Episode 406

"I don’t believe this," Shannon looked around the crime scene seeing the yellow tape holding back the press now that it was clear that they were dealing with a situation. Stepping in underneath the tape she moved forward with Dean on her heels. "Why would someone dump a body here of all places?"

"Maybe because they were looking to get caught," Dean suggested taking in the surrounding area. There was an ice rink across the street, an old movie theater that was still playing classic films beside it and just next to the parking lot they were in was a twenty four hour fast food place. Frowning he took in all the traffic that surrounded the area beyond the typical bystanders who took interest immediately when the police were involved. "Clearly whomever did this didn’t give a damn about privacy or keeping this out of the public eye for a while."

"So maybe they were trying to send a message," Shannon noted with a frown hearing the buzzing sound of the crowd keeping close to the crime scene in the hopes of getting a glimpse of all that had been going on.

"And what a message it was," Devante Johnson mouthed approaching the two FBI agents. "You know this is one hell of a way to bring in a nice night like this. The weather is nice and all seems like it would be calm and peaceful, but I guess crime has no real breaks, does it?"

"In the world of the mind of a sociopath there are no vacations," Dean noted realizing Devante was motioning for the two of them to follow him over to where the body had been found earlier. "So what are we looking at?"

"Someone wanted to make a statement here tonight," Devante nodded over to where two people from his lab were beside the body collecting evidence. "The killer was very arrogant and proud of his work as he left it on full display."

"What do you mean?" Shannon questioned moving in close enough to see the naked female form sprawled out across the damp grass just beyond the parking lot. The tangled dark hair was knotted around the crown of the woman’s head and there were strange markings over her back. Moving in closer Shannon took a look at them and realized that they weren’t markings but rather carvings of letters to spell the word TRAITOR. "Oh my God."

"We’ll be running a sexual assault kit, but something tells me that sex wasn’t the motivation for this one," Devante explained kneeling down beside the woman. He pointed to an incision that was made at the base of the woman’s throat starting just below her ear and moving across. "Granted it was very personal."

"Clearly," Shannon noted crouching down again for a closer look. She saw that the woman’s lips were a pale blue color and her brown eyes were wide with obvious horror and it sent a chill rushing through her. "Something tells me that whomever did this knew her very well."

"I would say so," Devante explained with a small frown, "though given her line of work I would think it’s safe to say that just about anyone could be a suspect at this point."

"What do you mean?" Dean questioned giving the woman another look as he realized that the entire left side of her face had been bruised in concentrated patters of blood beneath the surface indicating that she’d been there for some time before being spotted. His answer came to him a few seconds later after Devante’s team gave the okay to move her once they’d collected the evidence. They carefully repositioned her on the ground and it was then that realization set in. "Oh my God that’s Isabel Chavez isn’t it?"

"The shamed District Attorney," Shannon added with a frown realizing that while she’d almost never crossed paths with the woman, there was no mistaking who she was. Another chill swept over Shannon as she leaned forward inspecting a small bruise forming on the side of Chavez’s neck. "Take a look at this Dean. It looks like someone injected her right here. See the needle mark."

"You mean marks," Devante pointed out nodding to Chavez’s inner thigh. "Someone had a lot of fun torturing her and when they were done they wanted everyone to see just what they’d done."

"I know she ticked off a lot of people in what she did in office, but still there’s no reason to do something like this," Dean added with a small frown looking over the crime scene again as fellow agents and local police were scanning the area for clues.

"Unless of course the motivation was linked to betrayal," Devante offered up with a frown. "There’s something else I think you two should see."

"What’s that?" Shannon questioned watching Devante carefully reach out to the body and open Chavez’s mouth. Inside he revealed a horrifying discovery.

"One of my team members realized that her tongue was missing in their preliminary examination of the body," Devante informed them in a business as usual tone. "I think it’s safe to say that the person who did this was hoping to keep Chavez from saying something that might further set them off."

"In other words this could’ve been prompted by a betrayal of sorts," Shannon noted eyeing the lifeless woman in front of her once again.

"She was about to turn over state’s evidence in a case in the hopes of getting a lighter sentence in her upcoming hearing," Dean recalled thinking about the news that had been buzzing about Chavez. "Rumors had it that she was going down for some of the illegal activities she’d taken part in during her time in office. She’s been linked to half a dozen scandals…"

"And one of those scandals clearly was the key to her undoing since someone wanted to keep her quiet," Shannon finished looking to the fallen district attorney once again. "The question is who would go to such length to make sure she never caused them any problems again in turning over the truths that she clearly withheld from the world around her?"

"Whomever it was must’ve felt like they had plenty of reason to worry because why else would they go to such extreme lengths to leave her like this?" Dean added pondering the situation at hand.

"That is the question of the hour indeed," Shannon mouthed in response knowing full well that they were about to have a very big case on hand now that someone had decided that they had no qualms about publicly dumping the body of a shamed former district attorney in such a dramatic fashion.

Stepping aside from the crowd Deidra stared out at the bright lights around her. The party was beautiful from where she stood looking out and sure things had been a little off since Dean had to leave early, but the party itself was perfect. The environment felt like a great place to be in and the party favors looked amazing. She could truly say that Rob outdid himself this time because she would have never expected him to come up with something like this. Wait, what was she thinking? This was Rob Leveski. Everything he did was to the best of perfection. She should have known better. It seemed like everything he did outshined the rest around town and every time he had something special it was always different and outshined the last one. He was brilliant when it came to these type of things. Just being here in this environment that he created could make anyone feel good about themselves. Feel good about entering the party world and having the chance to experience it all in one night. The glamour of Rob’s taste could make anyone step back in awe.

"My my…look who's here. Well if it isn’t Miss Deidra Byrne finally taking a step out of her boring life to make it to the glamorous world. It must be nice to step out of a change from your pathetic second class citizen life. How does it feel to be big for once?" Deidra heard a thick voice whisper in her ear as her every limb froze up making a chill run down her spine. She knew the voice and she knew it very well. The change in the mood seem to drifted as she glanced over her shoulder to see the smug smirk that seemed to press in over his features. "What’s wrong? Hate to hear the truth when someone brings it up in your face."

"What’s wrong with you? You don’t have someone else to torture for the next few hours so you decided to come over to me and try something?" Deidra shot right back seeing his eyebrows arch up and his grin expand if that was even possible. She didn’t know what he was doing here and she didn’t even want to know why--she just knew she wanted nothing to do with him and the first possible escape she could take she was going to. "Why don’t you go find someone else who wants to take your crap Andy because I’m not going to put up with it tonight."

"Well if you weren’t going to put up with it I think you would have already walked away. And why would I want to do that? Torturing you is just so much more fun," he hissed back seeing the expression on her face change completely as he sipped at his drink and looked around the area. "So who did you have to blow to get invited here?"

"Who did you have to kill to get here?" Deidra questioned back hearing his deep laugh fill the air as he rubbed at the back of his head with his free hand.

"Oh that was a good one. I know you hate me that much Deidra but come on. You know I’m no killer," Andy reached out to trace his fingertips in over her hair to press it back behind her ear only to have her push his hand away. "Oh come on Deidra. What’s up with the hostility here? I mean we used to be married. Doesn’t that mean at least a little something to you? I always used to think about the mistakes I’ve made and maybe thought one day we could make up you know. You could lose your new little pathetic boyfriend and the two of us could make up and get back together. I know it would be something you’d like. You’d finally feel like a person again."

"I don’t need you to feel like a person Andy. You brought out the worst in me," she snapped back seeing a smirk press in over his lips before he took another sip of his drink while watching her carefully. "You in my life was the worst part about my life. I didn’t and still do not need you in my life to make me feel like a person. You were something that was past and that’s all you are ever going to be to me."

"Well, that’s too bad. Though being married to you again would be hell. If I could I probably would sleep with your sister again. I mean--you were just no fun. Not fun at all. It was hard to get interested in something like this," Andy glanced over her body before tilting his head to the side. "I mean have you looked at yourself in the mirror lately? No wonder I got bored with you. Gee, what was I thinking?"

"Well it must have been less of what I was thinking when I married you. You were a terrible husband and could never equal up to half the man that Dean is," Deidra went to fight with him more only knowing that the fighting fed his ego more and that was one of the many things she hated about him. Rolling her eyes she knew the longer this went on the more she’d be upset. "Whatever Andy. I’m done with you."

"Oh I see, I still have that effect on you," Andy mentioned while she stepped away from him stopping long enough to hear what he said while he finished off his drink. Setting it back on the bar he wiped at his lips before shrugging his shoulders. "Don’t worry hun, eventually you will get over what you had for me. Until then I think you should know that I’ve already gotten over you. Very long ago."

Instead of looking back at him, instead of fighting with him she knew that she had to move forward. Away from him. Or she’d probably end up in jail for attacking him. Moving toward her sister in the crowd she knew that Andy was doing whatever he could to upset her and she wasn’t going to let him. Not for one minute. Andy was her past and no matter how hard he tried to get her worked up she wasn’t going to let him. Not at all.


Diane stretched her fingers out over the broad expanse of Shane’s chest feeling the warmth of him against her playing a strong contrast to the cooled night air around them. Although in the kiss induced high she was experiencing, she could’ve been surrounded by a blizzard and it still wouldn’t chill the heat that carried over her the moment his lips made their first connection with hers. Even now as she squeezed her arms around him tightly, she could sense his hunger for her, driving the kiss forward with each well thought out nibble and caress he offered her. Her lips parted further, inviting him to explore a more intimate of kisses between them.

"Diane," Shane murmured as they finally parted and she found herself breathless in his arms.

"What are we doing?" Diane half questioned more to herself than anything as she felt a strong shiver racing over her, urging her to reach out and grab him to make sure she hadn’t imagined it all.

His strong arms were still securely around her waist, his dark eyes penetrating hers and in that instant she found herself overcome with sinful thoughts about seeing the kiss further into a forbidden territory with a man she knew next to nothing about. In that kiss he’d offered her the first hints of temptation and fire that she’d denied herself for so very long, but as he leaned in closer to her, she found reality crashing around her.

"Shane wait," she blurted out, turning her cheek as his lips descended upon her. She felt the softness of his ever so kissable mouth skim against her smooth skin and another set of sensations carried down over her until she was certain she needed to distance herself from the situation they’d placed themselves into. Without hesitation, she went against her instincts and stepped back onto the balcony. "We shouldn’t be doing this."

"What do you mean?" he questioned in that same seductive slur that had caused her to forget her senses and allow things to get too far between them.

There was no denying just how sexy Shane Slater was, but at the same time Diane needed to remember all the things that were important in her life starting with Ben. Closing her eyes momentarily she thought about the man she’d spent her whole life waiting for. Ben was the first good guy that she was able to find happiness with and they were meant for one another. She’d wanted him more than anything and he’d taught her to rise above her past and be a better person. He was what she wanted, not Shane.

"Diane," Shane spoke her name in a smooth, alluring tone while his fingers brushed up against her cheek rousing her from her thoughts of Ben.

"Shane, we shouldn’t have kissed like that," Diane informed him straining to control her raging hormones at the nearness of him. There was no denying the attraction, but she couldn’t act on impulse. She couldn’t allow herself to return to that endless cycle that had controlled her life before Ben was a part of it.

"But I thought that…" Shane began with the beginnings of a frown touching over his lips.

"Trust me Shane kissing me is the last thing you want to be doing right now and maybe this was partly my fault because I’ve been flirting and leading you on, but when it gets down to it I just don’t think that we can… I mean as much as I like you and think you’re hot it just wouldn’t work because I have Ben and I really don’t want to spoil it considering that…" Diane began to ramble thinking about the fiancé she was missing like crazy.

"Diane, I understand," Shane nodded taking a step back as well, "and as much as hearing that disappoints me, I must confess that I knew what I was getting into before I even dared to delve into such a bold gesture."

"It’s not that I didn’t appreciate it because you’re a great kisser--a really great kisser," Diane blurted out surprising herself with her honesty. She brought her hand up over her lips in an attempt to filter herself before she put her foot in her mouth any further.

"Why thank you," Shane winked down at her, "I happen to think you were rather fantastic yourself."

"That’s not what I meant to say," Diane struggled to backpedal a bit, "I mean you are an absolutely fabulous kisser and any woman would be more than happy to be in your arms like that, but…"

"Diane I get it," Shane laughed lightly attempting to make light of the situation between them. "You have a good thing going with Ben and you don’t want to jeopardize that."

"I’ve waited my whole life to be where I am with him," Diane admitted with a small sigh. "He’s the kind of guy that I always imagined I would be sharing my life with."

"I just hope he feels that way about you," Shane reached out to slide his fingers through the dark ringlets of hair that framed her features.

"Shane," Diane bit back on her words as she stiffened beneath his touch, "I’m sorry, but…"

"Don’t apologize," Shane offered up releasing his hold on her, "I overstepped the boundaries of our friendship and I apologize for that."

"How about we just skip over the apologies and pretend it never happened," Diane suggested knowing full well that she’d never be able to look at Shane again and think of anything, but the way it felt to kiss him. Still she had to prove to herself that she would be able to be friends with him without there being an awkwardness between them considering that he was one of the few people in town who genuinely enjoyed her company. Although she found herself remembering how many times she’d imagined being in a position just like this with Shane.

"Can we really do that?" Shane questioned stealing the thought from her mind.

"I’d really like for us to be able to because I don’t exactly have a slew of friends around town," Diane admitted honestly with a hint of sadness in her tone. "I know it might come as a surprise, but I’m not exactly on everyone’s A-list around here."

"I certainly have difficulty buying into that one considering where we are," Shane motioned to the party they’d stepped away from.

"It’s more of a work thing," Diane admitted honestly, "I really don’t have the active social life that I pretend to carry on with. Ever since my best friend died I pretty much have me, myself and I to talk to."

"You have Deidra," Shane’s features softened at her words.

"Believe it or not I spent most of my life jealous of my sister and making her life miserable," Diane confessed openly before shaking her head, "but I don’t want to get into that right now. You and I are great friends Shane and I don’t want this to interfere with that."

"It won’t," Shane promised reaching out to embrace her before thinking twice of the movement. "I want for us to remain friends Diane."

"So do I," she smiled up at him before turning her attention to the party inside, "although I think I’m going to need a moment to process everything that just happened between us before I erase it from my memory bank."

"Same here," Shane noted with a sensual undertone, "although it will be a challenge considering how incredible the moment that will never be spoken of again truly was."

"There again we’re in agreement," Diane added turning towards the door and walking back into the party while Shane stood on the balcony watching her leave.

"If only it was that easy to forget," Shane mouthed to himself still tasting her kiss upon his lips as his cell phone started to ring. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out the phone and frowned as he recognized the number on his caller id. "Hello."

"Shane, I haven’t heard from you in a while," the voice on the other end of the line started impatiently, "I’m assuming that’s because you’ve been so buried in the progress you’re making that you weren’t able to take a moment to check in."

"Trust me," Shane glanced over to the doorway Diane had retreated through moments earlier, "Everything is going according to plan and soon everything will be as you intended for it to be."

"Good because there isn’t any room for failure in this assignment," the caller warned as Shane fought to regain control of the thoughts that had lead him astray moments earlier with Diane.

"Failure isn’t an option for me," Shane promised knowing full well that regardless of the attraction he’d felt for Diane he had a job to do and it was one that wouldn’t be complete until he had everything as was requested of him. Deviating from the mission would result in failure and that was the one thing Shane Slater refused to accept in his life.


"Don’t you feel even the slightest bit guilty about this?" Avery questioned as she and Russ stood with one another in the elevator of the hotel they were staying at. She felt him slip his arm around her waist, while she leaned back into his chest loving the warmth of his body against hers. Closing her eyes she couldn’t help but let out a small contented sigh. "I mean we really shouldn’t be leaving Erin with your parents right now after the flight we had considering that…"

"Avery, she’s fine," Russ leaned down to kiss her shoulder gently. He pressed his lips over the bare skin on her shoulder that was now revealed from underneath the thin strap of the floral print sundress she was wearing. He smiled to himself as his fingers curled in over her abdomen. He gently squeezed her in closer to him. "She’s sleeping and I highly doubt that she’ll be up tonight for a while. The trip did a number on her like it did to all of us."

"I wouldn’t say it did a number on all of us," Avery shifted in his arms turning around to face him once again, her brown eyes full of mischief as her arms drifted around the muscled contours of his shoulders. "You seem to be doing just fine."

"That’s because I know I’m in good hands, just like our daughter is with my parents," Russ bent down to press his lips in against hers in a soft, barely there kiss. He heard the sound of the elevator sliding down to another floor as he grinned. "My parents have been practically begging us to let them baby-sit more, so this will be beneficial for all of us."

"I’m starting to think you had ulterior motives in taking me out on my own," she winked up at him, licking her lips for a brief second. She let out a flirty laugh while her hands settled in over his strong arms. "Admit it you weren’t thinking about what your parents wanted tonight."

"Not entirely," he confessed with a playful expression leaning in closer to her. "I was actually thinking about something along the lines of…"

Before he could finish his statement the doors to the elevators opened and an elderly couple stepped inside. Russ felt Avery tense up after they were no longer alone and he stood up taller. He felt her turn in his arms to face forward. The couple in front of them barely noticed them as the woman started fighting with the man’s trench coat before scowling.

"I told you to wear the black one and not the tan one," the woman snapped at her husband with a shake of her head. "I don’t know what you were thinking in putting that one on. It looks dirty and wrinkled and…"

"Betty I already told you I’m not changing it," the man scowled down at her, "If you don’t like it tough because I happen to find myself very comfortable in it."

"Well it looks plain ridiculous," the woman huffed clutching her purse closer to her body before glaring up at him. "To think after fifty years you haven’t changed."

"When you get to my age woman you’re lucky to be able to change your mind let alone your clothing," the man snarled over at his wife before Avery realized that the elevators were going up instead of down. Frowning she looked to Russ and whispered.

"I think this ride just shifted direction," Avery mouthed in a low breath.

"You aren’t kidding," Russ noted watching the two people bickering with one another. The more the man seemed to argue, the more the woman appeared compelled to cut him down. Saying nothing he leaned back in against the elevators watching the doors open on one of the floors.

"Harold did you push that button?" Betty snapped at him with a growl. "I thought I told you not to lean up against that control panel."

"It was all your pushing me around that bumped my umbrella into it," Harold muttered with a roll of his eyes as Avery realized that they’d pushed each and every button on the panel leading up to the penthouse area where the hotel’s grill was located.

Taking in a breath Avery sank back into Russell’s arms. She tipped her head up and felt his lips just behind her ear. Shifting to the side, she looked to him again, "Do you think they even realize we’re here?"

"Somehow I’m starting to seriously doubt it," Russ whispered in response feeling the two people get excited over their debate with one another. Finally as they reached the eighteenth floor, the woman marched out of the elevators.

"Find your own damn way up there without me because I’m taking my own elevator," Betty stomped into the hallway leaving Harold behind in the elevators with Russ and Avery.

"Pardon us," Harold finally addressed Russ and Avery with an apologetic expression. "We’re not normally like this."

"Oh it’s okay," Avery waved her hand dismissively hoping to make light of the situation.

"No it’s really not okay, but what can I say?" Harold shook his head and laughed. "We’ve been like this for fifty years and it still hasn’t changed. She drives me crazy, yet I can’t live without her. That must sound insane."

"Not at all," Russ replied with a warm smile.

"Love is just funny I guess," Harold explained with a soft grin of his own. "Sometimes I would just love to ring her neck and other times, well I can’t think of any person I would love to spend any time more with. She brings out the best and worst of me ever since the first day we met."

"It sounds a lot like love there," Avery offered up feeling Russ wrap his arms around her waist protectively.

"A crazy kind of love, but love nonetheless," Harold added with a small laugh. "You wouldn’t believe how fast time flies though. It’ll be fifty years today that we made our way to this island to be married and here we are still fighting more fierce than ever. It‘s a real pain in the butt if you catch my drift."

"I’m sure it’s not all that bad," Russ added with a polite smile.

"Oh it’s not all bad at all, but the good parts," Harold paused getting a wide grin before his face grew flushed, "well you two are too young to know anything about that. Let me just tell you though when something works, it really works and that’s what matters."

"I couldn’t agree more," Russ nodded in agreement keeping Avery close to him as the doors to the elevator opened and they were surprised to see Betty standing outside in the hallway waiting for them.

"There you are you old fool," Betty’s features softened a bit and she stretched her arms out towards her husband. "Get over here and give me a hug."

"I’ll give you more than that sweetheart," Harold promised moving towards his wife. He paused long enough to look over his shoulder at Russ and Avery with a smile, "See what I mean. There are perks in all of this."

"Clearly," Avery fought the urge to laugh as the two were reunited outside of the elevators. As the doors started to close she couldn’t help but giggle thinking about how at odds the duo seemed when they’d first arrived.

"That was…" Russ found himself at a loss. "Something…"

"It sure was," Avery nodded in agreement stepping aside to look at the elevator control panel. They headed up another floor and the doors opened again. She half expected someone to enter, but it remained just her and Russ. After a few more floors of the same thing continued to happen, she turned to look at Russ again. "We have a long ride ahead of us, don’t we?"

"We can make the most of it I suppose," he stepped forward watching her lean up against the elevator wall. Tentatively he eased his arm onto the panel beside her and smiled. "That is if Harold and Betty don’t return to round two."

"Let’s hope not," Avery reached out to tug on the tie that Russ was wearing. She played with it between her thumb and her index finger before issuing a small laugh. "Though you do have to admit it is kind of sweet to see two people who have been together so long, yet they can’t stand to be away from one another."

"That is if they don’t kill one another first," he mouthed in response seeing the amusement behind her dark eyes.

"They seemed to have a certain spark about them though," she sighed sliding her leg out just enough to make contact with his. Slowly her fingers teased over the shoulder of his jacket while her other hand squeezed on his tie pulling him in closer to her.

"Yes they did," he nodded in agreement leaning down just enough to keep his lips over hers. "So still feeling guilty about going out tonight?"

"Not so much, though I get the feeling that it’ll take a little bit longer to get me where you want to take me tonight," Avery mouthed glancing over at the now open elevator doors. They still had another dozen floors to go through until they hit the penthouse area and came back down again to the lobby where they’d first intended to go with one another.

"So it would seem," he nodded in response sliding in closer to her. "Though I’m sure that won’t be a problem for us."

"Not at all," she shook her head, her eyes narrowing with a sudden mischief. "Although…"

"Although what," he questioned watching her stretch her arm out across the panel of the elevator wall leading to the controls. Wordlessly she pressed the stop button and the elevator came to a jolting hesitation. His eyes widened as she moved in closer to him once again, licking her lips in anticipation.

"Harold mentioned perks about being married so long," she whispered warmly, her breath skimming over his neck while her hand centered in over his abdomen. "While I know we haven’t had nearly that much time together all that fighting between them has me thinking…"

"Does it?" he arched a curious brow feeling her nibble on his ear in a hot, seductive movement before her fingers dropped down to his belt without hesitation.

"Oh yeah," she nodded eagerly, her fiery breath causing him to shiver on the inside. He felt her fingers press in over the center of his pants massaging him through the material and making her intentions clear now that her eyes sparked with obvious desire. "Russ I think that maybe we should get a little acquainted with the whole honeymoon theme sooner rather than later."

"Really?" he couldn’t help but reveal a small smile that built up in the back of his throat. Reaching out to her, he slipped his finger in underneath the thin strap of her sundress toying with it for a brief moment. "But what about the nightclub? I thought that we agreed that we wanted to go dancing with one another?"

"We can still go dancing in a little while," Avery leaned forward nibbling on his lower lip. Boldly she pulled down the zipper on his slacks before her fingers slipped inside to feel the warmth of his body against her caress. "But right now I have an entirely different kind of dance in mind for us…one that takes precedence above all else for us."

"Who am I to argue with that one," Russ shrugged his shoulders simply doing his best to release the tie on her sundress before pulling her into his arms for a kiss that left him longing for more between them now that they were well on the road to rediscovering all the perks that married life had to offer them again.


"Hey there beautiful," Elliot made a face down at Erin as she laid in her crib and smiled at the face he made. A couple of more faces and he had Erin laughing up a storm as he felt a hand press in over his shoulder. "She the most beautiful little girl I’ve ever laid eyes on. I’m so glad we got to watch her for a little while today."

"I love watching her, but you might want to lay off on the laughing. We don’t need her to get the hiccups today," Cheryl cracked a smirk seeing Elliot glance back at her for a moment before reaching down to pick Erin up in his arms seeing the smile that pressed in over her features again. "She’s such a happy baby."

"She’s a perfect baby," Elliot held her up in the air looking her over as she laughed again at the movement. She looked like Avery and Russ mixed in one. Anyone could tell that Erin belonged to the both of them and she was a beautiful baby. "I’m so lucky to have a granddaughter like this. She’s beautiful."

"And just think about her parents," Cheryl added seeing Elliot move over toward the couch and sit down with Erin in his arms. He whispered little things here and there to her that made a wide smile press in over her features. She loved to see her family happy and having Erin in the lives of Russell and Avery she knew would make everyone a little bit happier. When Erin was born it was like a huge weight was lifted off of everyone. The two finally had gotten the life that they had wanted for a very long time and Erin was the perfect little package. She wasn’t an upset baby, she was a very happy baby and it made the family so much closer now that she was around. When the news about Russ belonging to Nick came out she thought the results would be so much worse, but now as the time came to be where they were now she could tell that everything got back into place. Everything was getting better and she was glad. She’d made her mistakes, but for having Russ and Avery getting Erin--that would never be a mistake. Moving in closer to her husband holding Erin she knew that their little game obviously made Erin a bit tired as she yawned in Elliot’s arms and started to close her eyes. "I’m so glad that Russ and Avery are finally this happy. They are getting everything they’ve ever wanted."

"I couldn’t ask for something more," Elliot began clearing his throat as he glanced over at Cheryl after Erin had finally passed out. A smile pressed in over his features while he thought about the past and everything that happened. "After everything that has happened with Nick I’m glad that they could get around all this negative activity. They deserve to be happy."

"And I’m glad they’ve had that," she glanced over at him seeing him nod slowly and she just felt bad that her past could have interrupted and hurt what happened to Nick. "They deserve it."

"Well let’s just hope that life keeps changing for them and for the better. They have a perfect little daughter and a perfect life together," Elliot began smiling down at his granddaughter as she laid in his arms sleeping. "I hope they find the happiness in their lives they deserve. I don’t think anything can step in the way of their love. Anything."


"I’m going to check in with Dave and see if he’s heard anything more," Brant announced after his nerves got the best of him. He looked over to Don, who was still working on the plate of food in front of him. Shaking his head he glanced over at Kevin half wondering if Kevin had heard his statement, but it was in that moment that Brant realized he really didn’t care one way or the other. Turning to Martha he spoke up again, "Where can I go to get away from the sound?"

"Out back should be good," Martha motioned to the rear exit to the bar. "If you go near the water you’ll find that the noise drowns itself out."

"Okay thanks. I’ll be right back," Brant waved over at her before weaving his way out of the bar. Once he was gone Martha turned to Kevin and eyed him expectantly.

"Okay spill it Adonis," Martha ordered her warm and friendly features growing suddenly serious. "What’s with you and Brant?"

"I don’t know what you’re talking about," Kevin lied attempting to keep from getting into a debate with Martha on the subject of Brant.

"That’s BS and we both know it. I could feel an ice storm brewing from the moment you two walked in here and I know damn well it’s not because of the weather. So what gives?" Martha questioned boldly realizing that Don wasn’t paying attention to the two of them. Reaching out to Kevin, she urged him to follow her to the other end of the bar where she lowered her voice. "What’s going on Kevin?"

"It’s nothing," Kevin lied biting back on the truth before finally sighing, "Okay, it’s just that I’m not exactly comfortable in having him here."

"Because he’s the one that knocked up Angie or because he’s the one who plans on marrying her?" she questioned arching a scrutinizing brow. She glanced over to where Brant had just walked out of the bar before redirecting her attention to Kevin again. "He seems like a decent enough guy Kevin."

"He is, but he’s not," Kevin groaned inwardly, "I know that sounds stupid, but…"

"No stupid would be your trying to convince me that you have had an instant approval of Brant considering that you and I both know damn well how bad you’ve got it for Angie," Martha snapped the gum that she’d been chewing on in her mouth. "So tell me is this where the animosity is stemmed from? Your being in love with the woman who is too dense to see that she’s got it all with you?"

"She doesn’t have it all with me," Kevin corrected with a frown. He shook his head before speaking up further, "She doesn’t have me Martha."

"No?" Martha arched a curious brow. "Then why the hell are you here hot stuff?"

"Because she’s gone missing and I’m worried about her. She’s my friend," Kevin informed her with a heavy sigh thinking about his motivation for taking the trip.

"Your friend that you’ve only been in love with for almost half your life. Face it kiddo. You’re hurting on the inside because you know that she’s not going to ever give you what you need in your life. She’s already planned her happily ever after with Brant and that’s something that’s going to take time to get used to even if it’s winding up giving you a raw deal," she shook her head poignantly. "I wish that things would’ve turned out differently for the two of you kiddo, but…"

"I’m not in love with her Martha," Kevin finally snapped unable to listen to another second of Martha’s words. "It’s just that…well right now Angie isn’t herself."

"What do you mean sugar?" Martha couldn’t help but ask watching his face tense up. "What are you saying?"

"I’m trying to tell you that she’s not herself," he repeated more urgently this time. "She was in an accident a little while back and it did things to her."

"What kind of things?" Martha questioned worriedly sensing there was far more to the tale he was telling.

"She lost part of her memory and she thinks that she’s back in time to a place when she and I were together," Kevin revealed with a small sigh thinking of the trouble that had followed that surprising twist of fate. "I don’t know why her mind returned to that place, but Brant and I have been trying to play along with it."

"Oh God no wonder you’re being tortured baby," Martha reached out to embrace him. "It has to be killing you to have her thinking that you two are in love with one another again."

"More than you know," he admitted honestly feeling a tension carrying over every inch of him. "She’s not giving up on this notion of her and I being together and having a family, but I’ve tried to keep my distance."

"Which undoubtedly has her worried, right?" Martha couldn’t help but ask. "Is that why you think she’s returned to the island sugar? So that she can find a way to repair what damage she’s thinking is being done between you?"

"I’m not sure," he confessed honestly thinking back to the last time he’d seen Angela. "I think she might’ve seen me with my fiancée Ria. I think she might’ve witnessed something she shouldn’t have especially in her fragile state and I’m almost convinced that it was what prompted her to leave town and come out here."

"You think she saw you…" Martha paused before eyeing him expectantly. "What were you doing exactly?"

"Let’s just say if she saw what I was doing it was more than enough proof to show her that I’m very much over her," Kevin stated leaving it at that before continuing on. "Brant’s worried about her because she’s pregnant and that’s why we’ve been going along with this lie all this time. We don’t want anything to happen to the twins and…"

"And now that she’s gone their daddy is terrified," Martha realized piecing it together. "Given that you were the one Angie believed she was close to before she disappeared, then it’s only natural that he got to thinking that her being upset about what you believe she saw with you could lead to some old feelings between the two of you."

"It didn’t help that I blew up at him and kind of implied that I might still be in love with her," Kevin admitted shamefully. "I don’t know what the hell I was thinking when I said it, but now it’s caused some major chaos beyond her being gone. I just wish that we could find her…"

"You will kiddo," Martha assured him reaching for his hand and offering a light squeeze. She noticed Brant was returning and she took a small step back. "You both need to put on a united front for now if you want to get Angela back."

"I know," Kevin nodded in agreement before forcing himself to face a now approaching Brant. Keeping his tone even he spoke up again, "Any luck?"

"Nothing," Brant shook his head and sighed. "Dave hasn’t heard anything and I’m worried."

"So am I, but I got to thinking that maybe we should start looking into some local places that she used to frequent," Kevin suggested pushing his own animosity over the situation aside in the name of finding Angela.

"You have some ideas?" Brant questioned ready to get a jump start on looking for Angela.

"A few that might pan out for us. There’s this club a little way away from here that she liked to go to. It’s on the beach and there‘s usually a live band and…" Kevin began to explain the place that he and Angela had frequented with one another.

"I think I know it," Brant replied quickly cutting him off. "It’s probably the place we went to when we first met."

"I don’t know about that, but…" Kevin opened his mouth ready to argue before he stopped himself. "In any even I think it’s worth checking out."

"Fine, then what are we waiting for," Brant replied with an impatient stare. He looked over to Don before shaking his head. "You ready?"

"Sure, just let me finish this bite of my burger and…" Don plopped the final bite into his mouth before standing up and rubbing his hands off. "That was one hell of a burger Martha."

"It’s nothing but the best," she laughed lightly before waving over at Don. "And you can have one any time."

"I’m going to take you up on that offer again very soon," Don assured her as Brant nodded towards Kevin again.

"Come on. Let’s get this over with. I want to find her," Brant announced as Kevin stepped forward.

"That makes two of us," Kevin noted moving through the crowd and out into the night as he, Brant and Don took another step in trying to find Angela before something horrible happened to her. Hopefully wherever she was it wouldn’t come to that.


"I just can’t believe he found me like this. I mean I know my father is capable of a lot of things, but I never, ever believed that he could do something like this. I never thought that he would be able to track us down like this," Evie started to pace around the beach house her worries mounting as she thought about what had happened on the beach earlier. "JT if he tracked us down to the island then there is no telling what he’s going to do. He hates when people try to double cross him and…"

"Trust me we’re safe here," JT reached out to her stilling her from taking another trip around the living room area. "Your father can’t hurt you here."

"JT you and I both know that my father is obviously more in tune with what we’re doing than either one of us thought possible," she started the obvious feeling her stomach tied in knots about the possibility of her father lurking around the corner. She’d felt safe before his arrival, but now in knowing that he was on the island she felt trapped.

"Evie, honey listen to me," JT reached out to touch the side of her face hating to see her in a panic, yet he knew full well that nothing he could do or say would erase the fear that her father had put upon her over the years. "He can’t get to us."

"JT don’t be stupid. He’s here on the island. Of course he can get to us!" she snapped throwing her hands in the air and letting out a low groan. "He can do whatever he wants because he’s already made his move closer to us."

"If he even tries anything, then so help me God Cameron will kill him," JT explained matter of fact thinking about his brother’s promise to help keep Evie safe.

"JT, he’s with Cameron’s sister. That in itself should say something," she blurted out shaking her head. "That isn’t right."

"No it’s not," JT paused contemplating that very scenario himself, "but there has to be a reason for that."

"I told you he’s coming after me and if he’s with Cameron’s sister, then maybe he and Cameron spoke to one another. I told you how my father had a ring like Cameron does. Maybe there are somehow connected to one another and…" Evie’s voice raised in panic. She felt her hands shaking as she tried to keep calm, but it was no use.

"No," JT blurted out firmly, "There is no way that my brother would be involved with someone like that. I know full well that he wouldn’t bring someone like that into our lives."

"You said it yourself that your brother was involved in some shady situations with people that were less than savory. It’s entirely possible that my father was one of them given that he has a ring like Cameron’s," Evie reminded him sharply. "All this time they could’ve been working together."

"No it’s not possible because if nothing else Cameron has always looked out for me. In knowing what your father is up to, I can promise you that if he had been tied to Cameron, then Cam would’ve taken him out because Cameron wouldn’t leave me open for something like this. Cameron knows I love you and he wouldn’t leave you open for something like that either given what you mean to me," JT explained matter of fact. "My brother has always had my back from day one and I don’t think for one second that he would partake in something like this if he knew that it would destroy us."

"JT you have no idea how my father can destroy us," she sighed feeling guilt eating away at her as she stepped forward. "He’s evil and manipulative and…"

"And maybe it’s time for me to call Cameron. Perhaps I should see what’s going on with Angela and your father. There has to be some kind of explanation and…" JT started pondering what Evie’s father could want with someone like Angela.

"If you call him and you’re wrong about your brother, then you’ll only be giving my father another clue about where we are," she reminded him with a worried tone. Her dark eyes filled with tears and her throat grew dry. "JT I can’t take him finding us. Not now."

"Evie, Cameron isn’t going to let that happen," he explained again knowing full well it was no use as she was truly upset. "Look if you don’t feel safe here, then maybe we should leave. We can go somewhere else that I know your father won’t find us."

"On this island we can’t find any place where he might not be," Evie shook her head in refusal to accept that suggestion. "If he knows where we are…"

"Trust me there’s one place where I know we’ll be safe," he assured her reaching for her hand.

"JT I just don’t know," she began with obvious hesitation.

"Trust me Evie. I would never let him hurt you," he reached for her drawing her into an embrace. "Never ever."

"But…" she started again feeling her worries mounting.

"Look I have a friend who knows this island inside and out. She can make sure that your father won’t have a chance to get near us. She’s not tied into my brother if you’re really worried about Cameron and I trust her. You can too," JT began again taking in a small breath. "Please Evie you have to believe that."

"Alright," she finally nodded in agreement, "I believe in you JT."

"Good, then let’s get out of here," he suggested sliding his fingers into her hair and kissing her tenderly before drawing back. "Trust me you’re going to be safe."

"I hope you’re right," she whispered under her breath wondering if she could truly escape the past that her father had placed her into. If her father found her now she knew full well that only disaster and heartache would follow.


"You really think you’re funny don’t you?" Sarah stared out at Kellen after a long silence after what he just proclaimed with Cameron. A deep laugh filtered up from the bottom of her throat as she stared out into Kellen’s blue eyes that seemed to be filled with hatred and pure anger. Nothing more. "You think you know everything Kellen when you have no idea what going on in my life let alone your own life. You’re too blind to even know what’s going on around you."

"Sarah, this isn’t my life--this is yours and you are just scared that I’m right. You have no idea what kind of man Cameron is I’m assuming. I mean, I think you have somewhat of an idea, but once he bites back you’ll see just what I’m talking about. I grew up around that family, I know how they work," Kellen stepped forward to softly pat at the side of her face feeling her hand swipe his away angrily. A small chuckle fell out of his lips as he rubbed at his chin and shrugged his shoulders. There were so many things he wanted to say to her that he wasn’t sure what to do next. Sliding his hands into his pockets he knew he wanted to make this one good. "You are just pathetic you know that. You are sitting here telling me everything that’s wrong with my life and look at you--you’re a complete mess."

"I’m not a mess, I know what’s happening with my life," Sarah went to explain more seeing the way Kellen smirked and she felt her blood boiling just at the way he was treating her. It was beyond ridiculous for Kellen to stand here judging her. No one had the right to do that. "Listen if you think you can…"

"I can do whatever I want Sarah," Kellen stepped forward dropping his arms down at his sides as he stared her in the eyes watching as a snarl formed in over the corner of her lips. "You know I don’t like you Sarah and no one is going to stick up for you. You’re the one who opened yourself up when you proved the world what a slut you really were. You can tell me what you want, you can say what you want Sarah--you just know deep down you’re everything that I say you are."

Without another word Sarah stepped forward shoving her palms forcefully into the center of Kellen’s chest seeing him stumble back a bit, his jaw tightening in anger as he stared out at her with his angered eyes that seemed to be filling with more rage by the second.

"You know, I wasn’t going to do this tonight since I thought we got this handled. If you want a fight, I’ll give you a fight. I’ll take your ass down just like I did at the wedding," Kellen started to unbutton the cuffs of his dress shirt seeing the way that Sarah was staring out at him while he rolled the sleeves further up his arms. He stepped forward toward Sarah to only feel someone wrap their arm around his chest to keep him from going after her. He was ready to attack them as well figuring it was someone standing up for Sarah only to see Kyle’s hazel eyes staring out into his. "Kyle let me go."

"Kellen, don’t even try," Kyle pushed Kellen back slightly knowing that if he didn’t stop it again Kellen and Sarah would duke it out in a fist fight again and as much as he would find it amusing he respected Rob enough not to let that happen. Glancing back he saw the huge smile that pressed in over the corners of Sarah’s face as he glared out at her. "What are you smiling at?"

"I just think it’s funny that Kellen was trying to get into a fight with me and you stopped him from attacking me. You didn’t stop me, you stopped him," Sarah smirked knowing that if must have meant something to have Kyle do something like that. Almost like he still cared about her in a way and she found it extremely sexy. Seeing him smirk and turn to face her as Kellen pressed in as close as he could behind Kyle she saw something different fire up behind Kyle’s eyes. "I just know deep down you don’t want me hurt."

"Sarah I don’t care what the hell happens to you, I just didn’t want Kellen to get in trouble because I figured you would try and start something with him because that’s the kind of person you are," Kyle snapped looking back at Kellen seeing his eyebrows perk up before Kellen smirked and stuck his tongue out at Sarah. "The truth of the matter is Sarah, I like Kellen--he’s my friend. He’s a part of my family and I’ll protect him. You…I don’t give a shit about you."

"That’s obviously not true Kyle because if you didn’t care about me you would have never came over here. Kipp could have come for Kellen or…," Sarah saw Kyle roll his eyes and Kellen stepped in next to him fixing his cuffs and his shirt buttoning it back together. Kyle’s jaw tightened a bit before he looked back to her with a blank stare nothing--no emotion behind his eyes. "Kyle…"

"Don’t touch me Sarah," Kyle pulled away from her seeing the way that Kellen stepped aside as he brushed off his dress shirt. Sarah’s dark eyes stared out at him almost hoping for some kind of reunion as he let out a disgusted noise. "Sarah, there isn’t a chance in this world that I will ever get back with you. I don’t care about you at all. I’m in love with Heather. As far as I can see you can just go piss off and leave Kellen alone. Where you go--I don’t care. Just get away from us."

"Don’t walk away from me," Sarah blurted out seeing the way that Kyle glanced back at her when he was just about to move away from her. He turned on his heel and moved in closer to her while Kellen stayed back behind him knowing that just by his movements he was angry. "We have so much to talk about."

"No, no we have nothing to talk about," Kyle shook his head constantly knowing that Sarah seemed to have it in her mind that the two of them still had some kind of relationship that needed to be settled. "As far as I’m concerned now that you and Douglas are with each other I think you two make a great couple. You are absolutely perfect for each other. The both of you constantly want to fuck up other people’s lives and I find it damn ridiculous. I want you to stay away from me. Stay away from Kellen. Stay away from all of us."

"How am I supposed to stay away from all of you when I’m in all of your lives? I’m Charles’ grandmother now. Heather is my sister, I’m Kipp’s step mother," Sarah watched Kyle stop in his tracks and stare back at her with what she said to him. "That’s right I’ll always be a part of your life."

"It doesn’t mean anything. It’s only a title," Kyle explained with a small smile before shrugging his shoulders and letting out a small sigh. "You know you should really stop trying to harass everyone because you look more pathetic than you really are. Well, maybe you are that pathetic. I don’t want you around me Sarah so why don’t you go with your husband and have fun. I know I’ll finally be in some peace once you’re out of my sight."

"You know, I know that you are pretending that your little life with Heather will be that little pathetic dream you’ve had since you were younger, but she’ll make a mistake just like she has time and time again with you," Sarah blurted out while Kyle turned to listen to her complaint about Heather. She shook her head slowly and folded her arms out in front of her chest knowing her sister’s whole history. "I know that Heather will never ever be good to you. It will never lead you to the alter Kyle. She’ll leave you there."

"You just keep thinking that," Kyle laughed thickly knowing that he was already married to Heather and the fact that Sarah brought something up like that made him only more amused with her. "You keep thinking that Sarah while I go spend time with the people I do love and care about. Come on Kellen, let’s go."

Sarah watched as Kyle led Kellen through the crowd away from her and she only felt her blood boiling more and more. She knew what kind of person Heather was like and she couldn’t believe that she had everyone under some kind of spell where they thought she was a good person. Heather had the color red flowing through her veins with her past and now her future. She knew sooner or later Heather would mess up and Kyle would be all hers again. She knew it for a fact.


"So what do you think?" Heather stared out at Kipp who seemed to be watching his father’s every move throughout this whole party. When the news about his father marrying Sarah came out, Kipp seemed to act as if it was no big deal. That’s how he was still acting and Heather knew that if she was in his position somehow that she would be so much more upset. Which told her that either he was being extremely quiet about how he really felt or he didn’t care. It was obvious that he did care somewhat from the way he kept staring at his father all night and when she had nothing but silence from him for a couple of moments she knew her answer. Kipp was obviously bothered by who his father was married to now and she knew he hated it just by the look in his dark eyes. "Kipp?"

"What?" Kipp turned to look at Heather realizing that she asked him a question and he tried to fight for an answer as if he had heard her question. His attention was on his father as Sarah moved her way back over toward him and he knew it would be nothing but trouble for his father. At first he didn’t think he cared, but now as he saw Sarah heading for him he knew that it wouldn’t be good. "I think the party is fantastic. It’s set up really nicely."

"That’s not what I was asking, but I do agree completely. The party is very nice," she saw a bit of color rise up in Kipp’s face as he folded his arms in front of his chest and stared out at his father once more and she could see what was taking complete attention for him. "I was talking about your father and Sarah. What do you think?"

"Well what is there to think? It’s his life and not mine would be his answer to me if I showed any kind of emotions toward it. If I expressed to him how wrong it was I would just get some tacky line about minding my own business. It’s happened to me time and time again," Kipp explained glancing over into Heather’s green eyes for a moment seeing the way that Heather frowned at his explanation. He was right though in the past when his father would marry girls he knew they wouldn’t last long and he knew that his father would be making a huge mistake but Douglas never cared. Douglas did what he wants and when he wanted. The girls in his life never lasted long so there was no reason to be worried about Sarah being in his life an extended amount of time. No one ever lasted that long in his life. "I mean there should be nothing to worry about with Sarah and Douglas. I know Sarah is a hell riser shit starter, but I know that my father has been married to worse. Maybe in the future five more after Sarah he’ll finally meet the right girl, but I’m used to this. It’s no different than what I’ve had to deal with most of my life."

"Still, I can see that you would be a little bit upset. I know I am," she informed him while he turned to face her finally giving up looking at his father anymore. There was a feeling in the pit of her stomach that told her that maybe something about this was wrong. Something about this wasn’t going to work between Sarah and Douglas and Sarah was just doing this to try and ruin her life, but she still felt bad for Kipp. He was the one who was going to have to deal with her more. "I know this is hard on your life and…"

"This is hard on us Heather. I know how terrible your sister was to you and still is to you. Charles is our son and now Sarah has the bragging rights to go around saying that Charles in her step grandson. I can only imagine her saying that in front of Kellen and seeing Kellen popping her. As much as I’d like to see Kellen knock her out on her ass again, I know that if he did somehow my father would most likely get involved and cause more shit than he needs to," Kipp explained glancing over his shoulder one more time before shaking his head slowly knowing that he was going to have to accept his father’s choices because there was nothing he could do about them. He didn’t have to like it, but he didn’t want to say anything and start any trouble with his father right now. He just didn’t want any of that in his life and it was for obvious reasons as to why. He hated the fact that his father never thought about the things that would effect his family. He only thought about the things that seemed to effect him and he never once took the brighter side of things knowing how much this could screw everyone up in the long run. "So right now I just say forget about it and not let it bother us because that’s all it’s going to do if we keep thinking about it. Sarah is going to try and burden us, but I don’t care. She’s not part of our family."

"Exactly," Kyle’s voice interrupted the two of them as he moved in behind Heather wrapped his arms around her slender waist while resting his chin on Heather’s shoulder. His hazel eyes stared out at Kipp as he let out a small sigh and tilted his head to the side a bit to press a loving kiss against Heather’s cheek. He hated the things that Sarah said about Heather, but knew they were just sticks and stones. He just wished for once that he got a chance to pull her out of his life forever, but with this little stunt he knew it would never happen. Looking up he glanced to see Kellen wrap his arm around Kipp’s shoulder squeezing him in closer to him letting out a small sigh. "Our family is Charles and what we have right here. Our friends…that’s what our family is here. Sarah will never be part of our family. Sarah won’t bother us as long as we ignore her. We’ll be okay. You know though--with all this excitement maybe we should get going soon. We’ve had a long day of action already, I don’t think my heart can take all of this action much longer."

"You’re getting old on us huh?" Heather turned in Kyle’s arms seeing the way his nose wrinkled at her comment before a smile pressed in over his handsome features. Her arms held onto him tightly as his rough hands cupped her face in his tenderly. A small sigh escaped her lips as he pressed a soft peck in over her lips caressing her cheek tenderly. "I guess I should go say my goodbyes to Rob and Alicia. I’ll be back."

"I’ll be here," Kyle promised feeling Heather slip out of his arms as a smile pressed in over his handsome features as he turned to Kipp and Kellen. "So, what has Sarah done to you now."

"You saw that she was with me Kyle--I think the only thing that absolutely bugs him is the fact that she is his ugly wicked step mother," Kellen declared seeing the way that Kipp looked up at him once he mentioned that Sarah was around him. "It wasn’t really anything big Kipp--she pushed me I went to start something back and Kyle stopped me."

"Which is a good thing, you don’t need her starting something with you Kellen. I think you need to chill out around Sarah a bit," Kipp suggested knowing that his father could try and pull something on the two of them especially now that he was married to her. "I don’t need you to get in trouble."

"I wasn’t getting in trouble, I was just speaking my mind," Kellen looked to Kipp seeing the expression he got as he frowned and lowered his head before nodding slowly. "Okay, I’ll try not to start anything with her. I swear. I’ll try to be good with her. As long as she isn’t around me."


"I’ve got it," Shane frowned into his cell phone doing his best to finish up his phone call when he heard a voice from behind him.

"Miss me?" Diane questioned as Shane quickly tucked his phone into his pocket and faced her once again with a smile.

"Always," he nodded giving her a once over before smiling, "You look incredible tonight friend."

"You don’t look so bad yourself," Diane added stepping forward and offering him a glass of champagne she’d picked up from inside. "I thought maybe you’d like a drink."

"Thank you," Shane reached for it, his fingers brushing up against hers momentarily before he stepped back. "So how is the party going in there?"

"Surprisingly boring," she admitted with a hint of a smirk, "given that we’re not out there on the dance floor living it up."

"Hmm, well then if we aren’t out there making things happen, perhaps we should be," Shane sipped his champagne before offering her his hand. "What do you say Diane? Tempted?"

"I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t," she admitted freely reaching for his hand and motioning to the door, "but remember we can’t upstage everyone too much out there."

"I can’t promise that," Shane divulged stepping in closer to her.

"Honestly neither can I," she admitted with a hint of laughter in her tone as the doors opened up to the balcony and Deidra stepped out to join them.

"Diane, hey I’ve been looking for you all over," Deidra explained moving towards the duo. "Dean was called away and I was wondering if you were ready to leave."

"Well I hadn’t thought about going just yet as Shane asked me to dance and…" Diane glanced over at her companion.

"I’m sure you can take a rain check on it," Deidra offered up with a polite smile in Shane’s general direction. "You can understand my wanting to steal my sister away for a girl’s night, can’t you?"

"Of course," Shane nodded turning towards Diane once again. He reached for her hand and raised it to his lips in a chaste kiss. "I’ll see you later my friend."

"I certainly hope so," Diane smiled offering up one last wave as Shane disappeared into the party.

"What do you think you’re doing?" Deidra questioned abrasively after Shane walked off of the balcony into the party once again.

"Nothing," Diane frowned glaring over at Deidra, "What’s with your tone?"

"My tone stems from concern," Deidra explained with a shake of her head, "I saw you two on the dance floor earlier with one another Diane."

"So what‘s the real story since I know it isn‘t about a girl‘s night," Diane inquired moving past her sister to look out into the party once again to see where Shane was going, "Honestly could you have been more rude to Shane just now? I think you should apologize. In fact I‘ll call him back here and…"

"He’ll get over it," Deidra snaked her hand around Diane’s arm to prevent her from following her date inside. "Right now you and I have to have a serious talk."

"About what?" Diane questioned with a huff.

"Ben for starters. How do you think he would feel knowing that you were here tonight with some handsome import who clearly has eyes for you," Deidra tossed back at her with a disapproving look.

"Shane doesn’t have eyes for me," Diane objected as her mind flashed back to the kiss she and Shane had shared earlier.

"Right and he doesn’t have hands either, huh?" Deidra groaned outwardly. "Everyone saw you on the dance floor together Diane. It was very obvious…"

"What was obvious?" Diane interrupted with a scowl. "The fact that I was actually enjoying myself with a friend instead of being stuck all by myself inside your apartment feeling miserable because Ben isn’t around?"

"Think of how you would feel if you lost him Diane," Deidra attempted to reason with her.

"I’m not going to lose Ben. Shane and I are friends. Just because Shane’s handsome and charming doesn’t mean that I’m about to get in over my head with something I can’t handle," Diane continued to explain as her eyes roamed towards the door once again.

"Diane, I know what happens when you’re around someone like Shane. The wheels start turning in your head and…" Deidra offered up once again.

"Just because I made mistakes in the past doesn’t mean that I’m going to keep repeating them over and over again in the present," Diane faced her sister fully. "I’ve learned my lesson."

"Have you?" Deidra asked.

"More than I care to think about," Diane brought her fingers up through her own hair as she thought about the earlier exchange between her and Shane. "Trust me when I tell you that I’m not about to blow the greatest relationship of my life just because I happen to have a male friend who also oozes with sex appeal."

"Just hearing you say that gives me plenty of reason to worry," Deidra noted.

"Well don’t because I am secure enough in my relationship to admit when other guys are handsome, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to fall into bed with them because of it," Diane explained catching Deidra’s look of disbelief, "I’m not."

"Diane, I know you mean well, but…" Deidra stepped forward in the hopes of appealing to her sister.

"But nothing. Deidra I’m done making a mess of my life and I can assure you that your concern while appreciated is very misplaced," Diane insisted further. "nothing is going to happen with Shane that will jeopardize my future with Ben."

"I hope that’s the truth Diane because if it’s not, it could turn into the situation with JT all over again," Deidra sighed.

"It won’t," Diane insisted hoping that all her sister’s words of warning weren’t going to come back to haunt her. Sure, she’d liked kissing Shane, but that was a one shot deal that Diane was going to make sure never, ever happened again.


Andy watched as Shane moved over toward the bar asking for another drink. He saw the event that took place with Diane and Deidra and finishing off his drink he knew he had to go over and talk to him. Shane’s dark eyes glanced over at him as Andy moved over toward him and took a seat on the barstool next to him. A half smirk pressing in over Shane’s features as he took a seat next to Andy and sipped on his drink.

"I see you had a bit of a stall, huh?" Andy glanced over at Shane knowing that he had to have some kind of connection with Diane by now. Shane simply shrugged and sipped at his drink more before turning to look at the doors to see if they were officially gone. "I know that it could be kind of hard so you should probably try a bit harder."

"I’m trying the hardest I can," Shane began glancing over at Andy seeing the way his blue eyes looked him over as he cleared his throat. Over the last few days Shane spent as much possible time as he could around Diane. He really thought they had been getting closer as friends as somewhat of good friends. It was something he often hoped to achieve to be good friends with her and as he felt Andy’s eyes over him he felt a bit uncomfortable. "Got any suggestions?"

"What do you think?" Andy turned to him seeing the smirk that pressed in over Shane’s features before he shrugged and stood up from the barstool he was sitting on. Brushing off his suit jacket he took in a long breath and thought about his next place. What he’d do next if he wanted to stay or go. "What are you doing?"

"Leaving," Shane moved away from the bar knowing that he had no reason to stay at this party any longer. Diane was no longer around and without her there--there was no reason he should stay. That’s how he felt and that’s how he was going to act. Moving away from Andy he knew that maybe it was the wrong thing to do, but right now he didn’t care. He had to think of new things--new ideas and being in a crowd like this. Certainly would not help!


"Tell me again why we are at a nightclub," Evie questioned tugging on JT’s arm and pulling him in closer to her. "I thought you said that we were going to see your friend."

"We are, but I don’t want to see her until after things close around here," JT explained in a muted tone pulling her out into the center of the dance floor with him so that they meshed with the crowd. "Right now with her place being open still it is too dangerous. If we wait until after the parties on the island die down we can sneak on in and get away without being spotted."

"Wouldn’t it make more sense for us to be there now with a bunch of people around us?" she couldn’t help but ask thinking about what he was telling her. "My father might not see us if he’s around."

"Do you think he’s around here?" JT questioned looking around the bar and watching everyone getting involved in the dancing that the music provided them with.

"Not a chance," she admitted honestly seeing two people grind on the dance floor just a few feet away from them. "I don’t think he would ever step foot in a place like this even if he was running a good con. He never believed in this kind of party life."

"Then it proves we’re safe for now," he pointed out sliding his arms around her slender waist and drawing her in nearer to him. "You do trust me on that, don’t you?"

"I trust you with everything I have," she confessed reaching out to touch the side of his face gently. "I love you JT."

"I love you too," he whispered warmly leaning in to steal another kiss from her lips before hugging her in closer to him. "You have to admit that circumstances withstanding this feels pretty good, doesn’t it?"

"Yeah," she sighed leaning into his arms as the music changed and a new song filled the air surrounding them. It was a much slower beat and it allowed her the opportunity to appreciate his arms around her. She placed her hand over the center of his chest feeling the warm lines of his chest beneath her touch and suddenly she was well aware of all the reasons why she’d put her faith in the man whose arms were around her right now. She felt herself melt into his embrace, her heart doing flip flops as his dark eyes fell upon hers. She curled her fingers around his shoulder feeling him dip her to the music as the beats began to pick up ever so slightly.

"You’re safe tonight," he promised leaning forward to place a soft, tender kiss over the base of her throat. The slow, sensual kiss that lead up to her chin moving in over to meet her lips in it’s conclusion had her shivering all over. Her knees grew weak as her hand dropped to his waist, feeling him take the moment to spin her around to a new rhythm. With her back into his chest she began to grind into him feeling his arms wrap around her waist. She reached out drawing her hands up and around his shoulders. She tipped her head back allowing her long, dark hair to scatter into his chest before he spun her around again to face him once more.

"I always feel safe with you," she mouthed feeling her fears melting away with each touch of his hands over her.

Reaching for them, she guided his palms up and over her curves loving the way his thick fingers cupped her hips. Turning away from him again she arched her back enough to grind into him--to take the time to truly appreciate the fullness of his body pressed into hers. Letting out a small sigh of subtle surrender, she imagined what it would be like to be sharing a similar dance with him only instead of being in the middle of the dance floor she’d anticipated them being alone in the privacy of the beach house naked and engrossed completely in one another. Running his hands over her hips again she began to writhe against him longing for something more than the dance now that her father’s presence on the island became secondary to the lust that was threatening to eat her alive.

"JT," she spoke his name in a throaty whisper feeling him spin her around again. This time the movement was more possessive, more commanding as she kicked her leg out over his hip. The movement sent sparks of electricity between them causing her breath to come out in a labored gasp while she guided his palms in over her body. She settled his hands in over her bottom feeling his moment of hesitation before he cupped her in closer to him. Their hips bumped and collided with the music offering up a taste of what it would be like to be together in the heat of passion exploring each other without restraint or hesitation. It was pure eroticism at it’s finest and as she started to give herself completely to the dance, to his body crashing in against hers, she felt the music reach a painful conclusion leaving both her and JT breathless.

"Maybe I should get us a drink," JT suggested his own voice escaping from his lips in a barely there whisper indicating that he too was effected by their dance with one another.

"Yeah," Evie managed to get out hating to break the contact between them, yet as her body was longing for more, she was pretty certain JT wasn’t about to give it to her on the middle of the dance floor. Although the idea in itself was very thrilling to say the least.

"Why don’t we get a table in the back?" he suggested motioning to one of the darker areas in the club.

"Okay," she nodded in response before a thought occurred to her. Here she was thinking about everything that she’d been worried about--about her father’s arrival and more, yet now all she could focus on was JT. He’d promised her heaven and even if her father thought he could steal it away from them she refused to allow him that. Standing up straighter, she vowed to reclaim her life again. "Actually JT I think I’m going to run into the ladies room for a second before we sit down."

"Okay," he nodded before thinking it over, "Do you want me to walk back there with you?"

"No, if you show me where they are I’ll be fine," Evie assured him wanting to feel that strength inside of her once more. He pointed her in the right direction before she smiled over at him. "I won’t be long."

"Okay, I’ll go get us a drink while you’re gone," he promised his eyes traveling with her to the hallway that lead to the ladies room. She turned around to wave at him one last time before entering the bathroom.

"You’re safe here," she mouthed in response thinking about the fact that her father was on the island. While she’d been convinced that he’d come here to track her down, she was starting to wonder if he’d had some other motivation. While it was a long shot it could be entirely possible that he hadn’t come to the island for her. He could’ve been there for some other reason--for something that went beyond tracking her down and making her life miserable. Stepping forward she tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear before taking in a breath. "You’ll be okay."

She blinked a few times trying to convince herself of just that, but it still felt foreign to her. To be happy and with a man who loved her was something she’d never truly experienced before, yet even the threat of her father couldn’t keep her from wanting him--from needing him. Smiling to herself she adjusted the blouse she was wearing and she realized that tonight was going to be special after all. Tonight even if her father was on the island was going to be a night she and JT would never forget. She would forget about the troubles in her life for the night and lose herself in the one thing that mattered--JT.

"You’re going to have what you’ve always wanted Evie," she offered herself a pep talk now that she’d made the decision that tonight was going to be the night that they finally made love. She’d felt a spark on the dance floor and she knew damn well that he’d felt it too. They wanted each other for so long already, yet they’d held back. Tonight she’d wanted to rush away from the promise of passion--to forget about the dreams she had about a future with JT all because her father’s arrival had left her feeling bullied and terrorized, but no more. Tonight was the night to have her rebirth and she was going to learn to live again. She was going to be free and tonight she would experience all the freedoms the world had to offer in making love with JT.

"Tonight’s going to be perfect," she vowed taking in a small breath. She ran her fingers through her hair briefly before turning her attention to her blouse once again. She popped open a button, then another and a couple more just to give off the effect she was going for. JT would be a fool to resist her and now according to his rules he wouldn’t have to. They could finally be together and it would be the key to pushing the past behind her for good.

"This is everything I’ve ever wanted," Evie reminded herself with a smile tossing her hair over her shoulders and putting out her best look of seduction before she stepped out of the ladies room. She was half way out of the hallway when suddenly it dawned on her that she’d jumped the gun again. She’d left JT to go into the ladies room to hit up the condom machine that she knew full well places like this had. Frowning at being so absent minded she spun around on her heel ready to return to the ladies room, get a condom and then suggest to JT that they go back to somewhere more private with one another. Once she got that little piece of the planning out of the way, she knew that tonight would be nothing short of perfect. It would be everything that she’d been hoping for and more. If only she could just get that one…

"Oh excuse me," a voice rumbled as she ran into a thick wall of muscle in front of her. She felt a man reach out to pry her out of his chest that she’d absentmindedly walked into in all of her planning for the night at hand. She stepped back and felt a breath carry over her lips.

"Watch where you’re going," she scoffed tipping her head up to look at the man who was attached to the chest she’d almost drowned in moments earlier. It was then that she’d realized that she’d seen the face before. It was the man that she’d ripped off at the diner--the man that had accused her of stealing his wallet and catching her at her own game.

"Hey, look it was an accident and for the record you ran into me," Kevin replied with a small frown shaking his head at her before something suddenly occurred to him. "Wait a second I know you…"

"No you don’t," she shook her head and tried to brush past him before he could place her face.

"No I do," he reached out to her once again unable to refrain from doing so. "We’ve met before and…"

"No we haven’t," she shook her head firmly and took in a slow worried breath.

"Yes we have and while I can’t place it just yet, there’s a reason why I need to talk to you," he continued when suddenly something pressed over his features and Evie knew with that one look that she’d been busted, which right about now was the absolute last thing she’d wanted in her life or needed for that matter!


Russ and Avery stood outside the nightclub looking at the atmosphere that surrounded them. While they’d taken a more than welcome detour inside the hotel elevators, she had to admit there was something about the night--about the atmosphere that surrounded them that was very seductive. She could hear the exotic beats of the music inside and immediately she felt herself perk up all over again.

"You sure you’re up for this tonight," Russ questioned lazily encircling her in his arms while stepping behind her. He looked to the neon light that hung over the door and he kissed her neck gingerly. "We could always do this another night and go back to the hotel to finish what we started in the elevators."

"As much as I’d like that, I think I’m in the mood to dance," Avery shifted in his arm, her brown eyes caught up in the feel of the night that surrounded them. "This was a good idea."

"I think we’re onto a lot of them tonight considering what you pulled on me back at the hotel," he mouthed in a heated tone, remembering full well what it had been like to be making love to her in the elevators.

While it hasn’t been something they’d planned on, it was something that had the both of them buzzing with electricity afterwards. Hell, even when they’d run into Betty and Harold by the time they’d finally returned to the sixth floor, nothing could kill the buzz that they’d shared with one another. He reached out to push a strand of loose hair away from her face knowing full well that anyone with eyes could’ve guessed what they were up to just a short while earlier. He was certain he hadn’t buttoned up his shirt completely right and one of the straps on her sundress hung lazily off her shoulder. Her lipstick had been smeared off of her lips and her skin was still flushed with the afterglow that accustomed their unions with one another.

"I need a drink to cool down," Avery confessed coiling her fingers around the lapels of his jacket. She leaned up on her toes to kiss him in a slow, determined drawl. "You make me so hot baby that I can’t seem to get enough of you."

"I’ve come to realize that, though by us being here it kind of puts a hold on our plans," Russ noted feeling her slide into him, urging her body against his in a seductive, tempting display.

"Russ, I’m only beginning with you tonight," she licked her lips again, smiling a predatory smirk before wiggling away from him. "Check your breast pocket."

"What?" he questioned looking down to pull at the handkerchief that he’d put in there earlier. Tugging it out of his pocket he suddenly realized that it wasn’t his handkerchief he was holding onto as Avery let out a giggle.

"I thought you might like those," she explained quickly watching him push the thin panties she’d tucked into his pocket away before anyone could see them. "It might provide some food for thought."

"Since when did you become such a vixen?" Russ couldn’t help but ask, his gaze traveling over her sundress. His heart hammered in his chest at the realization that she didn’t have anything on underneath it and suddenly he found himself wishing like hell that they had more privacy than being dead center in front of a night club such as the one he’d offered to take her too. Clearing his throat uneasily he spoke up again, "Avery, don’t tease me."

"I’m not teasing you," she whispered reassuringly moving forward to place a chaste kiss on his lips. "If you catch up with me inside, then I won’t hesitate in making each and every one of your fantasies a reality. That is if you can find me first."

"Avery," Russ spoke her name watching her rush off into the thick of the crowd. He shook his head seeing her slip into the darkness beyond the entrance and he let out a groan. Tonight was going to be a long one, he realized with a sigh as he found himself suddenly very excited by what Avery was proposing. Yes, he’d always had a very healthy fantasy life with her, yet when they’d opened the night up with love making in the elevators and now her bold proposition he could only imagine what the night had in store for them.

"Catch me if you can," Avery popped her head out of the club enough to see him moving forward to chase after her. Laughing lightly she weaved her way through the crowd determined to make things less than easy for him. Granted, there was nothing she wanted more than to be with him--to spend the rest of the night in his arms, but there was something about the chase that had her so turned on. She’d felt empowered when they’d made love in the elevators and now, well now she was looking for a little fun.

"Fun that only you can provide me with Russ," she thought aloud working her way over to the bar. She smiled over at the man behind the counter before speaking up in a low, sultry tone. "Bartender can you get me a dirty martini."

"Coming right up," the man nodded accordingly going off to get Avery her drink. Smiling she glanced over her shoulder for a brief second before wondering just where Russ was. She knew full well he was undoubtedly going out of his mind looking for her. She was certain he was anticipating some elaborate hiding place, one that wouldn’t be very obvious which is why she settled for the most obvious of places up at the bar. Laughing to herself she realized that this game was about to become more fun than she’d anticipated when they first arrived with one another.

"Here you are miss," the bartender returned with her drink.

"Thank you," Avery replied offering up a few dollar bills to the man and smiling, "Keep the change."

"Thanks," he winked at her before going off to tend to other customers.

Reaching for her drink, Avery took a sip and smiled. Oh yes, this had been a good idea, she realized musing at all the things she would do to Russ when he found her. Certainly they had spoken about a quiet night with one another, but something told her that by the time they were through with one another, nothing would be quiet about the night. That thought in itself thrilled her beyond belief now that they were slowly getting back into the swing of things with one another. She was ready to take their game to the next level in hiding from him somewhere else, but before she could leave, she spun around and found herself face to face with the last person she expected to see especially now that she was plotting seduction with Russ.

"Avery," Brant’s voice half questioned as he looked to her with confused eyes.

"Brant," she replied with a small gasp before a heavy scowl followed. "What the hell are you doing here?"


Hart scanned the room wondering where Sam had drifted off to after he’d last seen her. While he wanted to get a few more words in with her edgewise he knew full well how busy a night it would be for her with being the one that put on Wayne’s party. Smiling to himself he thought about how she’d poured so much into making things perfect for Wayne and he realized he couldn’t be prouder of her than he was tonight.

"Mr. Steiner," a waiter approached him with a tray in hand.

"Yes?" Hart glanced over at the waiter half expecting the man to bring him in drink, but instead there was a white envelope on the silver tray he was holding. The waiter reached for it and handed it over to Hart.

"This is for you. I was asked to bring it over to you," the waiter explained apologetically before turning away.

"Who asked you to?" Hart questioned confusion settling in over his features. He looked at the envelope and suddenly read the word dad written on it. Unable to understand why Sam would be giving him an envelope Hart pulled it out and started to read the page to himself.

"Dear dad. There is no easy way to put this and perhaps that’s why I took the cowards way out, but there’s something you need to know," he paused feeling something carry over him that made him uneasy. He looked up scanning the room for Sam again, but once again couldn’t spot her. Turning his attention to the page he read further on, "I realize that this probably isn’t the best way to do this given that you deserved a hell of a lot more honesty from me than what you’re getting, but the truth to the matter is that I need to follow my heart. All my life I’ve lived in a glass house where I’ve been too afraid to go out on a limb and live my life. After the last time I was in the hospital I vowed to never feel caged up like that again. I realized how precious time was and I knew that I couldn’t let my life pass me by without being able to do what I longed to most in this world."

Hart paused looking up again and half expecting to see Sam standing in front of him, but when she wasn’t he looked to the letter again.

"Dad, I know you’re probably going to hate me for this because as I said I’m being a coward, but I had no other way of doing this without hurting you. Yes, I admit it was a very selfish move on my part not to be adult enough to be honest with you, but here it is. The truth to the matter is that I’ve applied to the school in London and I’ve been accepted. Not only have I been planning this party for Wayne, but I’ve also been looking into setting things up for when Wayne and I move out there to live. Now before you get upset and go on a tirade about how awful a move that would be, please just keep reading. Dad I know you and I haven’t had a lot of time with one another, but this is the opportunity of a lifetime. This is what I’ve always wanted and you of all people have told me to follow my dreams. That’s what I’m doing dad. Starting tonight Wayne and I are going out to London. In fact by the time you’re reading this we’ll already be gone. Grandpa Walt helped us get a private flight out of Coral Valley and in a matter of hours Wayne and I will be at our new place. While I realize this is the last way you should’ve found out I hope that you understand. I promise I’ll call you when we’re settled and let you know where we’re at. Dad, I love you and I hope that one day you can forgive me for keeping this from you. Please understand. Sam."

"No," Hart shook his head nearly dropping the letter as the reality of the situation hit him harder than he’d anticipated. He felt his heart hammering in his chest while he surveyed the room again hoping to find his daughter. Pushing forward he began to look through the staggering guests hoping above hope that he wasn’t too late. He rushed over to one of the waiters thinking it was the man who’d given him the letter, but much to his dismay it wasn’t.

"Where is she?" Hart questioned as the man stared up at him blankly.

"Sir, I don’t understand," the waiter blurted out as Hart released him. He continued to move through the room until he spotted the one man who would know the truth. His father!

"Walt," Hart roared marching over to his father with an overwhelming stomp. Without another word he grabbed Walt, yanking him up from the chair he’d been seated in and tugged him up into the air. "What the hell have you done with her? Where is she?"

"I don’t know what you’re talking about," Walt blinked back at his son in astonishment.

"The hell you don’t," Hart snarled unable to hold back on his anger any longer. He threw his fist out and knocked his father to the ground with one punch before moving in over him with an accusatory glare. "You tell me what you did with her you son of a bitch and you tell me right now!"



...to be continued...