with her research, yet when she’d been faced with a comatose patient, she knew she had to do her best.  She’d thought that maybe just maybe today was the day for things to change, but alas the situation was the same--that was until her latest arrival.  That certainly changed the situation for the day.
“Page me if anything happens,” Angela explained seriously hoping that maybe this was a sign of things to come.
“And if Mr. Stone happens to come sniffing around again,” her assistant questioned wearily.
“Tell him that I left the country,” Angela scowled shuddering at the thought of Cameron.  If he found her--especially now, well she knew she’d be in for it.  She’d done so very well at avoiding him thus far, but she knew that sooner or later her luck would run out.  He knew full well where she’d be working, but she wasn’t about to sit back and have him baby-sit her when she had a life.  She had things happening that she didn’t want anyone to know about--especially not Cameron.
“Come quick,” the village woman began again with a low whimper.
“I’m ready,” Angela nodded in response pushing her thoughts of Cameron aside, “let’s go.”
Following the woman out of her small medical offices, Angela was taken by foot over the lush, foliage of the small island feeling the breeze from the water crash over her body.  Okay, so she’d thought that being stuck in the office was bad, but this was most certainly worse even though she’d taken to loving the water lately.
“This way,” the woman continued racing down the beach at a pace that Angela was certain she couldn’t keep up with.  Still she’d managed to leap ahead coming in close behind the woman.
Once Angela noticed the woman slowing down, she spotted where the woman was looking.  There on the beach lay a man face down in the sand.  His clothing was tattered and darkened by something Angela couldn’t quite place.  It didn’t matter though, she reminded herself before racing over to the water, hoping that the man before her wasn’t dead.  This wouldn’t be the first time someone drifted to the shore like this--abused by the sun, dehydrated and torn to pieces.  More often than not, she’d encountered the unsavory types who’d come to this place in the hopes of escaping a life that they’d left behind.  They’d been ruthless, manipulative criminals seeking an out, but given what she’d seen with this man’s appearance she had to question her thoughts a bit.
“Is he dead…” the woman beside her asked while Angela knelt into the sand beside the man.
“I’m not sure,” Angela replied gently reaching out to touch his sand darkened shoulder.  She felt the side of his neck seeking out a pulse and as she found one, she let out a breath of relief.  “He’s alive.”
The woman beside her started to say a few prayers in Spanish as Angela gently coaxed the new arrival over onto his back.  Immediately her eyes drifted over his handsome features that had been scraped by the brutality the waters had inflicted upon him.  She leaned in closer to him realizing that he wasn’t breathing.
“You’re not leaving me,” Angela replied taking a step towards saving him by administering mouth to mouth.  He was unresponsive at first, but then after a grueling few minutes, he started to choke up water.  Instinctively, she turned him on his side letting him cough it out before he fell onto his back again.
His wild, frightened eyes opened and Angela tried to take a better look at him.  His jaw dropped as if he had something to say to her--to reveal to her, but only muted, barely there whispers came out.
“What’s your name,” Angela questioned reaching out to touch the side of his face as it appeared that he was slipping in and out of consciousness.  “Talk to me…”
He blinked back at her once, twice, three times before he spoke in a pinched whisper, “She can’t get away with this.  She can’t…” he trailed off slipping back into unconsciousness as Angela reached out to him hoping to save him from whatever fate it was that the water had tried to seal upon him.
“Don’t think you’re leaving me.  Not today,” Angela spoke to her latest patient all the while realizing that the island had become a suddenly smaller place.
“What will become of him?” the woman questioned with obvious worry, “Should I go get Kevin to bring the Jeep?”
“Yes Marta, that would be a good idea,” Angela nodded reaching into her medical bag to check this stranger’s vitals. 
“Okay,” Marta nodded in agreement racing to her small house that was not far from the spot where this mystery man lay.
Reaching out to push his hair from his face Angela thought about those bewitching eyes that had spoken to her seconds earlier.  There was something about this man--something that could quite easily compromise her project, but she couldn’t turn him away because of it.  She needed to help him.  Granted she knew full well that trusting someone had lead to trouble in the past as she’d leaned the hard way before.  She was still paying for that mistake even now, but with this man--well, he wasn’t someone to change her life.  He was just someone who needed her help.  He needed someone to bring him back to what he was and in that moment as Angela took a close look at him, she realized that she would do what she set out to do when she’d taken her medical oath so very long ago.  She would be a doctor first, the rest would come later. 

The project could wait--even if Cameron had a problem with it.  Of course, that was easier said than done, Angela realized with a slight frown.  Cameron would be furious for her bringing someone on the island.  He’d try to find her--he’d learn her horrible secret and she’d lose her freedom, but it was a risk she had to take if it meant she would save this one man before her.  It was something she had to do.


“I can’t believe this,” Cameron hissed hitting the wall with his palm roughly.

“I know,” Susan nodded rolling her eyes, “I don’t know what that girl is trying to do.”

“Well, she delayed this trial making Grady get an extra chance.  I thought that we were working on securing his position behind bars Susan,” he growled biting on his bottom lip. 

“He has no chance when you are running up against him in all odds.  I‘m telling you regardless of what the ADA is up to right about now, she‘s not going to effect the outcome,” Susan pointed out seeing him shake his head.

“I don’t care,” he started pointing at her, “I want to know where this girl is right now. I want to know everything about this Carly Matthews.  I don‘t want to take any chances with this Susan.  This has to work in our favor and I don‘t want her becoming a wild card.”

“She won‘t be.  Like everyone else, she‘s got a price and we‘ll find it sooner or later,” she smiled seeing him nod.

“Of course we will and I want you to go do it for me,” Cameron smiled as she raised her eyebrow curiously, “You are going to go have a little chat with her.”

“I am?” she questioned bluntly seeing him nod.

“Yes you,” he smiled, “You better make it good too.”

“Well let’s just say she and I have had our own little introduction already,” Susan thought back to her confrontation with Carly, a sneer spreading over her face, “She and I have common interests.”
“So then it won’t be hard to expand upon them with her,” Cameron noted eyeing her intently.

“It might be a challenge, but I might be up for it,” she decided licking her lips at the possibility of going one on one with Carly and finding a way to manipulate her.

“I won’t only find out about her,” Susan informed him with a slight grin, “I will convince her how much of a bad guy he really is.”

“That’s a good girl,” he winked before seeing her smile, “Now go to work.”

“Will do,” she winked before he rubbed his hands together proudly.

“Grady stands no chance against me,” he smiled devilishly before putting his hands in his pockets.

“Isn’t that the truth.  If that son of a bitch hadn‘t screwed me over with his little game before, I might almost feel sorry for him,” Susan laughed before he motioned her to leave.

“Save your pity for another time Susan.  You have work to do,“ He waved her on once again before smiling to himself, “Grady will go to jail if it is the last thing I do.”


“Grady,” Kyle called catching up to Grady as Grady smiled.

“Hey man,” Grady smiled before rubbing his hands together lightly slightly worried. “Thanks for getting here today.”

“It’s no problem, I’ll be here for you every day if I have to in order to show that jury that you‘re innocent,” Kyle assured him before starting up again, “Listen, you are not going to go to jail.”

“How am I not? I have nothing to help me here.  I know Avery‘s trying, but if today is any indication of what‘s ahead, I have to admit I can‘t help but feel a bit concerned about how this is going to turn out,” Grady half laughed before Kyle put his hand on his arm.

“I have a lead okay? I am going to get you out of this,” Kyle promised him as Grady half smiled.

“Well, what exactly is this lead?” Grady questioned seeing Kyle bite down on his lip and rub the back of his neck.

“I can’t say at this moment,” Kyle stated glancing over Cameron who was in the back of the room glaring at them.

“Does it have something to do with him?” Grady wondered seeing him nod.

“Kind of,” Kyle started with a slight shrug, “All I can say, is I am going to bust you out of here if it is the last thing I do.”

“I trust you man,” Grady sighed patting Kyle on the back, “Just don’t let me down.  Jade‘s counting on this turning out in our favor somehow.”

“I won’t, believe me I won’t,” Kyle declared, “I am not going to stop until I know you are going to get out of here.”

“Alright, just don’t over do it,” Grady sighed looking away.

“I’ll do what it takes and I have to go right now, but I will see you soon okay?” Kyle questioned seeing Grady nod.

“See you man,” Grady shook his hand before Kyle started to walk away. “Kyle.”

Kyle turned around real quick to see what he needed as Grady spoke up again, “Thanks.”


Dave rushed down the hallway quickly making his way to Carly’s room in a panic.  While he’d been informed that she’d been brought in, he hadn’t been able to get in anything more than a general area where she was at.  After a few questions, he managed to get enough information to send him in the right direction.  Now as he stood outside Carly’s door, he just prayed that he hadn’t wasted an opportunity to make things right with them.  He thought back to their last conversation and he just hoped he’d get a second chance to fix things.
“Carly,” Dave spoke her name finding her fidgeting on the hospital bed despite the fact that a nurse was arguing with her about staying still.
“You have to relax, Ms. Matthews,” the nurse informed her with a distinct scowl.
“I’m not going to relax.  I have to call my office and let them know that,” Carly spotted Dave out of the corner of her eye, “Oh Dave, thank God.  You have to convince them to let me out of here considering that I was supposed to be in trial this morning, but things were kind of complicated and…”
“And you’re okay,” Dave couldn’t help but smile letting out a breath of relief as he approached her.
“Of course I’m okay,” Carly replied with a quick nod waving her hand in the nurse’s face to try to get her to leave her alone, “but I’m not going to be when Judge Carmichael has my ass for not being at the courthouse today.”
“Ms. Matthews,” the nurse snapped impatiently before Dave waved at her dismissively.
“I’ll have a few words with her,” Dave promised flashing the nurse a small smile, “I’ll calm her down for you, but just give us a few minutes.”
“Fine, but your doctor isn’t going to be happy,” the nurse huffed impatiently.
“Neither is my boss, but there isn’t anything we can do to change that, now can we?” Carly glared at the petite woman before she left to give Carly and Dave some privacy.
Shaking his head at her, Dave finally found the words to speak up at long last, “What were you thinking?”
“Hey, she was yipping at me from the moment she arrived Dave--telling me what I could and couldn’t do and can you believe that she wouldn’t let me make a phone call?  One friggin’ phone call to save my career and you’d think that I’d asked them to donate a spleen or something,” she ranted, anger burning behind her dark eyes as if she was oblivious to the cuts and scrapes that tarnished her otherwise flawless features.
“Carly, look at you,” Dave motioned to the bandage that wrapped up her arm, “Do you have any idea how lucky you are?”
“You call this lucky,” she hissed up at him, “Dave, I had to be in court today to begin trial on one of the biggest cases of my career and these idiots wouldn’t let me check myself out.  I tried to talk reason with them, but it just wasn’t happening.  Hell, after the morning I’ve had, I’m about ready to take up smoking again.”
“Carly,” Dave touched her shoulders firmly, bringing her complaints to a stop, “You and Ken just went through a shop window.  His car was totaled and from what I’ve seen of the accident report, you’re lucky to be alive right now.”
“I realize that,” Carly nodded in response before offering up a simple smile, “I started wearing my seatbelt like you always told me to do.  Beyond that, well this looks worse than it is.  They thought I had a concussion last night, but I think that was just their way of keeping me cooped up in here longer so that the defense could get more time to prepare for what was going on today…”
“Carly, stop,” Dave warned her, watching her eyes fill with something foreign to what she was saying, “You don’t have to pretend with me.  I know that this has you shaken up.  I just don’t understand what you would be doing in the car with Ken knowing that his blood alcohol level was through the roof.”
“Dave, it wasn’t like that,” Carly started wanting to find a way to make this situation less abrasive than it had become, “Ken was trying to help and…”
“Help?” Dave repeated in a pinched voice, “Carly, he drove straight through his ice-cream shop.  I don’t think that was helping anything.”
“Well, at least the owner won’t be suing him for property damages considering that it was his own…” she started seeing he found no humor in her attempt at keeping things light.  “Look Dave, I’m fine.  It’s okay.”
“No, Carly it’s not okay damn it.  Do you have any idea how bad this could’ve turned out?  Do you know how this could’ve gone?  What could’ve happened,” Dave’s voice rose with obvious emotion, “Carly, I could’ve lost you last night.”
“Dave, I…” she stopped herself taking in his words, “You what?”
“I said ‘I could’ve lost you‘,” he repeated feeling as if he’d had the wind knocked out of him at the thought of what her accident could’ve meant to his future, “Carly, why would you do something so stupid?”
“Ken was in trouble Dave.  It all happened so fast and,” she stopped herself contemplating his words, “Would it have really mattered if things would’ve turned out differently?”
“How can you even ask that,” he frowned down at her, “Carly, given what we had together--what I felt about you, how can you even think that it wouldn’t matter if you were hurt?”
“Dave, I just…” she started feeling herself shaken by the moment happening between them.  Seeing the expression on his face, she found herself at a loss.
“Carly, I can’t believe that you could even think that I wouldn’t care if you were gone,” he sat down on the hospital bed along side of her.  Unable to help himself, he eases his fingers against her cheek, watching the way she trembled against his touch, “Carly you and I shared a life together.  We had a love that was so special to me.  What we had…no,” he shook his head, clearing his throat as he drew in a breath, “what we have is something I can’t bear to let slip away again.  When I told you the other day that I didn’t want you here…that I didn’t want you back in town, I only said that because I wanted to hurt you like you’d hurt me when you left.  I wanted you to feel the way I did when I thought you didn’t care about me.”
“Dave, it wasn’t about my not caring,” Carly insisted unable to hide her tears a moment longer, “I wanted to be with you--to spend the rest of my life with you, but I made a stupid mistake.  I never should’ve left.”
“I never should’ve let you go,” Dave replied in an impassioned tone, “I still can’t let you go.”
“Dave,” Carly spoke his name, her heart racing in her chest at the nearness of him.
“Carly, I love you,” Dave revealed, unable to hold back on what had been buried inside his heart from the moment she’d walked out of his life.
“You do,” she replied with tear stained lashes, “You mean that?”
“Of course I mean that Carly,” Dave explained wiping at her tears as they fell from her face, “There hasn’t been a time since you’ve left that I haven’t thought about us picking up where we left off.  There hasn’t been a moment when I haven’t wondered about what it would’ve been like if we’d stayed together--if somehow we could’ve worked it out…”
“Dave, I’m so sorry.  I’m so sorry for everything that I put you through,” she started to apologize only to feel him press his finger over the center of her lips to silence her.
“I’m the one who should apologize,” Dave insisted, “because I never should’ve made you feel that leaving was a better option--that you weren’t my top priority.  Carly, I’ve spent all these years burying myself in my career--in isolating myself from everyone and anyone I’ve ever loved, but I don’t want to make that mistake anymore.  I don’t want to do it in my personal life and most of all I don’t want to do it with you.”
“Dave there are so many things that…” she started again only to feel her words come to an abrupt ending with the soft press of his lips against hers.  While she’d thought about this moment--imagined what it would be like to have Dave close to her again, she never in a million years would’ve thought that they’d be sharing a moment like this--that he’d ever confess that he still loved her, but now as their kiss continued, she was starting to believe that there was a place for second chances in their life.
“Dave,” she spoke his name as they parted, her dark eyes reaching down into his.
“I’ve missed you so much Carly,” he confessed from his heart, wanting nothing more than to take her into his arms and hold her from there on out.
“I’ve missed you too,” she replied leaning into him, “more than you can even begin to imagine.  I know we made mistakes, but…”
“But it’s in the past,” Dave cut her off abruptly pulling her into his arms, “It’s over now and I don’t want to look back.  I only want to look forward and say a thanks that last night Ken didn’t find a way to take you away from me forever.”
“Ken didn’t mean for this.  He didn’t mean for any of this,” Carly replied unable to refrain from savoring the strong hold he had on her.  However, the moment was bittersweet for her as she thought about the turn of events that had lead up to this moment in time.  No, she and Ken hadn’t meant for any of this to happen, but now that it did, she wondered if she and Dave could ever truly be happy together after what she’d done.  Somehow as good as this reunion felt between them, deep in her heart she feared that it may be too good to be true.


“Angie, what are you doing,” Kevin Adonis questioned watching her tend to her latest find on the beach.
“My job and if you’re just going to sit there and question me, then you can leave,” Angela frowned giving Kevin a firm look from over her shoulder.  She finished up with the IV line she’d worked up for the mystery man who‘d washed up on the beach before she gave him one last worried look.
“Are you sure taking him in like this is such a good idea,” Kevin questioned blankly giving the man before him a long once over.
“Kevin, you know as well as I do if I didn’t bring him back here, then he wouldn’t make it through the night,” she explained turning her attention to Kevin before scooting him out of the private room she’d set this latest arrival up in.
“Yes, I realize that and I understand why you’re doing it, but Angie if Cameron finds out that…” Kevin started to warn her, a crease in his brow as he folded his oversized arms in front of his chest.
“What Cam doesn’t know won’t hurt him,” Angela reminded him with a pleading expression, “Besides it wouldn’t be the first time he didn’t know what was going on here.  Kevin, when I agreed not to run away, you promised me that you’d make sure that you didn’t tell Cameron anything that I didn’t want him to know.”

“I realize that Angie, but you’re asking me to keep some pretty big secrets from him,” he threw out a pointed look before shaking his head at her, “Angie, you can’t hide this situation from him forever.”
“Of course I can,” she argued closing the door behind her as they walked out into the hallway, “Cameron doesn’t need to know about the bad choice I made before and this, well this doesn’t apply to him.”
“You’re bringing someone else into this place--into the lab and…” Kevin reminded her.
“And I’m doing what I went to medical school to do.  I’m helping this man and if Cameron has a problem with it, then he’s going to have to get over it.  I’m not turning him away,” Angela cut back sharply.
“Fine, but when he hears about this--and he will because he always does, I knew nothing about this,” Kevin decided with a look of heavy disapproval.
“Look Kevin, he pays you to keep an eye on me.  You’ve more than done your job lately since I haven’t been able to get more than five feet out of your sight without you chasing after me,” Angela hissed in response, obvious irritation in her tone.
“Gee, when you put it that way Angie, you make me sound like I’m so welcome in your life,” he rolled his eyes at her comment, “I thought that we were friends…”
“We are friends,” she sighed bringing her fingers through her hair, “You know you’re the only one of these idiots that I actually enjoy having around…”
“Idiots huh?” Kevin arched a curious brow, “Is that how I rate in your book?”
“No, Kevin.  It’s just that I mean…that I…” she stopped herself realizing that nothing she said or did tonight would get her out of the hole she was digging herself into, “It’s just that lately with everything that’s been going on, well, I just don’t want to worry about Cameron.  I don’t want him trying to hunt me down and make me miserable over this…”
“I understand that Angie, which is why I promised you that your secret is safe with me,” he softened taking a step towards her, “though I really wish you would’ve told me who this creep was that broke your heart so that I could go find him and break his face.”
“He’s not important,” she sighed overcome with exhaustion, “what is important however is that Cameron never knows about this--about any of this…”
“I still don’t like the idea of hiding things from him,” Kevin frowned once more, “Given the way he reacts to things…”
“That’s especially why he can’t ever know about what I’ve done.  I can’t let him find out that I was stupid enough to get myself wrapped up in a situation over my head,” Angela pleaded with him, “Kevin, you can’t tell him a thing.  If he calls you, then you have to…”
“Yes, I know the drill, but that doesn’t mean I have to be comfortable with it,” he sighed down at her.
“I realize that Kevin,” she reached out to pat his arm gently, “but at the same time I hope you know how much this means to me.”
“I do,” he nodded with understanding behind his dark eyes, “Still  I think you’re going about this all wrong.”
“Maybe I am, but it’s my problem.  I’ll deal with it the way I have to and if that means without Cameron’s interference, then so be it,” Angela declared turning her attention to the door she’d just exited.  “On that note, I think I’m going to go check in on him again and make sure that he’s okay.”
“I don’t see him waking up anytime soon Angie,” Kevin replied thinking about the man they’d brought back to the private facility that she worked at.
“Even so, I just think I’d feel better if I kept an eye on him tonight,” she explained with a small smile, “You’re more than welcome to join me and we can play cards or something if you really think that I’m going to get into some kind of trouble.  Of course if you do that, then you’d have to cancel that hot date of yours and…”
“And you’re totally manipulating the situation,” he wiggled his finger at her, “I know your game Angie.”
“Even so, how much trouble can I get into with him tonight?” she pointed out looking at Kevin expectantly, “He’s unconscious.  I don’t see him being much of a threat or a problem.”
“You know that I’m not supposed to leave you alone…” Kevin started.
“But then again, when was the last time you had a date?  I mean a real, honest to goodness date,” she teased with a wicked smirk, “And you know, after the exchange you two had at the market, I could feel definite sparkage happening there.”
“And you’re just trying to get rid of me,” he folded his arms in front of his chest again.
“Fine, don’t go then,” she shrugged her shoulders, “but if true love passes you by because you were babysitting me, then don’t come back and blame it on me…”
“You know Cameron’s going to kill me,” Kevin frowned at the thought of what Cameron would say to his going out on a date instead of keeping an eye on Angela.
“Cameron won’t ever know.  You have my word on that,” she promised with a wink before turning to the room, “and don’t worry I won’t wait up.  I’ll just get details in the morning.”
“You’re far more trouble than you’re worth Angie,” Kevin shook his head at her.
“Yes, but you love me anyways,” she blew a kiss in his general direction, “Now go and have yourself a good time.  It’s long past due that you got some action.”
“Yeah, well I’ll keep that in mind as I’m worrying about you and your situation,” he replied watching her cringe at his words.  “Look Angie, I didn’t mean anything by that other than…”
“I got what you meant Kevin.  Now go before you’re stuck playing go fish all night,” she waved him on dismissively before entering the room to see her mystery arrival again.  Carefully closing the door behind her, she just looked at him seeing the lines in his sun weathered face. 
“Who are you,” she questioned reaching out to push a piece of his dark hair from his eyes. There was something about this man--something that had her more curious than ever about where he’d come from.  Unlike the men she’d encountered in the past, he had a certain handsomeness to him unlike the hard, coldness she’d often experienced in her line of work. 
“So tell me, what brought you here,” she questioned leaning back in the chair she’d placed beside his bed.  As she sat in silence, she started thinking about what it was that could’ve lead him to this island--to this place.  Her mind was reeling with possibilities.  This man was different--lost somehow and as she settled into her seat beside him, she wondered what stories he would have to tell when he woke up again.  While he hadn’t said much more than a few words on the beach, Angela was sure that whatever it was he had to say would be nothing short of incredible.

“What were you thinking Ken,” Brant snapped at his brother unsure how the hell Ken had gone from having been the strong, solid foundation in the Ashford family to becoming the mess that lay before him, “How could you do something like this?”
“Don’t lecture me on what I’ve done,” Ken glared up at him from where he sat, “because it’s nothing in comparison to your exploits!”
“I’ve never gotten behind the wheel of a car when I was blasted out of my mind.  Do you have any idea how many people you could’ve hurt with what you’ve done?” Brant shouted back at him, shaking his head with heavy disapproval, “You could’ve killed someone--maybe even yourself.”
“Would that have been such a loss?” Ken shrugged his shoulders blowing off his brother’s words.
“Ken, what is your problem?” Brant marched in towards him, “Are you so ready to kiss it all away now that Caitlin’s gone that you’re going to turn into this?”
“Don’t lecture me Brant,” Ken sneered in response, “I don’t need to hear this--especially not from you.  I don‘t want to hear it…”
“Too damn bad Ken,” Brant argued with him, “Someone has to talk some sense into you and if you’re not going to listen to anyone else, then you’re going to have to hear it from me.  Ken, you’re making a mistake.  A huge one and if you continue to keep on doing this…”
“What does it matter Brant?” Ken questioned bluntly, “I shouldn’t even be here right now, but for some twisted reason fate keeps screwing with me.  This should’ve done me in, but no instead God keeps me around to punish me.”
“Ken, would you snap out of it long enough to see what it is you’re doing?  Not only did you fly out of Caitlin’s memorial like a lunatic, but you almost killed Carly Matthews in your quest to bury yourself.  Were you looking to destroy her too?”
“Carly,” Ken repeated blinking back for a moment, seemingly sobering up at the mention of her name, “How is she?”
“Last I heard she’ll survive, but honestly what were you thinking?  Do you have any idea how bad this is?  Any notion about what could happen now?”
“Look, I made a mistake Brant, but at the time…” Ken began feeling a throbbing in his temple.
“At the time it was irrelevant because you’re set on destroying yourself.  You’re so blinded by your grief that you’re only making things worse.  Ken, this isn’t what Caitlin would’ve wanted.  She wouldn’t have liked this new you that is emerging…”
“Don’t stand there and presume you even had the first clue what Caitlin would’ve wanted,” Ken snarled up at him, “Given how horrible  you were to her, you’re the last person to talk about…”
“Ken, I may have been an ass, but my God this takes the cake.  I don’t know what it is you’re trying to accomplish, but after this, well, not only could it have killed you on a personal level, but professionally…” Brant shook his head at him, “This is exactly the kind of bait that men like Cameron have been waiting for you to take…”
“And of course this goes back to you and how this effects you, doesn’t it?” Ken hissed in response, “You don’t care that I almost died.  You don’t care what I’m going through, but rather you’re afraid of what this will do to our image--to the glorified Ashford name…”
“That’s not what this is about Ken.  This is about trying to save my brother from making the biggest mistake of his life,” Brant explained desperately, “Ken, I love you and I hate to see you like this.”
“I’m sure you do,” Ken rolled his eyes, “I mean let’s be honest Brant.  When it gets down to it, I’m sure you’re loving this.  I’m sure you’re enjoying every single second of my misery because it brings you one step closer to feeling superior.”
“No, Ken, that’s not what this is about at all,” Brant threw his hands up in the air, “If you’re not going to listen to reason for me, then at least try to think about Blake.  What do you think she would’ve felt knowing that you’d died last night?  How do you think it would’ve effected her to lose you on top of everything else?”
“Brant don’t even…” Ken warned.
“Ken, Caitlin was her best friend.  She loved her too and she loves you.  It was bad enough that she had to go through this with mom and then with our father, but for you to leave too…  Ken, she’s worries sick about you out there.  You have no idea how hard this was on her when she got the call about what happened…” Brant snapped at him, feeling his voice rise with emotion, “Ken, you are one of the only people in this world that Blake can turn to and for you to do something like this…”

“Brant, I don’t want to hear it,” Ken tried to further dismiss his brother’s words, but as the door to his hospital room opened and Blake stepped inside, he knew there would be no more ignoring them.
“Ken, how could this happen,” Blake questioned unable to refrain from crying.  She rushed over to his bed, her blue eyes clouded with tears, “Ken, when I thought I could’ve lost you…”
Before Ken could respond, Blake threw her arms around him hugging him desperately.  All Ken could do was hug her back as his gaze locked with Brant’s.
“You scared the life out of me and when I got the call…I was so afraid that you were gone too,” Blake sobbed harder unable to release her hold on her brother.
“Blake, it’s okay,” Ken tried to soothe her despite his own pain, “I’m going to be fine.  Everything is going to be okay.”
“No, it’s not.  It’s not okay Ken.  I should’ve been there for you.  I should’ve tried to help you more than I’ve been doing lately instead of being so damned selfish…” she argued with him, “If I would’ve thought about what it was you were going through, then…”

“Blake, honey this wasn’t your fault.  This isn’t anyone’s fault, but my own,” Ken replied hating to see the pain behind her eyes, “Last night I was stupid and I never, ever should’ve did what I did.  I didn’t mean to hurt you or Carly or anyone else for that matter.  If I could take it back…”
“It’s a little too late for that Ashford,” Patrick announced entering the room with a pompous air about him.
“I tried to stop him from coming inside,” Avery explained rushing in behind Patrick, but it was too late.
“What’s going on here?” Brant questioned stepping away from his brother’s bedside.  “What is this about?”
“This is about his little joyride last night,” Patrick’s jaw clenched with each biting word he made.  His glare fell directly on Ken before he delivered his last final blow, “Kenneth Ashford, you’re under arrest.”

“No,” Blake gasped in horror, “he’s not under arrest.  This must be some kind of mistake…some kind of…”

“It’s no mistake,” Patrick remarked simply, “I have direct orders from the chief to take him down.”

“The chief you say,” Ken repeated with a snarl, “Gee, now why doesn’t this surprise me?  So where is good old Dave?  Too chicken to come down here and tell me the news himself?”

“Don’t say another word Ken,” Brant warned him sharply, “I’ll call Hart and…”

“And nothing,” Ken shook his head defiantly, “You can go tell your boss that I’m not going anywhere.  I haven’t done anything wrong.”

“Not in the eyes of the law,” Patrick assured him with a smirk, “That was a big mistake in doing what you did last night.”

“We’ll fix this Ken,” Blake promised him fearing the worst as Patrick grabbed Ken roughly before slapping handcuffs on him.

“This isn’t about the accident,” Ken replied coldly thinking about his long time rivalry with his friend.  Suddenly things were starting to make sense.  First Brant’s intervention and now this.  This had to be the result of Dave’s jealously.  This was about Carly--nothing more than that.

“Not another word Ken,” Brant urged him again pulling out his cell phone.

“Come on Ashford,” Patrick shoved him towards the door, “You and I have a meeting downtown.”

“That we do,” Ken replied with a sneer realizing that if it was a fight Dave wanted, a fight he’d get.  That much Ken was sure of.


...to be continued...