Staring up at the stars, Heather rested back against the side of the back
of Kyles truck, admiring the view that hung over the both of them now
that they'd slipped away from the rest of the craziness in the world. Everything
here felt great, it was pleasant and it was somewhere where it felt like no
one could hurt you. The past couldnt hurt you and people couldnt
taunt you, it was something that could let you forget about everything and
Heather, Kyles voice spoke up as she watched him jump up into the back with his jacket, moving in closer to her and wrapping it around her shoulders carefully. Honey, is something wrong?
No, well not really, Heather whispered seeing the way that Kyle frowned before sitting down next to her, reaching out to wrap his arm around her shoulders and pull her in closer to his firm chest. I just really have a lot on my mind.
I know how that feels, Kyle let out a long, extended breath as he thought about the events that played out all day long with Paul and he realized that it was something he hoped he never encountered again. I just feel like something is bothering you and is really getting to you.
No, Im okay, she tried to assure him seeing his hazel eyes staring out at her knowing that he knew she was lying about how she was feeling. There really isnt anything going on, I just have a lot on my mind is all.
Well, you do know that if you have to tell me something, Im always here, he promised feeling her fingers fan out in over his muscular chest making him let out a small sigh. You really have no idea how much I will always be here for you.
What does that mean? she whispered seeing something distant behind his hazel eyes as he glanced over at her and shrugged his shoulders. I know you love me and you will always be here for me. There has never been a doubt in my mind about that one, unless unless I totally disappoint you.
Honey, there is nothing you could do to disappoint me, Kyle whispered in a promise before tipping down to press a gentle kiss against her forehead seeing the way that her green eyes looked up at him. Im being honest Heather, you are my world and nothing is ever going to change that. Nothing at all.
You dont know that Kyle, she went to say something more feeling him urge her chin up with his index fingers, his lips skimming in against hers in a loving manner as she pressed her fingers in against his cheek. Kyle, I have to tell you something.
Nothing, Kyle pressed his finger in over her lips softly before pressing tender kisses against her lips, feeling her fingers fanning in over his shoulders, urging him on his back as she laid in over him. I would never let something get to me Heather, you are my everything and nothing is going to change that. I love you Heather, youre the only one for me. No matter what has happened, I will never ever be mad at you.
Promise? she whimpered feeling his rough fingers press her long, blonde hair behind her ear before pressing soft kisses against the tender skin of her neck. Kyle, I need to hear you say it.
Heather, look at me, Kyle urged her green eyes to stare into his as he reached for her left hand holding it in his tightly before running his finger in over the rings representing their love, their marriage.
Nothing is ever going to take you away from me and I promise that.
Nothing is going to turn me away from you, I love you Heather I always have
and I promise I always will.
Before she could protest any longer he pressed her back against the hard back of his truck, pressing tender kisses against her neck before wrapping his muscled arm around her waist pulling her up against him.
I love you so much Heather, Kyle muttered pressing loving kisses against her lips feeling her fingers fanning out over his muscular back making him let out a small breath. Hearing the sudden sound of her cell phone buzzing in her purse over and over again he let out a small groan. But someone obviously thinks they need you more than me right now.
Its probably Kellen, Heather rolled her eyes seeing Kyle move away from her enough so she could sit up and reach for her purse, searching through it to get her cell phone. A small sigh escaped her lips as she felt Kyle move in behind her, pressing her hair to the side as he kissed her neck over and over again. Hello?
What the hell is wrong with the two of you? Kipps voice blurted out loudly through the phone even causing Kyle to move back, his eyebrows tightening together as he let out a small sigh wondering what was wrong now. You leave and decide to let my son stay with some nut?
Kipp, hold on, Heather saw Kyles eyes narrow at her as he tried to listen to what was going on between the two of them. Motioning him to wait Heather slowly got off the back of his truck and down to the ground before moving toward the tree at the edge of the hill. What are you talking about Kipp?
This guy you left our son with is crazy, Kipp hissed after witnessing what was going on between Paul and the ladies he had over at Kyles place. I dont care what you and Kyle are doing, I want you back here right now. You understand me?
Kipp, hold on , Heather tried to find out more before hearing a click at the other end telling her that it didnt matter what she had to say, Kipp was furious beyond belief. Turning around she saw Kyle getting off the back of the truck and moving in closer to her with her purse in his hand. I think its time to head out.
I figured that would the next thing you would say to me, Kyle muttered shutting the back of his truck before motioning her in closer to him, handing her the purse she left in the back of his truck before wrapping his arms around her tightly. I love you so much honey.
I love you too, she whispered letting out a long sigh resting her head against the center of Kyles firm chest feeling him press a small kiss against her forehead. We should go soon before Kipp decides to kill the both of us.
How was dinner for you sweetheart? Caleb questioned moving forward
to press Stacys blonde hair back behind her shoulder, his green eyes
staring into hers as she offered up a small smile. I see you didnt
really eat that much.
I wasnt very hungry, Stacy nervously answered seeing the man before her let out a wide smile as she felt Caleb move in closer to her pressing a small kiss against the side of her neck making her freeze up a bit. Sorry about that.
Its okay honey, Thorsten whispered seeing the way that Stacy nodded before feeling Caleb moving in closer to her, wrapping his muscular arm around her shoulders tightly. It could save your hunger for the party we are going to.
Party? Stacy questioned turning to see the look in Calebs green eyes before letting out a nervous laugh just thinking that they were going to a party by themselves. What kind of party?
Honey, I thought I mentioned something to you, Caleb muttered seeing the way Stacy looked at him, not knowing what to respond with as he shook his head slowly curling his index finger in underneath her chin. Were going to this really big casting party they were having. Thorsten set everything up for you to be there honey and I think you would fit in so great. Please go, for me.
Well , Stacy went to say something more only to feel Caleb move in closer to her, pressing a soft kiss against her lips as his fingertips caressed her cheek tenderly. I guess I could do that for you. It could be fun.
I thought you might like that, Caleb smirked hearing her let out a small laugh only for her to move forward and kiss him this time, her lips moving against his as he let out a small sound of satisfaction. I know youll love it honey.
Its where you truly belong, Thorsten urged her seeing the way that Stacy nodded before squeezing Calebs hand and stood up from the table slowly. You ready to leave?
Im actually going to run to the ladies room real quick, Stacy informed them grabbing her purse and moving through the restaurant quickly seeing the way Calebs green eyes stared out at her until she finally got to the bathroom. I have to tell Jackie.
Setting her purse down on the sink to the bathroom she checked to make sure
no one was in the room with her before taking her cell phone and dialing Jackies
phone number. Just when she thought it would be Jackie answering the phone,
she was wrong and disappointed to hear Lindsay on the other end.
Where is Jackie? Stacy questioned with a small frown looking at herself in the mirror making sure everything still looked good enough for Caleb before letting out a small sigh. I really need to tell her something.
Shes in the gas station, we are going over to see Daniel at the mansion, Lindsay informed Stacy with a frown knowing that something big had to have happened for Stacy to sound this excited. We are going over to meet his cousin thats in town for a couple of days. Why, whats going on?
Well, I figured I would call with updates, Stacy gushed further on the subject before letting out a long sigh, pleased with what had been happening all night long with Caleb and Thorsten. You see Caleb took me to this real nice restaurant and introduced me to this guy he knew that had connections with big people. I mean big people Lindsay and Im going to a casting party.
A casting party? Lindsay muttered before thinking back to how Caleb acted around her, the way he seemed like a total sleazebag and she let out a small groan. Stacy, I really dont think its a good idea. You just need to keep us updated with where you are going and everything.
Yeah, yeah, Stacy rolled her eyes before thinking about how Caleb and Thorsten must have been waiting for her. Well, Im going to head out, I will send you texts with updates. Ill talk to you later.
Hearing the click on the other end Lindsay let out a small sigh realizing that while her friend might be having the best time of her life, but it might lead to more problems than she cared to admit.
Brant stood outside the bedroom door trying to process what hed thought
his mind had conjured up once hed reentered the bedroom to get his clothing.
One minute hed been cursing himself for leaving a few things back in
the room, but then the next he found himself wondering if hed in fact
been anything, but alone in the bedroom. Closing his eyes he thought back
to what hed thought hed witnessed in hearing Angela moving around
in the other room. Could it be possible that shed been watching him?
Waiting for him to make a move in the bedroom?
No, its just wishful thinking on your end, Brant tried to convince himself taking in a deep breath before knocking on the door in the hopes of capturing Angelas attention. Hed missed her so much lately that he was willing to take anything he could get even if it was just his imagination getting the best of him. Reaching out to knock on the door again, he found himself pleasantly rewarded by the sound of the lock clicking and the door opening to reveal a revived Angela on the other end of the door.
Hi, she spoke up in a quiet tone, her dark eyes filled with obvious contemplations. She tipped her head up to meet his gaze and if Brant hadnt known better, he wouldve believed that shed been blushing. Her cheeks seemed flushed and if he didnt know better he couldve sworn that she was eyeing him with that same look of lust that had been so very familiar between them since theyd reunited again.
Hi, Brant replied with a sly grin, leaning up against the doorframe as his eyes swept over her. He couldnt help but notice how incredibly beautiful she appeared standing before him in a simple red t-shirt and black sweat pants. Her short hair was tucked behind her ears and her face had a natural glow about it that in a word made her truly stunning. Just being this close to her made his pulse race, his body long to reach out and touch her, but he remained firm in his resolve not to push the issue before its time, You look refreshed.
I feel refreshed, she replied matching his smile when the corners of her lips upturned. You were right. The shower was everything that I needed to feel better. There is something nice about getting syrup out of your hair.
Tell me about it, Brant laughed lightly seeing the genuine warmth that radiated over her face, and your clothes?
I put them in the hamper like you suggested, she noted with a quick nod, I hope it wont be too much trouble for you with my leaving them here.
Ill have them taken care of and shipped to the guest house later, he promised wishing that she would forget about Kevin and the guest house and just stay with him. Its no trouble at all.
Thank you Brant, she tipped her head to the side, her brown eyes widening. Her gaze dropped to his lips and he watched her involuntarily drag the tip of her tongue over her bottom lip as if she too had been imagining what it would be like to reach out and kiss him right about now.
Youre very welcome, he spoke in a low, inviting tone, his dark eyes caressing every warm line of her body now that she was within his reach, yet so far away.
So um, she cleared her throat uneasily, Have you heard anything from Kevin? Has he returned yet?
Not the last time I checked, Brant stepped back feeling the moment they were sharing passing him by. He moved out into the hallway again before pointing to the staircase, but we can always see if hes downstairs waiting for us.
Thats probably a good idea, she nodded in response making a forward movement. She met his gaze again and stopped before turning towards the stairs.
Is something wrong? he questioned sensing her hesitation. He made a small movement towards her worried that something was troubling her.
No, its just she paused her pulse quickening as she felt the scent of his cologne lingering in over the air between them.
Just what? he couldnt help but ask reaching out to touch the side of her face gently, Youre flushed. Are you sure youre feeling alright?
Im fine, she nodded feeling butterflies forming in her stomach. I just really want
Want? he repeated seeing the breath escape from her lips, the rise and fall of her chest now that they had made contact with one another. His fingertips teased into her hair gingerly in a subtle movement and she made no attempt to break away from the moment. It was as if she was welcoming it as much as Brant was enjoying sharing it with her.
We should probably find Kevin, she finally cleared her throat, turning her head away before either one could say anything further.
Right, Brant nodded feeling her pulling away from him again. He watched her walk over to the stairs, slowly descending over them and his heart sank all over again. It seemed that with every step forward he made with her, he found himself even further behind in his quest to have her remember what it was that they had shared with one another!
I hate that things have to be like this, Ria blurted out pulling
the t-shirt Kevin had given her down over her slender frame before turning
around to face him after Don had left a long while earlier. You cant
tell me that you arent completely on edge over having to pretend that
were not in love with one another.
Ria, if you even have to ask, Kevin groaned turning around to face her. He set his t-shirt down on the chair beside him before stepping forward and capturing her hands in his. Trust me this is the absolute last thing that I want to do right about now. I know what Brant said, but believe me if I didnt have to do this I wouldnt have.
But that doesnt change how things really are, she frowned up at him thinking about how they had given into passion with one another. Don found us today Kevin and if he could find us like he did, then who is to say that one day we wont slip up and Angela will find us?
Hey, it would make things a hell of a lot easier, Kevin couldnt help but tease catching the fact that she was less than amused with the situation, Well its true.
Whats true is that woman thinks shes back to a point in time when you two are going to be married and starting a family with one another. She believes that you are head over heels in love with her and that youre going to be together forever, Ria sighed heavily feeling him squeeze her hands again.
But thats so far from the truth that its not even funny, Kevin released her hands, opting to curl his finger underneath her chin to urge her to meet his dark gaze, Ria you and I both know that Im not in love with her.
I understand that, but when youre off pretending to be with her, where does that leave room for us and our future? How can we be together when shes always reaching out to you holding your hand and wanting you to be with her at all hours? she groaned attempting to look away from him. When she felt him holding her near him she closed her eyes and sighed, Kevin I just dont see how we can continue to keep up this charade when the stakes are so high?
Ria, I dont want anything to happen to her children. I owe her and Brant that much, he tried to explain to her thinking about what could happen if Angela had some kind of relapse.
You dont owe her anything Kevin, Ria blurted out with a groan, I know that sounds horribly selfish, but its true. Youve done nothing, but sacrifice your life for her time and time again. All she has done is hurt you and the longer this goes on, the harder its going to be in the long run.
Ria, this isnt something I planned on--something that I even wanted and Ill be honest, the last thing I want to do right about now is to go back into that house and pretend that I am hoping for a future with her because when it gets down to it the only future I want ahead of me is the one I know Im going to have with you. You believe that, dont you?
I want to Kevin, but with our sneaking around like this, she hesitated a tiny shiver creeping in over her, It makes me feel like were doing something wrong here--like were the ones having an affair when shes there waiting for you.
Ria, youre the woman Im going to marry. You are the woman I want to be having a family with. Not Angela, Kevin blurted out sensing her insecurities resurfacing. Hell, do you think its easy for me to see you with Brant? Its killing me to think that you can spend that much time with him while Im stuck with her.
With Brant, she let out a small laugh, You have to be kidding me, right?
When I saw you two together on the kitchen floor it upset me, Kevin explained his jaw flexing with anger, really upset me.
Why? she blinked back at him confusion settling in over her.
Because hes the last man in the world that I would want touching you. I didnt like seeing you two together like that, Kevin admitted freely not ashamed to admit to the jealousy that burned over him when hed seen her with Brant. I know how women fall for his charm and
Im not Angela, she pointed out catching him off guard, Im not going to just suddenly decide that Brants got so much more to offer.
Im not saying that you will, but with the two of you spending so much time together. I know hes got a reputation for being a bit of a ladies man, Kevin cleared his throat uneasily knowing how ridiculous he was starting to sound.
And Angela thinks that you two are destined to be together. Shes already planning your wedding and the next fifty years of your life together. Top that off with the fact that you did almost marry her once and that you two had a child with one another and you can see why I have far more reason to worry than you do about Brant, she couldnt help but admit feeling her own worries mounting.
Brants a pretty persuasive guy, Kevin noted shaking his head, Ive seen how he tempts otherwise rational women into falling into his arms.
Youve seen Angela fall into his arms. Believe me Im not as easily persuaded as she is, she shrugged her shoulders before reaching out to tease her finger over the center of his muscled chest, Besides I would have to say that youre pretty persuasive yourself with the way you came in here all wild and intense just now. The way you pulled me off the ground like you did
I couldnt help myself, Kevin dragged his thumb over her bottom lip with a small purr, You just do something to me--something that I cant contain and
If we keep talking about it, Angelas going to start looking for us and well be in big trouble, Ria pulled back hating to break the contact, but knowing that they had no choice but to find their way back to the mansion. Just promise me that well be able to continue this somehow later.
You have my word on it and I dont care what I have to do or say with Brant we will have our time together, he reached out to her pulling her into his arms for one last, lingering kiss. He held onto her for a brief moment longer before stepping back and motioning to the door, After you.
Alright, Ria finally nodded making a movement towards the door and stepping out into the yard. She glanced over her shoulder to see Kevin following behind. She spun around again and nearly plowed right into the man in front of her.
Hey, Russ spoke up catching Ria before they could collide. He let out a small laugh as he released her, Looks like were just in the mood to keep bumping into one another today--quite literally.
Russ, Kevin greeted his friend moving up to join Russ and Ria, Hey, are you leaving?
Im just about finished here, Russ nodded trying to forget the anger that had carried over him in his arrival. Russ gave Kevin and Ria a once over seeing how they both had damp hair and were in new clothes, I take it you two took a break from the make believe for a while.
We needed one, Kevin nodded in confession, Things have been pretty tense around here since Angela forgot half of her life.
Ill bet, Russ looked between the two of them before adding, Just dont let this place drive you crazy. It has a tendency to do that if youre not careful.
We wont, Ria announced reaching out to squeeze Kevins hand in hers for a brief few seconds. Weve already agreed on that.
Its easier said than done. Believe me, Russ glanced over at the house again before looking to them.
So whats the deal with you and the old man? Kevin couldnt help but ask nodding over towards the house. You two okay?
Hes a stubborn old man and he means well, but I guess were still trying to figure out the boundaries between us at this point. Its an uphill climb for sure, Russ admitted with a small shrug.
Well listen if you need anything--anything at all, you know how to reach me, Kevin offered up supportively.
I think youve got more than enough on your plate, but Ill keep it in mind, Russ nodded in response, Thanks to both of you though really and good luck. Youll need it.
Thanks, Kevin replied with a nod watching Russ head off to go to his car before Kevin looked to Ria again, You ready to go back in there?
Do we really have a choice, she sighed knowing full well that the worst was far from over now that they had to return to the lies that had been spun out after Angelas amnesia set in. She just hoped and prayed that the lies would soon find a way to end for all of them!
What are you talking about? Avery questioned shaking her head
at Jenna after shed touched up her makeup a bit after her crying fest
on Gradys shoulder.
Im talking about what I saw happening with you and Grady a little while ago, Jenna mouthed with a small frown shaking her head at Avery, Whats that all about?
Nothing, Avery waved her hand dismissively thinking about the words that Grady had offered her, I guess I was just feeling upset about things that have been happening and Grady was offering his support.
He looked like he was hoping to offer a whole hell of a lot more than that when I walked in, Jenna pointed out with a scowl shaking her head at Avery, He looked like he was ready to lay a kiss on you there.
Jenna, thats so far from the truth its not even funny, Avery let out a nervous laugh shaking her head at her friend, Its not like that with Grady and I. Its never been like that.
I wouldnt go so far as to say never, Jenna watched Avery pacing around her office again, I seem to remember a woman who was in turmoil a few months ago because she was worried about her marriage to Brant because she kept finding herself attracted to her former brother-in-law.
I was upset because I lost Russ, Avery tried to defend herself to Jenna, At the time I think I was searching for anyone who would make me feel the way that Russ did. Grady was just the closest thing to Russ that I had.
Even so, Jenna sighed heavily, I know that you had those feelings for him when you two almost
Jenna, I was barely twenty when that happened, Avery rolled her eyes and shuddered at the memory, Almost sleeping with Grady Denton was the biggest mistake of my life. Scratch that had I ever really slept with him that wouldve been the biggest mistake. Hes special to me yes, but I would never, ever see him in that way.
Thats not what you were saying when you were with Brant. It sounded like things mightve been headed in that direction if I do recall myself, Jenna eyed her suspiciously, I remember when Grady and Kyle got into that war and you were the one always with Grady. I know you two were away together when Bruce found you and
Oh my God Jenna please, Avery rolled her eyes again, I so would not have done anything with Grady. Its not like that. It never was like that and it will never be like that. Hes just my friend and Russells brother.
If you say so, but the vibe I was getting in here when I walked to the office was one that I dont think Russ or Gradys girlfriend wouldve been comfortable with. To me it seemed like there was a man who was hoping for something that he mightve felt passed him by, Jenna added with a hint of curiosity. He seems like maybe just maybe he wished Russ hadnt returned when he did so that maybe hed be the second chance at love you were looking for.
Okay, now I know youre being ridiculous, Avery rolled her eyes again, Grady and I are not even remotely close to having a relationship with one another and we never will. Theres only one man in this world for me and thats Russ. Grady of all people should know that. Besides, you totally misread the situation.
Im not so sure, but regardless, Jenna groaned, I didnt come over here to start a fight with you. I came over because I was hoping that maybe you could help me out with something. You see Im having issues with Hart and I figured it might be worth getting an outside opinion.
Issues how? Avery questioned worriedly, Youre not fighting are you?
No, not exactly, Jenna shook her head before hesitation carried over her, You know how I told you about Sam being his daughter.
Avery nodded, Yes.
Well, it turns out Sam and Wayne went to London and she fell in love with London while they were there, Jenna explained thinking about what started Harts downward spiral.
I cant say I blame her. Its beautiful and I always liked it when my family took trips out there. Its easy to fall in love with for sure, Avery noted with a warm smile.
I wont argue that, but when she returned she told Hart that not only had she fallen in love with it, but that she wanted to be able to experience it full time, Jenna revealed to her with a sigh.
Full time as in she dreams of one day absorbing the culture again or Avery arched a curious brow.
She is hoping to move out there. She applied for a few schools out there and she wants to start over again in London making a name for herself. In fact shes so convinced that this is the best move that she initially asked Hart to help her so that she could get into one of the schools out there, Jenna continued to explain to her, However, given that hed missed out on so much of her life already he wasnt eager to comply. He was hoping he could convince her to stay here so that they could get the chance to know one another, but to make a long story short his options were taken from him when his father offered Sam a full paid trip out there. Hes offered to set her up with a place and help her with school so that she can live out her dreams.
Which has to have Hart in an uproar, Avery noted remembering what Jenna had told her about Hart and Walts bitter hatred for one another.
Exactly, so Im at the point where Im trying to calm him down, but hes going off the deep end. Hes carrying on like a lunatic and while I understand that hes upset about the idea of losing his daughter, he just cant seem to think clear or rational about whats happening. Hes even talked about going to Beth and making sure that they stop Sam from leaving, Jenna added with a worried expression.
Which could never be good given how Beth is, Avery added knowingly, Shes always been trouble.
And she thrives off of drama. Im really afraid if I cant find a way to help Hart get over what hes feeling that hes not only going to lose Sam, but hes going to hurt himself in ways he never thought possible. Theres just so much happening right now that every time I try to talk to him, hes lost inside his own little world. The other night he was ready to attack Walt after he found out that Walt provided Sam with what she needed, Jenna stopped herself feeling her emotions get the best of her, Avery I love him so much and I dont want to tell him what is right and wrong with his daughter, but I feel like Im backed into a corner on this one. Im not Sams mother and obviously Hart is her father, but there has to be some middle ground in all of this. I want to offer my advice without sounding pushy and
Hey, its okay, Avery offered up seeing how upset her friend was, I know that Hart sounds like hes dealing with a lot right now, but he loves you and you two are going to have a child together. That in itself is something to think about.
I know, but right now I feel like hes overwhelmed with anger and rage towards his father. Hes been bitter over the situation and now that it stands that he might lose Sam, Im so afraid Im going to lose him in all of this and I dont know how to stop it from happening, Jenna revealed thinking about the man she loved and hoping that there was some way she could prevent her worst fears from becoming a reality for her sooner or later.
JT opened up the bedroom door only to discover Evie seated in front of the
vanity brushing her hair while she stared blankly into the mirror in front
of her. Gently he pushed the door to a close before stepping in behind her
and placing his hands on her shoulders. He leaned forward dropping a feathery
light kiss on the side of her neck before whispering in her ear.
You look beautiful, he mouthed kissing the side of her neck once more.
My hair is a mess, she set the brush down on the table before bringing her fingers up through her damp hair, I guess I shouldve rethought the whole swimming idea.
I dont know, JT shrugged his shoulders gently, It did have its perks.
Just not as many as I was hoping for since we kind of leapt in without protection, she eyed him intently from his reflection in the mirror. Bringing her hand up over his she couldnt help but squeeze it gently, Tell me something, would we have truly made love if you had a condom with us?
Would you have truly wanted to? JT arched a curious brow feeling her shifting beneath his touch. He released his hand from her shoulder watching as she stood up, the satin robe that shed been wearing moving with her body as she crossed the room.
Id hoped so, she admitted spinning around to face him again. She forced a small smile before adding, Im still hoping well get around to that sooner or later.
We will, he promised watching her take a seat on the bottom of the bed. She crossed her long legs, allowing the material of her robe to part and expose her smooth skin to his hungry gaze. He forced himself to look away before his thoughts got the best of him. So are you sure that youre okay?
Of course, she nodded arching further back onto the bed, Why do you ask?
I was worried when you rushed in here like you did, he admitted glancing over at her again before crossing the room. He reached for his suitcase and pulled it up off of the floor. Carrying it over to the bed, he set it down beside her and spoke up again, You seemed uncomfortable outside with Cameron.
I wasnt exactly thrilled with what his girlfriend did, she admitted falling back onto the blankets. Turning on her side, she propped herself up on her elbow and eyed him intently, Shes kind of a bitch, isnt she?
Thats putting it mildly, he nodded in confession unzipping his suitcase and pulling it open. He grabbed a new set of clothing in the hopes of cleaning up after their adventure. Shes notorious for making people around her miserable.
That doesnt surprise me at all, Evie let out a tiny shudder thinking about what shed witnessed with Sarah. She wrinkled her nose before speaking up again, When she poured that drink on me I was ready to tear her head off. She deserved it you know.
I wont argue that, but Im glad that you let me pull you back. I didnt want us to have to deal with murder as well on our ends since were about to enter paradise with one another, JT added glancing up at her again and seeing the way that her hair had fallen to the side of her face framing it in such a way that he couldnt help but be taken in by her.
Even so I think your brother can do better, she slid her fingers down over the side of her hip, taking advantage of the movement and pooling the side of her robe up with it. She pushed the silken material aside hoping to capture JTs attention as she spoke up again, He seems like a nice guy, but she is really a piece of work.
I wont argue that. I think Cameron just likes to take on projects that no one else will touch, he blurted out, tipping his head up to see the very erotic view of her legs that shed offered him. He watched her dangle her toes close to where hed set the suitcase and he cleared his throat again trying to focus, Hes just a sucker for lost causes I guess.
So you both are a lot alike in that department, Evie noted with a hint of a smile brewing behind her mischievous lips. I think thats a bit of an admirable quality in its own way.
It all depends, he shrugged feeling her push the suitcase out of the way. He stood up straighter seeing her slender fingers patting the bed beside her indicating that shed wanted him to join her. I think Camerons going to wind up in over his head if hes not careful.
Something tells me that hes a big boy who can hold his own, she curled her finger while inching up in closer to him, Just like Im pretty sure you can more than do the same when push comes to shove.
Its funny that you say that because, JT started glancing over at her again only to discover that shed been holding a condom strategically placing it near the top of her chest where her fingers traced over the low neckline of the robe shed been wearing. She arched up closer to him, allowing the material to drop off of her shoulder to reveal her bare skin to him.
Because it gets you thinking wayward thoughts, she arched a curious brow moving in over closer to him. She pressed her palm into his shoulder and watched as he fell back onto the blankets with her urgings. Taking advantage of the momentum shift between them, she climbed into his lap and grinned like the cat who ate the canary. Its clear that you and your brother have a lot in common in the department of taking on charity cases.
I wouldnt consider myself someone to take on charity cases, JT cleared his throat again watching her wave the condom around in the air again. He tipped his head to the side watching her with a puzzled expression, Where did you get that?
Lets just say I did a little exploring while you were outside with Cameron and I found something I liked, she admitted with a playful laugh reaching for the tie on her robe, I really dont think that your brother will miss it, do you?
I really dont think so, but JT stopped himself watching her open up her robe to reveal her naked form to him. His dark eyes swept over her ravenously and he sucked in a sharp breath. Evie, I thought we already talked about this with one another and
Shh she leaned forward placing her index finger over the center of his lips to silence him, You said if we wouldve had a condom, then we couldve followed through on my intentions with one another.
I know what I said, but he gulped feeling her shift over him in a seductive movement. Instinctively he reached out to her, curling his palm around her hip to hold her over him.
But nothing. You asked me to marry you and Ive already said yes, so I dont see why there is any reason in the world why we would have to hold off on consummating our relationship. Do you? she wiggled her brow at him suggestively before reaching out to grab the center of his shirt.
Well no, but he felt her yank him forward, her lips coming crashing down into his. Without thought or warning he curled his arms around her feeling the softness of her body over his, the sweet intoxication of her tempting him in ways that hed fought to contain from the moment hed met her. She was pure desire and lust wrapped into one perfect slender package and as her mouth beckoned his to sweet surrender, he couldnt help but be taken in by her.
Youre going to be the death of me, he mouthed in a low groan, feeling a heat lick over every inch of his body. He raised his arms allowing her to peel his shirt off of his body and discard it onto the floor. Within a matter of seconds, he hugged her in against him feeling their skin against skin contact all too much to bear as he let out a small groan. He reached out to her pushing her hair away from her face so that he could see her dark passion-filled eyes upon him. You play like youre so sweet and innocent, but when it gets down to it youre by far one of the most scheming seductresses that Ive ever known.
Would you rather I play shy and innocent? she questioned with the beginnings of a smirk touching over her lips.
For someone thats not exactly been around the block before, youve surely got a very bold take on things, he noted seeing her eyes sparkle with mischief as he held her.
Thats because I know Ive got the best lover beside me--one who isnt going to lead me astray, she smoothed her hands over his chest, taking in the warm lines of his body, I know for a fact that youre going to be perfect for me every step of the way.
Perfect, he smiled at the thought, lightly brushing his fingertips over her spine, I dont know if I would go that far, but Ill give it my best shot to live up to your expectations.
They are pretty high just about now, but I have no doubt in my mind that youll blow me away quite literally, she teased with a flirty kiss, moving in to nibble on his lower lip. She felt his tongue meet hers in a moment of fevered frenzy before she rolled back onto the bed taking him with her. Her hands dropped down to his pants, working to destroy any and all barriers between them, but his wrist caught hers urging her hand up to his shoulder again.
The first lesson in all of this is that there is no need to rush something so right, he whispered warmly over her skin, his lips descending to her shoulder to place tender kisses over her. He bit down on the side of her neck before his tongue traced a pattern over her skin. His palm pressed in over her thigh, feeling tiny shivers carry over her with each breath that escaped her now parted lips.
Should I try to open this, she questioned awkwardly reaching out to extend her fingers over the blanket to grab the condom shed stolen from one of Camerons drawers.
Not just yet, he reached for her hand lacing their fingers with one another before kissing her again. His dark eyes met hers once more and he smiled down at her, admiring her beauty and watching the way her skin grew flushed with desire, Right now I want to take the time to show you a whole new meaning of the word pleasure. You see in making love to someone its not about just cutting to the chase and going for it. Its all about taking the time to learn what the other person desires--what feels good and what feels right between two people.
You feel right to me, she gasped feeling his touch fan out over her skin, massaging her gently. JT
Just relax, he captured her lips in yet another kiss, because I promise you that there will be plenty of trips to heaven before we get to that point with one another.
Oh JT, Evie sighed sinking further back into the blankets in anticipation of all the new world of desire that JT had promised to share with her. Something told her that it wouldnt be anything short of divine now that they were finally on the road to happily ever after with one another.
Dont you think we should have called first? Lindsay questioned
looking up at the Ashford estate in front of her. I mean what if Daniel
Hey the guard buzzed us in, Jackie pointed out bringing her car to a park in the circular drive, so obviously they dont mind us being here.
I guess, Lindsay paused looking to the house again as a frown touched over her lips, though maybe you should try to call Stacy again. See how shes doing.
Um shes on a date with a very hot, older guy, Jackie pointed out bringing her keys out of the ignition and opening up her car door. Im sure shes doing just fine.
Im not so convinced, Lindsay began again with a small frown.
Of course youre not, Jackie groaned outwardly. Youre such a buzz kill. First you wouldnt let us stick around and see what Jason was up to and then
Im worried about my friend, Lindsay interrupted with a huff, Thats what a mature, responsible person does.
Yeah well Im only a teenager. Im not supposed to be mature and responsible yet, Jackie explained circling around her car and motioning for Lindsay to follow. You know you should try it sometime. You might find you enjoy life more if you just learn to relax.
Its not about relaxing, Lindsay offered up in protest as the two girls stepped up to the front porch. She watched Jackie ring the bell before the door opened and they were escorted inside.
Just try to have fun, Jackie suggested as they headed towards the library to wait for Daniel.
Its not that. Its just Lindsay began when a voice interrupted her.
Well, well look what we have here. Does mom know that youre out this late? Don questioned causing Lindsay to practically leap out of her skin. He chuckled as he leaned in against the wall and gave her a once over. So what kind of trouble are you two getting into today?
First of all its not that late Don, Lindsay offered up curling her lip in protest, and second
We havent gotten into trouble just yet, but if were lucky we just might, Jackie laughed in a flirty fashion as she tossed her dark hair over her shoulder. What about you Don? Being a bad boy or are you in need of getting a spanking?
Jackie, Lindsays jaw practically dropped at her friends statement.
Im always good, Don simply responded ignoring Jackies attempt at flirting. Seriously though what are you two up to and wheres your partner in crime?
Partner in crime? Jackie repeated curiously.
Yeah, wheres Stacy, Don couldnt help but ask. Wasnt she with you two before?
Shes um Lindsay started nervously feeling something tugging at her insides.
Meeting us later, Jackie explained curling her arm in Lindsays, and were here to see Danny, so well talk with you later Don.
Not so fast, Don gave his sister another long look, Linds, can I talk to you for a minute?
Um sure, Lindsay nodded in response as Jackie leaned in closer to her.
Dont ruin Stacys night, Jackie warned giving her a small glare before going off in search of Daniel. See you in a few.
Sure, Lindsay nodded before turning to face her brother with guilt eating away at her.
Ok, Ill bite where is Stacy really at? Don questioned cutting straight to the point.
Shes not with us tonight, Lindsay offered up a hint of the truth.
I got that much, but I can also see that youre hiding something, Don moved in closer to her. What is it?
Its just Lindsay drew in a small breath remembering Jackies warning before she blurted out the truth. Stacy went on a date with some older jerk that she met at a club the other night and I dont think hes a good guy. They went to some party and
Where? Don frowned in response.
I dont know, she admitted honestly, but Im worried about her. I even tried to call her mom and let her know that she wasnt with us when Jackie was in the store earlier, but I cant get a hold of her.
Does Dave know that Stacys out with this guy? Don couldnt help but ask. Never mind I already know that answer. If Dave had any idea he probably wouldnt have let Stacy leave. So tell me how old is this guy?
Way too old for her and hes a slime. I can just tell by the way that he touches her, Lindsay offered up with a tiny shudder, and just the way he was looking at me
Looking at you, Don replied his frown intensifying, Lindsay, have you tried to contact Stacy and check in on her?
Her cell phone is out of the service area, Lindsay admitted with a sigh bringing her hand up through her blonde hair. I tried to reach her, but
Do you have any idea where they were going? To where he was taking her? Don questioned.
No, but Im worried Don. Really worried, she bit down on her lower lip nervously. I mean I know she likes this guy, but
But if you dont like him, then theres probably plenty of reason for you not to, Don added thinking about Jewels daughter. So you dont know anything about where shes at?
No, well actually, she reached into her pocket, That jerk Caleb gave me this card with his number on it if I wanted to reach him. He invited Jackie and I to meet up with them later, but I didnt get a good vibe.
Thats because youre a smart girl, Don replied extracting the card from her hand and taking a look at it. Im sure well find her.
Don, what are you going to do? she couldnt help but ask.
Im going to try to get a hold of Jewel and have her find her daughter especially since it sounds like shes in some kind of trouble, Don noted turning his attention to his sister again, so if you hear from Stacy, you just call my cell phone and let me know.
Don, I know I probably sound like a baby about this, but she hesitated knowing only too well that Jackie and Stacy would be upset with her for blurting out the news on where Stacy was.
No, youre not. I know you and your instincts and if you felt there was something shady happening, then youre probably dead on with your assessment. Just stay out of trouble and Ill keep you updated.
Thanks Don, she reached out to embrace her brother.
Youre welcome and dont worry. Ill take care of this, he replied giving her a brief hug and kissing the top of her head. Trust me.
I do, she nodded back at him just hoping that something horrible hadnt happened to her friend while shed sat back in silent worry. She just hoped that whatever Don had planned that he could fix the situation somehow and keep Stacy out of trouble.
So where are you two off to? Augustus questioned after he and
Wendy had taken the time to discuss a new piece of art that hed acquired
during a business acquisition. Surely, youd much rather stay here
and enjoy the quietness in the house tonight instead of trotting around town.
Its hardly quiet around here lately, Ken mouthed in response curling his arm around Wendys waist. The last time I checked it was a zoo around here with everyone coming back into town.
Everyone isnt back, Augustus started to argue the point.
Lets see. Weve got you back and Zoë was floating around here with Daniel, Ken recounted his family members being in town. Joel is lingering around here somewhere
Zoës not around, Wendy corrected thinking about everyone in the estate. She had to fly back to London for a few days
So Daniels running around unsupervised with all of Brants toys accessible to him. Even better, Ken couldnt help but laugh. Were in great standing if he and Joel get into Brants game room. Itll become party central.
Come on Kenneth. You were young once. Surely you find the time to enjoy yourself every now and then, Augustus teased with a small wink.
Not nearly as often as I should, Ken confessed feeling Wendy nudge him in the ribs.
But were working on it, Wendy assured Augustus, like with tonight. Were actually having dinner with Russ and Avery.
Russ and Avery? Augustus arched a surprised brow. Really?
Yeah, they invited us over for dinner at their new place and from what Ive heard its beautiful. I cant wait to see it considering that Wendy started to gush over what shed been told.
I dont know if thats such a good idea, Augustus interrupted with a small frown.
Just because Brant is set on hating Russ doesnt mean that I shouldnt take the chance to be his friend, Ken frowned at his grandfathers tone. He and I spent a lot of time around one another in college when he was dating Avery and
That was a long time ago. A lot has happened, Augustus replied with a pointed expression.
Brant and Russ fighting has nothing to do with me. Just because none of us knew that Russ was well, family doesnt mean that now we have to retaliate against him because Brant is still pouting over losing Avery, Ken scowled with a shake of his head. I dont have to keep fighting Brants wars.
No one asked you to, but Augustus paused before glancing over at Wendy. Could you give us a moment?
Um sure, Wendy replied with a puzzled expression. Ill just go get my jacket since the car should be ready for us
Ill be right there, Ken promised reaching out to kiss her briefly before watching her leave. Once she exited the room Ken faced Augustus with an obvious glare. That was rude, wasnt it? Could you be more obvious in your wanting to get rid of her?
It wasnt so much that I wasnt enjoying her company, but rather that Im trying to talk some sense into you. What are you thinking tonight? Augustus snapped at Ken.
What are you talking about? Ken grumbled in response. Wendys fine and she should get out. She cant be stuck in this house all the time when
Im not talking about Wendy. Im talking about you going over to see Russ and Avery when Augustus started to explain.
Hey, what is happening with Russ and Brant isnt my problem, Ken shrugged his shoulders simply. As I said before I dont have any issues with Russ considering that hes always been decent to me.
Thats because he has no idea about what you did to Avery, Augustus pointed out bluntly. He has no clue about what you did when he was gone.
Oh please, Ken rolled his eyes, Dont tell me that youre going to bring that up. That was a long time ago and it was a mistake.
Mistake or not, I highly doubt that Averys comfortable with the idea of you being around her right now. I think shes been through enough and Augustus cautioned him.
Shes a grown up. She can deal with being around me, Ken groaned outwardly while rolling his eyes. I mean I dont see what the big deal about the situation is. Im sure shes moved past it. She has Russ and I have Wendy
That doesnt change what happened Ken, Augustus shot back with a frown. Theres an obvious tension and
Hey, what happened between Avery and I was completely consensual. If anything shes the one who came onto me, Ken spoke up in his own defense. Shes the one who was begging for me to
Brant, Augustus corrected. She was under the assumption that you were Brant.
You know what they say about assumptions, Ken rolled his eyes again.
Ken, youre putting yourself into a situation that you should just as soon avoid, Augustus warned him with a sudden seriousness. If you know whats good for you, then youll call Russ and tell him something came up. Youll take Wendy out to a nice restaurant or plan a quiet romantic evening at home. Forget about Russ and Avery.
Im not going to forget about it. Wendys looking forward to it and Russ is my brother. Why shouldnt I try to get along with him? Ken scoffed stubbornly. So what if Avery and I were together? She was with Brant too and I dont see you lecturing him about her.
Thats because hes not going over to rub something in her face, Augustus explained with a shake of his head. Ken, I know youre up to something.
By accepting a dinner invitation from Russ? Ken threw his hands up in the air. Give me a break. I mean honestly, what do you take me for? Nicholas?
Ive seen you come close to that where Avery is concerned and Augustus began again.
In case you didnt notice Brant was the one obsessed with her. Hes the one that you should be giving the lecture to because he was the one who didnt know when to let go, Ken raised his voice with heavy agitation. Hes the stalker not me.
Youre the one who bedded her under the deceptive circumstances Augustus interjected.
And she got over it. She told me that she was willing to put it past us, so if she can do it, then why the hell cant you and everyone else? Ken snarled in response. Its not like it makes a bit of difference to anyone, but those who are just trying to find a reason to hold me back.
You have a bright future with Wendy. Why do you want to chance it for something that could blow up in your face? Augustus questioned.
Because theres nothing to chance. We go to dinner tonight, spend our time talking about the trivial things that guides Russ and his life, then we go our separate ways. The only person making a big deal out of this is you, Ken snapped turning to leave as Augustus moved forward.
Ken wait, Augustus attempted to appeal to him, if you know whats good for you, you wont go.
And if you know whats good for you, youll stop trying to dictate my life. It might have worked with my father or even your other children, but this isnt your problem. Its not for you to deal with, Ken warned him in an icy tone before stomping out of the room.
It will be if you continue to keep fooling yourself about things, Augustus sighed knowing only too well that his grandson was opening the door to trouble by inviting Russ and Avery into his life. While he was certain Russells dinner invitation was purely innocent, Augustus knew Kenneth only too well where it came to finding ways to incorporate his own agenda into a situation. Sure, Ken seemed to have changed since Wendys return, but something told Augustus that Kenneth was a long way back on the road to recovery in his life. Something dark still existed in his grandson and it was only a matter of time before it returned full force!
Avery heard a knock at her office door and instinctively she looked up to
see Russ standing in the doorway, with a dozen roses in hand. He was leaning
in against the door frame, his green eyes meeting hers with a sudden intensity
that she couldnt help but respond with a warm smile.
I hope this isnt a bad time, he mouthed making a small movement into her office to join her.
For you, she replied standing up and circling around her desk to meet him half way into the center of the room, Never. I always love seeing a sexy man in my office doorway when Im having a slow day.
A slow day huh? Russ arched a curious brow, Then I take it my brother isnt giving you enough work to keep you busy, eh?
Your brother has been decidedly easygoing on me, but its probably because Im not officially working full time yet, she replied reaching out to embrace him, her eyes honing in on the roses, Were these for me?
Why yes they are beautiful, he offered them to her with a small wink, Do you like them?
Not nearly as much as I like you, she threw her arms around his shoulders stepping up on her toes to kiss him playfully. As their lips parted she searched his green eyes and smiled, Tell me something good.
You mean other than how much I love you and how beautiful you are? he replied curling his arm around her waist and grinned.
Thats a step in the right direction, she leaned into his embrace, but I was kind of hoping that it would be something along the lines of your telling me that you really went to work today and didnt bother to go yell at Augustus for what he did.
If I told you that I would be lying, he admitted feeling her take a step back, but youll be happy to know that I didnt totally lose my cool there.
Russ, I thought we said you wouldnt go over there, she frowned retreating over to her desk area. I thought that we were just going to let it go.
Avery you cant just let it go especially when theres that much money on the table. I told him that I couldnt accept what hed done even though I appreciated his wanting to help, he informed her folding his arms in front of his chest and watching her reach for a glass on her desk top. She opened the bottle of water shed been drinking earlier and put it into the glass before following up with the flowers hed given her.
And what did he say to all of this? she couldnt help but ask arching a curious brow as she remembered Grady telling her to lay up on Russ a bit.
He was stubborn and tried to duck out of the conversation, but I think were closer to reaching an understanding, he admitted walking in over to take a seat across from her desk. I think after I talk to him again well have this situation cleared up.
You couldnt just say thank you, could you? she shook her head at him and let out a long sigh.
Would you have if someone had done that for you? he arched a curious brow eyeing her intently.
I really dont know what I wouldve done, but knowing Augustus he was just trying to do something special for you. He meant well you know, she sighed not wanting to get into a debate with him over what had happened.
I know he did and Im trying to warm myself up to the idea that hes a part of my life and a part of my family. Its just going to take some time to adjust to, he revealed seeing her tip her head up to face him again.
Thats an honest answer if Ive ever heard one, she smiled over in his general direction.
Im trying Avery, but its not easy especially when I walked in on a food fight over at the mansion. Turns out Kevin and Ria were over there with Brant and Angela and Don. I got nailed with a pancake or something, he frowned thinking back to his arrival at the estate. Things seem pretty chaotic over there.
Because Angela is leading them all to believe she forgot her past, Avery arched a doubtful brow, Somehow I dont buy that.
I dont know what I buy, he paused thinking about how Angela had claimed to remember his face. He shook the thought and turned to Avery again, but its not our problem right now. Tonight Ive got something better in store for us to think about.
Such as? she arched an interested brow.
Dinner, he explained brightly.
Oh that sounds great. Where are you taking me? she questioned curiously flashing him another smile.
Actually I was thinking about our having something at home perhaps with a few old friends since we havent had time to really catch up with anyone lately, he explained seeing her shuffling through some papers on her desk. You, Erin and I havent been entertaining in a while, so I thought it might be good for us.
I couldnt agree more, she decided leaning back in her chair and eyeing him curiously, So who is it tonight? Kyle perhaps? You know I was just thinking about him the other day and how we should invite him over since things kind of went haywire at that wedding. Its been too long since weve seen him, but now that hes coming over we can pick up some of his favorite pie for dessert and really try to cheer him up since
Its not Kyle, Russ leaned forward in his chair scratching his chin lightly before waving his hand around in the air, but that does sound like a good idea. Im going to need to call him.
Then it must be Kevin and Ria. Did you convince them to take a little while away from that whole nightmare that they are having at the Ashford mansion? Im sure Ria was grateful for the suggestion and if we can give them a little time away from all of that, then she continued to go on thinking about their friends.
Actually its not them either. You see while I was at the mansion I ran into Ken and Wendy and he started to explain from her watching as Avery cleared her throat uneasily.
You ran into Ken and Wendy? she repeated her jaw dropping in astonishment.
Thats right. I had no idea that things were going so great for them. Ken came in when I was talking to Augustus and we were discussing Caitlin and how things have been for him since he lost her. Then Wendy came in and we were talking about Erin, Russ continued to explain to her, I figured we all havent been getting together in so long that tonight seemed like a good start. I suggested we have dinner and then maybe play cards or something together.
You did? she practically gulped trying to keep her reaction to the news under control.
Yeah, I mean why not? he shrugged his shoulders, We used to have a good time when we all hung out. When was the last time we actually did that? Graduate school?
Something like that, but things have changed now, she shifted on her chair uncomfortably, Weve all kind of gone down different paths.
I know, but I realize that you asked me to try to get along with some of those people, so I figure why not start with Ken? Hes the most reasonable of the group and we used to all be close once. Hell, hes family now, so why not try to be civil with him? he shrugged again, Plus since you two were always so close
Were not close anymore Russ. Not even remotely close to one another after everything, she tried to explain to him seeing something behind his green eyes.
I know we have dealt with a lot about everything thats happened with Brant, but Ken doesnt seem to hold a grudge. It was nice speaking with him and Wendy sounded really excited to see you, Russ continued brightly thinking about the night ahead of them, I figured well pick up Erin and then well make something special--maybe take a trip to the store and pick up a few things to work with and
Yeah sure, Avery forced a smile knowing full well that the last thing she wanted to do was spend the night entertaining with Ken around. However as she saw the enthusiasm on Russells face she fought to keep her thoughts to herself knowing full well that while tonight would be torture on her, she would try to find a way to make it work for Russ if it really meant that much to him. She just hoped that their time with Ken and Wendy would go as smooth and painless as possible.
Im glad you came over, Daniel motioned Jackie and Lindsay
out toward the back of the mansion outside as he pressed his hand in against
the small of Lindsays back. My cousin is here for a while, but
Im sure you would love to meet him. Hes really the greatest and
I think the both of you will adore him.
So where is your , Jackie went to say something more before spotting a young, blonde stud lying out on one of the lawn chairs next to the pool in the back as she stopped her words letting out a small gasp. Your extremely hot cousin.
This is Joel ladies, Daniel watched as his cousin stood up from where he was seated and pulled his sunglasses off his eyes and rested them at the top of his head. This is my Uncle Rexs son, hes just visiting for a while.
Or I could stay longer, depending if I like it here or not, Joel muttered seeing the two girls before him and instantly he moved next to the blonde reaching out for her hand. Joel Ashford, pleasure to meet you. Your name is?
Lindsay, Lindsay let out a hesitant laugh seeing the way that
Jackie frowned stepping in next to Daniel who stared out at her as she felt
Joel press a quick kiss against her hand. Its nice to meet you.
I think we met before, havent we? Im Dons little sister,
you know--Brants best friend.
Don Leveski, your father is the big gym owner right? Joel muttered seeing the way that Lindsay nodded as he moved forward to hug her in his arms tightly. God, I remember playing baseball with you when were like five. You remember, you beat me with the bat when I tried to cheat.
Oh, Lindsay let out a hesitant laugh seeing the way he laughed in response before nodding slowly and folding his arms out in front of his muscular chest. Sorry about that.
Hey, I eventually got the stitches out, Joel laughed before reaching out to wrap his arm around Lindsays shoulders pointing her toward the other direction. You know I would really love to catch up with you. You know, maybe know if you attacked anyone else with a bat lately.
You know this is my other friend Jackie, Daniel went to introduce her before seeing Joel hold his hand up in the air to ignore him before moving over toward the pool with Lindsay at his side. Or completely ignore me, that works too.
So have you attacked anyone else recently or whats new? Joel muttered seeing the way that Lindsay laughed when she took a seat next to him. You have no idea how much you have grown up since the last time I saw you.
You too, I mean look at how muscular you got, she pointed out seeing the way he smiled, his dimples showing clearly as he raised his arm flexing his bicep for her. See, thats exactly what Im talking about.
Hey, its good when someone notices something new about you. Especially someone like you, Joel reached out to grab her hand in his seeing the way her blue eyes looked out at him. Feel it, Ill bet no one our age has guns like these.
You might be surprised, Daniel blurted out seeing the way that Joel looked back at him with his extremely blue eyes before letting out a small laugh. Maybe she was just making a general statement you know.
Chill out cus, Joel reached forward after standing up from the lawn chair patting Daniel on the shoulder before shrugging his shoulders. Im just trying to start friendly conversations that all. Just chill out Danny.
Right before Daniel could say something else Joel moved forward shoving his
cousin right into the pool seeing the splash that followed as Jackie jumped
away from the water not wanting to get water on her.
Hope that helped out a bit cousin, Joel let out a small laugh before letting out a small chuckle only to feel a firm shove against his back making him splash down roughly into the pool making him let out a small hiss. What the heck?
I thought we all needed to chill out, Lindsay teased before moving over toward the side of the pool and doing a flip into the pool making a splash of her own. Moving over toward Joel she pushed his head under the water before reaching out for Daniel doing the same thing. I just think we all need to have a little fun.
While you guys have fun, Im just going to sit down and not get wet, Jackie informed them seeing the three in the pool continue to splash at each other before letting out a small laugh. I have no intentions of getting wet.
Now? Evie questioned in a low, shallow pant her fingers digging
into the blankets in the hopes of keeping herself grounded now that JT had
her anticipating the next level in this new world of seduction theyd
entered into with one another. She squeezed the blankets beneath her closing
her eyes as she fought to stay in control beneath him. Her hand uncoiled seeking
out the condom that shed snagged earlier, while her breath grew labored
and a slow whimper built in the back of her throat. Her words came out ragged
and desperate, Now?
Not yet, he murmured his breath whispering over her skin feeling her melt against his urgings. Her fingers tangled into his dark hair, urging his lips to hers in a fiery kiss.
JT please now she begged of him, her leg coiling around his body as it was clear that shed been more than ready to pass the point of no return with him after hed taken the time to show her a new side of all that making love entailed. Please
Alright, he mouthed devouring her lips while bringing his hand out to lace their fingers with one another. He reached for the condom in her hand thinking about how hed wanted to wait, but now that she lay beneath him looking so beautiful and eager to be with him, he found himself swept up in the fantasy--in the hopes that together they could find something more--something real that they could carry with them long after today. He started to tear into the package ready to give her what shed been longing for when he heard a knock at the door.
What the she gasped in a sharp, labored breath. Her brown eyes widened as she eyed the condom in JTs hand. Suddenly her lower lip trembled with worry, JT dont answer it. Just let it go.
JT. JT are you in there? Franklins voice echoed through the room causing Evies heart to plummet in her chest. She sank her nails into his shoulders, her dark eyes pleading with his.
Tell me hell go away. Please say hell just go away so that we can finish this, another thought occurred to her and she let out a tiny yelp, You dont think Cameron knows I stole a condom do you?
JT couldnt help but laugh at the suggestion, I seriously doubt that my brother would send Franklin over here for that.
JT, I realize that you may be busy, but this is important. Your brother has asked me to deliver a message to you, Franklin continued to speak out through the door before JT groaned.
I have to answer, JT explained thinking about how when his brother wanted something, he got it.
You have to be kidding right, Evies eyes widened in astonishment, JT we cant stop now.
Were going to have to, he sighed heavily rolling onto the bed beside her and closing his eyes.
Oh come on, she frowned turning to her side to look at him, Are you telling me that just because your brother wants to say something, youre going to stop?
Trust me this isnt something that should be rushed, he leaned forward stealing a quick kiss from her. He reluctantly tore himself away from her and slid off of the bed taking one of the blankets with him before looking back at her. This wont take long.
Its already too long in my opinion, she scoffed in response pulling the sheet up over her body and folding her arms in front of her chest defiantly. Your brother is seriously going to get a lecture from me later on his bad timing.
Trust me, you wont be the only one lecturing him, he promised walking over to the door and opening it gruffly. He glared over at Franklin and scowled, What?
Well I can see this isnt a good time, Franklin mouthed eyeing JT with sudden interest. He glanced back over JTs shoulder to spot Evie in the center of the bed shooting the same venomous glares over at Franklin as well. However, your brother insisted that you find your way down to dinner. He says it is his way of offering a full apology for the situation that arose with Ms. Marx earlier.
Tell him thank you, but no thank you, JT mouthed in response holding the blanket tightly around him in the hopes that Franklin would get a hint and just leave him and Evie alone with one another for a while.
It wasnt a request as much as it was a demand, Franklins eyes sparked warning to JT before Franklin glanced over at Evie once again, There is a suitable gown for the young lady hanging in the closet for when you two decide to join us, which I should hope wont take too long.
Its not going to now, JT grumbled in response hearing the sounds of Evie shuffling behind him. He glanced over his shoulder seeing her approaching him and Franklin with a sheet wrapped securely around her body.
Why dont you just tell Cameron that we arent going to be able to join him and his atrocious girlfriend because were too busy doing the one thing that clearly his girlfriend would rather be doing with the rest of the town? she suggested in a sugary sweet tone that was laced with heavy shades of sarcasm. She placed her hand on JTs arm possessively before glaring over at Franklin. Or will that be too much for you to remember?
Franklin laughed clearly delighted with the woman in front of him. With another round of laughter he turned to JT, She has quite the mouth on her. Reminds me of someone I used to know in their younger years.
Were just JT stopped himself trying to convey a message to Franklin that he would understand, You just caught us at a bad time.
Clearly, Franklin noted with a twisted smirk, but perhaps it wasnt such a bad time after all given how upset the both of you are.
Thats an understatement, Evie rolled her eyes, We were about to have a damned good time before you came around annoying us.
Franklin laughed again unable to hide his amusement, Not only do you remind me of our JT here, but you also have shades of Camerons sister in all of her wild years. She was a bit of a handful as well always trying to sneak into corners with the hired help and then she dared to get upset for getting caught later on down the road.
Im not upset about getting caught doing anything, her eyes narrowed over at Franklin, More so Im annoyed with rude jerks like you who cant just leave well enough alone. Tell Cameron were not coming down to dinner because were previously occupied and Im sure hell understand.
All the boss understands is that when he wants something he gets it, Franklin waved his hand around in the air, the ring he was wearing flashing in Evies face and without thought or warning, she stepped back, something crossing behind her eyes. Franklin took note of her retreat and smiled, Ill take that as a sign that youll be there.
Yeah whatever, JT rolled his eyes closing the door in Franklins face before turning around to face Evie again, You have to understand with my brother that hes rather pushy and
He stopped when he realized that the color had drained from her face. She stepped backwards sinking onto the bed again and her lower lip was now shaking. Worriedly JT moved in beside her taking a seat on the bed. He reached for her hand squeezing it gently.
Whats wrong? he couldnt help but ask.
Its that ring she explained in a quiet tone.
What ring? The one Franklin was wearing? JT thought back to Evies retreat indoors earlier. He saw her nod before her gaze shifted to the door again, Its just like the one my brother was wearing.
She nodded, Yeah.
Okay, Ill bite, what is it about that ring that upsets you? he questioned sensing her discomfort with the ring.
My father has one just like it, she admitted squeezing the blanket tighter around her body. She closed her eyes remembering the last encounter shed had with her father before she and JT had taken off with one another. Its just I know that ring so well because there were so many times when hed hit me when he was wearing it and
I dont understand, JT frowned back at her seeing how shaken up she was, Your father couldnt have that ring. Thats something that Camerons father passed on to people who worked for him in the past.
And my father had one, which means that my father mustve stolen that ring from someone like Cameron. Hes been known to take things from powerful people and, she shook her head, feeling a panic rush over her. Springing up off of the bed, she looked around the room with a worried expression, If my father was able to get to someone like Cameron in the past to steal from them, then Im sure that means he can get to me now. That means hell find us and hell do what he swore to do if I crossed him. Hell
Hey Evie, JT stood up reaching out to touch her shoulder gently, You cant think like that. Im sure that the ring you saw wasnt exactly the same.
JT Im telling you its exactly the same. Its she stopped herself stepping back just enough to loosen the sheet that shed been wearing. Letting the fabric fall down just below the dip of her spine she turned around to show him her back. Do you see it? Do you still see it there?
JT stepped forward his dark eyes honing in on the tiny scar that he hadnt noticed until now. He reached out to her feeling her cringe as it was clear that something had left an impression in her otherwise flawless skin. He touched the warmth of her body gently tracing the mark that had branded her as he let out a tiny whimper.
I told you that he isnt the nicest of guys. I got that when he was upset with me because I stole some guys wallet and wound up only bringing home thirty five dollars for the night, she admitted closing her eyes and fighting the tears that threatened. Like I said JT I would know that ring anywhere.
JT blinked back in astonishment trying not to let his contempt and rage for her father get the best of him. He gently pushed the sheet back up over her body and reached out to envelope her in his arms, Your father is a son of a bitch and hes not going to hurt you again Evie.
Hes a monster and as I said if hes gotten to Cameron before, then she began again in a broken tone.
Listen to me, JT curled his finger underneath her chin, urging her to meet his dark eyes, If your father had that ring, it doesnt mean he stole it from Cameron. Cyrus Stone had a lot of people working for him over the years--people that hed let go, but they still had the ring. It was the thing that let the world around them know that they were not to be messed with because they worked for Cyrus. A lot of those men were less than savory and I wont lie about that. Its entirely possible that a man like your father wouldve dealt with some of them, but not with Cameron--not with someone who could help him get to you. Youre safe here. You have to trust that.
Ive learned in my life not to trust anything, but my instincts and they are telling me to be afraid especially after seeing that ring twice today, she shivered against him, JT Im scared.
I know you are, but your instincts told you that you were safe with me, yes? he reminded her seeing the worry in her face.
Yes, but that was before my father threatened to kill you if I didnt do what he wanted, she began worriedly, It was before I knew he could get to us
He cant get to us. You have to trust me on that. I would never, ever let him hurt you or us again. You have to see that, he explained hoping to reach out to her and pull her from the dark place shed slipped into. Well go to the island and get married. Then your father cant touch you ever again.
JT hes not the kind of man that can just be stopped. Hes so strong and she trailed off worry settling in over the pit of her stomach.
And he hasnt dealt with someone like me before. My brother wont let anyone mess with his family and I can promise you that youre included in that. Cameron wont let anyone hurt you ever again. Hell keep us safe, he added firmly, confident in his belief.
How can you be so sure? she couldnt help but ask caught up in her own worries.
Because hes the one person in my life who has never let me down. Hes always had my back and Im positive that this time is no different, JT slid his fingers into her long, dark hair cradling her closer to him, He pulled me back from deaths door not so long ago and Im sure hell do everything he can to help us with this.
I hope youre right, she embraced him squeezing him tighter than before.
I know I am, he kissed the top of her head gently, In fact, why dont we get dressed and go see him? Im sure youll see that Im right about this. Youll trust in Camerons ability to keep your father from being a problem once you get to know him. So what do you say? How about dinner?
Sure, Evie nodded knowing that Franklin had not only helped kill the mood, but he gave her a whole new reason to worry about what it was her father could have in store for her and JT should he decide to make a move to punish her for the way shed dared to betray his wishes time and time again. While JT seemed to have all the confidence in the world where her father was concerned, she knew full well that he didnt have the first clue about what kind of monster they were truly up against!
Hey there you two are. Ive been looking all over for you,
Don called out to Brant and Angela seeing them walking down the stairs one
right after the other. Look I dont mean to be rude, but I have
to split. Somethings come up.
Is something wrong? Brant questioned sensing something behind his best friends eyes.
Im not quite sure yet, Don answered honestly glancing over at Angela once again, How are you feeling?
Better now that Im cleaned up. You havent seen Kevin by chance have you? Angela couldnt help but ask Don seeing something behind his eyes at the question.
Um, Don cleared his throat uneasily, No I havent but
Im right here, Kevin announced walking into the house with Ria at his side, We just met out in the garden. I went back to take a shower after I took the trash out and then Ria was getting cleaned up at the east wing.
Of course, Brant nodded realizing that both Kevin and Ria had wet hair and were changed, which could only mean one thing. Brant, however, played along with their story. I was going to go back and tell you I was with Angela, but I figured you would find me when you got out of your shower Ria.
Yeah, you know me. Im always quick to find you, Ria snapped her fingers in the air faking enthusiasm before she turned to Kevin. Though it was nice running into you over by the pool house on the way in.
Don practically choked at her comment.
Don are you alright? Angela questioned eyeing him curiously.
Yeah, Im fine, but I think I need to split. I just talked to Linds and something is up, Don admitted with a worried expression on his face trying to ignore what hed just witnessed with Kevin and Ria. She said that Stacy is in town and getting into some kind of trouble.
What kind of trouble? Brant questioned seeing something flash behind Dons eyes.
Im not really sure, but it sounds like the situation shes in isnt on the up and up and Linds is worried. I think I should probably check in and make sure that everything is okay since Im not really sure what shell be walking into, Don added with worry creasing his brow.
It sounds serious, Kevin noted stepping up closer to him, Do you need some backup on this one?
Ive got it pretty much covered, Don paused thinking about what his sister had told him, Although it might not hurt if you want to tag along since I dont know what kind of creeps are running the show with her. Shes only fifteen and tends to leap into things before thinking about them which isnt good. Needless to say it wouldnt hurt to get some backup.
Then Im going with, Kevin added turning to Angela, but Ill be back shortly.
Kevin, youve been gone for a while already, she felt him move forward to kiss her forehead gently before stepping away from her.
Youre in good hands with Brant. Trust me on this one Angie. Hell treat you right while Im gone, Kevin piped in exchanging glances with Brant.
Youll keep me updated about Stacy, right? Brant couldnt help but ask looking over to Don.
Yeah, no problem, Don promised with a quick nod.
I actually have to split too. I have a shift at the hospital that I have to get to, but I promise Ill be back as soon as its over, Ria piped in realizing that this was her chance to get a few minutes with Kevin. She stepped forward knowing that she had to sell something for Angela. She moved in front of Brant and stared up at him awkwardly. Ill call you when Im coming home.
Sure honey, Brant nodded not quite sure what to do with Kevin watching them. He reached out to hug her before bending down to kiss her cheek quickly. Just drive safe, okay?
Sure, she promised squeezing him quickly before stepping back and waving. Ill be back in a bit.
Okay, Brant replied with a small wave seeing Ria, Don and Kevin walk over to the door.
Kevin, if you want I can come with you, Angela started again hoping to capture his attention.
I dont know what were walking into so youd better not, Kevin reached out to take her hand in his squeezing it lightly. Just rest Angie. Im sure youll be fine when I get back. Maybe well take in a movie or something when Im home.
Okay, she nodded seemingly satisfied with his answer. She watched him walk out the door before it dawned in on her that now she was in fact alone with Brant again which meant nothing but trouble now that it was clear they would be stuck with one another. Turning around and facing him she forced a smile hoping that Brant wouldnt be able to discover just how truly uncomfortable with the situation she truly was now that it was clear she was finding herself increasingly attracted to him in more ways than she cared to admit. Regardless of what happened she just hoped that Kevin would return home soon so that she wasnt stuck in the middle of temptation thinking about a man she was sure that she shouldnt be thinking about!
What has he done now? Kyle shut the door after Heather got out
of the truck and they moved up the sidewalk hearing loud yells even from outside
as he rolled his eyes gripping his leather jacket in his hand tightly. I
wonder what the hell he did this time to get us in trouble.
I have no idea, but obviously Kipp is very pissed off, Heather moved toward the front door feeling Kyles fingers wrap around her wrist softly as she motioned him to wait. Ill have to deal with him right now alone Kyle. Its obvious I did something wrong to piss him off.
Thats good you are home, Paul went to get up from the couch before letting out a quick gasp when he felt Kipp shove him back down to the couch before looking over at Kyle and Heather moving into the house. Kyle, would you please stand up for me here.
Yeah Kyle, why dont you stand up for your friend that had absolutely no right watching my son while you were away, Kipp moved over toward the door pushing roughly into the center of Kyles chest seeing him stumble back and drop his leather jacket to the floor at his side. What the hell is wrong with you for leaving my son with someone like this. He is my son you know, not yours.
I had no doubts of that Kipp, Kyle pushed Kipp soft enough to move him away from being so close to him. I have no idea what Paul did, but whatever it was Im sure it was harmless.
You know Kyle is right Kipp, Kellen moved in behind Kipp seeing the angered brown eyes staring back at him as Kipp shook his head over and over again. Looking down at Charles who was laughing in his arms Kellen held Charles in closer to his body. He did no harm to Charles.
Just dont worry about it Kipp, I was the one that said it was okay officially, Heather moved forward seeing Kipps angered brown eyes look over in her general direction. Kipp stepped in closer to her before letting out a small laugh seeing the way Heathers green eyes widened. Listen, I know Paul could seem a bit intimidating, but he isnt at all. Hes actually a good guy deep down and ,
Good guy my ass, look at how dumb you have become, Kipp blurted out seeing the way that Kyle stepped in closer to Heather and Kipp threw his hands up in the air. You get with this muscle bound idiot and his friends start to come around and destroy my sons life.
What in the world are you talking about, Kyle moved in front of Heather seeing the way that Kipp glared out at him and Kyle shook his head slowly. Listen to me Kipp, I know something pissed you off and I understand that, but you have no right to talk to Heather like that. Paul is my friend and I was the one that really said it was okay, so why dont you back off.
I really wasnt doing anything wrong, Paul stood up from
the couch before letting out a small groan stepping in next to Kyle as Kellen
moved in next to Heather. I dont know whats wrong with you
man, but I was just playing around. I like your son, Charles is a great kid
I will make sure none of you are around my son again, you dont know what the hell to do when it comes to taking care of a child, Kipp shoved at Paul again before Kyle snatched Kipps wrist in his hand tightly turning Kipp to look at him in the eyes. What is it you want Mr. Houston?
Listen, back off of Kyle and Paul, they did nothing wrong. Charles is my son, Heather moved in front of Kyle and Paul making them step back a bit before she reached out to touch Kipp feeling him shove her hand away. Heather saw Kyle move forward ready to attack when she placed her hand in over Kyles chest seeing the way that his hazel eyes stared down at her. Kyle, its okay.
A crying Charles started to reach out for Kyle as Kyle glanced over at Kipp for a moment before moving forward toward Kellen to grab Charles in his arms carefully before pulling him closer to his chest. Hushing the crying baby in his arms he pressed a small kiss against Charles forehead before moving in closer to Paul again.
Back off of Heather, Kellen moved in between Heather and Kipp seeing the way that Kipps jaw tightened in anger and he let out a small huff. Listen to me Kipp, just back off right now. I have no idea what is pissing you off so much, but just back off.
You know, Paul pressed his hand against Kyles chest trying to get him to cool down as Charles now laughed looking over Paul as Paul offered up a goofy face. Moving in closer to Kyle Paul let out a small laugh before shrugging his shoulders. You never mentioned you were friends with Mr. Big Man there.
What? Kyle snapped seeing the way that Paul laughed before shrugging his shoulders and moving back away from Kyle for a moment. Rolling his eyes, Kyle pulled Charles into his arms tighter before glaring out at Kellen having Paul remind of him of what the original problem was this morning. Its okay kiddo.
This is ridiculous that these people would do something like this, Kipp began seeing Charles laughing over and over again as Kipp looked to his son as Kellen moved back over toward Charles to pick him up in his arms. We are going to deal with this I hope you ,
Dada, Charles cried out once he was taken away from Kyle reaching out for Kyle as he moved and struggled in Kellens arms. Dada, Dada, Dada.
No, Kyle shook his head quickly seeing the way that Kellens blue eyes shocked at what just happened as Kyle let out a hesitant laugh. No, no, no. Shh
What did he just say? Kipp hissed seeing the way that Charles reached out for Kyle and Kellen finally handed him back to Kyle as Charles wrapped his arms around Kyle tightly. He didnt just say ,
Dada, Charles finally muttered content with what Kellen put him back to as Charles rested his head against Kyles firm chest and let out a small laugh.
You know what? Kipp snapped seeing the shocked look in everyones eyes as Kyle held Charles in his arms lovingly and let out a small sigh. This is done, we are through with this I hope you understand. This is the last straw.
...to be continued...