Episode 194

Brant stood on the back patio after having gotten Blake’s voice mail a while earlier. He’d hoped to check in with her given that she had no idea what had happened to Ken. He still didn’t know how he was going to tell her the truth about what Ken had done. It all felt so unreal, so unimaginable and as Brant let out a long sigh, he wished that he had some easy answer to all of this.

“So this is where you’re hiding huh,” Heather questioned stepping out onto the patio, “I mean I know you’re all about avoiding me tonight, but I thought that maybe just maybe you’d at least pretend you wanted some company and that I wasn’t the worst possible choice for that.”

“Heather,” Brant spoke her name feeling his thoughts return to the here and now, “I’m sorry about before. I just…”

“Needed to call Blake,” she nodded in complete understanding, “Did you get a hold of her?”

“No,” he shook his head, “but I guess in a way I’m kind of glad that I wasn’t able to. Chances are she’s with Seth right now and given that Jade is missing…”

“Then she’s probably up to her eyeballs in drama,” she added with a knowing expression, “You’re worried about telling her what happened with Ken, aren’t you?”

“I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to tell her about all of this,” Brant confessed painfully, “I mean it’s not everyday that my brother flips out like he did.”

“Ken’s been through a lot this year. From what I understood Caitlin Vaughn meant the world to him, yes,” Heather noted watching Brant move across the stone patio.

He nodded before letting out an ironic laugh, “Who knew that Ken would find true love only to have it be taken away from him in that bombing? Even now I can’t even begin to tell you how I never saw any of this coming.”

“Ken’s always been good at keeping it all inside,” she added, “He’s learned the art of hiding his emotions for the greater good of the family.”

“But no one asked him to do that. No one asked him to hold it all up inside to the point that he’d just explode like he has. What he did to Avery was…” Brant stopped himself clenching his fists at his sides, “I don’t want to get into this right now.”

“It’s obvious you want to talk about it,” she began stepping in closer to him, “so why not let it out? It’s not like I’m someone who is going to pass some kind of judgment against you. You know what kind of nightmare my life is Brant.”

“Yeah, well the last thing I want to do is drag anyone else into the Ashford curse and all it’s glory,” he remarked sarcastically before glancing over at her, “but what about you? Sarah mentioned that things went from bad to worse with Kipp.”

“Kipp’s just moody,” Heather waved her hand at him dismissively, “I already told you he just is suffering from a huge misunderstanding about us. He’s thinking that I’m still hung up on you, but we both know that’s far from the truth.”

“Is it?” Brant eyed her skeptically.

“Of course it is,” she balked back at him, “I mean why in the world would I still be hung up on you when I have plenty of men in my life who are willing to give me what I need when you clearly can’t.”

“Heather, you know I would’ve given you the world, but it just wasn’t meant to be,” he reminded her poignantly, “We were a lifetime ago and if you’d like me to try to talk to Kipp and smooth the waters, well I’d be more than happy to if you think it’ll help.”

“You mean, you would really do that for me,” she questioned surprise evident in her tone.

He nodded, “Of course I would. I mean sure for a while there I wanted you to be completely miserable, but now, well I think you’ve suffered more than enough.”

“Are you just saying that because you’re feeling guilty about what’s going on between you and Ken or because you really mean it,” she eyed him wearily.

“I really mean it,” he rubbed his palms together before letting out another sigh, “Heather, we’ve both been through a lot and I’d like to see you find some happiness in your life. You’re a mother now and that’s something special.”

“Yes, it is,” Heather replied with a small smile of her own, “though I have to tell you that I’d always thought about being a mom in the back of my mind, but in each one of those thoughts I always kind of had you in the place of the father. It sounds crazy, doesn’t it?”

“Not completely crazy,” he shrugged his shoulders, “at one pointing my life, I’d really hoped that we could go from high class gossip to a traditional family with the kids, the dogs and the swing set in the yard.”

“Oh right,” she laughed lightly shaking her head at him, “You couldn’t ever bear the idea of settling down. Don’t pass that one by me Brant.”

“It’s honestly the one thing in my life that I’d always dreamt about,” Brant confessed solemnly, “When I proposed to you, I was in it for the long haul Heather, but with us, well it just wasn’t meant to be.”

“Yet you believe that it is with Avery,” she questioned moving in closer yet, “You believe that she can give you the house, the kids and the normalcy that you’ve never had before?”

“I think being with Avery is a good start,” Brant nodded in response, “She needs me and I need her. I want to be there for her and her daughter. I know it might sound completely out of character for me, but I look forward to being a father.”

“To Russell’s child?” Heather wrinkled her nose in disgust, “Brant, you’re settling and if you really took a moment to step back and look at the whole picture, you’d see that Avery’s just using you. She’s only trying to look out for number one and you’re the sucker that just so happened to make a perfect buffer on her way down.”

“You are so wrong about that,” Brant insisted with a pointed expression, “Avery loves me.”

“Avery loves what you can do for her. Loving you isn’t really an option,” Heather continued to tear at his insecurities, “Believe me when I was pregnant and Cameron proposed, I jumped on it not because I loved him or because I wanted him. I did what I had to in order to survive and something tells me that Avery got into your marriage for the very same reasons.”

“There’s a lot you don’t know about my life with Avery,” he began to object.

“And there’s a lot that you’re not willing to see. Brant, the very thought that she slept with Ken should be enough to give you a clue how emotionally detached to you she really is. If she loved you, she never, ever would’ve been deceived by Ken. Sure, he can be convincing about something when he wants to be, but a woman in love would know the difference.”

“Avery was hurting and he took advantage of her emotional state…” Brant defended his wife.

“Avery’s always in an emotional state. I don’t think there’s a day that goes by when it’s not all about Avery. She’s a drama queen and she knows that you’re going to ride up to her rescue now that Russ is out of the picture. Hell, we both know if Russ was alive, then she wouldn’t have given you a second thought. You wouldn’t be her husband and you’d be as irrelevant in her life as Cameron is in mine.”

“Avery and I aren’t you and Cameron,” Brant snapped back at her.

“No, we aren’t because unlike the situation with you and Avery, Cameron and I came into our marriage both knowing that the other couldn’t be trusted. There was never any real emotion or love brought to the table, but for you, well you’re hoping to find this perfect dream with a woman who is emotionally unavailable. Sure she might try to convince you that she wants to have a future with you, but Brant the only thing she’s thinking about is what being Mrs. Brant Ashford can do for her and her daughter’s future.”

“Enough Heather!” Brant scolded her, “I don’t want to hear it.”

“All the more reason to listen,” she reached out to him refusing to let him walk away from her, “Brant, where is she right now? Where is she when you’re needing her more than ever? Oh that’s right. She’s with her late husband’s family and you’re left behind because you’re not a part of that. You’ll never be what her dream was and no matter how hard you try to convince yourself that Avery Morrison is ready to move on with a life that you can give her, the truth is that she’s never moved beyond that moment in time when she and Russell were together. She’s still with him and even now, she’s continuing to hold onto the memory of a dead man. She’s never going to let go.”

“Heather, you’re wrong,” Brant argued catching the expression building up over her features.

“Am I?” she challenged eyeing him intently, “If you really felt that way then you would’ve walked away from me a long time ago. You wouldn’t be listening to what I’m saying, but you are and that proves that you know what I’m telling you is true. Avery’s never going to be what you need or want in your life Brant. She’ll break your heart over and over again and never look back.”

“You’re wrong Heather,” Brant pulled out of her grasp, “You’re wrong about my marriage and about my wife.”

“I don’t think I am,” Heather mouthed watching him go back into the mansion as she wondered just how much longer it would be before Brant’s ‘precious Avery’ did exactly as she’d predicted. Avery had already slept with Ken and Heather was banking on the fact that sooner or later Avery would find a way to screw up beyond repair. When that day came, Heather would make damn sure that Avery wouldn’t get the opportunity to weasel her way back into Brant’s life ever again.

“Brant deserves someone who can give him what he needs,” Heather thought aloud, looking to the night above, “and if he wants a family, well maybe it’s time I find a way to give him just that. Charles and I need him a hell of a lot more than Avery does. We‘re just going to have to find a way to prove that to him once and for all.”


Avery sat on the sofa with Cheryl thinking about the phone call Grady had gotten earlier alerting him to come down to the police station. While Avery thought it was a bad idea for Grady to be there while Cameron was being brought in, Kyle and Elliot had convinced her not to tag along. She now sat in the middle of the living room waiting for word from the men as she and Cheryl began talking over tea.

“I really wish one of them would call and give us an update,” Avery admitted looking to Cheryl once again, “I feel like I should be doing more for Grady right now instead of just sitting here.”

“Avery, honey, you’ve done more than enough,” Cheryl reached out to touch Avery’s hand gently, “After all that you did for him during the trial…”

“It still feels like I should be doing more,” Avery confessed painfully, “If I’d had any idea about what would be happening after he got out of jail…”

“None of us had any idea,” Cheryl replied with an overwhelming sentiment that matched Avery’s, “and even now I just pray that whatever is going on with Jade, it’s just a big misunderstanding. I keep hoping that Susan was wrong--that somehow what she told us was just a lie and that Jade will come walking right through that door and tell us just that.”

“I really wish that were true, but with Cameron,” Avery paused thinking about the man who had worked so hard to destroy everyone’s lives in town, “I just don’t know how far he’d go now that he wasn’t able to destroy Grady.”

“If he hurt Jade, I know that would truly be the end of my son,” Cheryl paused overcome with her emotions, “and after the year we’ve had, well I just don’t know if this family can take another blow like that.”

“Oh Cheryl,” Avery reached out to embrace her, “we have to believe that it’s not going to play out that way. We have to be hopeful that Jade’s out there and she’ll be rescued before Cameron can do anything to hurt her.”

“I know that,” Cheryl offered up a small smile, “and here I was trying to be the voice of reason and optimism, yet you wind up trying to cheer me up.”

“It’s one of the few talents I have,” Avery offered with a small smile of her own, “though I don’t know how much help I really am on the matter.”

“Given what you did for both of my sons, well I’d have to say that it’s been a tremendous help,” Cheryl added watching a sadness creep in over Avery’s features, “Russ would be so proud of all you’ve done for his brother.”

“I just wish that he was still here to be doing this with me. I know if Russ were here that he’d find a way to make all of this right again,” Avery trailed off thinking about the man who’d held her heart for so many years.

“Russ did have a way of making things seem better. He had a spark about him that just, well it made life a whole lot easier. Even in the darkest hours, Russ was there to pull us through to the light,” Cheryl paused watching the emotions pouring over Avery’s face. Clearing her throat she spoke up again, “So how are you feeling?”

“Terrified,” Avery replied weakly, “but I guess that’s not really the answer you were looking for, was it?”

“It’s an honest answer and I think it’s important that we be honest with one another Avery,” Cheryl hesitated before speaking up again, “Grady mentioned that you and Brant are married now. That you decided it was time to move forward with your life.”

“Cheryl I…” Avery found herself at a loss not at all expecting Cheryl to be so direct with her about what had happened. She shifted on the couch uneasily before finally nodding, “I wanted to find the right time to talk to you and Elliot about this.”

“Do you love him?” Cheryl questioned eyeing her intently, “Does Brant make you happy?”

Avery looked up at her once again with tear-filled eyes, “He does, but not in the way that Russ did. Even though Brant and I are married now, well, you see there are things happening that…”

“Avery, sweetheart, you don’t need to explain yourself,” Cheryl squeezed her hand supportively, “In times of grief we all have our own ways of coping and I realize that your being married to Brant isn’t at all a slap at my son’s memory. I know how much you love Russ and I also realize that your moving on has been a very difficult transition.”

“I didn’t plan on marrying Brant, but circumstances arose and…” Avery choked up on her emotions, feeling a lump forming in the back of her throat as tears began to fall, “Please don’t hate me.”

“Hate you?” Cheryl repeated incredulously, “Oh honey, is that what you think this is about?”

“Cheryl, you have no idea how hard I took losing Russ--how even to this day I feel like he’s with me, like he’s still out there and there’s not a day that doesn’t go by where I’m waiting for him to walk through the front door and take me into his arms,” Avery sobbed unable to hold back as Cheryl reached out to embrace her, “I miss him like crazy and even now, even with my being married to Brant I feel so guilty for everything that’s happened.”

“Avery, Russ wouldn’t want you to stop living just because he isn’t here with us,” Cheryl reached out to wipe at her tears, “He would know that this is about doing what you need to do in order to survive. You’re coping with what life had given you to deal with and I’m glad that you’ve found someone who can be there to support you and that grandchild of mine.”

“Cheryl it’s just…” Avery felt her own overwhelming emotions get the best of her, “So much has happened and I feel like my life is spinning out of control--like my destiny is spiraling downward around me and I can barely hold on. I’m going under and nothing seems to change this. When I think about this past year--of how Russ and I found our way together again only to have him taken away from me… It’s just we spent so many years apart and we finally made it. We had everything ahead of us, but with him gone…”

“I know,” Cheryl replied embracing Avery again as Avery’s sobs rocked over her body.

“It’s just so unfair,” Avery cried out, “Everything I wanted--all of our dreams left with him. If he’d only told me about what he was doing at the airport--if only I could’ve talked him out of leaving, then maybe he’d be here right now. We’d be the ones sharing the joys of bringing our daughter into this world. He’d be the one that held me close to him when I was afraid. He’d be telling me it was alright and he’d most certainly know how to handle this. He wouldn’t let me fall apart.”

“Honey, you’ve been doing a wonderful job holding it together. Heaven knows I can’t even begin to tell you how hard this is for all of us,” Cheryl spoke up in a smooth, patient tone, “but at the same time I had a feeling that you and I needed to talk about things--about what it is you might be going through right now. I’m glad that I did because my instincts were right about this one. I can see you’re feeling as if you’ve betrayed my son’s memory by marrying Brant, but Avery that’s not at all how it is. Yes, okay I know Brant and Russ weren’t the best of friends, but after Kyle told us all that Brant did to help Grady during the trial, well I’m sure that wherever Russ is, he’d be happy to know that you’re being cared for. It’s obvious that Brant feels something for you and while I’m not really sure how you feel about him, I just want you to know that it’s okay for you to open your heart again. You don’t have to close yourself off forever sweetheart.”

“It’s just that with Russ,” Avery sniffled, “I never, ever wanted to lose him. We had so many dreams ahead of us--so many things that I wanted us to share with one another. We waited a lifetime for our daughter to be a part of this world. When I was pregnant before, he wasn’t a part of it--he had no idea about the baby we lost and now, well I feel like I should’ve tried to do things differently--like if I wasn’t stupid enough to run from what had happened, that we could’ve had so many wonderful years with one another.”

“Losing a child is never easy Avery, which is why I know how important this pregnancy is for you,” Cheryl reached out to touch her cheek gently, “I remember when I was pregnant with Russell. Elliot and I were having our share of bad times and the pregnancy was a difficult one. I wasn’t sure how we’d pull through, but we found a way to make it, just like I’m sure you will with our granddaughter. I know Brant will be there for you and so will we. Avery, we’re not going to hold your trying to reclaim some kind of normalcy in your life against you…”

“But…” Avery started at a moment of loss.

“Honey,” Cheryl paused for a long moment before finally speaking up again, “Grady told me about what happened. I know about your mother.”

“You do?” Avery’s eyes widened in surprise.

Cheryl nodded, “I know that he wasn’t supposed to tell me and I swore that I wouldn’t mention it to Elliot, but he felt the need to explain. I wasn’t quite sure I should let you know that I knew or not, but after seeing you like this, well I couldn’t let you beat yourself up over this. Your mother is a woman that I’d like to throw out a window myself there. She’s a horrible, wicked woman and I’m so sorry that you had to endure that.”

“I don’t know what got into her,” Avery confessed painfully, “One moment she was pretending to care and then the next she started saying these horrible things about Russ--things that I couldn’t believe were coming out of her mouth and then when she attacked me…”

“You have no idea how hard it is for me to keep from going over to see her and finish the job myself,” Cheryl pulled Avery into an embrace, bringing her fingers in over Avery’s dark hair in a comforting, motherly gesture, “She had no right to hurt you or my grandchild like that and I swear to you if she even thinks about getting close to you like that again…”

“I won’t let her. Brant won’t let her either,” Avery explained, “We saw her the other day. She woke up and I lost it. She started saying these horrible things and I just snapped…”

“Well as much as I hate to say it, Avery, she never deserved you in her life. She’s not what a mother should be and I hope you know that if you need anything--now or ever, well you can always come to me. You’ll always be a part of our family,” Cheryl promised wiping at Avery’s tears, “and if you’d like, you can even bring that husband of yours with you.”

“Are you sure about that? I don’t want to…” Avery began uneasily.

“Trust me Avery. While we wish that Russ was here right now, we know that you are trying to pull the pieces of your life together and if Brant is helping you do that, then I just want you to know that we don’t hold that against you. I think that what he’s done was a very noble thing and if Russ could see that, well he would feel better knowing that his daughter was in good hands with you and Brant. I’m sure that if anyone can save you from that woman’s evil, it’s Brant. Brooke is no match for the Ashfords.”

“I hope you’re right about that,” Avery sighed thinking about her mother as she wondered just what Brooke might try to pull now that she was awake again.


Grady’s face grew hot seeing the man that could possibly have something to do with Jade’s disappearance.

“You son of a,” Grady went to go after Cameron before Kyle grabbed hold of him tightly. “What are you doing?”

“He isn’t worth it Grady,” Kyle stated as Cameron stopped right in front of them with a wide smirk spread across his features.

“I’ll wipe that grin off your face,” Grady snapped trying to get out of Kyle grasp.

“That’s right keep a tight grip on that lion,” Cameron laughed as Grady still tried to reach him.

“Shut your mouth Cameron,” Kyle scowled before shaking his head, “Looks like you have a lot of room to talk.”

“You want to mess with me too?” Cameron questioned raising an eyebrow feeling the hands of Julian Kurts push him ahead.

“Keep moving,” the cop demanded as Cameron looked back at Kyle and Grady watching Kyle let him go.”

“Why did you do that?” Grady wondered raising an eyebrow. “I wanted to give him a piece of my mind.”

“Well, if you were actually using your mind and you thought for a second, you would realize why I did that,” Kyle declared before shaking his head at Grady. “You do realize that you were just recently in jail because of that jerk and you could go back.”

“I don’t care,” Grady snapped shaking his head seeing the cop still walk him down the hallway, “It would have been worth it to see him go to the hospital.”

“I agree it would be worth it,” Kyle agreed before shrugging, “But what if he has nothing do with this whole thing?”

“He does,” Grady shot back before straightening his shirt, “I know he does.”

Cameron looked back to see the looks on Grady and Kyle’s face. He wished he could have taken a picture it was that great.

“Take it easy,” Cameron snapped as the cop pushed him ahead further.

Cameron took in a deep breath before seeing Susan leaning against the wall.

“Susan,” Cameron smiled stopping right in front of her, “Thank god you are here. I need your help, they are arresting me for something I didn’t do.”

“Sorry Cameron,” Susan smiled before standing up straight, “I don’t work for you anymore, maybe Kipp can help you now.”

“You are kidding right?” Cameron questioned with laugh seeing her shake her head.

“No jokes here Cameron,” Susan whispered before she started walking away, “You are the one that fired me.”

Anger built up behind Cameron’s face before the cop pushed him forward once more.

“Enough stalling,” the cop shot out as Cameron began to walk, “No more stops.”


“You get one phone call,” one of the cops informed Cameron opening the door for him as Cameron walked out.

“I know what I get,” Cameron shot back before rolling his eyes at how stupid these police officers were.

“The phone is over there,” the officer pointed behind Cameron as Cameron looked back and shook his head.

“I don’t want to use that phone,” Cameron snapped before shaking his head, “I need to use my cell phone. I don’t know the number off hand.”

“Fine just this once,” the officer agreed to let him use the cell phone as he placed it on the counter watching Cameron pick it up.

“I know you will help me,” Cameron sighed grabbing the phone and dialing Thea’s cell number. “Come on Thea pick up.”

As Cameron listened to the ringing of the phone, Thea rolled over picking up her phone to look at who it was.

“Who is it?” Douglas questioned out of breath as Thea looked at the number seeing it was Cameron.

“No one,” Thea laughed before throwing her phone back to the ground. “Now where were we?”

“I think you know,” Douglas wiggled his eyebrow as she got on top of him giving him a tempting kiss as her cell phone still rang.

“Where are you?” Cameron questioned angrily before hanging up his phone. “I can’t believe this, can I get another call?”

“No, that was your only one,” the officer replied before taking Cameron back.

“They weren’t even there,” Cameron yelled as the officer shut the door tightly.

“Don’t blame me,” the officer shrugged with a smile, “I’m not the one who makes up the rules here. I just follow them.”

“This is bullshit,” Cameron yelled as he hit the wall. “Is my lawyer coming soon?”


“I am back,” Ben smiled widely as he opened her door slowly as Diane quickly got off the couch.

“What did you get?” she questioned watching him close the door and he was hiding something behind his back.

“Something,” he grinned as she tried to look behind him and he turned so she couldn’t see.

“Your not being fair,” Diane frowned as Ben shook his head, “Come on, please.”

“Alright,” he laughed giving in seeing that look on her face as he pulled flowers from behind his back. “I hope you like them, I knew you were feeling down so I wanted to give you something to help you feel better.”

“They are wonderful,” she began as she wrapped her arms around his neck tightly, “I absolutely love them.”

“Well, I am glad,” he laughed as she quickly ran to the kitchen to go put them in water.

“You made me much happier,” she admitted as she walked back into the room to kiss him. “I am glad you did that.”

“Well, you better get happier because I have something else planned too,” Ben informed her wiggling his eyebrow in amusement.

“Really?” Diane questioned quickly seeing Ben nod. “What else do you got planned?”

“Well, I was thinking that me and you could go to a romantic dinner,” he pulled her closer to him kissing her gently, “And then come home for some together time.”

“I think I like the sound of that,” she nodded before jumping out of his arms, “Let me go get ready. You stay right there.”

“I’m not moving,” he informed her watching her run into her room quickly, “Hurry up though, we have reservations.”


“Where is she Cameron?” Dave questioned slamming his fist on the table demanding an answer only to be disappointed seeing Cameron shake his head.

“Where is who?” Cameron wondered knowing full well who they were talking about.

“You know damn well who I am talking about,” Dave scowled scooting in closer to Cameron. “Where is Jade?”

“I don’t know where she is,” Cameron repeated his previous answer holding his hands up in the air.

“We know that’s bull Cameron,” Dave replied standing up slowly, “We found an item that belonged to her in your home.”

“Really?” Cameron questioned seeing him nod. “How do you know one of your own didn’t plant it? Or better yet maybe I just like the same brand of perfume.”

“That’s not funny,” Dave yelled grabbing Cameron by the neck, “Be serious Cameron.”

“I am being serious you idiot,” Cameron shot back, “I don’t know where she is. I have nothing to do with this.”

“Cameron, I swear if I find out your lying to me,” Dave began with a scowl before getting face to face with Cameron. “I will make sure that I put you in a cell with a man who is very lonely and has been in jail for a long, long time.”

“Get away from me,” Cameron demanded watching Dave smile, “Why doesn’t anyone believe me when I say I don’t know where she is.”

As Dave kept talking to Cameron, behind the glass window Grady, Elliot, and Kyle were listening.

“That son of a bitch is lying,” Grady yelled pounding on the glass after hearing the words come from Cameron’s mouth. “He has her and he knows where she is.”

“Grady calm down,” Elliot suggested grabbing his son’s shoulder gently as Grady swiped it away pounding on the glass harder.

“I am not going to calm down,” Grady shouted feeling Kyle grab him around his stomach pulling him back. “What are you doing?”

“Listen man, I know you are pissed at Cameron,” Kyle stated keeping a tight grip on Grady, “But what did that glass ever do to you?”

“Your not funny Kyle,” Grady shot back struggling to get out of his grasp. “Now let me go.”

“You have to calm down first,” Kyle informed him as Grady tried to pry Kyle’s hands open. “Grady, you know me. You can’t get me out of a grip, unless I do it myself.”

“Just let me go,” Grady yelled repeating himself hating the way his friend was telling him what to do.

“Either you calm down or I am going to be like this for a while,” Kyle replied shaking his head slowly, “I don’t think you want to go to the bathroom in this position…it might be a little embarrassing for you.”

“Fine,” Grady agreed calming down waiting for Kyle to loosen his grip on him.

“Are you calm yet?” Kyle questioned loosening his grip a little bit before seeing Grady nod. “Now promise you wont go pounding on that glass again.”

“I’m calm,” Grady rolled his eyes as Kyle let him go and Grady straightened his shirt.

“Now tell the window your sorry,” Kyle demanded with a small grin hearing Grady laugh.

“That’s not funny,” Grady began as he quickly became serious, “Not the tiniest bit.”

“That’s why you were laughing,” Kyle rolled his eyes sarcastically before seeing Elliot walk next to the two.

“I just wish he would tell the truth about where she is,” Grady growled leaning his forehead against the glass.

“Maybe he doesn’t know the truth,” Kyle whispered pondering that very answer.

“It will be okay,” Elliot assured Grady as the listened to what Cameron was saying. “He will give it up soon or a later.”


“Where are you taking me?” Deidra questioned slowly walking forward having Dean’s hands over her eyes.

“Somewhere special,” he informed her with a smile, “Now watch your step.”

“Are you going to kill me?” she questioned jokingly before feeling his breath in her ear.

“Maybe,” he laughed before stepping backwards and taking his hands away from her eyes, “You can look now.”

“Oh my god,” she gasped seeing a little table set up on the top of the roof of the hospital. It was decorated with candles and flowers. “Where did you get all these rose petals?”

“Oh, that doesn’t matter,” Dean replied looking down at the petals on the ground. “The fact of the matter is, I wanted to do something special for you.”

“This is more than special Dean,” she insisted walking over to the table and picking a rose up in her hand. “It wonderful.”

“I’m glad you love it,” he whispered in her ear as he wrapped his arms around her waist, “I figured we both needed some time to get away from everyone at work.”

“You did a wonderful job,” she assured him as he kissed her cheek gently. “How did you have time to do all of this?”

“I’m magic,” he insisted before wiggling his eyebrow at her, “Anyways don’t get too hungry because I have something else planned before we eat.”

“What might that be?” she questioned seeing him walk behind the table pulling out a stereo and turning it on.

“May I have this dance?” Dean wondered holding his hand out to hers before she took it gently and he kissed the top of her hand.

“Yes, you may,” she laughed as he pulled her out to the middle of the roof and held her hands tightly in his.

“I live for moments like this,” he informed her as he held her close to his body.

“Like what? Moments on the roof,” she suggested hearing him laugh as she looked up at him.

“No, moments where I get to hold you in my arms,” Dean answered kissing her lightly, “I could live for nothing else.”

“I could live for only you,” she replied as he kissed her once more, “I love every second I have with you.”

“Are you sure?” he questioned seeing her nod. “Good, because with all the time I want to be spending with you, I thought you might get annoyed by me.”

“Annoyed by you?” she questioned shaking her head slowly. “I don’t think that could ever happen. I love everything about you.”

“Good,” he nodded before winking at her, “You better stay that way too.”

“Oh, I will,” she assured him before smiling up at him, “I don’t think anything can change the way I feel about you.”


“What the hell took you so long to get here,” Cameron scowled rising up from the chair he’d been seated in moments earlier, “They’re treating me like a common criminal here and we both know that I have no business being here.”

“Slow down,” Kipp urged Cameron before walking over to the table where Cameron sat, “Why don't we start from the beginning? You didn’t make much sense on the phone.”

“That’s because they were breathing down my neck,” Cameron blurted out sharply, “This has been one hell of a night and I want out of here like pronto. For some reason the idiots that run this department are under the ridiculous notion that somehow I have something to do with Jade Alexander’s disappearance.”

“Well do you?” Kipp arched a curious brow before setting his briefcase on the tabletop before him.

“What kind of question is that,” Cameron growled up at him, “You’re my lawyer and you shouldn’t be wasting your time asking me questions. You should be doing what I pay you for and getting me out of here like pronto.”

“I’m working on it, but you have to be straight with me,” Kipp warned him firmly before taking a seat in front of his briefcase. Leaning forward he unsnapped the locks on the black case before looking to Cameron, “Things aren’t looking good for you at this point in time.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Cameron snapped with obvious agitation, “I don’t see how they could look bad because I have done nothing wrong. As much as the police would love to work with these trumped up assumptions, I have nothing to do with any of this.”

“Then why was Jade Alexander’s bracelet found in your library at your estate?” Kipp questioned with an arched brow, “I’d say that’s a pretty damning piece of evidence if you were trying to keep this subtle and on the down low, don’t you?”

“I have nothing to do with her being missing,” Cameron hissed back at him, “I don’t know why her bracelet was there, but I can assure you that it didn’t get there because of me.”

“Well unfortunately with the warrant that they had to search your place, the bracelet was the first of a few of Jade’s belongings that they found on site,” Kipp shook his head at Cameron before reaching into his briefcase, “You’re in a world of trouble Cameron and from where I sit, it’s going to take all you have to keep your head above ground.”

“So do what I pay you for and make miracles happen. I don’t belong in here,” Cameron added with a snap, clenching his fingers together on the table top, “just get me out of here.”

“I’ll do what I can, but first,” Kipp pulled an envelope out of his brief case and slid it across the table to Cameron, “you need to do something for me.”

“What is this?” Cameron questioned glancing down at the manila envelope before him.

“It’s something that I think would be in your best interest to take a look at,” Kipp suggested leaning back in his chair. He watched Cameron reluctantly reach for the envelope before opening it up to take a long look inside. As Cameron pulled out the pages the envelope contained, Kipp spoke up again, “Peruse them as long as you like, but ultimately before I leave I expect you to sign them.”

“What is this?” Cameron questioned astounded by what he was seeing.

“That is something that I think you owe me Cameron,” Kipp leaned forward in his chair, offering up a menacing glare, “You sign those papers and I’ll get you out of here. I worked up an arrangement and as you can see I think those are a fair settlement. The way I have it worked out, you just sign them and we’ll be done with that aspect of things.”

“This is ridiculous,” Cameron shoved the papers aside, “I don’t know what your game is Kipp, but I’m not about to sign those. You’re out of your mind if you think I’m going to hand over anything to that little witch or to you.”

“Is that right,” Kipp shook his head at Cameron making a tsking sound with the movement. Snatching up the envelope, Kipp shuffled the pages into it once again before opening his briefcase and depositing the envelope, “Well you can have it your way, but if that’s how it’s going to be, we have nothing further to discuss.”

“Wait a second. You can’t just walk out on me,” Cameron began in a panic watching Kipp rise up and walk over to the door.

“Oh, but we can,” Kipp flashed him an icy glare, “The way I see it, I’m the only one you have who can help you with this situation you’ve put yourself into. Normally I’m sure you’d have Susan do something, but you fired her, remember?”

“I don’t believe this,” Cameron’s eyes darkened with a moment of rage, “After all of the things that I’ve done for you.”

Kipp let out a sarcastic laugh while his lips upturned in a wicked smirk, “After all that you’ve done for me? Cameron, don’t think that I don’t know why Thea put that bullet in my chest. I’m well aware that the only time she does anything is under your orders. I’m also quite certain that you were hoping that I wouldn’t ever see the light of day again, but I’ve got news for you Cameron. Your plans didn’t work out and now that I’m back, I demand retribution for what you stole from me.”

“If you think you can outsmart me Kipp, then you’re wrong. You’re not at all on the same playing field to be a worthy opponent,” Cameron seethed back at him, “You don’t know what you’re getting yourself into you spoiled brat.”

“Oh I’m well aware of what I’m getting myself into and even more aware of what the authorities would have to say about your hand in my demise,” Kipp shook his head at Cameron, “You’ve been a very naughty boy and maybe it’s time that you accept the punishment that’s about to be delivered to you. It might teach you a thing or two about trying to play God with other people’s lives. It’s a nasty habit of yours that is going to have to come to an end, but well, I suppose maybe a little jail time will get you to learn your lesson.”

“I’m not about to stand back and let you blackmail me you peon,” Cameron replied in a moment of blind rage, “If you think you can walk in here and demand that I hand over what’s rightfully mine to you and that slut you fell in love with, then you’re quite mistaken. It‘s never going to happen.”

“You don’t have a choice Cameron because the way I see it, I own you,” Kipp stepped towards him once again, his eyes narrowing with the moment as Kipp’s words lashed out at him, “The very fact that you’ve held onto your freedom this long has been purely because of me. The air you breathe is because I allow it and what I giveth, I can just as easily taketh away. If you don’t sign those papers, not only will I make sure that you spend the rest of your life behind bars, but I’ll find a way to get to Angel as well. I’ll let her know the truth about what you’ve done--about all the secrets you’ve been keeping from her.”

“You wouldn’t dare,” Cameron’s eyes flashed a moment of horror for the first time. He knew Kipp had never had the backbone to toss out anything more than idle threats, but now as Cameron saw the intensity burning behind his former step-brother’s eyes, he started to feel himself on shaky ground.

“Oh believe me I would and I will. Angel was more than gracious to me on that island. She did everything she could to bring me back, much to your dismay I’m sure, but still…I won’t have any problems letting her know about what you’ve kept from her all these years. I won’t hesitate to clue her in on the son of a bitch that you really are. By the time I’m through with you, you’ll be wishing that you took this deal that I offered,” Kipp slammed his briefcase down on the table top once again. Opening it he pulled out the envelope and waved it around in the air, “So the choice is yours Cameron. Sign the papers and with it gain your freedom, or be stubborn and refuse to give me what I want and let your ignorance ruin your life. Either way, it’s all up to you, but think fast because this offer leaves with me in ten seconds.”


Avery knocked on Brant’s bedroom door waiting a moment or two before knocking again. After getting no response, she reached for the doorknob, slowly turning it and pushing the door open. She slipped her head inside and looked around to discover him laying in the center of the bed fast asleep. Stepping into the room, she closed the door behind her, making sure to lock it behind her just so that they weren’t ‘blessed’ with any surprised guests for the night.

Tiptoeing in close to the bed Avery noticed that he’d gone to sleep fully dressed. He lay on his side holding onto a pillow as the top buttons of his shirt were open. She couldn’t help but smile in seeing him in such a peaceful state. It was such a change from what she was used to after the drama and chaos that had surrounded them over the last few days. Kicking off her heels, Avery shed her jacket before tentatively moving onto the bed beside him. She was careful not to make too much movement, but as she settled in beside him, Brant’s eyes opened.

“I thought I heard you come in,” he whispered with a small yawn, “for a while there I was starting to think you wouldn’t be coming back.”

“And risk not having all of this to come home to,” she questioned reaching for the pillow he was holding and tugging it out of his arms, “I wouldn’t dream of it.”

“Are you sure about that,” Brant questioned feeling her move in beside him, placing her arm around his torso as she lay her head on the pillow his own head had been on. He involuntarily hugged her body closer to his as he turned her in his arms, “How did it go?”

“Grady’s a mess and they think Cameron was responsible for what’s happening,” Avery revealed with a sigh, “I was going to stick around for a bit longer, but Cheryl thought that I could use some rest. I was going to argue, but at the same time while I know Grady needs me, I thought that maybe you might need me more right now.”

“Where did you get that idea,” Brant questioned, his eyes opening a bit further to look at her. He reached out to touch the side of her face gently, his eyes memorizing the contours of her face.

“Just an instinct,” she confessed with a small breath leaning into his warm embrace, “Brant, I know you’ve been through hell over the last few weeks and I want to work on fixing that for you--for us.”

“Having you here like this is all that I need,” he confessed pulling her in closer to him. He felt her settle in over his chest, laying her head upon him as his arm kept her body in over his. He felt her relax in his arms and a smile grew over his features, “this is what I’ve been dreaming about for a long time.”

“Me too,” Avery confessed in a small whisper before she grew silent.

Brant stroked her back gently, massaging his fingers over her spine and within a matter of minutes, he felt her further relax. He opened his mouth to speak to her--to say something more about this turning point in their relationship, but as he heard the tiny sounds of her snoring once exhaustion had overtaken her, he knew that it wasn’t the time for that. Kissing the top of her head, he whispered a few words of love to her before reaching out to turn off the lamp on his nightstand.

“Sweet dreams Avery,” Brant breathed again once he’d settled in on the pillows again. In the darkness as he held her in his arms, he realized that things were changing between them for the better. Tonight was the first in a great many new beginnings for them and he couldn’t wait to wake up with her in his arms. That thought in itself put his mind and heart at ease as he fell asleep with her in his arms.


Carly sipped her tea, hoping that it would work to settle her nerves, but it wasn’t doing any good, she realized as she closed the blind before her. She looked around her hotel room thinking about Dave’s visit. She thought back to what it had felt like to have him holding her, she felt a warmth spread over her. In the last few days, she’d gone from being on top of the world, to being unemployed, to having felt something special with Ken only to have it fall to pieces. Now she and Dave had talked about everything that had happened--they’d had it out over her fling with Ken and yet he was willing to stand by her. When the station had called to have him come down upon Cameron Stone’s arrest, he’d been hesitant to leave, but when he did he’d promised to return as soon as he could. He’d even promised to bring breakfast with him should the interrogation keep him held over into the late hours.

“This is far from over with us Carly. I promise you that we’ll find a way to fix this,” she could hear Dave’s voice echo in her mind as she remembered the way he’d kissed her good-bye. Even now she could taste him on her lips--could smell the faint remainder of his aftershave in the air that surrounded her. Unlike what she’d thought he’d do when he learned the truth, he’d wanted to stay. He wanted to fight for her and as much as she knew she didn’t deserve a second chance in his life, she was grateful that she was getting one.

“I just wish I could’ve given you more than I did,” she thought aloud looking to the bed where she and Ken had succumbed to passion with one another time and time again. Even now there was a dull ache inside of her as she thought of how she’d fallen so hard, so fast for a man who was set on revenge. He wasn’t at all what she’d believed him to be and now as the humiliation of what she’d let herself get into crept in over her, she found herself racked with guilt.

“Oh Ken,” Carly spoke his name aloud feeling herself overcome with a moment of grief at the way things had ended between them, but deep down she knew it was for the best. What they’d had together wasn’t real--wasn’t what she’d thought and she should’ve never let things get so far out of hand. She’d made a mistake and she’d be damned if she let her heart take her back to that place again.

“Enough,” Carly mouthed to herself ready to go take a shower when she heard a knock on the door.

“Dave,” she couldn’t help but smile feeling as if he’d found a way to sense that she was feeling horrible again. Suddenly she felt her stomach tied in knots, eagerness spreading out over her body as she rushed to the door, but much to her dismay she found Isabel standing before her.

“Carly, I’m glad I caught you,” Isabel smiled curtly at her, “May I come in?”

“I have nothing to say to you Chavez,” Carly frowned moving to close the door in her face.

“I realize that you’re upset with me Carly, but please, give me five minutes,” Isabel begged of her.

“I really shouldn’t, but given the mood I’m in,” Carly allowed the door to open, “why not? You’ve got five minutes. No more, no less.”

“Then I suppose I should make this good starting with the apology I owe you,” Chavez inhaled deeply rubbing her hands together before looking to Carly, “I was completely out of line with the Mahoney case.”

“Yes, you were,” Carly folded her arms in front of her chest all the while nodding in agreement.

“I deserve that,” Chavez hung her head down shamefully before speaking up again, “and you had every right to walk out on me like that. Hell if I was in your shoes, I probably would’ve done the same thing a decade ago.”

“Well that’s wonderful. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, what can I do for you?” Carly scowled back at her, “Perhaps you’ve come over to also apologize for the photos you put on Dave’s desk too? I suppose that one was something that you just felt was an added bonus for my early resignation.”

“Photos?” Chavez started blankly, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Oh right,” Carly rolled her eyes, “Like you weren’t the one who decided to let Dave know all about my relationship with Kenneth Ashford. Whatever. I almost believe that one, but you know your plan backfired. He didn’t hate me like you were hoping he would.”

“I truly have no idea what you’re talking about,” Chavez insisted, “Yes I used that as a threat in the heat of the moment, but I wouldn’t dream of really following through on that. I remember what it was like when I’d found myself having liaisons with a few judges over the years and I wouldn’t dream of stooping to blackmail. It’s not my style.”

“Hmm, well see now from what I recall that’s exactly what you were doing before…blackmailing me. I don’t think anything you threatened me with was anything short of blackmail back there,” Carly snapped back at her.

“Carly, it’s an election year so I had the mayor breathing down my neck. Top it off with it being a high profile case involving the son of Hollywood mogul Douglas Mahoney and you do the math. This was a make it or break it career case and I put you on it because you’re the only one I felt could really give this what it needed.”

“But you didn’t expect me to keep up my vow to uphold the law in the process, did you?” Carly challenged with an icy glare. “You know what I think we’re finished here. I‘ll be in this week to clear out my desk and then we‘ll agree to stay out of one another‘s way as long as you keep your nose out of my personal life from here on out.”

“No Carly wait,” Chavez begged of her, “Look this isn’t why I came here tonight. I don’t want you to stay out of my way. Quite the opposite in fact given that I came here because I wanted to ask you to come back. I know that you aren’t happy with me, but you’re a vital asset to my team. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like without you working with me. I need you.”

“And I needed to be in a place where I could do my job to the best of my abilities without all of the politics attached to it. I can’t do that with your office, which is why I resigned in the first place,” Carly replied holding the door open to motion for Chavez to exit.

“I’d like for us to forget about all the horrible things we did back at the trial and for you to reconsider the resignation. We said a lot of things in the heat of the moment, things that in the thick of our emotional situation were wrong. I’m not saying that you should welcome me back into your life with open arms, but what I’m trying to say is that I need you. You’re a part of my team that I can’t do without.”

“It looks like you don’t have a choice in the matter,” Carly reminded her sharply, “because I quit.”

“I realize that, but I’m not about to take that as an answer. I want you back Carly and I’ll give you anything you want if you’ll reconsider,” Chavez tossed out at her desperately.

“Anything I want?” Carly ached a skeptic brow at her, “really?”

“That’s right,” Chavez nodded eagerly, “Just name it and it’s yours. I’m planning on giving you a promotion and a raise and…”

“And if I just agree to come back, then it’s all mine huh?” Carly shook her head at her, “After what you did to me in that courtroom, I just don’t think that working for you is a place for me. You asked me to go against everything I believe in because of politics and I can’t do that. It’s not who I am.”

“I realize that and it’s part of why I hired you in the first place. Carly you’re the very essence of what I want my administration to be about. You have a passion and a desire and a drive that sets you above the rest in terms of the legal system. You’re exactly the kind of person that I want with me this year,” Chavez continued to explain, “and while I know you have every right to tell me to go to hell tonight and never look back, I wish you’d at least sleep on it before you refuse. Carly, I know you must hate me right now, but I can promise you that if you take me up on this offer, I will make it worth your while.”

“I sincerely doubt that, which is why…” Carly started once again.

“Don’t refuse me just yet,” Chavez moved towards the hotel room door, “Just sleep on it and really think it over before you make a decision based on emotions and hurt feelings. I don’t want you to make the biggest mistake of my life just because I was acting like a bitch. I want you back on my team Carly and I‘ll do whatever it takes to prove it to you.”

“You can start by backing off,” Carly warned with obvious distrust and anger in her voice.

“Alright, I will, but at least think it over. I can help you achieve great things in your career if you let me. Together we’d make an unstoppable force and deep down you know that. This offer is really too good to refuse,” Chavez finished throwing out one last persuasive smile before nodding and taking a step back, “Have a nice evening.”

“Yeah, right,” Carly closed the door in Isabel’s face as she thought of the offer Isabel had presented her with. Sure, it sounded like she could get her old life back. Not only that but she’d be given perks that most people in her position could only dream of, yet when Carly thought back to the trial, she couldn’t help but wonder what was driving Isabel Chavez and her plea to get Carly back on her team. Was it that she truly felt she was lost without Carly, or was there a darker agenda at hand? Given what Carly knew about too good to be true offers, she knew full well that taking her old job back would come at a price. The question would be how high of a price would such an offer hold in store for her?


Annie slowly walked into Ken’s hospital room seeing him look over towards her as she got closer to his bed.

“Annie,” Ken smiled as her hand rested on top of his. “What are you doing here?”

“I came to see you were feeling,” she informed him with a frown, “You look horrible.”

“It looks worse than it actually is,” Ken replied before taking her hand in his gently. “I didn’t mean to scare you like that.”

“I shouldn’t be the one you are worrying about,” Annie began as she closed her eyes. “I would being worrying about yourself right now if I were you.”

“Why would I want to do that?” he questioned feeling her fingers let go of his.

“What happened that night Ken?” she questioned worriedly. “What happened to my Kenneth?”

“I don’t want to talk about this,” Ken shot out looking away from her, “Nothing is wrong with me.”

“Why don’t you tell me what is going on with you Ken,” she pleaded as he looked up at her angrily, “I am worried about you.”

“Well, stop worrying about me because it isn’t worth it because I am absolutely fine,” he promised her before seeing a figure shut the door and walk up to Annie.

“Fine, huh?” the person questioned as Ken’s jaw dropped at the sight of him.

“Augustus?” Ken questioned blinking widely. “What are you doing here?”

“I have the same question for you,” Ken’s grandfather replied before getting closer to Ken. “What happened to my grandson?”

“What are you doing here?” Ken questioned once more before seeing Augustus look towards Annie.

“Annette called me and told me what happened and she suggested that I come here and check on you,” Augustus answered before looking back at Ken’s face, “Now I can tell how right she really was.”


“Hello Cameron,” Susan smiled folding her arms up in front of her as Cameron quickly stood up walking over towards the bars.

“You changed your mind?” Cameron questioned hopingly, “I really need your help.”

“Is that so?” Susan questioned rubbing her neck lightly, “I could have swore you had Kipp.”

“You think that twerp would come here as quick as he could to rescue me? No, all he has done is tried to cause me more trouble than I already have,” Cameron informed her before rolling his eyes. “So what have you done to try and help me out of this disgusting place?”

“Nothing,” Susan informed him reaching through the bars to touch him, “Absolutely nothing.”

“What do you mean?” Cameron wondered seeing her shrug as he raised his eyebrow.

“I told you not to mess with me Cameron,” Susan mouthed touching his face lightly, “Now you learned the lesson.”

“Lesson?” Cameron repeated her words before his jaw dropped and she stepped back. “You?”

“You should have listened to me Cameron,” Susan sighed shaking her head slowly, “You shouldn’t have turned on me like that.”

“Susan, please,” he begged as she shook her head as he tried reaching out to her.

“You brought this upon yourself,” she informed him with a small wave before starting to walk away.

“Listen you bitch,” Cameron yelled out seeing her keep walking, “You come back here and set things straight.”

Cameron pulled on the bars as she turned around blowing him a kiss before smiling widely.

“You did all this, you are you going to pay Susan, I swear,” Cameron yelled out promising her that he was going to do everything in his power to get out.

The sight of Susan disappeared as Cameron kicked the wall roughly.

“That bitch set me up,” Cameron growled resting his head against the wall, “This is the last strike.”


Heather stood in front of the refrigerator at the Ashford mansion stewing over the fact that Brant was with Avery as she found herself perusing the food before her. Opting to pull out a half eaten cheesecake, she walked over to the countertop all the while cursing the day that Avery Morrison walked into his life. As if a woman like Avery could even hold a candle to the woman that Heather was. Sure, Heather might’ve had some problems with her face, but Brant promised he’d fixed that. Brant was going to be the one to turn her life around and the last thing she needed was to let that little twit get in her way.

“Mark my words, your days are numbered Avery,” Heather mouthed under her breath realizing that she needed a course of action if she was going to succeed. Opening one of the drawers, Heather pulled out a fork and in the middle of contemplating whether or not she’d get a plate of just eat the cheesecake as is, she heard footsteps approaching from behind.

“There you are,” she heard Kipp’s voice above the footsteps. Spinning around to find him standing before her, Heather flashed him a bright smile and put on her best attempts at being charming.

“Kipp, darling, what are you doing here? Did you come back to forgive me,” she curled her lip in a pout, sauntering over towards him remembering oh too well how he’d buckled to her desires in the past.

“Not exactly,” Kipp explained reaching into his jacket pocket to withdraw an envelope, “but I did bring you a present of sorts.”

“A present,” Heather’s eyes lit up with immediate eagerness, “For me?”

“That’s right,” he nodded smiling back at her. He held the envelope out towards her, “I did this for you because of our history with one another. This is all for you Heather.”

“What is it?” Heather questioned as he placed the envelope in her hand.

“Just open it,” he urged watching her tear open the envelope only to discover the pages within.

“What is it?” she wrinkled her nose before tugging the papers out of the envelope.

“It’s the ticket to your freedom,” Kipp explained matter of fact, “I had Cameron sign them before I came over.”

“I don’t understand,” she glanced over the pages seeing various legal terms before her.

“Those are your divorce papers. I wrote up a settlement that entitles you to part owenership of the company that Cameron promised you with a few perks tossed in along the way. I drew up a few stipulations that will ensure you’ll be given a shot at running things with the agency under my watch of course. Most of the stock will be in my name, but once you sign those papers, well, let’s just say you won’t be worrying about the consequences of being Cameron’s wife any longer.”

“You mean it’ll be over,” Heather’s jaw dropped in surprise. She saw him nod before a smile spread over her features and she clenched the papers tighter than before. “Do you have a pen?”

“You bet I do,” Kipp nodded providing her one he’d plucked out of his pocket. He reached for the papers again and thumbed through them, “You just need to sign here and here…oh and here…”

“You have no idea how long I’ve waited for this,” Heather confessed taking the papers over to the counter and signing them eagerly, “I was afraid that he’d never give me my freedom back, but now…”

“Now you have it,” Kipp replied clearing his throat as she finished up with the papers.

“What next?” she asked still holding the pages in one hand.

“I’ll take those,” Kipp replied promptly tucking the envelope into his pocket, “I’ll file them and then it’ll be official. You and Cameron will no longer be married.”

“Oh Kipp,” Heather threw her arms around him excitedly, “I can’t believe that you did all of this for me. When I think of everything we’ve been through, I never expected this, but you surprised me. You always find a way to surprise me and with this, oh Kipp you saved my life.”

“I did all of this for you,” Kipp replied releasing her. She took a step back, her face bright and excited by the prospect of being a free woman at long last. He could see how happy this had made her and that made what came next all the more rewarding.

“Kipp, I don’t know if I can thank you enough for this. What you’ve given me today is beyond words,” she squealed excitedly, her eyes bright and bubbling over with the new world ahead of her.

“I’m not finished yet. I have one more surprise for you and this one, well I can assure you this one is all for me,” Kipp promised as he reached into his pocket once again leaving Heather to wonder if he’d brought a ring with him.

“Oh Kipp,” Heather straightened out her hair, standing up taller as she tried to prepare herself for this moment that he proposed to her again. Thoughts of the wedding--of the marriage and what being his wife could do for her danced around in her head, but just as sure as she was that this would be a wedding that no one would ever forget, Kipp pulled out another envelope instead of a ring box. Her smile faded as she eyed the envelope as if it had jumped out and bit her, “What’s that?”

“As I said, this is all for me,” Kipp replied slapping the envelope into her palm before taking a step back. “I trust that they’ll be self-explanatory there.”

“But…what are they…” Heather called out to him watching as he started to exit through the doors which he’d arrived in. He stopped mid-movement before glancing over his shoulder at her with a crooked smirk.

“Why Heather, those are the papers that you’re getting from me just so that you’re aware of what it is that I want from you,” Kipp paused seeing the confusion behind her eyes. Spinning around to face her again, he spoke up in slow, annunciated words, “In laymen’s terms so that your model brain can absorb all the information, that envelope contains papers that tell you all about my plan to seek sole custody of our son because the way I see it, you’re the last person in this world that could even be considered a fit mother.”

“What,” her jaw dropped in shock as she saw his grin expand.

“That’s right Heather,” Kipp explained in a determined voice, “as soon as the world hears about all the blatant neglect on your end, there won’t be a court in the world that would rule in your favor where our son is concerned. I know all about the games you’ve played and it’s over now. Charles is coming home to where he belongs and that’s with me.”

“You can’t do this to me,” Heather charged at him, her voice shaky as she looked to the envelope in her hands.

“I just did,” he finished storming out of the Ashford mansion and leaving Heather to deal with the latest twist of fate he’d delivered her.


...to be continued...