Jenna twisted uncomfortably in her chair as she looked across the table
at Devante who looked up and smiled at her.
“So, Devante…when did you get back to town?” Jenna questioned uneasily
before looking back down at her plate picking at her food with her
“Actually, I am just here for a couple of weeks,” Devante informed her
with a simple shrug, “I ran into Dorothy at the market and she invited
me over for dinner.”
“So how do you and…Devante know each other?” Hart wondered tilting his
head a slight bit curious about this stranger who just showed up.
“Oh, Jenna and I were just really good friends when we were younger,”
Devante stated before rubbing his hands together and leaning over to
grab his glass of water.
“Oh Devante you know you two were more that just friends,” Dorothy
smiled before looking over at Hart who seemed to be glaring right
“That’s history though,” Devante assured Hart seeing the expression on
his face, “We are just really good friends now.”
“I know that,” Hart answered quickly before nodding his head.
“It’s obvious by the way she looks at you she loves you,” Devante
pointed out with a slight grin, “You two look happy together.”
“He makes me really happy,” Jenna agreed before resting her hand over
Hart’s gently. She could sense that he was a bit weary as she looked
over at him
and he faked a smile once more.
“Hart is really a great guy,” Preston stated looking over at Dorothy
and tilting his head slightly at her, “Isn’t that right Dorothy?”
“Why yes of course,” Dorothy lied before grabbing her water and
drinking it up quickly. “I am going to go get us some more water.”
“Here,” Devante smiled before getting up, “Let me help you out with
“Thank you Devante, that is so sweet of you,” Dorothy stated before
looking over at Hart who seemed to look a bit aggravated.
Hart shook his head slightly after seeing Dorothy and Devante disappear
behind the kitchen doors.
“What’s wrong?” Jenna questioned quietly leaning forward slightly to
catch his attention.
“Nothing,” Hart assured her before she went to speak and Dorothy
“Anyone up for desert?” Dorothy wondered before seeing Jenna nod.
“Yeah, thanks mom,” Jenna half smiled before looking back at Hart and
he shrugged slightly.
“Seth, you are home,” Jade smiled pulling him into the living room to
where Kyle was standing there looking towards them. “Seth, I would like
you to meet…”
Seth cut her off with a slight laugh, “Kyle Houston, how is it going
Kyle smirked looking at the confused look on Jade’s face as he shook
Seth’s extended hand, “Good, what’s going on?”
“Nothing really,” Seth nodded slightly before sitting down on the couch
looking at Jade as she folded her arms out in front of her.
“I’m going to take the wild guess that you two know each other,” Jade
got out before seeing Kyle sit down too.
“What gave you that idea?” Kyle questioned with a smirk looking up at
Jade as she frowned. “Okay, Sarah who is my girlfriend is best friends
“Oh, I now understand how you two know each other,” she nodded sitting
between the two guys.
“So what were you two up to while I was gone?” Seth wondered raising
his eyebrow before looking at the table to see Chinese take out. “Never
“Oh I saved some for you,” Jade laughed getting up and going to the
table to grab one of the containers.
“Thanks, that sounds good right about now after the day it‘s been,”
Seth laughed as she handed it to him as she sat back between them.
“Actually we were talking about Grady’s trial,” Jade stated seeing Seth
“Really? How is that going? I know I should‘ve asked
sooner, but with everything that‘s been going on…” Seth wondered
turning slightly so he could see both faces.
“We were just talking about the leads that I have been getting,” Kyle
shrugged slightly, “Just the simple facts, like Cameron has something
to do with this.”
“I could have guessed that,” Seth pointed out shrugging his shoulders
slight, “Almost everyone knows Cameron wants to take down Grady.”
“Yeah, well the only thing I have to do now is find out what part
Cameron is involved in and then we will be all set,” Kyle stated taking
in a deep breath.
“I know you can do it and when you do it won‘t be a moment too soon,”
Seth assured him with a slight bit of encouragement behind his voice,
“Anyways, from what I heard from Sarah…you never stop until you get
what you want.”
Jade smiled after seeing Kyle laugh, “Speaking of girlfriends, where’s
“Oh yeah,” Seth sighed sitting forward, “She is with Sarah as we
“Oh really?” Kyle questioned tilting his head slightly, “What trouble
are they up to now?”
“I don’t know, but Blake asked me to drop her off at Sarah’s place,”
Seth informed him with a slight shrug, “From what Blake said, Sarah
seemed to be a little upset.”
“Is that all she said?” Kyle wondered with a slight bit of worry behind
“Yeah, I’m sure she is okay…they are probably just having girl talk,”
Seth nodded slightly before looking down at Jade.
“Yeah, I know how that is…all they do is blab,” Kyle laughed as Jade
hit both Kyle and Seth in the stomach.
“Hey, don’t talk like that because women do more than blab,” Jade
frowned as both men laughed. “We do.”
“Oh right,” Seth teased further, “like you and Diane don’t have it down
to an art form by now yourselves.”
“Hey now, you be nice or I swear that I’m going to bring out the baby
pictures of you that I’m sure you don’t want Blake or anyone else to
see at the wedding,” Jade threw out a warning look.
“Fair enough,” Seth raised his hands in the air full of defeat.
“Good,” Jade smiled proudly, “How about we change the subject?”
“Sounds good,” Seth nodded with a slight smile before Jade frowned once
“Hey are you going to take that from her,” Kyle joked, “You’re going to
let your little sister bully you around?”
“If you knew how strong she was, you’d let her bully you around too,”
Seth answered honestly.
“Unfortunately I do know how strong she is,” Kyle thought back to their
first meeting, “She’s a brute.”
“I am not,” she objected with a frown, “You two are just…”
“Just what?” Seth challenged with a curious brow.
“You two are just weird,” she stated slightly before seeing them shrug.
“Hey, what can we say? We call it like we see it. Besides, we’re
buddies and buddies stick together,” Kyle informed her with a smile
winking at her.
“You two may be buddies, but you are still weird,” she replied folding
her arms out in front of her before leaning back into the couch.
“Now I can truly see why you hate your sister so much for all the
things she has done to you,” Blake stated seeing Sarah shrug not really
knowing what to say.
“Well, I guess the only thing I really wish for Heather is that she
would grow up. I really think if Charles, her little boy, won’t change
how she is then nothing will,” Sarah sighed taking in a deep breath.
“Charles will be fine,” Blake promised with a slight smile before
seeing Sarah shake her head.
“You see I can’t see that happening because if Charles has mother like
that for the rest of his life, then he is going to be miserable,” Sarah
explained thinking back to that little baby she held in her arms
earlier and how precious he was.
“You see I think you are wrong, I think Charles is lucky because he has
you,” Blake started as she put her hand on Sarah’s arm, “And we all
know when you are involved, Kyle is too.”
Sarah laughed slightly before nodding and agreeing, “Yeah, Kyle is a
really great guy. He finds time to be there whenever he can for
“Which makes him the perfect guy for you,” Blake pointed out before
seeing Sarah smile.
“You know, I really think Heather knew I liked Kyle when I was we were
younger and she didn’t like that he kind of liked me back,” Sarah
stated seeing Blake frown.
“What do you mean by that?” Blake questioned seeing Sarah shrug and
start to speak.
“Well, I really don’t know if this means anything or if it is normal,”
Sarah started caught up in her own thoughts, “But I used to always find
her all over Kyle.”
“No that’s not really normal,” Blake started before shrugging, “But
Heather doesn’t seem like a normal person.”
“Tell me about it,” Sarah nodded with a slight laugh, “To think of it I
also found her kissing Kyle too.”
“What do you mean?” Blake wondered seeing Sarah shake her head.
“Its nothing really, just something that happened when we were
teenagers,” Sarah explained before seeing Blake frown.
“I don’t care if it’s nothing, to me it will probably be something so
go on,” Blake motioned her to lead on to her story quickly before
leaning back into the couch to listen to her.
“Well, we were all hanging out,” Sarah started thinking back to the
days when Heather used to tang along with them all the time, “And I
went to go get me and Kyle a drink and when I got to the door I saw
Heather on top of Kyle kissing him.”
“Oh my god, then what happened?” Blake gasped grabbing onto the pillow
that was next to her.
“Well, I was really upset because I truly thought that Kyle liked
Heather, but I was there long enough to see Kyle push her off him and
ask her what her problem was. I guess Kyle caught me running to the
other room and he ran to me telling me that she kissed him and she
meant nothing to him,” Sarah explained once again before Blake smiled.
“Girl he has always liked you. It is kind of obvious. I mean,
every time he was at the hospital holding your hand in his,” Blake
thought back for a second before smiling, “You could just tell he loved
“Well, I guess I was too dumb to notice,” Sarah shrugged before seeing
Blake shake her head lightly.
“Question, how did you know Kyle was telling you the truth when you
found Heather kissing him?” Blake questioned seeing Sarah laugh.
“Well, Kyle and I were outside I think shooting some baskets and he
hugged me and when he did Heather was behind us and she laughed. She
told him he could have been with a real woman like her instead of
wasting his time on me and Kyle just laughed at
“And he didn’t kiss you?” Blake questioned seeing Sarah shrug slightly.
“Was he supposed to?” Sarah wondered slightly embarrassed seeing Blake
“Are you kidding me? You guys never kissed when you were younger?”
Blake questioned seeing Sarah shrug.
“Well, I never said that,” Sarah blushed before hearing Blake laugh
“So you did,” Blake pointed out seeing Sarah nod.
“But they really didn’t mean anything,” Sarah stated seeing Blake shake
her head, “I mean that one time just to make Heather jealous and only
two times after that.”
“And you were still dumb enough to not realize he liked you,” Blake
rolled her eyes turning towards Sarah. “I want to hear more about you,
like stuff I don’t know.”
“That might take a while Blake,” Sarah laughed seeing Blake shrug and
shake her head.
“You see you’re going to be standing up at my wedding as my best friend
so I suggest you start talking,” Blake motioned her to go on as Sarah
laughed not knowing where to start.
“I think you should go up to bed,” Brant blurted out upon entering the
mansion with Ken and Avery. He turned to look at his brother
knowing full well if Ken didn’t find a way to disappear he was going to
strangle him after the aggravating ride home that they’d just
experienced. While Brant was trying to be sympathetic to what was
happening with his brother, he’d had more than enough of Ken’s tiresome
whining and complaining about life’s irrelevant things. Okay, so
yeah he got that Ken wanted to change, but this was ridiculous.
“And I think you should shut up,” Ken snarled in response, his sour
attitude returning as he made his way over towards the bar, “I think I
need a drink.”
“No, Brant’s right,” Avery hooked Ken’s arm in hers, “I think you
should go upstairs. Take a shower or something and try to relax
after the night you’ve had. A drink isn’t what you need.”
“Hmm, funny how you presume to know what I need right now,” Ken turned
to her, his dark eyes filled with an obvious anger, “At least I’m
dealing with this in my own way instead of using other people to get
over the situation.”
“You know what Ken. I’ve heard just about enough out of you
considering that…” Brant started to complain having heard more than
plenty of his brother’s slinging insults at Avery and himself.
“That what? What are you going to do about it Brant? Going
to teach me a lesson that I’ll be sure never to forget?” Ken challenged
with a heavy scowl, “Going to show me what it’s like to steal another
man’s wife and get her exactly where you want her without doing
“Okay that’s enough,” Avery nudged Ken towards the staircase, “You and
I are going upstairs right now.”
“Did you hear that Brant,” Ken offered an icy smirk, “She’s choosing
the nice guy for the moment. She wants to get me upstairs.
Maybe you aren’t as influential as you thought you were…”
“Listen Ken, I’ve had more than enough of your attitude and…” Brant
snapped back at him feeling like he was dealing with a ten year old
version of his brother.
“Spare me your sob story Brant,” Ken rolled his eyes in response before
eyeing Avery intently, “because your wife wants to get me upstairs to
“No, I’ll take you to bed,” Brant stomped towards the staircase.
“I can handle it,” Avery turned around to face him. She dropped
her voice a bit before speaking to Brant once again, “Remember I had to
deal with Grady in the past…”
“Yes, but you don’t have to deal with Ken. He’s my problem and…”
Brant began to argue with her.
“And you’ve made it your mission to help me with my problems, so let me
help you with yours. I can handle this Brant. If I can’t,
then I’ll let you know,” she urged him on again.
“Fine,” he finally took a step back, “but if you’re not down in five
“You’ll know you’ve been replaced,” Ken curled his arm around Avery’s
shoulders, “Come on Avery. Why don’t you tell me what line my
brother used to win you over because I’m sure that I can come up with
something three times more appropriate for the situation at hand?”
“I’m sure you can,” Avery replied helping him up the stairs all the
while knowing that Brant was fuming below. Still, she knew that
there was more to this outburst than Ken was showing them and she
wasn’t about to let him hurt himself anymore than he had. If
anyone in this world knew what he was going through right about now, it
“Oh believe me Avery, there’s a whole lot I could be showing you right
now that might surprise you,” Ken continued as she helped him to his
bedroom, “but right now I have one question for you.”
“What’s that?” she asked opening the door and stepping inside with him.
“How is it that my brother sweet talked you into marrying him so soon
after you lost Russ? I mean I thought what you two had was so
solid and…” Ken kicked his shoes off, his dark eyes fixed upon her as
she started to turn down the blankets on his bed.
“Thing are complicated Ken. You of all people should know that
when life throws you something that you aren’t ready for, it changes
everything,” Avery offered honestly before turning around to face him
again, “Though I will say that what you’re doing isn’t helping.”
“And your marrying my brother did what exactly?” he questioned bluntly,
his face a mask of sudden seriousness.
“Look, there are things going on with that I would rather not get into,
but for what it’s worth I happen to think your brother is an incredible
man,” Avery replied standing taller than before, “He’s got a good heart
and he’s been there for me when I needed him…”
“Ah yes Brant the saint,” Ken rolled his eyes, “I’m constantly amazed
at how easily and readily everyone is to accept his supposed new and
improved ways when really when it gets down to it, he’s still the same
man. He hasn’t changed and truth be told I don’t think he’s ever
going to. Whatever her promised you Avery, he’s not going to
“That’s a bit cold coming from you,” Avery shook her head at him, “The
man is your brother. Certainly you should feel something more
than this callous attitude you’re having. After last night I
“After last night I realized a lot of things about my life and in
reality, well I’ve embraced what I am and where I’ve come from. I
know what being an Ashford means and it’s because of my being
that…well, it’s why things are as they are,” Ken shook his head, “this
was fate giving me a sign.”
“Ken, you’re reading the signals all wrong. I mean I’m not going
to stand here and lie to you telling you that this is easy on any of
us, but see, this is where you and I are at a difference of
opinion. I could’ve easily gone to where you’re going, but I knew
that Russ wouldn’t want that--just like Caitlin wouldn’t want your
“You can’t tell me that Russ would want you to be married to my brother
either,” Ken stepped towards her, “You can’t say that he’d be happy
with this sudden choice of yours. I mean yeah sure I drove my car
through my ice-cream shop in a moment of stupidity, but you’ve just
betrayed everything you and Russ had together and for what? For
any of Brant’s promises for happily ever after? Avery, I know
that you’re trying really hard not to see it, but my brother is a
nut. He’s not the kind of man you think he is and…”
“And I think you should stop while you’re ahead,” Avery cut him off
sharply, “because I know you’re going to say something you don’t
mean. I know that you’re hurting right now and you want to spread
that emotion around, but I’m not going to take part in it. Ken,
you need to take a step back and see things as they really are.”
“That’s the problem Avery. I have seen them as they are and I
realized that I don’t like what I see,” Ken answered honestly, a sigh
spilling from his lips.
“Yeah, well neither do I,” Avery threw back at him with a frown,
“because the guy I used to know, well I really liked him a lot.
The Kenneth Ashford that I grew up with, well he was someone I could
respect and look up to. He was someone I always aspired to be
like in some ways and now with this, well…you’re like a stranger to me…”
“Avery wait,” Ken reached out to her, snagging her arm as she started
to leave his room, “don’t go.”
“Ken, I’m not going to stand here and listen to you spurn the world for
what happened. I mean my God, my baby is going to grow up without
her father because of that bombing. I know how you’re
hurting. I know what it is that’s eating you up inside, but damn
it Ken, I’m not letting this destroy me. I’m not letting it take
away what’s left of my life…”
“Yes, but if you were honest with yourself Avery, you’d see that this
isn’t about letting it destroy you because the damage is already
done. It’s not as if it’s something that’s continuing to happen
because deep down this accident has already destroyed us both in ways
neither one of us can vocalize. I mean sure you can tell me
you’re moving on for your daughter--that you’re pushing forward, but
the truth to the matter is that your heart is still behind with
Russ. You’re still back at that airport none the wiser waiting
for the wheels of time to turn back so you can have your dreams in your
“No Ken,” she shook her head in response, “I’ve come to the realization
that I can’t ever go back. I wish like hell that I could, but I
“So you’ll make the biggest mistake of your life with my brother,” he
dropped his voice a bit before extending his arm out to touch her cheek
gently, “Avery, you know that this isn’t at all what you were meant
“And you’re going to tell me that this is what you were meant for,” she
gave him a pointed look, “Ken, you can’t tell me that in your heart
this makes you happy.”
“No, it doesn’t,” he confessed dropping his hand down, “but it leaves
me from feeling empty inside. It doesn’t give me room to feel the
pain and regret that ate away at me…”
“Maybe not, but it’s opening up the door for a whole new world of
regret and I can tell you that one day it’s going to hurt a whole hell
of a lot worse than it does right now if you drown yourself in that
chaos,” Avery informed him poignantly, “Ken, while right now you might
be set on doing things the way you think will take the pain away, it’s
not really what you want.”
“This coming from a woman who married my brother when she lost the love
of her life,” Ken threw back at her, “Given what I know about you
Avery, I can tell you that this decision isn’t going to make you any
happier than I am right now. Brant’s only going to hurt you in
the end and you’re opening yourself right up to that kind of
pain. Sure what I’m doing is bad, but what you’ve done, it’s a
whole hell of a lot worse and one day you’ll see that. I just
hope that by the time it hits you, that it’s not too late to get out of
the mess you’ve put yourself in.”
Carly cleared her throat as she stood on the front steps outside the
Ashford mansion. While she knew she should be focusing on the
impending trial ahead of her, she couldn’t quite shake the thought of
what Ken was going through at a time like this. Sure, she’d heard
the warnings from the doctors about staying in bed and taking it easy,
but that could wait. Knocking on the door before her, she waited
patiently for someone to answer until the door creaked open.
“Well, well what do we have here,” Brant eyed her intently, “Let me
guess, the DA’s office decided to change their minds about Ken’s
punishment and they’ve sent you to break the bad news to him.”
“Hardly,” she couldn’t help but roll her eyes at his obvious sarcasm,
“Is Ken around?”
“That depends,” Brant opened the door wider, “which Ken are you looking
for? The quiet and reserved one or the one who went joyriding
with you the other night?”
“Okay Brant, where is he,” Carly questioned making her way further into
“In bed, but something tells me that won’t be a problem for you, now
will it?” Brant folded his arms in front of his chest eyeing her
intently, “So why are you really here Carly?”
“I’d like to check in on Ken and make sure that he’s okay,” Carly
answered flatly, “You don’t have a problem with that, do you?”
“That all depends,” Brant remarked stepping towards her, “Is your being
here about what happened the other night and if so what exactly did
happen the other night between the two of you? I notice that you
seem chummy lately, so what’s the story?”
“You ask too many questions,” Carly frowned up at him.
“Questions that I’m sure are well worth answering given the state my
brother has been in lately,” Brant replied in the same pointed tone
she’d tossed out at him, “He’s changed lately and I’m willing to guess
that a lot of that change is something that has to do with you.”
“Too bad people don’t pay you for making up stories in your head Brant
because you’re quite good at it,” Carly replied taking a step towards
the winding staircase, “I think I can find my way up. You did say
he was in bed after all.”
“Of course,” Brant nodded appropriately, “and I’m sure he’ll be
thrilled to see you joining him.”
“Brant, why don’t you do us both a favor and you mind your own
business,” Carly suggested making her way up the staircase as Brant
watched her closely.
“Hey,” Avery’s voice interrupted his thoughts as he felt her hand on
his arm, “Brant…”
“Avery,” he nearly jumped from where he stood, “Where did you come
“I came down the back staircase after I left Ken,” she explained
simply, “Hey, what’s going on?”
“That’s what’s going on,” Brant motioned to the top of the stairs where
Carly started to slip into Ken’s room.
“What’s she doing here,” Avery frowned at the sight before her.
“I’m not sure, but something tells me whatever it is she and Ken have
going on between them, it’s going to wind up being nothing but
trouble,” Brant thought aloud pondering the dramatic changes in his
brother over the last few days. Now with Carly popping in and
out, Brant had to wonder if she had something to do with this new side
of Ken. Yes, there was certainly something going on between those
two and Brant intended to find out exactly what it was.
Dave sat in his office thinking about everything that seemed to be
falling apart around him. While Dave knew that he had a job to
do, it seemed that the rest of the world was making that increasingly
difficult for him--especially where Carly was concerned. Hearing
a knock at his door, Dave looked up to find Shannon standing in his
“Got a minute,” she asked closing the door behind her before he had a
chance to respond.
“I guess I do now,” he sighed setting the paperweight he was bouncing
around from hand to hand aside, “What’s on your mind Shannon?”
“Well, for starters, I wanted to ask you a few questions about this
Mahoney murder trial since it’s right around the corner,” Shannon began
with a straight to the point kind of expression.
“Gee, now if that isn’t the million dollar conversation, then I don’t
know what is,” Dave leaned back in his chair, “and truth be told I
don’t have anything more to tell you then what you already knew the
last time we talked. There‘s really nothing more to say.”
“Well, that’s where you and I are at a difference of opinion because
while you might not have anything new, I do,” Shannon divulged thinking
about what she’d uncovered, “It turns out I came into contact with the
doctor who took care of Kipp after he was taken out of the hospital.”
“Come again,” Dave’s eyes widened with obvious surprise, “How in the
world did you find this out?”
“Let’s just say that I have my sources,” Shannon couldn’t help but
“And just who is this mystery doctor?” Dave questioned curiously.
“He’s my husband,” Shannon blurted out catching the look on Dave’s face
as soon as the words were spoken.
“Your husband? Since when?” Dave nearly gulped back at her.
“Look it’s a long story that I really don’t want to get into, but to
give you the abridged version, I had a bad day, did the very thing that
they tell you in AA not to do when stress is weighing down upon you and
I woke up the next morning with a husband,” Shannon revealed letting
out a long breath, “While I’d like to say that this was a mistake I
could easily erase, unfortunately for me, I married a romantic at heart
who believes in the whole till death to you part bit. I’ve tried
to explain to him it’s never going to work out, but he’s just too damn
stubborn to see that. He won’t listen to me when I tell him that
we’re just not going to work there…”
“In other words, you’re being your usual self and not giving this guy a
break huh?” Dave replied pointedly.
“It’s not like that Dave and besides, I didn’t come here today to talk
about my marriage. It’s not important,” she waved her hand
“Yet it was important enough for you to tell me about it Shannon,” he
paused thinking about what she was saying, “So tell me Shannon, what’s
so wrong about finding a guy who believes in romance? That’s not
necessarily a problem.”
“Oh come on Dave. This guy is the ultimate boy scout. He’s
a doctor, a hopeless romantic and an overall sap,” she paused realizing
what she was saying, “I mean no offense, but I don’t get into all of
“Of of course not since it’s so beneath you,” he feigned a shudder.
“Look, Dave, I’m not in the mood for this. What I am however in
the mood for is to talk about this Mahoney trial. It turns out
that not only was Don Kipp’s doctor, but Kipp was alive and well when
he left Don’s care,” she continued adamantly.
“That’s great news, so where is Kipp?” Dave questioned, “Have you been
able to get into contact with him and let him know that there’s a man
on trial for his murder?”
“It’s not that simple,” Shannon replied with a huff, “you see there’s
more to this story as Kipp wasn’t exactly walking out of the hospital
when he was transferred.”
“I’m listening…” Dave waved her on to continue.
“Well, it turns out that Kipp was transferred to an undisclosed private
facility by none other than Susan Denton,” she continued to reveal,
“While that might not seem like much…”
“It leads to Cameron’s involvement given Susan’s ties with his
company,” Dave nodded in complete understanding, “So what’s next?”
“Well, we’ve got a bit of a lead we’re working on right now if it
checks out and…” Shannon started.
“You mean the FBI is taking charge of this one as well?”
“No, it’s not the FBI. Remember due to Avery Morrison’s father
having a fit I’m no longer in the FBI loop and right now I think that’s
probably a good thing. The ways we’re searching into things
aren’t exactly procedural if you catch my drift…” she explained with a
wave of her hand.
“In that case I don’t want to know about it, but if you get something
that can help with this trial…” Dave began.
“That’s what I’m hoping for, but since I’ve heard rumors about you and
the ADA, I was kind of hoping that you might pass some of this along in
a casual manner to her considering that…” Shannon started up again.
“It’s not going to happen Shannon. Carly and I aren’t exactly
seeing eye to eye right now and I think that maybe it’s for the best,”
he paused thinking about how each time he and Carly started to make
some progress with one another, another thing sent them back a few
steps, “Besides, I have my plate full with the bombing and the Bruce
“Which reminds me, has Deidra returned to town yet?” Shannon
questioned, “Last I heard she and Dean were taking a romantic little…”
she stopped herself, “never mind.”
“No, it’s okay,” Dave forced a pained expression, “I know about Dean.”
“And yet you’re taking this rather well,” Shannon eyed him intently,
“Care to talk about it?”
“Nope,” he shook his head, “It’s not something I’d like to get into
right now. As long as she’s happy and safe, that’s all that
matters to me.”
“Dave, I know that you and she were kind of…” she spoke up again.
“It’s in the past,” Dave offered up a poignant smile, “besides if you
haven’t heard, while you’re off getting married to the prince charming
that you simply don’t want, I’m the one who is putting my foot so far
down my throat that each and every woman who ever meant anything to me
“Deidra’s a fool if she couldn’t see how much you care about her.
I mean yeah Dean’s a great guy, but…” she tried to offer in consolation.
“Believe it or not I think it’s for the best. Deidra is looking
for something that I’m not and I have other things to deal with,” he
frowned thinking back to Carly’s accusatory words.
“Such as would you believe I’m even more messed up than you are when it
comes to love,” he confessed with an ironic laugh, “I mean here I was
spending half my life wishing for the perfect woman to just come into
my life and the truth to the matter was that I had her and I let her
slip away. I kept thinking that Deidra was my ultimate dream
girl--that someday fate would put us together, but when it got down to
it, I was blowing my last chance at real happiness with a woman who
loved me for me.”
“Sounds like a bit of regret there,” she noted with a tilt of her head.
“More than you can imagine,” he nodded in response, “which is why if I
were you I’d rethink this whole eagerness to get out of that marriage
of yours. If the guy is a good one, then maybe you should find a
way to at least see where this situation takes you.”
“Dave marriage and I don’t mix,” Shannon started to argue.
“Maybe that was true once upon a time, but you know Shannon. It’s
a cold and lonely road to travel alone. If this guy you’re with
is willing to try to make things work regardless of how it started,
maybe just maybe he’s someone worth investing a little effort in,” Dave
“What are you my damn shrink now?” she scowled back at him.
“No, just someone who knows what it’s like to wake up one morning and
realize that you’re all alone. It’s not a pretty picture
Shannon. Trust me on that one,” he added rising from his chair,
“but on that note, I have to follow up on a few things here so I need
to get going.”
“Alright, but I just thought I’d give you a head’s up on what’s going
on with the case here. I think that I’m on the threshold of
something big,” Shannon added trying not to let herself be distracted
by thoughts of Don.
“Then I say roll with it and keep me updated,” Dave nodded back at her,
“and as for your husband, hey cut the guy a break. If he thinks
you’re pretty special, he can’t be all that bad, can he?”
“Dave,” she threw out a warning look despite the fact that she couldn’t
argue that he had a good point there. Maybe she was being too
hard on Don after all. Still, she was certain that love and
happily ever was something that was never in the cards for her even if
Don wanted to believe that was the case.
Sarah walked to her front door smiling thinking it was Blake forgetting
something only a few minutes after left a couple of minutes ago. When
she opened the door a huge smile spread across her face.
“Kyle,” she smiled as she welcomed him in and closed the door behind
“Hey beautiful,” Kyle winked before handing her a single red rose,
“This is for you.”
“Another rose? I think they are becoming my favorite flower Kyle,”
Sarah pointed out before going to the kitchen to only have him follow
her as she put the rose into the vase that held the others he gave her
a couple of days ago.
“You see, I heard from Seth that you were sounding a little down and I
brought a few things for you,” he stated raising the bag that he held
tightly in his hand.
“Other than the rose?” she questioned raising her eyebrow slightly
amused, “What is it?”
“You see, I knew you like to just hang out so I went out a found your
favorite movie for us to watch,” Kyle informed her as he pulled out an
object from his bag.
“Oh my god, you brought Pure Country,” Sarah gasped excitedly as he
“You see, it took me a while to find that movie,” Kyle began to explain
before shrugging, “But I knew if the movie wasn’t you know, good enough
to cheer you up…I figured dessert would, so I went out and got you your
Sarah smiled as he pulled out a strawberry cheesecake and put it on the
counter, “Not only have you already made me feel better, but I think
you are trying to get me fat too.”
“Sarah,” Kyle laughed as he pulled her close to him wrapping his arms
around her waist, “You are not fat and you never will. Unless of course
me and you…”
Sarah’s eye widened as she looked up at him, “Me and you what? What
were you going to say?”
“Oh it’s nothing,” he assured her before winking at her, “Anyways, you
won’t get fat if I get my hands on the dessert first.”
“Hey, that’s my cheesecake,” she stated, “You will not eat it all, but
we can share it.”
“No, that’s okay,” he laughed slightly before tightening his grip on
her, “I bought it for you.”
“But really, what was it you were saying?” Sarah questioned as Kyle
rolled his eyes and leaned down kissing her lightly.
“How about that movie?” he questioned seeing her nod as he kissed her
“I’ll let it slip right now, but I will get it out of you,” Sarah
insured him as he laughed.
“I’m sure you will, now come here before you miss the beginning of the
movie,” Kyle yelled out before she quickly came out of the kitchen.
Seth sat on the sofa flipping through channels realizing it was useless
to try to find good quality television on a Thursday night. Sure
there were the usual sitcoms, but right now, well now he’d just as soon
find himself buried in beneath the blankets instead of dealing with
what useless things were on. Reaching for the remote, he flipped
to an old Friends episode thinking of how Blake so enjoyed the
show. He left it on for a moment before deciding to call it quits
for the night.
“Another time,” he replied watching Joey knock on the door before he
turned the television off. Once he did he was struck by an eerie
feeling as the pounding continued. Only instead of coming from
the television, the source of the sound erupted from his own front door.
“Wonder what you forgot Kyle,” Seth laughed lightly thinking of the
night Kyle and Jade must’ve had with one another chatting it up.
Rising from the sofa, Seth walked over to the door opening it to
discover the hallway empty.
“What the,” Seth began with a puzzled expression before a long, slender
leg slipped out across the doorway blocking his path to the hall.
His gaze traveled appreciatively down the smooth, sleek curves leading
to the sexy, white stiletto shoe before him. Unable to suppress
the smile that spread over his handsome face, Seth let out a small
whistle, “My, my what is this?”
“Your preview of what lies ahead for the honeymoon,” Blake slurred in a
low, seductive tone before sliding her leg to the floor once
again. Sauntering into the archway of the door, she gazed up at
him with smoldering blue eyes. She had her long, blonde hair
pinned up loosely in a pale snow colored clip and as her crimson lips
curved up in a smile, Seth couldn’t help but find himself intrigued,
“Baby, I’m always interested where you’re concerned,” Seth inched
forward ready to take her into his arms, but before he could reach her,
she took a step back, sliding her hands over the front of the brown
trench coat she was wearing.
“I don’t think you understand. You’re not getting the full
effect,” she explained licking her lips before she teased her finger
tips over the knot of the jacket, “but you will.”
“Blake, um, about that,” Seth started to clear his throat remembering
that Jade was inside the apartment, “Maybe we should…”
“Feast your eyes on the latest find I happened upon. I was going
to save it for the honeymoon, but I figure why wait,” Blake stated
boldly pulling her jacket open to reveal the naughty white satin and
lace bodice she was wearing. It was innocently white with a pink
ribbon lacing right up the front and in that moment Seth felt his IQ
drop at least a hundred points as the barely there garment hugged each
and every one of her savory curves accentuating every positive about
her body. His eyes widened as she shed the trench coat before
reaching for the clip in her hair releasing it’s hold on her golden
tresses. Shamelessly she took another step back, showing off the erotic
find she’d picked up on the way over. “Well, what do you think?”
“I think that…” Seth stammered a bit unable to contain himself as she
spun around to give him the full effect of the lingerie. His
throat went dry, his heart hammering in his chest and as she bent down
to retrieve her jacket, his eyes were immediately drawn to the soft,
swell of her breasts teasing him from beneath the constricting fabric.
“I’d say that’s a start,” Blake eased her arms into the jacket,
watching the way his pulse seemed to leap up into his throat with each
breath of air he’d sucked in. Yes, buying this had been a good
idea indeed. She saw his eyes shift up and down the hallway to
see if anyone else had noticed her display, but in that moment, she
could care less.
Blake stepped forward, teasing her nails over the center of his chest
before she tipped up on her toes to taste his ever so kissable
lips. Her tongue teased over his bottom lip, nibbling gently upon
his tender flesh before she felt his fingers slide within her silken
hair. Unable to hold back on the kiss, Blake let out a soft purr,
feeling the vibration of the sound press over the both of them.
“Blake,” Seth mouthed her name, feeling her body graze against his,
tempting him to let her show him each and every one of the things she’d
had in mind for this prelude to their road to happily ever after.
“How about you let me inside and if you’re a good boy, I’ll let you
unwrap your present,” she mouthed seductively nibbling at his neck
while her hands moved wildly over his body.
“As much as I’d like nothing more than to eat you up right now, there‘s
just one thing that…” Seth started to explain to her as a light snapped
on from behind him in the living room.
“Seth, is everything okay?” Jade’s voice questioned, “I thought I heard
“Jade’s home,” Blake practically squealed, a bright rose color filling
her face as she took a step back and quickly closed her jacket.
“I was trying to tell you that, but…” Seth began apologetically.
“Blake, is that you,” Jade moved forward noticing her in the doorway,
“Whatever are you doing out there? Come on in. Seth, I can’t
believe you just left her standing out there.”
“Well…we were just,” Seth still found himself at a loss as he thought
of the temptation Blake had just laid out on the table for him.
Suddenly all sorts of X-rated thoughts about her swarmed through his
mind rendering him speechless.
“I was just in the neighborhood and,” Blake began attempting to
downplay the situation.
“And it’s good that you’re here. You just missed Kyle seeing as
he just left, but hey you know now that you’re here, we can catch up,”
Jade suggested brightly, “Seth and I were talking about the wedding
earlier and I have a few ideas that I think you might like.”
“Really?” Blake smiled back at her, “Like what?”
“Like I found this magazine the other day and,” Jade paused giving
Blake a once over, “Would you like me to take your jacket for you?”
“No,” Blake and Seth replied in unison, their faces both twisted in
“But…” Jade gave them a strange look.
“What Blake is trying to say is…” Seth stammered a bit.
“I’m really kind of cold,” Blake offered in response, “and you know I’d
just like to warm up a bit before I take this off.”
“Oh, okay,” Jade eyed her for a long moment, “Are you sure everything’s
“Everything is fine,” Seth added before stepping in along side of
Blake, “Although I wanted to show Blake something in my room
first. She left something here the other day and…”
“And I should really go get it,” Blake started to catch on, “Maybe
you’ll have a sweater or something to warm me up.”
“That’s an excellent idea,” Seth nodded in agreement, “In fact, how
about you help me go look for it?”
“I can just turn the heat up,” Jade suggested, “Though it’s kind of
warm in here, isn’t it?”
“Yeah it is kind of warm,” Seth replied tugging at the collar on his
shirt, “Maybe you should check things out.”
“Will do,” Jade replied walking off to check the thermostat.
Once Jade exited the room, Blake looked to Seth with wide eyes, “You
didn’t tell me that she was here.”
“You didn’t give me much of a chance given that you took any ounce of
intelligence I had left with you when you took that jacket off,” Seth
replied honestly, his breath still uneven as the memory washed over him.
Blake couldn’t help but smile at his comment, “Well that was kind of
the point, but if I knew your sister would be here…”
“She’s had a bad day. Grady’s trial was going on and…” he stopped
when Jade reentered the room.
“It says it’s on seventy which is strange considering how hot I’m
feeling,” Jade eyed Blake again, “Are you sure I can’t just take your
jacket for you?”
“No,” Blake and Seth blurted out in unison once again.
“I’m fine,” Blake gulped holding her jacket together tighter than
before, “Maybe I could go get that thing from your room.”
“That thing,” Seth gave her a strange look before realization dawned in
upon him, “Oh, that thing.”
“Yes that thing,” Blake nodded in response.
“We’ll be right back,” Seth waved his finger at Jade before leading
Blake to his room. Quickly he pushed her inside before closing
the door behind him.
“Now what?” Blake questioned in a panic opening up her trench coat to
show him what she was wearing once again, “Seth, we both know I can’t
go out there looking like this?”
“No, you can’t, but at the same time I can’t walk out of here without
getting a chance to touch you. If I don’t, then I know I’m going
to lose my mind,” he confessed diving towards her with a heightened
Blake fell backwards onto his bed not expecting his ‘attack’ as he
moved in over her. His lips devoured her, his hands greedily
seeking out any kind of release as he touched her. Their mouths
met in a whirlwind of passion, a fire scorching the both of them as
Blake wrapped her legs around his torso.
“God, why did you have to come over here looking like that,” Seth
questioned unable to refrain from allowing the more primal side of his
personality come to the surface.
“Because I was missing you,” she confessed tangling her fingers through
his thick, dark hair before her mouth meshed with his again. She
arched up into him, her body aching with need, but before things could
get too fired up, she heard a tapping on the door.
“It’s Jade,” Seth reluctantly tore himself away from her, “She’s
probably wondering what’s taking so long.”
“It’s not long enough,” Blake cried out, falling back onto the bed with
a slight groan, “Seth, I shouldn’t have come over here tonight.”
“Not like this you shouldn’t have,” he admitted, his eyes feasting upon
her, “but damn am I happy you did. Maybe I can talk to Jade and
we can work out some kind of…”
“She’s excited about the wedding,” Blake reminded him with a curl of
her lower lip, “Plus she had a bad day with Grady. The trial has
to be hard on her and well, maybe…”
“Blake, you have no idea how hard this is on me right now with you
looking so delicious,” Seth admitted off the top of his head.
“Oh I have a very good idea,” Blake arched up towards him once again
grinding her body into his, “and that’s kind of what I was hoping for.”
“Fine,” Seth bit back on his words, “Five minutes and I swear we’ll
find a way to fix this.”
“Five minutes,” Blake repeated with wide eyes.
“Five minutes,” he nodded forcing himself to get off of the bed, but
not before issuing her one last kiss. “Don’t you move.”
“I’ll be right here,” Blake promised watching him leave the
bedroom. Smiling to herself she realized that tonight she was
making a bold, yet wicked move, but at the same time she knew full well
that every relationship needed a little spice. Sure, maybe it
wasn’t the best of times now that Jade was around, but she’d gotten all
dressed up and ready to play.
“And play we will,” she smiled inwardly adjusting the lace that
surrounded her before she lay back on the blankets. Her eyes
fixed on the ceiling and as she thought of what lay ahead for her and
Seth, her eyelids grew heavy.
“I’m back and I hate to do this, but Jade’s not feeling well
tonight. She thinks it’s bad Chinese and,” Seth stopped himself
realizing that Blake had fallen asleep on his bed. She’d snuggled
up with one of his pillows and as he watched her, he couldn’t help but
admire how truly beautiful she was. Sure, she was dressed like a
vixen tonight, but with the way she lay before him looking so very
innocent, he thought about the woman he’d fallen head over heels in
Moving in beside her Seth touched her long, blonde hair smoothing it
against the pillow, “I love you Blake Ashford,” he whispered leaning in
to kiss her forehead gently before he went back to check on his sister
once again. Sure maybe life hadn’t been easy, but now that he and
Blake were finally making their dreams come true with one another, he
knew that things were going to turn around for the best. Tonight
things might’ve gone down a very different path than what she was
planning on, but he was confident that once he and Blake were married,
they’d have their happily ever after leaving them with plenty of nights
to explore the obvious passion and chemistry between them.
Don rang the doorbell to the Ashford mansion as he folded his hands out
in front of him. A woman answered the door as he went to talk before
she cut him off.
“Who are you?” she questioned seeing him extend his hand out to her.
“I am Don Leveski. I’m one of Brant’s friends, I believe we have met
before…he called me here to check up on his brother,” Don stated before
she shook his hand lightly and let him in.
“Don,” Brant smiled before walking over to him and hugging him, “Hey,
how‘s it going?”
“Nothing really, just…I will tell you later,” Don shrugged before
seeing the woman walk off. “Is she feeling okay? I don‘t think
she remembered me from the hospital…”
“Oh Avery? No, she isn’t feeling too good,” Brant, informed him with a
slight smile before leading him into a different room. “She’s
just got a lot on her mind and I’m sure that’s all that was about.”
“Where is your brother?” Don questioned looking around before Brant
shook his head.
“Forget about Ken,” Brant began motioning Don to sit down, “He is in a
bad mood. I called because I thought he needed your help, but I
realize he‘s just beyond help at this point.”
“That doesn‘t sound good,” Don nodded a little awkwardly before Brant
“Yeah well nothing with him ever is lately,” Brant shook his head with
a grumble, “You know I tell you, I can’t believe all that’s been going
“Are we talking about Ken or about the potential threat you’re facing
with BBK,” Don questioned with a slight frown, “I’ve been keeping up
with it on the news given my investment there…”
“Yeah well I think sometimes it pays to be a silent partner in the
company,” Brant frowned again, “I mean sure okay I know it’s a small
slice of production, but…”
“But it’s big enough if you need any help, then I’m sure I can step in
if need be,” Don offered with a thoughtful expression. “I realize
you have the best of the best on board, but…”
“But the stress is a bit overwhelming,” Brant confessed with a simple
shake of his head, “Avery’s had a lot on her mind there. She’s up
to her eyeballs in legal issues.”
“You know as much as I hate to say it, maybe you should look into
having someone else step in as well. I know Avery’s obviously
very talented given she’d have to be if she was working for you, but
given what she’s been through…” Don pondered the thought for a
moment. “It might be a bit overwhelming for her especially with
“I’ve thought about that and that’s just one of the many concerns in my
mind right now,” Brant admitted honestly, “Avery’s pushing herself too
“That probably isn’t a good idea Brant. I know that at the
hospital she was eager to leave, but when I saw her, well I just think
it would be in her best interest to just take it easy,” Don suggested
after a moment’s contemplation, “Not that I’m saying anything was
wrong, but stress and pregnancy just don’t mix too well.”
“I know that,” Brant nodded back at him, “I do and I’m trying to tell
my wife to take it slow, but slow and Avery very seldom mix. I’m
reaching out to her, but it’s like she’s built this wall and…”
“And it sounds like you’ve both got a lot on your plate right now,” Don
offered with obvious understanding, “and you know that I really don’t
mind lending a hand at BBK if Avery isn‘t up to…”
“Everything at BBK is taken care of,” Avery announced reentering the
room again, “It’s under complete control.”
“Avery, I wasn’t sure where you went,” Brant turned to address her.
“Yeah, well you know obviously the world is aware that there are some
problems here, but it’s under control,” Avery explained matter of fact
before turning her attention to Don.
“I understand that, but I was just suggesting…” Don started surprised
by the expression on Avery’s face.
“As appreciated as it is, I have it under control,” she shook her head
looking between the two men, “Despite what you both must think of me, I
have it very well under control.”
“I never said that you didn’t. I was just telling Don that we’ve
both been under a lot of stress lately,” Brant tried to explain to her.
“Stress or not, I’m still in control. I can handle this and I
don’t appreciate your thinking that I can’t,” Avery looked between the
both of them, “I’m a lot stronger than people give me credit for.”
“I realize that Avery,” Brant took a step towards her, “Don was only
offering to help considering that…”
“It doesn’t matter,” Avery shook her head before taking in a slow
breath, “I just…I’m tired.”
“Then you should rest,” Brant reached out to pull her into an embrace,
“Why don’t you just go to bed or something?”
“You know,” she paused for a long moment, her gaze pressing in beyond
Don, “I think I’m going to do just that. It’s been a long day.”
“Yes it has,” he agreed with her, “and rest might be good for you.”
“Okay,” she decided giving Don another look, “about before…”
“Don’t mention it,” Don offered watching Avery go up the stairs as he
wondered if perhaps there was more going on in the Ashford home than
they were willing to talk about.
“Somehow I didn’t think I’d be seeing you after what happened in court
earlier,” Ken confessed as Carly took a seat at his side on the bed.
“Yeah, well something in me told me it might be better for me to stay
away for a while, but then I came to my senses and I wanted to make
sure that you were okay,” Carly confessed reaching out to place her
hand on his arm tentatively, “I was really worried about you.”
“You were worried about me,” he half laughed at the thought, “here I
was the one who ran us into my ice-cream shop and damn near killed us
both, yet you’re worried about me.”
“You’re damn right I’m worried about you Ken,” Carly gave him a strange
look, “Why wouldn’t I be after the things that happened leading up to
the accident? Do you have any idea how bad things could’ve gone
for you in court this morning if I hadn’t stepped in like I did…”
“Which I’m sure in doing so, you probably promised your boss heaven and
Earth for a deal like that huh,” Ken questioned already knowing the
answer by the expression on her face, “Carly, I didn’t ask you to do me
any favors here.”
“Ken, you’re my friend and I don’t want to see you bury yourself,” she
explained honestly, “I hated what I saw happening the night of the
accident and if it continues…”
“Carly, I wish that I could shut it off. That I could stop it
somehow, but the truth is that the harder I try to fight it, the more
it takes me under,” he replied honestly, his voice broken by emotion,
“When I think about what should’ve been and then reality hits…”
“Ken, I know it’s hard, but you can’t let yourself lose sight of what’s
ahead of you. You’re not alone in this. You have people
around you that love and care for you and they want to help you,” Carly
continued worry evident in her tone.
“Yeah, sure,” he shook his head before letting out an ironic laugh,
“All they see is one more problem that needs to be dealt with.”
“No, they see a man they love tearing himself apart piece by piece and
they’re feeling helpless. Ken no one wants to see you go under
because of what happened to Caitlin. Yes, there’s no mistaking
the fact that your heart was ripped out when she died, but Ken, you
can’t stop fighting in this world. You can’t stop living because
I’m sure that Caitlin wouldn’t want that. No one wants to see you
“I’m sure it would make a few people around here a bit happier if I
just never showed my face around town again,” Ken groaned in response,
“I mean if I just disappeared, then hey, it might brighten a few
people’s lives there.”
“Damn it Ken. Would you just stop feeling sorry for yourself,”
Carly snapped back at him, her eyes sparking with obvious emotion, “I
mean really you’re looking at this situation with blinders on.
You weren’t the only one to lose someone you loved in that
bombing. There are a hell of a lot of people in this town still
feeling the after effects of what happened at that airport, but they
are trying like hell to find a way to pull through it. They
haven’t given up on themselves and you shouldn’t either. I know
it hurts, but…”
“How can you even begin to think you can know what I’m feeling,” Ken
snapped at her, taken aback by her words, “You and Dave broke up
Carly. He’s not dead. He’s still very much alive.”
“And so are you Ken. That’s what I’m trying to get you to realize
here. If you continually try to destroy yourself, one day you’re
going to succeed and then…” she paused fighting the lump of emotion
that pooled up in the back of her throat, “I’d just hate for that day
“Why?” Ken questioned his dark eyes meeting hers again, “Why would it
matter Carly? You said it yourself that I’ve basically caused you
nothing but trouble since we’ve crossed paths…”
“Yeah well maybe I don’t mind getting involved in your kind of
trouble,” she threw back at him with a huff.
“Then you’re clearly hard up for a good time because I’m the kind of
trouble that you don’t want or need in your life,” Ken argued with her,
“This isn’t something that you want to get swept under in.”
“No?” Carly gave him a sideways glance, “You don’t think that I would
want to care about you?”
“If you were smart you wouldn’t,” Ken added with a frown, “I mean it’s
not like you owe me anything.”
“No, I guess I don’t Ken, but I just kind of thought that when we came
together that maybe just maybe we could find a way to help each
other. Despite your self-loathing woes of how the world is
against you, I’m not Ken. I’m not judging you and I’m not trying
to act as if what you’re doing isn’t going to take you under.
Ken, I’m worried about you and if you can’t see that, then maybe I am
wasting my time after all. Maybe this was a mistake,” she decided
rising up from where she sat only to feel him reach for her arm in an
attempt to prevent her from leaving.
“No, Carly wait,” he tugged her in closer to him once again. He
could see the pain behind her features--the look of disappointment
behind her eyes and in that moment guilt tugged at his insides, “please
“Ken, I can’t watch you destroy yourself. I thought that I could
get into this without being invested in anything more than what we
shared the other night, but damn it you’re my friend and I care about
what happens to you,” she confessed with tears behind her eyes.
“I know you do,” Ken coaxed her into sitting down beside him once
again. He sat up straighter, brushing his thumb against the soft
hollow of her cheekbone as his eyes fixed upon hers, “and I care about
what happens to you too. I don’t like to see you hurting like
this because of me.”
“Then stop being such an ass and start trying to help me help you,”
Carly pleaded with him, “Ken, I don’t think I could bear the thought of
you killing yourself because you were burned by destiny.”
“If anyone other than you said that, I think I’d tell them to piss off,
but with you,” he paused finding himself choked up on emotion, “Carly,
look I can’t make you any promises about what happens next, but I can
tell you that I never meant to bring you into this.”
“Yeah, well it’s a little too late for this one now isn’t it,” she
tossed back at him with a poignant smile, “I’m already your partner in
“Unfortunately for you,” his thumb grazed over her bottom lip gingerly
despite his resolve to keep her at arm’s length.
“Yeah, well there are worse things that could happen, right,” she
tossed back at him with a small sigh.
“Yeah, there are certainly worse things that could happen to you,” he
nodded in agreement, tilting his head down closer to her, “I mean hell,
you could go and fall in love with me. That would be pretty damn
stupid, wouldn’t it?”
“Believe me, I don’t think either one of us is dumb enough to fall into
that trap with one another,” she replied, her eyes dropping down to
focus on the warmth of his breath over hers, “We’re smarter than that
“Much, much smarter than that,” Ken whispered heatedly over her mouth,
feeling her body tense up in anticipation. He leaned forward
curling his arm around her, unable to resist the urge that overtook him
as he pulled her down into the bed with him.
Grinning mischievously, he dragged his index finger over her bottom
lip, watching her shiver upon the contact of his skin against
hers. He could feel her heart racing beneath his as he tipped
down to nibble on her crimson colored lips. She writhed beneath
him, her body arching up ever so slightly into his like it had so very
readily the other night. Still after he’d almost killed her, he
could picture the glass and the blood so vivid in his memory when their
car crashed and he pulled back ever so slightly.
“Why are you wasting your time on me Carly,” he questioned curiously,
dragging his fingers lazily up and down her side.
“Because I think that deep down we both know we’re not really wasting
each other’s time,” she admitted freely, feeling his hand slide in
underneath her blouse before his fingers began to explore the contours
of her body.
“We really aren’t, are we,” he mouthed in a low, sensual tone, his
mouth melding to hers again. Her arms curled around his body,
hands roaming relentlessly as he worked to rid her of her blouse, but
before things could reach their full potential, Ken heard the faint
echoes of a knock at the door. Frowning Ken pulled away from her
with a curse upon his lips, “Damn it Brant. Why can’t you just
leave well enough alone?”
“Maybe this isn’t a good time,” Carly started to sit up again reaching
out to adjust her blouse again.
“No, it’s a perfect time,” Ken explained leaning in to kiss her once
again, “Just let me get rid of my brother.”
“Ken, if this isn’t…” she began again feeling him silence her with a
desperate kiss full of longing.
“It is I promise you,” Ken assured her before climbing out of bed to
stomp over to the door. He threw it open a crack before glaring
out into the hallway with an angry scowl, “What?”
“Ken,” Dave’s surprised face greeted him, “listen I know it’s not the
best of times, but I was hoping we could talk. Can I have a few
minutes of your time?”
“You want my time,” Ken repeated with a grin suddenly realizing the
weight of the situation he’d just entered upon. Unable to refrain
from smirking harder than before, Ken stood up taller ready to have it
out with a man who could clearly put an end to his fun. Suddenly
this pivotal moment became something that Ken realized he’d waited a
very long time to indulge in and with that thought in mind, he opened
the door a bit further, “Sure Dave, I’d be more than happy to let you
have a few minutes of my time. You might find it to be rather