Episode 254

Dave woke up discovering Carly’s side of the bed empty much to his dismay. By the time he’d gotten home last night she’d already been fast asleep and he didn’t see the sense in waking her up. After he’d left Deidra’s place he went walking finding that he needed time to think about what happened. Sure, he’d always thought about something with Deidra--dreamt about it more than he cared to admit, yet when she was there before him offering him a taste of the things that he’d been dreaming about, he found his heart and his mind had returned home to the two girls in his life that mattered most.

Turning on his side he looked to Carly’s side of the bed remembering how he’d left in a haste ready to chew her out because of the way she’d treated Deidra. Now as he thought about his own behavior, he knew only too well why she was worried. If he hadn’t loved her, then there was no telling what might’ve happened. He’d spent more than half of his life in love with Deidra--wishing like hell that she’d finally see him as the man who loved her--the only man who was right for her, but now, well now Dave knew full well that dream had been just that. It was a dream to keep with him, but a dream that could never be. Deidra was simply the unobtainable goal that he’d compared everything in his life to, but no more.

Getting up and out of bed Dave sought out his wife hoping that he could find her and have a word with her. Much to his surprise he found her in the kitchen making breakfast. Kayla was at the table coloring in her coloring book. He couldn’t help but watch them finding himself in awe of the dream that had finally come to be for him. For so many years he’d felt that he’d really missed out on all of the things that most people had in their lives. He’d focused entirely on work, yet secretly longed for a family. Now that he had it, he wasn’t about to let it go.

“Daddy!” Kayla squealed bouncing out of her chair to rush over and embrace him.

“Hey honey,” Dave picked her up in his arms squeezing her tightly, “how are you this morning?”

“Much better now that you’re awake,” she kissed his cheek eagerly before tugging on his shirt. “Come over and see what I colored.”

“Let’s see,” Dave carried her over to the table again where she wiggled out of his arms and pointed to the purple elephant on the page before her.

“Well what do you think daddy?” Kayla questioned with wide eyes. “Do you like it?”

“Of course I love it. It’s beautiful,” he nodded proudly watching her tear it out of the coloring book.

“Good because it’s for you. I colored it especially for your office,” she explained proudly, “I even had mommy get me a frame to put it in too. I’ll go get it.”

“Okay Kayla but…” before he could say another word she was off on her way to her room to pick up the frame she’d gotten. Dave looked to the colored picture before him noticing that she had scribbled something on the bottom of the page.

“That’s her autograph,” Carly piped in over his shoulder, “and if you look at the top she’s extra proud of that.”

“What’s that?” Dave questioned following the direction she was pointing in at the top right corner of the page. In a bright red crayon the word “To My Daddy” was printed on the top.

“She tried her best to make it perfect,” Carly informed him with a small smile, “She’s very interested in writing these days. She tells me when she grows up she’s going to write lots and lots of books.”

“But none of them will have this same effect,” Dave replied feeling a warmth fill him inside with his daughter’s heartfelt coloring. If nothing had convinced him before of where he was meant to be, this coloring in particular more than did the trick.

“Late night last night?” Carly questioned interrupting his thoughts. “I didn’t hear you come in.”

“I didn’t want to wake you,” he replied watching her return to the stove, “I figured I’d already given you enough grief during the day.”

“I just took Kayla out for ice-cream and then we came home and watched a video,” she shrugged her shoulders turning her attention to the pan on the stove before her, “We had an early night.”

“I’m sorry I missed it,” Dave replied moving in behind her. He eased his arms around her waist and leaned down to kiss the back of her neck, “I should’ve been here.”

“Yeah well I know you have a career that keeps you busy,” she replied stiffly feeling his kisses cause a warmth inside of her.

“Not too busy for my family or for me to keep from taking the time to say that I’m wrong,” Dave whispered turning her in his arms to face him, “Carly about yesterday…”

“Dave I…” she started feeling him lean in to kiss her quickly.

“I was wrong to treat you like I did. You were well within your rights in not wanting Deidra here. I should’ve respected that and I’m sorry that I didn’t. I know now that you were just looking out for what was best for us and for our family,” he mouthed sliding his arms around her waist to draw her nearer to him, “I’m sorry that I hurt you by acting the way that I did.”

“I shouldn’t have jumped on you like that. I know Deidra is your friend and even though I’m not too happy about that, it wasn’t my place to tell you what you could and couldn’t do in your home…”

“Our home,” he corrected her, his lips skimming in over hers once again, “It’s our home Carly and I want you to be comfortable in our home. If you don’t want Deidra there, then so be it. She can stay with her mother and be perfectly alright.”

“Dave, I know that’s not how you really feel about this. I know that,” her words were cut off by the abrupt movement of his lips over hers.

“Trust me it’s exactly how I feel about the subject,” he promised his words buzzing over her mouth before their lips met in another heated display. He felt her arms slide in around his shoulders drawing her nearer to him as their kiss intensified.

“Um excuse me,” Kayla cleared her throat loudly, “am I interrupting something because if I am I can walk back in and try again.”

“Kayla,” Carly couldn’t help but laugh lightly as she and Dave parted, “of course not.”

“Not at all,” Dave promised releasing Carly to go and pull Kayla into his arms. He carried her over to Carly before placing one arm around Carly as well, “because as far as I can see there are plenty of kisses to go around here.”

“Daddy,” Kayla squealed as Dave moved between Kayla and Carly offering up sloppy, goofy kisses to get his daughter laughing wildly. Yes, this was the life he’d always wanted--the life he’d dreamt about and nothing was going to jeopardize that for him--not even notions he’d once held for a future with Deidra. This was his future and it was going to stay that way!


“Hey honey, I’m glad you’re here,” Judy offered up opening the door further to let her daughter into her apartment, “When you called earlier you sounded upset and I was really worried about you. Is everything alright?”

“I wish it was, but mom you have no idea how many stupid mistakes I’ve been making lately,” Deidra confessed throwing her hands up in the air in an exaggerated motion, “I mean it feels like ever since Andy and I split my life has been going straight down the tubes.”

“Why honey? I thought things were going so well,” Judy frowned seeing the obvious distress on her daughter’s face, “I thought that you were happy and…”

“And it was all a lie. Every single minute of that happiness was nothing but a lie mom,” Deidra blurted out thinking about her failed relationship with Dean. “It only began because of what happened with Christian--Bruce and I.”

“I don’t understand,” Judy paused motioning for her daughter to join her in the kitchen where she’d already had a pot of tea brewing.

“Well for starters I made that stupid mistake on the island which I wish like hell I could take back, but then to make matters worse Dean wasn’t at all what he said he was. He works for the FBI,” Deidra explained with an exaggerated tone.

“The FBI?” Judy glanced over at her strangely, “But I thought you said that he worked at the hospital with you.”

“He did…I mean he does, but it’s just a cover. He was put there by the FBI to seek out Bruce Mathis. He’s been working on this assignment for nearly seven years and after I so foolishly slept with Bruce, that’s when Dean took notice of me. Apparently Shannon Pryce asked him to keep an eye on me and everything else that happened was nothing more than a lie.”

“Oh honey, I’m so sorry to hear that,” Judy offered up with a small sigh, “Though maybe there was more to it than the case. Maybe Dean might’ve come in keeping an eye on you, but perhaps along the way something else happened…”

“I wish I could believe that mom, but you have no idea how hard this is for me,” Deidra slumped down in the chair at the table dropping her head in her hands, “I mean you know how hard it is to get me to open up, but there Dean was and he seemed like everything I’d waited to find in my life. He was charming, romantic and maybe even a little bit dangerous. He made me feel things about myself--do things that I most certainly wouldn’t have done before I met him. Not that I’m complaining, but he opened up this whole new world to me--a world that I wasn’t even aware that existed, then for it to end like this…”

“If he really means that much to you perhaps you two can talk this over,” Judy suggested pouring them both a mug of tea before joining her at the table.

“Even if we could I think it’s too late for that,” Deidra explained poignantly, “While we were away at the cabin he had I stumbled upon one of his case files and I thought he was some lunatic. I stabbed him with a letter opener and…”

“Oh my gosh,” Judy’s eyes widened in surprise, “Is he alright?”

“He’ll live,” Deidra nodded sadly, “but I don’t know if I will. I spent a night in jail thanks to Shannon and I probably would be there now if Dean hadn’t dropped the charges. He tells me that he still cares about me--that he still loves me, but mom how can I believe anything he has to say after the way he deceived me? How can I trust my own heart when it only leads me to disaster again and again?”

“Do you love him still,” Judy couldn’t help but ask seeing the obvious answer behind her daughter’s tear-filled eyes.

“I wish that I didn’t, but I can’t stop thinking about him. I’m so torn up over this that I’m acting like an idiot. Last night Dave came over and he tried to convince me to stay at his house with him until this blows over and I only made things worse,” Deidra explained with a groan, “here he was trying to be my friend and I was trying to use him to get back at Dean--to get over what I was feeling for Dean.”

“Oh honey,” Judy offered up not really knowing what to say to ease her daughter’s mind. Still she could see that there was a lot happening beneath the surface.

“I blew everything mom and I don’t know how I’m going to fix it--any of it,” Deidra replied unable to keep from holding back any longer as her tears consumed her. Life really had taken a terrible turn for her lately and she didn’t know how she was going to pull herself out of the miserable slump she was in.


“Last night was amazing,” Cori informed Diego with a small smile as she tipped on her toes to give Diego a small, subtle kiss on the lips, “I had a great time.”

“Me too,” Diego replied, giving her a small hug before looking towards his door. Deep down he really felt like he made a mistake. Like he did something he shouldn’t have done. “I’ll see you later okay?”

“Alright,” Cori nodded, taking a step back and away from Diego. She reached for the door before looking back, “Goodbye my handsome prince.”

“Bye,” Diego smiled, watching as Cori walked out the door and shut the door behind her. He let out a deep breath as he fell back onto the couch in a thud. “Great.”

Everything that had happened in the last night was all a blur to him. What in the world was he thinking?

“What did she leave?” Diego groaned, hearing a knock at his door as he lazily got up from the couch. He knew it was probably Cori who had left something in his room. He thought he was about to face Cori, but when he opened his door he saw a teary eyed Sarah before him. “Sarah? What’s wrong?”

“I…its Kyle,” Sarah informed him as he motioned her to follow him inside. He shut the door behind him and locked it before turning back to face her.

“Sit down. Make yourself comfortable,” Diego pointed towards his couch before following her and sitting down next to her, “What’s wrong? Is he missing or something?”

“No,” she replied, taking in a deep breath as she tried to speak, “He broke up with me Diego. He broke up with me last night and it‘s over between us.”

“He broke up with you? Kyle broke up with you?” Diego questioned with a slight bit of shock as he looked over Sarah. “I’m so sorry Sarah? How did that happen?”

“I don’t know,” she shrugged, leaning back into the couch as he placed his hand on top of hers gently, “I guess I said some things that got to him yesterday. He said some pretty harsh things and then he told me it was over. He told me he couldn’t stand to be around me. After he said all those things, he just walked out without even saying anything else.”

“Sarah,” Diego frowned, reaching out to squeeze her shoulder gently, “It will be alright. I am sure he will be calling you soon. He probably didn’t mean any of it.”

“Oh, he meant it alright,” Sarah declared with a small chuckle, shaking her head slowly, “He told me that I didn’t love him and that I didn’t care about him. He told me that I was just jealous that Susan was having his child.”

“That’s not true though, and you know that yourself,” Diego insisted, shaking his head slowly, “I know Kyle didn’t mean to say that. Are you sure he said he broke up with you?”

“I am pretty sure that‘s what came out of his mouth,” she assured him with a small frown, folding her hands in her lap, “Kyle doesn’t love me Diego, not anymore.”

“I don’t think that’s true, I know that Kyle loves you,” Diego tried to point out as he shook his head slowly, “Have you checked your messages lately?”

“No?” she shook her head before leaning forward in her seat slowly. “Anyways, I don’t think it will be any luck. I would be the last person that he wanted to talk to right now.”

“I’m sure that if we check your messages, there will be a message from Kyle,” Diego added before standing up and grabbing his keys, “Let’s drive to your place. I’m sure that Kyle will be there waiting for you so he can apologize.”

“I doubt it,” Sarah shrugged, standing up from the couch before shaking her head slowly, “but if you insist on us going, I guess we could try.”

“We should at least try,” Diego replied with a small sigh as he opened his door, “If we didn’t try, that would be a bad thing. A very bad thing because you always want to try and make things right. I‘m sure everything will be fine soon.”


Chris looked around his hotel room thankful that he wouldn’t be spending much more time in this place. His search for a condo had finally come through now that he’d talked to a real estate broker that had got him a good deal on a place that some hotshot attorney was more than eager to get rid of. By the end of the week he would be settled in at his bachelor pad and life could begin all over again.

“And what a life it’ll be,” Chris mused with an eager grin thinking about all the things he’d had in mind for Coral Valley. Yes, this was exactly the kind of start he’d need indeed to get things rolling again. The editorial position at the Courier was exactly what he’d been hoping for and now that he was living in the same town with Brant Ashford, he knew full well that the paper would be full of gossip and stories that would take the paper that could over the top.

Reaching for his cup of coffee he lifted it to salute himself before taking a sip. His victory however was short-lived when there was a frantic pounding on his hotel room door. Frowning he thought about the high bill he’d run up on room service and a moment of panic swept over him as he feared that Avery might’ve taken back her promise to cover all of his expenses during relocation. He was half tempted to not answer, but instead he opted to try to think up something good to tell the man on the other end of the door. However, his story telling time wasn’t going to be needed he realized as he heard a woman’s voice on the other side of his hotel room door.

“Open up!” Heather shouted banging on the door again, “I know you’re in there, so just open the door and let’s get this over with.”

Chris couldn’t help but smile as he moved forward opening up the door with a bright grin, “Heather, to what do I owe this honor?”

“Believe it or not it’s not because of your sparkling personality,” Heather assured him with a haughty expression before motioning to inside of his hotel room, “Are you going to invite me in?”

“Well of course, but I was just wondering what it would be that would have you knocking on my door. I mean I suppose I don’t have to ask given this electric chemistry brewing between us, but…” he started watching her make her way through his hotel room. She had a certain bounce in her step--a certain movement that he couldn’t help but find himself drawn to. He watched her inspect his breakfast table before he moved in beside her.

“Please take a seat,” he offered pulling out a chair for her, “I was just about to eat and…”

“Fine, we’ll eat and talk,” she decided plopping down into the chair he’d held out for her. She tilted her head up to look at him before giving him a strange glance, “Aren’t you going to sit?”

“Oh of course. Absolutely,” he nodded quickly dropping down into the seat across from her, “So to what do I owe the pleasure of your company? Could it be perhaps that you’ve realized that you’ve been rather cruel to me and you’ve come to apologize?”

Heather reached for the lid on one of the plates before her. She pulled it up to inspect the contents before wrinkling her nose. She set the lid down before trying another and finding a tray of fruit. Eagerly she popped a piece of melon into her mouth. Her eyes slid up to meet his gaze again before she shook her head, “Hardly.”

“Hmm, well I can see you’re going to make this difficult, so why don’t I just go first,” Chris reached out across the table to place his hand on top of hers, “I accept your apology and would be more than happy to give us a second chance say over dinner tonight somewhere pricey and exotic. Maybe we could go to…”

“Not on your life,” Heather swatted at his hand pushing it away from hers. “I’m not here to make a date with you or to cozy up with you in any way that your little imagination is working on overload over.”

“Gee and here I thought that we’d wind up in bed for dessert,” he muttered under his breath catching her death glare. He raised his hands in the air quickly before adding, “I’m kidding. Just kidding. Really I’m not serious at all, although if that’s why you were here…”

“Keep dreaming Chris,” she rolled her eyes at him swiping another piece of fruit off of the tray and biting down on it, “Although I do have a proposition for you that might help your case a bit say if you still wanted to get into my good graces. It’s something that I think you might enjoy.”

“Is that right?” Chris arched a curious brow before leaning forward over the table and smiling at her, “Well then tantalize me dear Heather. Stimulate my senses and issue your challenge because I’m quite certain that it will prove to be no less than interesting.”

“I thought you might feel that way,” she smiled at him with a renewed enthusiasm, “which is why I knew you were the right man for the job I had in mind. I’m positive that you’re the one to help me and when you do, well I can guarantee you’re going to be a very happy man Chris Foley. Very happy indeed.”


Ken reached out to ring the doorbell to Don’s house as he smiled to himself. Today was the day to make a difference in his wedding. He was going to try and make this the best wedding that Michelle ever had. He rang the doorbell as he heard rustling coming from inside the house before the door opened. Ken tilted his head in a small shock as he looked at the person before him. This was slightly different than what he was used to.

“Shannon?” Ken questioned, as Shannon looked back at Don who was coming out of the bedroom after hearing the doorbell ringing. “Hello, it’s nice to see you.”

“Hello Ken, it‘s nice to see you too,” Shannon half smiled, pulling her robe tighter around her body before looking back at Don, “I’ll be right back.”

“Okay,” Don nodded slowly, watching Shannon walk back
towards his bedroom. Shannon had spent the night and it was almost like a dream to him. He never imagined that Shannon would make up her mind that fast about with being with him. He let out a small smile before turning to face Ken. “Ken, it’s nice to see you today. Please, come in.”

“Uh, thanks,” Ken smirked, walking into Don’s house before taking a step back to look up at Don happily. The thought of Shannon being here meant one thing--they were finally together after all the fighting and confusion. “So, I see that you and Shannon are finally together after all this time. Congratulations Don. I‘m glad that you are very happy.”

“Thank you Ken. It was really surprising when she came to talk to me. I figured that I would be single by the end of the month, but she finally told me she loved me. I‘m glad that she told me because I was basically going crazy on the inside,” Don informed Ken with a wide smile before shutting the door behind him, “It feels nice you know. To know someone really does love you and it‘s not a game. My dreams finally came true after all. Now I get to spend the rest of my life loving her and having a family with her. It‘s really nice to have that love so close to you.”

“Speaking of love and dreams coming true,” Ken began, folding his arms out in front of his chest as he spoke of his future plans with Michelle, “I came here to tell you something important Don. Well, something that I would view as important. Don, I am getting married.”

“Excuse me,” Don choked, shaking his head slowly after what he just heard. He didn’t believe what he just heard at all. Ken was hardly ready to be getting married around now. “You’re getting married Ken? Like you are having your wedding soon? You are going to be getting married?”

“I’ve wanted to straighten my life up and this is the perfect way to do it,” Ken declared with a deep sigh, simply shrugging his shoulders as he spoke. Don‘s shock was starting to get to him and it was possible that Don wouldn’t even accept his next question if he went on to ask him. “And I figured since you were pretty much the only person who still talks to me at this point, and you are my only friend, I was wondering if you would be my best man? I would really appreciate it if you would, it would mean so much to me Don. You would never know how much it really would mean to me. So, what do you say?”

“I’m honored that you asked me Ken, really honored,” Don declared with a deep sigh, shrugging his shoulders as he spoke. Ken may have been making the biggest mistake ever if he went on with this wedding. “But are you really sure you are ready to jump on this one buddy?”

“Yeah, I’m sure I really want this, a lot,” Ken assured him with a wide grin before shrugging his shoulders, “So what do you say? Will you be my best man?”

“I,” Don began, thinking things over for a moment. As he thought about the whole situation of Ken being married, it came to him that it probably wasn’t the best thing in the world for Ken. If it was that woman that he remembered, it was not good for Ken at all. In fact Ken wouldn’t be happy at all if the wedding really went through. But Ken was here asking him and basically begging him to be his best man. What else was he to do? He couldn’t just turn him down like that. It would be wrong in a way. “I would love to Ken.”

“Thank you Don,” Ken smiled, leaning forward to hug Don quickly before backing up and rubbing his hands together as he spoke, “Thank you so much. This means so much to me. To me and Michelle.”

“It’s no problem,” Don assured him with a small frown, watching Ken as he thought. With him agreeing to be his best man was a good thing because soon or later he would be hopefully able to talk Ken out of this whole thing.


“So, what do you think?” Kevin questioned with a small sigh as he thought about Seth. “Should we go and see him today or something? I’m kind of worried that I haven’t heard from him in a couple of days. I don’t want him to be hurt or anything. It worries me when I don’t hear from him.”

“I’m sure he is fine,” Ria pointed out with a small smirk as she slipped her fingers into Kevin’s hand slowly, “If it would make you feel better though, we can go over there and see him today. I‘m sure everything would be okay.”

“We should probably go over, that would be the best thing to do,” Kevin nodded slowly before looking up at the building before them and smiling, “but before we do that, I think we have enough time to get some food. How does bagels sound?”

“I think it sounds great,” Ria replied with a small smile as he walked towards the door to the building with Ria’s hand in his. Someone bumped into his shoulder as he stopped to turn around and apologize.

“Sorry miss,” Kevin apologized with a small smile, but his smile faded away when the woman before him turned around to face him, “Michelle.”

“Kevin,” Michelle frowned, folding her arms out in front of her chest as she spoke, “I was having an amazingly good day until this moment when I saw you. What do I owe you for this extremely horrible moment?”

“You know what,” Kevin scowled, going to say something else before he shaking his head, “You just aren’t worth it.”

“Let’s go Kevin,” Ria pulled on Kevin’s arm before anything further happened between Kevin and Michelle, “Let’s just go get some bagels and leave.”

“Oh wait,” Michelle smiled brightly as she tried to get Kevin to turn back towards her and it ended up working, “I have some really great news--well, for me at least.”

“What might that be princess?” Kevin questioned with a small scowl as he watched the woman before him put her hand over her chest before she spoke. “Did you finally get a brain?”

“Funny,” Michelle sarcastically laughed before rolling her eyes at the comment, “Real funny Kevin.”

“I wasn’t trying to make it funny,” Kevin shrugged before letting out a small smile, “I was just wondering. I’m glad you think of yourself as funny though.”

“Well anyways, I just figured I would tell you that I am getting married again,” Michelle proudly announced, holding her hand in the air and in front of Kevin. She showed off the ring on her finger before shrugging her shoulders, “And believe me, this is going to be much better than my first marriage.”

“It should be,” Kevin agreed with a small nod before shrugging his shoulders, “Obviously the poor guy doesn’t see you for what you truly are. Lucky for me, I found out that you were a lying, disgusting little piece of…”

“Kevin,” Ria tugged on his hand to get his attention before shaking her head slowly, “She really isn’t worth it.”

“Well actually, I will be when I get married to this man,” Michelle pointed out with a small smirk, watching Kevin’s dark eyes meet hers, “This guy makes you look like a loser Kevin. You are just a bug on the ground compared to him.”

“And let me guess,” Kevin took a step forward, holding his hands in the air, “You slept with him because he had money. You tricked him to get closer to you. And then you also tricked him into marrying you. Wow Michelle, it sounds like you are repeating the same chapter of your life again. I just hope you didn’t lie and say you were pregnant so you could keep the poor guy.”

“Funny Kevin, just because I left you doesn’t mean you have to be jealous,” Michelle tried to get on his last nerve, watching as Kevin simply shrugged his shoulders.

“Come on Ria,” Kevin grabbed Ria’s hand in his tightly, “It’s starting to stink from the big piece of trash right here. Let’s go.”

“It’s funny you know,” Michelle began, trying to get his attention once more even though it wasn’t working, “I get with really great guys and every girl you have had is a piece of trash. Look at the one at your side.”

“That’s it,” Kevin growled, turning around to walk up to Michelle, “You know, you say that and don’t even realize you are talking about yourself. You see, I was dumb enough to get with you. Which means you are a piece of trash to.”

“Why don’t you just get a clue and leave,” Ria took a step forward, between Kevin and Michelle, “No one wants you here Michelle. You are just going to cause more trouble and Kevin doesn’t need that in his life right now. So get a clue and leave.”


Avery knocked on the front door to her old home thinking about the possibility that Kyle could be staying there. She remembered that things weren’t right with him and Sarah at the hospital when he’d gone off on his own and chances were if he was nearly as stubborn as Grady was, then he’d be back here wanting some time on his own. After getting no answer from him, Avery pushed her key into the lock opening the front door to discover that Kyle wasn’t around. His things were scattered over the living room, but he wasn’t anywhere in the house.

“Well this is just great,” Avery sighed walking into the living room and thinking about how she had to help Kyle and Grady find a way to patch things up between them. She could see that their newfound alienation was taking it’s toll on both men, but how she was going to help them fix it went without saying. She didn’t have a clue what to do.

“But something will come up,” she mouthed to herself feeling a chill in the air. Looking around the living room, she couldn’t help but think about the time she and Russ had spent there with one another. There were so many dreams that they’d shared--so many memories that they had in this home and even now they hit her harder than she’d imagined. She walked down the hallway into his office that they’d turned into a nursery and she felt her heart sink. Moving around the room she felt the memories flood over her. There was so much love and laughter in this house that seemed like a thing of the past.

Turning off the light she made her way to their old bedroom--to the place where they’d spent a great many nights with one another and she felt her heart sink. Stepping further into the room she felt the past return to her once again.

“It’s the best thing,” Avery added brightly focusing on the love that they’d found with one another, “Russ, I do love you. I know sometimes I’m not as articulate about things as you are, but you’re everything to me. I mean when I think of how far we’ve come with one another to get back to this…”

“It was destiny darling and don’t let anyone else try to convince you of anything otherwise,” he replied with a low, subtle drawl before nibbling gently on her lower lip.

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Avery murmured keeping her arms around him feeling his breath over hers before he nuzzled her neck gently with his nose.

“In that case, what do you say we call it a night here,” he suggested warmly as his fingers fanned out over her spine working their way over to the bottom of her sweater before coaxing it up over her body in an attempt to help her get more situated for bed.

“That sounds like a plan,” she nodded in response bringing her fingers over the buttons on his shirt as she took her time easing him out of it.

“Allow me,” he replied with a smile pulling her sweater up over her head and discarding it before shaking his own shirt off his arms. He hugged her closer to him as an idea sparked in his head, “hey, do me a favor and roll over to your side there.”

“To my side?” Avery gave him a strange look.

“Just do it,” he nudged her gently seeing her comply to his wishes as he rose up onto the bed returning moments later with a bottle of lotion in hand, “okay turn around.”

“Like this,” she half questioned wiggling in over her pillows as his only response was his hands upon her shoulders gently kneading and stroking the tension out of her aching flesh. A sigh of release pressed beyond her now parted lips as he continued his massage over her neck and shoulders, “oh Russ, that feels nice…”

“I thought you could use a little time to unwind before I work my charms on you,” he explained continuing with his massage, working the lotion into her body before he nudged her slightly urging her to lay on her back as his fingers dipped down over her abdomen pressing gently over it.

“I’d say you’ve already weaved your spell over me with those hands of yours as you’re too good to me Russ,” she breathed taking in the sensations he was stirring up inside of her as the tension she’d been carrying with her all day long seemed to pour out of her melting away under his skilled caress.

“Nothing’s too good for my wife or our baby,” he tipped down to kiss her abdomen once again before rubbing it gently, “So how’s our little one feeling tonight?”

“Other than thinking that mommy’s a complete nutcase,” Avery reopened her eyes watching the way Russell played with her stomach.

“Oh now mommy, we don’t think you’re a nutcase,” Russ tickled over her stomach watching her squirm beneath his touch.

“Now you’re just being polite and hey you know it’s a good thing that our baby has you as a father as it means our child has half a chance of making smart decisions,” Avery continued with a heavy sigh.

“What’s this?” he pressed his ear to Avery’s abdomen as if he was listening to something their child was saying, “Oh I know I couldn’t agree more and if mommy is done with her self loathing there maybe she’ll let me tell her…”

“Tell her what?” Avery inquired lifting a curious brow as his green eyes tipped up towards her and he had on that same silly smile that had always signaled trouble even during the times it had melted her heart again and again.

“That it’s time to bring laughter into the situation here,” he declared blowing on her stomach as Avery couldn’t help but squeal wiggling in beneath him.

“Russ, stop,” she pleaded with him feeling him continue with his latest strain of torture as her fingers sought him out in an attempt to stop him as he was tickling her yet again. However, as she touched him, it only seemed to add fuel to his fire as his touch continued to bring her to giggles again and again, “Russ…I mean it. You’re going to give me…” her words were interrupted by a whooping sound.

“Hiccups,” he blurted out watching her break into a round of hiccups as a scowl pressed in over her features.

“Russ, you are such--such an…” she began in between hiccups as he climbed up beside her on their bed drawing her into his arms.

“Amazing husband,” he cut her off with a kiss as he felt her hiccup beside him.

“You suck,” Avery grumbled unable to contain the hiccups as they came to her, “I hope you realize that.”

“Oh I’m well aware of it,” he tugged on her lower lip with his teeth feeling another hiccup rush over her as he kissed her again, “but I also happen to recall that you enjoy it very much when I’m in a state of sucking so to speak…”

“Oh you,” Avery shoved her hand out into his chest pushing him away from her as another sharp word formed at the tip of her tongue, but it was put to a halt as a hiccup came forth harder and louder than before.

Russell watched her for a moment seeing the strain of hiccups continuing as she glared at him, shaking her head with heavy disapproval as the words seemed to have slipped out of her mind. He sat upright reaching out to her as she opened her mouth to speak once again, but found herself overcome with another hiccup.

“How about I get some sugar for you,” he suggested gently, “as I thought I heard that stopped hiccups.”

“There’s no validity in that Russ as…” she was broken up by another yelping moment before she finally nodded, “fine if it works…”

“Okay, I’ll be right back,” he promised getting up off of the bed ready to leave the room, but he stopped himself mid-movement to turn around and face her once again. Stepping in towards her, he placed his hand over her abdomen rubbing it gently as an apologetic smile expanded over his features, “Daddy’s sorry about this…”

“It’s okay,” Avery tried to assure him softening her tone as another hiccup overcame her.

“I’ll work on fixing this,” he promised leaving the room and heading for their kitchen as he thought to his wife’s condition.

Now as Avery couldn’t help but smile at the memory she sat down on the edge of the bed thinking about the better times between them. Of course their marriage hadn’t been perfect--far from it on some days, but mostly that had come from Grady’s drinking…from the demon that haunted him when he was feeling low. Closing her eyes she thought back to the darkness that had consumed Grady when he let himself fall into old habits with alcohol and his depression. She felt another tiny shiver overtake her as she remembered full well Grady’s anger that he’d tapped into when his world was falling apart in the past.

“Grady, get out of here,” Russell pulled himself up off of the floor as he rushed towards his brother pushing him back into the wall with a mighty shove.

“What’s going on out here,” Avery questioned stepping into the living room before her eyes fell upon Russ and Grady with one another. She watched as Grady seemed ready to attack, pushing and shoving Russell until Russell seized Grady’s arm bringing it up behind his back. Russ pushed Grady into the living room wall with an impact that seemed to vibrate the painting on the wall causing it to shake with fear.

“Let go of me Russ,” Grady writhed against his brother, wild with anger as the painting finally had enough and it collapsed to the ground with Grady’s sudden movement.

“No Grady, you’re not going anywhere,” Russell shoved at him once again.

“What the hell is he doing here,” Avery questioned with a frown moving in closer to them as she caught a whiff of the strong aroma that accompanied Grady’s presence, “Oh God, he’s drunk, isn‘t he?”

“I don’t have to be drunk to know what a witch you are as you’ve ruined everything,” Grady shot back at her bitterly, “You just weren’t going to be satisfied until you turned them all against me because you’re a manipulative…”

“That’s enough,” Russell threw his elbow into the middle of Grady’s back watching as his brother winced upon impact, “Go home and sleep it off Grady.”

“The hell I will. I could’ve been happy. I could’ve had it all, but your wife just wanted to take it all away from me. She turned you against me and now Jade…”

“Jade,” Russell repeated as a moment of realization hung over him, “is this what you’re drunk about? Did Jade finally get tired of you and get rid of you?”

With that a fury seemed to burst from within as Grady kicked his leg back sending Russell to the floor before he marched towards Avery, determined and enraged as his green eyes fell upon her.

“You did this,” Grady accused harshly as the object of his rage stood before him, “You took the only happiness I had in my life and you stole it from me.”

“No, you made a mess of things all on your own Grady as you always do this,” Avery challenged back at him refusing to back down despite the way he glared at her, “You’re a drunk Grady and that’s the problem. This has nothing to do with me.”

“It has everything to do with you because you’ve found a way to destroy everything with your manipulative ploys with my brother and now with Jade. You’ve managed to turn her against me all because I can’t get you out of my head because I know what you are and what you’ll do. Russ thinks he knows you, but he doesn’t have a clue about what you are, but I do. I know you Avery,” his voice threatened as he bridged the distance between them, “I know all about your heart and just how cold and black it really is and how your love lasts as long as the spark of interest remains. You only did this to ruin things--to ruin everything like you always do…”

“Grady, go home. You’re drunk,” Avery stated the obvious shaking her head at him, “and right now you look pathetic to say the least.”

“You’re the pathetic one,” he let out an ironic laugh, “and to think my brother believes that you’re this amazing, wonderful woman when you’re the worst of them all. You’re the one that started all of this and now, well I’m going to end it so that you don’t destroy any other man like you’ve done to me. I won’t let you do that to Russ as I’m not going to stand back and pretend that everything is okay when you’re around because it’s not,” he vowed reaching for her as the crashing sound of Russell breaking one of the vases from the coffee table over his head.

“Russ…” Grady squealed his brother’s name turning around to face him before a momentary haze spread over his features until finally he plopped down on the ground in agony, “that hurt.”

“Serves you right,” Avery glared at him seeing Russell’s hands shaking as she stepped in towards him touching his arm gently, “Russ, baby are you okay?”

“We need to get him out of here,” Russell declared ready to be finished with his brother when all of a sudden Grady rolled over onto his stomach and a heaving sound came from Grady as his alcohol had finally turned over in his stomach. The foul odor spread through the living room causing both Russ and Avery to wince as Grady threw up on the carpet.

“Ugh,” Avery groaned hearing her brother-in-law throw up until his head plopped down into the carpet and he passed out in the midst of the mess he’d created.

“Oh boy,” Russell sighed realizing that his brother had finally conked out in their living room, “now what?”

“We can’t just leave him there,” Avery decided with a frown noting the cut on Grady’s head from where Russ had hit him. Another groan spilled over her lips as she knelt down beside Grady wrinkling her nose at him as she motioned for Russell to help her take a look at him, “I don’t think you gave him a concussion or anything, but maybe we should take him to the hospital…”

“He’s drunk,” Russell pointed out once again stating the obvious, “if we do that, they aren’t going to be able to stitch him up just now…”

“I guess the only option we have is to work on cleaning up this mess,” Avery sighed already hating the thought as it fell from her lips. Bringing her fingers through her hair, she let out another groan wondering why the hits just kept on coming for their family, “Why don’t you pick him up and try to clean him up, while I work on the carpet? Maybe we can sober him enough to get him back home in a bit.”

“I guess it’s worth a try,” Russell nodded in response doing his best to hoist his brother up off of the carpet as Russell caught a glimpse of the vomit on his brother’s clothing and he winced nearly dropping Grady back down into the mess on the carpet. A gagging sound built in Russell’s throat as Avery turned her attention to him once again.

“You okay?” she questioned with concern evident in her tone.

“I’m fine,” he offered up weakly turning a pale shade of green as Avery stepped in towards him.

“No you’re not,” Avery frowned marching over to the other side of Grady as she urged Grady’s arms around her shoulders, “You still haven’t gotten over that queasy stomach of yours, have you?”

“Avery, you make it sound a lot worse than it is considering that I’m a grown up and I can…” Russell’s words were interrupted as his face grew in color and he stepped away from Grady, “Okay…I think I’m going to throw up.”

“Russ,” Avery spoke out to him watching as he turned his head away from Grady unable to take in a moment more of the stench. Realizing that this situation went from bad to worse, she shook her head at Russell realizing that some things would never change, “just get him into the hall by the bathroom and I’ll take care of the rest.”

“Avery, I can’t ask you to just…” Russ began.

“Trust me, I’ve become an expert on this one,” Avery remarked with another shake of her head, “though I have to admit you’re lucky that my morning sicknesses seems to have passed otherwise we’d both be in trouble there seeing as you can’t seem to handle this stuff.”

“I can handle it,” Russ began to argue with her as he looked ready to lose his stomach himself, “just not very well.”

“Fine, then help me get Grady into the bathroom. I’ll throw him in the shower and then you can take over with him while I clean up the carpet. Fair enough?” Avery suggested after a moment’s contemplation.

“Avery, I can’t ask you to…”

“Russ, if you keep stalling here, I’ll change my mind and then I’ll wind up nursing the both of you back to health again,” Avery threw back at him, “so let’s get moving.”

“Alright,” Russell grudgingly agreed guiding Grady over to the bathroom with her. Once they’d set him inside bracing them against the counter top Avery urged Russ into the hallway. Once she was alone with Grady, she wrinkled her nose as she reached for the buttons on Grady’s shirt, carefully avoiding the disgusting mess he’d made as she began to open it.

“You’re such a stupid moron,” Avery hissed at him quickly stripping him out of his shirt before shoving him back into the counter not caring as he hit his head on the mirror behind him.

“Bitch,” Grady muttered under his breath in a slur as Avery started to turn around to alert Russ that he could come in, but as Grady’s utterance hit her, she spun around to face him once again her own rage taking control as she stepped in towards him.

“What was the point in doing this,” Avery questioned harshly watching as his head slumped over, “What were you thinking?”

“I hate you,” Grady answered her speaking out into the air before he managed to pull together the strength to face her once again, his pathetic green eyes still burning with animosity towards her.

“The feeling’s mutual and since you’re bombed off your ass tonight I’m sure you won’t remember everything that’s happened here, but here’s a memory I’m hoping you won’t forget since you managed to ruin my night here,” Avery shot back icily bringing her knee up into his groin. Watching as Grady buckled over on the counter top in agony, she marched out of the room turning her attention to Russell, “he’s all yours.”

Avery let out a gasp returning to the moment. The horrifying memories of her past with Grady left a chill deep down inside of her. Granted he had been horrible to her--he’d treated her like she was something of little to no relevance, but now as she thought of how much they’d grown to depend on one another, she knew full well that she couldn’t just leave things this way. Reaching for her purse she got up off of the bed knowing full well what Russ would want her to do. Sure she could turn her back on Grady and give him space, but that just wasn’t what he needed in his life. He and Kyle needed to find a way to fix the damage that was done between them and hopefully Avery could play a hand in making that happen. Taking one last look around Avery decided it was time to set things right again. The more she thought about it, the more she knew just the person to enlist in her plan to mend fences between Grady and Kyle.


Grady sat in the middle of his living room staring at the picture in hand. While he’d wanted to ignore it--wanted to stop from remembering all the things that had been on his mind, he found himself thinking about all the people he’d loved--of all the places he’d been and how everything mounted up to this moment in time. He closed his eyes thinking about Jade’s endless pursuit of him--of their first kiss leading to when they’d made love the first time. Things had been so perfect for them. Okay, so maybe they’d been far from perfect, but they were memories that he was desperate to hold onto. He could remember clearly the day he’d proposed to her--the time when they were on the run and just about everything that was special in their relationship. Oh how he missed that.

“I wish you were here,” Grady mouthed thinking of his lost love and the way that Susan had managed to shatter his world. Opening his eyes again he looked to the framed photo of him, Kyle, Russ and Avery. The four of them had set out against the world. They’d been so young and carefree at the time, yet everything had felt perfect for a short period of time. Closing his eyes he thought back to that period in his life.

“Double or nothing,” Grady challenged holding up one of the darts in Kyle’s general direction.

“No way man,” Kyle shook his head at him, “You know that I’ll smoke your ass if we play another round.”

“Afraid of a challenge now Houston?” Grady questioned wiggling his brow at him, “Too worried that I’ll make a fool of you in front of this bar of beautiful ladies?”

“Far from it,” Kyle chuckled reaching for the dart from his friend’s hand, “I know that I’m going to make a fool of you. That’s really what I was trying to spare you from doing, but hey if you want to make a mockery of your life, then so be it. Let’s just see how much I can embarrass you tonight.”

“You don’t stand a chance,” Grady boasted proudly, ready to take his shot and make Kyle eat his words.

“How about triple or nothing,” Avery piped in joining the two of them. She swiped the dart from Kyle’s hand before wiggling her brow at the both of them suggestively, “because the way I see it I can mop the floor with the both of you in this department.”

“Ah there you go again Avery once again trying to prove your worth in a man’s game,” Grady shook his head with a mocking movement, “Will you ever learn?”

“As long as you’re trying to be the teacher, never,” she replied with a bright smile.

“My money is on the chick,” one of the men at the bar offered up setting a wad of cash on the top of the bar. “She’ll smoke the both of you.”

“I can’t argue that point,” Russell added breaking his silent contemplation as the scene unfolded before him, “She’s got a great arm.”

“And a nice hold on your…” Grady began only to be nudged by Avery in his ribs, “libido to be so smitten with her.”

“No he’s just smart enough to know a good thing when he sees it,” Avery explained matter of fact. “So boys what do you say? Ready to be thoroughly embarrassed by a girl?”

“You’re the one who is going to go home embarrassed Avery. Mark my words,” Grady’s words swirled in his mind over and over again.

Now as Grady reopened his eyes remembering the outcome of that night, he couldn’t help but laugh. By the time they’d left the bar not only had Avery beaten both him and Kyle shamelessly after a best of seven tournament, but she‘d wounded their pride in the process. It was shameful that he and Kyle had lost so badly, but they tried to maintain it was from the beer they’d had, but even now Grady knew better. Avery had played them both failing to mention that her father had taught her to be a champion at darts many years earlier. That night he and Kyle had gone home with wounded egos while Russ had hit the jackpot having bet against them at the bar. Russ had made off with nearly a thousand dollars on that gamble.

“Even then Avery was good,” Grady laughed lightly feeling the warmth of the memory overtake him. Of course that night Kyle and Grady had kicked back a few beers more and their wounded egos and shattered pride had made them allies against Avery’s rubbing it in. Sure, she might’ve one upped them that night, but the next day when she woke up unable to find any of her clothes around camp after the private celebration she and Russ had later that night, well it was a priceless moment. Seeing her try to move around the camp searching for her clothes while trying to stay in Russell’s pants and oversized shirt had been a hoot. And a victory for Kyle and Grady at that.

Of course nothing about what was happening now was a victory. Here Grady sat in the middle of his living room feeling more alone than he’d ever been. He lost his brother, the love of his life and probably the only friends he’d ever truly known. Kyle was his best friend--his best buddy, but now that was lost forever. It had fallen apart all because of Susan’s manipulations. It just wasn’t right.

“It’s not right at all,” Grady thought to himself feeling another sense of sorrow overtake him. Reaching for the almost empty bottle at his side, he lifted it to his lips and took a long drink. Once he’d finished it off, he dropped it to the floor and rose to his feet. Making his way into the kitchen he opened the top drawer pulling out a pad of paper and a pen knowing what he had to do. In his own way he had to make things right. Reaching for another bottle that he’d picked up earlier Grady opted to get really, really drunk to work up the courage he had inside of him. He knew it was somewhere inside of him.

“And tonight I’ll get it all out once and for all,” he vowed hoping to find a way to search his soul and say all the things he hadn’t had the courage to do until now.


“Well lovebirds everything is in order,” Martha announced walking into the front room at the bar and greeting both Nick and Angela with a bright grin, “You two might’ve had some trouble getting your little butts over to the castle, but I happened to work a favor or two and guess what? I did you one better than you’d ever imagined.”

“What’s that?” Nick questioned looking up from where he stood behind the bar chatting away with Angela.

“I set it up so that we could have the engagement party over there,” Martha held her hand up in the air, “I know you all don’t have to jump up to thank me just yet, but when the time comes I will take all the praise you can give me.”

“Oh Martha, you’re the best,” Angela hugged her excitedly, “I mean Nick and I talked about having the wedding over there, but…”

“But nothing,” Martha waved her hand again, “I mean sure I know we talked about having the engagement party here, but let’s face it, how much fun can this place be on a day like that? Okay so maybe it’ll be more fun than any boring and stuffy castle, but not nearly as romantic. Besides we’re still having the wedding reception here, right?”

“Of course we are,” Angela replied with a bright smile before looking to Nick, “That’s if this is all okay with you.”

“If it makes you happy, then it’s more than okay with me,” Nick smiled back at his bride to be thinking about all of the wonderful things that lay ahead for them. Sure their run over to the castle had ended badly, well not entirely bad in the grand scheme of things, but after they’d finally reached a hold of Martha they needed to be towed home. Now of course was a new day with new thoughts for what lay ahead for them.

“See there’s the spirit,” Martha added with a bright smile, “I told you he was a keeper.”

“Don’t I know it,” Angela replied with a thoughtful expression turning her attention to Nick once more.

“Well you two kids talk details because I have something I need to do,” Martha pointed over to where the delivery man was standing in the entrance of the bar ready to bring in his latest shipment.

“Work your magic Martha,” Angela teased watching Martha walk over to greet the studly man awaiting her attention. Angela laughed before turning to Nick. “Can you believe that this is happening? That we’ve got all this falling into place for us?”

“It’s like a dream come true, isn’t it,” Nick smiled pulling out a colorful tropical flower from behind the bar. He held it out to her before nodding, “For you my princess.”

“Thank you so much,” Angela leaned in over the bar to kiss him excitedly, “Nick, I just know how awesome this is going to be. We’re going to have the best engagement party now that we’re going over to the castle. Plus on top of that we can see if it fits our needs for the wedding now and…”

“And I’m sure it’ll be perfect,” Nick kissed her again before pausing, “Well almost perfect. We’ve got it all worked out except for one small detail.”

“What’s that?” she questioned lazily fingering the flower he’d given her before tucking it behind her ear and placing it in her hair.

“Kevin,” Nick reminded her pointedly, “You still haven’t told him about our getting married.”

“Nick, I just don’t think that now is…” she frowned at the memory of her best friend, “I mean I know that…”

“Angela we’re only a short ways away from our engagement party. I know that you want him to be there--that you want him to be a part of all of this. You can’t just ignore that and keep putting it off,” he reached for her hand squeezing it supportively, “You need to tell him the truth about us--about what’s going on here.”

“I know I do,” she nodded a sigh spilling over her lips, “I just hate the idea of hurting him. I’m sure he’s going to need time to adjust to this situation and…”

“And maybe it’s time you took that first step in giving him that time he needs to adjust to this. I know you want him to be a part of this. If you exclude him, it will haunt you forever,” he added knowing full well how important her best friend was to her.

“You’re right. I’ll tell him. I hate having to do it like this, but I’ll call him,” Angela promised Nick reluctantly knowing full well that it wasn’t going to be easy to let Kevin know the truth about all that had happened in his absence. This was something she had dreaded for a while, but Nick was right. She couldn’t put this off any longer. She had to be honest with Kevin. There was no more putting it off.


“So let me get this straight,” Chris began pacing around the room after taking in Heather’s proposition, “Your boyfriend dumped you and left you for another woman…”

“He didn’t dump me,” Heather corrected raising her finger in the air, “He merely was distracted while I was away and I want to put this distraction to an end.”

“This distraction being Ms. Cori Warner,” Chris rehashed the details of her plans, “You want me to help you work your way back into the good graces of the man that got away and in turn you’re going to help me get the scoop on whatever story it is that I so choose here in Coral Valley.”

“That’s right,” she nodded sipping her coffee once again, “Which knowing you is one on the Ashfords since it seems to be a bit of an obsession of yours.”

“It’s not an obsession,” Chris assured her with a bright smile, “but more so something that I’m certain will keep circulation going on the newspaper as it steps into the future.”

“Which if I’m not mistaken was exactly the kind of news that a man like Russell Denton truly didn’t want for his newspaper. He wanted his little pet project to be sweet and innocent untouched by the mainstream media,” Heather made an exaggerated groan at the thought of Russell’s ideals for his paper.

“And that’s why the Courier was in such a sad state when they hired me in. It was tanking big time and I’m certain that a front page exposé on the Ashford family will be exactly what it needs to breathe life into it again. It will give it a new image--a new face and…” Chris boasted thinking of his big plans for the paper.

“It’ll be exactly everything that Avery Morrison wanted it to be when she hired you I’m sure,” Heather mouthed sipping her coffee again before a small smile tickled over the corners of her mouth. Remembering only too well the ways in which Avery had made her miserable, she couldn’t help but smirk further, “Which might be a good thing after all.”

“And you are serious when you say that you’d be willing to help me with that project of mine?” Chris eyed her skeptically still not believing how too good to be true Heather’s offer had been. While they were only now skimming over the details, the fact to the matter was that she’d offered him a taste of what revealing tales could be his and he was more than eager to get going on that exclusive story.

“It can be as long as you help me get back what’s mine by helping me rid Diego of that little twit from his life,” Heather reminded him snapping her fingers at him in an attempt to get him focused and back to the point. “If you’re half as good as you try to lead me to believe you are, then this should come easily to you.”

“Sweetheart, it’ll be more than easy for me,” Chris took a bold, flamboyant step towards her, “because I’m better than good at what I do.”

“Then I strongly suggest that you put your money where your mouth is or else I’ll see to it that Brant knows exactly why you’re in town and what your agenda is where he’s concerned,” Heather warned her words growing more serious by the moment, “You help me get what I want and I’ll help you.”

“In other words you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours,” Chris mused with a dreamy smile moving in closer to her with a flirty expression.

“Back off Romeo,” she held her hand up before placing the other one over her stomach, “I don’t want to lose my breakfast here considering I just ate, but yeah that’s the gist of it. I need something done. You have something that you want. You help me get rid of Cori Warner and I’ll help you get your big scoop.”

“Hmm,” he scratched his chin lightly, “Although you do realize that she’s the police chief’s sister. That’s a bit of a complication in itself I might add.”

“And this is a problem for you why?” she leaned in over the table top a curious expression lighting up her face, “If you’re nearly half as good as you claim to be, then you won’t have a problem being discreet about this. It should be like stealing candy from a baby even with the risk involved.”

“Well, her being the police chief’s sister does increase the risk quite a bit. Of course given that you’re not really sure that your ex really wants you back as well,” Chris made a mental note of what was ahead of them.

“Oh he wants me back. He more than wants me back and as soon as that twit gets out of his life, then we can get back to where we were supposed to be with one another. Diego and I belong together and as soon as you help me get what I need to get rid of Cori, then we can finally have that happiness we deserve with one another,” Heather vowed thinking about all the dreams she’d had about a future with Diego. She’d foolishly walked away from him once, but this time she wasn’t about to do it again. He would be hers. It was only a matter of time.

“Well, since you put it that way,” Chris pondered the thought for a moment longer, “all it would involve would be a little bit of research on my end, a little bit of damage control and then the big play.”

“So are you in or not,” Heather countered growing impatient for his answer as there were things that needed to be done--things that simply couldn’t wait.

“Oh hell yeah I’m in,” Chris replied with a quick nod holding his hand out to shake her hand eagerly, “but I swear to you you’d better not let me down Heather. If I’m in it all the way, then so are you.”

“Oh I’m in it all the way,” Heather assured him ready to take fate into her own hands in getting Diego back in her life once and for all.


“Kyle?” Diego knocked on to the house of Russell and Avery’s home, hearing nothing coming from inside the house.

He was planning on talking to Kyle about what had happened between Kyle and Sarah last night. When Diego took Sarah home earlier, there was nothing with Kyle on her messages. Something was up with Kyle and he was going to find out.

“Come on Kyle,” Diego pounded on the door, still hearing no movement inside the house. He walked over to the window, to look inside the dark room. There was absolutely no sign of Kyle there at all. “Maybe I should just give up.”

Diego shook his head slowly before walking back towards his car. He wanted to try and help Sarah, but he wasn’t going to get anywhere with Kyle not home. Diego pulled out his keys before noticing a cab bringing Kyle home. He put his keys away as he watched Kyle pay the driver and then get out the car.

“Kyle?” Diego walked up to Kyle as Kyle slightly swayed as he walked up the driveway. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Kyle replied with a small slur behind his voice, “Thanks for caring Di…”

“Diego,” Diego finished with a small frown as he saw Kyle think about what his name was for a minute.

“Yeah, that’s the name that I was thinking of,” Kyle snapped his fingers before his eyes got wide. “Is there a reason you’re here? Did I call you here?”

“No,” Diego shook his head slowly before waving his hand in front of Kyle’s face, “Are you drunk?”

“I don’t know,” Kyle answered with a small shrug as he raised his hand in front of his face waving it around. “What is drunk?”

“You don’t drink often, do you?” Diego questioned, watching as Kyle lost his balance and leaned back against his car. Diego reached out to wrap his arm around Kyle. “Let’s get you inside.”

“You don’t have keys to my place,” Kyle pointed out with a small gulp as Diego held his hand out. “What do you want?”

“Give me the keys to get in,” Diego kept his hand there for a moment before Kyle handed him the keys, “Which key is it Kyle?”

“This one,” Kyle pointed to the key before slowly walking with Diego. Diego opened the door before helping Kyle into the house.

“I’m going to put the keys down on the table okay?” Diego watched Kyle nod before he set the keys down. He let go of Kyle for a moment before watching him fall to the ground in a thud. “Kyle? Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Kyle answered, slowly nodding his head as he pulled himself up against the wall. “I’ll be just dandy.”

“What is happening to you?” Diego questioned, taking a seat on the floor, in front of Kyle. “Why are you drunk?”

“I figure I got arrested for being drunk and Sarah thought I was,” Kyle began, shrugging his shoulders as he spoke, “So I thought, why not?”

“Speaking of Sarah,” Diego started on the original reason to why he came over today, “She told me that you broke up with her.”

“I did?” Kyle questioned, seeing Diego nod slowly. Kyle thought it over for a moment before shaking his head. “I don’t remember doing that.”

“Probably because you are drunk right now,” Diego pointed out with a small frown, shaking his head slowly, “Listen to me for a second Kyle.”

“I wasn’t saying anything,” Kyle stated with a small frown, lifting his head up to look up at Diego, “I was listening.”

“Well, I know this whole thing is hard. I know when you lose a child it hurts,” Diego declared with a small frown, watching Kyle’s dark eyes look down towards the ground, “I have gone through the same thing you are. When I lost Maria and my son, I thought my whole world was going to end. I pushed every single person I was close to away from me. That was the wrong thing to do. And Kyle, you can’t keep pushing the people you love away from you.”

“They don’t understand Diego,” Kyle insisted, resting his head against the wall, “They don’t understand how much I hurt. They don’t even care.”

“Sarah cares Kyle,” Diego pointed out with a small shake of his head, “You may have lost your child, but you don’t want to risk losing the love of your life.”

“I love her Diego, I really do,” Kyle admitted, taking in a deep breath, “I have never loved someone so much in my whole life, but she doesn’t understand either. I try to let her in, I really do. I just don’t know what to do.”

“Don’t push her away,” Diego stated as he reached out to squeeze Kyle’s shoulder, “If you ever listen to me on anything, listen to me when I tell you to not push her away. It will be the biggest mistake in the world.”

“I’m trying,” Kyle let out a deep sigh as he ran his hand over the back of his neck lightly, “You don’t know how hard I am trying, I just don’t want to be hurt again. That’s what I am truly afraid of.”


Sarah let out a deep sigh as she sat down on her couch. She had been waiting to hear from Diego for a while because he had mentioned something about going to see Kyle, but she still hadn’t heard anything. Diego was wrong, when she got home there was nothing from Kyle. Kyle must really hate her right now to not even call. It was obvious that they were done with each other, she could tell just by the way he was acting.

“Kyle?” Sarah got up from the couch quickly after hearing knocking on the door. She opened the door before letting out a small sigh. “Avery, hi.”

“Hello Sarah,” Avery smiled, walking into the place after Sarah motioned her to come in, “Is Kyle here? I was hoping to see how he was doing. I haven’t seen or heard from him in a while.”

“That makes two of us,” Sarah declared with a small frown, folding her arms out in front of her chest, “I haven’t talked to Kyle either.”

“Okay, what is that supposed to mean?” Avery questioned with a small frown, watching as Sarah sat back down on the couch. “Where is he?”

“Still at your place,” Sarah answered with a small sigh before shrugging her shoulders, “And we broke up.”

“You broke up?” Avery frowned, watching as Sarah nodded slowly. From what Avery remembered, Kyle loved Sarah a lot. It was almost awkward for him to break up with her. “I’m sorry, but how did that happen?”

“I don’t know,” Sarah began, feeling her eyes begin to gloss over as she talked about what happened between them last night. “We got into a fight and some mean words were said back and forth. And then he just broke up with me.”

“What did he say?” Avery took a seat next to Sarah, watching as Sarah’s saddened eyes looked up into hers. “Did he say something specific?”

“Basically that I didn’t love him,” Sarah answered with a small frown before shrugging her shoulders, “Oh, I was also jealous that Susan was having his baby.”

“That doesn’t sound like Kyle at all,” Avery sighed before shaking her head slowly. She thought back to the condition that Grady was in and she realized that Kyle and Grady were both in a horrible position. “Although, Grady is acting the same way.”

“What are we supposed to do Avery?” Sarah questioned with a small frown, wiping a single tear away from her cheek. “I don’t think I could live without Kyle.”

“Well, I’m not really sure because I have never seen either one of them this upset before,” Avery explained, shrugging her shoulders as she spoke, “They both feel like their best friend betrayed them.”

“Right,” Sarah nodded slowly, looking over at Avery as she let out a small sigh, “So what do you think we should do? Get Kyle and Grady back as friends again?”

“It will be hard, but yeah. I think that’s what we have to do,” Avery declared, looking over at Sarah with a small smirk. “And then hopefully everything will be back to normal. Grady and Kyle will be friends again and none of this will be happening.”

“Well, how do you supposed we get Kyle and Grady back as friends?” Sarah wondered, watching Avery as she thought for something to say.

“I don’t know,” Avery frowned, looking over at Sarah with an assuring expression, “but I know we will come up with something.”


“I can’t believe the nerve of that woman,” Ria frowned, watching Kevin sit down on her couch and look up at her with his dark eyes. “The only thing she is out to do is hurt you.”

“I think I am used to it Ria,” Kevin declared with a small frown before shrugging his shoulders. “It’s not like I don’t already know she is a jerk. It’s not going to bother me anymore than most things.”

“I know, but I just can’t stand her,” Ria scowled, sitting down in the seat across from Kevin, “She just drives me nuts.”

“That’s one thing that we have in common,” Kevin pointed out with a small smirk, “The both of us would just like to put an end to all of her talking.”

“I hate that she can just ruin our day like this,” Ria shook her head slowly, letting out a small sigh, “She is such a jerk.”

“She didn’t ruin our day Ria,” Kevin insisted, thinking about what happened. Sure, they had planned on going to Seth’s and they did decide not to because of Michelle, but their day shouldn’t end like that.

“That’s yours,” Ria informed Kevin of his cell phone ringing as he pulled it out of his pocket to check the number.

“I’ll be right back,” Kevin declared, getting up from the couch after noticing the number was Angie’s. He went into the bedroom and leaned against the dresser before answering his phone. “Hey Angie.”

“Kevin,” Angela smiled to herself, hearing the sound of Kevin’s voice over the receiver, “I was worried that I was going to get your voicemail again.”

“Nope, this is the true Kevin Adonis,” Kevin chuckled before running his hand through is hair. He wanted to tell Angie about everything that happened. About Jade dying and Michelle, now was the time that he had to tell her. He couldn’t keep her in the dark like this, it was wrong. Angie was his best friend and keeping all of this away from her was just wrong and not him. “Angie, there is some stuff that I really need to tell you.”

“Same goes for me,” Angela let out a deep breath, knowing that now was the time to tell Kevin about everything--he had to know. “I have something really important to tell you.”

“Well, you go first,” Kevin insisted, letting out a small sigh, “Mine really isn’t that important.”

“No, maybe you should go first,” Angela hesitated, not really wanting to tell him about everything. “I’m sure mine can wait.”

“No Angie, I insist,” Kevin slightly smirked, shaking his head slowly, “I want to know what is going on. I really…”

“I’m engaged,” Angie blurted out, hearing silence from the other side of the phone. “I am marrying Nick. We are engaged Kevin and we are going to be getting married soon.”


Brant paced back and forth between his hotel room. What he was planning on doing was big. He had do it soon or he wasn’t going to be able to do it at all.

“This is it,” Brant let out a small sigh before walking towards the door. He stopped dead in his tracks after hearing his cell phone begin to ring. He picked his cell phone up and answered it after realizing what the number was. “Hey Don.”

“Hey,” Don quickly got out before getting to the original subject on why he was calling, “Ken is getting married.”

“I know,” Brant frowned, rubbing his aching neck slowly, “The wedding can’t happen Don. We can’t let this wedding happen.”

“Well, Ken wants it to happen,” Don pointed out with a small sigh of frustration, “and it doesn’t look like there’s much time because he just asked me to be his best man.”

“That’s good,” Brant blurted out, nodding to himself slowly, “That’s really good news Don. When is the wedding?”

“The wedding is in a couple of days,” Don answered before being slightly confused on how this whole thing was good, “Why is the news I just gave you good?”

“Because you can stall the wedding. You have to promise me something Don,” Brant began, letting out a deep sigh as he thought things over. “Try and stall that wedding just in case I am not back in time to do so. Michelle is evil and Ken can‘t be marrying her.”

“You’ve got it man, I will stop that thing for you,” Don promised with a small sigh, “I just hope you get something good to stop this wedding because Ken seems pretty big on this whole thing.”

“I’ve got something really good,” Brant declared with a small smirk, “In fact I have to go deal with it right now, so I will see you later.”

Brant hung up the phone with Don before walking towards the door. He was more determined than ever to make sure this whole thing stopped. That this thing with Ken and Michelle would be stopped and this was the only way. After walking out of his hotel room he walked down a few hotel doors before stopping at the number he had written down earlier.

“This is it, now or nothing,” Brant let out a deep sigh, reaching forward to knock on the hotel door lightly. Hopefully his plan was going to work.


...to be continued...