Episode 373

Lindsay stepped off of the bus thinking about the ride she’d hated taking, but due to the fact that her parents had to go in earlier, she knew she’d had no other choice, but to take the bus. She’d tried calling Jackie’s house for a ride, but she’d already left and didn’t answer her cell phone, which left her to public transportation. Letting out a groan Lindsay thought about the wad of gum she’d sat in when she’d first gotten on the bus and how no matter what she’d tried, she couldn’t get it all off of her butt. She’d managed to wrap her sweater around her waist, but feared it wouldn’t be enough to get her through a grueling day of school.

“You can do this,” Lindsay took in a breath ready to make her way towards the building in front of her when she heard a honking beside her. Turning around she spotted Jackie’s car and offered up a relieved smile. Rushing over to the car, she instinctively pulled open the door and moved into the front seat with a breath.

“Please tell me that you brought some extra clothes like you usually do because I am off to a really bad day,” Lindsay confessed with a groan turning to glance over at Jackie, but instead spotted John behind the wheel of the car. Gasping her blue eyes widened in surprise, “Oh my God John what are you doing? Where’s Jackie?”

“Off giving some guy reason to wind up in jail,” he rolled his eyes before looking over at her once again.

“John, you can’t be driving this. It’s against the law and…” Lindsay started with a worried expression.

“Kind of like it was when you crashed Cori’s car into the tree when your parents were out of town,” John tossed back at her seeing her curl her lip in a frown. She glared over at him before folding her arms in front of her chest.

“That was a really stupid move on my part, but I learned from my mistake. I got in trouble and hurt and…” she continued to remind him sharply.

“Look it’s not like I planned on this, but what choice did I have? My idiot sister took off and…” John groaned again moving forward out of the school’s circular drive and onto the road again.

“John, where are you going?” Lindsay couldn’t help but ask seeing that they were moving further and further from school.

“I can’t go to school while she’s out there being stupid,” John informed her with a small frown, “My parents would kill her if they knew where she was and they’d kill me if they knew that…”

“That you were um skipping school and driving nowhere in particular,” Lindsay threw back at him with a frown. She opened her mouth to say something more when she spotted Daniel at the side of the road. “John pull over. John!”

“What?” John screeched on the brakes practically slamming Jackie’s car into Daniel’s before stopping. He saw Daniel’s eyes widened with worry before he let out a sigh of relief.

“That was close,” Lindsay exhaled slowly before seeing Daniel approaching. “Oh God he’s coming over here.”

“Well what did you expect him to do when we stopped,” John mouthed in response shaking his head at her. He reached out to roll down the window before speaking up to Daniel, “Look man I’m sorry about that. I just…”

“Can you give me a jump?” Daniel questioned leaning down to bend his head closer to the window, “My car just died and…”

“Oh sure, sure,” John nodded clumsily opening up the car door and moving around to the trunk. As he opened it up, Daniel leaned into the car and eyed Lindsay curiously.

“You weren’t about to skip school, were you?” Daniel questioned as Lindsay felt her face grow hot with embarrassment.

“Well I…” she stammered feeling him slide into the driver’s side of the car with her.

“Because if you were, then I should hope you weren’t doing it without me,” Daniel flashed her a wide smirk before winking at her.

“Well I was just…I mean John was just…” she stammered again feeling like a total idiot now that he was sitting beside her.

“John?” Daniel glanced in the rear view mirror, “he’s not like your boyfriend or anything, right?”

“Of course not. He’s just, well Jackie just took off and left him the car and…” she struggled to find the right words until John returned holding jumper cables in hand.

“Found them!” John announced as Daniel turned to John again.

“Excellent,” Daniel stepped out of the car leaving Lindsay to her feelings of foolishness before moving to the front of Jackie’s car. “I was just on my way to school and the car died. I should’ve known that it wasn’t going to run right since it was making a ticking noise earlier.”

“Sounds like engine problems,” John noted moving over to take a look at Daniel’s car, “especially if it’s ticking.”

“Yeah maybe, but I’m about finished with it. I should’ve just borrowed one of my cousin’s cars and just said to hell with it,” Daniel noted as Lindsay finally stepped out of the car to join them.

“I’m sure you can fix it,” John shrugged his shoulders, “Maybe a jump will work, but I would certainly get it checked out.”

“I will,” Daniel nodded before turning to Lindsay, “So about your skipping school, where are you two off to?”

“We um…” Lindsay started again only to hear John speak up.

“We didn’t quite figure that one out yet,” John admitted with a sigh, “but I was thinking about hunting down some pervert that my sister is with and beating him to a pulp.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Daniel replied with a wide grin, “I’m in. Can I help?”

“Seriously?” John’s eyes widened in response.

“Yeah sure,” Daniel nodded with a laugh. “It beats the hell out of Honor’s Chemistry any day.”

“But…” Lindsay stepped forward, “John I thought Tom was almost thirty. There is no way that you can take on a guy like that when…”

“I can’t let my sister get with someone like that, but at the same time I can’t call my folks. Can you imagine the heat Jackie will give me if I do that?” John groaned in response. “Plus I’m sure that my dad will flip out on her, which means she’ll flip out on me and the whole weekend will just fall to pieces…”

“I’m sure we can find a way around Jackie wanting to kill you,” Daniel noted thinking about the situation at hand, “You wouldn’t happen to know where this guy lives, would you?”

“Unfortunately I do,” John rolled his eyes and groaned, “because Jackie went over there last week after school and left me in the car for over an hour waiting.”

“Wait a second,” Lindsay’s eyes widened in response, “That was because she was with that creep?”

John nodded, “Yeah remember she told us it was for a school project she was working on?”

“Of course I remember. We got bored and went for ice-cream down the street,” Lindsay shook her head and groaned, “I can’t believe she’s seeing someone so old and disgusting. That’s just…wrong…”

“No kidding,” John added with a shudder, “but you can’t talk any sense into her.”

“Maybe we can’t, but I think I know someone who might be able to do it,” Daniel noted with a wide smirk knowing full well how he could help John find a way to keep his sister out of trouble without actually landing himself in hot water!


“So how are you holding up?” Don questioned approaching his friend after Brant had been spotted down by the coffee machine at the hospital. Just looking at Brant Don could see that his friend had a lot on his mind and Don couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. He patted Brant on the back before speaking up again, “Seriously, how are you?”

“I’d be lying if I told you I was doing good,” Brant sighed heavily reaching for the coffee he’d gotten for himself, “Of course if you could give me some good news about Angela I would be great. Like say you came up with a miracle cure for all of this.”

“I wish I could, but you know how tentative head injuries are,” Don shook his head poignantly, “I know this is the last thing you wanted on your plate man, but this is one of those situations that unfortunately have to run it’s course.”

“And what if it never runs through it?” Brant arched a doubtful brow, “What do I do then? What if my kids are graduating from college and she still believes they are Kevin‘s? What if she never remembers?”

“That won’t happen man,” Don offered up hoping that he wasn’t lying to his best friend. “She loves you a lot Brant. Sooner or later she’s going to see that again.”

“I know,” Brant closed his eyes and sighed, “It’s the waiting that’s killing me in all of this. I mean one day there we were ready to begin our lives together and then the next, well the next you and I are standing here pondering if she’ll ever be able to put me back into her mind and her heart.”

“You’re always in her heart even if she isn’t aware of it,” Don motioned for Brant to take a seat with him. They moved over to the set of chairs by the other side of the lounge and sat down. “Granted I know it’s hard to believe given the emotional impact of this situation, but the fact to the matter is that love like yours doesn’t just up and vanish because of circumstances.”

“Don, I’m starting to feel like the odd man out in all of this. Sure, I haven’t lost it in public, but you have no idea how much it kills me to see her latching onto Kevin like she’s been doing,” Brant slumped his head down and focused on the coffee in front of him. He sighed heavily before shaking his head again, “I just don’t get it. I don’t understand how she could lose everything with us.”

“It doesn’t make sense, but none of this really does,” Don offered up before pausing. His blue eyes fixed on Brant again before he spoke up tentatively, “What about Kevin? How’s he handling all of this?”

“Honestly he’s fit to be tied right about now,” Brant sighed glancing over at his best friend, “He and Ria have had their own problems to deal with lately and this isn’t helping any of that.”

“They seemed to be doing okay last night,” Don mouthed aloud thinking about what he’d walked in on between them. “Never mind. I mean I know it’s hard, but they can work it out just like you and Angie will.”

“I know I need to keep believing that, but still I can‘t help but wonder what if…,” Brant replied catching his friend watching him closely. He stopped before shaking his head, “I’m just out of my mind worried about her and I feel like somehow this is all my fault--like this is what I get for being such a jackass with Russ and Avery. Hell, he pretty much took the time to tell me that last night when he was here.”

“Russ was here?” Don arched a curious brow. “No wonder you’re so wound up. Personally I wouldn’t listen to a damn thing he has to say because he’s the jackass and…”

“He’s right Don. I mean honestly I did a lot of horrible things, but I want to change that. I want to be able to move past what I’ve done, but now,” Brant dropped his head into his hands again, “I just don’t know.”

“Well maybe it will change in a few days. I mean maybe once Angela gets out of the hospital room and…” Don offered up hoping to find some kind of way to help his friend out.

“Yeah about that,” Brant tipped his head up once again, “I heard Cameron talking about trying to get her to go back home with him last night.”

“No way,” Don’s jaw dropped. “You mean after what he did to her, he actually thinks he has a right to be with her.”

“He’s using the whole he’s her loving brother excuse to try to bait her in. Given that she’s lost a lot of years in her mind she doesn’t realize what he’s up to,” Brant explained sitting up taller, “which is why I’ve put in for a preemptive strike so to speak.”

“What do you mean?” Don couldn’t help but ask him.

“I spoke with Kevin and I think that the best option--no scratch that, the only option I have is for her to move in with me,” Brant explained in a determined tone. “I already talked to Kevin this morning and I told him that the best place for Angela is the guest house.”

“Brant, I don’t know if you should push her into that just yet considering that…” Don frowned thinking about what was going on with Angela.

“I asked Kevin to move in with her,” Brant informed Don point blank, “So that way she doesn’t question being on the estate grounds. I told him we could come up with some story about him buying her a new place and how they are staying with us during the construction phase of the house. It works out beautifully and…”

“There’s one snag in all of this Brant,” Don held his finger up in the air, “I mean I don’t want to be the buzz kill there, but the fact to the matter is that Ria is never, ever going to go for that. Considering what I walked in on between her and Kevin last night I can guarantee that the last thing she’s going to agree to go with is Kevin moving in with Angela.”

“It’s not like they are really living together,” Brant reminded Don with a frown, “It’s only him pretending to be there with her while she can’t remember what’s going on.”

“Brant if she’s in the guest house and he’s in the guest house, then they are living together,” Don hesitated before adding, “which actually isn’t the smartest of ideas on your part given their history. I mean with her feeling the old feelings and him being so close…”

“You said it yourself Don. She loves me,” Brant reminded him sharply, his brown eyes narrowing at his friend, “Kevin knows full well that I love her and he wouldn’t do anything to destroy that. No matter what Angela is feeling right now, I know he wouldn’t cross any lines he shouldn’t with her.”

“Even if that’s the case, what about Ria? I mean Brant she loves Kevin. They have something special and…” Don tried to talk rational with his friend.

“I told Kevin she could move into the main house with me. He can tell Angela that Ria is going to keep an eye on her and that she’s my live-in girlfriend. That way they are close to one another and everything will work out. I can see Angela and he can see Ria. It won’t be such a chore or a hard escape for any of us,” Brant added with conviction in his tone.

“Brant, I don’t know about that. I mean normally I would say that you might be on to something, but right now it sounds like it’s something that could end up getting you all in over your head--not to mention that it’s dangerous. I mean if by putting Kevin and Angela together you could open up some old emotions there and wind up being the odd man out,” Don stated the obvious with a frown, “I know you don’t want that.”

“I don’t want Cameron taking her away from me and if I don’t do this, then I’m sure he’ll see to it that I’m out of her life and the twins lives from here on out. I know it’s a risk, but I don’t have any other alternative. You told me last night that if I tried to push the truth on her it could wind up hurting my children and I can’t risk that either Don,” Brant sighed heavily his tired brown eyes filled with fear, “Either way it’s like I’m screwed in this situation. It’s the lesser of the two evils.”

“For your sake I hope it is, but I’m not so convinced,” Don admitted hoping that his friend didn’t open up the door to something that could cost him the future he had with the one woman he loved more than anything.


“Angie,” Kevin’s voice beckoned Angela from her gaze from looking around the empty hospital room as she saw him entering making her sit up more straight on the small bed she was on. “How are you feeling sweetheart?”

“I’m okay, I’ve just missed you,” Angela stated with a wide smile seeing Kevin nod slowly before taking in a long breath when she motioned him to come over and sit by her. Seeing him walk slowly over to the bed she reached for his hand seeing the look behind his brown eyes before grabbing her hand in his tightly. “What’s wrong Kev?”

“Nothing,” he whispered seeing her stare at him knowing that she knew different and he shrugged his shoulders before taking a seat on the edge of the hospital bed next to her carefully. “You’ve just had me really worried while you were out Angie, that’s all. I’ve been worried.”

“You look so tired honey,” she pointed out seeing Kevin let out a long sigh as she pressed her fingertips against his rough cheek caressing it softly. Seeing him close his brown eyes for a moment, her fingers slid in through his thick dark hair. “I’m okay now, you don’t have to worry anymore.”

“Yes, I do,” Kevin informed her placing his hand over hers and grabbing it in his tightly before reaching out with his left hand to press a piece of her long dark hair behind her ear. “You’re forgetting some things sweetheart.”

“No, I’m not,” Angela cut him off placing her index finger over the center of his lips seeing the way that Kevin looked out at her and she moved forward in the hospital bed. Pressing her fingers in over the center of his chest she saw him stare out at her uneasily. “I remember everything Kevin, I love you. There is nothing I need to hide from anyone because I love you Kevin.”

“Angie,” Kevin went to say more before feeling her move in closer to him while her hand pressed in over his side. Taking in a long breath he felt her move forward pressing her lips against his softly as he froze against her not expecting that from her. Carefully he pulled back away from her slipping his arm around her shoulders to pull her into a hug and kissed her forehead softly. “Angie, you don’t remember anything at all?”

“Kevin, I told you the last thing I remember was us building the nursery and then falling asleep in your arms,” she muttered pulling back softly feeling his thumb pressing in against her cheek softly, making her lean into his touch. Staring out into his brown eyes she took in a long breath watching him frown in response. “I remember waking up for breakfast and then one thing led to another…,”

“I know Angie, but don’t you realize anything different about me?” Kevin questioned with a small frown seeing her staring out at him blankly as he shrugged his shoulders in response, pulling his hand away from her face only to have her grab a firm hold of it. Squeezing his fingers in hers tightly he saw her staring up at him with blankness behind her eyes. “I don’t look any different to you?”

“Well, you just look tired and you look like you cut your hair a little bit. Other than that no,” Angela stared out at him seeing his jaw tighten as he looked away from her and down toward the floor. “Oh, I see you took your earrings out too, but you still have the whole roughness going on here.”

“I got that over night sweetheart,” Kevin pointed out to her feeling her fingers pressing in against his cheek to rub at it softly as he grabbed her hands in his again. “My earrings have been out for a while too Angie, I need you to think.”

“Kev, I’m sorry, I don’t know why you are making me do this,” Angela frowned leaning back in her bed and Kevin could tell she was getting upset as he reached out to push back her dark hair again. “Why are you telling me that something I remember isn’t right?”

“No, honey it was real, it’s just not the most recent thing that happened between us,” he pointed out motioning her back up to him as he felt her hands press in over his muscular shoulders before she hugged him close to her tightly. “I just wish I could explain with you really knowing what I meant. What if I told you we weren’t together anymore?”

“Then I know you would be lying. I would never let go of you Kevin, you’re the only man I’ve ever loved,” she blurted out seeing his eyebrows arch up in response when she moved forward to press a small kiss against his lips again feeling him sitting still doing nothing. “Kevin, you know I love you. Please tell me you love me too, I’m pregnant with your child and we are going to have a life together. Kevin, please don’t let Craven win.”

“Angie, I love you, I would never let Craven win anything. What I have with you in a relationship would never be stopped by Craven,” Kevin lied through his teeth remembering to the day that Craven shot him and he lost his child in the same night. Christmas became his worst nightmare after that day, but he could tell that everything he had been saying was hurting her and the babies were too important to let that happen to. “You know I love you.”

“I know and that’s why I can’t wait to get to go home to be alone with you,” she whispered pressing her fingertips in through his thick dark hair seeing the way that he frowned when she pressed her other hand against his muscular chest. “We have so much that we need to talk about with one another.”

“Yeah, about that,” Kevin went to say something else only to feel her move forward to press another kiss against his lips, feeling her nipping at his bottom lip softly when he tried to gently get her to back off a bit. “Angie, not in the hospital.”

“Why not in the hospital. It’s not the weirdest place we’ve done it,” she pointed out pulling at the front of his pants seeing the way he pressed his hand in over hers before moving it away from that general area. “What’s wrong with you Kevin?”

“You were just hurt Angie, I don’t want to do anything that could hurt you more,” he whispered feeling her arms wrap around him tightly so that her head was resting against his chest. Nervously he wrapped his arms around her hugging her in his arms tightly. “We can’t do anything like that because of the baby, I want to make sure you’re safe.”

“We made love the other night Kevin, what’s the difference?” she questioned seeing him stare out at her nervously as she tugged at the bottom of his t-shirt pressing her fingertips against his ripped abdomen. “Come on Kevin, you know it’s okay if we still do some things.”

“No, it’s not at all,” Ria’s voice echoed through the room as Kevin cursed himself knowing that even if he was fighting to get her hands away from him that Ria wouldn’t believe it anyways. “You see with what happened to you, any kind of contact like that isn’t good.”

“See, Ria knows what she is talking about,” Kevin finally got her hands away from him before jumping to his feet seeing the angered glance behind Ria’s brown eyes as he held his hands up in the air uneasily. “You should listen to the doctor Angie. They know what they are talking about.”

“I highly doubt that she has any idea how hard it is to stay away from your sexy body,” Angela reached out to Kevin again seeing the way he stepped back before letting out a nervous laugh. “Kevin is amazing and it’s hard to keep your hands off of him.”

“You don’t say,” Ria muttered staring over at Kevin hearing him clearing his throat uneasily before folding his arms out in front of his chest and looking down toward the floor. “I can see what you love about him though. He’s totally dedicated to you Angie, that’s how I can tell you are so lucky.”

“Ria,” Kevin blurted out shooting her a glare seeing the way that Ria glared right back at him as he frowned and his expression changed. “You’ll have to forgive me, I’m sorry.”

“Sure you are,” Ria nodded before rolling her eyes and looking over at Angela who just seemed to be confused by everything that was happening between her and Kevin. Meeting Kevin’s dark eyes again Ria let out a long breath before looking back to Angela once more. “I’m sure you are going to feel that way much later too Kevin. Isn’t that right Kev-O?”


“Russ where are you?” Avery questioned from where she sat in the middle of their living room floor with Erin in her arms. She glanced up in the direction that Russ had taken off in earlier to get more film while Erin fidgeted in her arms. She opened her mouth again ready to say something more when she saw Russ returning with the camera in hand.

“I found it,” Russ grinned proudly, his green eyes moving in over his daughter as she wiggled in her mother’s arms. He couldn’t help but smile as Erin was dressed up like a ladybug in the little costume that his parents had gotten for her.

“I don’t think she likes this Russ,” Avery tried to situate Erin in her arms while Erin’s tiny fingers reached out for the little antennae that were on the top of the hat she was wearing. She kicked her arms and legs out and let out a small squeal. “You probably need to just take the picture.”

“I’m working on it,” Russ raised the camera unable to suppress the proud smirk that carried over him in seeing how adorable his daughter looked in her little costume. “Of course it’s unfortunate that by the time Halloween rolls around she’ll be too big to wear it.”

“I know. She looks cute as a button in it,” Avery noted tickling at her daughter’s chubby cheek only to watch Erin wrinkle her nose and scrunch her mouth.

“Oh boy, what’s that look for?” Russ questioned setting the camera down before a thought occurred to him. “I think I have an idea. Av, honey where is that rabbit Kevin bought for her?”

“You mean honey bunny?” Avery arched a curious brow watching him now.

“Yeah that’s the one,” he nodded one more time before spotting it near the couch in the diaper bag. He led his finger up in the air and set down the camera for a moment, “Hold that thought.”

“Russ hurry because she doesn’t want to sit still any longer,” Avery warned him seeing Russ grab Erin’s favorite toy before returning to her.

He held it up in the air just above his camera and Erin squealed with delight. Russ made it dance around over his head, while Erin laughed and giggled and he did his best to take picture after picture of her. After three memory cards full of photos, he finally decided he’d had enough of his adorably cute daughter and to reward her he handed her the toy.

“She’s in heaven now,” Avery noted watching Erin squeeze her toy rabbit in her arms before promptly pushing one of his ears into her little mouth while Avery took Erin’s little hat off. “I think she’s in love with this one.”

“Oh she’s just in love with Kevin,” Russ teased thinking about the impact Kevin had in his daughter already, “though I will have to thank him for the involuntary help. Maybe we can photo shop a card for him or something.”

“I think he’d like that,” Avery nodded in agreement realizing Erin was much more at ease now that she had her toy in her arms.

“I know what I’m going to have as my screensaver at work now,” Russ joined the two of them on the floor before reaching out to touch Erin’s face lightly, “because I have never, ever seen a more beautiful little girl in my life.”

“Neither have I,” Avery added watching Russ kiss Erin’s small head. “She’s truly amazing.”

“You’re quite amazing yourself you know,” Russ touched the side of her face gently, “Considering that you helped bring this little princess into our lives.”

“I couldn’t have done it without you,” she added with a warmth radiating over her face, “We both did good this time.”

“Of course we did,” Russ nodded in confession before turning to look at Erin, “though I have to tell you we should probably thank your mommy for being a slob since that helped to bring you here.”

“I’m a slob,” Avery repeated with a small laugh, “Oh please Russ I’m so far from being a slob that it’s not funny.”

“You weren’t that night in my kitchen when you decided to get into a food fight with me,” he teased further winking at her before whispering to Erin, “Your mommy was a very bad girl that night, but your daddy liked it very much.”

“Russ,” she swatted at his arm before seeing Erin’s big eyes focused up at her, “Don’t listen to your daddy Erin. He’s being a bad boy himself today.”

“Even so, I wouldn’t trade a minute of that night or any other night I have with you,” he leaned in to kiss Avery tenderly as she held Erin in her arms, “You both are my dream come true.”

“And you’re ours,” she whispered in response feeling the taste of his lips over hers, “We both love you so very much.”

“And I love you two so very much,” Russ glanced down at Erin before holding his arms out. “Can daddy see you?”

Erin tossed her bunny over at Russ before holding her arms out and whining.

“I take that as a yes,” Avery laughed lightly feeling him pull Erin into his arms to cuddle with her.

“You are by far the most beautiful little ladybug I have ever seen,” Russ cradled her close to him watching Erin again take the bunny ear into her mouth. “Kevin must’ve flavored this one for you since you like it so much.”

“It’s got Kevin’s magical touch,” Avery crawled in closer to Russ on the blanket. She dropped her head onto his shoulder and kept her focus on Erin, “You know I wonder how he’s doing right now.”

“Hopefully better than last night,” Russ thought about their friend wondering if things had changed with the situation he was in.

“I don’t know Russ. You should’ve seen him and Ria,” she pulled her head up to meet his gaze again, “They both looked like they were hurting so very much now that Angela is doing this to them.”

“I don’t think she planned on it Av,” Russ noted with a heavy sigh, “Getting amnesia is not on the top of anyone’s list. I can speak from experience.”

“Yes, but she’s been experienced with it after having spent all that time with you,” she explained an air of distrust in her tone, “I mean it’s entirely possible that she’s faking it and playing Kevin for her own selfish purposes right now.”

“I don’t think she would do that,” Russ shook his head thinking about what Angela had told him about her relationship with Brant. “I don’t think she would go out of her way to hurt him or Brant like that.”

“Russ the woman is a master manipulator and she knows that Kevin is happy with Ria now. I wouldn’t put it past her to try to mess with him because she can. I mean look what she tried to pull with us when she was trying to hurt Kevin,” her brown eyes added as a scowl touched over her lips. “She can’t be trusted.”

“Honestly if it was anyone else I might wonder, but I just don’t believe she would do that to him or Brant especially now. From what I heard she and Brant made up before the accident and…” Russ tried to reason with her further.

“Making up or not I still think it wouldn’t be enough for her,” she paused before meeting his eyes again, “especially if she’s Brooke’s daughter.”

“Avery,” Russ paused seeing the flash of upset behind her eyes, “I thought we agreed that you weren’t going to let Cameron get to you.”

“Russ think about it. If there is any validity in what he told me, then it could be very possible that Angela is my sister. Knowing how Brooke is I can honestly say I don’t trust her especially if she and I are…” she started to argue the point only to feel him lean in to kiss her quickly.

“Avery, right now you don’t want to get into this. You and I both agreed that today we would enjoy the day with Erin,” he pressed his index finger over her lips to silence her after they parted. “Neither Angela nor Brooke can take that from us.”

“I know, but Russ she and I obviously have the same birthday and we look alike,” Avery deduced thinking about what Cameron had said to her. “Cameron even knew about my birthmark--you know the one that I have that not everyone can see.”

Russ remained silent, his gaze dropping down to focus on Erin, who was still amused by her toy.

“You saw it on her too, didn’t you?” Avery questioned already knowing her answer from his reaction. “She has my birthmark as well just like I do and like Erin does.”

“Avery, that doesn’t mean anything. It could be coincidence that…” he offered up with a small breath.

“No, it’s no coincidence Russ. There are too many similarities for it to be just that. I have no doubt in my mind that she and I are…” she began with a small breath as Erin let out a squeal. Looking down she realized that Erin was reaching out to her with outstretched arms and legs kicking.

“I think she’s ready for a change,” Russ noted seeing Erin’s sudden upset. “No more ladybug.”

“I think she’s also ready for a feeding,” Avery added scooping their daughter back into her arms. “I’ll go get her cleaned up and then…”

“Want me to get her a bottle ready?” Russ questioned seeing Avery moving up off of the floor.

“No, I think I’ve got this one covered,” she explained with a small breath before offering up a slight nod, “I think I’ve finally got this whole nursing thing down pat even though it’s still awkward as hell.”

“I’m here if you need me,” Russ reached out to touch her leg before watching her walk towards the hallway. “I’ll just clean this all up and then download the pictures.”

“Sounds good. You can meet me when you’re done unless we’re done first,” Avery offered up giving him one last look before turning to Erin and sighing. “Whether your daddy wants me to think about it or not, I think that your grandmother pulled a fast one on all of us and something tells me it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.”

Erin squealed again before her big eyes fixed on Avery’s.

“Yeah I know princess,” Avery kissed Erin as they moved into the nursery together, “I’m worried about Kevin too, but hopefully Angela won’t find a way to destroy him all over again. That’s the last thing he needs in his life right now.”


Hart walked into the kitchen only to discover Jenna pouring herself a mug of coffee in one hand while shuffling the newspaper in the other. He noticed the way that her eyes skimmed over the headlines after she set the coffee pot down and reached for the cream only to discover she’d misplaced it. Her eyes darted away from the article she was reading and Hart couldn’t help but smile.

“You put it on the table earlier,” Hart reminded her surprising her with the sound of his voice. She glanced over at him and he spoke up once again in a smooth, even tone, “I noticed it this morning when I was getting dressed. You set it down on the table top before you grabbed the newspaper.”

“Oh,” she replied with a smile of her own, “I guess I forgot when I started reading.”

“It’s not uncommon for you to get wrapped up in something that’s captured your attention,” he noted stepping into the kitchen and picking the cream up from the table. He walked over to her and held his arm out to her, “That’s why I’m here to take note of the extra details.”

“A trait of yours that I truly appreciate,” she smiled in response leaning in to kiss him before claiming the cream for her coffee. “So what’s on your agenda for the day?”

“I was thinking about pleading my case to a very reluctant judge and jury,” he informed her feeling her turn her back to him as he spoke up again, “You see I have this impossible task in front of me and no matter how many times I try to sweeten the contract negotiations, it seems that the other side is unwilling to budge.”

“That must be disappointing to Brant,” she mused realizing that her bagel had popped up in the toaster. She walked across the kitchen to pull it out and set it onto a plate. Turning to face Hart briefly before she moved to the refrigerator, she shook her head, “If anyone can do convincing though, I’m sure it’s you.”

“This time I’m not so sure,” he explained leaning in against the archway to the kitchen. “I mean I thought that I’d said all the right things. First I tried appealing to logic, then emotion and then after that well I tried to lay all my cards on the table hoping that the gamble would pay off, but there was nothing. It’s as if no matter what I do or say I’m going to hit the brick wall so to speak.”

“Then maybe it’s not worth entering into the venture if the other party is being so stubborn,” she suggested popping her head out from behind the refrigerator door. “Maybe the company should look elsewhere for what you have in mind.”

“That’s just it. There’s no where else to look especially when we already know we have the best,” he explained in a determined tone moving in closer to her. He pulled the cream cheese out of her hand and set it on the counter before reaching out to touch her face, “And we do have the best Jenna. We have absolutely everything that anyone could want and more.”

“You mean?” her eyes widened in realization, “Hart are you talking about us?”

“Of course I’m talking about us,” he nodded cupping her face in his hands, “Jen, it’s only natural that we take the next step with one another and give marriage a shot.”

“Hart, I already told you how I feel about that subject and I thought you understood,” she shrugged out of his embrace. She reached for the cream cheese again and marched over to where her bagel was waiting for her. “It’s a bad idea.”

“No it’s not,” he urged her on once again, “It’s what we make it to be and if you and I start off by thinking negative, then it will be negative.”

“The whole idea of marriage just doesn’t appeal to me,” she explained popping the lid off of the container of cream cheese. “After everything all our friends have been through…”

“Forget about our friends,” Hart moved in closer to her. He spun her around to face him fully, “We don’t bring them into a lot of things in our lives, so why let them influence this?”

“Because we should be learning from their mistakes. None of our friends who are married are happy and…” she felt him lean forward to silence her with a kiss.

“Jen, we don’t need to base our life together off of what they have going on,” he whispered against her lips, his arm sliding around her waist, “That would be like saying that we need to bring them into the bedroom with us so that we know what we’re doing is right when we’re intimate with one another.”

“I think judging by this,” she nodded down to her soft swollen abdomen just starting to reveal their child, “it’s a pretty good sign that we’re doing something right in the bedroom.”

“You know what I mean,” he groaned inwardly before rubbing his hand over her abdomen gently, “Jen, I want to be able to share absolutely everything about this with you.”

“And you will,” she brought her hand in over his, “because I don’t ever plan on shutting you out of a moment of this.”

“But even so we love each other, don’t we?” his dark eyes pleaded with her.

“Hart, love isn’t the problem in all of this,” she sighed closing her eyes for a brief moment, “I’ve never thought about deviating from our being in love with one another, but with the idea of marriage…”

“It wouldn’t be so bad,” he eased his fingers into her hair and urged her to meet his eyes again, “We could do it in our own way. It could be like an anti-wedding ceremony filled with things you wouldn’t expect…”

“But we’d still be getting married and that’s when lives fall apart,” she groaned before shaking her head, “I love you too much to do that Hart. I don’t want to step into that trap.”

“It’s not a trap. It’s something wonderful and…” he sighed again, “What do I have to do to convince you?”

“What about your parents?” she tossed back at him, “How did their marriage end up?”

“They aren’t a good example,” he frowned in response.

“Fine, then what about Brant and Avery or maybe even Don and Shannon? Neither one of those couples are happy together or felt like their marriage was headed anywhere? Look at how miserable they were and are…” she tossed back at him flippantly, “I would rather not turn into that.”

“First of all we aren’t like either one of our best friends,” Hart curled his lip in a pout. “I tend to think we get along better than either one of those couples ever did. I mean yeah, sure, we had our strange beginnings, but in the end I think you and I really have so much more that we’re working with together.”

“Which is all the more reason not to jinx it,” she tossed back at him with a frown. “We’re happy now and…”

“We can still be happy. Marriage isn’t a death sentence,” he caught the disbelief in her eyes, “Jen, it’s not.”

“So you say, but we both know better about the odds of being happily marriage. It’s next to impossible in the world these days and…” she paused when she heard the sound of the doorbell. She eyed him expectantly, “You weren’t anticipating bombarding me with company on this issue, were you?”

“No, not this time,” he paused wondering who could be there at this hour, “but don’t think that this conversation is over.”

“Somehow I didn’t think you were ready to stop trying,” she added as he turned to answer the door once the bell rang again. “I don’t plan on changing my mind though.”

“You will in time,” he vowed shouting back to her before opening up the front door to the apartment to discover Sam standing in front of him. Smiling as he reached out to embrace his daughter, he invited her inside. “Sam, hey honey, how are you?”

“I hope it’s not a bad time,” she began tentatively as she looked around the apartment. “I know it’s kind of early, but…”

“We were just about to toss something together to eat. You hungry?” he motioned to the kitchen with a wide grin. “I can whip up a mean omelet if you’re interested.”

“Thanks, but I already had breakfast,” Sam informed him with a small breath, “I’m not really hungry.”

“Your loss because I’m telling you it’s fantastic. In fact, you can try a bite,” Hart began enthusiastically.

“Actually, I’m not really staying too long,” she cleared her throat again before meeting his eyes, “I just kind of wanted to talk to you for a second. You see there’s something that I wanted to share with you.”

“It looks serious,” Hart paused thinking about the conversation he’d had with her the other night. “Is something wrong?”

“No, not at all,” she shook her head before smiling, “Actually something’s right. It’s very right.”

“Oh really,” Hart arched a curious brow, “What might that be?”

“Well,” Sam started only to spot Jenna entering the room as well. Sam waved over at Jenna before her grin widened, “I’m glad you’re both here for this because I have the most amazing news in the world. I’m so excited and it really couldn’t wait to be shared.”

“And what’s that?” Jenna questioned curiously as she stood beside Hart.

“Well, I just had breakfast with Walt and you’ll never guess what he did for Wayne and I,” Sam blurted out her enthusiasm bubbling over her so much that she didn’t give Hart or Jenna an opportunity to respond, “He told me that he has a few friends in London and he was able to not only help Wayne and I get set up with a place out there, but he’s already promised that he’s going to take care of everything.”

“Take care of everything? What do you mean?” Jenna questioned as she felt Hart stiffen beside her.

“It means that I’m going to London and I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to get there anymore. Walt promised that he’s going to do everything in his power not only to get us started on having a place to stay, but he’s set me up with an interview at the college that I was looking into. Isn’t it the greatest?” Sam questioned reaching out to embrace Hart. “I mean it was just so unexpected and out of the blue that I was shocked at first, but when it got down to it I couldn’t say no. He said it was the least he could do for his granddaughter since we’d spent so many years apart. He said he wanted to make up for lost time before, but I never imagined that he would offer something like this.”

“I can,” Hart grumbled feeling his anger mounting by the second.

“I just can’t believe it’s really happening,” Sam rubbed her hands together excitedly before squealing, “All of my dreams are finally coming true and I owe it all to my grandfather. I can’t believe how wonderful he is. ”

“Oh I believe what he is…” Hart mouthed under his breath as he found himself wanting to kill his father now more than ever!


“Thank you for the update and rest assured that you will be compensated quite generously for your cooperation,” Cameron explained into the telephone after receiving word from his contact at the hospital that had been keeping him updated on Angel's progress. While he’d wanted to be there for Angel as much as possible, Cameron was also aware of the growing dissention in the ranks at Stone Corporation. While Cameron had opted to take on a new bride and about Angela‘s indiscretions, it was clear that there were rumors swirling about Cameron’s inability to be ruthless and intolerant of those forces that still threatened to destroy his company. He refused to allow those around to him to believe he’d fallen to weakness simply because his sister had fallen into the arms of his enemy.

“Times will be changing very soon,” Cameron mouthed to himself realizing that now would be the perfect time to crush Brant Ashford and keep him out of his sister’s life once and for all.

“Angel knew what was best for her once and now with Kevin back in her life again perhaps she’ll forget about the trouble she’s gotten herself into,” Cameron mused to himself opening up the top desk drawer and pulling out the photograph of the red diamond ring that Brant still possessed after all this time. While Cameron had started off in the right direction ready to reclaim what was his, it seemed that this particular trinket had evaded Cameron’s reach for far too long. It was a constant reminder of what had been ripped away from the Stone family at the hands of the Ashfords.

“Promise me son that you’ll do what you must to make things right,” he could still hear his father’s voice as he remembered the promise he’d made to his father.

After all of these years Cameron knew that he couldn’t refrain from living out the dream his father had for their family. He couldn’t let his sister fall to darkness and in breaking Angel away from Brant Ashford, he knew that he would be able to finally accomplish the goals he’d set for himself. He would be able to seek revenge on the Ashfords at long last and nothing would stop him. Angel would see Brant for the monster he truly was and victory would be Cameron’s at last. Stepping over towards the bar across his study, Cameron reached out to pour himself a drink when Franklin stepped into the room.

“Your company has arrived sir,” Franklin explained eyeing Cameron with a curiousness. “Sir?”

“Send them in,” Cameron waved his hand dismissively before turning around to take a look out of the oversized window in his study.

“Yes sir,” Franklin nodded silently departing from the room as Cameron contemplated just how he would be able to use this current situation with Angel to rid of her of the dreadful obsession she had with a man who was far from being right for her. Soon Angel would have no choice, but to realize that the Ashfords would always remain an enemy to their existence and when she did Brant would be history. Cameron would revel in the pleasure of crushing him like a bug and finally bringing an end to the darkness that had surrounded the Stone family for years at the hands of the Ashfords.


“So where are you taking me this weekend?” Jackie questioned throwing her arms around Tom’s neck as they stood in the center of his apartment. “Somewhere exotic? Maybe to that spa you talked about.”

“Actually I don’t think the spa is going to be in order this weekend,” Tom replied shaking his head at her. He wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her in closer to him.

“Why not?” she curled her lip in a pout, “I thought that you agreed that we’d actually go somewhere since we have all weekend this time.”

“Jackie, as much as I would like to the real world doesn’t exactly fit into a luxury weekend on the drop of a dime,” he frowned down at her shaking his head, “That costs money and you don’t see it growing on trees around here, do you?”

“I brought some money with me,” she offered up reaching into her pocket and pulling out the wad of cash her mother had given her. “That could get us somewhere couldn’t it?”

He looked down at her palm and reached for the cash only to let out a laugh. He dropped the money to the floor and chuckled again, “Only if you wanted to eat off of the dollar menu somewhere. Screw it I’m getting a beer.”

“Tom,” she whined watching him move his way into the kitchen. She followed after him realizing that he’d had his back turned to her. Moving forward she wrapped her arms around his waist as he bent over to get himself a beer. “Come on.”

“Jackie please. I’m being a realist here. Money isn’t just something you can throw away especially when you have rent to pay and while maybe you can play at the mall with your allowance, grown ups have responsibilities with theirs,” he shot back at her icily. He spun around to glare at her only to discover the wounded expression on her face. Finally he sighed and reached out to touch her cheek gently, “Look I’m just a bit strapped for cash this week that’s all.”

“Okay, then we can just stay here. We can watch movies and I’ll cook for you and,” she ran her fingers over his chest gently, “We can make the most of being alone together. I don’t mind us staying in.”

“I know it’s not what you were hoping for,” he slid his fingers into her hair and sighed, “I know I promised you more this weekend.”

“It’s not important. Being with you is what matters,” she leaned into his touch feeling his lips graze across her temple. She closed her eyes and sighed, “I love you Tom.”

“And I love…” he paused searching for the right words, “That thing you do when we’re alone together.”

“What thing?” she questioned reopening her eyes and seeing the smile that spread across his face.

“You know that thing,” he stroked the pad of his thumb over her cheek gently, “You know how good you are at it. Hell, I think you’re better than any other woman I’ve been with.”

“Oh that thing,” she paused feeling a nervousness settle in over the pit of her stomach, “Well I was kind of hoping that maybe we could just do something different this weekend. You know like something more romantic and…”

“Why would we want to spoil a good thing by changing the routine,” he laughed lightly before releasing her. He walked over to the couch and took a seat on it before eyeing her expectantly. “Come here you.”

“Tom I…” she started watching him pat the couch cushion beside him. She smiled over at him before sliding in over to sit beside him. She felt his hand press onto her thigh and her eyes focused on the television in front of her.

“Did I tell you how sexy you look in that?” he questioned leaning over to nibble on her ear while his fingers tapered off over the hem of her skirt.

“You think I look sexy?” she perked up turning towards him and moving in for a kiss. She felt his other hand press into her hair urging her in closer to him as their kiss continued.

“The sexiest,” he revealed pulling her off of the cushion and into his lap. He wrapped his arms around her waist, squeezing her in closer to him before guiding her hand over his belt. Their eyes met again and he smiled over at her, “I think you should do it now.”

“Now,” she replied with wide eyes feeling him push her skirt up over her body ever so slightly.

“That’s right,” he nodded in response licking his lips in anticipation, “You always make me feel so happy when you do that.”

“Tom I…” she paused taking in a breath before nodding, “Sure, but when we’re done, do you think we could go out to the park or something?”

“Jackie, it’s broad daylight. Why in the hell would I want to take you to the park? Do you have any idea what kind of trouble that could cause for me,” he frowned at her feeling her move off of his lap. He started to fidget with his belt before popping open the zipper on his pants. “In fact, why don’t you just stop talking for a while and put your mouth to good use?”

“Tom, I can’t believe you’re saying that,” she frowned down at him thinking about how sweet and romantic he’d been when they’d first started seeing one another, but now that she’d managed to sneak away to be with him something was different.

“Look are you going to blow me or not Jackie?” he snarled up at her his dark eyes narrowing with heavy agitation. “I thought that we agreed that…”

“I know what we talked about, but…” she stammered a bit moving back and feeling a second of repulsion carry over her.

“But what?” he huffed impatiently.

“I just thought that we’d have more of a romantic weekend Tom,” she blurted out unable to keep her thoughts from getting the best of her.

“And we will as soon as you get down to it,” he motioned to his pants again, “Now how about we both quit fighting and…”

“Damn it Tom. I wanted something more this weekend--something sweet and wonderful and…” she began throwing her hands up in the air, “I bought this outfit to impress you and…”

“Look Jackie, if I wanted to be romantic I’d just stay at the house with my wife,” he blurted out catching her completely by surprised by his words.

“What?” her eyes widened in astonishment, “Tom are you saying that you’re…”

“Look Jackie I can explain,” he stood up and moved towards her, “My wife and I are separated and…”

“Oh my God. I can’t believe that I fell for you…that I thought that…” Jackie began with a wounded expression feeling suddenly very foolish when the door to Tom’s apartment burst open and two uniformed officers bust inside. One short guy and the other a much larger, muscled man.

“What the hell…” Tom started watching the larger man approach him with a snarl.

“Did you honestly think you could keep getting away with all of this?” the man questioned throwing Tom down on the table face forward with a crashing sound.

“You’re going down for your crimes,” the other man informed Tom with a warning tone before turning to Jackie, “and you little lady you’re going down as well.”

“But I didn’t do anything…” Jackie began worriedly seeing the way the larger officer was slamming Tom into the table top.

“Just being here makes you an accomplice,” the smaller man pulled out handcuffs and stepped towards Jackie causing her to burst into tears.

“I honestly don’t know what’s going on,” she gulped watching the handcuffs that dangled in front of her.

“This man runs an internet porn ring not to mention is involved heavily in drug trafficking,” the man explained to her as Jackie’s eyes widened in horror.

“That’s not true. I never,” Tom protested feeling his head slammed into the table again.

“Shut up you!” the larger man snarled at him.

“He’s very bad news and in your being here, I’m assuming that you’re his partner in crime,” the man in front of Jackie continued.

“I swear I know nothing about that. I’m only sixteen and…” Jackie gulped her tears consuming her. She brought her hands up to her face and sobbed, “I don’t want to go to jail. I didn’t have anything to do with that.”

“Look,” the officer beside her paused before grabbing her arm, “Come with me.”

“Please I can’t be arrested. I can’t go to jail when…” Jackie continued to plead with him, “My father is an officer and if he finds out that I was here…”

“Your father,” the man repeated giving her a long look, “Whose your father?”

“Lieutenant Julian Kurts,” she bit down on her trembling lower lip, “but you can’t tell him about this and you can’t arrest me.”

“I should take you in and let him deal with you,” the officer warned her sharply, “but since you’re Julian’s daughter and I wouldn’t want to see him endure this kind of embarrassment, I suppose I can let you go this time.”

“You will?” she questioned relief washing over her, “Oh thank God.”

“Don’t think you’re off the hook though because if I ever see you near this apartment or Tom again, that’s it,” the officer warned wiggling his finger at her, “If you even cross the line of getting into trouble with this man then I won’t hesitate in taking you in and…”

“You have my word. I’ll never see him again,” Jackie promised in a pleading tone.

The officer eyed her for a long moment before finally nodding, “I believe you. Now go. Get out of here because it’s going to be ugly.”

“Okay,” Jackie nodded not needing to be told twice as she rushed down the stairs outside the apartment hoping to get as far away from Tom and his troubles as possible.

Once she’d disappeared from the complex, the officer walked into the apartment again closing the door behind him. He glanced over at his associate that now had Tom pinned to the table, with his hands out flat on the surface.

“I hear you’ve been a very naughty man lately Tom,” the smaller man warned as Tom’s eyes widened.

“I didn’t do any of what you’re talking about. You have the wrong man and…” Tom protested as the smaller man pulled a knife out of his pocket opening up the blade to flash it in front of Tom.

“Do you know what happens to perverts that take it upon themselves to mess with underage children?” the larger man asked shoving Tom face first into the table once again.

“Look I didn’t know that she was sixteen. I just…” Tom gulped worry carrying over him.

“Now you know,” the shorter man reached for Tom’s hand threatening to bring the blade over his fingers, “and if you touch her again or even think about contacting her, then the last thing you’ll be worrying about is losing a finger because I’ll come back for something else. Are we clear?”

“We’re clear,” Tom nodded in a sob feeling the other man slam his head into the table before tossing him aside. Tom fell to the ground in whimpers as the two men moved over to the door. The shorter one turned to Tom again in warning.

“Stay away from Jackie, or else…” he waved at Tom before the two men exited the apartment leaving a terrified Tom to his fears.

“You think he bought it?” the larger man questioned as they made their way to their car.

“I’m pretty sure,” the shorter man nodded seeing Daniel over near the other side of the complex with John and Lindsay. The man smiled over at him, “Was that to your approval Mr. Ashford?”

“More than that,” Daniel noted thinking about the mini-camera he’d placed on the one man’s lapel so that he could take in the whole situation, “I think Jackie won’t be returning anytime soon, don’t you agree John?”

“Chances are she’s going to be freaked for months,” John noted with an amused laugh thinking about the two actors that Daniel had called in to help teach his sister a lesson.

“It was kind of mean,” Lindsay piped in with a frown, “You guys didn’t have to be so rough.”

“We were just doing what Mr. Ashford wanted us to do and it worked,” the larger man explained as Daniel nodded to the both of them.

“You did good and I can’t wait to see you both put those talents to work in the next Mahoney production,” Daniel reached into his pocket and held out a card for the both of them, “Just call my brother Kipp and he’ll set you up with the details. I’m sure you can get at least a few extra parts in the film if not more. Plus I’ll send Kipp a copy of the tape.”

“Thanks man,” the smaller man gave Daniel a high five. “I owe you one.”

“It’s not a problem. Thank you,” Daniel shook both of their hands before the two men left and he turned to John and Lindsay again. “I guess now we find Jackie and talk her down before she gets beyond freaked out.”

“She deserves it for being an idiot,” John quipped catching the glare that Lindsay gave him, “but we’ll talk her down. Maybe she’ll actually use that brain that God gave her now.”

“We can only hope,” Daniel agreed as the trio piled into the car again ready to find Jackie.


“I just don’t understand why he’s pulling this. I mean honestly what possible reason does Andy have to be so obnoxious?” Deidra questioned pacing around the living room in Dean’s apartment before throwing her hands up in the air. “He wasn’t interested in our being together when we were together, so why in the world would he start trying to make up for lost time now? Something about it just doesn’t sit right with me. I mean my God he was sleeping with half of the hospital down in Miami.”

“Maybe he realized just how good he had it with you and he’s realizing that he screwed up beyond words,” Dean suggested reaching out to snag her arm and pull her back onto the sofa with him once again. He squeezed his arms around her and pulled her more completely into his lap, “I mean maybe he sees the error of his ways and he wants to find a way to make up for it.”

“Yeah right,” she rolled her eyes at the thought, “Considering that he slept with my sister on our wedding night, I highly doubt that he’s feeling any remorse about the way he treated me. More than likely he’s working an angle and when I figure it out…”

“You know I hate to draw a conclusion from a negative here, but you pretty much found your loophole in this relationship by mentioning that,” Dean offered up thinking about what she was saying, “I know that maybe you haven’t always been as firm in your religion as you might’ve been in your younger years, but you mentioned that you were Catholic to me maybe once or twice.”

“Yeah, usually it was when you were trying to tempt me to get involved in some kind of sin with you,” she wrinkled her nose back at him. A moment later a smile touched over her features as she reached out to touch his shoulder gently, “Although given the headache Andy’s given me lately, I wouldn’t mind taking the time out to engage in a little sin with you.”

“As tempting as that sounds,” he leaned up to kiss her quickly, “the fact to the matter is that you have a very solid case in ending the marriage. Given the level of Andy’s infidelity especially on your wedding night, well, in the eyes of the church this marriage could be absolved almost immediately. It’s perfect grounds for an annulment.”

“Really?” she paused for a moment thinking about what he was saying to her. “You know you’re right. You’re absolutely right about that one.”

“Of course I am,” he flashed her a sexy smile, “I’m always right you know.”

“Well I wouldn’t go that far, but you’re great to have around,” she admitted brightly wondering if there was some light at the end of the tunnel in her situation with Andy. “Though he’d still probably find a way to fight that one as well.”

“Deidra, you haven’t been living together for what? Almost a year now?” he arched a curious brow. “Surely that should say something about the state of your relationship.”

“Yeah it says I was trying to avoid him by moving out of state,” she stressed her final word, “but he didn’t know when to quit and just leave me alone.”

“Who cares if he’s in town?” Dean blurted out without hesitation. “The way I see it he’s someone else’s problem not ours. I mean sure he’s obviously trying to play a little hardball, but we can deal with him. I’m sure that we can fix this situation as smoothly and as quietly as possible in the long run.”

“Andy can be a huge pain in the butt when he wants to be,” she couldn’t help but throw out at him. “When he sets his mind on something he’s very determined.”

“Funny thing,” Dean flashed her a small grin, “So am I and when I know what I want, I don’t let anything get in my way not even someone as agitating as Andy.”

“Oh I like the way you’re talking,” she giggled sliding in closer to him, “Why couldn’t I have met you first?”

“Because you needed to see just how wrong Mr. Wrong was before you settled in with me, Mr. Right,” he winked at her with a playful expression.

“Yeah, maybe you’re right,” she nodded in agreement, “I mean if I hadn’t been so completely miserable with Andy, then I never could have accepted the idea of real love in my life. I had to hit rock bottom to feel on top of the world again.”

“See and now aren’t you glad that you’re here,” he wiggled his brow suggestively before squeezing her once again.

“I’m glad I’m with you yes, but Andy was a nightmare,” she curled her lip in a pout once again. “He’s annoying and I swear I wouldn’t wish him on any woman ever again.”

“If any woman sees his true colors, then she’s not going to want to bother. Trust me,” he offered up in response seeing she was still very much distracted.

“What I trust is that Andy is impossible and he doesn’t stop until he gets what he wants,” she informed him with a sigh knowing that while she was trying to be optimistic about the situation at hand, the truth to the matter was that whatever her husband was up to, she knew it was bound to be nothing but trouble. That much she was sure of.


“So I hear Angela Meloni is awake and cohesive,” Andy half questioned making his way over to the nurse’s station to gossip with a couple of girls that were around him.

“That’s right,” one nodded eagerly, “She woke up last night and it was a whole heck of a time around here. Between her boyfriend, her brother and her other boyfriend it was crazy.”

“Oh he’s not her other boyfriend,” another woman explained with a simply wave of her hand, “The tall, dark and handsome one is her bodyguard from what I hear.”

“Secret service,” another one added with a giggle, “and hey he can guard my body any time.”

“Shame on you ladies,” Andy shook his head at all of them, “Why listen to the gossip and drool over a man who clearly is lacking the ability to truly charm a woman?”

“Hey, I don’t care what ability he might be lacking. His bicep is more than enough for me,” one girl snickered as Andy rolled his eyes and stood up straighter.

“To each their own I suppose,” he shook his head before moving down the hallway contemplating how he would make his way around to paying Angela a visit. Sure, he was no doubt anticipating some kind of protest from Kevin, but he was convinced that he would work his way around it. After all visiting hours weren’t forever. With that thought in mind he darted down the hallway ready to explore all the possibilities of seeing Angela again.

“I’m sure she’s missed me,” he mouthed to himself thinking about the unfinished business between them. Oh yes, they would have a lot to discuss in the future.

“Andy,” he heard a voice call out to him. He spun around to see one of his fellow colleagues waving over at him, “I’ve been trying to reach you all night. Where have you been?”

“Sorry I was busy,” Andy apologized seeing the man rushing over with a chart in hands.

“I would really like a consult on this one. I hear that you’re the best on the east coast and I thought you might like a look,” the man explained handing the chart over to him.

“Actually you heard wrong,” Andy accepted the chart before flashing a smug expression in the man’s direction, “I’m not the best in the east. I’m the best that there is period.”

“Good, then how about you take a walk down to my office and put your money where your mouth is,” the man suggested as Andy looked in the direction where Angela’s hospital room was.

“Well I was going to…” Andy stammered wanting to go and see Angela, but before he could offer a polite decline he found himself being sucked back into work thus proving his visit would have to wait.


“Somebody got some last night,” Don teased stepping in behind Deana as she stood at the nurse’s station adding a couple of notes to a patient chart she’d had with her. He leaned in over her shoulder and tickled at her side causing her to look up at him with a glare and a smile.

“Don stop it,” she mouthed in response writhing out of his reach only to feel him curl his arm around her and draw her in close to him once again, “this is sexual harassment.”

“And you enjoy my kind of sexual harassment because unlike when Zack does it, I’m cute about it,” Don teased with a wink before taking her hand in his. “Come on you’re joining me in the break room so that we can catch up on all the juicy details of your night and mine.”

“I thought that we agreed to keep private details just that,” she noted with a curious expression feeling him pulling her along towards the break room.

“I had a long night, so I’ll make an exception,” he watched her turn to look back over to where she’d been working on the chart, “You can have a break because I said so.”

“Well if you said so,” she shrugged her shoulders and smiled, “I guess I can work on bending the rules a little bit with you since you’ll be Chief of Staff one day.”

“Exactly,” Don pushed open the door to the break room before walking over to the refrigerator and pulling out a couple of bottles of water for them, “So spill it what did the Denton stud do for you last night?”

“You’re so crude Don,” Deana wrinkled her nose at him before shaking her head. She accepted the water bottle that he offered her before giving him a long look, “Besides what makes you so sure that Grady and I did anything last night?”

“Because every time I’ve seen you today you have been grinning from ear to ear which indicates that maybe just maybe you had a good night,” Don wiggled his brow at her suggestively before taking a seat on the couch in the middle of the room, “Well?”

“I could have been enjoying my son’s company,” Deana circled around the couch to take a seat beside him.

“Yeah, you could have, but you have the ‘I just got some’ glow about you,” Don noted popping the top off of the water bottle in his hand. He took a long sip of the water before looking at her once again, “Trust me I know the look.”

“Because you’re such an expert on giving it?” she arched a curious brow.

“More like because I haven’t been getting it lately,” Don waved his hand around in the air in a forward and backward motion. “My sex life has been lacking lately.”

“That sounds like a personal problem Dr. Leveski,” she sat up straighter on the couch before putting on a professional tone. She arched a brow before putting on her best face. “Has this particular dysfunction been haunting you for a while now or is your inability to perform a reasonably new occurrence?”

“I can perform just fine,” Don informed her with a frown, “but my wife is rather…never mind. Tell me about you and Grady.”

“You’re no fun,” she stuck her tongue out at him before shaking her head. “Truth be told we had a lot of fun last night.”

“I’ll bet,” Don grinned back at her.

“Beyond the sex stuff, though that’s pretty fantastic,” Deana paused for a long moment, “Although he did surprise me last night.”

“How so?” Don questioned noticing that her expression shifted.

“Well, first of all we decided to go out after Jason was with Mindy,” Deana began thinking about her brother’s new friend.

“How’s Jason holding up by the way?” Don couldn’t help but ask her as he thought about her brother.

“He’s doing better than I’d anticipated he would be doing,” Deana sighed rubbing the back of her neck before continuing, “He’s still dealing with survivors guilt, but I think he and Mindy spending time with one another is helping the both of them.”

“They could both use someone right about now that’s for sure,” Don agreed with her, “I just hope that over time they both can find a way to heal. Though it’s never easy when you lose someone you love.”

“No, it’s not,” Deana nodded in agreement catching the shadow that fell over Don’s face as she found herself fully aware that his thoughts were lingering to Stephanie once again. Not wanting Don to be in a sad place, she spoke up again and tried to shift the subject, “Grady did something really special for me last night. You see he took me to this place where there was this merry go round of sorts with horses and lights and…”

“Like a carnival?” Don replied curiously.

“Sort of,” she admitted thinking about what Grady had surprised her with. “It turns out that he restored the carousal all by himself and he’s thinking about moving it up north to a place he’s buying with a lot of property around it.”

“Well it sounds like that will be good for him I guess. Does that mean he’s got some kind of love shack he’s planning to sweep you away to?” Don couldn’t help but ask thinking about Deana’s relationship with the older Denton brother.

“Not exactly, but he talked about spending time with Zane and I there. He wanted to know if maybe I would agree to letting Zane have the carousal,” she informed him with a smile, “He told me how he’d always planned on giving it to his son or daughter one day and how after he’d bonded with Zane how he wanted Zane to have it.”

“Just like that?” Don arched a skeptic brow.

“Yeah, just like that,” she brought her hand over her chest and sighed, “It was probably one of the most romantic things that anyone has ever done for me. The more time I spend with Grady, the more I’m starting to think that he could be the one.”

“The one?” Don replied with a sideways glance. “Deana, you haven’t been together all that long, so I don’t really think you can be sure he’s the one just yet.”

“Why not? You and Shannon didn’t even know one another when you were married and you know she’s the one,” she tossed back at him with a frown. “Grady loves Zane and he loves me. He’s been so wonderful and…”

“And the relationship is still new. I’m sure there are things that you don’t know about him--things that you probably wouldn’t like if you really took a long, hard look at who he is,” Don replied with his worries mounting about Deana.

“He’s a good man with a kind heart,” she offered up in Grady’s defense. “Sure, he’s made mistakes, but we all have…”

“Yeah, but he’s not exactly the greatest of guys. Don’t get me wrong. I can totally respect how he’s helping you with Zane and all, but…” he cut in with another frown.

“Don, I know the only reason why you don’t like him is because he challenged Brant. I know that there was a rivalry over Avery between them, but it’s over. Avery isn’t with either one of them,” she pointed out with a frown.

“Because she’s an idiot who didn’t see how good she had it with Brant,” Don quipped in response.

“And it’s a good thing she moved on because the last time I checked Brant was super happy with Angela, correct?” she threw back at him.

“He’s hoping to be,” Don frowned knowing only too well that Angela’s current state of mind had Brant in turmoil.

“What is that supposed to mean?” she questioned.

“Nothing,” Don waved his hand dismissively, “I don’t want to get into it right now. But with you and Grady, you just need to be careful Deana. I know that you really care about him and he’s been okay so far, but all men are dogs and sooner or later…”

“Now you sound like Jason,” she rolled her eyes at him. “Trust me Don I know what I’m doing.”

“You say that now, but…” Don opened his mouth to say something more when the door to the break room opened and Barbara stepped inside with a strange expression.

“Um Don,” Barbara hesitated before motioning to the door that she’d just entered through, “um you have a guest.”

“A guest?” Don replied catching her strange look. “What kind of guest?”

“One that insists upon seeing you right here, right now,” Barbara explained as Don turned to Deana again and frowned. “I’ll be right back.”

“Okay,” Deana exchanged glances with Barbara. “What was that all about?”

“Trust me. You don’t want to know,” Barbara rolled her eyes at the thought of who was waiting for Don, “but in a word…it’s trouble.”


Don walked out into the lobby wondering who could have arrived at the hospital to see him. However, as he turned around the corner, his eyes fell upon the hot pink stilettos and the long, slender legs that lead up to a far too short black miniskirt. There was a bare midriff that lead up to the matching sheer pink top that revealed a black bra underneath. Don took in a breath and realized that it didn’t take much to figure out that it was Jewel behind the long, wavy blonde hair that was pressed in against the wall in her lean while she captured the attention of a few orderlies that were passing by.

“Jewel, hey,” Don greeted her with a smile as the two orderlies that were gawking at her moved on to get back to work. She turned around to face him with a wide grin as her blue-green eyes fixed in on him.

“Hey sexy,” she smiled reaching out to bring her hand over the center of his jacket, “how’s it hanging?”

“It’s um…” he paused unable to refrain from letting his gaze fall down to the low neckline of her shirt, “good. You?”

“I would be a lot better if you would stop hiding that fantastic little secret that you’ve kept under lock and key from me,” she teased her sculpted nails over the center of his chest.

“Excuse me?” he blinked back at her feeling her palm press in against his abdomen before she flashed him a smile.

“Nate,” she blurted out catching him completely off guard. “He’s incredible. I mean it. You have no idea how amazing it was when we were together the other day…”

“Wait a second. You came over here to the hospital to ask me about Nate?” he frowned back at her.

“Well yeah, I figured that since he’s staying at your house that maybe you could give me a tip or two on what he likes,” she wiggled her brow suggestively before tossing her long blonde hair over her shoulder. With the movement, Don couldn’t help but notice the black lacy material of her bra beneath her blouse. Taking in a breath, he looked down the hallway in the opposite direction.

“I don’t know what to tell you,” he replied in an agitated tone, “I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking.”

“What excites him? What turns him on?” Jewel stepped forward once again, “What makes him hot Don? I mean beyond what we shared with one another…”

“Um hello you’re the one that slept with him, not me,” Don wrinkled his nose at the thought. “I figure you should be an expert on dealing with him in that setting.”

“I know I’m very skilled, but I was thinking that maybe I could help him with a fantasy of his since we engaged in one of mine at his workplace the other day,” her grin expanded as she licked her lips, “You know the one that I always wanted to try out with you in a supply closet.”

“That’s refreshing to hear, now if you’ll excuse me,” Don rolled his eyes before starting off in the opposite direction.

“Don wait,” she reached out to snag his arm, “Look I wasn’t trying to be rude.”

“Jewel, I’ve just got work to do,” Don explained drawing in a breath, “My break is over and…”

“It doesn’t have to be,” she slurred reaching out to guide her fingers over his shoulder once again, “Come to think of it as fun as Nate was, I always had hoped that I would act out that fantasy with you.”

“Jewel,” he frowned looking down at her and knowing that while she was very sexy, he wasn’t up for what she was proposing, “I’m a married man.”

“And I’m a married woman,” she tossed back at him flippantly. “What’s your point?”

“My point is that unlike some people out there in the world, with me, well my vows mean something,” Don quipped in response before shaking his head at her, “You should try living up to it sometime. Who knows? Maybe you and Paul might actually enjoy having sex with each other since it’s been so long for the both of you? In fact I‘m willing to guess you‘d both get off on it considering that you‘ll feel like strangers to each other.”

“That’s kind of harsh Don,” she curled her lip in a pout.

“Reality always is Jewel,” Don mouthed in response before shaking his head at her, “I’m getting back to work. Have fun doing what it is that you do.”

“Fine, then don’t help me Don,” Jewel scowled at him before vowing to do what was necessary to get a rise out of Don and Nate in the process. Sure, Don might be being crabby with her at the moment, but sooner or later he would see that you could still have fun and enjoy life even after marriage.


“Oh my god,” Mindy gasped placing her hand over the center of her chest as she sat down on the bench in the corner of the room seeing Nate standing before her as she pressed her hand in over her forehead. “I can’t believe he is gay.”

“I know what you mean, I never really pegged him as a fruit,” Nate began pushing back his sandy blonde hair before looking back in the general direction that Jason was in. “I mean if you saw the way he was looking at you last night you would really think that he was having the hots for you, but I guess he might have just been admiring your shoes or something.”

“Nate, stop it. This isn’t funny,” she reached out to hit him in the stomach softly hearing him let out a small groan before laughing when she stared up into his green eyes. “I really thought he was straight too, it just figures that every man that I think has some feelings for me ends up gay.”

“Well Mindy,” Nate began seeing her stand up from the bench as he placed his hand over his chest seeing the way she stared out at him. “I’ve never ever been gay sweetheart and I totally have a thing for you.”

“Sure you do,” she pushed at the center of his chest rolling her eyes at the comment before watching him push back his sandy blonde hair. Pushing back her hair she let out a small groan before throwing her hands up in the air. “He never seemed gay to me.”

“Hey, it’s okay though,” he pointed out seeing the way she looked out at him with a confused glance as he held his hands up in the air, shrugging his shoulders as he spoke. “I don’t know what to tell you kiddo, but now I don’t have to worry about him trying to move in on you. You can tell that he seemed like a threat at first, but now I just realize you have another mall buddy. It can’t be that bad.”

“Man, this just proves how bad I am at the whole guessing a person is gay thing. I never saw that one coming,” Mindy sat back down seeing the way that Nate took a seat next to her before setting his hand over her knee softly. “I am so bad at predicting these things, but it just figures.”

“Does it really upset you that much?” he saw her glance over at him as he chewed on the gum roughly, the same way he always did when he had a lot on his mind. “I mean if you didn’t really have feelings for him, then why are you freaking out?”

“I don’t have feelings for him,” Mindy blurted out seeing Nate’s eyebrows arch up as he tilted his head to the side almost asking her if she was bluffing. “Trust me Nate, I like him just as a friend, it’s just weird you know. I’ve spent so much time with him and since the beginning he always seemed very straight to me. A little goofy and a little touchy, but I know Guy is the same way. I just never saw the comparison.”

“He was touchy? Oh man, I hate the touchy feely kind of things,” Nate rubbed at his chest wrinkling his nose in response of the way that Mindy looked at him as he let out a long laugh. “What? I just don’t like the idea of people touching me all the time. I used to have this teacher that would pat everyone on the back on the way out. I got so freaked out about it that I would actually count so that he wouldn’t touch me. Eventually I got used to it, but honestly it freaks me out.”

“You have no problems with me touching you,” Mindy pointed out taking a step forward and placing her hand in over the center of his chest seeing the way that he looked down at her with his green eyes. A smile teased in over the corners of his lips as he pressed his index finger in underneath her chin to make her look up at him more clearly. “Why is that then if you have problems with the touchy feely things?”

“Well maybe I just like you,” Nate pointed out arching one eyebrow in response before pushing her dark hair behind her ear. Seeing her blue eyes staring into his, he smiled widely down at her watching the way she laughed lightly. “Did you ever think about that?”

“Ever think about what?” a voice erupted through their ears as both jumped back to look and see that Jason was standing right next to them, his hands resting against his hips. “Sorry for scaring you, I just saw you guys over here and thought I would drop in and say hello.”


“How could it honestly be that bad Kellen?” Kyle heard Heather's voice as the bathroom door opened and he rolled his eyes setting the remote on the couch. Earlier Kellen had dragged Heather into the bathroom with him while he took a shower and the whole time Kyle could hear Kellen’s complaints over the sounds of the shower. “If it really bothers you that bad, just get a divorce.”

“That’s the thing,” Kellen’s voice pierced through Kyle’s head as he grabbed the pillow next to him on the couch falling back and throwing the pillow over his head. “I never thought I would be married, but I never thought I would divorce either. I feel like such a jerk divorcing someone.”

“You aren’t going to be a bad person if you get a divorce,” Kyle pointed out with a groan sitting up from the couch knowing that he could yell back at Kellen now that Charles was asleep. As the pillow fell from his face Kyle let out a long groan seeing Heather and Kellen before him with Kellen only in a white towel around his waist. “Oh god, kill me now.”

“What? This is all your fault Mr. Houston,” Kellen tapped his foot against the ground angrily as he folded his arms in front of his wet chest, feeling the droplets of water falling from his hair. “You’re the one that got milk all over my clothes.”

“Here, save me my sanity and I’ll let you borrow some of my clothes,” Kyle motioned Kellen to follow him into the bedroom hearing Kellen’s footsteps behind him. Reaching into his top drawer he pulled out some athletic pants throwing them over in Kellen’s general direction before pulling open another drawer. “A tank top or a t-shirt?”

“A t-shirt would be nice considering this house is damn cold,” Kellen let out a small shudder knowing that he was just in his towel at the moment and he was freezing. Seeing Kyle throw him back a black t-shirt Kellen nodded slowly before moving back toward the bathroom. “Thank you.”

“Yeah,” Kyle nodded hearing the door shut as he moved back toward the television plopping down on the couch. Heather moved in next to him as he glanced over at her letting out a long breath. “Please tell me he is going to leave after he gets dressed.”

“Just give it time honey,” Heather nudged at his shoulder softly seeing the way that Kyle stared out at her and she shrugged her shoulders before speaking up slowly. “Kyle, that was very nice of you.”

“I just want him out of my house is all,” Kyle explained hearing the bathroom door open and he saw Kellen step out into the living room with his clothes on. “You look much better like that rather than standing in front of me nearly naked.”

“Kipp has no problem seeing me naked honey, so I’m really not that bad if you think about it,” Kellen stated with a small nod as Kyle reached for the pillow hitting himself in the head over and over again before Heather hit Kyle in the shoulder roughly. “Thank you Heather.”

“He’s just being a butthead right now,” Heather glanced over Kyle seeing him roll his eyes before looking back to the television seeing that football was on and he slumped back further into the leather couch. Hearing the timer go off on the washer and dryer Heather stood up motioning Kellen to follow her. “Lets get your clothes.”

“I’ll stay right here,” Kyle threw his hands up in the air before leaning back down on the couch more as he reached for the remote again to turn on a different channel. Seeing Kellen and Heather walk back in, he glanced over Kellen seeing that Kellen was holding his clothes close to his body. “You can keep my clothes there, you look half decent in them.”

“Gee, Kyle thanks,” Kellen walked over to Kyle punching him in the shoulder lightly seeing the way that Kyle’s hazel eyes stared into his. Moving in closer to Heather, Kellen leaned down pressing a small kiss against her cheek. “I have to go honey, but I’ll talk to you later. Hopefully the next time I do, I’m divorced.”

“You’re going to call me in like ten minutes Kellen, so I doubt that’s going to happen,” Heather tapped him on the shoulder lightly hearing Kellen let out a small chuckle before walking out to the front door and waving goodbye. As soon as the door shut she felt Kyle spin her in his arms before pressing her blonde hair back behind her ear. “Kyle.”

“We’re alone, at last,” Kyle smiled widely dipping down to press a kiss against Heather’s lips as she pressed her hand firmly over the center of his chest. “Don’t tell me that you are mad at me because of this Kellen thing.”

“No, I’m not,” Heather felt him spin her around over and over again as she let out a small laugh seeing the smile over his face. “I agree that Kellen is going a little over board there, but you can’t help loving him. He’s so funny when he gets mad.”

“Go away Kellen,” Kyle blurted out hearing a knock on the door as he dipped Heather down to hear the door open and he let out an angered groan. “I said go away.”

“Who is Kellen?” a familiar voice asked Kyle as Kyle dropped Heather to the ground hearing her let out a small gasp once she hit the ground in a thud. Kyle glanced over his shoulder seeing the man that he thought it was before a smile pressed in over the corners of his lips. “Houston, long time no see.”

“Paul?” Kyle questioned moving forward to give his old college buddy a strong hug before pulling back and looking him over. His friend had his long blonde hair pulled back in a pony tail and was chewing on his gum roughly. Kyle heard Heather let out a small noise of anger as Kyle gasped turning around to help her up and he let out a small hesitant laugh. “I’m sorry honey, but this is Paul. You know, the Paul me and Grady talk about all the time. Other than Grady he has to be my best friend ever even though we haven’t talked in a while.”

“Well, I’ll be damned,” Paul stepped forward grabbing Heather’s hand in his before dipping down and pressing a small kiss against the back of it. “Kyle, you’ve picked another winner. I think she tops that last hooters girl I saw you with. You know that one time we won the game against Michigan and went to party. You know the blonde with the big…,”

“He’s just kidding,” Kyle glared out at his friend flashing the wedding ring to his friend seeing the way his friend’s blue eyes widened. Glancing over at Heather, Kyle let out a nervous laugh before nodding slowly. “Honestly baby, he’s really kidding.”


“I knew you were lying to me when you said you were a bad dancer. Not only did you avoid and all collisions with my feet, but you wound up impressing more than half the restaurant with your skills,” Becca laughed lightly once she and Kipp returned to his office after their lunch with one another.”

“Well, what can I say,” he shrugged his shoulders before matching her laughter, “I guess Kellen is having an effect on me in all areas of my life after all because I was terrible at it before I met him.”

“I think you’re very smooth on your feet,” she continued to praise him brightly, “In fact you should’ve signed up for that dance competition that they wanted us to enter.”

“Nah, I’m not that good, but hey maybe Kellen would be interested. You could always win first prize with him at your side. I’m sure of it,” Kipp offered up thinking about Kellen’s love for dancing and music.

“I would rather dance with you,” Becca reached out to touch the lapels on his jacket to pull him into another dance. “We made a great team.”

“We sure do, but I think that we make a much better one in the boardroom than on the dance floor,” he added with a small smile nearly tumbling forward at her urgings.

“Oh I don’t know, I think we are pretty hot together on the dance floor, which means we could be a whole hell of a lot hotter at other things as well,” she mouthed raising up on her toes to put her fingers through his dark hair.

“Becca,” Kipp spoke her name recognizing the gesture and her intentions, but before he could say or do anything to prevent her from following through, he felt her arms hook around his neck and her lips pressing firmly against his in a way the he knew full well shouldn’t be happening with them ever!


Avery closed the door to Erin’s nursery finding herself thinking about her daughter who was now fast asleep after having had her play time and photo session with her and Russ. Pausing for a moment Avery could still hear Russ clicking away at the keyboard with obvious enthusiasm. She stepped into his office area and found him playing with the photos of Erin in photo shop. Unable to repress a smile she walked up behind him and snaked her arms around his shoulders. Leaning down to place a kiss behind the back of his ear she spoke up in a low whisper.

“How’s it going sexy?” she questioned feeling his hands press up over her arms and pull her in closer to him.

“Better than anticipated. Take a look at these,” Russ reached out to pull her into his lap so that she could see what he was working on.

“Wow,” she couldn’t help but grin seeing Erin in the center of a summer day background with a big smile on her face. She tipped her head back over her shoulder to look at Russ curiously, “How did you do that?”

“What can I say?” he grinned back at her, “I have the magic touch.”

“Well I could’ve told you that,” she teased before turning her attention once again, “but seriously I’m amazed at what you did with this.”

“What can I say I had a beautiful subject to work with,” Russ mused with a small smile seeing her reaching for his mouth once she’d spotted something behind the image he’d been working on of Erin.

“Russ, what is this?” she pointed to the screen in front of her.

“Nothing,” he tried to cover only to feel her swat away at his hand.

“I want to see it. Russ, what is it?” she questioned clicking on the project behind Erin only to see a photo that was taken on their honeymoon. Her eyes widened as she saw herself clad in the sexy nightgown that Judy had given her as a gift. Tipping her head to the side she gave him a wide-eyed stare.

“Hey, I was working on a wallpaper for my own personal computer here. For inspiration,” he offered up in his own defense feeling her get up and off of his lap.

“I’m sure,” she replied disbelieving as she pushed her hands into the center of his chest. She moved forward straddling his lap before shaking her head at him, “You really are a big pervert aren’t you?”

“Can I help it if you turn me on baby?” he questioned lazily his green eyes skimming over her. His palm pressed in over her hip, before his fingers flattened out over her ribs and moved up her curvy form.

“You are really hopeless,” she swatted at his hand again this time with a spark of mischief behind her eyes.

“Hopelessly in love with you,” he added leaning forward to place a kiss against her neck. She closed her eyes and arched in closer to him allowing his lips to tease over her soft skin. She felt his lips taper off over her shoulder, pushing her oversized sweater down over her arm just a bit before she curled her finger underneath his chin.

“Russ, are you just saying that in order to get some from me,” she teased with a small wink catching that old, familiar sparkle behind his eyes.

“Would it be so bad if I wanted to show you just how much I love you,” he questioned drawing lazy circles over her shoulder with his index finger.

“How much you love me in general or how much you love me right here,” she wiggled on his lap feeling his body spring to life beneath hers. Her body ground into his for a couple more seconds before he let out a small groan.

“I love you anywhere and everywhere,” he admitted in a low, husky tone, his eyes filled with the promise of passion between them.

“I think I like that answer,” she dipped her fingertips in over the center of his shirt, “although I have to admit that I’m seeking out something more from you.”

“More than my unconditional love?” he arched a curious brow.

“I’m afraid so,” she nodded in response dropping her hands down underneath his shirt. “You see the fact that you’re tinkering around with dirty pictures of me on the computer makes me very nervous. I mean here I am minding my own business and there you are causing mischief while I’m tending to Erin.”

“I don’t think it’s mischief,” he remarked catching that she had something stirring up in the back of her mind.

“Russ, if you’re going to be playing with racy photos of me, then I want something in return.” she leaned in to nibble on his lower lip before reaching beyond him on the desktop to snag his camera away from him. In a quick movement she slid off of his lap before giving him a very obvious once over. Smiling to herself she circled her finger motioning for him to stand up.

“What’s that?” he questioned almost afraid to ask as she set the camera down on one of the filing cabinets.

She moved forward without a sound and reached for his shirt yanking it up over his body. He raised his arms and leaned over offering it to her. Standing up straighter once again, he watched her circle his shirt over her head spinning it around in the air before discarding it.

“That’s a start,” Avery nodded appreciatively before reaching out for the camera she’d previously discarded. She turned the power on before checking the memory card and smiling over at him.

“Avery, what are you doing?” he questioned watching her snap a shot of him standing in front of her shirtless.

“Make me want more Russ,” she suggested snapping another photo of him before circling around to take all of him in. “Whoo would you check out that butt? Now that’s hot.”

“You like this,” Russ wiggled his butt at her, laughing as she took another picture. He spun around to see her eyeing him with obvious interest.

“It would be a hell of a lot better if you lost your pants,” Avery circled her finger around in the air before sinking down into the chair he’d been previously seated in.

“If you put that camera down, then I’ll give you any kind of show that you want Avery,” he leaned forward moving in to attempt kissing her only to feel her leg press into the center of his chest.

“Oh no. The camera stays, but your clothes don’t,” she warned giving him a light-hearted nudge with her toes.

“Are you serious?” he asked his green eyes widening down at her.

“Perhaps we should set the mood with some music,” she suggested reaching over to play with the mouse and his keyboard until she selected a song from his computer. Once she was satisfied with her selection, she returned her focus to him once again. “Now start moving.”

“Man you’re bossy,” Russ curled his lip in a pout, “I don’t ever recall you being so demanding.”

“I’ve always been demanding and you know it,” she licked her lips, her gaze traveling over the warm, muscular planes of his chest. She bit down on her lower lip imaging what it would be like to reach out and trace lazy circles over his body with her tongue. Still, she wasn’t about to give in to letting him know just how interested in him she was. She spoke up in a commanding tone again, “Russ, you’re not convincing me that this is worth my time.”

“You want to see what’s worth your time,” he moved forward reaching out to swipe the camera from her. Before she could protest he pulled her into his arms and crushed her in against him. “I’ll show you what’s worth your time.”

“Do you really think that this is going to get me hot and bothered,” she questioned lazily feigning boredom. She felt his lips tease in over the side of her neck while he held the camera just out of her reach. “Nope, Russ this isn’t cutting it.”

“Like I almost believe that,” he leaned in forward to nibble on her lips before he heard the sound of the doorbell ringing. Pulling back ever so slightly he arched a curious brow and winked at her, “Did you plan that?”

“No, but it’s great timing,” she teased reaching for the camera and snapping one more photo of him before walking away. She bent down and reached for his shirt tossing it over to him before throwing out a wave. “This will be continued later and I will get you out of your pants.”

“Hmm, I like the sound of that coming from your lips,” he winked back at her catching his shirt as Avery left the room to see who had shown up to see them.

“You’re such a dork Russ,” Avery mouthed opening up her front door to see her father standing in front of her with a bright red and yellow polka dot paper covered package in his arms. He grinned down at her before motioning to the room behind her.

“This isn’t a bad time, is it?” he questioned curiously nodding to the box in his hands, “I bought my granddaughter a gift and couldn’t wait to give it to her.”

“Are you kidding?” Avery lit up at the thought. She shook her head before reaching for his arm, “It’s great to have you here. Erin’s sleeping, but I for one would love to see you here.”

“I’m glad to hear it,” he felt her tip up on her toes to kiss his cheek gently. “Where do you want this?”

“I’ll take that,” Russ announced walking into the room and joining him.

“I hope you two weren’t busy,” Richard noted handing the box over to Russ before turning to Avery.

“No, we weren’t. Russ and I were just going through the digital pictures we took of Erin today. We put her in the ladybug outfit that Elliot and Cheryl bought her and the photos turned out too cute for words.”

“Really?” Richard couldn’t help but smile at the thought, “I’ll bet she’s photogenic just like her mother.”

“Even more than I was,” Avery added with a bright smirk.

“I thought I heard your voice so I’m printing out a few of the photos for you now,” Russ explained setting the box down on the table top. “So tell me what did you get Erin?”

“You’ll just have to wait and see, but I think she’ll like it,” Richard added with a cryptic smile.

“If it’s from you, I know she will,” Avery piped in thinking about her earlier conversation with Russ about Angela. Immediately her mood darkened and she felt a weight in her stomach.

“Honey is something wrong,” Richard searched her features for a long moment, worry pressing in over him. “Is something going on with Erin?”

“No, not Erin exactly,” she hesitated wondering how she could bring things up with her father. Still now that she had him alone she had some questions for him. “Daddy I need to talk to you about something. There’s something that we need to discuss and I really don’t know any other way to say it other than being up front about it.”

“Okay,” Richard glanced over at Russ then back to Avery, “Is everything alright with you and Russ honey?”

“We’re fine,” Avery nodded in confession worry building behind her eyes, “but there’s something I need to ask you--something I need to know about mom that could change things for us all from here on out.”


Andy checked the time noting that it was much later than he’d hoped when he’d originally set out to see Angela. Of course now that the traffic had died down around the hospital, he was more than ready to get some alone time with her.

“And what time well spent it will be,” he mouthed to himself reaching into his pocket for the syringe that he’d carried with him. He smiled inwardly thinking about how he would finally finish what he’d set out to do all those years ago knowing that now nothing would stop him. She would just look like she had complications in her accident and no one would question it. Then it would be a small matter of taking care of Kellen.

“I hope you’re feeling better today,” Andy mouthed stepping into Angela’s room only to discover the bed was empty. Frowning he looked around the room searching for a sign of her, but there was nothing.

“No this can’t be,” he blurted out walking back into the hallway and pointing towards the room when a woman from housekeeping passed by. “Where did the patient in this room go?”

“She was going home with her fiancé,” the woman explained walking back into the room to get things ready for the next patient as Andy stood watching wondering if Adonis had found a way to keep him from Angela after all. No matter, he thought to himself, because one way or another he would get exactly everything he needed out of Angela sooner or later.


“Here we are,” Brant opened the front door to the guest house before stepping aside to let Angela into the foyer. He watched her as she moved into the room and took a long look around. Kevin followed with Ria behind him and Brant moved inside as well.

“This isn’t what I expected when you said we were staying at Brant’s place,” Angela explained turning around to face Kevin again with a curious expression, “I mean I kind of thought we would just go home and…”

“And the place we were staying at isn’t home anymore,” Kevin stepped forward touching her arm gently, “I know this will take an adjustment but this place is really incredible.”

“It really is,” Angela nodded in response before turning around to see Brant again, “I can’t believe that this is just your guest house.”

“Well, hey if you would like I can show you around the mansion. There is plenty of room and if you would rather stay in there,” Brant offered up with a hopefulness in his tone.

“Honestly, I think this will work great for Kevin and I,” Angela reached out to snake her arm around Kevin’s waist and give him a squeeze. “It will give us the privacy we need so that we don’t get in the way of you and Ria.”

“Right,” Kevin’s jaw flexed at the mention of Ria and Brant staying with one another. His dark eyes cast a glance over at Ria and without a word he knew full well that she was less than thrilled about the whole idea. How he had managed to get Ria to go along with all of this he had no idea, but now he wished that he could just leave Angela and Brant alone while he and Ria spent some much deserved time with one another.

“Well if you need anything, we’re here for you,” Brant offered up taking a small step forward before rethinking the movement. He paused and drew back enough to give Angela her space.

“I appreciate all that you both have done for me, but I must admit that I would really like to be alone with my handsome man,” Angela flashed a big grin over in Ria’s direction, “You of all people should know what that’s like considering that you have Brant and…”

“I’ll give you alone time,” Ria scowled under her breath ready to say something more when Brant wrapped his arm around Ria’s shoulders squeezing her tightly before she could say something that would disrupt everything that they had started.

“Oh you know Ria and I. We just can’t keep our hands off of one another,” Brant added offering up another squeeze only to feel Ria poke him in the ribs.

“Though you and Kevin really shouldn’t be pawing at one another tonight considering that you were just released from the hospital. As your doctor I would strongly advise you against doing anything that is strenuous for you or the baby,” Ria explained quickly her dark eyes fixed on Kevin again.

“Don’t worry we don’t do anything and I do mean anything that could hurt the baby, Angela or even me,” Kevin replied in a gulp hating to have to pretend.

“Well I’m sure there are things that we can do that won’t cause either one of us any problems,” Angela piped in brightly before releasing Kevin and walking over to the front door. She opened it before turning to Brant and Ria expectantly. “I really appreciate the two of you helping us out, but don’t worry. We won’t be here any longer than we have to be.”

“Please feel free to stay here as long as you like,” Brant walked over to her reaching for her hand and pressing a kiss over the top of her palm.

“Thanks again Brant,” Angela watched him step out of the guest house before she nodded over at Ria. “Ria.”

“Angela,” Ria mouthed sourly feeling Brant urge her out onto the porch with him only to feel Angela shut the door behind their exit. Ria clenched her fists at her sides. “I hate that bitch!”

“Ria come on,” Brant pleaded with her seeing Ria spin around to glare at him.

“Do you have any idea what you’ve done? You’ve just given her all access to my man and believe me if anything happens I’m going to kill you,” Ria wiggled her finger in Brant’s face and glared over at him.

“Nothing is going to happen because Kevin loves you,” Brant offered up seeing the glare he was getting, “Well he does.”

“I know that, but so help me God if she tries something then you’re going to get it Brant,” Ria marched past him with a stomp before turning around to face him again, “And by the way if anything happens I won’t hesitate in killing her. Just know you’re warned now.”

“Fine,” Brant replied knowing there was nothing else that he could do or say because despite the fact that he was trying to play it cool he was just as concerned as Ria was if not more now that Angela seemed to have only Kevin on her mind.


...to be continued...