Kevins attention left the conversation hed
been having with his cousin when hed heard the noise. He glanced over
at the front of the church where Grady was now beating the life out of a man
beneath him. A line of worry creased over his brow. Seth
Seth looked up to see what was happening and he too gasped in horror. Then it dawned in on him who was under Gradys attack. Feeling his own anger weigh upon him Seth marched forward weaving his way through the crowd. Kevin followed knowing that this couldnt be good.
Get your hands off of me Denton! Cameron sneered punching Grady right square across the jaw as the two men rolled over the floor knocking down chairs in the process. Legs and arms flew as the two seemed to be lost in destroying one another. Finally Cameron pinned Grady down to the ground throwing in a good punch.
Get off of him, Seth shoved Cameron aside as Kevin moved forward.
He has no right! Cameron shouted feeling Grady sucker punch him right in the abdomen.
How dare you come here today, Grady spat out at Cameron watching Kevin extract him from the floor. Gradys jaw clenched with anger, his words raw and broken by his emotions, You have no right to be here!
Im paying my respects, Cameron spoke up in his defense, his own face lined with blood.
Your respects? Grady repeated ready to lunge forward and attack Cameron again, but Seth stepped in holding Grady back. Grady struggled with him refusing to leave it as Cameron was before him looking as smug as ever. This was your fault. If you wouldve just left us alone, then none of this would be happening you sick son of a bitch!
Listen you Cameron moved forward seemingly going to strike Grady, but Kevin snagged him by the collar tugging him abruptly backwards.
I think its time to leave, Kevin mouthed catching the hints of a familiar face out of the corner of his eye. He watched a woman push through the crowd making her way towards Grady and he couldve sworn that she looked familiar. If he wasnt mistaken then it couldve been Kevins eyes followed the movement, but when he felt Cameron struggle to get Kevin to release him, Kevin realized he needed to get Cameron out of the church as soon as possible.
Im not going anywhere, Cameron replied stubbornly hearing the sounds of Gradys protests as Seth fought to control Gradys rage.
Yes, you are, Kevin explained simply using his strength to guide Cameron to the exit before things went from bad to worse. Although judging by the brawl that had just taken place, Kevin was pretty certain it was already established that all hell had broken loose. Now he just had to find a way to keep it from pouring over onto the crowd. Shoving Cameron once again he spoke up from behind gritted teeth, Keep moving.
Avery rushed over to Grady seeing him straining against Seths hold
on him. He was still shouting and screaming about Camerons arrival.
All eyes were on him and while she couldnt argue with the things that
he was saying, she knew that she had to try to help put a stop to the madness
before the whole memory of Jade was destroyed. Moving in along side of Seth,
she reached out to Grady.
Grady look at me. Please look at me, Avery begged of him, seeing the inner struggle he was experiencing. She watched his jaw flex and tighten as his eyes darted in the direction where Cameron had walked out of the church. His anger was still alive and building by the moment.
He doesnt have a right to be here. He did nothing but make Jades life miserable, Grady continued to rant, he may not have had her, but he was ultimately the one who did all of this. He put me in jail for something I didnt do--for something that I never shouldve been in jail for in the first place
I know that Grady. I do but you need to calm down, Avery tried
to reason with him.
Shes right son, Elliot pushed his way through the crowd moving in beside Grady, You cant let him destroy you. He shouldnt have shown up today, but you need to keep
Keep what? Grady demanded harshly, Cant you see hes already destroyed me? Hes already taken away the thing that mattered most in this world? If he wouldve just left well enough alone and let me be happy with Jade, then none of this wouldve happened.
I hate him too Grady, but we cant be like this. We cant just attack him no matter how much we want to for the way he made Jade miserable, Seth spoke up attempting to be cool and even in spite of the fact that he too was feeling like tearing Cameron to pieces for all the trouble hed brought into their lives. Remembering how Cameron had attempted to blackmail him into doing his bidding, Seths anger flared as well. He released Grady and took a step back falling to silence.
The man tried to manipulate her into his arms by pretending that hed help me get out of jail. He put me in there so that I couldnt protect her. Hes the one who kept us away from one another and left her vulnerable to Susans evil, Grady blurted out sourly, Hes the one who should be dead right now, not Jade!
Son please, Elliot begged of him hating to see Grady in an uproar.
Grady, why dont you come with me and sit down, Cheryl suggested joining the group up front, We can talk about this calmly and rationally for a minute and
I dont want to be calm or rational, Grady snapped at her unable to contain the way he was feeling, I want to find that man and I want him to pay for all hes done. He tried to kill me so that he could have Jade and when that didnt work, Im sure he offered her up to the demon herself.
Grady, you dont know that, Avery started up hating to see him this upset.
Given what you know about him--about what hes done, how can you even question it, Grady questioned harshly his eyes fixed upon Averys, You know what he did to try to keep Jade and I apart and now, well now hes won. Ill never have her back and
Susan was the one who did this. Shes the one who Avery reminded him once again.
That still doesnt change what happened. It doesnt erase the time he stole from me with Jade and I wont forget that. If it wasnt for him, then I couldve been there for her. I couldve
Grady stop. If you dont calm down, then youre going to
hurt yourself. Youre going to
Elliot touched his sons
arm gently feeling Grady step back pushing away from him.
Nothing could hurt me worse than what I lost when Jade was taken from me, but no matter how much I try to explain that, none of you will ever understand. You still dont understand, Grady retorted lost in his own sorrows. He pushed his way past the crowd heading towards the exit.
Grady wait, Avery reached out towards him only to feel him pull away from her.
Why dont you save it for someone who is in need of your consoling Avery? All of you why dont you find someone else who wants to hear all the excuses because I sure as hell dont! It doesnt change the fact that I lost the love of my life because of that man. For that Ill always hate him and Ill always keep fighting to take him down. If none of you want to help me with that, then to hell with you. To hell with all of you, he declared before leaving the church in a fury vowing revenge on those who had taken the one thing that mattered from his life.
What in the world is wrong with you Cameron? Kevin questioned
as soon and he took Cameron outside and away from the crowd inside. He let
go of Camerons collar, slightly pushing him back as Cameron stumbled.
Nothing is wrong with me Adonis, Cameron insisted with a small hiss, fixing his jacket before going back to explaining what had happened earlier, I cared about Jade too you know. And while that might bother Grady, I have every right to be here.
No, you dont, Kevin shook his head slowly, taking a step away from the door, She was my cousin and looking at it--you have no right being here. You didnt love her like everyone in there did. She was a real good person Cameron, she wasnt one of your little toys you play with in your games.
I never used her Kevin, Cameron spat, taking a moment to look over Kevin intently, I know that she was a good person who didnt deserve any of this. Even if you people dont believe me, I really did feel for Jade. I just wanted to pay my respects. She was a really great person and I thought it would be a nice thing to show her my respect by showing up.
Oh bull, Kevin rolled his eyes at the comment Cameron made before shaking his head slowly, They only reason you came here is because you knew that it would bother every single person in that room. You knew that you could get to them and thats what you like Cameron.
You know, out of all the people here I thought you would understand, Cameron began, shrugging his shoulders, I would think that because its funny--I knew Jade better than you did Kevin. While you were off working, I was here getting to know her. Just what kind of cousin are you anyways? Not going to see your family for more than six years. God, I would hate to have you as a member of my family that I depended on.
How dare you talk about me like that, Kevin growled, stepping forward and grabbing Cameron by the collar of his shirt. Kevin pressed Cameron in against the wall before slightly lifting Camerons feet off the ground. You have no idea what I have had to do my whole life. You have no idea what I have lost and what I have missed out on. You dont know a damn thing about me and my family. If you ever say something like that again Cameron, I swear I will
Youll do what Kevin? Cameron questioned with anger behind his deep voice. What are you going to do Kevin? Ill answer that for you big man. Nothing. You might want to put me down and watch your tone with me too. I hope you know that what I have on you could very easily make you lose the one thing that you hold the most near and dear in your life if you dont watch it. If you get my point--Angel will never...
Fine, Kevin cut him, putting Cameron back down on the ground before taking a step back way from him, You really like to upset people dont you?
No, Cameron answered with a small smirk, looking up at Kevin, I just let the truth known. Just like today, I can be here to pay my respects to Jade.
Whether you want to or not, I think you just need to leave, Kevin suggested, closing his eyes tightly as Cameron began to walk towards the parking lot.
Fine Kevin, Cameron nodded slowly, turning to face Kevin once more with more anger building up inside of his body, but I just wanted to pay my respects and that was all I was trying to do here today.
If you respect Jade enough Cameron, Kevin began, looking down towards the ground as he spoke to the man before him, Then you will leave.
Yeah, Cameron shook his head before walking off to his car and leaving.
Kevin? Ria grabbed onto Kevins arm lightly, making him turn around quickly. Hey, I didnt mean to scare you, I was coming out to check on you.
Its okay, Kevin hushed, taking in a deep breath, I am just a little jumpy. Thats all.
Youre obviously feeling bad, Ria pointed out with a frown, reaching out to touch his face gently. His face was pale as can be and his body was slightly shaking. Dont worry about Cameron, he just likes to make people feel bad. Hes just a jerk.
I really dont want to talk about him right now, Kevin declared, pausing to think for a second, You know, I dont even want to think about him right now. It doesnt matter, I dont need anything else in my life hurting me.
Everything will be okay soon, Ria assured him, reaching out to him before wrapping her arms around him tightly. I promise you that Kevin.
I cant believe this is happening, Seth hissed, pacing back
and forth in the room as Blake reached out to touch him. I cant
believe that he would have the nerve.
Hey, its okay, Ben hushed with a small sigh, stepping in front of his friend, Just calm down. You cant get yourself so worked up over this. Everything will be okay.
I am not going to calm down Ben, Seth snapped with a small scowl, throwing his hands up in the air at the thought of everything that happened, Grady was right about this whole thing. This is all Camerons fault. He put Jade in danger by leaving her open to Susans attack while Grady was in jail.
As much as I hate that man Seth, Blake began with a small frown, seeing Seths eyes reach hers as she began to speak up about what Cameron had done, I dont entirely believe its all his fault. Susan was just crazy.
No, I dont think you understand Blake, Seth stated, taking a step back from everyone, Cameron was always out to get Grady. What else is he going to do? How do we know that he didnt have a thing to do with Susan? He could have helped her. He could have planned everything.
He could have done that, Diane agreed, speaking up as Ben motioned her to be quiet, But he couldnt have either. You dont know Seth. He could be telling the truth when he says he had nothing to do with it.
I dont care what he says, Seth declared with a deep scowl, shaking his head slowly, I blame all of this on Cameron. He is out to get everyone in this town and I swear--I am going to make that man pay one way or another.
Dont think of anything crazy Seth, Blake begged with a frown, squeezing his shoulder lightly, You cant go on thinking things like that.
I am going to think what I feel Blake, Seth informed her with a small sigh knowing that the anger building up inside of him was far from normal, All I have received from Cameron Stone is pain, so in return I am going to give him the same. No matter what it takes I am going to make sure that he gets what he deserves.
Eventually karma will kick him right in the butt Seth, Diane started, looking up at Seth with a worried expression, but you cant do anything to hurt Cameron because that karma will just come back to kick you right in the behind. I dont think you deserve any more bad in your life.
One little thing Diane, Seth paused for a moment before shaking his head, I really dont believe in karma at this point, so it wont hurt me any. Anyways, with whatever I do Cameron--he well deserves it.
Just dont do something that could hurt you in the process Seth, Ben still tried to calm Seth down, I know you are hurting right now and I know that it basically feels like the world is out to get you right now, but you have to be strong. You let your whole world cave in. You have to be strong, if not for you--then for Jade. She would hate to see you this way Seth.
I know, Seth sighed, running his hand through his hair slowly, Its just really hard Ben. I dont think you know how hard it is. I am really trying.
Youre doing great Seth, Ben assured him with a small smile, I wouldnt be doing as great as you. Just keep up your faith and everything will be better.
Avery felt a numbness inside of her at the memory of the expression on Gradys
face when he stormed out of the church. She knew he shouldnt be alone
at a time like this, yet shed been at a loss of things to say. He had
been right. He was more right than shed even begun to imagine about
Cameron, yet in the name of trying to ease his pain, shed only managed
to alienate herself from him. Now she eyed the exit wondering if she should
go after him and try to make things right. Taking a step forward she prepared
to do what was necessary to help him, but instead she felt a hand curl around
her arm drawing her back.
There you are, Brant spoke up over the whispers of those at the church who were still reeling from Cameron and Gradys confrontation, I was looking all over for you.
I was here waiting for Grady, Avery replied turning around to face him, Cameron showed up at the memorial and he lost it. He went nuts and
Im sorry to hear that Avery. I really, truly am, but at the moment I have to do something, Brant cut her off abruptly his own concerns outweighing whatever may or may have not happened between Grady and Cameron upon Camerons arrival. I hate to do this, but we have to leave. Theres someone I need to speak to and if I dont do it now
Brant I cant just leave now, she frowned up at him, Didnt you hear what I just said? Cameron showed up at the memorial and he got into it with Grady. Things got ugly and
And as much as Id love to hear the story, I cant wait on this Avery. I cant stall around or else that window of opportunity I have to save Ken is going to be out of my reach, his dark eyes pleaded with her, Im sure that Grady will be fine and
I dont think hes ever going to be fine Brant. You didnt see the way that Cameron paraded in here all smug and sanctimonious like he had a real reason and a definite purpose in being here, she explained further catching his less than pleased expression.
Im sure in his mind he most certainly had a definite purpose and that was to cause trouble. Thats what he thrives on, Brant cast a glance over the room, Its what makes him who he is, but Im sure that Grady can get a handle on it.
Brant, Im really worried about him. He was in such a rage and when we all tried to calm him down, he just stormed off. He lashed out at Elliot, Cheryl and me. Thats not like him and
And as much as Id like to step in and help in this latest Denton crisis, I have a crisis of my own to take care of. Remember Ken and his gold-digging, money grubbing side kick? I just got a call that Kens been to the bank and hes been pulling out some funds there for some kind of investment Brant informed her with a heavy sigh.
What? Averys jaw practically dropped.
Apparently he went over there this morning and took out a hundred thousand. The person who called didnt get into the specifics, but Avery if he keeps spending like that, Brant replied worriedly, I mean its not like that will break me, but
But he shouldnt be doing that. Youre right, Avery finally nodded, Michelle is trouble and if hes doing that for her
I have to stop it, but the only way to do that is to act now and not hesitate. I have to meet with someone and Brant started to explain further.
Right now? Avery questioned again worried about Gradys mental condition on top of all else.
Avery, if I dont jump on this, it could spell disaster not only for Ken, but for the rest of us. I need to go meet with someone right now, Brants dark eyes pleaded with her once more.
Avery thought about it for a long, grueling moment knowing that shed promised to help Brant help Ken, yet when she thought of the situation Cameron had brought to the memorial, she found herself torn. She looked up at her husband with pleading eyes.
Avery, I really need to go, Brant threw out at her with one last attempt to get her to see where he was coming from.
Well, fine. You can go. Ill have Cheryl and Elliot take me home, Avery suggested watching his reaction closely, When I get done here we can get together and touch base again. Will that work?
Brant half wanted to argue with her suggestion, but thinking about his brothers recent bout of stupidity, he knew that this wasnt the time nor the place. Sure, he knew full well Avery cared about Grady, but once again it felt like he was backed into a corner.
Brant, she reached for his arm touching it gently.
I really wish that youd come with me, but I dont have time to argue with you, he blurted out taking one last look around, Are you sure that Cheryl and Elliot can bring you back home?
She nodded, Im positive and for what its worth good luck.
Avery stepped up on her toes to kiss Brants cheek gently.
Thanks, he tipped down to reciprocate her gesture with a small kiss on the lips, I think Im going to need it today.
I think we all are, Avery sighed taking one last look at her husband before she turned around ready to find Grady and help him deal with the demons that were haunting him.
Oh Ken its perfect, Michelle beamed excitedly standing
in the center of the empty warehouse, This place is exactly what the
group needs to get its feet off of the ground, although Im not
sure the price is really within the range that we were hoping for.
Dont worry about price, Ken reached out to pull Michelle into his arms. She leaned into him readily feeling his finger curl underneath her chin, Its taken care of.
Ken, I cant expect you to she started feeling his lips press in over hers in a small, tentative kiss.
Trust me, I want to, Ken mouthed his fingers sliding into her long, blonde hair, and if you think this place is perfect, then I want the group to have it. I want you to feel like you could have somewhere to be where you feel comfortable. I know youd mentioned that other place, but when you told me where it was, I knew that it wasnt going to be good for anyone. Its in a part of town that most people would be afraid to go in and
And even so I can only imagine what rent will be in this place, she surveyed the walls around her, I mean I told Candice that I would find something, but
But what? Ken watched her circle around the room, weve been through this place three times. Its perfect.
That it is, but you and I both know that in this neighborhood things can get a bit pricey, not to mention that we dont have your friend here like you said hed be. You said that you thought that maybe you could get him to go down on the price, yet Im not sure even that would be enough, Michelle added thinking about how a little piece of real estate like this would be enough to get her set up in such a way that shed only have to do one final score before leaving this little hole in the wall town forever.
Well about that, Ken scratched his chin lightly, You see I did call him and he was going to meet us, but then we talked it over and hes not coming.
What do you mean hes not coming? she questioned glancing over at him, I thought that you said he gave you the security code on the door so that we could take a look around while he was running late. You mentioned he was stuck in traffic and
Actually, I called his office while you were upstairs and told him not to bother. I figured that youd really like this place, so I suggested rather than meet up with us, he should just draw up the paperwork for the sale, Ken explained further, a small smile teasing over the corners of his lips.
You what? her eyes widened, but Ken I told you about how much money we had to work with and
And its all taken care of. I had the money wired from my account over to start the sale, Ken explained taking a small step forward, and for the record I did get a pretty decent deal. Given the way I do things, they gave me a bit of a tax break for the future and Im sure that this is perfect. I mean you kept saying I needed to find a reason and the more I thought about it, the more I realized this was it.
So you just went out and purchased the place? she replied fighting to contain her excitement and enthusiasm.
That I did, he nodded proudly, and I can only hope that I can change the lives of others who have been wronged in the past. I want to show them that unlike me they dont have to fall to their madness. I mean okay so maybe this isnt the best approach to therapy there since Im sure I have a long way to go, but it feels good to be doing this--damn good.
Oh Ken, Michelle threw her arms around him excitedly, you have no idea what youve just done.
I think I might have some idea, he laughed lightly squeezing her in his arms, a sudden warmth filling up inside of him, I know this place probably needs a lot of work, but with a little care and a lot of spirit, Im sure things will fall into place. I can get started on the contractors later this week and
I cant believe youre doing all of this. I mean okay, so maybe I could see how youd want to given your generous heart, but still for you to give so much, Michelle played the role of the innocent, having perfected that doe-eyed look over the years, For you to be so caring and
And nothing. I guess in my own way Im just trying to make up for all those people that I hurt, he stretched his arm out, reaching out to stroke her cheek gently, starting with you.
Me? she replied with wide eyes, Why me?
Because I know when we met I didnt treat you all that well. I kind of misjudged you--no I know I misjudged you and for that I owe you a massive apology. Here I was acting like an ass, yet you were really concerned about me. You cared about me even after I used you, Ken paused remembering their early beginnings, After all youve been through in your life, I can only imagine the pain you felt when I treated you like some kind of plaything
Its alright Ken, Michelle dropped her eyes, batting her eyelashes at him before speaking up quietly, Im used to it. Im used to men thinking of me as a sex object and nothing more. Thats what they perceive when theyre around me most of the time. You just learn to adjust.
Well you shouldnt have to adjust or be used to it, Ken reached out to her urging her to meet his eyes again, Something like that is wrong and for any man to make you feel like youre less of a woman like I did, well he shouldnt be able to have that kind of power. He doesnt deserve you or your faith in him. I know that I didnt really deserve a second chance, but now that youve given me one, I promise that Im not going to ruin this for us Michelle. I really meant what I said when I told you that I want to begin anew. I want for us to take the time to get to know one another--to learn each others secrets and dreams. I want to know what it is behind those dark eyes of yours that always has you seemingly lost even when youre smiling.
Im not lost, Michelle shook her head at his words.
I know what your husband did to you had to have hurt you and when you opened up to me about that, well that was the first sign that you felt you could trust me. I want you to be able to trust me enough for you to tell me the real reason why you gave me a second chance. I know it couldnt have been for my sparking personality, Ken half smiled at her, There had to be something more there.
There was and there is, but right now all of that doesnt matter, she added quickly sliding her arms around his shoulders, Right now all thats important is that I held on knowing full well the man you could be. Hes the man that I want to know better--the man that I want to fall in love with. Hes the man that one day Id like to share my future with--that is if you think you can find it in yourself to share that same dream.
It becomes something I think about more and more each day, he revealed squeezing her in his arms, as crazy as it sounds, the more time I spend with you Michelle, the less I want to be away from you. I really think that there is something special happening between us and Id like to explore that.
So would I, she whispered tipping up on her toes to kiss him gently, and I think if we keep doing this together, sooner or later well fall into what feels right.
I couldnt agree more, Ken noted nuzzling her neck for a moment before placing kiss after feathery light kiss over her skin, What do you say we get out of here and go somewhere a bit more intimate? Maybe out for dinner at my place or something?
I think thats a wonderful idea, she nodded readily knowing full well that Kenneth Ashford was the best thing that ever happened to her. The longer she was with him, the more she found herself wanting something more--something that deviated from her original plans, yet it would give her everything she wanted and it would all be perfectly legal.
Remembering her courtship with Kevin long ago, Michelle smiled inwardly knowing that it might be a good time to pull out a few of her old tricks. Theyd been good enough to work with Kevin and now with Ken, well he was no where near as intelligent as Kevin was about things, but he was every bit as vulnerable. That in itself made him the perfect mark. Oh how life was truly picking up for her. Things couldnt be better!
Kellen shut Kipps front door behind him after entering the house. Kipp
had given him a pair of keys so when he got back he would be able to get in.
Kipp? Kellen questioned, looking out into the house that had no sight of Kipp.
Im in the babys room, Kipp called out to Kellen as Kellen began to walk back towards the room. As he got closer to the room her heard two voices. One was Kipps and the other was
What in the world is Heather doing here? Kellen questioned angrily at the sight of Kipp sitting next to Heather while she held Charles in her arms.
She came here to see Charles, Kipp answered with a small smile before standing up as Kellen approached him, Is something wrong?
Can I talk to you for a second Kipp? Kellen wondered, seeing Kipp nod before he pointed towards the hallway after seeing Heathers attention on him. In the hall.
Sure, I will be right back Heather, Kipp smiled, following Kellen into the hallway slowly. Is something wrong Kellen? You dont look so happy.
Why in the world is Heather here Kipp? Kellen questioned, watching Kipp fold his arms out in front of his chest. I mean seriously. You two are in a custody battle over Charles and you know that Heather is an unfit mother, so why in the world do you have her over right now?
Kellen, I just dont want to do to Charles what my father did to me, Kipp explained with a sigh, shrugging his shoulders as he spoke, My mom left my life and its been very upsetting for me. I just want Charles to be happy when he gets older.
And you think that bringing Heather into his life would be good for him? Kellen questioned with a small laugh as he saw Kipp shrug his shoulders. Please Kipp, I thought you were smarter than this. The only thing that Heather is going to bring to your life is chaos. The same thing goes for the baby. You think that she is actually going to care for you two?
Whats the problem Kellen? Heather wondered, entering the hallway with a small smirk. You jealous that I actually got to be with my baby? Well, you better get used to it because I am going to be around a lot these days. The baby is going to be in my life just as much as Kipp will be.
You know, Kellen looked towards Kipp with obvious hurt behind his features, I want to support you Kipp so much, but I cant support this. Shes only going to screw you over again Kipp.
Fine Kellen, Heather watched as Kellen walked to the front door and opened it. Bye-bye you loser. No one wanted you here anyways.
How could you say that? Kipp questioned with a small disgust, shaking his head slowly after Kellen left out the front door. Kellen is my best friend.
Kipp, what are you doing? Heather frowned, watching as Kipp ran towards the front door before running out to stop Kellen from leaving like that.
I cant believe this, Gabe whispered taking in everything
that had happened at the memorial service leading up to Camerons arrival.
Remembering the stories that Jade had told him about Cameron and his evil,
Gabe too felt his blood boil.
I dont know why that man would bother to show up, Guy replied in a small whisper looking up to his lover with worried eyes, I guess he was just looking for some drama and things too pretty intense.
They are more than intense, Gabe snapped at him, Here Grady is lost without the love of his life--they had so many challenges between them and they were torn apart by circumstance again and again. Jade wanted nothing more than to be free to love Grady without anyone getting in the way. She fought like hell to have that happiness in her life, yet when that opportunity arose it was ripped away from her. She had to lose everything because of the lies and the deceptions and
It wasnt fair, Guy touched Gabes shoulder gently.
No, it wasnt, Gabe shook his head turning towards his lover. He reached out to touch Guys face lightly thinking about how strained this year had been.
When he thought of how quickly life had ripped Jade away from this world, Gabe knew that he didnt want to live the rest of his life that way. He didnt want to be so close to love only to have his heart taken from him. That had been something that had been on his mind for quite some time, but it wasnt until Jades death that he really realized the importance of having the freedom to share life and love with those who meant the most to you.
You know as much as I hate to say it, why dont we go home? Guy suggested sensing the sorrow burning behind Gabes eyes. We can see Brittany and then maybe have dinner and
I just want to hold you in my arms and remember all the things that matter in this world, Gabe confessed reaching out to embrace his lover. He held him as if hed never let go wishing like hell that fate wouldnt deliver the same cruel blow to his relationship. He felt Guys warmth around him, felt the love behind his touch until a voice beckoned them both out of the moment.
Guy I thought that was you, Judy spoke up watching the two men practically leap away from one another. Well, that wasnt entirely true. Gabe seemed a bit shell-shocked himself, but Guy was doing his best to cover for what theyd just shared much to Gabes dismay.
Judy right, Guy replied clearing his throat uneasily, Youre my fathers
Friend, Judy finished for him seeing the discomfort behind Guys eyes, I take it you were friends with Jade.
I didnt know her all that well, but Guy started to explain uneasily.
She was one of my close friends and Guy came here with me today to show his respects as well, Gabe confessed with a sad smile.
And for Avery, Guy added quickly worry creeping in over as he thought of what Judy could say to his father, I mean she and Jade were so very close so I knew she might need me today. Gradys kind of been like family since Avery was married to Russ and
And its a terrible loss, Judy replied with a nod catching Gabes look of annoyance at Guys uneasiness, Its unfortunate for anyone to lose the person they love especially at a time like this.
That it is, Guy nodded in response before Judy spotted Diane up ahead in tears.
If youll excuse me I see my daughter and she looks like she needs me, Judy replied politely excusing herself to go tend to Diane.
Guy watched her retreat, a breath of relief escaping his lips as he looked to Gabe, That was close.
Too close for your comfort apparently, Gabe wrinkled his nose at his lovers tendencies to turn hot and cold whenever it came close to anyone seeing the two of them together. That in itself bothered Gabe more than he wanted to get into at this moment in time, You know she has the right idea. I think I want to go see my daughter as well. What do you say we get going?
Sure, no problem. Ill just go get the car and Guy started watching Gabe walk away without another word. A frown spread over his features as he realized that something was bothering Gabe. He hadnt meant to upset him, but with Judy around and the fact that theyd appeared to be so close and
Hell get over this, Guy promised himself watching Gabe say his good-byes to a few of the other guests. Sure, maybe Guy had acted a bit hastily, but Gabe would understand why he had to do it. He always did.
You almost ready to leave? Don questioned with a small sigh,
noticing the women walking towards them. I think I am pretty ready.
Yeah, I think it might be a good idea to get going soon, Hart agreed as they approached Jenna and Shannon slowly. You two about ready to go?
Yeah, Jenna nodded slowly with a sigh, I think we can leave right now. We should just say goodbye first.
I know its probably not the best of times, Don began with a small cough before folding his arms out in front of his chest, but would you two like to come over for a while? We could just hang out for a while. To see Matt or something, I know that Matt would most likely love to see you again Hart.
Im sure he would, Hart agreed with a small smirk, He is always a pleasure to hang out with. What do you say Jenna? I am all good if you are.
Are you sure that is okay with you Don? Shannon? Jenna questioned, seeing Shannon and Don nod slowly.
Its not my house, Shannon pointed out with a small laugh, she really didnt think much of Hart, but if he was Dons friend she could deal with him for a little while. As long as Don is okay with it, its fine.
Well, I am fine with it, Don declared with a smile, looking down towards him watch, Its not that late. We could just hang out and play some cards or something.
I think that sounds wonderful, Jenna decided with a small nod of her head, I would love to come over.
You are going to love some of the games Dons son comes up with, Hart promised with a small chuckle, Some of them are great. The last one we played
Made a mess, Don finished, rolling his eyes at the remembrance of Matt and Hart making a mess, Dont even get that thought into his head again. I think cards sounds the safest tonight Hart.
Sounds fun, Jenna let out a small laugh before shrugging her shoulders, Just let me say goodbye to some people and then we will be on our way.
Well be here, Hart promised with a small smile before turning towards Don after the women left, Are you sure that Shannon is okay with that?
She seemed fine, Don decided with a small smirk, I think you will be fine, for tonight.
Brant pulled into the darkened lot noting the flickering light overhead.
While hed hoped to meet on a more neutral ground, his private investigator
had insisted upon this place on the other side of town. Looking around the
empty lot, Brant thought of how this place had once seen better days--about
how this part of town had been full of life and spirit when he was a child,
but now it was dead inside and out.
Kind of a somber thought given where he just was, Brant realized pulling his car to a stop. He sat in the drivers seat thinking about his plans for his brother. Sure it might be a long shot, but he couldnt give up on Ken. Heaven knew that there were plenty of times that he wanted to, but now, well now he knew that he had to do something before it was too late. He had to stop Ken before it was too late.
Seeing the iridescent neon lights of the car ahead of him pulling into the lot, Brant immediately recognized the car approaching. He opened the drivers side door walking out just in time to feel a chill creep in over him. Sure, maybe he was overstepping his boundaries with Ken, but he could think of over a hundred thousand reasons why it was best that he did. He couldnt afford to let his brother piss everything away on a woman who truly didnt deserve him.
Sorry for the inconvenience of having us meet here, the man in the car explained stepping out into the beginnings of the evening. He moved forward looking around the empty lot for a minute before reaching into his pocket, I was just getting off of another job--a real messy case where my client is afraid that his wife is having an affair. Of course she is, but you wouldnt believe who it is that shes meeting down here in this part of town. A real big wig and
And I dont really care, Brant wrinkled his nose at the man in front of him, Just tell me that you have something--anything that will help.
I do, the man withdrew an envelope offering up the details of the plan that Brant was putting into order. They werent all that easy to find, but they were much simpler than that Meloni woman you had me looking for not so long ago. Speaking of which, are you still wanting me to work on that case or are we just going to call it a loss and close it up?
Brants thoughts returned to the job hed given his investigator. Flashes of Angela passed through his mind. He remembered clearer than the night the time hed spent with her--the passion that theyd shared and the way hed found himself wanting to get into something with her. Sure, shed thrown him out thinking that he was married, and at the time he hadnt been, but now that Avery was his wife--now that theyd pledged their love together, he supposed he should end the search. It really hadnt been going anywhere and if he had found her, what would he say?
Well, I wasnt married, but now I am and even though I cant stop thinking about you or seeing you in my dreams, I have a wife--one that loves me, so hey it was great seeing you again, Brant thought to himself letting out an ironic laugh at how things had wound up.
So what do you say boss? the man prompted further, You want me to stop searching for Ms. Meloni?
Brant met the mans curious eyes no doubt in his mind that his investigator was awaiting some sleazy tale to follow. Once his investigator left Brant was certain hed eat up the knowledge that Brant had been so desperate to find Angela. It might be better to end the search--to cut it off now before word on the street leaked out that Brant had a mistress, which he most certainly didnt, yet The words that came out surprised even Brant.
No, I dont want you to stop, Brant admitted honestly his thoughts lingering to the woman whod dropped him like a hot potato, I still want you to keep searching for her.
She was quite a looker, wasnt she? the investigator noted, Come to think of it, she reminded me a lot of that pretty wife you have. Speaking of your wife, how is she doing?
Shes fine, Brant scowled swiping the envelope from the man in front of him, You dont worry about her. Just do what I ask of you and well be working fine with one another. Is that understood?
Sure of course boss. I was just saying that your wife is a looker too and the man continued getting a glare from Brant. Okay, okay forget I even mentioned it.
For your sake, I will, Brant grumbled tearing into the envelope his eyes taking in the information the man had uncovered.
So what do you think boss? the man awaited Brants approval knowing full well that the information hed come up with had opened up a door to getting one step closer to where Brant wanted to be, You like?
Very much, Brant nodded reaching into his pocket. He withdrew a wad of bills and handed it over to him, No go find her and do what you have to in order to get her back here
Well I would boss, but I have this other case and its pretty important and the investigator began watching Brant extract another wad of cash from his pocket.
Not as important as this. This should be your top priority starting now, Brant stepped forward tucking the money into the investigators pocket before walking back over to his car, I expect an update soon.
Youve got it boss! the man saluted him before watching Brant drive away. He reached into his pocket eyeing the cash greedily before grinning, Oh boy do I got it boss. If you want results, youre about to get them!
Guy drove his car along the quiet road thinking about everything that had
transpired at the funeral. Taking a moment to glance over at Gabe, he could
see full well that Gabe was lost in a world of contemplations no doubt pondering
about the things that had happened to Jade. Saying nothing Guy reached out
across the front seat of the car to squeeze Gabes knee gently.
A penny for your thoughts, Guy tried to open up a pleasant conversation between them.
You couldnt afford all of them at this point in time, Gabe sighed heavily, his worries consuming him. He eyed Guy for a long moment contemplating his life in general before speaking up again. I just cant believe shes gone. I mean one moment there we both were together and she was finding out she was pregnant. I was there with her when she discovered she was going to be a mother and she was so happy. Granted there were some mixed emotions given the road she had to take to get there, but you shouldve seen the joy behind her eyes.
It makes this situation all the more poignant, Guy added making a turn at the light in front of them towards his apartment.
That it does, Gabe fell to silence one more, although it makes one thing. I mean here Jade was--one of my closest friend even though we hadnt known one another all that long. She had a spirit about her--a zest for life. She was an incredible woman who could make you laugh, make you cry and yet she was so very charming. She had everything ahead of her. She had the man of her dreams, the promise and hope of a family in her future, yet in the blink of an eye jealousy tore that away from her. A woman so full of hatred and evil felt the need to let her envy of all Jade had fought for in her life get the best of her and she stole that happiness from Jade. It was bad enough that she tortured Jade, but to leave her to die in such a cruel and callous way
Theyll find her Gabe, Guy offered up in quiet consolation, One way or another, theyll catch the woman that did this to Jade and shell pay for her sins.
Even if she does, it doesnt bring Jade back. It doesnt allow Jade the opportunity to start anew. She cant be there to watch the birth of her son or daughter. She cant experience the joys of marriage and the wedding that she dreamt about, Gabe sighed lost as the thoughts plagued over him, Shell never know what it was like to be a mother--a grandmother or a woman who finally was able to have the dreams that felt so far from her reach. All those things that shed kept holding out for to happen, never will and no matter how much the woman who did that to her suffers, it wont ever erase that reality.
I know that, Guy nodded poignantly, and its so horrible to think about it especially knowing how wonderful Jade was.
It is, Gabe nodded in response, and in her death I find myself thinking about life--about how just when you think youve got it all figured out, something could and would happen to change that. I mean here you could be making plans for the future--for the rest of your life, yet fate decides that those plans will never come into fruition. Day after day we take for granted the fact that well have forever to make our lives the way that we want them to be, but that simply isnt so. We dont have forever and the longer we wait to hold onto our dreams, the harder it is for us to realize what it is were really doing to ourselves.
Gabe, Guy watched as his lover fell to silence once more. He saw Gabe looking out the window and he reached out to squeeze Gabes leg once more.
Guy Im tired of waiting around for life to happen. Its far too precious for anyone to waste it. Theres no point in being miserable when you should be able to embrace each day loving each moment of who you are and what you have in your life. To be able to keep it at arms length living in a world of lies and secrecy really isnt living at all. Its only stalling the inevitable and I know now that thats not the way I want to live, Gabe closed his eyes feeling the pain behind his words as he continued, Thats what weve been doing Guy. Weve been living in those lies and waiting for the right time to break free of them, but second by second I find that those dreams are getting further and further out of our reach. I feel like every time we make progress, it only takes us a few steps further from where we were before it began.
Gabe, where is this coming from, Guy questioned uneasily not liking the tone in Gabes voice.
This is coming from you running around like were something to be ashamed of. Even at the memorial you acted like we werent together. I cant live like that Guy.
Im not asking you to live like that, but in those extreme circumstances, Guy began desperately sensing the obvious agitation behind his lovers voice.
It wasnt an extreme circumstance. One of my best friends just died and I need you there with me. I need you to be the man I love, not the man you want the world to see. I wanted you to hold me and make me feel like everything would somehow get better--that even though I lost a dear friend that we still had one another and that was what mattered, Gabe shook his head sadly.
That is what matters, Guy insisted reaching for him only to feel Gabe pull away.
Guy, I want a family and a life where I dont have to hide in the shadows. I spent so many years denying who I am--what it was I wanted out of life, but now, well now Ive evolved beyond that man. I know who I am and where I want to be. This isnt at all what Id imagined or what I hoped for. I cant be stuck in the place youre at. I was there once and Ive evolved.
Gabe, I know youre upset with me, but you have to understand, Guy pleaded with him.
I do understand, Gabe nodded poignantly, and thats why it makes this all the more difficult for me. Guy, the truth to the matter is that were at different places in our lives at this moment in time. We want different things. We have different needs and no matter how hard we try to pretend that we dont, we do. Im ready to find a life partner--someone I can share everything with. I want a man who can help me raise my daughter and who isnt afraid of who he is on the inside. You on the other hand, youre still stuck in the confusion and worry about admitting the truth behind your heart. Ive been in that place and I cant fault you for feeling that way. I cant point a finger at you and tell you youre wrong for not wanting to tell your mother or your family about the man you are, but at the same time I cant wait around forever for you to finally break free of the chains that hold you down. I cant sit idle and hope that one day we might be able to share our lives together and that maybe just maybe we can have the dreams that we talked about with one another. I need more than talk at this point. Losing Jade made me realize that I cant keep waiting for something that may never come.
It will come Gabe. I just need more time to Guy tried to plead with him.
Guy what you need is to face the truth in your heart before you can commit to a relationship. I love you, but I cant keep waiting like this. Even though I hate to do this, Gabe looked away unable to face his lover at tears threatened, Guy I wont do this any longer. I need to get my priorities in order and this isnt working.
Dont say that. Please Gabe dont let this go where I think youre headed, Guy reached for him again only to feel Gabe brush his hand aside.
As much as it kills me to say this, its really for the best, Gabe blurted out choked up on his own emotions, Guy its over.
Kellen, Kipp caught up to Kellen, grabbing him by the arm and
making him turn around. Kellen, please--just hear me out. Thats
all I need.
I dont want to hear it Kipp, I really dont, Kellen decided, going to leave again, but Kipp wouldnt let go of his arm, Kipp, I dont think you get it. Heather is a user and is just plain evil. Look what she does to you.
Where in the world is that coming from Kellen? Kipp questioned, tensing his eyebrows at Kellens comments. This seemed so different from what Kellen was usually like. Kellen sounded like a whole different person at this moment in time. I dont understand why you wont give Heather a second chance because I thought you were all about letting people have second chances Kellen.
Kipp, I know the type that Heather is and she is taking advantage of your good nature, Kellen explained, shaking his head slowly, You are just being stupid and all when it comes to letting her walk all over you. I want to make sure you dont get hurt Kipp, but with all my help all you are still doing is throwing yourself out to the sharks.
Well, I think I should at least try for Charles, Kipp pointed out, folding his arms in front of his chest watching as Kellen threw his hands up in the air, Why dont you want to understand that Kellen? Of all people I thought you would understand.
Oh, I understand fully, Kellen stated, nodding slowly as his light blue eyes met Kipps, I understand that you are being an idiot. Heather is never, ever going to love you Kipp. Why cant you see that? All she is ever going to do is hurt you. Youll give her a second chance and then the second chance will turn into the third. Then, the next thing you know--you are giving her the thirtieth chance. You are never going to learn that Heather in never going to give you what you need.
What is it that you think I need Kellen? Kipp questioned, throwing his hands up in the air. If you know, I would like to know because I am not so clear on this. So what is it?
This, Kellen grabbed Kipp by the sides of his face and pulled him forward into a kiss.
Kellen ran his hand to the back of Kipps head as his lips caressed
Kipps slowly. Kellen felt Kipps hand run in over his shoulders
before Kellen broke the kiss.
Kipp watched breathlessly as Kellen got into his car and turned it on. Kellen rolled down his window and glared at Kipp with his steal blue eyes.
But you cant have that Kipp, Kellen began, shaking his
head slowly, because you arent gay. You would rather be Heathers
pussy boy forever.
Kipp watched speechless as Kellen drove away. He was stunned and couldnt say a thing about what just happened.
Avery, Sarah accidentally bumped into Avery as she left the room
that Kyle had left her in earlier, Im sorry I didnt mean
to run into you like that.
Dont worry about it, Avery hushed before looking behind Sarah to see if she could see Kyle anywhere, Hey, do you know where Kyle is? Grady has lost it and I didnt know if he had gone to Kyle to talk or something. Grady just went crazy.
What happened to him? Sarah questioned with a small gasp as Avery frowned and looked towards the ground as she began to explain what happened earlier in the lobby with Grady and Cameron. They had quite the fight earlier and Grady surely didnt leave happy from that scene.
Well, Cameron showed up earlier and he has pushed Grady beyond the edge and I must say I am really worried about Grady. I havent seen him for a while and I figured he might be talking to his best friend since those two seem to be really close and could understand each other a lot better than the most of us.
Thats horrible about what happened with Cameron, Sarah pointed out before thinking for a second, I havent seen Kyle in a while either. He got a phone call earlier and just walked out to take that call. Im kind of worried about him too. He was acting really strange too when he left.
You think they could together? Avery questioned with a slight worry, seeing Sarah shrug. I hope they are, thats the only time they seem to be calm.
Well, lets go see if we can find them, Sarah nodded slowly before walking out towards the lobby, I am sure that they are together. We probably have nothing to worry about.
I hope so, Avery sighed, following Sarah closely, The two have been acting really odd lately. I just hope that they are here and staying out of trouble.
Im sure that they are just right out in front, Sarah assured her with a small frown, I dont think that Kyle would just up and leave without telling anyone something.
Youre right, Avery agreed, taking a step ahead of Sarah, Lets see if we can find them in here first. Maybe they are in one of the other rooms.
What are you saying Susan? Kyle questioned, with a slight bit
of eagerness behind his voice. Are you saying that you want to meet
Thats exactly what I mean, Susan answered with a deep sigh as Kyle pulled some paper from his pocket, Will you be able to meet me?
Depends, Kyle pondered, shrugging his shoulders to himself, How do I know I can trust you? How do I know that you wont pull the same thing you did to me last time?
Kyle, trust me, Susan began with a deep breath, shaking her head slowly, This is really important. I would never do anything to hurt you. I promise you that. I know my promises arent worth much, but they are something.
Alright, Kyle nodded slowly before pulling a pen out from his jacket pocket, Tell me where you want me to meet you and I will be there soon.
Kyle took down the directions before looking down at what he wrote. There was no turning back from this. The place she had told him to meet her was basically in the middle of nowhere, but he could handle it.
Meet me there in an hour, Susan ordered as Kyle nodded to himself, Ill see you there.
Right, Kyle nodded slowly before hanging up his cell phone. He looked at the directions before walking towards his car. He wasnt going to tell anyone where he was going. He was going to take Susan down for everything she has done to hurt everyone.
You arent doing this on your own Kyle, Grady whispered to himself, walking out from the spot he was hidden behind. He heard Kyles conversation on the phone and he wasnt about to let Kyle have all the fun.
Grady quickly got in his car and followed Kyles car as it pulled out into traffic. It was Showtime.
...to be continued...