Episode 179

“Are you still mad at me?” Don questioned looking over at Shannon who sat on the couch ignoring him as she read a magazine. “I don’t get you.”

“That’s nice,” she yawned before flipping the page of her magazine as he rolled his eyes.

“I told you a million times, you were the one that jumped me,” he reminded her seeing her frown.

“You could have at least stopped me,” she hissed before seeing him shrug and smile.

“Alright let’s think about this for a second,” he began with a slight sigh. “Put yourself in my shoes.”

“Why would I want to do that?” Shannon wondered seeing that frown on his face that showed up every time she disappointed him, trying not to feel bad she turned her head away from him.

“Well, if you were in my position,” he started with a sigh before standing up and walking over to the couch she sat on, “You would have a hard time stopping yourself. Am I right?”

He laughed hearing complete silence from her as her cell phone rang and that had to be the best thing that had happened in days to her. She couldn’t take all his whining about everything, it was just getting too much.

“Hello,” she answered the phone looking back at Don who watched her every move.

“It’s Kyle,” Kyle informed her slightly excited, “I just got some good news.”

“What might that be?” she questioned taking in a deep breath looking back at Don.

“You may not believe me, but I found us a lead to Kipp,” Kyle stated smiling to himself.

“Wait, what?” she questioned quickly hearing him laugh.

“That’s the thing, we have to get going quickly before there is nothing there,” Kyle declared as she nodded to herself.

“Where is this lead?” Shannon wondered rubbing the back of her neck slowly having a hard time understanding how he got this information.

“That’s the thing, I know where it is, I just don’t know the name of it,” Kyle started to explain before looking down at his watch. “I doesn’t have a name, it‘s just an island.”

“So when should we leave?” Shannon questioned looking back at Don who had a slightly confused expression on his face.

“That’s the thing, as soon as you are ready we can go,” he pointed out with a smile, “We have a jet waiting for us right this moment.”

“Are you serious?” she questioned quickly before grabbing her bag off the floor. “I will call you right back for directions after I am done packing.”

“All right, but hurry,” Kyle got out quickly before she hung up the phone and began throwing various things into her bag.

“What are the police coming to get you or something?” Don questioned walking over to her bag and placing the items neatly in her bag.

“No, Kyle and I are going to an island,” she informed him grabbing the bag from his hands quickly.

“You and Kyle? I knew you guys always had a thing for each other,” Don shook his head letting out a deep sigh as she turned around slightly shocked.

“Yeah me and Kyle,” Shannon nodded with a laugh before thinking of how dumb he was, “Yeah, we are going away on a romantic rendezvous.”

“I always knew you had a thing for him,” Don snarled before walking to the couch and sitting down.

“Well at least he doesn’t assume things like you do,” she scowled before shaking her head. “And he sure isn’t as annoying as you are.”

“If you like him so much, then why don’t you go get drunk and marry him,” Don shook his head in disapproval.

“What is wrong with you?” Shannon questioned throwing her hands up in the air frantically. “Are you a complete moron or is this just a hobby for you?”

“What is that supposed to mean? Are you trying to say that what you really meant was that I too dumb not to realize this earlier?” he questioned hearing her laugh.

“Hey smart one, Kyle and I are just friends,” Shannon explained to him seeing him frown, “If you haven’t realized, he has a girlfriend…whom he loves deeply.”

“That doesn’t mean he can’t have a fling with you,” Don stated as Shannon rolled her eyes.

“God, why did I have to pick that drink up?” she questioned to herself holding her head slightly feeling the aching pain growing. “If you really must know, we found a lead on Kipp.”

“Then let me go with you,” he begged standing up before she shook her head.

“No that wouldn’t work,” Shannon began as she picked up her bag, “The only thing you would do is complain about how you want our marriage to work out. Truthfully, I need some space from you for a while.”

“What am I supposed to do while you are gone?” Don wondered seeing her look around the room.

“I don’t know, just clean the room or something or maybe find a hobby. Do what you did before you and I ever crossed paths. You might find that you‘re a lot happier than you are right now nagging on me all the time,” Shannon shrugged before walking out the door leaving him behind, for once she actually felt relieved to be away from him. He took too many things to his head and she was getting tired of it.


“Kyle,” Sarah smiled when she opened the door to only see the expression on his face that made her worry, “What’s wrong?”

“I have some good news and I have some bad news,” Kyle started before walking in and shutting the door behind him.

“What is it Kyle?” Sarah questioned as he slipped his hands into his pockets before sighing in deeply.

“Well the good news is that we found a lead to possibly help Grady’s case,” Kyle explained slowly as she smiled.

“Well that’s great news, what would be so bad about that?” she wondered seeing him frown as he searched for words to explain what was happening.

“Well, I have to leave,” Kyle informed her seeing her raise her eyebrow in surprise.

“Leave? When are you leaving?” she questioned hearing him sigh before looking down towards the ground.

“In about twenty minutes,” he replied looking up into her confused eyes.

“Wait, I don’t understand,” she began slightly confused as Kyle’s fingers enclosed with hers tightly.

“Well, I found something that could lead us to Kipp and if I don’t go soon, that information could disappear,” he began to explain before thinking back to the case, “I have to go to some island that doesn’t even have a name.”

“Well how long will you be gone?” she wondered seeing him shake his head slowly.

“See I don’t really know,” Kyle shrugged slightly, “It could take a day, or it could take a few weeks. It depends on how fast I find something.”

“So what is holding you back?” she wondered with a slight smile before he frowned. “I mean you have to help Grady.”

“It’s you that’s holding me back,” he stated holding her hands in his, “I don’t think I can leave you at a time like this.”

“Kyle, I will be fine,” she assured him before seeing him shake his head.

“You see you say that, but I don’t believe you,” he informed her raising his eyebrow.

“Hey, you need to help Grady. I will be fine Kyle, I can take care of myself,” she insisted seeing the hesitance behind his face. “Believe me Kyle.”

“You promise if something is going wrong you will call me right?” he questioned seeing her nod with a slight smile.

“I promise,” Sarah, agreed before shrugging, “If I need anything, I will just call Diego or something.”

“I still feel kind of bad leaving you here all by yourself,” he reminded her with concern behind his voice.

“Hey, if it makes you feel better…you can call me every two hours to check up on me if you want,” Sarah suggested with a slight smile. “Anyways, you should get going.”

“I hate doing this,” he repeated again before she pulled him down to her and kissed him lightly.

“I will be fine,” she informed him once more with a slight laugh, “Now leave Mr. Houston.”

“I love you,” he almost wanted to call Shannon and cancel, but she was right he had to get Grady out of this. She was strong enough to take care of herself; she had proved it to him many times in the past.

“I love you too,” Sarah replied with a smile, “Now go prove Grady innocent.”

Kyle nodded before walking out the front door and taking one last look at her house before walking to his car.


“Come on Jade,” Brittany reached out to Jade, her pigtails flying with each movement she made on the beanbag she was bouncing upon, “I want you to sit by me. Right here, right now.”

“Brittany, Jade and I were talking,” Gabe began watching his daughter spring up from where she’d been seated earlier in the evening when she was watching old Scooby Doo cartoons.

“Daddy, Jade might’ve been talking to you, but she came over to see me, isn’t that right?” Brittany’s eyes got wide with hopefulness, “You said the next time you came over we could have a girl’s night. Now that my daddy is here we can all have a girl’s night, right?”

Jade glanced over at Gabe thinking about her previous worries. While she’d come over to sulk about the latest turn of events, it hadn’t lasted much longer than Brittany coming in and announcing that she’d had a fresh bout of insomnia keeping her awake. Yes, she’d actually used the word insomnia which had blown Jade’s mind, but then again Brittany was pretty bright for being so young.

“Jade and I are actually talking about some grown up things right now,” Gabe started to explain to his daughter, watching as she made her way across the room to extend her arm out to Jade.

“Come on. You know you want to play dress up, puh-lease,” Brittany batted her long, dark eyelashes at Jade before tossing her blonde hair over her shoulder, “I promise I’ll do your makeup first if you play.”

“Well, since you put it that way,” Jade couldn’t help but smile giving in to Brittany‘s request, “I think I could use a makeover right about now.”

“Good because you’re in luck,” Brittany lead Jade over to the beanbag she’d vacated moments earlier, “because today there’s a special going on. You’ll get your hair and nails done along with your makeup for free.”

“Free you say,” Jade’s eyes widened in response as she sat down on the floor to indulge Brittany. “My it really is my lucky day, isn’t it?”

“That’s right,” Brittany nodded reaching for the small, pink plastic purse she’d gotten for her birthday filled with all her play makeup. “And by the time I’m finished with you, no man will be able to resist you Jade.”

“No man can resist her now,” Gabe remarked fondly leaning back on the sofa to watch his daughter’s exchange with Jade. Somehow while he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to say the right things to make her feel better, he knew his daughter would be able to. Just watching the two of them together, Gabe wondered if one day Jade would be able to smile again like she was now when the man she loved was released from jail--if he was in fact released at this point.


Grady lay in his jail cell thinking of the horrible first day that had surrounded him in the courtroom. Somehow he didn’t think that things were going to pick up for him at this point. Sure, Avery was trying, but if today was a representation of how the rest of the trial was going to go, Grady knew that he was in big trouble. That in itself left him feeling very unsettled.

“It’s going to get better,” he heard a voice speak out to him. Turning towards the source of the sound, he noticed a figure in the shadows. Sitting upright off of his cot Grady tried to peek through the silence, but still through the darkness he knew that voice anywhere. That in itself made his skin prickle in the moment.

“Russ…” Grady blinked back trying to place his brother’s face as he stepped into the moonlight illuminated part of the jail cell.

“You can’t give up hope Grady,” Russ explained matter of fact, “You’ve got a lot out there waiting for you, you know.”

“How are you…” Grady stammered caught up with the obvious confusion that surrounded the moment, “You can’t be here. You’re dead. You’re…”

“Listen to me,” Russ pleaded with his brother, “Grady I know that things look like they’re falling apart, but you can’t let Cameron win. You have too much to fight for to give up on believing this will work out in your favor now.”

“Gee and that’s coming from you,” Grady eyed him intently, “the man who lost it all by going up against the evil that tried to destroy his life.”

“Grady if I never would’ve tried, then they would’ve won. I wasn’t about to go out without a fight and neither should you. Jade needs you,” Russ stepped in closer to him, “She needs you to never stop believing.”

“Russ, it’s not that easy,” Grady brought his fingers up through his dark hair, “You don’t have any idea what it’s been like since you’ve died. I wasn’t there for you. I couldn’t save you from…”

“Hey,” Russ took a seat beside his brother placing his hand on his leg, “Grady, what happened to me wasn’t your fault. None of this was your fault and you have to stop beating yourself up over the things that were out of your control. What you need to do is remember what it is that means the most to you in this world--what you love.”

“I love Jade,” Grady replied honestly, a sigh erupting from his lips, “more than anything I love her, but when I think of the life that I won’t be able to give her…”

“Grady, you have the potential to have it all. Cameron can’t get you down. He can’t take your life away from you unless you give him that kind of power,” Russ insisted with a frown, “The only way you’ll stand to lose it all is if you give up on the fight before it’s had a chance to begin.”

“Russ, you see what kind of position I’m in. I’m in jail for God’s sake. Half the world thinks that I killed Kipp Mahoney and that night, God, I was so drunk and so angry…well, who knows what I could’ve done after I left that party? I’m starting to think that maybe I was wrong. Maybe there are things that I’m missing about that night.”

“Grady, stop,” Russ ordered firmly, “Don’t do this to yourself. Don’t let this place drive you crazy.”

“Easier said than done. I feel like a caged animal in here,” Grady revealed, “It’s almost as bad as it was when I was drinking. When Susan had ripped my life from out under me…”

“But you were a fighter then and you’re a fighter now. I know that you can get out of this. Jade believes in you. Avery believes in you and I believe in you Grady,” Russ continued adamantly. “As long as you remember that…”

“Russ, I’m worried about Avery,” Grady confessed with a tiny frown, “Something’s not right with her. Something’s off and I can feel it. She needs you now. She needs you to be there for her. She’s the one you should be worried about instead of me…”

“How can I not worry about you? You’re my older brother,” Russ pointed out once again, “You’re the guy who taught me how to play baseball--the man who was there when I scored my first base hit…”

“You only scored that because I let you. I was trying to be nice,” Grady grinned sheepishly.

“Yeah, well whatever your motivation, it paid off. You gave to me and let me give to you,” Russ suggested, “Please don’t give up on the hope of getting out of here because if you lose sight of what’s important that’s when you stand to lose the most.”

“I just wish it wasn’t so complicated. I just wish that I could think back to what happened that night. I mean I was so sure before that I wasn’t the one who shot him, but now…hell, if I was on that jury I’d think I was guilty,” Grady revealed with an inward groan.

“But you’re not. And if you start thinking that you are, that’s when this will all fall apart. Grady you’re going to get out of this. When you do you and Jade are going to have your own happily ever after. I’m sure of it.”

“Yeah well I wish I had your faith. Hell, I wish I had you here with me. Maybe that would make this easier. It’s not the same without you Russ,” Grady admitted poignantly. “You have no idea how much I miss you.”

“I miss you too Grady, but it’s not forever. I’m not gone. You just have to believe that,” Russ replied rising to his feet once again, “Keep the faith because I’m telling you Grady…this is far from over. There will be some big things happening soon and I’m going to need you to take care of yourself and Avery.”

“Russ, I just don’t know if that’ll be possible considering that the trial is going so…” Grady protested.

“It’ll be possible,” Russ assured him, “trust me Grady. Sooner or later everything is going to be as it should be.”

“Russ wait,” Grady spoke out to his brother only to discover that he was alone in his jail cell once again. It had all been a very disturbing dream, but maybe his dream vision of Russ was right. Maybe things would pick up for him soon. At least he hoped so.


“Hungry,” Brant questioned entering the library only to discover Avery typing away furiously at the keyboard in front of her. She looked up at him briefly before shaking her head and returning to her focus.

“No thanks,” she uttered quickly before clicking away at the keyboard all over again.

“Are you sure? I can’t remember the last time you sat down and ate there Avery,” Brant started frowning as he noticed the distance behind her movements. While she’d been around during their talk with Kyle, now it felt like she was lost again. It was almost as if she was resorting back to avoiding him there and that left him feeling rather unsettled. “Avery, what’s up? I mean really what’s going on? Are you still upset about what happened with Ken before because if you are…”

“I’d really rather not talk about Ken if you don’t mind,” Avery replied sharply refusing to let her mind travel down that path it had lead her to after Ken’s retreat. There was still something that haunted her about the way he’d spoken with her--about the way he’d looked at her and if her instincts were right, then she had a lot more to worry about than she realized. She looked up at Brant once again immediately struck with guilt over her suspicions, “Look Brant I’m just busy with the trial and…”

“And there’s more going on. I know it,” Brant took a seat on the edge of the desk, “And I’m not leaving until we talk about it. I want to know what’s bothering you.”

“Brant you really don’t,” she shook her head feeling her stomach tied in knots all over again, “Trust me.”

“Try me,” he folded his arms in front of his chest before eyeing her intently, “You’re my wife now so what bothers you, well, it bothers me too.”

“When you put it that way it makes it all the more horrible Brant,” Avery replied with heavy emphasis pushing her chair away from the desk.

“Ok, now I know we’re in trouble here. Spill it,” he suggested with a stern tone, “Avery, what’s going on?”

“Brant, have you ever done something so horrible that you found you couldn’t live with yourself after it was said and done,” she questioned biting back her emotions, “Something that you knew at the time you shouldn’t have done it, but you were trying to do something for someone you cared about--something for someone you really truly felt deserved something special, but then it totally blew up in your face?”

“Avery, I don’t get where this is heading,” he paused for a brief moment, “unless of course you’re trying to tell me that you’re second guessing our getting married. If that’s the case, then would you at least give me a chance to try to make this work? Avery, I love you and I want to make you happy. I know that you’re not in love with me, but hey we can work on changing that. We can work on finding a way to really get to know one another. We can start over again and when we do maybe just maybe, well maybe we can really find that there is some kind of common ground for us to work with…”

“Brant, that’s not it. I mean my God any woman in the world would be lucky to have you as a husband. So many women dream about the kind of life you could give them. You’re handsome, brilliant and you have a true and genuine heart. Sure you might be a bit rough around the edges, but you deserve to have love--really complete love that isn’t prone to falling for deceptions. You need someone who can give you what you need, but I’m not…”

“Stop right there,” Brant stepped towards her, his dark eyes reaching out into her, “I don’t want to hear where you’re headed with this Avery. You are what I need and you’re most certainly what I want. I love you. I really, truly love you and I know that in time we can make this work.”

“Brant, it’s just,” Avery started feeling the tightness in her abdomen spreading throughout her body as his fingers pressed in gently over the side of her face. She lifted her eyes up towards him seeing very clearly what his eyes were saying about the way he’d felt for her. There was no doubt in her mind that he loved her--that he believed that they would be perfect for one another, yet after last night…

“Just nothing,” he inched in towards her, “Avery, I’ve never been a patient man, but I’m willing to wait forever if that’s as long as it take for me to prove myself to you.”

“Brant, it’s not about proving yourself. It’s about…” she began but her words were brought to a close when Brant’s lips descended in over hers. She felt the soft, gentle sweep of his lips against hers, the tenderness of his movements rocking her to the core. Her knees trembled a bit as his arm encircled her, his kiss growing with the moment. Feeling a warm, welcoming sensation spreading over her, she curled her fingers in over his shoulder squeezing gently as the kiss expanded between them. There was a spark, then a fire and suddenly her body was hot all over caught up in a whirlwind of sensations. In that instant she realized she had the answer to the question that had haunted her most of the afternoon.

“Oh God,” Avery gulped taking a step back, her flushed features causing a heat to continue over her while her lower lip trembled slightly, “I knew it.”

“Knew what,” he blinked back in confusion, “Avery if I’m pushing you too hard, then I apologize.”

“No, Brant, it’s not you,” she shook her head firmly, “You didn’t do anything wrong. It was me. Last night…last night something happened and at the time I didn’t realize what it was, but now after that kiss…after you just…”

“Avery, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you,” Brant reached out for her once again.

“No, Brant, you’re not getting it,” she shook her head adamantly, “this isn’t about what you did. It’s about what I did. Brant last night when I was in my room, well I thought that you were…then I…we…I mean I didn’t know the difference even though I should’ve. I’ve kissed you enough to know that…to feel that, but I was just so upset and…”

“And what?” Brant eyed her intently his worries elevating by the moment.

“Brant last night when you were gone, I ended up making a huge mistake. I did something that I swore I wouldn’t ever do. Brant last night I sle…”

“Knock knock,” Guy tapped on the entry way to the study before flashing a bright smile in his sister’s direction, “there you are.”

“Guy,” Avery gasped taking a step back in surprise, “What are you doing here?”

“Well I went by the house but when I didn’t find you there, well I kind of figured that you might be staying here and all,” Guy gazed between her and Brant, “So how are things going?”

“Things are going fine,” Brant cleared his throat wondering what it was that had been bothering Avery. Still as Guy stood in the doorway he knew better than to try to shove him out of the house especially now that Avery needed her family more than ever, “How are you doing?”

“I’ve had better days,” Guy admitted taking a step forward and in that movement the dark circles beneath his eyes revealed themselves. “I’ve been at the hospital a lot with Mum, but well I got to thinking that maybe it was time I come over and see my favorite sister too.”

“Guy you really shouldn’t have,” Avery started feeling hit with another pang of guilt as she thought about how much Guy would hate her if he knew the truth about what she’d done.

“Of course I should sweetheart,” Guy embraced his sister tenderly, “How could I not be around my favorite sister when she needs me or my little niece as well? Speaking of which I saw something at the hospital gift shop that I absolutely knew I needed to buy for her. Want to see it?”

“Guy you really shouldn’t have,” Avery began hesitantly.

“Oh honey, just wait until you see it,” Guy assured her taking a step back into the hallway before returning to the room with an oversized gift wrapped box with shiny pink bows and ribbons in his arms, “Now before you protest, just know I couldn’t pass up an opportunity like this.”

“Guy I don’t know what to say,” Avery started finding herself at a loss.

“It looks like you put a lot of thought into this one,” Brant teased one of the ribbons with his index finger letting out a tiny laugh.

“I tried. I just knew when I saw it that it would be perfect though,” Guy confessed brightly, “because it so made me think of Avery especially when we were younger and she was always well…she just has to open it.”

“Guy, I don’t know if now is a…” Avery insisted.

“Open it now before I have to wrestle you down and force you to do it,” Guy coaxed her on nudging the package towards her.

Avery stepped forward taking in a long, slow breath before she reached for the package. Brant was right. It did look like Guy had put a lot of thought into it and as she began to open the package, visions of Brooke flying out the window ran through her mind. She stepped back for a moment looking up to see the encouraging expressions on Guy and Brant’s faces before she continued. Finally she tore into the package opening the top of the box to discover a mid-sided stuffed pink riding horse inside. She leaned forward pulling it out only to discover that it was a unicorn and not a horse that had rockers on the bottom for the baby to ride.

“I know my niece will have to wait a while, but she’ll have something to look forward to,” Guy added with a small smile before turning to Brant, “Avery had a horse like that and you would not believe how much time she spent riding it. Actually now that I think about it, the horse was mine, but she insisted that since she was older she should get first ride each and every day.”

“I did not. You just always said ladies first,” Avery couldn’t help but smile thinking about the younger years with her and her brother. While life in the Morrison home had never been easy with Brooke and Richard constantly at odds with one another, she and Guy had made the most of their time together. They’d had a lot of fun during those times. “Back then it seemed so magical to play with.”

“It was magical and that’s why when I saw this I had to get it for the little one. Of course being that it’s a unicorn instead of a horse there’s the whole magic, mystical element to it that we didn’t have, but I still think she’ll love it nonetheless,” Guy added brightly, “So what do you say?”

“I say that it‘s…” Avery stopped herself looking between her brother and Brant and in that moment the only thing that she felt was an overwhelming sense of guilt. Unable to refrain from her tears she stepped forward embracing Guy once again urgently, “It’s wonderful. I love you Guy.”

“I love you too,” he replied returning the embrace as she sobbed into his shoulder.

“I love you so much. No matter what don’t you ever forget that,” Avery continued wishing that she hadn’t let things get so out of hand with Brooke. If only she could’ve found another way--if only she could’ve done something differently.

“Hey, I wouldn’t ever forget that. You’re my sister and you mean the world to me Avery,” Guy replied in a soothing tone all the while exchanging worried glances with Brant as he wondered just what had transpired to upset his sister to this point. Avery wasn’t one to fall to pieces like this, but now that she seemed to be breaking apart at the seams, he had a feeling whatever it was that was going on inside of her was something to worry about.


“So this is it?” Shannon questioned looking over at Kyle who seemed to be in a daze as she waved her hand in front of his. “Attention Kyle Houston.”

“What?” Kyle questioned before shaking it off. “Oh, I think that sounds great.”

“You didn’t even listen to a word I just said, did you?” she questioned a slight laugh before seeing him shake his head.

“I’m sorry, my mind is full of things right now,” he informed her with a slight sigh.

“You want to share?” Shannon questioned before seeing him shrug and try to get comfortable in the seat of the plane.

“I don’t know, just this whole thing with Grady’s trial. What if I am wrong and there is really nothing here?” Kyle questioned talking again before she could answer that question. “I just worry, you know?”

“I completely understand,” she nodded before seeing a different expression on his face.

“What else is bothering you?” she wondered seeing him shake his head lightly.

“Oh nothing,” he began with a slight hesitant laugh, “I know this sounds dumb, but I am not a big fan of flying.”

“You are afraid of flying?” Shannon questioned before seeing him shrug.

“I don’t know if I would call it that,” he shook his head. “I would think of it more as, being afraid to crash and never be found.”

“Alright, getting off that topic,” Shannon began with a laugh before seeing him roll his eyes.

“Yes, let’s stop making fun of me,” he began slightly embarrassed before folding his arms out in front of him, “What about you and Don?”

“What about me and Don?” she questioned before laughing and rolling her eyes.

“That bad?” he questioned before seeing her nod.

“I can tell you, it isn’t any fairytale romance,” she stated before seeing him nod.

“Well, why don’t you tell me about it,” he suggested before seeing her think it over.

“Well, he has to know everything I am doing and he gets worried whenever I am with a different guy. Heck, even when I told him I was coming here with you, he had a fit,” Shannon explained before seeing him nod.

“You see if husbands weren’t worried about their wives, then they wouldn't be doing a very good job,” he pointed out before smiling, “And having a fit over you being with me, I could understand that, I mean I am pretty intimidating.”

“Keep talking Houston because it makes you all the more unappealing,” Shannon shook her head before rolling her eyes.

“Hey I was just saying,” Kyle shrugged before motioning her to go on, “Anyways, what else is wrong with the guy?”

“I don’t know, he just wants so many things in this relationship and he is just too perfect,” Shannon began seeing him nod slowly. “There is something about him that just gets to me though. Like the other night we were fighting and out of nowhere we started going at it like crazed teenagers and…”

“Stop right there,” Kyle got out quickly before shaking his head quickly. “I don’t need to know anymore, I think I have heard enough.”

“You said you wanted to hear what was wrong,” Shannon shrugged before seeing him close his eyes tightly.

“That just went a little too far,” he breathed out before hearing her laugh.

“I don’t know what it is, I just can’t handle him, but yet he is so,” she began searching for words as Kyle cut her off.

“I think I know what your problem is,” Kyle stated before smiling widely.

“Really? You do?” she questioned as she saw him nod slowly before resting his hands on his legs.

“Yeah, you have the same problem I did,” he started as she raised her eyebrow. “You have a problem opening up to people.”

“That’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard,” she laughed before shaking her head. “No, I don’t.”

“Fine, but if I wouldn’t have told Sarah how I felt I could have lost her forever and I could have never been with the one person I truly loved,” Kyle reminded her seeing her shrug.

“That’s you Kyle,” she pointed out before seeing him nod.

“Yeah that is me, but what if this guy really is the real thing?” Kyle questioned before seeing her laugh. “You see that? He is, you do love him…you are just afraid to admit it.”

“I think we have talked about this enough,” she stated before looking out the window.

“Okay, whatever you want,” Kyle shrugged before rubbing the back of his neck slowly, “I just think you should really take a look at this whole thing and think if this this is really that bad. If you don’t make the right move you could lose the person you truly loved.”

Something about what Kyle said bothered her, not because he was making no sense, it was that he was right.


Blake looked up at the television screen overhead shaking her head as she turned to Seth once again, “I thought this was a sport’s bar.”

“It is a sport’s bar,” Seth pointed out curling his arm around her shoulders to urge her in closer to him on the seat of the booth.

“Then why in the world are they playing soap operas,” Blake frowned shaking her head at the television set, “I swear the last thing I want to watch right now is another Chloe, Brady, Nicole saga here. It’s just wrong what they’re doing…”

“I didn’t realize you were a fan,” Seth arched his brow curiously before turning his attention to the television set over head, “Which one is which?”

“Chloe is the one in the bandages, Brady is obviously the guy and Nicole, well she’s that one,” Blake pointed to the screen as they waited for Sarah to show up, “You see Nicole might be the bitch of the show, but she’s had a hard life and she’s trying to turn her life around.”

“Is that right,” Seth’s gaze returned to his fiancée and away from the television as he noticed the way her nose wrinkled up at what she saw before her.

“Nicole has her faults, but she’s trying really hard to turn around for Brady. She’s just looking for love and she’s had a chance to have it with him, but Brady’s ex-girlfriend whom everyone thought was dead has now shown up from the dead and…” she stopped herself realizing how foolish she must’ve sounded, “Oh never mind, it’s not worth getting into.”

“No, if you enjoy it, by all means tell me all about it,” Seth leaned in closer to her, his fingers teasing through her long, blonde hair lazily.

“You’re not at all interested in listening to what I have to say about soap operas,” Blake threw out a pointed look, “admit it.”

“Okay, so maybe I’m not, but at the same time, well I have to admit it’s cute to watch you talk about them. Just the way your eyes light up when you get going…”

“Seth Alexander, are you making fun of me?” Blake’s lips curled in a pout.

“Who me?” he shook his head at her, “No never.”

“Good because you shouldn’t knock soaps until you take the time to watch them. They can be therapeutic at times. I know when I was growing up I spent a lot of time--well, not a lot of time, but I spent some time watching them considering that…oh would you look? Sarah‘s here,” Blake sprung up from where she sat, her face a bright crimson color as she thought about what she was getting into with Seth. She waved at her friend to join them. “Sarah!”

“Blake,” Sarah approached the trio with a bright smile, “hey, sorry I’m late.”

“It’s not a problem,” Blake waved her hand dismissively, “I’m just glad you’re here. Where’s Kyle?”

“He had some…um, business to take care of, but I figured I’d still join you since he was leaving town tonight,” Sarah confessed sliding in across from them at the table.

“It sounds like it was urgent,” Blake noted her friend’s expression, “Did he have a big case or something?”

“Something like that,” Sarah nodded not saying much more.

“Hmm, well that’s too bad. I was hoping he and I could discuss a few things about the wedding since he’d mentioned knowing a great place to have the bachelor party,” Seth couldn’t help but tease feeling Blake poke him in the ribs.

“Just you hush. I’m not about to let Kyle corrupt you,” Blake warned him with a quick wiggle of her finger.

“Oh now Kyle wouldn’t do that,” Seth offered up a sly grin thinking about the time the four of them went apple picking and he and Kyle had managed to play a few pranks on the ladies in the name of good fun.

“Oh yes he would,” Sarah added, “and besides I’m not about to let him run any kind of bachelor party. The last time he attempted to do that he almost landed himself in jail.”

“Really?” Seth’s brow raised with obvious interest, “Do tell.”

“No, don’t tell,” Blake placed her hand over Seth’s lips to silence him, “at least not while Seth’s around.”

“Hey now, are you saying you don’t trust your fiancé?” Seth questioned with a small smile.

“Oh I trust you well enough and I trust Kyle, but together you’re trouble,” Blake explained with a laugh before another voice joined in the group.

“Did I hear someone saying my name,” Kellen piped in with a tiny grin of his own.

“Kellen,” Blake practically squealed leaping out of her seat to greet him, “hey what are you doing here?”

“Well I was just in the neighborhood thinking about picking something up here because they have the best chicken wings. They are to die for, but right before I placed my order, well I noticed you standing in here and I started thinking to myself if you were around than maybe Seth was and wouldn’t you know it. Here you both are.”

“Hey Kellen, how’s it going?” Seth reached out across the table to shake Kellen’s hand.

“It’s going pretty good Mr. Groom to Be,” Kellen grinned widely, “Do you know you’re all the rave over at the gym? After Jade spilled the beans on your upcoming wedding, well everyone has been talking about how lucky Blake is.”

“I tend to think I’m the lucky one,” Seth replied motioning to the seat, “Hey if you’re sticking around, why don’t you join us?”

“Oh I don’t mind if I do,” Kellen replied with a bright smile before looking to the television overhead with a puzzled expression, “Oh my God, I didn’t know they were showing Days in these places.”

“They don’t usually, but tonight apparently they are,” Blake replied casting a glance over at the television set. “Oh my God. I don’t believe this.”

“What?” Seth questioned watching his fiancée’s face shift with obvious emotion.

“Oh brother, not this again,” Sarah groaned inwardly bringing her hand up over her face, “Things are about to get ugly.”

“Ugly,” Seth repeated confused as Blake and Kellen both seemed to be staring at the television in a state of shock.

“Ugh, what is that girl thinking. Lucas is so not the one for her. I mean okay, yeah they have a son together, but still what is she thinking,” Blake shook her head, “I mean honestly why in the world would Sami want to be marrying Lucas when she’s got that sexy man Brandon Walker still in love with her? She and Brandon were hot stuff and for her to just up and pretend that didn’t matter. He was everything she wanted and everything she needed but now…”

“Girl, I’d let Brandon be everything I could ever need too,” Kellen added with a coy expression before licking his lips, “and then some. Have you seen the pecs on that man?”

“Come again,” Seth blinked back at the both of them.

“Oh believe me I so could go for hours with that man,” Kellen grinned with a tiny giggle, “though that Lucas Roberts is no Homer Simpson. I’d take a piece of him any day if I could. He’s just too cute. You could just eat him all up there and with a butt like his…mmm…mmm…girl, I could easily be very pleased with some of that.”

“If you say so,” Blake groaned, “I just don’t see the appeal.”

"Oh come on. I think Lucas is cute. He's adorable and I'd step into Sami's shoes anyday there. She's got all the hotties at her disposal," Sarah piped in with a small grin, "Austin, Lucas or Brandon I'd take them all."

"Of course you would," Blake shook her head at her, "because you're all for that type, but my I more so prefer the Brandon Walker or the Sonny Corinthos type where they have mystery and intrigue about them..."

"Sonny," Sarah wrinkled her nose at her, "please Blake that man has more issues than you have shoes. Besides Lucas and Brandon are both devoted."

"Not to mention cute," Kellen piped in with a grin, "We can't overlook the obvious here in all of this. Sami is one lucky girl."

"Of course she is, but I still would go for Brandon hands down," Blake decided with a huff, her face wrinkling with a small scowl.

“Okay I give. What am I missing here?” Seth questioned looking to Sarah.

“Blake used to be a big fan of this show back in the day. She was convinced that the whole Brandon and Sami romance was going to be the next big thing on it,” Sarah explained simply, “She was oh so into the couple when she was at work at the hospital.”

“You make it sound like I did nothing else,” Blake frowned sliding in beside Seth once again. “It’s just a bit addicting there.”

“Yeah well given how you’re drooling over this Brandon character, I’d like to see what it is that kept your interest in this melodrama,” Seth glanced over at the television.

“Oh honey, he was a beefcake in every sense of the word. It was a damn shame when they let him go because Brandon was to die for,” Kellen explained with extra emphasis before looking to the screen again, “and while I know you hate to hear me say it Blake, the truth is that Lucas is someone that I could very easily amuse myself with. Lucas Roberts is hot enough to melt my television screen every time he's on!”

“Whatever,” she rolled her eyes, “but for me I’d take Brandon any day.”

“Gee, should I um take that as a sign that the wedding’s off,” Seth teased with an air of seriousness, “I mean if this Brandon guy is more your cup of tea.”

“Seth, while Brandon Walker is sexy, well he pales in comparison to the man I have right here beside me,” Blake revealed sliding in closer to him. She reached out to tug on the center of his shirt pressing her lips against his in a seductive sweep before pulling back, “As you can see there’s only one man for me.”

“And that’s our cue to go get some drinks,” Sarah spoke up again breaking her long silence, “Kellen, would you care to join me?”

“I don’t mind if I do,” Kellen nodded in agreement sliding out of the booth with Sarah before leaning in to whisper in Blake’s ear, “but when I get back I want all the juicy details.”

“Not a problem,” Blake laughed lightly watching her friend leave before she turned her attention to Seth again, “Now where were we?”

“I think we were about to discuss all the things that makes this Brandon character so appealing,” Seth replied tilting his head to the side to gaze into her own crystal blue eyes.

“Well, truth be told as sexy as Brandon is, he’s not even close to what you are. Of course, there’s also a big difference between me and any soap opera woman you’d see on that television,” she explained with a low breath inching in towards him.

“Yeah, what’s that?” he arched his head just a bit to feel her breath upon his lips hovering above him.

“I’m no fool when it comes to getting my man and keeping him. I know I’ve got the best and I don’t intend upon letting him go anywhere. That Sami, well she’s a real piece of work, but not me. I know what I want and I know exactly how to get it,” Blake divulged sliding her hand over the center of his chest.

“Is that right?” Seth couldn’t help but grin curling his arm around her waist gingerly.

“You’re damn right it is,” she promised kissing him heatedly knowing that while she’d once lost herself in watching soap operas and getting worked up over fictional characters, nothing could beat the reality that surrounded her in the arms of the man she loved. Seth was her dream lover and more brought to life and in this moment she felt like the luckiest woman in the world.


“I can’t believe how good this trial is really going,” Cameron smiled as he fell back into his couch and put his feet up on the table in front of him. “Grady has no chance at this point.”

“That is a fact,” Thea smiled going behind Cameron and massaging his shoulders lightly.

“At this point in time, I don’t think anything could get any better,” Cameron stated as he closed his eyes and leaned back.

“What about Heather?” Thea questioned seeing Cameron’s eyes open quickly.

“What about Heather?” he questioned before seeing her shrug slightly and bite on her bottom lip.

“I don’t know,” Thea shrugged before frowning, “I just thought you were still pissed about Heather being in the mental institution.”

“Damn,” Cameron growled standing up quickly and running his hands through his hair roughly. “You are right.”

“I didn’t mean for you to get pissed off,” Thea raised her eyebrow watching him pace the room quickly.

“No you didn’t do this, it has been building up for a long time,” he scowled before shaking his head. “We have to get her out of there as soon as possible.”

“I say let her rot,” she shrugged, “I mean really what good has she done anyways?”

“She can’t rot,” he frowned, “Not when I need her. You know how vital she still is to my plans for Douglas.”

“Fine,” she rolled her eyes, “If you say so.”

“I do and we need to get her out of that place,” he insisted firmly.

“How do you plan on doing that?” she questioned seeing him bite down on his lip and shake his head.

“I don’t know that yet,” he stated before scowling and walking over to his desk and pushing a few papers to the ground.

“Well don’t you think you should keep your mind on the trial?” she questioned before seeing him nod.

“You are right,” he nodded before starting up again, “I hate her sister for doing this. She needs to learn that no one gets away with pissing me off.”

“She will,” Thea nodded with a smile, “I promise, I will use all of my power to help you with that.”

“Good,” Cameron smiled sadistically, “I just need to get Heather out of there.”

“Well, I think you should keep your full attention on Grady right now,” Thea suggested with a slight frown seeing him shake his head quickly.

“I don’t care what you think,” Cameron spat out before rubbing the front of his shirt down. “I am going to focus on the both of them. I am going to get Heather back to me and I am going to love seeing Grady rot.”


Exhaustion had overtaken both Ken and Carly after their afternoon lovemaking burned into the evening. Now as they lay in one another’s arms, she traced her fingers over the center of his muscled chest gingerly.

“You’re going to be the death of me Ken,” Carly revealed with a small smile closing her eyes and listening to the strong, solid sounds of his heart beating.

“Or I could be the key to your enjoying life all over again,” he replied lazily massaging his fingers over her spine, “because that’s certainly what you’ve been doing for me.”

“Good,” she lifted her head just enough to look up at him, “because it proves I’m doing something right for a change.”

“You’re doing more than just something right,” Ken curled his finger in underneath her chin, “Carly, you’re an incredible woman and you have no idea what all of this means to me.”

“Ken, it’s not like it’s any earth shaking experience…” she stopped herself a tiny giggle breaking through the surface, “okay…so maybe that’s not the right terminology to use there, but still I could be doing so much more than just…well, this.”

“This is good for now,” Ken replied matter of fact squeezing her in his arms, “and besides, the truth is that the only time I feel like I’m alive is when I’m with you like this.”

“Ken, if we keep doing this like we’ve been doing, it’s going to kill us both,” she teased in response feeling him flip her onto her back before he moved in over her.

His dark eyes penetrated her and his mussed hair seemed to be wild with the moment as he leaned in to kiss her tenderly, “Carly, I’m being totally serious about this. You’re really growing on me.”

“You’re growing on me too Ken,” she confessed as she gazed up at him, “Back when we first started this all those years ago I really, truly wanted to think that I could forget about it. That I could write you off as a big mistake I made…”

“But if we’re making the same supposed mistake over and over again, then maybe it’s not a mistake anymore,” he traced her face gingerly, “Maybe it never was a mistake for us Carly.”

“Ken,” she spoke his name feeling the moment turn very serious between them.

“Look, I’m not saying that we should go pick out the china or make any wedding plans just yet because heaven knows we’re above all of that,” Ken piped in before she could get another word out, “but maybe just maybe…well maybe there is something more to this for us. Maybe we‘re onto something here.”

“Like what?” she questioned watching him carefully.

“Like maybe we can keep working at this and see what comes next,” he suggested propping himself up on his elbows, “I mean sure the sex is phenomenal, but well, I’d like to think that we’ve got something more going on that explains why it’s as good as it is.”

“You might be on to something,” she pondered his words, “but Ken I have a knack of screwing things up in my life to the point that…”

“So do I,” Ken reminded her, “I mean my God Carly I’m a walking nightmare here, but somehow when I’m with you things are less of a nightmare.”

“Yeah well that’s because we’re both trying to work really hard at escaping reality,” she pointed out with a small sigh, “and we’re getting quite good at that.”

“This isn’t about an escape anymore. I mean yes, okay that first night we came back here, yeah it was all about escaping, but now,” he caressed her hip tenderly before curling his arms around her, “Carly, this isn’t about that anymore. Things have changed. I feel it and deep down I’m sure that you feel it too.”

“I do,” she confessed uneasily as her eyes fixed upon his once again, “and that scares me Ken. I don’t know if I’m ready for something like this given that Dave and I have so much still between us and…”

“And Dave never deserved you. He can’t understand you like I do. You can’t possibly feel this kind of fire with Dave,” Ken insisted urgently, “You two can’t even come close to this and if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll see that. We have something strong, something powerful and something entirely about us…”

“Ken, you’re right. This isn’t about Dave, but when reality comes back, the fact is that that aspect of things is still out there, just like the reality about your dealing with the loss of Caitlin is still something we have to face,” Carly replied attempting to be the voice of reason, “Ken I know you’re feeling so strong about this because of the grief you’ve been experiencing and…”

“No,” he shook his head at her, “no, that’s not at all what this is about. Yes, I know I’ve had a lot to deal with, but Carly that doesn’t have anything to do with what it is that I feel for you.”

“Ken, I’m just saying that…” she stopped herself, “never mind. I don’t want to get into this.”

“I’m not trying to cause a rift between us, but I just want you to know that…” he started feeling her lips press against his in a silencing kiss.

“I know Ken,” she breathed still remaining close to him, “and I feel it too. Regardless of what happens next, you aren’t alone in this one. There is something going on that I never planned on.”

“Neither did I, but I’m glad that it came to us,” he confessed feeling her snuggle into him once again. A long moment of silence passed before he spoke up once again, “So I take it the trial isn’t going too well.”

“The trial is going as it should,” Carly replied with a heavy sigh, “I think the jury is really listening to me.”

“But…” Ken sensed she was holding back on something.

“But I had to completely discredit Dave to make that happen. I had to really show the jury that he’s not unbiased in all of this,” Carly admitted honestly, “I was just doing my job, but Dave doesn’t see it that way.”

“Of course he doesn’t,” Ken wrinkled his nose, “Dave doesn’t like to get his hands dirty very often, but when he does, he doesn’t want anyone else to know about it.”

“Even so, I really laid into him there,” she admitted with a tiny frown, “then he came over here right before you did and…”

“And what?” Ken arched a curious brow feeling a moment of panic overtake him.

“He gave me that bag and left,” she motioned to the bag she’d discarded on the table shortly after Ken arrived.

“Well, what’s in it?” he asked curiously.

“A tape of some sorts,” she shrugged, “I didn’t exactly get an opportunity to look at it.”

“Hmm, then how about we look at it now,” he suggested seeing the surprise register behind her eyes.

“Right now?”

“Right now,” he nodded leaning in to kiss her, “I mean it won’t hurt to see what’s on this while we’re resting, right?”

“I guess not when you put it that way, but…” she started watching him scurry out of bed to put the tape in the VCR. Sitting up straighter, she reached for the sheet to cover herself before he returned to bed.

“Here you are,” Ken handed her the remote curious to see what Dave had brought over.

Carly pressed the button and the tape revealed what appeared to be a surveillance tape dated the day of the Mahoney shooting just hours before it all happened. There onscreen before them there was a fuzzy image of a man going to the elevators then leading up to the apartment area.

“Oh my God. That’s…” Carly rewound the tape, repeating the process before pausing it to get a better look.

“That’s Cameron Stone,” Ken finished for her as the two exchanged looks, “You said that Dave brought this over to you after you were clearly ahead in court.”

She nodded, “He’d mentioned a tape in the past, but we weren’t going to be able to use it in court--at least that was the argument I was planning here since the defense is clearly looking for someone else to point the finger at.”

“Yet Dave wanted you to see this,” Ken looked to the television once again, “You know Carly as much as I hate to say it, well, maybe Dave is onto something with this.”

“All the forensic evidence points to Grady Denton being the trigger man. Even if he was setup for this one by working in accordance with someone else the evidence supports his guilt. He‘s the one who had his prints all over the weapon,” Carly explained with a small frown seeing the image before her.

“Even so, given what we’re seeing here, maybe the evidence is wrong about Grady. Maybe what we’re looking at is an innocent man,” Ken added before looking to her once again, “You know how I feel about Grady, so to hear me say this…”

“I know,” Carly nodded in response, the color draining from her face, “and if you’re right about this one Ken…”

“Then it puts a whole new perspective on this situation for you, doesn’t it?” Ken questioned already knowing the answer as he too had always been a firm believer that Cameron was the one who set Grady up.

“Even if it does, Ken at this point, there’s nothing I can do to change things. I have to win this case or else,” Carly paused looking to the screen once again as she wondered if she could pull off a victory while her gut was telling her that something about all of this was terribly wrong. The question is, would she still be able to make her case given that kind of hunch she had or would she blow it all in a moment of conscience?


“Oh nice shot, girlfriend,” Kellen squeaked jumping up and down when Sarah hit the bullseye on the dartboard.

“I told you I was good at that game,” Sarah smiled walking over to Kellen as he handed back her drink.

“I will never doubt you again,” Kellen sighed before looking at the dartboard, “I wish I could throw like that.”

“It’s really easy,” Sarah shrugged hearing him chuckle lightly shaking his head.

“I’m sure it is for you, but I throw like a sissy in this game,” Kellen frowned before seeing Sarah walk to the dartboard and grab one of the darts.

“Here I will teach you how to throw,” Sarah pulled him up to her positioning right across from the dartboard. “Hold it at the front and look at where you want to throw.”

“I’m looking woman, I’m looking,” Kellen got out quickly wanting to throw the dart.

“Alright now rear back and throw,” Sarah ordered him as Kellen threw it and she didn’t even need to look twice as she heard the sound of glass shattering as she quickly turned him around and began walking. “Keep walking like you did nothing.”

“Do you think they noticed?” Kellen questioned trying to look back as Sarah blocked his view.

“Don’t even look back,” she laughed as they slid into a booth and Kellen took in a deep sigh.

“I told you I wouldn’t learn,” Kellen shook his head slightly disappointed seeing her nod.

“Well obviously that’s not your game,” Sarah laughed before patting him on the shoulder lightly, “You must have something you are good at.”

“I am a good at a lot of things,” Kellen winked with a wide smile seeing Sarah nod slowly.

“See, not everyone may be able to do what you do,” Sarah suggested seeing him nod.

“You see girl, I don’t think any man is as good at yoga as I am,” Kellen stated doing a few poses as Sarah coughed on her drink almost choking.

“Yoga?” she questioned raising an eyebrow, “Doesn’t that hurt when you are in that position?”

“You should try it,” he shrugged before resting his hands on top of each other, “It’s very relaxing.”

“I bet,” Sarah nodded not knowing what to say as she caught Kellen looking back at Seth and Blake.

“I wonder what went on there,” Kellen frowned before looking back at her and smiling widely, “It’s got to be juicy.”

“Well maybe if you are lucky, we will get to know later,” Sarah looked over at Kellen who slid back down into his seat.

“Getting back to the discussion we were having earlier,” Kellen began with a slight smile, “Have they found a dress for you yet?”

“No, not yet,” Sarah declared smiling as played with her hair lightly seeming amused.

“You are going to be gorgeous,” Kellen got out before jumping up and down, “You know what would be great?”

“What’s that?” Sarah questioned a little scared to know what he was going to say next.

“If for the wedding I could do your hair,” he replied before grabbing her hand in his, “What do you say?”

“I would like that,” she nodded as he hugged her, “I think that sounds pretty cool.”

“Oh I can’t wait,” Kellen, squealed lightly as he looked at her hair once more, “We could give you a little bit of curls, it would be fabulous.”

“Thanks Kellen,” Sarah smiled, as he got lost in his own thoughts.

“Blake is a really lucky girl you know,” Kellen looked back at Seth real quick, “He is so sexy if you know what I mean.”

“Yeah, he is okay,” Sarah, sighed before seeing Kellen gasp, “Well he is just my friend and I have a boyfriend.”

“A boyfriend?” Kellen questioned smiling widely, “Do talk. What does he look like?”

“Well there isn’t much to say, I mean he is my boyfriend,” Sarah blushed as he shook her arm lightly.

“Oh come on,” Kellen begged, “Don’t leave me out in the dark here. I am the romance type of guy too. What’s his name?”

“His name is Kyle,” Sarah informed him with a slight smile, “He has blonde hair and brown eyes.”

“Is he muscular?” Kellen questioned licking his lips making Sarah laugh.

“If I tell you yes, are you going to go after him?” Sarah questioned seeing him shrug.

“No, but I will be jealous of you,” Kellen winked before folding his arms out in front of him. “I just wish there was right guy out there for me and of course he has to be hot too. Not that I'm against someone who isn't absolutely beautiful on the outside, but it doesn't hurt if he's got the look there to a degree.”

“Don’t worry Kellen, there will be,” she assured him smiling before he shook his head.

“I don’t care about me anymore,” he hushed grasping onto her hands lightly. “I want to here the story on you and this Kyle guy.”

“Why does everyone always say that?” Sarah questioned before seeing him shrug.

“I’m not everyone,” he pouted before smiling; “Think of me as your new best friend.”

“I could tell you, but I think it would take a long time,” Sarah declared seeing him shrug smiling widely.

“I have a lot of time,” he winked before motioning her to go on, “So girlfriend, start talking.”


“What the hell did you call me down here for,” Valerie demanded making her way to the bar where JT was serving up drinks for a few giggling, blonde bar patrons. “This had better be good for you to interrupt my massage.”

“It’s very good,” JT promised leaning over the bar to wiggle his finger at her, “Come here.”

“I’m fine right here thank you very much,” she folded her arms in front of her chest defiantly all the while shouting at him over the music, “Speak now.”

“How about we take this somewhere a bit more private,” JT suggested motioning to the other bartender before circling around the bar to join her. He reached for her arm guiding her along through the sport’s bar to a place where they could talk without having to shout at one another constantly.

“Well, what it is,” she demanded still yelling at him, her eyes narrowing with each syllable that fell from her lips. “Is it about your brother? Does he want to meet again with me?”

“Not exactly,” JT replied with a shake of his head, “although I did have a word with him earlier and I see that you’ve been holding out on me. I notice that you failed to mention one very valid point in this plan of yours.”

“Yeah, what’s that?” she questioned with a frown.

“Hmm, well maybe I might be a bit offended that you failed to mention your secret weapon to me,” JT remarked sourly, “That would’ve been nice.”

“Yeah well I figured you were smart enough to do the math after what I gave you the other day,” she threw back at him with a simple shake of her head, “Please don’t tell me that you needed me to spell it out for you.”

“That’s not at all what I’m saying sunshine, but what I am telling you is that it looks like we’re working on all you at this point. What about my end of the deal?” he arched with a curious brow, “I’m still no closer to getting Diane back and you know that. This has been all about you.”

“I promise you once Seth is mine again, then we’ll focus entirely on you and Diane reuniting,” she replied with a simple shrug of her shoulders, “but first I want what’s mine.”

“No deal,” he shook his head, “You either make some progress with me or else we’re finished. This partnership is over.”

“JT now you’re just being impossible,” she glared up at him, “You know that I have a certain plan for this one…”

“Yes, but so do I. I’m not about to wait for Diane to marry Ben before I make my move. I want to know where she is now,” JT replied with a scowl, “So you either chalk up this as your biggest loss as we end this partnership or you give me something useful.”

He started to walk away when Valerie spoke up again, “Fine, okay, I know where they are.”

“You do?” he spun around to face her arching a curious brow.

She nodded, “I do. She and Ben are at his family’s beach house down in Florida. They were vacationing there.”

“And that’s where in Florida exactly?” he probed further wondering how long she’d been holding out on him.

“I have the address in my book at Ria’s place,” she explained swiftly, “When you get off your shift we can go over there and I’ll give it to you. Hell, I’ll even buy you a ticket down there if you can get your brother to make some progress for me.”

“Since you’re feeling so generous tonight, then so am I. I can take this a step further than Cameron can,” he explained simply guiding her through the bar once again, “Come with me.”

“Hey watch it with the way you’re manhandling me,” Valerie scowled up at him, “Not so hard.”

“Trust me, you don’t want to hesitate on this one. I think this is your golden opportunity to make a rift once and for all,” JT promised stepping aside to give her a clear view of Seth and Blake slow dancing on the dance floor before them. Suddenly he watched her features transform from a scowl to a look of pleasure as she licked her lips.

“My my you are proving to be a prince after all,” Valerie smiled her gaze honing in on Blake and Seth as she decided that tonight was the night she was going to destroy the little Ashford Princess’s dreams of happily ever after with Seth forever.


Kyle and Shannon walked off the jet into the bright sunlight as they looked over the beautiful island.

“God it is beautiful out here,” Shannon smiled as Kyle nodded and looked around.

“Heck yeah,” Kyle agreed stretching before walking to the shoreline of the beach and looking out into the water, “After we are done here I might bring Sarah back here when I go on a vacation.”

“That sounds like a really good idea,” she smiled bending down and picking up a seashell.

“I know what you are thinking,” Kyle began with a smug smile, “You are thinking that after we are done with this whole thing you want to bring Don over here.”

“Go to hell Kyle,” Shannon rolled her eyes as he laughed and shrugged.

“Shannon, I didn’t know you cared so much,” he laughed before she hit him in the chest.

“Shut up,” she slightly laughed before seeing him shrug.

“What?” he questioned before smiling. “Oh come on you love me like a brother.”

“I may love you like a brother, but that doesn’t mean I have to like you right now,” Shannon replied before seeing him frown.

“You are mean,” he laughed before looking back at the buildings behind him.

“Get used to it Kyle because I’m not about to change that for you or anyone else,” she glared at him.

“Poor Don. He has no idea what he’s up against. I almost pity the poor man.”

“Well don’t because it’s none of your business. So where is this place?” Shannon questioned as Kyle pulled the sheet from his pocket.

“This is the address I have,” Kyle handed her the note, “So you think we should get going?”

“Yeah, let’s go,” she smiled as he began to move forward when she slid her foot out in front of him making him fall face first into the damp sand. “Oh my god are you okay?”

Kyle’s head slowly rose as he reached up wiping that sand from his face lightly. He spit out the sand from his mouth as he stood up wiping his clothes off.

“I am going to forget that you did that,” he whispered lightly rubbing the back of his neck as sand fell from the top of his shirt.

Shannon went to say something before he cut her off, “Don’t say a word, I might change my mind. Let’s go.”

Shannon laughed following him as he rubbed the top of his head making bits of sand fall. She knew from this point on there was going to be no humor involved. This wasn’t going to be a fun trip; this had to be as serious as it came.


...to be continued...