Episode 218

“Susan, are you really telling the truth or are you just trying to play with my emotions here?” Kyle questioned seeing her saddened eyes look up at him.

“Why would I want to be playing with you with something like this?” Susan wondered shaking her head slowly. “I wouldn’t want to use your feelings against you.”

“Right,” he laughed seeing her shrug, “Susan, I was kind of in the middle of something. So is it possible you could come back…oh maybe, never.”

“Kyle, I know you think I am trying to play with your emotions to get you to come with me,” Susan began seeing him nod slowly, “But, that’s not what I am trying to do. I know that some of the ways I have treated you in the past would make you think that, but right now I am being totally serious with you.”

“Okay,” Kyle nodded slowly before holding his finger up in the air, “So tell me, if we are going somewhere together…why don’t you tell me where Jade is so I know where we are going?”

“Well, it isn’t just one possibility,” she replied, hearing him laugh, “There are a couple of places I thought we should check out.”

“If you don’t even know where she is,” Kyle started, shrugging his shoulders, “Then I don’t want to go with you. I have a lot of things to do these days and I can’t just go around looking in haunted houses for Jade, just so you can jump into my arms when you pretend to be afraid. Just take a clue Susan, leave and let me handle this whole thing with Jade myself.”

“I would let you Kyle,” she sighed seeing him raise his eyebrow in curiosity as she thought of something to say, “But you see…I have so many places. They all are linked to Cameron and I know one of them will have Jade there.”

“Yeah,” Kyle laughed, holding his finger in the air, “So, in one of these places I am probably going to find my missing dog Lassie too. Right?”

“That’s not funny,” Susan frowned seeing him shrug, “I don’t get it with you people. I try to be helpful here and no one takes these things into consideration. Do you know how hard I have been trying to find clues?”

“Well, I can tell you why no one wants to listen to what you have to say,” he informed her with a small grin, “It’s because people don’t believe you. You are someone no one can trust.”

“Why would I lie about something like this?” Susan questioned seeing him about to say something, but she cut him off. “I mean, sure I didn’t like Jade, but I don’t think anyone deserves to be missing out there…near death.”

“Cut it Susan,” Kyle snapped, grasping onto the door tightly, “You never cared about Jade. You don’t care about anyone, but yourself. There are plenty of reasons why you would do something like this. You like to take people’s feelings and emotions in your hand so you screw up their lives. You love to feel the hurt inside people.”

“Kyle, that’s really harsh,” Susan chortled only to hear him laugh once more. “I would never do something like this and I don’t know why someone would blame me.”

“Kyle,” Sarah called out his name, coming out in a robe, “What happened? I thought you were going to join me.”

“Someone came to the door,” Kyle answered seeing Sarah’s wet hair drape over her shoulders.

“Oh, really?” Sarah questioned seeing Kyle raise both of his eyebrows. “Who is it?”

“Hi Sarah,” Susan smiled peaking her head in seeing Sarah frown, “Why such a long face?”

“I should have known it was that obsessed freak,” Sarah scowled as Susan pushed right through making him almost fall back.

“What did you just say?” Susan questioned stepping closer to Sarah. “I’m not the freak here.”

“Are you calling me a freak?” Sarah wondered seeing Susan nod slowly. “How so?”

“The way you were talking about his mouth being busy last night was disgusting,” Susan replied hearing Kyle laugh out. “You wouldn’t believe the things she was saying about you while you were in the shower or something.”

“I wasn’t in the shower,” Kyle shook his head with a small grin seeing Susan’s eyes get wide.

“You mean you would actually sleep with someone like this?” Susan questioned seeing Kyle’s eyes get wide.

“I think who I sleep with is none of your business,” Kyle declared seeing her shake her head slowly, “Anyways, why don’t you just leave Susan?”

“Not yet,” Sarah shook her head as Susan turned towards her, “I have to say something to her first.”

“I don’t think,” Kyle held out his hand to suggest her not to get mad, but was cut off by her motioning him to be quiet. “Alright. I‘ll stay out of this…for now.”

“You see Susan, Kyle and I could spend hours in bed together and it would be none of your business. You would never know what goes on between us,” Sarah stated seeing Kyle’s eyes get wide as she began to talk, “He could be huge all around and you would never know that because he’s dating me Susan…not you.”

“Uh, Sarah,” Kyle gulped down, reaching out and touching her shoulder gently, whispering in her ear, “I really don’t think I want Susan hearing all of this. So, maybe you should stop while you are ahead.”

“No, I’m not done yet,” Sarah snapped looking up and down Susan, “You don’t get it do you? Kyle doesn’t want you in his life. He doesn’t want anything to do with you.”

“I didn’t come here for a fight Sarah,” Susan stopped Sarah from going any further; “I came here to tell Kyle where we will be going?”

“You mean she wants you to go with her somewhere again?” Sarah questioned looking angrily towards Kyle who shrugged.

“Yeah,” Susan answered for him, a smug look crossing her features, “We are going to go looking for Jade…together.”

“I can’t believe you would do something like this Kyle,” Sarah snapped looking towards him as he shook his head quickly, “I didn’t think you were really that dumb.”

“Hey now,” Kyle frowned, holding his hands up in the air, “I never agreed to anything. She said something about looking around and I never answered her. I’m not going to be dragged into something I never agreed on.”


“I caught you,” Cori laughed wrapping her arms around Kevin’s shoulders tightly, dunking him under the water and then pulling him back up. “I told you I would catch you.”

“Honey,” Kevin took in a deep breath, trying to get her arms unwrapped from his shoulders, “By the way you swim, any guy would feel bad enough to slow down for you.”

“Oh come on,” Cori smiled, tightening her grip, “You know I have you and you know you can’t get out of the hold.”

“Alright,” Kevin frowned grabbing her arms tightly in his hands, “I wasn’t going to be hard on you, but I guess this means I have to now.”

“Give me your hardest,” Cori grinned widely, hearing him laugh, “What’s so funny?”

“Me giving you my hardest,” he pointed out with another small laugh, “You would be begging me to stop if I was going my hardest on you.”

“Right,” she rolled her eyes tightening her grip around his neck, feeling him lean forward making her lose her grip and fall into the water. “That was so not fair.”

“Oh it was fair,” he replied backing her into the corner of the pool, “Now it’s my turn. You try to get past me.”

“Okay, this is so not fair,” Cori declared, seeing Kevin place one of his arms on each side of her making it so she couldn’t move. “You at least had a chance.”

“You have a chance,” Kevin insisted seeing her shake her head, “There are plenty of ways you could get out of this one. You just need to be smart and make a good move.”

“Please, Kevin,” she rolled her eyes before looking up into his dark brown eyes, “The only reason we are playing this little game is because ever since the other night, you have been wanting more. Well newsflash, that isn’t going to happen.”

“Excuse me?” Kevin questioned, slightly choking. “Are you saying that I was the one all up on you? If that’s what you are saying, you really need to get your memory back.”

“Right Kevin,” Cori shook her head slowly, running her finger around the center of his chest, “You loved every minute of it. You were just waiting until I got drunk so you could get into my room.”

“Listen Cori,” Kevin began with a wide smile seeing her try to prove herself, running her fingers along his chest, trying to tempt him, “Let me remind you what happened that night. You see it all started with you begging for some guy to stop.”

“That’s right,” she nodded remembering what he was telling her, “You came to be my white knight.”

“Like I was saying,” Kevin ignored her comment moving in closer to her. “I took you back to your room and I was going to help you in when you started going all over me. If I wanted it so bad, why would I be telling you every three seconds to stop. Wouldn’t I want to be taking advantage of you while you were drunk instead of telling you to stop?”

“Right, so if that’s true…what were you thinking those every three seconds?” Cori questioned raising her eyebrows in curiosity. “You can’t say you didn’t love every second of it.”

“First off, those every three seconds…I was thinking how crazy you were,” he informed her seeing her nod slowly, “And I can say that I didn’t feel anything when you groped me. I think it was more you that was loving every second of it.”

“Me?” Cori questioned surprised seeing a grin on Kevin’s face as he nodded slowly. “Please, I would never feel anything for you. I wouldn’t even want to touch you.”

“Right, that’s why you were all groping on me,” Kevin reminded her, seeing the slight blush running over her cheeks, “Now, I don’t think I can get into your mind to make you do that. If I can, man…I am more special that I thought.”

“You special? Sweetheart, you have nothing that’s going to make you special,” Cori replied seeing him blink…somewhat stunned at what she just said.

“You know it’s funny you say that, why don’t you let me quote something that came out of your pretty little mouth of yours,” Kevin closed his eyes before snapping his fingers, “That’s right, I think this is how it went. Like I said earlier, your muscles aren’t the only thing big. Remember that?”

“I obviously meant your ego,” Cori protested, hearing his deep laugh run through her ears.

“I’m sure that’s what you meant,” Kevin nodded slowly before smiling widely, “So, you’re saying that you felt nothing when you kissed me?”

“Nothing,” she shook her head quickly, feeling him close the distance between them, “Nothing at all.”

“So, you didn’t like the feeling of your fingers over my skin?” Kevin questioned her again, nearly pressing their bodies together as she took in a deep breath feeling his fingers run along her arm gently.

“Nope,” she answered once more, her fingers slowly running along the tight muscle in his abdomen. “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“So, if I were to kiss you right now,” Kevin began, closing the distance even more between them, running his hand to the back of her neck, “You wouldn’t feel a thing?”

“Not a thing,” she replied, closing her eyes as he leaned forwards as if he was going to kiss her.

“Well, okay then,” Kevin laughed grabbing the ladder behind her and pulling himself out of the pool. “I guess I will see you later then.”

“What?” Cori questioned, slightly confused seeing him grab his towel and place it around the back of his neck. “I’m confused.”

“About what?” Kevin wondered rubbing his hair down with one end of the towel. “We weren’t really talking about anything complicated were we?”

“No,” Cori blinked widely seeing him grab his clothes that were draped over the chair.

“You should get towards the ending of that book soon,” Kevin smiled, seeing her eyes gaze over his body that water droplets sliding down his skin. “You will like the ending. Then I think you should read the rest of Ms. Nevik’s stories…she really has a way to get to people’s hearts, doesn’t she?”

“Yeah, she does,” Cori nodded slowly, taking in a slow breath seeing him walk towards the door, “So you are just leaving?”

“Yeah,” Kevin replied with a small grin before turning away from her and leaving the room.

“Yeah, well you’re a loser anyways,” Cori frowned getting out of the pool. That was the first guy she knew that had taste in authors. He was quite interesting actually.


“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Michelle demanded with a scowl watching him pull away from her, “I thought you liked this Ken.”

“I did…I do…but,” he shook his head before bringing his hands up through his hair, “I can’t keep doing this. It’s not fair to you or to me. This isn’t right.”

“Of course it’s right baby,” Michelle moved up from the ground to step in closer to him, “I can make you feel so, so good. We both know that.”

“What I know is that I’m a very screwed up person right now and the last thing you need,” Ken began apologetically, “I’m not good for anyone right now.”

“You’re more than good for me and I’m good for you too,” she insisted urgently reaching out to draw her palms out over his shoulders once again, “If you only let me show you…”

“No,” he answered stiffly, “Michelle, I know this is going to seem like it’s coming out of nowhere, but I can’t do this right now. I have things I need to work out--things that can’t wait.”

“Like what?” she huffed, her brown eyes narrowing with irritation.

“Like my life,” he confessed honestly with another shake of his head, “I’ve really screwed things up lately and I think I need to work on getting it together again before I enter something like this.”

“I don’t believe this,” Michelle blinked back at him, her lips turning downward in a scowl, “So what? You just use me for sex and then discard me?”

“No, it’s not like that,” he shook his head at her, “I wasn’t trying to use you, but…”

“But what? You thought you’d screw me and then show me to the door?” she raised her voice angrily, “Is that what it was Ken?”

“No that’s not what it…” Ken began again desperately in an attempt to make her understand what he was yet to understand himself, but before he could make sense of it, there was a knock on the door. He turned to see Hart standing there.

“I hope I’m not interrupting,” Hart began apologetically, “but I thought I heard you in here and I was hoping we could talk about that urgent case we’ve been working on.”

“Oh right,” Ken blinked back at him sensing that Hart was trying to give him an out with Michelle, “the case. I’m sorry I know I should’ve been in your office to talk about this sooner but…”

“The client isn’t willing to wait much longer,” Hart glanced between Ken and Michelle, “so if you don’t mind cutting this short…”

“Of course,” Ken glanced over at Michelle, seeing her obvious irritation still burning beneath the surface, “I told you that something came up.”

“So you did,” she nodded folding her arms in front of her chest, “but this isn’t over Ken. I think you owe me a hell of a lot more than what I’m getting here.”

“You’re right,” Ken agreed with a nod, “I do and I promise you that I will give you that. You deserve more than that and I swear to you when I figure it all out, then you’ll be the first one to know.”

“I sincerely hope that doesn’t take too long because if it does, I might start to feel used and for the record Ken,” she stepped in closer to him, her words almost menacing, “I don’t like being used.”

“Of course you don’t,” Ken replied feeling the iciness of her words rock over him before she took a step back. She reached for her purse before exiting his office in an impatient huff still clearly agitated as she pushed past Hart.

Hart watched Michelle’s hasty exit before he looked to Ken again, “Care to explain that?”

“No, not really,” Ken shook his head adamantly, “but for what it’s worth thanks for helping me out there.”

“Not a problem,” Hart replied eyeing Ken intently, “although I have to admit I was surprised to hear your voice in here. For the longest time I was starting to believe that I’d lost my law partner on a permanent basis.”

“I’m sorry about that,” Ken frowned, “I truly am, but things have been…”

“Upsetting?” Hart inquired with a raise brow, “Yeah, join the club on that one Ken, but that really isn’t an excuse to just flake out on your responsibilities.”

“Look Hart, I don’t need a lecture,” Ken groaned feeling his temple throbbing again.

“No, that’s exactly what you need right now. Regardless of what happened with Caitlin, that doesn’t give you an excuse to just condemn the world around you. You have responsibilities and people depending on you Ken,” Hart snapped back at him, his agitation flowing to the surface, “I think a talking to right about now is exactly what you need.”

“What I need is some Tylenol and some sleep,” Ken moved over to his chair to flop down again.

“No what you need is to stop drinking and hanging out with hookers like that. It’s not going to give you what it is you think you need in your life,” Hart asserted stepping in closer to the desk before wrinkling his nose at Ken, “Man, you stink.”

“Yeah, well like I care,” Ken grumbled up at him again. He opened his top desk drawer looking for some source of relief for his headache.

“You should care Ken because you have people depending on you--people like the Hendersons who don’t have anyone else to help them. How do you think they would feel right now to know what you’ve become? Then again they probably are well aware of it since the tabloids have been having a field day with your exploits,” Hart snapped back at him, “Do you have any idea what this has done for business?”

“Probably no more than what you did for it when you were breaking every rule in the book,” Ken threw back at him, “Let’s face it, this isn’t about me. It’s about you.”

“You’re right. It is and I’ll be frank with you when I tell you that I don’t want to sit back and have you take me under simply because you can’t face reality. Yeah, Caitlin’s dead and it sucks. It’s not fair and it shouldn’t have happened, but it did and now you have to find a way to move on with your life. The last thing she would want would be to see you making a mockery of yourself and everything you stood for by doing what you’re doing. If she could see you now…”

“But she can’t Hart. I can’t see her and she can’t see me,” Ken glared up at him, “That’s part of being dead. You can’t be with the one you love.”

“Fine, but even so maybe you should think about the ones she loved--about the things she cared about for a chance instead of your damn self,” Hart snapped back at him before slapping a file folder for the Henderson case on Ken’s desktop. “Maybe it’s time you stop living in this pity party you’ve got going and you try to make a difference in this world. If you can’t do that, then at least you can be man enough to tell the Hendersons why you flaked out on them. You owe them that much after all the faith that they put in you.”

“Their faith was misplaced,” Ken argued pushing the folder aside, “I can’t do anything for them. I can’t even save myself.”

Hart watched him for a long moment of silence before letting out a long sigh, “Maybe that’s true. Maybe you should just throw in the towel now and stop trying. I mean what’s the point when the Hendersons are losing their son? Day by day he’s having a piece of him fade away second by second. His life was torn to pieces because of Midlands polluting the place that he lived in, but hey, it’s just another irrelevant kid, right? Who cares about all the things that he’ll never be able to experience in his life? About the things he’ll never be able to see or about all those other children like Randy Henderson who had their lives ripped to pieces because of Midlands? It’s all irrelevant as long as Kenneth Ashford gets to live the life of self loathing right?”

Ken remained silent at Hart’s explosive verbal lashing. He looked away not bothering to react to Hart’s words as he heard his law partner let out a disgusted sigh.

“You really are beyond pathetic, aren’t you,” Hart grumbled giving Ken one last look before leaving the office in a fury.

Hearing Hart leave Ken sat up straighter fighting to feel anything, yet as he noticed the file labeled Henderson on top of his desk, he couldn’t help but tense up. He thought about his promise to the Hendersons--about his promise to Caitlin and before he knew it, he had the folder opened. He started to thumb through the pages remembering the passion that he’d once had for the case--for the battle that the Hendersons needed to win against Midlands and suddenly there was another emotion sweeping over him. Ken had wanted revenge. He wanted to take down those who had wronged him and the world around him and now that he had the Henderson case in hand, he knew exactly what he needed to do. He had the ammunition to take control again. Nothing was going to stop him now!


Judy took one last look around her living room making sure she had everything as she had a long day ahead of her at work. She’d been working double time lately in Ken’s absence considering that he’d had clients that had been wondering where he’d been. Truthfully she wished she’d had the answers, but it seemed like the more she tried to make sense of Kenneth’s grief, the less she understood what was happening to him. Either way she couldn’t give up trying as her job was important especially at a time like this.

“There’s my lunch,” she mouthed to herself swiping up the bag she’d made for herself before heading towards the door. She opened it up only to discover a bright bouquet of flowers before her. “What in the…”

“Good morning beautiful,” Richard announced, his voice beaming with that same magnetic spark that had always caused her to stop thinking about anything other than what it felt like to be with him. She stood taller, her eyes widening at the beautiful flowers before her. He took that as a good sign and lowered the bouquet, “Have a minute?”

“Actually I was just on my way out the door,” she started to protest, but found herself at a loss as she stepped aside allowing him access to her apartment. In one last, pathetic attempt to try to keep him at arm’s length, she spoke up once more, “I was on my way to work.”

“I’m sure it’ll be perfectly fine if you’re a few minutes late,” he replied casually before motioning to the flowers in his hand, “Would you like these or shall I put them in some water for you?”

“I’m perfectly capable of doing so,” she replied trying to regain her composure as she reached for the flowers. “You really didn’t have to do this you know.”

“I wanted to,” he confessed watching her move towards her kitchen, “and in a way I felt I needed to. I thought the flowers might be a good opening statement for us.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” she questioned looking up from the sink to find him standing in her doorway admiring her from afar.

“It means that we need to talk. We’ve left quite a few things unsaid between us and I think it’s about high time that we set the record straight between us,” he explained making a bold step forward.

“Rick, I already told you that I don’t think you and I spending any time together is a good idea considering…” she began in protest.

“Considering what? That I love you or that when I’m not with you I keep finding excuses to find a way to cross paths with you? Judy whether or not you want to think about it, the fact is that I can’t get you off of my mind,” he blurted out in an impassioned tone.

“Well you should. Your wife is in the hospital and clearly hurting in ways that I can’t even begin to imagine. The last thing you should be doing is…” she began to argue with him.

“I don’t want to hear about what I should or shouldn’t be doing when the truth to the matter is that all I want to be doing is showing you how much I love you. I do love you Judy,” he searched her face for a reaction to his words, “I’ve loved you since the first time I saw you back in high school. That night at the diner when you were there with your girlfriends I couldn’t help but be taken with you.”

“Rick please,” she begged of him.

“Please what?” he repeated with a sexy smile, “You can’t tell me that you didn’t feel it too.”

“I didn’t,” she lied up at him, “I thought you were impossibly boring and a horrible show off.”

“You liked me. Even then you thought I was something special,” he stepped forward his grin expanding, “even if you did take a great liberty in dumping your strawberry milkshake in my lap.”

“That was an accident,” she shook her head at the memory.

“Or more of an excuse to get close to me,” he remembered fondly, “I can still see the expression on your face--the way your eyes lit up with embarrassment and the cute crimson color that flooded over your face. You were absolutely adorable.”

“I knew you loved every second of it,” she shook her head again, “but it really was an accident.”

“Accident or not, it gave me a chance to spend more time with you,” he confessed thoughtfully, “and back then I never thought that our time together would come to an end.”

“Neither did I, but then with Brooke,” she felt a moment of pain tug at her insides at the memory of their love falling to pieces. Standing straighter she cleared her throat once again, “Rick, you really shouldn’t be here. You should be at the hospital with Brooke.”

“Eventually I’ll go over there, but for now, well now I just need to set things straight with you. Regardless of what happens next--of what may or may not be ahead for us, Judy the truth to the matter is that I’ve spent more than half of my life loving you and that’s not about to change now. My only regret is wasting all the time that we did in being apart. I don’t want to make that mistake twice which is why I want you to know that I will find a way to make this work.”

“Rick, I don’t think you should be making promises that you can’t…” Judy began again.

“I can and I will,” he replied taking her fully into his arms. He touched her face tenderly, his eyes falling upon hers before his lips caressed hers in a soft, gentle kiss, “Judy, I want to spend the rest of my life with you and I promise you that we can make this work for us. We can be together.”

“I don’t see how at this point. Brooke needs you too much for you to…” she began in protest only to feel his lips upon hers once again.

“We’ll find our happiness. I know we will,” he whispered leaving her wishing that things were as simple as he tried to make them sound. Unfortunately Judy knew all too well that nothing was as simple as it seemed especially in matters of the heart.


Brooke glared up at the clock hanging on the wall while wondering where in the hell Richard was at. She’d spoken with her nurse three times asking if he’d perhaps called, but the nurse hadn’t heard anything up until this point. Frowning Brooke looked over to the phone on the table beside her hospital bed. Perhaps it was time to give Richard a good talking to. Yes, that would work indeed. Reaching out for the phone, she prepared to give him a very strict verbal lashing when another sound erupted from the other side of the room.

“How is the patient doing this morning,” Beth questioned entering the room with a clipboard in hand.

“How the hell do you think I’m doing?” Brooke scowled back at her, “I’m stuck in this damned bed all day with nothing to do but wait for idiots to tell me nothing more than what I’ve been hearing since I woke up. I can’t leave or do anything that I want to do, so overall I think I’m doing pretty lousy. You?”

“Well since you asked, I have to admit I’m having a pretty good day,” Beth replied making her way over to Brooke’s side, “I’ve been working on a few personal projects that are going fantastic and…”

“I didn’t ask because I cared,” Brooke pointed out with a glare.

“I didn’t think you were,” Beth retorted with a frown, “but I thought I’d just make pleasant conversation anyways.”

“If you’d like to be pleasant, then tell me you’ve found a way to fix all of this and then I might be interested in having a discussion with you,” Brooke motioned to the bed she lay in.

“Actually, you might be happy with what I’ve come up with. The way I see it, you’ll have to go through some therapy, but I think it would be best for you to be put into your husband’s care,” Beth paused with heavy emphasis, “That is what you wanted, wasn’t it?”

“What I wanted wasn’t to be an invalid. I have things to do--people to see and…” Brooke argued with her.

“And you’re not going to get there any faster by complaining. Besides I thought we had a talk the other night about the positives associated with this,” Beth reminded her sharply.

“You try finding this to be a positive,” Brooke nodded towards her legs once again.

“Maybe this will help,” Beth reached into her pocket to withdraw an envelope. “Take a good, long look at this Brooke and tell me if you’re so ready to complain.”

Brooke reluctantly reached for the envelope finding herself less than impressed, yet still she opted to at least hear Beth out for the moment. She tore open the envelope before her eyes feasted upon the inner contents of the envelope. Her eyes raised up again towards Beth before she spoke up again.

“Is this for real?” Brooke questioned with the beginnings of a smile over her lips.

“It’s very real and as long as you stop complaining and start listening, then you’re going to find that this situation is more profitable for you then you can imagine. You’ve got the tools to get everything you’ve ever wanted and if you let me help you, well I can promise you that you’re not going to be disappointed,” Beth promised her with an assuring smile.

“In that case,” Brooke closed the envelope before tucking it underneath the blanket beside her, “tell me more.”

“I thought you’d never ask,” Beth beamed enthusiastically ready to spill the details of the plan that she was certain their mutual partner had carefully laid out before them.


Augustus stepped into the library closing the French doors behind him. While he’d had a few meetings lined up for the morning, they’d been cancelled and it was perhaps for the best as he was certain he had other more pressing issues to deal with. He hadn’t heard anything on Ken in the last day or so and felt that maybe it was time to look into seeing what was happening with him, but before he could make that next step in seeking Ken out, there was a faint ringing from inside his front breast pocket.

Pulling out his cell phone, Augustus felt a smile tickle over the corner of his mouth as he recognized the number in front of him. He answered in a cheerful tone, “Zoë, darling how are you?”

“Father,” she replied with a certain cheerfulness in her voice, “how are you?”

“Much better now that I have my beautiful daughter on the phone. So what has you up this early in the morning?” he questioned with a small smile, “Last time I checked you and I were no where near in the same time zones there.”

“Actually I’m in the states right now,” she confessed with a tiny laugh, “The book tour has me back home again I suppose.”

“How close to home?” Augustus inquired thinking about how long it had been since he’d seen his daughter.

“Closer than you think. I’m actually just outside of Coral Valley and when I’d read in the papers that you’d ventured over there again,” she began to explain.

“You mean in the tabloids?” Augustus replied with a knowing expression. “Zoë, I’d thought that you’d given up on following those garbage rags.”

“Trust me it wasn’t as if I was searching for them. They just have a habit of popping up wherever I’m at. Being an Ashford kind of keeps me prone to checking them every now and then so that I can get the scoop on the rest of the family seeing as no one even bothers to write or call these days,” she remarked sourly thinking about how long it had been since she’d been back in the states close to her family.

“I’m sure that there are other ways to keep in touch,” he remarked disapprovingly.

“So then you’re saying that the tabloids are wrong about your being in town or about young Kenneth going off the deep end or even that Brant is married and Blake is on her way to it?” she tossed back at him expectantly.

“Okay, so maybe they aren’t totally off as I am at the mansion,” he revealed with a tiny chuckle, “which something tells me I may not be the only visiting family member at this point.”

“Do you honestly believe that I would set foot in that house ever again especially after all the things your son did to make me feel like an unwelcome houseguest?” she grumbled in response, “I’d rather eat my own foot, then do such a thing.”

“Nicholas is long gone Zoë,” Augustus reminded her poignantly.

“But his legacy still remains. Even the tabloids still speculate on how much influence has trickled down from his wicked tyranny into his children,” Zoë added with a sigh, “It would be like revisiting the demons of the past if I came home again.”

“There’s nothing stopping you this time especially at a time like his. Your coming here may be a good thing,” Augustus continued to explain to her, “With what’s been happening lately, well I think it might be just what this family needs.”

“What the family needs is a lobotomy and then perhaps a whole psychiatric ward entirely to themselves,” she added sourly, “The last thing they want or need is crazy Aunt Zoë coming to down.”

“Is that right?” Augustus replied shaking his head at her words, “Zoë, when are you ever going to let it go? Your brother is dead.”

“Not dead enough in my eyes,” she hesitated a long silence sweeping over her, “besides I don’t know how much good I would be right about now.”

“It depends on what good you’re trying to make on your visit,” Augustus replied thinking about what Avery had explained to him, “Blake is hurting quite badly right now and in need of a female perspective on things. She hasn’t exactly warmed up to Brant’s wife and Annie does her best, but…”

“Blake,” Zoë repeated her tone immediately changing, “What’s wrong with Blake?”

“Well, as you read in the tabloids, she was about to be married only it turns out that the groom already has a bride,” Augustus informed her point blank, “From what I’ve heard, she’s rather upset right about now.”

“And decidedly so. How could someone just string her along like that? Her heart has to be breaking into a million pieces right about now,” she added sympathetically, “Have you spoken with her lately?”

“Not as much as I would have liked to, but maybe if you would stop by, she’d be open to discuss things with you,” he suggested once more.

“As much as I swore to myself that I’d never return to that house again, well, the truth is that there is something I do need to do in town. There are a few things that I kept pushing aside for a long time, but I know now that it can’t wait any longer. Father, there is something we need to discuss,” she explained nervousness sweeping in over her tone.

“Well, what is it?” he asked gently.

“I don’t want to do this over the phone. I’ll explain it to you when I come into town. I have to do a few more things with this stop on the book tour, but in a few days I should be in Coral Valley. I’ll call you when I get there and maybe together we can find a way to make things better for everyone,” she decided knowing that there was no more avoiding the past.

“There’s the Ashford spirit,” he replied enthusiastically, “I knew I could get you back here if I mentioned Blake.”

“Of course I’ll do what I can for Blake father, but there are a few things I need you to do for me--things I should’ve asked you years ago,” she replied poignantly.

“Zoë, what is it? Are you in some kind of trouble?” he questioned worriedly.

“More than you can imagine, but for now, we’ll just leave it at that. I’ll be in touch soon,” she replied quickly.

“Zoë,” he spoke his daughter’s name, but was met by the silence on the other end of the line alerting him that she’d hung up the phone. While he wasn’t quite sure what she had in mind, he knew full well that something was troubling her. On top of everything else that was going on with his grandchildren Augustus was starting to wonder if anything would go right for the family ever again.


“How did you get here so fast?” Kipp questioned quickly seeing Kellen waiting at the doors for him. “I called you just a second ago.”

“No, you called me about thirty minutes ago, but my guess was that you were too excited and you kept forgetting things,” Kellen pointed out seeing Kipp shrug, “Am I right?”

“Yeah, that basically sums it up,” Kipp answered thinking back to what happened. “First off, I run out of the house and I am still in my pajamas. I go back inside to get dressed and when I go to leave…I can’t find my keys.”

“Of course,” Kellen nodded slowly with a small laugh, “That’s always what happens to me when I am really excited. I guess that would mean I lose them all the time, but go ahead. Getting back to what you went through.”

“Well, I checked my pants pockets and I couldn’t find them,” Kipp began seeing Kellen nod as they walked through the doors of the hospital. “They ended up being in my jacket pocket of all places. And then, when I get to my car and I can’t remember which key goes to what. I spent almost ten minutes there trying to find the key. When I had finally started driving…it seemed like I hit every red light on the way here. So of course when I first got here, I get stuck in the seatbelt.”

“So basically you were overwhelmed with being excited,” Kellen offered up an answer seeing Kipp nod slowly, “So tell me. Why did you call me here anyways?”

“Well, I need some support with this you know,” Kipp sighed, turning a corner, “You’re my best friend and all you seem to do is give me support. I like the way you can make me calm down so I figured now would be the best time to have you with me.”

“Alright,” Kellen nodded slowly before laughing, “So when your knees give out on you while you are holding the baby, do I catch you or the baby?”

“Uh, me…no the baby. No both of us. No the baby,” Kipp bit down on his bottom lip as Kellen rested his hand on Kipp’s shoulder.

“It was just a joke, not something to get worked up over,” Kellen declared, giving Kipp’s shoulder an assuring squeeze, “Don’t worry. Everything is going to be okay. Keep telling yourself that.”

“Okay,” Kipp sighed looking at his watch, “Everything is going to be okay. Everything is going to be okay.”

“Can I help you two?” a nurse questioned as Kellen and Kipp approached the desk seeing Kipp nod slowly.

“Everything is going to be okay,” Kipp quickly shot out, suddenly realizing what he just did, “I mean…I am here to pick up my son.”

“Oh yes, you’re the one I talked to on the phone,” the nurse nodded slowly seeing Kipp nod nervously. “Just let me go get the papers.”

“Don’t worry Kipp, everything is going to be okay,” Kellen laughed, seeing Kipp blush. “Don’t worry, I say and do some really stupid things when I am nervous too. It’s not just you.”

“I know, but I kind of feel like an idiot here,” Kipp let Kellen know how he was feeling, “I finally get to be with my son. I know you don’t feel as happy as I do, but…”

“Kipp, seeing you like this makes me more than happy,” Kellen informed him seeing the nurse come up from behind Kipp, “She has the papers.”

“Oh,” Kipp turned around quickly as the nurse handed him a clipboard, “Where do I sign?”

“Right there,” the nurse pointed to a few lines before smiling widely, “I’ll go get him for you.”

“Okay,” Kipp took in deep breaths waiting for the nurse to come back, “What do I do when he gets here?”

“Hold him,” Kellen suggested with a small laugh, “And then maybe you could take him home. And just to be a great friend, I will drive your car back to your place so you could hold him on the way home.”

“Mr. Mahoney,” the nurse said his name, seeing him turn around wide eyed looking down at the baby, “Here is your son.”

“Thank you so much,” Kipp smiled, holding Charles in his arms gently, taking in the beauty of his son before him.

“He’s so cute,” Kellen looked over Kipp’s shoulder at Charles, “Kind of like his father.”

“Yeah,” Kipp half laughed looking down at his son that was sleeping in his arms, “I think I want to go home.”

“Alright buddy,” Kellen grinned wrapping his arm around Kipp’s shoulder, “Let’s go.”


JT made his way through his living room hearing the furious pounding on his front door. Scowling considering that he was still half asleep he marched towards the front door ready to kill the person on the outside for having waken him up so early after his vacation from hell. Okay, so it wasn’t total hell given the fun he’d had with the flight attendant on the ride home, but other than that he was more than ready to just forget the whole trip had ever taken place to begin with.

“What?” JT ripped open the front door only to feel a thick, oversized suitcase slammed into his chest.

“Finally,” Valerie groaned pushing her way past him into his living room, “I thought you were never going to answer. By the way the rest of my things are outside on the patio. Given the way this neighborhood is less than satisfactory you‘d better get a jump on it or else you‘re going to have to buy me a whole new wardrobe.”

“Now wait just a minute,” JT spun around to watch Valerie prance through his living room, “What do you think you’re doing?”

“Moving in,” she replied wrinkling her nose at him, “although I have to tell you that your decorating taste leaves much to be desired. Don’t worry though. I think that I’ll have to make a few phone calls and get someone in here right away.”

“Hold on!” JT roared dropping the suitcase on the floor in front of him, “If you think for one second that you can just barge in here and…”

“Look Ria kicked me out and I need a place to stay for the time being. You aren’t my first choice, but I’m sure you’ll do for now,” she remarked before wrinkling her nose at the lamp that was in front of her. “Okay, this will have to go.”

“Now wait just a minute. You’re not going to rearrange my furniture here,” he argued with her reaching for the lamp before she could discard it. “In fact, you’re not staying here.”

“Of course I am. This is all your fault. If you would’ve been more helpful, then I would be with Seth right now, but instead I’m stuck here with you because you weren’t good enough at what you promised to do,” she snapped at him icily.

“I promised to get you there to stop the wedding. I did my part and you need to remember that. You’re the one who flubbed it up with Seth when he wasn’t interested in having you in his life. That was not my fault. It was all on your shoulders Val.”

“Yeah, well Ria tossed me out because she’s acting all irrational and I can’t just stay on the street,” she explained with a huff, “So you’re just going to have to deal with the mess you’ve made.”

“The mess I’ve made?” he repeated with a choked laugh, “Um hello reality check. You’re the one to blame for this one. You are the reason you aren’t with Seth. This has nothing to do with me and as far as I’m concerned you and all of your stuff can find someplace else to call home. You aren’t staying with me.”

“Of course I am and how long I stay depends on you,” she huffed impatiently tapping her foot on the floor. “You’re going to help me get Seth back and until you live up to your end of the bargain, then I’m not going anywhere.”

“Oh yes you are. You aren’t staying with me Valerie!” he snapped having had enough of the madness that she was bringing to his apartment.

“Yes I am and if you don’t go and get my bags right now,” she stepped forward going nose to nose with him, “then so help me…”

“Get them yourself,” JT snapped before brushing past her and slamming his bedroom door in his exit. She spun around to hear the sound of the door rumbling and a huff fell from her lips.

“You’ll see JT. They’ll all see. Seth will be mine again,” she grumbled to herself before taking another look around JT’s apartment. She shuddered at the pathetic air that carried over the place, but for now, well it would have to do. “With a little help from some of my decorator friends. Now about the luggage…”

Valerie took a step forward ready to contemplate bringing it all in by herself. She looked around taking one more step out onto the patio. She was about to grab a bag when she heard a whistle from beyond where she stood. Looking up she saw a few construction workers ahead of her checking her out. She was about to flick them off, but then another thought occurred to her. She looked from the bags to the men and suddenly she found all the help in the world she needed moving into JT’s. Yes, they would most certainly do.


Diane took in a deep breath as she looked through the clothes section. She didn’t know where Ben had run off to, but she knew he would find her. He just had his ways of always knowing where she was.

“Hey,” Ben smiled coming up from behind Diane, making her jump, “I found some really great things.”

“Really?” she questioned slightly surprised, “What did you find when you ran away?”

“I was looking at the baby clothes and I found these,” Ben started as pulled up one set of clothing, “If we have a boy, we can put him in this. See, there are basketballs on the shirt.”

“I see that,” Diane nodded slowly as he went on, “What else did you find?”

“Well, you see,” Ben shrugged his shoulders explaining to her what he found, “I was looking in the girl section and I was stuck. I didn’t know if we should have our daughter liking rabbits or kittens. So, I got them both. I got these kittens and they had blue kittens, but I thought the gray were cuter. With the bunny suit, it even came with ears. I thought it was so cute. Could you imagine the baby with these things on?”

“Sort of,” Diane agreed seeing him smile widely, “So you like all these things?”

“Yeah, I do,” Ben nodded slowly before snapping his fingers, “I should go check out some more things. They had these really cute teddy bears. You know, the safe ones that they can’t choke on. You want to come check it out with me?”

“I will be there in a minute,” Diane nodded seeing him smile before kissing her cheek gently.

“Who knew this could be so fun,” he whispered, shrugging his shoulders, “I never imagined shopping like this would be so much fun. I can’t wait to see these things on our beautiful child.”

“I’m sure it will be adorable,” she agreed as he leaned over and hugged her tightly in his arms.

“You should hurry up so you could come and look at things with me,” Ben suggested seeing her nod, “I’ll be waiting for you.”

“Okay,” she smiled, feeling a sudden rush of guilt as he walked towards the baby section. He was so excited about this and the only thing that was keeping her from being happy with Ben was JT. What was she going to do?


“Come on Mindy. You have to work with me,” Grady snapped his fingers before standing up and pacing around the computer she was working on.

“I’m working with you Grady, but it’s the computer who seems out to be against you today,” she informed him point blank. She caught him pacing out of the corner of her eye and she let out an exaggerated groan, “Grady, can you please stop that? It’s very distracting.”

“Oh right,” he stood still for a moment before plopping down into a chair beside her. He began to tap on the desk before getting another glare from her, “Oh yeah. Sorry.”

“It’s okay, but just so you know your impatience isn’t helping the situation. You’re making me extremely nervous,” she sighed glancing over at him once again, “Grady if something is there, then we’ll find it. Just give me a little time. Nothing is coming up yet, but I’m sure if I keep digging it will.”

“I just don’t understand why you’re not getting anything. You’d think that something would pop up given how public Cameron is about things. He’s got so many corporations that he’s running and…” Grady started to explain to her.

“Grady, we’ll find it. Eventually it will come up. I’ve found a ton on his businesses and the lawsuits, but that’s not what you’re asking me about. What you’re looking for is a bit more personal,” she reminded him pointedly, “Just give it time.”

“Time’s not really on my side with Jade still out there missing,” he admitted with another small groan. He kicked his feet out and slid his chair across the floor until it went crashing into a desk. He sat up straighter and turned around ready to do it again when there was the sound of someone clearing their throat from behind him. He swiveled around to see a man looking at him.

“Okay I’ve just got to know. Who the hell are you and why are you annoying my reporter?” Chris questioned behind an arched brow. “You’re even making me nervous with your demands and I’ve only been here less than a minute.”

“Oh Chris,” Mindy looked up from the computer monitor in front of her, “this is Grady Denton. He’s…”

“Grady,” Chris cut her off, his demeanor changing as soon as he recognized the name. He held his hand out to Grady and shook Grady’s hand eagerly, “Oh hi. Pleasure to meet you. Your father has told me all about you, but I didn‘t actually anticipate you showing up at the newspaper offices like this to check up on how I‘m running the show around here.”

“Actually I’m here because I’m in need of a favor,” Grady motioned to Mindy, “She’s helping me with a project of mine and I’d really like to get some answers soon since I’m on a deadline. It’s pretty important.”

“Well in that case, you can rest assured you’re working with the best. Mindy seems to be the one who knows it all around here, but I’m pretty sure you probably already know that since your brother was once running the show.”

“Yes, I’m well aware of Mindy’s talents,” Grady nodded appreciatively, “and that’s what prompted me to come right to her for assistance with my search.”

“She’s one of the best. No, I take that back she’s the best of the best and you’re more than welcome to use Mindy at your disposal to aid you in whatever it is you’re searching for whatever it may be. And you know if you need anything, I’m more than happy to help you. In fact, maybe I can add an extra pair of hands metaphorically if you will and…”

“No,” Grady rose up from his chair to block Chris from seeing the screen, “I mean no that’s not necessary. We’ve got it under control and Mindy is doing a wonderful job. I’m sure she’ll be able to give me what I need here in my search.”

Chris attempted to look over Grady’s shoulder for a moment before offering up a shrug, “Sure whatever you say, but hey if you need any help, just remember I’m in my office.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Grady promised waving at him as Chris gave him one last look.

Once Chris was in his office Mindy turned to Grady again, “Um question. Why didn’t you just let him help us? We might find the information a lot faster if we had extra help.”

“Because right now the fewer people we have in on this one, the better,” Grady replied leaning in closer to her, “I’d like to keep this between us for now just in case it turns into something big.”

“You mean if it leads you to finding Jade and taking down Cameron?” Mindy questioned over her shoulder.

“Exactly and if it does, I promise you I’ll give you an exclusive,” he assured her before motioning to her screen, “Now what do you say you work your magic for me and help me get the information I need to get Cameron to give up where he’s got Jade?”

“Alright Grady, but remember you promised me an exclusive,” Mindy reminded him with a newfound enthusiasm. She turned to her computer ready to find something--anything that would aid in bringing down such a powerful force in the community. One way or another, she would find what Grady needed. It was just a matter of time.


Diego sat back onto the couch in his office. Later tonight, Cori and him were going to be spending the evening together. He was excited that he was going to be spending time with her, but there was something that was still passing through his mind, Heather. He had heard that Charles was going to be going home and he also heard that Kipp would be the one that was taking him. That must be really hard for her to have to go through especially at a time like this.

“Maybe I should just call to see how she is holding up,” Diego contemplated looking towards the clock. “Maybe I shouldn‘t. No, I should. It‘s only my being a friend like I promised I would be.”

He went to the phone and dialed the number to the Ashford mansion. He just needed to know how she was doing.

“Hello,” Annie answered the phone after a while, right before Diego was about to hang up.

“Hello, this is Diego Hernandez,” Diego began, thinking of what he should say, “I’m Heather Gibbon’s friend and I was wondering if I could possibly talk to her for a minute.”

“Ms. Gibbons will be out of town for a couple more days,” Annie answered before going on, “I can give her a message if you would like.”

“No, that’s okay,” Diego shook his head before frowning, “Are you sure she’s out of town?”

“Yes, I am,” Annie replied with a small frown, “Why? Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, everything‘s fine,” Diego took in a deep breath, running his hand through his hair, “Thanks.”

He hung up the phone and sat back down on the couch. What was Heather doing out of town? Hopefully she was okay.

“I shouldn’t be worried right now,” Diego told himself before shaking his head slowly. “What could she possibly be out of town for? Though there’s nothing out of Coral Valley that could me more important.”

He knew he shouldn’t be getting all worked up over this, but he had to. There was something inside of him that made him wonder if everything really was okay.


“Don, I know we have had some trouble between us,” Shannon began to explain how she was feeling to Don, only to hear him laugh out as his intense blue eyes looked into hers.

“Some Shannon,” Don repeated her words, laughing once more, “I don’t think some is what we go through. I think a whole lot is what we go through. This thing that is going on between us isn’t little. This is something that is very big.”

“I know that and that’s why I think we need to do something,” Shannon declared seeing him fold his arms out in front of him.

“What exactly are we going to do Shannon?” Don questioned, a frown spreading over his features. “I don’t know what more we really can do. I mean, I want to be with you…so much that it hurts knowing I can’t be. But I can’t keep going on like this. I can’t make your heart love someone that it really doesn’t. While your heart is deciding what it should be doing, mine is tearing apart inch by inch with what you are doing to me. I know you want to set things straight Shannon, but you can’t keep acting like this towards me. Soon, there is going to be nothing left of me and I won’t be able to take you anymore.”

“Don, I want to be there in so many ways,” Shannon informed him seeing the look in his saddened eyes. “But…”

“You can’t,” Don finished her sentence with a small frown. “You want to be with me…then be with me. If you keep playing these games, I don’t know if I can take anymore of it Shannon. You want to be with me, but you want to hurt me. I just don’t understand you. I want to be with you Shannon, but all you have done is pushed me away farther. I can’t live off a relationship like this…if this is really what most people would call a relationship. Because at is moment…I don’t even see this as a real relationship.”

“Daddy,” Matt ran up to the two as Don bent down to see what was wrong, “I finished.”

“Let’s take a look at this piece of art,” Don smiled as his son handed him over the picture. “Who are the people?”

“Well, right here,” Matt began, pointing to one of the figures in the drawing. “That’s you daddy…and right here…that’s her.”

“Her?” Don questioned, slightly surprised. “You mean my friend Shannon? Is that who you drew?”

“Yeah,” Matt nodded quickly with a small smile, “I was seeing you two together and…I just wanted to draw you two.”

“It’s a very good drawing Matt,” Don declared with a wide smile, “I think I am going to keep it forever and ever.”

“May I see it?” Shannon wondered as Don hugged Matt tightly in his arms, seeing the surprised look on Don’s face.

“Sure,” Don nodded slowly, handing her the picture and seeing her look it over, “What do you think? I think we have an artist on our hands right now.”

“He did a very good job,” Shannon agreed, handing Don back the picture, “Actually, it was perfect.”

“Just like him,” Don smiled, running his hand through his son’s hair lightly.

“You want to play with us?” Matt wondered looking up at Shannon seeing her point to herself. “Yeah, do you?”

“Well,” Shannon thought it over for a second looking towards Don, “I would love to.”

“Cool,” Matt giggled, grabbing her hand and leading her to the playground. “I think we should start on the jungle gym.”


“I’m so glad you decided to come in today Angela. I know the hospital has been keeping you busy, but this is a good thing,” Dr. Roberts smiled at Angela. “Everything seems to be progressing nicely from what I can see and I’m glad that Kevin talked you into coming today.”

“I would’ve come sooner, but…” Angela started apologetically.

“Things seem to be going well,” Dr. Roberts replied before looking to Nick with a wider grin, “and it’s a pleasure to meet the baby’s father at long last.”

“Oh well, he’s…” Angela began feeling a moment of panic sweep over her.

“Happy to be here and the pleasure is all mine,” Nick replied shaking Dr. Roberts’s hand, “I couldn’t wait to come here today and get a first look at the little one.”

“Well you’re in luck because as soon as I get the technician in here, we’ll be able to get a better look at the baby,” Dr. Roberts’s explained before jotting down a few notes on the page before her. “I’ll be back in a few minutes so you two can have some privacy.”

Once the doctor exited, Angela turned to Nick with a thankful expression, “I appreciate your doing that, but you know that you don’t have to…”

“Of course I do,” he reached for her hand squeezing it gently, “and truth be told there’s really nowhere else I’d rather be than with the woman I love when she needs me the most.”

“Nick, you have no idea how much that means to me,” she replied bringing his hand to her lips and kissing it, “I love you so much.”

“And I love you,” he leaned forward to kiss her feeling a whole new level of intimacy between them now that they’d shared this moment with one another, “Being with you only reminds me of how right we are together. With my being a part of this, it really makes me feel like I could be this child’s father.”

“I wish that you were,” she confessed feeling a faint moment of guilt pass over her after the vision of Brant that had overtaken her. “It would make things a whole lot less complicated.”

“Trust me no one will ever have to know the difference since I’ve been here almost from the start,” he kissed her once more, “and in some cases, well it is the beginning--a whole new beginning for us.”

“It really is,” Angela replied hearing the door to the exam room opening once again.

“This is what I love to see,” the woman standing before them gushed, “two parents eager and excited to be sharing this with one another. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times that’s not the case. We see single women in here miserable and in agony over being pregnant, but this, well it’s so refreshing to see two young people in love.”

“We like being a break from the norm,” Nick confessed brightly lacing his fingers with Angela’s. “We’re very happy about our little one coming into this world.”

“As you should be,” the woman nodded before wheeling in the machine she’d brought with her, “Now I suppose you know how this goes Dr. Meloni in terms of this procedure.”

“Of course,” Angela nodded sucking in a sharp breath as she thought about what this first look at the baby would do for her. She glanced over at Nick, smiling brightly as her heart raced. She felt nervousness slip in over her, but with Nick’s smiling face upon her, she felt her worries put at ease.

“So is this your first,” the woman questioned making polite conversation with them.

“Yes, it’s our first,” Nick replied with a nod, “We’re very excited.”

“As you should be,” the woman nodded, “so how about we get a closer look?”

“I’d like that,” Nick nodded eagerly before looking to Angela, “So what do you say? Ready for the baby’s big screen debut?”

“Ready as I’ll ever be,” Angela inhaled slowly feeling the wand press in over her abdomen. She closed her eyes for a moment trying to concentrate on everything this moment had to offer. She wanted to remember every second, every feel of what it would be like to have the first real proof that her child was real. She could feel a warmth spread out over her as her mind raced through the possibilities of what the future would bring. Suddenly her thoughts were replaced by those of her time with Brant. She felt a heat rise over her features at the memory of what had happened when she heard a noise from the woman running the ultrasound.

“Oh my,” the woman gasped causing Angela to open her eyes and look at her.

“What? What’s wrong? Did you see something with the baby?” Angela questioned in a panic, “Did something happen?”

“Oh something happened alright,” the woman practically squealed back at her.

“What? What is it?” Angela asked turning her attention to the monitor before her.

“It’s nothing. Nothing at all other than the fact that your baby…well rather babies are absolutely beautiful,” the woman explained softening her tone a bit, “Sorry I didn’t mean to frighten you, but…”

“Did you just say babies?” Angela questioned as her eyes fell upon the images onscreen.

“Oh my gosh. Angela look at that,” Nick’s eyes widened at the sight before him. “You’re having twins.”

“We don’t get that here everyday,” the woman replied excitedly, “You two must be so proud.”

“Of course we are,” Nick added eagerly bringing his arm around Angela’s shoulders as she sat in silence struggling to find the right words to say as it seemed that Brant’s impact on her life was greater than she’d ever thought possible.

“Angie,” Nick questioned whispering in her ear. “You okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. More than okay,” she replied forcing a smile as she wondered if things would really be okay from here on out. While she’d prepared herself for the birth of her child, all the rules seemed to change in knowing that she was about to have twins.


Dave looked out the window thinking about the turn of events that took place the previous evening. Sure having to face Helen Matthews was humiliating enough after the ordeal that had taken place, but now, well now that half the local press had seen footage of him and Carly out on the docks, it was safe to say that regardless of where they went with Kayla today they were sure to be the subject of gossip. Of course Dave was willing to risk it if it meant giving Kayla a day she’d never forget.

After the morning Kayla had given him when she leapt into bed with him and Carly, he decided it was the right time do something wonderful for her. She’d been so adorable watching cartoons and reading to him even though she didn’t know many of the words on the page. Even now he felt a warmth fill in his heart at the thought of how Kayla had grown on him. More than anything he wanted to be her father--wanted to have the family with Carly that he’d never truly had since she’d been gone.

“This has to turn out the right way,” Dave thought to himself ready to go check in on Carly and Kayla when his cell phone started to ring. Pulling it out of his pocket, he brought it up to his ear, “Hello.”

“Dave thank God I found you,” Deidra’s muted voice spoke up over the line.

“Deidra, is that you?” Dave questioned confused by the tone of her voice, “What’s wrong?”

“Dave, I need you to do me a favor,” she continued in a low voice.

“I can hardly hear you. What’s going on? Are you in some kind of trouble?” he asked holding the phone closer to his ear.

“No, not exactly. I’m just trying to be quiet and…” she stopped herself, “Look Dave I need you to just promise you’ll do a favor for me.”

“What kind of favor?” he asked a bit worried by the way she sounded. “Dee, what’s going on?”

“Look I don’t have a lot of time to explain everything to you, but I need you to do a background check on someone for me. I know it’s asking a lot but…” she started worry evident in her tone.

“On who? Deidra what’s happening?” he questioned again, “Please tell me what’s going on so I can help you.”

“Well I tried your office earlier but they said you were out of town,” she began with a small sigh.

“I am out of town, but if you need me I can be back as soon as possible,” he replied worriedly.

“Dave I appreciate that, but what I really need is for you to get me some information on Dean Carlisle,” she blurted out before lowering her voice a bit, “Do you think you can do that for me?”

“What kind of information? Deidra, has her hurt you? Is something wrong,” he asked again pacing around the bedroom.

“No, not exactly. I just…” she hesitated contemplating her words, “I just want to be sure that I know what I’m getting myself into that’s all. If you could just find a way to see if there’s anything you can find out about where he grew up, about what his life was like before he came to Coral Valley…”

“Deidra, of course I can, but if you’ve got a reason to be worried. If there’s something happening that I need to know about, then I can get on the first flight home and…” Dave insisted further his worries mounting by the second.

“No, don’t feel you have to rush. Just let me know when you figure things out. I have to go,” Deidra finished quickly hanging up the phone on him.

“Deidra? Deidra, are you there?” Dave frowned shutting his cell phone while worry swept over his every synapse.

“So this is how it’s always going to be huh?” Carly’s voice caught him off guard as he spun around to see her standing in the doorway looking less than happy about what she’d walked in on. “You’re always going to run off to her and put us second, aren’t you? Kayla and I are just another distraction on the road to Deidra, right?”

“Carly, it’s not what you think it is. When she called before I was just…” Dave started with a frown tucking his phone back into his pocket.

“Oh so I just didn’t hear you offer to hop on a flight home to be with her then, right?” she threw back at him harshly, “Tell me I was just imagining that. I dare you!”

“Carly, it’s not what you think it was,” Dave began again, “You just came in at the wrong time and…”

“And what? In about five minutes I would’ve just found a note with your half-assed apology over your speedy exit?” she shouted at him, “Gee Dave, now where have I heard that one before?”

“Look you of all people should be cutting me a little slack here considering that you and Ken were parading around town in front of my face making a fool of what we have together,” Dave stepped towards her, anger rocking his tone, “I’ve been more than forgiving and I think before you jump on me about Deidra needing me, you’d better think about what it is you’re opening up between us Carly.”

“I have thought about what I’ve been opening up Dave. I’ve let you in on one of the most important things in my life--in Kayla’s life and how do you think she’s going to feel knowing that you’re about to throw what we’ve done over the last few days away to go save Deidra once again?” she threw her hands up in the air, “I don’t even know why I bother. I never should’ve brought you here in the first place. This was a huge mistake.”

“No, Carly, it wasn’t, but you have to understand that…” Dave insisted reaching out to her only to hear the sounds of screaming from the doorway.

“Stop it!” Kayla cried out running into the room with her little hands over her ears, “Stop yelling at each other! Stop fighting! Please stop fighting right now!”


...to be continued...