Excuse me for one second, Don coughed, feeling his cell phone
begin to vibrate in his pocket as he watched Ken and Michelle together, I
have to get this.
Don saw Ken give him a small nod before he walked back into a different room. It was disgusting seeing the scenes that were going on before him with Ken and Michelle. Michelle was just acting with Ken, anyone with eyes could see it. It was hard for Don not to just blurt everything he knew about Michelle. All he had to do was hold it in for a few more days until Brant was ready. Then, only then, would they be able to show Ken what Michelle truly was. That was a true gold digger.
Hello honey, Don quickly answered his cell phone at the last second, knowing that Shannon said she would be calling him back in a little bit. He had been waiting for quite a while for her call. It was getting to hard just to sit there and watch Michelle and Ken together. How are you doing with the plans we have going? Do you have everything straightened out yet?
Im working on it. I think I have everything just about finished, Shannon informed him with a small sigh as she looked to the clock in the corner of the room, What about you? How are things going with Ken and Michelle.
Well, I guess you could say Im trying to work everything out perfectly over here too, Don stated with a small frown, running his hand through his short, dark hair, I just have to wait for the perfect moment to do things--which I am hoping is very soon. Very, very soon.
Is it really that bad? Shannon questioned with a small chuckle, hearing the sarcastic laugh coming from Don on the other line. Ill take that as a yes.
I could tell you one thing, its truly puke worthy, Don informed her, thinking of the things that Michelle had been saying to Ken. The way they were acting was just wrong, Michelle didnt love Ken at all. Take that back, she did love something about Ken. That thing was the money coming out of his pocket. The only thing this Michelle girl talks about is money. I never thought that Ken was this dumb. He is just so damn blind to this girl.
He will see what Michelle truly is very soon, she assured him, thinking back to the plans they had gotten together earlier. There was no way that this Michelle would last after the plans they had set up. They are never going to see what we have coming. Its not going to even cross their minds. Ken will see the true Michelle soon enough.
I hope so, Don groaned, looking down at his gold watch on his right wrist. Alright, just try and finish everything up with your side of the job and I will try to get Ken away from Michelle for a bit. Call you back later.
Alright, I love you Don, Shannon got out before hanging up with Don.
This cant be too hard, Don shrugged to himself, thinking of somehow separating Ken and Michelle for just a little while. No, this wont be hard at all.
Don walked back towards the front room as he saw Ken and Michelle laughing with each other. Don walked up to Ken and grabbed his arm tightly.
I need to talk to you, Don declared, looking over at Michelle with a small smirk, Its kind of important.
Okay, Ken nodded, looking over Dons shoulder at Michelle, Well be right back.
Listen, we need to talk about something important, Don kept a straight face, never taking his eyes off of Ken, We need to talk now.
Brant awaited some kind of response from the other side of the hotel room
door. While he was told this would be the place where he would find what he
was looking for, he felt a whole new world of apprehensions overtaking him.
Knowing full well how much was riding on his getting into this room, he tried
to remain calm and collected. If this turned out badly
It wont turn out badly, Brant reminded himself hearing movement from the other side of the door. Within a matter of seconds the door opened and he found himself met by surprised eyes.
Ken, the woman on the other side of the door gasped, her eyes filled with a sense of shock and perhaps horror as Brant took a step forward. Though her face was familiar her eyes were tired looking and her face paler than hed remembered.
No, its Brant, he shook his head to correct her mistake, but I hope that youll still see me.
Brant, what are you doing here? she questioned standing up taller, her defenses returning to her almost immediately. Her hand clasped over the top of the robe that she was wearing, How did you find me?
It took a lot of work and a little faith, but the fact to the matter is that I flew in all the way from Coral Valley to see you, he explained sensing her discomfort with his arrival on her doorstep. He saw her reach for the door perhaps to close it on him, but he was doing some fast thinking, Wait. Please just listen to me. I flew all the way here to see you--to speak with you about things and maybe just maybe if you hear me out then youll see why its important that you see Ken again
What? her eyes widened at his suggestion before she shook her head adamantly, No, Brant I cant do that. I dont know why you would come all the way out here to ask me that when I didnt want to be found. I didnt want to
Look, I understand that the circumstances are difficult, Brant tried to appeal to her once again, but if you dont at least hear me out, then Kens life as he knows it could be over. Hes been through hell and back this past year. His life has been miserable--a series of tragedies--one right after the other. He almost died not so long ago.
What? she questioned with her mouth agape, How?
Its a long story and one I swear I will tell you all about if you just let me inside, he begged of her hoping that she wouldnt turn him away after hed already come so far.
Brant I dont think its such a good idea considering she started again her finger curling around the door knob as her anxieties mounted.
Please. Im begging you not to turn me away. I flew a long way to find you--I went well out of my way to get to this point and if you make me leave now, well then theres no telling what will happen to Ken. Look, I know I might not be your favorite person--hell I dont think Im anyones favorite person right about now, but the last thing I want is to see my brother go under when happiness is so very close to him. If he had any idea that I was here Brant tried to appeal to her once more.
You cant tell him you were here. You cant ever tell him that you found me. If he knew that I was she started worry flashing behind her eyes.
I wont tell him at least not yet--not unless you decide you want me to, but only after we talk. Please let me inside. I need you to hear me out--to make you understand whats happening here..
Brant I cant. I just cant she pushed the door slightly forward.
Please, Im begging you. If you dont talk to me, then I know itll be the end for Ken. I know that he needs you more than ever and if you turn me away, then there will be no hope for him, Brant tried to appeal to the woman before him, I know that you once loved him with all that you were, so please dont turn me away now not after I came this close Please
I really shouldnt let you in. I shouldnt even entertain this notion, but she sighed taking in a long, slow breath before opening the door to him. She looked around the hallway before moving further back into her hotel room, Im sure Im going to regret this.
No you wont, Brant tried to assure her hoping that by the time he told her everything about what was going on, hed be able to change her mind and get her to see just how much Ken needed her in his life--especially now.
I knew it was only a matter of time before you realized that I was
the man of your dreams baby, JT mouthed with a confident smile leaning
in closer to Diane.
Um, wrong. Nope. Not even close, Diane shoved him away from her, her anger getting the best of her. She took a step away from him thinking about the way in which hed done his damnedest to ruin her future with Ben. Even if this child she was carrying was his son or daughter, she promised herself now that she wasnt about to let JT destroy her life. That isnt why I asked you in.
Its not, huh? JT folded his arms in front of his chest disbelieving, Really, then why did you?
Because I think I owed you something for what you did to me, Diane replied spinning around to face him again. Something like this.
Like what, JT questioned getting his answer all too soon when he felt her slap him right square across the cheek. He recoiled from the blow only to see her clench her fists at her sides in a fury.
How dare you think that you can just manipulate my life to the way you want it to be? Diane sneered at him, her eyes flashing with rage, What right did you have to try to humiliate me like that in front of Ben?
I wasnt trying to humiliate you, he countered stepping in towards her, I was merely giving good old Benny-boy a truth telling session that was obviously long overdue since you didnt feel that he deserved to be anywhere, but in the dark about our time together.
That wasnt your place, she waved her finger at him sharply, You never shouldve set that up. Never shouldve
Shouldve what? Sat back and watched you pretend that you could have your happily ever after with Ben when its my child youre carrying, he arched a suspicious brow before letting out a small, sarcastic laugh, Sorry babe, but it doesnt work that way. You and your latest beau were not about to run off with my child.
You might not be the father JT, Diane screamed at him as a thought occurred to her, Speaking of which, how did you even know?
I have my sources, JT stepped forward his eyes narrowing down at her, And it didnt take much for me to do the math there Diane. Sure, you mightve wanted to see me forget, but I could never forget a night as special as the one that we shared with one another.
You repulse me, she cringed letting out a small groan, Even now in being this close to you
It excites you, doesnt it? he countered with a grin.
More like it repulses me, she spat back at him.
It elates and delights you. Admit it. he challenged taking one small step toward her.
Only in your wildest dreams. I hate you JT. I hate you. With every fire I have burning inside of me, I wish like hell that night never happened--that I never let you into my life--that I never even met you. You are by far the most vile, disgusting human being I have ever encountered in my life and you can leave right now for that matter because as far as Im concerned you can just she began in an outrage opening the front door to make him leave after shed realized that their talking would be getting her nowhere.
Oh would you just shut up already, JT replied reaching out to her. He pulled her into his arms with one swift, urgent tug his mouth devouring hers in a hungry, impassioned kiss. He felt her words lashing out at him, but as their lips met in the moment, he also experienced that spark of electricity that was only alive between them. Feeling her tense up in his arms, he held her closer to him yet hoping to convince her of just how right they were together. He was certain that he was almost there when a sound rose up from behind where they stood.
And here I thought that maybe just maybe we could work this out Diane, but obviously Im too late, Ben blurted out causing Diane to spring out of JTs arms in a haste.
Ben, Diane gasped turning around to see him now that she was completely horrified.
So this was what you meant when you told me youd love me forever huh? Ben questioned gruffly as Diane realized that once again JT had cause more chaos in her life. Now it was up to her to find a way to fix it before this became something else that Ben would never be able to find it in himself to forgive her for. She knew she had a hard road ahead of her and only a short time to come up with something good, but she just hoped and prayed that this time Ben wouldnt walk out again. She had to find a way to fix this!
Seth darling, Valerie moved forward reaching out to embrace him.
He took a step back practically leaping back as if hed been burned.
His eyes narrowed down at her when she tried to reach for him again.
Dont darling me Valerie. In fact, why dont you make a smart move and just leave, Seth reached for the door ready to shut her out of his apartment, but she stuck her foot in the door.
Seth, you should at least talk to me. Were never going to come to any kind of conclusions between us if you dont at least spend five minutes listening to what I have to say, she curled her lip in a pout, You owe me that.
I dont owe you anything, Seth paused thinking about what he should do. Finally he opened the door further, but maybe its time that I set a few things straight between us.
Long past time I think, Valerie nodded feeling a moment of satisfaction sweep over her as he opened the door further. She stepped into his apartment pleased that there didnt appear to be any signs of Blake at this point in time. Turning to face him again she prepared to lay on the charm, Seth I know that you and I havent exactly seen eye to eye lately, but I remember how close we once were. I know that youre hurting right now about what happened to Jade and
And its caused me to think things through clearly and Ive come to a lot of conclusions about my life, he explained matter of fact, his dark eyes fixed upon hers.
You have? she replied with a bright smile, Well of course you have because something like that can change a persons life in a great many ways. I mean I can only begin to imagine what it is youre going through in not having her around and Im sure that you need lots of support and comfort right now and
I still want the divorce Val, he blurted out sensing where she was headed with her sudden rush of sympathy. He sidestepped around her walking through his living room towards the window, That hasnt changed.
Why not? she curled her lip in a pout, Seth we had something very special together once upon a time and Im sure that we can recapture that again.
No Valerie we cant, Seth shook his head at her, Ive moved on with my life and I think its long past time that you do the same as well.
But Seth I tried to do that--I tried to forget about the way I felt for you, but it only reminded me all over again about all the things we had with one another before I left town. Sure, maybe it wasnt perfect, but it was special, she stepped in closer to him, You did love me once.
Youre right, Seth nodded tightly, I did think I loved you once and maybe for a moment in time I did, but now, well now I have real love. Im with a woman that is everything I couldve asked for
Shes an Ashford Seth, Valerie wrinkled her nose at him, Shes one of the enemies and
Blake is the woman I love--the woman I want to share my life with and Im not going to stand here listening to you speak about her that way, Seth snapped back at her, Shes everything I want in my life and Im sorry that you dont want to accept that Val, but thats just the way it is.
The way it is because its the way you really truly want it to be or just because youve had nothing else? she challenged making another step towards him, Seth I know how you hate the Ashfords--how you loathe them for how they hurt Jade, so for you to stand there claiming to love one, well I know thats not really you. Thats not the Seth I love and if you really, truly felt that way, then youd be betraying everything you ever did for your sister to help her.
That was a lifetime ago and I dont need to explain myself to you. In fact, Seth stepped forward reaching for the door and opening it, I think its time you leave.
Seth, I dont want to go. I dont want to, she started feeling him reach out to her. Before she could protest any further she felt him grab her arm and pull her towards the door to leave. She looked up at him with a scoff before dropping to the ground at his doorway. Ouch!
What now? Seth frowned seeing her seated on the ground her hands clasping at her ankle.
I think I twisted my ankle, she sniffled tears coming to her eyes, Seth I think I broke it.
You couldnt have broken it that easily, Seth replied watching her bilking up her slip and fall. He saw the tears that poured down her face and a moment of worry flickered over him, Val, dont joke about this.
Im not joking. When you pulled me that way, I wasnt ready for it and my ankle snapped. I twisted it and she shook her head, never mind its useless. You dont believe me anyway.
Its not that I dont believe you well, okay I dont, but still youve played so many games, he reminded her with a heavy sigh wondering if he was being too hard on her.
This isnt a game. Seth it really hurts, she cried out wincing again as her fingers pressed in over her ankle. I think I need to get it taken care of.
Let me see, Seth bent down moving to help her up when she let out another yelp.
Dont! she cried out nearly swatting him, Seth, I really think I hurt it. I think its broken.
I hope not, he sighed hating to see her in such a state. Knowing full well that he couldnt just leave her laying in his doorway, he bent down further and scooped her up into his arms. Okay lets find out what happened.
Seth, where are you taking me? Valerie questioned hoping that he would be leading her back inside to the bedroom perhaps to ice the ankle and then heat things up with
To the hospital, Seth replied interrupting her thoughts of the fantasy shed weaved out in her mind. If it really hurts that much then youre going to need an x-ray.
But I she started in protest.
No buts, Seth shook his head at her surveying his apartment for his keys. He swiped them up before looking at her, Do you think you can walk?
Valerie felt him start to put her down and she let out a hard yelp, No Seth it hurts!
Okay, then lets get this checked out, he sighed closing his door behind him and locking it up. While he hated to spend any time with her, he knew he couldnt just leave her if she was hurt. Making his way to the elevators he just hoped that this wouldnt turn into an all day affair between them.
Okay so lets talk strategy, Chris rolled his sleeves up
on his shirt before turning to Heather again, From what you told me
this guy youre all hot and heavy for is the strong and serious type.
Way too serious for his own good, Heather nodded watching Chris pace around his hotel room. Do you have to keep doing that? Its making me nauseous.
Sorry, it just helps get the juices flowing if you will, he explained still moving around the floor as he seemed lost in his train of thought, And this guy Damian
Diego, she corrected with a curl of her lips.
Ah yes Diego Hernandez your dream lover, he mouthed using his best Zorro accent for extra emphasis. To win his heart you must find a way to place yourself in his mind--get yourself in his thoughts until he cannot eat--cannot drink or even breathe without your face entering his mind.
Now were talking, she rubbed her hands together leaning forward in her chair to participate in where this was headed, I need him to see that little twit hes taken up with pales in comparison to what we have with one another. I want him to realize that hes making a huge mistake in wasting his time with her
When he could obviously be enjoying all the luxuries that a life with you could bring to him, he pointed out with a small smile, A life that is no doubt filled with excitement, lots of pleasure and temptations and
And thats for him to worry about, not you Chris, Heather snapped her fingers in front of his face upon noticing his dreamy expression, This is about my getting Diego back not about you indulging in whatever sick and twisted fantasy you think youve got going in your head.
Believe me it isnt at all sick, perhaps a little twisted if you get into the geometry of it, but believe me if you entertained my notions, youd be sure to forget about your Diego, he boasted with a proud smirk.
No thanks, Heather wrinkled her nose at him, Now about Diego. We need to establish a game plan for this
You mean like doing little things to send his little flavor over the week over the edge, Chris wiggled his brow at her, Like putting spiders in her lunch or perhaps spiking her coffee with something
Hardly, she rolled her eyes at him, Im thinking that to do this were going to have to do something that cant directly be tied to me. I mean sure all of those little pranks sound fun, but if we were to do that, then shed point her little finger at me right away.
Ah yes, the point is to show Diego that youre a poised and sophisticated woman sure to tempt him on every level imaginable, Chris nodded eagerly, his hand waving in front of him, Youll want to see that you can match his wit and his intellect along with tempting his libido in such a way that he feels that hes the one who is in pursuit of you.
Now were talking, she nodded eagerly, We have to find a way to incorporate all of those ideas into something that will make him take notice.
Well thats simple, Chris announced with a grin, the only way to truly capture Diegos heart is to convince him that youre no longer interested.
Yes, she paused thinking about what he said as a frown touched over her lips, What?
Im telling you that the way to mans heart is to let him believe that hes lost his chance--that you are no longer waiting in the wings hoping that he will notice you. He needs to believe that he lost you in order for him to truly see how meant for one another you really are, he explained triumphantly a plan formulating in his mind.
Yes, but dont you think thats a tad bit juvenile? she couldnt help but ask, I mean hes a very intelligent man and
Intelligence has nothing to do with what happens when a man is lost in jealousy thinking about the one who got away. Seeing you in the arms of another man will be more than enough to convince him that he has blown it. Hell find that he cant help but want to find a way to recapture your attention again--to get back in your good graces, Chris continued enthusiasm spilling over his words.
And you really believe once hes jealous of the idea of me with another man hell come back into my arms? she asked excitedly, I mean sure he was a little upset when he thought I was getting married before, but
Trust me. A jealous Diego will be just the right Diego you need to get him back into your arms, Chris explained circling around the chair she was seated in, and beyond that, well this is a plan that will need careful contemplation. Its something that will clearly need an accomplice of sorts--one that is convincing enough to lead him to believe that he has lost you forever.
Hmm, I suppose youre right about that, she sank back into the chair again, Which I suppose poses a bit of a problem.
No my dear this is where I come in, Chris placed his hand over the center of his chest, I shall lead Diego to believe that I have wooed you--that I have swept you off of your feet and that he is no longer a top priority in your life. When he sees us together, hes certain to realize just how much you mean to him.
I dont know, she shook her head, I mean it seems like such a risk to take given that I dont know if Diego is really prone to jealousy
Well, if youre not interested, he flopped down into one of the chairs across from her, then I suppose I dont need to tell you about what I uncovered about Diegos plans with Ms. Warner tonight.
What? her eyes widened with eager anticipation, When? How did you
While you were powdering your nose, I was on the phone calling in a few favors and my connections gave me some inside information on where your Diego and Cori would be tonight. It seems that they have a rather romantic evening ahead of them--one that Id imagined wed be intruding upon, but if youre really not interested in my plan of attack
Heather reached out yanking on his tie and pulling him close to her face, Tell it! Now!
Well I suppose I could but, he felt her yank at his tie again. Okay, okay. Theyll be at a ritzy restaurant around seven. They have a date tonight since Cori made reservations and
And were going to be there, Heather released him the wheels turning in her head, Were going to show him that being with Cori is the last thing he wants.
Theres the spirit, Chris rubbed his neck thinking about her forcefulness.
Were going to be there tonight and prove to him that Im the only woman he wants to be with, Heather vowed thinking about how she was going to crush Cori out of Diegos life like a bug.
That a girl, Chris cheered her on, and Im assuming that tonight I shall be your escort and we will put on the performance of a lifetime.
I am one hell of an actress, she tossed a casual glance over at him, so I suppose I can fake it well enough to make Diego believe that I might be interested in you.
Well thats refreshing, Chris laughed lightly, So tonight we will put on the show of a lifetime and work to get that man of yours back in your life again.
That we are, Heather smiled widely knowing that tonight marked the beginning of her quest to get Diego back again. It was only a matter of time before she proved to him that they were destined to be together.
Well, look at what we have over here. Sarah and Blake, how wonderful
it is to see you two again, Kellen faked a smile as he approached Blake,
Kipp and Sarah. Kipp stopped hugging Sarah to look up at Kellen as Kellen
approached the table they were at. What are you two doing here?
Were just talking and hanging out, Blake informed Kellen with a small smile as he gently put Charles back in his stroller. Kellen placed a small kiss on the top of Charless forehead before standing back up.
So, how did he like the animals in there? Kipp questioned with a small smile, looking down at his son who seemed to be getting heavy eyed after spending all this time with Kellen and himself. Did he like any kind of specific puppies or kittens?
He liked the husky. It was a puppy and he had the cutest blue eyes. I think it had to be the cutest dog I have seen in a while. Well, other than my wonderful little puppy, Kellen stated with a small smile before simply shrugging his shoulders. But with Charles, he kept pointing back at the puppy. He was very amused with the little puppy. It was very adorable.
Thats cute, Sarah pointed out with a small smirk as she folded her hands out in front of her, Thats my favorite kind of dog too. They have beautiful blue eyes.
Yeah, they do, Kellen nodded quickly, not trying to let his anger out on Sarah. If he even said one word, he knew that Kipp would be on his back in a matter of seconds. He couldnt let Kipp truly know what he thought of Sarah. Kipp wouldnt approve his thoughts at all. I remember Heather telling me that she liked those kind of dogs. She told me about how she always wanted to have a husky when she was younger.
Yeah, thats what we used to want, Sarah replied with a small nod, feeling as if Kellen was a little uncomfortable around her, Well, it seems like Charles really likes you Kellen. You two seem pretty close.
Yeah, I really like this little guy. Hes my new best buddy, Kellen declared with a wide smile as he kneeled down to look at Charles. Its like I have gotten to spend some time with the little guy and I am really close to him now. I really wouldnt want it any other way with him.
I know what you mean Kellen, Sarah nodded slowly, watching as Kellen gave her a quick glance over his shoulder. I think Charles is a perfect baby.
Of course you do, Kellen rolled his eyes, talking under his breath so no one could hear him. He stood up slowly before looking towards Blake. His light blue eyes met Blakes in a small glance. Blake, sweetheart. I havent seen you in so long, Ive missed you. Where is my hug?
Whoa, Blake laughed, feeling Kellen hug her tightly before letting her go, Its nice to see you too Kellen.
How is sexy Seth doing lately? Is he holding up okay? Kellen questioned with a small look of worry. I havent seen him in a while and I was just hoping that everything was going okay.
Hes doing good, Blake informed Kellen with a small shrug, Hes had better days, but he is doing okay.
Well, thats good to hear, Kellen declared before giving his attention over to Sarah. How about your sexy piece of meat? How is Kyle doing?
I dont know, Sarah simply shrugged, shaking her head as she thought about Kyle. We arent really together right now. I havent talked to him in a while.
Oh, thats a shame, Kellen stated, resting his hands on his hips, That man was a real keeper. He was just perfect all around. He was the total package.
Yeah, perfect, Sarah let out a small sigh before looking down at her watch, It was nice seeing you two here.
It was nice seeing you again too, Kipp agreed before looking over at Kellen, We should probably get the little guy home so he can take a nap. Ill see you later.
Bye Kipp, Sarah smiled, giving Kipp one last hug goodbye. Call me later.
He wont be doing anything that has to do with you, Kellen scowled, to himself as he thought these words inside his head. Sarah hadnt really said anything to him, but he just had the weirdest feeling about her. Sarah had a vibe about her that didnt seem right. Kellen wasnt about to let her into his life with Kipp. He wasnt going to trust her, just like that.
Kyles fists slammed into the punching bag before him as his thoughts
flooded his mind. He had come to the gym to get his mind off things, but right
now his mind was in the one place he didnt want it on at all. He had
to come to the gym to get his frustrations out, or else he would most likely
be ending up in jail again for attacking Grady. That was the last thing he
wanted right now, to be stuck in the same place with Grady.
Hey there super slugger, Kyle felt someone lightly tap his shoulder as he swung around to face Mindy who seemed to be shocked by his quickness. He let out a small sigh before pulling his gloves off and throwing them to the side. A small grin spread across his features as he leaned forward to hug her gently. He let her out of his embrace, noticing that she was looking up at him with her intense eyes.
Hey there kiddo, Kyle winked, letting out a small sigh as she looked up at him with a happy expression. How are you doing today?
Pretty good, she answered with a small frown, folding her arms out in front of her chest as she eyed him over, Obviously better than you are.
Im just working out, Kyle stated with a small shrug as he bent down to pick his water bottle up from the ground. What are you doing here?
Working out, just like you are, Mindy pointed out with a small smirk before shaking her head slowly. But something tells me that you arent here to burn off some calories.
No, thats not why I am here, Kyle answered, taking a sip of his water before closing it back up. Lets just say I havent been having a good week--make that a good year.
Uh oh, someone doesnt sound too happy, Mindy frowned, watching as Kyle grabbed the bottom of his tank top and pulled it over his head. Her eyes glance over his muscular form before taking a step towards him. You want to talk about it?
No, not really, he replied with a small smirk, walking over towards the bench press.
What are you doing? Mindy questioned, watching him lie back on bench.
Its called working out, Kyle chuckled before lifting the barbell up. He began to lift the weight up and down as he noticed she was still watching him. What did you want to talk about?
Um, Mindy thought for a moment, watching as he biceps flexed with every move he made. Are you upset about Jade? Is that why you are here?
Im upset about Jade and other things, Kyle nodded slowly, biting down on his bottom lip as he continued to lift the weights. I will be upset about losing Jade for a very long time.
But something tells me that Jade isnt the reason youre mad, Mindy declared, watching as Kyle stopped lifting the weights. He put it back in the proper place before sitting up.
No, I actually do feel bad for Jade though, Kyle declared, standing up slowly, She was a really good person who was dating a real asshole. She deserved a lot better than Grady.
Wait one second, she shook her head, thinking about what Kyle had just said. She turned to watch him grab his towel and run it over his broad chest. You just called Grady an asshole. Grady is your best friend Kyle.
Believe me, that is just the smallest thing he is, Kyle scowled at the thought of Grady. Grady was never my friend, he never cared about me. All that drunk cares about is himself and nothing more than that.
Whoa, she tried to take in all of the information that Kyle was saying right before her. It was getting hard to understand because every time she had been around Kyle and Grady, they had been joking and laughing. Grady and Kyle were the best of friends, where was all this coming from. Where is this coming from Kyle?
Its a long story, he explained with a small frown, grabbing his shirt and throwing it over his shoulder, A story I really dont feel like talking about.
How am I supposed to help you if I dont know whats going on? Mindy questioned with a small frown, watching Kyle let out a small laugh.
I didnt ask for you to help me, Kyle pointed out as his dark met hers, but if you want to keep hanging out with me, you are going to have to drop it for now.
Okay Mindy watched as he took another sip of his water. Something was going on and if Kyle didnt want to tell her straight up what was happening, then she was going to find out in her own way.
I cant believe you would do this to me Diane, Ben shook
his head slowly, feeling overwhelmed with emotion as he looked at JT standing
next to Diane. After all that we have been through, why did you do this?
Ben, I can explain. Just please listen, Diane tried to beg him to listen to her as he shook his head slowly. She wanted to tell him everything, no lies. Before she could even say another word, Ben was cutting her off.
I dont want you to explain, Ben yelled, pointing his finger at her as he spoke. You see, I dont care anymore Diane. I just dont give a damn. You know what JT? You can have her, because I sure dont want her.
Ben, wait, she called out to Ben, trying to get him to stop. It was no use because he was out of there before she could even reach the other side of the room.
Nice one, JT chuckled from the back of the room before shaking his head slowly. I think you handled that one perfectly.
Screw you JT, Diane snapped, running out the front door. She
saw Ben only a few feet away as she ran to try and go catch up with him. She
caught up to him and grabbed him by the hand, making him turn around. His
eyes were red from being upset, they were filled with emotion that she never
wanted to see him hold. Ben, please just...
Diane, its obvious that I dont matter, Ben pointed out, looking back towards the house where he saw JT walking out. Its obvious that you still have feelings for JT.
I swear thats not true. I love you Ben and only you, she promised, watching him as he thought things over for a moment. Its not what you think.
I think its exactly what I think, Ben stated with a small frown, shrugging his shoulders as he spoke, The wedding is off for now Diane.
Ben, she caught him again before he could leave again. Ben, please. Im sure that you are this babys father. There isnt a doubt in my mind that this baby belongs to you.
Well just have to see, wont we? Ben questioned, giving her one last glance before shaking his head and walking off.
This wasnt happening, of all people--why her? She was trying to make a better life. Thats all she wanted.
Looks like what you said didnt matter, JT pointed out, coming up from behind her. Nice try though.
Nice try this, she scowled, bringing her knee up into his stomach as he groaned out in pain. She brought her fist up against his jaw before walking towards the door. Screw you JT, I hate the fact that I ever knew you.
She walked up to her door and slammed it behind her. She locked the door before taking another look back at JT out in front. JT ruined everything, how was she going to get it all back?
What is taking so long, Seth paced around the hospital room awaiting
the results of Valeries x-ray. While hed insisted that he would
just drop her off, shed whined and moaned causing the nurse to urge
him to go along with her through her admission.
Im sure that well hear something soon, Valerie watched him with a careful eye thinking about all the ways that she should be using this time to her advantage with him. You know it was so very considerate of you to be with me through all of this. Even the nurse commented on how lucky I am to have a husband like you
Valerie Im not your he interrupted stopping himself before she piped up again.
Yes you are Seth. You are very much my husband and whether you like it or not, were still married to one another. I know that you care about me. The fact that youre still with me right now when Im hurt says it all. Sure, you might feel that you have to have some kind of loyalty to Blake, but when it gets down to it, Im really the woman you love, Valerie offered up seeing his face twisted with agitation, Face it Seth. You couldve left a long time ago, but you didnt. Youve been with me every step of the way because you hate the idea of me being hurt.
I didnt want you stuck in my doorway all night long, he replied with a scowl, and yes I did feel bad about your being hurt, but not for the reasons youre hoping for.
Blake cant make you happy like I can. She doesnt understand you like I do, she paused watching him stand still, Face it Seth you couldve very easily ended our marriage a long time ago, but you didnt. The fact that those papers were misfiled only reconfirms the fact that we are supposed to be together.
Were only still married because some stupid clerk didnt do his job right and thats it, he waved his hands out in front of him as if to emphasize his point to her.
Seth, you can argue it all you like, but I know that you care about me--I know that you feel something for me she pleaded with him reaching out from where she sat to touch him.
No Val. Just stop! Seth snapped at her hearing the door open as Dr. Raines entered the room.
Well Valerie its not a break, Beth explained to her with a small smile, It is however a sprain.
A sprain? Really? Valeries dark eyes returned to Seth.
Thats right and I would suggest you take it easy for a while, Beth continued finishing up her diagnosis on what had happened to Valeries ankle.
Thank you doctor, Seth replied watching Beth exit the room.
Well now you have no choice but to take care of me, Valerie smiled up at him seeing that Seth obviously felt bad about her having a sprained ankle. Why dont we just agree to stop fighting and go back to your place for a while? We could get go get a movie and
And you know what, Seth stepped in closer to her, given that you do have a sprained ankle, I think its best that you do follow Dr. Raines advice. I think you should rest and take it easy. Maybe put some ice on it and spend the night watching the fashion channel and eating pizza
That sounds like a wonderful idea, Valeries eyes lit up with hope. Then maybe we can settle in with some ice-cream and
Rocky Road perhaps? Seth smiled down at her catching the eagerness that spread over her face.
Oh yes. That would be perfect and then we could cuddle up on the couch and she offered up thinking about how it was nice that Seth was finally starting to see things her way for a change.
Oh Im sure you can do all of that, but it wont be with me, Seth replied standing up straighter, I will however call you a cab to take you home.
But Seth she watched him move towards the exit waving his hand at her dismissively.
Good night Valerie, he waved at her giving her one last look, Im sure youre going to be just fine
But she frowned hearing the door shut as he walked out of the room. She let out a groan and fell back on the exam table knowing that this was not going to do. Whether or not Seth wanted to admit it she was still his wife and one way or another she would have him back again!
Since you arent talking about your life at all with me, Ill
tell you about mine, Mindy decided, following Kyle over to one of the
tables at the fruit bar. She watched as he pulled a chair out for her and
helped her get settled in. He took a seat across from her before scooting
in closer so she could talk to him easier. How does that sound?
It sounds wonderful, Kyle replied with a small smirk, taking a sip of his strawberry smoothie. He set his drink down before giving her his full attention, I would love to hear how your life is going. I hope its going pretty well.
Well, lets see what I can tell you, Mindy pondered, trying to get him bothered by her pausing every now and then. Her eyes met his intense eyes as she realized it wasnt going to work playing with him like that. Kyle wasnt like most men, he would sit there and listen to anything you wanted to talk about with any complaints. So maybe it was going to be a little bit harder to get to him than she thought it would be. Well, my boyfriend Hunt and I are hanging out a lot.
So, how is this Hunt guy treating you? Kyle questioned, leaning forward in his seat after she mentioned her boyfriends name. He watched Mindy take a small sip of her smoothie after she let out a small laugh. Is he treating you good? Because if he isnt, I swear I will
He is fine, he is really a nice guy and I think he might even be someone you might like, she assured Kyle with a small smile, reaching out to touch his hand gently, I think I am old enough to take care of myself Kyle.
Youre never too old to need help from good old Houston, Kyle declared with a small smirk, his dimples showing as he smiled. Just promise me that if this guy treats you bad, you will come to me first. Okay?
Im sure everything will be okay between us Kyle, but if it makes you feel better--alright. I will come to you first, she promised, letting out a small laugh as she saw him nod slowly. You must be protective with all of your friends. Sarah is very lucky to have a man like you. You are amazing Kyle. I can only imagine how your relationship with Sarah is.
Yeah, my relationship with her Kyles eyebrows tensed as he thought about Sarah and their relationship. He reached out to take another sip of his smoothie before he caught her looking at him awkwardly. What?
Please tell me that you two arent broken up, she begged, seeing the way he looked away from her with that certain question. His dark eyes met hers in another sad glance as she frowned as if she already knew the answer he was going to give her. You did break up didnt you?
Just drop it please, Kyle pleaded, shaking his head slowly as he thought about what happened between him and Sarah the other night. He sank down in his chair, letting out a deep sigh, I really dont want to talk about it.
I am not going to drop it Kyle, Mindy declared with a small frown, placing her hand over Kyles again. She watched as he uneasily sat forward in his chair, I want to know what happened and I want to know now.
Truth be told, I dont know what happened, Kyle explained watching as Mindy gave him a small frown as if he was lying. Im serious.
Tell me what happened, she ordered, watching a muscle in his jaw tense as he thought about telling her.
We got into a fight and she really hurt me, Kyle informed Mindy, watching her nod slowly as he spoke. She said some things that I would have never imagined her to say.
So you broke up with her? Mindy asked another question, watching
as Kyle looked away from her for a moment. Did you break up with her?
No, but she did break a piece of my heart, Kyle informed her with a small frown, watching as Mindys eyes never left his. I went to leave and she asked me what it meant. I said take it as you want it and I guess she wanted it to be us broken up. I never said I was breaking up with her. Shes telling everyone I did break up with her, so why not let her believe her own words?
So, do you still love her? Mindy watched Kyle rub the back of his neck lightly. His pausing was starting to make her worry as she pushed on his shoulder. Kyle, do you love Sarah or not? Are you going to answer me anytime soon you dummy?
Of course I do love Sarah, Kyle answered with a small roll of his eyes, I love Sarah Marx with all that I am. She hurt me, but I cant stop loving her just like that. Shes the only woman that I love in this world.
Well, thats good to hear, Mindy pondered Kyles answer for a moment before grabbing his hand tightly in hers. Youre hurting right?
Yeah, I am hurting and it doesnt feel too good, Kyle shrugged his shoulders, shaking his head slowly as he spoke, Are you happy that I told you all of this?
Nope, not yet she quickly answered, biting down on her bottom lip as she thought of a plan to come up with Kyle. How are we going to find a way to get you and Sarah back together? What do you say?
This is nice, Cori declared, taking a look around the restaurant
that Diego had taken her to. I really like this Diego.
Good, Diego half smiled, leaning back in his chair as looked across the table at Cori, Im glad that you like it.
Whats wrong? Cori questioned with a small frown, reaching her hand across the table to place it on top of Diegos gently. You seem a little tense.
Im just a little worried. Thats all, he tried to
explain as he looked across the table. He wasnt so sure that he should
be celebrating right now, considering that he was worried about Sarah. He
wanted to know that she would be okay, that she would be fine the next time
he saw her. My friend Sarah has just been real upset lately and Im
just worried about her.
Well, Im sure she will be fine, Cori assured him with a fake smile. When she was with Diego, it figures that he was worrying about Sarah. His mind should have been on her right now, not some other girl who had her own crisis. Sarah could take care of it on her own, she didnt need Diego. We should just be having fun today, with no stress attached. We dont want to worry ourselves too much.
Yeah, you are probably right, he nodded quickly, rubbing his chin as he thought. He couldnt help it, he was still worrying about Sarah. She had been so upset the last time he talked to her, it was almost like he should be there to help her right now. I guess I just worry a little too much.
Its okay, Cori hushed him, squeezing his hand lightly in hers, If you didnt worry about Sarah, I would be worried. It wouldnt be like my Diego if you didnt worry. I would have to wonder who stole the real Diego Hernandez.
Yeah, well--you know me, Diego tried to smile back at Cori. Cori was really trying to get him to loosen up, but it just really wasnt working. He had way too much on his mind right now. Thanks for understanding Cori.
No problem, Cori lied, looking forward at Diego. You shouldnt have to worry just yet about her. Im sure that you can call and check in on her later. You know, after we spend our time together and just relax.
Relax, Diego repeated those words slowly before nodding slowly. It sounded nice to relax, but he knew that he wouldnt be able to relax anytime soon. Call him weird, but he couldnt celebrate while his friend was in pain. It was almost wrong to even be here right now. Relax sounds nice.
I thought it might, Cori smirked, watching Diego carefully. Sarah was obviously up to something, she didnt know what it was, but she was going to find out. If she had Diego so wrapped up about worrying about her, there had to be something wrong.
Youre sure theyre going to be here, right? Heather
questioned surveying the restaurant searching for any sign of the man of the
hour. It didnt take long for her to find Diego and Cori seated at one
of the far tables over by the windows. Immediately she felt prickly spikes
over her skin at the sight of Cori and Diego with one another. She hated to
think that Diego was here with that woman--especially when he shouldve
been there with her.
You ready for this, Chris whispered stepping in behind her. He whispered warmly in the back of her ear causing her to turn around and flash him a bright smile.
You bet I am, she replied with a nod adjusting her sexy black dress before taking his arm in hers. The host greeted them with a smile and a thick French accent.
May I help you? the man questioned looking between them.
Yes you may, Chris nodded making a small forward movement, You see my date and I had reservations but it seems that someone has mixed things for us.
I see, the stuffy looking man eyed the reservation list curiously, and your name was?
Ashford, Chris explained catching the look of surprise that the man issued him. Chris held his hand forward pretending to think it over before withdrawing it. He slipped his arm around Heathers waist before speaking up again, Christopher Ashford and this is my fiancée Heather Gibbons.
Sir, Im so sorry, the man began apologetically his otherwise bored and agitated attitude immediately shifting to accommodating. I dont know how this couldve happened, but I can assure you that we will have you a table in no time.
Good, Chris mouthed leaning in to nuzzle Heathers neck for a brief moment. He felt her tense up before he whispered in her ear, remember were supposed to be acting here.
Right, Heather sighed knowing that she had to play the role. She leaned in closer to Chris pressing her hand in against his chest in a playful, flirtatious movement acting as if hed said something hilariously funny.
Sir, your table will be right this way, the man before them tried to assure them as he started off in the direction opposite of where Cori and Diego were.
But honey you promised me we could sit over by the fountain, Heather pouted teasing her fingers over the buttons on Chriss shirt.
You heard the lady, Chris shrugged before grinning at the host before them, The fountain it is.
Indeed sir, the man nodded snapping his fingers to get another man to take them over to a new table.
Oh youre good, Heather whispered to Chris, The Ashford thing was a nice touch.
Hey, what can I say? Its a gift, he confessed as they arrived at their table. He held out a chair for Heather before nodding to the host again, A bottle of your finest champagne if you will.
Of course sir, the man nodded as Chris craned his neck to take a look over towards the window area, So where are they?
Over there, Heather tugged at his arm pulling him down into his chair, Dont let them see you.
Who cares if they do? Neither one of them know anything about me? Chris pointed out with a scowl. He circled his eyes around the restaurant trying to see Heathers interest. Where are they again?
Right there just beyond the dessert table, Heather yanked Chris down beside her, Hes the handsome one with the trashy blonde
Hello legs, Chris couldnt help but blurt out as he caught a first look at Cori, Wow, Heather when you said that she was a twit, I figured shed be something that was hard on the eyes, but wow shes really cute. Youre certainly in for some big trouble there Heather.
The hell I am, Heather reached out across the table to slap him--hard. Remember youre supposed to be helping me. Diego is mine.
Yeah, yeah I know, he waved over at her still keeping his eyes on Cori, She sure is something, isnt she?
Shes something alright, Heather scowled already finding herself less than thrilled at Chriss reaction to Cori. Shes the enemy, remember?
She plays the part very well in that sexy black he felt a sudden pinch in his arm. Practically jumping out of his seat, he glared over at her, Ow what was that for?
That was for your losing focus, she hissed at him. Remember tonight is to make Diego jealous, not for you to fawn all over his date.
Oh right, he rubbed his arm still feeling the sting of her jab at him, You know you could try being nice to me.
I could, but whats the point in that, she wrinkled her nose at him before eyeing Diego intently, The way I see it, I have to move fast if I am going to get his attention again.
Faster than fast if shes as good as she looks, Chris muttered under his breath catching her glare, What? Im just saying
Well dont, Heather mouthed sourly, In fact, while you sit here drooling Im going to get in closer and see what I can come up with.
Heather wait, Chris tugged on her arm before she could leave the table, that might be a tad bit obvious. If Diego sees you over there spying, then he might be onto you and
Good point, she huffed in response, so now what?
Let me go in for a closer look. As I said before neither one of them know me so it will be easy for me to be inconspicuous here, he decided adjusting his tie before moving to his feet, This should be a piece of cake.
It had better be because I cant afford to have you screw this up, she warned him watching him go off in the hopes of seeking out information for her. As she watched Diego and Cori talking to one another she made a promise to herself that one way or another she would capture his attention before this night was over. Even if she had to pretend to like Chris, it would be well worth it in the end if she could be with Diego.
So now you know why its absolutely vital that you come back with
me to Coral Valley, Brant finished after telling his long tale about
his brothers demise over the last few months. If you dont
come back to town with me, then theres no telling what will happen to
Ken. After all hes done, you can see why this is the only option at
I understand what youre saying Brant. I really do, but I cant go with you, the woman explained with a heavy sigh, I realize that youre looking out for Ken and thats honorable considering, but at the same time my place isnt in Coral Valley any longer. I left because I had to--because I had my reasons
I know your reasons, but I also know my brother. Hes miserable and hes finding more ways to ruin his life. Your staying here isnt going to help either one of you. I know if you come back to Coral Valley, it will renew his faith in life in general and give him a reason to believe, he urged again wishing that she could just let go of her own fears and anxieties long enough to help him help Ken.
Brant, I realize all of that and believe me if I could help him, I would but
But nothing. You know that you can help him. You know right now that youre his last hope for another shot at life. You could be his saving grace if youd just step out of this world youve shut yourself up in and he offered up again urgently tapping his hand on the arm of the chair hed been seated in. He stopped tapping and leaned forward, You know how to reach him in ways that no one else could
Brant too much has happened. I cant go back, she argued with him rising up from where shed been seated, Im too far gone to go back to Coral Valley and see Ken again. He has his life and I have
You have what? Brant stood up following her, An empty hotel room where youre locked away from the world? What kind of life is that honestly?
Its the one that I have to lead, she frowned up at him, Its what Ive decided and
And you can always change your mind. You can choose to be stuck here and whither away or you can do something, he added with an impassioned tone, Youve already come so far and to just lay down and die now
Kens had enough heartache. He doesnt need another one with my return, she shook her head firmly, I cant do it Brant.
Cant or wont? he challenged with an arched brow taking a small step towards her, What are you afraid of? Being happy again?
Brant, we both know that this situation is complicated, she further insisted.
Yeah and like Kens situation isnt. Trust me my being here is doing the both of you a favor. This is something that shouldve happened a long time ago, but now that the moment is here, why not find a way to act upon it? Why not try to make things right again for you two? he questioned his voice raising a bit with his emotions.
Because they cant ever be right again Brant. Nothing can be right between us. The fact is that there is no us. Ken has his life and hes better off without me in it, she threw her hands up in the air exhaustion overtaking her. Brant, Im sorry, but I cant help you.
You can, but youd rather make up a million excuses on the matter, he frowned down at her, You know in all the time I knew you, I thought a great many things about you, but I never once believed you were a coward.
Im not a coward. Im just doing what I have to in order to survive, she remarked sourly walking over to her hotel room door and opening it. Im sorry that you dont like my answer, but Im not changing my mind on the matter. I cant help you.
Youre making a mistake in not listening to me, Brant began desperately, If you dont come back to Coral Valley
Brant Im sorry, but youre going to have to accept my decision, she looked away from him, and even if you dont, theres no possible way youre changing my mind. Im sorry.
Not nearly as sorry as I am, he sighed heavily feeling her bluntness in holding the door. She was kicking him out and this meeting was anything but a success.
I really wish you hadnt wasted your trip. If youre smart youll just forget that you found me. Thats really whats best for everyone, she sighed watching him walk into the hallway.
See now thats where you and I are at a difference of opinion. I dont think its best for anyone for you to just walk away without thinking this over, he offered up watching her close the door in his face. He stood in the middle of the hallway realizing that this went far from where hed hoped it would, but he wasnt about to give up. He couldnt afford to let Ken make the biggest mistake of his life. Even if she didnt want to cooperate Brant was going to have to find another approach that would work in getting her to see how important her return would be. Making his way down the hallway Brant felt the wheels in his head turning as he prayed that he could come up with something that would be his brothers saving grace before it was too late.
What is it Don? Ken questioned worriedly, watching Dons
seriousness become a goofy grin that spread across his features. What
do you have on your mind?
Well, I was thinking, Don began, rubbing his hands together lightly before going on, Since the wedding is only a dew days away, there is no point in really getting all gushy with Michelle just yet. Right?
I dont think I am really following you Don, Ken declared, raising his eyebrows in curiosity as he spoke. What are you getting at Mr. Leveski?
Well, I was figuring we would have a bachelor party to plan, Don stated with another goofy grin, which means no women at all. How does that sound buddy?
I dont think it sounds good at all, Michelle blurted out, stepping between the two men. I dont think I like the idea of that happening.
Oh well, Don shrugged, looking back behind him as he saw Shannon walk in the front door. He motioned her to come over to him as he wrapped his arm around her shoulders. This is my wife Michelle. Shannon, this is Michelle.
Its nice to meet you, Shannon smiled at Michelle before looking up into Dons blue eyes. He gave her a small wink before continuing with his explanations.
While we plan Kennys party here, Don started, pointing to Shannon, My wife will be more than happy to help you plan your party too.
Is that so? Michelle questioned, seeing Shannon remove Dons arm from her shoulders slowly. What do you possibly have in mind Shannon?
I have some great ideas, Shannon assured her with a small sigh, These things are too perfect. You dont want the men to know how much fun we are going to be having.
I got what you are saying, Michelle winked, letting out a small smile. Hey, it was free--so why not? She didnt have to pay anything for the stuff, so this could really work out nicely. It actually sounds pretty nice.
Thats the spirit, Don happily smiled, patting Ken on the back lightly. I guess that means its all up to us to come up with something fun to do.
I guess so, Ken nodded, looking between Shannon and Michelle. I guess if everything is okay with Michelle, then okay. Im up for a good time.
Well, we should leave pretty soon. I have a full schedule planned out for us, Shannon informed Michelle, watching as Michelle gave Ken a small kiss and walked to the door. Shannon wrapped her arms around Dons neck before giving him a kiss.
Are you ready for this? Don questioned quietly, a devilish smirk spreading over his handsome features.
As ready as Ill ever be Don, Shannon nodded, giving him one last kiss before walking out the front door with Michelle by her side. This had to be done perfectly.
This is going to be great buddy, Don promised with a small smirk. What him and Shannon had planned was perfect. It was so perfect that neither Ken or Michelle would see it coming.
...to be continued...