Episode 329

“So, he does know we are coming right?” Trisha looked over to Chase who was sitting in the driver’s seat of the car as they drove to his father’s house. Moving a few things around in her purse, she pulled out her lipstick and opened her compact to see herself as she put it on. “We aren’t showing up unexpectedly right?”

“I called him earlier and made sure he knew,” Chase nodded slowly tapping his fingers against the steering wheel as he waited for the traffic to move. “Anyways, we could show up at any time and I’m sure he would be okay with it.”

“Still, I don’t want to come over and have him in the shower or anything,” she replied putting away her things and zipping her purse back up. Taking in a deep breath Trisha folded her arms in front of her chest before looking out the window. “You know, I really shouldn’t continue to mooch off my family like I have been doing for the last few months.”

“Wow, that was a quick change of subject,” Chase chuckled flashing a small glance in her direction seeing her brown eyes glare over at him before he shrugged his shoulders. It was like one second she was talking about his father and then how she couldn’t mooch of people. It was just a little weird, but obviously she wanted to talk about something so he wasn’t about to stop her. “Really honey? Why don’t you want to, I thought you liked being around your family.”

“I do like being around my family, but when my mother gets back home I don’t want to be around her all the time,” Trisha informed him with a deep sigh, playing with her seatbelt and giving it a small tug. “I just want some time to myself maybe a job or something. That could help me out a little bit.”

“You don’t have to move just because of your mother, I like going to my father’s place to spend time with him,” Chase informed her with a small nod before shrugging his shoulders. “It’s okay to like to be with your family.”

“I know, but I don’t want to feel like I’m nothing,” she bit down on her bottom lip seeing Chase frown, his blue eyes shooting her an upset look when she shrugged her shoulders. A small bit of irritation spread out over her features when she shrugged her shoulders. “Maybe I should go and work at a strip club.”

“Not funny,” Chase grumbled gripping tighter on the steering wheel before him seeing her shrug her shoulders and look away. Pulling into the parking lot to his father’s place, Chase stopped the car and motioned her to look at him. “Seriously, I already told you about this.”

“You may have told me about this, but that doesn’t mean I am totally okay with it right now,” Trisha pointed out with a small scowl and got out of the car seeing him do the same thing and catch up to her, placing his hand on her shoulders. “Seriously Chase, I really don’t like the fact that you are still doing this.”

“I know honey and I already told you about it,” Chase let out a small breath wrapping his right arm around her and leading her down the hallway to his father’s apartment. “I mean it, I am not going to be doing it much longer.”

“People consider much longer to be different things,” she started up in an angered tone before pulling away from him and throwing her hands up in the air. “Seriously, if you think about it I could think much longer would only be like two days, but for you it could be two months or two years.”

“Trust me honey, I am not going to be putting up with that much longer. You don’t have to worry about all of this--you have to trust me when I say that,” Chase muttered under his breath hearing his father’s footsteps on the other side of the door as he motioned her back towards him when the door opened. “Hey dad.”

“Son,” Joseph smiled opening his door wider to get a glance at the look on Trisha’s face as he frowned seeing Chase glare over at her. “Is something wrong?”

“No, nothing is wrong,” Trisha quickly spoke moving forward and wrapping her arms around Joseph’s neck, giving him a small squeeze. “It’s great to see you today Joseph.”

“It’s great to see the two of you too,” Joseph laughed motioning Chase to come in with Trisha as he closed the door behind the two. “I cleaned up a little bit before you two came over. I hope everything looks okay.”

“I’m sure everything is fine dad,” Chase muttered looking over at Trisha who looked back at him with her dark eyes and he let out a long breath. “Okay, almost everything is fine, but I am sure the house looks great as usual.”


Ria walked into the on call room ready to put her grueling day of work behind her. It wasn’t bad enough that she’d had to be stuck dealing with Zack and his nonsense in the morning, but it continued to get even more irritating especially considering that he found a way to keep hunting her down throughout the day. Opening up her locker, she thought about the plans she had for her and Kevin. It was those plans that had her thankful that the shift was finally coming to an end. She walked over to her locker ready to call it quits when she heard a voice from behind her.

“Don’t even think about leaving because you’re not finished here,” Zack warned causing Ria to turn around and glare at him.

“Excuse me,” she blinked back at him. “What did you just say?”

“I said that you’re far from being finished here, so I wouldn’t grab my jacket just yet if I were you,” Zack warned taking a small step towards her. “We’re short staffed and that means you have to stay.”

“But I’ve already signed out and…” Ria frowned over at him.

“Well I guess that’s your problem because the medical world doesn’t wait around for you to sign back in,” Zack snapped at her, shaking his head disgustedly, “I realize that you think you’re above everything at this hospital Ria, but I have news for you. Your career can easily be made or broken if you aren’t careful.”

“Is that a threat?” she questioned glaring up at him unable to repress the raw hatred she felt for him. She glared over at him finding herself immediately wanting to slap that smug expression off of his face.

“No sweetheart, that’s just the reality of the situation you’re in,” Zack took a threatening step towards her. “While you think you’re hot stuff, the harsh truth is that you’re still only a resident Ria and when it gets down to it you’ll want to be nice to your higher ups if you want to get ahead here.”

“And you consider that as an invitation to harass me?” she folded her arms in front of her chest less than impressed with him.

“I don’t consider it harassment. I think of it more so as keeping the hospital running smoothly,” Zack grinned back at her arrogantly, his eyes fixing in on hers, “After all I will be the Chief of Staff soon enough and if you aren’t careful, then you might find that I won’t let you have anymore opportunities to get on my good side.”

“I don’t think you have a good side,” she frowned shaking her head, “No I take that back. I know you don’t have one.”

“Regardless of what you think of me, I’ve scheduled you to work a few more hours tonight, so you may as well get used to the idea,” Zack wrinkled his nose at her before flashing her a small smile. “Face it Ria even though you think you’ve got something special here, you can be easily replaced and you will be if you aren’t careful.”

Ria watched him leave and let out a long groan realizing that her problems were just beginning as long as Zack was at the hospital. Thinking about the impending race for Chief of Staff, she just hoped that when it came down to it, Zack wouldn’t be the one calling the shots around the hospital. If he was, then she may wind up giving up the one thing that was important to her in Coral Valley other than Kevin. Come to think of it, if Don was going to lose this Chief of Staff race, she may as well start working on trying to get work elsewhere before Zack smeared her career like he was implying he would.


“I can’t believe the nerve of that man,” Diane huffed getting out of the car and slamming her door shut behind her as Ben followed her out of the car quickly. “He just walks around like he doesn’t think anything is going to happen and the only thing he wants to do is try and ruin people’s lives. I’m tired of the world and I am tired of him.”

“Honey, you know,” Ben took in a deep breath, catching up to her and placing his hands on her back so she stopped walking. Turning her towards him he could see the anger behind her dark eyes and he reached up to caress her cheek gently before smiling widely. “Seriously, you might want to calm down before you overwork yourself.”

“I’m not going to get too worked up,” she blurted out throwing her hands up in the air and pacing back and forth in the driveway, watching as Ben watched her every move. “The only thing that is going to drive me crazy is Andy. I can’t stand him. I’m serious, I don’t know what it is about him that just makes me want to strangle him. Wrap my fingers around his neck and…,”

“Honey, if you think about that,” Ben stepped forward lacing his fingers with hers and gently moving them down to their sides as a small smile spread out over his features. “You might try and take everything out on someone else and I may be that person you are trying to strangle and that might not be a good thing. It would probably be a little hard to explain to the police when they came here to find me strangled to death and you said you did it on accident.”

“Ben, come on,” Diane chuckled bringing her right hand up and hitting him gently in the center of his right shoulder seeing him step back and laugh gently. “You know I wouldn’t try and kill you. You would be the last one on my list. Well, one of the last ones.”

“Hey, that makes me feel worse now,” he declared holding his hands up in the air before shrugging his shoulders and placing his right hand over his chest. “I don’t know how many people are on the list of who you want to kill and it hurts me to even think I am on that list.”

“Wait no,” she shook her head trying to explain it to him as she saw his blue eyes look away from her and he held his hand up in the air telling her that it didn’t matter. “That’s not what I meant Ben, you are so far from being on my list that…”

“Honey, I’m just playing with you,” Ben chuckled seeing her eyes widen in anger as he stepped forward to hug her, only to have her back away from him slowly. “Come on, it was just a tiny joke. You know I would never be mad at you.”

“That was so not nice,” Diane replied taking a step forward and placing her hands in the center of his chest and giving him a firm push only to watch him stumble backwards, grabbing her in his arms as she fell on top of him. Underneath her, Ben let out a small laugh as they hit the grass and she slightly rose from his chest. “Next time you fall, promise you won’t take me down with you.”

“I’m sorry, but you were the one that pushed me,” Ben held his hands up in the air defensively before letting out a small laugh. The thoughts of Andy filled his mind again as he reached up to push a piece of her long, dark hair behind her ear and moved forward to kiss her gently. “In all honesty, what did you ever see in Andy?”

“Honestly,” Diane took in a deep breath getting up slowly and seeing Ben do the same thing. Thinking for a long moment all she could do is shrug her shoulders because she came up with nothing. “I really don’t know.”

“If I were you, I would have decked him years ago,” Ben nodded over towards the house and reached out for her hand to walk her over towards the house. “Lets get inside before it gets too cold out here. We can talk inside or something.”

“Okay, sounds great,” Diane agreed squeezing Ben’s hand in hers tighter knowing that when they got back to talking they would be talking more about Andy and right now, she really didn’t want to at the moment even think about him. The only problem was that Andy had this way where he could get to people easily and unfortunately she was one of the people that were falling for that one thing Andy could do perfectly.


“I don’t know what the hell he was thinking when he came over here,” Deidra grumbled sitting down on the couch and grabbing the pillow next to her and squeezing it in her arms tightly. “After this long he can’t come back here acting like he owns me. No one owns me and I not about to allow him to think he does.”

“I don’t think anyone thinks you are going to be doing that honey,” Dean kneeled down in front of her, reaching out to grab the pillow between her arms and setting it down on the couch next to her. Moving forward, he slid his hand in over the side of her neck feeling her fingers curve in over his shoulders. “Andy isn’t worth getting this worked up over.”

“Dean, you can’t say that when you have never really known him,” she replied in a tight breath seeing his dark eyes stare up into hers as she shrugged her shoulders. “I’m being serious here Dean, I know I have told you a lot about him, but he is a total asshole. You don’t even have to see his face to be affected by him.”

“So basically, he’s a nightmare,” Dean pointed out seeing her nod slowly as he moved forward to press a small kiss against her lips, a small smile appearing over the corners of his lips as he looked into her dark eyes. “Trust me, I think I had to deal with people like that in my life and if I could let them go and not let them bother me, I’m sure you can do that too.”

“You’re stronger than me Dean,” she stated with a deep sigh seeing him stand up from the couch and sit down next to her, wrapping his arm around her shoulders. Feeling him pull her in closer, she let out a deep breath resting her head against his chest. “I can’t do the things you have, I’m sometimes blind when it comes to some things.”

“Trust me Dee,” he took in a sharp breath thinking about his past and everything he had done over the years. Sure, he had some good times in his life that were real highs, but there were some times in his life where he had some real low moments. There were things she would never know about him and he was thankful for that considering she didn’t need to know some of the mistakes he had made. “I have made some big mistakes before and really made a fool of myself. You are a stronger person than I could ever be and you need to realize that.”

“I wish I could believe you,” Deidra looked into Dean’s eyes and knew that he was just trying to tell her something to make her feel better, but she knew that he was stronger hearted than her. There were mistakes she made in her life, even doing what she did to him was horrible. “I mean, what I did to you was probably the worst thing I have ever done in my life, especially when you were the only person that has ever really truthfully loved me.”

“Dee, I would love you no matter what you did to me,” Dean whispered pressing a small kiss against the temple of her forehead and giving her another small squeeze. Her hand pressed in over the center of his chest as she looked up at him with her dark eyes. “In all honesty, if I was in your position and I kept what I did away from you I would have probably done the same. You didn’t know the truth when you rightfully deserved it and for that I am sorry. You should have known who I was and what I was doing. You did nothing wrong in that situation because it was all me there. Not you, that was a mistake on my part it was never your fault.”

“Now I know you are just trying to make me feel better,” Deidra rolled her eyes hearing him laugh as she pulled away from him and stood up from the couch. “I stabbed you Dean, I was an idiot. I should have trusted you and I didn’t. I was in the wrong, all you ever were was great to me and I betrayed you. It was my fault and every time Andy has been in my life I have always done something wrong. He makes me do bad things with my life when I don’t even want to. It’s horrible and…,”

“I’m not going to let him do that to you again sweetheart,” Dean hushed standing up from the couch and moving in closer to her, reaching out to her. Pulling her into his arms tightly, he pressed his hand in over the small of her back and shook his head slowly. “You didn’t have me back then and now you do. I’m not going to let him do things he did to you back then, I’m here and he isn’t getting anywhere near you.”

“I appreciate that honey,” Deidra wrapped her arms around his torso tightly, listening to his heartbeat as she pressed her head against the center of his chest. “It still ticks me off about him though and I shouldn’t be bothered by it, but I still am.”


“Look before you leap over this desk and attack me, I think there’s something you should know first,” Russ raised his hands up in the air defensively hoping to fend off an attack from Kevin. “Whatever it is you think I did to or with Angela, you’re wrong. I’ve been dedicated to Avery since I returned home and that’s where my priorities are. I’m not chasing out after Angie or anything like that. I haven’t even seen her since I left the island and…”

Kevin stopped himself taking a long, puzzled look at Russ, who looked like he was ready to leap out of his own skin. He raised his hand in the air, then stopped to scratch his head before speaking.

“I’m not here for you,” Kevin admitted with a small chuckle seeing how Russell’s face turned a pale white color. “Unless of course you’ve changed your name to Chris Foley.”

“Chris Foley,” Russ repeated giving Kevin a strange look, “Why are you looking for Chris Foley?”

“Because it seems the man has a way with words and I’d like to give him a few of my own considering the wonderful piece I read by him earlier,” Kevin mouthed with a snarl thinking about Chris had crossed one too many lines in printing such an outright lie about him and Brant in the name of lashing out when things didn’t go as Chris had hoped for. “Know where I can find him?”

“Take a number,” Russ frowned looking around the small office. “I don’t have the first clue where to find him, but I’d like a few words with him myself. I‘m not too thrilled with him for what he printed in the paper.”

“Hmm, well I can’t promise I’ll give you first shot at killing him, but I’ll think about it,” Kevin took a seat on the sofa at the far end of Chris’s office. “So tell me Russ, why are you ready to kill Chris for the slanderous report there?”

“Because this is my newspaper and I’m about to fire him,” Russ admitted with a groan, “I’ve tried to keep this paper out of scandal and out of the ranks of trash, but it seems that while I was on the island Avery decided to let Chris in and take over for a while.”

“Ouch,” Kevin cringed at the thought, “although it doesn’t surprise me that he moved in on Avery and preyed on her generosity.”

“Why would you say that?” Russ questioned giving him a look.

“Because Chris was sleeping with Angie for a while,” Kevin shrugged his shoulders thinking about his heavy dislike for the man who he’d come over to kill. “It only makes sense that he’d go after Avery since she looks well…you know..”

“Yeah I know,” Russ frowned remembering his time on the island, “but I don’t think it was like that. My father and Avery said they checked out his journalistic background and that Chris was more than qualified to do the job needed…”

“Oh he’s more than qualified,” Kevin scoffed, “to run a line of bullshit wherever he’s at.”

“Yeah so I see,” Russ nodded rubbing his hands together before looking over at what Chris had on his desk about Brant. “Well when Chris comes in I’m going to fire him, so you know this won’t be happening again anytime soon.”

“Hmm, yeah well he has this way about him. He likes to worm his way into situations and when they don’t work out like he’s hoping,” Kevin added tightly thinking about Chris and his troublemaking.

“So Brant’s really the father of Angela’s babies then, isn’t he?” Russ noted catching the surprised expression on Kevin’s face. “She told me the man’s name was Brant, but it took me a little while to piece it together since obviously I wasn’t in my right mind.”

“Yeah,” Kevin nodded clearing his throat uneasily, “and let’s just say Chris isn’t too happy about it.”

“Truth be told I probably wouldn’t be too happy about it for Angela’s sake either,” Russ revealed with a heavy sigh, “That jackass has been giving me problems for months trying to steal Avery away from me and apparently when the world thought I was dead, he did. He even tried to steal my daughter from me too.”

“How so?” Kevin couldn’t help but ask.

“Well, when Brant realized he was out in the cold so to speak, he tried to convince Avery that he’d slept with her and that Erin was his daughter, not mine,” Russ divulged to Kevin, surprising himself at how candidly he was speaking to his one time rival. “He even tried to get his pals to change a paternity test to say that he was Erin’s father, but that’s when the joke was on all of us there. I found out that not only can I not stand that man, but we share a family bond if you will. He’s my half-brother.”

“Whoa,” Kevin’s eyes widened at what he was hearing. “Okay no offense, but that kind of explains a lot between Angie and Avery. Given that they both are…”

“Yes, but the difference is that I didn’t know what was going on. I had amnesia, but Brant knew full well what he was doing when he got involved with both Avery and Angela. He’s a manipulator and…” Russ started to rant on Brant when his cell phone started to ring. Sighing he reached into his pocket seeing it was Avery. “Hello.”

“Russ, hey it’s Jenna,” Jenna began into the phone as Russ heard Avery’s voice in a panic in the background, “Look I’m calling because…”

“What is it? What’s going on?” Russ questioned worriedly. “Jenna, where are you?”

“I’m at the house, but Avery,” Jenna hesitated not knowing how to tell him what was going on. “She got a delivery from Brooke and it’s upset her. Brooke sent flowers and something for Erin and…”

“I’ll be right there,” Russ mouthed into the phone hanging up.

“Something wrong?” Kevin questioned seeing the worry that swept over Russell’s features.

“Yeah, my wife is having a breakdown…” Russ paused feeling a tiny shudder race over him. “You see not only has she had to deal with Brant trying to keep us apart, but she’s had to deal with Bruce Mathis stalking her, losing her job and…”

“Wait, she lost her job,” Kevin’s eyes widened. “How did that happen?”

“She worked for Brant,” Russ mouthed with an icy glare, “And apparently now that he can’t sleep with her anymore, he’s got no need for her in the office.”

“That doesn’t seem right,” Kevin frowned back at him.

“Even so, she’s upset and her mother just pulled a stunt,” Russ reached for his jacket he’d taken off earlier. “I have to go talk to her.”

“I’ll come with you,” Kevin decided thinking it over for a long moment, “Maybe I can help.”

“Kevin, I don’t really think that now is a good time considering that,” Russ shunned the thought fearing what could happen if he brought Kevin back home with him.

“I’m not going to tell her about Angie if that’s what you’re worried about,” Kevin piped in quickly, “I would really just like to see Erin and if Avery’s upset, maybe you could use another set of hands to help out with Erin. Come on.”

“I can’t believe I’m even thinking about agreeing to this,” Russ mouthed with a heavy sigh.

“Trust me. I can help,” Kevin added quickly offering up a small smile, “Plus it beats my having to call for a cab to pick me up. Plus you’d keep me out of jail since I won’t obviously be committing homicide in your offices.”

“Good point,” Russ finally decided with a nod. “Okay come on. I don’t want to keep her waiting when she’s this upset.”

“No problem,” Kevin replied getting up and following Russ out of the office in the hopes of helping him deal with whatever situation was waiting for him back home with Avery.


“What’s really going on Brant? What aren’t you and Kevin telling me?” Angela continued to prod the issue with him further knowing full well there was more to the story than they’d given her.

“It’s nothing,” Brant shook his head dismissively. “I’ve just been having these problems with work lately and someone decided to exploit that. That’s all.”

“No there has to be more to it,” she shook her head adamantly, “Kevin wouldn’t just get worked up over you having work problems. That’s not like him.”

“Maybe he’s just trying to be a friend since you two are best friends and we’re together,” Brant suggested reaching out to her and pulling her into his arms. “Did that thought ever cross your mind?”

“Well no, but…” she tipped her head up to gaze into his dark eyes, “You never told me what it was that you two talked about with one another that night at the hotel.”

“And I’m not going to either,” Brant mused with a small smile tipping down to kiss her quickly, “It’s not worth getting into.”

“Yes, I think it is,” she locked her arms around his waist keeping him from moving away from her. “I want to know what you two said to one another because in all honesty it isn’t like Kevin to take to one of my boyfriends.”

“Is that what you really think about things?” Brant arched a curious brow.

“That Kevin took to you?” she nodded quickly, “Yeah he did and really fast too, which is why I’ve been wondering if…”

“No not about that,” he shook his head again lowering his lips towards hers once more, “I’m talking about that part about my being your boyfriend.”

“Well we’ve certainly gone beyond platonic with one another, so I would think that we’ve stepped into that kind of area with one another,” she replied giving him a strange look. “Unless of course you don’t see it that way.”

“Actually no I don’t,” he confessed his dark eyes fixed in over hers seeing the warmth of their chocolate color beneath him. “I actually had something else in mind for us considering that, well we’re about to have two children here.”

“And just what would that be?” she couldn’t help but ask arching a curious brow. “Screw buddies isn’t exactly the most romantic of titles there.”

“Actually I was thinking more along the lines of asking you how you’d feel about our taking things to the next level,” he spoke up in a low, suggestive tone. His nose nuzzled the side of her neck before he mouthed his words in a low whisper, “I mean how would you feel about the two of us making this situation a bit more permanent.”

“If you’re thinking about something that involves our living with one another, well…” she couldn’t help but blurt out seeing something strange behind his eyes. She bit on her lower lip nervously. “Okay, that’s obviously not what you were thinking.”

“Not exactly,” he admitted with a tiny laugh amused by the worry that spread over her features. Touching her cheek gently, he couldn’t help but smile at her, “I mean we’ve never been conventional about anything. We kind of did things backwards so I don’t see why we should stop the trend now. What do you say to your spending more time around here at the mansion with me? Maybe you could not only stay here and enjoy anything that this place has to offer, but maybe you’d also be interested in taking something else of mine with you.”

“And just what might that be?” Angela questioned curiously watching the way his eyes seemed to light up at the thought running through his mind.

“How would you feel about taking my last name as well,” he whispered heatedly dipping down to kiss her with a fire behind his touch.

“Your last name,” she gulped tearing her lips away from his to search his eyes, “Brant, was that a marriage proposal?”

“That all depends,” he teased with a small wink.

“On what?” she couldn’t help but ask feeling her heart hammering in her chest at the nearness of him.

“On whether or not you’d say yes,” he slid his fingers down over her spine, crushing her in against him. “So what do you say? Do you think you’d be tempted to say yes? Is the inclination there?”

“Well for starters you’re still married,” she frowned up at him, “and secondly if that was a marriage proposal that had to be one of the most half-assed, pathetic excuses of a marriage proposal I have ever heard in my life. Here I thought that you’d be capable of romance and yet…”

He cut her off with an abrupt kiss. His arms crushed her to him and as his lips drank of hers, she felt a fire stir up inside of her. He picked her up off of the ground and kept her close to him as they parted.

“I didn’t say that was my marriage proposal. I was just merely asking if you might be interested,” he corrected with a wink, his dark gaze causing her to melt in his arms.

“I might be interested sooner or later,” she answered cryptically giving him enough to be satisfied for the moment building between them.

“Then I’ll have you know when the time is right, I’ll show you the most romantic, most incredible proposal you’ve ever seen. I’ll sweep you off of your feet and make you feel like the most beautiful woman alive,” Brant promised in a warm, assuring tone, “I promise you that when that moment arrives it’ll be nothing short of perfect for us.”

“It had better be,” she warned feeling him set her back down on the ground again, “because I’ll have you know I won’t accept anything less from you. Of course before I give you a yes, I‘ll have to be certain that you can satisfy me in every way imaginable.”

“In that case, how about you and I go back upstairs and I'll show you that I’m more than up for any challenge you’ve presented me with,” he wiggled his brow at her scooping her up fully into his arms.

“I thought you’d never ask,” she giggled leaning into his powerful chest and feeling the warmth of him around her as they made their way upstairs. Of course what Brant didn’t know was even if he would’ve been asking her right then and there to marry him, she would have already said yes. There wasn’t a doubt in her mind that here she was with the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with--she’d just have to make him work for it a bit she supposed. Of course she was fully certain she’d enjoy all the perks and benefits of him trying to ‘convince’ her along the way.


Kyle’s lips beckoned Heather’s in kiss after tender kiss once he’d moved in over her. Her legs were wrapped snugly around his thighs, bringing forth so many sensations he’d repressed for so many years, yet now longed to recall and discover in ways he was certain he shouldn’t be doing at this point in time. Her green eyes tipped up to gaze into the warmth of the deep, darkness of his and in that moment he felt himself alive for the first time in so very long. All he had to do was hold her and he found himself wanting more of this feeling, more of what it was she did to him again and again.

“Kyle, I…” Heather started choked up on her own emotions wanting more than anything to be close to him, to keep this moment from ending between them.

“I know,” he whispered dropping down to kiss her once again, feeling the tenderness of her fingertips pressing in over his spine, dropping down to touch his heated flesh. “I feel it too.”

“We’re not making a mistake,” she couldn’t help but ask not wanting to bring reality into the moment between them. “Are we?”

“No,” Kyle shook his head reaching out to skim the palm of his hand against her cheek before pressing in to kiss her. Her lips set him on fire, body arched up against his left him longing for more and as his kisses tapered off over her side, he felt the anticipation pouring out over them. His palm dropped down to her hip, caressing the soft curve before his fingers fanned out over her thigh, creeping down over her bottom and squeezing gently with a small upward movement bringing her closer to his growing ache.

“Kyle,” she whimpered his name feeling his kisses over her skin, the way he was touching her, making her want to experience this moment over and over again and they hadn’t even made love yet. She felt his kisses taper off over her skin, drinking up every inch of her.

His lips pressed in over her breast devoting his attention to her and her body’s responses to him, while his hand pressed in between her thighs, easing in underneath the thin panties seeking out a more intimate response from her. Here Heather had worked to get him out of his clothes, yet he’d taken his time in undressing her, leaving her painfully longing for more. She was now held captive, a prisoner to the passion he’d invoked in her and all she could do was lay back and revel in what it was he was offering her--in what he could give to her now that they were lost in a moment with one another. She could feel the raw, heat of him over her, tempting her with everything she’d always dreamt about from him, yet he was taking great lengths to make sure that she was feeling what he was. At first contact of his touch, she arched up into him longing for his skilled caress. He massaged her gently from within taking his time in caressing her secret warmth and leaving her longing for more from him--for the completion he‘d denied her up until now. Her fingers pressed into his hair guiding his mouth to hers in a kiss, one that left no doubts about where she’d hoped that this experience would end up for them.

“I want you,” Kyle confessed caressing her again and again watching the way that her face grew flushed with desire. Her lips parted, a breath escaping from her lips and Kyle knew he wouldn’t be able to hold back any longer. He withdrew his hand from her soft femininity, reached for her underwear tearing it from her body with one lightening quick movement that caused her to gasp.

“Kyle,” her eyes widened as he held up the flimsy material between his fingers offering up a sly grin of his own.

“I told you I’d like these much better once I got them onto the floor,” Kyle offered up with a hint of mischief burning behind his eyes that was topped off by the hunger growing inside of him. He tossed the tattered fragment to the floor before moving in over her once again, “Of course I’d also said that I wanted something else from you.”

“I believe it was something a little like this,” Heather played along with his flirting, bringing her legs around his waist, feeling the weight of him over her, the way his body etched over her entrance teasing her with thoughts of completion. She kept her eyes on his, seeing so many things happening behind his responses and she leaned up to kiss him. “I want you to know this isn’t because I’m trying to play any games Kyle. This is because I want you--because I’ve always wanted you.”

“I’ve always wanted you too,” Kyle revealed bending down to kiss her while sinking into her with one smooth, fluid movement. He heard her cry out upon completion, nails sinking into his shoulders as their mouths parted, both fighting to gain control of the situation.

Heather’s green eyes searched his again and she spoke up in a short, tight whisper, “You promised me a wild ride Houston. Don‘t flake out on me now,” she mouthed feeling him ease himself further inside of her.

“It’s only the beginning,” he assured her in a strained voice reaching out to squeeze her hip gently. He urged her thigh in closer to him, feeling her wrap her long legs around his back drawing him further into her and he let out a small groan. It was too much, too powerful and yet everything he’d hoped for between them since he’d been old enough to realize how beautiful Heather truly was. She leaned forward drinking a kiss from his lips, tempting him with everything that they’d been headed towards with one another for the last few weeks. Oh who was he kidding? He’d waited for this for years and now as he slowly began to press further inside of her, he knew this was really happening. They were stepping into dangerous territory with one another, but it was a trip he was longing to take with her.

“You’re so special to me Heather,” Kyle whispered easing his palm against her face, feeling her burning beneath him. He felt her arch up to him again and again urging him towards the promise of thrust after desperate thrust. It was almost too hard to believe that they were doing this, that they were together at long last and yet…

“Heather babes don’t fret your cappuccino is here!” Kellen announced prancing into the room with a coffee mug in hand. “I had a hell of a time with the machine earlier, but after a little pep talk it was finally putting out the kind of foam that you like oh so very well and…”

“Kellen,” Heather yelped seeing her best friend standing in her office a few feet away from her and Kyle.

“Oh my,” Kellen’s blue eyes widened as he took in the situation before him realizing what was happening. “Oh dear I should’ve knocked.”

“You’re damn right you should have,” Kyle growled embarrassment pouring out over him now that Kellen had caught them not once, but twice in an intimate act. He felt Heather stiffen beneath him and he was suddenly aware of just how naked he was in front of Kellen. Quickly reaching out to the floor, Kyle grabbed his pants and attempted to wrap them over his body while moving off of Heather. “Do you mind?”

“No not at all,” Kellen waved his hand dismissively, his gaze lingering to the part of Kyle that Heather no doubt had been enjoying right before he’d walked in. “I just um…”

“Kellen, why don’t you give us some time,” Heather pleaded with her best friend. “Please…”

“Um, yeah um okay. Sure. I’ll just be out in the…” Kellen dropped the mug he’d been carrying in all of the confusion. “I’ll just be out in the hall looking for something to clean this up.”

“Take your time,” Kyle muttered under his breath feeling Heather move out from underneath him on the couch. Kellen did as instructed and Kyle felt a breath of relief rush over him at Kellen’s quick exit. He let his head fall back on the sofa before letting out a groan, “He has horrible timing. I hope you realize that.”

“Yes and no,” Heather mouthed getting up off of the couch and searching for her shirt. She found it discarded over by her desk and quickly slipped into it. Refusing to look back at Kyle she fought to contain what she was feeling inside of her. Seconds earlier, she’d been so close to sharing her dream with Kyle in having the first taste of what it would be like to be lost in one another, making love to each other until the end of time. Only it wasn’t the end of time and their making love wasn’t supposed to be. “I’m glad he came in here. It’s what we both needed.”

“Um Heather, I really don’t think we needed a witness to what was going on here,” Kyle watched her move across her office looking for her pants. “Hey, what are you doing?”

“I’m getting dressed and I’m sending you on your way,” Heather looked up at him once again, a pained expression on her face. “Kyle, we can’t do this.”

“Isn’t it a little late for that now,” he tried to keep the mood light and teasing between them, but he could see something in her eyes that indicated it just wasn’t going to stay that way. Sighing heavily he started to move off of the couch to stand up.

“Don’t,” Heather pleaded placing her hand out in the air to shield herself from seeing him naked, from looking at his perfect body and longing to feel him inside of her again, moving in over her and wanting her in the ways that she still wanted him. “Please Kyle…”

“I don’t understand,” Kyle watched her with a pained expression.

“I know you don’t,” she sighed heavily hating to admit what she knew to be true in her heart, “but I do. Kyle I realize that you think your making love to me would be something you’re doing for all the right reasons, but it’s not because you want me--not because you think of me in some special way. I know better.”

“No you don’t,” Kyle argued standing up off of the couch despite her protests. He felt her turn away from him and he let out a small sigh, “Heather you’re wrong.”

“Not about this,” she shook her head adamantly. “Kyle I know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. You’ve spent your whole life in love with Sarah and she’s hurt you time and time again. You’re just wanting to feel like you can even the playing field and as I said before if you were anyone else, I could do this. Hell, I wanted to do this--I still do, but when it gets down to it, I care about you too much to be one last shag before you go off into wedded bliss.”

“I hardly see that being the plan now that,” Kyle frowned watching her turn around to face him again. He saw the pained expression on her face, the way that her sad eyes pressed in over him and in that moment all he wanted to do was take her into his arms and hold her.

“Kyle, I want you. I want you so bad that it hurts not to reach out and touch you right now,” Heather admitted tears threatening to overtake her, “but I can’t be second fiddle to Sarah. I can’t be the woman you choose to be with because it didn’t work out with your dream girl.”

“But Heather it’s not…” Kyle tried to reach out to her again only to watch her take a small movement backwards.

“Don’t you get it Kyle? I can’t just live with being a one night stand. I don’t want to be some fling because when it gets down to it, I know once I have you I’m not going to stop wanting you. For the few seconds that we…” Heather stopped herself clenching her fists at her sides, “Damn it Kyle. I can’t do this. Not now, not ever.”

“Heather wait,” he watched her rush over to her office door leaving him in a whirlwind of confusion. Quickly he stepped into his pants before moving out of the room in the hopes of catching up with her, but before he could get out of the door, he was stopped by Kellen.

“Listen jackass I don’t know what your problem is but Heather’s not just a booty call,” Kellen warned him sharply shoving him in the chest, “I don’t know what you think you’re doing here, but I’m not going to let you hurt her anymore than you’ve already done. I thought that you were special--that you were someone she could fall in love with, but with the way you’re hurting her…”

“Kellen get out of my way,” Kyle spotted Heather out of the corner of his eye, “I have to talk to her.”

“Tell me something Kyle. Are you still engaged to Sarah?” Kellen questioned bluntly, “Did you tell Sarah you’re not going to marry her because you’re in love with Heather?”

“Kellen, this really isn’t any of your business,” Kyle tried to push past him once again.

“Yeah that’s what I thought. In other words you didn’t tell Sarah because you don’t want to tell Sarah. You’d rather screw around with Heather and hurt her like every other man in her life. Well I’ve got news for you Houston it’s not going to happen. I’m not going to let you break what little hope she has been holding onto for all these years,” Kellen warned him sharply, his eyes narrowing at Kyle.

“Kellen get out of my way. I need to talk to Heather and…” Kyle attempted to push Kellen out of the way.

“Save it Kyle. I think you said more than enough,” Kellen shoved him again.

“Kellen, get out of my way!” Kyle snarled at him making another move forward only to feel Kellen’s fist connect with his jaw. Kyle attempted to move out of the blow only to realize that Kellen’s fist flew into his nose sending him down to the ground.

“You’re not going anywhere near her until you get your priorities straight,” Kellen snapped at him with a long, disapproving scowl, “If you care about Heather, then you do the right thing and end it with Sarah. Otherwise I don’t want to see you bothering her or making her believe that there’s some kind of future between the two of you if you aren’t man enough to give her what she needs.”

“Kellen I…” Kyle brought his hand up to his face feeling blood coming out from his nose.

“I’m sorry about hitting you,” Kellen’s eyes lingered over Kyle’s bare chest imagining what it must’ve felt like for Heather to be touching Kyle, to have him over her, making love to her, yet knowing how Heather felt about Kyle, Kellen realized that his friend couldn’t be satisfied with just a sexual encounter. She’d made that painfully clear earlier when she was confessing her true feelings to Kellen. She was in love with Kyle and if Kyle was really the man for her, then he was going to have to prove it by moving beyond his fears and doing the right thing. “Kyle if you love Heather, which I’m sure somewhere inside of you, you do. You’ll do what’s best for the both of you and make things right. You’ll stop playing around and you’ll do what you should’ve done years ago.”

“But…” Kyle watched Kellen leave as he sat in the middle of Heather’s office thinking about how their time with one another went from being so completely perfect, to a total disaster. Remembering the way that she looked at him right before she ran off Kyle felt an ache building up inside of him. Kellen was right. He’d been unfair to Heather--he’d done things so very wrong, but now was about making things right. He had to take care of the past before he could even think about having any kind of future. As he sat in the middle of Heather’s office nursing what felt like a broken nose, he realized that right now that last thing he should be doing is trying to seduce Heather when it was clear that there was a much more important action that needed to be taken before he could be man enough to admit what it was that he wanted from life. Kellen was right. It was time to turn things to where they always should’ve been starting now.


“So Trisha,” Joseph sat down on the chair across from Chase and Trisha, seeing the two sitting on two separate sides of the couch with a big gap between the two of them, telling him that something was definitely going on between the two. An idea popped into his head as he figured a way to brighten the mood a bit when he stood up from the chair. “You want to see some pictures from when Chase was younger?”

“Sure, I’d love to,” Trisha smiled up at Joseph looking over to Chase, seeing his blue eyes widen as he shook his head over and over again. A laugh spilled from her lips when Chase looked over at her with tensed eyebrows when Joseph sat down between the two of them. “I bet he was adorable.”

“You know dad,” Chase took in a deep breath pressing his palm in over the center of the photo book seeing Joseph look up at him with a small frown. “I don’t think Trisha really wants to see these. We don’t want to see these right now Trisha, right?”

“Are you kidding me?” Trisha moved Chase’s hand away from the book seeing Joseph smile widely before opening up to the front page. “I would love to see what you were like when you were younger.”

“Well, we start off with his baby photo,” Joseph moved the book in closer to Trisha so she could hold half of it to get a better look at all of the pictures before her. “His mother loved taking pictures of him when he was a baby.”

“Oh my, you were so cute,” Trisha chuckled letting out a small laugh when she came to a picture where had his diaper on his head and he was smiling widely for the picture. “Chase, I thought the diapers were supposed to go on your bottom.”

“Well, he loved to take them off all the time,” Joseph explained looking over at Chase who was looking down towards the ground with his hands placed on the back of his head as Joseph laughed. “We would be thinking he was down for a nap until we saw his little naked butt running down the hallways.”

“That’s cute,” Trisha chuckled turning the page in the book seeing a picture of a baby in a rabbit costume and she couldn’t help but gasp at how cute it was. “Is this him on Halloween. Oh my, is he so cute.”

“My wife made that for him,” Joseph smiled brightly seeing her place her hand over her mouth as she looked at the pictures of Chase slowly. “He loved that costume. He loved rabbits when he was younger. In fact we had gotten him a rabbit as you can see in that picture, he named him Pookey. It was really adorable because there was one point in time where he thought that Pookey couldn’t sleep alone so he would put Pookey’s cage on the floor and he would sleep with him on the floor.”

“Aw, Pookey is so cute,” she laughed looking over at Chase and saw the smile that developed over his features when he looked at the picture of his rabbit. “I think you look cute here Chase, you were such a cute kid.”

“His teenage years,” Joseph turned a couple more pages before stopping around the age of twelve with Chase, showing a picture of Chase covered in paint and Trisha couldn’t help but laugh and Joseph knew that she would want an explanation to the picture. “Chase and his friends were playing football in the house and forgot I was painting that day so he ran right into the ladder and the paint can dropped on him. Showing you right there what happened afterward.”

“You turned red,” Trisha smirked looking at a couple of pictures of him when he was in high school. “You were on the baseball and the hockey team?”

“Yep,” Chase nodded slowly pointing to the side that was the hockey part, “I loved hockey a lot more than baseball, but sadly my first year I couldn’t skate worth anything. I had one hell of a shot, but my first game I had. I got a goal within the first five minutes, but had no idea how to stop the skates and ran right into the glass. I can tell you, that was my first goal and it happened to be my last because later that night I was having a cat scan after knocking myself unconscious.”

“It scared me half to death,” Joseph placed his hand over his chest before handing the book over to Trisha, pointing back towards the kitchen. “I think I will go make us some drinks or something. I’ll be right back.”

“What’s the end of this?” Trish turned to the back of the book seeing a picture of a more recent Chase, feeling him scoot over to the middle of the couch next to her. Looking at him smiling with his arms wrapped around an older woman she couldn’t help but wonder about the picture. “Is this your mother.”

“Yeah, that was the last picture I ever had with her,” Chase answered with a small nod clearing his throat uneasily. “I left a few months before she died to try and become a rock star. She’s the one that made this book and it ends here because she’s no longer with me. I can’t help but wish sometimes that I didn’t hope for that stupid dream because if I hadn’t have left, I might have had a couple more pages added to this. The sad thing is that because of some stupid dream, I never got to say goodbye and I’ll regret that the rest of my life.”

“Chase,” Trisha frowned setting the picture book down before reaching out to wrap her arms around him tightly feeling him rest his chin on her shoulder. She caressed the center of his back gently hearing his breaths in her ear as she tried to calm him down. “She’s proud of you for trying to follow your dream, trust me. Even if she isn’t here, she will always be in your heart.”

As Trisha held Chase in her arms she knew that the whole time she spent mad at him wasn’t worth it because deep down she knew there was a reason her and Chase were together. They needed each other more than anything right now, even now this moment proved that.


“You getting off?” Ria turned to face Barbara once Barbara placed her things inside her locker and nodded slowly. “I think I’m ready for a break, you want to go down to the lounge to get a coffee or something? Everything has been kind of slow today.”

“Tell me about it,” Barbara folded her arms out in front of her chest realizing that today was probably one of the slowest days they had ever had at the hospital. “Sure though, I could probably use a coffee because I’m not going to go straight home.”

“Alright,” Ria followed Barbara down the hallway before stopping in the lounge and reaching inside her pocket to grab some money, feeling Barbara stop her before she took it out. “What’s wrong?”

“Trust me, I think I can buy this round,” Barbara assured her nodding over towards the table, motioning Ria to walk over there as she smiled brightly. “Just go and take a seat, I will be back in a minute.”

“Alright, if you insist,” Ria shrugged her shoulders taking a seat at the table in the corner, resting her arms against the table as she looked around the room before her. “Today was so quiet and usually this place was always busy. It was weird that of all days it would be like this, she would much rather be at home right now with Kevin instead of being here.

Even having to leave Kevin bothered her because she realized that she had to go to work, but still she couldn’t help thinking what it would have been like if she stayed at home with Kevin today. A small laugh escaped her lips as she thought back to what she did to him in the car and with that on Kevin’s mind, she already knew what would have happened if they did go home.

“Good things on your mind?” Barbara set down Ria’s coffee seeing Ria straighten up and push back her long hair as Barbara shook her head slowly. “Trust me, at least some of us think brightly sometimes. Go ahead.”

“I was just thinking about Kevin,” Ria answered truthfully, nodding to Barbara in thanks before taking a sip of her coffee and setting it down. “That’s all.”

“Hey, if I had him,” Barbara chuckled shrugging her shoulders and taking a small sip of her coffee before setting it back down. “I would be thinking about him twenty-four seven too. You have a man with a very cute smile and he does have a very nice butt too. Not many men can pull that off.”

“Oh, I know,” Ria laughed lightly thinking back to a moment when she once told Kevin that and she placed her hands on the table gently. “I told him that, but he didn’t believe me. Some men just don’t have it and…,”

“What are you doing down here?” a voice erupted through their ears as a pair of hands slammed down on the table before them. Ria’s dark eyes looked up to see Zack before her as a small scowl appeared over her lips. “You should be working right now Ria, not screwing around.”

“Speaking of the men that can’t pull it off,” Ria looked over at Barbara before rising up from her seat slowly, facing Zack as he glared down at her. “What is your problem Zack? I’m taking a break, you are down here too which means you are taking a break. I sure as hell know you are half the doctor I am, so I deserve to take a break.”

“You deserve nothing,” Zack spat right back his eyes widening as he saw her glaring up at him and he heard Barbara get up from the table behind him. “You know Ria, I think I am going to write you up for not doing your job right because you haven’t been doing anything right every time I have come around.”

“You know Ria, I think I should get going now,” Barbara looked down at her watch before looking at Zack and scowling over in his direction. “Are you going to be okay?”

“I’ll be just fine,” Ria assured her with a small nod before moving forward and stepping in closer to Zack, seeing his eyes never leaving hers. “You need to get over yourself Zack because I am not going to do anything an asshole tells me to do.”

“You know Ria,” Zack grasped onto Ria’s wrist roughly as she went to walk away and he pulled her back tightly. “I think we should have a little talk about your attitude. That’s another thing that I probably would write you up for too, I don’t like it at all.”

“Whatever Zack,” Ria pulled her wrist back before shaking her head and holding her hands up in the air. “Do what you want because personally, I don’t care at all what you think.”

“You know, I might be willing to forget about all these instances if you are willing to do me a favor,” he spoke up seeing her stop in her tracks and turn to face him, her eyebrows tensed together in curiosity of what he was going to ask her. “Perhaps maybe if you could have a word with your buddy Seth there. Maybe convince him to mend fences his with his wife. Just try and help me out and I won’t put your job on the line. What do you think?”

“You want to know what I think?” Ria laughed lightly seeing him nod slowly as she bit down on her bottom lip and looked away from him for a moment. Ria stepped forward and moved quickly bringing her knee into Zack’s groin hearing him let out a small groan before placing his hand over himself. “Please Zack, I know that doesn’t hurt as much as you are playing it off to be. Now you have a reason to write me up.”

Ria reached over to her coffee before dumping it upside down and dropping it over the front of his slacks hearing him yelp out and move away from the liquid as she gasped and placed her hand over her mouth.

“Oops, I guess you have another thing to write me up for now too,” Ria dropped the empty cup on him before walking away from him slowly. “You threatened me, now I’m going to tell you the truth. I’m going to the Chief of Staff to tell him what an asshole you really are. Have a nice day Zack.”


“Avery it’s going to be okay,” Jenna tried to console her friend hoping to keep Avery from going into another fit after it seemed she’d started to calm down a little bit. She’d fed each and every flower that Brooke had given her into the garbage disposal until it seemed that the disposal had stopped working. It started sputtering and sparking and now that there were a few red and white buds peeking out from over the top of the kitchen sink.

“No it’s not going to be okay. That woman doesn’t know when to quit!” Avery snapped in response, “She’s not going to be happy until she takes me under completely.”

“Avery, I’m sure that…” Jenna started hearing a sound from behind here alerting her that Russ was home. She turned around to see him with someone else behind him as she held Erin in her arms. “Avery’s in the kitchen.”

“Avery honey,” Russ started watching Avery rush out of the kitchen and into his arms. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s Brooke. She sent over flowers and a teddy bear for Erin,” she motioned to the bear on the couch. “She had the nerve to send those things after all she’s done and that can only mean that she’s going to keep trying to hurt us. She’s got to be up to something and…”

“It’s okay,” Russ pulled her into his arms feeling her fall to pieces. He threw an apologetic look over at Jenna who still kept Erin close to her. “She’s not going to get a chance to hurt any of us again.”

“Russ you don’t know her like I do. She’s manipulative and hurtful and she tried to kill me. You should’ve seen the look on her face when she tried to drug me,” Avery insisted ready to say something more when she spotted Kevin out of the corner of her eye. She let out a small gasp before standing up straighter, “Kevin, what are you doing here?”

“Russ was with me when he got the call you were upset,” Kevin admitted taking a small step towards her, “He’s very worried about you and wants to help.”

“I know, but my mother is just evil,” Avery confessed with an exaggerated sigh, “She won’t quit until she drives me out of my mind which is closer each day.”

“Now do you really think that Russ is going to let that one happen to you?” Kevin questioned giving her a curious look. “We both know that this man moved heaven and earth to get back to you. Do you honestly believe that he’s going to let anyone hurt you again?”

“Well no, but…” she turned her eyes towards Russ, “I just know she’s wanting to try something again.”

“Her mother isn’t a typical mother,” Russ offered up looking to Kevin once more.

“She tried to kill Erin because she wanted me to be with Brant--to have Brant’s baby--an Ashford baby so that she could have the money that the Ashford baby would get. She struck up a deal with Nicholas Ashford and…” Avery spoke up, her voice raising with worry. She looked to her daughter. “Russ, we can’t let anything happen to Erin.”

“Nothing’s going to happen to Erin,” he promised her cupping her face in his hands. “We’re here with her and neither Brooke nor Nicholas is going to get what they want.”

“But she’s not giving up. She had to have sent those flowers over because she must know that you’re an Ashford and…” Avery started breathlessly.

“Avery, she’s not getting her hands on Erin or the money she thinks she’s entitled to,” Russ assured her point blank, “Augustus assured me that it’s locked away from them until we want to take control of it. They won’t get near it and…”

“Or maybe she’s trying to kiss up now that you’re an Ashford. Maybe now she’s trying to worm her way in and…” Avery rambled on worriedly.

“May I?” Kevin questioned looking to Jenna. He motioned to Erin who was now watching him with a renewed interest.

“Oh of course,” Jenna nodded in a small whisper, “I think my back could use a little break anyways.”

“Pregnancy will do that to you,” Kevin noted accepting Erin from her arms.

“How did you…?” Jenna gave him a strange look.

“A woman just has a certain glow about her when she’s pregnant,” Kevin confessed in a low whisper hearing Avery’s worries mounting. “You have it and I must say it suits you.”

“Well thank you,” Jenna smiled at him before pausing.

“Kevin,” he finished winking down at her.

“It’s nice to meet you Kevin,” Jenna offered up in response seeing the way that Erin seemed to melt in his arms completely. She watched Erin reach for his nose and giggle. “I’m Jenna.”

“I know,” Kevin glanced over at her with a warm, welcoming grin, “I mean I heard a lot of wonderful things about you on the way over. It‘s nice to finally meet you and put a face to the words. Of course I had no idea that the face was as beautiful as yours is.”

“Likewise,” Jenna nodded watching him for a moment before she realized what she’d said. “I mean it’s nice meeting you.”

“I know,” Kevin laughed lightly before looking over to Erin, “What do you say we try to cheer your mom up here?”

Erin just watched him intently, her eyes never straying from him while he moved over to join Russ and Avery.

“I think someone here would like to say something pretty important to her mommy,” Kevin interrupted seeing the way that Avery turned to look at him. She saw the way that Erin seemed to melt into his embrace and she couldn’t help but smile. Kevin dropped his head down to whisper in Erin’s ear a bit, “That’s right keep charming her.”

“Oh Erin,” Avery rushed over to her daughter sweeping her out of Kevin’s arms and into her own. “Honey I’m so sorry I’m acting like a lunatic lately. It’s just that woman…”

“Right now the only woman she’s worried about is you mommy,” Kevin added watching the way Erin reached out to her mother, tugging on a strand of her long hair.

“That’s right Avery,” Russ stepped in behind her sliding his arm around her waist, “We both love you so very much and we’re not going to let anything take what we have away from us.”

“I know that Russ, but it’s just that sometimes I’m so afraid,” she sighed heavily feeling Russ press a kiss onto the side of her forehead.

“Everything’s going to be okay now. I swear to you that it’s only going to get better for us,” Russ tried to assure her while exchanging glances with Kevin and hoping that his words rang true where their future was concerned.

“Okay, so what do you think is really going on?” Ben sat down on the couch handing over a warm mug to Diane after making her some tea. “I mean really, what do you think Andy is trying to pull with everyone. I know he is obviously here for Deidra or you, but what do you think he is doing?”

“I have no idea, the man is crazy,” Diane explained taking in a deep sigh before leaning forward to take small sips from the warm drink. “All I can tell you is that I never know what is going through that man’s mind. He’s a closed book and a tinted window, you never see what’s coming.”

“Right honey, but…,” Ben went to say something more before hearing his cell phone go off and he let out a long sigh getting up from the couch and walking over towards the top of the television where he had set his phone down. Reaching out to pick it up, Ben shot Diane a apologetic expression before answering the phone. “Hello?”

“Great,” Diane muttered to herself seeing the look that spread out over his features telling her that he was obviously getting called into work again. Ben hung up the phone and slid it back into his pocket as she frowned and stood up to meet him in the middle of the room. “Where do you have to go now?”

“That was work,” Ben answered seeing her dark eyes look away from him as he reached his index finger in underneath her chin and urged her to look back up at him. “I know this hard on you because it is just as hard on me. I want you to know that I will be back soon though, I promise.”

“I know, but still,” Diane muttered softly feeling his hand slide in over the curve of her cheek as she let out a small sigh. “I just don’t like you leaving when things like this are going on.”

“I’m telling you now, I’m going to be back when this is going on,” Ben promised reaching down with his left hand to grab her hand in his tightly before nodding. “You have to trust me when I tell you that. I’ve also decided something and it’s really big. I’m going to give the job with working with the DA up. I’m going to hand in my letter of resignation today. I can’t stand it anymore.”

“You can’t be serious,” she looked up at him confused seeing him shake his head slowly before he squeezed her hand in his tighter, seeing her brown eyes staring into his. “Are you really?”

“After today, I’m just going to be a BBK man,” Ben whispered leaning to press a small kiss in against her lips before moving his lips in over to the side of her cheek. “You have to trust me honey, I’m all yours now.”

“That’s great news,” Diane blurted out grabbing his face in her hands and pulling him in for another kiss. “You should probably get going right now. We don’t want to wait for you to hand in that letter. Let’s make it quick.”

“Alright honey, I will see you later,” Ben promised giving her another small kiss before walking over towards the couch and grabbing his coat. He pulled it on before walking over towards the door and holding his hand up to say goodbye. “I’ll see you later.”

“Okay,” Diane nodded slowly blowing him a kiss and seeing him smile before walking out the front door. Diane heard his car pull away and she went to sit down before hearing the doorbell ring. Swearing she heard his car pull away she walked over towards the door and opened it seeing Andy before her as she let out a small hiss. “What are you doing here?”

“Oh gosh Diane,” Andy smiled proudly seeing Diane holding onto her door tightly as he stepped in closer to her and reached out to touch her arm softly. “You don’t look happy to see me. I was kind of hoping you might be happy to see me.”


“I understand that he still pisses you off,” Dean chuckled moving away from Deidra and placing his hand over his chest. “You see with me, I would feel the same exact way. There have been people in this world that have actually made me feel the same way so I really don’t blame you.”

“Yeah, but I don’t think you have ever,” Deidra paused thinking about Dean’s job before shaking her head slowly. There were tons of people he probably felt the way she felt about Andy towards. “Never mind, it’s just really hard to get him out of my mind right now. That’s all.”

“I understand honey,” Dean hushed her stepping back towards the kitchen and motioning her to wait for a moment as she eyed him over slowly. “Just go and sit down, I will be right back.”

“Wait, where are you going?” she questioned seeing him disappear into the hallway that led towards the kitchen as she let out a deep breath. “Or you can just no answer me, that works too.”

As she sat back down on the couch she couldn’t help but let her thoughts of Andy return to her when she thought back to when she was younger and how she had always thought she loved Andy with everything that she was. Now looking back on the days she spent with him she knew that was so far from the truth. Andy was nothing but trouble for her and she knew it. In all honesty, he would always play an act with her. Probably an act that he had played with all the women in his life and she was probably just the unlucky one that got to marry the jerk. That would probably be considered one of the stupidest moves she had ever made in her life now as she thought back on all the things she had done. She was so hard up to have someone love her and want to be with her that she fell for the first man that gave her the time of day. The first man that made her believe she was his only one and when she meant only one, that meant there was no one else. Andy was just someone she wanted to believe in and now as she sat here in the present she realized the only thing she wanted from him now was for him to be gone from her life forever.

“I was such an idiot for loving him and hoping things would turn out,” Deidra mumbled underneath her breath not even wanting to think about Andy right now considering she was home with Dean and now that they were together, Andy really meant nothing to her. Hearing Dean’s footsteps, she looked up with her dark eyes to see him entering the room with two bowls in his hands and she couldn’t help but smile. “What is that?”

“Ice-cream,” he answered with a bright smile taking a seat on the couch next to her before handing her a bowl and keeping one for himself. “You should know that ice-cream cures everything, I learned that a long time ago and I figured it was about time that I taught you the same thing. No matter what kind of mood you are in, ice-cream makes it better.”

“It makes it better?” Deidra questioned seeing him nod slowly before smiling widely and taking a bite of his own bowl of ice-cream. “I’m glad you think that because I think that too.”

“Oh really? You think so?” Dean muttered seeing her nod slowly before he smiled and stood up from the couch, stepping in front of her before dumping his bowl in over her head hearing her gasp out at the coolness. “I heard that makes a person feel better too.”

“You are so dead,” Deidra got up from the couch with her bowl in hand chasing him out into the hallway as they ran into the dining room. “I’m going to get you someway--somehow. Payback is bound to happen.”


Kellen walked down the hallway after Kyle had left wondering where Heather had disappeared to. He’d been searching for her all over, but found that she was no where in sight. He’d tried the studio and was about to go back up to her office when he passed by a broom closet. He heard a sound from within and it caused him to stop where he stood. He listened for a second before moving to the door and opening it to find Heather inside draped in one of the robes that had been laying around the building. She was seated on the floor with her face buried in her hands, her knees up to her chest and Kellen already could feel her upset.

“Hey,” Kellen called out to her watching her tip her head up just enough to look at him before she hugged her legs closer to her body.

“Leave me alone Kellen,” she grumbled back at him keeping her gaze fixed on her knees. “I don’t want to talk right now.”

“Well I do, so why don’t you come out here,” Kellen suggested seeing her shake her head stubbornly.

“No, I don’t want to. Just close the door and leave me be,” she snapped in response refusing to give up on the mood she was in.

“Fine, have it your way,” Kellen stepped into the broom closet and closed the door behind him to create a darkness from within. He took a small step forward before hitting one of the shelves with his knee. “Damn is it dark in here.”

“Kellen I said I wanted you to leave me alone,” she snapped at him, her voice vibrating with anger as Kellen threw caution to the wind and took a seat on the floor. He felt her toes just in front of him and he started to tug on one gently.

“Nope, not going to do it. Not when my best friend is sitting in the midst of cleaning supplies and crying her eyes out,” Kellen paused a thought occurring to him, “Come to think of it, why are you sitting in the middle of cleaning supplies here?”

“I was hoping no one would find me,” she mouthed with an ironic laugh, “but of course once again I can’t seem to have what I want, now can I?”

“You don’t really want to be alone,” Kellen followed the sound of her voice enough to scoot in beside her. He placed his hand on her knee feeling his eyes adjust to the darkness before speaking up again, “So what happened back there with you and Kyle?”

“Nothing,” she sighed letting out a shivering exhale, “everything. I don’t know.”

“Well that is rather vague, isn’t it?” he couldn’t help but shake his head. “Seriously Heather.”

“I don’t know,” she confessed feeling him wrap his arm around her shoulders. She sank her head in against his chest and let out a breath of her own, “One minute I’m telling myself that I’m not going to let anything happen between us again and then the next we’re making love.”

“Yeah, um I kind of saw, which by the way I’m really sorry about walking in on you like I did. Well, not entirely sorry because Kyle is one fine specimen of man, but…” Kellen felt her jab him in the ribs. “I’m just saying.”

“Yeah, well you didn’t miss much. In fact I’m glad you walked in when you did because I’m certain if we’d followed through on making love then I’d never have the strength to do what I have to do,” Heather announced wiping at her face again.

“And just what would that be Heather Babes?” Kellen questioned pushing her hair from her face.

“I have to let him go. I have to stop thinking about him and stop trying to make something out of nothing between us. He’s just upset because he thinks that Sarah is cheating on him. He thinks that she’s sleeping with Diego and that’s why he’s here,” she blurted out in a tiny sob.

“I knew it,” Kellen gasped before frowning, “well not about that part about Kyle, but with Sarah. I could tell that she and Diego had something going on.”

“Yeah, well I don’t know what to think about that one, but it’s obvious Kyle is hurting and my sister is just stupid enough to break his heart time and time again. It’s the one thing that she’s good at, but this time I can’t get my heart broken in the process,” she insisted with a pained expression, “I won’t do it.”

“Who says that’s what’s going to happen this time?” Kellen questioned wiping at her tears and curling his finger underneath her chin. “Heather, whose to say that you will get your heart broken in all of this?”

“Because I know Kyle. He’s loved Sarah for as long as I can remember and I’ve always been the backup plan,” she explained painfully. “When we were kids she was always letting him down and I tried repeatedly to get him to see he could do better. I tried to make him see that I could be what he wanted and what he needed, but now…well, now I’d only be fooling myself into believing that he could find even half of what he needed with someone like me.”

“Now Heather Babes, why would you say that?” Kellen frowned at her.

“Because Kellen look at me. I’m completely damaged goods. You of all people should know that,” she explained in frustration, “I’m not nearly half of what Kyle needs and I’m okay with that. I’ve been okay to accept what life has given me. I mean I’ve come far from the days when I was living on the streets shooting those films to make ends meet.”

“Yes you have,” Kellen nodded back at her, “You’ve come a long way and if you can’t see that, then you need to reevaluate things until you see just how incredible you are.”

“Spoken from a man who used to hate me,” she let out an ironic laugh, “How did we move from that to this?”

“Well it could be because you happen to be the best straight sex I ever had in my life,” Kellen offered up catching her look.

“I’m the only straight sex you’ve ever had in your life,” she retorted with a shake of her head.

“Okay, so you’ve got me there but still,” Kellen paused for a long moment. “That could still be it or maybe it’s because your boyfriend is so hot he makes me melt all over.”

“He’s not my boyfriend,” Heather reminded him again, “and besides he’s never going to be at this point. He couldn’t love me because his heart is already Sarah’s.”

“He only thinks Sarah has his heart,” he thought it over, “and besides, from what I saw I don’t think that’s the case anymore. After what I just walked in on…”

“Kellen people have sex all the time without any attachment. Kyle’s just trying to hurt Sarah like she hurt him…” she argued with him further.

“Do you really believe that? I mean did he say that?” he questioned gently.

“No, but…”

“But what Heather? I think that you’re taking a pretty bold leap there in assuming that you know what Kyle is thinking. I know you’re good, but girlfriend you aren’t that good. Surely you have to cut the guy a little slack. He looked a bit wounded after you ran out on him,” he wiggled his brow at her, “So maybe your signals aren’t as on as you think.”

“He’s got too much going on with Sarah. They are going to get married and…” she argued with a huff. “I told myself a long time ago that I would never, ever fall for Kyle Houston again, yet here I am starting a self-defeating cycle all over again.”

“I don’t think it’s self-defeating especially since I think that it’s safe to say Kyle feels the same way about you,” he offered up in a reassuring tone. “You didn’t hear him the night at the party when you passed out. He said so many romantic, wonderful, dreamy things to you and I’m convinced it wasn’t because he was thinking about Sarah in any way, shape or form.”

“But I know how this will end Kellen,” she groaned inwardly, “He will get close to me only to have Sarah find a way to make things better--to make everything aright and I’ll be forgotten just like I was when I left town. I swore to myself that I’d never look back, yet…”

“You can’t deny your heart Heather,” Kellen offered up supportively, “If you want my advice Heather the best thing I can tell you is to stop hiding from what’s inside your heart. The fact to the matter is that you’ve got it bad for Kyle and that’s something that isn’t going to just fade away over night. You and Kyle have something there.”

“Yeah it’s called chaos,” she groaned again tipping her head up to look at him.

“No, it’s called chemistry and you both need to grab a hold of it and seize the moment or in your case the lifetime. I’m telling you I’m not wrong about things when I see two people who are meant to be together,” he smoothed her hair back behind her ear, “and Heather babes you and Kyle belong together. I’m sure of it.”

“Yeah well your being sure isn’t going to make it happen for us Kellen. We both know that,” she insisted stubbornly.

“It won’t happen if you don’t make it happen, but if you see what you want and you go for it,” Kellen paused contemplating his words, “Think about Kipp and I. You know how impossible that one seemed from the start…”

“Not that impossible,” Heather mouthed giving him a pointed look, “Kipp isn’t as straight laced as he lead the world to believe.”

“Don’t I know it,” Kellen licked his lips thinking about his lover, “but that’s another story for another time.”

“One that we can just skip over,” she let out another sigh.

“Okay, okay so yeah we could if you insist but that’s not the point. The point is that I saw something I wanted and I went for it. I followed my heart and took a chance. It was a big gamble, but it paid off,” Kellen continued his pep talk.

“Yes, but those were entirely different circumstances,” she reminded him pointedly.

“But circumstances are what you make of them,” he added with a wiggle of his brow.

“It’s not that easy Kellen,” she replied with a frown.

“Of course it is Heather Babes,” he pinched her nose in a teasing motion before letting out a laugh. “You just have to let the sunshine in instead of the darkness in your life.”

“I happen to like the darkness,” she argued with him further.

“Yeah, well I’m starting to feel like a dust bunny all locked away inside of here with the cleaning supplies and the brooms,” he started to go for the door.

“Don’t open it just yet,” she reached for his arm to stop him. “I don’t want to go out there just yet.”

“Why not?”

“Because I’m not ready for the real world,” she sank onto his lap placing her head on his legs and looking up at him, “When I was little my mother used to fight with me. It got really horrible and she’d get me so upset that I wanted to run away, but I didn’t have anywhere do go, so I would just lock myself in my closet and sit there for hours hoping that everything would get better.”

“And did it?” he couldn’t help but ask.

She shrugged, “They would just forget about me and leave. Sooner or later Kyle would show up with a flashlight and a peanut butter sandwich or something after he crawled into my window.”

“I see,” Kellen wiggled his brow again, “So even then Kyle would let you play with his flashlight.”

“Kellen stop,” she couldn’t help but laugh swatting at his chest.

“Hey from what I saw it was a very impressive flashlight,” he teased further enjoying the smile that replaced her frown.

“Shame on you. How do you think Kipp would feel to hear you talking that way?” she wrinkled her nose at him.

“Hey, I just looked and didn’t touch,” Kellen pointed out emphatically.

“You shouldn’t have looked,” she shook her head at him.

“How could I not when it was right out there in front of me like that? Damn you have no idea how much I want to know what it was like to…” Kellen started to ramble.

“Just stop before you start,” Heather warned him holding a finger up in the air, “Besides it wasn’t enough for me to really give you anything to fuel your fantasies there.”

“Seeing him in that state of undress was just enough,” he mused with a wide grin.

“You’re disgusting. You do realize that, don’t you?” she couldn’t help but giggle again. “If Kipp had any idea what a whore you really are…”

“Hey I am not a whore. I just happen to have a very strong appreciation for the male physique. I enjoy seeing them in all shapes and sizes and especially enjoy the ones who have amazing sizes…” he felt Heather slap his arm again. “I’m just saying.”

“Yeah well tone it down or Kipp is going to have issues,” Heather warned him sharply.

“I’ll have you know Kipp has no reason to have issues there. Granted he’s no Kyle Houston, but you and I both know that Kipp isn’t at all lacking in the important areas there. He’s got a very nice butt and his…” Kellen began in a giddy tone.

“Just stop. I so don’t want to be having this discussion,” she rolled her eyes before tipping her head up again to look at him. “The last thing I ever thought I’d be doing is talking about my ex-lovers with my best friend considering that he’s sleeping with one of them.”

“And loving every minute of it,” Kellen piped in with a bright grin, “but seriously you really need to work on fixing this situation with Kyle sweetheart. It’s only going to eat you up inside the longer that you let it go…”

“I know, but I’m just afraid if I go out on a limb that it’s just going to be the same old story all over again. If I let myself fall for Kyle, there’s a chance I’ll just wind up being the odd woman out so to speak,” she sighed heavily.

“If he’s worth loving, then it’s a risk worth taking, yes?” he arched a curious brow watching her nod.

“He’s more than worth it. I just have to wonder if he feels that way about me,” Heather divulged closing her eyes and thinking about Kyle all the while wondering if he’d felt the same thing for her that she felt for him. Could it be possible that this time around she wouldn’t be the odd woman out after all these years? Could Kyle truly love her like she knew she loved him?


“I’ll be right back,” Brant promised dipping down on the bed to kiss Angela one last time. While he hated to walk away, there was something about the temptation she brought to the table with the novel idea of their bringing some chocolate syrup up to the bedroom with them. However that would mean going back down to get some in the kitchen and…

“Hurry,” she arched up off of the bed to kiss him hungrily, “because you have no idea what I’m going to do to you when you get back.”

“Oh believe me honey,” his gaze swept over her ravenously noting the way that the sheet on the bed hugged all of her curves in the most enticing way, “I have an idea which is why I can promise you I won’t be long.”

“If you are, then I’m going to have to hunt you down and cause a scene where I find you,” she winked at him watching him reach for a robe and covering his beautiful body from her eyes.

“Trust me I won’t keep you waiting,” Brant assured her with a sexy smile, taking one last look at her before racing out of his bedroom. He rushed down the stairway ready to get the proper ingredients for their night of naughty fun with one another. Sprinting to the kitchen he opened up the refrigerator and pulled out the chocolate syrup only to discover the bottle was nearly empty.

“Damn it!” Brant cursed moving over to the cabinets and searching for another bottle. He was almost afraid he was going to have to give up when he spotted one on the top shelf. Reaching out he collected it in his hand. He was about to close the cabinet door when he spotted a jar of ice-cream sprinkles on the middle shelf. Smiling he reached for that as well thinking about how incredible a sexy sundae sounded.

“Hold on baby because I’m coming for you right now,” Brant announced circling around the kitchen to the doorway only to run right smack into Kyle. He fell a bit backwards sending the jar of sprinkles up in the air and flying over the kitchen in a gasp.

“I hope I’m not interrupting anything,” Kyle announced seeing the sprinkles flying over the kitchen as Brant managed to salvage the bottle of chocolate syrup.

“Actually,” Brant began uneasily clenching the sides of his robe shut, “I’m a bit busy right now and…”

“This won’t take long,” Kyle gave him a brief once over curious to see Brant in such a strange frazzled state. He looked around the kitchen at the rainbow colored sprinkles that were now on the floor and he let out a tiny laugh, “I am interrupting something, aren’t I?”

“As a matter of fact you are…” Brant started to explain to him only to be cut off by Kyle’s words.

“Right now I don’t care. I need to ask you something about when you were faking being catatonic,” Kyle continued to get back to the point. “I need to know something about when you were scamming Russ and Avery…”

“Look I was wrong. I know it and I made a mistake. I’m not going down that road again, so if you’ll excuse me and you’ll just let yourself out whichever way you let yourself in,” Brant tried to breeze on past him.

“Not so fast Ashford,” Kyle grabbed the collar of Brant’s robe. “I want answers and right now you’re the only one who can give them to me.”

“Look Kyle I’d like to be of assistance, but…” Brant offered up again hearing the sound of footsteps down the hall. His gaze swept past Kyle to where Angela stood clad only in the sheet she’d wrapped around herself to walk downstairs.

“I told you I was going to hunt you down,” Angela mouthed in a seductive purr ready to pounce onto him until she realized there was someone else in the room. Quickly she wrapped the sheet tighter around her body and looked up at Kyle, “Oh, I didn’t realize we had company.”

“Yeah you and me both,” Brant stepped in beside her gauging himself for Kyle’s reaction to what was going on.

“Well, well, well,” Kyle couldn’t help but give Angela a long once over surprised at what he was seeing before him. It was amazing how much she looked like Avery. It was an uncanny resemblance from head to toe and…

“Why don’t you just take a picture,” Angela frowned at the way Kyle was looking at her, “It’ll last longer that way and maybe then you can drool in the privacy of your own home.”

“Come again,” Kyle blinked back at her realizing that by her words and the glare she was giving him that she was most certainly not Avery.

“I said take a picture if you must, but stop gawking at me,” Angela stepped over to Brant wrapping her arms around his waist possessively, “I’m already taken in case you are too dense to realize what’s going on here.”

“Um, okay…” Kyle cleared his throat fighting to repress the laugh that built up inside of him. He watched Angela curl her finger around Brant’s cheek and nudge him in towards her.

“Isn’t that right baby,” she questioned commanding a kiss from Brant’s lips that could cause anyone to blush, even someone like Kyle.

“Um Angela, sweetheart,” Brant cleared his throat uneasily seeing the way that Kyle was watching them with a skeptic brow. “Maybe now is not the time to…”

“Now is precisely the time to get back to what we were doing before your guest arrived,” she glanced over at Kyle with a look of distain, “I don’t mean to be rude, but we’re a bit busy so if you could just…”

“This won’t take long,” Kyle assured her in a firm, unyielding tone, “I just need to ask lover boy a few questions about my girlfriend and her psychiatrist that I simply cannot wait to have an answer on. So tell me Brant, what exactly did you see between Sarah and Diego when you were playing possum? I’d really be curious to know.”


...to be continued...