Episode 330

“Look maybe you didn’t get the hint buddy, but we’re busy and,” Angela stepped forward ready to tear into Kyle until she felt Brant’s hand on her wrist urging her not to get up in his face.

“I can take care of this one sweetheart,” Brant assured her with a small sigh. “Kyle just needs me to help him with something and then I promise you I’ll be right back up there where were can pick up where I promised you we could.”

Angela looked between the two men before nodding and glaring over at Kyle. She swiped the bottle of chocolate syrup from Brant before wrinkling her nose at Kyle and marching back to the stairs to go back to the bedroom. Kyle watched her for a moment before turning his attention to Brant once more.

“Well I would say you got an exact model in the looks department, but not in the manners area,” Kyle noted with a wrinkled expression.

“Leave Angela alone,” Brant warned raising his hand in the air. “If you even think about insulting her, I’m not going to dignify your questions with a response.”

“Fine,” Kyle retreated from the insults still unable to believe the uncanny resemblance between Angela and Avery. Then it suddenly dawned in on him and he looked at Brant again, “She’s the one you got pregnant on an island, right?”

Brant looked up at him with wide eyes, “What does word spread fast in this town or something? Who have you been talking to?”

“That doesn’t matter,” Kyle shook his head watching Brant step forward while his bare feet crunched on the sprinkles on the floor. “I just have to know though…did you shack up with her before or after you manipulated Russ and Avery?”

“Look I warned you once,” Brant waved his finger in Kyle’s face, “Leave it be.”

“Just like you left Russ and Avery be?” Kyle taunted before raising his hands in the air defensively, “Look man I’m sorry that was a pot shot and I know it. It’s just that seeing you with someone like that especially after…”

“I love Angela,” Brant declared without hesitation, “She’s everything I ever could’ve asked for in a woman. I made a mistake before when I thought I was meant to be with Avery, but now I know I was wrong. Not that you could understand that one.”

“You might be surprised,” Kyle muttered under his breath.

“The point to the matter is that yes Angela does look like Avery, but it’s not what she looks like that is important to me,” Brant added catching the disbelieving look from Kyle. “Listen not that I expect you to believe a word that I’m saying, but when I met Angela, yes I thought she looked like Avery and yes I spent a lot of years imagining that Avery was my dream girl. I even went and painted this perfect picture inside my head of what life with Avery would be like, but guess what? I was wrong. Everything that I thought about with Avery in reality couldn’t come close to what I needed. It wasn’t until I met Angela and was with her that I realized there was someone out there that was absolutely everything I’d ever wanted. I thought because she and Avery were so alike that I could compensate for what I missed out on with Angela with Avery, but I was wrong. I made a mistake, but now that I’m with Angela again I won’t make that mistake twice.”

“So what you’re saying in a nutshell is that you spent years longing for Ms. Right, but when it got down to it Ms. Right For You was right there all along, it just took a while to open your eyes,” Kyle noted thinking about his own situation and the eerie parallels with him and Brant.

“Yeah, it’s exactly like that,” Brant nodded picking his foot up to see the rainbow colored sprinkles underneath it and frowning. “But something tells me that you really didn’t come over here to talk about my love life, so why don’t you just get to the point so that we can be done here?”

“Fine, then I’ll ask you again. Brant, I know full well that you were faking and it’s pretty much common knowledge that you and Don were working hard to make your scam go off without a hitch--so hard in fact that you had almost everyone buying into it--myself excluded.”

“Yeah so what,” Brant folded his arms in front of his chest.

“So during that time I know Diego and Sarah were in the room with you alone. I’m sure that they were saying or doing something that they might not have done if they’d believed that you weren’t catatonic, yes?” Kyle arched a curious brow seeing the expression on Brant’s face. “Yeah that’s what I thought, so why don’t you do us both a favor here and spill the beans because I have to tell you what you saw is something that I really need to know about starting now.”


Diego looked up from the table he was seated at. Thinking about how things had been playing out for him, he knew that time was taking it’s toll on him. After being locked up and pushed into this position for something he hadn’t done, Diego started to ponder the things that he had done. When he thought of the friends he’d had and the stupid decisions that he’d made along the way in hurting them, he couldn’t help but wish that there was a way in which he could change what had taken place. Even now guilt ate away at him consuming his thoughts day in and day out with nothing else on his mind.

“Hey Diego,” Sarah’s voice roused him from his contemplations as he looked up to see her standing before him in a slinky red dress. She had on long, black high heeled shoes and her hair was wrapped around her face framing it in such a fashion that he couldn’t help but feel his heart flutter. He sucked in a breath noticing the way her lips curled in a pout, the way the crimson colored mouth of hers seemed to be inviting him to reach out and kiss her, but he knew better. Turning away he heard her speak out to him again, “How are you holding up?”

“As good as can be expected,” he replied with a heavy sigh forcing himself to face her. Tension swept in over his neck and shoulders reminding him only too well of the less than comfortable cot he’d been spending his time in.

“I wish there was something I could do for you to make it better,” she whispered warmly sliding in to take a seat across from him at the table. Reaching out to take his hand in hers she offered up a small smile, “though maybe there is something I can do.”

“Sarah,” he pulled his hand away from her knowing that the best thing he could do was withdraw after the underscore of desire in her tone. He forced himself to look away before he spoke up again, “What are you really doing here?”

“I’m worried about you and I wanted to see you. I missed you,” she sighed heavily tossing her long blonde hair back over her shoulders. “I know it sounds crazy, but after the last time I saw you I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you. I haven’t been able to get you out of my system.”

“Is that right?” he questioned with a doubtful expression facing her once again, “And just how does Kyle feel about that one?”

She sat up straighter her smile fading ever so slightly, “Kyle doesn’t know anything about that Diego. You know that as well as I do.”

“Honestly no I don’t and the more I think about it, the more I’m thinking that maybe we are making a mistake,” he sighed revealing what had been troubling him for a while now, “Sarah, we can’t go on like this. We can’t keep deceiving him when you and I both know full well that this is going to blow up in our faces.”

“No it’s not,” she stood up again circling around the table to sit in front of him. She slid onto the corner of it before reaching out to touch his shoulder lightly, “Diego we aren’t going to have anything blow up in our faces in any of this.”

“Sarah you’re engaged to Kyle and you could be having my son or daughter,” he pointed out with a small frown his gaze dropping down to her abdomen, “That in itself is a major situation we have on our hands.”

“It’s only a situation if we let it be a situation,” she mouthed in response sliding her shoe off of her foot before placing her toes in his lap. She began to massage his body through his prison clothes before smiling down at him, “but honestly I didn’t really come over here for us to discuss that especially considering that well we don’t have a lot of time together these days. I was hoping we could pick up where we left off with one another.”

“Sarah,” he sucked in a sharp breath feeling her attempts at seducing him. Closing his eyes he remembered what it was like the last time he’d been with her--the last time he held her in his arms and suddenly reality came crashing down over him. Pushing her away ever so slightly he shook his head, “no. I can’t do this.”

“What?” she blinked back at him with a frown, “What do you mean you can’t do this?”

“It’s just what I said,” he pushed away from the table standing up and pacing the room. He looked over at her briefly before heading in a new direction. Once he stilled the desire she’d tried to awaken in him he forced himself to face her again, “Sarah the fact to the matter is that you can’t come over here and play around with me now that you’re engaged to Kyle. I know that you’re not going to be honest with him any time soon, but if nothing else you should be honest with yourself.”

“I am honest with myself,” she curled her lip in a pout sliding herself off of the table. Sauntering over to him, she reached out for him sliding her arms around his shoulders to draw him in nearer to her, “Diego I’m here because I want you.”

“For what reason this time?” he couldn’t help but ask feeling her rise up on her toes to capture his mouth in a heated kiss. He stumbled back a bit pressing into the wall behind them. It would be so easy to succumb to the kiss--to be with the woman who had haunted his dreams for nights on end, but as he thought about the real situation at hand he pulled away from her with a shake of his head. “No, we’re not doing this. In fact I’ve already decided either you tell Kyle or I will.”

“What?” her eyes widened in shock before she looked at him for a long moment. Finally she broke into laughter and shook her head again, “Oh Diego, now I know you’re just trying to play around with me after I left you so abruptly last time, but this time I promise you I won’t do the same thing.”

“Sarah, it’s not,” he started feeling her hand sliding down to the center of his pants. She grasped him, her fingers massaging the ache that she’d sparked inside of him before she opened up the front of his clothing and dipped her hand inside to touch him.

“It’s not worth fighting over,” she pressed her index finger in over his lips before she smiled over at him. Cupping him in her hand, she began to stroke at his length feeling his body’s natural response to her. With a smile she guided him back further against the wall before she continued to push open his clothing enough to pull him out to her hungry gaze. “Diego you know you want me as much as I want you.”

“Not like this Sarah,” Diego closed his eyes knowing full well that he was going to hell for all he’d done to encourage the relationship between them. He knew he should’ve stopped himself from acting on instincts--from giving in to the urges that he’d fought to suppress since he’d vowed to take control of his life, but there was just something about Sarah. Even now he knew damn well he had to put an end to this ridiculous affair they were having, but she was pushing his limits and he hated it. He opened his mouth to say something, to set the record straight, but before he could get the words out he felt her pull away.

Letting out a breath of relief Diego opened his eyes and prepared to tell her that things were over between them--that until she could be honest with Kyle, there was no room for them to be together, but when he looked for her, she wasn’t there. His dark eyes widened wondering where she could’ve gone to, but as he felt her lips close in over him, her mouth pressing in over his hardened ache, he knew that he’d just stepped into dangerous territory involuntarily.

Looking down he saw her crouched before him, taking the time to tease him mercilessly with every skilled caress her tongue made over his body. It was just as hot as it had been the first time they’d been together, yet as she continued to drive him to new levels of insanity, his rationale stepped in and he let out a harsh groan finding the strength to reach out for her shoulders. He pulled her up off of the ground and found himself meeting her dark, lusty eyes.

“I knew you couldn’t resist me,” she moved forward taking his actions as a sign that they were headed in the right direction with one another. She reached down to pull her skirt up ever so slightly to reveal that she hadn’t been wearing any underwear, but instead of having Diego reach out to her and claim her again and again, she found herself met by resistance.

“This isn’t happening,” Diego blurted out pushing away from her and adjusting his clothing again. He stepped across the room hoping to put a distance between them. Forcing himself to face her, he spoke up in a tight, annunciated tone, “Sarah, I’m not going to make love to you again until you get your priorities straight. Either you want to be with me or you want to be with Kyle. There are no more games happening here. I love you and yes, I know that I’ve told you that again and again, but that hasn’t changed this situation for us. I hate doing this because I hate lying and I’m not going to do it any longer.”

“You’re not going to tell Kyle,” she frowned over at him pushing her skirt back down to right again, “because if you even think about it, then he’ll make damn sure that you don’t have another breath left in your lungs. He’ll kill you for betraying the friendship you had going and you won’t have to worry about jail being the worst thing that happened to you. Kyle will destroy you.”

“I’ve already destroyed myself, so I can’t see how it could get any worse,” he admitted honestly thinking about all that had eaten away at him. “Sarah, I hate what I’ve become and in loving you the worst has been brought out in me. This is not who I am and I know that, which is why I have to put an end to it.”

“It ends when I say it ends damn it,” she stomped her foot stubbornly, her eyes narrowing over at him, “You can’t just tell me when you want to let go because I have every bit as much as say in this as you do. It’s my life Diego.”

“And it’s mine too Sarah and until you stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about the people who love you, then I’m afraid I can’t see you anymore,” he blurted out with a newfound determination, “I’m not going to be your sex on the side when Kyle isn’t living up to your expectations. I’m done with that because I want something more. I deserve something more.”

“I’m giving you all I can baby. You know I can only do so much,” she softened her tone a bit moving in over to him, “I just have to keep things the way they are because…”

“No excuses Sarah,” he cut her off sharply, “because this time it’s just not happening. I’m not going to keep destroying myself or the world around me.”

“You’re only hurting yourself if you deny what it is you want Diego,” she mouthed heatedly, her eyes fixed on his, “and I know you want me.”

“I won’t argue that, but it’s not worth the price I’ve had to pay considering that you don’t want to give anything back in return,” he added sharply opening his mouth to say something more when the door opened and the guard arrived with Barbara at his side.

“Diego,” Barbara greeted him, her eyes widening in surprise to see Sarah with him, “Oh, I didn’t know you had company.”

“I was just leaving,” Sarah scoffed in response shooting a glare over at Barbara before turning to Diego, “So this is why you’re being such a jerk, eh?”

“Don’t you dare start tossing out accusations at me Sarah when I’ve always been up front with you about my feelings,” he added his brown eyes reaching into hers while he whispered to keep Barbara from hearing their conversation.

“Screw her if you want to Diego, but deep down you know she’ll never compare to what we have together. She’ll never give you what you need like you know I can. You can try to play tough guy, but sooner or later you’ll crack and want me again,” she replied with an arrogant smirk, tossing her hair back over her shoulders, “and when that time comes you had better well be prepared with a proper apology because I’m going to make you crawl Diego.”

“You know if you’re busy I can just…” Barbara started again sensing the tension in the air when Sarah spun around to face her.

“He’s all yours,” Sarah mouthed with an icy smile adjusting her purse strap over her shoulder before moving past Barbara and pausing, “for now.”

“Um…” Barbara found herself at a loss when Sarah walked out of the room. She turned to Diego searching his features for an answer, “What was that all about?”

“Believe me you don’t want to know,” he let out a small sigh thinking about his confrontation with Sarah and knowing full well this was only the beginning of the nightmare for him, “I would have just liked to skip over it myself at this point, but unfortunately I‘m not that lucky.”


“Feeling better?” Russ whispered in the back of Avery’s ear holding her in his arms as they stood with one another in the living room.

She nodded her eyes still fixed on Kevin and Jenna as they chatted and played with Erin. Jenna was holding Erin in her arms while Kevin knelt on the floor holding one of Erin’s stuffed toys out in front of her. He wiggled it around in the air, causing her to chase after it with her fingers and when he pulled it away she squealed.

“I think she’s enjoying our guests,” Avery couldn’t help but laugh leaning back into Russell’s arms. “She seems to happy.”

“She is happy Avery,” Russ assured her with a soft whisper, “She’s happy that she has the most amazing mother in the world with you.”

“I think she’s just lucky to have the most amazing father,” Avery turned in his arms pulling him into an embrace, “She’s so lucky to have you considering that I’m such a train wreck lately.”

“Hey if it wasn’t for you she wouldn’t be here,” he touched her cheek gently, “You’re the one who made sure that she would make her way into this world and she loves you so much.”

“I just feel like I let her down Russ--like I let the both of you down with the choices I’ve made,” she confessed in a small, child-like tone, “Russ I’ve just…”

“Been way too hard on yourself,” he pressed his index finger in against her lips to silence her. “Avery I love you. You are the only woman I’ve loved for my whole life and I need you to know that I still think you are as amazing as I did when I first met you.”

“Russ,” she spoke his name feeling a heat rise over her features, “I love you.”

“I love you too,” he bent down to kiss her tenderly, his words buzzing in over her lips, “and don’t you forget it. You’re my everything.”

“And you’re mine,” she promised wrapping her arms around him and hearing Erin squeal at Kevin playing with her. Unable to repress the laugh that spilled over her lips, Avery turned around to see Erin with Kevin flapping her hand wildly towards the toy he had.

“Someone’s having a good time,” Russ noted with a small laugh of his own, “And my daughter seems pretty amused too.”

“What can I say?” Kevin shrugged his shoulders realizing that Avery, Russ and Jenna were all watching him curiously. “I have a way with kids.”

“I can tell,” Avery noted feeling the warmth that filled the room now that her daughter was enjoying every bit of his attention.

“Tell me something, do you have children of your own?” Jenna questioned curiously.

“I…” Kevin started thinking about the daughter he’d lost with Angela. To explain that now on top of everything else would only bring down the mood that they’d all worked so hard to pick up after Avery’s worries had mounted. He decided to take the easy way out of the situation. Shaking his head he focused on Erin again, “I’m hoping to one day.”

“You’re going to make a great father,” Avery noted moving in to sit on the sofa over by where her daughter was eating up all of Kevin’s attention.

“God I hope so,” Kevin glanced over at Russ and nodded, “I hope one day to only be half as lucky as you two are.”

“I’m sure one day you’re going to be a great father for sure,” Jenna piped in ready to say something more when Kevin’s cell phone started to ring.

“Hold that thought,” Kevin offered up apologetically realizing that Ria was on the line. He answered with a smile, “Hey sweetheart.”

“I’m going to kill him. I don’t care if I’ll end up in jail. I’m going to murder him!” Ria ranted into the phone so loud everyone in the room gave Kevin a strange look.

“One second,” Kevin covered the receiver part of his phone. “I have to take this.”

“Of course,” Avery nodded watching Kevin walk out of the room and into the kitchen area.

“And see you thought you were the only one having a bad day,” Jenna quipped hoping to lighten the mood.

“I’m sorry about earlier Jen,” Avery started regretting that she’d had such a major outburst in front of her friend. “I didn’t mean to…”

“No apologies,” Jenna shook her head at Avery’s words. “You’ve always been there for me and I’ll always be here for you.”

“Thank you so much,” Avery bent down to embrace her best friend hearing Erin let out a small squeal alerting her mother that she didn’t want to be left out of the mix.

“Hey princess,” Avery reached out to Erin scooping her into her arms.

“You know as much as I hate to do this,” Jenna paused looking over at Russ and Avery, “I promised Hart that I would pick up something for tonight and…”

“And I’ve kept you here longer than planned. I’m so sorry about that,” Avery started apologetically, “Maybe I can make it up to you by having you and Hart over for dinner sometime this week.”

“I’d like that,” Jenna nodded with a smile, “It’s been too long since we all spent time with one another.”

“Then we’ll make a date for it,” Avery hugged her again with one arm, “Thank you for coming over today.”

“Anytime,” Jenna replied warmly getting up from the couch with Russ following her to the door. He stopped her before she could walk out.

“Jen, thank you,” Russ whispered with an appreciative glance, “I’m really fortunate that you were here when that delivery arrived.”

“Of course and Russ,” Jenna glanced over at her friend, “Just give her time. She’s hurting a lot right now, but I’m sure this will pass.”

“That’s what I’m hoping for,” he confessed giving her a hug before letting her out. Once Jenna left he turned around to see Avery talking to Erin, looking happier than she’d been in a while. He couldn’t help but watch the two of them seeing how beautiful his daughter was in the arms of the woman he loved. It was everything he’d always hoped for--everything that had lead him back home and he vowed to do what he could to make sure that things stayed happy for them.

“Sorry about that,” Kevin entered the living room again with an apologetic expression. “That was my fiancée Ria and she’s having a bit of a not so great day.”

“I kind of heard that,” Avery noted with a small smile, “I hope that it gets better for her.”

“I’m sure it will in a bit,” Kevin added thinking about how angry Ria was.

“With you at her side I’m sure it will, won’t it Erin?” Avery replied and Erin broke into a smile.

“If there’s anything we can do,” Russ stepped forward to join them.

“Actually I’m just going to go see her, but it’s been really wonderful spending time with you both and Erin today,” Kevin focused on Erin once again, “She’s such a beautiful baby.”

“Yes she is,” Russ noted proudly thinking of how incredible his little girl was.

“Say thank you Kevin,” Avery watched Kevin tickle Erin’s belly causing her to let out another laugh.

“I’ll be back,” Kevin promised wanting to spend more time with Erin. “I promise.”

“Excellent,” Avery smiled down at him, “how about you return for dinner say tomorrow night?”

“Dinner,” Kevin tipped his head up from where he was kneeling in front of Erin, “Are you sure?”

“Of course we’re sure,” Russ decided moving forward into the conversation, “You can bring Ria and we’ll make a night of it.”

“Excellent,” Kevin grinned widely, “I’d love to.”

“Then we’ll see you tomorrow night pending you don’t mind playing with Erin since I know she’s not going to let you get away without doing that,” Avery added with a small laugh.

“It’s a date Erin,” Kevin tickled her tummy again, “and who knows maybe if you’re lucky and a good girl tonight for mommy I’ll bring you a present with me when I come over. How would you like that?”

Erin giggled and that was all the encouragement that anyone needed to know that things were in much better spirits than when Russ and Kevin first arrived at home. Things were most certainly looking up.


“Hey sweetheart,” Seth greeted Blake giving her a quick kiss after he’d stepped into the kitchen to join her after a long day of work. “How are you?”

“I’d be better if I had the first clue on what I was doing here,” Blake motioned to the ingredients in front of her, “Ria and I agreed to do dinner tonight and I thought I’d whip up some kind of Mexican dish since Kevin likes spicy food, but when I printed out the recipe off of the internet, it seems like my ink must’ve ran out since it’s only half there.”

“Let me take a look,” Seth reached for the page seeing that sure enough just as his eyes scanned the list, the various ingredients faded to nothing right before his very eyes. He couldn’t help but laugh hearing Blake let out a frustrated sigh.

“So now what am I going to do? If I wing it and it’s wrong, then Kevin’s going to realize that I didn’t follow through with the recipe like I told myself I would. He’ll see it’s not authentic and then he’ll realize that I’m not the cook that I bragged about to him and Ria when they were here the other day,” she let out a frustrated sigh. “So what now?”

“How about I help you?” Seth suggested looking over his shoulder at her, “because it just so happens that I tend to be a bit of an expert in this department. This was one of Jade’s favorite dishes when we were younger so I have perfected it a bit in my own way.”

“Really?” she questioned with wide eyes, feeling a piece of her blonde hair fall in front of her face after the frustrations she’d been dealing with.

“Yes really,” he reached out to tuck the loose strand behind her ear before smiling. He couldn’t help but notice the flour on her nose and scattered over the front of her apron. It was clear she’d been working on things for a while and now that he was home he realized he more than found himself ready to help her out in the kitchen. “Just let me wash my hands and we can get something started.”

“Okay,” she nodded watching him walk over to the sink. When he finished drying his hands he curled his finger at her motioning for her to join him over by the flour. “It’s really very simple with this if you know what you’re doing.”

“Seth, I tried to do something the right way, but…” she felt him reach out to her pulling her into his arms. He positioned her in front of him at the counter, bringing his arms around her waist until his hands were over hers.

“You just start with this…” Seth explained dipping her fingers into the flour and feeling her lean back into him ever so slightly, her concentration on the meal in front of her.

“Like this?” she questioned reaching for one of the ingredients she’d managed to have listed on the page.

“That’s right,” he nodded resting his chin on her shoulder gently, “and then you take a little water and add it to the mix.”

“Okay,” she reached for the measuring cup of water and started to pour it in

“Slowly,” he whispered over the back of her neck causing a small tremor to rush over her. His words were warm and intoxicating and suddenly had her forgetting about dinner entirely when he stepped in closer to her. “You don’t want to rush it because in this meal it’s all about timing. That’s the key so it’s very important.”

“I’ll remember that,” she nodded allowing him to guide her with mixing the contents before her. She reached for a spoon dipping it into the mixture ready to stir it when he stilled her wrist.

“It works better when you do it by hand,” he explained easing her fingers into the moist concoction they were working on. “That way it’s not too hard when you’re ready to fill it later.”

“And let me guess. If you add too much water it would’ve been too soft, right?” she tipped her head back to gaze up into his chocolate colored eyes. There was something about his warm body, the scent of his cologne and the way his hands felt over her working through the dough that had her realizing that pizza sounded like a much better dinner option.

“Something like that,” he nodded with a twinkle behind his eyes genuinely smiling at her like he was having a good time with her.

Things felt so natural, so relaxed between them, yet Blake found her thoughts drifting back to what it had felt like when she’d first laid eyes upon him back in that auto shop in his white sleeveless t-shirt looking sexy as hell with a little grease on his face. She smiled at the memory thinking about how even then she’d wanted to take a stab at kissing him--at knowing what it would be like to touch him. Of course she hadn’t had to wait too long given that she’d found herself trapped in that pit with him during the earthquake. Even now the memory sent shivers over her.

“You alright?” Seth asked breaking through her thoughts.

“Uh huh,” she nodded biting down on her bottom lip, her fingers sliding in over his feeling the dough between their hands. For so long they’d been trying to have a baby--going through the motions of sex simply with one thought in mind and she knew full well it had been wearing them both down. Now however all she could think about was the man before her and the world be damned.

“You’re sure,” Seth questioned sliding his index finger and thumb up over the palm of her hand, circling her wrist before inching down again to her fingers.

“What do you think,” she questioned arching back into him rubbing her bottom into his hips. She grinded methodically feeling his body spring to life at her teasing.

“Blake,” he threw out a knowing look, their fingers interlaced in the bowl before them.

“Maybe we should just scrap the idea and order pizza,” she offered up grinding back into him suggestively.

“Pizza does sound like an option,” he nodded in confession, “although you did tell Kevin and Ria that we’d have something good for them.”

“I know,” she nodded turning around to face him, her fingers still full of the dough they’d been playing with, “but I have to admit that right now I’d really rather have something good for me.”

“And just what might that be,” he questioned feeling her finger pressing against the center of his shirt.

“If you even have to ask, then you’re no where near being on the same page with me Seth,” she mouthed in a low, sultry tone stretching up on her toes to kiss him heatedly.

“Actually, I think I’m a step further,” he mouthed hoisting her up into his arms onto the countertop. The bowl they’d been playing with earlier fell to the ground creating an even bigger mess, but as they found themselves wrapped up in one another neither one of them cared about the mess at hand, but rather the fire that had started between them.


“Rob?” Cori knocked gently on Rob’s door seeing his blue eyes look up at her from his desk where he was doing some paper work. He let out a small yawn as she stepped into his room further, seeing him roll his chair back a few inches. “Can I speak to you a minute?”

“Sure Cori,” Rob yawned again stretching out his arms before sliding back in his chair further and grabbing the pen from his desktop. “What’s on your mind kiddo?”

“Well, you know,” Cori took a seat on the leather couch in the corner of the room seeing Rob stand up from his chair and walk over towards her. A smile passed over her lips as Rob sat down next to her, placing his hand on her shoulder gently. “I have been kind of having a rough few days and I was just thinking…”

“What is it kiddo?” he questioned in a tight breath thinking about everything that had happened to her over the last few days. “Listen, I know you are worried about Diego, but nothing is going to happen to you. He is in jail right now and now that we called him on this, nothing is ever going to happen to you again. He can’t hurt you and your life will get better you just have to believe me. You have to move on with your life and not let this guy haunt you. Just move on kiddo, that’s the best thing for you. Don’t let him get to you like this, that’s all I’m asking you to do.”

“I’m trying to do that Rob,” she tried to assure him taking in a sharp breath, leaning forward on her knees and resting her elbows against them. It was just a matter of time before she got the attention from Rob that she truly wanted and hopefully it would be sooner than she planned. “It’s just really hard sometimes. You think about his face and it scares you, it’s easier said that done. You say the best thing would be to move on, but what if I move on and find a guy that is exactly like him?”

“You aren’t going to get that Cori, I can help you,” Rob explained giving her a small hug before pulling away and smiling widely. “You just have to trust your heart, last time I think you let your mind get blurred with things you didn’t expect, but now you do know what to think about. It won’t happen again, but I will always be here for you.”

“I appreciate that Rob,” she whispered nodding slowly and seeing him look away from her, pushing back his dark hair before letting out another small yawn. Placing her hand on his thigh she saw him look down to her hand before looking back up at her. “You know, I was wondering--do you think you could take me home?”

“Take you home?” Rob muttered seeing her nod slowly as he fought for words to say before standing up quickly and folding his arms out in front of his chest. “Well I…,”

“I would love to take you home,” Nate offered up walking into Rob’s office seeing Cori’s dark eyes glare over at him as he shrugged his shoulders. “Don’t worry about it Rob, she lives with me right now at Don’s house. I drive pretty well and I promise she will get home safely.”

“That sounds like a great idea,” Rob decided looking over at Cori who was glaring over at Nate with her brown eyes before he reached for her hand, pulling her up from the couch. “You really should go home with him, I’m sure he will be okay with you. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“But,” Cori went to say something else seeing Rob walk over towards the desk and sit back down before looking through the rest of his papers. “Okay.”

“Bye Rob,” Nate smiled widely feeling Cori hit him in the center of the chest making him let out a small groan. “I’ll see you tomorrow, bright and early.”


“I don’t know why this is still bothering you,” Don grumbled rolling his eyes as he walked into the house, moving out of the way to let Shannon in before closing the door behind them. “Seriously Shannon, Kyle shouldn’t find out by you.”

“But he’s one of my best friend’s Don,” Shannon tried to point out looking back at Don with her dark eyes seeing him shrug his shoulders. “That’s not fair because you would have so totally told Brant by now.”

“If it was these kind of circumstances, no I wouldn’t have,” he whispered taking off his coat and shaking his head slowly. “This time it has a baby involved and Kyle thinks he is the dad. Now if he wants to find out by himself, I think it’s about time he realizes it on his own. Not with anyone’s help.”

“Don, you said there was a baby involved which tells me you aren’t thinking straightly,” she pressed her hand against the side of his face, giving it a light tap before she shook her head. “You are liar when it comes down to that because Erin was Russell’s baby and you tried to change the results to where it belonged to Brant, but nice try.”

“Think about what you are trying to say honey,” Don stopped Shannon before she walked off to the phone again, grabbing her wrist and turning her to face him. “Who is Kyle going to believe, you are the woman he loves? Do you seriously want to ruin your relationship with Kyle?”

“Since when do you care about my relationship with Kyle? You hate Kyle Houston,” Shannon pointed out walking over towards the phone again, going to dial Kyle’s phone number before thinking about what Don said. Sadly, he was right. What if Kyle did believe Sarah over her and they weren’t friends anymore. Rolling her eyes, she set the phone back down looking back at Don who had a smirk over his features. “I still want to tell him Don.”

“I know honey,” Don whispered moving forward to wrap his arms around her shoulders tightly, pressing a small kiss in over lips feeling her arms wrap around his torso tightly. “Let’s just put it off for the night, Matt’s at my mom’s house tonight sleeping so…,”

“What are you trying to hint at Don?” she smirked stepping forward and making him fall down against the couch before she got in over him carefully. “Something a little like this?”

“Yeah,” he let out tight breath seeing her reach over the couch to the back table for something as he frowned. Seeing her pull back a blue marker he frowned and tensed his eyebrows together. “Only a little though.”

“Well, I want to explain something to you,” Shannon motioned Don to raise his arms and he did so as she pulled his shirt up his body carefully before throwing it to the side. “I want to show you what it’s like when someone breaks your heart and someone knew what was going on, but didn’t tell you.”

“Okay,” Don saw Shannon back up slowly as moved her hand in over his muscular chest. “What are you going to do to show me what it’s like?”

“Well,” Shannon bit off the cap to the marker before spitting it to the side and drawing a small circle around Don’s belly button before smiling widely. “This one will work fine because with that, you see there is a pain that grows in your stomach. But there is something that really hits you hard.”

“What’s that,” Don groaned feeling her move her hips in over his making him place his hands on her hips as she started drawing something over the left side of his chest making him look down. “What in the world.”

“An upset smiley face,” she answered setting the marker aside before shaking her head slowly. “That’s what Kyle is going to be like if no one tells him. He will feel like no one was there for him and…,”

“Honey, I feel bad for Kyle and we’ll talk about his pain later,” Don flipped Shannon on her back onto the sofa before closing his eyes tightly. “But right now, I would like to focus a little on my pain.”


“You know you can talk about work if it’s still bothering you,” Grady mouthed sitting across from Deana at the dinner table with one another now that he’d decided to take her out for the evening.

“It’s not bothering me,” she lied biting down on her lower lip. “Really I’m fine.”

“Tell that to the napkin,” he motioned to the cloth she was twisting between her fingers. Reaching across the table he touched the tips of her fingers gently, “You know you can vent to me anytime you want to. I don’t mind.”

“I appreciate that, but it’s really not worth it,” she paused fighting to keep her cool about the situation when thoughts of her work day haunted her. “Ok I just have to say that I can’t stand that jerk. I mean where does he get off barking out orders at everyone when he’s not even in charge yet? I mean does he really think that being an arrogant prick is going to get him ahead? I mean sure it works for some people, but really when you’re working in that kind of environment with people who need help, the last thing you should be is rude and nasty especially to those you are working with. I’m right about that, aren’t I?”

“Of course you are,” he nodded seeing her face grow red with frustrations.

“Then why the hell won’t Zack Vaughn lay off and pay more attention to the things that need to change around the hospital. We’re understaffed and everyone who is there is doing the best job that they can. I work hard each and every day and…” she stopped herself before she let the day she put behind her get the best of her. She took in a slow breath and mentally counted to ten before focusing on Grady once again, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be doing this now. It’s entirely inappropriate seeing as you went out of your way to take me out tonight.”

“Actually, I don’t mind,” Grady leaned in closer to her, his green eyes fixed on the warmth her dark eyes offered up. While she was furious with Zack, there was still something so very sexy about her when she was fired up and ranting that he couldn’t help but be drawn to.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” she couldn’t help but ask noticing the goofy grin that spread over his features. “Do you think I’m being ridiculous?”

“No, not at all,” he shook his head in a reassuring fashion, his hand still pressed in over her and his grin expanded. “I was just thinking about how beautiful you are when you’re passionate about something.”

“Oh please,” she dismissed the thought, “Grady come on. I know I’m upset, but you don’t have to start throwing out flattery at me to shut me up.”

“I’m not trying to shut you up,” he confessed noticing the small flecks of amber in her eyes that only added to the warmth and character that surrounded her. She was beautiful and way out of his league, but after having spent so much time with her learning all there was to know, he couldn’t help but feel drawn to her--couldn’t help but want to experience everything that he could in their time with one another. “You can keep talking all night if you’d like.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea. I have this foot in mouth tendency going on that really doesn’t work well,” she shook her head dismissing his notion, “because if I did you’d be ready for earmuffs by the time we hit dessert.”

“Actually I was thinking that maybe we’d go back to my place for dessert,” he wiggled his brow suggestively amused by the color that rose over her face at his notion. He leaned in closer yet, his gaze penetrating hers with a carnal hint of temptation. “So what do you say? Care to work out some of that pent up aggression with me tonight?”

“As much as I’d like to,” she sighed heavily thinking about the last time she and Grady had made love, “I promised Jackie that I wouldn’t be too late tonight. She has a dance competition to go to in the morning, so I can’t keep her up all night with Zane when…”

“Okay, so we’ll take a rain check on that one,” Grady decided matter of fact, “In fact I have an even better idea. How about you and I stop over by the video store and pick up a few more releases for Zane. He kept telling me that he wanted to see that new Super Force movie that just was released.”

“And I told him that I didn’t think it was a good idea,” she shook her head at him fighting to contain a repressed laugh. “No wonder he’s getting so hooked on you. You let him indulge in all of the things that I try to keep him away from.”

“I’m not breaking too many rules with him, am I?” Grady questioned throwing out a puppy dog look at her. “Because if you want me to stop…”

“Amazingly that’s the last thing I want you to do,” she revealed tangling their fingers with one another, “Though I do have to ask you if you’re really sure that you want to be doing this. I mean getting involved with someone like me isn’t exactly going to be the easiest relationship…”

“Well you’re in luck then because I love difficult relationships given that I am an extremely difficult person to live with,” he cracked a joke seeing her somber expression, “Deana I was joking.”

“I know, but…it’s just Zane’s not really used to having many men in his life and since his father turned out to be a huge disappointment, well I just don’t want him to get his hopes up if we don’t end up working out together,” she shifted on the chair in an uncomfortable fashion. “I like you a lot Grady and after the other night, well I’m sure the feeling is mutual but…”

“Hey, I meant what I said about wanting to know all there is to know about you,” he reached out to her touching her face gently, “Deana, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt connected to someone and with you and Zane, you make it so easy.”

“That’s because you thrive on people bossing you around,” she couldn’t help but tease nervously, “You said it yourself you’re attracted to women who can’t stand you.”

“Maybe, but at the same time I’ve seen what happens when you wait around for life to come seeking you out. The longer you wait, the harder it is to find the one thing that you’re longing for. Time is far too precious to wait around for things to pan out as they should. If you don’t make things happen for you when the moment arises, then…” he started to explain himself to her.

“It’s not that I don’t want them to happen because I do. Grady, I’m not going to lie to you. I think you’re incredibly sexy and when I’m with you, you make me feel like a desirable, sensual woman…” she offered up fighting to find the right words.

“That’s because you are,” he slid in closer to her, his hand dropping down onto her knee underneath the table. “You are one of the most beautiful women I have ever known and I find that I love absolutely everything about you.”

“Yes, but with Zane,” she started up again only to feel him lean forward pressing his lips to hers in an impromptu kiss.

“I love Zane too,” he whispered, his words buzzing warmly against her lips, “I have for a while now, so you don’t have a thing to worry about.”

“Don’t you know by now,” she tipped her head up to meet his beautiful green eyes that were reaching out into her, “I always worry about everything.”

“Well don’t. Life is too short to always play it safe. In fact,” he stood up from his chair and held his hand out towards her in invitation. “What do you say to a dance?”

“Oh I don’t know,” she started to shake her head only to feel him pull her up and out of her chair.

“Of course you do,” he collected her in his arms, the warmth of his breath spilling out over her face. Short tingling sensations poured out over her body in the places where his palm made contact with her spine. Her breath caught in the back of her throat and her gaze dropped down to his ever-so-kissable lips. “You know you’re just looking for an excuse to get close to me tonight.”

“You’re the one pursuing this,” she reminded him with a tiny wrinkle of her nose.

“Because deep down you know it’s what we both want,” he mouthed pulling her into his arms and reminding her to live a little before she let the rest of the world bog her down. Perhaps together they could find a way to get through the chaos that surrounded them considering they seemed to be off to a good start with one another.


“So spill it,” Kyle urged Brant on again seeing the hesitance behind Brant’s eyes at offering up what he’d witnessed during his time of pretending to be out of the realm of reality.

“Why is it so important to you?” Brant circled around the counter to get himself a drink. He pulled out a bottle of juice out of the refrigerator before motioning over to Kyle. “Want a drink?”

“Am I going to need one?” Kyle couldn’t help but ask him curiously, “Is that what you’re trying to tell me?”

“What I’m trying to tell you is that you should probably make sure that you want to hear what I have to say before you start asking the questions,” Brant reached for two glasses from the cabinet. He poured one glass before sliding it across the countertop to Kyle. He poured himself another glass and took a sip. “That’s where we should start.”

“How about we start with did you or did you not see or hear Sarah and Diego talk about sleeping with one another?” Kyle cut straight to the point seeing Brant’s eyes widened in surprise. He frowned. “Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

“Look man I can assure you that the last place in the world I wanted to be was in there when they started going at it,” Brant blurted out with a groan, “I wasn’t at all anticipating seeing that happening.”

“But it did happen, didn’t it?” Kyle already knew the answer before he asked, but he needed to hear it.

Brant nodded again, “Yeah you could say it was an awakening for me.”

“How so?” Kyle asked reaching for the glass of juice that Brant poured him and taking a sip.

“Because it was then that I saw that there was no way in hell that I was going to keep hanging onto a relationship where the person I thought I was in love with was obviously not in love with me. I mean what kind of future does a man have in a relationship like that?” Brant sighed heavily taking another sip of his drink. “I’ve been down that road before in the past and I knew that if I kept holding onto Avery she would spend the rest of her life wanting to be with Russ--wanting to have that life that wasn’t what I could give her. Deep down I knew though that I was wrong. I knew that if I kept trying to believe the lie I’d wind up as unsatisfied as ever not really having the best thing that ever happened to me.”

“So seeing Sarah and Diego together is what caused you to let go, then?” Kyle repeated thinking about what Brant said.

He nodded, “Yeah and at the time I thought that it was the end of the world, but then I found Angela again and I have to tell you I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for what I have with her--attitude and all.”

“Yeah I see your point in a strange way,” Kyle finished off his juice. “Thank you for the honesty.”

“I have a question for you though,” Brant watched Kyle stand up straighter to leave.

“What’s that?” Kyle glanced over at him.

“Why ask me? I mean you could’ve very well found out the answers on your own without coming all the way over here to talk to me,” Brant pointed out with a straight-forward look, “You are more than qualified to get the truth from just about anyone in this town, yet…”

“You’re the only one who is a pain in the ass enough to be honest with me. You wouldn’t want to spare my feelings by lying just so that I could sleep at night thinking that Sarah loved me and only me,” Kyle shrugged his shoulders simply. “I knew that even though we aren’t exactly pals, you weren’t going to lie about something like that especially when I’m sure Sarah made it so easy for you to see her as she truly is.”

“If you want my honest opinion Kyle you need to think about what happens next,” Brant offered up taking a bold move in communicating with a man who more often than not was on the side of hating him. “You have to ask yourself if this is really worth what you’re investing into it. I mean I get that you love Sarah, but you have to ask yourself if she really loves you? I think you’ll find that regardless of how you feel about a relationship, you can’t spend the rest of your life loving someone who’s cheated on you because you’ll always be questioning it. You’ll always wonder what she’s doing next--who she’s with. It’s a self defeating cycle and furthermore if Sarah really loved you like she claims to, then let’s face it, there would be no reason for her to be cheating on you with Diego or anyone on that matter. Love doesn‘t work that way.”

“I know,” Kyle nodded realizing the truth that was right before his very eyes. He headed towards the door before stopping to glance over his shoulder at Brant. “And Brant?”

“Yes?” Brant looked up from where he’d been making a mental assessment of the mess on the floor.

“Thanks for telling me the truth. That means a lot to me,” Kyle nodded before walking off.

“Anytime man. Anytime,” Brant replied watching Kyle leave as he hoped that Kyle would find the clarity that Brant had found in his own moving on. He thought back to Angela waiting for him upstairs and in that moment he realized he wouldn’t trade what he’d found for anything in the world. That in itself just proved that there was light after the darkness and hopefully even Kyle would find that sooner or later.


“Are you sure that you’re okay?” Barbara questioned searching Diego’s features for a long moment. “I know that you mentioned that you were having a rough time in here and with good reason, so I brought you something.”

“You didn’t have to do that,” Diego started realizing that she’d brought a shopping bag in with her. He watched her push the bag onto the table and smile over at him.

“I wanted to,” she admitted with an encouraging nod, “Granted the guard gave me hell about bringing the bag in here and I have to give it back to him when I leave, but what’s inside is something that I think might help.”

“Thank you, but you really didn’t have to,” he began again opening up the bag to discover a soft, luxury pillow on the inside. He pulled it up and gave her a sideways glance.

“I know it seems kind of cheap and cheesy, but I heard that these places aren’t comfortable at all. I figured if I was in here I might want to have something that would help me get through a long night, so I thought that might help. I was told it was top of the line for the price. I didn’t know if they would let you have it in jail, but I talked with Dave and he agreed that it would be okay just this once,” she explained brightly hoping to make him feel better even though he was stuck in less than savory surroundings. “I wanted to do the whole comforter and Egyptian sheets combo, but that didn’t go over so well.”

Diego couldn’t help but smile at her, “Hopefully it won’t come to be a permanent residence for me here,” he sighed his thoughts turning to his surroundings again.

“I’m sure Grady and Kyle will find a way to get you out of here. I know they’ve been working really hard to get a confession out of Cori about the fact that she’s lying,” Barbara added seeing something flash behind his eyes. “Diego, what is it? Did Sarah have news on their progress? Is that why she was here?”

“No,” he answered honestly feeling the same tension returning to his shoulders again. “She was just in the area and wanted to stop by.”

“I see,” Barbara noted eyeing him for a long moment, “though something tells me the trip she made was less than positive.”

“Sarah and I have a very strained relationship with one another,” he admitted wondering if he’d revealed too much. He quickly covered, “Our friendship has been on the rocks for a while now and I’m not really sure how to change that.”

“I’m sure she’s just stressed with the whole being pregnant thing,” Barbara offered up with a small smile, “I hear it gets the best of us in a sour mood every now and then. Not that I would know about it myself since I’ve never gone down that road, but there are plenty of women that I work with that are constantly telling me how horrible it is when you’re bloated and feeling miserable and…”

“Yeah,” Diego nodded tuning out of the conversation for the moment as he thought to Sarah’s attempts at seducing him.

“I’m talking too much, aren’t I?” Barbara started apologetically. “I mean here I was coming over here to cheer you up and offer my support, but instead I can’t stop rambling. Really how are you? How are things going?”

“Exceedingly slow,” he motioned to the room around them, “There isn’t exactly a lot going on here. On one level I feel very fortunate because I’m not with other prisoners and experiencing true jail life, but in the other sense it’s not home either.”

“You’ll be home soon enough,” she reached out to squeeze his hand gently. “I know that these charges against you will be dropped and everyone will see Cori for the fraud she really is.”

“Perhaps,” Diego nodded forcing himself to keep in a conversation with Barbara while he found himself thinking about what it would be like when everyone in town discovered what a fraud he truly was. Once Kyle knew the truth about what he’d done with Sarah, he knew it was only a matter of time before everything as he’d known in his life would never be the same again. It was only a matter of time before everyone in Coral Valley finally saw how far he’d fallen from the man he’d vowed to be when Maria was alive. Even now he found it hard to look in the mirror knowing that he’d done the one thing that he’d always promised himself that he’d never fall into. He turned his back on his friends and people that cared about him all for a relationship that was leading him nowhere fast!


“I can’t believe you did that to me,” Cori hit Nate in the shoulder hearing him let out a small laugh as they got out of the car and onto the driveway to Don’s house. “I was this close to getting him. Just this close to…,”

“Scaring the hell out of him?” Nate finished off seeing her glare over at him in the darkness and he couldn’t help but shrug his shoulders. “What? In all honesty, that man looked scared as can be when I walked in.”

“He wasn’t scared,” Cori tried to reply seeing Nate roll his eyes before she threw her purse at him hearing him let out a small groan as he caught it. “He was just nervous that’s all.”

“Honey, I’m a man, I know how we work,” Nate whispered seeing her eyes narrow in at him as he nodded slowly. “You see when you are a man there are a few looks we have. It’s the married look where you love one person only and that’s one Rob always tends to have. There is the, I’m horny look where you really don’t see a look--you’ll just feel the guy over you. Then there is the look of fear and being scared. This one he had, there is a very big difference between a few expressions.”

“You don’t know what you are talking about,” Cori tore her bag away from Nate’s fingers seeing him shrug his shoulders as she walked up the side walk and to the front door. Letting out a groan, she realized the door was locked and she glared back at Nate who was walking up slowly. “Would you please hurry up?”

“Sorry for not walking quick enough,” Nate pulled out his keys and opened the door walking in first before seeing complete darkness around him. Trying to find a light, Nate tripped over the step letting out a small groan as he hit the floor. “Ouch.”

“You idiot,” Cori rolled her eyes flipping on the light and hearing a gasp from Shannon as she fell off the table and behind the couch to hide and left Don standing there in the middle of the room. Cori watched as Don bent down to pick up his pants before shrugging his shoulders. “That’s just wrong.”

“How are you two doing tonight?” Don laughed uneasily seeing Cori roll her eyes and walk through the living room and into the hallway towards her room. “What was that for?”

“She loves me,” Nate answered stepping in closer to Don before smiling widely. Looking down towards the center of Don’s slacks he shrugged his shoulders not knowing what else to say. “Obviously we aren’t as happy as you Don.”

“I’m going to kill you,” Don stepped forward only to feel Shannon place her hand over his shoulder as he bit down on his bottom lip not quite sure what to say before he shook his head slowly. “You need to stop walking in on us like that.”

“You need to not be so freaky,” Nate looked over at the unhappy face over Don’s chest before his eyebrows arched up and he shook his head slowly. “While the face is sad, you sure as hell are very happy. Goodnight you two, try making it to the bedroom this time just in case I have to go to the bathroom.”

“Gee, thanks for the heads up Nate,” Don grumbled hearing Nate’s door shut as he looked over towards Shannon and shook his head slowly. “What do you think is going on with Nate and Cori?”

“I have no idea, but I really don’t care right now,” she whispered reaching out to grab his hand and shake her head slowly. “Right now, let’s just take Nate’s advice and make our way to the bedroom.”

“Sounds good,” Don decided with a small smile before shaking his head slowly. “Lets just make sure that we lock all the windows and the doors before doing something. I really don’t like Nate walking in on us like that, the next time he does that--I swear I’ll kill him.”


Jenna entered the apartment with a few bags in hand ready to put together something fantastic for Hart, but instead of her thoughts for the meal she was going to put together, she felt herself met by the hearty aroma that swept through the foyer area. Curiously she set the bags down for a moment and slipped out of her jacket before reaching for the bags again. She started off in the direction of the kitchen only to discover a table for two complete with a lit candle and a floral arrangement in the center of the table. There was a bottle that at first glance appeared to be wine chilling in a bucket and she couldn’t help but be curious about what she’d walked into.

“There you are,” Hart’s voice captured her off guard now that he’d entered the room behind her. He slid his arms around her waist kissing the back of her neck in the process. “I’ve missed you.”

“I missed you too,” she sighed leaning back into his arms and forgetting about the bags in her hands for a brief second until she’d almost dropped them. Frowning she stood up straighter and walked away just enough to set them down. Turning around she saw him standing before her in a sexy blue sweater and gray slacks. He was neither dressed up nor dressed down, but he still looked remarkable as always.

“I thought I would surprise you,” he explained stepping forward to hold out a single, red rose for her to take. He glanced over her shoulder to the bags she’d brought in with her, “but maybe you were looking to surprise me as well.”

“I promised you a romantic dinner,” she reminded him with a small sigh, “but I know I was running a little behind.”

“And I took advantage of the moment deciding that it was probably a smart idea to do something for you for a change,” he explained moving forward to collect the groceries that she’d picked up. Quickly he put them away before motioning to the table. “Have a seat.”

“I don’t mind if I do,” she admitted freely walking over to the table just in time to see him rush over and hold the chair out for her. She smiled up at him feeling the warmth of his fingers caress the small over her back before she sat down, “Thank you.”

“It’s my pleasure,” he tipped down to steal a quick kiss from her lips before finishing with the groceries. “So how was your day?”

“Interesting,” she replied thinking about her visit with Avery, “I guess Avery and I just got caught up in all the girl talk between us.”

“Did you now?” Hart questioned returning to the table and pulling the bottle out of the ice bucket to reveal that it wasn’t wine, but rather sparkling grape juice. He held the bottle out to her as if she was inspecting a fine wine, “Would you care for a glass milady?”

“I don’t mind if I do,” she nodded in response watching him take to the task at hand in pampering her. “So tell me handsome, how was your day?”

“Not nearly as good as it is right now that you’re here,” he continued to explain pouring her a glass of juice before pouring himself one as well. He handed her glass to her before raising his in the beginnings of a toast, “To finally having time to spend with the most beautiful woman I know.”

“Now I’ll drink to that,” Jenna decided clinking her glass with his before taking a long sip. Once she lowered her glass to the table again she looked to the tray in front of her. “So tell me what did you make tonight to surprise and dazzle me with?”

“Actually that’s something I was hoping we could just say that it’s the thought that counts,” he started with a sheepish expression watching her reach out to lift the lid from the tray to reveal the steaming pizza before her. She tipped her head up to eye him curiously before he offered up a small laugh, “I didn’t have a lot of time to get to it before you arrived, so I figured pizza was quick and easy.”

“And one of my favorites,” she laughed lightly reaching for one of the pieces and seeing the thick cheese stream from it. She raised it to her lips taking a bite and feeling the savory spices mingle with the cheese in the perfect combination of temptation. She could feel cheese falling off of the slice in her hand and she reached out to stop it from dropping into her lap before speaking up again, “It’s good. I love it.”

“I know it’s not a five star meal, but…” he began apologetically moving in closer to her to take his seat only to feel her reach out to stuff part of her uneaten slice into his mouth.

“I said I liked it, so don’t spoil it,” she warned him sharply watching him take a bite of the food she’d offered him.

“Fair enough,” he nodded in agreement watching her with nothing, but admiration. “So really how did your day with Avery go?”

“Are you asking because you’re interested or because you want to know something for Brant?” she couldn’t help but question searching his eyes for a long moment. “I already told you that we’re not going to get into the center of the situation with the two of them and…”

“I was just making pleasant talk here, but you know what. Let’s forget about Avery, forget about Brant and focus on what’s important for tonight,” he suggested reaching out to take her hand in his. He raised her hand to his lips and offered up a soft kiss upon her skin, “us.”

“I would love that more than you know,” Jenna sighed leaning into the warmth of his touch as she found herself thankful that she had found true happiness in her life. While Russ and Avery were obviously working back to that with one another, she knew full well that they would have major drama ahead of them. Jenna on the other hand had been lucky in love finding a man who made her feel complete without all of the chaos that most people had found with one another. Life for them was in fact perfect and she wouldn’t change a thing--not for the world!


“Thanks for all your help tonight Jackie,” Deana smiled walking Jackie over to her apartment door. “I really appreciate your doing this for me.”

“Anytime,” Jackie smiled up at Deana. “I always enjoy Zane’s company.”

“He likes having you around too,” Deana smiled down at the young teen that her son had a crush on. “Good luck at your competition tomorrow.”

“Thanks Deana,” Jackie glanced over Deana’s shoulder over to where Grady was standing by the rack of DVDs over by the television set. She winked up at Deana, “Good luck with that hot boyfriend of yours.”

“Good night Jackie,” Deana shook her head fighting the urge to laugh at Jackie’s comment. Turning around after she closed and locked the door she found Grady facing her with the two DVD rentals they’d picked up in his hands.

“I think it’s safe to say we can put these on hold tonight since Zane is in bed,” Grady noted with a small smile bending down to set the DVDs on the table top. He stood upright again eyeing her with a mischievous grin, “Unless of course you wanted to watch them.”

“I think we can wait,” Deana decided making a small step in closer to him, “I guess it’s going to be a quiet night after all.”

“I don’t mind quiet,” Grady circled around the couch reaching out to her and pulling her into his arms in one, swift movement, “And truth be told I really don’t mind the idea of tucking you in bed right about now either.”

“Grady,” she spoke his name feeling her face grow hot with embarrassment, “I don’t know if we should go that far tonight. I mean the other night was nice, but I don’t really want to make a habit of us doing, well that while Zane is sleeping.”

“He did tell me that you haven’t had sleepovers in a very long time,” Grady squeezed his arms around her slender waist drawing her in nearer to him. His lips dropped down over hers placing feathery light kisses against her soft flesh. “I’m sure it couldn’t hurt for us to give you a little fun every now and then.”

“I’m not against fun,” Deana mouthed tipping her head up to meet his tempting green eyes, “but I have to be practical.”

Grady let out a small groan, pulling back ever so slightly, “How can you even think about being practical right now when all I can think of is taking my time getting you out of your clothes and…”

“Stop right there,” she insisted placing her index finger over the center of his lips. “You can stay for a while, but why don’t we try something else? Something that’s a bit more neutral?”

“Fine,” he sighed releasing her and taking a step back. He dropped his hands into his pants pockets, “So what would you like to do?”

“How about we play a game or something? Maybe we could do a board game,” she suggested walking over to the pile of boxes that were next to the television. “I mean it’s been a while since I did anything like that. What about you?”

“I haven’t played a board game since my brother and I were kids,” Grady pondered the thought for a moment unable to take his eyes off of Deana.

While she was out of her high heels, she was still dressed in the sexy black skirt and blue sweater that she’d changed into after work. She hadn’t put a lot of makeup on after they’d left the hospital, but she really didn’t need it. She had a natural beauty about her that had Grady always thinking very tempting thoughts about her. While they’d had a rocky beginning the other night had proven that they were off to a good start with one another. In fact the more time he spent with her, the more he wanted to keep these moments returning to him. He took a small step towards her seeing her hold up two boxes, one in each hand.

“Well what do you want?” Deana held both boxes out towards him, a soft smile over her fair features.

“Do you really want me to answer that,” Grady replied in a low rumble giving her a very complete once over and letting her know that the board game was the furthest from his mind at the moment.

“Not really because I’d hate to have to give your ego another blow and shoot you down again,” she set one of the boxes down before walking over to the center of the living room. She set the box down on the coffee table before carefully maneuvering her flowing skirt enough to sit down on the floor beside it. “How about monopoly?”

“There’s something to be said about a game where winner takes all,” he couldn’t help but quip kicking his shoes off and settling in onto the floor beside her. “I think I could very well get into this game.”

“Good because I must confess I am one of the best at this one,” Deana revealed with a confident smirk leaning in closer to him. “I’m the kind of gal who plays until she wins it all.”

“Funny, I never saw that in you,” he teased feeling her jab him in the ribs.

“Oh please, you know how competitive I am and from what I can see so are you,” she noted reaching for the box and pulling the top off of it.

“I do have a tendency to go for what I want every now and then,” he admitted seeing her lean forward to pull out the game board.

“Then it won’t be a dull evening,” Deana replied pulling out the pieces of the game. “What do you want to be?”

“How about the car?” he suggested seeing her shake her head. She tossed her blonde hair over her shoulder and giggled gently.

“Oh no I’m always the car,” her brown eyes sparkled back at him, “but you can be the dog. I think that will suit you.”

“I’ll give you dog,” Grady mused with a laugh of his own reaching out to pull her into his arms. He tugged her back onto the carpet with him until they were face to face with one another laying side by side. His fingers tickled over her ribs causing her to break out with laughter.

“Well you are a dog,” she teased further feeling him tickling her more than he’d been earlier.

“I am not. I’m no where near being a dog,” he argued with her tickling her again and again until tears threatened behind her eyes.

“Grady stop. If you keep doing this we’re going to wake Zane,” she mouthed fearing her laughter would awaken her son. She opened her mouth in protest once more, but was met by the tantalizing feel of Grady’s lips over hers.

At first she felt a warmth of his mouth to hers, but as their kiss deepened, she felt her body sizzling at the thought of what it felt like to be near him. Sliding in closer to him on the carpet she found herself thinking less and less about the game and more about what it was like to be near him. She wrapped her arm around his waist urging him nearer to her, while her thigh rubbed in against his gingerly.

“You’re trouble,” she whispered as their mouths parted. “You really don’t stop until you get what you want, do you?”

“Not unless it’s not mutual,” he searched her dark eyes hoping for an indication that things were going to carry on in the direction they’d headed in with one another. He felt her fingers press in over the center of his shirt pulling open a few buttons before their eyes met once again.

“It’s more than mutual Grady,” she assured him kissing him again ready to throw caution to the wind and just enjoy the time they were spending with one another. It had been so long since she’d felt desired and needed. Now that Grady was in her life, she’d tried to be responsible, but the temptation of being desired seemed to outrank the level-headedness that responsibility carried with it. As she threw her arms more completely around Grady, she decided that for tonight caution would be damned.


Ria knocked on Seth’s apartment door looking at the time and knowing full well that she was running late. She’d called Kevin to come on over and join them whenever he was ready, but she was worried that she’d kept everyone waiting for her. Knocking again she felt a sigh spill over her lips, but when the door opened and she saw Seth standing there in a burgundy colored robe with wet hair, she realized that maybe she wasn’t as late as she thought.

“We still are having dinner tonight,” she paused giving him a strange look, “Aren’t we?”

“Yeah come on in,” Seth opened the door wider stepping aside to give her access to his apartment. “I was just running a little behind with work and Blake…”

“Seth is that the door?” Blake’s voice rang out from down the hallway. She stepped out wearing a matching robe with equally wet hair.

“I’d hardly consider it work Seth,” Ria winked at him guessing full well what had her two friends running behind schedule. “So I take it we’re ordering in tonight.”

“That was the plan,” Seth nodded with a small smile, “though Kevin said he’d pick something up on the way over. I gave him a call and told him we were…um running behind here and…”

“Well don’t let me stop you from,” Ria gave them both a once over, “running behind.”

“Oh we’re almost ready,” Blake ran her fingers through her long, damp hair. “Come on in. It’s good to have you here. Seth said you were going to be running late.”

“That’s because that jackass at the hospital who thinks he’s God decided to nominated me for more work,” Ria groaned clenching her fists at her sides, “Now don’t get me wrong. I’m so not against working, but I can’t stand that man. He sits there issuing commands and he expects everyone to fall at his feet.”

“Ah you must be talking about Zack,” Seth noted sensing the heavy dislike Ria had for the man he too hadn’t cared too much for.

“Who else?” Ria threw her hands in the air. “Every time I see him I want to strangle him and I know that isn’t good.”

“Funny he tends to bring that out in the best of us,” Blake frowned shaking her head at the thought of Zack. “I don’t know what I ever saw in that man. I mean seriously he’s turned out to be a real creep. He wasn’t like that when I was in college.”

“No?” Ria arched a curious brow, “because I find it hard to believe that he had any shred of decency in him ever.”

“Who’s that?” Kevin questioned walking into the apartment and looking over the group. “What’s up?”

“We were just discussing Zack,” Blake gave him a strange look, “Hey, how did you get in here?”

“The door was unlocked,” Kevin motioned to the door behind him before juggling the bags in his arms. “I hope you’re all hungry because I brought a lot of food and some desserts too since I think we could all use a pick-me-up.”

“What I could use is a good hit man because I’m going to kill Zack. The man is a creep and then the other day did I tell you he actually had the nerve to come up to me on my break and ask me about you and Blake,” Ria looked to Seth again. “I don’t know what he’s up to, but he’s up to something.”

“I can’t argue that point,” Blake frowned thinking about the stunt Zack had pulled on her at the community center. “He’s up to something for sure and I’ve already told him that I’m not interested in getting back together with him. He’s not at all what I want in my life.”

“Smart girl,” Kevin noted eyeing his cousin for a moment, “Seth?”

“I was just thinking about Zack,” Seth admitted with a frown, “I mean he comes back to town out of the blue and returns to life like nothing happened, yet…”

“What?” Blake turned to face him. “What’s on your mind?”

“Well don’t you find it odd that he and Johanna seemed fine, yet she left and now he’s back trying to make you miserable,” Seth thought aloud wondering just what Zack’s angle was. “And with you Ria, well, he knows you’re my best friend.”

“Which would explain why he’s a jerk and he’s fishing for answers about you two,” Ria blurted out thinking about Zack and his sneaky, underhanded manipulative motives.

“Well if he wants information, why don’t you feed it to him,” Kevin suggested walking past them into the dining area.

“Huh?” all three looked at Kevin curiously watching him start to empty out the contents of the carry out he’d brought with him.

“It’s simple. You just feed him false information and beat him at his own game. You’ll find out what he’s up to and maybe you can cut him down in the process,” Kevin continued pulling out another container from the bag he’d placed in front of him. “It’s a total mind game, but it works in assessing the opponent. It was the norm in boxing and…”

“It’s brilliant,” Blake clapped her hands together. “If Zack can’t take a hint, we’ll just manipulate the situation until he has no choice but to take the hint when we hit him in the head with it…”

“Or choked the life out of him first,” Ria piped in thinking about what she’d like to do to Zack.

“Or you could try a less obvious approach. Maybe you could feel the situation out and…” Kevin stopped himself, “Never mind. This is stupid.”

“No keep talking,” Ria approached her fiancé, “because at this point I’m willing to do just about anything to stop Zack from annoying the life out of me.”

“Ria’s right. Keep talking Kevin. Maybe together we can come up with a plan to stop him and beat him at his own game,” Blake suggested wondering if together they could all find a way to get rid of the trouble that Zack was bringing to all of their lives in an effective and to the point fashion.


Kyle let out a small groan as he moved forward towards the front door of the place he was staying at with Sarah. He pulled his keys out of his pocket and searched for the right key before finding the correct one.

“Damn,” he groaned placing his hand over the front of his nose still feeling the pain from when Kellen had hit him earlier and he let out a small groan. The best night of his life just might has well turned out to be the worst night of his life. “I can’t believe this, if Kellen wouldn’t have walked in I would have…,”

Kyle was about to say something more until he realized that Kellen did walk in and there was nothing he could do about it. If Kellen hadn’t of popped in, Kyle could have told Heather all the ways he loved her and everything he had ever hoped for with her. More time would have been perfect for him to convince her fully that he loved her and not Sarah, but obviously the little time him and Heather had together wasn’t good enough for her to believe him fully yet.

“Sarah?” Kyle called out Sarah’s name hearing silence as he shut the door behind him and eyed the room over slowly. Kyle walks into the kitchen and turned on the lights feeling a sudden chill spread throughout his body. “Honey, are you home?”

Still listening carefully, he heard nothing and took a look out of the kitchen one last time before shrugging his shoulders and heading back into the kitchen to pull out some orange juice.

“Thank god,” he let out a long sigh of relief feeling lucky enough to not have her and have to explain to her why he was in such a mood. It was obvious that when she got home, she was going to yell at him for spending time with Heather. That was just the kind of person she was. Taking a sip of his juice Kyle looked over to the clock seeing that it was getting kind of late and if he wanted to get some things done on time, he had to get them done quickly before Sarah got home. “Where did we throws those boxes?”

Taking a walk into the hallway he looked above himself seeing the attic above him as he let out a long breath, setting his drink down on the table before grabbing a chair to step on it to get up to the attic. As he pulled the chain down and opened the door, his foot lost its balance making him grab onto the side of the door. Holding himself up from falling, Kyle pulled himself up slowly before sitting on the floor of the attic and letting out a deep breath.

“I should have just went in through the bedroom,” Kyle rolled his eyes at himself realizing there was a way through the closest where he could have at least tried to climb the shelves to get him up there. “I really hate these things and they are always so…,” before another word fell from his lips he let out a sneeze seeing the dust fly up around him. “Dusty.”

Getting up to his feet he pushed a few things around the small area before him, walking into the corner of the area seeing the boxes he was looking for. Sitting back down carefully, he made a space for himself stretching his legs out before him and grabbing one of the boxes that had his name on it.

“Lets see what we have here,” Kyle opened the box before him pulling out a few things before stopping when he came to a small velvet box underneath everything. “Is this what I think it is?”

Kyle carefully opened the velvet box seeing a ring before him, the diamond shimmering as he flashed towards the light above him. Taking the ring between his fingers, Kyle pulled it out of the box setting the box down for a moment as he looked at the ring. There were so many times he should have thought about this ring and he could still remember the day he got it from his mother.

“Kyle, be careful,” Karen Houston, Kyle’s mother tug on the pant leg of his jeans as he reached for something for her in the attic. “Kyle, I don’t want you to fall out of there.”

“Mom, I’m fine,” Kyle chuckled falling down from where he had been holding himself up to look around the area above them. “Don’t worry, the worst thing that could have happened is I would have fallen on my butt. It’s really okay.”

“I don’t want you to fall at all,” she whispered reaching out to touch the side of her son’s face, seeing a smile spread out over his young features. “So, did you see anything.”

“I’m sorry mom,” Kyle held his hands up in the air, his dimples growing larger as he flipped a velvet box between his fingers and held it up for her, seeing her dark eyes widen in surprise. “I found it just for you, now what am I going to get for all of this?”

“Actually,” she began opening the box for a moment to look inside before closing it back up and handing it over to him slowly. “This is yours kiddo.”

“Wait, what?” Kyle took the box in his hands opening it carefully before shaking his head over and over again. Closing it back up he went to hand it back to her until she pushed his hand back down. “Mom, I can’t take this, it’s too much. I‘d much rather do my chores to get something good, that‘s unnecessary.”

“Give me a minute to explain,” Karen tugged on Kyle’s t-shirt for a moment, motioning him to follow her into the living room and sit down on the couch with her. When he took a seat she reached out to squeeze his left hand in hers gently before seeing his hazel eyes meet hers. “Kyle, this is my mother’s ring. She gave it to me when she died and now you need to have it.”

“No,” he tried handing her the ring back seeing his mother shake her head again making him let out a long sigh. “Mom, this is yours. I have no right keeping it.”

“You were only six when she died Kyle, you wouldn’t really remember her, but she wanted you to have this,” she whispered seeing him push back his short hair slowly, listening to her words carefully. “She asked me before she died to give this to you, under one condition. You have to use this to ask the woman you truly love to marry you. I should have waited to give this to you when you got older, but I couldn’t wait any longer. If something were to happen to me, I would have never told you about this and…,”

“Don’t say that,” Kyle hushed his mother reaching out to wrap his arm around her shoulders gently. “You are going to be staying with me for a while, I need you. I can’t lose you mom, but I will hold onto this knowing what you told me. Just please never say that again.”

“You always have to worry about the simple things,” he could still hear his mother tell him as he rested his forehead against hers.

“I still haven’t given this ring away yet,” Kyle took in a deep breath putting the ring back in before shaking his head slowly and sliding the velvet box into his jeans pocket. “I don’t think I will ever be giving this away mom, I’m sorry.”

Kyle took a moment to himself before shaking his head slowly and moving back towards another box that was a bit smaller and weighed a little bit less, but this time the box had his mother’s name on it.

“Oh god,” Kyle laughed pulling out a baby outfit and knowing by the way it looked he knew it was his when he was a baby. Setting the outfit down, he reached back into the box pulling out a smaller blue box that had his initials on it. Opening it carefully, he found on top there were a few papers folded together on top of it and he opened them up before nodding slowly. Kyle carefully looked through the papers before shaking his head slowly not getting the answer he wanted. “My adoption papers with no name to tie me to. Perfect.”

Moving a few things aside he came to a stop when he found a small silver bracelet that was big enough to fit a baby with the initials BDA. Wrinkling his nose for a moment he thought about letters trying to think of someone who had those initials in that family, but realized it was probably just a cousin or something.

“Interesting,” Kyle set the bracelet back in the box before pulling out the next item that caught his eye and he pulled it out slowly. It looked like it had a ruby on it, at least it looked like it was a ruby. Slipping it up his ring finger on his right hand Kyle looked it over slowly before taking in a deep breath. There was some type of coat of arms on it, but he couldn’t make it out clearly. Moving his hand around he caught something carved on the side and looked closer to it. “The same initials.”

Pulling the ring back off his eyebrows tensed together as he bit down on his bottom lip and set the ring on the ground before going back to looking through a few things. Grabbing the top item, he pulled out his old baseball jacket letting out a small laugh as he brushed it off slowly seeing that obviously he had grown a lot since his high school years. It was sad when he had gotten more memories with Heather than he did Sarah who was his fiancé because even this jacket made him think back to a time with Heather.

“So what do you think?” Heather pulled on Kyle’s baseball jacket seeing Kyle look over his shoulder at her, just now noticing that she had came in through his window. “I think it fits me very well.”

“Heather,” Kyle smirked closing the book to his homework and pushing away from the desk before getting up from the chair. Kyle moved in closer to her folding his arms out in front of his bare chest before shrugging his shoulders. “I think anything fits well on you, you look great in anything.”

“You think so?” Heather smirked biting down on her bottom lip as Kyle stepped in closer to her and she fluttered her eyelashes up at him seeing the grin that spread out through his features.

“Honey,” Kyle licked his lips reaching his right hand up to rub his chin slowly before nodding slowly. “It’s not that I think, it’s more along the lines that I know.”

“Oh, you know?” Heather began seeing Kyle nod slowly taking in another step closer to her as she held her finger up waving it back and forth slowly. “Tell me something Kyle, what about this?”

“What about what?” Kyle questioned arching his eyebrow up at her before seeing her slide his baseball jacket off her arms and drop it to the ground behind her. The sight of her before him in only her bikini made him gulp down before nodding slowly. “You look great.”

“Just great?” she eyed him over slowly reaching out to run her index finger over the center of his chest, watching his hazel eyes look down to her finger. “I thought you would have to say more.”

“You want more?” Kyle nodded before moving forward and in a quick movement wrapping his arm around her waist, pulling her in against him roughly. Moving in closer to her, he tempted her with his warm breath as he moved in beside her neck pressing a small kiss against her skin. “Kind of like this?”

“This was more of what I was thinking about,” Heather whispered tipping up on her toes to meet Kyle in a small kiss, feeling his rough fingers caressing her cheek gently. “I hope you don’t have anything planned for this evening.”

“Well actually,” he began feeling her push him back against the side of his desk as he gulped down lightly, feeling her left hand run in through his short hair. “I kind of had some homework I should probably get finished and…,”

“Are you sure about that,” Heather’s lips met him as she tried to tempt him into changing his mind while her fingers tampered off over the top of his jogging pants, pushing them down lightly and they fell to his ankles. “I think you can do your homework tomorrow.”

“Yeah,” Kyle gulped down pulling her in closer to him and pushing the things from his desk off the top to the ground and leaning her back gently. “Screw the homework.”

“I thought you might say that,” Heather smiled proudly feeling his lips press in over the side of her neck as she slid her fingers in through his thick hair. “I was hoping you might say screw life too.”

“Why is that?” Kyle murmured pressing a small kiss against her lips before moving them in over the side of her neck again, taking small nips at her heated skin and feeling her nails scraping in over his shoulders. “Heather?”

“I’m ready to leave,” she whispered arching up into him as she felt his tongue move in over her skin and she wrapped her legs around his hips firmly. “I want to leave with you today.”

“What?” Kyle pulled backed away from Heather seeing her green eyes staring out into his as he backed away slowly. Reaching down to grab his pants and pull them back up Kyle let out a small frown shaking his head slowly. “You have to finish school Heather, not now.”

“Kyle, I’m tired of everyone here and I know you always said I have you, but sometimes I don’t have you anymore when you are going to that extra college class for credit,” Heather whispered seeing him going to say something to object to what she said as she placed her finger over his lips. “I don’t have you until after midnight and if my mother sees me gone by that time, I’m dead.”

“Heather,” Kyle grumbled her name thinking of something to say before walking over towards his dresser to pull out a t-shirt and some shorts for her to wear. “I’m trying to make this work for the both of us, but you have to realize that school is really important for you.”

“But I want to be with you,” Heather whispered pulling her shirt on slowly before grabbing the pants he gave her. She watched him sit down on the edge of the bed to look up at her with his hazel eyes as she shrugged her shoulders. “I want to move to Hollywood and I want to start a life with you.”

“We will honey,” he hushed her standing up to his feet, reaching out to her and holding her in his arms tightly. “I’m promise, we are going to do that, we just have to accomplish the little things first. That’s all I’m asking you to do. Hold out a little longer, for me?”

“With that look,” Heather rolled her eyes taking in a deep breath before moving forward and wrapping her arms around him tightly. “Of course I am going to say yes and wait for you. I love you and I would do anything for you.”

“Good,” Kyle smirked holding onto her hand before falling back against his bed, bringing her in next to him. A small breath escaped his lips as he pushed back her hair carefully. “You know, there are some things I probably should talk to you about…,”

“Hey Kyle,” Heather interrupted him seeing him nod slowly for her to go as she took in a deep breath, circling her fingers in over the center of his chest. “Do you love me?”

“Of course I love you honey, more than anything,” he promised feeling her snuggle in against his chest as he reached for something from the top drawer, caressing her shoulders with his left hand gently. “I actually have a question for you.”

“What’s that?” Heather yawned closing her eyes feeling his strong arm wrap around her tightly before she let out another yawn.

“Heather, would you…,” Kyle opened the velvet box hearing a snore coming from Heather’s lips as he realized she had fallen asleep on him when he was about to give her the ring. Placing the ring back in the box, he closed the drawer back up before turning off the lights. “I guess in the morning is just as good.”

“You should have woke her up,” Kyle whispered to himself hearing a banging noise and he sat still for a moment realizing that the noise had belonged to the door closing. The bang soon followed Sarah’s voice as he felt a breath catch in his throat. “Oh god, she’s home.”

Kyle quickly shuffled the things together before grabbing the ring at his side and standing up. He was hoping he could have a few more minutes to himself, but obviously this was the most he would be getting for quite a while now that she was home.

“We’re going to learn more about you,” Kyle whispered taking a look at the ring in his fingers before taking a small step forward, trying to avoid the small space and get back to one of the doors he could go down through. There was a small moving space that Kyle tried to get through, but fell when his footing failed and he landed flat on his face sending the ring rolling across the floor. “No.”

Crawling on his knees he tried to catch the ring, but he was too late when it fell down one of the holes and he let out a tight breath realizing that whatever that was, was gone now that he been smart enough to drop it.

“Sarah probably thinks the house is caving down,” Kyle grumbled sitting up and brushing off his t-shirt when he saw that he knocked down a few boxes, opening them in the process. “Whoops.”

Scooting in closer he could see the side of the box had Sarah’s name written on the side of it and he took in a deep breath realizing that this was some of the stuff she didn’t want around.

“I’ll just tuck these back in here and…,” Kyle paused coming across a letter and a ticket when he put one of her shirts back into the box. His name was spread across the envelope and his eyebrows tensed together realizing that this must have been something that was sent to him that he never got. “What in the world?”

Kyle slowly opened the envelope noticing the words to be Heather’s before him, he knew her writing. He would never forget what her writing was like, he read it too many times in their old letters to forget.

“You can’t be serious,” Kyle felt his heart begin to race as he read the words in his head slowly. It was the words of Heather telling him she was leaving and would meet him at the train station. All the words of love and promise was there before him as he moved the envelope and the ticket aside realizing that he had a one way ticket to California in his hand. “No, this can’t be true. No, I would have gotten this, she wouldn’t have given it to Sarah.”

“I can’t believe she did this to me,” Kyle slammed his door shut behind him seeing Sarah follow in behind him as he pushed back his wet hair after he searched for her for hours in the rain. “She has to be here, she has to be in this town. She wouldn’t leave me.”

“Kyle, come on,” Sarah frowned reaching out to touch his wet shoulder seeing his hazel eyes look up into hers as she bit down on her bottom lip nervously. “She wanted out of here so badly, that she didn’t care who’s life she ruined.”

“She wouldn’t do this to me,” Kyle muttered pulling his body away from her roughly before turning around to face his dresser, reaching out to grab the picture of him and Heather he had stuck in the side of it. Setting the picture down, he brought his hand to the lamp that stood on his dresser, seeing it hit the wall and slam into the wall to shatter in pieces. Kyle turned to see Sarah look at something before grabbing it off his desk as he moved in closer to her. “What did you take?”

“What?” Sarah jumped at the sound of his voice, turning to face him as she let out a hesitant laugh and shrugged her shoulders as she spoke. “I didn’t take anything, what are you talking about?”

“Damn it Sarah,” Kyle grabbed Sarah slamming her in against the wall, but not hard enough to hurt her. He held her wrists in his hands tightly, feeling rigid breaths escape his lips as he shook his head slowly. “What did you pick up?”

“Nothing,” Sarah answered in a tight breath seeing Kyle let her go long enough for her to bring her palm against his cheek, seeing him turn with the hit. “Just because she left you doesn’t mean you have to walk around like a psycho blaming everyone else.”

“Why would she do this to me?” Kyle whimpered falling back against the wall sliding down to the ground and covering the back of his head with his hands. “I loved her she wouldn’t leave me, something had to have happened.”

“Her stuff is gone Kyle, she didn’t love you,” Sarah tried to convince him pressing her hand in over his shoulder seeing him look up at her, his cheeks wet from the tears as she reached out to hug him. “She didn’t love anybody Kyle, she used you.”

“She wouldn’t have done that,” Kyle tried to convince himself taking in a sharp breath feeling her hush him with her finger before she leaned forward to press her lips up against his in a small brush. Feeling her hand moving in over the side of his neck, Kyle pulled away from her roughly. “It’s because of you and your damn mother she is gone. I’m going to find her if it’s the last thing I do.”

“Kyle come on,” Sarah begged seeing him stand up quickly and walk over towards the door. “You won’t find her because she doesn’t want to be found.”

“Get out of my house,” Kyle growled slamming the door shut behind him, not caring what Sarah was doing all he wanted to do was find Heather.

“She took it,” Kyle realized when he thought back to when she was playing with something on his desk. “Heather left the letter for me and she took it. I would have found her, I would have been with her, but Sarah took it.”

Feeling a muscle in his jaw tighten, Kyle stood up feeling the rage in his body begin to build as he stood up holding the letter and the ticket in his hand tightly. He quickly slid the papers into his back pocket before looking around the room trying to control his anger.

“I loved Heather this whole time--we could have been together,” Kyle felt his chest rise and fall over again with deep breaths of anger as he kicked a few more of the boxes over. “She ruined my life for some stupid idea.”

Kyle grabbed a box from the ground angrily throwing it into the wall before pacing around over and over again before feeling the light press against his head and he turned around to face it catching the window in the corner. Reaching down and grabbing an award he won from school, he threw it right through the window hearing the window shatter at the impact as he realized that now was the time to face Sarah.

“She’s dead,” Kyle grumbled walking over towards the door to get into the bedroom closet and he opened it, stepping on one of the shelves to get down to the ground. “Heather thinks I never showed up to the train that day, but I never got the chance.”

Falling down to the carpeted ground Kyle rested his head back against the wall realizing that all these years, all the pain he had been brought through was all because of Sarah. All the times he spent alone was all because of Sarah and everything she did was to get her way.

“All those nights, I could have been with Heather,” Kyle whispered realizing that every women he had been with in the past were no names, the only one he ever wanted to remember was Heather and that was the only one he ever wanted to be with. “My future was screwed over by a black heart and now I’m going to screw her over.”

Kyle got up from the floor and reached out towards the handle, pausing when he heard a deep voice fill his ears telling him that not only was Sarah in the house, but a male was also.

“What the hell?” Kyle quietly opened the door and stepped out of the closest, out of the bedroom and into the hallway. Tiptoeing carefully he walked towards the living room hearing Sarah and a male talking to each other.

“You have to get rid of Heather Cameron,” Sarah’s voice begged as Kyle’s eyes widened realizing that the man he despised the most, the man that hurt Heather was standing in the room next to him. “I can’t stand it, it’s like Kyle only wants to spend his time with her and I don’t like that.”

“Well maybe he does just want to spend his time with her,” Cameron offered up a wide smile seeing Sarah frown before him as he shrugged his shoulders slowly. “What? You can’t handle defeat or something?”

“Funny,” Sarah rolled her eyes seeing Cameron smirk before she moved forward and pressed her fingers in over the button to his shirt carefully. “If you do what I ask, I’ll do something for you. All you have to do is send Heather out of the country or something, I don’t care where, just somewhere.”

“Sounds like an interesting thing you’d like me to do, what are you going to do for me?” Cameron answered feeling Sarah push him back against the couch and get in over him slowly, reaching down to pull the button in his slacks apart. “What makes you think by the end of this I’ll tell you yes?”

“I think you will,” Sarah answered pulling apart the buttons on Cameron’s shirt before leaning in to press her lips in against his quickly. “I can be very persuasive.”

“Persuasive,” Kyle chuckled to himself clenching his fists at his side, patting his pocket and feeling the ring from his grandmother there as he closed his eyes tightly. “More like a whore.”

Not wanting to be in the house any longer, Kyle went over toward the bedroom again walking over towards the window. There was no way out other than through the front door and the back, where both times Sarah would see him. Jumping out the window and onto his feet Kyle brushed off his pants before walking around the house to the back.

“She’s going to pay,” Kyle promised looking at Sarah and Cameron through the frosted windows as it rained above him. “She is going to pay if it’s the last thing I ever do.”


...to be continued...