Episode 341

“Why are women always late?” Chris asked himself letting out a long breath as he pushed open the blinds on the window for a minute to try and see any sign of Heather. Shaking his head slowly he walked back into the living room and fell down to the couch taking in a deep breath. “They are always like this.”

Reaching out to grab the foam basketball he had been playing with while he was waiting for Heather, Chris threw it up in the air catching it before he hit himself with it. Taking in another breath he threw it up again and closed his eyes expecting to catch it before it never came back down.

“What the?” Chris opened his eyes to see a massive hand in front of his face holding onto the ball as Chris looked up to see Kevin’s muscular form before him and he let out a small gasp. “Kevin? How did you get in here?”

“That’s a good question isn’t it?” Kevin questioned seeing Chris try to move away as Kevin grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and picked him up from the couch. Getting him to his feet, Kevin’s jaw tightened as Chris’s wide blue eyes stared out at him. “You’re always trying to ruin someone’s life you asshole.”

Before getting to answer anything Chris felt Kevin throw him across the room and a sharp pain filled throughout his body as his back hit the glass table and shattered beneath him. Letting out a small groan Chris felt Kevin pick him up again by the collar and hold onto him.

“Kevin,” Chris groaned feeling a drip of his own blood sliding down his face as he saw Kevin’s eyebrows perk up. Seeing Kevin watching him to see what he said Chris held his hands up in the air. “Listen to me and give me a chance.”

“Give you a chance? Just like you gave me a chance, right?” Kevin muttered with a small hiss before throwing Chris to the side, watching his back hit the mirror before falling to the ground again. “You stole everything from me Chris. Do you even care about what you do?”

“You need to know why,” Chris replied as Kevin picked him up again and held him up to make sure he didn’t fall over. Seeing Kevin’s dark eyes staring into his Chris tried to speak up again. “It’s not like you didn’t screw me too.”

“You’re right, I did. I should ruin your life again, like you just did mine,” Kevin muttered letting Chris go as Chris looked out at him and let out a small breath. Swinging his fist out of nowhere, Kevin hit Chris right in the center of the face sending him back to the ground in a thud. Hearing Chris let out a small gasp, he saw blood dripping down Chris’s fingers as Kevin shrugged his shoulders. “Damn that’s got to hurt.”

Grabbing a hand full of Chris’s hair, Kevin started to pull Chris toward the center of the living room hearing Chris let out a small hiss as Kevin got Chris to stand up again. Seeing Chris going to hit him, Kevin ducked and speared Chris into the closet door seeing the door fall off it’s hinges as Chris was laid out on top of it.

“Damn, so much for those imported Italian doors here, eh?” Kevin knelt down his breathing getting heavier as he stared out at Chris. Grabbing Chris again by the hair, Kevin shook his head slowly seeing the way that Chris looked up at him almost scared. “Why sink so low to actually go along with Michelle? You ruined my life Chris.”

“You ruined mine,” Chris spat seeing Kevin stare out at him angrily as Chris shook his head slowly and bit down on his bottom lip. “You stole Angel from me when she was mine. Just because you were some stupid boxer and you came back with that whole injured thing. I knew that I shouldn’t have trusted her watching you that night and when she said no to marrying me--I should have gotten it. When I walked in on you two on the couch sleeping together naked, it broke my heart.”

“I was young you stupid jackass, I’ve grown up,” Kevin muttered tightly yanking on Chris’s hair slightly hearing Chris let out a small whimper as Kevin pulled him up again and threw him out onto the floor. “Angie loves Brant and I love Ria.”

“Oh bullshit,” Chris tried to get to his elbows and he slid back on the carpet to try and get a little bit away from Kevin. “You two are always going to have something together. Better you with her than Brant, but you know--it could have been me.”

Seeing Kevin roll his eyes and kneel down before him Chris nodded slowly. Kevin tilted his head to the side, watching Chris nod slowly as he wiped at his bottom lip pushing the blood away quickly.

“Yeah, that’s right Kevin. If you wouldn’t have gotten her pregnant than we could have been married, but no she was stuck on you because you two lost a child before she came here,” Chris pointed out arching his eyebrows up to Kevin seeing Kevin look down toward the ground and his jaw clenched in anger. “You were twenty and she was eighteen and when you got her pregnant, she was too hooked on you. I don’t understand why.”

Kevin looked up to Chris and stood up slowly, tilting his head to the side and smiling. Letting out a small laugh he bent down toward Chris looking him in the eyes almost tempting Chris to try and hit him.

“You’re wrong Chris,” Kevin shook his head slowly sliding his hands into his pockets before letting out a small laugh. “You don’t know how wrong you truly are.”

“Oh so now you’re denying your own daughter I see,” Chris let out a small laugh seeing anger fill up behind Kevin’s dark eyes as Chris slowly got to his feet. Pressing his hand in against the couch he saw Kevin watching him very carefully and Chris bit down on his bottom lip. “Look at yourself, you’re even giving up on your damn daughter.”

“You son of a bitch,” Kevin moved forward pressing Chris against the wall as he started to hit him over and over again, seeing Chris grow more limp at his every hit. Seeing Chris fall limp to the ground Kevin got down on his left knee and reached forward to hit Chris again only to see him block his face. “I loved my daughter more than anyone or anything and I would do anything to have her back. Don’t you ever damn her again because she deserved to live and I should have her. It’s people like you that stole my happiness from me, do you even know how I got shot that night. Or how young I really was and Angie was.”

“Yeah, Kevin,” Chris felt Kevin’s hand wrap around his neck as Chris took in a deep breath moving his neck up trying to make sure Kevin’s grasp didn’t fully get around his neck. “She was eighteen and you were twenty. I could have protected her more than you. I could have done something more.”

“I almost died for her you dumb ass time and time again,” Kevin dropped Chris’s head and stood up from the ground walking over toward the corner of the room. Running his fingers through his hair angrily Kevin fell to his knees and let out an angered hiss. “I would die just to have my baby girl back. I know I can’t have her back, but I was going to have a chance at getting something like that in my future. Ria was my only chance to move on and live some type of happy life, but you stole that from me again.”

“Kevin,” Chris saw Kevin’s body shaking before him on the ground before hearing Kevin let out a loud roar and stand up throwing the lamp into the wall as it shattered into pieces. “Kevin, stop before I have to do something to make you stop.”

“What are you going to do?” Kevin snapped looking back at Chris and seeing him get up on his feet. Seeing Chris stare out at him Kevin moved in closer to Chris, his chocolate eyes glaring out at Chris. Seeing Chris ball up his fist and go to swing it at him, Kevin grabbed a hold of Chris, grabbing both sides of his neck. “Don’t tempt me.”

“Go ahead Kevin, break my neck,” Chris dared Kevin feeling Kevin’s fingertips dig deeper into his skin as Chris let out a small laugh. “Come on, do what Angel’s dad taught you. Bring back that old side of yourself, come on mob boy. Break my neck and cover it up. You know what to do, clean up--make it look like I just left town. Come on Kevin, don‘t hesitate.”

“Screw you,” Kevin pushed Chris down to the ground and fell down to the couch covering his head with his hands as he heard Chris scramble to his feet again as Kevin shook his head over and over again. “I hate people like you. People that are willing to steal everything.”

“Kevin,” Chris gulped down realizing what he really said as he took in a deep breath and heard what almost sounded like Kevin crying. “Kevin, are you crying?”

“Just go fuck up someone else’s life,” Kevin snapped biting down on his bottom lip and looking up to Chris before shaking his head slowly. Quickly getting up he walked to the door and let himself out as he fell to the step and let out a small breath feeling his eyes start to burn over as he thought about losing every woman in his life. “I don’t have anyone that loves me.”

“Kevin?” a voice beckoned him from his own pain as he felt a gentle hand move in over his shoulder and he looked up to see Heather in front of him as he wiped at his eyes. “Hey, are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Kevin got up from the step and looked away for a minute before looking back toward the house. Thinking things over Kevin realized that he didn’t want her to see him like this. “I have to go.”

“Alright, be careful,” Heather called out seeing him walk down to his SUV and get in quickly before pulling off. Looking back toward the house she saw that the front door was still open as she took in a deep breath. “Okay, that was a little weird.”


“So where’s Kev?” Trisha questioned walking into her sister’s apartment without bothering to know. She tucked her spare key to Ria’s apartment into her pocket before breezing past Ria, who was seated on the couch looking rather glum. “I thought you’d be gone already with him.”

“I’m not going anywhere with him,” Ria sulked sinking further into the couch and holding the throw pillow to her chest, “and you can leave my key on the table when you go as well.”

“Ouch that’s harsh,” Trisha frowned over at her, “Besides you weren’t supposed to be here when I came in to borrow your little slinky red dress for a date that I have with Chase.”

“Take it,” Ria waved her hand dismissively not bothering to look back at her sister, “It’s yours if you want it.”

“That’s awfully generous, but…” Trisha replied stopping and deviating from her original plan to walk over to take another look at her sister. “Okay let me think about this one. Kevin’s not here. You’re on the couch eating what strangely looks like a box of chocolate covered ice-creams and…”

“Just leave me alone,” Ria swiped the box that she’d been keeping on the couch beside her onto her lap, “I just want to be miserable right now.”

“No one wants to be miserable,” Trisha noted dropping down onto the couch beside her sister. She reached for the box and stole a chocolate ice-cream ball. She popped it into her mouth before eyeing Ria once again, “Okay I’ll take it that you and Kevin got into a fight. Am I right?”

“That’s putting it mildly,” Ria slumped further into the couch swatting at Trisha’s hand before she could steal another treat from the box.

“Hey be nice,” Trisha swatted back at Ria before taking another ice-cream for herself, “I’m not the one you’re mad at remember.”

“I’m not mad. I’m furious,” Ria admitted with a heavy groan, “I mean of all the times for me to fall in love with someone completely unobtainable…”

“Whoa back up,” Trisha’s eyes widened at her sister’s words, “I know full well that you aren’t talking about Kevin because that man is completely hooked on you.”

“No. Wrong,” Ria shook her head stubbornly, “He’s still hung up on the glorified Angela and that’s never going to change. He’s still very much in love with her and I was an idiot to think that he and I had a chance of working things out with one another.”

“No way,” Trisha shook her head at Ria’s words, “I know that’s entirely not true. Kevin loves you. He’s loved you for like ever and there is no way that he would throw away what you two have together for…”

“For a woman that only seems to drag him down,” Ria finished for her with a huff clenching her hands into fists at her sides, “Yeah he did and the longer I stayed in denial about that the harder this would be. But it’s over. It’s just over and that’s all there is to it. Kevin doesn’t love me and I obviously can’t be with a man who is like that.”

“Kevin does love you,” Trisha argued with her letting out a small groan, “and I can’t believe that we have to go through this all over again. I mean honestly you two have more ups and downs than a roller coaster and I’m not talking about your life in the bedroom, which by the way I would like to add you should try to keep in the bedroom since I always seem to walk in on the two of you getting it on and…”

“That won’t be happening again,” Ria informed her bluntly, “I’m done with Kevin. He can’t be honest with me about his heart so why should I hand mine out to him to be shattered and stomped on?”

“Ria, I swear you are such a drama queen,” Trisha couldn’t help but roll her eyes, “It’s Kevin’s ring on your finger, remember?”

“That’s because Angie already has someone else in mind, but sooner or later she’ll be back to sink her claws into Kevin. She always does,” Ria groaned with heavy exaggeration. “He’s always running back to her and this time I have proof.”

“What proof?” Trisha couldn’t help but ask.

“I saw them together. I saw him kissing her,” Ria turned to look at her sister revealing the tears that had overtaken her since she’d given Kevin the brush off. Shortly after she’d seen him leave she’d pulled back into her parking spot and headed right back to her apartment to sulk.

“When?” Trisha questioned not believing it.

“Someone sent me a tape,” Ria explained matter of fact, a shivering exhale sweeping over her, “I saw them with one another and he had her in his arms…God Trisha I was so stupid to think that he could actually be with me and be happy. It’s obvious that he’s never, ever going to get over that woman so what’s the point in trying?”

“The point is that maybe you were mistaken. Maybe you read something into the situation that wasn’t there,” Trisha offered up her voice full of hope.

“I saw with my own eyes that he’s still in love with her and now I just have to deal with that,” Ria reached for a piece of chocolate covered ice-cream in front of her, “He doesn’t love me.”

“Yes he does Ria and if you’re smart you’ll stop whining and work on winning him back,” Trisha tried to encourage her sister, “Kevin Adonis is your man and if someone is trying to take that away from you, then you need to fight back. You need to tell him like it is and let him see that he wouldn’t need to bother with Angie when he’s got someone like you.”

“It’s not that easy,” Ria frowned back at her.

“Sure it is. You love him and I know he loves you,” Trisha continued in an impassioned tone, “If you show him just how much he means to you, then he’s not going to give Angie a second look. You’re more than twice the woman she is and I’m telling you that Kevin loves you. What you saw was probably nothing. It was probably just something in the past that…”

“That has him holding onto hope that he can have a future with her one day. I’m telling you Trisha. Kevin loves her,” Ria argued with her younger sister.

“Loved her Ria. They had a history and the last time I checked we all have histories,” Trisha reminded her point blank, “but that isn’t something that we should allow to keep us from our future. You love Kevin and he loves you. That alone should give you reason to stop making yourself fat and start doing something about your life.”

“I’m not making myself fat,” Ria argued feeling Trisha pull the ice-cream out of her hand.

“Yes you are,” Trisha took the treat for herself before getting up off of the couch, “and I think it’s time you stop being such a baby and start doing something about your life. If you love Kevin and he loves you, then stop whining about what it is you think you saw and start working on the real issue you have going on.”

“Kevin kissed someone else,” Ria reminded her sharply, “I don’t think it gets anymore obvious than that.”

“Yeah, well what did he have to say?” Trisha placed her hands on her hips seeing her sister’s uneasy expression. “Yeah that’s what I thought. You didn’t give him a chance to explain himself, did you?”

“I didn’t have to hear him to explain to know the truth,” Ria mouthed impatiently. “I know that he’s still in love with her.”

“And you’re just going to let her have him simply because you’re being a brat,” Trisha rolled her eyes at her sister. “You’re going to let the man of your dreams slip away all because you won’t take the time to realize that you need to follow your heart and start taking charge of your own life.”

“Oh like you’re such an expert on that,” Ria rolled her eyes in response.

“From where I stand I look a lot happier than you right now and that‘s because I‘m not too stubborn to walk away from a good thing when it enters my life. You know you could learn a thing or two from me if you stopped trying to be so damned logical. Being smart is great, but when it gets down to it, it leaves you with no common sense,” Trisha pointed out turning around to go and get Ria’s dress, “and if you don’t stop sulking you won’t have Kevin either.”

“Oh shut up,” Ria snarled at her sister despite the fact that she was certain that Trisha was absolutely right. However, after remembering what she’d seen on that tape, she had to wonder if she could ever truly have Kevin’s heart again or would she just be fooling herself in trying to get their life together back on track again?”


“Have you seen my tie around here?” Russ questioned walking through the hallway searching for the tie he’d set down when he’d started getting dressed earlier in the afternoon.

“You mean this tie?” Avery waved the tie in the air holding it out into the hallway and dangling it in front of him, her arm stretching from the door frame.

“That would be the one,” Russ reached for it only to feel her pull it back into the room taking him with it. He opened his mouth to speak, but found her lips over his in a playful kiss. Smiling, he curled his arm around her waist before nuzzling his nose against the side of her neck, “I take it you’ve taken a liking to that one too, huh?”

“It’s rather nice,” Avery mused with a seductive purr, “but there is still something to be said about the old favorites. Then again anytime I get you tied up…um, I mean in a tie, well it’s very nice.”

“Very,” Russ leaned forward nibbling on her lower lip teasingly ready to enjoy a few moments with her when Erin made a sound from where she was in her playpen in the middle of their bedroom.

“I think she’s not approving of our behavior,” Avery explained in a muted tone watching Russ walk over to pick Erin up.

“Oh of course she is approving,” Russ collected his daughter in his arms and kissed the top of her head. “She just wants to be part of the attention here.”

“In that case,” Avery walked over to the both of them and wrapped her arm around Russell’s waist before turning her attention to their daughter. “Hey princess, are you ready for a wedding?”

Erin’s big eyes gazed up at her mother before she wrinkled her nose and made a pouting face.

“That doesn’t look too promising,” Avery couldn’t help but laugh at her daughter’s expression. “If I didn’t know better, I would think that she doesn’t like the idea of a wedding there.”

“Yeah well lucky for her, she doesn’t have to be there when Uncle Kyle gets married,” Russ decided thinking about their plans to take Erin over to somewhere other than the wedding so that she didn’t have to get in the middle of the fuss. Watching Erin let out a big yawn he could see that she was obviously less than enthused about the idea of a wedding anyways.

“Something tells me she won’t miss too much today,” Avery laughed lightly reaching out for their daughter and bringing her into her arms, “Though when we decide the time is right I hope that she’ll be able to enjoy our wedding right with us.”

“I’m sure she will,” Russ decided with a proud smirk, “We can get her set up in a stroller and let her Uncle Kyle push her down the isle with flowers.”

“Or Kevin,” Avery teased thinking about their daughter’s fondness of Russell’s friend, “She seems to have taken to him rather quickly.

“She really has,” Russ noted with a nod seeing the way Erin reached out to play with a piece of Avery’s long hair. “I don’t know what it is about him, but she really does like him.”

“What’s not to like,” Avery offered up with a small smile, “he seems like a really great guy. I like him too.”

“Hopefully not too much,” Russ leaned in to steal a quick kiss from her, “I would hate to think that both of my girls falling for him so hard.”

“Worried that we might be taken in by his charm and good looks,” Avery teased with a small wink hearing the hint of jealous in Russell’s voice. “Oh please don’t tell me you’re being serious about this.”

“Don’t get me wrong I like Kevin. I do, but I know how he has a way with women,” Russ thought to himself remembering his time on the island with Kevin and Angela, “I’m sure he thinks you’re beautiful.”

“Well as flattered as I am to hear it, I’m not interested in Kevin like that or any man for that matter considering that I have the sexiest, most wonderful man in the world with me,” Avery assured him with a bright smile, “You are absolutely everything I have ever wanted and needed in my life and now that you’re home again, well I couldn’t even think about noticing anyone else. Even if he’s as muscular and good looking as Kevin.”

“Yeah that’s what I thought,” Russ shook his head at her fighting to suppress the small smile that carried over him. He spoke to Erin in a small whisper of a voice, “We have to watch your mommy. She’s dangerous.”

“I think Erin’s the one we should worry about,” Avery laughed lightly in response, “She’s the one who is extremely drawn to older, mysterious men.”

“Something that I was hoping we wouldn’t have to worry about until a great many years from now. At least thirty,” Russ teased hearing the phone ringing. He looked over to the nightstand over where the phone was and laughed, “That’s probably Kyle and Grady wondering where we are.”

“We’ll be there as soon as Guy gets here,” Avery added watching Russ walk over to answer the phone, “Once he arrives, then we’ll be able to be on our way.”

Erin wrinkled her face before tugging on Avery’s hair again this time with a bit more force.

“Okay princess mommy will work on that bottle,” Avery assured her daughter turning to leave when she heard Russ say something that caused to her stop walking away.

“Okay. No problem Guy. Yes, we have it under control and I’m glad that you decided to do what you’re doing. We wouldn’t want you to do anything but rest. Yes that’s right,” Russ finished up holding his hand over the receiver of the phone. “Guy thinks he has the flu.”

“Oh no,” Avery frowned thinking about the luck her younger brother had, “Tell him to take care of himself. I don’t want him feeling bad.”

“He said thank you,” Russ explained to her saying a few last words to Guy before hanging up the phone, “Well it looks like we’re going to be taking Erin with us after all unless you want me to look around to see if another sitter is available.”

“Nah, it’s okay. We’ll take her,” Avery decided squeezing her daughter close to her, “Your mom bought her this beautiful little white lacy dress that I know she’ll look cute in. Even if she’s not in the wedding spirit we’ll find a way to have her enjoy it.”

Erin wrinkled her nose again causing Avery to laugh lightly.

“Kevin will be there,” Avery tried to coax her daughter giving Russ one last look before heading towards the door, “You should call your brother though and tell him we’ll be running behind schedule now though.”

“Okay will do,” Russ decided watching Avery leave as he wondered if today would really turn out to be the kind of wedding that his friend truly deserved. Something had him thinking that today was far from where Kyle expected to be when he said his vows. Still Russ was going to do what he had to in order to support his friend and his decision even if it meant standing at his side and seeing the wedding play out.


Cori pushed open the door to the pawn shop slinging the garment bag over her shoulder as her heels clicked on the tile floor. She kept her mind focused knowing that today was going to be the day that everything fell into place for her. Smiling as she glanced over at the portly looking man behind the counter, she realized this was going to be even easier than she’d anticipated.

“Well hello beautiful,” he slurred tossing the magazine that he’d been reading aside in order to gawk up at her, “What can I do for you?”

“It’s not so much what you can do for me, but what I can do for you,” she explained reaching into her purse and extracting a small box. She handed it over to the man, taking her time in sliding it across the counter before eyeing him expectantly, “So tell me what do you think you can do for me?”

His lecherous gaze swept over her ravenously before he grinned so wide it seemed to sink into his over swelled face. “Oh I can think of plenty of things I’d like to do for you.”

“That’s great,” she rolled her eyes impatiently before tapping her finger nails on the counter top, “but seriously take a look at what I brought you.”

“Fine, but I can tell you I already like what I’m seeing,” the man countered finally taking a look inside of the box that Cori had brought to him. His eyes widened at the contents before he looked up at her again curiously, “Where did you get something like this?”

“Let’s just say it’s an old family heirloom,” she offered leaning in over the glass counter before tapping on the top of it, “and it’s yours if you can help me find what I need today.”

“And just what do you need?” he questioned inching in towards her, a greedy grin pressing in over him.

“A gun,” she replied point blank, “Not something too big, but not too weak either if you catch my drift.”

“A gun?” he repeated giving her a strange look. “You?”

“Yeah I’d like a handgun of sorts and a friend of mine told me that you could cut me a deal,” she explained expectantly.

“Well of course I can. Over here we have a great many things that you could look through and then we could get started with paper work once you find something you like,” he offered up walking over to another glass casing area. He motioned for her to follow only to discover her at his side.

“I’ll take that one,” Cori pointed to a gun inside of the container. “That’s the one I want.”

“Excellent choice,” he nodded pulling out the firearm and holding it out for her, “Want to test the fit?”

“I’m sure it fits just fine,” she mouthed in an almost purr sliding the gun into her palm and thinking about what she’d need it for. It was almost too perfect.

“So shall I get started on that paper work?” he asked giving her a long look.

“Yeah, um about that paper work,” she swirled the gun around in the air, “How about we skip over all that since I have a wedding I don’t want to be late for?”

“I really can’t do that because…” the man started with a puzzled expression.

“Of course you can because I need this today,” Cori informed him point blank, determination behind her dark eyes, “and I simply won’t take no for an answer.”


“This is going to be perfect,” Sarah muttered moving forward a bit as Blake worked on her hair. As she moved she heard Blake let out an angered growl as she tried to stay in place. “Sorry. I’m just kind of excited in a way.”

“I can see that,” Blake pointed out reaching for the hair spray and pulling back Sarah’s hair gently before putting it up the way she wanted it. “You seem to never be able to sit still when I try and do your hair.”

“I’m sorry,” Sarah frowned covering her eyes as Blake put the hair spray over the front of her bangs and Sarah let out a small cough. “I don’t mean to move all over the place, I just can’t believe that in less that six hours I’m going to be Mrs. Kyle Houston.”

“I really can’t believe that either,” Blake pointed out with a small laugh looking her friend over slowly before shaking her head slowly. “I can still remember short haired Kyle, the one that was kind of smaller. It’s just weird to finally see the two of you getting married.”

“It’s different,” Sarah bit down on her bottom lip and closed her eyes thinking about everything that had happened over the last few months and she let out a small laugh. “I can’t wait, everything is going to be perfect. We’ll be married and no one is going to stop us and soon enough we will be having a family of our own.”

“I’m happy for you,” Blake pointed out seeing Sarah smile before shrugging her shoulders. Putting her final touches on Sarah’s hair, Blake motioned her to stand up as Sarah looked at herself in the mirror and let out a small gasp. “That was either gasp--I like it or gasp--I hate it. Which one?”

“I love it Blake, thank you so much,” Sarah boasted proudly wrapping her arms around Blake and giving her a big hug as Blake let out a small gasp. “What is it?”

“That is a perfect dress that you don’t want ruined,” Blake pointed out shaking her head slowly before taking in a deep breath and moving back away from Sarah. “You just need to be careful with what you do with that thing. You are all ready, now all you have to wait for is the wedding.”

“I’m ready a couple hours early,” Sarah pointed out with another wide smile before moving over toward the mirror again to look herself over. “I’m loving this Blake, you don’t know how truly amazing I feel right now.”

“You look it,” Blake stated with a small nod before sitting down on the edge of the table and taking in a deep breath. “All that matters is that you are marrying the right guy and you are going to be Mrs. Sarah Houston. You are getting what you said is all you ever wanted.”

“You’re right, Kyle is everything I’ve ever wanted,” Sarah agreed looking over to the clock in the corner as she took in a deep breath and reached for her purse. “Do you mind if I make a quick call?”

“As long as its not to Kyle, then sure,” Blake nodded with a small smile before seeing Sarah laugh as she pointed over toward the bathroom. “Just go in there for a minute because I still have a few touches I would like to put on your hair as I look at it.”

“Okay, sounds great,” Sarah chuckled taking a look over at Blake one last time. Slowly walking into the bathroom, she quietly made sure the door closed all the way before reaching into her purse and pulling out her cell phone. Dialing the number she heard the constant ringing until she heard the voice of Cameron on the other end. “All I need to know--did you do that favor I asked of you? Are you taking care of it?”

“Sarah, what kind of man would I be if I didn’t?” Cameron laughed lightly before taking in a deep breath and reaching out to grab something in front of him. “It’s not a problem Sarah, so don’t worry about it.”


Cameron set the phone back on the base thinking about Sarah’s request. While it pained him to see Heather out of town, it would be something that he would arrange for her--at least temporarily to help her feel as if she had some kind of control over the situation, but sooner or later that illusion would end. Cameron was sure of that. However, now was a time for planning and planning he would do now that he had motivation.

“Cam, there you are,” JT’s voice beckoned through Cameron’s thoughts bringing him back to the here and now.

“JT, what are you doing here?” Cameron questioned surprised to see his brother standing before him.

“What? Can’t a man come over to say hello to his brother?” JT shook his head with what appeared to be a small sense of disappointment, “Do I automatically have to want something when I come over to say hello?”

“Well I suppose not, but…” Cameron gave him a strange look, “You do want something though, don’t you?”

“Even if I didn’t you would still think I did, so at least I have some purpose in coming here,” JT shrugged his shoulders opting to forget about pretending that there wasn’t some reasoning behind his arrival. “I need a favor.”

“Which is something I’ve grown used to with you,” Cameron nodded in response, “So what is it? What do you need this time?”

“Honestly, it’s not as bad as you’re anticipating,” JT promised with a bright smile, “I just need to know if it’s okay for me to fly out to the beach house this upcoming week.”

“You’re asking my permission to go to the beach house?” Cameron half questioned a puzzled expression on his face. “That’s a first considering that you know you have an open invitation there at any time.”

“I realize that, but this time I was kind of looking for, well a bit of privacy,” JT informed him with a cryptic expression, “You see I have something kind of special planned and…”

“Special?” Cameron repeated arching a curious brow, “You don’t say?”

“Actually,” JT offered up a small smile, “I have someone I’d like to take there with me.”

“Someone,” Cameron paused before repeating his brother’s words with heavy emphasis, “special.”

“Yeah that was the idea,” JT nodded in confession, “So can I use the beach house or what?”

“That all depends,” Cameron noted giving his brother a curious look, “Her name wouldn’t happen to be Diane, would it?”

JT shook his head quickly, “Of course not. What kind of idiot do you take me for?”

Cameron exhaled a breath of relief, “Thank God because for a minute there I was starting to worry about you all over again. I was afraid you’d lost your mind and gone back to that…”

“Diane’s the past and as for the future,” JT couldn’t help but reveal a small smile, “Well I’m working on that one too and we’ll just leave it at that.”

“Cryptic all over again, eh?” Cameron shook his head at his brother making a small tsking sound in the process, “JT that isn’t a good thing to do with family you know.”

“I’m not doing it intentionally. It’s just that I’ve met someone--someone special and I thought that maybe I should take her away for a little while--kind of show her how the other half lives when there isn’t a need for paychecks and long hours of overtime,” JT explained matter of fact thinking about his upcoming plans, “Besides it’s not really that serious yet anyways.”

“It’s not serious, yet you want to take her to the beach house,” Cameron couldn’t help but chuckle, “JT who are you trying to kid? I know you better than that.”

“Look I’m trying to do things right this time,” JT sighed thinking about the way things had started off with Evie. “I mean she’s just someone that I’m positive rushing into things with won’t help.”

“So what? You’re taking the gentlemanly route and keeping it strictly platonic?” Cameron searched his brother’s eyes before laughing lightly, “I don’t buy it JT. You wouldn’t be taking her to the beach house if there wasn’t something more there.”

“Right now I don’t want to screw this one up like I do with everything else in my life,” JT informed him point blank putting an end to whatever direction Cameron was headed in with their conversation, “She’s really different than the other women I’ve met and this time I think it’ll be worth waiting the situation out.”

“Waiting huh?” Cameron scratched his chin lightly, “Okay who are you and what have you done to my brother?”

“I’m serious Cam,” JT frowned up at him. “What’s so wrong with me wanting to take care of my life and stop acting like a child?”

“I wasn’t saying that you…” Cameron stopped himself before letting out a long sigh, “Hey if you’re happy then that is all that matters to me.”

“Thank you,” JT smiled at him brightly, “So can I take her to the beach house or what?”

“On one condition,” Cameron decided with a small laugh.

“What might that be?” JT asked curiously.

“That you actually let me meet this mystery woman because I would love to see the girl that has my brother acting so completely out of character,” Cameron teased him further causing JT to shake his head.

“You’re terrible you know that. I mean seriously I am so tempted to keep her away so that she doesn’t hear all of the horrible tales you could tell her,” JT confessed with a small grin of his own.

“I promise I’ll be on my best behavior. Hell I’ll throw a party if you’re really that concerned, but the fact to the matter is that I would love to see just what this woman is like that had turned my brother’s life around. That’s something I’d like to thank her for,” Cameron confessed thinking about how much happier JT seemed to be at this point in time.

“Yeah you and me both,” JT smiled in response knowing that there were big things ahead for him and Evie should their relationship continue to progress as it had been over the brief period of time that they’d known one another. Good things were ahead for them. They had to be!


“This is ridiculous,” Diane let out an exhausted yawn as she rested her head against the top of the desk after being alone for about an hour with nothing to do. Looking up from her desk she looked toward the clock to see what time it was and realized that she had been alone for a while. Ben wasn’t at work and without him there, there was nothing good to even try and do. “If I leave to go get some coffee for a little, no one will notice. Better yet, no one will care.”

Getting up from her desk chair Diane reached out to pick up the picture that rested on her desk and she smiled seeing her and Ben together. The way he was holding her in the picture made her remember what if felt like to be in his arms. Feeling like the world around her would never fall apart and she would forever be safe if she just stayed in that one place.

“I love you so much,” Diane placed a small kiss in over the picture before setting it back down and reaching out to grab her jacket from the coat hanger. “I’ll be back in a couple of minutes.”

Moving toward the elevator she let out a small gasp as she roughly ran into something and grabbed her shoulder feeling a small sharp pain.

“I’m so sorry,” Diane apologized seeing the way that the person was blocking their face in a way as she took in a deep breath and tried to see them more clearly. “That was my fault.”

“Don’t worry about it,” they hushed her before going towards the door to the stairs and quickly walking out of her sight as she took in another look before shaking her head slowly.

“Okay, that was a little weird,” she whispered getting on the elevator and taking it down to the floor before walking out of the building and to the coffee shop next door. Moving forward in the line she stared out in front of her seeing someone familiar before her and she let out a small gasp. “Andy? Andy? Hello…Andy?”

Reaching out touch Andy’s arm she saw him look over his shoulder at her and smile widely before shaking his head slowly. Seeing the way he was smiling at her she took a step back not knowing what to expect.

“Diane, hey,” Andy smirked looking over his shoulder to see if the line had moved at all when he turned to talk to her. Looking back down at her with his blue eyes he let out a small laugh and shrugged his shoulders. “I’m sorry I didn’t answer you, I was just thinking pretty heavily.”

“It’s okay,” she muttered seeing him get to the register and order his coffee before turning back to her, handing her the cup. “What is this?”

“I thought it was your favorite, don’t worry about paying me back--it’s all good,” Andy gave her a small wink before taking a sip of his coffee and nodding, following her toward the doors of the shop. “So how have you been?”

“Fine,” Diane muttered looking him over before thinking back to the person she ran into in the building moments earlier. “Were you just in the place I work at.”

“No,” Andy paused not quite knowing what to say as he watched her take a step back and he reached out to grab her arm in his hand lightly. “Listen, I think we should talk. I need your help getting Deidra back. I think I’m making some progress.”

“Wait, what?” Diane questioned with a small laugh seeing his blue eyes staring out into hers as she placed her free hand in over her chest. “You have to be kidding me, right?”

“Well, that all depends,” Andy shrugged his shoulders biting down on his bottom lip and looking away from her for a moment. Running his fingers through his hair slowly he eyes met hers again. “I won’t go back to her if you’ll come back to me.”


“So, why are you so nervous about this wedding?” Angela questioned from inside the closet as she pulled her dress in over her shoulders, walking out into the bedroom to see Brant buttoning up the last of his cufflinks. “It’s like you aren’t very happy about what is going on or something. You just aren‘t acting like yourself.”

“I don’t know,” Brant muttered thinking about everything that had gone on with Kyle and Sarah. When remembering what he told Kyle that one night, he couldn’t believe that Kyle would still go through with something like this after what he knew. It almost seemed like one of the dumbest moves a man could ever make. “I’m just not really understanding some of Kyle’s tactics.”

“I don’t know,” Angela whispered walking toward the bed seeing Brant sit down on the edge of it and run his hands through his hair as if he was confused about something that was happening. “He seemed kind of weird when he was here.”

“He’s not so bad,” Brant stated with a deep sigh trying to recognize how good Kyle actually was back when Kyle was trying to protect Avery when she was married to him. “I mean he is kind of rough on the outside, but on the inside--he’s the kind of guy that always wants to do something right. He’s a good guy, I just never really gave the time to see that back in the day.”

“Awkward moment?” Angela questioned arching her eyebrow up seeing Brant staring out at the wall for a moment before his brown eyes looked up at her and he smiled. “You seemed out of it for a minute there.”

“I’m okay,” Brant smirked standing up slowly before moving over toward her and moving his right hand in over her bare shoulder. Looking over her slowly a wide smile spread through out his features and he nodded approving what she was wearing. “I must have been stunned by what you were wearing. You look amazing sweetheart.”

“Yeah, I know. This whole fat look gets a man going doesn’t it?” she rolled her eyes pulling away from Brant for a second and walking over toward the mirror to look at herself. “Brant could you pull up the zipper please?”

“Sure,” Brant smiled going to walk over to her before hearing a loud crash that sounded like glass shattering and it caught both of their attentions making them run over toward the bedroom door. “What in the world?”

Opening the door to look inside the hallway they both stepped out to see glass shattered from the table that was put off to the side and a gasp escaped Angela’s lips when she saw Kevin laid out on the floor in front of her.

“Kevin,” Angela moved in over to his side hearing him let out a small groan before Brant came over too, kneeling at Kevin’s other side as Kevin tried moving his head up from the ground. “Don’t move Kevin, you could be hurt. What the hell happened?”

“That table came out of nowhere,” Kevin muttered letting out a long breath slowly moving up and getting to his feet before losing his balance, feeling Angela catch him enough to press him in against the wall. “That kind of hurt.”

“I’d imagine,” Brant stood up slowly seeing the way that Kevin was blinking as Kevin moved his hand in over the back of his head and let out a small laugh. “Are you okay?”

“Never better,” Kevin nodded moving Angela’s hands away from him before moving forward and letting out a small laugh. Pushing his hand inside his pocket, he held his finger up on his other hand. “I’ll pay you back for that table--I didn’t mean to break it.”

“Don’t worry about it Kevin,” Brant whispered seeing Kevin pull out his wallet only to drop it to the ground and Kevin looked down toward the wallet letting out a long breath. Seeing Kevin swallow down he watched as Kevin bend down to pick up his wallet, but fell to his knees when he did. “Kev.”

“I think he hurt himself when he fell,” Angela muttered seeing Kevin grab his wallet, but fell to his behind and let out a long breath before resting his head against the wall. “We have to get him help Brant.”

“He’s drunk Angela,” Brant pointed out seeing Kevin frown from where he was sitting on the floor and shoot Brant an angered glance. “He’s got all the tendencies of a drunk person. He fell over a table that was way out of his way, he can’t walk right. He’s drunk.”

“What are you? A damn cop?” Kevin questioned feeling Angela bend down and wrap his arm around her shoulders as he got up slowly letting out a small laugh. Reaching out to pat Brant on the head lightly Kevin smirked and let out a small laugh seeing Brant push his hand away. “Come on--aren’t you going to give me a test or something?”

“Come here,” Angela grabbed a hold of Kevin’s cheeks making him look at her as he smiled widely and she moved in closer to him seeing his eyebrows arch up. “Yeah, he’s drunk. The Malibu Maguires smell good Kev and taste good, but they are going to get you drunk.”

“Oh come on--I only had a few,” Kevin moved away from Angela and walked into the bedroom seeing Angela move toward Brant as they followed him into the bedroom. Rubbing his hands together, Kevin’s tone of voice changed and he turned to face Angela with a small scowl. “I actually came here for an important reason.”

“I’m sure it’s important,” Brant shot Angela a worried glance before reaching out to grab Kevin’s arm, trying to lead him over toward the bed to sit down, “but right now maybe you should sit down and let that alcohol wear off.”

“Get your hands off me,” Kevin snapped pulling his arm away from Brant seeing the way that Brant stared out at him. “I’m not drunk, I’m just pissed off.”

“Kevin, sit down,” Angela reached out to touch Kevin seeing him pull away from her too like her and Brant were fire that was burning him with their very touch. “Kevin this isn’t like you, listen to me and do me a favor. Do it for me and sit down or lay down--I don’t care, but we aren’t going to let you leave when you’re drunk.”

“I’m not doing any favors for you,” Kevin snapped moving forward toward her, his dark eyes firing up with anger as she stared up into his chocolate eyes. “Especially when you’re the person I’m pissed at.”

“Kevin, lay down,” she pushed him in the center of his chest seeing him take a step back and smile, shaking his head slowly. Rolling her eyes she went to walk away before feeling his fingers wrap around her wrist and pull her back to him. “Kevin, you’re drunk and you don’t know what you are talking about.”

“Just back up Kev,” Brant ordered pushing Kevin back seeing Kevin’s brown eyes glare over at him before shaking his head slowly. “Kevin, sit down now. Before I make you sit down.”

“I have to have a word with Angie,” Kevin firmly stated once more, moving his glance over to Angela again before letting out a small hiss. “Especially since again she has been able to ruin my damn life again--ripping away the one thing that meant the most to me. I lost Ria because of her and I’m not leaving or sitting down until we have a little chat.”

“Not while I’m here,” Brant replied stepping in front of Kevin seeing the way Kevin glared down at him. Brant shook his head motioning Kevin to sit down. “You will talk to Angel later, but right now--I’m not going to let you.”

“Fine,” Kevin grabbed Brant by the collar of his shirt and felt Brant struggle as Kevin picked him up and walked over toward the door setting Brant down in the middle of the hallway. Quickly moving back toward the door, Kevin locked it and looked back at Angela going to say something else as he heard Brant banging on the door. “Give me just a second.”

“Kevin, listen,” Angela felt a bit worried as she saw Kevin look over at the door before walking to the side of the room and putting his hands in over the dresser, pushing it slowly in front of the door so Brant couldn’t break his way through. “I have no idea what you are talking about. I didn’t talk to Ria, I haven’t seen Ria. I have no idea what’s going on.”

“Come here,” Kevin ordered wiggling his finger at Angela seeing the way she looked at him as he walked into the bathroom and she took in a deep breath before looking over toward the door where she heard Brant banging on the door. “Angie.”

“I’ll be okay Brant,” Angela called out hearing the banging stop as she looked back at Kevin who was resting against his right arm as he stood in the doorway of the bathroom. “We’ll be right out.”

“Good girl,” Kevin smirked motioning her into the bathroom and she did before he closed the door behind her, glaring back at her over his shoulder. “You see, this always seems to happen to me because of you. I just can’t live my life when you are even around me.”

“Kevin, I don’t understand what you are talking about,” Angela pointed out seeing him turn to face her before moving in closer to where she was standing. “Why don’t you explain things clearly before jumping off and going nuts on me.”

“Nuts, Angie you haven’t seen nuts,” Kevin whispered reaching out to touch the side of her face gently only to feel her push his hand away and he let out a small laugh. “You see this is what I’m talking about. I can’t be happy whenever you’re around me. I think I can be, but them somehow, someway you always seem to ruin it. I get screwed every single time I’m even near you. Sometimes quite literally because you seem to open your legs to any guy with a big ego there Angie, or just about any guy.”

“Screw you Kevin,” Angela brought her hand against the side of his face the hardest she could seeing him stumble backwards and because he was drunk, fall over and hit his head on the side of the sink. Seeing him grab onto his head in pain she stayed still, balling her fists at her sides seeing the way he blinked up at her and he let out a small laugh. “You’re screwed up.”

“You know what?” Kevin slowly got up from the ground and rubbed the side of his head slowly before shaking his head slowly. Moving forward he grabbed her wrists in his hands seeing her brown eyes glaring up into his. Moving her hands in over his chest he saw her staring up at him almost confused by his actions. “Hit me again Angie. Hit me again.”

“Kevin, you need to stop,” Angela pointed out seeing him staring out at her, breathing in and out heavily. Seeing a muscle in his jaw tighten she felt the way his chest rose and fell as he breathed. “I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but something isn’t right.”

“You’re damn right something isn’t right. You’ve ruined life, you’ve broken my heart time and time again. When my heart gets even a little bit of a chance to get stronger and bigger, you break it down again. So come on, beat me up a little bit,” Kevin moved back putting his jaw out to her before touching the side of his face. “Come on there is no difference, breaking my heart was worse. So come on, ball up your fist and punch me. Maybe after you do that you and me will get that whole thing going like we used to. We could always hit the showers or something--like you probably do with every man.”

Letting her bad side get to her Angela balled up her fist getting ticked with what Kevin was saying to her as she watched him laugh and stand up straight and that’s when she decked him across the face seeing him turn away from her and look down toward the ground.

“I figured that’s the way you would go,” Kevin wiped at the bottom of his lip checking to see if it busted open after he bit it from the impact of her hit. Looking at himself in the mirror he shook his head slowly before looking back over his shoulder at her. “I was always right about you, you don’t care what goes on as long as you are alright. You can beat me up and tear me up inside, but you still wouldn’t care.”

“I don’t know what your problem is Kevin,” Angela pushed at the side of his shoulder seeing him turn to face her with a small scowl as she poked him in the center of the chest seeing the way that she looked up at him. “Ria breaking up with you wasn’t my fault because if you were just acting like this around her, then I would have broke up with you too.”

“No you wouldn’t have, you would break up with me for telling you I loved you,” Kevin pointed out seeing her step away from him and look down toward the ground as he chuckled. “But you know what? You want to know why she left me? You want to know why it’s your fault?”

“Yeah Kevin, I do,” she snapped right back seeing him move in closer to her as she took a few steps back until there was no more room to move when the wall met her back. “Why Kevin?”

“If you want to know why,” Kevin muttered staring down at her seeing her try to move away from him as he pressed his hands in against the wall so she couldn’t. “I’ll show you why.”

Before she could say anything else she felt Kevin bend down a bit to wrap his left hand around the back of her knee motioning her leg around his waist as she let out a small gasp.

“Kevin, what are you…,” Angela muttered only to be cut off my the hazardous way his lips met hers catching her totally off guard as she stayed still. Pressing her hands in over his shoulders she tried to push him back, but there was no use trying because he wasn’t moving.

Moving her fingers in over the back of his neck, she felt his tongue push past her lips and she closed her eyes moving her fingers in through his thick hair. Pulling back, Kevin let out a small breath before sliding his thumb in over the side of her neck and moving in to kiss her again, his lips moving up against hers as she felt his hips move in harder against her. Just from kissing him she could taste the drink he had earlier against his lips and that’s when she felt Kevin pull back quickly dropping her leg as she still had her eyes closed, shocked by what was going on.

“I think I’m lost,” Angela muttered trying to stand still not knowing what he was going to be doing next as she started to hear what sounded like cries coming from Kevin and she opened her eyes to see him sitting on the floor, his back pressed against the cabinet as he had his face buried in his hands. “Kevin.”

“Just leave me alone,” Kevin whispered feeling his own body shaking as she stared down at him and he turned away from her. “I’m sorry I treated you like that, just leave me alone.”

“Kevin, what is it?” Angela got to her knees reaching out to touch his shoulder, feeling his body shaking against her fingertips as she rubbed his shoulder gently. “Kevin, come on. Talk to me.”

Hearing a silence come from him she decided that maybe in time he would talk to her again as she went to get up and she saw him turn toward her, his eyes red as he met her glance.

“Why couldn’t you just leave me alone?” Kevin questioned feeling the moisture against his cheeks as he pressed his hands in over his eyes again feeling Angela sit down next to him. “If you would have just left me alone, I would have never fallen for you like I did. I would have never been in love, I would have never had to go through all this pain. Why did you have to do this to me?”

“Kevin,” Angela was stuck on words as she heard his sobs fill her ears as she caressed his shoulder gently watching him keep as much eye contact he could away from her. “Kevin, come on. You need to stop.”

“I’m being serious Angela,” he lifted his head up to shoot her a glance to show her that he was really was in pain from what was going on in his life. “If I wouldn’t have fallen in love with you so hard, I’d have a normal life. I would be married by now and I would have a child. I wouldn’t be here with you crying on you’re boyfriend’s bathroom floor. I thought I had a chance to move on and I loved Ria so much, but she left me and I’m alone again. I’m never going to be happy, no one loves me. No one.”

“Kevin come on,” Angela hushed wrapping her arm around his shoulders tightly, feeling his head rest against her shoulder as his body shook and she held onto him tightly. “You know Ria loves you, even I know that. I saw you two and I know you love each other.”

“I thought so too,” Kevin agreed closing his eyes tightly feeling her give him a small squeeze before he shook his head slowly. “I screwed it up again because I thought I loved you. I thought my heart would never give up on you and that’s what happened. I wanted my heart to belong to Ria and when it did, the want from wanting you was in my past, but it was brought back for her to leave me again.”

“Kevin, I don’t understand,” Angela made Kevin look up at her as she caressed his rough cheek gently, seeing the way that he was staring up at her. “You have to be more clear, I just--I’m having a hard time.”

“I love you and I will always love you,” Kevin gulped down seeing the way she looked out at him and he felt her fingers move in through his short hair, “but I love Ria more. Just loving you got me here and I can’t love you any longer. If I still love you, I‘m never going to move on because of you don‘t love me and I have to deal with that, but I‘m going to lose everything if I don’t stop caring just the least bit.”

“Kevin, we’re always going to love each other. It’s something no one can stop us from having,” Angela hushed him feeling his head rest against her shoulder as she took in a sharp breath. “We’ve both moved on though and if no one can see that, then they are wrong.”

“Have we moved on?” Kevin looked up into her dark eyes seeing her frown as he moved away from her scooting away from her a little. “Hell, you probably have moved on, but I have been stuck in this stupid world where I loved you and it screwed me over. Even loving you less than Ria got me in trouble and I loved her more than almost anything.”

“Kevin, I love you too,” she answered seeing him look over at her with his eyebrows tensed together as she reached out to squeeze his arm gently. “I mean come on, who wouldn’t love someone like you? You’re sweet, romantic, and you’re sexy as hell.”

“Now you’re just kissing my ass,” Kevin pointed out with a small roll of his eyes enclosing his fingers together before resting his elbows against his knees. Staring out at the wall he let out a long sigh before dropping his head down. “I just wish you were right and Ria felt that way. She’s my everything and I don’t want to lose her. I just can’t ever let go of you which means I’m screwed.”

“Kevin, you can let go of me,” Angela whispered moving in closer to him and seeing him lift his head up to look at her. She moved in front of him reaching out to touch his cheek gently seeing the way that his brown eyes stared into hers. “I know you can, you just think you can’t.”

“That’s easy for you to say because you already did let go. I‘m not like you, I just can‘t let go of something that was my everything. Something that is still my everything,” Kevin replied seeing Angela look away from him for a moment as he reached his right hand out to caress her cheek with his thumb. “Maybe I can’t let go because you’re the only piece of her that I have left.”

“What?” Angela’s nose wrinkled as she met Kevin’s glance seeing him nod slowly before she took in a deep breath and shrugged her shoulders. “Let’s stand up, this floor is getting to me.”

“Alright,” Kevin nodded getting to his knee and he saw her stand up quickly and pressing his hand in over the floor, Kevin saw Angela’s dress slide from her shoulders and fall to her ankles as he looked down. “Gee, if you left the zipper undone like that--you might be the center of the wedding there.”

“Sorry,” Angela went to bend down, but saw Kevin start to pull up the dress slowly motioning her to hold her arms out as he stood up. Feeling him step in behind her she watched him slip the dress in over her shoulders before moving his fingers in over the back of her dress. “Brant forgot to zip it for me.”

“It’s alright,” Kevin whispered looking into the mirror seeing her almost looking worried as he stood behind her, sliding his right hand in over her shoulder slowly. “Going back to what we were originally talking about--I think I have a hard time letting you go because I miss her. You’re all I have left of her.”

Seeing him glance at her once last time in the mirror she saw him shake his head slowly before walking out of the bathroom and into the bedroom. Sitting there for a moment she couldn’t help but feel bad for him as she rushed out into the bedroom seeing him walking over toward the dresser.

“Kevin, hold on,” Angela reached out to grab his arm as he looked down at her and she frowned knowing that Brant would be listening closely. Moving over toward the radio she turned it on and turned the volume up quite a bit before motioning Kevin over toward the bed. “We need to talk about this Kevin. We need to know how to move on.”

“I can’t move on,” Kevin pointed out seeing her dark eyes staring out into his after they had sat down on the bed. Taking in a deep breath he shook his head slowly. “Sixteen years---does that mean nothing to you? There isn’t one bit of love for me left in you and I can’t believe that. I love two wonderful women and I felt like an idiot, but how can you let go of something that was your everything for sixteen years?”

“Kevin,” she looked down toward the ground feeling his hand reach out to touch the side of her face as she turned to look to him. Feeling his thumb caressing her cheek gently she took in a deep breath and closed her eyes. “I’ll always love you, just like you loved me. Like you said, it was sixteen years. I just have to move on and so do you.”

“I can’t when I every time I look at you I think of what could have been,” Kevin muttered in a half slur as he cupped her face in his hands gently, his thumbs caressing the side of her face. Moving forward his breath skimmed over her lips as she froze up, not knowing what to do as she felt his lips press in over hers gently. Feeling his lips teasing over hers she closed her eyes knowing that she felt bad for him, with what happened and he was drunk--that’s why he was saying all of this. If Ria didn’t break his heart, he would still be with her right now. A small breath escaped her lips as she felt him tilt his head to the side and his tongue pushed in past her lips and her eyes opened almost surprised as she felt his gentle caress. “You’ve always meant so much to me.”

“Kevin,” she muttered trying to get a word in only to feel his lips press in over her neck as she ran her fingers through his hair, gently tugging on it to get him to back up a bit. “Kevin hold on.”

“What?” Kevin muttered moving in over her and leaning her back against the bed as his lips pressed in over hers again. Feeling her fingers move in over his back, Kevin reached down and caressed her stomach gently before curling his arm around her waist.

“Kevin,” Angela closed her eyes feeling his lips press in over her neck again, his tongue caressing her skin slowly as she knew this would happen with him so upset. Pressing her hands into the center of his chest, she pushed him back roughly seeing the confusion behind his eyes as she shook her head slowly and sat up. “You’re going to have to let go of her and me Kevin. We were young.”

“You think that changes anything? You think because I was young and I was a teenager and so were you that I’m going to stop thinking about her?” Kevin snapped staring out at her before shaking his head slowly seeing her stand up from the bed as he sat up. Feeling a muscle tightening up in his jaw he shook his head firmly. “You expect me to let go of our daughter? She’d be sixteen right now Angie and you know what? I may have been young and yeah we made a mistake in not using a condom, but almost having her wasn’t a mistake. If she was here right now she would be my everything and I know I have bad luck because I should have a child. I should be a father.”

“You will be one day,” Angela hushed Kevin seeing him getting more upset by the minute as she reached out to touch Kevin seeing him pull away from her and stand up from the bed. “You will, that was just one time.”

“One time? One time? You know as well as me that when Cary was still around,” Kevin began seeing Angela’s eyes widen as he nodded slowly and bit down on his bottom lip. “You know that could have been mine too and that was another one you lost. So hell, that probably was my child.”

“That wasn’t yours Kevin,” Angela pointed out seeing Kevin roll his eyes before walking over toward the bedroom door again. Reaching out she grabbed his arm before he could leave and he turned to her angrily. “We’re not done, we have more we need to talk about.”

“You know, it’s not even fair,” he muttered backing up against the wall and staring out at her, moving his hand in over her abdomen. “You didn’t even want kids and I have wanted since I was eighteen when I had that chance. I want to be a dad and I have been with you longer which is why it isn’t fair that Brant is having them before me when you two didn’t even want kids. I wanted to have a child so bad and Ria was the woman I wanted to have one with which really ended badly because of you and Chris. Since he showed her a tape of me kissing you, I’ve been screwed and I’ll never have a baby Angie. I’m thirty-four years old and I’ll never have a baby of my own.”

“Kevin,” Angela reached out to touch him seeing him pull back from her again and hold his hands up in the air, shaking his head slowly. “You’ll have a family one day, you know it.”

“Why did you choose him over me?” Kevin questioned out of no where as he looked down at the ground, his jaw flexing in anger as his light brown eyes met hers. “Why were Russ and Brant better for you than me? What did they have that I don’t?”

“Kevin, come on,” she reached out to touch his arm seeing him look down at her hand before his eyes met hers again. “You know you are as perfect as the rest.”

“Not perfect enough for you,” Kevin pulled his arm away from her shaking his head slowly before letting out a small laugh. “What was it that made them different? The fact that they were some random screw? The fact that they weren’t someone who had been in your life since you were fifteen. Was it because I was willing to give up everything for you so you just kind of took everything from me? I’m not quite sure what it was, but what made them better than me?”

“They aren’t better than you,” Angela snapped seeing Kevin's glare shooting down upon her as she moved back seeing his angered eyes watching her carefully. “This isn’t a competition. I love Brant and he loves me.”

“Are you telling me that you never loved me? That what we had never meant anything? Sixteen years worth of a relationship Angie equaled out to nothing for you. Sure it was off and on, but still. Some married couples aren’t even together that long and still some how you can just let go like nothing ever happened. We had a daughter and we had a life,” Kevin snapped seeing the way she stared out at him as he shook his head slowly. “I was always there Angie, but you didn’t care. You never cared, I always was there for you, but it was like you had to rub these guys in my face. Cary and Chris, yeah they were a pain for a while but after that, you were with me. I never left, I was always there for you, it was you that turned your back on me.”

“Kevin, seriously,” Angela went to say something more before seeing Kevin roll his eyes and walk over toward the door as she called out to him again. “Kevin, don’t you leave here when you are more confused than I have ever seen you.”

“You know what? Screw you, screw your thoughts and leave me the hell alone. I’m not confused Angela, I just have a broken heart, you’re the confused one. It’s obvious you moved on when it comes to our family and our daughter,” Kevin walked toward the bedroom door hearing her following him as he pushed the dresser out of the way. “Just leave me the hell alone because I don’t want to see your face.”

“Kevin,” Angela tried calling out once more seeing Kevin open the door and walk out as Brant quickly appeared running into the room. Moving in closer to her she felt him move his hands in over her shoulders. “Don’t worry, I’m okay. He’s just upset. Let him go and he’ll be fine later.”


“Still haven’t called him back yet, huh?” Trisha frowned seeing Ria still seated on the couch she’d been at when she’d arrived earlier. Now carefully setting the clothes that she took the liberty of ‘borrowing’ from Ria aside she walked over to her sister and shook her head. “Ria you’re hopeless. You know that, don’t you?”

“Trisha it’s not like I can just ignore what I saw,” Ria sighed heavily feeling that moment play in her mind over and over again, “I know what kind of heartbreak I’ll be putting myself in for if I don’t listen to what my head is telling me.”

“Yeah but what about your heart Ria? What about how you feel for Kevin?” Trisha questioned with a small frown, “I know that you love him, yet you’re being so stubborn and…”

“And if I go back to Kevin and he leaves me to go be with Angela…” Ria started to complain again seeing her sister moving back over to where she’d set Ria’s clothing.

“If you do nothing Ria, then you’re only setting yourself up to lose everything,” Trisha explained with disapproval in her tone, “If you don’t fight for the man you love you may as well be handing him over to Angela. I hope you realize that.”

“It’s not that…” Ria started to argue watching Trisha move over to her door, “Hey where do you think you’re going with my things?”

“Unlike my stubborn sister who would rather mope alone I have a date,” Trisha smiled proudly before throwing out one last warning look to her older sister, “and if you’re smart you’ll think about doing the same after you call Kevin to talk to him.”

“Trisha you don’t understand,” Ria argued once again.

“No, I do Ria which is why I really think you should call,” Trisha threw out at her one last time before leaving Ria alone in her apartment to stew over what her sister had said.

Was it possible that she’d been giving Kevin too much grief over something that was really nothing? Could his kissing Angie been a mistake that he could easily explain? Then again how could a man explain kissing another woman in such a way that it would be okay and acceptable?

“He still loves her. That’s why he did it,” she heard a voice in the back of her head telling her over and over again, yet her heart was yearning to speak with him, to talk to him and find a way to get over what had happened once she’d watched that tape.

“Damn it,” Ria cursed tossing the pillow she’d been holding onto. Her sister hadn’t helped the situation she realized as her gaze was fixed on the phone in front of her. Before she’d been ready to lock herself up and keep her thoughts of Kevin inside--to stew over how upset she’d felt, but now… Shaking her head she groaned once more throwing her hands in the air.

“This is ridiculous,” she cursed spinning around to look at the phone again. Could she really do it? Could she call him and ask to talk? Was that really something that she would be able to bring herself to do or would she start to dial and then chicken out before she followed through? Would she…?

Before her thought was completed the phone started to ring and Ria’s heart flip flopped in her chest. She found herself filled with an anticipation and a hope that maybe just maybe Kevin had decided he wasn’t about to give up on reaching out to her. Perhaps he too had been consumed with thoughts of her like she had of him and he was calling to make another attempt. Maybe he missed her like crazy like she missed him. That hope caused her to rush over to the phone. She reached for it hearing it ring again, but found herself frozen in the moment. Fear and eagerness filled her, but would she be bold enough to just answer?

“It’s now or never,” Ria mouthed to herself biting down on her lower lip before sucking in a sharp breath. She grabbed the phone with shaky hands bringing it up to her ear as she prepared to try to make things work with Kevin. She could ask him to come over and talk and maybe just maybe things would even themselves out. Yes, that wasn’t totally out of the question. However, as she started to speak into the phone she realized that all her thoughts were irrelevant to the moment when she heard an unfamiliar voice on the other end of the line.

“Hello Ms. Merhan. I was just calling to confirm your reservations for this week,” the voice informed her, “They weren’t clear at the hospital as to whether or not you would be traveling alone or with a guest for this event.”

“I never specified whether I was or not,” Ria admitted in a low tone bummed out that Kevin hadn’t been the caller.

“Well that’s why I’m calling,” the woman on the other end of the line explained, “We were looking for an exact count for what’s ahead. I realize that this might be a bad time, but…”

“No it’s not a bad time,” Ria sucked in a sharp breath reaching for the framed photo she had of her and Kevin on the table next to the phone. She felt her hands still shaking, her heart still filled with so many mixed emotions as she thought about the trip she was taking and how she’d wanted Kevin to join her. Now that seemed out of the question and as she heard the woman on the other end of the line pressing for an answer again, she made her decision about what she must do, “I’ll be traveling alone this time. There will be just me.”


“Got the diaper bag?” Avery questioned looking around the living room to make sure they weren’t forgetting something for Erin’s first appearance at the wedding.

“Check,” Russ proudly held the tote up over his shoulder and offered a small smile.

“And the bottles?” Avery asked again seeing Erin’s favorite blanket on the couch. She moved to reach for it when she spotted Russ beating her to the punch and snagging the blanket before she had the chance to.

“Got them,” Russ winked at her taking a look around himself, “I think we’re pretty much set for Erin’s social debut in town.”

“Then I guess we’re good to go,” Avery decided before a gasp fell from her lips, “but I still feel like we’re forgetting something.”

“No Avery I’m telling you I have everything right in this baby,” Russ patted the diaper bag on his side before a thought occurred to him.

“Erin!” both of them spoke their daughter’s name in unison hearing her voice her protest from the bedroom in her crib where they had set her after they had gotten her dressed.

“I can take care of this one,” Russ decided hearing the doorbell ring. “That’s probably Kevin and Ria. I told them to meet us here the other day.”

“I’ll let them in,” Avery decided watching Russ go off to collect their daughter before she turned to open the front door. Unlocking it she was surprised to see Kevin standing alone before her, his back turned to her.

“Hey Kevin, come on in,” Avery began only to watch him let out a small shiver, his eyes still away from her when she heard a muffled sound. She stepped forward seeing that he appeared to be shaking and immediately worry pressed in over her. Tentatively she touched his shoulder only to feel him spin around and reach out to embrace her.

“I’m so sorry,” Kevin sobbed squeezing her tightly in his arms, “I don’t mean to come over here like this and make a scene, but…”

“Kevin,” Avery made a strange face feeling his arms squeeze her tighter than before.

“I’m so sorry to bother you, but Ria’s not talking to me and Chris, well that jackass found another way to screw up my life once again. I’ve lost her and she won’t talk to me,” Kevin continued to cry on Avery’s shoulder causing her to worry about the oversized man on her doorstep.

“We’re ready to go,” Russ started circling around the corner of the hall only to discover Kevin bawling in Avery’s arms. He held Erin close to him seeing Avery do her best to try to urge Kevin to come inside while he continued sobbing. Once she’d spun around still holding onto Kevin, she and Russ exchanged looks.

“Kevin, what happened?” Russ couldn’t help but ask moving over to join the two of them.

“My world fell apart. That’s what happened,” Kevin bit down on his words in an uncharacteristically miserable tone. His brown eyes raised up to look at Russ and a small scowl touched over his frustrated features, “Chris managed to find a way to dig the knife right through my heart. I’ve lost everything now…”

“I’m sure that’s not true,” Avery offered up exchanging another worried glance with Russ before motioning for him to help with the situation.

“Oh it’s true,” Kevin mouthed shaking his head poignantly, “Thanks to Chris it’s damn true. Ria doesn’t want anything to do with me. She told me it was over and now all I can do is think about how pathetic I am. I tried to move forward--really tried to get on with my life, but each and every time I start to live again the past comes back to haunt me and kick me right in the balls so to speak.”

“Kevin I…” Russ found himself at a loss as he held onto Erin.

“Sorry about that,” Kevin tilted his head to the side to look at Avery. He took a small step back and inhaled a breath slowly, “I’m sorry for sounding so crude there in saying that.”

“Hey just because I’m not a man doesn’t mean I can’t relate,” she offered up a weak smile before motioning to the living room. “Come on inside. We’ll see what’s going on.”

“I just don’t get it,” Kevin decided walking through the living room, “I mean I tried to do the right thing--to keep from making an ass of myself and get caught up in the trap again, but even when I try to do the right thing something always happens.”

“Hey, it’s going to be okay. I’m sure whatever misunderstanding you and Ria had with one another it can be fixed,” Russ offered up supportively handing Erin to Avery and making his way over to where Kevin had plopped down on the couch. “Maybe she just needs time to cool down.”

“She saw me kissing Angie,” Kevin blurted out painfully, “Chris made some damned video tape and made it look a lot worse than it was.”

“Wait a second,” Avery’s eyes widened in response, “Are you saying that Ria found out that you were cheating on her?”

“I’m not cheating on her. I never cheated on her and I never would,” Kevin insisted firmly bringing his fingers up through his thick, dark hair, “But damn Angie and all of her issues keep sucking me back into the dark places I don’t want to go back into. I mean first with her getting pregnant and then with coming to town and…”

“Wait you got someone pregnant,” Avery’s eyes grew larger yet.

“No,” Russ quickly answered before Kevin had the chance, “Angie’s got some jackass she was sleeping with and they got pregnant. Kevin was just trying to take care of her when the father of the babies wasn’t around.”

“And I should’ve walked away before I got in over my head,” Kevin sighed dropping his head down to look at the floor, “I always let her get me caught up in her drama and by the time I can take claim on my life again it’s too late. Chris already found a way to make sure that I lost Ria too. As if everything else that happened wasn’t enough…”

“What does Chris have to do with you kissing another woman?” Avery couldn’t help but ask curiosity pouring over her at what it was that had Kevin so upset.

“He was the one who taped it except he didn’t let Ria see the whole picture. He sent her some damned video tape that had no volume and Ria couldn’t hear that the kiss wasn’t one that was meant to take away from our relationship,” Kevin tried to explain himself gazing up at Avery to see the same eyes that he’d found himself in over his head with where Angie was concerned. At the moment the similarities between the two women was overwhelming and he had to look away, “After I saw Erin I went over to see Angie because she and I were together once. We had a daughter that died…”

“I remember you mentioned something to me about a daughter,” Avery suddenly realized what he was saying, “and this Angie was your ex-lover right?”

Kevin nodded, “We haven’t been together in years, but after I saw Erin and how beautiful she was, I went over to see Angie and talk about my daughter--our daughter. I had to get it all off my chest about what I was feeling since I wasn’t there to see her--to hold her just once before she died. I missed out on that because of the work I was doing for her father and it was something that I’ve always blamed myself for. If I had been there--if I hadn’t gone away, then my little girl could still be alive and…”

“And you’d still be with Angie,” Russ realized seeing something cross over Kevin’s features.

“That’s not important,” Kevin shook his head adamantly, “What is right now is that I can’t change the past and I don’t want to go back. If I could make one thing different it would be for me to have my daughter in my life. She’s the only part of my past with Angie that I would want to hold onto and that’s what I was telling Angie when Chris took that video. It wasn’t about my wanting to be with her or wanting to have a future with her. Ria is my future. She is the only woman for me and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love her.”

“Then tell her that. Tell her that you care about her--that it was a misunderstanding,” Avery piped in hating to see Kevin so upset.

“I saw how you reacted to hearing I kissed another woman. Imagine how upset Ria was in seeing it first hand,” Kevin tossed back at her with a pointed stare.

“Okay, I see your point,” Avery noted taking a step in closer to him, “though if you try to talk to her.”

“What’s the point?” Kevin shrugged his shoulders solemnly. “She’s not interested in hearing it and I may as well just realize that happiness isn’t happening for me.”

“Sure it is. Maybe if I talk to Ria and explain things…maybe I could help,” Russ suggested as Erin made a small sound stretching her hand out towards where Kevin was. She patted his arm in the hopes of getting his attention.

“I don’t know if it’ll do any good,” Kevin sighed heavily sinking his head down again only to feel Erin’s touch on his arm. He forced himself to look up and see her curious eyes upon him. She smiled and clapped her hands together before stretching her arms out at him. He couldn’t help but smile, “Hey beautiful.”

Erin made a small sound before wiggling in her father’s arms. Russ and Avery made eye contact with one another before Avery nodded and Russ looked to Kevin.

“Would you like to hold her?” Russ questioned seeing how Kevin’s face lit up upon seeing Erin.

“Are you…are you sure?” Kevin asked in a small voice, his brown eyes still focused on Erin.

“Sure,” Avery answered for her husband, “because I know that’s one little lady who would love to be in your arms right now.”

“I’d love to have her in them,” Kevin confessed carefully pulling Erin into his arms. His face twisted with a wide grin as she reached for his finger and giggled, “Hey pretty girl. How are you doing?”

Erin squealed and clapped her hands together again.

“I think you have just made her day,” Avery admitted walking around to the back of the couch to take a seat on it. She looked down at Erin who was focused intently on Kevin. “She wasn’t exactly thrilled about the idea of going to the wedding.”

“I can’t say I blame her on that seeing as my date won’t even speak to me,” Kevin shuddered at the thought feeling his heart sink at the memory of Ria’s face passed through his mind.

“Just give her time. She’ll come around,” Russ suggested with genuine concern behind his words. “I know she loves you.”

“Very much,” Avery piped in sliding her arm around Russell’s waist and giving him a small squeeze. “I’m sure she’ll talk to you sooner or later.”

“I just don’t know,” Kevin sighed again before facing Erin, “What do you think pretty girl? Think it’s hopeless for me?”

Erin wrinkled her nose and made another sound that caused Kevin to laugh. A second later she stuck her tongue out at him which was promptly followed by a loud burp.

“Well that’s reassuring,” Kevin couldn’t help but chuckle in surprise at how loud Erin was.

“I think that is breakfast talking,” Avery moved in to reach for Erin.

“I can handle this one,” Kevin waved his hand at Avery before holding Erin over his shoulder. He ran his fingers over her tiny back before whispering warmly in her ear, “You’re just trying to clown around for me aren’t you?”

Erin reached for his dark hair and tugged on it gently before laying her head on his shoulder. She let out a long sigh and Kevin could feel her relaxing in his arms.

“You certainly do have the magic touch,” Russ noted seeing how at ease their daughter was in Kevin’s arms. “Come to think of it, why don’t you go with us to the wedding?”

“I came over here to say that I probably shouldn’t go now considering that…” Kevin began stopping only to hear the sound of Erin’s breathing against his neck. He tipped his head back ever so slightly to see her eyelids growing heavy as she snuggled in on his shoulder.

“Erin would love to have you as her date,” Avery tossed out at him with a small smile, “and besides I don’t think you should be alone right now.”

“I didn’t come over here to bother you both,” Kevin offered up feeling a bit guilty for dumping his problems on Russ and Avery.

“You didn’t bother us. In fact, we could use you right about now since I’m standing up in this wedding,” Russ noted the time, “although I might not make it in time if we don’t get moving soon.”

“So what do you say Kevin?” Avery asked again, “Will you go with us?”

“Well, I guess I can fit it in,” Kevin finally decided knowing full well that being with Russ, Avery and Erin was just the kind of distraction he needed to keep him stewing over the fact that he’d lost the woman he loved forever.


“You can’t be serious,” Diane’s jaw dropped as she realized that Andy had flashed her his bright blue eyes indicating that there was more behind his intentions than his mere words had expressed. Uneasily she took a small step backwards and cleared her throat before gulping, “are you?”

“What do you think?” he questioned leisurely giving her a long once over. He stepped in closer to her before his grin expanded.”

“I think if you’re truly serious, you need therapy,” Diane scoffed in response feeling a tiny shudder carrying over her. While she’d once thought she couldn’t be without him around her, there was something about him that felt different lately. Maybe she had grown up, or perhaps it was just something about him that had changed, but whatever it was she found that she’d finally reached a point in her life where she hadn’t been charmed by him. “Andy if you think for a second that you and I have anything ahead of us…”

“Relax,” he held his hands up in the air defensively, a laugh bubbling over his lips. “I was just joking. Honestly Diane I’m not planning on going down that road again anytime soon.”

“Excuse me,” she blinked back at him with a huff.

“Ever,” he corrected himself with a frown, “Obviously we both learned from our mistake and regardless of how nice it was, we won’t go back.”

“If you were under some misguided impression that I wanted to go back, then you have no clue about the way things really are,” Diane challenged standing taller and facing him down, “As for Deidra, the smartest thing you can do for the both of you is just give her the divorce. I seriously doubt you want to be married to her anymore than she wants to be married to you, so why bother making things difficult? You want your freedom and once you have it I can’t begin to imagine why you would want to even bother with my sister. You’ve both moved on.”

“She’s still my wife Diane,” Andy corrected with a shake of his head, “and I would like to make some progress with her. I hate what’s happened with us and I was hoping that since you were part of the problem in the past that you could help me smooth over the waters.”

“Whoa, just wait a minute,” Diane blinked up at him in a state of disbelief, “Are you trying to pin what happened between us solely on me?”

“If you hadn’t tried to seduce me all those times, then maybe I would’ve been able to resist what happened on my honeymoon night. Perhaps it would’ve changed the whole direction of my marriage, so you owe me. You need to help me fix things with Deidra,” Andy tossed out at her with a heavy frown.

“What I need is to tell you to take a hike because it’s not happening,” Diane snapped back at him placing her hands on her hips impatiently, “so you can just leave now.”

“Diane, you’re going to help me,” he reached out to grab her arm only to feel a hand clasp over his wrist.

“Maybe you weren’t listening Andy, but Diane told you to take a hike,” Ben’s voice interrupted in a sharp, abrasive tone. “Now I could call security and have them escort you to the elevators if you’d like or we can just leave it at this and you can go of your own free will.”

Andy glared at Diane for a moment before relenting and taking a step back. He glared over at Ben before nodding, “I was just on my way out anyways.”

“Glad to hear it,” Ben watched Andy walk over across the area and into the elevator in his retreat. Once he was gone Ben turned to Diane again, “Hey, are you okay?”

“Yeah I’m fine,” Diane nodded reaching out to embrace him. She placed her head in the center of his chest. He offered up a small squeeze of his arms around her. “He’s such a jerk.”

“Clearly,” Ben pulled back enough to meet her eyes. He touched her cheek gently before speaking up in a low voice, “What did he want?”

“To remind me all over again of why I was stupid to ever believe he was anything special,” Diane groaned inwardly thinking about all Andy had said to her. “He’s so full of himself and when it gets down to it, he’s nothing.”

“If he tries to bother you again,” Ben started only to feel her tip up on her toes and silence him with a kiss.

“Trust me Ben I appreciate your help, but I’m not going to let him bully me. He’s not that lucky to get that kind of power over me,” Diane assured him knowing full well that while Andy wanted to be threatening, she wasn’t about to let him intimidate her. If he thought he had any chance of reuniting with Deidra, then he was even more misguided than Diane had thought. Still she wasn’t about to feed into his warped delusions about how the future should be where Andy was concerned. He wasn’t her problem anymore.


“Made it back just in time,” Kellen smiled proudly quickly walking up the sidewalk to see that Kipp’s car was still in the same place it was before he left. Quietly he opened up the front door and slowly sneaked in before closing the door behind himself. When he turned around again he ran right into something making him let out a small gasp. “My dear Kipp, don’t sneak up on people like that.”

“What in the world are you doing?” Kipp questioned seeing Kellen shrug his shoulders before walking over toward the couch and sitting down slowly. Seeing Kipp follow him Kellen closed his eyes and put his hands behind his head. “Seriously, what in the world are you and Kyle up to?”

“We’re not really up to anything,” Kellen pointed out with a small yawn as he reached out toward the remote to turn the television on. Setting the remote back down Kellen looked down towards his tie and fixed it slowly before shrugging his shoulders. “We’re just friends hanging out--that’s all.”

“Oh bull crap,” Kipp snapped seeing Kellen turn to face him with a shocked look on his face as Kipp shook his head slowly. Sitting down on the other side of the couch, Kipp’s jaw clenched in anger as he thought about the things that were going to take place in just a couple of hours “Before this Kyle couldn’t even stand you, so what’s the change? What’s going on Kellen?”

“Oh okay,” Kellen rolled his eyes sitting forward and letting out a small excited laugh and rubbing his hands together. Looking over at Kipp with his blue eyes he wiggled his eyebrows up and down before speaking up again. “What we have been doing is something important for the wedding. You’ll find out soon what it is.”

“You know, how can you take part in something like this?” Kipp questioned angrily standing up from the couch and throwing his hands up in the air as he spoke up again. “I can’t believe that you are taking such a big part in this wedding when you know Heather loves Kyle. I thought that Heather was your best friend and you are doing this to her. You aren’t the Kellen that I thought you were and…,”

“Hold on before you get your panties in a total twist,” Kellen hushed Kipp standing up from the couch and throwing his hands up in the air. “You need to realize that I am doing this for Heather and I need to say these in words to you that are kind of small. Heather is going to get what she wants.”

“What are you talking about?” Kipp questioned angrily before shaking his head slowly and taking in a deep breath seeing the way Kellen placed his finger over his mouth to hush Kipp. “Why are you telling me to be quiet? You know that Heather loves Kyle and…,”

“Kyle loves Heather,” Kellen placed his hand over Kipp’s lips firmly before shaking his head slowly. Seeing Kipp’s dark eyes widen as Kellen shook his head motioning him to be quiet. “I can’t explain to you fully what’s going on, but trust me baby. You’re going to love this.”

“I don’t know what you and Kyle are up to,” Kipp muttered seeing Kellen walk over toward the corner of the room to pick up a bag and throw it over his shoulder. “I just hope that the both of you actually know what you are doing.”

“Trust me honey,” Kellen smirked patting the bag gently and wiggling his eyebrows up and down. “I think I know just exactly what I’m doing and Heather will be able to forgive Kyle and me. Trust me when I say that.”


“So tell me are there anymore surprises in store for us tonight?” Heather couldn’t help but ask watching Chris walk across his kitchen to pull some ice out of his freezer. She watched him wince as he used his hip to close the door behind him.

“Not that I know of, though I must admit when I wanted our date to be action packed I never imagined that it would start off by me getting my butt kicked so to speak,” Chris admitted with a goofy grin doing his best to try to pull some ice from the tray in front of him.

“Let me help you,” Heather suggested seeing the difficulty that Chris was having with the tray. She walked over to him gently and pushed him out of the way and brought her hands to the chilled tray. A tiny shiver raced over her as she closed her eyes and found herself thinking back to another place and time.

“Let me do it Heather,” she could hear Kyle’s voice in the back of her mind, his breath whispering over her neck and causing a new set of tremors over her. She’d closed her eyes and tipped her head back only to feel his hands pressing in over hers.

“Come on Heather,” his low, sultry tone had urged, his fingers coaxing her to let him do what she’d set out to start when she’d invited him inside for some lemonade.

“I’m perfectly capable of getting ice out of a tray,” she’d pouted tipping her head back ever so slightly only to feel him rest his chin on her shoulder.

“At least let me help you,” Kyle’s fingers pressed in against her wrist, his thumb brushing her pulse point as a ragged breath escaped her lips.

“I said I could do it,” Heather spoke up in a faint, raspy tone, her insides turning to mush at the smallest contact between them.

“I’m sure you’re fully capable, but I would much rather we do it together,” Kyle urged her on, his finger tip sliding up under her arm until his arm snaked around her waist. He stepped forward, the solid strength of his body firm and inviting against her.

“Maybe there is something to be said about my taking the lead for once,” she’d mustered up the courage to speak, her words nearly as shaky as she felt in his arms, yet she’d tried to play the role of the temptress.

“As it stands I think I’ve already beat you to the punch on that,” Kyle challenged his palm pressing in over her abdomen before she felt his thick fingers slide up underneath the front of her loose fitting t-shirt.

“Kyle,” she spoke his name ready to fall to pieces in his arms when she’d felt the first contact of the ice cube he’d managed to steal from the ice tray on her skin.

She squealed in surprise and yelped as she reached for the rest of the tray. She held onto it tightly, spinning in his arms and bringing it down over his head. The ice splattered all over the kitchen, but not before Kyle collected her in his arms again, chuckling with delight at having caught her off guard.

“You’re such a jerk,” she swatted at his chest lightly, half meaning it as he held her.

“Jerk or not, you still love me,” Kyle noted leaning in to press his lips to hers in a slow, exploratory kiss--a kiss that to this day Heather couldn’t forget.

“Hey Heather,” Chris cleared his throat eyeing her expectantly as he tapped on the counter top, “I think the ice is melting already.”

“Oh right,” Heather snapped out of her daze refusing to go back to that time in her life when she’d been hopelessly in lust for Kyle. Yes, she’d thought it to be love, but if it was love then he would have been with her, not Sarah. They would be together and life would’ve been very different. Instead she was here with Chris and Kyle was…

“Hey, are you okay,” Chris touched her shoulder gently seeing the way she appeared to be distracted. “I know you weren’t planning on Kevin coming around and using me as a human punching bag, but I can assure you that even with the bumps and bruises I’m still ready for our date.”

“It’s not that…” she replied feeling a blush rise over her features, “I mean yes I was surprised to see you and Kevin fighting…come to think of it what was that about exactly?”

“A misunderstanding, but I can assure you I won’t let one like that happen again,” Chris smiled at her confidently though his words were a bit more shaky than Heather was sure he’d intended. “Kevin won’t be a problem for our dinner tonight or anyone else for that matter, so why don’t I make us a couple of drinks first so that we can relax and enjoy this evening ahead of us?”

“Yeah sure,” Heather sighed glancing out into Chris’s yard thinking about how long she’d waited to find this life that she was in. She’d worked hard to pull herself up from the bottom where she’d been stuck for so very long and now that she had achieved that, she had been hoping that life would be perfect. She knew how to play the game and play it well, but then Kyle entered her life again and changed all the rules. He had managed to turn her world upside down and make her see things that she hadn’t wanted to see.

“You know I don’t get it,” Chris beckoned her once again. He took a step towards her holding out the glass of wine he‘d obviously poured for her, “I mean here you are with me, yet I feel like you’re millions of miles away. What gives?”

“I guess you could say I’m thinking about the past,” Heather sighed openly her thoughts returning to Kyle once again, “I mean I don’t get how someone could have absolutely everything in front of them, yet they don’t get it. I mean how could he not see what we have with one another? How could he not know how important our being together is?”

“I’m not following,” Chris replied with a strange expression, “Heather what’s going on?”

“I just don’t see why Kyle is going to marry Sarah today when it’s obvious that they so aren’t right for one another,” she shook her head adamantly. “I mean he wouldn’t have kissed me if he didn’t love me, right? He wouldn’t have been around me like he’s been flirting and teasing and…”

“Did you just say kissed?” Chris’s eyes widened at her remark.

“It wasn’t just the kissing. It was the way that he made me feel…the way I wanted to believe that there was something there. I thought he believed it too, but instead of doing what I thought he would he’s decided he’s just going to throw all that away and marry her. Her of all people! I mean what is it about me and men? Why can’t I just have the one I’m interested in finally just be interested in me? I mean I thought the interest was there, but…”

“Um Heather can we back up to that whole kiss thing?” Chris blurted out still surprised by what he’d heard. “Are you saying that you and Kyle…?”

“I really tried not to fall for him again especially now of all times, but it just sort of happened. There he was and here I am. We just kind of got back into the old routine and…” Heather shook her head adamantly. “I can’t believe that I’m letting this happen. I can’t believe that I’m resorting back to the whole teenage logic where Kyle is concerned. He doesn’t love me. He’s not going to be with me. He wants to be with Sarah because he’s marrying her, not me and…”

“And I think you had better slow down,” Chris placed his hands on her arms to bring her back to the here and now, “maybe you should start by telling me everything from the beginning.”

“That’s a story I really don’t want to get into considering that it is irrelevant considering that the beginning won’t change the outcome. It won’t change how this ends or the fact that Kyle is going to spend the rest of his life with Sarah and not me. He obviously has committed himself to doing what he thinks is right with her…” she sighed heavily.

“And what about you?” Chris arched a curious brow, “What have you committed yourself to Heather?”

“Being miserable,” she groaned outwardly, “It seems to be what I’m good at now a days. Besides, it’s fate. It’s what I get for not following my instincts all those years ago.”

“Um I hate to state the obvious here, but we make our own fate. We can choose to take what life gives us or we can take what we have and work the situation in our favor,” Chris offered up encouragingly, “The way I see it you can mope about what’s happening or you can actually stand up and find a way to take charge of your life. You have to ask yourself what it is that you want and how you’re going to reach out and claim it making it yours.”

“What I want…what I need…” she stood up taller before letting out a defeated breath, “is Kyle.”

“Well then,” Chris leaned in against his countertop eyeing her expectantly, “if that’s really how you feel then why in the world are you planning to go out on a date with me when it’s clear your mind and your heart is focused on Kyle Houston?”


“This is going to work,” Kyle muttered as he looked at himself in the mirror and rubbed at his cheek slowly thinking of how he was going to approach everything. Taking in a deep breath Kyle walked back over toward the corner of the room and sat down in the chair. “You have to be able to do this Kyle, come on.”

Closing his eyes Kyle thought about his life and how much he had thought he loved Sarah not long ago, but his new found love in Heather made him look at everything differently.

“This is ridiculous,” Kyle whispered to himself trying to talk his body down from getting any more nervous as he looked over toward the clock. “You can do this, you can’t worry about what’s going to happen. Just try and go through with this.”

Thinking back to a point in his life Kyle realized that the person he always dreamed of being with the most was Heather and she was the one he always thought he would end up with.

“This is nice,” Heather muttered staring out at the water as she felt Kyle wrap his arms around her waist tightly and she rested her head back against his chest. “When you said vacation, I never thought you meant a place like this. I don’t know how I can pay your parents back.”

“Just you being with us was a big enough pay off,” Kyle whispered pressing a small kiss against her cheek, feeling her fingers moving in over his as he grasped onto them tightly. “You have nothing to owe us when we wanted you here.”

“I know you say that, but I just can’t help feeling bad,” she whispered turning around to face him as she looked up into his hazel eyes. Reaching out to touch his face she saw him smile and grab a hold of her hand gently. “I just felt like I don’t belong. I keep thinking about what it will be like when I get back home.”

“You will be okay when you get back home,” Kyle hushed her caressing her cheek with his thumb gently as he moved forward and pressed his forehead up against hers gently. “I will be there to help you out so you have nothing to worry about.”

“Alright,” she nodded not knowing what else to say as she saw him smile and motion her to sit down with him as he sat down on the ground. Pulling her into his arms he felt her head rest against his chest as he wrapped his arms around her chest. “I like it here.”

“I figured you might,” Kyle stated with a small smile as he looked out at the ocean as the waves moved in closer to them. “These have always been kind of my favorite spots. Not like beaches or anything, but places where it’s quiet. Places where you can think.”

“I like places like that,” Heather smirked looking back at him and seeing him smile. Feeling his fingers tighten around hers she looked back out toward the ocean. “Do you think about your future?”

“All the time,” Kyle smirked running his free fingers through her blonde hair slowly before feeling her move in closer to his chest. “I think about it every time I have the chance to.”

“What do you see?” she bit down on her bottom lip and felt him rest his chin against her shoulder. Looking over at him she smiled seeing his hazel eyes focus in over her. “Better yet--who do you see?”

“I see you,” Kyle answered moving forward to press a small kiss in over her lips as he felt her fingers move in through his short hair and he smiled. “I hope you feel the same way.”

“You’re the only man I can imagine myself with,” she replied seeing him smile and stand up slowly before motioning her to get up with him. Grabbing a hold of her hands he helped her up and pulled her in closer to him caressing the side of her face gently. “You’re the only person I want to be with.”

“Then, I guess we’re settled,” he pressed another small kiss against her lips before pushing back some of her blonde hair. Feeling the water hit their feet Kyle let out a small laugh and nodded back over toward their vacation house where his parents were out on the deck. “Lets get back before it gets too cold, I don’t want my future wife to get sick on me.”

“My future,” Kyle nodded not quite knowing what to think as he stood up from the chair and walked back over toward the mirror again looking himself over. Pulling the velvet box out of his pocket he opened the box and looked over what was inside before smiling. “It’s now or never.”


...to be continued...