Episode 237

“Kellen, get up,” Kipp shook on Kellen’s shoulder as Kellen grabbed a pillow and placed it over his head, “Kellen, get up.”

“Five more minutes,” Kellen yawned, turning away from Kipp as he faced the couch, “Make that ten.”

“I don’t think this could wait five minutes,” Kipp protested as Kellen let out a small grunt. It took him half the night just to fall asleep on Kipp’s couch and he hadn’t had a lot of time to sleep.

“Fine,” Kellen threw the pillow from his head before stretching his arms and legs out. The couch wasn’t very comfortable, actually it was quite the problem for people with sensitive muscles. He rolled over on the couch to look at Kipp before gasping and placing his hand over his chest. “My god, why are you so close?”

“I was watching you sleep,” Kipp answered, he was standing right above Kellen while he had slept. He had tried to wake Kellen, but Kellen must have been exhausted because it took him at least twenty minutes to wake him. “Did I scare you?”

“Yeah,” Kellen blurted out before running his hands through his hair, “Well--just a little bit. What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” Kipp replied quickly before seeing Kellen look at him awkwardly. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

“You have to be crazy,” Kellen stated, blinking his eyes as he tried to wake himself up, “You wake me up and say you have something important to say. Then when I ask you what is up, you say that it’s nothing. Do you know what I do to people who wake me up with only two hours of sleep?”

“No, what’s that?” Kipp questioned in a playful tone as Kellen grabbed the pillow from the side of him and hit Kipp in the head. “What was that for?”

“For waking me up,” Kellen smiled before stretching back out on the couch, “Is Charles okay? Where is he?”

“He’s in the room, asleep,” Kipp nodded slowly as Kellen watched him intently. “There was actually something I really did want to talk to you about. You see--I have had this thing on my mind for a long time.”

“What’s that?” Kellen wondered, seeing Kipp shrug. “You can tell me--I don’t mind. What have you had on your mind?”

“You,” Kipp answered in a quick movement grabbed Kellen by the shoulders and pulled him into a kiss. Not knowing what to do, Kellen instinctively wrapped his arms around Kipp’s neck.

That picture slowly faded as Kellen’s eyes opened slowly. It was just a dream.

“Damn,” Kellen yawned, rubbing his eyes lightly before looking around the living room. That was quite the dream.

“Hey there,” Kipp smiled, leaning over the couch quickly, seeing Kellen’s eyes get wide as he fell off the couch, “Oh my, did I scare you? Are you hurt?”

“I’m fine,” Kellen assured him, standing up quickly and smoothing his shirt down, “Just a little tired. Still trying to get aware of things.”

“I see,” Kipp thought for a second before shrugging his shoulders, “I tried waking you up earlier, but you looked so peaceful sleeping. I didn’t think I should have woken you. It looked like you were having a dream.”

“I was,” Kellen replied, nodding slowly, “It was actually a pretty decent dream if you ask me.”

“Really?” Kipp questioned, leaning against the couch as he looked at Kellen. “What was it about?”

“What was it about?” Kellen stuttered for a second before coming up with something quickly. “I dreamed about the future. When you have total custody over Charles and you are a great father. We are still friends and it was just a real good dream.”

“That sounds nice,” Kipp agreed before pointing back towards the kitchen, “I made us breakfast while you were sleeping. I hope your hungry.”

“Oh, I’m starving,” Kellen assured him, rubbing his stomach slowly before hearing Charles begin to cry out. “It sounds like the little one is too. I’ll go get him.”

“Are you sure?” Kipp questioned, pointing towards the bedroom. “I mean, I can do it.”

“Kipp, it’s right down the hall and I have legs,” Kellen started walking towards the room. Once he picked up Charles, he stopped crying. “You hungry little guy? Or do you just want some company?”

“I think he wanted your company,” Kipp pointed out coming in from behind Kellen, making him jump once again, “Most people tend to like your company.”

“Yeah, well I guess you could say I would love to have his company forever if I could,” Kellen insisted, kissing the top of Charles’s head. “This little boy is like my own--in some kind of way.”

“I understand what you mean,” Kipp folded his arms out in front of him. “Come on, we all can have some breakfast.”

“Sounds great, doesn’t it Charles?” Kellen questioned as Charles let out a tiny noise. “I would take that as a yes or I would take that as the little boy has gas.”

“What’s the difference?” Kipp questioned with a small laugh. “Either way--daddy has to deal with both.”


Heather cleared her throat bringing her head up high as she walked into Ken’s hospital room. She spotted him over by the bed watching some kind of home shopping network channel on television. While she was quite certain he wasn’t paying attention to it, she decided that she may as well try to find her own way to snap him out of the daze he’d put himself in.

“I really wouldn’t watch that if I were you. I mean given half the junk they sell on that show, the last thing you want to do is waste your money on it,” Heather wrinkled her nose catching him off guard at her words. He turned to her with a surprised expression blinking a couple times before speaking.

“Heather, what are you doing here,” he questioned with a sideways glance.

“I’d heard you were in the hospital so I thought I’d pay you a visit,” she explained holding up the small bag of goodies she’d purchased for him on the way over.

“You did?” he replied skeptically.

“Yes, I did,” she nodded proudly flashing him a smile.

“Why?” he couldn’t help but ask knowing that he and Heather were never really that close to begin with. With Heather there was always an angle and he knew it. The question of the matter was to figure out what it was before he could plan his counter attack.

“Well, you did save my life during the explosion and my son’s life after all and I haven’t properly thanked you,” she added holding out the small gift bag to him. “I figured in coming here it was the least I could do considering what you risked in saving me. Plus I hated to hear that you were hurt like this. It was absolutely dreadful to learn what that Susan Hastings witch did and…”

“I’m sure,” Ken eyed her wearily before speaking up again, “Heather I’m not getting you back together with Brant if that’s what you came here for.”

“And here I was hoping you’d take Avery out of the picture since you two have obviously something going on, but still…” she waved her hand at him dismissively, “you’re clearly in a crabby mood, so why don’t we just skip over the subject of how your brother and I belong together and cut to the point? I mean that is where you’re headed aren’t you?”

“I’m actually more inclined to suggest that you turn around and leave,” Ken suggested with a frown.

“Hey you can’t be angry with me simply because I’d reminded you of how Brant’s wife likes to put out for you. I mean my goodness if nothing else that should tell you how absolutely wrong for him she truly is. I never would’ve made that kind of mistake considering anyone with eyes and half a brain can figure out which one of you is which, but still…” she waved her hand dismissively, “and here everyone called me the slut.”

“Heather, I think you’d better stop before you start,” Ken warned sharply.

“Fine, fine,” she continued on, “I really didn’t want to talk about Avery anyways. Though I will say one last time that she’s completely wrong for Brant. I would’ve been a better wife to him, but still. I came here to see you because I simply can’t get a hold of your grandfather. He and I have some details of a business arrangement to discuss, but unfortunately I feel as if he’s ignoring my calls.”

“Smart man,” Ken quipped eliciting a glare from him. She wrinkled her nose at his comment. “Of course you do realize that my grandfather is probably ignoring you, which by the way is something that most people in my family tend to do since you’re completely miserable.”

“You’re one to talk nightmare boy,” she scowled over at him, “I mean honestly you’ve been far worse than I’ve ever been, so who the hell are you to stand there, well rather sit there in judgment of me? Huh?”

“Someone who obviously won’t be doing for you what you think I could,” Ken replied shortly, “If you want to talk to my grandfather--if he’s got some inclination to be associated with him, then you should go directly to the source. You’re wasting your time and mine with the insincere pleasantries with me.”

“Humph, well fine,” Heather swiped the gift bag out of his hand before glaring down at him, “See if I even bother to pretend to care about you anymore you ungrateful jerk. And tell your grandfather that I‘m not about to let him out of our arrangement. He owes me and I fully intend to collect.”

“Gee, I think that almost hurts,” Ken remarked sarcastically watching her stomp out of his room as he lay his head back. How Brant ever saw something in that woman he’d never know. Closing his eyes Ken thought about the long overdue rest he needed when he heard a voice beckoned him from peace and quiet.

“Ken,” he snapped his eyes open to see Michelle standing in the doorway to his room holding an oversized bouquet of flowers. Suddenly he found himself wishing that it was Heather instead because he was certain whatever it was Michelle had to tell him, it couldn’t be good.


“Come in,” Deidra sighed in exhaustion as she sat back in her seat after hearing someone knocking at her door. It was a relief to have someone come and talk to her so she could stop for a moment, but on the bad side--it was most likely someone with even more work for her.

“Hey there,” Dean smiled, walking in and closing the door behind him, “Working hard or hardly working?”

“Neither one at the moment,” Deidra frowned, leaning forward and resting her arms against the desk, “Though all morning I was working my butt off. You wouldn’t believe how much work I have had around here. It is too much to handle at times when I‘m just lost in a daydream.”

“I can believe it,” Dean nodded slowly with a small grin, “I have been doing just as much work as you. I don’t know about you, but I am really starting to get tired of all this work I am doing.”

“I think I can agree with you,” she let out a small breath before
looking through her papers, “I am just about finished with these--do you want to go out and get something to eat after. That is if I don’t get any more between the next five minutes.”

“Well, actually I kind of had something more planned out for us,” he replied, taking a step forward towards her desk and sitting down on the edge of it, “You see I kind of planned something.”

“Planned something?” she questioned with a small sign of amusement behind her voice. “Would I get to know what this thing you have planned is?”

“Yes…and no,” Dean answered, reaching out to brush a piece of hair behind her ear gently, “You see--I have been thinking a lot and I’ve decided that it is time for me and you to get out and have some time to ourselves. No work for a while and no more people telling us we have to do something.”

“Okay, where is this leading?” she wondered, eyeing him slowly as he got up from her desk and grabbed tickets from his pocket. “You see, these are tickets to a place I rented out for just me and you.”

“Me and you? Where are they to?” she questioned, seeing him shrug his shoulders before smiling. “You can’t keep me hidden in the dark here Dean.”

“Well, I can tell you a little I suppose,” he began with a wicked smile, “It’s a place where only I can hear your voice. A place that I am sure will be filled with excitement when it comes down to it. A few miles away there are plenty of entertainment we could go and see. You will love it--that is if you say yes.”

“It’s going to be a hard decision to make,” she pondered, nodding to herself, “Let’s see…it’s going to be me and you. All by ourselves, no one around. Gee, that’s a real hard one. How about--I would love to go Dean. How long will we be gone?”

“It will be a weekend trip,” he answered before feeling his beeper begin to vibrate and he looked at it before frowning, “We will have to talk about it later though. I have another thing I have to go and do.”

“Alright, I will most likely be right here--still working,” she assured him as he quickly left her office. She couldn’t help, but let out a small smile. Dean was so romantic when things came down to it. “Maybe I should call Dave to see if he found anything.”

Deidra pondered for a second before picking up the phone and dialing Dave’s number. She let it ring for a couple of seconds before realizing that he wasn’t going to pick up. Where was he?


Cori slightly jumped hearing Dave pop open a bottle of wine. She ran her hand through her hair before feeling someone’s hands on her shoulders.

“Hey there beautiful,” Diego smiled, kissing her cheek lightly, “Good job. I think you did a wonderful job in there.”

“Good job?” she questioned with a small laugh, turning around to face him. “What job did I exactly do? All I did was sit and watch. Nothing more.”

“I’m talking about the fact that you kept your mouth shut through the whole thing,” Diego replied with a small frown, “You had me worried for a moment, but then I realized that you would actually let this happen to make Kayla happy. I knew you could do it.”

“Right, good job. Whatever,” Cori let out a deep breath before feeling another set of hands on her shoulders making her turn around to face her brother as he handed her and Diego a glass of champagne. “Thanks.”

“Can I borrow her for a second?” Dave questioned with a small smile seeing Diego nod slowly. “Come here for a second sis.”

“What is it?” Cori wondered, taking a sip from the champagne before seeing Dave smiled.

“I just wanted to thank you for being here for me. I know you weren’t the first to jump on the wagon here, but I think it took a lot for you to be here for me. I couldn’t ask for a better sister,” Dave pulled her into his arms to hug her tightly. “I just have to ask you for one more little favor.”

“Oh brother,” Cori rolled her eyes before pulling out of her brother’s grasp. “I am glad that I could be here for you Dave, but when you kiss up to me like that--I know that this is something that I am not going to like. Just spit it out so I know what it is that you want exactly.”

“You see,” Dave began, taking in a deep breath before looking back at Carly, “I was wondering if you could watch Kayla for us. You know, just for a little bit.”

“Why would I do that?” Cori wondered, tensing her eyebrows together. “I don’t live that far from you or anything.”

“No, that’s not it,” Dave sighed deeply before swirling the liquid around in his glass, “I think that Carly should at least have a honeymoon--since the wedding kind of sucked here.”

“Let me get this straight,” she thought for a second before looking up at Dave, “You want me to take care of Kayla while you are off on a honeymoon with Carly?”

“I figured that you would have a problem with this,” Dave rolled his eyes, turning away from her before feeling her pull him back to face her. “What?”

“Of course I will watch her because I like her,” Cori pointed out, looking behind Dave to see Carly talking to Diego, “Which is more than I can say about your wife.”

“Thank you Cori,” Dave hugged his sister once more, kissing her quickly, “I knew I could count on you. Thank you for being so understanding.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Cori nodded slowly before slightly smiling, “Now go before I change my mind.”

“You got it,” Dave winked with a small laugh, walking back towards Carly to tell her.

“Now, don’t you feel at least a little better now?” Diego questioned, wrapping his arms around her as she shook her head slowly.

“No, I don’t,” Cori replied grabbing his arms in her hands and looking at Dave, “I am just doing this because I like Kayla, nothing more.”

“Sure that’s what you are doing,” Diego nodded slowly, looking up at Dave, “You just want your brother to be happy and you know it.”


“I’m coming,” Judy sighed, sitting up from where she was seated after hearing rapid knocking at her door. She opened the door as a wide smile came over her features. “Richard what are you doing here?”

“I just thought that I should give you an update,” Richard shrugged with a small smile, walking into her house and shutting the door behind him, “I also really wanted to see you.”

“I always want to see you,” Judy sighed as Richard reached out to hug her in his arms tightly, “How is Brooke doing?”

“Well, I put her in that place and I know she isn’t happy with me, but she is just going to have to live with it,” Richard shrugged his shoulders before taking in a deep breath. “I have been searching for a place for her, but I haven’t found anything yet. Oh, I have also been interviewing personal nurses for her.”

“You do realize when you get a new place for her,” Judy began, taking a step back away from him, “That she will always want you to be there for her.”

“Yeah, but if I was there the whole time,” he pondered for a second before nodding slowly, “I think I would just end up strangling her to death. Guy even agrees with me that finding her a nurse would be the best thing. Nothing more.”

“Does this mean that you are going to be leaving soon again?” Judy wondered seeing him shake his head slowly. “I know that you need to probably be on your way and look for places for Brooke.”

“I may be looking for a place,” Richard began, reaching out to grab her in his arms tightly, “But the only place I want to be right now is here with you and you only.”

“That’s the only place I could ever wish to be,” Judy leaned her head against his chest lightly, “Being with you gives me this feeling that is so perfect.”

“That is because you are perfect,” he insisted, running his hand along her shoulders lightly as she took in a deep breath.

“I know you should be there for Brooke though,” she pointed out with a small frown, “That’s really where you belong right now. Not with me.”

“I will be there for Brooke when the time comes,” Richard agreed with a deep sigh, holding her tighter in his arms, “But that doesn’t change what we have between each other.”

“I know,” she smiled, running her fingers in over his arm lightly, “How about I help you find a place for Brooke to stay at. So it doesn’t take you forever looking for both a nurse and a place.”

“If you would like to help me with that, you can” he began as he thought it over. It was really a nice thing of her to offer up when he knew that she didn’t want anything to do with Brooke. He hated to do this himself, but it was really the only way he could go with this whole topic. “I would just love to have you around, no matter what you are helping me to do.”


Brant kept his arm around Avery as they curled up with one another on the sofa in front of the fireplace just watching the flames lick up over the log before them. He could feel her body at ease as she lay in against his chest in a calming silence. He kissed the top of her head causing her to look up at him with soft brown eyes.

“I thought you’d fallen asleep,” she confessed in a small voice sitting up a bit straighter as he held her.

“I was thinking the same thing about you,” he revealed skimming his index finger over the soft lines of her cheekbone, “you were just so quiet that…”

“I was thinking about Grady. I know I said that I wanted to put it all behind me, but I can’t even begin to imagine how he’s going to pull through this. He loved Jade so very much and I know how he’s feeling…” she sighed heavily her worries mounting.

“I know,” he nodded his fingers tapering off into her dark hair, “He doesn’t deserve this. None of us do.”

“I just don’t understand what could drive a person like Susan to madness. She seemed a bit imbalanced yes, but I never, ever imagined that she could be so blatantly evil that she would work so hard to destroy everyone else around her.”

“Some people just have it in their blood I suppose,” Brant paused thinking about the things Cheryl had said to him about his father. While he’d always believed his father was ruthless, cruel and just plain evil it seemed that Grady’s mother had another take on Nicholas Ashford--one that Brant couldn’t even begin to fathom. He felt a tiny shiver race over him at the idea of his father actually having a heart.

“I just wish that I could understand,” Avery sighed her gaze returning to the fire, “I mean first Bruce, then Susan. What could cause a person to become so vile and snap like that?”

“I don’t know, but whatever it was, I’m sure it had to be something intense--something that maybe they aren’t even aware of,” Brant replied laying his head on top of hers.

“So you don’t think someone could be born that evil? That it’s just who they are?” Avery questioned fanning her fingers out over his chest lovingly.

“I’d like to think that deep down everyone has a little good inside of them. I mean yeah okay I know that’s reaching, but while we don’t always see it, for every evil person in the world, there is someone who loves them--someone who thinks that they are special and that someone has the ability to reach them I suppose,” Brant shrugged pondering Cheryl’s words.

“Do you really believe that was possible with Susan?” Avery asked quietly, “that if someone would’ve given her something special to hold onto that she wouldn’t have gone off of the deep end like that? Or even Bruce? Do you think if I would’ve given him a real reason to believe in love that he could’ve been different?”

“I don’t know Avery,” Brant urged her to meet his dark eyes, “but what I do know is that we can’t change the past--only work towards fixing things for the future.”

“The future,” Avery sighed leaning into him once again, “each day that looks more and more frightening. I always believed as you got older it became easier, but now, well now I’m almost afraid to think of what will be waiting for my daughter when she comes into this world.”

“I promise you she’s going to have a life full of joy and happiness,” Brant promised her with a soft assurance. He nudged her gently catching her eyes with his stare, “We’re going to make sure she’s not touched by all of this evil around town.”

“That’s easier said than done Brant. I mean I want to believe in miracles, but lately, well it seems like they are far and few in this town,” she sighed her eyelashes damp and fluttering at the admission.

“Perhaps,” he reached out to her pulling her to his lap, “but when I’m with you I see a few miracles right before my very eyes. I see things that give me hope for happiness in the future. In having you in my arms like this, you make me want to believe in all of that.”

“Oh Brant,” she replied tipping her head up to catch a kiss from his lips. She tasted the saltiness of her own tears over their kiss as she repositioned herself in his lap. Her arms slid around his strong, powerful shoulders with a gentle ease. Their kisses readily continued until she drew back again, “You make me want to believe.”

“You’re the only thing that keeps me believing in miracles Avery,” he replied tipping forward to steal another drugging kiss from her lips. He felt a warmth spread out over his body, her hands smoothing out the tension that had filled him and as she slid her hot, excited touch down underneath his sweater, he raised his hands up to give her opportunity to discard his shirt.

“You make me want to believe too Brant,” she confessed feeling him unbuttoning her blouse. He peeled it away from her body, lowering it to reveal the soft shadows of her curves in the warmth of the flames from the fireplace. She wrapped her arms around his neck leaning in to kiss him tenderly as a breath escaped her lips, “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“Hopefully you’ll never have to find out,” Brant mouthed reclining back onto the couch with her over him. It had been a while since they’d been able to focus entirely on one another, but now as he held her kissing her with a renewed sense of passion and intimacy, he felt as if there was a hope for a new beginning between them.

“I truly hope not,” Avery replied their clothes falling to the floor as they soon followed to get in closer to the fireplace. She felt the heat of him over her, the tips of his fingers tracing over her curves, imprinting his touch over her. She closed her eyes feeling the love and tenderness behind his touch and as their bodies were united as one Avery reopened her eyes to see her soul reflected in him--in the man she’d married simply because it would keep her from harm’s way.

Now however she knew that wasn’t at all what she was feeling. With every touch, every skilled caress and loving gesture, she knew in her heart that the truth to all of this was simple. She’d been in lust with Brant for so very long--attracted to the possibility of the man he could be, but it wasn’t until now, not until this moment in time when they shared their hearts with one another, opening up their vulnerabilities and fears to each other that she truly felt connected to him. It was then as their love making burned them both to the core that she realized that the truth had been evident hiding behind the surface for so very long. She loved him--really, truly loved him. Sure, she’d said it before, but never before tonight had she truly felt as connected to him as she did right now.

“I love you,” Avery whispered, her breaths growing more labored by the moment as their love making intensified, “Brant, I truly love you.”

“I love you,” he replied kissing her as this moment seemed to be the only safety either one of them could hold onto. He’d made love to her before, but now, in seeing the same love behind her eyes--in knowing that she’d invited him into a world that had been only hers for so very long, he knew that they’d reached a new level of understanding with one another. It wasn’t about the past or the present, but more so about the possibilities of the future that they had with one another.

The future that they intended to share with one another forever--the future that no one in this world would ever be able to take away from them. He’d feared that he’d lose Avery to Grady, but now, well now as he saw the love alive and fierce as ever behind her eyes, he knew in his heart that he’d never lose her--he’d never be without the woman he loved again. She was his everything and now after what felt like an eternity in passing, he was hers. Nothing in the world could make it any better than it was for them in the here and now. Nothing could ever take that away from them…or could it?


Angela sat at her desk clicking away on her computer. While she’d been reviewing the tests and the trial reports all morning, she couldn’t help but find herself obsessing over what was going wrong with the project. Cameron’s other research team seemed to be making so much progress, yet they were so far from the obvious answer to figuring out the right formula. Of course she wasn’t any closer, but she supposed that was in part due to her being caught up in the thought of being married. Yes, that had certainly had her mind on other things, she realized looking to her ring.

“Other things indeed,” she couldn’t help but smile focusing on the pearl that Nick had given her. It was such a romantic gesture and as she sat in her chair daydreaming about the wedding that was ahead of them, she knew that she wasn’t nearly as focused as she should be in getting things done for the day.

Leaning back in her chair, she closed her eyes thinking about a possible honeymoon for them. Perhaps she’d fly him out to her brother’s villa--to the place where it was empty most of the year and they could just bask in the luxuries or they could… Visions of the location were replaced by the warmth of fantasies of love making--or diving into a world of passion and pleasure that went well beyond anything they’d experienced before they were wed. She thought to how she longed to touch him, to hold him and taste him and as he met her eyes in her vision, she felt a jolt of shock sweep in over her.

“Miss me,” Brant questioned as Angela’s eyelids snapped open. She could feel her breath uneasy and broken by her fantasy--more so by the fact that the honeymoon wasn’t with her and Nick. It was with the man who’d only been a memory.

“You have to stop thinking about him,” Angela snapped at herself thinking about how she knew Brant was the past. He wasn’t coming back. She was marrying Nick and he was going to be the twins father. Brant was long gone. He was only a fading memory--well, okay a memory that felt so vivid and real and still made her hot all over, but still…

The phone rang stopping her torturous line of thinking. She reached for it in a haste still a bit breathless.

“Well hello beautiful,” Cameron’s voice beamed over the other end of the line, “How are you today?”

“Cam,” she nearly gulped feeling as if her thoughts would betray her. She stood up straighter trying to regain her bearings, “What are you doing calling here?”

“What am I doing,” Cameron paused before letting out a small, pinched laugh, “Angel, what reason in the world could I possibly have for calling you other than to say that I miss you? Is it so out of reach for a big brother to want to check in on his sister?”

“Well no, but…” she shifted in her chair uneasily, “I mean it’s just that I haven’t heard from you in a while and…”

“And what? Did you think that I’d forgotten about you,” Cameron questioned with bright and cheery tone, “Do you really believe that I’d just up and forget about my favorite sister in the world?”

“I’m only your favorite because I’m your only sister,” she teased back with a small laugh.

Silence followed. It wasn’t like Cameron. Angela felt suddenly uneasily.

“Cam?” she waited for him to say something.

“I just missed you Angel. I wanted to hear your voice,” he added seemingly snapping out of whatever had overtaken him.

“No you didn’t. You just figured you’d call me since you are probably fit to be tied with JT,” she paused thinking about his half brother, “He’s probably driven you crazy and right about now I’m the only one you can harass.”

“No, you’re the only one that I can harass,” he retorted adamantly, “but more so you’re the only one I can stand. And I couldn’t help but wonder how you were doing. It’s been a while since I’ve spoken with you and…”

“I’ve been busy,” she explained quickly, “Things have been very crazy around here with the storms and research and…”

“Ah yes, research. How is that going? I trust you got your hands on what I sent your way not long ago, yes?” he paused awaiting her response.

“I did, but your research team is still way off. I mean I’ve been tweaking some of their ideas and meshing them with mine, but I’m telling you they are on the wrong track. I really think if we take this at a new level, maybe changing the perspective a bit…” she began to explain what she’d been going over all morning long.

“You can tell me about it later, but for now I have another proposal for you,” Cameron’s voice hinted at something a bit more mysterious, “I think you might like this one.”

“What is it?” she couldn’t help but ask.

“What if I said I was in the process of sending a jet in and having you flown to the villa?” he replied brightly, ‘You know maybe we could have a weekend adventure together like we used to do. I ran into Kevin the other day and since he’s already here I’m sure that he will fly in with me and he can keep you busy when I’m not doing what I…”

“I can’t,” Angela she answered quickly, her hand dropping down to her abdomen.

“What do you mean you can’t,” Cameron’s voice seemed disappointed. “I thought that you’d missed me as well.”

“I have Cam, but right now there is so much going on and…” she stammered a bit thinking about the things she’d been keeping from him like being engaged and oh yeah pregnant. That was a biggie, she realized and it was one she didn’t want to have to explain until after she was happily married.

“I’m your boss and I’m telling you that you can take a few days off,” he tried to prod her further, “We can just take the time to enjoy one another. In fact we don’t have to even take Kevin along. I trust you’ll be fine on your own. Does that make it better?”

“Cameron I would, but right now I just really can’t,” she started to refuse again feeling her face grow hot at lying to him.

“Angel, I really would like to see you. I miss your face and everything about you,” he tried to appeal to her once again, “You’re the only family I have left in this world that isn’t out to get me.”

“JT’s not out to get you,” she threw back at him pointedly.

“Yes, but JT’s on another playing field altogether there. Besides, there’s something big I’m planning in a few weeks and I’d love to have you there. There are some things I’d like to discuss with you,” he offered up in confession.

“I’d like that, but right now, well now isn’t a good time,” she explained hearing a knock on the door. Seconds later Nick popped his head into the office and she sat up straighter. “Cam, I have to go, but I’ll call you later.”

“Angel wait,” Cameron tried to appeal to her again, but it was too late. She was already gone and looking to Nick.

“Who was that? Nick questioned curiously.

“My brother,” she waved her hand dismissively, “but it was nothing.”

“It didn’t sound like nothing,” he gave her a small look.

“With Cameron, it’s always nothing,” she laughed lightly standing up from her chair, “So what brings you in this morning?”

“Well I was hoping that I could take you out for an early lunch--that is if you’re tempted,” Nick smiled down at her watching her circle around her desk.

“With you I’m always tempted,” she replied throwing her arms around his neck as she found herself worried about Cameron and about the fantasy that she’d been having prior to Nick’s arrival.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Nick questioned pulling back just enough to search her eyes.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” she replied quickly, “I was just thinking about all we have to do. There are so many plans to make and…”

“Did you tell your brother about the wedding?” he arched a curious brow, “because you know I’d love to meet him. I know how special he is to you and…”

“And eventually I’ll tell Cameron, but right now I just want us to get everything straight before we get anyone else involved. It just seems smarter that way,” she embraced him again wondering if she was ever truly going to be able to break the news to Cameron about her pregnancy. Knowing Cameron and his temper, he wasn’t going to be happy to hear that she’d run off and gotten herself pregnant. Furthermore he’d be even less thrilled about the idea of her getting married. He hadn’t approved the first time she’d done it and after that had gone so badly, she knew full well he wasn’t just going to readily accept another husband in her life again. This was a delicate situation that needed lots of planning and thinking before she could break it to Cameron. Given how against her wedding he was the first time she’d taken the plunge, she’d just as soon let him know about it after the fact. Yes, that was a much safer way to go indeed.


“He went back to bed quickly, didn’t he?” Kellen questioned with a small smile as Kipp walked out the back door and onto the patio to where they were sitting earlier with Charles.

“Well, you know,” Kipp shrugged with a small smile, sitting back down on the swinging bench that Kellen was sitting in, “He’s like his daddy. He likes to eat and then he likes to sleep. It’s a daily thing for me you know.”

“I don’t see it,” Kellen replied, shaking his head slowly, “I never see you off your feet. You are like that one rabbit they always show on television. You just keep going and going…”

“And going,” Kipp finished nodding slowly before shrugging her shoulders, “I know. I guess you know more about me than I do. I guess I just wish I could go to bed all the time.”

“If you want to go to sleep right now,” Kellen offered, seeing Kipp shake his head quickly, “I really don’t mind watching the house for you.”

“No, right now I just don’t feel tired,” Kipp insisted as he stood up, “I think I am hyped up. Like I want to play some football or something.”

“Football?” Kellen questioned, his eyes getting wide at what he just heart. “Why would you want to play football. Isn’t your leg a little to hurt right now?”

“I think I will do fine,” Kipp protested before frowning and shrugging his shoulders, “That is unless you don’t want to play. You don’t know how to play do you?”

“Hey, I may like stylish clothes other than those disgusting uniforms,” Kellen began to protest before shaking his head slowly, “but believe it or not I was actually on the football team in high school.”

“Yeah right,” Kipp laughed as Kellen shook his head slowly, “You weren’t on starting lineup were you?”

“Actually I was,” Kellen replied, shrugging his shoulders, “I was tall and skinny back then. Which means I was a good runner. I was the running back in high school. No joke.”

“I have got to see this,” Kipp smirked, motioning Kellen to wait, “Let me go get my football. I have to see you do this with my own two eyes.”

“Kipp, it really isn’t anything,” Kellen assured him with a small laugh, “I probably don’t even have that talent anymore. I mean, it could be all gone by now.”

“If you once had that talent, I am sure you still will,” Kipp retorted with a small smirk, “I just want to make sure that you aren’t saying this just to make me impressed.”

“I would never lie to you Kipp,” Kellen replied with a small sigh, “But, if you insist that I play you--I guess that’s okay.”

“Oh believe me,” Kipp let out a small chuckle, opening the door, “I want to see this. I won’t believe it until I see it.”

Kellen stood up from where he was sitting and leaned against the house. Was it too unbelievable that he used to be on the football team? He never told anyone about it because of reasons like this.

“Ready?” Kipp wondered, coming back out with a football in his hand seeing Kellen nod. He led Kellen out to the back of his yard before handing him the ball. “I want to see if I can stop you. If you were a running back--it could be easy for you to get around me.”

“With your leg sweetheart,” Kellen started, taking a step back, “Anyone could get around you.”

“Just come on,” Kipp begged with a small laugh, “When I say go, try to get around me before I tackle you.”

“You tackle me?” Kellen laughed, nodding slowly, “Alright, I will run to the house if you can catch me.”

“Alright, go,” Kipp took a step forward as Kellen watched him intently. Kipp went to take a step forward to tackle Kellen before Kellen jumped over him when he bent down. Kipp turned around quickly to already see Kellen at the house. “You just like flew across my yard. How did you do that?”

“I told you,” Kellen pointed out, walking back out on the grass with Kipp, “I am as fast as can be when it comes to this game. I tried to explain that to you, but you were just too shocked to listen.”

“Alright, I want to see you try and take me down,” Kipp urged Kellen, grabbing the football from his hands, “I want you to stop me.”

“I don’t want to get my shirt dirty Kipp,” Kellen whined, shaking his head slowly, “You’re grass has mud sticking out and this is a real designer shirt.”

“If it was good enough to sleep in, I think you will be fine to play football with it,” Kipp insisted as Kellen rolled his eyes, “Alright, go.”

As Kipp began to run to the side, Kellen had tackled him to the ground in a matter of seconds. Kipp let out a small groan as he let the football roll from his hands.

“I told you I could do it,” Kellen pointed out, getting up from above him and to his knees, “No one ever trusts me though. That was just a waste of a good pair of pants.”

“It’s just a grass stain on your jeans,” Kipp lightly chuckled as he rested his weight on his elbows. Thinking quickly, Kipp moved forward in a quick motion and pushed Kellen to the ground before getting above him.

“What in the world was that for?” Kellen questioned, noticing that Kipp wouldn’t let him up. “What are you doing?”

“I told you I would tackle you,” Kipp pointed out as Kellen rolled his eyes before looking up at Kipp.

“Is there a reason why you aren’t letting me up?” Kellen questioned with a small frown as Kipp slightly moved.

“Oh,” Kipp for a moment before moving back slightly, “I just wanted you to get that designed shirt all dirty. You know, I don’t like complainers.”

“Kipp,” Kellen frowned, placing his hand in the middle of Kipp’s chest to push him aside so he could get up. He pulled his shirt off slowly, revealing his bronzed skin as he looked at the back of his shirt. “Oh great.”

“What is it?” Kipp questioned, looking up at Kellen as Kellen threw his shirt on Kipp’s head. “Why do I have your shirt on my head?”

“Because you are going to go and wash it for me,” Kellen ordered, resting his hands on his hips, “I don’t want to walk around the whole day with a mud stain on the back of my shirt.”

“Why don’t you just not wear your shirt,” Kipp suggested as Kellen tensed his eyebrows at the comment.

“Because unlike some people, I get cold easily,” Kellen pointed out, rolling his eyes as he helped Kipp up off the ground, “Next thing you know--you are going to be asking me to take my pants off so you can wash them.”

“If you want me to wash those too, I can,” Kipp declared as Kellen stared back at him, “I’m just playing with you.”

“I figured,” Kellen nodded slowly before leaning back to inside, “We are going to get my shirt washed as soon as possible. So if you will, you are going to get going in that laundry room.”

“Yes sweetheart,” Kipp joked, patting Kellen on the back before walking in towards the laundry room.

“Sweetheart?” Kellen questioned, tilting his head before shaking it off. He must still be in that dream session after the morning wake up call.


“So, what do you two want to do?” Kayla questioned, sitting down on the couch as Diego and Cori followed her. “What is something fun that we can do all night long?”

“What do you have on your mind sweetheart?” Diego questioned with a small smile as he saw her shrug her shoulders. “Is there something that you think would be really fun?”

“We could do hide and seek,” Cori suggested seeing Kayla shake her head slowly, “Or we could go and play tag outside if you would like to.”

“Those are so two hours ago,” Kayla exaggerated before letting out a tiny laugh, “What did you two do when you were younger?”

“Well, let’s see,” Diego began, thinking for a second. “When I used to play with Cori we would play video games, board games, make forts out of sheets, go outside…”

“That’s it,” Kayla interrupted him with a small clap of her hands, “I want to build a fort right in this room. I think that would be so cool.”

“Well, I don’t know honey,” Diego pondered for a second, “I think that might be a little too messy for your mommy and daddy. They might not like us doing that.”

“Don’t be a party pooper Diego,” Cori nudged him in the stomach lightly, “Of course Dave wouldn’t mind if we played a little game of fort. I think it would be so fun.”

“Please Diego,” Kayla begged getting off the couch as he looked over at Cori who shrugged his shoulders, “Please say we can. Please?”

“Alright,” Diego caved in before standing up along with Cori, “but promise me that you are going to help me clean up when we are done. If we don’t clean up, we will never be able to play that game again.”

“Oh, I promise I will help,” Kayla jumped up and down seeing Diego nod before she pulled on his hand. “I know where the sheets are. Follow me.”

“I’m following you,” Diego assured Kayla, taking a look back at Cori who was following them down the hallway to a closet.

“Here you go,” Kayla began to pile the sheets up in Diego’s arms as she threw them. “We should use all of them shouldn’t we Cori?”

“Oh yeah,” Cori agreed with a small laugh, seeing Diego struggle when he held the sheets as they stacked up. “We should use every single on of them.”

“Sounds good as long as I can see and don’t break anything,” Diego grunted as he felt Kayla jump on his shoulders and he stood up.

“Let’s go to the room horse,” Kayla giggled as he began to sway towards the room. “This is going to be so cool.”

“That it is,” Cori agreed with a small chuckle, “It truly is going to be a real blast.”


“Here we are,” Dave motioned to the hotel room in front of him. He turned around to look at his new wife seeing her standing a few feet behind him her eyes lost in some kind of quiet contemplation.

“So we are,” she nodded wiggling her fingers in front of her while shifting on her feet.

“Nervous?” Dave questioned taking a small step towards her. He circled his arms around her waist before pulling her in closer to him.

“Maybe just a little bit,” she confessed with a tiny nervous laugh, “that sounds kind of silly doesn’t it considering that we’ve been through all of the hard stuff at this point…”

“We have, but at the same time, this is something that’s foreign ground for the both of us,” he replied understanding her emotions as he was feeling them too, “I mean we’ve always come so close, but…”

“Never this far,” she added in a small whisper, “and for a second there I figured Cori would be telling us all the reasons why we shouldn’t just take the plunge and get married.”

“But she didn’t,” Dave smiled at her, lifting the back of his hand up to caress her cheek tenderly, “which is all the more reason why I know from here on out everything’s going to be perfect.”

“I’ve waited so long to be with you like this Dave,” Carly confessed closing her eyes and leaning into his touch, “We came so close to happiness before, yet…”

“It’s the past Carly,” Dave pressed his finger over her lips to silence her, “Now all I want to do is focus on my beautiful wife and the pleasures I’m going to bring to her starting now on our honeymoon.”

“Honeymoon,” she repeated with a small grin, “Who knew we’d finally make it to this place together?”

“I did,” Dave revealed scooping her up into his arms, “and now it’s time to begin our forever.”

“That began a long time ago the moment I met you,” she replied with a small smile thinking to the time back in law school when she’d first set her eyes on him. He was a paramedic back then and he’d come to her sorority house when one of her sorority sisters had an accident after an all night drinking binge. Of course he’d been doing his job, yet when their eyes met, it started something electric--something that couldn’t be ignored.

“I remember you were so concerned for Mimi--worried about whether or not she’d pull through the situation,” Dave nodded thinking back.

“Yet, you assured me everything would be fine, and then later that day you came over to tell me about her condition,” she remembered fondly. “Of course I think you were only doing it in part to get me to go out with you.”

“A part of me was,” he replied with a small laugh, “but you didn’t hold it against me.”

“Nah,” she leaned in closer to kiss him, “although right about now I can think of something else I’d rather hold against you.”

“In that case,” Dave slipped the key into the door keeping her carefully in his arms. He smiled over at her before opening the door to reveal the small slice of paradise waiting for them inside the room.

Carly looked around from the warmth of his arms seeing tiny white rose petals scattered all around the room. There were candles burning and an oversized canopy bed draped in white. There hanging on the wall was a silver and white sign that ready happy honeymoon.

“Dave,” her eyes widened in surprise, “how did you…”

“I know it wasn’t the tropics like we’d planned on before, but since it all came together so fast, I thought I’d put something together that would at least make tonight special,” he replied sheepishly, a smile touching over his lips. Tonight he’d finally found his way to happiness--the life he’d always cheated himself out of was beginning and with Carly in his arms, he knew that it was just the start of a great many wonderful things for them together.

“I love it,” she squealed with excitement kissing him once more, “I love all of it Dave, but more so I love you.”

“I love you my beautiful wife,” Dave mouthed carrying Carly across the room kicking at the white balloons on the floor before hearing her laugh lightly. He set her on her toes down again catching the strange look on her face before he held up his finger in explanation.

“Stay there for one minute,” he urged her before moving across the room. He turned on some soft music adding to the atmosphere. He returned to her holding his arm out to her, “How about a dance?”

“I’d love one,” she replied readily taking his hand. She felt his arm curl around her, saw the love burning behind his eyes and in that moment she knew she’d found her happily ever after. Dancing with her husband, she lay her head on his shoulder closing her eyes and realizing that tonight was perfect. Everything she’d ever dreamt about having in her life was finally hers with the one man who truly loved her. Dave was everything she wanted and everything she needed and it couldn’t be any more wonderful than it was right now with his arms wrapped around her on the beginning of their eternity with one another.


Dean leaned back in his chair, his eyes closed as he felt a sigh escape his lips. It had been a long week already and it felt like it wasn’t going to get any easier from here on out. He reached out to rub the back of his neck trying to add some ease to the tightened muscles inside of him. Keeping his eyes shut, he thought about Deidra and about the possibilities of another opportunity to be alone with her. That in itself was very refreshing--something that he could truly enjoy and would enjoy if she said yes.

Hearing the phone ring he sat upright reaching out for it on his desk. He held it up to his ear answering in a tight, tense tone, “Carlisle here.”

“So glad I caught you in. I see you’ve been avoiding my calls lately. Not a wise move Carlisle,” the voice on the other end of the line explained harshly, “Remember you have an obligation to uphold.”

“I’m doing the best that I can,” Dean began with a frown needing this like another hole in his head.

“It’s not good enough,” the voice grumbled in response, “now I strongly suggest you check your e-mail. There’s something waiting for you inside.”

“Look I…” Dean started up again, but he was met by silence. With a frown he turned his attention to his computer. He brought up his e-mail account typing in his password before he was met by the gruesome images before him. There on the screen were two sets of photos--one of a woman sliced from her abdomen up to her throat. He bit back on his reaction as the other painted a far more vile image. He scrolled down further as the words met him with a bold font.

“Remember what you must do,” they flashed before him causing his head to ache. He scrolled up again to look at an image when he heard a knock on his door. He quickly closed the message just in time to look up and see Deidra standing before him smiling.

“Deidra,” he cleared his throat quickly, “What are you doing here?”

“I thought I’d come over and give you an answer to your question,” she explained brightly, “I mean I know I gave you a hard time before when you asked, but well, the truth is that I’d love nothing more than to go away with you for the weekend. I think it’s going to be a wonderful idea.”

“Really?” his eyes widened and a smile spread over his features.

“Yes really,” she nodded eagerly, “I think it’ll be a great adventure and besides I can’t wait to get you alone again. It’s something that I can’t stop obsessing over.”

“Me neither,” he promised pulling her more completely into his arms, “and I can promise you that this time, well this time it’s going to be a trip you never forget.”

“I can’t wait,” she replied kissing him excitedly as Dean thought back to the photos in his e-mail. Sighing inwardly he knew what he must do. This weekend he had to stop stalling and just get it out in the open once and for all. Looking at Deidra and seeing her enthusiasm, he realized that perhaps it was good that they’d have one last weekend together before life as she knew it came crashing down for her. Yes, it would be good to give her a good time before he had to reveal to her the truth about what he was and just what his intentions were. Sure, things had changed, but he knew that he couldn’t back off now. He couldn’t fall back from the plan. He had to stay focused--even if it meant losing everything that had become so very important to him.


“Michelle, what are you doing here,” Ken couldn’t help but ask looking to the woman before him.

“I just couldn’t stay away. After the last time we saw one another I started thinking--really thinking about things and I realized that I couldn’t stop thinking about you,” she confessed setting the flowers she’d brought with her on his table top, “I know that I made a really bad impression the first time around, but I’m hoping that I can change that. I mean sure they say you never get a second chance to make that kind of impression, but Ken you’re such a great guy that I’d hate to think that we couldn’t at least try to begin again.”

“Michelle I…” he began uneasily shifting on his bed just a bit.

“Ken please. Just hear me out. I know I acted like a greedy, selfish bitch, but there’s a whole lot more to me than that,” she continued desperately, “I’ve just never had anyone really look past what they see on the surface. No one has ever really taken the time, but you were different. I could see that you were special. You are so special and when I thought that you’d almost died--that I could miss out on knowing you--really getting the chance to get to know you better, well it did something to me.”

“Michelle, I just don’t think that now is the time to…” he started once more.

“I’m not asking for anything more than friendship and an opportunity to prove myself to you,” she continued reaching for his hand. “Ken after all you’ve been through--after everything you still believe in second chances, don’t you?”

Ken closed his eyes thinking about what she was asking. Finally he let out a long sigh, “Yes, I do.”

“So then will you consider giving me another chance,” she questioned with wide eyes.

He turned to look at her sensing her sincerity before he finally nodded, “Of course I will, but I’m going to be going away for a little while. There are some things that I need to get clear with myself before I can start picking up where I left off.”

“I understand,” she nodded squeezing his hand once again, “and I promise you Ken. You won’t regret this. You won’t regret it at all.”


“Come on, my shirt can’t be taking that long,” Kellen frowned, taking a step into the laundry room with Kipp letting out a small sigh as he sat on top of the washing machine. “Is it going to be dry anytime soon?”

“Yeah, I just put it on the longest time there is so you would have to wait longer for it,” Kipp joked, nudging Kellen in the bare ribs as Kellen shivered. “You really are cold aren’t you?”

“I wasn’t kidding,” Kellen pointed out with a small chuckle as Kipp grabbed Kellen’s shirt and threw it to him. He watched as Kellen slipped it over his body slowly. “Thank you so much, I love when it feels this good.”

“Right,” Kipp gulped down, pulling his shirt off before grabbing another one he had just washed with Kellen’s. “You can’t be the only one with the clean shirt.”

“Is that right?” Kellen questioned, eyeing Kipp intently as Kipp slowly pulled the shirt on. “The warmness is a wonderful feeling when it gets right out of the dryer.”

“It is an amazing feeling,” Kipp agreed, reaching for something on the shelf above Kellen before knocking it down. He gasped as the full bottle of laundry soap fell on Kellen’s head, making him fall off the washing machine and to the ground. “Oh my god, are you alright?”

“I’m fine,” Kellen blinked a few times before letting out a small laugh, “Wow. That felt weird.”

“Let me see,” Kipp reaching his hand behind Kellen’s head, feeling the spot where the bottle had fallen. “You are going to get a pretty bad bump there.”

“I’ll be fine,” Kellen assured him with a small smile before flinching, “Okay--so it hurts a little bit, but it’s nothing to worry about.”

“At least let me get you some ice,” Kipp suggest, grabbing Kellen and helping him up to his feet, “It’s the least I can do to help.”

“That’s the door,” Kellen pointed out hearing the doorbell as he leaned himself up against the wall, “I will be fine, you should just answer the door.”

“If you insist,” Kipp shrugged with a small frown of worry before walking out into the living room and towards the door. He opened it as he let out a small frown seeing Heather before him. “What in the world are you doing here Heather?”

“I’m here to see my son Kipp,” Heather replied.

Kipp shook his head slowly, hearing Kellen’s footsteps as he entered the living room, “You aren’t going to get in here.”

“Good job,” Kellen whispered, grabbing the back of his shirt as he walked up towards the two, “That’s how to stick it to her.”

“I really don’t care what you say Kipp,” Heather pushed at Kipp, getting around him so that she was inside the house, “I am going to see him one way or another.”


...to be continued...