Are you going to be talking to me anytime soon?" Kyle muttered once they got home from her work knowing that she had been giving him the silent treatment since they had left and he was starting to get tired of it. Baby, you cant be mad at me when I just want to be there for my friends. Its not fair.
Whats not fair is that you dont consider your wifes feelings toward the situation, Heather brushed around him moving toward the bedroom hearing him let out a deep sigh and heard him following her not far behind. I want nothing to do with that woman and you keep forcing me to do so.
You married me honey, you are going to have to get used to it because the both of you have been in my life for a very long time and thats the way its going to stay, he pointed out with a simple shrug of his shoulders knowing that she was going to hate whatever he said including Avery and Russell at the moment. The next thing you are going to tell me is that you dont want me to be Erins godfather. You do know I have a little god daughter that is a part of this--dont you?"
Now thats not fair, Heather tried to begin seeing the way Kyle stared out at her with his hazel eyes and she hated when he did this with her. He played with her mind constantly to make her cave into what he wanted her to say and most of the time he got her to say it, but no. Not this time. Kyle, just no. I want nothing to do with Avery.
Thats nice, but I do, he followed his wife into their bedroom seeing her throw something in the corner making him roll his eyes. He was used to these upset flicks most of the time they had been together, but he didnt know it would be caused by him one of the times it happened. So while you are here hiding from Avery--there is one point in time when you are going to have to run into her again because she is one of my best friends Heather and I will have her around when I want to have her around considering this is my house.
Then I will just go to my apartment, she blurted out moving toward the bathroom hoping that he would just get the hint and leave her alone. Feeling him press in behind her she threw her hands up in the air turning around to face him running straight into his firm chest. Would you just back off for a few please? I dont want to get into this right now with you at all.
Hold on a second Heather, Kyle grabbed a hold of her shoulders in his hands trying to keep her still for a moment so she could talk to him one on one. Heather listen to me, I dont care what happened. With your consent or not Im going to be the best man at that wedding Heather. And I would really appreciate it if you went with me as well.
Thats a fat chance, she tried to side step out of the way seeing the way he looked out at her, keeping a tight grip on her shoulders enough to keep her in place. Give me one good reason why I should.
Well, thats easy--Ill give you a couple, he reached up to press a strand of her long blonde hair behind her ear seeing her angry eyes staring up at him. First things first, its their wedding. She isnt going to just turn her attention to you because she wants to. There are more important things in her life at a wedding than you. Two, you dont have to come close to her at all and afterwards you and I can be together. No Russ and Avery because they will have their own things to do and we could
No Kyle, Heather finally cut him off placing her fingers over his lips to silence him seeing his hazel eyes staring out at her. Knowing by the look on his face she could see that he was upset with her and she shook her head slowly. Just no not at all.
Heather come on, Kyle begged seeing her slide out from underneath his arm and toward her closet making him let out a long groan dropping back to the bed covering his eyes with the pillow above his head. Groaning out loud again he didnt think that she would be this much of a pain when it got down to it, but it just figured. Youre being a pain Heather come on.
Cameron, Angela squealed excitedly stepping off of the chair
shed been seated in to get up and greet her brother brightly. What
are you doing here?
I could ask you the same thing, but I can see youre keeping less than savory company, Cameron scoffed in response glaring over at Brant. My sister shouldnt be here with you.
Lighten up Cameron, Angela scowled up at him taking a step back to glare over at her brother. Brants just showing me a good time tonight, which is more than I can say for most.
What is that supposed to mean? Cameron frowned back at her seeing something behind her dark eyes.
Well for starters you dont call and you dont even bother to make an attempt to see me. I mean youre not worse than dad is, but Angela started catching him completely off guard with her comment.
Dad? Cameron repeated giving her a strange look.
Yeah dad, she nodded back at him. You would think that he would at least call me once to check in on me. Its not like him to not keep in touch. I mean I can understand if hes wrapped up in business, but
Hes on a big business deal right now, Cameron started surprised by his sisters comment. He looked over at Brant who remained silent through the whole conversation. While Cameron realized that his sister had lost a part of her memory he hadnt anticipated hearing her speak of their father as if he was still alive.
Even so it would be nice to think he hasnt forgotten about me, Angela frowned thinking about the lack of communication shed had with her father.
Yeah well speaking of people that are missing, where is Kevin? Cameron questioned meeting Angelas eyes and seeing something flash behind them. Guilt perhaps, he rationalized watching her shift on her feet uncomfortably.
Hes working, Angela replied glancing over at Brant briefly
before looking away. She focused on the plant across the room in the hopes
of keeping her thoughts from carrying over her.
Working eh? Cameron arched a curious brow before looking to Brant again with an icy smirk. And does Kevin have any idea that youre here with Brant sharing a romantic evening?
Were not sharing a romantic evening, Angela snapped back at her brother, her tone surprising both Cameron and Brant. Brant looked to her with a stunned expression before she cleared her throat again. We were just having a bite to eat before going to see Kevin.
Right, Cameron nodded back at her with a pleased smirk, speaking of Kevin have you two decided on what day youre going to get to having the wedding?
We havent thought that far ahead, Angela answered growing increasingly flustered at the mention of Kevin.
Well, you might want to think about that considering that there is a little one on the way into this world who would undoubtedly want his or her parents to be together now more than ever, Cameron continued to goad her on knowing full well that his words would be upsetting Brant.
I couldnt agree more with that, Brant stepped forward placing his hand on the small of Angelas back in a possessive movement, You know Angela I think our table is just about ready. I see the hostess.
Why dont you join us at our table, Cameron motioned to over where he and Sarah had been seated. We were just about to order ourselves and we would love the company. After all I cant pass up the chance to see my sister when shes around, now can I?
I dont know if thats such a good idea, Angela began feeling uncomfortable at the suggestion, We were just about to talk about something important and
Im sure it can wait, but our catching up with one another cant, Cameron reached out to wrap his arm around Angelas before motioning for her to walk with him to the table where hed been seated. You said it yourself that I havent taken the time to see you, so why dont we just start making up for that right about now?
Well, I guess that we could, Angela tossed an apologetic look over at Brant, who knew full well what Cameron was trying to do.
As Brant grudgingly followed Cameron and Angela he put on his best poker face refusing to allow Angelas brother the chance to take her away from him. Sure, Cameron might be ready for battle, but Brant was armed and ready for war vowing to make sure that Cameron didnt get his wish when it came to keeping Angela out of Brants life.
So how long do you plan on staying in town mom? Ria couldnt
help but ask feeling a nagging unsettling feeling in the pit of her stomach
even though her mother had opted to be more civil than shed been earlier
when shed first arrived.
Im not really sure, her mother confessed with a small laugh. I guess it would depend on how fast it takes for the house to sell. I heard that the market is down right now, so it might be a while.
A while, Ria gulped glancing over at Kevin, who was still in the kitchen putting together a few things. She saw his dark eyes mimic the same reaction she had and she tried to stay calm. But what about your work?
My work is very important, but considering that I havent taken a break from it in years I think I can afford a little bit of a vacation, Marlene continued to explain.
Of course, but I know how much you love it and its for a good cause, Ria noted feeling as if she had died and gone to hell.
Its an amazing cause. With what weve been doing there, its been incredible, Rias mother began to recount her work going into the details of how much shed been involved in. Half way through the conversation, Ria looked up to see Kevin standing in the kitchen pretending that he had an invisible noose around his neck. He started to pull on it, tipping his head to the side and sticking his tongue out like hed hung himself and Ria couldnt help but laugh. Quickly she brought her hand up over her mouth to stop herself from breaking into full blown laughter.
Im glad my work can amuse you, Marlene noted with a small scowl. Forgive me if I fail find the humor in talking about innocent lives in jeopardy.
No mom its not that. Its just, Ria tried to cover wanting to strangle Kevin herself for making her laugh. She cleared her throat uneasily before turning to her mother again, Im sorry please go on.
I dont see the point when its clear you arent listening, Marlene noted with a wrinkled expression before shaking her head, Youd obviously focus on being entertained rather than inspired.
Ill tell you whats inspiring, Kevin entered the room with a tray of cookies in hand. Seeing Ria at work at the hospital. Shes done some great work there and
And you didnt make it to be Chief Resident, her mother frowned over at Ria while ignoring Kevins words. Why is that?
Well, we had a very talented group of residents and Ria started hearing the sounds of Kevins cell phone going off. The tune to Funky Town began to play loudly over her conversation and Kevin quickly sprung up to retrieve her phone.
My bad, Kevin apologized pulling his phone out of his jacket pocket before turning to Rias mother again, Now you behave while I take this call.
Of course, Rias mom flashed an icy smile over at him before turning to Ria again once Kevin got out of the room. I can pretty much guess what screwed up your chances at the hospital.
They picked a Chief Resident before I started seeing Kevin, so dont go blaming him mom, Ria frowned over at her mother with a heavy sigh. Our Chief Resident is very talented and
And it shouldve been you. I told you how important it is to be at the top of your game. You have to be dedicated and Marlene continued to lecture her.
Mom, I am dedicated. I do the best that I can with my job and Im happy where Im at. I have a good relationship with my boss and coworkers so from where I stand Im not doing anything wrong, Ria defended herself before shaking her head. You have to trust me when I tell you that work is going fine. Better than fine actually.
Youre never going to believe this, Kevin blurted out entering the room again, That was just Avery and
Ria if you arent careful about what you do at work, you can have it haunt you your whole career, her mother continued to launch a verbal warning despite Kevins arrival. You have to get your priorities in order and realize that you arent in high school. This is the rest of your life that youre playing around with. You need to be focused.
I am focused, Ria argued with her, raising her voice ever so slightly. Im very focused and I cant believe that you would sit there accusing me of being otherwise.
Im just saying, Marlene continued to inform her, while romance is nice its the early stages of your career that is the most important. You need to make sure that what you do now leaves a lasting good impression so that when youre my age you can find yourself in a good place. You dont want to slack off in your youth only to be on the lower end of the totem pole at work.
That isnt going to be happening. Rias doing very well for herself, Kevin informed her again with a warning look. So Mrs. Merhan have you seen Trisha yet?
Not yet, but I was planning on paying her a visit, she explained looking to her watch again, which reminds me I have a meeting with a friend from the hospital. Its Mrs. Frye. You remember her Ria? Shes on the hospital board.
I remember her, Ria nodded in response fighting to repress her relief about her mother leaving.
While were out Ill be sure to put in a good word for you, but make sure that you give me reason to do so. I would hate to think that my words are for not, Marlene frowned over at Kevin. I wouldnt want a distraction keeping you from doing your job.
No distractions here, Kevin added quickly eager to just have Rias mother leave him alone long enough to be able to have the chance to tell Ria the news about Russ and Avery. Then again he would take just about any excuse he could think of to get rid of Rias mom for a while so that he and Ria could just relax for a little bit. That in itself sounded very refreshing!
Why doesnt this surprise me? Zack huffed seeing Barbara
standing near the nurses station, taking a moment to collect herself
while she chatted with one of the other nurses. Honestly what is it
about this place that has people doing absolutely nothing when they are paid
to do their job?
Im on break, Barbara informed him with a glare knowing full well his comment was directed at her, and I intend to take it without any backlash from you.
Zack opened his mouth to say something more, but opted for silence when he spotted Diego stepping off of the elevators. Eyeing Diego with obvious interest Zack couldnt help but amused when he realized that Diego was coming over to speak to Barbara.
Well isnt this priceless. The slacker gets a visit from the man who couldnt cut it as a doctor at this hospital, Zack quipped with a sarcastic smirk glaring over at Diego. Its a wonder they even let you in this hospital given how many potential lawsuits you couldve brought to this hospital.
Stuff it Vaughn, Diego glared over at him for a long moment before turning to Barbara, You have a minute?
As a matter of fact I do because Im on break, Barbara announced loudly tossing a glare over at Zack before motioning to an area down the hall where she and Diego could speak with one another.
Just remember the break isnt all day, Zack added in an abrasive tone watching the two of them make their way into one of the empty rooms to chat.
Whatever, Barbara muttered under her breath stepping out of Zacks line of criticism long enough to turn to her friend. She greeted Diego with a bright smile, So how are you feeling? Its great to see you.
Its nice to see you too, Diego smiled at her lightly, though I wish I was coming here today on better terms.
Better terms? Barbara frowned seeing something flash behind his dark eyes. Diego, whats going on?
I just wanted to say good-bye, Diego sighed heavily tension carrying in over his brow. I know I told you that I was thinking about leaving, but now Ive made my decision. Im going to stick around long enough to get the test results and then Im leaving.
Wait, what? Barbaras eyes widened in response, but why? Why would you leave Diego?
Because theres nothing left for me here in town any longer. Lets face it I made a joke of my career, of my life and its time to work on changing that. I let everyone around me down and more importantly I let myself down, he explained with a heavy sigh, I need to get back to the man I was before I let everything fall to pieces.
So you slept with the wrong woman, she shook her head firmly thinking about how much she hated the idea of him leaving. We all make mistakes Diego. We have to learn from them and move forward. We cant just lay down and die because we made a bad judgment call.
Barbara, I betrayed a friend and put my career not to mention this hospital on the line, he started to explain only to hear a loud roar of laughter coming from outside the room they were in. The sound seemed to intensify as Barbaras eyes widened as well unable to believe what she was hearing.
What is that? she questioned walking out into the hallway to find a group had moved in around the nurses station watching Zack hovering over an oversized box.
These arent mine, Zack snapped back at the nurse who was standing beside him fighting to contain her laughter. They arent.
Sure, sure, the woman snickered before stepping aside to reveal to Barbara the oversized box of X-rated sex toys inside the box.
Gee no wonder youve been feeling cranky lately, Barbara noted with a chuckle seeing an oversized toy in front of her, You mustve been missing some action there that you were waiting on.
They arent mine, Zack explained with a huff quickly pushing the top of the box shut before glaring at everyone in the area. And when I find out which one of you sarcastic, snotty losers did this, youre going to get fired. Mark my words youll be out of here so fast your head will spin.
Another moment of laughter continued and Zack quickly scooped the box up under his arm before rushing out of the area. Barbara couldnt help but find herself amused as she turned around to see Diego standing behind her taking the whole scene in.
I think someone is suddenly having a far worse day than you are, she couldnt help but laugh wondering who it was that had put in such an order. While it had Zack fired up, she was convinced that it was something he needed to be put in his place at least for the time being. It was a nice change to see him embarrassed instead of him doing it to everyone else.
Well isnt this wonderful? Cori frowned as she looked up
to see her brother standing in front of her. Im surprised you
took the time out of your busy schedule to make time for me big brother.
Cori, you know Ill always make time for you, Dave sat down in the chair across from where she was seated.
But not enough time to phone in favors on my behalf, Cori groaned outwardly. I mean its not like Im on your top list of priorities these days.
Cori, dont say that, Dave replied giving her a small, concerned look. Im worried about you and you have to believe me when I tell you that I want you out of here just as much as you want to be home again.
Then whats the hold up? Cori questioned impatiently as she looked around the recreation room at the hospital she was staying in. If Jewel was in here, you would have sprung her out by now or she would have started sleeping with someone who would release her. She would have found some hot doctor and
Cori dont talk like that, Dave wrinkled his nose at the thought.
Well its the truth. I would have tried it myself, but my doctors arent at all the kind that I would want to seduce at all. I would have to hang myself if I slept with any of them, she pouted sinking further into the chair shed been watching television in earlier in the day when shed been given the opportunity to watch cartoons for good behavior. Unfortunately it had turned out to be some extremely boring series on helping yourself and combating the ills of depression, which was something that Cori suspected was more mindless propaganda that the hospital was trying to push on those who were unfortunate enough to be stuck there. Still, it beat being locked up by herself, which was starting to make her uneasy. The longer she was in there, the more she was starting to question her own sanity.
Cori please, Dave scowled in response, That is the last thing you should be saying in here considering that
That what? That Ive got so much to look forward to? she questioned in a muted hiss. Dave, take a look around. What do you see here?
Cori, this is only temporary, he offered up reaching for her hand, You have to believe that.
I want to, but she trailed off her frustrations mounting, I know Ive made some mistakes, but
But as soon as they see youre making progress well be able to get you out of here. If you promise to keep up treatment then Dave started thinking about the future for his sister.
You mean like outpatient with my own personal thought cop? Cori curled her lip in a pout. I dont think I could go for that. I mean do you see the kind of people on staff here? They are far worse than I could ever be. Why the other night I heard one of them offering to toss up dirty pictures of one of the other patients theyd sedated a few nights ago on the internet. They are sick Dave! Im telling you that
Cori, Im doing all that I can, but my hands are tied at the moment, Dave informed her with a frown. I wish that I could offer up more hope, but
But what? she asked with a huff. Diego hasnt been leaping up to press charges against me, so
Cori, we both know that with your history that this is probably a good thing for you, Dave felt her retract from the hold he had on her hand.
Is that what you think this is? You think Im crazy because of what I saw with daddy? Cori spat back at him, her eyes full of venom at the implication. Dave, how many times do I have to tell you that
That the pattern is there Cori. I know how much it hurt you. It hurts me to even think about it, Dave began in a patient tone. He stood up and approached her after she turned away from him.
Try living it Dave, she snarled in response clenching her hands at her sides. You have no idea what it was like walking in there and having the greatest memory of our father turned into the worst nightmare youve ever endured.
I know how hard this is, Dave reached out to embrace her.
No, you dont, Cori pushed away from him, tears threatening to overtake her. You dont have the first clue about the weight of that burden Ive carried with me all of these years. Even if I tried to explain it to you Dave, you would never, ever truly understand what it is that I experience each and every night when Im asleep. That day returns to me in living color time and time again and nothing will ever change that.
Cori, Im not saying that Dave offered up weakly.
Dave, I didnt shoot Diego because of daddy. It was something entirely different and she bit down on her lower lip in a feeble attempt to hide the quivering that had overtaken her. Pushing her hair back away from her face she met his eyes once again. The point is that I need to get out of here. You have to do whatever it is necessary to pull the right strings and get me home.
If youll agree to outpatient therapy, then maybe Dave began feeling his fears for his sisters stability resurfacing.
Do what you must, but just get me out of here before this place eats me alive, Cori pleaded with him knowing only too well that the longer she remained in the institution the harder it would be for her to remember what it was that she had waiting on the outside. In a place like this it was easy to lose yourself to the negative memories in your life and the faster she was away from all of this, the better!
Just be straight up honest right now and right here before something
further comes out. Ive been watching you for quite some time and you
know what--you just do not look gay. You dont act it, you dont
look it and you most certainly dont seem to want to be gay, Guy
began taking in a long breath searching Jasons blue eyes for a moment
as he stepped in closer to him. So why dont you just tell me the
truth before it comes out in a wrong way?"
Well, Guy its Guy right?" Jason questioned with a cocky smile watching the way that Guy took a step back when he took a step forward and looked over his shoulder to try and eye the crowd over. For some reason Mindy must think Im gay. So while you think there is no reason for me to be gay, act gay or seem gay--she obviously finds something about me to be gay.
Shes been around gay men her whole life--Im guess shes just used to it Mr. Big Brain, Guy mocked him seeing the way Jasons eyebrows tensed together at the comment and he shook his head slowly. If youre not gay and she really thinks your gay and youre just doing this to make her feel better and not stupid about the situation. I can help you get out of it, but right now--Id really just like the truth from you before I get it the wrong way and you severely piss me off.
Im going to severely piss you off by just being who I am? I see, Jason rubbed at his chin slowly hating the way that Mindys friend seemed to approach him automatically thinking he was a liar. Okay sure, he was a liar but that didnt give Guy the right to come up demanding like he did. I dont know what you want to hear, so why dont we just pretend I talked to you about this and we let you think what you want since no matter what I say Im pretty much sure I will get jumped for it. So lets just stay away from this topic.
How about not, Guy reached out to grab a firm hold of Jasons hand when Jason was about the leave the kitchen and he saw Jason laugh before pulling his arm away roughly in a quick moment. Moving in closer to Jason he hated that he had some jerk around Mindy constantly and thats what pissed him off the most. This guy seemed to have a real attitude and he didnt like it at all. Listen you, I dont want you to be hurting Mindy in any way ,
You mean kind of like you did, Jason shot back seeing the way that Guy looked at him with an angry glance and Jason smirked only to feel someone place their hand in over his shoulder and he saw Mindy behind him. Mindy hey, Im so sorry if you heard any of that and ,
I heard all of that Jason, I cant believe you would assume that just because he doesnt look like the average gay man that he cant be gay. I thought you were one of the last people to go for being stereotypical Guy, Mindy pushed Jason in behind her as he let out a small noise trying to explain something to her and she turned around to shoot him a glance to make him stay quiet. No wonder Jason feels uncomfortable here. You dont do anything to help him feel better about himself.
Mindy really, Jason reached out to try and get Mindy to lay off Guy a bit because he felt bad at the original reason why she was yelling at her own friend. He wasnt gay and Guy was right, this was so wrong for him to pretend. Mindy come on, I really need to tell you something.
This can wait Jason, she hushed him for a moment before turning back to Guy seeing the frown that was pressed in over his features. I would really appreciate it if you would accept him Guy like I do. At some points in time I wouldnt even know what I would have done without him Guy. Jason really means a lot to me and he is one of my best friends and I would appreciate it if you made him feel more welcome to be in this circle of friends rather than pushing him out all the time. Hes really important to me Guy and Id like someone just as important in my life to treat him good. Do you know what Im saying?"
Mindy, I was just, Guy searched for words reading the expressions
behind Mindys eyes and he realized she really did care about this guy.
Not liking the fact she wanted him in her life like this, he just passed over
the idea and realized he had to deal with him whether he liked it or not.
Yeah, I understand.
Uh, excuse me here, not trying to interrupt, Nate cleared his throat trying to catch everyones expression once he entered the kitchen. When he first made his way over here he heard the fighting and decided to give them a minute, but as his phone continued to buzz he figured now was the time to come in front of everyone real quickly. I know this is an important conversation and all, but Im really sorry Mindy. I have to leave, a friend of mine called and would like to see me so I should probably get going to see them for a bit.
Really?" Mindy frowned her bottom lip curling into a pout as he stood before her. Moving around Jason she reached out wrapping her arms around Nates shoulders hugging him tight while she felt his arms wrap around her waist. I would really like to see you again soon. Would you promise to come back and see me really soon?"
Mindy, nothing is going to keep me away from you, Nate teased running his index finger up her neck and under her chin before dipping down and press a friendly kiss against her cheek. He felt her hand press in over his rough cheek as he pulled away and gave her one last squeeze in his arms. I promise Ill be back because this place is just fantastic. Which I can only think of a half a dozen ways to destroy it more with Chase each time Im here, so that is just something that leads me to want to come back every single day. My next target will be that lamp since Ive already got the vase.
Youre kidding, Mindy moved into the living room seeing that there was shattered glass that Chase was working on picking up and turned on her heel she saw Nate starting to walk away and she quickly grabbed a quick hold of his jacket. I dont think so. Get your butt back here.
Ill buy you a better, bigger one. I promise, Nate laughed feeling her jump on his back and he started to swing her around playfully until Guy cleared his throat alerting them that he was still there with Jason. Clearing his own throat in a moment of maturity he set Mindy back down and headed for the front door. Ill talk to you later Mindy. Call me.
Promise, she winked before turning back to Guy and Jason once Nate left and moved in closer to Guy reaching out to fix the collar on his shirt. As I said, you really need to be nice to my friends and when I say my friends I mean all my friends. Im going to be having Nate and Jason around a lot. I would really like it if you would be able to accept the both of them as is.
Listen, its obvious he doesnt want me around and I can understand that. You dont have to force something on him when he doesnt want to, Jason tried to explain taking a step forward seeing the look behind Guys eyes as he nodded slowly and held his hands up in the air. He doesnt have to like me, really. Well just deal when were both around you and ,
Jason no, I want him to say sorry. Just because you are different than he is doesnt mean he has to be stereotypical, Mindy snapped her fingers seeing the frown that pressed in over Guys face as she moved in closer to him seeing the way he looked out at her. I want you to apologize to him Guy. Right now.
Letting out a small sigh Jason took a step back from the situation running his fingers through his hair knowing that he had to say something. Guy didnt deserve this kind of treatment right now when honestly Guy was completely right about him. This was going to be hard, but he had to tell her the truth. Something had to happen because if there was a certain amount of guilt a person could have before going crazy--he was sure he was over that amount. He really needed to get this to stop and he needed to do that as soon as possible!
This is something Im not sure Im used to, Deana confessed
as she sat in the middle of Gradys living room cuddled up with him on
his sofa. She paused for a moment taking in the silence before turning to
face him fully. There arent any cartoons blasting or any noise
going on in the kitchen. Theres no mess or any kind of craziness happening
No, theres not, he nodded in agreement running his fingertip over her shoulder gently before offering up a leisurely grin. His lips dipped down to press a soft kiss against her silken skin and she sighed.
And the worst part of it was that I havent even gotten to the part about Zanes toys being around since I was talking about Jason, she closed her eyes and allowed herself to savor the taste of Gradys kisses all over again once his lips met hers.
Come on. Jasons not that bad, he murmured pulling her up off of the couch cushion shed been seated on and placing her in his lap. He kissed her leisurely, his thick fingers sweeping up into the loose fitting bun she had in her blonde hair. He reached for the clip and pulled it out allowing her hair to fall beyond her shoulders. He reclined back into the sofa to take a long look at her before smiling, I mean sure hes loud and he eats enough for an army but
But nothing, Deana frowned back at him, My brother is a walking tornado and he hasnt said whether hes coming or going. If hes staying in town, then he needs to find a job and
And what? Grady questioned teasing his fingers over her shoulder in a smooth, massaging motion as she looked to him.
I just cant keep supporting him. I dont want to go out and say anything because hes been a great babysitter when Im at work and you arent with Zane, but she continued to complain only to feel his index finger press over her lips in an attempt to silence her.
The last time I checked we were going to enjoy all of this quiet time, Grady motioned to the empty living room. We can worry about whats going on or rather what isnt with Jason another night.
I know that, but she started with a muffled sound behind his finger. She shifted in his arms seeing the disapproval behind his green eyes.
Hey, if youre so worried about it, I can let Jason work around the office for me. I mean Im sure I can find something for him to do, Grady suggested with a simple shrug of his shoulders.
You mean youd actually trust him in your office when you work with things that include legal documents and court cases? she blinked back at him incredulously, Grady, I know you love me, but dont be a fool.
Im not being a fool, he shrugged his shoulders simply. After a moments contemplation, he returned his attention to her neck and began to nibble upon it in the hopes of distracting her for a while.
You really cant trust him with responsibility and she paused letting out a soft breath now that his lips were causing a tiny set of shivers to race over her body.
Trust me. I can handle your brother, he assured her placing his hands on her hips and drawing her in nearer to him. I was like your brother once you know?
I sincerely doubt that, she stopped enjoying his touch long enough to meet his green eyes. Grady youre a lawyer with your own practice and
And there was a point in my life when I was wild and reckless. Ask Kyle, Grady suggested with a hint of laughter in his tone. There was a point in time when I decided after undergraduate school that I was going to hop on my Harley and see the world. Sure, I knew that law school was a sure way to making a secure future for myself, but it seemed so drab in comparison to being a wild man on the road.
You had a Harley? Deanas eyes widened at the thought.
He nodded, And I also had a pair of leather pants to go along with it when I would ride.
Oh my God, Deana couldnt help but laugh at the thought. She saw his face scrunch up with anything, but amusement and she added, I mean not that theres anything wrong with that, but
But what? You dont think I have it in me to be a wild man? Grady threw back at her with a sudden seriousness. I mean do you honestly believe that I was born responsible?
Well no, but she staggered for a response now that her arms were curled around his shoulders.
Believe me it took a lot of hard work for me to try to become respectable, but for a while there I found that the alternative was a much more alluring option, he informed her with a hint of laughter in his tone, and besides the women loved it.
Ill bet they did, Deana couldnt help but roll her eyes, Although Ill be the first to say that those kind of men with motorcycles never appealed to me
Now I know youre lying because I distinctly remember you telling me all about how youd loved the thought of getting on one of those bikes and he began only to feel her place her hand over his mouth to silence him.
I said that I thought it sounded like a lot of fun, but I had to grow up at such an early age that I didnt have time to be irresponsible like that, she corrected with a sudden seriousness. Besides, if Jason had a motorcycle maybe he would end up finding a girlfriend who was turned on by the idea and wanted to support him full time.
Hell find something that works for him, he assured her as she shifted on his lap. I mean hes your twin brother. That in itself means theres hope.
I was the one with all the responsible genes I think, she pondered the thought for a long moment. Well aside from the whole having Zane as a teen, but
But nothing, Grady decided securing his hold on her and bringing her up into his arms. He stood up and hoisted her over his shoulder realizing that even though they were lost in a moment of quiet with one another they needed a change.
Grady, what are you doing? Deana giggled feeling him throw her over his shoulders. Suddenly her thoughts flashed to them together in his bedroom and a new sense of anticipation washed over her.
Im teaching you how to have fun and be irresponsible, he explained carrying her in the opposite direction of his bedroom.
She frowned, I assumed that you would be going in that direction considering that
Get your mind out of the gutter sweetheart as there are other ways to enjoy life, Grady patted his hand on her bottom before turning towards his garage. He reached for the door knob and fumbled with it for a few moments before stepping into the darkened garage.
Grady, what are we doing out here? she couldnt help but ask as he moved around through the blackness.
Youll see, Grady announced seeking out the light switch. A few seconds later he found it and he turned on the lights to reveal to her what had entered his mind.
What? she asked feeling him set her down. She watched as he walked over to a blue tarp covered area near the right of the three car garage. It was beyond his tool area and a curious expression carried over her, Grady, if thats a dead body, then
Relax. I think youre going to love this, he replied pulling back the tarp to reveal the motorcycle that was waiting beneath.
Grady wow her dark eyes widened as she took an involuntary step forward eager to take a look at his hidden treasure. I thought that you said that you gave up that lifestyle and
I said that I gave up partaking in it after I decided I might need to find a way to afford to live a normal life, but I never parted ways with this, he patted the seat of his Harley Davidson before smiling over at her. Want to test it out?
You mean as in our going for a ride? she asked watching him slide his leg over one side of the motorcycle before reaching for the handle bars.
Yeah, why not? I mean I havent taken her out for a spin in a while, but she could use one. Tonights a pretty clear night and he suggested with a wink.
No way. No, I cant. I mean I cant just we cant just she offered up in protest watching him reach out to pull a helmet off of the shelf just beyond where hed had the motorcycle stored.
Why cant we? he waved the helmet around in her general direction. I can promise you that I know what Im doing and Im a safe driver.
I dont doubt that but, she bit down on her lower lip struggling with the temptation that presented itself.
Come on beautiful, he wiggled his brow suggestively, You know youre just looking for a reason and an excuse to wrap those arms around me and hold me tight.
I wont argue that, but her dark gaze traveled over the lines of the motorcycle all over again. In that instant she felt herself returning to that same place in her adolescence that she was constantly condemning Jason for staying stuck in. Still in seeing the man she loved perched upon his Harley Davidson, she couldnt help but find herself tempted by the offer.
Come on. You only live once, he extended the helmet towards her once again. Besides if you hate it, well just go around the block and come back. I wont argue with you and we can settle into another night in front of the television.
I dont know she shifted on her feet thinking about all the reasons why she should say no, but as Grady turned on the engine and revved it up, she felt another feeling wash over her leading her straight into temptation. Reaching for the helmet, she took in an excited breath and moved in behind him on the motorcycle. She hugged him tightly feeling a rush of delight creep in over her as he turned to make sure her helmet was adjusted properly. She held her finger up in the air speaking more to herself than anything else. Dont make me regret this.
Never, he promised giving her a quick kiss before deciding that it was time to show Deana a part of himself that hed tucked away for quite some time. As the garage door opened, he prepared to surprise the both of them with what he had in mind for the night ahead of them.
I dont think Zack is going to be a problem for you the rest of
the day, Diego couldnt help but tease after he and Barbara had
found their way down to the hospital cafeteria with one another. In
fact I think its safe to say that hell be spending the rest of
his time on a witch hunt hoping to find out just who thought to send him that
kind of package.
He probably sent it to himself, Barbara waved her hand in the air dismissively. Truth be told hes a major drama queen and this will just be one more excuse for him to have a temper tantrum with the world around him.
Perhaps, Diego shrugged his shoulders simply, his thoughts lingering beyond the exploits of Zack Vaughn.
Its more than perhaps, Barbara continued to speak clearly oblivious to Diegos new train of thought. Its amazing how he went from being a kind of, sort of good guy to being someone who is a chauvinistic pig that derives pleasure from driving the female staff at the hospital crazy and not in a good way. I mean when I think about half of the stunts that man had pulled Diego, hey are you still with me?
Im sorry, he returned to the moment feeling a sigh spill over his lips, I know I should be more supportive right now, but
But Im talking about what a creep Zack is, she waved her hand dismissively, Its hardly a good dinner conversation when there are so many far more interesting topics at hand.
Id hardly consider this dinner, Diego motioned to the lukewarm cup of coffee in his hand. If I would have known that youd considered this to be a meal between us, I would have taken you somewhere else--somewhere with a little class behind it.
You can always do that later, she wiggled her brow suggestively. Maybe we could take a trip down to that new French restaurant that just came into town and
Barbara, I know that you want me to stay, but I already explained to you that he began knowing only too well that if he wound up not being the father of Sarahs baby that it would be time to get his life in order again.
That what? That youre ready to run away from the life you made for yourself because you trusted the wrong woman? she couldnt help but ask, her lip curling into a full pout. Diego, do you have any idea how selfish that sounds?
Excuse me, he blinked back at her seeing something flash behind her eyes.
Im sorry Diego, but the fact to the matter is that right now youre so wrapped up in your mistakes that youre not seeing the big picture. Youre not realizing that this hospital needs you. Coral Valley needs you and, she paused feeling a lump forming in the back of her throat, I need you. I mean, youre one of the few people in this town that I can have a civilized conversation with. Were pals and
And pals can still keep in touch even if they arent living in the same town, he reached out across the table to take her hand in his. The way I see it you and I can still email one another and talk on the phone
Yeah an email works oh so well when you could use a coffee break buddy or a hug, she rolled her eyes at the suggestion. Face it Diego, youre letting yourself push one foot out the door before all your chickens are hatched.
Barbara, Ive made some huge mistakes, Diego reminded her with a frown.
We all have. Its called being human, her eyes appealed to him, Look Diego, I know that your sister has been pressuring you to get back in touch with your spirituality or whatever it is that shes preaching because its far from her mind to imagine a man being more than an asexual member of society, but
But nothing. Barbara, I hurt a lot of people who trusted me and had faith in my friendship, he groaned outwardly before shaking his head. I made some foolish decisions and because of it I could have cost someone their life.
How do you figure? she questioned breaking off a piece of the stale muffin shed gotten a short while ago. Her eyes skimmed over the surface of the bite shed picked up for herself before she frowned and set it back on the tiny plate in front of her. Well?
For starters Cori could have really hurt someone that day she shot me, Diego stated matter of fact as if he was reflecting in the moment all over again. When she started shooting
She proved what a whack job she was, Barbara finished for him much to his dismay. She watched his mouth open in protest before she interrupted again. Look Diego, while you would like to take the full blame for Coris meltdown, we both know better. This isnt the first time shes been fixated on someone. There was that time when she was in high school, then college and then
It doesnt matter. I should have been smarter than that. Even with Cori, when I think about how I lead her on, he dropped his head down to stare at his coffee mug like it was the most interesting thing in the room, it was just wrong.
Cori knew what she was getting into, Barbara corrected with a frown, Just like most of the women in this town did when they saw that you had it bad for Heather Gibbons. Hell, I knew full well that shed had a hold on you when I asked you to escort me to that party, but that didnt stop me.
Thats because you and I are friends, Diego offered up a polite smile, You didnt have to worry about my breaking your heart.
No, her face dropped at the casual tone he used with her, I guess not.
The way I see it Barbara I made a big mistake. I mean if you think about it, you just said you saw what was happening with Heather and I, yet I turned to Sarah, Diego let out a long sigh. I believed so many things about her--about the kind of woman that she really was, but she deceived me.
Which proves shes an idiot, she paused an uncertainty carrying over her, but youre not
Not what? he glanced up at her once again.
Still in love with her or anything, are you? she questioned worriedly feeling her stomach tied in knots at the thought of Diego still having feelings for a manipulator like Sarah Marx.
She might be the mother of my child, Diego revealed in a cryptic tone, but shes not the person I believed she was before this all happened.
You didnt answer my question, she noted with a frown.
What kind of man would I be if I was in love with Sarah after all the misery shed caused? he tossed back at her with a heavy sigh leading Barbara to wonder if perhaps Diego was still holding onto something that was clearly out of his reach.
Diego, she opened her mouth up to speak once again hoping to get him to see that Sarah was anything, but right for him.
Look Barbara, Ive wasted too much of your time already, he started to get up from where he was seated.
No, you havent, she leapt up to stand in front of him, I mean we only just got here and
And your break is almost up Im certain, Diego smiled back at her. I appreciate the talk, but
But nothing. I want for us to have a real dinner between friends, Barbara pleaded with him, worry consuming her at the idea of never seeing him again.
Ive still got a lot of things to do back at my place and Diego offered up with a polite smile.
Diego as much as I hate Sarah for what shes lead you to believe about yourself, a part of me hopes that youre the father of her child so that youll stay here and give your life another chance, she reached out to take his hand in hers. You have so much here in Coral Valley that you dont even realize is waiting for you to discover it.
Trust me Barbara, Coral Valley will be a lot better off without me, he squeezed her hand gently before raising it to his lips, but for what its worth thank you for this.
For what? she questioned feeling an emptiness inside of her as he released her hand.
For being a friend to me. For always trying to get me to see the good in life, he reached out to embrace her tightly. Ill miss you when Im gone.
I dont want you to go, Barbara confessed feeling a lump building in the back of her throat. She hugged him tightly as she fought to contain the tears she feared would threaten to overtake her. She closed her eyes savoring the warmth of his arms wrapped around her. Keeping him close to her she memorized the moment thinking about the way that his aftershave had always stirred up a certain sensation inside of her leaving her to long for something more between them. He had so many wonderful qualities--so many things that Barbara had noticed time and time again, but if he left town he would never see just how much shed appreciate them. Hed never know just how many times shed fought for the right words to tell him what he meant to her. Hed never see that
Goodbye Barbara, Diego whispered breaking her from her thoughts of longing as he withdrew from the embrace. Their eyes met for a moment and she found herself speaking up in a weak voice.
God I hope not, she reached for his hand once again, because Ill miss you more than you can imagine if you leave Diego. I really hope that this isnt the end for you in Coral Valley.
So now that I had to rush to get here, Nate walked into Coris
room seeing one of the people shut it behind him and heard the sound the lock
closing. Moving over toward the bed where Cori was sitting with her legs pulled
in against her chest. Taking a seat next to her he nudged her in the arm with
elbow before letting out a long sigh. Whats up? Im pretty
sure my monthly minutes will be gone on my cell phone plan now.
I dont mean to be a bother, Im just going insane Nate. I hate being alone and this place makes me feel insane, Cori gave him a look seeing the way his eyebrows arched up at she whacked him in the center of his chest with her hand hearing him let out a small laugh. Of course you would have a smart remark.
Hey, you hit me before I could even come up with the smart remark, he teased reaching out to wrap his arm around her shoulders giving her a tight squeeze. Cori was his friend and he knew where she was coming from because he saw her pain while she was here. Seeing her here made him feel the need like he had to be there for her whenever she asked of him. Having her tell him about her father was what killed him inside and it was that moment he knew he would become her friend for a very long time from there on out. Talk to me. Whats wrong Cori?
I was just starting to think about things Nate and I have to be honest here, I hate the way things are. Im left here with only my thoughts no people and I need a friend, I need someone to be here that will understand, Cori muttered shaking her head at the thought reaching up to cover her eyes for a moment. I think about my family and none of them understand me no one really understands me.
Well help me understand you Cori, I came here for a reason. Let me help you, let me understand whats going on, Nate reached for one of her hands trying to pull it from her face grasping her fingers in his trying to show her that while she thought she was alone at first she no longer was. Cori, Im here and if you expect to start trusting me I think you need to tell me things. Let me in instead of always pushing me away. Cori, what is it?"
I just hate being alone Nate and this place hurts me even more. Ive made mistakes I know Ive made mistakes, but why put me in here? Ive had enough, Im just tired of it, she finally felt herself break down. She felt her every being breaking and she knew it was time to try and open herself up to someone. I just want someone to understand. Someone to say everything is going to be okay and I was to believe them.
Cori, coming from me and I know you can see Im telling you the truth, Nate reached to grab a soft hold of her chin nudging her to look up into his light green eyes and he nodded slowly. Everything is going to be alright. You just have to know that Im here and I will be here no matter what. I promise.
I always get promises, she bit down on the words closing her eyes feeling his rough thumb caressing her cheek softly and she let out a deep sigh opening her dark eyes to stare out at him. Its never real.
Well with me, you are always going to have a best friend, Nate explained reaching out to hug her in his arms tightly and let out a tight breath thinking about all the ways people treated her. This was not how he wanted anyone to live and knew that it was his duty to let her know she would always have a friend one way or another. You are always going to have a friend in me Cori. I promise you from here on out. Ill always be your friend and be here for you when you need me. Thats a promise from the bottom of my heart, whenever you need a shoulder Ill be there. No one deserves to be alone and Im here to show you that you will ever be alone.
A feeling inside of him felt horrible when he knew that she was calling and asking for him while he was at Mindys place, he knew that he didnt want to leave and now that he knew what kind of shape she was in he felt horrible. This was going to have to be a point to prove he would be her friend no matter what, whatever it meant he had to do. No one deserved to feel alone and weak, that was one thing he knew for sure.
Ok watch that corner there, Grady instructed keeping his arms
wrapped tightly around Deana as they pulled up his driveway. Just a
little to the left so that you dont hit the car
Ive got it, Deana announced securing her hold on the motorcycle between her fingertips now that she and Grady had returned to his home an hour after their earlier trip. Half way shed been so excited about their adventure that shed begged him to let her drive. Shed expected him to be hesitant, but hed readily offered her the reigns and now after shed circled around the neighborhood long enough to capture the attention of the neighbors, she realized that it was perhaps time to return to his house. She kept her eyes on the opened garage door in front of her preparing to show him that shed been a fast learner after his quick instruction guide on how to maneuver his Harley.
Just a little more this way, he whispered against the back of her neck bringing his hands over hers on the front of the motorcycle. She slowed it down just enough to make a safe entry into his garage and as his fingers pressed in over hers, a smile swept over her now wind blown rosy cheeks.
Ive got it, she explained triumphantly. She turned off the ignition and reached to take off her helmet. Her blonde hair flew around her shoulders and she set the helmet down on the shelf beside her. Tipping her head back over her shoulder, she couldnt help but grin wider, I told you I wouldnt smash up your car.
I had complete faith in you, he laughed dropping his hands down to her thighs now that he sat behind her. He could feel her body buzzing from the thrill that had rushed over her when hed offered her the opportunity to take control of their destination.
No you didnt, she stuck her tongue out at him, because I know full well you thought that we were going to end up in Lake Cardinal earlier tonight.
Ok, so Ill admit you took that turn a little fast by the bike path, but all in all I think youve mastered the art of being able to hold your own on one of these, he wrapped his arms around her waist, so now the next time Kyle wants to go on a cross country adventure Ill let him know that you can be part of the gang.
Oh that gang, she mocked his tone, Does that mean Ill even get my own leather jacket with our logo on it?
Only if youre lucky, Grady teased squeezing her in his arms, Although there is an initiation process youll have to go through.
Ill bet, she groaned outwardly, but if it involves sleeping with the biker gang
Just the leader of the gang, Grady rested his head upon her shoulder. His hands dropped down to her thighs, feeling her chilled muscles through her blue jeans. His fingers curled around her inner thigh and began to weave lazy circles in an upward motion, but Ive heard that hes quite reasonable.
Hmm, well is half as sexy as Kyle is, she teased feeling his hand press in further between her thighs.
Hey, I think Im offended, Grady feigned a wounded expression. What in the world would lead you to believe that Kyle is the man that is the leader of our biker gang?
Because you my darling are too passive to be the one to be calling the shots in that sort of situation, she couldnt help but taunt him knowing only too well that passive was one of the few traits shed never truly accuse Grady of being.
Just for that Im not going to waive your initiation process, he curled his lip in protest before bringing his hand up over the button on her jeans. In fact
Yes? she questioned feeling him pop it open before his fingers moved in over the zipper. She arched back into him resting the back of her head on his shoulder as his fingers found their way into the material.
I think its time that we start discussing just what kind of active role Im making in this relationship considering that Im the one who suggested wild and reckless earlier, he murmured against the back of her neck, feeling a tiny shiver race over her now that hed managed to capture her full attention. She bit down on her lower lip arching her back into his chest as one of his hands pressed up underneath her sweater in an attempt to drive her to sheer madness.
Grady, she breathed his name dropping her hand down over his wrist as he continued to stroke her body to ecstasy. She closed her eyes unable to refrain from arching her hips up towards his movements, closer to him now that hed captured her full attention.
What do you say we get inside and I show you just how far from passive I can truly be? he suggested in a low rumble of a growl while biting down on her shoulder.
Mmm, she purred at the notion savoring the offer hed laid out on the table before she shook her head. Finally she forced herself to open her eyes again, No, I dont think so.
You dont think so? his green eyes questioned feeling her still his wrist.
Nope, sorry, she detangled herself from his hold on her. On shaky legs she adjusted her jeans before pulling herself up and off of the motorcycle. She stood for a moment taking inventory of the sexy, surprising man shed fallen for now that he sat on the back of the motorcycle looking more than confused by her actions.
But I thought that he fought to come up with some rational explanation for her retreat.
Im not interested in going inside, she explained with a hint of a smirk, moving back just enough to shimmy out of her jeans. She kicked them to the floor of the garage before moving in closer to him. Without hesitation she kicked her leg over the side of the motorcycle only this time rather than keeping her back to him, she faced him fully. If youre going to put me through the initiation process, then I think its only fitting that we stay right here.
Right here? his green eyes widened with delight. A moment later a grin cracked over his features. Well if you insist.
Oh I insist, she nodded eagerly throwing her arms around him. She felt his hand press in against the small of her back urging her in closer to him.
In that case be prepared for the ride of your life sweetheart, Gradys voice rumbled with delight. His lips ravished hers, kissing her with a newfound intensity now that shed managed to prove to him that she was beyond reckless in her ways despite her many protests.
I cant wait, she confessed reaching out to touch his chest. Her fingers danced over his abdomen moving in to the top of his jeans when the sound of his phone began to vibrate in his pocket.
This is not happening, Grady huffed impatiently as Deanas touch tapered off into his pocket to retrieve his phone.
It could be your mother, she reminded him with a soft sigh, Zane isnt used to being out this late and
Im sure hes fine, but maybe hes calling to check in, Grady shrugged his shoulders knowing that while he would like nothing better than to savor this alone time with Deana, he had to be realistic about Zanes needs. He watched her bring the phone up for a closer look before a frown creased over her lips.
Its Russ, she blurted out offering the phone over to him.
Ill get rid of him, Grady decided pushing the talk button with a snarl. Hey little brother, what can I do for you?
Grady, youre not busy, are you? Russ questioned with an innocence that under normal circumstances wouldnt have phased Grady, but as Grady watched Deana leaning back against the front of the motorcycle, shaking her head and bringing her blonde hair around her face, he found himself quite distracted.
Actually Im Grady began politely.
Avery and I are getting married again and I had to call you, Russ informed Grady before he could explain now wasnt a good time. Grady watched as Deana dropped her hands down to pull at the hem of her sweater. She brought it up over her waist long enough for Grady to reach out to touch her abdomen. She swatted at his hand before lowering the material once again.
Yeah, I already got that Russ. We talked about this earlier when you said you were going to ask her to marry you all over again. And Im happy for you, but Gradys voice tapered off when Deana began to repeat the earlier process of toying with her sweater for his entertainment.
Were going to go back to the island and have a ceremony Russ started to offer up the details about the wedding that Grady was certain was important for him to know about, but when Deana finally pushed her sweater up over her shoulders and onto the discarded tarp on the ground, Grady realized that Russ was the furthest from his mind.
Grady, did you hear me? Russ questioned impatiently.
Yeah sure, Grady lied reaching out for Deana. She swatted at his hand once again, this time with laughter behind her movement. Grady started to drop his hand, but instead found that shed captured his wrist in her fingers.
So I want you to be there with Deana and Zane. I think that it would be a great trip for you to be out there. It would give you a chance to Russ continued to recount his plans for the festivities surrounding his ceremony to Grady, but again it fell on deaf ears.
Sure, Grady blurted out feeling Deana bring his fingers to her lips. She placed a kiss upon the center of his palm before her lips traveled over to his finger tip. She bit down on the soft flesh for a moment and Grady felt his pulse hammer in the back of his throat. Look Russ Im sure we can work out the details, but well be there.
Thats great because Russ offered up in response.
Yeah sure. Ill talk to you later Russ, Grady quickly shuffled to hang up his phone. He knew that his brother undoubtedly had more to say, but Grady no longer had any patience in focusing on anything other than the woman in front of him.
Did Russ need something? she questioned reaching out to Grady as her hands robbed him of any and all logic.
Yeah, Grady nodded feeling Deana tearing at his t-shirt. She eased it up over the muscled contours of his body before he raised his arms to assist her in her quest.
And? she questioned leisurely tossing his shirt aside.
Hes getting married again, Grady finally processed what his brother was saying. He wants us to go out to the wedding on the island where they were married before with Zane and
Sounds like fun, she noted with a hint of laughter in her tone. A vacation would be nice
Absolutely, but right now, Grady coiled his arm around her waist in a lightening quick, possessive movement, the only trip to paradise I want to be taking is the one with the woman I love in my arms here and now.
I think I can live with that, Deana purred easing in towards him for a kiss now that it was clear that together theyd been able to explore the thought of being wild and reckless with one another in ways that neither one had anticipated when their night had began. As Gradys lips found hers, something told him that she wouldnt be the only one to learn a thing or two about the perks of letting go of responsibility for a while.
Listen to me Mindy, I dont want you to just rail into Guy because
he doesnt like me. Maybe hes a little right about me, Jason
tried to explain seeing the way that Mindy turned to look at him and he tried
to step between the two and maybe this was his chance. This was his chance
to prove to Mindy that she was wrong about him and that she needed to know
that. Mindy seriously, hes not all that bad or wrong.
Dont say something like that Jason. I know you are trying to fit in with my friends, but this is the wrong way to let him think he is right, he needs to say sorry and I demand that he does, Mindy looked out to guy seeing him glaring out at Jason and saw Jason move back shoving his hands in his pockets and looking down a the ground. Guy?
Mindy, Im not going to apologize about this because this guy is a total , before Guy finished he felt someone place their hand in over his shoulder and he let out a tight groan turning to see Gabe with his cell phone. You know were a little busy right now and ,
You really want to talk to them on here. Its Avery and Guy, Im pretty sure she is more important than getting worked up over certain friends that Mindy decides to have. So can you please grow up for one second and talk to your sister?" Gabe begged seeing the grumpy look that was on Guys features seem to soften a bit and he nodded holding the phone out in front of him. Its real important Guy.
Mindy, you have to listen to him a little bit he has been your friend so much longer than I have been, Jason tried to explain once Gabe and Guy left the room and he tried to explain things to her knowing that she was on this kick about him being gay. Mindy I love that you love me as a friend and God you dont know how happy that makes me, but this isnt right. Guy knows whats right about things and you know how much of a jerk it would make me for him to become less of your friend on my account?"
I dont want to lose him as a friend, no thats not the case at all for me, she tried to explain seeing the way his blue eyes looked out at her and she could honestly tell something was really wrong. Jason, seriously. There really is something going on now isnt there? I can see it in your face. Your eyes, whats wrong?"
Mindy, you think things that I know arent even explainable and I dont know how you have thought them, but , Jason went to continue until he turned to see Guy returning to the kitchen with the phone in his hand. A shocked expression pressed in over his features and he let out a small sigh. Whats wrong?"
Russ and Avery are getting married again, Guy blurted out his excitement coming out in an overwhelming tone as he heard Mindy squeal and saw her jumping up and down. Yeah thats why she called me Mindy. Im invited, youre invited--they are going to this special place and they are excited about it. They want to get it done right away.
Oh my god, I have to call her, Mindy reached for her phone dialing a number before looking back at Jason motioning him to hold on a second while she walked out of the kitchen leaving him alone. Ill be back.
Okay, Jason breathed to himself shaking his head at the thought of actually getting to tell her what he wanted. He knew that it seemed to have the world playing against him on actually telling her the truth and he absolutely hated it. People never gave him a chance and everything seemed to turn on him when he was trying to do the right thing and tell her the truth, thats what he hated the most and thats what made him always go crazy at the thought. This was a ridiculous habit and something he was tired of dealing with, for once he wanted to tell her, but now he knew there was no point and he was done. He was done for good. Maybe it wasnt meant to be. I should just keep letting her think what she does and you know what? Thats exactly what Im going to do. No more truth, this is it. Im done with being the nice guy because obviously no one wants it from me and there is no use in even trying.
I dont care what you say Kyle. Im not going, Heather
pushed her foot down into the carpet defiantly. You can fly off to wherever
the hell Russ and Avery are going for their cheap little wedding, but Im
not going with you. I want no part of what it is that they are doing together
and you cant change my mind on where I stand on the subject.
Heather, would you just stop and think about what youre saying? Kyle frowned over at her, shaking his head again. This is stupid and if you would stop dwelling on the past you and Avery have with one another, you could see how this would be good for all of us.
I highly doubt Little Miss Prissy wants me there on her wedding day, Heather rolled her eyes at the thought of Avery. Walking across the room she stepped into her closet and began to shuffle through her clothing until she selected something comfortable to slip into.
It doesnt matter if she wants you there or not, Kyle followed her directly into the closet standing behind her to block her exit. He placed his large hands on her shoulders and sighed, I want you there.
Kyle, I cant, she sighed tipping her head up to meet his intense hazel eyes, I have too much going on with my company right now and
Heather, I know you dont like Avery, but you love me, dont you? he curled his finger underneath her chin tipping her head up ever so slightly so that their eyes connected again. Dont you?
Of course I love you, she sighed in frustration stomping her foot down again while holding onto the silk pajamas shed pulled from the hanger, but that doesnt mean that I have to enjoy doing everything you enjoy doing. We can still be happy together without your having to put me into a situation with that viper.
Shes not that bad Heather and you know it, he frowned down at her shaking his head before his hand dropped down to the side of her waist. Face it what is better than you and I alone together in the middle of paradise?
Well be at Russ and Averys wedding. I would hardly consider that our being alone, she started to argue with him only to feel his lips dipping down over hers. She opened her mouth feeling her biting words on the tip of her tongue suddenly replaced with the not-so-subtle caress of Kyles tongue against hers. She shook her head feeling him attempting to seduce her and she pulled back, This isnt going to work Kyle.
No? he questioned lazily his fingers pressing in over the center of her blouse, popping the buttons open one by one. You mean you dont want to make me happy by going with me?
Im sure there are other ways to make you happy, she recoiled standing up taller and sliding her arms around his thick, muscular shoulders. We can make each other very happy if you drop the whole idea of going to this wedding.
Heather Im the best man, Kyle sighed seeing the spark of mischief behind her green eyes. He curled his arm around her waist pulling her up off of the ground and into his chest. I cant back out on my friends and quite honestly I wouldnt want to.
Im not saying that you have to. All I am suggesting is that you go and do what you have to do while I work at my company, she continued to reason with him, I have plenty of things to keep me busy and
And what about the person who is harassing you, he frowned bringing reality into the moment between them. What happens if they try something more while Im gone?
I have Kellen and Kipp around. Ill be fine, Heather flashed him a nervous smile hoping to get him to just drop the subject about Averys wedding.
Not good enough, he shook his head firmly. Im not leaving you here alone when someone is set to hurt you. That is foolish and its not happening.
Youre not going to tell me whats happening Kyle. You may be my husband, but you dont own me, she frowned pushing her thumbs into the hollow point in his shoulders before wiggling out of his arms. She clenched onto her pajamas before attempting to brush past him.
No so fast sweetheart, Kyle tugged on her arm pulling her back into the closet with him. Their gazes locked before he let out a long sigh, Im not trying to own you, but more so get you to understand why I might want you there. Heather, you are the love of my life and I know you dont like Avery, but shes a friend of mine as is Russ.
All the more reason for you not to take me, Heather continued to argue with him feeling his palm flatten out over her spine causing a tiny rumble of sensations to expand inside of her.
Baby, Im not going to fight with you on this one, but I would really like to see you reconsider, he dipped down to steal a kiss from her lips, his fingertips pressing in underneath her blouse to feel her warm skin. I mean think about it. Well be on the beach soaking up the sun and each other. The wedding will only play a small part and then maybe we can get back to that honeymoon that we never took.
Kyle, she sighed reaching out to flatten her hands over the warm, muscled lines of his chest. Dropping her pajamas in the process she started to smooth her fingers out over his abdomen reaching out to pull his shirt up over his body. He stepped back ever so slightly helping her discard the material before he returned the favor peeling her out of her blouse.
I just dont think its a good idea, she finally sighed feeling his lips pressing in over her shoulder. She felt him gently nibble on her skin, his thumb and index finger peeling away at her bra strap while her nails grazed over his spine.
Its a fantastic idea, he murmured placing, hot, wet kisses over her shoulder and causing her to lose sight of the argument they were having.
Do you honestly think that doing this is going to make me forget that I dont want to go? Heather questioned with a small sigh tipping her head back enough to feel Kyles lips trail over her collar bone. She felt his palm press in to shape her breast after pushing the material of her bra away from her skin. Closing her eyes she sank into his touch feeling him hoist her up off of the ground just enough for his lips to close in over her taut skin, tongue trailing over her warmth. She sank her nails into his shoulder before sliding her fingers into his blonde hair. Youre not playing fair Kyle.
Honey I never play fair when I want to win, he murmured moving his mouth to hers again in a fiery kiss. In this scenario its a win/win situation for the both of us.
I seriously dont see that, Heather mouthed in response feeling a breath escape from her lips. She carefully wrapped her legs around his waist, feeling him hold her into his chest. Her green eyes penetrated his again, her lips parting in anticipation of his kisses while her hands glided over his skin. Leaning forward she nibbled on his lower lip loving the feel of him beside her. Seductively she eased her mouth over enough to nibble on his earlobe before she spoke up once again, Though maybe if you take your pants off I might reconsider my point of view.
You dont have to ask me twice, Kyle nodded readily shuffling his hands to accommodate her request. He was almost there, but paused for a brief moment to meet her eyes again, but by the time were finished with this collective bargaining I fully expect a yes out of you.
Oh youll get plenty of yeses out of me, but not necessarily in regards to the wedding were talking about, she mouthed in response easing in to steal another kiss from him now that they were about to embark upon some heavy negotiations with one another. No matter what the outcome was, Heather realized that she was going to enjoy ever single second of them now that she was with Kyle savoring absolutely everything that he had to offer to her.
So what brings you two here tonight? Brant questioned after a
long period of silence turning his attention to Cameron and Sarah knowing
full well Cameron was trying to intimidate him, but he refused to let it happen.
Surely I wouldve thought you both wouldve wanted to stick
indoors after the last couple of weeks youve been having.
Well, as they say what doesnt kill you only makes you stronger, Sarah reached for Camerons glass of red wine ready to lift it to her lips before he caught her wrist in his hand.
Thats my drink dear, Cameron flashed her a warning look before she released the glass opting to sulk back in her chair. Turning to glance at Angela, Cameron smiled at her, So tell me Angela, what is it that Kevins working so very hard on that he cant be here with you tonight? Surely he wouldnt want to miss a moment of what he has going on with you and the baby.
Hes just Angela stopped herself realizing that she really had no idea what Kevin was doing. I dont know. I mean I just assumed that daddy had him working overtime, but
Im pretty sure that dad isnt having him do much of anything right now, so you should tell Kevin to stop running off and start paying attention to his priorities, Cameron reached across the table to take her hand in his, because I would hate to see my little sister upset that she cant be with the man she loves.
Im sure hell be home soon enough, Angela offered up with a small smile.
And just what is home exactly? Cameron arched a curious brow. I hear youre staying at a guest house. Now why in the world would you both do that when my home is more than open to having you in it. I would love to be able to see you more.
Thanks Cameron, but I couldnt impose upon you, Angela shook her head slowly glancing over at Brant for the briefest of seconds.
It wouldnt be an imposition at all. You are family after all and I would love to have you with me so that we can start talking about your wedding plans, Cameron squeezed her hand gently, I think its the least that I can do for my little sister.
Shes just fine where shes at. I enjoy having her around at the mansion, Brant piped in with a glare over at Cameron. She and Kevin are happy there.
I would seriously doubt that, Cameron opened his mouth to argue with Brant, but then another thought occurred to him. Hey Angel, do you remember this song?
What song? she questioned pausing to listen for a moment to the music that was playing.
Its the song we danced to at our fathers celebration on your sixteenth birthday. Surely you remember it, Cameron stood up and extended his hand out to his sister, Shall we dance?
Oh I dont know. I dont really feel like Angela started shifting in her chair uneasily watching her brother step in closer to her.
Of course you do, Cameron swept her up and out of her chair before glaring over at Brant. Im sure Brant and Sarah can catch up with one another while we dance.
I dont think its such a good idea, Brant started with a frown watching Cameron lead Angela away with him to the dance floor.
It must be a bitch to see her each and every day and knowing that she doesnt really even know you exist, Sarah mouthed with a dry laugh reaching for Camerons glass of wine again. She raised it to her lips and took a long sip in spite of Camerons silent warning.
Im sure its a feeling that you know only too well now that Kyle would just as soon forget he met you now that hes got Heather in his life, Brant quipped right back at her seeing her dark eyes flicker with rage. He glanced down at the glass she was holding and frowned, Arent you supposed to be pregnant or something?
Like I care, she rolled her eyes setting her glass down again, This baby hasnt done anything for me other than cause me nothing, but problems.
I can see how you feel justified in giving the baby a world of problems there then, Brant rolled his eyes at her, his words thick with sarcasm while his gaze swept across the dance floor to where Cameron and Angela were.
You know you should really try not being so bitter, Sarah warned him sharply, the corners of her mouth curving in a scowl. It doesnt make you much fun to be around.
You should take your own advice and sober up. This whole new persona is really unflattering for someone who looked like they had a promising future ahead of them. I mean honestly, Brant shook his head at her, Is this how you decide youre going to pull your life together again? By shacking up with him?
Why Brant, I didnt know you cared, Sarah smiled over at him sliding her hand underneath the table to brush her fingers up against his leg, Though you know if you are really feeling that down about Angela ignoring you, then Im sure I could find a way to perk you back up again. Hell, I might even be able to make you forget her if you play your cards right.
Dont flatter yourself, Brant scowled in response pushing her hand away from him before standing up. Im no where near being that desperate and if I was, I would just as soon shoot myself first.
Gee then you might really be doing Cameron a favor then, she noted reaching for the wine glass all over again.
Grow up Sarah, Brant shook his head at her before deciding it was time to break up the brother and sister reunion taking place between Cameron and Angela. He knew that he might be overstepping a boundary but he wasnt about to let Cameron brainwash Angela into thinking that he was no good for her.
Excuse me, Brant cut in between the two of them once hed approached them near the far end of the dance floor, I hate to intrude, but I think wed better be leaving.
Right now, Angelas eyes widened curiously as they turned towards the sound of Brants voice.
Yeah, something came up at home, Brant nodded quickly hating to lie to her, but needing to get her alone. We should probably get out of here so that we can take care of it.
Or you can just go and take care of it, Cameron suggested constricting his hold on his sister. I can take Angela home with me.
Actually Kevin called and he was hoping to get a word in with her. I said you would call him back and Brant started again throwing out a pleading look at her. He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and handed it to Angela.
Oh of course, she nodded in response accepting the phone before turning to Cameron apologetically. Ill call you and we can get together soon.
Sure, Cameron nodded seeing Angela look to Brant again.
Ill just go call him back, Angela explained motioning towards the restaurants exit.
That sounds like a good idea, Brant nodded encouragingly seeing her walk off before he turned to Cameron again. Flashing Cameron an icy smirk, he spoke up in a cool and even tone, Nice try Stone, but its not going to work.
You arent going to get my sister back into your life. She deserves better and if you dont walk away Im going to bury you, Cameron warned him sharply, making no mistaking in his tone.
Id like to see you try, Brant offered up with a shallow laugh and glaring at Cameron one last time before taking off to join Angela outside of the restaurant now that hed found a way to keep Cameron from changing Angelas mind about him. Sure, it was underhanded and Kevin would be confused to hear her say she was calling him back, but it was something that Brant needed to do to get the job done.
He didnt answer, Angelas voice explained as Brant joined her again. I left him a message though.
That sounds good enough, Brant tucked his phone into his pocket before looking at the overhead thunderclouds. I think we should probably get back to the mansion now so that we beat this storm.
Yeah, I would have to agree with you, she nodded feeling him reach for her hand and guide her back with him to the car without another word. She looked back to the restaurant, then to Brant and realized that there was a whole hell of a lot that they were going to talk about with one another, but now was most certainly not the time.
Finally, Ria sighed falling onto her sofa after shed said
her good-byes to her mother. She looked up to where Kevin was standing in
front of her and she wiggled her finger for him to take a seat beside her.
Once he did she closed her eyes and groaned, I told you her coming to
town was going to be a nightmare.
Only if we let it become one, Kevin reminded her patting her leg gently. Your mom just doesnt understand how amazing you are, but you cant let her get you down.
Easier said than done, Ria sighed pressing her head back on the top of the couch. She turned to look over at Kevin with a small frown, I think she thrives on making me miserable.
Then well need to stop her before she starts--say with maybe a vacation, Kevin wiggled his brow suggestively, You know something along the lines of you and I alone in paradise. Maybe spending our day on the beach and our nights on a hammock making love in a place where your mother will be our last concern.
It sounds like heaven, she couldnt help but smile closing her eyes again to will away the tension headache that carried over her, Dont tempt me.
Oh Id love to more than tempt you, Kevin reached out to curl his finger underneath her chin urging her to meet his eyes. When her lashes fluttered and he found himself gazing into her chocolate colored eyes, he couldnt help but smile, I want to take you with me to paradise. I want you to see my house on the island.
Kevin, I would love to, but she started feeling him press his index finger over her lips to silence her.
No buts, he shook his head firmly, This is one scenario where I will not be taking no for an answer. Besides, we have a reason to be there other than purely hedonistic.
And just what might that be? she arched a curious brow seeing something flash behind his beautiful eyes.
I got a phone call while your mom was here and though I wanted to tell you sooner, I didnt exactly get the chance, he began thinking about what hed learned from his call. It turns out that Russ and Avery have decided to renew their vows on the island.
Isnt that a little bit uncomfortable considering that he spent time there with Angela? Ria couldnt help but ask thinking about the trouble Russ and Avery had been through.
They were married there the first time, so no I dont think it will be an issue, Kevin paused contemplating what Ria had tossed out on the table, At least I hope not. They deserve to be happy and have a great wedding--one that you and I have been invited to.
It sounds wonderful Kevin, but she began again thinking about all they faced in Coral Valley.
No buts, he explained firmly, reaching out to run his fingertips over the back of her neck lightly in an attempt to smooth out the knotted muscles inside of her, Honey Ive been looking for a reason to get you out there for a while and now we found a perfectly valid one. Well go to our friends wedding and then Ill take you to my love shack where Ill spend the rest of our trip showing you all the Adonis secrets you have still to learn about me.
I think Ive learned a lot of them already, Ria smiled over at him feeling her face growing hot at the suggestive tone hed used before his fingers eased into her dark hair pulling her in closer to him.
There are so many more that I know youll love, he mouthed heatedly, dipping down to steal a kiss from her lips. His arm hooked around her waist pulling her onto his lap before he spoke up in a low rumble, So many great tricks of the trade that Ive yet to try out
Keep talking that way and I may get you revealing some of them now, Ria slurred feeling the drugging intoxication of his kiss over her again. She shifted herself over his lap with great ease seeing the passion brewing behind his dark eyes. It does sound like heaven especially with my mom around.
Then its settled. We get our things ready and have the time of our lives while Russ and Avery have theirs, Kevin announced proudly ready to take a break from everything that had been going on lately. Thinking about how stressed out Ria was about her mothers arrival he realized that only good things could follow.
Theres only one problem Kevin, Ria broke away from the kiss hed initiated between them.
Whats that? he ran his hands over her hips lazily wanting nothing more than to focus on the beautiful woman in his arms.
For starters, she opened her mouth to say something, when the sound of Kevins voice mail went off. Frowning she nodded to the phone that sat beside them on the couch.
What? Kevin wrinkled his nose at her before reaching out to pull his phone up. This is only a voice mail and I can check it later. Right now
Let me see that, Ria cut him off only to take a look at the number that was marked as missed on the caller id. Frowning she held it out to him to reveal Angelas phone number, Here is the biggest problem of all Kevin and the reason why we wont be going to the island together or anywhere else anytime soon because she simply wont allow that to happen.
Ria wait. Im sure that we can work around this, Kevin started feeling her drop the phone into his lap after shed pulled herself off of it. Ria come on.
Dont bother Kevin. Theres no point in pretending that were going to have a life anytime soon because she wont let it happen, Ria huffed having had more than her fill of frustrations for the day.
Not bothering to look back at Kevin she marched off towards her bedroom ready to push the day behind her while Kevin was left looking at his cell phone. Picking up the phone that was in his lap Kevin glared at it before finally shaking his head and tossing it aside.
Damn it Angie. You always find a way to spoil the moment, Kevin frowned dropping his head back to the top of the couch and groaning now that it was clear that Angela was once again going to prove to be a thorn in his side with Ria and everything else in his life.
...to be continued...