Episode 303

Sarah let out a small groan as the light from the window started to shine brightly in her eyes. With a small sound of anger she tried covering her head with the pillow to block her eyes, but it was already too late because she wasn’t going to be able to get back to bed anyways.

“Kyle?” Sarah let out another groan as she turned around in the bed to see Kyle laying with his head in the pillow with the blanket covering the bottom of his hips. She rose up slowly, noticing that he was still asleep, with his deep breaths filling her ears.

Sarah pushed at his bare shoulder, still feeling no movement from him as she rolled her eyes. She leaned forward pressing a kiss up against his shoulder gently before feeling him push her away and slowly raise his head up from the pillow.

“Don’t do that,” Kyle groaned blocking his eyes from the sun before resting his head back against the pillow. “I thought you were a bug or something.”

“Kyle, we should get up,” Sarah urged him to get up as she pushed at his shoulder gently. She heard him let out a deep breath before turning on his side to face her with his tired hazel eyes. “I think we should get up.

“If you want to get up, go ahead,” Kyle straightened out his white tank top before pulling the blankets up a bit more and leaning more in against his pillow. “I’m just going to sleep a little bit longer, maybe about two more hours.”

“Two more hours,” Sarah frowned reaching for his hand and tugging on it to get him up. He made no movement and let out a deep sigh as he pulled his hand back. “Don’t be lazy Kyle.”

“I not being lazy sweetheart, I haven’t slept in forever,” Kyle reminded her, raising his head up from the pillow again to stare out at her. He let out another small yawn before shaking his head slowly. “I just need to rest my body before it quits on me.”

“Fine, if you won’t get up with me, then maybe we can just talk,” Sarah sat up in the bed resting her back against the headboard as she watched him close his eyes again. “Kyle?”

“I’m listening,” Kyle stated with another small yawn, reaching out to grab one of the other pillows and holding it in his arms tightly. “What is it you want to talk about?”

“Well, I was thinking,” Sarah thought things over for a moment before looking Kyle over. A light bulb lit up in her head as she thought about the possibility of being pregnant. Sure, telling him it was his baby from the last time they made love would work out, but if she made him believe it in a couple of weeks after being with him one more time--it would all work out. He wouldn’t have to know about me being with Diego or anything like that, she thought to herself. He would automatically think that the baby was his. “Kyle, you want to have a baby right?”

“Eventually,” Kyle whispered yawning again and not bothering to open his eyes. He felt her hand slide in over the front of his chest as he let out another yawn. “Why? What’s on your mind?”

“I think we should have one,” Sarah informed Kyle seeing his eyes quickly open as he raised his head up from the bed and stared out at her. “Maybe very soon.”

“We’ll just talk about this later honey,” Kyle decided trying to change the topic as he rested his head back against the pillow and closing his eyes again. “I’m just going to rest a little bit longer.”

“But Kyle,” Sarah whined leaning forward to press a kiss against the side of his neck gently feeling him stiffen against her. “I think I want to start trying right now.”

“Right now?” he repeated her words almost in a state of shock seeing her nod slowly when she backed away from him. It looked like she was almost serious as he let out a small laugh. “Okay, very funny Sarah. Just go back to bed.”

“Kyle, I’m not kidding,” she stated in a serious tone before leaning forward and pressing her lips up against his. She felt him stiffen up against her once again as she pulled away from him to look into his hazel eyes. “What’s wrong Kyle? I thought you always wanted a family and now I’m offering it to you.”

“Well yeah I want a family,” Kyle nodded only to feel her start to kiss him again and this time he kissed her back, realizing that yes back in the day he did want to have a family with her. There was just one small problem that he couldn’t get pushed aside and there was no way he was ready to have a child with her just yet. He gently pushed her away from him before shaking his head slowly. “Sarah, hold on. I don’t know if you are ready for that yet.”

“I’m more than ready for it Kyle, I have been for a long time,” she disagreed with him before letting out a small smile, teasing her fingers in underneath his pajama pants seeing the way that he looked at her. “Aren’t you ready for it Kyle?”

“Sarah,” Kyle felt her cut him off as she started to kiss him roughly. Kyle went on with it for a minute before shaking his head and pulling away from her kiss. “I’m still kind of tired Sarah and I don’t think I can do this right now. I‘m really, really tired.”

“I think you could do this fine Kyle,” she pointed out looking down between them, reaching out with her free hand to pull up the bottom of his tank top before pressing a small kiss against his abdomen. “Don’t you think you are up for the job Kyle?”

Sarah heard nothing from him in return as she pulled away to glance him over. His eyes were once again closed as his deep breaths filled the room telling her that once again he had fallen asleep.

“Kyle?” Sarah pushed at his shoulder before letting out a small grunt of frustration and getting up and out of the bed. “Of course that didn’t work.”

Sarah took a look at Kyle realizing that she was going to be getting nowhere real fast. If Kyle never followed through with her plan, he might not believe she could be pregnant after all this time even though it could be possible. After realizing that it was obvious that Kyle wasn’t going to be waking up anytime soon, she decided it was time to talk to Blake because she really had to know if she was pregnant or not. If she was any bit lucky, she wouldn’t be pregnant at all.

“I’m out of here,” she declared pulling her jacket over her shoulders and closing the door behind her.

As soon as the door shut Kyle’s eye slightly opened as he scanned the room to check if she truly left. He got up and out of the bed before fixing his tank top and walking over towards the window to watch Sarah walk into the guest house.

“Sorry Sarah, but that’s not going to be happening anytime soon,” Kyle whispered realizing that sure, maybe it was juvenile to pretend to fall asleep on her, but it was the only way to get out of everything. “I wonder what your up to.”

Kyle watched her walk into the guest house as he shook his head slowly and went back over to the bed before laying back down and covering his head with the pillow.

“Whatever it is you are up to Sarah,” Kyle began to himself turning onto his back and letting out a small yawn, “I really want nothing to do with it.”


Seth opened his eyes hearing the strumming beats of music booming beyond the walls of the bedroom. Turning over onto his side he reached out for Blake only to discover her missing. Sitting up straighter he noted the time letting out a yawn before pulling himself out of bed. He ran his fingers through his messy dark hair before letting out another yawn.

Reaching for the doorknob he opened the door to discover Blake on the center of the living room floor doing some strange type of exercise that had her kicking her legs up over her head. Watching her with a puzzled expression Seth leaned in against the doorway just keeping his eye on her. She continued to move her legs in the air twisting herself into some strange position that he couldn’t believe would feel good at any level. Finally he broke his silence.

“Blake, what are you doing?” he couldn’t help but ask.

“Seth, you’re awake,” she sprung up off of the ground a bright grin on her face, “I was wondering if I would have to go in there and get you going with a jump start.”

“A jump start,” he replied giving her a strange look, “Blake what’s going on?”

“I was getting myself warmed up for later. You see I’ve been practicing these exercises that I read in a magazine would increase our chances of conception so…” she started a bit winded. She bounced forward reaching out to him and bringing her fingers down over the smooth muscled planes of his abdomen before reaching for the strings on the front of his jogging pants, “Now to get you out of these…”

“Whoa wait a second,” Seth collected her wrists in his hands, “Blake slow down. I just woke up.”

“Which gives us even more reason to find a way to get you going,” she winked at him playfully leaning in to kiss his chest while her fingers tugged at the strings on his pants again.

“Blake honey,” Seth stilled her hands keeping her from making contact with their intended target, “don’t you think we should slow this down a bit? I mean you were just doing, well you were just doing that and I’m barely cohesive…”

“Trust me Seth. I read a majority of pregnancies were started by those who spent their mornings being active and…” she gently nudged him back onto the sofa before climbing in over his lap. “I mean if we can find a way to get pregnant today, wouldn’t that be a thrill considering that…”

“That we’re trying too hard Blake,” Seth sighed feeling her fingers brush over his skin intimately, “Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure if you keep that up, I’ll be up for this, but this feels…”

“Feels what?” she questioned with a small frown seeing the strangled expression behind his eyes.

“Rushed,” he confessed reaching out to touch her cheek gently, “Blake don’t get me wrong I love you and I love making love to you, but this, well right now I feel like we’re leaping onto this whole big routine of get up, have sex, refuel, then have sex, go get something else to eat, have sex, go to bed, have sex, wake up, have sex…”

“You say that like it’s a problem,” she curled her lip in a pout, “I mean I thought you wanted a baby Seth.”

“I do,” he confessed with exhaustion burning behind his tired brown eyes, “but Blake if we keep going at it like this we’re going to kill one another. I mean the way I see it we’re going to overexert ourselves to the point that the thrill of it is gone.”

“Are you saying that this is boring,” she questioned motioning to her body over his.

“No, that’s not it at all,” he shook his head adamantly, “but I don’t want it to start feeling like a routine…like a task we have to do when making love to you is something that I want to be able to indulge in, to savor. I don’t want this to be a quickie here, a quickie there where I’m wondering if I’m doing it right so that we can get pregnant. Same with you. You can’t tell me that all this thought that goes into it and all these worries you’re having is leaving any room for you to enjoy what we’ve been doing lately. It’s like we’ve been having sex, but we’ve taken a great deal of who we are out of it.”

“You mean like we’ve turned into robots,” she sank back onto the couch beside him, a frown creasing her brows.

“Not entirely, but yeah,” he nodded reaching for her hand, “I love you and when I’m with you, I want to see love in your eyes when we’re together, not worries of what we’ll have to attempt next if this time doesn’t produce the results we’re hoping for.”

“It’s just that I want for us to have a family so bad,” she confessed tilting her eyes up towards his.

“I know,” he touched her cheek lightly, “I want a family too, but I’m sure that God has a plan and a purpose for us. When it’s right, it’ll happen Blake. I’m sure of that and I don’t believe for a second that this won’t happen for us because I know it will. When we learn to relax and enjoy ourselves, then I’m sure everything will fall into place.”

“I hope you’re right,” she snuggled into him, feeling the warmth of his arm wrap around her, “because I want this for us so bad.”

“I know and I want it too, but maybe fate is trying to tell us we need to get things evened out before we go off on starting a family like maybe I should find my way to putting the past out of our lives so that we can work on the future ahead of us,” he suggested thinking about the technicality of his still being married to Valerie.

“Seth I know we can get everything to work out for our future,” she snuggled in closer to him, “I know that there has been so much happening in the rest of the world beyond us and while I’m not sure how things will turn out for everyone else, I know that we’ll be happy.”

“So do I,” he replied leaning down to kiss her as there was a knock at the front door. Their lips parted and he let out a small frown. “Who could that be this early?”

“I’ll get it,” Blake decided springing up off of the couch beside him and rushing over to the door. She opened it to discover Sarah standing in front of her.

“Blake, I can’t hold off on this any longer. I have to know,” Sarah confessed as Blake motioned for her to turn her voice down a bit.

“Blake, whose here?” Seth asked hearing the voice. He approached the two of them and as he saw Sarah he noticed the expression on her face. “Hey what’s wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong Seth. It’s just…” Blake stammered a bit as Seth watched the two of them full of disbelief.

“Something’s going on and I can see it, so why don’t you two just tell me what it is? Maybe I can help,” Seth suggested as Sarah feared that her little secret was about to be exposed to Blake’s fiancé which meant that the news would find it’s way to Kyle sooner rather than later at this rate.


“Good morning sweetheart,” Don’s bright voice echoed through Shannon’s ears as a sudden shining light blinded her and she turned around in the bed. “You need to wake up. It’s time for you to get your lazy butt moving.”

“Go to hell,” Shannon groaned looking up to see Don’s hair dripping and he had a towel around his waist. “Why are you up so early?”

“Well, I always get up this early princess if you didn’t know that,” Don informed her grabbing the towel that was around his waist and he pulled it off before throwing it on her, watching it land on top of her head. “Now get up, I have some coffee over there for you on the dresser.”

“Sometimes I wish I never would have stayed here,” she once again groaned pulling the towel off of her head to see Don pulling up his black slacks. “Why do you get up this early?”

“I don’t know,” Don shrugged his shoulders reaching for his white tight fitting shirt. He pulled it only slowly before thinking her answer over. “So I can bug you to death and get you going?”

“Very funny,” Shannon sat up slowly seeing him reach for his cup of coffee and take a sip of it. “I think you should start about two hours earlier because you will probably wake Matt up.”

“Wake Matt up?” Don questioned in a small chuckle seeing Shannon take a sip of her coffee. He looked down at his watch before shaking his head slowly. “I think he gets up before I do. For him to sleep in after eight, he believes is inhumane. In fact, I think I saw your brother already up with him earlier. They were outside with each other.”

“Nate? Up this early?” Shannon shook her head slowly thinking about her little brother and how he was the biggest sleeper of the family. Shannon stepped on the ground before standing up and stretching out her shoulders. “You must be mistaken because Nate never gets up this early.”

“My eyes weren’t lying to me honey,” Don thought back to this morning when he saw both Nate and Matt sitting at the table eating breakfast together, obviously showing they were up before Don. “Your brother was eating Lucky Charms and Matt was eating Special K. I was getting my coffee when the both of them finished and ran outside in the backyard to do something together. Heaven only knows what they could be up to right now.”

“If my brother is with Matt, that only means trouble,” Shannon informed Don with a small shake of her head before walking over toward Don and grabbing him by the shirt to pull him over towards the bed, “but back to what I was going to talk to you about.”

“What were you going to talk to me about?” Don questioned biting down on his bottom lipas she fell back to the bed bringing him on top of her. He let out a small laugh feeling her push him onto his back and she got in over him. “I take it that it was something good.”

“Very good,” Shannon nodded leaning down close to Don, pressing a small kiss in against the side of his neck before feeling Don’s hands run up her back slowly. “So, are you going to go see Brant today?”

“Wait, this is what you wanted to talk about?” he pulled her away from him for a minute glaring up at her before shaking his head and letting out a small laugh. “Please tell me this isn’t what you wanted to talk about.”

“It is,” she admitted leaning in to kiss him once more only to feel him pull her back again. She let out an exaggerated sigh before shaking her head slowly. “What is wrong with you? I just wanted to know if you were going to go see him today.”

“Well, of course,” Don answered feeling her hands run in over his chest, teasing her fingertips in over his sensitive skin. Don watched her carefully for a minute before letting out a small chuckle. “What’s the catch.”

“Nothing really,” Shannon answered reaching under Don’s shirt and scraping her nails up against his abdomen. Don let out a small sigh feeling her start to kiss up against his neck again. “I was just wondering what the next plan is and if I can join it.”

“What are you talking about?” Don snapped seeing Shannon lean back for long enough to shrug before going back to teasing her lips in over against his neck to try and get him to offer up any information. Don felt her fingers press in over his zipper before he pushed her off of him and got up off the bed. “What is wrong with you Shannon? Do you just think I am going to tell you things if we have sexual tension or something?”

“Well, most of the time yes,” Shannon answered truthfully sitting up on the bed and grabbing the pillow that was next to her. She held it in her arms tightly seeing him walk over and grab his watch from the dresser. “You know you like it Don, I just want to help you out.”

“Well, if there was something you could help me out with I would let you know,” Don retorted with a small roll of his eyes before walking over towards the bathroom disappearing inside of it for a moment and raising his voice a bit to speak up once again. “It’s not like I would lie after this long.”

“Bull shit Don,” Shannon snarled getting up from the bed and throwing the pillow back down on top of it. She walked into the bathroom seeing him brushing his teeth before her. “You know that Brant is lying and somehow you continue to lie for the bastard.”

“Brant is not a bastard,” Don shot back at her only to feel his toothpaste dripping down his chin as he rolled his eyes and wiped it off with a towel. He finished brushing his teeth before turning back to face her. “Brant isn’t lying--I’m not lying. Just leave it be Shannon. I don’t know how many times I have to tell you about this, but Brant is truthfully sick and I wish it was a lie, but it’s not.”

“Don, I know you’re lying,” Shannon followed him into the bedroom reaching out to grab his hand in hers before he could walk away from her. “Just give it up before you get in just as much trouble.”

“I’m not giving up anything that isn’t true Shannon,” Don snapped right back at her pulling his wrist away from her angrily. He fixed his shirt before shaking his head at the way she was acting. “I think it’s time that you just sit back and relax for a bit to realize that the whole world isn’t lying to you. Take a minute to realize what it might be like to be in Brant’s shoes Shannon. Then you can tell me you think he is lying.”


Hart made his way upstairs to the room Brant was in at the Ashford mansion. While Hart had been working on things to help push this situation along where Russell Denton was concerned, he’d been surprised to receive a phone call from his friend earlier. It was quite a risk that Brant was taking in making the call, but Hart realized things must be more desperate than either one of them could have anticipated and he was working on getting things together as quickly as possible to get rid of Russell once and for all.

Entering the room Brant was in, Hart was surprised see Brant over by the window. Brant’s brown eyes fell over him before he waved for Hart to close the door behind his entrance and lock it.

“What are you doing out of bed?” Hart questioned in a muted whisper, a frown touching over his lips after he’d secured the door, “I told you that I would be over here as soon as possible, but that wasn’t an okay for you to just leap out of bed and start running around especially when we’re already so close to getting where we need to be. If Avery sees you now…”

“She’s not going to see me. She’s sleeping in the nursery with Erin,” Brant replied with a somber expression, “She’s been in there since last night with her daughter and it’s given me time to think about things.”

“Yeah about that, I’ve made some progress and,” Hart started to explain himself to his friend.

“About that,” Brant frowned letting out a long sigh, “Hart I’ve been thinking a lot about what we’re doing here--more so about what I’ve been doing and I’ve come to a decision about all of this. The more I think about it, the more I realize that there’s really only one thing left for me to do.”

“What’s that?” Hart replied uneasily taken off guard by the expression on Brant’s face.

“I’m going to need you to do me another huge favor,” Brant explained with a small voice, “one that’s going to involve a lot of your legal services since this time, well this is my last attempt to do what is right.”

“Brant, what do you have on your mind?” Hart eyed him closely sensing the conflict in his friend’s tone.

“I’m about to do what I need to do in order to make life around here good again,” Brant explained promising that he wouldn’t back out of the decision he’d come to about the situation with Russ and Avery. After today everything would change and he was hoping that it would turn itself around in the best possible way for all those he cared about. It was time to take that leap towards the future once and for all.


Avery curled her fingers over the heat of the solid chest beneath her. The first hints of sunlight seemed to sweep in over her body causing a warmth to stir up inside of her. This moment, this morning was beyond perfect and suddenly in the familiarity of the moment, a sudden realization carried over her. Pulling her head up quickly, almost too quickly as she felt the pull in her neck, she fixed her dark eyes on the man laying beneath her with a lazy smile on his face.

“Good morning beautiful,” he murmured behind closed eyelids as he squeezed her closer to him inviting her to return to the embrace.

“Russ,” she couldn’t help but smile laying her head against his chest, “how did you know I was awake?”

“How can I not know,” he teased opening one eyelid to reveal a sparkling green eye, “The way I see it you start wiggling when you first start to wake up. You have this twitch in your toes and…”

“I do not,” she protested feeling her toes curling in underneath the blanket of the twin bed that had been set up in Erin’s room.

Smiling she thought back to the small party she, Russ and Kyle had shared with Erin, eating cake and talking about how much Erin had grown in the last two weeks. It had been a very special night that couldn’t have been more perfect. Of course it had come to an early end when Sarah had beckoned Kyle out of the room, but in his absence Russ, Avery and Erin had shared some quality family time with one another. That was something that they’d seriously been lacking lately and the last thing Avery remembered was Russ telling her to just lay down while he fed Erin her last bottle for the evening.

“Yes you do,” Russell teased tapping the edge of her nose with his index finger, “but it’s adorable and it helps me keep my eye on you without having to keep my eye on you.”

“Ah, so you’re watching me now huh?” she arched a curious brow, “Trying to keep me in line?”

“On the contrary,” he shook his head, “I was just enjoying the feel of you in my arms and remembering how wonderful it was to wake up with you like this each and every morning. I can’t think of a more perfect way to begin this morning and every morning from here on out.”

“I wish it were that easy Russ, but…” she sighed thinking about how she should’ve gone in to check on Brant hours earlier.

“No buts,” he shook his head pressing his index finger in over her lips to silence her protests. He watched her brown eyes fill with mixed emotions before he spoke up once again, “Avery, we have waited our entire lives to be together and now that we have Erin she deserves for us to have that. She needs for us to be the family that we swore to her that we’d always be together.”

“We are her family,” Avery started to protest thinking about how complicated things that surrounded their lives were.

“We are, but we aren’t,” Russ reminded her with a small scowl, “Never in the plan did I anticipate our spending the first couple of weeks of our daughter’s life at the Ashford mansion surrounded by Brant and the rules that his presence in your life have put upon us.”

“Russ, this isn’t Brant’s fault. If I would have known,” she tried to reason with him hearing Erin waking up in the crib.

“We’ll talk about this later,” he decided sliding out from underneath her on the bed to go retrieve their daughter. Carefully he lifted her out of the bed snuggling her in his arms, “Well hello my little princess, how are you this morning?”

Erin let out a tiny yawn before reaching for Russell’s finger alerting him that she was ready for her next feeding and round of attention. He glanced over at Avery seeing her dark eyes on the two of them, an expression on her face alerting him that deep inside she too knew this wasn’t how they were supposed to be sharing their days.

“Russ, come over here,” Avery held her arms out to Erin, “I want to see our daughter.”

“Ready to see mommy?” Russell questioned with a small smile taking in a moment to reposition her in his arms before he sank down onto the bed beside Avery, “Say hi to your mommy Erin.”

“You know,” Avery smiled feeling Russ place Erin in her arms, “you said this morning couldn’t feel any more perfect than it did a few minutes ago, but now this seems to top the charts.”

“Yeah it does,” Russ confessed hearing Erin let out a small sound before she looked to her mother with hungry eyes. “Seeing you two together is worth everything we had to endure to get to this.”

“Being with you makes this all the more incredible,” Avery replied thinking about all the times she’d believed that she would never be able to share another morning like this with him. She closed her eyes remembering the pain that had once filled her in his absence, but now that she cuddled Erin in her arms, she felt her heart fill with love for the family they’d now become with one another. If she wasn’t aware of all the things happening outside of the nursery, outside of this small space between them, she’d think that life was perfect. Then again maybe if they worked hard enough on making it perfect, then perhaps one day they would be able to accomplish that with one another.


“Come on Kevy,” Ria urged Kevin to keep up with her pace after she pulled Kevin out of bed to go running with her. Every morning Ria went running and Kevin always said he could do it too, so today she was going to test if that was true. “Come on Kev, run.”

“Ria, it’s too early,” Kevin whined walking up to her as he looked to the left to see a part of the park they were running in. “Why don’t we just sit and look at the scenery or something?”

“Nope, you have to get running,” Ria shook her head seeing him frown as he ran his fingers through his dark hair and shook his head slowly. “Come on big guy, it’s good for you. It gets you healthy.”

“In case you haven’t noticed,” Kevin replied brushing his hand up against his abdomen before nodding his head slowly. “I am healthy, so I am just going to go back to bed and you can finish.”

“Oh no you don’t,” she grabbed his hand and pulled him back before he could walk away, hearing him let out a small groan as he faced her again. “You said you could keep up with me. Anyways, you might start getting a bit fat from all the pancakes you are eating. So, come on.”

“Ria,” Kevin called out her name seeing her start to run as Kevin ran his hand in over his stomach and took a small glance at it. He looked back to Ria who was still running and a frown developed over his features. “I’m not fat. Ria, don’t play with me like this.”

Kevin watched her ignore him as she continued to jog the pathway and Kevin was about to turn around and go back to the apartment before realizing she had the keys.

“That figures,” Kevin rolled his eyes before patting his shorts to feel if he possibly had the keys on accident. Letting out a small groan he looked back to not even see Ria anymore. “Great.”

Kevin started running as fast as he could to catch up with Ria and he followed the curvy path she had already ran until finally catching up with her and slowing down when he ran in right next to her.

“I hope you know you’re crazy,” Kevin spoke up seeing her shrug her shoulders before letting out a small laugh. Kevin let out a small yawn before stopping. “Come on Ria, give me the keys--I’m tired.”

“Nope,” Ria looked back at him and shook her head slowly, reaching inside of her pocket to show she had the keys. She saw Kevin pull his t-shirt off and tuck it in his shorts so that he was only in a black tank top. “Don’t show off your muscles, just start running.”

“Fine,” Kevin started running as fast he could, passing her up quickly and continuing to run before hearing her call out to him.

“Kevin, you don’t want to waste your energy,” Ria informed him seeing him glance back at her for a second before tripping over his own two feet and falling down to ground. “Or get hurt like that.”

“Ouch,” Kevin hissed in pain feeling her help him off the cement slowly and walk him over towards one of the benches to sit him down carefully. “I think I broke my ankle.”

“No you didn’t,” she frowned letting out a small laugh seeing him close his eyes in pain before she kneeled down reaching for his ankle hearing him let out a small yelp. “You have to let me see it.”

“No, just leave it alone and sit next to me for a minute,” Kevin urged her yanking his leg away from her before sitting up straighter on the bench. “You do realize that we could have had just as much exercise in the bed that we just did now. I probably wouldn’t have gotten hurt if we went that route you know.”

“We need to find something other than that for exercise Kevin,” she hit him in the chest with the back of her hand and letting out a small laugh. “You are such a dork.”

“What? You know it’s true,” Kevin pointed out before shrugging his shoulders and thinking things over for a moment. A moment of his ego was about to shine as he reached out to wrap his arm around her shoulder. “In fact, I’m sure I would have got a lot more exercise because you know I could go for hours and…”

“Kevin,” she covered his mouth with her hand feeling him laugh against her palm and the warmth of his breath up against her skin made her think about what he was going to continue to say. “You need to stop being naughty for one minute.”

“Oh, come on honey. Everyone loves Kevin Adonis when he is a naughty boy,” Kevin chuckled as she uncovered his mouth and he leaned forward to press a small kiss against her lips before pulling back. “Though, who doesn’t think I’m hot?”

“Oh, you need to tone it down a bit there Mr. Ego,” Ria rolled her eyes seeing Kevin wiggle his eyebrows up and down before reaching out to entwine her fingers with his. “Someone might not find that very flattering one day.”

“You love it,” Kevin winked bringing her hand up to his lips giving it a small kiss before caressing the top of her hand with his thumb. “Anyways, it’s not like I’m lying.”

“You know, it’s sad that you are hurt right now because I think we were supposed to go meet Chase and Trisha for breakfast to possibly get some pancakes or something,” Ria reached for her cell phone to cancel the breakfast plans they had set up a couple of days ago. “I guess I just have to call them and tell them we can’t go.”

“Pancakes,” Kevin repeated seeing her push the send button as he grabbed her cell phone and got up off the bench motioning her to follow him. “Come on, we can’t miss breakfast now can we?”

“Kevin?” Ria gasped seeing him jumping around on his feet before looking down to his hurt ankle. “I thought you couldn’t even stand it hurt that bad.”

“Oh yeah, that,” Kevin looked at her for a minute before reaching down to grab his ankle and jump around on his other foot. “I mean, my ankle. Oh my ankle.”

“I can’t believe you,” Ria got up from the bench and walked over to him wrapping her arms around him as he looked down at her with a smile. “You were lying just so you could get out of running?”

“You caught me,” Kevin shrugged his shoulders, smiling widely as his dimples showed perfectly. “I’m sorry. Please tell me that you forgive me and that you still love me.”

“Come on Kevin,” she laughed pushing at the center of his hard chest, seeing the look he always gave her when he was begging for something. When someone with eyes like that was giving you a look that you could just melt with, you had to cave in. “Of course I still love you.”

“Good because I love you more than anything on this Earth,” Kevin replied with a wide smile leaning down to kiss her gently before grabbing her hand in his. “Now, I think we she should get going to meet Chase and Trisha. I mean, we don’t want to be late and make a bad impression do we?”

“Of course not,” Ria rolled her eyes realizing that she got Kevin jogging after only mentioning the word pancakes. If that’s all it took, then she had a lot of ideas planned for the future.


Valerie looked through the shirts before her trying to determine which one would possibly work for her the best. Whatever she was going to get had to be nice that would have to almost catch any guy’s eyes--possibly even Ben’s.

“This looks nice,” Valerie reached out to grab something only to feel another hand reaching for the same thing. Valerie pulled back to see Michelle standing before her and she let out a small smile. “Michelle Sprite, it’s been a long time.”

“Uh, Valerie,” Michelle faked a smile before folding her arms out in front of her chest before shrugging her shoulders. Michelle knew Valerie from when she was married to Kevin. “It truly has been a long time.”

“What have you been up to lately?” Valerie questioned seeing Michelle’s eyes widen before shrugging her shoulders. “Are you still going after Kevin? He’s been looking really hot lately you know.”

“Well actually,” Michelle pondered Valerie’s questioned before nodding slowly and licking her lips. “I was thinking about maybe having a talk with him. I’m starting to think I’m missing the big man’s old ways. No one has been able to--amuse me like he used to.”

“Well, you should totally go after him honey. My friend is with him right now--well technically she isn’t my friend right now because she kicked me out of the house, but she is going out with him right now,” Valerie informed Michelle seeing Michelle nod slowly as Valerie rubbed her hands together. “You know, if you want I can totally try and help you get him you know. I think you would make such a better match with him and I really don’t like Ria, so if you ever need help, I don’t mind helping you.”

“I appreciate that,” Michelle nodded slowly not quite knowing how to respond to what Valerie had to offer up for her. “I’ll think about it, but what about you? Are you still going after Seth?”

“Am I going after him?” Valerie repeated Michelle’s words seeing Michelle nod slowly before shrugging her shoulders. Valerie let out a happy smile before reaching out to touch Michelle’s shoulder. “Honey, I’m married to him.”

“You’re married to him?” Michelle repeated in shock thinking back to when she saw Seth and she shook her head slowly. “Last time I saw Seth he was with that blonde Ashford girl.”

“Yeah, I know. That’s just one small speed bump for me that I just have to roll over,” Valerie stated with a small nod seeing Michelle’s eyes staring out at her. “Stupid blondes, always catching a guy’s attention. No offense.”

“Hey, non taken,” Michelle held her hands up in the air before reaching out and grabbing the shirt they had both been reaching for. Michelle shrugged her shoulders walking down one of the isles as Valerie followed her. “I don’t like that damn Ashford family anyways.”

“Well then, hey!” Valerie made Michelle stop in the middle of the isle. Michelle offered up a slight smile before nodding and motioning Valerie to go on with what she was going to say. “I think we should totally work together to get what we want. I can help you get Kevin and you can help me get Seth.”

“Sure,” Michelle nodded slowly thinking about things for a moment and a small smile developed over her lips. At first the idea of Valerie helping her sounded dumb, but right now anything could probably work. “You’re on.”


“Alright, honey everything is all set are you going to be okay alone?” Ben questioned finishing up with cleaning the kitchen and then walking into the living room to see Diane sitting on the couch, holding a pillow close to her chest. “Honey? Are you okay?”

“Yeah, sure,” Diane nodded feeling him take a seat next to her as she stared out at the television. There was a television show where family members were fighting over the same man and she couldn’t help but see herself on one of those shows. Her life would be exactly like one of the crazy ones you could see on shows like that. You would have JT and Ben both fighting over her when they both really didn’t deserve her. “You can, go--I’m sure I will be just fine.”

“Sweetheart,” Ben reached out to wrap his arm around her shoulders lovingly, only feeling her resistance against him. She had been acting different all night and he knew that she would be taking this really hard, but it still worried him. “Are you sure you are going to be okay with me going because I can make some calls and stay home with you today if you would like me to.”

“No Ben, you need to go out. I don’t want me to hold you back,” Diane rejected his offer before shaking her head slowly and thinking about everything that was going on. Ben should just leave right now because the only place she was going to be was thinking about her life and everything she had ever done wrong. Ben didn’t need to be here to see her like this right now, he needed to go and try and do something before she brought him down too. “Just go ahead--I’m sure I will be fine.”

“Are you positive honey?” Ben asked in a worried tone seeing her nod slowly and he pressed a small kiss against her temple before caressing her neck gently. “I promise I will be back real soon. I will get you something good while I’m out too.”

“Ben, you don’t have to do that,” she shook her head slowly realizing that Ben was trying to go out of his way just to make her feel better and he didn’t have to be doing that right now. The only one that was going to bring her up was herself and it was no use. “You don’t have to waste your time.”

“Diane, I need to talk to you,” Ben reached out to grab her hand in his so she would pay attention to him. He realized the way she was talking to him was kind of out of nowhere so he had to make things clear with what was going on. “I know that we lost this baby, but we are going to move on. I don’t blame you and no one blames you. These things happen all the time and it’s really sad when it happens because you never see it coming. That’s when you realize you think you did everything wrong. The only thing you have done is made my life perfect Diane and I’m not going to sit here and let you blame yourself. It’s a tragedy what happened, but I’m not going to let you go down like this honey. Diane, I love you and nothing is going to change that.”

“I love you too,” Diane slightly smiled feeling him hold her in his arms tightly as she rested her head against his shoulder. “Which is why you should go out, I promise I will call you if I need anything.”

“Alright,” Ben nodded before leaning up to kiss her gently and squeezing her hand in his tightly, “but I will leave in a minute because I want to be with you right now for just a little bit.”


“Everything is just fine Seth,” Sarah lied feeling guilt tug at her insides, “Just like Blake said I’m okay.”

“Are you sure?” Seth couldn’t help but ask keeping his eyes on both women while getting the distinct feeling that things were far from being fine.

“Of course she is,” Blake waved her hand at him dismissively, “You worry too much Seth. Honestly I just asked Sarah to come over here with me and spend some time talking about the plans I have for the party.”

“Is that right?” Seth folded his arms in front of his chest still full of doubts about what she was saying.

“Of course that’s right,” Blake nodded encouragingly, “I invited her over for breakfast last night, but wouldn’t you know it? We don’t have a thing in the house. What do you say you run over to the main house and get us something? I mean I know it’s kind of a strange request, but the refrigerator is empty here and…”

“It didn’t look empty last night,” Seth frowned realizing that Blake was trying to get rid of him plain and simple.

“I’m in the mood for an omelet. That sounds good, doesn’t it Sarah?” Blake tossed a pleading look out at her friend.

“It sounds great actually,” Sarah confessed with a weak smile, “really great.”

“See then there you go Seth. Why don’t you go over to the house and ask Annie to help put things together so that we can work on making those in here instead of at the main house with everyone else since it’s so congested in there lately.”

“You’re just trying to get rid of me, aren’t you?” he couldn’t help but ask feeling Blake reach for his hand.

“Trust me Seth, you don’t want to listen to all the girl talk we have going on here. We have to plan our dresses and our hair and makeup for the party and…” Blake continued leading him over to the door. She tipped up on her toes to give him a quick kiss before pushing him out onto the porch and closing the door in his face.

“Blake, he’s not going to believe any of that,” Sarah frowned at her friend’s less than subtle attempts, “He’s going to know that something is up and…”

“Trust me,” Blake rubbed her palms together turning around to face Sarah, “He’s not going to think twice about it. Seth is a good guy and he knows when something is up not to ask too many questions.”

“Yes, but Blake you weren’t at all convincing when you tossed him out of the door. You just kind of shoved him out leaving him with a million and one questions about what we’re really doing and if he mentions any of this to Kyle…” Sarah started in a small voice, her face flooded over with worry.

“He won’t say anything to Kyle. Besides what is there to really say anyways,” Blake tried to soften the worries that Sarah was experiencing, “You and I both know that chances are you’re worrying for nothing. We’ll take a test and see that it’s just a misunderstanding. Trust me.”

“I wish I could, but given the way things have been lately,” Sarah paused thinking about how she and Diego had practically gone at it again in Brant’s room, “Blake, I just have to find a way to find out what’s going on before this blows up in my face.”

“Well if you’re smart you’ll stay away from Diego and get things back on track with Kyle. He loves you and I know you love him,” Blake motioned for Sarah to follow her to the other room to retrieve a pregnancy test for her, “He’s a good guy and I know that you two can be really happy together as long as you let go of whatever it is you had with Diego. You did let go of it, right?”

Guilt swept over Sarah as she noticed Blake’s expectant glance wanting to hear that Sarah had forgotten all about Diego. Of course that was so far from the truth, but right now Blake was the only real confidant she had and Sarah wasn’t about to blow that too, so she did the only thing that came to mind.

“Sure, of course I did,” she lied hating herself almost immediately, but as she watched Blake lead her to the bathroom to look through the various pregnancy tests, Sarah realized she couldn’t afford to let anyone know the truth at least not until she was sure of it herself.


Seth walked through the back doors of the Ashford mansion wondering what trouble it was that Blake and Sarah were getting into with one another this time. While Seth trusted Blake almost completely, he could always catch her in the midst of a lie and it was obvious when she’d shoved him out of the front door of the guest house half dressed that she’d been lying to him. Now as he entered the oversized kitchen of the main house clad only in jogging pants, he felt a chill creep in over him.

“Well look what the cat dragged in,” Kyle teased rousing Seth from his already frazzled state of embarrassment to an even more awkward moment as Seth spotted Kyle and Blake’s grandfather in front of him at the small table set up in the kitchen.

“Kyle hey,” Seth dropped his hands into his pockets feeling suddenly foolish to be standing there in such a state of undress, “How’s it going?”

“It’s going great,” Kyle motioned over to Augustus, “You know Augie here?”

“Actually we’ve never been formally introduced,” Seth replied in a lowered voice vowing to give Blake hell for sending him into this situation totally unprepared. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“Ah yes, you’re the one that my granddaughter has taken to moving into the guest house,” Augustus eyed him closely, “the man she’s been spending a lot of time with I’ve heard.”

“Oh cut him a break Augie,” Kyle swatted at the older man’s shoulder lightly, “Seth’s a good guy and a hell of a great boyfriend to Blake. You’d only dream of having your granddaughter find someone this wonderful in her life. He’s one of the ones to not worry about.”

“Is that right?” Augustus replied still a bit of a skeptic. “So how long have you and Blake been together?”

“A while now,” Seth answered nervously hating that he got the opportunity to meet Blake’s grandfather looking like he’d just rolled out of bed. Okay so maybe he had just rolled out of bed, but that was besides the point, “Blake sent me over for a few groceries if you will…”

“Hmm, sounds interesting,” Kyle wiggled a wicked brow at him, “having a breakfast in bed together maybe?”

“No,” Seth answered quickly not wanting Augustus to think the worst about him, although given the level of frequency Seth and Blake had been having sex lately that wasn’t really far from the truth in thinking the worst. Still, Seth couldn’t play it as nervous as he was, “Actually Sarah just walked over and they kicked me out of the house. They made up something about being hungry and wanting food, but I could tell they were up to something. I’m not quite sure what though.”

“Really?” Kyle perked up in his chair, “Is something wrong?”

“Actually now that you mention it they were both acting kind of funny,” Seth revealed thinking about the expression on Sarah’s face, “Sarah looked really worried about something and I asked her about it, but she said it was nothing. I tried to get more information out of her to see if maybe you two were fighting or something, but then Blake tossed me out the door before I could get any answers from her.”

“Typical for an Ashford woman,” Augustus piped in with a shake of his head, “My wife was the same way. Whenever she didn’t want to answer a question of mine, she’d shove me out of the door and send me on some senseless mission like having me seek out strawberries out of season or something she knew that I could only pick up miles away from home.”

“Yeah, well Blake doesn’t do that too often, but something about the situation didn’t feel right,” Seth confessed with another frown, “I don’t know. I just have to wonder.”

“Yeah you and me both,” Kyle paused thinking about it further, “Although you know if they are up to something, I think it’s only right that you and I find a way to figure it out. I mean if the roles were reversed you know that they’d both be trying to get details out of us.”

“And probably succeeding at it,” Seth teased with a laugh, “because they’re good at it.”

“So let’s beat them at their game,” Kyle decided getting up from the chair he’d been seated in. “Besides, we have a reason for being there. You my good man needs a shirt before you freeze to death.”

“Well since you put it that way,” Seth replied a bit uneasily looking to Augustus once again, “That would be nice right about now.”

“Okay, then off to find a shirt it is,” Kyle waved at Augustus, “I’ll catch up with you later man.”

“Sure,” Augustus nodded watching Kyle and Seth make a run to the guest house certain that whatever it was Blake was up to with Sarah the chances of the men uncovering it were slim to none, but hey who was he to stop them from trying to figure it out?


“Okay, I’m thinking about it,” Shannon stood there for a couple of seconds before shrugging her shoulders and staring out at Don. “Nope, I don’t agree with the things he has done with his life. I guess the one day in Brant’s shoes doesn’t work with me today.”

“You’ve never even given Brant a chance,” he leaned back against his dresser watching Shannon carefully before shaking his head slowly. “It’s like you use him against me just so you can start a fight with me. What is it about you? You just like to have chaos in your life or something like that?”

“I don’t like chaos in my life Don, get over yourself because you don’t know everything like you think you do,” Shannon snapped at him before shaking her head slowly and thinking about Brant when she was with him in the past. “And with Brant, I know what kind of person he is. I don’t care if he is your best friend, he never was a good guy.”

“So, you’re telling me that it doesn’t matter what I feel or think about a person?” Don questioned in a quiet tone seeing her nod slowly as he spoke. “What I feel for a person means nothing to you? Even when it’s someone who has been there for me more than you ever will?”

“It’s not my fault that you won’t let me in Don,” Shannon pointed out in return throwing her hands up in the air as she spoke up once again. “Don, you’re always with Brant. It’s like you guys are attached to each other, you will go jump off a bridge if he told you to do it.”

“What is your problem?” he hissed at her shaking his head slowly, not believing all the things she was saying to him. “Are you jealous because I have a best friend. What? Do you want to take away everyone who loves me or something? What do you have against Brant?”

“There are a lot of things I don’t like about Brant,” Shannon insisted with a small hiss before walking over towards the window to take a small glance out it. She thought she saw something for a minute before shaking her head slowly and turning back and facing Don. “Would you stop accusing me of trying to take away the people you love because you keep making me sound like a jerk when I know I’m not.”

“Well you sure seem like one when it comes to my best friend,” Don reached up to rub his chin angrily before nodding slowly and letting out a fake smile. “I know what this is, I know why don’t like Brant.”

“You think you know?” Shannon laughed in a questioning tone seeing Don snap his fingers and nod slowly. She took a seat on the edge of the bed again before motioning him to go on. “Come on Donny boy, let’s hear what you have to say because I’m sure this is going to be great.”

“It’s going to be great simply because it’s the truth about your feelings toward Brant,” Don informed her with a small nod, biting down on his bottom lip and folding his arms out in front of his chest. “You hate Brant for one reason and one reason only. You hate him because he left you for someone hotter than you. It still hurts you to see him go for a woman that is much more nicer, sweet, sexy, and pretty much is all around better than you.”

“You think that’s it?” Shannon felt a lump grow in the back of her throat after hearing Don say those words to her, sounding just as serious as he ever did talking to her any other time. “Well, I’m glad you think that way. Does that mean you are going to leave me for her too Don? You think I’m really that bad of a person?”

“Shannon, come on,” he begged suddenly feeling bad about what he said knowing that his mouth worked quicker than his head did. He reached out to her feeling her pull away from him as he held his hands up in the air. “Shannon, you can’t be mad at me. You do that to me all the time too and sometimes I just feel like you are with me because you want to get back at Brant. I just want to be happy and sometimes when I am with you I feel like that isn’t going to happen because I don’t think you want that to happen. Shannon--please.”

“Just, whatever Don,” Shannon brushed him off turning away from him so she wouldn’t have to look into those blue eyes that were begging for forgiveness. “I don’t even want to talk about this anymore. Just leave it be, I think we have both said enough.”

“Shannon,” Don frowned trying to think of something else to say before hearing a sudden crash that filled the room catching both his and Shannon’s attention. She turned around to see his blue eyes wide with questioning as he listened carefully to everything around him. “What was that?”

“I don’t know,” Shannon listened to see if she could hear anything else, but it was no use. She thought back to the sound before shrugging her shoulders. “It sounded like metal garbage cans.”

“Dad, come help quick,” Matt’s voice echoed through Don’s ears as he continued to scream out for Don over and over again. “Dad, please come--help now.”

“I’m coming Matt, just hold on,” Don yelled running down the stairs knowing that his son was outside right now. He jumped down the last five steps not caring if he hurt himself as he ran outside to see his son standing before him. “You’re okay.”

“Thank god,” Shannon let out a deep breath getting to the scene just as fast as Don did, seeing Don pick Matt up in his arms and hold him close. “What happened Matt? Did you hurt yourself.”

“No, but it’s Nate,” Matt pointed over towards the back of the house seeing Don looking down at him with worry behind his eyes. “He fell off the roof and I think he’s hurt. He didn’t move and I don’t know what to do dad.”


“Come on,” Kevin stopped running for a moment to take a look back at Ria who was now walking slowly behind him. He stretched his shoulder muscles before giving her a small frown. “Now who is the slow one? I believe you were the one that called me slow earlier.”

“Kevin, we got here in like two minutes,” Ria replied catching up to him before leaning against one of the buildings. She never thought that she could get Kevin running so fast and never did she think she would be able to keep up with him. “This was probably the biggest workout I have ever gotten.”

“Well, not the biggest,” Kevin winked letting out a small laugh as he pulled his shirt back on and reached for her hand. He held her hand in his tightly before motioning her to follow him down the sidewalk. “Come on honey, we can walk the rest of the way there.”

“Gee, thanks,” Ria rolled her eyes feeling him let go of her hand and wrap his arm around her shoulders tightly, pulling her in closer to him. “I’m glad after all this time you choose to walk now since we are like a block away from the restaurant now.”

“Hey, I can keep running if you want,” he suggested going to let her go and start running before she pulled him back to her, making sure he didn’t follow through with what he just said. “Hey, it sounded like you wanted to keep running.”

“Very funny,” Ria chuckled gently hitting him in the center of his chest and seeing the smile that developed over the corner of his lips. Kevin leaned down to press a small kiss over her forehead as she leaned in more against him. “You know, after this workout I hope you are going to pay me back with a good present afterwards.”

“I think I can come up with something,” he played along with her, arching his eyebrow up in response before smiling widely again. They reached the place as he held the door open for Ria, holding his hand out for her. “My dear lady should always go first.”

“Get in here,” she laughed pulling at his hands seeing him trip over his own two feet, but catching his balance before he could fall. “I did not mean to do that.”

“Sure you didn’t,” Kevin rolled his eyes hearing her let out small laughs as a smile developed over his lips again. He looked around the restaurant before noticing Chase and Trisha by the corner of the restaurant in a booth as he tugged Ria along with him, approaching the younger two. “Good morning you two love birds.”

“Wow, you actually got him up,” Trisha smiled standing up and feeling Kevin hug her in his arms tightly as she let out a disgusted groan holding her hands up in the air. “Oh nasty, you’re all sweaty. Stop touching me Kevin, this isn’t cool.”

“Come on little one, it‘s just a little sweat,” Kevin held her in his arms tighter, letting out a small laugh as she let out a squeal before he let her out of his hold. “I just went running for about a mile or two.”

“I wish I could do that man,” Chase stood up reaching out to shake Kevin’s hand before nodding slowly and reaching out to hug Ria in his arms quickly. “We should go running together sometime, though I will probably kill myself.”

“He will probably kill himself too,” Ria pointed out as the whole group sat down in the booth. She felt Kevin wrap his arm around her shoulders as she stared out at Chase. “I had to tug him along to get him halfway here.”

“So in my opinion,” Kevin began in a deep breath looking out at Chase before offering up a small nod, “we should just go to the gym. That’s where I get the second best workout.”

“Where is the first?” Trisha asked blankly as everyone stopped to look at her for a moment. She shrugged her shoulders before thinking things over for a minute and letting out a small blush. “You are so gross Kevin.”

“That’s the way I am meant to be,” Kevin chuckled feeling Ria elbow him in the ribs gently as he let out a small groan. “Okay, I’ll be a good boy.”

“You better be,” Ria warned feeling him lean down to kiss her gently and caressing her right shoulder gently. He pulled away from her for a moment and smiled as she nudged him again.

“Hey Kev,” Chase got Kevin’s attention as Kevin turned to look at Chase to see what was up. Chase rubbed his hands together as he leaned forward in his seat. “Just the other day I got a tape from my friend. It was the whole season of the baseball team you played on in college. Man, you were so good back then--you should teach me some pointers.”

“You were on a baseball team in college?” Trisha questioned seeing Kevin nod slowly as Trisha frowned at his response. “How come I didn’t know that?”

“Because I wasn’t as good as your boyfriend is playing me out to be,” Kevin informed Trisha with a small shrug seeing Chase’s jaw drop from hearing Kevin’s words. “I was only in college a year and somehow he still thinks I am amazing.”

“You were one of the best catchers I have ever seen in my life. Not only at the catching you know, but the RBI’s and the homeruns, do you know how many runs you actually scored for the team?” Chase began to count in his head hearing Kevin let out a long laugh as Chase shrugged his shoulders. “Kevin, I know I play centerfield, but I would love for you to teach me some hitting skills.”

“Sure, no problem if I’ve still got it in me,” Kevin agreed to it before feeling Trisha hit him in the face with a rolled up napkin as Kevin grabbed it and threw it back at her only to see her duck and the napkin hit some guy in the back of the head. “Oh shit, I just hit somebody.”

“Who did you hit,” Chase let out a small laugh turning around only to feel Kevin make all of them duck their heads down when the guy turned around to look at who it was and it was most likely obvious because the whole table was letting out tiny chuckles here and there.

Kevin looked up for a moment to see who it was he hit and his eyes met Chris Foley’s and when Chris moved out of the way Kevin saw Angie behind him.

“Who did you hit?” Trisha laughed seeing Kevin’s eyes narrow and his jaw tighten as he stared out at who he had hit. “Do you know them?”

“No,” Kevin lied feeling a muscle in his jaw tighten as he stared out at Angie one last time before shaking his head slowly. There was no way seeing those two was going to ruin the time he was spending with Ria and his friends. “Let’s just get to ordering, who is up for some pancakes?”


“So what do you say Avery? How about we spend the day at home with Erin--in our real home showing her just where we‘re going to be with her once this nonsense is over?” Russ questioned watching her finish up changing Erin.

Avery felt tension coil up in the back of her shoulders moving it’s way to her neck. If only it was that easy, she thought to herself turning around to see Russ laying stretched out across the bed in his pajama bottoms and as her eyes swept over him, she couldn’t help but notice the welcoming lines of his body. If this had been another time and place she would’ve been all over him accepting his body’s silent invitation for her sensual explorations. She would have readily pounced on him putting caution to the wind and delving in the passion that she remembered oh too well that only Russ had been able to deliver to her. Even now her skin tingled hot with desire for the man that had taken her to new places again and again during their lovemaking sessions. However, Erin fidgeting in her arms brought her soaring down to reality.

“Russ, you know we can’t go over to the house today. I haven’t seen Brant yet and…” she started to object to his request.

“To hell with Brant. If he’s still laid out in that bed, then chances are he’ll be there when we return,” he announced tossing his legs over the side of the bed to stand in front of her. He took a small step forward, his eyes fixed on hers, “What are you afraid of Avery? That we’ll be home together again and you’ll see that you’re unable to resist me? Is that what worries you?”

“I already know I’m unable to resist you,” she stated feeling no need to contain her feelings of lust for him, “but right now we both know it doesn’t fit into the program for us to act upon what it is that you do to me. It’s too soon after everything and…”

“Avery, I’m not trying to pressure you into that,” he wrinkled his nose at her thinking about how foolish a notion like that would be. Tempting yes, but foolish most certainly. “I just want for us to share some time alone together with our daughter. Is that such a horrible request?”

“Russ you know that right now it doesn’t fit into the program. Right now we have to think about…” she tried again hoping to make him understand what was going on.

“About what? Avery honestly what’s more important than our family?” he questioned abrasively feeling his agitations mount.

“Brant is your family. Whether or not you’re ready to face that, he’s your brother,” she tossed back at him immediately leaping to defensive at his tone.

“I have one brother and that’s Grady,” he argued with her the corners of his mouth turning in a frown.

“Like it or not Brant is your brother too just like Ken is and Blake is your sister,” she sighed feeling a groan spill over her lips, “Russ I realize that you didn’t ask to be a part of this family, but you are and family sticks together in good times and bad.”

“No family just finds a way to seduce the love of my life and turn her against me while I’m gone,” he answered icily, the sharp sting of betrayal burning behind his eyes, “I mean really Avery, do you think any one of them is thinking about what this has done to me? About what I’ve been through or how hard it is for me to come home and see you married to my worst enemy? No, you don’t because not a one of them give a damn about me and I don’t expect it to happen anytime soon. Hell, I don’t see it ever happening in this lifetime. The truth to the matter is that I don’t care what happens to Brant because all he cared about was getting rid of me just so that he could have you.”

“That’s so not true,” Avery argued with him, “Russ, he’s a good-hearted and compassionate man. He was ready to love Erin like his own daughter and do anything in his power to make our lives easier…”

“That’s because he wanted you Avery. When it gets down to it he’s always wanted you and it doesn’t matter what he does or who he does it to as long as he gets his way. His father tried to have me murdered so you could be together. They tried to kill me…” his voice grew wild with fury.

“Brant had nothing to do with that. Nicholas might have, but Brant…” she snapped in response her own anger bubbling.

“Brant isn’t innocent Avery and as soon as you stop looking at him like he’s a victim you’ll see what I’m saying. You’ll see that I’m not in the wrong here. That I’m…” his words were cut off by the sound of Erin bursting into tiny sobs.

“Great,” Avery snapped at him, holding Erin closer to her, “see what you’ve done now.”

“I didn’t do this. We both were…” Russ tried to defend his position but hearing his daughter’s cries muted his protests making him feel horrible about upsetting her. He took a step forward reaching out to touch his daughter’s small face gently. Looking at Avery his green eyes pleaded with her, “It’s just I love you both so much that I can’t bear the thought of losing you. Can’t you see that you two are my world and that the longer we keep carrying on like this, the harder it’ll be for us to find a way out of this?”

“Russ I’m doing the best that I can,” she sighed stress pouring over her features.

“So am I, but it’s hard. Really hard,” he replied turning his attention to Erin as he wondered if they’d ever truly be able to have any kind of normal life with one another now that the Ashfords were pulling all of their strings.


Diane looked around the house thinking about all the things she needed to get ready in order to surprise Ben like she’d been planning on. While the doctors had warned her to take things easy for a while, she fully intended on finding a way to make it up to Ben for all the things that had gone wrong lately. She hoped that they’d be able to get on track with one another and really be able to enjoy life in their home together.

“I promise you that I’ll find a way to make today memorable for us,” she vowed to herself thinking about the things she’d had in store for Ben. Smiling as she moved through the house, she prepared to find a way to pull it all together before he came home, but before she could truly immerse herself in what she wanted to share with him, she heard the doorbell ring.

“Damn it you can’t be back already,” Diane slipped out of the dining room area making her way to the front door. She had to play it calm and even or else Ben would be on to what she had planned. Reaching for the door she opened it with a small frown, “You are supposed to be out longer. You’re early.”

“I didn’t know you were expecting me,” Andy smiled down at her, his bright, white teeth shining over her in the most captivating of smiles, “Hello Di, long time no see huh?”

“Andy what are you…what are you doing here?” she questioned her jaw practically dropping as she looked to the man in front of her realizing that he was about the last person she’d ever expect to see at a time like this. Suddenly all her well thought out plans for her evening came to a screeching halt now that the man from her past stood before her.


...to be continued...