Episode 288

“Ria I can explain,” Kevin stumbled over his own two feet hearing Ria make her way to her bedroom. He followed after her trying his best to get her to just listen to reason, but when he heard the slam of her bedroom door, he knew he was in trouble!

“Save your explanations Kevin!” he heard her muffled voice speak out to him through the bedroom door, “Or better yet take them to Angela since she seems to be more than frazzled about the things you do. I’m sure she’ll be more than willing to listen once she learns that you’ve been writing about her for years!”

“Ria, that’s not fair,” Kevin stepped in front of her bedroom door hearing shuffling on the other side of it, “At least talk to me. I’m sure if we can sit down and have a calm and rational discussion about this, then…”

“Calm and rational?” Ria replied opening the door with a whoosh and glaring up at him. “You want calm and rational?”

“It would be nice,” Kevin replied sheepishly shrugging his shoulders. He watched her roll her eyes at him before she slammed the door in his face. He heard the sound of the door locking and Ria moving away from the barrier between them. He let out a long sigh, “I take it I’m not getting that tonight, am I?”

“As far as I’m concerned you’re never getting it again,” Ria yelled through the door, her voice a bit less clear than it was earlier indicating to Kevin that she’d slipped further into the room. “I meant what I said earlier Kevin. I’m done. There is no way that I’m going to compete with a woman that you write romance novels about. I won’t even try because that’s not even fair to me.”

“Ria, you don’t understand. When I wrote those novels…” Kevin sighed heavily realizing that just when he’d thought he’d hit rock bottom with Angela at Chris’s house, it did nothing to prepare him for this night with Ria. It was so far from where he wanted all of this to go with Ria. He had plans and thoughts and dreams and now…well, now he knew he had to do some serious damage control. He knocked on her door lightly hearing more shuffling from the other side before speaking up again, “Ria, honey please open up. Let’s just talk about this.”

“You want to talk,” Ria half questioned her voice nearing the door. Kevin heard a clicking sound on the door and he realized she was unlocking the door.

Knowing that he would have to act fast or risk the thought of having her blow up at him once more and lock him out of her bedroom, Kevin tried to come up with some quick thinking to explain his secret double life that had made him some money on the side when he wanted to escape the world of being Angela’s bodyguard for a while. Sure some of the stories had contained similar situations to ones he and Angela had shared with one another, but that didn’t take away from what he had with Ria--from what he wanted with Ria.

“Well Kevin, since you’re in the mood to talk,” Ria’s voice flooded through the hallway as Kevin saw the side of her face peering out from behind the still half closed door, “Let’s talk. I’ll pick the subject. How about we start up with literature?”

Before Kevin could respond, he watched Ria pull the door open and send a book in his general direction. She launched the book near the top of his head almost hitting him as she moved forward. Kevin noticed another hard covered selection at the top of the pile of books in her arms.

“Let’s talk mysteries,” Ria snapped sending another black covered book flying through the air at his head. This time he ducked and heard the solid impact of the book on the wall behind him.

“Ria, come on let’s talk about this,” Kevin’s shaky voice pleaded with her seeing her reeling for another pitch in his direction. He backed off feeling her toss another book at him this time hitting his shoulder.

“Or maybe we should cut straight to romance,” Ria suggested pulling another one of her literary tools of assault at him. He felt a book whip by his head and he held his hands up in front of his face defensively.

“Ria come on. This is anything, but rational!” Kevin shouted out in his own defense, “If you’ll just talk to me!”

“Oh I’ll talk to you alright,” Ria noted the cover of the book now at the top of her pile, “Oh look Donna Nevik strikes again. I wonder how the hero will have sex with Angie, oops I mean the heroine this time.”

“Ria wait…” Kevin felt the book slam into his abdomen and he buckled over. He barely had time to recover when he felt another hit over his shoulders, then on his left arm, his upper right thigh, then he heard another book coming at him. “Ria please…!”

“Ria please,” she paused scratching her chin lightly, “No, I don’t think that’s what it said in this one. I think it was more along the lines of Angie please…oh Angie I need you…Angie I…”

“Ria, that is not how it is!” Kevin stood upright catching the book she was throwing in his hands, “As a matter of fact this book isn’t even remotely close to that!”

“Right,” she rolled her eyes reaching for the last of her novels. She pulled the book open to the center before screaming at him, “And in the midst of pancakes and strawberry syrup they were intertwined in such a way he would never forget--just being with her he could never forget--could never love another the way he loved her. He knew from here on out that she would be his only one--his only real love…his soul mate…”

“Ria, it’s a work of fiction,” Kevin explained desperately watching her raise the book as if she was going to throw it at him, but instead she took both sides of the book in each one of her hands and began to tear away at the pages.

“This is what I think about your fiction Kevin!” she shouted tears burning behind her eyes as she ripped at the book in a feeble attempt to rip Kevin’s presence out of her heart forever now that she knew she would never compete with his Angie!


“No that can’t be possible,” JT blurted out feeling as if he’d been kicked in the gut at Deidra’s news on Diane. He took a bold step forward pushing Ben aside, “You’re lying. You’re just saying that because you don’t want me here--because you want me to walk away from her…”

“No I’m saying it because it’s the truth,” Deidra blurted out with bloodshot eyes that reflected the pain that she was feeling over her sister’s loss. “We did everything we could, but it wasn’t enough..”

“I want to see her,” Ben blurted out feeling his heart hammering in his chest, “I need to be with her.”

“To hell with that. I want to see her. I want to know what happened to my child,” JT argued raising his voice with a sudden fury. “I want answers.”

“The only answer is that right now Diane is hurting and the last thing she needs is a jerk like you making this any worse for her,” Ben snapped in a low growl turning to face his adversary, “I think you’ve done more than enough to hurt her, so why not do the right thing for the first time since you stepped back into her life and back off? She doesn’t want you here and neither do I.”

“That’s my child that…” JT argued again his brow creased with worry and upset.

“You don’t know that. None of us did,” Ben cut him off before he could say anything more. Turning to Deidra again, Ben spoke up in a worried tone, “Deidra I have to be with her. She needs to know that I’m here for her.”

“I know,” she nodded before looking around the room. Clearing her throat she spoke up again and curled her finger for him to follow her. “Come with me.”

“I’m going too,” JT announced taking a step forward only to see Ben spin around and feel Ben’s hands shove directly into the center of his chest.

“No you aren’t. You’re going to stay away from her--from the both of us,” Ben warned his jaw clenched with anger before he shook his finger in JT’s face. “Back off JT or I swear I’ll find a way to make you pay for hurting her all over again.”

“This isn’t over Ben,” JT warned seeing that a couple of hospital security guards were starting to take notice of their scuffle. He stood up straighter and cleared his throat while glaring over at Ben, “I have just as much right to be here as you do.”

“Not today you don’t,” Ben shook his head at JT before walking off down the hallway with Deidra and not bothering to look back.

“That’s where you’re wrong Benny-boy. I have just as much right to be here now if not more,” JT mouthed to himself vowing that this was not over between the both of them. He would find a way to get the truth out of someone and when he did, heads were going to roll!


“Well is she available or not,” Andy’s impatient voice questioned not liking Dave’s silence, “Dave?”

“Huh?” Dave snapped out of his daze long enough to hear Carly and Kayla talking in the bedroom, “No, she’s not here right now.”

“Hmm, she said she’d be there all day, did something come up?” Andy inquired curiosity burning behind his tone.

“She’s not here Andy, but I’ll tell her you called,” Dave replied sharply hanging up the phone without bothering to hear anything else Andy had to say. Trying to regain his composure Dave stood upright taking in a slow, calming breath. Well, as calming as it could be given that the idea of his former best buddy whom he no longer wished to associate with was now not only harassing his best friend, but calling his wife for reasons Dave wasn’t quite clear on.

“Dave, hey there you are,” Dave heard Carly’s voice from behind him. He felt her step in and reach out to touch his shoulder and he stiffened beneath her touch. “Honey, I thought you would’ve been in Kayla’s room by now. What is it? Is something wrong with Cori?”

Dave closed his eyes trying to remain calm despite the fact that he was a mixture of jumbled thoughts more and more with each passing second, “Carly, why is Andy calling you here?”

“What?” she blinked back barely hearing him in his low, broken voice.

“I said, ‘Why is Andy calling you here?’” he repeated himself tipping his head upward. He spun around to face her, his dark eyes searching hers for an answer that would make sense.

“That was Andy,” Carly replied nervously her dark eyes filled with a sudden worry.

“That’s right,” Dave nodded bringing his fingers at his sides to keep himself from losing his head after answering the phone. “He said he wanted to speak with you--that you’d left a message that you’d be here all day.”

She stood silent for a moment before questioning, “What did you tell him Dave? Why didn‘t you let me talk to him?”

“I told him you weren’t here,” he stated plainly his voice devoid of the raging thoughts in his head, “and I’m sure you’re not happy about that, but I really don’t like the man.”

“Whether you like him or not, he’s a client of mine,” Carly blurted out bracing herself for Dave’s reaction, “I’m working on a case for him.”

“For Andy,” Dave’s jaw practically dropped the missing pieces of the puzzle fitting into place for him, “Oh my gosh. Please don’t tell me that you’re working his divorce case. Carly, that’s not why he’s calling is it?”

“Look Dave, you and I agreed that we’re not going to start talking about the every little detail of our professional life. I don’t ask you about the cases you’re working on and,” Carly sidestepped the issue moving over to the sofa to pick up one of Kayla’s teddy bears.

“That’s different Carly. What I do in my job is my work--it’s not something that I invite into our lives, but with you representing Andy,” Dave shook his head at her, “That’s personal.”

“Why? Because he’s divorcing Deidra?” she spun around to face him once again, “What’s wrong with my representing him?”

“Well for starters, he was a horrible husband and with what he did to Deidra in hurting her like he did with cheating on her all the time…” Dave started to point out with a frown.

“Correct me if I’m wrong here Dave, but Deidra’s slept with at least two different men while she was still married that we know of, so please spare me the Deidra’s a saint routine,” Carly rolled her eyes at the thought of Deidra’s pity-poor-me act. “I think she’s doing just fine on her own. Heck, I’m pretty sure she’s given her own share of grief to Andy in the marriage.”

“Andy’s a dog. You know it and I know it,” Dave shook his head at her, “and for you to take the case…”

“Dave, in case you haven’t noticed I lost my former job because I decided to follow what I believed in, so I’m kind of in a position where I need work,” Carly frowned at him. “I can’t very well go back to working for the D.A. or to working with Ken, now can I?”

“That’s almost as bad as representing Andy,” Dave grumbled in response.

“Look Dave, whether you like it or not, Andy asked me to represent him in this case and I took it. I figured I had to do my part in this marriage by actually working again instead of just mooching off of you,” she explained with a frown.

“Admit it, that’s not the only reason you took this. You did this because you don’t like Deidra,” Dave accused disapprovingly.

“Okay, so maybe that was part of it, but I’ve already talked to Andy and he’s not being unreasonable. He’s been trying to get her to sign those divorce papers for month and she is refusing,” Carly informed him point blank, “Not that it’s any of your business, but your best buddy Deidra is the one who is complicating things, not Andy.”

“He was a horrible husband,” Dave frowned at her.

“Even more reason why I don’t understand her not signing. She seems pretty content with Dean now that they have had their big drama explosion,” Carly added with a huff, “and I’m sure she’ll be just fine getting divorced unless of course she’s holding onto Andy because she’s waiting for her real intended love interest to take notice.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” Dave questioned giving her a strange look.

“It means that as much as you don’t trust Andy, double it and that’s how much I don’t trust Deidra around you. I know she wants you Dave and she’ll use this and anything else she can to keep you at her every whim. Face it she’s not getting divorced because the longer she’s married to Andy, the more you’ll be at her side kissing her butt and that’s exactly what she wants Dave!”


Shannon rang the doorbell to the house of Don’s parents impatiently, folding her arms out in front of her chest. Don was supposed to get off work a little while ago and it was obvious that he was hiding from her for a reason. The best bet would be that Don was at his parent’s house, trying to stay away from Shannon the best way he could.

Shannon rang the doorbell again before seeing the door quickly open and Alicia was in front of her with powder on her hands. Alicia pushed the door open before looking out at Shannon.

“Shannon, come in,” Alicia motioned Shannon to come into the house, kicking the door shut with her heel as soon as Shannon stepped into the house. Alicia walked into the kitchen where Shannon followed, watching Alicia walk over and grab a cloth to wipe her hands off with. “It looks like something is bothering you, is there anything I can help you with?”

“Well, right now it would be really great if I could find your son,” Shannon answered leaning back against the counter and letting out a small sigh. “Is he here or do you happen to know where he is right now?”

“I have no idea where my son is,” Alicia explained going over towards the oven to set a timer on it before motioning Shannon to follow her over to the couch. Alicia took a seat watching Shannon sit next to her while letting out a loud sigh. “What’s bothering you honey? What did Donny do now?”

“More like, what didn’t he do?” Shannon replied shaking her head at the simple thought of everything that Don had done the last week. Just when it looked like Don was getting better, he went and did something so stupid like that. “I don’t understand the way he thinks sometimes. It’s like all he cares about is himself and that’s the only thing he cares about.”

“Before I can judge my son for something that he did,” Alicia took in a deep breath, facing Shannon more on the couch so she could talk more clearly to Shannon, “I should know what it is he is in trouble with you for.”

“Well, it’s just the choices he is making,” Shannon tried to think of a way to explain everything to Alicia without bad mouthing her son in a way that would anger Alicia. There were so many words that she could describe Don as right now, but many of them were very inappropriate when it came to talking to Don’s mother. “He seems to have it in his mind that certain things are right when they are so wrong.”

“What did he do that made you disagree with him?” Alicia watched Shannon and the way that Shannon tried to think of a way to explain things to her. “Be straight up with me dear, I have been around Don at the worst times. I know what kind of stupid moves he can pull off and I know what a good person he could really be. So, tell me what it is he is doing.”

“It’s what he does for Brant Ashford. I understand that Brant is his friend and all, but what he has been doing for Brant is ridiculous,” Shannon informed Alicia throwing her hands up in the air as she spoke, remembering all the events that took place at the hospital. “He wanted Brant to have what he wanted, while in the process he is tearing apart a couple that is so meant to be together.”

“Sounds like Don,” Alicia shook her head slowly as she thought about all the things that Don had done in his younger years to protect Brant. “I’m not surprised that Don would pull something like that.”

“I am,” Shannon blurted out throwing her hands up in the air once again, feeling the anger she had inside towards Don building up more as she thought about everything that he had pulled. “Don is supposed to be a very intelligent man and every time he reaches circumstances that deal with Brant Ashford he turns into a stupid, young child that cares about no one. When the time comes where Brant tries to pull something that everyone knows is wrong, Don is always there at his side one hundred and ten percent. I don’t understand that a bit.”

“I understand it very well Shannon and sooner or later I think you might too,” Alicia added with a small shake of her head, her eyes meeting Shannon’s.

Shannon seemed to have the look of shock behind her eyes from hearing what Alicia had said, so it was obvious that Alicia was going to have explain further why Don’s whole life he had always been there for Brant Ashford. No matter what Brant needed Don would always be there for Brant and there was going to be no one that could stop him from doing that.

“You see Shannon,” Alicia sat up from the couch turning to face Shannon more clearly, shrugging her shoulders before speaking up again, “when it comes to Don, I would expect nothing less from him in helping Brant.”


Rob reached into his pockets feeling the clanging of his key chain against his palm. Pulling it out he felt the key sparkle in the darkness and he let out a small laugh noticing the key chain that Lindsay had made him in her home economics class. It was a vibrant shade of blue and gold and red, yet when the light above hit it, it seemed to send thousands of little color crystals through the small space outside the back door to the gym. He pushed the key into the lock before taking a step back closing the place up for the night. While he would normally have things open much later, he was in the process of working on some renovations for the gym--on expanding it and in that sense he was closing early tonight to give the contractors time in the morning to check things out. Sure, it might not be the best for business for the night, but in the long run he was sure that it would benefit him in a great many other ways.

“But for now it’s time to put business to rest,” he reminded himself making his way through the parking lot to his SUV that was waiting for him. He pushed the button to the alarm hearing it disengage when he heard a sound rise from the far end of the parking lot. He looked around to see a woman standing outside of her car kicking away at the tire. Pushing his keys into his pocket again, he changed direction moving in for further inspection.

“Can I help you,” Rob questioned loudly through the thick air that surrounded the night’s beginning.

“I have a flat tire,” she explained tipping her head up to reveal her face.

“Cori,” Rob smiled upon recognition of her. He moved in closer to her car seeing that she was in fact telling him the truth as it appeared that someone had slashed her tire. His smile faded as he moved in beside her, “You aren’t kidding are you?”

“Unfortunately not,” she frowned stepping aside and watching him kneel down to take a closer look.

“It looks like someone did this on purpose,” Rob noted his index finger moving along the tear in the outer liner of the tire. “Are you alright?”

“I’m fine,” she nodded in response rubbing her palms over her arms, “I guess it’s just karma coming back to get me. I kind of deserve this for a few other things I’ve done in the past.”

He watched her sigh heavily before he felt compelled to ask, “Cori, do you have any idea who did this to your car?”

“No,” she shook her head, “but whomever it was probably thought I deserved to be stuck here.”

“I don’t know who did it, but you should probably call and file a police report or something,” he frowned not linking the idea of vandalism taking place on his property. “This isn’t good.”

“I’ll be fine,” she waved her hand dismissively as if trying to make light of the situation, “I can talk to Dave about it later, but right now, well I left my coat in my car when I was working out and I’m kind of freezing…”

Rob noticed the tiny t-shirt she was wearing and immediately he rose to his feet. “You’re shivering.”

“I know,” she nodded her lower lip trembling, “When I came out and saw the flat, I put my purse in the car thinking that maybe I could change this myself since I figured I’d had a spare, so I popped the trunk. I closed the door and then circled around only to discover that not only did I not have a spare tire, but I also managed to lock my car keys in the front seat.”

“That’s not good,” Rob leaned forward to see her keys laid out across the driver’s side seat. He glanced over his shoulder at her once again seeing her still shaking in the cool night air. Saying nothing he slipped out of his jacket and turned around to offer it to her. “Here, put this on.”

“Oh Mr. Leveski I can’t…” Cori started shaking her head in refusal.

“Yes, you can and call me Rob,” Rob insisted reaching out to slide the jacket around her shoulders tentatively, “This will keep you from freezing to death while we try to figure this out.”

“I’m so sorry to bring you into this. I was trying to get into my car and get my keys but…” Cori trailed off with a heavy sigh tossing her long, blonde hair behind her shoulder.

“But nothing,” Rob’s gaze drifted to her long legs exposed to the night air from beneath her extremely short shorts. It was clear that she wasn’t all prepared to be standing out in the middle of the night in the empty parking lot freezing. Frowning as he noticed the light overhead flickering off, he glanced back over at the back door to the gym. Taking in a small breath, he returned his focus to her once again, “Come to think of it, how about we get you inside while we’re figuring it out?”

“Oh I can’t ask you to spend your night with me considering that…” Cori began to object.

“You didn’t ask. I’m insisting,” Rob explained motioning to the door once again before leading her back to the gym in the hopes of helping fix her problem at hand.


Heather dipped her tongue between Chris’s lips finding him eagerly responding to her. His hands roamed over her curves pressing her further into the madness he’d opened up between them. His kiss was like fire--his touch driving her out of her mind with the intensity burning behind it. She squeezed his shoulders, loving the taste of him--the feel of his aching body up against hers. His hands touched her in all of the right places reminding her how long it had been since she’d actually had a man want to be touching her that way. Yes, she’d come close with Diego, but he was always so reluctant…so…

Heather snapped out of the kiss induced daze and pushed Chris away from her in a haste. She wiped at her mouth before glaring at him, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“Excuse me,” Chris blinked back at her in a state of shock. “Come again?”

“I asked you what you think you’re doing? What is wrong with you Chris?” she shook her head at him a sour expression crossing over her face despite the fact that he had her weak in the knees, “Can’t you get a hint about when a girl isn’t interested?”

“Isn’t interested?” he repeated with a tiny laugh, “As if that was even close to the truth. Face it Heather we both know that you shouldn’t bother wasting your time on a jerk like Domingo…”

“It’s Diego,” she corrected.

“Domingo, Dex, Diego, whatever, why waste your time when you could be with someone who could adore you--who could give you the thrills and excitement that you’re looking for out of life?” he prompted further. Why settle for the ordinary when you’re more in the league of extraordinary?”

“Chris stop,” Heather scowled over at him, “This isn’t helping your case.”

“Heather, face it. The man is clearly a moron because if I was the one with you in such close quarters you wouldn’t have been having to come up with some crafty way to get me out of my boxers. They would’ve been long gone before you said please,” Chris continued to appeal to her.

“Oh puh-lease,” she rolled her eyes at him, “Could you be more desperate to capture my attention Chris?”

“Could you be more interested in finding out just what I have to offer,” he challenged arching a speculative brow, “Face it Heather whether you like it or not, you enjoyed kissing me. Even now I can see that you’ve got the blood flowing inside of you--the first hints of temptation teasing at your brain and…”

“And yours has clearly rotted away because if I had my way I’d be with Diego right now, not you,” she folded her arms in front of her chest in an attempt to ignore the rapid racing of her heart. “You’re so wrong about me Chris. I want Diego and even if I didn’t you would be by far the last man on my list.”

“You lie,” Chris stepped towards her watching her take a step back, “and you know full well that when I kissed you, you kissed me back because you wanted to be kissing me back. You like to argue with me, I’ll give you that, but when it gets down to it, you enjoy my company. You like spending time with me. You enjoy our bantering and flirting and more so you like me. Admit it Heather Gibbons. You’re crazy about me.”

“Hardly,” she scoffed in response glaring at him, “more like you’re crazy and need a straight jacket because you so aren’t my type.”

“Which is all the more thrilling isn’t it?” he wiggled his brow at her once again watching her throw her arms up in disgust.

“Don’t flatter yourself. I’d rather be kissing anyone else right about now,” she mouthed her lips curling in a frown, “You just caught me in a moment when I was fantasizing about Diego. You’re taking advantage of that.”

“No, I’m just trying to get you to see that you can do better. That you can…” he continued with his appeal when he heard the sound of a phone ringing. Frowning he fished into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone.

“You can just leave now Chris,” Heather snapped at him ready for some quick witted response when he answered his phone. He began chatting away to the person on the other end of the line much to her dismay.

“Hey, what’s going on?” Chris questioned glancing over at Heather, “Okay take it slow and tell me where you’re at. Tell me what’s going on…”

“Chris,” Heather frowned over at him watching him cover the mouthpiece of the phone.

“I’ll be right back,” he explained moving about freely into Heather’s kitchen to continue his conversation. Frowning she stalked after him hearing bits and pieces of the talk he was having with the caller until he hung up.

“What was that about?” she asked impatiently.

“That was your getting you wish for tonight Heather because I have to get going. A friend needs me, so I must be on my way,” Chris slipped his cell phone back into his pocket, “but rest assured you are going to miss me when I’m gone.”

“Hardly,” Heather felt him lean forward for a kiss, but instead she pushed the center of his chest sending him backward, “Get out of my apartment Chris!”

“You’ll be dreaming of me,” he promised with a wink making his way over to her front door, “I’m certain of it.”

“Don’t hold your breath. No on second thought please hold your breath so that way you can put us both out of our misery,” she groaned watching him blow a kiss at her before waving good-bye and slipping out of her apartment.

She groaned rushing forward to lock the door in his retreat. Leaning up against the door Heather closed her eyes thinking about what had transpired between them. Chris was absolutely delusional. He was an idiot--a buffoon and there was absolutely no way that she’d be interested in a man like him. He was miserable and even if he was a good kisser. No, she wouldn’t think like that. He’d ruined her night with Diego and that would take her two steps behind. She couldn’t have that. Now as she looked around her empty apartment thinking about her sleeping son, she couldn’t help but realize that her night was completely shot and she had Chris Foley to thank for that. If for no other reason she’d stay mad at him for that. Yes, that was a good excuse, she decided doing her best to try to ignore the memory of the kiss that still burned into her lips after Chris walked out on her. Surely, she hadn’t gone mad and started to think anything about him. That would just be awful! Horrible!


“What did you have to go in there and get?” Sarah questioned leaning back into Kyle’s hard chest as his arms tightened around her waist. Sarah’s eyes watched over the firemen that were walking in and out of her house once the fire had been taken out. “I was so worried about you when you ran in there.”

“I’m sorry sweetheart,” Kyle apologized with a small frown looking back towards his black truck where he had put his bag in earlier. Thinking of the first thing that came to mind, he cleared his throat and shrugged his shoulders. “It was some information on this case I have been working on and I didn’t want to lose the case because I thought I had a lead on it.”

“That was important enough for you to run inside there and risk your life?” Sarah replied with a small shake of her head as looked back at him with her dark eyes.

“You don’t know how important it truly was to me Sarah,” Kyle explained with a small shrug before letting out a small breath seeing the firemen walk in and out of the building. “When you feel like you could be on the lead to something good, something golden--you don’t ever want to let go of it. Even if it may happen to be too late.”

“Too late could have been you if you didn’t jump out of that window Kyle,” Sarah pointed out turning around in his arms watching as he tugged at the chain on his neck gently. “I’m surprised your leg didn’t break right in half.”

“I’m a big boy, I think I can handle myself,” Kyle replied with a small shrug feeling her wrap her arms around his torso as he looked down at her with a small shake of his head. His right arm wrapped around her shoulders as he looked back to the building that was now surrounded by the dimming smoke. “I’m to stubborn to leave this world. I think I have proven that time and time again.”

“I can’t believe it though, I lost everything Kyle,” Sarah frowned pulling away from him as she looked back at her place. “If you hadn’t have taken me into the bedroom we would have never lit up the candle. If you hadn’t have…”

“Hold on just a second,” Kyle chuckled holding his finger up in the air to silence her before letting out a small laugh. “Are you blaming me for everything that happened? This was nowhere near my fault. I just wanted to play a game, I saved the candle when it was about to break. I said it smelled good and then you lit it. I thought it would have been a bad idea to light it, but you did it anyways so you could get a kinky look to it. I wasn’t about to get into anything kinky with you so is this why you think it’s my fault?”

“I didn’t say the words that I thought it was your fault,” Sarah pointed out with a small frown seeing the way that Kyle folded his arms out in front of his chest and stared out at her. “I never said that.”

“You kept saying if I hadn’t taken you into the room to play an x-box game that everything would be alright,” Kyle reminded her of the words she had said before she tried defending herself. “If you don’t think it was my fault, then who is to blame for all this?”

“Diego,” Sarah gasped seeing Diego get out of his car after pulling up alongside her building. Sarah grabbed Kyle, pulling him in closer to her as Kyle’s eyebrows tensed hearing her answer.

“Diego?” Kyle whispered slightly confused by the way Sarah had answered his question. Kyle felt a hand on his shoulder and he turned to face Diego. “Diego, hey. What are you doing here?”

“I got worried about you two,” Diego explained seeing Kyle nod slowly and Diego’s attention went out to Sarah. Sarah seemed to try and be hiding behind Kyle so Diego wouldn’t notice her, but it was kind of obvious she was trying to avoid him when Kyle stepped away from her. “I saw the fire trucks and I got worried.”

“Gee man,” Kyle patted Diego on the back lightly before letting out a small smile, “thanks for caring. We’re all good.”

“Hey Kyle,” one of the firemen that Kyle knew called out to Kyle, motioning him to come over and talk as Kyle nodded slowly. “Come here a second Houston.”

“I’ll be right there Brady,” Kyle motioned him to wait a minute before he turned to face Sarah, leaning down to kiss her gently on the cheek. “I’m going to find out what is going to happen.”

“Alright,” Sarah nodded slowly watching Kyle run off to talk to his friend before Sarah turned her attention back to Diego. Sarah placed her hands on her hips angrily as she saw Diego staring down at her. “Why did you come here? This was probably the dumbest thing you could have done.”

“I was worried about you Sarah,” Diego tried to explain taking a step forward towards her, reaching out to grab her shoulder before feeling her pull away from him. “I care about you and I wanted to make sure you weren’t hurt.”

“Well, I’m not hurt so you can go home now,” Sarah took a step back away from Diego seeing the way that the frown developed over his features. “As far as worrying about me, you can worry about yourself because I don’t need your worry. I need to be here with Kyle, alone.”

“Sarah, I was just trying,” Diego began to explain before shrugging his shoulders and nodding slowly. He took one more glance at her before walking back towards his car and getting in.

“What happened to him?” Kyle walked up from behind Sarah, placing his hands on her shoulders gently feeling her lean back into him.

“Nothing. Absolutely nothing,” Sarah muttered looking up at Kyle, seeing the way that his hazel eyes seemed to narrow in at her as she shrugged her shoulders. “Let’s see if anything can be salvaged inside my place.”

“Um, okay,” Kyle shrugged his shoulders after already having her walk off on him. He took a glance over his shoulder at her before shaking his head slowly. “Anything for you sweetheart.”


Deidra stopped outside of the door to Diane’s hospital room and placed her hand on Ben’s shoulder. She offered up a small squeeze before motioning to the door in front of them with a heavy sigh.

“She’s going to need some time to deal with what’s happened. You both are going to need time together,” Deidra offered up taking a step back and looking up at him, “which is why I’m going to give you both some privacy.”

“Thank you,” Ben replied with a weak smile before turning his attention to the door in front of him.

He felt Deidra walk away and with a heavy heart he pushed open the door to Diane’s hospital room only to see her laying on the bed in front of him. She was pale and looked exhausted. There was an IV line in her arm and it was clear that she was worn out beyond anything he’d ever seen before. Silently he moved over to her bed hating to see her in so much pain and turmoil.

“Hey,” he spoke up in a soft, soothing voice only to feel his heart shattering into pieces when she tilted her head to look up at him. Tears burned behind her eyes and her lower lip quivered as she watched him wordlessly. Unable to contain the urge rushing over him, he moved in at her side and reached out to her, “I’m here Diane. It’s okay.”

“No, it’s not okay,” she shook her head, her tears pouring out over her in small sobs, “I lost our baby Ben. I was stupid and…”

“This wasn’t your fault,” Ben hugged her tightly feeling her bury her head in his chest. “No one could’ve predicted this one. No one knew…”

“Our baby is dead Ben. Our baby died and there was nothing I could do to stop it,” she sobbed harder than before, “For so long I was so afraid of what this pregnancy would mean, but now…”

“Now is about healing. We can be strong for one another,” Ben whispered tenderly keeping his arms around her as his heart was breaking as well. Feeling her collapse into his chest now that her tears overtook her, rocking her to the core, Ben felt his own heart sinking in his chest. Today had started off so well between them--they’d had so many promises ahead of them, but now as Ben kept his arms around the woman he loved he knew that all of the dreams that they’d been sharing with one another for their future had been put to an end today.

“Last night I had a dream you know--I had a dream about you and I living together in our house with our son or daughter. It was the most perfect dream in the world and we were happy. We were married and a family and now that’s all over for us. That dream was taken from us today,” she cried her words coming out in small, shivering breaths. “Everything we’d planned on--everything we dreamt about…”

“Diane, we still have so many dreams,” he offered up feeling a pang inside of him at how upset she seemed to be.

“But we’ll never get this one back. No matter how much we want to, we can’t ever get it back,” she trailed off a lost look behind her eyes as her tears continued.

Ben said nothing knowing that there was no denying the truth behind those words, but still he had to focus on what they still had--on what was still there between them. Losing their child would be a tragedy they would never get over, but all he needed to focus on was Diane--was the fact that she was still there with him in his arms. He needed to be strong for her.

“I’m so sorry,” she whimpered over and over into his chest, holding him as if she’d never let go and at this point in time he’d found himself wanting the same thing.

“So am I Diane,” he mouthed wishing like hell he could take this pain away from her as he held her in his arms. He kept her close to him hoping to find a way to feign an air of strength that would be enough to pull her through one of the darkest moments in their lives thus far. He closed his eyes fighting the tears that threatened to overtake him as well knowing that now wasn’t the time for him to fall to pieces especially now that Diane needed him more than ever. He would be strong--he would be her rock and he wouldn’t fall to pieces. He had to keep it together if for no other reason than to be able to keep Diane from going under completely.


“Lulu,” JT reached out to grab the nurse that had helped him earlier, seeing her turn around to face him as he let out a small breath. “I need your help really bad.”

“JT, what is?” Lulu questioned reaching out to touch the side of his face gently, a small frown developing over her features as she looked into his eyes and saw the sadness behind the darkness blocking his eyes. “What happened?”

“Lulu, I need to know if it is possible to find out who the father of that baby was,” JT began taking in a deep breath, feeling an ache growing in his stomach as he looked down at Lulu with a worry. “Lulu, I need to know if there is anyway you could possibly find out.”

“Well, there is a way, but I don’t know if I could do that,” she informed him with a small frown seeing the way that he ran his hands through his hair tensely, closing his eyes tightly. She reached out to touch his shoulder gently, feeling how tense he was as she let out a small breath. “JT?”

“Please Lulu, I need to know,” JT begged looking at her with his dark eyes, his heart having a heavy ache over it as he watched her intently. “I need to know if that baby was mine. I need to know if that was my child that died in there. Please, just do this one thing for me.”

“JT, it would be for the best if you just forgot about it,” Lulu offered up seeing the way that he shook his head, not even thinking of her offer. “It would be best to just let it pass, you don’t want to live with knowing the truth.”

“I need to know the truth Lulu,” JT deeply replied leaning back against the wall, slumping back against the cool material. “Please, I just need to know.”

“I’ll see what I can do,” Lulu gave him one last worried glance before walking over towards one of the hospital rooms to help try and find some news to help JT.

“This can’t be happening,” JT walked over towards the lobby, sitting down in one of the chairs as he rested his elbows on his knees as he let out a long breath. “It had to have been mine.”

There was only one way that this baby would have died and that was because it was simply his luck. That baby had to have been his and the child had died. The one chance at having a baby died right in front of him and now the dream was wiped out right in front of him.

“Why me?” JT questioned looking up towards the ceiling before letting out a long breath. His chest tightened as he thought about that baby and how it had a good chance at being his kid as well. He wanted a change, he wanted a family and that just might have been ripped out of his hands just in a matter of a few blinks of an eye.


“Wait, you mean you actually think this is a good thing he is doing?” Shannon questioned letting out a small laugh, thinking she misunderstood Alicia after what she had just said. “Did you really just say you wouldn’t expect anything else?”

“Yeah, I did,” Alicia nodded taking a seat next to Shannon again, reaching for a few pictures that were lined up along the backside of the couch. “Most people wouldn’t understand what Don is all about when it comes to Brant Ashford, but all Don ever had was Brant when he was a child. Brant was the first person who stood up for him and proved that he could be a good friend. Don and Brant are like brothers, you can’t break up family.”

“Yeah, but you can tell when a family member is wrong,” Shannon pointed out with a small shrug seeing Alicia hand her an older picture as she looked it over slowly. “They should always know what’s wrong and right.”

“Yeah, but most people don’t realize how good of a friend Don truly is. These two will stick up for each other no matter what and I’ll tell you a couple of stories on why they are so close,” Alicia explained pointing towards the picture as Shannon’s light eyes looked up into Alicia’s. “Starting with this picture. This was the first year Brant and Don knew each other in second grade.”

“That was Don?” Shannon couldn’t help but smile seeing the way his slightly chubby cheeks puffed out and his blue eyes sparkled. “He looks…”

“Bigger,” Alicia explained with a small nod seeing Shannon look up at her once more before looking back down at the picture. “Don always had a low self esteem and Brant was what he needed to get a bigger one. Donny always had gotten picked on in school and Brant was the first person to ever stand up for him. Telling everybody to back off or he would kick all their butts.”

“That’s funny, even in second grade he kept the same personality,” Shannon chuckled seeing Alicia nod slowly before letting out a small sigh, taking another picture and handing it to Shannon. “What’s this?”

“That’s Don, Brant and Stephanie,” Alicia informed Shannon with a small frown, seeing the way that Shannon seemed to just stare at the picture out in front of her. “What most people tend to skip over in Don’s life is the dark part. When Stephanie died, Don went into a great depression. Don’t get me wrong, he was a great father. He was meant to be a father and he was meant to have Matt, but people didn’t know the pain he was feeling inside. No one could get the old Don back, not even me. The one person that was there for Don through the rough times was always Brant. Brant was that one person that could get him up and pick him off the ground. Brant made him realize that he had to keep on his feet just so he could be there for his son. People don’t realize how close these two really are, but what some people will never know is that these two are like sidekicks. Don was down and Brant was that one person that could lift him back up on his feet. The same thing happens when Brant needs help.”

“Right,” Shannon nodded slowly, not quite knowing how to answer to what Alicia was telling her. There was so much anger she had built up inside of her, but that all seemed to fade once Alicia began to tell her about Stephanie and everything that Brant had done for Don in the past.

“They are best friends and they probably don’t even consider themselves best friends,” Alicia stated seeing the way that Shannon just seemed to stare into the picture, “but they would consider themselves brothers. Don is the younger one of the two and like little brother’s always do, they want to protect their older siblings. Do you have a younger brother Shannon?”

“I have one and I have big brothers too,” Shannon answered with a small nod before letting out a small laugh, “I have a little brother named Nate and I remember that as soon as he hit the age of six, he was ready to take down anyone that I was dating.”

“So you know exactly what it’s like, I know your little brother would probably do anything for you,” Alicia added seeing Shannon nod slowly before Alicia let out a small breath. “You see Don won’t ever turn his back on Brant because Don loves Brant and he would never do anything to hurt him.”

“Yeah,” Shannon whispered looking between the two pictures that Alicia had handed Shannon earlier. The way that these two looked in the pictures showed that they were close. Closer than close.

“You see, sometimes they make really stupid mistakes at times, but they won’t stop doing that,” Alicia informed Shannon with a small shake of her head before leaning back into the couch more thinking about the relationship her son had with Brant. “You can either decide to try to reason with Don and get him to behave like you want him to or you can leave him if that’s what you think is best for you.”

“But it wouldn’t be the best for me,” Don’s voice echoed through Shannon’s ears as she turned around to see Don standing in the doorway before coming over and grabbing the pictures from Shannon’s hands. He put them back on the table, resting his hands on his hips as he looked over Shannon and his mother. “How about you think about what’s right for me.”


“I really appreciate your taking the time to do this for me Mr. Leveski,” Cori started taking a seat on the edge of his desk, crossing her long legs in front of him as her brown eyes filled with gratitude. “I don’t know what I’d be doing out there all by myself on a night like tonight. I’d probably be freezing and you’d find this big ice-Cori in the parking lot in the morning.”

“No because I wouldn’t let that happen,” he promised circling around his desk.

“And I appreciate that Mr.,” she caught the warning look on his face, “Rob. You have no idea how much you saved me tonight.”

“It was my pleasure. I know if my daughter was stranded in an empty lot I would want someone to help her,” Rob searched through the top desk drawer seeking out the number for roadside assistance to come over and help Cori get her keys out of the car. “Honestly I wouldn’t wish for anything less…”

“Lindsay isn’t driving yet, is she?” Cori’s eyes widened as she made conversation with him. She leaned back a bit on his desk turning inward ever so slightly to look at him.

“Not yet, but I’m sure those days aren’t far from happening which scares the life out of me. First it begins with wanting to drive, then with dating and suddenly my little girl isn’t a little girl anymore,” Rob continued thinking about his daughter, “and that terrifies me. I mean with Don, well you know he was always a rebel and he put Alicia and I through hell and back, but he turned out okay. Lindsay on the other hand, well I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for her to grow up.”

“I’m sure when she does, she’ll be an incredible woman since she had such a fantastic role model in you,” Cori smiled down at him watching him search through a couple of papers.

“I sure hope so. We tried to raise her right,” Rob glanced up at her once again before standing up. He looked around his office and cleared his throat, “I’ll be right back. Maybe I had the number in the other room. Why don‘t you have a juice while I‘m gone?”

“Well I don’t know,” Cori started after a moment’s hesitation. She eyed the small refrigerator in the corner of his office and nodded, “Okay maybe just one.”

“Good girl,” Rob replied pulling open the door and reaching for the various bottles inside. He held up two bottles, “What would you prefer? Fruit punch or grapefruit juice? Unfortunately that’s all I have in here at the moment. I haven‘t had time to stock up.”

“I’ll take fruit punch,” she decided reaching for the bottle he handed to her.

“I’ll be right back,” he promised once again making a move towards the door.

“Take your time,” Cori smiled at him watching him leave. She set the juice bottle down and directed her attention to his desk--to the photos on top of it of Don with Matthew. Beside it was a picture of Rob and Lindsay and another with Rob and Alicia. Cori reached for the one with Alicia and took a good, long look at it thinking about how lucky Alicia truly was to have one of the last guys left in the world. It seemed like they were far and few these days and Rob, well he was someone that clearly any woman would be lucky to have.

“If only you saw how good you had it,” Cori mouthed to herself setting the photo down on the desk top.

She spotted the bottle of juice Rob had given her and realized that she’d set it near where she was seated. Pulling it into her hand, she popped the top off and took a long swig of the cool liquid. It felt nice in her throat that was now unusually dry. She moved to take another sip, when the bottle slipped out of her hand and fell directly into her lap. She let out a gasp leaping off of his desk and bending down to reach for the bottle before it stained his carpet.

“No,” she frowned searching his office for some paper towels. She spotted some near the corner of the office and quickly cleaned up the floor beneath her.

Taking a moment to listen she found that she hadn’t heard any sign of Rob. She glanced down at her pale pink t-shirt now soaked in the fruit punch and she turned her attention to Rob’s jacket that he’d offered her. She’d set it on the couch moments after they’d walked into his office and now, well now it looked like a nice alternative to the shirt she was in. She listened for a moment longer before moving over to the couch area.

“Let’s just get this off,” Cori muttered to herself pulling her t-shirt over her head just as Rob reentered his office to discover her half naked standing before him. She had her back to him, but it was clear from where he stood that she wasn’t wearing a bra. Gasping she tipped her head back, her hair flipping over her shoulder as her mouth opened in an oh shape.

“Cori I…” Rob stammered finding himself in a state of shock as he couldn’t help but realize that she was in a state of undress. He blinked before looking away, “I’m sorry I didn’t realize that.”

“No, it’s my fault,” Cori replied bringing her hands up over her chest to cover herself. “I thought I was alone and I spilled fruit punch all over my shirt. I was just going to put your jacket on while you were out of the room because I was freezing and…”

“And I should’ve knocked first,” Rob explained quickly, “I’ll just wait outside and when you’re done…”

“I’ll let you know,” Cori promised watching him shuffle out of the room. Unable to contain the small smile that swept in over her features, she moved in closer to the door hearing Rob just outside of his office. Feeling suddenly very wicked she leaned forward her head offering up just enough of a mask for her to peek out and see that Rob was still very close to the door. While he’d been trying to be a gentleman, she knew that she would still be able to capture his attention from where he was seated.

Reaching for her t-shirt, Cori carried it with her across the room to a spot in Rob’s office where the window offered him a view of her directly. She spotted his gaze lingering over towards her for a brief second and in that moment she dropped her t-shirt revealing her naked body to him through the glass. She took her time reaching down to pull up his jacket and wrap it around her. While she pretended not to notice that he’d caught a glimpse of her naked, she took her time offering him up a view that he would never forget--one that she was certain that his wife wouldn’t be able to provide him with long after they parted ways.

Clearing her throat Cori crossed the room and spoke up once again. “I’m finished in here.”

Rob waited a few seconds before coming into the room. No doubt he was flustered by what he saw, Cori reasoned seeing that his face seemed a bit flushed when he reentered his office.

“I’m really sorry about that. I didn’t mean to,” Rob began apologetically in an attempt to right the wrong he’d felt he’d inflicted upon her when he’d walked in on her changing.

“Please don’t worry about it. I should’ve went into the bathroom to change. I was the one who wasn’t thinking. I’m sorry if I embarrassed you,” Cori batted her eyelashes at him innocently.

“It was my fault,” Rob cleared his throat uneasily, “As for that number, well I tried to find it, but came up empty. I don’t know where I put it.”

“That’s okay,” she waved her hand dismissively, “I can always call Dave and wake him up. He’s probably with his wife and his daughter, but I’m sure that he can pick me up…”

“Dave’s married?” Rob arched a curious brow.

She nodded, “He just got married and he and Carly have a four year old little girl and…”

“And there’s no need to bother him,” Rob decided finally in an attempt to show Cori that he’d meant no harm when he’d accidentally walked in on her. Perhaps it was guilt of having seen more than he should’ve through the window, Cori thought to herself, but whatever the motivation Rob’s blue eyes met hers again, “I can take you back to your place if you’d like.”

“I’ve been staying with a friend lately, so if it’s a bother,” Cori began again.

“No, it’s no bother. I’m sure it won’t be much out of my way. I was heading home anyways,” Rob explained in a helpful tone, “It really is no trouble. You can tell me more about how Dave is doing and about your niece.”

“Oh you would love her. She’s absolutely adorable,” Cori replied flashing him a bright smile, “She’s a wonderful little girl and they make such a wonderful family much like you do with your family.”

“Why thank you,” he smiled at her feeling a bit more at ease as they left the gym with one another ready to put tonight’s mishaps behind them for the time being.


Angela sat in the darkness staring at the glass in front of her. It would be so easy to give into temptation--to just let it get the best of her. She was so very close. She could feel it on her lips just one sip away and as she closed her eyes she imagined what it would be like to just give in to temptation. She was so very close. So very…

“Stop right there!” Chris’s voice broke through her thoughts, “Don’t you even think about taking a sip of that. Put the drink down!”

“Chris,” Angela gasped nearly jumping at the sight of her friend speeding across the room to steal the glass from her hand.

“At least don’t take a drink of that without letting me have the first sip,” Chris teased with a wink sipping from her straw and stealing the cherry that was on top of the chocolate milkshake that she was about to drink. He swiped it with one hearty bite before taking one more sip of the shake. He handed it back to her with a grin, “Oh that is good.”

“Gee, I really wouldn’t know,” she snatched it back ready to take a sip. Her lips curled in a frown, “Gosh Chris, you think you’d save some of my drink for me there.”

“Hey, what can I say,” he leaned forward to steal another sip, “I just know a good thing when I see it.”

“Yeah, well I’m going to make you go out and buy me another,” she replied with a scowl, “considering that I wanted to have that all the way home, but I restrained myself until I got here.”

“I don’t know why you bothered. This was far too good to wait for,” he reached for the glass again pushing the straw towards her lips, “Take a sip.”

“No, you may as well have it now that you’ve drank pretty much most of it,” she slumped down near the counter a sigh spilling from her lips.

“No, no I insist,” he nudged her once again, “Drink it or else I’ll make you wear it.”

“You wouldn’t dare,” she glared over at him seeing the seriousness behind his eyes. Grudgingly she reached for the glass taking what felt like the final sip of her milkshake. She got a mouthful of whipped cream and a faint hint of chocolate in the swig that was waiting for her. She set the now empty glass down and she shook her head, “Haven’t you ever heard of sharing especially considering that it was mine and not yours?”

“Don’t worry I’ll get you another one on the way,” Chris promised with a grin, “In fact, I’ll do even better than that.”

“Oh and how you presume to do that?” she arched a curious brow watching him reach for the glass again to get the final remains of what was in there.

“I’ve got a wonderful idea--one that is sure to cheer you up after the rotten day you’ve been having,” he promised with a gleam behind his eyes. “I just know you’re going to love it.”

“Why do I suddenly feel very afraid,” she replied wearily watching him for a long moment.

“Trust me Angel baby,” he wrapped his arm around her shoulders, “this is going to be something that I’m positive will cheer us both up.”

“Oh really? And what do you presume is the cure for all of our ills?” she arched a curious brow watching him with heavy scrutiny.

“Well, for starters we could always go to bed, get naked and bury ourselves underneath the blankets and…” Chris started with an empathetic sigh.

“I think I’ll take what’s behind door number two,” Angela remarked with a wrinkled expression, “Tell me you’ve got more to offer than that Chris.”

“Angel, honey you know full well that’s the best offer I can lay out for you given how much fun we used to have in that very state,” he winked at her before standing up straighter, “but since sex is out of the question for the night, what do you say we try a new adventure?”

“Can I keep my clothes on?” Angela asked wearily eyeing him with a suspicious glance.

“For tonight, yes you do, although I do have to tell you that you did interrupt what could’ve quite possibly been a remarkable night for me,” Chris explained with a wide grin, “I was with the second most beautiful woman I’ve ever known, you being the first of course and things were really steaming up before you called. She and I were just about to…”

“She turned you down, didn’t she,” Angela teased with a small giggle catching the wounded expression on his face.

“She was warming up to me,” he objected heavily, “Really she was.”

“Uh huh,” she nodded disbelieving, “I’m sure she was given that you’re oh so smooth with the lines lately.”

“Hey there was a time when you fell for each and every one of those lines Angel,” he replied squeezing her gently in an embrace, “We had a lot of fun together, did we not?”

She let out a long sigh, a smile teasing in over the corners of her mouth, “We sure did Chris and it’s something that I’ll never forget.”

“See, so even though you think you’re doing yourself a favor in refusing me, we both know how hot it could be if we were together again,” he kissed her cheek gently before pulling away from her.

“Chris, you’re such a flirt,” she shook her head at him before leaning forward and planting a quick kiss on his lips, “but I love you for it.”

“You’d better because if you don’t love me now, well I don’t know if I’ll be able to share my big surprise with you. I’m positive once you see what I have in store for you, you’re going to love it,” he explained giving her a quick hug before taking a step back, “Now how about we get you a jacket since it’s a little chilly out there?”

“Just what exactly do you have in mind?” she couldn’t help but ask.

“Just trust me,” he grinned at her mysteriously.

“Why do I feel like I’m about to get myself into a very iffy situation,” she couldn’t help but ask seeing him move about the kitchen eagerly.

“If you’re quick about it, we can still pick you up another shake for the trip and this time I’ll get my own,” he promised with a quick wave walking out of the kitchen as Angela wondered just what she was getting herself into. Still she had him curious enough to give him a chance to show her whatever surprise he had up his sleeve now. At this point, what else did she have to lose?


“Ria stop! If you’ll just give me five minutes to…” Kevin began seeing her tearing at the pages of the novel she had been working on. Her eyes were wide with anger, her face twisted with rage and yet Kevin felt compelled to try to get her to see where he was coming from. He took a tentative step forward feeling her pause from her shredding of his novel long enough to glare up at him.

“Five minutes,” she repeated with a huff, “What could you possibly have to say in five minutes that will make this all better?”

“That not every novel is about Angie,” Kevin replied sheepishly holding his hand out towards her, “I mean okay, so maybe the one you were reading was loosely based on my time with her, but…”

“But nothing. That in itself should tell you something. It should clue us both in to where your heart really is,” she frowned again thinking about all the things Angela had said to her at the diner. “You’re still in love with her and we’re both fooling ourselves to pretend otherwise.”

“Yes, at one time I thought I would spend the rest of my life in love with her, but that all changed for me. Ria, I know you have no reason in the world to believe that, but it’s true. You changed my life in so many ways and what I felt for Angie, well it pales in comparison to what we have…”

“But not enough for you to stay away from her when she was desperately needing you, right? It didn‘t keep you here in Coral Valley, did it?” Ria questioned harshly thinking about Angela’s words. “It didn’t keep you out of her bed, did it?”

“Ria, I can explain that. You see it’s no where near what I think you’re imagining it to be and,” Kevin offered up in another attempt to get her to understand the truth in what was happening. “Yes, I care about Angie and there was a point in my life when I really, truly believed that I would be hung up on her forever, but when I fell in love with you that all changed for me.”

“Right,” Ria remarked doubtful her shaky fingers holding the book in hand.

“Ria, it’s the truth. What I had with her was special and yes I wrote a lot of books about it, but that pales in comparison to what we have together. What we have is beyond words and for me to place a story upon it, I knew it had to be something sensational which is why I’ve been working on my latest inspiration. It’s something that loosely is based on us on…”

“Oh right,” she rolled her eyes, “as if I should even bother trying to believe that one.”

“Ria it’s true,” Kevin took a small step forward, “I have never, ever met another woman like you in my life and I love you. I have loved you since we were young and even now, well I can’t help but think about what it would be like to hold onto you for the rest of my life. I had dreams of a future with someone else before, but those dreams pale in comparison to the ones I have about wanting to share my future, my life with you.”

“Kevin, I want to believe you, but…” Ria trailed off tears burning behind her eyes.

“But what? Why can’t you believe in me? What is it that is keeping you from listening to what my heart is telling you?” Kevin opened his arms in a small attempt to reach for her, “Ria talk to me…”

Ria looked at him, her heart fluttering with love for him--with every beat she felt herself still so very lost in the thought of sharing her life with him, yet when Angela’s words swirled in her mind, the old anger returned.

“Ria, please. Just hear me out and…” Kevin began again seeing something shifting in her features. She closed her eyes for a moment before making a small sound.

“No,” Ria interrupted him with a groan shaking her head in disgust. Looking down to the novel in her hand, she made another small sound before launching the hard covered book right at Kevin. This time however he hadn’t bothered to duck and the book smacked him right square in the center of the forehead.

Ria watched in horror seeing that Kevin was completely unprepared for the blow she’d delivered him. He stumbled backwards, his eyes wide with shock and before she could say or do anything else, he fell back into the living room toppling over the coffee table behind him.

“Kevin watch out!” Ria tried to warn him, but when he crashed to the ground sending him backwards onto the floor. There was a loud thud and then…nothing.

“Kevin,” Ria spoke his name in a weary voice hearing nothing but a silence surround her.

She rushed forward seeing his feet up in the air hanging over the overturned coffee table. A gasp fell from her lips as she rushed forward to see him on the ground laid out flat on his back. His eyes were closed and at the top center of his head she thought she saw a line of blood. Her jaw dropped and she rushed forward moving in beside him.

“Oh God Kevin,” she cried out realizing that maybe she’d gone a little too far with her anger, “Kevin, please be okay.”

Ria reached for his wrist searching for his pulse as she was completely unaware of his right eye opening ever so slightly to look at her. He watched her move to feel for his pulse and he closed his eyes again hearing her let out another exasperated sigh.

“Oh Kevin, I never meant to hurt you. I was just upset, but I never, ever meant to do this. I just hated the idea of you being in love with someone else and now I’ve blown it. I was just jealous and…” Ria began kneeling down beside him. She reached to touch his face inspecting the wound that she’d inflicted upon him, “Kevin, I’m so sorry.”

“Apology accepted,” Kevin mouthed a grin cracking over his stone serious face. He wrapped his arm around her before she could protest and in a whirlwind of a moment he rolled her onto her back beneath him with one quick movement. “And now that you’re finally done yelling maybe you can listen to me for a moment.”

“Wait a second,” Ria frowned up at him seeing that for this moment she was the one who had been played, “You were faking that, weren’t you? You deceived me to get me to…”

“To just shut up for five minutes and let me explain,” Kevin reasoned with her catching her glare. Before she could say anything further he tipped down to steal a kiss from her lips in the hopes of reminding her just where his passion was at the moment. He felt her stiffen for a moment of surprise before she kissed him back. He felt her arm slide around his muscular torso, sliding up the steely contours of his spine until she tore her lips away from the kiss.

“You’re a jerk Kevin,” Ria replied with a scowl, her nose wrinkled in anger. She slapped him just above the shoulder and glared at him, “Don’t think that kissing me is going to make me forget what she said about you Kevin about what she…”

“I’m not trying to make you forget, but rather remind you of what we have,” he pointed out watching her closely in the hopes that maybe just maybe he could find a way to get through to her--to show her the real reason why he’d come over here tonight to share a romantic night with her.

“I hate what she said to me. I hate the thought of you having feelings for another woman, but more so I hate the idea of never being able to be with you again,” she confessed swatting at him once again before curling her fingers through his hair. Before he could respond to that statement, he felt her tuck on his thick, dark hair yanking him down over her as their mouths met in a heated frenzy alerting Kevin that maybe just maybe all was not lost for the future with Ria he’d hoped of. Maybe he could make the most of this unfortunate spin Angie had put on things after all.


“Oh god,” Sarah walked into her bedroom, feeling some of the items she owned underneath her feet, burned to a crisp. “This just figures, this is my luck.”

“It was an accident,” Kyle tried to explain, picking something up from the dresser seeing the way that Sarah looked back at him. “You couldn’t have known something like that was going to happen.”

“All my stuff is ruined,” Sarah shook her head slowly, taking a look around her bedroom before letting out a long sigh. “This is absolutely ridiculous.”

“Not all of your stuff is ruined sweetheart,” Kyle couldn’t help but feel bad for her as he reached out to touch her shoulder gently, feeling her pull away from him angrily. “Hey, I’m just trying to help.”

“I don’t think you touching me is going to bring back all my stuff,” Sarah snapped seeing Kyle take a step in closer to her, his eyes narrowing down at her as he shook his head slowly. “Everything I own is…”

“Not gone because you can replace a lot of all this,” Kyle explained in a small voice, his hazel eyes filled with an angered expression as he let out a small breath. “Just because your place started on fire doesn’t mean you have to treat me like shit. I didn’t do this, I had nothing to do with this so don’t take it out on me.”

“I’m sorry,” Sarah tried to apologize as she reached out to try and grab Kyle’s hand, seeing him pull away from her with a small shake of his head. “Kyle, I didn’t mean to snap at you.”

“You just lost your stuff, I know,” Kyle shook his head slowly, reaching out to wrap his arms around her lightly, feeling her head rest against his chest. He let out a small frown before leaning forward to press a small kiss against her forehead gently. “You know, you can come stay with me at Russ and Avery’s house. I’m sure they won’t mind at all.”

“I want to be at my place Kyle,” Sarah once again pulled out of his arms seeing the way he stumbled backwards from the force of her pulling away from him. “I want to have all my stuff back Kyle, I want my home. I don’t want to live at Russell and Avery’s place.”

“It’s going to be okay Sarah, I promise,” Kyle reached out to grab her hand in his tightly, her eyes meeting his as a small grin appeared over his features. “We’ll get you some new stuff and I will help you every step of the way. We will get you through this together.”


...to be continued...