Diego looked around his living room thinking about everything that had taken
place over the last few weeks. While hed wanted to put everything behind
him, there was still the pain and humiliation that lingered over time and
time again from the time hed first gotten involved with Sarah to the
moment where Cori had shot him. While hed tried not to dwell on the
mistakes hed made, he knew full well that the battle was only beginning
after hed 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.
Thats 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 Im 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 isnt as neat and orderly as it usually is.
Its 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 isnt even remotely close to the kind of mess that I have going. Not that Im 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.
Youre probably the only one, Diego groaned inwardly thinking about the mess hed made of his life. Im sure that things are much better off without me there.
Hardly, she informed him honestly, Its 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 havent been up for much talking the last few days. I dont feel like I would be much of a conversationalist since there really isnt much to say, he admitted with a heavy sigh feeling the weight of his troubles upon him once again.
Maybe there hasnt been much to say because you havent had the right person to talk to, she suggested with a wide grin before motioning to the box again, Im sure youll love this cake because its a surefire way to boost your spirits. It always works for me when Im 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 havent been easy on you, but youre 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 wasnt 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 doesnt 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 Im moving slower than I usually am after the shooting and all
Its okay, she waved her hand dismissively, I dont have anywhere else that I need to be and hopefully after you get one taste of this cake, you wont want me to go anywhere either. I have a feeling that once you try this youre 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 its 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 youre 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 youll 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 youll at least give him a chance, Grady started again searching her dark eyes. Avery, you know Ill stand here all day until you answer me.
Fine, I wont 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, dont make me kill you!
Whoa sounds like my brother is already getting on your last nerve, Russells mused in the back of her ear as Avery felt his hold on her loosen up. She spun around to realize that hed grabbed her and not Grady as shed expected. Smiling, she couldnt 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 lets just say hes 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. Im going to go seek out Deana if you dont 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, Im glad youre here. I just called you.
You did? her dark eyes widened in surprise.
He nodded, Thats 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 shed made to Russells office, but she remembered her promise to give Russ the benefit of the doubt.
Thats right, Russ nodded in confession, and I really didnt 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, Averys 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.
Im 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. Im sorry.
Okay, Im 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 hes having a day from what Ive 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, youre here, Avery couldnt help but smile at seeing Ria in front of them. Youre back in town.
Thats right, Ria nodded in response, I just got back with Kevin.
Kevin, Averys 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 couldnt 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 youre making a wise move in giving your relationship another shot. You two belong together and I know if you just hear him out, then youll 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 didnt 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. Im 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, its okay. Were 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, didnt you Russ?
Well I tried to tell you, but Russ shrugged his shoulders as Avery turned to Ria again.
Im so happy for you and Kevin, Avery embraced Ria excitedly, I know he loves you so much and Im sure that you two are going to be so happy together. You were meant to be together. I just know it.
Im glad that weve 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. Im 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 wont argue that, Russ added before he spotted Grady and Deana out of the corner of his eyes, Though I think Im going to be right back. Im 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 Rias 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 its 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.
Youre still worried about her though, arent you? Avery couldnt help but ask catching the flicker of doubt behind Rias 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 its going around. I was feeling that way a little less than an hour ago considering Ive seen Angela first hand when shes trying to make someone jealous, Avery lowered her voice a bit before she glanced over at Russ, Grady and Deana. I dont 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 Im 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 couldnt live that way, but Im seeing now that I cant stop fighting for what Kevin and I have. Angela might always hold a place in his heart, but damn it Im his future, Ria thought aloud more to herself than to Avery. She cant have that.
No she cant and I wont let her ruin what you and Kevin have. She almost destroyed Russ and I, but Im not going to let it get to that point again either. I mean I hardly know her, but I cant 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 dont know if Brant even deserves that, Ria added feeling a bit guilty to be speaking so bad about Kevins best friend. She just brings out the worst in me and theres no escaping from it. I know its pure jealousy talking, but still. I dont want anything bad to happen to her, yet
You dont want her sinking her hooks into Kevin again. I understand that and youre absolutely right to feel that way, Avery admitted thinking about what shed witnessed at the restaurant between Russ and Angela. You have plenty of reason to have your concerns raised, but for now, well I think Angelas 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 dont 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 Angelas condition?
Russ questioned joining Grady and Deana as they stood with one another near
the nurses station. Ria mentioned something about Kellen passing
Honestly you wouldnt believe it if I said what was going on, Deana admitted thinking about what shed heard passed on through the rumor mill. There hasnt been any word on whats going on with Angela, which to me indicates that there havent 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 shed heard during her last set around the hospital. However if you think thats 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 cant argue that either. Kevins a good man and hell do the right thing. Im sure of it. He wont let anything happen to Angela or the twins, Russ added thinking about his friends involvement with Angela. He'll do whats best.
Im sure thats true, but thats 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 shes been married to Kellen Meloni all this time.
Kellen Meloni, Russells jaw dropped at the very thought, no that cant 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 its true, Deana informed the both of them once again, There was a lawyer with papers and everything. Kellen heard it and passed out in Kevins arms. Its clearly not a good day for any of them.
Man I cant even begin to imagine that, Russ confessed thinking about what Deana was telling them.
Isnt Kellen like, um gay, Grady couldnt help but ask turning to his younger brother.
As far as I knew, Russ nodded, and truth be told he doesnt strike me as Angelas type at all.
At least thats one nightmare were all detached from, Grady noted turning to his brother and giving him a long look, right?
Yeah of course, Russ nodded in confession, Im only here to support Kevin. Thats it. I hope nothing bad happens to Angela, but with her and Brant, well they are on their own with that one. Its not my problem anymore.
Smart man, Grady noted thinking about Averys reaction to Russ and Angela interacting with one another. Hopefully his brother was a man of his word and wouldnt 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 shouldnt 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 didnt, Andy confessed holding the flowers out to his wife, but Im 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 youre doing?
Trying to make amends for the things Ive done in the past, Andy admitted with a bright smile, his blue eyes searching hers. Is that really so bad of me?
Considering its completely out of character yes, she nodded in confession eyeing him wearily, Does this mean that youve gotten in touch with my lawyer about the divorce? Is that why youre 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 weve 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 didnt 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 Im sure its safe to say that you werent 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 cant stand me. I still do love you. I hope you realize that.
You never loved me, she corrected standing up from where shed been seated. You only love yourself.
I know it mightve seemed that way, but its entirely not true, he attempted to appeal to her once again, We had something special once upon a time, didnt 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 doesnt work when youre the only one invested in it.
I know I made some mistakes, but you loved me once, didnt 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.
Thats right, she nodded in response, They are called contempt, but once were divorced they will be relief and thats 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 its 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 couldnt 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, Im not finished with this conversation though. We will have to sit down and talk to one another about things because Im sure we can come up with a solution that is mutually beneficial for the both of us.
Not in the way youre 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. Whats going on?
I honestly dont know, but something tells me hes up to something and whatever it is, I know Im not interested, Deidra divulged realizing that the sooner her divorce went through the better off she would be.
So lets 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 its 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 dont get is how I wound up with all these pizzas, Jewel and three five year olds running around my house. Why dont 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?
Im not talking about my sons girlfriend. Im 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 thats all that happened.
Really? Don arched a curious brow seeing something that caught his attention that he hadnt noticed before, And whats 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 hed been chomping on and started to wipe at the pink shade of lipstick on his collar. He gulped realizing all hed 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 youd 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 Dons questioning gaze, yeah.
Well that just figures, Don rolled his eyes after hed 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 youve 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, Nates 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, youve got it. Thats a major wrong answer, Don nodded in agreement realizing that even now that hed 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 dont 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, thats 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, its just you are kind of big and ,
Mindy, dont 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, lets 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.
Shouldnt 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, thats 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. Ill be right back, Ill get some ice.
Ill 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. Its cold I know, but maybe it will stop it from turning black and blue.
Hey, my two favorite colors. Its no problem if I turn that color, it just shows Im dedicated to something I like, Jason tried to joke seeing her frown as he closed his eyes tightly and let out a small laugh. Dont worry about me, Ill be okay. Im just trying to make a joke.
But its not funny, I didnt 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, Im down to two of you now, so Im sure Ill be fine soon.
Maybe thats 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 cant believe I hit you like that.
Hey now, it wasnt 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 couldnt 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. Youre 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 Im 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. Im sorry, but I cant believe you fell for that. That was a horrible story and you believed me.
Well, you dont 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 Im 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. Im just saying its a bit red.
Thats 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 dont think Ive 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 fathers arms before she got to the floor and walked over to Jason slowly. This is my friend Jason.
His Jason, Im 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. Hes really cute.
Hey now, secrets arent 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 Jasons blue eyes meet her glance as she nodded slowly and reached for his hand feeling his fingers wrap around hers softly. Im 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 Daves 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 youre doing for me. If you have any questions or need anything, please dont hesitate to call because I only want whats 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 wouldnt have that reason if it wasnt 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 couldnt help but question fighting to suppress his smile.
They didnt have to. I knew from what they said that you were the man that they were talking about, she informed him point blank, It doesnt take much to figure out who one of the few decent people in this town are.
Im just glad I could help, though admittedly I was going to invite you to work here if they didnt 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 its worth, Im 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 wouldnt have even considered it if you hadnt come in and offered up your help. I owe you Dave. Youre a good friend, Shannon informed him honestly, I know I dont say it too often, but Im really thankful that we crossed paths with one another.
Thanks Shannon, Dave smiled over at her, Thats 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 isnt much to say, Dave explained with a heavy sigh, I paid a visit to Cori earlier
How is she doing? Shannon questioned thinking about Daves younger sister.
Id like to say that shes doing better, but shes still under the belief that she hasnt 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 shouldnt have shot him. Thats what landed her in the hospital in the first place, Dave added with a groan, She still doesnt see it that way. She thinks Im being unfair to her.
I can understand why she might feel that way because lets face it we all would like to shoot our ex at least once in our lives. I cant 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 shouldnt have said that, but when youre hurt it takes a long time to recover from it. Im 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 dont 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 wasnt the first time shes 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 sisters fate while she was locked up in a hospital
Sometimes life throws us a curve Dave. I mean Ill be honest and say that I always expected my brother Nate to wind up in a situation like that. Hes reckless and impulsive and never thinks about the consequences of his actions. He lives life the way he wants to and doesnt give an inkling of thought to the rules or how things should be. Thats what got him into trouble in the first place when he came to town. He just doesnt think, Shannon shook her head and frowned. He doesnt understand that people need to grow up eventually.
I dont think its a case of growing up with Cori, but rather that she doesnt 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 wont 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 Im 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 couldnt help but ask curious by her new tone.
I guess you could say that Dons 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 shed 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 shed gone off the deep end. It was worth a try.
You know things could get better, Barbara suggested after shed
finally gotten Diego to relax a bit. I mean its not like most
of the people in this town dont have their own set of skeletons. So
you slept with the wrong person. Big deal.
You say that like its nothing, Diego noted with a hint of curiosity in his tone, Something you want to confess?
I dont 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 youre about to reveal something that youre about to do to cause harm to someone or to yourself, then I think its safe to say that youll be fine.
Hmm, I dont know, she couldnt 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 Id say youre looking in the wrong direction because the only thing thats right here in front of you is an idiot who made stupid decisions, Diego replied with a small sigh thinking about all hed done.
Oh I dont know. I mean sure you obviously didnt 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 Im 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 youre 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 Im pretty sure you wouldnt want to touch, Diego answered honestly thinking about the mess hed gotten himself into. It wouldnt be fair to bring anyone into that.
Everyone has their problems. Its just how you deal with them that defines you, she informed him with a determined smile, Something about what Ive seen in you Diego tells me that youll 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.
Ill 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 isnt a bad time, Kyle glanced over Diegos shoulder over at Barbara, who was still seated in the room.
Kyle, Barbara spoke his name, surprised to see Diegos 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 its not a bad time.
Well Barbara started worried that Kyle had come over to finish the job that Cori had started.
Its fine, Diego sighed resigning himself to his fate as he pulled the door open further. Come on in.
Diego, are you sure that youre up for this one? Barbara couldnt help but ask her worries mounting.
Im fine, Diego nodded in response.
I wont 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 couldnt help but find himself wondering what hed walked in on.
Its the hospital, Barbara explained with a heavy scowl, I dont want to leave now, but
Ill 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 youll be okay? she questioned in a small whisper, her eyes shifting over to where Kyle was again.
Ill be fine, Diego offered up realizing that she was still doubtful. There isnt anything that he can do to me that hasnt already been done.
Diego, I just dont know if Barbara began again.
I didnt come over here to kill him, Kyle piped in from across the room, so if thats whats worrying you, dont let it stress you out. Diego wont end up in emergency at the end of the day.
Its really ok, Diego urged her on again before forcing a small smile, Ill call you when he leaves.
Okay, Barbara finally decided before glancing over at Kyle once again, Im going to hold you to your word.
Im 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 couldnt help but laugh, You sure do move fast, dont you?
Barbara is my friend, Diego stated plainly now that he already found himself on edge at Kyles implication.
Hey, its none of my business. You can sleep with the entire Dallas Cowboy Cheerleading squad if youd like just as long as your charm doesnt work its way back to Heather, Kyle informed him with a simple shrug of his shoulders before taking a seat on one of the chairs.
Yes, Id heard about the two of you, Diego noted with a simple nod, I would imagine that congratulations are in order that youve found one another.
I think Im 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 wasnt at all the woman I wanted to spend my life with.
Look, Im 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 dont doubt that, Kyle admitted with a small nod, Im sure Sarah didnt wait five minutes after we had our fight and thats 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 Ive made and the mistakes
Its water under the bridge, Kyle raised his hand in the air to silence Diego, Whats done is done and we both wound up seeing Sarah as she truly is.
I just wish it wouldnt 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 Im pretty sure that Im not that childs father, but
But theres a part of you that thinks that maybe Diego offered up in response.
Yeah, Kyle scratched his chin lightly, I mean given what Ive 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 couldve been the one sleeping with that cheerleading squad.
If that was the case I dont think that would write us out of the running Kyle if you think about it, Diego couldnt 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. Theres 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 theres 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. Shes clearly hurting on a lot of levels.
Please dont tell me that youre buying into the whole innocent victim routine that she likes to toss out at people, Kyle shook his head and sighed, Diego, its not going to lead you anywhere, but to misery.
I can see shes not as cold as shes carried herself lately. Obviously there is a lot of hurt and a lack of self worth inside of her, Diego offered up in Sarahs defense, Thats the only reason why someone like her would behave in such a fashion.
That and the fact that well maybe shes a bit of a manipulative liar who gets off on toying with peoples emotions, Kyle suggested with a groan, Look man Im not going to tell you what to do with your life, but if Cori shooting you wasnt 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 theres a chance that youll still play into her games, shes going to do everything in her power to cash in on that. Shell twist this situation in her favor so many times over that you wont know what hit you. Shes only going to let you down again and again.
It sounds like youve written her off already, Diego noted with a small frown.
And youll do the same if youre smart. Youll wash your hands of the situation and then move forward, Kyle informed him with a shake of his head, Youll 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. Shell always be a part of that childs life.
If that happens to be the case and youre the childs father, then Ill 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 Im telling you now as long as Sarah has her hands on that baby, its in for a life of misery and manipulation. Shes going to push off everything she feels wrong about in her life on that child. I know how she works.
You loved her once, didnt you? Diego couldnt help but ask noticing the coldness in Kyles tone.
How can you love someone who constantly lies to you and manipulates you? Kyle replied honestly, Everything Ive ever known from Sarah has been one manipulation after the other. Nothing shes ever done or said to me has been real. It was all a lie.
And what if a part of it wasnt? 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 youd wanted in your life? What you needed? Diego threw back at him with a pensive tone.
Thats for you to deal with Doc if thats where your mind is going, but my theory on Sarah is out of sight, out of mind. Ive moved forward in my life and Im 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 Ive heard this hasnt been your month, so dont go and ruin the rest of your life because of Sarah. Shes a long, dark road to misery and the sooner that you change paths the faster youll 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 Kyles 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 Ive ever known in my life. I almost let her take me completely under. If youre smart, youll make sure that you dont follow my path because if you do, youll end up alone and miserable with no one else to blame but yourself.
Wise words, Diego nodded in response, but if Sarahs the mother of my child
Then you get custody and get out of dodge as soon as possible, Kyle interrupted him again, Its pretty much the only way to ensure that you wont spend the rest of your life in hell.
Im surprised that you care what happens with my life, Diego noted giving him a sideways glance. I would have thought that youd be wishing for worse than whats already happened.
You slept with Sarah and were schooled by her so to speak. It doesnt get much worse than that. Believe me I know, Kyle offered up with a small sigh, Besides I know a bit about whats happened to you. Ive seen some of the stories here and there.
What kind of stories? Diego couldnt 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 Kyles words.
Actually I do, Kyle replied honestly realizing that hed taken the wrong approach with Diego. Now it was time to shift the conversation before Diego started to get worked up, I know what its like to lose absolutely everyone youve ever loved. It creates this wall inside of you and before you know it when you look in the mirror you dont even recognize yourself anymore.
I dont 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 hed hit the end of his rope, he started the fire and killed my mother as well as our dog simply because he couldnt 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 couldnt stop seeing my parents? That I couldnt 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 dont ever go away
Kyle, Im sorry, Diegos tone softened a bit. I had no idea that
I dont 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 havent talked to Heather about my parents. I mean yeah its come up, but its never really gotten beyond the surface of the situation. Hell, I go through life trying to pretend that it didnt happen--that I didnt have to live through that
Pretending doesnt make the grief or the guilt youre 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 dont know why I just told you all of this.
Because in your own way youre trying to reach out and connect with someone else you feel experienced that kind of loss, Diego explained in a professional tone.
Yeah, but thats not why Im here, Kyle offered up in response.
It doesnt matter why you came over, but rather whats important is that youre willing to speak about this now, Diego added in an understanding tone, Obviously youve had a lot on your mind and this is something thats just built up inside of you.
Maybe, Kyle shrugged his shoulders, I dont know if its just Sarah or a culmination of issues
Maybe we should set something up, Diego offered watching the way that Kyles eyes snapped over at him.
You mean like psycho-babble sessions? Kyle arched a curious brow.
Its called therapy, Diego finally nodded in response, and it couldnt hurt.
Um no offense, but considering our history I really dont think that you and I should be engaging in any kind of therapy sessions with one another. No offense, but its 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 didnt 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 were sort of engaging in the whole therapy process right now, I think its 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, Heathers 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 youll be making if you trust Sarah. Shes 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, youve got something that you want to say, so just spill it, Kyle snarled over at him, Whats up Doc?
I was just thinking about how hard youre fighting this whole therapy thing, yet in the last twenty minutes youve pretty much opened up about more than I think you ever would have considered given our history, Diego couldnt help but point out.
So that shows Im insane, Kyle frowned at the realization, but so are you.
Maybe I am, but maybe the reason why were talking about this is because we can help each other, Diego suggested after a moments contemplation. Clearly weve got the situation with Sarah to deal with, but beyond that maybe we have other things we need to talk about.
Im not seeing you as a shrink. I dont need one, Kyle blurted out with a small scowl.
Fine, you dont have to see me professionally, but I can get you the number of someone worth seeing if youd like to talk, Diego stood up and slowly walked over to his desk, Grief counseling is something that takes years and
And I dont want to hear this, Kyle stood up as well ready to leave Diegos 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, Its 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 babys father.
Fair enough, Diego conceded in response, And for what its worth Kyle, I am truly sorry about whats happened in all of this. I never meant to hurt you or upset the balance in your life.
Sarahs the one that orchestrated all of that. You were just as ignorant as I was in the situation, but maybe theres 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 theres that chance for you too.
I wouldnt push my luck in that department just yet, Diego admitted with a pained expression.
I dont know, Kyle pondered the thought while slipping the card into his pocket, Barbaras cute and shes 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?
Im not really sure at this point, but maybe youre right. Maybe Ill 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
Kipps office to find him hovering over a pile of paperwork on his desk.
She saw him look up from behind the small lamp hed had shining on the
pages and she couldnt help but laugh at him. Boy, I go away for
a short time and you look like youre fit to be tied.
Thats 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, Ive missed you.
Ive missed you too, Heather explained squeezing him in return, Charles has been wondering where you are. He hasnt been able to say it naturally, but you can see that hes been missing you.
It hasnt 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 didnt 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 wouldnt 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 Ive died and gone to heaven, only Im still here with the man I love, Heather gushed thinking about her time with Kyle, Hes everything Ive ever wanted in my life and more. Kipp we got married at the most beautiful location and
I dont think you should tell me another detail, Kipp shook his head quickly before laughing, because I dont want to slip up and accidentally say something to Kellen. Im just glad that youre happy about things. Marriage suits you. You look beautiful.
Thanks, you dont 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 youd 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 youre going to be able to show the world just what youre made of, Kipp informed her proudly thinking about all of his hard work, Youre going to be able to show this world that youre a force to be reckoned with.
And I owe that all to you. I dont know what I would do without you Kipp. Youre the best, she embraced him once again with a tight squeeze.
Yeah I know. Thats 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, dont involve me in this. I dont want him ready to strangle me.
I hate that I didnt 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. Hes 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. Im 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. Shed 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.
Im sorry Heather, but I have to go, Kipp blurted out breaking through her thoughts. She noticed the worried expression on his face and couldnt help but be concerned.
Kipp, whats 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 wasnt 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 wouldnt expect you to stay here
That fax should be coming in at any minute, Kipp explained thinking about the work hed been doing.
I can keep an eye out for it and then later, you can fill me in on whats going on with Kellen. I can bring Charles over later if youd like and Heather started sensing Kipps worry about Kellen. Look just call me later.
Thanks Heather. I will, he promised reaching out to kiss her on the cheek, Its good to have you back again.
Its 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.
Youre 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 Im 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 dont have to pay me back a dime for the pizzas.
Really? Nate let out a relieved smile, Because Ive got to tell you that it wouldve taken me forever to make up for all of this.
Oh itll still take you forever, Don reached into the box of animal crackers and chuckled finally letting the amusement over the situation hed held inside until the mess was cleaned up take over him. Matt used your charge card to order all of this.
What? Nates jaw dropped in horror.
You cant 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, Im 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 hed felt that Nate could be mature enough to take care of Matt and Zane while he was at work.
Look I wasnt 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? Shes stacked if you know what I mean and Ive got to tell you shes 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. Shes just so hot and
I dont need to hear it, Don raised his hand in the air to silence Nate, I already know what youre about to tell me, so why dont you just skip over all of that?
Trust me its 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 youve slept with her too, havent you?
In this town, Don reached for another animal cracker shaking his head at the thought, Who hasnt?
Wow and here I just thought she was really friendly, Nate scratched his chin lightly.
Oh shes 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 thats what it was like when you were with her, right?
I didnt have three five year olds waiting out for me in the living room to notice them if thats what youre asking, Don offered up with a tiny shudder, but were 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 wouldnt mind hitting that again. Maybe you could give me a few pointers or something
No way, Don shook his head firmly, Were so not going there.
Why not because I know you hit it more than once, didnt you? Nate continued to probe Don for information. I can see in your face that you were with her more than once. Im right, arent I?
Im not getting into that part of my relationship with Jewel because as I said before it was a long time ago and Im not going to travel down that road again even in talking with you. Im not going to help you out there. If you want another shot at Jewel youre 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. Thats what really matters when Im gone Nate. Youre going to have to find your own time with women when youre supposed to be in charge of the house.
I know and Im sorry about that, but I mean Matts like a thirty year old. He knows everything and he can take care of just about anything. I didnt 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 Im 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 couldnt 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?
Hes just feeling very generous today since hes a very lucky
man, Don replied before Nate could say a word. Turns out he couldve
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 couldnt help but issue a small laugh before turning to her brother again, Whats the real story?
Im in just a giving mood, so eat up, Nate rose up from the chair hed been seated in. He reached out for the pizza box hed been eating from and held it in his arms. Im 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 whats really going on?
Hes 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.
Youre really not going to tell me whats 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. Im starving, Shannon slid onto his lap and wrapped her arm around his shoulders. How can I refuse?
You cant, 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 its 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, well 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 couldnt imagine how pretty your eyes are.
Jason, I didnt 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. Its going to fly away Jason.
No, Ive 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 Jasons 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 Im sure Mindy is great. Well 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?
Id 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 youre 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 its 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 hes 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. Its not like we dont have enough on our plate already that we needed something more to worry about.
Kens trying to change Dave, she offered up in Kens defense. Besides this isnt 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 its taken away some of my credibility. I havent been the same since I left there and now, well Im ready for some action again.
I understand that sweetheart, but I also know what kind of action Ken tries to bring into everyones lives. Given what weve been through with Cori alone and now Jewel and Stacy, I really dont 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, its not going to be like that, she squeezed him closer to her. I love you and I wouldnt even think about looking at another man now that we are together. Ken has Wendy too and
And nothing. I dont trust the man for as far as I can throw him and thats not saying much. Kens backstabbed me so many times that Dave continued to rant finding himself worked up about Carlys 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 Im not interrupting, Ken spoke up apologetically seeing the two of them in one anothers 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 shes got some free time, Ken explained with a small smile before turning to Carly. Now that youre not working with Andy you can focus on real cases that will feel more rewarding.
Wait youre 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 doesnt want to get a divorce. He said that he wants to try to give things with him and Deidra another shot, Carly confessed pondering Andys strange behavior. He was odd during the visit. I dont 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.
Its 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 its true. I mean I dont get what it is with that man, but youre lucky that youre not working with him any longer. I just dont trust him anymore.
Thats something that you and I can agree on. Andys trouble and its a good thing youre off his case, Dave added offering up his own two cents about the situation, Though if hes not pushing for his divorce that can only mean hes up to something where Deidra is concerned.
Which probably spells trouble since you and I both know how Andy doesnt like to lose at anything, Ken frowned his thoughts lingering to their one time friend. I dont know how Deidra feels, but if hes going to fight her on this whole divorce business I think shes 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 hes got something up his sleeve.
Im sure she can handle it, Carly added her input not wanting Dave to get wrapped up in Deidras love life all over again. She has Dean there to support her, so Im sure shell get through this okay.
Yeah, youre probably right, Dave sighed finally backing off the idea of going to see Deidra. For what its worth though Im glad that Andys not going to be bothering you. Kens right. Hes a sleaze.
Exactly and now, well hey on the bright side you can help me with the Henderson case since its 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 Ill talk to you about that later. Ill just leave these on your desk while you and Dave talk. Hell, why dont 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 its not as bad as you thought now is it?
I still dont trust him, but for what its worth Ill try to be supportive if it'll make you happy. I want you to feel like youre 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? Im 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, Kevins voice roused Kellen from the slumber
hed fallen into a short while earlier.
As Kellens 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 Angelas husband and
You werent dreaming Kellen, Brant moved in beside Kevin to talk with Kellen. You are Angelas husband.
Which has us all begging the question of how in the hell this couldve happened, Kevin added exchanging worried glances with Brant.
I honestly dont know, Kellen sat up straighter only to discover that he was still in the hospital. I mean I hadnt 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 dont we skip over that one and you tell us how its possible that youre Angelas 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 whats happening with Angela.
What? Kellens blue eyes widened. No that cant 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 Im in love with Kipp and
Kellen relax, Kevin patted his shoulder gently, Were not saying that whatever happened cant be fixed, but right now youre kind of in charge of whats happening. Youre 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 cant 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 were worried about her and we love her. Shes having my babies and
Okay, Kellen nodded kicking his feet over the side of the bench that he mustve 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 Kellens arms while Kevin took the other in an attempt to steady Kellen. Its 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 didnt mean to marry her. Hell, if I wouldve known thats what I was signing that day I never, ever wouldve done it, Kellen vowed solemnly trying to explain himself to both men. Im not that type of guy and
We know Kellen, Kevin patted him on the back before trying to lead Kellen over to where Angelas 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 Im 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 Kellens 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 wasnt right about that man and it was about time that Kevin set out to prove it!
...to be continued...