Episode 311

“I don’t know what to tell you sweetheart,” Hart frowned after hearing Jenna talking about Cameron and he hugged her in his arms tightly. “Maybe he is just trying to change a bit, you never know.”

“Hart,” Jenna looked back over her shoulder at with her brown eyes, “Think about the person that Cameron is. Think about all the bad things he has ever done.”

“Okay, good point,” he agreed with a small nod thinking about all the problems Brant had with Cameron in the past with his business and all the things that Cameron had done to the other people in the town. “I’m just trying to think what he would be trying to do with throwing a party. He couldn’t have a bomb in the room because if he did, he would blow away with everyone in the building too.”

“I don’t think he is doing something that extreme, but I can tell he is trying to prove something,” Jenna moved out of Hart’s grasp for a moment taking a look around the room to try and put the clues together, but she still came up with nothing. Noticing Thea over at the bar, she knew that Shannon said leave it be, but she had no other choice than to ask Thea. “I wonder…”

“You wonder what honey?” Hart questioned with a half smile seeing Jenna start to walk over towards the bar where Thea was sitting and a nervous laugh escaped his lips. “Honey, no. Do I have to go get Shannon again?”

“I can handle this,” Jenna hushed seeing him run up next to her quickly so that she wouldn’t be alone when she was trying to find out all this information. Jenna placed her hand on Thea’s shoulder seeing Thea finish off another drink before turning to face her. “I need to finish that little talk we were starting to have.”

“Listen Jenna,” Thea held her hands up in the air, noticing that it made her more dizzy doing that and she put them down. She reached out to pat Jenna on the shoulder before shaking her head. “I can’t answer any questions you have.”

“I deserve to have answers Thea,” Jenna demanded knowing that Cameron was her brother and she should know what he was going to be up to. There were so many things that he could be doing tonight, but she wasn’t sure where he was going to start off. “So, I suggest you start explaining what is going on.”

“No,” Thea shook her head looking out at Hart who seemed to be a little bit worried that another fight might start up between the two women. “I’m just going to tell you right now, I can’t do that at all.”

“Why not Thea?” Jenna questioned angrily throwing her hands up in the air realizing that no matter what she did she would never get Thea to give up on Cameron and tell her what he was up to. “Why? Because you are too obsessed with Cameron to let people know when he is doing wrong? Do you not realize that he is absolutely wrong when it comes to all the things he is doing?”

“Hey, I can’t tell you anything for one reason,” Thea held up her pinky finger and trying to stand up only feeling herself sway back and forth. “I don’t know any more than any of you do. I’m just as clueless as everyone else and I can’t tell you how much that truly pisses me off. I mean of all people he doesn’t tell me about this. Why wouldn‘t he…”

“I think that maybe we should go,” Hart grabbed onto Jenna’s hand making her take a few steps back as Thea continued to ramble on to no one about Cameron. “I think it’s safe to say she doesn’t know anything about this whole situation.”


“I don’t believe this,” Gabe snapped trying to get out of Guy’s grasp as Guy tried to hold Gabe back in his arms tightly. “You need to let me go Guy, now.”

“Listen to me Gabe,” Guy pleaded still feeling Gabe trying to get out of his grasp as Guy turned Gabe around in his arms worriedly. “You need to listen to me first and I will let you go if you just listen to me for one second.”

“What is it?” Gabe felt Guy let go of him as he fixed his suit jacket and took a look over at Noelle who was now walking into the room more. “I need to know what it is now Guy.”

“I just need you to listen to me Gabe,” Guy touched the side of Gabe’s face seeing Gabe’s green eyes meet his as Guy shot him a pleading look. “No matter how much hate you have towards her, you have to calm down.”

“How can I calm down when she is trying to take the one thing from me that I love the most?” Gabe questioned with a small scowl thinking about how Noelle was trying to take his little girl away from him. “I’m not about to let her come into here and try to start things with me so that way it looks better for her when she tries to take my baby away from me.”

“I didn’t say you didn’t have the right to be angry,” Guy tried to hush Gabe seeing a muscle in his jaw tighten when he looked away from Guy and back over towards Noelle. “I just think we should try and handle this slowly and easily because if she does get you angry, I don’t want to know what is going to happen when she does. If you want to approach her, we have to do it right.”

“I don’t know what way is right because that women in absolutely out of her mind,” Gabe pointed out looking back at Guy for a moment before shaking his head when he saw the worried look behind Guy’s eyes. “Okay, I’m sorry--I’m calming down. What do you have in mind with me going over there to talk to her Guy? I seriously can’t think of one civil way to go over there and approach her. She just…”

“I know what she is,” Guy placed his fingers in over Gabe’s lips to hush him for a minute while Guy thought of something to do to try and help Gabe. “I don’t know, but maybe we should talk to her and try and find out what is going on with her.”

“Alright, I’m going to go talk to her,” Gabe decided taking in a deep breath and tried to play out what he would say to her as he walked over towards her, knowing that Guy wasn’t far behind him. He tapped her on the shoulder gently, seeing her turn to face him. “What are you doing here?”


“Sarah, why didn’t you…” Diego started feeling the weight of her news sink in over him, “Why didn’t you tell me sooner that you thought you might be pregnant?”

“Because I didn’t want you to know…” Sarah clenched her hands at her sides, her fingers curling into fists. She closed her eyes tightly feeling her breath grow heavy in her chest, “I was hoping that I was wrong--that it wasn’t true.”

“But if you even suspected…” Diego watched her turn away from him facing the window once again, “Sarah please talk to me.”

“What do you want me to say Diego?” she questioned snapping at him, “What did you think I was going to do especially now that Kyle and I are together again? I mean how do you think I’m supposed to deal with this given that he and I are…”

“Does he know,” Diego took a small, tentative step towards her watching a tiny shiver race over her. He placed his hands on her shoulders listening to the soft sounds of her sobbing, “Does he realize that you thought you might be…?”

“No,” she managed to get out in between tears keeping her eyes closed tightly, “He doesn’t have the first idea about any of this, but now…”

“Sarah, you can’t keep this from him. He needs to know that you’re pregnant and that there’s a possibility that I could be this baby’s…” he started to reason with her taking this news of her pregnancy as a sign that things were happening between them for a reason.

“Don’t say it,” she spun around to face him, her eyes wide with panic, “Diego, don’t you dare say it. It can’t be true. I’m pregnant, but there’s no way that this baby isn’t Kyle’s. He’s wanted a family for so long and…”

“And that doesn’t change what happened between us Sarah. As much as you want to ignore it, you and I both know that we can’t forget what’s happened,” he stepped in closer to her, “We can’t ignore what’s still happening between us.”

“Diego, I’m with Kyle now. I love him and…” her protests were cut off by the feel of his lips crashing down into hers. She let out a small whimper feeling the heat of his mouth on hers, the taste of him melting into her soul.

“I love you Sarah. You know that,” he pleaded with her, his words growing more desperate as his arms wrapped around her, “I’ve loved you since the first moment I met you…”

“You can’t love me,” she replied tearfully, her dark eyes meeting his, “You and I were never supposed to be together. I’m supposed to spend my life with Kyle and…”

“This baby changes that because you know as well as I do that there’s a chance that I could be the father,” he continued smoothing his fingers through her long, blonde hair, “That what you and I shared with one another could be that something that…”

“Diego no,” she shook her head, “please don’t say such things…don’t start believing in things that were never meant to be.”

“How can you stand there and look at me telling me that when we both know that’s not how you feel--not what you really want to believe,” he questioned painfully embracing her again, “Sarah, look at me and tell me that you don’t love me…that you don’t want me. I know it was killing you tonight when you saw me with Barbara just like it was killing me to see you with Kyle.”

“Diego, we can’t go down this road again. We can’t just keep falling into one another’s arms and…” she stopped herself, her gaze traveling to his lips, knowing the fire that carried over them.

“You can’t deny this chemistry between us especially not now after you found out about that baby,” he skimmed his thumb over her lip, “Sarah, you and I both know that there’s a reason why I was the one here with you tonight when you heard the news. It’s fate’s way of saying…”

“That we need to end things. We need to let go of this before it destroys us both completely,” she pushed away from him wiping at her tears in the process, “I have to find Kyle and make things right with him. That’s what this is telling me. That’s what my heart wants…”

“Then why don’t I believe you when you say that?” he challenged, his words sweeping down over her in a crashing roll of thunder. He took a small step towards her, “Why don’t I believe that you want to leave me like this?”

“Because you’re a fool Diego,” she inhaled slowly bringing her hand over her abdomen, “You’re crazy if you think we can build some kind of future with one another based on any of what’s happened between us. It was never meant to be…”

“Yet you long for it just as I do. You want to be with me, to remember what we feel like when we’re together--when we’re free to be ourselves with one another,” he spoke up in an impassioned plea, “Sarah, even you can’t deny how right we are for one another. This isn’t something that either one of us was planning on, but once it hit us, we both knew there was no turning back. I told you that night we were with one another that it changed everything.”

“Don’t you think I know that?” she snapped spinning around to face him, “Don’t you think I realize what this means?”

“Then why are you fighting it,” he questioned noting her pained expression.

“Because I’m afraid Diego. I’m afraid of what happens next--afraid of who I’ll disappoint, but more so I’m afraid of what will happen if I allow myself to love you like you love me,” she confessed her words broken by sobs, “I’m afraid if I touch you again I’m never going to want to let go and that once I have you, I’ll never want to see anyone else with you ever again…”

“I don’t want to be with anyone else Sarah,” he confessed taking a bold step towards her. He reached out to her sliding his fingers through her hair and urging her to meet his impassioned dark eyes, “I want you and only you…”

“Oh Diego,” Sarah whimpered throwing her arms around him and giving in to the kiss that had been lingering in her mind since the moment she’d seen him at the party. She felt his arms around her, tasted the hunger behind his kiss and as her hands tore at his suit jacket she knew she wouldn’t be able to deny the fire eating her alive.

“I love you,” he mouthed again pulling her up into his arms before carrying her over to the sofa at the far end of the room. He set her down gently before moving in over her, feeling her hands tearing at his clothes.

“I want you Diego,” Sarah blurted out, her voice a needy, urgent cry as she placed his hands over her, longing to have him fill her up with his touch, with his attentions. She wrapped her leg around him claiming his lips again in a frantic union knowing in her heart that after tonight there would be no turning back from the fire that threatened to reduce to ashes one way or another.


“Put me down Kyle! Put me down this instant!” Heather shouted catching the stares of a great many people working the party. Kyle had craftily carried her out of the ballroom, yet he knew the walk was long from over as he moved past the serving crew. He turned to one of the guys in a waiter’s suit before him and let out a groan.

“Do you know of a place where I can take her to calm down?” Kyle pleaded feeling her kick her foot into his chest in a solid thump.

“Over there two doors down,” the man explained with a curious expression leaving Kyle to realize that those who were watching were no doubt anticipating some kinky action between him and Heather. Of course he knew full well that would be far from happening given that her foot was jabbing him in the ribs and her fists were doing a number on his back.

“Thanks,” Kyle grumbled stomping off down the hallway to the room the waiter had pointed out.

Once he was inside, he started to close the door behind him when he felt Heather kick him in the abdomen. That was enough to cause him to buckle forward taking her down to the floor with him. He rolled to his side during the fall hoping to keep his weight off of Heather as he tried to safeguard her from the fall. He felt the carpet buffering his collision with the ground as she came down over him. He curled his arm around her listening to the small sound that escaped from her lips before he rolled her gently onto her back. His eyes scanned her thoroughly before she let out a tiny giggle.

“Why Houston,” she tangled her fingers through his long, blonde hair now cascading over the sides of his face, “I always knew you liked to play a little rough and I’ve got to tell you, it’s hot. Very hot.”

“Heather, I’m not trying to play anything,” he felt her wrap her legs around him, another breath escaping from her lips.

“Then sit back, relax and let me play,” she spoke up suggestively leaning up to nip at his bottom lip. He felt the gentle tug of her teeth over his lip before her tongue teased in between the crease of his mouth, taking the time to explore the sensitive spot just below his bottom lip. He opened his mouth in an attempt to stop the kiss instead of inviting her to continue. However, he felt her fingers tangle into his hair, her legs wrapped securely around his hips and he knew he was in trouble.

“Heather I don’t think that…” he started feeling his skin on fire at the feel of her surrounding him. There was something about the sparkle of mischief burning behind her eyes, the infectious sound of the laughter carrying past her lips and the taste of her lip gloss that lingered over his mouth causing him to crave another forbidden taste. “We need to get you off of the floor.”

“I’d be more than happy to settle for the floor Kyle,” she purred tipping her head up again seeking out his mouth, her nails scratching down his back enticing him in ways that he swore he would never in a million years share with anyone other than Sarah. Oh hell, who was he kidding? Heather was a wildfire that burned hotter and far more ferocious than Sarah ever could. Tonight was only proving that to the more primal side of him harder and faster than he cared to admit with her pawing at him, practically begging him to take her then and there.

“Heather wait,” he blurted out feeling her seek out his mouth again. He pulled away before she could carry out her intentions of kissing him once more. With one more kiss like the one she’d started to lay on him seconds earlier, he knew full well that he wouldn’t be able to pretend not to be aroused by it. Then again, his body was probably a pretty damn good indication that it was a little too late for that, yet he thought about Sarah and how he’d come here tonight with her.

“Am I moving too fast for you Kyle?” she questioned with a small giggle, her palms flattening out over his spine, creeping down leisurely until she cupped his bottom in hand crushing him in against her, “Because I can be slow if you like…very slow and I can assure you it’ll last all night long.”

“Heather I…” Kyle groaned closing his eyes and willing himself to forget about the fact that he was a man clearly interested in the invitation before him. If this was a decade ago and he was in another time and place he would have no hesitations about being with her--about giving her what she wanted, but he’d been a changed man. He and Sarah were finally finding bliss with one another and that was something to hold onto. On top of that Heather was drunk. Really, really drunk and that in itself clued him into the fact that she would so not be wanting to relive this embarrassing moment in the morning. He tore his lips away from the kiss seeing the protest in her eyes. Caressing her cheek gently, he spoke up in a smooth and even voice, “Heather we can’t do this here. We can’t do this to each other.”

“Why not?” she questioned blinking up at him, “Don’t you want me?”

“More than I probably should admit, but you’re drunk and I’m not…” he paused thinking about Sarah, a heaviness filling his chest, “I mean Heather we can’t just…it wouldn’t be right for us to…”

“Why not?” she curled her lip in a pout feeling his hand brush up against her leg sending thrills racing over her at the contact of his fingers against her soft skin. “I thought you and I could pick up where we left off a while ago. You’re alone tonight and I’m alone and…”

“Heather, I never wanted to have sex with you,” Kyle revealed with a heavy sigh, an ache swelled up in side of him. He pushed her tangled hair from her eyes seeing the disappointment flash over her features.

“You didn’t?” she questioned a sadness washing over her, “But I thought after all those times we…”

“Heather, I never wanted to have that,” he pressed his index finger over her lips, his dark eyes burning into hers, “Never once in all those times when we fooled around did I want to just screw around with you and have sex.”

“But I thought that…” disappointment flooded over her and she looked away, “I guess that was my mistake for thinking that you’d even consider me given that you and Sarah are…”

“No, you’re not getting this Heather,” he nudged her cheek gently, leaning down to press a kiss over her forehead, “What I’m saying is never once in all of my thoughts about us, did I envision having my way with you on the floor of some party while you were in a drunken spell crying out for some kind of negative response.”

“Our being together wouldn’t be negative…well other than the fact that you have Sarah and I have…” she closed her eyes a shivering breath sweeping over her, “But you never wanted me. You still don’t.”

“Heather that’s not what I’m saying,” Kyle confessed feeling his words betray him, “What I’m trying to tell you is that never in our time together did I want to just have sex with you because when it got down to it all that I could think about back then was what it would’ve been like to make love to you.”

“What?” her eyelids snapped open in a startling gasp, “What did you just say?”

“I said that I wouldn’t dream of just having sex with you Heather because I was all about the entire package and that included giving you more than just my body. When we were together I always wanted for it to be more than just sex--something special that was only about us and only us,” he whispered running his fingers through her hair, “Sex is for those people out there who are looking for something short, sweet and to the point, but making love, well that’s something only reserved for someone special--for two people who really care about one another and want to experience something beyond the simple and immediate. It’s complete and ever engulfing and it’s nothing short of what I’ve always thought about when the idea of being with you came up.”

“You mean you wanted to make love to me? Really make love to me?” Heather questioned in a groggy tone, disbelief washing down over her alcoholic haze.

“Yeah, I did,” he confessed in a small voice knowing he was crazy to admit it to her given that now was the worst time to ever be thinking it again.

“And what about now? Do you want to make love to me even now?” she couldn’t help but ask in a whisper, her voice a forbidden temptation that would have no doubt create a world of problems for them should she have been truly sober in this experience. However, given that he knew this moment would pass and she would forget, he opted to give in to honesty.

“More than you can even begin to imagine especially now,” Kyle confessed dipping down to murmur over her lips, the warmth of her breath intermingling with his. He felt her arms around him, her lips feathery and longing as he couldn’t help but explore the sweetness of her. She massaged her fingers up over his spine, her iron clad grip on him becoming less aggressive and more sluggish as her tongue met and found his in a tangled sweep. The kiss was slow and subtle transpiring from that first electric spark of attraction until it swelled up into a long, drugging display of emotion. There were so many reasons to turn away, to walk away from what the kiss meant, but before Kyle could find it in him to think of them, he felt Heather’s lips tear away from his.

“Heather,” he whispered her name gently seeing her pale features now laid out on the ground beneath him.

He touched her cheek gently realizing that as great as the kiss had been the alcohol had given them both an out as he’d expected it would. Kissing her had been heaven, though he was certain it would be something he’d go straight to hell for embellishing in. Of course now that she’d passed out, he could find it in himself to pull her up off of the ground and work on sobering her up without the embarrassment of a crowd or anyone who would realize that he and Heather had taken a very dangerous trip down memory lane with one another. They could just push this night behind them, pretend it never happened--that he hadn’t found himself wishing like hell to escape from reality with her for a while and all could be good again. He would just pick her up in his arms carry her over to the couch and no one would ever think anything of what had happened. No one would reflect on this one moment of pure bliss and insanity--not even Heather, but Kyle realized it was all for the best.

“Some lines are never meant to be crossed I suppose,” he sighed touching her face gently before tucking away his inner concerns over this sudden conflict brewing inside of him. This would just be one more memory to lock away that he would carry all by himself from here on out and…

“Well, well, well, what do we have here?” a voice snapped him out of his thoughts as Kyle popped his head up to see Kellen standing over them looking like the cat that ate the canary ready to pounce on this very tentative situation he’d stumbled in upon.


“There you are,” Shannon wrapped her arms around Don’s shoulders after looking for him for quite a while on the dance floor, only to feel him go stiff not realizing that it was her as she let out a small laugh. “It’s me silly.”

“Shannon, don’t do something like that,” Don let out a small breath taking a nervous look at her over his shoulder before shrugging his shoulders and trying relax a bit. “I thought you could have been someone else jumping me from behind or something.”

“Why would someone be attacking you from behind?” Shannon questioned with a small laugh, her nose wrinkling as she let go of him and he turned to face her. “It’s not like you did anything to deserve to be attacked…today.”

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Don quickly lied eyeing over the room hoping that the waiter hadn’t told Cameron about him paying the kid to lie to Cameron. “I didn’t do anything wrong, I’m a good boy you know. I’ve just been walking around doing absolutely nothing.”

“That’s good,” Shannon eyed Don over slowly wondering what he was up to as she laced her fingers with his carefully. She saw his blue eyes looking over the room carefully and she reached up to touch the side of his cheek, seeing him look down at her. “Where did your best friend go?”

“I don’t know, he had to go,” Don informed her thinking back to the next to nothing story that Brant had told him and how Don was only to keep Cameron busy. “Look around the room and do something like that.”

“What did he have to do?” Shannon questioned letting out a small laugh seeing Don crack a nervous smile before shrugging his shoulders. “I mean, it is a party you know.”

“I don’t know what you mean by that,” Don stated shrugging his shoulders before seeing Cameron walking around the dance floor and eyeing things over. He felt his heart beat quicken as he let out a worried breath, thinking that Cameron was looking for Brant. “People can go to parties and still have to do things. Excuse me real quick.”

Don looked around for another young waiter, seeing a blonde one in the corner of the room playing with three of the spoons. Don quickly walked over to the kid, taking a glance back at Cameron before tapping the kid on the shoulder.

“Oh crap,” the kid moved the spoons back to where they were worried that he might get in trouble. “I’m sorry sir, is there something you need.”

“I need your help,” Don looked over towards Cameron before pointing over towards Cameron. “Listen kid…”

“Olly,” the spoke up seeing the confused look spread out through Don’s blue eyes as Don looked down at him. “My name is Olly sir.”

“Olly? Why in the world are parents…,” Don was about to finish his sentence about the unbelievable names these kids had these days. That was until he realized there was more important things at risk and he pulled his wallet out of his pocket, pulling out a fifty again. “I will pay you fifty to go tell that man over there that his car was demolished in the parking lot.”

“Um, okay,” the kid started to step away from Don weirdly sliding his money into his pocket before shrugging his shoulders and offering up a small smile. “I would have done it for free man, but thanks for the money.”

“What? You mean…” Don was about to complain more before shaking his head and letting out a long breath, watching the kid prepare to make one of the biggest lies of all time. The kid whispered something in Cameron’s ear and Cameron looked as if all the color in his face had drained at that moment. Cameron ran out the door into the parking lot and the kid turned around shooting him a thumbs up sign before going back to work. “That kid is good.”

“Good at what?” Shannon stepped in behind Don seeing him turn to face her, his eyes wide as he searched for words to explain what was going on with him right now. “What in the world are you doing Don?”


“No,” Angela shook her head blinking repeatedly as she realized her mind was truly playing the ultimate trick on her. She kept her eyes fixed on the man before her, but she knew full well that she couldn’t be standing with Brant. He couldn’t be right in front of her looking as perplexed about the situation as she was.

Sure, she’d known that she’d gotten in over her head when she’d found herself stuck on this side of the secret room, but now, well now it was clear that her mind was making up ways to pass the time. There had to be some kind of gas fumes in here that were clouding with her perception of reality. There was no way that Brant was in this room, in these close quarters looking sexier than she’d remembered him being the last time they’d met up with one another. Immediately flashes of their last encounter ran through her mind causing a heat to surface over her face.

“Angela,” he spoke her name shakily, tilting his head to the side and blinking himself as if he too was stunned by this moment’s turnabout. The cell phone he’d been holding in his hand fell from his fingers and crashed to the ground with a loud bang causing them both to jump.

“This can’t be happening,” she yelped dropping to her knees on the floor and reaching out to retrieve the shattered phone that she was certain was only another one of her mind’s hallucinations. She felt him bend down beside her, his hand touching her shoulder gently and she let out a soft shivering exhale. Her eyes snapped up to his seeing confusion and warmth burning behind them and she knew that she couldn’t be experiencing this. She couldn’t be thousands of miles from the place she’d been in when they’d met and suddenly lost in the chocolate warmth she’d derived great pleasures from not so long ago.

“Tell me about it,” his fingers brushed up against the soft skin of her arm, causing shivers to race over her. Sure, she’d thought about him in the past, imagined him returning to be with her, but never had she created such a foolish, ridiculous fantasy where…

“Now I know I’m losing it,” she sprung up on her heels determined to banish the vision with the movement. However, she lost her balance mid-motion and toppled forward into his welcoming arms. There was a certain warmth about them that caused her stomach to be tied in knots. Her pulse was racing, heart pounding and there was a certain dizziness in her head that had her convinced that she was making all of this up. Her words came out in a sharp whisper and she let out a choked breath, “You can’t be here. You can’t really be here.”

“I’m starting to wonder the same thing myself,” he replied touching her face in a soft, feathery motion feeling her shivering against his caress. Their eyes connected and tiny jolts of that electric spark that had been ever present between them on the island bounced between them.

“You can’t be here,” she repeated again knowing that she sounded like a broken record, but hell, this was her hallucination and she was going to roll with it. She stretched her arm out, bringing her hand against his cheek and feeling the soft stubble building against his cheek at what felt like a day’s worth of not shaving. His eyes were tired, yet they never seemed to lose their spark as she lazily fingered his dark hair. “This isn’t real. I must’ve bumped my head or something…”

“Angela, I just can’t believe that…” Brant found himself at a loss knowing that this was too good to be true. His eyes were filled with a mixture of emotions as he held her, remembering the warmth of her as if it was yesterday, “So many nights I…”

“Me too,” she confessed leaning in closer to him, her lips barely a breath away from his anticipating the taste of him all over again when there was a sudden flickering from the opposite end of the room and everything around them went black all over again.


“Wait a second,” Zack stopped one of the waiter taking a glass of wine off the tray the guy was holding. Zack offered up a small smile before motioning the guy to continue with his work. “I absolutely love this party, it’s going great.”

Zack eyed the room over carefully wanting to chat with some of the people he knew before he left town and no one seemed to spark his interest until he spotted one of the women in the corner talking to someone else.

“Well, well, well,” he smiled widely walking around the crowd, stepping behind the woman and leaning forward to whisper in her ear. “It’s Ria Merhan.”

“Excuse me?” Ria questioned turning around to face Zack as a small frown appeared over the corners of her lips. “Oh great, Zack. What in the world are you doing here?”

“Well, I’m back in town now and I figured what better way could I return other than coming back to see all the wonderful people again at this party,” Zack shrugged offering up a small shrug before taking a small sip of his wine. “What about you Ria? How are you doing these days? We worked together and yet we never kept in touch, that‘s a real sad thing you know.”

“Am I supposed to talk to you when we only talked to each other because other than that I didn’t think we were really friends,” Ria mentioned seeing his eyes widen before he shrugged his shoulders and she let out a small sigh deciding to be a bit nicer. “So why are you in town? Did Johanna leave or something like that?”

“Yeah, something exactly like that,” Zack nodded taking another big gulp of his wine before holding his right hand up in the air and taking a step in closer to her. “What about you though? Are you still dating that mystery man? You know the one that had all the rumors swirling around the hospital?”

“Actually no, I’m not,” Ria answered proudly, knowing now that she had Kevin she couldn’t do any better than him. He was the perfect boyfriend for her and she never wanted anyone else, he was it for her. “What about you though? Why did Johanna leave you and take the baby with her? Did you turn out to be the asshole that all the rumors in the hospital suspected?”

“Touché,” Zack set his glass down on the table next to him before holding his hands up in the air not caring what had happened with Johanna. “As far I see it, Johanna is the past and yeah--she did basically say what the rumors said about me. I may be an asshole, but if someone actually captured my attention…”

“What kind of attention?” Ria questioned feeling his finger slide down her arm slowly, making her let out a disgusted sound as he let out a small smile. “What are you doing Zack?”

“I always thought you were very beautiful,” Zack reached up to push a piece of hair away from her face and behind her ear, smiling from ear to ear as she looked up at him with her brown eyes. “You always seemed to catch my attention.”

“On second thought, I can see exactly why Johanna left you,” Ria pointed out taking a big step away from Zack and letting out a small laugh. She pointed over to where she saw Kevin at the other side of the room with Chris. “You see that big guy over there?”

“Yeah,” Zack eyed over the man she was pointing at seeing the guy take a glass from the guy he was with, “What about him?”

“If you’ll excuse me, I have to meet my date,” Ria smiled widely nodding over towards Kevin with a small wink. “He’s the big guy you are staring at. Bye Zack.”

“Bye Ria,” Zack gulped down realizing that maybe it was a good idea to leave Ria alone. He took one look at the guy Ria pointed out, noticing how big his arms looked in that suit coat. “Okay, definitely staying away from Ria.”


“Kev-O,” Chris slurred holding his drink up to Kevin before letting out a long laugh and bringing the drink back to his lips, finishing it off. “It’s great to see you man, isn’t this party the best? I mean all this stuff--all this alcohol.”

“You’re drunk aren’t you?” Kevin eyed Chris over slowly as Chris stood up and stumbled forward and Kevin blocked him from falling down. “How many drinks have you had Foley?”

“It doesn’t matter, not many. Hey, you want a drink? I know you do,” Chris insisted with a small laugh before hitting the table on the bar as the bartender came up ready for Chris’s order. “Bar buddy, get me another one of these and get my friend here a Malibu Maguire. The big guy just loves those.”

“Really Chris, that’s okay,” Kevin shook his head already seeing that the bartender had walked off. Kevin felt Chris pat him on the shoulder as his eyebrows tensed together. “I don’t want one.”

“Oh come on big man,” Chris frowned elbowing Kevin in the stomach gently before grabbing the glass that the bartender brought back. “You know you want it Kevin, come on big man. Relax and have some fun, stop being so droopy.”

“Stop for a second,” Kevin grabbed the drink and set it back on the bar before shaking his head slowly, looking into Chris’s dark eyes. “Chris, where is Angie?”

“Oh, Angie,” Chris laughed his eyes getting wide as he took a sip of his drink. He saw Kevin fold his arms out in front of his massive chest before Chris threw his hands up in the air. “I have absolutely no idea where she is Kev-O.”

“Yeah right,” Kevin rolled his eyes knowing that after that reaction Chris knew exactly where Angie had gone off to. “Where is she Chris, I can tell you are up to something. What’s going on?”

“You can tell something is going on?” Chris let out a small chuckle finishing off his glass before shaking his head slowly and rolling his eyes. “Please Kevin, you are as blind as a bat.”

“Come here,” Kevin tugged Chris up from his seat and pulled him over towards the dark hallway in the back of the room. He felt Chris stumbling to try and keep up with him as Kevin threw him up against the wall, staring Chris in the eyes. “Tell me where she is Chris.”

“Wow Kevin, I never knew you had feelings like this for me,” Chris patted Kevin on the shoulder gently before sliding his hand up against Kevin’s face. “You’re bringing me into a dark hallway to do what you want with me and all this time I thought you had feelings for Angel, but they were really for me.”

“What is your problem?” Kevin questioned with a small scowl letting go of Chris and hearing him let out a long laugh as he fixed his suit jacket before shrugging his shoulders. “Listen, I don’t like playing these little games--I just want to know where Angie is.”

“Why do you want to know where she, when you are the one that has her hurt in the first place?” Chris snapped seeing Kevin's dark eyes narrow in over at him as Chris nodded slowly. “Yeah, that’s right big man--she is hurt because of you and you are so blind when it comes to that aren’t you?”

“What are you even talking about?” Kevin questioned with a small frown before shaking his head and holding his hands up in the air. “Listen, I don’t even want to know about it. You should just grow up a little Chris.”

“Oh please Kevin, you know you two love to torture each other,” Chris blurted out in a slur throwing his hands up in the air as Kevin took a step back watching him carefully. “You guys are like meant to be together and you just break up to get back together, to only break up again. Please, everyone knows that.”

“Listen buddy,” Kevin chuckled to himself knowing that Chris was going on and on over something that really wasn’t real. He held his right hand up in the air before shaking his head. “I’m in love with Ria now, not Angie.”

“Just like you were in love with Michelle right?” Chris blurted out seeing a muscle in Kevin’s jaw tighten as Chris let out a small laugh. “You married Michelle and she married Cary. How long did it take you two to get together once her darling husband died? How long did it take you to get back together when she was dating me? Oh, that’s right one day. That one day I came back to her apartment to find her in your arms, naked on the couch. Do know how that made me feel Adonis? You had to go and follow your last name to make her fall in love with you again. Adonis, that figures, you might as well be that god after the way she left me for you.”

“That was the past Chris, don’t bring that back up,” Kevin pleaded seeing Chris roll his eyes before throwing his hands up in the air angrily. “Listen, I’m sorry about that…”

“No you’re not,” Chris cut Kevin off quickly poking Kevin in the chest seeing him let out a small hiss as he covered the spot that Chris poked with his left hand. “You loved every minute of getting back with her. She’s in England, you get hurt and get sent back to come watch her. I propose to her that day and low and behold she tells me no. I think she is just a little afraid of it and then the next day I come back to give breakfast to her and try to do it again, thinking this time she might agree, but no. I swear if I wouldn’t have spoke up right then and there you two probably would have gone at it again. That seems to be how your relationship goes. I’m never good enough for her, she always seems to be with you--the big muscled idiot.”

“Hey now,” Kevin frowned holding his hands up in the air defensively before shaking his head and letting out a small laugh. “Listen, I know that it must have hurt when that happened, but she was pregnant with my baby girl back then and neither one of us even knew that. It’s the past though, I don’t love her anymore Chris.”

“Oh bull shit, you two are always jealous of any other person involved with the other,” Chris snapped throwing his hands up in the air angrily. “She’s upset because of you right now, just face the facts Kev-O.”

“No, I’m not going to face the facts because the truth behind it is that Angie never gave a shit about me,” Kevin realized his voice was rising a bit and he tried to calm down a bit. “We lost our daughter and after that we started to fall apart. I don’t have the feelings for her like I used to.”

“Oh yeah, that baby,” Chris gritted his teeth together thinking about the whole story Angie had told him once many years ago. “A father of twenty-one and a mother of eighteen. Damn Kevin, you couldn’t wait to get in her pants could you? Had to get her pregnant on her eighteenth birthday, didn’t you?”

“Listen Chris, let’s just stop this,” Kevin ordered his dark eyes narrowing in at Chris as it became more evident that Kevin was getting more angry with what was going on. “Just let me know where Angie is, that’s all I want.”

“Angel was all I wanted too,” Chris pointed out running his hand through his hair shakily before arching his eyebrows up at Kevin, “but your damn child had to ruin that for me.”

“My what?” Kevin felt a fire light up inside of him as he took a step closer to Chris, tilting his head in Chris’s direction. “What did you just say about my baby girl?”

“You heard what I said. She got pregnant with your damn little baby girl and all of a sudden I became the friend that helped her pick out dresses and things for your wedding that was supposed to happen,” Chris rambled on seeing Kevin clench his fists at his side as Chris spoke up once again in a small slur. He poked Kevin in the chest once more before laughing. “You get shot right there and the same day your little baby girl dies without you there. I figured hey, you screwed up and it leaves a spot open for me now. Then she got with Cary and then she got with you again, big surprise. If she hadn’t got pregnant with that stupid kid I would have had a chance with her.”

“You son of a bitch,” Kevin swung his fist into Chris’s jaw as hard as he could, seeing Chris fall to the floor and grab onto his jaw. Kevin could feel his face turning hot with the thought of the words Chris just said to him as Kevin kneeled down and grabbed Chris jaw in his fingers, making Chris look up into his angered eyes. “Don’t you ever talk about my baby girl like that again, she never deserved this. She deserved to be with me today and don’t you ever say different you son of a bitch.”

“Kevin,” Ria tried grabbing Kevin and pulling him up after seeing him hit Chris like that, she was afraid that Kevin just might kill Chris. The only time she ever saw him hit someone that hard was when he was boxing and that was the absolute only time. “Come on, whatever he said wasn’t worth it.”

Kevin didn’t move and didn’t say anything as his dark eyes stared into Chris’s. Chris’s eyes tried to read Kevin to see if Kevin was going to finish the job or stop with everything now that Ria was here.

“Kevin come on,” Ria tugged on Kevin’s coat once more seeing Kevin drop Chris’s head back to the ground as he stood up and faced her slowly, feeling her tug him back towards the room. “Leave him alone for now.”


“Well, I think you’ve done more than your fill back here tonight,” JT announced walking into the backroom of the restaurant area of the bar to see Evie seated on a stool reading one of the cook’s Mexican fashion magazines. “Then again, maybe I haven’t put you to work hard enough.”

“Oh please,” she tossed the magazine aside rolling her eyes at him, “You and I both know that no one is here tonight since this is like a ghost town tonight.”

“Even so, you aren’t getting paid to read tabloids,” he wrinkled his nose at her.

“This is so far from being a tabloid it isn’t funny,” she shook her head at him, “It’s just a Spring and Fall fashion guide and I was just looking at what it had to offer. You know to figure out what‘s in down in Mexico...”

“And just when do you think you’re going to be in Mexico?” he arched a curious brow.

“I’ve been to Mexico plenty of times and other places too like Paris and London,” she paused giving him a disapproving look, “but that’s not the point. I would’ve done dishes if there were dishes to do, but there weren’t so I found a way to spend my time wisely instead of going up front to annoy you. Besides, you aren’t paying me, or are you?”

“We’ll talk about it down the road,” JT shrugged his shoulders before leaning back on the counter just a bit, “but for now, I’m going to be a nice guy and let you get out of here early. They are talking about closing down and my shift is over, so I don’t see the point in making you stay here for nothing.”

“If that were really true, then you wouldn’t have had me here in the first place,” she countered folding her arms in front of her chest, “Now would you?”

“Ah, but you’re not wasting your time. You’re learning a very valuable lesson about work ethics here and what it means to make an almighty dollar,” he explained in a small mocking tone, “At least that’s what my father told me when I was about your age. He cut me off completely and I had to learn all over again how to take care of myself.”

“I know how to take care of myself,” she frowned seeing his disbelieving look, “I do.”

“Yeah, well I can tell you first hand that stealing and getting into cons isn’t the way to go. I’ve been there, done that and it never pays in the end,” he replied giving her a once over, “Besides, you look too smart to get sucked into that.”

“Well thank you for the public service announcement JT, but you don’t know anything about my life,” she paused momentarily eyeing him suspiciously, “And besides, why should I believe a thing that you’re saying to me about that?”

“Because I have the scars to prove it,” JT rolled up a sleeve of his shirt, revealing the painful reminder of his past that he’d worked to ignore. He motioned to one of the pink, fading scars before looking to her again, “You know what that is?”

“A sign that you were an idiot,” she shook her head at him, “and unlike you I don’t do drugs.”

“Good keep it that way,” JT pushed his sleeve down again, “because it’s an expensive, disgusting habit.”

“Spoken like a true reformed born again Dudley Do Right,” she rolled her eyes at him before continuing with obvious sarcasm, “Tell me how was it that someone of your overwhelming wisdom was reduced to a crack head?”

“I was young and stupid and I didn’t have my father there to back me up,” he replied with a surprisingly painful expression.

“I don’t need a father JT. I already have one,” Evie shot back at him with a huff.

“And what a damn fine job he’s been doing to let you work your little games in a dump like this,” JT shook his head at her, “I mean that’s really why you’re out here isn’t it? Your father just cares oh so much about you that he’s letting you fall into this kind of life. Someone your age should be going to school and bettering herself rather than being stuck in this part of town.”

“I’m not stuck here. I choose to be around these parts,” she paused struggling to find the right words, “and besides just because you’re pissed off at your father, doesn’t mean you have to lecture me on mine, nor do you have to start acting like him either.”

“Well maybe if someone cared, you wouldn’t have to be standing in the back of a bar taking orders from someone like me and spending your time washing dishes. Trust me this isn’t the kind of life you want,” he continued with a frown.

“You seem to be doing just fine,” she added pointedly, “You claim you had nothing and your father was a creep, but look at you now.”

“I went through hell and back thanks to my dear old dad,” JT muttered with a look of disgust, “He cut me off completely from his life and I was left to find my way on the streets. It was ugly and pitiful, but I pulled through it. I‘d hate to see someone as obviously intelligent and interesting as you fall into my old habits simply because the thrill of pick pocketing won‘t last much longer.”

“Yeah, well maybe I’m over it already,” she waved her hand dismissively in the air before seeing that perhaps she’d upset him, “and JT?”

“What?” he questioned tipping his head up to look at her again.

“I’m sorry,” she brought her hands down over the sides of the apron she was wearing, “I mean about your dad. I’m sorry that you had to go through all of that.”

“Hey, it’s not your fault,” he attempted to blow off the heaviness in the air that surrounded them, “but with you, well I just don’t want you getting hurt. Last night when I saw that guy nearly attack you, I didn’t like it.”

“Really?” she perked up at his concern. Yes, she knew full well that he’d had it earlier, but this seemed to be different than the lectures that he’d been giving her again and again.

“Yes really,” he nodded taking a small step closer to her, “Can’t you see that you’re better than that? You deserve more than that.”

“Why do you care so much?” she couldn’t help but ask. She watched him open his mouth to say something she was sure would just irritate her again and she cut him off, “I mean you keep telling me that you don’t want me to fall down your path, but I get the feeling that you don’t do this for just everyone.”

“No, I don’t,” he confessed with a small breath, “but lately I’ve been seeing things in a new light. You could say a personal tragedy has me reevaluating everything that happens to come my way.”

“For what it’s worth,” she paused a slight hesitation in her tone, “Thanks…I mean for caring about me and for the job. Maybe it will give me something to work with. I might learn a thing or two especially now that I have you breathing down my neck all the time, which really doesn‘t bother me as much as I make you think it does.”

“Well, that’s the first honest thing I’ve heard you say,” he couldn’t help but smile at her. He looked up at the clock before focusing on her again, “So what do you say? Can I give you a lift home?”

“Actually I was kind of hoping you’d give me a ride, but instead of going home, I was hoping that maybe we could go somewhere to talk,” she decided taking a tiny step closer to him, “I know this probably sounds like some kind of scam here, but I think maybe it’s time we stopped with all this fighting and started getting to know one another again. Maybe we could start anew?”

“Yeah sure,” JT finally decided smiling down at her, “How do you feel about ice-cream? I know a great place on the other side of town and…”

“Sold, I’m yours,” she blurted out a heat rising over her face before she cleared her throat again, “You know what I mean.”

“Yeah,” he couldn’t help but smile at her, “Get your things and we’ll get out of here before someone starts to miss us.”

“It’s a deal,” she nodded watching him go over to sign them out for the evening. Perhaps having decided to come to work tonight was proving to be a smart idea after all, she reasoned finding herself excited by the idea of getting the opportunity to spend more time with JT, even if he did make it an annoying habit to preach to her more often than not.


“So, how is your night going so far?” Grady questioned smiling down at Deana as he slow danced with her on the dace floor. “Am I really as boring as I seem to be when I see you at the hospital and other places? If I am, I can try and make things better here you know. Just let me know.”

“No, I’m having fun with you,” Deana assured him with a small laugh as she looked away from his green eyes, trying to keep away from that look he kept giving her. “I don’t think you need to change anything about yourself. You are absolutely perfect tonight, you haven’t even done anything wrong at all.”

“I haven’t?” Grady let out a long breath, placing his left hand over his chest before fanning himself playfully with his hand. “Good, I thought I would be stepping all over your feet and make you hate me so bad that I would never get a second chance at a date.”

“No, you haven’t done anything wrong,” she assured him once more with a wide smile thinking about the night she had been sharing with him. “I actually think you are an amazing dancer and you couldn’t do anything to make me hate you.”

“Oh really?” Grady questioned arching his eyebrow at her before letting out a small laugh, sliding his hand to small of her back twirling her around so that he faced the door. “Does that mean you think I have a better chance at getting a second date now?”

“Well, I don’t know about that,” Deana shrugged her shoulders fluttering her eyelashes up at Grady and sliding her hand in over his shoulder softly. “All I said is that you handled it very well while you dance. You are an amazing dancer and if you want to work at having a second date with me you have to prove that you deserve to have one.”

“Now how am I supposed to do that if I don’t know how to make you like me more?” Grady questioned arching his eyebrow in response as if to challenge her to get her to give him a straight answer of yes or no. “I could dance on my hands to get you to go out with me again.”

“Somehow, I don’t believe you could do that,” she informed him with a small chuckle seeing his eyes widen as he let go of her hands and took a step back. “What are you doing?”

“You don’t believe me?” Grady questioned with a small laugh starting roll to roll up the sleeves of his dress coat. He unbutton his coat jacket before taking a step forward. “Prepared to be surprised.”

“Grady no,” she gasped seeing Grady go to do something as she held her hands up in the air, knowing that Grady was probably full of it, but she didn’t want him to risk getting hurt like that. “Don’t do that, I will seriously think about it, I promise.”

“You,” Grady heard Cameron’s voice as he felt turned around to feel Cameron push him back roughly. “You’re the one that keeps doing all this to me aren’t you? You keep making all my waiters pull all these pranks on me.”

“What are you talking about,” Grady snapped brushing off his coat before taking a step forward and staring out at Cameron. “What in the world are you talking about anyways? If I wanted to do something to you, I would do something worse--not tell your stupid waiters a lie.”

“Bull crap,” Cameron pushed Grady back once more before feeling Grady step forward and push him right back. Cameron was about to do the same until a blonde woman stood between them. “Sweetheart, move before you get hurt.”

“Who is going to hurt her?” Grady snapped touching Deana’s shoulder gently before motioning Cameron to leave. “If you touch her, I will kill you because no one is going to hurt her when I am around. I had absolutely no time to do what you are blaming me of right now because I was with her the whole night. Why don’t you just go find someone else to fight with because this is over.”

“You’re going down Denton,” Cameron called out as Grady wrapped his arm around Deana and motioned her to follow him across the dance floor and to the other side of the room. “You just don’t see it yet.”


“I swear this night keeps getting stranger and stranger,” Hart noted pulling Jenna aside after they had gotten nowhere in getting any information out of Thea about what Cameron’s true intentions for the night were. Somehow both suspected that Cameron was working an angle given that was always his approach on things, yet neither one of them had been able to figure it out.

“You don’t think he’s going to pull something horrible off, do you?” Jenna couldn’t help but ask thinking about Cameron’s nefarious side.

“I don’t know, but I’m sure if we work together on this one, we can figure it out,” Hart surveyed the room, “though I have to tell you it is a bit strange that I haven’t seen Brant around here since before the announcement that Cameron is the one running the show tonight. I have to wonder if maybe he’s still in the dark about this one.”

“When he finds out about it, he’s not going to be happy,” she added thinking about the rivalry between the two men, “yet I don’t think Blake was even aware that Cameron played a hand in tonight…”

“I’m positive that she wasn’t because she never would have agreed to it,” Hart paused his words falling to silence when he spotted someone out of the corner of his eyes, “What the hell is this?”

“Hart, what is it?” Jenna questioned seeing his jaw flex with anger.

“Over there,” he wiggled his finger in front of her to show him someone over by the bar area, “As if that man hasn’t proven to me time and time again that he’s completely useless in my life, I think this one tops the cake.”

“What man?” she couldn’t help but ask, her eyes following his finger to see Walt over at the bar flirting it up with a blonde woman. She frowned slightly seeing the way that Hart was effected by his father’s friendly flirting, “Well Hart if he’s out having a good time, I guess we can’t fault him that. He’s going through a lot right now and…”

“A lot my ass,” Hart snapped his eyes narrowing in anger as Walt reached for the woman’s arm and seemed to guide her towards the dance floor. “Did you get a good look at her Jen?”

“Well not really, but…” Jenna glanced over at Walt again just in time to see that not only was Walt out and about having a good time, but he was doing it with the last person she’d ever expected to see him with--Elizabeth Raines.


“Oh no, he’s back,” Don whispered to himself looking out into the crowd to just see a brawl between Cameron and Grady end. There were so many worries Don was having about Cameron finding Brant, but he knew that no matter what he did he couldn’t keep Cameron away from this party. “How am I supposed to stop Cameron from finding Brant if I can’t get him away from here?”

Don unbuttoned his suit jacket as he tried to think of a next option to get Cameron busy once more. There were so many worries going through his head as he thought about Brant and the way he ran off. He was hoping that Brant would be back sooner, but Brant was hadn't return yet making him even more worried.

“Where are you Brant?” Don asked himself taking in a deep breath and almost thinking that maybe he should follow Brant’s steps and go down that hallway to try and find his friend. “If you are hurt, I will never be able to forgive myself.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Shannon walked back up to Don placing her hand on his shoulder and leaning up to press a small kiss against his cheek. “I know Brant and I know that he can take care of himself. Even though he thinks of you as his bodyguard, he can still fight for himself. You will see him by the end of today, I promise.”

“Yeah, well I hope so,” Don took in a deep breath knowing that it probably wasn’t a good idea to tell Shannon the first half of what he had done. At first he thought Shannon would have told someone, but she actually found it funny which was weird on his account. “All I know is that he owes me for this one because Cameron would have kicked my ass if he knew it was me.”

“Don’t worry honey,” Shannon whispered running her left hand through Don’s short hair and letting out a small laugh. “If he even tried to touch you, I would beat him to a bloody pulp.”

“Hey Don,” he heard his sister’s voice beckon him as her hand touched his arm gently. He let go of Shannon long enough to reach out and give her a quick hug. “Listen, I’m really bored right now.”

“Bored? At a party?” Don gasped playfully before sliding his hand in against Lindsay’s cheek gently. “Now I know you are becoming too mature for your own age and it’s scaring me.”

“It’s okay,” Lindsay laughed nodding over towards the door and she waved goodbye to him. “I’m just going to go get some air for a little bit, I promise I won’t go anywhere else.”

When she saw her brother nod telling her that she could, Lindsay walked outside hoping that somehow her day would dramatically improve because everything had been so slow while she was waiting at the party.

“Oh, excuse me,” a young man turned around when Lindsay opened the door and accidentally hit him. “Wow, I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean to do that to you.”

“I was the one who hit you with the door,” Lindsay pointed out with a small grin, looking at the way he smiled at her and his dimples were showing clearly. “I’m sorry, I should have been looking where I was going.”

“Oh, don’t worry about it, I’m stronger than I look,” he informed her with a small wink before reaching his hand out towards hers. “My name is Daniel Ashford and you are?”

“I’m Lindsay Leveski,” Lindsay accepted Daniel’s hand before seeing him nod over towards the garden and offering up a small smile.

“I take it that the party didn’t go too well for you either?” Daniel questioned seeing her shake her head slowly and look down towards the ground. “So, do you want to take a walk around the garden and talk or something?”

“Sure,” Lindsay nodded accepting his arm as he held it out for her, “I would love to.”


“There you are,” Russell announced walking out onto the balcony to see Avery standing near the edge looking down at the world below. The moon was shining in over the water and it cast a beautiful glow at the empty beach before them. He moved in closer to her, bringing his hand up over her hip, “I thought I’d lost you there when you finished dancing with your father. I would’ve been out here sooner, but I was talking to Judy and…”

“I was just enjoying the night,” she closed her eyes a slow breath carrying over her lips, “It really is beautiful here.”

“Yes it is,” he nodded in confession his eyes fixed entirely on her instead of the beach before him, “and it’s even more beautiful now that we’re here together.”

“Russ,” she spun around to face him, her dark eyes meeting his with a soft sadness behind them, “about earlier--with Brant I‘m sorry for the tension…”

“Hey, I don’t anticipate anything less between the two of us for a long time,” he admitted honestly bringing his arms around her waist protectively, “He’s not happy with me and I can’t blame him. I mean here he thought that he’d finally had a chance with you, but then I came home and we both knew where your heart was. It was only a matter of time before Brant saw that too.”

“Even so when I think about my complaining about my job. I mean maybe this has all happened for a reason. Maybe Brant is right in saying that he and I can’t work together,” she sighed heavily leaning forward to rest her head on his shoulder, “We can’t even trust one another to be honest with things and that doesn’t make for a good relationship of any kind.”

“He never should’ve tried to lie about Erin,” Russ frowned thinking about the stunt Brant had pulled on them, “That was wrong on so many levels. I mean did he really believe that he could pull that one off?”

“Apparently so,” she sighed again, “but at the same time I guess that should’ve clued me into the fact that things with Brant weren’t working. I mean even before you returned things between him and I were tense. We were like two worlds trying to force ourselves to be a part of the same dream for the future. It just wasn’t what was meant to be.”

“No it wasn’t because everything that was meant to be is happening now, right here with you in my arms,” Russell replied leaning down to caress her lips with his in a slow, gentle kiss when a sound rose from behind the both of them.

“I swear I’m going to kill that son of a bitch,” Grady’s voice roared into the night.

“Grady, calm down,” Deana pleaded with him, “It’s going to be okay.”

“No, it’s not going to be okay especially not when that jerk is walking around town acting like he owns it,” Grady snapped his words rumbling through the balcony, “It’s not fair that the rest of us are forced to suffer when Cameron Stone is never held accountable for his sins.”

“Okay, this doesn’t sound good,” Russell whispered spinning around to face his brother, “Grady, hey what’s going on?”

“I’ll tell you what’s going on. That man is making a joke of this party--a mockery of everything Blake was hoping for now that he thinks he can call the shots,” Grady continued in a huff, “Not only does he have the gall to stand up there and tell the world that he’s the one who put all of this together, but then he acts so smug and…”

Avery glanced out of the corner of her eye seeing Deana looking a bit flustered about the situation and she stepped forward, “You know what? How about you and Russ talk about this for a few minutes while Deana and I go in for a drink?”

“That sounds like a very good idea,” Russ piped in with a thankful expression watching Avery step in beside Deana.

“Shall we?” Avery offered with a small smile.

“Um sure,” Deana picked up on the unspoken hints and followed Avery into the party once again while Russ and Grady stood alone with one another on the balcony.

“Okay what really happened in there Grady?” Russ asked once Deana and Avery were out of earshot.

“I decked the son of a bitch,” Grady explained in a huff, “and he had it coming. He’s had more than that coming for what he’s stolen from me. Not only did his trumped up charges take away my life, but they took away Jade because I was unable to protect her when I was locked up in jail. I wasn’t able to save her when Susan took her simply because Cameron is too selfish of a bastard to care about what is best for anyone other than himself. Tonight when I saw him, I just about lost it and I knew that I couldn’t let him get away with that. I wasn’t about to let him have the chance to destroy anyone else ever again especially not after he took away the one love I’ve always hoped for in my life.”

“Susan killed Jade,” Russ couldn’t help but point out fearing what his brother would do in this moment of rage.

“I know she did, but his doing what he did only facilitated her madness even further and I’m not about to let him get away with what he’s done. Jade deserved better and if he hadn’t kept us apart, she’d be with me right now alive and well,” Grady explained with a sneer as Russ watched him closely not quite sure what to say, but judging by the expression on Grady’s face, he had better think up something soon before the situation spun out of control!


Seth stood by the bar for his drink order to come up while he waited for Blake to finish speaking with one of those who had made a hefty donation tonight to her cause. He couldn’t help but smile seeing the way in which she’d been able to rise above Cameron’s earlier announcement and still pull off the graceful, shining beauty and tact involved in keeping her mind on the cause at hand. It was a breath of fresh air to actually see her so thrilled and motivated about something that would benefit so many people in wonderful ways in town.

“Well, well, well,” he heard a voice slide into the spot next to him at the bar, “if it isn’t my favorite husband sitting alone at the bar while his little plaything is off flaunting her assets at each and every man with money at the party.”

“Valerie,” Seth spoke her name tightly, his dark eyes narrowing down at her, “How in the hell did you manage to worm your way in here tonight?”

“You could say I have my sources,” she leaned in closer to him, her eyes eating him up like he was some kind of dessert laid out before her. She traced her finger over the sleeve of his jacket before smiling wider, “after all, you do know how persuasive I can be when I want something.”

“Unfortunately I know full well that means that you suckered some clueless idiot into bringing you here tonight only so you could ditch him for bigger and better things,” he mouthed with a heavy look of distrust.

“Oh now Seth, you know they don’t make them any bigger and better than you,” she reached out to him again, her hand flattening out over the center of his chest in an enticing movement, “In fact, why don’t you forget about your society girl for a while and give your wife the much needed married time that we’ve both been longing for.”

His dark eyes dropped down to her fingers on his shirt and he frowned. He caught her wrist with his hand and pulled it off of his chest before looking to her fully, “Not if you were the last woman in the universe.”

She watched his retreat with a scowl knowing that he would come around sooner or later, “You’ll be back!” she shouted at him her frustrations mounting, “You’ll get bored and you’ll be begging me to be with you again Seth. Just you watch!”

Seth kept moving on not bothering to look back over his shoulder at her. She groaned inwardly and stomped her foot realizing that this hadn’t gone at all as she’d planned. Having him walk away was never a part of the equation and now…

“Excuse me,” a voice prompted her out of her tantrum. She turned to see a man standing beside her, “I couldn’t help but overhear a bit of your conversation. Did you say that man was your husband?”

“Even though he hates to admit it,” she nodded with a small groan, “yes he is. Why do you know him?”

“Oh yes,” he smiled holding his hand out to her, “The name is Zack. Zack Vaughn. From what I gather, you’re not happy about him and Blake and rightfully so if he’s truly your husband.”

“He is, but he’s trying to ignore that,” she huffed watching him take his place beside Blake only further causing her blood to boil.

“Hmm, well in that case I suppose now would be a good time for me to share with you that I used to be Blake’s boyfriend before he moved in on her and I’m looking into getting her back into my life again,” Zack tossed out on the table causing her to stand up straighter. She tipped her head to the side eyeing him as if he became suddenly more interesting to her.

“Really?” her lips curled in a smile. She stepped in closer to him and placed her hand on his arm tentatively, “Well, Zack, I’m Valerie and it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“Dance with me and maybe we can find a way to make this whole unsavory situation a pleasure for the both of us,” he suggested offering her hand in the hopes that he’d just found his ticket back inside Blake’s life all over again.


“Wait a second,” Evie reached out to place her hand on JT’s arm once he’d helped her out of his SUV. She looked to the run down place before her, noting the broken neon light overhead that she suspected once read Loco y Caliente tavern. She paused giving him a strange look before shaking her head at him, “I thought you said you were taking me out for ice-cream. This place hardly looks like the kind of establishment that is dishing out cones and sundaes.”

“You’d be surprised,” he couldn’t help but laugh reaching for her arm and guiding her towards the entrance, “You said that you’ve been to Mexico so I thought you might be in the mood for some fried ice-cream.”

“Well I…” she stammered feeling him guide her into the door only to see a short, older man standing behind the hosting area.

“JT,” the man grinned at him brightly, “¿Qué pasa?”

“Not a whole heck of a lot Emilio,” JT smiled back at the man, “but I was hoping you could change that for us. This is my friend Evie.”

“Hola Evie,” Emilio waved at her, “I take it you two would like something a little private--maybe a little secluded.”

“Actually I was just telling Evie all about the fried ice-cream you have here,” JT revealed with a grin, “I was hoping that maybe you’d hook me up with something here.”

“You’ve got it. Tell me something,” Emilio looked at Evie, “You in the mood for honey, chocolate or strawberry?”

“Strawberry,” she replied with a more relaxed smile, “always strawberry.”

“A girl of my own heart,” JT brought his hand up over his chest approvingly before pointing to one of the tables, “How’s over there?”

“That’s okay,” Emilio nodded before going off into the kitchen and leaving JT and Evie alone to get settled in.

“So how did you hear about this place?” Evie couldn’t help but ask, her brown eyes filled with a sudden curiosity.

“I have friends in low places and one time when I was strung out, I wound up on Emilio’s doorstep out there,” JT confessed honestly, “I didn’t know who I was let alone where I was. It was raining like mad and he thought it best to take pity upon me. He invited me in, offered me a meal and a chance to sweep the floors for a while until I got back on my feet again and since then, well I like to come back every now and then and remember those who were there for me.”

“I see,” she nodded spotting a waiter returning to the table with an oversized plate of fried ice-cream.

“On the house JT,” the man explained setting the oversized plate down on the table top, “Emilio told me to tell you your money is no good here.”

“Gracias,” JT smiled as Eve’s eyes widened upon noticing the delicious treat before her. “So what do you say? Ready to taste a little piece of heaven?”

“God that looks so good,” she reached out for a spoon feeling his fingers brush up against hers as he too had started to claim that particular spoon.

“Be my guest,” he released her fingers opting to take the other spoon. He slid the plate closer to her offering her a first taste at their sweet indulgence, “You’re going to love it.”

“I already do and I haven’t even tasted it yet,” she mouthed scooping up a heaping spoon and depositing it between her lips, “Oh God…this is incredible.”

“I knew you’d like it,” JT finally settled in for a bite himself amused at the way in which she seemed to savor every bite. “There isn’t anything like it out there in Coral Valley, possibly even the world.”

“It is one of those chart toppers,” she nodded in agreement before eyeing him intently, “So tell me, do you come here often?”

“Not as often as I used to,” he shrugged his shoulders settling into his chair across from her, “but I try to when I find the time.”

“You mean when you’re not working and being a slave driver,” she winked at him playfully.

“Ah yes, believe it or not, I do have those moments when I don’t let work rule my life,” he teased back unable to suppress the smile that built up inside of him, “I can be a pretty cool guy when I’m not in the kitchen you know.”

“I’m sure,” she licked the traces of strawberry off of her lips, watching the way his eyes dipped down to take it all in. Smiling she leaned in over the table getting a bit closer to him, “So tell me JT, do you have a girlfriend?”

“Why stop at just one,” he joked watching the color rise in her face at his comment. “I mean that’s what everyone is telling you at the restaurant right?”

“They say that you’re a player, but they’ve also mentioned that you’re a very wild ride,” she licked her lips, a darker intention behind the movement causing JT to groan inwardly.

“Tell me Evie,” he couldn’t help but ask sliding in closer to the table as well, “Is a wild ride something you’re after?”

“Perhaps,” she shrugged, dropping her hand down underneath the table to brush it against his knee in a casual, yet well planned movement, “that is if the right one came in my direction.”

“I see,” his eyes remained fixed on hers, “well then I think now is probably the time for me to remind you that you don’t want me pulling any of my cheap and senseless seduction tactics on you. After all you’re far too smart for that.”

“Smart or not, that doesn’t mean that I’m not interested in getting laid,” she watched him practically choke on the bite of ice-cream he’d scooped up for himself.

He placed his hands on the table trying to get it together as he looked to her with wide eyes, “You can’t be serious about that?”

“What’s wrong JT? You’ve never had a woman cut straight to the point with you before?” she wiggled her brow at him suggestively, “Somehow you didn’t strike me as the kind of guy that would get embarrassed about a no-strings proposition like that.”

“I’m just not used to being propositioned so openly especially by someone I’m working with,” he felt her hand slide up over his thigh.

“That’s not what I hear,” she shook her head at him, laughter swelling up in her voice, “I’ve heard that you’ve been very good to the waitresses and that a night with you is well worth the aggravation you may dish out in the kitchen.”

JT took a moment to recover from her earlier comment before speaking up again, “You shouldn’t always believe everything you hear as I really have been working on changing my policies at work.”

“Maybe you should hold off on doing that,” she mouthed a crooked grin carrying over her, “because despite the fact that you’re trying to be my white knight, right now I’d really rather be somewhere a little more private with you and this ice-cream except rather than scooping it off of the plate, I’d much prefer to be licking it off of your chest. So what do you say?”

“I think that you’re about to get yourself into something that goes way over your head Eve,” he spoke her name in a pained tone, his eyes filled with the possibilities of what she was proposing to him, “You don’t really want to go there with me tonight.”

“See now that’s where you’re wrong,” she slid out of her chair, knowing full well that the waiter that had brought them the ice-cream was watching her adamantly. She circled around the table before pushing JT’s chair back just a bit in order for her to settle herself in over his lap. She saw his eyes grow wider than saucers before she dipped her fingers into the strawberry soaked fried ice-cream and lifted it to his lips smearing it over them, “that’s exactly where I want to go tonight, so let‘s stop playing games and get right to it, shall we?”

Before JT could respond, he felt her mouth tease in over his kissing him with a renewed hunger that could only spell one thing for him--trouble!


“Angela?” Brant questioned feeling the darkness surround him. It was as if in one moment all of his vivid and erotic dreams had all built to this moment and then nothing. There was a short, sharp thrill of anticipation followed by the black hole that had engulfed him. He slid back a bit hoping that the hallucination would return to him, but instead he heard a small popping sound. “Angela, are you there?”

“I’m over here. I’m just…” he heard another sound before he felt her crashing into him once again. His arms quickly enveloped her, his body reacting to her warmth almost immediately as the light flickered in the corner of the room once again. His dark eyes found hers for the briefest of moments before he felt her collapse in his arms.

“Angela?” he questioned realizing that she must’ve passed out in the split second that he’d found her again. However, before he could make sense of the scene unfolding before him, the light bulb overhead popped once more and darkness returned.

“This is not happening. This isn’t real,” Brant thought to himself carefully hoisting her into his arms. He stumbled backwards feeling something sharp and jagged in the wall behind him. A soft rumbling began again and he found himself met by a faint glowing warmth.

Spinning around still with Angela in his arms, he realized that the wall had disappeared. It had given way to another room--a room that was draped in shadows and sheer curtains. It was the exact opposite of the room they were now in, yet something about it had an eerie familiarity to it. He noticed that the source of the overhead glow came from another lamp at the far end of the room just beyond an oversized canopy bed. He stepped forward hearing Angela let out a soft breath as her head sank into his chest.

“Let’s just see what we’ve stumbled on in here,” he mouthed carrying her over to the bed. Using his right hand, he pushed aside the translucent, white curtain to reveal the thick satin comforter of the bed before him. If his mind was giving him some fuel for his fantasy, adding the bed along with Angela was a nice touch--except, well in most of his fantasies if not all of them she’d been cohesive instead of unconscious.

Carefully he eased her in against the pillows before crawling onto the bed beside her. Her lips parted with a breath as his fingers pressed in against her cheek gently. She was still warm and though it was dim in the room that surrounded him, he could see that she was still with him. He’d feared that she’d bumped her head when he’d heard the initial snapping sound, but she appeared to be doing alright as she lay before him.

“I don’t believe this,” Brant mouthed to himself his finger tracing the outline of her lips. He watched her chest rise and fall with each breath she took and he felt his pulse quickening.

So many nights he’d thought about her, dreamt about reuniting with her, but now when his life had felt so glum, this particular fantasy was one that had him feeling it harder and heavier than he’d ever imagined. Sure, when he was married to Avery, he’d thought about Angela--even realized in the back of his mind that Angela had touched a hidden part of him more, but now to be thinking about her, having a vivid fantasy about her like this, it was almost too much to bear.

“You’re so beautiful,” he couldn’t help but whisper leaning in to kiss her tentatively, fearing if he pushed too hard with his fantasy that it would all burst in a moment of awakening. Sure he’d lost his mind in the past before when it had come to dreaming about her, but now there was just something so very real about this moment.

“Brant,” her voice rose in a soft, intoxicating murmur. Her arm curled around his shoulder after a moment of warmth filled her. Her eyelids flickered open and she saw him smiling up over her, gazing down at her with concerned eyes.

“Are you alright,” he questioned gently, his thumb skimming lightly over the hollow of her cheekbone, worry washing over him.

She nodded silently, her hand curving off over his back, longing to feel him beside her. She tipped up reclaiming his lips again with a bit more power behind the movement, “You’re here. How could I not be okay?”

Brant couldn’t help but smile settling in beside her, his arms draped around her body. He turned onto his side, remembering just how beautiful she’d been as they’d been with one another in that beach house sharing a moment of awakening with one another beneath the morning light. He spotted the same familiar smile that lit up her eyes as she too turned in towards him.

“I’m dreaming,” she mouthed, her eyes absorbing every inch of him, every line and shadow of his face before her hand followed the movement. She blinked a few times, a warmth creeping in over her, “I have to be dreaming.”

“Tell me about it,” he whispered in response, pulling her in closer to him, their lips colliding with one another in a sudden moment of urgent desire. There was something about this particular fantasy, about this hot fire that his imagination had conjured up that wasn’t about to let him walk away from his dream girl. Hell if he was somehow dying on the floor of the room he’d entered blindly, then so be it because nothing was going to take from the way it felt to have her in his arms all over again. His gaze fell upon hers after they’d parted breathlessly. He tried to find the right words, tried to vocalize what was happening inside of him, yet he came up empty knowing that it would never be enough--that this vision of her would never truly be enough, “I’ve missed you.”

“I’ve missed you too,” she mouthed with a slow, building smile, “There hasn’t been a night when you haven’t been in my dreams, reminding me of how good we were together--about how wonderful it felt to have you here with me.”

“My only regret is that we didn’t make it last longer for us in our time together,” he confessed dipping his fingers out over her hip, curling them over her spine. He nudged her in closer to him, his hand guiding her leg around his body, longing to feel her beside him again, “That I couldn’t be honest with myself about what it is that I wanted from you--what I needed from you.”

“What was that?” she asked in breathless anticipation, her heart pounding in her chest.

“Everything,” he blurted out knowing that it was pointless to deny his heart to his mind’s illusions. He squeezed her in his arms, guiding her back onto the silken comforter again before his lips sought hers out and delved into the sweetness of her. Her nails raked lightly over his back, her leg squeezing him closer to her as his confession sparked a newfound honesty between them, “I want everything from you, but most of all, with tonight…I want tonight to last forever. I don’t want to make the same stupid mistakes I did the last time. I don’t want to stop myself from being honest with you--honest with my heart and what it’s telling me…”

“What’s it telling you Brant,” she questioned her dark eyes fixed on his, knowing full well that she should stop with this hallucination, but it was too powerful, too strong to leave her room for anything other than this alternate reality she’d created for herself.

“That I want to love you. I want to spend the rest of my life loving you,” he breathed drinking up her kisses as if holding onto this moment with her would be his last. There was nothing he wanted to leave unsaid, unspoken as this time he was going to do what he hadn’t been able to do the last time he’d been near her. This time he wasn’t hiding behind his interest in Avery. This time it was all about being where he wanted to be--with Angela, the one woman who would no doubt haunt him for the rest of his life when this hallucination came to a painful conclusion for him breaking his heart all over again at the knowledge that he’d let the best thing walk out of his life without a fighting chance.


“So, how old are you?” Daniel questioned with a small smile looking down at Lindsay as she shrugged her shoulders when they got closer to the building. “Wait a minute, let me guess this one right here. I would guess you are sixteen.”

“You were close,” Lindsay answered with a small shrug as she looked up into his dark eyes and saw the way he smiled at her. “I’m fourteen, a couple of months away from being fifteen.”

“Oh well, I was a year or two off,” Daniel chuckled before reaching up to push his hair back with his left hand. “I’m sixteen so I figured you might be the same age because you have a mature kind of look behind your eyes.”

“Well, you look very mature for your age too,” Lindsay informed him with a small smirk before shrugging her shoulders. “Though, I must tell you that every boy I meet that is your age is very immature, so it’s a good thing that you actually have manners.”

“That’s what my mom always tells me,” Daniel let go of Lindsay for a minute before reaching out to open the door for Lindsay and let her walk in before him. “It’s not a bad thing to hear that though because I like when people think that about me. I’m not like most people and it’s good that people know that.”

“Hey, my brother is in early thirties and he still has some troubles with it,” she nodded over towards her brother seeing Daniel look over at him and let out a small laugh. “So, it’s actually good that you got it this early.”

“Well, thank you,” Daniel looked up to see a young woman walking over towards him and he let out a small gasp trying to block his face. “Oh no, it’s Tara.”

“Tara?” Lindsay looked up to see the woman that Daniel was blocking his face from as she turned around with him and touched his shoulder gently. “What’s wrong with her?”

“She’s in my grade and she will never leave me alone,” he answered uneasily shooting a glance over his shoulder at Tara who was truthfully walking in closer to them. “Oh no, she’s going to talk to me, I just know it.”

“Daniel,” Tara touched his arm gently seeing him nervously look back at her before turning to face her. Tara shot a small glance over at Lindsay before smiling up at Daniel. “So, are you up for a dance tonight?”

“Actually, I can’t,” Daniel lied reaching out to Lindsay and wrapping his arm around her waist gently. Her blue eyes looked up into his as he shot her a pleading look to play along with him. “You see, this is my girlfriend Lindsay Leveski, so if you will excuse me I have to go.”

“Your girlfriend?” Lindsay looked up at him with a small frown before letting out a laugh when he shrugged his shoulders, pushing back his hair once more. “I guess that was one way to get rid of her.”

“Daniel honey,” Zoë placed her hand on her son’s shoulder, seeing him turn around to face her with Lindsay on his right arm. “I just heard you talking to that girl and this is your new girlfriend? It’s a pleasure to meet you Lindsay.”

“Mom no,” Daniel tried to stop his mother from talking anymore as she hushed him and wrapped her arm around his shoulders. “Mom, you don’t understand.”

“I’m so glad that I get to meet my son’s new girlfriend,”
Zoë informed Daniel and Lindsay with a wide smile before nodding over towards the dance floor. “You two should dance together, go ahead.”


“I’m here because I can,” Noelle informed Gabe with a small frown looking back to Guy who was stepping in behind Gabe slowly. “Just like you two I was invited too.”

“You would have never wanted to come back in the day,” Gabe pointed out folding his arms out in front of his chest and letting out a small sigh. “What are you really here for because if you are here to start something with me, I don’t want to take any of your crap Noelle.”

“Gabe, when I want to start something with you, I will start something with you,” Noelle informed him with a small shake of her head. Deep down she knew that it would bother Gabe with her coming to the party like this out of nowhere and it made her happy to see that. It was the main reason that she actually came because she knew it would start something up inside of Gabe and possibly make her look like the better parent to Brittany. “Why? Do you want to start something right now in front of everyone Gabe?”

“You would like that wouldn’t you?” Gabe laughed sarcastically before rolling his eyes and watching her carefully. He read her perfectly from the first moment she walked into this room and eyed him over. He knew that she was here to try and push him over the edge, but unfortunately for her he wasn’t. “Sorry Noelle, I’m not going to do something that would make you happy.”

“Make me happy Gabe?” Noelle let out a small laugh seeing him tense up and then seeing Guy slide his hand in over Gabe’s shoulder lightly. “It would make me more than happy because then I would truly know who the better person is.”

“The better person is Gabe and you know it,” Guy spoke up seeing Gabe look back at him with his green eyes and Guy offered up a small shrug. “The only reason you came here was because you were trying to get him angry and you were trying to make it so that he would make a jerk of himself and show that you accomplished your goal. Well newsflash, Gabe isn’t like that and Gabe is actually a good person that knows how to take care of a child--unlike you.”

“He may have you to stand up for him, but when it gets down to it Gabe knows that I get what I want and I will get Brittany just like everything else I have always wanted,” Noelle promised seeing Gabe’s green eyes looking into hers carefully. “Gabe, you know that it’s never going to happen with you winning this whole thing because I will have Brittany and you know it and that’s why it scares you.”


Kyle felt his face grow hot with embarrassment as he shuffled to scoop Heather into his arms. His body was still fighting the fire that was eating him alive at the nearness of her, yet with Kellen eyeing him intently, he knew that now wasn’t the time to focus on that. He had to get Heather over to the couch--to the safety of any place, but the floor where they’d just shared a heated embrace.

“So, um I hope I’m not interrupting,” Kellen toyed around with his words letting Kyle know full well that he hadn’t missed a thing in what was going on before he’d walked into the room.

Come to think of it Kyle wasn’t really sure when Kellen had arrived in the room, but judging by the expression on Kellen’s face it was clear that Kellen wasn’t about to let him live the moment down.

“This isn’t what it looks like,” Kyle began in a weak attempt to get Kellen’s knowing look to evaporate, “Heather’s drunk and I…”

“Just thought it was an appropriate time to issue mouth to mouth to her?” Kellen smirked with a small chuckle, his eyes wandering over Kyle after he’d set Heather down on the sofa, “Obviously it must’ve felt like the right time for you too with her being…um, drunk.”

“Look Kellen,” Kyle started to argue with him, an uneasiness sweeping over him as Kellen’s gaze dropped down to the center of Kyle’s pants.

Kyle quickly turned away trying to focus on anything other than what had to be going through Kellen’s mind right about now. Hell, Kyle was looking for a reason to forget about what was going through his own mind after kissing Heather like that. What was he thinking? Why did he think that it would help to just go for the gusto there and let her know how he’d once wanted her? The past was the past and you couldn’t change that, right?

“Kyle,” Heather murmured a groan overtaking her as Kyle looked down to see her in apparent agony.

“Hey, I’m here,” Kyle scooted in onto the couch beside her, his hand pressed against her face feeling a sudden heat beneath the surface that was entirely independent of the kiss they’d shared and more so about the apparent fever that she was experiencing. Frowning, he felt her turn her head away from him, closing her eyes again, “Kellen, she’s burning up.”

“Aren’t we all?” Kellen waved his hand in front of his own face in an attempt to fan himself off. “Kyle Houston you are one hell of a kisser and it’s no wonder that you knocked her off of her feet. I think I would’ve died and gone to heaven if I was in her shoes a few minutes ago.”

“Look buddy, I’m being serious about this,” Kyle frowned heavily, “She’s really hot here.”

“Uh huh and I’m sure she was thinking the same thing about you because I’ll be honest and say that I was,” Kellen beamed enthusiastically, “and you know I have to say I applaud you on finally getting some taste given that Sarah is such a stick in the mud and…”

“Kellen, she’s got a fever,” Kyle rumbled with a glare, “Her face is burning up. Feel for herself.”

“What?” Kellen moved forward reaching out to touch Heather’s cheek and discover for himself what Kyle was saying, “Oh my. I mean I thought that she was just drunk and…”

“I need to get her out of here,” Kyle decided a look of determination sweeping over him, “Obviously more is happening here than just the drinks she had.”

“Charles was running a fever the other day and acting a little cranky, but it didn’t take long to pass,” Kellen frowned, his blue eyes fixed upon Heather once again, “Maybe she caught whatever bug he was fighting off there.”

“Either way, I’m taking her home. This place is not for her tonight,” Kyle decided sliding to the edge of the couch only to feel Heather’s hand reach out for his arm. He sat frozen, his eyes immediately drawn to her as she looked up at him.

“Kyle, where are you going,” she asked in a slurred tone, her words just a hint above a whisper, “Why are you leaving me?”

“I’m not leaving,” he promised bending down to kiss her forehead gently, “at least not for long. I’m going to go and get my car keys and then I’m going to take you home. You’re sick.”

“I’m not sick,” she argued a drunken smile lifting over the corners of her lips, “unless you mean this warmth inside me burning for you. Come to think of it, it’s getting really hot in here.”

Kyle watched her reach out in an attempt to pry the top half of her torn dress off of her body before he threw Kellen a pleading look, “Kellen do you think you can watch her while I get my keys? I want her home.”

“Of course,” Kellen nodded his amusement shifting to worry now that Heather seemed to be clearly out of the situation taking place in front of her.

“Heather, honey, I’m going to go away for a minute so that I can find my keys and then we’re going home. I’m going to find a way to get you feeling better,” he promised placing his hand on her face gently, watching her eyelashes flutter up at him before a lazy smile crossed over her features. She raised her hand up to touch his face mirroring the movement he’d made over her cheek earlier.

“You’re always my hero Kyle. I love that about you. Come to think of it I love just about everything about you,” she mouthed with a heavy sigh, her hand falling to the couch once again leaving Kyle reluctant to walk away from her.

“I’ll get the keys and we’ll get out of here,” Kyle repeated to Heather knowing that she was now unconscious, but he still needed her to see that he wasn’t walking out on her. He wasn’t giving up on wanting to take care of her now that she needed him more than ever.

“She’ll be alright. I’m not going anywhere,” Kellen promised patting Kyle’s shoulder in an attempt to reassure him that Heather would be well taken care of. Kyle tipped his head up to see Kellen’s solemn eyes and he nodded.

“I won’t be long,” Kyle finally pulled himself up off of the couch and walked over to the door. He paused for a moment making the time to glance back at her for a second longer before slipping out of the door and leaving her with Kellen.

“Oh girlfriend, what have you gotten yourself into tonight,” Kellen couldn’t help but ask moving in beside Heather now armed with the knowledge that she and Kyle Houston had found a way to blur the lines of friendship in ways that most people would only dream of. Still seeing Heather in such a state, Kellen had to wonder if she would realize just how close to heaven she’d been in Kyle’s arms earlier. Of course even if she was too out of it to remember, Kellen knew full well from the expression on Kyle’s face, that Kellen wasn’t the only one who was never going to forget that hot kiss Heather and Kyle shared. Sparks were flying and it was only a matter of time before an inferno followed!


“I love you Sarah,” Diego stepped in behind Sarah wrapping his arms around her waist after she pulled her dress in over her shoulders. “I hope you know that and never forget that because I will never stop loving you.”

“Diego,” Sarah pushed her way out of his arms, turning to face away from the wall as she tried to pull up the zipper on her dress. “Diego, could you please pull the zipper up on this, now?”

“Yeah, sure. No problem,” Diego whispered slowly slipping the zipper up her dress and he leaned forward pressing a small kiss against her shoulders. “You are absolutely beautiful, but of course you know that by now.”

“Diego, stop,” Sarah yelled turning away from him and trying to think of a way to get away from him right now. She grabbed his tie and threw it back at him before shaking her head slowly. “I need to get back to the party now.”

“Now?” Diego questioned catching her wrist in his hand as she started to walk away from him. “You want to leave now? Why so quickly after we shared a great moment together Sarah? I mean really, I thought it was the best for us.”

“Diego, it was just sex,” Sarah snapped seeing the way his eyes narrowed as he pulled his jacket up over his shoulders before shaking his head slowly. “That’s all it was and I don’t want to do it again. I have to find Kyle and I need to talk to him right now.”

“Why do you need to find Kyle?” Diego questioned sadly seeing Sarah pull away from him before looking out towards the door and then turning around walking back towards the corner of the room. “Sarah, you know that the baby could be mine.”

“I have to find Kyle and tell him the news about things,” Sarah whispered running her hand through her hair worriedly and taking in a deep breath. “I have to tell him that I am pregnant with his baby and everything like that.”

“Good,” Diego whispered reaching out to grab her hand only to feel her pull it away from him. “It’s a good thing that you are going to tell Kyle because that means you are going to tell him about us right?”

“Diego, no. There is no us,” Sarah informed him with a deep breath before shaking her head slowly and looking into his dark eyes. “Diego, this baby is Kyle's and I am in love with Kyle. That’s not going to change just for you.”

“But it has to,” Diego pleaded reaching out to touch the side of her face gently and to watch her closely. “All I was hoping for was to be with you and share my life with you. Now that you are pregnant, we can have that chance at being together.”

“I don’t want to be with anyone but Kyle,” Sarah repeated once more before seeing Diego’s dark eyes narrow in over towards the window when she turned around. “I’m pregnant now and that’s all that matters.”

A sudden noise of metal dropping and clinging together filled their ears as Sarah turned around to see a pale Kyle standing behind her, looking down to see his keys that he had dropped after hearing what she said.

“Sarah,” Kyle's tight voice whispered as he looked down towards the ground and pushed his hair back carefully. “You’re pregnant?”


...to be continued...