Episode 271

“Well what is it Cameron?” Guy demanded not about to let the man who had made a mess of a great many lives in Coral Valley get away without explaining what plot he was forming against Avery, “What is it about my sister that you’ve come here to target her now that she’s hurt?”

“I didn’t come all the way over to target her,” Cameron’s mouth curled in a frown, “I merely decided to check in on her while I was here checking in on someone else. I caught the story on Bruce Mathis and I was worried about her considering that…”

“That’s bull,” Guy moved forward feeling Mindy catch his arm with her fingers.

“Guy, relax,” Mindy tried to reason with him knowing full well that emotions were running high right about now. She could see that her friend was ready to snap, but she was also well aware of what a man like Cameron could do to him if Guy moved in on Cameron’s bad side.

“No, I’m not going to relax especially not when my sister is upstairs in surgery fighting for her life and…” Guy continued in an uproar glaring up at Cameron, “My sister has been through hell and back and I’m not going to stand here and pretend that seeing Cameron here isn’t a bad thing.”

“Look I really don’t mean your sister any harm. I am truly here because I am concerned about,” Cameron started ready to give Guy an answer that he might believe because right now the truth seemed so out of the realm of possibility that Cameron knew he’d be a fool to confess it.

“Guy,” Richard called out to his son taking Guy’s attention away from Cameron. Guy spun around to see his father as Richard rushed over to his side, “have you heard anything on your sister?”

Guy shook his head, “The woman at the desk said she was still in surgery, but other than that I don’t know anything. I came over here because I heard she was here, but…”

“I haven’t heard anything either, but I’m sure she’ll be alright,” Richard replied worried about his daughter. As soon as his contact from the FBI had called and filled him in on a couple of the details of what was happening, he knew he had to be here. “I know she’s had her daughter.”

“What?” Guy’s eyes widened in response, “She’s had the baby?”

Richard nodded, “And according to my source Russ is with her.”

“Russ?” Mindy stepped forward listening to what Richard was saying to them, “How is that possible?”

“I’m not sure, but according to the report that was sent out, she was brought to the hospital with her daughter and Russ,” Richard explained his own thoughts lingering as well, “Apparently he’s not dead and…”

“Oh my God,” Mindy gasped looking to Guy again, “Do you have any idea what this means? Russ and Avery are together again. He’s still alive.”

“And I’m an uncle,” Guy couldn’t help but smile at the thought before worry clouded over him, “Avery’s little girl. Did they say anything about her?”

“Nothing more than they both are here which means we have to find them,” Richard informed him with a creased brow.

“And you’re not going anywhere near her,” Guy warned turning around to face Cameron only to discover that he was no longer there. “Where did he go?”

“Where did who go?” Richard questioned with a sideways glance.

“Cameron Stone. He was just here asking about Avery and…” Guy trailed off with a shake of his head, “Never mind that’s not important. Let’s go see what’s happening with Avery.”


“What do you mean it’s not good?” Russ stepped forward no longer giving a damn that Brant was still around while all his worries were focused on his wife. He eyed Don wearily before speaking up again, “Answer me. What’s wrong with my wife?”

“My wife,” Brant replied catching an icy glare from Grady, “Well it’s the truth.”

“Shut up,” Grady warned watching his brother move in closer towards Don.

“Answer me damn it! What is going on with my wife?” Russell’s voice echoed through the hallway.

“She made it through surgery,” Beth Raines explained stepping out behind those double doors that Russ had been fixated on earlier.

“Thank God,” Russ let out a breath of relief watching Brant push past him to speak with Beth.

“Yes thank you Doctor,” Brant shook her hand eagerly, “I appreciate your helping my wife through this.”

“Avery isn’t exactly through this just yet,” Beth curled her lip ever so slightly, “While she made it through surgery, she lost a lot of blood between the time she left the cabin and arrived here. From what I can tell she cut herself pretty bad on the wrist and…”

“And she’ll be okay, right?” Russell questioned fear shining over him.

“The injury on her wrist was a bit of a concern of mine, but they stitched her up,” she addressed Russell, “and with the delivery…”

“She was drugged. Bruce Mathis gave her something,” Russell’s voice grew heightened with his emotions, “He did something to her and…”

“And from what I can see he gave her some kind of drug that acted as a sedative and something else that induced labor. I believe he fully intended to have her give birth while keeping her disoriented for a while,” Beth continued to inform the group, “However given the blood panel I had worked up on her, she appears to be okay in that respect. There isn’t a trace of anything that could have any harmful long term effect on her.”

“Then he didn’t hurt her with what he did? My wife and my daughter are going to be okay,” Russell questioned with a shaky voice.

“In theory yes,” she nodded with a small sigh, “and it would seem that your daughter is doing incredibly well, but with Avery. I’m honestly a bit puzzled with what’s happening. It would appear she suffered a bit of head trauma and…”

“What kind of head trauma,” Brant interrupted gruffly, “What’s happened to my wife?”

“From what I can see she should be perfectly healthy even given the state of her injuries,” Beth explained matter of fact.

“Thank heaven,” Brant let out a small breath of relief.

“But for some reason she’s not responding to stimuli like she should be. I‘m not sure what‘s going on, but I‘m afraid she‘d slipped into a state of unconsciousness that…,” her words were lost as she got into a lengthy explanation to what was going on with Avery.

“Are you telling me she’s in a coma?” Russell’s eyes widened horrified at the prospect of coming this far to being with Avery only to lose her.

“What I’m telling you is it’s going to be touch and go for a while Russ. I’m not sure what will happen, but if all goes well then she should be back with us shortly. My best advice right now is for everyone to pray. I’ve done the best I can do,” Beth added hoping that her words would be enough.

“I want to see her!” Brant announced stepping in front of the group once more. “She needs me!”

“The hell she does,” Russell shoved Brant out of his way, “There’s no way in hell I’m going to let you near my wife especially not now.”

“She’s my wife Russ. I’m the man she’s been with since you vanished off the planet and I’m not about to let that change since you decided to pop on back in,” Brant argued with him shoving him back before turning to Beth, “I’d like to see my wife now.”

“You’re not going anywhere near Avery and I don’t care what I have to do to make it happen,” Russell snapped grabbing Brant by the collar and shoving him across the hallway, “Stay away from my wife Ashford.”

“That’s it,” Brant charged towards him ready to begin their next round of who can beat the other one the most when Beth stepped in.

“At this point neither one of you are going in to see her,” Beth snapped at both men for their childish behavior, “Avery’s in too tentative of a state to have this going on around her. I think it’s in her best interest to be left alone right now.”

“That can’t be best for my wife. She needs me,” Russ pleaded with her, “I need to be with her.”

“I need to be with her. She’s my wife, not his,” Brant marched up towards Beth in his attempt to plead his case to her, “Avery’s been with me for months and I swore to her that I wouldn’t let anything happen to her…”

“Great job you did with that,” Russ muttered under his breath, “Please let me be with her. I’m sure if she knew I was right beside her, then she would find the strength to pull through--the strength to open her eyes and…”

“And feel like hell seeing as that’s all you did for her. You made her miserable for months and it’s taken a lot of time for her to finally be happy again, but now that she is here you are ready to make a mess in her life all over again,” Brant scowled in response hating Russell completely at this moment in time.

“My wife and my daughter need me,” Russell insisted firmly appealing one last time to Beth, “I need to let her see Erin and then maybe…”

“I’m sorry, but as I said before right now no one is getting in there and that’s final,” Beth finished her final decision knowing full well that both men would be hating it, but there was no other alternative. She wasn’t about to let all hell break loose in the hospital around her patient.


Kyle approached Sarah who was standing in the hallway by herself and facing away from him. He didn’t exactly feel like talking to her right now for some reason, but he did promise to come back and talk to her. He watched her lean in against the wall as he looked back at Russ to see him there. Maybe he should just go back to help Russ and Sarah would only think he was helping Russ and was too busy.

“What am I saying?” Kyle asked himself rolling his eyes at his own uneasiness. There was something that made him worry every time he was around Sarah--well, maybe it wasn’t uneasiness, but it was something else.

Kyle reached out to touch her shoulder gently, watching her jump at his very touch. She turned around and saw that it was Kyle before she leaned forward to wrap her arms around him tightly.

“Hey, a little jumpy are we?” Kyle questioned with a small smirk, holding his hands in the air before noticing she was just trying to be nice. He slowly wrapped his arms around her before letting out a small sigh. “Sorry about that, I just had to help out--you know…”

“It’s okay,” Sarah assured him, looking up into his hazel eyes as she nodded slowly, “I totally understand. I mean, it’s your best friends--you should always be there for them.”

“You understand what I was doing?” Kyle’s eyebrows tensed as he leaned back to look at her. She nodded slowly, biting down on her bottom lip as she thought about everything that had gone on. “I figured you would be mad about it.”

“Me mad?” Sarah repeated his words lightly before letting out a deep sigh. Her hand slid in over his shoulder and to the side of his face, taking in the features of Kyle that she had been missing since he had been gone. “Kyle, you almost died--I think I can understand the things that you have to do.”

“Wow, you seem to be really understanding,” Kyle pointed out, feeling Sarah slowly letting him out of her grasp. Sarah took a step back as Kyle folded his arms out in front of his muscular chest. “It’s kind of nice.”

“I’ve always understood Kyle,” she assured him taking in a deep breath and reaching out to squeeze his arm gently. Kyle looked down to her hand before looking his hazel eyes back into hers. “I know we had some problems in the past, but I always understood what you were doing. It was something that was important to you.”

“You’re right, it was very important to me,” Kyle agreed, looking back at Russ who just seemed to be pacing back and forth between the hallway. “Making sure my friends and family were never in any danger was very important to me.”

“And I always knew that Kyle,” she explained, watching Kyle look down towards the ground before looking back up at her. Her hand slid into his before squeezing it gently. “I think you should know that I really never meant to have us fight like that the one day. I never meant to say those things, I was just…”

“Listen Sarah, I have to go,” Kyle took another look back at Russell who had walked away frustrated. Kyle pulled his hand away from Sarah’s before taking a few steps back so he could catch up with Russell. “Russ needs my help--I have to go talk to him and find out what’s up. I’ll talk to you later okay?”

“Uh, sure,” Sarah nodded slowly, seeing Kyle continue to walk backwards, “I guess we could talk about all this later if you would like to.”

“Okay, sounds good,” Kyle agreed, quickly turning around and walking down the hallway where Russell had gone.

Okay, so maybe it was a little rude walking away from Sarah like that, but he had to talk to Russell and make sure that he was okay. Sarah could wait and according to most people--Sarah wasn’t even his girlfriend anymore anyways.


“I just can’t believe this is happening,” Guy blurted out feeling Mindy hold his hand offering up a soft squeeze.

“Guy, you know your sister is a fighter and I’m sure she’ll pull through,” Mindy decided hoping that she was right about Avery. “If you just keep thinking about that, then I’m sure that along with our prayers will keep her strong.”

“Mindy’s right son,” Richard added thinking about his daughter and how he wished he’d been around to spare her this awful fate that Bruce had put upon her. “We have so much to look forward to and now that Erin is here and Russ is alive, I’m sure that Avery isn’t about to let go of all that’s ahead of her.”

“I know,” Guy nodded remembering all the times she’d shared with his sister, “it’s just that I’ve never liked seeing her hurt. I remember when she broke her arm when we were children and she was in so much pain. Mum left her at the hospital all day long by herself when you were out of town and she only had Grady to keep her company. I could see how terrified she was when we finally picked her up, yet…”

“Guy,” Mindy squeezed his hand again seeing the tears burning behind his eyes.

“She never complained about it you know,” Guy sniffled thinking about his sister. “She just kept quiet and it wasn’t until later that I knew how hurt she was. I could hear her crying from in my room. At the time I didn’t really understand, but somehow I knew that she’d been through so much. I tried to give her my stuffed puppy to make her feel better and she said thank you, but I know that she still had a hard road ahead of her.”

“One that she kept pushing forward on and she survived that,” Mindy piped in encouragingly, “She didn’t let it take her down.”

“Yes, but that was a broken arm and this is…” Guy argued worried about Avery.

“A moment when we all need to stay together and use our prayers to help keep her strong. If we can hold onto that and bring ourselves to pray for her then anything is possible,” Mindy added hopefully knowing that there had to be a happy ending around the corner for Avery.

“She’s right,” Richard nodded in agreement, “We just have to pray for your sister and know that she will overcome this setback.”

“I know,” Guy sighed heavily thinking about how much he still wanted to share with his sister. “Mindy’s right. We should pray.”

“Mind if we join in,” Cheryl questioned as she and Elliot walked up to the trio.

“The more the better,” Richard nodded hoping that all of their prayers would be the key to bringing his daughter back to him again.


Ria sat in her apartment eyeing the ring Kevin had left for her intently. Despite the fact that she knew full well she shouldn’t be staring at it aimlessly feeling like a moron in wishing that she could make him magically appear just by rubbing the ring, she couldn’t help but give it a try. When he didn’t appear she let out a sigh and leaned her head back on the sofa.

“I knew I’d find you in here,” Trisha announced walking into Ria’s apartment and slamming the door shut behind her.

“Don’t you even bother to knock,” Ria groaned inwardly thinking about how she’d wanted to be alone with her thoughts of Kevin.

“No, especially not now that you gave me a key,” Trisha reached for one of the jackets Ria had on the coat hanger and tossed it at her, “Get up. We’re going out to celebrate.”

“Celebrate?” Ria opened her eyes and saw her sister smiling down at her with bright eyes. She noticed Trisha had her hair and makeup done as if she was ready to have a night out on the town, which given the way things were lately had Ria a bit puzzled.

“That’s right. Tonight is about a celebration. In case you haven’t noticed, which I’m sure you haven’t since you’ve been moping in your apartment since Kevin left town, well Bruce Mathis was finally served justice at long last,” Trisha boasted proudly rubbing her hands together.

“Did the police bring him in?” Ria asked curiously seeing the joy her sister was getting from the thought.

“No even better,” Trisha explained excitedly, “He made one last attempt to mess with the wrong woman and it cost him his life. He’s dead and while I don’t normally wish that sort of thing on my worst enemies, since he tried to kill me I think I’m completely entitled to feel a little bit of enthusiasm over the notion that he won’t be able to harm another woman ever again.”

“A little bit of enthusiasm yes, but I think you’re about ready to shout it from the rooftop,” Ria sat up straighter seeing her sister practically leaping out of her own skin.

“Okay so yeah I am, but can you blame me? That monster tried to kill me and I might be stuck with this for life,” Trisha pointed to her neck where she now had a ribbon tied discreetly over her wound with a big, pink flower attached to it.

“No, I don’t blame you at all,” Ria sighed heavily closing her eyes once again, “but I have to admit I’m really not in the mood for partying. Kevin said that he might call later and…”

“Um hello answer the clue phone here Ria. Kevin’s gone. He went back to whatever island it is that he spent his time on and he didn’t even bother to give you a proper good-bye there,” Trisha rolled her eyes at the thought of the hunk who had dumped her sister flat on her face at a time when she needed him the most, “Trust me Ria. If he’s going to call, I say it’s good if he doesn’t get you. I thought he was great, but what a jerk to leave like he did.”

“Trisha you don’t understand what’s going on,” Ria tried to appeal to her thinking about the last time she’d talked to Kevin. Her gaze lingered to her ring again and she spoke up, “he was looking out for a friend.”

“Normally I might understand that, but he should be looking out for the woman he loves. You should rank number one in his life and,” Trisha’s words came to an abrupt halt when she noticed the ring on her finger, “Whoa, what is that?”

“What is what?” Ria questioned innocently placing her other hand on top of the ring.

“That,” Trisha leaned forward wrenching Ria’s hand out from underneath the other one, “Oh my gosh Ria. That rock is like huge! Where did you get that?”

“From the man you think should rank me as number one priority,” Ria couldn’t help but offer up a small smile. “I mean sure he might be away right now, but…”

“Hot damn! I should learn to keep my mouth shut,” Trisha plopped down on the couch next to her holding the ring in for a closer view, “Is that real?”

“It’s the thought that counts Trisha, not if it’s real or not,” Ria shrugged her shoulders trying to blow off her sister’s question.

“Yep it’s real, which means that there’s something going on that you’re not telling me about,” Trisha wiggled her brow at her, “Something that might warrant a celebration perhaps?”

“Something that I’m not about to get into with you because it’s personal between Kevin and I right now,” Ria corrected with a cryptic smile.

“Personal or not I think that ring says it all. Ria you are one lucky woman. I wish I found someone as sexy as Kevin to give me something like that,” Trisha paused before changing directions. She slumped back on the couch and let out another exaggerated sigh, “Though you know if you would get off your butt and out of the apartment, then maybe we could have a little fun and I might actually meet a good guy now that Bruce is dead. I might actually feel like taking a chance on someone and finding that kind of love in my life, but I mean then again maybe I should just stay locked up like you in this apartment and…”

“And you’re trying to guilt me right now, aren’t you?” Ria frowned back at her.

“Is it working?” Trisha questioned eagerly, “because if you want I can lay it on even thicker for you.”

“Give me a few minutes to get ready. Can I have that without crimping your style?” Ria groaned in response not really wanting to go out on the town, but maybe Trisha was right. Maybe going out and having some fun would help ease the ache of not having Kevin around. Well, no, Ria seriously doubted it, but if nothing else tonight she’d do her best to be a big sister in the hopes that maybe just maybe she’d also wind up hearing from Kevin again before the night was over.


“So now that we’ve got that out of the way,” Kevin cleared his throat uneasily feeling a moment of boldness coming on as he watched Angela locking up the papers he’d signed in one of her filing cabinets, “How about you tell me about the guy who started this mess to begin with?”

“What?” Angela turned around to face him noticing the expectant look on his face. “What are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about you and I having an up close and personal one on one about Casanova and how it was that he managed to seduce you on the beach when you were feeling low about life,” Kevin suggested taking a seat on the edge of the sofa in her office, “I figure it’s the least you can do since you trust me implicitly.”

“My relationship with you has nothing to do with him,” Angela answered tightly not wanting to start this conversation with Kevin.

“The hell it doesn’t,” he frowned seeing her move over to her desk area once again and taking a seat, “Angie, you just asked me to watch over the twins if anything should happen to you, so I think the least that you can do is tell me everything that I need to know about the little bastard that decided to get you pregnant.”

“It wasn’t that he planned on it,” she reminded him pointedly, “I think it was the last thing on either one of our minds when we were together.”

“Hmm, well why don’t you use that to tell me what was on your minds when you were with him,” Kevin suggested with an arched brow, “I mean I think it’s long overdue for you and I to have this talk especially with my possibly being the twins’ guardian there. I mean I should probably know as much as possible about this guy in case it ever comes up.”

“It’s not going to come up,” she shook her head refusing to budge on the issue, “He’s not in my life anymore Kevin. It’s never going to come up.”

“Well one you are having his children there Angie. Not one baby, but two so there’s a very distinct possibility that he could come back and try to stake his claim on them,” Kevin retorted not wanting to let the subject slide, “He could just walk up one day and decide that as their father he wants to step in and take them away.”

“It’s not going to happen Kevin. Trust me the last thing he wants is a family with me,” she sighed heavily thinking about her brief, but very erotic affair with Brant, “I’m sure he’s got a family of his own and my children won’t be a part of that.”

“Fine, so indulge me. Tell me about him Angie so that if it ever does come up, I’ll know what to do,” Kevin watched her for a long moment before finally adding, “Unless of course you are hoping that he returns again and it comes up. I mean maybe that’s why you’re keeping it a secret because you know I won’t approve.”

“You’ve already made it painfully clear that you don’t, but that’s still irrelevant to anything other than what I’ve told you,” she answered stiffly feeling uncomfortable about the idea of talking about Brant with Kevin. Then again what did she really know about Brant other than he was amazing in bed and he had this way about him that… No, she shook the thought. She knew nothing about him herself and what she thought she knew--what she’d thought she’d seen in him had to be only what she wanted to see--what she’d wanted to feel, yet that didn’t stop her from wanting it still--from dreaming about him. Hell, if she’d been honest with herself she would’ve seen that she was trying to move on with Nick simply because she couldn’t ignore the way in which she’d been thinking about Brant. How pathetic was that?

“Angie,” Kevin snapped trying to pull her out of her daze, “talk to me.”

“There’s nothing to say Kevin. I’m not telling you about him and that’s final,” she replied stubbornly not wanting to budge on the issue of the man who had starred in a great many of her fantasies since the time over Christmas when they’d met on the beach.

“No Angie, it’s not final,” Kevin rose to his feet again, “because the way I see it, I should be every bit as much in the know about this man as you are considering that I’m going to be here for his children--for your children. I need to know what I’m up against--to be prepared for the possibility of everything and anything where he’s concerned. If there’s a chance that there’s something about him that could be a threat to the future, then you’d better damn well tell me about it now Angie. I’m tired of playing twenty questions with you. I want to know the truth about him right here, right now!”


“Why are we here again?” Michelle questioned, looking around the land before her with a small frown. Michelle and Candice had gone to the apple orchard for some stupid reason.

“It’s for a good cause,” Candice explained, letting out a small laugh as she watched Michelle swat at some of the bugs in the air. “I already told you all about this.”

“Do you think this is funny?” Michelle looked over at Candice who simply shrugged her shoulders. Michelle stopped dead in her tracks, staring angrily at Candice before letting out a small scowl. “I don’t see what is so funny about being in this disgusting place to pick apples. What’s the point? I mean there is really no organization to have a party for.”

“You will understand why we are here soon or a later,” Candice explained, watching Michelle trip over something in the grass. Candice stopped to slowly help Michelle up from the ground. “I told you not to wear shoes like that. They get stuck.”

“I don’t care what you told me to do Candice,” Michelle pointed out with a small hiss as she pushed away from Candice to stand up on her own. “I still don’t understand why we are at this horrible and disgusting place.”

“Michelle,” Candice frowned watching as something caught Michelle’s eyes. Michelle took a few step forward before letting out a small gasp. “What is it?”

“Would you look at that,” Michelle lightly chuckled, pointing towards the thing that had caught her attention. Candice took a small look at what it was before letting out a small laugh. “Candice--you are the smartest person I have ever met. How did you know they were going to be here?”

“Ken and the Wendy girl?” Candice saw Michelle nod slowly before shaking her head. “I really didn’t know that…”

“That it would make me so happy,” Michelle finished for Candice, letting out another small smile as she followed Ken and Wendy to where they had walked off. “Come on Candice, we have to keep up with them.”

Michelle pulled Candice along with her as she felt Candice stumble. Michelle didn’t think there would be a real point to coming here, but it turned out to be a good thing in the long run.


“So, aren’t you having the greatest time or what?” Trisha questioned, leaning forward to grab Ria’s shoulder gently as she saw Ria shrug her shoulders. “Oh come on, I know Kevin isn’t here right now, but can you at least look like you are having a little fun with your little sister? It might be nice you know.”

“I’m having fun,” Ria assured Trisha, shrugging her shoulders as she looked up into Trisha’s eyes. A small laugh escaped her lips as she looked around the dining area of the party they were at. “I’m just not the whole party loving girl like you are.”

“I think I might have something against you there,” Trisha pointed out, watching Ria’s eyebrows perk up as Trisha spoke. “I can remember a couple of times that I have walked in on you and Kevin. I would say you were having some party nights that were very rocking.”

“Okay, stop right there,” Ria chuckled, shaking her head slowly after what Trisha had just said. “That was going just a little too far. Whether my nights are filled with rocking or not--that’s really none of your business.”

“I know that’s none of my business, I never wanted it to be any of my business,” Trisha declared, letting out a tiny laugh as she thought about the things she had walked in on in the past. “It just happened when I walked in on you when you weren’t in the bedroom. Just okay--I don’t even need to remember that.”

“Can you hold on a minute, I think I have to get this,” Ria shook her head at what Trisha had said before letting out a small laugh. Ria pulled her cell phone out before noticing the number. “Speaking of things that were rocking…”

“Kevin is on the phone,” Trisha stated with a small wiggle of her eyebrow, slowly getting out of the seat she was in. Trisha pointed over towards the jukebox as Ria went to answer her phone. “I’ll give you some time to talk.”

“Are you sure about that? I mean you can stay if you would like to,” Ria pointed out with a small smile as she saw Trisha throw her hands up in the air angrily.

“And listen to you two gushy people?” Trisha shook her head quickly, letting out a small frown. “No--I don’t think so. This song sucks anyways.”

“Alright, I will be right here,” Ria promised, seeing Trisha nod slowly before walking over towards the jukebox.

“You were having a bad time until Kevin called,” Trisha pointed out with a small shake of her head as she took a small step in closer to the jukebox. There was no way that she would ever act like Ria--no matter what the man was like.

Trisha backed up to take a look at the songs, but it only made her trip back as she bumped into someone that was right behind her.

“Oh my,” Trisha gasped, feeling someone catch her in their arms before she could fall onto the ground. She looked up to see who had caught her as they slowly helped her up. “Uh thanks.”

“No problem, it was my fault anyways,” the guy pulled his sunglasses off, revealing his light blue eyes to her. He ran his hand through his semi long hair before letting out a small shrug. “I was looking the other way and I should have been more aware.”

“Well, I was just backing up and I should have been more aware too,” Trisha pointed out, seeing him let out a small laugh. He reached his hand out to hers as she grabbed it and shook it gently. “I’m Trisha Merhan.”

“Trisha, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” the man replied, leaning down and kissing her hand gently. A small smile appeared over his lips as he saw a small blush appear over her beautiful features. “Well Trisha, my name is Chase. Chase Hastings.”

“Well Chase, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” Trisha smiled widely, seeing Chase nod his head. “You seem to be quite the gentleman.”

“Yeah, well--I guess you knew that before we met because you were already falling for me,” Chase flirted, letting out a small laugh as she shrugged her shoulders.

“Well, what can I say? I didn’t like the song,” she whispered thinking of something to say, but came up with nothing other than why she was truly up there. “I came up to change the song, it kind of…”

“Sucked,” Chase finished up for her, seeing her nod as he let out a tiny laugh. Chase motioned her to follow him over towards the jukebox before looking over the songs. “How about the two of us pick a song together?”

“Sounds great,” Trisha nodded slowly, looking over at Chase before letting out a small laugh. “So tell me Chase, what are you into?”


“Right here, right now?” Angela repeated her dark eyes narrowing up at Kevin upon taking in what he’d just said to her.

“That’s right,” he nodded firmly, “I want you to spill it because I think it’s only fair that you tell me what there is to know about this guy.”

Angela watched him for a long moment contemplating her words before a look of distain crossed over her, “Since when the hell is life fair Kevin?”

“You know what I meant,” he frowned seeing that he’d struck a nerve in her.

“Well Kevin if life was fair then right now I’d be getting ready for my wedding--to be with Nick for the rest of my life, but look that’s not happening,” she pointed out with a scowl.

“That’s because Nick was a jerk--a married jerk just like the one who knocked you up there Angie. That much I got from you, but I think it’s time you tell me the rest. I think it’s time you stop acting all secretive and be an adult about this,” he remarked sourly finding himself increasingly annoyed with her insisting on keeping him in the dark about her fling.

“I am being an adult about this,” she stood up her fingers balled into fists at her side, “I think I’ve been an adult about this the entire time. From the moment I discovered I was pregnant I’ve been responsible about the whole situation. I’d done my best to put my children first and…”

“Yet you won’t give up the identity of their father,” he tossed out with an ironic laugh, “Isn’t that something that you would think would lead to their ultimate protection? I mean really what did you know about him? What is there that might come up again for them in the future either health wise or on a personal level? What are you going to do when they ask you about their father? What are you going to tell them? That he was some schmuck that you picked up on the beach who gave you the pleasure ride of your life, but you were too entranced in screwing him to really give much thought to detail.”

“Screw you Kevin,” Angela spat out at him finding herself increasingly annoyed with her friend’s attitude.

“No Angie, we’ve already gone down that road time and time again given the way you conduct yourself, so how about this just once you forget about screwing me over for your own personal reasons and start with something different for a change--like the truth,” he suggested with a wiggle of his brow watching her face grow red with anger. Okay, so maybe pushing her that far wasn’t a smart idea. In fact the more he thought about it, the less he was liking the way she was glaring up at him. If he didn’t know better she was circling around her desk ready to attack him. Maybe it was time to step back.

“I have never screwed you over Kevin,” she replied with a sharp, agitated voice, “I have been absolutely honest with you about a great many things in my life--things that I haven’t even bothered to share with anyone else, yet the one time I have something personal and private in my life, that’s when you sit there and attack me because you aren’t in the know. Tell me Kevin, when are you going to let me know about the girl that you were with on your vacation? I mean it’s obvious to everyone that you met someone, so why haven’t you shared that with your best friend?”

“Angie I…” Kevin shook his head at her, “This isn’t about me.”

“Yet you feel compelled to have me tell you all about my sex life,” she folded her arms in front of her chest defensively, “I don’t see what difference it makes for me to tell you that he was the best lay of my life or how he did things to me that truly had me wondering why I hadn’t tried something like that sooner. If you want the truth, the fact to the matter is that he was fun and exciting and he made me feel like the most beautiful woman alive. I haven’t felt that way in a long time and when I was with him, I wasn’t Angela Stone. I wasn’t someone that he was trying to get with for some ulterior motive or someone that he was afraid to be with because her father might destroy him. I was simply a woman he desired and guess what Kevin, I wanted him too. I still want him if that makes you happy to hear it.”

“Angie I…” Kevin’s jaw dropped at he looked at her, “Did you just say you still want him?”

“You’re damn right I just said that and if I ever did run into him again, I don’t know what I’d do. I don’t know what I would say other than maybe I need a shrink because he’s completely wrong for me,” she stepped back feeling as if she’d already revealed too much to him about her thoughts of Brant.

“Are you nuts?” Kevin couldn’t help but ask shaking his head at her, “You know nothing about this man other than you met him on the beach and now you’re telling me that if you saw him again, you’d take him back in a heartbeat?”

“That’s not what I said,” she tossed back at him pointedly, “I said that I still want him, not that I’d have him.”

“And Nick? What about him?” Kevin eyed her intently trying to decipher what in the world was going on with her, “What was he?”

“Someone who made me feel special. Someone who I had fun with and it was refreshing,” she threw her arms up in the air, “and I would’ve married him in a heartbeat and had a nice life, but it didn’t work out.”

“And now what? Are you trying to tell me that you’re hoping and praying that you and the twins are reunited with their father who just makes you feel oh so wonderful that he’s no where around when you really need him? That you’d like to risk it all of an opportunity to be with Mr. Good Sex just because he helps you escape who you really are?” Kevin stepped in closer to her watching the way she sat in front of him stubbornly.

“And what if I did Kevin? What if that was what I wanted?” she challenged leaning forward in her seat, “What would you say to that?”

“That you’re an idiot,” Kevin threw his hands up in the air, “Honestly I don’t know what’s wrong with you lately. I mean first you pick up some loser, then you almost marry some moron you don’t know anything about and now this. What gives Angie?”

“Maybe I’m just trying to find a reason to be happy--or maybe I’m just trying to be someone else for a change,” she mouthed with a groan, “I’m tired of the life I’ve been living and I wanted something different for a little while.”

“And something different got you pregnant and your children fatherless, so tell me how in the world you benefited out of any of this?” Kevin inquired seeing something painful flash behind her eyes, but before he could get his answer she turned her attention to the monitor in front of her.

“Oh my God!” Angela gasped snapping her fingers together, “I don’t believe this.”

“What?” he moved in closer seeing her click away on the keyboard.

“Kevin, I think I’ve got it. That I’ve finally got it!” she cheered excitedly looking at the formula in front of her. “For months I have been trying to figure this out, and it just came to me.”

“What just came to you,” he tilted his head to the side seeing her face lit up with excitement.

“The formula,” she typed in a couple of notes before hitting print, “Kevin, I think I found the missing piece of the puzzle. I think I finally have it!”

“Angie, that’s great but about what we were talking about,” he waved between them hearing the printer running off her latest find.

“Kevin, I don’t want to talk about this,” she ripped the page off and looked to the door, “While I understand your desire to want to protect me, I can assure you that there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that the twins’ father is coming back into my life again, so relax. You’re off the hook in the department.”

“Angie,” he frowned seeing her walk over to the door.

“I have to take this down to the lab,” she replied rushing out of her office in an attempt to avoid him once again.

He sat down on the edge of her desk shaking his head at her as he once again found himself face to face with that same impossible woman she was at seventeen. Back then she was looking for thrills and excitement, but at that time he was the one she’d fixated on. While she wasn’t aware of it at the time, Kevin had been safe. He’d had only the best intentions, but with the man she met on the beach. If he ever came back into her life again, there was no telling what he would ask of her. There was no way Kevin could help her if he didn’t know what he was dealing with and while Angela wanted to be ignorant about the issue Kevin wasn’t about to let it pass him by. One way or another he would find out who the man was that got Angela pregnant and in his own way he would be dealt with. That much Kevin was certain of.


“So,” Ken began, holding onto Wendy’s hand tightly as they walked through the orchard with each other. “We have eaten apples, doughnuts, and more apples. I have filled myself up with everything there is possible, but when it comes to you--I feel like I am fat pig and you are a tiny mouse.”

“I am just a small eater,” Wendy explained with a small laugh after seeing Ken shake his head slowly. “You are allowed to eat as much as you want. You seem to be in good shape, you can probably eat anything you wan?”

“Are you kidding me? This thing would be fat as can be if I didn’t work out a little bit,” Ken patted his stomach gently before letting out a tiny laugh. “There was one point in time where I had a gut.”

“Yeah right,” Wendy rolled her eyes, watching Ken nod slowly. “In all the years that I have known you--there was never a time you had a gut.”

“Well, there was a time for about a month or so where all I ate was ice-cream,” Ken tried to get her to play along, but they soon came to a stop when Wendy seemed to lose her balance.

“I’m okay,” she assured Ken, feeling him catch her in his arms before she could fall. “It’s just a small thing that I get every now and then.”

“A small thing?” Ken questioned, touching the side of her face gently. He slid his fingers into her hair before letting out a small frown. “Wendy, that wasn’t any small thing.”

“I just get these tired spells,” she tried to explain, reaching up to press her hand in over her forehead gently. “It just happens every now and then.”

“Do you need to go home and rest? I could take you home if you would like to,” Ken suggested out to her, seeing Wendy shake her head slowly. “Are you sure? I don’t want you to continue to do something you really can’t do.”

“Ken, I want to do this,” Wendy assured him with a small nod, standing up straight to try and assure Ken she was okay. “You had this day planned out. We are going to finish it and have some fun.”

“Okay, but just tell me if something is wrong because I don’t want to push you,” Ken whispered, wrapping his arms around her waist gently to hug her very lightly. “Just say the words and we will go right home.”

“Oh, I’ll say the words all right,” Michelle whispered from behind the bush with Candice at her side. She saw Wendy rest her head against Ken’s chest gently. They had been following Wendy and Ken for a while and they were going to take a stand and stop this someway.


Diego approached Sarah not really sure what to do or say after he had stayed back to witness her and Kyle with one another. While he was certain he should’ve just walked off and left long ago, something was holding him back--keeping him there with her despite the fact he felt like he was on the outside looking in. Unable to help himself he reached out to her touching her shoulder gently. He immediately regretted it when she nearly jumped out of her own skin.

“Are you okay,” he questioned softly, his eyes fixed on her, “I’m sorry if I frightened you.”

“No, you didn’t,” she shook her head taking in a long, slow breath, “I guess I’m just a bit wired in between all of the drama that’s going on here with Russ and Brant.”

“It seems pretty intense,” Diego nodded making polite conversation despite the fact he had a million and one questions running through his mind. With the expression on Sarah’s face he could sense that she was upset--in obvious turmoil even, yet as much as he wanted to hold her in his arms, he kept his distance, “I’m sure that things will work themselves out for them though. Beth is an excellent surgeon.”

“I’m sure she is and Brant, well he’s always a bit high strung,” Sarah bit on her lower lip nervously her gaze lifting up to Diego’s. She saw the warmth of his brown eyes over her and a tiny shiver raced up and down her spine. Her gaze dropped down to his lips and suddenly she remembered what it was like to kiss him. Clearing her throat uneasily she fought to find something to say--something that wouldn’t show how nervous she was at this moment in time, “And with Russ, well Kyle is going to talk to him and try to make this easier on him since Russ is walking into a world that still went on for months without him.”

“Yeah and I’m sure that will be very hard for him. He and Brant are enemies, yet for him to come home and find the woman he loves in another man’s arms,” Diego trailed off not wanting to get into that conversation either right now given how close to home it felt for him. Still he and Sarah were friends. That was where they’d established they would be in their relationship and that’s where it would end. Friends who just happened to comfort one another at a time when it seemed right--when it felt right. Clearing his throat uneasily he tried to focus on what he’d witnessed in the hallway between her and Kyle, “So, um I take it you and Kyle have made up with one another, huh?”

Sarah’s eyes returned to his again and he found himself amazed by the look on her face. She seemed to be every bit as confused about the situation as Diego was and her eyes mirrored that. Finally she sighed.

“I don’t know,” she blurted out her hands trembling ever so slightly, “I honestly don’t know Diego. I’d like to think we made a start, yet…”

“Yet?” he arched a curious brow wanting to be supportive.

“Yet I’m not really sure about anything right now,” Sarah mouthed unable to repress the uncertainty inside of her. “I’m just…”

“Just?” he repeated seeing tears clouding in her eyes.

“Confused. I’m just confused and not sure of anything,” she replied instinctively pulling him into an embrace as tiny sobs carried over her.

“It’s okay Sarah,” Diego held her close to him, squeezing her in his arms, “Everything is going to be okay.”

“Will it? I mean will it ever be okay again now that so much has happened?” she asked more so to herself as she closed her eyes feeling Diego kiss the top of her head for a brief second. While she knew that she shouldn’t be holding onto him, shouldn’t be standing with him in the middle of the hallway after what they’d shared with one another--after what they never should’ve let happen, with so much uncertainty in the air around her, she felt like there was no other place she’d rather be. Kyle was still running hot and cold, but with Diego, well right now it was the only real thing she could hold onto and even if it was the end of her, she couldn’t bring herself to let go just yet.


“Hey Russ,” Kyle caught up with Russell as he followed Russell down one of the hallways. It took him a little while to catch up to Russell because he couldn’t put all his weight on his leg. “Russ, wait up man. Give the limp a minute here.”

“Kyle,” Russell looked back to see Kyle slowly approaching him. Russell offered to help Kyle along as Kyle shook his head slowly. “You okay? Don’t need any help?”

“No, I’m okay,” Kyle assured him, starting to follow Russell down the hallway. Kyle looked over at Russell who seemed to be saying nothing at all. “What about you? How are you doing?”

“If you even have to ask,” Russell muttered, shaking his head slowly before feeling Kyle put his hand on his back. “I really don’t know how I am feeling right now.”

“I know, Ashford is just a loser--this thing is going to end very soon,” Kyle promised, nodding towards one of the hallways. “You might want to turn right?”

“Why?” Russell questioned, following Kyle not knowing exactly where Kyle was headed. They stopped in front of the nursery before stepping in front of the glass where they saw Erin sleeping. “She looks beautiful doesn’t she?”

“Very,” Kyle answered with a small laugh as he placed his hand against the glass gently. Kyle watched as Erin twisted in her sleep and he let out a small laugh. “She is so very beautiful Russ--you are such a lucky man.”

“I know,” Russell smiled, feeling Kyle squeeze his shoulder gently as they watched Erin over. “I can’t lose Avery Kyle, I have been gone so long and now that I am back--I can’t lose her now.”

“You are never going to lose her Russ,” Kyle promised, patting Russell on the back gently as he let out a small sigh. Kyle nodded towards Erin as Russell looked back towards his daughter. His amazing, beautiful daughter. “Avery loves you and she has always loved you. I would never doubt the fact that she is in love with you Russ. I have known the both of you for years and every time she looks at you Russ--I can just see the love she has for you.”

“I’m glad that you are so sure about this,” Russell let out a hesitant laugh before shaking his head slowly. There were so many dreams he had planned to have with Avery and the only thing that kept standing in his way was Brant. Brant couldn’t take all that away from him, not now. “I can’t lose my dreams--mine and Avery’s dream. We belong together Kyle.”

“I know,” Kyle hushed, patting on Russell’s back gently before letting out a small frown. He looked down at Erin once more, a small smile escaping his lips. “Russell, nothing is going to happen to Erin Leigh or her mommy. I will help you no matter what it takes.”

“I think I know that Kyle,” Russell pointed out with a small smile as he nodded down towards the wound on Kyle’s thigh. “You almost died Kyle--I can never repay you for that.”

“Yes you can,” Kyle assured him with a small nod as he saw Russell’s eyebrows tense. “You can repay me by never giving up hope. You can repay me by getting Avery back. And I am going to make sure that you do end up repaying.”

What Kyle had said was something he wished that would truly happen. Now that Brant was standing in the way of his happiness and all of his dreams, he didn’t know if he would ever truly have that family he always planned on having with Avery. There had to be some way to get Brant away from Avery.


Brant paced around the lobby unable to believe that no matter what he tried no one was budging on the issue of letting him see Avery. After all he’d done with this hospital, he’d thought that they would’ve at least accommodated him, but now to be left in the dark had him furious. He kicked his foot forward knocking over a garbage can in the process.

“Brant hey,” Don moved in towards him, “Calm down.”

“Calm down?” Brant repeated with a sarcastic laugh, “Don in case you haven’t noticed right now my wife is being held up in this hospital and I can’t get close to her. I can’t see her for myself because of that idiot.”

“Brant, I know you’re upset right now, but…” Don began hoping to talk him down a bit before he wound up doing something stupid, “I’m sure you’ll be able to see her.”

“When? Once Russell Denton decides to skip town again?” Brant threw his hands up in the air, “you know after the way everyone talked about him--after the way they thought about him, I can’t believe that he would just up and disappear and then have the audacity to come back after hurting so many people…”

“It does seem kind of strange, but then again there might be a good reason for it,” Don suggested seeing the glare that Brant shot him, “or not.”

“What I do know is I’m not about to lose my wife because of that jerk. I’m not about to let him step in and destroy the life we have with one another,” Brant sighed slumping down in a chair feeling defeated before he began, “Don, she’s everything to me--absolutely everything and if I lost her now…”

“You’re not going to lose her man,” Don sat down beside him, “I promise you man that you’re going to find a way to be there for her. I’m sure when Beth sees how worried you are, she’ll let you inside to see her and then you can be with her.”

“And when Russ has a fit, then what? What if he tried to challenge me for my wife?” Brant questioned his thoughts returning to the dream he’d had planned out for him and Avery, “I mean I know that things haven’t always been perfect for Avery and I, but damn it we have something special. She’s my wife and I love her. She’s everything to me.”

“I know man,” Don replied with a small nod, “and I know she loves you too.”

“Which is why I can’t let Russell Denton spoil this,” Brant paused a sudden thought occurring to him.

“Hey maybe when Avery wakes up she’ll tell him how it is. I mean you two are married now and…” Don began only to hear Brant let out a small sort of gasp. He turned to eye his friend curiously, “You okay?”

“Actually, I think I am,” Brant confessed sitting up straighter as reality came to him in vivid color. He looked to Don with a small smile and immediately Don knew there was trouble ahead. “I think I know what I need to do to fix this.”

“Okay, I’ll bite even though I know it’s going to get me into hot water,” Don added indulging his friend for the moment, “What’s the game plan?”

“Honestly, this one set itself all up on it’s own for the lay-up,” Brant explained with a proud smirk, “because there’s something that Russ doesn’t realize, but I think it’s about time that I bring it to his attention.”

“And what might that be?” Don arched a curious brow seeing Brant’s face light up.

“Let’s just say that there’s an oversight that Russ overlooked a while ago--one that might give me the leverage I need to keep my wife with me,” Brant rose up to his feet. He started to pace around the room, ideas coming to him one after another, “I love Avery and I want what’s best for her.”

“I never doubted that for a second,” Don nodded sitting up straighter, “and I’m sure that Avery knows that as well.”

“She loves me--really, truly loves me and I can’t let Russell Denton get in the way of what we have,” the wheels continued turning in Brant’s mind, “You see there’s a very important point here that everyone is missing out on, but I think it’s long past time that I enlighten them on it. I think everyone needs to know the truth that I’ve kept to myself for a while now.”

“And what truth might that be?” Don stood up scratching his chin lightly.

“The truth that’s going to keep my family in tact. It’s the truth that shall set me free and put me one step ahead of Russ,” Brant turned to face his friend already feeling the plans put into motion, “And I’m going to need you to do it. Don, I need to ask you a favor.”

“Anything man. You just name it and it’s yours,” Don nodded eagerly hoping to help his friend in any way possible.

“Good, I’m glad you feel that way because what we did with Ken was big, but this, well my entire future depends on us not screwing this one up. It has to be perfect--down to the very last detail I need to have this perfect because it’s the only way to protect what’s mine and save my future Don.”


Grady stood outside of Avery’s hospital room thinking about Beth’s warning for everyone to just stay away from her for now. Even though he’d managed to keep Russ away by having him go off with Kyle and it seemed like Brant’s idiot friend was able to keep him at bay as well, Grady wouldn’t give himself that same restriction. He needed to see Avery and even if he was taking a huge risk in being there with her, it needed to be done. Taking one last look around Grady finally slipped into the room ready to face the truth that he’d been harboring inside from the moment Avery found him at that moment of darkness.

Entering the room Grady heard the sounds of beeping and machines doing their best to keep everything in order. He remembered them only too well from the time he was in the hospital. He could clearly recall when he was in this position laid up in a place he didn’t want to be after damn near losing his life. Of course that felt so very long ago, but now seeing Avery laying in the hospital bed before him, his heart sank. Unable to help himself he moved in beside her grabbing a chair. He pushed it over to the side of her bed and took a seat in it. He reached for her hand squeezing it gently in his.

“Hey Avery,” Grady smiled at her feeling his eyes clouded by tears, “what are you doing playing Sleeping Beauty on me?”

She said nothing, but merely lay there lost in the world that had been brought on by Bruce Mathis in his madness. At that moment in time he cursed himself for not being there for her--for walking out to get groceries when he could’ve stayed and been ready to fight back against Bruce. If only he hadn’t let Bruce get the best of him, then Avery wouldn’t be in this position.

“Avery, I wish you’d open your eyes,” Grady mouthed in a small whisper reaching out to touch her dark hair gently, “You’re so much more intriguing when you’re yelling at me and trying to put me in my place. I mean hey I think you did good earlier with Erin. Look at what your anger did for us both…”

He fell to silence again thinking about everything they had shared over the last few months. Everything had lead them to a point with one another--to leaning on one another in their time of need, yet now that Russ was back the rules had changed for them. Everything had changed between them. Closing his eyes he took in a small breath remembering what it had been like to hold her--to make love to her and how he’d tried to fight what he was feeling, but he’d failed miserably.

“Avery, I know that I promised I wouldn’t let you down--that I’d never hurt you again like I had in the past, but this time it’s different,” he paused returning to the last time he’d seen her in the hospital--back to when they were children and she’d broken her arm. He could remember how frightened she’d been--how completely and utterly terrified she was that she’d be alone, but now he wanted her to know, no needed her to know that she wasn’t alone.

“You have to open your eyes pretty girl,” Grady whispered soothingly over her, “You have a beautiful little baby who needs her mommy and Russ, well he’s torn up about this. He’s had a lot to deal with and he’s still dealing with it because that idiot you married won’t shut his damn mouth. I mean okay I guess I shouldn’t call him an idiot, but he really is one Avery. I wish you never married him.”

Grady stopped himself thinking about how he and Avery had fallen into passion, “Though I guess the other night proved that maybe you didn’t want that either--that maybe your heart was elsewhere…”

Grady paused shaking his head at the thought of him and Avery. He leaned in closer to her, “Look kiddo I know that you and I screwed up big time--that we did some things that maybe we never should’ve let happen. If I would’ve known that Russ was still alive, then I never would’ve acted on those feelings I have for you--I never would’ve made love to you like that and…” he paused again, “No, I’m not going to take that back. Avery, I can’t take back what happened between us, but at the same time I can make you a solemn promise. I swear to you if you wake up again and you come back to Russ and Erin, that I won’t bother you about us anymore. I’ll go back to that promise I made when you were hurt before. I’ll stop loving you like I do and leave you to be happy. I’ll stop making life difficult for you if you’ll just open your eyes.”

Still there was nothing.

“Avery please,” Grady squeezed her hand in his, “Don’t you see what I’m saying to you? You finally have that dream you thought you lost. You have Russ and he loves you so very much. You have Erin and she needs her mommy. We all need you Avery. Please, wherever you are right now, you have to find the strength to come back to us all. You need to find a way to open those beautiful brown eyes of yours and start kicking and screaming like you always do.”

He ran his fingers through her hair softly wishing that his desire alone would rouse her from her slumber. Leaning forward to kiss her forehead gently, he spoke up once again, “Avery I swear to you that when you wake up everything that we shared at that place with one another will stay between us. I won’t tell Brant about what happened and I certainly won’t tell Russ. No one will ever know that we made love and when you’re back on your feet again, I’ll find a way to pretend for the both of us that it never happened--that we never fell into that moment of insanity that was brought on by my stupidity. You saved my life and in turn I’d like to save yours. I swear to you Avery with all of my heart that when you come back to us, I won’t ever bother you again about us. I won’t offer proclamations of love or try to use what we shared against you. You’re someone special to me and you’re the love of my brother’s life. I know that now and with God as my witness, if he lets you come back to all of us, then I swear to you I’ll give up the notions I’ve had of us being together. Just please don’t let go of what you have when it’s all right in front of you. I lost Jade, but you have a second chance with Russ. You have a future ahead of you and I can’t bear the thought of you losing that. Avery, we all need you.”

Grady laced his fingers in hers again before looking up to the heavens, “God, please don’t take it all away from her like it did for Jade. She’s a mother now and my brother loves her so much. Please let them have a chance at happiness--a chance to be together and share their family with one another. I know that I went back on my promise to you when I was with her, but I swear to you that if you let her live, I won’t ever go down that road again. I won’t be a problem for her and Russ and I certainly won’t harass her anymore. I will always care about her, but I won’t let anything happen between us. I won’t remind her of the time she and I shared and if you let her come back, then I promise I’ll keep up to my bargain. I won’t make life difficult for any of them any longer. Just please let my brother have a chance at happiness. Let Erin have a chance to know how wonderful her mother is. Let them share everything with one another. Her beautiful baby girl deserves the world and Avery’s waited a long time to have this happiness in her life. Please don’t let Russ and Erin pay for my inability to keep from making love to Avery. Don’t let her lose everything because of my sin. It wasn‘t her fault that I was weak. She was just trying to save me and I took advantage of that. I should‘ve held back, but I was just so alone. I just needed someone to hold onto and I thought that… It doesn’t matter what I thought just please don‘t let them lose her. After everything, please don‘t let that happen.”

Grady trailed off lost in his own prayers for what would happen next for Avery. He kept her hand in his, pressing a kiss over the top of her palm. He sat with her a few minutes longer hoping that another miracle would take place right before him. However, as he said his prayers he had no idea that he wasn’t alone in saying them. In fact as Cameron fell back into the hallway he’d thought about what he’d heard and suddenly he felt as if fate had been smiling down upon him indeed. Not that he liked the idea of Avery being with Grady especially if she was who Cameron thought she could be, but if there was a chance that Grady had a thing for Avery and they had made love, well Cameron had just found his way into Avery’s life and he was very certain that it would be the first step in eliminating a great many of the problems that surrounded her. Yes, fate was smiling down at him indeed.


...to be continued...