Episode 260

This episode contains mature content, so for those easily offended or who shouldn't be reading it, you have been warned. Please refer to the recaps later in the week if you are uncomfortable with adult and or sexual situations.

“I see,” was all Ria could get out as she struggled to come to terms with Kevin’s admission. She took a step backward trying to ignore the feeling that rocked over her. You know the one that happens when you feel like you get kicked in the gut? Well that was exactly the best way to describe what Ria was feeling at Kevin’s admission.

“Ria please don’t look at me like that,” Kevin begged of her rising to his feet again after having found himself in a slump on the bed.

“Like what Kevin?” she blinked back at him tears stinging at her eyes, “Like I don’t even know you?”

“You do know me,” he pleaded further, taking a small step towards her only to watch her back away from him, “Ria, please try to understand where I’m coming from with Angie. I spent almost half my life taking care of her--watching over her and making sure that she was well taken care of…”

“And let me guess. With you she had all of that, right Kevin?” Ria gulped biting down on the tears that were rushing through the surface. She clenched her hands at her sides. Damn her for getting emotional. She didn’t want to do this--didn’t want to behave like a woman who was so lost in love only discover the man of her dreams wasn’t hers to begin with.

“Look Ria, it’s just that with Angie she and I have a special connection. It’s always been there,” he cleared his throat uneasily shuffling on his large feet as he looked at her, “She’s my best friend in the world so naturally I’m going to feel something for her. I worry about her a lot--more than I know I should, but I still can’t help it…”

“Obviously not,” she countered knowing how her jealousy must’ve made her look pathetic at this moment in time considering that she and Kevin weren’t really dating to begin with, “I mean I guess what I don’t get is why you never mentioned any of this before…”

“It’s because it didn’t come up. It wasn’t something I wanted to think about--something I wanted to reflect upon,” he groaned inwardly making a small movement forward, but then thought twice of it, “As I told you before I spent most of my life trying to protect her--to keep her safe and I’ve been there for Angie so very long that it’s hard to see her making another mistake. When she was younger she was married before. The guy was a real jerk. He hurt her--hurt her in ways she doesn’t even realize. He did things--planned things…”

“But the guy she’s marrying is not that guy,” Ria pointed out fighting to stay calm about the situation.

“No, he’s not, but he’s almost as bad. Ria he just washed up on the island with no memory--with no inkling of a past, yet he was drawn to her. He moved in on her and kept pushing her towards romance. She’s vulnerable right now. She’s got so many things happening that…” he paused thinking about his best friend and the state of her affairs. “She’s pregnant.”

“Pregnant,” Ria practically choked on the words, “how pregnant?”

“Pregnant enough that this guy she’s with now doesn’t need to be near her or her child. He’s trouble. Granted it’s nothing that he’s done, but my instincts are telling me that there’s something about this that isn’t right--something that’s only going to hurt her. I wish I could pinpoint what it is about him beyond the amnesia, but I’m telling you Ria, this guy is a stranger. She knows nothing about the man he really is, but more so she’s fallen into the fantasy dream of what she wants him to be simply because she’s looking for a father for her child.”

“And that means that he’s not the baby’s father, yes?” she eyed him suspiciously leaving him to realize where her thoughts were headed.

“And I’m not either,” Kevin offered up quickly, “but knowing what I do about Angie’s tastes in men, well I have to worry. If you could’ve known her last husband--about the things he was capable of…”

“I’m sure she’s a big girl and she can take care of herself unless of course you want to be the one running out to her taking care of her,” she arched a speculative brow, “Is that what this is really about Kevin?”

“I have to help her. I have to keep her from making a mistake and marrying Nick would be a huge mistake. Nick isn’t trustworthy,” Kevin sneered unable to fight his instincts.

“Gee, you must really have a problem with the women you’re around seeing someone named Nick, don’t you,” Ria tossed back at him flippantly, “I mean first you come into my life again after being gone so very long and you shake my world up in ways I couldn’t even begin to imagine. Now Angela is about to marry a man she loves and gee, look you have a problem with it.”

“Because I know something isn’t right with Nick,” Kevin argued with her before tossing out a pointed look, “and as for you, the guy you were seeing was a creep. I could see in the way he was upsetting you that he was never worthy of you. To see you in that kind of pain only told me that he was completely wrong for you.”

“And what about now Kevin? What do you see when you look at me? A screw buddy? A friend and a comfort lay when the mood fits?” she couldn’t help but ask biting down on her lower lip. “What am I to you Kevin? The woman you wasted your time with while you were in Coral Valley until you could return to the woman you really want to be with?”

“No Ria, that’s not it. It’s not that way at all,” he shook his head firmly his heart tangled in knots, “I do want to be with you Ria.”

“But not as bad as you want to go back and stop Angela’s wedding right?” Ria challenged seeing the color drain from his face, “Yeah that’s what I thought. So much about this being something we’ve both worked towards with one another. Obviously this was one sided from the start…”

“Ria wait,” Kevin finally reached out to her turning her in his arms. Despite her protests, he pulled her closer to him, his thick fingers pressing in through her long, dark hair, “please don’t walk away from me…don’t walk away from this…”

“How can I walk away from something that we never really had in the first place,” she questioned tearfully a small sob breaking past her tight lips.

“Damn it Ria I love you,” Kevin bent down to capture her lips with hungry urgency, his mouth absorbing the taste of her with everything he had in him. His arms crushed her close to him never breaking the connection between them as his heart pounded in his chest. He meant what he’d said. He loved her. He really, truly did and he couldn’t even begin to imagine his life without her. Her breath cast over his lips as she pulled back ever so slightly to gaze up at him behind a tear-stained face.

“But you love Angela too, don’t you?” she asked in a small, mild voice as if she didn’t want to hear the answer herself. Just the way she was looking at him--the way her eyes were reaching down deep into him, he felt as if all of his secrets were flowing to the surface. To see her in such agony broke his heart--to feel her trembling in his arms only made him want to wrap her up just like this and hold her forever, but more so he knew that he couldn’t lie to her. “You love her Kevin. Don’t you?”

He dropped his head down, “I’ll always love her Ria. It’s part of who I am and I can’t escape that.”

A long pause followed as if they both were trying to register what was happening between them after his admission. He felt her step away from him detangling herself from his arms. Picking his head up he saw her with her arms wrapped over her chest as if that motion alone would shield her from any further hurt that she could encounter in the next few seconds.

“Then I guess there’s only one question left to ask Kevin,” she mouthed in a small voice, her tone sounding so far from the carefree, happy Ria he knew and loved. “Do you want to be with her Kevin?”

“No. Yes,” he shook his head somberly feeling guilt creep in over his body as his past with Angela seemed to be betraying the future he had here with Ria. He knew that a part of him would always be stuck in what might’ve been, yet with Ria he’d found a new life--a new beginning and moment by moment he felt it slipping away with his final admission, “I don’t know.”

“Then I guess the question of the hour is does she want to be with you?” she turned away from him unwilling to let him see her cry.

“I don’t know about that Ria, but with us…that doesn’t change what we have with us…” he tried to appeal to her, but the sounds of her small sobs were tearing him into pieces all over again. How he hated to be the source of this kind of pain with someone who meant the world to him. “Ria…”

“Do you want to be with me Kevin? I mean was this about your wanting something more between us or was this just something you were doing to keep yourself busy until opportunity arose with Angela?” she asked wiping at her face in an attempt to push her vulnerabilities aside.

“Yes, I do. I really, truly want to be with you Ria. I want something between us--something more than what we’ve had. Making love to you has been wonderful and after everything we’ve shared, I can honestly say that I haven’t felt more connected to a person than I am with you. You make me laugh and you even tolerate my corny jokes. You make me smile and you gave me a whole new appreciation for wrestling, which by the way biting is still not allowed,” he watched her head perk up as she turned to look at him wrinkling her nose at him, “unless of course I’m the one you’re wrestling with. Ria, you’ve been here for me in so many ways and when I’m with you I feel like I’m a better man. I feel like I’m someone who can be loved and who deserves love in his life. When we’re together you make me happy--so very happy and it killed me when I had to walk away from you in the past…”

“You chose to walk away Kevin,” she reminded him poignantly, “I was always here for you wanting you and needing you. You’re the one who walked away…”

“I know that, but I’m tired of walking away. I want more than leaving things between us like this. I want something substantial--something where I wake up with you each morning and fall asleep with you in my arms,” Kevin confessed his voice shaking with his emotions, “I love you Ria and I have a whole world of dreams ahead of us--dreams that I thought we lost with one another when I walked away before…”

“Dreams that could leave with you if you walk away again,” she added hating to bring reality to the conversation but someone had to. “Kevin if you love Angela and a part of you longs to be with her, how can we have a future?”

“I haven’t worked out all the details yet, but I’m sure that we can make this work. I’m sure that we can find some way to fix this tension and…” he stammered a bit struggling to find the right words as his jaw flexed with the inner conflict tugging at him.

“And a part of you longs to be with her right now, doesn’t it? You can’t help but think about her as we stand here talking about a future between us Kevin, can you?” she inquired closing her eyes for fear of giving him the opportunity to see her falling apart at the seams.

“I wish like hell that I could say no Ria, but as you said before I always promised you that I would never lie to you,” Kevin mouthed knowing that before the words were out, there was already a distance between him and Ria--a distance he feared may never be fully bridged between them again.


Nick stepped into the bathroom seeing a man before him. He watched closely seeing the man shaking his head at him as he was now doubled over on the counter top whimpering and sobbing in a drunken state of obliviousness. Nick let out a small groan and quickly turned on the shower, bringing the water to a frigid temperature before turning his attention to the man who was now incoherently slurring about everything and nothing all at the same time. It was in that instant that Nick realized that things clearly weren’t going to be any easier in the room. He couldn’t quite figure out what was happening as the man before him was a clear cut wreck, but why this man was so upset Nick had no idea. He just knew that the man was obviously shaken and for some reason Nick found himself agitated with the man before him.

“All I wanted was another chance…is that asking so much…” the man began to sob as Nick helped him up off of the counter and shoved him towards the shower, “Can I help it if I care too much…”

“You’re only destroying yourself with this,” Nick sighed heavily feeling his frustrations mounting at the man whom he was trying to help, “and I thought you’d learned your lesson a long time ago.”

“I just wanted Jade…I needed to have that in my life…to find that happiness that she took away from me. She’s nothing but a manipulative…” the man continued as Nick pushed him into the shower.

“She’s a good woman and if you’d stop walking around with your head up your ass, you’d see my wife isn’t your biggest enemy,” Nick shot back at him with a frown as the image blurred.

Nick shot up from where he lay on the bed--his head filling with jumbled images as his breath grew harder to expel from his lungs. He pushed the sheet off of his body feeling as if his skin was on fire after the dream he‘d had. He could recall the man‘s face--feel the man‘s happiness threatening to take away his future, but who was the man? Why had he upset Nick so much in his dreams? Turning to look at a sleeping Angela he tried to make sense of the dream. There was just something about it that was bothering him. Something so real that…

“Nick, what is it,” Angela questioned groggily seeing him seated beside her. She stretched her arm out to tease her fingers up and over his spine in a small soothing motion.

“Nothing,” Nick lied knowing full well she would see through his pitiful attempt at keeping things low key.

“Nick seriously…” she shifted beside him. He tilted his head back ever so slightly to see her moving up from underneath the sheet to reveal her now naked body to his eyes. She scooted in closer to him, “What is it?”

“I just had a dream that’s all,” he sighed heavily closing his eyes once again and straining to remember the man’s face that had haunted his dream moments earlier? Was the man a face from his past? An enemy that would threaten his future with Angela much like that assassin had the day he’d come seeking Nick out or worse was it a hint of things to come in the future for them? Nick had clearly spoken of his wife and felt protective and on the defense with the man before him, yet it felt as if they’d shared some kind of bond. However, the more Nick strained to recall what the man looked like, the more the memory of his face faded away.

“What kind of dream,” she questioned worriedly, “Like the others?”

“No,” he shook his head again, “This one was different. It was about a man I knew. We were fighting over something and…”

“And what?” she prompted further, sliding her fingers in over his shoulder. “Nick what is it?”

“It’s nothing,” he sighed heavily turning to face her once again, “It’s absolutely nothing Angela.”

“I don’t believe that,” she argued with him curling her lips in a pout, “If something happened, you have to tell me.”

“I don’t remember much more than I was upset and worried about my wife--about you,” he reasoned reaching out to slide his finger tip over her bare shoulder, “about what would happen to you?”

“To me?” her eyes widened a bit, “What was going on in the dream?”

“Nothing that I want to dwell on,” he decided reaching out to pull her onto his lap. She snuggled in over him readily before he sank back onto the mattress again. “Right now I just want to think about how good it feels to hold you--to focus on how my dreams pale in comparison to how wonderful it is to have you here with me right here and now.”

“It is very wonderful,” she nodded teasing her fingers over the center of his chest before closing her eyes and listening to the sounds of his heart pounding beneath her.

“I just want to hold onto this…” he whispered tightly trying to will the negative feelings that carried over from the dream into his waking moments away as he held her. “I just want to think about how right this is for us…”

“It is right Nick. So very right,” she assured him snuggling further into his arms as Nick reopened his eyes finding himself focused on the ceiling wondering what in the hell was going on inside of him. He had this nagging feeling that he couldn’t shake, yet with Angela in his arms he knew he should be content--everything should be okay, yet there was this little voice inside of his head trying to get him to think about the dream--to remember, but all his struggle gave him was a headache and a fear of what his dreams were trying to tell him. If his past was anything like he’d feared it could be when that man had attacked them, then there was no telling what could be ahead for them.


“This can’t be happening. It’s only a dream,” Avery tried to reason with herself feeling her body tingling with heightened realization as her hands traveled over Grady’s oh so inviting body. Here he was beside her, holding her as if he’d never let go--as if everything had lead up to this moment in time--to this feeling he’d stirred up inside of her. His touch eased over her hip, dancing over her thigh as he pressed her further back onto the bed. His lips devoured hers, his tongue tangling with hers met by the promise of passion and desire that he’d initiated between them. It all seemed so perfect, so dangerously delectable and as Grady leaned in over her, nudging her further against the mattress, it suddenly felt oh so cold.

“Grady I‘m wet!” Avery squealed his name practically jumping out of his arms when she felt something distinctly wet and chilled beneath her. She felt Grady slide his hand underneath her, squeezing gently at her bottom, urging her hips up to meet his obvious ache for her before he pulled something out from beneath her.

“And here’s the culprit much to my dismay,” he laughed lightly finding himself amused by the mock icepack she’d made for him the previous night. He dangled the damp washcloth over her for a brief moment before tossing it onto the bed elsewhere. His thoughts weren’t at all on the ice or about the cute way Avery’s nose wrinkled and her face had been pinched upon feeling the ice beneath her, but rather he was fixated on the way it felt to kiss her--on the irresistible taste of her that had fueled the fire inside of him he’d vowed to always keep a lid on. Now that she was in his arms, well within his reach, he realized that there was no turning away from it. He knew what he wanted--knew how close he was to finally having the one thing that had been out of his reach for so very long and nothing--not even a little bit of ice--was going to stop him now.

Eagerly he dove in for another urgent kiss, his hand dropping down to her bottom again. He pulled her up off of the mattress grinding his body against hers. The soft murmur that buzzed from her lips only fueled his fire, fanning it to a fevered pitch as his fingers centered in over the small of her back. He wanted her--needed her like the air he breathed. He felt her nibble on his lip encouragingly as his hand slid up underneath her blouse making the first contact with her heated skin. It was beautiful--everything he’d always fantasized about over the years as the very feel of her had awakened all the repressed fantasies he’d kept under lock and key. She arched in against him, her creamy flesh warming beneath his touch. His lips dropped down to gently bite over her earlobe, his hand sliding in to palm her breast. He felt her arch up into him, her breath coming out in a low shallow pant as his fingers pressed in over the buttons on her blouse.

“Grady wait,” she gasped, her chest rising and falling with the weight of what was going on between them.

“Avery, I’ve waited years for this. After last night I don’t want to wait any longer,” he mouthed moving in to kiss her once again, his lips burning upon contact with hers. Gingerly he plucked open her blouse, dropping his fingers in beneath to tease her eager flesh through the material of her pink lace bra. His kisses tapered off over her neck, tracing his tongue over her hot flesh as her body arched up towards his. He dropped one hand out over her thigh urging her leg around him wanting her to know how he’d longed for things to be for them all those years ago when she’d taken him back to her apartment in a drunken haze. Sure they hadn’t followed through on passion, but he’d never forgotten how close they’d come. He never lost sight of how hot it had been when they’d let go of the expectations upon them and just gave in to pleasure. Much like then, he felt that heat between them now.

“Grady no,” Avery finally, reluctantly broke away from him placing her palm in the center of his chest, “We can’t do this. You’re drunk. Last night you were through a hell of an ordeal and I know full well that you wouldn’t want this--you wouldn’t be doing this if you were in your right mind. Things are confusing right now and…”

“And I’ll have you know that it takes a lot to get me drunk and trust me I’ve wanted this for years,” he mouthed leaning in towards her, “I’ve wanted it ever since that night we spent together and even now I’m wanting you unlike anything I’ve ever imagined. I need you Avery.”


“Honey,” Zoë frowned, taking a step forward as she placed her hand over her heart, “Are you okay sweetheart?”

“I don’t know,” Kipp replied, letting out a small sigh as he looked up to Douglas, “How come you never told me? Why?”

“Because, I thought it was for the best,” Douglas explained with a small pain filled expression, “I didn’t think you knowing would help anything. So, I let you believe that the woman I told you was your mother was truly was your mother.”

“But,” Kipp stopped himself before slowly rising up from the couch and next to Kellen, “Where were you my whole life Zoë? If you were my mother…”

“He tricked me,” she pointed over towards Douglas as Douglas rolled his eyes. “He told me to put you up for adoption and I was young and stupid.”

“I’m confused,” Kipp ran the back of his hand over his head slowly before letting out a small sigh. “None of this really makes any sense to me. Nothing at all.”

“I’m sorry honey, I didn’t mean to drop this all on you at once, but I thought you should know,” Zoë explained, frowning at the pain that Kipp seemed to be in as he thought.

“I can’t believe the both of you would keep this from me for so long,” Kipp’s eyebrows tensed as he spoke. He felt Kellen’s hand on his shoulder as he continued to speak. “If you knew he had me, how come you never said anything?”

“I was stupid, I didn’t know,” Zoë tried to explain as Douglas cut her off from going anywhere else.

“This is all your fault,” Douglas snapped, pointing his index finger as Zoë as he spoke. “If you would have just let things be, he would be fine right now.”

“Don’t you dare yell at her,” Kipp ordered, snapping at Douglas as Douglas eyes met his. “Don’t you dare blame all of this on her because this is just as much your fault. You both are to blame. I just don’t understand why you all would hide something so big like this from me? Why make it a lie?”

“I figured you could live a better life,” Douglas tried to explain, but realized that probably sounded really bad and he cut himself off. “Kipp, I never meant to hurt you.”

“Kipp,” Zoë muttered his name slowly before taking a step in towards Kipp. She reached out to touch his cheek gently before letting out a small sigh. “I always loved you, I never stopped loving you.”

“Then why did you try to put me up for an adoption?” Kipp questioned before shaking his head slowly and walking behind the couch. “Just all of you--give me some space.”

“Come on Kipp,” Douglas frowned, giving Kipp a pleading look before looking over at Zoë once more. “She should have just let it be, it’s all your fault Zoë.”

“Would you please stop, both of you,” Kellen begged, placing his hands on his hips as he spoke. “You all act like this is some type of game, to see who could win more brownie points. All I am seeing in front of me between you two is like a soap opera. I feel like I am standing in the middle of Days Of Our Lives. How about you all give Kipp some time and stop pushing everything on him like this. Do you think you could do that? Because I think the more you keep fighting, the more he isn’t going to want to be around either one of you. So why don’t you both just stop for a couple of minutes. Can you keep it under control for just a little bit?”

“Kellen,” Kipp sighed, reaching out to squeeze Kellen’s shoulder lightly. “I appreciate all the help, but I think I can handle this. I need to make something clear to the both of them.”

Kellen nodded slowly before backing away from the group to look things over. What was happening right now could only turn a little worse before getting better. Kipp gave Kellen a small glance over his shoulder before nodding slowly. Kipp had to let everything out and he was about to.


Dean stood outside of Judy Stevens’s apartment knowing full well that at this time of night he was probably the last person in the world that anyone behind this closed door would want to see. Come to think of it at any time of day he was probably the last person anyone would want here, but he couldn’t just walk away--not after the news that had come his way. He knocked again pleasantly surprised to see Deidra on the other side of the door. Of course judging by the expression on her face, she was obviously less than impressed to see him.

“What are you doing here?” she questioned with a small scowl. “how did you find me?”

“I was taking a chance,” he confessed with a small sigh, “Deidra we need to talk.”

“Dean, now is not the time to get into it about us,” she grumbled in response a yawn spilling over her lips alerting him that she must’ve been sleeping before his arrival. “I really don’t think that…”

“It’s about Bruce,” he blurted out cutting her off abruptly before she charted into a discussion about what was wrong with their relationship, “Deidra, you’re not safe in Coral Valley. He’s back and…”

“What?” she blinked back at him awareness dawning in over her. “How do you know?”

“He’s attacked a few more women. One was fortunate enough to get away, but the others…” his voice trailed off as a shiver crept in up over his spine, “Deidra, you’re not safe here. I think we need to get you somewhere that he can’t reach you. Somewhere that…”

“Save it Dean,” she huffed impatiently at him, “I’m not going anywhere. I belong here in Coral Valley and I don’t let someone like Bruce steal my life from me.”

“That’s very noble Deidra, but if he comes after you again, which I suspect he will, you won’t be that fortunate,” he explained seeing the defiance behind her eyes, “Look you can hate me as long as you want to, but this isn’t about us. This is about protecting you. I think you need someone to keep an eye on you--someone beyond your mother considering what kind of monster Bruce is…”

“Dean I don’t think…” she started once more.

“Deidra, please don’t make this about us. Think about you--about how he could hurt you. The last thing I want is for him to do something horrible to you. It would kill me if…” he paused knowing that right now the last thing he needed to get into with her was his own tortured emotions. He’d already blown his cover and screwed up his objective eye in this case by falling in love with her and yeah it had also cost them a future together, but he’d be damned if he let anything hurt her now. “Deidra if nothing else call Dave. Have him post a guard on the door here so that you’ll be safe. Please…if not for me, then for yourself…”

“Dean I,” she paused taking in his words. She finally nodded, “Okay, I’ll call Dave.”

“Thank you,” he replied with a relieved smile, “I appreciate that.”

“I’m not doing it for you,” she mouthed with a small scowl giving him one last look before stepping back into the apartment saying nothing more.

“Maybe not,” he whispered to himself thinking about the fear that had overtaken him from the moment he’d discovered Mathis was back in town, “but in knowing you’re safe, that’s all I need to be happy.”


“Now that Kayla is asleep,” Dave began, letting out a small sigh as he slid into the bed next to Carly. “We can have a nice relaxing night without anyone coming in to bother us.”

“Sounds nice,” Carly replied with a small smile as she cuddled into Dave as Dave wrapped his arm around her shoulders lightly. “It sounds very nice actually.”

“This has been my dream for the last few days,” Dave yawned, knowing that tonight he would be able to have a good nights rest without any interruptions. His thinking was cut off as he heard the banging on his front door. “And now my dream is over.”

“Who in the world could that be?” Carly questioned with a small groan as Dave slowly got back out of the bed.

“I don’t know,” he sighed, walking towards the bedroom door before walking out into the hallway. “I’ll be right back.”

He had to wonder the same thing that Carly was. Who in the world would be coming over right now?

“Coming,” Dave called out as the person now began to ring his doorbell. He quickly opened his door before seeing Cori just walk right into his house and throwing her hands up in the air. “Well, hello Cori.”

“I hate Heather Gibbons,” Cori scowled, shrugging her shoulders as she spoke. “No matter what I do, I can’t get that woman away from Diego. Not her or her needy, clingy sister.”

“Hey sweetheart,” Dave smiled as he shut the door and saw Carly standing in the hallway. Carly finished tying up her robe before letting out a small yawn.

“I’ll go put some tea on,” Carly decided after hearing the blow out that Cori just had. “I’ll be right back.”

“Okay,” Dave nodded slowly before looking back into his sister’s eyes, “Now slowly and very carefully tell me what happened?”

“It’s just those two damn sisters,” Cori blurted out, falling back onto Dave’s couch as she let out an exaggerated sigh. “They never leave Diego alone. It’s like a race to see who can get Diego to cater to them the most.”

“I’m sure he is just doing his job,” Dave frowned, taking a step forward towards Cori before sitting down next to her on the couch. “Don’t worry sis, I know Diego isn’t a bad guy. He wouldn’t do anything to hurt you.”

“It’s not him I am worried about,” Cori declared, letting out a small sigh as she leaned back into the couch even more. Her whole body was filled with rage as she thought about Sarah and Heather. Every time she had the chance to be with Diego, Heather or Sarah would always have a problem. It was like Diego liked solving people’s stupid issues more than being around her. “I am worried about the stupid two of them. They are just evil.”

“I’m sure everything will be okay sis,” Dave promised before hearing a familiar name spoken of over the television in front of him and Cori.

Dave listened carefully as he heard the news about the Bruce killing once again. Was he ever going to stop?

“I have to do something about this,” Dave muttered to himself as he stood up from the couch. He could no longer sit back and watch everything happen.


Don heard knocking on his door as he quickly got off the bed and turned the television off. He walked over to the door and looked to see who it was before opening the door.

“Ken,” Don smiled, opening the door as he smiled widely at his friend before him. “What can I do for you buddy?”

“Yeah, I was wondering--have you heard from Shannon?” Ken questioned worriedly seeing Don nod slowly. “I’ve tried to call Michelle a couple of times, but I have been getting nothing.”

“Don’t worry about it buddy,” Don hushed, letting a small chuckle as he held onto the doorknob tightly. “You know how women are, they forget to check in when they are having so much fun. I actually did get a call from Shannon earlier. She told me how they were doing and all that.”

“Really?” Ken watched Don slowly before Ken slid his hands into his pockets slowly. “So what did she say? Is everything going okay?”

“Oh yeah, I heard Michelle in that background and everything,” Don answered with a small nod. Don leaned up against the doorframe as he spoke to Ken before letting out a small laugh. “It sounds like they are having a good old time.”

“Oh,” Ken mouthed, looking down towards the ground as he thought. Sure, he knew that Michelle and Shannon would be having fun, but he figured that they would be back before him and Don. “That’s nice I guess.”

“You want to come in buddy? You don’t have to keep standing in the hall,” Don opened the door a little more as he led Ken to the sitting area in the hotel room. “Take a seat.”

“Thanks,” Ken let out a small smile as he sat down before looking down at his watch. Ken’s eyes looked up to see Don’s eyes focused on him.

“You look perplexed,” Don pointed out with a small frown as he sat down next to Ken. He leaned forward in his chair, resting his elbows on his knees. “You got something on your mind?”

“Well actually, yeah I do. I have been thinking a lot lately,” Ken admitted, letting out a small sigh as he saw Don nod slowly. “You see, now that I am about to get married--I can’t help but think about Caitlin and how she died.”

“Right,” Don nodded understandingly as Ken thought to himself for a moment. It was like Ken couldn’t find the right words to tell Don what he was feeling. “What’s up man? You can talk to me.”

“I know,” Ken frowned, folding his hands in his lap as he leaned back in his chair. “I just, I am starting to think about Caitlin and how Wendy left me. It’s all getting to me you know. I have been thinking about everything that has led me to here and now. And I can’t help but think about what could have been in my life if I would have stayed with them. What would have happened if Wendy wouldn’t have left me? What would have happened if Caitlin would have survived that damn accident?”

“I understand the feeling you are going through. Hell, I went through them myself,” Don nodded sympathetically as he let his own memories return to him. “When I lost Matt’s mother Stephanie, I thought that my world was over. I thought that there was no other woman in this world that could give me another chance like Stephanie did. I know that no one is ever going to take Stephanie’s place, but fate brought Shannon to me. She changed everything for me. Sure she’ll never be a replacement for Stephanie, but it was a sign. I mean yeah maybe I rushed it a little bit, but in matters of love, you need to be sure about everything.”

“I know,” Ken let out a deep sigh as his own confusion flew through his mind. It was getting harder by the minute as this wedding got closer.

“You know, if you have got second thoughts--maybe you should back out of this one Ken,” Don suggested, reaching out to squeeze Ken’s shoulder gently. “You don’t want to live your life asking yourself, did I make the right decision?”

“I don’t want to back out of this one Don,” Ken assured him with a small sigh, “I know Michelle is special. I can’t walk away from this wedding, not now.”

“To me man, you seem to be having second thoughts,” Don pointed out, shrugging his shoulders as he spoke, “I don’t think you should rush things and that might be what you are doing right now. I feel for you man, but you can’t push things.”

“I’ll be fine Don,” Ken insisted before letting out a small sigh, “I think I will be okay to marry Michelle. In fact, I know I will be fine marrying her. Thanks for caring though.”

“Yeah, I always be here for you man,” Don promised letting out a small sigh as he looked down towards the ground.

So he tried tonight more than anything to get Ken to give up on Michelle, but it didn’t work. Although, maybe something good would come from this conversation because it did seem like Ken was having second thoughts. Hopefully everything would turn out as planned and Ken would be able to see Michelle for what she truly was behind her fakeness.


Kyle bit down on his bottom lip as started driving back towards Russell and Avery’s place. He promised Mindy that he would go apologize, but he just couldn’t. The hardest part about him apologizing, was that he did nothing wrong. Every time a problem came along, Sarah was never good enough to be there for him. She always broke at the wrong moments. Of course he loved her, but every time she hurt him, another piece of his heart would break more and more each time. Pretty soon there was going to be nothing else left. He wished like hell she wouldn’t have said those words to him that night, but that’s what made this his reality. She said those words, she broke his heart again and yet--she really didn’t care.

If she truly cared, she would have called. She would have tried to make things right, not place the blame on him. Hell, she even said that they were broken up. Now did he say those words? No, never. But the thought of her telling everyone that is what got to him.

“I told her to take it as she wanted and I guess she wanted us to be broken up,” Kyle muttered to himself before letting out a small sigh.

Sarah always seemed to let him down and he was always so damn blind about it. When they were younger, she always broke him in half. He would try and try all he could, but it was never good enough for her. He couldn’t help but think of the time on his birthday when they were teenagers and he asked her to come over. That was one of the biggest heartbreaks he could have had. He had something planned for her on his own birthday.

“Lighten up Houston,” Heather frowned, sitting on the edge of the bed as she lightly elbowed Kyle in the side. “It’s not like it’s the end of your life.”

“Yeah, I just can’t believe she didn’t come over,” Kyle frowned, feeling Heather place her hand over his gently. “I’m so stupid. I knew she wouldn’t show up--that guy is more important than me.”

“I’m here,” Heather pointed out with a small smile as he looked over at her and grinned. “I wouldn’t miss your birthday Kyle.”

“I know I can always depend on you Heather,” he replied with a small smile as he reached out to pull her into an embrace. He hugged her tightly before letting her out of his grip. “I don’t know what I would do without you.”

“Hey, if I were you, I wouldn’t know what to do without me either,” Heather chuckled, getting a small laugh out of him. “Anyways, you want to see the gifts that I got you?”

“Of course I do,” Kyle nodded slowly before letting out a small smile as she sat up and walked over to his desk where she had put them earlier.

“Okay, so some of them might be a little tacky, just give me a break,” Heather shrugged her shoulders as she handed him the first box. “Alright so, go ahead. Open it.”

“I’m sure they are perfect,” he declared, letting out a small smile as he opened the first box. He pulled out what seemed to be a long jewelry case. When he opened it, he found a silver chain necklace before him. “Heather, this must have been expensive. How did you come up with the money to get this?”

“That doesn’t matter because nothing is too expensive for my best friend,” Heather pointed out a with a small smile, watching as he put it on slowly. “How do you like it?”

“I love it,” he replied with a tiny smile before looking up at her with amazing brown eyes. “I’m never going to take it off.”

“Yeah, right,” Heather rolled her eyes before letting out a small laugh, “Here’s the next one.”

“Okay,” Kyle reached out to grab the present from her and slowly opened it. His eyebrows tensed as he looked at the stuffed animals before him. It was a groom bear and bride bear that were stuck together.

“This was all your mom’s idea here,” Heather declared, holding her hands up in the air. “It’s kind of cute though, look at the picture between them.”

“Hey, that‘s us at like six,” Kyle laughed, seeing the picture of him and Heather when they were younger. “That’s the day we played getting married. You had your Barbie wedding dress and I had that suit my mom had for me. I remember we played video games for our honeymoon.”

“I can’t believe you remembered that,” Heather frowned, sitting down on the bed next to him as he nudged her in the shoulder gently.

“Hey, how can I forget getting married to the most beautiful girl,” Kyle smirked, wrapping his arm around her shoulder gently. “You know what? I’m going to put this in my wallet and every time I am feeling down--I am going to look at it so I can smile and think about this moment with you.”

“Man, you are really doing good with this kissing up here,” Heather chuckled, feeling her cheeks become slightly warm. She watched as he pulled the picture out and put it into one of the pockets of his wallet.

“I’m not kissing up,” Kyle promised letting out a small smile before holding his wallet up to show her the picture. “I’m always going to keep it on me.”

“Okay, on to the next gift,” Heather handed him the next one as he let out a small chuckle.

“How many gifts did you get me?” Kyle laughed, watching her shrug her shoulders as he began to open it.

“Nothing is too much for you,” Heather declared, watching as Kyle pulled the video game out of the wrapping of his next present.

“Hey, it’s a videogame,” Kyle got off the bed and reached out for her hand. She took his hand in hers as he pulled her up to him. “You know what this means right?”

“We have to beat it,” Heather arched her eyebrow as Kyle nodded slowly. “Sarah isn’t here to play third player though.”

“I think we can handle it without her,” Kyle declared, letting out a small smile as she went to walk away from him. He pulled her back towards him as she looked up at him with her beautiful green eyes. “Thank you for everything. You don’t know how much this meant to me.”

“It probably wasn’t that much,” Heather pointed out, his fingertips ran down the side of her arm gently.

“It meant everything to me,” he declared with a small smirk as he leaned forward to press a small kiss on her cheek. “And hey, how about after we beat this video game, we go to the hill to look at the stars and hang out.”

“Sounds great,” Heather smiled as Kyle pulled her out into the game room so they could play his new game.

Kyle smiled to himself as reached for the chain that was around his neck. He promised he would never take it off and he never broke that promise. That was how it always went though, Heather was always the one that was there for him and cheered him up while Sarah was off with someone. The promises that were made were usually only Kyle and Heather. Sarah never could keep a promise, especially for important things. That night on his birthday, he was planning on giving Sarah a bracelet that he saved his money up for him to buy it for her. When she didn’t show, he just took it back the next day. There was no use in letting it lie around because she would never care enough about him to actually ever come over. It was actually a better thing that Sarah didn’t show up that night because his night turned out to be better than he planned anyways.

Now he wished things were like the old days. Sarah would break his heart and then he would have Heather there for him to forget that pain, but now he was left having to sit and let the pain settle and stay stuck inside of him.

The traffic was ridiculous as he looked up to see the cars before him going nowhere. A small sigh escaped his lips as he reached into his pocket to pull out his wallet. He flipped it open to see the first picture he had in there. It was a picture of him and Sarah. He had to admit that he still loved Sarah, but she hurt him. How was he going to love someone who obviously didn’t care about him as much as he cared for her? He wanted things to be better, but the power was in Sarah’s hands now, not his.

“I guess things don’t end up like you hope,” Kyle sighed, running his finger along the outline of Sarah’s face in the picture. He let out a small breath as he flipped to the next picture.

A small smile escaped his lips as he saw the picture of him and Heather. The one he promised he would always hold onto. Sure, it was a little faded out at this point, but it still worked to make him smile.

“Kyle,” someone called out his name as they knocked on his window making him jump.

“What the hell,” Kyle jumped, dropping his wallet as he saw Shannon outside of his window. He picked his wallet back up as he let his heartbeat slow down a small bit. He rolled his window down before looking at her awkwardly.

“You want to join me? The cars won’t be moving anytime soon,” Shannon informed him, seeing him nod slowly and give her a look like he was crazy. “The road is blocked off and I have to tell everyone to turn around and go back.”

“Okay, just let me pull my car to the side,” Kyle nodded slowly before rolling his window back up and pulling to the side of the road where no one would hit it.

He got out of the car before running back over towards Shannon who was standing by the wooded area. She turned to face him as he finally reached her.

“What’s going on here?” Kyle questioned with a small sigh as he saw her let out a small frown. “Shannon? What’s going on?”

“There was another Bruce Mathis victim,” Shannon informed him as she saw the color over his features turn pale. “We are trying to find some clues. This is worse than before Kyle.”

“You have to be kidding me,” Kyle gulped down, running his hands along the back of his neck, “Do you have any idea where he could be? Does Avery know? Did you call her yet?”

“I’m sure she will find out soon,” she promised as he shook his head slowly.

“No, that’s not good enough,” Kyle stated with a small shake of his head, “If he’s out there, then that means she could be in danger. That creep can’t get to her. Not now.”

“Kyle, I know she knows by now,” Shannon promised once more as Kyle’s face became more worried by the second.

“We have to find that freak,” Kyle declared letting out a small sigh, “I can’t let him hurt her.”

He hadn’t talked to Avery in a while, but he couldn’t let that get in the way. She was like a sister to him and he had to know she was okay. If she needed his help, he was going to be there for her.


“I am so sorry about that,” Sarah began feeling her face burning with embarrassment after she’d lead Diego out of the kitchen and into her bathroom area. She glanced over her shoulder at him briefly wondering if she was apologizing for squirting him with the sink hose or for kissing him like she had when their playful laughter had transformed into something a bit more dangerous. When they’d pulled away from that kiss, he hadn’t said anything and neither had she, yet there was no mistaking that this second kiss they had shared was entirely not an accident like the first one had been. They’d both tried to be adult and chalk it up to nerves the first time their lips had collided in a momentarily second of release, but the second time, well deep down Sarah knew there were no excuses. She quickly focused on the closet in front of her pulling open the door in a haste, “I’ll get you a towel.”

“Sarah, that’s not really necessary considering that I should probably get going,” Diego replied nervously unable to take his eyes off of her. While he knew full well that he should’ve left hours ago--that he should’ve ignored that nagging feeling burning inside of him to just be close to her, he feared that it was already too late. He could still taste her cherry lip gloss on his lips, could still feel the raw, untamed fire of her kiss upon him and as his gaze traveled over the contours of her curvy figure admiring the way the lines of her blouse clung to her, he knew that he sure as hell should go running in the opposite direction starting now.

“Nonsense. I got you soaked,” Sarah spun around to hand him a thick, white towel, “The least you can do is let me help you dry off.”

“Sarah, look about before,” he began reluctantly reaching for the towel. Their fingers grazed up against one another for the briefest of moments before he tugged the towel away from her, “I know that was kind of unexpected and…”

“And it’s okay,” Sarah cleared her throat uneasily. She dropped her gaze to the floor before offering up a small shrug, “I mean we were both kind of just caught up in the moment, right?”

“Right,” he nodded still unable to focus on anything, but her, “It was just all of the tension getting to us…”

“Right and I mean it didn’t mean anything,” Sarah replied clearing her throat again. Her dark gaze ascended from the floor, to see the sticky, wet material of Diego’s white button down shirt pressing firm against his muscled torso. While she’d always thought that he appeared to be so proper and respectable in those kind of shirts, there was something about the way that it hung to him now that was beyond sinful. Her throat grew tight just thinking about what it would be like to peel the material from his bronzed skin to lean forward and kiss his chest and…

She let out a small cough, “I think I might have something dry for you to put on in my room. I can just go look for it and…”

“Sarah, I don’t really need you to…” he started completely on edge when she brushed past him, her arm barely grazing his in the movement.

“I’ll be right back,” she blurted out refusing to look back upon him as he stood in her bathroom looking yummy and so irresistible. She could almost feel his eyes burning into her as she stepped into her room, but she couldn’t look back. She couldn’t allow herself to travel down that road especially when things in every other area of her life were so up in the air.

“Stop this,” she warned herself trying to keep a clear head about everything. She moved over to her closet opening the door and finding herself at a loss. A few seconds ago she knew why she’d come in here--knew full well what she was looking for, but now all she could think about was Diego. All she could focus on was the way that his lips felt against hers--the way his mouth seemed to have a way of making her forget about all her troubles and just melt into him. It was as if he’d found that one place in her that could erase all the hurting and…

“Sarah, I think I should get going. You don’t need to worry about the shirt,” Diego’s voice roused her from her lingering thoughts. She spun around to see him standing in her doorway, his hair damp and stuck to the side of his face just in front of his eyes. He reached out sliding a hand through his thick, wet hair before speaking up again. “I can just dry off at home. You don’t need to worry about it.”

“No Diego, I want to find you something. If I just have a minute to look in here,” she began to thumb through the clothes in her closet desperately seeking out something for him. Shirt after shirt passed by her with each flick of her wrist, yet she couldn’t seem to find the right thing. Her breathing grew uneven, her thoughts tapering off to the image of the man standing behind her looking so very inviting and just when she thought she was going to lose her mind completely she felt a hand on her shoulder suddenly grounding her.

“Sarah stop,” Diego’s low, sexy whisper caught her off guard as it held a husky, masculine drawl that had her wishing like hell she could ignore the way it had seemed to turn her insides to Jell-O. She closed her eyes for a moment feeling a light squeeze on her shoulder before he spoke up again, “I really should go.”

“No,” she shook her head, her eyes still locked shut as she drew in an uneasy breath, “don’t go. Please Diego…don’t leave…”

“Sarah, we’ve already been through this and,” he started going against what he was longing for in his heart. He prepared to do the right thing, to walk away from her and forget about what it was he’d kept inside of him since the day he’d met her, but when he felt her hand squeeze over his, he realized he couldn’t walk away.

“Diego, I don’t want to be alone right now,” she replied in a low, trembling voice. She opened her eyes and spun around to face him, her lower lip quivering with emotion. She inhaled in a small, urgent gasp before taking a step forward, “I don’t want you to leave me tonight.”

“Sarah, do you know what you’re asking,” he couldn’t help but ask, his arm sliding involuntarily around her slender waist to pull her to him without thought or logic behind the movement.

She nodded tears burning behind her dark eyes. Her fingers teased up over the front of his shirt thoughtlessly plucking open the buttons before her. “Diego, I want you to stay.”

“I want to stay, but that’s the problem Sarah,” his fingers slid up against the hollow of her cheekbone, “if I stay I think we both know what’s going to happen between us. We both know that I can’t be the friend that I’ve tried to be.”

“I don’t want you to be my friend Diego. I want you to be…” she trailed off searching for the right words. Her hands pushed in underneath his shirt, easing the sticky material off of his shoulders and down his muscled arms, “I need you to be…”

“To be,” he repeated his dark eyes desperately seeking out approval for what he was certain was about to happen between them.

“With me,” she mouthed tipping up on her toes and kissing him in a heated frenzy. Her hands tore at his shirt ripping it down over his arms. She felt him shake his arms out of it before his hold on her waist constricted and he pushed her back into the wall beside her closet.

His mouth collided with hers no longer in a chaste fashion like before, but now it was strong and determined, his tongue teasing into the warmth between her lips, caressing her with a newfound determination. She couldn’t help but whimper as her fingers tangled through his dark hair. He pushed again bumping her into the wall behind her and before she knew it, his hands had dropped down to her hips, curling around to her bottom as he pulled her flush against his aroused form. Their mouths parted, lips met and in that moment Sarah found herself filled with a hunger unlike anything she’d ever known.

“I’ve wanted you since I first met you,” Diego confessed, his thick fingers tracing over her soft curves before he used his hands to pry open the wet material of her blouse.

She felt him pull back ever so slightly, his eyes trailing over her body before his index finger glided over the swell of her breast revealed to him over the top of her pale blue lace bra. She sucked in a breath fighting to repress the soft cries of pleasure that erupted in the back of her throat as his palm caressed her, testing her fullness. His finger dipped in beneath the delicate lace, teasing her sensitive flesh with his skilled caress. This time she couldn’t fight the reaction he’d stirred up inside of her.

“Diego,” she mouthed arching back into the wall as his hands disposed of her blouse. She felt his fingers slip in underneath her bra straps sliding them down her arms, before he reached around to unhook her bra freeing her up to his greedy attention. His breath skimmed over her collar bone before his tongue whisked over her breast, catching her hot spot with his hot, wet caress.

“Mmm…” Sarah purred tugging on his hair before her hands coiled down over his shoulders scratching lightly down his back. She felt him tense up beneath her urgings before he focused his attention on her other breast driving her to desire again and again.

“Sarah,” her name buzzed from his lips over her body like a slow burning torture. She cried out digging her nails into his skin until her palms curved up over his shoulders and into his hair again.

Tugging on his hair, she pulled his lips up to hers in an urgent kiss. Their mouths melded into one another with raw, unmasked emotion both of them refusing to hide behind what was expected of them any longer. She felt his arm drop down behind her bottom scooping her up off of the floor and into his arms. Readily she hugged his shoulders kissing him as if she’d never stop the emotions that were pouring out of her.

She felt him kick down on her mattress kneeling over her bed. His lips eased away from hers for a brief second before he moved in over her, his body was over hers, pressing in against her. She curled her leg around his hips loving the feel of his weight over her. There was something about his cologne, something sexy and exotic about the way he kissed her--about the way his hands knew all the right places to awaken those parts of her that she’d thought had faded away when Kyle walked out of her life. She felt a faint flicker of guilt press over her at the thought of Kyle and for a moment she pulled away from the kiss.

“What is it? What’s wrong?” Diego questioned worry pressing over his lust filled eyes.

“Nothing,” she lied shaking her head before yanking him in over her again. Boldly she rolled him onto his back, moving in over him. He lay beneath her, the warmth of his body hers for the taking. She tossed her damp hair back over her shoulders, feeling the way his gaze penetrated her, taking in every line, every curve with a greedy need. He reached out to cup her breasts in hand before he raised up to kiss her again, his lips devoting their full attention to pleasing her. She rocked her hips against him feeling him hard and needy beneath her. Oh how she longed to fill the emptiness inside of her up with the breath of life he’d offered her. Her hands traced over his back, down to his waist before circling around to push open his belt buckle.

“Sarah wait,” Diego’s fingers reached for hers pulling her away from him for a brief moment, “If we do this, there’s not going to be a way to take this back. We can’t erase what happens if we let this happen. Are you sure you’re ready for this?”

She nodded, “Diego I want you,” she assured him, her fingers escaping his hold. She pulled open his belt before moving her attention to his zipper. She watched the worry behind his eyes erase as her hand dipped in to touch him, to feel the life and passion she’d awakened inside of him. With a small smile, she pushed him back onto the bed, her hands sliding in over his chest, down over his abdomen before she yanked at his pants, pulling his boxers down with them in one swift tug. She saw the mixed emotions on his face, but before he could issue another voice of reason, her lips dipped down over his thigh creating a hot, trail of desire leading to her first taste of him.

Diego’s fingers eased through her blonde hair, a low, guttural sound building in the back of his throat. He closed his eyes feeling her doing her best to drive any ounce of rationality out of him. With every movement her mouth made over him, he found himself closer and closer to heaven. He’d wanted her for so very long, yet he had thought it was impossible, but now…

“Sarah,” he muttered her name pulling her in over him again. Their eyes met for a brief moment before he rolled her onto her back and he quickly tore her out of her jeans. He moved in over her again, his touch dipping in over her soft, skin, feeling the warmth of her thighs against his caress before he found her secret hotspot. His gaze fell upon her face, watching her bite down on her lip now lost in waves of ecstasy and in that moment he realized he’d never seen her any more beautiful than she was arching up against his caress, his name falling from her lips like a siren song causing him to forget all about the rigid guidelines he’d swore to keep in dealing with her. He’d promised himself that he’d be her friend, that he’d only allow things to go that far, but now as he watched a wave of tremors pass over her, he knew that would never be enough.

With shaky hands he reached out across to the floor searching for his pants she’d discarded. He was almost there for them when he felt Sarah’s lips trace over his shoulder. She nibbled on his neck before holding up a condom in her right hand.

“This what you’re looking for,” she questioned breathlessly, her face flushed from the first rush of sensation he’d unleashed in her.

He nodded accepting it from her hand before their mouths collided in another desperate union. Together they tore open the package and he fell back onto the mattress allowing her to sheath him in it before she settled in over his hips, her hands planted firmly on the center of his chest.

“I’ve wanted this for so long,” he confessed reaching up to touch her face, to memorize everything about being with her before his left hand curled around her body, holding onto her waist securely before joining them as one. Sarah arched her head back, a cry escaping her kiss-swelled lips and with each movement they made, he felt his secret feelings for her surfacing again and again. He captured her hips, guiding her movements before spinning her beneath him on the bed, their bodies joined in complete passion, their rhythm threatening to tear apart everything that existed for them outside of this room, but as their eyes met, he felt her legs wrap around him. He watched her eyes glazed over with passion, her lips pursed in soft, raspy cries of pleasure and their hearts pounded with one another, it didn’t take long for Diego to realize that this was as good as it would ever get for him. He hadn’t felt this way about a woman since Maria and now that he was making love to Sarah, he promised himself that he wouldn’t hide from this any longer. He couldn’t contain that place in his heart that he’d always tried to pretend was dead inside.

“I love you,” he mouthed against her lips, his words breaking through the surface in a heartfelt admission as her nails raked down his body, taking their union to the next level while the world around them spiraled out of control leaving them both with the realization that there would never, ever be any turning back for them. From today on out, there would never be any hiding from the truth that burned like a hot fire between them. There was no denying what was there--what had always been there and what Diego believed would always be there for them.


“I understand that in some type of awkward way--the both of you were trying to protect me,” Kipp began, feeling his throat became dry as he thought of something else to say. He wanted to try and talk to Douglas and Zoë. “Even if I don’t understand either one of your ways, I still have to respect the fact that Zoë told me. I respect the fact that the both of you were thinking about my being hurt and trying to prevent that from happening. But what can’t understand is why would you both make this build up so long? I would have understood.”

“If I could have, I would have,” Zoë insisted, a small frown passing past her lips before she shrugged her shoulders. “I wanted to tell you Kipp--I wanted to tell you so bad…”

“But you didn’t,” Kipp pointed out with a small shake of his head and throwing his hands up in the air as he spoke. “No one ever told me and that’s why I am upset right now.”

“Kipp, I know it’s hard to believe,” Douglas began before Kipp threw his hands up in the air, cutting him off.

“I don’t want to hear it,” Kipp stated with a small scowl before looking between Zoë and Douglas. “I don’t want to hear anymore of this. I want to talk to the both of you, but I need some time alone. I need some time to myself so I can think things over.”

“So, it would be best if you left,” Douglas pointed out, shooting a look over at Zoë. “So, if you would excuse us I think me and my son should have a conversation.”

“No, I mean the both of you need to leave,” Kipp declared, taking a few steps toward his front door. “I want everyone but Kellen out of this house right now. Zoë, I promise I will talk to you soon, I just need some time to think.”

“Alright son,” Zoë nodded slowly before walking out the door. She turned around and gave Kipp a small saddened glance before giving into his wishes and leaving.

“Now if you would leave,” Kipp pointed out the door as a twist of confusion overcame Douglas’s features. Kipp rolled his eyes before snapping his fingers. “I’m not kidding--out!”

“Kipp,” Douglas frowned, walking over towards the door before taking a step outside, “I don’t understand.”

“Of course you wouldn’t understand, you never really could understand anything. Goodbye,” Kipp got out before closing his front door and locking it. He leaned his back against the door as small breath escaped his lips. “I can’t believe they would do something like this to me. My own mother…my own father…”

“Hey,” Kellen hushed, walking across the room and over to Kipp. Kellen pulled Kipp into a small embrace as he rested one of his hands on the back of Kipp’s neck . “It’s okay, don’t let this kill you inside.”

“I just can’t believe that they would be so cold about this. You would think that they would tell me,” Kipp began, letting out a small sigh as he rested his head against Kellen’s chest. “You think they would care…”

“They care Kipp,” Kellen hushed, leaning back as his hand slid into Kipp’s. “How about we just sit down and take it easy? Everything is going to be okay.”

Kipp followed Kellen to the couch and sat down before Kellen wrapped his arm around Kipp’s shoulders gently. Kellen felt Kipp’s head rest against his shoulder as he let out a small sigh. Never had he seen Kipp this upset about something before. It was starting to worry him a little bit.


Dave knocked on Judy’s door over and over again until finally, Judy opened up with a worried expression over her features. She placed her hand over her chest as she let out a sigh of relief.

“Dave, honey,” Judy let out small breath before taking a step back. “You scared me, what’s wrong? You look so pale. Is something wrong? Are you sick?”

“No, I came to check in on Deidra,” Dave explained to her with a small sigh as he shrugged his shoulders. He hadn’t meant to worry Judy, but his worries were becoming stronger by the minute as he thought about Bruce. He knew that Bruce was crazy and would probably try to do something to hurt Deidra again. With him standing on the porch that long knocking, he was afraid that had already happened. Thank god that Judy seemed to be okay when he got here. “With the news on…”

“Bruce killing again,” Judy finished, seeing Dave nod slowly. She folded her arms out in front of her chest before nodding slowly. She watched as Dave tried to catch his breath, showing that he had rushed over here quickly. “You didn’t have to worry Dave--we already know. The both of us had found out about it a little while before you got here.”

“But how,” Dave questioned slowly, thinking of how Deidra could have possibly found out. So okay, maybe that was a really stupid question because he had found out himself by television and she had just as great the chance of finding out as he did. “Did she hear it over the television?”

“No she didn’t hear about it on the television,” Judy answered, thinking back to when they had found out about Bruce and how he was back in town, causing more horror than needed. “Dean came by here earlier and told the both of us about everything. He was so worried himself, that he had to come over here and let the both of us know what was going on.”

“Oh, I guess that means she is okay now that Dean told her,” Dave mouthed, looking down as he pulled his jacket in closer to his body. “So you’re positive that she knows?”

“Yeah, I know it probably is scaring her a little bit, but it’s best for her to know,” Judy insisted, thinking back to all the horrible stories she heard about Bruce. “She needs to be aware that maniac is around.”

“Well, if she needs anything--or if you need anything, all you have to do is call me,” Dave informed her with a small frown as he spoke, “You need anything and I will be here within minutes. I need to make sure she stays safe, we can‘t let that psycho get his hands on her and hurt her in any way.”


Avery placed her hands firmly on Grady’s shoulders thinking about what he’d just said to her. She started to back away from him in an attempt to scoot up and out of the bed, but he pulled her in closer to him. “Now I know you’re drunk because you couldn’t possibly mean that.”

“And just why not?” Grady questioned uneasily feeling his body grow rigid at her blatant refusal of him. Here he was ready to delve into his fantasies about her and there she was being obstinate as usual defying his own declarations with her own twisted Avery logic. “Why wouldn’t I mean it?”

“Because I know you,” she replied pointedly, her eyes searching his for clarity or perhaps it was for an affirmation of her declaration. Either way she didn’t seem to be getting what she was hoping for. “You’ve spent all these years making me miserable and…”

“And I’ve done a wonderful job of covering up for how I really felt,” he confessed, his voice raw and full of yearning as the underside of his palm pressed in against her soft skin, teasing over her shoulder in a slow, sensual movement, “In hiding how much I wanted to kiss you that night that you took me to the Beholder party. Right before Russ came in I found myself imagining what it would be like to be that close to you--to taste your lips after all the nights I spent dreaming about them. I’d imagined even back then that you’d be like a culmination of fire and seduction--that your passion for life would no doubt make you remarkable at kissing.”

“Grady…” she dropped her gaze her eyes trying to focus on anything but him.

“And I was right,” he curled his finger underneath her chin urging her to meet his eyes again, “Kissing you is like heaven. It’s something that I thought about time after time. When I was holding you that night--when we were dancing together--the way that you leaned into me--the way it felt to have you in my arms…it was like one of those fairy tales where the prince takes his princess to the ball--where they danced the night away lost in one another…”

“But that night was…” Avery stammered feeling her face grow hot with an unexpected fire as she tried to process what he was saying to her.

“And then there were all those other moments through the years,” his words poured from him freely now that he was no longer a man with anything else to lose but his heart, “I always thought that you were by far the prettiest girl on the playground and when you approached me to play baseball that first day, I couldn’t help but wonder what it was about you that had me so upset--so infuriated…”

“I told you to go to hell,” she reminded him with a small laugh nervousness rumbling in her abdomen.

“Yes,” he laughed lightly thinking back, “Yes you did, but it was something more than that. You had a spark about you--a fire and somehow I couldn’t quite get it out of my head that I’d hesitated--that I’d just let you stomp off like that instead of going after you. Here I spent so many years wishing like hell that I could’ve gone after you that day on the playground--that I would’ve been smart enough to walk you home, but instead I had to live in the realization that I missed out when Russ was the one that found you first. You have no idea how jealous I was when I found out you two had something between you. I can’t even begin to tell you how many nights I lay awake wondering what it would’ve been like if it would’ve been us together instead of the two of you…”

“Grady,” she blinked back at him, shock evident in her face, “I can’t believe that I’m hearing this…that I’m…”

“I can’t believe I’m telling you all of this, but it’s the truth,” his thumb skimmed over her bottom lip gingerly, “I have never met another woman who has made me feel as reckless and out of control like you do Avery. You know how to get to me--to really make me want to react--to lose myself in thoughts of only you--to surrounded myself by you even when I don’t want to…”

“That’s because you’re a hothead where I’m concerned. You said it yourself I infuriate you and…,” she offered up with a nervous smile not quite sure what to think about what he was telling her.

“No, it’s because when I’m with you, something happens to me. I turn into this man that,” he leaned forward kissing her quickly, “that just can’t help himself.”

“Grady, I know what you’re saying but…” she pressed her hand in the center of his chest once more.

“But what? You want more?” Grady questioned arching a curious brow, “Okay, how about we talk about the time I found you beside that tree? You know when you broke your arm? Do you remember that?”

She nodded, “I remember.”

“Well when I took you to the hospital I was so afraid,” he confessed his fingers sweeping in to push the hair from her eyes as he spoke from his heart, “I kept thinking to myself that I didn’t want you to cry--that I didn’t want you to be in pain. I kept praying to God over and over again to keep you from hurting--to just see that you were okay because to see you cry like that it killed me inside. I wanted like nothing else for you to be alright and it was then that I promised myself that if you made it through that experience that I would stop wanting you--would stop loving you like I did…”

“Grady, you don’t love me. You might think that you do, but…” her words were silenced by his finger in against her lips.

“I spent a great many years resenting Russ for what he had with you--hating myself for not making my move and even that night when we went home together, you have no idea how hard it was for me to do the right thing. When I urged you into leaving, the fact to the matter was that I wanted you to stay--I wanted you to be with me--for us to give this a chance, but then I knew how it would hurt Russ if we did,” Grady confessed a sigh spilling over his lips, “I guess that was always the one thing that kept me from going too far--from crossing any lines and maybe deep down that was why I treated you so horribly--not because I hated you, but because I hated myself for knowing how I’d lied about what it was you meant to me,” Grady continued with an impassioned voice, “but I’m not going to lie to myself any longer. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t care about you because I do Avery. I’m not going to act like this wasn’t supposed to happen for us because after last night, well I’m done with living a lie. I’m not going to ignore my heart any longer. I have nothing left to lose and I know what I want and the truth to the matter is that I want you Avery--only you.”

“Grady I…” Avery started not really quite sure how to take what he was telling her. On some level she could see where he was coming from--understand what he was feeling, yet with last night’s experience fresh on her mind, she worried about where this was headed. “I don’t think that…”

“Don’t think. Logic be damned,” he collected her in his arms dropping another hot kiss over her swelled lips. “Just feel and follow your heart--follow your instincts…”

“If I do that, then I should leave,” Avery began again knowing full well that this was the last place she needed to be at a time like this especially now after what he’d said to her. However, before she could be the rational one to put the brakes on what was happening between them, she felt Grady move in for the kill. His lips came crashing down over her devouring her with the promise of passion and pleasure. She pushed her hand out over his shoulder to place a distance between them, but instead she dropped her hand out over his body, taking in the warm lines of him.

“I want to make love to you,” he whispered heatedly nibbling on her neck in between dropping hot, wet kisses over her skin, “Avery…I want you…”

“Grady I…” Avery stammered finding herself at a loss. He propped himself up beside her, his intense green eyes reaching out into her and in that moment she thought of what had happened the previous night--about how terrified she’d been at the thought of losing him--at the thought of never being able to see him ever again. Memories of her time with Russ flashed before her eyes and in that moment tears threatened to overtake her. Unable to help herself, she reached out to him pulling him in closer to her. Her hands were shaking, body trembling and as their mouths bumped and collided in a frantic urgency, she knew there would be no turning back.

Grady’s skilled caress tapered off over her body, driving her to a heightened awareness of his body over hers. His lips above her, his solid strength pouring out into his fingertips as he pulled open her blouse. He arched back ever so slightly taking the time to look at her--really look at her in such a way that it caused her to blush. She started to look away only to feel his fingertips press in over her cheek urging her to meet his eyes again.

“No turning away,” he mouthed dropping down to slide his tongue moistly between her parted lips. Her fingers coiled through his hair, her body jolted with a thousand little sparks of electricity. He pulled away for a brief moment tearing his shirt from his shoulders before moving in over her clad in a sleeveless t-shirt. She reached out to him, squeezing his muscled arms, feeling them flex and tighten beneath her touch.

Their mouths parted, hearts pounding in unison as fear and anxiety swept over them. This was so far from where they’d planned to go with one another--so out of reach for so very long, but now as Grady touched her, his fingers weaving their magical spell over her body, she was held captive by the promise of passion--by the way his eyes kept her so very close to him.

“Things are getting hot in here,” Grady whispered nibbling on her shoulder before his thumb deftly plucked open the clasp on her bra. Her breasts spilled excitedly into his eager touch. She closed her eyes, her soft murmurs overtaking her when the distinct feel of something cool rushed in over her.

“What the…” Avery gasped seeing him hovered over her, his fingers dripping as he held a melting ice cube in hand. Before she could say another word he placed it between his teeth and leaned forward drawing a pattern over her newly exposed skin. She cried out the combination of the ice and his lips driving her to new heights of ecstasy. All that came from her lips were the soft sounds of excitement that he’d drawn out from within.

“I want you,” he mouthed his words buzzing over her body after the ice had melted. Reaching for the waistband on her slacks, he eased the material down slowly, his lips planting kiss after reckless kiss over her body, wanting to know more of her to feel her in every way imaginable. Her hands were sliding over his shoulders yanking at the t-shirt he was in. He leaned upward tearing it over his head in a heated frenzy before he dropped down to claim her lips again and again unrelenting in his quest for passion between them.

“Grady,” she spoke his name breathlessly, her words slurring into soft sighs of surrender as his hands moved over her, his lips taking the time to learn all the things there was to know about that secret part of her she’d kept hidden from him.

She arched back further into the bed, feeling his lips graze over her thigh, hands pulling a warmth out from within and in that moment she’d thought she’d died and gone to heaven or was it hell? Given the heat that was scorching between them, she was sure that something was happening--something that she was certain they were never meant to explore with one another. His tongue traced over the contours of her body taking every inch of her in with his erotic kisses. Just when she thought she was about to lose all control, she felt him pull away from her leaving emptiness in his retreat.

She opened her eyes seeking him out in the room, but nothing prepared her for the first glimpse of his muscular chest giving way to the corrugated leanness of his flat abdomen leading to the heart of his straining masculinity. He was beautiful--remarkable in so many ways that she was certain she was never meant to know--never meant to experience, but when he moved in beside her, she couldn’t help but reach for him claiming him in kiss after eager kiss. His arms curled around her, pulling her down with him onto the bed carefully. His hands coiled off over her soft curves, sliding over her spine to the small of her back before carefully positioning her over his hardened ache.

“No turning away,” he repeated sliding up to meet her lips again before pulling her in over him bringing an end to the wondering for him as the fantasy he’d had in his mind for a great many years had finally been given it’s first breath of life. Tonight would be about new beginnings--about holding onto the woman who had been out of his reach for so many years. Last night Avery had saved his life in ways he’d never thought possible. Now that they made love, their eyes focused entirely upon one another, he promised himself that this would mark a fresh start for them with the opportunity to make up for all the mistakes they’d made between them for so many years. In holding her and loving her like this, Grady realized that this would probably be the closest to heaven he would ever be now that the life he’d once clung to was long gone. Avery truly was his saving grace.


Nick felt Angela roll over onto her side of the bed, the soft sounds of her snoring alerting him that she’d fallen asleep once more. Unable to return to sleep, he carefully slid out of bed reaching for his robe. Wrapping himself up in the navy material, he glanced over at Angela seeing how beautiful and peaceful she seemed lost in her dreams. If only his dreams were nearly as tranquil. Taking one last look at her Nick tiptoed out of the bedroom carefully closing the door behind him.

Walking out onto the back deck Nick felt the first whisper of winds over him bringing another bout of worry over him. While he wanted to ignore his dream, there was something about it that he couldn’t let go of--something about it that felt so real--so very like something he shouldn’t ignore. Walking over to the edge of the deck he looked to the sky wondering what in the world was happening to him. Could it be that his past was coming back to him, but if so why was he saying the things that he’d said in the dream? Why did he feel like there was something happening--something that involved his time with Angela. His feelings for her were so very strong when he’d met her and they still ran strong, yet there was something nagging inside of him.

Closing his eyes he tried to remember the face in his dream again, but instead he found himself lost in another moment with another man he was arguing with.

“No that’s a promise,” Nick could see himself snarl his green eyes filled with cynicism and bitter animosity, “Stay away from my wife!”

“I can’t control her actions anymore than you can and if she chooses to be around me, well I’m not going to push her away as I care about her very much,” the new man before him stated plainly adjusting the sleeve on his shirt, “and the fact that she works for me is going to keep it vital for us to have a good relationship with one another even if you detest that.”

“My wife is a good person with a kind heart and I won’t have you reel her in any further than you already have. Find someone else to fixate on Brant,” Nick warned again, this time with a bit more emotion behind his words. He could see himself moving forward and then…

Opening his eyes and finding himself back on the desk, Nick felt his head swirling with thoughts, his mind bustling with activity offering him bits and pieces that made no sense. The harder he tried to figure it out, the harder it was to focus on. He stepped back hearing the name Brant echo in his mind. Could it be that he was having dreams of Angela’s former lover returning? That in each vision Brant’s face changed, yet the threat was still there? There was just something about seeing the man in the vision--something about the way his body tightened up with rage.

“What is happening to me,” Nick questioned unable to make sense of all that was happening in his mind. He felt a chill creep in over him--an eerie sense of confusion and clarity jumbled together, but too far out of his reach. He turned away from the night stepping back inside.

Making his way over to the kitchen he pulled out the small bag of things that Angela had given him shortly after he’d arrived on the island. While the items made little to no sense at the time, he was wondering if perhaps something could come to him now. He carried the small bag with him over to the kitchen table and in the darkness poured their contents out before him.

He surveyed the trinkets before his eyes fell upon the key chain. It was truly hideous in it’s bright mismatched colors, yet there was something about it that had him curious. Lifting it up to take a closer look at it in the moonlight shining in through the window he read over the words HOME SWEET HOME printed down the front of the key chain. There wasn’t anything really special about it--nothing that really stood out, yet…

“What in the…” Nick felt his finger brush up against the back of the key chain. Instead of having a smooth surface it was rigid--rough as if there was some kind of writing on it. He turned it around trying to take a closer look at it. It did appear to have some kind of writing on it, yet it was scratched. The letters were a bit blurred and hard to read with the scratches it had obviously endured. Still he tried to make sense of what he was seeing until his head started to hurt. Setting the key chain down in frustration he let out a long sigh wondering what in the hell his mind was trying to tell him. He wasn’t sure if it was something from the past or his worries about the future, but either way he had to figure out what these things that Angela had found with him meant before it was too late to get a handle on what was going on inside of his head.


An impenetrable unwelcoming silence filled the space between Kevin and Ria as they stood face to face with one another. So much had happened in such a short time, yet things were so far from being right between them. There was no denying that what they had with one another would never be the same as it was before--there was nothing that could erase what had been brought to the front burner tonight.

“Kev, I’ve just got to know,” Ria finally broke the silence, her words coming out shaky and uneasy, “is this the end?”

“I don’t want it to be,” he replied in a low sound his heart aching as he saw disappointment shining behind her eyes.

She stepped forward watching him sink to the bed. Her own heart was shattering little by little each second as she moved in before him. She dropped down on her knees reaching out to him as he sat on the edge of the bed before her.

“I love you Kevin,” she confessed unable to shield her tears any longer. She felt vulnerable and helpless and suddenly everything that she’d felt secure about in her life since they’d been reunited seemed to be ripping apart at the seams. She saw the way his chocolate eyes lifted upon hearing her words. Knowing she had nothing else to lose, she continued, “I’ve known for a long time that I’ve loved you, but I wasn’t sure about what this was for you. I wasn’t sure how you felt about me, but now I see that you need time to figure this out.”

“I don’t need time to know what’s in my heart,” Kevin replied pulling her up into his lap. “I don’t need time to tell you…tell you this…”

Kevin leaned forward his mouth moving in over hers tasting the saltiness of her tears over his lips. He wrapped his arm around her slender waist holding her near his body. The warmth of her filled him up inside as he prayed that somehow she could understand the message he was trying to convey to her when his words failed to reach that level of effectiveness. Somehow as their kiss continued, he felt she understood--felt that she could clearly see it too as her arms curled around his shoulders.

“I love you,” she whispered broken by her tears. Their eyes met for a brief moment before Kevin brushed his thumb over her cheek lifting her tears from her face. He leaned forward kissing her damp cheek, his lips moving from her cheek to her forehead to the tip of her nose before their mouths met in a hungry moment of longing.

“I love you,” he answered honestly feeling her hands squeezing the solid strength of his body. He knew that he had a lot to face--a lot that he was obviously going to have to deal with, but in being this close to her--in being able to finally let her see how much he needed her--how much he loved her, he refused to walk away.

His finger tips dropped down underneath her t-shirt, deftly sweeping it up over her head in a lightening quick movement. He saw something spark behind her eyes before she reciprocated the gesture moving in to pull his t-shirt off of him. Halfway through the movement, Kevin reached for her wrist shaking his head at her.

“No, it wouldn’t be right if you did it that way,” he laughed lightly guiding her hands over the neck of his t-shirt before their eyes connected in a tense moment of silence. He wiggled his brow at her before flashing her a sexy smile, “Come on. What’s one more t-shirt?”

“Just another memory for us,” she leaned forward kissing him as if she’d never stop.

Together their hands ripped open the front of his shirt parting the material with great ease before Kevin pinned her on the bed beneath him. He braced himself up on his elbows, his dark eyes swept over her wanting to memorize every single second of being with her as the raw emotion still lingered between them. His lips beckoned hers once again, doing his best to absorb every single sensation of this now that they’d burned down the barriers between them. He held himself up over her not wanting to overtake her with the weight of his emotions. He wanted to keep her with him for always--to keep this moment alive between them forever.

“I love you,” she promised in a heartfelt whisper, her finger tracing his broad jaw line, imprinting every masculine feature of his perfect face in her mind as she feared this may be the last time she was with him in such a setting.

“I love you,” Kevin replied readily knowing that truth in his heart. Yes, he loved Angela, but it was something completely different than what he and Ria had. He had both women in his heart, yet here and now all he could think about was Ria--about holding her and being with her--about showing her everything that he wanted her to know--needed her to see before he went off after his best friend in an attempt to keep her from ruining her life. He saw doubt behind her eyes as his fingers played over her smooth skin sliding her thigh up over his hips hugging her body beneath his ready to seal in the promise of his words with their union, “I’ll always love you.”

“I’ll always love you too Kevin,” Ria gasped feeling him ease into her as her fingers sank into his shoulders, breaking into his flesh. She cried out wrapping her legs around him wanting him to know just how deep this ran for her. Yes, making love to him had always been wonderful, but now, with everything that was riding on their being together, she promised herself that she would take in every second of this--every breath, every whisper and keep it with her forever should she never have him again. Her dark eyes sought out his and found them as they moved together in slow, drawn out movements.

“Please don’t think that this is anything less than love between us,” he stilling himself inside of her. His lips dropped down over her neck, tasting her heated skin in feathery-light kisses before whispering in her ear, “You’re everything I’ve waited for.”

“And you’re everything worth waiting for Kevin,” she murmured tangling her fingers through his dark hair. She forced herself to face him, to look into his dark eyes as their connection was still so strong--before their passion got in the way of what she was trying to tell him. With tears burning behind her eyes she spoke up again in a small whisper, “I know you have to go to Angela…to resolve whatever it is that’s still there between you, but I need you to know that when you’ve done that that I’ll still be here waiting for you--wanting you--loving you…”

“I’ll never stop loving you Ria. I promise,” his breath came out ragged over her lips knowing full well how hard this situation was on the both of them, “I’ll come back to you. I’ll always come back…”

“I really hope so,” she replied squeezing him in over her bringing their passion to a new level altogether as they made love whispering promises of a future to one another--of a life they had ahead of them while both feared that this could be their last time to love one another--that after tonight things could never go back to what they were between them.


...to be continued...