Episode 396

“You know, you never sit still and the more you move the more I want to choke the life out of you,” Cameron hissed turning to look at Sarah over his shoulder as she paced back and forth in his living room and she had done it so many times in front of his television that he had yelled at her to move from that spot. All day he had been trying to think of things to get his sister away from Brant, trying to clear his mind and come up with good answers to his questions but with her walking around like that all day caused him only more aggravation. Which when that happened, the more it came the more pissed off he got and she was making his blood boil to the extreme as she continued. “I know I said stop pacing in front of the television, but now you are just driving me crazy so would you please just sit your fat ass down.”

“You have a real stick up your ass this morning? What’s wrong? You have a lack of that stuff you experienced in jail so you have to experience the feeling yourself? I suggest you pull that stick out of your ass right now. We have a one way ticket today and you should be as exhausted as I am,” she blurted out seeing the way he looked at her as she nodded slowly seeing his dark eyes narrow over at her before reaching out to turn off the disturbing sounds. “This is a big thing Cameron, I’m freaking out about the results.”

“Sarah, this is me we’re talking about. You should already know the results,” he rolled his eye resting back against the couch and rested his arms behind his head letting out a deep sigh. “We have nothing to worry about. I thought you knew that by now. When you’re in the life of Cameron Stone…nothing can go wrong.”

“Yeah, your face really proves that to be fact from the other day when Kyle showed up,” Sarah reminded him seeing his jaw tighten in anger before he closed his eyes trying to keep the comment out of his mind as she laughed. “It’s perfect when you have money, right. It’s just the aftermath of all the problems we’ve caused that makes this all the worse.”

“Honey, I’ll tell you right now. I’ve caused no problems, so the answers of the test have nothing to do with my future. It just holds the power to tear down Diego’s life and be happy about it while doing my thing. The more and more I think about you and having you in my life I start to have second thoughts,” he blurted out with a groan hearing her squeal and drop down to the couch on top of his feet. Moving his feet away from underneath her he grunted trying to ignore her. “You’re a real pain in the ass you know that? It’s no wonder why Kyle pricked your sister while he was still with you.”

“Asshole,” she snapped throwing a pillow at him seeing it him right between the eyes seeing his eyes snap open as he reached for the pillow throwing it right back at her twice as hard. “Hey…you can’t do that to a pregnant woman.”

“Like a damn pillow is going to hurt you and besides I hit you in the head. Not the stomach--maybe I’ll knock some sense into you and get you to shut up for once,” he sighed covering his eyes with his arm letting out a loud groan when he heard her take in a shocked gasp. Lifting his arm up for a moment he stared out at her and shook his head slowly. “Hey at least I didn’t say what I was thinking. Which was basically I don’t see a woman in here, so what’s the big deal.”

“I’m going to rip your head off one day. You know that? You have some real nerve talking to me like that when you are the type of guy that everyone wants to kill. All I need is someone that easily gets pissed off at you and it will be over before you know it,” she warned hearing him laugh before shaking his head slowly. A sudden sound of the phone ringing went off as her whole body froze and she looked to Cameron seeing him staring out at her expectantly. There was nothing on her mind that was making her move and she was just having a problem with standing up after how nervous she was. “It’s the hospital.”

“Listen, I know you’re nervous, but the feeling of regret is much worse and trust me I know. So if you don’t answer that damn phone you are going to feel so much regret when it’s not needed. So pick up the damn phone,” Cameron rolled his eyes edging his foot into her bottom seeing her stumble to her feet and move over toward the phone. Resting back he groaned before shaking his head slowly. “I regret even suggesting to you that I would be your partner and you be my sidekick. I wish I would have just kicked myself in the head earlier and realized how stupid this was.”

Looking to Sarah staring out at the phone he rolled his eyes hating to be in a situation like this, but now he was stuck with it after what he did. This was his decision and it was already set and sealed thanks to past events and this was something he was going to have to deal with as she answered the phone. It was now and forever.


Angela rolled onto her side stretching her arm out in the hopes of feeling the same warmth that she’d remembered time and time again. However, as she’d experienced earlier in the week, Kevin’s side of the bed was empty. Frowning she opened her eyes and ran her fingers over the pillow wondering what it was that kept him away. Even last night after she and Brant had returned to the mansion with one another, she realized that she needed to speak with Kevin. Without talking to Brant about what happened between them, Angela made her way to the guesthouse and waited for Kevin. Hours later she finally settled into bed thinking about how far they’d come from where they once were.

“What happened to us?” she questioned in a low tone closing her eyes and thinking about she and Kevin once felt like such a sure thing. There was a time when they couldn’t live without one another--when they couldn’t stand to be apart, yet now when they needed one another more than ever, he was no where to be found. What made matters worse was her growing attraction to Brant especially now after she’d crossed a line last night. What had started off as a playful flirtation turned extremely erotic and had Brant not stopped them from going too far, she would’ve made love to him. That was what was really nagging at her.

“Oh who are you kidding,” she threw the blankets back before sitting up in bed. She ran her fingers through her dark hair before closing her eyes and remembering what had happened with Brant. “You’ve already gone too far Angela. What you did yesterday with Brant…it isn’t something you can just forget or pretend that it’s okay because it’s not. You crossed a line.”

Stopping herself from the lecture, she thought back to Brant’s reaction, remembering his responses as he dropped hints that they were in fact lovers. Even after she’d tried to dismiss those thoughts from her mind, she could sense it long before she’d practically jumped him. The other night when they had been together--sharing an evening and he’d confessed he could be the father of the twins she was carrying, she’d written it off as a dream, but now she wasn’t so sure.

Moving to reach for her robe Angela walked across the room sliding the silken material over her shoulders. She tied it carefully around her waist before walking out into the kitchen only to discover she was completely alone in the guest house.

“Just as well,” she thought to herself realizing that when she did see Kevin again they were going to have a talk. She was going to have to be honest with him about what was going on inside of her. Even though she was certain it was the wrong time, she couldn’t lie about what she’d been feeling. She loved him. She was sure of that, but there was just something about Brant.

“Something that I obviously can’t ignore,” Angela mouthed in response looking out over the grounds to discover that Kevin’s car was parked over by the main house. Leaning in to gaze into the window she realized that he must’ve gotten in while she was sleeping. However, rather than coming over to the guest house, he must’ve gone over to see Brant.

“Oh God,” Angela gasped a sudden panic carrying over her. Remembering her night with Brant, Angela suddenly wondered if Brant would expose the truth about what they’d done with one another--if Kevin was over there right now learning the horrible truth about how Angela’s love had been anything, but true. Fearing the worst, Angela backed away from the window vowing not to let fate steal her one chance at happiness. She had to find a way to make things right so that she could have a future with the man she loved. The question was, which man was it that truly held her heart?

“You need to stop this from becoming a situation where you lose them both,” a voice warned in the back of her mind knowing full well that she needed to get over to the mansion to start some major damage control before things got out of hand and she wound up losing any chance of happiness that she had in her life. Yes, she needed to make a decision, but right now the most important thing was for her to make sure that neither Brant nor Kevin killed the other after all the confusion she’d started.


A small smile crept in over the corners of Ria’s lips as she felt a small caress against the center of her back making her lean more into the warmth beside her. There was something to be said about waking up this happy, like it wasn’t even real or possible. Every time she had the chance of this, it felt amazing and made her feel like she was on top of the world. Waking up this happy for he was just too surreal because of how great if felt to actually wake up with a smile and to be happy about waking up next to the man she loved. It was a feeling she wanted to feel and every time she was with Kevin, that was exactly how she felt with him in her life. Just being able to wake up with him by her side made her realize how lucky she felt and how much she loved the feeling.

“I see you fell asleep on me earlier,” Kevin’s voice pressed in through her ears awakening her more now that she knew he was awake. Lifting her head up from the center of his hard chest she smiled out at him feeling his fingertips softly pressing her long, dark hair away from her eyes. “I was going to wake you up, but the picture I had of you just sleeping there was just too perfect to be true, so I let you sleep for a little while.”

“You didn’t sleep at all?" she muttered looking over at the clock checking that she hadn’t been asleep very long, but it was the thought of actually having him awake watching her that got to her. Dipping down she pressed a tender kiss over his naked chest before tipping up to see the look his chocolate eyes gave her. “I love you so much.”

“And I love you,” he felt her move in closer to him shifting the sheets over them as she kissed him tenderly, her hand pressing in against his rough cheek while he flexed his arm around her waist protectively. He felt her nibble at his bottom lip as he groaned in response reaching down to softly grip her bottom in a teasing manner hearing her squeal leading him to let out a deep laugh. “You have no idea how sexy it is to see your leg wrapped around my waist while you’re sleeping. The way it wraps around me with a protective vibe…,”

“Oh, so my sleeping was sexy to you? Well lets take a look just how sexy it was,” she smirked trailing her fingertips over the center of his chest, teasing them down the rippled cords of his abdomen. She saw him perk up his eyebrow as he watched her slip her hand in underneath the sheets. Hearing him groan out once she gripped him in her hand tightly, she tipped forward to kiss him again before smiling widely. “Oh yeah, I’d say you thought I was sexy.”

“You think so?" a low rumble fell from his lips as he felt her move in over him and in a subtle movement he arched up into her. He felt her soft hands pressing in over the center of his chest caressing his muscles casually while she slid them down to the indents over his hips. Smirking he rested back against the bed placing his hands behind his head and watching her as she caressed his firm abdomen. “What’s on your mind?”

“I was thinking,” Ria began seeing the way that Kevin looked out at her as she moved in over him a bit more to her liking. Feeling his right hand reach out and move in over her hip she smiled and thought twice about what she was going to say. “Do you know what I think is the sexiest thing about you?"

“Do you really want me to answer that?" he smirked feeling her softly hit him in the chest before he shrugged and placed his arm back behind his head while she ran her fingertips over his firm skin. “Uhm, it’s my irresistible smile that you just can’t help smiling to yourself every time I do it. Or is it the sexy eyes, where when you look into them you just want to melt. I could go on forever you know, but I honestly think the answer is--just about everything.”

“Close enough, though you know--you do kind of have big ears to have me love absolutely everything about you,” she agreed with a small laugh at first tracing the smooth rippled lines of his abdomen before noticing the way he stared out at her with almost a shocked expression making her laugh from the tease she gave him. Feeling him flip her over in bed she let out a small squeal watching him moving in over her. “Well, you do. Your hair just hides it well, what do you expect me to do? Lie to you?"

“I don’t need someone telling me what I have wrong with myself,” he laughed seeing the way she looked over his chest slowly and he took in a long breath. “Even though you are making fun of me, I’m going to guess one of your favorite things happens to be my chest because you really like to play with it I‘ve noticed.”

“Well, there are so many possibilities with how fantastic you look,” a wide smile pressed in over her lips as she reached up running her palms in over the smooth plains of his chest seeing his eyes watching her every move while she played with his chained necklace for a moment. “You’re just so hard.”

“Okay, continue please,” he smirked knowing that the little words every now and then about himself from Ria made him feel on top of the world. She could always make him feel like that and that’s what he loved about her. Sexy, smart and she fed his ego like no other woman ever had. “So I have a chest with many possibilities--whatever that means.”

“It means that it leads to the abdomen, where you can run your fingers over the muscle chords you work so hard to get,” Ria muttered in a tight breath, her nails lightly scraping over his muscular body knowing that when she did that it effected him in more ways than one. It felt fantastic to feel the smooth lines of his body against her fingertips and the best part about it was that she could tell anybody that they belonged to her because Kevin was hers always and forever. “And with your abdomen, leads to the indents on your hips which in my opinion are so sexy because they lead to your…,”

“I think I know what it leads to,” he murmured dipping down to press his lips in over hers to silence her for a moment while he felt her nails run up and over the small of his back making him let out a deep groan. “I love the way you love me--you know that? And not just the kinky way, I mean I love the way you really love me. You make me feel like a real person you know that? A person that has a lot of sex, but a person none the least. Not that I have a problem with all the sex, just making a random comment there.”

“You know about that, we might want to warn Brant to clean up in here a bit before having anyone else in here,” she teased further with him seeing the way his nose wrinkled as he smiled tipping down to kiss her once more. “He may not appreciate hearing all the places we…,”

“What Brant doesn’t know, won’t disgust him unless he finds out,” he tipped down pressing soft tender kisses against her neck, his teeth nipping at her skin hearing her let out a deep sigh making a cocky smile press in over his lips. “Which means the more we continue, unless he walks in he’ll never know. Well, unless Don tells him…,”

“Don is my friend and a great guy, but obviously he has problems,” she laughed thinking of her friend before feeling a breath catch in her throat while his kisses centered further down her chest and abdomen making her gulp down as he pressed in under the blankets. “Kevin, this is wrong right now. Angela is going to be up and looking for you and…,”

“Well then I guess they will know where to find me when they hear you screaming my name,” he responded lifting the blanket for a moment staring out at her with his brown eyes smiling once more before tipping back down. “There’s no reason why we should waste so much good time with one another.”

“Kevin come on…,” she went to say something more before a small gasp caught in the back of her throat feeling his kisses center in over her while she grasped onto the sheets tightly. “Kevin, stop it.”

A small noise escaped from the back of her throat as she felt his hands press in over her thighs pulling her in closer to him as she tried to fight him off more, but knew when he had something in mind there was no way in stopping him. Reaching her hands down she dragged her nails roughly up his shoulders hearing him groan out before pressing small kisses up her abdomen and moving in over her once more.

“You don’t want me to stop it,” he hushed her pressing his index finger in over the center of her lips, feeling her take it between her lips to softly suck on it getting a reaction bigger than she thought out of him as he let out a small growl. Pressing further in closer to her he felt her hands slide in over his shoulders while he reached for her leg pressing it around his waist as he tipped down teasing his lips in over hers. “I could stay like this forever you know.”

“I’m sure you could,” she thought about what he said for a moment before resting her head back feeling him join them as one as she let out a small gasp. Feeling his lips press in over her neck she took in a long shallow breath thinking about what he just said while he nipped at her neck roughly. “That is until Angie needed something, right?"

“What?" he laughed looking up at her while she glared out at him and he gulped down shaking his head slowly. Thrusting forward he saw her rest her head back further into the pillow and he moved closer to kiss her only to have her turn away from him. “Angela is nothing on my mind right now.”

“That’s until she calls you, right,” she pressed her palms in over his chest feeling him pause his movements completely, his eyebrows clenching together as he stared out at her. “Kevin, just get off of me.”

“Ria,” Kevin felt her shove him in the center of the chest to get him off and he watched her grab her clothes from the floor pulling them on quickly. Groaning to himself he sat up from the bed and reached for his red boxers from the floor following her out into the hallway quick enough to grab her wrist in his. “Baby, come on. You know why I’m doing this.”

“I know why you’re doing this Kevin, but I don’t understand why every time she calls you--you just drop everything,” she blurted out seeing him pull on his boxers before her and watched him rest his hands on his hips as he stared out at her. “I can’t stand the feeling that I will always be second place to you.”

“Ria, how can you say that you’re second place when she’s at the guest house and I’m here with you? To me that kind of seems like a first place, but maybe I’m wrong,” he moved in closer to her reaching out to cup her face in his strong hands. Nudging her to look up at him he tipped down pressing his lips in over hers, his tongue pressing in against hers for a moment feeling her leg curl around his waist. His body pressing in against the smooth lines of her body hearing her moan press in against his lips only to be replaced by the sound of her palm smacking him roughly across the face making him stumble back. “What the hell was that for?"

“I’m sick of you thinking you're doing what is going to make me forgive you because to be honest with you, it’s not,” she blurted out seeing him rubbing at his cheek and she saw him move his hand away for a moment and saw the burning red skin from where she hit him. “You can’t win me over that way Kevin.”

“Oh yeah,” he took a bold step forward seeing her glaring out at him as he nodded moving in closer to her pressing his hands against the wall and caging her in. “You seem to think a bit differently than you act.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?" Ria watched Kevin smirk and shrug his shoulders before moving back away from her. Watching him she saw him make no eye contact at all as he ran his fingers through his thick, dark hair slowly. She hated how he could make her feel without even looking at her, without even saying anything. It was a talent he knew that he had over her and she hated how it made him so cocky, but there was something about him so irresistible and she knew it. That’s what brought her back to him time and time again. “Get over here.”

Jumping into his arms she felt her back pressing against the wall forcefully as his lips melded to hers while her fingers tugged at his hair roughly. His tongue teasing hers over and over again as he tried to keep a firm balance of her in his arms against the wall of the hallway. A growl escaped his lips as he reached for her nightgown pushing it up her thighs and he moved in closer to her.

“Kevin not in the hallway,” she breathed seeing him brace her up with one of his arms while the other one worked to get his boxers down his legs and to his ankles before moving in closer to her. “Kevin--someone could walk in the hallway and see us.”

“I don’t care,” he blurted out seeing the way she stared out at him as he felt her fingers tugging at his hair roughly making him let out a small growl. Wrapping his arms around her tightly, he felt her nails digging into his shoulders as he joined them as one again--his breath catching in the back of his throat while he watched her throw her head back against the wall. “You want me to prove you’re my number one. I think every time we’re together I prove that.”

Pinning her against the wall harder he heard her cry out his name as her nails bit into the tense, firm skin of his shoulders making him let out a small noise before moving forward to meet her lips again in a savoring kiss. Knowing that he was trying to prove to her how much he could care less about anyone knowing about them, he continued to move inside of her feeling the immense amount of pleasure he felt with her every time they were together. Starting a fire deep inside of him he felt her legs clamp around his waist tighter and spinning her in his arms he pinned her against the other wall roughly hearing her let out a small cry.

“If you weren’t my number one I wouldn’t be right here where we are right now. The whole house could come out right now and all it would show would be me with the number one lover in my life. The only lover I ever want to be with again,” he promised against her lips as he kissed her--his thrusts becoming more fierce as he heard her cry out his name resting her head back against the wall. “Forever and ever baby.”

Rocking her body with his every movements, Ria opened her eyes that were glazed over with pure passion mixed with recklessness as they moved in unison. The feeling of taking a risk this big with someone being able to move in on them in the hallway rose so much wild emotions as she tipped forward centering her lips in over his chest. Feeling him adjust and press his right hand against the wall while his left arm kept a firm hold of her, she sank her teeth into his skin leaving bites here and there knowing that when she did this it proved he was hers. Hearing his growls of pain turn to a sound of pleasure when she ran her tongue over the small marks while she reached up to tug on his hair roughly.

“Maybe my mother was right about you,” she spoke up in a small breath feeling him move rougher inside of her at that comment as his eyebrows tightened together in a moment of anger. Her fingertips slid in over his moist chest as her right hand slid up into his hair tugging roughly again making him let out a small groan. “But I don’t care, I love you too damn much to let you go. Kevin…,”

“If you ever let me go…,” Kevin began reaching out to wrap his other arm around her picking her up in his arms and moving back toward the bedroom. Swiping the items that were on top of the dresser to the ground in a shatter, he set her down roughly before moving at a quicker pace hoping to seek out that release that had been built up inside of them. “I might as well die because you’re the only thing left in my world.”

“Kevin,” she cried out feeling her body giving into him completely as she wrapped her arms around him tightly squeezing him in closer to her, her nails scraping up and over his back. Never wanting to let him go, she felt his lips press against her neck nuzzling against her skin as he picked her up again setting her against the bed softly as he too hoped to fall completely into her like she did him. What seemed to be reckless and wild in the hallway and on the dresser turned to a more serious feeling as he slowed his movements inside of her, his eyes meeting hers while he reached out to outline her bottom lip with his thumb. “I’ll never let you go.”

“God, I hope not,” he nuzzled his nose against the side of her neck feeling her holding onto him tight and moments after being with her he felt that release he had been searching for making him breath her name against her ear as she squeezed him in closer. “I love you so much.”

“I’ll always love you too,” she whispered feeling him carefully moving beside her, resting his head against her shoulder as she ran her fingers through his damp dark hair now that they sat there in a moment of silence. “You know it’s pretty sad how we always make up.”

“Like this?" he let out a tired laugh looking up to meet her dark glance as he felt her other hand press in over his rough cheek. Closing his eyes, he took in the warmth of her body next to his and loved every second he had of it with her. “I actually don’t happen to have a problem with it. It gives us different variations of having this kind of feeling. This kind of action…so to speak.”

“Of course you would look at it like that,” she teased only to have him move up from where he was on the bed kissing her tenderly and she loved to have that feeling of him kissing her where this time she actually felt the love and passion behind his kiss. It was the one thing she longed for and that was for him to care for her just as much as she cared for him--that’s why these moments with him were so important to her. Looking to the clock she knew that Brant had revealed his plan to set things up for the day with her, which would include her and Kevin. “You should probably start getting dressed and get back to Angela. Brant wants you there with her.”

“You’re ready to kick me out of the room now after everything, huh?" Kevin watched her start to get up in bed and he laid back against the cool sheets feeling like he had been on top of the world only to be kicked off again. “I want to spend the day with you--not doing these lies constantly.”

“I know that, but we have to do this. As much as I hate it,” Ria blurted out finishing pulling her slacks up her legs watching him slowly start to budge on the bed resting his legs over the side of the bed. Pulling on her shirt she moved in closer to him motioning him to get up when she reached for his red pair of boxers. “We can have more time together when all of this is over.”

“Baby, I’m sure I can make you change your mind. We can lock the door, push the dresser in front of the door and…,” he wrapped his arm around her pulling her in close to his hardened form seeing her eyebrows perk up. “I think I can do so many things to make you happy today.”

“As nice as that sounds,” she pressed his boxers into the center of his chest making him let out a small groan before watching her walk toward the window. Looking over her shoulder she saw him pull them up over his body as he turned to her keeping them hung low on his hips. “You just need to get ready. Maybe if she made progress last night we can have some of the day to ourselves.”

“I wish we could continue now with what we’ve already started,” Kevin replied with a sigh reaching for his jeans pulling them up slowly and then buckling them together. Pressing his fingers in over his bare chest he reached for his long sleeved, tight black shirt from the dresser with his other hand. “I’ll make you change your mind by the time we get to the stairs. I promise you that.”

“That’s just to keep teasing me isn’t it? The way you keep your pants?" she questioned seeing him smirk looking down as she noticed how low he kept them around his waist and she moved forward when he pulled the tight shirt over his muscular chest. Reaching around him she gripped his bottom in her hands before letting out a small laugh. “If you didn’t have such a big butt, these would fall and you’re even wearing a belt.”

“Well…I did say I was going to make you change your mind before we got to the stairs,” Kevin arched his eyebrow up in hope following her out into the hallway where they kept the door open the whole time. Reaching the top of the stairs he folded his arms out in front of her before shaking his head slowly. “Ria, I just don’t want to go. I’m tired of letting you go like this every day.”


Avery parked her car in the circular drive at the Ashford mansion feeling an uncanny air of emotion settle in the pit of her stomach. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t expected to be unsettled about returning to the place where she’d spent the last few months before Russ returned, but more so she hadn’t thought it would hit her so hard. Taking in a breath she pulled her keys out of the ignition and thought to why she was here. She had called Augustus earlier and was going to talk to him about the wedding. She and Russ agreed that he could be there for their big day and while she hadn’t wanted to deliver the news on the phone, she almost wished she had now that she was back in the one place she knew she didn’t belong again.

“You can do this,” Avery coached herself taking in a long breath before opening the driver’s side door and stepping out onto the stone pathway leading to the front door. Taking in a nervous breath, she moved to ring the bell only to hesitate.

Closing her eyes she thought about all the times she’d spent here--about the relationship she’d had with Brant before Russ had returned. Remembering how ugly things were when they split up, Avery realized that the last person she wanted to see right now was Brant. She was still so very angry with him and… Before she could talk herself into ringing the bell, she found herself face to face with the last person she hoped to see.

“Brant,” she spoke his name surprised to see him standing on the other side of the door looking equally shocked to see her before him.

“Avery, what are you…” he paused clearly at a loss. He gave her a long once over before meeting her gaze again, “What are you doing here?”

“I, um, I’m here to see Augustus,” she finally managed to spit out holding her purse tighter at her side. She stood up taller refusing to let him see how uneasy she was about being close to him after all this time. “I called earlier and…”

“You missed him,” Brant blurted out catching her completely off guard. “I mean he was here earlier, but he got a call and he left. You just missed him.”

“How is that possible?” Avery frowned over at him doubting that he was telling her the truth. “I just spoke with him.”

“I understand that, but he got a call earlier and he left,” Brant informed her with a small frown catching the way she was looking at him, “What you don’t believe me?”

“Why the hell should I believe a thing you have to say?” she questioned folding her arms in front of her chest defiantly. “You aren’t exactly reliable and it’s no secret that you’d like to just make me disappear, but guess what Brant, you might’ve kicked me down, but I’m not out.”

“That’s good to hear,” Brant couldn’t help but laugh at her admiring her stubbornness that always had amused him in the past. Pulling the door open he stepped aside and motioned to the long hallway behind him. “If you don’t believe me, then hell check for yourself. It’s not like you don’t know your way around the place.”

“Fine I will,” Avery stomped past him ignoring the amusement behind his eyes while she weaved through the hallway. Halfway down the way to the study she suddenly felt foolish. While Brant had plenty of reasons to lie about things, she realized that this one was just ridiculous. Maybe Augustus had left, she reasoned spinning around to find herself face to face with Brant, who had been at her heels the entire time.

“Do you mind,” she huffed back at him clenching her purse at her side.

“No not at all,” he waved his hand around in the air casually, “please by all means take your time in checking out my place. I’m sure you won’t stop searching until you’re satisfied and far be it for me to leave you unsatisfied today.”

“It wouldn’t be a stretch seeing as I was in that position quite frequently during our marriage,” she scowled over at him catching the glimmer of amusement that sparked behind his eyes.

“You’re so full of it,” he blurted out now in full blown laughter. “I know full well that I never left you unsatisfied for even a second when we were together. Face it Avery, you’re still hot for me and that’s why you’re angry with me.”

She rolled her eyes at the comment, “I’m angry with you because you’re a jackass who thinks he is the center of the universe.”

“You’re just feeling sour grapes because I’m not rocking your universe. Admit it Avery. Russ doesn’t do it for you like I did,” Brant stepped in closer to her, his dark eyes filled with sharpness that hadn’t been present before. “You hate that you can’t have me since you settled for second best.”

“If I’d settled for second best I can assure you that it wouldn’t be Russ who fits that bill,” Avery shot back icily, her dark eyes sweeping in over him once again, “For the record you wouldn’t even be second best at this point so don’t bother flattering yourself.”

“She speaks harsh words, but I know better,” Brant mouthed to himself causing her to roll her eyes at him.

“Go to hell Brant,” Avery scowled in response pushing past him and making her way towards the front door before she blew up at him completely.

“Been there, done that,” Brant challenged after her making a bold step after her, “It was what life was like when I was married to you.”

“Gee, then I guess you’ve finally figured out what it was like for me to be stuck being married to you,” Avery scoffed in response rolling her eyes at him.

“You know why don’t we just cut with the games and you just be honest with yourself enough to admit you’re crazy about me,” he reached out to snag her arm before she could walk away.

“I’d be crazy to lead you to believe such falsehoods about the world around you. I can’t stand you Brant,” Avery shot back at him harshly, “If you haven’t figured out how much I hate you at this point, then you’re even more self absorbed than I thought.”

“Hate implies passion and I know you still feel that for me,” Brant countered matching her bold stance.

“The contempt I feel for someone as pathetic as you are has entirely nothing to do with passion and everything to do with sheer animosity that is running through my blood at the very sight of you,” she tossed out at him before letting out a small laugh, “So tell me what happened to your little girlfriend? She decide you weren’t worth her time any longer after she tried to move in on Russ and Kevin all over again?”

Brant flinched at her tone saying nothing as Avery continued to taunt him.

“I’m sure she never told you that she tried making out with Russ when she dumped you,” Avery continued to cut back sharply, seeing something flash behind his eyes. “Hell, even in your replacement for me, you couldn’t find someone that loved you enough to put you first in her life. That in itself just oozes with a level of pathetic that I didn’t think even you could sink to.”

“You’re lying,” Brant finally blurted out with a tight scowl.

“Am I?” Avery challenged arching a brow over at him, “Face it Brant if I didn’t want you, then why the hell would you think that she would? I guess the cold, hard fact to the matter is that the Ashford charm didn‘t rub off on either one of us, now did it?”


“Hey you,” Jenna popped her head in to see Hart at the desk in her spare room going over a few papers, “I thought you said you were going to meet me for breakfast a while ago.”

“I’m sorry,” Hart set aside the page he was reading, placing it on top of the desk, “I know I said I would be there shortly, but I got caught up in work. With everything going into place for the party Sam is having for your brother I got a little behind on everything. Rob and I were on the phone for a while going over the last minute details and…”

“It’s okay,” Jenna waved her hand dismissively before stepping fully into the room to reveal the tray she’d been carrying. “I figured since you couldn’t make breakfast, I would bring it to you.”

“Jen you didn’t have to,” he smiled over at her watching her cross the room to set the tray down on the desk top. She placed her hands on the back of the chair and nudged him away from the desk just enough to make herself comfortable on his lap.

“I know, but I wanted to,” she explained reaching for a strawberry off the top of the bowl in front of her. She held it out to him, tracing his lower lip with it before he opened his mouth and took a small bite. “You like?”

“Do I ever,” he nodded in response smiling up at her, “You know you’re too good to me.”

“I know,” she bit down on the second half of the fruit before reaching for another piece, “but don’t worry I’ll let you spend the rest of your life making it up to me.”

“That sounds like a great plan,” he accepted the bite she offered him before curling his arm around her waist and offering up a small squeeze. “So how are you feeling today?”

“Better than I was the other day,” she admitted with a small laugh motioning to her swelled abdomen, “Though I feel fatter.”

“You look beautiful,” he placed his hand over her abdomen massaging it gently. “Nothing is sexier than seeing you like this knowing that we’re about to bring a life into the world together.”

“You say that now, but once we have feedings and changing time to attend to, you might be singing a different tune,” she leaned in to kiss him tenderly, sliding her arm around his shoulders. “That will mean no more sleeping in on the weekends.”

“I don’t sleep in on the weekends now,” he mouthed in response kissing her lazily, his fingers trailing in over her spine.

“And at night,” she murmured against his lips, a soft purr growing in the back of her throat.

“Again, I think that I can deal with that. I’ll have to keep up with coffee and energy drinks if need be,” Hart teased back nibbling on her lip before drawing back. “I welcome every single second of it.”

“Good because it’s going to be happening sooner rather than later,” she laughed lightly snuggling onto his lap, “Not that I’m trying to terrify you or anything.”

“It doesn’t terrify me. It just opens me up for another new challenge I haven’t faced before,” he confessed with a bright smile thinking about their child. “Granted I had a bit of a head start on this parenting stuff with Sam, but it’s not the same.”

“No, but she still is your daughter,” Jenna noted a distance behind his eyes at the mention of Sam. “Have you talked to her anymore lately?”

“You mean about anything other than this party?” he replied shaking his head in response, “No we haven’t had the time. I want to, but I just can’t think of the right words to say to get through to her. Beth wants to go about doing things the wrong way and I don’t want that, yet…”

“You can’t imagine letting her go either,” Jenna nodded in response. “I know it’s hard Hart, but she needs to be able to make her own decisions in life.”

“I’m well aware of that, but London is so far away,” he sighed heavily thinking about what had been bothering him for a while. “If she goes away now it’ll take away from the progress we’ve made with one another. We’ve only had a short time together and I just can’t see myself losing what we have now.”

“I don’t think you would lose it if she was in London. It would just make the time you spent together more special in it’s own way,” Jenna explained knowing full well that answer wouldn’t satisfy him. “All I’m trying to say is that you should speak with her--try to communicate on the level with one another.”

“I want to Jen, but it’s not that easy. I know all she sees is me being the kind of parent that is going to hold her back--to keep her from her dreams, but that’s not how it is. I want her to do well in life and be happy, yet I want to be able to have a relationship with her. Beth cheated me out of so many years of her life, so for me to just turn her away to leave my life it isn’t something that I’m comfortable with. Yes, and before you say it I know that London isn’t a universe away, but it’s not like it’s just down the street either. If she leaves we won’t be able to get to know one another like we’ve been doing. It won’t be the same,” he sighed heavily closing his eyes as he felt an ache building up in his temple. “I just don’t want to lose her Jen.”

“I know you don’t and maybe if you talk to her--explain how you’re feeling perhaps you can both come up with a suitable conclusion,” she suggested opening her mouth to say something more when she felt a small movement inside of her. She gasped sitting up straighter as Hart’s eyes widened.

“What’s wrong?” he couldn’t help but ask seeing the shift in her features. “Jen?”

“Feel,” she urged reaching out to bring his hand in over hers. She waited for a second feeling another movement before urging his hand to follow it.

“Is that…” his eyes widened as he sat still feeling a small twitch beneath his touch.

“I think so,” she nodded in response her eyes growing wider by the second. “I think our little one is talking to us Hart.”

He smiled at the thought before softening his tone a bit. He looked to her abdomen and grinned widely, “Hey little one. How are you doing?”

There was another movement before Jenna couldn’t help but laugh.

“I think you’re getting your answer,” she replied feeling his fingers tease over her stomach causing the movement to begin in another area. “Hart, what are you doing?”

“Getting our little one to spring to life,” he replied tickling her once again only to feel a heavier movement.

“Hart stop,” she swatted at his hand laughing at the strange feel of what was happening inside of her. “I mean it.”

“I’m sure you do,” he replied bringing his hand up to touch the side of her face, “Have I mentioned to you just how much I love you lately?”

“Now might be a good time to start,” she whispered inching in towards him while his hand pressed in over her stomach in a loving motion all over again.

“I love the both of you so very much and I wouldn’t trade any of this for the world,” he confessed kissing her again now that they were able to take time away from the craziness of the world around them to just enjoy one another for a little while and the promise of things yet to come.


Lying back restlessly against the couch Diane stared out at the television before her and let out a long sigh. She hated when Ben had to go away for long days at a time because this was ridiculous. Never before had she ever hated having him away so much, but now that he was gone she finally realized what it was like not to have him with her and she hated it. Some people say that they would actually love to be away from their significant others at long time periods, but now that she knew what it was like to be alone she didn’t agree at all. She missed having that one person she could hang out with and having the feeling of being wanted. Now as she sat there she knew that she was missing out on things and it killed her inside. It was supposed to be a short while that he would be gone, but now that he had been gone so long it felt like it was forever.

“I hate being alone,” Diane groaned to herself lying back against the couch grabbing the throw pillow on the side and covering her face slamming it into the center of her face before she let out a long exaggerated groan into the fabric. Hearing the phone start to buzz on the coffee table it made her quickly sit up hoping for some kind of escape route to getting out of this bored spell she had become stuck in. “Hello?"

“Hey you,” Ben’s voice filled her head as she stood up from the couch hoping to God that he would be coming home telling her how much he loved her. She hoped that he was calling her to tell her he was coming home, that he was done and the excitement she felt in her body was just unbearable. For so the last few days she felt like she was going insane because of all the things that had gone on without him home and she was ready to have him back. “Why do you sound so eager?"

“I just miss you so much,” she spoke the truth as she moved around the couch and toward the window, pushing open the curtain trying to make some sense of things around her. Without him there she felt as if the whole world was on a stop, just wasting her time and making her time stop without Ben. He was what could make her world spin, but who knows? She could have just been a little bit over exaggerative on the topic, but she knew she hated being alone. That was mainly the thing that killed her the most. Maybe it wasn’t so much that Ben was gone, but it was the fact that no one was with her. That’s what killed her the most. “I’m going insane being alone. That’s the my least favorite thing to experience. The feeling of being alone is killing me.”

“Honey, I’m sorry. I would have never want you to experience that kind of thing, but this is just important. I know that you aren’t happy, but I promise as soon as this thing is over I will be coming home to you,” Ben promised sitting down on one of the chairs in the corner of the room looking around to see Alexa step out of one of the rooms pressing her dark hair back behind her shoulders. “I just hate to know that I’m here without you in my arms.”

“Is there possibly a time when I can expect you to be back rather than just sitting her waiting for something not to happen? I’ve been waiting for you to come home for so long and now that I know that you’re not coming home now,” she paused thinking things over for a moment knowing that she was going to try and use a guilt trip, but then decided that it may have not been the right way to go. “Just with knowing that you aren’t coming straight home to me makes me very upset. I know you can imagine how I feel right now.”

“I know honey and I know that this is hard, but I plan on getting home to you as soon as possible,” Ben looked up from where he was sitting to see Alexa roll her eyes and he shook his head slowly while she walked over to the window to look out at something. “I know that we’ll be together for a long time and I want that, but I’ll just take a little while getting back. I promise it won’t be that long. I would hate to leave you hanging for so long. That wouldn’t be right on my part and I’ll tell you now--I can’t wait to get home to the woman I love. And as much as I hate to say this now…,”

“You have to go,” she finished for him hearing the long sigh on the other end telling her that she was right on her assumption as she moved back to the couch sitting down. Pulling her legs up toward her chest she let out a long sigh knowing that she was going to hate saying goodbye. Even worse--being alone. Sure, the phone was not really having someone there physically, but she felt less alone and more wanted. Maybe she was weird for thinking this, but it was just how she felt while being alone. “I love you Ben, just keep in touch with me. I hate being alone and when you call I kind of feel like you’re here with me.”

“I know honey and I love you--I’ll always be there with you. Bye honey,” Ben whispered hanging up the phone and sliding it in his pocket before looking to Alexa again seeing the way she glanced back at him. Standing up from the chair he couldn’t help but remember her rolling her eyes at him while he was on the phone with Diane. “What’s wrong with you? You seem to be a bit pissed about things or something. Am I correct?"

“No, not at all. I’m not pissed--I just think things are a little ridiculous,” Alexa thought to herself looking Ben over and remembering the type of person that everyone seemed to tell her Diane was like. Ben deserved much better than her and it killed her to see a guy that was so great like him to be with such a bitch like her. “Nothing is wrong at all.”


“This is just wonderful,” Diane threw her hands up in the air thinking about how long she’d waited to hear from Ben. While he sounded completely spent on his assignment, Diane couldn’t help but notice that he seemed even further away than he had been before when she’d been missing him like crazy. His phone call was a relief, but it was only a brief taste of what she truly wanted from him. She wanted his arms, his smile and the warmth of him beside her. Yes, she was well aware that work had kept him away from Coral Valley, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t hate it regardless.

“This sucks,” Diane sank onto Deidra’s oversized plush sofa and groaned. She threw her head back and sighed wondering if she would be able to truly keep herself from going insane with cabin fever now that it felt like she’d been stuck at Deidra’s place forever. Without Ben around and nothing to do, she was certainly edgy and it was beyond frustrating.

“Maybe you can work out in the gym,” she thought to herself knowing that there was security in the apartment complex. Of course at the same time she couldn’t help but remember how security had been absent the night of the blackout. If Andy had arrived, she might have been in some major trouble, but fortunately for her fate had other plans when she’d encountered Shane.

“Shane,” she spoke his name feeling a shiver race up and over her body at the thought of him. Closing her eyes she thought of that brief moment of contact they’d had between them when she’d offered him the cake she’d baked for him. While she didn’t want to admit it, there was a spark. It was obvious and electric and exactly the last thing she needed to thinking about at a time like this.

“Damn it,” Diane cursed under her breath opting to brave the thought of being alone in the apartment complex at the gym rather than losing herself to thoughts about a complete stranger that had found his way into her life.

“Forget this being miserable,” she announced to herself as she sprang up off of the couch. She made her way down the hallway to Deidra’s guest room that she’d more than readily made her own. Clothes were tossed all over the room, scattered over the dressers and the bed, but it was irrelevant now that Diane had to find the perfect workout gear. She reached for a pink workout set that she’d picked up when she was in Florida with Ben. It was stylish and flirty, but as Diane pondered the thought of running into Shane in the hallway, she discarded it.

There was no reason to make things even more tense, she thought to herself turning her attention to a pair of old sweats that she’d kept purely for their comfort value. She and Jade used to wear matching sets when they were younger and they’d made their way to Rob Leveski’s gym to get on their weekly regiment with one another, but over the years they’d both evolved into sexier forms of workout wear. Of course, both had kept the initial sweats for less than sexy moments. Still, as Diane reached for the old sweats, she thought about how ridiculous she would look trotting through the halls of Deidra’s apartment complex in such casual attire.

“To hell with it,” she groaned reaching for the pink outfit all over again. What were the odds of her running into Shane? And if she did, what was the big deal? It wasn’t as if she didn’t wear less out in public to social events, so it shouldn’t matter if he saw her in her workout gear. Armed with that thought Diane set off to get dressed.

A few minutes later she emerged from the guest bathroom changed up with a towel over her shoulder. She reached for a water bottle out of the refrigerator ready to find a way to get into an intense workout if for no other reason than to let off some steam now that Ben was so far away. She made sure she had the key that Deidra gave her and moved towards the door.

“Ready or not, here I come,” she mouthed knowing full well that at this time of the day none of the other patrons would be downstairs working out. The height of most of their physical activities was pool aerobics and from what Diane had seen thus far even that was limited.

“So we meet again,” Diane heard a voice call out to her as she was locking the front door. She spun around on her heel to see Shane standing before her with a towel draped over his shoulder. His eyes found hers as a smile swept over his handsome features. Taking a step forward he couldn’t help but wink at her, “We must be on the same wavelength.”

“How do you figure?” she questioned biting back a gulp while noticing the water bottle in his hand.

“I was just about to make my way downstairs for a workout,” he motioned to her outfit, “and I’m assuming that’s where you were headed.”

“Well I was…” she shuffled to find her words before nodding. She groaned inwardly and cleared her throat in an attempt to cover, “I mean you have to do something here to make things exciting.”

“Don’t I know it?” he laughed lightly moving down the hallway towards the elevators. While Diane had fought not to notice, she couldn’t help but find her gaze tapering off to his butt. She felt a moment of guilt sweep over her after she’d spent a second longer than she’d wanted to appreciating his flattering shorts he was wearing. “So tell me, do you like what you’ve seen so far around here?”

“Excuse me,” she blinked back at him, her face growing hot as she wondered if he’d caught her shameless gawking.

“Downstairs,” he replied turning around to face her fully, “have you been down there yet?”

“Oh, um, yeah,” she tried to recover, but she knew it was futile. She stood in front of the elevators and forced herself to attempt to sound like she knew what she was talking about, “I mean I have for a brief millisecond, but there’s a lot to be desired. Not that I should really be complaining because I’m not a resident here, but you can see that the gym is sort of geared at the senior citizen persuasion considering that…”

“That there’s no sign of life around here other than the two of us?” he wiggled his brow at her suggestively as the elevator doors opened.

She looked inside and gulped imagining what it would be like to be in such close quarters to him once again. Her body froze in the moment and as she thought about the time they’d been trapped, her pulse quickened in her throat. She stepped back and it was clear that Shane noticed.

“Still having jitters after the blackout?” he questioned moving aside as the elevator doors pressed closed all over again.

“No, not really. It’s just that…” she fought for the right words before nodding, “Yeah, actually I am still kind of nervous about the idea of being in there…”

“So was I the first time I went back in after that night,” he explained moving in towards her. He played with the edges of his towel as they were draped over his shoulders. He offered up a small squeeze on them before winking at her, “Truth be told I wept like a baby when I was in there.”

“You did not,” she couldn’t help but break into a grin.

“I did so,” Shane nodded in confession, “It was a nightmare. I started gripping the bar on the wall and crouching down on the floor as my sobs overtook me. I started praying and chanting to anyone that would listen and…”

“Just stop,” she laughed reaching out to swat at him lightly. “I know you’re just mocking me now.”

“No not at all,” he continued with a sudden seriousness in his tone, “I mean you have no idea what it was like in that moment. I felt like I was hitting rock bottom in losing any ounce of suave that I had inside of me.”

“Stop,” she continued to giggle at the thought.

“You don’t believe me, do you?” he questioned leaning in against the wall. He inched in closer to her seeing the amusement behind her eyes.

“Not a chance,” she shook her head and made a small movement towards him, “You’re full of it Shane.”

“Sadly, I wish I was, but if you go pay Mr. Butters a visit, you’ll be sure to hear about the amusement he derived from beating me senseless with his cane,” Shane shuddered at the thought, “I think I still have the marks to prove it after he thought I was having some kind of emotional breakdown. Either that or he felt I was in need of an exorcism. I’m not really sure.”

“Oh please,” she brought her hand up over her mouth to stifle her laughter, “You’re so pulling my leg.”

“Ok maybe a little,” he winked down at her, “but for what it’s worth, I found myself wishing that when I was in there that I wasn’t alone especially now that I know what a wonderful companion you made in times of danger.”

“I was an emotional wreck,” Diane reminded him pointedly, “I’m surprised you didn’t try to knock me out when we were stuck together.”

“Why would I want to do that when I found you to be completely charming?” he inquired while revealing another sparkling smile that caused Diane’s temperature to rise. She gripped onto her water bottle tighter as Shane moved in closer to her.

“You know now that I think about it, I believe you and I have been daring enough for the day. What do you say that we skip over the whole trip to the basement and move onto something a bit safer?” he suggested as an after thought.

“Such as?” she couldn’t help but ask.

“Breakfast or a late brunch depending how you look at it,” Shane threw back at her with that same suave, confident tone that had haunted her dreams the previous night although she’d never admit it.

“I don’t know,” Diane shifted on her toes in a moment of contemplation. “I was kind of hoping to work on getting some of the weight off instead of putting more on.”

“The last thing you need to be worrying about is losing weight Diane. Your beautiful,” Shane’s eyes swept over her in a ravenous moment.

In that instant she found herself forgetting about the boredom that had consumed her in her sister’s apartment. Now being locked behind the apartment door seemed like a safe haven in comparison to the irresistible trouble that Shane could easily provide for her. His perusal was brief, yet lingering enough to make her feel as though he’d undressed her with his eyes. In that moment she felt excited, exhilarated and completely crazy for thinking that she could carry on any kind of civil conversation with him without falling back into that inevitable lust that he’d awakened inside of her.

“I just don’t know if it’s a good idea,” Diane finally found the strength to speak up again. “I mean going out to eat right now…”

“Would be a wonderful notion for us,” he interrupted with a pleading look behind his eyes. “We can both get changed to go and then hey, if we’re looking to find a way to burn off some extra calories, I’m sure we can come up with something together.”

“We can?” her eyes widened at the hint of naughtiness behind his suggestion. He inched in closer to her, his expression revealing something darker behind his approach. She stepped back feeling the wall press into her spine and although she wanted to appear calm and collected, she felt a gulp in the back of her throat.

“That’s right,” he nodded bringing his hand up onto the wall beside her. He leaned in towards her, his lips hovering dangerously close to hers. She could feel her heart bounding, her skin flushed with desire that she’d promised herself she wouldn’t let surface, but just when she thought Shane would cross into dangerous territory and attempt to kiss her, he drew back just enough to smile at her, “We can always take the stairs if we’re gun shy about the elevator.”

“Oh yeah,” she managed to spit out, wanting to kick herself for the tone in her voice. She cleared her throat and stood up straighter as she realized that if she was going to spend time alone with Shane, public would be best for them, “I guess we can do that.”

“Great, so I’ll meet you back here in say fifteen minutes?” he arched a curious brow.

“Yeah, sure. It’s a date. Well, no it’s not a date, but…” she struggled to get the words out now that her cheeks were burning with embarrassment. “I just meant that…”

“I know what you meant,” he couldn’t help but laugh at her flustered state. Despite the fact she was certain he’d picked up on it, he hadn’t said anything about it, which provided a relief to her. “So I’ll see you in fifteen minutes.”

“Fifteen minutes it is,” she nodded in agreement spinning on her heel and rushing back to Deidra’s apartment. With shaky hands she pushed the key into the door certain that Shane was still watching her. She was tempted to look back over her shoulder, but instead she stayed focused on getting inside and getting changed.

“You can do this,” she mouthed to herself once she had safely closed the door behind her. She leaned up against it and made a silent note to pull herself together. It was just lunch, she rationalized. There was no harm in a meal. At least she hoped not.


“Go on,” Cameron edged Sarah further to say hello as he rested his feet up on the coffee table staring out at her as she began to talk to the person on the phone. By the way she was talking he could tell that she was talking to the hospital as he reached for the remote flipping on a new channel. Thinking things over, Angela and Brant came to mind and all the things that were going on. “Maybe Kevin could be an exit.”

Thinking things over he knew that when he needed Kevin to do something in the past he would often be the one to go for because of how he felt for Angela. There just had to be some kind of situation he put them in, some kind of situation where they would come together. Something that only could be a bond between the two that no one else could share.

“Come on Cameron, you can think of something. Brant doesn’t deserve her--you need to get her away from that asshole,” he pressed his hand in over his eyes trying to come up with some type of plan to get Brant and Angela further apart and bring Kevin closer to her. There was nothing coming to mind, nothing that was eating at him like all his plans usually did. “This is crazy.”

Knowing that so many things had been on his mind lately, he figured that it might have been that holding him back. There was nothing more he wanted than to ruin Brant’s life, but as he sat there thinking things over everything else seemed to hit him at the same time. There was worry about his brother, Sarah’s pregnancy, Diego’s next move and it would kill him to think that he would let all these things bother him at once. Looking out at Sarah, he pondered the thought of what he promised to her and silently wished it was her sister instead. What he wouldn’t do to have a second chance, a second chance to make things right with someone he actually gave a damn about and not a person that he just wanted to use to get further in his devises of his plans.

“Everything else is not important,” he tried to tell himself when Brant came to mind. All his love and interests in other things were nothing compared to the hate he felt for Brant, the passion he had in hating him was so much stronger than anything he’d ever experienced. “You’ll come up with something.”

“Is there a reason why you are talking to yourself?" Sarah blurted out after just closing her cell phone getting off the with the hospital. She gave him a moment to himself to think things over and she let out a small laugh. “Do you want to hear this or not?"

“I have my reasons and I’m still sitting my ass here for a reason,” Cameron went to continue until he felt her jump into his lap making him let out a tight groan before feeling her arms wrap around him tightly. “Jesus, get off of me.”

“Test results say you’re the father. Thank God, I love you so much. This is going to work so perfectly,” Sarah boasted before standing up from the couch and walking to pace back and forth again. Seeing Cameron looking up at her with his brown eyes she grinned widely loving the news she heard. “I’m so glad you changed the tests because this is just going to be perfect with all the things going on.”

“Yeah, like I said--with me there is no worry in what I’m capable of making possible,” Cameron pointed out before looking to the door getting up from the couch and moving forward. Gulping down he glanced at his watch and shrugged his shoulders seeing her staring out at him. “I need to get to work so--be happy that I’m the father for a while.”

“Oh I will,” Sarah watched Cameron look out at her for a moment before nodding and leaving the room. Walking out she heard the silence that followed and let out a long laugh knowing that his would mean so much to her future with everything going on. “You are the smartest man alive Cameron Stone.”


Sitting down on there were so many thoughts riding through Diego’s head as he looked between two things in his life. His sister had been in town telling him a new life somewhere else was what was best for him. While looking on the better side of Coral Valley, he knew all his friends were here. The people who made him who he was were in this town and as screwed up as his life had been for the last few months he knew that there was so much life he had here before that. Before the problems life was good, sure it was painful filled with hurtful memories but his friends lightened the day.

“What am I going to do?" he groaned looking to the bags he had packed and in his mind there were so many things keeping him tied in one place…so many things wanting to make him stay. He loved his job, he loved his friends and there were so many more reasons to stay than go. He loved his life, he wasn’t ready to make a new one somewhere else. He made mistakes, there were problems unsolved and not finished, but that was life. “I’m not ready to go.”

Hearing a buzzing sound against the dresser he stood up from the bed seeing that it was the number of the hospital which only meant one thing. It was his friend’s at the hospital calling to tell him about the news on Sarah. Maybe this was the one deciding factor on his future. The one thing that made him believe that there would be some type of further future for him in Coral Valley. His hands shaky, his head mixed with feelings so screwed up and that’s what killed him inside. A normal life was something he longed for, but then again what was normal?

“Hello?" Diego muttered finally getting the nerve to answer his phone knowing that this was the moment of decision. There was a life here in Coral Valley or it was starting over--his child was his own and that would be reason enough to stay here, but as he heard the results over the phone hearing that it was Cameron that was the baby’s father he gulped down feeling that lump that always returned at moments of pain in the back of his throat. “Thank you.”

Sitting down on the bed he realized that the thoughts of him being a father, the life he had planned for himself and all the feelings and emotions he had were good for a reason, but knew now that there was no way out of getting a free pass to the good life again. He screwed up and there was no way going back only to go forward.

“So I have to go and make a new life of my own. Somewhere I can start new,” he finally decided stepping up from where he was in his bedroom reaching down to grab the two bags throwing them over his shoulder. Moving toward the door he took a long look over his bedroom and reached for the light turning it off and like his room--Coral Valley was just a dark and empty place. Full of so many things, but not big enough for him anymore. It was time to let go, time to move on and time to give up on everything he had hopes for. That was his final decision and as much as he hated it--it was what was right. “I’m gone.”


“Hey Sam,” Jenna opened up the door seeing Hart’s daughter standing before her. She waved her inside before motioning down the hallway. “Hart’s still in the other room on the phone, but he’ll be out shortly.”

“Great,” Sam rubbed her hands together before looking around the apartment a bit apprehensive. “So how are you doing Jenna?”

“Good, how are you?” Jenna questioned looking over at her with a bright smile.

“I’m doing great. I’m a little nervous about this big party, but I’m sure it’ll go okay since Wayne has no idea what’s going on,” Sam revealed with a tiny laugh. “It’s been really hard to keep him from figuring it out, but I have been able to thus far. He will be so surprised.”

“That’s actually very interesting that you were able to keep him from figuring things out because Wayne is terrible about surprises,” Jenna couldn’t help but laugh thinking about her younger brother. “When he thinks he’s onto something he keeps pushing it until he wrangles the truth out of you somehow.”

“It was hard in dodging phone calls and appointments,” Sam laughed lightly, “but I must admit that I’m very proud of myself. The party is going to be fantastic.”

“Of course it is because you’ve done one hell of a job putting it together,” Hart joined the two of them with a bright smile on his face. He walked over to Sam and embraced her, “Hey sweetheart, how are you doing?”

“Dad,” she smiled up at him a sudden apprehension filling her features before she spoke up again, “hey, I’m good.”

“Are you sure about that?” he questioned searching her eyes for a moment. “Something wrong?”

“No,” Sam added quickly, “I’m fine. I just, well I just I’ve had a lot on my mind that’s all.”

“Anything you want to talk about?” Hart questioned sensing something after her sudden seriousness.

“No, just with Wayne and the party,” Sam added quickly glancing over at Jenna.

“We were just commenting on how Wayne usually uncovers a surprise before it comes to light,” Jenna noted joining in the conversation, “My brother always finds a way to get himself wrapped up in solving the mystery that’s in front of him. I remember even when we were younger that he would always figure out what our Christmas presents were even before we got them. He would go into the living room with a flashlight and scrutinize every inch of the box until he pinpointed exactly what was underneath the gift wrap. It was a bit comical in retrospect.”

“Now that doesn’t surprise me,” Sam laughed lightly before leaning up against the kitchen counter, “though this time I’m not going to let him get the advantage over me.”

“As you shouldn’t,” Jenna noted with a warm smile, “It’s high time my brother have a few surprises in store for him.”

“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to know what’s ahead of you, though there is something to be said about surprises,” Hart added with a small laugh, “They keep things interesting.”

“You really feel that way?” Sam questioned with wide eyes. “I mean with surprises, you would rather them than knowing everything off hand?”

“Sometimes,” Hart nodded in response, “Of course pleasant surprises are always the best kind, but still…”

“Right,” Sam nodded in response, “well I think this party is going to be full of a lot of surprises, which is why I kind of wanted to come over here and speak with the both of you. There’s something that I wanted to say before the party.”

“Sure, what’s on your mind?” Hart questioned sensing something behind her eyes.

“Actually I bought something for the baby,” Sam revealed pulling out a small bag she’d brought in with her. She handed it over to Jenna before smiling at her, “I know we don’t know if I’ll be having a little half brother or sister yet, but I just thought this was the cutest thing so I had to get it.”

“You didn’t have to do this,” Jenna replied with a thoughtful expression.

“I wanted to,” Sam continued to explain as Jenna opened up the bag and looked at it’s contents. Jenna pulled out a yellow stuffed rabbit a few seconds later. “I know it’s kind of lame, but when I was born I had one just like it and it was my favorite for like ever. I still have one and it always kind of comforted me when I was feeling down or sick, so I thought maybe the baby might like it when he or she is born. That way the little one could think of me when he or she needed a hug.”

“It’s adorable,” Jenna reached out to embrace her. “Thank you.”

“Yes thank you so much,” Hart mouthed in response joining in on the hug, “though I’m sure you’ll be able to do plenty of that yourself once the baby is here.”

“Actually,” Sam started biting down on her lower lip nervously.

“What?” Hart pulled back enough to look into her eyes.

“You’re right dad,” Sam finally blurted out reaching out to hug him again, bringing her arms around him in another hug. “I’m so glad I found you and I’ve really enjoyed this time that we’ve had together.”

“So have I,” Hart replied with a bright smile. “I’m proud of having you as my daughter.”

“I’m glad to have you as a father and I just want you to know that no matter what you’ll always be important to me,” Sam added squeezing him tighter as she thought of why she’d really come over today. While she had a few things she wanted to say to her father, at the last second she chickened out and opted to bring up what was really on her mind later. After all the later he found out, the better it would be for everyone. She was sure of that!


“So I take it your call to Diane went well, huh?” Alexa questioned moving around the kitchen area in her place in Florida after she and Ben were taking a few minutes to regroup before delving back into the case at hand.

“Not nearly as good as I would’ve liked,” Ben admitted with a heavy sigh bringing his mug of coffee up for a drink. “I wish I could’ve been telling her that I was going home instead of being stuck out here.”

“Sounds like the story of my life,” Alexa offered up a small laugh, “Though I guess they tell you in this business that the best thing to do is not get attached so that way you don’t have to let anyone else down.”

“You don’t really believe that, do you?” Ben couldn’t help but ask watching her pour herself an oversized glass of orange juice.

“You don’t see any poor schmuck lingering around here, do you?” she waved her hand around the kitchen area. “I find it’s better to say single so that way you can still call the shots.”

“You know having someone in your life really isn’t that bad Lexie,” Ben frowned over at her seeing her drink down her glass of juice before reaching out to munch on a bagel. “It’s actually kind of a nice contrast to all of this.”

“Do you honestly think I could have a relationship being stuck in the middle of this?” she tossed back at him pointedly. “Take a good look around Ben. Not many guys would understand their girlfriend being away for months on end not able to tell them where she is or what she’s into.”

“Good point, but even so,” Ben noted with a small shrug, “I’m sure you could find someone through the bureau who wouldn’t mind the challenge.”

“You mean like Shane?” she wrinkled her nose at him and groaned. “Um no thank you. I’ve been there, done that and it was a nightmare. I would just as soon forget about that kind of situation. You know how crazy he got.”

“Shane’s just a bit imbalanced, but he’s a good guy,” Ben offered up thinking about his friend, “He just couldn’t handle you and your independent nature.”

“He couldn’t handle the idea of me having a life that went beyond him,” she shuddered at the memory before pausing, “What about you though? Is Diane open to you having a life or is she every bit as clingy as I remember her being back in the day?”

“I didn’t realize you knew Diane back in the day,” Ben mouthed curiously thinking about the few comments Alexa kept making. “You mentioned things about her before, but I never really gave it a second thought.”

“You should because people like her don’t change,” Alexa shook her head and frowned. “She’s just trouble if you ask me.”

“You haven’t seen her in years. A lot can happen to a person over time,” Ben offered up with a small sigh. “That’s something that you have to take into consideration.”

“Ben, when it gets down to it if someone has a certain air about them, it’s not going to change,” she finished off her bagel before moving around the kitchen, “though you’ll just have to find out for yourself I would imagine since it’s clear you’re not interested in hearing what I have to say.”

“I’m interested, but I think you should at least see her again before you go as far as to say I’m marrying the wrong woman,” Ben frowned over at her surprised by her sour mood. “She’s really a great person once you get to know her.”

“As tempting as that sounds I think I’ll pass. I already know what she’s like and I’ve seen more than enough,” she explained in a neutral tone trying to shield her contempt in her tone, “but for what it’s worth, we should probably just skip over the whole let’s talk about love discussion and get back to work. There’s a situation taking place while we’re just sitting here rambling about romance, which at this point in time is completely irrelevant to me.”

“That’s too bad because despite your cynicism, you might make someone very happy one day,” Ben noted rinsing off his coffee mug before walking out of the room to get ready.

“I’d believe it if the right guy was available, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Then again I don’t really think there is a right guy anymore,” she mouthed to herself before following him out in search of the truth about what was really going on right under their noses regarding the mysterious death of Guerrero.


“I’m just warning you now,” Diane began with a hint of laughter in her tone now that she and Shane stood outside of the restaurant with one another ready to get into breakfast with one another. “The atmosphere here kind of sucks, the entertainment at night is even worse, but breakfast is fantastic.”

“Given that’s why we’re here, I’m feeling a bit more optimistic about your selection,” he couldn’t help but tease her with a wink, “and here I thought you’d be showing me all the hot spots in town.”

“Trust me this one is a hot spot as long as food is the only thing you‘re interested in,” Diane replied making a movement towards the door.

“I don’t know if food is the only thing I’m looking for, but it’s a start,” he began watching her peer inside before it was clear that she thinking twice about going inside. She spun around to face him with a frown and took in a small breath before speaking up again.

“On second thought maybe we should go somewhere else,” Diane blurted out without hesitation. She went from smiling to suddenly very on edge and Shane wasn’t quite sure what brought on the change, but she’d done a complete turn around.

“Alright, whatever you would like is fine considering that…” Shane began with a simple shrug of his shoulders when the door to the restaurant opened and out walked a man that had clearly been behind Diane’s change of heart.

“Well look at who is lingering outside,” Andy spoke up with an air of amusement in his tone, “and here I was starting to believe you’d lost interest in me, but now that you’ve resorted to stalking me, I think I’m flattered.”

“Don’t be because you are the last person I would want to be near right around now,” Diane groaned outwardly standing her ground as she placed her hand on her hips. “This place used to be good for breakfast, but now it’s clearly attracting unsavory patrons.”

“You didn’t find me so unsavory back when we were sleeping together,” Andy approached her, a darkness behind her eyes as he reached out to touch her cheek. “I’m sure you wouldn’t feel that way if we were getting back into the swing of things all over again.”

“Don’t touch me,” she swatted at him with heavy emphasis. “You sicken me.”

“Only because it’s eating you up inside that you can’t have me,” Andy couldn’t help but laugh as he gave her a long once over, “but today I’m a bit generous, so if you wanted to give it another go, I might be tempted to hear whatever proposition you have laid out in front of me.”

“Proposition?” she practically choked on the words, “I wouldn’t proposition you if you were the last man alive.”

“Oh Diane, how you flatter me,” he brought his hand up over the center of his chest. “I knew you always loved me, but really all this protesting you’re doing is simply…”

“Her way of telling you to back off,” Shane stepped forward and shoved Andy in the shoulder firmly.

“My, what do we have here?” Andy questioned staggering backwards a bit before standing up taller. “This isn’t at all the picture that you’d painted not so long ago. Lose interest in Benny boy already, Diane?”

“Just back off,” Diane warned moving in beside Shane despite the wobbling of her knees at the closeness of Andy. She remembered their last confrontation when he’d scared her out of her mind. She thought to how she’d pulled a gun on him in the hopes of getting him to simply leave her be, but now that they were face to face with one another all over again, a new fear rushed over her.

“Trust me, you aren’t worth it,” Andy laughed wildly before looking over to Shane with an amused laugh. “Trust me buddy. Whatever she’s promising you to keep you hooked is all bravado for nothing. You’re wasting your time if you’re seeking out any kind of real satisfaction.”

“Get out of here!” Diane lunged forward feeling her angers mounting as she shoved Andy in the middle of his chest. “You’re pathetic.”

“I’ll show you what’s pathetic,” Andy snapped squeezing her wrist in his hand. He raised her hand up in the air seemingly ready to continue the confrontation between them until Shane intervened.

“Talk a walk,” Shane warned pushing Andy away again. Andy’s hold on Diane eased up and Shane stood in front of her protectively. “I don’t know who you are, but this ends now.”

“It ends when I say it ends,” Andy snarled, his blue eyes glaring over Shane’s shoulder at Diane. “Just because you have a watchdog doesn’t mean that we won’t continue this later.”

“Back off creep,” Shane pushed Andy once again ready to do what was needed to put Diane’s mind at ease.

“I’d watch myself if I were you,” Andy warned, something flashing behind his eyes before he stepped away with a laugh. “Oh yeah, you’re so in for a disappointment with this one buddy. Good luck.”

“Go to hell,” Diane quipped watching Andy take off in the other direction now more amused than ever as he went on his way.

“Are you alright?” Shane questioned touching her shoulder gently now that it was clear that she was wound up with tension.

“I’m fine,” Diane lied fighting the urge to chase after Andy and beat him senseless. She inhaled slowly trying to still the fighting instincts inside of her at that moment in time.

“Who was that jerk?” Shane couldn’t help but ask seeing Andy turn around the corner away from the restaurant.

“My sister’s soon to be ex-husband,” she explained clenching her fists at her sides.

“And I take it there’s a really good reason why he’s in that position,” Shane noted knowing only too well that there was more to the story than Diane would reveal to him this early on in their association with one another.

“The only position he deserves to be in is buried underground,” Diane blurted out, her words full of venom at the thought of the ways in which she’d allowed Andy to get to her. She glanced over at Shane immediately regretting her words, “I don’t mean that. I just mean that…”

“I know what you meant,” he nodded a reassurance, “and trust me I can’t say I blame you for feeling that way. I’ve only known the guy for a few minutes and already I feel as if the world would be a better place without him.”

“It would be,” she added with a frown turning her attention to the direction that Andy had taken off in, “but I don’t want to think about him right now. I promised you a nice breakfast and…”

“We can go somewhere else if you’d like,” Shane suggested in the hopes of putting her mind at ease. “I don’t mind trying something new elsewhere if that’s what you’d like.”

“No,” she shook her head firmly, “I can’t let Andy run me out of my favorite places simply because he won’t just get a clue and leave Coral Valley. Plus, he’s already left. After you told him how it was, I doubt he’ll return again.”

“If he does, I am more than equipped to handle it,” he promised her with a wink before moving to open the door for her. “After you my dear.”

“Thank you,” Diane smiled up at him realizing that while she’d anticipated having her day ruined by Andy once she’d seen him, Shane had changed that. He’d managed to make her feel comfortable in her own skin all over again. She tipped her head up to meet his concerned eyes and as she breezed past him into the restaurant she realized that maybe just maybe there would be easier ways to handle Andy after all.


“You’re so full of it,” Brant stepped away from Avery shaking his head at her, “You know I never dreamt that you would sink that low that you’d resort to lying, but it doesn’t surprise me. You’d do or say just about anything to get over the fact that I don’t want you anymore.”

“Brant, the only reason we broke up is because I chose to be with Russ,” Avery tossed back at him sharply, her dark eyes narrowing in at him.

“You didn’t choose anything. I made that choice for you and if it wasn’t for me, then you would still by my wife lying about what man you really loved,” Brant reminded her harshly, his brown eyes full of rage. “I gave you your freedom and for that you should thank me because I could’ve made it a lot worse for you.”

“Gee and here you lead the world to believe that you’re a true humanitarian,” Avery rolled her eyes at his remark, “You’re no different than your brother. You just hide it a lot better than Ken does.”

Brant chuckled in response spinning around to face her again, “You might be well advised to remember that Russ has Ashford blood as well Avery. Sure, he might not have grown up around it all, but he can’t escape the curse that hangs over each one of us. Deep down he is just like Ken and I and that’s really what frightens you.”

“What frightens me is to think that I actually thought I loved you once upon a time,” Avery continued to lash out at him, shaking her head. “I can’t believe that I fell for the bullshit and really believed that you had a heart.”

“All you cared about was keeping Russell’s side of the bed warm while you worked out trying the options with a replacement,” Brant shrugged his shoulders throwing out a wicked smirk, “Even now that he’s back it’s only a matter of time before you get bored and find another replacement.”

“Go to hell,” Avery snapped back at him unable to contain herself any longer. She pulled her hand back before striking forward and catching him right across the cheek. “You’re pathetic Brant.”

“And you’re still hot for me baby,” he wiped at his lower lip feeling the sharp sting of her impact. He noticed blood on his finger tip indicating that she cut his lip and he laughed.

“I wouldn’t be hot for you or with you even if we were standing in the deepest hell fires with one another,” Avery informed him bluntly shaking her head once again. “Don’t disillusion yourself Brant.”

“You’re the one who is living in denial Avery because if you wanted to be rid of me, then you would’ve been out the door minutes ago instead of standing here goading me on,” he pointed out taking a small step closer to her. “Face it Avery you still want me like you did back then only you’ve gotten sloppy about the way you carry yourself. Sure you might pretend that you hate me--that you can’t stand the sight of me, but even now your actions have you practically begging me to reach out and grab you.”

“If this is your definition of foreplay, then I think you’re the one who needs to get your head examined,” she spat out at him clutching her purse again before turning to leave.

“Not so fast Avery,” Brant snaked his hand around her arm feeling possessed by the frustrations that had carried over him since Angela had lost her memory. He felt Avery stiffen beneath his touch, but he’d captured her attention. Slowly she spun around to face him again, her face scrunched up in a defiant, defensive position.

Smiling to himself he leaned in closer to her, his gaze dropping down to her lips thinking about how she tried to play tough, but he knew better. He could see the slightest shivering of her lower lip as he inched in closer to her. A small smile crept in over the corners of his mouth while he spoke up in a low, enticing whisper.

“Go ahead Avery. Dare me to do what you want me to do to you,” he taunted his lips descending in closer to her. “Make me so angry that I have no choice, but to give you what you want. Do it. You know you want to.”

Avery said nothing, just glared up at him. She made a small movement to wrench her arm away from him, but came up short when his grip stayed with hers. She opened her mouth, lips curling ever so slightly as his mouth hovered just a few inches over hers. She felt his hold on her arm constrict pulling her in closer to him while his other hand eased up over her other arm, sliding in against the side of her face before his fingers eased into her hair.

“I dare you,” he mouthed heatedly possessed by a sudden need to lash out at anyone--at anything for the way he’d felt after he’d been shunned by what mattered most to him. He could see her breathing growing labored, her eyes widening and just as he anticipated laying a kiss on her to prove to her just what a liar she was, she threw him completely off guard with her words.

“Russ and I are getting married all over again now that I finally have everything I’ve ever wanted. I came over here to invite Augustus to the wedding since we’ve set a date and it’s going to be for real this time,” she blurted out coldly sending Brant right back to reality causing him to release her with the completion of her statement. “So as you can see you’re completely wrong in your interpretation of what you think it is that I want from you.”

“I see,” Brant paused clearing his throat uneasily. He took another step back wondering what in the hell had possessed him to lash out at her like that. Shaking his head he couldn’t help but find himself blindsided by her news. “So you’re really going to do it again, eh?”

“This time you can’t stop it from happening and if you’re smart you wouldn’t even try,” she warned sharply turning to leave again now that she was fired up and mad as hell.

“Avery wait,” Brant called out to her, his tone shifting with the moment softening just a bit as he looked at her again.

“Brant I’m not in the mood to fight any longer,” she confessed honestly casting a look over her shoulder at him.

“Neither am I. Please,” he appealed to her once again with a pleading look, “Don’t leave just yet. Don’t walk out like this when there’s something I need to say to you--something that I should’ve said a long time ago. Please just hear me out.”


“You can do this,” Angela coaxed herself on feeling her stomach tied in knots at the thought of what Brant and Kevin could be discussing in the main house. She took in a small breath hoping that somehow she could work damage control while trying to figure what it was that was happening inside of her. While she knew that she and Kevin had a future together and a past that was undeniable, there was just something about Brant--something about being with him that she couldn’t ignore. She’d fallen for him and that was something that terrified her. Never in a million years did she anticipate being around someone who would make her feel the way he did--especially when she was in love with Kevin. It was a complete and total contradiction to everything that she’d believed in yet…

“You can fix this situation,” she reminded herself moving in through the back door half expecting to hear all hell breaking loose, but instead she was met by silence. She looked around the kitchen feeling a breath of relief escape her lips now that it was clear that Brant wasn’t around Kevin. Whatever was going on was far from being violent and confrontational since she hadn’t heard anything from either one of them. She couldn’t imagine where they were, yet she was going to find Kevin before things got ugly.

“Then you’ll figure everything out,” she mouthed taking a step towards leaving the kitchen when she heard a sound in the hallway.

“I hate having to let go of you like this every day especially now that my mother is in town,” she heard Ria’s voice sigh with clear apprehension in her tone. “I hate all of this lying.”

“I know sweetheart, but it’ll be over soon,” Angela heard Kevin’s voice reply causing her to lean back against the wall. She blinked a couple of times wondering if she’d imagined it, but when Ria spoke up again she realized that something was happening--something she never planned on.

“Still I hate you going over there and having to pretend that you’re in love with her when we both know that’s so far from being the truth,” Ria groaned in response her voice cracked with tension.

“Do you think I enjoy this? Do you really believe that I’m happy about having to go over there each and every day and pretend that I give a damn about the supposed relationship I have with Angela? I stopped loving her a long time ago Ria and when I’m with her, it’s the last thing that I want to be doing. Hell, when she told me to go screw myself I was done with her. I mean how can I love someone so self-absorbed and lost inside of her own drama that she can’t even think about the world around her,” Kevin replied as Angela heard some shuffling from in the hall. Slowly she tipped her head around the corner just enough to see Kevin cupping Ria’s face in his hands. “She’s so far from being my dream girl that it’s not funny. I don’t love her and I never would ever again because I’ve lived and learned. I now know that the best thing that’s ever happened to me is you. I swear Ria more than anything I want to find a way to get out of this situation so that we can be together. I want to marry you and have a life with you.”

“I want that too Kevin,” Ria replied stepping up on her toes just enough to meet his lips in a ravenous kiss while Angela watched in the background feeling as if her whole world was closing in around her. She saw Kevin pick Ria up off of the ground and into his arms embracing her tightly while their kiss continued.

“You know on second hand,” Kevin murmured in response feeling Ria’s nails graze over his shoulders. “Angela’s a pretty late sleeper, so maybe I can wait a little while before going over to the guest house.”

“Mmmm…what do you have in mind?” Ria purred against his lips, a smile spilling over her face.

“How about I take you back upstairs to the bedroom where you can find out?” Kevin suggested as Ria threw her legs around his waist and Angela watched the two in horror realizing that nothing was as she thought it to be what so ever. Leaning back against the kitchen wall Angela tried to process what she had just seen, but all she could do was feel the bitter sting of what she’d heard Kevin say. Did he really feel that way and if so why in the world was he still with her?


...to be continued...