Episode 230

“This is so funny mommy,” Kayla laughed, holding out a plate for Carly as she placed a few pancakes on the plate, “Do you think that he is going to like this?”

“I’m sure he will,” Carly assured her before smiling widely. They wanted to do something special for Dave before he had to go back to work today. Kayla was so happy this morning that they decided to make breakfast for him. It wasn’t really anything big, but it was a little something. “We almost have everything set.”

“Do you think he is awake yet?” Kayla questioned, looking down the hallway and towards Dave’s room. He wasn’t walking out of his room and he wasn’t in the hallway so right now it looked like they were all set. “Are we done yet?”

“Yes we are,” Carly nodded grabbing the tray in her hands and having Kayla follow her towards the bedroom.

“This is so cool to make him something special,” Kayla giggled, opening the door for Carly before shutting it behind them. She eyed over Dave laying in the bed before pulling at Carly’s pants. “Is he up yet?”

“Why don’t you go over and check,” Carly suggested seeing Kayla smile and take a running start over towards the bed before jumping on Dave to hear him groan out.

“Are you awake?” Kayla questioned, trying to pull the pillow away from Dave’s face as he hid from her. “Come on, I have something special for you.”

“Something special?” Dave asked, moving the pillow away from his face. “What do you know, I have something special for you too.”

“Oh, what is it?” Kayla wondered seeing Dave grin and begin to tickle her lightly. “Don’t do that. That tickles.”

“I think that is the whole point of tickle torture,” Dave smiled before pulling Kayla into his arms tightly, “How are you doing this morning my pretty little girl?”

“Really good,” she answered with a squeak before pointing towards Carly, “We made you something special.”

“Something special?” Dave raised his eyebrows as Carly took a seat on the bed next to him and smiled, “Oh I got some breakfast in bed.”

“I made this pancake just for you,” Kayla informed him, pointing towards a pancake, “I made it look like a mouse. Like Mickey mouse. I thought you would like it.”

“I love it honey,” he assured her, taking the pancake and taking a bite from it, “This is delicious, you want a bite?”

“Sure,” Kayla nodded, taking a bite from the pancake, “That is good. Mommy, you have to try them. They are so good.”

“Yeah mommy,” Dave smiled holding a piece out in front of Carly’s lips, “Try some.”

“That is good,” Carly agreed after taking a bite and seeing Kayla clap, “We made this breakfast just for you.”

“Thank you two,” Dave sighed, taking another bite from the pancake, “This is really special to me.”

“You’re welcome,” Kayla once more giggled before leaning forward to hug Dave once again, wrapping her arms around his neck tightly. These were the type of days he wanted to wake up to from here on out.


“What is going on?” Kyle questioned with anger behind his voice before looking up at Sarah who looked just as shocked as he was. “How is this happening?”

“I don’t know,” Sarah shrugged looking down to the flowers, “How could she have sent these? They have a ton of people out there looking for her.”

“This has to be some kind of sick joke,” Kyle growled, grabbing the card and ripping it up, “How does she know where I am right now?”

“I don’t know,” Sarah shrugged, thinking for some type of explanation before letting her own emotions get to her, “That bitch. What makes her think she could do this after what she did to you? She thinks she is going to get away with this by just sending some type of card.”

“She’s not going to away with this,” Kyle hissed, shaking his head slowly, “I’m not going to let her.”

“You aren’t going to try and leave this bed,” Sarah demanded, seeing Kyle try to get up from where he was laying, “I won’t let you do it.”

“Fine,” Kyle scowled as he leaned back into the bed, noticing Julian Kurts walk by the room, “Lieutenant Kurts just walked by, go get him if I can’t get a foot out of this damn bed.”

“Fine, I will,” Sarah nodded, walking to the door quickly before calling out to Julian Kurts, “Lieutenant Kurts.”

“Yeah?” Julian Kurts walked back towards the hospital room before noticing that it was Sarah who was calling out to him. “Is Kyle okay?”

“Not really,” Sarah answered, biting down on her bottom lip before looking back at Kyle, “He just received something from Susan.”

“What? How could that happen?” Julian questioned, quickly walking into the hospital room as Kyle sat up straighter in the bed. “What did she send?”

“The flowers,” Kyle pointed to the ground where he had dropped them earlier, “Tell me something Julian, how the hell did this happen? You have two guards on my room and still she gets to me. How did she know that I was in the hospital?”

“I don’t know, maybe one of the guys said it and she overheard,” Julian tried to explain, bending down to pick the flowers up, “I’m sorry Kyle. This shouldn’t have happened.”

“You’re damn right this shouldn’t have happened,” Sarah agreed, shaking her head slowly in disappointment of how Susan got out, “Susan did all this to Kyle and she should be in jail right now. Not sending him flowers and out there running around. What if she shows up here? What’s going to happen?”

“We will get her if she shows up,” Julian promised looking back out the window, “She wouldn’t be that stupid to show up here.”

“That’s what most would have said,” Kyle stated, shrugging his shoulders, “Most also would have said that she wouldn’t have been too dumb to send me something, but I guess most are wrong aren’t they?”

“We will find out where she had these sent from,” Julian assured Kyle, looking back at Sarah, “You should stay in here and make sure the guards really do keep an eye on him. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.”

“Oh believe me,” Kyle chuckled, holding his hands up in the air, “This last few days have been an inconvenience, so I don’t think this one would be any worse.”

“Just hold on a little bit longer Kyle,” Julian sighed, shaking his head slowly, “She isn’t that smart, we will get her soon. She can’t hide from us--we will find her.”

“Oh, you mean like how you said that you were going to put her away for this,” Kyle raised his voice as more anger built up inside of him, “Or even better, when you said that you would get her the first day she got out.”

“Kyle calm down,” Sarah touched his hand as he swiped it away from him, “Kyle.”

“No, I’m not going to calm down,” Kyle yelled, shaking his head slowly, “This shouldn’t be happening. She should be in that jail cell still, but she isn’t. And do we know why she isn’t in there? Oh, that’s right. It’s because your guys screwed up. So, if they can’t keep her in a cell, what makes you think that your men are going to find her? Got an answer to that one?”

“Kyle, all I can say is that we are trying our best,” Julian promised shaking his head slowly, “I don’t have much to offer.”

“You’re damn right you don’t have much to offer,” Kyle snickered, pinching the bridge of his nose as he felt a headache coming on. “I really can’t believe this. I would be out there and find her today, but you know what? I can’t. Why is that? Because the bitch did this to me and I am stuck in damn place.”

“Kyle, I think the police are doing the best they can,” Sarah assured Kyle, rubbing his shoulder gently as he shook his head quickly.

“Best they can? Oh, I don’t think so,” Kyle chuckled, rubbing his chin slowly. “You see, if they were doing their best, they would have found Susan by now, they would have already had her in custody. Better yet, if they were doing their best--Susan wouldn’t have gotten out in the first place. I’m not blaming you Julian because I know you care about this case and you’re one of my good friends. Considering that, just please…push your men a little bit harder.”

“I will Kyle, I promise,” Julian gulped down, walking back towards the door, “I will go call some people right now. See what I can do.”

“Thanks,” Kyle sighed, shaking his head slowly, “I mean it buddy. Thanks.”


“Knock, knock,” Blake tapped on the door seeing Ken in his hospital bed. She approached him a smile on her face as her worries about losing him had finally faded into relief that he was still around with her.

“Hey there sweetie,” Ken smiled back at her waving slowly in her general direction, “how are you?”

“Much better now that I know you’re going to be okay,” she confessed leaning in to kiss him on the top of his head, “You gave me quite a scare you know.”

“I realize that and I’m so very sorry,” Ken replied noticing the box tucked under Blake’s arm, “What’s that?”

“This is something special I brought in for you,” Blake explained holding it out towards him. She leaned forward placing it on the bed before taking a step back, “It’s just a reminder of all the things that you have waiting for you when you get out of this place.”

“What is it?” Ken questioned watching her pull off the top of the box.

“Well for starters there’s a letter from Jay and Kelly Henderson wishing you the best of luck. They want you to have a safe and healthy recovery and this,” Blake pulled out a small clay figure and a colored drawing as well, “Is from Randy who said he understands what you’re going through and it’s no fun. He’s hoping that you get out of the hospital soon or at the very least that you two can be roommates.”

Ken couldn’t help but smile at that one. He reached for the clay figure eyeing it curiously, “What is this supposed to be?”

“I think it’s an ashtray,” Blake replied with a long pause, “I was too polite to ask when he gave it to me.”

“I see,” Ken couldn’t help but laugh before he noticed something else in the box, “What’s that?”

“It’s a picture,” she explained pulling out the framed photo, “Of you, Brant, mom and I. I know it’s like really old, but I thought that maybe if you had your family with you here, you wouldn’t feel so alone while you’re on the road to recovery.”

“I appreciate that,” Ken smiled up at her, “In fact, why don’t you set it over there next to Randy’s ashtray?”

“Right here,” she questioned as he nodded.

“It’s beautiful,” he replied thoughtfully, “I think it’ll help a lot if I start losing perspective.”

“I’m sure that you’ll be able to fight the negativity that’s been surrounding you lately,” she continued taking a seat beside his bed, “I have faith in you Ken.”

“Thanks Blake,” he reached out to take her hand in his, “That means a lot to me.”

“You mean a lot to me,” she replied with a small smile, “and it’s about time one of us finally get our lives back on track again.”

“Which means that there’s more happening then just what’s going on with me,” Ken nodded knowingly, “I take it that problem isn’t resolved with you and Seth yet.”

“There hasn’t been time, but we’re working on it,” Blake groaned inwardly, “but that little witch is so persistent. She keeps popping up and…”

“And she won’t be able to make a difference in the grand scheme of things. Seth loves you and love like that doesn’t just fade away over night. Believe me I know,” he assured her.

“I realize that, but…” she stopped herself nervousness settling in her stomach, “I guess I’m just afraid of the what if. I mean what if something else comes up--what if something from the past returns to haunt us and…”

“Like what?” he questioned sensing her apprehension about the situation.

“Like things that I wasn’t sure I was ready to face until now. Truths about the past that have caused a great deal of tension for Seth and I,” she hesitated, “but now isn’t the time for that. We need to focus on you Ken--on your recovery.”

“Blake, if there’s something you wanted to ask me--something that’s on your mind,” Ken probed further.

“There is, but at the same time when I see you like this I know you don’t need anymore stress and…” she fidgeted in her chair.

“Hey, at this point I think I can take it. I’m not made of glass you know. If you’ve got a question for me, then why don’t you just ask?” he suggested squeezing her hand encouragingly.

“Well, I was wondering about the past--about our family and about daddy. You see when Seth and I first found our way to one another, he told me something that I absolutely didn’t believe, but now I have to question whether or not he was telling me the truth. I guess in my own way I need to know if…”

“There you are,” Barbara entered the room with a bright grin, “I hear you’ve been getting all the visitors this morning. All the pretty ladies are here to see you.”

“I guess I’m just lucky that way,” Ken smiled over at his nurse, “Barbara, you know Blake.”

“Of course,” Blake nodded accordingly.

“It’s good to see you again Blake,” Barbara smiled at her, “and as much as I hate to do this, I’m going to have to ask you to leave for a few minutes because I have to take your brother down for a few tests. I’m sorry to cut short the reunion, but…”

“Don’t be,” Blake shook her head, her nerves getting the best of her. She stood up from the chair she was seated in, “We can talk about this later.”

“Blake are you sure that…” Ken questioned with a worried expression.

She nodded, “Yeah I’m sure. You just concentrate on getting better and if you need anything--anything at all, then please don’t hesitate to call me,” she offered up with a quick wave before leaving his hospital room still thinking about the unanswered questions she had in the back of her mind. One day she would have to find a way to get the truth that she needed before it wound up costing her the future she’d waited a lifetime for.


“I can’t believe you just did that,” Kevin laughed, leaning in against the hospital wall, “You did it right in front of Julian and he didn’t do a damn thing about it. Did you see how far Michelle flew down that hall?”

“I’m sorry I did that Kevin, but no one insults me like that,” Ria apologized shaking her head slowly, “I didn’t like the way she was treating you either. I can‘t stand that woman, she acts like she is on top of the world and people let her walk all over them, but not me. No way.”

“Hey, did you see me having a problem with what you did to her?” Kevin questioned with a small smirk, remembering the scene that had just happened moments ago. “I thought that was the greatest thing I have seen in a while. I felt like there was a real wrestling match going on right in front of me. The only thing is, I was worried that you might’ve gotten a chair and slammed her with it.”

“That’s a good idea,” Ria nodded slowly, letting out a tiny laugh when she pictured that truly happening, “I can’t believe I didn’t think of that first before I punched. Man, that would have been perfect. Then her and the dumb person she is here for could share a bed right next to each other.”

“Now you have bad thoughts getting into my mind,” Kevin smirked, shaking his head slowly, “I don’t know what kind of pathetic soul would fall for her. They must be really pathetic to fall for that woman.”

“Uh, Kevin,” Ria looked up at him with a small grin, “You were with her you know. For a while if I do recall.”

“Yeah, but that’s before I knew what kind of person she was,” Kevin replied, shrugging his shoulders at her comment, “Anyways she tricked me into marrying her. She played with my emotions and did all those things to me. The only thing I wish would have happened earlier was me finding out. I wish I could have dumped her on her butt and kicked her out before I married her. It was a waste of a few of my years that I could have spent with someone much better than her.”

“Who might that person be?” Ria questioned, looking up at him with a wide smile as she saw Kevin’s eyes widen at the sight of something behind her.

“Ria,” Seth called out her name and grabbed onto her shoulder, making her turn around to face him, “I have been looking around all over for you.”

“Seth,” Ria grinned, wondering if Seth had just heard what Kevin was talking about with her, “What are you doing here? I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean,” Seth frowned taking in a deep breath, “I don’t like coming to these places, it usually means someone you love is hurt. I have been her for a while because I came to see Kyle and Ken.”

“Kyle, your friend?” Kevin questioned seeing Seth nod slowly. “How is he doing? I heard a little something on what happened with him, but I didn’t get the whole story. I just heard some people talking about it and it wasn’t that clear, is he okay?”

“I don’t know, but what from I have heard he is doing okay,” Seth informed him, rubbing his hands together lightly, “Blake’s brother Ken is here too.”

“Poor Kyle, I can only imagine how a guy like him could feel being in one of these places--I mean really. It must suck to have to be here,” Kevin declared slowly before realizing the way that Ria was looking at him, “Oh right. How is Ken doing too?”

“Okay at the moment,” Seth nodded before looking towards Ria with a frown, “As soon as I heard about Trisha, I came as fast as I could. How is she doing?”

“She is a little shaken up, but she is doing pretty well,” Ria explained, letting out a deep sigh, “I am so glad that she got away and to a safe place.”

“I’m glad she is okay too,” Seth nodded before looking towards Kevin. He had just talked to Kevin a second ago, but was too worried to notice who he was giving all of his answers to. How was Kevin here before he was? “Um, what are you doing here exactly?”

“Oh,” Kevin thought of something to say before shrugging, “I was--I was with Ria when she got the call for Trisha. I brought her here as fast as we could when we found out what had happened.”

“That was very generous of you Kevin,” Seth nodded slowly before looking towards the hospital room Trisha was in, “Is she okay to talk a little bit? I was wondering if I could go in and talk to her a little.”

“You could go in and see her,” Ria replied, as she let out a sigh of relief. Thank god Seth didn’t ask anymore questions about why Kevin was with her. It would have been a hard situation to explain. Knowing Kevin, a very hard situation to explain.


Jenna walked out of Hart’s bedroom finding him seated in the study with an old photo album in hand. She moved in closer to see him flipping through the pages with a somber expression. Stepping in behind him she wrapped her arms around his neck.

“Good morning sweetheart,” she whispered in the back of his ear, “I missed you.”

“Hey beautiful,” he tilted his head up closing the photo album in the process, “I’m sorry I didn’t say anything when I got up, but I just needed some time to think.”

“About what?” she questioned feeling him slip out of her embrace and put the album into a box. He reached for the top placing it tightly over the box before pushing it aside on his desk.

“Nothing really other than all the moving I’ll have to be doing around here,” he nodded towards the box he’d just finished with, “I have a lot of trash here.”

“Hart, maybe we should talk,” she suggested watching him lift the box off of his desk ready to throw it away.

“About what?” he questioned walking out of his study.

“About your father,” she followed after him watching him stop at her words.

“Why would we want to waste our time?” he asked glancing over at her.

“Because it’s obvious that his visit last night bothered you a lot more than you’re trying to let on,” she continued seeing the strain behind his eyes, “and I know we agreed that we wouldn’t talk about it, but I really think in not talking about it, we’re only making it worse.”

“Jen, I already told you that…”

“I know what you told me, but I also know how things can sometimes bother a person if they hold it all inside,” she let out an ironic laugh, “I mean look at me after everything played out like it did between my father and I. I was a complete mess and I don’t know what I would’ve done if you weren’t there to talk to.”

“I understand that honey, but with my father, well…” he paused setting the box down on the couch, “Jen it’s complicated.

“So then let’s talk about it. At the very least give yourself a chance to let me listen for a while,” she suggested with a hopeful expression.

“Jen, I don’t see how talking about it is really going to help considering that,” he paused finally feeling as if he should be honest with her, “The truth is that I really can’t stand my father. I haven’t been able to be in the same room with him since the day I lived with him and even then, well, I merely tolerated him.”

“I know,” she nodded, “but maybe since you two have had time to think about things…”

“Jen when I think about my father, I think about the years that my mother went through life in a state of eternal numbness. She drank herself to death. Sure, maybe that’s not what officially killed her, but deep down I’m sure it was the life he gave her that drove her over the edge. I can still remember the smug expression on his face the day that we were all there for my mother’s memorial. Instead of trying to make things right, all he could do was put on the stoic act for all his business associates. Sure, Walt Steiner might’ve played it up for them, but I still saw him as the same cruel and insensitive bastard he always was.”

“Time can change a person you know,” Jenna suggested wondering if Walt had finally come around to realizing his mistakes.

“Just like it changed your father?” he questioned catching her wounded expression, “Look Jen, I’m not trying to fight with you about this one, but my father is a lost cause. Chances are he probably has a new business deal that he thinks will rebuild his empire. He’s probably hoping that I’ll be a sucker and give him the financial backing that he needs since in his own mind he still probably blames me for his losses. Though I’ve got news for him. It’s never going to happen. Not now and not anytime soon. He can find someone else who is dumb enough not to see him as he truly is. He’s not worth the energy.”

“Hart…” Jenna spoke up again watching him reach for the box.

“Like I said he’s not worth it,” Hart repeated once again making his way out to the trash as Jenna couldn’t help but wonder if this situation was really that simple for Hart. Even though he kept saying it was nothing to worry about looking around his condo she knew that he was upset. He might be saying that he didn’t want to talk about it, but sooner or later she had a feeling that he would change his mind. When he did, she promised herself she would be there for him.


Brant walked through the foyer feeling his worry about his wife guiding him up towards their bedroom. He rushed inside opening the door only to discover the bed still made alerting him that she hadn’t been back to the mansion. He hurried downstairs looking around his home hoping that he’d run into her, but he was coming up empty.

“Where are you,” Brant frowned hearing the sounds of voices in the kitchen area. He rushed inside calling out her name, but instead he saw Augustus before him. “Augustus have you seen Avery?”

“No, I haven’t seen her today, but Brant why don’t you say hello to your Aunt Zoë?” Augustus suggested with a small smile.

“Aunt Zoë?” Brant repeated looking past his grandfather to see his aunt standing before him. “Oh hi. I didn’t see you there.”

“Clearly,” Zoë stepped forward catching his tense expression, “Brant is something wrong?”

“I’m looking for Avery--my wife,” he corrected to Zoë before turning to Augustus, “are you sure you haven’t seen her?”

“Not lately no,” Augustus shook his head, “but maybe she’s at the hospital and…”

“No, I was just there. When I called earlier Annie said that she hadn’t made it home last night and when she didn’t show up today I was worried considering that there was an attack,” Brant blurted out in a rush.

“What kind of attack?” Zoë questioned with worry.

“Bruce Mathis,” Brant explained simply. He shook his head, “Avery used to be dating the guy and he’s a serial murderer. He’s been in and out of Coral Valley for a while, but now he’s back and I’m afraid he’s going to go after her…”

“Oh my God,” Zoë gasped, “I’d heard something about that on the news, but I never imagined that he’d be so close to this family considering that…”

“Look I hate to run on you both like this, but I need to find Avery,” Brant apologized before looking to Zoë, “I will talk to you later and it’s great to have you here. Stay as long as you like.”

“I will,” Zoë waved at him before looking to Augustus, “I can see you have your hands full here.”

“In more ways than you can imagine,” Augustus nodded in response thinking about Brant’s troubles, “Here I think he believed getting married was the beginning of normalcy in his life, but now with this whole Bruce Mathis situation…”

“It sounds like it’s only getting crazier by the moment,” Zoë heard the door slamming alerting them to Brant’s leaving, “Do you think we should go after him? That we should somehow try to help him? I mean if his wife is in any kind of danger…”

“Perhaps I should,” Augustus decided after a moment’s hesitation, “I can call in some extra security and let them be on alert for Mathis or Avery.”

“That would probably be wise,” Zoë nodded reaching for her purse, “besides I have a few things I need to attend to today as well. I’ll see if I hear anything while I’m in town…”

“Zoë, about what you told me last night,” Augustus began thinking to her confession about the son she’d given away. He hadn’t been able to get involved in letting her know the truth about his place in Kipp’s custody battle as guilt swept in over him.

“It can wait,” she offered with a sympathetic smile, “Right now it looks like Brant and Kenneth need you. Blake too I’m sure. Maybe I’ll find a way to go and see her and speak with her.”

“I think she’d appreciate that,” Augustus added with a small smile, “She’ll be happy to learn you’re here.”

“I hope so,” Zoë added before noting the time, “but I should be on my way. I really have a lot of things to do today.”

“Just be careful and Zoë before you go and make any big decisions about what you do with Kipp, I think we should discuss this a bit further,” Augustus suggested hoping to find a way to smooth the waters with everyone.

“I’ve already made up my mind father. I’ve wasted far too much time being out of my son’s life and that’s something I’m not going to keep doing. I’m going to let him know the truth about me even if Douglas hates it. I’m at the point where I honestly don’t give a damn what he thinks anymore,” she vowed knowing that soon she’d get the opportunity to know the son she’d left behind.


Dave looked around his office thinking about the nightmare that surrounded him. He very seldom took time off for personal reasons, but now as he looked around his very cluttered office he remembered why. It was bad enough that Susan Hastings had somehow escaped from her holding cell, but then to make matters worse Dave learned that Bruce Mathis was back in town wreaking havoc upon the women in town. After Trisha Merhan’s attack, Dave knew that something had to be done.

He had about thirteen messages from Assistant Director Callaway on his desk at this point in time, but the last thing he wanted to deal with was any kind of FBI garbage about how they were running the Mathis case. They’d done such an oh so wonderful job in locating him the last time and letting him disappear, Dave thought to himself rolling his eyes. He reached for the messages balling them up and throwing them into the trash can when he heard a knock on the door. He looked up to see Deidra standing on the other side of the glass. He waved for her to come inside his office.

“Hey, got a minute?” she questioned with a small smile.

“Not really, but considering that all hell has broken loose in town I’m pretty sure I can make time for you,” he motioned to one of his chairs, “Take a seat.”

“Thanks, I promise I won’t be long,” she nodded stepping over to the chair, “I’m actually on my break right now and…”

“And let me guess. You came over to see if I found anything about that situation you phoned me in about, yes?” he replied knowingly.

“Yes, but well, I think I’ve changed my mind,” she paused fidgeting with her hands in her lap, “Unless of course you’ve already found something for me.”

“I honestly haven’t had five minutes to myself to breathe at this point let alone dig up information on Dean,” he paused feeling his frustrations mounting, “and I’m sorry about that.”

“Don’t be sorry,” she decided with a nod, “because I’m kind of glad it worked out that way. I mean I started thinking about the phone call I made to you and it was just plain stupid. I was overreacting and…”

“Overreacting?” Dave gave her a long look, “Deidra you sounded really upset when you called. I could barely make out what you were saying and then when you hung up on me…”

“It was just a stupid thing to do,” she continued nervously, “and I’ve decided that I was just being paranoid because of what happened before on the island.”

“Speaking of which,” Dave cleared his throat uneasily, “There’s no good way to tell you this, so I may as well spill it. Bruce Mathis is in town again. He attacked someone last night.”

“What?” Deidra’s eyes widened, “Where?”

“Near the old theater,” he went on to explain, “and by the time we got the full statement from the victim he’d already vanished. We went to the hotel room she’d said he’d taken her to, but it was a dead end. He was gone and he didn’t leave much behind other than a bloody knife with his finger prints on it.”

“Oh my God,” she couldn’t help but gasp bringing her fingers up through her hair, “I had no idea that…”

“Deidra, that’s not the only thing he’s done. A little while ago he made some kind of contact with Avery. He’d ran her off the road and tried to grab her, but she was able to slow him down by shooting him,” Dave continued to explain, “but that doesn’t mean that everything is free and clear. Last night was a good example of that. I think that maybe right now you should…”

“Stop worrying about the new man in my life and figure out what I’m going to do to stay safe now that Bruce is out there,” she interrupted her thoughts running wild, “After he tried to grab me in the parking lot there‘s no telling what he might try to do. He could…”

“He’s not going to get the opportunity,” Dave cut her off with his promise, “I’m going to have a guard sent over to the hospital and to your apartment and…”

“No,” Deidra blurted out firmly.

“What do you mean no?” he blinked back at her.

“I don’t want that. I mean yes I appreciate what you’re doing, but I’m just now getting my life back on track again. The last thing I need is someone following me around when I’m trying to figure my life out,” she shook her head at him in an argumentative fashion. “When I’m not working I have Dean with me most of the time…”

“Yes and less than a week ago you were asking me to do a background check on him because you were afraid of what might be there. You said it yourself that he seems a bit shady and…” he pointed out with a frown.

“And I was wrong. I don’t know what I was thinking other than I was paranoid, but now I know that the real worries I should have are about Bruce. I can’t let him get to me and I won’t be a victim again. If you are saying he attacked someone else and she got away, then my guess would be that he’s getting more desperate,” she paused remembering her brief fling with the madman on the island, “Was it like when he tried to attack me?”

Dave hesitated contemplating whether or not he’d offer up any details about Trisha’s attack to her. “He didn’t try to seduce her like he did with you. He came on strong and forceful and he cut her up.”

“Oh my…is she alright? Who was she?”

“Trisha Merhan,” Dave informed her with a sigh, “Ria’s younger sister.”

“Oh my gosh. Poor Ria,” Deidra gasped thinking about the quiet young resident around the hospital, “She seems like such a nice person and for her family to be going through this…”

“Fortunately for Trisha she escaped before her could hurt her more than some superficial wounds. She’s pretty shaken up, but everything indicates that she’ll be alright--that is if Mathis doesn’t return for another try at her,” Dave’s voice grew tight with tension, “Deidra, I really wish you’d reconsider having a guard put at your apartment. I can even consider letting it go at the hospital, but when you’re home alone…”

“I’m sure I can stay with my mom or maybe even with Dean. He’s with me most of the time and…”

“And Deidra as I said before you were worried about him. You wanted me to do a background check because you were afraid there was something wrong with him. You said things didn’t add up, yet now you’re wanting to lean on him for support,” he shook his head at her, “Do you have any idea how stupid that is?”

“I love him Dave. He’s been nothing but good to me, yet I was acting like a jerk because I wanted to find something wrong. I thought of how it was when I was with Andy and how much he hurt me. I think in my own way I wanted to find something wrong with Dean so that I could run away before I was too invested in the relationship to get hurt,” she explained her face growing hot with embarrassment, “Let’s face it. I’m not the most worldly of women so after Bruce I was a bit gun-shy. I found myself feeling something that I’ve never felt before with Dean and rather than embrace it and realize that hey something good is finally happening for me, I decided to try to find fault in the relationship. It was a mistake and I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to sabotage myself like I always do.”

“Deidra, if your instinct were telling you that there was something wrong…” he began again still doubting her inability to realize the validity behind her previous concerns.

“Dave, trust me. I know what I’m doing,” she stood up again, “and I’m happy. For the first time in a very long time I can honestly say that I’m truly happy. That doesn’t come around too often for me, so the last thing I want to do is jinx it--especially now. Forget what I said before. I don’t want you digging up anything on Dean.”

“Because you really don’t want to know or because you’re afraid I will find something?” Dave tossed out at her with a curious expression.

“Because you’ll be wasting your time when you have more important things to be doing. Trust me on this one Dave. I know what I’m doing,” she tried to assure him before moving towards the door, “But thank you for being a good friend.”

“A good friend would try to convince you that maybe you weren’t being overly cautious before,” he offered up again.

“Dave, I love you. I really do, but in this particular instance I was just getting ahead of myself. Forget about Dean and worry about the real bad guys. I’ll keep my eyes open and if you hear anything more on Bruce, then please give me a call.”

“I will,” he promised moving up to hug her good-bye, “Just be careful.”

“I’m going to be very careful,” she tried to assure him, but as she left Dave’s office he realized that he had a whole new world of things to worry about. Moving back over to his desk he looked at the list of things he needed to do--things that were beyond extremely important, but instead he sat down at his computer and typed in the two words that were now front and center in his mind. Dean Carlisle.


Cori knocked on the door to Dave’s place, waiting patiently before hearing someone begin to open the lock and then the door.

“Dave, I really need to talk to you right…” Cori began to talk to her brother before realizing it wasn’t her brother at all--nothing close to her brother. “Carly, hi.”

“Cori,” Carly smiled slightly, holding onto the door as Cori walked into the house, “How are you doing this morning?”

“I have been better,” Cori replied taking in a deep breath before looking around the house, “Where is my brother now?”

“At work, he has a big case he is on,” Carly informed Cori seeing Cori nod slowly, “he left a while ago, but I could take a message for him.”

“No, I will probably come back later,” Cori assured Carly before taking one long look at her, “Don’t you ever go away?”

“Well, I am supposed…” Carly was about to explain to Cori why she was still there, but she was interrupted by Kayla running out with a coloring book in her hand.

“Cori,” Kayla remembered Cori’s face from the other day before smiling widely, “I just got this new coloring book and I was about to do some coloring. Would you like to help me out with this really cool penguin picture?”

“I would love to,” Cori had thought it over for a second before agreeing, “Where would you like to do this coloring?”

“Over here,” Kayla pointed towards the table, grabbing onto Cori’s hand to lead her to a chair to sit down, “I will color the wings while you color the beak.”

“Okay, what color do you want the beak?” Cori wondered as she watched Kayla search through the crayons to find the right color. Kayla kind of remind her of herself when she was younger. Always happy to meet new people and always in a good mood. Cori smiled widely as Kayla handed her the orange and the yellow. “Nice choices.”

“Thank you,” Kayla smiled as she began to color the wings of the bird with the purple crayon.

“Honey, aren’t penguins black?” Carly questioned from behind them as Kayla shook her head quickly.

“Not this one,” Kayla answered with a small smile, looking up at Cori, “This one is called the Cori and Kayla penguin. It’s made special by us. His name could be Pepper.”

“I like that name,” Cori laughed, as she began to finish coloring the beak only to hear Kayla laugh out too, “What? What is it?”

“You color really good,” Kayla replied with a wide smile, “Can you teach me how to do that so good?”

“You are doing beautiful,” Cori protested, looking at the picture before her. Kayla really did color pretty, she really had nothing to worry about. As Cori thought about it, Kayla was pretty cute. But, she could give or take Carly when it came down to it.


“Hey there little one,” Seth entered Trisha’s hospital room, shutting the door behind him as she sat up slowly in the bed, “How are you feeling my little fighter?”

“I’m doing,” she answered with a small laugh as he pulled up a chair next to her bed, “A little sore, but it’s really nothing.”

“Really nothing?” Seth questioned with a small laugh, shaking his head slowly. “You have to be an ultimate warrior to have something like that happen to you and you just say it was no big deal.”

“Well, I would rather say it was no big deal than say that I am scared to death,” Trisha replied, shrugging her shoulders as he frowned, “I don’t want to worry anymore. I was afraid I was going to lose my life and I didn’t. Which means I should be happy that I got a second chance.”

“Come here kiddo,” Seth frowned, leaning over the bed to hug her tightly, “I’m so glad that you are still here with us. Kevin and I are never going to let that guy get close to you. If he does, he is never going to live to see the light of day again.”

“Right,” Trisha sighed, thinking back to the whole reason she had originally gotten herself into this trouble. When she saw Ria and Kevin together, it had her so angry. Could she mention something to Seth about it? No, she couldn’t do that. If she didn’t know about Kevin and Ria, Seth surely didn’t know. If anyone was to tell Seth, it had to be one of them. Not her. “I know you two would protect me, Kevin already showed me that. I guess it was a good thing he taught me self-defense.”

“I know,” Seth nodded with a small smirk, shrugging his shoulders, “When he did that, I thought he was crazy for even thinking about you fighting with someone. Now I realize that he was smart for doing that.”

“I kind of owe my life to Kevin,” Trisha sighed, shaking her head slowly, “He showed me that no matter what, you can always get away.”

“Believe me honey,” Seth chuckled, squeezing her hand in his tightly, “Kevin has gotten away with a lot in his life, so he is the master at that.”

“Don’t I know it,” Trisha laughed, thinking back to Kevin and Ria once more. If Seth didn’t know about those two, Kevin and Ria were getting away with a whole lot more than Seth thought.


“That was close,” Kevin let out a deep sigh after Seth went into the hospital room, “Seth is usually smarter than that. I thought for sure he would have figured something out.”

“Thank God he didn’t,” Ria replied shaking her head slowly, “We can’t tell Seth about this at all.”

“Well, don’t you think he has the right to know about us?” Kevin questioned, shrugging his shoulders as she looked up at him. “I mean eventually. If we are together, I want people to know. I don’t want to hide it forever.”

“It won’t be forever,” she stated, pondering what Kevin had just said, “I mean right now--we shouldn’t tell Seth about this. It’s something that he doesn’t need to know. He has been dealing with so much right now and he doesn’t need this to top it all off.”

“Okay,” Kevin nodded slowly, folding his arms out in front of his chest, “Anyways, it isn’t like we are dating right now or something. Well, something is going on, but we aren’t really dating--are we?”

“I really wouldn’t call it dating,” Ria thought for a second before shaking her head, “Trisha thought we were dating, but she was wrong. We weren’t…right?”

“No, of course not,” Kevin answered quickly, shrugging his shoulders, “Maybe eventually she will be right, but this something we have going on right now is a little hotter than dating.”

“You don’t think that it is a bad thing in not telling Seth about us do you?” Ria wondered, seeing Kevin shake his head slowly. “I feel kind of bad about it you know.”

“I do too,” Kevin nodded, thinking of what he was going to say, “If he didn’t think anything was ever going to happen between us, he had to be totally blind. We always had a fire behind us that was so obvious and if he couldn’t tell that--then he really doesn’t have to know yet.”

“Good point,” she agreed, nodding slowly seeing him smile, “What? What is it? Do I have something on my face?”

“Other than your beauty? No,” Kevin answered with a small smirk, taking in a deep breath, “But you will just listen to anything I tell you won’t you?”

“That’s not true,” Ria protested shaking her head slowly as she looked up at him and saw the expression on his face, “Well, it’s not entirely true.”

“Whatever you say,” Kevin shrugged before looking down towards the ground, “You know, a couple of days ago--I would have never imagined that this would have been happening between us. But truth of the matter is, I am glad that we have been together. I wouldn’t ask for any other way to be with you.”

“Same goes for me,” Ria smiled as he leaned forward and took her into his arms, hugging her tightly, “I feel so safe in your arms when it comes down to it.”

“You better feel safe,” Kevin smirked to himself before seeing Blake begin to approach them and he let her go quickly, “Blake, hi.”

“Hey you two,” Blake took a step closer as Ria turned around quickly, “How are you two doing?”

“We’re doing,” Kevin answered quickly, looking down at Ria in worry for a moment, “Ah how about you?”


“Hey you two,” Diego entered Kyle’s hospital room, but right away he noticed something was wrong by the expression on Sarah’s face, “What happened?”

“Oh nothing happened that is unusual,” Kyle replied, shrugging his shoulders angrily, “Of course what isn’t unusual when it comes to my life?”

“Sarah?” Diego looked towards Sarah, knowing fully well that now that Kyle was this upset, he wouldn’t get a true answer from him. “What happened here?”

“Kyle got something from Susan,” she informed him, sitting up from where she was sitting and walking towards him, “Some flowers and we don’t know how she even did it.”

“How could they not find her?” Diego questioned, hearing Kyle laugh in the background before shrugging his shoulders.

“Once you find out,” Kyle began as he held his hands up in the air, “How about you let me know the answer to that too.”

“He’s really upset,” Sarah pointed out, seeing Diego nod slowly, “I’ve been trying to get him to calm down, but it hasn’t been working. The only thing is, I can fully understand what he is feeling. I feel the same way he does right now. Kyle has been put under so much because of this bitch and they still haven’t found her yet. She deserves to be put away for doing this to him.”

“She will be,” Diego promised, looking back at Kyle who was now clicking away at the remote for the television as if he had nothing better to do, “Kyle, they are going to find her.”

Sarah shook her head as Kyle let out a sarcastic laugh and didn’t even reply to what Diego said as he kept flipping through the channels. Right now Kyle had been acting totally different around everybody.

“Damn Susan for doing this to him,” Sarah shook her head slowly, not believing how Kyle could turn so angry like that. He used to be more calm and he would take care of things more easily than he was. “She is making him lose his mind and there is no one that can help him through this.”

“You can help him through it Sarah,” Diego hushed, squeezing her shoulder in an assuring matter, “You being here for him I am sure is helping him through this.”

“Yeah, but I wish I could just take all his pain away,” Sarah sighed, folding her arms out in front of her chest, “I can’t stand to see him like this. He is in so much pain right now and all he keeps getting is even more pain. I feel so bad for him.”

“I wish I could get rid of his pain myself,” Diego frowned, looking over towards Kyle who seemed to be giving his full attention to what ever was on television, “Eventually, Kyle will get through this whole thing and when he looks back--this thing won’t even be something that matters.”

“I hope you are right,” Sarah sighed as he leaned forwards to hug her in his arms lightly.

“I am right,” Diego assured her as Kyle looked over towards the two of them, “I promise that I am right.”


Hart stood at the copy machine thinking about the morning he’d had dumping out various things at his condo. While Jenna had tried to get him talking about his father, the truth was that he just wasn’t interested in saying what was on his mind. How could he even begin to explain what was going on inside of him when he wasn’t really sure of it himself?

The truth to the matter was that he was convinced his father was working an angle and his showing up unannounced last night proved it. Of course that never stopped Walt Steiner from finding a way to muck things up there anyways. He was one who was truly lost in his own little world there and Hart simply wanted no part of it. He’d been down that road before--been to the point of no control again and again after his father’s brand of humiliation, but now, well now Hart had evolved. He’d found a reason in this world. He’d made a life that he could finally be proud of. No thanks to his father of course and now that it was his, Hart wasn’t about to let his father come in and complicate things.

“He’s out of my life and that’s the way I want it,” Hart mouthed under his breath remembering the finality he’d felt in throwing away the old photo albums. He’d been quite serious when he’d told Jenna that he wanted to let go of the past. The future and the present were what mattered and as far as Hart was concerned he’d been fatherless for quite a long time and done just fine. He didn’t need the aggravation or the headache that came along with dear old dad.

Looking at the time Hart thought about taking a break to go over to the hospital and check on Ken. Judy had called earlier to give Hart the news about Ken’s condition and about the sordid tale that had put him in the hospital. It was just one thing after another in this town and Hart found himself relieved for the first time that his life wasn’t the center of the chaos. Not that he would’ve wished it on anyone else that he knew--or didn’t for that matter, but when he thought about what Ken was going through, he knew full well it was a place where Hart would rather have not been in his life.

Okay, so maybe Hart might’ve been down that dark and dastardly path once upon a time, but love had changed him. Jenna had changed him and now he was a man that he himself could be proud of. He wasn’t the sleazy, snake of a lawyer willing to bend the rules with each and every twist to turn them in his favor. He wasn’t the womanizer that he’d been so proud of in his youth. He was simply a man in love with the most amazing woman in the world and it was something Hart hoped he could keep with him forever.

Finishing up at the copier, Hart collected his papers realizing that while he’d been more than willing to give Judy a paid vacation for the day, he hated the copy machine. He’d already been at it for over an hour and now that he’d finished he was ready to ship the old clunker out with the rest of the junk.

“You and I will meet again, but next time I can promise you that it’s going to get really ugly,” Hart warned before leaving the room to make his way to his office. Once he’d finished filing these, he’d be on his way to the hospital and over to visit Ken. It would be a relatively easy day. That was the plan until…

“Hart, there you are. I was starting to think that the office was empty,” he stopped where he stood knowing that voice full well. He stiffened waiting for something more, wanting to think that he’d only imagined it, but when he turned around he saw his father standing before him.

“What are you doing here Walt?” Hart questioned gruffly, “I would’ve thought you would’ve taken the hint last night and got lost.”

“I caught your message,” Walt replied with a wounded expression seeing his son ready to push him out the door and out of his life forever, “but then it occurred to me that I needed to speak with you. It couldn’t wait and I wasn’t about to let you shut me down.”

“You don’t really have a choice in the matter,” Hart stood taller, asserting himself with a firm tone, “I’m not interested in whatever it is you’re trying to sell here.”

“I’m not trying to sell you anything,” Walt tried to assure him, but Hart raised his hand dismissively.

“Good then you can see your way to the door and be gone,” Hart encouraged him again, “I trust we’re finished now.”

“We’re not finished. Not by a long shot,” Walt took one smooth step forward, “While you might want to get rid of me, the truth to the matter is that I came to town to speak with you and I’m not leaving until I can tell you what it is I came here to say.”


Brant stood on Grady Denton’s porch wishing that this wouldn’t lead to a dead end for him. He’d called Richard, Cheryl and Elliot and asked if either one of them had spoken to Avery, but none of them had. Now as Brant felt his worries mounting, he said a small prayer that this wouldn’t be the final nail in Avery’s coffin. Yes, he wasn’t exactly thrilled about the idea of her winding up at Grady’s, but it beat her winding up at the other end of Bruce Mathis’s madness. He pounded on the door after there was no answer.

“What?” Grady questioned gruffly pulling open the door with a scowl. He saw Brant and his expression shifted, “Brant, what are you doing here?”

“Where’s my wife Grady?” Brant asked bluntly, his eyes moving beyond Grady into the house, “Is she here?”

“Well, she’s…” Grady began not having an opportunity to answer once Brant spotted Avery in the kitchen area.

Without another word Brant pushed his way into the house, his worries transforming into answer. He marched into the kitchen finding Avery by the sink doing dishes from the looks of things. That did it. No more worries. He was furious.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Brant threw out at her in an accusatory tone catching her off guard. She spun around to see him standing before her and she placed her hand over her chest with a gasp.

“Brant, you scared the hell out of me,” she replied breathlessly.

“Yeah, well join the club because that’s exactly what you’ve been doing to me all morning,” he stepped in closer to her as he watched her turn off the sink. “What do you think you’re doing here?”

“I’m cleaning up,” she explained matter of fact, “Didn’t you get my message?”

“What message?” he frowned down at her.

“The one I left for you on your cell phone. I got your voice mail and…” Avery started to explain to him, but she could see that he was upset. “You didn’t get it, did you?”

“No Avery I didn’t get it, but furthermore I don’t get what you’re doing here,” he snapped down at her, “Last night you told me that you were going home to rest. I specifically recall you being tired and needing to sleep, so why in the hell did you come over here and not go home last night?”

“Brant I…” Avery began flustered as Grady entered the kitchen hearing the shouting.

“She came to see me Ashford because she was worried about me,” Grady announced moving in between Brant and Avery, “so if you’ve got a problem with that, you can talk to me about it.”

“Fine, I will,” Brant shoved Grady in the center of the chest, “I don’t know what your angle there is pretty boy, but I’m sick and tired of you manipulating my wife into rushing to your aid each and every time you’re having a boo boo in your life.”

“Excuse me?” Grady blinked up at him, “Where the hell is that coming from?”

“That’s coming from the fact that each and every time you need a shoulder to cry on, you come running to Avery. Months ago all you could do was blame her for everything that was wrong in your life, but now, well now it seems that you’ve picked up right where your brother left off in trying to find a way to manipulate her into your bed,” Brant snarled at him, rage pouring out from within.

“That’s it you son of a…” Grady lunged forward ready to punch Brant. Avery moved in between them placing her hands on the center of their chests to distance them from one another.

“Brant please…” she turned to her husband, “Grady didn’t ask me to come over. I came over of my own free will. When I knew that you were going to be okay with Ken I decided to come over and check on Grady. I was worried about him and…”

“Well that’s just wonderful,” Brant threw his hands up in the air. He took a step back before pacing around the room, “Avery, do you have any idea what I’ve been going through this morning? What I felt like when I wasn’t able to get a hold of you? I tried your cell phone and then the house and…”

“I called and left you a message telling you that I was here. Last night when I came over we started talking about Jade and…” she started hoping to calm him down. She reached out to him only to feel him walk away from her.

“Well, while you two were bonding, I’ll have you know that Bruce came back to town and attacked someone else. The police said he went after her and he sliced her up,” Brant snapped his worries still evident in his tone, “then when I couldn’t get a hold of you…”

“Oh my gosh,” Avery gasped horrified, “I had no idea that…”

“Of course you didn’t because you’ve been too busy wiping Grady’s tears up,” Brant huffed glaring over in Grady’s general direction, “You’ve been so worried about him lately that you’ve been ignoring your own well-being. What if something would’ve happened to you last night? What if Bruce would’ve snagged you up somehow after he’d finished with that other woman? What if he took you away and I wasn’t able to find you?”

“I was safe,” she reached out to him touching his arm in the hopes of calming him down, “I was with Grady and I was fine.”

“Yeah well I wasn’t. In case you’ve forgotten I love you Avery and it would kill me if something happened to you,” Brant reached out to touch her face gently, “I couldn’t bear the thought of that.”

“Nothing’s happened to me. I’m fine,” she embraced him feeling the tension running over his body. “I’m sorry that I worried you.”

“I just wish you would’ve been honest with me about where you were going. If I’d known you were here I wouldn’t have been happy, but I wouldn’t be scared out of my mind,” he hugged her tighter feeling a bit of relief carry over him.

“I’m sorry. I tried to call, but I should’ve kept on trying until I spoke with you,” she apologized feeling horrible about the situation.

“Where was he?” Grady questioned over the both of them.

“What?” Brant asked still glaring at Grady.

“Bruce. Where is he? Did they catch him?” Grady asked further.

“Of course they didn’t. They went to the hotel he was staying at, but he wasn’t there,” Brant informed him, “He slipped out of their reach once again.”

“And what about the girl he attacked?” Grady couldn’t help but ask.

“She’s okay as far as I know, but given that Bruce is in town and more than likely pretty pissed off, the way I see it none of his victims are okay,” Brant’s gaze returned to Avery, “Which is why I had to find you. I was scared out of my mind and…”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you like this. I just was so worried about Grady after everything that happened with Kyle. I came over to check on him and we got into the talk about searching for Jade and…” Avery started again in the hopes of putting Brant’s mind at ease.

“Well maybe you two should start thinking about this rationally,” Brant tossed out at them with a groan, “I mean obviously Cameron doesn’t have her and now with Bruce doing what he’s done…”

“What are you getting at Ashford?” Grady frowned at him.

“It’s plainly obvious. If Cameron doesn’t have her, then maybe Bruce does. Jade fits into the profile of the women that he’s been after lately,” Brant deduced as he thought back to what he’d learned about Trisha Merhan. “Maybe he was the one who stopped her that night. He did try to pull Avery off of the road and attack her.”

“No, that’s not possible,” Grady shook his head, “I don’t believe that for a second.”

“Grady’s right. That doesn’t sound like Bruce,” Avery added in a shaky voice.

“Oh would you two quit being naïve about the subject? Bruce is a madman who has a taste for killing young, beautiful brunettes. You do the math. You haven’t received a ransom note of any kind about Jade. You haven’t heard anything and there haven’t been any other leads. I think it’s safe to say that whoever has her has no intention of ever letting her go--presuming that she’s still alive.”

“She is still alive,” Grady argued with him, “just because we haven’t found her yet, doesn’t mean that…”

“Grady use your head for a change. Think about it man. Last night Bruce attacked a woman that could’ve easily fit Jade’s profile. He’s a madman that the police haven’t managed to track down. Jade’s disappearance was around the time that they suspect that he could’ve been in town. Who is to say that he didn’t just encounter Jade one day and decide that she was someone he’d like to add to his collection?” Brant suggested watching Grady’s face twist with anger.

“That’s not true!” Grady yelled at him, “She’s still alive.”

“You don’t know that. You don’t know anything that would lead you to think that. The way I see it you and Avery are looking in the wrong circles. For all we know Jade could be the next woman that winds up on the front page as Bruce Mathis’s latest victim,” Brant tossed out at him bluntly, “and when that happens, I promise you that you won’t be using my wife as your shoulder to cry on.”

“Brant please!” Avery snapped back at him, surprised by his tone.

“No Avery, I think it’s time for Grady to face reality. The love of his life could be gone forever and if she is, well I’m really sorry about that, but I’m not about to let him take away mine,” Brant informed her point blank, “and the moment he gets that through his head, the better off he’ll be.”


Jade tugged at the chain on her ankle wishing that she could just move it a little bit to the left. Her leg was cramped after she’d been working on it all night in the hopes of getting some room to break out of the lock. She felt tired and confused, not quite sure what time it was as her body grew heavy with exhaustion. Still she’d heard noises the previous night--frightening noises that alerted her to the madness that was going on up over her.

For the first time in a long time she realized that she must’ve been trapped in some kind of basement. She’d tried screaming and shouting, but no one had come. She hadn’t seen the face of her captor. Even now she was straining to remember how she’d gotten there. Then again the hows and whys weren’t important right now. Escaping was.

“You have to get out of here,” Jade murmured under her breath feeling the small, smooth piece of rock she’d had with her. She tried to use the sharp edge of it over the lock on her ankle, but still nothing was happening. She fell back in frustration as a pain shot up her leg.

Jade arched back, her body stinging with agony as she fought to stifle her cries. She leaned into the cement wall closing her eyes. She tried to keep from having another panic attack, but with each moment she found it increasingly harder not to focus on anything other than the feel of being trapped. It was as if someone was trying to suffocate her and it was the worst feeling in the world. She’d never been claustrophobic, but in the darkness that had changed.

“Why is this happening to me,” she sobbed, hot tears burning down her cheeks. She felt like she was at the end of her rope, but she couldn’t give up. She couldn’t lay down and die--not when she had so much to live for.

Reaching up to run her fingers through her dark hair, she felt something beneath her touch. She tugged at it withdrawing her small bobby pin. She’d forgotten that she’d had it in her hair after she’d woken up on the first day she’d been here--well, the first day that she could remember anyways. Now as it seemed to reflect what little light there was in this dungeon, she felt a renewed sense of her survival instincts kicking in. She thought to the time she’d spent at the carnival growing up and she began to twist and turn the bobby pin. Once she’d straightened it out a bit, she dropped it into the lock, knowing that it was a long shot, but she had to try to see if something would happen.

After a few minutes of frustration, she heard a click. At first she’d figured she was imagining it, but then right before her eyes the lock seemed to pop open. She blinked wondering if she’d finally lost herself completely to hallucinations, but nope, the lock was still undone.

“I don’t believe this. Thank you. Thank you,” she spoke to a higher power using what was left of her strength to get her leg freed. Once she did so she tried to pull herself up off of the floor. She’d fallen three or four times before she’d finally found the strength to stand. Using the wall as a brace, she moved slowly across it ready to make her way out of the room that she’d been caged in.

“Please let me get back home,” she said a silent prayer reaching out to the door half expecting it to be locked as well. Fortunately however it was unlocked and it fell open easily. Almost too easily, she thought to herself, but it didn’t matter. She needed to escape--to get far from this horrible place and that’s exactly what she intended to do.

Jade stepped out into the hall ready to make her run for freedom when she felt something sharp in the center of her chest. She looked down in time to see the jolt of electricity run through her body before she fell to the ground. She was in pain, feeling like she was being singed from the inside out as she lost control. She arched her head back straining to see what was above her, but instead she heard a wicked laugh.

“Did you really think I’d make it that easy on you Jade?”

“Wh-where am I?” Jade cried out still shaking from the shot she’d been given. “Why are you doing this?”

“Why, you’re in hell Jade,” the voice moved in closer to her as she felt the thing that had hit her in the chest leave her body, “It’s no less than what you deserve for what you’ve done to me.”

“But I don’t understand…” Jade bit back her words stammering as tears streamed down her face.

“No, I don’t suppose you do honey, but once I’m through with you, you’ll understand completely. That much I promise you,” Susan promised reaching out to push Jade’s hair out of her face. She realized now that Grady’s new lover had passed out on the floor and in that moment Susan vowed that one way or another, she’d finish what she started in taking Jade. It was only the beginning and by the time Grady realized what had happened. It would be too late. After all no one dared to make a mockery of Susan Hastings. Granted it might’ve been easier to go after Grady, but now as she pulled his little lover back into her cell, Susan realized that this was worse--much much worse!



...to be continued...