Sarah felt the warm rays of the sun spread out over her body as her eyes
opened to reveal that she lay in Diego’s guest room. While she’d
tried to be a fighter and stay at her apartment the previous evening, ultimately
Diego had talked some sense into her and she’s gone home with him. Sure,
she could’ve called Blake and bothered her, but then that would be admitting
that she had a problem. Sarah most certainly didn’t have a problem. She
just had to deal with Heather’s vile husband one way or another.
“I’m sure Cameron was behind this,” Sarah heard her voice echo in the back of her mind as she thought back to what she’d walked in upon after her night out with Blake and Seth. Sure, Cameron might’ve been trying to intimidate her, but all he’d managed to do was annoy and irritate her. Heather might buckle under Cameron’s pressure, but there was no way in hell Sarah would do the same.
With that defiant thought in mind, Sarah got up and out of bed ready to start her day even if it meant going back to her apartment ready to have a face off with whatever Cameron threw at her next. Sure, okay, so maybe Kyle was out of town and that was something that had her a little upset last night when the initial threat was there, but now, well now she was just beyond pissed off. She wasn’t about to let anyone bully her into giving up what it was she was fighting for.
“Good morning,” Diego smiled looking up from where he sat at the breakfast table as he‘d spotted her entering the kitchen. “How did you sleep last night?”
“I would’ve slept better in my own place, but for what it’s worth,” Sarah offered with a polite smile, “Thanks for letting me crash here.”
“Anytime,” Diego nodded in response, “Given all that you’ve been doing to help Heather and Charles, it’s the least I could do for you. Would you like some coffee?”
“That sounds great right about now,” she nodded bringing her fingers through her blonde hair, “You know it’s times like this when I want nothing more than to strangle my sister for getting everyone into this mess. I mean honestly what in the world was she thinking in marrying that man?”
“I tried to talk her out of it,” Diego admitted pouring her a mug of coffee before refilling his glass, “but she wouldn’t hear of it.”
“Big shocker there,” Sarah rolled her eyes, “Heather won’t listen to anyone when they are trying to help her from driving herself straight into disaster. I mean you have no idea on how many times she’s gone forward in a head on collision with bad choices.”
“I suppose we’re all guilty of that to some degree,” he shrugged back at her, “I think when she thought about marrying Cameron, she was seeking out protection of some sort--albeit a strange kind of protection, but protection nonetheless…”
“Yeah well the person my sister really needs saving is from herself,” she grumbled in response accepting the mug he offered her, “Heather isn’t on her own anymore. She’s got Charles to think about and it’s about damn time she grows up.”
“I think she’s trying to, but she’s still a bit misguided,” Diego sighed back at her, “I think she means well, but…”
“No, Heather doesn’t mean well,” Sarah argued with him shaking her head firmly, “If she really meant well then she’d find a way to be with Charles. She’d find a way to step up to bat and be the kind of mother her son deserves. This way she’s carrying on is simply unacceptable.”
“She hasn’t had much of a chance,” Diego replied guiltily, “I mean I did have her committed…”
“Yes, but only after she ran back to that son of a bitch she married,” she frowned heavily, “and then we did it for her own good. Although now that I think about it, regardless of what we did, Heather found a way to manipulate the situation in her favor to get out of the hospital, so with that same ambitious streak, you think she’d find a way to go and see her son. He’s more than worth the effort.”
“Of course he is and when Heather finally sees what’s really happening here…” Diego began.
“That’s just it Diego,” she argued with him, “the truth to the matter is that Heather isn’t going to see what’s really happening. She wants what she wants and she doesn’t give a damn about anyone else, but herself. That’s how she’s been all her life and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.”
“Spoken like someone who has experienced a lot of pain over the years in your relationship with her,” he noted in a professional tone, eyeing her intently.
“Don’t shrink me Diego,” she warned rising from the chair she’d taken a seat in moments earlier, “Heather knows exactly how and when to manipulate people to her advantage. It’s been the name of the game with her from day one. You know, when I think of all the times she’d walked out on things when they were important, this one takes the cake. I mean first our mother, and now with Charles…”
“I think Heather is trying to change,” Diego started smoothly thinking of his hopes for Heather.
“No, she’s not. If she was, then she’d stop feeling sorry for herself and start being a mother to her son,” Sarah threw her hands in the air, “but I really don’t expect anything more out of her given how she walked out on our mother when she was dying. Heather’s always been out for number one and that’s herself.”
“You know Sarah, I can’t pretend to know what it is that transpired between you and Heather, but maybe now is a time for change. Maybe if the two of you sit down and talk things through--really talk about things…” he suggested.
“It won’t make a difference Diego. It never does,” she shook her head adamantly, “Heather isn’t going to open her eyes and everything that’s lead us to this point in time proves that. About the only thing I can’t figure in this whole equation is you. I mean yes, I know she’s got this way with men. I realize she can manipulate them to do her bidding, but you’re so nice and smart. You’re not at all like those men she’s used in the past.”
“Yeah, well I try to think of myself as a man that stands out from the crowd,” Diego offered lightheartedly.
“And you do,” Sarah admitted with a small sigh, “which is why I hope you’ve really given some thought about what it means to be a part of Heather’s life. She’s a user and a manipulator. If you’re not careful, then I’m so afraid you’ll end up like every other man that’s tried to care about her.”
“I can hold my own,” Diego insisted confidently, “Heather doesn’t intimidate me.”
“That’s not what I’m worried about Diego. I’m sure she’ll be sugary sweet as long as you’re doing what she wants, but when you go against what she feels she needs…” she began again.
“Sarah, I put her into an institution. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve faced the wrath of Heather and come out of it okay,” Diego insisted with a shake of his head, “Trust me on this one. I’m the last person you need to worry about.”
“Maybe, maybe not,” she shrugged her shoulders, “although if my suspicions are correct and you’ve fallen for Heather, then I need to worry about you more than you think.”
“I don’t think this is working Shannon,” Kyle sighed putting his wallet back in his pocket after showing just about anyone he came into contact with the picture of Kipp.
“Somehow I have to agree with you,” she nodded sitting down on the bench next to them as Kyle sat next to her.
“You know, I think that guy was really weird,” Kyle stated thinking back to the first guy they talked to.
“Yeah, that last guy we talked to looked like he wore a two dollar rug on the top of his head,” she shrugged as his eyes locked on her.
“What in the world are you talking about?” Kyle questioned seeing her shrug.
“I don’t know, you didn’t notice that thing on top of his head?” Shannon wondered seeing him shake his head.
“No, I was trying to pay more attention to finding out where Kipp was, thank you very much,” Kyle laughed as she pushed him in the shoulder.
“How was I supposed to know that wasn’t what you were talking about?” Shannon questioned before silencing herself in embarrassment.
“I was talking about the first guy we talked to,” Kyle informed her rolling his eyes to see her nod.
“What about him?” she questioned as Kyle shrugged leaning forward and resting his arms on his legs.
“I don’t know, just something about him makes me a little suspicious,” Kyle explained thinking back to how the guy nearly spoke.
“So, he said he didn’t know the guy,” Shannon reminded him before seeing him shake his head.
“You see he may have said he didn’t know the guy, but he could have been lying,” Kyle suggested thinking of something else to say. “Kind of like how you say you don’t love Don, but me and you both know you do.”
“You’re a jerk,” Shannon growled before hitting him in the shoulder as he began to laugh.
“Now at least you know what I am saying,” Kyle began with a shrug, “He could have been lying.”
“Yeah, well I don’t care if he was lying,” Shannon hissed before pouting, “You are still a jerk.”
“Oh whatever, you know you love him,” Kyle repeated himself before he roll her eyes from his comment.
“Getting back to the point,” Shannon coughed before starting up again, “What do you suppose we do about it then?”
“Alright, we will get back to the point, but I think you really need to think about that sometimes,” Kyle suggested before seeing her glare right through him as he started up again. “I think we should go back to the post office and find out whatever we can about that guy.”
“What do you suppose we are going to find, Kipp?” she questioned seeing him shrug.
“I have no idea,” he replied slowly before looking for words to say, “Maybe we will find a lead to Kipp. You never know.”
“With you, I never know anything,” Shannon stated as Kyle got up and started walking away. “Hey wait up.”
“Well, hurry up then,” Kyle insisted as Shannon caught up with him, “We need to find something before the night is over.”
“We will,” Shannon assured him as Kyle turned the corner stopping in front of the post office.
“I hope so,” he whispered to himself before walking back through the doors of the post office to start his new search.
Kevin’s eyes watched Angela slowly as she went through some papers quickly.
“Hey Angie,” he called out before setting down the book he was reading.
“What?” she questioned sounding slightly angered looking up into the concerned face of Kevin’s. “Sorry, what is it?”
“I know you don’t like talking about it, but I was wondering what that jerk that hurt you looked like,” Kevin got out before she rolled her eyes and went back to work.
“It really doesn’t matter,” Angela growled before hearing him sigh in deeply.
“Well, did he have long blonde hair? Was he muscular?” Kevin questioned remember the form of that man from earlier.
“It doesn’t matter Kevin, it was a thing from the past,” Angela reminded him looking up at the confused look on his face.
“I just don’t understand why you aren’t telling me anything,” Kevin sighed standing up and walking over towards her, “I mean Angie, I am Kevin. You have been my best friend since I was eighteen years old. I tell you everything.”
“Kevin,” she started to frown looking up into his dark and worried eyes, “I know all you are trying to do is protect me, but this is really something that I don’t like talking about.”
Kevin saw the hurt in her eyes, as he looked away and nodded, “I understand, I just wish sometimes you would open up to me a little more.”
“I would tell you anything Kevin,” Angela thought out before speaking up again, “Just nothing about that guy okay? It’s just something I don’t like talking about.”
“Okay,” he nodded understandingly before smiling, “You know what?”
“What?” she questioned unsure of what to expect of him as he wiggled his eyebrow up and down.
“I think you need to get out and have some fun,” he stated with a wide smile seeing her raise her eyebrow slowly.
“You have to be kidding me right?” she questioned seeing him shake his head.
“No way Angie,” Kevin started to explain slowly, “You have always said you are going to go out and have some fun with me one day and to tell you the truth I am getting tired of waiting.”
“What do you mean by that?” she wondered feeling his hands grab onto hers lightly.
“I mean, to get your mind off that jerk that hurt you,” Kevin began with that same wide grin across his features, “You and I are going to go have some fun.”
“Kevin, I don’t know,” Angela took in a deep breath seeing him shake his head quickly.
“No Angie, I have taken the answer no from you too many times,” Kevin informed her with a frown. “Now I know you want to have some fun and what better way to do it than with your best friend.”
She looked into his begging eyes as she gave in, “Okay, okay. What do you suppose we do?”
“I don’t know,” he shrugged lightly with a smile gleaming across his face, “Maybe we could go to a club or something. We will make up where we go as we go on.”
“Before I agree to this I must say, I am doing this for you,” Angela informed him to see him roll his eyes.
“You may be doing it for me and I thank you for that,” Kevin began with a slight assuring smile, “But I also think you need to do this for you too. You can’t just stay here all day and dread over that stupid guy, you need to let yourself go. You need to have some fun.”
“Stop before you get too ahead of yourself Kevin,” she laughed pushing him in the shoulder lightly, “I am a pregnant woman you know and I don‘t see myself pulling the same kind of all nighters that I was once notorious for.”
“Who said pregnant woman can’t have fun?” he questioned with a smile.
“Alright, alright. Let me go get dressed,” she laughed before seeing him jump up.
“Okay, I will be right here,” Kevin assured her with that smile still gleaming across his face.
“I know you will be,” she laughed before seeing him watch her until she walked out of the room and down the hallway to get ready.
Maybe he was right, maybe she needed to go out and just have a little fun. After all being pregnant didn’t mean she was helpless. The past was the past and it was time to move on with life.
“Nothing further,” Carly spun around to face Avery with a mild
expression after she‘d finished up with Cameron and her line of questioning
for him, “Your witness.”
Taking in a slow breath, Avery rose from where she sat. While she hated to admit it, Cameron had painted a very convincing picture of his concerns and loyalties to Kipp Mahoney, but Avery didn’t buy it for a second. She thought very clearly to the man she’d first encountered in the conference room at the police station--to the cold and calculating eyes that had first fallen upon her before he’d froze. There was something that Cameron was hiding. There was something raw and evil and Avery was about to shake up Cameron in ways that he didn’t think possible after the way he’d tried to paint himself in such a perfect light.
“So let me get this straight Mr. Stone,” Avery started ready to begin her attack, “You say that you and Kipp Mahoney were very close--like brothers even?”
“That’s correct,” Cameron nodded appropriately keeping his hands folded neatly in his lap.
“And you gave him a position with your company to, what was it you said? Help him out at a time when his father had turned his back on him?” Avery reviewed the notes she’d made about Cameron’s testimony.
“That’s right,” Cameron added, “It’s no secret that Douglas and Kipp had a very strained relationship with one another.”
“See, now that’s where I’m a bit confused,” Avery stepped in closer to him, “because no where else has it been stated that Douglas Mahoney and Kipp had a strained relationship. However, the history between you and Douglas speaks for itself, doesn’t it?”
“Objection,” Carly snapped up, “Mr. Stone is not on trial. His association with Douglas Mahoney has no bearing on this case.”
“Oh but it does. I think that it’s only fair to let the jury see just how far Mr. Stone’s loyalties run to Kipp Mahoney as we get into his relationship with my client…” Avery argued.
“Get to your point and soon Ms. Morrison,” Paula warned her.
Avery nodded before staring Cameron down, “You say that you and Kipp were very close, yet in less than a week after the shooting, you had his apartment cleared out to house your replacement for him.”
“Kipp held a very important position with my company. I couldn’t just leave the position open,” Cameron replied curtly, “That would be foolish of me.”
“No, Mr. Stone what is foolish of you is to sit here and try to make a mockery of this case by feeding the jury half truths. The fact to the matter is that you did what you did in clearing out Kipp’s apartment because you were trying to hide the evidence--the evidence that proves that not only were you there the day of the shooting, but that you were in fact that man who pulled the trigger.”
“Objection,” Carly snapped, “She’s badgering the witness.”
“Sustained,” Paula replied turning to Avery, “Move on.”
“Alright,” Avery took in a slow breath, “Let’s go back to your relationship with my client. You say that my client assaulted you, yet you failed to mention to the jury about your repeated harassment of my client’s fiancée, isn’t that right?”
“I wouldn’t call it harassment,” Cameron replied with a twisted smirk, “Ms. Alexander and I were seeing one another at one time shortly after I’d approached Grady about representing my company in another legal matter.”
“On a legal matter that you’d otherwise let your in house council take charge of, yes?” Avery interjected.
“In this particular instance, I felt that Kipp had his hands full and I thought that given Grady’s history with those working on the opposite end of the case, it might prove lucrative to have him on my team,” Cameron stared her down, “You can’t hold that against a man, can you?”
“Maybe not, but you aren’t above holding it against my client that he was the one who captured Ms. Alexander’s heart despite your many efforts to win her over,” Avery noted with a scowl.
“I’m afraid you’re mistaken,” Cameron eyed her intently, “I’m a married man and I wouldn’t dream of looking at anyone other than my wife.”
“Ah, so you’re saying that once you were married you stopped pursuing Jade Alexander?” Avery noted.
“That’s right,” Cameron nodded his gaze lingering over to where Jade sat, “I wasn’t all that interested in her in the first place. I mean sure she’s a very beautiful woman, but I’m afraid that it just wasn’t meant to be.”
“Is that right,” Avery stepped back towards her table, “So then you’re saying that once Ms. Alexander expressed to you under no certain terms she would be interested in you, then you backed off and left her be?”
“Absolutely,” Cameron nodded.
“Let the record show that I have a sworn statement from Ms. Alexander in my hand given to Chief Warner shortly after my client was taken into custody,” Avery began turning to address the jury, “and I quote, ‘Cameron tried to get me to sleep with him by promising that he would make the charges against Grady disappear if I did what he wanted. He tried to manipulate me into his bed, but I couldn’t do it.’ Ms. Alexander goes on to describe in very vivid detail just how far you pushed her refusal in the hopes of having your way with her. It doesn’t sound to me like you were over her refusing you?”
“As I said before I’m a married man,” Cameron’s jaw tightened with obvious irritation.
“Yet it didn’t stop you at trying to manipulate Ms. Alexander into sleeping with you, did it?” Avery glared up at him.
“She came to me,” Cameron spat out with obvious anger, “She was the one who came to my home begging me to try to get Grady out of jail. She was desperate after I’d pressed charged against him. Naturally I had to turn her away, but when I did, she promised that she would find a way to punish me for not going along with her plan.”
“So you’re saying that she came up with the idea of sleeping with you to get Grady out of jail,” Avery inquired.
“That’s right,” Cameron nodded, “and I had no interest in stepping outside of my vows. I love my wife.”
“Yeah right,” Avery rolled her eyes.
“Objection your honor,” Carly hissed.
“Withdrawn,” Avery waved her hand dismissively before launching another attack, “You know you keep talking about this supposed love for your wife, yet you fail to mention that the woman you married is Heather Gibbons--a woman who was in fact involved with Kipp Mahoney. You wasted no time in marrying her shortly after she discovered she was pregnant with Kipp’s son.”
“Heather needed me and I needed her,” Cameron lied through his teeth, “We helped one another during a time when we both experienced great grief.”
“Grief you say,” Avery approached the witness stand, “Tell me, were you grieving Kipp with her when you assaulted her? When you threatened that if she didn’t cooperate with you that you’d see to it that she too would wind up ‘dead like Kipp was’?”
Cameron stayed silent for a moment surprise registering behind his eyes at her words.
“Objection!” Carly’s voice continued. “This is all speculation as the Defense is reaching.”
“I’m not reaching,” Avery insisted refusing to look away from Cameron, “I will have no problems putting Mr. Stone’s wife on the stand to tell her story about what her husband’s been up to. She’s ready to testify and…”
“And to do that would be another setback to my wife’s mental health,” Cameron blurted out looking to the jury, “My wife was badly scarred in the horrible airport bombing here in Coral Valley and the mental anguish she’s been through, well it was so horrible that she had to be institutionalized so whatever it is that she has to say right now, well, it simply isn’t the truth. It’s her perception of reality as she’s very confused…”
“Oh I don’t think she is. I think she sees you as the cold hearted monster that you really are,” Avery added sharply.
“Objection!” Carly stood up this time, “She’s clearly grasping at straws and since her case is so weak to begin with, she’s decided to try to point the finger in another direction so that the jury doesn’t see the truth about her client.”
“I’m showing the jury the truth. Mr. Stone is far more involved in this than he’s letting on,” Avery continued to insist watching the way in which Paula Carmichael appeared less than pleased with her. She knew that she was walking a thin line ever since Paula had opted to throw out the video tape that she and Russ had uncovered, but still Avery wouldn’t give up without a fight.
“I think it’s time to change your questioning Ms. Morrison,” Paula replied sharply, “You should be doing your job in defending your client, not making a mockery of my courtroom.”
“But…” Avery started with a frown.
“You heard me Ms. Morrison,” Paula warned her, “If you don’t have anything better than what you’re grasping at, then I’d strongly suggest you stop wasting my time and that of those on the jury.”
“Fine,” Avery replied stubbornly watching as Cameron’s gaze shifted to Paula. He flashed her a small smile and she gave a small, subtle almost unnoticeable nod and in that moment Avery knew what was happening. The case wasn’t about truth or justice. Paula Carmichael had a track record of hating Grady. She’d gone against him in the past and now as Grady stood before her fighting for his life Avery realized that the odds were already stacked against him. Taking a step back, Avery realized that things were a lot more complicated.
Turning her attention to Grady, Avery watched his eyes, wondering if he’d seen it too when Cameron acknowledged Paula. It was an election year and with Cameron pulling the strings, Avery’s thoughts lingered off. Turning to face Cameron again, she opened her mouth to speak before stopping herself.
“Ms. Morrison, will there be anything else,” Paula questioned impatiently watching as Avery reached for the glass of water she’d had setup for herself.
Standing up taller, Avery drew in a long, slow breath hoping that the jury didn’t share the same skewed view that Paula clearly had. Things were not looking good, but Avery wasn’t one to give up without a fight. Turning around to face Cameron once again, Avery armed herself for battle. She cleared her throat, finding her focus before she spoke up smoothly, “You’d better believe there is.”
And with that thought in mind, Avery grabbed one of the files she’d had with her now bound and determined to do one of the biggest character assassinations of her life on Cameron. Sure, she might have Paula Carmichael and Carly Matthews blasting her for it, but there was no way in hell she was going to give up without a fight. Not when Grady’s life depended on it.
“Kyle, I really don’t think we should be following this Kevin guy,” Shannon reminded him once again stating his name at which they learned earlier at the post office.
“Shannon would you just be quiet,” Kyle hushed her getting annoyed of how she had been worrying ever since they had followed the guy from where he lived. “I know what I am doing.”
“Yeah, it sure seems like it,” she laughed making him stop dead in his tracks and turn around glaring at her.
“You’re not funny,” Kyle stated shaking his head and watching the guy enter a club as Kyle sighed hearing her talk again.
“I never said I was,” Shannon argued as Kyle raised his hands up in the air quickly.
“Just getting off the topic,” he rolled his eyes before looking back to the club, “We need to follow him before we lose him.”
“I don’t think we could miss a guy like him Kyle,” Shannon pointed out with a laugh, “I mean, just like you he is huge. You two are alike, you are very easy to pick out in a crowd.”
“Would you just follow me?” Kyle questioned seeing her nod as he shook his head in disbelief of how she was acting.
“Alright, lead the way,” she held her hands out motioning him to walk as she followed him as he stopped wrapping his arm around her. “What are you doing?”
“The guy thinks you are my girlfriend,” Kyle shrugged before looking at the club, “If he sees us, he might be suspicious.”
“Alright, but after tonight,” Shannon started slowly taking in a deep breath, “You will never be by me like this again.”
“Deal,” Kyle agreed before they walked to the entrance of the club already hearing the pounding music.
One they entered the club the music was so loud that they could hardly hear the sound of their own breathing. The club was full with people at the bar and people dancing everywhere. Kyle looked around the whole room, but saw no sight of the guy.
“I don’t see him,” Kyle yelled trying to make sure that Shannon could hear him, but by the look on her face he knew she couldn’t understand a word he just said.
“What?” she tried to question over the loud music and screaming people and he got right up next to her ear.
“I said I don’t see him,” he yelled once again as she flinched back holding her ear.
“Don’t be so loud,” she hissed before shaking it off, “Keep looking for him.”
Someone touched his shoulder making him turn around quickly to find a man holding a camera right behind him.
“Hello sir,” the man politely said with a wide goofy smile making Kyle raise an eyebrow in curiosity of what exactly he wanted.
“Uh hi?” Kyle repeated back in questioning tone.
“Someone at the club said you two were a couple and wanted a picture of you two kissing for the bulletin board,” the man informed him as Kyle made a disgusted face.
“You have to be kidding me right?” Kyle questioned seeing the man shake his head quickly.
“No sir, there are no kidders hear,” the man quickly got out, but soon his smile turned to a frown, “Are you two not a couple and the person was wrong? I mean if he was, you two don’t need one.”
“Wait a second, I have to check with my…girlfriend she is a little shy,” Kyle smiled before turning back first to the guy.
“You have to be kidding right?” Shannon questioned looking over at the little man holding the camera.
“What if that guy paid him to do it?” Kyle wondered seeing Shannon shrug.
“Then so what,” she got out as he shook his head.
“No, he will realize that we weren’t a couple and he would be even more suspicious,” Kyle informed her as she raised her eyebrow.
“You mean I have to kiss you?” she questioned seeing him nod hesitantly.
“Are you two ready?” the little man questioned making the two turn back around and nod slowly.
“Yeah,” Kyle nodded biting on his bottom lip not trying to run off right now.
Kyle leaned down pressing his lips against Shannon’s only long enough until the camera’s flash went off and then he quickly jumped back wiping his mouth off.
“Thank you,” the man smiled looking down at the picture and walking away.
“Yuck,” Kyle wiped his mouth quickly before seeing her frown and fold her arms out in front of her.
“It was no better for me either,” she growled before seeing him laugh.
“I bet you are missing Don now, aren’t you Shannon?” Kyle questioned feeling her hit him in the chest again.
“Tell me you haven’t fallen for her,” Sarah continued to probe
further after she and Diego had made their way to the living room. “Please
tell me that my worries are completely in the wrong direction and that you
aren’t in love with my sister.”
“Heather is married to Cameron,” Diego explained taking in a long, slow breath.
“Your point?” she folded her arms in front of her chest.
“The point is that right now all I want to do is help Heather and Charles get away from that monster,” he offered up with a small frown.
“And after? What then Diego?” Sarah questioned further, “Do you have plans for winning Heather over?”
“I told you, I’m not thinking about the future Sarah,” he paused for a long moment, “Besides, why does it matter what I feel about Heather?”
“Because you’re my friend Diego and I don’t want to see you get burned by her. You deserve better especially after all you’ve been through,” she explained poignantly, “You had Cameron rip your heart out once already and I’d hate to have Heather finish it off there.”
“Sarah, I’m a big boy. I can take care of myself,” he shook his head at her words.
“Famous last words,” she added with a firm expression, “Diego, I’m sure that’s what Kipp Mahoney thought too when Heather lead him to believe she had feelings for him. She’s a user and…”
“And you don’t believe that people can change?” he arched a curious brow.
“That’s not what I’m saying. I think people can change if they are willing, but I don’t believe Heather is willing. I mean look at the way she is with me. I swear to you that I have never been anything, but supportive of her and this is what I get,” she sighed heavily, “Diego, I gave up my life to try to be a good sister to her and all she’s ever done is dump on me for the efforts I made.”
“So what? Does that mean you want to turn your back on her now? Does that mean you’re ready to write her off?” he challenged.
“I wish like hell I could, but it’s not who I am,” she snapped back at him, “I don’t walk away from my responsibilities and I sure as hell don’t step aside when those who need me are in trouble.”
“So you’re saying despite the fact that you’ve obviously been hurt by Heather, you’re still going to stand by her,” he noted with a curious expression, “yet you’re upset with me for doing the same?”
“She’s my sister. I’m stuck with her, but you, well you have a choice. You can get out now if you want to,” she reminded him before plopping down on her seat once again, “Diego, I just don’t want to see you get these hopes for something only to have Heather shatter them.”
Diego remained silent for a long moment before finally speaking up, “While I appreciate your concerns and worries where my heart is concerned, the truth is that I can deal with this Sarah. I’m perfectly aware of what it is I need to be for Heather right now.”
“Diego, look I’m not trying to sound like a jerk, but I’m just saying…” Sarah sighed knowing all too well that this was a losing battle.
“I get what you’re trying to say and I appreciate it Sarah. I really, truly do,” Diego replied honesty, “but right now I should be the least of your worries.”
“Yeah, well tell that to someone who really believes you’re not getting in over your head,” she remarked with a sigh, “Look Diego, maybe it’s best if we just get me back over to my apartment so that you don’t have to listen to me whining.”
“You’re not whining,” Diego stood up from where he sat, “In fact you make some very valid points, but right now, well for the moment I think I’m just going to focus on where we need to be.”
“You’re right. I know you’re right,” she nodded in agreement, “Come to think of it, maybe you should just drop me off at the hospital to see Charles. I can call a cab and…”
“Nonsense. I’ll go with you,” Diego decided eagerly, “I’ve been missing him and I’d love to see him again.”
“Are you sure because you don’t have to…” Sarah started again.
“No, I want to,” Diego insisted, “I mean hey without Kyle around, well you know Charles might want to see me.”
“I’m sure he’d love to see both of you considering how much you two love him already,” Sarah couldn’t help but smile.
“He’s an amazing boy,” Diego added with a thoughtful expression, “Just let me grab my coat.”
“Okay,” Sarah watched him leave as she wondered how it was that Heather was able to find a man like Diego. Shaking her head as she thought of all the things her sister had done in the past, Sarah just wished that now would be the time that Heather would grow up--that Heather would finally just get a clue about how things really were. Looking to the afternoon beyond the window, she shook her head knowing that somehow that day would never come.
“You are here,” Kevin smiled standing up at the sight of Angela walking towards the table.
“I told you I would be,” Angela, reminded him seeing him nod with a smile.
“Yeah, but all the other times you never did,” he replied seeing her frown and set her stuff down on the table.
“But now I am so that doesn’t matter,” Angela smiled walking over to him.
“Exactly,” Kevin nodded agreeing with her, “Really Angie, thanks for coming today.”
“Yeah, I know,” she laughed lightly before looking around the club, “These people were starting to think bad about you because you never have a girl with you.”
“What do you mean by that?” Kevin questioned raising an eyebrow in confusion as she smiled.
“Never mind that,” she smiled grabbing onto his hand, “Let’s go dance.”
“What’s the sudden change in moods?” Kevin questioned as she lead him into the middle of the dance floor.
“I just realized you were right,” Angela replied with a wide smile, “I need to live my life, not stay in all the time.
“Are you serious?” he questioned with a smile seeing her nod and start to dance.
“Now start dancing before I change my mind,” Angela smiled grabbing his hands in hers lightly.
They danced to three songs until a slow song came up and Angela frowned.
“What is it Angie?” Kevin questioned as she shook her head at him.
“I don’t like this song, it is too boring,” Angela frowned before pulling him back to the table. She listened to the words for a moment or so knowing full well that the song had her thinking about Brant. Why on Earth she couldn’t just let go of it was beyond her…no, she knew full well why she couldn’t let go of it. She had morning sickness and mood swings from hell as a constant reminder. Damn that man for ever crossing paths with her. If she could only go back in time and change things, then maybe…her mind began to settle back in that place that she promised herself she wouldn’t go to tonight when she was out with Kevin. Thinking about the present she tried to focus on Kevin.
“Are you really just doing all this for me?” Kevin questioned seeing her shrug.
“I don’t know, maybe,” she answered before feeling the vibration of her phone in her purse. “I will be right back.”
“I hate that thing,” Kevin hissed before she nodded lightly.
“I know you do,” she sighed before taking out her phone, “I will be right back…I promise.”
“Alright, I will be right here,” Kevin assured her before sliding down in the booth and looking around the club as he waited.
Jade took in a slow breath watching Paula Carmichael call an end to the grueling
day in court. While she’d witnessed Avery doing her best to try to discredit
Cameron, it seemed that every twist and turn of the way Cameron fought her,
thus making things seem almost impossible for everyone. Shaking her head,
Jade clenched her purse wishing that there was some way to just erase what
had happened. Sure, she knew there would be no changing it, but as she thought
of what the future held in store for her and Grady, she said a silent prayer
that things would somehow turn around for them.
“I guess this is the part where I apologize to the both of you,” Avery began rising from her chair. She looked between Jade and Grady knowing they only had a few minutes with one another, “I promise once I hear from Kyle, I know we’ll have something more.”
“I hope you’re right,” Grady looked to Jade, reaching out to touch her even with the handcuffs on his wrists, “This is the part I hate the most.”
“Me too,” Jade curled her fingers around his hands, “Grady, I don’t like us being apart.”
“It won’t be forever,” Grady tried to assure her, but he too was having his doubts after the way Paula had repeatedly cut Avery down each time she tried to show the jury what Cameron’s true nature was. It was as if all the pieces were falling into place for Cameron’s twisted game and Grady was sinking under.
“I know,” Jade nodded, dropping her gaze to the floor.
“Hey, Jade, I mean that,” Grady urged her to meet his eyes once again, “Look, I know we don’t have much time, but you wanted to tell me something before. You said it was important and…”
“It is important Grady, but I don’t know if now is the time considering that…” Jade started uneasily wondering if the news she had to share with him would be good or just more added stress at a time like this.
“Jade, I love you. If something’s on your mind, then don’t feel you have to keep it from me,” Grady glanced over at the guard who stood expectantly at his side, “Please talk to me.”
“I just didn’t want to do this like, well like this,” Jade looked around, “I was hoping we could have some privacy and…”
“Well, what do we have here,” Susan’s voice cut through the moment as she marched up to the defense table, “I hate to interrupt, but I thought Grady should know just how hard you’re working for his cause Avery.”
“Would you just go away,” Avery glared at her, “You have no business being up here, so back off Susan?”
“Me back off,” Susan roared in an enthusiastic roar, “Oh that’s a good one. You know Grady, you would’ve been better off with me representing you. I might’ve even worked a more believable number on Cameron than she did if you would’ve played nice.”
“Go to hell Susan,” Grady scowled back at her.
“Oh believe me sweetheart, I’ve been there. It was the entire duration of our marriage, but rest assured I just thought you should know what it is you’re putting your life into here by holding so much stock in Avery. Hate me if you like, but she can’t be trusted,” Susan cut back sharply slapping a tabloid on the top of the table before him, “See for yourself.”
“Get lost Susan,” Jade growled up at her, “before I make you get lost.”
Susan’s gaze swept past Jade over to where Grady was now peering at the tabloid before him, “Oh I’m leaving since my work is done, but you know, maybe you better rethink this whole believing in Avery? She wasn’t very loyal to Russ and I highly doubt she’s going to be loyal to your cause either.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about Susan,” Avery spat back at her not giving a second thought to what she’d given Grady until she heard him make a low, guttural noise from behind her.
“Is that right?” Grady’s voice rose with obvious anger as he lifted the tabloid from the table, “What the hell is this?”
“Grady, whatever it is just ignore whatever Susan is trying to pull considering that,” Avery started turning to face him only to discover her and Brant’s picture splashed across the front page announcing their marriage. Suddenly silence swept over her.
“What is this Avery?” Grady’s voice rose in an accusatory tone, “Don’t tell me this is true. Tell me that Susan did this just to start trouble…that you’re not with this loser…”
“Grady, I…” Avery stammered remembering Kyle’s urging her to keep her marriage to Brant a secret. However, now as she was confronted by the issue, she knew it was too late to hide the truth from him, “I can’t.”
“You can’t,” Grady repeated, his voice transforming to a darkened hiss, “You mean you’re married to this son of a bitch?”
“Grady, I can explain…” Avery stepped forward reaching out for his arm.
“You bitch,” Grady sneered back at her leaping out of her touch, “you lying, manipulative bitch. I was right about you all along.”
“Grady, no that’s not how it is. If you’ll only give me a chance to explain,” Avery pleaded with him seeing the rage that coiled from within.
“No Avery, I’m done giving you chances,” Grady waved his hands at her, his face twisted with a mixture of emotions, “It’s over. You’re fired!”
Kyle pushed through the rough bundles of people as he looked around the club. He swore he just saw that guy.
“Where did he go?” Kyle questioned to himself looking around the dance floor…he swore he just saw him with someone.
Kyle had left Shannon alone at one of the tables, she needed to sit back and wait after what had just happened. That was too embarrassing for Kyle to talk about with her. He left her after catching a glimpse of the guy. He paused right at the front of the room as he saw the guy leaning against the wall.
“Bingo,” Kyle smiled beginning to walk past the people who were blocking his way.
When he reached past the people the guy was gone. Kyle turned around looking everywhere.
“Where did you go?” he questioned to himself as he turned back around to catch a glimpse of one of the door’s shutting.
He ran to the door running out of it to look around the outdoors not seeing the guy.
“Damn,” he hissed taking in a deep breath as he turned around looking once more around the corner. “Where did he go?”
Kyle turned around once more to feel a sudden push of strength go against him as big hands grabbed the collar of his shirt pushing him up against the wall.
“What the hell,” Kyle got out as he felt an arm go across his throat trying to cut out his breath. He then realized the guy he was following had him in a throat lock.
“Listen asshole, if you want to breathe again,” Kevin spat out
pressing his arm harder against Kyle’s throat, “I want to know you
are and why the hell are you following me?”