Running out into the hallway Ria pushed at the small amount of tears that
pressed in over her cheeks after seeing the way that Angela was all over Kevin
in that hospital room. Looking back toward the room, she wanted nothing to
do with Kevin right now, nothing at all.
Whoa, hey, Russells voice erupted through her ears as she ran straight into the center of his firm chest after walking away from the room. Seeing his green eyes staring down at her she wiped at her eyes trying to hide the fact that she was crying. Ria, whats wrong?
Nothing, nothing at all, Ria lied trying to keep back the fact that she had just been upset by the sight of Kevin with Angela as Avery moved forward to press her hand against Rias shoulder. Avery, Im really okay.
Honey, your mascara is running, Avery pointed out seeing the way that Ria looked away from her trying to push away the make up from her face. Ria, whats wrong? What happened?
Angela is awake, Ria explained trying to hide back the small tears that had taken over her earlier as she nodded toward the door. Seeing Russells green eyes look back toward the room, Avery nudged him in the shoulder before Ria folded her arms out in front of her. Avery saw the anger that started to replace the pain as she frowned, staring into Rias dark eyes. Not only did she wake up, she woke up engaged to Kevin and having his baby.
Wait, what? Russ questioned tilting his head to the side a bit confused as he glanced over at Avery before looking back to Ria. What in the world does that mean? How could he be engaged to her and how could he be the father?
Are you telling me that Angela is trying to say that Kevin is the father of the twins now and not Brant? Avery questioned seeing Ria half nod and Avery took in a long shallow breath seeing the look over Russells face showing that he was almost in shock. Was Kevin lying to you Ria?
No, all of a sudden she is pretending that she has amnesia. Kevin is in there, she always uses Kevin and she is playing games with him right now, Ria explained feeling her jaw tighten in anger as she thought back to the image of Angie kissing Kevin. Of course since its Kevins precious Angie, he isnt going to tell her differently.
Now, I dont know about Kevin here, but I doubt, Russ went to try and help out the situation only to feeling Avery nudge him in the ribs. Looking over at Avery he took in a long breath and shook his head slowly. Ria, I know Kevin. I consider him one of my best friends, the man is a great guy. He wouldnt do anything to hurt you.
Too late Russ, Ria blurted out seeing the way that Avery frowned when she spoke out and Russ let out a deep breath. Im sorry to bother you guys, but..,
Kevin is one of my best friends Ria, Avery pointed out seeing
the way that Ria looked over at her and she moved away stepping in closer
to Ria. If someone is trying to start something to hurt Kevin and you,
Im not going to let that happen.
Avery, honey, Russ tried to explain thinking back to the ways of Angela when he was back on the island and he moved forward seeing Avery nod toward the seats. I guess I can go investigate, see whats really going on.
Well be here, Avery added seeing the way that Russell nodded before walking away down the hallway leaving Ria and Avery alone. Pressing her hand further against Rias shoulder, she stared into Rias dark and angry eyes that still were reddened over from crying. Ria, Kevin loves you--you know that.
He loves me second best Avery. Thats always been very clear for me and I thought I could live with it for a while, but I just cant, Ria explained seeing the saddened glance behind Averys eyes and Ria tried to come up with some reason to let Kevin off, but she just couldnt. Every time we get into a fight, even if it is his fault, I see him upset and I apologize. No matter what, Im the one apologizing, Im the one trying in this relationship. All Kevin worries about is Angela and what she is doing with her life.
Thats not true honey, I know he loves you, Avery tried to assure her seeing the way that Ria shook her head slowly. I know he loves you, when he smiles while he is talking about you, you can just see how happy he is. He loves you so very much Ria and even with this situation with Angie, sure right now he is still somewhat attached to her, that doesnt mean he doesnt love you more.
Avery, they have a past together. Something I dont have much
of with Kevin, Ria insisted after listening to Avery try and make Kevin
come out somewhat better in the situation. He loves her Avery and there
is nothing I can do to turn the situation. He is just with me because Im
the fall back plan. He cant have his Angie, so he has to have someone
else to fall back on and I was sadly the unlucky girl who fell in love with
him. He even told me not even three hours ago that if I ever heard him say
the words I love you to any other girl and if I saw him kissing another girl,
thats the time to worry. Except this time, its not just another
girl, its his dream girl. The only woman that he wants to be with and
thats how its going to stay. Kevin wants Angie, hes got
Angie and Im leaving.
Hey now, dont you want to stay to hear his side of the story, Avery reached out to grab Rias hand softly seeing the way that Rias eyes started to tear over at the thought of Kevin. Maybe he has something different, something that is going to show that he didnt mean for this Ria. It could have been unexpected, I know that Kevin would have some kind of explanation.
Which is most likely a lie Avery, I love Kevin, I love Kevin more than anything. Thats my problem, Ria explained folding her arms in front of her chest. Shaking her head slowly she looked to the room again seeing Russ cornering around the hallway. The biggest mistake I ever made was falling in love with Kevin because his heart is already somewhere else. There is no more room for me in it.
See that wasnt so bad, JT smirked closing the door behind
him after he and Evie had returned to his apartment, We were able to
get through breakfast unscathed.
Only because Dianes sister had her on a tight leash, Evie groaned thinking about the situation theyd unknowingly entered over their morning meal. She crossed the room and took a seat on one of the sofas before tipping her head up to look at JT once again, I hate to say it, but I think that girl still has it bad for you.
Hmm, I hadnt noticed, he shrugged his shoulders before walking over to her. He took a seat down beside her. Tipping his head to the side he smiled down at her and curled his finger underneath her chin, Because I only have eyes for you.
Flattery will get you everywhere, she teased leaning in to kiss him again before drawing back, Though Im not sure if I should be worried given what I know about your history with one another
Thats all it is Evie, he reached for her hand squeezing it gently before meeting her dark eyes again, its history. I plan on making a future with you.
She smiled in response, You always know how to sweet talk me, dont you?
Given how persistent you can be about things, Ive learned to do more than sweet talk, he explained pulling a rose hed put together from one of their napkins at the restaurant out of his pocket. He extended it out to her with a thoughtful expression, I know its not as good as the real thing, but
Its better, she leapt forward reaching out to squeeze her arms around him tightly. She sent him back onto the sofa while moving over him excitedly. She bent down to kiss him before sliding her fingers through his thick, dark hair, I love you so much.
I like hearing that, he arched his head up enough to steal a small kiss from her, Say it again.
I love you, I love you, I love you, she repeated enthusiastically moving in for another kiss when his phone on the table beyond where they were began to ring.
Sounds like the neighbors are about to complain, JT teased with a small laugh catching the expression on her face, They mustve sensed your enthusiasm.
In this neighborhood Im pretty sure the neighbors wouldnt mind, Evie pointed out with a wrinkled nose. She shifted on the couch over him while stretching her arm out towards the phone. Whomever it is Im about to tell them to get lost.
Make it quick, he suggested settling in on the cushions and closing his eyes, because I think right about now a nap sounds really good.
Ill give you nap, she jabbed him in the ribs before reaching out to the phone again. She pulled it off of the base and answered brightly, Hello.
JT smiled before bringing his hand up behind the back of his head. He closed his eyes once more before feeling her poke at his ribs again. He opened up one eye tentatively before gazing up at her, What?
Its the bar, she explained in a muted tone before handing the phone over to him, They said its important.
JT frowned before accepting the phone and bringing it to his ear, Yes? What? When? How could this happen?
Evie watched him sit up before bringing his right hand through his hair. His lips parted and he let out a long sigh, Fine, Ill be there as soon as I can. Yes, I know. I realize that. I wont be long.
What was that all about? Evie questioned seeing tension creep in over his jaw line. What did they want?
Apparently there has been some kind of water main break in the neighborhood and its taken its toll on the bar, JT explained standing up and reaching for his jacket, They want me to get over there to take a look at things and
And couldnt they find anyone else other than the bartender to fix things? she questioned disappointment in her tone. I mean I know you do a lot there, but
I cant ignore this, he explained something flashing behind his eyes. I promise I wont be long though.
Ill go with you, Evie suggested thinking about the idea of spending more time with him.
No, you dont have to, he shook his head quickly, It wouldnt be much fun being in all that mess. From what it sounds like, it could be a major problem. Ill have to call in a plumber and who knows what else?
If there is some kind of flood I think youll need more than a plumber there, but then again that really isnt your responsibility no matter how much you love working there. I know you want to help but she stood up making her way over to him.
I need to do this, he mouthed leaning down to give her a quick kiss, but I wont be long. In fact why dont you put on some popcorn or something? We can throw one of those frozen meal things into the oven and have a meal when I get back.
Or you could just stay here and we could start with dessert, she suggested tipping up on her toes while wrapping her arms around his shoulders. She arched in closer to him, her dark eyes filled with a determination that was difficult to ignore.
As tempting as that is, I need to go see whats happening at the bar, he divulged leaning in to kiss her tenderly, But Ill be back soon and then we can start talking about whats next for us.
Id like that, she whispered moving in for one last kiss before finally drawing back, Ill miss you while youre gone.
I wont be long. You wont even notice Im not here, he winked down at her before sliding into his jacket. Make yourself comfortable and if Valerie returns call the police and say shes trespassing. That should get rid of her.
Ill keep that in mind, Evie noted with a small nod before giving him one last kiss, See you soon.
Sooner than you think, he promised giving her one last look before leaving her in his apartment.
I hope so, she mouthed to herself finally finding herself alone in the center of his living room. She rubbed her palms together before eyeing the small kitchen beyond where she stood. You might have said frozen dinner, but I think something special might be in order. Maybe something sweet for dessert
Smiling to herself Evie walked over to JTs refrigerator and opened up the door. She took a long look inside before groaning at its contents.
This is pathetic, she mouthed to herself deciding that if she was going to put together something special, then she would have to put a little more effort into it. Grabbing her jacket, she walked over towards the door thinking about the few key ingredients she could pick up from the store to make tonight special for JT. She opened the door and prepared to walk out when she found herself face to face with the last pair of eyes shed expected to see.
Going somewhere sweetheart? the man before her questioned with a wicked smirk making her realize that things were about to get ugly very fast!
Diane pushed back the curtain near the front window after hearing the car
pull up. Much to her relief she spotted Ben putting his car into park and
grabbing the bags of dinner hed picked up on the way home. With a smile,
she dropped the curtain from her fingers and walked over to the front door
ready to greet him with a smile.
Sorry Im late, Ben smiled up at her with an apologetic expression, I got a little caught up in drive thru. There was a woman in front of me that was clearly having a horrible day. She started screaming and then she threw her shake at the woman at the window. It was a big mess, so finally I just decided to say forget it and wound up picking up something else.
Oh my, Dianes eyes widened in surprise, Really?
Yeah I felt bad for the woman, but maybe it was fates way of saying we should go for something a bit more healthy than a burger? How does Thai sound? he motioned to the bags in his arms.
Fantastic, Diane reached for the bags scooping them up into her arms before carrying them into the kitchen, I think its just what I need for a pick me up. You got things extra spicy, right?
Always, he laughed lightly before shaking his head, but maybe you should kiss me first before you eat that because I am more of a mild kind of guy myself where that is concerned.
There isnt anything mild about you, she mouthed reaching out to slide her arms around his shoulders. Youre hot and sexy and
Flattering me up huh? Ben couldnt help but smile feeling her tease her fingers over the buttons on his shirt. He leaned in closer to her and offered up a small kiss before meeting her eyes again. Okay, Ill bite what did I do to deserve the special treatment?
You love me, she smiled up at him, a slur in her tone, Isnt that enough?
Well of course, but he paused for a moment searching her eyes. Whats wrong?
Nothings wrong, she lied trying to push her encounter with Andy out of her mind. She caught the way that Ben was looking at her and realized he wasnt about to let it go. Fine, I ran into Andy today and I realize what a piece of scum he really is.
Okay, Ill bite, Ben replied watching her walk away and kick at the trash can in front of her, What did he do this time?
Ill tell you what he did. First he went to Deidra and told her that hes not really in the mood to get a divorce. He let her know that he wants to stay with her regardless of whats happened between them. He insists that staying married is what is best for them.
Youre kidding, Ben fought to repress his laugh, and what did she say?
She told him where he could stick it, but Im sure hell probably like that too much, Diane wrinkled her nose thinking about her encounter with Andy. Hes just a jerk and the sooner my sister gets rid of him, the better off well all be. I mean I just cant believe the nerve of that man.
Im sure that Deidra will be able to get the divorce. Given all that hes done, I think its safe to say that no judge in his right mind will keep them together, Ben concluded before giving her a second look, but why do I get the feeling that there is more to this?
Because I kind of, sort of ran into him earlier at the grocery store right before you called, she blurted out wiggling her fingers for a moment before pausing, I didnt mean to get involved, but...
Diane of course you did. You tend to get involved especially when you feel you have something to say, Ben noted before giving her a once over, Im guessing Andy wasnt too eager to see you considering what Im sure you had to say.
He was a creep Ben. He went all psycho on me and before I knew it he was saying and doing things to creep me out. Really creep me out, she emphasized before a frown creased over her lips, I dont know what I ever saw in him, but I wish now that Id never even considered caring about him. Hes a loser and I dont trust him.
I can see why, Ben stepped in closer to her before putting his arms around her waist lovingly, but he didnt hurt you, right?
No, Diane shook her head and sighed, Just freaked me out a little bit, but its over. Youre here and Im just ready to push it all behind me. I should have known it was going to be a bad day when it started off with us having breakfast at the same place JT and his new girlfriend were eating at.
You ran into JT? Ben replied arching a curious brow. How did that go?
That snotty girl hes with was a bitch as always, Diane wrinkled her nose at the memory, But I wouldnt expect anything less from JT at this point.
I didnt imagine you would, but why did they even bother you to begin with? Ben couldnt help but ask. Doesnt JT have a life of his own anymore?
What? Diane blinked back at him, Oh no I said something when we ran in.
Wait, you approached him, he paused a frown touching over his features, Why Diane?
I guess I was just she stopped herself catching the expression on his face, It wasnt because I was feeling anything for him if thats what youre worried about. The only emotion that JT strikes in me is contempt and hatred after he stressed me out to the point that we lost our baby.
Ben stiffened at her statement. He opened his mouth to say something, but stopped himself, You know what Diane. How about we just forget about JT for tonight? We can focus on dinner instead.
That sounds like heaven because I dont want to deal with JT or Andy or anyone else tonight. Just you, she reached out to wrap her arms around his shoulders. I want to focus on us and on how wonderful that you are.
Only if we can also focus on how incredible you are, Ben leaned in to kiss her while pushing his thoughts about JT aside. He squeezed her in closer to him wondering about her thoughts on her ex-lover. He just hoped that she was being up front with him about being over JT because if she wasnt, then he was certain that there would be more to deal with in the future sooner than hed thought possible.
You feeling better? Kipp questioned seeing the way that Kellen
paced back and forth in the hallway before stopping to look at something.
You seem to be a bit distracted sweetheart.
Yeah, I know, Kellen explained seeing the way that Kipps worried eyes looked up at him and Kellen shook his head slowly. I have to be honest with you Kippy, Im worried about this whole situation. I know they said that Angela woke up, but Im just getting all shook up. After running into that guy today, I just cant get some things out of my head.
You mean me? a voice beckoned behind Kellen as he turned to see the doctor from earlier making him let out a small yelp and move back away from him. Andy smiled stepping forward seeing the look in Kellens blue eyes as he took a step forward and Kellen took a step back. Look, I know Ive had this weird reaction around people lately, but Im just here to check on you.
Yeah, Im completely fine doc, Kellen pointed out quickly before looking over toward the hospital room that Angela was in, hoping this guy would stay out. Shrugging his shoulders Kellen looked to the man before him seeing so much of his brother in the man. You know Kipp, did you see Kevin today? He looked really good.
Huh? Kipp muttered seeing the way that Kellen moved his hand
as if motioning him play along with something as he let out a small gasp and
nodded slowly. Oh yeah, he looked really good.
He looked a little pale to me, it ruined his complexion, Andy pointed out seeing the way that Kellens eyebrow arched up when Andy spoke again. I mean, Im sure that he is normally a good looking man, but since he saw me, he looks a bit pale. Hes been here a couple of days too, looks like he may need a hair cut and maybe a shave.
Yeah, he could. Though, I dont know why, Kellen looked down toward the ground shrugging his shoulders as the doctor before him smiled. I mean he looked a lot like that when I usually found him and Angela sleeping together behind my brothers back. Especially when Angela and my brother were married. Kevin had those earrings back in the day, boy Angel loved that. In fact, today he looked kind of like he did when I walked in on them at the bar once.
Oh, I see, Andy bit down on his bottom lip knowing that Kellen was obviously trying to tempt him in getting angry over the fact that Kevin was with Angela in the time Cary was married to her. Clenching his fist, he bit down on his bottom lip and shrugged his shoulders. I guess Angela there just found Kevin irresistible.
Yeah, it was hard not to, Kellen looked to Kipp who was almost worried about the situation as Kellen saw Andy start to walk away and he took a bold step forward. Or it could be because Kevins privates were about three times the size of my brothers. Boy, Im glad we had different fathers because I walked in on my brother a good many times and he was lacking quite a bit.
Kellen, Kipp blurted out seeing the way that Andy stopped in his tracks to look over at Kellen over his shoulder before turning to face him. I think thats enough.
No, you know, Kevin has always been a great guy. Whether it was to me or Angel, if you think back to it, he was very athletic too. So amazing, he beat my brothers ass in the ring so bad. Kevin could have killed Cary in an instant if need be, Kellen tried to urge Andy to get pissed of as Andy took a small step forward before tugging at the collar of his shirt. Isnt that right Andy?
Listen Kellen, I know you are still a bit worried about my appearance because I look a little like your brother. Now if you are making Kevin sound as great as he really is, that instant that Kevin could have killed you brother, why would I be standing here right now if I was your brother? Now either, youre right about Kevin, Andy explained stepping in closer to Kellen seeing the way that Kellen just stood there when he went to whisper in Kellens ear. Or Kevin just isnt as good as you think he is.
I know hes a hell of a lot better than my brother, Kellen stated firmly seeing the way that Andy shrugged before walking away and nodding toward Kipp as if to say goodbye. Take it easy doc, dont break a leg on the job, or a neck for that matter.
Kellen, what in the world was that all about? Kipp pulled at
Kellens t-shirt seeing the glare that Kellen gave Andy all the way until
he was out of sight. What are you doing? Its very clear that its
not who you think it is. You even tried to tell yourself that as well.
Yeah, something just isnt right about Andy. You saw the way he was when I was talking about Kevin, Kellen added seeing Kipp glance over in his direction, taking a step forward Kellen looked back toward Angelas room. He may not be my brother, but something is sure as hell up with him. He has this thing about him and I just dont trust him at all.
Nate, I could honestly care less who is calling you or why they are
calling you at all. I know that I wouldnt waste my time even trying
to figure out what was inside that head of yours, Cori blurted out seeing
Nates green eyes widen as she shook her head slowly trying to avoid
eye contact. Im getting really annoyed, would you please just
answer your stupid phone.
Oh someone has their panties in a bunch, Nate pointed out with a small laugh clicking on the phone as he turned away from Cori fixing his collar. Hey honey, how are you?
Knowing that it was just some random number calling him he answered it at the last possible second so that he wouldnt catch it but still pretended to talk as if it was some girl he was talking to.
Oh, I know baby I miss you too, Nate glanced over his shoulder at Cori who was glaring up at him as he spoke to the silence over the phone and he nodded slowly. Oh yeah, last night was wonderful honey. Sure, of course we can do the same thing tonight. I would love too, I know you love it baby, I have to get going.
Why dont you just go in the hallway and leave? I dont need to hear this stuff, Cori huffed folding her arms out in front of her chest seeing Nate smile widely over his shoulder at her. Turning her head away from him she tried to avoid his green eyes staring into hers as she laughed lightly. Honestly Nate, I dont need to hear your little love connection.
Okay baby, I have a friend I need to talk to. I love you too, Nate smirked pretending to push a button to end the conversation as he slid his phone back in his pocket. Kneeling down in front of her, he rest his hands against his knees seeing her glare out at him. Oh, did someone get a bit jealous over that phone call?
You are such an ass, Cori moved forward pressing at the center of his chest roughly hearing him let out a small gasp as he fell to his back on the ground. Standing up she walked over to the bed to sit down before watching him get up slowly. I could care less if you had a girlfriend. For all I know it could have been a boyfriend.
That would highly disappoint you though, wouldnt it? Nate teased coming over to sit on the edge of the bed, sitting half on with one foot on the floor. Come on Cori, I can tell when someone is jealous. Maybe you were wrong, I think you like me a little bit more than you care to admit.
In your dreams Nate, now back off before I shoot you in the ass too, Cori turned on her side to get away from him only to feel him move in closer to her. Nate, seriously back off before I really have to hurt you. I dont like you like that.
Well you really seem like it, Nate pointed out only to feel her elbow fly back into the center of his chest causing him to fall back onto the floor in a thud seeing her look over the bed down at him. See, you are getting angry at me. You wouldnt have gotten mad if you didnt at least like me a little.
Give me a break, Cori went to move away from him only to feel him grab a firm hold of her wrist pulling her to the ground with him. Letting out a small groan he felt her land on top of him as he let go of her wrist letting out a small laugh. She hit him in the center of his chest hearing him let out a small groan as she pushed her hair back. You stupid jerk.
What? You like it, just admit it, Nate felt her go to leave as he squeezed her in closer to him, making sure his grip was strong enough to keep her there, but not strong enough to hurt her. See, you know you love being in my strong arms like this.
Oh no, you just wish little man, Cori pushed at his chest trying to get away from him hearing his deep laugh fill her ears while she tried to get away from him. Would you just let me go before I bite you or something?
Oh my goodness, Nate teased seeing her bite down on her bottom lip giving up from trying to get out of his grasp, making him let out a small laugh. You really do like it kinky now dont you? I thought we could just start off with a kiss first, but if you want to play it like that.
You are so gross, she brought her elbow into his stomach hearing him let out a small groan, but her sharp move was enough for him to let go of her in the process. Hearing him let out a small groan she stood up and walked over toward the corner of the room. You really are a bit of a freak now arent you? I told you nicely, but then I had to be mean about it.
Very mean if I can put my own input there, Nate slowly got to his feet, lifting his shirt up to look over his stomach seeing a red mark over his firm skin. Rubbing at his stomach he glanced up at her before pushing back his sandy blonde hair with his free hand. Honestly Cori, what is up with you? I know you want to feel me up, but come on. Cant you do it at least a little bit nice?
You know what? she took a firm step forward pressing her hands against the center of his chest roughly, seeing him step back at the force. She poked him roughly in the chest seeing him from before looking down toward his shirt. You are such a jerk.
Hey now, Nate frowned feeling her slam her hands against his chest, her foot catching his as he fell back to the bed grabbing her and pulling her in over him. Letting out a groan he laughed as he felt her in over him after the fall and he looked down to see her blonde hair in front of her face. You should really be careful about how you push people. They can bring you down with them.
Going to protest against him again Cori lifted her head from his chest, only to feel him slowly push back her long blonde hair. She stared into his green eyes as he gently caressed her cheek with his thumb. Hearing him let out a small sigh she pressed in closer to him, feeling his breath pressing in against her skin while she pressed her fingers in against the side of his neck.
Ouch, Nate cried out feeling teeth clamp in over his bottom lip and he tried to pull away from her before finally feeling her let go of him and push him off the bed in a thud. Reaching up to his bottom lip he let out a small hiss, he stood up slowly pressing his hand against his skin. Those are the things that make people not like you. I was just teasing you.
You were being an asshole, Cori stared up at Nate seeing him pull back his hand to see that she had made him bleed and reaching for the bottom of his shirt he started to wipe at the small amount of blood. You deserved that for everything you said to me.
I was just playing with you Cori, seriously. Learn to loosen up, I was just toying with you, I was just trying to make you smile for once, but obviously that didnt work, Nate blurted out looking down to his shirt before walking back over toward the door. This time its not two guys working here getting me out of the room, Im walking out of here. Next time you want to do something like that, realize you were supposed to try and be a friend. Sorry for even trying with you because Im starting to realize Ill never succeed with you. At all.
Walking out of the room he slammed the door shut behind him letting out a small groan from the pain in his lips as he looked back at her through the window in the door. Seeing that what happened didnt even seem to bother her, he walked away toward the bathroom to check on his lip.
If she doesnt want a friend, Nate stepped into the bathroom turning the water on in the sink before looking at himself in the mirror. After finishing up he reached for his phone and looked through his contact numbers. Ill find someone who does.
Thank God youre here, Brant pulled Don aside as his friend
walked into Angelas hospital room. Before Don could get in much further
than the door, Brant tugged on his arm and urged him back into the hallway
Whats going on? Don questioned with a confused expression, I got the page that Angela is awake and I thought that you might want me to check in on her.
Don somethings wrong. Something is very wrong, Brant informed his friend with a worried expression, I mean shes awake, but
But what? Don questioned seeing something flash behind his friends eyes.
She doesnt remember me Don, Brant admitted hating the sound of the truth that carried over him. He brought one hand up through his own dark hair before letting out a long sigh, She woke up, but when she saw me she didnt register who I was.
What? Dons blue eyes widened in response, That doesnt seem possible.
You said that she had some kind of head trauma. Do you think its possible that in her fall this happened? Brant couldnt help but ask thinking about some of the things he had seen on television in the past about closed head injuries.
Well, Im sure its entirely possible, but are you sure shes just not disoriented? Don questioned thinking about what his friend was telling him. I mean maybe she just needed a few minutes to see where she was and
See for yourself. Hell, you try to figure it out since you are after all the doctor here, Brant stepped aside and motioned to the doorway allowing Don to enter the room.
Fine, Ill see whats really going on, Don moved into the room seeing Angela draped all over Kevin. He took note of the wounded expression on Kevins face and cleared his throat to capture Angelas attention.
So how is the patient feeling today? Don questioned in his normal perky tone hoping to rouse Angelas attention.
I want to go home, Angela explained matter of fact, a frown upon her face. Her dark eyes met Dons and she couldnt help but step forward, Are you the man around here that is going to make that happen for me?
You tell me, Don moved forward motioning to her hospital bed. Why dont you take a seat so that we can talk?
Fine, but hes coming with me, Angela tugged on Kevins hand dragging him back over to her bed.
Angela, can you tell me who I am? Don questioned eyeing her with great interest.
Sure, youre she paused taking a look at his nametag, Dr. Leveski and Im sure youre going to be more helpful than that woman doctor who was in here earlier.
Woman doctor, Don repeated giving her a sideways glance.
Ria, Kevin informed him as his thoughts lingered to the woman he loved. Seeing that Angela was distracted, he pulled away just enough to get out of her reach before she let out a sound of protest.
Kevin, where are you going? she asked with a worried expression.
I need to go use the bathroom, Kevin lied feeling a pang of guilt hit him before he nodded to Brant, but hell stay in here with you.
No, Angela shook her head adamantly, I dont want him in here with me. I want you.
Angela, I cant wait. I really have to go, Kevin pleaded with her reaching out to touch her cheek gently. Brant cares about you very much though and he can stay while Im not here.
No, Angela answered firmly shaking her head, I dont want him in here. I dont know him. Hes a stranger and I dont want you to leave me with a stranger.
Angela Im not a stranger, Brant attempted to reach out to her only to watch her buckle back away from him.
If Kevin leaves, then I want him to go too. Please make him leave doctor, Angela urged of Don watching with a wounded expression as Kevin made his way over to the door, Kevin wait.
Angela, Kevin faced her once again before sighing, I promise Ill be back.
Ill miss you, Angela mouthed in response seeing Brant standing there at her bedside still. Please just go.
Angela I just you dont understand, Brant moved to touch her again only to feel Dons hand on his shoulder.
Let me take care of this one, Don whispered to his best friend. Ill see what were working with and then well have a clearer idea on how to fix this.
Don, I cant leave her. You know how much she means to me and Brant mouthed in response thinking about the woman he loved.
If you stay in here, its going to upset her and thats the last thing she needs right now after the fall she took. Please, for the kids just go wait in the hallway. Ill do what I can to help you out with this one Brant. You have to trust me, Don pleaded with his best friend hating that Brant was hurting over the situation at hand.
Fine, Brant relented taking a step back, but before he left he gave Angela one last look, but Ill be out in the hallway if you need me.
Im sure I wont, Angela snubbed him before turning to look in the other direction as it was clear she was still thinking about Kevin.
Brant go, Don mouthed as Brant stepped out into the hallway wondering how in the world he could end up having Angela back again only to feel like he was losing her all over again.
Moving across the living room of Dons house, Shannon let out a long
sigh knowing that she was all alone in his house right now and she kind of
enjoyed the silence. Sure, she had almost nothing to do alone, but it was
better being in a house full of noise and complaining.
Lets see, Shannon moved across the room pressing her long blonde hair back over her shoulder when she moved across the room to a picture that was on the fireplace. It was obviously new because she had never noticed it there before today. Picking it up she looked at it seeing that it was a picture of Matt, Nate, Don and Brant together in the photo. They were all eating pizza and were posing to be funny for the picture while Matt sat in Nates lap, acting as if he was going to throw the pizza in Brants face. Gee, thats just great. My brother seems to win everyone over.
Tipping the picture down on the fireplace so that it couldnt be seen she walked over to the couch and fell to the seat letting out an angered groan. It was funny how she married Don and everyone seemed to be more attached to her little brother.
Don and Matt like him. Hell, evem Brant likes him, she let out an angered hiss thinking about the situation before shaking her head slowly. She knew that Matt was the last person to like her for some reason and sure he was a little boy, but what kind of reason would he have for not liking her and loving Nate more? I know this isnt supposed to be something that bothers me, but boy does it surely tick me off.
The fact that Brant took Nate in more as a friend over her may have been something else to the fact that pushed her buttons even more. Honestly, it sucked to see that her brother got the attention of all those three men in the photo. Even Don seemed for friendly with Nate over the last few months, even when she tried to be the best to him.
I need to stop thinking about this, she rolled her eyes reaching over the side of the couch to the cordless phone that she had seen sitting there for a while. Dialing the number to Daves work she tapped her fingers along on her jean covered knee. Not even giving Dave a chance to say hello, once she heard the click to him answering she started to speak. Thank god you are there, I have to talk to you.
Okay, go ahead, Dave sighed deeply leaning back in his chair knowing lately that everything Shannon had wanted from him over the last few days was to complain. Hopefully, this time its about something good and not just a complaint about your brother or Don there.
No, Ive just been thinking. That offer you gave me the other day--you know, about you letting me get a job with you. I think Im going to take you up on that offer, Shannon sighed standing up from the couch and walking over to the photo she put face down, setting it back up right. I know it sounds stupid, but I am done with the FBI and I think I can use a change these days. So, if youre still willing to help me out, Ill take that offer.
Oh really? Dave questioned reaching out for some papers to look them over slowly before taking in a long breath. Looking back toward the clock he shook his head slowly before speaking up again. Thats great news Shannon and the offer is still there, so of course my answer is still yes for you joining me, but right now I have to run. I have some work to do and I need to get it done. So just call me later and we will see what we can come up with.
Alright, sounds good, Shannon decided letting out a long sigh hearing Dave just hang up on the other end, not even bothering to say goodbye. After pushing "end" she threw the phone to the side before looking around the room trying to figure out what to do next. The sound of the doorbell made her jump a bit not expecting it when she stood up from the couch and walked over to the door to open it. Lindsay, what are you doing here?
I wanted to see my brother, Lindsay walked into the house around Shannon seeing Shannon nod slowly and let out a long breath. Looking around the room she noticed that it was empty with only Shannon in it. I take it hes not home.
Nope, its just me, Shannon answered stepping forward in front of Lindsay, seeing her blue eyes staring into hers. Rubbing her hands together Shannon shrugged her shoulders maybe looking forward to having a bit of company. Whats up though kiddo? I may not be Don, but Ive heard I can help out a bit if youd like.
So what are you going to do? Gabriella questioned looking to
her brother. Diego, face it things havent worked out like you
wanted them to here in Coral Valley.
Dont you think I realize that? Diego sighed looking over at his sister once again, When I started my life here with Maria, things were so very different. She wanted to make a difference in this town and you know I would have followed her anywhere.
I realize that, Gabriella nodded in response. She sipped at her coffee before her eyes fell upon him again, but its her ghost thats really been haunting you all of these years. Face it Diego, since you lost her your life hasnt been the same. You havent been the man that you always wanted to be.
Gabby, Diego opened his mouth to argue with his sister, but found himself at a loss, Youre right. I havent done nearly anything remotely close to what it was that I promised myself I would do. Id hoped to save so many lives, yet
You cant even handle whats going on in your own, she tossed back at him with a groan, Maybe its time you returned to where home really is.
Gabby, I just dont know if I could walk away from this all right now, he paused glancing over at her once again, I dont know if I can go back again after the way Ive shamed myself here. I gave up everything because I really believed that Sarah was someone special.
So you were wrong, she shrugged her shoulders, You made a bad decision and now its time to pay the penance for it. As long as youre in Coral Valley, youre never going to be able to find peace. Youll be haunted by the memories of Maria and the reminder of how things went to hell in your personal and professional life after that. What has the hospital said?
You know what theyve said, Diego glanced over at her once again, They arent willing to have a controversy, but that doesnt mean that I cant try to reclaim some of my dignity.
Is there any left at this point? she arched a curious brow only to notice the look of disapproval on his features. Im just saying.
Well dont because youre not helping, he frowned as he stood up and started to pace around the room they were in. I guess that everything hangs on the knowledge of whether or not I have a reason to still stay.
You mean Sarah? she questioned with a groan.
No, I was talking about the baby, Diego replied turning to face her again. If shes having my son or daughter Im not going to walk away from that. Im not going to leave the life that I created. I want to be a father Gabby.
For all you know anyone in this town could be that childs father, Gabriella stated the obvious based on what shed seen of Sarah in her brief time in Coral Valley.
Even though you cant see it now Sarah was a good person. She had something about her that, Diego paused before throwing his hands up in the air, What am I saying? She played me and wound up not only breaking my heart, but I ruined my life in the process. I hurt so many people just by falling for her and I refuse to believe that was all for nothing.
Diego, shes a man-eater and she will cling to anyone who will offer her attention, she explained to him, Ive seen the type and they will do nothing, but tear apart someone with the best intentions.
If thats my baby, Im not walking away from my child. I want to be the father I could never be when Maria was alive. When my son died I wasnt able to have that chance to show him just how much I loved him, but if this child is mine he trailed off. Gabby, I cant walk away from that.
Diego, for all you know this could turn out ugly. Even if that is your baby, who is to say that Sarah will let you be around him or her? she threw back at him. For all you know she could be trying to find a way to push you out of the childs life and while I am big on family maybe that would be the best thing for you. Maybe a fresh start would suit you well.
Gabby, Ill leave if thats not my child. Ill take into consideration all that youve said and think about going home again. Ill start from the bottom up if I have to back home if it comes to that, but if theres a chance that the baby is mine, then nothing is going to take me away from my son or daughter. Im not going to walk away from my responsibilities. I want to be with my child.
Diego, she opened her mouth before frowning, I just hope that you arent setting your heart up for disappointment all over again.
This time I really hope not either. I really want to be this babys father even if I know that Sarah and I would have never worked. I want to be able to do what I wasnt able to do before, Diego explained freely. I want that chance.
Even if it means having Sarah attached to it every step of the way, Gabriella challenged knowing that Sarah would be nothing but trouble for her brother.
I cared about her enough to enter into this situation in the first place, so Im sure somewhere well be able to find enough room for compromise for me to be a father. Im sure that well find a way to make things the best possible way they can be for our child even if that means our having separate lives, Diego blurted out with a raw honesty.
I know you mean well Diego, but all I see when I look at this situation is that things will end badly, Gabriella sighed as she stood up and frowned. I just dont want to watch you build yourself up to lose it all Diego and thats exactly where this is headed.
Its a risk Ill have to take if it means having my son or daughter, he mouthed in response looking out of the window just beyond where he stood. As he gazed outside he found himself hoping and praying that life had given him a second chance at experiencing the miracles of a family that had been taken from him the first time around.
There you are. Ive been searching for you everywhere. I went
to the mansion and then your office and now I find you here, Sarah huffed
making her presence known as Cameron looked up to see her standing beside
him glaring over at him.
At the hospital, he finished for her arching a curious brow. I can see how that is a stretch considering that my sister is in the hospital and I want to be here for her even if her boyfriend and Kevin are making this situation more impossible than it has to be.
Well to be technical you were the one that tried to kick them out first, Sarah couldnt help but add catching his angry glare. She raised her hands up in the air defensively, Im just saying, but still. I dont want to get into this now because you and I have something else to get into with one another.
I can hardly wait, Cameron rolled his eyes at her before moving over to get himself a coffee out of the machine. If you need money or want me to hire a hit man to take out Heather, youre barking up the wrong tree, so you can just take this as your no right now.
Its not about Heather, Sarah paused contemplating the idea of what Cameron had said to her, A hit man wouldnt be a half bad idea though now that you mention it.
Correct me if Im wrong, but the last hit man that you had an encounter with was someone that Susan Hastings hired to kill you and he wound up shooting her instead. I would say that in itself should be enough to motivate you to rethink the whole putting a hit on someone theory since it could very well be the end of your life there, Cameron noted with a bored expression waiting for his coffee to come out of the machine.
Okay, so you have a point there, but as I said before this time it isnt about Heather. Its about Diego. I went to see that jerk before I found you and Sarah started to explain herself to him thinking about the way Diego had completely blown her off.
In other words you were trying to go slumming again with the sainted one and he told you where to shove it, yes? Cameron reached for his cup of coffee before turning to face her. I thought we already covered that it would be in your best interest to get all of that out of your system considering that I proposed to you.
I appreciated the proposal, but felt it was in my best interest to get Diego to be wrapped around my finger again, Sarah added thinking about the man shed been able to manipulate in the past. I was making some progress with him, but then his witch of a sister overheard everything and she turned him against me.
No sweetheart you did that all on your own when you decided to start sleeping with half of Coral Valley. Come to think of it, I believe thats what turned Kyle against you as well, Cameron couldnt help but laugh in mild amusement before sipping his coffee.
I lost Kyle because my sister is a slut and she planned this from day one, Sarah hissed in response clenching her fists at her sides, Heather single-handedly turned him against me and she will pay for that one.
Why dont you just forget about Kyle and Heather for a while and find a new hobby? Cameron suggested taking a seat on one of the chairs behind him. You said you wanted to get married, so why dont you do like normal women do and start planning our wedding? Im sure that has to be interesting for you with the thought of spending my money to make it an event worth having.
Spending your money? she arched a curious brow finally found something of interest.
Well yes, I mean you wouldnt expect me to let you be the one calling the shots there, do you? I said that you could run the planning, but with it being my money I get the final say on how the ceremony and all goes, Cameron explained with a wide smirk, It can be the celebration of the year for all I care.
And then what? What happens after? she took a seat beside him watching him closely, Did you reconsider what you said about my having other people in my life?
I hadnt really given that part of everything much thought, he admitted honestly before letting out a laugh, Although I should hope that you would at least find some time to pencil me in on our wedding night and then for our honeymoon.
Already making demands on me, eh? Sarah shook her head at him, I dont know if I can handle all of that.
To be faithful on your wedding night, Cameron broke out into a small bout of laughter, I never knew anyone who would think that would be such a chore.
Well whether or not I was faithful would depend on you, she arched a curious brow, Was that your intentions for our wedding night?
How about I stay faithful as long as you do? Cameron suggested with an amused smirk ready to say something more when one of the nurses entered the area.
Mr. Stone you wanted me to tell you when your sister was awake, the small woman explained in a low whisper, Well, she is.
Thank you, Cameron smiled reaching into his pocket and pulling out a few hundred dollar bills and handing them to her. I appreciate your help.
Youre quite welcome, she nodded before looking around and slipping out of the area to get back to work.
Well it sounds like now I have some damage control to do, Cameron stood up straighter before turning to look at Sarah, but I do urge you to think about what we were saying about the wedding and the honeymoon. If you feel compelled to give it a try, you know where to find me.
That I do, she nodded in response watching him leave as she pondered just what it would be like to be Mrs. Cameron Stone. So far she was liking the sound of it especially knowing that at one point in time that Heather had tried to live with the title, but couldnt cut it. Unlike Heather Sarah wasnt a quitter and she knew full well if she played her cards right, she could have so much more from Cameron than Heather couldve ever dreamt of. That in itself made Camerons delicious proposal all the more worth it in her mind!
So how are you feeling Angela? Don questioned after hed
given Angela a physical exam only to discover that nothing seemed wrong with
her other than her memory.
Tired, she confessed sinking back into the pillow beneath her head, and anxious.
Anxious about what? Don questioned playing with the stethoscope around his neck.
I just want to go home, Angela explained in a softer tone than before, I just dont like hospitals you know.
But youre a doctor, Don noted giving her a long look, Surely you must have gotten used to them.
Not yet, Angela shook her head before offering a small smile.
Youre not used to hospitals yet? Don arched a curious brow giving her a long look and searching for any recognition behind her eyes.
No, Im not a doctor yet, she corrected with a hint of a smile, Im still working on all of that, but maybe one day Ill get to that point. Though I have to say if I keep getting stuck in hospitals as a patient I may need to rethink this whole doctor thing.
Rethink, he repeated before pausing for a long moment, Angela can you tell me what the last thing you remember is?
You mean before I woke up and all of these people were trying to convince me that I lost my mind? she replied with a small frown fidgeting underneath her blanket. She closed her eyes for a moment and grew silent.
Yes, thats what I mean, Don tried to coax her to talk with him even more.
Kevin and I were at the summer cottage. Wed just had a morning breakfast with one another after we slept in. We were up all night making love and even though I knew he had work to do today, we couldnt help it, a thoughtful expression swept over her before she opened her brown eyes and met Dons concerned gaze. He made strawberry pancakes, which of course put him even further behind. After that, well I was going to go shopping for the final touches in our nursery--you see were having a little girl and we were planning on keeping her there for a while after shes born. Granted the summer cottage isnt really a winter home, but were planning on giving it a try.
A try at what? Don couldnt help but ask eyeing her intently.
My father doesnt know that were going to have a baby, Angelas voice grew quieter as she leaned in closer to Don, He would kill Kevin if he knew that Kevin got me pregnant. Thats why were staying at the summer place. No one would think to go there during the off season and its perfect for us to prepare for our daughter to make her way into the world. We decided we would keep this to ourselves for a few months until we were married, but things have been coming up things that I dont really want to talk about.
Why not? Don sat down on the edge of her bed watching her closely.
Because if my father knew about them, he would kill Kevin, she divulged her eyes growing wide in panic. You cant tell my father about any of this doctor. Please. You cant let him know that Im here in the hospital or that Kevin is with me. If he knows that Kevin and I are together, he might have someone hurt Kevin and I couldnt live with that. If anything happened to Kevin, then
Its alright, Don reached out to touch her shoulder gently, Your secret is safe with me Angela. I wont tell your father anything, but right now I would really like you to try to think about the last thing that you remember.
I told you. I was going to go shopping for some things for the nursery, Angela reminded him with a huff before her gaze settled in over on the far wall. I heard something in the other room when I was getting ready. There was a noise that sounded like water dripping. As I said before the summer cottage isnt exactly designed for winter living, but we have been making due. Still, I was worried that there was ice or snow getting in and I went into the back room to check on it.
And then what? Don prompted further.
I dont remember. I heard the sound and then, she sighed heavily closing her eyes once again, I woke up here with that strange man at my side talking to me. He was calling me sweetheart and
Brant, Don spoke his best friends name watching her nod.
Thats what Kevin said his name was, she explained with a twisted expression, though I dont know why he was here. Come to think of it, I dont know whats wrong with Kevin either. He looks different. He seems tense and uptight
Hes having a hard day, Don offered up knowing full well that from the looks of things everyone involved in the situation would be having one of those.
I didnt mean to worry him, but Im fine, right? Our daughter is going to be okay, yes? Angela questioned worriedly, There isnt something that youre keeping from me doctor, are you?
No, Don shook his head offering up a firm promise, Your children--pregnancy is right on track Angela. Everything still looks good even after the accident you were in.
What kind of accident? she questioned wearily. Doctor, what happened to me.
You fell down some stairs and you hit your head, Don informed her honestly hoping to trigger some kind of response from her. I think thats why you might be having some confusion and disorientation about things.
Im not confused, Angela insisted firmly, I just really dont like hospitals.
I can understand that. I never like being the patient either, but I would really like to run a few tests on you. Just to make extra sure that everything is alright, Don explained with a welcoming expression, Do you think you can let me do that Angela?
Will you let me go home with Kevin after you are finished? she asked him with wide eyes, Please doctor. I know Ill be so much better off at home with him. Well be safe there and
Let me run the tests first Angela and then well see what we can do, he offered up with a small smile hoping to buy himself enough time to figure out what was going on so that he could give Brant and Kevin the answer on how to fix what was happening with Angela because it was clear shed just blanked out a great many years of her life after the accident happened. That in itself had Don very worried.
Brant paced around the hallway thinking about what was happening with Angela.
It didnt make sense that she could have forgotten him within the blink
of an eye and now that Don was still inside her hospital room with her, he
couldnt help but worry. Glancing over at the window to Angelas
hospital room he couldnt help but wonder what was going on inside of
there now that he was on the outs of the situation.
Well doesnt this feel familiar only this time youre not the one calling the shots are you Brant? Russell questioned breaking Brant from his thoughts. Brant turned around to see his half-brother standing in the hallway in front of him only making the situation worse. This time youre not in control of the situation, are you Brant?
Go away, Brant rolled his eyes at Russ before looking away. This doesnt concern you.
Of course it does. Kevin and Angela are my friends and I dont need you screwing things up for them, Russ informed him point blank, I know how you manipulate the situations
Im not manipulating anything, Brant snapped back at Russ, an angry glare overtaking his brow, and Im the one who is getting screwed in all of this, not Kevin or Angela.
Hmm, well then maybe karma has finally found its way to return to you for what you tried to do with Avery and I, Russ folded his arms in front of his chest. It serves you right.
The only reason you have Avery is because I let her leave. Had I not granted her the divorce, you would be nothing in her life. She would still be mine and you would be out in the cold, Brant reminded him icily wanting to lash out at Russ for the contempt that was written all over his face.
Oh no. You see regardless of what you tried to pull with Avery in time she wouldve seen you as you truly are. She wouldve seen the cold and calculating manipulator that would stop at nothing to take what he wants. She would see you as the man who would destroy anything that got in his way as long as he could possess what he longed for. You didnt care about Avery because you only saw her as a prize to be won. Just like you didnt care about Erin either considering you wanted to keep her away from me, Russ snapped at Brant, finding his own angers mounting.
Youre right I didnt, Brant tossed back at him catching him off guard with his tone, but unlike then I care now. Right now the woman I love is hurting and I cant help her. Shes having my children, but she doesnt know who I am. She doesnt have any memory of what we had with one another and yes, I know I deserve a lot of things for what I have done, but she doesnt deserve this. She doesnt deserve any of this.
No she doesnt, Russ backed off a bit seeing hed touched a nerve in Brant, and even though I cant stand you I know that she believes she loves you. Though Ill never understand why anyone would willingly push themselves into your life--into the Ashford legacy
The legacy in which youre a part of, Brant corrected interrupting Russ before he could continue. Oh sure you could pretend that you are morally superior, but youre not better than the rest of us. You take pleasure in crushing your enemies just like youre taking pleasure in hurting me right now. I did it to you and now you want your retribution. You want to kick me while Im down just like I did to you and hey, go ahead. The only thing youre doing is proving more and more that youre one of us.
No, far from it, Russells jaw flexed with anger, Im nothing like you or your family.
Oh but you are brother dear. Youre just as far in it as the rest of us and soon you wont be able to know the distinction between whats right and wrong. Youll be so bent on getting back at the world around you that before you know it, Brant flashed him an icy smile, you might even cross further over that line than any of us have. Why you may prove to be the greatest representation of Nicholas and his legacy yet in being his bastard child.
You son of a, Russ reached out to grab Brant by the collar ready to tear him to pieces.
Go ahead Russ. I dare you, Brant taunted him further, his own dark eyes seeing the rage burning behind Russells green eyes. Im sure youre feeling it in your blood. You can taste it in the back of your throat because you know its there. You can feel his hold on you and soon nothing will stop you. Youll hit me and then it wont be enough. Itll never be enough until you destroy and conquer anything and everyone in your path. Soon you wont even recognize what it is you were before because youll be him. Itll take you closer and closer over the edge until you fall off and there will be no turning back. But hey, hit me you know you want to. You know that you want to set the wheels into motion between us. Be all that you can be.
Shut up! Russ snapped at Brant again.
Hit me Russ. Fulfill your destiny and be one of us, Brant continued to challenge him, Become the thing you hate the most Russ. Show the world including Avery your true colors--that you are in fact an Ashford in every sense of the word.
Russ glared at him for a moment longer before shoving him away, Youre not worth it. None of you are.
If you really believed that, then you wouldnt be here, Brant adjusted his collar before standing up straighter. The fact to the matter is that were more alike than you want to admit Russ. We both know what we want and well stop at nothing to have it. The only difference between us is that you hide under the nice guy façade to try to keep yourself from admitting what you truly are. Ive learned not to pretend.
Im nothing like you, Russ shook his head at Brant, and to think that I actually felt sorry for you when I heard what was happening with Angela--that I actually believed for a minute that maybe just maybe you could change for her--that her love could turn you around.
I dont want your pity or your own warped sense of morality because when it gets down to it Russ youve let Avery down in ways that I couldnt even begin to dream about letting Angela down. Your quest to be the hero left her open and vulnerable to men who hurt her--men who have ripped away a part of her life that shell never get back, Brant let out an ironic laugh full of thick sarcasm, and you know given what I know about whats happened to her, I can honestly tell you that youve done her far worse than I ever could. Hell, right now I wouldnt want to be in your shoes for the world because at least Ive always been honest and upfront about what I am. You, on the other hand, are the biggest hypocrite of them all and its only a matter of time before the rest of this town figures it out.
With those parting words Brant walked away from Russ in the hopes of clearing out his head, but as he stepped away he knew full well that hed already planted the seed of doubt in his brothers mind. Sure, Russ might act all high and mighty, but sooner or later like each and every Ashford that had ever lived, Russ would soon take a fall--one that he would never be able to recover from. It was only a matter of time.
Ria I need to talk to you, Kevin began moving in to join her
and Avery in the hallway. Even though he hadnt heard what they were
saying, he could see in her eyes that she was upset--even crying and that
caused an ache to fill inside of him. His chocolate eyes turned to Avery,
who looked less than thrilled with him as well and he let out a sigh, Can
you please give us a few minutes alone with one another?
Of course. Im just going to go find Russ, Avery decided moving away from the troubled couple long enough to give them their privacy. Once she was gone Kevin touched Rias arm gently.
Ria, you have to understand what you saw in there isnt my fault, he pleaded with Ria seeing how much hurt was still lingering behind her eyes. I was totally unprepared for that one when I saw her. When she woke up I thought that everything would be okay, but
Its not okay, is it Kevin? Ria snapped at him, her anger getting the best of her. Once again Angela seems to have found a way to worm herself into your life and make things even more difficult than they already are.
Ria, I dont think she planned on this one. She fell and this has to be a result of the fall, he tried to reason what was happening with Angela. This has to be because of the hit she took.
No Kevin this isnt about the hit at all. This is about her wanting you--about her always wanting you. Why cant you see that its a game with her? If its not one thing, its another. Shes always finding a way to get between us Kevin. Even when we think were alone, were not alone, she threw her hands up in the air and took a step away from him, Kevin, she makes it so that you cant be with me--so that you have to cater to her.
Ria, this isnt about her. This is about us, he pleaded reaching out for her. I dont know whats happening with Angie, but you know its not real. She and I arent together and were not having a baby. Even if her mind is leading her to believe that, its so far from what is real. Sooner or later she will see that.
No Kevin she wont, Ria folded her arms in front of her chest, because she doesnt want to see it. She doesnt want to let go of you. She never did and now I know she never will.
Ria, Don is in with her right now. Im sure that he can find a way to help her--to help all of us so that we dont have to live in this chaos. You know that I love you--that youre the only woman for me, he insisted reaching out to her again, Ria I love you and only you.
And yet when you and I needed one another now more than ever, where are you? Ill tell you where youre at. Youre with her catering to her every whim at her side, she shook her head furiously, Even if things wouldve turned out differently at the hotel thats where you wouldve been.
Ria I was at the hotel because I wanted to be with you. We needed one another, he urged reaching out to her again, Ria I love you.
But if I wouldve been pregnant it wouldnt have mattered because I would always be second place to her and the family that you two shouldve had with one another. Our family wouldnt make a damn difference Kevin because you would be too wrapped up in her to care about any children that you and I wouldve had. You wouldve been with her where you always are--where she always wants you to be.
Ria no this isnt my fault, Kevin pleaded finding himself increasingly overwhelmed with the situation, Ive told you before I want to be with you--only you.
You keep saying that, but your actions speak louder than words. I saw you in there when she kissed you--when she started talking about the life that you felt you were cheated out of Kevin. I know that there isnt a day that doesnt pass where youre not thinking about that life--where youre not thinking about what might have been. You wish like hell that you couldve had that happily ever after with her and now that she thinks shes back in that time, its yours for the taking again.
No Ria, its not like that, he insisted firmly shaking his head again, Ria I dont want that life. Yes, I wouldve wanted to have my daughter, but not her.
Its part of the packaged deal Kevin. Youre never going to let go of her and shes never going to let go of you. Angela will always be in your system and I know full well that Im never going to measure up to that because the fact to the matter is that Ill never be able to compete. Angela wins each and every time hands down. I know that now and Im done, she sighed heavily shaking her head at him before taking a step back, I love you Kevin, but obviously love isnt enough when shes ready to hold onto the life that you two obviously shouldve had with one another.
Ria no, he felt an ache inside of him at the tears he could see she was fighting to contain, its not like
Like that? she finished for him taking in a slow breath, Yeah it is Kevin and I guess maybe this was fates way of letting us know that things obviously werent meant to be back at the hotel. I mean if I had been pregnant, then you and I wouldnt have had much of a future to make a life on considering that your heart and your everything is still very much with her.
What are you doing here? Evie questioned with a horrified expression
watching the man in front of her. She watched him push his way past her into
JTs apartment and a newfound rush of fear carried over her. You
cant just come in here.
Of course I can princess, he spun around to face her, a smug grin creeping over him before he frowned, Honestly this is no way to greet your father.
Daddy, you cant be here, Evie pleaded with him fearing what would happen should JT come back and find her father standing in the middle of his living room.
Dont worry honey, he waved his hand dismissively, Your boyfriend will be preoccupied for a while considering that there was a nasty water main break at the bar. Im sure he wont be bothered by our little family reunion.
How did you know there was a water main break? she questioned with a gasp realization dawning in upon her. Youre the one who sent him away, arent you?
I just moved the hands of fate along for a little while so that you and I could catch up with one another, he explained with another frown, his eyes penetrating hers. He walked over to the center of the living room and took a long look around. This isnt exactly what I had anticipated when I left you at your mothers house while I was going out of town. I half expected that you would wind up in jail given how disinterested she is in the world around her, but I never anticipated this.
Daddy I can explain that she stammered scanning the living room and feeling as if the walls were closing in on her. She watched him shed his jacket before he faced her again his jaw clenched in a manner that had always proved to her in the past that hed meant business.
Do you have any idea what kind of surprise I was in for when I came home and found that my little girl had run off with someone? he questioned in a dark and menacing tone, his eyes narrowing in on her while he stepped in closer. Do you know what it did to me when I came back to enlist your help only to discover that youd run out on your mother and on me?
I can explain. Honestly I can she started her lower lip shivering with nervousness as her father raised his hand out to her causing her to wince in fear that he would strike her. Instead she felt his hand press in against her cheek forcing her to meet his eyes.
Sweetheart, you have no idea how worried I was, but then when I saw you here--shacking up with this JT, he paused dramatically causing her to tremble in against his touch. Tears threatened as she spoke up in a shaky tone.
Daddy, I can explain she pleaded with him silently begging him not to be angry with her. Still his eyes revealed nothing, his hand against her face only serving to heighten her fears about what was to happen next, but instead of him lashing out at her as shed expected, he pressed his index finger over her lips to silence her.
Its okay, he shook his head keeping his finger pressed firmly against her lips, You dont have to explain anything. I know what youre doing here and I have to say that Im very proud of my little girl. Youve learned well over the years.
I have? she replied confusion carrying over her when he released her. She watched him walk around the living room taking in the surroundings once again before his attention turned to her once more.
Granted this isnt exactly what I had anticipated from the son of a big time Hollywood producer, but still I have to give you credit for sniffing out the potential in this situation, he grinned widely, revealing his all too white teeth, You learned so well princess because Im sure that this time its going to be one of our best jobs.
She blinked back at him fighting the tears of confusion as she stood up taller, Daddy, JT isnt a job.
Of course he is, he let out a nefarious laugh, his eyes dancing with possibilities of things to come. His father has more money than he knows what to do with and Im convinced that this time youve hit the pay dirt for us sweetheart. Well be living the high life by the time youre finished with this scam.
Its not a scam, she shook her head firmly clenching her small fists at her sides, I love JT.
Love? he belted out breaking into an uproarious laughter. Oh sweetheart, please dont tell me that you got caught in the game--that youre actually falling for the mark
Hes not a mark, she shouted back at him forcing herself to hold together what little strength she had around her father. I love him and he loves me too.
Love? he repeated in a ponderous tone making his way in closer to her. You actually believe that someone like JT would love you? That he could care for you?
I know he does, she nodded in response bringing her arms up in front of her chest. He wants to take me away from the world you put me in.
Oh now I know youre full of it, he reached out to her wrenching on her arm until he crushed her in against his chest. He turned her away from him bringing his thick fingers over her dark hair before pushing it away from her neck. His lips sank just above her frightened skin before he whispered in her ear, Now I know that you couldnt possibly have love with this man. He would never love you knowing what you truly are.
He knows what I am and he doesnt care, she bit down on her lower lip finding herself too paralyzed by fear to make a movement while her fathers arm draped around her waist crushing her in against him.
I dont think he does princess because if he did, his hot whisper caused her stomach to turn as his other hand played with her long, dark hair, He wouldnt look twice at you. He wouldnt want you or give a damn what happened to you because youre nothing. Without me no one in this world would care if you live or die.
No, she closed her eyes tightly trying her hardest not to cry even though her fathers words hit her harder than shed wanted to admit. If he saw she was weak, he would only lash out at her, but she couldnt help how she felt.
Youre nothing without me princess. Less than nothing, he continued to taunt her, his index finger pressing in against the side of her face, but together we can make you so very special. You can get daddy what he needs and then I promise you that you wont ever have to be hurt again.
No daddy, she shook her head firmly feeling him turn her to face him. She kept her eyes closed not wanting to look at the monster who had torn her life apart in more ways than anyone twice her age couldve imagined.
Look at me, his voice was stern and commanding, using that same unyielding approach that had terrified her in the past when shed thought of defying him. On command she did as she was instructed, but knew full well he would lash out at her for her tears.
Oh baby, he pushed the pad of his thumb over the hollow of her cheekbone watching the way she trembled beneath him, youre going to make me so proud this time. Youre going to give me everything that Ive ever needed. Well finally have what we worked so hard for all these years Evie. You want that for us, dont you princess?
I dont want to hurt JT, Evie spoke up in a low whimper feeling her fathers finger curl underneath her chin, Please daddy dont make me hurt him.
You arent hurting him because a man like him isnt capable of hurt. Hes not real. Hes not like we are, his voice attempted to brainwash his beliefs into her head once more as he had tried to do time and time again in the past. Only this time she could hear that he was taking far more pleasure from her tears than usual. The pad of his thumb brushed at her damp cheek before beckoning her once again, Tell me something princess. Are you sleeping with him yet? Are you having sex with him?
No, she spoke up in a low whisper straining to keep from meeting his piercing gaze.
What did you say? he yanked her chin up roughly so that their eyes met again.
I said no, she replied in a defiant tone forcing herself to face the demon that had haunted her.
His face twisted for a moment as he released her shoving her back into one of the chairs. He moved around the room before turning to look at her with disgust clear over his pinched face.
Why the hell not? he threw his hands up in the air before shaking his head at her, What are you waiting for?
I love him daddy, she explained reaching for a pillow from the chair and pulling it over her chest protectively.
No you dont. No you dont! he repeated rushing over to her and yanking her up roughly from the chair. His hands clamped around her arms as he started to shake her violently. You dont love him because hes nothing. Do you hear me? Hes nothing.
Daddy stop, she cried out now in full blown years as his fingers dug into her arms breaking the skin. Please.
You want mercy? he questioned in a harsh whisper. Is that what youre hoping for Evie? For me to take pity on you like the world expects me to take pity on all of those other irrelevant losers out there?
Daddy stop, she cried out once again feeling him release her harshly sending her down to the floor. She looked up at him with terrified eyes, crawling backwards until he leaned in over her, his eyes menacing and full of rage.
Dont make me hurt you Evie because you know how much I hate punishing you, he warned sharply, his tone distinctive and hurtful. She watched him stand up and reach out to the latch on his belt--in a movement that she knew all too well. She brought her hand up over her face to stop him from taking out his anger on her.
No please. I wont be bad anymore, she promised her tears betraying her as she tried to move backwards only to find herself pressed up against the couch. Please daddy Ill do what you want. Just dont hurt me.
Hurt you, he repeated his mood changing dramatically upon hearing her agree to his terms. He smiled proudly before stepping in beside her and moving to the floor. He reached out to push her dark hair away from her face so that he could see her frightened eyes. Smiling proudly he cupped her face in his hands, Daddy would never hurt you especially when you are about to give him everything he ever wanted. Youre going to get us everything we could ever desire from JT and then daddy will treat you real nice. Hell give you everything youve always wanted.
Evie said nothing, just continued to cry as her father pushed her tears from her damp skin. He sat down on the couch pulling her up off of the floor and into his arms. She closed her eyes as he pushed her hair away from her face.
We need to move fast with JT, he explained in a dark warning, I want you to do what daddy taught you. I want you to start sleeping with him so that we can put our plans into motion. Youll treat him so good that he wont be able to resist getting into your pants. When he does, then well tell him that youre pregnant. Well get you to make him want to give you everything he has to protect you and his baby. Hell go to his father and
No, she shook her head firmly, I cant do that to him. I wont.
Youll do it or else I wont be so forgiving next time, he warned wiggling his finger in her face before dropping his hand onto her shoulder. He fingered the low neckline of her sweater before meeting her eyes again, Youll give him daddys sugar and do what I taught you. You do remember how I showed you to please a man, dont you?
Evie closed her eyes saying nothing as a lump formed in the back of her throat.
Dont you? he snapped at her causing her to shiver all over again.
Yes, she replied in a small voice fighting to stop her hands from shaking.
Thats my good girl, he stroked her dark hair gently, Youre going to do what daddy showed you and then youre going to let JT have whatever he wants from you. Youre going to do him so good that he will have no choice to give you what you want when youre having his baby. Then well you know the rest
Please dont make me do this, she whimpered thinking about what she had with JT. He was the first person in her life that had ever made her feel special and now
Youll do this because you love me--because you know Im the only one that could love you sugar, he leaned in to kiss her cheek roughly before his hand pressed in over her thigh, Youll do this because if you dont youll be nothing and you dont want to be nothing, do you?
No, she shook her head keeping her eyes held shut as her father squeezed her leg once more.
Thats my good girl, he grinned proudly, Youll give JT everything he wants so that I can have what I need. Well have everything and then by the time JT realizes what hit him, well have dealt with him and his family. Well have our own fortune and then Ill finally be proud of you. Youll have proved what a good girl you are. You do want to be daddys good girl, dont you Evie?
She bit down on her lower lip and nodded in the hopes of making him happy.
Tell me you want to be my good girl, he squeezed her chin in his palm crushing her face in his grasp. She winced before opening her dark eyes to meet his.
Yes, I want to be your good girl, she nodded quickly hoping he wouldnt hurt her again.
Thats right princess. I knew you would make your daddy proud, he stroked her dark hair lovingly before releasing her. He stood up off of the couch walking over to where hed deposited his jacket. You will get that boy to sleep with you and get you pregnant and then, well well let the wheels of justice take its course. By that time his father will want to be spared the pain and humiliation of what we have in store for him and well get the payoff weve always dreamt about.
Evie brought her legs up and tucked them to her chest hearing her father slip into his jacket. Sure, she heard what he was saying to her, but a part of herself was closing down just like it had in the past when her father had made orders of her. She knew what he was asking, but in her heart she knew full well that she wouldnt be able to destroy JT like he wanted her to. She loved JT and JT loved her.
Oh and if you get any bright ideas about double crossing me, he warned her reaching into his jacket and pulling out the gun hed carried with him. He held it up in front of her face waving it around before glaring down at her, then rest assured I will have to hurt JT maybe even kill him and you dont want that on your shoulders, now do you?
No daddy, she shook her head again finding herself overcome by tears. She sank onto the couch trying to will the nightmare that overtook her away, but even after her father left she knew that she would never be able to forget the things hed done to her. Even now she knew full well that he had tainted her life and the longer she let him control her, the more she would hurt. If she left and vanished, he would find her again. He would hurt JT or even kill him, but at the same time if she did what her father wanted of her, she would destroy JT even more. Either way there was nothing she could do to change her fate. She could still feel her fathers hold on her and as she curled up into the couch she found herself lost in a whirlwind of tears that felt like they would never end.
...to be continued...