Episode 252

“Be quiet and make sure you don’t do anything that will make noise,” Sarah whispered as Kipp shrugged his shoulders defensively before shaking his head slowly. “We don’t want to be caught for something like this.”

“I’m not the one talking, now am I?” Kipp questioned with a small frown hearing voices towards the front door as he turned away from Sarah. He slowly leaned forward and out from under the desk to look towards the front door to see who it was before he pulled back and hid under the desk again. “Oh no. Don’t say a word and be really quiet.”

“Why?” Sarah quickly questioned, leaning forward as Kipp frowned because she wasn’t listening to what he was saying. “Who is out there Kipp?”

“The police if you must know,” Kipp rolled his eyes, shaking his head slowly before looking towards the door again, “Just make sure that they can’t find us.”

“Oh great,” Sarah bit down on her bottom lip, crossing her fingers as she prayed that two of them wouldn’t be caught for doing this, “Please, don’t let us get caught.”

“Shut up Sarah and I think we will be just fine,” Kipp replied with a small frown as he watched her nod slowly. He leaned against the desk to try and listen to what the officers were talking about. The officer that was speaking was very low toned and it was very hard to hear what he was saying, but he could just understand parts of what he was saying.

“One of the guys must have left the lights on before leaving, they are becoming so lazy,” one of the officers replied before looking around the apartment before them. “Alright, let’s see if we can find anything else that can lead us to anything else that this Susan woman had planned.”

“Right away, I‘m sure there is a little something here,” the second officer nodded, walking back towards the bedroom while the other officer looked through the bookshelf.

“What are they looking for?” Sarah wondered as Kipp motioned her to be quiet while he listened.

With the sound of footsteps getting closer to the desk, he reached his arm out to pull Sarah even more back and away from the view from the officer. Kipp’s heart began to pound with worry as he saw the officer’s feet before him. He just knew that they were going to be caught. He should have listened to Kellen, this was a bad idea. Kipp let out a small sigh of relief as he heard the officer’s radio go off .

“We need back up and quick,” a voice over the radio as Kipp listened carefully.

“What’s going on?” the officer questioned quickly, turning around before he could see Kipp and Sarah.

“At the bar there is a big fight going on,” the person answered before going on, “The two men are trying to resist. They are some guys named Kyle Houston and Grady Denton.”

“Alright, we’ll be on our way,” the officer declared before calling out to his partner, “Come on, we have to go to the bar. There is another fight going on.”

“What did they say just say?” Sarah questioned after hearing the officers leave. “I could hardly understand a word that they just said. I swear I thought I heard Kyle’s name.”

“You did hear his name Sarah,” Kipp replied, crawling out from under the desk before reaching his hand out to help Sarah up from the ground. He brushed his pant legs off before going on to what he had heard. “I think something is up with Kyle and Grady again. They said they are in a fight at a bar.”

“A bar? They said they were at a bar fighting. A bar, like the place people drink?” Sarah shook her head after what Kipp had just said to her before seeing Kipp nod slowly after she asked him a few questions in a row. “That’s not possible. Kyle hasn’t drank in years, he doesn’t believe in it.”

“Well, whether he is drinking or not,” Kipp began, resting his hands on his hips as he talked, “he is still at that bar in a fight with Grady.”

“We have to get to him right now Kipp,” Sarah began worriedly before shaking her head slowly, “We have to help him before he gets any more hurt.”

“What are we waiting here for then?” Kipp questioned with a small frown, reaching out to grab her hand in his tightly. “Let’s go and get there as soon as we can.”

“Okay,” Sarah nodded, feeling her throat become drier by the minute. With what had been happening lately, made Kyle change completely. His anger could be switched with just one word he didn’t like. Hopefully they weren’t too late.


Avery looked around the bedroom feeling as if the walls were closing in on her. It wasn’t long after Brant had left, yet it felt like an eternity. Reaching for one of her sweaters, she wrapped it around her shoulders in an attempt to stop the chill that had overtaken her. It wasn’t doing any good because she knew deep down that the thing that was bothering her--really, really bothering her was his leaving without taking her with him. They were on such bad terms that even now she couldn’t help but worry that what was happening was beyond repair.

Sinking down onto the bed once more, Avery fell back closing her eyes as the events of the last couple of days replayed in her mind. She knew that Brant was upset--understood that he wasn’t happy with her, yet to think of him believing that Grady would be a problem for them. Why couldn’t he understand that they were just friends? That Avery was doing what she needed to do in order to help him from going under? Surely he would do the same for his friends, so why was it so different?

“Because his friends aren’t Grady,” Avery reminded herself feeling an uneasiness settle in over her. She thought back to her tumultuous relationship with Grady over the years. There had been a time when he’d been easy to be around--when he hadn’t been so full of hatred and it was that Grady that had her returning to his side to help him. Sure he’d told her that he’d hated her, yet there was a time when they’d been the best of friends.

“God I can’t wait to get out of here,” Avery remembered looking around the gala her mother was putting on for Beholder. “I feel like all eyes are on me and it’s creeping me out.”

“All eyes are on you Avery,” Grady leaned in over her shoulder to remind her, “and it shouldn’t creep you out. You should feel flattered considering that you’re the new face of Beholder.”

“With an ad campaign that is so far from who I am,” Avery tilted her head up to look at him, “Just to think of what they did with those pictures…”

“They were beautiful,” Grady offered up supportively clearing his throat uneasily. “I mean anyone could see why they chose that particular shot.”

“Yeah it was because the photographer was a pervert,” Avery’s eyes scanned the room to locate the man who had taken great pleasures in trying to get her naked. She shuddered at the memory of the photo shoot her mother had put her on, which she simply hadn’t wanted to go to.

“Hey, I think it turned out okay,” Grady offered up again knowing that she was less than thrilled to have all the recognition.

“I suppose,” she turned around to face him again, “but I swear if he comes over here to try to talk to me…”

“He won’t because if he even thinks about it, I’ll have to make sure that he learns the hard way not to dare think about you that way again,” Grady promised her with a bold, sexy smile, “After all as your personal escort tonight, it’s my duty to make sure that you’re not put in a position where you feel completely uncomfortable.”

“I’m already there,” Avery confessed with a long sigh, “I mean I wish that Russ could’ve been here tonight. I know he had that interview but…”

“But I’m not chopped liver either,” Grady joked lightly, “I mean I know I’m only a stand in for Russ, but I’d like to think that I’m worth my weight around here.”

“You’re more than worth your weight,” Avery couldn’t help but smile reaching out to adjust his jacket lapel, “If I couldn’t have Russ with me, then you’d be on the top of my list.”

“Hmm, well I suppose I should be happy with that given that I know no one even holds a candle to my brother in your eyes,” he grinned down at her reaching out to touch her cheek gently, “but hey since we’re on the subject about my being on the top of your list, how about I try to rack up some brownie points by showing you a little fun? It might help you stop worrying…”

“I don’t know about that. Given who we are surrounded with,” she began uneasily.

“Come on Avery,” he took her hand in his leading her out onto the dance floor, “Let’s dance.”

“Grady I can’t. I really can’t,” Avery argued shaking her head as she tried to pull herself away from the dance floor.

“Yes you can,” he collected her into his arms, “You can dance and enjoy yourself because this is a party in your honor. It’s all about the new face of Beholder, who happens to be the most beautiful woman in the room by the way.”

“Grady stop,” Avery felt a blush rise over her features, “you’re embarrassing me.”

“I’m not trying to,” he guided her onto the dance floor keeping her close to him, “I’m just hoping you’ll see yourself like everyone else here does--like the amazing woman you truly are.”

“I’m not that amazing,” she blushed dropping her eyes a bit.

“Yes you are Avery,” he curled his finger underneath her chin lifting her gaze to his, “and if you can’t see how special you truly are, then you aren’t hearing it nearly enough. As far as I’m concerned you are the most remarkable, beautiful woman I’ve ever known and any man who is lucky enough to be able to share your company is by far the luckiest man in the world.”

Now moving back to the present Avery felt a heat rise over her at the thought of that night so long ago when Grady had accompanied her to her mother’s party. While it had been purely platonic and simply because Russ hadn’t been able to get out of that interview he’d had set up with the board of directors at the college, there was something about that experience--something about that particular memory that had Avery uneasy.

“That’s it,” Avery’s eyes snapped open and she sat upright. “There’s no more feeling sorry for yourself. No more trying to sabotage your future. You need to stay focused.”

Getting up off of the bed Avery prepared to take destiny into her own hands--to make things right once and for all. Dropping the sweater down from her shoulders, she walked towards the door ready to take some action in her life. She opened the door only to hear the sounds of her cell phone ringing. She paused unsure of whether or not she should answer.

“It could be Brant,” she realized wondering if he’d changed his mind about leaving her behind. She rushed over to the phone answering it in a haste. “hello.”

“Avery, hey it’s Julian,” the voice on the other end of the line began, “Julian Kurts from the police department…”

“Yes I know who you are,” she nodded taking in a small breath, “What can I do for you?”

“Well, we’ve brought Grady Denton into custody and I thought that since you were his lawyer…” he started.

“Oh God, what has he done,” Avery questioned with worry hearing the details leading up to Grady’s arrest. Fearing for what might’ve transpired between him and Kyle she quickly reached for her purse.

“I’ll be there shortly,” Avery promised hanging up the phone and rushing out of the mansion in the hopes of saving Grady and Kyle from destroying their friendships and themselves forever. She just prayed that it wasn’t too late to finish the damage that had been done.


JT walked through his apartment unable to contain his enthusiasm about how well the day was going for him. The look on Diane’s face when she left was priceless. There was no way that the boy scout in Ben Walters was ever going to consider taking her back. She’d made her bed and now she was going to lie in it--preferably next to JT for that matter once everything was said and done. Oh yes Diane had been eager to push him away, but he’d had the last laugh. Now victory would be his.

“JT, is that you,” a groggy Valerie questioned walking out into the living room to see the champagne bottle in his hand. She eyed him curiously. “Where the hell have you been?”

“Making each and every one of my dreams come true,” he replied with a wide grin, “which is more than I can say for what you’ve done in your pursuit of Seth, but regardless today isn’t about your failures. It’s about my shining victory and I’m in the mood to celebrate.”

“Dare I ask what brought this about,” she couldn’t help but ask watching him walk into the kitchen in search of a bottle opener.

“Let’s just say that Diane was finally caught at her own game,” JT replied opening up a drawer and finding the bottle opener. He spun around to face Valerie, his eyes casting over her briefly, “You look like hell.”

“I thought I’d catch up on some sleep since you weren’t around,” she mouthed dryly, her eyes tapering off towards the bottle of champagne, “So are you going to share the details of your victory with me or just stand there gloating?”

“I didn’t think you cared about my quest to win Diane over,” JT raised a curious brow.

“Well I don’t…not really, but at the same time I do know you’re holding a very nice bottle of champagne there that I would really, truly enjoy sharing with you,” she explained simply with a shrug of her shoulders, “So what do you say? Care to make it a celebration for two?”

“Well I suppose we could considering that you are truly in need of a few pointers on how to get the job done,” JT shrugged his shoulders before motioning to the table before her, “Take a seat and learn a few tricks from the master.”

“I hardly would consider you a master,” she rolled her eyes still moving over to the table to take a seat, “but then again Diane’s an idiot so it was no doubt child’s play.”

“In a way yes it was child’s play, but then again, there was a lot happening there,” JT popped the top off of the bottle working with the cork before turning to Valerie, “although I must admit the expression on Ben’s face was truly priceless when he learned the truth about his beloved Diane. She’s had him fooled about the kind of person she truly is, but I know her. I know the heart of the woman she’s always been. I know her unlike anyone else has ever known her and sooner or later she’s going to come to her good senses and see that.”

“And let me guess,” Valerie watched him pour himself a glass of champagne, “when that time comes, she’s going to come running right back to you for her happily ever after, right?”

“Exactly,” JT poured himself a glass of champagne holding it out towards her before thinking twice of it. He lifted the drink to his lips before flashing her a smug smile, “and when she comes to me, she’s going to see that she made a mistake in walking away from me all those years ago. Diane and I were meant to be together and now she’s going to see first hand what bad can come of our being apart.”

“You really think that Ben’s just going to walk away from what he had with her?” Valerie asked skeptically reaching out to swipe his champagne glass from his hand.

“Oh I’m certain of it,” he nodded confidently, “Today was just the beginning of the end of Ben and Diane’s relationship. Very soon she’ll have no choice to accept that he’s gone. Soon she’ll realize he’s never coming back because when it gets down to it, he never really loved her.”


Diane rushed through her front door seeing that it was open. Realizing that it was in such a state only lead Diane to believe that Ben had returned to her place. If he was here it could only mean one thing. He was ready to listen. He wanted to be with her. What JT had done to try to tear them apart wasn’t going to make a difference. Hurrying inside she searched her apartment for Ben eager to fix things between them.

“Ben! Ben, are you in here? Ben!” Diane rushed into her bedroom only to discover him by the bed packing up a duffle bag. A frown touched over her lips, “Ben, what are you doing?”

“Leaving,” Ben replied shoving another shirt into his duffle bag before looking around the room for his other things he’d had laying around, “I think it’s for the best.”

“No, it’s not for the best,” she raced over to his side tugging on his arm urgently, “Ben please you have to listen to me. You have to understand…”

“Understand what Diane?” Ben spun around to face her, his eyes filled with tears as the events of the night replayed in his mind over and over again leading up to the final moment of realization when he’d discovered she had betrayed him. His heart was shattered into a million pieces, his dreams broken and now, well now he couldn’t think--couldn’t breathe straight as his mind and heart were full of betrayal. “That you lied to me? That you slept with another man when you said that you loved me? That you cheated on me and never felt the need to say anything?”

“It was a mistake,” she pleaded with him tugging on his arm once more, “Ben, I never, ever meant for it to happen…”

“But that doesn’t change the fact that it did, now does it,” he shot back at her icily. He choked up as he thought of the way JT had blurted out the horrible truth.

“Ben, I wanted to tell you about it--wanted to explain, but…” she offered up tearfully her desperations mounting by the moment.

“But what? You just felt it wasn’t right? That it would be better to lead me to believe that I’m this baby’s father? That I’m the only one you’ve been with?” his voice raised with emotion. He took a step back freeing himself from her embrace, “Diane, I loved you with all that I had--with every ounce of my being and then to hear from JT about the lies…”

“Ben, I wanted to tell you. Time and time again I came so close to telling you the truth. It was a one time thing. It was a mistake--one that I wished like hell had never, ever happened. I knew that it was wrong and right after I slept with him, I vowed to make things right. Ben, I never, ever meant to hurt you…”

“It’s a little too late for that now Diane,” he shook his head at her unable to believe the way that she’d been deceiving him, “I would’ve given my life for you. You were my world--my everything…”

“And I knew that. I know that you love me and I love you. Ben, you are the best thing that’s ever happened to me. You are the only man who has ever truly loved me for me. With you I didn’t have to lie or pretend to be something I’m not with you. I could just be myself and you loved me in spite of my flaws. When I was with JT it all happened so fast. I was trying to help Jade and…”

“Help Jade by hopping into bed with him?” Ben questioned chocking on the words unable to believe the excuses. “Do you really expect me to believe that?”

“No, that’s not what I meant. What I’m trying to tell you is that the night it happened, you and I had broken up. Jade was looking for help in clearing Grady’s name. I went out with Patrick. You remember Patrick don’t you?”

“Don’t tell me he’s in the running for being the baby’s father as well,” Ben scowled down at her, his words coming out with spite and fury despite the fact his heart was aching to understand how she could’ve betrayed him.

“No, it didn’t even come close to that. I only pretended to be interested in him--pretended to like him so that I could get him to open up about what Cameron was doing to keep Grady in jail. I tried to get the truth out of him, but all he wanted to do was be evasive and irritating. I started drinking to pass the time and…”

“And what? Then you decided since Patrick was such a bore you’d find a way to have some fun with JT?” Ben demanded watching her mouth open before he shook his head, “On second thought I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to know anything.”

“Ben, you need to know the truth. JT was annoying me, but then I saw you there at the bar with Valerie. I saw you two dancing together and I was so angry and upset. Watching you two together it did something to me. I started drinking and then I drank some more and before I knew it…” she began weakly.

“Let me guess, you just decided it was time to hurt me by sleeping with JT instead of asking me what was going on, right? I mean Diane, why didn’t you just say something? You know Valerie is only my friend,” he snapped back at her trying his best not to lose it, but finding it increasingly difficult.

“Ben, you just broke up with me. You were so angry with me and all I wanted to do was deck her when I saw you two together. I felt irrational and upset and…” Diane insisted thinking back to the night that had changed her life forever.

“So you decided to even the score by going home with JT right? You decided rather than approaching me about who I was with, you’d retaliate and hurt me like I hurt you. Is that it?” he questioned bluntly, his eyes still clouded with tears.

“No, Ben that’s not what I was trying to do. I honestly don’t know how I wound up going home with JT that night. I don’t know why I slept with him and if I could take it back, then I swear to you I would. I never, ever wanted him--never loved him and even now I can’t even think of one reason why I would’ve done what I did,” she continued still holding onto his arm despite his attempts to get away from her, “Ben, the next day I left his place hating myself completely. I knew that I’d made the biggest mistake of my life and I’d felt horrible. I wanted nothing more than to put it behind me forever--to make myself suffer for all that I’d done, but then when I got back to my apartment, there you were. You were ready to forgive me--to work things out and even though I wanted to tell you, Ben I wanted for us to be together even more.”

“So you thought what? That you’d just keep up the charade and never let me know the truth?” Ben asked in frustration, “That I didn’t need to know what happened?”

“We were happy and you asked me to marry you. Ben, you’re everything that I wanted. You’re the love of my life--the man I know I was destined to be with. You’re my soul mate,” she continued pouring her heart out to him, “I love you more than I ever thought I could love someone. When we were back together everything felt so right--so perfect and I just thought…”

“Thought what?” he questioned shakily, “That you’d just sweep that night under the carpet and never tell me?”

“I wish I could’ve, but I knew I had to be honest with you. I kept waiting for the right time to tell you--to be honest about what happened while we were apart, but I just couldn’t bring myself to hurt you. I couldn’t bring myself to risk losing you.”

“You just said you thought I was your one true love--your soul mate even, so why couldn’t you just be honest with me? Diane, why couldn’t you tell me the truth instead of leading me to believe that I was this baby’s father?” he replied unable to contain the tears that overtook him. He bit back on his words as he fought like hell to keep from holding her. Despite the fact she’d hurt him, she had his heart--she had his love and she was his one dream come true. Of course now that dream had fallen to pieces.

“I tried to tell you Ben. I wished I could’ve been able to do it, but once you learned I was pregnant--once you started talking about the baby--about our future and then with Jade dying nothing felt right. Nothing about any of this felt right, but I still wanted to be honest with you. Deidra told me to just be straight up with you about that night, but…”

“Deidra knew?” Ben’s eyes widened in surprise, “You told your sister about this, but not me?”

“Ben I couldn’t lose you. I couldn’t risk your not loving me anymore. If you walked away from me…” Diane explained tearfully, her body shaking with emotional outpour.

“Why couldn’t you tell me Diane? Why couldn’t you just be honest with me? Why did I have to hear it from JT?” Ben questioned clearly shaken as he too was on the verge of tears. “All I asked from you was for you to love me and to trust me. I wanted you to know how much you mean to me--how much I love you…”

“I do know that,” Diane watched him turning away from her. She reached out to him again, “I know that more than anything. Ben, you are my everything. You are the man of my dreams--the man I want to share my life with. You’re my best friend and my heart…”

“Yet you couldn’t find it in you to be honest with me about this Diane. When were you ever going to tell me?” Ben countered seeing the expression on her face, “You keep saying that you wanted to, but was it really ever in the plan for you?”

“I wanted it to be. Ben I came so close to telling you so many times, but I just couldn’t bear the thought of you walking away…” she continued hoping and praying that JT didn’t cause her to lose the one true love of her life.

“So you decided that it was best to keep me in the dark--to lead me to believe that the baby you’re carrying could be mine…” Ben added his voice rising with emotion, “That everything was okay with us?”

“Ben, the baby I’m carrying could be yours,” Diane insisted placing her hand over her abdomen, “We could still be having a child together…”

“That is if JT isn’t the father, right?” Ben shook his head at her, “You know for so very long everyone told me what kind of woman you were. Time and time again they all tried to warn me, but it didn’t matter to me. I loved you with everything I had in me. Even now I still love you--I still want you…”

“And I want you too. I know if we give this another try that we can work this out…that we can be together and…” she begged of him squeezing at his hand. “We can still be together. Our love can make it through this…”

“Diane with no trust, there’s no love,” Ben sighed heavily the realization weighing over him, “How can you even begin to think that we can have something together when you can’t even feel safe in sharing your secrets with me?”

“You never would’ve forgiven me for what happened with JT. You would’ve walked away from me,” she explained thinking about all of the fears she’d harbored, “If I’d told you the truth I would’ve lost you forever…”

“If you would’ve told me the truth we might’ve been able to work through it. We might’ve been able to deal with this, but to hear it from JT,” Ben trailed off his heart breaking all over again. He pulled away from her walking over to the bed to zip up his duffle bag, “well, I guess we’ll never know what might’ve been for us if you’d only told me the truth.”

“Ben, I love you. I love you so much that I can’t live without you. Please don’t let this be the end of us. Please don’t walk away from me when…”

“I need time to deal with this Diane. I need time to take this in,” he replied tearing his eyes away from her for fear of what seeing her pain and sadness would do to him. “I need to think…to get away…”

“Ben, we can work through this together. I know if you’ll just listen…” she reached for him again.

“Diane, I can’t do this now,” he shook his head at her forcing himself to meet her dark eyes, “The only way I’m going to be able to deal with this is under my own terms. You keep saying you love me, but you didn’t trust me enough to be honest with me. You didn’t believe that my love could go without limits…”

“I slept with another man. What reason would I have to believe that you would still be with me?” she stated the obvious watching the hurt return to his dark eyes.

“Would you have still wanted to be with me if I’d been with another woman? If I’d hurt you like that…” Ben asked his voice raw with emotion.

“It would hurt like hell, but I would still want you Ben. I would still want for us to be together,” she replied immediately without thought to the subject. “You’re all I’ve ever wanted…”

“Then why wouldn’t you expect the same out of me when I told you how much I loved you?” Ben shook his head at her, “The betrayal would take some time to deal with in knowing that you slept with JT, but as you said we were apart at the time. We weren’t together and that changes things…”

“Ben, are you saying that we can work this out? That you and I can try to…” she questioned a smile lifting over the corners of her lips as hope filled up inside of her.

“I’m saying that I might’ve been able to get over the fact you slept with JT, but knowing that you continued to keep up the charade even after you believed there was a possibility that you could be having JT’s child, well that’s what hurts. If I’d only heard the truth from you instead of JT…”

“I wished you had,” Diane sighed heavily, tears falling down her face.

“So do I,” Ben hoisted his bag over his shoulder before walking towards the door.

“Ben wait,” Diane pleaded with him feeling her world come crashing down around her as he moved to the door. “Don’t go.”

“Diane, if you love me--really, truly love me, then please don’t try to stop me. Let me deal with this in my own way,” Ben replied painfully closing his eyes as he refused to turn around and face her once more.

“But Ben…I love you…” she cried out knowing that she’d finally lost the one thing that mattered in her life. Here he was walking away and there was nothing she could do to stop him. Realization came crashing down upon her.

“And I love you…” Ben mouthed glancing over his shoulder to look at her before walking out of the apartment ready to deal with the consequences of this betrayal.

Diane heard her apartment door shut and in that moment her heart sank. She felt her entire relationship with Ben flash before her eyes only to fade away from her. An emptiness surrounded her as she could almost feel him walking further and further away from her. Unable to hold it together any longer Diane fell to the bed overcome with tears at the knowledge that her one mistake was about to cost her everything that had mattered in her life. Ben was gone and she feared that she may never find a way to get him back again.


“When is daddy going to be home mommy?” Kayla questioned with a small frown, tapping her fingers on the kitchen table as her and Carly waited for Dave to get home.

“I’m not sure,” Carly shrugged, thinking things over for a moment before hearing footsteps walking towards the kitchen, “but I promise as soon as he gets home I will let you know.”

“Okay,” Kayla shrugged before hopping down out of her seat, “I am going to go play a game in my room.”

“Okay sweetheart,” Carly smiled watching as Kayla skipped out of the kitchen. Her smile was soon faded into a frown as she saw Deidra walk into the kitchen, “Need something?”

“Actually,” Deidra began slowly, folding her arms out in front of her chest, “I was hoping we could talk.”

“Talk? You want to talk?” Carly questioned with a small laugh before shaking her head slowly. “What is it you want to talk about angel?”

“Listen, I don’t want things to be bad between us,” Deidra declared with a small gulp, looking up into Carly’s eyes that seemed to just tear right through her with hatred. “I was kind of hoping that we could be friends.”

“Friends? You want to be friends with me?” Carly questioned, watching as Deidra nodded slowly. This was really starting to make Carly sick. Having Deidra staying at the house was more than enough for her to handle, and now that Deidra was standing before her was way too much. “What do you want Deidra? Do you want to get something on me so you can try and take Dave away from me or something?”

“No, it’s nothing like that Carly,” Deidra replied, holding her hands up in the air defensively, “I was just hoping we could just be cool with each other. I don’t want to live my life hating one of my good friend’s wife.”

“You’re good friends? You treat Dave like crap and somehow he still is your good friend,” Carly shook her head slowly, angrily resting her hands on her hips, “I don’t know why Dave just doesn’t throw you out of his life forever.”

“What do you exactly mean by that?” Deidra wondered, frowning at Carly’s remark. “I care about Dave, he has always been there for me and…”

“And you treat him horribly,” Carly cut Deidra off before angrily throwing one of her hands up in the air, “When Dave loved you for some stupid reason, you hurt him as bad as it comes. All you ever do when he tries to help you is hurt him. Personally, I don’t like you and I really don’t know why he likes you because I think you are simply a piece of trash.”

“You don’t even know me,” Deidra tried to stand up for herself before shaking her head slowly, “I can’t believe you would say something like that to me when I was only trying to be nice to you Carly. Don’t you think you could lighten up a bit?”

“Did you ever lighten up on Dave?” Carly questioned, shaking her head as she spoke. “I don’t think so. And you can’t tell me that now that you know Dave and I are together, you can’t help but feel some jealousy. You wish you could have had that chance to take a shot at Dave don’t you? Just admit it Deidra, you are a user and a bitch that wants what everyone else has.”

“Wait a second here, Dave is your husband and I would never try to do anything like taking him away from you,” Deidra protested, taking a deep breath, “Just listen, I knew this was a big mistake coming here.”

“Yeah, it really was,” Carly agreed, biting down on her bottom lip angrily, “Personally, I really don’t know what Dave was thinking. He never even asked me before bringing you here.”

“If you don’t want me here, then I guess I should leave,” Deidra began, not being able to finish her sentence as Carly started to cut her off.

“God, now you are finally starting to think smart aren’t you?” Carly chuckled watching Deidra walk into the guest room and grab her things. Deidra walked towards the door as she laughed. “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

The door closed behind Deidra as Carly smile to herself. Well, that certainly got rid of her problem.


Diego kept his eyes on the ceiling thinking about the turn of events that lead him to this moment in time. He felt a breath escape his lips as he turned to look at Cori. She lay beside him clad only in the thin white sheet on his bed. Her eyes were closed and her long, blonde hair cascaded around her shoulders, reminding him all over again how truly beautiful she was. Sure, they hadn’t planned on making love tonight, yet when it happened there was something about it--something so very unexpected and so…

“Not right,” Diego sighed immediately hating himself for not being able to give her what she’d needed.

Quietly he slid out of the bed beside her reaching for his robe and making his way into his kitchen. He reached for the light ready to turn it on when he thought twice about it. Instead he made his way over to the table, pulling out one of the chairs and taking a seat in the darkness. Bringing his fingers up through his dark hair, he tried to keep from focusing on the things he couldn’t change--on the things he couldn’t take back, yet his mind was on overload even now.

After he’d left Heather, he’d been worked up--he’d been upset and agitated and frustrated with himself for caring so damned much about a woman who clearly wasn’t ready to give him a second thought. When she’d kissed him, he’d damn near lost his mind. He’d wanted to kiss her back--hell, he had kissed her back. He’d kissed her back with such an energy and an enthusiasm that he’d scared himself. How he’d ever found the strength to pull away he wasn’t sure, but now as he sat in the center of his kitchen guilt tugged at him.

“This isn’t what you planned on,” he thought to himself his gaze lingering to the table beside him. Unable to help himself he thought back to the time he’d almost given into passion with Heather in this very room. Big mistake, he thought again rising up from his chair. Here he was with Cori, a beautiful, incredible wonderful woman who was fun and exciting--a woman who had made no qualms about letting him know that she thought the world of him, yet where was he after they’d made love?

“In the kitchen acting like an ass,” he mouthed to himself dropping his head as he leaned in against the kitchen sink, his hands pressed out over the countertop.

“I thought I heard you get up,” Cori’s voice beckoned him from his silent contemplations. He spun around to see her standing in the doorway, her long blonde hair hanging over his shirt that she was now wearing. Her worried eyes reached out to him as she took a small step forward, “Is something wrong?”

“No,” Diego lied hating himself almost immediately after the word fell from his lips. He opened his mouth to say something further, but nothing felt right.

“Don’t tell me no,” she frowned up at him, “Diego, I can see something’s bothering you. Is it because of what just happened between us? Are you upset that we…”

“Cori, it’s not that. I mean it’s just…” he strained to find the right words--to say the things that were on his mind, but he found himself at a loss.

“You’re thinking about Maria, aren’t you?” Cori couldn’t help but ask moving forward and sliding her arms out around his waist. “Is that what’s bothering you?”

“Cori I…” Diego found himself at a loss. Looking down into her beautiful brown eyes he couldn’t help but feel a certain sense of appreciation for her. There was a warmth and a breath of life that filled him when she was around. She was beautiful, easy-going, fun to be around and when they were together, he found himself loosening up a bit. She was good for him. She made him laugh--made him smile…it was a good thing in his life.

“I know that you loved her a lot,” Cori began placing her fingers over the center of his chest, “I know that it’s been hard for you since she died…”

“That it has,” he nodded dropping his head just a bit. “She was very important to me.”

“I know that,” she curled her finger underneath his chin urging him to meet her eyes again, “and that’s why I want you to know that I’m not trying to replace her. I know that you’ll always hold a special place in your heart for her and for what the two of you had together. By our being together you’re not betraying that memory. I just thought you should know that.”

“I do Cori, but…” Diego sighed heavily unable to find anything that seemed to fit in that moment between them, “I’m sorry that I just got up without saying anything to you.”

“It’s okay,” she replied with a small shiver, “I mean it’s not like you weren’t coming back, right?”

“Of course not,” he reached out to touch her cheek gently sliding his fingers through her long blonde hair. She really was special. She had something about her that any man could easily fall in love with. She was a breath of fresh air in a world full of darkness and Diego would be a fool not to acknowledge that.

“Good,” she placed her hand atop of his, her lips curling upward in a small smile, “because I was hoping that we’d have a bit more to discuss back in bed.”

“Discuss,” he repeated arching a curious brow.

She nodded eagerly, her arm curling around his waist, “Well maybe not us doing a whole lot of talking, but I’m pretty sure that we’ll be able to communicate with one another and we’ll be using our mouths a lot.”

“Is that right?” he couldn’t help but smile at her enthusiasm. Even if he was an idiot hooked on a woman that was certifiable there was just something about Cori--something about being with her that made life seem…better. She was beautiful, fun and he’d enjoyed being around her. She was the friend that he’d been missing out on for a very long time.

“Uh-huh,” she nodded her fingers dropping down to the sash on his robe, “and once I get you out of this, we can further explore what’s hidden beneath our psyches together.”

“Well actually,” Diego placed his hands over hers.

“Actually what,” she questioned tilting her head to the side, “Diego, what is it? Did I do something wrong?”

“No, not at all,” he promised with a reassuring smile, “I guess I’m just a bit new at all of this. I haven’t…well I haven’t truly been with a woman since Maria and…”

“And you were doing just fine back there,” she replied with a bright grin, “better than fine.”

“Well, that’s good to know,” he paused in a moment of awkwardness, “I think.”

“Oh trust me it is,” she tipped up on her toes to steal a kiss from his lips, “you’re even better than I’d imagined you’d be.”

“You’d imagined this?” he questioned wrapping his arms around her slender waist.

“Night after endless night,” she nodded in confession a blush rising over her features, “In fact I had this oversized teddy bear that I’d named Diego.”

“You did?” his jaw practically dropped at the admission.

“That’s right,” she eased her hands in underneath his robe to feel the warm lines of his chest, “and each and every night I would ask him to accompany me to the fairy princess ball that I anticipated us going to. You see in my fantasy you were the handsome prince and I was the princess trapped in the castle tower to be rescued. I had this whole fantasy weaved out in my mind about you coming to save me--to whisk me off to your castle where we would dance the night away at a ball in my honor and then spend the rest of our lives together lost in a world of love. Of course back then you didn‘t give me the time of day, so all I had was Diego the bear.”

“And I’m assuming he was a good companion right,” Diego couldn’t help but crack a smile.

“Well, he did step on my toes a few times when we danced with one another and he wasn’t nearly as great of a kisser as you are, but he helped me through the rough patches,” she confessed with a certain twinkle behind her eyes, “He helped me through a lot of hard times and I guess in my own way I always held out hope that one day you’d see me like he had.”

“Cori I…” he began feeling another jolt of guilt rush over him.

“It sounds stupid doesn’t it,” she turned away feeling embarrassment flood over her, “I never should’ve told you about that. I mean even thinking about it now it makes me sound borderline obsessive and psychotic…”

“No, you don’t sound that way at all,” he replied unable to refrain from smiling at her admission, “It’s charming in it’s own way.”

“No, it’s creepy. Admit it,” she tilted her head up to look at him again, “You think I’m a nutcase, don’t you?”

“On the contrary,” he pulled her into his arms, “you look like a beautiful princess who has waited far too long to have this dance with me.”

“But Diego, there isn’t any music,” she reminded him feeling him moving around the kitchen area with her in his arms.

“No? Can’t you hear it?” he questioned brightly spinning her around in the darkness, “It’s all around us Cori. It’s part of tonight--this is in your honor as you are the most beautiful princess in the land and I am merely the humble servant who has been honored with a dance.”

“No Diego,” she shook her head her arms sliding in around his shoulders, “You’ve always been the handsome prince--nothing less than the handsome prince.”

“Then tonight, this handsome prince will do his best to make your happily ever afters come true,” he promised tipping down to kiss her tenderly, “because you deserve nothing less than that.”

“I have all I’ve ever wanted--all I’ve ever needed right here in my arms,” she whispered hugging him tightly.

Diego’s eyes cast over to the table briefly--his memories of Heather fading from his mind as he thought to Cori’s dreams for them. Only a fool would walk away from something so promising--so close to everything a man could ask for. Cori was someone he’d waited a long time to find and tonight he would give her the kind of night she’d always dreamt of. No more obsessing about something that would never be.

“My beautiful princess,” Diego whispered kissing the top of her head gently. He turned his attention away from the table to focus completely on her--on only her.

“My handsome prince,” she tilted her head up, her eyes sparkling with a look of love.

Diego smiled at her, his fingers easing in over her cheek gently. He felt her lean into his touch and as their mouths meshed again, he felt the warmth of her wrapped up in his arms. The sweet seduction of her tantalizing lips, the look of love burning behind her brown eyes was enough to carry him further into the roll of her dream lover. Scooping her up in his arms, he carried her out of the kitchen and back to his bedroom vowing to give Cori a night she’d never forget. From here on out making her happy would be his top priority and he wouldn’t accept anything less from himself. Tonight he would do his best to make her fairy tale dreams a reality for the both of them to hold onto from here on out. No more looking back.


“Can I get you a drink or something?” Kellen questioned after Heather set Charles back in his crib slowly after he had just fallen asleep. “Some water or something?”

“Sure,” Heather nodded slowly, following Kellen into the kitchen as he grabbed two glasses, “Does this mean that the two of us are over with all the fighting?”

“Depends,” Kellen shrugged, filling the glasses up with water, “It depends on the way you act. I want to make sure that you don’t try and start anything.”

“I don’t really think I am in the mood to start anything with you Kellen,” Heather sighed, shaking her head slowly, “I am through with all that.”

“Good,” Kellen grinned, handing her water to her before leading her into the living room. He sat down on the couch and motioned her to come and sit next to him. “So, let’s get to know one another. I want to know more about Heather Gibbons.”

“Oh god,” Heather groaned, leaning back into the couch as she looked over at Kellen, “I thought we were going to be friends, not best friends here.”

“Come on girl,” Kellen smirked, nudging her in the shoulder gently, “Tell me something interesting. Tell me something like, what happened earlier with you and that Diego guy.”

“Me and Diego?” Heather questioned seeing him nod slowly as she shrugged her shoulders. “I really like him. There was one point in time where I could have had him, but I was really stupid.”

“God, I couldn’t have guessed that,” he replied, feeling the back of her hand smack his chest lightly, “Hey, I was just saying. Not trying to sound mean here. Go ahead with what you were saying.”

“Thank you,” she laughed before going on with what she was saying, “I realized that he really was a great guy and well, now I guess you could say I want him.”

“Well, I guess you could say he is a little cute,” Kellen agreed, before shrugging his shoulders, “He’s not my type, but he’s got beautiful eyes.”

“That he does,” she agreed with a small laugh as she shook her head slowly, “I am going to get him back Kellen, I am really going to get him back.”

“Alright sweetheart,” Kellen frowned, pulling at the collar of his shirt slowly, “If you ever plan on that really happening--you really have to stop being yourself because it just doesn’t work for you. It really doesn’t look that good either.”

“Screw you Kellen,” Heather jabbed her elbow into his ribs and he yelped out, “You deserved it.”

“I don’t deserve to be in pain,” he complained before shaking his head slowly, “That is one of the qualities you are definitely going to lose. You have an angry side to you.”

“You think so?” she questioned, seeing him nod with a small laugh. “How am I supposed to change that one? If you can help me go ahead because what I am doing doesn’t seem to work.”

“I think I know just the thing,” he decided, rubbing his hands together before shaking his head slowly, “but before we start working on you, we have to make some sort of an arrangement for the both of us to we get what we want.”

“Really?” Heather eyed Kellen slowly, watching him nod as she took another sip of her water. “What might that be?”

“Babe, I will help you get a wonderful personality makeover and I will teach you how exactly to get the man of your dreams,” he began with a small smirk before shaking his head slowly. “That is, if you will help keep Sarah away from Kipp.”

“Kellen, honey,” she started with a deep sigh before shaking her head slowly, “I really don’t think you have a thing to worry about.”

“How do I not have something to worry about?” Kellen questioned quickly, shrugging his shoulders as he spoke. “Have you seen the way Kipp just falls at her feet?”

“Listen to me Kellen, Sarah’s boyfriend is really hot,” Heather declared, letting out a small sigh, “Like more that hot. I don’t think she would go for these other guys because she has the perfect guy waiting for her.”

“Believe me, I know that Kyle is hot,” Kellen blew out a small breath as he remembered what Kyle looked like, “Now if that man was gay, I would make him my own personal playground.”

“Okay, that sounded really wrong,” Heather tilted her head, trying not to imagine what Kellen had just said, “I don’t think that is going to be happening anytime soon.”

“It probably won’t, but you can’t help but dream you know. Those biceps, those abs, that smile, those eyes, that butt,” Kellen went to go on as Heather held her hands up to stop him from going on.

“I get the point Kellen,” her eyebrows tensed as she nodded slowly, “Kyle is hot, I understand that. Anyways, you shouldn’t be talking like that Kellen. You have Kipp remember?”

“I know, I was just saying that Kyle was hot. I mean Kipp is more my type,” Kellen shrugged with a small sigh before getting back to his original subject, “Getting back to what I was saying.”

“Good, that was kind of scaring me,” she stated with a small chuckle before taking another sip of her water, “What makes you think Sarah is going to steal Kipp from you?”

“I just have a really bad feeling about Sarah and Kyle’s relationship,” Kellen leaned back into the couch, feeling that feeling in the pit of his stomach, “Call me psychic, but I think something is going to blow up between those two. It's just bad feelings I guess.”

“Honey, this is Kyle. Where my sister is concerned, he doesn’t have bad feelings,” Heather pointed out with a small shake of her head as she thought about Kyle and Sarah‘s relationship. “Trust me, you really don’t have a thing to worry about. He always runs back to her arms. He always has and he always will.”

“I guess,” Kellen watched Heather as she raised her glass to his, “This is to our dreams coming true I suppose.”

“You bet,” Heather winked, tapping her glass against Kellen’s, “You better be good at this stuff Kellen.”

“Believe me sweetheart,” Kellen chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck slowly, “I am perfect. Absolutely perfect. I guess you could say that I am good as it comes when it comes to these types of things. All you have to do is trust me.”


“I can’t believe I am stuck in a jail cell with you,” Grady groaned, kicking at the bench before him as he heard Kyle groan out from the back of the room, “What is your problem?”

“Will you please just shut up?” Kyle begged, trying to get the sounds of Grady’s voice out of his ears. “Stop kicking that damn bench Grady.”

“Make me,” Grady snapped, watching as Kyle looked up at him with a glare, “What? Did I hit a nerve in that pea brain of yours? Are you going to come after me now?”

“Did you just call me a pea brain?” Kyle questioned with a small laugh, shaking his head slowly. “You seem to be forgetting that I am smarter than you Grady. I’m what? I graduated high school two years early.”

“Oh that’s right,” Grady watched Kyle as he shook his head slowly, “Your parents probably paid off the principle or something. God, what a bunch of jerks.”

“Don’t talk about my parents Grady,” Kyle growled, wiping the blood that drizzled down the side of his face, “Don’t you ever talk about my parents again.”

“I’m trying to remember what happened to them again,” Grady began, biting down on his bottom lip, “Oh that’s right, they got shot down like animals.”

“Shut your mouth,” Kyle quickly got up from where he was sitting, wrapping his fingers around Grady’s neck tightly, “Do you know when to shut up? Do you realize how easily I could kill you?”

“Do it Kyle,” Grady smacked Kyle in the side of the head as Kyle closed his eyes, “Come on Kyle. Do you not have enough balls to do it? Maybe you will have enough when you think about Susan. How she lied to you about having your child. How you turned on me, how you turned your back on me.”

“I never turned my back on you, you killed my child,” Kyle scowled, gripping tighter at Grady’s neck as he pushed him against the wall. He raised Grady’s feet from the floor as he bit down on his bottom lip. “Do you realize how much I want you dead right now Grady? Do you?”

“Kyle,” Grady gasped for air, feeling his face began to turn red as he tried to undo Kyle’s grasp of his fingers, “Let go of me.”

“Beg me,” Kyle smirked, grasping his fingers around Grady’s neck tightly, “Beg for your life Grady. Try and save the breath that I am stealing from you every little second. Tell me something that will want to put you down.”

“Screw you,” Grady swung his knee forward, kneeing Kyle in the groin as Kyle fell to the ground along with Grady. Grady fingers ran over his burning neck. “Is that good enough begging?”

“Get away from me,” Kyle hissed, trying to push Grady away from him as Grady got in above him and smacked him in the face a couple of times.

“I have a few questions to ask you,” Grady declared, standing up and placing both of his feet on Kyle’s wrists so he couldn’t move, “So, since the bitch died--who have you been with? I know it’s not Avery and I am pretty sure that it isn’t your girlfriend. Damn, that Sarah is a fine one. You know, she was hot back in college. I don’t know what she ever saw in you. Oh well, who knows?”

“You stupid son of a,” Kyle groaned out in pain before bringing his knee up and getting Grady in the back. Grady fell to the ground next to him as Kyle slowly got to his knees. He leaned forward and grabbed Grady’s neck in his hands. “Did you ever ask Jade who she was with when you were in jail? She was always with me. And in fact, when that bomb went off, I was the one to save her life.”

“The hell you were,” Grady snapped, grabbing Kyle by the collar of his shirt as the button from Kyle’s button down white shirt ripped open, “You were just as much the person that killed her.”

“I risked my life for her and you over and over again, but you can’t even have the common good to let my baby exist,” Kyle growled, hitting Grady square in the jaw.

“What in the world?” Julian questioned, watching as the two men exchanged punches over and over again with each other. Kyle and Grady’s fists were swinging at each other over and over again. Finally, Julian got the cell open and he went into the cell before grabbing Kyle and pulling him off Grady. “What in the world do you think you two are doing?”

“I think you need to get that animal in chains,” Grady snapped, wiping the blood away from the corner of his mouth, “I think he may be on steroids or something.”

“Damn you Grady,” Kyle tried to get out of Julian’s grasp, but it didn’t work. “Let me go Kurts.”

“Houston,” Julian snapped, pulling him back as he looked up at Kyle. Kyle’s shirt had been ripped open and the wounds from the glass that he had gotten earlier were now bleeding again. “What is going on with you? Calm down. We both know he is trying to get to you.”

“I know,” Kyle frowned, pulling his tucked shirt out from his pants, “Sorry Kurts.”

“It’s okay,” Julian assured him, looking down at Grady who was now standing, “I don’t know who was stupid enough to put you two in here, but it was a very bad idea. It said that you two were taken in here for being drunk.”

“He is, I’m not,” Kyle defended himself, shaking his head slowly, “I guess I just got blamed for being drunk because I was at a bar. Grady on the other hand is pretty much all the time drunk.”

“Do you want to start something Kyle?” Grady questioned, taking a step forward, as Kyle reached up and wiped a little more blood away from his eyes.

“Something started between us a long time ago Grady,” Kyle declared, clenching his fists at his sides, “It just took a jump start when you let my baby die.”


Trisha pushed Ria’s front door to her place open as she took a look around. When she had left earlier, she hoped that Kevin and Ria would have a nice night together. Hopefully the surprise was good and it made quite an impact.

She heard noise coming from the kitchen and small laughs as she shook her head slowly. She walked into the kitchen to see Kevin standing behind Ria as they mixed a pancake mix together.

“Hey you two,” Trisha smiled, leaning against the wall as Kevin turned his head to look at her, “I see you two are making some pancakes.”

“What else would we be making?” Kevin questioned with a small laugh, reaching his hand up to rub his forehead. With one swipe, he covered his forehead in powder. Trisha began to chuckle as he frowned. “What? What is it?”

“Wait a second,” Trisha chuckled, covering her mouth with her hand, “Nothing is wrong Kevin.”

“You are such an idiot,” Ria rolled her eyes, looking back at Kevin before letting out a small laugh. She handed him a towel as he moved away from her. “You might want to wipe your forehead.”

“Oh,” Kevin chuckled, wiping away the powder before trying to get off the subject, “So, would you like to have some breakfast with us Trisha?”

“Depends,” Trisha shrugged before taking a step forward, “Breakfast isn’t going to turn into something kinky is it? Because I have a weird feeling that every time Kevin has pancakes, something bad happens.”

“What would give you that kind of idea?” Kevin questioned with a small smile, adjusting his jogging shorts before shaking his head slowly. “I’m a good boy, I’m sure you can eat breakfast with us.”

“In that case, sure,” Trisha shrugged, taking a step forward, “What kind of pancakes are we having today?”

“The normal kind, here” Ria replied, grabbing one from the plate to throw it at Trish. She heard Kevin let out a small gasp as Trisha totally missed the pancake. “Whoops.”

“Whoops?” Kevin questioned with a small frown. “A perfectly fine pancake just got wasted there. All you can say is whoops.”

“Alright,” Ria nodded slowly, watching as Trish picked the pancake up, “Whoops, I didn’t mean to do that.”

“Here Kev,” Trisha held the pancake up towards him, “It’s been on the floor, but I’m sure it’s good enough for you to eat it.”

“I will eat any type of pancake, but,” Kevin began, grabbing the pancake before throwing it into the trash, “I have to follow the fifteen second rule. I can’t believe we just wasted a pancake.”

“Here, stop complaining,” Ria shoved a small piece of pancake past his lips, “Good?”

“Very,” Kevin nodded before swallowing down the pancake, “Now it’s time to say something that I love saying every morning. Let’s eat.”

“Hey,” Ria frowned as he let out a small chuckle and leaned forward to give her a small peck on the lips.

“And of course I love you,” he whispered before reaching past her to grab a few plates from the cabinet. “Especially you’re cooking. That’s really good.”

“I think the I love you would have been enough,” Ria replied with a small laugh, watching as he set his table. She was starting to like mornings like this. Having Trisha and Kevin here with her was a great thing. It was nice for a change to have people over with her for breakfast.


“Honey, I’m home,” Dave looked through the bedrooms, noticing that no one was in their bedrooms, “Carly? Kayla?”

“In the kitchen Dave,” Carly called out, watching as Dave walked into the kitchen and leaned against the wall. “You are finally home, we have been waiting for you.”

“Have you?” Dave questioned with a small smile, leaning down to give Kayla a small hug. “So, where is Deidra?”

“Oh, she left,” Carly replied, taking a sip of her water before shrugging her shoulders, “I guess she decided that she just didn’t want to be here anymore. It was a good choice in my opinion.”

“You have to be kidding me Carly,” Dave groaned, standing up as he shook his head slowly, “What did you say to her that made her leave? What did you say?”

“I just told her what I thought about her,” Carly replied, shrugging her shoulders, “It wasn’t like I was lying to her about anything Dave.”

“I can’t believe you did this Carly,” Dave sighed, shaking his head slowly before walking towards the front door. “Can’t you just do this one thing for me? All I asked was for you to get along with her and you can’t even do that?”

“Where are you going?” Carly questioned with a frown, watching as he turned around and shrugged his shoulders. “Dave, if you were in my position you would feel the same exact way as I do right now.”

“No I wouldn’t,” Dave declared, thinking things over for a moment before going towards the front door, “I will be back later. I have to go out.”

“And do what?” Carly questioned angrily as he held his hands up in the air and frowned at her.

“I have to go find Deidra, now that you kicked her out of my house,” Dave declared before walking out the front door to go out and look for Deidra.

“I hate how he does that,” Carly scowled, shaking her head slowly. It was like he would do anything just for Deidra. Just once, she wished he could finally give up on that girl and truly realize what she was. A person who was just using him for his feelings. Dave was too nice to notice it, but she was totally using him. It was obvious to everyone else, so how come Dave couldn’t see it?

Her thoughts were pushed aside as she heard her phone begin to ring. She shook her head before walking towards the phone to answer it. Knowing her luck, it was probably Deidra calling to ask for Dave or something like that.

“Hello?” Carly answered her phone, not even bothering to look at the caller id because she already had an idea on who it could be.

“Carly,” Andy’s voice beamed over the receiver as she smiled to herself. Okay, so maybe everything wasn’t turning out so bad. “I’m glad I caught you. I was hoping that I could still touch base with you about this whole divorce thing.”

“You bet we can,” Carly smiled, switching the phone to her other ear, “I am as ready as possible to stick it to Deidra at long last.”


Deidra walked around the park knowing full well that it might not be the smartest thing to do considering that Bruce Mathis was still out there on the loose, yet after her confrontation with Carly, the last thing she wanted to do was stick around Dave’s house and get wrapped up in more chaos. Carly’s words swirled in her mind over and over again. While she hated to admit it, maybe on some level Carly was right. She did have a habit of returning to Dave time and time again when a problem arose. Maybe this was really no different for her.

“I can take care of this on my own,” Deidra reasoned looking around the crowded park area. It was broad daylight and while Bruce was crazy, she didn’t really believe that he was crazy enough to strike during the day. She was safe here--at least she hoped she was.

“Deidra,” she heard a voice call out to her. She spun around to see Dean standing before her with a bag in hand. Reading the name on the bag she realized he must’ve come out of the store across the street just a little less than a block away from here. That’s when it hit her. He lived only a couple of blocks away. Chances are that he was on his way home and then for them to run into one another like this… She was uncomfortable, but she tried to play it cool and even.

“Dean, what are you doing out here?” she couldn’t help but ask her gaze dropping down to the area at his abdomen where she’d stabbed him only a short time ago. To see him up and running around seemed so out of character--so impossible at this point.

“I needed a few things and it was a nice day,” he shrugged his shoulders before offering up a small smile, “so I decided to go for a walk.”

“You shouldn’t be out here walking around like this,” she frowned at him, the doctor in her taking control of the emotions she vowed not to reveal, “I mean with your stitches…”

“I’m a pretty quick healer,” he replied with a small shrug, “Besides I think I was going out of my mind with cabin fever if you will inside my place. Since I’m out on sick leave for a while, there’s really nothing else to do…”

“Sick leave?” she repeated with a surprised expression.

“I’m a bit out of commission so the higher ups have suggested that I take some involuntary vacation time,” he nodded quickly his eyes darkening a bit with the confession, “but hey I guess that means it’ll give me some time to catch up on the soaps or something. I hear Days of Our Lives is pretty good lately…”

“Then you heard wrong,” she acknowledged with a small smile, “because last I heard it was pretty awful.”

“Hmm, well in that case I suppose it means I’ll be spending more time at the computer playing solitaire,” he shrugged his shoulders again, “unless of course there’s a small chance that maybe just maybe I can tempt you into dinner or something.”

“Dean,” she felt her breath catch in the back of her throat. He really had no idea just how badly she’d wanted to say yes, but remembering everything that had transpired between them--remembering the deceptions and the lies that had nearly cost him his life, she knew that the man before her was nothing more than a stranger. “I don’t think so.”

“Why not?” he took a small step forward, “I know you’re upset, but…”

“You have no idea how upset I am,” she cut him off abruptly refusing to allow any emotion to show, “Upset doesn’t even begin to cover the way I felt in knowing that you lied to me. You lead me to believe so many things and…”

“And while I lied about what it was that I was doing here in Coral Valley, I never lied about the way I felt about you. Deidra I love you…” he offered up in a heartfelt plea.

“Dean stop!” she cut him off abruptly raising her hands in the air. “I don’t want to hear it. I can’t listen to this--not now…”

“Deidra, I understand you’re upset, but…” he began again taking another small step towards her.

“But nothing. I can’t deal with this right now Dean. Given everything else that’s happened, this is the last thing I need in my life,” she blurted out fighting to contain her tears.

She rushed past him knowing full well that she’d hurt him with that admission, but right now the last thing she wanted to do was fall back into old habits. She’d been notorious for letting liars into her life first with Andy, who had broken her heart in the first place, then with Bruce, who had deceived her and now with Dean. Sure he wasn’t nearly as bad as Andy and Bruce had been, but she couldn’t let herself fall again. She couldn’t be deceived. She couldn’t let it happen--keep happening again and again. Once she was certain that she was out of Dean’s line of vision, she found herself overtaken by tears hating herself all the more because even though he’d lied to her, the hard part in all of this was that she still cared about him. She still wanted to be with him more than anything and she knew full well what a mistake that would be to let him in again.


Ben pulled into the driveway at the home he’d purchased for Diane. While he knew this was the last place he should be at a time like this, he couldn’t help but find himself drawn to it. He could clearly remember the emotions he’d been feeling--the joy and satisfaction he’d felt in putting money down on the home that he intended to begin his new life with her at. Turning the engine off on his car, he walked out onto the sidewalk. He looked at the house thinking of the plans and dreams he’d had ahead of them. They all seemed like a fading notion now that he thought about what had transpired between the two of them.

Making his way into the home, he tried not to let himself get caught up in the idea of how things should’ve been, but when he passed over the threshold, he thought of all of Diane’s enthusiasm when they’d come here with one another. He walked up the staircase thinking of how excited she was--how excited they both were as they looked to the future with their family.

Stopping at the end of the hallway, he closed his eyes remembering clearly how wonderful it had been to share all of this with her. He’d taken everything he’d had in his savings account and put the down payment on the house ready to begin a whole new life with Diane. He’d wanted it all to change--wanted to find a way for them to start anew. It had been something he’d hoped for between them for a while now.

“Oh Diane,” he sighed opening up the door to the nursery. He thought of his dreams about being a father--about his plans for his future with their son or daughter, but now the realization that the child she could be carrying wasn’t going to be his overtook him. He sank down to the floor burying his head in his hands as he tried to deal with the fact that all the things between them were falling apart. As much as he hated to admit it, he still loved her--still wanted to have a life with her above anything else, but knowing that she felt she couldn’t be honest with him about what she’d done--about what had happened when they were apart, he knew that things would never be the same for them again.

Hearing his phone beep to alert him that he had a voice mail message Ben pulled it out from his pocket. He noticed that the missed message was from Diane. He was tempted to turn the phone off entirely, but his heart wouldn’t allow him to do that. Bringing the phone up to his ear, he dialed voice mail listening to hear her voice again.

“Ben, hey it’s me…” she started clearly overtaken with tears, “I know that you have every reason in the world to hate me right now--to turn away and never come back, but just know…above all else I love you. I’ve always loved you and I’ll never stop loving you. You’re truly the only man who has ever really loved me for me and if I lose you…please tell me that I haven’t lost you forever. I need you…”

Her words were cut off by the beeping to indicate that time had run out on her. Perhaps it was a good thing, though Ben couldn’t help but find himself replaying the message over again just to hear the sound of her voice. As much as it pained him to say it, he missed her and wished like hell that he could take back the last few months. However as he remembered the smug expression on JT’s face once JT had delivered the bad news to him, he knew full well that none of them could ever take any of it back. Reality was that the nightmare was only beginning. Of course the way Ben saw it he had one of two choices, he could walk away or stay and fight for what his heart truly wanted. He just wasn’t sure what felt right anymore.


Brant sat on the Ashford jet thinking about the way he’d left things off with Avery. While he’d never intended to leave without the two of them being on good terms with one another, he was starting to wonder if they would ever find that with one another again. He’d hoped above all else that their finally being together would mean a chance for happily ever after, but with curve after curve being thrown at them, he wondered if that was ever really in the realm of possibility for them.

Closing his eyes he thought back to how he’d wanted her for so very long. She’d been the impossible dream--the one woman he couldn’t have, yet he’d never given up. He’d held out hope that she would be his. Again and again he kept up in his pursuit promising himself that she would be it--that Avery would be the key to a normal life--to what he needed to finally settle down and be happy with a family. Night after endless night he’d thought of ways to make her his--to make her into that perfect vision of what he believed happily ever after to be, yet as he thought to everything that had been tossed in their direction, he wondered if he’d ever truly gotten what he’d been hoping for with Avery.

“A woman like Avery will always be out of your league,” he could hear Caitlin’s voice taunting him right before she’d delivered the news to him that Avery had married Russell. Sure he’d taken it hard, but before he’d known, he’d found himself in another place with another woman who had added a warmth to his heart.

“Angela,” Brant mouthed to himself looking out the window. He closed his eyes again remembering how he’d found her on the beach--how he’d been convinced she was just a figment of his imagination, yet the time they’d spent with one another outweighed any of his fantasies of Avery. Thinking back he couldn’t help but feel a warmth at the memory of their time together.

Even now he could remember the distinct feel of the waves crashing beneath him as he opened his eyes to see Angela after they’d spent endless hours making love to one another. The sunlight was creeping into the half opened blinds across the room and he could remember quite clearly how he’d been awakened to a dizzying state of disorientation. It hadn’t taken long however for him to register the waterbed he was laying on as his eyes fixed upon the beautiful sleeping woman at his side. Her dark hair cascaded around her face as her eyes remained closed in the peaceful slumber she’d found herself in after their hours of passion had finally done them both in.

The memory of Angela’s soft form drifted into a vivid image leaving him to recall the movement he’d made on the bed beside her. He recalled how he couldn’t help but take a moment to memorize her beauty as in her sleeping hours, she looked truly remarkable--so very much like the woman he’d dreamt about waking up beside time and time again. Even now as he repositioned himself on the water bed, he couldn’t help but think about how last night had been something of a fantasy he’d had for so many months now, only this time there had been a beautiful, warm body beside him as it played into life. Sure, Angela wasn’t Avery and on some level he knew that, but as he found himself fixated with the way she lay beside him, he couldn’t help but feel a twinge of sentimentality creep in over him.

Unable to contain himself Brant had reached out to touch her cheek sweeping a strand of dark hair from her face as he leaned in towards her kissing her forehead gently as her eyelashes fluttered open and she stretched out from underneath the thin, silken sheet that covered her. She seemed startled at first to find him next her, but as his lips teased over her soft skin, she closed her eyes once again and a smile pressed over her features.

“Good morning beautiful,” he spoke gently as he curled his arm around her pulling her in close beside him.

“Good morning,” she murmured in a faint whisper as she snuggled in closer to him, feeling the waves of her water bed bump beneath her as the warmth of his body invited an even closer embrace between them, “though I have to admit I half expected to wake up alone this morning considering that last night seemed more like a dream than anything.”

“A very erotic dream at that,” Brant coaxed her into his arms as she lay her head upon his chest, “but one that I was certain shouldn’t be ending so soon considering that well, that I wasn’t finished with you yet.”

“Ah I see,” she traced her finger over the center of his chest, “you thought you’d ravish me one last time before rushing out the door and leaving my life forever, huh?”

“Actually I was thinking about something more along the lines of,” Brant began hearing a sound from outside of the bedroom as Angela seemed to stiffen in his arms.

“Ang,” a male voice rumbled through the house as Brant turned his eyes down to see the shock and surprise that washed over her features, “Angie, where are you? Come on. I know you’re upset, but at least talk to me…”

“Who is that,” Brant questioned curiosity brewing over him as he felt her tense up in his arms. She pooled the sheet around her body before lifting her head off of him.

“Brant, it’s…,” she bit on her lower lip, “well, it’s my publisher--George.”

“The guy from the beach,” he raised a curious brow as she nodded and a frown touched over his features, “What’s he doing here?”

“Well this house is actually owned by the publishing company and I was just staying here for the duration of my research for the…” she shook her head as her dark hair dropped down over her shoulders, “that doesn’t matter right now. He shouldn’t be here. I mean sure I knew he had a key because of the company, but…”

“Hey,” Brant sat upright reaching out to touch her cheek as he saw the panic behind her eyes, “Don’t worry about this. I’ll get him out of here…”

“Brant, I…” Angela began watching him hop out of bed as he followed the sound of George’s voice finding him in the living room snooping through some of Angela’s things before Brant cleared his throat making his presence known.

“I don’t think you should be doing that,” Brant announced as the man looked up in confusion to find a very naked Brant standing before him.
“Who the hell are you,” the dark haired man before him frowned as he set down Angela’s purse, “Where’s Angie?”

“She’s busy right now and you shouldn’t be in here,” Brant marched forward glaring at the guy, “She doesn’t want to see you, so why don’t you just turn around and get lost.”

“Look buddy, I don’t know who the hell you think you are, but Angie and I have some work related business to attend to,” the man stood taller puffing out his chest as he glared back at Brant from behind the thin rimmed glasses he was wearing.

“Whatever business you had with Angela, well it’s over,” Brant decided pushing his way in front of the man who quite possibly could’ve held a few inches over him in height, “It ended the moment you hit her on the beach and now I’d strongly suggest you turn around and get out of here before things get ugly.”

“Look Romeo, you don’t know who you’re dealing with,” George replied shoving his hand into Brant’s chest as Brant seized the man’s arm throwing him down against the coffee table before him. With a simple twist, Brant had the man immobilized as the man tried to struggle against the hold Brant had on him.

“No. You don’t know who you’re dealing with now, do you? In fact given that you know very little about me, well it would be in your best interest if you play close attention to what I’m about to tell you…” Brant began in a menacing tone.

“Go to hell,” George growled back at him despite the disadvantage he’d had in this particular arrangement as Brant shoved him harder against the top of the coffee table.

“Nope, wrong answer,” Brant hissed, a darkness in his tone as he pushed on George’s arm just a bit to give it a little extra effect, “Now you listen to me buddy. I strongly suggest you leave Angela alone because I swear to you if I ever hear about you laying a hand on her--if you even think about touching her, doing anything to hurt her or hell even looking at her the wrong way, well you’re going to have to answer to me and I swear to you if I find out that you’ve done something to her that isn’t on the up and up, I’m going to hunt you down and make sure you feel the hurt you think you can press upon others. Do I make myself clear?”

“Brant,” Angela gasped as she stepped into the room with the sheet wrapped around her unable to believe what was happening, “What are you doing?”

“Just getting better acquainted with George,” Brant explained fishing into George’s back pocket for his wallet and releasing him as he took a good, long look at George’s driver’s license.

“You’re insane,” George hissed rubbing at his elbow as he turned to Angela, “and you, well you…”

“Go to hell George,” Angela huffed in response bunching the sheet up around her body tighter, “The deal’s off as I’m not going to do that article for you. Nothing you can offer me is worth what you’re trying to do here.”

“You’re going to regret this Angela,” George threatened as Brant reached out to him again seizing him by the collar as he lifted him up off of the ground.

“I’m already not liking your tone George,” Brant threw him a menacing glare, “which means it’s time for you to apologize.”

When George remained silent, Brant shook him for effect before George belted out in a slow whimper, “I’m sorry Angela.”

“Tell her that you realize you made a mistake with your offensive behavior and you’re never going to lay a hand on her again,” Brant ordered in a more abrasive tone.

“I was wrong Angie and words can’t even begin to express how sorry I am,” George muttered fearfully as Brant glanced over at Angela awaiting her response to the situation.

“Apology accepted…for now,” she answered with a nod of her head as Brant dropped George sending him crashing to the ground before Brant tossed his wallet at him right into the center of his chest.

“Get out of here,” Brant grumbled in response watching George stumble around on the ground as he followed him out towards the door, “and remember I know where you live which means if I find out that you’re screwing with her in any way, you’re a dead man. Do I make myself clear?”

“Crystal,” George nodded quickly rushing off of the property as Brant slammed the door shut behind him.
Rubbing his hands together Brant returned to Angela with a proud smile beaming over his handsome features, “That felt good.”

“That was good,” she couldn’t help but grin in awe of him as she rushed over to him throwing her arms around his neck excitedly leaping into his arms as her sheet fell to the ground, “and I don’t know how I can thank you enough for that as I never had the balls to just tell him where to stick it…”

“That’s what you have me here for,” Brant curled his arm around her spinning her with each step he took as a laugh bubbled over him, “It’ll show him not to mess with you…”

“God, I don’t think I’m going to have to worry about him ever again as you came on like a wild man with the way you dealt with him,” she boasted proudly, “Oh I just can’t believe how good you are. I mean you stepped into the role of the perfect heroic type telling him where he could go and…”

“I did, didn’t I,” Brant grinned excitedly, “and damn that felt good.”

“Try being on this end,” she laughed in response feeling excitement curl over her down to the tips of her toes, “I mean you had it going on Brant. You were just like the protective boyfriend stepping up to save the woman he loves and…” she paused as a moment of reality fell upon her and her smile faded, “though you’re not the boyfriend…”

“Maybe not, but well,” he hesitated before he squeezed her in against him dropping a tender kiss upon her lips, “Maybe it’s a role I might be interested in researching on for the future.”

“Seriously?” her eyes widened in surprise, “Brant are you saying…”

“I’m saying that last night was hot, but I’m thinking that maybe tonight we could try the traditional approach. You know a little dinner, maybe some candle light and some romance…” his kisses teased over her neck, “maybe a little dancing and all that small talk that we skipped over before.”

“You’re serious?” she repeated again unable to believe what she was hearing as he held her.

“Yeah, I think I am,” he nodded in confession setting her down again as he cupped her face in his hands kissing her tenderly, “because you know I got to thinking that maybe you and I can give this a go--that maybe just maybe we might have something here that goes beyond, well beyond how adorable you are when I have you screaming in ecstasy,” he teased with a wink.

“Brant, I…I don’t know what to say,” Angela admitted feeling a lump form in her throat at the prospect of dinner and a real date between them, “I mean yesterday and last night were…and this, well this is…I mean it’s…I just…I don’t…I don’t know what to say considering…”

“I was thinking that yes might be a good start,” Brant reached out for her once again bringing her body in against his as he kissed her hungrily, “I mean considering how good we fit together in the bedroom and the living room, not to mention the patio…”

“Brant,” she swatted at his chest as a laugh bubbled over her.

“I just…well, I just think it’s a good start for us,” he admitted teasing his lips against hers once more, “Wouldn’t you agree?”

“I think it’s a very good start,” Angela agreed with a nod, “though you know if we’re going to take this a step further with one another we should probably move beyond that whole first name status here.”

“In good time,” Brant promised tipping down to kiss her once again unable to get enough of her soft, supple lips, “but first I was thinking about having you join me for a shower to get the day going.”

“That would be wonderful,” she decided curling her arms around his waist, “I think that’s an excellent idea considering that right now I’m so completely pumped after what you did to George.”

“The jerk had it coming to him and I only wish I’d done it sooner,” Brant confessed nibbling on her shoulder, “No one gets away with treating my girl that way.”

“Your girl huh,” Angela’s cheeks lit up at the thought as she felt Brant’s kisses upon her skin.

“Well, unless you have some other guy on the side tucked away until I leave,” he teased as his fingers danced over her spine.

“No, there’s not,” she shook her head adamantly, “There hasn’t been anyone else in a long time and Brant…”

“Yes,” he questioned lazily squeezing her bottom as he pulled her in flush against his already aroused form.

“It’s Meloni,” she whimpered in response to his bold movement.

“Huh?” he looked up from her shoulder meeting her dark eyes.

“My last name is Meloni,” she smiled up at him, “I mean since you’ve already done something amazing for me here this morning, well, I figure it’s the least I can do for you…”

“Meloni huh,” he grinned in response brushing his thumb over her bottom lip, “well I have to say I think that’s a beautiful name for an amazingly beautiful woman, Angela Meloni. Now what do you say you and I take that shower and get working on getting off on the right foot this morning.”

“I say you’ve already gotten things to a great beginning,” she replied feeling his arms drop down around her waist once again as he hoisted her over his shoulder carrying her back into the master bedroom directly into the master bath. He set her down for the briefest of moments before he quickly worked with the dials on the water temperature for the shower. After a few minor adjustments, he reached out to her drawing her completely into his arms with a hungry kiss as he pulled her into the shower with him.

Even now Brant could remember the heat between them--the raw, unadulterated passion that had consumed them over the holiday they’d spent with one another. Angela Meloni--the enigma--the mystery that he’d never truly been able to unravel. How he’d tried to find her--tried to figure out how it had been possible for her to vanish without a trace. Heaven knows he’d spent thousands of dollars trying to find her again even knowing full well that he’d had Avery.

Looking to his wedding ring once again, Brant felt a moment of guilt tug at him. Here he’d been blaming Avery for helping Grady, when he’d spent months searching for the woman who’d awakened his wildest fantasies--the woman that had proven to be so very much like Avery in a great many ways--except with Angela there was something entirely different. Granted their time together had been brief--far too brief for Brant’s liking, yet when he thought back to the way she felt in his arms--to the way it had felt to be gazing into her eyes as they’d made love--as they’d finally let loose on all levels with one another holding nothing back, he knew there was a world of difference between Angela and Avery.

When Angela was in his arms, she’d looked at him in such a way that made him feel like he was the only man that mattered--the only one who came even close to having all of her. There was something so perfect about their union, so right about the way that it had felt to be with her--to love her in every way imaginable. She was wild, uninhibited and ready to give herself over to Brant completely no questions asked. There was just something about her--something that Brant had never gotten out of his system and even now he felt himself longing to find a way to feel like that again.

With Avery, he’d always been number two in her life. Russ would always be the man that she’d wanted--the man who she would be with now if Susan hadn’t stepped in and set that bomb off at the airport. She had let him know under no certain terms that Russ would always be the only man ever in her heart. There was no getting her to want him the way he wanted and needed her. He’d thought life with Avery would be happily ever after--that their being together would be perfect, yet now that the thought about all that happened he couldn’t help but wonder if he’d let the best thing walk out of his life on that island with Angela by his obsession with Avery.

“Could things have been different for us,” he pondered aloud remembering how he’d really felt a connection to Angela--how he’d found himself wanting to be with her at the end of the time they’d shared with one another. Now as he looked to his wedding ring thinking of all the events leading up to his marriage to Avery he wondered if perhaps he’d been pushing for the perfect dream with the wrong woman after all. Given all the blows that had been delivered to his relationship with Avery, the more he thought about it, the more he feared that things would never find a way to be right between them. With each passing second he felt his dream slipping further and further out of his reach and he feared that he may never truly be able to get it back again.


“So, what happened here?” Kipp questioned after bailing Kyle and Grady out of jail. “What did they get into Julian? I don’t really understand what happened.”

“I don’t know, they got into a fight,” Julian tried to explain, shrugging his shoulders, “I don’t really know what happened to those two. Not even a couple of months ago, Houston was in here trying his best to get Grady out of jail and now…well this is happening.”

“Kind of ridiculous if you ask me,” Sarah began, shaking her head before feeling someone’s hand touch her shoulder lightly. She turned around to see Avery before her before sighing. “Avery, hey.”

“Sarah,” Avery frowned, watching as two officers brought Kyle and Grady out from the back in handcuffs. “What happened here? I feel like I am watching a movie or something.”

“They got into a fight,” Kipp answered for Sarah before shaking his head slowly, “They were both at the bar and somehow the two of them got in fight. I don’t know what started it, but I can’t seriously tell you what else happened.”

“I bet I can take a guess at what happened,” Sarah frowned, seeing Kyle turn to face her after he got his handcuffs off of him. She saw the cuts over his face as she quickly ran over by his side. “Oh my god, are you alright?”

“I’m fine,” Kyle replied, letting out a small groan as he rubbed his wrists where Grady had stomped on them earlier, “Just dandy.”

“Come on Kyle,” Kipp urged Kyle towards the door, but it wasn’t good enough. Kyle watched Grady walk out from the back. “We should go.”

“We need to have a little chat,” Kyle declared, pointing towards Grady as Avery and Sarah gave each other a worried look as Kyle and Grady took a step outside with one another. The three followed Kyle and Grady out, just to make sure that nothing bad happened.

“What do you want Kyle?” Grady questioned, taking a step forward towards him as Kyle looked down at him with anger behind his features. “You had something to say, now say it.”

“Okay,” Kyle nodded slowly, thinking things over for a moment, “I want to let you know something. My whole life, I spent trying to save you over and over again. When you were in jail, I nearly got killed by someone because I was trying to find Kipp just so you wouldn’t be put away. I tried to put you and Jade back together. I saved Jade’s life. If I do recall, I have saved your life a couple of times Grady. I almost died, trying to help you. I got hurt because I was trying to help you. Susan nearly killed me and I was only going to talk to her so I could help you. You would think that when I needed your help once Grady, just once--you would help me.”

“What do you want me to say Kyle?” Grady questioned throwing his hands up in the air. “Thank you for saving my ass. Would you like me to get on my knees and kiss yours for you?”

“You just don’t get it do you?” Kyle questioned angrily, his jaw tensing as he spoke. “I loved you and Russell my whole life. You were like my family, I would have done anything for you two. I wanted something that I could never have. That was a family Grady. You took away something that could make my whole life better. I loved you like a brother Grady and well, now--I can’t even stand to look at you. It makes me sick to look at you because the only thing I keep thinking is that you are as good as dead in my eyes. I don’t even care anymore. So don’t let me see your face again because you are dead to me. Dead to my memories and my heart because I had a trust with you. You threw it out and proved I never meant anything to you.”

“Come on Kyle,” Sarah wrapped her arm around his as he took one last look at Grady before turning around and walking towards the car with Kipp and Sarah.

“Maybe we should leave,” Avery suggested, touching Grady’s arm gently as he pulled away from her. “Grady?”

“I don’t want to go yet,” Grady replied, never taking his eyes off the scene before him.

Avery looked up at Grady as he watched Kyle walk towards the car. It was obvious that the friendship that Kyle and Grady had been having for so many years was now over. Forever.


...to be continued...