Episode 259

Brant stepped up to the hotel room door feeling a strong sense of déjà vu coming over him especially now that he was starting to feel like a frequent guest at this place in particular. Still unlike the last time he’d come over in the hopes of getting her to listen, she was the one who had sought him out. She’d called him and asked him to come on over. She’d initiated the meeting between them so maybe just maybe that meant that they could find a way to solve the problem at hand. Maybe she’d started to listen--to really let his words sink in and she’d decided to do the right thing. Brant could only hope that was the case. Reaching out to knock on the door again, he was pleasantly surprised to see her answer with a less tense expression than the one he had been dealt earlier.

“Thank you for coming over so quickly,” she smiled at him politely opening the door wider for him to come inside. “I know that you probably were getting ready to go back home after my rude behavior but…”

“Actually I hadn’t thrown in the towel just yet. I was still hoping that maybe you would change your mind and…” he began his voice full of anticipation in the thought that perhaps that was exactly why she’d called him over again.

“Actually, I have thought about what you said before,” she reveled taking in an apprehensive breath, “You know about Ken…”

“Yes?” Brant arched a curious brow wondering if his last gamble had truly paid off for his brother.

“And I think that we should talk,” she poked her head out into the hallway for a brief moment. Standing up straighter she cleared her throat again, “In fact, the more I think about it, the more I realize you’re right. I know that I said I wouldn’t go back, but after you left I started thinking about Ken--really, really thinking about what you told me he’d been through over the last few months. I hate the idea of him hurting like that…”

“As I thought you would,” Brant nodded encouragingly, “and you must understand that if there was any other way, then I wouldn’t have bothered you, but…”

“But I now know why this was so important to you,” she added with a small smile, “and after I gave it some thought I’ve decided that I will go back with you.”

“You will?” Brant’s eyes widened at the thought of his impending victory, “You really mean that?”

She nodded again, “I do. As crazy as it sounds, the more I thought about it, the more I realize that I don’t want to see Ken hurting again. That was part of the reason why I was staying away like I’ve been doing, but when I think about what you told me, well as much as my coming back again might hurt him, I know I need to do this. I can’t let him ruin his life.”

“Excellent. I can call for my jet and we can get going now before…” Brant began thinking about what was next in his plan of action.

“Wait. Hold on a second,” she reached out to touch his arm gently, “Brant I said I’d go back, but to do so I have to do it under my terms. This has to be exactly like I want it to or else there’s no deal.”

“Okay,” Brant paused eyeing her curiously, “What exactly do you have in mind?”

“If you come inside I’ll tell you,” she promised stepping back into her hotel room and inviting him to join her.

“Okay, no problem,” he replied readily hoping that this wasn’t too good to be true. He was well aware of what she was risking in even thinking about returning to save Ken, but if Brant had his cards laid out on the table for this one night, then in the end it could be a win-win situation for everyone involved. At least that’s what he was hoping for!


“Hey you,” Michelle called out, gripping onto the cold metal bars before her. After she finally realized where she was, there was no other doubt in her mind that she got screwed over. She had been trying to get someone’s attention so she could get a hold of Ken. “Would someone please listen to me?”

“No one wants to hear it,” one of the officers muttered, picking up a book from his desk, “Why don’t you keep your mouth shut?”

“I am not going to keep my mouth shut,” Michelle protested with a small scowl. “I don’t even know why I am here. I shouldn’t even be here.”

“You don’t know why you are here, that‘s bull,” the officer chuckled, shaking his head slowly before flipping through some of the pages, “Pipe down.”

“Listen you,” Michelle was about to snap, but she stopped herself before she could go any further. “I still have my one phone call. I get to call one person.”

“I can’t do that,” the man replied, shaking his head slowly. “Anyways, who is going to be able to bail you out of what you are put in for?”

“What am I even put in for?” Michelle questioned with a small squeal as she threw her hands up in the air. “Listen, you dumb idiot--if I don’t get a phone call, I won’t shut up.”

“You should watch what you say,” the man warned as Michelle shrugged and gripped onto the bars tightly, “one phone call and one phone call only.”

“That’s all I was asking for,” Michelle declared as she watched the officer slowly rise from his seat.

When she got a hold of Ken, she was going to ruin Shannon. Sure, she didn’t remember exactly what happened during the events that they went to, but she knew that Shannon was behind this. Almost everything was a blur to her and she didn’t even know how she got here. Something told her that Don and Shannon had something to do with this and once she got a hold of Ken--she was going to make sure that neither of them would be at her wedding.

“Come on,” Michelle groaned uneasily as she rolled her eyes. The officer was looking through the keys as she tapped her foot against the ground. “An old woman moves faster than you do.”

“Well in that case, maybe I should move slower,” the man decided, seeing the look on Michelle’s face as he shrugged his shoulders. “Try to keep your mouth shut because when you do, people might like you a little bit better.”

“Yeah, whatever,” she rolled her eyes, quickly stepping out of the cell as the officer opened it up. She looked around the area before her as she let out a small sigh. “Where is the phone?”

“In the corner,” the officer pointed to where the phone was placed as he followed her and sat on one of the desks. “You have five minutes.”

“Give me two,” Michelle chuckled, picking up the phone and dialing Ken’s cell phone number. She waited for a few minutes, but realized that no one was answering. She hung up after a few minutes before shaking her head slowly. “I can’t believe this, let me have one more call.”

“Nope, that’s it for you,” the officer decided, placing his hand on her shoulder as he led her back towards the cell. He locked her in as she stumbled over her feet.

“Just one more call,” Michelle begged as the officer shook his head. “Oh come on. You‘re telling me that I can‘t call anyone else if I don’t get an answer?”

“That’s exactly what I’m telling you,” the officer nodded before going back to sit at his desk. “So why do you just rest up because you are going to be here a while.”

“I can’t believe this,” Michelle huffed, sitting down the bench as she ran her hands through her long blonde hair. How was she going to get out of this now?


“This is great,” Don chuckled, glancing over Ken’s cell phone as it rang. He turned the phone off before throwing it on the dresser next to the bed. Earlier he had swiped Ken’s phone without Ken even noticing. “I guess it was a good idea to steal Ken’s phone earlier. I knew she would try to get a hold of him.”

“Well, I must admit I think you did great with your quick thinking,” Shannon assured him, resting her head against his hard chest as her fingers slid in over the center of his chest. She heard his heartbeat as she smiled thinking of how everything had ended up the last few days. It was nice being this close to Don, she wouldn’t have wanted it to be any other way. “I am so proud of you.”

“Proud of me?” Don questioned with a small laugh he kissed her forehead gently. His fingers slid through her silky, blonde hair as he thought for a moment. “You were the one who set this thing up perfectly.”

“How so?” she looked up into Don’s blue eyes as he shrugged his shoulders. “Babe, you were the one that set this whole thing up. I just did what you told me to.”

“Yeah, but without you--I wouldn’t have been able to get this idea to work,” he pointed out, feeling her fingers run over the hard muscle in his abdomen.

“Yeah, you’re right. I did do good,” she nodded slowly, letting out a small laugh as she bit down on her bottom lip. “What would you do without me?”

“I think I would be absolutely lost,” Don replied letting out a small smile as she scooted up closer to him in the bed that they were in. His fingertips caressed her cheek gently as he let out a small frown. “I don’t want to ever think about not having you with me. It just hurts me inside even thinking about it.”

“Well stop thinking about it because you are never going to be without me,” she promised leaning forward to press a small, sensual kiss over his lips. She sighed against his lips as something else came to mind. “Question.”

“Yeah?” Don’s arm wrapped around her waist, pulling her in closer to him as he watched her carefully. “What is it?”

“Do you even feel a little bit guilty for what we’ve done?” Shannon questioned, watching Don think it over. “Even the littlest bit?”

“Now that I think about it,” Don paused before letting out a devilish laugh, “No, I don’t? You?”

“Not at all,” she let out a small chuckle before shrugging her shoulders, “The only thing I am glad about is that she won’t be able to marry Ken now. She is such a bitch.”

“That’s one of the many things she is,” Don agreed before letting out a small sigh of relief. “Brant will definitely be happy to hear about this.”

“Yeah, Brant,” Shannon shuddered before letting out a small groan, “I still really don’t like the idea that I did something nice for Brant--given what an ass he is.”

“Oh come on,” Don frowned, his fingers teasing in over her shoulder lightly, “You have to admit that you had a lot of fun with this one Shannon.”

“Well of course I had fun with this one,” Shannon smirked, reaching up to tease her fingers over his lips gently, “but I must admit--I have so much more fun with you.”

“How about you show how much fun you have with me,” Don suggested, wiggling his eyebrows at her as he pulled her ever closer to his body.

“I think I will,” she smirked as she leaned down to steal a small kiss from his lips. She felt him suckle on her bottom lip gently before she heard her cell phone begin to ring. A small groan escaped her lips as she slowly pulled away from Don. “Just a second.”

“For you, I’ll wait for years,” Don winked before resting back in the bed.

“Hello,” Shannon answered her phone, listening to the other end of the line. Don saw the color fade from her face as she listened to the person. “Okay, I’ll be there in a couple.”

“Who was that?” Don wondered, letting out a small frown as he watched her slide out of bed and walk into the bathroom. After a while, she came back fully dressed. “Let me guess, that was work.”

“Yeah,” Shannon nodded slowly, letting out a small sigh, “There was another Mathis victim.”

“You’re kidding me right?” Don questioned with a small shake of his head as he thought about Bruce. “You mean that man still has the guts to come around here?”

“Well, I guess he does,” Shannon shrugged, grabbing her keys from the dresser as she saw Don scowl in disgust even at the thought of Bruce Mathis. “I have to get going.”

“Well,” Don began as he got out of the bed and grabbed his shorts before sliding them on, “I guess I will see you later then and tell you about everything that happens.”

“I’m sorry about this Don,” Shannon apologized as he approached her. “I wish we could have had the rest of the day with each other, but…”

“Hey,” Don hushed, placing his index finger over her lips gently before pulling her into his strong arms, “I understand--its work. You need to catch Mathis. I don’t want that freak to be running the streets, while my little sister is out in the open. Anyways, I’ll be waiting for you when you get back, just don’t forget to tell me what happens.”

“I love you Don,” Shannon smiled happily after Don gave her a small kiss on the lips. “I’ll be back.”

“I’ll be waiting,” Don kissed Shannon one last time before watching her walk towards the hotel door. “Love you.”


Avery sat on the edge of the bed her eyes glued upon Grady as she thought about the turn of the events that had transpired leading up to this moment in time. A shiver raced over her at the memory of walking in with him holding the gun to his head. How she’d hated the idea of losing him like that. It was the worst possible thing that could’ve happened to all of them. Even now her heart ached at the thought of losing him forever.

“You might be annoying as hell at times, but Russ would never forgive me if I let anything happen to you,” she whispered reaching out to push his dark hair away from his face. Her fingers pressed in against his forehead feeling a warmth beneath her touch. Frowning she stood up and moved in nearer to him. “Grady?”

She watched him closely getting no response. He was still breathing as that was rather obvious, but his face was burning up. She touched his shoulder once again watching him move a bit on the center of the bed. The alcohol was obviously working it’s number on him, she realized taking a step back. She hated to leave him like this, but it almost felt like he’d had a fever. If that was the case, she needed to get him to cool down a bit.

“I’ll be right back,” she whispered giving him one last look before making her way into the small bathroom that had been attached to the cabin he’d decided to come to.

She had to at least give him credit for picking this one considering it had been a place for the camp councelors which meant that they were able to have more of the camp ‘luxuries’ than the rest of the cabins around this place. She laughed lightly remembering only too well how Grady had always set out to seduce one of the councilors year after year, yet despite all of his endless charming it hadn’t ever panned out for him.

She turned on the sink, fumbling with the dials a bit and found herself displeased by the lack of water. Nothing came out but a pinched hissing sound. Quickly she shuffled to turn the dial again to make the noise stop before it gave her an even bigger headache than the one she’d found had crept in over her after Grady had passed out.

“Well this is just wonderful,” Avery looked around seeing a small, white washcloth laying just beyond where she stood at the edge of the sink. “Well this is a start, but…”

Looking down Avery noticed a cooler in front of her. This clearly must’ve been something Grady had brought with him as it seemed so out of place in the surroundings. Bending down she popped open the top to discover the three bottles of bourbon before her immersed in a pool of ice and water.

“This explains a lot,” she frowned holding up one of the bottles. Setting the washcloth aside, she unscrewed the cap and turned to the sink downing the bottle before following up with another. She was about to reach for the third bottle when she thought she heard a sound from the other room. Quickly dipping the washcloth in the water and pulling together some ice to take back with her, Avery closed the cooler and headed back to the bedroom.

Once inside she saw Grady had moved a bit. He was a bit more centered on the bed, but still asleep. Stepping in closer to him, she couldn’t help but think about how fragile he looked in this position. Before he had been crazed--lost in his contemplations of leaving life behind, but now he seemed almost innocent--almost at peace though Avery was certain that was more so the bourbon than anything.

“Well I guess it’s just you and me pal,” she mouthed sliding in beside him on the bed. She nudged his shoulder urging him to turn in towards her and she lowered the washcloth to his forehead. She half expected him to jump up at the sensation of chill over his skin, but he remained at ease--lost in his dreams it would seem. If she didn’t know better, she would’ve thought that there was almost a smile teasing in over the corners of his lips. Maybe just maybe his worries were fading for a little while.

“You know you scared the hell out of me tonight,” Avery spoke softly, rubbing the washcloth over his forehead gently, “I mean you’ve thrown a lot of curves my way Grady, but this was one I wasn’t entirely prepared for. I know you gave me a little warning, but let’s not ever do this again.”

He said nothing still lost in his slumber as Avery lay beside him watching him in the hopes that he didn’t wind up with alcohol poisoning after his binge. After he’d passed out she’d left a message with Elliot that she’d found Grady and that all was okay. She didn’t get into too many details knowing full well that Grady would strangle her if she told his parents just how close to the edge he’d come tonight of all nights. Still she had wanted them to know that he was in good hands for now. She wouldn’t let anything happen to him again. She’d help him find his way out of the darkness somehow as long as they made it through the night.

“We’ll do that,” she whispered to herself thinking of how in spite of everything that had happened, she was grateful to be sharing this moment with Grady knowing that there would be a tomorrow for him--for both of them.


“Sarah,” Diego muttered her name as he pulled away from their kiss. His heart was still beating out of control in his chest after the kiss they just shared and it took him a minute to get himself under control. “I’m sorry that was…”

“Wrong,” Sarah finished, nodding slowly as she let out a small sigh. Diego stood up uneasily before running his hands through his hair slowly. “That was a mistake. I’m sorry about that.”

“It’s okay, we both made the mistake,” he tried to assure her, running his hand down the back of his neck as he replayed what just happened in his mind. He wanted to believe that it really happened, but he also wished that this was just a dream like the last few times. With him realizing that this was real, it was just making things more difficult by the second. “Listen Sarah, I really want to be here for you right now, but I don’t think it’s a good idea. Something is happening that shouldn’t be happening and I should probably get going.”

“Diego,” Sarah called out, reaching out for Diego’s hand as he turned away from her. She pulled on his hand, making him face her as she took a step closer to him. “I didn’t mean for that to happen I swear. Please, just don’t leave. We are adults and we can get past this whole kiss thing. Please Diego, I don’t want be alone right now.”

“Don’t worry,” Diego frowned, seeing the pain that built up behind her dark eyes. He reached his hand out to push piece of hair away from her eyes gently. “I won’t leave. I promise. I’ll be right here.”

“Thank you so much Diego,” Sarah felt her eyes begin to gloss over with tears. “I don’t know what I would have done without you here tonight.”

“Don’t worry,” Diego whispered, reaching his arms out embrace her. Her head rested against his chest as she felt her tears begin to fall freely from her eyes. “There is no place I would rather be tonight, then here--helping you.”

“I guess, I just don’t know what has been overcoming me lately,” she tried to explain, leaning back to look into Diego’s dark brown eyes. She felt his fingertips push a tear away from her cheek gently before letting out a small sigh.

“You’re just upset,” he explained, seeing her nod slowly as he looked over towards the kitchen. “We have to come up with a way to make you feel better.”

“How do you plan on doing that?” Sarah questioned with a small chuckle, realizing that there was probably nothing that could truly make her feel better at this moment.

“How about we bake something,” Diego suggested, seeing her eyebrows arch up in curiosity as he shrugged his shoulders. Okay, so that probably sounded like the dumbest offer, but it might at least be fun.

“Bake,” she repeated his words before seeing him nod slowly. Her eyes searched his as she thought things over for a moment. “What exactly is it that you want to bake?”

“I don’t know,” he pondered that question for a second before shrugging his shoulders. “How about a cake? Do you have cake mix?”

“Yeah, I do,” Sarah nodded slowly, sliding out of his embrace as she led him towards the kitchen. “I don’t see how baking a cake could make me feel better.”

“Believe me, baking could be very good for making a person feel better,” Diego insisted, watching her reach up to grab something from the top shelf of her cabinets. She was unsuccessful because she was a little too short. He stepped in from behind her, reaching up as his fingers grazed hers. “I got it.”

“Okay,” she smiled, waiting for him to back away before she turned around. “So, what do we need for this whole cake mix?”

“Uh,” Diego turned the box around to read the directions before smiling to himself. “We need some eggs and some milk.”

“Okay, so what else do we need?” Sarah looked in the fridge before her as she looked around for the items. She turned around to face Diego after not getting an answer from him. A gasp escaped her lips as she saw that he had the hose from the sink in his hand and it was pointed at her.

“Water,” Diego muttered before turning the water on full blast as he squirted the water at her. He watched as Sarah held her hands up in front of her face as she tried to block the water from hitting her. “See, you wouldn’t smile--so I just had to do this.”

“I am going to get you,” Sarah declared, walking forward as he still sprayed the water at her. She reached out, grabbing his hands in hers as she tried to turn the hose towards him. Gradually the hose turned, squirting other parts of the kitchen before it finally hit Diego square in the face. He dropped the hose as he wiped at his eyes, shaking his head slowly. “You’re a weak man.”

“Only weak around the ones I care about,” Diego whispered, going to take a step forward before slipping. He fell into Sarah and cornered her into the bend of the counter as she let out a small bit of laughter. “That wasn’t funny.”

“Yes it was,” she nodded slowly, watching a small amount of laughter spill from his lips. “Diego.”

“Yeah?” he watched as her laughter died down and her dark eyes met his. He leaned forward a bit as she tipped up on her toes, pulling him closer to her by the collar of his shirt.

Her lips met his once more in a more gentle caress. His arm wrapped around her waist as he felt her sigh against his lips. This was so wrong, yet so right. He was longing for just one more kiss from Sarah and that’s what was happening.


Kyle tapped his fingers against his knee as he waited for the traffic to pass. There must have been some kind of accident or something because the cars were hardly even moving.

“This is just wonderful,” Kyle groaned, reaching over to turn the radio up as he sat there. There were so many things running through his mind at this moment. So many things that he had to make decisions about.

With his memories coming back to him like they had at the hill--he really didn’t know what to do anymore. He heard his cell phone begin to ring as he reached out to turn the radio off before pulling out his cell phone.

“Houston,” Kyle answered his cell phone letting out a small sigh as the cars before him started slightly moving.

“Houston, do we still have that problem?” Mindy questioned, letting out a small chuckle after hearing the way he answered his phone. Sure, it was childish, but it was the perfect timing.

“I should have known it was you calling to bug me about everything again,” Kyle rolled his eyes, keeping one hand on the wheel and the other on his phone. “Why are you calling me beautiful? I haven’t heard from you in forever.”

“Well, I was just calling to see if you’ve done it yet,” Mindy informed him with a small smile, shrugging her shoulders as she spoke. “So, have you?”

“No, I have not talked to Sarah yet,” he answered with a small frown as he listened to her let out a small growl. “Hey mad dog, calm down for a second.”

“If you don’t talk to Sarah, I will,” Mindy decided, switching the phone to her other ear as she thought of something else to say. “And you know that won’t be pretty Kyle.”

“I hope you know that you are a real royal pain in the ass,” he stated with a small laugh as heard her let out a small chuckle. “And I have to admit to you Mindy, I’m afraid of you.”

“That’s a good thing,” Mindy chuckled to herself, having a moment of silence between them before she finally spoke back up. “Well, you are going to apologize right?”

“Yeah,” Kyle sighed, running his hand over the back of his neck gently, “I’m not going to do it because I want to, but I’m going to do it because I’m afraid that you are going to tear me to pieces and I want to keep my body. So, I’ll do it. I promise you that kiddo.”

“You may not want to but--oh well,” Mindy smiled to herself as she sat down on the couch. “I trust you Kyle, just trust what your heart is telling you.”

“At this moment, I really don’t know what that is,” Kyle pointed out, having another moment of silence between the two of them. “I think I know what is right.”

“I hope so,” Mindy sighed before looking over at the clock, “Promise to call me back later and tell me how it goes.”

“Okay, I will call you later,” Kyle promised, a small chuckle passing his lips. “Hey, Mindy. Thanks for all this--I think.”

“You’re welcome,” Mindy laughed hoping to god that he was going to make the right decision and go through with this whole thing. “Talk to you later Kyle.”

“Alright,” Kyle nodded, saying his goodbyes as he hung up his phone and set it on the seat next to him.

Even if there was confusion in his heart, he knew what he had to do. He had to make things right.


“There is no way that I am about to let you in here,” Douglas snapped, taking a step in front of Kipp as he stared out at Zoë in front of him. “I am not about to let you tell him about this. I think you have caused enough problems.”

“I’m not the one that has been letting Kipp live a lie his whole life,” Zoë declared, “Kipp, if you would please let me in for a moment to tell you something… “

“He doesn’t want to hear it,” Douglas protested, seeing Kipp take a step forward to open his door more for Zoë to come in.

“I would like to know what the woman has to say,” Kipp insisted, letting her in before shutting the door behind her. “So what was it you wanted to tell me?”

“Well, you may have a hard time believing this,” Zoë began, letting out a small sigh as she spoke. She tried to speak up once more, but Douglas cut her off before she could go on any further.

“Why don’t you just leave,” Douglas offered up, taking a step in between Kipp and Zoë. “I should be the one to tell him, not you.”

“You have had this whole time to tell him and still you never have,” Zoë pointed out with a small shake of her head as she took a step in closer to Douglas. “You had the chance, but you never told him. I’m not going to leave this house without him knowing.”

“Uh, did I miss something here?” Kellen questioned, entering the room to see Douglas and a woman fighting.

“No, you didn’t,” Douglas answered quickly, grabbing a hold of Zoë’s shoulder before leading her towards the door. “She was just about to be leaving.”

“No, I’m not. I need to talk to Kipp,” Zoë kept her feet in place so Douglas couldn’t move her. “You need to stop passing this up Douglas, if you won’t tell him. I am going to.”

“Okay, what’s going on?” Kipp questioned eagerly, feeling Charles begin to struggle in his arms. “It’s okay, it’s alright. Everything is going to be okay.”

“Here,” Kellen reached out for Charles, gently grabbing him in his arms. “I’ll go and feed him. I’ll give the three of you some time alone.”

“Alright,” Kipp nodded slowly, watching Kellen walk into Charles’s room before he gave his attention back to Douglas and Zoë Ashford. “Now would someone please tell me what in the world is going on here? Someone needs to talk to me here.”

“Fine,” Zoë spoke up, stepping to the side of Douglas as she took a step closer towards Kipp. “There is something that you need to know Kipp. Something very important. And you need to know absolutely everything.”


“Well Kevin? Is that it? Is the real problem you’re having with Angela getting married not because she’s marrying Nick, but because she’s not marrying you?” Ria questioned bluntly, her eyes fixed on him. She took a small step forward already knowing too well his answer. “You’re upset because you think that you’re the one that Angela should be with, don’t you?”

“Ria I…” Kevin finally spoke up again no really sure how to respond to her accusations. His brown eyes lifted up to see her glaring at him and his heart sank. “It’s just that…”

“That what Kevin? That you’re still so obviously in love with her that you can’t get past the idea that she’s found someone else?” Ria asked throwing her hands up in the air, “I mean that’s really what this amounts to isn’t it?”

“Ria, it’s not that…” Kevin began again watching her pace around the room in a frenzy.

“Don’t deny it Kevin. Don’t you dare deny it because above all else that we’ve had going on between us in this relationship or whatever the hell you want to call it, you’ve never once lied to me. We’ve been completely honest with one another and I don’t want that to change starting now. If you’re in love with her, then tell me now--tell me before this becomes something too big for either one of us to walk away from,” she pleaded with him unable to fight the tears that threatened. “Tell me the truth Kevin.”

“Ria I want to but I just don’t think that I…” Kevin offered up with a pained expression knowing full well that nothing he could do or say at a time like this would change what was happening between them.

“Tell me the truth Kevin,” she repeated her hands clenched at her sides as she fought to maintain control of the situation, “You are in love with her, aren’t you?”

“Ria, I don’t know how to answer that and that’s the truth,” he finally blurted out seeing the disappointment flood over her.

“You just did,” she mouthed starting to walk away from him. She spun on her heel having heard more than enough when she felt him reach out to her.

“Ria wait. Please…” he pulled her in closer to him, “You just don’t understand. You don’t see what I’m trying to tell you--you don’t…”

“Don’t what Kevin? Don’t you get that you’re in love with some other woman, but since she’s off with someone else you were just killing time with me right?” she tossed back at him, her words harsh and penetrating, “I mean it’s not like you and I really had anything between us other than sex, right Kevin?”

“No Ria that’s not it either,” he argued shaking his head adamantly, “You and I both know this isn’t about sex with us. You’re special and I really care about you…”

“But you’re still in love with her right? I mean that’s why you closed yourself off when she called to tell you her big news. That’s why you were a mess after you hung up,” she bit back on the whimper building in the back of her throat, “But what I don’t get about this is how could you act like there was something between us when you knew full well that you were waiting for her…”

“Ria, there is something between us,” he touched her cheek urging her to meet his eyes, “There’s been something between us for years. I know that we didn’t do anything before recently, but there’s always been a part of me that’s thought of you--that’s wanted to be with you--to share all of this with you…”

“But that part of you is irrelevant compared to what it is you feel for Angela, isn’t it?” she challenged watching him freeze up at the accusation. She untangled herself from his arms feeling a shiver overtake her. “Despite all that has happened between us, you’re still thinking about her--still wanting to be with her and wishing like hell that she’ll drop her fiancé to be with you. You still love her, don’t you?”

“Ria I…” Kevin stammered a bit bringing his fingers up through his hair to try to come up with something to say that would make all of this easier on the both of them.

“Answer me Kevin. You still have feelings for her, don’t you?” she demanded once more her heart shattering into pieces as his face shifted. She watched him sink down onto the bed burying his face in his hands before he finally found the strength to lift his eyes to her again.

“Yeah, I do Ria,” Kevin confessed shamefully, “even though I know what this means for everything else in my life, the truth is yes I still have feelings for Angie and I’m afraid that’s never, ever going to change for me.”


“Okay,” Kipp nodded, standing there for a moment as Zoë’s saddened eyes looked into his. “What is it that is really going on here?”

“This woman is crazy Kipp, that’s what’s going on here,” Douglas suggested as Zoë looked back at him with her angered eyes. “Go ahead Zoë. Tell him what you want to. It’s not like he is going to believe you.”

“Just ignore him,” Kipp reached out and touched Zoë’s shoulder gently, “What is it that you need to tell me?”

“You see Kipp, what I need to tell you is that…” Zoë began, finding herself stuck on her words as she saw Kellen walk out of the room and her eyes fell on him.

“Uh, Charles is asleep right now,” Kellen informed everyone as he took a step forward, “Should I go back in there to leave you all alone?”

“Of course not,” Douglas answered for everyone, taking a step forward and motioning Kellen to sit down on the couch. “I think the audience is the best thing for Zoë right now. So go on Zoë, tell him what you want to.”

“Kipp,” Zoë started, taking in a deep breath as her eyes met Kipp’s. “I’m your mother.”

“What?” Kipp questioned, slightly confused about what Zoë had just told him. “That’s not possible. My mother left my father when I was younger. She left him for…”

“That wasn’t your real mother,” Zoë informed him with a small frown, “I have been your real mother this whole time. Douglas just never really told you the truth.”

“But how?” Kipp muttered, looking over at Douglas before holding his hands in the air. “Is this true? Have you been lying to me this whole time?”

“I wish I could say no,” Douglas mumbled watching as if the breath was taken away from Kipp’s lungs as he walked over and fell down to the couch next to Kellen. “See what you did?”

“What I did?” Zoë snapped, glaring over at Douglas. “You did this to him by not telling him the truth.”

“I did this to him?” Douglas repeated her words before taking a step closer to Zoë. “He would have been fine without you telling him. He would just go on living his life without worry.”

“Well that was the wrong thing to do,” Zoë protested, raising her voice a little bit as soon Douglas was directly in front of her.

“Well maybe some things are meant to be wrong,” Douglas yelled as he felt someone grab him by the shoulder and pull him back.

“Would you two stop it,” Kellen stood between Zoë and Douglas. A muscle in his jaw tensed as he looked between the two. “You know, it’s probably hard enough for Kipp to have this happening, but do you think that the two of you fighting like children is going to make anything better? Do you?”

“Of course not,” Zoë answered looking over at Kipp who was slumping down in his seat, “Are you okay sweetheart?”

“Why don’t the both of you just give him some time to think about things,” Kellen suggested, folding his arms out in front of his chest as he his eyebrows tensed. “I think you owe him at least that right now.”


Ken rested his head back against the headboard of his bed as he pushed a few random buttons on his remote. He couldn’t help but feel a little excited and scared at the same moment at this point. The excitement was the fact that he was actually going to be getting married and he would have someone to live his life with, but the fear was that he was wrong about everything that was going on. What if Michelle really wasn’t the one he truly loved?

His memories couldn’t help but come back and swarm through his mind. Ken wanted to get married to Caitlin and spend the rest of his life with her, but life had another turn of events for him at that point in time. Now, he couldn’t help but think of what life would have been like if Caitlin wouldn’t have died. He would be happy and he wouldn’t have made this big of a mess of his life. They would be married and living the dream come true everyone wants--living happily ever after.

“That’s not going to happen anymore,” Ken sighed to himself, shaking his head as he thought about his future and how it was going to turn out.

Every woman that he loved became hurt or left him. Of course there was Caitlin, but there was also his first love. Wendy. He couldn’t help but think of how things went with her. She was the first person he ever truly loved and they were torn apart for only god knows why. A part of him had always longed to be back with Wendy, but with the realization that she was the one that left him--that was never going to happen.

And then there was Michelle. Michelle was a whole new twist to his life. She was spunky, exciting and caring all at the same time. He wanted to be there to protect her and love her, he just hoped like hell that this wouldn’t end up like all the others. A disaster was the story of his life every time he fell in love with someone. He didn’t want his life with Michelle to fall apart and die just like all his other loves. Michelle was his key to moving on, she was the one person that could prove disasters weren’t what ruled his life. He had to keep a hold onto Michelle, if that was the only thing he could do.

“I wonder where she is right now,” Ken frowned, looking over at the clock to see the time. Michelle had been out with Shannon for quite a while and he was starting to get a little worried. Usually she would call and check in with him, but tonight she hadn’t. He reached over the hotel phone and dialed Michelle’s cell phone number. The long dial tone got to him as he heard the sound of the machine telling him that he was out of area. He hung the phone back up before letting out a long sigh. “Figures.”

He hoped that everything was going to be okay. He just hoped that he would be hearing from Michelle sooner than this, but he was sure that Michelle was fine. She was probably just having a lot of fun--that’s all.


Don leaned down and picked his shirt up from the floor. He pulled it back on before looking over at the clock. It had been a few hours since he had brought Ken back to the hotel and so far, everything had been going as planned.

Sure, some might consider what he was doing as wrong, but to him it was far from wrong. All he wanted to do was let Ken have a happy life and if he was going to be marrying Michelle, he knew that it wouldn’t be happening. He wanted Ken to have the life that everyone wanted. The life that he just got. Having a loving wife and having a son like Matt or a daughter. It really wasn’t too much to ask for his friend to be happy. That’s all he ever wanted for Ken, he wasn’t trying to ruin Ken’s life. He was just trying to make Ken’s life easier. When it came down to it, Ken needed someone who would love him to death. Someone who would take care of him and want to give him the family he needed.

Now as he thought about family, he couldn’t help but think about his own family. He knew that once he saw his mother again he was doomed.

“She is going to kill me,” Don chuckled to himself before shaking his head slowly. So yeah, he did maybe say those words around Matt, but he never expected Matt to repeat them. Especially not around his grandmother.

Matt was his pride and the joy of his life and that was something Ken needed to have in his life.

Even with Shannon, she might have a hard way of showing that she really loved Don, but he could just read it in her eyes that she loved him. She didn’t have to say it before, but now that she was--it was even better.

“I hope she’ll be okay,” Don sighed to himself, sitting down on the edge of the bed as he reached for the remote to the television.

The thought of Shannon being involved with this whole Bruce Mathis thing scared him. He knew that Shannon was strong, but he knew that Bruce was crazy. He loved Shannon and he never wanted to let her go.

Don turned on the television to see one of those crazy talk shows on. One man was yelling at two other men and Don couldn’t help but imagine that as Ken, Brant and himself in the future. Ken would have a fit at the moment if he found out what he and Brant were doing, but it was for the best. Hopefully Brant could get his side of the job done because if he wasn’t, then they were going to have a hard time finishing this thing off. The only thing that didn’t scare him about Michelle at the moment was that he knew she wouldn’t be able to get a hold of Ken at the moment. That was the good news.


Brant returned to his hotel room looking at the time. While he’d thought that he’d reached the end of his rope hours ago, it would seem that fate was smiling down upon him. Not only did he accomplish what he’d flown out all this way to take care of, but he still had time to pull it all together beautifully with Don doing his best to stall Ken from making the monumental mistake of his life in marrying Michelle.

“Oh you are good,” Brant slipped out of his jacket doing a little dance around his room as he thought about his travel plans. It had taken a little finesse, but he’d done it. He’s gotten her to agree to his request and it would go down smoothly.

“So you understand why we have to do things that way in particular yes,” he could hear her voice echo in his mind.

“Of course and I can promise you that I will do whatever I can to make you comfortable. I know that you’re going out on a limb here for Ken, but it will be worth it in the long run--for the both of you.”

“I hope you’re right,” she’d sighed, but deep down Brant had known that it was perfect--everything was in order and nothing could stop him now. Reaching for his phone Brant dialed the airport to give the pilot instructions for the morning departure.

“Oh yes, life is going good,” Brant mused proudly sinking back onto his bed and closing his eyes.

“You feel like a champion now, don’t you,” he heard a voice beckon him from his thoughts. He opened his eyes to see Angela standing over by his window curling her finger at him to get up.

“I know I am a champion,” he sat up watching her move across the hotel room, “just like I know that you’re not real.”

“But you want me to be,” she moved in closer to him, the warmth of her smile radiating throughout the room. Okay, so maybe he’d lost his mind, but given that he was taking to fantasizing about one of the most remarkable beautiful women he’d ever met, he was willing to risk seeming completely certifiable.

“So what if I do,” he couldn’t help but grin taking note of the slinky black number she was wearing, “would it be a problem?”

“Only for you,” she shrugged her shoulders reaching out to wrap her arms around him, “because you’re missing out on something wonderful by making me your dream lover.”

“Yes, but in my dreams I can have you any which way I’d like without losing you all over again,” he pulled her in closer to him. He rolled her onto her back beneath him on the bed, a smile lifting over the corners of his mouth, “I won’t have to let you go all over again.”

“I’m the one that let you go,” she swatted at his chest playfully, “remember?”

“Yes, well tonight you can rest assure that I’m never letting you go again,” Brant vowed devouring her lips greedily in his. Despite the fact he now knew that he had to be dreaming--that he must’ve fallen asleep in the midst of his celebration after he’d come back to the hotel, it didn’t matter. Here he was living out his fantasy in his mind with his dream lover and it was enough to keep him more than happy through the night. Being with her if only in his dreams was enough to keep him thinking about the one that got away--the one that he should’ve never let go. Even if it was absolutely wrong to be dreaming about Angela when he knew full well in his waking hours he was still Avery’s husband, he wasn’t about to let go of the fantasy anytime soon. He’d be with Angela again night after night if only in his dreams…


Kyle pulled into Sarah’s driveway, noticing yet again--Diego’s car was there. He didn’t know what was up with that, but lately Diego had become Sarah’s knight. It bothered him that Diego was the one that came to see him and not Sarah. If Sarah really would have cared, she would have called.

“I have to do this,” Kyle sighed, opening his car door as he stepped out and felt the cool air against his face. “I need to set things straight.”

Kyle shut his car door before walking up the sidewalk towards Sarah’s door. His heart was feeling as if this was wrong in someway, but he loved Sarah. That meant this had to be the thing he should do, right? As he stepped on her front porch a memory hit him hard as paused for a moment. The words she said to him during their last conversation came back to him with just looking at the door before him.

“No, Susan was having my child,” Kyle insisted, shaking his head slowly, “I could just tell she was. This wasn’t fake. I know it wasn’t.”

“Even if it wasn’t fake, it wouldn’t be good for you Kyle,” Sarah declared, watching as his dark eyes met hers. “If you had that baby with Susan, your life would be hell. That baby would probably be a psycho just like Susan and I probably would want nothing to do with that child.”

“What? Please tell me you just didn’t say that,” he begged, feeling his stomach begin to hurt after hearing the hurtful words coming from her. “Please tell me that you just didn’t say that you couldn’t accept my baby. Tell me that you didn’t mean that and it was just something you said on accident.”

“I know it probably sounds bad Kyle, but that was a rape baby,” Sarah pointed out, shrugging her shoulder as she spoke, “It would have been Susan’s blood running through that child’s blood and I can tell you that I wouldn’t be the first person accepting it into to my home.”

“Do you really mean that?” Kyle questioned, feeling his eyes begin to burn from the words that Sarah was saying to him. “You’re telling me that just like Grady, you would let my child die?”

“Kyle, listen,” Sarah shook her head slowly, noticing that she must have said something wrong because she saw a tear slide down the side of his face. “Listen, you know what I meant. You would have said the same thing I did.”

“No, I wouldn’t have,” Kyle replied, his voice cracked over with pain as he spoke, “I can’t believe that person I love most in this world would say something like that. You are just like Grady, like everybody else. Do you care about me or do you just care about yourself Sarah?”

“Kyle, you know I care about you,” Sarah couldn’t believe that he was getting this worked up over that, “Please, you know where I am coming from.”

“Yeah, I do,” Kyle nodded before feeling a muscle in his jaw tense up as he felt more tears burning behind his eyes, “You are coming from every other person in this world. I can’t believe this. You are the only person I thought truly cared for me, but I was wrong. Obviously you didn’t care about me enough to care about my child now, did you?”

That was where it finally hit him, this wasn’t his fault. Sarah truly didn’t care about him. She proved that to him that night when she told him that she could never accept his child. If Sarah was having a child with another man and it was the same case as his, he would have understood. He would have treated that child as if it was his own.

“I can’t do this,” Kyle gulped down, feeling his chest tighten as headed back towards his car.

Mindy would be upset with what he was doing right now, but he wasn’t about to apologize for something she did to him. In fact, now was the time he realized that this was Sarah’s job to turn everything back around. He couldn’t handle facing her again like this. She had to be the one to apologize because he would never say those words to her. Just the thought of what she has said to him brought a pain back to his broken heart.

“Sorry Mindy,” Kyle sighed getting back in his car as he took one last look at Sarah’s house before him. “I just can’t do this.”


Grady opened his eyes feeling the first hints of morning flooding in through the window. Turning to his side he let out a small groan knowing only too well that last night was coming back to haunt him in the worst way. He could already feel the ache throbbing throughout his body--hammering in his head enough to know that sobriety had most definitely kicked in. Letting out a small groan he stretched his arm out over to the bed beside him only to feel a warmth next to him.

“Hmm…” Grady reopened his eyes catching the first glimpse of Avery’s face so very close to his. She was sleeping it would seem, but now that she lay beside him bathed in the hints of morning that crept into the room, he felt as if he was looking at her for the first time. She seemed so at ease, so angelic in her slumber that he couldn’t help but smile. Here she was someone he’d given hell more times than he’d care to admit, yet she lay with him looking out for him even after the night they’d shared with one another.

Suddenly thoughts of what had taken place leading up to her arrival filtered through his mind. He remembered her forcing him to face himself--stopping him from giving in to the insanity that had almost stolen life from him. He could see the way her eyes were filled with a fear--with the look of horror that he no doubt had mirrored behind his own eyes. How could he have thought that killing himself was the right thing to do? Why did he believe that would change everything? How could he have…

“Because you were blind stinking drunk and stuck in a moment of self pity,” Grady reminded himself silently remembering how he’d come all this way to put an end to the life that had brought him to the point of return. Though now that a new day dawned in upon him, he knew full well that the life that had lead him here was far behind him. It was like a distant memory where the cold, emptiness was replaced with a warmth and a promise of things yet to be starting with the woman at his side.

Unable to help himself Grady reached out to tuck a strand of her mussed dark hair behind her ear. His thumb skimmed against her soft skin and his breath caught in his throat at the way she seemed to lean into the touch, her body shifting ever so slightly in an attempt to get more comfortable. A smile grew over his lips at the way she seemed so at ease in being this close to him. It was as if this morning had purpose and reason--as if everything else lead up to this point in time between them.

Avery started to move again, this time her eyelashes fluttering a bit before her dark eyes opened and slowly fixed on the green warmth spilling out onto her. She smiled lazily a yawn tickling over her lips as she spoke up in a small whisper, “What?”

“It’s morning,” he explained unable to repress the smile that carried over him. “We made it.”

“We did,” she asked again with another yawn. She stretched her legs out shifting ever so slightly to catch the light that poured in over them. “So we did.”

“Yes we did,” Grady nodded touching the side of her face once more, “and I owe that all to you. If you hadn’t come here to save me last night, then I’d never be seeing another sunrise--I’d never be feeling so alive and…”

“It was nothing,” she replied with a blush curling in closer to him. “I’m just happy you’re here.”

“Avery, you rescued me last night,” he whispered wrapping her up in his arms, hugging her body closer to his, “You gave me a new reason to begin again and just being able to be with you like this…well…it makes me realize something very important.”

“What’s that?” she questioned tilting her head up ever so slightly to watch his eyes carefully. She’d tried to stay awake last night, but even now she felt the after effects of exhaustion over her. She felt another yawn rise up from within as Grady’s fingers traced over the hollow of her cheekbone gingerly.

“I realized that without you I wouldn’t have any of this. I wouldn’t have a life at all and I wouldn’t be able to feel this wonderful let alone feel anything,” he replied grateful for this second chance at life.

“As I said, it was nothing,” she mouthed lazily, her eyelids fluttering to a close again.

“No Avery, it was more than nothing,” he insisted brushing his thumb over the center of her now parted lips. He could feel her breath onto him offering up another realization that life was still around him. Smiling to himself, he dropped his arm down around her waist, holding her more completely in his arms.

“Grady I…” Avery’s eyes opened again, sleep slowly melting out of her as she started waking up and feeling his hold upon her.

“Before I screw this up by putting my foot in my mouth, I just want to say thank you,” he explained with a soft smile seeing the way her eyelashes fluttered with a combination of tiredness and surprise. “So thank you Avery.”

“As I said before it was…” she began her words interrupted by the not-so-subtle feel of his lips over hers soft and lingering in their approach. Her eyes opened as she felt Grady’s touch drop down over her hip urging her in nearer to him. She opened her mouth to say something--to register what was happening, but before she knew what had come over her, her arms were wrapped securely around his shoulders holding him closer to her. The taste of him, the way it felt to have his skin against hers, his lips delving in over her mouth tempting her in ways that she’d never thought possible. It all felt so out of this world--so against everything that she’d wanted and yet, here she was in bed with Grady kissing him on this new morning they had with one another.

“Grady stop,” Avery blurted out tearing her lips away from the kiss.

She felt her stomach tied in knots, her heart fluttering and her body tingling at the way he looked at her. He hadn’t said a word--hadn’t really reacted to her placing a distance between them, but rather he smiled at her with a cool, confident grin before his fingers dipped in around her neck again urging her in closer to him. She started to tell him politely that he needed to back off--that they shouldn’t be kissing even if they were both happy that he was still around, but before any of those thoughts could come into clarity forming any kind of logical sounding syllable, his mouth descended in over hers savagely making no mistake about where his intentions had been in the earlier kiss. He nibbled on her trembling, swollen lip, his tongue darting in against hers with a soft flickering movement stroking her mouth to ecstasy and causing her to melt in his arms. His arm wrapped securely around her body urging her to get closer to him and while there were a million or more reasons why she should be putting a stop to it, she gave into the moment savoring it for all that it was worth on this morning of new beginnings between them.


...to be continued...