Hey, Kyle met Mindy at the door as she walked into the hospital
and he reached out to her wrapping his arms around her tightly, feeling her
head rest against his chest. You okay? I didnt know where you
were, is everything okay?
Ill be fine, Mindy tried to assure him as she pressed her hand in over the center of his chest, meeting the worried expression behind his hazel eyes. Feeling his thumb caressing her damp cheek she closed her eyes tightly before turning away from him. What happened with you and Sarah?
It doesnt matter, she just knows her place now, its okay, he muttered reaching under her chin with his index finger making her look up at him with her light blue eyes. Listen to me, dont worry about her. She has no part in our life what so ever, okay? She was just a minor problem thats all taken care of. Dont you ever let her bother you again, okay?
Yeah, she bit down on her bottom lip seeing the way his eyes
stared out into hers and she knew he was worried. She hated to have people
worried about her, she was strong enough to take care of herself. Kyle,
you really dont have to be with me right now. Im fine, I dont
Everyone needs someone, Kyles jaw tightened as a frown developed over his features and he caressed her cheek gently seeing the way her eyebrows tensed when he said that. Everyone needs a shoulder to lean on or theyll never be able to trust anyone. If you dont have that one person that makes you smile, that one person that can make you feel like you can always come to them--then you are going to have a highly upsetting life.
You seem to always know things like that, Mindy chuckled seeing him smile before reaching out to push a piece of her hair away from her eyes. I guess that was always why you were kind of my hero back in the day.
Well, Im not as strong as you think I am, he frowned seeing the way she looked up at him almost like she didnt believe what he admitted. You see, I can tell you are trying to be strong Mindy, but even me I couldnt be strong with something like this. I know its hard, but when everyone thought Russ was dead, I went insane. I lost my best friend and I couldnt hold in, but I never let my feelings out, I kept my anger and my pain in. I tried pushing people away and I didnt let the people I needed the most in my life in and you know that I made some pretty bad choices.
But you were hurting, she pointed out seeing him nod slowly and
she reached out to press her hand in over his shoulder casually. Kyle,
you couldnt help it and Grady was just as bad back then. It was something
that just happened, but you cant blame yourself for what happened back
But I do, thats why Im begging you Mindy, Kyle muttered seeing the way her blue eyes searched his for an answer as he nodded slowly. Im begging dont push the people you love the most away right now, they are the people you need in your life, they are your future. Dont hold everything in, you can be strong still showing your love.
I know, she sighed moving in feeling him reaching out to her again and she rested her head against his chest thinking about Hunt all over again. But its like if I cry, its letting him down. Showing Im not strong.
Honey you loved him, crying doesnt mean you arent strong, Kyle urged her to look up at him as he moved forward to press a small kiss against her forehead. Youll never, ever let Hunt down little one. He loved you and he knew you loved him, nothing you can do will let him down.
Seeing her break down in his arms all over again he reached out hold her close resting his chin against the top of her head hating to see something like this happen to a good kid. There were so many bad people on this planet, but the worst always happened to the best people. Pressing another small kiss against Mindys forehead, Kyles eyes met the dark glance of a very familiar pair of dark eyes, Mindys mother Paula. The woman who grew up hating him and Grady in their college years and he knew by the look in her eyes she wasnt appreciating the fact that he was with her daughter right now.
Mindy, Kyle whispered seeing the way she looked up at him as he nodded over toward Paula seeing the way that Mindy looked back. You should spend some time with your mother.
Youre leaving? she questioned seeing him take in a long breath before looking over at her mother again before shaking his head slowly. Kyle?
Hey, every will be okay. I will be here no matter what, whenever you need me, Ill be here, Kyle muttered leaning down and pressing a small kiss against her cheek feeling her hand give his a small squeeze as he stepped back. Ill always be here for you kiddo. You know that. I love you kiddo, just know Im always here.
Kyle, Paula called out seeing the way Mindy nodded as Kyle started to walk away. After she called him she saw him take a look back over his shoulder at her and she nodded slowly. Thank you.
Kyle nodded slowly before letting out a long breath and walking over toward the elevators knowing that if Mindy and her mother had a chance at getting closer, it would be now without him there. With the time he had to himself, he knew what it was he was going to have to do. A big decision that would change the rest of his life forever.
Avery I can explain, Russ stammered finding himself unable to
believe all that had transpired in the few seconds his argument with Angela
had escalated from a verbal dispute to her planting an out of the blue kiss
on his lips. However as he saw the pained expression on Averys face
he knew full well whatever it was he had to say, wouldnt repair the
damage that had been done.
Russ moved away from Angela seeing her standing taller as she glared over at Kevin and in that moment it hit him. Shed been doing that to hurt Kevin. The kiss hadnt been about anything more than that, yet in her little quest to jab her friend, shed managed to cause an even greater rift between him and Avery. Frowning he turned to face Avery fully putting his hands in the air.
Avery, this isnt what it looks like, Russ stammered struggling to find the right words to say to her.
Funny, you accuse me of trying to sleep with Kevin, when its clear you were in a quick rush to get back to your mistress here, Avery spat out at him, disgust pouring out over her. She bit down on her bottom lip before turning to face Kevin, finding herself grateful that they had dropped Erin off at her fathers before stopping for dinner. She focused on Russ again before blurting out, Im just glad your daughter wasnt here to see what kind of man her father truly is.
Avery, its not what it looks like. You know that I love you and only you, Russ started to plead with her seeing that she was ignoring him.
Im sorry Kevin, but I just lost my appetite, Avery explained in a quick rush spinning on her heel and racing out of the restaurant without bothering to look back at Russ again.
Avery wait, Russ watched her leaving the restaurant and without a second thought he chased after her nearly knocking Kevin over in the process. He was halfway out the door when Angela stood up straighter and glared at Kevin.
Im out of here, Angela announced tucking her purse under her shoulder before heading towards the exit as well only to watch Kevin block her from walking away.
Oh no, Kevin shook his head firmly, his dark eyes narrowing down at her, Youre not leaving just yet because you and I are going to have a talk.
In case you didnt get a clue the other night, I have nothing further that I have to say to you, she wrinkled her nose at him, attempting to sidestep him only to watch him place his arm out to block her from leaving.
I dont think you understand, but Ill make this very clear. I dont care what you do or dont have to say because Im the one who wants to do a lot of the talking. You see I know exactly what you were doing in that little stunt and from where I stand Angie, you just hit a new low, he frowned down at her shaking his head with heavy disapproval, If you ruined their chance at happiness
What the hell do you care about it? You hate Russ anyways, she mouthed in response, wrinkling her nose at him before giving him a second look, Unless of course you are getting sweet on Avery like I predicted and youre trying to become her one and only best buddy now that you cant have me.
Dont flatter yourself sweetheart, Kevin rolled his eyes at her, before casting a long look over her, because from where I stand you have absolutely nothing to offer anyone around you at this point.
This is ridiculous, she pushed at him once again in an attempt to get him out of her way, Im leaving.
No, youre not, Kevin placed his hand on her shoulder firmly, but not too hard to hurt her, just enough to make his point be known, because as I said before we need to talk and youre not leaving until we do just that. Now sit down and shut up before I get really upset.
Avery wait, Russ chased after Avery knowing full well that he
had to find a way to convince her that what she saw was the furthest thing
from what had really been happening when shed arrived at the restaurant.
Just stay away from me Russ, she snarled at him, not bothering to look back as she kept pushing forward towards Kevins car silently wishing that she wouldve drove herself. They had dropped Erin off at her fathers place and then she was talking about all of the reasons that she should give Russ a second chance, yet to see him in a lip lock with Angela sent him over the edge. I have nothing to say to you.
Well I have plenty to say to you, Russ finally caught up to her reaching to snag her arm with his fingers, Avery, damn it would you just look at me?
Leave me alone, she shouted, her voice raising with anger and disappointment as she spun around to face him again, tears burning behind her eyes. Is this what you wanted me to see? Did you want me to find you with her so that you could have an easy out? I mean is that really what you want?
No, he shook his head adamantly keeping his hold on her arm, Damn it Avery I never wanted her. I dont know what she was trying to pull back there, but Ive always wanted only you.
It sure looked like it wasnt that way when she was kissing you, she rolled her eyes at his remark. She wiped at her face and tried to get him to ease up his hold on her arm, Let go of me Russ.
No, he pleaded with her, a low, raspy tone in his voice, Avery you have to believe me when I tell you that nothing happened. Its not what you think it was. I dont know why she did that, but
But what? You figured that youd pick up where we left off together with her since I told you to leave? she squealed in a rage reaching to slam her fist into his chest, What? Wasnt what we shared enough for you?
It was more than enough for me, Russ tried to touch her face only to feel her slap his hand away from her, Avery youll always be everything I want and need
Thats not what it looked like in the restaurant. I saw what you were doing in kissing her, she argued tears falling from her face, her words coming out short and broken by her emotions, I know what I saw.
You didnt see what you think you saw. I didnt kiss her. She kissed me. I have no idea why she did it, he paused remembering Angelas face when hed pulled away from her. The smug expression shed had told him what she was doing, No I take that back. I know why she did it. Shes upset with Kevin and she wanted to hurt him
So you thought youd just jump up to oblige huh? she shook her head feeling a thundercloud roar above them with the first signs of rain around them. You figured that you would help her hurt Kevin since its something that youre good at right? You thought he was too close to me, so you wanted to stab him in the heart by going to her.
No, thats not it at all. She showed up when I went to see Kyle. She was upset about Brant and Kevin and needed a friend, he insisted with a frustrated groan feeling the rain start to come down around them harder than it had been seconds earlier, Avery I was just trying to help her
With your tongue down her throat, she let out a pinched laugh, Oh yeah you were doing a great job of it Im sure. Of course Im just sorry that I stepped in and stopped you from getting a chance to make her feel really good.
Avery it wasnt like that. Its never been like that, he shook his head insistently, Avery I love you and only you.
Do you honestly expect me to believe that after everything else youve said has been a lie Russ? she asked with a painful expression, the rain soaking through her clothing as she stood before him. She felt her tears hot against her skin in contrast to the cool rain from the clouds above and it only made her shiver even further as she watched him.
Im not lying, he spoke in a low, solemn tone, Avery Im not lying to you about any of this. I came here to meet Kevin and
And you figured that youd once again stick it to him like you did when you thought that he and I were doing something together, she muttered with a thick air of sarcasm, That makes you quite the hypocrite considering that you were there kissing her and Kevin and I
Kevin and you what? he questioned watching her eyelashes flicker in response. What about Kevin?
Its none of your business what I do or dont do with anyone at this point Russ because Im not your wife and obviously you dont ever want me to be again judging by your actions, she hissed in response clenching her fists at her sides. Obviously the life we had together wasnt good enough for you when you have oh so many other options out there.
The life we have together is the only life I want, he begged of her watching so many things happening behind her dark eyes. He took advantage of the moment and reached out to touch her cheek seeing her lip trembling in response to the rain and her emotions.
You have a hell of a way of showing it, she sniffled closing her eyes and thinking about what shed walked in on.
Avery, I love you and only you, he pleaded with her taking her into his arms and kissing her as if hed never let go in the hopes that she could feel the truth behind his emotions if his words failed to reach her.
Thanks for bringing this back to me, Ria clenched her purse over
her stomach seeing the way that Craven was looking at her with something behind
his eyes that Ria didnt quite trust. She took in a small breath before
bringing one hand through her long, dark hair. I appreciate your taking
the time to get this to me considering that most people would probably have
taken what little was in here and ran with it.
Im not like most people, he leaned in against the doorframe and eyed her with obvious interest, I thought we already established that I was different than other men.
So you are, she nodded feeling a slight chill creep in over her once again.
So now that weve got that out of the way, how about you invite me in for a nightcap? Its clear youre a bit shaken up and that you could use someone to talk to, so what do you say we Craven started watching Ria tense up at the suggestion.
Im fine, she explained dismissively noting the way his eyes darted past her and into her hotel room, better than fine actually and I really think Im just going to call it a night.
Are you sure because I am more than willing to listen to whatever it is you have on your mind, he stood upright once again reaching out to touch her shoulder gently, I dont mind being here for such a beautiful woman
Actually, Ria started opening her mouth to say something more when she heard her cell phone ringing inside of her purse, I have to go. Thats someone Ive been waiting for all night and
And? he gave her a very long once over as she pulled her phone out of her purse.
Hello, she answered quickly, Oh Im so glad that you made it here. Youre going to be up in a few minutes? Excellent. I was just about to get things ready for us--maybe order some room service. Thats right. Can you hold on for just one second?
Ria covered the phone with her hand and looked over at a more than curious Craven again, Im sorry, but I need to cut this short here.
I take it you and Mr. Idiot found a way to mend fences, he noted with an inquisitive brow.
She nodded before smiling, Well you know what they say about true love. It has its ups and downs along the way.
So it would seem, he nodded in response reaching out for her hand and raising it to his lips to press a kiss over her palm, Unfortunately I found you too late for us to even have a chance at something along those lines.
Thats right Im very taken, Ria motioned to her phone again, and I shouldnt keep him waiting.
I suppose not, Craven stepped back giving her one last look before Ria shut the door and raised the phone to her ear once again.
Room service ready for my arrival? Trishas voice squealed on the other end of the line, What was that all about? Ria, was that a man I heard with you?
Its not what youre thinking, Ria quickly double locked the hotel room door before taking a step back into her room. It was just some guy I met at the bar and
Youre picking up some guy at a bar when I told you that you should call Kevin and mend fences, Trisha huffed impatiently, Ria what the hell is wrong with you?
Nothing is wrong with me. Well, no thats not entirely true and before you give me a lecture I called Kevin, Ria argued with her sister.
And? Trisha asked expectantly.
I hung up before I said anything because he sounded like he was busy, Ria frowned remembering what shed heard over the line.
Busy how? Trisha couldnt help but ask.
Busy like hes not missing me, which might be a problem considering that I think I may be Ria stopped herself before she could only make her situation worse.
May be what? Trisha picked up on her sisters hesitation, Ria, whats going on?
Trisha, I really dont want to talk about it especially now considering that Im sure youve had more than your fill of disaster today. Youve probably got a lot on your mind with what happened to Hunt and Ria tried to distract her sister from what was going on.
Ria, I can tell that something is bothering you by the tone in your voice, so why dont you just tell me whats going on? You said you hung up on Kevin and that you think he doesnt miss you, but if you really think about it, Im sure youre wrong, Trisha started to argue with her, I know how Kevin feels about you and
And hes obviously moved on. Im sure hes with Angela right now and Ria mouthed feeling a frown touch over the corners of her mouth at the thought of Kevin and Angela.
I highly doubt hes spending any time with that woman when youre the one he loves. You know I just dont get you. One minute you and Kevin are fine and then the next you are so moody and, Trisha stopped for a long moment of silence before a gasp swept over the other end of the line, You know you have been really moody lately. More so than usual.
Look Trisha Im hanging up now. Im tired and Ria interrupted wanting to get back to what had been on her agenda before Craven showed up.
No wait a second. You have been moody and tired and, Trisha made a small pinched noise before another gasp followed, Ria are you pregnant?
Trisha, I really dont want to get into Ria tried to dissuade her sisters question.
Oh my God, you are, arent you? Youre pregnant and you ran away to try to deal with this on your own didnt you now that you and Kevin are fighting, Trisha deduced in a surprised tone.
I didnt run away because I thought I was pregnant Trisha. I came here for a medical conference and it wasnt until I ran into that guy at the bar that it dawned in on me that I might be pregnant, Ria paused wishing she hadnt said that last part to her sister.
So you are pregnant, Trisha practically squealed into the phone. Ria, do you have any idea what this means?
For starters Im not sure if Im pregnant because I only now just realized that Im late and secondly, Ria offered up in response.
Oh my God, have you told Kevin? I mean is that why you hung up because you were worried about doing this over the phone? Trisha questioned hurriedly, He needs to hear about this because I know hes going to be so excited to be a father. You both are too cute together and Im sure that any baby you have is going to be beautiful. Of course I know you never planned on having children before you were married, but hey it happens sometime and Im sure once Kevin hears about this, youll work out whatever has been the issue between you lately and well probably get a wedding sooner rather than later.
Slow down Trisha, Ria hushed her sister, Kevin has no idea that I could be pregnant and right now I think Im one of the last people he wants to see. I told him it was over.
But if youre pregnant it cant be over, Trisha argued with her, Its only further proof that you two belong together and you cant deny it. Kevin loves you and you love him and if youre having his baby
Trisha, right now I just need to think about this and you have to swear to me that you wont tell Kevin about any of this, Ria pleaded with her younger sister, I dont know what Im doing to do here and as it stands, well, Im just needing time to deal with this one myself I just need to figure things out and
And what? Ria, you have to tell Kevin, Trisha snapped in response.
Im going to, but I need time to adjust to this too, Ria could almost hear her sisters disapproval behind her voice, Trisha I will tell him, but right now isnt the time. I swear though that I will do whats right and I wont leave him out of this.
Ria, honey I know you. You cant go this alone. You have to tell Kevin and if you dont I will, Trisha warned her sharply, because you two should be together right now.
I promise you I will tell him, but dont you dare do it before I do because this isnt something he can hear from anyone else, Ria warned her sharply before falling back onto the bed and closing her eyes, I just have to find the right way to do this.
Fine, but dont wait too long Ria because you and I know full well that this isnt something that you can hold back on, Trisha warned her once again, Kevin really does love you.
I love him too and thats why this is so hard on me because Im so afraid that even with this I could still lose him forever, Ria whispered under her breath realizing that far more was at stake now that she suspected that she could be pregnant with Kevins child. If he learned the truth and still wanted to chase Angela, it would be the end of her whether or not she was truly pregnant. On one hand she didnt want him to know simply to make him feel obligated to be with her, yet in her heart she knew she couldnt keep something this important from him. Trisha was right. She had to tell Kevin the truth.
If you dont know about your own relationship Shannon, who else
will? Dean questioned arching his eyebrow up in response seeing the
way she stared out at him blankly. I mean be honest, do you think you
Maybe, Shannon muttered shrugging her shoulders as she spoke not quite knowing what to say considering she never really thought about it herself. I really dont know about that Dean, how can you expect me to say yes or no?
Because when you love someone, you know, Deidra blurted out seeing the way that Dean glared over at her and she threw her hands up in the air. All Im saying is that you have probably one of the nicest guys in this town and you cant seem to treat him right. Don is perfect, Don is amazing and he loves you. The only problem Im seeing right now is you.
Deidra, Dean shot her a begging look seeing the way that Shannon looked down toward the ground. Im not saying you are wrong sweetheart, but ,
No, shes right Dean, Shannon pointed out seeing the glance that Deidra gave her before folding her arms out in front of her chest to listen to what Shannon had to say. I dont know what to do sometimes because Ive never been in a relationship like this before.
Ill tell you what you have to do, youre married Shannon, Deidra stated seeing the way Shannons brown eyes stared up into hers and Deidra shook her head slowly. Thats something you cant just get out of in a matter of moments. What you need to do if you really love Don and you arent just playing mind games with him, you go and you make things right. Thats what you do when you are in love with someone.
Hearing a silence fill through the room Deidra threw her hands up in the air hating the fact that Shannon couldnt make a decision over someone like Don. A guy who was amazingly nice and a perfect father, it was like Shannon wanted to make her life horrible.
Im not going to stay in here, Deidra walked over toward the door seeing the way Dean stared out at her and he shook his head slowly thinking about what she was saying, knowing she was right but Shannon would never get it like that. I dont want to say something complete and utterly rude.
Okay. Shes right you know, Dean pointed out after seeing Deidra walk out of the room and he saw Shannon roll her eyes and he nodded slowly. She is right Shannon. Why cant you make a decision when its more than clear that you are still in love with Don.
I wouldnt call it love, she half laughed seeing the disbelief behind his eyes as she looked up at him and shrugged her shoulders. I mean really, Don is just a big loser that only has his world surrounded by the dumbest things.
Wow, I can see that. Youre right, Dean bit down on his bottom lip seeing the way she glanced at him almost confused to why he was agreeing with her and he let out a long breath. I mean protecting your son, your best friends and your wife is a dumb thing to do. I can see where you are coming from.
Oh come on, dont throw it on me like that, Shannon begged seeing Dean stand up and roll his eyes before walking over toward the window and she stood up slowly. You dont know anything about Don and the way he is around other people. I saw him with another girl today and she was pawing at him completely. Her hands were all over him and I could tell he liked it.
Is that so? Dean looked at her over his shoulder for a moment shaking his head as he thought about it. Glancing outside he was trying to put things nicely for Shannon, but no matter what he could do he couldnt say something nice. I see.
You see? she blurted out catching that Dean wasnt even looking at her and she moved in closer to him throwing her hands up in the air. He is out there trying to replace me with the first bimbo that is ready to jump him and thats the kind of man he is. Hell leave you for the first thing that drops right in front of him. I just cant believe he replaced me so fast with that blonde, she was so not his type, but I should have known. I should have known that he was like this considering his best friend was exactly the same.
You idiot, Dean hissed turning around to meet Shannons widened eyes as he moved in closer to her, his dark eyes searching hers. What in the hell makes you think he is replacing you?
You are so going down Brant, Don shouted shoving his friend out
of the way before shooting his gun at the television screen in front of him.
The video game popped to action as Brant nudged his pal in the ribs in response
before reclaiming his place in front of the game system shooting away and
attempting to double his score in a matter of seconds.
Dont bet on it Don because the way I see it Im still in the game, Brant shouted in response feeling his score rising rapidly by the second while Don fought to catch up and move ahead in the game.
Face it Brant, youre good, but Im the best, Don teased poking at his friend again while Matt watched the two of them and shook his head.
You two are ridiculous, Matt groaned inwardly before motioning to the door, Im going to go find Annie and see if Peanut wants to go for a walk or something.
Make sure you dont leave before telling me if you do take her for a walk, Don paused the game to watch his son closely, I dont want anything to happen to you.
Dad Im just going to walk around the garden with Annie and Peanut, Matt frowned up at his father, Its not like you can get lost in there, well if youre an idiot maybe, but still.
Just let me know when youre leaving and when youre back, Don held his arms out towards his son, and youre not going without giving the old man a hug.
In that case, Matt walked over to Brant and hugged his leg, Ill see you in a little while Uncle Brant.
Very cute, Brant picked Matt up and into his arms before tickling him, You think youre funny, dont you?
I know Im funny, Matt grinned proudly a tiny laugh bubbling over him as he turned to his father, but seriously Ill be okay dad. Im with Annie. The last time I was here we spotted a new flower that she wasnt really sure what kind it was. I looked it up and got a whole bunch of information that I have to tell her about it.
Just be easy on her, Don teased reaching for his son and hugging him tightly before setting him down on the floor again.
I thought I heard my name, Annie popped her head into the arcade and as Matt had anticipated she had Peanut on her leash ready to go for her evening stroll. You ready Matt?
You bet I am, Matt waved back at Brant and Don before joining Annie and reaching for Peanuts leash, You know where you can find us.
Have fun little buddy, Brant waved before watching Matt and Annie leave with Peanut. Finally he turned to Don and laughed, How did you wind up with such a brilliant son?
Don shrugged his shoulders, I guess he just gets it from good old dad.
Or Stephanie, Brant teased with a small laugh remembering Dons late wife, She was always the brains in the family.
Very true, Don nodded in response. He sank down onto one of the chairs in the arcade putting the game on hold for a while as he sighed, She was always one step ahead of me.
More like three or four at least, Brant noted moving over to take a seat beside his friend, You know I see more of her in Matt each time Im with him.
So do I, Don replied with a thoughtful expression, Im
glad though because its good to know hes not an idiot like his
dad. I mean you and I both know how hell end up. Hell take Peanut
for the walk, then end up in the library reading anything he can get his hands
Good thing I dont leave the girlie magazines in there, Brant teased with a small wink.
Im just waiting for the day that he locates mine, Don laughed lightly thinking about his sons curiosity, Boy will I be in for a lecture then considering my son is far more evolved where I am when it comes to women.
Give it time. By the time he hits the teen years hell see what all the fuss is about, Brant chuckled leaning over to pop open the door on the mini-refrigerator he had set up near them. He pulled out a couple of bottles of water and tossed one at Don, Thatll be when the real fun in parenting begins.
The real fun actually starts the day they are born, Don paused thinking about his sons arrival in the world, I mean yeah there were a lot of things that I would change starting with losing Stephanie, but from the moment Matt came into my life I knew I would never be the same. Hes the most important person in the world to me.
As he should be, Brant noted with a thoughtful expression, Hes a good kid.
Hes the best, Don nodded in agreement eyeing his friend once again, and Im sure that your son and daughter will both be incredible too. Theyll probably both be quite a handful once they are able to start running around considering who their father is.
Thats if I can ever see them, Brant sighed heavily tension sweeping in over him, I mean even when I saw her earlier, I can feel that Angela is hesitant to listen to me--to really hear me out. Camerons poisoned her against me and its going to take a lot of work to get her back in my good graces.
But youll manage to do it. I know you love her and she loves you, Don added encouragingly in an attempt to give his friend a pep talk, Shell see that you arent what he says you are sooner or later.
Im starting to wonder if that will happen Don, Brant sighed, worry evident behind his eyes, My father did some horrible, rotten things and I dont know if any of us can ever truly rise above it. For all I know he could have murdered her father and thats something that will always haunt her.
After all the things that son of a bitch has done to you, well, its not like youre not a victim here either Brant, Don pointed out with a frown, You arent to blame for what hes done.
I know that, but theres so many things I wish I could have prevented--so many situations I wish I could have changed, Brants dark eyes clouded with worry, and if that keeps me from Angela.
As long as you both are in this world, then nothing can keep you from being together, Don added hopefully before offering up a teasing wink, Besides once she comes to her senses shell realize that she cant go for long without bedding you. Shes too hot for you and that Ashford spirit there.
Brant couldnt help but laugh shaking his head at his friends words, Is that how it works with you and Shannon?
No, think train wreck and disaster, Dons smile faded, throw in a bit more chaos and thats Shannon and I.
Have you talked to her? Brant couldnt help but ask worried about his friends situation.
Shes not listening, Don sighed heavily popping the cap off of his water and taking a long sip of it, She came over to the hospital after I was there talking to Deana and Jason about the shooting
I heard about that, Brant admitted with a pained expression, that has to be hard on Jason. I cant even imagine what hes going through right now.
A good case of survivors guilt Im pretty sure, Don shuddered at the thought, Something Im very familiar with considering.
But you were able to pull things together and Im sure Jason will too, though if he needs anything, Brant offered up sitting up straighter, You can always send him over this way if he needs to talk.
Yeah, Don nodded back at him, he always did enjoy talking with you when you were around. I think he said something about it being like he was having a court jester in his life or something.
Very funny, Brant rolled his eyes at his friend, Jasons a pretty cool kid, just like Deana and they should know if they ever need anything, Im always here. Ive seen Deana, but I dont think shes too big on me lately especially after that whole paternity thing I tried with Avery.
Deanas a hard one to crack, Don confessed rubbing his temple as he looked to his friend, but I think thats got a lot to do with her having to grow up so young. Man, if Steph was around I know they wouldve been the best of friends and sometimes I wish that I could be more like Steph and help her with whats going on in her life. I can see there is a lot shes holding back on and I worry about her.
If you think she needs a womans touch, she can always talk to Annie or Blake, Brant suggested openly, Blakes not much older than her and Im sure she could offer a little bit of girlfriend advice if you will.
Ill suggest it and see if shes open to it, Don shrugged his shoulders once again, Somethings got to give.
Especially for you pal, Brant took a long swig of his water, Youre a great guy always wanting to save the world and its about time that someone tries to save you.
I dont need saving, just some clarity especially now, Don revealed his thoughts lingering to Shannon again, My wife just doesnt get it. No matter how hard I try to explain things, theres always going to be this distance between us. Its like no matter what I do and what I say theres always something shes condemning me for.
Yeah, youd mentioned she was at the hospital, Brant reminded him thinking of their earlier conversation, What was wrong this time?
She saw me with Jewel and she flipped out, Don shrugged his shoulders before leaning back in his chair, I just didnt have the time or the energy to fight with her about it and I kind of walked away.
Wait a second, Brant sat up straighter, his brown eyes now filled with a sudden curiosity. You and Jewel were together and youre still alive to talk about it?
Shes just a friend Brant, Don pointed out once again catching Brants disbelieving look.
Right, Brant mouthed in response, I can almost believe that considering that last time I saw her with you, the two of you were about to get yourselves thrown out of that restaurant because you both were engaged in some pretty x-rated activity in a public place.
At least we didnt get arrested, Don chuckled in response shaking his head at the memory.
So tell me, she still hot? Brant wiggled a curious brow.
Don hesitated before finally nodding, Yeah shes still pretty hot.
I see, so that leads me to my next question, Brant couldnt help but ask, She still hot for you?
Shes married Brant and so am I, Don frowned over at his friend, I love my wife no matter how neurotic she is.
More like psychotic, Brant corrected with a tiny smirk, and as for Jewel, well she and Paul being married is like me being a saint. It just isnt happening. Those two have been in divorce court for years. Besides, did you see her new television show on the food channel?
Um yeah, Don practically gulped, and I was surprised that the censors let that one be on screen considering how sultry it was. Hey, I thought you werent into cooking instructionals there.
Ive picked up a few things as Ive grown up, Brant laughed lightly, especially since Angela is in awe of my cooking. It helps to brush up on a few new techniques.
Yeah well seeing Jewel on that show and the way she dresses doesnt exactly inspire most men to brush up on their cooking skills, Don added with a small laugh. They all tend to get a rise out of other aspects of the show.
Speaking from experience? Brant arched a curious brow again.
Lets just say Ive noticed shes still hot and leave it at that because thats as far as its going to go, Don wrinkled his brow dismissing his thoughts of seeing Jewel again. Besides, when I called her into town I was just telling her about Coris situation and
Wait, Brants eyes widened again, You called Jewel? As in youre the one that brought her back?
Yeah, what of it, Don shrugged again seeing the way that Brant was watching him. What?
No wonder Shannon is out for blood. If youre calling Jewel again, it can only mean one thing and thats trouble, Brant noted thinking of Dons connection with the one woman in Coral Valley who had found her way into Dons life shaking it up in more ways than anyone had ever thought possible.
Hart felt an ache in his temple as he found himself buried in the paperwork
that had followed his agreeing to move to BBK and fill Averys former
position with the company. While he always welcomed the challenge of a new
task, there was something a bit mundane about the whole aspect of business
law as opposed to being in the courtroom and charming the judge and jury.
Granted this seemed like easier work, but there was much less involved in
going for the kill.
If I wasnt working for Brant, I probably wouldnt be there, Hart recalled what hed told Jenna earlier about his new position in the company. Of course the fact that his paycheck had increased dramatically didnt hurt, but still hed always thrived on drama which wasnt exactly around the BBK scene--at least not currently.
Time for a break, Hart mouthed to himself realizing that it was far too quiet at the apartment without Jenna around. Hed opted to take a day out of the office to work at home and possibly spend some time with her, but shed been called in after there was a horrible pile up on the road not far from the edge of town. Of course that tragedy had left him alone to focus, but hed found he wouldve preferred the company instead.
Enough of this, Hart decided going into the kitchen and contemplating making himself a sandwich. He opened up the refrigerator door when the phone started to ring. Standing up he felt a moment of relief carry over him at the thought of having to talk with someone after a day of far too much quiet in the apartment. He moved over to the phone and answered in a cheerful tone, Hello.
Hart, hey its Barbara, the voice explained on the other end of the line.
I know who you are, Hart replied brightly thinking about his old friend, I would recognize your voice anywhere. How are you doing?
I wish I could say that I was doing well, but what Im about to say isnt really a social call, she replied a sudden seriousness in her tone, I know that it probably isnt my place, but I remembered that you were kind of a mentor to Hunt for a while with his family being close to yours and all
Hunt, Hart repeated a worry carrying over him, Barbara, is something wrong with Hunt?
Hes dead, Barbara blurted out with a pained tone. There was a shooting last night at one of the local mini-marts.
I saw something about that on the news this morning, but only in passing, Hart admitted realizing that hed shut the television off earlier in the name of focusing on his work. Barbara, are you sure that Hunt
He was one of the few that were involved in the shooting. He held on for a little while, but there was too much damage. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but I just thought you should know. I know someone called his parents earlier, but
I should probably check in with them since they are like family, Hart replied feeling a heaviness carry over him, I dont believe this. I mean how can something like this happen?
I wish I had the answers, but she paused for a moment, You know if youd like I can come over and we could talk for a while or something if you need me to.
Jenna should be home later, but thanks for calling me Barbara, Hart finally replied struggling to keep his emotions in tact. Thank you for letting me know about this.
I dont feel like this is something you should be thanking me for, she replied with a heavy sigh. If you need anything though, anything at all
Youll be one of the first people I call, he promised again before saying his good-byes. He hung up the phone and closed his eyes thinking about when hed first met Hunt when the Lockharts had adopted him. Hunt was a survivor of so many things and yet to hear that hed fallen to tragedy himself only reaffirmed how unfair things truly were in this world. Harts thoughts lingered to his friends and he thought about making a call to them to offer his condolences and anything else they might need, but before he could follow through on those thoughts, he heard a sound at his front door.
Jenna, he mouthed to himself making his way to open the door for her, but instead he found Sam standing before him greeting him with a big, bright smile.
Hi dad, she waved up at him in her usual cheerful tone, I hope this isnt a bad time.
Its not a bad time at all, Hart replied unable to contain himself as he reached out to pull her into an embrace, Its never a bad time where youre concerned. I love seeing you.
I love seeing you too, she admitted hugging him in return before she felt something behind his hold on her. She tipped her head up and noticed the tears behind his eyes and she felt a worry overtake her, Dad, is something wrong?
A family friend just passed away. He was involved in a shooting and someone killed him. He was just so young. He wasnt much older than you, Hart admitted painfully thinking about Hunt and his short life, I watched him grow up over the years and he was a very special person. He had his whole life ahead of him and now
Oh dad, Im so sorry, Sam offered up seeing how upset he was.
Its just when I think about what his family is going through, Hart stopped himself reaching out to touch her cheek gently, I cant even begin to imagine the kind of pain they are experiencing right now, yet when I think about how much time they believed they had left, I cant help but find myself thinking about us--about you.
Dad, Im right here, Sam offered up feeling him pull her into another embrace.
I know, but we missed so much time together and I dont want to take any of what we have together for granted. I dont want us to miss a moment with one another again because I dont want to ever have to lose you like that Sam, he admitted choked up on his emotions. I couldnt bear the thought of losing you like that.
Youre not going to. I promise you, she replied returning his embrace as she realized that right now her father needed her more than ever. Even though she had no idea what was happening, she knew in her heart that right now the best thing she could do was stay there and support her father through this time of grief.
Mom, Mindy muttered stepping forward after Kyle left them alone
and she looked toward the ground, not quite knowing what to say as she took
in a deep breath. I take it Trisha called you about this, right?
Yeah, Paula nodded seeing the way her daughter avoided eye contact with her at all possible chances and she knew her daughter was hurting inside. Mindy never looked away from someone, she never did that. You have some pretty good friends.
Yeah, Mindy agreed taking in a long breath wiping at her eyes with that back of her hand looking to the side to see if maybe she could try and start a new conversation. They are all pretty great.
So that Kyle Houston, Paula muttered seeing Mindys reddened blue eyes look up at her and Paula took in a long muted breath. He was with you this whole time, right?
If you are going to talk bad about him mom, I dont want to hear it, Mindy informed her with a small shake of her head thanking god that she could have someone like Kyle in her life to be there for her. He has been a good friend to me all along and nothing you can say can change that. Hes amazing and I would probably be breaking down even more if he hadnt been with me.
I wasnt going to say anything wrong about him, Paula moved forward gently setting her hand in against the curve of her daughters shoulder. I was going to say I appreciated everything he did for my baby girl. That I was never so happy to see someone that cared so much for my little girl.
Yeah, well, Mindy paused thinking about Kyle the way he was always there for her when she needed him the most. Even when she was a kid he was always there for her to protect her. Hes like my big brother and I would be lost without him.
Well then I guess its a good thing you have him here then, Paul reached down to squeeze Mindys hand tightly seeing the way that Mindys eyes started to water over again. Seeing her daughter in pain she felt her own eyes overcome with emotion, squeezing her hand tighter. Im so sorry baby. Hunt was a good boy.
He was too good mom, he was too good for me and he died with a lie, Mindy muttered seeing the way Paula stared out at her and she shook her head slowly. I cant ever tell him what he meant to me during the time we were together. Ill never be able to tell him the truth and now Im stuck with that pain. He shouldnt have died mom.
I know sweetheart, she reached out to hold her daughter in her arms tightly, squeezing her in close thanking god that it wasnt Mindy that left this world. Feeling her own emotions take in more effect she held Mindy closer hating that the man Mindy loved left her forever and she knew for one that was a horrible feeling. Its not fair.
No its not mom, Mindy pulled back slowly feeling Paulas hand press in against her damp cheek and Mindy closed her eyes imaging the way that Hunt smiled. Every time he smiled around her it felt like everything was going to be okay, like the world around them didnt matter. I would do anything just to see his smile again, but thats never going to happen because hes gone mom. He died before he should have and now I cant ever tell him the truth and thats going to kill me inside. Its going to kill me inside for the rest of my life and thats something that is going to hang in over me for a long time.
I know baby, but he knows, Paula hushed pulling her in closer and resting her hand against Mindys back gently. Pressing a small kiss against her forehead she bit down on her bottom lip before shaking her head slowly. He knows baby and he has nothing against you. Hell always love you. You need to know that. Hell always be right in your heart, you cant let him go. You dont have to, hell always be with you baby and thats what matters.
Excuse me? Shannon placed her hand over her chest seeing the
angered look behind Deans features showing her that he was angry with
her. It was a look that she had never really seen from him before, in fact
he had never blown up at her like that before in the whole time they have
known each other. What did you just call me?
I called you an idiot Shannon because thats what you are, Dean muttered running his hands through his thick dark hair and thinking about what would make sense to her. You sit here this whole time thinking just about yourself, there are other people in this world hurting Shannon. Dont you think Don could be one of them?
Of course he could, she paused thinking about the words he was telling her and how Don had told her about his past. That still didnt explain the scene she saw before her with Don and that blonde earlier. Honestly though, that gives him no right to go and jump the bones of the next girl he finds.
What was he doing when you saw him Shannon? he eyed her over carefully throwing his hands up in the air before shaking his head slowly. Were they on top of his desk, against the wall, or hey maybe even on his couch? Or were they just hugging Shannon because if thats the case, does that mean if I hug you, Im cheating on Deidra?
Well, she paused knowing that he was trying to prove her wrong and obviously it was working more than she would like to admit. No you wouldnt be cheating on her Dean were friends, but this is different.
You mean Don cant have friends of the opposite sex? Dean questioned again seeing the way she turned away from him and he reached out to grab her shoulder. Shannon you have to realize how ridiculous you sound right now. I know deep down in that crazed mind of yours you have some feelings for Don. If you didnt, you wouldnt be here with me right now worrying twenty-four seven about it Shannon. You need to realize what it is you really want in your life before its gone. And when its gone, this thing is going to be gone forever. I know you like Don, but is your heart--no its not your heart this time. Is your brain big enough to actually go through with this, are you smart enough to actually realize what you have before its gone.
Well, thats a nice way to put it, Shannon fell back down to the couch running her fingers through her long blonde hair, closing her eyes and imagining Dons blue eyes. I dont know Dean, its harder than you think.
Its not hard to say I love you when you mean it, he informed her with a small nod not believing that someone could honestly be this confused about the person they cared about. Shannon, I love Deidra and I would never ever let her go, I say I love her every chance I get because I dont know how much longer I will have with her every day of my life. If I say I love you and that night I die, at least I know I died letting the person I loved with everything that I was know that I loved them. Youre leading Don in circles and you think its all about your life Shannon. Its not just your life Shannon, its his too. He has a son, he has a past, and damn it he has a heart. Im sure every time you are here telling me all these things Shannon, he is at home and what left he has of his heart is tearing a little bit more every minute because of what you put him through. You need to open your eyes now Shannon. You have to realize what it is you want and you have to grab it because if you dont, Im not going to be here to save you. No one is going to be here to save you and you know what? I think you need to see the light, the thing that makes your life worth living. Are you going to wake up alone every morning or are you going to want to wake up to those blue eyes staring into yours? Do you want to be with Don the rest of your life Shannon? Do you? Thats the one question you have to answer, you have to answer it now and follow your choice because if you dont it doesnt matter what you want, it will be long out of reach. You need to make a choice and you need to make it now. What you choose I dont care, but make the right one because this is your last chance Shannon. Dont waste it.
I told you Brant its not like that, Don frowned at his
pals insinuations about Jewel, Theres absolutely nothing
going on. Her sister is in trouble and shes having some problems with
Stacy, Brant repeated thinking about Jewels daughter, What is she like ten now?
Try fourteen going on fifteen, Don corrected thinking about Jewels daughter, Shes about Lindsays age now.
Already, Brant blinked back with a small laugh, wow were getting old, arent we?
One of us is, Don teased back, but hey at least we still seem young to the rest of the world.
Even so its so hard to believe that Stacy is already at that age. Last time I saw her was at that party your folks had remember the one where Jewel and Paul wound up having that big fight? Brant noted thinking about the past.
Yeah the one that Dave tried to break up and he ended up face first in the cake my parents had, Don noted with a tiny laugh, The poor guy he is always getting the brunt of the problems his sisters have. I dont know how he does it.
Me neither, but you have to give him credit. I mean Jewel and Cori are both hot, but there is just something upstairs that isnt all there, Brant circled his hand around in the air before laughing lightly, thought that didnt stop you from entertaining the idea of spending your life with Jewel.
I was drunk, Don frowned back at his friend, I asked her to marry me after a night of almost drinking myself to senselessness after Stephanie wouldnt go out with me. I was feeling desperate
And horny, Brant added catching the glare that Don gave him. Dont even try to deny it.
I wont, but still, Don laughed lightly shaking his head at the memory, I might have been Stacys father if things had turned out differently.
Yeah, but then you never would have had Matt or anything else that happened along the way, Brant added seeing something flash behind his friends eyes.
I wouldnt trade that for the world you know, Don confessed choked up on his emotions, Even if I knew that things would end like they did, I wouldnt have changed a single second that I had with Stephanie other than I wouldve tried harder to save her.
I know, Brant nodded seeing his pal getting all choked up.
I just miss her so damn much, Don explained feeling himself getting misty-eyed at the idea of what hed lost. Is it so wrong of me to want to carry a part of her with me still?
You shouldnt feel guilty for loving her because what you both had was special, Brant added hearing footsteps in the hallway indicating Matt was returning, It still is.
I know, Don cleared his throat seeing his son standing in the doorway once again.
Dad, you would not believe what I found out there, Matt explained proudly rushing into the room and displaying a clear plastic case hed had in his hands. I know it seems silly, but I found the most amazing butterfly and, well just look at her.
Matt held up the butterfly for display hoping to get his fathers attention and approval. He showed Don the colorful butterfly as it moved around the container swiftly.
Shes beautiful Matt, but I dont think shes really the kind of pet that we can take home, Don started thinking about his sons find.
Shes not a pet, Matt shook his head at his father, I wasnt planning on keeping her because that would kill her. I just wanted to show you what she looked like since you said that mom used to collect butterflies too.
Thats right, Don pulled his son up into his lap, She used to love butterfly charms and figurines. She thought they were beautiful.
Just like she was, right? Matt questioned with wide eyes watching his father closely.
She was amazingly beautiful, Don nodded in agreement reaching out to touch the side of his sons face, She would be so proud of you.
I would be very proud of her too because she gave me a good dad, Matt leaned forward to hug his father before wiggling in Dons lap and motioning to the butterfly, but I have to let her go here before I end up hurting her. She cant stay caged up.
No she cant, Don nodded in agreement touched by the moment with his son before looking to Brant.
You know I think I know of the perfect place we can let her go, Brant spoke up from his long silence after watching the touching moment between Don and Matt. I used to have this tree house when I was younger and your mom, dad and I played in it all the time. Its right out by the gardens and Im sure that we can take her up there and let her go. Shell be able to fly with the other butterflies that hang out up there.
You mean you have more around here? Matts eyes widened with curiosity.
A whole lot more, Brant nodded in confession glancing over at his friend, What do you say Don? Think you still have it in you to climb up to the tree house?
If you can scale the side of mansions, then you know I can more than keep up with you at the tree house, Don laughed lightly scooping his son up into his arms as he vowed to stop worrying about all the other issues in his life for a while and focus on the one thing that mattered most to him in this world--his son.
Are you sure I cant get you anything? Sam questioned realizing
that things still werent right with her father. While she hadnt
known the person that had died it was clear that the loss was clearly effecting
her father. I can call Jenna if youd like and
I dont want to bother her, Hart replied with a small smile before his dark eyes met hers again, Right now I just want to spend time with you. Lets talk.
Okay, she replied taking a seat on the sofa across from him, What would you like to know?
How are you doing? I mean really doing? he couldnt help but ask as he thought about how much time hed missed out with his daughter.
I would be better if you werent hurting, she admitted honestly reaching out to squeeze his hand. Dad, if you want to talk about this, Im here for you.
I just dont know what to say, Hart confessed honestly, I mean I knew him for most of his life since his family was friends with our family, but there was a lot that I still didnt know about him. He was only a child when the Lockharts adopted him. They wanted to give him the world after his parents died.
Im sure that they did in their own way, she replied thinking about how hard it mustve been for the family to learn theyd lost their son.
They wanted so many things for him, but like the rest of us we all take time for granted thinking that we have plenty of it, Hart explained tipping his head to the side and looking over at her once again. Its easy to get lost in the unimportant stuff when you arent focusing on what really matters.
Dad, Sam started hating to see her father so upset.
Sam all Im saying is that we never really know how much time we have left and when I think about what the Lockharts must be going through now that hes gone, Hart glanced over at her once again, I would hate for that to happen with us. You need to be careful wherever you are. You know that, dont you?
Of course I do, she nodded in response, Im not going to go out of my way to put myself in a dangerous situation.
He wasnt planning on that either, yet there he was in the middle of a blood bath, Hart shuddered at the thought of what had happened, I just couldnt live with that happening to you.
And I couldnt live with that idea where youre concerned either. Youre the one who is the lawyer. You deal with psychos and criminals all the time, she pointed out with a frown of her own. You are the one who is at risk daily.
Not so much anymore since Im just working for Brant, he admitted thinking about how hed been bored with the normalcy of his work, but now after what had happened to Hunt it put things into perspective. Im pretty safe in my office away from the rest of the world.
Really? she arched a curious brow, How is that working out for you?
Its something different, but its okay, he paused realizing that she was trying to open up the lines of communication between them, What about you? How is the school hunt going?
Its going, she admitted with a small smile, but the apartment hunt is what Ive been focused on. Wayne and I want to find something bigger since Im not staying with mom anymore.
Wait a second. Youre planning on moving in with Wayne? Harts eyes widened as she nodded, Sam, I dont know if thats such a good idea considering that
That what? Youre living with Jenna, she pointed out with a small scowl.
And were adults, he shot back at her catching the glare she issued him.
And so am I. I love Wayne and its not like were not in a serious relationship with one another, she curled her lip in protest. Dad, Im not staying with mom and Im certainly not moving in with you and Jenna when this place is cramped enough with the baby on the way.
Fine, then move into my place, Hart suggested without hesitation, I havent been able to sell it yet and
I cant afford your place, she replied thinking about the lavish condo her father had, Its too expensive for me.
Ill foot the bill, he shrugged his shoulders without hesitation, Heaven knows I can afford it.
Dad, Im moving in with Wayne. Im sorry if you dont like it, but she started to protest knowing full well this wasnt the time to get into the subject with Hart, Weve been living together for a while already. We just wanted something bigger.
Fine, then stay at the condo until youve settled in on something, he paused feeling a moment of reluctance carry over him before he spoke up again, Even if that means bringing Wayne with you.
Are you serious? she searched his eyes for a long moment seeking out protest.
Yeah, Im serious. If it helps, then stay there, Hart finally nodded in spite of himself, I would much rather you two being in a better area until something good comes along.
Oh thank you, she replied reaching out to hug him excitedly, Ill tell Wayne all about it and if he says its okay, then well move in this week.
And here I thought you might fight me on the issue, he laughed lightly before squeezing her in his arms, I love you Sam.
I love you too dad, she assured him thinking about how good it was to finally have him in her life after all the years that they spent apart. While time had been stolen from them in the past, she vowed to make the most of what they had left with one another even if it was on limited moments.
Im not sitting down Kevin because I have nothing else to say
to you, Angela informed him with a small shake of her head feeling him
grab her hand in his as he pulled her hard, but not enough to hurt her over
towards the table so she would sit. I dont even want to talk to
you right now.
Good, thats real good because I want to be the one that talks, Kevin replied sitting across the table from her, his light chocolate brown eyes filled with anger. What is your problem Angie? Are you just out to hurt everyone in the world because you arent happy with yourself or something?
Please Kevin, Angela rolled her eyes crossing her legs as she looked towards the window trying to do anything that wouldnt make her give him eye contact. I dont need anyone to make my life better.
Thats obvious because you are going to end up being with no one if you continue to do things like this, he informed her with a small shake of his head, a muscle in his jaw tightening as he watched her make sure she didnt look him in the eyes. He reached his hand out to slide his fingers in underneath her chin making her look at him. Look at me when I talk to you.
Go find someone else who cares Kevin, Angela went to get up feeling him wrap his thick fingers around her wrist so that she would sit back down. She pulled her hand away from his before shaking her head slowly. You think you are really that great dont you? Well, let me tell you now Kevin, you arent perfect--you are far from it.
You dont think I know that? Kevin snapped right back at her seeing her dark eyes staring into his seeming as if she was acting dumb with all the things that were happening around her. Just listen to me Angie and listen to me good. Stay away from Russ and Avery, they belong together. They dont need someone like you hanging around them and always trying to break them up. They have a baby, does that mean nothing to you?
Please Kevin, like you really think he wants to be with her, Angela furthered the subject seeing Kevin glaring out at her, a muscle in his jaw tensing as he stared out at her. You just saw him kissing me like that and
Bull shit, Kevin cut her off angrily seeing some of the people around them stare out at them as he reached for her hand and pulled her up out of her chair. He walked out the backdoor, feeling the rain slamming down against them. You know you did that just to make me jealous Angie. Russ loves Avery and you are not even a second thought to him. Hell, you arent even a choice in Russells book.
Why would I want to make you jealous Kevin? You dont even matter to me, she whispered seeing his dark eyes look into her as he bit into his bottom lip. Kevin, your dead to me now and you know exactly why.
Good, Kevin grumbled his gaze rising back up to hers as a smile licked over the corners of his lips. Im glad you dont like me anymore because you will understand me more when I tell you that you are a horrible person for even trying that with Russ and Avery. They have a baby and Avery is a good person that
Oh please Kevin, Angela rolled her eyes upon hearing Kevins words, seeing the way his chocolate brown eyes looked down at her. The only reason you care about that woman is because she looks exactly like me. Thats the one and only reason you want to be with her so much Kevin. If you had the chance you would sleep with her just like that and Russ wouldnt even cross your mind. The only problem you are having is that shes not me and if you did sleep with her you would think you were sleeping with me.
You think so? Kevin chuckled folding his arms out in front of him and shaking his head slowly. He rubbed his chin gently with his right hand before nodding slowly. You see Angela, that would only be in your dreams because I dont love you anymore. I never will again.
Oh really? Angela arched an eyebrow up at him seeing the way that he nodded as she took a bold step forward making him back up into the wall before she reached up and curved her hand in around the back of his neck.
She saw his eyes stare into hers for a moment wondering what her next move would be before she pulled him down for a kiss. She felt his body tighten against her and there was no response from him as she nibbled at his bottom lip gently. After a moment Kevin grabbed her by the arms and pushed her back gently so he could step away from her. He wiped at his lips with the back of his hand before a small scowl developed over his features.
Dont tell me you dont like me anymore Kevin, I know that
wouldnt be the truth.
I never liked you, Kevin snapped wiping at his lips again before glancing down at his hand and let out a small growl. The woman I loved left a long time ago. The woman I loved was caring, beautiful, sweet, and I loved her more than life itself. Where she went, I dont know. All I know is that you sure as hell arent the woman I loved. Now I love someone who loves me for me and wouldnt take advantage of me like you always have. I love Ria with everything I am and I would do anything for her, I dont love you.
You tell me this when I look right to your arm and right there is my
name still on your arm Kevin, Angela pointed out, arching her eyebrow up to him as he looked down towards his left arm where he had the tattoo. You cant stand here and tell me that you dont love me when you once said to me Ill never let you go as long as I have this tattoo.
Angela, Kevin laughed lifting up the sleeve of his drenched shirt to look over the tattoo before looking back up at her. He licked his thumb, rubbing at the tattoo with that thumb and then shrugged his shoulders. Its kind of hard to get rid of if you think about it honey. If I do recall you still have my name on you too, right at the bottom of your back sweetheart, so dont you use the tattoo against me.
Fine then, Im sure you still have the passion ring on your necklace,
Angela grabbed a hold of Kevins shirt, pulling it down a bit at the
collar before grabbing the chain necklace he was wearing. Seeing Kevins
eyes staring out into hers she saw the regular cross chain that he always
wore with nothing on it other then the charm it had on it from the beginning.
Its not there.
Why do you think that Angie? Kevin questioned arching his eyebrows up before shaking his head slowly. Pulling his shirt away from her he smoothed it out slowly. I dont have it because I dont feel the way you think I feel.
Kevin, every time we were on the island you followed me around like a lost puppy dog, Angela pointed out seeing his eyes seem to start fill up with more anger. Everyone sees that you are still in love with me--even your fiancée Kevin. Oh wait, thats right--she left you. She isnt your fiancée anymore.
Damn you Angela, Kevin snapped taking a step forward towards her, feeling the water hitting against his body and hearing the thunder rumble above him. Cant anyone be happy just for once? After all I have done for you, can I just be happy? The one person I love the most left me because of you and I loved her more than anything I have ever loved other than my daughter. You know Angie, you dont deserve me or Brant, we are too good for you because you deserve to be alone. Youre the one thats not right.
Please Kevin, like you want to be happy, she came right back at him with a small scowl, reaching out to push him back seeing him look down towards his chest. You just keep coming on back to me like something is going to happen, but nothing ever is going to happen. I dont like you and I never liked you. The only thing you were good for was in bed. You knew how to do something right because other than that you were just a screw up.
Thats what you think? Kevin smirked reaching up to push his wet hair back, rubbing at his cheek lightly before nodding. I think you have forgotten just who the hell I am Angela. Im the man that took care of you every second after you got pregnant with the twins. They are Brants children and he has every right to be with them, but I was the man that was there the most. I took you to your appointments, I went to your Lamaze classes and still--you dont appreciate anything. You know what? Im done with you Angie. Im just done with you, I dont even know who you are anymore.
You say that now Kevin, but you will come back like you always do, Angela reached into her pocket, pulling something out of it and watching him walk away from her slowly. Well, I have something for you before you walk out of here and I never see you again.
Kevin felt something hit the back of his head as he turned around to face her. He rubbed the back of his head thankful that it was something small because if it was bigger she probably would have knocked him out from how hard she threw it at him.
That was real mature, Kevin grumbled bending down to pick up the object that was on the ground and as soon as his eyes hit the object he felt his throat grow dry. It was the engagement ring he had given her and as he looked at it he couldnt help but think back to when he gave it to her.
He gave it to her one of the nights she spent with him and he brought it up as a surprise when they were together. He could remember the look on her face when he asked her to marry him, how could he forget that face she gave him? She looked so much in love with him that day that he would never forget her answer. Never forget the way she kissed him and held onto him that night. The words she promised to him again and again that day always stayed in his heart and broke it a little more every time he thought about it.
Ill love you always and forever, Kevin whispered reminding
her of the words she once said to him as he looked over the diamond ring before
looking back up at her with a small smirk. Look at where always and
forever led us.
This isnt my fault Kevin, Angela snapped seeing the way his dark eyes were looking into hers as she tried to look away from him, hating the way that he could make her feel. This was never my fault, I never did anything wrong.
Of course you didnt, Kevin slid the ring into his side pocket, pushing back his wet hair before noticing the way she was looking at him. I mean, all I tried to be was perfect for you. I know that must have been hard. So hard that you wouldnt want to marry me anymore and not even care about me.
It could have been perfect Kevin, but you were the one that ruined it, you were the one that did this, Angela snapped taking a step forward and poking him in the center of his chest as he let out a small hiss running his hand in over the front of his chest. I dont want the ring anymore Kevin, you mean nothing to me and I dont even want to see that anymore. I hate you so much Kevin and I would never, ever think about marrying you again. You are absolutely pathetic and just look at yourself. No wonder I left you because I know I can do so much better than you.
I didnt do anything wrong to you Angie, Kevin pointed out
with a small frown rubbing his pocket and feeling the ring beneath his fingers.
I was the best boyfriend I could have been and you never accepted me
for who I was. Sure, back then I didnt have the money you wanted, but
I was willing to give you my everything. Was that not good enough for you?
Me giving my life up for you and my daughter? Was that so bad?
Kevin, Angela tried to say something seeing the way his face filled with anger as she shook her head and folded her arms out in front of her chest. I dont really remember.
Everything I did was because I was looking out for you, Kevin stepped forward looking down at her angrily before snapping his fingers so she would look up at him. Think back to when I left Angie, a couple of months after we lost our daughter. You told me you wanted me gone so I left because I didnt want you hurt. I wanted you to have what you wanted because I loved you. When you got married to Cary I pushed aside my feelings that I had so strongly for you. I loved you so much, but I had to move on and let you be happy. I wanted you to have everything I couldnt. I did everything for you. Just like I did for you to be with Brant. So dont tell me I dont want you to be happy because I gave up everything for you.
After hearing what Kevin blurted out Angela turned away from him hearing Kevin let out a small laugh before she met his glance again, hating the silence between them.
Everything turned back to good in my life Kevin, Angela reminded
him, not trying to feel upset by thinking back to the time she had spent with
him after their daughter died. There were so many times she thought about
that moment in time when she told him to leave, so many times she wished she
could change that moment and try and make it better. I had another chance
at happiness, but you just had to kill Cary to try and get my attention again.
Damn you, Kevin slammed his hands up against the brick wall on both sides of her as he looked down at her angrily. What is your problem?
You Kevin, she snapped right back feeling her heart beating wildly after she thought he was about to hit her. She felt him press her further back against the wall as the muscle in his jaw tightened more. You killed my husband and you deserve to go to hell for what you have done.
You dont even know what happened Angela, Kevin informed her with a small growl feeling a pain building up in his chest as he watched her carefully. He was going to kill you and me. You were too blinded by his damn charm to care. He was going to kill you and you were going to sit back and let it happen.
I knew Cameron was right from the start because the day Cary died, Angela paused seeing Kevins eyes staring into hers. The night he died I was with you. I knew you were just jealous.
Just seeing the way that Kevin was looking at her, she couldnt help but remember the day she had called Kevin after her and Cary had gotten into one of their fights--one of the ones that turned out bad.
I came here as soon as I could, Kevin walked through the front
door seeing Angela before him and wrapped his arms around her tightly after
closing the door. Kevin leaned back brushing his fingers up against her bruising
cheek as a frown spread throughout his features, feeling her tears against
his fingertips. What did he do to you?
Dont worry about it, Angela hushed him seeing him walk into the kitchen and then come back with a small bag of ice in his hand. He led her to the couch, making her sit down as he sat next to her placing the ice against her skin. It was really nothing, we just got into a fight and
And he hit you? Kevin finished off feeling his jaw tighten in anger as he looked over towards the clock knowing that Cary would be training right now. Im going to kill that son of a bitch.
Kevin, no, Angela grabbed Kevins wrist in her hand pulling him back down to her feeling him reach out to caress her cheek as she pulled the ice away from her cheek. I cant let you do that, I dont want him to get mad at me. Ive got his baby growing inside of me now
And he doesnt deserve to be a father, he treats you horrible, Kevin informed her with a small frown placing his hand over her stomach caressing it gently as she placed her hand over his. I cant sit back and watch him hurt you like this over and over again. Im not going to let him do this to you anymore, I cant let you two get hurt. I love you too much and he is going to find out that he doesnt touch a woman like that.
Kevin, Angela felt him stand up again as she made him sit back down on the couch again, leaning forward and pressing her lips up against his and feeling him hesitate at first before kissing her back. She slid her hand in over his shoulder and felt his hand settle in against the small of her back. Breathlessly, she pulled away from him playing with his thick hair before smiling. Did you mean it?
Mean what? Kevin questioned feeling her push him back against the couch and get in over him, leaning back down to capture his lips against hers. Kevin backed away from her trying to put a distance between them before reaching up and outlining her lips with his thumb. Angie, I thought you said you wanted to stop things between us. Im divorced youre married and you said we were making a mistake in being together.
Do you still love me? she questioned seeing the way that his dark eyes were looking up into hers as she silenced him with her fingers. You just said you loved me, do you love me Kevin? During that so called mistake you never once said that, but do you mean it? Do you love me?
More than anything, Kevin whispered seeing her smile and lean down to kiss him again, a breath escaping her lips as her lips parted up to him feeling his tongue massage hers gently. Her fingers pulled apart the buttons of his shirt slowly before she reached down to his belt and he stopped her fingers from going any further. Not on the couch, not here.
Kevin, Angela felt him get up off the couch and pick her up in his arms leading her towards the bedroom before setting her down on the bed carefully.
I want to make love to you and show you how much I love you, Kevin whispered slipping his shirt off his shoulders throwing it to the ground seeing her dark eyes follow his every movement. His fingertips eased in over his belt as he pulled it apart and pulled his pants down to his ankles seeing the way she stared out at his body. A small breath escaped his lips before he got in over her carefully. Not use you for something else. Youre too beautiful to be treated like that.
How did you really kill him Kevin? Angela questioned seeing Kevin
let out a long sigh as he shrugged his shoulders. How did you kill my
husband that night? We were together and you left that night, I remember.
What I did was wrong, but I was ready to give it up for you Angie, Kevin whispered thinking back to the moment that changed his life for a very long time. The night he had left to go find Cary after they had been together, made his heart ache a bit more with the way she was acting towards him.
What am I going to do? Kevin remembered asking himself as
he laid in Angelas bed with her, feeling her snuggle in against his
chest while she slept and he wrapped his arm around her shoulders tightly.
I cant let Cary hurt her, not now.
Kevin looked down towards Angela feeling her drape her arm over his bare abdomen as he brushed her hair back away from her eyes. There was no way he was about to let her out of his life and get hurt like this. He had to get things straight with Cary and get him to leave town or something because he wasnt about to let Cary take Angela away from him for the rest of his life.
I cant lose you, Kevin stared out down at Angela for a moment before leaning down and pressing a small kiss against her forehead. He carefully moved out from under her, standing up from the bed to hear her let out a small yawn. He saw Angela lift her head up from the bed as she looked up at him and he laid back down, pushing a piece of her hair back behind her ear. Everything is okay honey.
Where are you going? Angela questioned staring Kevin in the eyes starting to hear the thunder behind her as the rain slammed up against the windows, the lightening flashing behind Kevins eyes. I know you hate storms.
Im just going for a quick walk, Kevin explained with a small smile caressing her cheek gently before leaning in to kiss her softly, her arm curling around his shoulders as a sigh escaped from the back of her throat. Im going to be gone for just a little while, I promise.
Kevin, please dont leave me, she begged feeling him start to kiss her slowly before getting in over her carefully, making sure to keep his weight away from her stomach. I dont think I can be alone right now.
Im never going to leave you again, he promised in a small hush feeling her get him onto his back as she got in over him bringing their bodies to a completion and he rested his head back against the pillows. He felt her hands slide in over his shoulders slowly as he reached his right hand out placing it against her hip gently, aiding the motion of her body before lifting his left hand up to caress her cheek gently. A small breath escaped her lips when he gently moved her onto her back, moving his hips back and forth carefully. You never have to worry about losing me again.
I never want to do that Kevin, she kissed him lovingly feeling his fingers enclose with hers as she slid her other hand up against his cheek. I love you so much.
I love you too, Kevin whispered as they spent the rest of their moments making love only to have Angela drift off after a little while, leaving him with more time to think about Cary and what he might do to Angela in the future.
She was sleeping on the bed peacefully as Kevin got up from the bed, placing a small kiss on her lips before going back to grab his pants back off the floor.
I cant let him go through with this, Kevin whispered to himself pulling his pants up slowly before reaching for his shirt and tugging it up his shoulders. She cant die, Im not going to let it happen.
I loved you so much Angie and I wasnt ready to lose you like
that. I told you that night I loved you and you told me you loved me, so what
changed? Kevin questioned with a small shake of his head thinking about
all the things that happened between them. I loved you so very much
and I was making sure he wouldnt hurt the one thing I loved. He wasnt
about to kill you when you could have been carrying my baby.
Youre baby? she laughed seeing his brown eyes staring out into hers as she looked away from him and shook her head slowly. Kevin, there is no way that the baby could have been yours. When we did stuff like that anyways, you were the one that took advantage of me. I would have never been with you when I was with Cary and
Oh no, dont you dare blame this on me, Kevin shook his
head slowly taking in a deep breath moving in closer to her as she stared
up at him. You jumped me every single time. At the bar I sure as hell
know that one was you too. It was just a matter of you couldnt stay
away from me because you loved me. Every time we did something you started
it and begged to continue so I did. Dont you dare say I took advantage
of you. If anything you took advantage of my heart all the time.
I hate you, Angela snapped feeling all her anger building up as she brought her hand across his cheek the hardest she could seeing him stumble back not expecting it. Moving forward she hit him in the chest over and over again as he tried to get control of her hands grabbing her wrists in his hands tightly. Why did you lie to me? All this time--why?
I didnt want you hurt if you found out the man you were married to was going to try and kill you, Kevin took in a deep breath feeling the stinging in his cheek from her hit as she tried to get out of his grasp and his eyebrows tensed together. I didnt mean to kill him Angie, it just happened.
Sure Kevin, Angela rolled her eyes at his comment feeling his hand slip in against the side of her face as she looked up at him worriedly. You say you loved me and you say I loved you, then why did you kill my babys father? Why did you kill him when you knew it would hurt me?
He was trying to kill me and you. That baby could have been mine too and you know it so just give it up. I was with you more than he ever was and he was trying to take away the one thing that made me whole back then, Kevin tried to explain to her with a small frown, caressing her cheek carefully with his thumb. You told me you loved me and I wasnt about to let the one person I loved die. I couldnt lose you like that.
I have to know how you killed him, Angela whispered seeing Kevins
eyes narrow in at her hesitantly as she shrugged her shoulders. So tell
me the bull crap story so I can know how full of it you really are.
I came home one day to find my soon to be ex-wife and your husband talking about how they were going to kill you and get your money Angie, Kevin informed her with a small gulp thinking about everything that happened right before him. I loved you so damn much back then and excuse me for not wanting you dead. You didnt deserve to die so yeah, maybe I killed him but it was an accident. If he didnt die you and I would have Angie.
How did he die Kevin? Angela questioned angrily seeing him look away from her before shaking his head slowly after she reached out to push him back and away from her. How did you kill him Kevin?
We were fighting by the hill, Kevin cleared his throat uneasily before shaking his head slowly and thinking about all the things that happened back in the days that he never wanted to talk about again. Just forget about it Angie, its nothing you need to know about. All you need to know is that it was an accident. Thats all you should know.
Im supposed to believe that Kevin? Angela shook her head at him letting out a small laugh seeing his eyes lower towards the ground as he looked back up at her. Deciding that she couldnt hold her anger in anymore she out of no where slapped Kevin right across the face again seeing him turn his head to the side, his eyes closed from her blow. Reaching out, she pushed him back roughly again seeing him stumble over his feet and fall to the ground. You are evil and you deserve what you are getting. You deserve to be alone.
You know what, you act like this man was the love of your life, Kevin blurted out angrily from the ground his dark eyes glaring out into hers as she stared up at him. Even when you were married to him, you didnt care. How about our boxing match Angie? If you remember you ran to me when I was hurt. I was winning the match and you got worried that I would hurt him so I stopped all around. The only thing I had was my belt back then and I was ready to give that up too just for you. The only reason I didnt lose it is because your so called husband cheated and when he did, you ran to me. Not him, me.
You are reading way too far into this whole thing Kev, Angela chuckled seeing his eyebrow arch up before looking back toward the ground. That wasnt a point of relevance.
Oh really? Well then I guess the way people saw it was a wrong assumption?
If I do recall Cary was your husband, I was the lover and you ran to me Angie.
You ran to me first, Kevin snapped seeing the way she looked down at
him as he let out a small laugh. And you said I was the one running
back to you. You were always the one running away from me, so where do you
get off saying that I kept running back to you when I never ran away?
You always seem to do this Kevin, go into something that is all about you, she butted in seeing the way he looked up at her and she shook her head slowly. This was never about you and your so called pain. This was all about you and what you did to a man. Someone you killed and the name of that death will always hang over you. Youre a horrible person Kevin.
You think I like what I have done? Kevin started to lift up his shirt to show her the small scar that was left on his chest from when he had gotten shot by Craven. Instead of having my daughter, Im stuck with this stupid scar my whole life telling me what I did wrong and why Im still stuck on this Earth without her.
Kevin pulled his shirt back down and shook his head slowly, resting his right
hand back against the cement before looking up at her with his dark eyes and
rubbing his cheek feeling the burning sensation after she hit him twice. The
rain fell from above roughly while he thought about the past and realized
how much his feelings had truly changed over the years for her.
You know, all this time I was thinking that I was the one that was bad and deserved to die. I felt that it was my fault that our daughter died, but look at you, Kevin cleared his throat looking up at her from where he was on the ground. Youre the one that is evil. I loved you so much and you ripped my heart out time and time again. You knew I loved you and thats why you did all of this. You got with guy after guy, running back to me every time they disappeared out of your life because you knew I would be there.
Right Kevin, Angela rolled her eyes seeing the way his dark eyes looked into hers and she shook her head slowly. More like you were the one that kept running back to me Kevin.
Angie, I never left. I could have never come running back because I
was never running away from you, Kevin snapped throwing his right hand
up in the air before looking away from her and biting down on his bottom lip.
I was there the whole time for you no matter what. I never left you
and I just stood back watching you try and make a life with someone else other
than me. You kept me there because you knew I would be there. You used other
men to make me hurt Angela. You hurt me and you knew you were hurting me,
you just cared that my heart used to only be for you and you played with it
so many times. The only thing I didnt notice is that the whole time
I thought you loved me, but the whole time you were just trying to hurt me.
This isnt about you Kevin, she reminded him seeing him push back his hair slowly before she let out a small breath. This is about me and about what you did to me and my husband.
What about our family Angie? The one that you promised we were going to have? You know the one you were so excited about having with me and our daughter? Kevin reminded her before shaking his head slowly and letting out a small breath. Our daughter, you didnt even care and now with the people you love the most, you are hurting them the worst. I took care of you, I loved you and I tried to hide that feeling of hurt Angie, but its there and there is no more room in my heart to be hurt. You took all that I was and stomped on my heart, I cant give you much else. After all this, I just have one thing to say to you Angie.
Oh really Kevin, whats that? Angela questioned angrily seeing the way he bit down on his bottom lip aggravated as she rested her hands against her hips.
I just want you to think clearly for one minute before I say what I want to, Kevin pushed back his hair before shaking his head slowly. He used to scare you Angie, he used to worry you and who was the one you called? Who was the one that was there every time you were alone and worried? Who?
You were, she whispered knowing where he was trying to go with this remembering the last time Kevin had come to protect her and make sure she was okay. I was just worried sometimes Kevin, I didnt want you to kill him.
I dont care what you think of me anymore Angela, Kevin replied shaking his head slowly and pushing back his hair once more. Because like I said, I have one more thing to say to you.
Really? Whats that Kevin? Angela questioned seeing him
stand up and walk over towards her as he grabbed her hand in his tightly,
making her open her fingers as he placed the ring in her hand and his eyes
darkened with emotion once again.
I always thought you were the one, but now I know who really is the one and it isnt you. I wasted my life on you when the person who really loved me wasnt even close to you. Mainly now I know that Im not the one thats evil Angela, Kevin stated with a small scowl closing her fingers over the ring before backing away slowly. You are.
Angela watched as Kevin backed away slowly before pulling his keys out of his pocket and shaking his head as he turned around. She watched him get in the car and pull away before looking back down at the ring and frowning. She slid the ring back into her pocket before thinking about the words he said making her realize that whatever her and Kevin had in the past was over forever. After Kevin pulled away, she knew he never wanted to speak to her again.
Why me? Angela asked herself looking up toward the storming sky before reaching for her purse to put the engagement ring back in there. Pulling out her keys she looked down at her chain grabbing a hold of the passion ring that she and Kevin had a set of when they were younger. Starting to pull it off she stopped before looking down at it and shaking her head slowly putting her keys back into her purse. I cant believe this is happening.
The thunder overhead started to roar as Avery found herself pulling away
from Russ. She felt the rain soak through her clothes and while his arms were
still firmly wrapped around her, she couldnt quite shake the ache that
filled her at the memory of seeing him kissing Angela. Even if his lips over
hers had left her breathless, she wasnt about to fall victim to this
game all over again. Stepping back she tried to detangle herself from his
Russ I know what I saw in there, Avery explained in a pained tone, her eyes filled with sadness.
What you saw wasnt what you think it is, Russ tried to reason with her shaking his head in response, Angela is out of her mind right now and shes trying to get people fired up the way shes been fired up.
Russ shes pregnant. I have eyes. I saw that much, which only makes me wonder if, she trailed off almost afraid to ask what was coming next about the woman shed seen in his arms. It was as if her worst fears were confirmed in seeing Russ with Angela. Are you the
No, Russ answered quickly realizing that the way Cameron had presented the situation to Avery the other night had only further confused her. He had thought hed explained himself, but seeing the questions behind her eyes, he couldnt help but make himself clear on the facts, she was pregnant when I met her. I had nothing to do with her having the twins. They arent mine. They are Brants children.
Brant, Avery blinked back at him shaking her head, thats ridiculous Russ. How could they be Brants when?
Avery, you remember what we saw when she was fighting with Brant, Russ offered up hoping to reach out to her. He touched her cheek gently and forced her to meet his eyes. Brant and Angela met one another before I was in the explosion. They met up somewhere on an island and they were together. By the time I washed up on the island, she was already pregnant and longing to find him again.
Then why did she sleep with you? Why were you two going to get married? Avery couldnt help but ask with a pained expression.
Because I didnt know who I was and she was trying to forget him. She saw something on the news about you and Brant being married--she thought he had a wife and Russ explained still trying to make sense of the ridiculousness of the situation himself. I dont know all the details about what happened with them and I really dont care about that because they arent what is important to me. You are.
Russ, I want to believe that, but when I saw you kissing her, Avery answered feeling a tiny shudder press over her.
She kissed me. I didnt kiss her Avery, Russ corrected with a heavy sigh sliding his fingers into her damp, dark hair, I wouldnt ever want to be with her when I love you and only you.
You keep saying that, but when I walked in Avery argued with him feeling her heart lost in a whirlwind of confusion.
You saw her trying to make Kevin jealous. I dont know why, but shes bent on hurting him somehow because shes upset with him and Brant. She tried to get me going--to lead me to believe that you and Kevin could have something together because youre angry with me about what happened with her. She tried to get me upset and thinking that you and Kevin could be sleeping with one another, Russ added remembering his conversation with Angela, but I know thats ridiculous.
You didnt think that when you came home and found him there, she pointed out with a frown of her own.
I was wrong and Im sorry for overreacting, Russ cupped her face in his hands, Avery, I believe in you and I know that you would never betray our love even if youre upset with me. What we have is too strong--too powerful and I know that neither one of us would willingly throw it aside when we have everything ahead of us.
Im just so confused, Avery revealed with a tiny shudder, Russ I want to believe in you and what you say, but after the lies
I never should have kept things from you and Im sorry about that, but I swear to you that none of it meant anything to me, Russ pleaded with her squeezing her in his arms, Avery, I love you and Erin and I would do anything to be with you both.
I want to believe that Russ, but when I saw you with her, Avery leaned forward into his chest, tears of frustration carrying over her.
Damn it Avery, what do I have to do to prove to you that Im not interested in her at all? Russ threw his hands in the air as she pushed away from him. Avery, please tell me what you want me to say--what you want me to do and I swear Ill do it. I promise you that I will do anything and everything in my power to prove myself to you.
Russ, dont, Avery watched him drop to his knees in the middle of the parking lot, surrounding himself in a pool of water as he reached for her hand. He took it in his and placed a kiss upon it, Russ stop.
Avery, Im begging you to just give me one more chance if for no other reason than for our future--for Erin and he pleaded with her, a whole new level of raw desperation in his tone as the storm carried on overhead.
Russ get up, Avery pleaded with him looking around the parking lot to see the stares they were getting.
Not until you at least hear me out. I need you to see that Im telling you the truth, that Im not lying about Angela, Russ continued his green eyes filled with a newfound determination, When I pledged my life to you I meant every word of it. I know that our wedding day might not have been real in the eyes of the law, but it was real to me. The day that I swore my life and love to you was the day that I knew in my heart that I would never be the same again. Avery, from the first moment I saw you ready to beat the hell out of my brother, I knew you were the one for me and that has never changed for me. The day we got married only reaffirmed my love for you. I never stopped loving you even when we were apart and even now I cant help but find myself consumed by thoughts of you and you alone.
Russ get up, Avery insisted tugging on his arm as he knelt before her.
Avery, I dont care what I have to do to prove myself, but I swear to you that I will do it because without you and Erin, I have nothing. I am nothing and I know that I cant bear to spend the rest of my life without you. I love you more than life itself, he explained feeling her tug on his arm again and urge him off of the ground. He complied with her request moving in closer to her. Avery, I was born to love you and make you happy. I realize Ive not been doing the best of jobs at it lately, but I swear to you with all that I am I want to change that. I want for us to find that happiness we had on the day we got married--to reclaim that love that kept us together when the odds were stacked against us. I want to share every single moment of my life loving you and being with you and Erin and if you walk away from me
Russ, she paused feeling a pang in the center of her chest as her dark eyes met his again, there are so many things that have changed between us. Time has done so many things
Do you love me? he questioned point blank searching her dark eyes, Because if that hasnt changed, then we still have something.
Russ, I she stammered hearing another roar of thunder up above as the rain began to plummet down over them.
Do you love me Avery? Do you want for us to be together or have your feelings for me changed along the way? he questioned with a worried expression bracing himself for a confirmation of his worst fears coming to life.
No, she shook her head adamantly, they never did. Russ, Ive never stopped loving you. Even now all I want to do is reach out to you and hold on forever.
Then whats stopping you? he questioned in a small voice offering his arms out to her and feeling her rush into them. She hugged his torso, her head laying in against his chest as he brought his fingers up through her wet hair.
Just promise me that youll never lie to me again. That youll never keep anything like this from me, she tipped her head up to meet his gaze once again.
I swear to you Avery I will never, ever keep something this big from you again, he smoothed the pad of his thumb over the hollow of her cheekbone wiping at the tears and the rain that collected on her cheeks. Im sorry that I couldnt do things right the first time around.
This wasnt all your fault and I know that, she replied in a broken voice, Ive been blaming you for everything thats happened, but Ive made mistakes too. Russ, Ive done things that Im not proud of either and I cant condemn you for turning to someone else when I did the same thing.
I dont care about that, he shook his head firmly his fingers caressing the side of her face tenderly, all I care about is you and Erin and the future we have ahead of us. I want for us to move past what kept us apart and to move towards cherishing everything we have together in the here and now.
I want that too, Avery confessed tipping up on her toes to kiss him tenderly, I want you back more than anything.
Does this mean that I can come home again? Russ asked in a warm breath against her lips feeling her tremble against his touch.
If you dont, then Im going to divorce you, she mouthed bringing her fingers through his thick, damp hair and tangling them to draw him in for a kiss once again.
But were not he started to remind her before stopping himself as he saw her determined eyes.
Ill marry you again just to divorce you if you dont take me home right now and make me believe absolutely everything you just said, she murmured stealing another kiss from his lips again, her arms curving in around his shoulders.
Ill do whatever it takes to convince you, he paused for a long moment before meeting her eyes again, but I have one question. Wheres Erin?
Shes staying with my father and Judy right now, Avery explained with a small sigh, We can pick her up on the way back home if youre willing to drive me back.
I thought youd never ask, he smiled down at her, unwilling to release her now that he had her in his arms again. I love you.
I love you too Russ, she murmured in response reaching out to him once again as it seemed that the end of their nightmare was in sight again. She laced her fingers in his and motioned to his car, Lets go get our baby girl and go home.
Id like that, Russ smiled squeezing her hand in response as it seemed like things were finally looking up for the both of them at long last.
Kyle opened the front door to Heathers apartment thankful that shed
given him a spare key now that they were together. After the day hed
had at the hospital, hed put a lot of contemplation into things and
given that it was getting late he didnt want to bother her if she was
already sleeping. In his frame of mind, he knew full well he was going to
be a downer that she didnt need and the last thing he wanted was to
Stepping inside Kyle set his key on the table next to the door and slipped out of his jacket only to discover Heather curled up on the sofa, sleeping near the corner of it with a throw blanket around her. Kyle couldnt help but smile as he moved in over towards Heather and stood beside her just watching her laying there--seeing how truly beautiful she was laying in front of him looking so at peace with herself.
If you keep staring Im going to grow a complex, Heather muttered behind closed eyes sensing his presence in the room as he took a seat on the edge of the couch beside her.
Im sorry, he mouthed reaching out to tuck her long, blonde hair behind her ear as her green eyes opened and met his again, I couldnt help myself. You looked so beautiful and I didnt want to bother you.
Yet gawking at me was well within your rights huh? she teased smiling up at him. Sensing the worry behind his eyes she reached out to touch the side of his face gently, How are you sweetheart?
I would be lying if I said I was feeling okay about everything, Kyle sighed thinking about what Mindy was going through in losing Hunt, but after I was at the hospital I guess I just kind of started thinking about how life plays numbers on you.
Im sorry, Heather sat up straighter reaching out to touch his shoulder gently, I wish that it wasnt that way, but the world is full of surprises some of them rather unpleasant.
I know, but its not fair, Kyle admitted with a heavy sigh, Watching Mindy tonight it just got me thinking about my parents and how I lost them with no warning. I mean one minute we were talking about having dinner together the following week and then the next I hear that everything was gone--the house, the memories, them. It was like a nightmare had opened itself up into the waking world.
I wish you didnt have to go through that Kyle, Heather reached out to embrace him hugging him close to her, I loved them so much and it wasnt their time.
No it wasnt, Kyle hugged her tightly in response, Just like Im sure that it wasnt Hunts time either. The poor kid was ready to pledge his love to Mindy and ask her to marry him. He thought he had all the time in the world, but then one jackass shows up and changes that for him. And for what? Two hundred dollars that he never took with him? So many people suffered for something that should have been prevented.
I know, she nodded running her finger tips over his back gently. I wish that it didnt turn out that way, but for some horrible reason it did. It shouldnt have, but
But when I was with Mindy my heart was breaking with hers. I felt for her and hated to see all that shed lost, Kyle sighed heavily pulling back ever so slightly to see her eyes, but it also got me thinking. Heather, look at us. Look how much time we were apart because of one situation that kept us from being together.
We were both young and had no idea that my sister was capable of being so cruel and manipulative, Heather replied with an after thought, Here I was always known for being the witch and Sarah totally stole that position from me.
You were never a witch--just misguided, Kyle touched her cheek gently, but so was I. I was in the wrong direction for so very long that I found myself going down all the wrong paths. For a time I was closed off and after everything that happened when Susan died it got me thinking.
About Susan? she tipped her head to the side giving him a strange look.
No, about us and about how I dont want to let something happen to us that leaves us in the position that Mindy is in right now. When I see how her heart is breaking I realize that I never, ever want to go through that again. I lost you once when you left town and now that I found you again, I dont want to be without you, he explained with a solemn expression on his face. His thumb brushed over the hollow of her cheekbone as he leaned forward and pressed a tender kiss over her lips, Heather I love you. I love you so much.
I love you too Kyle, she breathed in response feeling a tiny shiver race over her at the softness of his lips over hers beckoning her for another kiss, and I promise you Im not going anywhere as long as I can help it.
Thats just it, he whispered pulling her onto his lap and into his arms, I want more than that. I want so much more.
Kyle, Ill give you anything you want, she promised gliding her fingers up and over his shoulders and muscled arms. Anything that I have its yours.
And I feel the same way which is why I dont want to wait, he blurted out with a newfound determination behind his eyes, Heather I want to get married.
I know and we will, she touched his cheek gently, Well have a beautiful wedding and
Tonight, he informed her point blank, a sudden seriousness in his tone, I mean I know we talked about taking our time and making wedding plans, but tonight it hit me that no matter how many plans a person makes, nothing is a sure shot. People wait for the right moment to come to them, but the truth to the matter is that we cant just sit back and let our lives pass us by. Heather, I know that youve always dreamt of a fairy tale wedding, but
But as long as youre the groom, then Im beyond ecstatic about it, she pressed her index finger over his lips to silence him, Its just are you sure that youre ready to take that step considering
That I want to spend the rest of my life with you? he arched a speculative brow before nodding quickly, Oh yeah Im sure. I say you get Charles out of bed and we drive to Atlantic City and just go for the gusto.
Youre serious? she searched his eyes for a moment.
Very serious, he nodded in response a smile touching over his lips, Ive played enough games in the past when it came to following my heart, but tonight my heart tells me that I am meant to be with you from here on out. I want to marry you Heather and make things official for us starting today. I want to wake up tomorrow with you in my arms knowing that youre my wife and that we were finally able to overcome the odds and do things like we should have years ago. No hesitation, no regrets.
No regrets, she repeated seeing just how far he was willing to go for them, though Kellens not going to approve given that hes all about planning a big wedding and
Kellen can kiss my well, no he cant, but this isnt about him. This is about us and we can let him plan a big wedding later. Heather, I want to marry you more than anything tonight and right now its all I can think about, he paused searching her eyes, unless of course you really dont think that you want to pass up the opportunity for a big, blown out wedding.
Are you kidding, she waved her hand dismissively before teasing, big, designer weddings are like so overrated. I mean given your track record the smaller the better it would seem. After all I would hate for you to get to the church and change your mind.
Last wedding I had I didnt make it to the church, he corrected with a small smile, but thats because I knew she wasnt the right one. She wasnt the woman I was in love with, but you are.
Heather smiled at his comment before sliding her fingers through the tips of his hair, And in knowing that Im positive that I would love to marry you any time, any place and if tonight is when were going to do it, then theres nothing I would love more Kyle.
Then its settled. Were getting married, Kyle mused with a wide grin picking her up in his arms and spinning her around the room as it seemed that his attempt at taking charge of his life was finally paying off for him at long last. No more worries and regrets, just following his heart to his destiny.
...to be continued...