Episode 366

“What do you mean you want to talk about it?” Heather questioned with a small laugh, pressing her hand further in against his rough cheek seeing his hazel eyes staring out into hers. “I don’t understand Kyle, you already made it very clear with Sarah there.”

“I made it with Sarah, but I don’t know what you are going to feel if that really is my child. What are you going to see in me if that really is my child growing inside of her?” Kyle muttered seeing her green eyes widen as Kyle let out a long breath and moved over to go and sit down on the couch, resting his head in his hands. “I mean really? We just got married Heather, I don’t want to lose you. I can’t lose you Heather. You’re my everything.”

“Kyle, you will never lose me. If that really is your baby,” Heather took in a long breath never really having a thought in her mind that it really could be Kyle’s kid considering her sister and how she was. “Honestly, I will have to be okay with it. I love you and I’m not going to let anything interrupt our relation.”

“Do you really mean that?” he met her eyes in a small glance watching as she nodded and came over to sit next to him, reaching her hand out to his to give it a small squeeze. “If the event really does come up, what you say now might change considering the situation. I hate Sarah, but I am not going to reject my own child. I will do what I can to keep away from Sarah, but Heather I need your word.”

“What do you mean you need my word?” Heather frowned moving her fingers in over his arm and up to his shoulder to give it a small squeeze. “Kyle, you know I love you and that I have been waiting for you my whole life. Why would I give up on you now considering everything that has happened?”

“I don’t know Heather, but I don’t want to lose my dream come true,” he turned in closer to her as he spoke up again, reaching out to press his palm in against her soft cheek. Sliding his fingers in through her blonde hair, she leaned into his touch, grasping his wrist with her fingers lightly. “Once I found you again, once we got back with each other--I finally got my dream come true. I never want to lose it again.”

“And you never will,” Heather reached for Kyle’s hand placing it in over her chest seeing the way he gulped down before his hazel eyes stared up into hers. “I’m your wife, we made a promise to each other and I’m never going to break that promise. I love you, always have and always will. Sarah is never going to break that between us. What we have is too strong, you’ve been able to accept Charles like your own, I can at least do that with Sarah’s child if it is yours.”

“Yeah, well it really isn’t the same thing. I never hated Kipp, I was jealous of Kipp, but I fell in love with your son the first moment I held him. I had a connection with him you know, I was the first one to hold him,” Kyle informed her with a small smile before shrugging his shoulders and seeing her nod. Moving in forward closer to her, he pressed a tender kiss against her cheek feeling her hand rest against his neck softly. “I just need to know that you will be able to keep a move on with your life if it is my child Heather. And, will you honestly still want to be with me? Even if that means being stuck with Sarah the rest of your life somehow, someway.”

“If it has anything to do with you Kyle, I’m going to be there for you no matter what,” Heather promised seeing the way that Kyle looked at her with a small sigh when she caressed his rough cheek gently. “I’ll be here for you no matter what considering you are the only man I love Kyle. I don’t understand why you are so worried when I’ve waited my whole life just to be with you.”

“I know Heather and baby, I love you just as much, but I do know that Sarah just has this way of ruining things. In her view, all good things must come to an end,” he pointed out seeing the way she frowned and scooted in closer to him, grabbing his hand firmly in hers. “Heather, I just know that everything Sarah touches or interferes in dies. I just never ever want to lose you Heather because I know what can happen when Sarah is around, I know how you feel.”

“It’s how I feel about Sarah, it’s not how I feel about you,” she stated with a small frown watching the way that Kyle stood up from the couch and walked over toward the window. “I may hate Sarah, but nothing that happens between the two of us is ever going to take you away from me. I want you more than anyone and you are the only person I want in life. Don’t worry about Sarah, she can never get between us.”

“I’m glad you feel that way,” Kyle let out a hesitant sigh before reaching out to pull her into his arms giving her a tight hug, looking over at the clock as he pressed a small kiss against her forehead. “Heather, I think I have somewhere I really have to go.”

“Wait, where are you going?” Heather pressed her hand in over Kyle’s arm as he looked back at her and watched the way that Kyle took his keys off the top of the coffee table. “Kyle, you aren’t going back to talk to her are you?”

“No, I have to go see Diego Heather,” Kyle informed her with a small nod before letting out a deep breath and moving over toward the door seeing the way that Heather moved in behind him. Turning, he dipped down to press a small kiss against Heather’s lips before opening the door and pointing outside. “We both need to know the truth about Sarah, we both deserve it. I’ll be back Heather, I promise, but right now I need to talk to Diego.”


Diego looked around his living room thinking about everything that had taken place over the last few weeks. While he’d wanted to put everything behind him, there was still the pain and humiliation that lingered over time and time again from the time he’d first gotten involved with Sarah to the moment where Cori had shot him. While he’d tried not to dwell on the mistakes he’d made, he knew full well that the battle was only beginning after he’d made a mess of his life. He had no idea how he was going to turn things around, but as he found himself lost in his contemplations he felt like the walls were closing in on him.

“That’s it,” he attempted to get himself up and moving around instead of just staying still and reflecting on all of his mistakes. He was about to make his way into the kitchen when he heard the sound of the doorbell. Pausing for a moment, he contemplated the walk over to the door, but finally decided to see who was there. He paused for a moment looking out to discover Barbara standing on his porch with an oversized white box in her hands. Unlocking the door he opened it to greet her with a smile.

“Barbara, hi,” he noted the way that her eyes lit up upon seeing him.

“Diego, hey I was in the neighborhood and I thought I would stop by,” she explained sheepishly holding up the box in her hands, “I brought some dessert because I know when I’m feeling bad that dessert always seems to make me feel better. Can I come in?”

“Of course,” Diego nodded opening up the door further and letting her inside. He looked around his living room before offering up an apologetic expression. “Sorry about the mess. Normally I would be right on top of things, but with my sister staying here with me, well it isn’t as neat and orderly as it usually is.”

“It’s fine,” she smiled over at him walking into the center of his living room. “Truth be told my apartment looks like a bomb went off in comparison to this. This place isn’t even remotely close to the kind of mess that I have going. Not that I’m a slob or anything, but well…you get the idea…”

“Of course,” he nodded smiling over at her before walking slowly across the room, “So what were you doing in the neighborhood?”

“Truth be told, I was looking for an excuse to muster up the courage to come over and see you,” she admitted with a small smile, clutching her box closer to her, “I miss seeing you around the hospital.”

“You’re probably the only one,” Diego groaned inwardly thinking about the mess he’d made of his life. “I’m sure that things are much better off without me there.”

“Hardly,” she informed him honestly, “It’s boring without seeing you around. You were always the high point of my day when we would talk with one another.”

“I appreciate that, but honestly I haven’t been up for much talking the last few days. I don’t feel like I would be much of a conversationalist since there really isn’t much to say,” he admitted with a heavy sigh feeling the weight of his troubles upon him once again.

“Maybe there hasn’t been much to say because you haven’t had the right person to talk to,” she suggested with a wide grin before motioning to the box again, “I’m sure you’ll love this cake because it’s a surefire way to boost your spirits. It always works for me when I’m feeling down.”

“I appreciate the offer Barbara, but…” he began not quite sure what to say to her.

“But nothing. Diego, look I know that the last few weeks haven’t been easy on you, but you’re my friend and I hate to see you feeling down,” Barbara informed him with an air of optimism in her tone, “Plus you have to believe me when I tell you that this cake is a surefire way to boost your spirits. It does the trick each and every time.”

“Thank you for thinking of me, but…” he started once again not quite sure how to explain to her that he wasn’t really in the mood for company.

“Just point me towards your kitchen and let me do the rest in trying to cheer you up,” she urged him once again tipping her head to the side, “If it doesn’t do the trick, then I promise that I will leave no questions asked.”

“Well,” Diego paused for a moment before finally nodding, “Sure, why not? Though I will warn you that I’m moving slower than I usually am after the shooting and all…”

“It’s okay,” she waved her hand dismissively, “I don’t have anywhere else that I need to be and hopefully after you get one taste of this cake, you won’t want me to go anywhere either. I have a feeling that once you try this you’re going to be feeling so much better.”

“Thank you Barbara,” he thought about her visit for a second, “I really appreciate all of this.”

“All of what?” she questioned again her eyes meeting his.

“Your being my friend. I guess I forgot what that feels like, but it’s nice,” Diego finally smiled back at her feeling a genuine warmth in not being alone anymore. Perhaps with Barbara around it would give him a means of forgetting about his troubles at least for a little while.


“Now promise me you’re not going to flip out when you see my brother,” Grady stepped in front of the elevator doors before he and Avery got up to the floor that they knew Russ would be on. His green eyes stared directly into hers as he folded his arms in front of his chest. “At least swear to me that you’ll give him the chance to talk before you go nuts on him.”

“Of course I will,” Avery groaned pushing at Grady as the elevator doors opened to let them out on their floor. “Grady get out of my way.”

“No, not until you promise me that you’ll at least give him a chance,” Grady started again searching her dark eyes. “Avery, you know I’ll stand here all day until you answer me.”

“Fine, I won’t give him a hard time. You have my word on that,” she pushed at his shoulder again shoving him out of the way. Stepping out into the corridor she was barely out of the elevator when she felt a pair of arms wrap around her waist drawing her back towards the elevator. “Grady Denton, don’t make me kill you!”

“Whoa sounds like my brother is already getting on your last nerve,” Russell’s mused in the back of her ear as Avery felt his hold on her loosen up. She spun around to realize that he’d grabbed her and not Grady as she’d expected. Smiling, she couldn’t help but slide her arms around his shoulders.

“You I can appreciate,” Avery confessed tipping on her toes to kiss him tenderly, “but Grady on the other hand, well let’s just say he’s being all demanding today.”

“With good purpose,” Grady laughed lightly thinking about how Avery had almost decked Russ in thinking that Russ was him. “Though I think my work here is done. I’m going to go seek out Deana if you don’t mind.”

“Not at all,” Russ waved at his brother all the while still holding onto Avery. He squeezed her in closer to him before smiling, “I’m glad you’re here. I just called you.”

“You did?” her dark eyes widened in surprise.

He nodded, “That’s right. I wanted to tell you that I stopped by to check on things with Angela. You see she was brought in here when she had an accident and Kevin left me a message.”

“He did, did he?” Avery arched a speculative brow trying not to let her anger get the best of her. She silently remembered the phone call she’d made to Russell’s office, but she remembered her promise to give Russ the benefit of the doubt.

“That’s right,” Russ nodded in confession, “and I really didn’t get anything out of the message other than well Kevin was here and I was worried about him. He seemed upset so I came all the way over here to check on Kevin.”

“Wait a second,” Avery’s eyes widened in response. “You came over here to see Kevin?”

He nodded again, “Yeah I mean I wanted to check on Angela too, but I was mostly worried about Kevin. I know how much she means to him and…”

“Oh Russ, I love you,” Avery squeezed him tighter than before lifting up on her toes to embrace him.

“I love you too,” he replied surprised by her sudden outburst. He patted her on the back gently feeling her hold on him constrict for a few seconds before she finally eased up on him a bit.

“I’m such a jerk. Here I was thinking the worst about things when you were just trying to be a good friend. I let my imagination get the best of me and I really started acting like a real horrible person and…” Avery shook her head silently condemning herself for getting all worked up. “I’m sorry.”

“Okay, I’m lost,” Russ began spotting Ria out of the corner of his eye approaching them.

“Well you see that,” Avery started to explain to him when Ria joined them.

“Hold that thought,” Russ kissed her quickly before turning to Ria. “have you spoken with Kevin?”

“Not yet, but he’s having a day from what I’ve seen. Turns out that things are even more complicated for him. Kellen just passed out in his arms from what one of the nurses told me and…” Ria offered up with a heavy sigh while Avery spun around to see Ria standing before her.

“Ria, you’re here,” Avery couldn’t help but smile at seeing Ria in front of them. “You’re back in town.”

“That’s right,” Ria nodded in response, “I just got back with Kevin.”

“Kevin,” Avery’s grin expanded, “Does that mean that you two have found your way to mend fences with one another?”

“What is it with Kevin and I?” Ria couldn’t help but laugh, “Did he go to everyone about our problems?”

“Just Russ and I and I have to tell you that he loves you very much. He thinks the world of you and I just know you’re making a wise move in giving your relationship another shot. You two belong together and I know if you just hear him out, then you’ll see that you can work through this misunderstanding together,” Avery continued to explain, her voice growing louder with enthusiasm and determination to help Kevin find his way back to the woman he loved.

“Um Avery,” Russ tapped on her shoulder ready to explain that she didn’t need to give Ria a pep talk, but she continued on.

“He has been miserable without you and he loves you so very much. He told me that he wants to spend the rest of his life with you and only you. I’m sure if you just give him five minutes to explain himself then you will see that…” Avery continued to ramble on only to cause Ria to burst out laughing.

“Avery, it’s okay. We’re back together already,” Ria blurted out unable to hold back the truth any longer. “We talked while I was out of town and we decided that we are worth fighting for.”

“Really?” Avery smiled excitedly before looking between Russ and Ria. “Somehow I have the feeling you already knew about this, didn’t you Russ?”

“Well I tried to tell you, but…” Russ shrugged his shoulders as Avery turned to Ria again.

“I’m so happy for you and Kevin,” Avery embraced Ria excitedly, ‘”I know he loves you so much and I’m sure that you two are going to be so happy together. You were meant to be together. I just know it.”

“I’m glad that we’ve got our own cheerleading squad,” Ria laughed lightly returning the hug as she thought about how far she and Kevin had come in their relationship.

“Oh believe me you do. I’m always rooting for true love to win out in the end,” Avery motioned over to Russ, who was watching her with an amused grin.

“I won’t argue that,” Russ added before he spotted Grady and Deana out of the corner of his eyes, “Though I think I’m going to be right back. I’m going to go talk to Grady for a second and leave you two alone for a minute to bask in the glory of Kevin and Ria’s reunion.”

“Ha, very funny,” Avery shook her head at Russ before turning to Ria again. “Seriously though. Everything is really okay right?”

“As okay as it’s going to be right around now,” Ria smiled in response thinking about the short time she and Kevin had alone with one another before the call had come about Angela.

“You’re still worried about her though, aren’t you?” Avery couldn’t help but ask catching the flicker of doubt behind Ria’s eyes.

“Am I that obvious?” Ria finally admitted knowing full well she had no reason to be jealous of Angela, yet it was still there.

“Believe me it’s going around. I was feeling that way a little less than an hour ago considering I’ve seen Angela first hand when she’s trying to make someone jealous,” Avery lowered her voice a bit before she glanced over at Russ, Grady and Deana. “I don’t know what it is about her, but she just has this way of shaking up a situation and making a mess of it.”

“I know, but I’m not going to let myself fall into the same trap I did before. I left town because I thought that Kevin would always love her--always have her first in our lives and I couldn’t live that way, but I’m seeing now that I can’t stop fighting for what Kevin and I have. Angela might always hold a place in his heart, but damn it I’m his future,” Ria thought aloud more to herself than to Avery. “She can’t have that.”

“No she can’t and I won’t let her ruin what you and Kevin have. She almost destroyed Russ and I, but I’m not going to let it get to that point again either. I mean I hardly know her, but I can’t stand her,” Avery divulged wondering to herself if Angela was in fact her sister. “She and Brant deserve one another from what I do know.”

“I don’t know if Brant even deserves that,” Ria added feeling a bit guilty to be speaking so bad about Kevin’s best friend. “She just brings out the worst in me and there’s no escaping from it. I know it’s pure jealousy talking, but still. I don’t want anything bad to happen to her, yet…”

“You don’t want her sinking her hooks into Kevin again. I understand that and you’re absolutely right to feel that way,” Avery admitted thinking about what she’d witnessed at the restaurant between Russ and Angela. “You have plenty of reason to have your concerns raised, but for now, well I think Angela’s top concern will be getting better.”

“I hope so. I hope she wakes up soon and tells everyone that she wants to be with Brant,” Ria added thinking out loud once again. “He really does love her.”

“Somehow I find that hard to believe seeing as I don’t really think that Brant knows the meaning of the word,” Avery paused feeling a moment of bitterness carrying over her. “Then again neither does she. They are meant for one another.”


“So have they heard anything more on Angela’s condition?” Russ questioned joining Grady and Deana as they stood with one another near the nurse’s station. “Ria mentioned something about Kellen passing out…”

“Honestly you wouldn’t believe it if I said what was going on,” Deana admitted thinking about what she’d heard passed on through the rumor mill. “There hasn’t been any word on what’s going on with Angela, which to me indicates that there haven’t been any changes, but with Brant, Kevin and Cameron apparently there have been lawyers in and out of the hospital all day while they are fighting.”

“Lawyers?” Russ arched a curious brow. “Why?”

“Something about Cameron wanting to kick Brant out of the hospital, about Brant wanting Cameron out of the hospital and something about Kevin having power of attorney of the twins Angela is having,” Deana revealed thinking about what she’d heard during her last set around the hospital. “However if you think that’s strange it sounds like it gets even stranger the more they continue to talk with one another.”

“Why is that?” Grady questioned imagining Cameron and Brant going head to head with one another. “Brant and Cameron are both stubborn asses so it would only make sense to have someone else not attached to the situation in charge like Kevin.”

“I can’t argue that either. Kevin’s a good man and he’ll do the right thing. I’m sure of it. He won’t let anything happen to Angela or the twins,” Russ added thinking about his friend’s involvement with Angela. “He'll do what’s best.”

“I’m sure that’s true, but that’s not the case anymore as it turns out that Angela has a husband,” Deana divulged thinking about the latest bit of gossip running around the hospital, “It turns out that she’s been married to Kellen Meloni all this time.”

“Kellen Meloni,” Russell’s jaw dropped at the very thought, “no that can’t be right. That has to be a mistake. From what I heard she was married to his brother at one point in time and…”

“No it’s true,” Deana informed the both of them once again, “There was a lawyer with papers and everything. Kellen heard it and passed out in Kevin’s arms. It’s clearly not a good day for any of them.”

“Man I can’t even begin to imagine that,” Russ confessed thinking about what Deana was telling them.

“Isn’t Kellen like, um gay,” Grady couldn’t help but ask turning to his younger brother.

“As far as I knew,” Russ nodded, “and truth be told he doesn’t strike me as Angela’s type at all.”

“At least that’s one nightmare we’re all detached from,” Grady noted turning to his brother and giving him a long look, “right?”

“Yeah of course,” Russ nodded in confession, “I’m only here to support Kevin. That’s it. I hope nothing bad happens to Angela, but with her and Brant, well they are on their own with that one. It’s not my problem anymore.”

“Smart man,” Grady noted thinking about Avery’s reaction to Russ and Angela interacting with one another. Hopefully his brother was a man of his word and wouldn’t try to extend too much of his kindness to Angela to the point it would wind up costing Russ his future and his family.


Deidra heard a knock at her office door and she looked up to find herself face to face with a dozen red roses. Unable to contain her surprise or enthusiasm, she offered up a smile and reached for them with a thoughtful expression.

“Dean you shouldn’t have,” she offered up with a thoughtful expression thinking about how her lover was always doing nice things for her. She was about to say something more when he lowered the flowers and she found herself face to face with Andy.

“He didn’t,” Andy confessed holding the flowers out to his wife, “but I’m glad that you liked them. When I saw them they had your name written all over them.”

“Andy, what in the…” Deidra refused to accept the flowers a curious expression sweeping over her as she looked to them again. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“Trying to make amends for the things I’ve done in the past,” Andy admitted with a bright smile, his blue eyes searching hers. “Is that really so bad of me?”

“Considering it’s completely out of character yes,” she nodded in confession eyeing him wearily, “Does this mean that you’ve gotten in touch with my lawyer about the divorce? Is that why you’re here? You unhappy with the terms or something?”

“Not at all. In fact the more I got to thinking about our marriage, the happier I found myself to be,” he explained moving in closer to her. “You see I got to thinking about all the women--about all the time you and I have spent apart and I realize that we’ve both kind of made mistakes.”

“Excuse me,” she blinked back at him in astonishment, “You cheated on me at every opportunity and yet you want to say I made mistakes.”

“Well you did try to replace me baby and even you have to admit that you moved rather fast,” Andy shook his head at her a frown sweeping over his face. “You didn’t even think twice about what we had before you ran out of Florida and came back here to forget me.”

“Considering you slept with more than half of the hospital staff I’m sure it’s safe to say that you weren’t too worried about my leaving,” she rolled her eyes at his wounded tone. “We both know you were too busy to care.”

“Oh that hurts,” he brought his hand up over his chest, “Deidra you know how it kills me to think that you can’t stand me. I still do love you. I hope you realize that.”

“You never loved me,” she corrected standing up from where she’d been seated. “You only love yourself.”

“I know it might’ve seemed that way, but it’s entirely not true,” he attempted to appeal to her once again, “We had something special once upon a time, didn’t we?”

“I thought it was, but then I realized that I married a cheat and a liar,” Deidra added with a frown, “I learned the hard way that clearly marriage doesn’t work when you’re the only one invested in it.”

“I know I made some mistakes, but you loved me once, didn’t you? I mean if you look inside yourself you can see that you care about me still,” Andy moved in closer to her, his blue eyes reaching out into hers. “I know that you still have some feelings for me.”

“That’s right,” she nodded in response, “They are called contempt, but once we’re divorced they will be relief and that’s all that I want and need from you.”

“If you have dinner with me, then maybe we could find a common ground between us. Maybe you would see that we do have something still to work with between us,” he offered up once again reaching out to touch her arm gently.

“There is nothing to work out Andy because it’s over plain and simple,” Deidra finished as there was a knock on her door. Seconds later Dean stepped inside and took a look at the both of them.

“Everything okay?” Dean couldn’t help but ask seeing that Deidra appeared to be tense with her soon-to-be ex-husband standing in front of her.

“For now,” Andy took a step back before facing Deidra once again, “I’m not finished with this conversation though. We will have to sit down and talk to one another about things because I’m sure we can come up with a solution that is mutually beneficial for the both of us.”

“Not in the way you’re hoping,” Deidra scoffed in response watching Andy brush past Dean and out of her office.

“Care to tell me what that was all about?” Dean questioned moving in to her side and bringing his arms around her. “What’s going on?”

“I honestly don’t know, but something tells me he’s up to something and whatever it is, I know I’m not interested,” Deidra divulged realizing that the sooner her divorce went through the better off she would be.


“So let’s hear it,” Don suggested looking around his kitchen to see the piles of pizza boxes that surrounded him and Nate. Now as Don sat at the table, he opened up one of the boxes and pulled himself out a piece of pizza. He eyed Nate curiously awaiting his answer.

“Well you see it’s complicated,” Nate began clearing his throat uneasily. “I mean one minute Matt and Zane are begging me to take them to the toy store, then they run into Kayla…”

“Yeah, I got that part,” Don took a hearty bite of the pizza in his hand. “The part I don’t get is how I wound up with all these pizzas, Jewel and three five year olds running around my house. Why don’t we start with that one.”

“I told you that Matt ran into Kayla at the toy store,” Nate shrugged his shoulders simply before pulling one of the boxes into his lap and opening it. He looked at one piece of pizza before pulling it out and shoving it into his mouth. “Can I help it that your son is popular and has a girlfriend?”

“I’m not talking about my son’s girlfriend. I’m talking about the pizzas and your clear lack of control of this situation,” Don added seeing Nate try to speak up with his mouth full.

“Like I said this is not my fault,” Nate muttered behind the mouth full of pizza. He took another bite before speaking up again, “I merely told Matt that his friend could come over for a while and that’s all that happened.”

“Really?” Don arched a curious brow seeing something that caught his attention that he hadn’t noticed before, “And what’s with the lipstick on your collar there? Are you telling me you got that when you told Matt he could run amuck around the house?”

“No not exactly,” Nate finished off the piece of pizza he’d been chomping on and started to wipe at the pink shade of lipstick on his collar. He gulped realizing all he’d managed to do was smear it more and add grease to it along the way. “You see I told Matt he could be in charge of dinner tonight and I thought it was innocent enough, but apparently he decided we were really hungry tonight.”

“And you decided that in the process that you’d let my five year old run the house while you were sleeping with Jewel, right?” Don questioned point blank seeing Nate gulp once again.

“Well, um,” Nate stopped trying to clean his shirt off long enough to meet Don’s questioning gaze, “yeah.”

“Well that just figures,” Don rolled his eyes after he’d finally pieced the puzzle together. “You brought Jewel back here to have sex with her while you let three five year olds run the house.”

“When you put it that way it sounds really bad,” Nate held his finger up in the air watching as Don got up and out of his chair to start pacing around the room.

“Do you have any idea what you’ve done?” Don spun around to look at Nate with a tight scowl.

“Well yeah of course I do and I have to tell you I think I was doing it really good too because Jewel was really enjoying it,” Nate’s grin expanded to a wide smirk before Don let out a small groan. Nate sank back further into the chair slumping his shoulders as it was clear Don was about to let him have it. “Wrong answer right?”

“Yep, you’ve got it. That’s a major wrong answer,” Don nodded in agreement realizing that even now that he’d made sense of what had happened, he was still going to have a hell of a time cleaning up the mess that had been created while Nate was catering to Jewel and that had him less than thrilled.


“Okay, hold on Jason,” Mindy placed her hand in over his firm abdomen hearing him let out a long breath before laughing and pressing his hand in over the center of his head. Seeing his blue eyes cross for a moment before he shook his head slowly she let out a small laugh. “How many of me are you seeing right now?”

“I don’t even know if I can count right now,” Jason laughed trying to shake it off over and over again as she tried to help him up the stairs and he looked down to his feet letting out a slow breath trying to pull his feet up enough to make it up to the apartment. Feeling as if gravity was pushing harder on him, he stumbled forward falling on his chest on the stairs, sliding down them until hitting the cement at the bottom. “Oh, that’s going to leave a mark.”

“Oh my god, I am so sorry,” Mindy quickly moved down the stairs to his side seeing him slowly get to his knees and let out a long breath before shaking his head slowly motioning her to hold on. “I should have had a better grip on you, it’s just you are kind of big and…,”

“Mindy, don’t worry about it,” he tried to hush her grabbing a firm hold of her hand as he stepped up on his feet taking a few stumbles back only to feel her pull him forward by his shirt and closer in to her. “Okay, I can stand, let’s get up those stairs.”

“Brace yourself for another fall just in case,” Mindy laughed seeing his blue eyes widen before he nodded slowly and she firmly wrapped her hand around his waist trying her best to help him up as he grabbed a firm hold of railing and they made it to the top very carefully. “Good job, just rest right here while I open the door.”

“Shouldn’t be too hard,” Jason felt her let go of him as he started to fall back toward the railing and she reached back to grab a firm hold, bracing him against the wall. “Okay, the wall seems better, that’s a smarter choice.”

“I thought so,” she chuckled holding onto his arm seeing him gulp down before stumbling into the house over his own feet before falling on the couch and she let out a small laugh. “Hey, you must be getting better, you hit the couch nicely. I’ll be right back, I’ll get some ice.”

“I’ll try and sit up,” he muttered into a pillow before turning on his back only to let out a small groan, looking up at the ceiling seeing the fan above him. Letting out a small laugh he covered his eyes before shaking it off slowly. “Uh Mindy, is it accurate for me to be seeing three fans on your ceiling?”

“Right now it is,” she stated shaking her head slowly as she made him lift up his head enough for her to sit down until she motioned him to lie back in her lap. Placing the ice pack in over his forehead she heard him let out a small gasp at the coolness of it before she placed her hand in over his. “It’s cold I know, but maybe it will stop it from turning black and blue.”

“Hey, my two favorite colors. It’s no problem if I turn that color, it just shows I’m dedicated to something I like,” Jason tried to joke seeing her frown as he closed his eyes tightly and let out a small laugh. “Don’t worry about me, I’ll be okay. I’m just trying to make a joke.”

“But it’s not funny, I didn’t mean to hit you,” Mindy insisted seeing Jason go to sit up before she pushed him back down seeing his blue eyes widen in shock. “I think you just need to rest back right now before you break something else.”

“I think I can just,” Jason went to get up again before feeling her force him back to lie down with the icepack in over his head as he let out a small laugh. “Lie here for a bit and try not to break anything. So, I’m down to two of you now, so I’m sure I’ll be fine soon.”

“Maybe that’s why they taught us in grade school to just drop the bat and not fling it back like that because you can seriously hurt someone,” she thought back to what she had learned about baseball before frowning down at Jason seeing him gulp down before closing his eyes. “I can’t believe I hit you like that.”

“Hey now, it wasn’t you that hit me. I saw the way that bat was attracted to me,” he teased further hearing her let out a small laugh as he shrugged his shoulders and opened his eyes to see her light blue eyes staring into his. “If you think about it Mindy, those kids did think that you were my girlfriend and honestly Mindy, that bat had it hard for me. When it found out there was no chance at being with me, it felt that if it couldn’t have me, no one could.”

“I see, so that bat purposely threw itself out of my hands and bounced up and hit you because it wanted you?” she questioned seeing him smile widely and nod slowly before she laughed and swatted at his shoulder. “You’re cute.”

“I know,” Jason agreed laughing out as she swatted harder at his shoulder and he shrugged his shoulders before taking in a slow breath. Closing his eyes he felt the cool air blowing in over him from the fan above before blowing out slowly. “Remember, I said everything happens for a reason, there is some reason I’m lying here seeing two of you in the living room.”

“Yeah, because I screwed up finally for once in baseball,” Mindy replied back seeing him smile and nod slowly before resting back further into her lap before pressing the ice pack against his head. “Are your favorite colors really black and blue?”

“Oh yeah, I mean this one time when I was little, I liked it so much that I made my twin sister throw all these things at me until I had this big circular black and blue spot in the center of my chest,” Jason opened up one eye seeing that her jaw was dropped and he laughed before feeling her swat at his shoulder again. “I’m sorry, but I can’t believe you fell for that. That was a horrible story and you believed me.”

“Well, you don’t seem like a liar,” Mindy pushed her fingers in through his short hair looking over to his hat that was on the floor that fell off when he landed on the couch face first. “I like that about you, you seem like someone I can trust.”

“Well, I feel the same way. You seem like a very genuine nice girl,” Jason smirked feeling her fingers settle in against his shoulder as he let out a long breath gritting his teeth together. “Okay, I have to take this off, I think I’m getting a brain freeze.”

“Oh my, you have quite the lump on your head,” Mindy covered her mouth seeing Jason glance up at her worriedly as he went to stand up and moved slowly over toward the mirror only to feel her place her hand in over his shoulder. “I’m just saying it’s a bit red.”

“That’s not,” he turned quickly to her before feeling his legs give out underneath him and he fell forward feeling her trying to grab him before he fell. Her attempt failed as she fell to the ground on top of him hearing him let out a small groan followed by a laugh. “Wow, things just keep gravitating toward me today.”

“I am so sorry, I tried to save you,” Mindy chuckled placing her hand in against his warm cheek only to hear a noise in the background. Turning to look toward the door she saw Gabe with Brittany in his arms staring out at the two. “Gabe, hey.”

“Mindy, what are you doing in the center of the floor with some guy I don’t think I’ve yet to meet?” Gabe questioned itching his chin slowly before pointing back toward the door seeing her going to get up quickly. Watching the man go to get up and fall back on his butt again before resting his back against the couch. “You know, I could come back for you if you would like.”

“I was just, he fell and pulled me with him,” Mindy tried to explain seeing Brittany struggle to get out of he father’s arms before she got to the floor and walked over to Jason slowly. “This is my friend Jason.”

“His Jason, I’m Brittany,” Brittany extended her hand to Jason seeing him smile and shake her hand slowly as Brittany moved in behind Mindy, tugging on her hand to whisper something in her ear. “He’s really cute.”

“Hey now, secrets aren’t very nice,” Jason slowly braced himself before getting up slowly and finally being able to stand sturdy on his own two feet before smiling, his dimples showing clearly. “I think it could be something all of us want to hear.”

“I like games Jason, I have a kite,” Brittany replied seeing Jason’s blue eyes meet her glance as she nodded slowly and reached for his hand feeling his fingers wrap around hers softly. “I’m having issues getting it in the air, will you help me?”

“Well, I think today I might be open for some kite flying techniques,” Jason answered with a nod slowly moving over toward the door motioning Mindy to come with him as he opened the front door. “Come on Mindy, we have a kite we must get in the air.”


Shannon knocked on the door to Dave’s office waiting for a response. She opened up the door and saw that he was talking on the phone, but before she could leave he waved her on with a nod alerting her to the fact that he would be a few minutes. She nodded back at him before taking a seat across from him at his desk.

“Thank you. I appreciate all that you’re doing for me. If you have any questions or need anything, please don’t hesitate to call because I only want what’s best for her,” Dave informed the caller before hanging up the phone and looking to Shannon with a polite smile, “Shannon, what can I do for you?”

“I was just in the area and figured I would let you know the news about my suspension being lifted,” Shannon explained thinking about her situation with the FBI. “I got the call earlier today that my higher ups wanted to meet with me about what was going on with my professional life. It turns out that someone put a good word in with them and they have decided that it is best to put the past behind them.”

“Really,” Dave leaned back in his chair before nodding, “Well that is truly reason for celebrating.”

“I know that I wouldn’t have that reason if it wasn’t for you,” she mouthed eyeing him intently, “When they said that a local law official put a good word for me talking about how I was able to aid in the apprehension of Bruce Mathis, I knew that it had to come from you.”

“Did they say I was the one to put the word in?” he couldn’t help but question fighting to suppress his smile.

“They didn’t have to. I knew from what they said that you were the man that they were talking about,” she informed him point blank, “It doesn’t take much to figure out who one of the few decent people in this town are.”

“I’m just glad I could help, though admittedly I was going to invite you to work here if they didn’t come to their senses soon,” Dave explained with a shake of his head, “You would have made a hell of a good officer here.”

“Even with my aggression issues?” she arched a curious brow watching his expression shift.

“Well, that might have had to be toned down a bit, but overall I think that you would have done a fine job here with the CV police department. I would have been proud to have you on my payroll, but for what it’s worth, I’m glad that the higher ups came to their senses,” Dave explained with a warm glance before turning his attention to the papers in front of him.

“I know they wouldn’t have even considered it if you hadn’t come in and offered up your help. I owe you Dave. You’re a good friend,” Shannon informed him honestly, “I know I don’t say it too often, but I’m really thankful that we crossed paths with one another.”

“Thanks Shannon,” Dave smiled over at her, “That’s probably the nicest thing anyone has said to me today.”

“I can see you look stressed,” she noted giving him a once over, “Care to talk about it?”

“There isn’t much to say,” Dave explained with a heavy sigh, “I paid a visit to Cori earlier…”

“How is she doing?” Shannon questioned thinking about Dave’s younger sister.

“I’d like to say that she’s doing better, but she’s still under the belief that she hasn’t done anything wrong,” Dave sighed feeling tension creep in over his neck and shoulders, “She still believes that Diego is to blame for everything that happened.”

“He did break her heart,” Shannon noted thinking about what had taken place.

“But she shouldn’t have shot him. That’s what landed her in the hospital in the first place,” Dave added with a groan, “She still doesn’t see it that way. She thinks I’m being unfair to her.”

“I can understand why she might feel that way because let’s face it we all would like to shoot our ex at least once in our lives. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I fantasized about just pulling out my gun when Brant least suspected it and…” Shannon divulged thinking about her hatred for her ex-lover.

“Shannon,” Dave threw a stern look out over at her.

“Okay, so maybe I shouldn’t have said that, but when you’re hurt it takes a long time to recover from it. I’m sure with a little help from those at the hospital, Cori will find her way back to normalcy again. At least I hope so,” she offered up seeing the sadness and worry behind his eyes.

“I really would like to think that will happen, but she had so much anger inside of her today. I just don’t get how this can keep happening to her,” Dave revealed with a groan, “I mean just when I think she pulled her life back into order again this happens.”

“You mentioned this wasn’t the first time she’s been fixated on someone,” Shannon noted remembering one of her earlier talks with Dave.

“It was never like this before. I mean yes there were instances, but this was the worst one,” Dave explained worry evident in his tone, “When our father died this began with her, but I never imagined that one day I would be sitting here trying to help decide my sister’s fate while she was locked up in a hospital…”

“Sometimes life throws us a curve Dave. I mean I’ll be honest and say that I always expected my brother Nate to wind up in a situation like that. He’s reckless and impulsive and never thinks about the consequences of his actions. He lives life the way he wants to and doesn’t give an inkling of thought to the rules or how things should be. That’s what got him into trouble in the first place when he came to town. He just doesn’t think,” Shannon shook her head and frowned. “He doesn’t understand that people need to grow up eventually.”

“I don’t think it’s a case of growing up with Cori, but rather that she doesn’t understand why being obsessive over something like she was with Diego is a bad thing. The mere fact that she thinks she was completely justified in her actions only further worries me. I mean if she was willing to shoot Diego once, then what is to say she won’t try it again or what if she does something worse?”

“You just have to believe that she will get better. I know the doctors at the hospital are highly trained professionals and I’m sure that they will do everything in their power to pull her through this. You just need to have a little faith,” Shannon surprised herself with her own words.

“Since when did you become an optimist?” Dave couldn’t help but ask curious by her new tone.

“I guess you could say that Don’s wearing off on me a little bit. Besides take it from someone who has had more chances than she deserved. People can change and maybe just maybe there is some kind of happiness in store for Cori once she gets past this,” Shannon suggested with a hopeful expression, “Stranger things have happened.”

“I know,” he nodded in agreement, “I just hope that this time Cori will find the strength she needs to put all of this behind her from here on out.”

“Anything is possible Dave even for Cori,” she explained hating to see her friend upset now that it was clear that he was having far more problems than the ones she’d been complaining about in her life. Knowing that things were increasingly difficult for him, Shannon made a mental note to see what she could do to help Dave deal with his sister and help her now that she’d gone off the deep end. It was worth a try.


“You know things could get better,” Barbara suggested after she’d finally gotten Diego to relax a bit. “I mean it’s not like most of the people in this town don’t have their own set of skeletons. So you slept with the wrong person. Big deal.”

“You say that like it’s nothing,” Diego noted with a hint of curiosity in his tone, “Something you want to confess?”

“I don’t know,” Barbara leaned in closer to him as a smile teased over the corners of her lips, “It would all depend on whether or not you can keep a secret or not.”

“I do happen to be a psychiatrist,” Diego noted with a hint of teasing in his tone, “So unless you’re about to reveal something that you’re about to do to cause harm to someone or to yourself, then I think it’s safe to say that you’ll be fine.”

“Hmm, I don’t know,” she couldn’t help but smirk, “If I was to reveal myself to you, what would I get in return?”

“Someone to listen,” Diego suggested catching the hint of flirting in her tone.

“What if I told you I was looking for something more?” she challenged meeting his dark eyes with a curiosity, “What if I said that the idea of a bad boy has been somewhat of a turn on for me over the years?”

“Then I’d say you’re looking in the wrong direction because the only thing that’s right here in front of you is an idiot who made stupid decisions,” Diego replied with a small sigh thinking about all he’d done.

“Oh I don’t know. I mean sure you obviously didn’t have the best of taste in picking Sarah Marx, but half this town was in the same boat if the rumors are true. They always say that you have to pick the wrong one a few times over before the right one ends up in front of you.”

“Barbara,” he began to explain to her only to feel her press her fingers over his lips to silence him.

“Before you shoot me down Diego, just hear me out,” she pleaded feeling a moment of boldness carry over her, “The fact to the matter is that I’m not exactly as ‘social’ as Sarah or as psychotic as Cori is, but when properly motivated I know how to show a person a good time, which right about now is something that you’re sorely in need of. So why fight it? Why not take a chance on something new and unexpected?”

“Because right now I have a whole world of issues that I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want to touch,” Diego answered honestly thinking about the mess he’d gotten himself into. “It wouldn’t be fair to bring anyone into that.”

“Everyone has their problems. It’s just how you deal with them that defines you,” she informed him with a determined smile, “Something about what I’ve seen in you Diego tells me that you’ll be the kind of man who can step up to the plate and come out on top of this.”

“I wish I had your faith in this situation,” he mouthed with another frown.

“I’ll give you more than my faith if you just give me a chance,” she suggested again, this time with a far more sultry tone. She opened her mouth to say something more when the sound of the doorbell ringing broke through her opportunity. Before she could get anything more on the table between them Diego stood up to answer the door. “Diego…”

“Give me a second,” Diego pleaded with her walking over to open up the door only to discover Kyle standing in front of him with a somber expression.

“I hope this isn’t a bad time,” Kyle glanced over Diego’s shoulder over at Barbara, who was still seated in the room.

“Kyle,” Barbara spoke his name, surprised to see Diego’s rival standing outside of his home. Instinctively she stood up and walked over to join the two men, “What are you doing here?”

“I came over to have a few words with Diego,” Kyle glanced over at Diego curiously, “That is if it’s not a bad time.”

“Well…” Barbara started worried that Kyle had come over to finish the job that Cori had started.

“It’s fine,” Diego sighed resigning himself to his fate as he pulled the door open further. “Come on in.”

“Diego, are you sure that you’re up for this one?” Barbara couldn’t help but ask her worries mounting.

“I’m fine,” Diego nodded in response.

“I won’t be long,” Kyle promised glancing over at Barbara, who looked like she was ready to say something further. However, her pager went off and Kyle couldn’t help but find himself wondering what he’d walked in on.

“It’s the hospital,” Barbara explained with a heavy scowl, “I don’t want to leave now, but…”

“I’ll be ok. Let me walk you out,” Diego suggested touching her shoulder gently. His eyes shifted to Kyle briefly before he stepped over to the door with Barbara.

“Are you sure that you’ll be okay?” she questioned in a small whisper, her eyes shifting over to where Kyle was again.

“I’ll be fine,” Diego offered up realizing that she was still doubtful. “There isn’t anything that he can do to me that hasn’t already been done.”

“Diego, I just don’t know if…” Barbara began again.

“I didn’t come over here to kill him,” Kyle piped in from across the room, “so if that’s what’s worrying you, don’t let it stress you out. Diego won‘t end up in emergency at the end of the day.”

“It’s really ok,” Diego urged her on again before forcing a small smile, “I’ll call you when he leaves.”

“Okay,” Barbara finally decided before glancing over at Kyle once again, “I’m going to hold you to your word.”

“I’m always a man of my word,” Kyle promised crossing his fingers over his chest before watching her leave. Once Diego shut the door and locked it, Kyle couldn’t help but laugh, “You sure do move fast, don’t you?”

“Barbara is my friend,” Diego stated plainly now that he already found himself on edge at Kyle’s implication.

“Hey, it’s none of my business. You can sleep with the entire Dallas Cowboy Cheerleading squad if you’d like just as long as your ’charm’ doesn’t work it’s way back to Heather,” Kyle informed him with a simple shrug of his shoulders before taking a seat on one of the chairs.

“Yes, I’d heard about the two of you,” Diego noted with a simple nod, “I would imagine that congratulations are in order that you’ve found one another.”

“I think I’m a pretty lucky guy,” Kyle added stiffly before glancing over at Diego once again, “In your own twisted sort of way, you did me a huge favor in reminding me all over again why Sarah wasn’t at all the woman I wanted to spend my life with.”

“Look, I’m sorry that…” Diego cleared his throat uneasily.

“That she played you?” Kyle arched a curious brow. “Let me guess. She ran to you with some sob story about how you were the only man who ever really understood her. How you were the only one who actually gave a damn about her. She probably told you how horrible I was for hurting her and naturally you wanted to step up to the plate and be her hero.”

“When Sarah and I started,” Diego strained for the right words now that he was in the same place with Kyle, “When she and I were together, you both were…well, it was when you broke up.”

“I don’t doubt that,” Kyle admitted with a small nod, “I’m sure Sarah didn’t wait five minutes after we had our fight and that’s not your fault. I mean I could see right through the crush you had on her for a while, but I figured that you were too smart to let it get the best of you.”

“I thought I was too,” Diego revealed with a pained expression, “Look when I think about the decisions I’ve made and the mistakes…”

“It’s water under the bridge,” Kyle raised his hand in the air to silence Diego, “What’s done is done and we both wound up seeing Sarah as she truly is.”

“I just wish it wouldn’t have gotten to this point,” Diego admitted with a small sigh of his own, “Things are just so damned complicated.”

“Tell me about it,” Kyle groaned inwardly, “I mean here we both are wondering where this situation with Sarah leaves us. I mean I’m pretty sure that I’m not that child’s father, but…”

“But there’s a part of you that thinks that maybe…” Diego offered up in response.

“Yeah,” Kyle scratched his chin lightly, “I mean given what I’ve learned about Sarah over the last couple of months, I think the chances are pretty slim for either one of us being the father. For all we know she could’ve been the one sleeping with that cheerleading squad.”

“If that was the case I don’t think that would write us out of the running Kyle if you think about it,” Diego couldn’t help but add with a hint of laughter in his tone.

“Yeah, maybe not,” Kyle sank back further into the chair, “but beyond Sarah there is a baby who is at the heart of this situation. There’s an innocent life that is hanging by a balance because Sarah was too stupid to play things the right way with those in her life.”

“I get the feeling that there’s a lot going on inside of her that neither one of us were able to reach out in her,” Diego offered up thinking about the woman who had betrayed the both of them. “She’s clearly hurting on a lot of levels.”

“Please don’t tell me that you’re buying into the whole innocent victim routine that she likes to toss out at people,” Kyle shook his head and sighed, “Diego, it’s not going to lead you anywhere, but to misery.”

“I can see she’s not as cold as she’s carried herself lately. Obviously there is a lot of hurt and a lack of self worth inside of her,” Diego offered up in Sarah’s defense, “That’s the only reason why someone like her would behave in such a fashion.”

“That and the fact that well maybe she’s a bit of a manipulative liar who gets off on toying with people’s emotions,” Kyle suggested with a groan, “Look man I’m not going to tell you what to do with your life, but if Cori shooting you wasn’t a wake up call where women are concerned, then at least hear me out. Sarah Marx is a master manipulator and she will use each and every emotion that she perceives as a weakness against you. If she thinks that there’s a chance that you’ll still play into her games, she’s going to do everything in her power to cash in on that. She’ll twist this situation in her favor so many times over that you won’t know what hit you. She’s only going to let you down again and again.”

“It sounds like you’ve written her off already,” Diego noted with a small frown.

“And you’ll do the same if you’re smart. You’ll wash your hands of the situation and then move forward,” Kyle informed him with a shake of his head, “You’ll cut your losses and try to start over again without her dragging you down.”

“What about the baby? What if that child is yours or even mine? How could I cut the losses then?” Diego questioned with an emphatic sigh. “She’ll always be a part of that child’s life.”

“If that happens to be the case and you’re the child’s father, then I’ll personally hand you the name of the top custody lawyers in the state. You can call one of them and get that child as far away from Sarah as possible,” Kyle suggested with a frown of his own, “because I’m telling you now as long as Sarah has her hands on that baby, it’s in for a life of misery and manipulation. She’s going to push off everything she feels wrong about in her life on that child. I know how she works.”

“You loved her once, didn’t you?” Diego couldn’t help but ask noticing the coldness in Kyle’s tone.

“How can you love someone who constantly lies to you and manipulates you?” Kyle replied honestly, “Everything I’ve ever known from Sarah has been one manipulation after the other. Nothing she’s ever done or said to me has been real. It was all a lie.”

“And what if a part of it wasn’t? What if on some level she meant what she told you when she said she loved you? What if there was a part of her buried inside of her that was really, truly longing to be what you’d wanted in your life? What you needed?” Diego threw back at him with a pensive tone.

“That’s for you to deal with Doc if that’s where your mind is going, but my theory on Sarah is out of sight, out of mind. I’ve moved forward in my life and I’m done dealing with her nonsense. If you really think about this, you know you should do the same,” Kyle added with a warning tone. “From what I’ve heard this hasn’t been your month, so don’t go and ruin the rest of your life because of Sarah. She’s a long, dark road to misery and the sooner that you change paths the faster you’ll find that you can reclaim your life as your own again.”

“So is that why you came over here? To warn me to steer clear of Sarah?” Diego arched a curious brow at Kyle’s words.

“I came over here to keep you from making the same stupid mistake I made all those years ago,” Kyle blurted out with a small shake of his head, “I let Sarah manipulate me and keep me from the only real thing I’ve ever known in my life. I almost let her take me completely under. If you’re smart, you’ll make sure that you don’t follow my path because if you do, you’ll end up alone and miserable with no one else to blame but yourself.”

“Wise words,” Diego nodded in response, “but if Sarah’s the mother of my child…”

“Then you get custody and get out of dodge as soon as possible,” Kyle interrupted him again, “It’s pretty much the only way to ensure that you won’t spend the rest of your life in hell.”

“I’m surprised that you care what happens with my life,” Diego noted giving him a sideways glance. “I would have thought that you’d be wishing for worse than what’s already happened.”

“You slept with Sarah and were schooled by her so to speak. It doesn’t get much worse than that. Believe me I know,” Kyle offered up with a small sigh, “Besides I know a bit about what’s happened to you. I’ve seen some of the stories here and there.”

“What kind of stories?” Diego couldn’t help but ask.

“I saw that thing about what happened when you were really truly happy with love in your life,” Kyle informed him honestly, watching as Diego shifted in his chair uneasily, “I read about Maria dying and I know how something like that is bound to screw with your head and put it in the wrong direction.”

“I sincerely doubt you know anything about that kind of pain,” Diego immediately grew defensive at Kyle’s words.

“Actually I do,” Kyle replied honestly realizing that he’d taken the wrong approach with Diego. Now it was time to shift the conversation before Diego started to get worked up, “I know what it’s like to lose absolutely everyone you’ve ever loved. It creates this wall inside of you and before you know it when you look in the mirror you don’t even recognize yourself anymore.”

“I don’t want to get into this with you,” Diego announced getting up and walking over towards the front door to show Kyle out.

“Look, my family died not that long ago,” Kyle offered up with an exaggerated breath, “My parents were murdered when I was away at college. The investigators suspected arson, but then nothing came of it…”

Diego paused turning around to face Kyle again with a confused expression.

“My father was with my mother the night it happened. Even though they were only my adoptive parents there were the world to me,” Kyle let out an ironic laugh before shaking his head, “And do you know that they tried to paint my father as a murderer? They tried to say that he was having difficulties at work and that the stress was too much for him? The papers even went so far to go on and imply that when he’d hit the end of his rope, he started the fire and killed my mother as well as our dog simply because he couldn’t take the pressures of living.”

“Kyle, why are you telling me this?” Diego questioned uneasily as he took a step forward.

“Because I know first hand what losing someone can do to fuck with your head,” Kyle explained with a shortness in his tone, “Believe me Diego after my folks died it brought a whole new set of issues onto the table for me. I stopped trusting people--stopped reaching out to anyone that mattered because how could I be whole for a relationship again? How could I truly be fulfilled when in the back of my mind I couldn’t stop seeing my parents? That I couldn’t stop imagining what it was that lead up to the turn of events that night? When I think about them dying in that fire and all the nightmares that don‘t ever go away…”

“Kyle, I’m sorry,” Diego’s tone softened a bit. “I had no idea that…”

“I don’t talk about it,” Kyle shook his head before letting out an ironic laugh, “Damn, Heather was right about you.”

“What do you mean?” Diego questioned carefully taking a seat across from Kyle again.

“Even though you seem like an invasive, know-it-all, pain in the ass, you have this way of getting people to talk about stuff,” Kyle forced a pinched laugh again, “I still haven’t talked to Heather about my parents. I mean yeah it’s come up, but it’s never really gotten beyond the surface of the situation. Hell, I go through life trying to pretend that it didn’t happen--that I didn’t have to live through that…”

“Pretending doesn’t make the grief or the guilt you’re obviously feeling any easier, now does it?” Diego inquired watching the struggle that Kyle was experiencing.

“I just wish…” Kyle balled his fists at his sides and groaned, “Damn it I don’t know why I just told you all of this.”

“Because in your own way you’re trying to reach out and connect with someone else you feel experienced that kind of loss,” Diego explained in a professional tone.

“Yeah, but that’s not why I’m here,” Kyle offered up in response.

“It doesn’t matter why you came over, but rather what’s important is that you’re willing to speak about this now,” Diego added in an understanding tone, “Obviously you’ve had a lot on your mind and this is something that’s just built up inside of you.”

“Maybe,” Kyle shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t know if it’s just Sarah or a culmination of issues…”

“Maybe we should set something up,” Diego offered watching the way that Kyle’s eyes snapped over at him.

“You mean like psycho-babble sessions?” Kyle arched a curious brow.

“It’s called therapy,” Diego finally nodded in response, “and it couldn’t hurt.”

“Um no offense, but considering our history I really don’t think that you and I should be engaging in any kind of therapy sessions with one another. No offense, but it’s kind of hard to trust a guy who was banging my ex-girlfriend and has a hard on for my wife,” Kyle tossed back at him flippantly.

“Your wife?” Diego repeated with an arched brow.

“Shit, I didn’t mean to say that,” Kyle cursed under his breath again, “Look Heather and I are keeping things quiet about us being, well about us getting married and…”

“And considering that we’re sort of engaging in the whole therapy process right now, I think it’s safe to say that your secret is safe with me,” Diego noted with another nod, “and congratulations again by the way.”

“Thanks,” Kyle shook his head again, “Heather’s going to kill me for saying that though because we sort of promised Kellen that he could plan the wedding and…damn, you know this is stupid. I think that we should get back on topic.”

“And what topic might that be?” Diego questioned leaning to the side of his chair.

“About the mistake you’ll be making if you trust Sarah. She’s trouble and we both know that,” Kyle gave Diego a strange look, “What? What are you thinking?”

“Nothing,” Diego replied quickly, “Nothing at all.”

“No, you’ve got something that you want to say, so just spill it,” Kyle snarled over at him, “What’s up Doc?”

“I was just thinking about how hard you’re fighting this whole therapy thing, yet in the last twenty minutes you’ve pretty much opened up about more than I think you ever would have considered given our history,” Diego couldn’t help but point out.

“So that shows I’m insane,” Kyle frowned at the realization, “but so are you.”

“Maybe I am, but maybe the reason why we’re talking about this is because we can help each other,” Diego suggested after a moment’s contemplation. “Clearly we’ve got the situation with Sarah to deal with, but beyond that maybe we have other things we need to talk about.”

“I’m not seeing you as a shrink. I don’t need one,” Kyle blurted out with a small scowl.

“Fine, you don’t have to see me professionally, but I can get you the number of someone worth seeing if you’d like to talk,” Diego stood up and slowly walked over to his desk, “Grief counseling is something that takes years and…”

“And I don’t want to hear this,” Kyle stood up as well ready to leave Diego’s place.

“Kyle, I saw someone after Maria died. I spoke with someone for a while after I lost her and my son,” Diego reached for a pen and jotted down a number. He handed a small card over to Kyle, “It’s worth looking into. It might help with the nightmares.”

Kyle looked down at the card for a long moment before reluctantly taking it, “Fine, but you let me get you in contact with some lawyers just in case you end up being that baby’s father.”

“Fair enough,” Diego conceded in response, “And for what it’s worth Kyle, I am truly sorry about what’s happened in all of this. I never meant to hurt you or upset the balance in your life.”

“Sarah’s the one that orchestrated all of that. You were just as ignorant as I was in the situation, but maybe there’s still hope for you,” Kyle shrugged his shoulders before offering up a small smile, “I mean I ended up with my dream girl, so maybe there’s that chance for you too.”

“I wouldn’t push my luck in that department just yet,” Diego admitted with a pained expression.

“I don’t know,” Kyle pondered the thought while slipping the card into his pocket, “Barbara’s cute and she’s a great girl.”

“Too great for someone like me,” Diego noted with a small laugh.

“You never know until you try. Besides, she sure as hell beats Sarah hands down,” Kyle threw back at Diego again before pushing the card further into his pocket. “Anything is worth taking a chance on after that, right?”

“I’m not really sure at this point, but maybe you’re right. Maybe I’ll figure it all out sooner or later,” Diego offered up as he realized that there was going to be an uphill battle ahead once the situation with Sarah took the front burner in his life again. Clearly something big was going to happen one way or the other.


“Working hard or hardly working?” Heather questioned stepping into Kipp’s office to find him hovering over a pile of paperwork on his desk. She saw him look up from behind the small lamp he’d had shining on the pages and she couldn’t help but laugh at him. “Boy, I go away for a short time and you look like you’re fit to be tied.”

“That’s because you left everything up to me to get moving,” Kipp smiled up at her pushing his chair away from his desk and standing up. He walked over to her, giving her a long once over before reaching out to embrace her, “I’ve missed you.”

“I’ve missed you too,” Heather explained squeezing him in return, “Charles has been wondering where you are. He hasn’t been able to say it naturally, but you can see that he’s been missing you.”

“It hasn’t been the same without him for the last couple of days,” Kipp admitted thinking about his son, “and then dodging Kellen with all his questions about where you three went off to was a job in itself.”

“You didn’t say anything to him about what we were doing, did you?” Heather questioned worry behind her green eyes. “You promised me that you would let me handle this considering that…”

“Your secret is still safe with me,” Kipp assured her with a tiny chuckle, “I wouldn’t dream of facing the wrath of Kellen once he found out that you and Kyle decided to run off and elope.”

“He would be beyond furious with me,” Heather paused thinking about her best friend, “Not that I wanted to leave him in the dark about this, but it was so spur of the moment and…”

“And how does it feel?” Kipp questioned noticing the sparkle behind her green eyes.

“Like I’ve died and gone to heaven, only I’m still here with the man I love,” Heather gushed thinking about her time with Kyle, “He’s everything I’ve ever wanted in my life and more. Kipp we got married at the most beautiful location and…”

“I don’t think you should tell me another detail,” Kipp shook his head quickly before laughing, “because I don’t want to slip up and accidentally say something to Kellen. I’m just glad that you’re happy about things. Marriage suits you. You look beautiful.”

“Thanks, you don’t look so bad yourself,” Heather replied with a thoughtful expression, “I mean after all you have to have some good genetics in you since our son is gorgeous.”

“He gets that from you,” Kipp mouthed in response thinking about Charles, “though I have been missing him like crazy. I would have thought you’d bring him in with you.”

“I was going to, but I figured you and I should touch base with one another first,” Heather explained shifting gears on the conversation, “How have things been holding up here?”

“Things are going great and I have a feeling that in a couple of weeks you’re going to be able to show the world just what you’re made of,” Kipp informed her proudly thinking about all of his hard work, “You’re going to be able to show this world that you’re a force to be reckoned with.”

“And I owe that all to you. I don’t know what I would do without you Kipp. You’re the best,” she embraced him once again with a tight squeeze.

“Yeah I know. That’s why you pay me all the money that you do,” he teased with a laugh, “and just remember when you finally decide to tell Kellen the truth about what happened, don’t involve me in this. I don’t want him ready to strangle me.”

“I hate that I didn’t tell him what we did,” Heather revealed with a small frown, “but I knew that he would never let Kyle and I go for that. He’s been so gung ho about wedding planning that…”

“Hold that thought,” Kipp held his finger up as the phone on his desk started to ring. “I’m expecting another fax and they were going to call and confirm when they were sending…”

“By all means go ahead,” Heather waved him on before looking around his office. Feeling more confident than ever she thought about how things in her life were finally coming back into order. She’d not only married the man of her dreams, but she had her company that was on the rise, her son and all of her dreams right in front of her. The sky was the limit and with Kyle by her side she knew that life was only going to keep going up for her.

“I’m sorry Heather, but I have to go,” Kipp blurted out breaking through her thoughts. She noticed the worried expression on his face and couldn’t help but be concerned.

“Kipp, what’s wrong?” she questioned seeing him move to pull his jacket out of the closet. “Did something happen?”

“Kellen is at the hospital,” Kipp informed her sliding his arm into his jacket before meeting her eyes again.

“Oh my God, why? Did something happen to him?” she asked worry creasing her brow.

“He passed out from what I was told, but they said it wasn’t anything serious,” Kipp explained taking in a breath, “I figure I should go check after a call like that.”

“Oh of course,” Heather nodded in response, “I wouldn’t expect you to stay here…”

“That fax should be coming in at any minute,” Kipp explained thinking about the work he’d been doing.

“I can keep an eye out for it and then later, you can fill me in on what’s going on with Kellen. I can bring Charles over later if you’d like and…” Heather started sensing Kipp’s worry about Kellen. “Look just call me later.”

“Thanks Heather. I will,” he promised reaching out to kiss her on the cheek, “It’s good to have you back again.”

“It’s good to be back,” she smiled over at him before looking around his office. Once he left she walked over to his chair and took a seat realizing that life was good. Really good.


“You’re not going to kill me, are you?” Nate questioned wearily watching Don return to the table with two glasses of milk and a box of animal crackers. “I mean I’m really sorry for how things played out and if you want me to pay you back for the pizzas I will eventually.”

“Oh no,” Don shook his head and smiled taking a seat across from Nate at the kitchen table once again, “you don’t have to pay me back a dime for the pizzas.”

“Really?” Nate let out a relieved smile, “Because I’ve got to tell you that it would’ve taken me forever to make up for all of this.”

“Oh it’ll still take you forever,” Don reached into the box of animal crackers and chuckled finally letting the amusement over the situation he’d held inside until the mess was cleaned up take over him. “Matt used your charge card to order all of this.”

“What?” Nate’s jaw dropped in horror.

“You can’t blame him for pulling something like this on you,” Don noted with a firm warning look before Nate could get angry with Matt, “You pretty much set yourself up for that one in having a romp with Jewel while you were supposed to be in charge.”

“I was in charge,” Nate paused frowning once again, “Just not with the kids apparently.”

“Nate, I’m seriously starting to wonder if you can even be considered an adult since no one in their right mind would let three children run a household while they were getting a little something on the side,” Don began with a shake of his head trying to imagine why in the world he’d felt that Nate could be mature enough to take care of Matt and Zane while he was at work.

“Look I wasn’t planning on having met up with Jewel like I did. She just kind of ran into me and hey, did you get a look at that woman? She’s stacked if you know what I mean and I’ve got to tell you she’s even sexier in real life than she is on television. I mean the things that she can do in the bedroom,” Nate grinned again thinking about his romp with Jewel. “She’s just so hot and…”

“I don’t need to hear it,” Don raised his hand in the air to silence Nate, “I already know what you’re about to tell me, so why don’t you just skip over all of that?”

“Trust me it’s too good to skip over unless,” Nate tipped his head to the side to give Don a long once over. He smacked his hand down on top of the table and let out a groan in realization, “Oh man you’ve slept with her too, haven’t you?”

“In this town,” Don reached for another animal cracker shaking his head at the thought, “Who hasn’t?”

“Wow and here I just thought she was really friendly,” Nate scratched his chin lightly.

“Oh she’s very friendly,” Don paused offering up extra emphasis at the thought of Jewel, “with just about everyone.”

“Still it was pretty hot,” Nate eyed him intently, “I mean that’s what it was like when you were with her, right?”

“I didn’t have three five year olds waiting out for me in the living room to notice them if that’s what you’re asking,” Don offered up with a tiny shudder, “but we’re so not getting into this with one another because it was a long time ago and beside the point.”

“Not really,” Nate shook his head a newfound eagerness overtaking him. “I mean even if she gets around or what not, I wouldn’t mind hitting that again. Maybe you could give me a few pointers or something…”

“No way,” Don shook his head firmly, “We’re so not going there.”

“Why not because I know you hit it more than once, didn’t you?” Nate continued to probe Don for information. “I can see in your face that you were with her more than once. I’m right, aren’t I?”

“I’m not getting into that part of my relationship with Jewel because as I said before it was a long time ago and I’m not going to travel down that road again even in talking with you. I’m not going to help you out there. If you want another shot at Jewel you’re doing it on your own because right now your libido comes in second place to the safety of my son,” Don informed him point blank. “That’s what really matters when I’m gone Nate. You’re going to have to find your own time with women when you’re supposed to be in charge of the house.”

“I know and I’m sorry about that, but I mean Matt’s like a thirty year old. He knows everything and he can take care of just about anything. I didn’t figure he would be upset if I took like half an hour to spend some alone time with Jewel. We were careful to be quiet, well not too quiet, but I’m pretty sure that none of the kids heard us and…” Nate started to plead his case with Don when the back door opened and Shannon walked into the house.

“What is all of this?” she couldn’t help but ask noticing all of the pizzas around. She raised her head and her brown eyes immediately snapped to focus on her brother. “Nate, did you rob a pizza place or something?”

“He’s just feeling very generous today since he’s a very lucky man,” Don replied before Nate could say a word. “Turns out he could’ve gotten himself killed today, but by an act of fate someone upstairs took some pity on him. Since he was feeling so very lucky he decided that he would buy us all dinner and then some…”

“Um right,” Shannon couldn’t help but issue a small laugh before turning to her brother again, “What’s the real story?”

“I’m in just a giving mood, so eat up,” Nate rose up from the chair he’d been seated in. He reached out for the pizza box he’d been eating from and held it in his arms. “I’m just going to go finish up in my room.”

“Whatever,” Shannon shook her head before turning to look at Don once Nate exited the room. “So what’s really going on?”

“He’s just in the mood to take care of dinner tonight,” Don offered up watching Nate reenter the kitchen again and walk over to the countertop. Without a word he picked up four more boxes of pizza and headed towards the door. Stopping Nate turned around to look at the both of them once again.

“In case I get hungry later,” he explained before motioning to the other boxes, “but eat up Shannon. We have plenty.”

“You’re really not going to tell me what’s going on, are you?” Shannon inquired once again directing her attention fully to Don.

“Nope, not this time,” Don replied before wiggling his brow and raising a slice of pizza from the box in front of him, “but how about we forget about Nate for a few minutes and you get over here on my lap and have a taste of my big, fat, delicious piece of pizza?”

“Well, since you put it that way. I‘m starving,” Shannon slid onto his lap and wrapped her arm around his shoulders. “How can I refuse?”

“You can’t,” Don smiled proudly holding the pizza up to feed it to her before realizing that even though Nate had turned their home upside down, there would be something to laugh about after the fact. Even if it took a while.


“So how long have you been working on getting up this kite?” Jason questioned feeling Brittany holding onto his hand as he slowly walked down the stairs holding onto the railing. Seeing her pull out the kite from behind the garbage can he frowned before holding it up. “You were ready to throw this away? No little one, we are going to get this up if it’s the last thing I do.”

“Be careful what you say,” Mindy teased patting Jason on the back seeing the wide smile that spread out over his features as he shook his head slowly and looked down at Brittany. “Together, we’ll get this thing to fly.”

“Cool,” Brittany smiled seeing Jason holding onto the kite before looking up at the sky and blocking his eyes from the sun as Brittany stepped in next to him softly tugging at his pants. “Are you sure this is going to work? My father tried getting it in the air the other day, but he couldn't do it.”

“Trust me, I know that I can I get this thing flying for you little one,” he smirked grabbing a firm hold of the kite before looking in the other direction. Stepping in toward the center of the grass, he positioned his fingers in over the center of the kite before throwing it up in the air, running backwards he stopped when he finally got the kite up hearing Brittany gasp as she ran in close to him. “See I told you Uncle Jay could get it.”

“I never doubted you one bit,” Mindy stepped in next to Jason with a small laugh patting him on the shoulder as he handed the string over to Brittany seeing the way that she smiled up at him before looking at the kite. “How did you do it?”

“Just have to have the right throw to get it to stay in the air,” Jason informed her with a small chuckle seeing the way that Mindy looked up into the sun and he looked to see the way her blue eyes shined brightly. “You know, when you look at the sun you couldn’t imagine how pretty your eyes are.”

“Jason, I didn’t know you felt that way,” Mindy teased elbowing him in the ribs seeing him smile and shrug his shoulders as he shoved his hands in his pockets. “Well, you have really pretty blue eyes too. It makes you all the more hotter.”

“Jason,” Brittany gasped as the wind picked up and the string pulled its way out of her grasp and she saw Jason look up as the string started to pull further away. “It’s going to fly away Jason.”

“No, I’ve got it,” Jason ran forward seeing it getting higher as he jumped up to try and grab it before noticing it was in over his car. Jumping on top of his car, he jumped forward grabbing a firm hold of the string before falling flat on his stomach in the grass. “I got it.”

“Oh nice fall,” Mindy laughed as Brittany ran around the car and got to her knees pressing her hands in over Jason’s shoulder as he handed her over the string seeing her smile. Getting up she went back to the center of the grass before Mindy sat down on the ground next to Jason who was flat on his back. “That must have hurt.”

“I guess you can say that,” he muttered in a sharp breath sounding a bit raspy as he slowly sat up and wrapped his arm around his ribs. “Wow, it hurts to be the hero.”

“Hey, you made her happy,” Mindy helped him stand up as they walked over to Brittany seeing her smile fade when the wind stopped and it fell to the ground. “Well, until it just fell that is.”

“Jason, I think all of us should do something more fun,” Brittany frowned seeing the way that his blue eyes looked down at her as she noticed he still had his arm wrapped around his stomach. “Maybe something like jump rope.”

“Sounds like a good idea to me kiddo,” Jason reached for Brittany getting her up on his shoulders before hearing her let out a loud laugh as she held onto his hands tightly. “The only deal with that is I swing the rope and Mindy jumps first because I am really not up to jumping right now, but I’m sure Mindy is great. We’ll just have to put her to the test and see how good she really is.”


Carly sat at her desk reviewing her line up of cases for the next few weeks when she heard a knock at her door. Half expecting to find Ken standing there, she pulled off her glasses and prepared to talk to him again about their earlier discussion in the hopes that they would be able to get beyond their past with one another long enough to just come together for the name of business. However, she saw Dave standing in the doorway looking less than thrilled.

“Dave, hey honey,” she smiled up at him moving her chair back so that she could walk over to embrace him. “What are you doing here?”

“I’d be lying if I told you I came to wish you good luck because the fact to the matter is that I hate the fact you’re working here,” Dave frowned back at her, shaking his head with heavy disapproval. “I know we talked about you getting back in the office again, but I never anticipated the office being one that you shared with Ken.”

“Honey it’s not a big deal,” Carly tried to reason with him snaking her arms around his neck. “Trust me. This will be good for us.”

“I highly doubt you working with him after all he’s done to upset the balance in our lives is good for us,” he added thinking about all the compiling stresses they were experiencing in their lives. “It’s not like we don’t have enough on our plate already that we needed something more to worry about.”

“Ken’s trying to change Dave,” she offered up in Ken’s defense. “Besides this isn’t about Ken. This is about me and my wanting to get my career moving again. After I lost my place at the D.A.’s office it’s taken away some of my credibility. I haven’t been the same since I left there and now, well I’m ready for some action again.”

“I understand that sweetheart, but I also know what kind of action Ken tries to bring into everyone’s lives. Given what we’ve been through with Cori alone and now Jewel and Stacy, I really don’t think we need him nosing around our home life and making situations even more difficult for us,” Dave sighed heavily tension coursing through his body.

“Dave, it’s not going to be like that,” she squeezed him closer to her. “I love you and I wouldn’t even think about looking at another man now that we are together. Ken has Wendy too and…”

“And nothing. I don’t trust the man for as far as I can throw him and that’s not saying much. Ken’s backstabbed me so many times that…” Dave continued to rant finding himself worked up about Carly’s decision to work with Ken more than anything, but before he could continue he heard someone behind him. Glancing over his shoulder he spotted Ken over by the door.

“I hope I’m not interrupting,” Ken spoke up apologetically seeing the two of them in one another’s arms.

“No not at all,” Carly mouthed with a polite smile hoping Dave would do the same and be civil while Ken was in the room with them.

“We were just talking about family things,” Dave offered up tightly trying to repress his natural instincts to blow up at Ken when he was around. “What about you? What are you up to?”

“I was just coming in to run a few things by Carly about a case now that she’s got some free time,” Ken explained with a small smile before turning to Carly. “Now that you’re not working with Andy you can focus on real cases that will feel more rewarding.”

“Wait you’re not working with Andy anymore,” Dave turned to look at her. “Since when.”

“He came in here earlier to thank me, but he said he doesn’t want to get a divorce. He said that he wants to try to give things with him and Deidra another shot,” Carly confessed pondering Andy’s strange behavior. “He was odd during the visit. I don’t understand what brought about the sudden change considering how eager he was to get out of being married before.”

“That does seem very strange indeed,” Dave pondered the thought of what it was that Andy could be up to now.

“It’s beyond strange, but the worst part was that he was acting like a total sleazebag here with Carly,” Ken piped in catching the small glare that Carly shot him. “Well it’s true. I mean I don’t get what it is with that man, but you’re lucky that you’re not working with him any longer. I just don’t trust him anymore.”

“That’s something that you and I can agree on. Andy’s trouble and it’s a good thing you’re off his case,” Dave added offering up his own two cents about the situation, “Though if he’s not pushing for his divorce that can only mean he’s up to something where Deidra is concerned.”

“Which probably spells trouble since you and I both know how Andy doesn’t like to lose at anything,” Ken frowned his thoughts lingering to their one time friend. “I don’t know how Deidra feels, but if he’s going to fight her on this whole divorce business I think she’s going to have a lot on her plate.”

“Yes she will and maybe we should give her a warning about it,” Dave thought about it for a long moment. “He should know that he’s got something up his sleeve.”

“I’m sure she can handle it,” Carly added her input not wanting Dave to get wrapped up in Deidra’s love life all over again. “She has Dean there to support her, so I’m sure she’ll get through this okay.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right,” Dave sighed finally backing off the idea of going to see Deidra. “For what it’s worth though I’m glad that Andy’s not going to be bothering you. Ken’s right. He’s a sleaze.”

“Exactly and now, well hey on the bright side you can help me with the Henderson case since it’s been lost in the legal system for so very long. I spoke with Jay and Kelly Henderson today and they are ready for our next move,” Ken added thinking about the case at hand, “but I’ll talk to you about that later. I’ll just leave these on your desk while you and Dave talk. Hell, why don’t you go for some lunch or something and take some time to regroup? You deserve it after dealing with Andy.”

“Okay, thanks,” Carly nodded watching him walk out of the room before she turned to Dave. “See it’s not as bad as you thought now is it?”

“I still don’t trust him, but for what it’s worth I’ll try to be supportive if it'll make you happy. I want you to feel like you’re making a difference in your career here,” Dave caved in reaching out to embrace her again. “I love you Carly.”

“I know and I love you too,” she mouthed in response tipping up on her toes to kiss her husband, “Now how about we take Ken up on his offer and get a bite to eat? I’m starved.”

“I think that sounds like a great idea,” Dave nodded opting to forget about his worries for a little while as he took the time to enjoy some quiet and alone time with his wife for a change.


“Kellen get up,” Kevin’s voice roused Kellen from the slumber he’d fallen into a short while earlier.

As Kellen’s blue eyes opened he let out a breath of relief in seeing Kevin standing over him. He was now laying on something that felt like a sofa of sorts and he stretched his legs out in an attempt to relax a bit now that the moment of shock had finally passed him by.

“Oh Kevin, honey I had the worst dream,” Kellen began with an emphatic sigh, “You were in it and Brant was in it and so was Cameron. Some guy was telling me that I was Angela’s husband and…”

“You weren’t dreaming Kellen,” Brant moved in beside Kevin to talk with Kellen. “You are Angela’s husband.”

“Which has us all begging the question of how in the hell this could’ve happened,” Kevin added exchanging worried glances with Brant.

“I honestly don’t know,” Kellen sat up straighter only to discover that he was still in the hospital. “I mean I hadn’t talked to Angela in a while, well except for that night I walked in on you two doing the wild thing so to speak…”

“Yeah, um while why don’t we skip over that one and you tell us how it’s possible that you’re Angela’s husband,” Brant cleared his throat uneasily as he exchanged looks with Kevin again. “Your name is the one on the marriage license there which pretty much puts you in control of what’s happening with Angela.”

“What?” Kellen’s blue eyes widened. “No that can’t be possible. I mean yes I love her dearly, but Kevin you of all people know that I would never, ever be married to a woman especially now when I’m in love with Kipp and…”

“Kellen relax,” Kevin patted his shoulder gently, “We’re not saying that whatever happened can’t be fixed, but right now you’re kind of in charge of what’s happening. You’re calling the shots and we need you here with us at one hundred percent buddy. Do you understand that?”

“Sort of,” Kellen brought his hand up to scratch the side of his own face lightly. “I mean sure it sounds simple enough, but an hour ago I was a single man living my happily gay life and now…”

“Look Kellen all we need is for you to tell Cameron he can’t stay here. You can take us in to see Angela and I can be with her,” Brant pleaded with Kellen, a desperation in his tone. “You just say the word and Kevin and I will take care of the rest. We just need to be with her right now because we’re worried about her and we love her. She’s having my babies and…”

“Okay,” Kellen nodded kicking his feet over the side of the bench that he must’ve been laying on. He sat up straighter stretching his legs out before attempting to get up. He felt his knees wobbling a bit as he tried to process all that they were saying to him. “So you just want me to give the word for you to be with Angela and then I can be on my way?”

“Exactly,” Brant nodded reaching out to take one of Kellen’s arms while Kevin took the other in an attempt to steady Kellen. “It’s just as simple as that. After she wakes up I can gladly do what I can to make sure that your marriage is dissolved and…”

“I really didn’t mean to marry her. Hell, if I would’ve known that’s what I was signing that day…I never, ever would’ve done it,” Kellen vowed solemnly trying to explain himself to both men. “I’m not that type of guy and…”

“We know Kellen,” Kevin patted him on the back before trying to lead Kellen over to where Angela’s room was, but before they could get inside, the elevators opened in front of them and Andy stepped out of them watching the three men with obvious interest.

“Still I’m just saying that,” Kellen paused when his gaze fixed on Andy in front of him. Before he could get out another word, his knees collapsed and Kellen moved forward nearly taking Brant and Kevin down with him.

“What the hell just happened to him?” Brant questioned worriedly seeing Kellen’s head flop forward as he and Kevin did their best to keep Kellen standing.

“I think he just passed out again and I can imagine why,” Kevin answered tightly as it was suddenly all too clear that Kellen had the same reaction to Andrew Byrne that Kevin had the day before. Something wasn’t right about that man and it was about time that Kevin set out to prove it!


...to be continued...