Episode 306

“I’m giving you your freedom Avery,” Brant explained motioning to the papers once again, “I had Hart draw these up earlier. Once you read through them I think you’ll see that they are pretty reasonable. If you do have a problem with anything on there though don’t hesitate to let me know and I’ll change it if need be.”

“Wait a second,” Russell stepped forward breaking his long silence, “Brant, are you trying to just pretend that you can do this and everything will be okay after what you’ve just tried to pull? First you try to get your friends to say that Erin is your daughter and not mine, then you fake a breakdown and you just expect us to be alright with that?”

“No, I don’t expect you to be alright and hell, I don’t expect either one of you to trust or like me right now, but I’m doing what’s right,” Brant’s gaze traveled over to Avery with one last longing look, “I know that it might not seem like I have good intentions with this…”

“Yeah, you’ve got that right,” Russ scoffed shaking his head at him.

“But I want to put an end to this now before things get out of hand. I want Erin to have a chance at being happy with her family. With her mother and her father,” Brant forced himself to look up at Russell and meet his green eyes, “I know that you hate me and that we’ll never be friends, but I do have one favor to ask of you Russ.”

Russell’s jaw stiffened at the idea of having to even listen to any kind of favor that would fall from Brant’s lips especially at a time like this. He saw something flash behind Brant’s eyes before Brant found the courage to speak up.

“Just make sure that you treat her right because if you don’t make her happy,” Brant trailed off leaving his statement open ended before directing his attention to Avery, “and you…well, I don’t even know where to start on this one because sorry doesn’t even seem to come close to cutting it.”

“Brant, I just don’t understand,” Avery replied realizing that phrase was becoming more and more common with her lately, “You said you wouldn’t lie to me again…”

“I guess I was just trying to hide behind the lie in the hopes that we could pick up where we left off before he returned,” Brant reached out as if he was going to touch her, but then pulled back his heart sinking in his chest, “but I guess I was just fooling myself. I’m sorry I hurt you, but I promise you that I won’t do it again. I’ll let you have your dream and I won’t ruin that for you.”

“Brant, I…” Avery started seeing him take a step back as Russ placed his arm around her waist protectively.

“I think I should give you two some time alone since heaven knows I’ve been stealing that away from the both of you lately,” Brant added giving her one last longing look before slipping out of the room with Hart at his feet.

“I think maybe I should follow that thought myself,” Augustus replied capturing Russ and Avery’s attention after he’d set a now sleeping Erin in her crib. He motioned to the doorway before taking a step forward, “I think you two should have some time to talk with one another. You’ve had a lot tossed out at you in the last hour and maybe it’s time you both discussed it with one another.”

“Thank you,” Avery replied with a small nod watching Augustus leave the room before she directed her attention to Russell knowing full well what the papers in her hand meant to their future.


Kyle stood on the back deck outside the Ashford Estate wondering what in the hell was up with Sarah lately. One minute things seemed to be back on track and then the next she was more jumpy than he’d cared to admit. Frowning as he thought about her constant mood swings, he vowed to find out what was really going on with her. Now however he was going to enjoy the view of this place even if it wasn’t exactly where he’d anticipated spending most of his time a short while ago.

“Maybe Augie isn’t doing anything. I can always go and harass him,” Kyle thought aloud turning towards the door wall ready to go inside when he found himself face to face with a smiling Heather.

“Why bother seeking out that old man when you can stay out here and harass me,” she teased with a small wink unable to resist the playful air in her tone.

“Harass you huh,” Kyle repeated giving her a very complete once over before cracking a grin in response, “I don’t know I might enjoy that too much Heather given how easy you’re making it for me.”

“I could make it very easy for you if you continue to play nice,” she took a small step closer to him, a hint of mischief in her tone as her eyes fixed on his, “Then again if you don’t want to play nice, I could probably make it very worth your while too.”

“Man, with lines like that,” Kyle stood up straighter unable to refrain from feeling the first hint of warmth spring to life inside of him at her obvious flirting, “I have to wonder how it is you could still be single.”

“Maybe it’s because the right guy is already taken,” she shrugged her shoulders, her smile starting to fade away ever so slightly leaving her blue-green eyes to lose some of their sparkle.

“Oh Heather,” Kyle reached out to touch her shoulder gently before his thumb brushed in against her cheek grazing it in a small sweep, “if you’re really feeling that hard up about things, I could always go flirt with Kellen long enough for you and Kipp to find a way to a reunion.”

“Ha, ha. Very funny,” she rolled her eyes at him before a sudden seriousness passed over her, “though if you’d consider running away with me, then maybe we could call it even there.”

“And risk the wrath of your sister,” Kyle shook his head at her, “I don’t think I’d dare try it.”

“And here I thought that you’d still had your spunk about you,” she curled her lips in a frown before walking over to the railing near the edge of the patio, “It would seem that true love has certainly gotten you into boring mode.”

“Now, I’d hardly consider myself boring Heather,” he mouthed stepping in closer to her. He knew she was baiting him, but he couldn’t help but resist playing along, “Come to think of it, I know you’re one of the last people in the world who could call me boring.”

“And just why is that?” she glanced over her shoulder tipping her head up to look at him with a small sigh.

“Because I happen to know that you know first hand how completely far from boring I can be,” he stepped in behind her, his hands pressing out on the railing beside her hands. “Come to think of it I think other than my times in college when I was a wild man, my times back at home being a kid with you were pretty much the wildest times of my life.”

“Hmm, I think I vaguely remember them,” Heather turned around to face him, her eyelashes blinking up at him. She felt the proximity between them, the warmth of his body just inches from hers and a small jolt sprung up in the back of her throat as her pulse quickened.

“Vaguely my ass,” he wrinkled his nose at her, sliding his fingers across the railing inching in closer to her so that their fingers touched before he spoke up again, “You remember full well how much fun I was back in the day. More so judging by the color on your face I know you’re remembering how much fun we had together once upon a time…”

“If only Sarah had any idea just how fun you could truly be,” Heather’s gaze swept over him with sinful recognition before she let out a long sigh, “though I’m starting to think that all men these days just suck.”

“Well that’s the optimist moment of the day now isn’t it,” he spoke up with heavy sarcasm shaking his head at her, “What’s wrong? The head doctor giving you a hard time again?”

“A hard time would be putting it mildly,” she groaned inwardly falling back against the railing again, “He’s being damn near impossible Kyle. It’s like every time I get an inch with him, he’s ready to shut the door in my face. I just don’t get it.”

“I thought you two were making progress,” he frowned keeping his hand nestled against hers on the railing, “What happened?”

“More like what hasn’t happened?” Heather shook her head at him, “I mean I’ve tried just about everything. I tried behaving. I’ve tried being good, but he isn’t biting. I tried being nice, tried being the temptress, being the vixen, being demure, but nothing is working. It’s like whenever I try to charm him all he wants to do is kick me in the face.”

“I’m sure it’s not that bad,” Kyle sighed feeling her slide out from where she’d been caged between his arms. He saw her start to pace around the deck, her heels clicking on the stones beneath her feet.

“Believe me it is. I mean the other night I had him at my place--we were playing this hot game of Strip Poker and I was winning of course thanks to you teaching me how to master the game,” she smiled at him briefly before throwing her hands in the air, “but then well, Chris showed up and spoiled everything. Now he’s acting like the Grinch because of it.”

“Chris or Diego?” Kyle watched her closely.

“Well Diego of course,” she waved her hand at him dismissively, “Chris is just a big old two faced pain in the ass and I’m so not going to bother wasting my time with him considering that all he wants to do is get closer to Brant. He’ll use whoever gets in his path to try to find a way inside the secrets of the Ashford Mansion.”

“Yeah, well right about now I’d like to find my way out,” Kyle admitted thinking of the craziness that had been taking place around him lately, “I’m telling you Heather, you don’t want to know about what’s going on in here.”

“Believe me I already do,” she rolled her eyes thinking about Brant’s obsession with Avery, “I was engaged to Brant once you know.”

“Yeah, I kind of sort of heard a rumor about that,” Kyle stood taller watching her for a long moment, “Which had me wondering.”

“Wondering what?” she questioned giving him a long look, she ceased pacing as their eyes connected once again.

“How you could go that far down the food chain where men are concerned. I mean I get Diego. He seems like he’s kind of a nice guy and all, but…” Kyle started to explain himself.

“I’m done with nice guys. Hell, I’m done with men,” she announced waving her arms around as the pacing resumed again, “All they are when it gets down to the core are miserable little weasels who aren’t worth the air they breathe.”

“Um, I think I’m about to take some offense there,” Kyle brought his hand up over his chest feigning being wounded, “I’d like to think that I don’t rank in that group.”

“Kyle, you’re different,” she stilled her feet again, “I mean you’re not a man…no, that’s not what I mean. You’re just not a man like the rest of them. Hell, you were the first man I decided I was going to marry, but you had to go up and fall in love with my sister there instead of me.”

“Oh come on,” he laughed lightly moving closer to her, “Heather, you never would’ve married me. You said it yourself you think I’m boring.”

“At the moment I think you’re boring,” she corrected her eyes tapering off over the lines of his body, “but with the right environment you might be able to give any gal a good time.”

“And just what would be the right environment,” he challenged making a small movement towards her.

“One that allows you to be you and not this stuffy, watered down version of yourself,” she reached out to dust off his shoulder, her finger dropping down over the muscled cords of his body. She slid her palm out over his shoulder, feeling him tense up against her touch, “My you have been working out a lot since the last time I saw you.”

“Yeah you like that,” Kyle laughed lightly flexing his arm out to her, “Feel this. I’m sure it’ll get you going.”

“Oooh, it’s nice,” she confessed feeling him guide her hand over his bicep, taking the time to explore the results of all of his hard work to her touch, “and hard. Very nice.”

“You should feel my abs,” Kyle added feeling her hand slide in over the front of his t-shirt causing him to jump back ever so slightly. His eyes widened, “Heather, what are you doing?”

“Taking you up on your offer,” she decided dropping her hand down underneath his t-shirt to explore the planes of his body.

While he’d been teasing her, trying to show off, he hadn’t actually expected her to go for the gusto and give it a go in feeling his abdomen. Okay, who was he trying to kid? This was Heather. The same girl that had no qualms about hopping into his window during their misspent youth and spending night after night with him--the same girl that had driven him crazy with their own version of truth or dare years ago on an otherwise dark and stormy night.

“Very nice,” she mouthed in a hot whisper, teasing her fingers up over the center of his abdomen in a slow, leisurely pattern. She cracked a grin watching the way his breath caught in his throat at her touch before she used her free hand to reach for his palm, “Feel mine.”

“What?” he practically gulped watching her guide his hand up underneath her tight fitting baby blue colored t-shirt. Upon the first contact with her skin, his mind conjured up memories that he was quite certain that he shouldn’t be having right about now when he was worried about Sarah--worried about what was going on and…

“What do you think?” she questioned guiding his hand around her abdomen gently, “You can hardly tell that I’d gained a thing when I was pregnant with Charles. I’ve been working like crazy to get back into shape and…”

“It’s flawless,” he confessed biting down on his lip as he realized that she’d let go of his wrist and he’d been exploring her body of his own free will. He quickly shuffled to release her, “You should be proud.”

“I am, but unfortunately it seems the man I was trying to impress with all of this isn’t interested in giving it a go,” she shook her head removing her hand from his black t-shirt before taking a step back, “I mean honestly Kyle. What’s wrong with me? Do I have something that just makes me unappealing?”

“Um Heather, you have made your career on being sexy. I think if there’s a problem it’s with Diego, not you,” Kyle offered up still trying to recover from the memory of her nails scraping gently against his skin.

“Maybe it’s my breasts. Augustus made the comment that I should’ve gotten them done when I had that work on my face,” she sighed heavily drawing his attention to her cleavage by cupping them in her hands before letting out a groan, “Maybe I should’ve really done something about them. They are kind of pathetic in terms of what men seem to be drooling over these days…”

“Um Heather, I think they are fine,” Kyle felt his face grow red with embarrassment watching her move her chest around in an attempt to draw more attention to her less than overwhelming cleavage.

“You really think so?” she questioned tipping her head up just enough to see him staring at her chest unable to refrain from doing so.

“Yeah,” he cleared his throat uneasily, “I do, which is why you need to stop worrying about it. You’re beautiful Heather and if Diego can’t see it, then screw him. Well, don’t screw him literally, but just forget about him. I’m sure there are plenty of men out there who would love to spend some time with a woman like you. If you just open up your eyes and see what’s in front of you, then maybe you’ll see that Diego’s lack of interest is his loss, not yours.”

“Maybe,” she shrugged curling her hands into fists, “but it still gets me so damned mad that he thinks he can just blow me off like this.”

“Forget about it,” he suggested again, “In fact, why don’t you push Diego out of your mind for a while and focus on something fun?”

“Such as?” Heather glanced over at him again.

“Well, you were saying how boring I am, but I tend to differ with you on that opinion. Tomorrow night there’s going to be a big party that Blake is hosting and if you’d like, you can come along with Sarah and I and see just how wrong you are.”

“You mean me be a third wheel?” she wrinkled her nose at him, “No thank you. In fact I’m already going to the party, but I was hoping that I would be going with Diego instead of my date.”

“Date?” Kyle’s eyes perked up, “You have a date to this party, yet you’re worried about Diego?”

“Well yeah because I’m only going with Cameron and that’s nothing to get all excited about considering that…” she began waving her hand at him dismissively.

“Wait a second,” Kyle stood taller eyeing her intently, “Did you just say that you’re going with Cameron? As in Cameron Stone?”

She nodded, “Yeah he asked me to go with him since he’s working on helping me get things started with the agency and all and…”

“No way,” Kyle shook his head firmly, “There is no damn way.”

“No way about what?” she blinked back at him watching his scowl intensify.

“There is no way I’m letting you go anywhere with him Heather especially not after what he did to you,” Kyle explained matter of fact, “In fact the way I see it, you might be going to that party tomorrow, but it won’t be with Cameron Stone even if I have to stay at your side myself in order to ensure that it doesn’t happen.”


“So, did they say anything?” Blake questioned looking over to the passenger seat where Sarah was sitting and looking out the window blankly. Blake didn’t get an answer as she let out an exaggerated sigh. “Sarah, talk to me.”

“What?” Sarah glanced back at Blake seeing Blake roll her eyes before looking back towards the road. “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch what you said. What is it?”

“I asked you if they said anything,” Blake repeated her words seeing Sarah shake her head before clearing her throat. Blake tapped her fingers on her steering wheel before shrugging her shoulders. “Did they say anything at all.”

“Just that they would call me when they got the results,” Sarah informed Blake with a small sigh seeing the look of dissatisfaction at her answer. “What do you want me to say?”

“Hold on,” Blake pulled into a restaurant parking lot before motioning Sarah to get out of the car with her and walk into the restaurant. “We’re going to have a one on one conversation here.”

“What are we doing here?” Sarah questioned arching her eyebrow in curiosity as Blake turned to take a glance back at her. They sat down at one of the tables before Sarah shrugged her shoulders. “Why are we here?”

“It gives me some time to talk to you without having to worry about anything else,” Blake pointed out seeing Sarah nod before looking out the window beside her. “Anyways, this place has the best milkshakes around.”

“Somehow, I figured there was a catch,” Sarah chuckled before giving her attention back to Blake who seemed to be trying to read what was going on in Sarah’s mind. “So, what did you want to talk about?”

“I want to know what in the world is wrong with you,” Blake stated with a small shake of her head, her blue eyes grew wide as she threw her hands up in the air. “We’re going to a party tomorrow and I don’t want to be stuck with someone who is acting like she is depressed and hates the world.”

“I don’t hate the world,” Sarah shook her head slowly before slumping down in her seat and shrugging her shoulders thinking about what happened at the hospital. “Well, at least I don’t hate all of the world.”

“What is going on with you?” Blake couldn’t help but ask seeing Sarah shrug her shoulders once more before her dark glance met Blake’s. “You are even acting worse than you were when you first went to the hospital. What really went wrong in the hospital when I wasn’t with you?”

“Nothing,” Sarah lied looking up into Blake’s blue eyes, seeing that Blake didn’t believe that at all. You could just tell by the look on Blake’s face that she wasn’t going to let go of it at all. “Okay, I ran into Diego at the hospital right after I took the test.”

“You ran into Diego?” Blake gasped seeing Sarah nod slowly as Blake folded her hands out in front of her on the table. She thought of something to say before the first thing came out. “What did that jerk want from you now?”

“I don’t know,” Sarah sighed thinking about everything that was happening with both men in her life with Kyle and Diego. If she was pregnant who was the father? It all depended on how old the baby was, that would truthfully tell her who the father was. “He just seems to be everywhere I turn these days.”

“So did you tell him to screw off?” Blake asked angrily seeing Sarah look away from her and Blake knew what the answer was with that action. She threw her hands up in the air and let out small groan of disbelief in the way her best friend was acting. “What is wrong with you? You shouldn’t even be talking to him right now.”

“What was I supposed to say?” Sarah tried to defend herself looking up at Blake, seeing the anger behind her eyes. “I can’t just tell him to go away.”

“Yes you can,” Blake snapped tapping her hand against the table gently as she thought of something to come back with. “You could have said sure, we slept together once, but I have a hotter and a better boyfriend that I was to be with for the rest of my life. You can’t keep wasting your time with Diego because your future is meant to be with Kyle. You need to realize that.”

“I know, I know,” Sarah let out a small breath seeing Blake about to continue before thinking twice and letting Sarah continue. “I’m trying to get him to leave me alone and I know that I am meant to be with Kyle. I’m just worried about this whole pregnancy thing.”

“Yeah, and if that baby doesn’t belong to Kyle,” Blake paused thinking about the consequences of what Sarah would have to go through, “Kyle will never forgive you and you will probably never have him again. He will leave you so fast that you won’t even see him walking out that door.”

“This baby if I’m pregnant has to belong to Kyle,” Sarah tried to convince Blake, also trying to convince herself in the process. If she was pregnant she wanted it to be Kyle’s so bad, but there was still a possible chance that it wouldn’t be. “Anyways, even if it isn’t Kyle’s--I’m going to keep it from him. I’m going to make sure that he thinks it belongs to him.”

“Yeah, that’s a smart idea,” Blake rolled her eyes at Sarah’s comment before shaking her head slowly. Blake rested back in her seat before trying to inform Sarah with what was going to happen if that baby didn’t belong to Kyle. “So when you are in the delivery room and a baby comes out looking like Diego with the jet black hair and the tan colored skin, what then?”

“Well Kyle in adopted,” Sarah blurted out seeing Blake let out a small laugh as Sarah shrugged her shoulders and thought of something else to say. “And Kyle is kind of tan.”

“Yeah, after he has been in the sun for a couple of hours,” Blake pointed out with small shake of her head before folding her arms out in front of her chest. “You have to realize Sarah, I know Kyle is adopted and everything, but somehow I don’t think he has the Mexican background in him. Maybe French, German and hey he might even get away with being Polish because that’s what I am and most people wouldn’t guess that, but somehow I don’t think Kyle would believe that.”

“Well, we don’t need to think that far ahead,” Sarah tried to hush Blake down before shrugging her shoulders and thinking about what Blake said. “We don’t even know if I am pregnant or not yet and if I am, I will come up with something because I am not going to lose Kyle.”


Seth walked through the front door of the Ashford mansion hoping to possibly find Blake and to see if she had come back from the store with Sarah yet. Before Kyle had left it was okay because he actually had someone to talk to, but since Kyle left it was kind of lonely all by himself back there. It was also uncomfortable to him considering that he didn’t even live here and nothing on the property really belonged to him.

“Blake?” Seth called out her name hearing a noise come from inside the kitchen and he followed the noise only to come face to face with Augustus Ashford. “Oh, Mr. Ashford--I’m sorry. I thought you were actually…”

“My granddaughter, she‘s not back yet,” Augustus nodded before walking back and grabbing the water that he had gotten himself. He shrugged his shoulders before giving Seth another glance. “I see you got that shirt you needed.”

“About that,” Seth cleared his throat uneasily seeing the way that Augustus was eyeing him over carefully. Seth folded his arms out in front of his chest before shrugging his shoulders. “I didn’t mean to walk in like that, Blake just kind of pushed me out and I’m sorry Mr. Ashford.”

“Please Seth, call me Augustus,” Augustus motioned Seth to follow him into the library seeing the worry that seemed to develop behind Seth’s dark eyes. “Son, I’m not going to kill you. I just want to talk to you for a moment.”

“Listen Augustus,” Seth stepped into the library seeing Augustus take a seat at his desk before folding his hands out in front of him. “I know I may not be all you expect in a man for your granddaughter, but if you will let me explain for a minute I’m sure you will understand.”

“Not what I was going to talk to you about, but sure go ahead,” Augustus nodded over towards the couch and motioned Seth to sit down before leaning forward in his seat. “Go ahead son, what were you going to say.”

“Well, I know I may not seem like the whole package and I know I don’t have a lot, but…” Seth paused knowing that everything he was probably saying was worthless because there was no way that he could measure up to someone like the great Augustus Ashford. “I love Blake so much and that’s what matters the most. I’m willing to give her my heart and I would give up everything to be with her. I know that I’m not the kind of guy you would like her to be with…”

“Of course you are,” Augustus hushed standing up from his chair and walking around the desk, sitting down on the edge of the desk before shrugging his shoulders. “You just proved to me that you are a good man that is offering up the one thing Blake has always needed and that is your love. That’s all I ever wanted for Blake and with you it seems like she has that love she’s always wanted. I just want to let you know that I have nothing against you and I never will. I look forward to the wedding in fact.”

“The wedding may take a while,” Seth chuckled to himself before taking in a deep breath and thinking about the way he had met Augustus earlier. “I appreciate what you said, but can I ask you one question?”

“Anything son,” Augustus nodded seeing the way that Seth was hesitating in asking him a question. “What’s on your mind?”

“When I met you earlier today Augustus it didn’t seem like you would even give me a second though,” Seth informed him seeing the way Augustus’s dark eyes were staring out at him. “I mean, why now?”

“I’m always like that when I see my Blake growing up so fast, I just don’t want her to get hurt,” Augustus stated with a deep sigh before shrugging his shoulders and thinking about everything that had been happening. “I was gone for quite a long time and I realized what I have missed out on. Blake is all grown up now and it’s hard letting go sometimes, but I want her happy and I can see that you make her happy Seth. There was actually another reason I asked you in here earlier.”

“Oh really?” Seth scooted forward in his seat before clearing his throat once more realizing that Augustus was actually going to give him a shot. He didn’t think it would happen just like that, but it took a lot of pressure off of him knowing that Augustus was going to actually give him a shot. “What about?”

“I just wanted to get to know you kiddo, you are my granddaughter’s fiancé you know,” Augustus pointed out with a small smile before folding his arms out in front of his chest. “So, what’s something to know about you Seth?”


“Why can’t I do anything right when it comes to Sarah?” Diego asked himself leaning back in his desk chair thinking about the earlier events before Sarah ran off on him once again. There were so many things that he wanted to say to her and give to her, but she never gave him a chance. She would freak whenever Kyle was around or mentioned. “Something has to be wrong with her and with the way she has been acting lately.”

Every time he had been around her lately she would be so jumpy and hardly even talk to him. If she truly wanted to be with Kyle so bad then how come every time he was with her she always wanted to be around him and be with him.

“I know that deep down she loves me,” Diego tried to convince himself looking up towards the ceiling of his office thinking about the way she kissed him earlier. “That just proves to me that I have to show her we are meant to be together.”

There was a knock on his door as he cleared his throat that hoping possibly it was Sarah coming back to talk to him about things. Maybe she hadn’t left yet and maybe she was just going to tell him that…

“Come in,” Diego cleared his throat realizing that he had to stop making conclusions at work. He was working and it had just as good of a chance that it would be someone he worked with coming to tell him something. When the door opened and the person stepped in he realized that he was truthfully very wrong on both accounts. “Cori? What are you doing here?”

“Why hello Diego,” Cori shut the door behind her carefully before offering up a small smile and walking over to his desk, setting her purse down on the edge of the desk. “I was hoping that two of us could have a chat.”

“Sure,” Diego cleared his throat uneasily before sitting up straighter in his chair, seeing her dark eyes glaring down at him. He offered up a small smile and shrugged his shoulders. “So, what’s on your mind?”

“I just thought you would like to know what has been going on in my life lately,” Cori stated sitting down on the edge of his desk and watching him carefully. “You know, since you decided to leave it because of some blonde bimbo.”

“Cori, that wasn’t the reason,” Diego tried to explain realizing that no matter what he said still wouldn’t change her mind and her hate towards him. “Well, for what it is worth--I’m sorry.”

“It’s worth nothing to me anymore,” Cori stated with a small scowl before shaking her head slowly and touching her neck as she let out a small wince. “Not like you care, but you know I was in a car accident tonight.”

“Cori, are you okay? What did the doctors say?” Diego questioned worried about his once friend that now obviously hated him. “How did it happen?”

“Like it even matters to you Diego,” she snapped standing up from his desk, seeing the way that he looked up at her with worry and went to stand up before she pushed him back down. “You wouldn’t have even cared if I died tonight Diego.”

“Cori,” Diego frowned quickly getting up from his seat as she walked away from him and reached out to touch her shoulder gently. “That’s not true, I would have been very upset. I cant still be your friend and I still want to, it‘s just we can be an item. We would ruin the thing we had between us and I didn’t want to take that away.”

“What thing between us are you talking about Diego? As far as I view it, there is nothing between us anymore,” Cori pushed his hand away from her before offering up a small smile and thinking about what happened. “Anyways, I just thought you might like to know that I have a man now. One that is twenty times better than you and he cares about me more than you ever did.”

“I’m happy for you,” Diego tried to assure her with a small smile before holding his hands up in the air. “That’s what you need, something that I couldn’t do. Be a person that…”

“He more of a man than you could ever be Diego,” she scowled seeing him look away from her before nodding slowly and resting his hands on his hips. “He cares about my feelings and he would never do the things that you did to me.”

“Listen Cori, I said that I’m sorry and that’s pretty much all I can do,” Diego tried to apologize again before noticing the way she was glaring at him. “I’m happy that you have someone new. I just want you to be happy Cori.”

“Yeah, well I am,” Cori rolled her eyes and walked towards the door to leave before a smile spread over her features. She turned back to grab her purse before staring him in the eyes. “I also noticed that Sarah is back with Kyle now. I must say I am proud she found a real man that can please her more than you ever could.”

Cori smiled at the way she saw a muscle in Diego’s jaw tighten and she knew what she was saying was getting to him. She walked over towards the door before turning around again.

“I also heard that compared to him your nickname would be Stuart Little,” Cori smirked seeing the way that he tried to make the anger behind his eyes and he shrugged his shoulders walking back over towards desk to sit down.

“Doesn’t bother me either way,” Diego stated with a small yawn lifting his legs up and resting them against the table. “I hope you have a nice day Cori.”

With that final sentence Cori was out his door and he was left there thinking about what she said. If all that was true, Sarah wouldn’t continue to come back to hurt him unless she was truly trying to hurt Kyle.

“No, that can’t be what’s going on,” Diego assured himself realizing while Sarah might be doing this to Kyle right now, she wouldn’t be that cold hearted. “She has to love me.”


“Are you going to be okay kiddo?” Don wrapped his arm around his younger sister as he walked up towards his front door, handing Shannon the keys as he looked down at Lindsay. “Are you feeling okay right now?”

“I’m fine,” Lindsay assured him with a small smile seeing the way her big brother’s blue eyes looked into hers before she shrugged her shoulders. “My wrist hurts a little bit, but I will be okay.”

“Okay, but promise your big brother that if you need anything at all that you will tell me,” Don pressed a small kiss in against his little sister’s cheek before letting her go inside first and he followed behind her. “You didn’t say I promise.”

“I promise Don,” she laughed seeing him give her a small wink before walking over into the living room and seeing him give her a small glance. “Where do you want me to go?”

“Just sit down,” Don motioned her to take a seat on his couch before shrugging his shoulders and pointing back towards the kitchen. “Me and Shannon are going to go get you some ice, so you stay put kiddo.”

“I’m sitting,” Lindsay held her hands up in the air before slowly taking a seat and seeing him make sure that she was there before walking into the kitchen with Shannon at his side.

“So, what do you think?” Shannon questioned seeing him get a small bag and go over to the freezer to pull out some ice to put in it. “About Cori.”

“I don’t know,” Don sighed thinking about everything they had told him at the hospital, still feeling his heart beating rapidly from when he was told his sister was in an accident. “I don’t trust Cori though because Lindsay got hurt and of course she is young so she won’t tell you the whole truth, but something seems fishy here.”

“I agree with you,” Shannon stated seeing his blue eyes give her a small look before he motioned her to follow him and she spoke up before they entered the living room again. “I just don’t trust something about the story.”

“Hey kiddo,” Don held his index finger up in the air to motion Shannon to be quiet for a moment as he walked over towards Lindsay and sat down next to her. He handed her the ice before speaking up once more. “Lindsay, what really happened tonight?”

“I told you what happened Don,” Lindsay lied not wanting to be in trouble for accepting something she knew was wrong in the first place. If she told Don what happened, she would have to face the wrath of her mother and that’s what scared her the most. “It’s no big deal, it was just a little thing.”

“No big deal,” Don went to argue further hearing the door open and then slam shut. He glanced over towards the front door seeing Nate standing there before them with a displeased look over his features.

Don called Nate earlier while he was at the hospital to ask him if he would drop Nate off at the neighbors house where they would watch him while Nate had to go to work for a couple of hours. By the look on Nate’s face he wasn’t very happy at all.

“You look happy,” Don pointed out with a small smile seeing him pull off his jacket and throw it onto the chair as he walked into the living room and point out at Shannon. “I think he wants you honey.”

“What’s wrong Nate?” Shannon questioned with a small laugh seeing the scowl that developed over his features. She folded her arms out in front of her chest before offering up a small smile. “Did your first day of community service at the hospital not work good for you?”

“Because of you choosing everything I have to do I had to change bedpans at work today,” Nate let out a disgusted growl, looking down to his hands and looking back up at Shannon. “I can’t even begin to tell you how disgusting it was to be taking care of that stuff and cleaning it up.”

“Hey,” Shannon held her hands up in the air realizing that he brother was truly very mad at her by the look in his eyes. She offered up a small smile seeing his green eyes narrow in over at her. “You had to learn somehow.”

“I hate you so much,” Nate spat throwing his hands up in the air and shaking his head slowly. “Why do you always have to be such a bit…” Nate heard Don clear his throat and Nate looked over to see a younger woman sitting on the couch. “Such a jerk.”

“I’m your older sister and that’s what you are supposed to think,” Shannon pointed out seeing him take a step forward towards her and rest his hands on hips. “I hope you enjoyed today because you have more work ahead of you little bro.”

“I can’t believe you Shannon, I feel disgusted right now and everyone I have asked doesn’t even have hand sanitizer,” Nate groaned in frustration before feeling a tap on his arm as he looked down to see the younger woman offering up some hand sanitizer to him. “Oh, thank you.”

“No problem,” Lindsay assured him watching the two continue to fight before she leaned in closer to Don so he could hear her better when she whispered what she was about to say. “Are they always like this with one another.”

“Pretty much,” Don nodded looking up at Nate and Shannon as they fought back and forth with each other. “My best advice would just be to go in the other room while I try to calm things down.”

“If you need me I will be in the guest room,” Lindsay shrugged getting up from the couch and walking around the couch so she wouldn’t get in the way of Nate and Shannon. “Good luck.”

“Thanks,” Don chuckled watching her go into the bedroom as he stood up and stepped between the two with a small frown. “Listen you two, you both need to calm down before something happens.”

“I’m not going to calm down until she apologizes,” Nate replied with a small frown seeing Shannon roll her eyes and fold her arms out in front of her. “She doesn’t even care about me and I’m tired of it.”


Kipp took another look at the papers in front of him, reading them over carefully as he sat in his car in front of Cameron’s house. There were so many plans that Heather and Cameron had come up with, he just wanted to make sure that the plan was one hundred percent safe for Heather.

Letting out a deep sigh he realized there was nothing he could come up with to make Heather turn back from this plan she had set up with Cameron. There were so many things that he wished he said to Heather before he left, but even if he had said those things she still probably wouldn’t have listened to him. He didn’t quite understand why she was going to forgive Cameron just like that, but it was obvious that there was no turning back her decision so he had to finalize this for and only for her. If it was his decision, Cameron wouldn’t even be considered, but unfortunately this was how things had to go because it was Heather’s choice--not his.

Kipp got out of his car and slowly walked up the long driveway to Cameron’s front door seeing the way that sky started to darken over. Sure, he didn’t want to be here doing this, but if this was what it took to make Heather happy and things safe he was going to do it for her and only her now.

“Open up Cameron,” Kipp yelled out after ringing the doorbell once and was about to do it again, until Cameron opened up the door with a smile on his face. “Good, you’re actually here.”

“I was expecting you, of course I was here,” Cameron motioned Kipp to take a step inside the house and over towards the library as Kipp cautiously walked in front of Cameron, taking a small glance back to see Cameron following him. “Don’t worry, I’m not going to attack you or anything.”

“Funny,” Kipp offered up a sarcastic laugh and saw Cameron shrug his shoulders before walking over towards his desk and taking a seat on the edge of it. “So, I came here because of the papers Heather signed and wanted me to give you. The contract is ready to be set between the two of you.”

“I think I know why you came here Kipp,” Cameron pointed out seeing Kipp watching him carefully as he shrugged his shoulders and saw Kipp glaring out at him. “I mean, why else would you be here other than the contracts because I know you wouldn’t want to be here at all if you had the choice.”

“You’re right,” Kipp nodded watching Cameron’s dark eyes narrow in over at him as Kipp shrugged his shoulders and held the papers close to him. “I wouldn’t want to see you ever again in my lifetime if I had a choice.”

“That’s really too bad Kippy,” Cameron smirked before standing up and rubbing his hands together. Cameron reached out to grab the papers seeing Kipp pull them away from his grasp as Cameron arched his eyebrow at Kipp in curiosity. “That is the contract isn’t it?”

“Yeah, it is,” Kipp nodded with a small scowl seeing Cameron reach for the papers again as Kipp pulled them away from his grasp and held them tighter in his grasp. “Before you sign these, I want to make one things very clear with you Cameron.”

“Really?” Cameron let out a small laugh folding his arms out in front of his chest thinking about everything that was going on. He should of known having Kipp take care of everything was a bad thing because there was sure to be some issues between the two of them. “What do you want to talk about now? I thought we had everything set already. I talked to Heather…”

“Heather doesn’t know anything about what I am about to say to you,” Kipp stated realizing that Heather would just tell him to keep going, but she wasn’t here right now so he was going to continue with what he was talking about. Cameron may have thought that everything was going to happen right away and be perfectly fine, but he had to make sure that everything was going to work out perfectly. “I just want to let you know that if you screw with Heather over this Cameron, I swear I will make your life a living hell.”

“Do I have to say this a million time?” Cameron questioned throwing his hands up in the air angrily and thinking about how many times he had gone over this with each and every person that had stepping in front of him over this situation. “I told Heather I was sorry and I know that it probably means nothing, but I’ve changed now. I will not do anything to screw her over. I want her to be happy and whether you believe it or not, that’s what I want and I’m just trying to help her along here.”

“Fine, I will trust you for now Cameron,” Kipp handed Cameron the papers and felt Cameron tug on them, but Kipp didn’t let go of them just yet. “Just remember that if you do, next time you might be the one that gets shot in the back.”

“Alright,” Cameron nodded slowly before shaking his head and walking over towards the desk to sign where he was supposed to, looking over the papers carefully. “So Kipp, tell me--you still love Heather don’t you?”

“As a friend, yes,” Kipp answered seeing a smile spread out throughout his features as he continued to sign the papers. “What does it matter to you?”

“I just figured since you are here acting like you are Mr. Hero you might be hopelessly in love with her again,” Cameron informed him looking up at to see Kipp shoot him a scowl as Cameron shrugged his shoulders and held his hands up in the air. “Hey, I was just thinking and I guess I was wrong.”

“You were wrong Cameron,” Kipp agreed with a small frown folding his arms out in front of his chest before shaking his head slowly. “I just want you to realize that no matter what you do, I have my eyes on you and I’m not going to let you hurt her. Not now and not ever.”

“Don’t worry Kipp,” Cameron stood up straight patting the small man on the back and offering up a small smile. “I don’t plan on hurting at all. I’m just trying to help out.”


JT walked into the kitchen just in time to see Eve wrinkle her nose at the dirty water in front of her realizing that while she‘d gotten the dishes done, she‘d also managed to soak herself in the process. Sure she’d changed into the uniform the waitress had provided her with, but she hadn’t had any opportunity to change out of those seduce me shoes that were bound to get her into trouble. Still JT knew right now he was the one calling all the strings with his little rebel and he couldn’t help but be amused.

“So are you ready for me to call the police yet?” he questioned amusement evident in his tone, “or are you a bit more willing to cooperate?”

“You people are slobs,” she huffed spinning around to glare at him, her fingers wrinkled from the water she’d been washing the dishes in, “and I’m sure what you did to me tonight is highly illegal. I mean look at my hands.”

“Maybe they will serve as a reminder that honest work beats out crime in the future,” he suggested leaning in against the wall and watching her intently, “It might prompt you to think twice before trying to rip a guy off.”

“Look I told you I’d pay you back,” she tossed the washrag in her hands down into the water causing a splash in the process sending it shooting right up to her face. She let out a harsh squeal before wiping at her eyes in a huff.

“Are you alright,” JT couldn’t help but ask taking a step towards her. He reached out to her bringing his fingers over hers to pull her hands away for a closer inspection.

“Get away!” she sneered at him with another groan.

“Let me take a look,” he frowned seeing her squinting as he pulled her away from the sink towards the doorway. “Let me get you underneath the light to take a look.”

“I asked you to leave me alone,” she frowned feeling him watch her closely. She opened her mouth to protest, but soon her vision returned to normal and she scowled up at him, “Are you finished torturing me yet?”

“I’m not trying to torture you. I’m just trying to teach you a lesson,” he explained reaching for a clean rag and bringing it near her eye. He wiped at the water stain on her cheek and held her gaze for a long moment. Granted he’d walked into the room to harass her and give her a hard time, yet there was something so familiar about her dark eyes. Unable to contain himself he wiped at her cheek once more, “There’s something so familiar about you…”

“Oh please,” she rolled her eyes at him, “You’re just trying to find a way to make my life even more miserable by trying to tempt me to stealing your wallet again. I mean really if you think I’m going to take the bait this time, I’m not because you’ve already made my life miserable enough!”

“Well good then, maybe you will have learned,” he took a step back seeing that he’d wiped off some of her thick, black eyeliner when he’d dabbed the cloth against her face. While she’d been trying to play it up hard, there was something soft and feminine and beautiful behind those brown eyes that now narrowed at him in anger.

“Oh I learned alright,” she glared at him, curling her hands into fists at her sides, “I’ve learned that all men are jerks and they think that they can get away with everything, yet when you try to get ahead, they just kick you down.”

“I’m not trying to kick you down Eve, but I have to tell you if you keep playing cons one day you’re going to get yourself hurt--maybe even killed. When I stepped in the other night it looked like you were in over your head,” JT explained watching her fold her arms in front of her chest defiantly.

“I was handling it,” she snarled up at him, “and I would’ve been able to get out of the situation just fine if you wouldn’t have put your nose in it.”

“Yeah, right,” he remarked disbelieving, “if I hadn’t have stepped in, you wouldn’t have stolen my wallet and the money inside. Then you wouldn’t have had your thrill of the night.”

“It wasn’t a thrill and besides,” she curled her lip in a pout, “I said I would pay you back.”

“Oh I’m sure you will,” he nodded firmly giving her a long once over, “and since I’m so completely convinced I’ll never see the money out of you in this lifetime, I would strongly suggest that tomorrow you wear a better pair of shoes to work. Something that is perhaps comfortable and durable enough to keep you from getting blisters when you’re working over the sink there.”

“Wait a second,” she frowned up at him, “You don’t honestly expect me to come back tomorrow and do this again, do you?”

“Only if you want to keep that pretty little behind out of jail,” he winked down at her, “So I’ll expect you around six thirty. How does that sound?”

“Go screw yourself,” she shoved him aside before stomping out of the kitchen in an uproar. JT could hear her slamming things in her exit and he couldn’t help but laugh. Oh yeah, she’d be back. He was sure of it!


“Like you know what being a good person is Nate,” Shannon came right back at him seeing the frown that spread out throughout Nate’s features as she spoke up once more. “You’re not even close to being one Nate, all you are is a screw up.”

“Maybe if you cared a little bit more about me I might not be such a screw up,” Nate snapped at her throwing his hands up in the air when Shannon looked him in the eyes. “You have never been there for me Shannon.”

“I’m sure that’s not the case,” Don tried to calm the two of them down looking over at Nate who seemed to be a little upset with Shannon because Don had never seen that look on Nate’s face before. “She did get me out of jail.”

“Yeah, that’s because my mother would have killed her if she didn’t,” Nate informed Don with a small frown before shaking his head slowly. “Where were you Shannon when everyone had to bring in one of their siblings for show and tell in first grade. I sat waiting for you for hours and finally when show and tell was over my teacher told me it was okay. Where were you that day when I was in fourth grade and mom told you to come pick me up? I spent thirty minutes talking to my teacher and finally had to walk home by myself. Where were you on my twelfth birthday when everyone was singing happy birthday to me? You are a horrible sister that always broke my heart and I’m tired of you treating me like shit because I know I’m not. I’m a good person with a good heart and so what if I am not the smartest person in the world. I’m still your little brother and that should mean something to you.”

“Come on Nate,” Shannon begged letting out a small laugh at the way Nate was over acting in all of this. “You are talking about all the stuff that happened when we were young.”

“Fine, where were you when I graduated high school? Where were you when I went into a depression because the person I love most left me Shannon? You were never there for me and every time I needed your help you always weren’t there for me,” Nate pointed out shaking his head slowly before throwing his hands up in the air. “The only person that treats me like a normal human being is Matt and no one even cares that I have feelings too you know. I needed your help once, so what do you do? You make everything worse by putting me to do stupid work like this. You should be the one that is cleaning shit because you are the worse person and I’m not.”

“Hey,” Lindsay came up to Nate placing her hand against Nate’s seeing him glancing back at her with his green eyes as she motioned him to follow her. “Come talk to me for a minute.”

“Go ahead Nate,” Don nodded for Nate to follow Lindsay out towards the back door where Lindsay led him over towards the swings in the center of the backyard.

“Are you okay?” Lindsay questioned seeing Nate nod before resting his head against the chain of the swing. She reached out place her hand on his shoulder gently before giving it a small squeeze. “Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger you know.”

“I didn’t mean to blow up while you were there,” Nate apologized looking over at Lindsay with his green eyes, letting out a small sigh as he kicked his feet at the ground. “I just guess I have been holding some of my feelings in for a couple of years.”

“I’d say by what you were telling Shannon it has been about ten, maybe twelve years,” Lindsay pointed out seeing him nod slowly before letting out a small breath. “That’s a long time to keep something inside.”

“I’m not trying to be rude, but what’s your name?” Nate questioned looking over at her for a moment before offering up a small smile. “I can tell you are Don’s younger sister by the blue eyes and I know your young, but what’s your name?”

“I’m Lindsay,” she informed him seeing him nod slowly before offering up a small smile and shrugging her shoulders. “How could you tell I was young?”

“You have baby face,” Nate informed her with a smile, his dimples showing perfectly as he shrugged his shoulders taking a better look at her. “I’d say by the looks of things you are about fourteen almost fifteen?”

“See, you thought you weren’t smart,” Lindsay tried to make him feel better seeing him shrug his shoulders before she watched him carefully. “Listen Nate, no matter what Shannon says I think you are a nice guy and you are smart. You are a good guy and don’t let someone else bring you down because of their mistakes. She’s the one that missed out on all the things when you were younger, not you.”

“I can tell you are related to Matt,” Nate pointed out with a small smirk before shrugging his shoulders and thinking things over. He let out a small breath before pushing his semi-long blonde hair behind his ear. “You two are the only ones that can make me feel better after things that are hard on me.”

“Hey, well forget Shannon,” Lindsay tapped him on the arm gently with the back of her fingers before offering up a small smile seeing his green eyes looking into hers. “Be the funny and bright guy you are. I’m sure everything is going to work out and don’t worry about her because I think your great and I’ve only known you for a couple of minutes.”

“I think I’m about to adopt you as my little sister,” Nate smirked before standing up and reaching his hand out to her to help her up off the swing. “You want to play some Frisbee or something?”

“Sure,” Lindsay agreed to playing with him as he picked up the Frisbee from the ground before offering up a small smile and handing it over to her. She pointed back towards the house before walking over towards the big tree in the center of the yard. “You want to go over there?”

“Sure,” Nate replied walking away for a minute before turning back around to call out to her. “Hey, could you be careful throwing the Frisbee because last time I played I ended up falling on the roof and breaking my butt.”

“Sure,” Lindsay let out a small laugh seeing him nod slowly before getting in position. “I’ll make sure you won’t break your butt, I don’t have an arm like Matt anyways.”


“You are so not going to try to do that to me,” Heather warned wiggling her finger in Kyle’s face. “You can’t tell me who I can take to the party and who I can’t.”

“Sure I can,” Kyle nodded emphatically thinking about the things Cameron had put her through, “and I can make sure that you don’t go with him too. Just watch me.”

“Kyle Houston don’t you think for a second that you can go around big brothering me,” she placed her hands on her hips defiantly, “Just because you don’t like Cameron…”

“Um correct me if I’m wrong here Heather, but the guy was a real creep to you. He hurt you and I don’t like that,” he explained hating the idea of her spending any amount of time with her less than savory ex-husband, “I still want to kill him for what he did to you.”

“Yeah, well Kyle if you were going after each and every guy who hurt me, it would be a long list,” she sighed bringing her fingers up through her long, blonde hair, “Besides, don’t you have more important things to worry about like keeping my sister happy?”

“She wouldn’t be happy knowing that you’re spending time with Cameron again,” he explained with a small scowl placing his hands in his pants pockets, “especially after everything that’s transpired between the two of you.”

“Kyle, if you’re referring to what I told you in the hospital, that was something that only a few people know about,” Heather’s voice lowered a bit, not wanting anyone else to hear what they were talking about, “It’s in the past.”

“Not that far back,” he grumbled in response, “Besides, what does Kipp have to say about all of this? I know he’s not thrilled with Cameron either…”

“Kipp is running all of the legal aspects of my company, so you should be happy about that,” she explained matter of fact, “and he’s doing everything in his power to make sure Cameron is on the up and up. He apologized to me and wants to make amends for what’s happened. He told me that I can have free run of the company and do with it what I want no questions asked. The only thing he wants out of me is to ensure that I make a ton of money for him.”

“And you believe him when he says that?” Kyle shook his head at her before frowning again, “Heather, I think you’re a lot of things, but being naïve isn’t one of them.”

“Kyle, trust me I know what I’m doing,” she paused contemplating his warnings, “and just so you know I’m not going to pretend that I have complete faith in Cameron. I’ll cover my back and protect myself…”

“And what about those moments when you need someone else to take care of things--to make sure he’s really on the up and up,” he tossed out at her again. “Don’t get me wrong Kipp is a nice enough guy, but when it gets down to it, I don’t see him as really being the kind of muscle you need. You’ll need someone to keep an eye on security matters that you can trust, not someone who is on Cameron’s payroll ready to do whatever it is that he’s wanting.”

“Well, hey if you are worried about security and my working for Cameron, why don’t you come and work for me?” Heather suggested casually with a simple shrug of her shoulders, “I mean you have some experience with this stuff and if you’re really all in an uproar about it, why not work for me?”

“Heather, when I said you needed protection, I didn’t mean just at the company. I meant any time you’re alone with Cameron…” he tried to drill it into her head again that Cameron was no good for her.

“Kyle, with you working there, you could keep an eye on things and help me hire a staff that we both can trust. It’ll be perfect,” she rubbed her hands together excitedly, “It’ll be just like that science fair project that we worked on with one another in eight grade except it’ll be a heck of a lot better considering that well this is my own company that’s going to be something special.”

“Heather, I don’t know,” he hesitated remembering the pain that had overtaken her when she’d told him of how Cameron had abused her during their brief marriage, “Well, maybe I will, but if I take the job you’ll have to listen to me and work within my terms.”

“Yes sir,” she did a mini-salute waving her hand near her face, “You will have full reign of what goes down in my company in terms of keeping me safe. Happy now?”

“Not yet, but you could make it a good moment for us by agreeing to not go with Cameron to the party,” he suggested with a small smile watching her turn away from him to look out over the garden.

“Did I ever tell you how much I love this time of year?” she ignored his comment her eyes glued to the stars above, “I mean it’s not too hot, not too cold and there’s just something about the air…it’s just…”

“Heather,” he frowned knowing full well what she was trying to do in putting off his questions.

“Come on. I want to show you something,” Heather reached for his hand tugging him off of the deck into the midst of the brush that surrounded the gardens. The moon was starting to hang overhead, with the sun fading away with the daylight. Now as she weaved through the gardens she could feel his hesitation behind her, “Keep up the pace Kyle.”

“Where are we going,” he couldn’t help but ask practically running to stay with her in terms of speed as she weaved through the maze of green trees and flowers surrounding them.

“Find me if you can,” she blurted out releasing his hand and sprinting off into the midst of the gardens with a wild laugh. “We’ll see just how good you are at keeping an eye on me, won’t we? If you pass this test you’re hired. If not, you‘ll never give me another order again about what to do or who to spend my time with.”

“I don’t believe this,” he threw his hands up in the air hearing her laughter echo through the gardens. He looked overhead at the moon shining down above and let out a long breath. Heather was daring him to be fun and adventurous again and while he was sure that he should go back into the house and wait around for Sarah, he knew he couldn’t resist temptation.

“When I find you, I swear to you that you’re going to wish that you hadn’t issued the challenge because when I do find you, you aren’t going to be going to that party with Cameron,” he shouted out into the night taking a bold step forward before pushing through the trees. He paused a few times listening to the night air before resuming his chase. He wasn’t sure where Heather had ran off to, but he would find her. One way or another he would meet her challenge and come out on top of it showing her that even now he could still get the upper hand in a situation especially one as important as this.

“Where are you,” he questioned to himself hearing a sound in the distance. Turning in the direction of the noise, he pushed the bushes in front of him aside and he spotted the glowing pink and blue lights of the fountain in the middle of the garden. Water splashed and splayed from it, pouring out over the marble angel figurines in the center of it, yet there was something else that had captured his attention--movement from behind the fountain. It was a shadow that seemed to race off into a night--a shadow that could only belong to his intended target.

“Ready or not here I come,” Kyle announced parting the bushes further to step through them. Once he stood in front of the fountain, he felt the breeze pick up a bit, the night falling upon him in ways that it hadn’t been hanging above just a few short minutes earlier. It was getting a big colder and there was a sound that…

“Ha!” Heather’s voice roared out through the night as Kyle spun around to see her charging at him full force. He put his arms out in front of him to keep her from completing the tackle, but as she leapt up into his arms, he stumbled backwards landing butt first in the pool beneath the fountain. However, in all of the whirlwind of the moment, he made sure that he took her down with him. She let out a squeal.

“I’ve got you,” Kyle announced victoriously keeping his arms around her slender waist while the fountain poured over her head soaking her completely.

“No fair. I tackled you!” she objected pushing her hands up over her face to throw her soaked hair back away from her eyes. “I beat you at that one.”

“On the contrary, I beat you,” he argued with a small smile, “Which means not only do I get the job, but you aren’t going to that party with Cameron.”

“Kyle, you can’t tell me who I can and cannot date,” she curled her lip at him in a pout, “I’m going with Cameron.”

“No, you’re not,” Kyle shook his head at her.

“Yes, I am,” she shoved at his chest sending him backwards into the pool again. She laughed wildly as his head sank underneath the water. “Ha, whose the champ?”

“That would be me,” Kyle replied pulling his head out of the pool enough to turn her in his arms and dunk her into the water beside him. She came up from the surface with a gasp.

“Oh that’s so not fair. You’re such a jerk!” she shouted splashing away at him from where she knelt in the pool.

“You’re so going to pay for that,” Kyle began to splash back at her seeing her swim around the figure in the middle of the pool, “Don’t think that you aren’t.”

“Make me Houston,” she stuck her tongue out at him before turning around and wiggling her butt at him in a taunting fashion.

“That’s it,” he sprung up out of the water and leapt towards her only to watch her sink down into the pool again and kick her legs up at the water’s surface sending a flood of water rushing up over the front of him.

“Ha! Take that!” she continued to kick knowing that she had gained the upper hand momentarily.

“I’ll give you that,” Kyle took a small step back to wipe the water off of his face before diving forward toppling down on top of her to keep her from assaulting him with the splash attack any further. He felt her wiggle beneath him trying to work out of the pin he’d had on her, but he knew that he’d gained an advantage, “I told you years ago Heather, I’m the champ.”

“More like the chump!” she argued reaching out to thread her fingers through his long, blonde hair. She tugged on it gently urging him in closer to her, before her fingers moved over his chest pushing him back into the pool again.

“Oh no you don’t,” Kyle mouthed resurfacing again and tugging on her leg before she could rush away. He yanked her back to him, pulling her up over his torso before caging her in his arms, “Don’t think that you’re going anywhere because I’m nowhere near being finished with you.”

“Who says I’m finished with you Houston,” Heather replied arching a daring brow at him. She felt her laughter die off as his own eyes sparkled with enthusiasm. She opened her mouth to say something more, but then felt a tiny chill in the air. Suddenly it dawned in on her where they were and what her teasing had lead them to.

“You’re shivering,” Kyle mouthed reaching out to touch her cheek gently. He pushed her tangled hair from her cheek noticing the rosy color that fell over her otherwise flawless skin. His gaze dropped down to her lower lip seeing it tremble as the air fell upon them.

“So are you,” she replied easing her fingers up over his shoulder to the side of his face.

“Not nearly as much as you are,” he argued shaking his head at her a smile teasing over his lips, “In fact if I didn’t know better, I’d say your teeth were starting to chatter.”

“They are not,” she swatted at his shoulder again before laughing, “Although I think when we get back to the house people are going to think we’re insane. I mean how often do you find people who think it’s fun to take a dip in the fountain?”

“This was all your fault and I intend to tell everyone just that,” Kyle promised with a teasing grin, his gaze dropping down over the front of her damp t-shirt seeing that the soaked material left little to the imagination about Heather’s body. That thought made his pulse bounce as he realized that despite her earlier complaints about her chest, she didn’t have a damn thing to worry about. He silently chastised himself before meeting her eyes again.

“Kyle, are you blushing,” Heather couldn’t help but ask dropping her hand down over the front of his shirt.

“No, I think I’m just cold,” he replied closing his eyes for a moment and feeling a breath escape his lips. Her hand played over his t-shirt pinching at the material before tugging it forward away from his body. He reopened her eyes to watch her squeeze out the front of his shirt while he was still in it as she tried to rid it of excess water to keep him from freezing. He cleared his throat before speaking up again, “Maybe we should get out of here.”

“That’s probably a good idea,” she nodded sliding up off of his lap and moving back into the water.

Kyle stood up seeing her leaning back on her elbows completely drenched, yet looking more beautiful than she had when she’d arrived earlier. How could Diego not see how remarkable she was, Kyle thought to himself knowing how hard Heather was trying to turn her life around. Sure, she might be rough around the edges, but deep down she had a good heart even if Sarah couldn’t see it. He offered his hand to her and smiled.

“Come on. Let’s go get you warmed up,” he suggested pulling her up and out of the pool in a quick movement causing her to stumble forward into his arms.

“I think I’d like that,” she replied crashing into his chest as they stood together underneath the stars completely wet and freezing in the middle of the Ashford gardens. Her gaze dropped down to his lips before she smiled again, “I’d really like for you to warm me up.”

“Funny thing,” Kyle confessed unable to refrain from touching her cheek gently. He let his thumb slide over the hollow of her cheekbones, feeling the warmth of her radiating from beneath the surface of her skin. Her eyes were still focused completely on him and for a brief moment he found himself lost in another time and place remembering a night in particular when they’d had a moment similar to this. It was almost as if the past was revisiting them all over again until something completely outside of the past stepped into the moment.

“There you are,” Sarah’s voice beckoned Kyle from his thoughts causing him to jump back away from Heather. He spun around to see her emerging from the same path that he’d taken earlier when he’d been chasing Heather, “Someone said that they saw you out there, but I never thought that I would actually find you out here playing in the garden…”

Sarah’s words fell to silence as she watched Kyle step out of the fountain and wave at her.

“Hey honey,” he sent water flying into the night with the movement of his hand.

“Kyle,” Sarah threw out a puzzled expression noticing that he was with Heather and a frown settled in over her lips, “What in the world are you doing out here in the fountain?”

“Heather and I were just…” Kyle started hearing the sounds of splashing indicating that Heather had stepped out of the fountain as well.

“Settling an old score,” Heather finished for him greeting her sister with a forced smile, “but you’re back now and I should probably get going. I told Kipp that I’d be over to see Charles soon and I really should get started on…”

“Don’t you want to come inside first and get changed up?” Kyle questioned glancing over at her with a small frown hating for her to leave before they could finish with their conversation.

“It’s getting late and I’m sure you two have a lot to catch up on,” Heather decided motioning to Sarah again, “It’s nice to see you again.”

“Yeah sure,” Sarah nodded unyielding in her expression.

“Night Kyle,” Heather glanced over at him for a moment before offering up a small smile, “and thanks for the laughs.”

“Anytime,” he waved watching her leave as Sarah took a step forward watching him closely.

“What the hell was that all about? Did she come over here to just start trouble yet again,” Sarah asked with a small hiss, “I mean really…if she thinks that she can just find one way after another to annoy me…”

“She didn’t come here to annoy you. She just wanted someone to talk to,” Kyle defended Heather with a frown, “Your pal Diego is giving her a hard time.”

“Good because that’s exactly what she deserves,” Sarah watched Heather slip out of sight, “He’s far too good for her anyways. She’s all wrong for Diego.”

“Actually, I’m starting to think that he’s the one who is all wrong for her,” Kyle confessed tilting his head to see Heather disappear out of the garden.

“Yeah, well whatever. I’m freezing and you’re wet. Let’s get inside before you get sick,” Sarah grumbled stomping towards the house. She was a few steps ahead before she glanced over her shoulder to see if Kyle was following her. “You coming or what?”

“Yeah, I’m right behind you,” Kyle finally decided making a move towards the house as he pondered how he was going to talk Heather out of ruining her life by allowing herself to trust a man like Cameron Stone again when it was clear that the guy was nothing but trouble.


Blake shut the door behind her after she finally got home from being out with Sarah. The whole time Sarah tried to come up with a plan for a way to lie to Kyle is she really was pregnant with Diego’s baby and everything she came up with was horrible. Telling Kyle would have just been the best thing to do, but when Blake offered that option up Sarah had a fit. There was no way that Sarah was going to think straightly now that she might have the chance of being pregnant. Especially since it was a fifty-fifty chance of being Kyle’s baby or Diego’s baby.

“I’m glad I’m not in her position,” Blake declared hearing a laughing coming from the other room as she arched her eyebrow in curiosity. One of the laughs was for sure her grandfather’s, but for some reason the other sounded like it was Seth’s laugh. “What in the world?”

Blake walked over towards the library seeing Augustus and Seth sitting together and talking about something that they obviously thought was funny. Sure, Blake had planned on introducing the two, but when it came down to it she didn’t expect them to meet let alone get along like this. Augustus was sitting next to Seth telling him a story and stopping to laugh every now and then.

“Hey you two,” Blake took a step in the room seeing both their dark eyes looking over at her and they both offered up a small smile. “I didn’t expect to see the two of you together.”

“I met your grandfather earlier this morning when you kicked me out of the house and a second time a little while ago,” Seth informed her with a small smile, running his hand through his dark hair before shrugging his shoulders. “We were just talking about you in fact.”

“Yes we were,” Augustus nodded before motioning her to take a seat across from him and she did. He stood up from his seat and stood between the two before offering up a small smile. “We were actually talking about that one baseball game you had when you were young. Well, anyways she took the bat and this was the last and final mistake she made. I was the umpire and when she let go of the bat I wasn’t wearing a mask because we were in the backyard playing--the bat came back and got me right between the eyes. I’m so glad that was a plastic bat.”

“That was an honest mistake you know,” Blake pointed out seeing Seth let out a small laugh before looking over at her and smiling. “I was really young when that happened.”

“Still, it was really cute Blake my dear,” Augustus pointed out seeing her nod before looking over Seth when Augustus looked over towards him. “You have a really good young man over there, how come you didn’t introduce him any sooner?”

“I didn’t know you wanted to meet him so bad,” Blake stated with a small smile seeing Seth wink at her before shrugging his shoulders. “I guess next time I should think more carefully about it.”


Brant walked outside of the mansion vowing not to turn around and second guess himself. After he’d heard the tale that his grandfather had given Russ and Avery he was doubly convinced that he was doing the right thing. He would just walk away from Avery giving her the freedom she longed for and then Erin would be saved. She wouldn’t have to endure the hell that came along with being an Ashford like the rest of them had. She would be free.

“Brant wait up,” Hart followed him out onto the porch, “hold on.”

“I’m sorry,” Brant apologized to his friend looking over his shoulder at him, “I just couldn’t stay in there.”

“I can understand that, but what I don’t understand is why did you do that? Why did you just walk away from everything that you’ve ever wanted?” Hart questioned watching him closely still trying to understand what had compelled Brant to walk away from the battle he very well could’ve won.

“Because it was the right thing to do. I know that it’s what was best for everyone,” Brant closed his eyes for a moment thinking about his time with Avery.

“Everyone, but you,” Hart added with a small frown, “Are you really sure you want to let her go?”

“It’s what she needs,” Brant nodded before offering up a small smile, “besides what kind of relationship can be built on lies? No matter how much I wanted to deny the way things are, she’s always going to love Russ. She would just find a way to run back to him and I would be the bad guy. I’d wind up the odd man out and it’s just best that I severed that connection early on before it tore me apart.”

“You can’t tell me that this isn’t doing that to you now. I know how much you love her,” Hart offered up sympathetically.

“I think I was more so in love with the idea of her,” Brant replied honestly, “I built all of my dreams around this perfect idea of what Avery and I would be like together, but when it got down to it, neither she nor I were really what we’d anticipated. I’ll always love her, but I know I did the right thing. The divorce is what we need.”

“Okay,” Hart decided not to argue with his friend any longer, “so now that we’ve burned this bridge, what’s next?”

Brant tipped his head up to the stars looking at the night above. There were still so many questions left unanswered--so many things that he knew he couldn’t ignore any longer. He had to find out the truth about his father--the truth about all the lies that had built up to this moment and time, but more so he needed to find the truth within himself.

“I honestly don’t know,” Brant blurted out with a heavy sigh wondering if there would ever be another chance for a happily ever after now that his life was torn to pieces all over again at the hands of his father’s meddling and destruction.


JT walked out of the bar locking the door behind him as he thought of the day he’d put in. Sure, this was probably the last place he’d wanted to be at right about now, yet it gave him a break from hell at the apartment with Valerie. He was so close to kicking her to the curb, yet every time he’d tried to do it, he chickened out. Of course that was completely unlike the way he’d always been. Then again, he had told her she was tossed out time and time again, yet she never chose to listen.

“Maybe tonight she’ll figure out she’s not wanted there,” JT turned out to the night seeing a slender shadowy figure seated on one of the benches just beneath one of the street lamps. He watched the woman seated on the bench puffing at a cigarette sending smoke out into the night that surrounded her. Almost immediately he recognized her face even if only by the brief glimpse he’d had of her profile and he frowned making his way over to her.

“Has anyone ever told you smoking can kill you Eve,” he questioned plucking the cigarette up and out of her hand. He lifted it to his lips taking a puff before dropping down onto the bench beside her.

“Hey that was mine you dick,” she glared over at him seeing him take one last puff of her cigarette, “that was my last one.”

“And it should remain your last,” he replied holding it out to look at it for one moment before dropping it to the ground and turning to look at her, “Do you know I’ve gone about six years without one of those up until now?”

“No wonder you’re such a pain,” she glared at him a look of disgust washing over her, “Maybe if you’d start smoking again, you’d get over that nervous habit that you have of stalking other people.”

“Actually, I stopped smoking because it was one of the many bad habits I had that was taking me nowhere,” JT reached into his pocket pulling out a package of mint flavored gum. He dropped a piece into his mouth before offering the box over to her, “Want one?”

“From you?” she wrinkled her nose at him, “No way.”

“Fine, then suit yourself, but I have to tell you you’re going to have horrible breath there if you don’t,” he began to move it into his pocket only to feel her reach out for his hand to stop him from putting it away, “Change your mind?”

“Not because you’re trying to goad me into it,” she glared over at him before taking a piece of gum and popping it into her mouth, “So what gives? What’s your story JT? How did you become such a goody-goody?”

“Let’s just say I learned through life that it’s gotten me nowhere to play around with the dark side of things,” he confessed turning to face her fully, “I got into more trouble than you can imagine and I’m telling you that you should stop before you start.”

“Yeah, well you don’t know anything about my life,” she clenched her purse closer to her.

“I know that you’re someone who likes to play head games with older men--someone who thinks she knows the ultimate score, but when it gets down to it the game will eat you alive if you don’t get out of it now,” he continued to explain to her as his gaze lingered over her beautiful features, “How old are you anyways?”

“I’m twenty-two,” she remarked stiffly her eyes turning to the overhead light.

“Bull, you’re not a day over nineteen,” he shook his head at her, “So really what is it?”

“I’m eighteen,” she blurted out a color rising in her cheek, “So what are you going to bust me on that one too since it’s obvious you’re out to make me miserable?”

“Eighteen huh,” he noted looking at her closely before finding himself satisfied with her response, “Well it’s about time that the honesty part of our relationship started slipping through the surface. Though I have to tell you for eighteen you sure know how to kiss.”

“Yeah, well I know how to keep a man distracted long enough to get what I need from him,” she confessed turning to look at him, her dark eyes sparked with an exotic hint of danger and temptation. “You’d be amazed at how good I am at the important things in life.”

“You’re not half bad at the dishes,” he teased with a small wink, “which is why I’m going to keep you on with the dishes even though my boss would probably have my head for keeping you in the bar atmosphere.”

“So then fire me,” she suggested with a wide grin, “You can just call us even and I can be on my way.”

“See now I could do that, but in doing so that wouldn’t be teaching you a lesson and I think that you have to learn that what you’re doing doesn’t pay,” JT explained thinking about his own troubled youth. He’d been an A-class train wreck and seeing this beautiful young woman in front of him only reminded him of the mess he’d made of things. She seemed so abrasive, yet at the same time so naïve about the world she was stepping into. “Tell me something, what do you really get out of the cons you run?”

“I think they are fun,” she replied stubbornly, “They give me what I need and I don’t have to slave away in some smelly kitchen to take care of myself.”

“Well that might’ve been true before today, but from here on out, I think you should try to think about that kitchen work. It humbles a person and hey if you’re any good at it, maybe I’ll hire you in on as a waitress,” he gave her a long look before smiling, “I mean if you’re half as good at waiting tables as you are at stealing wallets, then I’m sure you’d be one that draws in heavy tippers.”

“Are you serious?” her eyes widened in surprise.

“Sure, I mean what else do I have to lose,” he shrugged his shoulders simply, “but first you have to prove to me that you have what it takes to clean up the kitchen and then we’ll talk.”

“Can’t we just skip that,” she pleaded with him an agonizing look crossing over her features.

“I wish I could say that we could, but unfortunately before I start depending on you, you’re going to have to give me reason to trust you,” he explained further, “which means…”

“Kitchen duty,” she groaned inwardly, “but I have to tell you that this really isn’t where I want to be.”

“I’m sure it isn’t, but like I said it’ll humble you,” he paused for a moment, “Hey, you know can I give you a lift home? I think the bus line has already stopped for the night.”

“I’m not waiting for the bus,” she replied defensively clutching her purse to her chest, “I’m waiting for a friend…”

“Yeah, well I think your friend is running a little late,” JT looked around to see the staggering patrons of the other bars pouring out onto the streets, “This isn’t really the kind of place for someone like you to be this late.”

“What are you right now? My father,” she glared up at him, her eyes filled with a strange combination of anger and could it be fear.

“Nah, I’m just your boss and I just want to know where I should take you in the event you might need me to pick you up for work tomorrow,” he replied matter of fact watching her stand up from the bench.

“That’s none of your business,” she wrinkled her nose at him, “and besides the last thing I would want is for you to use some cheesy pick up line to take me home and try to get me to invite you in for a drink because you think that this is going somewhere.”

“Excuse me,” JT blinked back at her, “Where is that coming from?”

“I heard the gossip about you while I was working in the kitchen,” she stated matter of fact distrust burning behind her eyes, “I heard all about how you bring in new girls at the club only so that you can take them back home for a romp when the mood strikes. I’ll have you know that I’m not into sleeping with the boss…”

“Well that’s good because I wasn’t offering you the opportunity,” he frowned back at her offended by her words, “I was merely offering you a ride home, but with that kind of lack of generosity forget about it. You can walk home for all I care. Have a nice night.”

“But…” she watched him walk off leaving her alone on the street corner. Looking around at the few drunken men that passed by on the street, she felt a small chill in the air that surrounded her. She checked her watch for the hundredth time, but still found no relief in the idea that her ride wasn’t coming or that she let JT leave her in a huff.

“Hey sexy,” a voice slurred stirring her out of her thoughts as she spun around to see a man staggering towards her. She smelled the distinct odor of alcohol on his breath and his eyes ate her up like a delicious forbidden morsel he’d finally been able to obtain after years of longing. He reached out to her sliding his arm around her waist, “Want to party?”

“Get away from me,” she shoved the man in the chest and she spun around rushing down the street as fast as her far too tall heels would take her. A few seconds later she heard the screeching of tires and there was suddenly a black SUV in front of her blocking her path. She watched the passenger side door open and JT’s worried gaze met hers.

“Get in!” he instructed bringing her into the SUV with one quick tug until she was seated safely on the passenger side of his warm and cozy means of transportation. “Put your seatbelt on.”

“I said I could take care of myself,” she tried to remain stubborn refusing to let him know how he’d saved her life yet again.

“Yeah right,” he glanced over at her briefly before shaking his head at her, “You never bend a little do you.”

“No, not at all,” she couldn’t help but smile, “but would you really be so intrigued with me if I did?”

“Honestly,” he glanced over at her again noticing that she’d changed back into that far too short skirt again. “No I wouldn’t be. Mystery is part of the thrill.”

“Really,” her eyes perked up as she reached out over to tease her fingers over his upper thigh before her hand settled in over his muscled leg, “and just what else thrills you JT?”

His gaze dropped down to where her hand was dangerously close to his lap. He brought his hand over hers holding it for a brief moment before removing it. “Not what you’re thinking. So where am I taking you?”

She frowned dropping her hand to her own lap and looked at the road in front of her. “Three blocks north of here and then a left. Then it’ll be the first street on the right.”

“Okay,” he followed her directions trying to ignore the way he’d been aware of her presence in ways that he was trying to lead her to believe he’d acknowledged. Still he saw her sitting beside him, sliding her legs apart ever so slightly to cause her skirt to ride up her thighs. He could see by the upturned corners of her lips that she had noticed he’d noticed and from that point on he kept his eyes strictly on the road until he reached the destination. He brought the SUV to a stop at the end of the street. “Where is it?”

“I’ll just get out here,” she explained urging him to stay stopped. She opened the door and stepped out with a wave, “After all I can’t let go of the mystery just yet at least not until I’m sure I have you completely intrigued.”

“You’re getting there,” he found himself flirting back before he sat up straighter.

“Good-night JT,” she smiled at him--her first real smile as she walked out of the car and waved her hand at him to drive on. He knew full well that she wasn’t about to walk to her place with him watching. He finally let out a sigh and drove on trying to catch a glimpse of what direction she’d gone off in, but just as soon as he’d started the car again she’d sprinted off and out of his sight.

“Oh you are trouble. I can feel it now,” JT thought aloud realizing that he was no doubt getting in over his head in hiring Eve and bringing her into his life like this. While he was just trying to help her out, he could see that she was going to make his life increasingly more difficult, yet there was something intriguing about the idea. Maybe knowing her would have it’s advantages after all.


Angela looked out from the deck behind Chris’s house knowing full well that he was probably waiting for her inside, yet she couldn’t help but take the time to walk out and look at the moon. It was no where near as beautiful as it seemed to be on the island when she was far away from the city lights--far from the rest of the world just enjoying her own safe haven, but now, well now it was her one comfort at her home away from home. Of course it also added to her feeling of being ready to return to the life she once had. So much had changed and yet…

Her phone began ringing interrupting her thoughts. She pulled it out of her pocket before answering, “Hello.”

“Hey Angel,” Cameron’s voice spoke into the line, “How’s my favorite sister?”

“I’ve been better, been worse, you?” she questioned hearing a pause, “That bad huh?”

“Well, what can I say? This place has a tendency to wear me out,” Cameron continued with a worried tone, “which is why I think you should start thinking about heading home. There isn’t anything here worth investing your time in. It’s boring…”

“So I keep hearing, but don’t worry I’m going back home to the island,” she promised him with a sigh.

“Oh thank heavens. I mean I’m sure it’s for the best,” he replied trying to recover from the enthusiasm and relief from his tone about her being far away from the trouble Coral Valley could bring to her, “I promise when things get settled here I’ll pay you a visit.”

“I’d like that,” she answered with her eyes glued on the night sky above.

“So when are you leaving?” he questioned curiously.

“Tomorrow,” she replied feeling a twinge of guilt in her about lying to her brother, but if he had any idea what she and Chris had planned for the party, then she was certain he wouldn’t approve at all, “but I promise I’ll call when I get home.”

“You’d better,” Cameron’s voice took on a worried brother tone all over again, “You know how important you are to me and I don’t want to see you hurt.”

“I know Cam,” she sighed again, “but listen. It’s getting late and I have to go.”

“Okay, but call me when you get back home,” he replied saying his good-byes before she hung up the phone.

Once he was gone she slipped the phone into her pocket and looked to the sky again. Okay, so maybe lying to him wasn’t smart, but it would buy her enough time to sneak into that party undetected and try to see what she could dig up on her mother.

“Who was that?” Chris questioned stepping out onto the deck with two drinks in hand, “Kevin perhaps?”

“I highly doubt Ria would let him near a phone if she knew he was going to call me,” she groaned inwardly, “but that’s okay. I don’t mind. I think it’s better if we just keep what’s going on to ourselves. We’ll go to that party tomorrow and see what we can dig up and who knows? Maybe I’ll find out the truth about my mother that my family has tried to keep from me all these years. Maybe I’ll see what it was that took her under so that I can find a way myself to keep from letting it happen.”

“We won’t let it happen to you,” Chris promised wrapping his arms around her to embrace her as she sank back into him. She tipped her head up to watch the stars again wondering if there was something out there that would make her feel at home again. She wondered if there was something she was missing--something that would finally turn her world around again and give her a sense of hope and happiness. She was certain that going to the party wouldn’t accomplish that, but it was worth a start. After all the party could unlock the secrets to the past that she was more than ready to explore.


...to be continued...