Episode 241

“What the…” Kevin’s attention left the conversation he’d been having with his cousin when he’d 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 Grady’s attack. Feeling his own anger weigh upon him Seth marched forward weaving his way through the crowd. Kevin followed knowing that this couldn’t 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. Grady’s jaw clenched with anger, his words raw and broken by his emotions, “You have no right to be here!”

“I’m 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 would’ve 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 it’s 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 could’ve sworn that she looked familiar. If he wasn’t mistaken then it could’ve been… Kevin’s 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.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Cameron replied stubbornly hearing the sounds of Grady’s protests as Seth fought to control Grady’s 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 Seth’s hold on him. He was still shouting and screaming about Cameron’s arrival. All eyes were on him and while she couldn’t 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 doesn’t have a right to be here. He did nothing but make Jade’s 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 didn’t do--for something that I never should’ve 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.

“She’s right son,” Elliot pushed his way through the crowd moving in beside Grady, “You can’t let him destroy you. He shouldn’t have shown up today, but you need to keep…”

“Keep what?” Grady demanded harshly, “Can’t you see he’s already destroyed me? He’s already taken away the thing that mattered most in this world? If he would’ve just left well enough alone and let me be happy with Jade, then none of this would’ve happened.”

“I hate him too Grady, but we can’t be like this. We can’t 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 he’d brought into their lives. Remembering how Cameron had attempted to blackmail him into doing his bidding, Seth’s 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 he’d help me get out of jail. He put me in there so that I couldn’t protect her. He’s the one who kept us away from one another and left her vulnerable to Susan’s evil,” Grady blurted out sourly, “He’s 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 don’t 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 don’t 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 he’s done. He tried to kill me so that he could have Jade and when that didn’t work, I’m sure he offered her up to the demon herself.”

“Grady, you don’t know that,” Avery started up hating to see him this upset.

“Given what you know about him--about what he’s done, how can you even question it,” Grady questioned harshly his eyes fixed upon Avery’s, “You know what he did to try to keep Jade and I apart and now, well now he’s won. I’ll never have her back and…”

“Susan was the one who did this. She’s the one who…” Avery reminded him once again.

“That still doesn’t change what happened. It doesn’t erase the time he stole from me with Jade and I won’t forget that. If it wasn’t for him, then I could’ve been there for her. I could’ve…”

“Grady stop. If you don’t calm down, then you’re going to hurt yourself. You’re going to…” Elliot touched his son’s 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 don’t 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 don’t you save it for someone who is in need of your consoling Avery? All of you why don’t you find someone else who wants to hear all the excuses because I sure as hell don’t! It doesn’t change the fact that I lost the love of my life because of that man. For that I’ll always hate him and I’ll 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 Cameron’s 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 don’t,” 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 didn’t love her like everyone in there did. She was a real good person Cameron, she wasn’t 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 didn’t deserve any of this. Even if you people don’t 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 that’s 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 it’s 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 Cameron’s 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 don’t know a damn thing about me and my family. If you ever say something like that again Cameron, I swear I will…”

“You’ll do what Kevin?” Cameron questioned with anger behind his deep voice. “What are you going to do Kevin? I’ll 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 don’t 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 don’t 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 Kevin’s arm lightly, making him turn around quickly. “Hey, I didn’t mean to scare you, I was coming out to check on you.”

“It’s okay,” Kevin hushed, taking in a deep breath, “I am just a little jumpy. That’s all.”

“You’re 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. “Don’t worry about Cameron, he just likes to make people feel bad. He’s just a jerk.”

“I really don’t want to talk about him right now,” Kevin declared, pausing to think for a second, “You know, I don’t even want to think about him right now. It doesn’t matter, I don’t 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 can’t believe this is happening,” Seth hissed, pacing back and forth in the room as Blake reached out to touch him. “I can’t believe that he would have the nerve.”

“Hey, it’s okay,” Ben hushed with a small sigh, stepping in front of his friend, “Just calm down. You can’t 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 Cameron’s fault. He put Jade in danger by leaving her open to Susan’s attack while Grady was in jail.”

“As much as I hate that man Seth,” Blake began with a small frown, seeing Seth’s eyes reach hers as she began to speak up about what Cameron had done, “I don’t entirely believe it’s all his fault. Susan was just crazy.”

“No, I don’t 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 didn’t 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 couldn’t have either. You don’t know Seth. He could be telling the truth when he says he had nothing to do with it.”

“I don’t 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.”

“Don’t think of anything crazy Seth,” Blake begged with a frown, squeezing his shoulder lightly, “You can’t 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 can’t do anything to hurt Cameron because that karma will just come back to kick you right in the behind. I don’t think you deserve any more bad in your life.”

“One little thing Diane,” Seth paused for a moment before shaking his head, “I really don’t believe in karma at this point, so it won’t hurt me any. Anyways, with whatever I do Cameron--he well deserves it.”

“Just don’t 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, “It’s just really hard Ben. I don’t think you know how hard it is. I am really trying.”

“You’re doing great Seth,” Ben assured him with a small smile, “I wouldn’t 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 Grady’s face when he stormed out of the church. She knew he shouldn’t be alone at a time like this, yet she’d been at a loss of things to say. He had been right. He was more right than she’d even begun to imagine about Cameron, yet in the name of trying to ease his pain, she’d 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 Grady’s 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…”

“I’m 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 Cameron’s arrival. “I hate to do this, but we have to leave. There’s someone I need to speak to and if I don’t do it now…”

“Brant I can’t just leave now,” she frowned up at him, “Didn’t 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 I’d love to hear the story, I can’t wait on this Avery. I can’t 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, “I’m sure that Grady will be fine and…”

“I don’t think he’s ever going to be fine Brant. You didn’t 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.

“I’m sure in his mind he most certainly had a definite purpose and that was to cause trouble. That’s what he thrives on,” Brant cast a glance over the room, “It’s what makes him who he is, but I’m sure that Grady can get a handle on it.”

“Brant, I’m 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. That’s not like him and…”

“And as much as I’d 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 Ken’s been to the bank and he’s been pulling out some funds there for some kind of investment…” Brant informed her with a heavy sigh.

“What?” Avery’s jaw practically dropped.

“Apparently he went over there this morning and took out a hundred thousand. The person who called didn’t get into the specifics, but Avery if he keeps spending like that,” Brant replied worriedly, “I mean it’s not like that will break me, but…”

“But he shouldn’t be doing that. You’re right,” Avery finally nodded, “Michelle is trouble and if he’s 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 Grady’s mental condition on top of all else.

“Avery, if I don’t 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,” Brant’s dark eyes pleaded with her once more.

Avery thought about it for a long, grueling moment knowing that she’d 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. I’ll 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 brother’s recent bout of stupidity, he knew that this wasn’t 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 you’d come with me, but I don’t 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, “I’m positive and for what it’s worth good luck.”

Avery stepped up on her toes to kiss Brant’s cheek gently.

“Thanks,” he tipped down to reciprocate her gesture with a small kiss on the lips, “I think I’m 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 it’s perfect,” Michelle beamed excitedly standing in the center of the empty warehouse, “This place is exactly what the group needs to get it’s feet off of the ground, although I’m not sure the price is really within the range that we were hoping for.”

“Don’t worry about price,” Ken reached out to pull Michelle into his arms. She leaned into him readily feeling his finger curl underneath her chin, “It’s taken care of.”

“Ken, I can’t 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 you’d mentioned that other place, but when you told me where it was, I knew that it wasn’t going to be good for anyone. It’s 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, “we’ve been through this place three times. It’s 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 don’t have your friend here like you said he’d be. You said that you thought that maybe you could get him to go down on the price, yet I’m 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 she’d 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 he’s not coming.”

“What do you mean he’s 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 you’d 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 it’s 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 I’m 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 don’t have to fall to their madness. I mean okay so maybe this isn’t the best approach to therapy there since I’m 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 you’ve 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, I’m sure things will fall into place. I can get started on the contractors later this week and…”

“I can’t believe you’re doing all of this. I mean okay, so maybe I could see how you’d 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 I’m 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 didn’t 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 you’ve been through in your life, I can only imagine the pain you felt when I treated you like some kind of plaything…”

“It’s alright Ken,” Michelle dropped her eyes, batting her eyelashes at him before speaking up quietly, “I’m used to it. I‘m used to men thinking of me as a sex object and nothing more. That‘s what they perceive when they‘re around me most of the time. You just learn to adjust.”

“Well you shouldn’t 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 you’re less of a woman like I did, well he shouldn’t be able to have that kind of power. He doesn’t deserve you or your faith in him. I know that I didn’t really deserve a second chance, but now that you’ve given me one, I promise that I’m 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 other’s secrets and dreams. I want to know what it is behind those dark eyes of yours that always has you seemingly lost even when you’re smiling.”

“I’m 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 couldn’t 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 doesn’t matter,’ she added quickly sliding her arms around his shoulders, “Right now all that’s important is that I held on knowing full well the man you could be. He’s the man that I want to know better--the man that I want to fall in love with. He’s the man that one day I’d 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 I’d 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 we’ll fall into what feels right.”

“I couldn’t 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 that’s 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. They’d 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 couldn’t be better!


Kellen shut Kipp’s 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.

“I’m in the baby’s 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 Kipp’s 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 Heather‘s 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 don’t 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 don’t 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 it’s 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?”

“What’s 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 can’t support this. She’s 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 can’t believe this,” Gabe whispered taking in everything that had happened at the memorial service leading up to Cameron’s arrival. Remembering the stories that Jade had told him about Cameron and his evil, Gabe too felt his blood boil.

“I don’t 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 wasn’t fair,” Guy touched Gabe’s shoulder gently.

“No, it wasn’t,” Gabe shook his head turning towards his lover. He reached out to touch Guy’s 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 didn’t want to live the rest of his life that way. He didn’t 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 wasn’t until Jade’s 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 don’t we go home?” Guy suggested sensing the sorrow burning behind Gabe’s 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 he’d never let go wishing like hell that fate wouldn’t deliver the same cruel blow to his relationship. He felt Guy’s 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 wasn’t entirely true. Gabe seemed a bit shell-shocked himself, but Guy was doing his best to cover for what they’d just shared much to Gabe’s dismay.

“Judy right,” Guy replied clearing his throat uneasily, “You’re my father’s…”

“Friend,” Judy finished for him seeing the discomfort behind Guy’s eyes, “I take it you were friends with Jade.”

“I didn’t 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. Grady’s kind of been like family since Avery was married to Russ and…”

“And it’s a terrible loss,” Judy replied with a nod catching Gabe’s look of annoyance at Guy’s uneasiness, “It’s 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 you’ll 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 lover’s 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. I’ll 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 hadn’t meant to upset him, but with Judy around and the fact that they’d appeared to be so close and…

“He’ll 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 it’s 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.”

“I’m 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.

“It’s not my house,” Shannon pointed out with a small laugh, she really didn’t think much of Hart, but if he was Don’s friend she could deal with him for a little while. “As long as Don is okay with it, it’s fine.”

“Well, I am fine with it,” Don declared with a smile, looking down towards him watch, “It’s 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 Don’s 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, “Don’t 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.”

“We’ll 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 he’d 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 driver’s seat thinking about his plans for his brother. Sure it might be a long shot, but he couldn’t 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 driver’s 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 couldn’t afford to let his brother piss everything away on a woman who truly didn’t 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 wouldn’t believe who it is that she’s meeting down here in this part of town. A real big wig and…”

“And I don’t 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 weren’t 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?”

Brant’s thoughts returned to the job he’d given his investigator. Flashes of Angela passed through his mind. He remembered clearer than the night the time he’d spent with her--the passion that they’d shared and the way he’d found himself wanting to get into something with her. Sure, she’d thrown him out thinking that he was married, and at the time he hadn’t been, but now that Avery was his wife--now that they’d pledged their love together, he supposed he should end the search. It really hadn’t been going anywhere and if he had found her, what would he say?

“Well, I wasn’t married, but now I am and even though I can’t 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 man’s curious eyes no doubt in his mind that his investigator was awaiting some sleazy tale to follow. Once his investigator left Brant was certain he’d 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 didn’t, yet… The words that came out surprised even Brant.

“No, I don’t want you to stop,” Brant admitted honestly his thoughts lingering to the woman who’d dropped him like a hot potato, “I still want you to keep searching for her.”

“She was quite a looker, wasn’t 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?”

“She’s fine,” Brant scowled swiping the envelope from the man in front of him, “You don’t worry about her. Just do what I ask of you and we’ll 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 Brant’s approval knowing full well that the information he’d 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 it’s 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 investigator’s pocket before walking back over to his car, “I expect an update soon.”

“You’ve 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, you’re 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 Gabe’s knee gently.

“A penny for your thoughts,” Guy tried to open up a pleasant conversation between them.

“You couldn’t 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 can’t believe she’s 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 should’ve 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 hadn’t 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…”

“They’ll find her Gabe,” Guy offered up in quiet consolation, “One way or another, they’ll catch the woman that did this to Jade and she’ll pay for her sins.”

“Even if she does, it doesn’t bring Jade back. It doesn’t allow Jade the opportunity to start anew. She can’t be there to watch the birth of her son or daughter. She can’t experience the joys of marriage and the wedding that she dreamt about,” Gabe sighed lost as the thoughts plagued over him, “She’ll 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 she’d kept holding out for to happen, never will and no matter how much the woman who did that to her suffers, it won’t ever erase that reality.”

“I know that,” Guy nodded poignantly, “and it’s 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 you’ve 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 we’ll have forever to make our lives the way that we want them to be, but that simply isn’t so. We don’t have forever and the longer we wait to hold onto our dreams, the harder it is for us to realize what it is we’re 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 Gabe’s leg once more.

“Guy I’m tired of waiting around for life to happen. It’s far too precious for anyone to waste it. There’s 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 arm’s length living in a world of lies and secrecy really isn’t living at all. It’s only stalling the inevitable and I know now that that’s not the way I want to live,” Gabe closed his eyes feeling the pain behind his words as he continued, “That’s what we’ve been doing Guy. We’ve 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 Gabe’s voice.

“This is coming from you running around like we’re something to be ashamed of. Even at the memorial you acted like we weren’t together. I can’t live like that Guy.”

“I’m not asking you to live like that, but in those extreme circumstances,” Guy began desperately sensing the obvious agitation behind his lover’s voice.

“It wasn’t 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 don’t 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 I’ve evolved beyond that man. I know who I am and where I want to be. This isn’t at all what I’d imagined or what I hoped for. I can’t be stuck in the place you’re at. I was there once and I’ve evolved.”

“Gabe, I know you’re upset with me, but you have to understand,” Guy pleaded with him.

“I do understand,” Gabe nodded poignantly, “and that’s why it makes this all the more difficult for me. Guy, the truth to the matter is that we’re 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 don’t, we do. I’m 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 isn’t afraid of who he is on the inside. You on the other hand, you’re still stuck in the confusion and worry about admitting the truth behind your heart. I’ve been in that place and I can’t fault you for feeling that way. I can’t point a finger at you and tell you you’re wrong for not wanting to tell your mother or your family about the man you are, but at the same time I can’t wait around forever for you to finally break free of the chains that hold you down. I can’t 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 can’t 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 can’t keep waiting like this. Even though I hate to do this,” Gabe looked away unable to face his lover at tears threatened, “Guy I won’t do this any longer. I need to get my priorities in order and this isn’t working.”

“Don’t say that. Please Gabe don’t let this go where I think you’re headed,” Guy reached for him again only to feel Gabe brush his hand aside.

“As much as it kills me to say this, it’s really for the best,” Gabe blurted out choked up on his own emotions, “Guy it’s over.”


“Kellen,” Kipp caught up to Kellen, grabbing him by the arm and making him turn around. “Kellen, please--just hear me out. That’s all I need.”

“I don’t want to hear it Kipp, I really don’t,” Kellen decided, going to leave again, but Kipp wouldn’t let go of his arm, “Kipp, I don’t 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 Kellen’s comments. This seemed so different from what Kellen was usually like. Kellen sounded like a whole different person at this moment in time. “I don’t understand why you won’t 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 don’t 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 don’t 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 Kipp’s, “I understand that you are being an idiot. Heather is never, ever going to love you Kipp. Why can’t you see that? All she is ever going to do is hurt you. You’ll 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 Kipp’s head as his lips caressed Kipp’s slowly. Kellen felt Kipp’s 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 can’t have that Kipp,” Kellen began, shaking his head slowly, “because you aren’t gay. You would rather be Heather’s pussy boy forever.”

Kipp watched speechless as Kellen drove away. He was stunned and couldn’t 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, “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to run into you like that.”

“Don’t 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 didn’t 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 didn’t 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 haven’t 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.”

“That’s horrible about what happened with Cameron,” Sarah pointed out before thinking for a second, “I haven’t seen Kyle in a while either. He got a phone call earlier and just walked out to take that call. I’m 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, that’s the only time they seem to be calm.”

“Well, let’s 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.”

“I’m sure that they are just right out in front,” Sarah assured her with a small frown, “I don’t think that Kyle would just up and leave without telling anyone something.”

“You’re right,” Avery agreed, taking a step ahead of Sarah, “Let’s 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 me?”

“That’s 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 won’t 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 aren’t 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, “I’ll see you there.”

“Right,” Kyle nodded slowly before hanging up his cell phone. He looked at the directions before walking towards his car. He wasn’t going to tell anyone where he was going. He was going to take Susan down for everything she has done to hurt everyone.

“You aren’t doing this on your own Kyle,” Grady whispered to himself, walking out from the spot he was hidden behind. He heard Kyle’s conversation on the phone and he wasn’t about to let Kyle have all the fun.

Grady quickly got in his car and followed Kyle’s car as it pulled out into traffic. It was Showtime.


...to be continued...