Episode 309

“Oh wow Seth, would you look at this,” Blake gazed in amazement as she looked out at the room before her. She held tightly onto Seth’s arm before squeezing his hand in hers tightly. “Can you believe how great this looks?”

“It looks beautiful honey,” Seth assured her wrapping his arm around her supportively and pressing a small kiss against her forehead. “I think they did a great job setting it up and decorating the place. It’s perfect just for you.”

“I just can’t believe that this is actually happening,” Blake let out a deep breath knowing that this day would be coming very soon, she just didn’t think it would be happening so fast. “This is all like a dream come true to me. It’s perfect and I don’t know what I am going to do first.”

“Well, you started this whole thing,” Seth pointed out with a small laugh seeing Blake nod slowly as she stared out at the dance floor before them. It was great to see her so happy about something like this, she hadn’t been this happy in such a long time. It was great to see someone having a good time at least once, it didn’t happen a lot lately so it was great just to see her smile. “You should be able to decide what you want to do first.”

“Well, I could always check in to make sure everything is all set with the food,” Blake pondered what her first move would be as her eyes wandered off over towards a couple of the workers over at the bar. “I think that they are all set though because this place looks amazing, which means they have some pretty good workers here and I’m sure they got the job done perfectly.”

“So, what’s the first step because I think my feet are going to start to hurt if we stand here any longer,” Seth informed her with a small smile taking a step forward to make sure his feet didn’t fall asleep. “Kyle and Sarah said they would be here later, so we will have to wait until they get here if you want to hang out with our friends.”

“Somehow I don’t even think I want to be hanging out with Sarah tonight,” Blake informed him with a small roll of her eyes thinking about her best friend’s situation with everything that was happening. She looked up to see the confused expression over Seth’s dark eyes as she shrugged her shoulders and thought of a good response. “I don’t know, I was just thinking about things. With the mood she has been in lately--she would probably bring me down and I don’t need that right now.”

“Kyle has been saying the same thing,” Seth informed Blake with a deep sigh thinking about the talk that he and Kyle shared earlier when they were both getting ready. “They seem to be falling apart more and more each day.”

“Tell me about it,” Blake thought back to what Sarah had done with Diego realizing that one day Sarah was going to get caught and she really wasn’t going to like what happened after Kyle found out. “Anyways, getting Sarah out of the thought right now, I think I am going to go talk to some of the people that set all this up.”

“I’m coming,” Seth let out a small laugh feeling her pull him forward and over towards the people she was trying to talk to. She introduced him and he shook a few hands before something caught his eyes. “Valerie?”

“What was that sweetheart?” Blake questioned seeing Seth shake his head and motion her to go back to talking as he pushed back his dark hair and looked back around the room before him.

“I swear I just saw her,” Seth whispered to himself worried that she came to this party to try and start something with him again. He didn’t want something like that to happen now that Blake was getting everything she ever wanted with this thing. He let out a long sigh before sliding his hands into his pockets and shrugging his shoulders. “Maybe I am just seeing things now.”

“Is everything okay honey?” Blake looked back over her shoulder at him seeing him nod slowly before walking up next to her and holding her hand in his tightly. She leaned up on her toes, kissing him quickly and a wide smile licked over her lips. “I’m glad you are here with me right now. I don’t know what I would have done without you here with me right now.”


“Do you think he saw me?” Valerie questioned quietly looking over to Michelle after she pulled her down one of the hallways when she thought Seth spotted her out. “Michelle, do you think he is looking for me or something like that?”

“If he was looking for you,” Michelle began pulling her arm away from Valerie before straightening out her dress and fixing her hair, “he would have been here already. Anyways, what is so wrong about him seeing you tonight? Isn’t that kind of the point?”

“Well not yet,” Valerie answered seeing the look that Michelle gave her as she shrugged her shoulders and looked for something inside of her purse. “I have to talk to him at the right time. I can’t just show up without anything to say.”

“Just roll with the flow,” Michelle stated with a small shrug thinking about the way she went with things in life. “I mean, when I have my eyes set on something, I don’t think things over--I just go and do what I want. It won’t take me forever to get to talk to someone.”

“Oh really,” Valerie arched her eyebrow in curiosity seeing the way that Michelle nodded. Valerie shrugged her shoulders knowing that Michelle was just talking big words right now because she would never act upon something like that. “Then I guess it is a good time to tell you right now…”

“What?” Michelle questioned with a small snap looking back over towards the door to see Kevin now walking in with a couple of other people there. “Oh no, it’s Kevin.”

“Hey, where are we going?” Valerie questioned as Michelle pulled her further down the hallway seeing the way Michelle’s eyes widened as she paced back and forth. “What is wrong with you?”

“How should I go talk to him?” Michelle questioned seeing Valerie shrug before starting to laugh. Michelle threw her hands up in the air before reaching into her purse to pull out a mirror. “This isn’t funny Valerie, I’m being serious.”

“I know you are,” Valerie nodded slowly, thinking about the words that Michelle had said earlier. She knew it wasn’t the right moment to throw out a snotty comment, but she couldn’t help but do it. “So much for rolling with the flow.”

“You don’t know Kevin,” Michelle pointed out seeing Valerie fold her arms out in front of her chest as Michelle shrugged her shoulders. “Okay, so maybe you do know Kevin, but you don’t know him sexually. To even get him to talk to you, you need to know what you are talking about and I can’t even think of something to say.”

“Seth is his cousin you know,” Valerie informed Michelle seeing her nod slowly before motioning Valerie to go on. She thought about Kevin and Seth back when they were younger and they both loved a lot of the same things. They both loved cars and they were both really big on baseball. “There are some small differences, but they are a lot alike.”

“Right,” Michelle nodded eyeing Valerie over carefully before peaking around the corner at Kevin who was now talking to a blonde guy that was standing next to him over by the front door. “That still doesn’t help me you know.”

“I would suggest one thing for the both of us,” Valerie began in a tight breath looking back over towards Seth and Blake before giving her attention back to Michelle. “We should both wait until they are alone because Blake and Ria aren’t the most pleasant of people if you get my point.”

Valerie saw Michelle nod before Valerie turned back around to look back at Seth who had his arm wrapped around Blake’s shoulders and she couldn’t help but find herself jealous. That should have been her with Seth right now, not Blake or anyone else.

“And another thing,” Valerie turned around to see no sign of Michelle behind her as she rolled her eyes and threw her hands up in the air. “Fine, if you are off running around and doing what you want to do, then I guess I should just do the same.”

The only question she was looking for was a way to get Seth by himself and away from Blake for a little bit so she could actually talk to him alone.


“I can’t believe how fantastic this place looks. I mean have you ever been to a party like this?” Trisha gushed walking through the sparkling entranceway leading into the grand ballroom. There were white and blue lights strung up on the ceiling, over the walls topped off with delicate white faux flowers and an air of romance filled the room with the traditional ballroom music, “It feels like we stepped out of one of those old time romance movie sets, doesn’t it?”

“It’s a sure step up from the Pavilion and here I thought that was nice,” Chase noted feeling Trisha slink her arm further in his. “This place is beyond words.”

“Yeah that’s because it was beyond civilization for a very long time,” Ria explained in a soft tone taking a long look around, “This place should’ve been condemned years ago.”

“Why would you say that?” Trisha frowned taking a look over at her sister and catching her glum mood at the worst of moments.

“Because bad things have happened here…things that happened long before either one of our times, yet the feel of it still remains,” Ria replied with a tiny shudder remembering the rumors her mother had told her about such a place in the past. It was a beautiful environment indeed, yet she’d learned from her mother that the beauty was often lost within the horror that had once surrounded this place.

“I don’t know,” Kevin shrugged his shoulders taking a long look around, “I don’t think it’s so bad. I mean it’s clear Blake did a good job in getting this one together.”

“I’ll credit her that, but still it gives me the creeps in being here,” Ria replied with a small shrug holding onto Kevin’s arm as his eyes surveyed the room.

“You’re just being a party pooper as always,” Trisha rolled her eyes starting into a conversation with Chase about what a downer Ria could be especially on fun nights like this one.

Kevin was only half listening to Ria’s protests when he spotted a familiar sight out of the corner of his eye. He tilted his head to the side seeing Chris walk into the room with Angela on his arm, dressed in a gown that had an air of familiarity about it. It was black and elegant and somehow even though he knew full well it wasn’t a gown he’d seen before, it reminded him of one that was similar that she’d worn in a situation close to the party they were attending tonight. Closing his eyes and hearing Ria continue to protest her sister’s claims he found himself taken to another place and time.

“You need to focus Adonis,” Craven had warned stepping up to pull Kevin aside from the rest of the group. He motioned to the far side of the room where Angela was making her way to the double doors leading to the balcony, “Tonight you’re here because Cyrus has seen to it that you do your job, but he can very easily remove you from the situation if your being too close to her is too much.”

“It’s over Craven,” Kevin had lied knowing full well that there would be no other acceptable answer to give to his boss about the state of his affairs with Angie. He’d been told by Craven that even a hint of flirtation between Kevin and Angela would be deadly and Kevin had known that going into the situation, yet…

“See to it that it is,” Craven warned sharply circulating around the party to return loyally to Cyrus.

Kevin’s dark eyes surveyed the room knowing he was taking a risk--that meeting with Angela could be the beginning of the end, but he couldn’t help but honor her request. He’d walked out onto the balcony to meet with her, putting her life and his at risk in doing so, yet when she’d spoken to him, he’d only then realized how in over his head he was. He spotted her over by the edge of the balcony looking perplexed and far away from the situation at hand. Unable to resist the urge, he moved over to her reaching out to brush his fingers against her arm gently.

“Angie, what is it,” he asked, his voice softer, more concerned as she’d faced him.

“Kevin, I don’t care what everyone else wants for us. I want to be with you--to share my life with you and only you. I want for us to be together and I don’t care if we have to run away to make it happen,” she pleaded with him catching him off guard as his arms slowly wrapped around her. “The stakes might be higher now, but we need to find a way out of this. We need to break free.”

“Angie, what’s gotten into you?” Kevin couldn’t help but ask notice she was trembling in his arms, “Angie?”

“Kevin, I’m pregnant. We’re going to have a baby,” she blurted out feeling the world spiraling out of control around her.

“Pregnant,” Kevin repeated with wide eyes the sudden reality crashing down over him as if the weight of the world had been deposited directly on his shoulders. He tilted his head to the side lowering his voice to a more intimate tone before speaking up in a small whisper, “are you sure?”

She nodded with tears burning behind her dark eyes, “I had suspected it for a few weeks now, but I didn’t want to worry you. I didn’t want you to think that…”

“That what?” he questioned unable to mask the emotion that was tearing at his insides. He reached out to her brushing his thumb against her cheek lightly wiping at one of her tears before tracing her bottom lip, “That you’re having my baby?”

“Kevin, I know this complicates things, but…” her words were trembling through the night as Kevin couldn’t help but reveal the joy that poured over him.

“My baby,” he repeated grinning like an idiot, but he didn’t care. Craven and the rest of the world be damned. This was the one moment that made complete, perfect sense. Unable to stay in line with protocol, he pulled Angela into his arms fully picking her up off of the ground, “You’re having my baby.”

“Yes I am,” she cried out arms circling around his shoulders before their lips met in a quick, stolen kiss. She wiggled out of his arms, moving to the ground again, “We can’t do this here.”

“You’re right…” he nodded feeling her reach for his hand. She quickly shuffled down the stairway leading down to the beach below. Once they were out of sight, she reached for him again, her arms drawing him to her as if she’d never let go. Their kisses were more urgent, more important, more desperate before he dropped to his knees and placed his hand over her abdomen. “Our baby…”

“Kevin, my father is going to kill us when he finds out,” she reminded him easing her fingers through his dark hair tentatively, “If anyone discovers what we’ve done…”

He tipped his head up to look at her, seeing the lines of her face shining down upon him beneath the moonlight, “Angie, you talk as if we’ve done something wrong, but what we’ve done…we’ve created life and that’s something that I could never, ever be ashamed of. It’s the first and only right thing I’ve ever done in my life…”

“Loving you is and always will be the only right thing in my life,” Angela blurted out holding him closer to her as the scene faded out and Kevin found himself back in the here and now.

“Kevin, would you tell Trisha to stop picking on me,” Ria prodded tugging on his arm gently, “I don’t know what her problem is, but she thinks that it’s a night for easy potshots at me.”

“Oh come on. I’m just having a little fun,” Trisha waved her hand dismissively at Ria, “Lighten up. I was only kidding.”

“No you weren’t,” Ria wrinkled her nose at her sister.

“I’ll be right back,” Kevin began apologetically giving Ria one small look before detangling his arm in hers and making his way towards Angela determined to say something even if he wasn’t quite sure what it was he had to say to her.


“So what do you think? Feeling optimistic about tonight?” Chris whispered in Angela’s ear bringing his hand over the small of her back. He guided her through the ballroom taking the time to absorb the environment that surrounded them before smiling at her.

“Very,” she nodded in confession smiling up at him as her thoughts drifted to what she hoped to accomplish tonight. At first she’d had her reservations about the party, but now she was a woman on a mission and that mission wouldn’t be thwarted by anything…especially not…

“Kevin,” Chris blurted out catching Angela off guard as she looked up to see her best friend standing before her.

“Chris,” Kevin nodded politely before his eyes fixed on Angela, “Angie, you look beautiful.”

“Thank you,” she couldn’t help but smile at him a heat rising in her cheeks, “you look pretty good yourself.”

“Oh come on,” Kevin pulled at his jacket, “you know how I hate these monkey suits anyways.”

“You always looked stunning in them,” she added brightly unable to refrain from admiring just how handsome he looked dressed up in front of her, “You should wear them more often.”

“Ah, you know me. I’m more of a shorts and t-shirt kind of guy,” he winked at her before his voice softened a bit, “but seriously tonight you look amazing.”

She brought her hand up to her face in an attempt to cover the color she was certain was in her face. She opened her mouth, but couldn’t find it in her to say anything further. Nothing seemed to be a fitting response to his comment.

“I think I’ll um, get us a few drinks,” Chris suggested taking a hint and making a quick exit to give the two of them a moment alone together.

“Look about earlier,” Kevin and Angela both started at the same time, a nervous laugh overtaking the both of them.

“You first,” she prompted waving her hand at him.

“No, you first,” he shook his head, “I insist.”

“No really…” she continued to argue catching his look, “okay about before. Kevin, I’ve been thinking a lot about what you said and you’re right. We did miss out on a lot of wonderful things with one another, but I think you should know… With our daughter, I never stopped wishing that things would’ve been different for us.”

“Neither have I,” he admitted honestly wondering how seeing Erin could’ve sparked so many memories inside of him--memories that he’d sworn to have locked inside of him forever.

“I guess fate just had other plans for us,” she motioned over to where Ria was standing with Trisha and Chase now glaring at the both of them, “I don’t think she’s happy you’re over here.”

“Maybe not, but I’m sure she’d understand if she knew why we were talking,” Kevin sighed knowing Ria would want to know about his quick run to Angela soon enough.

“I’m sure she can figure it out,” Angela cleared her throat uneasily, “and as for you coming over here, well I’m glad you did. I didn’t want to have to leave without saying good-bye.”

“Leave?” Kevin gave her a strange look. “What do you mean?”

“After the party tonight I’m going back home,” she explained with a nervous breath knowing that her news would come as a surprise to him, “I realize that Coral Valley isn’t exactly my kind of place, so I’m going to be heading home to the island. It’s where everything I know and love is at, well almost everything…”

“Does Cameron,” Kevin fought to keep his reaction under control, “I mean is he aware that you’re leaving?”

She nodded, “I told him earlier and he thinks it’s for the best too. I mean there I have Martha and work and…”

“Angie I…” Kevin found himself at a loss thinking about what she was telling him.

“I also convinced Cameron that it would be best to let you take some time off of work. I mean you’ve spent more than half of your life watching me and I think you’ve more than earned the vacation,” Angela offered up with a small smile before nodding towards Ria, “It’s time for you to enjoy life a bit Adonis.”

“Angie, I…” Kevin felt as if he’d been kicked in the chest at her words.

“Trust me, I’m a big girl now,” she reached out to touch his hand briefly in a chaste movement, “I’ve monopolized you for far too long already and besides I’ll be a phone call away if you need me.”

“Angie I,” Kevin stopped himself before finally nodding, “I’ll miss you.”

“I’ll miss you too Kevin,” she confessed knowing that Ria would want to murder her for embracing him, but the moment wouldn’t feel quite complete without her doing so. She wrapped her arms around him squeezing him tightly before pulling away ever so slightly. “Trust me though. Things will have a way of working themselves out for the both of us. I’m sure of it.”

“Hopefully one day I’ll be as convinced,” he mouthed under his breath feeling her step back even more out of his arms. His dark eyes fixed upon her and suddenly the last half of his life flashed before his eyes leading up to this moment in time. He could see the same reflection behind her eyes as it was clear so much was still being left unsaid between them.

“Here you are,” Chris stepped in between the two of them holding a drink out to Angela, “Sparkling cider work okay?”

“Of course,” she nodded accepting the glass Chris held out to her while breaking the connection between her and Kevin in order to accept the glass from Chris.

“And for you big guy,” Chris held out a glass in Kevin’s general direction, “I thought maybe you could use something a little bit stronger.”

“Thanks, but I think I’m going to have to pass,” Kevin confessed his eyes never leaving Angela’s as he nodded towards Ria’s general direction, “They are waiting for me.”

“Then you should go,” Angela urged him finally finding the courage to face him again as he looked to Ria once more, “And Kevin?”

“Yes?” he glanced over his shoulder to look at her, his brown eyes immediately fixed upon hers.

“Whatever you do, be happy okay,” she blurted out knowing how foolish it sounded at a time like now, yet she couldn’t refrain from saying it. “That’s all I’ve ever wanted for you, you know.”

“That’s all I’ve ever wanted for you too,” he replied with a heavy sigh giving her one last look before turning around to walk over to Ria ready to put the past behind him once and for all in favor of the future that stood before him.

“So that’s it huh?” Chris questioned in a small whisper over the back of Angela’s neck, “You’re really letting go of him eh?”

“It’s for the best,” she nodded convinced that the kindest thing she could do for her best friend was give him the chance to have the happiness that had evaded him for the years they’d spent with one another. Despite the fact that it would be difficult, she was almost completely certain that she was doing the right thing. At least she had to believe that much.


“Look at this place honey,” Don entered the building in awe as he looked up towards the ceiling seeing all the decorations and a wide smile spread out over his handsome features. “It looks beautiful inside here.”

“It does look pretty nice,” Shannon agreed looking around the room to try and see if she could find her brother anywhere. “I wonder where Nate is, I’m sure he is enjoying his community service right now. Don’t you think?”

“Wearing a waiter’s suit and carrying around food platters?” Don let out a small laugh remembering the look Nate left the house with in his waiter’s suit on. Another sarcastic laugh escaped his lips as he watched one of the waiters walk in front of them. “Oh yeah, Nate is going to love this one.”

“Great,” Shannon looked back to see Brant coming into the building with Lindsay at his side since Don had convinced him to come along with Lindsay as his date because he had none. “I can’t believe you made him come here with us Don.”

“Please Shannon,” Don rolled his eyes at the way his wife was acting towards his best friend while they were at the party and the time they drove here. “I would think you would at least feel a little bad for him. He was asked to come to the party and he had no one to go with him. Lindsay offered to be his date because he was feeling bad and of course he would go with her.”

“I still don’t know why you cater to his every need,” Shannon pointed out with a small sigh looking around the room before her and not spotting her brother just yet. “I wonder if Nate ditched the party or something because he had to work.”

“Maybe,” Don shrugged his shoulders wanting to continue with their subject about Brant as he placed his hand on her shoulder, prepared to try and stand up for Brant. “You know honey, I didn’t want to leave Brant because you know as well as I do he would be so miserable not going. He would probably be the only one in town not going to this thing.”

“Right,” Shannon nodded not bothering to really listen to what he was saying as she searched the room for her brother, knowing that he was never really this hard to find. “Listen Don, I’m going to go find Nate, I will be right back.”

“Shannon,” Don called out to her seeing the way that she quickly walked off in her dress to go find her younger brother and Don knew that if anything Nate would want to hide from her if he had a choice. Shannon was always making sure he had the bad jobs and Nate was probably really angered tonight with what she was making him do. Don felt a hand slip in against his left shoulder and he turned to see Brant next to him. “Oh hey buddy.”

“She go to find the psycho?” Brant questioned seeing Don nod slowly as Brant shrugged his shoulders and patted his friend on the back gently. “Don’t worry about her, she obviously has a lot of things on her mind right now and she just isn’t really thinking clearly. Everything will work out sooner or later.”

“I don’t have to worry about it,” Don sighed shaking his head slowly and looking over the crowd to see her way over at the other end. “I guess she doesn’t want to be at the party with me right now.”

“Hey Don,” Lindsay came over to her older brother, placing her right hand on his left shoulder as he glanced over at her with his blue eyes. “I’m going to go look around, but I will check in with you or dad later. Okay?”

“Alright kiddo,” Don agreed to let her go walk around as she walked into the middle of the dance floor obviously looking for someone as Don wrapped his arm around Brant’s shoulders. “Now that both our dates are gone, what are we going to do now?”

“I don’t know,” Brant let out a small laugh, watching Lindsay talk to someone and let out a small laugh. “You know she looks really pretty tonight Don. She isn’t a little girl anymore, it’s unbelievable how much she has grown.”

“I know, she is growing up to be quite the young lady,” Don smiled proud that his little sister grew up to be nothing like him, but more polite and careful what she did with her life. “Though, you can’t crush on her because if you did I would have to kill you.”

“Wow Don,” Brant rubbed his chin slowly, thinking about what his best friend just said as he shrugged his shoulders and looking into Don’s light blue eyes. “She isn’t really my type if you get my points. I don’t really like them young and under the legal age. Somehow, I don’t ever see myself liking someone that young, but I will think about what you said.”

“I was just playing with you man,” Don patted Brant on the back gently before looking around the room before him. There were so many people that were already at this thing and he really didn’t know what to do other than stand there with Brant. “It sucks that you had no date, but it was cool that you went with Lindsay.”

“Yeah, but I really didn’t want to go with anybody, other than Lindsay I mean,” Brant cleared his throat uneasily feeling Don unwrap his arm from his shoulders before shoving his hands in his pockets. “I don’t think I could really go on a date with a woman when there is always one woman on my mind.”

“Oh no,” Don frowned turning to face Brant so he could see him more clearly. Brant let out a hesitant laugh wondering what it was Don was going to say to him as Don folded his arms out in front of his chest. “Please don’t tell you are going to make another play at Avery again.”

“No, not even close,” Brant let out a long laugh reaching out to pat Don on the shoulder gently before looking around the room. He searched for the one person he was looking for before shrugging his shoulders. “I’m just going to bury Cameron tonight.”

“Okay,” Don watched Brant quickly run off as Don held his hands up in the air angrily before rolling his eyes. “I can’t believe this, I came with three people today and every single one of them left me alone. This is just great.”

Don looked around to see if he could find Lindsay, Shannon or maybe even Nate, but he had no luck at all. He threw his hands up in the air once more before fixing his tie.

“How about a drink Don?” Don asked himself with a small nod before shrugging his shoulders. “Sure, since everyone left me I would love a drink. I want to party.”


“This is going to be a great party,” Kellen fixed the cuff to his dress coat before smiling widely and opening the door for everyone. Heather was the last to enter as he wrapped his arm around hers before walking in. “Oh wow Heather Babes, look at how beautiful this whole thing looks.”

“It looks great Kellen,” Heather agreed letting out a small sigh as she felt Cameron step in beside her before wrapping his arm around her shoulders. “It looks like it is exactly the type of place you would want to be at.”

“Don’t you know it,” Kellen glared over at Cameron with his blue eyes seeing the way that Cameron looked at him before shrugging his shoulders and letting go of Heather. “I just love parties and I can feel that today is going to be a good one.”

“Kellen honey, it was probably one of the red bulls you drank earlier,” Kipp pointed out with a small laugh elbowing Kellen in the ribs gently. Kellen thought it over for a moment before nodding slowly and shrugging his shoulders. “With me, I only have a sip of one of those things and I’m off the wall. You had two cans of it, I can only imagine how you are feeling.”

“Probably more excited and hyper than ever before,” Heather pointed out placing her hand on her best friend’s shoulders, seeing the smile he flashed her over his shoulder before clapping his hands together. “Think of how hyper he usually is, I can just see he is ready to get out on the dance floor and have a good time.”

“That I am,” Kellen stated with a small wink reaching out to grab Kipp’s hands in his and throwing out a pleading look over towards Kipp. “Please, can we go dance? I love this kind of music and I hardly get to dance with you. Oh please, oh please?”

“What about Cameron?” Kipp leaned forward whispering in Kellen’s ear so Cameron couldn’t hear him and by the look on Cameron’s face, it seemed that Cameron knew that Kipp was talking about him. There was something that made him worry about Cameron and he didn’t want Heather to be alone with him. “I don’t trust him alone with Heather.”

“Hey Cameron,” Kellen let go of Kipp’s hands before turning to face Cameron, folding his arms out in front of his chest. “What will happen to you if you hurt Heather physically or mentally.”

“Believe me Kellen I think you have told me enough,” Cameron groaned rolling his eyes at the way Kellen and Kipp were being so protective of Heather. There was nothing he liked worse than someone nagging him all the time. “I don’t want to go through this again.”

“Well you are going to have to,” Kellen informed him clearing his throat and watching Cameron carefully. Kellen took a step forward motioning Kipp to follow his steps as he stood face to face with Cameron. Kellen arched his eyebrow at Cameron before nodding his head slowly. “Now tell me, what will happen to you if you hurt Heather or bother her in anyway?”

“I got it Kellen, you will cut off my…,” Cameron looked down towards the front of his pants before looking back up and seeing Kellen smirking. “That’s very funny I hope you know, I’m glad you are amused.”

“I’m glad too,” Kellen let out a small laugh waving to Heather before grabbing Kipp’s hand and pulling him over towards the dance floor. “I’ll talk to you later Heather Babes, you know where to find us if you need us.”

“Of course,” Heather sighed watching Kellen walk over to the center of the dance floor before dancing wildly to the music. Heather let out a small laugh watching her best friend dance with Kipp before shaking her head slowly. “You will be the one that is jumping two feet above everybody’s head.”

“His brother must have smoked something around him when he was younger,” Cameron’s hand casually wrapped around Heather’s waist, seeing her green eyes looking up into his. “I mean really, I don’t think I have ever met someone so hyper. Gay and all that man can bounce.”

“Isn’t that the truth,” Heather chuckled to herself thinking about Kellen’s funny ways with going about in life. Heather looked up to Cameron who seemed to have his attention elsewhere. “So, what are we doing?”

“I don’t know, I’ll get us a drink or something,” Cameron replied letting go of her before motioning over towards the bar. He noticed Brant walking around the room again as he took a quicker step towards the people on the dance floor. “Stay put, I swear I will be back.”

“Okay,” Heather called out to him before throwing her hands up in the air and looking around. By the look on Cameron’s face she could tell that he wouldn’t be back very soon. “Um, okay. I came to the party with three different guys and somehow I’m left alone. This sucks.”


“This is really something, isn’t it?” Russell questioned standing outside the large marble steps of the building before them. Even as the party was going on inside, Russell couldn’t believe the air of history and romance that surrounded the building that he’d spent most of his life believing that he’d never get close to after all of the rumors and stories that circulated about it in Coral Valley.

“It’s beautiful,” Avery nodded in response pulling her wrap around her shoulders to keep out the chill that carried over her. However, she was far more certain that the chill had absolutely nothing to do with the night air and everything to do with the environment. As beautiful as it may have been, she was fully aware of the stories that had spun from their surroundings.

“Cold?” Russell questioned bringing his arm around her gently.

“Not really,” she confessed tilting her head to the side to see his worried green eyes upon her, “I guess this place kind of always gave me the creeps.”

“You too huh,” Russ revealed a nervous laugh before adding, “and here I thought that I was the only one trying to ignore the air around it.”

“So you were thinking it too? Even though you think it’s beautiful tonight,” she asked leaning in closer to him.

“Given the stories I’ve heard,” he nodded in confession, “Yeah this place has gotten me thinking, yet you can’t tell me that when you were younger you weren’t even the slightest bit interested in being inside and checking things out.”

“Of course I was, but what child wasn’t,” she replied giving him a long look, “We all heard the ghost stories and the myths surrounding it, but still…”

“You couldn’t bring yourself up to face the challenge?” he arched a curious brow searching her eyes closely.

“It’s not that. It’s just that when I was little my father had always warned me to stay away, yet tonight we’re here for a party celebrating in a place that was so very forbidden for so very long,” she explained lowering her voice a bit. They stepped away from the main path in order to give themselves a bit of privacy, “It just feels so…”

“So what?” he replied in a hushed voice.

“Like we’re about to break all the rules in a situation that I’m not sure we’re ready for,” she revealed a flicker of worry behind her eyes, “I mean with everything out on the table like it’s been with Brant and…”

“Avery, we don’t have to hide from our love,” Russell reached out to touch her cheek lightly, the pad of his thumb grazing against her soft skin, “but if you’re worried about this and you’re uncomfortable, we can go home and be with Erin and…”

“And miss the opportunity to see what lurks behind those walls,” she motioned to the building behind her once again, “No, I don’t think I want to do that just yet either. After all you just accused me of not having the nerve to take a sneak peek at the unknown.”

Russ saw the flicker of mischief burning behind her eyes before a smile teased over the corners of his lips, “Still quite the adventurer aren’t you?”

“Hey if you think you’re ready to unlock the mysteries inside, who am I to make you believe I can’t keep up?” she winked back at him, sliding her arm around his muscled torso, “I mean the last time I checked, I was more than able to keep up with you and then some.”

“Which is one of the reasons we click so well with one another,” he mouthed reaching out for her.

He pulled her into his arms, easing her in against one of the large, white pillars. A gentle breeze swept over them as his hand teased over her dark hair. He tipped his head down to the side, nudging her lips towards his before their mouths met in a soft, subtle kiss. His fingers bunched up the silken red material of the dress at her hip, in an attempt to hold her closer to him. Her lips parted in a small sigh, urging a deeper connection between them as her arms curled around his shoulders taking the time to appreciate the moment between them. It had been so very long since they’d shared a tender moment without interruptions--without…

“Oh would you just get a room already,” Grady’s voice roared between them causing the kiss to come to an end. Russ looked up to find his brother standing before them with a slight grin as Deana stood by his side, “And here they tell you having a newborn changes things for a couple like Russ and Avery. If you ask me, they are going above and beyond the call of duty for public displays of attention here.”

“Why don’t you stifle it big brother because I think Avery and I have more than earned a moment without interruption here,” Russ teased in response shooting his brother a small look before addressing Deana, “So tell me, how much did he have to pay you to be his date tonight?”

“Not nearly enough,” Deana laughed lightly her smile expanding by the moment.

“Isn’t that the truth,” Avery piped in with a wicked smirk before taking a small step forward, “but I do have to tell you he does have a tendency to clean up nicely when the mood strikes him.”

“As do you,” Grady tipped his head in Avery’s direction, “you look beautiful.”

“Oh and he’s full of flattery tonight,” Russell laughed lightly sliding his arm around Avery’s waist, “He must be feeling extra excited here.”

“Or he’s just keeping good company,” Avery winked over at Deana before smiling, “You keep him in line, okay?”

“I’ll see what I can do to make it happen,” Deana promised with a tiny laugh feeling Grady’s hold on her arm constrict.

“Don’t start filling her head with lies about me this early on Avery. I’d like to get a second date after tonight,” Grady grinned over at her before looking to Deana.

“Maybe if you’re lucky we’ll see what we can do to make it happen,” Deana added brightly, feeling more at ease with the group.

“Hey, how about we take it inside since it sounds like we’re missing most of the action?” Russell suggested motioning to the front door.

“I’m pretty sure there wasn’t anymore action going on in there than there was out here a few minutes ago with you two,” Grady jabbed again before his eyes fell upon Avery once more. A brief, flickering moment of heat spreading out over him at the way her eyes lit up with laughter, but he dismissed it almost as soon as it began. Turning to Deana he winked down at her, “What do you say? Shall we go in before these two before they embarrass us?”

“You just wait,” Russell remarked guiding Avery over to the front door of the party, “The humiliation hasn’t even started yet.”

“Great,” Grady shook his head knowing full well tonight would be a night that would certainly leave an impression upon everyone. He just hoped he’d wind up on the good side of things after everything was said and done.

“Hey look at this,” Kyle smiled widely walking into the building and holding Sarah’s hand tightly in his. They walk in closer to the crowd as Kyle looked up towards the ceiling. “This is so beautiful Sarah, don’t you think?”

“Yeah, I guess it is pretty decent,” Sarah sighed seeing Kyle’s hazel eyes look down towards her for a moment before looking around the room. “Looks like it took a long time to set up.”

“Wow, don’t seem so happy Sarah,” Kyle frowned squeezing her hand in his tightly before shaking his head and looking over towards the bar to see Blake talking to a few people with Seth by her side. “This is something you best friend set up, I thought you would be at least a little bit happier for her.”

“I am happy for her,” Sarah replied quickly, her brown eyes narrowing up at him as she looked over towards Blake and Seth together. “I’m just not feeling all that well, that’s all.”

“Hey look, Kellen is dancing with Kipp,” Kyle laughed seeing the way that Kellen was dancing before a slow song came on and Kellen grabbed Kipp in his arms tightly. Kyle let go of her hand and held his out to hers. “Care to dance?”

“Kyle,” Sarah looked out towards the dance floor seeing most of the couples at the party already dancing to the song as she shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know.”

“Oh come on,” Kyle laughed before pulling her out towards the dance floor, feeling her arms wrap around his neck as he settled his hands in against her hips. “I thought you used to always like to dance with me.”

“Speaking of dancing,” Sarah cleared her throat looking up into Kyle’s eyes, seeing the way that the light reflected in them. Even though she was mad at him from what happened earlier, she still couldn’t get over the fact of how sexy his eyes were. The way that they were mostly green with only a little bit of brown towards the middle made them even hotter. “How did you learn to dance anyways?”

“I guess you could just say I had a really good teacher,” Kyle informed her with a small nod before shrugging his shoulders and thinking back to when he was younger. “She taught me a lot of things I don’t think I could have ever learned.”

“Really?” Sarah looked up at him seeing him nod slowly as she ran her hands over the collar of his jacket before offering up a small smile. “Who taught you? I’ll have to thank her one day for doing that.”

“Somehow, I don’t think you would want to do that,” Kyle cleared his throat uneasily before eyeing over the people around him and then looking back down at her. “I think she knows she did good with me. I don’t think she would be around to see you say thank you though.”

“That’s too bad,” Sarah frowned running her fingers in over the center of his chest seeing the smile that seemed to fade from his lips as he looked over at something. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” Kyle tried to assure her before nodding over towards the door seeing Diego walk through the doors with Barbara at his arm. “Hey look, I guess they were right. Everyone would be going to this party tonight.”

“Diego?” Sarah gasped seeing him look over at Barbara and let out a small laugh as she frowned feeling Kyle’s hand slip in against her shoulder. “What is he doing here with her? Her of all people?”

“Hey, what’s wrong with you?” Kyle questioned with a small laugh seeing Sarah glance over to the side at him for a moment before looking back over at Diego. “Barbara is a nice woman, hell of a smile.”

“I’m glad you like her,” Sarah snapped seeing Kyle hold his hands up in the air before shrugging his shoulders and looking back towards the dance floor for a minute. “Why is he here with her?”

“Are we still going to dance?” Kyle questioned reaching his fingers underneath her chin to make her look up at him as he eyed her over carefully. “Or are you just going to worry about Diego more?”

“I don’t really feel like dancing right now?” Sarah explained walking off the dance floor as Kyle followed her over towards the corner of the room. “Sorry.”

“It’s no problem,” Kyle rolled his eyes hating to go to a party that was supposed to be fun. It was supposed to be a good place where everything was suppose to have a better look on things. He looked over towards Sarah who was still looking at Diego as he fixed his jacket before whispering under his breath. “Too bad I came with her.”


“I’m glad you got me to go to this thing,” Cori smiled brightly as Dave and Carly followed her into the building. “I mean, what a loser I would be if I actually stayed home.”

“It looks like all of Coral Valley is here,” Carly let out a small gasp looking around the area before them as she felt Dave’s hand tighten around hers. “I’m glad we got you to come with us Cori. I didn’t think it would be the right thing to do to just leave you alone at home.”

“I would have found you a date if you wanted me to,” Dave pointed out seeing Cori look back at him with her dark eyes, a small frown spread out over her features. “I really mean that Cori, you just told me no.”

“Let me think this over,” Cori fixed her dress before running her hand down her neck and letting out a small smile. “If it was someone you picked out for me he would probably be boring and ugly. I like someone fun, so thanks anyways though. I know you would have tried.”

“Thanks,” Dave frowned reaching up to rub his chin before shrugging his shoulders. “I think.”

“Don’t worry, it was kind of a compliment,” Cori whispered reaching out to squeeze her brother’s shoulder before spotting someone out of the corner of her eye. “Now that we are here, I will see you later. I’ll check in with you later.”

“Um, okay,” Dave nodded not quite sure what to say as he saw his sister quickly run away from the situation over towards another part of the crowd. “She isn’t acting weird at all today.”

“Not one bit,” Carly agreed with a sarcastic laugh before taking a step back to look the place over. She turned to see someone trying to get around them as she went to grab onto Dave’s shoulder. “Careful honey.”

“What?” Dave took a step back running into someone as he let out a small breath. He turned to face the person that was looking down towards the ground. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to do that.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Ken wiped himself off before looking up to see Dave’s dark eyes before him. Ken stood up straight before clearing his throat uneasily. “Dave.”

“Ken,” Carly smiled staring out at Ken as his dark eyes met hers in a quick glance before looking back towards Dave. “What are you doing here? Are you with someone?”

“You could say that,” Ken nodded feeling a hand on his shoulder as he turned to face Wendy as he quickly hugged her in his arms and placed a kiss on her forehead. “You scared me for a minute, I thought I lost you.”

“Nope,” Wendy smiled feeling Ken’s arms tightening around her as she let out a small laugh before resting her chin on his shoulder. “At least not yet.”

“Wendy?” Dave questioned seeing her dark eyes look into his as he smiled seeing Ken let go of her. Dave held his hands up in the air before letting out a small laugh. “I can’t believe it’s actually you. How long has it been?”

“Dave,” Wendy took a step forward wrapping her arms around Dave and feeling him do the same in return. Earlier when Ken asked her to go to the party she didn’t think she would have that great of a time, but with seeing old friends and things like that, it made it better. She actually was having a pretty good time. “It’s been quite a long time.”

“I can’t believe you are actually here. Are you here with Ken?” Dave glanced over in Ken’s direction seeing the way that Ken seemed to be a little nervous around him before Wendy nodded. “That’s cool, it’s great to see you Wendy. I haven’t seen you in so long. How are you doing?”

“Not bad,” Wendy replied before shrugging her shoulders and looking back at Ken with a small smile. “How about we hang out with Dave and Carly for a bit. I think we probably have a lot of talking to do.”


“Well would you look at that,” Dorothy noted watching Cori breeze on by her, “She looks like a lost little puppy without Rob to hang on. I’m sure it’s killing her that he’s off with his wife this weekend.”

“Dorothy,” Preston shook his head at her reaching out to touch her arm gently, “I highly doubt that girl is interested in Rob. I know that you weren’t happy about what you saw the other night, but it was innocent.”

“You keep saying that, but men are blind about those things. I can recognize trouble a mile away,” she confessed her eyes still fixed on Cori. She watched Cori move about the party knowing full well that Cori’s intentions with her friend’s husband were far from being noble and it burned her to no end. “This is why I know marriage isn’t a good idea. It always brings trouble with it when someone else has a taste for the forbidden.”

“Hey, what am I?” Preston questioned nudging her gently to redirect her focus, “Chopped liver?”

“No, that’s not what I mean but,” she sighed giving up on her thoughts where Cori was concerned, “Never mind. I’m sorry for sounding so silly stressing over that girl…”

“Hey I think it’s nice that you look out for your friends and even nicer that you look out for me,” Preston leaned in to kiss her tenderly, “Tell me if someone came around me, would you make sure to give her the third degree like you were doing with Cori?”

“Honey you can believe I’ll be giving her a whole hell of a lot worse if she tried to move in on you like that Cori girl is doing with Rob,” she promised reaching out to tease her fingers over the lapels of his jacket before kissing him.

“Hmm, maybe I should see what your being jealous brings more often,” he mused with a tiny kiss once more.

“Don’t push it Pres,” she warned seeing Jenna across the room. Eagerly she waved at her daughter until she spotted Hart trotting along with her.

“Be nice,” Preston murmured under his breath as the two approached them, “Jen, how are you? You look beautiful.”

“Thank you,” Jenna embraced him with a smile, “It’s great to see you.”

“Hart, it’s always a pleasure,” Preston offered his hand to Hart before nudging Dorothy slightly.

“Yes, it’s nice to see you both here together,” Dorothy replied fighting to be polite despite the fact that she still couldn’t take the idea of Hart and Jenna being with one another. Just knowing what kind of man Hart was made her want to cringe and she knew it would be hard to lead them to believe otherwise.

“We couldn’t stay away. Not for a good cause anyways,” Hart smiled at her doing his best to be polite even in knowing that she hated him.

“Yeah, well that’s nice,” Dorothy nodded quickly before her eyes fell in another direction, “and it looks like you aren’t the only one feeling charitable tonight.”

Jenna’s eyes followed the direction of her mother’s words only to discover Douglas standing at the entrance to the party with Thea on his arm. Jenna let out a small groan, “Well that just figures, doesn’t it? I mean it’s not bad enough that he’s been the subject of a great many issues already, but rather that he’s spending time with her again and again and only compiling the problems.”

“She was his alibi when he was in trouble before,” Hart pointed out to her.

“Yeah, well we both know what a lie that was,” Jenna sighed shaking her head at her father as she wondered if he would ever truly learn.


“I guess we should have left earlier,” Hunt let out a small laugh stepping through the people that were filling the building as he held tightly onto Mindy’s hand. “What do you think of this place? Looks like somewhere I would want to be quite a lot.”

“Why?” Gabe questioned with a small laugh stepping in behind Hunt and Mindy with Guy at his side. “Only because it is a place to party all night long with your beautiful girlfriend?”

“That and because I just like to have a little bit of fun every now and then,” Hunt winked holding Mindy’s hand in his tighter before offering up a small smile. “Don’t you love to have a little bit of fun every now and then?”

“Of course I do,” Mindy answered with a small smile tipping up on her toes to kiss Hunt quickly before looking back at Gabe with a small wink. “Actually, I just love being with you Hunt whenever I can be.”

“I’m glad because I am never going to leave you,” Hunt assured her with a small wink before looking around the room and letting out a small breath. “Man, look at all these people.”

“The person that put this together did a great job,” Guy stated with a small nod looking out at all the waiters around them. “They had to hire a lot of people, I mean look at all the waiters.”

“There are a lot of them,” Hunt looked around the room seeing all the waiters in their red uniforms before he let out a small laugh seeing one of the waiters in the corner of the room just standing and eating some of the food. “Hey, would you look at that.”

“Look at what?” Gabe questioned placing his hand on Guy’s shoulder as Hunt took a step forward and motioned Mindy to follow him. “Where are you guys going?”

“I know one of the waiters here, his name is Nate,” Hunt tugged on Mindy’s hand gently before nodding over towards the corner where he saw his friend. “Come on Mindy, I will introduce you to him.”

“Okay,” Mindy laughed walking with Hunt before looking back at Gabe and Guy. “I guess I will talk to the two of you later. I will find you before the end of the party.”

“Have fun,” Guy called out before watching Hunt look back at her and the way she laughed just made a smile spill out over the corners of his lips. “Look at how happy she is with him, I’m so glad that she really found someone she loves.”

“Are you really?” Gabe questioned seeing Guy nod quickly before wrapping his arm around Gabe in response. “I’m glad for her too. She actually has someone she can hold onto for the rest of her life. Hunt is good for her and he makes her happy. That’s the one thing she seems to need the most in her life.”

“Yeah,” Guy sighed thinking about everything that had happened in his life with Mindy. He was sure that once she found out that he was gay, it ruined her life, but Hunt changed that all for her. Hunt actually opened her eyes to a better life and showed her that some things could be better than one thing. “It’s great that she’s happy.”

“Hey,” Gabe turned Guy over towards the dance floor seeing Guy look around for what he was pointing at over towards the center of the dance floor. “Isn’t that your friend Kellen?”

“Yeah, it is,” Guy chuckled seeing Kellen throw his hands up in the air before wrapping his arms around Kipp’s shoulders and smiling widely. “Let’s go talk to him for a little bit.”


“Hey waiter,” Hunt stepped in behind Nate tapping him on the shoulder and masking over his voice so Nate couldn’t tell who it was. “Shouldn’t you be doing your job instead of eating all the food.”

“Go blow one as…” Nate turned around his jaw dropping as he saw Hunt smiling and standing behind him. Nate let out a small laugh before reaching out to hug his friend tightly in his arms. “Hunt man, I haven’t seen you in a while. How is it going?”

“Not bad buddy, not bad,” Hunt answered with a small grin motioning Mindy to step up from behind him as he wrapped his arm around her and pointed to Nate. “Nate, meet my girlfriend Mindy.”

“Wow, a beautiful girl,” Nate reached his hand out to Mindy’s taking it gently in his before leaning down and pressing a small kiss against it. “It’s nice to meet you, be careful with this chump over here. He can be a real wild one sometimes.”

“Yeah, right,” Hunt rolled his eyes reaching out to hit Nate in the shoulder before letting out a small laugh and holding Mindy closer to him. “So, what are you doing here man? I didn’t know this was a costume party. With you as a waiter and everything.”

“Oh, you don’t even know the worst of it,” Nate rolled his eyes thinking about how he got put into this job. He reached out to smack Hunt on the side of the face softly before shaking his head slowly. “My sister made me do community service because I got into an accident with my car.”

“Oh man, you’re sister still doesn’t like you?” Hunt questioned with a small laugh seeing the look spread out over Nate’s features as he shook his head and pointed down to the waiter’s suit. “How did you get into an accident?”

“Well, I was driving down the road minding my own business and then all of a sudden this beautiful woman drives up next to me,” Nate informed Hunt leaning back against the wall before grabbing the bottom of his shirt. “Before I knew what was going on the girl flashed me and then boom, I drove right into a tree. Damn girl got me into this mess.”

“You are crazy,” Mindy laughed already starting to like Hunt’s new friend as Nate let out a small laugh and shrugged his shoulders. “Has he always been like this?”

“He was worse back in high school. We were both on the hockey team and the baseball team together,” Hunt informed Mindy with a small nod seeing the smirk that developed over Nate’s features. “This kid was crazy. The principle was a real jerk and people were too afraid to stand up to him. Well Nate, he was my best friend through high school and I helped him a bit, but don’t tell. First he took the principle’s car and hid it in the football field. Then across the street at some pizza place, on the baseball diamond after that and finally he got tired of the principle finding the car so he drove it into the school and pushed it right into the swimming pool. It was the best thing he has ever done.”

“And you know what the best part was Mindy my dear friend?” Nate questioned his dimples showing perfectly as he smiled widely seeing her shake her head at him. “Well brown eyes, I never got caught. I was only caught for one thing and one thing only. Something I did in freshman year.”

“Oh man,” Hunt laughed remembering what Nate was talking about as he shook his head slowly. “Nate, cheese never looked so good. Am I right?”

“You are right my brother,” Nate bumped shoulders with Hunt before letting out a small laugh and looking over towards Mindy who seemed to be a little bit confused with what they were talking about. “The seniors went on a trip to where they make cheese and I streaked during the trip after hiding on the bus.”

“I wish we had someone like you coming on the trips with us at school,” Mindy frowned thinking back to her high school days before shaking her head slowly. “Everything we did was so boring. No one had a sense of humor.”

“You know what the funny thing about this is?” Hunt laughed to himself pointing at Nate before seeing Mindy let out a small laugh at the way he was laughing. “After that, the kid always had a date. The seniors were always asking him out.”

“What can I say? I’m a stud,” Nate wiggled his eyebrows up and down before looking across the room and feeling his throat grow dry. “Speaking of stud, I think I just laid eyes on prettiest woman I have ever seen.”

“Where?” Hunt looked around to see where Nate was pointing before feeling Nate grab his hand and write something on it. “What is this?”

“My phone number, so we can hang out sometime--the three of us,” Nate stated with a small nod before unbuttoning his waiter coat and throwing it the ground. He pulled his shirt out from being tucked in from his dress pants. He unbuttoned the top three buttons of his shirt before unbuttoning the cuffs of the shirt and rolling his sleeves up. “Mindy, you’re a girl. How do I look?”

“Perfect,” Mindy answered looking at the way he nodded before pushing back his blonde hair and let out a small breath. “Here, I have one more thing to add.”

“Good idea,” Nate watched her grab Hunt’s sunglasses from his pocket before she put it on Nate and he smiled widely. “I will catch you two later, I got a girl that is waiting to have a talk with this hunk.”

Nate waved goodbye one last time before quickly walking over to the woman he saw in her black dress with a glitter tint to it. He saw her alone and that made him feel even better as he stepped in behind her and tapped her on her shoulder.

“Hey pretty lady,” Nate smiled widely seeing her turn around to face him with a small frown as he grabbed his glasses and pulled them off to show her his green eyes. “What’s your name?”

“Cori,” she answered uneasily seeing him eye her over slowly before smiling widely. “Can I help you?”

“Maybe you can,” Nate winked with a small smile spread out over his features. “That is, if you give me the time to talk to someone as beautiful as you.”


“Hey Kev,” Ria smiled seeing him approach her and she could just tell something was wrong by the look on his face. She reached out to hug him in her arms tightly as he rested his head against her shoulder. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing really,” Kevin sighed feeling her hand run down his back soothingly as he thought about the words Angie said to him about wanting to go back to the island and never see him again. “I guess I just have a lot of things on my mind.”

“Like what?” she questioned seeing him pull his head back and look into her dark eyes as he shrugged and glanced over his shoulder back at Angie who was with Chris. “Did Angela say something to upset you or something? If she did…”

“Don’t worry, she isn’t worth it,” Kevin whispered thinking about his words as he looked down towards the ground and then back up at Ria, looking into her beautiful eyes as he shrugged his shoulders. “She isn’t worth the worry.”

“What’s wrong then?” Ria touched the side of his face, feeling the muscle in his jaw tighten as he looked down at her with chocolate brown eyes. “Are you going to be okay?”

“I’ll get over it,” Kevin replied with a small smirk resting his left hand against her hip before bringing his hand up and caressing her cheek gently. “Just forget about everything right now and how about we dance. How would like that?”

“I think I would like that a lot,” Ria felt his hand slide into hers before he led her over towards the dance floor and brought her hand up to his lips, pressing a small kiss against it. “Kevin.”

“I love you,” Kevin wrapped his arms around her waist feeling her wrap her arms around his neck. He pulled her in closer to him, holding her tightly as he glanced over at Angie who was staring out at him. “Only you.”

“What did you and Angie talk about?” Ria questioned seeing him look back down at her with a small frown before shrugging his shoulders and thinking back to the conversation they had. “Anything important?”

“Not really,” Kevin answered looking up to see Angie still looking at him as he shook his head before sliding his hands up to cup her face in his large hands gently. “Nothing as important as you.”

Kevin saw the way Ria’s dark eyes were looking up into his as he leaned forward kissing her passionately. Her arms tightened around his neck as a small noise erupted from the back of her throat when his tongue met hers.

Kevin’s eyes narrowed in over at Angie as he saw her watch him and Ria as they kissed. He gave her one last glance before quickly turning around so that the back of his head was facing Angie.

“I love you Ria,” Kevin whispered pulling away from her, seeing that she was breathless from his kiss as he leaned forward and pressed a small kiss against her forehead. “You are the only thing I want in my future. I love you so much.”

“I love you too Kevin,” Ria whispered hearing the music change from slow to where it was the hustle as she let out a small laugh. “You know how to do the hustle Kevin?”

“The what?” Kevin questioned with a small laugh, his nose wrinkling as he repeated the words to himself. “I have no idea what it is, but I’m sure I can pull it off because I have a great teacher right in front of me.”


“You know if you keep staring you’re going to put a hole in the back of his head,” Chris whispered startling Angela as she spun around to glare at him.

“I’m not staring!” she snapped at him, her eyes narrowing with irritation, “I’m just waiting for the right moment to slip out of here without anyone realizing where I’ve gone.”

“Right and that’s why you’re still standing here keeping those pretty brown eyes of yours on Kevin and Ria,” Chris threw out a doubtful expression, “Tell me something, about these babies you’re having. You’re, um like sure that he’s not the father right?”

“I’m positive of it,” Angela nodded feeling a tiny shiver race over at her. She glanced over at Kevin and Ria moving out onto the dance floor with his arms around Ria’s waist drawing her near to him in an intimate movement. A flicker of irritation washed over Angela for a moment.

“You know you might feel better if you stop watching them and maybe focus on enjoying the party a bit,” Chris suggested seeing anger flicker behind her eyes. He held his hands up in the air defensively, “I’m just saying…”

“I need to stay focused on what I need to get done tonight,” she decided remembering her purpose in being at the party, “I have to get working on finding that room.”

“You can do that, but what about a dance first? What do you say? Want to share a song for old time’s sake?” Chris held his arm out towards her, “Well?”

“Not now,” she shook her head in refusal picking up the sides of her dress just a small amount to keep from tripping on it, “I need to get to work.”

“But it’s just one dance…” Chris watched her rush off in the opposite direction. He let out a small sigh before a frown touched over his lips upon being left alone. Angela was certainly moody tonight, but apparently nothing he did or said was going to change that. He could see that now as she walked off no doubt to refocus on everything else, but her best friend having a nice time. Shaking his head at her, Chris finally let out a long sigh, “Maybe later perhaps.”


“So what do you think?” Russ questioned stepping in behind Avery and offering her the soft drink he’d picked up for her at the bar.

“I think your brother has certainly found something to smile about,” she motioned to over where Grady and Deana were dancing with one another.

“So he has,” he noted watching Grady interact with Deana, “though I have to tell you it feels so strange not to see him with Jade. I mean I know they had their problems, but to think that she’s gone--really gone…”

“I know,” Avery sighed facing Russ once again, “we were all devastated when Susan murdered her, but no one more than Grady. His whole world fell apart without Jade in it.”

“I can’t even begin to imagine how he must’ve felt, to think that your one true love was taken from your life and you’d never be able to be with her again,” his fingers teased over her bare shoulder gently, “Even when I forgot myself, deep down inside of me there was hope that I would find clarity again--that I would find myself and that we’d one day be able to be with one another again.”

“I’d held out hope for so very long, but then when you were gone,” she dropped her gaze to the floor, “It was like the best part of me was taken from my life and I couldn’t bring it back again.”

“Hey,” Russell curled his finger underneath her chin, “let’s not go there tonight, okay? It’s over.”

“I know,” she smiled at him poignantly, “and I’m hoping that there’s some healing around the corner for Grady. I’d hate to see him in that dark place he fell into after Jade died.”

“I don’t know what the future holds in store for him, but I think being with Deana is a good start. She seems like a really wonderful woman,” Russ noted with a thoughtful expression, “She was more than willing to help me when I was in a bind and trying to reach you after Brant had a restraining order put upon me hoping that it would write me out of your life forever.”

“He wouldn’t have done that,” she began seeing the look of disbelief behind his eyes, “Russ, I know that things were tense, but…”

“It’s over now,” he finished for her, sliding her in closer to him in an embrace, “that’s all I have to keep telling myself. The best is still yet to come.”

“I sincerely hope so,” she mused with a small smile tipping up on her toes to inch in closer to him for a brief kiss.

“Still think our being here wasn’t a great idea,” he couldn’t help but ask seeing the smile that lit up her face.

“Actually other than my missing Erin like crazy I think that tonight was a wonderful idea especially since,” Avery’s words came to an abrupt halt when she found herself staring at Brant, who was no more than five feet away from them.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Russ questioned turning around to see his half-brother behind him, “Gee, now why doesn’t this surprise me? Brant, how did I know you’d come around and ruin a perfectly good moment?”

“Gee, and here I thought that title was all yours given that you’ve taken to making my life miserable,” Brant snickered in response, shooting an icy glare at Russ.

“You knew full well what you were getting into when you tricked Avery into marrying you,” Russell waved his hand at Brant, anger sweeping over him, “but she’s not blinded by the jerk that you are any longer. You’re not going to get away with what you’ve done.”

“All I’ve done is given her everything she’s ever wanted. She should be thanking me for that instead of damning me,” Brant’s gaze traveled over to Avery briefly, “You have your happily ever after, so if I were you I’d enjoy it.”

“Oh she will,” Russ scoffed keeping his arm around Avery’s waist, “and she’ll also have her job with BBK whether you like it or not. You can’t fire her.”

“I already did and if she’s smart she won’t pursue this any further. What’s done is done,” Brant spoke up in a warning tone before walking away leaving the mood hanging overhead tense and uneasy.

“Maybe this was a bad idea after all,” Avery finally spoke up knowing that things were bound to get worse before they got better especially now that Brant had laid his cards out on the table as to where she ranked now that they were getting a divorce.

“No, it’s not. We’re going to make sure that he doesn’t take away your chance at the future you wanted. He can’t fire you. Even Augustus agrees on that one,” Russell reached out to touch her cheek gently, “We’ll find a way to fix this. After tonight Brant will be singing a new tune. Trust me.”

“Right now all I trust is the fact that he’s hurting and he’s not about to walk away without a grudge,” Avery revealed with a tiny shiver knowing that it was about to become war between her and Brant much to her dismay.


“Hey there’s Heather,” Kyle pointed out motioning to where Heather stood across the room near the bar in the midst of a crowd. He could see that she appeared to be a bit withdrawn from the group around her and a frown touched over his lips. Fortunately she wasn’t with Cameron however, but still he hated to see her so alone, “We should go talk to her. She’s by herself.”

“No thank you,” Sarah wrinkled her nose in response, “I came here to try to enjoy myself tonight. I would hate to ruin a perfectly good evening my making her think that I even realized she was around.”

“Yeah well suit yourself,” Kyle detangled his arm from hers, “but I’m going to speak with her. She was upset the other night and I want to make sure she’s okay.”

“Kyle, she was just pulling your strings,” Sarah started watching him weave through the crowd to go talk with her sister, “but you’re going to let her do just that, aren’t you?”

Sighing she threw her hands up in the air wondering what it was about her sister that was so blatantly pathetic that men felt compelled to flock to her. She was about to go chase Kyle down when she spotted a familiar face out of the corner of her eye. Immediately she was on edge as she decided it was time to put one annoyance to an end tonight. Marching over toward Diego where she saw him standing near one of the decorative trees, she spoke up with a glare.

“What the hell are you doing here?” she snapped at him in a hushed voice, “I thought you said you weren’t going to be here.”

“I wasn’t, but then I changed my mind,” he shrugged his shoulders offering up an apologetic expression.

“Yeah, I’ll bet you did,” she glared at him further, “Diego, I thought I told you we needed to keep a distance from one another.”

“Sarah, I know what you said, but…” he began to explain himself to her seeing the anger that consumed her.

“But nothing. If you keep following me around like a lost little puppy dog Kyle is going to be bound to figure things out sooner or later and I’d prefer that never happened,” she sneered up at him, “Our lives are complicated enough in this situation without you adding to it. You need to stop following me.”

“Look Sarah I wasn’t following…” Diego began as Barbara approached the two of them.

“There you are,” Barbara slid her arm in Diego’s and smiled, “I thought I’d lost you back there when I went to powder my nose.”

“Of course not,” Diego smiled over at his companion, “Barbara, you’ve met Sarah Marx haven’t you?”

“Ah yes,” Barbara smiled at her brightly, “You’re Kyle’s girlfriend, right?”

“Right,” Sarah bit back on her thoughts realizing that Diego had come to the party with Barbara tonight. Here she’d thought he was following her--that he was stalking her, yet there was another woman at his side--a woman who wasn’t Heather holding onto his arm and immediately she realized that she’d hated it. “So you two…you are together tonight?”

“That’s right,” Barbara’s grin expanded, “Diego’s been a bit of a shy one in getting him to go out and have fun, but I finally wrangled him into a date and so far I think it’s going pretty good. Wouldn’t you agree Diego?”

“Yeah, it’s been nice,” Diego replied catching the jealousy that burned behind Sarah’s eyes, “I just thought that while you were gone I’d say hello to Sarah.”

“Well it’s great to see you,” Sarah managed to get out quickly fighting to contain the angry tears that burned behind her eyes. “I’m sure you two have a lot of things to get to, so I’ll just let you go.”

“Sarah,” Diego offered up a pained expression seeing her rush off.

Sarah heard him call her name, but she refused to look back at him. She glanced over at the direction where Kyle had headed over to in order to speak with Heather, but she couldn’t bring herself to go over there--especially not when she was so worked up about Diego. She glanced over her shoulder to see Barbara hanging onto Diego and her blood boiled.

“I need some air,” Sarah decided making a beeline for the exit when her phone started to ring. Once she was out of the loud music of the party, she answered in a labored breath, “hello.”

“Sarah Marx, this is the hospital calling about your…” the voice turned to static.

“Hello? Is anyone there?” Sarah questioned realizing that she’d lost her connection. She looked to her phone realizing that the caller had to be giving her the pregnancy test results she had been waiting for. Looking back to the party, she knew that now she had to find out what was going on. Tucking her phone into her purse she returned indoors to see if she could find a room away from the party where she could find out just what was going on with her. Despite the fact that she was frustrated with Diego and agitated with Kyle’s sudden desire to help her sister, one thing was for certain. Sarah needed to know whether or not she was pregnant and if she was, she was going to have to find a way to make sure that it didn’t ruin the future she had ahead of her.


Heather stood at the bar hearing the sounds of the music booming behind her as she thought to Cameron’s quick rush to play meet and greet with everyone at the party. While she was well aware that this was a business date, she couldn’t help but wish that there was something more to it--that she could actually have a fun night with someone who was interested in spending time with her. Was that really too much to ask? Okay, so she’d majorly struck out with Diego, but still she would’ve liked to have had an attentive date for the evening. Was that too much to ask for?

“Hey pretty lady,” she heard an unfamiliar voice whisper warmly over the back of her neck, “Can I interest you perhaps in some Sex on the Beach?”

“Excuse me,” she wrinkled her nose turning around to see a glass before her eyes held in a hand that belonged to none other than Kyle. She shook her head at him before accepting the drink with a laugh, “Kind of a risky proposal there if you ask me.”

“It’s just a drink,” Kyle winked down at her, “besides you have no idea how many years I’ve waited to ask you that just so that I could see the look on your face.”

“I’ll bet,” she sipped at the drink before motioning to the glass in his hand. A wicked smile spilled over her lips before she motioned to the bartender behind the counter, “Excuse me bartender.”

“Yes?” the man replied seeing Heather lean over the countertop and tap on it. His eyes darted to the dramatic dip in the neckline of her gown giving him a hint of the body that lay below his gaze, “What can I do for you miss?”

“Do you see this man right here?” Heather reached for Kyle’s arm pulling him in closer to the bar.

“Yes madam,” the man nodded glancing over at Kyle.

“He’s been so kind to buy me a drink, so I’d like to return the favor,” a wicked smirk crossed over Heather’s features as she looked to Kyle for a small moment giving him a complete once over, “So if you could get a move on it I’d like to give this man a Blow Job.”

“Excuse me,” the bartender practically spat out jealousy burning beneath his dark eyes as he looked to Kyle.

“You know the shot,” Heather laughed lightly seeing the man shuffle away with an embarrassed nod before she turned to Kyle.

“And here I thought that you’d be the one who was going to turn about twenty shades of red with the drink that I got you,” Kyle couldn’t help but laugh at the bartender’s reaction to her brazen drink request. Then again he couldn’t help but find himself affected by it as well. “That was some request, but I have to warn you I don’t drink.”

“Tonight you do,” Heather reached for the shot glass after the bartender returned with her drink order. She reached for the glass pulling it up to wave in front of him. “Come on Kyle. Go for it. You know you want to.”

“Actually I’d much rather watch you take that one,” Kyle confessed seeing the way that she was clearly amused with the conversation, “You drink it and I’ll tell you what I think of it. Maybe after that I can take a sip of yours.”

“Ah, so that’s how you’re going to play it,” she winked at him, “You’re more of the voyeur type when it gets down to it.”

“Nah, I’d just rather watch you wrap your lips around that and…” Kyle stopped himself a blush rising over his cheeks.

“Don’t stop on my account,” Heather reached out to tease her nails lightly over the lapels of his jacket, “That’s probably the best offer I’ve had in a long time and I’m rather enjoying it even if you only want to be a spectator in it.”

“Honey when I get wound up I’m more than a spectator,” Kyle challenged, his eyes burning with devilish intent. His words dropped down a bit to a hushed whisper for Heather’s ears only, “As you know from experience I’m a very hands on sort of guy.”

Her face now turned a pale shade of pink before she lifted the shot glass to her lips and smiled, “Bottom’s up.”

Kyle watched her for a moment seeing her finish off the shot before setting the glass down on the counter. She licked her bottom lip before speaking up in a soft moan.

“Oh that was good,” she confessed before raising her glass towards him, “Now a deal’s a deal Kyle. It’s your turn to have sex with me.”

“Well, since you put it that way,” he replied his throat going dry as he leaned forward to steal a taste from her straw.

There was something about the way her eyes were focusing on him that brought a whole new meaning of hot into the room, and yet he’d only come over to have a friendly little conversation with her. How was it he’d forgotten how much fun they’d had driving one another crazy in the past? Heather was an insatiable flirt and they’d always played the game together so well, yet they’d managed to push that aside for so very long.

“Mmm, it’s nice isn’t it,” Heather watched him pull away from the straw before she took a long sip herself, “and for the record Kyle, you can have sex with me anytime you want.”

“Don’t tempt me,” he cleared his throat trying to stay focused on the reason he’d come over in the first place, “So Heather, where’s Cameron? I think I’d like to have a little talk with him while I’m over here.”

Immediately her smile faded and she stood up taller with a huff, “Kyle, I already told you to let it go. This isn’t your problem.”

“When the man hurts you, yep, you can bet it’s my problem,” Kyle remarked stubbornly taking a look around to see Cameron with a few other people, “In fact I think I should just go over there right now and…”

“Don’t you dare,” Heather reached for his arm tugging him in closer to her, “Look he’s not bothering me tonight. He’s been the perfect gentleman and…”

“And nothing. The guy is a creep and you shouldn’t be here with him. You should be with Sarah and I and…” Kyle glanced over his shoulder to where he’d left Sarah moments earlier. He noticed that she was no longer there. His eyes surveyed the room for a moment before he frowned, “Where is she?”

“It looks like I’m not the only one who has a roaming date,” Heather tipped up on her toes to speak over his shoulder.

“Maybe she went to the ladies room or something,” Kyle shrugged his shoulders to turn around and face her once more, “which is good because it’ll give me more time to convince you that you need to dump Cameron as your date like pronto.”


“Jenna, how are you?” Cameron approached her and Hart flashing them both a big grin, “Enjoying yourself I hope.”

“We were until you came over,” Hart replied tightly shooting a glare over at Cameron, “So what brings you this way?”

“I just thought I’d merely say hello and see how things were going,” Cameron shrugged his shoulders casually, “I had hoped that everyone would enjoy themselves tonight.”

“Blake put on a wonderful party,” Jenna spoke up after a long silence, “Of course we’d enjoy ourselves.”

“Blake,” Cameron nodded a faint flicker of a smile teasing over his lips, “ah yes she’s just full of surprises, but aren’t we all?”

“Some more than others,” Jenna replied curiously.

“Well if you’ll excuse me, I have to meet with a few people before the night kicks off,” Cameron waved his hand at them quickly, “but I hope we can catch up later.”

“Don’t hold your breath on it,” Hart warned watching Cameron move towards the stage set up across the room. Hart slide his arm around Jenna keeping her closer to him before he lowered his head to whisper in her ear, “Why do I have the feeling that man is up to something tonight?”

“Because I got the distinct vibe that he is up to something,” she replied with a small frown, “and I hope whatever it is, it’s not going to cause any problems for anyone here tonight.”

“Yeah you and me both,” Hart noted with a level of distrust behind his eyes knowing full well that when Cameron was up to something, trouble inevitably followed.


“You brother and his wife seem to be really nice,” Deana informed Grady as he led her towards the dance floor, holding her hand in his tightly. “They seem like they really love you.”

“What was your first clue?” Grady let out a small laugh before stopping towards the side of the dance floor and holding his other hand out towards her. “You want to share a slow dance with me?”

“Of course,” Deana smiled taking a step forward and holding his hand in hers before he slowly pulled her a bit closer to him before she stopped him. “Though, I must warn you if you try to hold anything other than my hands, I will deck you.”

“I guess I will just have to keep that in mind,” Grady grinned widely leaning her back before bringing her back up to him and letting out a small laugh. “My hands will just have to be good even though I have a beautiful girl right in front of me.”

“They better,” she teased back with a small smile feeling him pull her closer to him before letting out a small sigh and looking into her dark eyes. “So, how long have your brother and his wife been married?”

“Not very long,” Grady answered unsure of what to say with the recent confusion because of Brant and all the things he did to try and separate Russ and Avery. “All I know is that they have loved each other for a long time. A very long time.”

“They look cute together,” Deana informed him with a small smile seeing something catch his eyes as his green eyes centered in on something and his jaw tightened with anger. “Hey, what’s wrong? Are you okay?”

“Come here for a second,” Grady led her over towards the corner of the room seeing her look up at him with a worried expression. “I saw Cameron Stone and if I would have stayed there any longer I would have gone after him.”

“He’s that bad?” Deana questioned curious to how Grady went from being in such a good mood where he seemed so happy to being so tight and angered. Grady nodded slowly before staring out over the crowd, but she reached out to touch the side of his face so he would look at her. “What did he do to you?”

“The man continually tried to ruin my last relationship with Jade,” Grady informed her with a small scowl, getting angered at just the thought of Cameron. “I can’t tell you how many times he came close to doing it too. I can stand that son of a…”

“Jade?” Deana repeated seeing him nod slowly before looking down towards the ground. “Jade as in the woman you loved that died?”

“Yeah, that’s her,” Grady nodded not quite knowing what to say before shaking his head and grabbing her hand in his again. “I won’t mind Cameron. I came here to have a good night with you and we are going to dance and have a good time.”

“Alright,” Deana smiled thinking about all the things that were great about Grady and all the things she liked about him. Just the way that he got so angry just seeing Cameron made her think that just maybe he was still lost in love with the woman he once loved.


“Everything is going great,” Blake blurted out excitedly tugging on Seth’s arms, “I’ve already talked to the head of three major corporations in town and they’ve pledged big money for the cause. Things are working out even better than I’d hoped for.”

“That’s wonderful,” Seth smiled down at her knowing how hard Blake was trying to keep things running smoothly for the night, “Are you almost ready for your big speech to the contributors?”

“I’m nervous like you wouldn’t believe, but yeah,” she finally confessed with a small smile, “I’m ready to do this. I’ll be up there in just a few minutes and…”

“And what?” Seth questioned seeing the color suddenly drain from Blake’s face.

“No, that can’t be,” she shook her head hearing one of the women on the committee call the group to order. There was a small sound of glasses clanging and as the woman began to speak on stage Blake felt as if her world had come to a crashing halt.

“And I’d like to lead a big round of applause for the man of the night Mr. Cameron Stone, who has so graciously donated to the cause and helped us tonight in more ways than we ever could’ve imagined,” the woman on stage started leading a cheer for Cameron.

“What is he doing up there?” Seth questioned with a scowl seeing Cameron take center stage. “Why is he…”

“Thank you,” Cameron addressed the group with a smile, “I was only playing my part in all of this by lending a helping hand, but the real angel of the night is Blake Ashford, with whom I wouldn’t have been able to put this all together without. I may have offered to host this event by opening the doors to a building that has been very much a legacy in my family for years, but it’s Blake who really deserves the praise. This night is really all about celebrating her work that she does and the heart and soul she puts into everything. Her actions and hopes are bound to come into fruition after tonight with all of your help. Isn’t that right Blake?”

“Blake did you know that he…” Seth found himself at a loss realizing that Blake’s mystery contributor was none other than Cameron Stone. He tugged on her arm gently realizing that she’d paid no attention to what was happening on stage, but rather her eyes were fixed on the back of the room near the entranceway. “Blake, hey?”

“Seth it’s…” Blake stammered struggling for the words as she felt a pair of eyes staring down at her, “It’s…”

Seth watched her raise her hand to point out what had been so distracting that she hadn’t paid any attention to what Cameron had just said about being the one to put the party together for the evening. That was a great shocker, but it was nothing like the one that had clearly stunned Blake. Seth’s eyes wandered through the crowd and there he spotted a face that he’d never anticipated seeing again, “Zack.”


...to be continued...