Episode 213

“How long will it take for a stupid cop to get out here?” Kevin questioned leaning back in the hard seat.

“Forever,” Kyle yawned looking down at his watch, “They are slow as hell here.”

“Aren’t all cops?” Kevin questioned with a laugh seeing Kyle nod quickly.

“Don’t we all know it?” Kyle wondered with a small laugh before having an awkward silence between them.

“Did I really break some of your ribs?” Kevin questioned seeing Kyle hold up his shirt and show Kevin the wrap around his abdomen. “Did you talk to a doctor?”

“No,” Kyle shook his head slowly putting his shirt back down, “What about the stitches thing? Did that cost anything because if it did, I don’t mind paying for it once I get my wallet back.”

“No,” Kevin smiled before lifting his shirt up and showing Kyle the small scar, “I guess I heal fast.”

“Damn,” Kyle laughed as Kevin put his shirt back down, “I wish I healed as fast as you.”

“It’s okay,” Kevin shrugged with a small smile, “Getting the tattoos hurt a lot more than the stitches.”

“What are your tattoos?” Kyle questioned seeing Kevin roll up sleeve and show him something that seemed to be written in Chinese. “What does that mean?”

“It’s a name,” Kevin answered gulping down and putting his sleeve back down, “I got it when I was younger. It means Angie…or Angel.”

“That’s cool,” Kyle nodded seeing Kevin turn and show him the other tattoo on his other arm, “That one is a work of art.”

“I know,” Kevin smiled looking it over, “It’s not my favorite though.”

“You have more?” Kyle wondered seeing Kevin stand up and lift the back of his shirt up showing him the one on his back. “Is that a dragon?”

“A few things are in there,” Kevin nodded putting his shirt back down, “But I love dragons. There is something about them.”

“That makes them really cool,” Kyle agreed before slightly laughing, “I used to love dragons when I was younger. I always used to like this comic when I was younger. It was about a guy who had all the powers…”

“Of the dragon,” Kevin finished his sentence seeing Kyle nod, “I used to love that comic. I have the whole set.”

“You do?” Kyle questioned wide eyed seeing Kevin nod, “That is so sweet.”

“I know,” Kevin nodded with a small smile, “I even have this lunch box with him on it. It was so cool.”

“I have the same one,” Kyle informed Kevin seeing him laugh, “My family used to think I was crazy because I loved that and I was really…”

“Don’t tell me you watched wrestling all the time,” Kevin pleaded with a small laugh seeing Kyle nod.

“Yeah, that’s exactly what I was going to say,” Kyle shook his head slowly looking over at Seth who was smiling widely. “What are you so happy about?”

“Do you realize you two are getting along?” Seth questioned as Kevin looked down at Kyle.

“You are kidding right?” Kevin questioned seeing Seth shake his head. “This guy is the biggest loser I have ever met in my life.”

“Yeah, what are you smoking Seth?” Kyle wondered standing up quickly. “Your cousin is an ass and I don’t even know how you have such a strong relationship with him.”

“Seth,” a girls voice called out Seth’s name making Kyle and Kevin turn around.

“Oh great it is you,” Kyle rolled his eyes as Kevin looked down at Valerie with a small smile.

“You are the one that has been causing Seth crap?” Kevin questioned remembering her face.

“I need to talk to him,” Valerie tried to get through Kyle and Kevin as they held her back, “Let go of me you dumb idiots.”

“You obviously don’t remember who I am,” Kevin pointed out watching her take a step back, “I’m Seth’s cousin. You know the one who never liked you.”

“I don’t care who you are,” Valerie snapped trying to get by them, “Let me talk to him.”

“Listen,” Kyle began to speak making her listen, “Seth doesn’t want to talk to you or even see you.”

“He doesn’t need a bitch in his life right now,” Kevin declared feeling Valerie slap him across the face and then slap Kyle too.

“That’s it,” Kyle snapped pushing her against the wall so she couldn't move, “I really don’t care what you want and none of us want to hear your little bullshit story about how Seth belongs with you because we all know he doesn’t.”

“Let me go,” Valerie tried getting out of his grasp as he pinned her even tighter.

“You are going to listen to me first,” Kyle replied taking in a slow breath, his face deep red with anger, “You better stay away from Seth. If you don’t, you are going to regret it.”

“What are you going to do to me?” Valerie questioned looking up at Kyle’s angered eyes. “I’m not afraid of you.”

“That’s too bad because you should be,” Kyle scowled seeing real fear behind her eyes, “I can’t hurt you, but I can say that Sarah would love to have another rumble with you. And I know you are afraid of her. So if I were you, I would get out of here right now.”

Kyle smiled letting her go and turning around to see Kevin look at him wide eyed.

“Who is Sarah?” Kevin questioned seeing Kyle take in a deep breath and try to calm down.

“My girlfriend,” Kyle answered seeing Kevin nod slowly, “She hates her just as much as I do.”

“You weren’t that pissed off when we were fighting,” Kevin pointed out seeing Kyle nod.

“I wasn’t mad at you,” Kyle stated looking down at his watch, “Did she leave yet?”

“Afraid not,” Kevin shook his head seeing Kyle turn around angrily.

“Did you not understand me the first time?” Kyle questioned seeing Valerie pout and turn around walking towards the door. Kyle grew annoyed hearing his name repeated over and over again as he yelled out. “What?”

“Is this your wallet sir?” the now scared cop questioned holding up the wallet seeing Kyle nod slowly. “Well just sign right here.”

“You got a pen?” Kyle questioned as the cop held up a pen in his shaking hand, “Thanks. Now if you will, I would like my friends to be bailed out.”

“Of course sir,” the cop nodded seeing Kyle pull out some money and throw it on the table, “Right away.”

“Damn man,” Seth laughed patting Kyle on the back, “You really know how to get something done around here, just scare the cop to death.”

“If that’s what it takes,” Kyle shrugged with a small laugh, “I just think people need to realize they don’t want to piss me off.”

“I want to see you pissed off,” Kevin stated seeing Kyle look back at him, “To see if you can really put up a fight.”

“Don’t even get me started,” Kyle rolled his eyes going back and sitting down. They could finally go home soon, that’s what he was really looking forward to.


“Okay, I think I’ve seen more than enough on this Lorenzo character to let me realize what a mess we could’ve gotten into last night,” Nick announced rubbing his temple to fend off the growing headache from within.

“They say it’s better to know the enemy,” Angela paused considering that statement, “even if he’s dead.”

“Even so, looking at his rap sheet, it makes me wonder just how far away from the end you and I were ourselves there,” he groaned leaning back in his chair slightly as Angela continued to click away at the keyboard of Terrell’s computer. He watched her continue to immerse herself in the information before her, yet to him all he found was a great pool of frustration. “Maybe this is another sign that I’m obviously more trouble than either one of us thought.”

“Having a hired gun after you doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re trouble,” she shrugged her shoulders before glancing over at him with a flirty smile, “It just means you’re pretty damned important if someone wants you dead.”

“I love that theory,” he couldn’t help but laugh before shaking his head, “It’s so…well risqué.”

“Hey, don’t knock it until you’ve lived it,” she stuck her tongue out at him, “I’ll have you know that you’re not the first person I’ve met who has had a hired gun after him.”

“Oh that’s refreshing,” he rolled his eyes at that statement before sitting up straighter, “so in other words this is your way of telling me you just gravitate towards trouble.”

“Given my history, I wouldn’t be too far off in saying that I’d imagine I’ve had a hit or two put on me through the years,” she shrugged her shoulders once again turning the chair to get more comfortable in front of the computer.

“Because of your father’s business associates?” Nick arched a curious brow.

“Nah,” she waved her hand dismissively, “probably more so because my wicked step-mother felt I didn’t really have a place in this world since my existence interfered with her.”

“Well, she was very wrong,” Nick began to scoot his chair towards her. He reached out to massage her shoulders gently, “because the way I see it, you more than have a place in this world and my heart for that matter.”

“Flattery will get you everywhere right about now,” she smiled leaning into his touch. A small sigh spilled from her lips as she found herself enjoying the soothing caress of his fingers over her tense body, “Come to think of it, so will this. Keep doing what you’re doing.”

“You like this,” he half questioned placing a kiss on the back of her neck while working to untangle the knots in her neck and shoulders.

“Do I ever,” she confessed with a low, satisfied purr before reluctantly tipping her head up again, “but your heavenly touch isn’t going to be enough to stop me from digging around. I want to know who called the hit and why.”

“That’s what I’m worried about,” he frowned feeling her pull away, “If someone went to that length to try to have me killed, then I think it’s safe to say that my being here is a threat. I shouldn’t stay here if it’s going to bring you problems…”

“Nick, don’t be ridiculous,” she glared over at him, “you’re safer here with me than anyone. Now that word has no doubt spread around the island that there was someone around here last night trying to stir up some trouble, pretty much everyone will be on the lookout.”

“I think that man was looking for more than trouble last night Angie. He wanted me dead and given what you’ve said about those types, I wouldn’t doubt someone else will follow,” Nick frowned intensely thinking about the strange confrontation that had taken place.

“Even so, in case you haven’t noticed this island isn’t exactly a place for someone to just walk right in and manipulate the rest of us. I mean for what it’s worth, I think it’s pretty safe to say that even the law enforcement around here isn’t your traditional scene given that half of the cops on duty were on my father’s payroll not so long ago. They’re used to having to deal with this sort of thing and I can assure you if someone else comes around snooping or with deadly intent, they’ll find themselves joining Peter Lorenzo very soon,” she assured him with a seriousness in her tone.

“You really believe that, don’t you?” he eyed her intently feeling her reach for his hand.

“Nick, you have to trust me on this. When I first came to this place it wasn’t exactly your run of the mill moral, upstanding community. A lot of folks here came looking for a new start--they weren’t wanting to be found and as long as we worked on getting along, well it ended up becoming a very close, very small community where there isn’t a lot of welcome for strangers,” she began to admit to him.

“Well that explains a lot about the way Kevin looks at me,” he tried to make light of the situation.

“Nah,” she waved her hand again, “Kevin’s just like that naturally, but still Nick, if someone wants you dead, we’re going to find out who. We’ll see who the person that put the hit was and we’ll make sure that they don’t get what they want. After all if you made someone miserable and the only joy they’ll get out of this world is in seeing you dead, then who the hell are we to make it easy on them?”

He laughed again, “Gee, that’s refreshing to know you want to keep me alive to make someone else miserable.”

“Nick, you know there’s more to it than that,” she offered up her smile fading. She squeezed his hand in hers, “I know that things have been moving really fast for us, but the truth to the matter is that last night when I almost lost you, well I realized that I’ve been wasting one too many chances. I have been lost inside this stupid little cage I put myself into after the way things turned out with the baby’s father. I wanted to bury myself in work--to forget that there were people out there worth taking a chance on, but you changed that for me. Nick, I know you’re worth the risk and if there’s someone out there trying to hurt you, well you can rest assured that they’re going to have to get through me to get to you.”

“That’s just it,” he reached out to touch her cheek gently, “If someone wants me dead, the last thing I want is for them to hurt you. You mean the world to me and I’d hate to have anything happen to you or the baby.”

“It’s not going to especially once we beat the enemy at their own game,” she leaned forward kissing him lightly before an idea sparked in her head, “I’ve got it.”

“Got what?” he questioned feeling her pull back.

“I know what we’ve been doing wrong,” she announced clicking away at the keyboard once again, “We’ve been trying to find out who could’ve hired Lorenzo, but what we really should’ve been doing is trying to discover what it is you’ve done to piss someone off.”

“And how do you propose we go about doing that?” Nick replied with a strange look, “Don’t you think if I had any inclination of what that might be that I might’ve found a way to just solve the problem?”

“You might’ve, but then again when someone wants to find someone else, they’ll enlist whatever methods and means necessary to get the job done. Obviously someone was looking for you and when a person vanishes without a trace, well, that’s when they become a missing person,” she continued clicking away on the keys all the while pulling up a new database. “Given that you washed up here on the island I’m assuming you weren’t too far from here to begin with. My guess is that whatever happened to bring you to this place was something that lead the search to find you. When someone wants to find another person, running a missing person search is a great way to make it happen. If I just plug in your profile and check the database, I wouldn’t doubt that someone has reported your absence.”

“You think that there’s someone out there looking for me?” Nick’s eyes widened curiously.

She nodded again, “I don’t know why it didn’t hit me before, but if I’m right on this one, not only will we find a clue as to who it is that’s out to get you, but we might even begin to figure out what your life was like before you washed up on my island.”

“Angela,” he reached for her arm placing his hand on her wrist to stop her from continuing, “wait.”

“What’s wrong?” she questioned turning to face him.

“What if we do this and we discover something that neither one of us wants to know? What if you run a search and we find out that I’m someone worse than the man who came here last night to kill us?” he asked feeling a nervousness in the pit of his stomach. While he’d thought about where he’d come from, the fact to the matter was that with each passing moment he was starting to fear the truth about the man he once was.

“Nick, I know you’re not that man anymore,” she replied earnestly, “and whatever it is that we find--no matter how brutal it might be, it’s not your life anymore. Last night I saw that you aren’t a murderer. You don’t have that in you and I’m sure that whatever it is that you’ve forgotten about your former life, well, it wasn’t enough to warrant what happened last night. You’re a good man.”

“And what if I’m not? What if I’m everything I find myself hating,” he threw out at her shakily. He dropped his eyes to the floor before looking to the computer again, “I don’t know if I’m ready to face that Angela.”

“If it’s something we have to face, then we’ll face it together,” she touched his cheek gently, “You’re not alone on this one Nick.”

“I know, but to think about what it could mean for us…about what we could uncover in the search for the past,” he hesitated, his stomach tied in knots.

“Nick, I meant what I said before. The past was the past and this, well this is the future--it’s our future together and the past can’t take that away from either one of us. Whatever we find on this search it can only help us find peace in our lives. It’s not going to be the beginning of the end,” she promised him before leaning in to kiss him tenderly, “Please just trust me.”

“I do, but it’s me that I don’t trust,” Nick confessed feeling her pull back once again.

“Then let me have faith for the both of us,” she replied returning her attention to the search at hand while Nick wondered if he’d truly ever find peace in his life. After last night he was seriously having his doubts about what good could come from remembering his past. If he was half as much trouble as he feared he might be, then he couldn’t see how anything could get better by knowing of the disaster he’d left behind.


“Grady you need to calm down,” Avery started realizing that there was a wild look behind his eyes, “If you just tell me what’s going on, then I’m sure that we can…”

“Avery, there’s no time,” he tugged on her arm urgently, “You just have to trust me on this one.”

“I do trust you Grady, but you need to be a little more specific than what you’re giving me here,” Avery reminded him with a frown turning to face him once again, “What happened last night?”

“I think I might’ve found a lead to where he’s keeping her,” Grady confessed thinking back to the secret room he’d uncovered in Cameron’s home. Reaching into his pocket he withdrew the papers he’d taken out with him when he’d snuck out of the house. He thought back to how he’d almost been discovered by Cameron’s butler, but fortunately luck was on his side. “When I was at Cameron’s place I found these…”

“What are they?” Avery questioned watching Grady move on over to the table to show her the pages he’d collected. He smoothed out the top sheet before motioning for her to move in for a closer look, “Cameron had a whole room full of boxes and crates and while I wasn’t able to get into a lot of them, there were a few marked with this address on the top. I was curious and naturally given that this place isn’t all that far out of town, I decided to take a look at some of the crates. Inside I found women’s clothing, jewelry and various other things.”

“Okay, that’s a bit strange, but what does it have to do with this,” Avery motioned to what appeared to be some sort of blueprint in his hand.

“This is where I think he’s keeping Jade. This is where I think he’s been holding her and I have this feeling that if we go there, then we’ll be able to find her,” Grady explained quickly folding up the paper once again, “After last night I’m convinced that this is the key.”

“Okay, so now what? Do we call Dave and…” Avery started pondering his new discovery.

“No,” he shook his head, “No police. I don’t want anyone to know about this--not until I’m sure, which is why I came to you. You and Brant are the only ones that…”

“Brant’s not here,” Avery blurted out thinking about her husband’s departure.

“He’s not?” Grady gave her a sideways glance, “Where did he go?”

“Blake’s been arrested. We don’t know all the details, but she and Seth ran off to Atlantic City and…” Avery started to explain.

“Atlantic City?” Grady repeated with a strange look, “Why in the world would they…”

Avery watched the way he grew silent understanding dawning in over his features.

“They got married, didn’t they?” Grady couldn’t help but ask thinking about how Jade would feel to know that her brother had gotten married in her absence. Knowing how close Jade and Seth were, he couldn’t help but feel for her at a time like this.

“That was my guess, but Seth really didn’t say much. Brant took the first flight out of town and well, I don’t know when he’s going to be back,” Avery confessed biting on her lower lip nervously, “although if you need my help…”

“Actually as much as I’d like to say no because I know Russ would kill me if he saw how I was enlisting your help,” Grady paused contemplating his upcoming request for her. He shifted on his toes before beginning again, “Avery, do you remember that day that you were in the interrogation room with Cameron?”

She nodded, “It’s a day I’m very unlikely to forget. There was something about the way he snuck up on me--something behind his eyes that creeps me out even now.”

“Exactly,” he replied with a nod of his own, “yet there was something there that day--something that went without saying. It was as if he was mesmerized by you in some way. I saw the way he was watching you and…”

“And the man is a lunatic,” she folded her arms in front of her chest, “We both know that.”

“Yes, that goes without saying, yet there was something else happening there. I mean at the time I just wanted to rip his head off, but then when I really, really started to think about it, there was some missing puzzle piece that I felt like I couldn’t quite get my hands on,” he confessed scratching his chin lightly.

“Yeah, it’s called he wanted you and I to kill one another. That was obvious when he pitted us against one another in the beginning of this lawsuit. I don’t think he was banking on you coming to my rescue,” she reminded him bluntly, “I think that totally blew his plans for us out of the water.”

“In a way it did, yet when I think about the way he was watching you. Avery, you and I both know there was something there,” he insisted firmly trying to get her to think back to that day.

“Yeah, it’s called ‘I attract psychos’ and for some reason they seem to be completely drawn to me,” she groaned inwardly, “Between Bruce and Cameron…”

“No, that’s not it,” he shook his head again, “Avery, look I don’t really have time to get into this, but I really need you to go with me to this place. I know it’s asking a lot, but…”

“But nothing. If you think I can help, then I’m all for helping Grady. I just don’t know how much more I can add to this situation, but if it helps us find Jade, then I’m more than ready to do what I can,” she decided after a moment’s contemplation.

“Thanks Avery,” he smiled at her, “now that we have that out of the way, do you have a few flashlights or something?”

“I can go check,” she replied with a small smile, “Give me a few minutes.”

“I’ll be here,” Grady promised watching her walk away. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out the one thing he hadn’t told her about--the picture he’d found tucked away in one of the boxes. There before him, he saw Avery’s eyes--her smile beaming up at him as she stood near a large oak tree. The photo was clearly taken years ago and judging by the expression on her face, Grady could see she was happy--clearly at ease with the person who was taking the picture. It had been an unsettling thing to happen upon last night, but now, well now that Grady had time to think it over, he vowed to find Jade and get to the bottom of what it was that Cameron had in mind for Avery.

Hearing her return Grady looked up at her tucking the photo back into his pocket and forcing a small smile, “Find everything?”

She nodded holding up her finds, “I found three flashlights. I don’t think we’ll need anymore than that.”

“That looks good,” he nodded in response taking note of the change of clothing she’d also taken the time to do. “What’s with the black?”

“I figure if we’re trying to be secretive I may as well fit the part,” she shrugged her shoulders before holding out a flashlight for him, “Come on Grady. Let’s get to the bottom of this mystery and bring Jade home.”

“After you,” he replied watching her exit and hoping that it would be as simple as she made it sound.


“I love the beach,” Cori sighed lying back on the towel that was placed on top of the sand, before grabbing her sunglasses and putting them on, “What about you? I think they are the most relaxing places around.”

“Yeah, relaxing,” Diego laughed resting on his elbows, “That’s if you love places that are extremely crowded and you like your butt getting steamed by the extremely hot sand.”

“I find it relaxing,” Cori shrugged seeing him stand up trying to get comfortable, “Just put another towel down.”

“That’s going to stop the heat?” Diego questioned rubbing his shoulders lightly. “It is too hot out here.”

“Sit down and shut up,” Cori replied watching him frown and sit down.

“Someone is in a great mood,” he pointed out with a small laugh, “Now I am seeing some of the old Cori.”

“Well, you should enjoy this instead of complaining the whole time,” Cori stated with small grin, “You should always be happy when you are with me.”

“Who said I’m not?” Diego wondered with a small grin seeing her take off her sunglasses and look over at him.

“Why are you complaining if you are having a good time?” she questioned seeing him shrug and laugh slightly.

“Maybe I just like giving you a hard time,” he suggested feeling her hit him in the shoulder lightly, “I was just saying. It doesn’t mean I really mean it.”

“Right,” she rolled her eyes before grabbing her sunglasses and sliding them back on.

“Oh, don’t tell me that you are mad at me now,” Diego frowned leaning over to try and see her face. “What do I have to do to make you feel better?”

“Kiss me,” she looked over at him seeing his expression change, looking surprised.

“You are kidding right?” Diego questioned seeing her shrug. “You play too much?”

“Who said I was kidding?” Cori wondered as a small grin appeared on her face seeing his face. “I was just playing you idiot.”

“I thought so,” he nodded slowly before leaning back on his elbows, “Truthfully, I thought you were being serious for a second.”

“Well, you can play…why can’t I?” she questioned with a small laugh seeing him shrug.

“What the?” Diego leaned forward grabbing the back of his head after feeling something hit him. “What was that?”

“I think it was Frisbee,” she answered with a small giggle seeing him turn around and pick up the red disk that had just hit him in the back of the head.

“That hurt,” he frowned rubbing the back of his head where the object had just hit him, “Ouch.”

“Oh come on,” Cori shook her head slowly still seeing him rub the back of his head, “Like a piece of plastic can hurt you that bad.”

“How about we have whoever threw this, throw it at the back of your head,” Diego suggested holding up the Frisbee, “The guy must be huge.”

“Excuse me sir,” a little boy stepped up to Diego seeing him turn around, “Can I have my Frisbee back?”

“This is yours?” Diego questioned seeing the little boy nod. “Were you the one that threw this?”

“Yeah,” the little boy nodded as Diego handed him the Frisbee with a small smile.

“You have a strong throw kid,” Diego informed him with a laugh, “Keep it up.”

“Real big guy,” Cori laughed from behind him seeing the kid run back to his friend. “I mean, how much do you think he benches?”

“Are you kidding me? That kid could beat me up any day,” he joked laying back down.

“I’m sure he could,” she agreed with a small chuckle before looking over at him, seeing a glimpse of sadness in his face. “What are you thinking about?”

“Oh, it’s nothing,” he replied with a small frown, “Nothing you would want to hear about.”

“Don’t take words out of my own mouth,” she hit him in the side lightly before shrugging, “So just tell me. I’m your buddy.”

“Well, I was just thinking about the last time I had come here with Maria,” he informed her seeing her nod, “We just stood by the shore and watched the water. She loved the water.”

“You miss her don’t you?” Cori wondered seeing him nod. “I know it’s really hard, I understand.”

“If anything, I just wish that child would have been born before the accident,” Diego frowned feeling her hand run up his arm soothingly, “You don’t need to hear any of this.”

“Actually, I do,” she declared taking her sunglasses off, “I care about you and I want to be here for you Diego. No matter what is going on.”

“I appreciate that,” he smiled seeing her stand up and reach her hand out for his, “What are you doing?”

“We are going to go and stand by the shore for a little while,” she answered as his hand grasped onto hers and he stood up, “The water might cool you down a little bit.”

“Might,” Diego shrugged with a small grin following her down towards the water. Something about Cori made him feel happy, something he hadn’t felt in a long, long time.


“Why are we at the doctors?” Kayla questioned as Dave helped her up onto the seat. “I thought we are going to go and have some fun.”

“We are,” Dave promised with a small frown, “You have to do this one thing for me first and then we will do something fun. I promise.”

“Okay,” Kayla smiled looking around the room, “I don’t usually come here.”

“Everything will be okay. The nice doctor will be coming in here in a couple of minutes and you will really like him,” Dave assured her before walking over towards Carly.

“Are you sure this is something you want to do?” Carly questioned quietly seeing Dave nod.

“More than anything,” Dave nodded slowly, “They will have the results done soon.”

They heard a knock at the door seeing the doctor enter and close the door behind him.

“How are we doing today?” the doctor questioned looking over at Kayla. “Well, hello. What’s your name?”

“Kayla,” Kayla answered with a wide smile seeing him lean down.

“Well Kayla, I am going to swab your cheek real quick,” the doctor informed her seeing the child frown, “Don’t worry, I promise it wont hurt. It is really easy. You okay with me doing it.”

“Umm…okay,” Kayla agreed seeing the doctor grab something off the table.

“Open for me big and wide,” the doctor leaned forward quickly swabbing her cheek, “See? Did that hurt?”

“Not at all,” Kayla shook her head with a small laugh, “Am I sick or something?”

“No, you aren’t sick,” the doctor shook his head slowly, “In fact, you are a very healthy little girl.”

“What did you do then?” Kayla questioned seeing him take a seat and roll towards her.

“Well, I took some of your DNA,” he answered seeing her eyebrows tense.

“What is DNA?” she wondered only to see him laugh as he stood up and walked towards the door.

“I guess you could call it a little piece of you,” the doctor stated with a small shrug, “You will understand it more when you get older.”

“Can I speak to you a second doctor?” Dave questioned following the doctor out into the hallway and closing the door behind him. “How long do you think this is going to take?”

“Don’t worry,” the doctor smiled, patting him on the back lightly, “I will get it done as soon as possible.”

“Thanks,” Dave sighed seeing the doctor walk off before he walked back into the room, “You ready to go get your surprise?”

“Yeah,” Kayla giggled jumping down from the seat and grabbing Dave‘s hand quickly., “Let’s go right now.”

“Careful,” Carly shook her head after seeing Kayla rush over to Dave.

“Come on mommy,” Kayla frowned grabbing Carly’s hand and pulling both Dave and Carly down the hallway. “We can’t miss this.”


Deidra snuggled into Dean loving the warmth and comfort of his arms surrounding her. After their morning in the shower with one another, they’d shared a heavenly breakfast on his back patio, but somehow even after their meal they’d both had other thoughts in mind. Those thoughts included making their way into his bedroom for another passionate encounter. Snuggling further into his arms, she couldn’t help but smile thinking about how lucky she was.

Here she’d been through hell and back with a man who had broken her heart completely and when she’d learned of all Andy’s affairs, she’d felt like the world was ending. Her life had fallen to pieces and she really, truly believed she’d never find happiness again. That all seemed to change the night that Dean rescued her and now, well now she couldn’t be happier.

“I love you,” she heard Dean whisper kissing the top of her head gently as her fingers teased over the center of his chest.

“I love you too,” she closed her eyes listening to the sounds of his heart beating beneath her. She placed her hand over the center of his chest feeling the warmth of him so real and alive against her, “I really do.”

“I know,” he laughed lightly a grin teasing over the corners of his mouth, “and I think my neighbors probably know it too after what we just shared together.”

“Hey, what can I say,” Deidra felt her face grow flushed, “I’m not a girl who is afraid to let a man know what he’s doing right.”

“Judging by your reactions, I’d think it’s safe to say that I was doing a great many things very right,” he tickled at the small of her back watching her squirm over him.

“Okay, okay so yeah you were doing a lot of things more than right,” she confessed with another giggle, “and I think it’s safe to say that I too more than passed the test here.”

“What test?” he asked giving her a strange, sideways glance.

“The one that I’m sure you were considering putting me through after the rumors you heard about my upcoming divorce,” she replied with a small sigh, “Given that Andy made a mockery of our marriage time and time again, I’m sure that the rumors and gossip had you believing that I was less than up to the challenge here when it came to intimacy.”

“On the contrary,” he reached out to touch her chin before urging her to tilt her head up. He met her dark eyes with his, “the way I see it, your ex was a miserable excuse of a man if he even thought he had to look further than you for satisfaction. Not only are you stellar in this kind of setting, but you happen to be one of the most beautiful, intelligent, wonderful, amazing, incredible women I have ever met in my life. When I’m with you, well I have to say that everything feels just…”

“Just what,” she asked catching the pause that overtook him. She noticed the way his face lit up even brighter than before and she tapped on his chest lightly awaiting an answer.

“Perfect,” he replied sliding his fingers into her dark hair before drawing her in for another kiss, “you’re absolutely perfect Deidra and I can’t even begin to imagine what my life was like without you in it.”

“If you play your cards right, that will be something you won’t have to think about again,” she assured him with a soft whisper scratching her nails over his chest lightly, “because if you keep up like you’ve been doing, then I won’t have any reason to walk away.”

“Oh I’m sure you’ll have plenty of reason to walk away, but fortunately for me, I’ve been smart enough not to blow it thus far,” he sighed closing his eyes as he thought to the secrets he’d been keeping from her.

“That’s a bit of a downer, don’t you think,” she frowned catching the pained expression on his face, “I mean that’s not very positive. You make it sound like you’ve got something horrible to hide.”

“And what would you say if I did,” he asked reopening his eyes to see the concern behind her eyes.

“I’d say that you’re scaring me just a little bit,” she replied after a moment’s hesitation, “I mean normally I’m the downer, but the way you’re making it sound, well it just feels like you’re trying to jinx this.”

“No, not at all,” he insisted quickly hoping to keep her from thinking like that, “It’s just that you never know where fate may take you.”

“True, but I knew the night you rescued me that it took me to the one and only place I was meant to be,” she snuggled into him again laying her head on his shoulder before speaking up in a small whisper, “with you.”

“I feel like fate had plans for us too,” he sighed realizing that right now all he wanted to do was savor this time they had with one another--to forget about all else that was happening outside of this bedroom and just enjoy what was transpiring between them.

“You know so many people really thought that I’d never get to this--that I’d never be happy again or that I deserved this,” she thought aloud realizing what she’d said as another heat rose over her features, “I’m sorry.”

“Why are you apologizing,” he questioned touching her cheek once again.

“Because I’m sure you don’t want to hear that. It’s not something that’s really appropriate to say after a morning like the one we’ve had,” she replied biting on her lower lip nervously, “You don’t want to listen to my woes here…”

“I don’t mind,” Dean spoke up in a smooth, comforting tone, “you can tell me anything you want to. That’s what I’m here for.”

“You’re not my therapist. You’re my boyfriend,” she replied with a small smile, “You don’t want to hear any of this.”

“Of course I do,” Dean encouraged her again, “If you have something on your mind, then I don’t see why you can’t talk to me. That’s part of what a relationship is about.”

“Even so, you know how messed up things are in my life,” she shrugged her shoulders, “What about you? What about your family?”

“My family,” he repeated giving her a strange look, “What about them?”

“What are they like? Where are you from? What was it like growing up where you did?” she asked further tipping her head up to look at him again, “You never really say much about all of those things while I talk endlessly about every little irrelevant detail.”

“It’s not irrelevant if it’s important to you,” he reminded her pointedly, “Deidra if you feel comfortable sharing things with me, then by all means go ahead.”

“I will, but first what about you? What about the things that you’ve experienced?” she asked curiously.

“There’s not much to tell,” Dean shrugged his shoulders, “Nothing of any relevance there I suppose.”

“Oh come on try me,” she nudged him in the ribs. “Tell me something that I don’t know about you.”

“Like what?” he asked bringing his fingers through her hair lazily.

“Like what about your family?” she suggested with a small smile.

“What about them,” he questioned casually.

“Well, what are they like? Do you have any brothers or sisters?” she questioned curiously wanting to know more about the man that she’d fallen for.

“I have a sister,” Dean replied stiffly, “She’s a few years younger than me.”

“Aha, so now we’re talking,” she smiled up at him, “Is she anything like my sister is, which by the way I sincerely hope not.”

“Nah,” he shook his head a smile touching over the corners of his mouth, “Jessie was great. She and I were really close growing up especially after our parents divorced. I mean, yeah my mom tried to hold the pieces of the family together, but most of the time it was just Jessie and I. We had a lot of time to hate one another, to need one another and to be each other’s best friend generally--not that my mom didn‘t try to help us, but you know…it‘s tough being a single parent.”

“Yeah, I saw that with my mother,” Deidra nodded in response, “She went through hell after my father died. When we lost him like we did, it was so unexpected. No one ever imagined that he’d get shot like that on a routine traffic stop. It was like stepping into a nightmare that you can’t wake up from.”

“I can only imagine,” Dean replied a darkness sweeping over his features.

“I guess it’s just harder when you don’t see it coming. I mean one minute you think your life is in order, then the next, well it just kind of takes you by surprise in it’s own cruel way,” Deidra’s thoughts lingered back to another place and time. “I’m sorry I’m doing it again.”

“Hey, it’s okay,” Dean replied pulling her up closer to him. Their eyes met before he flipped her back onto the mattress. His fingers tapered off over her body in a soothing, tender movement, “but maybe it’s time that we step out of all this darkness we’ve moved into and we think about the positives.”

“The positives,” she repeated sliding her arms around his shoulders to draw him in nearer to her.

“That’s right,” he nodded claiming her lips in a heated kiss, “the positives of our being together.”

“I think I’d like that,” she replied in a sultry whisper kissing him once again as they forgot about the pain of the past and moved on with one another towards a brighter future.


Don stood in front of his parents house waiting for one of them to answer. Hopefully his father because he really had to talk to him the most right now. He would listen the best without smacking him in the back of the head.

“Don?” Rob questioned opening the door seeing his son look up at him and smile. “You back again?”

“Yeah,” Don nodded slowly before stepping in the house, “Do you think I can talk to you alone…without mom?”

“Yeah,” Rob sighed leading Don to the backdoor, taking him into the backyard, “Your mom won't be here for a while. What is it?”

“It’s Shannon,” Don answered with a frown, sitting down on the step of the deck, “I saw her earlier.”

“What happened now?” Rob questioned with a small sigh sitting next to his son and folding his arms out in front of him.

“Well, she came to my office to talk to me,” Don began to explain thinking of what he should tell his father, “I don’t think she loves me. I mean, I love her and I know she feels something for me, but I don’t think it’s love.”

“What is going on between you two?” Rob wondered raising his eyebrow in curiosity seeing Don shrug.

“I don’t know,” Don shrugged, taking in a deep breath, “From the first day I have been with her, she has always been weird. It’s like she just doesn’t want to get close to anyone or anything.”

“I know that kind,” Rob laughed looking back at the house seeing if he could spot Alicia, “Your mom used to be like that. Afraid to fall in love.”

“Yeah, but you two eventually fell in love,” Don pointed out with a small frown, “I don’t think that is possible between me and Shannon. I mean, sure the sex is great, but the relationship doesn’t revolve around that.”

“Okay, I really didn’t need to hear that,” Rob laughed holding his hands up in the air, “I know what you are feeling right now, but the only person you should be asking questions to…is yourself.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” Don questioned uneasily with a small frown.

“I mean, what is the real problem that you think is going on between you two?” Rob wondered seeing Don rub the back of his neck slowly.

“I think the real problem is that I have a son,” Don answered seeing Rob shrug. “And if that is the real problem, I don’t care if she hits the road…Matt is the number one thing in my life.”

“If that’s what you truly think,” Rob shrugged seeing Don stand up, seeming a bit angry.

“As far as it is right now,” Don began with a small sigh, “I see this relationship ending, but I don’t care. If she wants something else, so be it. I won’t change anything about me because I love Matt and he is my world. If she can’t deal with that…then I can’t deal with her.”

“Hopefully she changes her mind,” Rob stood up patting his son’s shoulder lightly, “Because you really are a great man.”

“I wish she would see that,” Don stated with a small frown looking up at the sky. “I really wish.”


Michelle tucked her purse underneath her shoulder as she looked up to the cracked sign overhead. She glanced around for a moment before reaching to the front door ready to see if her latest gamble was about to payoff. Entering the small book store, she searched for the familiar face of Ed, the store owner. Within a few moments she spotted him coming out from one of the backrooms.

“Hey Ed,” Michelle waved at him with a bright smile.

“Michelle darling, what ever are you doing here,” he questioned giving her a once over, “I didn’t expect to see you returning to these parts after our last exchange.”

“What can I say,” Michelle stepped up to the counter leaning forward to give the older man a clear cut view of her cleavage. She saw his eyes drop down to the imagery she provided for him and in that moment she knew she’d hooked him in. Tapping her fingers on the countertop, she raised her hand from the glass to her plunging neckline, “I couldn’t resist someone as sexy as you are.”

“And here I thought you’d lost interest,” Ed giggled like an idiot as Michelle fought the urge to repress her groan.

Sure, she had to admit Kenneth Ashford was most certainly a great many steps up than this mark before her was, but she had to make sure it was a sure thing before she let go of Ed. She’d been seducing him for months hoping that he’d marry her and then would promptly kick the bucket leaving her the small fortune that this dump had provided him with, but unfortunately his nagging neighbor had put a crimp in her plans to win him over on their last dinner date. Even now she shuddered at how annoying the meddling bitch had been, yet with Ken as her latest mark, well it began to put things in perspective. Fate seemed to have greater plans for her after all.

“So what can I do for you,” Ed practically drooled unable to keep his eyes off of her curves.

“I need your opinion on something a friend gave me,” Michelle explained reaching into her bag and pulling out the hardcover book that Ken had given her. She slid it across the countertop watching the way Ed’s eyes followed the movement. If she’d thought he was interested in her breasts before, his eagerness doubled when he eyed the book before him.

“Is this really what it looks like,” he questioned hesitant to reach out and touch the cover as he appeared to be in awe of what lay before him.

“It is,” she nodded swatting at his hand before he could touch it, “It’s worth a fortune isn’t it?”

“That must be some friend to give you such a gift,” he confessed reaching out for the cover again. This time she let him touch it before she swiped it up from the countertop.

“So what’s it worth Ed?” she asked with a casual expression.

“A whole lot more than I think your friend realized,” Ed admitted with wide eyes, “If I had something like that in my collection, I’d retire now and spend my days on some exotic island with you living out all new levels of sin.”

“Really,” Michelle’s grin expanded, “Well that certainly does say something.”

“Something indeed,” Ed nodded before motioning to the book, “Could I take another look at it?”

“Maybe another time,” Michelle replied dropping the book back into her bag before blowing a kiss in his general direction, “because right now I have to meet a friend for lunch.”

“But…” Ed circled around the counter to try to stop her from leaving, but as the sound of the bell on the door at the front of the shop alerted him to her exit, Michelle let out a small cheer.

“This book is only the beginning,” she mused to herself stepping out onto the sidewalk now armed and prepared to do whatever was necessary to get Kenneth Ashford exactly where she wanted him.


“So,” Ken began clearing his throat uneasily. He looked over to Caitlin’s father and found himself at a loss. It had been mortifying to even think about Caitlin’s family after the way Ken had made an ass of himself at the memorial service, but now, well now that Timothy Vaughn sat across from him on the patio, he had to admit he wasn’t quite sure what to say.

“I knew this wouldn’t be easy,” Tim folded his hands in his lap nervously, “but I thought that I should take the time to come out here and speak with you. Julia would’ve come as well, but she’s been bogged down with things especially now that Zack is overseas.”

“Zack left Washington?” Ken replied his eyes widening with curiosity.

Tim nodded, “He decided it was time for him and Jo to make a clean start. They took Cody and left the country. Julia’s been taking it rather hard especially after our losing Caitlin like we did, but I understood why he did it. Zack needed to find his own sense of purpose and meaning and in a way that’s sort of why I’m here today.”

“Okay, I’m a bit lost,” Ken started clearing his throat uneasily.

“The truth is that I’ve heard rumors about the way life has been treating you lately Ken and I must admit I’m very sorry to hear what’s been happening,” Timothy’s face grew quite serious as his fingers wiggled in his lap. “When Julia and I saw the story on the news about your car accident…”

“That was a long time ago,” Ken began dismissively, “and things are fine now.”

“Are they?” Tim replied skeptically.

“Of course they are,” Ken paused, “at least as good as they can be considering that Caitlin’s gone.”

“It hasn’t been easy for any of us Ken, but you can’t let her death be the end for you,” Tim’s face shifted with worry, “I know that it’s not really my place to be here today speaking with you, but given how you loved my daughter, I felt compelled to do what I could to see to it that the man she loved with all of her heart doesn’t find himself in ruin.”

“I appreciate your concern, but it’s unnecessary,” Ken rose up from where he’d been seated. He suddenly felt very uneasy in his own skin. He paced around the room wishing like hell that the floor would swallow him up as it was easier to deal with that than facing Caitlin’s father knowing all the things he’d done.

“You say that, but something tells me that’s not entirely the truth,” Tim appealed to him once again, his voice growing tight with emotion, “Ken, never in my life did I imagine that I’d bury my baby girl before I left this world. I never thought that there would be a day when I had to go through the motions without my daughter. Even now I can’t convince myself that she’s gone.”

Ken nodded feeling a lump forming in the back of his throat.

“Ken, Caitlin loved you so very much. In all of her years in this world I never saw her happier than she was when she was with you,” Tim reached into his pocket withdrawing a letter, “In fact, when she first told her mother and I about you, we weren’t so sure that her getting close to an Ashford was a good thing. Truth be told it was one of my greatest fears as a father knowing the reputation your family had.”

“And it was a very valid fear considering,” Ken replied shamefully flashes of his downward spiral circling in the back of his mind, “Tim I…”

“Ken, I realize that there is still a lot of hurt inside of you, but we all feel that. We all have to deal with the knowing that she’s never coming back. When my wife and I lost her, it was as if the world as we knew it ceased to exist. Never in my life did I imagine that I’d go without her smiling face and I felt as if I’d failed as a father. I felt as if I’d lost the chance to do or say all the things I’d wanted to with my daughter--as if fate had cheated her and I out of a future with one another. I’d had dreams of walking her down the isle on her wedding day, being there to watch my grandchildren grow up and when Caitlin was ripped from this world, I found myself spurning the heavens above for being so cruel and hateful towards Caitlin.”

“She deserved so much more than she had in this world. She should’ve had a long, full life of love and happiness. It should’ve been me that day,” Ken dropped his head shamefully. He closed his eyes tightly thinking back to the moment when Caitlin slipped out of this world.

“No Ken,” Tim stepped forward feeling his own eyes filled with tears, “that wasn’t what was meant to be.”

“Neither was losing her. You said it yourself. It was cruel and unfair and she should still be here,” Ken’s voice cracked with emotion as he found himself unable to contain his tears, “She should be standing her with you, not me. She deserved so many wonderful things in her life, but she wasn’t able to have that. She was a good person with a kind heart and…”

“And while her being ripped away from us is a horrible tragedy--one that we’ll never fully recover from, it took me a moment of realization to see that while her life might’ve been short, my daughter had the one thing I’d hoped for her to find in this world,” Tim explained poignantly, “love.”

“Sir I…” Ken started wiping at his face uneasily.

“Ken, I know how much you loved her. You were her everything and I know she was yours. As a father you just hope and pray that your child will find the right person in the world--the one who completes them and makes them happy. You did that for Caitlin. You gave her the greatest gift in the world--the gift of love and I know she wouldn’t have traded a second of that for anything. She was happy with you and that love that you have still carries on even now…”

“But I failed her. I tried to save her, but I was too late,” Ken broke down at long last letting the weight of the guilt he’d had over losing Caitlin hit him. “I tried to get back into that airport--tried to protect her, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t strong enough. I wasn’t…”

“Ken, it wasn’t your fault,” Tim replied reaching out to embrace him as Ken finally faced all the pain he’d harbored over losing Caitlin.

“I loved her so much. I just wish…I wish that she was still here,” Ken sobbed harder, trembling in Caitlin’s father’s arms as he found himself faced with the bittersweet memories of the past and the faded dreams of what was still yet to come between them when she was cheated out of a future. Even now that kind of sting left him raw to the core and not even his tears could take away that pain that losing her had created in his heart.


“What is this place?” Kayla questioned looking around the area stepping out on the dirt.

“It’s a petting zoo,” Dave answered standing next to her, “I thought you liked animals.”

“Animals?” Kayla questioned seeing him nod slowly. “I love animals.”

“Then what are we waiting for?” Dave questioned as she grabbed his hand tightly.

“Come on mommy,” Kayla waved Carly on, grabbing her hand as they walked to the back, “What are those?”

“Those are sheep honey,” Carly answered seeing Kayla looking up at her excited.

“Can I go see them?” Kayla wondered seeing Carly shrug. “Please, I will be really careful.”

“Alright, just stay close,” Carly agreed seeing Kayla run towards the pen.

“Take a seat,” Dave smiled patting the bench he had taken a seat on, “We can see her perfectly here.”

“This was a good idea,” Carly informed Dave with a small grin, “She loves animals.”

“I know,” Dave replied before looking down at his watch, “The doctor said he would get those results back as soon as possible.”

“That’s good I guess,” Carly sighed looking at Kayla seeing Kayla start to run her hand along the animals hand, “She really likes you.”

“That’s good she likes me,” Dave nodded slowly, taking in a deep breath, “Because I love the both of you.”

“You don’t even know if she is your daughter yet Dave,” Carly frowned seeing him shrug, running his fingers along her soft hair slowly.

“I don’t care,” Dave replied tracing his fingers along the side of her face gently, “Because as far as I am concerned…she is already mine.”

Dave leaned in, going to kiss her after quite a while. They were seconds apart before Kayla jumped up between them.

“Kayla,” Carly gasped surprised, “What is wrong sweetheart? I thought you were looking at the sheep.”

“I am,” Kayla replied grabbing their hands, “But you have to see them. It is amazing how one of them eats. They are such pigs.”

“Coming,” Dave smiled getting up slowly, “I bet the sheep are really cool.”

“They are,” Kayla giggled leading them towards the pen, “I think they like me.”

“What wouldn’t like you sweetheart?” Dave questioned with a small grin seeing Kayla smile. “Let’s check these cool things out.”


“Where are we going?” Cori questioned slowly walking, her eyes covered by Diego’s hands, “Is this supposed to be a secret or something?”

“Well, I figured since you got to pick the beach,” Diego began with a small shrug, “I should be able to surprise you with where we go to dinner.”

“This better be good,” Cori laughed, almost tripping over something, “If it isn’t, you will be in some deep trouble.”

“Here we are,” he declared, a wide smile spread over his features as he took his hands away from her eyes. “What do you think? Good?”

“Good?” Cori questioned not sure what to say as she looked around the empty restaurant that was right by the water. “This is perfect, but where are all the people?”

“I made a little call to a friend,” Diego winked at her before leading her to a table, “I figured you deserved something special, so we will be the only ones here tonight.”

“You’re kidding right?” she questioned seeing a waiter walk towards them and hold out a chair for her. “This is amazing, you didn’t have to do something like this.”

“For you? Of course I would,” Diego protested with a small sigh sitting across from her. “You see, you gave me the strength to go out and have some fun. Something I haven’t been able to do in a long time. And for that, I want to give you something special back.”

“But something this expensive?” she questioned seeing the waiter set down a bottle of champagne on the table.

“You have been well worth it,” Diego replied grabbing her hand in his gently, running his thumb along the top of her hand. “I don’t think I have had this much fun in so long.”

“I’m glad,” she smiled widely before seeing him stand up, “What are you doing?”

“I would really enjoy it if you would dance with me,” he stated helping her out of her seat and leading her to the empty dance floor, right by the water.

“Oh my,” she gasped as the lights darkened and music began to play, “I can’t believe how beautiful this is…it’s like a dream.”

“You are wide awake,” he assured her with a small smile before holding his hand out to hers, “May I share this dance?”

“Why yes,” she nodded grabbing his hand in hers, “You may.”

Cori wrapped her other hand around his neck as they danced together. She never realized how good Diego really was, but now she knew.


“Seth,” Brant called out entering the police station seeing Seth turn around looking back at him. “Where is Blake?”

“They are getting her out right now,” Seth informed Brant taking in a deep breath, “Kyle just bailed them out.”

“You know, this is just great,” Brant shook his head, biting down on his bottom lip, “This wouldn’t have even happened if you didn’t get the foolish idea of taking her here.”

“Are you trying to say this is my fault?” Seth questioned seeing Brant nod. “This was all a big mistake Brant.”

“Right,” Brant nodded sarcastically before pushing Seth back, “I think you should stay away from Blake.”

“Hey,” Kevin called out stepping in front of Seth, “What the hell are you doing here?”

“I think I should be asking the same thing you are right now,” Brant pointed out with a scowl spreading over his features.

“You two know each other now?” Seth questioned seeing Kevin nod slowly.

“Yeah,” Kevin answered with a small frown, “I must say he was a real ass the first time I met him.”

“Like you have room to talk,” Brant snapped as Kevin glared at him, “You were the idiot who knocked Ken out.”

“Hey, he was asking for it,” Kevin smiled watching Brant look towards the doors seeing the girls begin to walk out.

“You know, I am just going to take Blake home,” Brant declared pointing towards Seth, “This is all your fault. Now she is going to have some type of record.”

“Back off little man,” Kevin scowled shaking his head slowly, “Seth had nothing to do with this. He is my cousin and I know Seth isn’t a bad guy.”

“He’s your cousin?” Brant questioned seeing Seth nod slowly. “I see that scum runs in the family.”

“That’s it,” Kevin hissed pushing Brant backwards seeing him almost fall back before walking back and pushing Kevin, “You want to start something?”

“No,” Kyle shook his head slowly grabbing Brant’s shoulders so he couldn’t move and Seth grabbed a hold of Kevin, “He tries, but he will always lose.”

“Well a word of advice,” Kevin snapped making Seth let him go, “You need to back off Seth, he had nothing to do with this.”

“What’s going on?” Sarah questioned seeing Kyle let go of Brant and walk up to hug her.

“Boy wonder over here was blaming Seth for all of this,” Kevin informed the two women who had just approached them.

“And who are you?” Blake questioned seeing Kevin straighten his shirt.

“I’m Kevin Adonis,” Kevin answered looking back at Seth, “The cousin that was coming.”

“Real good cousin,” Brant laughed seeing Kevin look over and glare at him. This was obviously a family he knew he wasn’t going to get along with.


Nick rubbed his neck again finding himself increasingly frustrated with how the search into his past was going. He and Angela had been in front of the computer for what felt like hours and now, well now he was completely convinced that nothing good would come out of this.

“This is pointless,” Nick grumbled rising up from the chair he’d been seated in. He needed to stretch his legs--needed to get rid of that nagging feeling in the pit of his stomach that was telling him that only trouble would follow.

“No it’s not,” Angela frowned watching him walk over to the window to look outside. Another tropical storm had started during the time that they’d sat in the cramped office trying to figure things out. Somehow the winds and rain that raged outside seemed to be tame at that moment compared to the inner turmoil inside of Nick judging by his posture. She rolled her chair away from the desk before standing up herself to go over to him, “Nick, this is a good thing.”

“How can you be so sure?” Nick questioned not bothering to look back at her as his eyes fell upon one of the palm trees now dancing in the wind.

“I just know,” she tried to appeal to him stepping in behind him. She reached out to curl her fingers over his shoulders in a small massage, “the fact that we haven’t found anything yet is good. Since there’s no record of you in the missing person’s database from what I can see that could mean that we’ve seen the end of whatever it was that was here last night.”

“Or just the beginning,” he sighed glancing over his shoulder at her, “Angela, we have to be realistic about this. If someone’s out to find me, then regardless of what we find on that computer, then they’re going to do it. Last night someone almost killed you in the name of seeking out me.”

“Nick, he might’ve been a hired gun, but he’s dead,” she reminded him with a pout, “that in itself should tell you what kind of team we make when we’re working together.”

“Yeah, a dangerous one,” he frowned back at her, “Kevin would kill me if he had any idea what went on last night.”

Angela grew quiet for a long moment before searching his features to see something else brewing behind his eyes. “Tell me something Nick, are we talking about almost getting shot or about what else happened last night?”

“I’m talking about you almost getting killed,” he frowned back at her, “What else would I be referring to?”

“Our making love,” she blurted out pointedly, “I mean we kind of didn’t get much of an opportunity to talk about it after I freaked out on you like that. Then after everything fell to pieces with that idiot trying to shoot you, well I guess we kind of got caught up in the moment without any real time to talk about things.”

“I’m not sure that’s a good idea right now. I know what you said last night and I heard what you were saying when Peter was there with the gun but…” he started to reply with a small shrug.

“Obviously not loud enough,” she decided taking a bold step towards him, throwing her arms around his neck and kissing him as if everything after this moment depended on it. She pressed up against him, squeezing into him harder than before while her lips attempted to melt away his doubts.

“I just don’t want you to get hurt by what’s still out there waiting for me,” Nick sighed pressing his forehead against hers. He held her in his arms thinking about all the things that could still be waiting for him off of the island and a moment of panic swept over him, “If you were ever caught up in the midst of this…”

“I won’t be,” she insisted placing her palm in the center of his chest before laying her head on his shoulder, “but if you’re so afraid, we can stop looking.”

“What?” he blinked back at her.

“If you really believe that our looking into your past isn’t helping, then let’s stop,” she decided her dark eyes filled with concern for him, “Nick I don’t care about who you were before you came here. All that matters to me is the man you are here and now. I know you have a good heart and you’re a man worth falling in love with.”

“Is that what you’re doing?” he questioned gently, his bold green eyes seeking out an answer from her.

“I might be,” she replied behind a half smile, “but if I’m going to lose you, then I have to stop my heart before it truly happens.”

“And if we stop looking for the truth about my past, do you think that will keep us together?” he questioned sliding his fingers up and down over her spine.

“I think that whatever puts you at ease will put our relationship at ease and if you’re willing to stop searching for the past, then so am I. It’s not as important to find the truth as it is to hold onto what we have with one another,” she decided firmly, “Nick, I only want to help you find peace with yourself. What happened last night could be an indication of what’s ahead of us, but then again it might not be. Given the amount of money that I’m sure someone paid to have you killed last night, chances are they believe that the job was done right now. They are no doubt celebrating whatever mission it is they had in getting rid of you.”

“Which is all the more reason to worry,” he frowned back at her.

“Nick, as far as the world is concerned the man that you were before is dead to them. You aren’t the same man that you were before you washed up on the island.”

“Even so if someone else should come to the island looking for me…” he began again thinking about the nagging worries in the back of his mind.

“Then we’ll be ready for them. We’ll do what is necessary to make sure that you don’t meet the kind of fate that someone had planned for you last night. Hell, we don’t have to stay here if you don’t want to,” she offered up with a simple shrug.

“Angela, I can’t just expect you to up and leave your home like this. You have made a life for yourself here. You have your career and…” Nick reminded her with a small frown.

“And my research can follow me anywhere. This island has been nice, but I’m still not convinced that it’s a place for me to raise my child. Sure, there are a lot of wonderful people, but a lot of this is about my past as well and maybe it’s time that I started thinking about something more,” she confessed with a small shake of her head, “I’d been playing around with the idea for a while--ever since I learned that I was pregnant, but now, well now after last night, it seems to make more sense.”

“I couldn’t ask you to do that. Truth be told I don’t know if I really want to do that myself,” he pressed his palm up against the side of her face, “I couldn’t ask you to give up your life.”

“You didn’t,” she clasped her hand over his, “besides the way I see it, I’m not giving up my life. I’m starting a new one with you--a life where neither you nor my child will be haunted by the past.”

“It’s tempting--it’s very tempting,” Nick admitted sliding his fingers into her dark hair, “but I don’t want to tear you away from everything just yet. I’m not saying that I’m not tempted by the idea because I am, but maybe we should wait until Kevin comes back before we up and leave this place…”

She stood in silence before finally nodding, “You’re right. I know you’re right, but I’m just ready to just let the past be the past especially after I see what it’s been doing to you.”

“You know I couldn’t agree more,” he decided cupping her face in his large hands, “Whatever once was is no more, but the future, well that’s what really counts and as long as I have it with you, then I’m sure that’ll be all that I need.”

“I’m starting to think that too,” she confessed leaning up on her toes to kiss him again as she found herself wishing like hell that she and Nick could just put the past behind them forever and start anew.


“I can’t believe we’re doing this,” Avery whispered watching Grady use a small, blunt object to pry open one of the large French doors on the estate they’d happened upon. She looked around the lawn hoping that their presence had gone undetected as this was a big risk they were taking in being here. When Grady had pulled his car off of the side of the road a good half a mile away from the estate grounds, Avery had thought he’d completely lost his mind--that he was clearly in his own world of insanity, but that paled in comparison to the knots that were there in her stomach as they stood outside Cameron’s home away from home ready to break in.

“Having a change of heart?” Grady questioned over his shoulder looking up at her from where he knelt.

“I’m not sure if I am or not, but I do know that what you’re doing is clearly insane,” she shook her head at him while he began to pick away at the lock on the door, “Knowing Cameron he’s probably got the best state of the art security system on that. We’re probably walking right into some kind of trap.”

“As your husband’s pointed out time and time again, Cameron’s behind bars,” he quipped sarcastically popping the lock before standing up again. He wiggled his brow before motioning to the door, “Shall we?”

“You first,” Avery suggested with a pinched expression, “that way I can get a running start if security comes looking for the source of the problem here.”

“Chicken,” Grady stuck his tongue out at her before reaching for the door handle.

“Wait,” she urged placing her hand in his wrist to stop his movement, “are you really sure about this?”

“If it gets me one step closer to Jade, then you’re damn right I’m sure about this,” Grady promised pulling his gloved hand over the golden door handle and pressing upon it.

As if on cue the door swung open with a whoosh with no alarms or sounds following. He pushed the door open a bit further as Avery stood frozen half expecting someone to come out and nab them. A few seconds passed and then he turned to her.

“See, all clear,” Grady mused with a bright grin ready to uncover all of Cameron’s secrets.

“Or so you think,” Avery muttered under her breath reluctantly following him inside. She inhaled slowly hoping that whatever happened next didn’t lead them to even more trouble than she was certain that they were already in. She watched Grady move forward through the darkened room and she spoke up again in a muted whisper, “Do you have any idea where you’re going?”

“Of course I do,” Grady replied gruffly taking one step forward before nearly toppling over something in the center of the room.

“Sure you do,” she remarked disbelieving seeing that he’d tripped over some sort of end table.

She looked around the room taking in her surroundings despite the darkness. A chill crept in over her spine as she noticed the suits of armor set up on pedestals over the chilly room. There was one no more than two feet in front of her with a large, shiny, sharp sword held out to only a mere inches from where she stood.

“Oh my gosh,” she yelped trying to keep calm as the blade was a fraction of a breath away from her.

“Watch where you’re going,” Grady instructed carefully scooting her aside before surveying the room, “I know there was a door around here somewhere.”

“Somewhere doesn’t help us, does it?” she scoffed still shaken by almost impaling herself on Cameron’s trophy armor it would seem. She eyed the suit before her with an introspective eye, “Cameron must really have some issues.”

“I’ll say,” Grady agreed with a wrinkled nose, “and here I thought the man was demented before.”

“I never took him for the type to collect these things,” she admitted taking a long look around the room. She heard the sounds of her footsteps clicking on the marble floor beneath her and suddenly she felt as she’d stepped out of reality and into that scene in one of the Batman movies where Kim Basinger’s character discovered Bruce Wayne’s collection of strange battle gear he‘d collected over the years. Of course the difference was that this wasn‘t Bruce Wayne or Batman. This was Cameron Stone that owned such bizarre treasures and that in itself made the experience all the more intensely disturbing.

“According to these blueprints, we want to get out of this room and downstairs directly under where we are now,” Grady blurted out interrupting her thoughts.

“What’s down there?” she asked eyeing another piece beside her.

“The cellars and whatever else Cameron has locked away down there. According to the blue prints this house was built upon some old caves and caverns that were used during the earlier days before things were more civilized,” he continued to explain his find, “Rumor had it that people were tucked away in this place after the days of slavery came to an end.”

“Okay that’s just morbid,” she shuddered at the thought, “although you’d think this far north there wouldn’t be a place like that.”

“Yeah well I didn’t say it had anything to do with history in that sense, but more so with the sadistic pleasures of one of the former owners,” he informed her bluntly, “From the research I did after I found this address, well let’s just say that the things that were rumored to have happened here make the Marquis de Sade look like a pussy cat.”

She shuddered again, “Then why the hell did Cameron buy this place? That in itself is just…”

“Something you’d come to expect from a demented psychopath like Cameron and I’m willing to bet that what we find downstairs won’t be pretty, but I’m certain in the process we’re going to find Jade,” he concluded thinking about the spaces that Cameron could’ve had her tucked away in this nightmare estate.

“If she’s here, we’ll find her,” Avery promised ready to open the door to the hallway when she heard a sound from outside the room.

“What was that?” Grady questioned immediately on edge.

“Someone’s coming,” Avery gasped feeling him reach out to pull her away from the doorway when the sounds of keys jingling rose from outside the room. She felt him squeeze her into a corner with him, his hand clasped over her mouth as he pressed her in against one of the walls.

“Shh…” he mouthed watching her nod while the door opened. Inside stepped a rather gruff looking man who seemed to be in search of something. He crossed the room, making his way over to the doors that Avery and Grady had just entered from. He checked the lock a couple of times before moving over to a wall to punch in a code on the alarm system that had been disabled prior to their arrival.

“Told you,” Avery mouthed as Grady shot another glare at her. He pressed his hand harder against her mouth to keep her quiet until the man left. Once he was sure it was safe and they’d gone undetected he released his hold on her.

“I told you that this was a stupid idea. We should’ve gone to a judge and got papers. With Cameron being in custody for the kidnapping, it only makes sense that someone like Dave could get a group of men in here to…” Avery started to complain.

“Put a lid on it,” he snarled back at her, “I don’t need a lecture from you--especially not now.”

“All I’m saying is that we should’ve gone through the proper channels and…” she began.

“And give Cameron a chance to disappear with Jade. No way,” he shook his head firmly ready to remind her again to quit wasting their time by talking when another sound arose outside the room. He reached out to her ready to pull her out of the way, but it was too late when he heard the door open.

“Is someone in here,” the man who’d been in the room previously questioned as Grady rushed into a corner ready to pull Avery back with him, but it was too late. The man spotted her.

“What are you doing in here?” the man questioned gruffly as Avery stood with her back to him. Grady reached for one of the swords near him and he prepared to fight this guy off if necessary, but then something strange happened.

“Hey I’m talking to you. I asked why you were…” the man’s words came to an abrupt ending as he caught his first glimpse of Avery. Then he seemed to stand up straighter, a smile sweeping over his otherwise snarled lips, “Well I didn’t realize that you’d be here today.”

“You didn’t,” Avery repeated a bit confused as he looked at her.

“No, I didn’t. If Cameron would’ve told me you were coming, well I would’ve worked to clean this place up a bit,” the man began apologetically, “I’m sorry to sneak up on you like this. I hope that I didn’t frighten you.”

“No of course not,” she waved her hand dismissively still not quite sure what was going on, but she opted to play along. “I’m fine.”

“Excellent,” he took a step towards her, “although I was wondering why would you be in here? I thought you hated this room.”

“Well I did…I mean I do, but Cameron wanted me to look for something. He asked for something since he’s, well since he’s in jail. You know how Cameron is,” she replied with a small smile.

“Of course I do,” he nodded, “and hey if he needs any help, I can make a few phone calls and see what I can do for him.”

“He’s got it under control, but thank you for offering,” she nodded politely watching the way the man seemed so ready to please her.

“And if you need anything--anything at all,” he began again his dark eyes reaching out to her.

“I know where to find you,” she smiled in response hoping that was the appropriate answer he was seeking out. It seemed to please him as he nodded and said his good-byes. A few seconds later Grady hopped out from where he was hiding.

“That was…” Avery started thinking about the way the man seemed to be glad to see her.

“Interesting,” Grady finished for her thinking about the photograph he’d found at the other house. There was some kind of connection between Cameron and Avery and that man’s response seemed to seal the deal for him. He opened his mouth ready to question her on why someone who worked for Cameron would behave in such a way, but he realized the questions would have to come later.

“I don’t understand why he would just turn like that once he saw my face. It was kind of like what Cameron did the other day when I saw him,” Avery started to explain to him only to feel Grady step away from her. She spun around the room searching through the darkness for him, “Grady, where are you?”

“Over here,” he explained pulling at one of the arms on the suit of armor only to open up a wall with the movement.

“What in the world…” Avery’s jaw dropped as she felt like she’d stepped out of reality and into an old time horror movie.

“There will be time for questions later. Now is about finding Jade,” he informed her turning on his flashlight and motioning for her to follow. She stood still for a moment contemplating the strangeness of the situation, but then she realized Grady was right. Questions could come later and when they did she was going to find out why it was that Cameron’s servants were clearly at ease around her. Something didn’t add up.


...to be continued...