Episode 171

Dave entered the police station knowing that all hell was about to break loose after the news he’d just received.  Lieutenant Sharpe had brought Ken into custody and there was nothing that Dave could do to change that.  Still knowing that his best friend had found himself in a predicament, Dave had reluctantly said his good-byes to Carly and made his way down to the station to check in on Ken.  He arrived just in time to find Ken in booking.
“Let me take it from here,” Dave decided sidestepping the officer with Ken, “I can handle it.”
“Chief, I’m sure that…” the officer began with a confused expression.
“I said I can handle it,” Dave replied shooing his officer before taking Ken straight down to his office, “You and I have to have a talk.”
“Look Dave…” Ken started feeling Dave shove him inside the office before slamming the door behind them.
“Do you have any idea what you could’ve done last night?” Dave’s voice roared with obvious anger, “How could you do that to Carly?  What the hell were you thinking?”
“Could you keep it down,” Ken groaned flopping down into the chair across from Dave’s desk, “My head is throbbing.”
“You’re lucky that’s all that’s bothering you Ken at the moment Ken because it‘s about to get worse.  You‘re in a whole world of trouble,” Dave continued to lay into him, “How could you put Carly into a situation like that?  Have you seen her?”
“Brant said she was fine,” Ken answered bringing his cuffed hands up to his head, “He said that…”
“Forget what he said,” Dave snapped in response, “You could’ve killed her with that stupid stunt of yours!”
“I told her not to come down to find me,” Ken groaned leaning over to the side, “She shouldn’t have gotten into that car with me.”
“No, she shouldn’t have, but something tells me that she was trying to help you,” Dave shook his head at Ken, trying to contain the anger that settled in over the pit of his stomach, “Do you have any idea how much it kills me to see this happening?”
“Look Dave, I never meant for…” Ken began with a groan.
“No, I’m sure that you didn’t Ken, but you did and you could’ve killed yourself and Carly in the process,” Dave marched towards him, reaching for another seat before plopping down in front of him, “Your blood alcohol was twice the legal limit last night Ken.  Twice the limit!”
“I didn’t plan on driving home, but things got out of hand…” Ken insisted clenching his head once again.
“You’re damn right they got out of hand.  Do you have any idea what kind of mess you’ve gotten yourself into?  You could’ve killed someone last night.  You could’ve…” Dave snapped before stopping himself and taking in a slow breath, “Ken, I know you’re hurting right now over what happened with Caitlin, but with this…”
“Look, Dave I don’t care what happens,” Ken replied rising his head up to meet his friend’s gaze, “I never intended to hurt Carly.  That wasn’t something I was planning on.  None of this was something I planned on…”
“But it’s a reality you’ve put yourself into Ken,” Dave shook his head, “and I can’t fix this one.  I can’t pretend that it didn’t happen.  Look man I know that you’re hurting because you lost Caitlin, but this…Ken, my hands are tied.”
“Of course they are,” Ken spat back at him, his mood suddenly darkening, “because the truth to the matter is that you’re secretly enjoying this one.”
“What?” Dave blinked back in confusion.
“Oh admit it Dave,” Ken laughed sarcastically, “You’ve been waiting your whole life to be one up on me.  You’ve prided yourself on trying to be the better man, but time and time again you’ve fallen short.  You just couldn’t cut it and now, well now you get to wave your power around and take me down in the process.”
“Ken, this isn’t about taking you down.  This is about the situation you put yourself into when you hopped behind the wheel of your car drunk…” Dave sighed heavily.
“No, that’s not all this is about.  If you wanted to, you could’ve found a way to fix what’s happened here, but this, well this runs deeper than that,” Ken’s eyes darkened with a hollow expression, “This goes way back, doesn’t it?”
“Ken, you’re not listening to what I’m telling you…” Dave began in frustration.
“Oh yes, I’m listening to what you’re saying, but it’s not what you’re thinking, is it?  The only reason you have me down here right now isn’t because of what I did.  It’s not because of the accident, but more so because of what’s happened in the past.  It’s about your being second best…about your always being second best,” Ken chuckled as if he was the only one clued into some inside joke that no one else was hearing.
“Ken, you need to sober up,” Dave frowned down at him, realizing that being in the hospital still hadn’t done anything to clear Ken’s head.  “I hate to have to lock you up, but you’ve given me no choice considering that…”
“That you couldn’t cut it with Deidra,” Ken grinned, leaning back in his chair as Dave tried to end their conversation, “and I’m guessing that once again she turned you away, didn’t she?”
“Ken, just stop,” Dave warned him sharply, “I think it’s time for you to sober up.”
“Oh, I’m working on it, just like I was working on it that night that Deidra and I made love for the first time,” Ken smiled wickedly watching as he’d struck a nerve in his best friend, “Oh she was hot Dave.  Everything you’d thought she’d be and more.  Did you know she even talked about you after we‘d done the deed?  That she was so worried that you’d be upset with what we’d done with one another.  Of course it only lasted a few minutes before I had her again…” Ken paused, the corners of his lips turning in a twisted smirk, “and don’t even get me started in on how incredible Carly is…”
“You son a…” Dave lunged towards him, grabbing Ken by the collar before he took in a slow breath.
“What’s the matter Dave?  The truth hurt?” Ken taunted him further, “I mean damn it was bad enough that you never turned Deidra’s head, but to be afraid of losing Carly…”
“Just shut up!” Dave cut him off refusing to listen to Ken’s nonsense a second longer.  Reaching for his office door, Dave threw it open with one swift thrust before pushing Ken out into the busy squad room.
“Face it Dave being the good guy only gets you so far,” Ken remarked sourly, “and in your case, it’s obviously not far enough.”
“Get him out of here,” Dave ordered to one of his men watching as they hauled Ken away. 
While he’d set out to help Ken, there was something about the exchange that had caused Dave to lose all control.  While he knew that Ken was talking nonsense, he couldn’t help but think about that time long when he’d lost Deidra to Ken.  It had been a low point in their relationship and Dave had hated him for it for a very long time.  Just the memory had set Dave in a rage.  He knew that Ken was looking for someone to take him out of his misery and in bringing Carly into this mess by having her in the accident, Dave was certain that Ken was seeking an out any way he could get it.
“That’s right Dave,” Ken shouted from down the hallway, “Always the coward unable to face his battles.  Keep running Dave.  That’s all you’ll ever do you coward!”
“I’m not going to help destroy yourself Ken,” Dave mouthed under his breath attempting to ignore Ken’s hurtful words as he wondered how his best friend had fallen so low all over again.


“Why can’t I get a hold of him,” Brant complained after having tried calling Hart for the fifth time since he and Avery had driven from the hospital to the police station.  “Where could he be?”
“I don’t know, but Brant it’ll be okay.  I’m sure when we talk to Dave we can find a way to fix this somehow.  I can step in and…” Avery started thinking about what was happening with Ken.
“No, you’re under enough stress,” Brant shook his head adamantly, “I’m not going to let you get involved in this one as well.  You have enough going on with Grady’s trial and I don’t want you jeopardizing anything by running with this one.”
“Brant, it’s really no problem considering that…” Avery began catching his concerned expression.
“Avery, listen to me.  While I appreciate the offer, I don’t want you to get involved in anything more,” he reached out to touch her cheek gently.  “I know that you want to help, but this is something I need to find a way to fix.  You’ve already done more than enough.”
“Brant, Ken’s in big trouble.  He needs someone who will give him the kind of representation that can…” she started only to feel his finger press in over the center of his lips.
“Listen to me.  I love that you’re trying to help, but Avery this time it can’t be you.  I don’t want you to do anything more to add to the stress level you’re at,” Brant explained worry evident in his tone.
“You’re afraid I’m going to lose it, aren’t you,” she questioned with a slight frown.
“No, on the contrary, I’m afraid I’m going to lose it and right now I need you to keep me grounded.  I need one of us to be in control and right now, I’m asking that you take a step back,” Brant fished his phone out of his pocket again, “I’ll try Hart one more time.”
“No wait,” Avery caught his wrist with her fingers, “maybe I can help.  I think I know a way we can get Ken out of this…”
“Avery, I already told you that I don’t want you doing this because…” he started up again frowning at the thought of her trying to step in when he knew full well that she was anywhere near ready for this added pressure.
“I’ll call my father,” Avery announced watching his jaw drop in astonishment.
“Avery, I don’t know if that is a good idea considering that…” Brant began to argue with her.
“Brant trust me on this one.  My father loves Ken and if anyone can find a way to fix this, it’s my father,” Avery explained motioning to the car that just pulled up in the parking lot.  “There’s Blake and Seth.  Go and talk to them and I’ll get inside as soon as I can.”
“Avery, I’m not so sure that,” Brant started with obvious hesitance.
“Just trust me on this one,” Avery swiped his cell phone from his hand, “If anyone can find a way to help Ken out of this, it’s my father.”
“I hope you’re right on that one,” Brant replied turning his attention to the police station before him.
“Hey,” Avery reached for his hand and offering it a soft squeeze, “trust me.”
“I do trust you Avery,” Brant couldn’t help but smile at her, “more than you realize.”
“Yeah well, good,” was all she could say before motioning towards Blake again, “Go be with her.  I know she’s upset.”
“Alright,” Brant nodded in agreement reaching for the door, “but one last thing…”
“What’s that?” Avery questioned looking up from her cell phone keypad only to find herself met by a very unexpected kiss.  She felt Brant’s fingers slide into her hair, easing her into a gentle, teasing kiss before he pulled away.
“Thank you…for everything,” he smiled at her before going off after Blake. 
Avery watched him for a long moment thinking about the kiss he’d planted on her.  Unable to contain herself, she raised her hand to her lips still tasting his lips upon hers for a brief moment.  Her eyes followed him as he approached Blake and in that moment she stood there watching him with his sister, she couldn’t help but smile knowing that while fate hadn’t given her the kind of life she’d planned on, she’d at least been fortunate enough to wind up with a good man.  Sure, he had made his fair share of mistakes, but as time went on she was starting to see a better side of Brant.
“But right now this is about Ken,” she reminded herself harshly knowing full well that her father may be Ken’s only hope.

“I can’t believe they pushed back the trial,” Cameron shook his head before pushing back the chair that he sat in.

“It’s okay,” Thea hushed walking with a slight smile, “Grady will go to jail Cameron, with you against him…he stands no chance.”

“I know that, but I just want to see that bastard rot,” Cameron growled before pounding his fist on the desk roughly. 

“He will, just in a matter of time,” Thea informed him with a slight smile.

“Yeah, I just don’t want him to have that chance to slip away from our grasps,” he gritted his teeth before pushing a few papers off his desk as they flew to the ground.

“He won’t,” she assured him with a simple sigh before leaning down to pick up what he tossed, “Anyways I have a surprise for you.”

“Oh yeah,” he started with a slight smile before walking over to her and holding out his hand to grab the papers from her hand.

“Did I peak an interest in you?” she questioned with a slight smile raising her eyebrow in amusement.

“Could be possible,” he nodded slightly before setting the papers back down on his desk.

“Well, you may be worrying about Grady even though you really shouldn’t be,” she started with a simple shrug.

“Get back to the point,” he stated with a sound of irritation behind his voice.

“I was,” she frowned walking towards him putting her hand on his leg. “Well, even thought Grady’s trial being pushed back sucks…I am still working on other things.”

“Like?” he questioned raising an eyebrow with curiosity motioning her to go on with her story.

“Well, first I am starting with those who pissed you off the other day,” she winked before seeing the interest grow inside of him.

“What are you up to now?” he wondered folding his arms out in front of him.

“Well, let me just start by telling you what the first move I am going to do is,” she smiled sitting on the edge of his desk. 


“Hey Charles,” Sarah smiled looking down at the baby before pulling up a chair to sit next to him.

She ran her fingers along the incubator that surrounded the little baby as deep sigh escaped her lips.

“I’m sorry about your mommy sweetheart,” she apologized taking in a deep breath. “You may think you will be all alone, but your wrong. I may be your aunt, but you could think of me as your second mom because I will be here for you no matter what,” she promised him looking down at the baby who seemed to only move slightly. “You see its not only going to be me too, its also going to be Kyle. He is going to be like your honorary father figure for the moment. He’s a great guy…I know you’ll like him. We are going to be taking care of you and we aren’t going to let anything bad happen to you.”

She jumped feeling a hand rest upon her shoulder making her stand up to only see a nurse behind her.

“Are you his mother?” the nurse questioned as Sarah shook her head.

“No,” Sarah started taking in a deep breath before calming down, “He is my nephew.”

“Would you like to help feed him with the bottle?” the nurse questioned with a slight smile, “I mean that’s if you want to.”

“Am I allowed to?” Sarah wondered seeing the nurse nod.

“Of course you are,” the nurse nodded before getting the baby out slowly and placing him in Sarah’s arms. “I will be right back with his bottle.”

“Alright,” Sarah smiled looking at the little baby boy that lie in her arms, breathing lightly. “How could your mother leave something like you?”

Her thoughts drifted off to Heather until she realized this wasn’t the time. This was the real thing, if her sister wasn’t going to take care of Charles, she was. Charles would be her top priority, until Heather came to her senses and finally realized how perfect this little boy was that she was holding her arms.


Susan was a bit pleased with herself as she walked into the jail that held both Ken and Grady. In her mind she had it set that she was going to talk to Ken and offer to help him, he would take up that chance. She stopped in her tracks as she caught a glimpse of someone in the corner making her smile.

“Kyle,” she smiled touching his shoulder making him turn around and roll his eyes at the sight of her. “Isn’t this a coincidence, I mean me and you being here at the same time.”

“Yeah, whatever,” Kyle sighed before folding his arms out in front of him, “Get to the point, what are you really doing here?”

“Same goes for you, what exactly are you doing here?” she questioned with a grin as he rolled his eyes.

“You know, I would tell you…but what I do with my time is none of your business,” Kyle sarcastically smiled trying to get rid of her.

“A bit cranky today are we?” she questioned with a smile running her finger down his strong chest, “I like that.”

“Cut the crap Susan,” he hissed frustrated as he pushed her hand away from him, “What is it that truly came to do? Who did you come to start trouble with now?”

“What makes you think I came to start something?” Susan questioned raising her eyebrow in amusement seeing him laugh.

“You see if you came to talk to Grady, he doesn’t want anything to do with you, so why don’t you take your bitchy attitude and walk out of here,” Kyle pointed towards the door making her smile.

“You see I would love to, but I am not here to talk to Grady,” she winked trying to walk past him as he grabbed her arm tightly pulling her back.

“Is that so?” he questioned tilting his head slightly, “Then what are you doing here?”

“Not that it is any of your business, but I have some business to do with Kenneth Ashford,” she informed him before he let go of her arm and he stepped in front of her.

“I know he doesn’t want anything to do with you Susan, so why don’t you fuck off and find someone who really cares,” Kyle grinned sarcastically before pointing to the door.

“Kyle I take that to offense, I know you really care about me,” she smiled touching his muscular arm before he pulled back. “Anyways how do you know he doesn’t want to speak with me?”

“Believe me Susan, no guy would want to put up with your shit even in here,” Kyle informed her raising his eyebrow. “So why don’t you find someone else who really would like you company because I sure as hell don’t.”

Kyle turned around walking back down the hallway making Susan smile, “The more you act like that, the more I get amused with you. Oh well, I suppose he is right…I have better things to do not involving Ken especially now that you‘ve made yourself so damn interesting Kyle.”


Dave sat at his desk trying to forget his heated exchange with Ken.  It was easier said than done it seemed now that Ken’s words seemed to eat away at him.  Just the comments Ken had made about Deidra were enough to set Dave on edge as he thought back to the last time he’d found Deidra in the arms of another man.  Closing his eyes he thought back to that moment when he walked in to find Deidra and her latest hero by the coffee machine together at the hospital.
“Stop,” Dave snapped at himself knowing full well that there was no point in getting worked up about what could never be.  Sure, he’d always loved Deidra, but Deidra was his friend--his best friend and things would never go beyond that.  He realized that.  Hell, he’d accepted it.  He’d been ready to push that part of his life behind him, yet after hearing Ken’s outburst he found himself remembering all too well how his heart had been crushed when Ken and Deidra wound up with one another.  At the time Dave had written it off as Ken being the better man--that Ken could offer Deidra something that Dave couldn’t even come close to, but in listening to the way in which Ken spoke of his past with Deidra, it made Dave sick to his stomach.
“Stop this,” he ordered himself ready to go insane if he didn’t focus on something else.  Fortunately for him fate had other plans.  Looking up he found Carly standing in the doorway to his office looking still shaken up.
“Carly, what are you doing here,” Dave questioned immediately rising from his desk to approach her as she limped in towards him.
“I checked myself out of the hospital,” Carly explained quickly drawing in a slow breath, “I called Chavez and she’s going to try to smooth things over with Judge Carmichael.”
“That’s wonderful, but you should’ve gone home.  You didn’t have to come down to the station to tell me that.  I would’ve checked in on you later,” Dave touched her shoulder gently before dropping his palm down to the center of her back.  Carefully he guided her to take a seat on the couch in his office, “You should be home resting now that you’re out of the hospital.”
“I can’t rest Dave,” she explained simply, “I can’t go home yet not when I need to talk to you about…”
“Carly, if this is about what happened with us earlier, I told you that this can be continued,” he assured her, reaching for her hand and giving it a light squeeze, “We can continue our conversation with one another and hey, maybe I can even find a way to get out of here so that I can take you back to your hotel.”
“I don’t want to go to my hotel.  Dave, I can’t go back there until…” she started to speak up once again.
“Carly, please don’t argue with me.  I know that there are so many things to talk about between us, but right now you need to…” Dave continued to argue with her.
“Dave, I’m not here because of us,” Carly blurted out in a hope to get a word in edgewise, “I’m here because of Ken.”
“What?” he blinked back in confusion, “but I thought that…”
“When you left I kind of figured it had something to do with Ken, so I checked myself out of the hospital so that I could come down here and speak with you about what happened last night,” Carly started taking in a slow breath, “Dave, you have to help me help Ken.  I’m sure if I can talk to my boss, then we could find a way to make this situation not so hard on him considering that…”
“Considering what?  That the man drove through the front of an ice-cream shop last night?  Carly, he could’ve killed you in that crash,” Dave shook his head at her incredulously, “I know that has to spark some kind of emotion out of you.”
“Alright, I’ll admit it scared the hell out of me, but it wasn’t his fault,” Carly defended, “He didn’t mean for it to happen and if we weren’t arguing at the time…”
“Carly what you were or weren’t arguing about had nothing to do with the blood alcohol in his system.  He was twice the legal limit and there’s nothing I can do to cut him a break.  Drunk driving is a serious offense.”
“I realize that, but Dave he made a mistake.  No one was hurt and I’m sure if we can work together…” Carly insisted worry evident in her features.
“I don’t believe this,” he shook his head at her, “Why the hell are you so ready to cut him a break like this?  Come to think of it, what were you doing with him in the first place?”
“Dave, it’s a long story, but last night Ken was upset and…” she started preparing herself for the conversation she didn’t want to have with Dave, but knew she must.
“And he drove through a store window.  He made a fine mess of things and you were caught in the crossfire,” Dave paused thinking about Ken’s biting comment he’d thrown out at him, “Come to think of it, what was it exactly that was going on with you two last night?”
“He was out there destroying his life.  He called me after Caitlin’s memorial telling me how awful things went,” she informed him honestly, “I wasn’t at the hotel at the time, but when I got the message I could see that he was hurting.”
“So what?  You just decided to go for a joyride with him,” he frowned deeply.
“No, Dave that isn’t how it happened.  I called him back and when he answered I could hear that something was wrong.  I asked him where he was and he told me.  After that I went to get him out of that situation, but when I got there we ran into Susan and…”
“And this night just got better and better, didn’t it?” Dave folded his arms in front of his chest before taking a seat on the edge of his desk, “So what happened then?”
“Susan and I got to arguing and then Ken tried to pick a fight with these four bikers and…” she continued.
“Bikers?” he repeated in a pinched tone, “Carly, don’t tell me that he dragged you into something like that too considering that…”
“I could hold my own Dave, but when things started to get out of hand, Ken went for the car and we raced off.  We started to argue and I distracted him while he was driving.  If I would‘ve kept my mouth shut, then everything would‘ve been fine and…,” Carly informed him folding her hands nervously in her lap.
“So you two were the ultimate Bonnie and Clyde last night huh?  Well that’s real damn wonderful Carly, but I hate to break it to you.  Regardless of how you distracted him, Ken made the choice to get behind the wheel of the car and he has to face the consequences of that,” Dave pointed out with a scowl, “Beyond that, it’s not in my hands any longer or yours for that matter.  Right now Ken needs to sober up and learn to grow up.”
“Dave, he just lost the love of his life.  She was taken from him suddenly and in a tragic accident.  You can’t tell me that if that happened to you that you wouldn’t be acting any differently,” she threw back at him.
“Carly, I wouldn’t have been stupid enough to get behind the wheel of a car in that condition,” Dave argued with her, “That’s just plain ignorance.”
“Brought on by a broken heart,” she rose from the chair she’d been seated on, “Haven’t you felt so horrible about losing someone you loved that you thought you would die without them in your life?”
“That kind of love doesn’t exist in this world Carly.  You and I both know that,” Dave replied with a scowl, “To lose your head over something to the point that you could cost someone else their life is irresponsible and ignorant…”
“Oh of course it, but it’s not a problem when you go bending over backwards for Deidra Byrne, right?” she threw back at him sourly, “I mean you didn’t blame her for hurting when she slept with serial killer Bruce Mathis.  Alcohol was a good enough excuse at the time for her, wasn’t it?”
“That’s different,” Dave’s jaw dropped in astonishment, “and I don’t know what you’re trying to get at in bringing Deidra up in this situation considering that…”
“That what Dave?  That she’s the only person that you’ve ever been that crazy over?” Carly asserted, her voice rising with the moment, “I mean she’s the only one you’ll ever cut any favors to right?”
“Carly, where is this coming from,” Dave blinked back in confusion before a sudden thought occurred to him, “Never mind.  I know what this is about.  You’ve been talking to Ken.”
“No Dave, I didn’t need to be talking to Ken to see that dreamy look on your face when I walked in here.  I knew that it wasn’t about me--that it’s never been about me, but that’s fine.  You can spend your life waiting around for someone like Deidra to give you the time of day, but it’s never going to happen.  If she was meant to be with you, it would’ve happened by now,” she snapped, unable to control the anger that built up in the pit of her stomach, “I mean if we’re really honest with one another, that’s the reason you didn’t want to leave Coral Valley, wasn’t it?  That’s why you didn’t go with me in the first place.”
“Carly, that’s completely ridiculous,” Dave remarked with a heavy frown.
“No what’s ridiculous is my thinking that I could stand here and try to get through to you when all that’s really ever mattered--all that matters is Deidra.  Well you know what Dave, I really hope it works out for you because the truth to the matter is I stopped hoping the same could be true for us a long time ago.  It’s obvious you made your choice and it wasn’t me,” Carly let out an ironic laugh with tears burning behind her eyes, “and here I thought that I was the one who was betraying what we had together.  Only I never had your heart in the first place, did I?”
“Carly, you’re hurt.  You’re not thinking clearly and if you’d take a step back and think about this situation, then maybe just maybe you’d see how completely out of line you’re being here.  This is about Ken sending you through a building, not about what never was with Deidra and I.  I’m concerned about you.  Hell, why do you think I’m so upset?  If he would’ve killed you last night…”
“Then he might’ve done you a favor,” Carly stomped her foot before taking a step towards the door, “You might’ve had a reason to cry on Deidra’s shoulder after all.”
“Carly wait,” Dave stepped towards her.
“Save it Dave.  I’ll find my own ways around helping Ken,” Carly slammed the door to his office behind her leaving Dave to watch her go.
“Damn it!” he cursed looking around his office before taking a long look at his desk.  In that moment he leaned forward pushing everything off his desk in a rage knowing full well that he could thank Ken for this latest outburst from Carly.  As if earlier wasn’t bad enough, Dave thought to himself realizing that now that he’d somehow wound up in the crossfire to Ken’s rage, nothing would ever be the same again.


“Thanks for coming over Kyle,” Jade smiled closing the door behind him as he walked into the room and she hugged him.

“It’s no problem,” he shrugged slightly before letting her go, “I figured I would come and tell you that Grady is doing okay. I went to go see him earlier.”

“Really? Are you sure?” Jade questioned seeing him nod lightly.

“He just misses you and he can’t wait to see you when he gets out,” Kyle informed her before hearing her sigh. “What is it?”

“How do you know he is going to get out?” Jade wondered with a slight laugh. “I mean, he may never get out of there.”

“Don’t say that,” Kyle hushed taking her hand in his lightly, “I’m going to get him and out…that’s a promise. All I can tell you is after that, you two will be together forever.”

“I wish I was confident as you were,” Jade laughed feeling his fingers enclose with hers.

“You should be, just watch. I promise everything will be okay,” he smiled looking down at her and she could tell by just the look in his eyes that he really believe himself. Maybe he was right, maybe he did have something.

“Alright, I trust you,” she started with a slight smile, “Anything else happen today?”

“Not really,” he thought for a second until Susan came to mind, “I did run into Susan though. It seems that woman won’t leave me alone.”

“What was Susan doing there?” Jade wondered seeing him shrug.

“I have no idea, all I know is that I told her to take a hike,” Kyle declared before hearing her sigh.

“You watch out for that one Kyle.  She‘s trouble,” Jade insisted hearing him laugh.

“Tell me something I don’t know,” Kyle smiled slightly, “I know what I am doing.”

“I‘d like to believe that, but with Susan, you can‘t ever really be sure of what‘s going on,” she sighed grabbing her head feeling lightheaded slightly falling back as Kyle caught her in his arms.

“Hey, are you okay?” he questioned running his hand along her slightly pale face.

“Yeah, I am fine,” she insisted as he shook his head.

“You know what? Lets sit down,” Kyle sighed as she stood up and he stood behind her making sure she didn’t fall.

“I’m okay,” she assured him as she sat down.

“I don’t know Jade,” he hushed her as he felt her head with the back of his hand, “That’s not very good.”

“I will be fine Kyle, it’s probably just from the stress,” Jade insisted seeing him look down at her with a worried expression.

“I will be right back, I’ll go get you a wet cloth for your head,” Kyle smiled before walking into the kitchen and back to the couch sitting on the floor before her.

“Thanks,” she smiled as he handed her the cloth.

“Make sure you take care of yourself,” he sighed before taking her hand in his. “If that happens again, call me okay? That’s not normal.”

“Kyle I will be fine,” she laughed seeing him frown.

“If you insist, but I still have to worry,” he informed her before shrugging, “You are my buddy, I have to make sure you stay healthy.”


Sarah breathed in deeply folding her arms around her chest as she stepped outside. She walked down the street slowly with everything going through her mind. She stopped at a coffee shop to get something to warm her up.

“Hi there,” a guy smiled extending his hand out to hers, “I’m JT.”

“Uh hi,” Sarah hesitantly shook his hand lightly before turning around to go to the front desk.

“You seem kind of lonely, you want some company?” JT questioned with a slight smug before seeing her shake her head.

“Actually this was only going to be a quick stop, I have to be somewhere else,” Sarah informed him with a slight smile.

“If you insist,” JT shrugged before smiling, “I just wonder what a girl like you is doing out here without a guy.”

“I was leaving,” she sighed taking her drink before walking towards the door as he grabbed her arm making her turn around.

“Hey, I’m sorry if I offended you. Do you have a boyfriend?” he wondered seeing her nod.

“Actually I do, and that’s who I am going to see right now,” she lied looking away from him, “So if you would excuse me, I have to get going.”

“Alright,” JT smiled as he watched her walk out the door. Boy, Cameron was right about her…she would get paranoid easily. He walked out the door to catch an eye out for where she was going. He turned his head the other way as she looked back hesitantly. He smiled as he walked the other way. “This is going to be easier than I thought.”


“Get in there Ashford,” the guard shoved Kenneth into the cell roughly, “and try to stay quiet.”
“Only in your dreams,” Ken snapped at the man, “because when my lawyer gets here, it’s going to be your badge on the line.  All of you are going down for this one.  That much I can assure you!”
“Oh would you just shut up already,” a voice rose from the darkened shadows in the jail cell alerting Ken that he was no longer alone.  Spinning around to see the silhouette of a man before him, Ken scowled.
“Don’t tell me what do you,” Ken glared at his cell mate before making his way across the cramped quarters.
“Given that you’ve found a way to delay my getting out of here one day sooner than I’d hoped for, I think I am well within my rights to tell you to pipe down,” Grady remarked sourly rising from the bed he’d been seated upon.  He gave Ken a long once over before shaking his head at him, “What the hell is wrong with you anyways?”
“Nothing that you can help me with.  That much I’m sure of Denton,” Ken turned the other way with a huff.
“Oh of course not because far be it from a Denton being able to help out a holier than thou Ashford.  Funny,” Grady scratched his chin lightly, “You went around pretending that you were better than all of us, yet when it gets down to it, that just simply isn’t true.  I mean first we should look at the symptoms we have going on here.  You look like hell, you smell like shit and oh yeah, you’re mean as all hell.  You’re drunk!”
“And you’re annoying, so why don’t you just go away,” Ken roared in response spinning around to find Grady standing directly behind him.
“Go away,” Grady let out an ironic laugh, “That’s what I was working on before you went and did what you did last night.  Do you have any idea how eager I was to get this trial started?  Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for the world to hear my side of things?”
“Yeah, well, it’s not like they’re going to hear the truth Grady,” Ken pushed past him, “Cameron’s probably bought the jury anyways.”
“Yeah, that would be like a rich man to do whatever it takes to ruin someone else for trying to keep what’s theirs.  I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked at that tactic from a man like Cameron given what you pulled with Susan,” Grady scowled back at him before shaking his head, “I should’ve known what getting involved with your kind would do.”
“First of all Cameron and I aren’t a kind,” Ken glared at him, “We’re as different as night and day and with Susan, God I can’t even begin to tell you how much I wish I could take that back.”
“Yeah, well as much as I spent the last few years hating you,” Grady revealed with a small sigh before taking a seat on the cot he’d been on earlier, “I wish I could take it back too.”
“What the part about getting upset or marrying her?” Ken questioned taking a seat on the opposite end of the cot despite his sour demeanor.
“Not the part about kicking your ass because you really deserved that, but the part about marrying her,” Grady let out an ironic laugh, “If I knew then what I know now, it never would’ve happened.”
“Yeah well the feeling is mutual,” Ken groaned in response, “but you should be happy that you’re at least done with her.  I can’t seem to shake her now that you dumped her.”
“You can’t seem to shake her,” Grady’s eyes widened in response, “I’m the one who can’t seem to lose her or that monster that she works for.  Hell, she was here not so long ago trying to cause problems for me and Jade.  She practically tore me to pieces trying to get some action when I was in handcuffs.”
“Yeah, well she showed up in my shower and later in my bed in the hopes that I would take the bait,” Ken shuddered with a heavy groan, “Somehow I didn’t think it could get any worse than that.”
“Try being married to her,” Grady wrinkled his nose at the memory.
“No thanks, I think I’ll pass on that one.  I mean I’m not above torture, but that is even too much for an ass like me,” Ken revealed feeling himself sobering up a bit before he dropped his head in his hands, “You know I’m starting to think that karma is coming back to kick me in the butt for what I did to you man.”
“What you did hurt at the time, but in retrospect you did me a big favor.  You gave me reason to get rid of Susan before it killed me,” Grady confessed watching Ken for a long moment, “and judging by the symptoms you have right now, she’s leading you down that same dark path, huh?”
“You mean with my being here,” Ken questioned with a shake of his head, “No, this is my own damn fault for being too stupid to not be happy with what I had.  I mean just when you think you have it all, something happens and then you wake up one morning and life just isn’t at all what you’d imagined it to be.”
“It’s called growing up and it’s a bitch,” Grady replied with a strange sense of understanding, “though you know they say everything happens for a reason.”
“Like you being locked up in here,” Ken threw out a pointed look in Grady’s general direction.
“This is a fluke, but hopefully this one will be fixed up,” Grady sighed bringing his fingers through his own dark hair, “At least I’m hoping.”
“Avery’s a damn good lawyer Grady.  If anyone can pull a miracle out of the air, it’s her,” Ken added honestly thinking about his long running history with Avery, “She really is the best of the best.  Hell, she kicked my ass all the way through college.”
“Yeah well it doesn’t take much to kick your ass from what I’ve seen,” Grady couldn’t help but tease before a moment of sudden seriousness passed over him, “Though I’m placing a lot of faith in her hands for a miracle that might not ever happen.  I mean maybe you’re right.  Here I was ready to start life over--to really get that second chance at doing things right after I botched so many things up with Susan, but now…”
“Now you’re stuck in here having to spend time talking with me,” Ken shuddered at the thought, “And just when we thought we couldn’t get any lower.”
“Yeah, well we could’ve been locked up with Susan.  That would’ve been the ninth circle of hell,” Grady cringed upon his own words.
“Well given the things I’ve been doing lately, that would probably be what I deserve,” Ken shook his head, “I just don’t get why is it that things just keep happening like they do.”
“Maybe it’s a sign that things need to change.  I mean maybe that’s really what all this is about for the both of us,” Grady suggested after a moment’s contemplation, “Believe me Ken it wasn’t that long ago I was locked up for the same thing.  There I was ready to start and end my career all at the same time because my wife had me drinking my life away.”
“Susan cheating on you was a lot different than Caitlin dying.  You have no idea what it’s like to lose someone that you’d give your life for--someone you love more than life itself…” Ken started with a frown.
“The hell I don’t.  Ken, in case you didn’t notice that bombing took my brother’s life as well,” Grady scowled in response, “I lost my baby brother and wasn’t able to say my good-byes.  I couldn’t be there for him because Cameron Stone was stealing my life away from me.  I was out of town and I couldn’t do a thing to help him.  He was coming to see me, you know.  He and Avery were bringing Jade out to be with me when the bombing happened.  None of us ever saw it coming, but I know that Russ wouldn’t want me to drink myself into oblivion again.  Hell, you have a chance to give life a go again.  Ken, I would give anything to be able to be out there with Jade--to be with my family when they needed me, but I can’t be.  I’m stuck here in this hell because of a situation someone else put me into.  I know that Cameron is the kind of man who won’t stop until he’s gotten what he’s wanted in destroying my life, but if I sat back and accepted that, then it wouldn’t make me any better then he is.”
“Grady, it’s not at all the same situation,” Ken added stubbornly.
“No, it’s not Ken, but at the same time you can’t just stop living.  That’s not what Caitlin would want for you.  She’d hate to see what you’ve turned yourself into and if you have a chance to fix things, then do it.  Don’t sit back and torture yourself for what you believe wasn’t doing enough.  Remember what you did do and that love the two of you shared…”
“It only makes things worse Grady.  I can’t think like that.”
“Then you may as well get used to this because this is the life you’re headed towards.  Hell, do you even realize why I’m in here?  I made a stupid mistake…I got blitzed out of my mind when my brother wanted to be happy and a madman is using it against me.  He’d going his damnedest to make the world think I’m a madman capable of murder.  That I’m an angry-bitter drunk who wanted nothing more than to destroy himself and the world around him.  Do you want this Ken?  Is this the kind of life that you’re hoping to find because I’ll tell you straight up it’s lonely and miserable when you’re all out of choices,” Grady finished with a poignant sigh, “I’d give anything to be able to sober up and walk out of here in the morning.”
“Look Grady,” Ken stopped himself unable to come up with the right words.  Finally he took in a breath before apologizing, “I’m sorry.”
“Yeah well a lot of good it does either one of us,” Grady shook his head at him, “If you don’t ever listen to another thing I tell you, then at least hear me out on this.  Don’t let your regrets about the past stop you from having a future because one day you’re going to wish like hell that you still had another chance.  You’re going to be begging for that freedom again--for that joy that’s still out there waiting for you, but you’ll have blown it.  Ken, don’t lose yourself to the demons.”
“I never thought I’d be hearing that from you,” Ken revealed with obvious surprise in his tone.
“Yeah, well I never thought I’d be saying it to you, but you know, I guess being locked away inside here, well it puts perspective into a man,” Grady sighed heavily feeling tension spread over his neck and shoulders.
“As much as I appreciate the thought behind what you said, I think it’s too late for me,” Ken replied somberly.  “I think this time I blew it.”
“It’s never too late Ken,” Grady added with a sad smile, “Just try to remember that.”
“Look Grady, about what happened in the past…about Susan…” Ken started feeling as if he should say something about the history between them.
“It’s water under the bridge,” Grady shook his head before waving his hand at Ken, “I think we’re both a hell of a lot better off without her and as long as we keep remembering that, then there’s no need to go down that direction again.”
“Even so, for what it’s worth.  I’m really sorry that you got hurt in all of that,” Ken admitted for the first time since things had happened all those years ago, “I never should’ve stepped on your toes like that.”
“As I said before it hurt at the time, but it taught me an important lesson,” Grady added in retrospect, “and hopefully it did the same for you.”
“It did, but not in the ways I was hoping it would,” Ken dropped his head into his lap, “I’m sure what happened then is why I’m going through this now.”
“Ken maybe you should start forgiving yourself.  I mean with me, I’ve moved on and I found happiness with Jade.  I know you had it with Caitlin and it’s a bitch that she was taken from this world, but if nothing else, maybe you should try to let go of that demon you’re holding onto.  Maybe you should try to move forward and reclaim your life before it slips away from you.”
“Maybe you’re right,” Ken nodded in agreement all the while dwelling on the decisions he’d made to get him to this point in time.  Somehow while he couldn’t argue the point that Grady was making complete sense, he wondered if he’d ever truly be able to recover from this latest blow in his life.  Without Caitlin, he feared that nothing would ever be the same again.  That unfortunately was the reality that he would be forced to live with if and when he found his way out of this jail cell he was in.


...to be continued...