Episode 247

Shannon walked into the hospital room thinking about the long night she was ready to put behind her. She’d had more than enough of dealing with Deidra. Just thinking about what that self-centered nagging wannabe victim did to her partner burned her even now. When Shannon thought about how Deidra had compromised Dean’s cover--compromised the work that they’d dedicated themselves to for the last five years, Shannon was mad. No mad didn’t even begin to cover what she was feeling. She was absolutely livid and someone was going to answer for it. So what if Dave Warner wanted to bitch and moan about her decision to arrest Deidra. She’d crossed one too many lines and now it was time for her to just deal with the consequences of jumping to way off conclusions.

“Shannon you’re being ridiculous,” Dave had tried to appeal to her--attempted to get her to change her mind about Deidra, but as Shannon’s eyes fell upon her partner who was now laying in the hospital bed with an IV in his arm, she knew full well she’d made the right decision.

“If Deidra doesn’t like it, it’s too damn bad,” Shannon had scowled at Dave before taking off to see her fallen partner.

Stepping in closer to Dean, she watched his eyes open and a faint smile spilled over his way too pale features. She moved in closer seeing him offer up a small sigh of recognition.

“I’ll bet you’re wanting to finish the job Deidra started on me last night for my blowing our case, huh,” Dean asked his eyelashes fluttering as he exhaled a slow, strained breath. “I screwed up this time, didn’t I?”

“I’m so far from feeling that way Dean,” Shannon replied honestly, her heart going out to him after she remembered the way he’d come to her only a few weeks earlier concerned about getting too involved in the case--about how he’d fallen for Deidra and he didn’t want to hurt her. Shannon had tried to reason with him--tried to get him to see that he needed to step back, but he’d convinced himself that he was in love with Deidra and look at just what love got him.

Shannon shook her head at the thought knowing full well that love was nothing more than a pain in the ass. Dean was living proof of that now that the woman he ‘loved’ had taken to carving out his abdomen for her own kicks and giggles. However, she wasn’t going to stew over that right now. She carefully reached into the bag she was carrying pulling out the box she’d brought with her before setting it down on the nightstand beside his bed.

“Hungry?” she couldn’t help but ask knowing that he had to be in a great deal of pain.

“Why? You trying to kill me with greasy hospital food,” Dean offered up with a small smile, his eyes opening again to see her holding out a box of donuts. “Even better…you’re trying to kill me for sure now.”

“Chalk it up as my giving a damn about you,” she replied shoving a glazed donut in his mouth before he could protest.

“Gee thanks,” Dean lifted his hand to tear off a piece of the donut before swallowing what she’d shoved down his throat. “I appreciate it.”

“And I’ll appreciate it a hell of a lot more when you get yourself healed,” she replied honestly, her eyes filled with obvious concern, “You really put yourself in the line of fire last night Dean and that worries me. If Deidra can do this to you, then…”

“I don’t want to hear it Shannon,” he frowned up at her, taking another uneasy bite of his donut. “I just wasn’t prepared for what happened last night.”

“Obviously,” she shook her head at him disapprovingly, “You let your libido put you in danger, but hopefully you’ve learned that wasn’t a smart thing to do.”

“Deidra was frightened,” Dean argued with her his frown expanding. “She thought that I was going to hurt her. She saw the case files that Callaway sent to me and…”

“And nothing,” Shannon shook her head firmly, “There was no excuse for what she did to you. None what so ever and I don’t give a damn what her feeble defense was. I don’t buy it for a second. She crossed one too many lines.”

“Shannon, are you hearing a word I’m saying to you?” Dean questioned seeing the heavy agitation behind her eyes, “Deidra thought I was just like Mathis. She saw the photos and…”

“Instead of asking you about them, she reacted and damn near cost you your life there Dean,” she reminded him with a groan, “Reality check here is buddy that while you might think you love her, she didn’t trust you enough to ask you what that was all about.”

“Would you have done anything different in her shoes?” Dean countered her statement.

“Of course I would’ve,” she wrinkled her nose at him, reaching for a donut herself, “I would’ve used my brain to think that maybe just maybe there was something more going on than met the eye. I mean um hello anyone with any inkling of common sense knows that the photos you had were from the FBI computers.”

“She just saw it briefly and it was a long day,” Dean tried to reason with her again, “We were very…”

“Very what?” Shannon began to ask, but his face said it all, “Oh Dean, please don’t tell me that you are letting sex get in the way of your focus.”

“Gee, you say that like it’s never happened to you before,” he tossed up at her pointedly, “I mean can I help it if I found myself falling for her? I mean it’s not like I ran off and got drunk and realized the next morning I was married.”

“That was a horrible pot shot,” she wrinkled her nose at him, “and besides this isn’t about me.”

“No?” Dean arched a curious brow, “Shannon, tell me something. Are you really angry about my blowing my cover or more so about the fact that I actually fell in love with someone?”

“Why would I care if you fell in love with someone,” Shannon groaned before adding, “which by the way you haven’t considering that she carved you up like a turkey. That’s not love.”

“I’ll admit it seems strange, but it is love. I’ve never felt anything for anyone like I have for her,” Dean continued thinking about the woman he cared about. Remembering the horrified expression on her face when she’d stabbed him had said it all. He closed his eyes again wishing he would’ve played things differently--that he could’ve done things in a much better way--stopped playing it safe.

“If that’s love, then I’ve got news for you Dean. You need to get another psych evaluation and soon,” she grumbled in response.

“Oh come on Shannon. Just because you’re not willing to admit that you’re in love with your husband doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to be closed off with our emotions,” he sighed heavily, feeling the weight of his injuries bringing an exhaustion over him.

“Oh right,” she rolled her eyes at him, “and your being vulnerable to Deidra damn near cost you your life. Think for a second Dean. Really think about this one.”

“I have thought about it--” he sighed turning his attention to her once again, “Last night it was all that I could keep thinking about.”

“Yeah, well while you were relying on my husband to re-stitch you up after that horrible job you did yourself,” she grumbled back at him, “I was taking care of the situation with Deidra before it escalated.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” he questioned blankly.

“Let’s just say that she’s been dealt with and she won’t be a problem again,” Shannon boasted proudly taking a seat in the chair beside his bed.

“What do you mean she’s been dealt with?” he frowned over at her. “Shannon?”

“I had her thrown in jail,” she explained munching on the donut she’d extracted from the box moments earlier, “We’ll just see if she’s ready to use her surgical skills on anyone in there. I’m sure they won’t take too kindly to that kind of behavior either.”

“Shannon, how could you do that?” he asked horrified.

“Hey, she won’t be in harm’s way any longer. Bruce won’t be able to get her and that’s what we were hoping for,” she shrugged reaching for another glazed donut. “I mean hey that’s probably what we should’ve done in the first place.”

“Shannon I…” Dean’s jaw dropped.

“Hey, I’m doing you a favor. She’s crazy--far beyond the reports on her claimed she was. I did you a favor,” she paused thinking about how she’d launched an attack at Deidra last night, “Did myself one too because I was ready to kill her once I’d heard what she did to you. Now she can be safe and sound in her little ten by ten cell. And hey she gets a bonus meal that she won‘t have to strain over making herself.”

Dean’s eyes just watched her in a state of disbelief seeing the expression that washed over her. “Shannon, that’s the last thing you should’ve done.”

“What?” she replied eyeing him as if he’d just said the craziest thing she’d ever heard, “what did you just say?”

“I said that’s the last thing you should’ve done. I didn’t want that,” he explained with a low groan, “Deidra shouldn’t be locked up for last night. She was terrified and thought she was defending herself. I can’t blame her for her thinking I was some kind of lunatic. When she walked in and saw what I had there--what I’d so foolishly left on the monitor when I’d heard a noise outside, well, it’s a wonder that her stabbing me was all she did.”

“Dean, don’t make excuses for her,” she replied harshly, “that’s not at all what you should be doing considering that she could’ve killed you.”

“And if she had, I probably would’ve deserved it for lying to her,” he sighed a groan spilling over his lips as he moved a bit too much for comfort.

“Hey, lay down,” she warned him firmly watching his face divided with pain and frustration.

“Shannon, I love her,” Dean blurted out trying to convey his message to his friend, “I care about her and that’s the last thing I want. I don’t want her in jail. I just want to find a way to make this up to her--to try to get her to see that I didn’t want to lie to her. I want to apologize for…”

“For what?” she blinked back at him, “Dean are you some kind of idiot or something? The woman stabbed you. How in the world could you still love her after that?”

“Because I brought this on myself,” Dean spoke up in an impassioned tone, “I love her and I lead her on--I kept her in the dark about my true intentions, but now, well now I wish I hadn’t. I’d give anything to have her back again--anything to just hold her once more.”

“Okay obviously you lost more blood than they realized as it’s started to effect your sense of logic,” she remarked sourly.

“No, I’m fully aware of what it is I’m saying. The fact to the matter is that I love Deidra and I hope like hell that one day she can find it in her heart to forgive me for all of this,” he finished praying that he hadn’t blown his chance at a future with Deidra by deceiving her. He hoped that somehow he could find a way to get her to listen to him--if only for him to explain the truth behind his heart before they said good-bye.


Dave paced around his office eagerly awaiting the phone call from Travis Callaway. While he’d fought Shannon tooth and nail to drop her ridiculous charges against Deidra, she hadn’t budged. Furthermore she’d direct him to take up his complaint with her supervisor, which was what he’d been trying to do all morning, but he’d found himself getting nowhere. He heard a knock on his door and Carly stepped into his office looking rather exhausted.

“Any luck,” she questioned in a quiet voice.

He shook his head, “No, but when I see Shannon again, I swear that I’m going to…”

“To what Dave?” Carly replied arching a curious brow. “You know as much as you hate to see it, Deidra did stab a federal agent.”

“Thinking that he was a serial killer,” Dave argued with her. “Given that she was a victim of a madman once before, it’s only natural that she do what she felt she had to in order to survive.”

“Okay on some level I get that Dave, but still you keep talking about Deidra like she was one of the ones that Mathis attacked,” Carly argued with him making a small step towards his desk, “From what I saw she wasn’t like the other victims. He didn’t rape her. She went to him willingly and she bailed after guilt racked over her. She didn’t have him dish out any violence on her, but rather she was a willing participant in casual sex with a stranger. That’s not a crime.”

“It is when someone manipulated her into it,” Dave argued with her, “I’m sure if her head was clear, then she never would’ve…”

“And why not?” Carly questioned harshly, “because she’s St. Deidra who can do no wrong? Dave, in case you haven’t noticed Deidra seems to keep finding herself in the wrong bed and when it goes sour, she keeps running back to you.”

“Carly, she slept with a serial killer,” Dave snapped at her.

“And she lived to tell the tale. She isn’t like Trisha Merhan who was violated and then cut up,” she reminded him pointedly, “She wasn’t left in some back alley for the rats or anything else that lurked there. She was one of the lucky ones.”

“Which is why she didn’t deserve this. She was afraid. She knew what Mathis was capable of and if I’d seen those crime photos myself, I’d wonder what Dean was all about,” he tossed back at her rushing over to the phone again. “That’s it. I’m not waiting any longer. I’m calling Callaway back and then I’m going to…”

“Going to what?” Carly moved over to his desk taking the phone from his hands. “In case you haven’t noticed this is out of your hands. It’s a federal situation now and…”

“And you and I both know Shannon made that up simply because her partner was a liar and a manipulator. She’s only attacking Deidra because she’s a victim in all of this. The FBI played her as a pawn in their game and when it went sour, they needed someone to blame--someone to crucify.”

“And you’re saying that they decided to make Deidra the fall guy for all of their faults?” Carly questioned bluntly, “Do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds?”

“No more near ridiculous than their locking her up for stabbing that lying, manipulative creep who hurt her. He’s the one who should be behind bars. He’s the one who should be paying for his deceptions and…” Dave went off on a rant.

“Dave, in case you haven’t noticed he was doing his job. You know as well as I do that he couldn’t just outright blow his cover by clueing her in,” she added knowing full well that Dean wasn’t completely wrong in this scenario.

“Even so if he was working undercover he never, ever should’ve lead her on. He never should’ve seduced her and manipulated her like he did. He never…” his voice rose with sharp venom.

“Dave, she knew what she was getting herself into. Yes, he lied about his career and his motivation for being in town, but she’s the one who ultimately chose to go to his bed. She’s the one who wanted to be with him. He didn’t force that on her,” she added with a huff, “You keep making it sound like he’s no better than Bruce Mathis, but when it gets down to it, Deidra wasn’t physically threatened. Dean didn’t try to hurt her. She just drew her own conclusions and…”

“And you’re trying to tell me that she deserves what’s happened, aren’t you? You’re trying to make me see that she was in the wrong, but guess what. It’s not going to happen,” he announced throwing his hands up in the air, “and I don’t care what I have to do to get Deidra out of here. I will keep pushing to have these charges dropped and then when they are, I’m going after the feds for what they’ve done here.”

“Don’t be stupid Dave,” Carly shook her head at him, “Your having a tantrum isn’t about to help Deidra.”

“And neither is your standing there acting like she deserved all of this,” he mumbled in a state of disgust, “Whose side are you on anyways?”

“I thought I was on yours, but apparently you only see me as the enemy since I‘m not pampering your precious Deidra,” she groaned in response realizing that her being there was getting them both nowhere. She walked over to where she’d set her purse down earlier on one of the chairs. Reaching for it, she pulled it up and tucked it under her arm before moving to the door.

“Wait a second,” Dave watched her open the door to his office, “Where are you going?”

“Home because obviously there’s not enough room for me in here with your concerns for Deidra,” she remarked sourly slamming the door to his office shut as she stomped out.

“Well isn’t this just wonderful!” Dave reached for a coffee mug on his desk and tossed it across the office in a rage. He thought about going after Carly and saying something--about having her come back, but he knew that their fighting wasn’t going to get him anywhere right about now. Plopping down into his desk chair he reached for his phone and tried Travis Callaway’s office again in the hopes of at least gaining some footing in the situation with Deidra. If nothing else he hoped that he could help her fix the mess her life was before he dealt with his own set of problems.


Kellen let out a small yawn as his eyes adjusted to the sun peaking through Kipp’s bedroom window. He let out a small smirk remembering where he was. He fell asleep with Kipp in his arms last night. This was truly a dream come true for him. It wasn’t a dream that was going to disappear right before his eyes. This was real, as real as it was going to get.

“Kipp,” Kellen whispered Kipp’s name, turning around in the bed to see an empty spot next to him where Kipp laid last night with him. He touched the sheets to feel that it was cool, Kipp must have been gone for a while. “He must be with Charles.”

Kellen slowly swung his legs over the side of the bed before standing up and stretching. He let another yawn out before reaching for his shirt that was set at the end of the bed. The sound of more than one voice interested him as he opened the door and slowly walked out into the hallway. He pulled his shirt on before slowly peering out to see who was with Kipp.

“I should have known,” Kellen frowned, noticing Heather and Kipp talking back and forth. The way that Heather and Kipp were laughing had him thinking.

Did Kipp really mean the things he said last night or were they all bull? The way Heather flirted back and forth with Kipp made Kellen worry even more. He knew Kipp would always have feelings for Heather, that was a given. Not because he loved her, but because she had his son. Where could he truly fit in? In some way, it seemed like Kipp still did love Heather deep down, but did he have that feeling for him? Kellen’s eyes scanned the scene before him as Heather reached out to Charles to touch him.

“We have a very handsome son,” Heather’s voice filled his ears as he thought for a moment. It felt like he was the one intruding, like he was the one who shouldn’t be there. Kipp, Heather, and Charles looked like the big, happy family he never had. He couldn’t fit into something like this. “Just like his father.”

“Kellen,” Kipp heard a noise behind him as he turned around and smiled noticing Kellen standing there, “Don’t just stand there, come and have breakfast with us.”

“You know, I’m really not hungry,” Kellen replied, touching his stomach lightly, “Still full from all the food from yesterday. You know, party food always fills you up quicker.”

“That was so long ago Kellen,” Kipp pointed out with a small laugh, getting up from where he was seated to walk over towards Kellen. Kipp grabbed Kellen’s hand in his and led him to the spot across from Heather at the kitchen table. “I left a plate out for you because I was hoping you would wake up soon. Just help yourself.”

“I’m really not that hungry,” Kellen reiterated after a moment before looking across the table at Heather, he wasn’t going to let those two be alone together one moment more. “But on the other hand, it might help me feel a little bit better--I could have a little I guess.”

“Good, I don’t want all of this food to go to waste,” Kipp sighed, snapping his fingers, “I have to go get Charles’s bottle, I will be right back.”

“We’ll be here,” Heather smirked, watching as Kipp walked out of the kitchen and she gave her attention to Kellen. The way that he was looking at her made her let out a small laugh. “What is wrong with you? It looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.”

“What’s the deal Heather?” Kellen questioned, seeing her take a bite of her food before shrugging. “Why don’t you just leave Heather? You know you shouldn’t be here.”

“Now why would I want to do that Kel?” Heather questioned with a small smirk. “There are so many more things for me to enjoy here and not out there in the big world. I have my son, Kipp and the only thing that is being a pain in here is--you.”

“What is your deal with me Heather?” Kellen held his hands up in the air defensively. “What have I ever done to you that has made you want to ruin my life?”

“Believe me, your life could get ruined without my help,” Heather pointed out with a small laugh, “Anyways, I am not trying to ruin your life. I am just trying to make mine better.”

“By stepping on other people?” Kellen eyed Heather for a long moment before hearing Kipp walk back in the room.

“I found it,” Kipp smiled, looking between the two who just seemed to be staring at each other. “Is something going on here or are you two just having a staring contest?”

“Everything is absolutely wonderful Kipp,” Kellen insisted, looking away from Heather to smile up at Kipp, “Why in the world would you possibly think something was wrong?”

“It looked like you were killing each other with your eyes,” Kipp stated with a small shake of his head, “I would really like to know if something was up.”

“I tell you what’s up,” Heather replied, taking a final look at Kellen before smiling back at Kipp, “Your son is waiting for his daddy to come and feed him. Isn’t that right Kellen?”

“Why not?” Kellen rolled his eyes before grabbing something from the table.

Kipp looked between the two before shaking his head slowly. Something was obviously going on, but is showed him that he would have to ask what was up with Kellen when they were alone. He always acted weird around Heather.


“Are you okay?” Diego questioned, reaching out to place his hand over Sarah’s gently as he drove. They decided that they were going to go see if they could reason with Kyle, to make sure that he was okay. “Sarah?”

“I’m fine,” she assured him, looking down at his hand on top of hers, “I am just thinking about Kyle. I wonder if he is okay.”

“He is,” Diego promised with a small sigh, looking down at his watch, “Are you sure that he said he was going to Russ and Avery’s? No where else?”

“He doesn’t have anywhere else to go,” Sarah replied, resting her head against the back of the car seat, “He won’t obviously go to Grady’s anymore.”

“This whole thing will end soon,” Diego insisted with a small sigh. He could only imagine the fire behind the two during their first fight. Kyle and Grady were good people, they would be able to get through this whole thing--hopefully.

“I hope so,” she took in a deep breath, thinking back to what happened right before he left the hospital.

“Kyle, are you okay?” Sarah questioned, running up to Kyle as she saw him step off the elevator. “Are you alright?”

“No,” Kyle replied, looking up at her with his dark, narrow eyes. “I won’t be fine for a long time after what happened tonight Sarah. My best friend betrayed me tonight, I can never forget that. Grady let my baby die tonight Sarah, he let my son or daughter die tonight and he didn’t even think twice about it.”

“Maybe you just need to see it from Grady’s view,” Sarah tried to explain for Grady’s actions before changing the topic, “You don’t even know if Susan was even telling you the truth Kyle. You don’t know if she was using your emotions against you or not.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Kyle snapped, throwing his bloodied hands in the air, “Grady knew that a family was the thing I wanted most in life. Sarah I would have killed myself to save Grady. I would have done anything for him, and the one time that I need him the most--he turns his back on me Sarah. My best friend…well, now it doesn’t even matter to me because Grady is as good as dead.”

“You don’t mean that,” Sarah frowned, reaching out to touch Kyle as he pulled away from her touch.

“I mean that, I mean that more than anything Sarah,” Kyle growled, shaking his head slowly, “Why don’t you do what everyone else has? Go to Grady’s aid, tell him everything will be okay. Tell him that I was the one that was wrong. Tell him that you would have done the same thing that he did--not matter what happened.”

“I’m not going to Grady,” Sarah shook her head slowly, before reaching out to touch his arm lightly, “Kyle, I care about you and I know you are hurting. I am on your side with this one.”

“Bull,” Kyle yelled, seeing the way she looked up at him with her worried eyes, “You wanted her dead just as much as Grady did. You wanted her gone from this world, you would have done the same thing without even thinking twice. You know that just as well as me.”

“Kyle,” she fought for words to say as she felt tears building up behind her eyes, “I never thought that way. All I wanted was you to be safe. All I still want it make sure that you will be okay.”

“Listen, I’m sorry for yelling at you,” he apologized, seeing the tears building up behind her eyes as he reached out to touch her, but thought about it and didn’t. “I just think I need some time to myself Sarah. Some time to think by myself.”

“Where are you going to be?” Sarah wondered, seeing him think for a moment and shrug. “I just want to know where I can find you.”

“I’ll probably just go to where I was welcomed, when Russ was alive that was,” Kyle replied, looking up at her with his intense brown eyes. “Please promise me you won’t follow me Sarah.”

“Kyle, just let me go with you,” she tried to offer up seeing him shake his head slowly, “I’ll be there for you Kyle. I don’t want you to be alone.”

“No Sarah,” Kyle shook his head quickly, looking away from her, “Just stay here with Avery or something. I can’t be around anyone right now, no one understands Sarah. I just need some time to think everything over.”

“Kyle,” Sarah called out his name, watching as he turned around to walk towards the elevator. She reached out and grabbed his hand in hers tightly before feeling him tear himself from her grasp.

“No Sarah,” Kyle raised his voice, the muscle in his jaw tensing as he gave Sarah one last look before getting on the elevator.

She wanted to help Kyle through everything, but it just seemed to be getting harder and harder by the moment. Susan was the one to blame for everything, for everything that she did to Kyle. Susan really screwed up the first time, but this was worse. Telling Kyle that she was pregnant with his son or child was something that would be important to Kyle. Now with what she did, it was tearing his whole world apart. He was avoiding the people he considered his friends and he no longer felt anything for Grady. Grady was Kyle’s best friend for so long and now--with this happening, all those years they had just seemed to disappear right in front of everyone’s faces. There was always the thought that no one should die like that, but Susan had caused so much pain and heartache. Sarah almost felt a relief that Susan was gone--that she couldn’t hurt Kyle again. On some level she wished it wouldn’t have happened, but in many ways it was a good thing.

“What’s on your mind?” Diego questioned with a small frown, squeezing her hand in his tightly.

“Just about everything,” she sighed, looking towards Diego as he let out a deep sigh.

“Don’t worry Sarah,” Diego began with a deep breath, looking over at her, “I promise that I will do whatever I can to help you out with Kyle. We’ll settle everything soon.”


“How could he do this?” Kyle questioned to himself, leaning forward in the couch he was sitting on as he thought about Grady. He had been at Russ and Avery’s old house all night long after Avery told him he could stay there as long as he wanted to. Kyle couldn’t sleep, his mind was filled with so much pain with what happened. “I would have done anything for Grady and this is what I get in return?”

The thing that kept replaying in his mind over and over again was what Susan told him. He was supposed to be a father, something he had dreamed of being for so long. He wanted a family so bad, that almost killed him on the inside. Then right before him, the family he rightly deserved got taken away from him within an instant. For the second time he had to feel the pain of what happened to him. The pain of losing someone who meant so much to you. It was like the scene with Susan was just a replay of his parents when he was younger.

“Maybe I don’t deserve to be happy,” Kyle whispered to himself, closing his eyes as he remembered the sight of his old home where he found his mother and father dead.

When he got the call, he didn’t believe it was true. His father was a brilliant man who he loved and cherished along with his mother. But when he got home that night, when he saw the blood stained through the carpet, he knew that it no longer mattered. His family was unfairly taken away from him. His father was a doctor who would never hurt a fly, he didn’t deserve to die.

“I deserved to have a family,” Kyle opened his eyes after picturing him when he was a child with his mother and father. Even if Kyle was adopted, his parents loved him like they were their own flesh and blood. The person who really ever understood him in life was his mother.

Kyle closed his eyes once more thinking about his child. His son or daughter should have had a chance to have a life. They should have had a chance to step onto this Earth and live a life he didn’t have. Just like his parents, his child was murdered right before him. What he should have had was stolen away within a snap of his fingers.

“Damn you Grady,” Kyle scowled, standing up from where he was sitting and grabbed the table before flipping it over, hearing glass shatter as it hit the floor. “I will get you back for what you did to me. I swear.”

Kyle raised his hands in the air, remembering what it was like to have Susan’s blood all over his hands. In one moment he had the promise of a family and a future before him and in only a few seconds, that was taken away from him. He felt more anger build up behind his body as pushed a few glass items from the counter to the floor. Someone was going to pay for this and that someone was Grady Denton.


Brant opened his eyes feeling the warmth of Avery’s fingers running over his bare chest. He kept his eyes closed thinking about the tantalizing movement her finger tips made over his body--the way that it felt to have her touching him--each little movement offering up a sensual promise of things to come. He could feel her touch teasing off over the drawstring on his pajama pants, dropping in beneath the part in the material to feel his body. He let out a small sigh, his body melding to her touch, feeling her skilled caress causing his blood to simmer, his body to expand against her urgings. He licked his lips feeling her hot kisses over his chest and his fingers tapered off into her dark hair.

“Good morning,” he purred curling his arm around her to draw her nearer into him.

“Good morning,” she mouthed over his heated skin, her tongue trailing wet lines over his body as her hand continued to tease his body to full arousal.

“Avery,” he opened his eyes to see her smiling down at him, her eyes dark and mischievous staring up at him with the very sensual promise of pleasure. Oh how he longed to get lost in her--get lost in the moment as her lips burned over his skin.

It was perfect--a heavenly awakening--that was until he’d thought about the events of the previous evening. He could vividly recall his talk with Kyle--Sarah’s tears and the way Avery had been unrelenting in standing up for Grady even long after the two of them had left the hospital. Even now he could hear her voice singing his praises and offering excuses for his blatantly doing nothing to save a life. That was enough to kill the mood right there.

“Avery stop,” Brant tugged on her shoulders moving him up over her.

“Stop?” she repeated with a small frown feeling him nudge her back onto her side of the bed, “Are you serious?”

“Yeah, I’m very serious,” he nodded in confession a groan spilling from his lips as his body grew tight in protest. “This isn’t going to change things.”

“Change things,” she repeated with wide eyed confusion.

“That’s right,” he slid a bit further away from her hating to have to focus on the ache that she’d stirred up inside of him, “It doesn’t change the way I feel about what happened last night.”

“Brant, I thought we’d moved beyond that,” she frowned back at him, “I mean I know that you were upset last night, but…”

“But nothing,” he shook his head at her hating to bring the argument back into their bedroom, but he couldn’t help himself, “I think that you’re all being just a tad bit irrational here about all of this.”

“Irrational,” Avery repeated surprise evident in her voice, “How do you figure?”

“Well for starters, I think you’re being a bit rough on Kyle in all of this,” Brant blurted out hardly believing the words himself as he’d said them. “He just lost a child and everyone is walking around trying to pamper Grady.”

“We’re not pampering Grady.” she argued with him, “He’s hurting right now and…”

“And you can’t tell me that Kyle isn’t,” Brant reminded her harshly, “He’s not only dealing with being drugged, but with the idea that his child was murdered last night.”

“For all we know there wasn’t any baby Brant,” Avery added groaning inwardly, “You know what a liar Susan is and…”

“And nothing. You should’ve let up on him when he came back in to talk to Sarah. The man was upset and neither you nor Sarah seemed to be cutting him any slack,” he shook his head at her feeling whatever mood she’d stirred up earlier completely evaporated now. He sat up pulling himself out from underneath the blankets.

“I don’t believe this,” Avery threw her hands up in the air getting out of bed herself. She watched him move around their bedroom with an obvious chip on his shoulder, “Brant, Susan killed Russ and Jade and Grady’s baby and…”

“And what about Kyle’s child?” Brant tossed back at her coldly, “Has anyone taken the time to think about what this is doing to him?”

“Of course we have, but knowing what a lying, manipulative witch Susan is, the last thing I can believe is that she was telling him the truth. Grady always called her bluff and…” Avery argued with him placing her hands on her hips.

“Oh and since Grady is never wrong about people he just must know all,” Brant rolled his eyes at her, “You know come to think of it, I’m kind of getting sick of you always defending Grady yourself. It’s getting really old Avery.”

“Really old?” she repeated watching him with a frown. “Brant, I’m just telling you what I know to be true. What I…”

“What you think you know to be true,” Brant argued with her, “You don’t know if Susan was lying or not. Neither did Grady and when he chose to stand back and do nothing, he proved to Kyle just how irrelevant their friendship was.”

“That’s not what Grady was doing. You and I heard what the police were saying. The man who shot Susan was supposed to kill Sarah. He was hired by Susan to kill the love of Kyle’s life,” Avery scowled in response.

“Yeah and the man was an idiot, but that still doesn’t change the fact that Grady was ready to take the chance in screwing a friend over because of his hatred for Susan instead of thinking that maybe just maybe Kyle might have something invested in all of this,” he reminded her thinking back to the pain he’d seen wash over Kyle when they were outside of the hospital.

“Susan is notorious for lying,” she pointed out with a huff, “You of all people should know that. She could’ve been using that bluff to try to save her own hide. I seriously doubt…”

“Doubts or not Grady screwed over one of his best friends by sitting there doing nothing,” Brant waved his finger at her.

“She killed his fiancée. She murdered his child and his brother--my husband. How else was he supposed to react?” Avery threw her hands up in the air at him.

“He could’ve used a little compassion and logic to think that maybe just maybe…” he started up once again.

“Brant you can’t tell me that if you were in his shoes that you would’ve behaved differently. You wanted to kill her yourself and if you were standing where Grady was at the time, you would’ve done the same thing,” she tossed back at him angrily.

“No Avery, I wouldn’t have. I would’ve thought about it before reacting. I would’ve taken that child’s life into consideration before making a decision,” Brant insisted firmly.

“The hell you would’ve. You would’ve done exactly what Grady did and while you’re trying to play devil’s advocate simply because you hate Grady, I’m not buying into it,” she folded her arms in front of her chest.

“You think what you want, but when there’s a child’s life on the line I always put them first,” Brant stepped towards her opening his mouth to speak--to say something more--something that had been bothering him, but instead he stepped back shaking his head at her. “This is pointless you’re going to side with Grady no matter what simply because you have this unnecessary, irrational need to take care of him lately.”

“He’s my family…” Avery began emphatically.

“Was your family Avery. He’s not your brother-in-law anymore. You aren’t married to Russ and for someone who was the recipient of Grady’s rage on more than one occasion, you spend a whole hell of a lot of time defending him,” Brant insisted taking another step closer to her, “Much more than you should be doing right now.”

“Brant, he just lost the love of his life…” she reminded him once again.

“And who the hell decided that you’d be her replacement?” Brant threw his hands up in the air.

“You’re jealous,” she accused with a hiss, “that’s what this is really about, isn’t it? You don’t like the idea of my being there for Grady, so you’ll think of every excuse in the world to try to turn this into a fight between us. You’ll even side with Kyle so that you can find a reason to attack Grady.”

“I’m siding with Kyle because he’s right this time. No one deserves to die--not even someone as miserable as Susan. She should’ve been taken into custody and made to pay for her crimes--not to have had it all end like that. Someone should’ve taken her child into consideration…”

“There was no child Brant and even if there was that baby would be a product of rape. That’s not something that someone would want to have to deal with considering…” she began feeling herself at a complete and total loss.

“You mean Sarah wouldn’t want to deal with it,” Brant noted, “She’d be the one who would be too upset with the idea of Susan having Kyle’s baby.”

“No that’s not what I meant. What I meant to say was…” she found herself at a loss, “Why are you making this more than it is? Why are you twisting my words and…?”

“I’m just trying to get you to see where your friend is at right now Avery. Given all that Kyle’s done for you, I’d think that a little compassion from your end wouldn’t be too much to ask for. He’s hurting right now too,” Brant added with a shake of his head.

“Both Grady and Kyle are hurting. I haven’t forgotten that,” she insisted seeing anger flashing behind his eyes.

“Yeah, well it sure as hell seems like it given how far you’re going to make Grady believe that he did the right thing,” he walked past her, “He wasn’t right you know.”

“Brant regardless of what you think was right or wrong, Grady did what he felt he had to do,” she watched him turn his back to her. He said nothing and she felt another jab on her lips, “So by your theory I should’ve just let Brooke hurt me that day in my office. I shouldn’t have defended myself against her, right?”

“No Avery, you did what you had to do for your child,” Brant spun around to face her again, “You did whatever you needed to do in order to make sure that your daughter had a future--a chance at a life and at happiness, so why is it wrong for Kyle to ask that you do the same for him? What is so horrible about that?”

“Brant I…” Avery found herself at a loss sensing that something more was happening behind his dark eyes. She reached out to touch him watching him pull away from her.

“Forget about it,” he threw his hands up in the air, “I don’t want to fight about his anymore. I’m going to take a shower. I’m sure we’ve got a long day ahead of us.”

“But…” Avery began in an attempt to appeal to him, but before she could get anything out she was met by the sounds of the door slamming at the far end of the room. Sitting down on the bed, she tried to think of how this fight between Grady and Kyle had transformed into one between her and Brant, but she was at a total loss. Running her fingers through her hair, she wondered what was really happening between them. It couldn’t just be about Grady and Kyle and the situation with Susan…could it?


Grady walked out into his living room after having not slept at all the previous night. He sat up in bed reflecting on the last ten years of his life. His entire marriage to Susan replayed in his mind down to the last betrayal leading up to the final moment when he’d watched her in Kyle’s arms being hoisted into the ambulance. When he thought of how he’d once cared for her--once loved her with all that he was, it sickened him. She had been nothing but disaster in his life. She’d found a way time and time again to rip his heart out, but now, well now she’d delivered the ultimate blow and it could never be taken back.

“Yet Kyle is ready to take up with her even knowing what a manipulator she is,” Grady grumbled not wanting to think about the pounding that he’d taken at his friend’s hand the previous night. To think that their friendship had come down to one single second--one decision that had sent them in opposite directions--it almost felt unreal. Now however all he wanted to think about was what it would be like to just let go of the past and look to the future, but what future?

“Grady are you awake,” Elliot’s voice beckoned him from his thoughts. He saw his father sitting in the living room looking rather perplexed.

“What are you still doing here,” Grady yawned despite the fact that his body was far from ready to rest and relax. “I thought I told you to go home.”

“And leave you like this,” Elliot shook his head at him, “Son, you know me better than to believe that I would just comply to that kind of request especially given what you went through last night.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Grady walked over to the kitchen trying to ignore the aches and pains that vibrated through his body.

“Yes it does son. Not only did Susan die last night, but you and Kyle wound up on bad terms and that concerns me. You two are friends and…” Elliot followed him into the kitchen, his worries mounting.

“Screw Kyle!” Grady snapped back at his father, turning around to face him with angry eyes. “I don’t care if Kyle’s angry with me right now. I’m less than thrilled with him myself…”

“Son, I know you’re upset, but…” Elliot tried once more.

“No, I’m beyond upset. Upset is coming home and realizing that you left your cell phone at work. Upset is losing your car keys only to discover that you’ve locked them inside your car when you’re in the middle of nowhere. This goes well beyond the world of upset. I lost Jade and Russ at Susan’s hand and I’ll be damned if Kyle can stand there and tell me I should feel bad about what happened last night. I don’t. She got exactly what was coming to her and if I had to go back and relive that moment, I wouldn’t change a thing--not a one!”

“Son, I know you’re hurting right now, but…” Elliot started up once more.

“But nothing,” Grady shook his head adamantly, “As far as I’m concerned Susan can rot in hell. She had no right to steal my life away from me and for Kyle to sit back and make excuses for her--to come up with justifications for what she’s done, well he’s wrong. Plain and simple. There’s no way around the situation. If Kyle wants to hate me for being relieved that Susan is gone, then so be it. He can just go straight to hell with her for all I care…”

“Grady,” Elliot began watching his son march back into his bedroom and slam the door behind him. Slumping down on the couch once again, Elliot knew that this battle was far from over. Somehow in Susan’s death things had managed to take a turn for the worse all over again.


“Can you talk a second?” Shannon questioned, walking into Don’s office after closing the door behind her. She saw Don quickly get up from where he was seated at his desk. His steel blue eyes stared right through her as she held her hands up in the air. “What’s got you mad at me now?”

“I am just completely shocked at what you did,” Don replied, folding his arms in front of his broad chest before shaking his head slowly, “I can’t believe you just blew up on Deidra like you did.”

“I can believe it,” Shannon stated with a small laugh, thinking back to what she did to Deidra moments ago, “It was something she has been deserving for a very long time. Believe me, she had it coming Don. She was asking for it, it wasn’t my fault.”

“So, the words Shannon please beat the crap out of me came out of her mouth?” Don questioned with a small frown, seeing her shake her head slowly. “Then how in the world was she asking for it Shannon? What was up with that?”

“Listen, Deidra started this whole thing,” Shannon explained with a small frown, trying to defend herself in this whole thing, “If she wouldn’t have stabbed Dean like that, I wouldn’t have pulled that stunt back there.”

“What do you care about Dean?” he questioned with a small frown, seeing her think it over for a moment. “Huh Shannon? What did Dean ever do for you?”

“He’s my partner Don,” Shannon let out sigh, shaking her head slowly, “Dean is my partner and I do recall, he has had my back more that just a few times in the past.”

“Really?” Don watched her with his intense eyes, seeing her nod slowly. “How so Shannon? What did he do for you that made you pull out that little karate stunt there?”

“Don, if it wasn’t for him, I may not be standing here in front of you right now,” Shannon informed him with a small frown, pacing back and forth, “I mean I could have been killed and he saved me each and every time. I just hate to see him hurt, he doesn’t deserve that.”

“I realize that Deidra went a little psycho on him there, but still,” Don tried to offer up a valid explanation as he looked up into Shannon’s eyes, “You could have at least tried to act like an adult out there.”

“I was acting like an adult,” Shannon protested, shaking her head slowly, “When the day comes where you save a friend like I did, you will realize that I am right. You are willing to do anything for a friend.”

“Anything?” Don repeated her words seeing her nod slowly with a small frown.

“Of course I would do anything for him Don. He has been there so much for me and I don’t know what I would do without him,” she began, shaking her head slowly, “You know what the worst part is about this whole thing?”

“What’s that dear?” Don questioned, leaning back against his desk as he watched with amusement while she let her anger out. “Go on, let me hear what you have to say.”

“You will,” she insisted with a small frown, “the worst part is that Dean is willing to forgive that little bitch for what she’s done. I don’t get his decision at all. I mean if I was in Dean’s position, I would make sure she would pay for what she did to me.”

“Sweetheart, I think you did do that when you kicked her ass out in the lobby there,” Don pointed out with a small smirk, shrugging his shoulders, “If that didn’t give her a clue, I don’t know what will.”

“That wasn’t enough Don,” she strongly stated, looking up at him with anger behind her eyes, “It will never be enough.”

“Look at it this way Shannon, when you are in love--it makes you do some very stupid things. When you truly love someone, nothing can break that love. Believe me, I know.”

“You call that true love?” Shannon let out a loud laugh, seeing the way that Don’s eyes seemed to look over her. “Dean and Deidra are nowhere near true love.”

“You know, I have to wonder,” Don began, standing up straight as he looked across the room at her, “How close were you and Dean really? I mean, I know you two were partners--which I had no idea about because he was a doctor here at the hospital. But I really want to know, is there something more than just partners?”

“He’s just my friend Don, that’s all,” she assured him, seeing him nod slowly at her comment, “I just don’t like to see my friends hurt. It’s one of the worst things in the world.”

“I would have to agree with you,” Don stated with a small sigh, “I hate to see my friends upset and I would probably do anything to help them out too.”

“Exactly,” she snapped her fingers, sitting down on Don’s leather couch, “I would never be that stupid like Dean when it comes to love.”

“Oh Really?” Don questioned seeing her nod slowly. With her talking like this, right now was a better time than ever to ask this question. She was in one of the moods where she says what’s on her mind, so why not? It had to be answered soon or a later.


“What is it?” Kellen questioned with a small sigh after Kipp pulled him away from the kitchen for a moment to speak with him. “What do you want?”

“I want to know what you did with Kellen,” Kipp replied with a small frown, reaching out to squeeze Kellen’s hand in his tightly, “What’s wrong? I can tell something is up.”

“Well,” Kellen tried to think of something to say, trying to not come off as sounding jealous, but he was still upset. So he needed to say something. “It’s Heather, it’s like she is here to just start something with me.”

“So let her start something,” Kipp laughed, reaching out to touch Kellen’s cheek gently, “just remember, you have me--not her. No matter what she does, she will never equal up to you Kellen. You don’t have to worry about that.”

“I know that,” Kellen frowned, thinking of something to help him explain how he was feeling, “I just don’t understand that girl. It’s like she wants to be nice to you, but then she just tries to be nice to you to get to me. I try and I try to be nice to her, but it is never going to work.”

“You don’t have to be nice to her,” Kipp insisted with a small sigh, shaking his head slowly, “All you have to do is try to ignore her, that’s what I do. You don’t even have to be nice Kellen. That’s the best part about it.”

“Why are you acting so good over this?” Kellen questioned seeing Kipp shrug his shoulders instinctively. “It seems like you are a little too good on this subject.”

“I want you to feel comfortable with me Kellen,” Kipp explained with a small sigh, shaking his head slowly, “I want you to be able to stay with me and not feel intimidated by someone who isn’t even in your league. I want you to be happy, so don’t keep thinking about Heather. She means nothing to me, but you on the other hand…”

“You really mean that?” Kellen wondered, seeing Kipp nod slowly before pulling Kellen into his arms to hug him tightly. “I’m so glad you feel that way Kipp.”

“I am glad that I feel that way Kellen,” Kipp declared, thinking things over for a moment, “You know, I have got an idea for us. How would you like to have some alone time together? Just me and you with all the time in the world to just talk.”

“Sounds nice,” Kellen nodded slowly with a small frown, “but what is the catch to all of this?”

“Well, it’s not really a catch,” Kipp tried to explain, thinking of something to say, “We can go out with each other while Heather stays here to watch over him and spend some time with him. It might be better for her to get to know her son.

“I’m not so sure that would be a good idea,” Kellen protested with a small frown, shaking his head slowly, “Heather isn’t that dependable.”

“I just really think we need to talk,” Kipp’s smile faded to a frown as he spoke to Kellen, “We have some things, to talk about. I really need to settle this thing too.”


“You know, love is something I think about a lot lately. It‘s something that all of us should be thinking about in this world,” Don informed Shannon with a small frown, taking a step towards the couch she was seated on. “You know, with loving someone--sometimes it causes you to act crazy. Love makes you do things that only you’re opposite would do. Sometimes, you will even risk what you are against just to try and get that one person you love happy. It‘s something we try time and time again. You know, with love it changes people to what they should truly be. Love makes you think clearer and when that happens, some of the things you do for love could be viewed as dumb by others.”

“Well, if that’s how love really is,” Shannon began, holding her hands up in the air and shaking her head slowly, “I don’t want or need it at all. As long as that never comes my way, I think I will be just fine. No one needs that kind of experience, I know I don’t ever want to experience something like that.”

“So, is that the answer I was expecting from you this whole time Shannon?” Don questioned with a sad expression, watching as Shannon looked up at him with confusion behind her eyes. “Is that how you feel about the two of us and this relationship? That‘s if you even consider what we have going a relationship. I would like to hope we have something, but I almost wonder that it‘s something you really don’t want to have.”

“Don don’t,” she frowned, looking away from his saddened, blue eyes because they only made her feel worse about this whole situation like they always did, “This really isn’t at all about us Don, this is more about Dean and Deidra. This wasn’t supposed to be about us, it was supposed to be about Dean and his mistakes with love, not us.”

“Well maybe we should focus a lot less on Dean and Deidra and focus more on us, more on our relationship and what we are going to be doing with ourselves in life,” Don suggested with a small hint of anger as he took another step closer to her, “I have been waiting for an answer for a very, very long time Shannon. So what is it going to be?”

“Don please, don’t do this right now,” Shannon almost begged, wanting him to stay off the subject, “This isn’t fair Don. Just, can we talk about this later--I don’t think this is something we should be talking about.”

“This is definitely something we should be talking about Shannon,” Don demanded, holding his hands up in the air, “I have pushed it off for so long and I can’t keep doing that Shannon. I can’t just put up with all of this waiting.”

“Don, just…” Shannon tried to speak as Don cut her off and let her know what he was feeling.

“Don’t try to push this away again,” Don ordered, shaking his head slowly, “Every time I agree to pushing it behind us for a while, I just keep getting more and more hurt. I am tired of being hurt Shannon. As days go by, my heart grows cold realizing that you aren’t ever going to give me an answer are you? Wait, don’t answer that. I’m trying to reach out to you, but I am getting nothing in return Shannon. I just wish I could get a little something. I won’t let this opportunity pass by. Don’t shut me out on this again, I need to know Shannon. I need to know if I am ever going to be happy, if I am ever going to be happy with Matt.”

“Don’t bring Matt into this,” Shannon begged as Don shook his head slowly.

“Matt has just as much with this as I do,” Don insisted, taking in a deep breath, “So what is it Shannon? Tell me, can you ever admit you love me or are we just wasting one another’s time with each other?”


“So are you going to keep ignoring me all day or are we actually going to talk about what’s going on here?” Avery questioned walking into Brant’s study to find him stewing over papers at his desk. He looked up at her with a casual glance before redirecting his attention to his work again.

“I don’t think there’s anything left to say on the subject Avery,” he replied curtly pushing from one page to another.

“I think there’s plenty to say on the subject Brant and your ignoring me isn’t going to make any of this better,” she stepped into his study closing the doors behind her in a small movement, “We can’t just keep on avoiding one another.”

“Right now I think that’s probably for the best given that we’re not on the same side on this one,” he didn’t bother to look up at her.

“Who said we aren’t?” she asked desperately, “Brant, if you and I could just talk about this and…”

“Tell me something,” his gaze traveled up to her once again, “Do you plan on going over to check on Grady again today?”

“Of course I do,” she frowned down at him, “What kind of question is that?”

“One that just proves my point. What about Kyle?” he arched a curious brow. “Are you going over to check in on him?”

“We can if you’d like,” she nodded back at him, “Will that make you any less mad at me?”

“Given that you had to ask, I think you know the answer,” he looked away from her.

“Brant, look I know last night was a night of high emotions, but this isn’t our fight. It isn’t for us to get involved and get upset over. I realize that now and…” Avery moved in closer to his desk.

“Yet it’s not going to stop you from coddling Grady on this matter. Avery, he let a woman die last night,” Brant reminded her harshly.

“A woman who was evil--the same woman that almost killed your brother,” she remarked flatly catching the groan that spilled over his lips, “You can’t tell me that you’re not at least the smallest bit relieved that she’s gone.”

“I didn’t say that, but what I was trying to explain to you was that there was a child involved,” Brant shook his head at her. His dark eyes turned to hers again, “When it gets to that all the rules change.”

“We don’t know for sure that she was pregnant and even if she was given the severity of her injuries even if Grady had helped Kyle, there is no way of saying that she would’ve survived--or that the baby would’ve for that matter. That early on in a pregnancy and…” Avery offered up once more.

“And having lost a child yourself, you’d think that maybe just maybe you’d be feeling a little bit of compassion here,” Brant pushed away from his desk standing up to move around to the window, “I remember full well the pain you felt when you lost your child. You told me how it destroyed you--how it caused you to walk away from everything that you cared about--everyone you loved…”

“Yes, but that was different,” she sighed leaning in against the wall.

“Why because you’re a mother? Is it any less painful for Kyle because he was going to be a father?” Brant challenged glancing over his shoulder at her.

“Susan raped him…” Avery pointed out with a small huff.

“His feelings for Susan aren’t what’s on the table here. What’s relevant is his son or daughter. That’s what mattered Avery,” Brant reminded her a firm, unsettling tone in his voice. “That’s what should’ve been taken into consideration last night.”

“I realize that, but at the same time you have to think about all that Susan did. If it wasn’t for Susan so many people would’ve been better off. She ruined so many lives in her quest for revenge and that isn’t something I can just forget,” Avery replied taking a small step towards him, “She killed Russ.”

“And in doing so she brought us together, so does that mean that she made a monumental mistake in paving the way for you and I to fall in love?” he couldn’t help but ask his own thoughts consuming him. “Well?”

“Brant that’s not fair,” Avery found herself at a loss at his words.

“Let’s face it. We both know it was Russ you wanted to spend your life with, yet because of Susan you got stuck with me. Because of Susan you wound up in bed with my brother and because of Susan you’ve become Grady’s own personal cheerleaders,” he continued with a heavy breath.

“Brant I love you,” Avery reached out to him feeling him stiffen underneath her touch.

“Once again because of Susan,” he walked away from her making his way over to the desk again.

“Brant, what’s really going on here? I mean I know that this can’t all be about Grady and Kyle. What’s really on your mind. Why are we fighting,” she couldn’t help but ask. She saw his body quiver with some kind of emotional war he was waging on himself underneath the surface. “Brant please talk to me…”

“Avery it’s just,” he started turning around to face her, his dark eyes filled with a sadness--with a worry and a darkness that made her shudder. She moved in closer to him wanting to hold him, yet they felt as if they were worlds apart.

“I thought I heard someone in here,” Annie announced walking into the room seeing the both of them standing there face to face. “Oh I hope I’m not interrupting.”

“Never,” Brant shook his head forgetting about what was on his mind long enough to direct his attention to Annie, “Annie, how are you this morning?”

“I wish I could say good, but unfortunately it’s a sad day for all of us,” Annie confessed with a poignant expression, “Joseph just lost his daughter and it’s a very sad day for him.”

“I can imagine,” Brant nodded in response, “It’s never easy for someone to lose a child.”

Avery felt the way his eyes fixed on her as he’d said that to Annie. There was a certain coldness behind his eyes--an expression that lead her to believe that there was so much more to this than she’d even begun to realize.

“No it isn’t,” Annie agreed before embracing him.

“Send him my thoughts,” Brant kissed her cheek lightly before walking her to the door. Once Annette left the room he spun around to face Avery again, his own emotions building in the back of his throat. Before he could think about what it was he was feeling, he remembered the lack of emotion that anyone other than Kyle had been showing before now about Susan‘s death.

“Well it’s nice to see that someone recognizes Susan was a human being and someone still has a heart,” Brant remarked sourly before walking out of his office and out on Avery for the second time in one morning. While she wanted to believe that this was something that they could fix--that they could talk their way out of, she started to think that maybe just maybe there were secrets that her husband was still hiding--secrets that kept her from seeing the truth behind what was really eating away at him.


Elliot sat in Grady’s living room trying to come up with some miracle solution to what was bothering his son. For the first time in a long time he found himself at a complete and total loss. Now when Grady and Kyle should be leaning on one another for support, they were further away than ever. Grady was closing himself off and Elliot knew that spelled trouble for his oldest son. Thinking about Grady’s having been pushed over the edge in the past and what it had done to him, Elliot feared for what this new set of circumstances would bring to the table. Hearing the sounds of Grady opening his bedroom door Elliot sat up straighter hoping to have a few words with his son.

“As much as I hate do to this dad, you’ve got to leave,” Grady announced entering the room dressed in a suit.

“Son?” Elliot gave him a strange look, “What are you doing?”

“Moving on,” Grady explained clearing his throat uneasily, “and while I appreciate your staying here last night I’m fine. I can’t let what happened with Susan--with my life get me down. I need to find focus and clarity and I’m working towards that.”

“Son, I really don’t understand what you’re…” Elliot rose to his feet once more.

“I have an appointment at the office,” Grady explained matter of fact. “I’d forgotten that I’d promised to meet with a client and now that I know I have the obligation, well I have to go honor it.”

“Son, I don’t know if today is the day to…”

“You always taught me to honor those things that I put my mind to,” Grady threw his father’s words of wisdom back at him, “so I really can’t just up and forget about the appointment I made today. I promised my client that I would be there.”

“Son, I think that given the circumstances the person would understand and…” Elliot offered up once again knowing that this approach to dealing with things wasn’t healthy either.

“Dad I’m running late,” Grady argued with him making his way around the living room. He pulled up his briefcase before motioning to the time. “I’m really running late.”

“You could always call in and take the day off. I’m sure if you spent the time fixing things…” Elliot began again with a heavy sigh.

“There’s nothing left to be fixed,” Grady shook his head firmly, “It’s just that things have changed. I have to learn to accept them and I will eventually. There’s nothing I can do to change the way things are, so why dwell on the past?”

“Grady, I’m worried about you. I really think that…” Elliot offered up once again knowing full well that his son was far from healing.

“I’m running late,” Grady replied reaching out to embrace his father, “I promise I’ll call you later. I’ll be okay.”

“Grady…” Elliot started up disbelieving his son, but knowing the expression on his face, he knew full well that this was one battle he wasn’t going to win. He finally nodded in resignation, “I really wish you’d consider coming over later. Your mother would like to see you and…”

“Maybe I’ll stop by for dinner,” Grady suggested giving his father a hug before leading him over to the door.

The two men walked out together and Grady said his good-byes. Getting into his car Grady drove off in the direction of his office watching his father follow him half of the way there. Once his father had turned down another road, Grady took another turn away from his office and wound up coming full circle. He made a quick stop at a local market before heading towards the direction he’d started in. Parking the car in his driveway Grady went back into the house again. He tugged at his tie discarding it along with his briefcase before making his way across the room into the kitchen. He opened up one of the cabinets pulling out a glass before thinking twice of it.

“Oh hell,” Grady shrugged his shoulders discarding the glass and opting to take on the full bottle instead. He popped the top off of the bottle before raising it to his lips. At the first taste of the burning liquid he felt his throat go numb. Soon after the rest of him would do the same. It was an old familiar pattern--one that he would soon immerse himself in. It was a nasty, horrible habit--one he’d fought to break, but from here on out there was no more fighting destiny. It was all about giving into the future that fate had in store for him and coping with it one way or the other. To hell with sobriety!


“We‘re here,” Diego informed her with a small sigh as he pulled into Russ and Avery’s old home, “You should go and try to talk him Sarah. To see if he can open up to you.”

“You don’t want to try and come in with me?” Sarah questioned, seeing him shake his head slowly.

“I think it would be for the best if I don’t go in right this second,” Diego explained with a small frown. “I think Kyle would like to see you more than me at this moment Sarah.”

“Alright, I will be right back,” she shrugged, getting out of the car, hearing him call out to her.

“I will stay right here to give you guys some time alone,” Diego promised seeing her nod before closing the car door behind her.

Sarah walked up to the front door thinking of what she was going to say to Kyle, what she was going to do. If Kyle was anything like he was at the hospital, it was going to be really hard to get him to open up to her.

“Kyle?” Sarah knocked on the front door, hearing nothing as she knocked a few more times. With no answer, she reached down to turn the door handle and it was unlocked. She shut the door behind her after entering the home. “Kyle?”

She looked around the room, to see broken glass and things thrown all around the room before her. Sarah leaned down, noticing what seemed to be blood on the floor before her.

“Kyle,” Sarah called his name again, walking down the hall to hear a noise coming from the bathroom. Slowly, she walked into the bathroom to see blood all over the floor before her.

She looked across the room to see Kyle sitting in the corner, his hands bloody and his clothes had blood spread across them too.

“Kyle,” Sarah gasped, quickly going over to him to check if he was hurt, “Open up your hands.”

“I told you not to follow me,” Kyle whispered, looking up at her with his intense brown eyes, “I said you shouldn’t be here Sarah.”

“I don’t care what you said,” she replied, grabbing his hands in hers, “Now open your hands.”

“It’s really nothing,” Kyle insisted with a small growl, opening his hands to reveal the cuts that had been caused by the glass around the room.

“Really nothing?” Sarah questioned with a frown, looking at his wounds before getting up to get something to clean them with. “Do you know how deep those look?”

“Does it matter?” Kyle wondered, his eyes looking up at her without an expression as she came back with a few thing to clean his wounds with.

“You’ve got a big piece of glass in your hand Kyle,” Sarah informed him worriedly, “This is going to hurt a little bit.”

“I don’t have anymore pain left, so don’t worry,” Kyle replied, feeling her pull out the glass and he didn’t react.

“I think you might need stitches Kyle,” Sarah informed him as he shook his head quickly. “Well at least let me wrap them.”

“Do what you want,” Kyle stated with a small growl, “but I am not going anywhere near needles.”

“Alright, I won’t make you get stitches,” she frowned, grabbing the wrap to cover his wounds tightly, “Don’t take that off okay?”

“Whatever,” Kyle’s jaw tensed as she backed up to look at him. His eyes were red and his face was very pale. “You should leave now.”

“No, I’m not leaving until we talk Kyle,” Sarah protested, shaking her head slowly, “I want to hear what is going on with you. Just give me a chance.”


Dave walked back to the area where Deidra was being held knowing full well that he’d hated to keep her locked up. He’d contemplated having her released--contemplated letting her go of his own accord, but he feared that would only result in further complications in her life. Now as he saw her seated on the bench in the far corner of the cell, he could see exhaustion weighing upon her.

“Hey you,” Dave beckoned her moving in front of the bars to greet her. She looked up at him with tired eyes, a half-hearted smile pressing over her lips.

“Hey,” she replied moving up to her feet and stretching out, “long time no see, eh?”

“Deidra, I’m trying,” Dave began finding himself at a loss after he’d been given the runaround with Travis Callaway’s office. “I’ve been calling all morning, but…”

“But maybe I’m where I’m supposed to be,” Deidra blurted out mournfully, “I did stab a man without asking any questions. I let my mind draw it’s own conclusions and before I knew it, he was on the ground and…”

“You did what you felt you had to do in order to survive. You had every indication in the world to think that he was a threat to your safety,” Dave reminded her reaching through the bars to take her hand in his. “You shouldn’t regret trying to protect yourself.”

“I just should’ve known better. I should’ve followed my instincts about him. I knew something was off, yet I kept ignoring it. I kept pushing it aside simply because I wanted to feel needed--wanted to feel loved and yet…” she trailed off her tears building behind her eyes.

“It’s okay,” Dave tried to comfort her with his words. He ran his finger against her palm hating to see her so upset.

“No it’s not okay,” she argued with him, “Despite everything that’s happened, I can’t stop thinking about him. I can’t help but worry about him. When I think about what I did--about how I could’ve killed him…”

“You didn’t. He’s going to live and you’ll get out of here. I promise you that and when I do get you out of here, so help me I’m going to make Shannon pay for her behaving so unprofessionally,” he continued with a tight scowl.

“She thought she was protecting her friend--just like you think you’re doing with me,” she reminded him pointedly unable to hold back her tears any longer, “and maybe it serves me right because I never should’ve stabbed him. I should’ve listened to him when he tried to talk to me and…”

“And nothing. He was in the wrong and you have nothing to be upset about. He was the one who lied and manipulated you,” Dave continued to explain. “You weren’t in the wrong.”

“Dave I stabbed him. I tried to hurt him and I did,” she thought back to the moment when she’d lashed out at him. At the time he’d tried to explain things to her, yet she wasn’t interested in hearing it. All that she thought about was escape and it had made her act irresponsible--irrational and… “I can’t blame him if he hates me forever Dave. It’s exactly what I deserve.”

“Deidra no…” Dave started empathetically thinking about how hard it was to see her hurting.

“I don’t hate you,” another voice rose up from the shadows as Deidra looked to see Dean standing in the hallway just beyond her cell. He took a step forward his tired eyes falling upon her as she felt her breath catch in the back of her throat, “I could never hate you Deidra. That wasn’t even an option for me.”

“What the hell are you doing here?” Dave questioned immediately on the defense. He marched towards Dean ready to lash out at him when Dean spoke up further.

“I came to see Deidra,” Dean’s eyes never left hers. “I wanted to talk to her--that is if she’ll see me.”

“Get out of here,” Dave tried to nudge him out of the area. “She isn’t interested in hearing what you have to say, so just leave.”

“No, I’m not leaving until I talk to her,” Dean’s gaze still remained fixed on Deidra, “I want to say something.”

“She’s not interested in hearing it,” Dave hissed at him hating the man before him unlike anything he’d ever imagined.

“Why don’t you just back off and let her make that decision,” Dean sidestepped around Dave, his focus on Deidra entirely as he moved forward, “Well Deidra, do you want to talk to me? Can I say something to you? Please?”


...to be continued...