Episode 340

Kevin whistled a tune to himself holding the box of donuts in his hands while he approached Ria’s door. Wondering why she hadn’t called him last night to tell him that she wasn’t going to show up and meet with him had him wondering if something was wrong. He’d gone over to her place, but she wasn’t home and when he’d called the hospital one of the nurses had said that she’d seen Ria around the hospital, but wasn’t quite sure where. Kevin had assumed that she’d obviously been working, but still it wasn’t like her to call or try to see him after. Of course knowing what a long shift she must’ve had, Kevin decided to try to pamper her this morning by giving her a good start to the day ahead of both of them.

Knocking on Ria’s door, Kevin adjusted the box in his hand knowing full well he’d picked up a batch of Ria’s favorite donuts in the whole world. She was going to be very surprised when she saw the extra little something that he’d tucked into the box for her. Sure, maybe it was a bit cheesy in an old fashioned romantic sort of way, but he couldn’t help but wake up each day wanting to show her all the ways in which she’d finally given him happiness in his life. For so many years he’d been stuck in a rut, lost in the past and the dreams that would never be, but now with Ria--now he’d finally been able to find what he’d been missing in his life. He knew now that he was home at long last.

Knocking on the door again, he worried that Ria could still be at the hospital, but a few seconds later the door opened and a less than enthused Ria answered. Her dark eyes looked tired and sullen and he felt a moment of worry press over him. It appeared as if she’d been crying. Something had upset her and immediately Kevin stepped into protective mode.

“Ria, what’s wrong?” Kevin asked worriedly reaching out to touch her only to feel her back off as if she’d been scalded by his touch.

“You stay away from me,” she hissed sharply clenching her fists at her sides tightly, “I don’t even want to look at you right now.”

“Look at me?” he repeated with obvious confusion. He took another small step towards her only to witness her further retreat. “Ria, I don’t understand. What’s going on?”

“I’ll tell you what’s going on,” Ria hissed unable to mask her tears any longer, “You are a liar and a phony and I can’t believe that I thought you were the one.”

“Now wait just a second,” Kevin’s jaw flexed with tension, “Ria, I don’t know where this one is coming from, but I can promise you that I have never, ever lied to you. I love you.”

“Yeah right,” she rolled her eyes wiping at her face stubbornly, “but it’s just not enough for you to let go of your past right? It’s not enough for you to just walk away from where it is that your heart obviously wants to be.”

“Ria, now wait just a minute,” Kevin started again struggling to gain some kind of control over the situation that was bursting out of control right in front of his eyes. He lowered his voice to a faint whisper before tipping his head down to look at her. His soulful brown eyes met hers with a mixture of confusion and worry. Her doubts seemed so out of the blue--so far from where they should be in their relationship, yet he knew full well there was no mistaking the upset that rocked through her. “Please honey, just let me come inside and we’ll talk about this. Whatever it is that’s bothering you I’ll do my best to make it better.”

“This time that’s not going to work Kevin,” she pinched her lips together straining to keep from giving things a chance, “I have to get to work.”

“Then let me drive you over there,” he suggested reaching out to her again, “Let me take you to the hospital and we can talk about whatever this is.”

“There’s no point,” she shook her head shrugging out of his touch in spite of herself, “Talking isn’t going to fix anything especially when there isn’t any truth to what you say.”

“Ria, I don’t know what it is you think I’ve done, but I can assure you that I love you. I’m positive that this has to be some kind of misunderstanding and…” he pleaded with her once again before motioning to the box in his hands. “I brought breakfast. I got your favorite donuts and…”

“And I’m not in the mood Kevin,” she shook her head throwing out one desperate look before pushing her way out of the apartment and past him in the hallway. She refused to turn around and look at him leaving him to wonder what in the world was happening between them.

“Ria wait,” Kevin decided regaining his bearings as he followed her down the hallway, but she was too fast for him. “Ria please. I love you.”

“I love you too,” she confessed stepping in the elevator and turning around to face him right as the doors began to close, “which is why this hurts so damn much.”

“Ria,” Kevin tried to push his way into the elevators. He was able to thrust his hand inside to prevent them from closing. He tried to wiggle his way into the elevator with her, but the doors were still partially closed. “Please just talk to me. We can work this out. We can…”

“Work on this Kevin,” she snapped reaching into her purse and pulling out the video tape that had delivered the awful truth to her last night. She shoved at him, tossing it with such an intensity that it smacked the center of his chest surprising him and sending him just far enough backwards stumbling into the hallway again.

“I can’t be your second best Kevin. Even if you think that I can live with that, I can’t,” Ria’s words echoed through the hallway as Kevin found himself alone with the tape wondering what in the world was on it to put Ria in such a state of upset!


Shannon let out a long groan feeling an ache in her lower back as she stretched out beneath the thin blanket that covered her. Opening her eyes she looked around feeling an unfamiliarity in the air about her. She reached for the pillow beneath her stretching her arm out as she had a great many times in the past, but this time all she was met with was emptiness reminding her that she wasn’t in bed with Don. She wasn’t home and what they had was something that she wasn’t anywhere near being able to hold onto.

“You finally awake?” Dean questioned pushing a steaming mug in front of her face and causing her to groan. She fell back onto his couch and closed her eyes again.

“Just leave me alone,” she muttered under her breath attempting to roll over only to feel Dean wrench the blanket off of her in a hasty, sharp movement.

“You’ve cluttered up my living room long enough,” he frowned down at her shaking his head with heavy disapproval, “so now it’s time to get up.”

“I’m not ready to,” Shannon pouted stubbornly bringing her arms around her torso.

“Too bad. It’s my place, my rules,” Dean held the mug out to her once again seeing her reluctantly opening her eyes and glaring at him.

“I really hate you. I hope you realize that,” she grudgingly replied pushing herself up off of the couch and reaching for the mug. She eased it over towards her mouth before taking in a whiff of the scent. She groaned and pushed it back at him, “I’m not drinking this. It smells like vomit.”

“Yeah, well so does my bathroom after the fun you had last night,” Dean mouthed with heavy sarcasm shoving the mug into her hand again before plopping down to take a seat on the couch beside her, “You know you really have a way about you when it comes to killing the whole air of romance a person has going.”

“Hey, it’s not my fault that you chose to stay here last night with Deidra,” she eyed the mug suspiciously before lifting it to her lips and taking a cautious sip. She practically spit it out, but caught Dean’s look and took another sip. “This tastes as bad as it smells.”

“Yeah well regardless of what it tastes like or even smells like it should help you get off of my couch and back on track to fixing things with Don,” Dean remarked standing up and heading over towards the counter where he’d left his own mug of coffee. “It’ll be a good motivator.”

“I’m not going back to Don,” Shannon announced stubbornly, “He wants me out, then I’m out. I don’t care.”

“The hell you don’t,” Dean glanced over his shoulder at her. He swiped his mug off of the counter and carried it with him over to one of the chairs. “Shannon we both know better than what you’re trying to convey. You love Don even if you are stubborn about admitting it.”

“No, I don’t,” Shannon lied taking another painful sip of the liquid in the mug, “I never asked to be married in the first place and I knew from day one it wouldn’t work.”

“Then why did you stay married for so long?” Dean arched a curious brow taking a seat across from her. “I mean if it wasn’t something you enjoyed you wouldn’t have stayed married that long, right?”

“I didn’t say there weren’t parts I enjoyed. It’s just that,” she paused contemplating the state of her relationship with Don, “sex alone doesn’t make a great relationship. You of all people should know that.”

“Yeah unfortunately I learned that the hard way when I dated you,” Dean frowned back at her shaking his again, “though I know that’s not the case with you and Don. I know you genuinely care about the guy.”

“No, I don’t,” she argued with him stubbornly. “I mean the only reason I was married this long was simply because he’s so needy and always made me feel like I would be shattering him if I left him. It wasn’t and isn’t about love.”

“Then why did you get drunk last night? Why come over here miserable and ruin that sobriety that you were working towards all this time?” he challenged catching her long silence, “Yeah that’s what I thought. You weren’t getting plastered because you were in the mood to celebrate. You were upset because you know that you’re making a huge mistake in letting the best thing that ever walked into your life leave without a fight.”

“You’re so full of…” Shannon tried to counter his words.

“No Shannon, in this situation I’m absolutely right and you know it. You love Don Leveski and even if the man infuriates you, you can’t seem to find a way to get enough of him,” Dean leaned forward eyeing her expectantly, “In fact right now I know that you’re wondering where he is and what he’s doing and the not knowing is killing you. You’re wishing that you were with him right now working things out instead of sitting on my old couch arguing with me.”

“You’re so wrong about that,” Shannon finished off the drink he’d given her and slammed the mug down on his coffee table, “Don Leveski is the furthest thing from my mind.”

“Really, then why were you talking to him in your sleep?” Dean arched a curious brow. “Why would you be dreaming about him if you weren’t thinking about him?”

“I wasn’t dreaming about him,” she paused an uneasiness settling over her, “I didn’t really say his name.”

“Yes you did,” he replied honestly, “many, many times to the point I was going to look and see if he snuck in here too at one point. But seriously Shannon, if you aren’t in love with Don, then I don’t know what it is.”

“It’s insanity, stupidity and just a plain waste of time. I never wanted to be married, never wanted to have a husband or a family and now…” Shannon grumbled thinking about all that she’d gained in her relationship with Don.

“Now you’re going to let your pride take everyone of those dreams that you could have away from you simply because you refused to admit what we both know is true in your heart,” Dean frowned at her again, “but hey if you want to go and screw up your life, then that’s your decision, but when you’re miserable and alone, don’t get upset when I say I told you so.”

“Oh blow me,” Shannon huffed watching Dean make his way into the kitchen, “Just because you’re dating Sharon Stone there with her letter opener doesn’t mean that you know anything about love.”

“Deidra is no Sharon Stone. She’s a lot hotter and besides, she and I have been able to work through our issues because we are smart enough to actually talk about them rather than hurt each other repeatedly like we did in the past,” Dean popped his head out from where he’d disappeared into his kitchen, “You know it might be a smart move for you to imitate in the whole talking thing considering that you’re going to lose Don forever if you don’t stop acting like a stubborn ass and start using your head.”

“I’m not acting like a stubborn ass,” Shannon pouted slumping down further on the couch. She closed her eyes seeing a hazy flashback of her confrontation with Don again and again in her mind. With a heavy sigh she sank further into the couch cushions feeling a moment of despair sweeping down over her. “Besides, you can’t lose something that you never really had. It‘s better this way.”

However, even as she said the words Shannon had to wonder if that was really the truth, or just her way of denial when it came to what could quite possibly be the biggest disappointment in her life.


Don rubbed his head making his way down the stairs of the Ashford mansion only to find his way to the kitchen. The old familiar aromas of bacon and eggs among other things had managed to pull him from the depressing reality that he’d spent the night at Brant’s instead of spending his time at home with his wife. Even now he couldn’t help but think about the way things had panned out with Shannon, but breakfast was starting to smell like a good distraction. Rounding the corner into the kitchen Don spotted Brant over by the stove sure enough cooking enough food for an entire football team.

“Why honey, you shouldn’t have,” Don teased stepping fully into the kitchen, the sound of his slippers scratching on the floor beneath him.

“Well you know you might get the star treatment here, but breakfast in bed isn’t on that agenda. It‘s a good thing you got up,” Brant laughed lightly giving him a once over. He couldn’t help but laugh harder than before, “What are you wearing?”

“Huh?” Don looked down to see the pink spotted robe he’d slipped into. He was wearing matching pink bunny slippers and Brant doubled over with laughter.

Don frowned placing his hands on his hips. “What? What’s wrong with this?”

“It’s pink,” Brant ripped into another round of laughter, “Don I can’t believe you’re wearing that getup.”

“Hey, it’s not that bad,” Don puffed out his chest, wiggling his toes to make the heads on the rabbit slippers bob front and back, while the long ears flopped around on the floor, “Matt bought me these slippers.”

“Okay, that I understand,” Brant fought to contain himself before standing up taller than before, “but what about the robe?”

“I was shopping for a gift for Steph once and I found this one. It was my size and really comfortable. You should feel it,” Don held his arm out to give Brant a touch, “Yeah I mean it’s pink, but come on. When it’s this comfortable…”

“I don’t care how comfortable it is. It looks ridiculous man,” Brant admitted honestly feeling another bubble of laughter sweeping up over him at his friend’s outlandish attire.

“Oh I don’t know,” Angela’s voice poured into the kitchen as she joined them from the back of the room, “I think there is certainly something to be said about a man who is secure enough to wear pink. I happen to find it extremely sexy.”

“Really?” Don’s blue eyes perked up seeing her approaching them with a bunch of freshly picked flowers from the garden.

“Yes really,” Angela nodded encouragingly, holding out a yellow rose for Don, “Here you are sweetheart.”

“Thanks,” Don accepted the rose before feeling her reach up on her toes to kiss him on the cheek gently. She stepped back and ran her fingers over his smooth, robe covered arm.

“Real men can wear pink and wear it well. Don’t let my husband to be tell you otherwise,” Angela winked at him before circling around to offer a red rose to Brant, “Here you are Mr. Snarky.”

“I’ll give you Mr. Snarky,” Brant turned his attention away from the meal he’d been working on long enough to pull her into his arms and give her a long, demanding kiss. Her fingers curled into his shoulder, biting into the material of his loose fitting t-shirt before their lips parted.

“It’s amazing how sweet a kiss from you can be after your being so sour with your best friend,” she teased stealing another quick kiss from him before looking to Don again, “So how are you feeling this morning?”

“Other than having Brant insult me,” Don feigned injury before realizing there was no point and he cracked a smile, “I’m doing good. I had a lot of fun with you both last night. I really appreciate you two having me over.”

“Are you kidding,” Brant shook his head at Don, “I wouldn’t have it any other way. Once I knew Matt was with your parents, I figured that there was no point in having you go home to deal with the mess that was probably waiting there for you.”

“Yeah well I have to deal with it sooner or later,” Don’s gaze dropped to the yellow rose in his hand, “I have to talk to Shannon again especially now.”

“I say cut your losses before it ends up giving you more grief,” Brant turned his attention to the stove again, refocusing on breakfast, “It’s not worth the frustration or the obvious injury that comes your way.”

“Don’t say that,” Angela swatted at Brant’s shoulder with a disapproving look before turning to Don, “Don’t listen to him. What is it that you want to do Don?”

“I honestly don’t know,” Don confessed with a heavy sigh, worry sweeping over his otherwise handsome features. “I mean I love her. That hasn’t changed, yet…”

“She’s insane,” Brant added catching the scathing look from Angela. He held his hands up in the air innocently, “I’m just saying.”

“Well don’t,” she mouthed leaning in over the countertop to look at Don, “seriously…ignore him.”

“No, he’s got a point,” Don admitted with a raw honesty, “Last night Shannon was completely out of line and while I know that she’s an alcoholic, I just can’t sit back and ignore her hitting me like that. I mean it would be okay if it was just a one time situation, but who is to say that it will end there? What if she gets upset with me again for no reason and she blows up at me again only this time in front of Matt? Or worse, what if she ends up blowing up at him like she did with me?”

“I don’t think she would do that,” Brant spoke up surprising both Don and Angela, “I mean yeah Shannon’s obviously nuts, but I don’t think she’d ever hurt Matt. It’s just not her style.”

“Yeah well I don’t really believe her style was anything like what happened last night, but it still happened,” Don pointed out with a heavy sigh, “and I don’t know if I can risk it happening again if it puts my son in any kind of jeopardy. I might be okay to get some of what I deserve, but with Matt…well, he doesn‘t need something like this.”

“I agree on that one even though I still think she won’t hurt him,” Brant piped in finishing with the bacon. He pulled it off of the stove top and carried it over to the plates he’d had set up for breakfast.

“I think you need time to think this one through,” Angela suggested moving to the refrigerator to pull some juice out from inside, “Why don’t you at least give yourself that before you make your mind up since it’s clear you love her?”

“Yeah maybe,” Don shrugged his shoulders before focusing on the plate that Brant slid in front of him on the countertop. “Man this looks incredible.”

“Of course it does,” Brant boasted with a proud smile, “You know I am one of the best chefs you know.”

“Yeah you are,” Don reached for the fork that Brant had set in front of him and dove into the eggs on his plate, taking a hearty bite.

“Yeah speaking of which,” Angela returned to join them, “Why is that? I mean you clearly have a gift for the culinary arts, but…”

“Brant took home economics in high school,” Don piped in readily, “There was some hot blonde in there he was trying to make notice him and since he was the only guy in the class he thought it was a smart idea.”

“Really?” Angela’s brown eyes perked up at the look of embarrassment that washed over Brant. “So it was all about trying to get some huh?”

“Actually I was the only guy in there until Don transferred into the class,” Brant corrected sending a mock glare over at his best friend.

“Yeah, but I failed that semester man,” Don replied taking another big bite of his food, “well okay maybe I didn’t fail, but I would have if I hadn’t started dating that one girl in the class. What was her name again?”

“I don’t remember,” Brant admitted with a small shrug of his shoulders. He turned to Angela and laughed, “But Don thought he was the mack daddy back then. He asked just about everyone in that class out.”

“And they all turned me down except for that one smart girl who helped me get my D minus that I needed to pass,” Don added with a tiny laugh, “Though you know I still think I should’ve gotten a higher grade on my Devil’s Food cake there.”

“Don you blew up the kitchen area,” Brant shook his head at him remembering the very chocolate disaster that took place.

“So,” Don shrugged reaching for his glass of juice that Angela poured him, “I still think I did a fine job with it. So what if everyone got to sample the cake before it’s time.”

“I don’t think Amy Page enjoyed having her new white imported dress covered in chocolate that was obviously never coming out,” Brant laughed lightly remembering the girl that had blown up at Don.

“That was her mistake for wearing it to class. I can’t help she wasn’t smart enough not to know it wasn’t a good idea,” Don shrugged again before chuckling, “but don’t you play innocent Brant. I know full well that half of the time you sucked at cooking too.”

“Okay, so maybe I had Annie make a few of my homework assignments, but still…” Brant glanced over at Angela, “as you can see I’m so much better at this cooking thing now.”

“And so am I,” Don added quickly, “In fact I should have you both over for dinner some time. Matt and I can whip up a mean Catalina chicken and I’m sure you’ll both love it. Steph showed me how to do that one and…”

“We’d love to,” Angela promised leaning in over the counter ever so slightly to wink at him, “but only if you promise that you’ll wear pink.”

“It’s a deal since we know that only real men,” Don spoke with heavy emphasis, “wear pink.”

“Okay now enough with the pink,” Brant moved in to join the two of them.

“Oh come on baby,” Angela snaked her arm around his waist while bringing her other hand up into his hair gingerly, “Admit it you would look sexy in something pink--something like what Don has on. I could really get into that.”

“Is that right?” Brant arched a curious brow.

She nodded, “Oh yeah and then we can have another sleepover like we did last night. Can you imagine the fun we’d have in that?”

“You really want this guy around any longer?“ Brant teased giving her a very long once over thinking about how they’d all spun off into a competitive round of games in the arcade room at the mansion after they’d left the hospital. The night that had started with promise that had turned dark had spun around once Angela had gotten them going in a series of game marathons. Don and Brant had nearly killed themselves trying to outdo one another at the new dancing game that Blake had picked up a few months ago, yet it had been fun.

“I’m in,” Don blurted out with a wide grin causing Brant to laugh lightly.

“Of course you’re in,” Brant shook his head at his friend, “When aren’t you in when fun is in the equation?”

“Or beautiful women,” Don winked over at Angela with a mock flirt.

“And you have to ask why I like having him here,” Angela teased smiling over at Don, “He’s great for my ego.”

“That’s not the only thing I’m good at and Brant knows it,” Don laughed lightly before issuing a challenge to his pal, “Though I have to tell you there is a dance pad in the arcade with my name written all over it. I’m thinking a morning rematch is in order.”

“I think we can arrange that,” Brant replied ready to engage in yet another challenge with his friend, “but this time you will lose.”

“Only in your dreams,” Don chuckled with great confidence, “You’ll see just how weak you really are.”

“Not likely Leveski,” Brant insisted with another laugh, “though somewhere today we’ll have to get things together for that wedding that we have to go to.”

“You mean Kyle’s wedding?” Don arched a curious brow watching Brant nod, “Yeah Shannon and I got the invite, but it doesn’t look like we’ll be going together now.”

“I don’t think there will be much to miss considering that I think Kyle is…” Brant stopped himself frowning.

“Is what?” Don arched a curious brow.

“Think about what you and I saw not so long ago,” Brant pointed out giving Don a knowing look.

“What did you see?” Angela couldn’t help but ask. “What am I missing about this one?”

“The bride to be has an affinity of public displays of attention if you catch my drift,” Don wiggled his brow suggestively, “and they aren’t with her husband to be.”

“No,” Angela’s jaw dropped watching both men reaffirm what Don had just said, “Really?”

“Oh yeah she tried to jump her psychiatrist pal on my bed when they thought I was catatonic,” Brant shuddered at the memory, “It was so not hot.”

“Oh I’m sure it was a little hot,” Don teased with a playful wink.

“No,” Brant stated firmly, “It was really sickening and a moment I wouldn’t want to relive again especially now that Kyle…”

“Now that Kyle, what?” Don couldn’t help but ask him.

“Let’s just say that I have the distinct feeling that Kyle has a few surprises up his sleeve that people aren’t expecting just yet,” Brant mouthed thinking about his confrontation with Kyle and wondering if Kyle would really be taking the plunge into wedded bliss or could it be misery with the one woman who was clearly not all that he’d wanted her to be.


“Hey,” Grady moved forward into the bathroom feeling the steam of the shower push in against his face as he heard the sound of the water still running. Moving forward into the bathroom Grady closed the door behind him and looked at himself in the mirror. “Kyle, we have to go over all of this before you actually do everything the way you want to.”

“I thought we already talked about this all night,” Kyle muttered with a small breath as Grady sat down on the floor to talk to him. Letting out a small breath Kyle pushed back the curtain to take a look at Grady before shrugging his shoulders. “I’m not sure what else you need to know about this.”

“Well, for starters it might help me a little bit more if I actually knew what happened last night,” Grady pointed out seeing Kyle shoot him a small glare as Grady threw his hands up in the air. Sliding further back against the wall, Grady rested his hands on the floor again as he thought about the details Kyle gave him. Last night he tried to take them all in at once, but sometimes it was a little hard to understand. “Come on Kyle, I know what you told me, but is there something that I missed. Did I get all the important parts, is there anything else that I should know?”

“Yes you got all the important parts and no there is nothing else,” Kyle rolled his eyes before moving the curtain back toward the original spot. Pressing his hands in against the wall Kyle let the warm water loosen up his muscles as he let out a tight breath. “There isn’t much more I could tell you other than how many times I blinked. I told you every little detail I could, you’re the only one who knows about this whole thing, well other than…,”

“I know,” Grady grumbled resting his head back against the wall before resting his hands on top of his knees. Unbuttoning the first button on the top of his tux shirt Grady let out a long breath, feeling the steam finally having an affect on him while he sat there. “It’s kind of weird that he knows about this.”

“Well, without him I couldn’t have accomplished it all,” Kyle pointed rubbing the back of his neck slowly before shrugging his shoulders. “Sadly, I don’t know what I would have done with out him at this point.”

“That is a little sad, but I see where you are coming from,” Grady pointed out hearing Kyle turn off the shower as Grady stood up and grabbed Kyle’s towel, handing it to him around the curtain. “They helped you and that’s all that matters I suppose.”

“You’re right, that is all that matters,” Kyle agreed coming out of the shower tightening the towel around him as he stepped in front of the mirror and wiped it off with his hand. “I never would have thought I could count on him, but with everything he has done for me--I would be lost without him. For a long time, I never thought I could ever count on him for something because I thought he was just a person that liked to play with others lives, but I think he knows what he is doing. I appreciate all the help I have been getting from him and like I said, I wouldn’t be this far without him.”

“Sounds a little pathetic to me,” Grady noted seeing Kyle shrug his shoulders before reaching for his watch that rested on top of the counter next to the sink. “So you are you really ready to do all of this? You are ready to take that final risk?”

“Grady, I haven’t been this ready in my whole life,” Kyle pointed out walking out into the bedroom seeing that Grady had already brought in his bag from the other room for him. “Thanks by the way. You‘ve been a big help too, I don’t know what I would have done without my best friend.”

“No problem,” Grady nodded over toward the bed showing Kyle to where his tuxedo had been placed out and Grady buttoned up his shirt again seeing Kyle smile and pick up his suit. “You will look great for the occasion. Any male would with that top of the line suit you bought there.”

“You sound like the salesman that sold it to me,” Kyle pointed out with a small laugh seeing the way Grady shrugged his shoulders and let out a small chuckle. “Don’t worry about it though because I know this is perfect for what is about to go on.”

“I agree,” Grady agreed sitting down on the bed as Kyle went into the bathroom. Staring out at the wall Grady laid back, resting his head against the pillows, watching as the fan twirled around over and over again. “At least he is trying to do the right thing.”

As Grady sat back and watched the way that Kyle was making a decision in his life Grady couldn’t help but wish that he could have been a little bit like Kyle is making his apologies with Deana. He wished that everything would go right and she would just understand what was going on, but he couldn’t find himself coming to the right state of mind to try and win her back.

“Look at you,” Grady half smiled getting out of his own thoughts long enough to see Kyle dressed up in his dress pants and his dress shirt. Letting out a small laugh he clapped his hands seeing the way that Kyle held his arms up in the air looking himself over. “Only half dressed and still you look like your are ready to go. Nice job buddy. I think this would beat the whole t-shirt and shorts if you ask me.”

“Thanks, I think,” Kyle half laughed reaching for his tie and walking over toward the door to look at himself in the mirror. Putting it together and putting his tie on quickly before walking over to his suit jacket and buttoning it up slowly. “This looks pretty tight.”

“Yes it does,” Grady got up letting out a small laugh as Kyle took a long look at his friend before sitting up slowly and walking over toward him. “Are you ready for this Kyle?”

“I’m readier than I will ever be,” Kyle replied with a wide smile before shaking his head slowly and looking back at Grady. “I’ve never been so ready in my life.”


Stretching out her tired muscles Sarah let out a small yawn as the sun started to sneak through the creaks in the closed blinds as she felt a strong arm wrapped around her waist. Pressing back further into the warm chest she opened her tired eyes, rubbing at them slowly before stretching out her legs.

“Oh wow,” Sarah blinked her eyes a couple of times trying to get used to the small amount of light that was actually peaking through the windows. Trying to think back to the things that happened last night she let out a small groan feeling a throbbing pain in her head. “I have the worst headache in the world.”

“I’m sorry,” a small grumbled filled her ears as she felt a pair of lips move in over her shoulder and small smile appeared over her lips. Feeling Drew’s tongue press in over her soft skin she let out a small breath closing her eyes and taking in the feeling of his gentle massage. “I hope I can make you feel better.”

“Oh, I bet you can,” Sarah smiled turning to face Drew seeing a small smile over his dark features as she looked into his blue eyes. Reaching out to touch his rough cheek she saw him smile and push back his dark hair. “Why don’t you make me feel better right now.”

“Sounds like a good idea,” he whispered reaching down underneath the blanket to wrap his arm around her bare waist and arch her in close to him. “It’s funny, you look just as good as you did last night.”

“And you look hotter this morning,” she muttered moving forward to press her lips in against his before moving her hand in underneath the blanket to grasp his body in her fist tightly. A sudden noise made the both of them jump as Sarah heard a few knocks on the door. “Oh crap, you have to get out of here.”

“Get out of here?” Drew questioned seeing Sarah fly out of the bed quick enough to grab some of her clothes and throw them on. Trying to match her speed Drew got up and started to pull on his pants before grabbing his shirt. “How am I supposed to get out of here?”

“Sarah, are you up yet?” Blake’s voice echoed through her ears as another rush of panic filled through her as a few more of Blake’s knocks continued. “Sarah, wake up we have to get ready.”

“Be right there,” Sarah called out looking around the room before pointing over toward the window and Drew threw his hands up in the air angrily. “Go out there or something.”

“What do you want me to do? Jump out the window?” Drew grumbled in a whisper seeing her throw her hands up in the air before shaking her head slowly. “What do you want me to do?”

“I don’t know, just go in the bathroom or something,” she ordered seeing Drew quickly rush into the bathroom before shutting the door behind him and locking it. Taking in a deep breath, Sarah fixed herself up a little bit more before walking over toward the door. Thinking back to Drew she couldn’t help but shake her head thinking everything over carefully. “You know, I found myself more impressed with him last night when I was drunk.”

“What took you so long?” Blake questioned walking into the room and letting out a small scowl as she noted the darkness that filled the room with the little amount of light. Walking over toward the blinds she opened them up and watched as Sarah blocked her eyes from the quick amount of light. “I take it you just got up.”

“I have been up, I have just been laying here for a while,” Sarah answered sitting down on the edge of the bed and stretching out her arms. Seeing Blake walk over toward the bathroom she quickly got up and grabbed a hold of her shoulders and motioned her over toward the door. “How about we go to like a bagel shop or something. How does that sound?”

“Fine, but…,” Blake went to say something more before feeling a swift push into her back and she let out a small gasp holding her hands up in the air. “Okay, I get it you want to go. Then lets go.”

“Okay, wait…hold on a second,” Sarah motioned Blake to wait before slamming the door shut and locking it behind herself hearing Blake let out a tiny laugh from the other side. “I need to get my stuff and get the hell out of here.”

“Did you get rid of her?” Drew questioned walking out of the room to see Sarah start to freak out again as he threw his hands up in the air trying to figure out what she was freaking out over. “Seriously, what is your problem?”

“You have to get out of here as soon as I leave,” Sarah informed him with a quickness behind her voice as Drew threw his hands up in the air and she paused before walking out the door. “Thanks for the good time last night. Bye.”

“Bye,” Drew half held his hand up in the air before waving his hand and letting out a small laugh as she walked out of the room. Waiting for a couple of minutes, Drew made sure that Sarah officially left before wrinkling his nose. “Oh my god, that is so gross. I can’t believe I did that.”

Walking over toward the plant they had set up in the corner of the room Drew smiled and walked over toward the plant bending down to pull out what he put in there last night without Sarah seeing.

“Lets see what we got,” Drew let out a small laugh as he walked over to the bed and laid back against the blankets. Taking in a shallow breath he started to rewind the camera seeing the image move in a backward motion. “Well, I would say that this is good enough to get Kellen happy with me again.”

Letting out a proud laugh Drew stood up from the bed and walked over toward the door holding onto his camera tightly before shaking his head slowly looking back at the room.

“This was one nasty night,” Drew thought back wrinkling his nose at the thought of being with Sarah or any female. Shaking off the thought he brushed off his shirt and took in a long breath. “One that was plenty worth it.”

Taking in a small breath Drew knew that he had to move quick to go to Kellen if he was going to make things right again. He had to have Kellen back on his side again and this was just the way to do it in helping Kellen out with the thing he wanted to end the most.


Falling back against the soft couch Diego let out a deep sigh finally loving the feeling of being back at his own place. Compared to being in jail, this was his dream home. The place he could stay in the rest of his life if had to. There was no reason to want to leave this anymore because compared to what he had been living like for the last few days, this was a whole lot better.

“This is so much better,” Diego whispered to himself falling back against the couch, his head resting against the arm as he looked around the room slowly taking in every detail of his home. His eyes stopped on a picture that caught his attention and he slowly rose back up to his feet. “I don’t seem to have the right luck these days.”

Reaching out to the picture, Diego outlined it slowly with his thumb looking over it carefully. It was a picture that him and Cori had taken together when they were still dating. There was a pain inside of him when he thought back to what she did to him. He must have done something big to really hurt her like that and make her act that way. It hurt him inside and he blamed himself inside for treating her like that, but he couldn’t help it when true love pushed him right in the chest.

“I love Sarah,” Diego whispered to himself setting the picture back down so that it was facing the table and away from him. Resting back against the couch Diego shook his head slowly, running his fingers through his dark hair tiredly. “At least I think I do.”

When spending that time alone in the jail, Diego couldn’t help but think about all the things that had been going on in his life and he could never stop thinking about Sarah. She was the one that his heart and head wanted to think about.

“What am I doing?” Diego grumbled falling back against the couch once more and covering his eyes as he remembered the way that Kyle came to help him when he was in trouble. “Kyle is a good guy and deserves to be happy.”

Still, Diego couldn’t help but finding himself jealous to the fact that Kyle was ready to marry the one woman that Diego wanted to be with the most. It hurt him inside to even think about giving up on Sarah, but somewhere inside of him told him it had to be the right thing to do.

Reaching down to the floor Diego picked up the invitation that Kyle had given him and he took in a shallow breath opening it up slowly and reading over the words slowly.

“I can’t believe they are going through with this,” Diego sat up slowly reading over the invitation before shaking his head slowly. Kyle invited him there and wanted him to be there for sure, but deep down Diego didn’t want to go. He didn’t want to let go of that dream that he once had with Sarah. Seeing Sarah walk down the isle with Kyle after she married him would break his heart and he didn’t know if he should even consider going. “If I went, it would only break me down more.”

But Kyle did invite him and that was a reason to go, he wouldn’t be going for Sarah. He would be going to be a good guy that would be there to support everyone. Even if that meant giving up his past and moving on. He would be ready to do that if that’s what the matters called upon.

“I should go,” Diego told himself once more standing up from the couch and walking down the hallway before pausing and thinking things over slowly. “Or should I?”

It didn’t seem like it would be a good idea for him to go considering all the people that would be there and in the name of the church Diego didn’t think he would be able to handle it. It almost felt wrong on all levels and yeah, he would feel uncomfortable. It wouldn’t be right for him to go to a wedding where the bride had cheated on the groom with him.

“Even so,” Diego fell back against the wall trying to push back the bad thoughts and realized that he did promise Kyle that he would be there. Why did this have to be so hard? He tried to convince himself while he was in the jail that Sarah belonged to Kyle, but even so there was no way that he could handle seeing Sarah now. “I have to go though.”

Going to walk into his room Diego heard a knock on his door and he paused taking a look back over his shoulder. Who in the world would be here right now? What if it was Cori trying to start something again or Sarah? Maybe it was Sarah trying to tell him that she--no, no that wasn’t possible.

“Coming,” Diego called out realizing that whoever it was showed up unexpectedly and he had quite a bit of a mess around the house. Quickly picking up a few things on the floor Diego let out a deep breath taking in the realization that he couldn’t let the person wait forever. “I’m coming right now.”

Quickly moving toward the door Diego pondered who it could have been there, but stopped when he thought it over slowly. For some reason, since he had gotten out of jail he found himself more weary of things. Scared of something that might have happened out of nowhere and there was the thought that something bad might happen to him in return.

Shaking off what he felt was ridiculous he heard another knock again as he rolled his eyes and moved forward grabbing a hold of the handle before opening the door. A small gasp escaped his lips as he saw someone before him that would be the last person he would have placed in his memory.

“Gabriella,” Diego muttered seeing his sister before him as he shook his head slowly not quite knowing what to say as she stood before him with her arms folded out in front of her chest. “What are you doing here?”


“I take it your not too happy,” Carly walked into the living room to see Cori pacing back and forth over and over again, saying something to herself as if she was trying to plan something out. Moving in closer, Carly reached out to touch Cori’s shoulder as Cori turned to face her. “You need to talk about something?”

“I don’t know,” Cori grumbled throwing her hands up in the air before walking away for a moment. Looking back toward Carly, Cori took in a deep breath and muttered something softly before nodding slowly. “You are pretty good with advice right?”

“I’ve heard I can be good sometimes,” Carly nodded taking a sip from her mug before nodding over toward the couch. Walking over toward the couch, Carly set the tea she had down on the corner table softly before sitting down. Patting the couch next to her, Carly saw the hesitance behind Cori’s eyes before she moved in closer and took a seat next to her. “What’s on your mind kiddo?”

“I know I will sound ridiculous,” Cori took a small look over toward Carly seeing her frown at her comment before Cori shrugged her shoulders. “I’m not really sure where to start off because I’m just a little confused about it myself.”

“Start wherever you like,” Carly offered up motioning Cori to speak up again as she reached out for her mug to take another sip. “I will listen to anything that is bothering you kiddo, so why don’t you tell me what’s up.”

“Well, you know how I have been spending so much time with Rob after what happened to me?” Cori questioned seeing the way that Carly nodded before Cori went to speak up again. Folding her arms out in front of her Cori closed her eyes and frowned at the thought of what happened today. “Well, I guess I got a little carried away and I ended up making a big mistake. Today, I realized how big of a mistake it really was because Rob told me that he would like me to take some time off. It was the nice way of saying that I was going to be fired for a little while.”

“I’m sorry kiddo, what did you do wrong?” Carly asked seeing the way that Cori hesitated to tell her and Carly reached out to pat her on the knee gently. “Just forget about it kiddo, never mind about telling me. I’m just sorry that happened to you.”

“To make it worse though,” Cori took in a deep breath and paused for a moment running her thin fingers through her blonde hair slowly as she felt her body shake a little. “There is this guy at work that always has to point out the things I have done wrong and today was one of those days that he really got to shove it in my face.”

“I’m sorry sweetheart,” Carly frowned holding onto her mug tightly before pulling her feet up on the couch as she shook her head slowly. “I hate people like that. When they think they know everything that is going on when they hardly know anything.”

“Exactly,” Cori snapped her fingers at the very thought of Nate and how much she plainly thought he…well, to put it nicely--sucked. He was just a jerk in her view and if he had to shove everything she did wrong in her face then she didn’t have to put up with him at all. Hearing a loud banging noise Cori turned her head to look down the hallway, but the noise was soon followed with a small laugh from Kayla. “You should go check on that.”

“Good idea,” Carly nodded slowly setting her mug back down before taking in a deep breath and nodding over toward the hallway. “I will be right back and then we can finish our conversation, I promise.”

“Okay,” Cori accepted the thought and watched as Carly quickly moved toward Kayla’s room and stepped in. Looking away, Cori stared out toward the television thinking about how hard life had been on her lately. “This is just ridiculous.”

Reaching out for the remote, she thought about turning the television on before second thinking it and setting the remote down next to her. Right now all she needed to do was think about what she was going to do about Rob. How was she going to get his attention again now that she had been almost ordered to take some time off?


“Oh man, I look good,” Kellen smiled proudly looking at himself in the mirror as he fixed his tie up properly and looked at himself in the mirror. Moving to turn to the side, Kellen moved his hands in over his own bottom letting out a small laugh. “Oh yeah, I know I look great in this. Nice choice Kellen.”

Going over toward his dresser he grabbed his hair gel from the dresser and walked into the bathroom whistling a tune to himself before moving toward the mirror.

“I’m going to a wedding today and it’s going to be great,” Kellen whispered to himself squeezing some of the gel into his hand before rubbing his hands together and then rubbing his fingers through his hair. “Got to look great to make the wedding perfect though. Can’t waste the suit, can’t waste my very sexy charm today. No way.”

Finally happy with the way he looked Kellen smiled and walked back into the room walking over toward the dresser to grab his cologne and smell it before nodding slowly. Putting a few sprays over his body a sudden noise caught his attention as he frowned.

“Who could that be?” Kellen pondered looking down at his watch before fixing the collar of his jacket and looking back toward the bedroom to where he had set down the bag he needed to bring. “If he is here then he is an idiot because we were supposed to meet there.”

Walking over toward the door slowly Kellen looked down as he approached the step. Slowing down, Kellen slowly tip toed over the step making sure to not trip over it this time. Smiling at his accomplishment, Kellen looked down toward his suit and brushed himself off.

“Hey, what are you doing…,” Kellen went to ask the person he assumed it to be until he realized who the person really was and a small hiss escaped his lips. Seeing Drew before him, Kellen brought out his fist and nailed Drew in the center of his jaw seeing him fall back to the ground. “I told you to stay away from here.”

“Whoa, hold on a minute,” Drew held the bag up in front of him as Kellen stepped outside seeing the way that Drew slowly moved back. Feeling a tight pain in his jaw, Drew noticed that it hurt more this time than it did last time. Looking up Drew noticed the ring that Kellen had over his middle finger and Drew rolled his eyes. “No wonder that hurt so much.”

“Yeah, well obviously you pissed someone else off other than me,” Kellen pointed out seeing the dark bruise that developed over Drew’s face on the left side. Letting out a small laugh Kellen rested back against the brick siding of the house. “They actually took you out better than I could have ever imagined.”

“Yeah, well that was my bad,” Drew slowly stood up seeing Kellen move forward already getting ready to take his next hit as Drew held his hands up in the air. “With the guy, I was acting racist and he decked me which I deserved. If I get hit by you again, I might not get to show you what I know you would want to see.”

“You jackass, you don’t do something like that,” Kellen went to say more before Drew pulled something out of his bag and held it up in the air. Seeing a tape before him, Kellen let out a small laugh shaking his head slowly. “If it’s something that you made, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t want it.”

“Kellen, you really might want to rethink that,” Drew blurted out seeing Kellen turn slightly toward him, his blue eyes staring out at Drew. “All I’m asking you to do is take one look at that and then you’ll see something I know you will like. It will make you happy because I know it has been something you have been searching for. I know you would never trust me, but I am asking you just to trust me for once. Maybe after you see this, you might rethink us.”

“Yeah, I doubt it,” Kellen rolled his eyes grabbing the tape from Drew’s fingers and walked back up into the house and closed the door behind him. Looking out the window, he made sure that Drew left before Kellen locked the door again. “Let’s see what this loser has to show me.”

Walking over toward the television Kellen let out a small laugh when he put the tape in the player and grabbed the remote. He couldn’t believe he was actually watching something that Drew had handed over to him, but he would just take one look at it and see what was going on.

“Let’s see what we have here,” Kellen pushed play and fast forwarded the tape a little before letting out a small gag at the sight of Drew with some woman. “Oh that is so gross. What a sick pervert.”

Turning off the television Kellen threw the remote down on the couch before walking back toward the bedroom only to stop half way through the hallway. Arching his eyebrows he looked back over his shoulder thinking about the woman that Drew was with.

“Wait a second,” Kellen walked back over toward the remote and grabbed it. Turning the television back on Kellen freeze framed the picture on the woman’s face as he let out a small laugh and dropped the remote clapping his hands together. “Crazy son of a bitch. I can’t believe he did, but he did. Holy shit, that’s Sarah.”

Quickly popping the tape out of the player Kellen looked down toward his watch and Kellen walked into the bedroom to grab his bag. Throwing it over his shoulder Kellen went into the hallway only to run straight into Kipp who just got out of the other room.

“What’s your hurry?” Kipp questioned looking Kellen over seeing the wide smile that spread out over his features. “Honestly, I never thought I would see you smiling like this on a day like today.”

“Well, I just have to tell you that for once I think my ex actually did something worthwhile. I’ll explain later,” Kellen moved forward to place a small kiss over Kipp’s lips before smiling widely. Knowing that Kipp was confused, Kellen realized that he really didn’t have the time to move on and tell him what was going, but rather explain later. “I’ll be back later sweetheart, but right now I have to go see Kyle.”


“I cannot for the life of me believe everything that I’ve been hearing about you Diego,” Gabriella shook her head thinking about the things that had happened to her brother over the last year. “Here I thought that mama would be proud of the good, upstanding doctor you’ve become, but look at you. If she were still around to see what was going on, she would be ashamed of you.”

“Gee thanks and here I thought you were going to give me moral support,” Diego groaned inwardly thinking about his plans for the wedding. While he wasn’t quite sure what he should do, he found himself torn in the moment. “I’ve already had one hell of a year and…”

“That’s because you’re stupid,” Gabriella sank into the chair and frowned up at him, “You should’ve known better than to go after a common skank and expect to be happy.”

“I don’t need to hear it,” he frowned over at her shaking his head, “It was complicated.”

“How complicated?” she questioned giving him a long once over. “See you can’t even answer that yourself because you realize how stupid you’ve been. That woman was no good for you and you realize that. You went from being at the top of your game to being full of shame.”

“Gee, remind me to come on over and kick you while you’re down one time in the future too, okay?” he sighed glancing over at the wedding invitation that sat on the table top.

“Diego, look I want to understand, but this isn’t like you. This situation with that Cori woman and with Sarah it’s just not who you are,” Gabriella stood up and touched her brother’s shoulder gently. “Have you fallen so far since you lost Maria?”

“Gabby,” he opened his mouth to say something more before thinking twice of it, “Look I wish I had an answer as to why I would leap out of the life I’d made for myself and do something like this, but there are no words that can make it better. There is nothing that I can say or do that can change the fact that I screwed up. I broke Cori’s heart and she retaliated and as for Sarah, hell I don’t know what to think anymore.”

“She’s getting married Diego. I think that’s pretty obvious,” Gabriella pointed out with a look of heavy concern. “The woman doesn’t care enough to think about what you had together.”

“Maybe not, but there is a part of our relationship that could still be lingering,” Diego thought about the pregnancy knowing full well that he and Sarah had shared something with one another. What had turned out as something so innocent, something wonderful had taken a dark turn and now it felt as if the woman he’d fallen for had changed in so many ways. When he thought about her attempting to go through with marrying Kyle after everything they’d shared, he tried to rationalize how it was that he could mean so little to her. He loved her and wanted to be with her, yet she seemed untouched by that fact. She’d resolved to marry Kyle and forget what they had together. That in itself was the ultimate form of punishment as Diego’s heart sank.

“So what now?” Gabriella questioned tapping her foot impatiently. “Are you going to cut your losses and start over? Because you know if you wanted to you could come back home. I’m sure the hospital out there would love to take you back. You had such good standing with them before you moved out here. I have a friend on the board and…”

“Gabby not now,” he raised his hand in the air to silence her. “I don’t want to hear it.”

“I’m just saying that you could build a new life for yourself without the chaos. I have a few friends that would be more than willing to pull a few strings and offer us a favor,” she suggested brightly moving in closer to him. “With my contacts, I’m sure that…”

“Here you are with a new job with your company and already attempting to try to fix the world,” he couldn’t help but smile at his sister’s take charge attitude. While it was driving him insane dealing with it, he couldn’t help but appreciate the sentiment. “If I would’ve known that you getting a promotion would have you so ready to take on the world I would’ve called you sooner to talk some sense into me.”

“It’s not too late now Diego. You can still walk away from all of this,” she snatched up the wedding invitation from the table top. “You can put this all behind you and start over. You don’t have to deal with this.”

“Yes, I do,” he replied stealing the invitation from her. He glanced down at it and took in a deep breath before speaking, “this is something that I have to deal with and if I ignore all of this, it’s always going to haunt me.”

“So what are you going to do Diego?” she couldn’t help but ask him curiously.

“What I should’ve done a long time ago in making things right once and for all,” he decided realizing now more than ever he needed to be at that wedding if for no other reason than to bring some kind of resolve to the situation at hand whether he wanted to or not.


“I can’t stand this,” Cori gritted her teeth together as she tried to move and get accustomed to the couch she was sitting on. It was hard for her just to sit still thinking about Rob when she realized that probably no matter what she did, there would be nothing that she could do to get him to really like her like he did before and that killed her inside. Letting out an angered sigh she threw her hands up in the air before reaching for the remote. “I have to watch TV or something, if I don’t, I will go insane.”

Turning on the television the first thing that showed up surprising her was a picture of Diego walking out of the jail and she felt an anger growing up inside of her.

“He was the person that did this to me,” she pointed out seeing the look on his face as she turned off the television and threw the remote to the other side of the room watching as it hit the wall. “I’m in this position because of him and now I am never going to be able to move on again. This is all his fault.”

Clenching her fists at her sides she let out a long breath not quite knowing what to do as she felt her insides burning to get revenge on someone. To get what she deserved and that was some type of payback.

Standing up from the couch she walked over toward the bookshelf and pulled out a book reading over the words slowly. Seeing a picture of something that caught her interest, a wide smile pressed in over her lips.

“I have it,” Cori snapped her fingers thinking about Diego as she closed the book together tightly. “I know what it takes to get payback on Diego. I know exactly what I have to do to get my revenge.”

Walking over toward the chair she picked up her coat and pulled it on quickly realizing what was going on in her head as she shook her head slowly.

“Wow, you look a lot happier,” Carly pointed out walking into the room and seeing the wide smile that was spread out over Cori’s features. “I must have said something right.”

“It was partially right and all, but I also had a few thoughts about something,” Cori replied walking over toward the door and let out a small laugh. “I think I have an idea. And idea that will go with a big bang.”


Kevin tossed his hotel room key on the table top not caring about the fact that he’d knocked over a vase in the swift movement. Using his foot to kick the door to a close behind him, he vowed that he would find out just what it was about this particular tape that had Ria so upset. It wasn’t like her to just walk away and refuse to speak with him. There was something about the hurt behind her eyes that had him worried beyond anything that something was seriously wrong.

“Whatever you did,” Kevin mouthed waving the tape in his hand, a tight scowl pressing in over his features, “I’m going to find a way to fix this.”

Shuffling out of his jacket, Kevin moved forward to the area over by the bed bound and determined to figure out what it was that had Ria in such an uproar. Pushing the tape into the VCR, he took in a small breath before looking around the hotel room for the television remote. Once he spotted he, he sat on the edge of the bed waiting to see just what it was that the tape contained that had caused the woman he loved to turn around like she had.

“I just don’t get it,” Kevin thought to himself seeing nothing, but blurred lines in front of him. He was about to switch the tape off when he noticed the fuzzy screen turned into what appeared to be the outside of Chris Foley’s house.

“Why would this…” Kevin started pushing the fast forward button a bit as the black and white footage shifted showing him walking up onto Chris’s porch. He stopped the video and pushed play realizing that there was no audio track to the tape, but what played in front of his eyes caused him to feel as if he’d been kicked in the stomach.

There before him was the moment in time when he’d come to the realization that the past was the past. It was the day that he’d finally given up on thoughts of the past and hopes of a future with Angie. It was that moment after he’d met Erin when he’d realized that his daughter was never coming back regardless of how hard he’d been hoping for it and it was also in that moment that he’d kissed Angela good-bye forever…except with no audio track it just came off as him kissing Angie.

“Son of a bitch,” Kevin cursed realizing that without having heard what was said it made things appear much worse than it really was in the situation. Then as Kevin spotted the time code and date on the corner of the screen he realized why Ria had been so upset. She thought that Kevin was cheating on her--that he’d stepped away from what he’d promised her to be with Angie.

“I don’t believe this,” Kevin felt another jolt of emotion rush over him only unlike before this one had him consumed by anger and rage. He was furious with the one person who could’ve brought this innocent moment to Ria and perverted it into something that was seemingly sinister and far from what Kevin had promised her. Suddenly it all made sense and as Kevin snapped off the television set he vowed to take one more trip to Chris Foley in the near future only this time it wouldn’t be to let him off the hook as easily as he had a great many times in the past. This time it was war!


“I’m worried about Don,” Angela confessed wiping at the steam covered mirror in the bathroom while Brant finished up in the shower. She kept the towel she’d slipped into tightly around her torso as she spied on Brant through the frosted glass door of the shower.

“What did you say?” he slid the shower door open to reveal himself to her in all his sexiness with his dark, damp hair pressed in against his face in a sloppy fashion.

“I said I was worried about Don,” her gaze swept over him ravenously before she leaned in against the bathroom counter, “and if you don’t get out of there soon, I’m going to have to sneak back in and retrieve you.”

“Hey, you were the one in a hurry to get out of here,” Brant winked at her mischieveiously, “I never once said you had to get out there.”

“Yeah, well it was getting cold in there. Besides I‘m all wrinkled from being in there for so long,” she curled her lip in a pout while displaying her prune like fingers to him, “and besides didn’t you say we had things we needed to get done today.”

“Okay good point,” Brant nodded in response sliding the door closed and whistling a tune to himself in the shower, “though I think I’d be moving faster if you got back in here and we finished what we’d started a little while ago.”

“I thought we were finished for the moment,” Angela couldn’t help but snicker thinking back to how she’d cajoled him into the shower with her in the first place. Of course it hadn’t taken much arm twisting on her end given how eager Brant was to please her, but now that was another story. She was cold and still wet and wanting him out there with her instead of… An idea sparked into her head.

“Are you sure you don’t want to get out of there soon,” Angela questioned in a lazy tone, making her way over to the toilet when a wicked notion swept over her.

“It’s much warmer in here. You should really come back and…” he attempted to coax her back into the shower once again until a sound rose from behind the shower door in a pinched yelp. “Angela!”

“What?“ she questioned innocently while quickly moving across the bathroom and away from the toilet she’d not-so-innocently flushed knowing full well what would happen inside the shower.

Turning around she saw a very naked Brant standing in the middle of the bathroom with a less than thrilled expression. He brought his hands up around his arms before looking to the towel rack only to discover that she’d swiped his towel for her hair. He shook his head at her before taking a step forward.

“You think you’re cute, don’t you,” he questioned with a mock grin seeing the way her dark eyes filled with devilish intent.

“Who me?” Angela questioned feigning innocence as he reached out to her yanking at the towel she’d had wrapped around her body. It gave away without any effort and she watched him slide it around his waist to cover himself while leaving her in the buff.

“Much better,” he mouthed approvingly stepping along side of her, “you know that was just plain evil.”

“Oh like you’re chivalrous yourself in leaving me to freeze here,” she curled her lip in a pout placing her hands on her hips and glaring over at him, “What kind of father to be leaves his future wife and his children like this in the middle of the bathroom?”

“One that’s about to have his way with his bride to be,” Brant decided wiggling his brow at her suggestively. He reached out to tear the towel from her hair and wrap it around her in one swift motion before collecting her in his arms. “Of course I wouldn’t want you to freeze right here considering that I owe you so much more than that.”

“You’re damn right you do,” she leaned up on her toes to steal a kiss from him. “You owe me a lot more than that.”

“Well how about I start right now,” Brant offered up a low growl sweeping her up off of her feet and into his arms. He moved over towards the bedroom, a sly expression on his face, “I think some head to toe attention is in order. Maybe a massage and then…”

“Oh I’m liking the sound of that,” Angela snaked her arms around his neck leaning into him as they moved over towards the oversized bed that they hadn’t bothered to make just yet.

“Good I’m glad you feel that way because I was feeling a bit knotted,” Brant fought to suppress his laughter while setting her down on the center of the bed. He moved to slide away from her only to feel her leg curl around his waist.

“Not so fast bucko,” she shook her head at him firmly, “You promised me you were going to pamper me and I fully expect it.”

“When do I not pamper you?” he wiggled his brow at her, “Come to think of it, the shower was your idea.”

“And a very good idea it was,” she added arching up to kiss him while keeping him in over her. “Admit it.”

“I won’t deny it,” Brant mused sliding his fingers through her damp, dark hair. He nibbled on her lower lip gingerly, “but I’m not so sure I’m willing enough to feed into your ego by admitting it.”

“You’d be a fool not to,” she tangled her fingers through his hair stealing another tantalizing kiss from him, “Admit it Brant you’d be lost without me.”

“I’d be miserably lost without you and you love the fact that I’m a hopeless wreck without you,” he added wrapping her up in his arms and rolling onto his back taking her with him.

“I’ll admit it does have a certain appeal to it,” she confessed teasing her fingers over his chest, “but truth be told I feel the same way about you. At one point in time I thought meeting you was the best and the worst thing that ever happened to me.”

His eyes widened at her admission. Reaching out to stroke the small of her back gingerly, he couldn’t help but ask, “And now?”

“Now I think it’s both,” she confessed tracing his lips with her index finger.

“Still?” Brant let out a pinched sound seeing something behind her dark eyes. “You still think I’m the worst thing that’s ever happened to you?”

“No I said you’re the best and worst thing that’s ever happened to me,” she corrected with a look of seriousness, “You’re the best because if I hadn’t found you my life wouldn’t be anywhere near where it is right now. I’d be still trying to find a way to make sense of things considering that I was a train wreck waiting to happen before you stepped into my life.”

“And the worst?” he couldn’t help but ask seeing the way that she eyed him intently.

“You’re the worst because if I lost you, I don’t think I could ever find a way to live without you,” she explained matter of fact leaning down to kiss him tenderly, “I love you Brant Ashford and I’m afraid to think of where I’d be if I didn’t have you with me.”

“Lucky for us we don’t ever have to worry about that,” he assured her with a small smile pulling her in nearer to him, “Soon we’ll be together forever and nothing is going to stop us from sharing our dreams with one another.”

“I’m sure that’s what Don thought too when he married Shannon,” Angela couldn’t help but frown thinking about their friend, “I’m really worried about him.”

“So am I, but knowing Don he’ll find a way to make things right,” Brant thought about it for a moment, “and with Shannon if she hurts him I’ll kill her.”

“Don’t say things like that,” she chastised him. “You know that’s not true.”

“It most certainly is. I’m already furious with her for what she did to Don last night,” he frowned deeper than before, “She had no right to treat him that way.”

“Do you think that they will work it out between them?” she couldn’t help but ask feeling a worry sweep in over her.

“I honestly don’t know, but at the same time I really don’t think Don had any idea what he was doing when he married a complete and total stranger,” Brant explained thinking about his friend’s impulsive nature.

“Some would say the same thing about the two of us,” she couldn’t help but remind him. “I mean we kind of came together in a similar situation.”

“Yes and no,” Brant thought aloud, “I mean you’re incredible and Shannon, well she is someone I wouldn’t wish on any man living or dead.”

“That’s harsh considering you used to date her,” she pointed out with a firm expression.

“I never dated her. I just…” he felt a gulp build up in the back of his throat, “Never mind. The point is that Don deserves better and if Shannon isn’t willing to give him what he needs, then maybe it’s time that they both go off in different directions.”

“But he loves her,” she sighed leaning in against him and hugging her arms around his torso, “He loves her so very much.”

“Yeah and she’s too stupid to see how good she has it with him,” he mouthed with a heavy sigh closing his eyes and thinking about how his life had turned around for the better. “That trend seems to be going around a lot in Coral Valley.”

“Why do you say that?” she questioned picking her head up to watch him.

“Because take for example this wedding that we’re going to be going to. Remember Kyle?” Brant reopened his eyes and looked to her again.

“Of course,” she wrinkled her nose, “How could I forget someone that rude?”

“Well let’s just say that his wedding is a joke. Here he is completely in love with someone and he’s ready to pledge his life to someone else who clearly never loved him to begin with. He is holding onto something that’s not there when the real thing is right within his reach.”

“I don’t understand,” she replied with a strange expression. “What do you mean? He’s marrying someone he doesn’t love?”

“It sure as hell seems that way which is why I don’t get what’s happening,” he mused with a ponderous look. “It just seems…well, strange.”

“Well if these two aren’t supposed to be together, then why are they getting married?” she blurted out seeing how perplexed he now was.

“That seems to be the question of the hour,” he finally shrugged his shoulders before turning his attention to her once again. He reached out to touch her cheek gently, “but fortunately for the both of us that isn’t something that neither you nor I will have to worry about. We’re at least smart enough to see the right thing when it’s in front of us.”

“I call it a gift,” Angela teased tickling at his ribs with a small laugh.

“Oh I’ll give you a gift,” he laughed in response wrapping his arms around her and pinning her beneath him once more.

“I most certainly hope so,” she chuckled feeling his fingers taper off over her skin, their mouths meeting in another tender kiss.

“I’ll give you a lifetime of them,” Brant promised in a solemn tone vowing not to make the same mistakes that the world around them seemed to be lost in now that he’d found his happiness with the one woman he was truly meant to find in his life. They had the whole world ahead of them and the last thing he intended to do was screw it up. Not now, not ever.


“Hey sweet stuff, how’s your day going?” Deana questioned walking around the corner of the desk to see Don working away on some papers in front of him. “Come to think of it, isn’t this your day off?”

“Marcus needed to cut out early, so I offered to pick up a few hours on his shift,” Don confessed looking up to see the worried expression on Deana’s face. He frowned slightly, “What? What’s wrong?”

“What happened to your head,” she couldn’t help but ask noticing the way that he looked. She circled around the desk without further warning and inspected his head, “Don you look like you were in a brawl. What happened?”

“It’s a long story,” he sighed pulling away from her before she could take another look at him, “but the moral of it is that I’m an idiot.”

“An idiot?” she repeated with a strange huff, “Don you look like you lost a bar fight.”

“That would’ve been a lot easier than what really happened,” he muttered under his breath catching her worried expression, “but let’s just forget about it okay. What about you? How are you holding up today? Zack harassing you anymore?”

“Forget about me Don. Let’s talk about what happened to you,” she demanded in a firm, authoritative tone, “What’s going on?”

“Shannon and I had a falling out last night,” he finally admitted from behind his tired blue eyes, “but it’s not really a big deal. We had some differences and…”

“And what? She decided to kick your ass in the process,” she stepped forward taking another look at his head, “Though you look like you’re stitched up pretty well.”

“Why thank you, but last time I checked I was the doctor, not you,” he noted shaking his head at her, “I’m supposed to be looking out after you, not you worrying about me.”

“Hey, who said it has to be that way?” she replied with a disbelieving tone, “What kind of person would I be if I didn’t look after you?”

“A smart one because right now I don’t know if I’m coming or going,” Don revealed with an ironic laugh, “but that sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?”

“It sounds like you’ve got a lot on your mind and if you are having problems with your wife, I would have to say being here is not where you should be. You should be trying to work it out with her,” she pointed out seeing the stubbornness in his blue eyes.

“I think I’m done working it out. Shannon made it very clear last night that she’s through with me and I have to accept that. She always told me that we were two very different people and now I’m seeing that she was right. I was stupid to keep trying to hold onto her for so long,” he sighed heavily not believing a word of what he said. “I don’t know why I thought that we could make it.”

“Because you love her,” she paused searching his eyes, “You do, don’t you?”

“More than I probably should,” he confessed honestly, a raw emotion in his voice. His eyes were filled with a poignant moment and Deana couldn’t help but reach out to embrace him. “It’s too late though. Last night we called it quits unofficially.”

“I’m so sorry Don,” she hugged him tightly, “I wish that you didn’t have to go through this.”

“Me too,” he squeezed her in response, “and what makes it worse is I have this stupid wedding to go to. I wasn’t going to but…”

“Kyle Houston’s wedding?” Deana questioned curiously.

“Yeah,” he nodded, “Shannon and I were going to go together, but now I know that’s not happening. Still I feel like I should be there since Kyle’s sort of a friend…well, no not really, but still. Brant said I should go simply to get out.”

“And how do you feel about that?” she questioned sensing his hesitation about going to a wedding on today of all days.

“I really don’t want to, but I said I would,” he replied glancing over at her, “What about you?”

“I was invited, but given that Kyle and Grady are best friends…” she shifted on her feet nervously her gaze dropping down to the floor.

“You’re having second thoughts too huh?” he finished her thought for her.

“Yeah,” she nodded, “Sounds stupid, doesn’t it?”

“Not any stupider than I feel right now, but you know,” he decided after a moment’s contemplation, “if we go together we could always say that we were there and then when we slip out together no one could say we didn’t at least try.”

“That sounds horrible,” she couldn’t help but laugh at his suggestion.

“Yeah, but so what?” he shrugged his shoulders feeling a small smile touch over his lips, “We can be one another’s alibi and maybe when we leave the party we can go find a really great place to get some ice-cream or better yet a drink if we’re not with the kids.”

“Are you kidding,” she shook her head at him and laughed, “You and I both know that it won’t be a drink. It’ll be you and me and Zane and Matt at that ice-cream place that you’re obsessed with. You’ll eat too much and then I’ll eat too much. Zane will get sick and Matt will remind us all that we shouldn’t pig out in the first place.”

“Just like good old times,” Don chuckled amused by the very idea. “In fact the more I think about it, the more I like it. It’s a date. Say you’ll go with me.”

“Don, I really don’t think that…” Deana started to politely decline.

“If you don’t agree to go with me then I’ll have no choice, but to kidnap you and take you with me anyways,” Don wiggled his brow at her. “The choice is yours. You can either go willingly or I can take you by force. It’s up to you, but I will say this I don’t mind you putting up a fight considering that I was at the top of my game in my wrestling division.”

“Oh what?” Deana gave him a once over, “You going to try to bust out some of your best moves on me?”

“If I did you wouldn’t see it coming,” Don teased back at her taking a step towards her. “You might be impressed at the end of the day.”

“Given that I grew up around Jason I can tell you that I can hold my own,” she informed him point blank. “I’m very good at that.”

“Then maybe we should put that to the test especially if you even think about refusing my offer to go with me to this wedding,” he reached out wrapping his arms around her and putting a squeeze around her torso. “What do you say?”

“I’m thinking that brute force doesn’t work well with you Don,” she slipped out of his hold grabbing his arm and twisting it around his back. “Now ask me nicely.”

“Okay, okay,” he winced feeling the pressure she put on his arm, “I give up. You win okay. Will you please go with me to the wedding?”

“Well since you put it that way,” she dropped his arm with a triumphant nod. “I suppose I could.”

“You suppose,” he repeated with a small, sly grin. He spun around to collect her in his arms again pulling her up off of the ground in one lightening quick movement, “I’ll give you suppose.”

“Don put me down. Don I mean it!” Deana laughed lightly reaching out to squeeze him in response in an attempt to show off her strength while laughter carried over her. She wiggled in his arms causing him to fall back over to the couch on the far side of the room. She dropped down on top of him reaching for his fingers and twisting them ever so slightly. “Do you give?”

“Never,” he shook his head stubbornly, “I’ll never give up on this one.”

“Oh yes you will,” she turned his fingers a bit more before working her hold on his arm and twisting.

“Oh you are a brute,” Don’s free hand snaked out to tickle at her ribs teasingly feeling her double over him with laugher. Her head fell on his shoulder and he couldn’t help but feel her ease up on his arm. Bringing his other arm around her waist he gave her a small hug. “Thanks for making me laugh.”

“Anytime Don,” Deana replied with a smile of her own, “You always do that for me.”

“Hey I try,” he shrugged his shoulders feeling her rest her head on one of them.

“You succeed very well and all I can say now is I hope you know what you’re getting yourself into because it’s going to be quite messy when we sneak out of that wedding,” Deana whispered thinking about the night ahead of them with the boys.

“You bet it is,” Shannon mouthed under her breath taking a step into Don’s office. “Just who the hell do you think you are you little tramp?”

“What?” Deana looked up from where she was seated on Don’s lap.

“Do you really think that I would just take things lightly with you screwing my husband?” Shannon shouted at her, anger roaring through her. She glared over at Don, “And you with all your high and mighty speeches…”

“Shannon this is not what…” Don began feeling Deana pull off of his lap.

“Sleeping with your husband?” Deana’s eyes widened in surprise. “You have to be kidding me right?”

“Don’t you dare even speak to me you little slut and you,” Shannon waved her hand around in Don’s face, “It’s over. We are so through. I’m finished with you.”

“Shannon, I think you should really calm down. You really need to just listen before you…” he tried to explain himself only to feel her move forward and knee him in the groin.

“I’ve heard more than enough,” Shannon replied in an icy tone glaring down at her now fallen husband. She directed her rage over at Deana, “and you, well you can have him because you’re pathetic and needy which is exactly what a man like him is looking for.”

“Shannon if you’d just…” Don tried to speak up behind the groan that carried over him, but before he could get another word out Shannon stomped out of his office leaving him to realize that things had suddenly gone from bad to worse between them and somehow he didn’t see it getting any better.


“Well I think that’s about everything,” Grady noted giving his living room one last look before turning to Kyle. “You ready for this one?”

“As ready as I’m ever going to be,” Kyle confessed rubbing his palms together, his thoughts lingering to what was about to happen in the next few hours. “I guess no matter how prepared for this I am, it’s not going to be easy for me.”

“I wish I would’ve realized that when I married Susan,” Grady confessed with a small groan thinking about his failed relationship with his psychotic ex-wife.

“Yeah well we all make mistakes buddy,” Kyle patted him on the back, “Trust me on this one. I’m the king of kings when it comes to making relationship mistakes, but not this time.”

“You sure you’re up for this? I mean you’re really, really sure that this is what you want to do?” Grady questioned giving him a long look.

“I’m sure. This is something I have to do and it can’t wait,” Kyle decided reaching for a bag he’d had with him and hoisting it over his shoulder. “Let’s do this.”

“Okay, but remember you’re the one who wanted it this way,” Grady replied moving to open the front door only to discover Kellen standing on his front porch.

“Oh good I’m not late,” Kellen cheered excitedly waving at the both of them. “I have a really big surprise for you both.”

“This had better be good. I’m about to leave,” Kyle informed him securing the bag over his shoulder.

“Oh trust me it’s good. It’s the ultimate show stopper,” Kellen promised ready to deliver the news that Drew had given him about Sarah. Today was going to be a day full of surprises indeed!


...to be continued...