Episode 196

Deidra held her clipboard close to her chest as she closed her eyes imagining what had happened earlier. The picture of her and Dean dancing on the roof made a picture perfect dream in her mind.

“I love you Dean,” Deidra sighed before looking down the hallway, “I wonder what you are doing right now.”

She slowly walked down to his office before pausing and pushing the door open. She was about to say something until she noticed he was on the phone.

“Yeah, I know,” Dean growled shaking his head quickly, “I know I am trying the best I can right now.”

Deidra raised an eyebrow thinking of what might be going on…who was he talking to?

“What else do you expect me to do?” Dean questioned angrily before sighing deeply. “Fine, I’ll call you later.”

Deidra gasped as he slammed the phone down before holding his head tightly.

“Dean,” she called out making him look up and smile, “Are you okay?”

“What do you mean?” he wondered standing up slowly walking over to her. “Why wouldn’t I be okay?”

“Well, I just heard you on the phone and you didn’t sound to happy,” she replied seeing him raise an eyebrow.

“You heard that?” he questioned deeply seeing her nod. “Yeah, well it was a very rude family member to one of the patients I had. They are trying to sue the hospital.”

“What got them so mad?” she wondered seeing him shrug before wrapping his arms around her waist gently.

“They were just displeased with my work,” he answered kissing her forehead gently, “Forget about it.”

She smiled as he pulled her closely to his chest hearing his deep breathing.

“Hey, how about me and you go out to dinner later,” he suggested wiggling his eyebrows.

“That sounds wonderful,” she nodded seeing him smile widely before letting her go.

“Well, I have a few more things to finish up,” he explained before shrugging, “After I am done, I will come and get you okay?”

“Alright,” she nodded slowly, “I’ll be waiting.”


Don walked up his parent’s driveway slowly before reaching the door and knocking lightly.

“Don,” Alicia his mother smiled widely allowing him to walk into the house, “What are you doing here? I didn’t expect you to come for a while.”

“Yeah, well I needed some advice and you are the only one I can really talk to right now,” Don informed her walking over to the couch and sitting down tiredly.

“You can talk to me about anything,” she began before taking a seat next to him and turning to him. “What’s bothering you honey?”

“Well, I just got my job offered back at the hospital and I don’t know if I should take it or not,” Don explained before shrugging, “What do you think I should do?”

“Do you want to go back?” she questioned seeing him shrug. “As much as I want to Don, I can’t make your own decisions in life.”

“That really doesn’t help mom,” Don sighed leaning back before closing his eyes tightly, “But somehow I don’t think that was supposed to help.”

“Why do I get the feeling that you aren’t just worried about that job offer?” Alicia questioned before tensing her eyebrows seeing him turn his head to look at her.

“Probably because you are right,” Don agreed before shaking his head slowly, “It’s Shannon.”

“Your wife?” she questioned to make sure she was right, on account of…she never met the girl before.

“Yeah,” Don nodded inhaling deeply, “I just don’t understand her sometimes.”

“My poor baby, you told her and she didn’t want anything to do with it,” she frowned shaking her head slowly, “She isn’t good enough for you if she didn’t accept that you…”

“That’s just the thing mother,” Don cut her off shaking his head slowly, “I haven’t told her yet.”

“You what?” she questioned as her eyes got wide seeing him shrug slowly.

“Ouch,” Don winced feeling her hand go across his cheek, “Somehow I knew that was coming.”

“What is wrong with you lately?” she wondered not believing the way her son had been acting lately.

“Please, let me explain before I get smacked again,” Don begged his eyes big seeing his mother lean back.

“You have five minutes, my hands will stay down,” she agreed seeing him lean forward. “You better have a good enough reason though, or else.”

“Okay,” he nodded quickly holding his hands up in the air, “I guess you can just say I haven’t had time to tell her, believe me I have tried to tell her.”

“How can you not find time for something like that?” she wondered angrily before seeing him rub the back of his tense neck.

“Well, I guess that isn’t important enough,” he sighed before feeling her slap him again as he touched his face. “I thought you said I have five minutes, that was hardly even two.”

“How could you say something like this isn’t important?” she asked seeing him shake his head.

“You didn’t let me finish,” Don shot out before calming down, “I guess you could just say she really doesn’t care if I have to tell her something important. And believe me…it’s the most important thing in my life, but how am I supposed to tell her?”

“That’s not my problem, just go to her and tell her,” she blurted out before shaking her head, “Just grab her and make her listen.”

“Easier said that done,” Don rolled his eyes before shaking his head slowly.

“Something should be said so it can be done with,” she nodded before pushing her son up, “Now I want you to go and tell her.”

“Now?” Don questioned seeing her nod as he bit down on his bottom lip. This was going to be hard.


Shannon slowly walked into Dave’s office shutting the door behind her as she walked towards his desk.

“Hey there soldier,” Shannon called out as he swung his chair around quickly.

“Shannon,” Dave smiled uneasily before taking in a deep breath, “What is it that I can do for you?”

“Well, I have many things that I need help with, but for starters,” she began as she took a seat, “How about you tell me about Cameron and his arrest?”

“I wish I could help you out, but I know probably just as much as you do,” he informed her before shaking his head slowly, “He is opening up.”

“You mean he isn’t admitting anything?” she questioned seeing him nod. “Do you believe him?”

“Of course I don’t,” Dave shot out shaking his head, “He claims he doesn’t know a thing.”

“Is anyone dealing with Cameron on this or are all of them sitting there?” she wondered as he leaned forward seeming a bit upset.

“I am doing everything I can possibly do right now,” Dave replied putting an emphasis on each of his words.

“Fine, I trust you,” she nodded before looking at the dark circles under his eyes, “What is up with you?”

“What do you mean?” he wondered leaning back in his chair as she shrugged.

“I don’t think that work could get you seeming this upset,” Shannon declared before leaning back, “So what’s wrong?”

“It’s a long story, but…let’s just say it’s Ken Ashford,” Dave answered shaking his head slowly. “It seems like all that man wants to do for me is cause trouble in my life.”

“Oh god,” Shannon rolled her eyes thinking back to Kyle, “Not you too.”

“What do you mean by that?” Dave questioned seeing her take in a deep breath. “Who else did he get to?”

“Well, let’s just say he got on my friend’s bad side,” Shannon replied before shaking her head, “And I think he may have deserved what happened to him.”

“What happened?” Dave wondered seeing her raise her brows tensely.

“You don’t know yet?” she surprisingly questioned seeing him shake his head. “He’s in the hospital, whatever he did…he got paid back.”

“He’s in the hospital,” Dave mouthed seeing her nod, “Well, I guess I will have to pay him a little visit later.”

“You probably should,” Shannon agreed before shaking her head slowly, “I’ll catch you later. If you find out anything, I expect to hear from you.”

“You’ll know as soon as possible,” Dave promised before leaning back after Shannon left. “Ken, what kind of trouble did you get yourself into now?”


Deidra finished up with Dean ready to make her rounds when she found herself consumed with another thought. Remembering the rumor she’d heard about Ken earlier in the day, she had decided to see if what she was hearing was true. Taking her break after she’d spoken with Dean, she found out that Ken was in fact a patient at the hospital and that in itself prompted a visit from her. She entered Ken’s hospital room ready to have another long talk with Ken, but before she could get a word out, she found Ken over in the corner of the room attempting to pull the IV out of his arm.

“Kenneth,” Deidra gasped making her way across the hospital room towards Ken in the hopes of stopping him from causing himself anymore pain than he already had, “What are you doing?”

“I’m getting out of here,” Ken announced gruffly not bothering to even look back and acknowledge her, “and don’t even think about stopping me.”

“Have you gone mad?” Deidra questioned bewildered by what she was witnessing. She reached out to prevent Ken from pulling the IV line out of his arm, “Stop it!”

“You already know that I’ve gone mad. That’s what the world is saying, isn’t it?” Ken snapped back at Deidra, his eyes filled with a wild, foreign expression that Deidra barely recognized, “So why do I have to stay here and listen to it when all I want is to just go home?”

“You’re not going anywhere,” Deidra ordered using her strength to push Ken back onto the bed behind him, “Ken, don’t make me restrain you because I will if I have to.”

“No you won’t,” Ken glared up at her, finding himself surprisingly caught off guard by her approach, “You don’t have it in you.”

“You’d be amazed at what I have in me these days,” Deidra remarked bluntly, “but I’d much rather talk about what it is that you have going on inside of you.”

“Oh please,” Ken rolled his eyes, “like you give a damn.”

“I do,” Deidra replied with a pained expression, “Ken you’re my friend and I want to know what’s going with you. I’m hearing all these stories about how you’ve gone off the deep end--about how you’ve gone beyond the point of no return…”

“So what,” Ken shrugged stubbornly, “What does it matter if I have?”

“Ken, we’re friends. I know that you’ve been hurting after you lost Caitlin, but why are you doing all this? Why are you set on destroying yourself like this?” Deidra questioned concerned, “Why are you pushing everyone that cares about you away? Why are you going after Dave like this? Why..?”

“Is that what this is about,” Ken let out a small chortle, “Deidra, if Dave sent you down here to give me a lecture on Carly, you can spare me the grief. I could care less what he has to say on the subject. Carly came to me willingly. She was with me because she wanted to be with me just like you did once upon a time,” Ken remarked sourly, “though you can tell Dave that he can sleep easier now that it’s over with Carly and I. He got what he wanted.”

“You and Carly,” Deidra blinked back at him clearly surprised by his words, “You and she were…?”

“You mean he didn’t tell you,” Ken let out an ironic laugh, “I would’ve thought you’d be the first person he cried to about it.”

“Dave never said anything about any of that,” she inhaled slowly trying to calm her nerves, “Ken, I heard about the fight you got into--how you and Brant are at odds again and…”

“And what?” he questioned gruffly, “You just thought that you’d come in here and tell me how I’ve gone down the wrong path? How you think I should be leading a life of righteousness because it’s what everyone expects of me?”

“No, I came here to tell you to snap out of it--whatever it is that you’re in. Ken, you can’t go around hurting those close to you. You can’t just do this to people--to your family and your friends,” Deidra shook her head at him, “Ken I want to help you.”

“Save your breath because I’m beyond redemption,” he tilted his head up towards her revealing the cuts and bruises that formed over his features. She could see the stitches in his cheek and she felt pained by the look on his face, yet beyond the words--beyond what he was telling her, she could see someone trapped inside himself--inside the demons that haunted him.

“I don’t believe that,” she replied firmly, “Ken, I don’t believe for a second that any of this is you. I don’t believe that you’ve given up on life--that you’re willing to throw it all away because you’re hurting.”

“Deidra, don’t play shrink with me,” he warned with an icy expression, “It’s not your area of expertise.”

“Maybe not, but as your friend I’m not going to stand back idly and watch you kill yourself over things you can’t change,” Deidra decided firmly. “In fact, if you don’t get back into that bed and relax, then I’ll have no choice to take action here.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Ken blinked back at her not quite sure what threat she was tossing out at him.

“It means if you don’t do exactly what you’re told for the duration of your stay here, then I’ll make a personal recommendation to put you under psychiatric watch for the next forty-eight hours,” Deidra warned him with a stern look, “And don’t think that I won’t do it Ken because you know I will.”

“Deidra, you don’t know the half of why I’m here. If you did,” Ken started not really quite sure what to say to her. He could see that she wasn’t bluffing, yet the idea of sticking around the hospital stewing over what had played out was the last thing that he wanted.

“I don’t care how you got here or how many people are on the outside wanting to do worse to you than what has already been done,” she confessed stepping in towards him, “Ken, you need help and I want to do that.”

“Deidra, you can’t…” Ken started feeling himself hit by a moment of sentimentality as she reached for his hand.

“We were the best of friends once upon a time. You were someone very special to me Ken and when I needed you in the past, you were there,” Deidra recalled poignantly, “Ken, please let me help you.”

“Deidra, I’m beyond saving. If you only knew what has happened--what I’ve done,” Ken felt his own stubbornness slipping away. He closed his eyes thinking back to his confrontation with Avery, “Deidra, it’s hopeless.”

“It’s never hopeless,” she tried to convince him, feeling her own emotions in turmoil at the shadow of a man that lay before her. Thinking back to the Ken that she’d cared so very much about, she knew that his lashing out was a desperate cry for help. She just prayed that she could find a way to help him. “Ken, please don’t fight me on this.”

“Deidra, there’s nothing you can do. The damage has already been done. There’s no going back,” he replied his throat caught up with a lump of emotion.

“I don’t want to go back--only forward,” Deidra touched the top of his head bringing her fingers through his dark hair, “Ken, I just want to help you find yourself again. I’m sure that we can come up with a way to do just that. I’ll have a friend of mine do a complete blood work up on you and we’ll see what we’re working with here.”

“A blood work up,” he opened his eyes to see her concern behind her patient eyes, “Deidra, why are you doing this?”

“Because friends don’t let friends fall apart and when I had a breakdown before, well you didn’t give up on me. I’m not giving up on you either Ken,” Deidra promised hoping that she could help find a way to save her friend from himself.


“Can we please get to your questions?” Kyle questioned angrily before seeing her pout. “I have other things I have to do today.”

“You want answers…well so do I,” Susan winked before smiling, “Anyways, they say better things come to those who are patient.”

“Cut the crap Susan,” Kyle grunted before seeing her smile, “What is it you want to know?”

“Well, where can I start,” Susan pondered before snapping her fingers, “Ah yes, I remember where I was. I was asking you about this Sarah girl. Are you two going steady?”

“What are we like in fourth grade?” Kyle rolled his eyes at her comment.

“It’s a simply question Kyle,” she maintained, “one I thought you might find quirky in it’s presentation.”

“If you are asking me if I love her,” Kyle began as he looked towards her, “I love her more that anything in this world.”

“Well Romeo,” Susan began with a deep sigh, “I would imagine since you love her so much…she has already been with you.”

“What are trying to ask me?” he wondered watching her hand squeeze his bicep roughly.

“I’m asking if she has given you the ultimate pleasure of your life,” Susan whispered seductively before outlining the muscle of his arm with her fingertips. “Has she been one of the many that has been in your bed?”

“That’s really none of your business,” Kyle laughed moving his arm away from her grasp.

“Well, then I guess we really have nothing to talk about with Jade then,” she shrugged as he closed his eyes shut tightly.

“Fine,” Kyle scowled shaking his head slowly, “No, we haven’t done anything like whatever perversions you have going on in your head. Sarah and I are in love and that‘s a concept that you‘ll never truly understand Susan.”

“Poor baby,” she frowned as she ran her fingers along his tight jaw slowly. “She can’t get you that excited can she?”

“Do you mind removing your hand away from me?” Kyle questioned as she began to pout.

“Just because your little girlfriend doesn’t want to be with you,” Susan began as Kyle cut her off.

“Susan, it isn’t all about sex,” Kyle cut her off seeing her nod slowly, “All that matters is that I love her and that’s it.”

“Yeah, but don’t you wish that someone could pleasure you just a little bit?” she questioned running her fingers along his lips gently. “You know, someone that can give you the time of your life.”

“I’m sure she will give me the time of my life when we do that,” Kyle replied with a wide smile swiping her hand away from him.

“You have to admit, there is part of you that wishes you can have some immediate pleasure,” she smiled inching her hand towards his leg slowly.

“Susan,” Kyle said her name grasping onto her hand tightly before she could touch him. “I would rather go and grab some hand lotion before I got anything from you.”

“You say that, but do you mean that?” she wondered seeing him laugh.

“Oh, I mean it Susan,” Kyle nodded slowly before shaking his head, “I don’t know what has you thinking I want something from you.”

“You do want something from me,” Susan pointed out before shrugging, “You want to know what I do know about Jade. You see you want me to do something for you, but you need to do something for me.”

“What would that be?” Kyle questioned seeing the odd look in her eyes. “If you think I am going to sleep with you…there is no chance in hell.”

“No, something smaller,” Susan smiled slowly leaning in closer to him, “Something like a kiss.”

“That’s a good one,” Kyle laughed before looking towards her, “Your being serious?”

“I am being as serious as it gets,” she answered before seeing him shake his head. “You know you want the information…this is the only way.”

“That’s it?” Kyle questioned seeing her nod as he sighed in deeply as she scooted closer to him. “Do you have to get that close to me?”

“My rules,” she whispered getting on his lap, “You know you want it.”

As she began to lean forward Kyle pushed her off him roughly as she fell to the ground and shook his head quickly.

“Hell no,” Kyle laughed shaking his head quickly, “I love Jade, but this isn’t worth it.”

“Your loss,” she smiled as he got above her leaning down slowly, “Change your mind?”

“I changed my mind alright,” Kyle smiled leaning forward before placing his hands around her neck tightly, but loose enough for her to breathe, “You are playing by my rules now.”

“A little aggressive are we?” she questioned with a laugh feeling his hands slowly get tighter.

“Listen, either you tell me what you know,” Kyle scowled before shaking his head slowly, “Or else the only thing those lips are going to be touching is six feet of dirt.”

“Fine,” she nodded slowly before trying to get out of his grasp, “The only way I will tell you is if you let me go.”

Kyle nodded before standing up slowly watching her raise to her elbows.

“Boy I love your angry side,” she laughed seeing his jaw tighten with anger, “By the way…the only thing I know is what I told you.”

“You bitch,” Kyle shot out before calming down, “You know, you’re not even worth it.”

“Miss me,” she shouted with a laugh watching him walk to the door and slam it behind him. “You’ll be mine soon Kyle.”


“I don’t mean to be doing this,” Heather sniffled pulling away from Brant’s embrace after he’d listened to her cry for over an hour. She wiped at her tear soaked cheeks before looking to him again, “I don’t mean to be putting all of this on you. You’ve already been so good to me and…”

“And what?” Brant questioned giving her a long look.

“And I know I don’t deserve any of this. After all that I put you through in the past, I couldn’t blame you if you hated me forever. I mean I realize that you have so much going on right now with Ken and even with Avery, but…” Heather started with an emphasized sniffle.

“Hey, I’ll do what I can. I know how much your son means to you, which is why I thought that maybe it was time for us to see if we could get him moved out of the hospital and into your home.”

“My home,” Heather repeated with wide eyes before another realization dawned in upon her, “Brant, I don’t have a home. I was staying at the hotel before Cameron and I got married and now…”

“Now?” he repeated watching sadness sweep in over her features.

“Now I don’t have anywhere else to go,” Heather sighed emphatically, “Kipp will see to it that Cameron and I are over and…”

“And you never belonged with Cameron in the first place. That man is a monster and he’s the last thing you need in your life,” Brant insisted cutting her off abruptly, “What about Sarah?”

“What about Sarah?” she questioned wrinkling her nose at him, “Sarah hates me. Regardless of what she’s been trying to convince you of, she loathes me and always has. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that she’s helping Kipp try to take my son away from me. Since the day Charles was born, she’s been acting like he’s her son instead of mine. It’s almost eerie.”

“I think she’s just been trying to help you Heather,” Brant added thinking about Sarah, “She’s a good person and…”

“And it’s part of her game. Brant, that’s why I didn’t tell you about her. That’s why I lied about my home life growing up. Sarah acts like she’s sugar and spice, but she’s been looking to find a way to bury me for years. Now that Kipp is trying to take my son away from me, I’m sure she’ll be in on it with him.”

“I highly doubt it,” he argued with her, a frown touching over his lips.

“Brant, you don’t know her like I do. If I even asked Sarah if I could live with her, she’d laugh in my face and do everything in her power to make sure I never saw my son again,” Heather insisted firmly, “She’s evil, but she hides it better than most.”

“While I don’t agree with you on that one, I’m not going to argue about you living with her. If you really think that Sarah isn’t interested in having you around, then I don’t think it would be good for either one of you to try to live together,” Brant decided as an afterthought.

“Which means I’m still out of a home,” Heather added with a small sigh, “and that will probably be exactly what Kipp needs to find a way to steal my son from me.”

“Heather, I’m not going to let that happen. We’ll work something out. I’m sure I can find a place to set you up in so that you will be okay during this case. I mean it’s not like I can’t afford to find you a place and you can pay me back when you’re on your feet again,” he suggested after a moment’s contemplation.

“You would do that for me?” she questioned her eyes widening.

He nodded, “Sure, I mean you said Kipp arranged for you to have part of a company you’d wanted so that might be means of your paying me back.”

“Oh Brant, that’s wonderful, but…” she stopped herself bringing her hand up to the side of her face, “I don’t know if that will work. I mean sure it would establish residence, but given how many health issues Charles is going to have, well I want to be there for him naturally, but I’m not sure I can do this all on my own. Plus with Cameron out there and with Kipp and hell, even Douglas, who is to say that they won’t try to come in and steal Charles when I’m away? I mean there’s no telling what they could do to my son. I could go to work and come home only to discover I’ll never see him again. I would just die if that happened.”

“That’s not going to happen Heather,” Brant tried to assure her, “You have to believe that.”

“I wish I could, but…” she bit on her lower lip nervously, “wait a second. I’ve got it. I think I know a way that we can keep Kipp from taking my son away…that is if you’re willing.”

“What’s that?” he asked seeing the tears building behind her eyes.

“I could stay here,” she blurted out hopefully, “I mean I’m already staying here and you promised to help with my surgery. I’ll be healing here and that way you could help me with Charles. He would be absolutely safe here because there are so many people to help out and…”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Brant shook his head at her, “I don’t think Avery’s going to go for that.”

“Surely she wouldn’t deny a mother her right to be with her son. If she was in my position, she’d want to do anything and everything in her power for her child. She wouldn’t want to turn me away knowing what I have to face. Brant please,” Heather begged of him with tears in her eyes, “This is the only option I have.”

“I just don’t know if it’s a good idea considering that…” he began to explain watching her break down into full blown tears.

“Oh I understand. You think I’m a burden--that I’ll hurt you again or cause you trouble. I see how it is. You really do hate me and you don’t want to help me after all,” she sobbed harder than before.

“Of course I want to help you Heather, but I don’t know if your staying here is such a good idea considering,” he began watching as she wailed in clear cut agony, her body trembling with each heaving sob that came from her, “Heather, please don’t cry.”

“I can’t help it,” she sniffled, tears falling from her face freely, “Brant I’m terrified. Nothing in my life has ever meant as much to me as my son does. If I lose him, I may as well die now.”

“Don’t say that,” he pleaded with her.

“But it’s true,” she cried painfully, “He’s all that I have. He’s the only man in my life that has ever given a damn about me and if I lose him…”

“You won’t lose him,” Brant reached out to her pulling her into his arms for a loose embrace, “We won’t let that happen.”

“How can we stop it once Kipp gets the advantage over me,” she questioned burying her head in his chest crying harder than before.

“He won’t have an advantage,” he assured her reaching out to touch her cheek. He lifted her eyes up to his before he let out a small breath, “You can stay here if you really think that’s going to help.”

“Really?” she questioned with wide, blue-green eyes. “Are you sure?”

He nodded, “Yeah, I’m sure. Avery would agree with me on this one. Neither one of us want to see you lose your son.”

“Oh thank you Brant. Thank you so much,” Heather threw her arms around him excitedly hugging him as if she’d never let go. “You have no idea how much this means to me.”

“Hopefully it’ll help,” Brant offered up quietly feeling her squeeze him a bit tighter.

“I know with you at my side we can accomplish anything together,” Heather announced pressing her body in against his fully as Avery entered the room seeing the exchange between Heather and her husband. While Avery wasn’t quite sure what this moment was about, she knew that given the way that Heather had her arms around Brant, it meant only one thing--trouble.


Devante stood outside Jenna’s apartment door not really sure why he’d decided to drop by and pay her a visit, but after he’d spent the night stewing over the case they’d started working on with one another, he thought that maybe she could use someone to talk to about things. He rang the bell awaiting her arrival, but much to his surprise the door opened and Hart answered instead.

“Devante?” Hart gave him a strange look. He tilted his head to give Jenna’s ex-lover a once over before he stood taller, puffing out his chest a bit, “What are you doing here?”

“Is Jenna around?” Devante questioned with a polite smile, “I was hoping to get a word in with her.”

Hart shook his head, “No, she just left a while ago. Did you need something?”

“Well actually I wanted to talk to her about something--about the case we were working on together, but if she’s not around, well…” Devante began uneasily shifting on his feet as he looked to the man who was now an integral part of Jenna’s life.

“She’s not here, but hey since you made the trip,” Hart decided after a moment’s contemplation, “Why don’t you come on inside? I’m sure she’ll be back shortly. She said she was just running up to the store for something.”

“Are you sure,” Devante questioned wearily not really knowing how to respond to Jenna’s beau.

“Of course,” Hart finally cracked a smile stepping aside to allow Devante access to the apartment, “Come on in.”

“Thanks,” Devante nodded before making his way into the apartment, “So…”

“So,” Hart repeated feeling the same uneasiness that passed over Devante’s features move in upon him. He cleared his throat after a few moments had gone by, “I take it this case is as unsettling for you as it is for Jen, huh?”

“Well, I wouldn’t say that it’s unsettling as much as it’s got me worried about Jenna,” Devante admitted with a somber expression, “Given her ties to the victim…”

“You mean her father’s ties,” Hart corrected taking note of the surprise that washed over Devante’s face upon hearing Hart’s words. Hart decided to explain, “Jenna told me about it. She was rather upset herself when she got home after being there for the autopsy.”

“I see,” Devante nodded before questioning, “then I take it you both are really close, huh?”

“I’d like to think so,” Hart added matter of fact before motioning to the kitchen, “Can I get you a drink or something?”

“No, I’m fine really,” Devante shook his head, “Look I don’t mean to be intruding, but…”

“But what?” Hart asked curiously, “You’re wondering why I’m here and Jenna isn’t?”

“No, that’s not it. She mentioned that you two were living together and I’m glad to see her so very happy. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen her look at anyone like she does at you and I think it’s good for her,” Devante added honestly, “And you know for what it’s worth, don’t let Dorothy get you going because she means well with Jenna. I know sometimes she seems next to impossible to deal with, but she’s just protective of Jenna after everything she went through in her own life.”

“I’ve noticed,” Hart replied in an attempt to size Devante up. He paused searching for the right words before asking, “Tell me something Devante. Did you come back to town because of work or because you were hoping that you’d pick up right where you left off with Jenna?”

“My you do cut to the chase, don’t you?” Devante’s eyes widened with obvious surprise.

“I’m a lawyer. It’s kind of my place to know the facts about the situation I’m getting myself into,” Hart informed him bluntly, “I love Jenna and she is very important to me. I need to know if you’re going to be a problem to what we have going here.”

“I see,” Devante nodded contemplating his own words before offering an answer, “Well for what it’s worth, I think it’s pretty safe to say that you don’t have a thing to worry about.”

“Given that you and Jenna were once involved and her mother thinks you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to her, well, forgive me if I feel like I’m walking on some shaky ground here,” Hart began wondering just how to pursue this line of questioning.

“Let me put your fears at ease Hart,” Devante suggested clearing his throat again, “I’m not interested in Jen--at least not in that way. We had our time together and our time has long since passed. We’ve both moved on and I think it’s a good bet to say that it’s not going to come full circle.”

“I suppose that’s a bit refreshing, though with your coming over here like this unannounced,” Hart started up again.

“This was more about Jenna and her father,” Devante replied suddenly very serious, “I don’t know much about the guy, but given that he’s had close ties to two murder victims in the last few months, well I had to wonder what kind of man he really is.”

“So you thought you’d come over and ask Jenna about him?” Hart questioned with a small laugh, “I think you’re barking up the wrong tree. Besides, aren’t you supposed to be a medical examiner and not a cop?”

“I’m not a cop, but let’s just say that I wanted to make sure that if this was going to touch Jenna somehow that we could find a way to spare her any grief that might be coming her way. I’ve read some tabloid stuff on her father and let’s just say it doesn’t paint a pretty picture,” Devante explained with a frown of his own.

“Yeah, well as much as I’d like to say the tabloids are off, the fact is they aren’t as much fiction as they should be,” Hart confessed matching Devante’s frown.

“That’s what I was afraid of,” Devante sighed, “which means that Jenna does have reason to worry about her father’s involvement in this case.”

“I really wish that she didn’t, but at this point, I’m not sure that could be the case,” Hart added wondering if Jenna’s father had once again gotten wrapped up in something that would break her heart all over again.


Jenna knocked on her father’s hotel room door for the fourth time finding herself just about ready to give up when she heard someone shuffle to open the door. Clearing her throat, she reminded herself to be polite, but as soon as she saw Thea on the other side of the door wearing nothing more than a robe, polite went out the window. A scowl spread over Jenna’s face as she glared at the woman before her.

“What are you doing here,” Jenna questioned with heavy emphasis.

“I take it you’re not room service after all,” Thea scowled before stepping aside with a wrinkle of her nose, “Doug, you’ve got company.”

“What?” Douglas questioned coming out of the bathroom in a matching hotel issued robe only to discover a disapproving Jenna in the doorway. “Jenna, darling, what are you doing here?”

“Realizing that my coming here in the first place was a huge mistake,” Jenna remarked sourly spinning on her heel and starting off down the hallway towards the elevators.

“Jenna wait,” Douglas pleaded with her running off after his daughter in a panic. Reaching out to grab her arm, he pulled her back towards him, “Jenna please.”

“Please what?” she glared up at him, “Pretend that seeing that doesn’t irritate me to no end.”

“Jenna, you are my daughter and I love you, but I can’t stand idly back and let you tell me who I can keep company with,” he reminded her pointedly, “That’s none of your concern.”

“It becomes my concern when people around you keep winding up dead,” Jenna glared back at him whipping the photograph she’d made a copy of from the crime scene out of her pocket, “Does she look familiar?”

“Jenna, I don’t understand what you’re…” he stopped himself taking a long look at the image before him, “Where did you get that?”

“It turned up on the beach next to a dead girl Doug,” she informed him point blank, “Why is that?”

“Jen, I…” Douglas found himself at a loss as he looked to the picture before him. He swiped it from her hand before a sigh spilled from his lips, “Was she who you…”

“She’s dead if that’s what you’re asking,” Jenna nodded in confession, “I just spent the last couple days down at the morgue trying to figure out clues to discover what son of a bitch murdered her.”

“I don’t believe this,” Douglas found himself a bit winded, “she’s too young to be dead.”

“That’s exactly what I was thinking, but then when I saw your picture in her purse, I had to wonder what was going on. First I find out you had ties to Heather Gibbons agent and now this woman. Doug, what are you getting yourself into?”

“Not what you’re thinking,” Douglas took in a long slow breath, “Jenna, we should really talk about this.”

“Fine, then talk,” she folded her arms in front of her chest firmly.

“I think it would be best if we did this in my hotel room and not out here.”

“As long as she’s in there, I’m not going anywhere near that room,” she shook her head at him, “What are you thinking sleeping with the enemy? You know how Cameron has a vendetta against you and with her, well she’s going to use whatever you give her to help Cameron.”

“It’s not like that with Thea and I. We have an understanding. We have…” he began to explain watching her throw her hands up in the air.

“I don’t care what you have because the truth to the matter is that you shouldn’t even be having it in the first place,” she snapped back at him, “You’re getting in over your head and something tells me it’s going to come back to haunt you.”

“Jen, listen to me,” he pleaded with her, “With Thea, well that has nothing to do with Rochelle.”

“Rochelle?” she repeated giving him a strange look.

“Yes, Rochelle. Rochelle Winters,” he explained with a sigh before bringing his fingers through his hair, “She’s the woman in the photo and that was taken a couple of years ago at one of my premieres.”

“And?” she glared up at him expectantly.

“And she and I were involved for a short period of time,” Douglas explained watching her face twist with disapproval, “Jenna, I’m a man of a great many tastes and Rochelle was an exquisite woman. She was dedicated, determined and ready to make her place in the world. I merely helped guide her along on that road to success.”

“And that road lead her to rotting on a beach far from the bright lights of Los Angeles, now didn’t it?” she tossed out at him flippantly.

“Look, Rochelle was special. She had a certain spark about her, but well, it came to the point where I couldn’t do much for her. She got involved with another actor. He was a bit obsessive and controlling and after that our relationship tapered off. I haven’t heard from her in over a year Jenna. You have to believe that.”

“Give me one good reason why I should,” she insisted firmly, “Give me one reason why I should believe anything that comes from your mouth.”

“Look Jenna, I don’t want to tarnish Rochelle’s name, but the truth to the matter is that I ended my relationship with her when I discovered she was using drugs beyond the point of mere recreation. This new man in her life had her constantly blitzed and it was bad for business. I fired her, cut things off and never looked back. That’s the honest truth for you.”

“And here I’m starting to believe the whole idea of honesty from you is a foreign concept,” she shook her head at him, “After everything you’ve done, I can’t believe I’m even listening to this--that I even came here.”

“It’s the truth Jenna and whether you’d like to believe it or not, I’m not involved with Rochelle anymore. I will say however that I’m sorry to hear about her untimely demise. She was a beautiful young woman with a lot of potential.”

“Potential that someone felt needed to be stolen from her,” Jenna added still eyeing him intently, “So what’s the real story? How does she tie into you?”

“You mean other than what I’ve just told you?” he questioned mildly confused.

“More specifically why did she have that photo with her in her purse and nothing else to identify her,” Jenna asked point blank.

“I don’t know. As I said it was a few years ago and…” he started to explain.

“Doug, if you’re not telling me everything, I can’t help you. The police are sure to be making an appearance here sooner or later when they put the pieces of the puzzle together and if they see you shacking up with Cameron Stone’s assistant, well they are probably going to be wondering a whole hell of a lot more than I am about your innocence in all of this.”

“Jen, I had nothing to do with what is going on. Just like I had nothing to do with what happened to William Steed,” Douglas maintained his innocence.

“Yet you did know him as well, didn’t you?” she watched his face change as guilt crept in over his features, “Didn’t you?”

He nodded, “We weren’t on civil terms with one another, but yes I knew him. We’d come into contact a few times in the past.”

“Why?” she demanded as he grew suddenly silent, “Why Douglas?”

“Because I’d learned of your brother’s fixation with that harlot and I wasn’t about to stand back and watch Kipp piss his life away on a worthless woman like Heather Gibbons. She and William Steed saw your brother as a way of making a quick fortune fast, so I stepped in and tried to put a wrench in their plans to get to Kipp,” he informed her with a tight scowl.

“How?” she asked needing to hear his version of the truth.

“I offered him two hundred thousand dollars to make Heather disappear. I told him that if he’d get her out of Kipp’s life, that I’d see to it that he spent the rest of his life living rather well.”

“But he didn’t take the money, did he?” she questioned watching him carefully.

“No, the son of a bitch wanted five million to do what I asked, plus part of the profits I made on my next studio film. I told him to go to hell and that was the end of it,” he shrugged his shoulders, “I figured as much as I wanted Heather to go away, I wasn’t about to pay five million when I could just as easily do the job myself.”

“And that’s all?” she questioned having her doubts.

“A few weeks later he reconsidered the deal and said he’d settle for half a million, but by then I’d come to town and met Heather. I found other means of dealing with the situation and I did,” Douglas’s jaw clenched with anger, “and it would’ve worked if your brother hadn’t been shot like that. Of course now none of that is relevant since he’s set on ruining his life with that woman. He’s under some ill-conceived notion that she loves him and that they should be married. Can you believe that? After all I’ve done for him, he wants to marry the little slut.”

“You’re the last person to make moral judgments on the women that Kipp is spending his time with,” she reminded him sharply, “and as for the situation you’re in, I really hope that your hands are clean on this one, because I swear to you if I find out that you’ve been lying to me--that you’re withholding evidence about this one--if you’re at all connected to Rochelle Winters or William Steed and their murders, then I won’t hesitate to help take you down myself. Are we clear?”

“Jen, I really wish that it wasn’t this way considering that…” he began desperately.

“You’re burying yourself in a world of trouble and the longer you’re with her,” Jenna motioned to the doorway where Thea now stood eavesdropping on their conversation, “the further you’re going to fall and not even your money and prestige can pull you out of it.”

“Jenna wait,” Douglas called out to her, but it was too late now that Jenna walked into the elevator refusing to look back. He watched the elevator for a long moment before turning to Thea. He started back towards the hotel room wondering if perhaps his daughter was right. Maybe he was getting in too deep. The question was how could he stop it all from blowing up in his face after all this time?


“Hey there,” Angela smiled walking over to Kevin who was stretched out on the couch, “Sit up real quick.”

“Alright,” he nodded as she sat next to him before letting him lean back and rest his head in her lap as she ran her fingers along his forehead lightly.

“You feeling alright?” she questioned as his eyes closed as she ran her fingers through his hair gently.

“Yeah,” he sighed opening his eyes up looking into her eyes, “I’m just a little worried.”

“You have the right to be,” she replied watching him breathe in deeply, “Is there anything I can do for you right now?”

“No, I will be okay,” he assured her closing his eyes feeling her fingers run through his hair again slowly. “You just being here with me is good enough.”

“Well, since you are feeling down today,” she began before breathing in deeply, “Does that mean you don’t want to go to the waterfall this time?”

“You’re kidding right?” he questioned with a laugh opening his eyes and looking at her. “And miss a day of fun with my best friend? No way.”

“I’m glad you have such a change in moods,” she laughed as he sat up quickly.

“I’ve got my bag here already and I can get ready right now,” he excitedly reminded her as he grabbed her hand in his and pulled her up to him running his hand down her arm lightly. “You always know how to make me feel better.”

“That’s what best friends are for,” she declared before seeing him nod slowly.

“Best friends,” he nodded slowly before biting on his bottom lip lightly, “Exactly.”

“Well, you should get ready,” she suggested before he leaned down kissing her cheek gently.

“Thank you for everything,” he whispered pulling her in to a gentle hug, “It means a lot for me when you are here for me. Especially now that my cousin is missing.”

“It’s no problem Kev,” she promised seeing him nod slowly before letting go of her gently.

“My bag is right over here,” he motioned to his bag before grabbing it, “I’ll go get ready.”

As Kevin opened the door he saw Nick before him smiling widely as Kevin frowned.

“Is Angela here?” Nick questioned seeing Kevin roll his eyes holding onto the door lightly.

“She is, but we were actually about to go and do something,” Kevin informed him before Angela appeared before him with a smile.

“Nonsense,” she cut him off throwing her hand in the air, “How about you come with us? We are going to a waterfall just a few minutes away. What do you say? All you have to do is go and get your bathing suit and meet us back here.”

“I say sure,” Nick nodded before looking towards Kevin who looked displeased, “I think it sounds fun.”

“Well hurry up,” Angela smiled before seeing him nod walking down the hallway as Kevin shut the door quickly.

“Angie?” Kevin questioned sounding a bit disappointed as she turned towards him.

“You didn’t mind that I offered to let him come along did you?” she questioned seeing him shake his head slowly.

“No, of course not,” Kevin faked a smile as he threw his bag over his shoulder, “I mean that’s what you want.”

“Thanks Kevin,” she smiled leaning up and kissing him quickly, “We are going to have so much fun.”

“Fun,” he laughed before nodding slowly, “Real fun.”


Dave walked up the stairs onto the sixth floor at the hospital. While he’d initially thought of taking the elevator, he had a bit of nervous energy that he needed to work off. It was bad enough that he had to deal with what was happening in Jade Alexander’s disappearance especially now that Cameron wasn’t about to budge on the truth to Jade’s whereabouts, but what made it worse was that Dave couldn’t find himself focusing on the case. He had to have a clear mind--a clear head if he hoped to get anywhere on this, yet all he could think about were those pictures of Carly and Ken together.

Sure, he’d told Carly the other night that he’d forgiven her--that he understood how things happened like they did, yet it was far from over with Dave and his former best friend. This wasn’t the first time that Ken had tried to screw with Dave’s life, but after today Dave was going to make damn certain it was the last. Walking out into the hallway where he knew Ken was staying in, Dave inhaled slowly knowing what he had to do.

Entering the hospital room, Dave found Ken laying on the bed flipping through the television stations. Just the sight of Ken made him sick as Dave tried to keep a lid on his anger. He had to keep it together, yet in watching Ken sit there so smugly enjoying this time to himself, Dave wanted nothing more than to tear him apart.

“Can’t find anything that interests you enough, huh Ken?” Dave questioned gruffly, his voice tight with emotion, “Maybe you should try your roommate’s television because I’m sure you’ll find it more satisfactory than what you have.”

Ken seemed to wince at the sound of Dave’s voice before he turned to glare at him, “What the hell are you doing here? Don’t tell me that Deidra called you down here to give me a lecture.”

“This isn’t about Deidra,” Dave replied before pondering his statement, “No, I take that back. This is about Deidra and everything else you’ve done to make my life a living hell.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Ken lied directing his attention to the television once again.

“Of course you don’t Ken because it’s so much easier to play the nice guy, when the truth is you’re every bit as evil as your father was,” Dave shot back at him, “You’re no different than all the rumors that circled around your family for decades. No I take that back. You’re a hell of a lot worse.”

“You know, if this is your idea of encouragement or a pep talk,” Ken rolled his eyes, “I think you’d probably be best suited to take it back to the police station with you. Oh wait, I forgot they don’t really want to have to deal with you there either.”

“Look Ken, maybe I’m not making myself clear, but I think now is a good time and place for me to start,” Dave stepped in beside Ken’s bed hovering in over him, “I know about you and Carly.”

“Excuse me?” Ken questioned glancing over to Dave as if he was the most irrelevant thing in the room, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Hmm, well I have plenty of pictures that say otherwise, but I came here today to tell you that you haven’t won. Regardless of what you think you had with Carly, the truth to the matter is that Carly loves me. She always has and she always will,” Dave warned him in a dark, menacing tone.

Ken laughed wildly at Dave’s words, “And here you have the nerve to pretend that I’m the delusional one. Dave, do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound right now?”

“I don’t care what you think of how I sound. I came here today to tell you to stay away from Carly. Whatever games you were playing with her, well, they’re over,” Dave snapped at him, his face a mask of sheer menace as he looked down to his former friend.

“Dave, I’m not the one who has a problem staying away from Carly. She’s the one who can’t get enough of me,” Ken smirked wickedly before licking his lips, “She knows that I’m the only one who can give her what she needs and she’d told me that time and time again when I’ve had her in my bed. She knows that you fall short when it comes to making her happy, yet I’ve been able to give her exactly what she’s needed--what she’s wanted in her life from the moment she realized what a mistake she’d been making wasting her time on you.”

“You lie!” Dave snapped back at him, “I know how you’ve manipulated her--how you manipulated Avery and after I leave here I’m going to go over to Avery and see to it that she finds a way to put you where you belong--behind bars.”

“Oh please,” Ken rolled his eyes at him, “Always trying to play the role of the saint, are you? Well I’ve got news for you Davie. Carly doesn’t want a saint. She wants a bad boy. She wants me and regardless of how you might’ve deluded yourself into believing that you can use the law to get me out of her life, the fact remains that no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, it’ll be my face she sees when you’re together. She’ll be dreaming of being with me every time she lies and tells you that she has feelings for you. Hell if my brother’s nut job wife hadn’t caused us problems earlier, Carly and I would be on the beach right now on some cozy, exotic island making love in a hammock and she’d be on the top of the world with me. The truth is that she couldn’t be happier than she is when she’s with me. You’re just a fallback because when it gets down to it, Carly pities you. That’s really all her being around you is about. She knows how pathetic you are and she doesn’t want to hurt your feelings by telling you that she loves me--and only me.”

“You’re so full of it Ken. That’s not how it is,” Dave’s voice rose with anger.

“But it is Dave. That’s how it was with Deidra and it’s no different with Carly. They both know that you simply don’t measure up,” Ken let out an ironic laugh before shaking his head, “But then again you never did.”

“You son of a…” Dave started to lunge forward in an attempt to hit Ken, but mid-movement he stopped himself.

“What’s wrong Dave?” Ken taunted him, “Not man enough to follow through with even me?”

“You’re just not worth it Ken,” Dave spat out at him with a simple shake of his head, “The sad thing is that you never were and when you wake up alone one day, you’ll find you have only yourself to blame for all of this. This world you’re living in, it’s what you created for yourself Ken. I hope you enjoy it.”

“Go to hell,” Ken snarled up at Dave before watching Dave walk out the door, “That’s right Dave. Keep running. Always a chicken even to the bitter end!”

Ken eyed the door intently expecting Dave to return, but instead he was met by the empty doorway. Shaking his head Ken tried to ignore Dave’s words. Dave had no idea what he was talking about--he couldn’t be more wrong than he was just now. Ken didn’t have to take that--didn’t have to listen to anything Dave had to say because Dave was wrong.

“He’s completely wrong,” Ken mouthed to himself thinking about Carly, “We belong together and sooner or later Carly is going to come to her senses and realize that. It’s only a matter of time.”


Carly stepped off of the hospital elevators wondering if she’d lost her mind in showing up like this. She knew that she shouldn’t be here. She shouldn’t be worried about Ken, yet she couldn’t help but remember the way he looked when she’d last seen him. Knowing that she’d only caught half of the story when she’d witnessed Ken getting the beat down from Avery’s friend Kyle, she realized that she needed to talk to him--needed to cut the loose ends before it caused her any further problems in her future with Dave.

“You can do this,” she reminded herself knowing that while she’d been a classic example of intimidation in the courtroom, that she’d have to put on the performance of her life with Ken. She’d have to show him that while she’d come over to tie up their lingering unresolved issues, that she wasn’t returning to start things up again. She’d have to let Ken see that she wasn’t effected by him. That she still didn’t feel something about him and that when she was close to him, all she wanted to do was--

“Stop it,” she instructed quietly cursing her lingering thoughts, “You came here today to set things straight with Ken. To let him know where you stood now that you and Dave are back together. You will tell him like it is and work on fixing this. You just have to go in there and do this right now.”

“You’re not going anywhere near Ken,” Deidra’s voice caught Carly off guard as Deidra walked up from behind.

“Is that right?” Carly questioned turning around to see Deidra standing behind her with that same holier than thou expression that Deidra always wore around her. Carly cut her an icy glare, “And just who are you to tell me that I can or cannot see Ken?”

“Because I know all about the trouble you’ve started with him and Dave lately and I want it to stop. You have no business harassing Ken and I’m not going to let you do it,” Deidra informed her bluntly, “You’ve done more than enough and it’s going to end--starting now.”

“Look Deidra, while I realize you are concerned about Ken, the fact to the matter is that what Ken and I have to talk about is none of your business,” Carly waved her hand in Deidra’s face, “so why don’t you just go back to work? I don‘t need your approval to pay my friend a visit.”

“You’re not getting anywhere near Ken. You’ve already caused him enough misery and I want it to stop.”

“Look Deidra, while I can see that you’re trying to play the role of the protector, this situation is quite frankly none of your business,” Carly hissed down at her, “So why don’t you just be a good girl and back off?”

“No, I’m not going to back off. I know what you’ve done to Dave and Ken and I want it to stop. I’m not going to sit back and watch you play them like you’ve been doing,” Deidra warned her icily.

“Oh like you have room to talk considering I recall a point in time when Dave told me all about how you put a wedge between him and Ken. You’re the original heartbreaker there and I really don’t think you’re in any position to judge me or to try to dictate my actions,” Carly replied sharply, “so back off Deidra.”

“No, I’m not going to back off. Ken has been through a horrible ordeal this year in losing the love of his life and it’s done things to him. Horrible things that have lead him to you,” Deidra snapped back at her, “and Dave, well he doesn’t need you to hurt him again. You did enough the last time you were in town. When you left it tore him apart, yet here you are again ready to twist the knife a little bit deeper. Come to think of it, why are you back in town?”

“That is none of your business Deidra,” Carly answered flatly, rolling her eyes at her.

“Oh it is my business when I see you single-handedly ruining the lives of two of my very best friends,” Deidra hissed in response clenching her fists at her sides.

“You’re giving me far too much credit Deidra,” Carly let out a sardonic smile before continuing to lash out at Deidra, “and as I said before what goes on between Dave, Ken and I is none of your business.”

“Well I just made it my business,” Deidra stepped forward not about to let Ken get any more hassles for the day, “You’re not going to see Ken today and if you know what’s good for you, then you’ll see to it that you stay the hell away from Dave as well.”

“Is that supposed to be some kind of threat because if it is, well I’d hate for you to have to tarnish your little halo to take me on,” Carly countered unwilling to back down to a woman she’d grown to despise over the years.

“Oh it’s not a threat. It’s a promise and…” Deidra began her tirade.

Carly rolled her eyes again before cutting Deidra off, “Promises from you mean next to nothing. Just ask Andy about that one and he’ll tell you all about how your promise to be the kind of wife he needed fell flat. It doesn’t surprise me though considering that well, you two never seemed to mesh well.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about Carly,” Deidra wiggled her finger at her angrily.

“Oh I know exactly what I’m talking about seeing as Andy told me all about how you and he split,” Carly watched surprise register behind Deidra’s eyes.

“What?” Deidra blinked back at her.

“He called me the other night and we had a chat,” Carly continued to dig the knife deeper into Deidra’s heart, “Seems he’s looking for a good divorce lawyer and he’d asked if I knew anyone who could help out with the situation. He’d mentioned that you’d run from Florida so fast that he couldn’t get all the paperwork well on it’s way like he’d hoped. And how ironic it is that as soon as Andy left you, here you are in Coral Valley ready to latch onto Dave yet again.”

“I left Andy,” Deidra hissed back at her, “I’m the one who wants the divorce.”

“Really? Then that’s why you left Florida without signing the papers, right?” Carly threw out her best disbelieving look, “Deidra, you know lying just doesn’t suit you. It’s rather pathetic actually.”

“My marriage is none of your business. Regardless of what Andy told you,” Deidra argued with her, feeling her face grow hot with anger.

“That’s exactly my point,” Carly mocked Deidra’s earlier condescending tone, “my personal life is none of your business so back off and let me do what I came here to do.”

“No,” Deidra reached out to prevent Carly from going to Ken’s room, “You’re not going to harass Ken.”

“Let go of me,” Carly warned glancing down at where Deidra held her arm.

“No,” Deidra’s fingers curled around Carly’s arm tighter, “I’m not going to let you upset Ken and so help me God even if I have to call security myself, then I’ll do it if it means sparing him the grief that comes along with being associated with you.”

“You’re making a big mistake Deidra,” Carly warned her sharply.

“I’d be making an even bigger one if I let you go in there and see Ken,” Deidra added releasing Carly with a small shove, “Now go before I call security up here.”

“You’re so going to regret that,” Carly warned wiggling her finger at Deidra before taking a step back. While she’d wanted to see Ken, she knew that now wasn’t the time. Now she was beyond furious and that would cloud everything that she’d set off to do in coming here. Making her way over to the elevators Carly threw out one last hateful look at a now gloating Deidra.

Oh this battle was far from over, Carly promised herself reaching into her purse for her cell phone. Quickly she shuffled through the incoming calls until she located the number she’d been seeking out. She dialed quickly before bringing the phone to her ear.

“Dr. Byrne’s office, how may I help you?” the perky little secretary answered in a cheerful tone.

“Yes, I’d like to speak to Dr. Byrne please,” Carly began doing her best to keep her tone smooth and polite despite the rage that was burning inside of her.

“I’m sorry, but he’s in surgery at the moment. Can I take a message?” the receptionist asked politely.

“Yes, thank you. Tell him that Carly Matthews called. I’ve thought it over and the answer is yes. I’d be more than happy to take on his case.”

“Alright, I’ll tell him,” the receptionist replied before offering a polite good-bye.

Tucking her phone back into her purse, Carly’s lips upturned in a wicked smirk before she whistled a tune to herself. So Deidra wanted to fight, huh? Well, if it was a fight Deidra was looking for, then it was now officially war she’d started.


Seeing Avery out of the corner of his eye, Brant pulled away from Heather untangling her arms from around him. His eyes widened a bit before he took a step forward, “Hey sweetheart, how did it go?”

“It went,” Avery began stopping herself mid-sentence as she glared over at Heather. While she’d made a promise to herself that she’d try to be civil with Brant’s ex-lover the fact was that Heather had more than once crossed a few too many boundaries with Avery lately. Having walked in and witnessed Heather in Brant’s arms wasn’t exactly helping the matter now that Avery found herself wanting to strangle Heather. Still she forced a polite smile, “Actually I’d really rather we talk about this in private.”

“Oh don’t mind me,” Heather waved her hand at Avery brightly, “I’m kind of like family so it’s really no big deal.”

“I’d beg to differ,” Avery wrinkled her nose at her before she focused on Brant, “So what about you? What have you been up to?”

“Well, Brant has just been the sweetest,” Heather began eagerly taking a step towards Brant, “He’s just so very wonderful and thanks to him, well now not only do I have nothing to worry about in terms of my future, but I don’t have to go real estate shopping.”

“Real estate shopping?” Avery repeated when a sudden thought occurred to her. If she’d been irritated before, well that was nothing in comparison to what she was feeling right here and now. Looking to Brant she curled her finger at him, “I’d really like to talk to you in private.”

“Of course,” Brant nodded sensing that what was to follow might become ugly judging by the expression on Avery’s face. He glanced over at Heather momentarily feeling a sudden uneasiness, “We’ll be right back.”

“But…” Heather started to protest, but it was useless as Avery pulled Brant away. From the looks of things Avery was going to be a problem. A major one. That thought in itself had Heather ready to scream. She could only imagine what Brant’s needy, clinging little wife would spout off about in the hopes of getting Brant to throw her out, but it wasn’t going to happen.

“Avery’s not going to get rid of me that easily,” Heather declared marching forward ready to locate the dueling newlyweds and add her input on the situation. She approached the archway to the door ready to take off after Brant, but instead she was met by Augustus and his highly disapproving stare.

“You never change do you Heather?” Augustus questioned in a firm, warning tone. While he’d just made that particular inquiry, Heather could see that it was only going to get worse if she didn’t find a way to weasel out of the situation that now presented itself.

“Augustus, always good to see you, now if you’ll excuse me,” Heather started to brush past him only to feel his fingers press in over her arm to still her movements.

“Not so fast,” Augustus pulled her back into the room, “because I think it’s long past time that you and I had a talk Heather once and for all.”


“So you all do this every week, huh?” Nick questioned from the passenger side of Angela’s Jeep as she drove across the island terrain.

“Pretty much,” she nodded keeping her eyes on the makeshift road ahead of her. “I can’t remember a time when we didn’t do this here.”

“And it’s always been fun,” Kevin added leaning forward from the backseat, “except, well, we’ve never had to deal with your being here before.”

“Kevin,” Angela chastised giving him a look from behind her rearview mirror.

“I’m just saying,” Kevin threw his hands up in the air with a small shrug before sinking back into the backseat of her Jeep, “Besides, I mean really Nick is a rookie and all and I don’t think he’ll be able to truly enjoy or appreciate all that The Cove has to offer.”

“The Cove?” Nick repeated glancing over his shoulder to look at Kevin, “What’s that all about?”

“Well it’s…” Kevin started with a smug expression.

“It’s nothing,” Angela replied cutting Kevin off, “It’s just a place near this waterfall where these testosterone junkies try to prove who has the bigger set of cajones and they decide they’re going to act like idiots to see who is more of a man.”

“Oh Angie, you know there’s more to it than that,” Kevin shook his head at her disapprovingly, “Angie’s just trying to downplay it. It’s more of an initiation right of passage if you will. Anyone who plans on sticking around on the island is encouraged to participate and…”

“And that’s why I get so many idiots in my exam room because they don’t use their head,” Angela rebuffed with a shake of her head, “They’re all brain-dead if you ask me.”

“Hey, I do it every week,” Kevin objected with a frown.

“Exactly my point,” she rolled her eyes before looking to Nick, “While Kevin might try to seduce you with his tall tales of jumping from the rocks over the waterfall down to the water below, it’s just plain stupid. Besides, I have something else I’d like to show you today.”

Kevin tensed up immediately not liking the idea of Nick and Angela being alone. He leaned forward ready to interject with his own promise of temptation, “Oh come on Angie. Any man who is really a man knows he can’t not take the dive.”

“Kevin, Nick doesn’t want to take the dive. He and I are going to have a picnic and…” Angela started firmly, casting a glance at him in the mirror again.

“What is he chicken?” Kevin taunted with a wiggle of his brow, “Is that what it is?”

“No, I’m not chicken,” Nick replied turning in his seat to face Kevin, “Quite the opposite in fact. It sounds like fun.”

“Nick no,” Angela argued with him, “it’s not fun at all. Kevin’s just being an idiot.”

“I am not. Angie, hey if he wants to be included, well who am I to argue? You’re always telling me that I should try to get to know Nick better, so now is my chance,” Kevin tossed her words back at her, “I think it’ll be great if Nick goes with me on the dive.”

“Well I don’t,” Angela piped in with an angry scowl before looking to Nick, “It’s a bad idea considering that well, given what happened in the kitchen earlier.”

“Angela I’m fine,” Nick waved his hand dismissively at her, “It was a one time deal.”

“Yes, but it worried me enough to have you come in for tests,” she reminded Nick with a frown.

“Yes, I realize that, but as you said yourself everything checked out. I’m fine. I’m sure it was me just hitting my head there like you thought,” Nick waved again.

“Which is all the more reason that you shouldn’t be diving around near the rocks like that. Kevin’s just yanking your chain about everyone doing it. He grew up in Hawaii so you know he’s accustomed to being out in the water like that, but with you…”

“With me what? You don’t think I can handle it?” Nick questioned curiously.

“Oh I know he can Angie. Besides you know I wouldn’t let anything happen to him,” Kevin started pleadingly as Angela pulled her Jeep over near the beach area over by where a few other cars were parked.

“Kevin, it’s not a good idea,” Angela pulled the keys out of the ignition to face him, “I don’t want Nick out there doing stupid things when…”

“He’s going to be fine. Would I let anything happen to him?” Kevin grinned down at her unconvincingly before pulling his body out of the back of the open top of the Jeep. Standing beside the Jeep, he pulled his shirt over his head before looking to Nick, “You coming?”

“Sure, why not,” Nick shrugged getting out of the car along side of him. He winked over at Angela before pulling off his own shirt. Leaning in to hand it to her, Nick placed a quick kiss on her cheek, “It’ll be okay.”

“Nick, I really don’t think that you should be…” Angela started to protest hearing Kevin beckon Nick once again.

“Come on Nick, they are waiting for us,” Kevin motioned to the men who were standing on top of the rocks near the grand waterfall about a hundred yards before them.

“I’ve gotta go,” Nick flashed Angela a sexy, sideways smile, “Wish me luck.”

“Nick, I wish you wouldn’t do it. Really I have a picnic basket pulled together and,” Angela tried to talk him out of it, but instead she felt the pull of his face towards hers. His lips brushed up against hers in a quick, tentative sweep before he pulled away from her.

“I promise you we’ll have a romantic lunch with one another when I get back. Wish me luck,” he flashed her one last sexy smile before chasing off after Kevin.

“I have a feeling you’re going to need it,” Angela frowned hoping that Kevin wasn’t about to get Nick in over his head. Turning her eyes to the waterfall in front of her, Angela found herself overcome with a sinking feeling that things weren’t going to turn out nearly as good as Kevin had convinced them that they would be. Something told her that she had reason to worry--plenty of reason.


After Shannon had just left Dave’s office she began to walk down the hallway. She paused feeling someone’s hand on her shoulder as she swung around to see Don before her.

“Don, what are you doing here?” she questioned as he looked down rubbing his hands together quickly.

“Someone told me I would find you here,” Don replied before looking up at her.

“Well, I’m working,” she reminded him as he nodded grabbing her hand and pulling her into a room that no one was in. “What do you want?”

“Listen, I don’t care what you are doing…I really have to talk to you,” he informed her as he shut the door behind him.

“Listen Don, I really have to work,” she replied as he leaned forward grabbing her in his arms and putting his finger in front of her mouth gently.

“I don’t really care what you are doing right now,” he shot back before shaking his head slowly, “Work can be put on hold right now because this is way too important.”

Shannon’s throat became dry looking at the expression on his face. He never looked like this before, something had to be wrong. But what was it?

“I need to tell you what I have been trying to tell you for a while and whether you want to hear it or not…you are going to,” Don informed her before taking in a deep breath. “This is too important.”


...to be continued...