Episode 397

“I don’t think there is anything more to say Brant,” Avery broke her long silence looking over at her ex-husband with a heavy sigh. “The more we talk, the more it just proves that we made a huge mistake in thinking that we could be civil to one another after everything was said and done.”

“I never thought when we got married that we would end up like this,” Brant admitted with a heavy sigh pulling back on his anger for a while in order to put things right between them. “We used to like one another once upon a time, didn’t we?”

“That was before you decided sex was more important than being civilized,” Avery tossed back at him with a frown. “I mean after all of those months you lead me to believe that you actually cared about me as a person--that you wanted to be around me simply because you cared about me and who I was, well I saw those were only lies you fed me to get what you wanted.”

“Avery, that’s not true,” Brant started with a frown. “That’s so far from the truth that…”

“That what Brant? That you realized even though we couldn’t be lovers anymore that you wouldn’t let it effect our working relationship with one another? That you realized that I’m the best thing that BBK ever had and you’d be a fool to let me go considering all that I sacrificed to be there for you and your company?” she snapped back at him her voice raising with obvious cracked emotion. “Oh wait that’s right you decided that the best method of dealing with me was to ignore everything and act on impulse to put me in my place.”

“I did what I did because it was the best for you and I,” Brant explained with a frown. “I did everything because I wanted you to have what you wanted.”

“Professional assassination?” she blinked back at him before letting out a sarcastic laugh. “No Brant you did what you did simply because it was what felt right for you. Just like picking up some woman who looked like me to fill my shoes was on the top of your list of what was best for you.”

“Angela’s not you,” Brant argued with her frowning at the suggestion.

“That’s for damn sure,” Avery rolled her eyes at him, “but that didn’t keep you from hoping, did it? When you found her, you can’t tell me that the first thought running through your mind was that you found someone who could make you happy. You were looking to find someone to fit into the shoes that you couldn’t get me into. Admit it.”

“This is ridiculous,” Brant threw his hands in the air shaking his head at her. “You don’t know the first thing about my relationship with Angela.”

“No Brant. I think I do and the sad thing about it is that your motivations are so blatantly obvious that it’s pathetic that she would submit herself to being a replacement for me,” Avery let out a small laugh before groaning, “Then again someone like that seeks out attention any way she can get it, so I guess she feels validated regardless of what it is that you’re hoping for.”

“I love Angela and that has nothing to do with you,” Brant informed her his dark eyes narrowing in at Avery. “She’s everything that you never were and everything I’ve…”

“Always wanted but couldn’t ever have,” Avery mouthed in response a frown forming over her lips. “Face it Brant. The only reason you ever gave her a second glance is because you wanted me so badly that you would’ve settled for just about anything that you felt could fit the bill even if it meant pretending that she was the woman you wanted me to be.”

“Okay, so I admit it. Yes when I first found her I wanted her to be you,” Brant blurted out with a huff throwing his hands in the air. “When I first saw her all I could think about was how she was absolutely everything I wanted out of you and yeah, when I slept with her, I sure as hell found myself wishing that it was you. I wanted to pretend that I could be with you--that I could have you in my life, but you know what that’s irrelevant now.”

“Is it?” Avery arched a curious brow folding her arms in front of her chest.

“Of course it is. Yes, I screwed up when I first met her,” Brant ran his fingers through his hair before pacing around the room. “I wanted her to be you because I thought that you were my dream girl--that you could give me the kind of life I’ve always wanted--that I’ve always dreamt about, but when it got down to it, when we were together you and I were always forced. You were always seeking out your own way of rekindling what you had with Russell and I wanted you to be something that you couldn’t. I thought I could force it, but I was wrong.”

“And you really believe that Angela can fit into your perfect little mold of what you want your dream girl to be?” Avery challenged watching the tension that swept over his brow.

“That’s just it Avery. I don’t have to change her or pretend to be something that I’m not. She loves me for who I am and doesn’t give a damn about the past or about someone who is pining over her. She wants a life with me and that’s all I could ever ask for,” Brant informed her bluntly, his distain carrying over his tone. “I married you hoping to obtain the dreams that were always out of my reach, but instead I got one constant nightmare after another.”

“Only because you lied to keep me at your side. You tried to steal Erin away from her father--to take away any hope of happiness she could have with her family because of your selfishness and your greed. You tried to force your hand in a situation because your ego couldn’t handle the thought of defeat,” Avery further taunted him making a small step towards him.

“No Avery, I did it because I loved you,” Brant snapped at her, his dark eyes full of mixed emotions. He opened his mouth to say something, his face clearly stressed at whatever was running through his mind before he took a long step forward. He found himself face to face with her, his confusion carrying over him as he reached out to touch the side of her face lightly, “because I still love you.”

“Wait, what?” Avery blinked up at him caught completely off guard by what he was saying to her. She tried to shake off the thought, but before she could say anything further, she felt him cup her face in his hands and lean in to kiss her tenderly seeking out an active response from her.


“This isn’t happening,” Angela paced around the hallway trying to rationalize what she’d witnessed between Kevin and Ria seconds earlier. To hear Kevin speak of her with such distain and lack of emotion caused her heart to ache. It was too much to bear in thinking that a man who once loved her could treat her so horribly. How could he walk away from what they had with one another? How could he be so cold and unfeeling towards what they had shared with one another when they had so much ahead of them? Okay, so maybe she’d been caught up in thoughts of Brant, but that still didn’t excuse Kevin stepping out on her--or did it?

“I need to talk to Brant,” Angela realized aloud making her way down the hallway in the hopes of making sense with everything she’d had happen over the last twenty four hours. So what if Kevin didn’t want to be with her? Brant still loved her and wanted a future with her. She could see that last night when they were together and even now she couldn’t help but think about how strong her feelings were with Brant. It was crazy, but there was something about him that she couldn’t get out of her system--something that she couldn’t turn away from.

“I really do love him,” Angela mouthed to herself knowing full well what she was feeling about Brant had less to do with what she’d witnessed between Kevin and Ria and more to do with the way she’d been drawn to Brant since she and Kevin had come to his home to stay as guests. She had fallen for him and she wasn’t sure how or why, but now that she was aware of it, she had to do something about it. She had to tell him what it was that she was feeling inside.

“I just hope he’s here,” Angela mouthed circling around the corner of the hall leading towards his office. She was halfway there when she heard a sound coming from out of the room. At first it appeared to be arguing, but then…

A gasp fell from Angela’s lips as she found herself staring at Brant, who was in the middle of his office, arms wrapped around another woman squeezing her as if he wouldn’t let go. Her eyes widened as she saw him kissing her, her heart aching in her chest as the woman placed her hand on his shoulder and before she could force herself to take in any more of it, she rushed out of the room feeling as if the walls were closing in around her. The Brant she had known and fallen for was nothing like the man she’d seen today. He was just like Kevin and that was clear in his kissing that woman. How foolish she had been, but she wouldn’t play the fool anymore. That much she was sure of!


“Get your hands off of me!” Avery snapped completely unaware that Angela had just walked in on her and Brant together. She slapped him across the face finding herself stunned by his sudden kiss that he’d thrown upon her.

“What’s wrong Avery?” he recoiled from the kiss, wiping at his lower lip before a laugh carried over him. He shook his head at her and smiled wickedly before looking past where she stood to the hallway area. “Realize you miss me more than you thought?”

“You’re pathetic,” Avery spat out at him wiping her hand over her lips as a shiver crept in over her. She shook her head before pushing her hair away from her eyes. Glaring up at him she saw him clearly for the first time since she’d arrived. “Shame on me that you fooled me once and you almost had me going this time, but…”

“But what?” he broke into a small burst of laughter, shaking his head at her with obvious delight. He sank back down onto the desk top watching her dark eyes cloud over with fury.

“You’re no where near being the man that he is and you never were,” she snarled over at him, her anger growing into full blown rage as the rehash of what had taken place vibrated through her body. Standing taller she glared over at the man who kissed her with contempt. “I warned you the other night not to force my hand, but this time you crossed the line. This time I’m not asking you to stay away, but rather I’m warning you to back off. If you even think about touching me again, then I’ll kill you myself and I won’t think twice about it.”

With those words she spun on her heel storming out of the room in a rage and it was then that he finally broke into laughter. Hearing her slam the door on her way out, he couldn’t help but laugh knowing that this was even better than he’d anticipated when he stopped by to pick up a few things before he left town. Sure, it was a bit uncalled for, but there was just something about getting a jab in every now and then that opened up the door to so much potential where his family was concerned.

Now crossing the room he found himself a bit disappointed that Avery had called his bluff. She had seen him as he was once he’d laid the kiss on her. She had called his game, but it wasn’t Avery that had truly validated what he’d set out to do when he’d stepped into the house. It wasn’t as if he’d planned it, yet it all turned out even better than he’d thought. Avery might not have bought into it, but when he’d spotted Angela out of the corner of his eye, he knew damn well that she’d seen what he was all about. That in itself was all the validation that he needed.

“Ken, did you find what you were looking for? The car is waiting out back,” Wendy explained stepping into the room and finding him over by the desk. “Ken?”

“Yeah,” Ken nodded turning to look over at her with a bright grin. He pulled the keys to the villa that he’d kept tucked away in the office out of the top drawer and circled them around his finger. “Everything is all set here.”

“Do you think that we should stick around a little while longer to say good-bye to your family since we were delayed before?” Wendy questioned moving in to wrap her arms around his waist. “I know you said we were already leaving, but…”

“Nah, they don’t need to know we were here. As far as Brant or anyone else is concerned, we’re gone and that’s all there is to it,” Ken explained brushing his fingers in against her cheek gently before smiling, “Trust me I think it’s much better this way. Now let’s go.”

“Okay,” she nodded lacing her arm in his as the two exited the office with Ken’s mind already reeling with what kind of backlash his brother would experience after this unexpected setback. While Brant would never see it coming, Ken was certain that he would soon know full well what it was like to lose everything and hit rock bottom. That in itself was something that Ken was looking very forward to watching every step of the way!


“How do you always seem to change my mind?" Ria muttered closing her eyes as she felt Kevin’s kisses pressing in over her shoulder making her take in a deep breath. Feeling his arm tighten around her waist she cuddled in closer to the warmth of his body. “I think one thing is going to happen and then you always change my mind.”

“You can’t always plan your life out because some days someone is going to change them for you,” Kevin whispered in her ear pressing a small kiss against her cheek before feeling her turn in his arms to face him. Reaching out to caress her cheek with his rough fingers, he felt her turn into his caress to press a kiss in over the center of his palm. “Some days people are going to alter your plans--I certainly think I altered our plans for the better.”

“Of course you would think that,” she teased tickling at his hips hearing him let out a small laugh and reach down to grab her wrists in his hands tightly. Holding her wrists together with his right hand, he slid his hand in over the side of her body and around her hips pulling her in closer to him. “You always seem to think this makes things better. Not that I have a problem with it, but…,”

“I’d say you don’t have a problem with it at all. I think the scratch marks, the bite marks and the way you’ve been screaming out my name is good enough for me to know you like it,” he smirked feeling her nudge him with her knee making him let out a small noise before staring out at her. “I told you I would have your mind changed by the time we got to the stairs. Sure, it took longer than I thought…but it worked.”

“You know as you told me, you can’t always plan on your assumptions being right,” she pushed her hands firmly into the center of his chest hearing him groan out at the impact as she crawled in over him. “I might just change them on you.”

“Well, I doubt that. When it comes to me--I’ll always make you change your mind,” he moved in closer to her only to feel her hand shove into the center of his forehead making him fall back into the pillows. Hissing he felt her fingers tightly gripping onto his as she held his hands over his head with all her might. “Okay, what’s this for?"

“For whatever I want it to be. I think you have this idea stuck in your head that your kind of the alpha male in this relationship and I honestly think you’re wrong,” she pointed out with a small nod seeing him laugh as she dug her knee into his stomach making him let out a small groan before laughing. “I’m not kidding with you--I think you have it in your mind that you are the one holding this relationship together.”

“I never said that,” he laughed feeling her fingers tighten around his wrists making him let out a small groan. Arching his eyebrow up he stared into her dark eyes before shaking his head slowly. “I think I’m more of the sensual one while you are the romantic one…and I’m not helping my case right now am I?"

“Not really,” she answered dipping down to tease her lips in over his keeping far enough away so that they didn’t touch. Feeling his breath rigid against her lips she dipped down taking his bottom lip between her teeth giving it a soft tug. “I think we both share those parts, I’m just the one that loves you too damn much to let you go.”

“And you don’t think I love you that much?" he felt her kissing his lips in soft pecks while she still had him down to the bed. Letting out a deep hiss he felt her bite into his bottom lip making him arch his body up into her. “You’re rough as can be with me, you know that? Sometimes I think you just like to beat me up.”

“And sometimes I think you like to be beat up,” she pointed out seeing him think it over before slightly nodding and taking in a long breath. Reaching down she let go of his hands while she slightly dragged her fingernails over the center of his chest feeling his hands softly press in over her hips. Reaching his bellybutton she outlined the tattoo carefully seeing his chocolate eyes watching her as she paid great attention to it. “You never told me your inspiration for some of these.”

“Well, that one isn’t my favorite to be honest with you. I think I got drunk one night and just ended up with that one and…another one,” he explained before shrugging his shoulders and felt her running her fingers in over the smooth skin over his bicep as it slightly flexed. “I wanted something cool on one arm, show my heritage on the other and on my back I was fascinated with the art so I don’t really have an inspiration.”

“And the one on your ass?" she questioned seeing him bite down on his lips and laugh before thinking of what to say as she arched her eyebrow up. “You know I don’t know many straight guys that will do something like that.”

“That’s not funny and again, I was probably drunk. I don’t even know what some of these things say,” he tried to pass over her question as he flipped her over in bed moving the sheets away from them for a moment trailing his fingers in over the curve of her thigh. “I think you should put my name on you right here. Just right where your hip and your thigh meet.”

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?" she smirked feeling his fingertip circling over her skin softly as she arched up into him and came close to kissing him before pulling away. “The only way I would ever think of doing that is if you put my name wherever I wanted on your body.”

“Okay, sounds like a deal. What do you have in mind? The face is off limits though,” he smirked feeling her hand slip between them as he whimpered letting out a small laugh before shaking his head slowly. “I’m not so sure I’d want it there either.”

“But you’re mine, who else is going to see it?" she questioned giving him a small squeeze again hearing him grunt in pain this time as he eyed her over, his eyebrows tightening at the thought. “Honestly, it is mine if you marry me from here on out so what’s the big problem. Well, we know what’s big, but what’s the problem?"

“The fact that it would really hurt,” he blurted out simply before laughing and looking down. Thinking it over he felt his jaw tighten, his whole body clenching at the thought as he shrugged his shoulders. “But if I have to, then I will.”

“You would honestly do that?" she laughed seeing the way he shrugged his shoulders and half nodded before she ran her fingers over his back and down to his bottom gripping it tightly seeing his eyes close with the movement. “I think I might honestly like it right here next to the tattoo with Angie’s name on it.”

“Well that hurt once and I’m not really…,” he paused realizing what she just said before biting down on his bottom lip seeing the way she arched her eyebrow up at him. “You can read kanji?"

“Oh I’ve know what they’ve said for a long time now considering I took a class on that since it intrigued me and I know you have her name three times on you,” she explained hearing him groan watching him fall back on the bed covering his eyes trying to think of something to say. “So you don’t know what half of them say.”

“Yeah, I lied. I didn’t think it was necessary to tell you that I had her name on me and that she had my name on her lower back,” Kevin explained seeing her eyes widen as he covered his mouth and let out a hesitant laugh. “You don’t know about Angie’s…do you?"

“Not until now. I’m glad that you two are property of the other though. That makes me real happy to hear,” she muttered turning away from him as he tried to get her to turn back toward him. “What is going to happen if she still thinks you are with her and I end up getting pregnant? How are we going to have a family when she thinks her twins are yours. Am I going to keep on saying our baby belongs to Brant and have you taking care of Brant’s kids while they aren’t yours?"

“Honey look at me. Give me your hand,” Kevin nudged at the side of her neck with his nose softly seeing her slowly turn to meet him and knew that she was upset. Placing her hand in over the center of his chest where his heart was located. “Baby, I want you’re name right here because honestly I love you so much and I have to prove to you that my heart belongs to only you and I’m your property. And this time I’ll have it put in English so people can actually read it and know what’s going on. If you want me to also put one down in that area, I can too. I was honestly drunk two of the times that Angie wanted me to get one with her name on it.”

“I just want you to tell me you love me and be honest about it so that I actually feel like you mean it. So that I actually know you mean it,” she pressed her fingertips in over the center of his chest teasing her fingertips in small circles as he let out a small sigh nodding slowly. “Anyways that would look terrible. I wouldn’t want you to do that.”

“And it would hurt,” Kevin winced just thinking about the pain he would go through having to get something like that, but rubbed his hand in over the center of his chest. “The one over the chest could very easily work and…,”

“I wasn’t talking about that one. I was talking about the chest. I like your chest too much, that would make it terrible,” she answered with a wide smile seeing his smile fade as he looked down again and shook his head slowly. “You already promised Kevin.”

“But, I didn’t…,” Kevin felt her silence him with her index finger as he took in a long breath before shrugging his shoulders and let out a long sigh nodding slowly. “Now that we’re done with that, we’ll talk about the future. To be honest here, I’m going to put an end to all of this. Everything that has been going on, Angela is a strong person Ria and today I’m going to tell Brant I’m done. Angela can handle the truth, she’ll understand.”

Kevin watched as Ria nodded and went to get up before he grabbed her hand in his and pulled her back to the bed casually. Holding on to her he moved in over her reaching for her leg seeing the way she stared out at him.

“Right now baby I think I just want to focus a little bit on my Ria,” Kevin smiled caressing her face tenderly before dipping down to press loving kisses against her lips feeling her fingers softly tugging at his hair. “We’ll deal with Angie later.”


“You okay?" Mindy walked out on the small balcony off of her apartment as she saw Jason turn around to look at her with a drink in hand. Seeing him nod and look back out toward the sky she moved in behind him placing her hand in over his muscular shoulder. “I’m really sorry the way Guy was treating you in there. You are one of my best friends, I hate to see someone treating you like that.”

“Hey, I’ve been treated different ways my whole life. One person isn’t going to change a thing,” Jason tried to assure her it was okay as he felt her left arm wrap around the back of his torso friendly. Lifting his right arm up he wrapped it around her shoulders in a small manner seeing her light eyes looking up at him. “Seriously Mindy, I wouldn’t worry about it.”

“I just worry about it because you mean a lot to me and I don’t want someone stealing away the time we spend together because you are one of my best friends,” she tried to explain seeing him nod slowly and take in a long shallow breath. Placing her right hand in over his firm abdomen she squeezed him tighter thankful she actually had a friend like him. “I don’t want you to be turned away from being my friend is all.”

“Trust me, that is never going to happen. One of your friends might eventually turn me on,” he teased elbowing her in the ribs only to feel her smack him in the center of the stomach. “I was just kidding, but the point is--no one is going to keep me from being your friend. I’ll always be your friend as long as possible because I want to keep it that way.”

“And I want to keep it that way too,” she admitted seeing him smile and nod slowly before looking out into the sky again. There was something in his presence she loved and she needed him to know that and not feel weird about all of her friends. “You know, I want this to be a great relationship. One where I can tell you everything and one where you could tell me everything. One where we can feel comfortable with one another and tell each other everything. That’s what I want.”

“About that,” Jason moved his arm away from her for a moment as he reached back to set the drink down on the table. Rubbing his hands together he pressed them in over the sides of his face and tried to work himself up to telling Mindy about what he lied to her about. “There is something that I haven’t been completely honest with you about. I really need to tell you and…,”

“Hold that thought because if you don’t, I won’t be able to remember the original reason why I came out here,” she hushed him pressing her index finger in over the center of his lips as she jumped up a bit. “I don’t know if I am going to be able to make it, but if I can--would you mind coming with me to Russ and Avery’s wedding. I know you don’t know them much, but they are really important to me like you are and I think it would be nice to go on a vacation with you. I don’t know if I’ll be going for sure, but if I do--do you want to go? I would really enjoy you being there and I think you would really like it.”

“Well, I’ll tell you Mindy Carmichael, if you end up going, I will be the first by your side because I think a vacation with you would be great,” he smirked knowing that now could be a nice time to lighten the situation more as he moved in closer to her. “Well, as long as you don’t have that annoying fear of flying if we fly and you end up farting to get relief. I peg you to be that kind of person and…,”

Before he could say anything else he felt her hit him in the chest with a playful hit cornering him into the railing that kept them safe on the balcony. Feeling her hands press in over his he smiled down at her before a sudden seriousness fell upon them.

“You’re so beautiful,” he blurted out reaching up to push back her long, dark hair. Thinking of something to say he caressed her cheek with his thumb careful not to make her uncomfortable as he moved in closer to her. “Which means we’ll find you an awesome dress where you can blow people away.”

“You are the best,” Mindy muttered seeing him move out of the space between her and the railing to go for his drink guzzling the rest of it down not even looking over at her. “I don’t know what I would do without you.”


Heather leaned forward pinching at the green colored face mask that had hardened upon her skin. While it was something that Kellen had recommended for her pores, she was starting to think that her best friend had lost his mind now that her skin was tingling. She reached for the handle on the sink bending down to start removing the mask when she felt a strong pair of hands slide in over her hips followed by the hardened male form that she knew only too well. A smile touched over her lips as she felt Kyle bend down to press a kiss over her shoulder.

“When you said that you were going to be putting your face on I didn’t imagine it would take you this long. I’ve already started a meal for us and,” Kyle’s words came to an abrupt halt when Heather stood up once again to reveal the pea green colored mask on her face. His eyebrows arched to a point and his lips curled in a surprised, yet amused grin as he looked to her with a laugh. “Ok, who are you and what have you done to my beautiful wife?”

“Very funny,” Heather threw out at him with a groan. “I was just about to take this off and…”

“It looks like something crawled onto your face and decided to nest in some kind of pod. You know like one of those alien movies and…” Kyle couldn’t help but joke as Heather turned around to poke him in the ribs.

“You think you’re cute right about now, don’t you?” she shook her head at him before tipping up on her toes in an attempt to kiss him.

“Oh no,” he pulled back and fought to repress his laugh, “you’re not coming anywhere near me with that stuff on your face. In all my years of knowing you I’ve never seen you with something like that and…”

“Kellen said that it’s great for my skin. He discovered this brand on one of his trips to Europe and,” Heather explained turning around to take a look at her reflection in the mirror once again.

“Kellen’s a fruit loop Heather,” Kyle reminded her as he leaned in against the bathroom door while bringing his powerful arms across his chest. “He still thinks that Barbie Girl is trendy and fashionably cute.”

“It is cute,” Heather frowned reaching for the dials on the sink once again, “Honestly Kyle you’re too hard on Kellen. I don’t know why you hate him so much.”

“Hmm, maybe it’s because each and every time I have my pants down there he is ready to size me up,” Kyle explained with a heavy sigh. He watched as Heather leaned over in her tiny, pink satin robe and a grin spilled over his chiseled features. He couldn’t help but admire her legs as she washed off the offensive green face mask.

“He has good taste. Can you help it if you’re attractive?” Heather shrugged her shoulders and turned around to face him. “I mean Kellen just thinks you’re cute and…”

“And how would you feel if I invited Grady to come in and take a peek at our lovemaking?” Kyle wiggled his brow at her with a seriousness in his tone.

“Were you planning on extending him an invitation because if you are, I really think that I should probably get to the gym and work out a little bit first because two guys would be a challenge considering that…” Heather teased as Kyle moved forward to collect her in his arms. She squealed as he picked her up off of the ground and pushed her up onto the countertop.

“I’ll show you a challenge,” he ran his fingers over her sides, hearing her break into giggles as his lips moved in over the side of her neck. He gently bit down on her shoulder, feeling her wiggle beneath him as his tickle torture continued.

“Kyle stop,” she pleaded, sliding around on the countertop as his hands continued to taunt her. She brought her own hands up over his shoulders and as he blew on her skin another ripple of laughter swept over her. “Kyle!”

“You think you’re so cute, don’t you?” Kyle continued to tease her as his lips moved in over hers. He bent down to kiss her lightly as her arms curled tighter around his shoulders.

“I know I am,” Heather murmured, her words buzzing against his lips as their mouths met in another tempting union.

“Perhaps,” Kyle mouthed lazily, his hands taking the time to roam over her satin covered curves. His fingers pressed in over the tie of her robe and a grin teased over the corners of his mouth.

“Hmm, you know I just realized something,” Heather whispered as another hint of laughter carried over her.

“What’s that?” Kyle questioned, his hazel eyes pressing down into hers as he tugged gently on the knot on her robe.

“Kellen’s not here,” she blurted out triumphantly as her finger tips teased over the bare contours of his broad chest.

“Huh?” Kyle blinked back at her confused by her statement.

“You said that every time you are out of your pants Kellen is lurking around,” Heather continued to explain with a sultry smirk, “but if you look around he’s no where to be seen.”

“Yes, but my pants are still on,” Kyle corrected feeling her fingers drop down to the waistband on his sweatpants.

“Are they?” she wiggled her brow suggestively while using the little momentum she’d gained to push the material past his hips just over his knees. Giggling as she leaned back further on the counter, her green eyes swept over her husband’s body ravenously.

“You’re a very naughty girl Mrs. Houston,” Kyle placed his hands down on the countertop as he hovered over her, his hazel eyes laced with desire as she arched up towards him.

“You have no idea,” she purred coiling her arm around his neck and threading her fingers through his hair tightly. She brought his mouth crashing down into hers as their tongues tangled with sinful intent. She felt her array of face creams and moisturizers fall from the countertop to the floor, but it was secondary to the feel of her husbands arms around her, to the taste of his lips over hers beckoning all those thoughts she’d tucked away for the time being when she’d talked about getting dressed. However, as his hands snuck in underneath her robe to get a preview of what was waiting for him, she realized that finishing with her face could wait.

“Hmm, was there mint in that mask?” Kyle asked with a sudden seriousness as he pulled away from the kiss.

“And guava,” she shrugged her shoulders, “at least I think.”

“Hmm, well it doesn’t taste as bad as it looked,” he noted pushing her robe from her shoulders and easing it down to her waist.

“It’s all natural,” Heather informed him in between heated kisses as she wrapped her legs around his torso.

“I like that,” Kyle decided yanking her towards the edge of the counter. His lips collided with hers eliciting a soft moan from the back of her throat.

“And here you were condemning me for how it looked,” she reminded him in a sensual purr.

“My mistake,” Kyle conceded ready to spend the rest of the morning finding all the ways to enjoy making love to his wife when a noise from outside of the bedroom brought the moment to a screeching halt.

“Heather Babes, where are you?” Kellen’s voice bubbled up through the open door of the bathroom.

“Son of a…” Kyle grunted not having a moment of reprieve as Kellen came bouncing through the bathroom door like a kid on Christmas morning ready to disturb his parents slumber.

“You’ll never believe what I…” Kellen announced as his blue eyes fell upon Kyle and Heather with one another. An amused grin carried over him as Kyle bent down and pulled his pants up with a huff. “Oh my, this makes my news looks like child’s play compared to the morning you are having.”

“It would have been a hell of a lot better if you would have called first,” Kyle grumbled not bothering with pleasantries as Heather quickly tied up her robe. Glaring at Kellen, Kyle pushed past where he’d been standing with Heather, “I’m assuming your better half is here as well with Charles.”

“They’re in the kitchen since we weren’t sure that you were here or not and he didn‘t want to intrude on you,” Kellen nodded eagerly.

“Hence the reason why I actually like Kipp because he’s the polite one,” Kyle grumbled turning to Heather once again, “I’ll be in the kitchen when you’re done with the princess here.”

“Kyle,” Heather frowned watching her husband retreat as Kellen looked between the two of them.

“Tell me did he wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning or did his monthly friend decide to come early?” Kellen wrinkled his nose at Kyle’s abrasive response to him.

“Kellen, he doesn’t really like you walking in anytime you please,” Heather informed her friend as she pushed herself off of the countertop. “He’s a bit sensitive about your walking in when we’re…”

“About to have hot, steamy sex,” Kellen finished for her, “Yeah I get that, but honestly if I would’ve known that you two were about to go at it, then I would have waited ten minutes before actually coming in here to check things out.”

“Are you sure that you’re not a heterosexual buried somewhere in the whole gay persona?” Heather wiggled her brow at him as she returned to the task of putting her face together once again.

“Sweetheart, you can trust me on that. As much as I like you, I’m not at all interested in seeing you naked. Your husband on the other hand, well I could write volumes about just how incredible it is to get a few seconds of a teaser with that one,” Kellen grinned making his way over to the toilet. He pushed the lid down before taking a seat and watching Heather. “He’s so hot.”

“You should try being with him. It’s a million times hotter,” Heather paused thinking about what she’d just said, “Well, no you can’t be with him, so you’ll just have to be jealous about it.”

“Believe me I am,” Kellen confessed leaning forward to press his elbows down on the countertop. He rested his chin on his hands before watching her closely. “Honestly Heather you have no idea how incredibly lucky you are.”

“I do, which is why I’m going to have to try to get you to call first,” Heather informed him with a small sigh. “Kyle’s a private person and…”

“I can see why he’s into his privates considering that…” Kellen started to gush all over again before catching her small glare. He sat up straighter and brought his fingers over his chest in a small, curving motion, “Heather, I promise I’ll try to call first. I’m sorry to intrude, but I was so excited to tell you what I found today that…”

“That you couldn’t wait,” Heather nodded as she reached for her makeup bag. “Believe me I love hearing what you have to tell me, but you just have to make sure that you don’t wind up on the top of Kyle’s hit list because he can hold a grudge.”

“Believe me I know it, but sooner or later I think he’ll like me. I mean maybe by the time you get married he’ll think of me like family and get over the whole being bashful while I’m around thing,” Kellen waved his hand dismissively as Heather felt a moment of guilt carry over her.

“Sure,” Heather forced a small smile wishing that she could’ve told Kellen about her marriage to Kyle, but as she realized how hurt he would be about being left out of it, she kept her mouth shut. Though perhaps he was right. Maybe by the time she and Kyle had their public wedding Kellen would find it in him to reach some kind of understanding with Kyle. Opting to change the subject, she spoke up again, “So what’s your good news?”

“Oh believe me it’s a great one,” Kellen began to spin his tale about his morning excitement as Heather continued to put her face together wondering if there would come a day when Kyle and Kellen would see eye to eye with one another. Somehow as Kellen continued to tell her about his big discovery with Kipp, she began to seriously doubt it!


Sarah sank back into the chair thinking about how much easier the day was now that Cameron had found his way to making things work out in her favor. Smiling as she thought back to the look on Diego’s face when he’d learned that Cameron was the baby’s ‘father’ was priceless. It was exactly everything Sarah had hoped for in putting Diego in his place, yet something bothered her about the whole situation.

“You just need to forget about him. He was never worth your time,” Sarah mouthed knowing full well that while she and Diego had once been close, a man like Diego would never really understand her. He would only prove to let her down like Kyle had, yet Cameron knew her flaws and wasn’t bothered by them. He would let her have her freedom and her life and wouldn’t want her to be something she wasn’t.

“It’s better this way,” Sarah mouthed reaching for the drink she’d set out on the table after Cameron had left for a little while. Smiling as she raised the brandy to her lips, she made a small toast to herself and to the freedoms that were ahead of her now that Diego was out of her life. Now she wouldn’t have to force herself to be something she wasn’t--to pretend to feel something she didn’t and furthermore she could be free.

“Free to do whatever it is I want without a man holding me back. Diego won’t take what’s mine away from me,” Sarah mouthed to herself setting her drink down again and closing her eyes. She sank back into the chair enjoying a moment of silence when a memory hit her.

“Diego, I don’t want to be alone right now,” she replied in a low, trembling voice. She opened her eyes and spun around to face him, her lower lip quivering with emotion. She inhaled in a small, urgent gasp before taking a step forward, “I don’t want you to leave me tonight.”

“Sarah, do you know what you’re asking,” he couldn’t help but ask, his arm sliding involuntarily around her slender waist to pull her to him without thought or logic behind the movement.

She nodded tears burning behind her dark eyes. Her fingers teased up over the front of his shirt thoughtlessly plucking open the buttons before her. “Diego, I want you to stay.”

“I want to stay, but that’s the problem Sarah,” his fingers slid up against the hollow of her cheekbone, “if I stay I think we both know what’s going to happen between us. We both know that I can’t be the friend that I’ve tried to be.”

“I don’t want you to be my friend Diego. I want you to be…” she trailed off searching for the right words. Her hands pushed in underneath his shirt, easing the sticky material off of his shoulders and down his muscled arms, “I need you to be…”

“To be,” he repeated his dark eyes desperately seeking out approval for what he was certain was about to happen between them.

“With me,” she mouthed tipping up on her toes and kissing him in a heated frenzy. Her hands tore at his shirt ripping it down over his arms. She felt him shake his arms out of it before his hold on her waist constricted and he pushed her back into the wall beside her closet.

Even now Sarah could remember time and time again Diego’s words of love--the way he’d made no qualms about alerting her to the fact that he wanted to be with her--that he wanted to share a life with her--a future. He cared about her and never walked out on her even when she was at her worst, yet she’d been full of the self destructive side that had been her downfall over and over again. Frowning to herself Sarah pushed her glass aside and decided to go get a drink.

“He isn’t worth worrying about,” she began to pace the room thinking about how she and Cameron had pulled off one of the biggest fixes to her life to date. Now that Diego no longer believed that he was the father of her child, she knew full well that he wouldn’t bother her. He wouldn’t harass her about taking the baby and locking her into a life of boredom and misery simply because they shared a child. He would stop with his proclamations of love and just leave her free to be where she wanted to.

“And just where is that exactly?” she heard a voice in the back of her mind question. Closing her eyes she started to think about her mother--to remember what it was like when she and Heather were growing up with Darla Marx.

“You know Sarah you have always been the smarter one of the girls,” Darla explained approvingly seeing Sarah working in the kitchen to mix together her drink. Sarah returned moments later with a glass in hand offering it to her mother who proudly accepted. “Heather’s been a big screw up, but not you. You’ll go further than she will because you have what it takes. You’re just like me.”

Now as Sarah looked around Cameron’s library she could feel her mother’s words haunting her. She thought back to the endless string of boyfriends that her mother brought home--to the men that Darla Marx was bound and determined to marry again and again--to all those times when it seemed like the Marx girls would have potential stability only to watch it come crashing down around them. Darla had never been able to settle down, but that didn’t stop her from bringing man after man into their home each one worse than the other.

It wasn’t as if Sarah had paid much attention to it since most of her mother’s boyfriends seemed to stay out of her way, yet when Sarah thought about everything that had transpired leading to her mother’s demise, Sarah could still remember being in the hospital watching her mother fade away--her disease eating her alive with no one there beside her but Sarah, who was constantly told how she would make her mother proud--how she was always the favorite--the one who was destined to keep Darla Marx and her legend alive by living out all of Darla’s dreams. Except at the end all Darla had been was alone. Completely and utterly alone. That thought in itself terrified Sarah and lead her to give up the wild life and latch onto Kyle.

“A lot of good it did for you,” a voice in the back of her mind pointed out almost mocking her. “He ended up walking out the door too letting you down just like all those men did for mom.”

“But I’m not mom,” Sarah argued thinking about how she could feel her mother’s shoes moving in over her life.

She closed her eyes remembering the way Diego felt about her--the way that he seemed to care about her--to want to make her happy as he put her first in his life. He was a good man, who while he might be a bit naïve, he wanted her. He wanted to make her happy and put her first and it was in knowing that Sarah realized that she’d been wrong to have Cameron lie for her. Here she had everything she’d hoped for in a man with Diego. He was caring and loving and unlike her father, he wouldn’t walk away from responsibility or the baby just because it was convenient. He cared about her and could make her happy in ways that she wouldn’t be able to find on her own or with Cameron.

“Oh God what have I done?” Sarah gasped knowing now what she needed to do to make things right. Rushing over to snag her jacket she just prayed that it wasn’t too late to prevent the biggest mistake she’d ever made from haunting her forever!


“Hey, what’s going on here?" Nate moved into the halls of the hospital seeing someone cleaning up Cori’s room as he moved inside and let out a hesitant laugh holding onto the bag of bagels he brought for them this morning. “She didn’t die did she?"

“Of course I didn’t die,” a voice moved in behind him as he turned to see someone accompany her in the hallway making him let out a small laugh looking between Cori and her room. “What? Cat go your tongue?"

“No, I’m shocked seeing out here instead of the in there. I brought us breakfast and…,” Nate looked to the guards behind her and let out a hesitant laugh itching at his temple softly. Shrugging his shoulders he thought of something to say feeling his eyebrows tightening together. “How did she get released?"

“Well, I take it you made a good guess or had something to do with this, but my opinion would be that these people just came to their senses and finally realized that keeping me in here was a bad thing to do. Very stupid,” she pulled her arm away from the grasps that the guard had on her as she moved in next to Nate. “Why would they keep someone like me in here when I didn’t need this place or belong in this place?"

“Right Cori,” Nate tried to ignore her before letting out a hesitant laugh wondering if all the hints he dropped to everyone had finally worked and he watched her walk into the room to talk to the person inside. Nudging the larger guard in the ribs that he had become friends with over the last few months he had worked there he was intrigued to get some information. “Hey big guy, do you have any idea what’s going on here?"

“I didn’t catch anything man, no one tells me a thing. I heard someone say good behavior and for the greater good of the baby,” he explained seeing Nate turn to face him as he shrugged his shoulders seeing the way that Cori started moving back toward them. “She had two people compliment on her changing for the better without her brother trying to convince them.”

“Oh, I’ll have to thank them,” she stepped in catching the ending of the conversation as she reached for the bagels from Nate’s fingers seeing him staring out at her with his green eyes. “I’m ready to hit the road, what about you?"

“Oh, before you go you need to take some of the medicine with you. The shots we’ve been giving you,” the man motioned them to follow her as Nate’s eyes glanced over at Cori when the man paused to look back at him. “We’ve been giving you these shots for a specific reason and…,”

“You’ve been giving them to me to knock my ass out,” Cori finished throwing her hands up in the air and shoving the bag of bagels back into the center of Nate’s chest. “Now why the hell will I need a set of medicine if I’m being let out on good behavior.”


Brant carefully shifted his keys in the door shuffling with the bags in his arms. While he’d hated to leave like he had earlier in the morning, he knew that he wouldn’t be able to hold off any longer. He had to find a way to reach out to Angela and if it meant taking a very thought out trip down memory lane, then so be it. Last night when she’d gone off to bed, Brant found himself doing a lot of soul searching and after heavy contemplation he knew what he had to do. Now armed with Angela’s favorites, he promised himself that he was going to reenact their first date giving it all the effort and promise that it deserved.

“She’s going to love this,” Brant mouthed using his hip to close the door behind him before walking into the kitchen more completely. He set a couple of bags down before hearing the sound of footsteps in the distance. Looking up he spotted Kevin and Ria entering the kitchen from the far left.

“What’s all this?” Kevin questioned eyeing Brant with obvious interest. He watched Brant start to pour out the contents of the bag and spotted a fresh basket of strawberries on hand. Moving forward he reached out to snatch it only to feel Brant swat at his hand.

“Don’t you dare,” Brant warned sharply glaring over at Kevin. “Those are for tonight with Angela.”

“Tonight?” Ria questioned arching a curious brow while watching Brant continue to pull out the contents of his bags.

“That’s right,” Brant nodded in response offering up a newfound look of determination. “I’m going to have a dinner with Angela and after tonight I’m convinced that this is going to be over for all of us.”

“Why the sudden confidence?” Kevin questioned casually reaching out for the strawberries again only to have Brant pull them out of his reach.

“It’s coming from the fact that I love her and I’m not going to lose her. I’m done with the games,” Brant explained in a firm, honest tone. “I don’t want to keep dragging this out any longer than we already have. I know she loves me and if she has the right push, then I’m sure that we can make things right again.”

“Why has she said anything to indicate she remembers?” Ria questioned with an air of hopefulness in her tone. She saw Kevin pouting as Brant put the strawberries away and she patted him on the shoulder.

“Yeah, has she said anything?” Kevin questioned his gaze lingering back to the refrigerator.

“Not exactly, but last night some major chemistry was there,” Brant revealed thinking back to what had happened between him and Angela. While he wasn’t about to divulge all the details to Kevin about what exactly had taken place, Brant was all the more convinced that he would be able to persuade Angela’s mind into unlocking the secret that kept her from loving him openly. “I could feel it when I was with her and I’m sure if I put all of this together, she’s going to remember everything.”

“I hope you’re right,” Ria sighed heavily running her fingers through her long, dark hair. “This is just too much for all of us.”

“I don’t want her hurt, but I do think it’s time that she knows the truth,” Kevin added in agreement seeing Brant go to put something in one of the cabinets. Circling around the island in the kitchen, Kevin walked over to the refrigerator and pulled out the strawberries that Brant had placed inside of it.

“Freeze right there!” Brant warned turning around to face Kevin again only to see Kevin popping the plastic off the top of the package and pulling out a berry for himself. “Kevin come on. I have those for tonight.”

“I’ll buy you another package,” Kevin promised popping a berry into his mouth before offering up a wide, red grin. “I swear.”

“Yeah right,” Brant groaned in response seeing Kevin walking over to the sink and rinsing off the rest of the berries. He finally poured them in to a bowl before taking a seat beside Ria. “Hey, you’d better be serious.”

“I am,” Kevin shrugged his shoulders before nibbling on another berry. He offered one to Ria, who shook her head before he shrugged his shoulders and finished the new berry off. “So how are you planning to do this? What’s the game plan for tonight?”

“For starters you’re going to have to make yourselves scarce,” Brant explained thinking about the details for his master plan. “That shouldn’t be too hard since you both have been really good at it lately.”

“What can I say,” Kevin shrugged his shoulders again gleefully eating the fruit before him, “we aim to please.”

“Yeah each other,” Brant scoffed in response giving Kevin a full knowing look. “Regardless I don’t care what you do tonight just as long as you give us some alone time.”

“And you’re really convinced that you’ll have that opportunity to jolt her memory, eh?” Ria glanced over at Brant once again in an attempt to read his expression.

“I’m sure of it. Tonight is going to be the key to opening up the past and igniting fireworks,” Brant clapped his hands together mimicking an explosion when a loud sound erupted from the back of the house.

“What was that?” Ria questioned with a gasp hearing a loud, penetrating sound vibrating through the air.

“I don’t know, but it sounds a lot like…” Brant turned towards the direction of the sound trying to place it while Kevin pushed his strawberries aside, a sudden scowl and worry creasing over his brow.

“Trouble,” Kevin mouthed knowing full well it was time to stop talking and start investigating the situation instead.


“Well, you would probably kill yourself,” Jason tried to joke seeing the way Mindy looked out at him as he leaned back against the railing staring out at her as she didn the same on the other side. “Because you know, I’m just too damn irresistible and if you didn’t have me in your life you would be blinded for the years to come because my looks were just so amazing and no one could ever equal up to them. I mean without me it would be like a void in your life and you just couldn’t stand it.”

“You think you’re funny don’t you?" Mindy whispered seeing him smile and shrug his shoulders before looking down at the ground below him. Moving in closer to him she pressed her hands in over the center of his chest getting his attention as his blue eyes turned to face her. “I know you might not want to talk about it, but what happened to Bruno? How did he die?"

“It’s, he…it’s hard to talk about things if you know what I mean,” Jason found himself at a loss of words seeing her looking up at him and she nodded slowly and he took in a long breath. “Uh, he worked at this big corporation in Texas. A real big successful guy and he had this boss.”

“Okay, you know you don’t have to tell me,” she could see the lost look in Jason’s eyes as he looked down at her and shook his head.

“I need to tell someone this,” he fought for words before thinking things over and taking in a long breath. “You see he was real talented and if he didn’t have that job there were plenty of jobs lined up that would love to have him. Bruno was amazing with doing what it was he did and his boss ended up finding out he was gay. We were in love and Bruno was offered to get the highest position if he would sleep with the boss because he secretly had feelings for Bruno.”

Jason paused knowing that he sort of saw something like this on CSI and tried to come up with something that would seem a bit believable. Turning away from her he looked out again thinking of words, coming up short when he knew she wanted the truth. Truth where she knew the real him and he hated this.

“He just killed himself because the boss fired him and told the world he was gay, it was a real sad thing,” he lied through his teeth turning to face her seeing the worried glance she was giving him as he shrugged his shoulders. “It was really nothing extremely big--I wouldn’t worry about it.”

“Jason, this was the person you loved. I’m going to worry about all of this because this was a big event you had happen to you,” she blurted out reaching out to him and turning him around to face her. Grasping his face in her hands tenderly she saw him look down at her confused and she shook her head slowly. “When I had Hunt die I thought everything was going wrong that I would have no one. I was wrong though, I had Nate and even better I have you. I had people to help me get through this and you were alone in Texas. You have to know that someone is going to be here to wake up to and tell things. You have to understand that even though someone is gone…it’s okay to talk about him. I would almost feel like a terrible person if I couldn’t open my heart to the past with Hunt I had.”

“Mindy, truth is such a strong word and I’m so sorry,” he tried to explain before taking in a long shallow breath. He grabbed her hands in his knowing that Bruno was his dog and nothing more and it killed him now that she just said all that to him. He hated lying to her, he had to tell her everything. The truth, the lies and even if that meant having her away from him. He loved her--okay, liked her too much to just let go of her like that. “Mindy come on, I need to tell you something. Something I know you won’t like--something that you will probably never forgive me on.”

“Just be quiet for one minute. I want to do something, I want to do something for you,” Mindy reached for his hand seeing the way he stared out at her confused. Dragging him through the room she led him toward the door grabbing her keys and her jacket moving through the hallway. “We’re going somewhere like right now. Somewhere very important.”

“Okay, but Mindy,” Jason tried to explain again knowing that now was not a good time because of how she was dragging him along the hallway. “I need to tell you something.”

Having her ignore him it seemed like he was never going to tell her the truth. Forever in her eyes and in the group of her friends would he be gay and that’s what sucked the most. He was so far from it and having her think it to the extreme made it worse. God, what was he getting himself into?


“What in the…” Kevin’s voice trailed off as he rushed out behind Ria and Brant only to discover the source of the sound was none other than the loud, penetrating alarm on his car. He rushed forward wondering what in the world had set it off, but before he could get to it, he saw Ria spin around and look at him.

“I wonder what triggered it,” Kevin mouthed thinking about how his alarm hadn’t gone off in a while, yet there was a point in time when his car alarm had gone haywire in the past. He started thinking about the guy who had claimed to fix the problem and how the man had sworn that it wouldn’t happen again like it had been happening. Right about now Kevin wished he’d kept the guy’s number because he would love to have a talk with him about the alarm.

“Kevin, maybe you should…” Ria started stepping away from the car and approaching him with a worried expression on her face.

“I think I found out what triggered it,” Brant leaned forward sinking his hand into the car and pulling out a heavy brick. He held it up in his hand and stepped aside to reveal the cracked out windows behind him.

“What in the world…” Kevin’s jaw dropped as he finally got a full glimpse at the shattered window in front of him. Bringing his hand up over his head he gulped down before looking to the back window and realizing it too was shattered. “No. No way!”

“Kevin, I’m sure that…” Ria began knowing full well how upsetting this would be to Kevin now that he’d taken great lengths to get his car up and running again.

“The windshield too!” Kevin threw his hands in the air seeing another brick on the dashboard surrounded by glass. “How in the hell could this happen? I thought that this place was secure--that no one could get in here…”

“They can’t,” Brant informed Kevin with a frown. “There’s no way that anyone could’ve gotten in here undetected unless…”

“Unless what?” Kevin snarled reaching into his pocket and disengaging the car alarm now that his baby was shattered right before his very eyes. He let out a small whimper before glaring over at Brant. “What Brant?”

“Maybe someone snuck in with me when I was bringing the groceries in but…” Brant stopped himself a sudden panic carrying over him. “Oh my God Angela…”

“Brant,” Kevin called out to his friend seeing Brant rush over to the guest house in a hurry. Kevin exchanged glances with Ria before taking in a breath and chasing after Brant wondering as well if someone had stopped by to cause chaos. The first name that came to mind was Cameron, yet if Cameron had come in, why make such a bold and painful statement?

“Angela,” Brant shouted pushing his way into the guest house as Kevin heard him over and over again. Finally after a moment’s hesitation Kevin entered the guest house to see Brant approaching him with a frantic expression.

“Well?” Kevin questioned in a low breath, “Where is she? Where’s Angie?”

“I don’t know Kevin,” Brant confessed with a worried expression, “She’s gone!”


Knocking on the door to Russell’s office, Avery was greeted with a pleasant surprise to see him gazing up at her with a bright smile. He curled his finger motioning for her to join him inside before she closed the door behind her. He tipped his head to the side and grinned widely while watching her every movement.

“Tell me something beautiful, do you come here often?” he slurred in a low, flirty tone watching her circle around his desk. He felt her press her palm out over his shoulder, sliding his chair on it’s wheels away from his desk just enough to give her access to his lap.

“Only when the man I’m going to marry is away,” she explained leaning forward to steal a kiss from his amused lips. She sank into his lap curling her arms around his strong, powerful shoulders. She settled in over his lap, rocking ever so slightly over him while her fingers teased in lazily through his dark hair. “I know it’s wrong, but there is just something about you that keeps me coming back for more.”

“The poor fool you’re going to marry has no idea just how hot for me you truly are, does he?” he mouthed in response his green gaze dropping down to her full, luscious lips. He curled his arm around her waist squeezing her in closer to the muscled contours of his chest before his lips sought out hers. He slid his hand down over her spine while his lips tasted hers taking the time to savor every single second of her now that she was in his arms again.

Once they finally parted, both breathless with anticipation and desire, he saw her mouth open in a small sigh, her flushed features causing a new hunger to radiate through him. Smiling, he met her gaze again, his body longing to be closer to hers now that they were holding onto one another again. Lazily his fingers tapered off into her long, dark hair causing her to sigh again.

“So how did your meeting with Augustus go?” Russ questioned seeing something behind her dark eyes.

“He cancelled out on me,” she revealed with a small scowl thinking about her encounter with Ken. “He had something come up and I guess that I should have called again to make sure he would really be there.”

“Where did he go?” Russ questioned curiously thinking about how Avery had arranged a meeting with Augustus to get together.

“I didn’t stick around long enough to ask,” she replied with a small shrug focusing on him once again. Hugging her arms around his shoulders tighter than before, she smiled, “though next time I think we should see him together since he is your grandfather.”

“We’ll have to see what we can do,” he shrugged his shoulders before leaning forward to kiss her again. “The way I see it you and I have a lot to do before now and when we leave for the wedding.”

“We sure do,” she nodded in agreement thinking about their upcoming wedding. “We’ll have to get everyone we want to be there for this one and then we’ll have to make travel arrangements and…”

“I’ve already started on that,” Russ explained with a small smile motioning to the phone. “I had a few spare minutes today so I figured I would get a head start on it. Things are looking pretty good too I might add.”

“That’s exactly what I wanted to hear. If we get that under control, then we can move onto the next subject at hand,” she explained with a proud smile.

“Such as?” he arched a speculative brow feeling her fingers tapering off over the center of his chest.

“Us in the here and now,” she mouthed leaning forward to nibble on his lower lip gingerly.

“I think I like that answer,” he replied with a small laugh sliding her in over his lap ready to explore what was building between them when his office door burst open.

“Russ I have to talk to you. I just got a great lead on the Guerrero story and…” Chris started pausing when he realized what he’d walked in on. Leaning up against the side of the wall he folded his arms in front of his chest when he noticed Russ frowning up at him.

“Do you mind?” Russ huffed feeling Avery shuffling on his lap in an attempt to hide her embarrassment about their being interrupted from their kissing.

“No not at all,” Chris waved his hand around in the air dismissively. “Please go on with what you were doing and don’t mind me.”

“Easier said than done,” Avery slid off of Russell’s lap and adjusted her clothing.

“So Chris,” Russ frowned up at him, “What can I do for you?”

“Like I said I had a lead on the Guerrero story and…” Chris started again his eyes shuffling between Russ and Avery.

“He’s not interested,” Avery interrupted in a firm, commanding tone. “I’m sure it’s quite a lead at that, but right now Russ is planning our wedding and he’s promised to stay out of any impending big stories that are taking place for the time being. He’s going to be on vacation soon.”

“You are?” Chris tipped his head to the side eyeing Russ curiously.

“That’s right,” Russ nodded again, “I’m going to get married very soon, which means that I’m going to have to step out of this one while we work on planning. I’m sure that you can handle the story if you think you have something there, but be careful Chris. There isn’t anything worth your life in terms of a story.”

“Great news never waits for danger to pass,” Chris added with a smirk standing taller. “For what it’s worth though I think I can hold my own on this one for sure. You just enjoy the whole matrimony thing I suppose. I personally never really got into it, but hey whatever works for you.”

“Gee thanks,” Russ shook his head at Chris before watching him walk to the door.

“And hey good luck you two,” Chris added with a small laugh, “Given what I’ve heard about your last wedding you are going to need it.”

“Get out of here,” Russ frowned over at him. As Chris stepped out of the office leaving Russ and Avery alone together, Avery exchanged glances with Russ.

“Do you really think we’re going to need it?” she couldn’t help but ask with a worried expression.

“Avery, honey it’s Chris. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Russ added reaching out to pull her back into his lap where she’d been before Chris arrived. “We’re going to have the perfect wedding this time.”

“I thought we had it last time, but obviously fate had other plans,” she curled her lip in a pout at him.

“Not this time. This time everything is going to be just like we hoped for it to be,” he promised tipping up to meet her lips in a tender kiss as he hoped that their big day would go off better than it had the last time. With so much riding on their having a good start to their wedding, Russ found himself hoping that this time wouldn’t be filled with all the roadblocks that they had before.


“We never gave you any pills to knock you out,” the man before Cori and Nate explained seeing the way they watched him as he reached into a box to pull out a few things of medicine. “They were actually just vitamins we were giving you to make you healthy. After a few tests we took we realized you needed them.”

“Wait, I’m not getting this,” Nate reached for the medicine to keep a hold of it away from Cori knowing that the next thing she would most likely do is drop them, smash them and stomp all over them in the kind of mood she was in. He just knew it and felt that it was the thing she would do after being stuck in here for so long. “I know I’m kind of not right, but what are you trying to say?"

“I’m not getting any of this either, I thought you were doing all this to keep under me control,” Cori moved in closer to Nate almost worried about what they were going to say next. “Are you trying to tell me I’m sick or something? Do I have a disease that is going to kill me or what is happening to me?"

“No, nothing like that,” he answered before rubbing his own hand in over the center of his stomach letting out a small laugh. “You’re pregnant and we’ve been giving you the right vitamins to make sure you turned out okay. All the times you’ve had…not so great moments we’ve been trying to protect the baby. We don’t want anything to happen to that little one growing inside of you.”

“Little one?" Cori thought of what the man before her was saying and she took in a long breath before feeling the world around dizzy. The thoughts of Diego filled her mind as she realized that Diego must be the father and Diego was gone. “But he’s gone…,”

“Cori,” Nate called out moving in behind her and catching her in time to stare out at his friend as he held her in his arms. Trying to get her to wake up he saw his friend move in closer to try and help her and he let out a hesitant laugh. “Oh shit. She’s going to wake up and think that this was all a dream. How am I going to wake her up and how the hell am I going to keep her from passing out again.”

“I don’t know man, that’s for you to find out and me to know later,” his friend tapped him on the back before moving down the hallway seeing Nate glare out at him with his green eyes. “That devil is your problem now.”

“Gee thanks,” Nate moved his hands carefully tapping at the side of her face trying to get her up in anyway possible. All the time he had come to see her, Diego was the problem. Diego was the hit list and the man that brought her into this place and Nate hated Diego for all of this. When he told Diego off that one day it was based off of how much she hated him and how Nate felt for her. Now that she was pregnant with Diego’s baby and she mentioned he was gone, he knew that something was going to have to happen. “I’ll get him back for you Cori. I promise.”

Now all he was worried about was getting her out of here in one piece now as he felt like he was going to drop her any time soon. Someone needed to help him and soon before any more real damage could be done on this poor girl.


“Hey Kipp, how’s it going?” Kyle waved making his way over to the refrigerator and pulling himself out a bottle of juice as he looked to Kipp and Charles. “Can I get you a drink?”

“No thanks. Kellen and I stopped over at the new coffee shop over on Main Street before we came over and he picked up this mocha latte that he felt was to die for,” Kipp motioned to the cup that he’d set down on the counter, “He felt I needed to give it a taste test as well.”

“Hence his need to rush into my house and tell Heather all about it,” Kyle couldn’t help but roll his eyes as he pushed the refrigerator door shut with his hip. He walked over to the table and pulled the chair out to take a seat. Motioning for Kipp to join him, he couldn’t help but smile at Charles, who was in his father’s arms. “Hey little buddy.”

“I take it Kellen didn’t think to knock before snooping around again, huh?” Kipp noted taking a seat across from Kyle, but not before handing a wiggling Charles over to Kyle. “He doesn’t exactly have a knack for being subtle does he?”

“I’m starting to think he’s obsessed with me,” Kyle admitted bouncing Charles on his lap as Charles let out a laugh. Kyle leaned forward to press a kiss on Charles’s forehead before turning to Kipp again, “No offense.”

“None taken,” Kipp waved his hand dismissively, “I know Kellen’s a bit over the top, but he’s harmless.”

“Heather keeps saying that, but I have to tell you Kipp, you have no idea what it’s like to be in the middle of lovemaking and have Kellen there,” Kyle paused realizing what he’d said, “Well, I guess you would know considering that well…”

“I got what you meant Kyle,” Kipp sat up straighter while cracking a grin. “It sounds to me like maybe you and Heather could use a vacation for a while.”

“A vacation would be nice, but try talking her into it,” Kyle groaned outwardly. “Russ and Avery invited us out of town for their wedding and she’s fighting me tooth and nail on it.”

“You bet I am,” Heather blurted out entering the kitchen and walking over to scoop up her son. “And you can rest assured that I won’t be changing my mind about going.”

“Why not?” Kellen bounced into the room behind her. “Weddings are such fun times.”

“Not when the bride is a witch like Avery,” Heather scowled kissing Charles on the cheek before getting him into his highchair for breakfast.

“She’s not a witch,” Kyle objected with a frown.

“Of course she is. She’s been nothing, but a thorn in my side since the moment I met her and…” Heather began to rant about Kyle’s friend.

“She’s not that bad Heather,” Kellen interjected, “I mean she does have a beautiful daughter and….”

“A huge chip on her shoulder where I’m concerned, but Kyle thinks that I should overlook that very important point to be there when she plans on marrying the man she loves,” Heather couldn’t help but roll her eyes. “Avery already blames me for everything else that’s gone wrong in her life, so I would imagine if I’m there on her wedding day and it rains she’ll be ready to pin that one on me as well.”

“The weather report for the island sounds fantastic, so no worries about that,” Kyle threw in as Heather shot him a small glare.

“Wait, an island?” Kellen wiggled his brow suggestively. “Even better. What wouldn’t be great about being in some exotic locale soaking up the sun and…”

“Avery Morrison would be there which kills anything else that you’re about to say,” Heather insisted with a frown. “That woman is annoying and…”

“And it might be fun Heather,” Kipp added his input. “I mean it might be like long overdue a honeymoon for the both of you or something while you are there.”

As the words fell from Kipp’s lips, both Kyle and Heather turned to look at him with worried faces. Kipp cleared his throat and opened his mouth to cover, but found himself at a loss.

“They have to make it through the wedding first silly before they can take a honeymoon,” Kellen laughed at the thought while waving his hand dismissively, “Although a trip might be good practice and a small distraction from all the intensive wedding planning that we’ve been doing. You’ve been working so hard that you deserve this Heather. Avery or not I think it’s a good idea.”

“I just don’t think that…” Heather started to protest again.

“I can hold down the fort at the offices and we can keep Charles,” Kipp decided with an apologetic expression. “It’s the least I can do for…”

“Kipp, we appreciate that, but…” Heather began again looking for an out.

“It’s a wonderful idea,” Kyle added brightly, “Heather it’ll be a great experience for us and I’m sure with what little contact you have to make with Avery, well you’ll be able to make it through the time we have to spend at the wedding. I mean it’s not like Avery would be around when we were trying to get some alone time. She’s not one to come lurking around when you’re half naked and…”

“Kyle enough,” Heather warned him knowing full well that his thoughts were returning to what they’d discussed earlier with Kellen.

“All I’m saying is that we should take this trip. Who knows what the future might bring and I really don’t want to go by myself,” Kyle explained with a full pout. “I mean Grady will be there and if you know anything about my college years around Grady…”

“Given what you said about him earlier, I think I have plenty of reason to worry about those years,” Heather wrinkled her nose at him before turning to Kipp. “I appreciate your wanting to help, but…”

“I’ll help too,” Kellen decided standing up and stepping towards her. “I know what you do at the office and between Kipp and I we can keep things running smoothly. You don’t have a full schedule yet and I can move around some appointments and…”

“I just don’t think that I can walk away from all of that when,” Heather objected feeling her excuses growing smaller by the moment. She looked to Kyle and thought about how important the trip was to him even if she knew full well she was going to totally hate it.

“Trust me everything will be fine while you’re gone Heather Babes,” Kellen explained patting her on the shoulder. “Go enjoy yourself for once.”

“Ok fine,” Heather finally decided as she moved over to stand in front of Kyle, “but I swear to you if Avery even thinks about starting with me…”

“You can leave the wedding and go shopping at the stores on the island,” Kyle pulled her down into his lap and gave her a sloppy kiss. “I love you.”

“I love you too, which is the only reason why I’m agreeing to this,” Heather wiggled her finger in his face before relaxing a bit in his arms. “Don’t you forget that.”

“I won’t,” Kyle winked up at her with a hint of laughter in his tone. “It’ll be fun.”

“So it’s settled Kyle and Heather are on their way to paradise,” Kellen rubbed his hands excitedly. “What could be better?”

“I can think of a few things,” Kyle muttered under his breath as Heather poked him in the ribs.

“Hmm, well now that you’re going on a trip, you’ll have to go shopping and focus on packing and Heather, we have so much to do,” Kellen continued enthusiastically. “We’ll have to hit the boutiques and…”

“Slow down partner,” Kyle waved his hand around in the air, mocking Kellen’s movements. “Right now my…Heather isn’t going anywhere beyond this kitchen because we’re going to enjoy a peaceful breakfast together whether your shop eager self wants us to or not.”

“Fair enough,” Kellen nodded taking a seat across from where Kyle was. He placed his hands on the table top and grinned widely much to Kyle‘s dismay, “So what are we having this morning?”


Sarah stepped out of the car feeling her pulse racing in her chest. While she knew this was crazy, she also was well aware of what the future would bring to her if she didn’t act fast. Yes, she’d convinced herself that she could keep lying to Diego--that she could write him out of her life after he’d blown her off, but deep down she knew better. She knew that he was someone who had cared about her--someone who had done nothing, but love her. He’d given up every inkling of security in his life all in the name of being there for her. That in itself spoke volumes about how much he loved her.

“He really does love me,” Sarah had realized halfway over to his house. That took a while to sink in, but now as she thought about all she’d done to write him out of her life, she knew she had to stop lying about what it was she felt for him. He was the father of her child. They had created a life together and now she had to own up to that truth.

“No more lies,” she vowed making her way up to the front door. She rang the bell, but after getting no answer she did it again. Still she heard nothing happening from inside. She started to pound on the door with one hand while systematically ringing the doorbell with the other. It was then that she heard a muted voice from inside.

“Hold your horses. I’m on my way. Give me a second,” she heard a voice protest before the door started to open.

“Diego thank God,” Sarah gasped feeling her pulse pounding in her chest when she found herself face to face with a pair of dark eyes--a pair of eyes that were now upon her--the eyes of someone completely unfamiliar to her. Frowning she looked to the younger man in front of her and frowned, “Who the hell are you and where is Diego?”

“Ah, you must be Sarah,” he mused with a small laugh shaking his head at her, “Yeah Diego warned me all about you and now I can see why.”


...to be continued...