Episode 299

“What’s all this about,” Kyle questioned again over the bone chilling silence in the room that surrounded him. He glanced over at Sarah, then to Diego and took a step forward. “Well?”

“We were um…” Diego started exchanging worried glances with Sarah.

While he and Sarah had been going pretty hot and heavy with one another before Kyle walked in, there was something that had prompted them to stop when they’d heard the sound of someone at the door. Now as Diego kept his worried eyes on Sarah, he began to wonder how she would react to Kyle almost catching them in the act with one another.

“I thought I’d come in here and see how Brant was doing,” Sarah lied taking a step forward and moving over to Kyle, “Blake was so worried about him and I know how hard everyone is taking this, so I thought I’d check and see if Diego was able to make any progress with him.”

“And let me guess,” Kyle’s eyes directed over to Diego, “you weren’t able to come up with anything, were you?”

“Kyle, as much as you want to believe that he’s faking it,” Diego started grateful to change the subject away from what he and Sarah were doing behind Kyle’s back, “I don’t think he is. He’s completely catatonic and…”

“We’ll just see about that,” Kyle rolled up his sleeve before taking a step towards Brant’s bed. He walked over to one of the sides and glanced down at Brant curiously, “So Brant, hey buddy how is it going? What are you up to? Nothing much lately, well hey you know you missed a hell of a party last night. We were all hoping you’d be there.”

“Kyle, what are you doing,” Sarah watched him reach out and slap Brant’s leg as if expecting Brant to bounce up off of the bed and react, but Brant didn’t do anything. He didn’t so much as flinch.

“The old silent treatment huh, well you know that’s okay we have a remedy for that too,” Kyle started feeling Sarah reach out and touch his arm to stop him from harassing Brant.

“Kyle leave him alone,” Sarah shook her head at him, “he’s hurt and you’re acting like a jerk.”

“A jerk,” Kyle repeated giving her a strange look, “Sarah just because Brant has managed to fool people into thinking he’s hurting right now, but I’m not blind Sarah. I can see people as they are right in front of me and I’m not easily fooled.”

“Yeah right,” Brant thought to himself trying to ignore the pain that was rushing up over his leg, “that’s why you’re completely clueless to the fact that your girlfriend is cheating on you right under your nose.”

“Kyle he’s sick,” Sarah began reaching out for him. She watched him turn away to bend down and pull something out of the top dresser drawer. She was going to say something more, but then she realized that her blouse was still unbuttoned in a few places. She quickly shuffled to get it buttoned before Kyle noticed what was going on with her.

“We’ll just see about that,” Kyle pulled out a screwdriver from the top drawer. He inspected the flat edge of it and held it up in front of Brant. “So Brant, how sick are you?”

“Kyle, what are you doing?” Diego’s eyes widened in horror, but more so for himself than Brant now that he watched Kyle dangle the screwdriver in front of Brant’s face. If Kyle would go so far to try to stab Brant to prove that he was faking, then there was no telling what Kyle would do to Diego if he’d found about the thing that Diego had going on with Sarah.

“Kyle don’t,” Sarah frowned rushing over towards him, “don’t even joke like that.”

“Like what?” Kyle dangled the screwdriver over Brant’s upper thigh, “I mean it’s really an endurance test and you know those happen every now and then. It was used in the past for those whom people weren’t sure were able to respond or not. I mean okay so maybe it wasn’t as crude as a screwdriver, but it’s clean enough.”

“Kyle don’t,” Sarah watched him raise it up as if he was going to stab Brant with it.

“Oh come on. The big man won’t even be able to feel it,” Kyle replied in a mocking tone knowing full well he wasn’t going to follow through on stabbing Brant, but if it would put some fear into the Ashford before him, then Kyle felt it was worth a shot in bluffing.

“Kyle please…” Diego tried to appeal to him.

“Kyle!” Sarah squealed hearing the door to Brant’s room open.

Don stepped inside. He saw Kyle with the screwdriver holding it up over Brant’s leg and he let out a pinched gasp.

“No!” Don shouted leaping across the room to tackle Kyle before the damage could be done. There was no way that he was going to let Kyle Houston hurt his friend especially not after things had gotten this far for Brant!


“Look Kevin, I don’t know why you would be here, but…” Russell took in a breath fearing what Kevin Adonis would do to destroy his happiness with Avery.

Even now as Russ watched the way Kevin had Erin in his arms, he couldn’t help but panic. Yes, the island and everything that happened with Angela wasn’t his fault entirely, yet he had no idea how to explain to Avery what had taken place. He’d been so focused on finding her again--on being with her and Erin that it had completely slipped out of his mind about what had taken place on the island. Yes in the back of his mind it was there, but in his heart it had been another life entirely. It had been something that…

“Russ you look pale,” Avery touched his shoulder gently snapping him out of the daze he’d put himself into. “Are you sure that you’re…”

“I’m fine,” Russ lied his gaze upon Kevin once again, “although I’m sure Erin would like to be with you Avery seeing as Kevin and I need to talk.”

“Oh she is just fine here,” Kevin smiled over at him, “I really don’t mind holding her. Avery looked a bit busy earlier, so if she would like some extra help…”

“I’m sure she can handle it on her own Kevin,” Russ took a tentative step forward, “In fact, why don’t you just let her hold Erin and we can go outside to talk about whatever it is that you came over here to discuss.”

“Nah, I think I’d rather stick around here with Avery,” Kevin glanced over at her once again flashing her a bright, white smile, “You know Russ never told me how beautiful you were. I had no idea how much you looked like…”

“Kevin, I really think we should just take it outside,” Russell interrupted trying to keep his worries under wraps, but not succeeding as Avery looked between the two men.

“Is something going on here that I don’t know about,” she questioned with a puzzled expression, “Russ?”

“No, it’s just that Kevin has obviously come a long way here and…” Russell started to explain to her.

“And all I was going to say is that Avery looks like an angel,” Kevin added with a little emphasis before smiling wider, “a very special Angel if you will. Erin too.”

“Well, um thank you I think,” Avery flashed him a polite smile before turning to Russ, “Kevin mentioned that you were helping him with a book he’s working on. He said he had his manuscript out in the car and…”

“And that’s all the more reason why I think Kevin and I should get out of the car and get a look at it,” Russell replied struggling to keep his agitation under wraps, “I know you mentioned you had a deadline on it.”

“Oh no deadline,” Kevin shrugged his shoulder tipping his head down to look at Erin again, “At least nothing that could be more important than this little girl right here. Don’t you agree?”

“My daughter is my world just like my wife is,” Russell stepped forward not really sure what game Kevin was trying to play with him, but before Kevin Adonis could find a way to put an end to Russell’s hopes of a happily ever after, Russell vowed to stop him by whatever means necessary.

“Good, then you don’t mind if I get to know more about Avery here,” Kevin started again softening his expression a bit, “There’s so much I wanted to ask--so many things that she’s been telling me about you that I didn’t know before and I’d hate to have it come to an end now. So what do you say Russ? Why don’t you take a load off and let’s get to know one another a bit better since you’ve been keeping me in the dark about this beautiful wife of yours?”


“So tell me something Angel, does this make up for earlier,” Chris motioned to the view from the window beside them that overlooked Lake Cardinal, “I told you that I’d find us the best place in this town to show you my appreciation for all that you do.”

“You mean other than turn your world upside down,” she laughed lightly reaching for her glass of water. She took a sip before her eyes absorbed the tranquil view before her, “Though I do have to tell you Chris, this most certainly does win you brownie points. It almost feels like I’m at home again, well, except it’s a bit cooler out here.”

“Home,” Chris repeated taking a sip of his wine before watching her closely, “you mean on the island?”

She nodded setting her glass down and bringing her hand up to her face, “I know it sounds silly for an adult to live their life hiding away on a secluded island, but the work I do there is important. It’s something that’s very rewarding and sure maybe it doesn’t get me out much, but it’s been a long time since I was the rebel you once knew.”

“I happened to like that rebel,” he reached out across the table to squeeze her hand in his, “and don’t try to fool me. I know she’s still there.”

“Yeah buried under the premise of motherhood,” she shook her head and let out a slight groan, “I still can’t believe that I’m about to do this--that I’m going to have not one, but two children. I mean when you think about it, it’s something that well, I guess I figured wouldn’t be happening at this stage of the game.”

“Oh come on. You’ve always wanted to be a mom. Even back when I first met you, you liked the idea of a family,” Chris reminded her with a soft sigh, “I know when you and Kevin thought there was that chance for…”

Her eyes snapped up to him once again, a frown creasing over her otherwise flawless lips, “That was a long time ago Chris. It wasn’t meant to be. I told you that.”

“I know, but I remember when I flew in to see you after you lost her. You wanted so badly to be a mom and I told you that time would come Angel. I told you that you’d have another chance,” he squeezed her hand again, “It’s come for you and I know how important this is.”

“It is,” she finally admitted, “but I’m terrified Chris. I’m so afraid that it’s not going to work out. I mean that’s what all of this boils down to. What if it’s like last time? What if something happens to the twins and…?”

“Hey, hey you’re getting ahead of yourself here,” Chris interrupted not allowing her to get ahead of herself, “You and I both know that things have changed a lot over the years. You’re a doctor and…”

“Don’t you think I know all of that,” she snapped back at him before softening her tone a bit, “but it doesn’t help that on top of all else, when Christmas rolls around each year not only do I think about the fact that my father was murdered, but that it would’ve been my daughter’s birthday as well. If she would’ve lived Chris, she would’ve been thirteen this year. That’s a long time to go without her and…”

“Hey,” Chris got up out of his chair moving over to embrace her as tears pooled in her eyes.

“I’m sorry,” she sniffled hugging him tightly, “I’m just all hormonal right now and scared about everything and…”

“It’s completely human for you to feel that way,” Chris whispered kissing the top of her head gently, “You’ve had a lot to deal with over the years and your fighting with Kevin isn’t going to help any of that. You two need to sit down and talk and…”

“Chris, I can’t think about that right now,” she wiped at her face, “I need to know about my mother--to know what happened to her so that I can be ready for what’s ahead with me…so that I’ll know if…”

“Angel, you’re not going to die,” Chris frowned back at her, “I mean we all know that eventually it’s inevitable but in your case it’s not happening for a long time. You’re going to have two really wild and obnoxious little ones which will having you begging me to marry you so that we can raise them together, which will probably make them even more obnoxious and…”

She laughed shaking her head at him, “Chris you’re insane. Do you honestly believe I’d let you anywhere near my children when you don‘t have an ounce of maturity in you?”

“All the more reason for you to stop thinking negative and start focusing on something brighter like their arrival,” Chris suggested with a small smile, “Have you decided what you’re going to do when the moment comes?”

“I’m still sort of winging it,” she laughed lightly, “I’m supposed to be taking some breathing classes to learn to relax, but…”

“But you’re not flaking out of them. You yourself know how important they are and if you need a partner, well sign me up because I’d be more than happy to,” Chris decided with a bright grin, “It might be fun.”

“Hanging out with a bunch of pregnant women? Chris, you’d rather be hitting up a singles club,” she wrinkled her nose at him.

“Nah, I mean hey you never know. I might find a very sexy single mom who might be interested,” he winked at her, “You never know or maybe the instructor will be single and…”

“Always thinking about the next victim in the string of broken hearts huh,” she laughed lightly shaking her head at him, “Will you ever learn?”

“If I did what fun would there be in that,” he winked again before leaning in to hug her, “but seriously what do you have to lose? I might make classes more fun. I do have that way about me.”

“Yes,” she smiled feeling her worries melting away with the way he was trying to cheer her up, “you do which is why I can’t help but feel like you are one in a million.”

“And don’t you forget it,” he leaned forward to kiss her cheek gently when he heard a pinched squeal from behind them.

“Well, isn’t this lovely,” Heather questioned seeing Chris in front of her, “Here you were trying to convince me that you were dedicated to trying to win me over when…”

“Heather,” Chris gasped immediately recognizing her voice and moving away from Angela. He sprung out of his chair to step in front of her, “This isn’t what it looks like. You see we were just…”

“Oh right,” Heather rolled her eyes at him, “Chris, you may as well stop before you start because I know your kind and you…”

Heather’s words came to an abrupt halt when she took a good, long look at Chris’s companion. In that moment agitation bubbled over into extreme irritation and a sudden sense of fury ripped through her. Pushing Chris aside she took a step forward and spoke up in an accusatory tone at Angela.

“Well isn’t this just wonderful?” Heather balked down at her, “What is it with you? Are you ever satisfied?”

“Excuse me,” Angela blinked back at her surprised by Heather’s approach.

“Oh don’t play Miss Innocent with me,” Heather rolled her eyes at Angela, “I know all about that game with you and even though half the men in town are blinded by it, I’m not. I mean really you sit there and accuse me of being a slut when you’re obviously the biggest whore in Coral Valley.”

“Now wait just a minute,” Angela pushed her napkin off of her lap and rose to her feet with an angry scowl, “I don’t know what the hell your problem is, but I’m not going to sit here and listen to you saying that when…”

“Heather, this is a simple misunderstanding,” Chris tugged on Heather’s arm before wedging himself between Heather and Angela in the hopes of keeping all hell from breaking loose.

“Oh I understand perfectly Chris,” Heather’s eyes shot daggers over at Angela, “It wasn’t enough for you to have Brant, so you just had to go running off after Chris too huh? Well, you can just have him because I wasn’t interested in the first place and I’m certainly not now that he’s spending time with second rate trash like you…”

“Heather wait,” Chris pleaded after her before throwing an apologetic look in Angela’s direction, “I’ll be right back. I have to talk to her because she’s made a mistake here…”

“No kidding,” Angela frowned watching Chris chase off after the skinny blonde woman who’d verbally assaulted her. While Angela had wanted nothing more than to tear the woman’s head off and use it as a football after what she’d said, there was one thing that struck in her mind again and again. Sinking back into her chair Angela reached for her water and took in a nervous breath.

“Brant,” she mouthed to herself sipping her water before her thoughts turned to the fact that a complete stranger somehow knew about that one fling that had changed her life forever. How was it possible that someone she’d never met before knew about Brant? Could it be that…Angela’s thoughts were interrupted by the waiter approaching the table.

“Can I get you anything else,” the man asked politely.

“I think we’re going to need the check please,” Angela replied determined to find a way to get the answers to the questions that were running through her head one way or another. Perhaps Chris’s newfound friend knew more than she’d revealed and it was time that Angela found a way to learning how it was she’d known all about Angela’s time with Brant.


“This is unbelievable,” Shannon waited in the line to get some doughnut bites Nate basically bribed her into getting for him right before she dropped him off at work. Of course, he always used the bribe on their mother, but now that this line at the doughnut shop was huge--the only thing she wanted to do was leave and forget about the deal all together. “I’m just going to leave.”

As Shannon turned around she ran straight into someone who had just picked something up and the box he was holding fell right out of his arms and flew down to the ground. Letting out an aggravated sigh she leaned down to pick it up, bumping heads with the man that had dropped it.

“I’m sorry,” Grady’s voice apologized as she looked up at the same time his eyes met hers and a small laugh escaped his lips. “Hey, fancy running into you. What is this--the second time?”

“I guess we are making it a weekly thing aren’t we now?” Shannon smirked handing him over the doughnut box that he had dropped after she nearly plowed him down in such a hurry. “I didn’t mean to hit you like that--it’s just all these people that are getting to me.”

“Well, in that case,” Grady lifted his arm holding out the doughnuts he had dropped earlier, offering them up to her as he simply shrugged his shoulders, “You need these more than I do. So go ahead, you can have them.”

“No, I don’t want them,” Shannon informed him with a small shake of her head before letting out a long breath. “I was supposed to come and get them for my pain in the butt brother, but now that I think about it--he doesn’t deserve them at all.”

“Are you sure because I am kind of getting on the soft side,” Grady patted his stomach gently before letting out a small laugh and offering it up to her once more. “You can have them if you would like.”

“No thank you,” Shannon shook her head once more not wanting to take something that she didn’t originally want to get in the first place, but was only forced to by her annoying pain in the butt little brother. “I would, but I really don’t like those things.”

“Suite yourself,” Grady shrugged his shoulders pointing down towards the box before letting out a smirk. “I mean you truly don’t know what you are missing because once you eat one of these--you can’t stop. I specifically like the chocolate glazed flavor.”

“Well, I’ll believe you, but I’m not a very big sweets fan,” Shannon replied with a small shrug her eyebrows tensing together as she thought about the doughnuts inside of the box. “I’m not really big on all of the sweets. I would have to ask myself why my little brother likes them because all of my family kind of hates the sweets, but then I would soon realize as I am talking to you he is just a pig.”

“I remember that,” Grady chuckled for a minute before realizing what she just said. A sign of confusion developed over his features as held his doughnut box in closer to his body. “Wait, did you just say you were getting these for your little brother.”

“Yeah,” Shannon nodded slowly her eyebrow arching up as he looked at her with his green eyes. “I said that close to the beginning of our conversation, but yeah--I did say that.”

“Why is your little brother in town?” Grady questioned with a small frown motioning her to follow over towards one of the tables where he pulled her chair out for her, pushing her chair in before taking a seat across from her. “I thought you said that your little brother was always going to be a home boy. I never figured he would be showing up in Coral Valley.”

“Well, unfortunately for me,” Shannon began in a deep breath seeing Grady watching her carefully as she thought of a way to explain what had happened with Nate. “Let’s just say he came crashing in on the borderlines and I got stuck with him.”

“I guess I should leave it at that and try to figure out what happened myself,” Grady replied setting his box on the table before shrugging his shoulder and looking out at her with his green eyes. “Unless of course you don’t mind telling me what happened yourself. If it bothers you too much, you don’t have to tell me what happened--I would understand.”

“Why would It bother me telling you what happened with my loser brother and why he got in trouble,” Shannon shrugged not knowing how to respond to what he just said. She thought for a moment before a wide smile spread over her features. “It just makes me feel better telling you everything that my brother did that was stupid because it just makes me look like the smartest one in my family.”

“Oh great, that means he must have done something brilliant again,” Grady rolled his eyes thinking about the stories Shannon had told him about her younger brother in the past. “What did he do? Did he streak through the cheese museum again?”

“Please don’t remind me of that,” she blocked her eyes remembering her senior year of high school when Nate was in his first year of high school. One of classes that Shannon was in was going to the cheese museum and Nate being the smart kid that he truly was snuck onto the bus and ran through the museum naked. Sure, some of the people that went with her class said that was the best part of the whole trip seeing him do that, but it was a horrible experience for her. The best thing she got out of that deal was the fact that Nate got suspended and that kept him away from her for at least a week at school. “I wish I could just like skip over that memory completely just so I wouldn’t have to live with the embarrassment of what actually happened that day.”

“Hey, if it was me and Nate was my brother,” Grady grinned leaning forward in his seat and resting his elbows on the table as he spoke. “I would take this as an advantage to embarrass him as much as possible.”

“Yeah, like that will actually happen with Nate. He has such a small brain that he would probably think my jokes towards him would be funny,” Shannon pointed out with a small shake of her head before shrugging her shoulders and thinking back to what his original question was. “Nate ran his car right into a tree and he claims a girl drove by him and flashed him. Heck if I know what really happened, but he totally damaged the car.”

“He seriously said that happened?” Grady chuckled seeing Shannon nod her head slowly before he shrugged his shoulders and nodded slowly. “I guess I could believe that coming from him. He is dumb enough to get his attention off the road for something like that. He seems a little too desperate for a girl to like him so he probably would run himself off the road for a girl even remotely coming close to flashing him.”

“Isn’t that the truth,” she agreed with Grady glad that someone would actually agree with her about her brother and what he was doing and saying. Grady basically knew everything that had happened in her past because of all the time she got to know him in the past. There really wasn’t one story she left out on her brother with Grady. “Forget about my problems--what about you? How are you feeling these days since I haven’t seen you in so long?”

“Well since you put it that way,” he began in a sarcastic tone knowing that they hadn’t talked for probably a couple of days. “I guess I’m really not doing too good--still. Life kind of sucks over here on my side.”

“Why is that?” Shannon eyed him over seeing the look in his green eyes that made her answer her question as she gasped and nodded slowly. “I should have known, but still…are you going to be okay?”

“Well yeah, it’s just it feels like my life has gone to hell since Jade has died,” Grady explained thinking back to all the things that happened after Jade died. “I fought with Kyle who is my best friend and one of the only people I trust on this planet. I almost killed myself because I was such an idiot about everything I thought was going on. I almost died and I almost watched Russ, Avery and Kyle die before me. They are all like my family to me and with Russ I know he would kill me if he found out about…”

“Found out about what?” Shannon noticed the way that Grady stopped to think about what he was going to respond to her and tell her what happened. “What would Russ kill you for?”

“Well, you see,” Grady tried to figure out if he should tell Shannon or not about what happened between him and Avery before he let out a long sigh. There was no use in telling Shannon--it would only cause a bigger stir in what happened in the future. “I just was not myself and my brother wouldn’t expect something like that from me.”

“Don’t worry about it Grady,” Shannon reached out to place her hand over the top of his gently before giving his hand a small squeeze. “I know that Russ believes in you and you are a good person. Don’t ever think you aren’t you are just having some hard time with life, but don’t let them have you down for the count because you are better than that. I know you are and everyone knows you are better than that.”

“I wish I could think I was a better person than what I make myself out to be, but I don’t know if I can really be telling myself that,” Grady pointed out with a hesitant laugh before shrugging his shoulders and tapping his fingers on the tabletop. “You know--I can tell you anything right?”

“Right,” Shannon nodded noticing a hesitation behind his features as he shifted uneasily in his seat. After a moment of silence she was almost worried about what was so hard to tell her considering the fact that Grady basically told her everything. “What’s wrong Grady?”

“You see,” Grady couldn’t continue with the thought of what happened between him and Avery. Grady would only confide in one person and that was Kyle--he shouldn’t be telling another person right now. It almost seemed like spreading a rumor if he told another person because with his luck it would most likely spread out to other people in Coral Valley. “You know, I was supposed to meet Kyle today and I think we were supposed to meet up soon so I am going to call him and I will see you later.”

“Are you sure there isn’t anything wrong?” Shannon questioned seeing Grady pull out his cell phone and start to dial Kyle’s cell phone number. “Grady?”

“I’m fine Shannon,” Grady hushed her holding his cell phone up to his ear and waving goodbye to her. “I’ll see you later.”

Grady took one look back at Shannon before walking out the door with his doughnut box in his free hand. Sure, he was going to leave Shannon wondering, but he just didn’t have the courage to tell anyone yet. There was no one other than Kyle that would accept him for what truly happened.


“So Dave,” Andy patted Dave’s shoulder once more feeling Dave tug it away from him in an angered movement. Andy simply shrugged sliding his hands in his pockets before looking into the house to see what was going on inside. “What’s new buddy?”

“Don’t you dare even call me your buddy,” Dave spat gripping onto the door handle tightly as he looked out at Andy who took a step back. “I don’t even know who you are now.”

“A simple hello would have been nice,” Andy shrugged with a small frown, watching Dave closely as he folded his arms out in front of his chest. “You know, after it being so long I figured you just might be a little bit excited to see me.”

“Excited to see you? You’re a jerk Andy,” Dave informed him with a small shake of his head, pointing his finger out in Andy’s direction. “I thought you were my friend until you turned completely, you were not the person I thought you were.”

“Come on Dave,” Andy frowned shrugging his shoulders as he spoke of the subject that Dave was talking about, “We all make some mistakes. I can’t help that this happened, you would have done the same thing if you had the chance.”

“No, I wouldn’t have,” Dave replied closing the door as he stepped out onto the porch, sliding his hands in his pockets as he tried to control the anger that was building up inside of him. “Unlike you, I care about people and if they are going to get hurt or not. I would never turn my back on someone and continue to hurt them the way you continue hurting Deidra.”

“Please Dave,” Andy chuckled reaching up to it his chin slowly before pushing back some of his hair. Andy’s dark eyes looked up into Dave’s before he let out another laugh again. “Don’t tell me you still have a strong thing for her. I know you always did, but come on you know what kind of girl she is. I can’t believe you still have feelings for the girl.”

“Stop and stop now,” Dave warned reaching out to push Andy back in a swift moment as he felt his blood begin to boil at the thought of what Andy was saying to him. “I don’t like Deidra like that Andy, so don’t you try to judge me by coming over here and using my old feelings I used to have for Deidra against me. I’m simply just trying to stand up for a good friend of mine because she doesn’t need all this trouble in her life. I have a family now--I have a daughter and they mean the most in my life, so don’t you dare come here accusing me of still being in love with Deidra.”

“Wow, if you aren’t in love with her I would be shocked because it sure seems like you are in love with her,” Andy stated with a small shrug before simply shrugging his shoulders. “You know all your life you have a best friend and then you get married. You screw up once and you would think that the best friend would be on your side instead of siding with the bitch.”

“You arrogant son of a…” Dave went to move forward only to feel someone grab him by the arm and pull him back. He took a look back to see Cori behind him, pulling him back towards the door. Dave pulled his arm away from his younger sister before fixing his shirt and looking back at Cori angrily. “Go back inside Cori, now.”

“Dave, you need to calm down,” Cori warned seeing the anger that was building up behind her brother’s dark eyes as he took another glance back at Andy who seemed to be loving every second of getting Dave angry. “Maybe you need to come back inside.”

“Cori,” Dave whispered calmly fixing the collar of his shirt before going to finish his sentence, “I am not going…”

“Andy,” Carly smiled walking up to the door frame and seeing Andy before her. She pushed the door open a bit further before motioning him to come inside. “Please come on in.”

“I would love to,” Andy said his words expressively walking beyond Dave and giving him a small smirk before laughing and walking into the house.

“I swear,” Dave walked forward feeling Cori’s hands pressed in against his chest pushing him back as he went to follow Andy into the house. “I’m going to…”

“You aren’t going to do anything,” Cori warned tapping her brother on the side of the face gently before looking inside seeing that Carly and Andy were now sitting down on the couch together. “Be civil he will be gone before you even know it.”


“Wow, I never figured that the day would end up being so boring,” Deidra sighed laying back against the couch as she felt Dean take a seat down by her feet. “We are just sitting at home--watching television and doing nothing else.”

“It’s called relaxing,” Dean pointed out feeling her put her feet in his lap as he let out a small laugh and leaned back against the soft cushion of the couch. “You know relax, the thing we hardly ever get to do anymore. I actually think I kind of like it because it’s not normal for me at all.”

“I like it,” Deidra pondered her reply before sitting up slowly and scooting in closer to Dean on the couch. She put her feet up on the coffee table before shrugging her shoulders. “I like relaxing, but I wish something cool would happen. Like something out of nowhere, something that is shocking and exciting at the same time.”

“So basically you want someone to show up at the door saying you have won a million dollars,” he joked feeling her elbow him in the ribs gently before he let out a small laugh. The sound of the doorbell caught his attention as he stood up slowly and shrugged his shoulders. “Here is the million dollars on it’s way.”

“I’ll let you answer,” Deidra sat up more in her seat letting out a small laugh as she watched Dean walk towards the hallway. “Just in case my luck isn’t going as well as I hope it would be.”

Deidra heard the door open and the sound of Dean greeting someone, but other than that the sound pretty much stayed at a silence.

“Good news honey,” Dean walked into the room with a small smirk over his handsome features as he spoke up slowly. “There was something very special at the door, but it wasn’t a million dollars--it was something better.”

“Really?” she watched him closely seeing the way he rested back against the wall before letting out a small chuckle. “Where is this thing that was better than a million dollars?”

“Well,” Dean began seeing Richard and Judy walk into the room slowly before shrugging his shoulders, “It’s not necessarily a thing, but the two together are at least worth two million.”

“Mom,” Deidra stood up from the couch quickly going over to greet her mother with a wide smile. “What in the world are you doing here? I didn’t expect to see you here with--Richard.”

“Well, there is a story that goes with all this,” Judy informed Deidra gently letting her out of her arms, smiling brightly as she spoke up once more. “I have some good news and I figured I should let you in on what was happening.”

“Really?” Deidra felt Dean step in beside her and wrap his arms around her shoulders tightly to hug her in closer to his body. “What’s the good news?”

“Well,” Judy began taking a step back and grabbing Richard’s hand in hers tightly before raising her left hand up for Deidra to see. “The two of us are going to be getting married.”

“Oh my,” Deidra pulled out Dean’s grasp for a moment as she reached out to grab her mother in her arms tightly, hugging her as hard as possible. “This is so great.”

“I’m glad you like it,” Richard chuckled to himself only to feel Deidra in return hug him just as hard as she had done with her mother. “I take you that you like this a lot.”

“This is so great,” Deidra replied with a small nod looking between the two of them. “You two finally get to be happy like you always wanted to be.”

“Congratulations sir,” Dean smiled widely reaching out to shake Richard’s hand in his firmly before looking out at Judy. “So, when is the big day going to be?”

“We don’t know yet,” Judy began in a small breath before looking back at Richard. She wrapped her arm around his waist tightly before resting her head against his upper arm. “We just came here because we wanted to know if you were interested in going out with us to celebrate.”

“We would love to,” Deidra agreed to going out with them before looking over at Dean. This is exactly what she was hoping for today like she said earlier with Dean. This was what was going to make her mother happy for the rest of her life--how could it get any better for her mother?


“Get off of me Don!” Kyle shouted trying to shake the doctor off of his shoulders, but Don’s iron grip around him was more than he could take in a moment like that. He stood upright trying to knock Don into a wall until Sarah rushed forward reaching for Kyle.

“Put him down!” Sarah snapped at Kyle, her eyes filled with obvious irritation as he reluctantly eased up his attempts to shake Don off of him. Reluctantly he stood completely still waiting for Don to let go.

“I want you out of here,” Don warned with an icy glare over at Kyle, “Get out now!”

“We were just…” Diego tried to explain to Don after having been silent for a long moment.

“I don’t care what you were just. Brant’s my patient and I don’t want anyone else coming in here unless it’s under my authority. Is that clear?” Don’s blue eyes shot directly over towards Kyle, “That especially means you Kyle. If I catch you in here again trying to pull another stunt like that, I’ll have security escort you out of the mansion and it won’t be pretty.”

“Whatever,” Kyle shook his head at Don completely disgusted, “You and your boy there might have half this town fooled about what’s really happening here, but I’m not one of them. You can try to keep me away from him, but I’ll still find a way to show everyone what a faker and a phony he really is.”

Don opened his mouth to protest, but instead he watched Kyle spin on his heel and leave the room in an angry haste. Sarah tossed an apologetic glance over at Don before speaking up.

“I’ll try to keep him away from here,” she promised with a nervous smile before exchanging glances with Diego, who walked with her over to the door.

“You’d better,” Don warned closing the door behind them. He turned the lock to keep them out before turning around to see Brant seated upright rubbing at his thigh. “That was close.”

“Too close,” Brant sighed thinking to the slap that Kyle had delivered him. While he wasn’t quite sure what Kyle was going to do with that screwdriver, he hadn’t wanted to sit still long enough to find out. It had taken everything inside of him to keep from letting out a yelp when Kyle had held it out in front of him as a warning.

“I can’t believe the nerve of that guy,” Don grumbled still angry at Kyle, “I mean where the hell does he get off coming in here and trying to prove that you’re a phony?”

“He’s trying to help Russell,” Brant frowned before letting out a long sigh, “Only he doesn’t realize in trying to expose me, he’s becoming blind to the rest of the world around him.”

“What do you mean?” Don watched Brant get out of the bed and pace around the room.

“It’s nothing,” Brant shook his head thinking about what he’d witnessed between Diego and Sarah, “You know for about five minutes there I was really starting to feel sorry for the guy, but then when he went and pulled that…I mean I don’t get it. I’ve been nice to him time and time again. Hell Avery got pissed at me when I took Kyle’s side over Grady’s once upon a time, yet…”

“Hey he’s a jerk--one that we can easily put in his place if you’d like. I can make a few phone calls and see just what there is on Kyle if you’d like and,” Don started to suggest surprised to see Brant spin around to face him again.

“No leave him alone,” Brant blurted out with a frown, “I don’t want to hurt anyone in any of this and besides, I think he’s going to be hurting enough.”

“How so?” Don asked watching Brant walk over to one of the windows.

“Let’s just say if he would’ve gotten in here a few more minutes before he did, Dr. Hernandez would have that screwdriver in the center of his forehead or up his ass if Kyle had witnessed what I did,” Brant let out a small shudder, “Though I have to tell you even I had no idea that a woman like Sarah would turn out to be someone who would…”

“Would what?” Don approached him again, “What did she do? Come on Brant. Don’t hold out on me.”

“I shouldn’t be saying this because in being a witness it might cause me to wind up in some trouble there, but I felt bad for the guy because Sarah’s obviously not the woman he thinks she is. Here he’s gone above and beyond the call of duty letting her know how important she is to him, but instead of being loyal she kicks him while he’s down by making out with her therapist right in front of me,” Brant shuddered again.

“No wait!” Don’s eyes widened, “Are you serious?”

Brant nodded, “I thought they were going to go at it on top of my bed there with me in it by the way they were pawing at one another. They started going on and on about how they’d made love, how they wanted to make love again and how oblivious to all of this Kyle was. I couldn’t help but feel horrible after that for the guy. Even now…”

“Wow,” Don sat down on the edge of the bed, “I can’t believe I missed that.”

“What?” Brant tipped his head to the side to give him a glance.

“Well, I mean that would’ve been one hell of a show to watch. Could you have imagined what would’ve happened if Kyle had come in to see that?” Don scratched his chin lightly, “I’ll bet we could’ve sold front row seats for big bucks to that rumble.”

“Don, we would’ve had a homicide on our hands,” Brant replied with another frown, “though you know in seeing Sarah and Diego like that it got me thinking…”

“About what?” Don asked curiously, “About how you felt like a voyeur first hand in some kind of x-rated film fest?”

Brant shot him a scathing look before letting out a long sigh. He paced around the room before running his fingers through his hair, “No actually it got me thinking about what I’m doing. It all started to hit me hard from what we saw in the hallway between Russ and Avery to what a guy like Kyle is going through at this moment in time. I mean really why would someone want to spend their life devoted to someone who doesn’t love them back? Why would they want to be with someone when deep in their heart they know that the person they are with is always thinking about someone else--dreaming about being somewhere else…”

“Brant, what are you saying?” Don questioned a bit puzzled.

“I’m saying that if it’s a one sided love affair what is the potential for a future for two people? For love to work you have to have two people invested in it and if they aren’t…” Brant trailed off a darkness clouding over him.

“Brant, are you…are you telling me that you want to call this off? That you’re ready to forget about fighting for Avery? That you want to step away from all of this and let go of your marriage? I mean after all we’ve done and all the progress we’ve made are you really ready to let it all fall to pieces?” Don couldn’t help but ask worried by his friend’s expression.

Brant remained silent for a long moment before finally answering, “I honestly don’t know Don. I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing anymore and I have to tell you if it gets down to it the last place I want to be in is where Kyle Houston is standing right now. In that kind of relationship, well, it’s a death sentence and if that’s all that’s left for Avery and I, then I have to wonder what in the world I’m fighting for anyways.”


“Why were you doing that Kyle?” Sarah snapped at Kyle pulling him out of the room by his arm as he followed her slowly with Diego right behind him. “You know that Brant is sick and you still try to hurt him like that. You’re just being sick.”

“Sarah please,” Kyle frowned pointing towards the closed door to Brant’s bedroom, “I can’t continue to tell you this Sarah. I know he is faking this whole thing.”

“That doesn’t give you the right to try and hurt him like that,” she kept a tight grip on Kyle’s arm seeing him look over at Diego before shaking his head slowly. “Kyle, do you realize the stunt you just tried to pull?”

“Sarah, it’s not like I would have ever hurt him,” Kyle pointed out with a small frown, not believing how angry she was getting at him for just trying to prove the truth. “I would never hurt Brant, no matter how much I hate the guy right now.”

“You aren’t even being mature lately,” she informed him with a small frown letting go of his arm, seeing the way his hazel eyes stared into hers. “I honestly don’t know what you would do anymore. I think I know you Kyle Houston and then the next moment--I don’t know you at all.”

“Sarah, I really don’t think Kyle would ever want to hurt Brant,” Diego tried to help Kyle out a bit seeing the way that Sarah glared over at him. “I’m just saying.”

“Well don’t because you don’t know Kyle like I do,” Sarah warned not even giving Kyle the chance to speak up anymore. Sure, she wasn’t so angry at the fact that Kyle was trying to prove Brant wrong, it was the fact that he was so close to walking in on her and Diego. “I just can’t believe you anymore.”

“Sarah,” Kyle frowned seeing her start to walk off before he quickly caught up with her grabbing her hand in his tightly watching as she turned around to face him. “Please forgive me Sarah. I’m so sorry, I just want my friend to be happy again.”

“That’s not the way to solve things Kyle,” Sarah pulled her hand away from him seeing the way his hazel eyes stared out into hers. She ran the back of her hand over her forehead slowly--once again feeling a bit lightheaded as she spoke to Kyle. “I just don’t understand why you would do something like that. If a doctor says he isn’t in the right state of mind--I’m going to believe the doctor.”

“Yeah, but the doctor is Brant’s best friend,” Kyle tried to argue the point seeing her dark eyes staring out at him angrily as he watched her take a step back and away from him. “Leveski would lie about anything for Brant and you know it. He is full of shit Sarah.”

“I don’t want to listen to this right now,” Sarah decided throwing her hand up in the air motioning Kyle to stop talking as she started to take a few more steps back. “Start talking to me when you grow up Kyle.”

“Sarah wait,” Kyle begged seeing her stop for a moment to glance back at him after starting to walk away. Kyle got down on his knees holding his arms out in the air before shaking his head slowly. “Please forgive me. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to and I won’t pull something like that again. Please give me another chance.”

“Kyle,” Sarah laughed seeing the way that he got down on the ground for her, his beautiful eyes basically begging her to forgive him. She felt him reach out for her hand seeing him stand up before her. “I just…”

“Give me one second,” Kyle whispered placing his index finger over his lips gently before shaking his head slowly. “I know I have been acting kind of differently lately, but I have just had a lot of things on my mind lately. Starting with getting Russ and Avery back together and upon other things. Sweetheart, if you can--will you please forgive me? I didn’t mean to come off as such a jerk like that.”

“Well,” Sarah though for a moment feeling his fingers enclose tightly with hers. She thought for a moment, playing around with him before shrugging her shoulders. “I guess I could give you a second chance.”

“Good,” Kyle grinned reaching out to trace the side of her face with his fingertips slowly. He pushed a piece of hair behind her ear before leaning forward to press a kiss up against her forehead gently. “I would never want to upset you.”

“The same goes for me,” Sarah replied feeling him hug her in his arms tightly while she rested her head against his hard chest. She caught the way that Diego was glancing over at them as she looked up at Kyle and gently moved him back against the wall knowing that Diego was still watching them. “I think you have a way you can repay me.”

“Really? How is that?” Kyle arched his eyebrow at her in response feeling her slide her hand in against the back of his neck and pulling him down slowly before kissing him.

Her hands slid down his back slowly and seeing Diego approaching she slid her hands in against Kyle’s abdomen, pulling his shirt up just enough to run her fingers over the ripple of muscle in his abdomen.

“You are the hottest,” Sarah whispered pulling away from Kyle for a moment to slide her hands further up his shirt and over his massive chest, feeling his broad muscles against her fingertips. Sarah leaned forward pressing another kiss up against his lips before sliding her tongue in against his.

“Whoa,” Kyle pulled away from her quickly letting out a small laugh as he held his finger up in the air. He thought of something to say before feeling his cell phone start to go off. “I have to get this.”

“Okay,” Sarah nodded watching Kyle answer his cell phone and walk away from her for a moment. Sarah casually took a glance back at Diego, seeing the way his dark eyes were watching her. A small smile appeared over her lips as Kyle returned and leaned down to press a small kiss against her lips. “What’s wrong?”

“I have to go, that was Grady,” Kyle took a few steps back and away from Sarah slowly, pointing back towards the stairs as he spoke. “He really needs to talk to me right now and I will be back later. I promise.”

“Okay,” Sarah nodded slowly before seeing him walking down the stairs slowly. As soon as he was out of sight she rolled her eyes and let out an aggravated sigh. “That’s figure--Grady calls and Kyle is off being boy wonder again.”

“He doesn’t seem that bad,” Diego offered up stepping in behind Sarah seeing the way that she quickly turned around to look at him. “With the way he got on his knees begging for you to forgive him--I don’t think he is such a bad guy.”

“You haven’t been around Kyle when he is in one of his moods,” Sarah replied with a small shake of her head taking a step back from Diego and watching him closely. “What is it that you want?”

“Have you thought about what I said in there?” Diego questioned quietly seeing the way her eyes looked away from him angrily. He reached out to hold her hand in his only to feel her pull away from him quickly. “Are you mad at me? I thought you said in there you wanted this as much as I did.”

“Just leave me alone Diego,” Sarah took a glance back over her shoulder worried that Kyle could quite possibly be there behind her and Diego. She didn’t want Kyle to ever find out about this, Diego just had to leave her alone. “Just leave me alone Diego.”

“Sarah wait,” Diego called out to her seeing the way that Sarah quickly got out of sight and down the other hallway. No matter what Diego did it didn’t seem to be good enough for Sarah at all. She was so confusing with what she really wanted.


“Would you look at them out there,” Deidra watched Richard and Judy dance together at the restaurant they were at together. She glanced over at Dean before letting out a wide smile. “It’s like a dream come true for her.”

“They look so happy together out there,” Dean pointed out seeing the way that Deidra just seemed to lighten up seeing her mother finally happy after all these years. He rested his hand on top of hers before letting out a small smile. “They make a great couple.”

“Yes, yes they do,” she agreed with a small nod seeing the way her mother smiled just looking at Richard. It was like no matter what Richard was doing--he could always make Judy smile with just the glimmer in his eyes. “It’s beautiful how love works you know.”

“How does it work?” Dean questioned just loving to hear the happiness in her voice. It was perfect every time she was happy because there was hardly anything that could really hurt her after something good happened. “In your own words.”

“Well, it’s like this,” she turned in her chair to face him more completely, feeling his grip on her hand tighten. “When you have this real and true love--you can’t ever move on from that love. You will spend your whole life in love with them and only a few slim amount get to be with the love of their life. If you do--then you need to consider yourself very lucky because people spend their whole lives wishing they could have the love of their lives with them. I know there are people that love someone and beg everyday that somehow--someway the person they love will notice. They can spend their whole life in love, but that one person can always be too blind to notice. To notice who is the one they should truly be with.”

“I can only imagine how much that might hurt,” Dean frowned feeling her squeeze his hand in hers tightly. Dean thought about everything she said putting the words together slowly before speaking up once again. “So, do you think that will be us in the future?”

“What will be us? My mom and Richard?” she watched him closely seeing him nod and smile widely as she thought for a moment about what he just asked her. “That already is us. The only thing that is going to continue to come for us is happiness because I am never going to let you go Dean. Never.”

“That’s a good thing,” Dean nodded slowly reaching his hand out to hers seeing the way she eyed him over slowly. He stood up slowly after she took his hand in hers and led her over towards the dance floor. “I’m glad you feel that way because I know there is a bright future ahead of us and I am just planning on it becoming even more brighter.


“Be careful,” Cori warned stepping into the house with Dave and closing the door behind her big brother as she watched Dave walk over by Carly and Andy slowly.

“So as I was saying,” Andy began seeing the way that Dave was now hovering over him and Carly. He let out a small frown before shifting in his seat uneasily and letting out a small sigh. “I feel kind of uneasy having him around here.”

“Oh bull shi…” Dave went to argue back with Andy more, but was cut off by the glare that Carly gave him before she stood up. She grabbed Dave’s hand in hers tightly before leading him over towards the kitchen.

“Please excuse us for a second,” Carly smiled pulling Dave into the kitchen as Dave heard Andy start to sweet talk Cori as she waited for the two of them to return. “What is your problem?”

“Don’t hold me in here while that jerk is trying to hit on my sister,” Dave scowled trying to walk around Carly only to feel her push him back roughly. “What in the world was that for?”

“You need to stop right now before you begin to start anything else,” she warned harshly seeing Dave take a step back and lean against the counter as he watched her closely. “I don’t care what you think right now--Andy is my client and…”

“This is total crap Carly, the only reason he is your client is because you were pissed at me,” Dave snapped seeing her take a step forward and poke at his chest going to say something before he cut her off quickly. “What? You can’t handle the fact that I’m right Carly.”

“I took the case because it was my job,” she came back in his face seeing the way that Dave’s eyes darkened with anger. She took a step back shaking her head slowly as she spoke up once more. “You can’t tell me what jobs I can and can not take.”

“You are right about that,” Dave agreed nodding slowly as he spoke up once more, “but that doesn’t mean you can have clients like him walking into my house.”

“Your house? This is your house?” Carly repeated his words angrily seeing Dave nod slowly as Carly shook her head at what he was saying. “Last time I checked this is our house because I am your wife.”

“I hope you know you are making some really stupid decisions right now,” Dave pointed out with a small shake of his head seeing Andy now standing up and watching what was happening between them. “You don’t even understand what is wrong with this guy. You are too caught up in what happened with me and that’s why you continue to push this case with him.”

“You know--I don’t even want to talk to you right now,” Carly held her hand up in the air silencing Dave as she shook her head slowly. “That’s all I want to hear from you because I have work to finish.”

Dave watched Carly walk off and start talking to Andy again before he let out a small hiss. It figured that the man he hated most on the Earth was the man that his wife was willing to let in the most when it hurt him even more.


Cori stepped outside of her car adjusting her black miniskirt just enough to let it ride an inch further up her long, slender legs. Sure, she knew it was a bit of a risky number to wear to the gym, but topped off with the red, lacy, sheer blouse, she was hoping that it would be a gamble that paid off. Bringing her purse strap over her shoulder she marched through the front doors determined to make a statement one way or another.

“Whoa baby,” one of the guys near the front whistled and hooted at her, but they were of no interest to her. She knew where she was headed and who she was out to impress. No mere child could change that for her.

Pushing past the crowd she made her way to Rob’s office and knocked on the door hoping that he would be inside. She was pleasantly greeted with the sound of his voice welcoming her in from the other side of the door. She held her purse tight to her shoulder before pressing her hand to the door and opening it confidently.

“Hi Rob,” she waved at him with a bright smile, “you said you wanted to see me today.”

“Yes I did,” he smiled at her, “I wanted to talk to you about the things we’d discussed last time. Please take a seat.”

“I’ve already been on them,” Cori explained brightly sauntering over towards the chair, “and you’re going to love what I came up with.”

“I’m sure I will,” he smiled at her pleasantly from where he was seated behind his desk. He stood for a moment as a polite gesture until she set her purse down and sank into the chair.

“I know you will,” she promised with a toss of her long, blonde hair over her shoulder. She saw the way his blue eyes were fixed on her and in that moment she decided to lay it all out on the table in a subtle way. Sitting down she crossed her legs in an exaggerated motion noticing that his gaze seemed to follow the movement before he quickly fixed on her eyes.

“So what do you have for me?” he asked rubbing his palms together and smiling at her, “Something good I hope.”

“Something wonderful actually,” she confessed reaching for her purse again and pulling out the flyer that she’d come across earlier, “You see I was out and about and this hit me at the most surprising of times.”

“What is it?” Rob questioned curiously as she held out the paper.

“It’s an announcement about the party of the century,” she further explained with a grin, “It turns out that Blake Ashford is putting together a big community center and the fundraiser that her foundation is putting on is all the buzz. They are looking for charitable donations right about now for the soiree and I thought what better way to promote the gym and the club than to make a donation to the cause.”

Rob’s eyes skimmed over the page with obvious interest before he looked up to her again, “You know Cori, this actually sounds like a wonderful idea. Don and Brant are very close, so I’m sure Don would be able to help on this one too and it’s for a great cause. I’m proud of Blake for putting this together.”

“It is a really great idea,” Cori nodded further.

“I knew she always had a lot going for her,” Rob replied with a thoughtful expression, “I still remember when we had her over babysitting Lindsay. It was just like yesterday, but now she’s all grown up just like you.”

“And every bit as resourceful,” Cori added with a small wink, “I’m positive with this fundraiser she’s putting together it will really show how dedicated you are to the community around you through the gym and the night club.”

“You know, I have to say I like that,” Rob smiled in response, “It’s been a while since I’ve been able to take part in something that really felt like it had purpose. I mean the events we run through the club are always entertaining, but I was hoping for a new direction and Cori I think you’ve found it. It’s brilliant truly.”

“I can call Blake myself if you’d like,” Cori added hopefully, “My brother is best friends with Ken and I’m sure I could set something up so you wouldn’t have to trouble Don.”

“Well, if you really want to,” Rob thought it over for a moment. “I know I’ve been working on a party that the club is putting on and…”

“And if you’d like me to help with that too I’d be more than willing,” Cori replied with a bright smile, “I have no problems what so ever delving into any project you’d like to discuss.”

“Well in that case, what if we grab a quick lunch? I have to make a few phone calls and check in with a couple of the trainers, but if you don’t mind waiting,” Rob rose from the chair he’d been seated in.

“No,” she shook her head at him, “I don’t mind at all.”

“Excellent,” Rob smiled at her, “then I’ll be right back. Help yourself to anything in the fridge if you like.”

“Alright,” Cori watched him leave before she sank down further into the chair imagining all the things she would be able to accomplish in getting Rob alone in an intimate setting that lunch could provide them with. Once they were able to be together outside of the gym with one another she was certain that the possibilities were endless.

“He better be here,” Shannon whispered to herself stepping off the elevator to the hospital as she thought about Don and how many times she tried calling him today. Of course when Don had Brant on the mind, he was never going to answer his phone for her. Brant was obviously too important for him to do that.

If he wasn’t going to answer for her she was going to come and find him herself because she was not about to let him start acting like this and ignoring her when he feels the time is right.

“Kyle needs an answer and I am going to get it for him,” Shannon decided straightening out her shirt as she spoke up once again. “There is nothing Don can do, but tell me the truth.”

Shannon walked over towards Don’s office and when she was about to reach for the door she felt someone knock into her from behind.

“Oh, I am so sorry,” a nurse apologized reaching out to make sure Shannon was okay after taking the hit she just received. “I had my back turned and I was carrying these. I didn’t mean to hit you like that.”

“It’s okay nurse,” Shannon looked out at the nametag on the nurse’s shirt before Shannon shrugged her shoulders, “Sherman. Don’t worry about it.”

“Excuse me,” Deana called out seeing Shannon reaching for Don’s office door before turning around to face Deana once more. “Are you looking for doctor Leveski?”

“Why yes I am,” Shannon nodded slowly folding her arms out in front of her chest. She leaned back against the door knowing that from the nurse’s reaction Don probably wasn’t going to be at the hospital as of right now. “I’m his wife.”

“Oh,” Deana paused for a second before nodding slowly and pointing over towards Don’s office. “Don isn’t here right now and he called in earlier saying he might be a little late.”

“That figures,” Shannon took in a deep breath resting her head against the door. Of all times she needed Don the most for information he was always going to be gone.

“I’ve known Don for a long time and I noticed he tends to be late a lot,” Deana pointed out with a small shake of her head before letting out a small laugh. “He’s a real great guy you know. I could let you into his office and you can wait there for him if you would like to.”

“No thanks,” Shannon shook her head slowly before pointing over towards the elevator, “I think I am going to go find him myself anyways.”

“Well, if he shows up is there something you want me to tell him?” Deana questioned seeing Shannon shake her head slowly before getting on the elevator. “Have a nice day Mrs. Leveski.”

Deana watched the elevator doors close as she let out a long sigh and shook her head slowly. Somehow, Don always had a way with getting in trouble even if he wasn’t trying to. By the look on his wife’s face, he probably wasn’t going to be coming into work today.


“That’s incredible,” Kevin let out a small laugh still holding Erin in his arms. He kept his eyes on Avery though he could see that Russ was fuming on the other side of the couch where he sat with his arm wrapped protectively around Avery’s shoulders. Kevin had no doubt that Russ would be doing the same with Erin if it wasn’t for the fact that he would give himself away in acting so uptight. “I had no idea that you two were childhood sweethearts. Russ never mentioned it to me.”

“Well there’s a lot we don’t mention to those we’re friend with Kevin. You of all people should know that given those novels you’re working on,” Russell replied with a warning look.

“Even so to hide someone as fantastic as Avery,” Kevin grinned over at her again, “Why I feel like I’ve known you for years even though it’s been only a couple of hours. You’re just so familiar to me and…”

“Shouldn’t you get going Kevin,” Russell sprung up from the couch finding himself unable to stand another moment of being polite, “Don’t you have an appointment that you should be getting to?”

“Well actually,” Kevin glanced down at Erin who had long since fallen asleep in his arms after he’d started talking with Russ and Avery, “I think perhaps Erin here might need a nap since I’ve clearly bored her.”

“Not at all,” Avery stood up as well reaching out for her daughter, “I think she finds you calming.”

“I feel the same way about her,” Kevin carefully handed her over to her mother, “and as much as I hate to leave right now, Russ is right I do have an appointment just outside of town, but I couldn’t resist the urge to stop by once I learned you were back in town.”

“Somehow that doesn’t surprise me,” Russell replied with an icy glare in his direction.

“Well I’m glad that you did Kevin because it was nice to meet you,” Avery cradled Erin close to her, “and please feel free to stop by anytime if you’d like. We enjoyed having you here.”

“Oh believe me I’ll be back,” Kevin assured her watching Avery take Erin down the hallway presumably to put her down for a nap.

“The hell you will,” Russell muttered under his breath after Avery was out of earshot, “Look I don’t know what you’re doing here Adonis, but I want you to stay away from my wife.”

“Just like you stayed away from Angie when I wanted you to?” Kevin shot back at him sarcastically, “Yeah right like I’m really in the mood to be doing you any favors especially after you screwed Angie over Nick, or wait should I call you Russ?”

“Listen, I know this might be hard for you to understand, but I never, ever meant to hurt Angela,” Russell began with a pained expression, “I lost my memory after that bombing and…”

“And obviously your mind thought it would be best for you to pick up with the woman I loved simply because she looked like the woman you were in love with,” Kevin rose to his feet to stare him down, “Funny how that one works. Perhaps I should see how much Avery loves you after she learns about you and Angela.”

“Listen you,” Russell warned his green eyes darkening with anger, “I don’t want you to hurt her. She doesn’t need to be harassed by you considering that…”

“That what? You don’t feel your wife has a right to know that you were about to marry another woman--a woman that looks identical to her,” Kevin shook his head at Russ, “Man, you’re even more pathetic than I took you to be. When I hear about everything you and Avery have together, I can’t even begin to understand how you could forget her or forget that…”

“Look, I don’t expect you to understand, but I can promise you that this wasn’t my fault,” Russell sighed heavily, “My father…the man that brought me into this world tried to have me murdered so that he could manipulate Avery for his own twisted pleasures. He kept us apart and almost succeeded in killing me simply because he and my mother-in-law felt that the world would be a better place if the two of us weren’t together. She had a serial killer ex-boyfriend chasing her around trying to hurt her and her mother tried to murder Erin while I was on the island with you and Angela. None of that was something that I planned for, nor was it something that I wanted. All my life I’ve wanted to be with Avery and only Avery. What happened with Angela was a mistake…”

“You’re damn right it was,” Kevin added in a gruff tone, “From what I can see it was the biggest mistake in the world given that you have the world right here with you.”

“Don’t you think I know that?” Russ snapped back at him in a muted tone, “I thank God each and every day that I’ve been able to have this--that I was able to bring my daughter into this world without losing her and Avery. When I left the island her ex had her locked up and he drugged her. He fully intended to murder my daughter and if I hadn’t been there when I was--if I hadn’t left the island when I did, then there’s no telling what Bruce would’ve done to them.”

“Wait a second,” Kevin paused giving him a long look, “Bruce? As in Bruce Mathis?”

“That’s right,” Russell nodded standing taller, “He tried to kill my daughter and Avery and he damn near did until we were able to put an end to his madness once and for all.”

“You mean you were the one that killed him?” Kevin’s eyes widened with obvious interest.

“My brother, my best friend and I were all able to put an end to his reign of terror,” Russell paused noticing the way that Kevin’s face shifted for a moment, “but why do you care about that?”

“Let’s just say Bruce hurt someone very close to me and I wondered about how it was that he’d met his maker given that I’d hoped I would’ve had the honors of doing the job,” Kevin paused before giving Russ a once over, “but of course you’ve beat me to the punch once again.”

“Hey, trust me if you would’ve been able to have gotten rid of him sooner than I did it would’ve made life a lot easier,” Russell paused sensing a strange awkwardness between them, “but seriously Kevin, I know that you have no reason in the world to believe me, but I swear to you that never in all of this did I want to hurt Angela. I never thought that it would be this way--if I’d known who I was…”

“Then you wouldn’t have mistaken her for Avery,” Kevin finished for him wondering if he should let Russell know what he’d decided in terms of telling Avery the truth. However, given that Russ had left Kevin to sweat things out on the island, Kevin thought he would return the favor, “and as long as you stay away from Angela, then I won’t feel compelled to tell Avery about what you’ve done. I won’t break her heart like that as long as you refrain from breaking Angela’s again.”

Russell grew suddenly silent his thoughts lingering to Angela, “How is she holding up?”

“Quite frankly, it’s none of your business,” Kevin folded his arms in front of his chest, “She was in love with Nick Smith, not you.”

“I know that, but…” Russell trailed off his thoughts returning to the woman who had been at his side the last few months, “that doesn’t mean that I didn’t care about her--that on some level I didn’t love her…”

“She doesn’t fit into Russell Denton’s life and we both know that,” Kevin warned him simply, “None of this should ever find it’s way to her and as long as you stay away, then it won’t have to.”

“What about you? What are you going to do now that I’m gone?” Russell questioned watching him closely, “Are you finally going to tell her that you’re in love with her or is someone else going to step up to the plate and fill the shoes that were obviously meant for you?”

“As I said before,” Kevin repeated in a staccato tone, “It’s none of your business Russ, now if you’ll excuse me…”

“So then you won’t be coming back,” Russell questioned walking him over to the door and opening it, “This is the end?”

“As long as you stay away from Angela, but if you don’t,” Kevin spun around to face him with a warning look on his face, “then so help me God I don’t care how much you have invested in your future with Avery, it’ll be over once and for all. Remember that.”

Russ watched Kevin walk down the sidewalk towards his car and he felt a sudden chill creep in over him. While Russ had never taken too good to being blackmailed he was well aware what this new twist would bring to his current situation with Avery. If there was any way that Brant could find out about what had happened, then…

“Russ, hey,” Avery’s voice beckoned him from his thoughts. He spun around to face her seeing the worried look behind her eyes, “Is Kevin gone already?”

He nodded closing the door and locking it behind him, “He had to get on his way since there were things he needed to do.”

“He seems like a nice man,” Avery added taking a step towards him, “He sure seemed to like Erin, didn’t he?”

“Yeah,” Russell replied in a distant tone his green eyes filled with his own inner turmoil.

“Russ,” she reached for his arm touching it lightly, “Why do I get the feeling that you were anything, but comfortable when he was here? I mean sure you were polite, but there was something in your face--in your eyes…”

Russ felt her reach out to touch his cheek lightly, her hand drawing warmth from his skin. He reached out to her placing his hand on top of hers as their eyes met. So much had changed in his absence, yet she could still read him like a book deciphering his moods before he could try to hide them from her. However, could he really be honest with her about what had happened? About the double life he’d lead on the island?

“Avery, I’m just…” he started finding himself at a loss. Her index finger pressed in over his lips tracing them ever so gently as his pulse quickened.

“Russ, whatever is going on, I just want you to know that I love you--that Erin and I love you and we’re both here for you,” she whispered sliding her hand into his hair tenderly, her eyes taking in every inch of him with the warmth of her gaze, “I missed you so much when I thought I’d lost you forever, but now that we’re here together, well it makes all of that pain seem irrelevant--as if our past is irrelevant to our future…”

“Avery,” he sighed closing his eyes as he knew that he couldn’t lie to her. He couldn’t leave room for them to have a distance between them especially now when Brant could potentially blow this situation out of the water should he cross paths with Kevin, “we need to talk.”

“Talk?” she repeated giving him a worried expression, “About what?”

“Look Avery maybe we should sit down for this because what I have to say, well the truth is I’m not really sure how to put it, but I can’t hide this from you any longer. It’s time you know the truth about where I was and about what happened to me while I was gone,” he blurted out preparing to put his future on the line with the biggest gamble of his life now that he stood to lose everything that ever mattered in his life should she hate him after learning about his time on the island. He just prayed that their love was strong enough to face this challenge and come out on top of it together when everything was said and done.


“Heather wait,” Chris chased after Heather spotting her over by her car ready to get inside and take off, “Heather if you’ll just give me a minute to explain…”

“I think that spoke for itself Chris. You know all this time I wanted to believe that you’d turned over a new leaf--that maybe just maybe you might prove to be someone who was actually a person worth giving a damn about, yet there you were shacking up with the enemy,” she tossed out a disgusted expression, “You were just looking for a way into Brant’s life anyway you could do it huh? I mean if the ex-fiancée can’t give you the information you want, then you’ll go to the current wife to pump her for details and heaven knows what else…”

“Now wait just a second,” he held his hand up in the air, “First of all that’s not at all what I’m doing and if you’ll shut up five seconds then you’ll see that maybe just maybe I’m telling you the truth and secondly, why would you care who I was spending my time with? Last time I checked you were hot to trot for that idiot psychiatrist that clearly isn’t worth your time of day. I mean really Heather if anyone should be giving anyone a lecture, then it should be me. I should be the one that…”

“Oh you’re the one alright,” she rolled her eyes at him, “You’re nothing more than a liar and a phony and as far as I’m concerned Chris Foley I don’t ever want to have anything to do with you again.”

“Heather,” he felt her slam her heel down on his foot causing him to fall back as she sank into her car. She slammed the door shut before he could recover and before he knew it he was met by the sound of her screeching tires peeling out of the parking lot.

“Heather you’re being irrational!” he shouted after her knowing it was falling upon deaf ears. He thought about getting into his car and chasing after her, but remembering Angela inside caused him to turn around and head back to the restaurant. He was halfway to the door when he saw Angela approaching him.

“Angel babe, sorry about that. She was just worked up over a simple misunderstanding…” Chris began to explain to her about Heather’s erratic behavior.

“Chris, who was that woman?” Angela couldn’t help but ask hearing the sound Heather made as she sped off. “Who is she and how does she know about Brant? What haven‘t you been telling me?”

“She’s just a friend of mine who thinks she knew something, but she was wrong and she,” Chris paused thinking about what she’d said, “Angel, wait a second. Did you just say that you want to know how she knows about Brant?”

“That’s exactly what I said,” she nodded looking back at him with a frown, “and I want answers Chris.”

“Okay, I’ll give you answers, but you give me one first. Angel, how in the world do you know about Brant?” Chris threw the question on the table wondering if his pal knew something that she’d been holding out on him about in terms of one of his worst enemies in the world. Could it be that Angela had a story to tell about the man that Chris had spent a great many years wanting to destroy? If so, he was certain he would find a way to get it out of her before this day was over!


...to be continued...