Episode 202

“Thanks for everything Diego,” Cori smiled as they walked slowly down the street.

“It was fun to be with my old buddy,” Diego nudged her in the shoulder lightly before shrugging, “I missed you…I’m glad you are back.”

“I’m glad to be back,” she nodded slowly before stopping in front of the building.

“This your place?” Diego questioned seeing her nod slowly. “It’s pretty nice.”

“That’s because it is a hotel,” she giggled as he laughed, “I think you completely missed that there. You up for a drink or something…I can make you one if you would like.”

“I should probably be going back to work,” Diego sighed before shaking his head slowly, “But I can give you a rain check.”

“That’s cool,” she agreed before shrugging, “I will just go up and watch some television or something.”

“You know, I think work could wait a little bit longer,” Diego replied before taking in a deep breath, “I would love to have a drink.”

“What? I thought you needed to go back,” she reminded him of what he had just said earlier.

“Forget about needing for them, I want to be with you a little bit longer,” Diego frowned before following her through the lobby and into the elevator.

“I am going to be here a long time,” she replied winking at him, “You are probably going to be so tired of me soon.”

“I doubt it,” he denied her answer before looking over at her; “I missed you too much.”

“I missed you too,” she informed him before leaning back against the wall. “I missed everyone. Sometimes work got a little too tough for me.”

“I understand what you mean,” Diego agreed thinking about all the crazy things he encountered with his work. “Sometimes work gets a little too crazy.”

“Isn’t that the truth,” Cori laughed as the elevator beeped and the doors opened as she began walking towards the door. “Would you like some coffee or tea?”

“Coffee it is,” he smiled before shaking his head as she led him into the hotel room. “Wait no, tea.”

“Well which is it?” Cori wondered with a laugh seeing him grin as she leaned against the wall.

“Coffee is great,” he made one last choice as she began walking towards the kitchen. “Wait.”

“Which is it?” Cori asked seeing him shrug. “How about I surprise you or something? If I don’t…I don’t think I will ever be leaving this room.”

“Alright,” he agreed before taking a seat on the couch. Work didn’t matter right now, he was with his friend and he deserved some time to just have fun.


“What did you just say?” Dave’s jaw practically dropped at Carly’s words.

“I came back to town to try to patch things up with you, but once I realized where Kayla would factor into the situation, I knew that it was hopeless. I felt like I had no choice, but to find a way to save her father when I saw him destroying himself so that’s why I did what I did,” she revealed taking a step back, “Dave, I never meant for what happened that night before I left to happen, but the fact is that it did and I can’t change it.”

“Are you saying that you and Ken had…” Dave found himself at a loss, trying to deal with the bombshell that she’d dropped upon him.

She nodded, “Neither one of us were looking for anything long term that night. We were just two lonely people comforting one another only while he got to move on with his life out of the deal, I wound up being a mother.”

“Why didn’t you…” Dave blinked back at her, “Why didn’t you say anything sooner?”

“Because I knew you’d hate me for what I did to you,” Carly replied honestly, feeling her heart sink, “And I couldn’t bear the thought of you looking at me like you’re looking at me right now. I couldn’t deal with your hating me…”

“But why…” Dave found himself at a loss, “How could you…”

“Dave, I didn’t plan on it, but when it happened, well it changed my life,” she paused feeling a small smile spread over her features at the thought of her daughter, “Kayla’s changed my life and even knowing how much hurt her being a part of this world has put upon everyone, the truth to the matter is that she’s everything to me Dave. From the moment I learned that I was having her, I focused everything around her--around making her happy…”

“Yet you didn’t even think to tell anyone about her? About the fact that you and Ken had a child with one another?” he questioned looking onto her as if a stranger stood before him.

She shook her head, “When I came back I knew that I needed to tell the truth about what happened, but when I saw you again, I found myself lost in all those old feelings between us. I wanted to take back those four years and erase everything that happened after I walked out that door. Dave, I wished like hell that we could pick up where we left off, but deep down I knew we couldn’t. When you and I found ourselves at odds with one another, I rationalized that it must’ve been fate pulling me to Ken again. I learned about Caitlin--about her death and he and I found our way together again. I thought that if he knew about Kayla--that maybe just maybe it would help him turn his life around. I thought that if he and I could come together, that Kayla could have a real family and…”

“And you told him about Kayla?” he watched her face sink. She looked to the floor before shaking her head.

“No,” she confessed shamefully, “I wanted to, but then when I learned about what he was doing--when I saw that he’d used me to hurt you, well I couldn’t bring myself to give him that kind of power over me. I couldn’t risk losing my little girl to a madman who clearly was out to destroy the world around him.”

“So you never told him,” Dave took a step forward watching her very closely.

“Would you have told him if you were me?” she asked finally facing him again. Her eyes were filled with concern and fears that only a mother could hold in this particular situation.

Dave remained silent for a long moment before shaking his head, “No, I can’t say I would’ve. Ken’s out for revenge and anyone who gets close to him is bound to be destroyed.”

“Which is why I can’t risk letting him know about Kayla. I thought for a while there that maybe just maybe he’d come around--that I was helping him find himself again and I was going to tell him, but then when I learned about what he did to Avery…” she felt a sigh spill over her lips. Bringing her hand up through her dark hair, she found herself at a loss, “I just couldn’t do it.”

“And now?” he watched her closely.

“Now I don’t know what I’m going to do, but given that I’m out of a job and out of luck with everything else that mattered in my life, well I think it’s time for me to pack it up and go back to New York--back to Kayla,” Carly replied with a shrug, “I mean it’s the only thing that makes sense at a time like this.”

“No,” Dave shook his head reaching out to touch her arm gently, “That doesn’t make sense at all.”

“Nothing else seems right at this point,” she confessed turning her eyes up towards him to reveal the weight her secret had carried over her through the years.

“Carly, who else knows about Kayla,” Dave questioned unable to refrain from wanting to erase that pain behind her eyes. Instinctively he reached out to touch her cheek gently, “Who have you told about her?”

“My mother’s been helping me take care of her,” she replied seeing the look that pressed over his features, “but if you’re asking me who I’ve told about her paternity, the truth is that you’re the only one in the world who knows the truth. I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone else about how Kayla came into this world.”

“So you’re saying that no one else knows that Ken is her father,” he repeated trying to get his facts straight.

“No, not a soul,” she shook her head at him, “and maybe that’s a blessing in disguise because if Ken learned the truth, given his mental state, there’s no telling what could happen to Kayla.”

“Yes, but there’s always a chance that something could happen in the future. When Kayla starts asking about her father, what are you going to tell her?” Dave asked gently, bringing his hand out over her face in a tender motion surprising Carly.

“I…well, she hasn’t asked at this point. She’s still so young and I guess while it’s come up maybe a few times, she knows that we have a special family,” Carly replied finding herself leaning into his touch.

“And you’re sure that Ken…that he’s Kayla’s father,” Dave questioned watching her eyes very closely.

“Given what happened with Ken and I, well I’m pretty sure that…” she began thinking back to the moment she’d discovered she was pregnant all those years ago.

“You and I were pretty hot and heavy for a while,” Dave pointed out with a half-hearted smile, “We shared something pretty special.”

“We did, but…” she trailed off turning her eyes to the floor again, “given the way my luck went back then, I’m pretty sure that…”

“That what?” Dave questioned a moment of hope spreading through him, “Tell me about her.”

“About Kayla?” she asked looking up to see the expression on his face.

“What was she like? What does she enjoy doing,” he questioned further. “Does she have your eyes? Does she look like Ken…or…me?”

“You,” she repeated sensing where he was headed with this one, “Dave, I know we both would like to believe that Kayla was ours, but…”

“But what?” he asked curiously, “Have you run a DNA test to put me out of the running here as Kayla’s father? I mean you’re obviously so convinced that she’s Ken’s daughter here, but you’re going on a hunch from the sound of things…”

“Dave, you and I both know that when you and I were together we took precautions to ensure that something like this didn’t happen. When Ken and I were together, well, we were both really drunk and I really don’t remember much more than…” she shook the thought, “It’s not important. What is important is that I do what’s best for Kayla. I need to go back to New York and…”

“I want to meet her…to see her Carly,” he pleaded with her reaching out to touch her shoulder, “If there’s a chance that she could be…”

“Dave, I know that she’s not,” she tried to reason with him.

“Yet you said yourself that you haven’t done a DNA test. I mean that’s what you’ve been hinting at over and over again, yes?” he questioned bluntly.

“Dave I,” she started shaking the thought before moving away from him. She walked over to where her purse lay on the table top. Opening it up, she pulled out her wallet and withdrew the image of Kayla she’d always carried with her. Turning around to face him again, she held it out to him.

Dave’s eyes scanned the image before him, seeing the delicate little girl in the photo and his heart immediately melted. Stepping forward, he reached for the image, seeing so much life and joy behind Kayla’s dark eyes. Her smile could light up a room as easily as her mother’s could and as he took his first look at Carly’s daughter, he saw nothing of Ken in her and everything Carly. He lifted his gaze to her again, unable to hold back his thoughts.

“She doesn’t look like Ken,” Dave argued with her, “In fact, in this dress, she reminds me of Cori when she was younger. I mean yes Cori is blonde, but Kayla has the same dimples and…”

“Dave, I’m telling you that…” she attempted to reach for the picture.

“What’s her blood type?” Dave pulled the image away from her. He saw her hesitance, but he held the photo back refusing to accept her silence, “What’s her blood type Carly?”

“A positive, but that doesn’t prove anything. I already did the math and I know that you and Ken are both A positive there,” Carly beat him to the chase.

“Okay so knowing that, what is there that proves Ken is her father?” Dave demanded with a firm, impatient expression.

“Dave, I just know,” Carly tried to reason with him, “Given all the signs that were there…”

“What signs?” he asked again.

“There were just signs that…” she threw her hands up in the air, “Dave, you have to trust me on this.”

“Given everything that’s happened in this town lately,” he shook his head at her, “No, I’m not going to trust you on this one Carly. I’m sorry, but while you might be convinced that this beautiful little girl is Ken’s unless you hand me DNA evidence that she’s his daughter, then I’m not going to sit back and let you lead her to believe that.”

“Dave, I already told you that,” Carly started a bit shaken by his words. Up until this moment in time, she never even considered Dave as Kayla’s father. Okay, so maybe she had every now and then in the early days, but when she looked at Kayla she saw so much of Ken in her. Sure maybe Dave didn’t see it, but Carly could feel it in Kayla’s spunk--in the way she did things. There was something so very Ken about her and even Carly’s mother had argued that Kayla couldn’t possibly be Dave’s daughter. Carly hadn’t bothered to argue or offer information other than that she was going to raise Kayla on her own and leave it at that. Eventually her mother had given up on the questions, but now, well now Carly could see that Dave had a whole set of them.

“Carly, I’m not going to let you go back to New York without giving me a chance to see Kayla--to meet her in person,” Dave decided having had enough of playing second fiddle in everyone’s lives. Up until now he’d been the nice guy--been the most understanding man possible, but after his pep talk with Cori about reclaiming his life, Dave finally knew what he had to do. He looked to the photo in hand and took in a long, slow breath, “Carly if you’re going to New York, then you’re taking me with you.”

“Dave, I don’t want you to get your hopes up for something that won’t be what you think it is,” Carly started to argue with him, “Kayla’s very important to me and if we go back to New York with her thinking that you could be her father, only for you to find out what I feel is true about your not being hers, then it’s only going to disappoint the both of you. You’re going to look at her the same way you’re looking at me now and then…”

“Carly, I just have this feeling,” Dave pleaded with her, reaching for her hand, “The fact that you haven’t done a DNA test on her tells me that you have the feeling too. She could be our daughter--our little girl.”

“And when we see that she’s not, then what?” Carly tossed back at him, “Then what are you going to do?”

“We’ll deal with that step if and when it approaches, but right now, well right now there’s nothing more that I want to do in this world than meet Kayla,” he looked to the picture again seeing so much of Cori in her, “Please Carly, don’t take this away from me.”

“Dave, you should know by now that I wouldn’t deny you anything, but I just don’t want you to start to believe when I really feel that…” she started only to feel him press his index finger over her lips to silence her.

“Just indulge me on this one. Please, let me see her,” he begged of her watching her nod as he hoped that this time things would actually find a way of working themselves out for him. He’d already loved and lost time and time again, but if there was a chance that this little girl could be his, you could bet that he’d fight to the end to have her in his life. He wouldn’t let Ken take that away from him too.


Deidra knocked on Dean’s office door hoping to catch him in a free moment after she’d had her first glimpse at Ken’s blood test results. She’d gone to his hospital room in the hopes of getting another sample just to confirm what she’d thought she’d seen, but much to her dismay she realized that he’d signed himself out of the hospital. Now however Deidra wanted to find a way to confirm what it was that she was seeing before her. Knocking once more, she heard Dean call out for her to come inside.

“Hey there,” she greeted him with a bright smile, “I was hoping I’d catch you in.”

“You just caught me,” Dean confessed leaning back in his chair, “I’m scheduled down in the OR in about half an hour, but for you, well surgery can wait. Come on in.”

“I don’t mean to bother you, but I wanted you to offer up a consultation for me if you could,” she admitted carefully closing the door behind her to give them some privacy.

“What kind of consultation,” he asked watching the way her face seemed to darken with each step she took towards him.

“Let’s just say I’m doing a favor for a friend of mine. I think he’s in trouble Dean and something doesn’t feel right,” Deidra confessed presenting him with the lab results, “I ran a complete blood panel on him and this is what came back.”

“Let’s see,” Dean replied taking a look at what she was sharing with him. His eyes widened as he read over the results. Lifting his eyes again he glanced at Deidra with obvious surprise and confusion, “What kind of trouble is this friend of yours in?”

“I’m not sure, but obviously I wasn’t jumping the gun in thinking that wasn’t right,” Deidra added moving in closer to him.

“Not unless he’s an addict of some sorts,” Dean shook his head before holding the results out to her again, “which I’m assuming he’s not based on the expression on your face.”

“No, he’s not an addict at all. Sure, maybe he’s had some periods of alcoholism lately, but with those levels you’re seeing there,” she felt a shiver race through her, “Dean, that’s not like him at all.”

“Do you think he’s using something?” he motioned to the papers before him once again, “because those levels are off the charts. With the percentages that you’re showing me there, it would be enough to knock down an elephant.”

“I know,” she replied with a frown taking a seat on the edge of his desk, “which lead me to believe that maybe the lab was off, but then something about his behavior lately, well, he’s been reckless, violent and he’s had these outbursts.”

“Classic signs of drug abuse,” Dean reminded her pointedly.

“I know, but it’s not his style. Life hasn’t been easy for him and I realize that, but he’s turning against anyone and everyone who cares about him. Yes, I know that you’re going to tell me that it’s another sign of a classic addict, but before you try to convince me that is what’s happening to my friend, I need to explain a few things to you. I know this is going to sound crazy, but I don’t think he would willingly do this to himself.”

“Deidra, sometimes when people fall off the wagon, they keep finding new ways to slip out of reality. First it’s something like alcohol and then the demons push them further and further towards the edge. They begin to cling to ways to break away from the world around them and it evolves. What begins as something they think they can control, well it sparks into something worse--something much darker.”

“I realize that, but Dean just look at this,” Deidra offered up Ken’s previous medical charts when he’d been brought in around the time of Caitlin’s death, “As you can see things have escalated. Yes, the levels are high now, but look back to here.”

“I can see that Deidra, but…” Dean stopped himself sensing the importance of this particular case to her, “Okay, I’ll bite. What do you want me to do?”

“For starters I want you to help me get another work up on him. I know this sounds crazy, but after you hear the whole story and you see what I’m seeing, you might get a feel for where I’m coming from on this,” she confessed with a pained sigh.

“This means a lot to you, doesn’t it?” Dean questioned rising from his chair to reach out to her.

She nodded, “He’s one of my best friends and I don’t want to see him fall under especially if there’s something we can do to help him.”

Dean checked the time again before reaching out to pull her into his arms, “Okay, then you tell me what it is you’d like me to do and you can consider it done. I’ll help you with this.”

“Really?” she couldn’t help but smile as he pulled her in closer to him.

“Of course I will,” he cupped her face in his hands, “Your friend must be very special for you to care about him like you do.”

“He is and I just don’t want to see his life fall apart. If he’s truly fallen to an addiction, then I’ll try to help him fight it, but if it’s something else--if it’s even close to what I’m afraid it could be…”

“We’ll find a way to help him,” Dean tried to assure her as Deidra feared for Ken’s future. While she knew he’d done a lot of horrible, disgusting things lately, she was convinced that there was more to the story than Ken himself knew at this point and one way or another she vowed to get to the bottom of the situation.


“So this is really your place huh?” Michelle questioned stepping into the grand foyer of the Ashford mansion. She looked to Ken again remembering what he’d said in the bar. When he’d told her he was rich, she was half expecting it to be some kind of come on line, but given that he was kind of cute and she was beyond bored at work, she took him up on his offer. Now however, she was glad that she did. He wasn’t at all exaggerating about the money he had at his disposal if this place was really his.

“Yes, it’s really mine,” he nodded reaching out to pull her in close to him. His nose nuzzled the side of her neck in a sensual movement, “You like?”

“I do,” Michelle licked her lips feeling eagerness soar throughout her body. She tilted her head back a bit before grinning at him widely. Sliding her arms around his shoulders she put on her best sultry expression, “So what did you have in mind for us tonight sugar?”

“How about a drink?” Ken suggested stepping away from her and motioning for her to follow, “Interested?”

“I’m always interested when I’m in a place like this,” she nodded enthusiastically before surveying the place around her. She was sure starting to like this guy more and more by the moment. Following him into a library of sorts, she eyed the books on the wall with obvious interest. “Are these for real?”

“What?” he questioned spinning around to see her fingering the spines of the books before her.

“This is a first edition,” she noted pulling one of the hard cover novels from the shelf. She wiggled it in her hand before glancing over at him once again, “Do you have any idea how much this is worth?”

“You like it,” he replied with a casual shrug, “Take it if you like.”

“Just like that,” she gave him a long look.

“Sure, why not,” he shrugged again, “It’s yours.”

“Thanks,” she set the book down before looking around the room. The decorations were clearly older than the things she’d seen in the rest of the house thus far, yet these surroundings felt far more expensive. Turning to watch him again, she smiled wider, “So Ken, tell me what is a handsome, good-humored, rich and appealing guy like you doing all alone tonight?”

“You could say no one around here appreciates all my finer points like I know you can,” he returned to her with two glasses in hand, “I kept this bottle stashed away for a special night.”

“Thank you,” she sipped the champagne appreciating the way it seemed to dance down her throat at the first sip. She tilted her head to look up at him once again, “So Ken, what’s on your mind? What would you like to do with me now that you’ve got me home?”

His eyes roamed over her hungrily, “Oh there are plenty of things I’d like to do with you Michelle.”

“Hmm, well since you put it that way,” she took another drink of her champagne before setting it on the desk top, “why don’t we work on putting something together? I mean it would be a pity to waste the time we have together, wouldn’t it?”

“Indeed it would,” he nodded feeling her fingers fan out over his shoulders, down over his arms. She tipped up on her toes to kiss him greedily before her palms flattened out over his chest. With a small shove, she sent him backwards catching him off guard with the movement. She reached out to steal his glass of champagne from his hand, “Careful. You don’t want to spill this.”

“No I wouldn’t,” he nodded in confession watching her lift the glass to her lips before she motioned to him again.

“Sit down,” she suggested sipping from his glass once again, “you should probably get comfortable because I can promise you it’s going to be a long night.”

“Something tells me that I’m going to like the sound of that,” Ken mused with a half grin watching her stand before him. She finished off the glass of champagne before holding it out to him again.

“I hope you don’t mind that I finished yours,” she batted her dark eyelashes at him.

“Not at all,” he shook his head. “I can get you some more--hell, I can get more for the both of us.”

“Not just yet,” Michelle shoved him back onto the couch once again before dropping down on her knees before him. She leaned forward placing her fingers over the center of his belt. With a sultry expression she unhooked his belt, guiding her fingers in over the center of his pants, “What do you say we get better acquainted and then you can show me the treasures you spoke of before?”

“Treasures,” he repeated in a slow gulp feeling his temperature rising as she continued to peel him out of his slacks. Within a matter of seconds he felt his pulse racing, his mind wild with possibilities when Michelle leaned in ready to give him the prelude to a night of pleasure.

“Michelle, wait,” Ken stopped her just before she could finish what she’d started. He felt her hesitate before he reached out to touch her hair gently, “Maybe we should…”

“Should what?” she questioned pulling her head back to reveal a pair of familiar eyes before him. Ken blinked a few times finding himself in a state of disbelief. He knew full well what he was seeing couldn’t be. He couldn’t be this close to her, when she was dead. Still he blinked again and again and all he could see was Caitlin before him.

“Relax Ken,” she promised sliding her hands out over his thighs warmly, “I’m going to give you a night you’ll never forget. It’s destiny baby.”

“Destiny,” he repeated giving in to the illusion that presented itself to him. He threaded his fingers through her hair offering himself to her while he kept the vision of the woman he loved in the back of his mind. If he couldn’t have Caitlin, then he’d find a way to keep her alive even if it meant giving in to the insanity that surrounded him here and now with Michelle. Anything to forget…


“So how is work today?” Ben asked Diane hearing her take in a deep breath. He had just called her seeing that it was almost the end of the day and he really didn’t have anything else to do.

“I don’t know about you, but my work is unfair,” Diane sighed in disgust thinking of her day of work. “We are all here working our butt off and Brant is away having himself a little fiesta.”

“I’m sure he has a pretty good reason why he isn’t there right now,” Ben replied thinking of how some things must be really hard for him, “I mean the guy needs a break once in a while.”

“And so do we,” she shot back before taking in a deep breath, “I’m sorry…I don’t mean to yell at you. I am just so exhausted and I just don’t know what I am really doing.”

“I understand,” Ben cut her off before breathing in heavily, “I have been there before. Work is sometimes really hard.”

“You can say that again,” she laughed before hearing a knock on the door. “I will be right back…someone is at the door.”

“I’ll wait,” Ben declared with a laugh as she set down the phone and walked to the door.

“Flower delivery,” a man smiled widely as he handed them to her quickly, “Now if you would sign…”

“Well who are they for?” Diane questioned as the guy looked down at his clipboard.

“Your Diane Stevens right?” the man asked before seeing her nod. “Then these flowers are addressed to you.”

“Who are they from?” Diane questioned seeing the man shrug as she smelled the strong fragrance from the flowers.

“I don’t know…all I know is that someone buys the flowers and writes the card,” the guy informed her with a little giggle, “And I am the delivery boy. So if you would…please sign here.”

“Okay,” Diane nodded signing the paper before looking up at the man.

“Thank you,” the man waved before turning around and she shut the door behind her.

“I wonder who they are from,” she smiled searching through the flowers before looking at the phone and thinking of Ben, “I can’t believe you would do something like this.”

She searched the flowers until she finally found the card and she smiled opening it slowly.

“What the?” she questioned to herself looking at the writing before her. It wasn’t Ben’s; in fact it was JT’s.

She took the card, crumpling it up in her hand before dropping it in the waist basket along with the flowers.

“You think some stupid cheesy poem is going to make me like you?” she questioned to herself wishing JT could hear her right now. “Fat chance.”

She rolled her eyes before picking her phone back up to hear Ben whistling a tune to himself.

“You obviously have a lot of free time,” she smiled as he stopped whistling.

“I was just waiting for you,” he laughed before sitting up straight in his seat. “So who was that?”

“It was just one of the workers asking me for a little bit of help,” she informed him before taking in a deep breath, “Nothing to really worry about.”

“I would never worry about you, I love you too much to even think anything could go wrong with me and you,” Ben informed her sounding sincere in the most way.

“I feel the same way,” she replied feeling a bit uneasy as she looked towards the garbage that was now full of flowers. This had to end and this had to end now.

“So what do you say we go to dinner or something?” Ben questioned catching her attention.

“I’d love that,” she agreed before her eyes traveled back to the trash. She had to hide this from Ben, she just had to.


“Hello?” JT answered his phone after wiping the back of his hand across his forehead.

“Hey JT…its Valerie,” Valerie’s bubbly voice came over the receiver as he rolled his eyes.

“I wouldn’t have guessed,” he replied before taking a sip of his water. “What can I do for you Valerie?”

“I was just calling to tell you that I can be coming back to Coral Valley soon,” Valerie informed him as he rolled his eyes taking a seat.

“Sweetheart, what I don’t think you realize is that you already kind of screwed up,” JT pointed out to her before starting up again so she couldn’t answer back. “Let me tell you what I mean before I have to hear that annoying whine.”

“That’s not funny,” Valerie shot back hearing JT take in a deep breath.

“I wasn’t trying to be funny,” he growled before getting back on the point. “Valerie, Seth’s sister is missing and this would have been the best time to try and get to him.”

“What do you mean by that?” she questioned as he rolled his eyes in disbelief questioning to himself why he put up with someone this dumb.

“I mean he is vulnerable right now,” JT answered before shaking his head slowly. “The faster you get to him…the more of a chance you have to actually try and talk to him. Make him feel comfortable around you.”

“You really think that would happen?” she wondered as he stood up from his couch.

“I don’t know at this point,” he shrugged to himself as Valerie looked down at her watch.

“I will be back on the first plane to Coral Valley,” she quickly got out before pacing back and forth between the room she was in, “While I am flying, try and think of a plan we can do when I get there.”

“Will do,” he faked a smile to himself before hanging up the phone and lying back down on the couch.

She may have not had time to be with Seth…she probably just screwed herself, but he was truly getting somewhere with Diane. He knew it.


“Seth?” Blake questioned stepping out of the kitchen to discover the lights were out all around her. While she’d promised she’d take a short while in the kitchen cleaning things up, she’d gotten another call about the wedding and it had kept her from returning to Seth as promised. It seemed that this day was only getting worse by the moment as each little reminder of what wasn’t going to happen for her and Seth rocked her world. Still she resolved not to be selfish about the situation at hand. Jade’s return should be top priority, yet inside she felt her heart breaking as her wedding felt more and more out of her reach.

“Stop it Blake,” she instructed herself refusing to buckle to sadness. She knew what was important--what mattered and she wasn’t about to lose sight of that. Of course in this darkness that surrounded her, she realized it was hard to keep sight of anything at all. She brought her hands out, moving them before her in an attempt to find a light or her way down the familiar hallway she should’ve known by heart at this point in time.

“Going somewhere,” Seth’s voice questioned seductively as his arms curled around her waist drawing her back into his arms more completely.

“Seth,” she gasped his name surprised by the sudden movement. She opened her mouth to speak, but instead felt Seth’s lips trace over her skin at a leisurely drawn out pace. The faint brush of his unshaven face caught against the back of her neck causing her to shudder in a small tickle before his hot, inviting lips continue their trail over her body leading up to nibble on her earlobe. Instinctively she arched back into him, curling her arm back around his neck and shoulder as he held her.

“I missed you,” he revealed the damp heat of his breath striking upon her skin, rocking her to the core in that moment he held her. His hand eased in up over her abdomen, sliding in underneath her silken blouse, taking the time to trace her curves.

“I thought you were going to bed,” Blake sighed, keeping her eyes closed through the darkness. She could feel the fire inside of her building to a simmer. She arched back further feeling him cup her breast in hand, gently kneading and caressing her. Her breath grew ragged, her heart racing threatening to spiral her out of control with his now scorching touch. She began to grind her hips over his, feeling his ever growing desire for her. It all felt so surreal--so foreign after all the times they’d spent over the last few days worried about Jade.

“I thought about sleeping, but the truth is that when I walked into the bedroom, I realized that everything I wanted, everything I needed was right out here,” he confessed spinning her in his arms. She opened her eyes, seeing the desire for her behind his dark eyes even through the blackness that surrounded them. She watched him for a long moment of silence before she felt him tugging her shirt open.

“Seth,” she spoke his name, feeling him slide the material down over her arms, discarding it in one quick movement before he pulled her into his arms.

Claiming her lips with a fevered intensity, Blake felt his body warming up to her. All the passion that they’d repressed between them since Jade’s disappearance had returned and now as he pulled her onto the sofa with him, she knew that they still had that fire about them. Her hands roamed over his bronzed skin greedily wanting to touch every inch of him as they tore away at the barriers between them. Soon their passion had gone from unexpected, to an urgent need driving them together. With every kiss, every touch, every caress between them, there was no denying the passion and the heat that burned from within when they were together like this.

“I love you,” Blake mouthed holding onto Seth as his body rocked inside of hers taking her to the heavens with their lovemaking.

“Blake,” he whispered her name, nibbling on her lower lip before taking her hands in his. He laced their fingers together, feeling their bodies in perfect harmony with one another. He could feel the frantic pounding of his heart or was it his own as he finally let go of her fingers. He felt her nails scratch over his back, her soft cries of passion driving him on further until finally bliss settled in over her.

“I love you,” he mouthed kissing her again as things spiraled out of control between them.

“Seth,” Blake whimpered feeling herself melt in his arms minutes after their passion had died down. She could still feel the fire burning between them--the unmistakable hunger for him that would never fully be quenched. She leaned in against him, sinking into his chest as his fingers tapered off into her long, blonde tresses.

“I love you Blake,” Seth murmured in a passion-drugged tone closing his eyes and thinking about the decision he’d made when he’d first heard her on the phone calling off the plans for the wedding. “I’m so sorry…”

“Don’t be sorry for this,” she breathed placing a feathery light kiss upon his damp skin, “This was so unexpected, yet so, so perfect.”

“This isn’t what I’m talking about,” he confessed opening his eyes again to look at her. Squeezing her closer to him, he let out another soft sigh. He touched her cheek gently before urging her to meet his eyes again, “Blake, I’m sorry for what I’ve been putting you through over the last few days. This situation has been making me crazy and…”

She placed her index finger over his lips to silence him, “Seth, you don’t have to apologize. If it was Ken or Brant in that position, well the truth is that I can’t say that I wouldn’t be doing the same thing. I know how important family is to you--to the both of us.”

“It is,” he nodded placing a tender kiss over her finger tip, “but that’s not the only thing that’s important to me.”

“I know that,” she replied with a sad smile.

“No, I don’t think you do,” he urged her to slide up over his body so that his lips could collect hers in a kiss, “Blake, you’re very important to me. I know how important this wedding is to you--for both of us.”

“Seth, it’s not a big deal. We can always be married sooner or later,” she tried to feign acceptance for the way things had turned out. Teasing her finger over the center of his chest she forced a small smile, “I know that you love me.”

“I do love you,” he sighed reaching out to massage her spine gently, “more than I’ve ever loved anyone in my life and that’s why I know that I can’t keep hurting you like this.”

“Seth, you’re not the one hurting me. You aren’t responsible for what happened to Jade and…” she tried to reason with him, to make him feel better than losing himself to guilt again.

“Blake, I still shouldn’t have put you through all of this. If Jade were here right now, she’d be telling me how wrong I was for not doing what my heart is telling me to do. She’d remind me all over again how love is worth fighting for and how you can’t spend your life waiting around for things to happen,” Seth inhaled slowly knowing in his heart where he wanted to be, “Blake, I love you so much that it kills me to think that I’ve been hurting you by keeping you at arm’s length. I know the last few days haven’t been easy, but…”

“Seth, there’s no need to apologize. I understand,” she started again in an attempt to alleviate his fears.

“I realize that, but Blake you shouldn’t have to understand. You should have all of your dreams coming true,” he cupped her face in his hands before kissing her again, “Which is why I don’t want to take this dream away from you.”

“You aren’t,” she offered up again, “It’s just been put on hold temporarily.”

“Maybe not,” he added watching the confusion register over her features, “Blake, while I know that we had our own ideas about what our wedding would be--about who would be there to share that day with us, the truth to the matter is that I’ve thought about this and I don’t want to wait.”

“What?” she blinked back at him with obvious surprise. “Seth, what are you saying?”

“I know that Jade would understand why we did this--that everyone would know that we did the right thing. If Jade were here right now, she’d be kicking me for not thinking of it sooner,” he continued his voice overcome with the intensity of his emotions, “Blake, we can still have that wedding that we talked about--the one that we planned to share with our friends and family, but tonight, well tonight this will be for us--tonight when we get married I want it to be about you and me--about the love that we feel for one another…”

“Seth, are you trying to say that you want to get married tonight?” she questioned her eyes widening at the realization of what he was saying to her. “Really, really married?”

He nodded, “I do. I know it might sound like it came out of left field here, but the truth is that from the moment I first saw you, I knew you were the one. Time and time again we’ve had things happen, but rather than letting fate drag us around leaving us waiting for things to be what we want them to be, well I think that tonight we should just go for it. We should just do what it is that we were meant to do and get married.”

“Really?” she questioned feeling her eyes cloud over with tears.

He nodded, “Yes really. I think we should call Kyle and Sarah and hop on the first plane to Atlantic City. We’ll get married tonight and then when Jade comes home, we’ll have another ceremony and renew our vows.”

“And you’re…you’re sure about this,” she asked again searching his eyes for any signs of doubt about this decision, but much to her delight she saw none before her.

“I’m positive,” he nodded bringing her hand up to his lips again, “I want to marry you tonight Blake. No more taking chances with our lives. Tonight I want our dreams to become a reality for the both of us--that is if you want to.”

“If I want to,” Blake repeated with a small giggle feeling a warmth spread out over her body that went far beyond what she’d experienced during their love making. Excitedly she threw her arms around him kissing him in the moment of excitement now that she was presented with the knowledge that her happily ever after with Seth was going to begin tonight.


Angela finished up with her last scheduled patient of the day finding herself lost in contemplations about everything that had been taking place lately. While she’d like to say she lead a charmed life, she knew better than to get her hopes up about any kind of romance in her life. Nick was sexy as hell, but it wasn’t that long ago that she’d found herself in a similar situation wanting a man who’d made an almost immediate impression upon her.

Oh who was she kidding? From the first moment she lay her eyes upon Brant she felt that initial spark. There was just something about him that had captured her complete attention. Even now as she thought back to that night they’d spent dancing with one another at the club she could feel the warmth of the memory filling her head.

“So, tell me beautiful,” Brant’s voice rang out over the music, “Do you come to these places often?”

“You know if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were trying to use some cheesy come on line with me,” Angela laughed lightly, tipping her head back before sipping her drink again, “I thought we’d evolved past that given that you’re already with me tonight.”

“With you or not, well I thought that I’d make a start in covering some ground between us,” he leaned in closer to her, his eyes daring her to lose control. Tentatively he placed his hand on top of hers, over where she held her glass on top of the bar.

“Is that right?” she’d asked noticing the flicker behind his eyes. There was something about his smile, something about the daring expression that swept over his handsome features.

“Dance with me,” he’d insisted taking her hand and leading her to the dance floor. Together they’d danced the night away, learning all the moves they’d held from within. Their night was only starting and already their bodies seemed to have moved into a rhythm that was entirely their own as dusk became dawn.

“And you’re an idiot for thinking back about that,” Angela frowned shaking her head at how stupid she was for so readily going back to her time with Brant. She’d thrown him out when she’d learned what a jerk he was and now, well now she’d found someone really wonderful who wanted to be with her--someone who was genuine and made her feel beautiful all over again.

“Nick’s not like Brant,” she told herself making her way down the hallway past Kevin’s office. She stopped, turning to look at the door for a long moment before contemplating her next move. Earlier in the morning when she’d thrown Kevin out, they’d left off on bad terms with one another and that left her feeling unsettled. Sure, she and Kevin had their share of arguments over the years, but guilt tugged at her for throwing him out like she had.

“I swear Adonis I hate that I can’t just stay mad at you,” she groaned aloud turning around to go to his door again. Taking in a slow breath she contemplated how she’d find a way to remedy what was happening, but before she could get her thoughts together she heard another sound from within his office.

“Damn, that’s good,” Kevin’s voice squealed excitedly.

“I knew you’d really get a feel for this once you started to loosen up a bit,” Nick’s voice answered with an enthusiastic chuckle.

“Oh that’s good--better than good,” Kevin continued as Angela leaned in closer to the door, “You were right. Once I loosened up a bit and let loose, good-bye inhibitions and hello inspiration.”

“It works every time for me…at least I think it does,” Nick replied silence following.

“Oh it more than works for you,” Kevin added boisterously, “You’re probably the best damn muse I’ve had in a while. I haven’t been this excited since my last date with the little barmaid that…”

“That what?” Angela questioned entering the room unexpectedly. She eyed both men curiously noting the way that they hovered over Kevin’s computer close to one another.

“Nothing,” Kevin gulped as Nick took a step back nearly tripping over the filing cabinet behind him in the process.

“Hey Angela,” Nick replied with a clumsy wave leaning in against the previously mentioned filing cabinet in an attempt to appear suave and unassuming, but Angela could see that something was certainly up between the two of them.

“Okay, I’ll bite,” Angela eyed them both intently before folding her arms in front of her chest, “What in the world is going on in here?”

“What makes you think anything is going on,” Kevin questioned leaning back in his chair, bringing his arms back over his head before his gaze traveled to his computer monitor. Quickly he sat forward shutting the monitor off before looking to her again. “Did you need something Angie?”

“As a matter of fact I did,” she nodded in response weaving her way across the office to see just what it was the two of them were up to. Something seemed off--somehow far from what she’d expected between them and yet, she couldn’t quite put her finger on what it was.

“So what’s up,” Nick piped in stepping up from where he’d been standing, “Something wrong?”

“I’m not sure,” she glanced between the both of them once again, “What am I missing here?”

“Who said you’re missing anything,” Kevin added with a shrug, “Nick just stopped by to talk.”

“To talk?” she arched a curious brow, “That’s what you call this?”

“That’s right,” Nick nodded, “I told you that I was going to try to clear the air with Kevin and I hope that we did a little bit of that today. I think we laid out some groundwork for our getting along in the future, yes?”

“I think it was a good start,” Kevin agreed wholeheartedly.

“And what exactly prompted this newfound companionship?” Angela asked again watching them intently.

“Hey, if you think Nick is worth wasting your time on, then who am I to argue,” Kevin rose from his chair circling around his desk to give Angela a small hug, “I’m sorry if I upset you earlier.”

“It’s okay,” Angela returned the embrace, “I know that you were just being you. I know you’re looking out for my best interest.”

“I try to, but I know sometimes I can be a bit overbearing,” Kevin sucked in a long, slow breath in an attempt to play nice, “and while I’m not going to say that I have complete faith in Nick just yet, maybe he’s not so bad.”

“I appreciate your saying that,” Nick replied holding his hand out to Kevin as a friendly gesture.

“Yeah,” Kevin shook Nick’s hand leaving Angela was another unsettling image before her.

“Okay, so what am I missing?” Angela asked again wearily, “What were you two up to when I was outside just now?”

“Nothing,” Nick shrugged looking to Kevin, “Right Kev?”

“Yep nothing really,” Kevin nodded in agreement before stretching his arms out a bit, “and I don’t know about everyone else, but right about now I could really go for a bite to eat. What do you say?”

“I think that sounds great,” Nick nodded in agreement taking another step closer to Angela, “What do you say? Up for a late dinner?”

“I suppose I could go for dinner, but…” Angela started to explain wondering what was going on between the two of them, but before she could question them any further, she felt Kevin pushing her towards the door.

“Excellent because I know the perfect place,” Kevin announced scooting Nick and Angela out the door. He and Nick exchanged glances and while Kevin wasn’t sure if he could completely trust the guy, they’d somehow reached an understanding--one that would open Kevin up to at least considering giving Nick a chance to prove himself.


“Tonight was wonderful,” Avery confessed from the passenger side of the rental car Brant had gotten after the day she’d spent with him at the vineyards. While she hadn’t been able to enjoy all the pleasures she’d indulged in before she was pregnant, Brant had found a fun and entertaining way to take her for a ride along the countryside to show her places she’d never taken the time to notice before. Now as they drove back to the airport, she couldn’t help but wonder how it was he managed to be so patient with her all this time. Reaching out across the front seat of the car, she squeezed his knee gently, “Thank you for this.”

“It’s not over yet,” Brant assured her taking a turn off of the main road leading down a dark, gravel path before them.

“It’s not?” she questioned her eyes wide with curiosity.

“Not by a long shot,” he explained bringing them further from where she’d anticipated them being. She eyed him intently feeling him bring the car to a stop and as she turned to see where they were, she noticed the water before them.

“Now I hope that you’re not in a hurry to get home,” Brant began flashing her a sexy smile before getting out of the car.

“I guess not,” she mused with a small smile feeling a slight breeze pass over her when he opened the door to help her out of the car. Without hesitation she reached for his hand, allowing him to bring her to the evening that pressed upon them.

“I know it’s a bit chilly, but the truth to the matter is that this is what I’ve been waiting for all day,” he confessed sliding out of his jacket to wrap it around her shoulders gently.

“Is that right,” she questioned feeling her lower lip tremble ever so slightly at the temperature shift. While she was well aware that it was much cooler by the water, something about that changed when Brant leaned in closer to her in an attempt to cover her up. Their eyes connected and she felt her breath catch in the back of her throat. Silently he leaned forward to press his lips to hers in a tender sweep.

“It is,” he whispered against her lips bringing his arm around her waist to pull her in against him, “I’ve been waiting for what’s going to happen next.”

“And just what might that be,” she questioned curiosity burning behind the surface.

“Just answer one question for me,” he paused briefly, his face twisting a bit as he pulled back, “How are you feeling?”

“Surprisingly wonderful, why,” she asked eyeing him intently.

“Because I remember the last time we tried something like this and you weren’t feeling very well,” he replied cryptically before taking her hand in his, “though I think it’s a safe bet that I can take my chances tonight.”

“That all depends,” Avery laced her fingers in his allowing him to lead her along with him to the sandy beach before her. “What do you have in mind?”

“Other than spending the night with you in my arms,” he collected her again pulling her up off of her feet, “only a few other things.”

“Such as?” she asked again, noting the spark behind his eyes.

“A boat ride,” he confessed with a half smile, tilting his head to the side to show her the yacht that was docked no more than thirty yards from where they stood, “I thought we’d have something special tonight before reality came back to us.”

“On that?” Avery’s eyes widened at the luxury cruiser before her, “You mean you were planning for you and I to…”

“To dance underneath the moonlight lost in one another’s arms,” he nodded in confession. He hugged her body to his again, “I was thinking maybe we’d have a late dinner there and then, well we’d see where the night takes us.”

“Judging from how far out you went here today, I think it’s safe to say you were hoping it went rather well,” she teased with a small glimmer behind her eyes.

“Somehow I get the feeling that it’s going very well,” Brant eased his hands in underneath his jacket that she was wearing to bring her body to his.

Not bothering with pleasantries, he claimed her lips with an ever growing hunger, making her suddenly very aware of his intentions. Avery hung her arms over his shoulders kissing him in return, knowing that tonight was about new beginnings for the both of them. With no distractions, no memories of Coral Valley getting in the way of what they were sharing, she found herself free to be with him--to enjoy his company and be focused completely on him.

“It sounds wonderful,” she confessed breathlessly as they parted.

“I was hoping you’d think so,” Brant replied skimming his thumb over her bottom lip gingerly, watching the tiny shiver that raced up and down her spine.

“Of course I do have one question,” Avery replied fanning her fingers out over the center of his chest, “about dinner…”

“What about it?” he asked in a faint whisper, his lips easing in over the side of her neck, seeking out that hidden hot spot he’d discovered over the last few days. When he heard a soft moan rise up from behind her parted lips, he knew full well he’d accomplished his mission.

“Can it be warmed up later,” she questioned hugging his body close to hers, “because right now I can’t think of anything that I’d enjoy more than being lost in your arms tonight.”

“When you put it that way,” Brant pulled back enough to meet her passion-filled gaze, “I’m certain we can arrange that.”

“Good, I’m glad,” Avery replied rising up on her toes to collect his lips in another tender kiss. Moments later a breeze rose up from the darkness and she fell into Brant savoring the protective hold he had on her. Together they made their way up to the yacht dreaming of the things to come for them, but as a shadow of a man emerged from the night watching their every move, he knew full well that tonight’s promise of passion would be far from the dreams Brant had offered Avery.

“If I can’t be with her Ashford, then no one will,” he promised with an evil smirk knowing that Brant’s attempt at romance was about to take a turn for the worse.


Sam looked up from where she sat in her hospital bed only to discover her mother standing before her watching her with obvious interest. Bringing her hand up to her face, Sam gave her mother a firm look.

“Mom what are you doing?” Sam questioned impatiently.

“Watching you,” Beth admitted leaning in against the door frame, “Is that such a crime?”

“No not at all, but I don’t see why you just don’t come in and talk rather than stand there and gawk,” Sam wrinkled her nose at her.

“Can I help it if I’m in awe of my little girl,” Beth shrugged her shoulders before approaching her, “I didn’t really want to bother you. You looked a bit busy…”

“I was doing a crossword puzzle and I was doing rather well at it actually,” Sam confessed holding up the paper she’d been working on. “Want to see?”

“Sure, it sounds like fun. Maybe I can help,” Beth suggested moving in beside her daughter. She turned around to reach for a chair when she noticed a few papers piled up on top of it. Moving to place them somewhere else, something new caught Beth’s attention. It was a business card of sorts and when Beth caught the name on top of it, she felt a frown touch over the corners of her mouth. She turned to look at Sam, “What’s this?”

“What?” Sam questioned looking up to see what her mother had in hand, “Oh that. Mom, I forgot to tell you, but well you’re never going to guess what happened to me.”

“Try me,” Beth urged trying to keep her voice smooth and even.

“Well, you know how you keep telling me that I have to start taking responsibility for things in my life? How you were saying that working at the Dairy Shack was getting me nowhere?” Sam reminded her.

“I know I said that, but what does that have to do with this,” Beth motioned to the business card again.

“I’ve got a new job,” Sam boasted eagerly, “As soon as I get out of the hospital, I’m going to be working as a secretary over at Ashford and Steiner law offices.”

“What?” Beth’s jaw nearly dropped in shock. “What did you just say?”

“She said she’ll be working for me,” Hart announced stepping into the room and making his presence be known as he returned with two cans of cola in hand.

Beth rose from where she stood, spinning around to face him with an icy glare, “Like hell she will.”

“Mom,” Sam frowned watching her mother’s reaction, “I thought you’d be happy--that you’d be excited that I got a real job.”

“I would be if this was a real job, but knowing him, it’s a farce,” Beth spat out, her gaze never straying from Hart.

“On the contrary, I’ve offered Sam full benefits and I can’t wait for her to get started working for me Beth,” Hart challenged taking a step forward, “I’m sure knowing that you won’t have a problem with her working for me.”

“I more than have a problem with her working for you Hart because it’s never going to happen,” Beth hissed at him ready to wage war upon the man before her if necessary.


Jenna looked at the notes she’d had laid out over her desk wondering why she couldn’t shake the feeling inside of her over what had happened with her father. Yes, she knew that she had a job to do, yet as she thought about the woman they’d pulled from the water not so long ago, she found herself fearing that her father was more connected to her than he lead her to believe. Reaching for one of the crime scene photos Jenna let out a tiny shudder.

“This isn’t going to answer itself,” Jenna sighed heavily setting the photo down before she heard a faint tapping at her office door. Looking up she saw Douglas standing before her.

“So this is where you work,” he offered with a pleasant expression before taking a look around, “It’s a bit drab, don’t you think?”

“It does what I need it to do,” she frowned standing up and remembering the things sprawled over her desk. Quickly she shuffled things out of his line of vision before eyeing him again, “What are you doing here?”

“Truth be told I was asking myself the same question all the way over, but I realized that this is what I must do. I can’t just keep pretending that things are as they should be.”

“Meaning what,” she asked stiffly not really sure how to take his arrival at her office.

“Meaning that I know it’s late and you’re probably in a hurry to get home to Hart, but I was hoping that you’d give me some time to explain myself--that maybe just maybe you’d find it in you to let this old fool try to make up for his mistakes,” he appealed to her, throwing out a pleading look, “Jenna, I know I’ve done nothing, but disappoint you from the moment that you found out I was your father, but if you’d just give me a chance to explain some things…”

“I really don’t think it’ll make a difference at this point, do you?” she replied stiffly not wanting to get sucked into his drama all over again.

“Maybe not, but given that I’ve lost your brother--both of them for that matter, well, I’d just like to stop the trend from continuing with you. Whether or not you want to believe me, I do care about you. You’re important to me and I know that I’ve failed you as a father, but I’d like another shot at doing it right,” he explained with a heavy sigh, “that is if you’ll give me that.”

Jenna remained silent for a long moment contemplating his words before finally nodding, “I can’t promise that I’ll be able to put the past behind, but if you’d like to talk over coffee, well, I’m on my way out of here.”

“So is that a yes?” he asked with a hopeful smile.

“It’s a yes if and only if you promise to be honest with me,” she bit down on her lower lip nervously, “I know that might be a stretch, but…”

“You deserve nothing less than the truth,” he vowed hoping that he could find his way back into his daughter’s life once and for all.


Grady looked back down the hallway to the jail. He snuck past everyone trying to get to the questioning room where he knew Cameron was. He had to talk to him alone, just for a couple of minutes. As he walked towards the door, he pulled it open quickly entering the room and then shut it very quietly.

“Grady?” Cameron questioned with a laugh as Grady closed the doors blind. “What are you doing here?”

“I came here to find out where Jade is,” Grady answered walking towards Cameron and wrapping his fingers around Cameron’s collar yanking him upwards slightly.

“Like I told your guard dog,” Cameron began with a wide smirk, “I don’t know where she is?”

“My guard dog?” Grady questioned wrinkling his nose. “Are they putting you on some kind of crack here or something?”

“Very funny,” Cameron raised his hand flicking Grady off as Grady pulled Cameron’s collar upwards slightly choking him.

“I would watch what you do,” Grady informed him having a certain look in his eye. “What did you mean by your comment?”

“I mean Houston,” Cameron yelled out feeling the shirt digging into his neck, “Didn’t you realize my face is screwed up because of that guy?”

“Actually, no I didn’t,” Grady shook his head slowly before laughing; “I always thought your face was screwed up. It looks like Kyle made it prettier.”

“Yeah, well in my opinion…you and Houston can rot in hell,” Cameron scowled as Grady pulled Cameron’s chair out from under him.

“You are going to tell me where Jade is,” Grady demanded wrapping his fingers around Cameron’s neck tightly. “You are going to tell me now.”

“I would,” Cameron coughed trying to gasp for air, “but like I told your buddy earlier, I don’t know.”

“Liar,” Grady shouted tightening his grip around Cameron’s neck making him cough even more.

“What is wrong with you and you friends?” Cameron questioned trying to loosen Grady’s grip. “Do you both do this to anyone who is telling the truth?”

“Talk Cameron,” Grady lifted him up before letting him fall back down to the ground.

“Alright, if you loosen your grip,” Cameron began looking up at Grady, “I will tell you everything I know.”

“This better be good,” Grady grunted letting his fingers slip from Cameron’s neck and to his collar. “Now you better have some good explanations.”


“Are you calm yet?” Sarah questioned walking back from the kitchen handing a bottle of water to Kyle.

“You make it sound like it was a bad thing that I was worried about you,” Kyle frowned as she took a seat next to him on her couch.

“Well, you have nothing to worry about now,” she hushed him kissing him gently. “I am right here and nothing bad is going to happen to me…I promise.”

“I know, but I just want to make sure you're alright,” Kyle replied rubbing the back of his neck slowly.

“You’re just like a big sore aren’t you?” Sarah questioned rubbing that back of his neck gently. “Like a big knot.”

“I would know,” Kyle winced leaning into her touch, “I’ve felt like this a long time…I don’t even know the difference when it comes to things anymore.”

“I promise you will feel better soon,” she frowned resting her head against his shoulder gently, “I hate to see you this way.”

“I’m fine,” Kyle hushed running his fingers along her arm gently, “I am as good as I usually am.”

“I don’t know what is good anymore,” she took in a deep breath as he went to stand up and fell back down grabbing his abdomen around his ribs.

“Is that still hurting you?” she questioned seeing him shake his head.

“No, I get pains there all the time,” he lied as she stood up resting her hands on her hips.

“You are the worst liar I have ever met,” she replied with before hearing him laugh, “What were you going to do before you fell down?”

“I was just going to grab your favorite movie and we could watch it if you want,” he suggested before yawning, “I figured it would make the both of us feel better.”

“Okay, cool,” she nodded before grabbing the movie she had gotten while Kyle was gone. She had bought a new one after someone had broken into her house a few weeks ago.

“Where are you going?” Kyle questioned seeing her walk into the kitchen and a few minutes later come back with a bag of ice. “What’s that for?”

“Take your shirt off,” she ordered before hearing him laugh and shake his head slowly.

“Eager to get me out of my clothes?” he wondered with a laugh before pulling it over his head slowly. His arm covered his bruised ribs as she frowned.

“Here, lay down,” she sighed as he did what she told him as she moved his arm, “Just let the ice sit there while we watch the movie.”

“Yes doctor,” Kyle laughed as she sat next to him and he lifted his head so his head rested against her lap.

“Maybe you should close your eyes for a minute or so,” Sarah suggested pushing play as Kyle shook his head.

“No, I don’t…” he cut himself off as he yawned and closed his eyes. “Maybe a couple of minutes.”

“I promise I will be here when you wake up,” she smiled running her fingers through his hair lightly seeing his chest rise up and down slowly showing her that he was already asleep. “Poor guy.”

They both needed a break…someway or another. They just needed to get away from town or something.


“You are finally here,” Susan growled standing up from where she was sitting, “What took you so long?”

“I had to wait so no one would see me,” the guys replied watching Susan roll her eyes.

“Like anyone would notice you here,” she replied with a deep sigh, “You know what you are here for?”

“I think so,” the guy nodded slowly before taking off his cap as she pulled an envelope out of her pocket.

“This is for you,” she handed the envelope to him as he took it opening it slowly, “It’s all there…you could check if you like.”

“I trust you,” the guy nodded taking out the big amount of money in the envelope she handed him, “It looks big enough.”

“It should be big enough,” she rolled her eyes before folding her arms out in front of her, “You better do this right.”

“Sweetheart, with a pay like this…I will do more than right,” the guy winked sliding the money back in the envelope before feeling her hit him in the arm.

“I’m not your sweetheart and you better do it right or else,” Susan warned watching the guy pick up a photo that fell out of the envelope and to the ground earlier.

“This the girl?” the guy questioned seeing her nod. “She’s kind of pretty.”

“Pretty?” Susan questioned sounding a bit angered as the guy shook his head quickly.

“I meant in a weird kind of way,” the guy got out quickly, “You are very pretty yourself.”

“Thank you,” she smiled before getting back on subject, “I will be calling you with the place and time. You know what to do, don’t you?”

“I know what to do,” the guy winked before putting his baseball cap back on. “Catch you later.”

“Later…right,” Susan smiled to herself thinking of how great is was going to be with Sarah gone. Kyle would finally be all hers and he would no longer care about that annoying girl.


...to be continued...