Episode 211

“This is one trip I didn’t particularly like,” Blake sighed as they entered the airport.

“Well, I guess it’s had it’s ups and downs,” Kyle shrugged before leaning down to whisper something in Sarah’s ear, “But for me, it was a really good trip.”

“Shush,” she laughed hitting him in the stomach lightly making him laugh out.

“What are you two laughing about?” Blake questioned seeing Sarah shake her head slowly.

“Just a dream he had,” she lied looking back at him seeing him laughing, “That’s all.”

“Sorry,” Kyle apologized after running into a guy making him turn sideways.

“It’s no problem,” the person smiled before walking away and Kyle shook his head slowly.

“I must say you two,” Kyle began looking back at Blake and Seth, “You shouldn’t have ran out of that chapel so fast because the real show happened when you two left.”

“What are you talking about?” Seth questioned with a laugh as they all stopped walking.

“Oh God, don’t tell them about it,” Sarah pleaded grabbing onto his shoulder seeing him smile widely.

“No, I want to hear this,” Blake piped in with a small giggle, “What happened?”

“You see, the devil herself tried running after you two, but Sarah had something to say about that,” Kyle started thinking back to what had happened the previous night, “As you know Blake, Sarah doesn’t take too well to being called a bitch.”

“Uh oh,” Blake gasped before laughing, “That girl called her a bitch? She must have like knocked her out.”

“No, this was funnier,” Kyle assured her with another deep laugh, “Sarah hit her so hard, that she flew into the benches. But, it didn’t end there. When Sarah left the room, Valerie tried getting up and her heel broke making her fall back to the ground. It was great.”

“I can’t believe I missed that,” Seth laughed as Kyle nodded slowly, “I would have paid to see that.”

“It was the best thing I have seen in so long,” Kyle replied with a small laugh, “She kicked her ass, but the bad thing was that all night long she was determined to find out if you two were okay.”

“Well, we seem okay right now don’t we?” Seth questioned wrapping his arm around Blake’s waist tightly.

“You two seem fine,” Sarah agreed before hitting Kyle in the stomach lightly, “Anyways, I wasn’t worried the whole night, just part of it…the earlier part of it.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” Blake wondered getting away from Seth’s grasp and walking towards Sarah. “What happened last night that I’m not getting?”

“Nothing happened Blake,” Kyle assured her with a small smile, “Nothing that you are thinking about.”

“Bull,” Blake shook her head quickly, “You know I am right. I’m right aren’t I Sarah?”

“Listen to him,” Sarah shrugged pointing up at Kyle, “If he said nothing happened, then I guess nothing really happened then did it?”

“I can’t believe my own best friend isn’t tell me the truth,” Blake gasped in disgust, “I can’t believe how the world is turning these days.”

“Don’t worry honey,” Seth laughed trying to make Blake calm down as he wrapped his arm around her waist, “I’m sure if there was anything that happened last night, Kyle would be admitting it to us right now.”

“Talk about admitting,” a voice called out from behind the group making them turn around.

“Oh, don’t tell me this bitch wants more,” Sarah scowled going to walk towards Valerie before Kyle could pull her back to him.

“Give it a second Sarah,” Kyle whispered holding her close to him as she watched Valerie walk up with a man beside her.

“Having fun I see?” Valerie questioned walking up close to Blake’s face making her laugh.

“We were, until we heard your annoying voice,” Blake answered as Valerie stepped forward.

“I have no problem beating you to the ground little girl,” Valerie spat making Sarah shake her head.

“That’s it,” Sarah scowled getting out of Kyle’s grasp, “No one talks to my best friend like that and I don’t care who you are.”

“You again?” Valerie questioned with a laugh turning towards Sarah, “You may have gotten me last night, but you got me when I wasn’t ready.”

“You want to start something again? I don’t mind beating you to the ground if you want to start something,” Sarah stated as both Kyle’s and Seth’s eyes widened.

“You want to go? We will have a royal rumble right here if you want,” Valerie held her hands up in the air. “Is that what you want to do little girl?”

“First off, I’m not a little girl and don’t call me that,” Sarah demanded before smiling, “And if you want a royal rumble, I don’t mind taking you down again. Except this time, there will be no mercy when it comes to kicking your ass.”

“There isn’t going to be a royal rumble and no one is giving no mercy,” Kyle got between the two girls, putting his arm in front of them so they couldn’t move. “Would you two just stop it?”

“I’m not stopping, she wanted to start something,” Valerie stated trying to get to Sarah, instead she got Kyle on the side of the face.

“Forget what I just said Sarah,” Kyle titled his head looking towards her, “I don’t really care anymore.”

“JT?” Valerie questioned looking back at JT seeing him shrug. “You are worthless when it comes to being a real man.”

“What can I say? I don’t want to get into any of this,” JT protested as Seth nodded slowly.

“Smart man,” Seth agreed seeing Valerie nod before getting in Sarah’s face.

“You want to fight? It will be me and you one on one,” Valerie agreed before seeing Blake.

“Make that two on one because I still haven’t gotten my share yet,” Blake protested feeling Valerie slap her across the face. “Oh that’s it.”

“Girls,” Seth called out seeing Blake and Sarah begin to attack Valerie, “You should probably stop.”

“I don’t think they are going to be stopping anytime soon,” Kyle winced seeing Valerie fall to the ground. “They are vicious.”

“Damn, I think I spotted a cop,” Seth pointed out a cop that was starting to get closer to the scene.

“Uh girls,” Kyle tried calling out to them, but nothing was going to stop them as the cop reached them.

“Ladies,” the cop yelled out as two other cops approached them. “I think you should knock it off right now.”

“Back off,” Valerie hissed at the man.

“I mean it stop it right now or else you’re going to be…” the officer began watching Valerie duck in front of him before he felt a fist to his face--Sarah’s fist to be exact.

“Oh my God,” Sarah gasped in horror realizing what she’d done as his partner walked up to the scene.

“That’s it. You’re all under arrest,” the partner announced making another forward movement towards the girls. “You have the right to…”

“I don’t care about my rights,” Valerie yelled out as one of the cops grabbed her trying to put the handcuffs on, “Just let me get my hands on them.”

“Oh right,” Sarah yelled as her and Blake got the cuffs on, “Like you even got in a hit, which by the way officer sir, I‘m really, really sorry that I hit you considering that it was…”

“Save it for the judge,” the man scowled back at her rubbing his jaw where she’d slugged him.

“What are we supposed to do?” Seth questioned looking towards Kyle who seemed to be shocked as he watched the girls get taken away.

“I guess, we have to bail them out,” Kyle declared reaching into his leather jacket trying to find his wallet. “What in the…? Someone stole my wallet.”

“What?” Seth questioned shaking his head quickly. “It must be a mistake, check your other pockets.”

“I have,” Kyle pointed out thinking back, “I know I didn’t leave it at the hotel I made sure that I picked it up.”

“Well, where could it be?” Seth questioned watching Kyle think before seeing his jaw drop.

“The guy who ran into me,” Kyle pointed out thinking back to what happened, “He must have stole my wallet. The son of a bitch stole my wallet.”

“What are we going to do now?” Seth wondered leaning against the wall. “We have to think of something.”


Avery paced around the patio trying to keep from letting her worries get the best of her. Last night when she and Brant had gone over to Grady’s place sure enough he was no where to be found. Then to make matters worse once she’d insisted she and Brant wait just a bit longer to see if he’d come back, he hadn’t. Now as Avery tapped her fingers nervously on the railing of the patio, she contemplated whether or not she should call Grady. Brant told her not to worry, but knowing what kind of trouble followed Russ and Grady in their youth, Avery knew she had plenty of reason to be concerned.

“That’s it,” Avery announced throwing her hands in the air, “I’m calling.”

“I see you’re still stewing over the issue with Grady,” Brant announced stepping out onto the patio to join her. He had a couple of plates in hand, “but it’s going to have to wait until after breakfast.”

“Brant I…” Avery started finding herself at a loss as a frown touched over her lips, “Look, you can’t blame me for being even the slightest bit concerned. You’d be worried too if someone you cared about was taking on Cameron Stone.”

“Gee, hmm, no I can’t say I’ve ever felt that particular feeling,” he teased throwing out a pointed look, “Come on Avery. I know full well what the psychopath is capable of, yet I also know full well what Grady’s all about too. If those two went head to head with one another, my money would be on Grady.”

“Well, while I’m glad that he’s got your vote of confidence, I’m not so sure about Cameron,” she added with another frown, “He’s dangerous.”

“And in jail,” Brant piped in setting the plates down on the table before sliding a chair out for her, “Have a seat.”

“Brant,” she curled her lip in a scowl.

“At least have breakfast,” he pleaded with her before motioning to the plate he brought for her, “I had the cook prepare some chocolate chip pancakes since they’re your favorite.”

“You did?” her eyes widened with clear cut surprise.

“Well, actually no I made them myself,” he admitted with a small smile, “so if you hate them, well I hope you won’t hold it too much against me.”

“I would never, ever do that,” she promised bringing her fingers up to the center of her chest. She smiled at him finally opting to push her concerns about Grady aside for a few minutes as she tried to enjoy the meal he’d prepared for her. She stepped in closer to him letting him help her into her seat, “You really made these?”

“Yes I really did,” he nodded proudly, “and I hope you don’t absolutely hate them because I have to admit they aren’t exactly my specialty. I have some really great recipes here, but this was a new one for me.”

“I’m sure you did wonderful,” she smiled back at him gaining a whole new appreciation for her husband’s talents, “because it’s just the thought that really makes me love them all the more.”

“You haven’t even had a bite yet,” he laughed lightly, “You could hate them.”

“I could, but chances are I won’t,” she shrugged her shoulders before taking the time to look over at the chocolate and whipped cream covered pancakes. Reaching for her fork and her knife, she cut herself a piece. Lifting it to her lips she took her first taste of it.

“Well?” Brant watched her closely unable to read the expression on her face.

“You’re right,” she confessed swallowing the bite, “I hate them.”

“You do not,” Brant reached out to tickle her sides a bit.

“Okay, okay I admit it. They are fantastic,” she giggled a bit louder than before, “Satisfied?”

“Not yet,” he replied sliding her chair in closer to his to lean forward and give her a quick kiss.

“Now,” she mouthed watching him lick his lips at the taste of chocolate from her kiss.

“I’m getting there,” Brant confessed moving in once again only to hear the sound of footsteps approaching.

“I hope I’m not interrupting,” Augustus announced his presence causing Brant to feign a small smile.

“No not at all,” Brant sat up straighter, “What brings you out here this morning grandfather?”

“I just thought I’d take the time to enjoy the morning,” Augustus explained brightly, taking the time to look over the gardens. His grin expanded before he eyed the newlyweds suspiciously, “And I take it I’m not the only one with that thought in mind.”

“No, not at all,” Avery beamed enthusiastically, “Why don’t you join us?”

“Well I wouldn’t want to intrude upon something that…” Augustus began again.

“No, really it’s not an intrusion,” Avery motioned to the chair across from where she’d been seated. “Join us.”

“Well if you insist,” Augustus decided making his way over to the table with them. “So what brings you two out here this beautiful morning?”

“You mean other than our taking the time to stop and smell the flowers so to speak,” Avery laughed lightly motioning to the lush surroundings.

“Yes, other than that,” Augustus replied with a small laugh.

“I just thought I’d tempt my wife into taking the time to really sit back and enjoy life,” Brant added reaching for Avery’s hand and lacing their fingers together, “She so seldom does just that.”

“I do too,” she argued with him, “You’re just too busy worrying about my doing it to actually pay attention to the fact that I truly am enjoying it.”

“Yeah right,” Brant wrinkled his nose at her, “You work harder than any other person I know these days.”

“I do not,” she shook her head at him before turning to Augustus, “I really don’t.”

“Yeah, she’s right. She’s really a slacker who does nothing for me other than light up my life,” Brant joked only to feel her poke him in the ribs.

“Okay, that’s like so not even funny,” Avery wiggled her finger at him, “Lies like that might make me think about taking back those nice things I was saying about you earlier.”

“Uh oh,” Augustus laughed lightly, “Do I sense trouble in paradise?”

“Never,” Brant boasted leaning in to kiss Avery’s cheek gingerly, “because I love this beautiful woman beside me and despite her barbs about my mannerisms, she loves me too.”

“Is that right,” Avery wrinkled her nose at him slightly, “I mean if I’m a slacker and all…”

“I’ll give you slacker,” Brant reached out to tickle her again causing her to shift in her seat before he pulled her into his arms eagerly.

“Brant!” she squealed unable to believe his behavior in front of his grandfather. She swatted at his chest lightly before shaking her head in Augustus’s general direction, “I’m so sorry for his lack of manners.”

“That’s quite alright,” Augustus smiled at her, “I’m well aware of my grandson’s inability to control himself around beautiful women.”

“Especially this one in my arms,” Brant mused proudly bringing his hand up through Avery’s dark hair, “Because she is in fact the most beautiful woman in the world.”

“Oh Brant,” Avery sighed ready to say something more when Annie emerged from the French doors.

“Avery, there you are. You have a phone call,” she explained briefly watching as Avery sprung up from Brant’s lap.

“It could be Grady. I’ll be right back. I promise,” Avery insisted before rushing into the house again hurriedly.

“I take it she’s got something on her mind this morning which doesn’t at all coincide with you, eh?” Augustus noted catching the frown that swept over Brant’s features.

“She’s worried about a friend,” Brant shrugged, “but I’m sure he’s fine. I’m sure that he’s just calling right now to tell her not to keep worrying.”

“Think it’ll work,” Augustus asked thinking about Avery’s dedication to her friends.

“No,” Brant shook his head, “but it’s a start I suppose. So grandfather, how are you today?”

“I wish I could say that I was wonderful, but the truth to the matter is that I’m rather concerned about your brother. I went by his room to check in on him, but he failed to answer when I knocked,” Augustus shrugged once more. “I’m just not sure if I’ll be able to lend the kind of support he needs right now since he’s clearly set on pushing us all away.”

“You know I’ve been thinking about that which is why I decided that maybe it was time to try something a bit more aggressive to catch his attention,” Brant admitted reaching for the juice he’d had before him. He sipped it slowly before catching his grandfather’s curious expression, “And no, it doesn’t involve shooting him and putting him out of his misery if that’s what you were afraid of.”

“I never said I feared that, but something about the look on your face there tells me that there’s clearly something more to the story than you’re telling me,” Augustus added waiting for Brant to reveal more of his plans.

“There is, but for now, well let’s just say that it might be the first time in a long time that Ken really is forced to face reality. It might leave him a bit shell-shocked, but in the long run I think what I’ve planned is really good for him,” Brant revealed further reaching for his knife. He cut into his pancake ready to enjoy his meal for the first time this morning.

“And you’re not going to tell me anything more about this plan of yours, are you?” Augustus arched a curious brow.

“Not yet. Not until it’s in place,” Brant added hearing Avery returning to the patio. He looked up to her seeing the disappointed look on her face, “Not Grady, huh?”

“No,” she shook her head. “It was someone from the office wanting to double check a few things. I just don’t understand why he hasn‘t called.”

“I’m sure he will sooner or later,” Brant watched her slump down into his chair. “I’m sure he’s not in over his head on this one. Who knows? Maybe he’ll show up later and fill you in on all the gruesome details of what he did last night.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of,” Avery admitted wondering if her brother-in-law was about to get into a world of trouble that he couldn’t keep a hold on. Having spent most of her life growing up with Russ and Grady, Avery knew full well that she had plenty of reason to worry about him. She just hoped that in this particular instance Grady hadn’t gone off and done something stupid. If he had, there was no telling what could happen as this past year had been anything, but lucky for the Denton family. She just hoped that Grady wasn’t traveling down that same dangerous path.


Angela stretched out from underneath the blankets opening her eyes to see the doors leading out to the back of her home open. She felt a slight breeze sweep in over her and as a frown cast it’s way over her lips. Sliding out from underneath the sheet she’d been wrapped up in for most of the morning, Angela reached out to retrieve her robe from the bed post. Sliding into it, she carefully knotted the sash around her waist before she followed her instincts out to the spot where she was certain she’d find Nick.

Standing in silence she watched him gaze out onto the water. He didn’t have to say a word to have her knowing that he was concerned about what had happened last night. When that man had shown up at his place with a gun, it marked some serious trouble, yet when the police had arrived on the scene both he and Angela had lied saying that the man was a burglar in a robbery gone bad. Of course both still knew the truth about the man’s presence and she could sense that it was still eating away at Nick. Stepping forward, she slid her arms around his waist, feeling the cool breeze sweep in over his body onto her. She leaned into his bare back, laying her head on his bare skin before placing a soft kiss over his spine.

“Hey you,” Angela murmured against the bronzed expanse of his body. She slid her arms up over his abdomen, massaging the warm planes of his muscled chest. “I thought something was missing when I woke up.”

Nick placed his hands over hers, raising her finger tips to his lips. He laced their fingers in one another before kissing her hands again. “I couldn’t sleep.”

“You were thinking about last night, weren’t you?” she asked feeling him stiffen beneath her touch. He released her hands, his gaze still out across the water seemingly worlds away as she stood behind him. “Nick, please talk to me.”

“Last night was too close,” he sighed dropping his head down shamefully, “Last night was too dangerous and it was the last thing that you needed in your life.”

“Nick, have you not heard a word I said to you all night,” she questioned reaching out to nudge his shoulder. She urged him to turn around and face him at long last. “Nick please…”

“I just don’t want you to get hurt,” he revealed his green eyes filled with a sudden remorse and worry for what was yet to come. “Last night that man could’ve hurt you. He could’ve killed you and when he had that gun to your head it terrified me.”

“It terrified me too Nick, but at the same time it made me realize that I couldn’t bear the thought of losing you,” she stepped forward to wrap her arms around his waist, “I couldn’t even begin to imaging not having you in my life.”

“Even so, I’m nothing but trouble waiting to happen Ang,” he dropped his eyes once again. He saw the love burning behind her gaze and in that moment he felt a rush of guilt sweep over him, “by urging you to get close to me, I’ve put you in danger. Kevin was right about me Ang. I should’ve just walked away and left you as you were…”

“Yeah, sure you could’ve done that, but it wasn’t what either one of us wanted. It wasn’t what we needed Nick,” she curled her lip in a frown, “And damn it stop talking that way. I care about you and that’s something that I’m not going to let you try to talk me out of.”

“You could’ve gotten hurt last night,” he reminded her placing his hands on her shoulders.

“In case you didn’t notice, you could’ve gotten hurt as well if I wasn’t there,” she threw back at him pointedly, “You needed me last night Nick just like I needed you.”

“Angela, my past is obviously one that’s trouble,” he shook his head at the memory of the previous evening, “It’s obvious that Kevin was right about me.”

“No, he wasn’t,” she argued with him frowning at his attempt to put a distance between them. The irony was that last night she’d felt like she was the one who needed to push him away, yet today, somehow the tables had turned. “Nick, you can’t talk me out of how I feel about you.”

“Angela, you’re not getting it,” he groaned inwardly wishing like hell that she could understand what he was feeling at this point in time, “Do you have any idea what that did to me thinking that something could happen to you?”

“Probably the same thing it did to me when I thought that he’d shot you,” she explained with a huff. She brought her arms up over his pulling his hands off of her shoulders. Taking his palms in hers, she squeezed his hands gently, “Nick, look I know I wasn’t exactly myself last night, but when I saw you standing there with that man’s gun pointed at you, it made me realize a lot of things.”

“Yeah, like I’m dangerous and given what you’ve told me about your past, I’m the last thing you need,” he released her ready to walk away from her and give her the peace she so desperately needed in her life.

“No, see that’s where you’re wrong. Nick, I told you about my past so that you’d understand--that you’d know who I am,” she watched him stop mid-movement, “Don’t think that being a mafia princess didn’t teach me a thing or two about being tough. Last night caught me off guard, but if it had come down to it, I would’ve shot him if I had to.”

“So would I,” he spun around to face her, “that’s what scares me. When that gun went off, Angela, it was so natural. The instinct was there and I felt it overtaking me.”

“As it should’ve. Your life was in danger,” she stepped forward sensing the uneasiness that burned behind his intense eyes, “Nick, you did what you had to do.”

“But what if it wasn’t the first time I’ve done that? What if that’s something that I’ve done before in the past more often than my subconscious cares to let me remember?” he threw back at her, worry evident in his tone as he reflected upon the man he once was.

“Nick, you’re not a murderer. You don’t have it in you to kill someone. Last night was a split-second decision. It wasn’t about cold-blooded rage,” she insisted thinking back to all those she’d known her life, “Trust me on this. I’ve seen the eyes of a man who was lost in a rage--lost in the darkness that consumed his soul. You don’t have that. You are feeling remorse regardless of how much we both know that son of a bitch deserved what happened to him. You’re not a killer.”

“But what if I was? What if his coming to the island is only the beginning? What if someone else follows him to pick up where he left off? What if?” he continued to ramble on his mind racing with possibilities.

“Nick, listen to me. We can’t live on what if,” she insisted reaching out to him as the breeze swept in over the both of them, “If I’ve learned nothing else in my life, then that’s the one thing that I’ve always carried with me. We can’t change who we are. Sure a lot of people can say we would’ve, should’ve, could’ve, but we can’t. Those choices we made in the past are what’s got us to this point in time and we can’t go back. We need to move forward with our lives and forget about everything horrible that’s happened. You just have the luxury of your subconscious doing part of that forgetting for you.”

“It’s not that simple,” Nick frowned again, “Angela we both know that someone sent him here last night--someone wanted me dead and when that same someone finds out that the job wasn’t completed, then what?”

“Then we find a way to beat him at his own game,” she explained matter of fact, “Don’t think that we can’t do it Nick because I know plenty about this sort of thing. Sure, it’s not something I’m proud of, but we can find a way to beat this. If someone else comes, we’ll be ready for them.”

“How?” he questioned blankly, “How do we do that and prevent this from coming back to haunt us?”

“We do it by arming ourselves with knowledge,” she replied with a newfound determination, “We don’t sit idle and wait for them to find us. We find them first.”

“And then what?” he asked not sure of what she was suggesting.

“Then we find a way to forge a counterattack before they can get a head start over us,” she decided the wheels already turning in her mind about this situation, “I have an idea.”

“Such as,” he watched her turn towards the doors once again, “Angela, where are you going?”

“I’m going to prove to you that we can get through this,” she explained before offering up a cryptic smile, “We’re going to beat them at their own game and win.”

“How?” he asked seeing a certain sparkle burning behind her eyes.

“You’ll see,” she promised blowing a kiss in his general direction as Nick wondered if this was only the beginning of some kind of nightmare that lay ahead for him and Angela. Turning his attention to the water once again, he said a silent prayer that whatever from his past that was stalking him wouldn’t find a way to return to the island ever again. Okay, so maybe he knew that was wishful thinking, but it didn’t hurt to at least try.

“Nick, come here,” Angela called out from inside her bedroom, “Get dressed.”

Nick followed the sound of her voice entering the room only to feel the slap of his shirt against his face. He reached up to pull it from his eyes as he watched her disrobing long enough to throw on a t-shirt and some khaki shorts.

“Get dressed!” she ordered again before reaching out to launch his own shorts at him, “We’re going to be late.”

“Late for what,” he blinked back confused as he did as instructed.

“Just trust me on this one,” she assured him with a small smile, “We’re going to find out everything we need to know about the man you once were starting with learning about the enemy we faced down last night.”

“But how would you suggest…” he began buttoning up his shorts.

“Believe me I have my ways,” she flashed him yet another cryptic smile all the while promising to help Nick see that the past couldn’t control his life. Together they could find a way to clear the future for what it was they were truly meant for with one another. She was sure of it.


“So have you given any further thought to what we discussed last night?” Hart questioned making his way into the kitchen to see Jenna finishing up with breakfast.

“Nope, not really,” she shrugged feeling him kiss her cheek gently before she glanced over her shoulder at him.

“You haven’t?” he asked disbelieving.

“Okay, so maybe I have a little, but I’m not really sure how I can open the floor with Kipp. I mean I can’t just go up to him and say, ‘Hey I’m your sister. Let’s chat.’ It just doesn’t sound right,” she frowned picking up the plates and carrying them over to the table.

“Now I wouldn’t know about that. I mean it worked with JT didn’t it?” he wiggled a pointed brow.

“JT and Kipp aren’t exactly on the same level there…” she paused thinking about what she’d just said, “at least I hope not.”

“Something tells me that they aren’t. I don’t know how or why, but call it instinct. I think your brother isn’t like your other brother or your father for that matter if that makes any sense.”

“It makes a lot of sense Hart which is why I’m not going to stress over this any longer. I’ll just call Kipp up and see what comes of it,” she decided firmly. “It’s what I need to do.”

“Exactly,” he encouraged her further before pulling out her chair for her. She sat down.

“So there,” she smiled up at him watching him circle around the table for his own chair, “you’re so right about this. What would I do without you?”

“Be absolutely miserable,” he teased with a wink reaching for his fork before the sound of the bell rang. Curiously he looked to her once again, “Expecting company?”

“Not that I know of,” she shook her head, “but I’ll go see who it is so that we can get rid of them.”

“That sounds like a plan,” he agreed ready to dig into breakfast as Jenna gave him a firm look.

“Don’t eat all of mine while I’m gone. Got it?” she warned before stepping out of the room.

“I won’t eat all of it,” he replied taking a survey of her plate. With a twisted smirk he reached out to swipe a sausage link from her plate.

“Hart I mean it!” she scolded catching him red handed.

“Oh okay,” he set it down blowing a kiss in her general direction before she took off to answer the door.

“I swear sometimes,” she mumbled to herself thinking about how Hart just loved to test her patience. She reached for the door opening it up to find Sam before her much to her surprise.

“Sam hey,” Jenna couldn’t help but reveal her confusion to see Hart’s daughter on her front porch, “how’s it going?”

“Hi Jenna,” Sam waved at Jenna before looking past her into the living room, “can I come in?”

“Of course you can,” Jenna nodded opening the door wider to give her access within, “how are you? When did you get out of the hospital?”

“Last night,” Sam revealed with a long sigh, “and it’s about time. I was beginning to think I’d lose my mind after being stuck in there so long, but fortunately my complaining paid off. They finally released me.”

“And not a moment too soon huh?” Jenna replied with a small smile, “Come on in. I’m sure you’re here to see Hart.”

“Actually,” Sam began shifting on her feet nervously, “I came here to see you. You see it’s come to my attention that there’s something we need to talk about--something that I just discovered and right now you’re probably the only person who can help me make sense of this problem at hand. Jenna, do you think we can talk for a few minutes? You know woman to woman?”

“Sure Sam, what’s on your mind?” Jenna replied not really sure where this was headed.

“It’s important. Very important and what you tell me could be the thing that makes or breaks everything in the future,” Sam blurted out mysteriously leaving Jenna to wonder what it was that Sam had come over to speak with her about.

“Well we can see what I can do for you,” Jenna motioned for Sam to take a seat near the sofa, “Are you sure that you don’t want Hart in here for this?”

“Oh heavens no,” Sam waved her hand dismissively before plopping down into the chair, “This is something that I think you are the only one who can help me with this especially since I’m sure you’re probably the only other woman on the planet who has experience in this type of situation.”

“Situation,” Jenna repeated nervously wondering if Beth had somehow told Sam the truth about her paternity. Jenna tried to read her eyes wondering if there would be some telltale clue as to what had prompted Sam to visit, but before Jenna could ponder it too long Sam spoke up once again.

“I’m here because, well, I wanted to talk to you about Wayne,” Sam confessed fidgeting her fingers in her lap nervously.

“Wayne,” Jenna replied feeling a breath of relief escape from her lips.

Sam nodded, “I know that you and I don’t know one another really well, but with his birthday coming up, well I wanted to do something really special and I thought I could maybe run a few ideas by you. See, I’m planning this sort of surprise party for him and while I know that Wayne really isn’t into the whole party scene, I think that this one should be a biggie for him. He keeps telling me that he doesn’t want anything too special, but since I know that he’s never really, truly had a big party before, well I just thought that maybe just maybe this would be the year to really give him something special. Does that make sense to you?”

“It makes perfect sense,” Jenna nodded feeling relief wash over her, “and just for the record I think you’re absolutely right about Wayne needing something special. He does so many wonderful things for the world around him that I think a party is a great idea.”

“Excellent,” Sam clapped her hands together before reaching for her purse, “because I drew up a few plans when I was in the hospital and I wanted to run them by you since I know how close the two of you are.”

“I’d love to see them,” Jenna laughed lightly watching Sam pull out notebook after notebook from her small tote.

“I had a lot of time on my hands as you can see,” Sam began prepared to show Jenna all of her thoughts and ideas for making this celebration one of the best for Wayne.


“I can’t believe what I did last night,” Kellen cussed to himself leaning back into his couch. “I was so stupid…I knew Kipp wasn’t like that. I probably ruined the only good friendship I have ever really had in my whole life.”

He grabbed the remote to his television flipping it on looking at what was on his screen. He put his feet up on the table as he began to flip channels. He couldn’t really believe how dumb he acted last night. He knew that Kipp wasn’t like that and he still risked their friendship knowing that. Kipp didn’t seem like he minded, well at least that was the way he acted, but everything seemed to be so tense last night. His thoughts were cut off after hearing knocking on his door and then the doorbell ringing.

“Oh god,” Kellen rolled his eyes not wanting to get up from the couch as he attempted to move. “Coming…not like you can hear me anyways.”

As he walked towards the door, his dog ran out in front of him making him lose his balance and almost falling.

“Tripsy,” Kellen yelled after gaining his balance back and opening the door.

“I take it that dog tripped you again,” Kipp smiled widely as Kellen looked up at him, slightly surprised.

“Of course,” Kellen laughed offering Kipp to come in by opening the door more, “So what’s up?”

“I think we need to have a talk,” Kipp declared seeing Kellen nod slowly. “This is pretty important.”

“Alright,” Kellen nodded taking in a deep breath almost knowing what Kipp was going to say as his throat went dry, “Just a second, let me get a shirt on.”

“Okay,” Kipp nodded watching Kellen walk towards the couch and pull on a dark pink…or maybe it was a red tank top over his head. “I have a question for you.”

“I have an answer for you,” Kellen replied with small smirk as he walked up to Kipp, leaning one arm against the wall.

“Your tattoos, do they mean anything?” Kipp questioned looking at the work that was done on Kellen’s back and arms.

“Absolutely nothing,” Kellen shook his head with a wide smile, “I guess I was just young and I thought it would look cool.”

“Well, they are really cool,” Kipp assured him before thinking back to the original reason he had came today, “Back to what I was going to talk to you about.”

“Yeah that,” Kellen nodded slowly hating that Kipp remembered, but of course he knew he would. He just didn’t want to hear the words that Kipp didn’t feel comfortable being his friend anymore. He really screwed things up.

“It’s about the last night,” Kipp began as Kellen’s heart began to beat rapidly.

“I knew it,” Kellen kept telling himself in his mind over and over again before finally speaking up, “You don’t have to talk, I think I already know what you are going to say.”

“You do?” Kipp questioned seeing Kellen nod. “I didn’t think I was really that obvious.”


“Oh god,” Cori groaned rolling over in bed being woken up by the sound of knocks at her door. She turned around not wanting to answer, but her eyes were blinded by the sunlight sneaking through the cracks of her blinds.

She walked to her door and opened it, but she didn’t even care to look who it was before walking back to the bed and falling back down on it.

“Looks like you are feeling really good this morning,” Diego laughed shutting her hotel door behind him, “What did you do all night long?”

“I have the biggest hang over in the world right now,” Cori groaned pulling the blankets over her head hearing him laugh as she rolled over.

“Let me get you some water,” Diego began before she lifted her head to see the glass of water on the table next to the bed.

“I already have one,” she informed Diego seeing him nod and fold his arms out in front of him as she started remembering what she did to the poor guy last night, “God, I already have one.”

“Why are you stressing over a glass of water?” he wondered coming and taking a seat on the bed next to her. “It’s only a glass of water Cori.”

“It’s not that,” Cori shook her head covering herself back up with the blanket before her mind drifted back off to what happened last night. That guy wanted to make sure she was okay and she jumped him. What was she thinking? “I can’t believe I did that.”

“Did what?” he questioned trying to pull down her blankets to see her face. “Cori?”

“It was nothing,” Cori sighed pulling the blanket down, “I just had a weird night, but enough about my night…how is your patient? Are they okay?”

“They are doing fine,” Diego nodded slowly before smiling, “If you don’t want to tell me what happened last night that’s okay. I see that you are trying to get off the subject.”

“Gee, thanks Diego,” Cori got out of bed tiredly, “I guess I should be getting dressed.”

“I’ll be waiting,” he smiled watching her walking into the bathroom and shut the door. “Crazy girl sometimes.”


Kevin yawned as his eyes opened seeing the light peaking through his shades.

“It’s too early to get up,” he told himself turning over and lying with his back on the bed.

He wanted to shut his eyes because his body was so tired, but everything kept traveling through his mind making him look up at the ceiling. He let out a small laugh as he put his arms behind his head thinking about what had happened last night. Did Cori always usually drink like that? If so, her family had a lot to worry about because she was quite the trouble maker. His smile faded as he remembered what else had happened yesterday…that little event with Cameron.

“What am I supposed to say to Angie?” Kevin asked himself thinking about Cameron's sister might react hearing that her brother was in jail.

He wanted to tell her, he never really wanted to lie to her, but this was one of those moments where it would be better if she didn’t know. Even if he did tell her, there was always that chance that Cameron would still tell Angie his secret.

“I can’t let you get hurt Angie,” Kevin shook his head taking in a deep breath, “You need to be happy right now and nothing less. I will take care of this mess myself.”

The thought of him calling her ran through his mind over and over again, should he call her? Maybe just to tell her that he was okay and that was all.

“Maybe I thought too soon,” Kevin yawned hearing his cell phone ring as he rolled over grabbing his cell phone from the nightstand. “Hello.”

“Kevin,” Seth’s voice came over the receiver, he sounded a bit stressed as Kevin frowned, “I need to ask you a favor.”

“Anything,” Kevin nodded to himself sitting up and swinging his legs over the side of the bed, “What is it Seth?”

“You see me and some of my friends went to Atlantic City together because I was planning on getting married to Blake,” Seth began taking in a slow breath, “Which didn’t work out too good, so we were deciding to come back, but at the airport Blake and her best friend got arrested.”

“Didn’t you bail them out?” Kevin questioned raising his eyebrow hearing Seth sigh deeply.

“You see, I left my wallet at home and my friend got pick pocketed at the airport,” Seth informed him before running his hand along the back of his tense neck, “So I was kind of wondering if you can come down here and kind of give us a hand.”

“Sure,” Kevin nodded slowly quickly getting out of bed and grabbing his shirt off the chair, sliding it on quickly, “Once I get there I will call you and you can give me directions to where you are.”

“You mean, just like that you will come?” Seth questioned a slight bit shocked hearing Kevin laugh.

“That’s what cousins do,” Kevin pointed out before grabbing his watch from the nightstand, “You have helped me out more than once and I think it is time for me to help you out. Anyways, I know you will pay me back later.”

“I figured that already,” Seth laughed before looking down at his watch, “Call me when you reach the city.”

“Will do,” Kevin agreed before hanging up and grabbing his wallet and putting it in his pocket. “I guess there goes sleeping in.”


“This is bull,” Blake squealed clenching onto the bars in front of her in the jail cell, “Do you have any idea who you are dealing with? I’m an Ashford and this isn’t going to be tolerated. I demand you let my friend and I out of here right this instant.”

“Blake, honey, I think you should calm down,” Sarah began in an attempt to keep cool despite the situation they’d found themselves in after Sarah and Blake had decided that it was time to teach Valerie a lesson. Glancing over her shoulder, Sarah noticed the smug little bitch playing with her fingernails from across the bench.

“Hello? Is anyone out there?” Blake called out once again with a huff, “I demand a phone call. I get at least one phone call!”

“Oh would you shut the hell up?” Valerie looked up from her nails and hissed at Blake, “This is all your fault princess, so why don’t you just pipe down?”

“Pipe down?” Blake spun around to face Valerie with an icy glare, “You’re telling me to pipe down? Do you have any idea how lucky you are right now to be sitting there when what I really wanted to do back at that airport was kill you?”

“Kill me,” Valerie scoffed in response, “as if a pitiful, little, pampered princess like you could even do such a thing. You’re beyond pathetic.”

“No, what’s pathetic is a person like you who gets nothing but sick and twisted pleasure out of trying to ruin the happiest day of someone’s life,” Blake stepped forward glaring down at the woman who had wrecked her wedding, “Honestly what did you think you were trying to prove at the chapel?”

“I know it might be hard for your little pea brain to absorb, but what I was trying to do was let the truth be known,” Valerie hissed up at her, “Seth couldn’t marry you.”

“Seth loves me,” Blake snapped back at her clenching her fists at her sides.

“Be that as it may, he’s still my husband and there’s no chance in hell that I was about to let him waste his life away on a rich bitch like you,” Valerie’s eyes narrowed up at her. “He doesn’t deserve that kind of misery in his life.”

“Misery is knowing that he’s married to you, but rest assured that it won’t be lasting as soon as we get back to Coral Valley. Seth is going to get a good lawyer to put an end to this nonsense and…” Blake cursed back down at her.

“Nonsense?” Valerie snickered in response rising to her feet, “Is that what Seth told you our marriage was? Oh of course he did because he didn’t want to hurt your feelings by letting you know that he is still very much in love with me. That’s why he didn’t end our marriage back then and that’s precisely why he’s not going to go about doing it now.”

“Oh see that’s where you’re wrong,” Blake snarled at her taking another step forward, “Seth tried to get rid of you, but you’re a manipulative slut who thrives on misery. You think you really have something here, but you don’t. Seth doesn’t love you. He never did and he never will.”

“Keep telling yourself that Princess,” Valerie rolled her eyes at her, “Seth was very much in love with me the day we got married in Atlantic City, much like you were trying to do yourself. He knew what he wanted then and that night on our honeymoon, oh he most certainly was happy with what he had. He loves me more than you can even begin to fathom and the only reason that you’re even remotely close to him right now is because I walked away. You’re nothing more than sloppy seconds, but soon you won’t even be that much since Seth and I are meant to be together.”

“Not in this lifetime,” Blake growled back at her, “Seth and I will be married and when we are, there isn’t a damn thing you can do or say about it.”

“You want to make a bet?” Valerie challenged with a glare, “Face it princess not even all the money in the world can make a man like Seth fall in love with you because sooner or later he’ll see you as you truly are. He’ll forget what you’ve used to blind him and he’ll come back to where he belongs--with me.”

“In your dreams,” Blake rolled her eyes before turning away in an attempt to ignore Valerie.

“Oh he’ll come back Blake. Mark my words on that because right now he might be playing it cool, but when it gets down to it, you repulse him. Your kind always has and always will especially knowing that your big and bad daddy raped Jade. That’s something he’ll never forgive or forget,” Valerie shot back icily knowing by Blake’s posture that she’d gotten the reaction she’d been hoping for. She’d finally struck a nerve in the ice queen.

“Shut up!” Blake spun around to face her again, her eyes wild with rage, “You don’t know a damn thing about you’re saying. You’re wrong.”

“Wrong,” Valerie repeated with a haughty laugh, “Oh honey there was no mistaking the night your father ripped Jade’s innocence away from her. He tore her to pieces that night with his thirst for power. He showed no mercy when he beat and battered her and that’s something Seth will never forget. Even now when he touches you, hasn’t it ever occurred to you that this is all about payback? That he’s not looking for a wife, but more so a way to repay Nicholas Ashford for stealing his sister’s virginity in such a violent way?”

“Why you…” Blake charged towards her only to be stopped by Sarah.

“Don’t listen to her,” Sarah touched Blake’s arms forcing Blake to face her, “She’s a desperate woman ready to do or say whatever it takes to get a rise out of you.”

“It’s not true!” Blake shouted blinded by her anger, “She’s a liar. That’s not what happened.”

“Oh it’s what happened,” Valerie approached her mercilessly, “and then your sick bastard father passed Jade around like a piece of meat to his buddies. They all took a shot at her that night, but he was the grand ringmaster of their violent game.”

“I said shut up!” Blake screamed louder than before, her lower lip shaking with the anger that swept over every inch of her body.

“Oh like I would ever listen to the daughter of a pathetic rapist,” Valerie spat back at her with another uproar of laughter, “That’s about as good as trying to convince me that Seth could love the daughter of the monster who ruined his sister’s life.”

Sarah felt Valerie step in behind her ready to reach out to taunt Blake further. Sarah spun around shoving her hand in the center of Valerie’s chest to push her back.

“Back off!” Sarah warned her with a low growl having heard more than enough of this torment from Valerie. While Sarah had only heard the brief tale of what had happened to Jade, she wasn’t about to let Valerie torment her best friend. The past was the past and even if Nicholas had taken part in such a horrible crime, there was no way that Sarah was going to stand back and allow someone as vile as Valerie hurt Blake even further.

“The hell I will,” Valerie sprung forward again, “I’m not about to let her stand there thinking that she’s better than the rest of us, when she’s the one who should go away forever after all her family has done to shame the rest of us.”

“I said, ‘back off’,” Sarah sneered again, before looking to Blake, “Just go sit down. I’ll take care of this.”

“Ah yes, the old Ashford adage. What poses a threat, you find a way to get someone else to destroy for you. Tell me Sarah, how long have you been on their payroll accepting their blood money? Does Kyle know about your association with the Ashford losers or is he in on it two?” Valerie questioned bitterly before continuing on, “because you know no matter how much they are paying you to keep their secrets buried sooner or later they all are bound to resurface.”

“That’s it,” Sarah mouthed to herself realizing that while Blake was surprisingly quiet at the moment, that silence wasn’t about to continue with Valerie shooting her mouth off. Sarah grabbed Valerie catching her off guard. Valerie moved her arm in front of her to shove Sarah away, but instead Sarah twisted Valerie’s arm behind her back, twisting it up in a painfully unnatural position.

“Let go of me!” Valerie’s shrill voice squealed as Sarah tugged her arm upward once again.

“Not until you apologize and shut your mouth,” Sarah warned yanking on her arm again.

“The hell I will,” Valerie spat out at her.

“Fine, have it your way,” Sarah wrenched at Valerie’s arm again before pushing forward slamming Valerie’s face into the bars.

“Hey…” Valerie cried out only to feel the bars slam into her face again.

“Sarah,” Blake’s eyes widened in surprise as she watched Sarah shove Valerie into the jail cell over and over again.

“I said, ‘apologize’ bitch!” Sarah shoved her one last time hearing a small whimpering sound escape from Valerie’s lips before Sarah released her. She watched Valerie fall to the floor gasping for air before she let out a small groan and closed her eyes.

“Oh my God,” Blake gasped in horror watching Valerie pass out on the floor, “Sarah, what did you do? Is she…is she dead?”

“Nah,” Sarah leaned down to search for Valerie’s pulse. Sure enough Valerie was just fine, well, except for that mark that was going to be on her face for a while after her up close and personal meeting with the bars. “She’ll be fine. She’ll have one hell of a headache and she may have to cancel her next photo shoot, but other than that she’ll live.”

“I don’t understand. Why did you…” Blake found herself at a loss, “How did you…”

“Kyle taught me that a while ago when he felt I needed to learn some self defense moves,” Sarah shrugged her shoulders simply, “Plus I wasn’t really all that thrilled with what she was saying about you or about what she said about me in the chapel. I really can’t stand that woman.”

“I just can’t believe…” Blake threw her hands up in the air, “Oh this is a nightmare. Maybe she’s right Sarah. Maybe that is how Seth sees me.”

“No,” Sarah shook her head, “Seth doesn’t think like that. Blake, I don’t know what happened to Jade, but what I do know is that Seth loves you. That was obvious from the first moment I saw you two together. You have the real thing and you can’t let a delusional twit like that,” she motioned to where Valerie lay, “influence your opinion of the relationship you have.”

“But Sarah, what she said…about Jade…” Blake felt her voice shake with emotion, “She was raped by my father’s friends. Seth believes that my father was part of it, but I just can’t think like that. He told me that his father raped Jade, but…”

“Blake, it’s okay,” Sarah watched Blake’s eyes mist over with tears.

“Hearing her say it,” Blake broke into tiny sobs, “Sarah, if Seth still feels that way…if he believes that my father could’ve played a part in that horrible, disgusting act…”

“Blake, I don’t think he does,” Sarah reached out to her trying to comfort her friend as her tears consumed her.

“What if this is never going to end? What if Valerie is right and Seth does hate me on some level because of what he believes to be true?” Blake continued to cry harder than before.

“Blake, honey Seth loves you. You said it yourself that you aren’t sure that your father did such a thing. If you don’t have proof…” Sarah began again.

“There hasn’t been proof about my father’s involvement, but I did see photos that Cameron had of Jade with other men--with those men my father knew…” Blake sobbed again, “Sarah, what if this is going to be something that continues to get in between Seth and I?”

“Obviously this is an issue that may bother the both of you, but honey I don’t think it’s influenced the way he feels for you,” Sarah tried to reason with her.

“But what if it has? What if…” Blake trailed off her eyes returning to where Valerie lay on the floor, “What if what she said had some small truth in it?”

“Do you really believe that?” Sarah asked knowing how much this had to be hurting Blake.

“I don’t know anymore,” Blake sniffled, “but if my father had done such a thing…if he was capable of such madness…”

“Maybe it’s time you and Seth found out the truth,” Sarah suggested after a moment’s contemplation, “I know that might sound painful right now especially after having to deal with a bitch like her in your life, but maybe if you find out for yourself…”

“Maybe,” Blake nodded before pondering the thought, “maybe that’s what I need to do.”

“Do you think it would help?” Sarah questioned urging Blake to sit down.

“I don’t know. I honestly don’t know,” Blake sighed feeling the tension spiraling throughout her body over the turn of events that lead to her wedding disaster, “but what I do know is that I can’t lose him. Sarah I love him so much that if I did…”

“You won’t lose him Blake. I promise you that you won’t lose him especially not to someone like her,” Sarah’s gaze traveled over to where Valerie lay on the floor. She opened her mouth to speak again, but instead she heard the sound of footsteps in the distance.

“Oh my God,” Blake gasped in horror looking from Valerie to the hallway, “It’s the guard.”

“Let me take care of this,” Sarah insisted standing up and rushing over to grab the blanket that was on the cot. Quickly she covered Valerie before she spun around to see the guard eyeing her with obvious interest.

“What’s all the noise about in here?” he demanded with a scowl.

“I want my phone call,” Blake stepped forward in an attempt to keep Valerie from his eyes.

“You’ll get it when I’m good and ready to give it to you,” the man hissed at her before motioning to where Valerie lay, “What’s wrong with her?”

“She drank too much,” Sarah tipped her finger in front of her mouth, “you know she’s into killer cosmos.”

“Yeah well whatever,” the man rolled his eyes before nodding to the cot, “Get her off of my floor. We won’t have that around here.”

“Sure, no problem,” Sarah waved back at him watching the guard slip away before she motioned to Blake, “Want to help me pick up the trash?”

“Do I have a choice,” Blake replied bluntly reaching out to help Sarah pull Valerie off of the ground.

Valerie mumbled incoherently before the two women set her up into a seated position on the cot. Valerie’s eyes opened for a brief second before she slumped over onto her side.

“There,” Sarah rubbed her palms together, “at least we finally shut her up.”

“Yes, but for how long,” Blake questioned with a small frown knowing that while Sarah had found a way to give her a few minutes peace in this mess, the battle was far from over. As it stood Blake found herself more desperate than ever to prove that the lies about her father were just that. Sure, maybe Seth hadn’t said anything lately, but as long as there was a shadow of doubt in his mind about her father’s role in his sister’s rape, she knew full well that there was always going to be an opening for trouble in their relationship.


“Hey you know breakfast is getting cold in here and I’m half tempted to steal what you have on your plate,” Hart announced stepping into the living room only to discover Jenna and Sam surrounded by paper after paper on the coffee table before them, “Sam, hey. What are you doing here?”

“Party planning,” Jenna announced curling her finger for Hart to join them, “Want to take a look?”

“Oh I didn’t realize that you were eating,” Sam began apologetically, “I was just in the neighborhood and well, I knew that Jenna would be the perfect person to help me with my surprise for Wayne and…”

“Hey, it’s no trouble,” Hart motioned to the direction he’d come from, “Can I get you something to drink? Something to eat? Anything in general?”

“No, I’m fine,” Sam laughed lightly, “I was just at breakfast with my mother since she’s all worried about my being out of the hospital now.”

“That’s right,” Hart gasped as it dawned in on him that she was in the living room, “How did you manage that one?”

“Well I have this amazing boss who was wanting to be super patient with me, but I have this party I’m planning and financially I’m not really ready to pull it all together yet, so I told the doctors that if they let me out of the hospital, then I would be in good hands. I promised that my boss wasn’t a slave driver and that the paycheck would be well worth it,” Sam replied with a small smile, “Of course I have a doctor’s note prohibiting anything truly strenuous, but…”

“But I’m sure that we can find a way to work around that, right? I mean it’s been a while since the archives at the offices were cleaned out and there are boxes piled up to the ceiling that I’ll need you to sort through and get rid of,” Hart began to tease her.

“Hart,” Jenna scolded picking a pillow up from the sofa and throwing it at him, “Stop teasing the poor girl.”

“I’m sorry,” Hart added catching the pillow mid-motion, “I’m just kidding. I think it’s wonderful that you’re out of the hospital and if you need a cash advance or anything for this event you’re planning, just let me know what you need and I’d be more than happy to spot you for it.”

“Oh I couldn’t ask for that,” Sam shook her head adamantly, “but if you’re inclined to give me a raise, that might be appreciated.”

“Considering that you haven’t worked a day for me yet and I’m not really sure of your qualifications other than you’re so very amusing,” Hart winked at her, “Consider it done.”

“Thank you so very much,” Sam practically squealed, “and here my mother tried to convince me that working at your office would be a nightmare since she claims you’re just like uber impossible. I mean…”

“Yes, I’m well aware of what your mother thinks of me,” Hart waved his hand dismissively, “but I just want you to promise me one thing.”

“What’s that?” Sam asked a blush rising over her face.

“That when you do start working for me that you take the time to form your own opinions instead of letting your mother influence you about my nature,” Hart suggested fighting to contain his feelings about Beth as he spoke to Sam.

“Don’t worry about it,” she waved her hand again before smiling, “Just because my mother absolutely hates the idea of me working for you under any kind of setting doesn’t mean that I’m about to quit. Especially not now when I have a boss that’s cool enough to up my paycheck without actually seeing me in action. I have to be honest though and tell you that I can type like mad and answer phones great, but filing isn’t my strong suit.”

“We can work around it,” Hart smiled back at her enjoying the fact that she’d come to see them this morning, “So now about this party, what’s on your mind?”

“Well I was thinking we could do a nineteen twenties kind of theme. Wayne is really big on films from that era and he put together a fifteen minute short that he wrote and produced himself around the era. Sure, he won’t brag about it, but I think it’s great stuff and he’s always been intrigued by that sort of thing,” Sam offered up with a bright smile, “I was thinking maybe we’d go all out for his birthday--kind of doing a big 20’s theme in every sense of the word from atmosphere to style, music and more…”

“So you’re going to want to have something pretty classy then, yes?” Hart pondered the thought for a moment, “What about Indigo Nights?”

“Indigo Nights?” Sam’s eyes widened at the suggestion, “Isn’t that place like a member’s only deal? I mean not that it wouldn’t be perfect as it’s got plenty of atmosphere and well, to be able to get into it, you have to be on some kind of list. It’s pretty posh and…”

“And if you could get in, would you want to have the party there?” Hart leaned forward watching the contemplations behind her eyes.

“Well duh, who wouldn’t want to have a party there, but at the same time they aren’t going to just close the club for a private party? Given the amount of revenue they make on a daily basis, there is no way in hell that…” Sam replied with a small frown.

“What if I told you that they would?” Hart suggested with a wiggle of his brow.

“I’d say that you’ve completely lost your mind because it’s never, ever going to happen,” Sam shook her head.

“Never say never,” Hart insisted with a grin, “because I happen to know the owner of the club.”

“You do?” Sam’s eyes lit up. “Seriously?”

He nodded, “Not only do I know the owner, but he’s a client of mine. He had a few legal issues a couple years back and I think it’s safe to say he owes me a few favors here and there. I’m planning on seeing him tonight when Jenna and I go to a Star Wars party they’re having over there and perhaps if you give me the details I can pass them his way.”

“You’re serious?” Sam’s jaw practically dropped.

“Very serious,” Hart replied before glancing over at Jenna, “Oh and yeah I was going to surprise you, but tonight it’s Star Wars night over there. I thought you might be interested.”

“Hart, I’m more than interested,” Jenna smiled back at him loving the way he and Sam seemed to interact so well with one another, “I think it would be a great idea if we talked to the club owner as it really would be perfect for what Sam has planned.”

“It really would,” Sam frowned slightly, “although I don’t know if I could foot that kind of bill that would come along with renting out the club for the night.”

“As I said the owner owes me a few favors here and there,” Hart replied with a confident expression, “So much so that well, I’m sure he’d be more than willing to offer up a discount for such an event.”

“You really think he’d do that?” Sam asked again.

“Why don’t you see for yourself,” Hart suggested as an afterthought. “If you and Wayne are available how would you feel about going to a Star Wars party tonight? I mean I know it’s not everyone’s thing but…”

“Are you kidding,” Sam gave him a sideways glance, “Do you really think that I would say no to a party at Indigo Nights tonight? Um, Hart, look I might seem naïve at times, but I’m not nearly that naïve. I’d love to go and I’m sure Wayne would as well. That sounds like so awesome.”

“Well good because I was wondering what I was going to do with those extra tickets I had there,” Hart slid in closer to Jenna on the couch bringing his arm around her shoulders, “I think it would be fun to spend a night with Sam and Wayne among a few thousand other Star Wars fanatics.”

“I think it would be perfect,” Jenna replied brightly.

“Good, then it’s settled. You and Wayne can meet us over here around say seven-ish and I’ll give you all the details on how you can have a few words with Rob Leveski, he’s the club owner, without Wayne knowing what’s going on since I’m assuming you still want this to be a huge surprise,” Hart noted thinking about how this was the perfect chance to get closer to his daughter.

“Oh of course,” Sam nodded again, “this is really brilliant Hart. I don’t know how to thank you enough.”

“Just seeing you smile is thanks enough,” Hart replied before pausing, “Although I will warn you there is one rule about tonight--one thing that Rob is really big on about this event taking place.”

“What’s that?” Sam questioned, “He’s um, not like going to kick us out or anything because we weren’t on the original guest list, right?”

“No, nothing like that,” Hart shook his head, “this is a costume party if you will so the one rule is that you have to dress in Star Wars attire.”

“What?” Jenna and Sam replied in unison both women clearly surprised.

“Hart, how in the world do you propose we make that happen on such short notice,” Jenna blurted out her thoughts.

“I’ve taken care of our costumes and as for Sam and Wayne,” he paused contemplating how he’d go about this one, “well, would either one of you happen to know what size Wayne wears? I might be able to pull a few more strings.”

“I think I can wing it with sizes,” Sam offered up eagerly, “If you just give me a pen I can jot down a few of them for you and…”

“Perfect,” Hart replied reaching for his pocket only to remember he didn’t have his suit on, “Let me go snag a pen from the kitchen.”

“Awesome,” Sam replied excitedly watching him go back into the kitchen before she looked to Jenna again, “Is he always this great?”

“Nah,” Jenna shook her head before smiling, “sometimes he’s even better.”

“He’s really cool. You’re so lucky to have a guy like him around,” Sam added thinking about the night ahead of her. As Hart returned to the room, Jenna watched the interaction between the two of them realizing that she wasn’t the only lucky one to have Hart in her life. Sam had something really special in front of her and Jenna hoped that one day Sam would learn to truly appreciate that about Hart.


“No, I know anyone would do exactly what you are going to do,” Kellen frowned leaning back against the wall, looking down towards the ground.

“Really?” Kipp questioned with a frown. “I didn’t think I was really like most people. Just let me say...”

“That you don’t want to be friends anymore,” Kellen finished holding his hands up in the air, “You don’t have to explain anything else. I understand.”

“You thought that was what I was going to say?” Kipp wondered seeing Kellen look up at him.

“You mean you didn’t come here to tell me that?’ Kellen questioned seeing Kipp shake his head slowly. “Then what was it that you wanted to talk about.”

“You see, I figured that you would still be worrying about last night,” Kipp informed him, folding his arms out in front of himself, “I guess I was right with that assumption.”

“Just a little bit,” Kellen nodded laughing a bit uneasily, “So what was it that you really came here to say. I mean, you freaked me out when you got here. I thought you were going to say that you didn’t want to be friends anymore.”

“I thought you would realize already Kellen,” Kipp sighed shaking his head slowly, “I’m just not like that.”

“I thank god that you aren’t,” Kellen let out a small smile, “You know how to scare me I guess.”

“I don’t think I should be scaring you because no matter what, I still want to be friends with you,” Kipp promised leaning against the door, “I just wanted to come here and tell you that I’m not mad at you. I don’t think I could ever be mad at you.”

“I appreciate that,” Kellen nodded slowly before looking at Kipp, “I realized that you are actually a better person than I thought.”

“I’m glad you said that,” Kipp began with a small laugh, “Because that helps me figure out that I really want to bring you to this.”

“To what?” Kellen questioned eagerly standing up straight and a big grin spreading across his face.

“This,” Kipp replied pulling out the tickets and handing them to Kellen as Kellen’s face became filled with shock. “That’s right, tickets to the premiere party tonight.”

“Oh my god,” Kellen gasped jumping up as he held the tickets out, “These are seriously real? No joke?”

“No joke,” Kipp promised seeing Kellen clapping his hands, “Now, if you will…this is a costume party and I am assuming that you have a Star Wars costume already.”

“Assuming?” Kellen questioned with a small frown, resting his hands on his hips, “You are underestimating me. Of course I have a Star Wars costume. That’s like asking a dog if they have fur.”

“Well, I guess you should be getting dressed then,” Kipp suggested with a small smile feeling Kellen hug him tightly.

“I knew there was something very special about you. I always had a vibe that you were a great guy honey,” Kellen kissed his cheek gently before running towards his bedroom.

“I will be back to pick you up,” Kipp yelled out seeing Kellen peek his head back out of his room, “I still have to get ready too.”

“Okay sweetheart, but hurry up,” Kellen excitedly waved goodbye before going to his closet pulling out a bunch of clothes and throwing them to the floor until he came across his costume. “This is going to be just perfect.”


“Do I have everything?” Kevin asked himself once more grabbing his keys from his pocket. “I have my keys and my wallet.”

Kevin walked out into the hallway pulling out his wallet and checking if he had enough money in his wallet or maybe he should get more from his bag. Before he put his bag away, he felt someone bumping into him making his lose his balance and drop his wallet to the ground. The person went to bend down and pick up the wallet at the same time as he looked up seeing their face.

“Cori?” Kevin questioned as she looked up at him handing him his wallet as she smiled.

“Kevin,” she laughed standing up slowly as Diego came up from behind them touching Cori’s shoulder lightly.

“You two know each other?” Diego questioned seeing both of them look away from each other.

“Of course not, no,” they both replied unison as Diego raised an eyebrow in curiosity.

“Then how did you two know each other’s name?” Diego wondered as they both hesitated.

“Well, she just looks like someone I know named Cori,” Kevin stated before looking at her, “You mean that’s your real name?”

“Yeah,” Cori nodded with a slight smile seeing Diego look at them awkwardly, “What a coincidence and his name was on his ID in his wallet.”

“Oh,” Diego nodded slowly before looking up at Kevin, “Have we met before?”

“I don’t believe so,” Kevin shook his head before putting his wallet back in his pocket, “If you will excuse me, I have to go help some family out, it‘s a crisis. You two make a great couple by the way.”

“I guess it was nice meeting you,” Diego yelled out seeing Kevin quickly turn down the hallway as he turned to Cori, “Are you sure you two don’t know each other?”

“I’ve never met him in my life,” Cori answered quickly before shrugging, “I mean other than today. Are you ready to get going?”

“Of course,” Diego nodded slowly before walking down the hallway with her. That was one of the biggest coincidences he has ever seen in his life. “Interesting.”


“What are we doing here,” Nick frowned watching Angela pull her Jeep up into the small parking lot outside the police station. After having spent a considerable amount of the previous evening dealing with the officers that had arrived on the scene after they’d shot their latest intruder, Nick felt no need to delve into another lengthy discussion with anyone even remotely connected to law enforcement.

“We’re going to get some answers that we need,” she stated simply putting the Jeep into park. She flashed him a small smile, “Ready to go make some magic?”

“Angela, you do realize that we’re at the police station, right?” he asked giving her a pointed look, “I mean that simple fact hasn’t just slipped your mind has it?”

“Nope, not in the least,” she shook her head, “but let’s just say that in being here we can find the answers that we’re seeking out.”

“How do you figure? I just shot a man, remember? I’m pretty sure that the police department is probably one of the last places I should be given that we don’t know what kind of man I was before you found me,” he added with a small frown of his own, “This could be dangerous.”

“Dangerous would be in not asking the questions that need to be asked,” she swung her keys around on her index finger, “Come on. You trust me, don’t you?”

“Of course I trust you, but,” he eyed the police station once again, “you’re sure this is a good idea?”

“It will be when you see what I have in mind,” she nodded in response before opening the driver’s side door of her Jeep. “Come on Nick.”

“I hope you know what you’re doing,” he mumbled from underneath his breath before following her out of the Jeep and up the steps to the small island police station.

“Just trust me,” she waved her hand dismissively before pulling open the front door to the station. Standing taller, she walked inside as if she didn’t have a care in the world. Her head was held high, her stride long, confident steps and Nick had to admit there wasn’t a head in the department that didn’t turn at the sight of her. That in itself made him all the more uncomfortable.

“Hey Emilio,” Angela waved to the wiry looking officer behind the desk, “Is Captain Solo in this morning?”

“Angie, Angie, Angie,” Emilio shook his head at her, while speaking up with his thick Jamaican accent, “if you’re in here looking for Solo, then there’s bound to be trouble a following you.”

“Nah, no trouble,” she smiled at him once again before shrugging her shoulders, “I’m just needing some questions answered. That’s all.”

“With you that’s never all,” Emilio replied with a firm look before glancing over her shoulder to where Nick stood. “Who might this be? New muscle?”

“Let’s just say that he’s a friend and leave it at that,” Angela replied not bothering to offer up anything further, “So is Solo in or not?”

“Yeah, he’s in, but I don’t think he’s up to seeing you. Last I heard you were giving him a whole new world of headaches,” Emilio replied with a tiny chuckle, “Got him so hot under the collar last time that he went off on a rampage for a week.”

“So I still have my charms about me, eh?” she teased with a wink before moving beyond the counter, “Since he’s in, I’ll just make my way back to his office.”

“Angie, you know full well you shouldn’t be going back there unannounced,” Emilio frowned half-heartedly trying to stop her from going forward.

“Oh now Emilio, you know you wouldn’t think of preventing me from going in there. It’s important that I see Solo,” she flashed him a confident smile, “Come on. Just let me do this one thing as a favor for all the fixes I pulled you out of.”

“You know I really shouldn’t,” he frowned back at her.

“But you will because you like me,” she winked at him.

“It’s my downfall in life,” he stepped aside clearing a path for her, “but if you get him all riled up, you snuck in past me, got it?”

“Of course,” she promised with a small wave before turning around to wiggle her finger at Nick, “Come on. We’ve got a meeting ahead of us.”

“Why do I get the distinct feeling we’re about to be walking into trouble?” Nick asked still unsure of what it was exactly that she’d had planned. He eyed Emilio wearily sensing Emilio’s uncertainty about Nick’s being around Angela.

“Trust me, you’ll be fine,” she waved her hand dismissively, “Emilio worries all too much considering that he’s completely exaggerating about Captain Solo. He’s just still unsure of what he should and shouldn’t do since he’s trying to follow the path of the straight and narrow.”

“What do you mean trying?” Nick questioned curiously.

“It means he wasn’t always a sergeant here on the department. Let’s just say it took a little while for him to evolve to that status after he worked for my father a bit,” she shrugged her shoulders simply.

Nick took another look at the scrawny man behind the desk, “He worked for your father?”

“Not as muscle, but more so as brains in his finances,” she confessed with another shrug, “Emilio enjoyed numbers, but after my father died, he decided he’d always wanted to go straight, so this was his chance. Solo and I go back a ways and it worked out for everyone.”

“I see and this Solo,” Nick hesitated contemplating what they were doing there, “What are we up against?”

“A whole world of trouble if you even think about walking through these doors with another cockamamie scheme of yours Angela Meloni,” Captain Solo blurted out standing in the doorway to his office with his arms folded in front of his chest, “Don’t even think about getting me sucked into your little scheme there Angela, because if you’ve got something that’s headed towards trouble, then I have news for you. It’s not happening.”

“Oh would you relax,” she rolled her eyes speeding up her stride to stand face to face with the man before her. She held he gaze on his dark eyes, “It’s not nearly as bad as what you’re thinking.”

He looked beyond Angela to where Nick stood, “The last time you came through these doors with a man at your side, it was more than trouble. I believe you were looking at some fraud charges.”

“It wasn’t fraud,” she objected curling her lip in a pout, “Chris just didn’t understand what our associates were trying to scam us with and…”

“Angela, he was trouble and this one, well if he’s spending time with you, well it can’t be good,” he added with a seriousness behind his eyes.

“Oh please,” she rolled her eyes in response, “you know full well that even if I was in a world of trouble, well then you’d be right there trying to bail me out. Admit it.”

“What I can admit to is that you’re trouble Angela,” he reminded her with a small shake of his head before his attention turned to Nick, “So who is your partner in crime these days since I see Kevin’s not tagging along.”

“Terrell, don’t even start with him,” Angela wiggled her finger in his face before motioning for Nick to step closer. “Nick, I’d like you to meet Captain Terrell Solo, the impossible police captain around these parts.”

“Captain Solo?” Nick couldn’t help but arch a curious brow at the man.

“Yes, yes I know. I get it all the time,” Terrell held his hands out as if waiting for a launch of bad jokes, “I know…first off I look nothing like Harrison Ford so while the whole Captain Solo Star Wars jokes seem to run rampant around here with these idiots at the station, as you can clearly see I’m far from the roguish Han Solo that film fanatics might’ve come to enjoy.”

“Oh I don’t know. I think you’ve got plenty of rogue in you with some subtle persuasion,” she nudged at his ribs.

“You’re just saying that because you know I’m reluctant to throw you in jail after I spent all those years working for your father.”

“Oh now come on, you know your having a soft spot for me has everything to do with me and nothing to do with my father,” she continued with another laugh.

“Sometimes I wish that weren’t the case,” Terrell shook his head before looking to Nick, “So it’s Nick huh?”

“Nick Smith,” Angela corrected, “He‘s working for Martha.”

“It’s a pleasure,” Terrell held his hand out to Nick, “Smith you say huh? Why does that sound so familiar?”

“Because last night some of your boys were picking up some trash at the place he’s rented,” Angela cut straight to the point, “Which is why I was hoping you could give me some information on that stray that the morgue tagged and bagged there.”

“Have to love her bluntness, don’t you?” Terrell shook his head at her, “So what gives Angela? Is there something to that story that you’re not letting on about?”

“Now would I ever do such a thing,” she brought her hand up to her chest feigning innocence, “I just thought I’d come down here today and see if the scum that was lurking around had a name.”

“He did,” Terrell nodded revealing nothing more.

“And it was?” she probed further.

“None of your concern unless of course you and Mr. Smith would like to add something to your statements you made earlier,” Terrell suggested shifting his gaze between the both of them.

“Okay, I’ll do it,” Angela sighed bringing her hand up to her chest with an exaggerated movement, “The dead guy really could’ve used a mint or something. He didn’t exactly have the best people friendly breath. Maybe a tic-tac or something could’ve helped with that garlic I think I sensed on his breath.”

“Angela,” Terrell grew suddenly serious, “this isn’t a game here.”

“No it’s not,” she matched his tone, “which is why I was hoping you could help Nick and I do a little research.”

“You know that’s against department policy,” he nodded to the three other officers that sat around the office, “I could get into a lot of trouble if I gave up information on the case to you.”

“Oh Terrell face it, no one on the mainland cares what happens here and you’re no where near into following the rules,” she placed her hands on her hips stubbornly, “so why not quit yanking my chain and just give me what I need to be on my way?”

“And you’re with her voluntarily,” Terrell jabbed once again before the laughter faded from his voice, “Angela, the man that wound up in the morgue this morning was trouble.”

“Yeah, we sort of figured that much,” she waved her hand impatiently. “How much trouble?”

“More than what Cameron would want you to be getting into,” Terrell explained looking to Nick once again, “And I’m willing to guess this trouble comes along with you since Smith is a very, well…thought provoking name.”

“Look, I honestly didn’t know anything about that man that was there last night--at least I don’t think I do,” Nick offered up deciding maybe it was better to be silent.

“What do you mean you didn’t know anything?” Terrell arched a curious brow.

“He means he doesn’t know. Look Terrell I’ll be straight with you here,” she lowered her voice a bit, “the truth is we think that man that came there last night was trying to kill us. He was after something and we’d like to figure it out before any of his ’friends’ decide it’s time for a tropical vacation if you catch my drift.”

“If that’s your subtle way of saying you’re worried, well you should be,” Terrell surveyed the room once again before motioning for the two of them to follow him to his office. He carefully closed the door behind them before making his way to the mound of papers before him, “You both should be very worried because I haven’t seen one of these in a while.”

“One of what?” Nick questioned watching Terrell pick up a file folder from his desk and hold it out to Angela.

“We ran your guy’s prints and came up with some very interesting statistics on him. Not only does your guy have a wrap sheet long enough to wallpaper my entire cabin and then some, but he’s also a professional if you catch my drift,” Terrell sat down on the edge of his desk, “He’s a wanted man in about three states.”

“So he was a hired gun huh?” she replied opening up the folder to look at the eyes of the man whose life had expired in Nick’s kitchen last night.

“That he was which prompts the question of what is it you two are wrapped up in?” Terrell’s words were met by silence, “Look if you both aren’t straight with me right now, then I’ll just have to take matters into my own hands.”

“Look, I’d rather not get into it now,” she waved her hand at him dismissively before showing the photo before her to Nick, “Does the name Peter Lorenzo ring a bell to you?”

“No, not at all,” Nick shook his head, “I swear I don’t think I’ve ever seen him before last night.”

“Yeah, well whether or not you have or haven’t, the man isn’t a cheap hired hand,” Terrell whipped the pages out of Angela’s hands. “Someone paid big bucks to make sure that one of you didn’t make it to this morning and I’d like to know why.”

“So would we,” Angela cut him off abruptly, “That’s why we came here. I figured you could share your information with us--maybe let us use a computer for a while and…”

“And what? Start your own investigation?” Terrell shook his head, “I don’t think so.”

“Oh come on. I promise whatever we find we’ll share with you,” she pleaded with him.

“And what about Cameron? Does he have any idea about any of this?” Terrell threw back at her.

“No and I don’t want him to either. It’s best if we keep this between just us for now,” she explained with a firm expression.

“I’m not really sure that’s such a great idea Angela considering that the last time I thought about doing you a favor, I wound up being in far more trouble than I ever imagined…”

“Terrell please,” she appealed to him once again.

“No, this time I think I’m going to handle this one on my own and I’m sure that you should talk to Cameron about it before I…” he started once more.

“If you even think about calling him, then I swear that I will have no problems going to Martha and telling her about you and her niece when she was in town visiting that couple of weeks last July,” she threw back at him with a warning look.

“You wouldn’t dare,” Terrell’s dark eyes widened before a smirk spread over his features, “You would.”

“Of course I would,” she nodded in response, “So what do you say? Are you going to give us a little hand in this one by letting us on the inside?”

“I shouldn’t, but since you drive a hard bargain, well, I suppose we can work something out,” Terrell piped back at her, “and just for the record that whole thing with Martha’s niece was totally Kevin’s fault.”

“Don’t try blaming Kevin for your libido. All he did was point you in the right direction. You took it upon yourself to get involved,” she added further, “which is what I’ll have to do if you even think about screwing me on this one.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Terrell promised as Nick watched the exchange between the two of them wondering just what it was Angela hoped to gain in going to the police captain. While Angela seemed to think all of the answers were right in front of them, Nick didn’t exactly have the same kind of faith.


“Hey, you ready?” Brant questioned popping his head into the study to discover Avery seated in a chair staring at the phone obsessively. She tapped her fingers on top of the desk impatiently and her dark eyes seemed to be miles away, “Avery?”

“Huh? What?” she sat up straighter trying to draw her attention away from her worries about Grady, “What’s wrong?”

“That’s what I was about to ask you, but judging by the expression on your face, I can take a guess. You still haven’t heard from Grady, have you?” he asked stepping further into the room.

“No,” she shook her head and frowned, “and that worries me…a lot.”

“I’m sure that he’s fine,” he tried to reason with her, “You know how Grady is.”

“Yes, and that’s all the more reason why I’m worried,” she confessed shaking her head again, “He’s impulsive and reckless and completely irrational when his emotions are on overload. If he thinks for a second that Cameron was the one who hurt Jade--if he believes that there’s a chance that Cameron is holding her somewhere, then he’s going to do anything and everything he can to find a way to get to Cameron.”

“Which is why he and I made the deal we did,” Brant reminded her with another shrug, “I think in doing that he’d come to me for help before going out on his own.”

“Brant, we both know better than that,” Avery threw out a pointed look, “Sure Grady will probably come to you when he finds something, but it’s the process of digging around that has me worried. What if he’s gone off and done something that will get him in over his head? What if he got caught doing what he was doing and…”

“Avery, I talked to a friend of mine over at the police station this morning. Cameron’s still in jail with no chance of seeing bail anytime soon,” Brant explained simply, “It turns out Cameron’s made more enemies than he bargained for and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. At least I know I won’t be changing it anytime soon. The man is getting everything he deserves right now.”

“But what about Jade? Does she deserve any of this?” Avery questioned worry evident in her tone, “What if Cameron has her tucked away somewhere that only he knows the location to? What if she’s hurting and there isn’t anyone there to help her? What if in having Cameron locked up, she isn’t eating or drinking or…”

“You’re really worried about this, aren’t you?” Brant noted the desperation in her tone.

She nodded solemnly, “I am. I mean I’m worried about Grady, but more so for Jade. I know Grady wants to find her--that he needs to find her, but Brant…”

“What? What is it?” he asked moving in over to the desk to get closer to her.

“Jade was pregnant when she disappeared,” Avery confessed thinking about the discovery that Grady just made after his phone call with Gabe, “She found out right before Grady was acquitted, but she didn’t tell him.”

“How long did she know?” Brant asked softening his tone a bit.

“I don’t know, but my guess would be she knew long enough to have told him before all of this happened,” she paused biting on her lower lip, “I know I don’t have any proof to back me up, but my instincts are telling me that she knew long before the trial ended.”

“So then she was waiting to tell him in the hopes of having more good news to share with him?” he questioned watching her face twist with unmistakable concern, “Avery?”

“I don’t know if that was it, or if it was because of what was happening with Grady and I. Brant, you know full well that Grady and I haven’t exactly had the most civil of relationship with one another and when he found out that you and I were married, well he really lost it.”

“I remember,” he nodded thinking back, “but you two smoothed the waters out there, right?”

“Well, yes, but if it wasn’t for Jade, well I don’t know if that would’ve been made possible. She’s so important to him and he loves her so very much. I’m sure that they were destined to be together and now that they’re apart…” she started her worries sweeping over her once more.

“Grady’s more desperate than ever to find her,” he nodded again finally understanding, “I can’t say I blame the guy. If something happened to you, well I can promise you that I’d do whatever was necessary to find you.”

“All the more reason for me to be worried about Grady,” Avery confessed ready to say something else when the phone rang. Immediately her eyes fell upon the phone. Panic swept over her.

“Go ahead and answer it,” Brant urged watching her reach for the phone.

“Hello,” she answered in a shaky voice hoping that it wasn’t bad news. She listened to the voice on the other end of the line with Brant watching her intently before she covered the mouthpiece of the phone.

“Is it him?” Brant asked hoping that her worries would be put to an end.

“No, it’s Seth,” she shook her head before holding out the phone, “and he wants to talk to you.”

“To me?” Brant gave her a strange look before taking the phone, “Hello.”

Avery watched him for a moment before her thoughts returned to Grady and what it was that he must be going through now that Jade had up and vanished without a trace. It didn’t seem right--didn’t seem fair at all and now, well now she just hoped that whatever path he’d taken had lead him closer to the truth about where Jade was.

“Alright. I’ll be there shortly,” Brant finished hanging up the phone with a decidedly firm movement. Avery looked up from where she sat seeing that his face was clearly laced with tension and anger.

“Brant what is it?” she questioned sensing that whatever it was that Seth needed to talk to him about wasn’t good.

“It’s Blake,” Brant answered tightly, clenching his fists at his side, “She and Seth ran off to Atlantic City to get married.”

“What?” Avery’s jaw practically dropped, “When?”

“Last night,” he frowned deeply.

“So he was calling to break the news to you that she just up and left to get married?” Avery tilted her head to the side giving him a strange look.

“No, he was calling me to tell me that it would probably be a good idea if I came on down to Atlantic City because Blake’s in jail,” Brant blurted out his somewhat peaceful mood transforming to a less than thrilled one now that he knew his sister was in trouble.

“What happened? Brant, how did she wind up in jail?” Avery questioned further rising up to get the details.

“I don’t know, but whatever it is that’s going on, I’m about to put an end to it,” Brant vowed ready to take on whomever it was that had been stupid enough to put his sister in jail. Someone was about to pay for this one big time!


“Did you get a hold of anyone?” Kyle questioned as Seth returned to the police station lobby sitting down in a chair next to Kyle.

“Yeah, I got a hold of my cousin,” Seth nodded before rubbing his hands together slowly.

“Cool,” Kyle sighed shaking his head slowly, “I can’t believe that little jerk stole my wallet. We wouldn’t be needing your cousin right now if that maggot didn’t steal it.”

“Hey, it’s no problem,” Seth assured Kyle with a laugh, “Kevin had no problem coming and pick us up. He is a pretty laid back guy. He is pretty cool.”

“That’s cool man,” Kyle took in a deep breath before thinking back to Seth’s cousin, “Hopefully that cousin doesn’t live too far away from here.”

“Actually, he told me he would be here in a little bit,” Seth informed Kyle before shrugging, “I guess I trust him. When it comes to having a problem, he usually gets done with it fast.”

“Sounds like my kind of friend,” Kyle laughed before trying to look behind the guards to see Sarah, “You think they are doing okay back there?”

“Of course they are,” Seth replied thinking back to the scene at the airport, “I think if Valerie starts something, Sarah might finish that rumble they were having.”

“She is a wild one,” Kyle agreed with a tiny chuckle, “Really amazing woman though, just like Blake. We are both really lucky guys.”

“That we are,” Seth agreed as he sighed in deeply thinking about Valerie, “But no matter what, there is always something that is trying to interfere with your love.”

“Valerie?” Kyle questioned seeing Seth nod slowly as threw his hand up. “Don’t even worry about her, she is just a piece of dirt that I am sure will be taken care of soon.”

“I hope you are right,” Seth frowned thinking about how Blake could have been his wife right now, “We could be married right now if it weren’t for her.”

“You two will be together,” Kyle patted Seth on the back before shrugging, “If nothing else, I will become your wedding planner.”

“I’d love to see that,” Seth shook his head slowly with a small laugh, “That would be great.”

“I might be good at it,” Kyle pointed out seeing Seth nod slowly, “Anyways, I knew you two would be making up last night…it’s not like we had sound proof walls.”

“What are you talking about?” Seth questioned with a laugh seeing Kyle shrug. “Are you trying to say that we are loud.”

“Louder than loud,” Kyle declared leaning back in his chair, “How do you think Sarah knew you guys were okay?”

“You know,” Seth began with a wiggle of his eyebrow, “I know that it was bull what you told Blake earlier. We may be louder than you, but I still have really good ears.”

“Okay, getting off topic,” Kyle laughed shaking resting one hand behind his head, “Tell me about this Valerie girl. What is she all about?”

“It’s a long story,” Seth informed Kyle closing his eyes shut tightly thinking back to that horrible night.

“Oh, I see what you mean,” Kyle sarcastically stated shrugging, “I mean how much time can we have. A few seconds, maybe a minute?”

“As long as you don’t mind stories,” Seth offered up seeing Kyle give him his complete attention.

“I love stories,” Kyle insisted moving his hands motioning him to go on, “Now go on with the story.”



...to be continued...