Brant, its been a long time, Walt nodded in Brants
general direction causing Hart to shift uneasily in his seat. Brant watched
Hart try to keep cool, but there was no denying the flash of anger behind
That it has sir, Brant replied with a small nod of his own not quite sure how to respond, but opting to play it safe. I didnt know that you were back in town.
I just flew in, Walt replied looking to his son with eager eyes, there were a few things that I had to take care of.
Thats wonderful, but Brant and I were really in the middle of a conversation here, so if you could just back off Hart started with a scowl.
Oh Hart, there you are always having a tantrum when the focus isnt entirely on you, Walt shook his head at his sons behavior before turning to look at Brant. He always did hate having to share that part of conversations with others.
Look Walt, just in case you didnt get it before, let me lay it out on the table for you, Hart remarked coldly having had enough at his fathers attempts to hound him, Im not interested in whatever it is youre trying to sell me here. I dont plan on writing you a check nor do I intend to help you with whatever crisis that youve gotten yourself into, so you can just pick up where we left off and go back home--where ever that may be this week.
Actually son I was hoping that I could get a few words with you Walts gaze redirected to Brant before he offered up a polite smile, alone.
Well Im not interested, Hart remarked sourly just wishing that his father would go away.
I realize that, but this is important and Walt attempted to appeal to him once again.
You know I really should get going, Brant cleared his throat uneasily knowing that while he always had his best friends back, the last thing he wanted to get wrapped up in was a Steiner family war. They always got quite brutal and Brant wasnt up to dealing with that at a time like this.
Brant wait Hart looked up as Brant slid out from the booth, You dont have to leave because
Actually I do, Brant confessed nodding over at Walt once more, Its nice to see you again sir. Hart, Ill call you later
But Hart watched in horror as his friend left the table leaving him alone to face his father. Walt moved in around the table to the side of the booth that Brant had been seated on. Once he was settled in he pasted on a fake smile, his eyes fixed on Hart. Okay, you may as well spit it out. What do you want since you so rudely cleared my friend out of here like you always used to do?
Brant doesnt mind my doing that, Walt shrugged his shoulder casually, Hes always had a great appreciation for family. It was one of his finer points in life.
Thats because his father didnt go well out of his way to make him miserable all of the time, Hart countered with a grumble.
If I recall correctly Nicholas Ashford was one hell of a son of a bitch and Brant had received the brunt of it personally and publicly from the exploits Ive read about, Walt shrugged his shoulders once again.
Youre one to talk about someone being a bad father considering that youre the king of idiots in that department, Hart frowned over at him contemplating making a quick exit as Brant had done.
All this animosity, Walt shook his head, Honestly Hart I wouldve thought that over the years youd let go of some of that. I mean okay so maybe I deserve some of it, but come on. Cant you cut me a little slack here?
Hmm, let me think about this for a second, Hart scratched his chin lightly before shaking his head, no. So while were on the subject of being brutally honest, why dont you just spit out what it is that has you hounding me here so that we can get this over with?
Straight to the point, Walt noted with a small nod.
Just like you taught me to be--which is about the only thing I learned from you, Hart snipped at him, unable to get over his own inner fury, So why dont you just stop wasting both of our time and get to the point? I dont see any point in drawing this out.
Neither do I, Walt offered up in agreement bringing his hands up on the table top, which is why I feel that its absolutely vital that we get this out of the way and clear the air between us starting now.
I just thought it would be a good night to go for a walk, Drew
explained, shrugging his shoulders as he looked down at Kellen, And
now that I saw you, I think my day just got a whole lot better.
What do you know? Kipp chuckled, wrapping his arm around Kellens shoulders lightly. I feel the same way every time I am around Kellen.
Well, he does that to people, Drew nodded slowly, seeing Kellen look towards Kipp with a smile, So who are you?
Oh, Im Kipp, Kipp reached his hand out to Drew, grabbing Drews hand in his tightly, Kellens boyfriend.
Oh, so youre Kellens boyfriend, Drew gasped, seeing Kipp nod slowly, Well, its nice to meet you. I didnt know that Kellen was going out with someone.
We just started going out, Kipp answered for Kellen with a small smile, but we have had a very long attraction towards each other.
Yeah, Kipp and myself have been in love for a long time, Kellen finished up, seeing Drew nod slowly, And I think I have found my true soul mate. I dont think I will ever love someone as much as I love Kipp.
Well, Im glad you are happy, Drew stated with a small sigh before shrugging his shoulders, It was really nice to see you again Kellen. Hopefully I can see you some other time.
Yeah, sure, Kellen nodded, wanting to get rid of Drew in the worst way, Just give me a buzz and I will see if I can fit you in somewhere. Kipp and I have just been really busy lately with all the new work on our house.
Oh, you moved in together? Drew questioned, seeing Kipp nod slowly, trying to finish the story for Kellen.
We love each other that much, we didnt want to waste anytime without each other, Kipp insisted with a small smile, pulling Kellen in closer to him. Kipp rested his forehead against Kellens before glancing at Drew out of the corner of his eye. I love Kellen so much, it brightens my day every time I see him.
Well, its nice to see you two so happy, Drew grinned before shrugging his shoulders, I guess I will see you later.
Bye Drew, Kellen waved goodbye, watching as Drew walked down the sidewalk. Kellen waited a minute before speaking up again. I think he is stalking me.
He seems like a freak, Kipp pointed out with a small frown, shaking his head slowly, Sure we made up a little bit of a story together, but it was for your own good. You could so tell that he was trying to hit on you.
Hes my ex, Kellen groaned, rolling his eyes slowly, It was one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made in my whole life. I dont know why I was so stupid and even went out with him.
Simple, Kipp smirked, reaching his finger under Kellens chin to make him look up, The only reason you went out with that loser was because you didnt have me yet. And now that you do--you never have to be with a loser like that again. Unless you consider me a loser that is.
You are far from that Kipp, Kellen assured Kipp with a small laugh, You are no where near being a loser. I think you are perfect. I dont dislike one thing about you.
Same goes for me, Kipp agreed with a wide smile, shrugging his shoulders as he thought, Im glad that someone actually likes me for me. Its nice for a change.
Heather leaned back in her chair, letting out an exhausted sigh as she waited
to hear from Diego. He told her that he would call her back, but he didnt
yet. There was a good excuse to why he hadnt called her back yet and
that was because he was with Sarah and Kyle. If Diego could possibly help
Kyle at all, it would mean something pretty big. She would want Kyle and Sarah
to be better before she could do things to make herself more comfortable.
The doorbell ringing caught her attention as she shook herself out of her
Kipp and Kellen must be back already, Heather frowned, sitting up from where she was sitting. Or is it them?
Kipp said they would be gone for a long while, but she didnt think it would be this short. They hadnt been gone really that long. She went to the door and took a peak out the window before realizing that it was Diego and with him was Sarah who looked upset as ever.
Sarah, Diego, Heather smiled, opening the front door and motioning them to walk in, Come in, make yourself at home.
Sorry I didnt call, Diego apologized, watching as Sarah walked over to take a seat on the couch slowly. He could tell that she was really upset, just by the look on her face he knew something was wrong. When Sarah was kicked out of the house by Kyle earlier, he knew something had gone wrong. He tried to get out what had happened, but she really didnt explain much--just that Kyle was angry about something. I figured that you would be fine with us just showing up
Dont worry, Heather hushed him, looking back at Sarah who had a saddened expression over her features, Sarah, sweetheart. Are you okay?
Yeah, Im fine, Sarah assured Heather with a small frown. When Kyle kicked her out of Russ and Averys earlier, Diego suggested they come over and visit Heather--which she really didnt want to do, but still ended up agreeing to it anyways. She really didnt want to be alone right now and it didnt matter who she was with--as long as she had some company. Im just fine.
You seem to be forgetting that I am your sister Sarah, Heather pointed out with a small frown, I mean seriously--I can see that you are feeling down. Tell me whats up.
Its just Kyle, Sarah explained, letting out a small sigh as Diego took a seat in the chair across from them, I went to Russ and Averys house today to try and talk to him. Everything was going good at first and then well, he saw something he didnt like.
Whats that? Heather questioned, seeing Sarah look towards Diego before shaking her head.
I dont know, Sarah lied, knowing fully well that Kyle was mad that Diego was the one that came with her, I just know that whatever it was got him in a really bad mood. He was being so sweet and then--I dont know what to do Heather.
Hey, dont worry, Heather hushed, wrapping her arm around her sisters shoulders slowly, You know Kyle. He has these moments where he does something so unexpected, but he still always comes running back to you Sarah. Nothing and no one can keep that man from you. Hell get over this Sarah, I just think he needs some time to himself.
I just wish he would open up, Sarah frowned, feeling Heather hug her tightly, I love him and he keeps pushing me away.
Everything will be better soon Sarah, Heather assured her once more, You and Kyle are soul mates. Nothing can come between soul mates.
You seriously think that? Sarah questioned, looking up at her sister as Heather nodded quickly.
Do I think that? Honey, I know it, Heather sighed, letting Sarah out of her embrace before standing up slowly, Have you actually seen the way he has looked at you for the last thirty years of his life. From the first time I saw that boy look at you--I knew he was trouble. Ive seen that look he has for you Sarah--he has that look for no one else, but you.
I wish I could think like you are, Sarah frowned, watching Heather shrug her shoulders.
Youll see what I am talking about later, Heather explained, looking back towards Charless bedroom, but until then--I have an idea.
What are you doing? Sarah questioned, feeling Heather pulling at her hands to get her off the couch. Okay, okay. Im up. Where are you taking me?
Only to the best little boy in the world, Heather replied with a small grin, watching Diego get up to follow them into Charless bedroom. Heather let go of Sarahs hand to reach out to gently pick up Charles before placing him in Sarahs arms safely. Just look at him and that will make your worries all go away. Believe me, I know. It works for me.
Hes adorable Heather, Sarah grinned looking down at the baby before her who cracked a smile, He is absolutely handsome.
Well, look at that, Heather smiled, looking up at Sarah, Hes smiling at you. That shows he loves his aunt.
Diego smiled as he watched Sarah and Heather together. Whatever came over Heather was nice for a change. She was actually being sweet to her sister. She was caring and she was trying to make Sarah feel better. Truthfully, Heather made Diego very proud today. It was quite a change.
Hey girlfriend, Jenna embraced Avery welcoming her into her apartment
just minutes after shed received Averys frazzled phone call. While
she wasnt sure what was going on, she knew full well that right about
now she needed to try to help her friend with whatever was troubling her.
Long time no see, eh?
Way too long, Avery confessed squeezing her for a moment longer before stepping back, Jen, why havent we gotten together lately?
I think its because youve been busy and Ive been, Jenna shook her head slightly, I dont know what Ive been, but its been hectic.
Thats putting it mildly, Avery nodded feeling a bit more at ease now that she was with her best friend. It really, truly had been too long since theyd spent time with one another and Avery missed that.
So how are you doing? Jenna asked politely giving her friend a once over, You look good.
I feel okay, Avery placed her hand over her abdomen, although a part of me is just ready to get all of this over with considering that Im about ready to lose it. I could so use a drink right around now, but I have to keep reminding myself why I cant do it.
A drink, Jenna gave her a strange sideways glance, are you serious?
No, not really especially considering that alcohol only brings out the worst in people, Avery decided thinking back to Gradys pushing her out of his home. She remembered his words--the way hed glared at her when hed said those horrible things and her heart sank. I mean it only causes problems, right?
Okay Ill bite, Jenna reached for Averys hand dragging her over to the couch to take a seat, Are you and Brant fighting?
Sort of, Avery bit down on her lower lip nervously before finding it increasingly harder to fight her tears, Okay yeah we are. Im too obvious, arent I?
Just a little bit, Jenna pinched her fingers up in the air, but maybe together we can find a way to fix it. What do you say?
I think its a wonderful thought, but I dont know if this can be fixed, Avery sighed heavily thinking about everything that had happened, I mean first there was the trial and before that Russ dying and now with Grady being a mess
Dont tell me hes started in on you again, Jenna remarked worried about her pal, He isnt blaming you for this like he did for his other problems, has he?
No, Avery shook her head thinking about Gradys declaration, I mean not really. Its just that after Susan did what she did to Jade--well, it put a strain on everyone. Then when Susan died, well it only intensified all of the emotions
I heard about that, Jenna nodded sympathetically, and when I think about what she did to Russ--what she did to all of those people, it makes me sick.
I feel the same way, but Kyle doesnt. Susan told him she was pregnant right before she died and Grady was there when this all took place. He stood there and watched Susan die. Kyle asked him to call for help, but something happened and now they are at odds with one another, Avery informed her with a small, exasperated sigh.
Grady and Kyle? Jennas eyes widened, I never thought Id live to see the day that happened.
Neither did I, but it feels like after that happened everyone is taking a side and, well its got everyone I know divided in two, Avery paused remembering her conversation with her husband, especially Brant and I.
Because hes not happy with what happened? Jenna couldnt help but ask.
Hes not happy about anything where Grady is concerned. He thinks Im going out of my way to pamper Grady and be there for him now that Jade is gone and Avery tried to explain to her.
Well, are you? Jenna couldnt help but ask.
No. Of course not. Why would you even ask considering that Avery questioned uneasily.
That what? That when it comes to Grady Denton the guy can treat you like dirt, yet you still think of him as that bossy brat on the playground that sparked an interest in you? Jenna arched a speculative brow.
I dont think of him that way, Avery wrinkled her nose at Jenna, Its gone beyond that. I dont think of him as a brat anymore and
Hes always been a brat and hell always be one. You cant convince me otherwise, Jenna added watching Avery closely, Just like you cant convince me that you dont care about him.
I never said I didnt care about him Jen, but given everything thats happening well, I just cant help but want to be there, Avery tossed her hands up in the air, I mean is that so bad?
From your perspective or Brants? Jenna replied seeing the uneasiness settling in over Averys eyes, Avery, does Brant have something he should be worried about?
No of course not, but hes always accusing me of going out there and having an affair with Grady, Avery blurted out with a groan, Hes always having a fit over this or that and
And did you tell him something about Grady that would make him feel that way, Jenna offered up a pointed look that Avery knew only too well.
I didnt tell him about that if thats what youre thinking, Avery sighed heavily bringing her fingers up through her dark hair, Other than Grady and I, you are the only other person who knows about that night
And thats how it should stay if youre smart, Jenna warned her worry evident in her tone, You two charted into some dangerous territory with one another and its an awfully huge price to pay just to discover the results of what if.
Jen, thats not at all where its going, Avery argued with her simply, I love Brant.
Jenna offered up a disbelieving look.
I do, Avery defended herself with a huff, and even if Id had any of those thoughts about Grady, which I havent, it never would happen. Too much has gone down between us for it to ever get to that.
You mean youve been loyal to Russ all these years holding onto what the both of you had and you wouldnt think about crossing any lines with his brother, whom you have been attracted to for years, even though Russ is gone, Jenna eyed her skeptically.
Of course I wouldnt, Avery added with a huff, and for the record I am not attracted to Grady. He just lost the love of his life and Im a married woman.
Something that youre going to have to keep reminding yourself of when youre alone with Grady, Jenna tossed out at her casually, because from the looks of things Gradys already gotten under your skin again.
He has not, Avery folded her arms in front of her chest, This isnt about Grady. Its about Brant and I and
And when was it exactly that Grady kissed you again? Jenna countered ignoring her pals protests.
Jen, I already told you Avery stopped herself knowing that there was no point in fighting it, This morning. I went over there to check on him and he was blitzed out of his mind.
Yet still sober enough to try to steal a kiss from the one gal that got away, Jenna noted with a small nod, Interesting.
Its not interesting, Avery watched her friend get up to move across the room. Jen, its not like that.
Sure its not, Jenna moved into her kitchen putting some tea on as it was clearly going to be a long afternoon. She heard Avery follow and she knew she didnt have to turn around to know Avery was standing there behind her.
I couldve slept with him that night Jen. I couldve made love to him, but I didnt, Avery reminded her friend bluntly, We were right there and yet
Your conscience kicked in, Jenna glanced over her shoulder at Avery. You decided that you didnt want to cross that line when there was still a chance at being with Russ.
It was beyond Russ, Avery sighed leaning in against the door frame, Jen, when we were together like that it just didnt feel
What? Jenna asked.
Like we should be doing it. At least not then and there Avery trailed off remembering the night shed sworn to forget.
But now maybe thats changed since Russ and Jade are gone, Jenna couldnt help but suggest. She caught the wicked glare from Avery before raising her hands in the air defensively, Hey Im not trying to upset you, but its a reality that I think you need to come to terms with. You spent most of your life loving Russ and now that hes gone, well naturally its going to be easy to fall back into the old habits--the old emotions
Im married to Brant, Avery repeated again and again feeling as if it was becoming her own personal mantra, I love him and he makes me happy.
I can tell, Jenna heard the teakettle alerting her that the water was ready. She motioned for Avery to take a seat by the table. So does he have any idea just how much trouble Grady could be for your marriage?
I dont want Grady to be in any kind of trouble. It was bad enough having to have him ready to lash out at me when Russ was around, but now with Brant, Avery shook her head slumping into the chair her friend had urged her to sit in. I mean hes so wonderful. Hes an amazingly wonderful man. Hes generous and sexy, sweet and intelligent. Hes got this way about him that would make any girl melt. When he looks at me, its like Im his world and
And even though youd love to say that you could feel the same way, deep down you know hes not Russ--that hell never be Russell Denton, Jenna offered a mug out to Avery.
I wish I could say that wasnt an issue for me, but with all the time Ive been spending around Grady lately, well its got me thinking about the past--about those memories with Russ and Avery trailed off.
And its taken you down the road to the past, which is why youre in a frazzled state. This isnt so much about you and Grady as it is youre thinking about what you lost with Russ. I mean okay yeah I know youve always had a mini-crush on Grady, but I mightve been too quick in my assessment there.
Far beyond too quick, Avery wrinkled her nose at her, I love Grady. Dont get me wrong I do love him, but to risk my future by always putting him first, well I dont know if I can do that anymore.
Then why dont you just put a stop to it? If its really bothering you and Brant, then why not try to explain things to him? Jenna suggested pondering the situation, Tell him what youre telling me about loving him and try to see if you two can come up with some kind of arrangement in all of this. Maybe you can agree to disagree while giving yourself some distance from Grady.
That wont be hard, Avery huffed, He told me he hated me before he threw me out of his house.
Ah, I see. So hes resorting back to that again, Jenna shook her head at her, Hes so in a state of denial.
More like a state of depression. He just lost the love of his life and he feels as if his heart has been ripped out of his chest and shattered to pieces. I feel so helpless in seeing him hurting, but I dont know how I can help change any of this, Avery sighed emphatically, I want to be there, but
But you have your own life ahead of you and as long as youre fighting about the past with Grady, youll never move forward, Jenna reached out to squeeze her hand, Honey its just more trouble than its worth.
It really is, Avery decided after a long moment of silence, but maybe I can fix this. I mean maybe youre right about Brant and I. We can talk and maybe just maybe I can get him to see that Im sorry for making him feel like he wasnt one of my top priorities. I mean I can find a way to make it work somehow and then
Just follow your heart Avery, Jenna spoke up encouragingly. Im sure it wont lead you astray.
I hope not, Avery sighed taking a long sip of her tea. Realizing that shed dominated the conversation thus far, she looked to Jenna, So what about you Jen? You said that you wanted to talk to me about something. What is it?
Well for starters, I was thinking about that discussion wed had about my being the little ones godmother and well, Jenna couldnt repress her smile much longer, I was wondering if youd be interested in doing the same for me.
The same for Averys dark eyes widened before a surprised and excited gasp fell from her lips, No!
Yes, Jenna nodded in the affirmative, I just found out a little while ago, but Hart and I are going to be parents.
Oh Jen thats wonderful, Avery hugged her excitedly, Do you know what this means?
That youre not the only one who gets to experience all of the woes and joys of pregnancy right about now, Jenna laughed lightly.
Oh no it means more than that. It means that were going to have to go shopping for clothes and toys and Averys eyes lit up with enthusiasm, Maybe we can take a Lamaze class together and then our children will be around the same ages and they can be best friends like we are and
Whoa slow down, Jenna laughed lightly, Youve had a while to adjust to all of this, but for me its still relatively new.
Even so youre going to love every second of it. Well, maybe not the whole morning sickness thing, but beyond that its pretty wonderful, Avery informed her proudly, her hand dropping down to her abdomen, to think of a little life growing inside of you--knowing that youre bringing a child into this world, well there are no words to describe it. Its wonderful, frightening and exciting all at the same time. I just know you and Hart are going to make wonderful parents and
I hope so, Jenna replied thinking about everything that had been going on, Hes had a lot on his plate lately with Beth and work and
And Im sure that hes happy that he has you with him, Avery paused thinking about the last time she and Jenna talked to one another, What about Sam? Has he done anything with that yet?
You mean other than be worried out of his mind over the situation, Jenna shook her head, Hes trying to do this at his own pace, yet I think hes waiting for a point in time when he thinks it wont be too painful for her to hear.
Too painful, Avery repeated with a small smile, Im sure Sam would love to know hes her father. I mean sure he was kind of an ass a while ago, but from what Ive seen since the two of you have been together is that hes really trying. He seems like a whole new man and Im excited for you--for the both of you.
Were excited too, but given everything thats been going on with my father and his family, well it just feels like theres never enough time in the day to just sit back and relax and enjoy the simple things in life, Jenna added reaching for her own mug.
Yeah well pregnancy will change that for you. Okay, so maybe it didnt totally do that for me, but I have learned the hard way that you have to take time for you. You need to find a way to relax and take it easy. If you dont its only going to give you all this stress and Avery waved her hand dismissively silencing her own words, Oh forget about that. Why dont we just talk about whats next? We can have fun planning. Im like so beyond excited. I cant wait to tell Brant
Well maybe you should hold off on it for a while, Jenna hesitated, just a little longer. We want to keep it quiet just for now.
Oh of course, Avery responded with a nod, but when youre ready to share the news, were so going to have to throw you a baby shower and have a special dinner. Maybe you, Hart, Brant and I can go out and celebrate.
That sounds nice, Jenna couldnt help but admit.
Awesome and then well have to get moving on the other plans. I have so many things to teach you about this, but I swear were going to have so much fun, Avery decided opting to let go of worrying about all the drama surrounding their lives for a little while. Right now all she wanted to do was catch up with her best friend on the joys of impending motherhood and all the fun things they could now share together along the way.
Seth looked out the window at the world below finding that life still went
on. Everyone went on about their merry way, yet he was the one inside with
a hole in his heart after the way hed lost his sister. Shes been
so special--so vital and wonderful, yet the rest of the world seemed to continue
in her absence. Regardless it didnt take away from the pain hed
felt in losing her.
Seth, Blake walked into the living room of his apartment reaching out to touch his shoulder gently, hey.
I just cant believe it all, he sighed closing his eyes and feeling the warmth of her hand over his shoulder, I mean one minute you think youve got it all figured out and then, well this happens.
Its not right, she whispered quietly, but I know that Jade wouldnt want you to give up on life Seth. She would want you to take care of yourself.
Whats the point, he shrugged walking away from her and moving over to the couch.
Well for starters I love you and I am worried about you, she moved in beside him taking a seat, I hate to see you like this and I know full well Jade would be out of get me if I let you fall into this depression and never pull yourself out of it. Im not saying that will happen over night, but together we can work through this.
Seth looked down to see Blakes hand on his knee and he offered up a poignant smile, Im glad youre here for me. I dont know what Id do without you right now.
Thats something youre not going to have to worry about, she promised kissing him lovingly as the phone rang. They parted and Blakes eyes widened in surprise. Would you like me to answer it?
No, I can do this, Seth decided knowing full well hed avoided talking to anyone all week long, but now, well now he was going to try to make his first step towards dealing with the rest of the world. Reaching for the phone he held it up to his ear, Hello.
Seth its me, a voice slurred into the phone. Are you there?
Grady is that you, Seth questioned uneasily, Where are you?
Im out. Im out somewhere--Im not really sure where, but I had to call and tell you. I dont know if you saw it on the news or not, but shes gone, Grady continued to inform him in a raspy, tight voice, Shes dead and Jades death has been avenged in its own way. She cant hurt Jade any longer.
Grady what are you trying to say? What do you mean? Seth questioned not quite grasping what he was hearing.
Susans dead Seth. She cant hurt any one of us again, Grady paused for a long moment, I just thought you should know.
Thank you, Seth replied hearing Grady hang up on the other end.
What was it, Blake couldnt help but ask watching Seth slowly hang up the phone. He turned around to look at her, his face draining of all color as he spoke up.
Susans dead. Grady called to let me know that its over. She cant hurt us again, Seth paused feeling a weight upon his shoulders, although its a little too late now seeing as she took one of the best things from our lives.
I know Seth Blake reached out to him again doing what she could to ease the pain he was feeling in losing someone he loved so very much. Susan may be dead, but the memory of what shed stolen from the world around her still remained. It seemed no one in Coral Valley had gone untouched by her brand of evil doings.
Oh god, Dean let out a groan as he leaned back into his couch,
trying to get comfortable. He was hurting so bad, it was almost unbearable
to do anything. He couldnt lie down and be comfortable, he couldnt
stand and be comfortable--he couldnt do anything. He rested his hand
over his stomach as he thought about what had happened over that last few
He wasnt really sure what he was supposed to be doing next because he got kicked off the case. Kicked off the case because of his personal involvement. His mind kept drifting back off to Deidra, he felt really bad for not telling her about everything. He felt like he was a horrible person for not even telling her.
Come on, Dean groaned, hearing his doorbell ring. It took him a long moment to stand to his feet before he slowly walked towards the front door.
Hey there partner, Shannon smiled as Dean opened the door and
looked out at her, How are you feeling?
Like I just got hit by a train and it went right through me, he replied, motioning her to come in and take a seat.
Sounds like fun, Shannon shook her head slowly, reaching out to help Dean walk to the couch slowly, You really hurt that bad?
Pretty much, he answered, letting out another groan as she helped him sit down on the couch. He looked over at her as she took a seat next to him. So what can I do for you?
I was just coming over to see how you were doing, Shannon stated with a small sigh, You know, I worried about my partner and I had to make sure he was okay.
Well, Im living arent I? he joked letting out a small laugh, but only feeling pain in return. Almost alive.
Thats not funny, I dont think you coming close to dying is funny, Shannon shook her head slowly, biting down on her bottom lip, I cant believe Deidra did that to you. You love her and then she goes and does something like that. She is such a bi
Hey now, Dean cut her off with a small frown, shaking his head slowly, Thats not nice. She really isnt that bad, she just didnt know what to do. When you are in a situation like that, you have to think fast.
I would think you should think smarter too, Shannon pointed out, rolling her eyes at the way Dean was still sticking up for her, You forgave her didnt you?
Of course, he answered, seeing the look of disapproval behind Shannons features, I love her Shannon--I cant help it. I dont try to judge you and Don.
Don, she whispered Dons name after Dean mentioned him. Yeah, no one really does though.
Okay, that was an awkward silence, Dean pointed out with a small frown, tilting his head at her in confusion, Whats wrong with Don Shannon?
Nothing, absolutely nothing, Shannon replied, letting out a deep sigh, He wants me to admit to him that I love him.
You do love him, he pointed out as she looked up at him with a frown, Please Shannon, you didnt even look at him like you looked at me. You have something special with Don, cant you see that?
How come everyone keeps telling me that I have something special? Shannon questioned with a small groan, shaking her head slowly. Its like everyone can see it, but me.
Well, I guess what they say is sometimes right, Dean began with a small grin, shrugging his shoulders, Sometimes love is blind, especially to the ones that are in love.
I dont love him Dean, Shannon insisted as he looked at her with a serious expression. What? Why are you staring at me like that?
Look me in the eyes Shannon and tell me you dont love Don, Dean ordered with a small frown, seeing her search for her words.
I dont, Shannon began before shaking her head slowly, I feel something for Don, but I dont know what it is.
Whats the big deal with him anyways Shannon? Dean questioned with curiosity behind his voice. I mean, he seems like a nice enough guy. He seems like he loves you too.
I dont know what the big deal is, Shannon tried to explain, letting out a deep sigh, Thats what Im trying to figure out for myself and I have to find the answer soon.
Well, if I were you, Dean started, taking in a deep breath, I would come up with the answer before Don is out of your grasp. Once hes gone, hes gone.
Alright, voice of reason. Ill take that into consideration, she chuckled before her thoughts drifted back off to Don. Don was perfect, she why was she acting this way? The true question would be, what is she going to chose?
Long day? Cori questioned after Carly came in a while ago and
fell down to the couch next to Cori. You look upset.
It was a very long day and I am upset, Carly replied, letting out a deep sigh. The night she had with taking Dean to the hospital and being at the jail forever had her a little overworked. I dont understand this world sometimes.
Want to tell me about it? Cori wondered, seeing Carly look over at her with an exhausted expression. Like for starters--wheres Dave?
With Deidra of course, Carly scowled, thinking back to them being in the jail. The way he was doing everything for Deidra just made her sick. Dave seriously needed to let Deidra handle things for herself for once. Where else would he be?
Im sorry, Cori frowned, reaching out to squeeze Carlys shoulder in an assuring matter, Dave kind of acts brain dead sometimes. Its not really his fault, its more of his good nature.
You mean his good nature to bend over backwards for Deidra, Carly frowned shaking her head slowly, Even if that means he is breaking his back and getting stepped on.
Well, I know Deidra isnt the best people, Cori began, letting out a small sigh, Personally, I really dont like Deidra and I never saw what Dave saw in her.
That makes two of us, Carly replied, looking up at Cori with a small frown, That woman is crazy. She stabbed the guy that loved her, she stabbed him. I mean--what a psycho.
Okay thats just creepy, Cori tilted her head, imagining that in her mind for a moment, Okay, so Deidra was a little more screwed up than I thought.
And the worst part about it is, Carly began, pausing for a second to think over what she was about to say, she always has Dave at her side for her. You would think that he would be here for me, not her.
I totally agree with you Carly, Cori assured her with a small frown, I wouldnt worry about Deidra though. I can tell Dave loves you, I really dont think you have anything to worry about.
Im glad you think that way because I dont, Carly decided, letting out a deep sigh, Dave and her have had history.
So have the two of you, Cori pointed out with a small shrug, No matter how much history Deidra and Dave have had, I never felt that Deidra was good enough for Dave. She was always breaking him when in reality the person who you love is supposed to make you whole. And I can see that you make Dave whole.
What is that supposed to mean? Carly wondered, looking towards Cori as she shrugged her shoulders.
What I guess I am trying to say is that I am sorry, Cori apologized, shaking her head slowly, I actually like you more than you think I do. Youre really not that bad of person and what I did--the way I acted was wrong and I am sorry.
Wow, that was a cool thing for you to say Cori, Carly smiled, reaching out to squeeze Coris shoulder gently, Youre not too bad yourself. Youre brother on the other hand
Could use a lot of help, Cori finished, shaking her head slowly, Dont worry about Deidra. I wouldnt let her interfere on what you and Dave have. I can tell you love my brother, which is something I know she doesnt.
I love Dave a lot, Carly sighed, rolling her eyes at the thought of the way he was acting, I just wish he would think more clearly around her.
Everything is going to get better, Blake promised in a whisper,
holding Seth tightly in her arms.
How could everything be better Blake? Seth questioned, leaning away from her embrace for a moment as he thought. Susan died and in some way--I should feel relieved, but in another way I dont.
What do you mean? she wondered, seeing him shrug his shoulders and think for a long second.
What I mean is, Seth began, raising his hands in the air as he spoke, Most people would say I should feel relieved that Susan is dead and she cant hurt me anymore. She cant hurt my family anymore. Even though she died it doesnt change things.
Yes it does, Blake assured him, reaching out to touch his hand gently, It just proves that Susan got her karma. She got what she deserved Seth.
No she didnt, Seth replied, shaking his head slowly as he thought, Even though she died--it still doesnt bring my little sister back. Even though shes gone, it doesnt mean that I could hold Jade in my arms again.
You still have to hold her in your heart Seth, Blake whispered, tangling her fingers with his, Thats the only way you are going to be happy.
Im not going to be happy any way Blake, Seth explained, taking in a deep breath as he tried to explain to her how he felt. I love my sister and I want to remember her the best I can, but all I can keep thinking about is her death. The fact that I cant see her again.
You cant let that get to you, Blake stated, scooting in closer to him on the couch. Susan thought she could take her away from you, but she cant. With the love you have for Jade inside your heart is something you can never let go. Susan died, not truly knowing that.
Even so Blake, Seth frowned, shrugging his shoulders for a moment, Im not one who believes that people should die. I never thought that way. In my opinion, I would have rather seen Susan rot in jail and have to live with herself for the rest of her life, but thats not going to happen now. It would have been better to see her in that jail. Not to see her in the morgue.
I guess I could agree with you there, Blake decided, nodding slowly as she looked into his saddened eyes.
I just dont get it Blake, Seth sighed, shaking his head slowly, I should feel better about this whole thing, but all I keep feeling is more pain.
Its going to be okay Seth, Blake reached out to embrace him in a loving manner, We are going to do this thing together. We are going to move on together, still holding her in our hearts forever and I promise you that.
Grady sat on the bar stool trying like hell not to remember the last few
years of his life. He was trying to banish his mind of the memories of Susan--of
the thought of never being able to hold Jade again and more so he was trying
to ignore the way hed just treated Avery earlier in the day. Sure, shed
been pushy, but she didnt deserve his words. He knew full well that
shed been trying to help him, yet she couldnt quite grasp the
fact that nothing she said or did made a damn difference.
Hey bartender. Can I have another, Grady motioned to his now empty glass. The man nodded before walking off to retrieve his drink.
Well isnt this a surprise, a voice beckoned him. Grady looked to the mirrored wall in front of him and much to his dismay Thea Valentine was right before him with an amused smirk crossing over her wicked features. We meet again.
Unfortunately, Grady groaned inwardly tapping on the top of the bar as the bartender returned with his drink. Youd better make it a double.
Oh now Grady, come on. Its not like we havent been in this place before in the past, she mouthed sliding onto the bar stool beside him, and besides I heard the news. I cant blame you for being here tonight--especially after what happened. Why when I think of the rumors I heard about your not doing a damn thing to try to keep Susan alive, I must admit that I was surprised. Of course I think you were completely in the right for not lifting a finger to help her. After all the things shes done to you over the years it serves her right. You were more than justified.
Dont take this the wrong way, but youre the last person that I want to talk to about this, Grady got up from where he was seated. He moved down to the other end of the bar doing his best to ignore her, but she followed much to his dismay.
Grady, you know I dont know why youre upset with me. I know full well that most of your friends think you were in the wrong, but hell if I was in your shoes, I would do the same thing. Susan always bragged about how whipped you were--how she could control you, but you proved her wrong, didnt you, Thea reached out to drag her fingers over his arm.
Dont you touch me, he warned sharply, his green eyes narrowing down at her.
Afraid things might turn into what they did not so long ago for us, she grinned up at him like the cat who ate the canary. Oh he remembered only too well how Thea had tried to come between him and Jade. It didnt work then and it certainly wasnt going to work now that Jade was gone.
Not on your life, Grady slurred pushing away from the bar having had enough of this dump. While he wanted to lose himself to misery, Thea was most certainly not the kind of misery that he was hoping for.
Avery walked into the mansion after her afternoon with Jenna thinking about
all the things theyd talked about. While she had no idea her friend
was pregnant before today, theyd talked about the subject and about
motherhood like it was second nature. Now that Avery had someone else to share
this with--another woman who was understanding, she felt herself filled with
a newfound enthusiasm. Slipping out of her jacket, she heard something from
across the foyer. She looked up and saw Brant standing at the other end of
Have a nice time out this afternoon, he couldnt help but ask seeing the smile on her face. Oh how beautiful she was, he thought to himself realizing that while hed been upset with her, there were still so many things that were right with them being together.
I did actually, she nodded in confession temporarily pushing her visit with Grady aside in the name of recalling her time spent with Jenna. I went over to see Jenna today.
Thats funny, he smiled taking a small step forward, I was with Hart earlier.
You were? Avery couldnt help but notice the grin that pressed over his features.
I take it she told you about the baby, he couldnt help but blurt out seeing her eyes widen a bit.
Hart told you too huh? she laughed lightly, Its amazing how bad they are at keeping secrets.
Especially from their best friends, Brant added moving in closer yet, although maybe we could learn a thing or two from them.
Such as? Avery questioned feeling her breath catch in the back of her throat. She dropped her hands to her side nervously before she felt her pulse racing at the nearness of him.
Such as the idea that maybe there are some things that arent meant to be kept secrets between people who care about one another, he revealed reaching out to touch her cheek gently, Kind of like I shouldnt be keeping from saying how much I missed you today or about how I felt like a complete and total jerk for walking out on you like I did.
Im sorry too, Avery leaned into his touch, I wasnt thinking and lashing out at you over what happened between two of my friends wasnt right either. I can see where both men were coming from last night.
So can I, Brant cupped her face in his hands fully, and Im sorry that Ive been behaving like a jealous fool when youre around Grady.
Im sorry that Ive lead you to have to feel that way, she leaned into his touch closing her eyes as his fingers teased over the hollow of her cheekbone.
We make a fine mess of things when were not on the same page, dont we, Brant questioned his lips skimming over hers lazily.
I dont like when we get this way, she sighed against his kisses, her arms sliding out over his shoulders, I hate fighting with you.
I hate fighting with you as well, he replied dropping his hands down her spine, placing small touches up and over the warmth of her. He hugged her in closer to him, his tongue teasing in over her lips in a gentle, yet demanding movement.
Lets try not to do it again, Avery mouthed, her lips parting further as she felt his fingers slide up underneath the bottom of her blouse.
I think I like that idea, he murmured keeping her within the warm confines of his arms, although I like the idea of our making up a lot more. It seems to be the only perk of all of this
So far it does, Avery felt his touch circling around her abdomen, out from underneath her blouse. She felt him popping open the buttons on her shirt one by one until her blouse was parted to the point just beneath where her bra was.
Hmm why dont we take this upstairs, he suggested wanting to find a way to put a rest to the debate theyd gotten into earlier with one another.
I say thats a fantastic idea, Avery mouthed tasting the fire behind his kiss once again. She ran her fingers through his dark hair before feeling him pick her up in his arms. He carried her over towards the staircase before finally deciding not to bother with the long walk upstairs.
He moved through the hallway stepping into his study with her still in his arms. Carefully he lowered her onto the couch, the warmth of him hovering over her. Their eyes connected as he began to finish peeling her blouse off of her. She reached out to slide his shirt over his head, longing to find a way to make it up to him for the way theyd ended things earlier. Their mouths collided with one another again and again, hands sending a warmth out over the both of them, reaching to a place they could only return to with one another.
I love you, Brant murmured against Averys lips, his words buzzing warmth over her aching flesh.
She felt his finger deftly unsnap her bra before his finger tips teased over her sensitive mounds. She murmured against his lips feeling him slide in over her, his lips creating a trail of hot, wet kisses over her brazen body. She arched up against him feeling him whisk her tortured peak with his tongue.
I love you, Avery mouthed arching her head back, her hips pressed up into him, no doubt testing the fire between them. He continued to drive her mad with desire, his skilled tongue tasting her again and again. She was already tearing at his pants, fingers frantically tugging on his belt--over the clasp on his slacks before their eyes met once again.
Lets never fight about something like this again, he pleaded with her, sliding his palm over her thigh. He collected her in his arms, falling back onto the sofa with her on his lap.
Its a deal, she promised with a nod feeling his hands hold her up enough to rid her of her slacks as well before she settled in over his lap straddling him. Were never going to fight like this again especially not over Kyle and Grady.
Thats my girl, Brant nodded proudly, guiding her body over his as their reunion almost seemed to make the fighting worth what came next. He felt her move over him, closed his eyes briefly and thought about how hed denied himself such a pleasure this morning. It was unbelievable to think that hed been ready to shut her out completely. Now as they were together as one, he felt his mind lost in the thoughts of how having her was his dream come true. She was his fire--his passion--his reason for wanting to be a better man.
Bringing his hand up through her dark hair he drew her lips to his kissing her as if hed never let go. He never wanted to feel the anger--the animosity ever again and now as they were together making love, he vowed to just forget about the rest of the world for a while and focus entirely on the one thing that meant the most to him--his wife.
Speaking of Dave, Cori sighed, hearing keys in the front door
as she stood up along with Carly. Im guessing thats Dave
coming home to apologize right now to you Carly. For everything that he did
wrong while you two were gone.
He better be, Carly frowned, watching as the door opened and Dave took a step in. Dave.
Carly, Cori, hey, Dave smiled, looking between the women before him as he rubbed his hands together and let out a small sigh, What are you two doing in here?
We were just talking about you and other things, Cori replied, seeing the look behind Daves features, What do you have hiding behind the door Dave?
Well, Dave began as they caught a glimpse of Deidra behind him and he moved out of the way, so they could see Deidra, I need to tell you something Carly.
Follow me Dave, now, Carly demanded as he nodded and let Deidra in before motioning her to sit down on the couch and wait for him. He saw that Cori was following Carly and him into the kitchen--which meant this was double team on him. What in the world is she doing here Dave?
Well, thats kind of a long story, Dave began, seeing the glare that he was receiving from Carly, but to make it short and simple--I told Deidra that she could stay with us.
You did what? Carly questioned angrily, throwing her hands up in the air. Dont you think you should have asked your wifes approval before doing something like this Dave. I cant believe you.
Well, it was a friend that needed help, Dave stated with a small frown, shrugging his shoulders, You know that I always help a friend in need.
But her? Her of all people Dave? Carly took a long look at him before shaking her head slowly and walking out of the kitchen into a different room. She needed some time alone for a while--away from Dave.
Good one Dave, Cori rolled her eyes at her brothers move, That was a really good one.
What did I do wrong Cori other than helping my friend out in a tight position? Dave questioned, knowing fully well what he did wrong. Dont tell me you are on her side Cori.
There are no sides Dave, you were wrong in this one. You should have asked first, now you have yourself in the tight position with your wife, Cori explained letting out a small sigh as she shook her head in disapproval, All I can tell you is that you are an idiot Dave--a big one.
I dont think thats at all possible for us, Hart decided
after a long silence thinking about his fathers opening words. There
really isnt much room for us to clear the air with one another considering
that this is all about you. Thats always how its been. You couldnt
care one way or another about me or my feelings--not that Id give you
the power to be in on them anyways at this point
Hart, I realize that I mightve upset you in the past, but Walt began uneasily, shifting on the seat in front of his son.
Upset was when you made me do stupid things to promote your latest and greatest business venture. Upset was when you decided to turn my graduation into a promotional party for you and your potential investors. Those were small things, but now Harts words grew tight with anger.
I know I made mistakes son, but I was hoping that wed allowed enough time for them to pass. I think if you and I take the time to really get reacquainted with one another again, then maybe just maybe we can find a way to move beyond the anger, Walt continued unrelenting in his attempts to reach out to his son. Im acknowledging my role in your animosity, but
Acknowledging your role? Hart repeated with an amused laugh, Let me guess you got that from my therapist you were sleeping with after she told you about my sessions, right?
Son, I know that youre angry, but Walk started once more.
Anger really isnt the appropriate word any longer, Hart informed him bluntly, I spent most of my childhood and my teen years angry. I spent hours of endless therapy dealing with my supposed anger and apathy where you were concerned, but now, well now youre honestly nothing more to me than an insignificant blip on the radar if that.
I can understand where you might be coming from with that, but there are a few things that I really feel we need to speak to one another about. You see recently I discovered that I was Walt sighed heavily trying to get out the word hed flown out to say to him.
Quite honestly I dont really care what you were or what you are about to say, Hart threw a few dollars on the table top, because I think its really best if we stick to the original plan. You live your life and Ill live mine. Well just make damn sure that they never coincide considering that its better that way.
Hart wait Walt tried to appeal to him, but it was too late. He could see now that his son was still far too buried in his anger to really see the truth that Walt had to share with him. Still it didnt stop Walt from finding a way to work it in. It was what he needed to do before it was too late--before there wasnt any time left for him.
Jenna looked around her apartment after having finished picking up the few
things she and Avery had gone through. It was nice to finally see her best
friend again after theyd both been so wrapped up in their own lives
lately. Now as she thought about what was ahead for her with her pregnancy,
she couldnt help but feel a bit elated. It seemed like she and Avery
were now going to be sharing such an exciting new experience--of course Avery
would be the one having her daughter first, but still it sounded like something
fun for them to share.
And when Hart gets home I cant wait to tell him all about today, she decided wondering what was taking him so long. Hed mentioned that he was meeting with Brant, yet something had told her that it had to do with the fight that Avery had spoken of between them. Somehow Jenna had imagined that she and Avery would be the ones chatting away longer than the men, but then again perhaps Brant was more bullheaded than shed anticipated.
Theyll work it out, Jenna decided reaching for a throw blanket when she heard a knock at the front door. Standing up straighter she smiled wondering if Hart had planned some kind of intricate surprise for her. Moving over to the door she pulled it open with a small smile, Forget your key again?
Not quite, Cameron replied with a small smile, I hope this isnt a bad time Jenna.
Well actually I was right in the middle of , she cleared her throat uneasily looking to him with curious eyes.
Thanks I promise this wont take long, he assured her motioning to her living room, May I come in?
Do I have a choice in the matter, she asked gruffly.
You always have a choice, he assured her with a very fake looking smile, his eyes telling another story altogether. He motioned to her living room once more, I promise it wont take long.
In that case by all means, she opened her door wider knowing full well she was a fool to invite the devil himself into her apartment, yet after hed been cleared in the charges involving Jades kidnapping, she couldnt help but wonder what hed wanted with her. She watched him walk into her apartment seemingly sizing everything up in the movement. So Cameron, what can I do for you?
Its not so much what you can do for me, but what I can do for you, he assured her with a small smile leading Jenna to wonder what he had up his sleeve. Something inside of her had her thinking that she wasnt going to like it one bit.
Well, I guess I should thank you for the ice-cream and everything that
happened tonight, Kellen smiled as they walked down the street that
Kipps home was on, It was really nice getting to go out with you
and being alone together. I just wish that Drew wouldnt have shown up.
I loved going out with you too Kellen, I think we should do it more often with each other, Kipp stated with a small smile before shrugging his shoulders, Dont worry about that Drew guy I think he got a hint from me when I explained to him that you were mine and mine only. He isnt going to get anywhere near you, that is when I am around.
Does that make you my protector now? Kellen questioned with a small laugh, feeling Kipp grab onto his hand tightly.
Of course I am Kellen, Kipp replied with a wide smile, I will always run to your side first--no one elses.
Im flattered, Kellen insisted, with a small laugh as he felt Kipp pull Kellens hand up to his lips to kiss his hand lightly, I am doubly flattered now.
You should be, Kipp winked at Kellen before noticing the car in the driveway, Thats not Heathers.
Well obviously, Kellen nodded as Kipp sighed and shook his head slowly, Didnt you tell her that she wasnt allowed to have anyone over.
Pretty much, Kipp nodded, pulling Kellen towards the door as he took out his keys quickly. He opened the door and walked in with Kellen behind him. Kellen shut the door as he called out to Heather. Heather?
In Charless room, Heather called back as Kipp quickly walked into Charless room and saw Sarah and Diego with Heather. Sorry, I figured you wouldnt mind if I had them with me. You see Sarah was upset.
Of course I dont mind them being over Heather, Kipp assured her with a small frown, looking towards Sarah, What happened? Are you alright?
Shes says shes fine, even though I dont believe her, Heather answered for her with a small sigh, Its Kyle, hes gone into some type of mental state.
Say what? Kellen questioned with a small frown, remembering the type of person he remembered Kyle to be. Explain that a little more clearly please.
Ill explain it Heather, Sarah hushed Heather before letting her spread anymore confusion between Kipp and Kellen, You see Susan died and right before she did she told Kyle she was pregnant and she had evidence.
Wait, she said she was pregnant with his kid? Kellen questioned with a big gasp, seeing her nod slowly. Please tell me that she was lying.
Well, Im not sure, Sarah explained before shrugging her shoulders, but Kyle got upset and he had a fight with Grady. He pretty much almost killed Grady.
Where is Kyle right now? Kipp wondered, seeing Sarah think for a long second before answering him.
Hes at Russ and Averys old house, Sarah explained with a small sigh, I went to him to try and get him to open up, but he just wont let me in.
Oh Sarah, Im so sorry that you are hurting right now, Kipp frowned, walking away from Kellen and up to Sarah wrapping his arms around her tightly, Everything is going to be okay. Im here for you--no matter what. If you need anything, anything at all, I will be here for you.
Thanks Kipp, Sarah smiled, feeling him tighten his embrace on her, That means a lot to me.
Kellen and Heather exchanged glances in confusion. Was Kipp just running to Sarahs side?
So much for staying at my side and no one elses, Kellen whispered so no one could hear him. Was Kipp having feelings for Sarah or what?
...to be continued...