Episode 255

“Can you repeat that please,” Kevin let out a small chuckle after what he just heard Angie say, “I swear you just said that you were getting married to Nick.”

“I am,” Angela replied, nodding slowly as she heard the silence over the phone, “Kevin, please say something.”

“I can’t believe this,” Kevin stated with a small frown, his throat growing raspy as he thought of something to say, “I can’t believe your doing this. Are you crazy?”

“That’s not quite the reaction I was hoping for,” she sighed, leaning against the cool wall as she spoke to him, “I was hoping more for a congratulations. And no, I’m not crazy.”

“How can I congratulate you when I think you are doing something so stupid?” Kevin questioned with a small bit of anger rising in his body. “What are you thinking Angie? Do you even realize what you are saying to me? You are getting married to some guy you hardly even know.”

“I’m in love with him Kevin,” she insisted with a small bit of irritation. Okay, so maybe this would have went a little bit better if she had told him earlier. “It’s not too far away and I was hoping that you would be here.”

“How long have you been keeping this from me Angie?” Kevin wondered, a muscle in his jaw tensing as he spoke.

“Well, a while I guess,” she answered with a small hint of worry as she told him the truth. Kevin was her best friend and she shouldn’t have kept it from him this long, but it was so hard not to.

“A while? Why have you been keeping something like this from me?” Kevin’s voice began to grow angry as he spoke and let what he was thinking all out. “So that’s what I get after all these years? I get to be shoved aside and not told anything while this guy who doesn’t even have a past is there with you.”

“Don’t make this about you Kevin, I wanted to tell you,” she declared, running her hand through her dark hair as she let out a deep sigh, “This is why I kept it from you, I knew you would be acting like this.”

“Your damn right I am going to be acting like this,” Kevin snapped, standing straight as he spoke, “I can’t believe you Angie. All of a sudden you keep making stupid moves like this. You are marrying some jerk and you say you love him. But of course you keep falling for the jerks don’t you? You keep going for the men you don’t even know. Now and on Christmas. Of all days, I never thought Christmas would be a day like you made it.”

“Don’t you even bring that up,” Angela began with a small scowl, “Nick is not a bad person Kevin, get that out of your mind. He tried to be nice to you so…”

“So he could get into your pants, which I am assuming he did,” Kevin cut her off angrily, letting out a small scowl as he spoke, “You know, we make mistakes. I understand that, but why do you keep doing this Angie? Do you realize that Nick could have a family? A life? He could just up and leave you without even looking back and caring. Do you want that? Do you want it to be like Cary? Is that what you want?”

“Kevin, Nick won’t leave me,” Angela assured him with a small sigh, switching the phone to her other ear, “He is devoted and he loves me. He really loves me.”

“He loves you?” Kevin questioned with a small chuckle, biting down on his bottom lip. “Angie, you can’t see love when it’s right in front of you. Someone can love you with all their heart and soul, but you still wouldn’t see it. A person would bend over backwards just to do something for you, but you still wouldn’t see it. You are blind when it comes to love Angie. When someone loves you, truly loves you--all you ever do is rip their heart out and stomp on it. This Nick guy is just like Cary. He’s an obsession, that’s all he is. That‘s all he ever is going to be.”

“Why would you say something like that Kevin?” Angela questioned with small hint of pain behind her voice. “So that’s what you think I am huh? Someone who likes stomping on other’s hearts? Is that what you really think?”

“Yeah, quite frankly I do,” Kevin nodded slowly, not being able to stand what she was telling him, “You can’t even begin to understand what some people have done for you. I have given up more than half of my life protecting you and this is how you throw away that safety I made sure you had? Did anything I did for you matter?”

“I am safe with Nick, probably as safe as I can be,” Angela promised him, feeling the lump in her throat grow bigger as she spoke to Kevin, “I’m sorry I made half your life a living hell Kevin, I didn’t mean to do that to you.”

“My life--was perfect for quite a while,” Kevin informed her with a small shake of his head, “but that was all taken away from me with just the snap of someone’s fingers. And unfortunately, I can’t have it back. I don’t want you to ruin your life Angie, making all of these mistakes.”

“This is not a mistake Kevin,” she snapped back, hating the way that he was talking to her, “Nick is perfect, he is perfect for me. I thought that if I was happy, you would be happy for me. Obviously, I was wrong.”

“I want you happy, but what happens if Nick leaves you when he gets his memory back? Are you going to come running back to me again? I can tell you that this thing isn’t going to work out and if you come for my help, I can’t help but say I told you so,” Kevin stated with a small growl. “I don’t understand you Angela.”

“Angela? Your calling me Angela now? You haven’t called me that in years,” Angela pointed with a small shake of her head. “You really are mad at me aren’t you?”


“I wish I could say I could be more help to you Avery, but the truth to the matter is that Kyle and I haven’t been exactly close lately,” Sarah replied in a painful confession thinking about the alienation she’d started to feel from the man that she loved. While she hated to admit it things were less than good between them. In fact the more that she thought about Kyle, the worse she felt over the whole situation.

“That’s what I was afraid of,” Avery sighed heavily as the two pulled up in Grady’s driveway, “I mean I know that this is a long shot, but maybe if we can talk to Grady, we can find a way to get those two to talk again about everything.”

“I really don’t know how much good we’ll be doing in all of this,” Sarah sighed thinking about Kyle’s estrangement from her. Once Avery had arrived at Sarah’s place asking to enlist Sarah’s help in getting Kyle and Grady back to working on their friendship, Sarah had understood Avery’s enthusiasm, yet at the same time she was starting to feel as if that wasn’t in the realm of possibility. Kyle was stubborn as was Grady and Sarah knew full well they had a long, hard road ahead of them. Then again Sarah was starting to feel that way about her relationship with Kyle herself these days.

“I’m not sure how much progress we’ll make today, but I know these two enough to know that sooner or later they have to talk to one another,” Avery insisted as the two women got out of the car, “They are best friends and best friends don’t just forget their history based on something like what happened.”

“Susan really worked a number on Kyle,” Sarah admitted after a moment of hesitation, “He really sees this as a betrayal and he’s closing everyone out of his life.”

“Meaning that he hasn’t found a way to fix things with you either, huh?” Avery frowned at the realization knowing full well that wasn’t like the Kyle Houston she knew at all. “Have you tried talking to him?”

“Repeatedly, but he seems like he’s so closed off right now. Everyone keeps telling me to be patient, but it’s like the man that I’ve known and love isn’t there anymore. There’s this darkness hanging over him and I feel like I’m losing him more and more each day,” Sarah revealed fighting to contain the tears that she held from within. “I just wish that somehow I’d find the right way to fix this--the way to reach out to him and make everything okay again.”

“I think we’re on the road to that,” Avery offered up supportively understanding full well how hard it was to be alienated from the man you love. Avery took a step forward before speaking up again, “Maybe once we can clear the air between Kyle and Grady it’ll put less of a strain on what you two have with each other.”

“Given what’s happening to Kyle, I’m worried that may never happen. Even now I think that what Susan did to him is still affecting him,” Sarah paused once more, “I mean beyond what happened the night she died. I really think her drugging him has changed him somehow. There’s something happening inside of him and no matter how hard I try to reach out to him, it’s just not happening.”

“It’ll happen,” Avery spoke up encouragingly reaching out to squeeze her hand, “Just have faith.”

“I’m trying to,” Sarah replied with a sad smile before motioning towards the door ahead of them, “and hey if you can get through to Grady, then there’s no telling where this can go.”

“Hopefully where we want it to,” Avery added praying that she could find a way to reason with Grady. Maybe with Sarah there they could get him to see that this fighting between him and Kyle was counterproductive.

Now as Avery rang the bell waiting for Grady, she wondered if he’d be willing to at least hear her and Sarah out. Given the way his moods had been fluctuating lately, Avery knew full well he’d probably put up a fight, but she was ready for it. She would just have to find a way of dealing with him in such a manner that he couldn’t keep from hearing her.

“I don’t think he’s there,” Sarah noted as Avery rang the bell again, “I mean I thought the lights were on, but nothing…”

“We’ll just see about that,” Avery took a step back circling around the house over to one of the potted plants. She tilted it a bit before she located the key that Grady kept there. Once she’d pulled it out she returned to the door pressing it into the lock.

“That’s not very smart now is it,” Sarah noted watching the front door ease open.

“I kept telling him it wasn’t, but it’s coming in handy now I suppose,” Avery shrugged her shoulders before stepping into the foyer. She called out Grady’s name hoping that he would pop up, but she was met by silence.

“Maybe he really is gone,” Sarah noted with a small frown.

“Maybe, but I’ll go check,” Avery decided walking further into Grady’s house as Sarah’s phone started to ring. Sarah pulled it out of her purse seeing Blake’s number on the id and she picked it up.

“Hello,” Sarah spoke up in a soft sigh.

“Sarah, where have you been?” Blake questioned worriedly, “I’ve been trying to get a hold of you for a while, but you haven’t been answering.”

“I haven’t been really up to talking much lately,” Sarah replied unable to keep her worries from showing.

“What is it? Is it Kyle?” Blake questioned worry evident in her tone.

“I can’t find him Blake. Avery and I are looking for him, but there’s been no luck thus far. We’re at Grady Denton’s place hoping to talk to him, but it doesn’t seem like he’s here either,” Sarah revealed her frustrations mounting.

“I’m sorry,” Blake paused, “I know how hard this is on Kyle--on everyone right now after what took place with Susan. Grady called Seth to tell him about what happened, but he was rather vague…”

“Yeah well in that case you’ve probably only heard half of it,” Sarah replied stepping further into Grady’s living room.

“Which means maybe you and I should get together. I don’t know what’s going on, but by the sound of your voice it must be pretty serious,” Blake added hating to hear Sarah sounding so upset.

“Yeah, maybe we should,” Sarah finally decided, “Maybe you can help me find Kyle.”

“Of course,” Blake replied quickly, “anything I can do, just name it.”

“Thank you Blake,” Sarah looked at the time, “Tell you what. I’ll just talk to Avery and see what she came up with, then we can meet up. Will that work for you?”

“Of course it will. You just name the time and place and I’ll be there,” Blake promised her reassuringly.

“Thanks Blake,” Sarah finished up her phone call with Blake before seeing Avery return to the room, “Any luck?”

“No,” Avery frowned thinking about the last time she’d seen Grady, “which worries me. It’s not like him to just up and disappear.”

“No it’s not,” Sarah added uneasily. “It’s not like either one of them to just up and disappear and the fact that they have…”

“Only means trouble,” Avery finished Sarah’s statement worried about what had become of the two men they were searching for. While Avery wanted to believe that both Grady and Kyle were okay, she knew better than to think that. They were both waging a war with one another and against themselves. Chances were wherever they were at a time like this wasn’t a place that either one of them should be in. She just hoped that they could locate the both of them before they did something that they’d live to regret.


“It’s so nice going out with you,” Kellen looked over at Kipp who had a small grin spread across his features, “I’m glad that the three of us can go out together and have fun.”

“So am I,” Kipp replied with a small chuckle, pushing Charles in his stroller slowly as Kellen pushed the cart around the store, “These are the two most important men in my life. I could be with them my whole life and still, that would be too short.”

“You are like winning my heart over with that I hope you know,” Kellen pointed out with a small smile, “You seem to be really good with that lately.”

“Well, at least I know it’s working,” Kipp chuckled, following Kellen around the store, “Do you have a specific place we are going to or are we just looking around? I think we just went in a circle for like the tenth time.”

“Sorry, I’m a browser. I love shopping, it’s one of my favorite things to do,” Kellen informed Kipp with a small shrug, “If you didn’t notice that already.”

“I like that about you, I think you could help me redecorate my house. You might make it a little more interesting,” Kipp stated with a small smile, “I can see it now. You would do a perfect job.”

“I’ll officially take that job right now and I think we should start looking for things. That is a really good idea,” Kellen decided, stopping for a minute to look around the store. “And the first thing we are going to be working on is the nursery--my treat.”

“I couldn’t let you do that,” Kipp frowned, shaking his head slowly before Kellen placed his finger over his lips gently.

“I want to do it,” Kellen assured Kipp before motioning Kipp to follow him towards the baby section, “Let’s see what we can find here. How about we start with stuffed animals?”

“Oh no, we already have so many,” Kipp pointed out with a small sigh as Kellen gave a small shrug and grabbed two stuffed animals off the shelf. He gave one of them a small hug before walking back towards them.

“You can’t go wrong with stuffed animals. You can never have enough,” Kellen insisted, walking up to the stroller and bending down to be in front of Charles. He raised both of the stuffed animals up for Charles and Charles grabbed the both of them. “See what I mean? He will love each and every one of them.”

“Well, in that case you might as well grab two of the both of these stuffed animals,” Kipp let out small smile, watching as Kellen stood up and went to get another pair.

“What are these two for?” Kellen questioned, holding the two stuffed
animals in the air.

“They are for you,” Kipp answered with a small laugh, watching as Kellen’s eyebrows tensed, “You looked like you liked them when you hugged them after you picked them up. So, you should get two too. You need some more things to snuggle with at night. I never want you to be alone. Now if you have these, you will always remember me.”

“That’s so sweet,” Kellen smirked, leaning forward to give a Kipp a small hug, “I think I would like having these then.”

“Good,” Kipp smiled, watching as Kellen put the two stuffed animals in the basket, “So what’s our next stop?”

“I was thinking we could decorate his room with a certain theme eventually,” Kellen declared, leading Kipp towards the back of the area, “Maybe with Winnie the Pooh or something like that.”

“Winnie the Pooh?” Kipp questioned, seeing Kellen nod slowly, “What about Elmo?”

“No way,” Kellen shook his head quickly, looking back at Kipp with a disgusted expression, “I am in my twenties and that thing still scares me. I don’t want Charles to experience any of that. Even Heather agreed with me about Elmo. When we were talking we thought he was creepy.”

“Speaking of Heather,” Kipp began, still not believing how great Kellen and Heather had been acting lately, “What did she say when she called you?”

“She just said she would be over later,” Kellen answered with a small shrug, “She said just to enjoy our day and that’s what I plan on doing.”


“Thanks for taking the time to see me man. I know that it’s not the easiest of times right now,” Ben began hating to have to come over to Seth’s place to talk about his problems with Diane when Seth was dealing with a world of tragedy of his own. Still Ben didn’t know where else to go to talk about what was happening in his life.

“Anytime,” Seth motioned for him to take a seat, “You know I’m always here for you.”

“I know, but still…I hate to be a burden,” Ben cleared his throat uneasily, “It’s just I didn’t know where else to go to talk about this. My parents really don’t need to be hearing about any of this and…”

“Hey man, we’re still best friends. That hasn’t changed,” Seth offered up supportively hearing the sounds of Blake emerging from the bedroom with her purse draped over her arm. Seth looked up curiously. “Going somewhere?”

“Actually I’m supposed to meet Sarah,” Blake nodded in confession, “She’s got a few things she wants to talk about and I promised I would be there.”

“Okay,” Seth replied with a small nod.

“Oh hey Ben,” Blake waved at him offering up a small smile before stepping in to kiss Seth on the cheek, “Do you need anything while I’m out?”

“No, I’m fine,” Seth shook his head before reaching for her hand and taking it in his. “Just be safe while you’re out.”

“I will,” Blake promised giving him a quick hug before looking to Ben, “You keep an eye on him, will you?”

“Sure,” Ben nodded with a small smile.

“We’ll be fine Blake,” Seth tried to assure her, but he could see that she wasn’t buying into it. She gave him one final kiss good-bye before leaving the two men with one another.

“So really how are you doing?” Ben couldn’t help but ask after Blake had left. “You don’t have to pretend with me Seth.”

“I feel like hell,” Seth sighed heavily bringing his hand up through his hair, “I feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest and that there’s this huge void inside of me. It’s something that just isn’t going to go away, so I’m dealing.”

“I saw the story on the news about Susan’s death,” Ben added watching his friend closely.

“Yeah so did Blake and I, though oddly enough it still doesn’t feel right. I mean sure in a way I am glad that she was punished for what she’d done to Jade, yet in her death, she really didn’t have to own up to what she’d done to my sister--to the way she’d hurt her,” Seth found himself choked up on the thought. Reluctantly he cleared his throat once again, “But this isn’t about me right now. This is about you. That’s why you came over, so let’s talk. What’s going on with Diane?”

“She’s pregnant,” Ben sighed heavily thinking about everything that was going on with him and Diane.

“Yeah you’d mentioned that,” Seth nodded accordingly, “and I’m happy for the both of you. What’s wrong? Is she having pregnancy woes this early on?”

“I wish that was it, but unfortunately that’s far from where the problem lies,” Ben paused not really sure how to bring up the subject, “You see I just bought a house for us--I got us a place where we could raise the baby--where she and I could finally begin anew…”

“So what’s the problem?” Seth questioned further, “Does she not like the place? Is that what’s going on?”

“More like I don’t know if I’m the baby’s father at this point,” Ben blurted out bringing the story to the table. Seth went speechless at his friend’s admission, “I mean how is that for a real kicker there?”

“How do you…how do you know?” Seth asked unable to refrain from saying something.

“She and I were planning for the wedding and I got this invitation the other night… To make a long story short, when I got to the restaurant that I thought Diane was supposed to meet me at, well she was there, but so was that JT guy that was at Jade’s memorial,” Ben revealed thinking back to the worst night of his life.

“Wait a second JT Mahoney was there?” Seth’s eyes narrowed darkly. “What does he have to do with any of this?”

“Apparently when Diane and I split, she saw me out with Valerie one night and drew her own conclusions from the situation. She wound up sleeping with JT that night and now…” Ben tapered off not really sure he was up to saying the horrible truth.

“You mean she and JT could be?” Seth’s eyes widened, “Oh man I’m sorry. JT is a jerk. I can’t believe that Diane would be stupid enough to throw away what you two had for him considering that…”

“At the time she and I were apart. I broke up with her so I guess in a way it was my own fault that she went to him, yet…” Ben sighed heavily bringing his fingers through his hair, “When she and I reunited again, she never thought to tell me about what happened…”

“Yeah well knowing JT if anything really did happen, he totally instigated it. He was trouble from the word go,” Seth paused thinking about the man who had caused chaos for Jade and Diane, “I can’t believe you don’t remember the creep. When he started seeing Jade…”

“Whoa back up. He was seeing Jade?” Ben’s eyes widened with surprise.

“Yeah,” Seth thought it over, “maybe that was when you’d gone away for school. JT and Diane had a thing in high school. They’d been an item but Diane was interested in someone else…I don’t remember who, but she and JT broke up and somehow he started getting all involved with Jade. I never quite understood why she was nice to him, but when he started giving her problems, I warned him not so politely to back off. I mean here was this jerk getting in the way of a lifelong friendship and it just wasn’t right.”

“Yeah well now he’s found his way back into Diane’s life in more ways than I ever wanted to believe possible,” Ben shook his head tension riding over his body, “and the worst part about it all isn’t so much that she slept with him, but rather that she didn’t think that she could trust me enough to tell me about what happened when we were apart. I mean she claims to love me, yet…”

“Let me ask you a question,” Seth interrupted unable to help himself.

“Yeah, what’s that?” Ben asked somberly.

“Do you still love her?” Seth asked pondering his friend’s situation. “I mean above everything else, do you still find that you want her in your life?”

“Yeah,” Ben nodded with a sad smile. “I mean as pathetic as it makes me seem at a time like this, I can’t deny the fact that I love her. She’s the woman I wanted to share the rest of my life with. She’s something special and…”

“And even though she made a mistake, you’re not willing to walk away from her just yet, right?” Seth arched a speculative brow.

“Some would say I’d be smart if I did considering that there is no chance for a real relationship without trust in it,” Ben folded his hands in his lap, “I mean really what kind of future do we have if she can’t be honest with me about things? I mean what else could she have lied about at this point?”

“Well, it’s not like you never lied to her either, right,” Seth pointed out catching the disapproving look on Ben’s face, “Hey I’m just saying…”

“I know what you’re saying and you’re right. You’re absolutely right, but then again I think about this baby…about what this could mean for the future. I mean if JT is the father…” Ben tried to reason with himself.

“Will that change the way you feel about Diane?” Seth questioned again.

“Honestly,” Ben met his friend’s concerned gaze, “no.”

“Then let me be blunt with you,” Seth leaned forward in his chair thinking about the important things that he’d often found himself overlooking up until this point in time, “If you love Diane--really truly love her with all that you are, then you need to find a way to fix this. You need to really think about what it is that you’re about to walk away from before you decide it’s the end. I mean no one could blame you if you can’t deal with what’s happening, yet if your love is worth fighting for and you know that you’d spend the rest of your life lost without her, then there’s no alternative. You have to find a way to work through this together and hope that you can come out on top of it with one another.”

“I wish it were that simple, but…” Ben began again.

“But nothing. If your love is worth fighting for, then you can’t walk away from it without a second thought. If you really, truly love her and you can’t imagine your life without her, then don’t waste your time worrying about the trivial things. Sure what she did was something that is going to need to be worked through, but if she’s the only woman you can see yourself sharing your life with, then you don’t want to just toss that aside,” Seth paused feeling a lump in his throat, “I mean if nothing else losing my sister taught me that life is precious and you shouldn’t waste it on the small things. We’re only given so much time in this world--so many moments to share with those around us that we love and if we waste them, well then we’ll never be able to get them back. We’ll never be able to change those mistakes and if we keep making them, one day you’re going to wake up in a world of regret knowing that the best thing in your life was well within your reach, yet you let it slip away because you were hurting and upset.”

“Maybe you’re right,” Ben nodded taking in his friend’s words. Above all else he still loved Diane and while he was hurting, that reality hadn’t changed. She was still the only woman he wanted to share his life with. Maybe it would be difficult now with the truth about JT lingering over their heads, yet maybe Seth was right. Maybe their love was worth fighting for after all.


Diane stood outside of her mother’s apartment not really sure what she was going to say once her mom answered, but right now in not being around Ben, it was killing her. All she could think about was the way that he’d walked out of her life--the way that her heart had shattered when he’d left her behind. How she wanted to be with him--to make him see more than anything that they were fated to be together, yet the memory of her night with JT had come to haunt them just as she feared. Knocking on the door once more, Diane was surprised to find Deidra standing on the other side when it opened.

“Dee, what are you doing here,” Diane questioned behind a sniffle.

“Di, what is it?” Deidra searched her sister’s eyes only to discover that Diane had obviously been crying, “Oh Di, what’s wrong?”

“Everything’s wrong,” Diane burst into tears just as Judy walked up to join the two sisters.

“Honey, what’s going on?” Judy questioned worry evident in her tone as she looked between Diane and Deidra.

“He knows Dee. He knows everything and he left me,” Diane blurted out as she stepped forward lost in her tears.

“Oh honey I’m so sorry what happened,” Deidra questioned reaching out to embrace her sister. “You told him and he left?”

“No,” Diane shook her head in confession, “He left when JT told him.”

“JT,” Deidra’s eyes widened at the admission, “What in the world was JT doing telling him?”

“I wanted to tell him Dee, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. It never felt like the right moment and then JT stole that away from me,” Diane blurted out in between broken sobs.

“Blurted out what?” Judy questioned her worries mounting now that both of her daughters had come to her in a state of upset.

“That Ben might not be this baby’s father,” Diane replied broken by her emotions, “When Ben and I broke up, I slept with JT. I don’t know how I let it happen, but it did and now Ben knows all about it. He hates me now and he’s gone. He left me earlier and he’s never going to come back. I just know it.”

“Oh Diane,” Judy sighed heavily moving in to embrace her youngest daughter as well as it seemed that the Stevens girls were having a whirlwind of chaos in their lives where the romance department was concerned. First with Deidra, now with Diane and even in Judy’s own relationship with Richard it seemed that romance would never be a strong point in their lives. The more she thought about it, the more she feared that they were all doomed to some kind of heartache or another from here on out.


“JT, hey,” Cameron greeted his brother with a small smile trying to push the worries of the past few days out of his mind. “Come on in.”

“Cam,” JT nodded slipping his hands into his pockets before stepping towards his brother, “so how have you been? What’s new?”

“Trust me you don’t want to know,” Cameron set the paper aside that he’d been stewing over.

“Come on. What is it,” JT couldn’t help but ask sensing something was going on behind his brother’s troubled eyes.

“I’ve just been thinking about Angel a lot lately. I’m worried about her,” Cameron stopped himself refusing to let anyone know about his suspicions where Avery and Angela was concerned. He’d have to keep that to himself for now at least until he knew further what was going on. Setting the issue aside he faced JT offering his younger brother his full attention, “What’s on your mind JT?”

“Diane,” JT blurted out without hesitation.

“Why am I not surprised?” Cameron couldn’t help but ask, “Somehow every time I see you lately it’s usually about her.”

“She’s having by child Cam,” JT explained taking a seat in one of the chairs, “The night we shared together brought about a baby. She’s pregnant and I know that’s a sign.”

“Yeah it’s a sign you should’ve worn a condom,” Cameron frowned thinking about the kind of person Diane Stevens was, “You can do better JT.”

“I love her Cameron. I have always loved her,” JT insisted urgently, “She makes me feel things that I swore I would never feel for anyone and I want to be with her. Our child only further proves how right we are for one another.”

“And her boyfriend?” Cameron arched a speculative brow.

“He’s not as much of a problem as he once was,” JT shrugged his shoulders, “but I know she’s stubborn and she’s going to be in need of convincing. Cam, I need to find a way to make sure that she doesn’t try to keep me from my son or daughter. I know she’s acting impossible right now, but when it gets down to it, I have every right to my child.”

“If the child is yours, then yes you do,” Cameron nodded in agreement, “and if she is having your child, then I’ll do what I can to help you through this mess.”

“I knew I could count on you Cameron,” JT offered up with a small smile, “Somehow I knew that you would be able to give me what I needed in this situation.”

“And what exactly is it that you think you need?” Cameron couldn’t help but ask with a sigh fearing that this would only turn out bad for his younger brother.

“I need you to help me convince Diane that she and I belong together--that we’re a family now,” JT explained his eyes full of desperation and hope.

“I’ll see what I can do JT because you know how I feel about family. Family always is first,” Cameron promised hoping that he would be able to help his brother with whatever it was that JT felt he needed to reclaim the child he believed was his.


“I can’t believe that this is actually going to happen,” Ken let out a deep breath as he fixed his tie, looking in the mirror in front of him. “Here I am, trying on my tux and in just a matter of time I am going to be marrying Michelle.”

“Um, yeah,” Don nodded, sliding his dress shirt on slowly. He looked over Ken before shaking his head slowly. Ken was really big on this, it was like Ken had no idea what Michelle really was. “Ken, you know…”

“Ken,” Michelle smiled, walking up from behind Don. She went over and hugged Ken tightly before giving him a small kiss, “I came to see how everything was going.”

“Fine,” Ken answered with a small smile, looking over at Don, “The two of us were just trying our tux on.”

“Oh hello,” Michelle smiled, looking back at Don as Don took a step backwards and away from her. “It looks like you tried your tux on Ken, but Don only has half of it done.”

“Oh, yeah,” Don looked down to this shirt that was still unbuttoned. He buttoned it up quickly before grabbing his vest. “I’m kind of slow when it comes to getting dressed.”

“It’s okay, it looked good on you,” Michelle gave Don a small wink before turning back around to face Ken. “Well, I was just looking around the store while I was out and I found something that I think would look perfect at our wedding. You wouldn’t believe how perfect it truly was, only…”

“Only what?” Ken questioned, reaching his hands out to grab hers. “What is it sweetheart?”

“It was just really expensive, so I didn’t get it,” she replied, letting out a small sigh as Ken reached up to caress her cheek gently. “And I really want it bad.”

“Hey, it’s okay,” Ken assured her with a small shrug, “We can always go back and buy it. Nothing is too expensive when it comes to my girl.”

“Too expensive,” Don rolled his eyes before looking away from the two in front of him. He made a promise to Brant and he had to keep that promise no matter what it took. “I’ll be right back, I have to make a phone call.”

“Alright, we’ll be right here,” Ken nodded slowly as Michelle turned around and gave Don another small wink.

“That’s just wrong,” Don shivered and shook his head disgustedly as he walked towards the back of the store. He took one last glance at Ken and Michelle before pulling out his cell phone and dialing Shannon‘s number. Ken was obviously blind because Michelle was just flirting with him right in front of Ken and Ken saw nothing. It was like Ken was blind when it came to gold diggers--especially this Michelle Sprite.

“Hello,” Shannon’s voice came over the receiver after he has waited a few minutes.

“Hello my dear wife,” Don smiled to himself, loving the way that he could talk with Shannon now. Now really wasn’t the time to be gloating about this right now though because had some business that he needed help with. “Listen honey, I need your help and I know you are the only one that can truly help me. It’s a favor that I need help with.”

“Sure honey,” Shannon nodded slowly, leaning back into the chair she was sitting in, “What can I do for?”

“Well, you remember how I told you that Ken had asked me to be his best man at his wedding?” Don questioned with a small frown as he looked back at Ken who was still talking to Michelle and holding her tightly in his arms.

“Yeah, what about it?” Shannon wondered what in the world he was going to get her into now. “What about the wedding Don?”

“Well, I can’t let this wedding go on. If I do, Ken’s life is going to be horrible,” Don informed her with a deep sigh before running his hand along the back of his neck slowly, “I need you to dig up whatever you can on Michelle Sprite. Do you think you could do that for me?”

“Of course, anything for you,” Shannon agreed to this whole thing, knowing exactly what she was getting herself in. “You said the woman’s name is Michelle Sprite?”

“Yep,” Don confirmed the name before noticing Ken looking over at him from a distance, “Listen, I have to get going before someone gets suspicious of something.”

“Okay honey,” Shannon smiled widely, “I love you.”

“I love you too,” Don replied with a small smirk before hanging up the phone.

He had to go through with stopping the wedding. He wanted Ken to be happy and this wasn’t going to be the way that Ken was going to be happy. Sure Ken thought he was happy, but that Michelle was going to tear him apart like a piece of meat if he just stood there and let this wedding continue.


“What did you think I was? Did you think I was giving you some kind of act or something?” Kevin questioned angrily after what Angela had just said to him. “I called you Angela because you certainly aren’t acting like my Angie.”

“Your Angie?” Angela repeated his words before shaking her head slowly. “What are you trying to say Kevin?”

“I am trying to say that you,” Kevin began, pausing between his sentence to really think about what he meant. He had just blurt that out in a matter of seconds before even thinking what he meant by it. “What I mean, was that you aren’t acting like my best friend. My best friend is a brilliant woman who wouldn’t put herself at risk for anything like this.”

“I am not putting myself at risk Kevin,” Angela snapped once more, not believing how Kevin was acting at this moment, “Nick is not a risk in my life. He is someone I want to be with for the rest of my life. He can take care of me and he will always be here for me. That is never going to change.”

“He‘s not always going to be there for you Angie,” Kevin frowned, shaking his head disapprovingly, “What happens when he gets his memory back Angie? What happens then? I don’t want you hurt again and I can just tell that pain is coming from this Angie. I want you to be happy, but not with someone who is going to hurt you. You have to trust me…”

“I’m finding it hard to trust you right about now,” she blurted out, pacing back and forth between the room. “I can’t believe this is happening Kevin. After all this time of us being friends, I would hope that you would have been happy when I called and told you about this. I was hoping that you would be at my wedding for me. Nick kept telling me to call you and I kept telling him it was the wrong thing to do.”

“So you weren’t planning on telling me at all?” Kevin questioned, feeling his chest tighten as he spoke to her. What she was telling him right now was that she didn’t want him there at all. “You know what? You go off and get married to amnesia boy. I won’t accept it and I don’t care Angie. I just don’t care anymore. But I will tell you one thing, when he hurts you like I know he will--I am not going to run to your side when you need someone to cry on. I will not be the person to fall for that again.”

“I hope you’re real happy with yourself right about now Kevin,” Angela informed him with a small sniff as her eyes began to become glossed over with a small amount of emotion, “Because Nick isn’t the person that is going to hurt me. Right now, the person who is hurting me the most right now is you.”

“Angie,” Kevin frowned trying to say something that might be an apology. Before he could say something he heard the phone on the other side click as she hung up on him. Kevin hung up his cell phone angrily and threw it down on the bed. He ran both his hands through his dark hair slowly, trying to blow out slowly and catch his breath. Without thinking, he let his anger out and punched the door in front of him with a small amount of force. “Damn you for doing this Nick. Damn you.”

“Kevin? Are you alright in here?” Ria cautiously opened her bedroom door, after hearing the slam against the door. “What was that all about just now?”

“It’s Angie,” Kevin stated with a small scowl, clenching his fists at his sides. “She is being such an idiot and I an not going back to her stupidity.”

“Kevin, come on,” Ria frowned, reaching out to squeeze his shoulder gently. “You don’t mean that, she is your best friend. What did she do wrong?”

“Everything,” Kevin snapped walking past Ria into the hallway. He paced back and forth for a moment before holding his hands up in the air angrily. “She is just so blind, she can’t tell what’s right in front of her.”


“Angela?” Nick knocked on Angela’s bedroom door after hearing some yelling coming from her earlier. He knew that she was on the phone with Kevin, which meant that what was going on probably wasn’t too good. He opened the door to Angela lying down on the bed and she was facing away from him. “Hey, how did it go?”

“Horrible,” Angela answered with a small sniff, turning to face him as he sat down on the bed next to her. “Kevin didn’t like the news I gave him at all.”

“What happened?” Nick questioned, watching as she sat up and he wrapped his arm around her shoulders tightly. “What did he say about us Angela?”

“He was just saying some really hurtful things,” she informed him, a tear sliding down the side of her face as she spoke, “Kevin never acts like that. He was saying the weirdest things to me. It was like it wasn’t him at all.”

“I’m sure he has just been having a really bad day,” Nick tried to calm her down before seeing her shake her head slowly, “Maybe you should call him back later and try to set things straight. You two are best friends, I am sure that you can settle this.”

“Oh, he made it very clear that he didn’t want to be here,” she informed Nick, feeling another tear slide down her cheek, “He basically told me how much of an idiot I am.”

“I don’t think he means any of this Angela,” he kept trying to assure her, holding her tightly in his arms. “I am sure that he will be here and he will want to watch you get married. He wants to see you happy, he was just probably in a really bad mood. I am sure that’s all it was.”

“You know what? I don’t care what Kevin thinks. If he can’t support me,” Angela began, trying to hold back her tears as she spoke to Nick, “Then I don’t want him at my engagement party at all.”

“You don’t mean that,” Nick insisted, reaching out to caress her wet cheek gently, “You and Kevin are best friends. You can’t throw that away. If you two keep fighting like this, you are going to be hurt. I don’t like to see you hurt Angela.”

“I do mean what I said Nick,” she declared with a small nod, “If he can’t accept that I am getting married to you, I can’t accept our friendship. He has to accept you and me before I invite him back into my life.”

“I don’t know if he ever will be able to accept us Angela,” Nick frowned, knowing the reason Kevin probably wouldn’t be able to accept him at all. “He wants to protect you Angela and he thinks that I can hurt you. You can’t hate him for wanting to protect you.”

“I can do whatever I want,” she blurted out, shaking her head slowly, “If he wants to act like this, let him. I don’t care anymore. I really don’t.”


“I just can’t believe it’s over,” Diane sighed heavily sinking into the couch at her mother’s apartment, “I mean I really, truly believed that Ben was the one, but now…”

“If it’s meant to be, then it’ll work itself out,” Deidra offered up supportively, “You just have to believe in that.”

“Deidra, he left me. He told me he needed time and space to deal with all of this which translates into nothing but trouble. He won’t take my calls and…” Diane looked down into the mug in her hands knowing that the steaming liquid was turning to a lukewarm concoction in her hands.

Their mother had been with them earlier, but she was called away to the office after having forgotten to take care of some kind of paperwork. She hadn’t wanted to go, but Deidra had assured Judy that she would take care of Diane until Judy returned. Despite the reservations Judy had about leaving, Deidra was keeping true to her promise and trying to be there for Diane despite her own heartache.

“And when he’s ready, he’ll want to talk. You have to believe that Diane. I know that this is hard, but…” Deidra began again hoping to sound like she had the right answers to her sister’s dilemma.

“But you didn’t see the way he looked at me. When JT was loving every second of his revelation, Ben’s heart was shattering,” Diane closed her eyes thinking back to when JT broke the news to Ben. “I know I should’ve told him…I should’ve just been honest with him like you told me to do, but Dee you didn’t see him. When he was talking about being a father--about having a family and when he bought that house for me, well I couldn’t help but feel that this was the perfect dream. We had everything ahead of us--everything that I’ve always dreamt of and I guess I just got so caught up in it that I didn’t think about what I should’ve been doing. I mean here I was knowing that I should be honest with him, yet…”

“Sometimes it’s easier to hide from the truth when you’re afraid to hurt the ones you love,” Deidra finished her own thoughts lingering to Dean and how he may have felt the same way about her. Still this was about Diane, not about Deidra’s latest romantic blunder. She needed to stay focused.

“I mean I had plenty of opportunity. It was right up in my face time and time again, yet I took the coward’s way out of it. I should’ve just said ‘Ben, I made a mistake and I hope that you can find it in you to forgive me’, but no I had to let my fears of losing him guide me around and hey gee big surprise. I did lose him,” Diane threw her hands up in the air frustration and sadness weighing upon her.

“I’m so sorry about that Diane, but you can’t give up,” Deidra offered up encouragingly, “I mean I know that right now it feels like you’re never going to be able to reach that point where you two can talk things out, but it will happen. If he really loves you, then you’ll find a way to make things work.”

“Spoken by my sister the optimist now that she’s in love,” Diane half groaned reaching for a throw pillow and squeezing it to her chest.

“I don’t know if I’d go that far,” Deidra replied tucking her legs underneath her. She resituated herself on the couch before looking away. “I’m just saying that…”

“That what?” Diane watched her closely, “What is it? Is Prince Charming turning out to be not so charming?”

“Something like that,” Deidra replied looking at her sister once again, “I think it’s safe to say that he and I are over.”

“What?” Diane’s eyes widened, “When?”

“A short time ago,” Deidra explained with a heavy sigh, “He and I had some communication issues and it lead to this horrible fallout…”

“I don’t believe this,” Diane shook her head, “What is this world coming to if we both break up with our Mr. Wonderfuls in the same week?”

“I’m starting to wonder that myself,” Deidra shrugged, “though unlike you and Ben, Dean and I aren’t going to be able to work this one out.”

“Why? What’s wrong with him?” Diane questioned sipping her drink while finding herself silently grateful to be discussing something other than her and Ben for the moment. “Was he married?”

“No,” Deidra shook her head, “He works for the FBI.”

“Wait a second,” Diane nearly spat her drink out at Deidra’s revelation, “Are you telling me that you broke up with him because he works for the FBI?”

“Not only because he works for the FBI, but because he lied to me. He lead me to believe one thing, but rather than being honest with me, he kept the truth from me about some important things,” Deidra explained shaking her head at the thought, “It’s just over.”

“Now hold on. You’re telling me that it’s over with you and Dean because he lied and you’re not able to get over it,” Diane watched her sister closely, “Then if we go by that theory Ben is never going to take me back again.”

“Diane, it’s an entirely different situation,” Deidra tried to reason with her.

“But it gets down to the same thing. From what I’m gathering is that you are upset that Dean lied. You feel like you can’t trust him because of it and that’s why the relationship ended,” Diane pieced her sister’s story together, “In a round about way that’s kind of what I’d imagine Ben is thinking right about now.”

“Yes, but you two were engaged. You’re in love and…” Deidra argued with her.

“But what? What makes it any different? I know you were falling in love with Dean, so why can’t you forgive him? Why isn’t he worth a second chance if he meant so much to you?” Diane tossed back at her curiously. She saw something flash behind her sister’s eyes before Diane had an epiphany of her own, “This really isn’t about Dean at all is it?”

“What?” Deidra blinked back at her, “Of course it is.”

“No, it isn’t,” Diane shook her head, “This is about the fact that you were hurt in the past. You were burned by love with Andy and you’re using that to put a wedge between you and Dean…”

“No, that’s an entirely different situation,” Deidra argued with her shifting uncomfortably on the sofa, “It’s not at all what is driving my decision with Dean.”

“Bull,” Diane called her on her bluff, “Face it. Andy taught you not to trust, so you’d much rather shut the world out then listen to what Dean has to say. I mean okay yes the guy lied to you, but it isn’t nearly as bad as what I did. Wow, did I just say that? Never mind don’t answer. Just listen. What I’m trying to say is that you keep telling me that I should believe in love and that I should find a way to get Ben to listen, but on the flip side you’re not willing to try to listen to Dean. I mean here is a guy who could really love you--who could really be what you need Deidra and you’re just going to let go of him because he lied about his career. You know that sounds pretty stupid to me.”

“Really?” Deidra gave her a strange look.

“Yes really and if you’re smart you’ll forget all about Andy and all the stupid things he did. I’ll be honest with you and tell you he wasn’t all that special,” Diane wrinkled her nose at the thought of her sister’s husband, “He might’ve tried to talk big and impress the world around him, but when it gets down to it, he never deserved someone like you. In fact the way I see it, he deserves to be alone and miserable, not the other way around. You should be happy and out there with someone who makes you feel alive. When you find him, which I already think you have, you should most certainly not let the memory of Andy ruin that for you.”

“Gee and here I thought we were talking about you and your problems,” Deidra let out an uncomfortable laugh.

“We were and maybe in talking about yours I’ll be able to find a way to fix mine, but you,” Diane waved her mug around before taking another sip, “Well you need to get over all the anxieties that Andy gave you there. He’s not worth stealing your life away from you.”

“Easier said than done. You didn’t marry him,” Deidra groaned aloud, “He just had a way about him…”

“Yeah I know all about it,” Diane rolled her eyes before sitting up straighter, “and let’s face it from what I know about Andy there wasn’t much there to appreciate when it got down to it. He was one of those men who think about themselves and only themselves. I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about here.”

“Gee and once upon a time you thought he was the best thing in the world,” Deidra noted remembering her sister’s shocking confession about her own liaison with Andy on Deidra’s wedding night.

“Yeah and once upon a time I had blue hair. I was delusional for a great many years, but I guess in growing up and screwing up my life so badly I’m starting to see the err in my ways,” Diane shrugged her shoulders, “That or I’m just not making any sense right about now.”

“No, you’re actually making a lot of sense and maybe you’re right. Maybe I am being too hard on Dean. I mean I already stabbed him and…” Deidra thought aloud.

“Whoa, back up. You what? Did you just say you stabbed him?” Diane questioned with a gasp, “As in you stuck something in him like a knife and jabbed him?”

“It’s not one of my finer moments in my life,” Deidra replied shamefully, “but I don‘t want to talk about it. Let‘s talk about you. Have you figured out what you want to do with Ben?”

“I honestly don’t know, but I am sure that I don’t want it to be over. I need to find a way to get him to take me back. I need to prove myself to him--to let him see that I love him and only him,” Diane confessed with a heavy sigh knowing she had her work cut out for her. She was about to say something more when she heard the bell ringing.

“I’ll bet that’s mom,” Deidra noted rising up from the couch. “Knowing her she picked up a ton of ice-cream on the way home. She’s probably ready to dive into our troubles and get us fat in the process.”

“Yeah well give it time and I’ll be doing that all on my own,” Diane replied looking down to her abdomen as she imagined what the months ahead of her would bring into her life.

“Hey regardless of who that baby’s father is, your being pregnant will be an experience that you’ll treasure,” Deidra reminded her moving over to the door to answer it.

“Yeah right,” Diane sighed fixated on her stomach again when she heard Deidra’s voice raise with agitation.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Deidra questioned glaring at the man outside of the door.

“I thought that maybe Diane would be here. Can I come in and see her?” JT asked his voice softening despite the fact that Deidra’s eyes were cutting daggers right through him right about now.

“No, you most certainly cannot come inside. Don’t you think you’ve done enough?” Deidra hissed at him not willing to let him come in and upset her sister any further. “I think you’ve already done enough and you can just turn around and leave. No one wants you here and…”

“Deidra,” Diane spoke up from where she now stood behind her sister. “It’s okay. I think I can handle this one.”

“Are you sure?” Deidra glanced over her shoulder at her sister seeing the determined look on her face.

“Oh yeah I’m sure,” Diane nodded defiantly, her eyes darting over towards JT. “I think it’s long past time for JT and I to have a talk.”

“Okay the floor is yours then,” Deidra stepped aside moving back into the kitchen to give her sister some privacy.

“Somehow I knew you wouldn’t be able to refuse me,” JT grinned seeing Diane still standing in the doorway.

“You’d be surprised,” Diane mouthed under her breath glaring up at him.

“Can I come in?” JT asked again taking another look around before eyeing Diane intently.

“Under normal circumstances I’d tell you to go to hell, but right now I think there are a few things that we need to get out in the air starting this moment,” Diane decided opening the door further to let him into her mother’s apartment as she prepared herself for what it was she had to say to JT.


“You know maybe you’re right,” Ben finally decided. “Maybe I should talk to Diane. I do love her. That hasn’t changed and I can’t imagine my life without her.”

“See now there’s the spirit. I know things won’t be easy but if love is worth having, it’s worth the risk,” Seth added hoping that things would work themselves out for his friend.

“I’m starting to believe that after talking to you,” Ben confessed offering a small smile as he felt a bit more at ease once he’d gotten it all out in the open. “I mean I’m still not sure what will happen, but it’s a start…”

“Sometimes that’s all you need to get you headed in the right direction,” Seth added pondering Ben’s situation for a moment, “Besides I’m sure that Jade would want you two to at least try and work it out.”

“I’m pretty sure she would,” Ben paused for a long moment. “Just like she’d want you and Blake to work out everything that’s going on with you.”

“What do you mean?” Seth asked blankly.

“I’m talking about the situation with Valerie,” Ben added with a small frown, “I know that she’s still holding out hope that you two will stay married and live happily ever after. That’s the gist of things I got at the memorial. I wasn’t going to say anything, but since you’ve been so good at helping me sort things out, I’d like to return the favor…”

“There’s nothing to sort out,” Seth shrugged his shoulders, “My mind hasn’t changed about Valerie. I love Blake and I want to spend my life with her. She’s been here for me throughout and I can’t imagine not having her in my life. I don’t even want to think about it.”

“So then you’re going to push for the divorce then, right?” Ben questioned further, “I mean that’s what it boils down to, doesn’t it?”

Seth nodded, “I guess I just haven’t been able to get the wheels in motion for that after having to bury Jade and all else…”

“I realize that, but Seth, as much as I know this isn’t the right time, I think that you should probably get started on that. Valerie’s my friend and all, but there was something about the other day when I was talking with her,” Ben let out a small shudder remembering the way Valerie was behaving at the memorial, “I just don’t trust her right now.”

“You think she’s up to something else at this point?” Seth arched a curious brow.

“As long as you two are legally married, then yeah I think she’s up to something. Ria had Val’s number pegged a while ago, but I guess I just didn’t see it. Maybe I didn’t want to see it,” Ben shrugged his shoulders again.

“I think we all were in that department where Valerie was concerned,” Seth let out an ironic laugh, “I mean hell I’m the idiot who wound up married to her.”

“Only because you were worried about too many other things to know what was going on,” Ben added thinking back to the time his friend had fallen to Valerie’s charms.

“Yes, but even then I should’ve used my head--I should’ve been smarter than that and now Blake has to deal with all of my messes,” Seth rubbed his hands together feeling an ache in his temple, “but I’m going to work it out. It’s going to work itself out. I’m going to get a lawyer and…”

“I know a few if you need one,” Ben offered up in an attempt to be helpful.

“I might take you up on that if I don’t touch base on things with Grady. I know he wanted to help me with the divorce, but after everything that happened with Jade…” Seth trailed off a sigh spilling over his lips, “Maybe it’ll just be easier to go with someone else--someone who isn’t feeling the same things I’m feeling about Jade right now.”

“He’s really taking this hard, huh?” Ben replied.

Seth nodded, “Probably as hard as I am. I mean I know I gave him a lot of grief about his being with Jade, but when it got down to it I know now just how much he loved her. She really was his world and I feel guilty as hell for giving them the grief I did when their relationship began. He was really good for her. He made her happy…”

“And she did the same for him,” Ben nodded his thoughts lingering to his own troubled romance, “I guess in love things aren’t ever easy, yet that’s part of life I suppose.”

“One of the hard parts, but if you are able to spend those moments with the person you love--to be able to have those kind of memories that last forever, then they’re worth everything,” Seth added with a sigh remembering the good times he’d shared with his sister.

“Maybe you’re right. No I know you’re right,” Ben stood up from where he was seated, “In fact I’m not going to waste anymore time. I think Diane and I should talk. I need to explain what it is that I’m feeling and I need to listen to her. We need to discuss everything and try to work it out.”

“There’s the spirit,” Seth spoke up encouragingly. “You just remember not to back away from your heart.”

“I won’t,” Ben started towards the door before stopping, “Hey, are you going to be okay?”

“Sure,” Seth nodded in response, “I was just going to work on a few things around here now that Blake is gone. I know she’s not happy being locked up in here, but I haven’t been particularly social lately. Maybe while she’s gone I’ll get things in order for that phone call I need to make to get the wheels rolling on the divorce.”

“Are you sure you don’t want me to stay?” Ben questioned again worried about his friend being alone.

“Go fix things with Diane. Jade will come back to haunt you if you don’t,” Seth offered up with a halfhearted smile.

“It would almost be worth it to see her face again,” Ben sighed heavily thinking about the friend he’d lost.

“Yeah it really would,” Seth nodded lost in memories of his sister again. Still he wasn’t about to let that keep Ben from fixing what was going on in his life. “Go on Ben. Find Diane and work it out. Give us all something to smile about.”

“I will and when I do, well, I just want you to know that I owe you huge for this one,” Ben added saying his good-byes before leaving the apartment.

“See, I did something right today Jade,” Seth smiled looking up to the ceiling before locking the door. He turned around to take a long look at the apartment in the hopes of getting something done. However, he heard another tap at the door. Turning to it again, he let out a sigh before opening it.

“Please don’t tell me you gave up on trying already,” Seth muttered opening the door ready to give his friend a pep talk all over again.

“I’d never give up on trying where you were concerned Seth,” Valerie smiled up at him with a wide grin, “and it’s high time that you come to terms with that once and for all.”


“I’m sorry about all of this Sarah,” Blake frowned, looking across the table at Sarah. They decided to go to the mall , “I would never wish anything like this on you. In fact, I really can’t believe this happened with you and Kyle.”

“There was really nothing you could do to prevent it from happening Blake,” Sarah informed her with a small frown as she shrugged her shoulders. “Truthfully, you didn’t do anything so you shouldn’t be apologizing.”

“I still feel bad,” Blake pointed out with a small frown as she spoke to Sarah. It was just so out of no where when Kyle had broken up with her. Kyle acted like there wasn't anything going on between the two of them. “I can’t believe Kyle would actually do that.”

“Well, he did,” Sarah stated with a small frown as she spoke, “And he did it not long ago. I don’t know what is wrong with him lately, I am trying to be there for him…”

“You have been there for him Sarah, don’t think you haven’t been,” Blake pointed out before shrugging her shoulders, “I can tell you what I think if you want. I will give you my advice.”

“I would actually love some advice right about now,” Sarah declared with a small sigh as she watched Blake think things over for a moment. “I am really confused about everything.”

“My suggestion is that you shouldn’t worry. I think that Kyle’s mind is clouded over and he really doesn’t know what he is saying. I say just wait two days or so,” Blake started, thinking over what else she was going to say, “I know Kyle will want to be back with you. He loves you Sarah and from what I remember you telling me, he has since he was five years old. So, don’t let him go and don’t think he doesn’t love you. He may not be my best friend, but I know him enough to know that he loves you with his heart and his whole soul Sarah.”

“Hey there,” Kipp smiled, placing his hands on Sarah’s shoulders gently, “What are you two doing at the mall?”

“We were just talking,” Sarah replied with a small frown, rubbing at her misty eyes before standing up and facing Kipp, “What are you doing here? Where is Kellen?”

“Oh, he is with Charles. They are looking at the animals in the pet store together,” Kipp informed her with a small smirk. His smile began to fade as he noticed how sad Sarah really did look. “Are you upset about Kyle still?”

“Yeah, she is,” Blake answered for Sarah as she watched Kipp frown before her. “I would say really upset.”

“I’m sorry Sarah,” Kipp frowned, reaching over to hug Sarah in his arms tightly, “I really am.”

“Well, this figures,” Kellen whispered under his breath as he walked out of the store with Charles in his arms. He watched as Kipp hugged Sarah in his arms and small scowl developed at the corners of his mouth. What was it with every guy he knew falling for Sarah? What was so special about her?


Avery entered the mansion feeling her frustrations mounting after she’d come up empty yet again. She and Sarah had gone a few more places to look for any sign of Grady and Kyle, but they hadn’t had any luck. Even after she’d dropped Sarah off to go meet with Blake, Avery still had held out hope that something more would happen. She’d gone around town hoping to spot Kyle and still she’d found nothing.

“Where are you,” Avery thought aloud wishing like hell that she’d have some clue to point her in the direction both of her friends had gone in. She’d driven by Elliot and Cheryl’s house to see if Grady’s car was parked outside, but she hadn’t found it in her to stop and ask them about him given that she knew how worried they already were. She didn’t want to add to their concerns--at least not yet, though as the minutes passed on, the idea was becoming more tempting.

“Ah Mrs. Ashford,” one of the people on staff beckoned her from her thoughts. “I’d hoped that was you that came in.”

“Yes?” Avery spun around to see the petite maid before her, “Is something wrong?”

“No,” the woman shook her head, “but this came for you earlier. I wanted to make sure that you had it before I left my shift for the day.”

“What is it?” Avery questioned eyeing the envelope in the woman’s hand.

“I wasn’t sure, but the messenger informed me to give it to you directly,” the woman explained handing it over to Avery before taking a step back, “I was afraid I would miss you, but seeing that you’re here I can leave now and…”

“Yes thank you,” Avery smiled at her politely before directing her attention to the envelope. Immediately she recognized the handwriting on the front of it. It was Grady’s handwriting. All he’d printed out was her first name in his most professional looking text. Avery turned the envelope around opening it carefully as she felt her heart pounding in her chest.

“What are you up to now? Where are you,” she questioned her thoughts getting the best of her. She pulled out the letter that was within the envelope and almost as soon as her eyes fell over the page she knew that Grady was in trouble. Big trouble. Her eyes scanned the page briefly when realization dawned in on her and she knew that now more than ever she had to find Grady before it was too late!


Grady took a long look around his surroundings. Yes, this was almost like he’d remembered. It was quiet, peaceful and serene in it’s own way. Granted he hadn’t felt that way in a while, but it was all going to change starting tonight. He looked around to make sure that there were no others here around this time of year. Seclusion was what he’d asked for and with enough money that’s exactly what he got.

“Tonight is all about fixing the mistakes you’ve made,” Grady slurred reaching for the bottle he’d brought up with him. Hell, he’d made sure he was fully stocked for tonight’s festivities. He couldn’t come all the way out here without being able to follow through on his promise. He’d paved the way towards what was yet to be and now it was time to offer up the final act leading to his grand finale.

“This is for the best,” he mouthed to himself walking into the small kitchen area. He’d had the light on earlier to look around--not that it mattered, but still, he needed to immerse himself in darkness. Yes, that was the plan indeed, he thought to himself reaching out to snap the lights off in the room. He stopped himself remembering the last thing he needed to complete his quest. He walked back into the kitchen opened up the small bag he’d brought up with him when he’d left his home. This place was quiet and calm and it was just what he needed to get out the full clarity that he needed. He shuffled around in his bag until he felt the cool steel against his touch. Reaching in further, he saw the gun he’d had with him when he’d been up on the hilltop with Kyle and Susan. He hadn’t used it then, but now it would serve another purpose. Grabbing a hold of it, Grady held it up to inspect it beneath the shadows of the room he surrounded himself in. Feeling the power in his hand, a sigh spilled from his lips.

“Now, well now everything is just about in order,” he replied holding the gun in one hand and his bottle of bourbon in the other. He walked out of the area, weaving his way back to the bedroom realizing that there were things to do in the time he had left. He had a few more promises to keep before he met up with his own fate once and for all.


...to be continued...