Episode 184

“Ria,” Christy smiled grabbing a hold of her arm in the hallway, “I was wondering if you wanted to join this fundraiser I was running that is exactly a week from today.”

“Exactly a week from today?” Ria questioned seeing Christy nod, “You know I think I have something I have to do that day, but I will try to see what I can do. I don‘t think I’m going to have time to get involved in the entertainment part of the show, but I‘m sure I can help with getting together some funding. I know it‘s not the answer you were hoping for, but I‘ve made a few contacts outside of the hospital and…”

“You think you are better than everyone don’t you?” Christy questioned with a scowl as Ria raised her hands up in the air out of confusion.

“All I said was that I was busy, but I would try to be part of it,” Ria informed her as Christy shook her head.

“No, never mind. I don’t want you to be part of my fundraiser anyways,” Christy confirmed folding her arms out in front of her hearing Ria laugh.

“I don’t know what it is that you think I did to be better than everyone when I said I was busy. All I said was, I would try to come,” Ria began to explain as Christy raised her hands up in the air.

“I don’t want to hear anymore of your complaints,” Christy shot out before frowning, “I’m not talking about the fundraiser, I mean everything you do.”

“Well, I don’t really know what I do to make me look better than everyone else. Would you like to share with me what I am doing?” Ria questioned folding her arms out in front of her waiting for the answer.

“It is just everything you do,” Christy exclaimed shrugging, “The way you talk and the way you behave around people.”

“I really don’t think I am better than everybody, maybe it is you that you are thinking about,” Ria suggested with a sly smile as Christy scowled.

“You know what I don’t like your attitude,” Christy informed her stepping closer to her.

“Listen Christy, I have really tried to be nice with you and not start something,” Ria began as Christy cut her off.

“Then start something with me,” Christy laughed pushing her slightly as Ria saw someone stand between the two.

“Don?” Ria questioned seeing Don look over at Christy and point down the hallway.

“How about you leave and start something with yourself,” Don shook his head as he watched the woman walk down the hallway and he walked over towards Ria. “You okay?”

“Yeah,” she nodded raising an eyebrow seeing him smile, “What are you doing here?”


Diane glanced out at the water thinking about the wonderful trip she and Ben had experienced down in Florida with his parents. Something about their coming to this place had them back on track again. It was as if time hadn’t ever separated them in the first place. Smiling as she felt his fingers press out over the bare skin of her arms, she felt him step in behind her.

“Hey beautiful,” he whispered warmly in the back of her ear, “I was beginning to wonder where you drifted off to. I was almost afraid my mother had you on yet another shopping expedition of hers.”

“She may have that in mind, but I haven’t made it out to connect with her yet,” Diane confessed turning in his arms, seeing the smile that swept over his handsome features, “Afraid I’ll be spending our last day here with her and not you?”

“Terrified,” he admitted with a tiny laugh, “as I’m really starting to wonder if you’re enjoying my mother more than me.”

“Oh now sweetheart, you should know by now that it’s a very good thing that your mother wants to spend time with me,” she admitted trailing her fingers over the center of his chest lazily, “It means that she’ll actually be okay with us getting married. That doesn’t happen very often with daughter-in-laws to be and their mother-in-laws.”

“Yeah, well I didn’t have a doubt in my mind about my parents loving you,” he tipped down to kiss her tenderly, “as I think the world of you and knew it was only a matter of time before everyone in my family fell for you like I did.”

“Oh Ben,” she hugged him excitedly, “I love your family. I love everything about being here with them and most of all, I feel like this is a real, true beginning for us.”

“That’s because it is,” he cupped her face in his hands, his smile radiating a warmth through her body that spread out over her body down to the tips of her toes, “Diane, I know that we haven’t always had smooth sailing in our relationship, but I want to marry you. I want us to work at what the future holds in store for us. I want to spend my days showing you how much you mean to me--how much the idea of growing old with you and starting a family together means to me…”

“I want that too Ben,” she confessed eagerness coursing through her veins, “I want that more than anything.”

“And we’re only a few small steps away,” he reminded her enthusiastically, “I figure we can go home, tell our friends and maybe work on perhaps a summer wedding. We could come back down here--have everyone that we care about with us and it can be the kind of intimate wedding where it’ll feel like our own special kind of dream come true.”

“If your mother knows we’re planning to have it down here, it’ll probably be a big affair,” she joked lightly.

“This is probably true. In fact, I can hear her now booking the ball room at their country club. It’ll be something that I’m sure will have to bring us down here sooner rather than later because she’ll want to monopolize you for the months leading to the wedding.”

“That wouldn’t be so bad,” she sighed leaning into him, “We could just stay down here and enjoy the slower pace of life around these parts…”

“We could, but then we’d be out of money when it came to actually affording the wedding,” Ben pointed out with a look of seriousness. “We both know we can’t just forget what’s in Coral Valley.”

“I wish we could,” she groaned inwardly remembering the problems behind her there, “That way we could start fresh. It would be good for us.”

“And what about your family?” Ben questioned taking a step back, “Wouldn’t you miss them?”

“My mother could come and visit, but other than that,” she paused a frown touching upon her lips, “Well I would miss Jade horribly.”

“Exactly,” Ben pointed out noticing the change in her expression, “Diane, what is it?”

“I was just thinking about Jade. It’s been so long since I’ve talked to her and I was just reminded about what was going on with Grady. Here I am on top of the world and my best friend is going through hell. I didn’t stop to even think about calling her when I’m sure that right now is probably one of the worst possible times in her life…”

“I’m sure she understands,” Ben sensed her uneasiness, “but you know if you’d feel better about it, you could call her. I can find a way to keep my parents at bay for a while when you make the call.”

“I think that’s probably a good idea,” Diane nodded in response, “I really should see how she’s doing.”

“Then you do that and I’ll see you in a little bit. I have a surprise planned,” he revealed with a cryptic smile before leaving to give her some privacy.

Taking in a long, slow breath Diane readied herself to make the call, but much to her dismay the machine picked up. Looking at the time she wondered if Jade was in court with Grady. As her worries consumed her, she realized that maybe it was a good thing they were going home tomorrow as Jade could use a good friend right about now. Diane left a small message letting Jade know that she’d be coming home soon and she left the number of Ben’s parents place in the event Jade wanted to talk before then. Still as Diane tried to think about the day before her, she wondered what was happening with Jade right now and she said a silent prayer that fate would give Jade another chance at happiness as it had with Diane.


All eyes were on Kipp as he stepped forward bringing the courtroom to a complete silence. Even Judge Carmichael who had been previously in an uproar about the unexpected intrusion to her courtroom had fallen to an uncharacteristic mute moment. Kipp cleared his throat, casting a glance across the courtroom to see the faces of so many familiar people who had once played a part in his life. Near the back of the courtroom, he saw Cameron and Thea wiggling uneasily in their seats and it was in that moment Kipp felt empowered beyond anything he’d ever felt in his life. He looked to Kyle watching his newfound friend nod in encouragement silently urging Kipp to speak up and tell his side of the story.

“What is the meaning of this,” Paula Carmichael finally broke her silence to eye Kipp suspiciously, “Who the hell are you?”

“Kipp Mahoney,” Kipp stepped forward with a bold and determined stride as he used his cane to push him further along, “and I’m here today because there’s been a terrible mistake and I’d like to be the one to correct it as soon as possible.”

A small gasp fell over the jury and in that instant Kipp could see the surprise and the confusion building over their gossip-eager faces, but it wasn’t the jury that Kipp was out to impress. He wanted to reclaim his life again and while he’d been out of it far too long, he knew exactly where he wanted to go with this one. He looked to the witness stand where Grady Denton sat. Kipp saw the strange combination of relief and confusion pressing over his features. While Grady clearly was happy to see Kipp before him, Kipp could still sense that Grady was unsure of what Kipp was about to say, but that soon would change for all of them.

“As you can see,” Kipp began in his best professional tone, parading around the courtroom with a sly, slick smile, “I’m far from being dead, therefore you have no choice but to end this ridiculous spectacle taking place here.”

“But…” Paula Carmichael began before a crease pressed in over her brow, “If you aren’t dead, then why haven’t you come forward before now to put an end to all of this instead of wasting the taxpayer’s money like you have?”

“It’s because I was otherwise engaged,” Kipp’s voice held a trace of venom as he cast a look out over the crowd to glare at Cameron and Thea. His eyes penetrated the both of them, his jaw flexing with a primal reflex as he tried to remain calm. Turning to address Paula once again, he spoke up smoothly, “You see after the shooting I was in fact in a coma--a coma that had kept me from being able to speak up until now. I was transferred from the hospital here in Coral Valley to a private facility where I was tended to. By the good graces of the lord above, I was given a second chance at life and shortly after I woke up, Mr. Houston showed up at the hospital to fill me in on what was happening here in Coral Valley.”

“That’s right,” Kyle added taking a step forward, “and that’s why I brought him here today like I have. He’s alive and that in itself proves that Grady is not guilty of murder.”

Another rush of a gasp fell over the courtroom before Paula looked to Carly. She threw out a warning look as if she expected the prosecution’s voice to speak up, but Carly remained silent perhaps stunned by the turn of events as well. Paula spoke up again, “This proves that Mr. Denton clearly did not murder Mr. Mahoney, but that says nothing for what we’ve seen thus far in the trial. The forensic evidence clearly states…”

“The forensic evidence was planted,” Kipp continued to explain cutting her off abruptly, “Grady Denton was an innocent victim in all of this as was I. He was put into this position because of someone with a vendetta--someone who clearly was out to set someone else up for their crimes.”

“And just who would that someone be?” Paula questioned uneasily, her own eyes shifting around the courtroom to discover Cameron and Thea walking towards the back exit.

“I’m not at liberty to say at the moment as I still have to talk to the proper authorities in this situation, but you can rest assured that when the time is right, the person responsible will find justice for their crimes,” Kipp continued to explain with a determination in his tone. His jaw flexed again, his eyes narrowing and as his gaze matched Paula Carmichael’s it was obvious that there was no point of arguing with that one, “I’ll be meeting with a representative of the FBI this week--a Special Agent Pryce and any questions you may or may not have about the responsible party and Grady’s framing can go to her.”

“I see,” Paula nodded.

“And with that on the table, I think it’s pretty clear that there is no other alternative for the court, but to drop the charges against my client,” Avery spoke up at long last, her voice ringing out over the small commotion in the courtroom.

“The prosecution sees no reason to hold Mr. Denton in custody any longer,” Carly added rising up from her chair as Kipp offered up a small smile.

Paula looked between the two lawyers, her eyes catching another glance of Cameron walking out the door with Thea close behind. She waited for them to walk out before her eyes darted towards Kipp again. “Then I suppose there’s nothing more for us to discuss here in my courtroom. Case dismissed.”


Sarah walked up to the Ashford mansion door after hearing that Heather was there. She didn’t believe Kyle at first when he told her that she was there. She rang the doorbell as the door opened quickly.

“I knew you would come back here to thank me,” Heather smiled widely until she saw Sarah before her and she frowned. “Oh it is you.”

“Expecting someone special?” Sarah questioned following Heather through the door shutting it behind her.

“Yeah, actually I was,” Heather nodded before smiling, “Your boyfriend.”

“What could he possibly be thanking you for?” Sarah questioned before seeing Heather scowl.

“If he was smart,” Heather began with a laugh, “He would be thanking me for getting him away from you for a while.”

“Obviously that wouldn’t happen,” Sarah pointed out seeing Heather frown.

“That’s where you are correct,” Heather, agreed before folding her arms out in front of her, “I knew he wasn’t very bright when he fell in love with you.”

“Heather, does it really bother you that much that a guy loves me more that he loves you?” Sarah wondered as Heather rolled her eyes.

“Obviously you came here for a reason,” Heather stated with a frown, “What do you want?”

“I came here to try and have an adult conversation with you,” Sarah informed her before sighing, “Obviously that is going to be a real hard thing to do.”

“Why would I want to have a civilized conversation with you?” Heather questioned in disgust, “I mean you were the one that put me in that horrible place.”

“Oh yeah Heather I am always the bad guy,” Sarah sighed before holding her hands up in the air, “Did you ever think that I was doing it to help you?”

“Help me? Sarah, that wasn’t helping me,” Heather shout out seeing Sarah frown.

“How else did you expect me to protect you from Cameron?” Sarah questioned seeing Heather shake her head.

“Not like that,” Heather stood her point before laughing, “I would like to see the look on your face if you saw me, Diego, and especially Kyle taking you to that place.”

“This wasn’t me trying to ruin you Heather,” Sarah began to explain uneasily, “I was trying to protect you, that’s what I have always been trying to do.”

“Yeah, right,” Heather rolled her eyes before shaking her head, “You were always jealous of me.”

“Believe what you want Heather, but I all I ever wanted for you was to grow up and be happy,” Sarah informed her shaking her head, “Obviously neither of those things happened for you.”

“Oh believe me, I am really happy when you aren’t around me. If there was no you, I would be happy,” Heather smiled before she turned around to walk away, but Sarah called out to her making her turn around.

“What is it that made you hate me?” Sarah questioned before folding her arms out in front of her. “Is it the fact that I tried to give you everything that you wanted when you were younger?”

“Don’t start that with me,” Heather demanded throwing her hands in the air. “You never wanted me to become anything, you were always jealous of me.”

“What makes you think I am jealous of you Heather? The fact that when we were younger, you always tried to get the guy that I liked?” Sarah questioned shaking her head. “You know, I think I know why you are so mad at me.”

“Oh yeah? Why am I mad at you Sarah?” Heather wondered sarcastically before giving her full attention to her older sister.

“You are mad because you couldn’t take the one person in my life who makes me feel so happy and loves me so much. You couldn’t take Kyle away from me Heather, no matter what you did,” Sarah replied before hearing Heather laugh.

“Please, you really think I was after Kyle?” Heather questioned with a laugh seeing Heather nod.

“You weren’t only after Kyle, you were after every guy I have ever liked,” Sarah reminded her before smiling, “You can’t say you never tried to get Kyle. In fact he was the one you tried the hardest with because he kept turning you down.”

“You know what Sarah? If I wanted Kyle, I could have him with a snap of my fingers just like that,” Heather laughed snapping her fingers before going over to the window to take a look. “You know, I hope lover boy gets here to thank me soon anyways. I am the hero of the day.”

“You are the hero?” Sarah wondered with a laugh as Heather walked right by her.

“That’s right,” Heather nodded with a smile before turning around, “And Sarah, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

Sarah shook her head in disbelief from what her sister had become. Sarah sat down in one of the chairs as she took in a deep breath. She would wait a little bit to let Heather calm down and then she would try and have a little talk with her.


“It’s over,” Grady began looking to Avery as she stepped around the defense table. “It’s really over.”

“That’s right,” Avery moved forward to embrace him, “It’s really over Grady. You’re a free man.”

“I don’t believe this,” Grady hugged her emphatically, “We did it. We did it.”

“No, Grady, Kyle did it,” Avery confessed with a proud smile, “While I’d like to take all the credit, the fact to the matter is that he was the one who flew down and found Kipp.”

“But how?” Grady’s eyes sparkled with relief and curiosity.

“It’s a long story, but the gist of it was that Heather Gibbons helped Kyle find what he needed to get closer to Kipp. He said he’d had a lead, but I had no idea this was what he was heading towards,” Avery couldn’t help but smile, “but it didn’t happen a minute too soon.”

“No it didn’t,” Grady agreed excitedly, “and now you know what this means.”

“It means that I didn’t have to get my client on that stand to make things more complicated after all,” Avery teased with a small smile.

“No, it means that you really did it. You came through for me Avery. When I thought that it was over--that I wasn’t going to make it, you had faith that things would work out and they did…” Grady embraced her once again.

“I just wasn’t about to let an innocent man pay for something he didn’t do. You have friends and family who love you Grady Denton and if nothing else, maybe this will remind you of that. Life is too precious to walk around with a chip on your shoulder. You have the world at your feet now,” Avery reminded him happily.

“I know that, and I’m not about to waste another second of this freedom,” he promised her giving her one last hug before looking to see his parents waiting for him, “I think we need to go and share the moment with them.”

“You head on over there. I have a few papers to work on, but I’ll join you in a few,” Avery squeezed his arm gently, “Enjoy the moment because it’s all yours.”

“I’ll do just that,” Grady replied leaning down to kiss her cheek gently, “I owe you one Avery.”

“You owe me more than one, but who’s counting,” she laughed lightly glad to see that Kyle had pulled a miracle out of his magic hat much to everyone’s surprise.

“Thanks Av. I really mean that,” he added with a sincerity behind his eyes.

“I know,” she nodded, “now go to your parents before your mother gets upset.”

“I will,” Grady promised watching her walk away as he rushed over to his parents. “Mom, dad. It’s over.”

“Thank God,” Cheryl hugged him as if she’d never let go, “I was so afraid we’d lose you there…”

“That’s never going to happen,” Grady promised her feeling his own throat lumped with emotion at how close he came to losing it all.

“It’s good to have you back son,” Elliot joined in the embrace, savoring this moment that fate had pulled through for the Denton family. “I love you Grady.”

“I love you too dad. I love you mom,” Grady confessed overcome with his own sense of relief that he felt tears threatening. In that moment of hugging his parents he thought about how he’d come so very close to having his life ripped away from him forever. Without his friends and family that could’ve happened, but now that Kyle had brought Kipp home…

“We prayed for this to happen. We prayed that you’d be release,” Cheryl offered up tearfully.

“And now that it’s happened, I swear to you I’m a changed man mom. I’m not going to do the things that I was doing before all this came about. I’m going to go back to AA again and I’m going to try to pull my life together. With your help and with Jade’s…” Grady stopped himself suddenly realizing that there was something huge missing from this reunion. He stood up straighter taking a step back away from his parents to look around the courtroom, “Where’s Jade?”

Elliot cleared his throat uneasily, “She wasn’t here son.”

“What do you mean she wasn’t here?” Grady’s voice rose in a panic, “I thought you said you thought she was running late.”

“We did, but well, she just never showed up,” Cheryl explained uneasily, “I was going to call her during the break, but…”

“But nothing,” Grady shook his head, “If Jade’s not there, then something is wrong. I have to find out what happened.”

“Alright son, you can do that, but…” Elliot began worry creasing over his brow.

“Dad, I know that right now we have a lot of things to talk about, but I have to go to Jade. She has to know that I’m free--that we can finally be together,” Grady’s green eyes pleaded with his father.

Elliot nodded in complete understanding, “Go be with her son.”

“And give her our love,” Cheryl added with a small smile leaning into her husband.

“I will,” Grady promised ready to set out and find the woman he loved as soon as Avery worked through the release. He’d finally found his freedom and nothing could stop him and Jade now from truly having it all together. Happiness was theirs at long last.


“Hey there hero,” Avery smiled tapping on Kyle’s shoulder as he turned around and smiled widely.

“Avery,” Kyle grinned before wrapping his arms around her lightly as she pat his back lightly.

“You came through Kyle, I knew you would,” Avery stated as he let her go.

“It was everyone’s faith that kept me going,” Kyle declared before shrugging, “I couldn’t let you and Grady down.”

“Congratulations on a job well done Kyle,” Avery grinned as he smiled, “I couldn’t ask for a better private investigator or a better friend.”

“Me neither,” Kyle replied as he hugged her once more before she looked up at his face seeing a few bruises.

“What happened to you?” Avery questioned running her fingers lightly along the bruise on his cheek as he winced.

“Just some hot head,” Kyle informed her before smiling, “It was nothing.”

Shannon jabbed him in the side with her elbow as he jumped back.

“Why did you do that?” Kyle questioned looking over at her seeing her shrug.

“She was showing me that you really weren’t okay,” Avery’s face looked worried, “You should go to the hospital to see if you have a broken rib or something.”

“I will be fine, nothing a little rest can’t heal,” Kyle assured her seeing her frown.

“Okay, but promise me you will take care of yourself,” Avery sighed seeing him nod.

“I will,” Kyle, promised looking over at Brant who was staring at him, “What is it?”

“How big was that guy? He really got you good,” Brant winced just looking at the cut on his face.

“He was nothing I couldn’t handle,” Kyle replied as Brant nodded and shook his head.

“What made him start a fight with you?” Brant wondered seeing Kyle shrug.

“I don’t know, I think he thought I was looking for some girl…I can’t remember her name though,” Kyle answered thinking back to the animal that had attacked him.

“The guy really whooped Kyle,” Shannon pointed out as Avery laughed watching Kyle frown.

“Shannon, I guess I have to thank you too,” Avery smiled as Shannon nodded.

“It was my pleasure,” Shannon assured her as Avery looked back to Kyle.

“How about you tell me more about this trip you made,” Avery suggested seeing him shrug.

“If that’s what you would like, but it might take a while,” Kyle informed her as he shrugged, ready to tell her everything that had happened.


“How did this happen?” Cameron questioned to himself in anger as he picked up his lamp and threw it at the wall. “This can’t be happening.”

Cameron leaned forward placing his hands on his neck. The picture of Kipp walking into that courtroom kept replaying over and over again in his mind.

“How could this have happened?” Cameron asked himself shaking his head. “This wasn’t supposed to happen.”

He threw one of the vases at the wall as it crashed to the floor. He ran his hands through his hair roughly thinking back to the scene he had seen earlier.

“You bastard Houston,” Cameron growled slamming his hand down on his desk, “You are going to pay for this.”

Cameron pictured the sly smirk Kyle had on his face when he walked Kipp into the room.

“Damn,” Cameron growled as his office door opened and he saw Susan before him. “Where the hell have you been?”

“I have been really busy,” Susan sighed walking over towards him, “You won’t believe how bad of a day I have had.”

“Believe me, I think I understand,” Cameron laughed before rolling his eyes. “It is going to be a whole lot worse now that Kipp is back in town and Grady is out there.”

“Oh don’t worry, that doesn’t mean he is going to be happy,” she shrugged as he raised an eyebrow in curiosity.

“What are you trying to say?” he questioned seeing her shrug and shake her head.

“Oh nothing,” she smiled as he shook his head and sighed.

“Alright, what ever. I have to go make a phone call,” he informed her shaking his head and walking out the door. This was going to be solved somehow; he was going to take care of this.


“So are you going to stop screwing around and making excuses and just tell me what happened last night?” Angela questioned inspecting the curve of Kevin‘s torso as he sat before her shirtless and protesting to her medical attention.

“It’s not a big deal Angie,” Kevin shrugged his shoulders making a small grunting noise as Angela started to stitch up the side of his body near his ribs. While he’d insisted that it was best to let things go, she’d been insistent upon stitching him up claiming that the wound he’d gotten was far worse than he’d played it off to be. He flinched as he felt her touch the side of his stinging body.

“Now Kevin, you can keep on lying to me and this can be very painful for you, or you can start telling me the truth,” she warned him sharply, her dark eyes full of menace as she reached out to continue stitching him up.

He winced at her expression lifting his arm a bit to give her room to work on him, despite the reluctance he felt in cooperating, “I’m telling you the truth Angie. I was at the club and you know how it is there with half the losers hanging out around here. They’re all thugs and hoodlums. I just happened to run into one that thought he was tougher than I was, but I showed him that he wasn’t.”

“And in the process he decided to give you this,” she arched a doubtful brow, “Kevin as much as I’d like to believe that story, I know full well that even the meanest bad ass wannabes on this island can’t come close to touching you in a fight. You weren’t at the top of the boxing game for nothing.”

“That was a long time ago Angie,” he winced feeling her work on stitching him once again. He couldn’t help but crack a small smile as he paused, “And besides I thought you were too focused on Cary to notice anyone else inside the ring.”

“Kevin, you know I had my eye on you inside and outside of the ring,” she pointed out with a suggestive wink before her fingers fanned out over his side again, “Can you raise your arm up a bit more here?”

“Sure, no problem,” he replied placing his hands behind the back of his head clasping them together. He inhaled slowly preparing himself for her needle before he glanced over at her again, “So you really noticed my record then huh?”

“Kevin, we all know you could have been top of your weight class if you wouldn’t have tried so hard to be the nice guy,” Angela pointed out with a firm look, “It was always your conscience that kept you from being the man in the ring.”

“And being the man in your life too, huh?” he questioned with an air of vulnerability in his tone.

“Kevin, stop,” Angela looked up at him, her dark eyes widening with that same expression that she gave him every time he’d brought up this particular conversation, “This is going to get us both nowhere fast.”

“Hey, all I’m saying is if you would’ve kept your eye on me that night at the ring rather than noticing Cary Meloni, then you and I both could’ve been spared a lot of heartbreak. You wouldn’t have married that jackass and I would’ve never wound up in a dead end marriage with Michelle,” he sighed grunting slightly as she worked on his ribs.

“Hey now, don’t go blaming me for Michelle. You knew that the blonde hair and her wiggling her ass around the ring is what baited you in. That had absolutely nothing to do with me. You were all about the way she paraded around that ring with her little signs,” she wrinkled her nose in disgust, “You weren’t looking for more than to get laid, but you were just too dumb to think that your hormones were leading you to love.”

“Yeah well I’ll admit I was a fool, but it was your fault. If you hadn’t married Cary, then I could’ve ravished you and we would’ve had it all set there,” Kevin paused a contemplative, nostalgic expression sweeping over his features, “You can’t deny that the sex with us wasn’t bad at all? Come to think of it, I thought it was pretty good.”

“It was very good, but that’s besides the point,” Angela finished up with him taking a step back, “You and I made very good lovers, but much better friends. We both know that.”

He watched her move around the small room, disposing of her gloves before going over to the sink, “Even so, if you would’ve just let it ride with us, we could’ve both been spared a lot of this misery.”

“Hey, they say misery makes life worth living,” she reached for a towel to dry her hands, “Besides, you have to admit, that while I’m nice, I don’t measure up to those blonde vixens that turn your head every now and then.”

“Angie they don’t at all measure up to you,” he replied getting up off of the table and reaching for his shirt, “Sure, they might be hot, but you’re sizzling.”

“And you’re still delirious from that hit you took last night,” she frowned slightly, “Let me look at your face.”

“I told you it was fine,” Kevin tilted his head just out of her reach, but she was relentless capturing his chin and forcing him to look at her.

“Yeah right,” she grumbled taking note of his now black eye, “and I’ll just have you know that while you were out getting your ass kicked, I was here dealing with the new turn for Kipp.”

“Kipp,” Kevin repeated curiously, “Why what happened?”

“He woke up,” Angela shrugged her shoulders, “Not only did he wake up, but he insisted upon leaving.”

“He what?” Kevin’s eyes widened in surprise, “What is he? Insane?”

“I don’t know,” Angela shook her head before running her fingers through her dark hair, “One minute he was here barely conscious and then I went to go get something in my office. I got a phone call and then when I came back, well the nurse informed me that someone came to see him. He took off with them without so much as waiting to be checked out. None of it makes any sense, but as I said he just up and left.”

“That doesn’t sound right,” he frowned slightly, “Do you think this has something to do with Cameron?”

“I don’t know,” she shook her head, “but I really don’t like the idea of Kipp being out there just leaving on a whim even if that’s what Cameron wanted. The man has been in a coma for a long time and while the treatment I was doing with him was experimental and was supposed to give him a dramatic recovery sooner or later, I wanted to make sure that it worked first. There’s no telling what the side effects of all of it could mean for his future and…”

“And I’m sure if something’s wrong, Cameron will send his sorry ass right on back here for you to fix it,” Kevin grumbled in response.

“Hey, now where’s that coming from,” she questioned bluntly, “What’s your problem with Kipp?”

“It’s not Kipp,” he confessed with a shrug of his shoulders, “but more so Cameron. I don’t like how he barks orders at you all the time.”

“You’re the one he barks orders at because you’re the one on his payroll. I’m just the one who he obsesses over when he’s got far too much time on his hands,” she pointed out sticking her tongue out at him.

“Yeah, well if he really knew what you were up to, then he’d do more than obsess. Just the idea of you parading off with some guy and getting yourself into this position…” Kevin reminded her simply.

“Is none of his business. It’s my body, my life and it’s not his concern,” Angela protested bluntly, “Cameron has no say in what I do or don’t do. I‘m not afraid of Cameron…”

“And yet that’s why you haven’t mentioned anything to him about your rendezvous there, right?” Kevin arched a skeptic brow.

“As I said it’s none of his business,” she wiped her hands on her pant leg before hearing a knock on the door. She turned to see her nurse standing there eyeing the two of them with obvious curiosity.

“Dr. Meloni, you have a phone call,” the nurse explained.

“Take a message. I’m busy,” Angela replied simply.

“I would, but it’s Mr. Stone and he said it’s urgent,” she added much to Angela’s dismay.

“And I said I’m busy,” Angela spouted off again with a heavy frown.

“Angie, we both know that busy isn’t going to work with him much longer,” Kevin pointed out, “especially if he shipped Kipp out of this place and there are complications from Kipp’s abrupt departure.”

“I hate it when you’re right Kevin. I wish you didn’t always throw the whole obligation thing at me,” she scoffed exiting the small room.

“And I wish you wouldn’t always give me reason to worry,” Kevin frowned wondering how Angela’s conversation with Cameron would go. Still with that guy sniffing around the island like he was last night, Kevin knew he had to find a way to keep Angela safe--even if she hated him for it.


“I can’t believe that Ria girl,” Christy scowled getting up from the couch looking at the man before her.

“Don’t worry about it sweetheart, she doesn’t mean anything in all of this,” the man replied looking over to the television seeing the headline news.

“I know, but I can’t believe her. She thinks she is better than everyone,” Christy laughed before the man looked up at her looking slightly angry.

“Could you shut up for one minute? I am trying to hear this,” the man rolled his eyes turning up the volume and hearing the voice of the reporter.

“Grady Denton was set free today after a man brought in Kipp Mahoney, the man that was supposed to be dead,” the reported strongly informed the people as he saw two figures in the background. One was a woman and the other was a familiar man he had seen before.

“What the…?” the man questioned seeing the face as he clenched his fingers together tightly.

“Here he is now,” the report quickly smiled running up to the man, “Excuse me, you are Kyle Houston right?”

“Yeah,” Kyle nodded raising an eyebrow wondering what the reporter wanted.

“You were than who brought quite a surprise to this trial,” the reporter laughed as Kyle nodded.

“Yeah, well I couldn’t let my friend go down for something he didn’t do,” Kyle replied unsurely as he looked back to Shannon. “If you will excuse me I have to go.”

“And there you have it ladies and gentleman,” the reported began to talk again as the man quickly turned off the television.

“Kyle Houston?” the man questioned to him as Christy sat next to him.

“What about him?” Christy wondered as the man stood up shaking his head.

“I can’t believe he is in town,” the man got out in disgust, “This is going to be wonderful. I wonder what the hero will be doing next.”

The man shook his head in disgust thinking back to face of Kyle Houston. What was that boy up to now?


“So what are you doing here?” Ria questioned once more looking up at a smiling Don.

“You know, I figured I would come and visit some people and you were on of them,” Don informed her as she grabbed onto his hand and led him to the hospital cafeteria.

“I haven’t seen you in so long,” Ria pointed out as they both took a seat at one of the tables, “So how have you been?”

“I have been good,” he nodded with a smile rubbing the back of his neck lightly, “I didn’t know if you were going to remember me or not.”

“How could I forget my favorite mentor,” she laughed seeing him shrug.

“It’s possible that you could have,” Don stated with grin seeing her nod.

“So tell me again why you left the hospital,” Ria frowned seeing him lean forward and sigh.

“Well, I guess you could say it was the new hospital policies,” Don began taking in a deep breath, “I really didn’t agree with them.”

“Well that’s a good reason, believe me it is,” she assured him as he nodded.

“So what was up with that girl?” Don questioned seeing her roll her eyes and shrug.

“I think she just thinks the whole world is out to get her. She‘s reasonably new and deluded about what she thinks should be top priority around here. She‘s doing some kind of ‘Barbie fashion show fundraiser’ and thinks that I should be there shaking my ass instead of in the OR actually making a difference,” Ria informed him hearing him laugh.

“That’s how most people are these days,” Don agreed shaking his head, “You shouldn’t let people like that bother you though. It just shows that you are better than them when you don’t fight back.”

“I know that,” she agreed before shaking her head, “That girl is just so weird. I think that everyone else here thinks she is crazy too.”

“She seemed like it,” Don nodded before sighing, “I don’t understand people like that.”

“Well, enough about people like Christy,” Ria smiled touching his shoulder lightly, “What is new in your life?”

“Well, I am married now,” Don informed her watching her smile and pat his back lightly.

“When did you get married?” Ria questioned hearing him laugh.

“Well, it is a long story,” Don began as he took in a deep breath, “It was more like a mistake, that was in her words.”

“Why what happened?” she wondered seeing him shrug and tap his fingers along the table lightly.

“Well, we got married a while ago and was because we were drunk,” Don informed her as Ria raised an eyebrow, “Yeah, I know it is weird.”

“Are you two not getting along or something?” Ria wondered seeing him shrug.

“I really don’t know, I try my hardest to make her happy, but it doesn’t seem to be good enough,” Don sighed as he shook his head, “I don’t really understand her sometimes.”

“It happens,” she began biting down on her lip, “Does she know about…”

“No, not yet,” he shook his head as she frowned looking slightly disappointed.

“Why not?” she questioned seeing him shrug.

“I really don’t know,” he began to explain caught on words, “I don’t think she is ready for that yet.”

“Do you think she will help that situation?” Ria wondered seeing him shrug and shake his head.

“I can’t tell yet,” Don stated before thinking back to Shannon, “I don’t think she is ready yet.”

“Well, you better be sure to know if she is or not,” Ria suggested seeing him nod.

“I will tell her soon,” he promised folding his hands out in front of him. “I hope.”


“Now you are ready Mr. Media,” Shannon laughed as Kyle looked back down the hallway shaking his head.

“I guess so,” he sighed before turning the corner and stopping looking down at Shannon. “Shannon, I want to thank you. I couldn’t have done this without you.”

“You could have, but I was the one that gave you the backbone,” she kidded as Kyle smiled, “But it was my pleasure to help you out.”

“We should do that again sometime,” Kyle suggested hearing her laugh, “You make a great partner.”

“As do you,” she nodded before leaning back against the wall, “I was shocked when we found Kipp.”

“Me too,” Kyle agreed before sighing, “From that moment I saw Kipp, I knew that I he was going to be that key to getting Grady out.”

“Well, we can’t leave Don out of this either,” Shannon sighed thinking back to when she got the phone call from Don, “He was the one who gave us the location.”

“I know,” Kyle nodded before holding the back of his neck where his muscles were tight. “Make sure you give him my thanks.”

“Will do,” she declared as Kyle looked down at his watch and then to the door.

“I think I should go see Sarah, to let her know I am okay and everything,” Kyle sighed seeing her nod.

“I guess I will catch you later then,” Shannon replied seeing him shrug.

“I think maybe you should go home to Don and make nice,” Kyle suggested seeing her roll her eyes.

“Piss off Kyle,” Shannon scowled hearing him laugh as he raised his hands up in the air.

“It was just a suggestion,” he explained seeing her shake her head, “I’m just saying, it could be for the better.”

“I will think about it okay?” she questioned sarcastically seeing him and lean forward hugging her. “Bye.”

“See you later,” Kyle waved good-bye walking down the hall.

Kyle smiled to himself as he walked down the long hallway. This was incredible; it was a great feeling to actually know that he helped his friend at long last.


Angela entered her office, closing the door behind her as she found herself dreading this conversation. She’d spent her time avoiding Cameron for months for a reason. Right now he was one of the last people she wanted to talk to and while it was harsh, she knew full well what it was like when Cameron decided to fixate on her. It was bad enough that she’d had to live with it most of her life, but now, well now it just wasn’t the right time to deal with Cameron.

Circling around to her desk, Angela plopped down in her chair hoping to find a way to relax, but as she picked up the phone, she knew that relaxing wouldn’t be part of the equation, “Hello.”

“Angel, beautiful, how are you,” Cameron’s voice slurred through the line in that oh too familiar tone that lead her to know that he’d wow her with a few sweet words before letting loose on his real reason for calling, so with that thought in mind, she decided to beat him to the punch.

“Look Cam, I’m busy and while I’d like to talk with you, the truth to the matter is there isn’t much I want to say. I mean really who the hell do you think you are coming into town and sweeping Kipp out of the hospital like that? He just woke up and there is no telling what could happen to him with him racing off after a coma like that and…” she started bitterly.

“Wait a second,” Cameron tried to interrupt.

“No you wait just a damn second. I realize that you think you can call the shots in most people’s lives, but it’s not going to work in mine. I have a job to do and I did my part as I was supposed to do, but you, well you think you can just come in here and start pushing my staff around--pushing me around just because you have your own agenda, well guess what, it’s not going to be happening,” she broke out into an uproar, “I’m not going to be pushed around Cameron and just because you think you know best, the fact to the matter remains that you don’t. I’m the doctor, not you.”

“I realize that and…” he paused as if distracted from his rebuttal, “Wait a minute. Did you say you’re ticked because I had Kipp taken from the hospital?”

“That’s right and if you think you can bully me around in my workplace too, then you’re going to find that it’s not going to happen. You’ve already got me working like mad on that little pet project of yours and if you think for one second…”

“Back up Angel. I didn’t have Kipp shipped off the island. In fact I was calling today because I wanted to know what the hell you were thinking in letting him go. I trusted you to keep him there until he was well again and…”

“And if you didn’t send someone out here for him, who did?” she threw back in an accusatory tone.

“I don’t know, but I’m going to have to look into it,” his voice darkened.

“Well that’s just wonderful. Kipp could be in some kind of trouble. If he’s running around and no one knows where he is…”

“Oh I know where he is. He’s here Angel and I thought that you were the reason for that happening,” he remarked sourly, “but obviously I was mistaken.”

“It wouldn’t be the first time,” she cut back sharply, “So let me guess…this phone call was about a lecture huh?”

“Among other things,” his voice softened a bit, calming a level or two despite the obvious agitation that plagued him, “I miss you. I’d like to see you again…soon…”

“I’m busy,” she answered flatly, “I’ve been…”

“Busy, yes I know, but I think that you could make time for me. Given what I’ve made time for with you, well I think it’s only fair that you give me a little quality time Angel. I miss your face and your…” he began in a poetic tone.

“I can’t afford to fit it in right now. I’m working around the clock and…” she started to protest, feeling her fingers curl around the phone cord uneasily.

“I could fly down and see you. We could have a special dinner or something and then…” he suggested hopeful to get a more positive response from her.

“It’s not a good time. In fact,” Angela heard a tapping on the door, “I have to go. We’ll talk later.”

Before Cameron could response she hung up the phone swiftly knowing that he would be upset about her departure, but she wasn’t about to give him the opportunity to come to see her. She couldn’t afford a visit from him especially not now. Cameron had to stay where he was and leave her alone.

“Is this a bad time,” she heard a voice question as she looked up to see her mystery patient standing before her. He was dressed in a pair of baby blue colored scrubs and the small smile on his face had a certain warmth to it. His hair was slightly mussed, but it didn’t matter as he seemed to tower in the doorway, his body offering a certain presence to the room around him. He seemed to carry and possess the moment and as Angela found herself watching him in a silent appreciation, he took the quiet as a sign that he could come inside with her. Closing the door behind himself, he faced her again, “I was hoping we could talk.”

“Talk,” she repeated snapping out of the daze that he’d put her into. She cleared her throat uneasily before sitting up straighter, “I thought you were in bed. What are you doing in here?”

“Feeling restless as hell and very eager to see my doctor,” he strode casually over to her desk. Leaning forward, he placed his palms down on top of the corners of her desk, using the emphasis of his arms to span out over it in his lean. Her eyes immediately darted to the emphasized musculature of his body as his arms flexed with the movement. She licked her lips involuntarily before turning her attention to his mesmerizing eyes.

“You really should be in bed,” she chastised him.

“I would’ve been, but then it would keep me from the special attention that I’ve been seeking out from my doctor,” he teased with a flirty air, his smile radiating through the room as the words fell from his lips.

“Tell me something, are you always such an insatiable flirt, or does it take amnesia to turn you into such a fun loving, easy going guy,” she questioned leaning slightly forward, her dark eyes penetrating his.

“I wouldn’t know,” he confessed with a small sigh, “but I was hoping we could work on fixing that one together.”

“And just how do you propose we do that?” she questioned falling back into her seat, folding her arms in front of her chest in an attempt to still her rapid pulse rate.

Sure, she’d been surrounded by a great many men most of her life, but there was something about the sheer sexiness of her island find that had her inspired to let her mind travel down a path of naughtiness. Sure, she hadn’t mentioned it to Kevin, but Kipp leaving last night wasn’t the only surprise that had come over her. When she’d drifted off to bed, she’d been haunted by very erotic dreams with the man before her as a leading man. Of course the dreams she’d had were clearly brought on by the stress, but it was the first time in a long time that she hadn’t replayed the scenes she and Brant shared with one another. Clearing her throat uneasily she tried to stay focused.

“The nurse mentioned that when you found me, I had a few things with me,” he explained standing up straighter once again before taking a seat in the chair across from her desk. “I thought that maybe if we went through them together, that it might ring a bell.”

“Sure, we can do that,” she nodded rising up from her chair on shaky legs before she crossed the room to the filing cabinet where she’d kept his stuff.

“Good, I was hoping you’d be willing to oblige,” he confessed, his eyes following her every movement as he sank back into the chair. His gaze dropped down over her legs and his grin expanded, “I figured if anyone could help me, it would be you.”

“You keep saying that, but I’m only your doctor. I can only do so much unless of course you’ve remembered something more about what happened before this point in time yet?” Angela questioned pulling the envelope from the drawer she’d kept it in. She spun around to face him taking note of his obvious gawking and a moment of heat swept over her. Was it because of him or because of her fluctuating hormones, she wondered. She tried to take a breath to curb the strange feelings going on inside of her and in that moment she knew it was all him. Still, this wasn’t about her feeling lust since she’d been single for so long. This was about helping him as a professional.

“No,” he shook his head before pausing to give her a long glance, “except for that kiss we shared on the beach when you found me.”

“That wasn’t a kiss,” Angela shook her head at him, “That was my trying to save your life…”

“It did more than save my life,” he admitted sitting up straighter once again, “A whole hell of a lot more.”

“I can see that,” she replied tossing the envelope into his lap, “but as it stands I’m your doctor and it ends there, so before you go trying to play a game that you’re clearly way in over your head with, how about we try to stay focused?”

“I like focusing, but I also don’t mind bending the rules a bit,” he replied in a seductive tone--far too tempting for Angela’s liking as he looked her over once again, “We don’t actually have any guidelines between us at this point.”

“That’s because once again you’re getting ahead of yourself,” she shook her head at him, trying to play down the situation as he grasped the envelope in his hand and rose to his feet once again.

“Or maybe you’re just two steps behind,” he tossed out at her suggestively making a bold step towards her, “What if I told you I’ve been dreaming about you?”

“I’d say that’s perfectly natural given that I’m your doctor. It’s not that far of a reach for someone in your position to dream about the person who is taking care of them and in this situation your brain just registers…” she started to explain his dreams to him.

“The color that rises in your cheeks when I embarrass you or the way your lips purse when you’re trying to be all logical, but your eyes are telling a different story,” he continued lowering his voice to a more intimate level, “The fact is that you like me Doc. Admit it.”

“For all I know you could be a serial killer on the run who washed up on my island,” she replied matter of fact, “That in itself makes you a very dangerous man.”

“Yet you seem to be attracted to danger. Am I right?” he searched her eyes seeking out an answer to his own question.

“Wouldn’t you like to know,” she held her hand out bringing it out over the center of his chest, feeling his taught, firm musculature beneath her touch before she snatched the envelope from his hand, “but how about we focus on getting to know you better rather than trying to draw conclusions about me and what I’m like?”

“For now I suppose that’ll work,” he conceded taking a step back, “but don’t think I won’t want to talk about our previous discussion again.”

“You can talk all you want, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be listening unless it pertains to your recovery,” she circled around her desk to put a distance between them, “Now about your things…”

“Let’s have a look,” he decided watching her spill the contents out over her desk.

“They’re rather vague, but they are what you had on you,” she explained handing him a key chain of sorts. It had a strange gold symbol engraved in it and there was some writing on the back, “Does this ring a bell?”

“I wish it did,” he confessed holding the trinket in his hand. He eyed the inscription and read the words aloud, “Home Sweet Home.”

“Sounds like there was someone back home waiting for you,” she noted with a strange look, wondering just how much she wanted that to be true.

“Or it could’ve been a cute little Hallmark thing I picked up in my travels,” he shrugged his shoulders before eyeing the rest of the envelope’s contents, “What else do we have here?”

“You tell me,” she took a step back letting him look over the things before him until he honed in on a small scrap of paper.

“What’s this?” he questioned lifting it between his thumb and index finger.

“I’m not sure. It was pretty wet at the time, but now, well it’s a bit water damaged,” she admitted stepping in closer to him, “It looks like there’s writing on it.”

“I see that, but it’s hard to read,” he squinted his eyes attempting to make out the words.

“Give me that,” she grumbled snatching it from his hand and carrying it over to the other side of her desk. She pulled a magnifying glass out from her top drawer. “Maybe I can figure it out.”

“Well, then let’s see you give it a try,” he suggested watching her hold the paper underneath the magnifying glass for an inspection. He walked around her desk to stand behind her. Leaning over her shoulder, he eyed the paper fragment intently, “What is that?”

“It kind of looks like an N,” she admitted bringing the magnifying glass over the paper in a small sweep, “and maybe an I…”

“Let me see,” he crouched in closer to her, making her immediately aware of his presence. Unable to contain herself she turned her eyes towards him, to gaze at his profile while he studied the paper in her hand. She felt his finger sweep in over the center of her palm before his lip curled in a puzzled expression, “That kind of looks like a C…and maybe an H…no a K.”

“N-I-C-K,” she spelled aloud before their eyes connected with one another, “Nick? Does that ring a bell?”

“I wish it did,” he shrugged his shoulders straining to remember the origin of the paper fragment.

“Nick,” she repeated again as a thought occurred to her, “Maybe that’s your name. This looks like it could’ve come from some kind of receipt or something given the numbers right here. Maybe it was a credit card receipt.”

“You know…that does kind of look like what it is,” he nodded in agreement, “and if it was in my pocket…”

“Chances are that it was yours,” she replied drawing her own conclusions, “which would mean your name is…”

“Nick,” he finished for her, a small smile spreading over his features, “my name is Nick.”

“So it is,” she added hopefully, “Does that bring forth a last name to mind?”

“Not yet, but now that we’ve figured this out, I’m feeling hopeful,” he confessed eagerly, “Nick. I think I like the sound of that.”

“So do I,” she admitted with a small smile, “It kind of suits you.”

“You think?” he questioned taking a step back and holding up his shoulders as if trying out the name.

“I do,” she nodded, “Nick.”

“Nick. My name is Nick and I owe that discovery to you. You‘re the reason I have this much,” he repeated again before reaching out to her and pulling her into an embrace, “Thank you.”

“I…I didn’t do anything,” she began with a small stammer, “This was just in your pocket and…”

“And you thought to keep it,” he reminded her instantly, “You were the one who kept this from falling to pieces.”

“I thought it might be important, but I didn’t know if…” she started once again, suddenly aware of the feel of his arms around her.

“It was important and I owe this discovery to you and you alone,” he confessed bringing his hand up to touch her cheek tenderly, his pupils widening. He inched in closer to her giving her a sudden moment of breathlessness as she sensed his intentions. She felt her lips part, her mouth grow dry and as he inched in towards her she was certain he was going to kiss her. Much to her surprise she didn’t find herself wanting to stop him.

“Hey Angie, I was thinking…” Kevin started walking into the room unannounced only to take in the scene before him.

“Kevin,” Angela spoke his name in a gasp, nearly knocking the papers off of her desk as she leapt out of Nick’s arms. She spun around to face her friend feeling her face grow hot with embarrassment. She offered up a weak smile before adjusting the bottom of her blouse a bit out of a moment of nervousness. “Hey, what’s going on?”

“That’s what I’d like to know,” Kevin grumbled, his eyes immediately turning to the man beside Angela. It was in that moment he decided that Angie’s mystery man had to go. There were no ifs or buts about it. If Kevin had his way, the guy was about to become ancient history.


“What are you still doing here?” Heather demanded stomping out into the foyer to find Sarah still hanging around the mansion, “I thought I told you to leave.”

“I don’t care what you said Heather, we’re far from being finished talking to one another. I think it’s time you step back into reality and…” Sarah started with a frown.

“Oh pipe down,” Heather waved at her dismissively, “I’m in no mood to hear it especially from you.”

“I don’t really care what you’re in the mood to hear Heather. The fact remains that you need to grow up for the first time in your life. Stop acting like a brat and take some responsibility for a change,” Sarah started watching Heather turn around to walk right back out of the room. This time Sarah wasn’t about to give Heather an opportunity to ignore her. She followed Heather into the living room watching as Heather reached for the television remote.

“Give it up Sarah. I’m in no mood,” Heather huffed turning the television on before starting to flip the channels relentlessly.

“Too bad because you need to start thinking about…” Sarah’s words were drown out by Heather turning up the volume on the television. Sarah frowned, “Oh yeah real mature Heather.”

“I’m not listening to you, so why don’t you get lost? I’m sure Kyle will find his way back to you when he gets home,” Heather cast a glance over at her sister spitefully, “Unless of course he grew a brain while he was gone and realized there’s no point in wasting his time on someone like you.”

“Now you listen here…” Sarah started again only to be interrupted by the sound of a news brief. She turned her eyes towards the television seeing the breaking story about Grady’s trial coming to an end. Forgetting about the lecture she had prepared for Heather she eyed the TV set intently.

“And today in a surprising twist the charges were dropped against Grady Denton…” the news reporter began.

“See, I knew I’d be able to save the day,” Heather boasted proudly.

“Kyle saved the day,” Sarah reminded her sharply.

“But I’m sure it was because of me and my letting him look at Cameron’s files. I’m sure whatever Kyle found was good,” Heather started with a pleased expression hearing the sound of the doorbell alerting her that she and Sarah were no longer alone at the Ashford mansion, “I’ll bet that’s Kyle now.”

“I’ll get it,” Sarah turned to leave the room, but before she could get out the door, Heather breezed past her in a haste.

“I’ll do it since Kyle will probably want to thank me,” Heather blurted out rushing to the front door. She stopped for a moment ready to give her sister something to complain about as she adjusted the nightgown she was wearing. Sure she might not have the perfect face, but Brant was soon going to fix that for her. Tossing her hair in front of her face, she vowed to find a way to thank Kyle properly for using her tip. Then again Kyle would surely be the one thanking her, she thought to herself with a grin. With that thought in mind, she opened the door with a sexy smile.

“I knew you’d come back to thank me for my generosity,” Heather blurted out in a sensual tone wanting nothing more than to agitate Sarah, but much to her shock and surprise Kyle wasn’t the one at the door.

“Hmm, well I did come here to see you today Heather, but I’m not so sure it’s because I wanted to thank you for your generosity,” Kipp remarked with a note of heavy agitation as Heather’s eyes widened in surprise. She opened her mouth to speak, but before anything came out, she fell to the floor the world growing black around her.


Grady stepped off of the elevators finding that he couldn’t move fast enough when it came to finding Jade. He’d called her cell phone four times only to get the voice mail. That in itself had him very worried. It wasn’t like her to just not be there at court. Something wasn’t as it should be and he knew that. Something had to be wrong. Now as he stood outside the hallway to her apartment, he just prayed that nothing was seriously wrong.

“Maybe she was feeling sick,” Grady thought aloud hoping that his fears were for not. It was possible that she’d woken up this morning and just wasn’t up to coming to court. She’d looked tired lately and he was sure that the trial had been putting a stress upon her. Maybe it was stressing her out so much so that she hadn’t awakened when her alarm went off. Maybe she was still in bed, but no that wasn’t like Jade either. He approached her door ready to see if he could find her, but as he stood outside her apartment, that’s when he saw it. Her door was open a crack and it looked like something was laying on the ground. Something thin and leathery like a purse strap.

“No,” Grady mouthed to himself bending down to push the door open only to discover Jade’s purse spilled out over the living room floor. He saw her cell phone before his feet, her wallet a few inches from where her phone had been. Making his way into the room further only to discover the rest of the apartment in a state of disarray.

“Jade,” Grady shouted her name searching frantically through her apartment with no luck. She was no where to be found and with what he’d seen when he walked in, Grady realized that his suspicions were dead on. Something was very wrong and now that he’d found out that Jade was missing, he knew that something horrible had happened. He just prayed that he hadn’t found out too late.


...to be continued...