Episode 365

Avery paced around the living room realizing that there had to be some kind of mistake. The person on the other end of the line when she’d called Russ couldn’t possibly know where Russ was because there was no way in the world that he would be with Angela. He was not going to jeopardize what they had with one another in the name of spending time with Angela. He’d sworn it was over and Avery was going to believe that.

“He wouldn’t lie to me,” Avery thought aloud continuing to move around the living room as she thought about what the person on the other line had said to her. There was no way that Russ would go see Angela. It had to be a mistake. One huge, horrible mistake that…

Her thoughts were interrupted when she heard a knock at the door. Noting the time she rushed over to the door ready to embrace Russ knowing full well the person on the phone had to be mistaken. However when Avery opened up the door she found Grady standing on the porch instead of Russ.

“Oh it’s you,” Avery frowned taking a step back and slumping her shoulders. She opened up the front door a bit wider in invitation before stepping aside.

“Gee, don’t look so excited or enthused,” Grady noted following her into the foyer area. “Hey, where’s Russ?”

“That seems to be the question of the hour around here now isn’t it,” Avery quipped with an air of sarcasm in her tone.

Grady watched her cross the room and he started to wonder if maybe just maybe things hadn’t been patched up as well between his brother and Avery as he’d thought earlier. He closed the door behind him before following Avery into the living room. He watched her slump into one of the chairs before he circled around to the sofa and sat across from her a curious expression on his face.

“Okay spill it. What’s wrong now?” Grady questioned bluntly catching her frown.

“Nothing,” she folded her arms in front of her chest catching his doubtful expression.

“Right and I’m the Tooth Fairy,” he shook his head at her. “Try again Avery and this time why don’t you work with the truth so that we don’t have to play twenty questions.”

“I don’t know where he is Grady,” she paused her frown intensifying, “Scratch that I think I know where he is and if he’s there I’m going to kill him.”

“That sounds promising,” Grady couldn’t help but add seeing the first hint of anger flash behind her eyes. He sat up straighter and sighed, “Okay let me have it. Where’s Russ and why are you two fighting now?”

“We’re not fighting,” she paused contemplating that statement before meeting Grady’s concerned eyes once more, “At least not yet.”

“Which implies my brother is about to get in over his head, so spill it. What are you ticked at him for this time?” he couldn’t help but ask with a heavy sigh.

“I’m not ticked at him. At least I’m not just yet because I don’t know if he’s there or not, but if he is, he had better have a damned good explanation as to why he is there with her considering that…” she started to rant, her voice rising with obvious agitation.

“Avery, what in the world are you talking about?” Grady shook his head at her, “You’re not making any sense.”

“Neither is my calling his office to have someone tell me that he’s at the hospital with his girlfriend,” Avery huffed in response, a frown carrying over her expression.

“Girlfriend,” Grady repeated with wide eyes, “You must’ve heard that one wrong because Russ doesn’t have a girlfriend.”

“The person on the phone said that Angela called asking for him and he rushed to the hospital to be with her. They then referred to her as his girlfriend,” she huffed impatiently her blood boiling at the idea of Russ spending any time with Angela.

“I’m sure whomever took the message that you called had it all wrong. They were probably confused and…” Grady tried to explain what had to be happening.

“I don’t think so,” she shook her head stubbornly. “The man that answered the phone specifically made a point of calling her Russell’s girlfriend and given that Russ hasn’t supposedly had any contact with her since he came home, I just don’t think someone would make that up.”

“Avery he had amnesia when he was with her. I seriously doubt he’s going to be sneaking off to meet with her especially at some place like the hospital,” Grady frowned in response shaking his head at her. “No offense, but there are much better and more discreet places for a man to have an affair. The hospital isn’t exactly sexy.”

“You’re making fun of me, aren’t you?” she glared over at him almost wishing she hadn’t told him of her concerns.

“Maybe a little bit,” he held his fingers up in the air, “but you know damned well that if Russ is at the hospital with someone it’s not because he’s thinking about having any kind of affair. He loves you and if you didn’t know it before, you should’ve figured it out the other night when you two were together making up.”

“Russ and I have great sex Grady, but that’s not what I’m talking about right now,” Avery corrected with a smug expression. “That was never a problem for the two of us…”

“And that’s not a subject that I want to delve into with the both of you,” Grady wrinkled his nose in response giving Avery a brief once over. “It’s too much for me to even think about.”

“Just because you don’t find me appealing doesn’t mean that Russ doesn’t find me hot,” Avery scoffed in response further wrinkling her nose.

“I never said anything about you being unappealing considering you and I both know damned well that considering that we…” Grady stopped himself before he put his foot in his mouth. Flushing the memory of his brief time with her out of his mind, he focused on the matter at hand. “What I’m saying is that Russ doesn’t need anyone else since obviously you two are connecting with one another again.”

“Then why wouldn’t he tell me that he was going to see her? If there wasn’t anything wrong with the situation, why didn’t he call me to say that he was going to spend some time with her?” Avery tossed back at him with a frown, “Why keep it from me?”

“Um because maybe it was an emergency,” Grady scratched his own chin lightly, “You know the last time I checked those type of situations did happen around a hospital. Usually when people are called in they tend to have to get there in a hurry.”

“Even so, you think he would’ve called me and told me about it,” she answered stubbornly as Grady searched her features for a long moment.

“You’re jealous, aren’t you?” he couldn’t help but ask his thoughts overtaking his words.

“What?” her dark eyes widened before she shook her head adamantly. “No of course not. Why would I be jealous of her when…”

“When what? When you know that he almost married her on the island,” Grady completed her thought for her. “Oh come on Avery. Face it you don’t like being in this situation because this is the first time in your life that another woman seriously captured Russell’s attention. Sure, he might’ve had amnesia, but he felt enough for her to almost marry her.”

“Because he thought she was me,” she informed him with a scowl. “He didn’t know what he was doing.”

“Yet you were just telling me that you weren’t convinced of the fact that he was finished with her. In fact if I didn’t know better I would think that you believe you have some competition for the first time in your life for my brother’s attention,” Grady sank back into the sofa, an amused expression on his face. “Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you jealous like this before.”

“I’m not jealous,” she argued with him reaching for a pillow on the chair beside her and squeezing it in her arms. “I just don’t understand why he didn’t call me to tell me.”

“Maybe because he figured you would freak out like you’re doing now,” Grady suggested seeing her less than thrilled expression, “Or maybe because you’re feeling guilty about the fact that you married Brant.”

“What?” her eyes widened at his suggestion, “Okay now that is just plain ridiculous.”

“Not really,” Grady shook his head eyeing her intently, “I mean here you are the one person who was kind of caught in the middle of this triangle for so very long, yet someone else steps in. Up until now it’s always been you that Brant and Russ have been fighting for. It’s your attention that they are trying to seek out, yet now there is someone else who from what I gather is just as beautiful as you are, who is now claiming their attention. It’s no longer about Avery anymore, so why wouldn’t you get jealous?”

“You’re such an ass,” Avery scowled standing up and throwing the pillow at him. “You couldn’t be any further from the truth if it bit you in the butt.”

“Right,” he stood up as well following her around the room, “which is why you’re damning yourself right now wondering how in the world my brother could be off with another woman when he says that you’re enough for him.”

“Listen I don’t need this,” she spun around to face him seeing his green eyes penetrating hers. “What is it about you? Do you just like to make me miserable at each and every opportunity?”

“I’m just trying to show you that your acting jealous is about as productive as your thinking that Russ is sleeping with someone else,” he mouthed dryly shaking his head at her. “I mean if you think about it Avery all his life it’s been you and only you. Even when you two broke up he’s always only wanted to be with you.”

“I know that, but still…” she bit on her lower lip nervously.

“You’re feeling guilty about the things you’ve done,” Grady searched her dark eyes. “Kind of like maybe Russ isn’t the only one who has kept secrets in the relationship that could blow things out of the water.”

“What are you talking about?” Avery’s eyes snapped up to meet his again, “Grady, Russ knows everything about what I was doing with Brant. He knows I only married Brant because I was trying to protect Erin and…”

“And?” Grady arched a curious brow. “Is that really the only reason that you were with him? I mean when you were married to Brant I heard a lot of things from you Avery. You told me that you loved Brant and that you really felt something strong for him, so naturally when some other woman comes into the picture you’re all jealous and when she has ties to Russ it burns you even more…”

“I’m not jealous of Angela!” Avery snapped at him, her voice shaking with anger. “She has nothing on me.”

“She has a part of Russell’s heart and Brant’s and that bugs you. It eats away at you because no matter how much you want to ignore it, you still know that they love her,” Grady continued to explain to her. “You know that they both felt something for her and knowing how Russ is about the women in his life the fact that he slept with her says a lot.”

“He was confused and…” she shook her head throwing her hands up in the air. “I’m not going over this with you because you don’t understand anything about what is going on with me Grady. You just can’t see what I’m saying.”

“I see it Avery,” he reached out to touch her arm urging her to meet his green eyes again. “I know how it feels when the person you love is with someone else. I know the ache that carries over a person in knowing that the one you love has shared a part of themselves with someone else that you despise--that no matter what you do or say it won’t change what’s happened. You wish like hell that you could make that nagging feeling disappear, but you can’t.”

“No, it’s not that. It’s just that,” Avery sighed heavily closing her eyes and thinking about the idea of Russ around Angela. She reopened her eyes unable to repress the tears that threatened. “I sound like a moron don’t I.”

“No, not a moron,” he touched the side of her face gently, “Just someone who needs to have a little faith in the man she loves. Russ would never cheat on you.”

“I know, but…” Avery stopped herself feeling his fingers taper off into her hair, “Grady I just feel like I’m not good enough for him anymore. Like something could happen at any second and he’ll see how horrible I am.”

“You’re not horrible,” he sighed offering up a small smile, “Impossible yes, but certainly not horrible.”

“Grady there are so many things he doesn’t know about me--things that I don’t know about myself and what if he wakes up one morning and realizes that this life isn’t nearly as great as he imagined it would be for us? What if he thinks about what he had with her and he wants her again?” she questioned her voice quivering with doubt. “Grady, they had something special on that island and if he never got his memory back he would be her husband right now and they would be together. I would probably be dead and…”

“Okay, now you’re getting carried away,” he informed her decidedly placing his thumb over her lips to silence her. “Avery, things happened for a reason and you have to believe that they turned out like they did because you and Russ are meant to have a happily ever after together. You both are the epitome of love and romance, so why in the world would you think for a second that you two couldn’t hold it together when the times were tough?”

“Because I’m afraid when everything is said and done that I won’t measure up to her Grady. Both men I loved were with her and they are still drawn to her,” Avery revealed throwing her hands in the air. “Yes, maybe that sounds stupid, but it’s true. She has this way of manipulating them and…”

“Russ loves you sweetheart,” Grady wiped at one of the tears that slipped past her cheek. “He’s always loved you and that’s not going to change just because he took one trip down to the hospital to see some girl that doesn’t even register on his radar. Trust me if my brother is at the hospital there is a damn good reason for it and it’s not because he’s in love with anyone other than you. I’m sure of it.”


“You may have not heard me correctly, I said I was in charge,” Kevin pointed out pushing at the center of Cameron’s shoulder roughly to get Cameron out of Brant’s face. “I don’t think you understand me correctly Cameron. In a situation like this, I’m in charge of the twins and because they aren’t born yet, I’m in charge of her also. So if you think about it, I’ll tell you what that means bucko. That means, I pick and choose who stays and who goes and Brant isn’t leaving.”

“You’re not going to do that to me Kevin, you’re not kicking me out from being away from my sister when you know damn well she would want me here. I’m not letting him stay,” Cameron snapped right back seeing Kevin step in front of Brant to keep a distance between the two while Brant read over the document. “I can’t believe you would choose him over me after everything I have done for you Kevin.”

“I can’t believe she would give you the right over the children and not me,” Brant blurted out as Kevin looked back over his shoulder at him before turning to face Brant reaching for the photos. “They are my children and surely not yours.”

“Brant, the only thing that is keeping you here right now is this. Do you not understand what I’m saying?” Kevin muttered sliding it back into his pocket before shaking his head slowly seeing Cameron smirking behind him. “I don’t understand why it makes you so upset considering I’m saving the both of us here.”

“Kevin, come on,” Cameron placed his hand on Kevin’s shoulder seeing Kevin glare down at his hand and Cameron took in a long breath squeezing lightly. “I don’t know why you are so upset over something like this. He is just being a baby about it considering she chose you over him. She knew that she could trust you more than Brant with the children’s best interest and that kills him inside.”

“Get off of me,” Kevin hissed pushing away Cameron’s hand before shaking his head slowly and turning to look to Brant again who now stared out at him angrily. “Brant come on, I told you. The two of you were broken up and…,”

“So what did you do to get her to sign something like that?” Brant blurted out looking between Cameron and Kevin before shaking his head slowly. “I can’t trust either one of you, the both of you are trying to overtake everything I have with Angela. What did you do Kevin? Get her drunk? Sleep with her and make her sign this?”

“Excuse me?” Kevin let out a small laugh before shaking his head slowly and pointing back at Cameron seeing Brant take a firm step forward. “If I do believe so, this guy right here is the one that is trying to screw you over. I’m the one that is trying to protect you, heaven forbid I’m trying to do the right thing.”

“Kevin come on, my sister loves you don’t try to lie to Brant when,” Cameron went to place his hand in over Kevin’s shoulder again only to feel him spin on his heel and deck him square in the jaw sending him back against the hard floor. “You son of a bitch, how dare you touch me like that.”

“You shut up and stay down,” Kevin ordered seeing Cameron laid out on the ground on one elbow, holding onto his jaw tightly. Kevin turned toward Brant seeing the confusion behind his dark eyes. “You need to understand, Angela is my best friend and you’re a friend of mine too. Why would I do something to try and upset you when I’m trying to save us here? How would it help me in the long run? I refused to sign this at first because I never wanted to imagine her getting hurt, but she made me sign it. I promised Angela Brant and I can not take back something I promised to her, she‘s my best friend, I can‘t do that.”

“I don’t believe it,” Cameron muttered as someone helped him up from the floor and Cameron shook his head slowly as Kevin turned to face Cameron again. “This is my lawyer and I called him earlier and I demand that you show him those papers Kevin. I still can’t believe my sister would trust you after all these years.”

“You can’t believe she would trust me? Why wouldn’t she considering she loved me more than anyone,” Kevin began before cutting himself off and rubbing the back of his neck, seeing Cameron smirk before glancing over at Brant. “That was until Brant came along, I was her best friend, it was a different kind of love. A trust love, you trust your best friend with everything.”

“Check these out,” Cameron grabbed a hold of the papers as Kevin pulled them out and handed them over to the man seeing him look over the papers slowly before nodding as to if they were real. “Fine Kevin, but I’m being honest. I’m not going to let Brant stay here, I have no problems with you considering you were the one I always thought she should be with. You’re her soul mate Kevin and Brant doesn’t belong here.”

“I have every right to be here,” Brant moved forward feeling Kevin grab a firm hold of him so he wouldn’t start a scene in the middle of the hospital that would get them thrown out in the long run. “I have more right than all of you to be here. Those are my children in there and I’m the one that Angela loves. Do you hear me?”

“Stop it the both of you,” Kevin pushed Brant back gently giving him a small glare as to warn him to stay back before he turned to Cameron again, folding his arms out in front of him. “Brant is not leaving and I’m not letting you take him out of here. If you keep behaving the way you are, I might suggest that your behavior will also effect Angie in a bad manner and you will never get to go in that room. Be a good boy and I just might see what I can do.”

“You can’t do this Kevin,” Cameron moved forward pushing at the center of Kevin’s chest roughly seeing Kevin close his eyes, trying to keep his cool to make sure that he wouldn’t hit Cameron. “After everything I’ve done for you, I’ve protected your background. I made sure it was you Angel was always with. Do you know how many times I protected your ass? How many people I had to deal with just to make sure you didn’t get hurt?”

“I didn’t get hurt? Hell Cameron, I’ve been protecting you. I’ve been shot how many times now? You’re such a…,” Kevin stopped himself before saying anything further and looked back at Brant counting to ten mentally before letting out a deep breath. “You know what, you check those papers out because they are completely in order. Angie did it all, she thought of it all and took care of everything that needed to be. You can dig all you want, but after you realize they are real, you will for sure be pissed because to tell you something I’ve made up my mind and you are gone Cameron. I’ve had enough of you.”

“I will find something to get rid of this,” Cameron snapped his fingers at his lawyer before glaring out at Kevin seeing the way that Kevin glared out at him with Brant by his side. “I’ll get payback on the both of you, I’m not going to stand for this.”

“Whatever Cameron, go cry to someone else considering no one is going to listen because you will realize you don’t belong here,” Brant snapped seeing the way Kevin nodded before Cameron took in a long breath before quickly spinning on his heel in the other direction. “You have five minutes to tell me exactly what the hell is up with those papers Kevin.”


“Wait just a couple of seconds,” Kipp heard Kellen’s voice call out as Kipp glanced through a few pictures while Kellen helped out Daniel with his new look in the other room. “We’re almost done Kippy.”

“Honey, I’ve been here the whole time, I don’t think I’m leaving now,” Kipp replied with a small laugh hearing the voices of Daniel and Kellen talking to each other back and forth. “If Daniel comes out looking like Kellen junior we are going to have some serious problems.”

“I wouldn’t say that's much of a problem,” Kellen muttered stepping in behind Kipp and placing his hand in over Kipp’s shoulder, startling him a bit before letting out a long breath and rubbing his hands together. “We're finished and I think you need to sit down so we can give you the real feeling of modeling off something.”

“Whatever you say,” Kipp chuckled lightly before sitting down on the middle of the couch and looking out waiting for Daniel as Kellen counted down with his five fingers. “Um, where is he exactly Kellen?”

“Daniel, get your butt out here right now,” Kellen frowned looking to his watch waiting for him to come out and show off his new look as Kellen rolled his eyes and stood up slowly. “Okay, I’ll be right back because someone is a little bit shy now if you realize.”

“I’ll be right here,” Kipp assured him with a small laugh resting his arms back on the couch and shaking his head slowly. “Be nice to him Kellen, knowing what you did to him, I’m sure I would be a bit nervous too.”

“Kellen, come on, let me change,” Kipp heard Daniel’s voice echoing through the hallway as he spotted Kellen walking into the room holding onto Daniel by picking him up and carrying him through the hallway. Setting him down on the floor in front of Kipp, Daniel went to move only to run right into Kellen’s chest. “I don’t look like me.”

“I’m your brother Danny, I won’t make fun of you if that’s what you think,” Kipp promised standing up from the couch and rubbing his hands together as he saw Daniel turn to face him, rubbing his hand against the back of his neck as Kellen clapped behind him. “What’s so wrong kiddo?”

“I look, not like me,” Daniel explained glancing back at Kellen seeing Kellen’s blue eyes staring into his and Daniel let out a long breath. Looking down to his designer jeans, the white tank top and leather jacket that Kellen put on him. Running his fingers through his hair, Daniel cleared his throat uneasily feeling the gel that Kellen just put in it and he went to wipe it off on his pants before Kellen caught his hand. “What?”

“Reach for a cloth or something,” Kellen reached for a Kleenex to wipe off Daniel’s fingers seeing Kipp smile looking down at Daniel’s sandals before shaking his head slowly. “You have to treat the clothes good too.”

“Do you honestly think this is going to make a girl notice me? All I got was a hair cut and some clothes,” Daniel explained seeing Kipp glance over at Kellen before nodding slowly and it made Daniel walk over to the mirror in the back of the room. “What if they think I’m trying to be fake.”

“Well,” Kipp heard the doorbell ring and saw Kellen’s eyebrows perk up and down before Kellen motioned him to go answer the door. Letting out a small laugh Kipp headed for the door seeing the worried glance on Daniel’s face. “I guess we will have to see.”

“Don’t even think about it,” Kellen blocked the hallway so Daniel couldn’t get away and he let out a small laugh seeing the way that Lindsay stepped into the house after Kipp motioned for her to come in. “Lindsay sweetheart, we were waiting for you to show up. We were just having some time to hug here.”

“Hug?” Lindsay chuckled seeing the way that Daniel tried to get around Kellen again as Kellen wrapped his muscular arm around Daniel’s shoulders pulling him closer to the door. Smiling as Daniel slightly waved at her she looked him over before nodding slowly. “I love the look, did you cut your hair.”

“Yeah,” Daniel simply nodded as he breathed in deeply and looked over at Kellen giving him a small wink as Kellen rubbed his hands together lightly. “I guess I will see you guys later, thanks for everything Kellen. I appreciate it.”

“No problem kiddo,” Kellen smiled widely after shutting the door and leaning his back against it as he heard Kipp laugh and walk back over to the couch to take a seat. “Oh my, did you see how he looked? I think I did a great job, he looked like a teen male model, I did so good.”

“You did, I should have never doubted you Kellen, you are great,” Kipp fed into Kellen’s ego seeing Kellen nod his head slowly and push back his short hair before coming over and sitting down on the couch. After turning on the television Kipp moved forward in his seat seeing something on Angela and he itched his chin slowly. “Would you look at that?”

“Oh my goodness, it’s Angel baby,” Kellen stood up from the couch reaching for his keys that were on the table seeing Kipp’s dark eyes staring up into his. “It’s Angel Kippy, she’s in the hospital, come on.”

“You caught that in the ten seconds you saw the screen?” Kipp questioned seeing Kellen’s impatient look over his features and Kipp nodded slowly standing up from the couch. Turning off the television he reached for his own jacket and pulled it on before nodding slowly and motioning Kellen to follow him. “Okay, we’ll go check on her. I have no idea what’s up, but she is Cameron’s sister and I should check on her.”

“I wonder if she’s going to be okay,” Kellen pondered the thought as he followed Kipp out of the house and to the car as Kellen got in the drivers seat. “Her, Kevin and JT were always like family to me, the more I think about it the more I’m going to worry. I hope Angel baby is going to be okay.”


“You look really great,” Lindsay admitted thinking about her surprise when she’d first spotted Daniel at Kipp and Kellen’s place. “I mean seriously I think I like the new look.”

“Kellen wanted to make me his new project,” Daniel replied sheepishly feeling a bit more like a GQ model with the clothing that Kellen had pulled out of his closet for Daniel and Lindsay’s day out. He looked down at the pale blue shirt and the beige khakis that Kellen had insisted he needed to wear and a blush carried over his features, “Normally I’m more laid back thsn this.”

“I like the dressy look,” she admitted with a hint of a smile, “It looks really classy and I like what you did with your hair. Not that I didn’t like it a little longer, but the shorter style just brings out your eyes.”

“Thanks,” Daniel cleared his throat before shuffling on his feet, “So what are you up for today?”

“Well I was actually…” Lindsay began ready to say something more when Stacy approached the two of them.

“I was wondering if someone died in there,” Stacy began swirling the car keys in her hand around until she spotted Daniel with Lindsay. Her eyes widened and she couldn’t help but give him a once over, “What happened to you? Were they having an Abercrombie convention in there?”

“As if,” Daniel shook his head at her before giving her a once over, “Nice pants Stacy. How many animals had to die to make those?”

“It’s synthetic,” she frowned looking to her fake leather animal print slacks, “Besides, it’s way in style nothing that you know anything about.”

“I think he looks nice,” Lindsay piped in attempting to keep the peace between her two friends.

“Yeah if he was dressed by a gay man,” Stacy couldn’t help but roll her eyes before standing taller, “So where are we going? I managed to sweet talk my uncle into letting me take his other car tonight, so where are we going?”

“I hadn’t really thought about it,” Lindsay turned to face Daniel once again, “What did you have in mind?”

“Not this,” Daniel mouthed to himself giving Stacy another look after disappointment carried over him at the thought that he and Lindsay wouldn’t be spending the time alone with one another.

“What was that?” Lindsay glanced over at him once again clearly not having heard his comment.

“I said anything you wish,” Daniel forced a smile attempting not to let Stacy know that her presence had put a crimp on his plans with Lindsay. “Though I have to wonder if you really trust her to drive. She’s kind of crazy.”

“I drive way better than you,” Stacy protested with a huff, “I didn’t crash the car in driver’s ed classes. That was all you.”

“There was a bee in the car and you were screaming about it stinging you,” Daniel rolled his eyes remembering the class they’d been stuck in with one another. “Then when you started ranting about your lipstick all over your face.”

“Which was your fault yet again,” Stacy placed her hands on her hips and huffed, “You were the one that slammed on the brakes when you saw me doing a touch up.”

“Make up shouldn’t have been on your mind. You should have been paying attention to the road,” Daniel tossed out at her with a roll of his eyes, “It was driver’s training, not beauty school.”

“Whatever. You’re just jealous because I didn’t have to take driver’s ed twice like you did because you failed your test,” Stacy snubbed him again before turning to Lindsay, “On second thought, what do you say we see a movie or something? I’m sure that will keep him quiet enough for us to actually enjoy the day.”

“I don’t know if that will work seeing as you have problems with popcorn,” Daniel tossed back at her before looking to Lindsay, “The last time I went to a movie with her she was so afraid that when a scary part was on, she practically jumped into the row in front of us. When she did that she spilled the extra buttery popcorn she needed to have so desperately all over me.”

“It’s not like it caused any real harm. You didn’t like that shirt anyways,” Stacy mouthed in response rolling her eyes at him.

“How do you know? Did you even think to apologize for that?” Daniel questioned harshly shaking his head at her, “You know maybe this isn’t a good idea today Lindsay.”

“Yeah maybe it’s not,” Stacy turned to leave, “I’ll just wait for you in the car.”

“Hold on a second,” Lindsay held her hands up in the air to silence them both, “You are both my friends and I want you to both spend the day with me. I’m sure that you both can put whatever it is that you have between you aside long enough for us to have fun.”

“I don’t think she wants to,” Daniel folded his arms in front of his chest before glaring over at Stacy.

“I can do it as long as you stop being rude,” Stacy tossed back at him with a huff.

“You’re the one who started insulting me,” Daniel reminded her with a shake of his head, “You’re the one who felt the need to start taking jabs at me.”

“Only because if I didn’t, you would turn it around on me,” Stacy replied wrinkling her nose at him.

“Okay, well you both were being mean to one another and now it’s over,” Lindsay stepped between the two of them, “Today I want to go out and have some fun, so can you two just be quiet long enough for me to do that? If not maybe I’ll go offer to baby-sit Zane again.”

“Hmm, that sounds like fun especially if Jason’s there,” Stacy’s eyes perked up at the thought, “I vote for that one.”

“No, I’m not going to baby-sit, but you both need to cool it,” Lindsay warned the two of them before walking over to the car, “Come on let’s go before I change my mind.”

“Fine,” Stacy remarked before glaring over at Daniel, “You’d better watch yourself.”

“You know this was supposed to be my date Stace,” Daniel informed her bluntly seeing the way that Lindsay was already at the car ready to blow the both of them off. “I was hoping for some alone time with Lindsay.”

“Why?” Stacy arched a curious brow, “It’s not like she’s interested in you anyways. In fact if I recall correctly your last girlfriend pretty much summed it up when she said that you were far from being what a girl needs to have in her life.”

“That’s because my last girlfriend was a spoiled, little snot who thought that she could make her own rules in life,” Daniel stepped forward his eyes focusing in on her once again, “She thought it was easier to skip town rather than stay where she was and try to actually enjoy the kind of life that she had at home. Apparently it wasn’t good enough for her.”

“She had her reasons,” Stacy remarked sourly before tipping her head up to meet his eyes again, “It was personal.”

“It was just because she was too pissed off at her parents to stick around and enjoy the good thing she had, but don’t worry Stace,” he stepped in closer to her lowering his voice a bit, “I’ve moved on and I’m pretty sure if you decided to get over me sooner rather than later, you’ll be just fine.”

“I was over you before I even left town Danny,” Stacy curled her lip in a pout, “I just don’t want to see you ruin my friend’s life like you tried to do with mine.”

“I was the best thing you ever had sweetheart, but don’t worry because what we had won’t ever be resurfacing again. I’m so over you,” Daniel informed her point blank before standing up taller and walking past her abruptly.

“I was over you first,” Stacy huffed in a feeble attempt to get the last word as she followed Daniel over to the car. She glanced over at Lindsay realizing that her friend was completely oblivious to the conversation she’d just had with Daniel, which was undoubtedly for the best. Standing up taller Stacy unlocked the car and looked to her friend again, “You’re totally riding shotgun Linds.”

“Fine with me,” Lindsay replied before looking to Daniel again, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah I’m fine,” Daniel nodded glaring over at Stacy while she got into the car.

“Hey, she’s just in a bad mood lately because of her family,” Lindsay reached out to touch his arm gently, “Don’t take it personally. You look really good today.”

“Thanks, I appreciate that,” Daniel smiled at Lindsay while making a silent vow to do his best to enjoy the day that he had to spend with Lindsay. Even if Stacy was there to annoy him, he vowed not to let her ruin what he’d had in mind for getting closer to Lindsay. One way or the other he would find a way to make the most out of the day even if it meant spending most of it ignoring Stacy.


“Nice place you have here Nate,” Jewel mouthed reaching out to place her hand over the center of Nate’s chest as the two stood together in the kitchen. “I’ll bet that you have really great bedrooms here.”

“As a matter of fact I do,” Nate grinned widely glancing over Jewel’s shoulder to see Matt, Zane and Kayla in the living room over by Matt’s drawing table. “In fact if you just go down the hallway and meet me in the third door on the right, then I swear to you I can show you all the things that are really incredible in the bedroom.”

“I can’t wait,” Jewel licked her lips before leaning in to kiss Nate quickly. She winked at him before moving to the hallway. “Kayla honey just color with your friends, okay?”

“Sure,” Kayla waved over at Jewel before Nate walked out into the living room to speak with Matt.

“Hey little man,” Nate mussed Matt’s hair a bit, “You think you can keep an eye on things in here for a little bit while I um, show Jewel something in the other room. I have something I want to show her and uh…”

“I’ll bet you do,” Matt rolled his eyes before shaking his head at Nate, “Do whatever you have to, but don’t take too long because you promised my dad you’d help with dinner.”

“Not a problem man. In fact,” Nate glanced over his shoulder to Jewel as she slipped into the bedroom. He moved over to the kitchen again opening the drawer with the coupons in it. He returned with a handful of coupons and set them on the center of Matt’s drawing table. “Knock yourself out ordering. Pick whatever you want Matt man. It’s on me tonight.”

“I’ll bet,” Matt rolled his eyes at Nate before hearing him rush off down the hallway to join Jewel. Once the door closed Matt looked to Zane and Kayla, “I swear adults are so juvenile.”

“Tell me about it,” Kayla piped in with a roll of her eyes. “This morning you would not believe how much agony that Jewel and Stacy gave me when they were fighting.”

“Whose Stacy?” Zane questioned curiously looking between the two of them.

“She’s Jewel’s daughter and she pretty much hates her guts,” Kayla blurted out honestly shaking her head, “Though I think it’s because Stacy thinks her mom flirts too much and she kind of does.”

“Obviously,” Matt added with a heavy sigh, “though it doesn’t surprise me that Nate is eating it up since I don’t think the guy can really get a date.”

“Is he really that hard up for attention that he’ll flirt back with the first pretty girl that flirts with him?” Kayla questioned with wide eyes thinking about Nate and Jewel.

“Trust me Kayla. I’m sure they are doing a whole lot more than flirting right now,” Matt rolled his eyes before looking to the coupons that Nate had thrown on the table. “Though really I don’t think Nate was too smart to give a kid something like this to work with.”

“He did say dinner was on him,” Zane added with a wicked smirk his eyes growing wide with eagerness.

“Yes he did my dear cousin,” Matt laughed wildly, “and while I tend to refrain from juvenile behavior most of the time myself, I think that it’s about time that maybe just maybe it’s time for me to give Nate a bit of a shock if you will.”

“What do you have in mind Matt?” Kayla questioned curiously seeing Matt get up off of his chair and walk over to the ledge where Nate’s cell phone was on the counter.

“You’ll see,” Matt teased with a hint of laughter in his tone, “Trust me though. It’s going to be a good one!”

“I can’t wait,” Zane giggled wildly before pausing, “So what are we doing?”

“Hey,” Matt walked back over to the table and reached for a coupon. “While I like the guy, he’s got a lot to learn about leaving kids in charge. I mean the craziest things could happen while he’s off having fun and not paying attention.”

“They sure could,” Kayla nodded in agreement before a smile touched over her lips, “Are you going to do what I think you’re going to do?”

“Hey he said dinner was on him and he was paying for it,” Matt grinned proudly, “so I’m just taking him up on his offer.”

“That’s cool,” Zane piped in before tilting his head to the side, “Wait, I don’t get it.”

“I’ll explain it to you while Matt orders dinner,” Kayla pointed over to the game system set up in front of the television. “Is that yours Matt?”

“It’s my dad’s, but he lets me play it. Go have fun,” Matt nodded watching Kayla lead Zane over to play with the play station that they had set up. With a wicked laugh Matt eyed the menu in front of him with obvious interest. “Sorry Nate, but never tempt a man when he’s hungry and not paying for it. It could get you in over your head, but hey, sometimes that’s good for you. I know it’s sure good for me.”


“You know for one man, you sure have a lot of stuff,” Heather started pulling things out of the boxes Kyle had packed when he bought Russ and Avery’s house and moved in. “I mean honestly, look at this stuff. It’s all random.”

“It all means something to me,” Kyle added seeing her pull out a photo of him, Grady and his friend Paul together in their football uniforms. “It’s past, history, important things I suppose. Even though they collect dust, it doesn’t mean I don’t look at them.”

“It makes sense to me,” she added with a small smile seeing Kyle’s short hair he had in the picture and the other guy that was helping hold up Grady. “Who is this guy Kyle?”

“That guy right there? That’s my friend Paul,” Kyle let out a small laugh seeing Heather set the photo down on the dresser looking it over carefully before walking back over to the box she was working on. “He is quite the man if I do say so myself. The scary type of man actually and that’s just me being nice.”

“You sound like a good friend,” Heather teased seeing him hanging up some of his clothes in the closet before she pulled out his football jersey from when he was on the football team in college. “Wow this is big, how do you think it would look on me?”

“Well,” Kyle bit down on his bottom lip before pressing his hand in against his abdomen and taking in a long slow breath. “I guess we’re going to just have to see how good you look in only that later.”

“You like stroking my ego now don’t you,” Heather arched her eyebrow up at Kyle seeing the way he paused in the middle of the room, feeling her hand slide up and over his bare abdomen making him take in a sharp breath. “Or do you just like me stroking you.”

“Honey, you can’t tease me like that,” he reached out snaking his arm around her waist and pulling her in against him roughly hearing a small gasp escape her lips. “I’m going to take that chance if you offer it up honey.”

“Well my dear husband, who said I was offering it to you already?” Heather questioned tipping up on her toes to kiss him before noticing something and turning away from him. Reaching forward for a tape she pulled it out seeing Kyle frown and shake his head slowly. “What is this?”

“I don’t know sweetheart,” Kyle muttered sitting down on the bed seeing her walking over toward the television to put the tape in and turn the television on. “You know it really wasn’t nice to tease a man like that. Now I’m all worked up and…,”

“Katie,” Kyle heard a younger deeper voice of his as he perked up and felt his heart stop in his chest as he turned to the television seeing Heather watching it carefully. “I can see you’re all alone.”

Seeing that he had a mask on he realized what it was as he quickly got off the bed and pushed eject quickly grabbing the tape before she could see the rest.

“You really don’t want to see that, it’s quite embarrassing,” Kyle explained seeing her reaching for the tape as he let out a hesitant laugh and held it up the air so she couldn’t reach it. “That was a tape we did back in college. Grady had this film class and he was trying to write a script and unfortunately I’m a good friend and did just about everything for him. So, I was his lead character that just happened to be a psychopath that wore a mask all the time.”

“Well that sounds hilarious, I want to see it,” she reached for the tape seeing Kyle moved back in against the wall until she heard the doorbell ring and stepped back slowly. Her green eyes stared into his as he let out a long breath and shook his head slowly. “Saved by the bell.”

“Thankfully,” Kyle let out a long breath seeing her walk down the hallway and he quickly he threw the tape up on top of the shelf in his closet before covering it with a few pieces of clothing. Walking out into the hallway he pulled his shirt in over his shoulders before slowly starting to button up his shirt. “Who is at the door honey?”

“Kyle,” Sarah’s voice boasted as Kyle’s hazel eyes met Heather’s angered green eyes when Sarah pushed forward into the house and wrapped her arms around Kyle’s torso while Kyle held his hands up in the air. “It’s so good to see you.”

“What are you doing? Get off of me,” Kyle pulled away from her with a small scowl hearing Heather slam the door shut and Kyle wiped at his shirt before finishing buttoning it up. “What the hell are you doing here?”

“She’s obviously here to start something, like always,” Heather came over wrapping her arm around Kyle’s back, placing her hand in over the center of his abdomen, before tipping up on her toes to press a small kiss against Kyle’s lips to show that Kyle was hers. “Just get through with whatever you want.”

“I can see you are enjoying my leftovers here, isn’t that right Heather?” Sarah questioned with anger behind her tone as she felt a bit jealous, pressing her hand in against the center of her chest. “Honestly though, that’s okay. I really only came over here to see Kyle, so we could talk about our baby. You know, the one I’m pregnant with.”


Russ stepped off of the elevator ready to further investigate what was going on with Angela. After reading Kevin’s message he couldn’t help but be worried about what was happening. Sure, maybe it wasn’t his place to investigate, but he couldn’t help but be concerned. Spotting Ria down the hallway he approached her hoping to get some word on the situation.

“Ria hey,” Russ called out to her with a wave, “I was looking for Kevin. Have you seen him around here?”

“He’s in Angela’s room, which I’m guessing is why you’re here as well,” Ria gave him a once over. “You want to check in on her?”

Russ nodded, “How is she doing?”

“She could be a lot better, could be a lot worse,” Ria admitted with a heavy sigh feeling tension carry in over her neck and shoulders. “Kevin’s been here all night with Brant.”

“What happened?” Russ couldn’t help but ask her. “Kevin’s message was rather vague.”

“I’m not sure about the details, but apparently Brant and Cameron got into a fight. Angela tried to intervene and fell down the stairs,” Ria informed him with a heavy sigh.

“Oh my God. Is she okay? How are the babies?” Russ questioned with a worried expression. “How’s Kevin holding up?”

“He’s doing what he does best in trying to protect her,” Ria offered up with a sad smile, “This is hard on him seeing her like that and I know it.”

“What about you,” Russ couldn’t help but ask knowing that it wasn’t any of his business, but still he worried about his friend’s romance with Ria. “How are you holding up?”

“I’m fine,” she offered up a small smile, “Why wouldn’t I be?”

“Ria, I know that you and Kevin have had a few situations arise because of Angela,” Russ paused knowing full well that he was overstepping his boundaries, “but the man loves you. He’s been spending the last few days before all of this happened at my house with Avery and I. He’s been really upset about the two of you being apart.”

“I know,” she nodded in response, “and I’m glad that he had the two of you to talk to. You’re both very important to him.”

“Not nearly as important as you are,” Russ added with a small smile, “and I just wanted you to know that. Kevin might always feel the need to protect Angela, but his heart is with you. I’m sure of it.”

“So am I,” Ria admitted finally with a small shake of her head, “It just kills me that he’s had to endure so much in being her friend. She’s put him through hell and back and she doesn’t understand how good she has it with him. I mean when Kevin cares about someone he’ll move heaven and hell to do what he can for them.”

“I realize that,” Russ nodded thinking about what Kevin must be going through now that Angela was hurt. “He’s a good man.”

“He really is,” Ria added in response before glancing over at Russ again, “So what about you? You here because this means that you and Avery are together again? You mentioned that Kevin was spending time with the two of you, so am I to assume that things were able to work themselves out between you?”

“Kevin told you about what happened huh,” Russ questioned feeling a bit foolish as he looked to her.

“I knew about you and Angela a long time ago,” she nodded in confession, “but I was kind of pulling for you and Avery to work things out there.”

“We have,” Russ replied with an ironic smile, “and it’s in part to Kevin. Sure, at one point in time I hated him, but now, well he’s probably one of the best friends I have here in town lately. Strange huh?”

“Nah,” Ria shook her head, “Kevin just has that effect on people and I hear he’s got quite an effect on your daughter.”

“I think Erin’s got a big crush on him,” Russ admitted with a small smile, “She just lights up each and every time he’s around. I don’t know what it is, but she just gravitates towards him.”

“I know,” Ria laughed lightly, “He just loves her too.”

“He’s going to make a great father one day,” Russ offered up thinking about Erin’s attachment to Kevin.

“Yes he will be,” Ria replied thinking about how she and Kevin almost had come to the point of being parents with one another. For that brief instant it felt like they had the world at their hands, but then in one second of reality the idea of being parents was taken from them along with any hope of having any alone time with one another. Now as Ria thought about Kevin’s attachment to Angela she wondered just where this current situation would lead him now that his friend’s life was hanging in the balance.


“You know if you’re this worked up about it, why don’t you just call Russ?” Grady suggested motioning over to the telephone after Avery had calmed down a bit. “You could see what he’s up to.”

“And let him think that I was spying on him,” she shook her head in refusal slumping down onto the couch again. “No I can’t do that.”

“Avery, I don’t think he’s going to believe you’re spying on him if you give him a call. I mean it’s not like you don’t call him all of the time anyways, right?” he wiggled a brow at her seeing her hesitance.

“Now you make me sound like a nag,” she frowned over at him shaking her head again, “I can’t call him now.”

“And you say I’m impossible,” Grady sighed leaning back onto the chair once again. “You know you’re going to make this situation a whole lot worse by thinking about why. I know you enough to know you’re going to stew over this situation until it drives you out of your mind. Admit it.”

“All I’m saying is that I’m not exactly comfortable with the idea of Russ being around that woman,” she finally gave up trying not to sound too full of complaints. “I just don’t trust her.”

“That’s a given,” Grady couldn’t help but roll his eyes. “If I didn’t figure that one out when I first walked in here, I would know it by now after your ranting.”

“You don’t get it Grady. It’s not just about the fact that Russ was with her on the island,” she confessed with a heavy sigh, “but rather that I know that she’s trying to pull something on us. In fact the other day I caught her kissing Russ.”

“What?” Grady’s jaw practically dropped. “When?”

“He was at a restaurant. Kevin set it up so that Russ and I would be forced to face one another. He wanted us to talk and he took me to this Italian restaurant that Russ and I loved. I didn’t really realize what was going on until I walked in and saw that woman with her arms around Russ and her lips over his,” she shuddered at the memory a flicker of anger carrying over her. “I was furious.”

“And what did Russ do?” Grady couldn’t help but ask finding it hard to imagine his brother kissing anyone but Avery.

“He pushed her away and then chased me after I left the restaurant. I was so upset seeing him with her that I lost it,” she ran her fingers through her long, dark hair. “I was out of my mind thinking that she’d somehow gotten to him again and I hated it.”

“And what did Russ say?” Grady arched a curious brow.

“He said that she kissed him. That he didn’t want to be kissing her, but that she was doing it to make Kevin jealous somehow since they used to have a relationship with one another,” Avery explained with another sigh realizing how ridiculous she felt about getting worked up over Russ going to the hospital.

“And you believed him then, yes?” Grady further inquired.

“Of course I did,” she added quickly, “Why wouldn’t I?”

“Well, why wouldn’t you believe him now,” Grady tossed back at her, “In fact, if you really think she’s up to something again, we could always go investigate.”

“What do you mean?” she arched a curious brow opening herself up to his suggestion.

“Well for starters you want to know what’s going on at the hospital, so why don’t you and I just head on over there and see what’s going on?” he tossed out at her in suggestion. “That way you’ll see what’s going on with Angela and you’ll also realize first hand that my brother isn’t doing anything that he wouldn’t normally be doing. He’s just being Russ and looking out for someone--not looking for an out with you.”

“I never said he was doing that. You’re twisting my words,” she frowned back at him.

“What can I say? I like doing that,” he shrugged his shoulders before offering up a laugh. “While we’re at it, why don’t you let me call my mom? I can have her come on over and keep an eye on Erin while we go to the hospital.”

“Fine,” she paused contemplating his offer, “but wait won’t Russ think I’m spying on him for sure if I just show up unexpected?”

“Hey, you’ll have an excuse to be there,” Grady shrugged in response offering up a small grin.

“What might that be?” she asked curiously.

“My girlfriend works there. That’s reason enough for us to go to the hospital,” he beamed with enthusiasm thinking about seeing Deana again. “It’ll work.”

“For you maybe, but not for me,” she mouthed with a small frown once again. “Russ will think I’m spying on him and that I can’t trust him. I promised him that I would try to give our relationship another chance and that included putting all of my faith in him.”

“So tell him that I stopped by to pay you a visit. We called the office and heard he was at the hospital and since you can’t keep yourself away from his sexy body, you just had to escort me to the hospital so that you could get your hands on him and ravish him in an empty hospital bed. I’m sure that will work,” Grady teased with a small wink seeing a smile tease over the corners of her mouth, “Yeah I thought you might like that one.”

“Not nearly as much as your brother would, but it works,” Avery offered up with a tiny laugh getting up and off of the chair to get ready to go see Russ. “Are you sure your mother won’t mind watching Erin?”

“Are you kidding me? She adores any chance she has at getting to see her granddaughter,” Grady watched Avery move around the room. “It’s something she’s very proud of.”

“Erin enjoys seeing her too. Thanks again Grady. I really appreciate the pep talk, well if you can call it that considering that you were more in the mood to argue with me most of the time,” Avery pondered the thought for a long moment before looking over at him again.

“For what it’s worth you’re welcome. Now go get ready so that I can see my girl,” Grady waved at her dismissively hoping that once he and Avery got to the hospital she would find herself less worried about Russ and Angela and more concerned with all of the good things that were ahead for her and Russ with one another.


“Why are you getting so mad Brant? I would hope to think you trusted me more than Cameron,” Kevin blurted out throwing his hands up in the air and resting his hands against his hips as Brant looked down toward the floor. “What have I done that has showed you I’ve tried to manipulate your relationship with Angie and the twins? Honestly, she chose this, not me. Right now, I think it is a good idea that I have power over the twins because I’m the one that makes the choices.”

“That’s just it, you shouldn’t be the one that makes the choices Kevin,” Brant stepped forward seeing the way that Kevin’s eyebrows tensed together as Brant stepped forward firmly. Shoving his fingers in over the center of Kevin’s firm chest. “I’m the one she loves, you have nothing to do with Angela right now. Nothing, all you are is a side piece to making her life a bit brighter, you’re not even much of her friend anyways.”

“Get your hands off me,” Kevin shoved Brant’s hand away from his chest as Brant glared up into Kevin’s angered eyes and Brant let out a small laugh. “You have no right to get upset with me when I didn’t even choose this Brant. I made a promise and I am keeping it. Don’t ever insult my relationship with Angie because you will never, ever do the things I have done to protect her. I have just as much right over her as you do right now Brant. I think you should be in there, I know you should be in there. Why are you acting like such a jerk?”

“Well, you do kill all of the competition, don’t you Kevin?” Brant saw the way that Kevin’s jaw flexed in anger Brant folded his arms out in front of his chest and nodded slowly. “I figure, you get closer to her and…,”

“Shut up, I don’t even want hear this from you. I took you in as a friend because Angie loved you. I consider you my friend and here you are standing in the middle of a hospital while Angie is in there in a coma acting like this,” Kevin shook his head slowly before letting out a small laugh and rubbing the back of his aching neck. “I’m trying to do the right thing, I’m trying to be there for my best friend. If you can’t respect that, I’m sorry.”

“Kevin,” Brant called out suddenly realizing that he was overacting a bit as he watched Kevin walk over to glass window that looked in upon Angela’s hospital room and watch her with a sad expression. Reaching out to touch Kevin’s shoulder, Kevin didn’t even bother looking back as Brant stepped in beside him, resting his hand against Kevin’s shoulder. “Listen, I know you mean well and I like you man, you’re a good guy. No offense man, I really like you, but I should have the rights to my own children Kevin. I’m surprised you don’t understand that.”

“What am I supposed to do Brant? I cant change what she asked of me,” Kevin turned toward Brant with an upset expression seeing the way that Brant bit down on his bottom lip. “I lost a child with her once Brant, I don’t want her to lose these children too.”

“Which is why you need to understand, I should be in charge of my own children Kev. Why don’t you understand that? I don’t think it’s right,” Brant patted Kevin on the back seeing Kevin glance over at him with his tired brown eyes. “Which is why I’m going to have to call Hart.”

“What?” Kevin snapped turning to face Brant seeing the way that Brant shrugged his shoulders before stepping away toward the center of the hallway. “Why can’t you trust me with your children? You think I’m going to take over the life of daddy or something? I can’t smart one, in case you haven’t noticed she loves you, I love Ria. Why are you being such a pain in the ass about the situation? You want a rule go ahead and make it, I’ll voice it and it’s my rightful choice. Do you understand me?”

“I hear you loud and clear Kevin, but I’m just not going to settle for that, you would do the same if it was your children too,” Brant pointed out seeing the way Kevin’s eyes darkened over with anger. “I’m sorry Kev, but Hart will be here and I will have it my way before the end of the night.”


“So how long are you planning on staying in town,” Lindsay couldn’t help but ask sipping on her drink while she and Daniel sat at one of the picnic tables with one another. Stacy had gone off to talk to one of the guys working at the refreshment stand thus giving Lindsay and Daniel a few minutes alone with one another.

“I honestly don’t know,” Daniel admitted with a small shrug of his shoulders, “I’m hoping it’s for a long time, but with my mom she moves around a lot.”

“I would imagine she’s pretty busy with her publishing company,” Lindsay took another sip of her drink, her blue eyes focused on him again, “That must be pretty interesting.”

“I guess,” he shrugged his shoulders and looked around at the bumper cars that were racing on the track just beyond where they were seated. “I’m not really into all of that like she is, so for me it’s a bit stiff. I’ve always been more interested in what’s been going down here. I’m more into the whole Hollywood scene.”

“That’s right. You talked about making a movie,” Lindsay nodded thinking about their earlier conversations with one another.

“I hope to one day be like Kipp’s dad. That man is brilliant and I’ve always been a fan of his even before I knew he was my brother’s father,” he paused for a moment before laughing lightly, “If that makes sense.”

“It does,” she nodded back at him, “I think it’s cool that you dream about doing that. I don’t know a lot of people who know what it is that they want and I think that’s really respectable.”

“It’s okay,” he shrugged again, “I mean it’s fun and it’s something that keeps me busy.”

“So I’ve heard,” Lindsay couldn’t help but laugh remembering Stacy’s rant about the horror movie that Daniel had put together, “I’m sure if you stay in Coral Valley you could learn a lot from Kipp’s dad.”

“I hope so,” Daniel replied thinking about what he’d been hoping for, “Kipp said that he’d have a word with his dad and maybe I could get a job interning on one of his sets this summer.”

“That sounds really cool,” Lindsay smiled over at him, “I’m sure it would be lots of fun.”

“I hope so and maybe my mom will decide that we can stay here for a while. Or at least I’m hoping I can. The estate is so big that even with everyone staying there, I think that it can be comfortable,” Daniel thought about his being at the Ashford mansion.

“That must be kind of strange being with all of your family all of the time like that. Not that I don’t love my family, but I know that they are all a bit…” she paused searching for the right word.

“Eccentric?” Daniel arched a curious brow.

“I was thinking of something a bit more polite, but that will work,” Lindsay laughed lightly, “I think I remember my parents telling me that Don practically spent all of his summers over there spending the night. He had a lot of fun there.”

“Brant’s got this awesome game room and there are a lot of things to do there,” Daniel paused for a moment, “Though I’m pretty sure if we do stay my mom will want her own place. She talked about it before, but then things took off with work.”

“I see,” Lindsay glanced over his shoulder to see Stacy laughing with the guy behind the counter, “Well it would be great if you were staying and going to school here.”

“Yeah, I think I’d like that,” Daniel paused turning around to see what Lindsay was looking at. Frowning he watched Stacy flirting with the guy behind the counter for a moment before he spun around again reaching for his cup roughly.

“So why don’t you like her?” Lindsay couldn’t help but ask watching him take a long swig of his drink. “I mean I know she’s a bit over the top sometimes, but she’s a pretty good person.”

“You don’t know her like I do,” Daniel groaned inwardly before shaking his head.

“What is that supposed to mean?” Lindsay couldn’t help but ask curiosity pouring over her.

“Let’s just say since our parents seemed to gravitate in the same areas, we were able to know one another for a long time,” he paused not really wanting to get into the conversation with her, “Stacy just tends to do things that puts herself at risk. She is too impulsive and always wanting to blame her parents for everything that is wrong in her life.”

“It sounds like her parents aren’t really involved in her life,” Lindsay spoke up in Stacy’s defense, “My brother said that both her parents are too involved in themselves to think about her.”

“That doesn’t mean other people don’t care about her, but Stacy would much rather focus on the attention that she’s not getting from her parents,” Daniel couldn’t help but roll his eyes, “It is almost an obsession for her.”

“I guess I don’t know what I would do in her position. I mean my parents and I are really close, so for me to even think about what it would be like for her,” she paused before thinking about Stacy’s problems, “I just want her to be able to make some friends here in town and find a way to feel better about herself.”

“You’re a really sweet person. You know that?” he couldn’t help but smile at her, “I don’t think I’ve ever met someone as nice as you are.”

“I’m alright,” Lindsay shrugged her shoulders simply, “I guess I just live by the rule that I treat other people the way I want to be treated. It doesn’t always work out the greatest, but at the end of the day I know I tried. I know I did all that I could to try to make a difference.”

“That’s really a great thing,” Daniel smiled over at her, “Most people can’t even bother to think about helping other people.”

“I’m not like most people, which makes me the butt of a few jokes, but I don’t care. I’m not going to compromise who I am just to be like everyone else,” she informed him point blank, “I don’t need to pretend to be someone I’m not in order to get noticed.”

“You shouldn’t have to because I like you the way you are,” he reached out across the table to squeeze her hand gently, “So what do you say? Want to take a lap or two on those?”

“The bumper cars?” Lindsay replied with wide eyes watching him nod.

“Sure, why not? I mean it’s clear that Stacy’s got other plans right now, so why don’t we just have some fun for a while?” he suggested after a moment’s contemplation, “I’m sure you’re great at them.”

“Actually I’m better than great,” she couldn’t help but boast, “My brother taught me how to ride those like a pro.”

“Good, then let’s do it,” he stood up wiggling his brow at her, “We can have a race.”

“A race?” she repeated giving him a second look.

“Yeah, and we’ll put a wager on it. If I beat you, then I have to do anything that you want me to do for a day,” Daniel suggested a flash of determination behind his eyes.

“And if you win?” she couldn’t help but ask curious about his terms.

“Then you have to let me kiss you,” Daniel explained with an overwhelming confidence, “and promise me that we can have a date without anyone else with us.”

“I told you that I don’t date,” Lindsay started to protest.

“If you lose, then you’ll have to make the exception,” he paused before issuing her another teasing grin, “Unless of course you’re afraid that you’re not as good as you say you are. If you really are worried that you’ll lose…”

“I won’t lose,” she finally decided standing up with a newfound confidence, “and when I smoke you out there you’re going to wish you didn’t offer yourself up as my personal slave for the day.”

“When you’re kissing me after I win, you’ll be glad that I put the bet out on the table,” he flirted with her stepping around the picnic table to move in closer to her.

“The only thing you’ll be doing is eating your words because I will win,” she assured him with a wide smirk ready to show him just how good at racing she truly was. Even if the idea of losing was a bit tempting, she knew full well that today she was going to prove a point to him one that he would never forget. That much she was sure of.


Don pulled down the street leading to his house and found himself thinking about the day ahead of him. He checked the time and realized that while he would have to be back at work in a little while, it was good enough for him to take some time to be with Matt. He’d picked up one of Matt’s favorite movies from the video store and decided to surprise his son with it early in an attempt to keep Matt busy while Nate was watching him. Don wasn’t quite sure that Nate would be able to handle both Matt and Zane on his own, but he’d offered to give Nate the benefit of the doubt. Now of course Don was doing the parent thing in checking in.

“I’m sure everything will be fine,” Don thought to himself pulling into the drive and spotting an unfamiliar car parked in beside him. He looked to the opposite side of his driveway and realized that it was a pizza delivery car judging by the sign on top of it.

“I guess Nate really does have things under control,” Don mused to himself wondering how he could doubt his brother-in-law. Getting out of the car Don walked up to the house and it was then that he got the first look at the man with the pizzas.

“So that comes to three hundred sixty two dollars and fifty nine cents,” the man explained as Don looked beyond the man into his living room to see at least twenty boxes piled up on the floor behind where Matt stood at the door tipping his head up to meet the pizza man’s gaze.

“What in the world is this?” Don couldn’t help but ask as he moved in closer and spotted even more boxes in the living room.

“They were having a special,” Matt shrugged his shoulders before reaching into his pocket.

“I hope that you don’t expect me to pay for this one because there is absolutely no way that I would let you order this much food when,” Don started to frown only to witness his son extract a charge card from his pocket and hold it out to the pizza man.

“I hope you accept Visa,” Matt arched an expectant brow at the man in front of him.

“Yeah, Visa works great,” the man nodded taking the charge card from Matt and completing the order. A few seconds later the man handed the card back to Matt and walked down the drive to get back into his car and drive off.

Don watched the man leave in astonishment before turning to face his son with a frown, “Matthew I swear if you broke into my wallet again and stole my Visa to get yourself something on Ebay and host some kind of party…”

“Relax dad,” Matt shrugged his shoulders and grinned motioning for his dad to follow him into the living room. “This pizza party is on Nate. See.”

Matt held up the charge card again to show his father that Nate’s name was clearly printed on the front of it. With a puzzled expression Don swiped the charge card from his son’s small fingers and took a long look around. He spotted Zane over in the corner of the room seated on the middle of the floor with a large cheese pizza spread out in front of him.

“Don’t get any of that on the floor Zane,” Don warned seeing his nephew reaching for a thick, cheese covered slice in front of him.

“Don’t worry Mr. Leveski. I have napkins,” Kayla piped in walking out from the kitchen with a few plates and napkins in hand. “Are you going to have dinner with us? We have plenty to go around.”

“I can see that,” Don nodded unable to believe what was taking place in his living room. His blue eyes fixed on his son and he nodded towards the kitchen that Kayla just walked out of. “You and me need to have a conference in the kitchen right now.”

“Fine, but I don’t see what the problem is,” Matt shrugged his shoulders swiping a box of pizza under his arm and walking into the kitchen with a determined stride.

“Okay Matt explain to me what’s going on,” Don finally said watching his son walk over to the table and set a box down.

“It’s called dinner Dad and you should try it sometime,” Matt set the box onto the table top before pulling out a chair and hopping up onto it. Once he was kneeling on the kitchen chair, he pushed the pizza box back further onto the table and opened up the top of the box. “I got extra sauce and bacon for you just like you like it.”

“Thank you Matt, but…” Don glanced out into the living room once again, “Why do we have at least twenty five other pizzas out there?”

“Nate told me to order dinner so I did,” Matt simply shrugged his shoulders before reaching for a piece of pizza of his own. “He told me to have fun, so I figured I would. It’s no big deal.”

“Matt son while I understand that you don’t quite understand what this many pizzas means, I can tell you right now that there is no way we’re going to be able to eat this many pizzas not in the next month at this rate,” Don frowned stepping forward to reach for a slice of the pizza his son had offered him regardless.

“So take some back to the hospital,” Matt suggested with a wide grin. “I’m sure Nate wouldn’t mind since he’s in the mood to be generous.”

“Yeah right,” Don rolled his eyes before taking a bite of his slice of pizza. “Oh this is good.”

“Told you,” Matt watched his father take another bite before he sank his teeth into his own slice.

“Even so,” Don tried to stay focused, “You need to tell me where Nate is. I left him in charge of things for a while and I come home to find this. Something isn’t right here.”

“No something isn’t right here at all, but I’m sure you can let Nate explain it to you since he’s the one who is hard up for attention,” Matt groaned inwardly before shoving the rest of his piece of pizza into his mouth.

“Is he even here?” Don couldn’t help but ask before a thought occurred to him. “He didn’t try to jump off of the roof again, did he? I mean I’m not going to find him dead in the bushes, am I?”

“Dad, do you really think that I wouldn’t call 911 if that was the case?” Matt shook his head with a look of heavy disapproval. “I’m smarter than that and you know it.”

“I do son, but what about Nate? What did he do now? Is he unconscious in the back yard?” Don questioned once again. “Is that why he left you and Zane alone with Kayla? Speaking of Kayla, how did she get here?”

“Yeah, well, um about that…” Matt offered up ready to explain as Jewel walked past the kitchen door and waved.

“Hey Don,” Jewel smiled at him before walking past the kitchen area.

“Hey Jewel,” Don mouthed leisurely his focus still on his son and the explanation that Matt had to offer. A second later Don’s blue eyes widened and he turned to the door again before looking to Matt. “Did I just see Jewel here?”

“Talk to Nate about that,” Matt scooped up his pizza box before thinking twice about it. “On second thought you keep this one since I have at least five more like this in the living room. Don’t forget to take some with you too so it doesn’t go to waste. Oh and yeah Kayla is staying over for a while since I said it would be okay if she hung out with Zane and I. Love you dad.”

“Matt hold on,” Don spun around to say something more to his son. However, once Don spotted Shannon’s younger brother in the doorway to the kitchen, he realized there was someone else he was about to question.

“Whoa, when did the party start in here,” Nate questioned looking around at all of the pizzas as he adjusted the drawstring on his sweat pants. His shirt was unbuttoned and hanging loosely over him as he turned to Don, “Were you hungry or something?”

“Not exactly,” Don cleared his throat uneasily trying to process what he’d just witnessed upon walking home. “Though you did pose an interesting question there. When did the party start Nate and why in the hell did you think it was okay to let three five year olds run wild in my house when I left you in charge?”

“Well you see I was handling everything. I had it completely under control and then I ran into Jewel and…” Nate stammered a bit, finding himself increasingly uncomfortable as Don glared at him.

“Just stop right there. I don’t want to hear it,” Don held his hands up in the air to silence Nate. “No on second thought I do want to hear it, but since there are more pizzas than I care to think about in my living room no doubt getting grease on the carpet, I’d like to get them up off of the floor and in here first before I kill you.”

“Don, really I can explain…” Nate started once again.

“Explain after we get the pizzas in here and after I’ve had a few pieces myself. Then when we’re finished with that, well then I’ll kill you,” Don decided knowing full well if Jewel was somehow involved with what was happening in his house it was going to turn out to be a very long night indeed!

“Our baby?” Kyle laughed itching at his chin with his free hand before pulling Heather in closer to him, feeling her wedding ring press in against his skin. “Sarah, you’d be lucky if it was our baby by the way you resemble the grand canyon.”

“Ha, funny Kyle,” Sarah chuckled sarcastically before seeing the way that Heather glanced up at Kyle and Sarah folded her arms out in front of her chest angrily. “You know you slept with me, we slept together more than a couple of times and I know this baby is yours.”

“Let me tell you something,” Heather moved forward feeling Kyle step in front of her to block her from putting some kind of attack on Sarah because he knew that would turn out into a bad day. “Why don’t you just leave before I beat your ass.”

“Heather,” Kyle hushed pressing his fingers in over her lips trying to keep her calm for a moment as he saw her green eyes stare into his and he nodded slowly. “Listen Sarah, I don’t know if you are trying to start something here because I am with Heather now…,”

“Kyle, you can’t deny that you slept with me,” Sarah added seeing the way his hazel eyes stared into hers as she flashes a smile in over at Heather who glared at her for a moment before turning the other way. “I dare you to lie to my sister and tell her that you didn’t sleep with me.”

“Sadly, I did and it was the worst point of my life. I made a mistake because I was blinded by the fake view of a future,” Kyle explained clearing his throat uneasily before pressing his hand in against the side of his face. “You know what, I have something to tell you here. If that is my baby which I highly doubt…,”

“Only because you are blinded right now,” Sarah cut him off quickly seeing the way that Kyle half laughed before pushing back his blonde hair and taking in a deep breath. “You just have to face the facts Kyle, you know that you can be the father because I did sleep with you. It complicates your relationship, but you can’t just give up on your child Kyle.”

“Sarah, if that is my kid, I will be there for the baby day in and day out, it's something I will never stop doing,” Kyle explained seeing the way she smiled proudly as Kyle stepped forward looking down into her brown eyes. “I have to tell you right now though, if it is my child, I am going to take full rights of the baby. No matter how many people it takes to back me up. Think of the people like Kipp, Avery, Grady, honey the list can go on. I promise that I will have control of your rights and our child will only be seen by you when I say so. The only thing is before I make any plans like that sweet thing, I need you to take a paternity test just to make sure it is mine. I do know you for being quite a liar Sarah and I know the safety precautions fail sometimes, but now I know Sarah, I can’t trust you.”

“And what when you find out that it is yours Kyle?” Sarah questioned firmly watching the way that Heather glanced over at Kyle when he looked back at her. Moving in closer to Sarah, Kyle faced her staring her in the eyes as Sarah smiled moving in closer to him. “What are you going to do then?”

“I’ll have to think about it when that time comes if it comes,” Kyle explained grabbing a firm hold of her arm before gently motioning her over toward the door, opening it up before staring her straight in the eyes. “With the whole paternity test, let me know when you make the appointment because I will happily take part in that and hey--I’ll even pay the bill Sarah. Until then, screw off.”

“Kyle,” Heather gasped seeing the way that Kyle shut the door in Sarah’s face and locked the door before turning to face Heather again with a worried expression. “I hate when you have that face, it means you are upset.”

“I am Heather, what if that child is mine that is growing inside of Sarah? I love you honey, you are my wife, I don’t want to lose you,” Kyle felt her step in closer to him and press her hand in against the side of his face, caressing his rough cheek slowly. “Heather we need to talk about what’s going to happen if that child really does end up being mine. I need to know what’s going to happen to me and you if that really is my baby.”


“So are you going to try to sneak in there and see her?” Ria questioned realizing that Russ hadn’t made any attempts to go down to Angela’s hospital room.

“I was thinking about just waiting here for Kevin,” Russ admitted glancing over at Ria once again. “I don’t think I’m exactly welcome in there considering that Brant and I can’t be in a room for more than five minutes with one another without wanting to kill each other.”

“It’s still that bad, huh?” Ria arched a curious brow thinking about what Kevin had told her about the rivalry between the two brothers.

“Let’s just say that we won’t be hosting a family reunion anytime soon,” Russ sighed heavily bringing his hand up through his dark hair. “It’s still hard to believe that man is my brother. I mean after all of this time of hating him and wishing the worst for him…”

“You find out that the joke is on you and that you’re the one who is stuck with him for the rest of your life, right?” Ria offered up with a knowing expression.

“Something like that,” Russ nodded in response. “That sounds terrible, doesn’t it?”

“No, not really,” she shook her head after a moment’s contemplation. “I mean from what I’ve heard he’s tried to pull a lot of things to keep you and Avery from being together. I think when someone steps in and tries to ruin a relationship when it’s clear that two people are in love with one another, it’s just wrong.”

“Yes it is,” Russ agreed with her before giving her a second glance, “but are we still talking about Brant, or about Angela?”

“Why would you think I’m talking about Angela?” she gave him a sideways glance.

“Maybe because I know she’s been a sore spot in your relationship with Kevin,” Russ suggested seeing her shift uneasily from behind the desk. “Tell me something. Has it really been that bad?”

“From the first day I met her she was spouting off about Kevin and they have all this history with one another,” Ria let out an ironic laugh, “I know it’s foolish to be envious of what once was, but I can’t help but think about what they have shared. I mean she and Kevin have been together on and off for a long time. She had his baby a while ago and even though their daughter died, they will always have that bond with one another.”

“I’m not going to argue that point with you, but what I will say is that I can see that Kevin loves you. Hell, he wouldn’t have been camping out at my house miserable if he didn’t,” Russ reminded her once again with a small smile. “You mean everything to him and just by talking to him you can see that.”

“I know, but she still has this hold on him,” Ria sighed heavily touching the side of her face. “I know it’s foolish to try to compare the two relationships, but I just feel like she is constantly trying to sabotage Kevin and I. I mean she has Brant and they are going to have two children together, but it doesn’t seem like it’s enough for her. It’s like she has to have Kevin in an uproar before she’s able to be content. She just likes to manipulate the situation and drive me crazy I think.”

“I don’t believe she planned falling down the stairs,” Russ added with a knowing expression.

“I realize that, but still…” Ria shook her head once again a foolishness carrying over her. “I sound stupid for even talking this way when she’s in there fighting for her life, don’t I?”

“No, you just sound like you’re cautious,” he noted with a sympathetic expression. “The fact to the matter is that you’re not going to be trusting Angela any sooner than I’m going to be trusting Brant and that’s okay. I mean hey someone wise once told me that you shouldn’t try to like everyone in the world around you because no matter what you do there is always going to be someone that can’t stand you and someone you can’t stand.”

“Isn’t that the truth,” she couldn’t help but smile at his words. “Though I have to tell you it would be a lot easier if Angela was married to Brant. If they were together, then maybe Kevin would see that Brant is there to take care of her. Hell, maybe Angela would even let up on Kevin a bit. I’m not saying that I don’t want him to be a part of her life, but well…I just wish that she wouldn’t hold onto him so tight.”

“I know Ria,” Russ patted her hand gently, “and you have to trust me when I tell you that day will come.”

“I hope so,” Ria sighed once more before tipping her head up to meet his gaze. “You know if you want me to go in there and get Kevin I can…”

“Actually I think I’m going to call Avery and check in with her. I didn’t exactly tell her that I was coming over to the hospital and I should probably let her know that I’m running a bit behind today,” Russ explained reaching into his pocket for his cell phone. “I’ll just go outside and…”

“You can use the phone here,” Ria motioned to the phone on the desk. “Just don’t be too long.”

“I won’t,” he assured her picking up the phone and starting to dial.

“You need to push nine first for an outside line,” she explained hitting the button before stepping back. “I’ll give you a few minutes.”

“Thanks,” he replied with a small smile before dialing home. After about three rings there was an answer on the other end of the line.

“Hello,” he heard his mother’s voice.

“Mom, hey I thought I was calling home. I must’ve dialed you instead,” he offered up apologetically.

“No you didn’t dial the wrong number. I’m babysitting Erin,” his mother explained as he heard Erin giggle in the background. “She’s playing with her toy rabbit and having a good old time.”

“It sounds like it,” Russ noted unable to repress the grin that touched over the corners of his lips at the sound of his daughter’s laughter. “Is Avery with you or did she go somewhere?”

“She said she was going with Grady for a while. Something about they needed to pay Deana a visit over at the hospital,” Cheryl informed him quickly. “They didn’t really get too detailed.”

“Great so then she’s on her way over,” Russ realized with a breath of relief. “Thanks I’ll just catch up with her when she gets here.”

“Are you at the hospital Russ? Is something wrong?” Cheryl questioned with a worried tone in her voice.

“Not exactly, but I promise I’ll be okay. Give Erin a kiss for me mom,” Russ offered up not wanting to get too into what was going on with his mother since the situation was complicated. He said his good-byes and hung up the phone opting to wait for Avery and Grady to show up before he tried to contact Kevin and find out what was happening with Angela. He just hoped whatever it was that she would be okay when everything was said and done.


“Brant I’m telling you I’m not going to make this any harder on you than it already is. You really don’t need to have a lawyer here considering that,” Kevin began trying to put his friend’s mind at ease as it was clear that Brant was upset about the latest turnabout in this situation.

“Kevin these are my children and everyone here is trying to tell me that I don’t have any rights to them,” Brant shook his head adamantly. “While I know you mean well buddy this leaves me out of the loop and right now that is the last place where I want to be. I love Angela and she loves me. If that jackass over there hadn’t hurt her like he did, then she and I would probably be on our way to being married to one another. We would undoubtedly be planning what we’re going to do next with our children. I wouldn’t be here trying to defend myself and my rights as a father to anyone else.”

“I understand that Brant, but…” Kevin offered up again seeing that another man had joined the situation. With a frown Kevin puffed his chest out and glared at the man, “And just who the hell are you supposed to be?”

“I’m here to represent Mr. Stone and from what I’ve seen in these papers it is clear that Cameron is Angela’s brother…” the man explained in a neutral tone as he carried a bored expression on his face.

“Big deal. He’s the one that pushed her down the stairs,” Brant snapped in response finding it difficult that anyone would believe that Cameron should be anywhere near Angela given what he’d done. “He’s hurt her and I want him out of here.”

“I understand what you’re saying Mr. Ashford, but the fact remains that Cameron is her family,” the man cleared his throat before nodding towards Kevin. “And it is clearly stated in this set of papers that if anything should happen to Ms. Meloni that she explicitly ordered that Mr. Adonis be the one to make the decisions pertaining to the well being of her children. These papers verify that and…”

“And nothing. I’m their father. Kevin can’t step in and make decisions for me when I’m the one who should be calling the shots here,” Brant argued further reaching for his cell phone as he found himself ready to call Hart now more than ever.

“Mr. Ashford, I realize that you aren’t happy with this situation and I can’t blame you one bit, but there is one thing that all of you are overlooking here,” the man informed all of them point blank. He handed the papers Kevin had offered over earlier back to him before he looked between the three men. “The fact to the matter is that while all of you have a right to be here in your own way, there is only one man who should be standing here making the decisions for Ms. Meloni and that’s her husband.”

“She doesn’t have a husband. He’s dead,” Kevin mouthed with a tiny shudder thinking about the man that Angela had married a while back.

“According to these papers she is married to a Mr. Meloni, is she not?” the man arched a curious brow after he’d extracted another set of papers from his jacket pocket.

“She was married to a Mr. Meloni,” another voice added as Kevin looked over to see Kellen joining the group. “But he’s been gone for a long while thank God.”

“Not according to these,” the lawyer in front of them started to get an indignant expression on his face.

“Trust me he’s gone and that’s where he needs to stay,” Kellen sighed heavily before turning to look at both Brant and Kevin, “How is Angela? Is she okay? What’s happening? I saw on the news that…”

“According to my papers Ms. Meloni’s husband is neither an ex-husband or is deceased,” the man explained in an impatient tone. “There is no death record.”

“Even so, I’m sure he’s dead,” Cameron piped in breaking his long silence.

“Yeah, he’s dead,” Kevin muttered under his breath feeling a tiny shudder carry over him.

“Not according to what I have on file,” the lawyer’s voice raised in protest.

“Of course he is because I know full well that my jackass brother Cary Meloni pissed off the wrong guy and,” Kellen spun around to glare at the lawyer after he found himself increasingly irritated at being interrupted by the man behind him. “So why don’t you just pack up your little briefcase and your little suit and go back to your expensive foreign car that I’m sure you drive and…”

“Ms. Meloni was never married to Cary Meloni as you can see here,” the man shoved the papers out in front of Kevin, “as you can clearly see that her husband is not Cary Meloni, but rather a Mr. Kellen Meloni.”

“What?” Kellen’s eyes widened as the man shoved the papers in his face. “No that can’t be right.”

“Let me see that,” Brant marched forward snatching the papers from the man’s hand. He scanned it over before his jaw dropped in astonishment, “I don’t believe this.”

“Are you saying that Kellen is really her husband?” Kevin looked to the papers that Brant held up indicating that in fact Kellen’s name was the one on the marriage license.

“No that can’t be possible. I wouldn’t have married Angela. I couldn’t have married Angela when…” Kellen’s blue eyes widened as he thought back to the day that his brother had married Angela. He remembered that talk he’d had with the priest in the shuffle about signing a set of papers and then suddenly something hit Kellen. He’d thought he’d been a good best man, but suddenly the room around him started to close in on him. “I can’t…I just…”

“Kellen, are you okay,” Kevin questioned seeing Kellen stammer around until finally Kellen fell backwards into his arms passing out in a moment of shock.

“Kellen, oh damn. Kellen,” Kevin tried to call out to Kellen, but it was too late. The damage had already been done!


...to be continued...