Episode 304

“Well aren’t you going to invite me in,” Andy questioned with a sexy smile leaning in against the doorway to watch her with intense eyes, “I mean it’s kind of chilly out here and since I’ve never been to your new house, I figured you might want to give me the grand tour.”

“I um,” Diane stammered opening the front door further in spite of herself, “come on inside I guess. I just, well I just can’t believe that you’re here. I mean last I heard you were in Florida and now you’re just…”

“On your front porch,” he winked at her with a playful expression, “or should I be saying in your foyer given that you’ve finally let me in instead of leaving me to freeze out there.”

“It’s not that cold,” she blurted out without thinking, “I mean I’m sorry about that. I wasn’t trying to be rude but… Okay I just have to know, how did you find me?”

“I have my ways,” he slipped out of his jacket reaching out to hang it on the coat rack beside the front door, “though I have to tell you that I’m very impressed. This place is pretty nice.”

“Thank you,” she smiled feeling a warmth fill her cheeks before she stood taller, “but you never gave me a straight answer, why are you here?”

He stopped for a second before spinning around to face her with worried eyes, “Truthfully a friend of mine told me about what happened to you at the hospital. I was in town working on finalizing the divorce with Deidra and when I heard the news I was worried about you--about how you’re holding up.”

“Oh,” she paused a sadness creeping in over her, “so then you heard everything then?”

“I heard about you losing your child,” he nodded taking a step towards her before his worried eyes fell upon her, “and I also heard about you spending time with JT Mahoney once again. What the hell is that all about Diane? Are you just asking for trouble there with that man?”

“It wasn’t like I tried to spend time with him,” she replied in a stubborn tone, “I just…”

“Just what?” he couldn’t help but question further seeing how uncomfortable it made her, “Don’t tell me you have feelings for him all over again.”

“No,” she blurted out quickly certain about her answer, “It’s not like that at all. JT and I were a mistake--a huge mistake and it was a one time deal that won’t ever take place again in this lifetime. I didn’t want to be with him and when I was, well he wasn’t who was on my mind.”

“I was kind of hoping that was how it played out,” he confessed with a dark expression adding more of a sultry warmth to his tone than Diane would’ve liked. He took another step closer to her, “So tell me, who has been the man on your mind lately?”

“His name is Ben. Ben Walters,” she replied standing taller and asserting herself around the man she’d once chased like crazy in the hopes of winning his heart, “He’s everything I ever could’ve asked for in a boyfriend.”

“Boyfriend,” he repeated taking note of her word selection, “So then that means that it’s not all that serious then, huh?”

“No, it’s very serious,” she stated firmly bringing her hands to her sides, “He’s someone special and I love him more than anything.”

“Hmm, well does he feel that way about you or is he another loser like JT?” he questioned catching the disapproving expression on her face. He held his hand up in the air, “Don’t answer that. Instead why don’t you work on getting me a drink? I think it’s long past overdue that we catch up with one another.”

“I don’t know if that’s such a good idea considering that…” she shifted on her feet feeling uneasy about the situation.

“That what? We’re old friends and for the moment we’re still kind of family, so I highly doubt that your Ben would object to our catching up with one another. Do you?” he challenged issuing her another brilliant smile that always seemed to work with the women he surrounded himself with.

“I suppose not,” Diane decided reminding herself that she could handle this. She could have a drink with Andy and send him on his way. Not only would she prove to him that she had moved on past their time together, but that she could show herself once and for all that she’d finally evolved into the woman she always wanted to be--a woman happily in love with the man of her dreams and that man was Ben plain and simple.


“Hey, what’s on your mind,” Ria elbowed Kevin in the arm after they got done ordering what they wanted. She saw his dark eyes glance over at her as he shrugged his shoulders. “You were all happy and having fun, what happened to you?”

“Nothing,” Kevin lied glancing over at Chris who now had his hand on top of Angela’s and it looked like he was flirting with her. “I just think the running really got to me.”

“I told you not to run so fast,” she reminded him seeing him nod slowly before taking a sip of his water. She saw the way he avoided talking a lot as she reached out to squeeze his hand in hers gently. “Is something wrong baby?”

“No, don’t worry about it,” Kevin whispered once more before looking over across the table at Chase and Trisha who were now talking about something. “Hey Chase.”

“Yeah?” Chase’s blue eyes looked up at Kevin seeing him lean forward in his seat as Chase sat more forward to find out what was up. “What’s up Kev-O?”

“About that whole baseball thing, maybe we should do it soon,” Kevin suggested seeing a smile develop over Chase’s features as he nodded slowly. Kevin ran his hand in over his upper shoulder before stretching it out. “I might need to work my arm out a bit, it may not be as good as it used to be.”

“I highly doubt that,” Chase pointed out hearing Kevin let out a small laugh as Chase shrugged his shoulders and tapped his fingers along the table. “I’m not as good as I used to be--maybe you can be my trainer or something.”

“That sounds good kid,” Kevin nodded with a small grin before looking back over towards the table Angela and Chris were at. The color faded from his face as he saw Chris touching Angela’s face and he was way too close to her for his liking. “Excuse me for one minute.”

Kevin gave Ria a small glance before getting up and walking over towards the table, grabbing Chris’s shoulder and pushing him back against the chair Chris was sitting in.

“Get your hands off of her scumbag,” Kevin warned seeing the way that Chris’s anger had faded after seeing who had really pushed him. Kevin took a glance down at Chris before shaking his head slowly. “I told you she wants nothing to do with you.”

“Kevin?” Angela looked up at Kevin slightly confused when she saw him push Chris back like that. Kevin folded his arms out in front of his chest looking down at Angela with his chocolate brown eyes. “Angie, I thought I told he wasn’t a good person to hang around. Why don’t you just move out of this loser’s house because it’s obvious he is still trying to get into your pants.”

“Excuse me?” Chris went to argue with Kevin further before seeing the glance that Kevin was giving him at the moment. Chris held his hands up in the air knowing that he had to keep his mouth shut if he knew what was good for his health. “Go on, talk to her--I won’t say a word.”

“No Chris,” Angela looked up at Kevin with a small frown, reaching out to touch Chris’s hand gently, “Kevin is just being a complete jerk right now. Ignore what he is saying because he obviously doesn’t care about other people.”

“What?” Kevin snapped glaring down at Angela with a small frown as he shook his head slowly. A small laugh escaped his lips as he thought about what she just said. “I don’t care about people? You are telling me of all people, I don’t care about others?”

“I happen to think he cares,” Chris tried to offer up seeing the glare that both Angela and Kevin shot him. He held his hands up in the air before shaking his head slowly. “I’m out of the conversation.”

“Please Angela, of all people I think you should know I care,” Kevin reminded her before looking down at Chris and thinking back to his past. “Anyways, Chris has been trying to get back with you ever since we were together. I believe it was around the time we were engaged that he really started trying to get back with you. You know, when you were pregnant with my baby.”

“Don’t go there Kev-O,” Chris warned pointing his finger at Kevin seeing the glance Kevin gave him. Chris remembered what it was like to have his heart broken by Angela and it was all because of Kevin. “I wasn’t the guy that slept with her when she was your girlfriend. If I do recall I was dating her and one morning I come back to her place to see the two of you snuggling together under a blanket naked. If I wouldn’t have said something you two probably would have ended up going at it again right in front of me. So don’t even try to blame me for trying to steal her when she was engaged to you because you were the one that stole her from me.”

“Oh whine. Obviously, she wanted to be with me and I wasn’t trying to steal her from you--you idiot. You know, I didn’t even have to try,” Kevin smirked knowing what he was saying was getting to Chris. He looked down at Angela who seemed to be a little quiet after what he and Chris had just said. Without thinking he said the first thing that came to his mind before looking down at Chris with a smirk. “Anyways, I wish I wouldn’t have slept with her anyways. The only thing I found myself with flying to Europe was trouble. You know what? You two belong together because quite frankly, every time I am around the two of you all I get is a troubled life. Like right now.”

“So, you’re saying all I am is trouble to you?” Angela questioned in a whisper seeing the way that his dark eyes narrowed in over at her. She cleared her throat uneasily before nodding slowly. “That’s nice to know that after all these years, that’s all I am.”

“Angie,” Kevin groaned feeling suddenly guilty after what he said to her. He reached out to touch her shoulder only to feel her pull it away from him and hold her hands up in the. “Angie come on. I didn’t mean it, you’re my best friend and I really still do…”

“Just forget about it you jerk,” Chris stood up from his seat pushing Kevin back seeing Kevin look down at his shoulder where Chris had pushed him. “She obviously doesn’t want to talk to you right now.”

“Leave him alone Chris,” Angela warned seeing the way that Kevin glanced at Chris before shaking his head slowly and sliding his hands into his pockets. “Just Kevin…”

“No, I’m sorry,” Kevin apologized once more kneeling down before Angela and reaching out to touch her hand. He took a look back at Ria seeing her laughing with Chase and Trisha before he looked forward to Angela. He squeezed her hand in his tightly before looking up into her dark eyes. “I didn’t mean it Angie and you’re my best friend. You’re always going to be my best friend and I don’t hate you. I’m sorry it’s just I have been having a hard time thinking about everything.”

“About our daughter?” she questioned seeing him nod slowly before glancing down towards the ground and then looking back up at her. She reached out to touch his cheek with her free hand. “I know what it’s like and I don’t hold it against you.”

“I appreciate that Angie,” Kevin smirked before shrugging his shoulders and giving her hand a small squeeze. “I just forget where I am sometimes and it’s kind of hard you know.”

Chris took a look at Kevin and the Angela seeing the way they were sharing their so called moment together. The way that Angela looked at Kevin and touched him like that made him just a bit jealous. Okay, so it made him really jealous. What was it about Kevin anyways? Did he wear some type of cologne that lured Angela in every single time or something?

Casually, Chris started whistling to himself reaching out for his water and purposely knocking it over. He watched the water drench Kevin’s face and down the front of his chest because of being kneeled down.

Kevin instantly stood up from the ice cold water as he shook his head trying to get the freezing water out of his hair. He felt Angela reach up to try and help dry his white t-shirt off as he pointed down at Chris.

“You did that on purpose you little piece of shit,” Kevin snapped seeing Chris hold his hands up in the air, seeing Kevin take a step forward toward him, but he was pulled back by his shirt because of Angela. “He did that on purpose Angie, I saw him do it.”

“It was just an accident,” Angela tried to assure Kevin seeing the way that Chris was looking up at him with a confused expression. She tried to wipe the rest of his shirt off as he pulled the napkins away from her hands angrily.

“I know the idiot did it on purpose,” Kevin repeated seeing Angela shake her head as he finished wiping off his face and his neck before shaking his head slowly. He looked down between the two of them before throwing his hands up in the air. “Forget this, you two must have come here to screw up my breakfast that was supposed to be an easy going and fun occasion that turned to a screwed up wet one because of the two of you. I’m done with this.”


“Where is Nate?” Don questioned looking around the backyard after setting Matt down on the ground. He looked down at Matt who was glaring out at him and had his hands on his waist. “Where did he fall Matt?”

“I said on the garbage cans dad,” Matt informed his father with a small roll of his eyes before pointing over towards the garbage cans. “Dad, where are the garbage cans always at?”

“Oh yeah, right,” Don nodded running over towards the garbage cans to see Nate laid out on top of one cans. Nate was laid out before him with his eyes closed as Don pulled him out onto the grass carefully before setting him down. “He’s just scratched his elbow, I don’t see anything else that is bloody.”

“Is he alive?” Shannon questioned seeing Don lift up Nate’s head only to have him fall back against the grass again when he let go. Shannon placed her hand over her chest as she watched Don look over her brother. “Is he alive?”

“Oh shit,” Don cussed falling back after feeling Nate pull his hand away from him and let out a small groan. Shannon let out a long sigh before seeing Nate blink widely. “Stay still Nate, I need to know if anything is wrong with you. What happened Matthew?”

“We were playing with a Frisbee and it got on top of the roof because of him,” Matt started to explain where the Frisbee had landed and then pointed to where it was in the center of the grass now. “Well anyways, I told him just to leave it and then he starts climbing the tree because he thinks that he can get it. I told him not to do it, but he continues to climb the tree. He gets to the top of the tree and then realizes that the house is a little bit away from the tree. So what does he do? Don’t answer because I will tell you what he did. He jumped and missed, but caught the edge and pulled himself up. Nate walked over and got the Frisbee. Just let me tell you now, he would have been fine if he just would have climbed back down the tree, but you know what he does first? He throws the Frisbee straight up in the air and it nails him right between the eyes and he slips off the roof. I tell you, I have never met someone this big of an idiot and yet, I really like the guy.”

“What did he fall on Matt?” Don chuckled imagining what his son was telling him before looking back down at Nate who was blinking up at him widely. “His head? His chest? His neck? What?”

“His butt,” Matt said blankly before holding his hands up in the air and pointing to his butt. “He fell flat on his butt and then landed on his elbow afterwards, but the butt got the worst of it.”

“I’m not looking at that,” Don pointed out hearing Shannon let out a small laugh as Don reached out to hold up Nate’s head hearing him let out a small groan. “Nate you may have had a concussion so I am going to check you out. How many fingers am I holding up?”

“Two,” Nate answered with a small groan seeing Don nod slowly before seeing Matt step forward and look down at him. “Hey little guy.”

“What’s one plus one?” Matt questioned seeing Nate think things over for a minute before he shot out another questions. “What’s the square root of sixteen?”

“Two and four,” Nate answered in a small hiss rubbing his shoulder gently feeling Don touching the back of his neck as Nate started to sit up slowly.

“Oh Don, I think falling off the roof made him smarter,” Shannon clapped her hands together seeing Nate look over at her with a small glare before running his hands through his blonde hair. “Oh brother of mine, what time is it?”

“Let me see, it’s quarter past what do I care?” Nate muttered before taking off his baseball cap, letting out an exaggerated sigh as his vision became a bit better. “Sarcastic little bit…”

“Okay, I think you are going to be just fine,” Don informed Nate with a small pat on the back hearing Nate let out a small groan and Don quickly stood up. “Just a little fall, nothing a little ice won’t fix.”

“So Matt,” Nate urged Matt in closer to him as he pulled Matt into his lap and nodded slowly. “How did that fall look? Good or was it a little weird? Did it look good?”

“Yeah, Nate is definitely back to himself,” Shannon pointed out seeing Matt laughing at Nate before hitting him in the shoulder gently. “Back to his dumb ways.”

“It looked decent,” Matt decided seeing Nate nod and smile widely as Matt thought back to what happened. “You did like a front flip and landed on your butt. It was kind of funny.”

“That’s sweet,” Nate laughed before looking back at the Frisbee in the center of the grass. He pointed back towards it before arching his eyebrow at Matt. “You still want to play?”

“Okay,” Matt nodded seeing Nate get up slowly, but only let out a groan and held his back in pain when he stood up. Matt reached up to grab his hand tugging him towards the house before offering up a sympathetic expression. “Maybe we should just play a video game.”

“Yeah, that might be a good idea little buddy,” Nate rested his hand in against the small of his back letting out a small wince. “For my back that is.”

“Don’t worry, my dad has a pain relief pad you could use,” Matt whispered looking back at Don who watched them walk into the house. “He gets hurt a lot so I am sure he has a ton of them. He’s really clumsy sometimes.”


“It feels so good to relax for a while,” Rob sighed falling back into the couch as he closed his eyes realizing how long he had been working lately. Work was starting to fill his life up a lot and it was like he had almost no time for himself. “I’m glad that I am here with you right now honey, it’s nice.”

“Me too Rob,” Alicia sat down next to her husband feeling him wrap his arm around her shoulders before resting his forehead against hers. “How is work going by the way?”

“It is actually going pretty good. With all the meetings it is really making me busy, but when it gets down to it I think it’s better for the company anyways,” Rob informed her with a small nod reaching his right hand down and slipping it into hers. “The company has been doing pretty good and I think it will be running perfectly soon.”

“That’s good,” Alicia nodded before thinking to herself about how Dorothy called earlier with her concerns about Cori and Rob. She cleared her throat uneasily before removing her hand from Rob’s. “Dorothy called earlier honey?”

“Oh really?” Rob looked up at his wife with his light blue eyes before seeing her nod. He let out a small yawn before resting his head against her shoulder. “What did she have to say?”

“Well, she asked me why I wasn’t at dinner with you yesterday,” she stated seeing Rob nod slowly, running his fingers in against hers. “She didn’t understand why I wasn’t with you.”

“Oh, about that,” Rob cleared his throat looking up into Alicia’s eyes before tilting his head sideways. He thought about taking Cori to dinner to make sure she got comfortable with the company and being a part of the gym. “I took Cori out for dinner between meetings. That’s all that was, Dorothy was probably wondering why I was with a young blonde. I was just taking her out to get to know her better like I have all the people that are close to me.”

“That was very sweet of you honey,” she pointed out with a concerned expression thinking about the words that Dorothy had described Cori in. Sure, she knew that Rob would never cheat on her, but Rob wasn’t the worry at the moment. It more so the fact that Dorothy was more worried than she was. Cori must have really been acting differently around him the other day because it truthfully worried Dorothy into thinking that her and Rob were having problems. “Honey, did you ever think that maybe Cori might be attracted to you?”

“What makes you think that?” Rob asked with a small chuckle seeing the seriousness behind Alicia’s eyes as he straightened up in his seat and shrugged his shoulders. “No, that seems kind of wrong to me. She’s like a daughter to me--you know that.”

“Well yeah, but that’s to you,” she reminded him seeing him nod slowly before she thought about it for a minute. There was always a chance that one person could feel such a thing when another person felt the complete opposite. “You don’t think she could be feeling differently at all? Like you may think of her like a daughter, but she may think of you like a boyfriend figure?”

“Honey, remember how she always used to watch Lindsay for us when we had things to go to?” Rob tried to make Alicia remember when Cori had watched Lindsay for him all the times in the past. “I taught her how to play basketball and I was like a father figure to her. I don’t think that I would ever be like that with her. That’s just wrong.”

“You’re right, it’s wrong,” Alicia agreed thinking about the circumstances and thinking about what her and Dorothy had spoke of. Sure, Rob felt that Cori was like a daughter to him, but that didn’t mean that Cori didn’t have the hots for Rob. She might have just raised a flag in the air saying she had it bad for Rob was Dorothy’s words and maybe Dorothy was right. Rob could be blind to this whole thing because he was trying to be nice, but it couldn’t fool some people. All it made Alicia notice was that she had to be more careful with people around her husband--especially Cori.


“That had to be the cutest shirt,” Cori informed Lindsay with a wide smile seeing Lindsay pay the cashier before grabbing the bag and walking away with Cori. “I think that shirt looked so cute on you, that was a great choice.”

“You should have got that one navy blue shirt Cori because you looked great in it you know,” Lindsay informed Cori seeing her shrug her shoulders as Lindsay offered up a small nod. “I think it looked great on you.”

“I don’t know,” Cori paused talking for a minute before thinking things over carefully. She truly liked the shirt too, but it didn’t seem like a shirt that would catch a lot of people‘s attention. “I think that I need something that stands out more. Something that makes me stand out more in a crowd. You know what I mean?”

“Oh yeah, totally,” Lindsay nodded in agreement before looking over at Cori when they took a seat at one of the tables in the middle of the mall. “You know, this is so cool. You and me going to the mall and shopping together. I have been having a lot of fun you know.”

“I have been too,” Cori muttered with a wide smile seeing Lindsay look up towards the other levels in the mall. “You know, I’m glad you are having a fun time because I thought I lost my ability to show everyone a fun time there.”

“Oh no Cori, you are the coolest,” Lindsay insisted with a small nod holding her bags closer to her before letting out a long sigh. “I actually find it to be really cool that you actually took me to the mall and you are hanging out with me. I never thought I would be hanging out with you like this.”

“No problem kiddo,” Cori reached out to squeeze Lindsay’s shoulder gently before smiling and shrugging her shoulders. “I guess you could say I notice when someone needs a fun time.”

“Also, your new sports car is the best,” Lindsay over extended her words before letting out a small laugh. “I never thought I would be driving around in something so cool. I mean yeah, my dad has some really sweet cars and so does Don, but I didn’t think I would be driving around with someone out of the family. I actually love your car and I would love to have a car like when I am older.”

“You know,” Cori thought things over for a minute before standing up and motioning Lindsay to follow her. She motioned Lindsay to step in closer to her as Lindsay quickly followed her. “I could totally let you drive if you want to.”

“I can’t do that,” Lindsay chuckled to herself before shaking her head slowly and thinking about what Cori had just offered up to her. “Though I totally wish I could do that.”

“Well, why can’t you?” Cori questioned holding her keys up in the air seeing Lindsay’s blue eyes looking them over carefully. “I mean, I said you could so why not? So what if you are too young. People younger than you are already driving. Do you want to drive or not?”

“Heck yeah I do,” Lindsay felt Cori drop the keys in her hands before motioning over towards the exit. Lindsay held the keys tightly in her hands before thinking of something that could get her in big trouble. “Hey Cori?”

“Yeah?” Cori led Lindsay outside and over towards the sports car motioning Lindsay to get in on the drivers side. She motioned Lindsay to start the car before Lindsay stopped and looked over at her. “What is it?”

“You won’t tell my mom and dad about this right?” Lindsay worriedly questioned seeing Cori shake her head slowly before Lindsay went on with her worries. “I mean, if you will I really don’t want to be getting in trouble.”

“Lindsay, don’t worry,” Cori hushed motioning Lindsay to put her hands on the wheel. “I won’t tell a soul--I promise you that.”


Carly moved around the kitchen doing her best to keep up with the silent treatment where Dave was concerned. After he’d raked her through the coals about Andy, he’d gone off to work to work on a fatality that had been brought to the attention of the station. His deputy chief at the station had been on vacation, so Dave had gone in dutifully in the hopes of getting everything cleared up as promptly and proficiently as possible. She’d heard him return to the house around three or four in the morning, but she’d pretended to be sleeping. Even after she’d heard him awaken for a shower, she’d made a quick exit from their bedroom into the kitchen to put something together for Kayla, who sat perfectly content in front of the television watching cartoons.

“Mom you have to see this,” Kayla called out to her pointing to the dancing flowers on the screen before looking back at them almost as if she was in a daze. “They are so funny.”

“They look like it,” Carly couldn’t help but smile at her daughter’s amusement, but the feeling soon faded when she heard Dave emerging from the bedroom area. Carefully she ducked back into the kitchen to work on food she was making for Kayla. She could smell Dave’s aftershave, but she wasn’t going to let it effect her as it was clear he’d entered the kitchen as well.

“Carly,” he spoke her name with a moment of hesitation knowing that there were things still left unsaid between them.

“I put some coffee on for you over there,” she explained not bothering to look back at him for fear she would get upset all over again.

“Thanks, but I’m not really worried about the coffee,” he confessed stepping in behind her. He knew she was angry, but he wasn’t about to give up she realized as she felt fingers curl over her hip. “Look I know you’re upset with me, but…”

“Upset doesn’t even begin to cover it,” she spun around to face him, seeing his face almost to hers as his hand still remained on her hip, “You’ve been giving me some major double standards here since we got together and I don’t like it. You can run off all over the world to help Deidra, but when I take a case…”

“I’m sorry,” he cut her off abruptly, “I know that doesn’t mean much to you right now, but it’s the truth. I overreacted.”

“You’re right you did,” she nodded with a small huff.

“And as I said before, I’m sorry,” he mouthed in a quiet voice so not to disturb Kayla, “I realize that I can’t let my personal feelings for Andy get in the way of what you’re doing. It’s your career and I shouldn’t be dictating it.”

“But you aren’t happy in saying that, are you?” she searched his eyes closely.

“No, I’m not, but at least I’m trying here,” he confessed with a heavy sigh, “I just don’t trust Andy and I know what a jerk he can be.”

“Even so this is between him and Deidra. This isn’t about us or our relationship. What they have between them should be between them. I’m merely acting as a servant of the law in helping them bring an end to the conflict between them,” she pointed out with a small huff, “I mean you’d think you’d be happy that I was representing him instead of some sleazebag he could’ve picked up in Florida there. At least I’ll try to make this a civil situation instead of an all out war.”

“I realize that,” Dave nodded in response, “and I shouldn’t have jumped all over you like I did. I was acting like a jerk and once again I’m sorry.”

“Yeah well,” she paused unable to contain her anger a moment longer. She felt it bubble up inside of her, but when she opened her mouth to speak up it seemed to evaporate, “Okay, you’re forgiven. I’m sorry I have been ignoring you.”

“It’s okay,” he offered up with a half smile, “I kind of deserved it, but hey it’s in the past, deal?”

“Deal,” she nodded sliding her arms around him and pulling him closer to her for an embrace.

“Mom you have to see this!” Kayla squealed pointing to the television again as it showed a dancing elephant. “Is that not like the coolest thing you’ve ever seen?”

“It is pretty cool,” Dave replied wrapping his arm around Carly and guiding her into the living room area, “So cool in fact that I thought maybe you and your mom would like to go see that in person.”

“In person?” Kayla tipped her head to the side giving him a strange look, “You mean there’s a person in there?”

“No, I mean how would you like to meet that elephant?” Dave questioned releasing Carly long enough to kneel beside Kayla, “What do you say?”

“We could really do that,” Kayla’s eyes widened with glee, “Really meet the dancing elephant?”

“You bet we can because it just so happens that I know the man who owns the elephant and he gave your mom and I free passes to go and see the elephant now that he’s in town,” Dave continued to explain to her, “He even said I could bring you along with your mom and I when we go if you want to.”

“Do I ever,” Kayla grinned from ear to ear, “I like elephants and monkeys and clowns and…”

“And what about popcorn and cotton candy?” Dave couldn’t help but smile down at her.

“I especially love cotton candy,” she confessed with a bright smile.

“Well, then it’s settled,” he announced scooping her up into his arms before turning to Carly, “I’m taking the day off of work and we’re all going to go to the circus. What do you say?”

“I say right on daddy,” Kayla laughed excitedly as Carly looked to Dave wondering how in the world she could stay mad at him for any length of time given that he was in fact the perfect father to Kayla. Beyond that she knew she’d gotten lucky with a husband like him and even if they didn’t see eye to eye on things, she was certain that there was no place else in this world that she’d rather be at then with Dave and Kayla sharing the joys of being a family.


“Hey Kellen?” Kipp looked over at Kellen who was driving the car and whistling a tune to himself. There were quite a few things on his mind that he had to let out to make sure that Kellen knew what was going on. “Kellen, can I talk to you for a minute?”

“Sure Kippy,” Kellen smiled hearing Charles giggle in the backseat as he played with a stuffed animal and squeezed its nose hearing it squeal. “What’s on your mind sweetheart?”

“I was just thinking about yesterday,” Kipp informed Kellen seeing Kellen’s blue eyes glance over at him quickly before turning off the radio and nodding slowly. “I was a real jerk yesterday.”

“Yes, you were,” Kellen nodded slowly before thinking things over to himself. “What do you need to tell me that for Kippy? I think we all realized that last night.”

“Well, yeah. I just wanted to apologize again because that was a part of me I never wanted you to see,” Kipp informed Kellen with a deep sigh thinking about all the hurtful words he had said to Heather earlier. “Kellen, I don’t like showing that side of me off, but when it comes to Cameron…”

“He turns you?” Kellen muttered seeing Kipp nod slowly as Kellen thought of how to respond to Kipp. There were so many things that Kipp had said yesterday that made him lose brownie points, but maybe Kellen could give Kipp a chance to explain himself for the words he said. “Don’t mind me go on with what you were saying.”

“Well, like I was saying,” Kipp cleared his throat uneasily thinking about the hurtful words he had preached about Heather and Cameron. “I hated to hear how he was playing her like that. Heather was hurt by him and he was always a jerk when it came to Heather. When I found out she was being nice to him I guess I kind of flipped.”

“That’s an understatement sweetheart,” Kellen pointed out in a deep breath seeing Kipp nod slowly as Kellen spoke up again. “I mean, if I was Heather I would have ran out of the room crying because that’s how much you would have hurt me mentally.”

“And I’m sorry for doing that, I was wrong,” Kipp apologized once more seeing Kellen nod as Kipp sought for more words to explain what he was feeling. “My whole life Cameron has been there and I realize that I just can’t stand him. He is one person I wish I could just flick away and when I think about him--I just can’t go away clean.”

“Listen honey,” Kellen interrupted Kipp before holding his right hand up in the air to hush Kipp. He let out a small smile looking back in the mirror at Charles again. “Don’t worry about it--Heather forgave you. I forgave you and it’s alright. We all make mistakes sometimes. Just lets think about right now.”

“Okay,” Kipp sighed thinking back to how Heather was trying to push him and Kellen out of the house like that. She wanted the three of them to have fun while she stayed at home. “Why do you think Heather stayed home like that and didn’t want to go with us?”

“Sweet thing, we are going to the circus,” Kellen pointed out seeing Kipp nod slightly confused by what Kellen was saying. Kipp thought things over before shrugging his shoulders and seeing Kellen roll his eyes. “Heather hates clowns. You should know that and the circus is the biggest place with clowns.”

“I forgot about that,” Kipp chuckled to himself before rubbing his hands together and deciding to play a prank on her later. “Don’t forget to remind me to bring back a clown nose.”

“That was my original plan sweetheart. Revenge is so very sweet,” Kellen smiled widely with a small chuckle thinking back to when he told Heather that Freddy Krueger gave him nightmares forever and she scared him in the middle of the night with a fake Freddy hand. “I told her I would get her back for doing that to me. I just can’t wait to get to the circus though, I just love them oh so much with all the lions and the elephants. It’s going to be so cool there and I’m sure Charles is going to love it too.”


Diego sat in his office thinking about everything that had transpired between him and Sarah at the Ashford mansion. While he’d vowed to keep that time they’d shared with one another isolated to just that one night, there was something about being near her that made him out of his mind with emotion. He’d been closed off for so very long after Maria had died, but then when he’d met Sarah it was as if he’d been delivered a new breath of life. There was just something about her that had been so very refreshingly wonderful and…

“Um Dr. Hernandez,” his secretary’s voice boomed with shakiness over the speaker, “you’ve got a visitor and she’s um…”

“In no mood to go through you buzzing me in,” Heather blurted out making her way into Diego’s office and slamming the door shut behind her.

“Well Heather I um…” Diego sat up straighter feeling immediately uncomfortable at her arrival. There was a fury burning behind her eyes and suddenly he flashed back to his kissing Sarah. Was there any way that Heather knew what he’d done? Had Sarah told her about the two of them and was she here to rant or had she…?

“I realize I should’ve called first, but I couldn’t let this slide. I have had a horrible week. Well I wouldn’t call it completely horrible, but I cannot believe the nerve of some people. I mean you think you know someone and then boom, they go off and shock the hell out of you. I mean you think you can really, truly trust someone, but then,” she held her hands out in front of him moving them as if she was twisting some imaginary towel in half with her fingers, “they go and do something to disappoint you and…”

“Heather I’m really sorry about whatever it is that has upset you, but I’m in the middle of something and…” he began nervously shifting in his chair.

“Oh no. You’re not going to get rid of me that easily--especially not now,” she shook her head defiantly, “I mean first I think things are finally picking up given that you and I are seemingly having fun together. I mean we’ve had some good times, right?”

“Well of course, but…” he struggled for words.

“And then Cameron calls. I mean Cameron couldn’t be bothered with me for months, but then out of the blue there he is and he’s all being nice and apologetic and…” she rambled on.

“Wait a second. Cameron called you?” he sat up straighter already not liking that turnabout regardless of what he felt for Sarah, “Why did he call you?”

“That’s an interesting story in itself,” she admitted stopping her pacing to stare right at him, “He called me to apologize. He even came over to tell me how wrong he was for how he’d treated me and he’s giving me full run of the company he promised me. He said that all he wanted from me was to make it a success.”

“And you believed that?” he asked with wide eyes.

“Well no not at first, but then Kipp intervened and then he said anything I wanted it was mine and he was going to let Kipp control all of the legal aspects of things. It seemed like it was on the up and up and that was good considering that…” she continued on.

“Please don’t tell me you’re going to take him up on that. Heather, Cameron is a monster and after what he did to you…” Diego couldn’t help but add.

“He apologized again and again and I might be crazy to believe it, but I actually think that he’s sorry about it. There was just this look in his eyes and I felt like he was sincere. I don’t know why, but there was just something happening inside of him…” she added further.

“Yet he has you here in a tizzy,” he arched a speculative brow at her.

“Oh no this isn’t about him. This is about that rat Chris Foley. Here I thought he was my friend--that he was someone that I could count on, but no he’s quite the opposite. He’s a snake and I was stupid enough to think he was sincere. I mean my God I almost handed him everything about Brant on a silver platter there, but what do I get in return? Well, I find out that he’s been secretly meeting with Avery Morrison to no doubt get the scoop from her as well. It just isn’t right and…” she threw her hands up in the air in frustration, “I think I just hate the world!”

“Maybe you should take a seat,” Diego suggested seeing her pace around his office again.

“I think right now I should just ring Chris’s scrawny neck,” she twisted her fingers in the air again, “That would feel really good.”

“Only momentarily. You know what they say about giving into the pleasure principle without thinking it through,” he offered up to her feeling his own mistakes slapping him in the face.

“I won’t do it, but it does feel like it would be fun,” she huffed slumping down into the chair, “I mean really what is it about people? You think you can trust them and then they prove that they are all bullshit liars and you can’t trust a one of them. What gives?”

“Heather I…” Diego watched her feeling a knife jab at his insides over what he’d been doing to her. Not only was he lusting over Sarah, but he’d lead Heather to believe that there could be something more between them--hell, he’d practically gotten down and dirty with her in her apartment when they’d played strip poker and now..

“I mean what is it with men? Are they just blinded by that whole good girl routine?” she continued to rant, “I mean sure I could pretend to be a goody but what’s the point? Seriously just because someone acts like they are sweet and innocent doesn’t mean it’s true. With me what you see is what you get and you’d think that would be enough for men…”

“Heather I don’t really think that…” he tried to interject.

“Although I did have one turnabout that was a bit interesting,” her tone shifted as her eyes met his in a daring glance, “Cameron did offer up one more proposal for me there beyond business.”

“Oh, and what might that be?” he questioned seeing something burning behind her eyes.

“He asked me to go with him to this charity ball that’s taking place. I’m sure that you’ve heard of it. Blake Ashford is hosting it in an attempt to raise some money for a community center and…” she crossed her legs, giving him a small glimpse of her long, slender curves, “He asked me to be his date for the night.”

“What?” Diego’s jaw dropped, “Heather, you can’t be contemplating going with him considering that he‘s trouble. He‘d hurt you in the past and if you give him that chance to do it again I‘m afraid of what will happen to you. If he uses this to get to you and manipulate you for his bidding again, then I‘m afraid of what could happen to you and…”

“Well, I did tell him yes, but you know I’d be more than willing to cancel the date with him,” she leaned forward, her eyes engaging him in a dare to deny her request that followed, “if and only if you give me a reason to by going with me instead.”


“Well, how are we doing?” Blake questioned knocking on the bathroom door only to see Sarah on the other side looking rather puzzled once she’d pulled the door open a small way.

“I don’t know,” Sarah confessed opening the door further and inviting her friend inside, “I mean I’m not sure if I’m reading this thing right.”

“Let me take a look,” Blake suggested squeezing her way into the small half bath at the guest house. She looked to the wand in her friend’s hand and gave it a sideways glance, “It’s green.”

“I know,” Sarah frowned further, “and it’s supposed to be purple or pink, so how I got green is beyond me considering that…”

“That maybe there are some more instructions here that we missed,” Blake reached for the empty box, “Maybe green is on one of the color levels and…”

“This isn’t working Blake,” Sarah threw her hands up in the air, “We don’t know what we’re doing here face it.”

“I’m sure we can figure it out Sarah,” Blake tried to offer up sympathetically, “and hey if all else fails you could always try a blood test at the hospital and get direct results there.”

“No,” Sarah replied hurriedly, “No I can’t do that. I mean if I go to the hospital, then there is a chance that someone else will find out about this and if this somehow got back to Kyle before I was ready, then I don’t know what I’d do…”

“Sarah, I’m sure that he’s going to be okay with this. I mean as far as he knows he’s the only one you’ve been with and,” Blake started hearing a sound from outside of the bathroom. She held her finger up in front of her lips to make sure that Sarah was silent as she popped her head out to look down the hallway. Quickly scooting back into the bathroom, she spoke up in a small whisper, “I think Seth is back.”

“Blake, he can’t be here. If he sees what we’re doing…” Sarah’s face grew pale with worry.

“It’s okay, I’ll take care of this,” Blake promised with a small smile, “Just let me handle him and you can clean this up in here, okay?”

“Okay,” Sarah nodded watching her friend slip out of the door.

“Everything will be okay,” Blake promised giving the bathroom door one last look before she spun around to crash directly into the solid, muscular chest in front of her. She gasped stepping back and tilting her head up to see Kyle standing in front of her.

“Okay with what?” Kyle questioned curiously his eyes searching hers for answers, “Blake, Seth said that something wasn’t quite right with you and Sarah earlier, so why don’t you just spill it? What are you two really up to?”


“So tell me more about this Ben guy,” Andy suggested swirling his drink in the glass before finishing it off. He sat across from Diane in the living room watching her fumble her hands nervously in her lap while the continued their conversation.

“He’s incredible,” Diane smiled at him feeling a warmth spread over her at the thought of Ben, “he’s warm and witty. He’s sexy and amazingly romantic. He’s everything I ever could’ve asked for in someone to love…”

“You sound like you’re talking about a puppy, not the love of your life,” he noted reaching for the bottle of alcohol he’d brought with him out of the kitchen. “So really, what is it about him that makes him so special?”

“It’s hard to explain,” she ignored his sarcasm as she thought of Ben, “He’s someone who loves me for me and from the first moment I saw him, I knew he would be the one. When we met at BBK…”

“Oh please don’t tell me you’re still working for that company,” Andy rolled his eyes at her, “You’re far too talented to be a secretary.”

“I’m not just a secretary,” she frowned over at him, “I happen to be Brant Ashford’s personal assistant and secretary.”

“Yeah big difference,” he shook his head at her, “We both know that you’re smarter than that. You just choose to keep that under wraps.”

“Oh like you’re one to talk,” she scowled in response, “We both know you could be running a hospital by now if you wanted to.”

“Yeah, well who says I won’t be?” he flashed her a cryptic smirk.

“Hmm, something tells me you aren’t one of the disbelievers,” she leaned forward eyeing him intently, “So I take it things are going well in Florida.”

“Things are going very well in Florida, but I have to be honest with you, even though I like it quite a bit, there is something to be said about coming home again,” he further explained to her, “I mean there are certain perks in a small town that you can have that won’t follow you to a big place like the hospital I’ve been working at.”

“Wait a second,” her eyes widened in surprise, “Are you saying that you’re moving back here?”

“The thought had crossed my mind,” he nodded with a wide grin, “Don’t look so surprised. I mean you know how I was with this place. I had friends here and…”

“Deidra’s here,” Diane finished eyeing him again, “You wouldn’t be coming back here to harass her, would you?”

“Me?” Andy laughed lightly refilling his glass and lifting it to his lips, “Sweetheart I’ve been trying to get her to release me for months. The last thing I want to do is chase her down and beg for a reprieve from her. It’s not my style.”

“Well good because she wouldn’t give it to you, you know,” Diane couldn’t help but add further.

“Really?” interest sparked behind his eyes. He leaned forward setting his palms on his knees, “And just why is that?”

“Because she’s happy now. She’s found someone else--someone who is good to her,” she explained wondering if she’d said too much. She tried to read his expression, but found nothing as he leaned back in his chair.

“Well I suppose that will make life easier on me then,” he shrugged before looking up to see the door opening to the house. “Well, it looks like we have company.”

“Diane, I’m back,” Ben announced entering the room just in time to see her and Andy together. Surprise registered in his eyes.

“Ben,” she sprang up to greet him placing her hand on his arm gently, “hey honey.”

“Diane,” he spoke her name, his eyes searching for answers to who their guest was.

“Um Ben, this is Andy,” she started realizing she had no choice, but to let him meet her sister’s soon-to-be-ex-husband. “Andy, this is Ben the man I was telling you all about.”

“Well Ben I’ve heard a lot about you,” Andy rose up to shake his hand, “It’s nice to finally have a face to put to the praise Diane has been feeding me about you.”

“Andy,” Ben repeated his name remembering what Diane had told him about Deidra’s husband, “well I’ve heard a few things about you as well.”

“All good I hope,” Andy smile at him brightly.

“Well, I don’t know if I would go that far, but I feel like we already know one another,” Ben answered not bothering to shield the distrust behind his eyes as Diane realized that they were all going to be in for a long day at this rate. Things went from almost comfortable to exceedingly tense and she just prayed that whatever happened next didn’t get ugly.


“Look Kevin, we weren’t bothering you. We were just having a friendly meal out on our own and we weren’t trying to get you riled up so why don’t you just…” Angela started feeling uneasy around her best friend especially now after everything that had happened between them over the last few days.

“Angie, you’re missing the point. I don’t know why you just don’t get it that…” Kevin started with a heavy scowl ready to lay into her when he felt a hand press on his arm tentatively.

“Kevin,” Ria spoke up in a small voice, her eyes sweeping in over the crowd until her gaze directed on Angela’s, “Is everything okay?”

“Everything is fine sweetheart. I was just talking to Angie and…” Kevin started to explain himself when it suddenly dawned in on Angela where she’d seen Ria before. Flashes of that moment at the cafe when she’d revealed all to Ria returned to her and a horrified expression washed over her.

“Oh my God,” Angela’s jaw dropped, “You’re Kevin’s fiancée.”

“Yes,” Ria nodded her lips tight with uneasiness as she slid her arm around Kevin’s muscled body, “I am.”

“I um…I mean…” Angela’s face drained of all color, “Look I am so sorry. I had no idea that…”

“It’s okay,” Ria waved her hand dismissively at Angela, “It’s water under the bridge.”

“Huh?” Kevin glanced over at Ria before seeing the small smile teasing over the corners of her lips.

“Kevin, I know that you and Angela were catching up with one another, but Trisha and Chase were hoping you’d come back to the table and join us. I hated to intrude, but…” Ria smiled at him sweetly knowing full well that Angela was watching their every move. She placed her hand on Kevin’s chest taking the time to dangle the engagement ring just enough for Angela to see it.

“Of course baby,” Kevin leaned down to kiss Ria tenderly, “I’ll be right there.”

“Good, then I’ll tell them you’re coming back,” she kissed him one last time before waving at Chris and Angela, “It was nice to see the both of you.”

Once Ria walked away Angela felt herself at a loss. Granted she had no idea that Ria was the same woman she’d met in the café. If she’d known that Kevin’s latest love interest was the woman that now walked away from the table, she would’ve kept her mouth shut. She would’ve kept everything to herself, but she’d gone and made a mess of things and if Ria remembered what Angela had said about Kevin, Angela knew he would be in for some trouble.

“Look Angie I…” Kevin began struggling to find the right words to say to her. His dark eyes were filled with mixed emotions and all she could do was smile at him.

“Go enjoy your meal. We didn’t mean to bother you Kevin. Everything is in check here, so don’t let me bring you down. Enjoy life,” she pleaded with him hoping to avoid this situation sooner rather than later.

Kevin opened his mouth to speak again, but finally nodded and turned away. Once he’d gone beyond earshot of the table Chris looked to Angela with curious eyes.

“What did I miss here? What was that all about?” Chris couldn’t help but ask her

“I think I put my foot in my mouth at the wrong moment in time without realizing it,” Angela confessed feeling embarrassed for what she’d said to Ria. Now that she watched Kevin sink into the seat beside Ria at the booth, she vowed not to let that happen again. Focusing on Chris, she offered up a pained expression before speaking up again, “How about we just get our food to go? I’m not really in the mood to stay around and chat here? I’d rather go to your place and maybe get a jump start on packing so that I can just get back home after we go to this party.”

“I really wish you’d reconsider your decision to leave,” he sighed hating the idea of her going away again.

“Chris, given all that’s happened to me over the last year, I think the safest thing for everyone right now is for me to get as far away from them as possible. I’ve already done enough to hurt those I care about and I won’t continually ruin their lives,” she decided giving Kevin and Ria one last look before vowing to do them a favor and leave them alone once and for all. Kevin was happy with Ria and she wanted to see that happiness continue even if it meant getting as far from him as possible in the process.


“This is a great seat,” Kellen decided holding Charles around the waist as Charles sat on Kellen’s knee looking out at the people before him and clapping his hands together. “I think Charles likes this seat too you know.”

“What makes you think that?” Kipp laughed reaching out to run his hand through his son’s short dark hair. A small smirk appeared over his features as he saw Charles clap his hands again and looking up at the people in the air above them.

“Kellen,” a little voice echoed through both their ears as Kellen felt a pair of little arms wrap around his neck. Kellen turned to see Kayla before him as he let out a small smile. “I missed you so much Kellen.”

“Hey Kayla,” Kellen wrapped his free arm around her giving her a small hug. He felt her squeeze tighter around his neck before letting him go as he playfully rubbed at his neck. “Little girl, have you been working out because you just got me in a neck hold where I was about to tap out.”

“Kellen,” Kayla playfully pushed at his shoulder before motioning Dave and Carly to come and sit with her as she took a seat next to Kellen. “It’s so cool that you are here today.”

“Kayla honey,” Carly sat down next to her glancing down at Kellen who Kayla was so friendly with. Carly noticed Kipp and knew who he was, but she was interested with the one that Kayla seemed to be attached to right now. “Do you know this man?”

“Mommy,” Kayla smiled pointing over at Kellen as his blue eyes looked down at her and a smile developed over his features. “This is Kellen. He is another one of my swim instructors, but he is…what are you again?”

“I’m her second instructor,” Kellen informed Carly with a small smile holding tighter on Charles before reaching his hand out to shake Carly’s. “My name is Kellen Meloni and it’s very nice to have met you today.”

“It’s nice to meet you too Kellen,” Carly smiled seeing Kellen look over at Dave before smiling and waving at Dave who waved back. Carly pointed back at Dave as Kellen‘s blue eyes met hers. “You’ve met him before I take it?”

“I met him a couple of days ago,” Dave answered for Kellen seeing Carly glance over at him with small smile. “He’s a very nice young man and our daughter just thinks he is the coolest.”

“It’s because he is the coolest,” Kayla pointed out wrapping her arm around Kellen and tugging on it gently before whispering something in Kellen’s ear. “You are the best swimmer I have ever seen…even better than my daddy.”

“Well thank you very much,” Kellen smiled widely before noticing Kayla looking over at Charles who was now also staring back at her with his big eyes. “Kayla this is Charles and I think he likes you.”

“Hi Charles, he is so cute” Kayla waved seeing Charles put his hand up before looking down at his fingers again and looking back up towards the ceiling. Kayla turned around to look back at Dave and Carly before frowning. “I think I want a little brother too.”

“Yeah,” Dave paused and gulped down not quite knowing how to answer that as he took the easy way out and pointed towards the center of the floor. “Look honey, the show is about to start. It’s going to be so cool.”


“Hey, I think you are a pro at this now,” Cori informed Lindsay with a wide smile seeing Lindsay carefully take a right turn down the side streets before nervously slowing down. “You have been doing really good. If you keep up the good work you will have a license before all your friends do.”

“That would be so cool,” Lindsay nodded slowly catching something out of the corner of her eye as she let out a small gasp and turned away towards Cori. “This is not good.”

“What? What is it?” Cori questioned quickly, noticing that Lindsay was no longer looking at the road because of something she had saw. “What’s going on?”

“That’s JJ, he‘s the cutest guy in my whole school. I can‘t let him see me like this and in a car. He knows my father and my mother and..” Lindsay pointed out towards one of the boys that were playing basketball. She saw one of the boys stop and look out at them as Lindsay quickly pushed down on the pedal still not looking at the road before taking a quick turn.

The car came crashing to a stop as Lindsay let out a long gasp realizing what it was she did. She let out a small groan after being thrown forward and then back again by the seatbelt.

“Oh my god, what did I do?” Lindsay questioned realizing that she had ran Cori’s brand new sports car into the tree down the street after she had turned without paying attention. “What am I going to do? I’m too young I am going to get in trouble.”

“Calm down Lindsay,” Cori hushed her trying to find a way to make her quiet down a little bit. Cori placed her hand on the dashboard before thinking things over. “We can fix this.”

“Cori, somehow I don’t think we can fix this,” Lindsay gasped realizing what she had done and what was going to happen to her. “Cori, I am dead. I am so dead for even getting in a car and driving like this. Worst of all this was your new car and…”

“Don’t worry about it,” Cori cut off Lindsay quickly and held her hands up in the air thinking about the options ahead of her and everything she was going to say to make Lindsay less worried. “My brother is head chief at the police station and we can make this work. I’ll make sure no one knows it was you that crashed the car. It was me--I promise you won’t get in trouble for this.”

“Are you sure?” Lindsay questioned worriedly again seeing Cori nod slowly before taking off her seatbelt so they could switch sides and make the people believe it was Cori that hit the tree. It was a good thing that Cori wasn’t mad at her, but if no one believed them it was going to be a very bad thing.


“Heather I don’t think you should go with Cameron,” Diego frowned upon her request knowing what kind of fire he’d be playing with if he accepted her offer, “He’s trouble.”

“So save me from myself and go with me,” she wiggled her brow at him daring him to just take a chance on her, “You know you’ll have fun with me and it’ll give me an excuse to blow Cameron off.”

“Heather, I’m not going to the party,” he shook his head at her, “I can’t do it.”

“Why not? It’s for a good cause and besides I think it would be just what we both need,” she leaned in closer to his desk, “We could have a really good time together I’m sure.”

“As much as I’m sure we could, I just don’t think that now is the time. I’m behind on work and I really need to catch up with a few patients I’ve neglected lately and…” he tried to let her down easily.

“Oh come on Diego. I’m sure that they will let you have one night of freedom,” she batted her eyelashes at him, “If you’re worried about my trying to rip your clothes off again, well we’ll be in public and I’ll behave myself unless of course you really would prefer I didn’t…”

“Heather, look,” he sighed heavily hating to be put in such a tentative position, “as much as I’d like to help you out with this, I just can’t get into that whole party scene.”

“But it’s for a good cause,” she sprung up to her feet again, “It’s a night of fun and entertainment to help the troubled youth of Coral Valley and you’d be a fool not to at least try to participate. I mean you’re acting like going with me would be the kiss of death.”

“Of course it wouldn’t be. You’re a beautiful, wonderful woman and I enjoy your company very much, but for us to go together on a date,” he shook his head at her a sigh spilling over his lips, “I’m just not ready for that yet.”

“Oh so it was okay for you to tempt and tease me in my apartment by letting me dare you into a game of strip poker, yet when it gets down to being out in public with me, that’s not good enough for you,” her eyes narrowed at him, “Here you’ve been getting on me about how I should care more about the world around me and I’m doing what I can to make that happen. I’m getting involved and rather than support me you’d rather snub your nose at me, right?”

“Heather it’s not that, but…” he started again watching her agitation grow.

“You’re an idiot if you don’t take me up on this offer Diego. You should be at this party,” she challenged watching him closely in the hopes that he’d step up to the plate to prove her wrong.

“Then I guess I must be an idiot then because I’m not going,” he planted his palms down firmly on the desk top, “and if you’re smart then you won’t be going with Cameron. You’ll find another date to the party and…”

“And just make sure that he’s not some respectable doctor in town because to men like him I’m not good enough to take out on the town, but they’d rather keep me locked behind closed doors like a common whore, right?” Heather’s eyes narrowed down at him, her anger flashing behind her eyes, “You know you pretend that you’re better than the rest of them Diego, but you’re not. At least with Cameron he doesn’t pretend to want something from me that he doesn’t. He doesn’t act like he gives a damn when it’s plain to see he’s using me.”

“Heather, I’m not trying to hurt your feelings, it’s just…” he stood up seeing her make a move towards his office door.

“It’s just that you’d like to enjoy the power trip that comes along with getting a woman like me to prance around like a moron to capture your attention, right? You like the thrill of the chase leaving me so close to victory only to kick me while I’m down right?” she shook her head at him before a huff spilled past her lips, “You know Diego, I’m not the pathetic one. You are and if you’re too ignorant to deny what it is you want, then you really aren’t worthy of my time anyways.”

“Heather…” he watched her stomp out of his office slamming the door behind her.

While he’d intended to just brush her off lightly, he could see that he’d sparked a fire inside of her, one that wouldn’t be easily put out. Sure, he’d always felt something towards her--there had been some kind of attraction, but then when he’d met Sarah all the rules had changed. Yet even after he’d slept with Sarah, he’d still tried to keep Heather at bay since Sarah had gone back to Kyle and it had backfired.

“I am an idiot,” Diego realize dropping down into his chair with an exaggerated sigh. Maybe Heather was right. Maybe he was going about this the wrong way after all. She was clearly asking for his help, reaching out to him and there he was shooting her down at every twist and turn. How hard would it have been to just say yes to going to the party with her? Would it have really killed him to have kept Cameron away from her? The answer was not plain and simple.

“But that doesn’t mean you still can’t help her,” he realized thinking about the upcoming party. While he was pretty sure it was too late to go as her date, he was certain that he could still make an appearance and check on her to make sure that Cameron wasn’t pulling anything on her. And hey, maybe while he was there, he’d see if Sarah was around as well. He was pretty sure if Blake was hosting the party, then Sarah would have found a way to show up. That in itself gave him motivation to consider Heather’s offer. Perhaps the party was a good idea after all.


...to be continued...