Episode 367

Kipp walked off of the elevator at the hospital thinking about the strange call he’d received from one of the nurses. As his thoughts lingered to Kellen, he wondered if in fact Kellen was feeling alright as it sounded like his trip to see Angela was turning into a whole hell of a lot more than he’d anticipated. Kipp wasn’t quite sure about the details, but when he spotted Kevin up ahead he was sure that Kevin would be able to provide some light on the situation.

“Where is he Kevin?” Kipp questioned moving in between Kevin and Brant as they stood beside one another keeping an eye on a still passed out Kellen. Once Kipp spotted him, he frowned, “What happened to him?”

“Kipp? Honey is that you?” Kellen questioned in a groggy tone moving his head around just enough to seek out his lover’s voice. When Kipp moved in beside Kellen, he reached for Kipp’s hand and his eyelids fluttered open. “Oh Kipp you’re here…”

“That’s right. I’m right here,” Kipp nodded in response squeezing Kellen’s hand. “What’s going on?”

“I’m having a bad day,” Kellen revealed with a heavy sigh, his blue eyes seeking out Kipp’s welcoming gaze. “Before I go any further into detail about it, I just need you to know that I’m really gay.”

“Um okay,” Kipp tipped his head to the side giving Kellen a strange look. “I think we covered that months ago sweetheart.”

“No, you don’t understand,” Kellen began scratching the side of his face before he attempted to sit up. “Whoa, I feel a little woozy.”

“It’s okay. You just rest,” Kipp suggested before turning to Kevin and Brant. “What happened?”

“Kellen found out that he made a minor mistake on the day Angela got married to Cary,” Kevin finally decided to be the one to break the news. “It turns out that there was a mix-up and…”

“How is the patient holding up in here?” a voice interrupted as all eyes fell onto Andy. He moved into the room making his way over to Kellen and eyeing him intently. “I can see that sleeping beauty just woke up here.”

“I did, but I have to tell you I felt like I was having one hell of a nightmare,” Kellen mouthed tilting his head to the side to see the man standing beside him before he let out a yelp. Immediately Kellen sat up fully and tried to get off of the exam table in a haste. “Oh God I am in hell, aren’t I?”

“Kellen, you’re going to be just fine,” Kipp touched Kellen’s shoulder seeing a tiny shiver sweep over him.

“No, I’m not. If he’s here then I’m dead. I have to be dead,” Kellen insisted turning to look at Kevin, “Does that mean we’re all dead and stuck in some kind of hell?”

“No, you’re not dead,” Andy offered up with a small smile, “though you’re going to get yourself sick if you keep worrying like this.”

“He’s right,” Kipp placed his hand on Kellen’s shoulder gently. “I don’t know what worked you up before, but you most certainly are not dead.”

“Then how can you be here?” Kellen questioned wearily his blue eyes snapping over in Andy’s direction once again.

“I work here. I’m a doctor,” Andy offered his hand out to Kellen, “I’m Dr. Byrne and you are…”

“Stuck in some kind of warped reality,” Kellen refused to take Andy’s hand, another ripple of a shudder carrying over him.

“Seriously, I’m only here to help you,” Andy offered his hand once again before glancing over at Brant. “Somehow I think there must be something in the air since it’s been twice in two days that I’ve had this effect on someone.”

“What do you mean?” Kipp questioned still not understanding what was going on around him.

“Andy here looks like Kellen’s brother Cary from what Kevin’s told me,” Brant offered up feeling the thick tension in the air, “and while Andy has grown up in Coral Valley it would seem his look alike was out there in the world for a while…”

“And not a very nice person I’m gathering from the reactions I’m getting lately,” Andy offered up stepping in closer to Kellen, “but you can rest assured I’m not your brother. I certainly wouldn’t have you this worried if I was.”

“Well, you do look a bit different. I mean your nose is a bit different and…” Kellen shook his head before feeling another sigh carry over him. “Well my brother simply would not have let himself go like you have.”

“What?” Andy’s eyes widened in response at Kellen’s comment.

“Well what I mean is my brother was really big on being buff and tough and this whole flabby thing you’ve got working for you simply doesn’t cut it,” Kellen wrinkled his nose at Andy. “I mean sure you have a bit of his shape, but Cary would’ve died before he let himself get flabby around the center.”

“I’m not flabby around the center,” Andy argued with him.

“Oh no I’m sure you’re not, but Cary wanted to be pure muscle. He was bigger and fanatic about perfecting himself. If he would’ve let himself look like you do, which by the way there isn’t anything wrong with that, then he would’ve hung himself. He was a total muscle head and loved to have a form that could compete with Kevin,” Kellen glanced over at the doorway before turning to Andy again. “He always wanted to be the best and you don’t strike me as a man who works out too often. You just probably do what you do to get by, am I right?”

“I have a regular workout schedule,” Andy began to argue with him before stopping himself and taking in a breath, “but you’re right. I don’t spend my life in the gym.”

“And it shows,” Kellen added before turning to Kipp again, “I just think it’s been a long day. I mean first I think I’m going to have a relaxing day and then I hear a friend of mine is in the hospital. That had me amped up and I guess when I saw you, well it got me wondering what was happening to me. I let my imagination take me to a place I really didn’t want to go and…”

“It’s okay Kellen,” Kipp whispered supportively seeing how frazzled his lover was. “I know how important Angela is to you.”

“Yes she is, but I swear when I saw you,” Kellen turned to face Andy again, “I started thinking all about my brother and what a jerk he was. I mean normally people don’t speak ill of their family especially after they have died, but man was he rotten to me. He used to beat on me just for the sheer fun of it when I was younger and he did a lot of really hurtful, vile things, so naturally when I saw you and I thought you were him…”

“It prompted you to pass out,” Andy noted with a small nod of understanding. “He didn’t sound like a very nice person from what you’re saying.”

“He was just plain miserable and I don’t mean to offend you when I say that you look a lot like him. It’s just when I saw you it kind of scared me since Cary was a real jerk and,” Kellen shook his head and groaned, “Man, if he was still alive right now he would be wanting to murder me all over again for the fine mess I’ve gotten myself into. He would be furious. In fact he’s probably turning in his grave right now as I speak.”

“I’m sure whatever is going on it’s not that bad,” Kipp added squeezing Kellen’s arm lightly. “I know you’re upset about Angela, but…”

“Kipp you don’t understand. You see on the day that Angela married Cary there were some papers that needed to be signed. I thought that they were just something that I as the best man had to take care of and foolishly when the man running the ceremony was talking to me, I more than eagerly signed away on them,” Kellen started to rant in a quick, exaggerated tone. “I didn’t know it then, but I just learned earlier today that what I signed was the marriage license and there was some kind of misunderstanding that took place after that.”

“What kind of misunderstanding?” Kipp questioned wearily seeing the color drain from Kellen’s face. “Kellen what is it?”

“Somehow in all of the chaos and confusion it turned out that Angela married me and not Cary. Sure, they went through the ceremony, but since I was the one that signed all the paperwork and got things rolling, I’m the one that is legally her husband,” Kellen belted out with a small whimper bringing his hands up over his face to cover it, “It’s horrible I know.”

“Wait a second. You’re upset because you found out that you’re married to your dead brother’s wife,” Kipp tried to take in all of the pieces of what Kellen was telling him.

Kellen nodded again, “It’s horrible because I never thought that I would be married to a woman ever. I mean sure maybe I had sex with one a very long time ago, but that’s another story. I never, ever wanted to be with a woman Kipp and now that I think about that day--to imagine what that means knowing that Angela never married Cary and she married me…”

A small thud rose from the corner of the room where Andy stood near a tray of tools that he’d knocked over. Everyone glanced over at him catching the strange expression on his face as he seemed to be backing away over towards the door.

“I just got a page,” Andy let out quickly before his blue eyes shifted around the room, “I have to get going, but Kellen I hope everything works out for you. If you need anything, I’m here.”

“Thanks,” Kellen replied with a weak smile seeing Andy leave before he turned to Kevin. “You see it too don’t you? I mean you think he looks like Cary don’t you?”

Kevin nodded, “More than I care to admit,” he confessed thinking about Andy’s quick exit.

“Of course we both know he’s not Cary because if he was he would’ve murdered me on the spot for being married to Angela. This is a horrible, rotten disaster Kipp and I’m so sorry. I never meant to marry a woman--not now, not ever.”

“Don’t worry Kellen, it’ll be okay,” Kipp reached out to embrace his lover as Kevin found himself thinking about Andy’s quick exit and wondering if the good doctor wasn’t as on the up and up as it seemed. Sure, Kevin knew full well that dead men couldn’t be walking around alive, yet the more time he was around Andy, the more he started wondering if perhaps things hadn’t turned out the way he’d thought that one fateful night that had changed everything so long ago!


“So what do you think Charles?” Heather held up two poster boards to her son as he sat in his chair watching her with wide eyed curiosity. “Do you like the pink or the blue one? Mommy can’t decide.”

Charles just eyed her blankly before letting out a laugh that wrinkled his nose.

“You’re right,” Heather set the pink layout for the advertisement down on her desk again before eyeing the blue one. “Kyle’s favorite color is blue so this is certainly the one for us. We need to go with blue.”

Charles giggled again before Heather heard a knock on her office door. While she knew full well that Kyle had a few things to do today, Heather decided rather than sitting at home being unproductive that she would find her way into working on something beneficial for her and the company. It lead her and Charles to her office and now that she stood at the side of her desk looking at potential layouts for her next big promotion she couldn’t help but feel a bit enthused about the project at hand. Of course now she realized that she and Charles were no longer alone when she spotted Becca at the door.

“Hey Heather,” Becca waved over at her, “I hope I’m not interrupting.”

“No not at all,” Heather shook her head and smiled, “I was just putting together something for the premiere edition of the campaign I have rolling here. You can tell me which of these two you like better.”

“I like the blue one,” Becca confessed joining Heather and Charles. “I saw them both earlier in the art department and blue just seems to stand out to me.”

“That’s what Charles and I thought too,” Heather admitted with a wide grin setting the blue one aside so that nothing could get it dirty.

“I have to admit I’m surprised to see you here. I thought that you would be busy with Kyle since it sounds like you’ve had a lot going on lately with wedding planning,” Becca noted with an encouraging smile as her gaze fell upon Charles.

“Well Kyle had a few things to do and I can’t ignore the company. It is another one of my babies here,” Heather stepped forward puling Charles out of his chair and into her arms. “Of course it isn’t nearly as important as this little precious one right here.”

“He really is too adorable,” Becca noted watching Heather move over to the couch to take a seat. “He looks more like Kipp each day.”

“He really does,” Heather agreed touching a curly strand of her son’s dark hair, “He has his father’s big eyes and his beautiful dark hair.”

“Kipp is really proud of him. He’s always talking about Charles,” Becca followed Heather over to the sofa and took a seat beside her so that she could play with Charles as well. “There isn’t a moment that doesn’t pass where he’s not bragging about him.”

“I’m not surprised because Charles is such a good baby. He’s the best little boy in the world,” Heather pulled him in to kiss his chubby cheeks. She heard Charles let out a giggle before she repositioned him on her lap. “Of course while Charles takes after his daddy to some degree, I have to admit he gets his fun side from me.”

“I’ll bet,” Becca nodded again, “Of course since we’re on the subject of Kipp, where is he anyways?”

“Kellen had some kind of mini-crisis come up, so he went off to take care of him,” Heather explained tickling Charles in his stomach and watching him laugh. “Though we’ve pretty much got the fort held down here, don’t we cutie pie?”

“You know it’s really nice,” Becca spoke up again after a moment’s contemplation. “I mean with you and Kipp. I think it’s great that you two can get along so well.”

“Why do you say that?” Heather questioned with a curious expression.

“Well, I mean I read the story in the tabloids about the two of you being involved in some kind of heated custody battle over Charles, so when I met Kipp and found out that you two were not working together, I guess I just sort of assumed that you were together again. I know it might sound naïve, but I really thought that you two were a married couple when I saw you together,” Becca continued to explain to her with a giggle.

“Married?” Heather repeated with a laugh of her own, “No not Kipp and I. I mean we were engaged once, but I can assure you that Kipp is not the man I’m married to. I mean, he’s not the man I would marry…”

“Obviously. I can see you’ve got quite the hunk in Kyle, but still it’s really interesting to see how you and Kipp have managed to overcome the things that you had between you and now you’re friends,” Becca searched Heather’s eyes for a long moment. “That usually doesn’t happen with people who were in love and almost married to one another. Usually when things fall apart, someone gets angry and bitter and it’s a nightmare.”

“Kipp and I weren’t meant to be together. Sure, we thought we had something special and I guess in our own way we did because we have Charles,” Heather redirected her attention to her son, “but other than what we have in him, we were never meant to be anything more than friends. I think we’ve done well with one another. I love Kipp. I really do, but we’re just not meant to be in love with one another.”

“Still you do so much with one another I’m sure it feels like you never split up,” Becca added giving her another long look.

“Oh I wouldn’t go that far considering that he’s got Kellen and I have, well I have Kyle now. Things have certainly changed, but for the better,” Heather explained turning to Becca once again. “Though I’m surprised you’re so interested in Kipp and I.”

“I was just making conversation. I mean it’s not very often you see so many nice guys in one place. I had a hell of a jerk that I was dating for a while and he broke my heart,” Becca admitted with a long sigh, “I mean I thought we had something solid--we were engaged to be married and then something happened. It just kind of fell apart and we had a bitter separation.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Heather offered up sympathetically.

“I just thought he was the one,” Becca added with a pained expression, “He said that he loved me and that we had something special, but then I found him in bed with someone else. It killed everything that we had going with one another after that.”

“I can understand that one,” Heather replied with a sympathetic nod, “but you know while I might not be the best at relationship advice, what I can tell you is the guy sounds like a real jerk. He’s not worth your tears. Trust me on this one. I spent a lot of time going after the wrong guy until I finally allowed myself to be happy with Mr. Right. Now I don’t even bother looking back because I’ve finally found someone who makes all the other losers in my life seem irrelevant.”

“You mean all the losers other than Kipp, right?” Becca couldn’t help but tease with a wink.

“Yeah Kipp doesn’t count because he’s my best friend’s boy toy, but still,” Heather focused on her son once again, “Given the kind of person I was I think I wound up really lucky and I thank God every day that I was given a second chance at doing things right.”

“So no regrets then?” Becca couldn’t help but ask her.

“Oh sure there are a few of them that hit me every now and then, but the way I look at it, I have a great career in front of me, an amazing son and a man who loves me more than anything,” Heather couldn’t help but gush on how her life had transformed over the last few months. “What more could a woman ask for?”

“I know I would sure love to have that kind of life. Instead I’m stuck with a dumpy apartment, microwave dinners and the memories of the jerk that broke my heart. It’s truly pathetic.”

“It doesn’t have to be. In fact maybe I can help you out with some of that. What do you say to us taking a girl’s night out? We can go to dinner or something instead of being stuck in the office…as long as you don’t mind Charles tagging along with us.”

“How could I ever mind someone so adorable?” Becca reached out to play with this tiny fingers. “He’s too cute for words.”

“Then it’s settled we’ll go out to dinner and discuss strategy on how to help you pull yourself out of this slump you’re in. Believe me I’ve been there myself more often than I care to admit, but who knows? Maybe while we’re out we’ll meet some hot man who perks your interest. Sure, they are far and few in this town, but we may be able to wrangle up one.”

“Oh I don’t know about that,” Becca shifted on the seat uncomfortably, “I mean I’m still hurting about what happened.”

“Hey, the longer you hurt, the more you deny yourself a chance at Mr. Right. Trust me. This will be good for you,” Heather decided wanting to help Becca find some happiness with someone as Heather found herself lost in a world of joy now that she had Kyle in her life after all these years.


“What did I do back there?” Kyle muttered to himself as he stopped at a light after leaving Diego’s house moments ago. Rubbing his cheek slowly, he let out a long breath and shook his head slowly not believing that he actually had told Diego all of those things about his family. “That’s just great Kyle, you try to keep it in, but you let it all out. In front of Diego none the less.”

Tapping his fingers against the steering wheel he looked down to his left hand to glance at his wedding band and a small sigh fell from his lips. For some reason, it was easier to talk to Diego about everything, whether it was Sarah or his past.

“It must be the shrink in him,” Kyle muttered with a small chuckle before shaking his head slowly and taking in a long shallow breath. Knowing that they both had to live with Sarah, he almost felt bad for Diego because he never got his happy ending. “I got mine, but I don’t know if he’ll ever try to gain his.”

Either way, he knew that the both of them would be stuck with Sarah, somehow, someway. At the thought of Sarah doing all of this to them was still somewhat of a shock, it was hard to admit these days, but when Heather wasn’t around, he really thought she was the one for him. She was the one he thought he loved until Heather really came back into his life, sure he dreamed about Heather, but Sarah was the woman he was supposed to be in love with back then.

“What happened to her? She seemed so normal and now,” Kyle muttered to himself knowing that it would be hard to explain to himself. He heard the phrase that no one ever changes, but he was willing to accept the fact now, back then maybe he was giving her a chance and a hope. “I should have known she would have never changed.”

Even back then, he thought he had his whole life planned out with Sarah, but he couldn’t thank God more that the things ended up the way they did because now he was married to the woman of his dreams and he couldn’t be happier. Sure, Sarah was going to try, but she would never succeed in tearing the two of them apart. Heather was his destiny and he wasn’t about to lose what was really meant to be his.

It was sad to see people like Sarah, not accepting what they have or realizing what they really have before them. They never cherish what they have, they never really realize what is best for them. They just always think there is something out there that could be better. Something that could shine more in their life and that one special person or thing is never enough. When people are losing the ones they loved, the people they thought they would share their future with, it just didn’t seem fair.

“With that thought,” Kyle switched lanes as someone popped into his head and he was right around the area of where he thought they lived. Pulling up along the side of the street he parked in front of the apartments pulling his keys out before eyeing the scene before him carefully. Getting out of the car he smiled seeing Mindy’s blue eyes meet his as he started to walk up the grass, seeing Mindy drop the rope to the ground. Feeling her arms wrap around his neck tightly he pulled her in closer to him seeing the glance from the kid that he remember from the hospital. “How are you doing kiddo?”

“I’m doing okay,” Mindy smiled moving back slightly and pressing her hand in against the center of his chest seeing his hazel eyes staring into hers. “Kyle, what are you doing here? I didn’t expect to see you.”

“Well, I was just in the area and figured I would just stop by,” Kyle replied with a small smile taking a step back and looking around before shrugging his shoulders. “If I would have known there was going to be party here I would have been here earlier.”

“Kyle,” Brittany’s voice caught his attention as he looked down to see the little girl at his side as he bent down to pick her up in his arms and hold onto her tightly. “What are you doing here? Mindy usually gets all nervous before you come over and she was just fine before you got here this time.”

“Brittany, you know kids say the craziest things,” Mindy let out a small laugh seeing the way that Kyle smiled as Mindy cleared her throat uneasily trying to come up with something to say after that before pointing to Jason. “Don’t hide back there Jason, come here. Kyle, you remember Jason, right?”

“Of course,” Kyle carefully held his right hand out to Jason while still holding Brittany in his left arm. Shaking Jason’s hand firmly he saw Jason’s blue eyes glance into his for a moment before looking away. “How are you holding up Jason? You doing alright?”

“Yeah,” Jason sighed before glancing back toward the jump rope, clearing his throat uneasily he slid his hands into his pockets and shrugged his shoulders. Speaking up slowly he saw Brittany’s arms wrap around Kyle’s neck tightly. “You sure are popular here aren’t you?”

“I visit sometimes,” Kyle answered with a small smile pressing a small kiss against Brittany’s cheek before hearing her let out a small laugh and Kyle glanced over to Mindy again. “So, you two on a date or something?”

“Us? No, no,” Mindy quickly answered seeing Jason’s blue eyes widen as he glanced over at her uneasily. Mindy let out a hesitant laugh before shaking her head firmly over and over again. “Jason is a great guy and all, but we are just friends. Friends hanging out, right Jason?”

“Yeah, friends jump roping,” Jason agreed softly before thinking of what to say next before rubbing at the back of his neck seeing Kyle’s eyes glancing over in his direction and it made him feel a bit uncomfortable. “Can you jump rope pretty good? I kind of suck at it.”

“These girls have seen me try to jump rope, I need some ice right after because you get some harsh cement burns after falling all those times,” Kyle honestly replied hearing Mindy let out a small laugh before seeing Jason smile and nod slowly. “Obviously, he really knows what I’m talking about. It’s really horrible.”

“I’ve got an idea,” Brittany tapped on Kyle’s shoulder lightly seeing his dark eyes glance into hers and she nodded slowly after seeing him smile. “I think you guys should play catch with the football because my show is on right now, but I’ll be back later if the three of you would like, but if I don’t go now, I’m going to be late.”

“Alright then,” Kyle carefully set Brittany down with a small laugh seeing her run over toward the football before throwing it to him and running up the stairs as Kyle shrugged his shoulders and took in a deep breath. “So anyone up for some football and a little chatting?”


“I can’t deal with this right now,” Kevin took in a long breath rubbing at the back of his neck walking out of the room, not caring too much for the conversation Kellen was having right now. Rubbing at his rough cheek he took in a long breath and paced back and forth slowly in the hallway before feeling a hand move in against his forearm. Glancing over his shoulder, Kevin saw Ria behind him as he turned on his heel to wrap his arms around her tightly. “Hey.”

“Hey,” Ria whispered feeling Kevin’s chin resting against the top of her head as she placed her hand in over the center of his firm chest, meeting the glance of his chocolate brown eyes. “You alright? You sound upset.”

“I am,” he answered truthfully feeling her fingers move in against the side of his neck, curling in over his shoulder as he reached forward to caress her cheek with his thumb. “You want to get some air? I think this whole hospital thing is getting to me right now.”

“Sure, you want to go out in the front?” Ria questioned seeing him nod slowly as she grabbed his hand in hers tightly, feeling his fingers squeezing hers softly. Walking toward the front, Ria led him out the doors before leading him to one of the benches to sit down. “Are you going to be okay?”

“I just have a lot on my mind right now, that’s all,” Kevin chuckled leaning forward for a moment, pulling his hand away from her to run his hands through his hair slowly. “I probably look horrible right now considering I haven’t shaved in a while and probably look really bad.”

“You just look tired, you’re okay,” she assured him honestly reaching out to touch his cheek, feeling the grizzle against her touch. Seeing his brown eyes glance over at her he let out a small laugh before shaking his head slowly. “What is it Kev?”

“I just can’t believe that Kellen is Angie’s husband,” Kevin muttered seeing the way that Ria glanced over at him with a small smirk and he nodded slowly. “I know, Angie married to the guy who always had it out for me. I was always the one he checked out when he walked in on me and Angie--hanging out, but honestly is that really possible? Just because you sign the marriage certificate you can be married?”

“Well, it happened so it must be something that isn’t wrong. It was a big mistake, but it is kind of ironic,” she nudged him gently hearing him let out a long huff before shaking his head slowly. “Come on Kevin, just because he walked in on you and Angie, just hanging out which I’m sure you were really going to say, doesn’t mean he can’t make a mistake himself. He didn’t know.”

“It’s not him I’m mad at, I like Kellen--he’s a good kid. It’s just that I’m mad in general, I can’t believe that this whole time it was Kellen that Angie was married to,” Kevin let out a small laugh standing up slowly and shrugging his shoulders as he spoke. “If I knew that it was him she was married to, it would have been so much easier to do everything that I did.”

“What exactly do you mean Kevin?” she muttered seeing him smirk before sliding his hands into his pockets to look down at the ground. “Did you mean to actually get with Angie? Is that what you're saying?”

“Ria, I still…,” Kevin caught what he was about to say before shaking his head slowly and taking in a deep breath. Pulling out his right hand he rubbed at his chin slowly before shrugging his shoulders. “I just mean I killed her husband to save her, even though it’s really not her husband and now I’m really thinking I didn’t kill him because I have bad feeling about that one guy. I’m just saying it would have been so much easier…,”

“To just get her to divorce Kellen and marry you?” Ria offered up standing up from the bench catching the look in his dark eyes as she let out a small laugh and shrugged her shoulders. “Regretting the fact that you never got married to her, isn’t that right Kevin?”

“Ria, honey this isn’t about you,” Kevin blurted out realizing that wasn’t what he meant to say, seeing her roll her eyes and go to leave as he reached for her hand pulling her back to him. “I didn’t mean that, it’s just--you’re not getting what I’m saying.”

“I think I’m getting it plenty Kevin, no need to explain. You just had an opening this whole time that you never saw and you’re ticked about it. I understand that,” Ria went to walk away feeling his firm hold over her wrist as she turned to face him again. “Kevin, let me go. I’m going to go back in there.”

“Ria, you’re not understanding me at all. I’m saying that I did all this stuff for her to protect her from getting killed, when in the long run, even if Cary did try to kill her Kellen would have been the one getting the money. It would have been so much easier back then to stop Cary from doing anything or any further damage if I had that information,” Kevin tried to explain to her seeing the anger behind her dark eyes as Kevin nodded slowly watching her bite down on her bottom lip. His eyebrows tensed together as he reached out to push back her dark hair softly. “I’m glad that everything happened the way it did because now I have you and that’s all I’ve ever wanted in my life.”

“You are so full of it,” Ria placed her fingers in over Kevin’s lips after he moved forward to kiss her, seeing the confused look behind his chocolate eyes she shook her head slowly. “I know that’s a lie because you still love Angie, without a doubt I know that.”

“Again, I love her as a best friend, I thought I’ve explained that to you,” Kevin pulled her back to him again after she tried to walk away from him once more. Seeing her fold her arms out in front of her after he let go of her wrist and shook his head slowly. “I’m tired of you not believing me, you always try to find a reason for me to get in trouble with you when I’m not even doing anything wrong.”

“That’s nice Kevin, I’m sorry you have such a problem with me,” Ria frowned letting out a small sigh seeing the way that Kevin rested his hands on his hips and glanced out at her. “If you have such a problem with me Kev, I might as well leave you alone then.”

“Ria, honey,” Kevin reached out to her seeing the way she backed away from him and small sigh escaped his lips. Pushing back his thick dark hair, he looked down toward the ground before meeting her dark eyes again. “Listen, all I’m trying to say is have a little faith in me. I love you more than anyone in this world and no one could ever replace you. You’re the only woman that I want to spend the rest of my life with. I thought you knew that.”

“Kevin,” she went to say something more feeling him place his index finger in over the center of her lips as he stepped in closer to her, his fingers pressing in against her cheek caressing her skin tenderly. When he went to move forward to kiss her, she placed her hand in over his mouth again hearing him let out a small groan before stepping back. “I’ll just talk to you later, I don’t feel like talking about this right now.”

“Ria come on,” Kevin frowned seeing her start to walk away from him as he moved forward, turning her quickly to face him before cupping her face in his hands. Dipping down, he pressed his lips up against hers hastily feeling her fingers curl in over his shoulders. “Baby, I love you and only you.”

“Kevin,” she breathed against his lips feeling him suckling at her bottom lip over and over again as she pressed her hand in over the center of his chest. Seeing his brown eyes glazed over she saw him gulp down before moving forward to press another small kiss against her lips before wrapping his arms around her. Hugging her in close to him she rested her head against his chest feeling his fingers slipping in through her hair. “I do love you, I really do. I don’t mean to yell at you and…,”

“Baby, I was just being a jerk,” Kevin muttered sliding his index finger in under her chin to lift her head up to him. Seeing her eyelashes flutter up at him he took in a long breath before shaking his head slowly. “I have a tendency to be quite an ass and for that, I’m sorry. Forgive me?”

“Of course,” she nodded with a deep sigh seeing him smile before he dipped down to kiss her again feeling her fingers gently tugging at his dark hair. “I only forgive you because I love you, I hope you know.”

“Baby, I love with my heart, soul and everything else between,” Kevin smirked resting his forehead against hers before tipping in to press a quick kiss against her lips. “If you ever hear me tell another woman that I love them, you have the total right to be mad at me. I promise. Right now we should be heading back in there because I might get yelled at.”

“We wouldn’t want that,” Ria smirked seeing him smile before wrapping his muscular arm around her waist and heading back for the door. Pressing a small kiss against her temple he smiled widely feeling her hand settle in against his abdomen. “It sure has been a long couple of days.”

“Yeah, but I wish I had a video camera when Kellen found out he was married to a woman,” Kevin chuckled remembering the look on Kellen’s face before he passed out. Opening the door, he let her go in first before wrapping his arm around her again. “He fell in my arms, I know he planned that one, but can you believe it? Out of all the men in this world, I never thought he would be one to get married to a woman. The two, they just don’t click. Hopefully tomorrow I don’t find out that I‘m married to Kellen. Considering he did stand up at my wedding and you know, he was signing some papers with me at one point.”

“If that was the case,” Ria teased pressing her fingers against the side of his body seeing him smile down at her before letting out a deep laugh. Shaking her head slowly, she bit down on her bottom lip and thought it over for a moment. “That boy would be dead because you’re my Adonis and only mine.”


“I can’t even begin to imagine what Kevin’s going through right now,” Avery confessed as she and Russ stood down the hall from Angela’s hospital room door thinking about what was going on. “I mean yeah I know she’s broken his heart, but to have her in the hospital and no one can tell him what’s going on with her…”

“I know how he feels,” Russ admitted turning around to face her, bringing her into his arms more completely. His green eyes sought out hers before he leaned in to kiss her tenderly. “When Bruce did what he did to you I was so afraid that I wouldn’t get to see you again--that I’d never be able to tell you how much I loved you. I was so afraid that I wouldn’t be able to share the life we’ve always dreamt of with one another because of what happened.”

“Things worked out for us though, didn’t they?” Avery couldn’t help but smile feeling him touch her cheek gently. She leaned into his touch savoring the warmth before she caught some movement out of the corner of her eye. She spotted Brant walking down the hallway moving in beside the door to Angela’s room. “Of course things would’ve moved faster for us if someone hadn’t been trying to manipulate the situation for us.”

Russ caught her sarcastic tone and spotted Brant as well. He stiffened momentarily before taking the time to watch his half brother peering into Angela’s hospital room looking like a lost, wounded dog. He couldn’t help but feel sorry for him given what he knew Brant had to be going through as well.

“I guess fate works in strange ways,” Avery mouthed more to herself than Russ. “Less than a few months ago Brant was the one who was trying to keep us from finding love again, yet there he is fighting for her and Cameron wants him to stay away.”

“I don’t trust either one of them,” Russ admitted with a small scowl, “but in all honesty Angela is having his children and he has a right to be in there with her.”

“Just like you had a right to be with Erin,” Avery shook her head feeling her anger and animosity bubble up at what Brant had tried to pull on her and Russ. “He wanted to steal our daughter from you and now it seems that Cameron is ready to do the same to him.”

“Perhaps he’s learning his lesson,” Russ shrugged his shoulders before turning to face Avery again, “though I have to admit it’s one that no father should ever have to experience. I’ll admit that Brant is far from being my favorite person, but the guy has a lot on the line right now and no answers.”

“I don’t believe this,” Avery searched Russell’s green eyes, “You almost sound like you care.”

“About Angela yes,” Russ divulged not bothering to mask his feelings, “and about those children, but not so much about Brant. Sure, I wouldn’t want the guy to lose them and I’m not about to go over there and talk to him, but for what it’s worth I do hope things work out for him. They worked out for us after all.”

“Yes they did,” Avery nodded in agreement, her focus turning to Brant again. She watched him stand up taller, stretching out his arms before his gaze locked with hers. She felt a tiny shudder pass over her before she refocused on Russ once again. “Honey, why don’t we go talk to Kevin or something? I’m sure he could probably use some support.”

“Sure,” Russ nodded in response before seeing the way that Brant was looking at Avery. “Hey are you sure you’re okay in being here?”

“I’m fine,” she replied quickly, “I don’t like Angela or Brant, but this isn’t about them for me. I’m here for Kevin. Brant is just…”

“Brant,” Russ finished for her seeing a flash of anger behind her eyes. “He’s out of our lives now.”

“I realize that, but I’m not so sure about Angela. I don’t want anything to happen to her, but I can’t stop thinking about what Cameron said to me,” Avery admitted with another small shiver. “If he’s telling the truth and she’s my sister…”

“Let’s take this one step at a time,” Russ suggested gently nudging Avery down the hallway before something happened to upset her all over again. They could worry about Cameron another time, but for now they were going to be there to support Kevin.


Chris pushed his way inside Cameron’s office not really caring what he had to do or say when right now all he wanted more than anything was answers. Thinking about the brief word he’d gotten over the gossip line about Angela being rushed to the hospital, he couldn’t help but worry about what was happening with her. He’d tried to work his way into the hospital, but found that he’d been pushed out with the rest of the media. Now he’d stopped over at Cameron’s office on the small chance that Cameron might be at work to shed some light on the situation. Fortunately his gamble paid off when he discovered Cameron at his desk.

“Thank heaven I found you here. I have been trying to get into contact with anyone that could give me the word on Angel and…” Chris started as Cameron looked up at him with an agitated groan.

“How did you get in here?” Cameron questioned with a small huff.

“I walked up here, but that’s beside the point,” Chris waved his hand dismissively. “What’s happened to Angel? I saw on the news that she was in the hospital and even though I have a few contacts around this town, no one knew anything more than the brief headline that was on television. I figured you would know what happened to her.”

“It‘s none of your business Chris, but I will tell you that you are right about Brant,” Cameron frowned over at him before pushing a few papers into a briefcase, “I wish you had come to me sooner so that I could’ve prevented this disaster.”

“I told you as soon as I was aware of the fact that they were involved with one another,” Chris stepped forward his fears mounting over what Cameron wasn’t telling him, “Cameron, what did he do to her?”

“I’ll take care of it,” Cameron snapped reaching for his briefcase and attempting to brush past Chris.

“Wait, I want to help. Cameron, you know how much Angel means to me and I’ll do anything that I can to help her. I’m sure that together we can find a way to…” Chris started once again.

“There is no we. You’re not going anywhere near my sister. I refuse to let you bother her,” Cameron announced with a huff glaring over at him, “You’ve already done more than enough.”

“I want to help you keep her away from Brant. She deserves better than that man and if you tell me what’s he’s done…” Chris started once again.

“Do yourself a favor and back off Chris,” Cameron warned him sharply, “I strongly suggest you don’t get in my way.”

“I’m not trying to get in your way. I’m trying to help Angel and…” Chris began again in a desperate plea to have Cameron help him get back into the loop once again.

‘If you’re smart you’ll stay the hell away from my sister,” Cameron informed him bluntly, “because I don’t want someone like you in her life.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Chris scoffed in response.

“It means that you’re lower than pond scum and my sister was slumming when she invited you into her life. You caused her far too many problems already and she already has too many losers in her life. I’ll deal with Brant, but don’t make me deal with you,” Cameron snarled at him before walking out of the office and leaving Chris to his thoughts about what was truly going on with Angela. Standing up taller Chris looked around Cameron’s office with a frown.

“Sorry Cam, but not even your threats will keep me from finding the truth. I will discover what’s going on with Angel whether you like it or not,” Chris explained with a newfound determination ready to make his way into the hospital again in the hopes that this time he might get one step closer to discovering the truth about Angela and what happened to her.


“Let’s see,” Nate stepped into his bedroom looking around the room and letting out a deep sigh before sinking his teeth into the slice of pizza he was holding onto. Finishing up the piece he shrugged his shoulders before setting the box of pizza he took with him on the dresser next to his television. “I need to clean this place up.”

Moving over toward the bed he pulled at all the sheets before holding them all in his arms tightly, looking around the room for a place to put them. Noticing his open closet, he dropped the sheets in the corner and then reached for the extra pair of sheets that Don had gotten him just in case.

“Lets see,” Nate rubbed his hands together quickly before hastily putting the sheets in over his bed, rubbing at them until then were good enough for him. “It may be messy, but I think it says Nate all over it.”

Walking back toward the television, Nate turned it on and grabbed the pizza box in his hands before walking over to one of his beanbag chairs and plopping down. Taking out another piece of pizza he stretched out his legs, hearing a small knock on his door.

“Come on in,” Nate called out seeing the door open a small amount before Matt stepped into the room and Nate motioned him to come in further. Seeing that Matt had another pizza in his hands Nate smiled and patted the beanbag chair next to him. “Take a seat kiddo, I have one more.”

“Well, I can’t stay long because the other two are still here, but I wanted to talk to you,” Matt moved over toward Nate dropping down on the green beanbag chair before letting out a small noise. Trying to get comfortable her turned toward Nate, seeing his green eyes staring out into his. “After all this Nate, are you mad at me?”

“Mad at you?” Nate questioned with a mouth full of pizza realizing that perhaps it was possible that Matt didn’t understand him when a laugh escaped his lips. Setting the pizza box on the floor, Nate rubbed his hands together before swallowing the last of his food. “Why would I be mad at you kiddo? Honestly?”

“Well, I know what I did wasn’t cool,” Matt took in a long breath seeing Nate’s eyebrows arch up as Matt shrugged his shoulders and looked back toward the bedroom door. “I just don’t want you to be mad at me you know because you are my best friend.”

“Hey, how was that not cool? I have never seen someone order that many pizzas, that is so cool little man. I would have totally done the same, I was just being an idiot. It’s something you do when you are an adult,” Nate tried to explain seeing Matt’s eyes get wide before nodding slowly and Nate let out a small laugh reaching for Matt to come sit with him. Feeling Matt adjust in his lap Nate took in a long breath. “Matt, no matter what you do, I will never ever be mad at you. Kiddo, you’re my best friend too, I love you.”

“I love you too Nate,” Matt smiled resting his head against Nate’s chest feeling Nate press a small kiss against his forehead as Matt gently tugged at Nate’s blonde hair hearing him laugh. “I just never want to lose you. Other than my dad and my god father, you’re my favorite person in the whole world. I’d be lost without you, I want you to be my uncle forever.”

“Hey kiddo, you are never going to lose me,” Nate replied with a small frown, pressing his index finger in under Matt’s chin to make the blue eyed boy stare up at him. “You should know you are never going to lose me Matty. Even if I’m not your uncle, I’m always going to be your best friend. I’ll always be here to cause trouble for you father and I’ll always be here for you. I love you too much kiddo to leave you.”

“Okay,” Matt wiped at his eyes seeing Nate get all teary eyed in the process as Matt shrugged his shoulders and sniffed in feeling Nate hold him in his arms and hold him in closer. Letting out a small laugh Matt snuggled his head in against Nate’s chest, feeling Nate’s chin rest against the top of his head. “Can you tell I just saw a really sad movie?”

“Sad movie or not, I still love you kiddo,” Nate smiled hugging him close before pressing another kiss against the top of his head, running his finger’s through Matt’s hair. “You got me all misty eyed now.”

“I’m sorry,” Matt wrapped his arms around Nate’s neck to hug him, feeling Nate’s hand press in against his back as Matt took in a long breath. “I didn’t mean to.”

“You have nothing to be sorry about because I think the tickle monster has come for its dues,” Nate grumbled seeing Matt’s blue eyes grow wide as he went to move, but Nate held him in place tickling at his stomach over and over again hearing Matt howl out with laughter. Going to stop he shook his head moving in again to tickle at Matt’s stomach more hearing him giggle out with laughter even harder. “Well, I think that about pays for it.”

“Nate, you always use my ticklish side to get to me,” Matt wiped at his eyes letting out a small laugh before looking out at Nate’s arms seeing one of his tattoos sticking out from under the arm. “I would assume that these hurt a lot.”

“Yeah, I was stupid when I got them. I like them, but boy little man--the first time I was crying like a baby,” Nate rolled up his sleeve to show Matt seeing his blue eyes look it over carefully before grabbing a hold of Nate’s arm to look at the tattoo on his inner forearm. “What do you think?”

“I think whoever did it has some talent, but he sure was lucky because he got to work on the greatest Nate in the world,” Matt smiled seeing Nate smirk before hugging him tightly hearing Matt let out another laugh. “You know Nate, I don’t think I’m up for anymore movies, maybe a video game will do. What do you think? Would you want to come out there with us and play? There are still a ton of pizzas out there.”

“Food and video games, that won me over,” Nate slowly stood up with Matt in his arms feeling Matt’s arms tighten around his neck as he moved over toward the door. “I'll only have another pizza under one circumstance.”

“And what’s that?” Matt questioned with a small laugh feeling Nate gently tickle at his stomach again and Matt shook his head slowly. “Nate?”

“As long as you share it with me,” Nate replied seeing Matt smile and nod slowly before Nate held Matt up in closer to him before walking back toward the living room. “This is a pigs dream you know, all these pizzas. I think I’m in heaven with all this food. I'll play a quick game with you guys, but I forgot that I have to go to work soon, but afterwards. I'm totally there with you little man, okay?”

"Trust me Nate," Matt felt Nate set him down before letting out a small laugh seeing the way that Nate smiled down at him before reaching for another piece of pizza to chew on before sitting down on the floor with him. "If it's waiting for you I have to do, you're worth it. Trust me."


“Hey kiddo,” Don grinned seeing his younger sister standing outside the door to his house as he looked behind where Lindsay was standing to see Stacy and Daniel waiting for her in the car, “What’s this?”

“I’m here for Kayla,” Lindsay explained glancing over her shoulder to where her friends were waiting, “We were told she was here so…”

“So you figured you’d pick her up and take her out on your,” Don paused dramatically before turning his attention to her once again, “date?”

“It’s not a date,” Lindsay replied quickly feeling a nervousness overtake her. “As you can see Stacy’s here.”

“And if she’s anything like her mom is, then it’s going to be an interesting night for you,” Don added worriedly before allowing her into his foyer. “You know Linds, if you ever want to talk about anything, I’m always here for you.”

“Why would you say that?” Lindsay couldn’t help but ask suspiciously after the way he kept looking at her. “Don, what’s going on?”

“I just heard a rumor that it might be worth keeping an eye on Daniel since he seems to have a problem keeping his lips to himself,” Don blurted out as Lindsay’s eyes widened in surprise. A frown soon followed.

“You’ve been talking to dad, haven’t you?” she questioned folding her arms in front of her chest.

“He might have said a little something about that guy not being able to stay to himself,” Don nodded before tossing out a stern look, “You’re far too young to get wrapped up in the whole sex thing.”

“Hey, I’m not the one that mom and dad need to be worried about,” Lindsay tossed back at him with a huff. “You’re the one who is overly obsessed with the sex thing from what I’ve heard around town.”

“You heard wrong,” Don corrected countering her accusation, “People around town don’t know what they are talking about. Besides, this isn’t about me. I’m old and you’re…”

“You’re old?” Lindsay couldn’t help but laugh. “Don, if you’re old, what does that make our parents?”

“Concerned that you might be getting in over your head,” Don replied with another frown, “Let’s face it Linds. Most teenage guys are all about one thing.”

“And what might that one thing be?” Lindsay fought to mask her amusement.

“The one thing that will land him on a one way road to castration if he lays a hand on you. They are all predators because they aren’t sensible enough to be smart about things,” Don offered up again thinking about how the idea of his sister dating frightened him. “Trust me on this.”

“Spoken from experience?” Lindsay arched a curious brow, “Look Don, if you’re really worried about me getting into something over my head, you don’t have to. I’m not ready to start thinking about having a child, so I can’t even imagine stepping into that kind of situation. I mean sure I know that by doing that I wouldn’t necessarily get pregnant, but right now I don’t want to take the chance. It’s not where my priorities are right now.”

“Good girl,” Don reached out to pull her into an embrace, “Keep it that way.”

“Don’t worry,” she couldn’t help but tease him, “I don’t plan on taking after you anytime soon.”

“Try never,” Don pulled back before hearing Kayla approaching, “and remember if he tries to pull any funny stuff, you just call me and…”

“Don, it’s not like that,” Lindsay assured him confidently, “He’s a nice guy and I like being around him. He’s a friend.”

“A friend who better not be putting you into any lip locks anytime soon,” Don warned sharply.

“Man, you’re worse than dad sometimes,” Lindsay couldn’t help but laugh at his warning, “but rest assured I’ll make sure that my virtue is still very much in tact.”

“I’m going to hold you to that Linds,” Don added pointedly before seeing Kayla approaching with her backpack over her shoulder.

“Hi Lindsay,” Kayla waved excitedly, “I’m ready to go and have fun.”

“Good,” Lindsay offered her hand out to Kayla, “because we’re going to have a great time.”

“Awesome,” Kayla smiled up at her before taking Lindsay’s hand in hers.

“Not too much fun though,” Don warned as Lindsay laughed again.

“Trust me Don, it’ll be fun. Innocent fun,” Lindsay finished with a small wave before walking out to the car again.

“That’s what they all say,” Don mouthed under his breath wondering if Daniel Ashford could be trusted with his little sister. He certainly hoped so because if not, Don would have to enlist Brant’s help in ensuring that Daniel realized that messing with his little sister was not an option.


“So you know, I was just coming over to see how you were doing,” Kyle mentioned stepping back a bit as the three spread apart in the front before Kyle threw the ball to Mindy seeing her catch it and nod slowly. “So how are you holding up kiddo?”

“I’m doing pretty good,” Mindy answered throwing the ball to Jason who caught it before throwing it back to Kyle, seeing the way that Kyle glanced at Mindy. Mindy shrugged her shoulders before looking over at Jason. “Jason and I have been spending a lot of time together lately just hanging out, I’ve really loved his company.”

“Is that so?” Kyle questioned seeing Mindy nod slowly as Kyle threw the ball roughly at Jason seeing him catch it, but not before it slammed into his stomach making him hunch over and let out a small groan. “My bad.”

“Damn,” Jason coughed throwing the ball lightly to Mindy feeling like he had the breath stolen out of his lungs as he kneeled down to try and catch his breath. “You have one hell of an arm.”

“Kyle used to be a football player and a baseball player, so he does have a pretty good throw,” Mindy explained throwing it to Kyle who threw it back to her softly giving Jason some time to catch his breath. “I know it’s hard to roll with the big boys Jason, but…,”

“Oh hey, it’s nothing, I just wasn’t ready,” Jason muttered standing up straight seeing the way that Mindy glanced at him with her blue eyes before throwing Kyle back the ball. Motioning Kyle to throw the ball Jason nodded slowly before letting out a small laugh. “Come on big guy, give me your best.”

“No, I won’t do that, but I’ll give you something,” Kyle threw the ball seeing Jason catch it but spin on his heels to clutch his stomach, coughing as Kyle glanced over at Mindy who was glaring at him. Shrugging his shoulders Kyle noticed Jason spin on his heel quickly to throw the ball and Kyle held up his hand catching it one handed. Throwing it back right after he caught it, Jason was hardly ready when the ball nailed him in the nose making him fall back to the ground. “Ouch, that’s going to leave a mark.”

“No, no,” Jason slowly got up seeing the way that Kyle went to help him up and Jason shook his head slowly. Glancing over at Mindy, he saw the worry in her eyes before shaking his head slowly over and over. Wiping at his nose he double checked to make sure that there was no blood coming out of his nose. “Don’t worry about me. I’m still good for this.”

“You sure?” Mindy questioned seeing Jason nod before throwing the ball back to her. Glancing over at Kyle she saw him shrug before letting out a small laugh and she rolled her eyes. “Okay, the guy that catches this one is the coolest guy in the whole world.”

Mindy threw the ball up in the air randomly seeing it go up and both Kyle and Jason got ready for it, seeing it start to fall somewhere in the middle making them both dive for it. The two collided mid air making Kyle fall back to the ground and hit his head before Jason fell on his side making him let out a deep groan.

“Obviously, neither one of you are the coolest guy,” Mindy teased seeing Kyle and Jason roll out on their backs before she looked down at Kyle seeing him slowly rise up to a sitting position. “I’d hate to be the person married to you.”

“What?” Kyle questioned thinking it twice before shaking his head slowly and letting out a deep sigh pressing his hand in against his back. “I’m getting too old for this kiddo, I could show off when you were twelve, but this is hard. Jason, you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Jason’s voice came out in a deep breath as he slowly looked up from the ground and gave Mindy a thumbs up sign seeing the way she laughed. “I just need to get the air back in my lungs.”

“I’ll be back with two huge bags of ice,” Mindy promised seeing both Jason and Kyle nod slowly before she stopped at the stairs seeing the both of them sitting now. “Be nice to each other.”

“No problem kiddo,” Kyle winked before glancing over at Jason once Mindy started to walk up the stairs. Seeing Jason frown and look back toward the ground, Kyle stood up reaching for Jason’s hand to help him up. “So, what’s the deal? You have the hots for Mindy?”

“That’s not really the case, I just want to be her friend,” Jason grabbed a hold of Kyle’s hand feeling Kyle help him up off the ground and to his feet. Wiping off his pants, Jason shrugged his shoulders before nodding over toward the stairs. “What about you?”

“Kiddo, I’ve got a girl at home who I love dearly. Mindy is like a little sister to me and I don’t like seeing guys move in on her when she is hurt and feeling bad,” Kyle informed Jason seeing Jason take in a deep breath before Kyle reached out to place his hand in over Jason’s shoulder. “She honestly doesn’t need a prick like that in her life at this moment.”

“Kyle, I’m not like that. I swear, she’s a friend of mine,” Jason insisted seeing Kyle’s hazel eyes glance over at him before Kyle wiped at his nose obviously feeling like he may have done something in the process too. “I don’t have a lot of those, so I cherish the ones I have.”

“Well, hopefully I’ll be able to trust you enough to call you my friend Jason,” Kyle held his hand out to Jason seeing him glance up for a moment before accepting the hand shake firmly. “Just don’t let me down and don’t hurt Mindy. That’s all I ask of you to consider you my friend and if you let me down, I promise--you won’t like it.”


“So what about him?” Heather questioned motioning over towards one of the waiters at the restaurant that she and Becca were at with Charles. “Is he more your type?”

“I don’t really have a type Heather,” Becca laughed lightly shaking her head as the man in question passed by. “I mean he’s cute, but…”

“Too short right?” Heather finished for her with a wrinkle of her nose. “Perhaps you’re more into tall, dark and handsome. Plus you probably don’t want to get wrapped up with a waiter. They are insatiable flirts and usually play with that to get big tips.”

“The last thing I need is someone in my life who is a big flirt with the rest of the world,” Becca shuddered at the thought before looking at Heather once again. “I just want a really nice guy who wants to have some kind of future to build on. You know--someone who wants to have a wife and children and just be the man of my dreams.”

“Don’t we all want that,” Heather laughed lightly thinking about what she’d had in Kyle. Here she had the dream that each and every woman was hoping for and she couldn’t tell anyone about it. Her thoughts drifted back to her wedding day and to the time she and Kyle spent with one another. It was perfect for them, yet they had to keep quiet until they could go through the motions of another wedding just so that she didn’t upset her best friend.

“Oh come on. I’m sure you have your prince there with Kyle,” Becca mused with a grin, “I see the way he looks at you. Hell, I bet you could have Kipp that way if you wanted him too. He gives you that look as well.”

“Kipp?” Heather repeated snapping out of her daze. She turned to Becca and offered up a small laugh, “Trust me Kipp does not look at me that way. If he did, then I’m sure Kellen could quite easily scratch his eyes out.”

“He’s pretty possessive, huh?” Becca inquired as Heather thought about her best friend.

“More like protective of those he loves,” Heather explained reaching for a forkful of her salad that was in front of her. “You see he’s just very loyal and over the top at times. He goes on his instincts and in doing so, well Kellen can be a bit hard to take at times.”

“I think it’s safe to say that the man hates me,” Becca frowned in response bringing her hand up into her hair. “I don’t know what it is, but he seems to be ready to take my head off each and every time I’m in the same room with him.”

“He just doesn’t know you yet. Give him time and he’ll warm up to you,” Heather waved her hand dismissively before stabbing a cherry tomato with her fork and dropping it into her mouth.

“I just don’t know about that. I mean it seems like every time I’m with Kipp he just explodes. He starts throwing out these crazy accusations and the other day, well I didn’t want to say this, but he exploded at me because I wore a perfume that you did,” Becca lowered her voice a bit before looking around the restaurant. “He actually pulled me into a corner and lectured me on how he didn’t like me wearing that perfume because it was one that you wore. He went so far as to say he hated that I was wearing it as well because it was something that drove Kipp crazy when you wore it.”

“What?” Heather’s green eyes widened in surprise, “That doesn’t sound like Kellen at all.”

“Like I said the man hates me. He told me point blank that Kipp loves that perfume on you and that it’s a bit of a turn on. He got all up in my face about how I shouldn’t be trying to toss out reminders to Kipp about what he had in you,” Becca divulged with another tight frown, “I mean I honestly didn’t know it was something that you wear Heather. I didn’t realize that my perfume would upset Kellen so much and after he snapped at me, well I really felt awful.”

“He was probably just having a bad day,” Heather concluded wondering why her friend would behave so strangely. “He really is one of the most laid-back easy going men you could ever meet. I’m sure in time he’ll stop being so uptight around you.”

“I seriously doubt that,” Becca sighed heavily ready to say something more when there was a crashing sound beside them. She looked up to see Sarah standing beside the table glaring down at Heather.

“Well isn’t this lovely,” Sarah snarled down at Heather. “Here you are stalking me yet again. What is it about this time Heather? Ready to steal my lunch right out from under me just like you stole Kyle?”

“Stole Kyle,” Heather repeated with a sarcastic laugh, “Oh Sarah you know full well that you were the one who blew things with Kyle. I didn’t steal anyone. He went to where his heart always was.”

“No Heather, he just settled for second best because he wasn’t man enough to hold onto his dreams,” Sarah hissed in response, her dark eyes narrowing in on Heather. “Just like every other man in your life he’s just wasting his time until he can find something better. Once our baby is born he’ll see that he has something better and I’m sure that you’ll realize how stupid you were to think that you could take him from me.”

“I seriously doubt that baby is Kyle’s,” Heather snubbed Sarah in an attempt to ignore Sarah’s rudeness. “Besides, if you are having his son or daughter you’re going to find that Kyle’s going to do what he can to get custody of his baby. He wouldn’t leave his son or daughter to be raised by a witch like you.”

“On the contrary Heather once our baby is born, he’s going to come running back to me,” Sarah placed her hand over her abdomen proudly, “He’ll realize that you were nothing more than a little slut…”

“Isn’t that kind of like the pot calling the kettle black there Sarah?” Heather arched a curious brow before shifting her eyes between Becca and Sarah. “I mean unlike you I’m not the one currently sleeping with half the male population in Coral Valley.”

“Why you…” Sarah started to lunge forward reaching out as if she was going to choke the life out of Heather.

“Back off witch,” Becca stepped up placing herself between Heather and Sarah before Sarah could finish the goal she’d set out to do.

“Who the hell are you?” Sarah grumbled back at Becca, her dark eyes full of rage.

“Someone who could make your life a living hell if you don’t back off now. Leave Heather alone or I’ll make you leave her alone,” Becca warned sharply, a firm, warning glance carrying over her.

“I don’t know who you are, but you don’t scare me,” Sarah moved to push Becca aside only to feel Becca reach for her arm and yank it up behind her back to immobilize her.

“Wrong answer,” Becca kept Sarah at bay bending her arm in an uncomfortable fashion once again before shoving her away from the table. “Now get lost before I have you thrown out.”

“This isn’t over,” Sarah huffed straightening out her blouse and rubbing her arm before walking away from the table with a stomp.

“Where did you learn that?” Heather couldn’t help but ask surprised at what she saw when Becca took down Sarah.

“Let’s just say dealing with jerks in my life taught me how to take care of myself. Besides, she was totally asking for it,” Becca explained reaching for her glass of water. She lifted it to her lips before pausing. “I hope you don’t think I was out of line there.”

“No not at all. I mean I probably could’ve dealt with her, but for what it’s worth. Thank you.” Heather replied with a bright smile thinking about how quick Sarah had left the restaurant after Becca’s warning. While Kellen might not like Becca, Heather realized that maybe Kipp’s new assistant wasn’t nearly as bad as Kellen had made it seem. Perhaps Becca was worth giving an opportunity to prove herself with Kellen.


Jewel stepped into the visitors room at the hospital Cori was under care at and found herself met with an eerie feeling. While she didn’t mind being out in the public, the people that surrounded her left her with an uncomfortable sensation that she couldn’t quite shake. Her high heels clicked on the marble flooring while her short skirt felt skin tight in the thick, air conditioned room. Sure, she knew full well that she’d raised a few eyes, but this wasn’t exactly the place to do it.

“Cori, where are you,” Jewel muttered under her breath spotting Cori across the room over by one of the windows. With a confident grin Jewel crossed the room ignoring the way a few men at one of the tables had been watching her. Sure, they could look all they liked, but even Jewel made a point not to date mental patients. With that thought on her mind, she stopped right beside Cori, who had a coloring book on the table in front of her.

“How are you feeling?” Jewel broke through Cori’s silence after she took a long glance at the book on the table. The word Diego was written over and over again in thick, red crayon and there were black scribbles over his name that extended onto the table. Jewel wrinkled her nose at what she saw, “I take it you’re still fixated on the guy who dumped you. What a pity.”

“Shut up Jewel,” Cori mouthed in a low, snarl of a tone. Her long, blonde hair was tangled and mussed as she pulled her head up to shoot a dark glare at her sister. “You don’t know what I’ve been going through here.”

“Maybe not,” Jewel frowned taking a seat beside Cori and snatching the coloring book away from her. She held it up in the air to show her sister what a mess she’d made, “but I do know that this is counterproductive. They are never going to let you out of here if you keep obsessing over some jerk who ditched you. It’s not worth your life Cori.”

“I love Diego and Diego loves me,” Cori replied tightly her brown eyes wild with rage and confusion. “He wants to be with me, but Sarah manipulated him.”

“No sweetheart, Sarah blew his mind in ways we really shouldn’t get into here and he got lost in the moment. You, on the other hand, are making this far worse for yourself then it has to be. Here you could just get over Diego, say you’re sorry for shooting him and then get out of here,” Jewel closed the coloring book before setting it down on the far end of the table. “You’re far too good for this place Cori and we both know it.”

“He said he loved me. He said that he cared about me and I know he does,” Cori insisted shaking her head furiously. She raised her hands up to the side of her head balling them into fists as Jewel noticed the red and black crayon over her hands.

“Sweetheart. He’s a man. Men like sex. They don’t care who they get it from, just as long as they get it. Diego is no different than anyone else. You just wanted to believe that he was something special,” Jewel reached out to pry Cori’s hands away from her ears. “Cori, I know you don’t want to hear it, but it’s time to move on. You need to stop obsessing over someone who wasn’t all that great anyways.”

“He said he loved me Jewel. We were going to have a life together,” Cori sniffled tears threatening behind her eyes. “He made love to me and told me I was his princess and…”

“Cori, he just took advantage of the fact that you had a crush on him all of these years. I mean I hate to be the one to break it to you, but he wasn’t that great of a guy,” Jewel hesitated before shooting Cori with a dose of reality.

“No, he thinks I’m special. He loves me. He’s always loved me even when I was younger. He thought I was beautiful,” Cori insisted curling her lip in a pout. “He thinks the world of me. He always has.”

“Cori, he slept with me a long time ago when we were younger, so I can assure you that he wasn’t thinking about you back then,” Jewel informed her bluntly watching Cori’s brown eyes twist with rage.

“You lie!” Cori shouted lunging forward and reaching out to choke Jewel.

“Cori, what are you doing?” Jewel gasped trying to move out of the way before Cori plowed her down to the ground. Within a matter of seconds Cori sprung on top of her wrapping her hands firmly around Jewel’s neck and squeezing.

“Liar!” Cori shouted capturing the attention of two of the orderlies in the room. They rushed over to pry Cori off of Jewel, but she was too strong. Jewel coughed and writhed beneath her sister trying to break loose, but before she could get the upper hand an orderly returned and injected Cori with something that caused her to spring back in a fury.

“Get away from me you jerk,” Cori swung around to punch the orderly right square across the jaw before the other man finished giving her the injection. Seconds later, she was being carried off by the two orderlies that had rushed to Jewel’s aid.

“Oh my,” Jewel gasped bringing her hand up over her chest as she saw her sister carted off out of the room. She reached for her purse still finding herself seated on the floor when she felt a hand move beside her.

“Let me help you,” a voice offered up as Jewel adjusted her purse so that it didn’t come open. “You know she’s been making great progress lately and she’s just a bit wound up. She didn’t mean to do that to you.”

“Oh she meant it. She’s lost her damned mind and,” Jewel accepted the hand feeling it pull her up off of the ground before she came face to face with the owner of the hand. Suddenly she perked up smiling at him beyond recognition. “Nate.”

“Jewel,” he spoke her name flashing her a small smile before nodding, “What are you doing here? I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“I came here to see my fruit loop sister,” Jewel motioned to the doors where Cori was taken out of the room, “but you see how well that one went.”

“Well, um…” Nate cleared his throat uneasily, “I didn’t realize she was your sister.”

“Yeah surprise,” Jewel shrugged her shoulders, tossing her long, blonde hair behind them, “I come from a bit of a strange family.”

“I don’t think it’s that strange. As I said Cori’s been making great progress and…” Nate watched her step forward to place her fingers over the front of his chest while she smiled.

“You never told me you were a doctor here at the hospital,” Jewel mouthed taking note of what he was wearing. “I just thought you were some cute little surfer or something…”

“Well I um,” Nate cleared his throat again, finding himself very aware of the nearness of Jewel. He flashed back to the last time he’d seen her and he grinned proudly, “Well I don’t like to brag about that.”

“You have plenty of reason to brag,” Jewel licked her lips, a wide grin sweeping over her, “So much so that I have a confession to make.”

“What’s that?” Nate practically gulped unable to deny how hot she was standing in front of him.

“Truth be told I’ve always wanted to have sex with a doctor while he was at work. You know--kind of a thrill of being caught in a closet or something,” she wiggled her brow at him suggestively, her palm sliding down to his abdomen, “and since you’re a doctor and at work…”

“Are you trying to say that…” Nate gulped again feeling her hand press in against the center of his pants.

“Doctor I have an ill that only you can cure with your big, hard stethoscope,” she blurted out in a brazen tone pushing herself up against him. “Think you can sneak away for five minutes and we can pick up where we left off the other day?”

“Um,” Nate surveyed the room seeing one of his supervisors glaring at him. He was in there watching a few of the patients while they were taking some vocational classes, but now that Jewel was right in front of him just begging for him to show her a good time, he found himself ready to blow his community service altogether to have another shot at Jewel. His eyes snapped to hers again, “Tell you what. I have to finish with a patient in here, but if you give me five minutes I can promise you that I’ll find a way to make that fantasy a reality for us. Come to think of it, how about we meet out near the lounge in say five minutes?”

“Five minutes,” Jewel repeated with another bright smile before nodding, “I like that. Five minutes it is.”

“Great,” Nate felt her lean forward to kiss him on the cheek before she stepped back. She threw out a wave before walking out of the visitors room. Nate glanced over at his supervisor seeing that the man was clearly preoccupied with something else and Nate took the opportunity to make his exit. He thought about what was waiting for him and couldn’t help but be excited.

He passed by the doctor’s area before turning around and walking back into the room. He listened for a moment making sure he was alone before walking over to the locker area. He waited for a moment before pulling open one of the lockers and grabbing a few things from one of the doctor’s bag to ensure that Jewel would truly be able to have her fantasy of being with a doctor. Grabbing a stethoscope, he wrapped it around his neck and vowed that he would have something to remember that would tide him over for a long time.


“What’s really going on Dave?” Carly questioned snuggling in closer to her husband as they sat in the middle of their living room enjoying the lunch break that they’d taken away from the rest of the world. While they’d talked about going to one of the restaurants by her office, he’d decided that he’d much rather spend the time with her at home at least for a little while. Feeling her touch his shoulder gently, he couldn’t help but feel guilt eating away at him. “Honey?”

“I’m sorry that I overreacted earlier,” Dave apologized thinking about his animosity towards Ken, “I know that I promised I would be supportive about you wanting to take a step in a positive direction with moving forward in your career, yet…”

“The idea of me being around Ken isn’t one that you’re exactly thrilled with,” she finished for him knowing full well where their conversation was headed.

“I wish I could say that I would be perfectly fine with all of this, but that isn’t the case,” Dave sighed meeting her worried dark eyes again. “I wish I could say that I’m over what Ken’s done, but when I think about all of the hurt he inflicted upon all of us.”

“Ken was hurting himself. It doesn’t justify his actions, but he was in a dark place for such a long time,” Carly placed her hand over the center of his chest before snuggling in closer to him.

“I know,” he sighed closing his eyes and finding his thoughts lingering to Cori, “When someone is in that position, it’s easy to lose yourself if you aren’t careful. I know I should try to be more open minded and forgiving, but when I think of all Ken’s done…”

“Ken won’t be a problem,” she promised him before tipping her head up to meet his eyes again. “Dave, what’s really going on? Is this about Ken or Cori?”

“Am I that obvious,” Dave reopened his eyes and met her worried glance, “Carly, I wish I could say that I felt everything was going to be alright, but I’m worried about her. When I think about what she’s been through in her life already, it just makes this even more difficult.”

“She’s getting help Dave,” Carly massaged his chest gently, “I know that she doesn’t see it right now, but being in therapy in the hospital will be good for her. It might give her the tools to pull her life together again.”

“I don’t know if that’s ever going to be possible,” he sighed feeling a tension carry over him before he looked to his wife once again, “Cori’s been hurt so much already at this point and I feel like I’m turning my back on her by putting her in there.”

“It’s better than the alternative. If Diego decides to go forward with pressing charges against her, then…” Carly noted thinking about the man Cori had shot.

“I know what that would mean,” Dave cut her off abruptly, “but this isn’t entirely Cori’s fault. She’s been looking for someone to latch onto for years and unfortunately Diego was just the unlucky fool who thought that being in a relationship with Cori would be okay for him.”

“They seemed good together when I first met him,” Carly admitted thinking about Cori’s former boyfriend. “I don’t see how they could have fallen so far so fast.”

“Cori just leaps in over her head with everything she does. She gets obsessive and before anyone knows it she’s ten steps ahead of the rest of the world. She’s ready to take everyone on and make things fit into her picture perfect idea of how things should be, but it doesn’t work that way,” Dave revealed with another exaggerated sigh, “She’s been hoping to find a normal life for so long that she goes to the extreme and it always costs her more than she should risk.”

“Dave, I know this last time when she shot Diego it was intense, but…” Carly started again only to see him shake his head in refusal to allow his thoughts to consume him.

“I don’t want to get into this. Right now I want to focus on you and on how good it feels to hold you like this,” Dave squeezed her in closer to him, “It’s been far too long since we’ve been able to share this with one another. I missed this.”

“So have I,” Carly sighed snuggling in closer to him, “It seems like our house hasn’t been our own in a long time with everyone coming and going.”

“I’m starting to feel like I’m a child again and my sister’s are still with me, only there is the added bonus of having you around,” Dave tipped his head in to kiss her tenderly, “If I would have had that then maybe just maybe I might have found myself enjoying life a lot more back then.”

“I’m sorry I can’t change what happened back then, but maybe I can help work on what’s going on right now,” she suggested tipping her head up towards him, her dark eyes narrowing in on his lips for a long moment. Finally she brushed her mouth against his in a feathery light kiss, “Now this is more like it.”

“Indeed,” Dave murmured bringing his arm around her waist and pulling her into his lap. He eased his fingers up through her hair crushing her in closer to him when his pager began to vibrate. Groaning he pulled back and sighed, “I don’t believe this.”

“I do,” Carly shook her head while fighting to repress her disappointment in the real world calling to her husband, “It was too good to be true.”

“I’m sure it’s nothing,” Dave reached for his pager only to discover it was the station, “Damn it.”

“I have to get back to work anyways,” Carly sighed sliding off of his lap and readjusting her skirt while she sank onto the couch cushions. “We’ll just have to schedule this in for later.”

“I hate that we have to schedule this time in together,” his frown intensified as his pager went off again alerting him to the fact that he was needed back at work.

“It’ll be worth the wait,” Carly reached for his hand squeezing it gently before leaning in to steal a quick kiss from him, “I love you.”

“I love you too,” he whispered in response wanting to savor the moment however brief it would be before reality kicked in. “I promise things won’t be so hectic sooner or later.”

“I’ll be here regardless of how hectic it is. At the end of the day we’ll always come back home to one another,” she promised kissing him one last time as she hoped that somehow things would pick up for her husband and bring on a more positive spin. “Come on. You can drop me off on the way back to the station.”

“I hate the idea of taking you back, but I promise you that later we’ll make up for this,” he assured her standing up and reaching for her hand to help her up as well.

“I know we will,” she smiled back at him before the two left to go face the reality that was waiting for them back at work. Even though their time together had been brief, it was a nice change from the typical craziness that the day in Coral Valley could provide them with. Perhaps later they might find their way into a bit more of the quiet time together. At least she was hoping that would happen.


“Kellen, can I talk to you,” Brant stepped back into the room that Kellen was still regrouping in. He moved in beside him and spoke up with a small voice. “I know that you’re still adjusting to all of the news that was tossed onto your lap, but I need to talk to you about Angela.”

“Brant, I am so sorry about all of this,” Kellen reached for Brant’s hand squeezing it gently. “I know how much you and Angela were looking forward to being married and now that she and I are…”

“It’s okay,” Brant offered up a small smile, “I don’t think that this will be a problem for us. If anything this is a help since you’ve given me something to hold onto. That is if you will let me in to see her. Right now I need to be with her and while I know you’re still trying to regroup, I need you to let me go in there with her. Cameron wants to throw me out and…”

“I know how much you love her. Believe me I know full well how much you love her and she loves you since I saw it first hand,” Kellen mused thinking back to when he’d walked in on Brant and Angela at the party. His blue eyes shifted over to Kipp and he grinned widely, “He loved her quite well actually.”

“Yes I did,” Brant nodded in agreement, “but right now I want to be in there with her and my children. I need to be close to her so that I can be there when she wakes up. Cameron wants to keep me away from her, but I don’t want to leave her. Up until we learned that you were her husband they were trying to kick me out, but now, well now you’re my key to seeing her. Kellen you have to let me in there. Please tell me that you’ll let me see her.”

“I don’t have a problem with that,” Kellen’s eyes shifted over to where Kevin now stood in the other corner of the room. “You don’t either, do you?”

Kevin stayed silent for a long moment before finally nodding, “No I don’t have a problem with it. In fact I would like to go in and see her as well.”

“Then go. You have my full permission,” Kellen waved his hand on at the both of them before pausing. “You don’t need that in writing or anything do you because I really don’t have a pen at this point.”

“I don’t think it’s necessary at this point there Kellen, but we’ll let you know if we need it,” Kevin patted his shoulder gently, “Just take it easy and get better, okay?”

“Okay,” Kellen nodded in response watching the two men head off to Angela’s room before he focused on Kipp. “I just can’t believe that this is happening. I mean I never expected that I would be the one that married Angela. I never thought that I would be married like this to any woman for that matter.”

“It’s okay,” Kipp replied massaging Kellen’s shoulder, “Once Angela is in the clear I can work up the annulment papers and you can work on becoming a single guy again.”

“I honestly can tell you that day can’t come fast enough. Well, I won’t be exactly single because we have one another, but still,” Kellen let out an ironic laugh. “I have to tell you if Cary was here he would’ve died on the spot. Can you imagine how pissed he would’ve been?”

“To be honest with you I really don’t remember too much about your brother other than he and Angela had a terrible marriage,” Kipp admitted thinking back to the years when Angela and Cary had been together. “He wasn’t well liked by Cyrus either from what I recall.”

“That’s because Cyrus and even Cameron saw through my brother. He was always working an angle and even with Angela he was looking out for himself,” Kellen frowned thinking back to his older brother, “If he was alive today not only would he be ready to murder me, but Angela would be in some serious danger. He wouldn’t take her moving on too lightly and that worries me.”

“Hey, you don’t have to worry about it. Cary is gone and you, well soon you’ll be a free man again,” Kipp embraced him as Kellen let out a long sigh.

“I can’t wait for that day to come,” Kellen revealed as his thoughts lingered back to the brother that had made his life miserable. Seeing Andy had reminded him of Cary, but now well now he knew full well that the past wouldn’t come back to haunt him again. Cary was long gone and that in itself was a great relief.


Michelle stepped out of the shower reaching for her towel as she thought about the plans she’d had with Valerie. While both of them had been plotting to recapture Kevin and Seth’s attention, they had both been batting on empty with one another. To top it off she was getting sick and tired of all the run ins with Ken and his little saint of a girlfriend. It was bad enough that Brant had dug her up out of nowhere to humiliate Michelle on her wedding day, but to now have to endure Ken and his holier than thou attitude was enough to make Michelle want to puke.

“They aren’t going to win,” Michelle vowed reaching out to wipe the steam away from the mirror in front of her. She pressed her hand to the mirror and let out a gasp when she spotted someone standing behind her. She spun around with a horrified expression only to see a pair of familiar blue eyes staring down at her.

“You looked a whole hell of a lot better without the towel,” he explained his gaze sweeping in over her curves. Lazily he reached out to touch a strand of her damp, blonde hair before smiling, “but then again you always did look better naked.”

“How can you be…” Michelle blinked back in confusion feeling his hand press in over her damp skin. She felt his arm curve around her waist drawing her in against him before his thick grin expanded.

“Baby the hows and the whys aren’t important, but what is important now is that I’m back and better than ever,” he replied curving his palm around the back of her neck. “I’ve missed you.”

“Cary, but how…” she blinked back at him, surprise registering over her face. “The last time I saw you was that night that Kevin did what he did and…”

“You thought I was dead huh?” he let out an amused laugh before shaking his head. “Not even close, though it felt that way the last few years, but for what it’s worth I’m back and ready to pick up right where we left off sweetheart starting with you and me finding a way to get rid of that towel.”

“But,” Michelle felt his lips come crashing down over hers while he yanked at her towel and pushed her up onto the counter top. She pulled back ever so slightly watching him pull his shirt over his head before he started to kick out of his pants. “I just can’t believe that you’re here. I just thought you were gone and…”

“I’m not going anywhere ever again,” he promised stepping forward and taking her into his arms again knowing full well that the time was right for him to stop pretending and start reclaiming what was rightfully his starting with Michelle and his plans for the future!


...to be continued...