Episode 287

Brooke sat in the holding area hearing the sounds of the things happening around her. A tiny shudder raced over her after she spotted one of the officers approaching. She frowned and glared up at the woman in the uniform.

“I don’t belong here. This is all a mistake. I demand to see my lawyer,” Brooke snapped at the blonde haired woman in front of her.

“Funny thing about that,” the officer quipped in response, “like everyone else that knows you he doesn’t want to be bothered with you. He said he was off to the islands and wished you the best.”

“I want a phone call,” Brooke roared at the woman in front of her, “You owe me that much. This is a clear violation of my civil rights and…”

“And your son is here to see you, so why don’t you calm down?” the officer suggested, “Or else I can just tell him that you’re unavailable.”

“I’ll see him,” Brooke blurted out without a second thought remembering how Guy had walked out on her at the hospital. Now that she’d been stuck in jail, she wanted to find a way to reach out to her son again. Knowing that he’d come around only meant that he would help her. He would get her out of the bind that she was in and things would find a way to turn themselves around. She was sure of it.

“Fine, but you’ve only got a few minutes,” the guard warned wheeling Brooke into the visitor’s area. She placed her chair over by an oversized table and threw a look out at Brooke before leaving. “You’ve got only a little while Brooke, so make the most of the moment. Who knows? Maybe your son can help you find new representation.”

“He’ll get me out of this dreadful place and when I report the injustices that have been done to me,” Brooke started to snap at her watching the officer leave the room.

Stopping mid-sentence Brooke adjusted her hair enthused that Guy had finally come around. She knew that he would never let her down--he wouldn’t close her out of his life when he knew full well how much she’d given to him. She could fix this situation and things would be better all over again. She was certain that she could get out of this and when she did she was going to find Nicholas and…

“Hello mother,” she heard an unfamiliar voice call out to her. She looked up to see a man in a dark jacket making his way into the room. He nodded over at the guard, who just rolled her eyes and walked out leaving the two of them alone with one another.

“Who are you?” Brooke gave him a look realizing that she had no time for whatever games were going on. “Look if you’re a reporter, then I have nothing to say to you.”

“I realize that you don’t know me and my lying about being your son was a bit much, but I’d just like to say that I think you and I have a lot to discuss with one another,” he explained walking over to the table to take a seat across from her. His dark eyes penetrated hers and he gave her a long look. “You really have no idea who I am, do you?”

“I don’t really care who you are because if you aren’t my lawyer or my ticket out of here, then…” Brooke started to snap at him again, her agitation growing further by the moment.

“My name is Cameron,” he explained matter of fact in a smooth and even tone, one that he was keeping reserved for those most professional of moments, “Cameron Stone. Perhaps you’ve heard of me…”

“Heard of you,” Brooke let out a small laugh, “Ah yes, you’re probably the one person in Coral Valley that is hated more than I am at this point.”

“I would seriously doubt that,” Cameron mouthed with a dry laugh, “You’re right there on the top of the hit list Brooke, but then again that’s not why I came here today. I came over here to speak with you about a subject of interest to the both of us.”

“And what might that be?” Brooke arched a curious brow over at him.

“My father Cyrus Stone,” Cameron blurted out catching the surprised look on her face. A smirk spread over his features, “Ah I see I’ve captured your attention now at long last.”

“I don’t know anyone named…” she started in a small breath, her dark eyes turning away from his.

“Don’t insult my intelligence by saying that you didn’t know him because I’m certain that would be a lie. Yes he might’ve had a different name for a while when you knew one another, but when it gets down to it, you knew him quite well,” Cameron explained in a warning tone, his dark eyes sweeping over hers, “Given that you knew my father, well I’ve come here today to offer you a break that no one else in this town is going to give you. If you should choose to help me, then I can help you leave Coral Valley and find yourself in a place where you can begin a new life without the worries of what is hanging over your head right now. If you give me what I want, then I can promise you that I’ll see to it that you’re swept out of this town before you wind up in a place that I’m quite certain you don’t want to be in. The choice is yours Brooke.”


Ria stood beside her window thumbing through the Donna Nevik book she’d been reading earlier in the week. While she’d been purely bored and in no mood to do much of anything, she’d found that this little indulgence had proven a great distraction for when Kevin had been gone. Of course there had been something about the book that now had her on edge. Perhaps it had something to do with her run in with Angela, but still…

Hearing a knock on her front door Ria spun around to glare at it--her eyes penetrating through it as if she’d like to choke slam the person on the other side of the door. Of course there was really no indication leading her to believe that it was Kevin, yet she had this feeling that it could be. That in itself got her even more agitated. Still, she had to play it cool or else this could blow up in her face.

Setting the book down Ria inhaled slowly making a mental note to count to ten before losing her cool completely. She adjusted her jacket before clearing her throat. She tossed her dark hair behind her shoulder trying to will herself to forget what had bothered her during her break at the hospital. Sure, okay so in all honesty it could’ve been a perfectly random thing, but given the striking similarities it probably wasn’t and that’s what had her roaring mad! Still she had to be calm.

“You can do this,” Ria tried to smooth her own thoughts over long enough for her to be civil and calm. Those would be two things she would need if she was about to make it through tonight.

Moving forward she reached out to open her front door discovering an oversized bouquet of flowers before her. She noticed the striking crimson roses before her and for a millisecond her heart melted. They were beautiful and their fragrance was incredible, but what made it worse was the sexy brown eyes peering over her from behind the flowers.

“Hello beautiful,” Kevin’s voice beckoned her with the same sexy slur that had melted her heart time and time again.

Oh how he looked good enough to eat, she thought to herself realizing his aftershave was working it’s usual magic over her. She felt weak in the knees, her heart thudding in her chest and other places, well she couldn’t let them overrun her head tonight. She had to be cool and calculating. She had to…

“I missed you,” Kevin interrupted her thoughts reaching out to her. He pulled her into an impromptu embrace and collected her lips in a smoldering kiss.

“Kevin,” Ria murmured against his lips her sounds buzzing against the sexy invitation his lips held over her. She had to be strong--had to think clearly. Pressing her hand over his shoulder, she felt the warm ripple of muscle in his chest and her throat bounced up in anticipation.

“Have I ever told you how sexy I think you are,” he questioned lazily, his fingers tapering off over the small of her back. Suddenly he became very aware of the texture beneath his touch. He tipped his head down to look at her curiously, “Were you going somewhere?”

“What?” Ria replied remembering what she’d been wearing. Taking a reluctant step back and out of his arms, she reached for the ties on the black trench coat she had on, “Oh no. I was planning on something much more intimate.”

“Such as?” Kevin arched a curious brow ready to put his day from hell behind him.

“Such as why don’t you close the door and find out big guy,” Ria flirted up at him curling her finger in invitation.

“If you insist,” Kevin chuckled grinning readily before closing the door behind him. He stepped in closer to her his arms reaching out to embrace her, but she pulled just out of his reach.

“Uh uh,” she shook her head turning away from him. She tilted her head to the side seeing the curious expression that crossed over his features at the black stiletto heels and black stockings that teased out from underneath her trench coat, “If you want to take a look at what’s underneath, then you’re going to have to follow me first.”

“Lead the way and I’ll be there,” Kevin promised reaching out for her. She took his fingers in hers and pulled him along into her kitchen.

“Sit,” she instructed pushing him down into one of the chairs before she moved over to the counter. She spun around to face him, her long hair sweeping in over her shoulder with the movement. Leaning back against the countertop she flashed him a sexy smile and held up a container. “This is for you.”

“Is it now?” Kevin perked up grinning wider than before as she sauntered over to him.

She nodded readily before setting the covered container down in front of him. She took a step back before motioning to the container once again, “Why don’t you open it?”

“Alright,” Kevin nodded reaching out to take the top off of the container to discover a pile of pancakes before him.

“Ria I…” Kevin’s eyes widened with sheer delight much like she’d anticipated it would. She could see that he was going to enjoy this, which was the perfect setup for what she had in mind. She watched him eye the stack eagerly before her fingers slid to the tie on her jacket.

“I have something special planned for you,” Ria continued in a sultry tone refusing to lose her focus. She knew what she had to do and even if this was going to be hard, she was going to follow through. She began to unknot the sash on her jacket, “It’s something you’ll never forget.”

“Ria, as much as I can’t wait to see what you have planned, I think we need to talk. You see I’ve had this horrible day and,” Kevin began thinking about the drama that surrounded him at Cameron’s place and then at Chris’s with Angela, “I mean I really can’t wait to see what you have planned, but…”

“But nothing you handsome guy you,” she leaned forward placing her index finger over the center of his lips, “I’m not about to let you start running around from the subject at hand when I’ve got oh so many plans for us tonight--plans that I find, well…inspiring.”

“Inspiring you say?” Kevin wiggled his brow at her, “Now that does sound like a positive change to the way my day has gone…”

“Good because I can promise you honey,” Ria’s finger tips tapered off over his shirt, teasing over the center of it. “Tonight is going to be a night you’ll never forget.”

Ria stepped back her dark eyes fixed on his. She reached for the sash on her jacket once again before taking in a slow breath. She caught the way she had Kevin’s full attention and for a brief second she started to open up her jacket to show him what was underneath, but then she thought twice of it. She tossed her hair over her shoulders before grinning at him.

“Don’t stop,” Kevin couldn’t help but add with a tiny grin, “I was starting to enjoy the show.”

“I’m sure you were, but before we get into that, I think I should tell you a little bit more about my inspiration for the night. Starting with this,” Ria reached out from behind her and dropped the Donna Nevik book she’d been reading onto the center of his lap. Kevin let out a small breath before his eyes took in what she’d pushed on him. “So Kevin, about that inspiration what do you think? Care to tell me something?”

“Um…” Kevin gulped suddenly realizing that by the expression on Ria’s face as she stood before him that something had changed in the room--something that had him believing that he was about to be in for some big trouble in ways he really wasn’t ready to face--not by a long shot!


“Don’t worry sweetheart, I promise you that everything is going to be okay,” Ben muttered stepping out of the elevator with Diane at his side. He has his arms wrapped around her tightly as she slowly walked along with him. “The baby is going to be okay and so are you.”

“Ben, something is really wrong,” Diane closed her eyes in pain, feeling a stabbing pain in her stomach making her let out a small gasp. “I shouldn’t be feeling like this Ben. Something is happening.”

“No, this is just symptoms,” Ben tried to convince Diane with his own bit of worry behind his body. He wanted to try and convince Diane that everything was going to be okay, but the fact of the matter is--he didn’t know if that was the truth.

Ben didn’t know if what he was telling Diane was true, he knew just as much as Diane--he was just trying to be more positive. The only problem was the fact that he was just or maybe even more worried than Diane was. He had to be strong for Diane and try to make her head clear for good things though. He couldn’t break and let all their thoughts and feelings fall to pieces.

“Maybe, I should sit down,” Diane decided running her hand along her forehead gently as she let out a long breath, feeling like her legs were losing the strength that they once had. “That may be for the best.”

“Not yet sweetheart,” Ben hushed holding onto Diane tighter in his arms and leading her down the hallway. He had called Deidra for help earlier, but he so far he hadn’t seen Deidra yet. Hopefully Diane was going to be okay and Deidra would be here soon. “We just have to find your sister and then everything is going to be okay. I promise you that we are all going to be fine.”

“You don’t know that, something is seriously wrong Ben,” she pointed out with a small hiss feeling all the strength in her body start to slip away.

“Believe me, you have to trust me,” Ben whispered leaning down and pressing a kiss against her forehead gently. He felt her arms cling to him roughly as he let out a small frown and continued to walk down the hallway. “We’re going to be here for a little bit and then we are going to leave. We will go home and we can watch a movie and everything. It’s all going to be okay.”

“Ben,” Deidra called out to Ben reaching out to grab his shoulder as he looked back over his shoulder at her. Deidra’s worries began to rise as she looked over at her sister and realized that something was most certainly wrong. “We have to get her to a hospital bed as soon as possible. Someone come over here and help me.”

“Wait,” Ben felt two of the guys working at the hospital take Diane away from him as he reached out to her and Deidra stopped him. “I can’t be away from her Deidra, that’s my baby. I have to be with them.”

“Everything is going to be okay Ben, I promise,” Deidra hushed running her hand down his shoulder gently, giving it a small pat. “I promise to you that we will take care of her.”

“That’s not good enough Deidra,” Ben snapped pulling away from her as he realized they no longer had Diane out in the hallway anymore. “I want to know where she is because I deserve to be with her right now. Do you even have any idea what is going on right now?”

“No, I don’t Ben. That’s why we need some time,” Deidra explained grabbing Ben’s hand in hers, leading him over to the waiting area and making him sit down. “I know you want to be here for Diane, but what she needs the most right now is to find out what is happening. Promise me you will stay here.”

“Alright,” Ben agreed letting out a long sigh as he leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees. He looked up at Deidra with his blue eyes before shrugging his shoulders. “Just promise me you'll keep me updated please.”


“I wonder what he is up to,” JT pondered as he stood in the elevators of the hospital watching as the numbers of the floors continued to go up.

Earlier when he was with Cameron, there was one thing that caught his attention above any other thing. That one thing was Avery Morrison, the woman on the news. Now being that Cameron was his brother and you were supposed to protect family, it wasn’t really that bad that he followed Cameron to the hospital earlier.

“I just wonder why Cameron was so intrigued with that woman,” JT pondered for a moment before hearing the bell of the elevator telling him that he was on the right level. “Another question I have is, where in the world did he go?”

JT walked off the elevator and out into the lobby of the floor he was on before taking a look around. He went over and stood by the front desk before thinking for a moment.

“Okay, if I was a crazy weirdo--where would I go?” JT pondered his question for a second before letting out a long sigh. He looked down at his watch before thinking about how long ago he and Cameron had split. “Man, Cameron is crazy--he can be anywhere.”

“JT,” JT felt someone grab him by his shoulder, a familiar face coming into his vision as a small smile appeared over his lips. “Oh hey…”

“Lulu,” the nurse informed JT with a small nod seeing JT nod and snap his fingers. He let out a small laugh before leaning back against the wall and looking her over. “I think there is something you might want to know.”

“Oh really? What might that be sweetheart?” JT questioned a wide smile spread over his features, watching as she folded her arms out in front of her chest. “What’s on your mind?”

“There is something you really should know that I think might be very important to you,” Lulu informed JT in a small whisper before looking back down towards the hallway. “It’s about that Diane girl you liked--she’s in the hospital JT.”

“Come on Lulu, you know I don’t fall for those jokes anymore,” JT shook his head as a small laugh escaped his lips before he looked up at the seriousness behind Lulu’s features. “Listen, is this some kind of joke or something? I know I was a little rude not remembering your name, but is this all necessary?”

“No,” Lulu replied with a small shake of her head, seeing the way that the worry lifted from JT’s features. “It wouldn’t matter if you didn’t care about her, but she came in here with a pain in her stomach and I thought you might want to know.”

“And this is true?” JT stood up straight seeing the woman before him nod as he felt his heart skip a beat. He let out a small breath as he looked down the hallway to try and see Ben or Diane--someone. “Where is she?”

“She is in her hospital room right now and they are examining her, but no one is allowed to be there,” Lulu stated with a small shrug, looking into JT’s worried eyes before letting out a deep breath. “Okay, follow me and I will show you where she is.”


“That was interesting,” Sarah sighed walking back into the house, having Kyle follow her into her home not far behind. “I can’t believe you actually bought that place.”

“You can’t believe it? Like, it was a bad thing to do?” Kyle questioned closing the door behind him as he caught the look she gave him once he asked her. “I’ll take it you didn’t like it.”

“Well, I do,” Sarah tried to explain, knowing full well that she truthfully didn’t know why it was so important to Kyle and she wasn’t all that impressed, but it was okay if he really wanted it. “If you like it, I like it.”

“You know, I think it’s time we have a little talk about something. Something I think you should know,” Kyle began taking a step in closer to Sarah before hearing the doorbell ring. “Just a second.”

“Kyle Houston?” the man before Kyle asked when Kyle opened the door and faced him. The man saw Kyle nod before he handed Kyle a box. “Just sign here.”

“Oh cool, thanks a lot man,” Kyle quickly signed the sheet before closing the door behind him. He hastily opened the box before smiling widely. “Would you look at that.”

“What? What is that?” Sarah took a step in closer seeing Kyle pull out an x-box game as she gave him a small confused glance. Kyle took the wrapper off the game, walking into the kitchen to throw the garbage away with Sarah following him. “Why did you get that?”

“Why wouldn’t I? You see Grady got me this really cool game for X-box to apologize for everything that happened. It’s called Dance, Dance Revolution. We even went out and got hard mats, they cost about a good hundred bucks each, but the two of us were interested. This is the only game we didn’t get for it and it’s supposed to be the most challenging,” Kyle informed Sarah, opening the game and taking a look at the disk before him. “You want to play? The dance pads are in the closet and everything.”

“Sure,” Sarah shrugged her shoulders, following Kyle towards the closet as he grabbed his X-box and the two dance pads. Kyle handed her the x-box before walking over to the bedroom and getting on the floor to set up the x-box in front of the television. “So, why do you like this so much?”

“I don’t know,” Kyle glanced back at her, motioning her to hand him his game system. He finished setting it up before getting back up on his feet. “I mean, it’s something me and Grady like. It’s kind of like a thing you can’t hate.”

“Right,” Sarah took a step back and accidentally bumping into her tall dresser, seeing Kyle reach out to catch something before it fell to the ground. “Whoops.”

“Whoops is right, you would have broken the glass,” Kyle held up the large candle, taking a look at the cover of it before popping off the lid to smell the fragrance. “Hey, that really does smell like blueberry muffins. That smells really good.”

“You want me to light it?” Sarah questioned seeing a small smirk appear over his lips as he took in another smell of it. She opened her top drawer and pulled out some matches. “Here, let me see it.”

“Won’t that make it lose the fragrance?” Kyle question with a small frown seeing her light it up before shrugging her shoulders. “I guess it will still kind of keep the good smell.”

“Alright, so show me how to play the game,” Sarah rubbed her hands together seeing Kyle grab his cowboy hat from the dresser and put it on, playing with it in the mirror. “Kyle, that looks ridiculous.”

“I like it,” Kyle replied with a small chuckle fixing the cream colored cowboy hat before walking over towards one of the dance pads. He stepped in the center of the dance pad before motioning Sarah to do the same. He reached up to the buttons in his short sleeved, button down shirt and unbuttoned the buttons slowly revealing his white tank top. “Alright, these arrows will come up and you have to follow which step they tell you to take. Like a right arrow is the right foot and the up arrow is taking a step forward. You get what I’m saying?”

“Yeah, I think I can handle it,” Sarah nodded as Kyle started the game and she tried to keep up with him, but the game was going just too fast. She stopped to look at Kyle as her eyebrows tensed together, watching him and how good he was at it. “How many times have you played this?”

“Just a few times,” Kyle laughed fixing his cowboy hat before continuing the game, knowing that Sarah was still watching him. “You should really try, it’s not that hard.”

“Yeah, right it’s not hard,” Sarah replied sarcastically watching Kyle finish up with one last move before turning to her and shrugging his shoulders. “I didn’t know you could dance.”

“There are a lot of things you don’t know about me. I‘m learning how to dance among other things. Though, I still really suck at dancing still,” Kyle shook his head folding his arms out in front of his chest, slightly shrugging his shoulders as he spoke. He tilted his cowboy hat down a bit before a grin spread over his features. “Ten bucks says I can do the worm.”

“You have to be kidding me,” Sarah laughed seeing Kyle shake his head slowly. She shrugged her shoulders before moving out of the way and giving him some space to do the move on her carpet floor. “I’ll give you twenty.”

“Okay,” Kyle nodded slowly before getting down to the ground and looking up at her with his brown eyes. “Just watch this, I’m sure you’ll be surprised.”

“Maybe, but I doubt it,” Sarah watched Kyle start to do the dance move she never imagined Kyle doing before. She let out a small laugh, her jaw dropping after seeing him do the move until he ran out of room. He laid out on his back before letting out a long laugh seeing the look on her face.

“I told you I could do it,” Kyle chuckled seeing her step in next to him as he shook his head slowly. He rested his arms behind his head before grinning widely. “I bet you another twenty I can get up off the ground with out getting on my knees or using my hands.”

“You mean like how they jump up in the movies?” Sarah questioned seeing him nod slowly as she shrugged her shoulders and stepped back once more to give him some room. “What’s another twenty, I believe the worm but this…”

Kyle lifted his legs up and rolled back before pushing off the ground with his back and landing on his feet. She watched him wipe his pants off before reaching down to pick up his cowboy hat and put it back on.

“I can’t believe you actually just did that,” Sarah shook her head, not believing all the ways that Kyle was moving in front of her. He placed his hand over his outer thigh, letting out a long sigh as he stood still for a moment. “How did you learn all that.”

“When you’re pissed off you have a lot of time to try new things,” Kyle shrugged his shoulders, feeling the pain in his thigh now after the move he just pulled. “So, where is my forty dollars?”

“Well, I don’t have money right now, but I think I can pay you back with something else,” Sarah replied in a seductive whisper, reaching out to run her index finger down the front of his hard chest slowly.

“You can?” Kyle questioned with a small smirk, grabbing her wrist in his hand and pulling her in against him roughly. He looked down at her with a dark glance before a small smirk appeared over his features. “What do you have in mind exactly?”


“Oh right,” Chris yelled at the television monitor in front of him after having settled into watching a reality television show while awaiting Heather’s return. He slapped his hand on his forehead in a small movement before shaking his head at the woman onscreen once again, “Don’t take him back Becky. He’s been cheating on you the whole time and if you’d just open up your eyes you’d see that…”

“He’s gone!” Heather’s sharp and raspy voice announced as she reentered her apartment. She slammed the door behind her upon seeing the source of her now overpowering rage making himself at home on her sofa, “This is all your fault!”

“Heather you are not going to believe this. On this show they are trying to get these two to reunite, but her boyfriend is a dog. He’s slept with just about everything female on the island and even one of the guys and…” Chris started to recount the tale of the reality television show when Heather turned the television off. He tipped his head to look up at her with a frown, “Why did you do that? I was just getting into that. It was just getting good.”

“Because you aren’t going to sit here in my apartment and spend the night watching my television especially not when you single-handedly destroyed a romantic night for me,” Heather replied with an icy tone taking a step closer to him, “Do you have any idea how long I’ve waited to get that close to Diego?”

“Unfortunately I don’t even want to fathom that idea because when I saw him up close and personal like that I didn’t have the first clue what you were lusting over,” Chris shrugged his shoulders before clicking the button on the remote to turn the television on again, “He’s far too out of the realm of acceptable for someone like you.”

“Diego is sweet and sexy and intelligent,” Heather defended her would be lover’s actions, “He’s someone I’ve wanted for a while and…”

“And I think you should get over it,” Chris mouthed in response, “You know find a new pet project like knitting or karaoke if it suits you, but forget about a guy like that. He’s not worth it.”

“You’re not getting it Chris! He’s what I want--what I’ve waited for and I’m not about to let you or anyone ruin that for me,” she raised her voice sharply, “I’ve wanted to be with him for a long time. He’s the first nice guy I’ve fallen for--the first man who likes me for me and isn’t all about having me as a trophy girlfriend. He isn’t rich and self-absorbed and…”

“He doesn’t have all that much to brag about under the boxers either Heather. If you would’ve been paying attention to what you were groping there, you would’ve found that you would’ve been sorely disappointed in being in bed with him. A man that lacking can’t please a woman in the ways that you’re hoping for,” Chris countered with a wrinkled expression.

“I’m positive that Diego is all the man I need and more,” she paused giving him a strange look, “and why the hell were you looking?”

“It was hard to miss when he was butt naked in the center of your living room when I walked in. Although well in retrospect it was really kind of hard to miss, which proves my point altogether and…” Chris started in a random thought, “Really Heather I always figured you to be someone who was interested in a man’s man--someone who had a little something to brag about under the belt not…”

“Would you just shut up?!?!” Heather snapped at him, “Chris, I don’t want to hear it. I don’t give a damn why you showed up--why you insist on giving me a headache or what you want to make up about Diego to try to stroke your own clearly overly inflated ego. Face it. Diego and I should’ve been here making love right now instead of my arguing with you about his manhood, which by the way is a subject you really should let go of before I start to think you’re jealous or interested in him in which case both of those make me want to shudder.”

“The only time you’ll be shuddering around me Heather is in a moment of passion,” Chris challenged rising to his feet. He discarded the box of donuts and took a bold step towards her, “You want to know what a real man is like Heather? You want to experience a lover that will leave you breathless and anticipating more? Well, I can assure you that you won’t find it wasting your time on a loser like that. You need a man that can take charge--that can give you the kind of thrills you’re looking for without hesitation--a man that can kiss you to the point where you lose all control. You want someone who can give you everything you’ve ever fantasized about without even touching you.”

Heather’s eyes widened before she let out a small laugh, “And you think that what? That you’re that man that can give me that?”

“Oh Heather I know I am. I can take you to heaven in more ways than you can imagine with my pinky finger, which now that I think about it would be more pleasing than Diego at this point, but that’s another subject altogether,” Chris stepped in closer yet, his dark eyes fixed on hers, “I know all about heaven and I promise you that I can give you a night you’ll never forget if you drop the mantra about Donatello long enough to toss aside your nice guy fantasy and replace it with one about a man who can more than deliver on his promises…”

“Chris, you’re absolutely insane if you think that…” Heather began only to feel his thick fingers curl around her neck pulling her to him in an explicit no hold’s barred take it or leave it kind of kiss. His mouth explored hers with careful consideration, leaving no room for interpretation of his words. In fact, his kiss only drilled further into Heather his promise to follow through on exactly what he offered her, but before she allowed the kiss to get carried away, she heard Charles cry out over the baby monitor.

Heather pushed away from Chris breathlessly giving him one last disapproving, yet flushed faced look before disappearing into her son’s room. He could see her staggering steps towards the nursery and he couldn’t help but offer up a proud smile. Yeah, he got to her, which he was sure would leave more of an impact on her than Diego did any day. Diego might have had an opportunity to get close to Heather for a millisecond, but Chris vowed that after tonight he would prove to Heather what a chump Diego really was!


“So, why was Cori here?” Dave sat down on his couch, watching as Carly followed his movements and took a seat next to him. He turned in closer to his wife before placing his hand on top of hers. “What did my little sister have on her mind? I’m worried about her because I’ve called her a couple of times and there was no answer. Leaving me to believe there is something really bad going on with her.”

“I don’t think you want to know,” Carly sighed deeply seeing the way that Dave looked over at her with his big, dark eyes. “What is it?”

“I need to know everything she told you Carly,” Dave pointed out with a small shake of his head and throwing his hands up in the air. “Sometimes you don’t know how much information on something really helps me out with her.”

“I’ll pretend like I know what that means,” Carly nodded slowly before continuing on with what she remembered with the conversation she had with Cori. “Basically, Diego pretty much broke her heart.”

“Broke her heart?” Dave repeated before letting out a long and worried breath. “What kind of broken heart? One that a woman knows is good or one that is breaking the woman down?”

“I would say the worst a broken heart could get,” she decided leaning back into the couch even more as she looked at Dave and saw him look the other way. “She seems too upset about it and I don’t even know why. It sounds like she deserved so much better.”

“Oh no,” Dave frowned and shook his head slowly as he picked up his cell phone once more and went to go and call Cori before Carly stopped him by grabbing the phone from his hands. “Give me that back, I need to make sure she is okay about this Carly. You don’t know how important this is.”

“Why do you say that?” Carly eyed Dave over slowly knowing that there was something he was keeping from her about Cori and something bad that had happened. “Dave? What’s got you so worried?”

“It’s that Cori is really fragile when it comes to a relationship,” Dave tried to explain grabbing the phone from Carly’s hands before shrugging his shoulders and letting out a long sigh. “I guess you could just say she doesn’t handle break ups very well.”


“Russ, I don’t think you realize what you’re saying,” Avery searched his eyes, “I mean I can’t ask you to surround yourself in a place where you don’t want to be.”

“Do you honestly think that I’m about to let you walk away from me without a fight?” Russ questioned pushing a loose strand of her dark hair back behind her ear. “Avery, where you are is the only place I want to be. As much as I don’t want to own up to the fact that I’m an Ashford, the fact to the matter is that you are my family. You and Erin are my life and wherever you are is where I’m going to be. We’ve wasted far too much time apart from one another already.”

“I know we have,” she replied poignantly, “and I don’t ever want to go through that again Russ. I don’t ever want to lose you like I thought I did before.”

“It’s never going to happen Avery,” Russ promised reaching out to cup her face in his hands. His green eyes reached down deep into hers seeing so many things happening behind her dark eyes, “We’re a sure thing Avery. Our happily ever after is still in the cards.”

“Still spouting off about fairy tales huh,” Avery couldn’t help but smile up at him.

“With you, most definitely,” he nodded in confession tipping down to steal a kiss from her lips, “There’s nothing more magical than the feel of you in my arms just like this.”

“Oh Russ,” Avery melted into him holding him as if there had never been a more perfect moment than the one they were sharing.

“Tell you what,” Russ suggested with a whisper in the back of her ear, “How about we forget about finding Ken and Don for a little while and think about paying a visit to the nursery to see our daughter?”

“I think that sounds like a wonderful idea,” Avery nodded in response unable to suppress the smile that teased over her lips, “I miss her already.”

“So do I,” Russ admitted reaching for her hand and lacing her fingers in his. He glanced over her shoulder seeing Brant still laying perfectly still in the bed. Yes, this was going to be a challenge indeed, but he wasn’t about to let the situation take away from what was important with them. Bringing his arm around Avery’s shoulders, he walked with her out of Brant’s room to the nursery.

“Think she is wondering where we were,” Avery questioned tipping her head up to look at him.

“Nah, she’s just thinking that we’ve had enough time on our own,” Russ whispered peering through the window of the nursery to see their daughter before them. “She’s just trying to tell us that now is time for her attention.”

“Then let’s give it to her,” Avery decided as they headed into the nursery ready to share some private time with their little girl without the worries of the rest of the world weighing them down.


“There’s no chance,” Brooke spat out after hearing Cameron’s proposal that he’d laid out to her shortly after his arrival. “While I understand and appreciate your taking a risk on me today Cameron, the truth to the matter is that I cannot offer you what you’re asking for.”

“I’m not asking much,” Cameron frowned back at her shaking his head with heavy disapproval, “You know that.”

“Even so why would I want to disappear when I’m quite content with the life that I have here in Coral Valley?” Brooke challenged arching a curious brow at him. “If you truly had the power to persuade and influence as your father once did, then you would get me out of here and we could talk then.”

“Unlike my father I don’t have unyielding faith in you,” he explained clearing his throat after a moment, “If you turn down my offer, you could very well be letting go of your last chance at freedom.”

“Freedom you say?” Brooke arched a curious brow. “From what you’ve told me you want to fly me out of Coral Valley--away from the life that I’ve built for myself and for what? What you want from me is something I really can’t offer you. I can’t tell you where Nicholas Ashford is when I don’t know myself.”

“Forget about that then,” Cameron finally decided with an afterthought, “Leave Nicholas to me and just clue me in to what you know. We’ll call that even and I will have you out of here in no time.”

“You’ll be sending me to a life away from my family, away from my home and my business,” Brooke pointed out with another frown.

“Even so I’ve offered you a considerable amount of money which should be more than enough to start again with,” Cameron added giving her another look. “It’s your ticket to a new beginning.”

“At my age a new beginning doesn’t sound as appealing as one might think,” Brooke informed him point blank, “It’s not easy to get to where I am today with all the years I’ve put into it, so why would I willingly begin again from nothing?”

“Because by this time you may be nothing if the D.A. has her way with you. I’m merely giving you another option--one that will take you far from Coral Valley forever,” Cameron shrugged his shoulders again, “I’ll set you up in a place that will be more than sufficient pending that you never return again.”

“Even without anything further from me on Nicholas?” Brooke questioned curiously, “Providing I actually know anything about that monster.”

“Quite honestly I know you have a great knowledge of the bastard, but he’ll get what’s coming to him in due time. You however can look at today as your lucky day. All you have to do is say yes and I can make this all disappear for you,” Cameron waved his hand around in the air dismissively.

“Yes, but if you have that capability, why should I have to walk away from my life? Why should I have to give up what is rightfully mine when there is no evidence linking me to these rumors of scandal?” Brooke countered in response. “If you were as powerful as you claim to be, then you would make it all disappear and let me get back to my life.”

“A life where your family doesn’t want anything to do with you?” Cameron tossed out at her, “A life where the law will be constantly hovering over your shoulder waiting for you to screw up? Face it Brooke you are all out of options and this is your last chance for a new start. It will clear you of your sins and give you a life--any life you have dreamt of far from here. You’ll stay away from this town, your family and Avery…”

“Avery,” Brooke’s eyes perked up at the mention of her daughter, “Now why would you include her in this?”

“Let’s just say I’ve heard the stories and I’m convinced you’ve put her through more than enough,” Cameron offered up leaving no hint behind his motivation. “You can go away and the problem is solved.”

“Is it?” Brooke inquired, “Something tells me you didn’t mention my daughter without reason. Tell me has she caught your eye Mr. Stone?”

“That’s none of your concern,” Cameron waved his hand dismissively, “but what is of relevance right now is this offer that will expire when the guard returns.”

“Quite frankly you don’t get to where I am in this life by being naïve Cameron,” she tipped her head to the side to size him up, “While I’m sure that you have something up your sleeve, the truth to the matter is I don’t believe a word of what you’re saying. For all I know you could be trying to make me disappear for reasons that would be unsavory to my own personal health.”

“I give you my word that you will be unharmed should you take me up on my offer pending that you stay away from Coral Valley for the rest of your days,” Cameron reminded her again.

“And if I decided down the road to return to Coral Valley after the fireworks died down?” she couldn’t help but ask with a sudden curiosity.

“Then I would have no problems eliminating you myself,” Cameron announced in a low, threatening tone, “If we make a deal, it’s a lasting one--no changing the terms.”

“In that case,” Brooke placed her hands on top of the table, “I’m going to have to reject your offer Mr. Stone.”

“You’re a very foolish woman,” Cameron frowned back at her. He slid the chair away from the table and stood up, “Given what I’d learned about you, I’d hoped you’d prove to be more intelligent than this.”

“I think I’m safer taking chances on my own given I have a few tricks up my sleeve,” Brooke sighed heavily tossing out a bored expression, “Something tells me that a man like you couldn’t possibly live up to your offer and the terms, well they were simply impossible.”

“When you’re begging for your life remember this day and the offer that you threw away because I won’t be returning for a second appearance. You made your bed and now you can lie in it,” Cameron shook his head at her hearing the door open and the guard returning.

“Time’s up,” she explained as Cameron walked over to her giving her a small smile.

“I’m more than finished in here,” he explained smoothly walking out of the interrogation room and leaving Brooke to wonder just what the future held in store for her. Regardless of what was happening in the here and now she had to reach Nicholas--that was going to be the one and only way to clear herself.

“I’ll find him,” she thought to herself realizing that if it was the last thing she did, she would find a way to take him down should the blame fall on her. There was no way her life would be over after all she’d worked. No one could take that from her. Not now. Not ever!


Kevin sat in a moment of silence feeling everything replay in his mind in agonizing slow motion. He could still remember the way the scene had gone from intriguing to grueling and now that he had a Donna Nevik book in his lap, he had the strange feeling it was all going to go downhill from there. Taking in a small breath, Kevin pulled the book out of his lap and set it on the table top.

“I don’t know what this is,” Kevin lied feeling like he could kick himself for saying such a stupid remark given the way Ria was watching him.

“No?” she arched a curious brow taking a slow step towards him. She leaned forward, giving him a glimpse of the sexy lingerie that she had on beneath the trench coat. His eyes practically popped out of his head at such an enticing view, but it was far too brief for his liking because before he knew it Ria was standing up straighter once again and pacing around the room with a book in hand. “Well, I happen to think this is something that you should really look into. You see I was reading this when I had a little time on my hands and something about it struck me as familiar…”

“It did,” Kevin questioned uneasily watching her with nervous anticipation.

“It did,” she nodded tilting her head to the side to look at him, “but of course it didn’t really register until earlier today when I had a run in with this woman at a little diner that I sometimes get lunch from. You see she was extremely upset because she said she had a lot of men in her life causing her issues. Naturally I thought I should see what was bothering her given that she looked pretty upset so much so that I took a seat and had a few words with her.”

“Well that sounds like it was an okay thing to do,” Kevin replied uneasily not really sure where she was headed with this one, “I probably would’ve done the same thing if I saw someone upset.”

“Oh I’m sure that you would’ve,” Ria added with a knowing smirk, “I’m sure you would’ve sat down right next to her and had a very lengthy discussion with her much like I did. You see she was really fired up--ready to give up on men altogether because she and a friend of hers were having troubles.”

“That’s too bad,” Kevin offered up not really knowing what to say.

“Yes, it really is,” Ria continued pacing around the room once again, “and what made it worse was that she went on and on about this friend of hers--about this guy that she was involved with at one point in time before the romance part of the relationship soured. She went on and on about how he was still a dear friend of hers and about how she still believed that he was in love with her and how allowing him to stay close to her still was a bad thing. She was rather flustered and with good reason as she started talking about the time they’ve spent with one another recently when she was on a rebound. Why the poor woman was really wired and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her to have to deal with that…”

“Uh, sure. I mean yeah it sounds like it,” Kevin added nervously his eyes fixed on the book in her hand, “but um what does that have to do with that book?”

“Well you see that’s where this gets interesting. As you know I’m not a big romance novel reader--at least I’m no where near as educated in the world of romance as Trisha is, but see Trisha, well she can’t get enough of these books,” Ria held the novel up in her hand, “She even suggested that I read this one because I’d really like it. It’s a perfect mixture of romance and intrigue and it’s sure to please she said.”

“Well, that’s good,” Kevin fought to suppress the amusement he felt in knowing Trisha was a fan, “She has pretty good taste.”

“Yeah she does,” Ria noted, “and I have to admit that I thought this was a pretty good book. I mean it was a little contrived in the romance department given that I felt the man in the novel was seriously lacking…”

“You thought he was lacking,” Kevin repeated with a wounded expression before quickly recovering, “I mean why?”

“Well for starters he lacks any real originality in the sense that his first big love scene in this particular novel played out exactly like what this woman was telling me about today. She put together a scenario about her and her best friend being stuck in this cabin with her pal and things got a bit heated. Funny thing about it though is when I started thinking about it, her tale sounded so very much like what was in this novel so much so that I had to come home and take another look at it.”

“Ria, I don’t think that…” Kevin stammered watching her flip to the page in question.

“That’s okay Gia. We’ll make the most of what we have here, Vincent explained in a slow, subtle tone, his heart hammering in his chest,” Ria read aloud to him, “I’m sure that this pancake mix will be more than enough to make it through the weekend for us. The way I see it, it could very well open the door to some very distinct possibilities for us…”

“Ria, really you don’t have to,” Kevin rose up from where he was seated, “I’m not
really into romance novels and…”

“And nothing,” Ria slammed the book shut, “Cut the crap Kevin! I know this was you! I know this was your story--your love scene…”

“Ria, I don’t…” Kevin struggled to find the right words.

“I know that this was about you--you and Angela and your little magical pancake experience,” Ria’s voice raised with obvious anger, “I know all about all your little escapades since you’ve been publishing them for the world to see. You’re so proud of what you have with her--with what you want to have happening with her, that you spend your time making it happen in the world of fiction over and over and over again!”

“Ria I can explain that…” Kevin reached out to her only to feel her slam the book into the center of his abdomen.

“Save the explaining Kevin! I met your precious Angie today and it didn’t take long for me to realize that you’re still hung up on her--that you’ve always wanted to be with her and that you still want her,” Ria shouted unable to hold back in the rage that had burned deep inside of her.

“Ria that’s not true. It’s not…” Kevin tried to plead with her once again.

“Save the lies Kevin because Donna Nevik speaks for itself! You’re Donna Nevik and don’t insult my intelligence by denying it,” Ria lashed out at him, “and in your being Donna Nevik it only proves that you’re doing this because when it gets down to it Donna Nevik gives you an opportunity to keep the fire burning for Angela--the fire that you’ve never let go of and it’s that same fire that keeps you coming back for more! Well guess what Kevin you and Donna can have Angela for all I care because I‘m done! Do you hear me? Done! D-O-N-E!”


“Now would this something have to deal with me taking you to the bed?” Kyle questioned running his thumb down her shoulder gently, leaning closer to her seeing the way she closed her eyes when he got closer to her. “Is that what you had in mind?”

“Close to it,” Sarah nodded slowly feeling Kyle’s hot breath against the side of her neck as he pushed her hair back and pressed a small kiss against her neck. “Really close.”

“Sounds tempting,” Kyle replied feeling her fingers run down his back slowly before running back over his shoulders. He pulled her in tighter to him, a small smile appearing over his lips as he let out a small breath. “What do you want to do to me Sarah? You want to have your way with me, tie me up? Sound tempting to you?”

“A little bit,” Sarah nodded feeling Kyle’s lips press in over her collarbone as she tilted her head to the side. Every time she was in this room, it reminded her of the night she had with Diego, but now that Kyle was here in front of her, those memories were just a small blurb in her memory. “Really tempting.”

“So, you would like to tie me up to the headboard and do the things only certain people could even imagine to do?” Kyle whispered in her ear, feeling her fingers run down over the front of his chest and down his abdomen. “You want to remember what it’s like seeing me naked?”

“Oh yeah,” Sarah bit down on her bottom lip as Kyle backed her up against the dresser and grabbed her hands in his, pressing them up over her head. “It sounds really nice.”

“You think so?” Kyle questioned leaning forward to kiss her lips slowly, picking her up and feeling her legs wrap around his waist as he pressed her in harder against the dresser. “You miss this don’t you? You miss being with me, you made a mistake didn’t you?”

“I made a big mistake,” she nodded feeling his lips press in over her jaw line as she went to grab his cowboy hat before he backed away and shook his head slowly.

“Don’t touch this, I’m keeping it on,” Kyle whispered running one of his hands down her back slowly before letting out a long breath. “I’m the best you ever had, right? You want me really, really bad don’t you?”

“Kyle, I think it’s kind of obvious on both cases,” Sarah pointed out leaning forward and kissing his lips, feeling him press himself harder against her as she let out a small sigh. “You are sexiest guy I’ve ever met. Everything about you is perfect. Your personality--you’re body, everything about you is perfect.”

“I’m perfect? So, in the past that was all you that hurt me, right? I was a good person, you just…” Kyle paused thinking back to that one moment in time when Sarah changed her colors completely. “You’re very sorry, aren’t you? You’re sorry because you want me so bad, right?”

“I want you really bad Kyle. I’m very sorry,” Sarah bit down on her bottom lip gently as Kyle slowly set her down. She saw the way he took a step back away from her, looking at her with his dark eyes as she let out a small sigh. “What is it?”

“Well, what are you waiting for if you want me so much?” Kyle questioned seeing her look at him as he lifted his tank top up that was under the button down shirt. She gazed over his chiseled abdomen before reaching out and working open his belt.

“I missed this,” Sarah whispered leaning up and kissing his lips as she reached for his zipper and pulled it down slowly before feeling his hand catch her wrist in his hand tightly. She looked up into his dark eyes seeing the smirk spread over his features as he shook his head slowly.

“You know, as much as you like the sounds of ravishing me and tying me up--I really don’t like that idea,” he shrugged his shoulders taking a step back and zipping his pants back up. He buckled them back up before shrugging his shoulders and going back towards the dance pad. “I really feel like playing the game right now, but just for starters, I don’t like being tied up.”

“What?” Sarah chuckled seeing Kyle shrug his shoulders before going back to the game again and tilting his cowboy hat forward. “You’re being serious.”

“I’m just really interested in the game right now,” Kyle replied looking back towards the screen before a wide smile appeared over his lips. He couldn’t help but tease her like that, sure it wasn’t the right thing to do, but it worked really good. “Sorry babe, maybe later we can come up with something. Forty bucks could be a dinner or something like that.”

“Great,” Sarah pushed back into the dresser closing her eyes tightly as she heard Kyle pause the game. “What’s wrong with you?”

“What’s that smell?” Kyle turned around to see the bed on fire as he let out a small gasp and ran over towards the bed. “Sarah, go get some water. You knocked over the damn candle.”

“Oh god Kyle, get it out,” Sarah’s heart began to beat wildly as she watched Kyle pull his button down shirt off and began to try and take the fire out with his shirt. He saw the fire grow bigger as he tried to get the fire to go down.

“Oh shit,” Kyle fell back to the ground as his shirt started on fire and he threw out it out of his hand. He slid back quickly as the fire hit the floor and started to spread throughout the room. “No way, I’m not going to let this happen.”

“Kyle,” Sarah yelled seeing Kyle run over towards his game and quickly unhook it from the television before running out of the room with the game pads and his x-box under his arm. “Where are you going?”

“I’ll be right back, I promise,” Kyle yelled from the hallway, leaving Sarah completely alone in the room as she looked at the fire building before her.

“This isn’t good,” Sarah thought quickly running into the bathroom and filling one of her cups up with water before running back into the bedroom and throwing it on the bed.

When Sarah did that the fire went out in a small spot on the bed, but grew larger at the area next to the spot she put out. She was running out of ideas to do as she saw her curtains go up in flames and she fell to the floor.

“Sarah,” Kyle walked back into the room, falling to the ground as the fire spread out in front of him. He covered his mouth, feeling the smoke filling his nose as he let out a small cough. “What have you been doing this whole time? You used a Dixie cup to take out the fire?”

“I don’t know what I’m doing Kyle,” Sarah tried to explain seeing Kyle quickly get up off the ground and reach out to grab her in his arms and pick her up from the ground. “Where did you go?”

“Sorry, I couldn’t let my x-box burn so I took it to the truck,” Kyle explained after he ran back into the room before shrugging his shoulders and seeing the room begin to start up more on fire as he took a step back and let out a small cough feeling the smoke surrounding him. “Sarah, let’s get out of here before one of us gets hurt.”

“Okay,” Sarah nodded slowly feeling Kyle pull her along the hallway as the fire spread out into the hallway. She felt him tug her outside quickly before he looked at the house and handed her his cell phone.

“God no. Call for some help Sarah and I will be right back,” Kyle gasped running up towards the steps before letting out a small cough as he entered the now smoke filled home. There was a few things in the house that he couldn’t let get burned. Not now, not ever. Kyle had heard Sarah call for him as he placed his arm over his mouth and walked towards the bedroom seeing the hallway now filled with fire.

Kyle let out a small breath as he ran and jumped over the fire before pushing open the door. He took a look around the bedroom where he saw his bag in the corner, luckily the fire hadn’t reached it yet. Thinking quickly he avoided the fire and jumped over it before quickly grabbing his bag. He looked around the room before him, realizing there was no way he was going to get out of the room easily. At all if even.

“I hate when it gets down to this,” Kyle turned around to face the window, bringing his foot up and kicking through the window before jumping out of the window and hitting the ground roughly. “Ouch.”

Kyle let out a small groan as he fell on his butt and held onto his bag tightly. He slowly opened the bag before taking out the picture of his mother and his father that hadn’t been ruined.

“I couldn’t lose the only thing I had of them,” Kyle let out a small breath before grabbing another thing from his bag and letting out a small smile. He looked at the two stuffed bears before him that were a groom and wife bear as he smiled. He looked at the picture in the middle before running his fingers over the picture of him when he was a child with another little girl when they had pretended to get married. “I couldn’t lose the only two things of happiness I’ve ever had in my life.”

Kyle shook his head slowly before putting the things back in his bag and zipping it up. He slowly got off the ground and threw the bag over his shoulder before walking around the building.

“What the hell does she have on her sheets?” Kyle pondered stopping for a moment before shaking his head slowly. Whatever it was, it made the fire spread a whole lot faster then any normal pair of sheets would have.


Heather kissed Charles on the top of the head before carefully placing him back in his bed. While her son had made a lot of noise, he really only wanted a changing and then he was back to his dreams. She couldn’t help but smile as she watched him lost in his slumber. If only she could find that much peace and contentment just with a little attention.

“You know you’re quite good at that,” a voice perked up behind her startling her. She spun around to see Chris standing over her shoulder. Frowning at him she took a step away from him.

“What are you doing in here?” she questioned harshly in a muted tone.

“I was just watching you with your son Heather. You’re a good mom, you know that?” Chris whispered in response a smile lighting up his face.

“And I’ll be an even better mom once I kick you out of my son’s nursery,” Heather warned him placing her palm in the center of his chest. She pushed him out of the room and carefully closed the door behind her before glaring at him, “What are you still doing here? I told you to leave.”

“I heard what you said, but I figured what happened between us before spoke for itself,” Chris followed her out into the living room area. “I didn’t think it was wise to walk out on such a tentative moment for us.”

“There was nothing tentative or anything else happening between us,” she placed her hands on her hips impatiently, “Other than your sabotaging me once again with Diego.”

“I was doing you a favor. I don’t considering it sabotaging,” Chris objected with a huff, “The man is clearly all wrong for you and…”

“And that’s not your decision to make. You don’t have the right to barge in here and tell me who you think I should or shouldn’t be spending my time with,” she shook her head at him, “Just because I asked for you to help me recapture his attention does not mean that it’s an open invitation to my life from here on out.”

“Heather, I’m only trying to help you help yourself,” he shot back pointedly, “You’ll just be making a huge mistake with a man like Diego. He couldn’t possibly appreciate all your finer points like I could.”

“Chris, you don’t even know my finer points,” she wrinkled her nose at him, “nor do I want you to given what kind of person you are.”

“And just what is that supposed to mean?” he frowned back at her.

“Well for starters you’re nosy and you butt into other people’s business far too much,” she glared at him with a huff, “and you just…well, you just have this way about you where you take a perfectly good evening and just tear it to pieces. Right now I could be enjoying the perks of getting to know Diego on a more personal level--on a level that I’ve wanted to know him for months, but instead I’m standing here arguing with you. That’s not right!”

“What’s not right is your obsessing about a guy who clearly isn’t nearly as good as you need in your life,” Chris shook his head at her, “I mean really are you so blind to the truth that’s before your eyes? The guy clearly has some major hang-ups and since he and Cori didn’t work out, naturally he’s trying to bounce back with you. You might see that as victory but I see it as a copout. If you’re smart, then you’ll give him the old heave ho and start looking for someone who can respect and appreciate you fully!”

“And you think that someone is you?” she challenged with a scowl, “You really think that you’re all the man I need?”

“All that and more,” Chris nodded reaching out for her triumphantly and laying another kiss on her. He felt her fingers curl over his shoulder, her nails biting into his flesh, but rather than her pulling away, she kissed him in response proving to Chris that maybe Heather wasn’t all about wanting to be with Diego as much as she claimed to be. In fact given the eagerness behind her response to his kiss he was pretty damn certain Diego was the last thing from her mind!


“I just wish I was there to help her when things fell apart for her and Diego,” Dave frowned thinking about his sister’s emotional state, “Cori doesn’t do breakups well and I wish I’d been there to talk to her…”

“Dave I’m sure she’ll be okay,” Carly tried to offer up sensing that her husband was beyond worried about his younger sister, “I mean she seemed like she was doing better the last time I spoke with her. I think we really bonded when we were together.”

“Really?” Dave’s eyes perked up as he looked to his wife, “You mean she’s not giving you a hard time any longer?”

“No,” Carly shook her head a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth, “I actually have to say that I think Cori’s finally accepted that we’re together. I mean I thought it wasn’t ever going to happen, but hey I guess I was wrong. I think that now she sees that I’m not out to hurt you. I think she realizes how much I love you.”

“And how much I love you,” Dave added moving in beside his wife. He slid his arms around her waist pulling her in closer to him, “I hope you realize that even though the honeymoon was cut short, that doesn’t mean that you and I have to skim on the romance here.”

“I didn’t imagine it would mean that,” Carly teased her fingers over the front of his button down shirt, “In fact, I was hoping that we’d continued to delve into that whole romance thing sooner or later.”

“Speaking of romance,” Dave leaned forward ready to press a kiss on her lips when a sound rose up from the other end of the house.

“Mommy come here!” Kayla’s voice squealed excitedly, “Mommy, you have to see this!”

Carly couldn’t help but laugh hearing Kayla’s feet race down the hallway towards her and Dave. Despite the fact Dave still had his arms wrapped around Carly, it did nothing to deter Kayla from seeking out her mother. She wormed her way between the two of them, placing one arm on Dave’s leg, the other on Carly’s leg. Her big, brown eyes stared up at the both of them expectantly.

“You both have to see this!” Kayla announced in an exaggerated tone, “It simply cannot wait! Come right this instant! Right now!”

“We’re working on it,” Dave laughed lightly hearing the phone ring. His eyes immediately darted to the phone and his worries about Cori resurfaced.

“Go on and answer it,” Carly whispered to him before motioning over to Kayla, “I’m sure that I can keep her at bay for a few minutes if it’s Cori.”

“Thank you,” Dave smiled over at her appreciatively before moving over to the phone. He caught Carly out of the corner of his eye scooping up Kayla in her arms before the two disappeared down the hallway to Kayla’s bedroom. Smiling Dave reached for the phone ready to have a long talk with his sister should it be her calling on the other end of the line.

“Cori?” Dave answered thoughtlessly hoping that his sister would be on the phone ready to talk to him.

“Dave?” a male voice questioned causing Dave to hesitate. While he was hoping for his sister, there was something about the voice on the other end of the line that rang strangely familiar, “Is that you?”

“Andy,” Dave replied unable to believe his ears now that Deidra’s soon-to-be-ex-husband was on the other end of the line.

“Hey Dave, how’s it going?” Andy replied with a pleasantness in his voice as if they had just hung out last week. “How’s it going man?”

“It’s um…” Dave paused not really sure how to respond to the question, “going.”

“That doesn’t sound too promising,” Andy chuckled again clearly amused, “but then again you were never one for words there, were you buddy?”

“I’m fine with my words,” Dave replied with a frown, “but that’s not why you called me up out of the blue, so I have to ask what do you want?”

“Always straight to the point,” Andy replied his voice a little less full of laughter, “Look I honestly didn’t think that I’d get you. I was hoping to have a word with Carly.”

“Carly,” Dave repeated a tiny voice registering in the back of his head, “Why would you want to talk to Carly?”

“Because she left this number on my machine and I was hoping to catch her if she was in. Is she in,” Andy questioned a bit more impatiently. Dave turned to look down the hallway where he could hear Carly and Kayla laughing with one another and Dave found himself wondering what in the world his wife was doing receiving phone calls from a man that Dave had grown to despise. Something told him whatever it was that had prompted Andy to call, it couldn’t be good.


Ben paced around the lobby wondering what was taking so long. It wasn’t like the hospital staff not to say anything especially when he was worried out of his mind about what was happening with Diane. The pain that she’d been experiencing had terrified her and him as well. Now as he thought back to the look on her face when they’d been separated he couldn’t help but worry about what was happening behind closed doors. There had to be a reason why no one was saying anything. He needed answers and he needed them now.

“I can’t wait any longer,” Ben thought aloud spinning around to find himself face to face with JT. Instantly his worries about Diane transformed to anger for the man standing before him. Ben snarled at him, “What the hell are you doing here?”

“I heard about Diane,” JT explained in a rushed breath, “I came up here as soon as one of the nurse’s told me she was brought in. What’s going on?”

“It’s none of your business,” Ben replied tightly glaring at the man who had caused a wedge between him and Diane for a short while, “Diane doesn’t want you here.”

“Whether she wants me here or not Ben, you owe it to me to tell me what’s going on,” JT pointed out hastily, “That could be my child she’s carrying…”

“I seriously doubt it,” Ben shook his head at JT, “considering that she was with you one night. She and I have been together for a long time and…”

“Think about it Benny-boy, all it takes is one time and I’m certain that is my child she’s carrying, so you’d better start opening your mouth and tell me what you know about what’s going on,” JT ordered his words coming out more abrasive by the second. His eyes flashed with anger, his heart pounding inside his chest, yet he still refused to back down, “Tell me damn it!”

“I don’t know what’s going on,” Ben blurted out frustrated, “All I know is that they said they would tell me if there was any news.”

“How long has it been,” JT questioned his voice softening a bit as his worries grew.

“Too long,” Ben turned away from JT pacing around the room. He knew that being here with JT was the last thing that he’d wanted, yet fighting wasn’t really going to be a good enough distraction. All Ben wanted was to hear something on Diane--and soon. He just prayed that things wouldn’t turn out badly for her.

“What happened?” JT questioned breaking through Ben’s thoughts, “How did she end up here? What did you say to her?”

“I didn’t say anything to her,” Ben felt his anger resurface as he spun around to face the man who posed a threat to his relationship with Diane. “We were having a wonderful day together and…”

“And what?” JT prompted further taking a step forward.

“It’s none of your business,” Ben moved away from him refusing to give JT any further insight on his life with Diane.

“Don’t you walk away from me!” JT snapped reaching for Ben’s arm, “I asked you a question and I expect an answer!”

“Let go of me!” Ben ordered in a low voice, yet despite his quietness, there was no mistaking the warning in his tone, “Now!”

“I’m not going to let go of you until you get rid of the cocky attitude and start telling me about what’s happening with my child,” JT argued further feeling Ben push into his chest in an attempt to get JT to let go of him.

JT reacted by throwing his fist at Ben’s head. However, he missed when Ben ducked out of his way. JT made another attempt at hitting Ben, but this time Ben was prepared for him. Ben grabbed JT’s arm, twisted it behind his back and pulled it up in such a way that the only movement JT could make would cause him some serious pain.

“I told you to back off!” Ben seethed at JT feeling his animosity for him growing stronger by the second.

“Ben!” he heard Deidra’s voice call out to him breaking him from his thoughts of snapping JT’s arms. Hurriedly Ben released JT and rushed over to Deidra.

“Dee, what is it?” Ben questioned his stomach tied in knots. He saw something flash behind her dark eyes and it didn’t take long for Ben to realize what was about to happen.

“Ben, I’m so sorry,” Deidra offered up in a pained voice, her dark eyes filled with tears, “I wish that I had good news, but…”

“No,” Ben shook his head, “No that can’t be possible. Deidra, she couldn’t have…”

“What’s going on,” JT questioned pushing his way up to Deidra. He saw her hesitance in saying anything to him, but he continued to press for the truth, “Please talk to me. I need to know what happened to Diane.”

“Diane’s going to be fine,” Deidra explained wiping at her own tears, “but the baby…well, the baby didn’t make it. She had a miscarriage.”

“Oh God no,” JT’s eyes widened in horror as he suddenly felt like the world was crashing in around him. “That can’t be. The baby can’t be…”

“I’m sorry,” Deidra apologized turning her attention to Ben who was now lost in a state of his own grief. JT glanced over at him watching Deidra offer her words of support and comfort to Ben, but as JT stood alone in the center of the lobby he was more than convinced that today he’d lost far more than Ben could’ve. In that moment JT suddenly felt as if the one good thing in his life that he had going for him had just been taken from this world without a fighting chance!


...to be continued...