And just what is it you think it is that you can do for me? Jenna
questioned not trusting anything about Camerons visit. Something was
off. She couldnt pinpoint it and while Cameron Stone being anywhere
around her was never exactly something that felt right, there was something
more--something he was fishing for. It was up to her to figure it out.
Well for starters I thought Id offer you some help in that investigation where Douglas is concerned. I saw that he was questioned in that one murder and Cameron began feigning concern for Jennas father.
Its been taken care of. He was cleared of the charges, but Im sure you already knew that seeing as your assistant was his alibi, she replied curtly, so pardon me if I dont believe that you came all the way over just to tell me that.
I didnt, he hesitated for a moment, there was something else that was on my mind--something more
Oh really and what might that be? she folded her arms in front of her chest in an attempt to try to figure out the angle he was working on this one.
Well, I was just realizing that you and I clearly havent had a lot of time to spend around one another--just getting to know one another, Cameron paused remembering his reasoning for stopping by Jennas place to begin with, I always wanted a sister you know. I mean yes I realize that were not blood relatives, but were almost as close considering that we share a brother.
Even so that doesnt exactly make us family, she replied with a matter of fact expression.
I know that, yet I couldnt help but think about how much Id wanted a sister when I was growing up. Im sure that you felt the same considering youve pretty much been surrounded by men. I mean if you think about it, you have quite a few brothers now piling up around you thanks to Douglas and his getting around, he paused knowing that she was distrusting of his motives, yet he had to ask what had been on his mind. Of course Im sure you had a lot of friends that were women around to talk to.
What relevance is it to you? she wondered aloud watching him circle around the room.
Well truth be told I was wondering about a friend of yours in particular--Avery Morrison-Denton or is it Ashford now? I cant keep up, he shrugged his shoulders simply. He offered up a small smile trying to make light of his half-hearted attempt at humor, but Jenna wasnt interested. You see she and I got into a bit of a scuffle not so long ago and I wanted to apologize for my rude behavior. She was upset with me and I thought that I should do something for her--maybe put something together as my way of apologizing for my actions. Shed mentioned that her birthday was on April fifteenth so I thought that maybe I could
You could what? she frowned up at him. Just what do you think youre planning Cameron? Is this your way of telling me youd like to go after Avery?
No, not at all, he shook his head at her, Its just that shes really sparked an interest in me. Shes bright, brilliant and not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. I admire that in a woman.
I see, Jenna nodded wearily ready to say something more when the phone rang. She hated to walk away, yet in knowing she was alone with Cameron she wondered if perhaps she should be on the phone in the event he was up to something. Give me one second.
Of course, he nodded seeing her slip into the other room.
Once shed exited, he stepped forward seeing a photo album near her desk. He looked up again knowing that she was obviously preoccupied. He listened for a minute hearing that it was someone from work calling her. He waited again--still listening and feeling a moment of curiosity upon him, he reached to flip open the first page of the photo album.
The first ten pages reflected Jenna in her younger years with her mother no doubt. There were a few scattered images, but when Cameron hit the eleventh page, hed hit the jackpot. There before him was an image of Jenna and Avery together. Looking over his shoulder, he listened once more before extracting it and tucking it into his pocket. He sought out a few more images and fortunately for him by the time Jenna returned to the room, hed had more than plenty of information on him that hed come for.
So as I was saying Jenna cleared her throat uneasily watching him with a weary eye, Im kind of busy and
I wont waste your time any longer, he promised with a small smile. I know we still have a long way to go with one another, but I hope that one day we can be friends. Im not nearly as bad as everyone seems to think I am.
The jury is still out on that one, she replied escorting him to her front door. He said good-bye once before he left and Jenna found herself wondering just what it was that Cameron was really up to in showing up today.
Closing the door behind him after he left, Jenna looked around her living room wondering if hed taken something that shed had in there. Her eyes dropped down to near where hed been standing by her desk. She walked over and noticed her photo album on top of the pile. Opening the cover she thumbed through it before realizing that there were photos missing.
What in the Jennas words trailed off as she looked to the door, then back to the photo album. Why hed come over to steal some pictures was beyond her, but as she closed her album, she realized that he was up to something--something she would have to figure out considering that whatever it was he had up his sleeve he was hoping to use her to get it done.
What is so important that you had to pull me out here Heather?
Diego questioned with a frown, folding his arms out in front of his chest.
Heather nearly begged him to come out here with her, she said she needed to
talk to him.
I just had to ask you, did you see Kyle? Heather questioned, seeing Diego shake his head slowly. He never usually acts like that. It seems kind of weird that he would push Sarah away just like that.
Tell me about it, Diego frowned, thinking back to how upset Kyle had made Sarah. If you ask me, I would say that Kyle should just grow up and realize the situation he is in cant be handled the way he is handling it.
Wow, Heather watched Diego carefully before shaking her head slowly, I think you should rephrase that because you arent in his position Diego.
Well, I was just saying that he should realize he is hurting the woman who loves him the most, Diego tried to restated, shrugging his shoulders as he thought. I just dont think he wants to lose Sarah.
He isnt going to lose Sarah, Heather pointed out, shaking her head slowly, He never loses Sarah Diego. If you know anything about those two--you know they are unbreakable. They are going to be fine. Trust me.
I hope so, Diego frowned, leaning back against the house as he thought to how hurt Sarah seemed, I dont like seeing anyone hurt.
I understand that, she nodded slowly before thinking for a moment, You know, after everything that has happened, I realized how appreciative I am of all the good moments in my life.
Oh really? Diego had a slight bit of curiosity behind his voice as he looked up at her. Like what moments?
Well, right now there is one that sticks out the most, Heather began with a small smile before shaking her head slowly, No, if I tell you, youre going to laugh.
I wont laugh, Diego promised with a small smile, shaking his head slowly, I promise. Just tell me.
Alright, she sighed, thinking of how she was going to explain things. When I was younger, there was this party and both Sarah and I were invited.
Okay, he nodded slowly, taking in the information she was giving him, Go on.
You see, Sarah had a date for this party with some guy I didnt even know and sadly--I didnt have a date so I ended up going to this party alone, she stated with a small shrug before continuing, So, I am at this party and I dont know where Sarah went to. I am all alone at the party and I got kind of lonely I guess and I walked out towards the water to look at it.
Im assuming that was at night right? he questioned, seeing her nod slowly. The water is very beautiful at night.
That it is, she agreed before going on with her story, Well, it was kind of upsetting being all alone and thats when this guy came over to check on me.
This guy? Diego questioned, seeing her nod slowly. What was this guys name?
That doesnt matter, Heather replied with a small smile, Well, anyways. I guess he could tell I was feeling down because he knew me pretty well. He asked me to dance and it was perfect. You know, the sky was filled with stars and the water it was a great mixture.
I can imagine it was, he declared before shrugging his shoulders, Is that the amazing moment?
No, there is more to it, she insisted, nodding slowly as she thought back to what had happened, Well, anyways we were dancing and out of nowhere he just leaned down and kissed me. It was the most amazing kiss I have ever had in my life. It was romantic and gentle. After that, he just held me in his arms and we danced the rest of the night.
So, did you love this guy? Diego questioned, seeing her shrug her shoulders. What happened to this guy if you two had something going?
I wouldnt call what I had for him love, he was never mine, Heather explained, shaking her head slowly, He would never be able to be mine.
You said he kissed you, Diego pointed out seeing her nod slowly, So, how was he not yours?
He just wasnt, he probably just felt really bad for me and that was all, Heather chuckled, shrugging her shoulders, I know he probably never saw it as one of the best moments in his life, but I thought it was probably one of the best.
Where is this guy now? Diego wondered, just thinking that maybe she was making this story up to get him to listen to her.
In love with someone else, Heather stated, shaking her head slowly, It may sound dumb, but that was a really romantic moment in my life.
It sounds like a nice story, he admitted, nodding his head slowly as her eyes looked up into his.
Well, I have something else to admit to you, Heather decided, seeing him nod slowly, Its really kind of important if you look at it from my view.
Really? Whats that? he wondered, folding his arms out in front of his chest.
Are you sure you want to know? I mean, it may be stupid, she
pointed out seeing him shrug and nod slowly.
I want to know Heather, Diego replied, shrugging his shoulders as he talked, What is it?
Kellen watched as Kipp followed Sarah towards the couch to comfort her. Diego
and Heather had left the room to leave him sitting there by himself to watch
the scene go on before him. Kipp seemed to be way too close to Sarah at the
Sarah, I am so sorry that this is happening to you, Kipp frowned, gripping her hand tightly in his, I know everything is going to get better.
I hope so, Sarah sighed, shrugging her shoulders, I have only seen Kyle this upset when his parents died. He has never been this bad before.
Hes just upset, Kipp tried to explain, shrugging his shoulders, I know that if I lost Charles I would probably become a mad man. Worse than Kyle.
I doubt that, Sarah shook her head slowly, looking up at Kipps worried expression, You are too much of a nice guy. I dont think you could ever go crazy.
You never know, Kipp shrugged, thinking things over for a moment, One day you think you know someone really well and then the next day they just change completely.
Or the next ten minutes, Kellen frowned as Kipp looked back at him, I meant their moods could change completely. Somehow, I would still have to agree with Sarah though Kipp. You are too good of a guy to go crazy.
Kellen saw Kipp nod slowly as he let out a small sigh. Kipp was all over how much he wanted to be with him, but at the first sight of Sarah, Kipp was all over her.
So maybe I am too nice of a guy, but still, Kipp declared, shaking his head slowly, I know that Kyle is going to be fine. He just needs some time to himself to think things over and then everything will turn back to normal.
I wish I thought like that, Sarah shook her head slowly, thinking about Kyle and everything that had been happening, After what Grady did--it seems like he wont be able to trust anyone again.
Grady was just his best friend, it hurts sometimes, Kellen offered up some advice out of nowhere before shrugging his shoulders, When someone you trust that much hurts you, its kind of hard to believe that the others will be there for you too.
But hes pushing me away, Sarah pointed out seeing Kellen nod slowly, I love him more than anyone in this world.
Let me tell you a little something sweetheart, Kellen began, walking over to take a seat next to Sarah, I want you to picture a scene from the past in your head.
Um okay, she nodded slowly, not quite knowing how to respond to what he had just said, What do you want me to remember?
I want you to remember when Kyle was in the hospital after being drugged, Kellen replied as she looked up at him with a frown, No this isnt bad believe me. I want you to remember when we came with Charles to check in on him. The thing he was the biggest on was being with you. Being with you and having a family with you. All his worries were on you. Sarah I think its clear that he loves you.
Ill second that one, Kipp declared, squeezing Sarahs shoulder gently, but no matter what happens, I will always be here to help you.
Thanks Kipp, Sarah smiled, feeling Kipp reach over to hug her tightly in his arms, I really appreciate that.
Kellen shook his head slowly after thinking things over for a moment. The way things were looking Sarah may be breaking up with Kyle and if she did, she would be extra close to Kipp and he didnt like that. He didnt like that at all.
Angela looked around her office thinking about the test results shed
found waiting for her on her desk. The last set of trials were going better
than theyd been in a while, yet not good enough. Last night after shed
gone to sleep, shed found herself dreaming about formulas--about the
plans she had for this particular drug, which kind of had her wondering what
was wrong with her given that she and Nick had perhaps one of the greatest
most erotic nights of her life. Still for her to be dreaming about work clued
her in to the fact that she obviously needed to fix something. Okay, so dreaming
about work instead of your lover after such a wonderful night in itself made
her question her own sanity, but now as she looked at the data charts before
her she was determined to figure it out.
If only youd give me a hint here, she tapped her pencil on her desk top impatiently hearing a sound at the door. She looked up briefly before returning her attention to the charts again, Its open.
Hey beautiful, Nick popped his head into her office before moving further into the room, Working hard or hardly working?
That all depends, she immediately perked up at the sound of his voice, are you staying or leaving?
Which would you prefer, he questioned with a sexy wiggle of his brow.
For you to get right here right now, she patted the side of her desk, and give me a big kiss like you mean it.
I can do even better than that, he promised walking over to her. He reached out for her pulling her out of her chair and into his arms. He squeezed her in closer to him, his lips teasing over hers in a soft, sensual sweep. Her arms wrapped around his shoulders, fingers sliding up into his hair as their kiss intensified.
Much better, she purred against his lips as their kiss came to a pleasing ending. So what brings you here this afternoon?
You mean other than my desire to see you, he teased with a small smile.
Well your desire alone is enough for me, but judging by that glimmer in your eye, Id have to say that theres something more motivating this visit. You look oh how do I put it? Inspired perhaps? she suggested eyeing him intently.
Inspiration does tend to follow when were together, he mused teasing his fingers over her spine lightly, but this particular inspiration, well I think its going to make your day--both of our days to be more specific.
In that case, do tell, Angela suggested rubbing in against him, I could use a good thrill right about now.
Honey, the ideas are limitless in the way Id like to thrill you, he replied his gaze eating her alive and causing a familiar heat to rise over her, but before we get to that, I think Id better tell you what I did before we both forget about that.
Tell on, she touched his face, her eyes dropping down to his ever so kissable lips. She remembered last night when theyd made love--the way that those lips set her soul ablaze--the way that kissing him and loving him always caused her to
Are you with me? Nick questioned sensing her obvious distraction.
Always, she nodded lazily, her eyes trying to remain focused on his, Whats on your mind?
Besides you, well there was something that I thought you might like, Nicks lips teased over the side of her neck causing her to let out a soft moan. His hands held her closer still and she could swear she felt his heart beating in time with hers.
So share, she curled her fingers through his thick, dark hair wanting nothing more than to lose herself in him for a long time instead of thinking about anything else that she could or should be doing.
Well, after you left I got around to making a few phone calls and in the process I found that number to the castle you were talking about. I called and asked about the whole wedding party moving over there and the man on the phone was very generous. We got to talking and he suggested that you and I come on over today to check it out, he revealed with a proud smile.
Are you serious? her eyes widened in surprise.
Im very serious, he nodded eagerly, I told them wed be over later this afternoon and I thought that maybe just maybe you might be able to cut your work day a little short and go on over with me to check it out.
Of course I can, Angela nodded eagerly, I cant believe that you went ahead and did this for me.
Hey nothing is too good for my princess, he smiled down at her pulling her up into his arms as they anticipated spending the afternoon together planning for their dream wedding with one another. Everything was going to be perfect.
Brant lay on the sofa, feeling Averys body over his now that their
passion had died down leaving them with the reminder of the bliss theyd
shared with one another earlier. He kissed the top of her head gently, his
finger tips teasing over her bare spine as he held her close to him wanting
to savor every last second of their reunion.
You know I think I could totally get used to these kind of apologies, Brant teases his fingers moving up through her damp, dark hair before he placed a kiss on the top of her head.
Me too, she sighed closing her eyes and listening to the sounds of his heart beating beneath her. She massaged her fingers over the center of his chest before smiling. She let out a small purr before tilting her eyes up towards him, catching the sexy specks of amber behind his dark eyes, I think this beats the hell out of fighting any day.
Im glad you feel that way because I was thinking about us spending some time doing a little bit more of things like this instead of what weve been doing lately, he revealed with a small smile, I was talking to Hart and he got me thinking that maybe just maybe we should try to get away for a while.
Get away, she repeated with curious eyes, like how?
Like leave town for a bit, he suggested already seeing the protest building behind her eyes, I know you feel youre needed here, but Im sure things will find a way of evening themselves out and
Brant, we cant just up and leave town right now, she sighed heavily, You and I both know that there is so much going on that
He pressed his index finger over her lips to silence her, Nothing more important than whats going on right here and now in this room. Avery, weve never really had time to indulge in that honeymoon Id promised you and I think now is as good of a time as any for me to take you to paradise and show you just how happy I am to have you in my life.
I thought that was what we were just doing, she slid up over him, her nose nuzzling his neck before she nipped at his earlobe. We dont have to leave Coral Valley to continue with all of this.
No, but I think it would be a nice change for us, he attempted again in the hopes of getting her to just let go of this thing for Grady that consumed her. Im sure the world wont fall apart if we take time for us.
I didnt say that it would, but at the same time, she paused searching his eyes and discovering the discontent burning behind them, Youre still thinking about my wanting to be there for Grady, arent you?
Avery, Im not going to lie to you and tell you that it doesnt bother me that every time that man calls, youre ready to race out the door, Brant began with a heavy sigh hating to bring up a touchy subject, yet his mind couldnt keep him away from the root of what had been bothering him. I just think that
That what she started to ask only to hear the sounds of her cell phone ringing in the distance. She paused momentarily listening carefully to the ring tone.
Speak of the devil, Brant rolled his eyes knowing only too well who was calling, and just when you think you get five minutes alone, there he is. And yet you wonder why I want to get away from this.
He just lost Jade and Avery began hoping to explain her reasoning to him as the phone continued to ring.
Save it, he moved out from underneath her, gently placing her aside before moving to his feet again, I already know the drill.
Come on Brant, she groaned looking to her phone before watching him collect his pants from the floor, Dont make this something its not.
Youve already stated full and clear what its about, Brant tossed her blouse at her before doing the same with her phone, Go on. You know hes just dying to talk to you.
Brant Avery watched him walk around the room bending down to pick up his shirt. She frowned, looking to her phone once again--finding herself in a state of inner turmoil. She eyed Brant once again seeing him already half dressed. Groaning inwardly she pressed the talk button on her cell phone. Hello
Brant spun around to watch her seeing the eagerness behind her eyes--the willingness to reach out to Grady even after the magic theyd just shared with one another. Clearly Brant had been fooling himself to think that their lovemaking had made an inkling of a difference now that Avery was on her phone practically panting in the hopes of talking to Grady. He began to button up his shirt, silently curing himself when he noticed shed hung up.
So what did the drama king need now? Brant questioned with an emphasized roll of his eyes.
He wasnt there, Avery spoke up worriedly, I mean it sounded like someone was on the other end of the line, but then nothing
Hmm, well I suppose that means that theres your cue to go run off after him. Hes being dark and mysterious and thats always just enough ammunition to get you over there, Brant waved his hand dismissively seeing the wounded expression on her face, Dont worry, youve serviced me fine so you can go off without feeling too guilty.
I cant believe Im hearing you say that, Avery huffed in response quickly getting back into her clothing, How can you be so cruel and heartless?
Im cruel and heartless, he repeated with a pained laugh, I just made love to my wife and asked her to go away with me on my honeymoon and here she is trying to talk me out of it--out of our being able to spend time alone together.
You and I both know that we cant just up and leave right now. With Kyle and Grady at odds she began in frustration.
Let them work it out. They are grown ups and they dont need you holding their hands Avery, he marched in towards her, his anger evident in his tone, They arent your problem, but this is becoming one for us. We used to be able to enjoy one another--used to be able to make love without having to fit it in between Gradys schedule. It seems like every time you give him an inch, he expects a mile. Every time we take two steps forward, hes dragging you back further than I can reach.
Im not going anywhere Brant, she reminded him harshly, the only reason I even bothered to answer the phone was because you tossed it at me. Remember?
If I hadnt let you answer, then youd just be blaming me for something sooner or later if Grady had another crisis, Brant argued further feeling a headache building in the back of his head. He reached out to massage his temples when he heard a sound resonating from beyond the study. The doors flew open and Ken walked into the room with a beaming expression.
Brant, Im so glad I caught you home, Ken announced nodding towards Avery. I hope this isnt a bad time.
Actually Avery started finishing up with the last button on her blouse.
Its not, Brant cut her off abruptly much to her dismay. Whats on your mind Ken?
Actually, something really big. Theres something I want to tell you both and it cant wait, he announced stepping aside just in time for Michelle to walk in beside him throwing her arms around him eagerly. Michelle and I are getting married!
Diane leaned back in her desk chair letting her thoughts overcome her. She
had been at work for quite a while and the one thing that kept popping into
her head was Jade. How she had lost Jade and how Seth and Kevin had lost her.
Jade was a great person and didnt deserve any of this.
Life just isnt fair, she sighed, shaking her head slowly as she leaned back into her chair. Her eyes traveled over her desk to where she saw an envelope before her. She must have missed that earlier. She leaned forward and picked it up in her hands. What is this?
She opened the envelope slowly before pulling out what appeared to be an invitation to be to a restaurant. The directions were on the invitation and it said nothing else.
This must be from Ben, Diane smiled to herself thinking of what he must have planned, I should probably get going soon just in case. I dont know how long that has been there.
She let out small smile thinking back to Ben. He knew that she had been upset lately, maybe he has a big romantic dinner set up for her to make her feel better.
Truth be told, she probably wouldnt have been able to handle losing Jade if Ben wasnt there for her every step of the way. She was going to make it up to him somehow one day. With everything that he has done for her, she needed to do something nice in return. Something that would make him happy.
I can think of something as I go there, she decided, reaching
out to grab her coat. She slid her coat on before looking towards the clock
and realizing what time it was. I should get going now.
Right now, was truly not the time to be thinking about what was happening. She needed to get to Ben as quick as she could because she didnt want him to think she was going to pull out on him. With such an invitation, whatever he had planned, must be really big.
Kyle got out of his car after driving for quite a while. He had been out
of Coral Valley for a while. Once Sarah had left, he decided that it was time
to do something that he hadnt done in a long time.
Finally, after walking for quite a ways, he came to a stop. His eyes looked down towards the gravestone that was before him. He dropped down to his knees and he read the words to himself. He had to go to his parents grave. The only time he ever seemed to do something right was when he was with his mother and father. Since they had been gone, it felt like everything he had been doing was wrong.
Hey you two, Kyle smiled, reaching out to touch the gravestone before him. His fingertips traced over his parents names slowly as he thought. Ive gone and screwed things up again, just like I always do.
He let out a deep sigh as he thought back to what he did to Sarah. He shouldnt have blown up on her like that, but he just felt like the whole world was turning on him.
I screwed things up with Sarah, Kyle frowned, looking down towards the ground, I know you would probably kill me for doing that, but its hard. I know that shes going to get hurt with me and I dont want to see her hurting again.
Kyle shook his head remembering what happened with Susan. The scene could be played clearly in his head as he thought about it.
Susan, Kyle spoke her name desperately, his body jolted at full
attention as he held onto her. He felt her tremor in his arms as she started
coughing up blood. His eyes dropped to the thick redness over his fingers,
to the stain her blood was creating over him.
Kyle she breathed his name, the sound broken by the air escaping from her lungs. Her brown eyes were full of fear--of all the vulnerabilities that Kyle had never imagined Susan to be capable of. His hand pressed over the wound in the center of her chest hoping and praying to stop it from taking her to a place Kyle didnt want her to go. He needed her to hold on--needed her to fight what was happening if for no other reason than their child.
Susan look at me, Kyle pleaded with her, his voice raw with emotion and fear, Im going to get you to the hospital. Youre going to be safe. I promise you that
Kyle, a voice rose from the night as Kyle looked up to see Grady approaching. He rushed out from the thick forest of trees that had been shaded by the night. Seeing his friend racing through the woods, Kyles first instinct was to call out to him, to ask for help, but when Susan began to shudder and shake in his arms, Kyles focus returned to her.
Just hold on please, Kyle begged of her thinking of the life that she was carrying inside of her--the life that had been created out of her rage and insanity, but it was his life too nonetheless. She was having his child and that baby suddenly became the focus of everything.
Why cant I be happy? Kyle questioned, shaking his head slowly. What have I done wrong that has made someone out there want to make my life miserable? All I wanted was a family. Someone to love, to someone to love me.
He bit down on his bottom lip before shaking his head slowly. In his lifetime, it showed that people really didnt care about him. Whoever his birth parents were didnt care about him. That was obvious because they put him up for adoption. Grady was his best friend and he just turned his back on him so easily. It was hard to believe what he had done to Grady in the hospital, but he deserved it. He deserved every minute of it. The way he acted in the woods just made him remember the anger he had built up inside of him.
Grady please. Grady get my phone! Kyles voice echoed through
the night, but Grady was too far lost in his own madness remembering the love
hed had stolen from him. He thought of how smug Susan had been--how
cold and calculating shed been and in that moment in time he wanted
her to suffer--to pay the ultimate price for her sins.
Grady! Kyle snapped with a roar, turning his attention to Susan. He was afraid to let go of her--afraid to move, yet he knew if he did nothing, there would be no hope for her.
Kyle please Susan begged of him, her eyes misted over with tears, Our baby our
Just hold on. Oh God please hold on, Kyle looked to his hand seeing her wound now sputtering blood out at him. There was too much of it. It was coming too fast. There was no stopping it. No way of getting it to ease up. The bullet had gone through her and now
Go to hell Susan, Grady taunted further leaning down to further lash out at her, and take your games and your lies with you.
Damn it, Kyle fought with himself reaching out to squeeze Susan further into his arms, Grady stop this. Get my phone. We need to call for help. I need you to
To what? Grady extracted a phone from his pocket. He dangled it in the air before Susan seeing her eyes following the every movement, Call for someone to give Susan the second chance that she never gave Jade? To let her have that last reprieve that she stole from the mother of my child? To give her that break that she so richly deserves?
Grady, Kyle reached out for the phone feeling Grady snatch it away from him.
I wouldnt give her the satisfaction, Grady mouthed pulling the battery out of the phone and dropping it to the ground, Theres your reprieve Susan.
He let my child die, Kyle scowled, shaking his head slowly, He
let my child die. I cant trust anyone in this world anymore. The only
person I could even come close to trusting is Sarah. Another one who proved
to me that I meant nothing to them was Avery. She stood up for Grady, Grady
only. If it was Russ, he would have done something.
He shook his head slowly as he thought, everything that had been happening was wrong. He was losing everyone he cared about one by one. He leaned forward resting his head against the cool stone.
Why did you two have to leave me? he questioned, shaking his head slowly. You would know how to help me get out of this pain, you would know how to set things straight with me. Just please, somehow--help me. Do something that brings all of this bad luck off. I dont want to hurt anymore. I dont want to feel this pain I have inside of me.
He closed his eyes remembering what he did to Sarah earlier. He should probably let her know that everything was alright, she did nothing wrong. Maybe he was just jumping to conclusions with Diego. He just couldnt bring himself up to calling her right now, it just didnt feel right.
I just wish that I could see that pain leave his body, Sarah
sighed, leaning back into the couch before shaking her head slowly, I
dont like seeing him hurt.
Maybe he is pushing you away because he thinks his hurt will brush off on you, Kellen suggested, seeing Kipp shake his head slowly.
Susan did this to him Kellen, Kipp explained, shaking his head slowly as he thought, This is right, this isnt right at all. You and Kyle need to be together. Its just wrong having you two mad at each other.
I dont know if it was wrong, Sarah frowned, shaking her head slowly, It was bound to happen. I mean, the way I was acting about Susan and the way I thought she wasnt pregnant
Was fine, Kipp finished, grabbing her hand in his tightly, Sarah, I promise you--I am going to fix everything. I swear to you that I can fix this.
How do you plan on fixing everything, she questioned, seeing
him think for a long moment before going on with his plan.
Well, I know what kind of woman Susan was, Kipp declared, shaking his head slowly, And I have to agree with you Sarah. Something about her story doesnt seem right. I really dont believe that Susan was pregnant. I think she was lying.
Well, I guess its too bad that you cant find out, Kellen frowned, as Kipp looked back at him and shook his head slowly, Or you can?
Yes, I can, Kipp insisted with a small grin, looking up at Sarah, You have to agree with this first. You see, I have a key to Susans place because she was living in my old apartment. I figure we could go together and see what we can come up with.
Isnt that illegal? Kellen questioned, seeing Sarah nod slowly. I wouldnt risk it guys, I mean you could get caught.
I think it may be a good idea, Sarah declared, sitting forward as she thought, If we find something that proves she was lying, it could change things with Kyle. It could change things between Kyle and Grady.
Okay, am I the only one who thinks this is a bad idea? Kellen questioned, seeing Sarah and Kipp shake their heads. Then why are we agreeing to this?
If we find something that proves Susan was lying, Kipp began
to explain, shaking his head slowly, Then, we can change everything.
We could make things better with Kyle, but we would have to move fast.
Thank you Kipp, Sarah smiled, leaning forward to hug him tightly in her arms, You are so smart. This was a great idea, everything is going to be okay.
Dont thank me yet sweetheart, Kipp laughed, holding her in his arms tightly, We didnt find anything yet, but I can feel that there is something we are going to find. I just know it.
Kellen glared through the two as he watched them. This was just sick the way they were with each other. They were only supposed to be friends, but they were all over each other. It seemed like they were both sharing the same half a brain because this idea was just crazy.
Admit what you want Heather, I want to hear it, Diego stated
with a small sigh, motioning her to go on.
Well, you see, Heather began, thinking over how she was going to tell him this, I have only come close to feeling the way that one night with one other person.
Really? Diego questioned with a slight bit of curiosity as he watched her. Tell me about this other person.
Well, I thought we had some real chemistry between each other, Heather explained, shrugging her shoulders, I thought we could have something really special.
And what happened? he wondered, seeing her shrug her shoulders as she thought of an answer.
I screwed up, just like I always do, she stated with a small frown, thinking things over for a moment, I did the same thing I always do when I actually care for someone.
How did you screw up? Diego wondered, shaking his head slowly. I dont think you are that bad Heather.
Well, I ruined what we had, she explained, shaking her head as she spoke, I really dont know what went wrong between me and this person. You see we shared this one kiss around Christmas time and that was the only kiss I have had that came close to the one I had by the water.
Wait a second, Diego paused for a moment, noticing that she mentioned Christmas, Are you talking about
Us, she nodded, placing her fingers over his lips gently to silence him, I truthfully dont know what happened to us. We could have been together, I wanted to be with you but that just seemed to slip right through my fingers.
Maybe we shouldnt be talking about this, Diego suggested, shaking his head slowly, It may not be the best time.
Best time or not, Heather shook her head slowly, This is something that we have to talk about. It cant be ignored. I need to know one last thing.
Really? Diego questioned, seeing her nod slowly as he looked down at her. Whats that?
This, she replied, placing her hand on the back of his neck as she pulled him down into a sensual kiss, hoping to show him just what they had between them. She wanted to open up his memories of what they had between them and this could possibly be the only way.
Ken kept his arm around Michelle hugging her tightly as his news vibrated
through the room. He wasnt really sure what to expect from Brant and
Avery, but their silence said it all. His smile faded as he eyed his brother
Well, arent you going to say anything, Ken frowned over at Brant as if expecting that Brant wouldve leapt up and down for joy.
Yeah, youre an idiot, Brant sneered over at him unable to believe his brothers sudden declaration, Have you lost your damned mind?
No, just my heart to the most amazing woman in the world, Ken replied tipping down to rub noses with Michelle in a sickeningly sweet movement.
Okay its official. Im going to vomit, Brant groaned watching his brother resort to such childish antics in his latest quest for attention. Watching with heavy disapproval Brant couldnt help but question, Did this one drug you too or are you just that naïve?
Im in love which is an amazing thing, Ken blurted out hugging Michelle to him protectively.
We had hoped youd be happy for us, Michelle piped in with a small scowl.
Im happy for us, Ken assured her turning in to touch her cheek with his index finger before leaning in to kiss her again. Very happy for us.
What you need is a good, swift kick in the head, Brant folded his arms in front of his chest with heavy irritation, and you, well you should be ashamed of taking advantage of Ken when hes obviously still doped up on whatever Susan gave him.
Screw you Brant, Ken glared over at his brother before wrapping his arm around Michelles shoulders. Lets go tell Annie the news.
The two walked out of the room just as Brant let out a groan. He threw his hands up in the air as his frustrations mounted.
Well this is just wonderful, Brant kicked at the chair beside him causing his foot to ache in the process. What else could happen today?
Brant Im sure that we can find a way to Avery stepped forward reaching out to touch his arm gently. While theyd been in the midst of another argument with one another, she knew full well that he wasnt going to like the idea of Ken and Michelle getting married one bit. It was exactly what hed feared would happen and now that it was there was an obvious tension in the air. She curled her fingers around his bicep struggling to find the right words.
Not now Avery, Brant frowned turning his eyes down at her, While Im sure youve got plenty of thoughts on this subject what I was trying before isnt working. I need to amp it up a bit.
Let me help you. Maybe if we put our heads together, then she started once more.
I cant, he shook his head in refusal, Given that you and I cant go for an hour without fighting about something, the last thing I need is to be worried about us when hes about to give away everything to that woman. I need to find a way to fix this problem before Ken winds up making the worst mistake of his life.
Let me help you. Im sure that together we can she began again hoping to appeal to him.
Look Avery, maybe youre not getting it, but the truth to the matter is that this needs my full attention. I cant have you helping me only for you to run off after Grady half way through what were doing. It just doesnt work like that. I dont work like that and right now, well I need to make a phone call, he explained stomping out of the room in a haste leaving Avery to once again feel like the odd man out.
Falling back onto the couch, she sat down with a thump thinking about how things went from perfect to a perfect disaster in a matter of seconds. She looked to her phone remembering Gradys last phone call. Why she couldnt even begin to explain or understand the men in her life was far too overwhelming. Leaning back on the couch she closed her eyes realizing that if she helped Grady, shed make Brant feel alienated. If she helped Brant, he expected her to abandon Grady completely. Neither solution was to her liking, but now that Brant had pretty much laid out his feelings on the table by keeping her at arms length, she knew she had to make a decision. She had to figure out what her priorities were before it was too late on all accounts.
Well are you ready for this? Nick questioned packing up the cooler
in the Jeep. He closed the back door before looking to Angela.
Im so nervous, she confessed with a small smile, I mean I always knew the castle was there and Ive walked through it a few times in the past, but I never, ever anticipated that I might be getting married in it. The first time I was married, to the absolute wrong man I might add, was in this little dump in Atlantic City. It was one of those situations where he was like Hey baby want to tie the knot. Great. Pass me another beer and we just went for it, but this to be married in a castle, well its like a dream come true.
Its our dream come true, Nick reached for her pulling her into his arms lovingly. From here on out I want you to feel like youll have the best of everything with me. I want you to know that Im not going to be like your late husband. Im not going to be like any of the other men youve encountered in the past. This is the real thing for us.
I know it is, she sighed leaning into his embrace, and Ill be honest with you and tell you that Im like beyond excited about this. I mean to think of all that were going to have ahead of us
Its going to be perfect, Nick promised her brightly, I mean unless of course we get to the castle and you suddenly decide that its not at all what you had in mind for us.
I highly doubt thats going to happen, she replied with a small giggle, I mean I cant see turning down the offer to get married in a castle. It just doesnt get anymore romantic than that.
No it sure doesnt, he paused before a small smile spread over his features, of course there might be something a little more romantic in say the form of our honeymoon, but
Oh Nick, I cant wait, she squealed excitedly practically jumping in his arms. I mean to think of how this is falling together for us well its just something that I know is going to be perfect.
It already is because Im marrying you, he smiled down at her, Thats what makes this a real dream come true for me.
I love you, she reached out to touch his cheek memorizing the moment between them, Now, lets get going over there before they decide that were not coming. I dont want them changing their mind about letting us get married there. If they reject us
They arent going to reject us. The man on the phone sounded really nice and he said that hed love to see us. He said hes pretty sure that he can work out an arrangement for us on our special day, Nick explained confidently, I dont think weve got a thing to be worried about.
In that case, lets get moving, Angela suggested detangling herself from his arms and motioning towards the Jeep. We dont want to keep them waiting longer than we have to.
No we dont, Nick couldnt help but smile knowing that this was an adventure that he couldnt wait to embark upon with his bride to be. He had a feeling that big changes were around the corner and he couldnt wait!
Jenna sat on the sofa thinking about Camerons visit. She couldnt
quite figure out why hed stolen photos of her and Avery together, but
something told her that whatever it was that was happening it wasnt
good. She played with the television remote for a few minutes before deciding
that it was time to call Hart. She reached for the phone ready to call him
when she heard the front door open.
Jen, are you here, Hart questioned making his way further into the room.
Over here, she replied watching him walk through the doorway
looking rather perplexed.
Hey, Hart slipped out of his jacket moving in closer to her, how are you doing?
Ive had better days. What about you? Jenna questioned opting to wait before telling him about Camerons visit. He looked like he needed to talk right about now.
I had a miserable day, he revealed with an emphatic sigh walking around to sit down beside her.
Was Brant that upset about the situation with Avery? she questioned worried as she remembered her friends words on the subject.
He was upset, but thats not what got me all worked up. While I was with Brant, my father showed up, he confessed behind gritted teeth. One minute Im trying to talk Brant through his problems and then the next theres Walt Steiner pushing his way back into things again. He doesnt know when to quit.
What happened, she asked touching his arm lightly.
He just kind of made Brant uncomfortable and Brant left, Hart groaned inwardly, Then he sat down and tried to pull some psycho-babble BS on me about how he acknowledges that he made my life hell. I mean after everything hes done, he really truly believes that an acknowledgement is really going to do it in the getting my to forgive him department.
She watched him roll his eyes, Not happening huh?
Not even close to happening, Hart promised her with a frown, I mean I fought most of my life to get away from him and his manipulations and now that I have, the last thing I want is to bring him back in.
Is it possible that he mightve changed, she couldnt help but ask remembering his fathers urgency to get a hold of him.
Walt Steiner change, he repeated with an amused laugh, Thats like asking it to snow in July. I mean sure its possible, but not probable. Knowing Walt, hes got some trick up his sleeve--he probably pissed off the wrong guy--upset the wrong business associate and now hes got himself backed into a corner. Hes looking for someone or something to bail him out and hes hoping that Ill be a good son and do it for him. Hes probably hoping Ill dish out a bunch of cash in his favor, but its not happening.
Hart, I know youre upset with him, but maybe this time hes got something else in mind, she started catching his less than convinced look, hey Im not trying to defend him. Im just saying. I think by now after all hes done hed probably be well aware of the fact that youre not about to hand him money. I mean okay so maybe he mightve thought about that before, but now that youve shot him down a few times, wouldnt you think hed just give up on that notion?
Most people would, but not him, Hart shook his head, I really dont want to talk about him though. Hes really the last thing on my mind. What about you? How are you feeling today?
Im okay, she replied feeling him reach out to touch her shoulder lightly, I was feeling a little bit tired earlier, but then Avery came over and we caught up with one another.
You told her about the baby, didnt you, Hart couldnt help but smile watching her eyes closely.
I couldnt help it, she revealed with a light smile, Shes my best friend. I couldnt just not say something. She and I share all of our secrets and
Its okay. I told Brant as well, Hart laughed lightly thinking about his own blurting out their news, Hes very excited for us.
So is Avery. She said once we were ready to share the news she wanted to plan a baby shower and we talked about having a dinner for the four of us she continued remembering her talk with her friend.
That sounds like it might be nice and once those two stop getting so angry with one another, then maybe well do that, Hart suggested leaning in to kiss her gently, Although after the talk Brant and I had before my father arrived, well I think its highly possible that theyll work it out.
I hope so. I know Averys worried about so many things lately that her marriage really should be the last concern well, thats not what I meant, but Jenna explained a bit flustered.
I know what you mean, he nodded in understanding. So what else is new?
Well I got a strange visitor today, she admitted openly, a frown touching over the corners of her lips, Cameron stopped by.
Cameron? As in Cameron Stone? he replied sitting up straighter.
She nodded, Yeah he just showed up out of the blue to talk to me. He wasnt very specific about what he wanted and he didnt stay too long. He was here kind of making no sense, but then he took a few photos from the album. He stole them when I wasnt looking and
Why would he steal photos, he questioned with a strange look.
I dont know, but he was asking a couple of questions about Avery. The pictures I think he took were ones of Avery and I Jenna trailed off worry evident behind her eyes. I mean if hes up to something where shes concerned, then who is to say what it is?
Given Camerons vendetta against Brant, well, I cant help but worry myself there. I mean whatever it is hes planning its obviously anything, but good Hart trailed off wondering what was driving the madman who was clearly out to get his friends one way or the other. Whatever Cameron had planned, no doubt it was trouble.
Cameron sat in his office taking in the quietness that surrounded him. Ever
since hed left Jennas place he couldnt stop thinking about
those photos--about the last meeting hed had with Avery. Shed
come in and tried to deceive him, yet in her obvious manipulations Cameron
wondered if hed found a truth hidden behind her eyes--in her face
I just cant believe that, Cameron shook his head feeling a tension rising in over his shoulders. He thought of all the things hed had Thea take care of where Avery was concerned when hed first come to Coral Valley, but now that he could fully remember her eyes when hed asked her about her birthday, he already knew what he hadnt been able to say aloud.
Opening his top desk drawer, Cameron pulled out the photo of Angela he kept with him. While he hadnt seen her in quite some time, there was still no mistaking the bond they had with one another. Hed spent most of his life trying to protect her--trying to keep her safe even though danger had found its way to her more often than not. Even now when he thought back to her gruesome discovery when shed seen their father dead in his office, guilt plagued over him. Shed been horrified--broken to pieces and it was then that Cameron vowed that those responsible would pay. He hated that someone dared to hurt his sister--dared to upset his world, yet now as he thought of what hed encountered in Coral Valley
Theyre all going to pay for their crimes Angel, he fingered the photograph before his eyes returned to the pile of photographs hed swiped from Jenna. Reaching for one of them he held it up to compare it to the photo he had of Angela. There was no mistaking the resemblance--down to the last detail it was like a carbon copy. There was something there--something that he couldnt deny.
Setting both images down, Cameron turned his attention to his computer. He typed in the password and then checked his e-mail hoping that those files hed requested on Avery had come in. Watching her worry about him knowing her birthday had started his quest and now that he saw that the information hed requested from his source was there, he knew that he would get the final confirmation of his suspicions.
Well Avery, lets just see if maybe theres more than meets the eye between the two of us--lets see if Cameron clicked on the message only to discover the one thing hed found himself believing right along. From the first moment hed seen Avery Morrison, shed reminded him of Angel. Shed had such a remarkable similarity in her that it had terrified him the time hed almost hurt her. When he thought back to how hed planned out how he would set up Grady Denton by using Gradys rage against Avery to get Grady put away for life, well, it made him uneasy. Had she not turned around, he mightve hurt her--mightve done something that he wouldve lived to regret. Now that he had the confirmation in his hands--right before him on the computer screen he said a silent prayer that he hadnt acted so hastily.
That wouldve been a true tragedy, Cameron redirected his attention to the photos before him. He set them side by side thinking of how Angela looked at that age--about the things shed experienced--the way shed been such a vital part of his life. Angela was his world and now as Cameron focused his eyes on Avery, he realized that world had gotten a bit bigger. After all it wasnt every day that you discovered your sister was out there working for a family he loathed--married to a man youd learned to despise.
But she wont be for long, Cameron vowed knowing full well what he must do. While Avery was still in the dark about their connection, Cameron promised himself that from here on out, hed do everything in his power to bring the truth to her. He would show her who the real enemy was and once he did, there was no way that the Ashfords would ever get the opportunity to seek out to destroy his family ever again. This time Cameron would be victorious. He would finally have the last laugh at long last.
Diane finally arrived at the restaurant that the invitation had told her
to be at. She walked forward and took a step forward looking around the room
with a wide smile on her face. She saw no sign of Ben as she looked around
Ben, Diane smiled, watching as Ben walked in through the doors of the restaurant, This was so cute of you.
Uh yeah, Ben nodded slowly, feeling her hug him tightly in her arms, So whats up Diane? I had this invitation telling me to meet you here. So, what is it?
You mean this isnt from you? she questioned seeing him shake his head slowly. I didnt send these out either.
She thought for a minute before realizing that something was wrong. Ben didnt send the invitation and neither did she, so that mean someone wanted the two of them to be together there. But who?
Well hello, JT smiled, walking up from behind Diane as he enclosed his hands together, I see that the both of you came with my invitations.
Your invitations? Diane questioned, seeing JT nod slowly as she let out a small frown.
Whats wrong Diane? You should be happy to see me because I have some great news, JT declared, looking back at Ben and I am really glad that the both of you could make it because its really important.
What is this all about? Ben questioned angrily, taking a step forward after seeing JT shrug his shoulders.
We all have to have a little talk, JT declared, shrugging his shoulders slowly, I think this talk has been way over due because it involves all three of us and ironically, the baby growing inside of you Diane.
...to be continued...