Episode 403

“What was that?" Alexa gasped turning to look toward a sound she thought she heard while Ben looked around the general room they were in trying to find a way out of. The same room that they had been locked in for so very long. This was actually starting to get ridiculous. They had been stuck so long that she was starting to think that she was going insane, hearing things and starting to get paranoid. “We need to find a way out of here Ben.”

“Yes, I get that Lexie--the only problem I’m having is the simple fact that someone closed the door when you decided to run in here without any recognition of the things around you and I have no idea how to get this damn thing open,” Ben slammed his fist into the door a couple of times before starting to bring his foot into the door coming to a stop when he looked back at her. “Since you had originally got us into this situation, do you have any ideas?"

“Yeah, stop blaming me for all of this,” Alexa stepped forward seeing the way he turned to face her with the angered expression behind his blue eyes that she saw past the small of light that filled the room they were stuck in. “If you weren’t interested as well you wouldn’t have followed me in. If you were that worried, you didn’t have to walk in here and try to pretend to be my knight in shining armor. This is your fault just as much as it is mine.”

“How is this my fault? I was on this case with my partner doing a fine job, sure--we were moving slow, but at least we were being careful and then you just had to show up. Of course you had to screw up this whole case,” he threw his hands up in the air letting out a tight groan that came out slightly confused and angered at the same time. “Now we’re stuck in here based off of your thoughts and I have no idea how to get us out of this situation. If you have any bright ideas you can let me know soon please.”

“Fine, you want a bright idea. Step out of the way,” she snapped seeing him staring out at her, his hands placed over his hips as she motioned him to move aside. She saw him stay still and she reached for her gun pulling it out and started to shoot seeing him fall to the ground in a thud. More light filled the room as he saw the bullets shoot through the door. Glaring out at her, he wondered what the hell she was up to and he saw her move to the door pushing at it seeing it swing open. “I said step out of the way.”

“You are a psycho. You don’t do something like that,” he got up from the ground wiping himself off pressing over the barrel of her gun to get her to lower it just in case she got a little finger friendly again. He didn’t want to become just like the door and be a piece of Swiss cheese. “You just don’t do that kind of thing to a person when they are off guard. You should have been more clear. What if someone was right outside and they got hurt.”

“Well, there really are no what ifs because there was no one outside and would you look at this,” she gasped in a exaggerated tone placing her hand over her lips as she saw Ben glare out at her at the way she was mocking him as she took a step outside feeling a brisk of cool air pressing in over her. “I got the door opened. Don’t know why I didn’t do that to start with.”

“Because it was the inappropriate thing to do,” he snarled right back feeling the urge to snap at her more, but knew there were things they had to find out about what was going on. It just didn’t make sense for him to fight with her right now. “Just hold the door open. Now that I can actually see more I’d like to have a look around.”

“You know, that may not be the best idea considering the way we got stuck in here. You have no idea what could be going on and…,” Alexa saw Ben move right on through the room ignoring her comments. Rolling her eyes she stood in the doorway knowing that it would be stupid for her to leave it closed again just in case it would still lock up on them. “You should probably hurry up considering the facts that we really have no idea what’s going on here.”

“Trust me Alexa,” Ben looked back over his shoulder at his partner seeing the look behind her light eyes as he took in a long shallow breath knowing that at first he thought it was terrible idea to just run into a place based on instinct, but now thought it was for the best to just find out what really happened and what was going on. “I know what I’m doing.”


“This isn’t a joke Jewel--Cori and I are in love,” Nate offered up a squeeze around Cori’s shoulders as she leaned in closer to his chest while he cleared his throat feeling her resting in against his shoulder. He could see the confusion and shock behind Jewel’s eyes as he shrugged his shoulders speaking up again. “Cori and I are going to be having a baby together. A very special baby that the two of us made together.”

“You two slept together?" was the first thing that came to mind with Jewel as she looked into the green eyes of Nate. Never before had she thought something like this would happen. Cori was never the sister that had the final word with men, she was. Nate was hers first, she knew that Nate always had a thing for Cori, but she had Nate around first. Cori having Nate be with her was almost a fluke. It couldn’t be true. “Something is wrong about the situation here.”

“Not really,” Carly offered up her input seeing the nervous look that Nate had pressed in over his features as he tried to keep a straight face while the two sisters obviously were feuding with each other. “I think it’s nice that Cori finally found a man that she believes she can settle down with and Nate seems like a great guy for her.”

“And I don’t agree at all,” Jewel spat out thinking back to the moments that she spent with Nate and no wonder he kept pulling away from her the last few times. She never had a man break it off with her, she always broke it off with them and to even begin to imagine that one of them broke it off with her over her younger sister drove her crazy. “I think Cori isn’t good for Nate at all.”

“Of course you would say something like that. The one time I find a man that actually cares about me and loves me for who I am you just have to have a problem with it Jewel. What is it? You pissed that for once you’re second choice or lower than that?" Cori snarled pressing her hand in over Nate’s chest looking up at him seeing him glance down at her with a look she couldn’t quite read. He sighed, his jaw tightening as if he was trying to think of how to handle a situation like this. “I think you just need to start getting used to this because this one is mine and he plans on being mine for a very long time.”

“That’s right,” Nate hesitantly laughed looking between the two girls before reaching down with his free hand to press his hand in over Cori’s stomach softly. His fingertips centering in over her stomach as he gulped down and thought about the possible future he could have with Cori. From the first moment he saw her he always had a thing for her, but knew that she didn’t feel the same. They always had bite back moments with each other and he was amused with her, but maybe he was jumping into this situation too fast. Matt was the only child he had ever dealt with and he loved Matt. What would Matt think if he was trying to pretend that this child was his. He wanted a child, but raising Matt was like sharing a child of his own with Don. Maybe he was going in the wrong with this whole situation. Was he moving too fast? Was he really ready to put his life forward and become a father? “Cori and I are having a baby together.”

There was no turning back right now, a lot of people already knew the news and if he rejected it now so many people would look down on him. Think he was just being a jerk, but now as he stood in the middle of this situation he wondered if he made the wrong choice. It was too late to go back, but now he wondered if the right choice to him a few days ago was a complete and total nightmare. He had no idea what it was like to be a father and how he should handle it and that’s what scared him the most. Growing up was hard to do when he never had to in his life, he was a good person with a good heart and would be a good father, but the fear that came through his mind the most was failing. Failing at being a good father.

“We’re going to be a big happy family,” he heard Cori mutter and he gulped down. Sure the thought scared him, but it wasn’t because he wanted other women. He had wanted Cori for quite some time, but it was just the fear of being the father and doing something wrong. “Come on Nate, we need to talk.”

“Okay,” Nate followed Cori into the bedroom finally proud that Cori wanted him now. She wanted him because of what he offered up to her and that’s the one thing he had wanted for a while. Her to like him and want to be with him. Maybe that was too much to ask for, but maybe along the way she could fall for him. “So, I guess…”

“This is just so great,” Cori pulled away from him leaving the door slightly opened looking back at Nate for a moment seeing a smile press in over his features. “This has never happened before. Jewel is so pissed, for once it’s twisted around. I want you and she can’t have you. This is just perfect.”


“I don’t believe this,” Avery sighed closing her eyes and recalling what her friend had told her about her mother being the woman in the photo Angela had of her very own mother. “If Brooke is her mother, then…”

“Avery, I know Kevin told you that he was certain it was Brooke, but he might’ve been wrong,” Russ explained hoping to alleviate Avery’s worries after he’d finished putting Erin down to bed. “It’s entirely possible that the two women had a striking similarity much like you and Angela do and…”

“Russ this isn’t just coincidence,” Avery sank down onto the edge of the bed thinking about all that had happened over the last few months. “I mean if you think about it everything makes sense if Cameron is my brother. It explains so much when Cameron said that to me.”

“Avery, just because Brooke went out of her way to do wicked things doesn’t mean that you should assume that Cameron is telling you the truth. You know as well as I do the man has had an agenda ever since he stepped into this town and this is undoubtedly just another ploy of his to get you worked up so that he can take advantage of the situation,” he offered up with a small sigh moving in beside her. He squeezed her leg gently and turned his eyes to her again. Reaching out to bring his fingers through her long dark hair he spoke up gently, “Avery biology doesn’t change the woman that you are and you of all people should realize that.”

“What I realize is that my mother is a monster who has lied thus far about everything else. Why wouldn’t she lie about this? She was after my father’s money from day one,” Avery shook her head before sinking back onto the blankets with an exaggerated groan. “I wouldn’t have put it past her to ruin my father’s life by trying to pass me off as his.”

“You are his,” Russ slid in beside her curling his arm around her waist. He leaned in to kiss her cheek gently before whispering in her ear, “You should never doubt that especially now that Brooke is already getting you upset.”

“I’m sure that’s how you felt about Elliot too until you found out the truth,” Avery pointed out tipping her head to the side to meet his concerned eyes.

“Elliot still is my father. That hasn’t changed,” Russ corrected in a pointed tone, his green eyes flashing with the briefest moment of uneasiness. “I was born a Denton and I will be a Denton for the rest of my days just like you’ll be a Morrison and only a Morrison. Well, okay so maybe you’re a Denton too now, but still…”

“Russ,” she couldn’t help but smile at his attempt at trying to cheer her up. She stretched her arm out around his long, muscled torso and found her dark gaze searching his. “I love you.”

“I love you too,” he whispered gently reaching out to pull her into a full embrace. He tipped down enough to gently coax his lips against hers tasting the frustrations and questions that were awaiting to break through the surface upon her. Sliding his fingers into her hair before he cupped her cheek with his palm, he offered up a small breath into her. Their foreheads touched and he sighed, “Nothing is ever going to change that Avery.”

“I just feel like we haven’t been given any real breaks this year especially with this,” she sighed heavily placing a small distance between them enough to gaze up into his green eyes. “It’s been one thing after the other between your family and mine.”

“So forget about our families for a while,” he suggested offhandedly with a small shrug. His thumb brushed over her bottom lip dragging in a slow, sensual movement. “Forget about everything that you think we should be worrying about and think about the things that we can be thankful for like each other. Or Erin. Think about how lucky we are to have her.”

“I think about that each and every day,” she admitted with a small sigh, “but…”

“But nothing,” he pressed his index finger in over the center of her lips. “The only way the past can haunt us is if we open up the door and invite it inside of our lives.”

“Russ, you and I both know that…” she frowned up at him seeing a sudden determination behind his green eyes.

“Did I ever tell you about the honeymoon gift I bought for us the first time around? You know that night we went off to Atlantic City?” Russ questioned with a lazy smirk, his gaze lingering over Avery’s lips. He inched in closer to her, the warmth of his breath skimming over her lips as he stole a quick kiss from her.

“You mean when we were in high school?” her eyes widened with sudden curiosity. She felt his hand drop down around her waist pulling her in closer to him so that their bodies touched near their hips.

He nodded, “Well that was the only time we decided to go to Atlantic City, wasn’t it?”

“We’d talked about it a lot of times, but yes that was our one and only adventure on your motorcycle,” she mused at the memory feeling a small rush of chills carry over her. She could clearly remember the humming of the engine, the wind whipping through her hair and the warmth that carried over her when she’d wrapped her arms around Russ squeezing his body that night. Holding on was the only thing on her mind and she’d found herself longing to feel that connection between them forever.

“That’s right,” he nodded sliding his hand into her dark hair. He nudged her head up ever so slightly to have her meet his gaze before he smiled down at her, “I had so many plans for us that night.”

“I should’ve listened to you instead of thinking that we should’ve waited,” she frowned thinking back to her own apprehension once they’d made their way into the chapel.

“You were right to stop it,” he replied honestly remembering their impulsive youth. “You and I both needed to establish ourselves before we wound up married to one another and without a dime to our name.”

“We would’ve made it though,” she sighed heavily wishing that she could undo so many of the mistakes that they’d shared over the years.

“Even so, I have to say that I’m glad that we’re able to stand here together like this after all those years of being apart,” he admitted honestly, leaning in to steal another chaste kiss from her lips. “It says something about our longevity.”

“We’ve never had a problem with our longevity,” she murmured with a sultry undertone burning in her eyes.

“As much as I won’t argue that point with you, I really would love to show you something,” Russ confessed with a small laugh reaching for her hand and lifting it to his lips. He offered up a small kiss before stepping aside and walking over to the cabinet near the far end of the room. “As I said before I never gave you what I bought you for our honeymoon.”

“If it’s something X-rated I’m pretty sure that it’s expired by now,” she teased lightly watching him unlock the cabinet in front of him. Her gaze tapered off to his bottom remembering what it felt to have her fingers kneading over his strong, solid skin--to have his muscled contours over her in the heat of passion.

“As much as I would like to say that I indulged that notion, the fact to the matter is I’m keeping things on an appropriate level here,” he wrinkled his nose at her. Shaking his head he turned his attention to a box that was on the top shelf. “Give me a little credit. Sex isn’t the only thing on my mind when we’re together.”

“Really?” she arched a curious brow before laughing. “Well now that’s the first I’ve ever heard that one.”

“You know I’m starting to think that you don’t know the first thing about me Avery,” he turned around to face her again with the box in his hand. “Here I am thinking about ways to make you happy by appealing to your more romantic side and there you are trying to get me out of my pants.”

“As if the thought hadn’t crossed your mind,” she wrinkled her nose at him.

“I’m perfectly capable of getting out of my own pants when the mood strikes I’ll have you know, but right now,” he stepped in closer to her handing the box over. “This is for you.”

“What is it?” she questioned noticing the shiny silver ribbon and bow that topped off the package.

“If you open it, you’ll have a better idea of what it is,” he prompted taking a seat on the sofa. He settled in on it eyeing her intently, “Well?”

“Oh right,” she sank down beside him and started to peel away at the wrapping before hesitating. “Did you really buy this all that time ago?”

“I did,” he nodded in confession, “and I figured that I would save it until our next wedding, but maybe tonight it will be better for us.”

“Russ, I don’t know what it is, but…” she stopped with a small laugh, “I know. You don’t have to say it. Just open it.”

“That’s right,” he agreed watching her tear open the box only to reveal the small trinket inside.

“Russ is this?” Avery’s eyes widened in response as she reached into the box. A few seconds later she pulled out a small pink stuffed elephant with a tiny silver bracelet around it’s neck. Turning to look at him in surprise she spoke up again, “Russ is this…?”

“Mr. Pepper?” he arched a curious brow seeing her expression change. She squeezed the elephant in her hand before snuggling it to her chest.

“I don’t believe this,” she looked at the toy again before shaking her head. “I haven’t seen him since that time in fifth grade when you had that sleepover and Grady and his friends tossed him into the pool. I thought he was ruined.”

“Well this is Mr. Pepper part two,” he explained sliding in closer to her. He wrapped his arms around her shoulders and offered up a small squeeze. “He was in one of the stores in Atlantic City and when I saw him I knew I couldn’t hesitate. I remembered how much you loved Mr. Pepper when you were a kid and how heartbroken you were when my brother decided to launch him into the water like that. I knew that Mr. Pepper was always a comforting thing for you, so I picked him up in the hopes that he would still be able to accomplish that mission for you in making you feel better.”

“My dad gave him to me when I had chicken pox,” Avery thought back to the toy she’d had as a child. “I was so miserable and lonely being locked up in the house that he was trying to make me feel better.”

“And he did when he gave Mr. Pepper to you because Mr. Pepper was something from your father--something that he wanted his little girl to have because he loved her,” Russ noted seeing her face shift expressions.

“He does love me a lot,” Avery confessed feeling a lump forming in the back of her throat. “And I love him too.”

“I know you do baby,” he squeezed her in his arms snuggling her in beside him, “which is why I don’t want you to worry about any of this tedious stuff that’s been happening around us. Your father will always be your father just like Elliot will always be mine. Nothing will ever change that.”

“I know,” Avery nodded holding Mr. Pepper’s twin into her chest. She lay against Russell’s muscled form and sighed closing her eyes now that the warmth of him surrounded her. “I just…”

“I know,” he whispered kissing the top of her head gently, “but I promise you that it’s going to be okay. Nothing is going to change all of the good things we have ahead of us now.”

“You’re right,” she nodded in agreement squeezing the elephant again as she thought about how much she wanted to keep her mother’s lies from tearing her world apart all over again. It seemed as though fate had given her a new beginning and she wasn’t about to spoil it now that she had the world in front of her!


“I can’t believe that we’re really going to be doing this,” Deana blurted out with a hint of enthusiasm in her tone as she set the blouse she was folding into her suitcase. “I mean I don’t think I’ve ever really been on a vacation in my life, so for me to go on this kind of trip, well let me just tell you it’s a surprise.”

“You’ve never been on a vacation?” Grady questioned lazily from his position on the top of her comforter while watching her shuffle around the room to pull things together for their trip.

“Not unless you count going over to the next county when Jason had a wrestling tournament,” she confessed pulling another few articles of clothing from the closet. She held one up to her chest and turned to Grady, “What do you think red or blue?”

“Hmm,” he scratched his chin watching her alternate the two shirts in front of herself as if to give off some kind of indication of what she would look like in them. “It’s a tough call.”

“They both are really comfortable, but at the same time being in the heat of a tropical island and all, well as I said I’ve never been anywhere like that so I’m not sure which…” she continued to move around with the shirts in front of her.

“I vote for neither,” Grady moved onto his side and leaned over the bed for her nightstand. His fingers curled around the knob on the drawer beside him as she frowned.

“What do you mean neither?” she pouted lowering the two shirts to her sides, “Are you saying that you don’t like them because I spent a lot of time trying to find these and…”

“It’s not that I don’t like them,” he replied with a casual smirk, “but rather we’re going to be out in a tropical paradise and in those situations, well being naked tends to work best.”

“I don’t think your parents or your brother would appreciate my showing up to the wedding buck naked,” she wrinkled her nose at his suggestion watching him sit up straighter on the bed dangling a tiny bikini top in front of her.

“Oh I don’t know. My brother has always appreciated beauty even if he’s been desperately hung up on Avery and my folks, well they would get over it if you were wearing next to nothing, which this would classify as by the way,” Grady winked up at her, “I think you should pack this for when you decide you want to be wearing something.”

“Please,” she groaned tossing one of her shirts at him and hitting him in the face, “Grady can you get your mind out of the gutter for five minutes so that I can get everything done before we have to go to the airport and leave? If you keep joking around then…”

“I’m totally serious Deana,” Grady pulled her shirt from the front of his face, “I can’t wait to get you out there in next to nothing…”

“With my son right there?” she folded her arms in front of her chest after she’d placed the blue shirt into her suitcase, “Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.”

“Zane will be fine and that’s why you can keep this with us,” he motioned to the bikini again, “for those moments when we aren’t making ravenous love to one another.”

“Gee, and here I thought a vacation would be about relaxing,” she couldn’t help but shake her head at him.

“Last time I checked that particular activity made you very relaxed and at ease in my arms,” he wiggled his brow suggestively watching her blush. “Seriously though you have no idea what’s ahead of you when we get out there.”

“Exactly Grady,” she stressed the sound of his name, “which is why you should be helping me pack instead of trying to cajole me into some fantasy scenario of yours.”

“Cajole huh?” Grady kicked his legs over the side of the bed and approached her. “I’ll have you know that I’ve already talked about things with my father. I’ve also taken the liberty of packing Zane’s bags already. He’s got plenty of underwater gear and lots of suntan lotion just as you requested.”

“It’s only because he burns so easily,” she frowned feeling him move in behind her. He wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed the side of her neck.

“Trust me everything is going to be perfect,” he whispered words of assurances to her.

“I want to believe that, but it just seems so surreal to me. I mean if you think about how work has been lately with Zack and…” Deana offered up feeling him urge her around to face him fully.

“Zack Vaughn is the least of our concerns,” Grady reminded her, his green eyes reaching out into hers. His fingers stroked the side of her cheek and a smile teased over the corners of his lips. “When we get out to where Russ and Avery are having the ceremony the hospital is going to be the last thing on your mind.”

“I’m hoping that’s the case, but…” she started feeling him press his index finger over her lips to silence her.

“No buts. We’re not going to be negative, but rather we’re going to focus on all the positives that are there ahead of us away from Coral Valley,” Grady leaned in to steal a quick kiss from her, “We’re going to have a wonderful time.”

“I sincerely hope so considering that,” she felt him move in to kiss her once again this time with a bit more sinful intent behind it. She contemplated resisting, but instead she curled her arms around his shoulders tightly while forgetting about her packing. She felt him pull her up off of the ground and into his chest causing a whole new round of tremors to race over her every synapse. As they parted, she eyed him suspiciously, “You really aren’t going to just let me get my packing done like I’d hoped for, are you?”

“Not a chance, but rest assured we’ve got some time before we need to be to the airport,” Grady promised carrying her back over to the center of the bed as they delved into his own agenda for their first step closer to paradise with one another.


“Seth stop it!” Blake squealed worriedly watching the man she loved engaged in a scuffle with Zack. While she had no doubt in her mind about who would win a fight if it continued, the fact that they were still in the middle of the restaurant drawing a crowd around them had her more worried than anything. “Seth! Zack! Please!”

Seth looked up at Blake just in time to catch Zack’s fist into his face. Furious Seth reached down to pull Zack up off of the ground by the neck of his shirt. He slammed Zack into a wall before raising his fist as though he would strike Zack. Seth saw the blood pooling in the corner of Zack’s mouth, the way his eyes narrowed in an obvious fear and as Zack stood motionless he could almost hear the worry in Zack’s labored breathing. Seth’s eyes filled with madness, his anger bubbling over him at the snide remark that Zack had made. When he thought about how Zack walked around trying to cause trouble, he realized that it would be so easy to start hitting him and never stop, but then his thoughts lingered to Blake. With a heavy sigh Seth shoved Zack aside and stepped back just in time for the restaurant’s security to approach the scene.

“Seth,” Blake rushed forward bringing her arms around the man she loved. She hugged him tightly as one of the security guards moved over to pull a now stumbling Zack up off of the ground again.

“What the hell is going on here?” one of the guards questioned looking between the two men.

“We had a misunderstanding,” Zack blurted out attempting to keep his voice cool and even despite the fire of rage tearing through his dark eyes.

“No you were the one that misunderstood Vaughn, but hopefully that won’t happen again,” Seth corrected with a small snarl causing Zack to wince instinctively. Seth felt Blake’s hand settle in on his arm causing him to turn away from Zack. He reached out to touch her face gently. “Are you okay?”

“I just want to go home,” she explained in a small voice refusing to dignify Zack with any words or even a glance. She turned to the man who had been waiting on them earlier and offered up an apologetic expression. “We’re sorry about the mess, but rest assured that we’ll pay for the damages here.”

“You bet you’ll pay,” Zack quipped in with a hiss, his gaze directed over at Seth. “You made a big mistake Alexander--one that I’m not going to forget.”

“You’re not worth it Zack,” Seth barely made an effort to get the words out before turning to face the restaurant manager, “Blake’s right. We’ll be more than happy to cover the costs of the damages. I’m sorry things got out of line.”

“It’s alright Mr. Alexander. Miss Ashford,” the man nodded over at Blake with a polite smile. “I’m sure whatever happened simply could not be avoided. I trust your judgment.”

“Thank you,” Blake nodded in response knowing full well the only reason why the police hadn’t been called or why the manager wasn’t having a fit was simply because of the Ashford name she had behind her. While she didn’t like to flaunt out that part of herself right now it seemed to come in handy for her. Standing up taller she made a note to do something extra special in repaying the cost for the damages that the restaurant obtained. “I appreciate that.”

“It’s not a problem,” the man replied snapping his fingers while another waiter rushed forward with a box in hand. He held it out towards Blake and Seth as the manager spoke up, “We took the liberty of boxing your pizza for you as we were certain you might be interested in having a more private dinner session. If you would like however we could open up our banquet room and…”

“No I think we’ll take this one home,” Blake accepted the box before pulling money out of her purse. She handed it directly to the manager before clearing her throat uneasily. “I’m sure this will cover the cost of the pizza and a little bit of the other debts here.”

The manager looked down to the wad of bills in his hand and his eyes widened with delight. He flashed Blake a smile and nodded, “This more than covers it Miss Ashford.”

“Good I’m glad,” Blake sighed a breath of relief before turning to Seth. “Let’s get out of here.”

“I never thought you’d suggest it,” he revealed leading Blake away from the mess at the table while Zack watched on seeing their retreat.

“I’m sorry sir, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave as well,” the manager informed Zack with a pinched tone.

“Now why doesn’t that surprise me?” Zack snarled at the man before pushing the security officer off of him. “Don’t think that he’s going to keep getting an all access pass to get away with murder just because she’s escorting him. She’ll be with me soon enough and when she is, I’m going to make damn sure you regret speaking to me this way.”

“As you wish,” the manager nodded before motioning for security to escort Zack to the door.

“This isn’t the last of me,” Zack warned sharply before giving himself over to the walk to the back exit to the restaurant.

“Oh but it is Zack and the sad part is you have no idea what’s coming to you now that you’ve gone overboard in making an ass of yourself,” Andy chuckled to himself from the table he’d been seated at across the restaurant. While the good doctor had no idea that Andy had been present and taking in the whole scene, it had certainly been a subject of great interest for Andy. It would seem that Zack had planted the seeds to put the next part of Andy’s plans in motion for the Ashford princess.

Reaching into his cell phone pocket Andy withdrew his cell phone and dialed Michelle’s number. He listened to the sound of her voice mail pick up before he spoke into the phone smoothly. “Sorry babe, but something came up. I’m going to have to reschedule dinner plans due to a project that simply cannot wait. Catch you later.”

Hanging up the phone Andy felt a smile carry over him now that it was clear he’d just been given the first spark of inspiration for the plan that was certain to give him everything he’d been longing for since his return to life. Tossing some money on the table top, he reached for his jacket and made his way to the exit in the hopes of putting together the missing pieces of the puzzle that he would need to ensure that his plans went smoothly where Blake Ashford was concerned. Oh yes, he was about to get everything he’d failed to obtain the first time he’d attempted to bed a princess, but unlike his miserable experience with Angela, he was quite convinced that Blake would prove to be everything he’d ever needed and more!


Kevin returned to the Ashford estate grounds knowing that he wouldn’t be able to rest thinking about the possibility of Angela being missing especially after everything that had transpired around him. Here he had promised to keep an eye on her--to help make sure that things were alright again before he pushed that part of his life behind him, yet in his absence she’d gone missing. No one had the first clue where she could be, but the longer she was gone the harder it was for him to fathom what had become of her.

Now as Kevin stood outside the mansion he felt a gnawing fear eating away inside of him. It was a fear he hadn’t felt in quite some time, yet as he was surrounded by the night winds he felt a sudden chill reach in down deep inside of him. Closing his eyes he tried to come up with some miracle answer as to where Angela could be--to some kind of reasoning as to where she could’ve gone off to, but in that instant of total confusion and uncertainty he felt lost. It wasn’t a frequent emotion for him, yet now that he stood in the center of the garden area he thought back to another time when he’d felt so very helpless in the past.

“Angie,” Kevin’s voice whispered as he stepped into the hospital room only to discover her laying on the bed looking broken and exhausted. There was a throbbing in his arm, yet it paled in comparison to the ache inside of him after he’d learned the horrible truth about what had happened to their child. In that moment he found himself unable to bear the pain of that realization, but what made it worse was seeing her laying there in front of him, her expression hollow and empty after the cold, hard reality hung over him that he hadn’t been there for her.

“Angie,” Kevin repeated again his voice coming out in a broken whisper. While he’d promised himself that he would be strong for her--that he would be able to make it through what had happened without revealing his heart, the fact to the matter was that with one look into her dark eyes it shattered any resolve that he’d had about being strong.

“Why?” was all Angela could get out as she burst into tears. Though in an instant Kevin realized that they were only surrounded by the misery that she’d been drowning in before he’d entered the room.

Taking in a breath he said nothing and slid onto the hospital bed beside her, not giving a damn what would happen should Cyrus or any of his other coworkers walk in and see them together. He’d hid behind the truth lost beind lies for so very long that now in his most poignant hour he no longer wanted to hide. Wrapping her up in his arms, he felt her bury her head into his chest as she continued to sob.

“Why Kevin?” was all she could ask as he found himself pondering the very same thought. Granted he knew he hadn’t been the perfect man most of his life, but damn it, he would’ve given anything to be able to have his child--to share the world with her and his daughter. It was the dream that had kept him strong for the past few months and it was that same very dream that had been shattered tonight when the news found it’s way to him.

When he’d been struck by that bullet he’d prayed that it wouldn’t hurt him in such a fashion that it would steal him from his family. Now as he thought of his daughter not making it, he’d almost wished that it would’ve penetrated his heart and taken him under so that he could’ve been there to embrace his daughter at heaven’s doors and share all the love he’d held onto inside of him for her. Hell, if it hadn’t been for Angela needing him, he would’ve wished for his own passing, but now he had to be strong--had to protect her and keep her safe.

“I’ll never fail you again Angie,” Kevin promised in a broken whisper his own tears consuming him as they held onto one another trying to keep it together though they’d both lost something far too precious for words in his absence.

“I won’t lose you again,” Kevin vowed returning to the moment and seeing the clear sky above where he stood. Granted he’d been sloppy about holding true to his promise, but no more. Even if it took all of the time down to his last breath to find her, he would do it. He wouldn’t allow her to slip away as she almost had the day they’d lost their child. He couldn’t live through making that mistake twice.

“I know you’re out there somewhere and I’ll find you,” Kevin promised to the heavens above hoping that wherever Angela was she would feel his presence and his determination to find her. She had to know that he wouldn’t give up on saving her--wouldn’t give up on protecting her even if he’d forgotten about his promise for a split second.

Now as Kevin looked to his car he stepped forward and surveyed the wreckage. There had to be some clue in the mess that would guide him towards the truth, he rationalized to himself. Taking in a deep breath, he knelt down in front of the car. His dark eyes skimmed over the remains of the bumper hoping to find some hidden hint that had evaded his scrutiny earlier, yet like before he was coming up empty. He reached out to touch the jagged edge of the broken headlight when a thought occurred to him. Standing up and circling around the car, Kevin opened up the door and looked inside. Why he hadn’t noticed it before he wouldn’t know, but there it was sparkling underneath the moonlight.

“The ring,” he mouthed to himself bending in and pulling out the engagement ring that had been on Angela’s finger. While she’d thought it belonged to her and Kevin, he knew full well that the ring had come from Brant. It was something that Brant had tried to share with Angela when she’d been unconscious, yet all this time Angela had believed it to be from Kevin. She wouldn’t have taken it off for the world unless…

“No, you can’t think like that,” Kevin shook his head and stepped back ready to dismiss any further negative thoughts until he spotted another key point of evidence he’d overlooked. There over the hood of his car scratched out in jagged writing was the word LIAR. Frowning he moved forward to inspect the scratches and realized that it must’ve been keyed into his car. Suddenly a new thought occurred to him.

“Kevin?” Brant’s voice questioned as Brant approached from the guest house area.

“Brant, what are you doing out here?” Kevin questioned surprised to see Brant near his car.

“I was looking for clues as to what happened in there,” Brant motioned to the guest house and sighed. “I was hoping that maybe whomever took her would give us some indication of what they were attempting to do.”

“Brant,” Kevin paused a sudden hunch carrying over him, “I think you need to see this.”

“See what? Did you find something?” Brant questioned stepping in closer to him. “Is there a clue or a note or…?”

“Not exactly, but I found this,” Kevin held up the ring he’d found inside of his car. He offered it up to Brant and watched his friend’s face drop with worry.

“Where did you get this?” Brant blinked back at him. “Kevin?”

“It was in the front seat and then there was this,” Kevin pointed to the word that was carved into his hood. “I didn’t see it earlier because of the way the lighting was out here, but now…well it’s clear as day.”

“Liar,” Brant mouthed reading the word aloud. He turned to Kevin with a frown. “What is that supposed to mean?”

“I think it means that the person we’re looking for is none other than Angie. I think she did this to my car,” Kevin confessed with a sinking sensation inside of him now that it started to make sense. The attack on his car was very personal and very violent as if the person who had done it had an ax to grind with him.

“Angela,” Brant repeated with a firm shake of his head, “No Kevin she wouldn’t do this. She was the one who was kidnapped.”

“I’m not so sure Brant,” Kevin paused remembering the chain of events from the moment he’d left Angela. Suddenly a nagging thought occurred to him. “Oh my God. I think she saw me.”

“Saw you what?” Brant asked eyeing him intently. “Kevin, what aren’t you telling me?”

“Angie thinks that ring is from me and she knows how much I love my car,” Kevin gasped with a horrified expression. “She had to see Ria and I together earlier and that must’ve been what set her off.”

“Wait, what?” Brant replied confused. “Why would she have been upset in seeing you around Ria?”

“Because Ria and I were here making love,” Kevin replied honestly remembering how careless he’d been in parading around the mansion with Ria. “She must’ve come in and saw us. Oh God, that explains everything. If she saw me with another woman that undoubtedly had to break her heart because she loves me.”

“She thinks she loves you and even that’s on shaky ground,” Brant corrected thinking about his own bond with Angela over the last few days.

“No Brant she’s in love with me and she knows I promised to give her the world. To see me with someone else would’ve hurt her. Angie must’ve felt like she was losing everything and this, well this explains her running away after cracking up my car,” Kevin continued to spin his theory out to Brant. “Oh God, I must’ve broken her heart. She’s been wanting so much for us to find a way to fix what was wrong with us, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell her that it’s all been a lie. She loves me so much that…”

“No she doesn’t Kevin,” Brant blurted out jealousy carrying over him at the sound of Kevin’s tone. “I mean she says she does, but she hasn’t been up front about things either. Lately she and I have been bonding and…”

“If Angela thinks we’re going to get married, it doesn’t matter what kind of bonding you did because when it gets down to it there is only one man that her heart belongs to right now and that’s me,” Kevin mouthed in response knowing full well that the damage that had been done to his car was a clear sign that Angela had one thought on her mind and that was the heart she had broken when Kevin had let her down. He’d promised her the world and if she’d seen him with Ria, then it was undoubtedly one of the worst things that could’ve happened to her. Suddenly Kevin flashed back to the pain in her eyes that he’d seen in the past when he’d let her down before and in an instant he went from bad to worse knowing that she was out there somewhere hurting and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it.


“And why is that? Sarah has been planning on going after the two of you for so long. Since the two of you have gotten together and all of a sudden I don’t have to worry? Why is that?" Kellen’s eyebrow perched up as his blue eyes stared out at Kyle as he searched for some type of answer to give him. Obviously stumbling on his words as he thought of something to say. “You know what she’s like Kyle, what are you hesitating? This is Sarah we’re talking about. She will do anything in her power to get back at either one of you and you both know it.”

“I know what kind of person Sarah is Kellen, but there is no way that she is going to break Heather and I away from one another. We love each other and nothing is going to stop us from,” Kyle looked to Heather for a moment knowing that they shared a bond together already. They had gotten married so long ago, that it almost seemed ridiculous to keep lying about this and they even had their rings on their fingers. How ridiculous could Kellen be about being lied to? It was so obvious, he was the only one in the room that had no idea about the things that were going on. “Getting married. Heather and I have this love with one another that no one will be able to break.”

“But then how do you know that? She had ruined the past with you and Heather tons of times. How do you know she won’t ruin it now?" Kellen threw his hands up in the air seeing Kyle roll his eyes and turning his attention to Heather he knew that he wanted to talk to someone who maybe might understand him more. “Since this isn’t digging in with him Heather, you really have to be freaked about this aren’t you?"

“I know my sister is a bitch Kellen--yes, but what Kyle is trying to tell you is back in the day we didn’t know how much we loved each other. We were both kind of oblivious to what was happening between the two of us and that made us blind to Sarah’s actions,” Heather tried to explain seeing Kyle nod and rest his head back against the couch. “Kyle and I love each other and we’re not separating. Not now, not ever. No matter what gets in the way.”

“Even if she tried to manipulate our wedding,” Kyle began seeing the way that Kellen looked over at him and he leaned forward holding his hands up in the air. Sure, they already had a perfect wedding that no one could have interrupted. It was a perfect wedding. No Sarah. No Kellen, no one other than the two of them and Charles. It was the way he wanted it, the way he dreamed of it and now they were going to have to have a second marriage just for everyone else’s viewing. It almost didn‘t seem fair to him, he was a man that liked to keep his personal business out of the faces of others. He was more of a private person rather than the glamorous faces Kellen made the both of them out to be. “I’m telling you now Kellen, we’ll take out that whole speak now or forever hold your peace part so she doesn’t have a chance. There is no way she is going to ruin our wedding and our future.”

“Well that’s a smart idea and I think you should probably get a few guards there just in case she does try to show up,” Kellen began seeing the way that Kipp, Kyle and Heather all looked at him. “I mean hey, that girl has a good punch. Do you remember what she was like at her and Kyle’s wedding? Sure, Kyle and Heather weren’t there, but she put up a good damn fight. I’m just saying it might be smart.”

“Well I’m just saying stop right now, we don’t need to keep worrying about something that is totally irrelevant and we don’t need this right now,” Kyle heard his cell phone buzzing against the coffee table and almost thanked God that he gave him a chance to get away from Kellen. Moving toward the kitchen he flipped open his phone and shrugged. “Sorry, got a call. Be back in a few, never or hopefully he’ll be gone when I get back.”

“Why is he like that? I’m just worried about his future and he ends up being an ass,” Kellen pouted falling to the couch next to Heather before letting out a deep breath. It seemed that no matter how much he tried with Kyle, he would never ever be able to get him and get to be friends like he hoped for. “I try to get him to like me, but it’s like he keeps getting mad for no reason.”

“Kellen, I’m sure he likes you--it’s just you’re a little, high strung is probably the word I’m looking for,” Kipp pointed out seeing Kellen’s blue eyes glance over at him and he shrugged. “Think about it Kellen, Kyle seems to kind of be a personal kind of guy. He doesn’t like sharing his life out there, I know you do but some people are just different.”

“Well, I’m trying,” Kellen leaned back into the couch to hear Heather let out a small laugh before reaching out to pat him on the shoulder softly. “I mean really, one day I’m going to try and come over and I won’t be welcomed in the house. I think he hates me that much.”

“You’re my best friend Kellen, I wouldn’t sink that low. Just, I think he’d like it if you stopped showing up unplanned. Just give us a little warning and I’m sure he’ll work better with you. He just hates having you interrupt certain times of our day,” Heather noted knowing that Kyle didn’t appreciate Kellen walking in on them most of the times in their intimate actions. She didn’t think that Kyle hated Kellen, she just figured that he wasn’t happy with all the interruptions Kellen presented them with. “Kyle likes you, he just has problems with you always running in on us.”

“Honey, I have something to tell you,” Kyle moved back into the room closing his phone with a never ending smile that pressed in over his features. His dimples were showing and their was an obvious happiness that seemed to sweep over him. “That was Russell on the phone and I have some news.”

“Obviously good news,” Kellen retorted seeing the way Kyle’s light hazel eyes looked over at him and Kellen slouched more down in his seat. “I think the only other way you’d be smiling that way would be if I was gone.”

“No, then my smile would be bigger,” Kyle tossed a pillow at him seeing the frown that Kellen gave before tossing the pillow back at him for him to side step and have it miss him completely. Kyle slid his phone back into his pocket before rubbing his rough hands together slowly. “You see he called with some news on future plans.”

“Okay? So where is this headed?" Heather saw Kyle smiled wider if that was even possible before moving in closer to her, his hands reaching out to hers to pull her up to him. Sighing, she felt him wrap his large arms around her torso pulling her closer to his hard body. “Kyle?"

“Well honey,” Kyle tipped down pressing his thumb in over her bottom lip outlining it slowly before inhaling deeply. Staring into her green eyes he saw her slightly confused as he thought of a way to just present it to her knowing she wasn’t going to like it very much. “Well honey, we better go get packing because we’re leaving for a while. We’re going to a place called Willow Island. We’re going with Russ and Avery to the island so they can go get married out there.”

“Simple, no,” Heather pushed away from him and the smile that was filling up his face suddenly faded as she sat down next to Kellen on the couch staring up at the look of displease on his face. Shrugging she knew he would be pissed, but she didn’t care. “No Kyle, I’m not going. I’m not going at all.”

“Oh no,” Kellen covered his eyes letting out a tight gasp knowing that him and Kipp here meant that they were about to witness a fight go on between Kyle and Heather. You could just tell by the look Heather had on her face and the way Kyle was looking at her. “This isn’t good.”


“I know you think you know what you’re doing, but it’s always these kind of moments that make a person look like a total idiot when they are on a television show or a movie. They say that line and in two seconds they end up getting shot right in the head,” Alexa blurted out seeing the way his eyebrows wrinkled together at her statement and she threw her hands up in the air starting to change the clip in her gun. “You have no idea with these things Ben, the statistics show in movies and television that’s the number one killer line. Unless it’s a line used with like an affair, but that’s also killer as well.”

“Well let me put it this way, it’s been more than two seconds so I think it’s okay. You need a hobby too, you’re too much into that whole television thing--this is real life. Things like that don’t happen,” Ben explained tossing a few items around the area to look around at the items that were in the room they had been stuck in for a while. “Also, in movies and television--you have the guy that got shot right in the center of the head, he’s been dead a good thirteen minutes but somehow they bring him back and he’s working the next week on the show. It’s fiction to the biggest point.”

“Valid point, but television can still get a person thinking about the certain situations,” she added seeing him shrug and nod before tossing another thing to the side and she took a look outside. There was no one around and no one in the room they were in. Something had to have happened to the man she spotted earlier. It just didn’t make any sense for him to disappear like he did. Then again, things happened to make this spot one of the spots they had to watch. Something weird was going on and she was sure they would find it in the room they were in. Where? She didn’t know, but maybe with Ben looking around--he could. Glancing back into the room something yellow caught her eyes and she took in a long breath seeing the canisters of things that were supposed to contain liquid in the corner. “Why don’t you check those out, they look innocent enough.”

“Innocent enough to belong there,” he answered setting something down and moving over toward them. Pushing at one of the big yellow canisters he flipped the top off and stared down at the milky looking water and wrinkled his nose. Shaking off the stench a sudden sound filled the air as he was pushed to the ground in a thud. The milky water splashing against his whole body as the canister was sent to the ground on top of him. The light from the door was enough to show that the man they had seen earlier was hiding behind them and now took off running. Pushing the canister away he saw Alexa go to move and he stopped her. “Keep the door open.”

“Keep the…keep the door open?" she saw him take off running and she pulled of her shoe placing it between the door and the frame kicking off the other one taking off running with Ben. She saw the man dodging through a few boxes leading them through the back area as she saw Ben right up behind him. Sudden sounds of crashing filled the air as she picked up the speed and moved forward to see that Ben was out on the ground with a few wooden carts on top of him. “Ben? Ben? You okay?"

“I’m fine,” he groaned pushing the materials off his body after he had tripped and fallen thanks to the things the mystery man pushed in the way. Pulling out his gun he saw that hers was already out and he took in a long shallow breath. “Did you see where he went?"

“No, I didn’t,” she cussed kicking at one of the boxes looking around the area before taking in a long shallow breath. “This is ridiculous. I can’t believe it, I should have moved faster. I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry, we’ll go around the back. He can’t get far on foot,” Ben led her toward the front again pulling open the door and moving outside heading toward the back of the building to see if there was another exit out of this huge building. “He couldn’t have gotten far. That would be impossible to do.”


“So that’s what you call this?" Nate chuckled sitting down on the edge of her bed seeing the way that Cori peaked through the half opened door as if to be spying on the people that were out in the hallway. Smirking to himself he never thought that he would be just dragged into her bedroom like she took him. Also, he never saw her holding onto him like she did earlier. “I guess it’s intriguing to see the family fighting over me.”

“I’m fighting with her in general, I hate to even say she’s my blood,” Cori hissed seeing Jewel moving into the hallway and she knew that she was probably coming into the room to see what was happening. Moving over toward the bed she knocked Nate down over the center of the bed seeing the way his green eyes widened before she started to kiss him. “Go with it.”

Without another word his hand slid in the small of her back, his fingertips caressing her skin tenderly as it was exposed from the back of her shirt slightly rising up. Closing his eyes he felt her lips pressing in over his again and again feeling the world was at a stand still moment until he felt her hand shove his face down to the bed making him let out a small groan when he saw her stand up from the bed.

“Whoa, what was that for?" Nate sat up on the bed still slightly stunned by the kiss she planted on him. Shakily his hands moved up through his hair as he took in a long shallow breath. Never did he expect for her to pull a kiss on him like that, but he was so shocked by it that he was just shaken by the movement. “Cori, hey?"

“I thought Jewel was there,” Cori explained seeing her sister moving
back toward the room again and she moved for the bed again. Sitting next to Nate she started to pull open a few buttons on his shirt before curling her leg in over his. “I love you so much.”

“I love you too,” he muttered hearing the door slightly open and looked forward to feel Cori slide her hand into the open shirt and caress his chest slowly. Looking forward he saw Jewel at the doorway standing staring out at them. Nate cleared his throat seeing the way that Jewel stared out at them with almost an angered expression. “Cori? Honey?"

“Oh, Jewel,” Cori gasped moving her hand from his shirt and caressed his stomach casually before looking back at her sister. “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there. Is there something I can help you with? I kind of would like to have some alone time with my boyfriend.”

A loud squeal filled the air as Jewel threw her hands up in the air and stormed out of the room. Cori followed her to see that Jewel moved torwards the door moving out of the house and slamming the door behind her. With a wide smirk Cori moved back toward the room. Oh, she was just loving this. The things that caused her sister to get pissed were rare and now that she found one--she just loved it. Nate was a perfect tool to get her sister pissed off and she was loving it.

“That was so great,” Cori laughed moving back into the room seeing Nate coming over to reach out to hug her as she pushed into the center of his bare chest sending him stumbling back a couple of inches. “Just back off Nate, not right now.”

“What are you trying to say right now Cori? I thought you liked me,” Nate remembered what it was like to feel Cori kissing him like that and he felt his pulse racing. Never before had they been like that before and it was a new experience that he kind of liked. “Cori.”

“Get over it Nate, I just did that to piss my sister off,” Cori looked out the window to make sure that Jewel left and she smiled to herself before straightening up a bit. “Of course I don’t like you, we’re just in this deal for certain reasons. I don’t like you like that.”

Okay, that was it. He really did make the wrong move and he knew it. What was he going to be doing with someone that wanted nothing to do with him in the long run. The decision just seemed to become worse and worse with each day he stayed with her. Today showed just how much he was wrong in making the decision. Who knows though? Maybe at some point in time she would be able to love him. Not like, but he hoped with the things he was trying to do with her. Just hoped.


“No? What do you mean no?" Kyle stepped forward feeling every muscle in his body just freeze with her answer as he tried breathing in deeply knowing that she was going to start something like this. It was good news that was soon turned down by the hate that Heather had for Avery and he figured she would turn out like this. Heaven forbid that he would finally have the two getting along. “Heather, you can’t tell me no?"

“Really? I could have sworn I just did. Didn’t I Kellen?" Heather looked to Kellen seeing him shrug not wanting to get into the center of their fight and Heather looked up at Kyle’s angry hazel eyes. “No, I’m not going Kyle and there is nothing you can do to make me go. I’m not going Kyle. There is no way I’m going.”

“You can’t just tell me no about something like this. I never tell you no when you want something, this is a little ridiculous Heather,” Kyle saw Kipp stand up and motion for Kellen to follow him toward the kitchen giving the two of them a moment alone to talk things out with one another. “This is something really important to me Heather, you just can’t say no to me when it’s something for my best friends.”

“Grady, is your best friend and sure--I would go to something for Grady. Hey, I’d even think about going to some type of porn convention with Paul, but I would not and will not go with you to that island for her tonight. I’m not going Kyle today,” she looked up to see him moving in closer to her, his hazel eyes staring down at her as she folded her arms in front of her chest. There was no way she was going to tell him yes, for once she was going to keep her point and not break for him. Not again would she fall for that puppy dog look he always gave her to beg. “Kyle, I said no and no means no. I’m not changing my mind.”

“Why the hell not? Why Heather?" Kyle felt his chest tightening and his every emotion flooding in around him with the way Heather and Avery acted toward one another. It was all something started by a stupid guy that was not involved in either of their lives anymore and he was just so damn sick of it. Sick of the two of them getting in fights over a jackass from the past. “Listen Heather, this whole thing needs to stop because…”

“Kyle, calm down,” she stood up from the couch knowing she was going to give him a hard time about this whole wedding with Avery, but could see the way he was getting upset and she didn’t want to get him any further upset. She reached out to caress his tense shoulders seeing him look down at her with his hurt hazel eyes. Tipping up on her toes she pressed a loving kiss against his lips caressing the side of his rough face tenderly feeling the grizzle beneath her touch. The tension started to coil down as he stared out at her wondering what was going through her mind right now. “Just calm down, there is no need to be a jerk because we can get ready today if that’s what you want. I’ll even pack today, I promise. It’s just we can’t leave today Kyle, I promised I would to this party for Rob. You know Don’s father. I’ve been planning this for a long time, so we can’t leave with Russ and Avery today.”

“Heather, honey I’m so sorry,” Kyle reached out to cup her face in his hands tenderly, caressing the curve of her cheek bones with his thumbs. With the look on his face, she could tell he was obviously upset with his actions before she told him that and she shook her head slowly. Wrapping her arms around his waist she knew that he always took things to heart too fast and too tenderly. “I didn’t mean to yell at you, I just thought this was about Avery and…”

“It’s okay, don’t apologize,” Heather placed her finger in over Kyle’s lips seeing the way that Kyle stared out at her before nodding. Resting her head against his chest she could hear his heart beat somewhat fast, but the longer she rested her head against his chest she could hear it calming down with his attitude as well. “I would be quick to jump too if I were you. If you want to, you can go tonight and I’ll meet you there.”

“No honey, no,” Kyle shook his head slowly reaching out to press a strand of her long blonde hair behind her ear. Nuzzling his nose against hers, he knew that he told Russ that he would go with him, but one day didn’t mean anything. He would rather arrive with his wife than leave her behind. He just wasn’t that kind of a person to do that. “I’ll go tomorrow too. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to yell at you like that. My wife is more important to me than Russ is for a day honey. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay Kyle,” she whispered tipping up on her toes meeting him half way in a kiss, feeling him holding onto her tightly his lips kissing hers over and over again as if trying to apologize in a kiss. Someone cleared their throat in the corner of the room making them break away from the kiss as Heather turned to see Kellen staring at them from the hallway. His hands were rested against his hips and he didn’t look happy what so ever. Clearing her throat as well she looked to Kyle knowing that they were thinking the same exact thing. Just how much did Kellen really hear between them considering Kyle just called her his wife again. “Kellen, hey--how long have you been standing there?"


Deana reached for the television remote waiting for Grady to return from his phone conversation so that they could get back to talking about their upcoming plans for Russ and Avery’s wedding. While she wasn’t sure she was ready to take this kind of trip, she knew that she had to give things a chance if she and Grady were ever really going to be able to move forward with their relationship. Finally deciding that she’d had more than enough of the television, she turned it off and contemplated going to look into packing when her apartment door opened.

“Well look what the cat dragged in,” she smirked seeing her brother entering the apartment with a frazzled expression. “Where have you been?”

“You don’t want to know,” Jason revealed with a small groan walking in over to take a seat beside her on the couch. “I just want to forget about everything that’s been going on lately.”

“That sounds promising,” she noted with a tiny laugh, “Though whatever it is don’t wear yourself out entirely because you promised me that you would watch Zane while Grady and I went away.”

“Ah yes, we never did finish talking about that,” Jason sighed tipping his head to the side to eye her suspiciously, “Is this the great sex-capade weekend that you have yet to experience in the relationship?”

“Oh please,” Deana rolled her eyes before swatting at him. It was then that she’d spotted the sparkling faux diamond stud in his ear. She practically squawked when she reached forward to tug on his earlobe drawing him in nearer to her. “Jason Sherman what have you done?”

“Huh?” Jason questioned with a gulp feeling his sister pulling on his ear. “Ouch that hurts.”

“I’ll bet,” she frowned inspecting the new stud in his lobe. She wrinkled her nose at him before shoving him away from her, “Do I even want to know what that is about?”

“Honestly,” he paused apprehension in his tone as he sank back to his side of the couch. “No, but I can tell you that it hurts like hell. Do you have any rubbing alcohol or whatever else you put on these things? I saw my ear was getting red earlier and…”

“And you’re doing all of this because you’re still lying to that poor girl, aren’t you?” Deana’s brown eyes widened with heavy agitation. “You’re still toying around with her emotions and…”

“I’m not toying around with anyone,” Jason snapped back at her having had more than his fill of a lecture from his sister. “On second thought I’ll just put my ear on some ice.”

Deana watched him stand up off of the couch and make his way over towards her kitchen area when she frowned at him. She snapped her fingers and stood up herself. “Get back here right now Jason.”

“Look Deana, I’m not going to listen to the lecture. You didn’t hear me lecture you when you got your ears pierced, so why should I have to get yelled at by you?” he countered glancing over at her for a brief moment.

“Because I did it because I was something that I wanted to do, not because I was trying to convince the person I thought I was falling in love with that I was gay,” she snapped at him with a harsh groan. “I can’t even believe that you would sink that low. I mean sure you’ve done a lot of low, underhanded things, but this takes the cake. I mean really why on earth would you think it was right to stand back and play with that poor girl when…”

“I’m not playing with her Deana. There are things that you don’t understand,” Jason sighed heavily bringing his fingers up through his hair. He stopped to touch his ear and winced in pain. “It’s just…well it’s complicated.”

“Only because you made it that way and if you don’t stop playing games with the poor girl she’s going to get really hurt,” she added with a huff marching over towards him. “You know better than that. Our mother raised you to respect women a hell of a lot better than that.”

“I do respect women and I especially respect Mindy,” Jason blurted out with a groan throwing his hands in the air, “It’s just that it’s been easier for her to think that I’m gay because…”

“Because you’re too chicken shit to just tell her the truth,” Deana rolled her eyes at him. “Face it Jason this lie of yours is only going to wind up blowing up in your face and when it does I’ll be right here to say I told you so.”

“Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence,” he rolled his eyes back at her. “You didn’t hear me criticizing you when you wanted to date Grandpa Grady over there.”

“He’s not that old,” Deana snarled over at her brother wanting nothing more than to strangle him, “and besides unlike what you’re doing Grady and I never lied to one another. We’ve been up front about things from day one. I didn’t lead him to believe I was a lesbian to get his attention.”

“If you had, I’m sure you would’ve gotten it a lot faster than you did,” he scoffed in response only to feel her hit him upside the head. “Ouch what was that for?”

“For your being so impossibly stupid,” she cursed under her breath at him. “Jason, what you’re doing is wrong and if you don’t tell Mindy the truth, then you don’t have to worry about trying to make her understand what you’ve been doing. She’ll hate you and you’ll never get the chance to tell her how you really feel.”

“How about you just stick to your romantic problems and I’ll worry about my own,” he frowned down at her rubbing the side of his head where she’d hit him. “I can hold my own in the romance department.”

“That’s what you’ll end up holding when the truth comes out Jason because no woman is ever going to trust you after this one. You’re being a real creep and it’s completely unappealing,” she reminded him pointedly placing her hands on her hips. “If you really care about Mindy, you owe her a lot more than playing these games and using them to get closer to her.”

“That’s not what I’m doing, but I wouldn’t expect you to understand since you don’t have the first clue what it’s like to actually go out on a limb and have fun with someone,” Jason rolled his eyes at her. “I mean you’ve been so cooped up in the house for so very long because you made the mistake of trying to make your quarterback boyfriend think that he had it made in dating the head cheerleader, who clearly wasn’t ready to back down from peer pressure. Unlike you Deana I’m not doing what I’m doing because everyone else around me was doing it.”

“Go to hell,” she smacked him again this time with a hint of venom in her tone. “I made a mistake when I slept with Zane’s father, but that doesn’t change that I love my son and yes, maybe it’s clearly made me wiser than you are, but this has nothing to do with what you’re doing. You’re just being an ass plain and simple Jason.”

“Whoa hey guys,” Grady stepped into the room seeing the tension between the two siblings. “What’s going on?”

“Absolutely nothing,” Jason stepped back stiffening after her latest slap. He walked over towards the kitchen, but stopped mid-step to turn around and look at her again. “You know Deana you don’t always know everything.”

“I know enough to realize it’s not a good idea to play with people and their feelings Jason,” she countered seeing him slip into her kitchen when Grady placed his hand on her shoulder gently.

“Are you okay?” he questioned his green eyes filled with concern for her.

“Yeah, I’m fine, but my brother,” she shook her head and met Grady’s gaze finally, “he’s getting himself into some hot water and I really don’t think that he’s going to be able to worm his way out of it if he doesn’t get a clue soon. I think that the only thing that his lies are going to lead him to is misery plain and simple.”


“So what do you think it’s going to be like this time?” Avery questioned with a small sigh still leaning in against Russell’s chest now that they’d stretched out to relax on the couch.

“What do you mean?” he inquired tipping his head to take in the curious expression on her face now that she’d raised her chin to meet his gaze.

“Our wedding,” she explained with a small smirk fingering the button on his shirt gently. “Do you think it’ll be as incredible as it was the first time around?”

“It’ll be even better,” he promised kissing the top of her head, “and that’s because we won’t have anything lingering over us this time. We’ll have our daughter with us and our dream right in front of us.”

“It sounds like heaven,” she sighed snuggling into him again, “though I have to admit it was pretty amazing the first time around.”

“Yes it was,” he nodded in agreement reflecting on their earlier union with one another. “Of course you and I both know that being the perfectionists that we are, we’ll have to try and top what we did the last time around.”

“I think we’re very good at topping off each other,” she winked up at him, a hint of teasing in her tone. She flattened her palm out over the warmth of his solid chest and smirked.

“You’re trouble,” Russ mused with a tiny laugh tracing his fingertips over her spine and taking in the glow of her eyes now that she was focused on him completely.

“I’m not trouble,” she curled her lips in protest before repositioning herself over him to get more comfortable. “I’m just honest.”

“I suppose this is the part where I accept this truth and just lay back so that you can ravish me,” he sighed heavily tipping his head back and holding his arms out to offer himself up to her.

“Don’t flatter yourself Russ. You’re not that lucky,” she teased with a wrinkle in her nose, her fingers pinching at his chest in a playful motion, “yet.”

“I knew there was a catch,” he chuckled with delight, his green eyes fixed upon her once again. Laughing lightly he brought his hands up over behind his head to brace himself beneath her, “though I’m sure this is the part where you inform me that there has to be more to our relationship than sex, yes?”

“That’s right,” she nodded in agreement sitting up straighter and straddling his waist with her thighs. Her dark sultry eyes sought out his, her hands moving in a slow, determined stroke over the center of his chest only to taper off over his abdomen. She toyed with the hook on his belt before pushing it open and smiling down at him. She leaned forward and nibbled on his lower lip before speaking up in a seductive slur, “It’s lots and lots of sex.”

“Gee and to think I wasn’t aware that there was a distinction,” Russ laughed lightly reaching out to draw her in against him seeking her lips in his when the sound of Erin shuffling in her nursery flooded over the baby monitor. Almost amused Russ met Avery’s surprised eyes, “Apparently our daughter doesn’t like that whole idea.”

“She’s far too young to even know about our considering it,” Avery sighed hearing Erin let out a pinched wail indicating that she demanded her parents attention as soon as possible. Releasing her hold on Russ, Avery sat upright again and brought her fingers through her long, dark hair. “I think it’s my turn this time.”

“I can get her if you want,” Russ suggested feeling Avery pull herself off of his lap.

“I think maybe you should wait here and take some down time,” Avery mouthed in a small enticing whisper her eyes doing a complete once over him before she licked her lips in anticipation. “I’ll just get her ready for a feeding and…”

“Bring her out here,” Russ suggested with a warm smile. “I would love to see her.”

“Okay,” Avery nodded disappearing down the hallway leading to the nursery while Russ waited listening to the sounds of his daughter speaking her piece about being left behind while Russ and Avery were still awake and enjoying one another.

A few seconds passed and as soon as Russ heard a familiar clicking sound Erin’s cries came to rest. A moment later he could hear Avery speaking to Erin in a loving tone. Erin immediately cooed and made a small sigh of contentment now that Avery was giving Erin the much desired attention she was craving.

“You’re just ready to play, aren’t you baby girl?” Avery’s voice flooded over the baby monitor before Russ heard the sound of Avery kissing Erin and Erin laughed.

Smiling Russ stretched out further on the couch and listened to the sounds of his girls with one another. Once he was certain that Avery and Erin were on their way back to him he feigned that he was sleeping. He could almost feel their eyes on them when the sound of Avery’s footsteps approached him until he was well aware of them standing beside him.

“Would you look at that?” Avery whispered to Erin in a small voice. “It looks like your daddy decided to go to bed because he doesn’t think it’s playtime.”

Erin smacked her lips together before Russ felt Avery sliding onto the couch beside him. She placed Erin on his chest and almost immediately Erin reached for his nose and pinched it with laughter.

“Hey you,” Russ curled his arm around Erin listening to her giggle while he moved her in closer to him. He placed tiny, teasing kisses over her chubby cheeks listening to Erin squeal with delight while he held her. He slid over a bit on the couch to make some room for Avery while he kissed Erin. “Hey pretty girl. How is daddy’s little princess?”

Erin giggled and clapped her hands together before Russ held her in over his chest. She patted her hand over his chest before letting out an oversized yawn.

“Hey, I thought you wanted this to be playtime?” Avery gave her daughter a look seeing the way that Erin seemed to melt into her father.

“Nah, she was just looking for her daddy’s touch since these arms of mine work magic on most women,” Russ mouthed in response feeling Erin drop her head in against his warm body. She yawned again before stretching her hand out further and uncurling her fingers against the solid muscle beneath her.

“She’s not the only one who was hoping for that,” Avery sighed feeling Russ wrap his arm around her shoulders. She settled in beside Erin and smiled. Reaching for the Mr. Pepper replica she held it out to show a drowsy Erin. Erin yawned again before her finger snagged the tip of Mr. Pepper’s ear. Carefully Avery tucked it in underneath her daughter’s arm and allowing her the opportunity to snuggle with the tiny elephant before Russ whispered in Avery’s ear.

“It looks like she’s decided she likes it,” Russ mused with a tiny laugh seeing Erin cuddling up to the toy.

“Can you blame her? It’s from her father,” Avery whispered in response feeling a warmth carry over her in being able to share these moments with Russ and Erin.

“It’s also got a diamond tennis bracelet around it’s neck which just proves our daughter has good taste,” he revealed nodding to the stuffed elephant once again. “You were so excited before that I don’t think you realized that was there…”

“Actually I,” Avery’s eyes widened now that she saw her daughter holding onto the toy with the expensive trinket around it’s neck. “Wow, I didn’t even give it a second thought considering that…”

“That Erin’s going to adopt it now,” Russ teased with a smile keeping his arm around Erin’s tiny frame.

“She can hold Mr. Pepper anytime she wants, but mommy might have to reclaim the other part of the gift,” Avery revealed reaching out to try to unclasp the bracelet from the elephant’s neck only to hear Erin let out a pinched groan. Erin’s big eyes opened and her lower lip quivered right before she tugged the elephant closer to her.

“It looks like she’s going to argue that point,” Russ couldn’t help but tease seeing Erin offer up a tiny shudder before her arm locked in around the toy.

“Clearly,” Avery noted with a small smile, “but for what it’s worth Russ, thank you.”

“For the present? Oh it was nothing,” he moved his head dismissively, “In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t compare to what you’ve given me here with you and Erin.”

“We wouldn’t have all of this if it wasn’t for you. We have this dream because you never stopped believing in us and for that I’ll always love you,” Avery promised him reaching out to wrap her arm around Russ and Erin now that she had the time to truly appreciate all the good things that life had to offer. When she was with the two of them she realized that everything else was truly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.


“I can’t believe I didn’t see this sooner. When we lost our daughter I promised her that I would always put her first, but I failed her. Here she was ready to marry me and become my wife and I let her down,” Kevin continued to lament to himself now that he paced around his car. “She had dreams about us and…”

“She was marrying me Kevin,” Brant reminded him sharply, “and it’s my children that she’s carrying. If she saw you and Ria and you gave her the wrong idea…”

“Brant of course she’s going to have the wrong idea. She loves me,” Kevin snapped back at him his voice laced with heavy agitation.

“No Kevin, she loved you. She loves me now,” Brant corrected once again feeling their conversation moving onto shaky territory now that it appeared that Kevin was lost in some kind of moment within himself.

“Obviously not enough to want to stick around now did she Brant?” Kevin mouthed before he gave it a second thought. Immediately he’d regretted the words when he saw Brant’s face twist with anger. “Brant, I didn’t mean it. I…”

“You just can’t let go of the idea of being with her, can you?” Brant blurted out with a huff shaking his head and taking a step forward. “You know I’ve tried to be patient and understanding about the fact that you two will always have a bond with one another, but Ria’s right. You are hung up on her, aren’t you?”

“Now you’re being ridiculous,” Kevin offered up a dry laugh, his brown eyes reflecting the moonlight in them.

“Am I?” Brant arched a curious brow, “Because from where I stand Kevin here you are talking about how she loves you and wants a future with you. You’re going on and on about how you were the reason that she would take off and about how she dreams about marrying you, but let’s face it Kevin those dreams aren’t real. She and I are the ones that are getting married when she gets her memory back and…”

“I wasn’t trying to imply otherwise Brant. It’s just that…” Kevin stammered almost wishing he hadn’t opened up the conversation with Brant in the first place.

“That you can’t help but want to have your cake and eat it too. Here you’ve been stringing Ria along for a while now, but all this time you’ve been hoping that Angela will wake up and realize that she made a mistake in letting you go. You want her to say that it’s you she wants. Admit it. You’ve been loving all of this!” Brant snapped at him with wild accusation.

“Loving all of this?” Kevin repeated with a dry scowl. “Brant, in case you haven’t noticed my life has been in an uproar since she woke up in that hospital bed thinking we were engaged.”

“Has it?” Brant challenged once more. “From where I stand you haven’t lost a damn thing. You still have Ria pining away for you and Angela doting on you like you’re the most amazing thing in her life. You’ve been filling her head with wild ideas of having a family together and…”

“I’ve been doing what you asked me to do. Do you think I wanted any of this?” Kevin threw his hands up in the air with obvious frustration. “Do you think I asked for this?”

“You might not have asked for it, but you sure as hell are enjoying this, aren’t you?” Brant lashed out at him with frustrations mounting.

“You really are being ludicrous,” Kevin waved his hand around in the air dismissively.

“Am I?” Brant replied with a scowl. “Come on Kevin. Admit it. You’d like nothing more than for Angela to walk right through those doors right now and say that you’re the one she wants to spend her life with. You want her to be so desperately in love with you so that you can relive the past again that you had with her.”

“Right now all I want to do is find her. I want to make sure that she is safe. There is nothing wrong with my wanting to protect Angie,” Kevin’s voice raised with a hint of agitation. He circled around his car and inhaled a slow, chilling breath. “I don’t want her hurt.”

“And what do you think is going to hurt her? Me?” Brant questioned further walking around the opposite side of the car.

“You haven’t exactly been helping. I mean come on man I haven’t seen you doing a damn thing to change our situation. If anything I would think that you’ve enjoyed playing God with all of our lives,” Kevin snapped back at Brant tired of the questioning. “You’ve been hoping to work this situation in your favor into a contest between the two of us where Angie ultimately chooses you admit it.”

“There shouldn’t be a choice Kevin. She loves me,” Brant snapped at him with a low growl. “I’m the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with. I’m the one that’s the father of her children.”

“Only because you stepped in at a time when she was feeling vulnerable. You moved in on her when I wasn’t there and that’s the only reason that you have half a chance at being with her,” Kevin announced in a pinched tone. “You took advantage of a time when she and I should’ve been together and if you wouldn’t have pushed your way into her life like you did, then she wouldn’t be gone. I’d know exactly where she was and it would be my children she was having instead of yours.”

Brant’s eyes widened upon Kevin’s declaration causing both men to fall to silence. Brant opened his mouth to say something, but stopped as Kevin realized what he’d said.

“Brant, I didn’t mean that…it’s just that…” Kevin stammered feeling his thoughts jumbled by the past and the loss of his daughter still lingering in the back of his mind. It had been so long since he’d even thought to be bothered with Angela, but now that she was missing he was haunted by thoughts that he wouldn’t normally be having.

“Oh I see how it is Kevin,” Brant finally spoke up again, his face twisted with a newfound determination that hadn’t been present earlier. “Somehow I had a feeling that it was going to come to this, but I was too stupid to let my instincts guide me.”

“Brant, I didn’t mean that. It’s just that I’m frustrated and…” Kevin stammered trying to recover from the major blunder that he’d just offered up.

“Oh you meant it and I’m damn sure that you’ve made your point clear Kevin,” Brant spat back at him, clenching his fists at his sides, “but I’ve got news for you Kevin. Those are my children she’s having and when we find her, so help me God if you even think about ruining what we have with one another…”

“I’m not ruining anything. I’m just doing what I was supposed to do in protecting her,” Kevin explained with a heavy sigh knowing full well he’d already started something he didn’t want to get into with Brant.

“And what a fine job you’ve done at it Kevin. If you were so concerned about her well being, then maybe she wouldn’t be missing right now. Maybe we wouldn’t be standing here debating about what’s best for her because you’d be able to see first hand that it’s me,” Brant stood taller moving in to approach Kevin, “and when I find her, which I will, you’re going to see that the past you two shared together is just that.”

“She’s stuck in the past Brant. That’s where she’s at right now, so I’m positive that when we find her, she’s not going to run into your arms,” Kevin couldn’t help but add remembering the way Angela had been lately.

“On the contrary Kevin, your charms aren’t as overpowering to her as they once were,” Brant informed him bluntly, his dark eyes full of venom. “My only mistake I made was thinking that I could’ve trusted you with the woman I love. That and well turning her away when she asked me to make love to her the other day.”

“You’re so full of it,” Kevin scoffed in response, “It never would’ve happened.”

“It did and it was clear as day that even if she couldn’t remember me she still loves me Kevin. Deep down she’ll always love me and when I find her I’ll make damn sure she clears that one up for the both of us,” Brant warned him sharply before heading back inside the mansion in a huff not bothering to give Kevin a second thought.

“You know I don’t know what the hell that was about, but I think you just blew it big time buddy,” Don’s voice rose from the shadows as he stepped out to join Kevin. Kevin spun around to see Brant’s best friend standing there apparently having taken in the entire confrontation between the two men.

“It was…” Kevin stopped himself not knowing what to say about what transpired with Brant, “a misunderstanding.”

“Are you sure about that?” Don questioned with a scrutinizing eye not quite sure on how to read Kevin. “If Ria was here I think she might’ve understood what you were trying to convey with your message there.”

“I didn’t mean what I said. I’m just frustrated and…” Kevin threw his hands up in the air. “Oh hell I don’t have to explain myself to you, to him or to anyone. I have a job to do and I’m going to do it.”

“Because it was what you were hired to do or because it’s what your heart is telling you to do?” Don countered eyeing Kevin expectantly. “You know Kevin, you’re entering some very dangerous territory and if you’re not careful you’re going to lose everything. You’re taking a gamble on something that left your life a long time ago. Angela might think she’s that same girl you fell in love with, but we both know she’s not. We both know that she and Brant have something special…”

“Of course you would say that,” Kevin rolled his eyes at Don. “I wouldn’t expect anything less from his best friend.”

“Forget about my being his best friend and think about yours,” Don suggested with a small sigh running his fingers through his own dark hair. “Hell, think about the woman you love…unless of course this little display with Brant was about the woman you truly love. Though if that was the case, then you need to stop stringing Ria along. She deserves better.”

“Don I love Ria and if you think you’re going to go to her and tell her about this,” Kevin warned sharply, his dark eyes mixed with his emotions.

“I’m not going to tell her anything, but if you don’t get your act together soon, I think your actions are going to speak for themselves,” Don warned before turning towards the house to go check in Brant.

“Don wait,” Kevin called out to him feeling as if the world was crashing in around him. How he’d gone from rational to out of control in a matter of moments was beyond him, but now that he had a chance to make things right somehow he had to go for it. “Look I think I might know where Angie ran off to. I think she might’ve gone home.”

“Home where?” Don asked facing him once again.

“To the island where we live. I don’t know why but that’s where my instincts are leading me,” Kevin explained unable to ignore the nagging sensation inside of him. “Something tells me that’s where I’ll find her.”

“Where we will find her,” Don corrected standing up taller and pondering the situation. “If you really believe that is where she will be, then I think you and Brant should regroup and work your way out to the island together. You can bring Ria along and show her this isn’t about rekindling an old flame, but rather about saving an old friend from herself unless of course this is about old feelings that haven’t left you.”

“Look I was just…I mean I just got to thinking about the past and…” Kevin grimaced his jaw tightening before he dropped his head down to look at the ground. “I know the difference between the past and the present.”

“I guess we’ll soon find out if that’s true once we go looking for Angela and find her now won’t we?” Don countered as Kevin listened to the sound of Don’s footsteps heading towards the Ashford mansion. Once Kevin was alone he glanced over at his car again wondering if he was in fact truly losing his mind now that he’d started something with Brant that he’d never intended to enter into in the first place. Sure, he’d wanted to help find Angela, but after the way he’d talked about her, he started to wonder if it was his guilt guiding his emotions or the weight of the promise he made drawing him back into the never ending cycle that always threatened to overtake him just when he’d got his life on track again. He just hoped and prayed that it wasn’t the latter.


“Baby are you okay?” Blake questioned taking a good, hard look at Seth after they finally entered their home and pushed the encounter with Zack at the restaurant behind them. She reached out to inspect his hand and noticed that he’d cut it in the scuffle. “Seth, you’re bleeding.”

“I’m fine,” Seth shrugged his shoulders simply before pressing past her and moving into the kitchen area to get a drink.

“No you’re not fine and I feel like I should apologize for all of this. If I would’ve known that he would’ve showed up at the restaurant like that,” she started with an uneasiness in her tone watching him open up the freezer and pull out some ice.

“Blake, don’t apologize for that jackass. Clearly he’s got some major issues in his head. He’s clueless when it comes to realizing that what you had together was in the past,” he sighed heavily attempting to get the icy out of the tray, but not accomplishing his task.

“Let me help,” Blake moved forward and pulled together some ice making a mock-icepack for him. She reached for his hand again and pressed the ice onto it. He flinched momentarily before their eyes met again, “though for what it’s worth, I really do appreciate your playing my hero.”

“Zack was harmless. He’s all bark and his bite was pathetic,” Seth wrinkled his nose at her thinking about the confrontation he’d had. “Eventually he’ll get tired of getting his ass kicked and he’ll back off.”

“I don’t understand why he keeps coming on so strongly. I mean it’s not like we had this great relationship with one another,” Blake blurted out without a second thought. “I only dated him a few weeks tops and it wasn’t like it was anything more than a rebound romance if you could even call it that.”

“Yeah, well I think that Zack really must’ve knocked his head or something on the rebound because he’s delusional,” Seth sighed closing his eyes for a moment and thinking about the situation at hand.

“Which makes him all the more perfect for Valerie,” Blake noted with a small attempt at humor. “Seriously we should try to hook them up because between both of their issues, they would be perfect for one another.”

“Trust me there isn’t enough room for both of them and their egos together in one place,” Seth shook his head firmly thinking about their respective ex-lovers. “I honestly don’t know why Valerie felt compelled to hold on either. We weren’t even together for a millisecond before I ran to get the marriage annulled. It was a split second act of stupidity and random insanity.”

“Sounds like the millisecond I spent in bed with Zack,” she wrinkled her nose before feeling a wicked bubble build in the back of her throat, “though I have to admit it was pretty priceless to see the look on his face when he watched me pop up from underneath the table.”

“You should’ve seen the look on mine when you went down there,” Seth recalled feeling a blush rising over him. He reached out to touch her cheek gently before laughing, “What were you thinking?”

“About how irresistibly hot you are and how I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get you as hot and bothered as you get me,” she divulged licking her lips before wrapping her arms around his waist and squeezing him in closer to her. She tipped up on her toes and smirked up at him, “And believe me baby you make me so hot.”

“How in the world did you become quite the vixen?” he teased with a wink dipping down to steal a kiss from her. Squeezing his arm around her waist, he pulled her up off of the ground and into his chest. Her arms coiled around his shoulders while her legs kicked around his waist causing him to stumble backwards when their mouths met in a frenzied union. Unable to resist the temptation wrapped around him, Seth stumbled over to the kitchen table leaning forward to set Blake down upon it. Within a blink of an eye, he was over her kissing her like he’d never stop.

“I want you,” Blake mouthed in a determined voice, her fingers tearing at his shirt and peeling it from the bronzed expanse of his chest. She slid the material over his oversized muscled arms and let out a small groan when the shirt wouldn’t release it’s hold on him as fast as she’d hoped for.

“I love you,” he replied leaning back to help her out with her mission before dropping in over her again ready to inflict the same kind of sensual torture that she’d pressed upon him at the restaurant. While they had time constraints on them earlier, he found himself suddenly very thankful that they’d had carryout instead of a dine in dinner since it gave him plenty of time to enjoy dessert with Blake.


Andy stepped away from the window knowing full well that he while he would enjoy the show that was taking place beyond the bay window of the kitchen, he had bigger plans for Blake. Thinking about how she’d leapt onto Seth and practically tore him to pieces in an attempt to quench her insatiable thirst for passion, Andy realized that it would only be a matter of time before he was able to put his plan into action. Yes, it was a bit impulsive in following her home, but there was just something about tonight that had been too delicious to ignore.

Turning around Andy caught another glance of Blake and Seth before he laughed lightly to himself, “Enjoy it while you can because very soon you’ll be mine Blake. All mine.”


...to be continued...