Episode 188

Diego tapped his pen on his desk quickly as his thoughts drifted back to what he had just saw with Kipp and Heather. He shook his head trying to rid the memory as he sighed deeply.

“I have to get to work,” Diego began as he turned to his computer and typing a few words before stopping. “Damn you Heather.”

Diego shook his head as he ran his hands through his hair roughly before hearing a knock at his office door.

“Come in,” Diego called out before turning back to his computer hearing his door open.

“Hey Diego,” Beth smiled shutting the door behind her and walking towards his desk.

“Beth,” Diego sighed as he turned in his chair to face her, “What can I do for you?”

“Oh it is nothing,” Beth began before biting down on her lower lip, “I am just so worried about Sam. I don’t know what is going to happen with her.”

“I’m sure she will be fine,” Diego replied his thoughts still focused on Heather as he tuned out Beth talking. Why did she only care about herself? She didn’t care how others felt.

“Diego?” Beth questioned flapping her hand around in his face as he shook out of his daze.

“Sorry,” Diego apologized before folding his arms out in front of him, “What were you saying?”

“I was wondering if you wanted to go get a drink or something?” she wondered as Diego raised an eyebrow. “You know, to just continue our conversation elsewhere.”

“I don’t think…,” Diego began before cutting himself off with the thought of Heather. She was having a good time without him so why couldn’t he go out? “Sure, just let me get my jacket.”

“Alright,” Beth nodded before taking a step back watching Diego grab his jacket and walk towards the door.

“You want to get a drink?” Diego questioned seeing Beth nod as he shook his head, “How about we go to dinner or something instead of just getting a drink?”

“Sure,” Beth nodded with a smile before Diego led her out of the room.


“Kipp, son I came here as soon as I could,” Douglas began with a desperate plea, “I realize that you’ve been missing for a while, but…”

“But nothing,” Kipp replied with a whirlwind of rage in his tone. The whole room grew silent as Kipp seemed to be the center of attention. He took one smooth step forward with his cane before staring his father down, “I’m going to be the one to be doing the talking now Douglas.”

“Kipp, son I know that you might be confused right now, but…” Douglas started with a mask of eagerness over his features, “Let me take you home and…”

“No, I’m not going anywhere with you,” Kipp stepped away from his father, “I’m not going with you now or ever.”

“But Kipp…” Douglas started blinking back at him, “Son, I know that we weren’t on good terms when you left, but…”

“But nothing,” Kipp glared up at his father, “I know all about what you’ve done.”

“You what?” Douglas questioned with a small gulp before his gaze shifted over towards Heather, “I don’t know what this slut has tried to tell you, but…”

“This isn’t about Heather. This is about you and I,” Kipp declared icily, “You never wanted me to be happy. You never cared about what was best for me, only what was best for you.”

“That’s not true son,” Douglas offered up uneasily, “I only came to this bloody town because I was looking out for what was best for you. I didn’t want you to get sucked in by a gold-digging…”

“No, you came to Coral Valley because you thought I was a screw up. You were afraid that in my being with Heather it would tarnish your already fragile reputation. You didn’t care what made me happy or what was best for me. It was all about you like it always was,” Kipp cut him off abruptly, his brown eyes filled with a sudden hatred, “All of my life you’ve been controlling all that I’ve done. You’ve told me what I could and couldn’t do, but it ends here Douglas. It ends tonight, do you hear me?”

“Son, I’m sure that we can talk about this further at my hotel…” Douglas tried to skirt around the issue at hand, “You’ve been through a horrible ordeal and…”

“And you have no idea what I’ve been through, nor have you cared about it other than you wanted to play the role of the good father to the media. You never looked at my accomplishments--at what I made of myself or what it was that I wanted for my life. All that mattered to you was putting on a good front. Even now that’s really what this is all about,” Kipp shouted, his voice raising with each passing second, “You didn’t give a damn about me when I worked my ass off in law school. You didn’t even bother to come to my graduation and you didn’t lift a finger to help me get my career off the ground. The only time you finally bothered to notice was when I took the job with Cameron…”

“That’s because Cameron couldn’t be trusted. Kipp I told you what kind of man he was and…” Douglas tried to defend his position before he searched the room desperately in an attempt to deflect his son’s animosity in a new direction, “I’m not the one who did this to you. She did. She slept with another man and broke your heart. Hell, she married Cameron almost as soon as you went missing and she was going to let him raise your son. She was going to make sure you never got near your own flesh and blood ever again.”

“Don’t you dare try to drag me into this. I was doing what I had to protect my son from the likes of you,” Heather shouted in response finding the strength to stand up to Douglas, “You left me no other choice when you threatened to take Charles away from me.”

“You’re in no position to be a mother. You didn’t give a damn about my son. All that mattered to you was making it big in Hollywood and all the profits you felt you’d receive by getting yourself knocked up. For all we knew you were going from man to man in the hopes that one of them would be rich enough and stupid enough to get you pregnant. I know your type…”

“My type,” Heather huffed, her lips curling in a heavy scowl, “you have no idea what my type is and if you did, you wouldn’t be saying these things to me right now.”

“That’s enough,” Kipp insisted with a firm warning tone, “I’m not going to sit back and let you belittle Heather when the only person you have to blame for any of what I’m feeling is you. You were the one who couldn’t just let things be. You didn’t want me to be happy and you still don’t. Even now you stand here pretending to care about me, but what this boils down to is your feud with Cameron. That’s always what it’s been about.”

“That’s not true and if you really believe that Kipp, well I’m sorry that you see it that way, but I’m here because I love you. You’re my son and when I thought I lost you, it tore me up inside. I didn’t think that I could make it without you.”

“You seemed to do just fine when you spent your time intimidating Sarah and threatening Heather,” Kipp explained matter of fact catching his father’s expression, “Oh I know all about your manipulations and your little torture methods, but I’m telling you that it ends now. You’re not going to hassle or bother Heather or anyone else in this room again.”

“Son, why are you doing this? How could you think that I…” Douglas stammered before glaring at Heather, “What did you say to him?”

“She didn’t have to,” Kipp replied smugly.

“Your actions speak for themselves,” Heather folded her arms in front of her chest, “but with men like you they always kind of do.”

“Why you little…” Douglas lunged in towards her, “You did this didn’t you? You set my son up to pit him against me, didn’t you?”


“Thank you for your time,” Travis rose from where he’d been seated to take Brooke’s statement, “You can rest assured that the FBI isn’t about to let that bastard get away again.”

“I truly hope not because the last time he went too far,” Brooke replied weakly, her eyes still glowing with the news that Brant had unleashed upon her. Even now as she lay in the hospital bed looking broken and battered, there was no denying the obvious buzz that she was on having uncovered the deliciously wonderful truth about her daughter’s new marriage.

“He won’t have the opportunity to do it again,” Travis nodded before leading his men out of the room, “We’re still going to keep a guard out at the door here.”

“We appreciate that,” Brant replied accordingly eager to scoot the authorities out of the room. While he knew the truth, he watched Brooke put on a very impressive delivery and judging by the expression on Avery’s face, he was certain that this was far from over between her and Brooke. Once Travis and the others left the room, Brant looked to Brooke again.

“So you’re really married,” Brooke sighed gleefully, “a smile spreading over her features. Tell me about the wedding as I’m sure that I missed so very much.”

“Actually,” Avery cleared her throat before glancing over at Brant, “I’d really like to have a moment alone with my mother.”

“Avery are you…” Brant hesitated, “are you sure?”

“I’m positive,” Avery nodded reaching out to squeeze his hand before he stepped in towards her.

“You don’t have to do this,” Brant mouthed in a low whisper, “She told the police what we were hoping for and…”

“And I need to let her know that I haven’t forgotten the truth,” Avery confessed tightly, “I can’t let her get away with this.”

“Avery, it’s not really a good idea for you to…” Brant began as Avery threw out a pleading look.

“Brant, don’t try to talk me out of this. I need to do this,” Avery insisted watching him open his mouth to protest, but instead he just nodded giving her a small hug before stepping towards the door.

“I’ll be in the hall if you need me,” he added supportively before closing the door behind him.

“So you finally made a wise decision,” Brooke’s usual sarcastic tone returned to her, “and here I thought that you were never going to get it. That you’d always be living your life doing less than what you were meant for…”

“Don’t you dare sit there and tell me what I was meant for,” Avery hissed in response, “Just because you were able to wax poetic for the FBI doesn’t mean that I owe you anything.”

“Avery, darling, what ever are you talking about?” Brooke feigned innocence, “What Bruce did was absolutely horrible and when I think about how he kept me from that wedding of yours…oh, how I wish I’d been there…”

“You listen to me Brooke,” Avery stepped in towards her, “I know full well that you remember everything that happened in that office. You might’ve put on an Emmy winning performance here today, but I know the truth.”

Brooke grew suddenly silent before she tilted her head up towards Avery, “Darling, we both make mistakes and if I’m willing to forgive and forget this little mishap, then surely it could be easy for you to do the same and…”

“I’ll never forget what you tried to do to me,” Avery snapped back at Brooke. Her voice transformed into a menacing whisper, “and I swear to you if you ever try it again, then you’ll be in a far worse place than this hospital.”

“Avery please, I would never try to hurt you and for you to think so little of me. You just didn’t understand what was happening because you were confused, but now with Brant to help you, well I’m sure he can help you pull your life together again. You two can start a family and…” Brooke ignored Avery’s threats and continued with her own agenda, “You and Brant can make something together and now that you’re married…”

“Shut up!” Avery raised her voice before thinking twice about taking that kind of approach. Drawing in a slow breath, Avery tried to calm herself as she leaned in closer to Brooke, “I remember what you tried to do to my baby--what you tried to do to my daughter--to Russell’s daughter and I swear to you, if you even think about coming near me again, I won’t hesitate to finish you off. You’ll wish it was Bruce that you were dealing with.”

“You’d be best to watch your words Avery,” Brooke warned her sharply, catching the glare Avery offered her, “because from where I sit, you’re in no position to try to play a battle of the wills with me. I could easily change my statement and tell the authorities what you were asking me to hide…”

“I didn’t ask you for a damn thing and let’s face it, the only reason you kept quiet is because you want to get your hands on what you feel Brant can give to you. You’re out for the Ashford prestige and you think through me you can make it happen, but I’ve got news for you Brooke. Brant knows exactly what you did to me and as far as we’re both concerned, after today we don’t want you in our lives not now, not ever,” Avery finished with a chilling glare, “oh and if you even think about revising that little statement of yours, then I swear to you I’ll tell Guy everything--absolutely everything about what you’ve done and not only will you have lost me, but you’ll lose him as well.”

“Avery, if you think that is some kind of power play you hold over me,” Brooke began attempting to try to talk her daughter back into the room.

“Oh I don’t look at it as a power play,” Avery shook her head at her, “That’s a promise Brooke. I won’t hesitate to take you down.”

“And I won’t hesitate to let the world know just how far into your delusions you’ve slipped. When Russell died, you lost your mind--you started making up things that weren’t really there. You started seeing things--started talking to ghosts,” Brooke added watching Avery turn her back on her, “You started seeing things that weren’t really there and even Brant knows that.”

“What did you just say?” Avery spun around to face her.

“Do you really think anyone is going to believe the word of a grief stricken widow over someone like me?” Brooke questioned with a haughty laugh, “Avery, darling you’ve been losing your mind for quite some time and having hallucinations of Russ surely hasn’t helped your case, now has it?”

“How did you…” Avery began thinking about the very vivid hallucinations she’d been having of Russ. Suddenly it dawned on her that she’d never told anyone about them other than Cheryl, Elliot, Kyle and Brant. It was in that moment that everything started to make sense, “You were behind that, weren’t you?”

“Why sweetheart I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Brooke flashed her a mocking grin.

“You bitch!” Avery leapt towards her mother suddenly seeing the ways in which Brooke had set her up. Everything that had made her think she was losing her mind was no more than Brooke’s way of manipulating Avery to drive her mad.

“I did what I had to in order to get the job done and you did what you were supposed to, well, other than not letting me get rid of that little bastard brat you have growing inside of you,” Brooke added wickedly before Avery clamped her hands around Brooke’s neck and started choking the life out of her.


“So what do you think is going on in there?” Guy questioned pacing around the hall nervously, “Do you think Mum is okay after having to relive that ordeal all over again like that?”

“Oh I’d say it’s a safe bet that Brooke is doing better than any of us imagined,” Brant thought back to the chilling tale that Brooke had spun out in the hospital room.

“I don’t know how she could be after what that man did to her,” Guy brought his own hands up over his arms, “To think of the ways in which he’s been torturing my sister and now Mum…”

“Guy, can I be honest with you,” Brant started clearing his throat, “despite the fact that your mother seems like she’s innocent in all of this, the truth to the matter is that there’s a side to your mother that you don’t know about.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Guy asked blankly.

“It means that,” Brant started to explain the situation to Avery’s brother when the sounds of beeping and shouts rose from the hospital room.

“What in the…” Guy questioned as he and Brant raced over to Brooke’s hospital room.

Throwing the door open, Brant stepped in to discover Avery hovered over Brooke, clenching her hands around Brooke’s neck tighter than he’d imagined possible. He realized that Brooke was turning a pale shade of blue and in that moment he spun around to place a distance between Guy and the scene unfolding before them.

“Get a nurse,” Brant instructed shooing Guy out of the room.

“But…what about Mum?” Guy asked attempting to take a peek over Brant’s shoulder.

“Just do it,” Brant instructed shoving Guy out of the room and closing the door behind him. Quickly locking the door, Brant heard the sounds of Brooke’s agonized gasps overtaking her. Swiftly, he ran over to the bed, grabbing at Avery in an attempt to get her off of Brooke.

“I hate you! I hate you!” Avery shouted, her voice pinched with anger and blind rage as she continued to clamp down around Brooke’s neck. Brooke’s fingers fanned out weakly over the bed, her gasps growing more desperate by the second as Avery started to shake with the force she was laying out into her mother.

“Avery stop!” Brant tried to capture her attention, but it was clear that Avery was in another place and time.

“I’m not going to let you take my daughter away from me. You can’t do this to me!” Avery continued desperately, her body tightening with each twist of her fingers over Brooke’s neck.

“Avery stop it,” Brant pleaded with her, managing to pry Avery off of her mother, but not without her kicking and screaming in protest.

“Let go of me!” Avery screamed wildly, “She can’t get away with this. She can’t do this to me and get away with it!”

“She’s not going to get away with it sweetheart,” Brant pulled her into his arms protectively, feeling her writhe and arch in protest against his urgings, “Avery please…”

“I just don’t understand how she could do this…how she could want to murder my baby,” Avery broke down into tears in his arms, her anger transforming into pain and frustration.

Brant looked to Brooke. He could see that she was regaining her composure and in that moment Brant wanted nothing more than to tear her apart himself for getting Avery so worked up. Gently he placed a kiss on the top of Avery’s head before cupping her face in his hands, “Let’s go home sweetheart.”

Avery nodded silently too broken up to say much more as he urged her into his chest. Brant glanced over at Brooke watching the interest she was taking in seeing the scene play out before her. He could sense that whatever Brooke had done, it must’ve been pretty bad to get Avery this worked up. Still he wasn’t going to take any chances in leaving Brooke to hurt Avery once again.

“I don’t know what you said or did Brooke, but I’m warning you now, you stay the hell away from my wife. If you hurt her in any way, then you’re going to answer to me now,” Brant warned her sharply before guiding Avery out of the room without looking back.

In between coughs Brooke sat up the best she could feeling a weak smile spreading over her lips, “That’s exactly what I’m hoping for,” she admitted under her breath before letting out another small cough, knowing that while her daughter was furious, things were falling into place one way or another.


“So what else has been going on,” Deidra questioned before plopping a forkful of sweet and sour chicken into her mouth, “You haven’t talked about much more than Carly there…”

“I haven’t talked about much?” Dave arched a curious brow, “You’re the one who has been practically mute since I arrived.”

“I’m not being mute,” she shrugged her shoulders before taking another bite, “I’m just avoiding conversation that I know you’re not going to like.”

“Not going to like,” Dave gave her a strange look, “In other words you’re obsessing over Dean, huh?”

“I’m not obsessing, but there’s just something about him,” she couldn’t help but smile setting her food down and opting to reach for a toss pillow instead as she and Dave sat on her couch with one another. “You just have no idea how special he is Dave and with the way he looks at me…”

“Deidra, I know that you really think this guy is special, but…” he started after a moment of hesitation.

“But what?” she blinked back at him curiously? Dave, you saw with your own eyes how he was ready to help me when I needed him. Of course it goes beyond that at this point now that we’ve spent time together.”

“And just what magic did Doctor Romance work over on you at his secret cabin,” Dave questioned a hint of animosity in his tone.

“See, now this is why I didn’t want to talk about this with you,” she frowned tossing the pillow aside and opted to reach for her food once again. She dipped her fork into the sauce before waving a piece of chicken over at him, “I knew that you didn’t want to hear it.”

“Dee, it’s not that I don’t want to hear it, but all I’m trying to say is that you need to be careful,” he sighed heavily wishing that he could chalk up all that he was feeling to just being a good friend, but deep down he knew better. He still felt a little jealous anytime a new man was in her life, but he also knew not to do or say the wrong thing to clue her in about that. “I mean I know he’s a doctor at the hospital and all and yes, I realize he helped you out, but what do you really know about him?”

Deidra stared at him blankly for a long moment before shaking her head at him, “You know this is exactly why I wish we didn’t even bring this subject up because I know where this is leading.”

“Deidra, I’m just saying…”

“You’re just trying to tell me that you don’t think I’m capable of making wise decisions when it comes to men, aren’t you?” she accused a frown spreading over her features, “I mean you’re just waiting to throw the thing with Bruce in my face, aren’t you?”

“No, that’s not it at all, but now that you mentioned it, well that’s another reason why you shouldn’t jump into something. At least give me a chance to run the guy’s history before you fall head over heels,” Dave appealed to her as he set his food down. He eyed her intently before leaning in closer to her, “Can’t you at least give me that?”

“Dave, even if you ran a background check on him, it wouldn’t ever be enough for you. I know you,” she shook her head at him, “you have to trust me on this one.”

“It’s not you that I don’t trust. It’s just that I don’t think just any average Joe off the street is good enough for you,” he confessed honestly, “You deserve the world Deidra.”

“Yeah, well I think Dean might be the man to give me it. He’s really wonderful Dave and hopefully you’ll get the chance to get to know him better,” she smiled brightly, “He’s passionate, romantic, funny and so very charming. I mean yes I really believed after Andy that I’d never feel this way again, but now, well I can see that I was wrong and I’m really glad about that. Dean is something special.”

“Yes, but does he feel the same way? Does he think you’re special as well?” he asked in an attempt to try to be objective.

“I sure hope so,” she smiled brightly before reaching out to take his hand in hers, “and one day, well I know it’s going to happen for you as well Dave. You’ll meet someone who is worthy of you and when you do, I’m sure that you’ll know what I’m talking about.”

“You make it sound like I’ve never been in love before,” Dave half laughed before turning suddenly serious, “I’ve been in love Deidra.”

“Yes, but not with the right woman,” she argued with him, “Carly so didn’t deserve you and she still doesn’t. I mean yes I realize that you’ve kept so busy with work that you’re not into the whole dating scene, but I’m telling you that you can do so much better.”

“Deidra, she’s not that bad,” Dave frowned back at her, “She’s a wonderful woman and…”

“And she wasn’t what you needed. She still isn’t,” Deidra added firmly.

“How would you know? You haven’t seen her recently,” he tried to object to her words.

“Trust me women like Carly never change,” Deidra pointed out watching him shift uneasily on the couch beside her. “I know you don’t want to hear it, but…”

“No, I don’t want to hear it,” Dave snapped back at her before his tone softened a bit, “Look Deidra, I get your point. I won’t harp on you about Dean and you won’t remind me of all the reasons why you hate Carly. How’s that?”

“Well, I can’t say I won’t tell you what I think of the woman…” she began with a shrug.

“And I won’t lie and tell you I’m not going to investigate Dean’s background there either,” he added with a hint of seriousness.

“Dave, I wouldn’t expect anything less from you,” she laughed back at him tapping his arm with her palm before she stood up. “I’m going to get another drink. Would you like one?”

“Sure,” he nodded watching her retreat to the kitchen as he wondered if fate was trying to tell him something. Maybe Deidra was right. Maybe things weren’t meant to be for him and Carly, but then again at this rate Dave was starting to believe things may never be meant to be for him and anyone.


“So I guess this is where things change for us huh?” Carly questioned tracing her fingers lazily over the center of Ken’s chest feeling the warmth of his hold on her.

“Change?” he questioned opening his eyes as he felt the warmth of her surrounding him in the center of her bed.

“That’s right,” she nodded tipping her head up to look down at him, “I mean when we started all of this we were talking about keeping it casual--about it not happening more than once, but now…”

“Now we’ve proven that we’re horrible liars,” he pulled her in closer to him for a tender kiss, “but in this particular instance, I’m glad we bluffed about this.”

“You’re just glad that I haven’t run screaming yet,” she teased with a small smile.

“If you were smart you, you would,” he inched up to kiss her, “but I’m glad that you didn’t.”

“Yeah, so am I,” she admitted lightly, “though I have to tell you I’m not sure we’ll know what to do with ourselves once we leave Coral Valley on this romantic getaway you have planned for us. I don‘t think I‘ve honestly had a vacation in at least six years let alone my being unemployed.”

“Well, my goal for this trip it to teach you how to relax and unwind,” he explained matter of fact as his fingers eased through her dark hair, “We’re going to say to hell with the world for a while, get ourselves a few strawberry margaritas and soak up the sun. You can’t tell me that it doesn’t sound like heaven.”

“That’s the problem,” she replied with a sideways glance, allowing her long, dark hair to fall over her shoulder across his chest gingerly, “I’m afraid it sounds too good to be true.”

“Well it’s not,” he promised her, “It’s going to be exactly what we both need Carly. We’ve had a lot happening here in Coral Valley and it hasn’t exactly been pleasant.”

“But you know sooner or later we’re going to have to come back and face what’s waiting for us here,” she reminded him with a small sigh, “as much as I hate to say it, I’m going to have to tell Dave about this.”

“You mean you haven’t already,” Ken cracked a small grin catching her scathing look in the process, “Carly, I’m kidding.”

“Well I’m not,” she swatted at his chest before bracing herself up on her elbows, “He doesn’t deserve to be hurt again especially like this.”

“Dave’s a big boy. He can take care of himself and besides,” he curled his arm around her to pull her into him again, “he had his chance and he blew it. Now it’s our time to see where fate takes us.”

“Even so, I really think we should tell him,” Carly bit on her lower lip nervously, “He’s a really wonderful guy and when he finds out about this--if he finds out from anyone else but me, well it’s going to hurt him. Chavez threatened to tell him about us and I’m sure now that I quit, she won’t hesitate in doing so…”

“Well it’ll make it easier on us,” Ken teased once again before she frowned down at him.

“Ken, that’s not right,” she shook her head, “We both know that.”

“I know,” he nodded in confession, “but right now I don’t want to think about Dave or anyone else, but you…”

“But Ken…” Carly started to protest thinking about everything that they had to face ahead of them.

“Not now,” he cut her off with another seductive kiss before urging her onto her back, “I just want to focus on us…on our being together. Can we do that for a while?”

“I just want…” she started once again before easing her arms around his shoulders to hold him closer to her.

“I love you Carly,” he whispered against her mouth kissing her with a newfound tenderness as he promised himself that nothing would get in the way of what they’d found with one another--not even Dave.


Dean took a quick glance around the sidewalk before entering a dark alley. He slowly walked up to a mysterious person who was leaning against one of the walls.

“Hey,” Dean called out catching the person’s attention, as the person looked straight at Dean.

“You are late,” the person grunted looking down at his watch and shaking his head.

“I had other things I had to do,” Dean stated before rolling his eyes, “Could we just get over with this?”

“Fine,” the person nodded before pulling something out of his pocket and Dean watched slowly as the person handed him an envelope slowly.

“Alright,” Dean nodded stuffing the envelope in his pocket, “Catch you later.”

“We aren’t done here yet,” the person shot out grasping onto Dean’s shoulder making him spin around.

“What?” Dean questioned demandingly hearing the person laugh deeply.

“I believe you know what to do,” the person began slowly seeing Dean nod, “Don’t screw up this time.”

“I won’t screw up,” Dean exclaimed before shaking his head, “Are we done here yet?”

“One more thing,” the person began with a smile, “Don’t screw this one up…or else.”

“Or else what?” Dean questioned sarcastically standing up in the persons face.

“Or else your little girlfriend will find out the truth about you,” the person promised as Dean stepped down and nodded his head.

“Fine,” Dean nodded trying not to let his anger overcome him. “I won’t screw up, trust me.”


“Kyle, I can’t stop thinking about this,” Grady took in a deep breath as his body still shook with worry. “What if this is really her?”

“It’s okay man,” Kyle sighed looking over at him, “Just keep faith, I’m sure it isn’t her.”

“He is right,” Gabe, agreed with Kyle resting his hand on Grady’s shoulder lightly, “You just have to keep up your hope.”

“I’m trying,” Grady, laughed hesitantly before closing his eyes tightly, “I really am.”

“You guys should wait right here while I check this whole thing out,” Shannon stated with a frown before seeing Kyle nod, “I will be right back.”

“I should be going with her,” Grady protested as he began to walk away and both Kyle and Gabe stopped him.

“It is best if you wait a little while,” Gabe suggested as Grady nodded slowly before looking up at the sky.

“What if that is her?” Grady questioned as his darkest fear returned thinking of how he could lose the best person in his life.

“It won’t be,” Kyle, promised Grady patting him on the back lightly, “I promise.”

“You can’t promise on something like this Kyle,” Grady shot back as Kyle stepped away. “Sorry, it is just…I don’t know I am so worried.”

“I understand man,” Kyle nodded before looking behind him and seeing Seth looking around the place uneasily.

“What is it? What do you see?” Gabe questioned looking at the expression on Kyle’s face as he began to walk towards him.

“I have to go talk to Seth,” Kyle informed him with a frown before seeing Gabe nod.

“Do you need me to go with you?” Gabe questioned as Kyle shook his head.

“No, I think you need to keep an eye on Grady,” Kyle stated looking back at Grady who still seemed to be lost in space, “He is capable of doing anything stupid right now.”

“Are you going to go and just tell Seth what is up?” Gabe wondered as Kyle nodded.

“Of all people, he needs to know,” Kyle, sighed before rubbing the back of his neck lightly, “Just keep an eye on him and I will be right back.”

“Will do,” Gabe agreed before walking back to Grady to talk to him and Kyle walked towards Seth and Blake.


“I can’t believe this, where is everybody?” Seth questioned angrily as Blake rested her hand on his shoulder lightly.

“Just keep looking, we will find someone,” Blake assured him as Seth spun around feeling someone’s hand on his shoulder.

“Kyle, it is you,” Seth let out a deep sigh of relief, “Why are we here? What did they find?”

“Seth,” Kyle began lost of words as he looked down to the ground, “I have some bad news.”

“What? What is it?” Seth questioned quickly as he got no answer from Kyle and he grabbed him by the shoulders roughly. “Kyle, what is it?”

“I will tell you,” Kyle stated as he swiped Seth’s hands from his shoulders, “You are going to have to calm down first.”

“Alright, alright,” Seth agreed before taking in a deep breath, “Sorry, I just can’t stand not knowing what is going on.”

“Believe me, I understand,” Kyle replied knowing he had to tell Seth what was happening. “Well, they found a person.”

“A person?” Seth questioned quickly before shaking his head. “That can’t be Jade…is it?”

“We don’t know yet,” Kyle, informed him looking at the extremely worried look on Seth’s face.

“Well, what are they waiting for?” Seth wondered throwing his hands up in the air angrily.

“Shannon is going to go see what is going on, she will come back and tell us what is going on,” Kyle promised as Seth shook his head quickly.

“Screw Shannon, I have to go and find out if that is my sister or not,” Seth shouted out as he began to walk past him and Kyle grabbed him by the sleeve.

“That isn’t a good idea, I think you should just wait a little,” Kyle suggested as Seth turned around quickly raising his fist tempted to hit Kyle.

“Let me go Kyle,” Seth demanded as Kyle shook his head and more anger began to build up inside of him.

“That isn’t a good idea,” Kyle repeated once more as Seth shook his head lightly.

“He is right,” Blake agreed with Kyle grabbing Seth’s hand making Seth turn around and look at her, “I think Shannon knows what is going on. She will come back and tell us the scoop.”

“Fine,” Seth exclaimed angrily before letting his hand fall to his side, “I don’t get why they are making us wait so long.”

“It is okay,” Kyle assured him before looking back down at Grady, “I think this whole thing is going to turn out okay in the end.”

“Yeah,” Seth rolled his eyes before shaking his head, “Real okay.”


“So what were we talking about earlier?” Diego questioned as Beth nodded.

“Oh yeah,” Beth nodded before taking a sip of her drink, “I was talking about Sam. I am so worried for her; I mean I have been keeping some things from her.”

“Like what?” Diego questioned with a slight bit of curiosity behind his voice.

“Well, it is all things that could hurt her of course,” Beth began as she contemplated if she should tell Diego about the things she has done. “With her father and everything.”

“What about her father?” Diego wondered raising an eyebrow to see her shrug.

“Just that Hart is her father,” Beth stated with a shrug before taking another sip of her drink.

“Wait a second, Hart is Sam’s daughter?” Diego questioned seeing Beth nod as he tilted his head. “And you have never told her that he is her real father?”

“No,” she shook her head acting as if it was nothing, “I mean does it really matter?”

“Yeah, it matters,” Diego, replied before shaking his head disappointed in what she just told him, “Have told Hart about this whole thing?”

“Of course I have,” she nodded before thinking back to Sam, “I just don’t think Sam should know.”

“Why not? She will probably find out soon or a later,” Diego pointed out before seeing her shake her head, “I would hate to have my mother do that to me. Tell me my father was someone he really wasn’t.”

“Well, Sam isn’t you and I am definitely not your mother,” she laughed looking over Diego’s features, “She won’t find out.”

“I think it is for the best that Sam gets to know her real father,” Diego repeated as she denied him once more shaking her head quickly.

“She will be fine,” she assured him once more smiling to herself thinking of the moment when she told Hart he was Sam’s father. “I can promise you that.”

“I don’t know,” Diego began while Beth tried blocking his lecture as the music caught her attention and she quickly stood up. “What are you doing?”

“Come on, let’s dance,” she smiled pulling him out of his seat and to the dance floor before he even had the chance to deny her offer.

“I’m not one for dancing,” Diego shouted over the loud music as she began to dance against him.

“Just go with the flow,” she smiled as he nodded looking around the dance floor. “What is wrong?”

“Nothing,” Diego backed up slightly as she leaned towards him…a little too close for his comfort.

“I didn’t know you could be so much fun,” Beth laughed before leaning up to kiss him as he quickly backed away.

“What is wrong with you?” he questioned a slight bit discussed, “We were just coming here to talk remember?”

“I thought you wanted to have,” she folded her arms out in front of her reminding him of what he had said earlier.

“That wasn’t the type of fun I was talking about,” he informed her before shaking his head not even wanting to talk about this certain situation anymore. “You know what? I am going to get going.”

“No, you don’t have to,” she called out to his realizing that she may have just made a mistake as she watched him grab his jacket and walk out the main door. “His loss.”


“Get the hell away from her,” Kipp shoved his father with a surprising force sending Douglas across the room, “I warned you once and that was it Douglas. You stay away from my son, away from me and away from Heather. We don’t want you or need you in our lives.”

“Son, you don’t mean any of this. I don’t know what that little harlot has told you, but….” Douglas growled in response attempting to regain his bearings.

“I remember quite well when you told me to make a choice between you and your fortune and Heather. You told me you’d cut me off if I defied you, but the fact to the matter is I’m not going to give you that opportunity. To hell with you Douglas. I don’t need you or your fortune. I’m fully capable of making it on my own,” Kipp continued in an uproar while Sarah watched the battle between the two men. Sure, she’d never met Kipp before, but she was seeing something in him that was unlike anything she’d imagined in a man who had fallen for her sister.

“You’ve never been able to make it on your own Kipp,” Douglas remarked snidely, “I’ve done everything for you. I was the one who paid off your teachers to give you the grades you needed to get by. I was the one who put in payoffs to get you through law school and I was always the one to fix all your pathetic little mistakes you made over the years. I was the one doing it all while you sat back and enjoyed the spoils of my hard work. My only crime is in loving you too much. I gave you the world and this is the repayment I get?”

“All you gave me was a life filled with delusions and things that were never really mine. You never took the time to ask me what I wanted, but rather you dictated my life. You still are trying to do it, but Douglas I’m not going to let that happen. I won’t let you rule me any longer. I’m my own man now and I’m walking away from what it is you think I need.”

“You tell him Kipp,” Heather rushed over to his side, throwing her arm around his shoulders supportively as her eyes narrowed at Douglas, “You never needed him.”

“No, I didn’t and I still don’t,” Kipp’s jaw clenched with anger, “The way I see it, I may as well have been dead to you when you sent your whore over to do your dirty work.”

“What?” Douglas blinked back at him, “What are you talking about?”

“You know what I’m talking about,” Kipp’s glare intensified, “You knew all about what happened that night and decided to let me believe your lies.”

“Kipp, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Douglas paled before covering again, “Everything I’ve done was out of love--out of my desire to make you happy and be with you. I did what I had to in order to make sure that this witch didn’t destroy your life. I couldn’t let her take it all away from you.”

“So you decided to do it instead,” Kipp’s jaw clenched with rage as he felt Heather’s fingers fan out over his shoulders. Slowly he turned to face her, “Heather, tell me something. Be honest with me for a minute here. That night that you ended up in bed with Russell Denton, why were you there?”

“Kipp, I told you it was a mistake. I told you that I never meant to hurt you like that. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing and…” Heather started dramatically, “I didn’t want any of what happened.”

“You liar!” Douglas shouted at her, “You knew full well what you were doing when you jumped into Brant Ashford’s bed. You were looking to rekindle the flame you thought you had with him while you were playing my son for a fool. You knew damned well what you were doing.”

Heather gulped slightly before attempting not to let her worries surface. She reached out to touch the side of Kipp’s face, “Kipp, I would never, ever hurt you like that. You know how I was trying to help you fix your relationship with your father. I wanted you to be happy--for us to be happy…”

“Don’t believe her. She’s full of it. Kipp, she was just using you to get to me. That was what she had on her mind and at that party, she proved just that when she…” Douglas went on a rant himself.

“When she was drugged by you?” Kipp blurted out causing a silence to follow with his declaration. Douglas’s face paled immediately.

“What?” Heather blinked back in confusion, “Kipp, what are you talking about?”

“My father decided to take matters into his own hands that night,” Kipp explained simply, his eyes never straying from his father, “He thought that since I was going to defy him, he’d find a way to manipulate me into doing what he wanted anyways.”

“I…I don’t understand,” Heather stammered thinking about the night Kipp was shot, “When you came back earlier, you were angry with me and…”

“And I thought that maybe just maybe there was a chance that you were still hung up on Brant, that you were only using me like he’d said. For a split second I’d thought it Heather. Even knowing that you’d been drugged, well I had my doubts, but after I held you,” he reached out to pull her in closer to him, “I knew that you cared about me. I know that now that you’ve brought our son into the world. We have something together and not even he could take it away from us.”

“She’s only going to destroy you. She couldn’t possibly love you. A woman like that is clearly incapable of love Kipp. Regardless of whether or not she was drugged that night, she would’ve jumped into bed with someone else sooner or later,” Douglas threw out at his son, unable to come up with something in his own defense.

“Just because the women that you take up with feel that way, that doesn’t mean that’s how Heather is,” Kipp spoke up firmly, “and when Heather is finished with her divorce, she and I are going to be married and we’ll make damn sure that neither you nor Cameron get anywhere near our son.”

“What?” Sarah, Douglas and Heather questioned in unison as Kipp reached for Heather’s hand.

“That’s right,” Kipp brought her hand to his lips placing a tender kiss upon the top of her palm, “Heather I have loved you from the first moment I met you and I want to marry you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you and our son. I want us to have that chance for happily ever after that neither one of us had growing up and if you say yes, I swear to you that I won’t let anyone hurt you again…especially him.”

“Kipp, I…” Heather’s eyes widened in shock as Douglas felt as if the wind had been knocked out of him. There was a long silence that surrounded the group before Heather glanced over at Douglas. She threw out a smug smile in his direction before curling her arms around Kipp excitedly, “Of course I’ll marry you.”

“I don’t believe this,” Sarah blurted out from her corner of the room as she watched Heather bilking it up with Kipp. Somehow things went from bad, to better, to twilight zone in all of a matter of seconds and something told Sarah the wild ride was far from over.


Brant glanced over at Avery as he slid in behind the wheel of his Ferrari. He could see that she was still shaken by what had happened between her and her mother and in that moment he found himself wanting to try to make things better for her. Reaching out to take her hand in his, he offered up a gentle squeeze.

“Avery,” he spoke her name watching as her sad, dark eyes lifted up to meet his, “want to talk about it?”

“No,” she shook her head firmly, “I don’t even want to think about it. I just want to go home.”

“Okay,” he started to put the car into first gear before he felt her fingers press in over his once again.

“No, on second thought Brant, wait,” she pleaded, her tear-filled eyes searching his face desperately, “I just…I don’t want you to think that I was…”

“Avery, I don’t know what happened in there, but whatever Brooke did, I’m sure that she deserved what you were giving her. Hell, she probably deserved worse, but I couldn’t let you do that to yourself,” he admitted turning the car off once again. He turned to face her, his dark eyes reaching into hers, “I know how this has been eating you up inside after what happened at the office.”

“It’s not just that. It’s everything,” she started to explain only to feel his fingers press tenderly in against her cheek. Moments later, he swept his index finger in underneath her chin urging her to meet his eyes.

“Avery, I know that the last few months have been anything, but pleasant for you, but I want to help you break away from the pain that’s been eating you alive,” he promised in a soft whisper, “I know you’ve been through hell and back and I know that it might not be much, but I want to find a way to keep you from hurting like this again. When you cry like this…”

“I know it makes me weak and whiney and…” she blurted out feeling foolish and frustrated all at the same time after she’d let loose on her mother.

“No, it’s not that at all,” he insisted urging her to meet his eyes again before she slipped away from him, “Avery, when I see you in so much pain all I want to do is wrap you up in my arms forever and make sure you never have to feel that again. I can see how vulnerable you are and I don’t view that as a sign of weakness. I see it as more validity that we need one another now more than ever.”

“Brant, you don’t need someone like me in your life. You need a wife who doesn’t have so much baggage and…” she began to argue only to feel him lean in over the gear shift to capture her lips in a spontaneous kiss. She felt the warmth and tenderness behind his kiss and as his lips tantalized hers, she glided her hand up over his arm, feeling the muscled contours of his body beneath her touch. Finally breathless, she felt him pull away from the kiss.

“Avery, all I need is you,” he mouthed his lips still a mere breath away from hers, “You’re all I’ll ever need.”

“I wish it was that simple,” she sighed feeling an ache in her heart at the thought of how far down she’d fallen after Russ died. Her fight with Brooke replayed in her mind, followed by her making love to Ken. Immediately she pulled away from him, forcing herself to look out the window out onto the world outside the car.

“Avery, I know it’s hard, but…” he extended his hand out to her, only to pull back at the last moment, “I want to help you, but you have to let me inside. I want to be the man you need…”

“Brant, you’re so good to me and I don’t deserve this. I don’t deserve any of it. Can’t you see that I’m not who you think I am? I’m so not what you wanted in a wife and…” she broke down into tears, “I don’t even know what I am anymore.”

Brant opened his mouth to speak, but stopped himself before anything came out. He inhaled slowly before clearing his throat once more, “What you need right now is some time to relax and unwind. You’ve been through a lot today and I don’t want to make things more difficult. Let’s go home.”

Avery glanced over at him briefly before nodding. When she heard the sounds of the engine turn, she forced herself to look to the hospital again as she wondered where she would go from here in her life. With each twist and turn she seemed to fall farther from where she’d wanted to be. She just prayed that whatever came next wouldn’t harm her daughter in any way.


Grady searched for Shannon as he caught a glimpse of her and sighed. Gabe and Kyle were both talking to Seth and he knew that they would not let him go down there. He had to go see what was up; he could not just wait here. He looked back once more quickly before running down to the scene. He quickly went under the police tape and ran to Shannon.

“Have you found out anything yet?” Grady questioned quickly as Shannon looked away from him. “Shannon what is it?”

“Grady,” she began with a sigh as Grady saw the pack of people surrounding something.

“Oh my god,” Grady gasped noticing the thing they were surrounding was really a person, “That is Jade.”

Shannon tried to stop Grady as he quickly began to run, but she was unsuccessful. Before Grady could reach the body, Jenna stepped in front of him making him come to a stop.

“Let me go Jenna,” Grady yelled trying to get past her as she shook her head.

“I don’t think you should go over there Grady,” Jenna declared as Grady shook his head.

“I don’t care what you say,” Grady informed her walking right past her, “I am going over there, I have to know.”

“Grady,” Jenna called out, but was too late as she saw him pushing through the group of people.

“Jade,” Grady began to shake as he got to his knees and looked at the body that was lying on the ground.

She looked just like her from the back. Could it be her? Grady bent over the body and turned it towards him so he could see the face.

“Oh my god,” Grady gasped from the sight of the face before him as he shook his head.


...to be continued...