Episode 191

Kyle raised his shaky hands up in the air as he looked at the blood spread over his skin.

“Kyle,” Brant yelled placing his hands on his shoulders, “What is going on?”

“I,” Kyle began as he tried to search for words to say feeling his body begin to shake even more. “Your brother.”

“What about Ken?” Brant questioned demandingly looking into Kyle’s lost eyes.

“Your brother,” Kyle growled as he suddenly stopped shaking as his anger overcame his fear, “He raped Avery.”

Brant slowly stood up looking over to the motionless Ken as he shook his head.

“Avery, please tell me Kyle is going crazy,” Brant pleaded as Avery became speechless and looked the other way.

“Kyle,” Brant bit down on his bottom lip as Kyle nodded watching Brant bend down and hit Ken across the face. “How dare you.”

“Kyle stop,” Avery yelled watching Brant and Kyle begin to hit Ken repeatedly as the two woman shrieked in horror. “Brant, please.”

Both men tuned out the screams of Carly and Avery as they began to release all their anger on the one man who hurt one of the most important woman in their lives.

“Kyle please,” Avery begged grabbing onto his arm as he looked back at her seeing the fear in her eyes. “Please stop.”

Kyle looked down trying to catch his breath before slowly backing away as he felt his muscles tense over.

“Brant,” Avery shouted trying to get the attention of her husband, but was unsuccessful as he unlashed his anger out on his brother.

“Oh my god,” someone gasped from behind Brant making him turn around to see Annie behind him as he froze. “What is going on here.”

Everyone was silent as she looked over to the corner seeing Kyle covered in blood breathing heavily. She looked towards Brant who stood next to Kyle and Brant was slightly covered in Ken’s blood, but not as much as Kyle was.

“Annie, we…” Brant tried to explain before seeing Annie quickly walk over to Ken bending down and testing his pulse.

“He needs to get to a hospital,” Annie informed them looking around the room to see all the different expressions on everyone’s face.

“We didn’t,” Kyle began with a raspy voice trying to think of what to say, “I didn’t.”

“He was trying to stop me,” Brant stated before looking over to Kyle and back to Annie. “I couldn’t stop myself. When Kyle tried to help Ken, I just pushed him out of the way.”

“No matter what is going on right now,” Annie shook her head slowly before walking over to the phone. “We have to get him to the hospital as soon as possible.”


Jenna stood in the cold, impersonal room of the morgue looking at the woman’s body before her. While she’d tried to convince herself she could be her own unusually detached self in dealing with this situation, just looking at the woman and remembering the photo that was found at the crime scene had her asking far too many questions for her liking. Who was she? How did she wind up on the edge of the lake? What had prompted her to come here in the first place? More importantly what was her connection to Douglas? That in itself had Jenna on edge as she wondered how her father could’ve known this murder victim.

“Hey,” Devante touched her shoulder gently seeing that she was clearly shaken by the woman before her, “you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Jenna nodded trying to snap out of her daze, “I guess I’m just a bit tired.”

“Tired or you’re worried about what she might mean to your future?” he motioned to the young woman now laying on the table before them. Even now her beauty wasn’t completely marred by the lifeless color that had replaced the gleam that she’d once had and that made this all the more unsettling.

“What?” Jenna questioned looking up at him.

“I mean since she knew your father,” Devante added after a moment’s hesitation, “I mean that’s what’s bothering you, right?”

“It’s not that it’s bothering me, but…” she stopped herself, “Yeah, okay so maybe it’s something that’s been on my mind. There’s still so much that I don’t know about Douglas and now, well let’s just say he and I haven’t exactly hit it off.”

“He didn’t live up to the hype that follows his reputation?” he questioned curiously.

“Oh he lived up to the hype and then some,” she looked over to the woman once again, “which is why I’m worried.”

“You think he could’ve been the one to do all this,” he asked as he saw the expression that clouded her otherwise carefree, beautiful features.

“I sure hope not,” Jenna tried to shake the thought, “but right now that’s not what’s relevant. Right now we need to focus on what happened and getting to the truth.”

“I realize that, but are you sure that you want to run with this one?” he asked tentatively, “I mean if you’d like I can do the examination and…”

“And what?” she snapped up at him, “Are you trying to tell me that I’m not qualified to do my job because my father knew the victim?”

“No, that’s not what I’m saying, but after what you said about the higher ups giving you problems,” he raised his hands in the air defensively, “Look I’m not trying to step on your toes or anything…”

“Good then keep it that way because whether or not my father had anything to do with this, my job comes first and I’m not about to let my emotions get in the way. I never have and I never will. Do you understand that,” she snapped back at him.

He nodded, “Of course. By all means, I’ll just shut up and let you do your job if that’s what you want.”

“Of course that’s what I want. You’re more than welcome to assist, but I’m calling the shots. Got it?” she questioned again.

“Got it,” he repeated watching her make her way around the table knowing that while Jenna clearly had a lot on her mind, she was a professional--one of the best. Sure maybe this situation might’ve had her a bit shaken, but Devante should’ve known enough not to question her abilities. He moved in beside her watching her get ready to begin and he silently promised himself that he’d never question her again.


“Angela, it is time to go to our breakfast,” Kevin stated with a wide smile as he knocked on her door lightly, “Come on Angela, I am not going to have you back out on me again.”

After knocking for a few minutes, Kevin finally opened her door as his smile faded to a frown seeing the sight in front of him. Angela was sitting on the edge of her desk talking to that new guy and he was close to her…a little to close. Kevin coughed loudly catching Angela’s attention making her turn away from the new guy quickly.

“Kevin,” Angela squeaked before getting off the desk quickly, “I didn’t notice you were there.”

“You don’t say,” Kevin replied sarcastically before glaring in the direction of the new guy.

“Nick and I were just having a little talk,” Angela informed Kevin seeing the disapproving expression on his face.

“I could see that,” Kevin nodded before raising an eyebrow curiously at Nick.

“So what is it that I could do for you?” Angela questioned looking between the two men.

“Yeah that,” Kevin began as he took one last look at Nick before rubbing his hands together lightly, “It is time for me and you to go to our breakfast.”

“Kevin,” Angela sighed before pondering his question slowly, “I don’t know.”

“Angela,” Kevin frowned before taking in a deep breath as he reached for her hands and taking them in his hands lightly, “You have been turning me down for the last three weeks and I want you to come…please?”

“Kevin,” Angela laughed looking into his saddened eyes, “I hate it when you do that face.”

“Well, you wouldn't have to see this face if you would actually tell me yes for once,” Kevin stated as she laughed once more trying to look away from him.

“Come on, this really isn’t fair,” she chuckled as Kevin’s hand reached her neck lightly as she turned to face him.

“You are the one who isn’t being fair,” Kevin frowned playfully before hearing Nick begin to talk.

“Go with the poor guy,” Nick encourage Angela with a small grin, “He is really trying hard.”

“Yeah, listen to him,” Kevin nodded with a wide smile, “He is right you know.”

“I got an idea,” Angela blurted out with a grin before walking past Kevin as he closed his eyes tightly, “How about Nick comes with us?”

“Oh, I wouldn’t want to intrude on something you and Kevin always do with each other,” Nick shook his head looking up at Angela who threw her hands up in the air.

“Kevin doesn’t care,” Angela insisted looking back at Kevin, “Right Kevin?”

“Yeah, why would I possibly care if someone joins us during the special breakfast we always have with each other?” Kevin questioned sarcastically before seeing Angela nod quickly.

“See, he said it was okay,” Angela insisted once more as Nick shrugged.

“I mean if you think it is okay, Kevin,” Nick began as Angela looked back at Kevin with her big eyes making him fall for it.

“Sure, I mean…Angela wants you to come,” Kevin sighed running his hand through his short hair as he looked down at the ground, “If it makes her happy, why not?”

“So where are you taking us?” Angela questioned following Kevin who had opened the office doors and had walked out into the outside world.

“Yeah,” Kevin began as he took in a deep breath as they began to walk along the sidewalk, “Since I have had more than three weeks to try everything there is…alone. I figured we would go to IHOP.”

“IHOP?” Angela questioned seeing Kevin nod and smile widely, “God I love that place.”

“IHOP?” Nick questioned raising an eyebrow as Kevin stopped walking and Nick bumped into him slightly surprised.

“You have never heard of IHOP?” Kevin wondered as Nick shook his head. “International House of Pancakes?”

“Am I suppose to know what that is?” Nick questioned as Kevin shrugged and began to walk again.

“I just figured that everyone knew what that was,” Kevin stated before looking over at Nick who seemed to be thinking, “Of course you have amnesia too.”

“Exactly,” Angela smiled snapping her fingers as she looked over at Nick, “Which means you don’t have to worry about a thing.”

“Thanks,” Nick smiled as he slowly wrapped his arm around Angela’s shoulders seeing Kevin glare over at him.

“You know I was thinking,” Kevin began as he wrapped his arm around her waist pulling her closer to him, “You want to go to the park later and hang out by the water or something?”

Before Angela could say anything Nick pulled her back towards him with a cocky smile.

“How about we go to my house later,” Nick suggested as Kevin pulled Angela back towards his body.

“Come on Angela, We have hardly gotten anytime to be with each other,” Kevin pleaded with a frown before running his hand through her hair lightly, “We have never had time to just hang out…just you and me.”

As Angela felt Nick start to pull her closer to him, she threw her hands up in the air slipping away from the two of them.

“You know what guys? I am not a rope,” Angela pointed out with a hesitant laugh. “So don’t treat me like one.”

Both men blushed as they followed her up the sidewalk to the IHOP building.

“Three please,” Angela smiled to the waitress as she took them to the table and Kevin took one side as did Nick.

“Here you can come and sit by me,” Kevin smiled taking her hand in his lightly as she began to sit down.

“Wait,” Nick called out as Angela looked up at him, “What hand are you Kevin?”

“Right,” Kevin answered before raising an eyebrow looking up at him curiously, “Why?”

“Well, you guys will be bumping into each other all the time,” Nick began with a smile leading her to sit next to him. “So she can sit here.”

“That’s really okay,” Kevin laughed grabbing onto her hand, “I think she doesn’t mind.”

“Guys, remember? I am not a rope,” she grunted before shaking her head. “How about we all sit together?”

“Fine,” Nick nodded looking over at Kevin who just nodded.

Angela slid in next to Nick and the Kevin slid in next to Angela. As the waitress walked to the table, Angela grew a blush when she saw the expression on her face.

“Are you three like triplets or something?” the waitress asked seeing Angela shake her head quickly.

“Just really close friends,” Angela replied before seeing the waitress nod, “I will have the buffet.”

“Same here,” Nick replied with a wink before looking down at Kevin, “What about you big man?”

“I’ll have the same thing,” Kevin smiled before seeing the waitress wink at him.

“Well, have a good meal…big man,” the waitress grinned before walking away and Angela elbowed him in the shoulder lightly.

“I think she liked you,” Angela smiled as Kevin raised an eyebrow and shook his head.

“I could care less,” Kevin sighed trying to move his arm before looking down at Nick. “Shrimp, could you move in a little bit?”

“Depends,” Nick began with a smile, “Can you scoot down a little bit?”

“You know what?” Kevin questioned taking in a deep breath. “How about we have a little competition. Let’s say the person that eats the most food is the person who gets to sit next to Angela next time we go out to eat.”

“Deal,” Nick nodded before everyone got up and got there food before coming back to the booth.

“I hope you like this Nick,” Angela smiled looking down at her plate as Nick’s mind stopped for a second.

“God they have the best chocolate chip pancakes here,” the woman smiled taking a bite of her food.

“Hey, I thought you liked mine the best,” he smiled before seeing the woman before him shrug.

“Well, these are better,” she insisted before he folded his arms out in front of him.

“That wasn’t what you were saying yesterday when I fed you breakfast in bed,” he smiled before leaning over and kissing the woman gently.

“Nick?” Angela questioned waving her hand in front of his face, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I am fine,” Nick nodded looking down at her chocolate chip pancakes before realizing Kevin was staring at him. As he looked up into Kevin’s dark eyes, Kevin shook his head slowly as if forbidding him from something.

“So are you ready for this?” Kevin questioned raising an eyebrow before seeing Nick nod quickly.

“More than ready big man,” Nick agreed before seeing Kevin smile widely as he touched Angela’s chin lightly.

Nick raised his eyebrow as he saw Kevin lightly kiss Angela on the lips before gently pulling back.

“What was that for?” Angela questioned before seeing Kevin smile as his hands touched her hair gently.

“It was for good luck,” Kevin informed her as she laughed out loud, “Can I have another one…since you know, I need extra luck in food eating.”

“Yeah, whatever,” Angela laughed before feeling Kevin kiss her lightly once more.

“Hey,” Nick coughed out making Kevin pull back and look up at him, “Can I get one of those?”

“Okay man, that is a little scary,” Kevin raised his eyebrow before shrugging, “Just this once.”

Angela began to laugh out even louder than the last time as Kevin leaned behind her and kissing Nick’s cheek.

“Good enough?” Kevin questioned before looking back at Angela who was nearly turning purple.

“Yeah,” Nick shook his head slightly before laughing, “Let’s just get this over with.”

“Alright, but prepare to lose,” Kevin promised before grabbing his fork, “You a good enough judge, Angela?”

“If you say so,” Angela laughed as she saw the men begin to devourer their food and she took little slices in her mouth at a time. This was obviously going to be a long day.


“I can’t believe Cameron,” Susan hissed thinking back to the earlier moment when she was surprised to see Kipp before her.

This was just wrong in so many way…Cameron had no idea what he was doing.

“I don’t think he realizes who he is messing with,” Susan shook her head reaching for her phone before changing her mind, “No, you know what? I have a better idea.”

Susan sat and pondered for a minute before a huge smile spread over her features.

“Cameron is going to pay for what he did,” Susan nodded approvingly before rubbing her hands together roughly, “And he is going to pay the ultimate price for the way he turned on me.”


Cameron sat in his office thinking about Susan’s outburst. While he’d been prepared for something out of her, he still knew that she wasn’t about to take things lying down. Sure, firing her hadn’t been a part of his master plan, but now, well now that he had Kipp back at the office, he couldn’t help but want to keep Kipp under control. Sure, Kipp thought he was calling the shots, but sooner or later Cameron would find a way to put him in his place. That much he was sure of. Although right now Cameron had something else on his mind--something else he had to focus on.

Reaching for the phone on his desk Cameron dialed the familiar number. When he heard the voice on the other end of the line pick up, he hesitated briefly, “Where were you?”

“I was busy,” the man replied gruffly, “I was doing what you asked.”

“See to it that you do because I’m not in the mood for any more screw ups. Having Kipp come back was bad enough, but I’m not about to let another accident happen where she’s concerned,” Cameron growled at the person on the other end of the line. “I don’t care what you have to do, but I don’t want her anywhere near Coral Valley.”

“I don’t think that’s going to be a problem,” the man replied obediently, “She’s not going to be thinking about Coral Valley any time soon.”

“Good. Keep it that way because as much as I want to be with her right now--as much as I want to see her, it’s just not safe. If I want to keep things on track, she can’t be in town. She can’t ever find her way out here.”

“You have my word on that Mr. Stone. She won’t be getting a chance to come out there. I’ll keep track of her until you can come out here to see her,” the man promised again.

“Good, because that’s what I pay you for,” Cameron replied hanging up the phone with a twisted smirk. Now nothing could stop him. He had one part of his plans for the future under control and now he could focus on the other pressing engagements in Coral Valley. With her out of town and out of his way, well he would be able to launch his attack without distractions. That in itself was very refreshing.


“Why aren’t they giving me any answers,” Grady questioned numbly, “Why hasn’t anyone called?”

“Grady, you’re going to need to calm down,” Elliot tried to alleviate some of his son’s worries, but he knew only too well how horrible this situation had to be. He reached out to touch Grady’s shoulder, “You need to sit down.”

“I can’t just sit down while the love of my life is out there in God knows where. After what I saw down by that lake before,” Grady shook his head, a horrific feeling settling in the pit of his stomach, “Dad, I can’t just wait here and do nothing. I have to find Jade before it’s too late.”

“Grady, you have to let the police do their jobs. They are working to find Jade and the FBI is on it,” Elliot explained patiently despite his own worries.

“I can’t just let them run this. Dad, we both know what they have done in the past. Look at what happened to me,” Grady rubbed his palms together, “I mean you can’t blame me for not having any faith in the system.”

“The system isn’t what failed you son. You were acquitted,” Elliot reminded him.

“But not because of the system. Because of what Kyle dragged up and now,” Grady drew in a long slow breath, “I can’t just sit here doing nothing. I have to find Jade.”

“Grady wait,” Elliot moved in behind his son hoping to stop him from leaving. He moved forward watching Grady ready to make an exit, but before he could leave he saw Dave Warner on the front porch.

“Grady, I’m glad that I caught you,” Dave started seeing the expression on Grady’s face, “we need to talk.”

“Did you find her,” Grady questioned frantic.

“No, not yet, but we’re doing all that we can. When I heard the news I came down to see you personally to assure you that…” Dave started to explain.

“Forgive me if I’m not exactly comfortable with your assurances,” Grady scowled back at him, “considering that I was stabbed in your jail cell and my life was almost completely stolen from me while I was locked up.”

“Grady, I realize that you were in a bad place, but with this, well this time I’m running the show,” Dave began again.

“And just how are you doing that? By making false reassurances to me while Jade could be out there in some real trouble?” Grady questioned harshly, “Look Dave I’m not about to sit back and let something happen to Jade. If there’s a chance she’s out there somewhere needing me…”

“Grady, you can’t go into this blindly. We need to talk. I need to ask you a few questions about Jade--about the last time you saw her and…”

“And this is just a waste of time. I need to be out there Dave,” Grady snapped back at him, his green eyes full of a fire, “I’m not going to stop until I find her.”

“Neither am I which is why I need you to give me five minutes. Grady please,” Dave begged of him.

“Five minutes, but that’s it,” Grady replied with a huff knowing that he couldn’t afford to waste any time in the search for Jade. He just prayed that it wasn’t already too late for him to make a difference. If he lost Jade…well, he was certain it would be the end of him.


Jenna walked out into the hallway after the autopsy opting to get herself some air. While it was never easy to do what she did, she knew full well that once she’d gotten started she would do just fine. Devante hadn’t said much after she’d begun, but she could tell by his actions that he was careful not to cross any professional lines with her. Maybe it was because of the way she’d been thrown from cases in the past, but now, well now she didn’t appreciate when someone tried to tell her what she could and couldn’t do. Call it her stubborn side, but still, she wasn’t about to let anyone talk her out of her job difficult as it may be.

Walking out into the courtyard Jenna decided to push the thoughts about the autopsy out of mind as the fresh air invaded her lungs. Closing her eyes she moved back to that place where things were lighter, freer. She found herself reflecting on the time she’d spent with Hart a great many hours earlier and that set her mind at ease. Just the very thought of him seemed to help her mellow out and knowing that she reached for her cell phone, which had been tucked away in her pocket up until now.

When she heard Hart answer on the other end of the line she couldn’t help but smile even though he sounded a bit groggy, “Hey handsome.”

“Jenna,” his voice seemed to light up, “hon, where are you?”

“Work,” she explained with a slow sigh, “It’s been one hell of a night and day…”

“Clearly,” he let out an emphasized yawn, “I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever.”

“It’s been just about,” she added with a tiny smile, “I’m almost finished up here so hopefully we can work on fixing that.”

“That would be nice,” he agreed taking note of her silence. “Jen, what is it?”

“It’s not worth getting into,” she groaned in protest, “Let’s just say I’m wanting your arms around me right now more than anything.”

“I’m sure we can work on fixing that. I can get in the car right now and…” he started to suggest.

“Actually I’m still in Chelsea right now. Things have taken longer than I expected,” she explained.

“That bad huh?”

“I’m afraid so, but enough about me, what’s going on with you?”

“Well, I went over to the hospital to see Sam,” he explained. “Your brother was there.”

“So how did it go?” she questioned.

“Let’s just say that Sam is quite the card shark. Wayne and I were really horrible losers in the situation,” Hart laughed lightly. “But overall it was really wonderful.”

“So you’re enjoying the time you’re spending with her, huh?” she couldn’t help but smile, “Maybe soon you’ll think about telling her the truth.”

“Who says I didn’t already?” he replied.

“Hart, I know you. As much as I love you, you’re a big chicken,” she tossed out at him.

“Okay, so maybe I am, but I thought about it. I really contemplated telling her about my being her father.”

“Well maybe next time it’ll go further than contemplations,” Jenna added hopefully turning around to see Devante signaling for her from inside the building, “Look I’d really love to talk, but right now, well…”

“Duty calls,” Hart replied sympathetically, “I understand.”

“Thank you,” she clenched her phone tighter, “and Hart?”


“I love you,” she added with a small smile.

“I love you too,” he replied brightly, “and call me when you’re done out there. I’ll whip up dinner for you since I’m sure you haven’t eaten in a while.”

“I’ll do that,” she replied hanging up the phone as Devante stepped out into the garden area with her.

“Hart?” he arched a curious brow watching her nod.

“I thought I could use a break from reality,” she nodded in confession, “So what does the lab have for us?”

“Nothing yet, but they want to have us stick around for a while,” Devante explained, “So I was thinking maybe we could catch a coffee in the cafeteria or something. You could fill me in on this Hart guy for a bit while we’re waiting.”

“Are you really all that interested?” she eyed him curiously.

“Considering that you’re calling him while you’re working,” he nodded, “Yeah I’m pretty interested since I never ranked that kind of moment there.”

“That’s because most of the time we were working together when we were a couple,” she threw back at him.

“Oh yeah, that could be why,” he laughed lightly, “you’ve got me on that one.”

“I’ve got you on a lot of things,” she added bluntly.

“Yes, and that’s why I kind of wanted us to go for some coffee. Kind of as a peace treaty for me putting my foot in my mouth. I know what kind of doctor you are Jenna and after I heard one of the lab techs talking about what happened before in the Mathis case…” he started to apologize.

“Hey, it’s okay,” Jenna waved her hand at him dismissively, “I know that you were trying to protect me from any kind of backlash that anyone might concoct about my personal ties to this.”

“Even so, I know you enough to know that you don’t let your personal life get in the way,” he replied simply, “You’re good at what you do--hell, one of the best.”

“Well thank you,” she smiled up at him, “and for what it’s worth, so are you, which is why you’ve got me curious about what prompted you to come out this way.”

“Call me crazy, but I missed the small town living,” he confessed with a small chuckle, “although given what we’re working on now, it has shades of big city written all over it.”

“You haven’t heard the half of it,” she offered in response, “but we can talk about that over coffee as long as you’re buying.”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he promised walking over to open the door for her as the two friends decided to take some time away from work and catch up with one another.


“Thanks for going to lunch with me,” Kipp smiled widely across the table at Sarah. “I guess I just need someone to talk to right now.”

“I don’t mind,” Sarah began with a small sigh, “I know how things can get when something has to do with my sister.”

“Don’t you know it,” Kipp sighed as he rolled his eyes, “Sometimes I don’t understand what she truly wants in life.”

“Kipp, I am her sister and I still don’t know the answer to that question,” Sarah stated with smile seeing Kipp nod.

“You have a point there,” Kipp agreed before thinking back to how much he used to love Heather.

“What was it exactly that made you fall in love with my sister?” Sarah questioned seeing Kipp shrug.

“I don’t know,” Kipp sighed trying to think what he was feeling, “I guess I just wanted someone to love me so much, that I didn’t care who it was.”

“Well, that’s what everyone wants,” Sarah nodded before raising an eyebrow, “But what made you choose Heather.”

“I guess it was just who I thought loved me back,” Kipp replied thinking back to that time they were together, “She acted like she loved me, but in all reality…she loved my money.”

“That’s how Heather is,” Sarah frowned hating to agree that her sister wasn’t the best person in the world. “Heather only thinks about herself Kipp.”

“You see I knew that,” Kipp nodded before biting down on his lip, “How could I have fallen for that again?”

“It’s okay,” Sarah nodded slowly before shaking her head, “ I mean with Heather it is easy to do.”

Kipp raised an eyebrow to see a man sneak behind Sarah holding his finger up to his mouth so Kipp would stay quiet.

“Guess who?” the man smiled covering Sarah’s eyes as Sarah smiled widely.

“Could it be Seth?” Sarah question as the man slid his hands from her eyes slowly.

“God, I wish,” the man winked before sliding in next to her and taking her hand in his and kissing it lightly, “Long time no see.”

“Kellen,” Sarah gasped hugging him lightly, “I had no idea it was you.”

“You are a liar,” Kellen frowned before shrugging, “But I am honored to know that I am recognized.”

Sarah’s eyes traveled between Kellen and Kipp as she gasped out, “Oh yeah, this is Kipp and this is Kellen.”

“Nice to meet you,” Kipp smiled holding his hand out to Kellen’s shaking it lightly.

“Oh my, you have a strong grip there,” Kellen grinned widely before raising an eyebrow slowly. “Wait, have we ever met before? I think I know you.”


“You two are crazy,” Angela laughed as she looked on the expressions on the faces of Kevin and Nick.

“This isn’t funny Angela,” Kevin frowned holding his stomach tighter, “I really feel sick.”

“Well, you were the only one who made yourself eat over ten plates at IHOP,” she informed him with a giggle as she saw Nick lean against the wall and groaning in pain from his stomach as he closed his eyes shut tightly.

“He is right Angela,” Nick sighed holding onto his stomach, “We are both feeling sick right now.”

“So who won?” Kevin questioned trying to get through the pain in his stomach.

“I don’t know,” Angela began with a small laugh, “I was laughing too hard to even keep count.”

“Angela,” both the men yelled out unison before seeing her shrug and laugh lightly.

“What? You two were very amusing,” she informed them with a giggle before seeing Kevin’s cheeks puff out and his hand covered his mouth.

“I think I am going to puke,” Kevin breathed in deeply trying not lose control. “We really need to get to your office so I can get my Tums.”

“Well, it was your fault that you left them in my office,” she stated before shaking her head, “You know you have stomach problems.”

“It figures that the first time I forget them, I get really sick,” Kevin groaned as they began to walk down the hallway.

“Doctor Meloni,” the nurse called out from behind the desk making Angela stop in the middle of the hallway.

“Angela,” Kevin pleaded grabbing onto her hand trying to pull her along before leaning back into the wall.

“What is wrong with them?” the nurse questioned raising an eyebrow out of curiosity.

“They just had a little bit too much to eat for breakfast,” Angela informed her as she stepped forward. “What was it you needed?”

“You have a few calls and,” the nurse began before Angela cut her off shaking her head.

“Just write down my messages, I am busy,” Angela declared before starting to walk down the hallway slowly.

“Can we move a little faster?” Kevin questioned trying to breathe in slowly. “If I don’t get my medicine, I think my stomach is going to blow.”

“Can I have some of those Tums?” Nick wondered seeing Kevin nod quickly before seeing Angela take out her keys.

“You guys are too much,” she replied to their comments before Kevin ran in the room grabbing his medicine off her desk.

“Thank you so much,” Kevin smiled dropping a few pills in his mouth before throwing the bottle to Nick. “You saved me once more.”

Angela laughed as Kevin kissed her on the cheek lightly, “If you always ate like that, I think I would have to just put you down. There would be no food left for anybody else.”

“Real funny,” Kevin laughed sarcastically before catching the bottle that Nick was now throwing him. “What do we do about next time we go out to eat?”

“I guess we will have to together again,” Angela suggested with a smile before seeing the two frown.

“Great,” the both replied in unison as they took a seat in front of Angela’s desk.

“Actually, I found this quite amusing,” Angela began as she ran her fingers through her hair lightly, “We should do this again.”

“Not for a long time,” Kevin shook his head before feeling his stomach, “I don’t even want to hear anything that has to do with food anymore.”


Avery stood in front of Brant dabbing the wet cloth on his face after the confrontation that had taken place between Kyle, Brant and Ken. While she’d been horrified by what she’d seen happening before her, she tried not to focus on the turn of events, but more so on the face that Brant’s swelled lips was now slowing down with the bleeding. She dabbed at the corner of his mouth watching him flinch at the impact before she pulled the rag away from him.

“I’m sorry,” Avery mouthed in a faint whisper, feeling her hands shaking as she took a step away from him.

“What do you have to be sorry about,” Brant questioned glancing up at her with angry eyes. “You didn’t hit me and I really don’t think that Kyle meant to even though he hates me.”

“Brant, you know what I mean,” Avery hesitated feeling her own eyes filled with tears. She set the rag down on the bathroom countertop before turning away from him. “I’m just…sorry..”

“Avery, this wasn’t your fault,” Brant began finding himself at a loss as he watched her move across the bathroom towards the window. He saw her pull her hands up over her arms in an attempt to fend off some phantom chill that had clearly haunted her. Taking in a slow breath, he pulled himself off of the countertop as he tried to deal with the reality of what his brother had done. He’d never felt so shell-shocked, so betrayed in his life and now as he looked to Avery, he could only wonder what it was that she was going through. He opened his mouth to speak, but found nothing came out as she looked out the window.

“I wish I could take it back,” she replied a tear falling down her face as she closed her eyes, “I wish I could take all of it Brant. I tried to tell you. As soon as I figured it out, I tried to be honest with you, but…”

“Avery, it’s just…” he paused still caught up in the weight of what was happening himself. He tried to find the right words, but nothing came out. All he could reflect upon was what Ken had done--about the anger and the rage that it had stirred up in him now that his brother had crossed a disastrous line with Avery.

Brant closed his eyes as well finding himself back in that hotel room where his father had violated Jade Alexander. He could remember the soft sounds of her whimpers, her broken sobs as he’d pulled her off of the bed and taken her for help. Now as Avery’s tears surrounded him, it was as if was reliving that moment. He could smell the fear that was ever present in that room with Jade after those men had their way with her--could feel the shame and horror that had filled her young heart piercing his skin. It was never ending. It all went back to that hotel room door--to that nightmare he’d walked into.

Time and time he’d tried to forget, but now that it was hitting close to home, he couldn’t forget. That damned door. It kept haunting him over and over, but as the visions kept rolling in his mind, he found himself struck in another setting. He could hear the cries from beyond that door, see the hotel setting clearly, but now as his mind opened the door, Jade’s image was replaced by Avery and Ken--of his brother letting loose on Avery in ways that only he’d thought his father had been capable of. Ken’s dark eyes looked up to Brant, but they were soon replaced by his father’s eyes and his father’s face.

“Brant,” Avery spoke out to him, touching his arm gently as he snapped out of his daze. He looked to her with a blank stare, completely unaware of how he’d leapt out of the moment with her.

“Avery, I…” Brant began straining to find the right words, but all that he could do was find himself lost in the moment--back in that place he’d vowed never to go. Nothing felt right.

Brant looked at her and all he could see was the fear behind her eyes--the terror at what she’d experienced and as all of those overwhelming emotions hit him, reality dawned in upon him. He couldn’t take any of it back--he couldn’t protect his wife--a woman he vowed to spare from the pain and the misery that life had brought upon her. When he’d married Avery, he’d vowed to love and cherish her--to find a way to make her feel safe and yet in his ‘care’, she’d been violated in the worst possible way. As much as he hated to say it, once again he’d failed. He’d been unable to keep her from ever being touched by the Ashford curse, but she’d ultimately been hit harder as things came full circle. He’d let her down. He’d promised her the world and she’d opened her heart to him only to find herself hurt in way she never would’ve had to experience before she turned to him. He’d failed Avery, just like he’d failed Jade that night and nothing would ever make it right again.

“Brant, I’m so sorry. I just wish that,” Avery started to reach out to him, as if in holding him it could somehow change the situation, but Brant couldn’t give her that.

Brant couldn’t let her embrace him, when he’d been the reason that she’d been hurt. He knew now that in chasing after Heather, he’d opened her up to his brother’s madness. He’d seen what Ken was capable of. He knew that Ken had gone too far, yet he hadn’t done a thing to put a stop to it. He knew of the evils in the family, yet he’d gone off impulsively and left her vulnerable to the terror that their father still clutched over them even in death.

Now as Brant looked at his beautiful wife, he knew it was too late. He didn’t deserve Avery. He didn’t deserve her touch, her love or her arms around him. He deserved to suffer for what he’d done--suffer for the ways in which he could’ve stopped this--in which he could’ve changed the outcome of this years ago. He should’ve been there. He should’ve damn well knew better than to leave Avery unprotected, but instead he’d failed her--just like he’d done with everything in his life, he’d made everything a huge fucking disaster and there was no turning back.

“Brant please…” her tear-filled eyes begged of him, but he knew it was too late. He knew of the pain that he’d caused her--of the heart-wrenching nightmare that he’d exposed her to simply because she’d taken the leap to trust him.

“I can’t do this Avery. I thought I could, but I just can’t,” he blurted out overcome with his sense of grief as he turned away from her making his way out of the room in a haste. He wasn’t sure where he was going or what he was doing, but he felt as if the fire in his lungs was sucking the breath right out of him. He had to escape, to find some kind of relief from the knowledge of how far down he’d taken his wife. He had to find a way to remedy the situation--to fix the horror that he’d stood idly by and let happen.

“Brant wait,” Avery’s voice called out to him as she rushed out of the bathroom, hoping to catch him before he left. It was too late however. She could hear the slam of the door indication that he was gone and in that moment, Avery’s heart sank. Still she couldn’t give up. Rushing over towards the foyer, she vowed to go after him, but before she could get to the front door, she was blocked by Heather.

“Don’t you think you’ve done enough to him?” Heather demanded with a glare, “You’ve already ripped his heart out by betraying him Avery, so why go out there and twist the knife even more?”

“Get out of my way, Heather!” Avery snapped at her trying to push the woman aside, but Heather dug her fingers into Avery’s arm pulling her back.

“How could you do that to him? He loved you with all that he had and you go and sleep with Ken,” Heather shook her head at Avery with sheer disgust, “and here you pretended to be so high and mighty, but you’re worse than the rest of us.”

“I didn’t know,” Avery insisted desperately, “I thought that…”

“Oh I’m sure you knew damn well what you were doing. Even I would’ve been able to tell the difference,” Heather spat out at her with obvious distain, “though if I were Brant, I’d see to it that you were gone as soon as possible because what you did was unforgivable. Hell, if Russ could see you now, he’d be turning in his grave at the thought of what a slut his wife turned out to be.”

“Go to hell,” Avery slapped Heather right square across the face before pushing her out of the way. Rushing out into the evening air, Avery searched for Brant, but all she could see was a cloud of dust where his screeching tires once were. She took a few steps forward half-heartedly trying to reach out to him, but she knew it was too late. She’d failed him just like she’d failed Russ. She’d made the mistake of not paying attention to the truth and ultimately it would cost her everything.

“Oh God, what have I done,” Avery questioned looking up to the sky as she felt the walls come crashing down around her. She’d taken a risk and it came back to haunt her in more ways than she’d imagined. First she lost Russ and now she knew that it was too late to turn back. She’d lost Brant as well and as she thought of the look of sheer repulsion he’d had on his face when he left her, she knew that there wouldn’t ever be a way to fix this--not now, not ever.


“Come here,” Shannon sighed as she took Kyle’s hand in hers leading him to an empty room where she knew they wouldn’t be interrupted.

As Shannon locked the door behind her she saw Kyle going to the corner of the room sliding to the ground slowly as his eyes focused straight out in front of him.

“Kyle,” Shannon repeated his name before leaning down towards him as his body began to shake. “What’s wrong?”

“Ken,” Kyle stated thinking back to what had just happened. “I…he… I don’t.”

“What has got you so confused?” she questioned looking over his white shirt that was splattered with dry blood.

Kyle said nothing as he raised his hands over his eyes blocking the sight of her from him. Shannon began to worry as she watched his whole body shake.

“Kyle, talk to me,” she pleaded taking his shaky hands in hers trying to sooth him and make him calm down. “What is wrong?”

“I,” he began trying to talk, but all he could do was shake, “I hurt Ken.”

“Kyle, from what you told me,” Shannon started to explain touching his chin making him look up at her, “He deserved it.”

“No, you don’t understand,” Kyle shook his head as he bit down on his bottom lip roughly. “I could have killed him.”

“Kyle, he is alright,” Shannon informed him as Kyle’s glossed over eyes stared straight into hers.

“I don’t think you understand what is really going on,” Kyle’s voice was raspy as he began to speak.

“No, I don’t understand Kyle,” Shannon answered gripping tighter onto one of his hands, “Why don’t you tell me what is going on with you.”

“Shannon,” Kyle sighed trying to explain what was going on, “I almost killed someone once.”

“What do you mean?” Shannon questioned raising a curious eyebrow seeing Kyle shrug.

“This one guy,” Kyle began to tell his story before sliding his knees toward his chest. “He was starting a situation with me and we got into a fight. Shannon, I almost killed that guy. From the moment I saw him put into the ambulance, I decided I never wanted to be like that again…and now it has happened again.”

“What does this have to do with Ken?” Shannon wondered as she saw Kyle take in a deep breath as he closed his eyes.

“It means I wanted to kill Ken, Shannon,” Kyle informed her as he bit down on his lip roughly, “It means I felt like I could keep going and not think twice.”

“Kyle,” Shannon hushed him before shaking her head, “You did stop, that means you didn’t hurt him anymore.”

“I don’t think you understand Shannon,” Kyle yelled out as his eyes became glossier, “If Brant and Avery wouldn’t have showed up, Ken would be in the morgue right now and I would be behind bars.”

“Have you called Sarah yet?” Shannon questioned touching his shoulder lightly.

“I didn’t get to her, she didn’t answer,” Kyle informed her as his heart began to beat faster.

“It is alright, I don’t mind staying here with you,” Shannon laughed as Kyle nodded.

“It may not seem like it, but I’m scared Shannon…I really am,” Kyle hesitantly whispered as Shannon pulled him into her arms lightly.

“It will be okay Kyle,” Shannon promised thinking of how hard this was on him. “I promise you that everything is okay.”


Carly inhaled slowly as she stood outside the doors to Ken’s hospital room. While she wasn’t quite sure what would happen next, she feared for the man she’d recently given her heart to. Even now she couldn’t believe all that had transpired in front of her. To think about what had happened was just so overwhelming--so mind-boggling and yet, nothing seemed to make her any more certain about what she was doing here. She’d heard the accusations, watched Ken take the fall and now, well now she tried to rationalize what she was feeling. Spotting a nurse coming out the room, she approached her.

“How is he doing,” Carly asked the nurse.

“He’ll survive,” the nurse replied with a shake of her head, “but he doesn’t look too pretty right about now. I‘m sure a friendly face will be just what he needs right about now.”

“A friendly face,” Carly repeated feeling her stomach tied in knots as the nurse walked away and she clenched onto her purse. She wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen once she stepped inside that hospital room, but she had to do something. Slowly moving forward, Carly fixed her eyes upon Ken. He lay before her seemingly oblivious to her presence until she was at his side.

“Carly,” he spoke her name from behind a swollen upper lip. His eye was equally swollen and as she looked at a shadow of the man she’d started to fall for, her heart shattered into pieces, “hey.”

“Ken,” she felt her own eyes misting over with tears. She opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out.

“Hey, it’s looks worse than it is,” he reached out to her, in an attempt to take her hand in his, but much to his surprise she pulled away from him.

“Ken, how could you do that? How could you do something so horrible and disgusting?” she questioned painfully, “Just when I thought I knew you…”

“Carly, it’s not what they made it sound like. It’s not…” he tried to plead his case with her.

“Then tell me you didn’t make love to your brother’s wife. Tell me that you didn’t hop into bed with her and let her believe that you were Brant,” she begged of him, her words growing more shaky by the moment.

“Carly I…” he started, but stopped himself as he looked away from her, “It was a mistake.”

“You’re damn right it was a mistake,” she hissed down at him, her anger and frustrations mounting at the way he’d gone from someone she’d fallen head over heels for, to someone she clearly didn’t know at all. While the Ken she was falling for was someone who had a bit of a wild, reckless streak, she never anticipated this. She never thought that he would sink so low and now…

“Carly, I didn’t mean for it to happen. If I could take it back,” he explained desperately, “Believe me if I could…”

“Well you can’t Ken, and we can’t either for that matter,” she inhaled slowly preparing herself for one of the hardest things she’d ever done in her life, “Ken, it’s over.”

“Carly,” his eyes were wide, registering with her words, “no…please don’t say that…don’t…”

“I can’t be with a man I can’t trust Ken. I thought you were something special--that we had something special, but then to hear what you did to Avery,” she shook her head at him clearly disgusted, “No woman deserves that Ken.”

“It wasn’t what I planned on. I wasn’t trying to…” he pleaded with her.

“Regardless of what you were trying to do Ken, you violated Avery and you’ll be lucky if she doesn’t press charges against you,” Carly fought to keep herself together, “and as for us, well I think it’s best that we end it now.”

“Carly, you don’t mean that,” he reached for her wrist in an attempt to keep her with him, “Please, don’t shut me out. I know I was wrong, but…”

“No, Ken, wrong doesn’t even begin to cover what you are,” she tore her arm away from him as if his touch burned her. The expression on her face said it all as she backed away from him. Tears fell from her eyes as she struggled with her emotions, “Ken, I know you don’t understand, but I need to do this. Ken, I don’t want to see you ever again.”

“Carly no,” Ken moved on the hospital bed watching as she rushed out of the room, not bothering to turn back to him. He could hear her quick pace as the door came to a close behind her and in that moment Ken felt his world falling to pieces around him as he’d lost the only thing that still mattered in his life. He was finally alone and there was no turning back. The damage had already been done.


Susan stood at the front door to Grady’s house thinking about what she had to do. Sure, maybe she was the last person that Grady would want to see right now, but she knew that if he’d give her a chance, she’d find a way back into his good graces once again. She knocked on the door for a moment waiting patiently for someone to answer. Much to her surprise it was Cheryl.

“Susan,” Cheryl gave her a puzzled look, “What are you doing here?”

“Cheryl,” Susan nodded politely, “it’s been a long time.”

“Not long enough,” Cheryl scowled ready to close the door in her face.

“Cheryl, please wait,” she begged of her former mother-in-law, “Look I know that you’re not really happy with me for what I did to Grady, but I need to see him.”

“Right now you’re the last person he needs to be around,” Cheryl moved to close the door again, but was stopped by Susan’s foot in the door.

“I swear to you that I didn’t come here to cause any trouble,” Susan continued to try to plead her case, “I need to speak to Grady because I have some information that might be useful to him.”

“Susan, whatever it is, I can assure you that he’s simply not interested. I think it would be best if…” Cheryl tried to dismiss her once more.

“I know where Jade is,” Susan blurted out urgently.

“What did you just say?” Elliot questioned moving in to the door beside his wife.

“I said I know where Jade is and if you’ll just let me inside I can promise you that I will let you know everything that happened to her,” Susan blurted out knowing by the expression on their faces that she’d found her way back inside at long last.


...to be continued...