Episode 415

A cough built in the back of Angela’s throat now that she felt an ache build in her temple. Pulling her head up from where she’d sat in the passenger seat of Craven’s car, she felt herself a bit nauseated. She turned to the side seeing Craven covered in glass and crouched over the steering wheel, blood over his forehead now that it was clear that he’d suffered greatly in not wearing his seatbelt. Angela, on the other hand, felt her ropes had loosened enough to allow her the freedom to move that hadn’t been there before.

“You have to get out of here,” she heard a voice in the back of her mind whisper now that she’d gained the upper hand in the situation. She sat up straighter wiggling out of the ropes and throwing them over at Craven. She was half tempted to search for his pulse, but as she felt the car teetering over the edge of the incline, she opted not to tempt fate. Reaching for the door handle, she attempted to pull at it, but found it wedged in the ground beside her.

“Damn,” she cursed under her breath glancing over at Craven’s side of the car. She could see his door was unlocked, but having to move over him was not an option. She turned to try her door again before looking to the windshield in front of her--or rather what was left of it. Taking in a breath she reached for the jacket Craven had between them in the front seat. She used it to knock out the rest of the remaining glass before taking in a breath.

“You can do this,” she reminded herself thinking about Kevin and Brant. While she could easily just stay waiting for help, she knew it was too great a risk. Craven could wake up at any time and it would be over with. That in itself was something that she couldn’t live with. Taking in another breath she pushed her way forward through the now open windshield. She was halfway out on the hood when she heard a sound from behind her. She glanced over her shoulder fearing that Craven had awakened, but it was just the sound of the horn with the weight of his head on it.

“Go to hell you bastard,” Angela spat back at him before continuing to carefully climb out of the car. She slid over the side of the hood doing her best to keep from falling directly into the ditch. Maneuvering her legs she found some solid ground beneath her. She took a shaky step forward realizing that the crash must’ve effected her more than she’d anticipated, yet she wouldn’t be thwarted.

“I need to get help,” she blurted out moving towards the road in the hopes that Craven wouldn’t return to consciousness. She kept moving forward refusing to look back when suddenly she felt an ache inside of her.

She paused for a moment trying to take collect her breath now that it was clear she was still feeling something from the crash. Bringing her hand in over her abdomen she took in a small breath and tried to relax.

“You need to keep moving in case Craven wakes up. Brant and Kevin need you,” she reminded herself feeling a renewed determination carry over her. She began to press forward again when another pain caused her to stop. Feeling as if something more was happening, she leaned up against a tree and took in a labored breath. Suddenly realization dawned in over her. It wasn’t the crash she was feeling, but rather…

“Oh God no,” Angela bit back on her words recognizing the pain in her abdomen. She’d thought she’d wound up hurting herself in the crash, but suddenly she felt the telltale signs of what she hadn’t planned on having happen. Crying out in agony, she glanced over at the car she’d helped crash.

“I can’t be going into labor,” Angela blurted out knowing full well that despite her need to get help--to go to save Brant and Kevin fate had other plans for her. Looking around the road she searched for any sign of a car passing by--for someone who would be able to help her.

“You have to get to the hospital. You’re not going to have the children right away,” she mouthed to herself trying to think positive as it was very clear her water must’ve broken in the crash. Falling back against the tree again she let out a pinched wail. “Damn! This can’t be happening! This can’t be happening! Not now!”

Closing her eyes she felt a labored breath carry over her before she tried to focus on something external--something beyond the ache that carried over her, but it was no use. She was going into labor whether it was convenient or not.

“Just hold on a little bit longer,” she pleaded glancing over at Craven’s car once again. She could’ve sworn she’d seen him moving and in that instant she knew she had to seek cover. Turning her attention to the rocks again, she took in a small breath hoping that she could stay out of his line of vision long enough to flag down someone for help sooner or later. Knowing that Craven was still alive made her realize that being near him would only be trouble in this position and she couldn’t afford to let that happen.

“Please don’t fail me now,” she breathed struggling to stagger across the road towards the rocks just praying that she would be able to hide long enough to keep her and her children out of harm’s way before they made their way into the world.


“I can’t believe that I let you talk me into doing this. You should really be in a hospital right now,” Don frowned over at his friend as Don drove down the road not really sure what Brant had in mind after he’d convinced Don to leave the hotel. “This isn’t a good idea.”

“Leaving Angela alone with that madman isn’t a good idea Don,” Brant inhaled slowly hoping that the pain meds that Don had given him would kick in sooner or later. He pressed his hand over his abdomen feeling the tightness of his wound sending sharp pains over the center of his body. Still he wasn’t about to dwell on that at the moment when the love of his life was out there and in harm’s way. “I have to find her. I was so close and if I lost her again…”

“Brant, I know that you shouldn’t be out here,” Don pressed the brakes on the car, “In fact I’m turning this around so that we can get you to the hospital.”

“If you do that Don, then I swear I’m never speaking with you again,” Brant warned him sharply trying to ignore the stinging in his arm.

“It would beat the hell out of losing you,” Don reminded him pointedly with a simple shake of his head, “Beside you don’t even know where we are going. Kevin’s the one that knows the island. He’s the one that will be able to find her and…”

“She’s the mother of my children,” Brant snapped at Don before glaring over at him. “Look man I can appreciate and respect the fact that you’re looking out for me, but damn it if it was Stephanie out there you know full well you wouldn’t quit searching for her until you were positive that she was safe.”

“Brant that’s not fair,” Don frowned over at his friend feeling the weight of Brant’s words.

“Look Don,” Brant paused feeling his head swirling with a dizziness. “I don’t mean to be an ass and maybe it’s the injuries talking, but…”

“I know Brant,” Don finally relented knowing full well that he couldn’t argue with his friend’s logic however misguided it may be at the point in time. “We’re going to find her.”

“I hope so,” Brant revealed leaning his head against the glass of the window beside him. He pressed his forehead down and exhaled slowly, “That man plans on hurting her. I could see it when he had the knife to her throat.”

“We’ll find her Brant,” Don promised hoping that his words would ring true. “We just have to find where they…”

“What?” Brant replied sitting up straighter as he noticed the car turned over on the side of the road.

“That looks a lot like the car Craven was driving,” Don noted wondering if he and Brant had found their first lead. Pulling over to the side Don took in a breath. “I should go check it out. You’re in no position to be…”

“If she’s in there, I’m not staying here,” Brant announced boldly pushing the passenger side door open and stepping out. He stumbled as the door swung open and fell to his butt.

“Brant!” Don called out his name seeing Brant go down. Don rushed around the car hoping to pull Brant to his feet again, but instead he watched Brant use his good arm to pull himself up against the side of the car.

“I’m all good,” Brant waved his hands around in the air dismissively.

“Brant, you shouldn’t be out here and this goes against everything that I believe as a doctor,” Don frowned back at Brant wondering why in the world he’d let Brant manipulate him into taking Brant out here.

“We need to check in the car,” Brant attempted to move forward only to feel Don’s hand press into his chest.

“You stay here,” Don warned sharply, his concerned blue eyes fixed on Brant. “I’ll go look at the car, but I need you to wait for me. If she’s in there, then I swear I’ll get her out, but I need you to stay put. You won’t make it.”

“Don I…” Brant attempted to move forward only to feel himself falling again. Reluctantly he sank back against the side of the car and groaned. “Just hurry…”

“I will I promise,” Don nodded moving in closer to the overturned car. He felt his pulse quickening, his heart hammering in his chest and he hoped above hope that he wouldn’t find Angela inside in the very same way he’d discovered Stephanie right before she’d given birth to Matt. Closing his eyes Don remembered that horrific moment when he’d saved his wife just in time to have his son, yet it wasn’t enough to save Stephanie. That pain ate away at him and Don just prayed that his friend wouldn’t have to experience something like that.

“Don’t let me be right on this one,” Don pleaded to the heavens above ready to investigate the scene further. He carefully descended down the ditch relieved to find the car was empty. There was a lot of blood on the front seat however and that in itself caused Don to worry.

“Don,” Brant’s voice roused him from his search. Looking back over his shoulder he spotted his friend over by the car holding up what looked like some kind of shirt. “Come here! Look at this!”

Don glanced over the car one last time before jogging over to his friend. He moved in closer to Brant realizing it was a woman’s pullover of sorts. “Where did you get that?”

“It’s Angela’s,” Brant explained with a small breath thinking about the last time he’d seen her, “She was wearing it when we were at the beach house, which can only mean one thing.”

“Brant, there’s something I need to tell you--about the crash over there,” Don hesitated remembering the blood he’d seen.

“Don, look there’s blood on the ground,” Brant pointed to a trail in front of him. He followed the line with his eyes seeing it taper off onto the beach. “She could be in trouble…she could be…”

Don glanced down to the shirt in Brant’s hand seeing that it too had blood on it. Worry swept over him and with a deep breath Don surveyed the area hoping for some kind of clue about the situation.

“We have to follow the blood evidence. You know like CSI,” Brant blurted out with a small laugh while staggering forward. “You can be Nick Stokes and I can be Grissom…”

“No way,” Don shook his head and frowned, “I wouldn’t be Nick if you paid me. He’s a fruit.”

“Fruit or not, it’s up to us to solve the mystery of where my girl is at,” Brant slurred moving forward in a haphazard walk. “I’m going to rescue her and then I’m going to sleep.”

“Brant wait up,” Don frowned reaching out to slide his arm around Brant’s shoulders, “You’re in no position to comb the beach.”

“We don’t have to comb the beach,” Brant dropped his head forward, his eyelids growing heavy with the movement. “We just have to follow the blood evidence.”

“I’m leaving you in the car. You can’t go with me because if there’s trouble,” Don warned his friend knowing full well Brant wasn’t up to taking care of himself let alone looking for someone else.

“If you put me back in the car, then I’m going to shoot you Don. I’ll shoot you in the ass just like that crazy Cori girl did to Diego at Sarah and Kyle’s wedding,” Brant snorted with amusement. “God that was funny, wasn’t it?”

“Diego didn’t think so,” Don reminded him thinking about the whole backlash of the wedding fiasco, “but yeah it was a bit amusing.”

“I’m sure it hurt like a bitch,” Brant snickered again before pulling his head up. “Don. There’s blood right there! Forward march!”

“Brant,” Don opened his mouth in protest before stopping himself. He secured his hold around Brant’s torso before taking in a breath and hoping that whatever they found at the end of the trail of blood wouldn’t wind up being something that neither one of them would live to be haunted by.


“Would you listen to me for a second?" Kyle questioned glancing over at one of his best friends after he gave him time to cool down a bit. Russell’s green eyes glanced over at him as Kyle threw his hands up in the air and watched the way Russ looked at him. “I didn’t want to hit you and in a way I’m sorry I hit you Russ. It’s just…”

“I was being a jerk,” Russ interrupted seeing the way that Kyle was looking at him and Russ nodded before turning back to the wheel knowing that they had planned to go talk to Martha to see if there was a place that Kevin would ultimately go. Squeezing the wheel tighter he shook his head before taking in a deep breath. “I’m just scared about Avery and I know I shouldn’t have said the things I did. You were just protecting your wife and I would have done the same for Avery. I’m the one that is sorry. She’s your wife and I should have known better.”

“Alright, but just for the record here--we are going to find Avery. Nothing bad is going to happen to her and I can promise that to you Russ. We’re going to find her,” Kyle promised his friend confident that he would find Avery. He could feel it deep down that she would be okay and he understood his friend’s worry. “We’ll find her Russ. She’ll be back in your arms in no time.”

“Let’s hope that’s true,” Russ pulled the keys out of the ignition taking a moment to himself praying to God that it was true. He spent too much time away from Avery already that he wasn’t ready to spend anymore of his life without her. Whispering a silent prayer he finally opened the car door and saw Kyle’s worried hazel eyes staring out at him. “Let’s go inside. I have a connection here that knows the island just as well as Kevin does.”

“Alright,” Kyle simply nodded not knowing how to help his friend anymore than he could. Russell was obviously upset about Avery and while deep in his heart Kyle wanted to blame Kevin for all of this--he knew who was really to blame.

Moving through the heavy rain, Kyle followed Russ into the bar looking around once they moved in. The place always looked different each time he showed up and it was shocking to see how fast it could transform around them. Despite the thunder and the rain outside the bar came across as a tropical safe haven full of life and warmth as the
two men weaved their way through the crowd.

“Martha,” Russ moved through the bar quickly pushing through the people to reach the bar. He placed his hands over the top wooden frame of the bar and motioned Martha closer to him. Russ watched her stop everything to come over to him knowing he was worried.

“Hey sugar, where’s the fire?” Martha questioned with a wide grin. “I never thought I’d see your beautiful green eyes on that side of the bar especially when the last time you were really, truly here you were on my side working up the crowd before your speedy exit.”

“I’m sorry about that Martha,” Russ apologized with a creased brow, “but I need your help right now. You know Kevin and his attachment to this place. His history here…where would you find him? Where would be the first place he would go to find Angela?"

“Did you try his house on the beach kiddo? Cameron’s? Angela’s place? Her office?" everything Martha suggested seemed to be a place that Russell had already visited. “I don’t know what to tell you kiddo, it almost seems like they would be easy to hunt down around here.”

“So you don’t know of any special place that the two of them shared?" Kyle questioned seeing Martha hold her hands in air not knowing of anything. Cussing to himself, Kyle took a seat at the bar knowing that they had to find Avery and they had gone in circles around the island already. Dozens of times it felt like. Whether it was to find Kevin or Avery and it was frustrating to come up so short.

“I don’t know what to tell you boys. There are so many hidden places around here on the island, that even after all these years I know only a few with all of the caverns and secret hideaways that make this up place,” she explained seeing the way that Russell’s eyes seemed to light up with the answer she just gave him as he motioned Kyle to follow him. “Did I give you an idea?"

“Yes, thank you Martha. We’ll be back,” Russell pulled Kyle out into the rain while thinking about the time he spent with Angela while he was on the island. There were so many events that took place that he couldn’t believe he hadn‘t thought of it sooner. Turning to Kyle in the rain he saw the way Kyle was looking at him and it was obvious that he was as confused as could be. “Listen…while I was on the island Angela and I spent a lot of time down by the caverns. It’s by the waterfalls. There are a few springs and other bodies water around here and there are a ton of caverns as well. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier, but there are so many hidden places that anyone could easily just slip into that to avoid a storm. There is no telling what kind of people can hide out in there especially when something like this kicks up and pulls you away from the beach.”

“So you want us to go looking through some caverns?" Kyle looked around the area knowing that there would be a lot of ground to cover all over this island. “How many of them are there? And where would I find them?"

“I have no idea how many of them there are, but I can think of one I know of right away,” Russ motioned Kyle into the car seeing the way that Kyle looked over at him as he spoke up again. “I know of a few and we should check them out. They are dark and hard to find, but I think we should look.”

“Hey,” Kyle simply shrugged his shoulders before taking in a long breath pressing his hands over his knees while taking in a long breath. “I go where you go Russ. Wherever you need me--I’ll be there.”


Darkness engulfed Avery as she found herself gasping for air. She couldn’t place where she was or even what time it was now that she opened up her eyes and felt the dust fill up her lungs. She felt a sudden jolt of pain in over her arm causing her to turn her head to get a closer look at the source of the ache. She coughed feeling the dirt that surrounded her laying a veil over her face now that she’d realized that she was trapped beneath what appeared to be a wall of rocks.

“What the…” Avery tried to think back to how she’d wound up in this position in the first place. Suddenly it all came back to her in vivid color. She’d seen Kevin enter the cavern, watched him disappear for what felt like far too long of a time and then decided to investigate. After that things were a bit hazy. She could vaguely remember him snapping at her, his trying to drag her out of the cavern before the roof came crashing down.

“Oh my…” Avery coughed again remembering how Kevin had pinned her down on the ground using his body to shield her from the downpour of rubble. She could still remember the echo that vibrated in the walls of the closed in area like it was still happening--as if she was about to be hit with another rock shower, except unlike before this was only her memory getting the best of her. She could still hear the sound of Kevin’s grunting when the stones slammed into his muscled contours and then she could visualize the way that she’s felt closed in, trapped beneath it all and then…

“Kevin,” Avery pushed herself up off of the floor realizing that she must’ve hurt her hand in the chaos. There was blood in her palm and it looked as if she’d dislocated her finger. She took in a breath seeing the way that it was pointed in another direction than what it should be and she cringed. Bringing her hand in closer for inspection now that the cavern was filled with darkness she strained to assess her damage.

“You can do this,” Avery urged herself knowing full well that she couldn’t leave her finger in such a state. Taking in a breath she curled the fingers of her other hand around her wrangled finger and did her best to push it back into place. She heard it snap as she let out a loud, vibrating scream, pain rippling over her whole arm. Still as tiny shudders carried over her, she could see that she’d done the trick. Her finger looked good as new even if it hurt immensely.

“I have to get out of here,” Avery thought aloud attempting to pull herself out of the rubble, but she was still rather shaky. The impact of the downpour had her a bit disoriented, but soon her thoughts turned to the man who had kept her alive.

“Kevin,” Avery blurted out realizing that she hadn’t given any real thought to where he could be or to what kind of position he would be in. “Kevin, where are you? Kevin!”

Avery managed to pull herself up to mock upright position realizing that once the ceiling had caved in, the cavern was far more shallow than it was earlier. The whole cavern had transformed right before her very eyes and as she heard the rumble of thunder outside of where she was trapped, building in an intensified echo that shook her to the core. She dropped down to her knees again straining to see further than the rocks in front of her, but everything was difficult. The cavern left no real telltale signs of anything other than the fact that it had trapped her within it’s shadowy walls.

“Kevin,” Avery spoke up again hearing the sound of her voice bouncing off of the walls now that she was unable to find him. She pushed herself forward crawling through the cavern just a few feet when she heard a sound. She sat up straighter listening before she thought she spotted a darker pile to the left. Switching directions she wiggled herself through the small opening only to discover Kevin laying on his back on the cavern floor.

“Kevin,” Avery called out to him with a breath of relief. She noticed a line of blood trickling down his left cheek and immediately she pushed forward beside him. “Kevin, can you hear me?”

“Avery?” he questioned with a gurgled sound, his brown eyes narrowing as he tried to focus on what was right in front of him. “is that you?”

“Yeah, it’s me,” she nodded quickly reaching out to touch the side of his face, “You scared me there. Thank God you’re alive.”

“I sure got my ass kicked though didn’t I?” Kevin offered up a small smile attempting to ignore the pain that now flooded over him. His brown eyes opened wider and he stretched his arm out to touch the side of her face gently, “You’re hurt.”

“No I’m fine,” she shook her head firmly bringing her hand up to wipe at her face, “It’s just dirt and maybe a few scrapes.”

“What’s this?” he asked reaching for her hand and feeling her wince.

“Let’s just say I saw the Lethal Weapon movies a few too many times and I know how to fix something when it’s broken,” Avery pulled her hand away from his just enough to refrain from shuddering in pain. “I’ll be alright, though I’ll be even better when we get out of here.”

“Did the rocks block the entrance?” he questioned attempting to see the area where they’d first come into the cavern.

“I’m afraid so, but maybe together we can push them away and still get out of here,” Avery suggested sliding over to give him some more room. “Can you move?”

“I think so,” Kevin started attempting to sit up only to feel his head connect with the rock that lingered over him. He fell back to the cavern floor and groaned.

“Kevin, hey,” Avery reached out to him seeing his eyes cross and he let out a groan, “talk to me.”

“I’m fine,” he lied behind gritted teeth. “Though I might need a little help with these rocks. They kind of caught up on me.”

“I can help with that,” Avery assured him reaching for the first stone in front of her. She pulled a few more off of his legs before glancing up at him again, “Kevin, you’re going to have to stay awake for me. After you hit your head…”

“I’m sure I’ll be fine,” Kevin tried to regain his bearings. Using his hands he pressed his palms out over his head and ran his fingers over the slick wall of rock that was over him. He inched his upper body towards the left and attempted to pull himself up when he groaned. “Avery, my leg is still under rock here…”

“I pulled all the stones off Kevin. I don’t see anymore,” she replied leaning in over him to take another look as it was rather dark in the cavern. That’s when she saw it. A horrified gasp fell from her lips.

“What?” Kevin questioned straining to see through the darkness. “What is it?”

“Kevin,” Avery began fighting to suppress the shudder that carried over her in seeing the thick, wooden spike that shot up through Kevin’s upper thigh. She moved in closer for inspection seeing that it had pierced him from bottom to top going all the way through his muscled form with enough of the bloody stick towering over his thigh.

“Avery, what is it?” Kevin questioned straining to see what had caused her to tense up beside him. “Avery, what’s there?”

“Kevin, I have to be honest I don’t know if watching all those movies can help me fix this,” Avery blurted out realizing that things had gone from bad to worse in the blink of an eye now that it was evident that the two of them were very trapped together in the cavern with no obvious exit around the corner.


Seth stood in the middle of the lobby feeling as if his heart had been ripped out of his chest now that the reality of the situation carried in upon him. He stumbled back at bit reaching out to the back of one of the chairs hoping like hell that he could hold onto something real now that Andy’s words swirled in his mind like tiny daggers that shot through him piercing his heart moment by moment.

“I’m sorry Seth. There was nothing we could do for the baby,” Andy offered up stepping aside to leave Seth with the truth about what had happened to the woman he loved.

“Seth,” Sarah spoke his name finding herself overcome by her own tears. Thinking about her best friend’s dreams for a family and a life with the man she loved, it was then that Sarah realized just how unfair life truly was. Blake had everything she’d wanted kept just beyond her reach, but once it was hers--once she had her dream, it seemed to shatter like glass right before her very eyes.

“Why?” was all Seth could question, his voice raw and broken as he no longer could hold back on his tears. “How could someone do this? How could they want to hurt Blake?”

“I don’t know Seth,” Sarah stepped over beside him reaching out to touch his arm gently, “I don’t know why they did what they did, but when they didn’t stop…”

“Blake didn’t deserve this,” Seth blurted out thinking about the night he and Blake should’ve had ahead of him. “We were finally going to be able to be married. This morning I was holding her, making love to her and…”

“I’m so sorry,” Sarah broke into full blown tears, “I tried to go out there and save her, but…”

“Why her? What the hell has she done in this world that would cause someone to do something like this to her?” Seth questioned blankly, his heart breaking as he thought about how hard Blake had been trying for them to have a family with one another. “She wanted a baby more than anything. This was something that she’d been hoping and praying for, yet…”

“I don’t know what kind of monster could do this, but…” Sarah started seeing something happening behind his dark eyes.

“This happened because she loves me--because everyone in my life winds up getting hurt. First my sister and now Blake and our…” Seth choked up at the words, “Our baby is gone. Oh God…”

“Seth,” Sarah reached out to embrace him feeling him fall to pieces in her arms. His head sank into her chest as his tears overtook him.

“Why her? Why couldn’t it be me instead? Why them?” Seth continued to break down unable to contain himself any longer. “I promised that I would always keep her safe, that I would always protect her, so how could God let something like this happen? Our child was innocent just like Blake is. Neither one of them deserved this…”

“I know Seth,” Sarah offered up not knowing the right words to comfort him, but given what he’d lost, she couldn’t help but ache for him.

“Blake’s going to be crushed,” Seth thought about the woman he loved knowing full well how this was something they’d both been hoping for all this time, “We talked about having a child and now…”

“You’ll have each other through this,” Sarah reminded him thinking about her fallen friend, “Andy saved her tonight…”

“I know, but with our child…” Seth trailed off feeling his words losing their meaning now that Andy stepped into the area again to keep a close eye on Seth and Sarah.

“It’s going to be okay Seth,” Sarah replied feeling like the biggest jerk in the world for trying to make it sound as if losing something so very important was nothing more than a trivial mishap considering she knew full well how hard Seth and Blake were wishing for a child. She hugged him closer to her thinking about how she’d neglected her own unborn child since the moment she’d discovered she was pregnant. If anyone didn’t deserve parenthood, it was Sarah and she was well aware of that. She was the last person who should’ve been a mother and it would’ve been justice if something like what happened to Blake had happened to her. It would be a fitting punishment for Sarah but not for Blake. Sarah glanced up again and spotted Andy out of the corner of her eye.

“Seth,” she whispered his name feeling him falling to pieces now that his world had been shaken apart.

"This can't be happening," Seth blurted out unable to accept what Andy had just told him. Despite the reality he‘d been presented with, it was all too much to bear--to much to take. He pulled away from Sarah and tried to find some kind of ground to stand upon now that his world had been shaken. He stepped backwards feeling a staggering breath escape from his lungs. He shook his head before his eyes shifted between Sarah and Andy. Bringing his fingers up through his hair Seth couldn't help but find himself lost in the moment--lost in the idea that everything he could've asked for had been right in front of him only to slip away. It felt like he'd lost Jade all over again, but this time Blake was still alive. "I need to see her…"

"Seth, I want to help you, but…" Andy began eyeing Seth closely as the darkness clouded over Seth's features.

"Listen to me. Blake needs me right now and I want to be with her," Seth snapped at Andy his pain and frustration transforming into an anger--to an inability to deal with the fact that she'd needed him and he wasn't there. "I need to see her!"

"Seth calm down," Sarah offered up reaching out to touch his arm gently.

"Look, I'll let you know when she can have visitors, but right now…" Andy began again only to find himself the recipient of a glare from Sarah.

"You go do whatever it is you need to do in order to make damn sure that he can be with Blake," Sarah warned him in a menacing tone. "They need one another right now."

"She just got out of surgery," Andy replied in a pointed business as usual tone, "Given the trauma she just went through…"

"Listen jack ass this isn't a request this is a demand. Do what you have to in order to let him be with her," Sarah warned sharply seeing Seth move around the room his hands trembling as she turned to Andy again. "Do it now."

"I'll see what I can come up with," Andy raised a curious brow before turning down the hallway and leaving Sarah to be with Seth.

"Seth," Sarah called out to him watching him pace around the room in a moment of disbelief.

"This is everything she wanted," Seth informed her thinking about all of the dreams that he and Blake had with one another for the future. "We were supposed to be married tonight."

"I know," Sarah nodded in response seeing his brown eyes filled with tears.

“I was running behind because I bought her this,” Seth reached into his pocket and withdrew the ring he’d picked up for Blake. “With all the bad luck we’ve had over this last year I thought we could start fresh--that this would be the key to our being able to begin anew. I believed that we could finally be able to love one another without anything holding us back. We were going to have it all…”

“You still can Seth,” Sarah offered up squeezing his arm gently, “Blake is still here and she loves you.”

“Sarah this baby was everything to her. When she knows she was pregnant only to lose our child because of some monster who wanted to hurt her,” Seth trailed off unable to complete his thought, “How could someone do this to her? Why would they want to hurt her when she’s done nothing but try to help the world around her?”

“I don’t know. I just wish that I’d gone out with her…that I’d seen the car sooner,” Sarah felt a shiver carry over her. Guilt ate away at her insides until she heard the sound of footsteps approaching.

“Seth,” Barbara spoke up in a small voice, her eyes revealing the deep remorse she’d felt over the situation that had fallen upon him and Blake, “I’m here to take you to see Blake.”

“Go on,” Sarah whispered in the back of his ear watching Seth fight to pull himself together again. He stood up taller and followed after Barbara as Sarah wondered how someone could do something so horrible to her friend. Now as she tried to piece the scene together again in her mind, she knew that she had to find a way to remember something that would help Blake--something that would ensure that the person who hurt her would spend the rest of their days behind bars for what they’d done. It was the least she could do in order to help her only friend.


“So why is it so strange that your father for once has an interest in how his family is doing? From what I’ve seen from Douglas…anything is possible coming from him,” Kellen dropped down on top of the couch next to Kipp as he brought up the topic of Kipp being freaked out about Douglas being worried about JT. “Even if you hate someone, when they are part of your family--your blood, you worry. No matter how much of an asshole they are.”

“What about with your brother Cary?" Kipp questioned seeing the look that Kellen gave him before taking in a deep breath while shrugging his shoulders. “That’s exactly my point.”

“Right, but in a screwed up crazy way I cared about my brother. Always hoping that there was some way that he would change and be my big brother. Not some crazy psycho. You know, even comparing your father to him though is ridiculous. Did Douglas come home everyday and physically attack you and JT?" Kellen questioned seeing Kipp shake his hands and Kellen rested more back on the couch before raising his hands up a bit. “Then really--even if you hate him--there is not much of a resemblance between Cary and Douglas. I don’t even know if Cary was my full brother Kipp because I didn’t know my dad. I would love to have a dad one day--even if I knew he was an asshole. I’d love to just know that I had someone to call my father. I never had that, so maybe that’s why I don’t see where you are coming from.”

“That’s not what I’m trying to say…it is, but it’s not,” Kipp took in a long breath feeling bad now that Kellen said something like that. Trying to play out his words in his head, he thought of ways to explain what he meant. Kellen’s life compared to his was almost no comparison and it was hard to explain things to him like this. “You see, it’s hard to see Douglas caring because when he cares, he shows it the wrong way. He plays rough and hurtful dad to show you what’s wrong and what’s right. If you fell of your bike and scraped your knee--he’d end up yelling and screaming at you to toughen up. While his intentions I suppose were to try and make you stronger. That sort of a thing is the way that Douglas is. He takes a situation and makes it worse to make it better.”

“Okay…that makes sense in a sort of kind of way,” Kellen wrinkled his nose thinking about the way Kipp worded that and he let out a small laugh. There were ways of further explaining since he was a little confused about the whole situation, but he wasn’t going to ask because he knew Kipp was already having a hard time admitting his father was somewhat of an okay guy. “So why is he upset about JT? If he’s worrying that bad…should I be?"

“Why would you have to worry about JT?" Kipp pondering the thought while his eyebrow arched up looking over at Kellen as they spoke. “JT shouldn’t effect your life because he doesn’t effect mine and he’s my brother.”

“While that’s nice honey--JT was my best friend growing up. I spent a lot of time with him and I care about him. I still talk to him and I think it would be nice to know how he is doing,” Kellen informed him resting up on his elbows on the side of the couch while his blue eyes searched Kipp’s. Wrinkling his nose a bit, he could see that Kipp wasn’t happy with his answer and he slightly snorted. “When we were teens we had each other’s backs. We were the same age and he was my only friend at the time. I still to this day consider him and Heather my best friends.”

“Which I find so hard to believe considering the personality differences,” Kipp made a noise of disgust as Kellen sat up more and turned on the couch to look him over. Shaking his head he took in a deep breath and folded his arms in front of him while Kellen looked him over. “What?"

“The personality isn’t much of a difference. The only difference is that I’m gay and he’s not,” Kellen pointed out seeing the way that Kipp frowned more and he laughed at the sight. “Is there something more bothering you or something?"

“No…sort of,” Kipp fought to explain how he felt while looking at Kellen. Heather was Kellen’s best friend and he knew that the two had slept together in the past and he knew a slim bit of information about JT, but Kellen spending that much time with JT worried him. “Did you two do something? If so…”

“Honey…stop right there,” Kellen cut Kipp off throwing his hands up in the air letting out a hearty laugh. Reaching out for Kipp’s hands, he held onto them tightly before shaking his head slowly. “While JT is a very good looking young man like myself…you can be friends with someone without doing anything sexual with them. As I stated earlier…the big difference between him and me is that I’m gay and he’s not. I mean…not like I didn’t try…”

“Oh shut up,” Kipp reached out to push into the center of Kellen’s chest knocking him off the couch as Kellen started up in a bit of laughter before standing up slowly. “I just don’t need you thinking that my brother is better than me at things.”

“Why would I compare the two? He’s one of my best friends and you’re my boyfriend,” Kellen pointed out with a small sigh knowing that his boyfriend lacked confidence at times, but he should have never been jealous of his own brother. Especially since he had just made it clear that JT was ‘just’ his friend and that was it. Ignoring the comment all together after Kipp simply shrugged, he pulled out his cell phone and looked for JT’s number in his contacts. “Maybe I should call him and check up on him. If you are right about Douglas, then that means there is something to seriously worry about with him.”

“Put the phone away,” Kipp stood up from the couch and reached out to grab the phone from his hands. Placing Kellen’s phone in his back pocket, he felt Kellen go to move for it and he placed his hands over Kellen’s arms to hold him back from getting his phone. “Listen…this is the thing about Douglas. My guess…is something that JT is doing is going to effect his life somehow and that’s why he’s acting the way he is. It probably has nothing to do with how much JT is in danger.”

“Don’t you think it would be good for me to know about that myself? I think it would be smarter for me to check if he’s in any danger or not--not just assume,” Kellen pointed out seeing the look that Kipp gave him and he shrugged his shoulders before taking in a deep breath. “Please give me my phone.”

“I think that…,” Kipp started to feel the phone vibrating in his back pocket and the loud vibrating sounds of someone singing about how disgusting someone was with a few dozen cuss words placed in there. “Who is that ringer for?"

“Uh…oh hey…that’s Sarah,” Kellen clapped knowing that song that he thought was polite enough to be on his phone while he was in public. He could tell that by the look on Kipp’s face he was amused and he excitedly reached for his phone. “Hey…hey…give me the phone.”

“Only if you’re nice,” Kipp warned seeing the way Kellen sighed before pouting and looking toward the ground. Thinking if over for a minute, he nodded before taking in a long breath. “Good boy.”

“Yeah, yeah. You owe me,” Kellen pointed out before answering the phone once Kipp dropped it in his palms. Clearing his throat, he tried his best to be polite toward her. If that was even possible. “Hello. Kellen here.”

“Hey…it’s Sarah and right off the bat I know you wouldn’t want me calling you, but this is kind of serious,” Sarah took in a long breath and it was evident by the way she was talking that she was shook up and something serious was wrong. “I wouldn’t have called you if I didn’t think it was right too, but I need you here.”

“What’s wrong and why do you need me there?" Kellen was a bit emotionless not knowing what was going on as he held a finger up in the air to motion Kipp to wait a second. His eyebrows tightened together as he took in a long breath before shaking his head. It shocked the hell out of him that she actually called him to begin with, but now that she was upset it shocked him even more. “Sarah? What’s wrong?"

“Blake was in an accident Kellen. I saw the whole thing and she’s really hurt,” Sarah informed Kellen hearing him let out a worried gasp and she was still shaking. Her body was still shaking from the worry of seeing what she did. Actually being there and not being able to stop what happened killed her inside. It was her best friend she witnessed getting hurt and it killed her inside. “I’ve tried to call Kevin and he won’t answer his phone. I’ve called him a good dozen times and nothing. I’ve tried getting a hold of Blake’s family and still nothing.”

“Do you need me to keep trying to call Kevin or something? I’m sure if I keep calling…,” Kellen went to continue seeing Kipp moving over toward him seeing now that Kellen was upset. Something was wrong and Kipp wanted to know what it was because he had a sense of worry that washed over him. “Sarah, just tell me what I need to do.”

“Well…Seth is a wreck and he needs someone here. I know you are both of their friends Kellen and they could really use you here,” Kellen heard what she suggested and he automatically started to get ready while he was still on the phone with her while he slipped his shoes on quickly. “I don’t know how to get a hold of their family, but I know you are good with this kind of a thing. Seth needs someone…”

“I’ll be right there. We’re going to be right there I promise,” Kellen informed her grabbing his leather jacket from the closet before grabbing Kipp’s jacket and tossing it at him. “Just meet me by the elevators in twenty minutes. What level?"

“The third floor,” she informed him as he took in a long breath looking down at his watch. “And Kellen…thank you.”

“Yeah, it’s no problem. Thanks for calling me,” Kellen was almost shocked with his own words as he hung up his cell phone and moved over toward the table to pick up his keys. “Get your shoes on we have to go to the hospital. Blake was in an accident and Seth needs someone there.”

“Blake is hurt?" Kipp saw the way that Kellen nodded as he took in a long breath and moved toward the door. Quickly putting on his shoes, he followed Kellen who was already half way to the car and he took in a long breath. “Do you need me to drive?"

“No, I have this,” Kellen got in the car seeing Kipp do the same as he pulled out of the driveway and looked to the time again. “I hope she’ll be okay.”


Grady popped his head back into the hotel room only to discover Heather standing by the window all by herself. He carefully closed the adjoining door behind him to the suite Heather was in as his green eyes fell upon the empty sofa. He glanced over to Heather again seeing her lost in the moment as he stepped forward.

“Where did everyone go?” Grady couldn’t help but question as he nearly started Heather in the process. “I thought Brant was in a dire state or something.”

“Brant’s following his heart in going after Angela,” Heather explained not bothering to turn around to face Grady. “He and Don left a little while ago in search of her.”

“Then obviously the shooting wasn’t as hard on him as he lead everyone to believe, but then again that doesn’t really surprise me since Brant just loves to play possum when the mood strikes him,” Grady couldn’t help but roll his eyes at the thought.

“You should just lay off of Brant,” Heather snapped turning around to face him finally with a glare. “He’s a good guy who follows his heart Grady.”

“That’s a purely subjective statement and you know it as well as I do,” Grady responded with a pointed expression. His green eyes swept over Heather as he shook his head, “Then again Brant does seem to have that kind of effect on otherwise normal, rational women when it gets down to it.”

“Brant’s an incredible person Grady and if you’d stop hating him for five minutes you would see that,” Heather huffed wrinkling her nose at him.

“Truth be told when I look at Brant Ashford I see a man who simply has found a way to get the women in his life to turn into violent, overly aggressive, WWE wannabes when they decide to throw down on each other,” he frowned over at her. “It never ceases to amaze me how a beautiful woman would want to toss away everything she’s worked for in her life just so that she can tackle the honor of being the object of Brant’s obsession. I really don’t get it.”

“Talk to your future sister-in-law about it. She’ll tell you exactly how it goes,” Heather snubbed her nose at him once again. “Although when she was married to Brant she seemed a bit more interested in protecting you if I recall correctly. Come to think of it I seem to recall her spending more time with you than with the man she married.”

“You’re just fishing for ammunition on Avery and I’m not about to issue it to you,” Grady shook his head at her finding himself surprisingly displeased with Heather’s direction in their conversation.

“There was once a time when you loathed her more than I did,” Heather tossed back at him with a huff. “I remember all the things you did because you despised her.”

“And look where it got me,” Grady reminded her with an outward groan. “I nearly lost my brother and my sanity for taking out my frustrations about myself on Avery. You’d think if nothing else you’d learn a little something from my mistake on that front.”

“I didn’t try to initiate a fight with her tonight, but…” Heather’s eyes darted towards the carpeting as her frown intensified.

“You two just tend to bring out the worst in one another,” Grady finished for her. “Yeah, I kind of get that, but at the same time I’m pretty sure that neither one of you really needs to be hung up on a guy like Brant.”

“This isn’t about…” Heather protested as her green eyes met Grady’s once again.

“Yes it is, but I have to tell you it shouldn’t be,” Grady interrupted with a frown. “I mean I can get why Avery might be bitter about Brant since he was so controlling and manipulative with her. He tried to destroy her professionally when she wouldn’t succumb to his advances, but even then I don’t get why she would want to argue with you. Then again after Brant tossed you out on your ass, I can’t see why you’d want to think about having him back after all the public humiliation he unleashed out on you.”

“I don’t want him back Grady,” Heather frowned over at him. “You should know that.”

“What I see is a woman who is married to my best friend,” Grady stated plainly as he crossed the room to look out the window for a moment. “Kyle loves you with all that he is and he believes in that love between the two of you otherwise he wouldn’t have made you his wife.”

“Grady, if you’re doubting my love for Kyle for one second,” Heather started as he turned around to stare her down boldly.

“Should I have reason to doubt it?” he arched a speculative brow.

“Of course not,” she shook her head adamantly. “There’s no reason what so ever for you to believe that I love anyone other than Kyle.”

“Heather we both know there’s plenty of reason why I should be concerned starting with what I witnessed between you and Brant when Don brought him here,” Grady eyed her suspiciously. “Although I’m sure Kyle was oblivious to what was taking place, I saw the expression on your face when you thought Brant might be leaving this world.”

“I care about him Grady. I’m not even going to try to deny that,” Heather argued placing her hands on her hips firmly. “He was special in my life…”

“Even so Heather. The more you and Avery carry on about Brant, the harder it is for the world to believe that you’re over him,” Grady added bluntly.

“I am over him,” Heather insisted with a huff. “I am.”

“Then maybe it’s time to let go of this vendetta you have against Avery,” Grady suggested with a small shrug. “You know as a sign of good faith.”

“You’re just saying that because you and Avery are pals now and…” Heather curled her lip in a pout as Grady walked over to the mini bar area and pulled out a bottled water from the refrigerator behind it.

“This has nothing to do with my relationship with Avery and everything to do with my best friend’s happiness Heather,” Grady stood upright placing his hands on top of the bar. “Kyle loves you more than anything in this world. He would have to if he would be willing to deck Russ to defend your honor. So with that thought in mind I think you owe it to him to be honest about where your heart is.”

“It’s with Kyle,” Heather marched towards the mini bar ready to get a drink for herself as their eyes connected, “and only Kyle.”

“Good,” Grady smiled, satisfied with her answer, “that’s exactly what I was hoping to hear.”

“It’s the only answer you would hear because it’s the truth,” Heather vowed as Grady bent down to retrieve a bottle of water for her as well. “I know I’m not perfect, but I absolutely love Kyle with all that I am. I have loved him most of my life even if we weren’t able to be together.”

“Kyle’s the kind of guy that when he falls for someone, he falls hard and Heather, I’ll be honest when I tell you that he’s never been this way about anyone other than you. That’s special,” Grady popped the top off of his drink. “It’s important that you know how much he loves you.”

“I do,” Heather promised softening her tone, “which is why I don’t want to lose him Grady. I mean he’s out there encountering heaven knows what and there’s nothing I can do to help him.”

“Kyle’s a smart man,” Grady reminded her point blank. “He and Russ are both very motivated and far too strong to let anyone stop them in finding Avery.”

“Which is why I’m worried,” Heather added bringing her fingers up through her soft, blonde hair. “Kyle pushes forward with his everything when someone he loves is in danger, but doesn’t realize the risk himself.”

“Kyle’s beaten the odds from day one. He’s not about to let anything happen to him or Russ,” Grady softened his tone a bit. “You have to believe that.”

“I’m just afraid Grady,” she confessed with a pained expression on her face. “My husband is out there taking on a madman we know next to nothing about and I’m terrified.”

“Hey,” Grady stepped in closer to her. “It’s going to be okay.”

“I’m just not so sure of that,” she replied feeling tears threatening to overtake her.

“I know it’ll be okay,” Grady promised nudging her arm gently. “I mean hey if Kyle can come out of gunfire without a hit on him in the past, then this is small potatoes.”

“When I saw Brant I realized that wasn’t the case, but Kyle didn’t see it that way,” Heather sighed as she closed her eyes again. “I just can’t afford to lose him.”

“You won’t,” Grady assured her. “In fact, what do you say we get out of here for a while and find a way to unwind?”

“I don’t think that’s possible with Kyle out there Grady,” Heather informed him with a worried expression.

“Maybe not, but I don’t think sticking around here is going to help either. Deana and I were just going to go downstairs to get some dinner or something,” Grady explained realizing the genuine fear behind Heather’s eyes. “Why don’t you join us and then after we’re done I’m guessing Kyle will return.”

“I wish I had your faith about things,” Heather couldn’t help but offer up a smile.

“Trust me it took a very long time to get to where I’m at and I still doubt most everything, but I’m good at the art of faking it,” Grady explained walking over to the door and opening it for her. “So what do you say? How about dinner?”

“I suppose I can work that into the program while we wait,” Heather decided hoping that whatever was happening with Kyle wouldn’t lead to more danger than any of them was really willing to face.


Rolling his eyes, Ken slowly followed behind Rex and Wendy as they got their tour of the Eiffel tower. The worst part about the whole thing is that they didn’t even have lunch yet. Usually they ate and talked for what seemed like hours, but after they ate they always went home. Now he was stuck following Rex talking like he knew everything about Paris, France. Even when Ken tried to put his input, somehow he said the name of the city wrong. How did he know that? Rex felt the need to blurt out and stop him from talking just to correct him. Since then, he didn’t feel like putting his input in. He was just going to follow them just like he had been doing for hours, looking and being bored. Beyond bored. And kind of ticked off to be honest.

“Are you still back there?" Rex questioned in a small laugh seeing the glare that his nephew seemed to shoot him and he held his hands up in the air before laughing. “Sorry for asking, but you’ve been so quite that I was starting to wonder how it was going back there for you.”

“I’m just taking in all the sights to see,” Ken lied through gritted teeth seeing the look that Wendy gave him from where she was standing. He knew that if he was being honest he would get yelled at later and with all that had been going on--he wasn’t in the mood. At all. All he wanted now was just to go back to the hotel. Hell, forget the hotel. He wanted to go home. As bad as that sounded, at least at the mansion there was a chance at not running into someone that day. Whereas here, it was sure that he would run into Rex everyday. “I’m having a good old time uncle Rex.”

“That’s good Kenneth because the tour is about an hour longer,” Rex informed him and deep down Ken was cussing to himself. His feet hurt and he was getting sick of Paris already. Paris was the most romantic city in the world…well, that was what he was told. It was supposed to be the perfect place to take Wendy to show her how much he loved her and as of right now he damned himself for even wanting to go. He saw too much of France already and he’d only been in one city. The only thing this trip furthered him to believe is that he never wanted to come back here again. Unless he knew that the whole city was blocked from his family. It seemed no matter where he went that his family was always there wait. “You should keep up.”

“I’m keeping up, don’t worry about me. At all, I’m just walking behind you and looking. Looking at…stuff,” Ken didn’t care to say the right thing anymore.

This was getting ridiculous and as he felt a buzzing in his pocket he felt relieved. Relieved to finally have someone help him break free from this close insanity that started to rage up inside of him. It was starting to grow and he was sure that if he got the chance that he would try and throw his uncle over the side of the Eiffel tower and he could only imagine what kind of bad news that would bring toward his family’s name. Maybe that was actually a good idea.

Beyond his thoughts, he realized that if he didn’t answer soon enough the person would be gone and he would be stuck inside of his thoughts once more. Which while some might suggest that was a good thing, he knew that it wasn’t something he was very fond of. Especially with having people with him and being stuck in that position. It sucked.

“Hello,” Ken finally answered his phone and stepped away from the small crowd of people he was with. He moved as far to the corner as possible making sure he placed his distance between them. Maybe if he was lucky they would actually forget him and leave him there. Then again--he was really wishing and hoping there. Knowing them they would wait for him just so he could continue on with them on this very boring trip.

“Kenneth…thank God I got a hold of you,” the sound of Annie’s worried voice filled his ears as his eyebrows tensed together and any thoughts he was having before left him when he heard the worry behind her voice. “I’ve been trying to get a hold of you for a while and thank God I could now.”

“Annie, what’s wrong?" Ken suddenly found himself becoming worried as he saw Wendy approaching him and Rex watching from afar as his worries rose. “Annie?"

“You sister Ken…she was in an accident. She’s been hurt,” Annie explained as best as she could from what she was told about the accident that took place. “She was hit by a car and bruised up pretty badly. You’re her big brother and I didn’t know what else I could do with you away.”

“You did the right thing Annie, I will be home as soon as I can,” Ken explained hanging up the phone after his goodbyes as he worriedly ran his fingers through his hair and turned to Wendy holding her hands in his. “I have to go home. Blake has been hurt and I have to go. I can’t stay here I have to take the first flight home to get to my little sister. Annie didn’t know much, but I have to go.”

“Blake is hurt?" Rex stepped forward clearing his throat and moving in closer to him as he patted his pockets down looking for his wallet. “If Blake his hurt we need to go right now. I’ll pay them for all of this and I think we all should leave.”

“You’re coming?" Ken questioned seeing the worry behind his uncle's eyes and he knew that this was something that Rex was being genuine about. “You pay them and we’ll meet you at the hotel alright? Pack as fast as you can.”

“Okay…if my niece is hurt--there is nothing keeping me here,” Rex informed them reaching out to squeeze Ken’s shoulder before letting out a worried breath while turning on his heel to talk to the people who were giving the tour.

“I’m sorry Wendy, but Blake is more important. I need to make sure she is okay,” Ken informed her seeing her nod knowing that she wouldn’t be the one to fight it since he knew that when her brother was injured she would be the same way. Running his fingers through his hair nervously, he didn’t know what was wrong with Blake and how she was and that’s what scared him the most.


Ria checked her watch again wondering how in the world it was that time could be going so slow when she wanted more than anything to be able to see Kevin again and talk with him about the discovery she’d made. While she knew full well that everything would change after she delivered the news to him, she was also well aware of the fact that he couldn’t be kept in the dark about something so very important.

“Which is why you’re flying out there,” Ria reminded herself as she checked the time again. It seemed as if everything was moving in slow motion after she’d learned the truth about Kevin’s daughter. It made everything else in her world seem irrelevant and as she stewed over how she would break the news to him when she finally connected with him again, she wondered what kind of effect it would have on their lives together.

“I love you so much Kevin, but I know how long you’ve waited for this,” Ria’s heart sank as she thought of the way Angela had been with Kevin over the last few months. While Angela might not know who she was, there was something about the idea of Kevin and Angela bonding again that had Ria more than concerned.

“We’ll get through this,” Ria hoped to encourage herself as she stood up ready to head to the gate towards where her flight was.

She took two steps forward as her phone rang. She practically leapt out of her skin as she feared it would be Kevin returning her phone call. She promised herself she wouldn’t give him the news over the phone, but still she knew she couldn’t lie to him either. As she pulled her phone out of her pocket, she let out a breath of relief in realizing that it was Trisha. With a sigh, she pushed talk and raised the phone to her ear.

“Hey Trisha, what’s up?” Ria questioned looking to the clock again. “I’m just about to board my plane.”

“I don’t think now’s a good time Ria. Something came up,” Trisha’s voice was laced with concern. “I know that you wanted to go meet up with Kevin, but…”

“But what?” Ria’s heart dropped at the sound of her sister’s tone. “Trisha, what’s going on?”

“It’s Seth…” Trisha paused with heavy emphasis as Ria’s thoughts returned to her best friend.

“What’s wrong with Seth?” Ria questioned worriedly. “Did something happen?”

“Ria, there was this horrible accident and Blake…” Trisha’s voice grew broken as it was clear she was choked up on her emotions.

“What about Blake?” Ria asked hearing her sister sniffle. “Trisha, what’s happening?”

“Someone tried to kill her,” Trisha finally blurted out. “She was run down by a car and rushed to the hospital. Seth just found out and from what I understand it looks bad Ria. Really bad.”

“Oh my,” Ria gasped hearing the call for her flight. She tipped her head up turning to look at the gate number just beyond where she stood. Her thoughts returned to Kevin, but as Trisha spoke up again, she found her heart with Seth in that moment.

“Ria, he’s going to be a huge mess. He really loves her and…” Trisha continued painfully.

“I’m on my way to the hospital now,” Ria decided turning around and heading towards the door out to the parking lot. “If you see Seth before I do, just try to talk to him and help him through this.”

“I will,” Trisha’s voice softened a bit, “and hurry Ria. I don’t think he’s going to be doing well at all given how much I know he loves her.”

“I realize that,” Ria agreed hanging up the phone as she realized that her priorities had been shifted for a while. Although she knew she needed to see Kevin, her best friend took top priority in that moment as it was clear Seth’s world was crashing down around him. She just prayed that it wouldn’t be beyond repair when all the pieces were laid out before him.


“I think we’re on time,” Kipp pointed out to Kellen who seemed to be getting even more impatient as the elevator moved up the levels. It had to be one of the slowest elevators they had been on. Or maybe it was slow because of the emotional worry the both of them were in over Blake. Either way, you could tell that Kellen was upset with so much worry that his face was already extremely pale. He had checked his watch over a million times already and you could see that he was aggravated. “She’ll be okay.”

To be honest--neither one of them really knew what was going on with Blake. They didn’t know what kind of condition she was in, how things were going or what was happening. All they knew is that they were both upset.

“Sarah,” Kellen called out to her seeing how she was sitting on one of the chairs in the hallway waiting for them to arrive and she stood up once she got a sight of him. Moving over toward him and Kipp--she wasn’t quite sure how to react at seeing them. “Have you heard something on her? How she’s doing?"

“She’s hurt,” was all that Sarah could say as she rubbed at her arms knowing that the sight of her friend getting hit by that car haunted her every time she closed her eyes. She wished she could have saved her from it, but now she damned herself for even leaving Blake like that. “I didn’t mean for it to happen. I’m like bad luck or something because she should have never been the one hurt.”

“What happened?" Kipp stood forward seeing the way that Kellen gulped down as he stared out at Sarah. She took in a long breath and wiped at the small tears over her eyes. Kipp caught on that she was still really shaken up about the whole thing and he reached out to place his hand over her shoulder to comfort her somewhat. “Sarah?"

“We went out--you know, it was a girl’s night out. Just like we always have them. We got back to the cars and she was telling me ways on how to fix my life. Which…we don’t even have to go there,” Sarah half laughed seeing the smirk that pressed in over Kellen’s young features as she continued. “I went to the car and she was looking the other way. A car hit her straight forward and buckled her leg. The person in the car knew what they were doing. They went straight for her and it was obviously planned. I saw the whole thing and I couldn’t do a thing about it.”

“Hey…” Kellen gulped down seeing Sarah start to cry and it was a side he hardly knew of Sarah. Sighing he reached out to do something--he thought of hugging, but he didn’t know if that would be a terrible choice so he just simply squeezed her shoulder while nudging her softly. “It wasn’t your fault.”

“Yeah, but of the two of us--I deserve it. Blake has done nothing wrong in her life and she didn’t deserve this,” Sarah shook her head slowly and when they both heard someone call out her name they turned to see Douglas stepping out of the elevator. Kellen moved away from Sarah enough to see Douglas wrap his arms around her tightly squeezing her in his arms. “Doug…”

“I’m so sorry honey,” Douglas muttered feeling her head resting against his chest. When she had no one else to go to she called him and his worry grew for her every moment he wasn’t with her. Squeezing her in his arms tighter, he saw both Kipp and Kellen staring out at him. “You heard?"

“Yeah,” Kellen simply lowered his head and moved across the hallway to see if he could find Seth who could tell him about what happened and how things are going. There was so much information they were lacking that it made them both nervous. Glancing over at Kipp, he could see the glare he was giving his father while he talked to Sarah seeming to calm her down while she was upset. Doug placed a kiss over her lips and it seemed to make Kipp either more confused or pissed off. He couldn’t tell. “What’s wrong?"

“My father…I don’t get him,” Kipp informed him with a small glance before turning away from his father to look into the open door before him seeing the empty hospital bed. “I just don’t get what’s going on with him right now. He’s acting strange.”

“Maybe he’s changed for what he thinks is the better,” Kellen suggested seeing the way Kipp glanced at him and obviously that wasn’t the right answer to give. Looking back to Sarah and Douglas he realized that they actually looked like a real couple and maybe it was a good thing. Not really, but maybe Douglas was changing for the better in Kipp’s life and it could make him feel better in the long run. “It’s possible.”

“Not for Douglas Mahoney,” Kipp refused to believe that his father was changing based on the years he had already spent with him. “I’m sorry, but I’m not going to believe that. He hasn’t changed yet and he never will.”


Barbara stepped aside allowing Seth to enter Blake’s room all by himself now that the weight of the moment had swept over him. He felt himself frozen in place lost in the idea of what could be waiting or him--in what he was about to face even though he was sure that his heart wasn’t strong enough for it. At first glance he was right. Seeing Blake laying out on the hospital bed looking battered and beaten he knew that it was something that he couldn’t take. Her face was swollen, her eyelids bruised and there were cuts on her face. Her blonde hair was pushed away from her face, traces of blood around the edge and as he moved in beside her, his heart sank. Seeing her like this felt so wrong, so completely out of place and yet.

“Oh Blake,” Seth sank down to the side of the bed unable to contain his deep despair in finding her in such a position. He could see the results of the hit and run taking it’s toll over every inch of her leaving her wounded beyond mere words. The woman he loved who was far more beautiful than anything he’d ever known seemed so helpless and lost as she lay before him unconscious. He reached for the chair that was positioned by her bed and took a seat.

“I’m so sorry,” he mouthed reaching for her hand realizing just how slender her fingers were now that they rested in his palm. She was so petite and vulnerable and he’d taken for granted that she’d been able to take care of herself. She’d needed him tonight--needed him more than she’d ever needed anyone before and he hadn’t been there. He’d failed her by not picking her up at that community center and bringing her home. Why hadn’t he thought to make his way over there? Why hadn’t he gone over to surprise her with roses and shower her with gifts as he’d done in the past? Why tonight of all nights did this happen to her?

“Blake, I’m so sorry,” he confessed in a pained tone, his words tearing at his insides. He leaned forward to press a kiss over her hand careful not to hurt her as he held onto her. “I swore to you that you’d never feel any pain again--that in being with me you would be safe, but tonight I let you down. Blake, I let you and our baby down. I wanted so much to make your dreams come true and because I wasn’t there when you needed me, we lost them. We lost our baby and I failed you. I’m so sorry and I know saying it doesn’t make up for what’s happened.”

Seth choked up unable to hold back his tears any longer. He reached out to her stroking her long, blonde hair gently as she lay motionless before him, “God knows that I could’ve done so many things differently. I took for granted that we had all the time in the world with one another, but I never gave you what you needed. I should’ve pushed for us sooner--should’ve fought harder for what we had before it came to this. Tonight I swore to you would be a night we would never forget, but never in a million years did I dream that we would be here together in this position having to let go of the miracle our love created. Blake, I can’t even begin to apologize for all of this. I wish I’d been there…that I could’ve been the one that car hit instead of you. I just wish…”

Seth stopped himself feeling a moment of despair overtake him. “God, please don’t take her from me. Don’t let tonight destroy everything we had ahead of us. Please I can’t lose her too.”

Seth lowered his head thinking back to when he’d been at the hospital with his mother watching her disease steal a part of her little by little over the years. It ate away at her life force and after he’d lost her, there had been Jade. He’d promised to keep her safe and keep her protected, but he’d failed her too. She’d died because he hadn’t been able to live up to his promise to see to it that his sister would always be safe. He’d sworn after the rape that the world wouldn’t be able to scar her again as it had, yet Susan Hastings had stolen any chance for a future that Jade had ahead of her. His sister had died and there wasn’t a damn thing that he could do about it--much like what happened tonight with the hit and run.

“Our baby should’ve been able to make his or her way into this world Blake. I wanted that dream just as much as you did,” Seth confessed knowing full well what a family would’ve meant for them, “You would be an amazing mother. I know that our child would’ve loved you so much.”

Seth glanced at her battered face hating that someone had been given the chance to harm her like they had. It was so unfair, so out of the realm of what should’ve been. Nothing about the night made sense. Nothing about Blake being here felt right. They should’ve been at the chapel exchanging vows and planning for forever, not being shut into this situation with her fighting for her future.

“Blake, I love you so much,” Seth whispered bending in closer to her. “I need you, so please, please keep fighting for me. Come back to me.”

Closing his eyes Seth thought back to when he and Blake had first met--back to a time when it seemed that the forces of nature were aligned against them. He could recall how terrified they both were at the time--how it seemed like the end for each one of them, yet they’d been able to reach out to one another back when neither one of them knew that they would find love with one another. It was that first meeting that changed things forever.

“It’s going to be okay,” Seth promised her wondering if his words were in fact true as he held her in his arms.

“How can things be okay? How can anything ever be okay? I’m going to die here in some dirty auto shop in the arms of a stranger,” Blake cried out as another object came crashing down, “oh…”

“Hey,” he touched her face, lifting her chin to meet his concerned eyes as his grease covered finger brushed up against her soft skin, “you’re not going to die in here and the name is Seth.”

“Seth,” she repeated with tears in her eyes, “I’ve been through a quake before in Los Angeles. I know what these things can do and we need to get out of here.”

“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Seth motioned towards the door, “but maybe if we get back down there, it’ll be okay.”

“Back in that pit,” her eyes widened with fear, “uh uh. No way. There is no way in this world that you’re getting me back down there when,” she protested as another sound crashed from behind them and Seth picked her up tossing her over his shoulder climbing down into the pit with her.

“Let me down. Let me down right this instant,” she argued with him as he held her over his shoulder, “I don’t know who you think you are but…”

“We’re going to be safe here,” Seth promised placing her on the floor once again as he looked up to the world above them.

“How can you say that?” she motioned to the car overhead, “if that things falls, we’re history.”

“No, we’re not,” he explained shaking his head, “if that car falls, it’s not going to fall in here with us. If anything it’ll shield us from what’s going on up there.”

“How do you know that? How many earthquakes have you been through?” she questioned in a panic thinking back to when she’d experienced the last earthquake in Los Angeles.

“Well, none, but…”

“You don’t know anything then. You’re hardly an expert,” she huffed back at him, her hands trembling at the sounds that rose above them.

“Hey,” he reached out to her touching her back gently, “it’s going to be okay miss. I swear to you that I’m not going to let anything happen to you. You have my word on that,” he finished feeling the fear rushing through her as he pulled her into his arms drawing her against him tightly as her shivers raged over her.

“Back then I swore to you that I would keep you safe and that’s always what I wanted for us Blake,” Seth whispered returning to the moment and seeing her laid out before him. “I wanted so much more for us. We had so many dreams--so many things we wanted…”

Seth took in a breath and thought back to another time when he and Blake almost lost one another in the past. His mind went back to when he was in the hospital after the airport explosion after contemplating leaving town and putting his life with Blake behind him in order to let her find a future with Zack. He remembered the grief that Blake had felt in losing her best friend, but more so he remembered the way that she’d come to him when it seemed all that they’d had with one another was lost.

“The point is that Caitlin told me a long time ago that happiness doesn’t come along every day. I’d asked her once how she could even think about finding someone in her life after what Jimmy had done to her. Time and time again he’d hurt her in so many ways that no woman should have to face. She’d been through the worst of the worst and yet when I was feeling down about being unlucky in love, she reminded me that in being afraid to live, you were just letting life pass you by. In closing yourself off and hiding away from love, you were only giving yourself the greatest disservice of all because you weren’t really following your heart. You were only half alive when you were too afraid to take a stand. I didn’t understand it before, but I do now Seth. I’m not afraid to take a stand for what I believe in anymore--for what I feel in my heart…”

“Blake…” Seth began watching her lip quiver with the moment.

“Seth, please,” she placed her finger over his lips to silence him, “I need to say this--I need to quit stalling because if I don‘t, then I could miss out on something wonderful and I don’t want that to happen. Time and time again I’ve played it safe. I’ve hidden behind what everyone wanted me to be--far away from where it was I was meant to be in this world and the truth to the matter is that I was never really living my life until I met you. You were the last thing I was looking for when that earthquake hit, but when I found you, well I knew you were someone special. I knew that I couldn’t ever forget you even when I tried to. With Zack, well there was something special between us and there’s always going to be something there, but Seth the truth to the matter is that Zack is my past. He’s a man I thought I loved at a time in my life when I didn’t know what real love was. I thought that he and I had this thing between us…I thought that we could make it work, but I was young and impulsive. We make great friends, but he’s not the man who made me see life for what it truly is. He’s not the one that I dream about--the one that I want to share my life with--the one who I want to spend my future with. Seth, I’ve waited all my life to find my prince charming. I spent endless hours trying to imagine his face--to think about what it would feel like when he swept me off my feet and saved me from the nightmare that was my life. Countless times I prayed that the day would come that my white knight--my handsome prince would ride up on his horse and take me away from the castle I’d been locked away in. It was so ridiculous at the time, yet it had me really believing in romance. Of course I didn’t know the half of it until you came into my life. You made me want to challenge myself--to really become a better person and when I fell in love with you, well that was the greatest thing that had ever happened to me. It was the first time in my life that I was really me. I didn’t have to pretend to be something I wasn’t and when we were together, it was as if everything was as if it was meant to be. I didn’t have those dreams about the faceless prince anymore because the true prince in my heart was the man who had stepped into my life.”

“Blake I…” Seth started up again hoping to get a word in as she shook her head at him again, keeping her finger over his lips.

“Seth, please let me do this. I know that I sure as hell don’t deserve a second chance especially not after what I put you through, but the fact to the matter is that losing Caitlin reminded me of something very important. Once in a lifetime love doesn’t happen everyday and if you wait for things to happen, then you’re only shortchanging yourself. If you don’t reach out and grab the happiness that comes your way, then you’ll live your life without ever knowing--without ever feeling and I don’t want that. I don’t want to go through the motions when all I can think about is sharing my life with you. I love you Seth Alexander and when I went to that airport to find you it wasn’t because I felt you were my second choice. I went there seeking you out because as far as I’m concerned you’re the only choice. You’re the man I want to spend my life with--the one that I want to share my hopes and dreams with and spend forever loving. Seth, when you told me about the things you wanted for us, I treated you so poorly and if I could take that moment back I would. I would do whatever was necessary to keep you from ever having to experience the pain I put you through, but I promise if you give me another chance to prove myself I won’t let you down. I won’t make the same mistake twice…Seth, I need you. I want you and I hope to God that you want me too.”

“Blake, for you to even ask that…” he finally spoke up watching her rise up from the bed where she sat.

“Seth there’s more,” she explained taking note of his questioning eyes, “There’s a lot more and if you’ll just let me finish.”

“Don’t I get a say in this,” Seth questioned watching her fish around in her pockets for something.

“Not this time,” she shook her head at him before withdrawing a small box, “I know this is really unconventional, but since you’ve gone out of your way to make everything wonderful for me, it’s time that I took the initiative and did something wonderful for you.”

With that, she reached for his hand before moving beside him at the bed. Reaching out to touch his cheek gently, she brushed her fingers against his bronzed skin, her eyes never straying from his, “Seth, I know this is taking a leap of faith here considering all that I’ve put you through, but I need you to know. I made my decision and there was really no decision at all to begin with. You are my heart, the other half of my soul and my one true love. Without you life just isn’t worth the effort. Things just aren’t the same without you and I’m taking a tip from my best friend Caitlin in making things happen for me. I’ve wasted far too much time already here in being childish, but no more. Seth, I know what I want--I know what I need and it’s a life with you if you’re still willing to give me that,” reaching out for the small box, she opened it to reveal a ring she’d carried with her. She bought it on a whim when she’d made up her mind, but now, well now she was as sure of her love for him as she was the air she’d breathed.

“Blake is this…” Seth’s eyes widened in confusion and then understanding at what was happening.

“You told me not too long ago that you had dreams about us having a family together--of my being your wife and our living our lives together and I’d like a chance to explore that--to see what it is that you had thought about for us. If you’re willing to show me what you have in mind, then I can show you what it is that I’ve had in mind for us. Together, we could have something amazing--that is if you’ll have me,” she gulped feeling her pulse leaping up into her throat, “if you’ll make all of my dreams come true and be my husband Seth.”

“I wanted that more than anything Blake. I still do,” Seth revealed thinking about how much they’d grown with one another. Squeezing her hand in his he leaned forward saying a silent prayer to the heavens above that this disaster wouldn’t destroy them by taking her from his life forever. They would mourn their child with one another and it would be a pain that would forever haunt them. Seth turned his dark eyes to gaze over at Blake once again making a silent vow to find the person responsible for shattering their world. Once he did he swore to himself and to the memory of their lost child that he would make them pay for what they’d done to hurt their family.


“It’s getting late. Maybe they are like us and they have been looking all over for you and I, but we keep missing each other,” Kyle suggested seeing the way that Russell was looked at him as they moved through the wet sand on the beach. Out of the corner of his eyes he could see a waterfall that had a long line of lightening flash right above it. It’s too bad the times they were having on the island. If it wasn’t raining and none of this was happening--it might actually be a nice travel spot. Following Russell toward the waterfall he stumbled over a few things before reaching for Russell’s shoulder. “I was born in Chicago for a reason. I’m a snow person. I’m not used to this tropical shit. I mean I like it--I‘m just not used to it.”

“You get used to it eventually with the time you spend here,” Russ explained moving around the rocks of the waterfall that led behind the waterfall into the cavern he went to with Angela. Kyle slowly followed behind making sure that he wasn’t about to fall. “This has to be like somewhere they are at. We’ve searched everywhere.”

“You even said there are plenty of them on the island,” Kyle pointed out moving through the dark, wet and musty smelling cavern looking around him. While most people said they found them pretty nice, he wasn’t impressed. Maybe if it was sunny or something, but the sound of the storm didn’t help any. “It doesn’t look like they are here.”

“Avery,” Russ called out and there was a strong echo that filled the air as Kyle looked around. A moment later Kyle stepped in a dark spot sending him down into what he thought was a puddle of water. “Kyle.”

Moving over toward the pool of water that Kyle had slipped into and underneath the water, Russ reached under grabbing a hold of Kyle's hand. Tugging harder on his hand, he pulled him up above the water hearing Kyle taking in a long breath before helping Russ pull himself out.

“What happened?" Russ kneeled beside Kyle was looking down at his jeans that had obviously gotten torn somehow. Tapping Kyle on the face he saw Kyle’s hazel eyes staring out at him as he wiped at the water on his face. “You have to be careful in these things. They have unexpected areas when you are in the dark.”

“Tell me about it. I stepped in that and fell right through. My jeans got caught on something while I was under and I couldn’t pull free for a minute,” Kyle informed Russ pressing back his very wet hair while he felt his heart hammering in his chest. While most say to expect the unexpected…that was just insane. There was no way that anyone would catch him doing this again. Not after something like that. “Wow, okay…lets hope that if they are in one of these that they are much safer around them than I am.”

“Kevin lived here--he knows this place like the back of his hand,” Russ frowned moving out of the cavern after Kyle to make sure that Kyle didn’t end up falling through something again. Looking around the area he knew that something had to be wrong. There had to be a reason that hadn’t found Avery yet. “I have a bad feeling Kyle. Something is wrong. I can just feel it in the pit of my gut. There is a reason we haven’t found Avery yet.”

“It’s because we haven’t looked enough Russ. Avery is okay--I promise you that. She’s going to be okay. We’re going to find her and everything will be just fine,” Kyle tried to insist seeing the aggravation and worry behind Russell’s eyes. While he was trying to be optimistic himself he wondered if he was wrong. If his feelings were incorrect. Something was up about this whole situation and he didn’t know how to handle it. They should have found Avery by now, but it was no use to express his worry to Russ. He had to be strong for Russ and show that he felt nothing was going to be wrong. “I promise you Russ that we are going to find her.”


“Kevin, I don’t know if I can do this,” Avery confessed her dark eyes filled with worry now that she stared down at the gaping wound in Kevin’s leg. While he’d tried to talk her into helping him get the wooden spike out of his leg, she couldn’t help but feel herself shuddering at the sight in front of her. “It’s just too much and…”

“Avery, I would do it myself, but I’m stuck here,” Kevin spoke up behind gritted teeth feeling the pain vibrating through his entire side now that the piece of wood had impaled his thigh. Closing his eyes tightly he pressed his fingers up over the rock formation that hovered over him, “If I was able to slide out of here and sit up, then I would more than readily take that out of my leg, but I’m not going to be able to move until that’s out.”

“I know Kevin, but…” Avery stopped herself taking in a long breath, “You have no idea what this looks like.”

“Maybe not, but I can tell you what it feels like,” Kevin spat out with a groan. “Avery, I can’t stay here because if I do it’s going to get worse. You need to help me get that out of my leg so that I can work on getting us out of here.”

“Kevin, I understand what you’re saying, but…” Avery paused tilting her head just enough to meet his pleading eyes. Taking in a small breath she brought her fingers in over his thigh, “Kevin, this is going to hurt…a lot.”

“Our dying in here is worse than that I’m sure,” Kevin slid his arms down back to the ground beneath him. “Avery please. You have to help me.”

“I will,” she promised her eyes returning to the hole in his leg. Taking in a small breath she moved forward reaching out to touch the pointed tip of the wooden stick that found it’s way into his leg. It was nearly three inches in diameter and while she couldn’t quite see the length of it, the apparent size had skewered his thigh from top to bottom indicating that he would need some emergency help sooner rather than later.

Fighting the urge to throw up, Avery tried to distance herself from the situation at hand long enough to give Kevin what he needed. While she’d watched plenty of surgical shows on television, nothing prepared her for seeing her friend in such a state. Reaching out to the stick, she had her fingers just over it before thinking twice. She inched back just enough to peel the small jacket she’d been wearing over her t-shirt off and bunch it into her palm. She glanced over at Kevin again seeing him laid out on the ground preparing for what was about to happen.

“I’m so sorry,” Avery mouthed reaching for the stick and hearing Kevin let out a sharp, vibrating yelp. Her hands stopped and she practically leapt away from him, feeling her whole body trembling at the sound of his tone. “Kevin, I’m so, so sorry.”

“Is it out?” he questioned with a labored breath.

“No,” she shook her head honestly feeling a frown creep in over her lips. “You scared me and…”

“Avery, I need it out of my leg,” Kevin snapped back at her, his brown eyes more commanding then they were earlier, “I don’t care what you have to do. Get that damn thing out of my leg!”

“Okay,” she nodded wearily moving in beside him again to access the situation. Seeing that there was some kind of spike near the top of his thigh, she realized she couldn’t just lift his leg over it and pull him off of the wooden ‘stake’ that had pierced him. “Kevin, it’s got an edge to it. I’m going to have to break it and then…”

“Just do it,” he spat out curling his fingers into fists and dropping his head back on the rock floor beneath him. “Break the damn thing if you have to. Just get it out.”

“Okay,” she whispered focusing in on the piece of wood once again. Reaching for it, she wrapped it around her jacket before using both hands to snap it in half. She felt Kevin’s body shudder and tense beneath her, his voice coming out in a pained undetermined sound.

“Keep going,” he instructed hearing her drop the piece she’d just pulled out of him onto the ground far beyond where they were. He reopened his eyes caught up in a whirlwind of pain as Avery focused on him.

“Kevin, we’re going to need to roll you off of this, which means you’re going to have to help me get your leg out of this,” she explained reaching out to curve her fingers around his massive thigh just beneath where the remaining part of the piece of wood was. “I’m going to need you to work with me on this by trying to raise your leg and…”

“Okay,” Kevin gritted his teeth in again feeling her position herself between his thighs. Closing his eyes he counted to ten mentally before looking up to her.

“You can do this,” she instructed in a soothing tone starting to raise his leg only to hear him cry out in agony.

“Not so fast,” Kevin blurted out unable to deal with the pain that carried up into his hip and down his leg. “Slower.”

“Kevin the slower we are about this, the longer it’s going to draw this out. It’ll hurt more,” she explained her dark eyes meeting his again, “We can do this on the count of three, okay?”

“Okay,” he panted finding it hard to breath now that he felt trapped in the cavern that surrounded them.

“One…two…” Avery’s eyes fixed on him once again.

“Three,” Kevin finished doing his best to lift his straining leg up while the piece of wood that had lodged itself inside of him slide in a thick, painful movement through the muscle of his leg.

“You’re almost there,” Avery pulled on his leg urging him to roll in towards her and away from the cavern wall. “Just a little more.”

“This hurts like a…” Kevin blurted out unable to repress the agony he was feeling now that he’d been trapped in such a tentative position.

“It’s out,” Avery offered up a breath of relief watching Kevin roll onto his stomach and away from the blood soaked piece of wood he’d collided with earlier. Turning her attention to his leg, she noticed that he was still bleeding heavily and that caused her great concern. “Kevin, we need to get you out of here. We need to get to a doctor and…”

“I know,” he nodded attempting to sit up only to fall back onto the ground in agony. “Shit!”

“What’s wrong?” Avery questioned watching him reach out to cup his leg with his hands, a solid rumble of pain falling from his lips.

“I can do this,” Kevin tried to force himself up again, but it was no use. His leg had been throbbing with pain and even as he tried to take a look at what damage had been done Avery realized he’d lost a lot of blood.

“Let me try something,” she reached for her jacket again seeing that it had collected dirt in the crash. While she’d intended to use it to wrap Kevin’s leg she thought of all the germs and possible infections that would be awaiting him should she use the jacket to wrap him up in. Taking in a breath she pushed her hands down to the bottom of her t-shirt and raised it up over her head.

“Avery, what are you doing?” Kevin blinked back at her surprise behind his dark eyes.

“I need to get some kind of tourniquet on it,” she explained tearing a piece of material from her t-shirt in the hopes of accomplishing her mission. She leaned forward wrapping the bottom half of her shirt around his thigh tightly before moving back. She checked to see if she’d secured it before she slipped the rest of her t-shirt back on her. “See mission accomplished.”

“I’m not so sure what to say considering that…” Kevin winced watching Avery move away from him. “Where are you going?”

“To see if there’s a way we can get out of here,” Avery informed him slowly moving around the cavern in the hopes of finding some kind of exit. As they’d predicted the rocks had fallen in front of the entrance keeping them trapped from within, which would only mean trouble. She scanned the cavern again before spotting her fallen purse near the majority of the ruins.

“Avery,” Kevin’s voice echoed through the cavern as she returned to him.

“I think I can help,” she whispered knowing full well that they were in more trouble than she cared to admit. She tore into her purse and pulled out a pill bottle that she’d had inside. She popped the top off before extracting a pill and offering it to him, “I hope you don’t have trouble swallowing these without water.”

“What is it?” Kevin asked readily accepting the pill she’d given him.

“Vicodin,” she explained drawing in a breath, “I had some after I had Erin due to the injuries I got when Bruce tried to kill me.”

“You carry that kind of stuff in your purse,” Kevin questioned choking down on the pill and watching her nod.

“Yeah, considering that I don’t exactly live a normal kind of life,” Avery revealed turning her attention to her bruised finger as well. She contemplated popping the pain pill, but instead opted for something else--something a little less effective to keep her alert.

“What’s that?” Kevin asked with a heavy breath seeing her take the pill in her hand.

“Something that will keep me from losing any notion about the weight of the situation. I need to find a way to get us out of here.” she informed him worriedly.

“You never should’ve been in here in the first place. I told you to wait in the car,” Kevin reminded her with a heavy breath. “I wish you would have listened.”

“I wish I would have too because if this had happened and I was out there I could call for help,” Avery paused a sudden thought occurring to her. “Wait, my cell phone.”

“You have it on you?” Kevin’s voice perked up watching her nod.

“I put it in my purse and…” she paused after shuffling through the contents of her purse. “It was here earlier, but…”

“But what?” he questioned worriedly.

“I must’ve lost it when Heather and I were fighting,” she realized knowing full well that things went from bad to worse. Frowning another thought occurred to her, “What about you? Where is your cell phone?”

“I have no idea,” Kevin revealed honestly closing his eyes and sinking back onto the floor of the cavern, “Brant and I got into a fight ourselves and my cell phone was a casualty.”

“Damn it,” Avery mouthed thinking about the predicament that they’d gotten themselves into. “Now what?”

“Now we need to focus on getting us out of here and…” Kevin’s eyes grew wide before Avery watched his head drop down to the ground.

“Kevin?” she spoke his name moving in closer to him. Touching the side of his face she could feel that he was burning up. She nudged him a few times before realizing that he’d passed out on her, undoubtedly due to the fact that he’d already endured a great amount of pain.

“Oh God no. Please wake up. We have to get out of here. Kevin we have to find a way out of here,” Avery pleaded with him hearing the sounds of the storm picking up outside of the cavern. As the thunder raged on Avery began to wonder if they’d ever truly be able to see the light of day again. Now as she surveyed the darkened space around them with her worried eyes, she feared that she could very well wind up losing everything that mattered to her now that she and Kevin had found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.


“Any luck?” Brant questioned forcing himself to pull his head up after Don had carried him along the beach to where the blood trail ended. The winds had kicked up around them and the rain was now falling upon them with a frenzied tempo. Don glanced at the thunderclouds overhead and knew full well whatever clues they’d been given were no more now that the storm opted to change their plans in altering their search.

“Brant, it’s getting bad out here,” Don mouthed seeing lightening flash across the sky. He felt Brant’s knees go out and he quickly scooped Brant up in both of his arms hugging him in close to him.

“Don,” Brant’s dark eyes widened before he offered up a thunderous laugh, “my I never realized just how strong you are.”

“Brant, we need to get back to the car,” Don frowned feeling Brant’s head drop on his shoulder.

“You make a good teddy bear,” Brant mumbled incoherently into Don’s shoulder. “No wonder you got laid so much in college. Girls are suckers for strong arms and a big chest. Of course I didn‘t have any problems since I have a big…well, you know…”

“Brant, we need to get you back to the car,” Don frowned not wanting to hear another word from his friend.

“Did you know Angela has a pet name for it?” Brant snorted again shaking his head into Don’s shoulder, “She plays with it so much that she’s taken to naming it. I’ll admit there are a lot of women with some strange habits, but my Angel baby is the first one to name my penis.”

“Brant, I really think we should skip over this one for right now,” Don paused thinking about what his best friend was telling him. However, he couldn’t resist the surge of curiosity that carried over him. “Okay, I’ll bite, what does she call it?”

“She calls it…” Brant’s head flopped forward his nose crashing into Don’s shoulder with a heavy thud.

“Brant, are you drooling?” Don questioned pulling back from Brant long enough to see his friend’s head swirling around in a lopsided movement.

“Drool? No, not me,” Brant waved his hand dismissively around in the air. In the haphazard movement however he wound up striking himself across the cheek and groaning. “Damn that hurt.”

“Brant, I’m taking you back to the car. It’s settled!” Don frowned wondering why he’d thought he could carry Brant out with him onto the beach. The blood trail was washed away and nothing remained of the situation other than the storm that threatened to overtake them. Looking to the car again Don pondered what kind of time he could make if he tossed Brant over his shoulder.

“When I get back to the hotel I’m going to bed,” Brant slurred sounding more and more out of the reality around him by the passing second. “I’m going to sleep the rest of the day then tonight I’m having sex. Angela and I are going to have lots of sex when we get back together.”

“Brant, you’re lucky to keep your head up. I seriously doubt that you’ll be able to get your di…” Don stopped as he noticed a few drops of blood just beyond where he and Brant stood.

Carefully standing Brant up straighter, Don felt a moment of hopefulness carry over him. He saw that Brant’s eyes were glazed over and he took in a breath.

“Brant, can you hear me?” Don questioned waving his hand around in front of Brant’s face.

“Tonight I’m going to do a little dance, make a little love,” Brant babbled to the familiar tune, “get down tonight. Angela and I are going to get…”

“Stay here,” Don instructed pressing Brant up against the side of a rock formation that was directly behind where they stood. Once he was certain that Brant was braced up against it properly, Don turned to search where the blood droplets lead to. Unfortunately in the few seconds it took to set Brant up against the rock formation, Don realized that the rain had washed all but one drop away. “Damn it!”

Don moved forward looking around the beach again before cursing. Thunder roared above and another bolt of lightening shot down across the sky “Brant, we have to get back to the car. I’m sorry, but it’s not safe out here this close to the water and…”

Don spun around only to discover that Brant was no longer where he’d left him. Frowning Don moved forward seeking out any sign of his best friend, but he came up empty. He turned around the corner of the rock formation half expecting to find Brant face down in the sand, but much to his dismay Brant wasn’t there either.

“Where are you?” Don questioned surveying the area once again before hearing a loud, pinched scream from inside the rock formation. Immediately Don searched the rocks and found an entrance he’d overlooked in his search for Brant. There was another sound and within a matter of seconds he found himself inside the cave standing over Brant, who now had Angela at his side.

“I found her,” Brant grinned widely up at Don, an eagerness carrying over him. “I really found her.”

“Brant, thank God you’re alive,” Angela reached out to embrace him hugging him tightly as her own tears carried over her. “I thought I lost you…that Craven killed you and…”

“Nope,” Brant shook his head as she released him. He moved back enough to pull his shirt up over his face while speaking up behind the fabric. “I got shot, but Don fixed me up. See.”

“I see, but…” Angela watched Brant struggling to pull the shirt back down again. Instead it got hooked over his head somehow and he let out a loud scream.

“Don help! It’s trying to eat me alive!” Brant wailed horrified by the predicament he’d gotten himself into. His arms flew around frantically trying to pull the fabric away from his head with hefty gasps as Don moved forward.

“Don?” Angela questioned tipping her head to the side as she tried to keep her breathing smooth and even. “What’s happening to him?”

“After he got shot I tried to fix him up,” Don explained pushing Brant’s shirt down over his head and back onto his body again while Brant let out a loud sigh of relief, “I gave him painkillers and a sedative.”

“You mean he was shot and you didn’t take him to the hospital?” Angela snapped unable to believe that Don had let Brant run around in such a state. She watched him swatting at something that wasn’t in the air in front of him before she noticed drool hanging from the side of his mouth. “Don, how could you?”

“Yeah how could you Don?” Brant repeated reaching out to swat at his friend, but instead landed face forward on the ground beside Angela.

“He’s a wreck,” Angela frowned seeing Brant shuffling to pull himself up off of the ground, but after a few attempts he still kept missing it.

“Hey, he wanted to look for you because he would rather die than lose you,” Don offered up in his own defense.

“He’s got a point there,” Brant raised his head enough to spit out the dirt that had gotten into his mouth in the fall. He carefully crawled over in beside Angela and reached out to touch the side of her face gently now that they were beside one another, “I love you Angela and I wouldn’t wanna…see…”

“Brant?” she questioned seeing his eyelids close again.

“I don’t wanna lose you…because I…I loooooooooovvvveee…” Brant’s brown eyes reopened and he swirled his index finger around in the air before bringing it in over her nose with a buzzing sound. He giggled before leaning in closer to her, “you.”

“I love you too but I don’t think you should be out here. You’ve been shot and…” Angela started worried about the man she loved as he leaned forward kissing her with a sloppy kiss.

“Don’t worry. I’m here to save the day because I love you,” Brant murmured again dipping in to kiss her. His fingers tapered off into her hair while his nose nuzzled the side of her neck. “Baby, I’m going to treat you so good because I love you. I couldn’t be back at the hotel being shot because you need me.”

“Of course I need you, but…” Angela felt his head drop down on her shoulder and a small snoring sound erupted from between his lips. “Brant!”

“Huh? What? Huh?” he questioned sitting upright in a panic. He turned to look at her, realization dawning in on him as he smiled, “Angela you’re safe. I rescued you. You’re here…”

“Yes I’m here, but obviously you’re not fully here are you?” Angela questioned glancing over at Don. “Don, you have to get him to a hospital. I know you don’t think there’s anything to worry about, but with him getting shot like that…”

“I know and now that we’ve found you we can do that. You can just help me take him to the car and then…” Don started seeing Brant rubbing the side of Angela’s face like he was petting her. Brant urged her to meet his eyes again as Brant smiled widely.

“I sure do love you Angela Meloni. You’re the beautifulest woman I’ve ever met,” Brant ran his finger over the center of her swelled bottom lip, “I love you so much that I would die for you. I love your kisses and your eyes and your…”

“Brant, we know you love her buddy, but we need to get you to the car,” Don sighed stepping forward ready to pull Brant off of the ground. He looked to Angela and sighed, “You didn’t hurt yourself in that accident, did you?”

“No,” she shook her head and thought back to the crash, “Was Craven in there when you arrived?”

“No one was, but with the blood inside I wasn’t sure what we’d expect to find,” Don revealed moving to pick Brant up only to feel Brant swat at his hand.

“I’m staying right here with Angela. I’m not leaving without her,” Brant proclaimed throwing his arms around her shoulders and squeezing her in closer to him. “I love you so much.”

“I love you too Brant, but…” Angela let out a pinched wail, a sudden cry erupting from the back of her throat that caused both Don and Brant to jump in surprise.

“That is not my fault,” Brant blurted out releasing her shoulder almost immediately.

“Brant, it’s not you. It’s just that…” Angela glanced up at Don with a pleading expression, “I’m on the ground here because I’m in labor Don. I was hoping it would wait, but my water broke during the accident and…”

“Okay, now that is my fault,” Brant waved his hand around in the air again before looking over at Angela. “Sorry.”

“Brant, I just…” Angela bit down on her words feeling another contraction carry over her.

“You’re kidding right?” Don’s blue eyes widened as Brant slumped down on Angela’s shoulder once again.

“Do I look like I’m kidding Don?” Angela snarled at him, finding it hard to stay focused now that she’d felt as if her body was being torn into pieces.

“Oh God. We’ll find a way to fix this. We’ll solve this situation I hope,” Don started to pace around the area in an attempt to come up with some kind of plan. “Okay I can pick you up and take you to the car, then come back for him.”

“Okay,” Angela nodded bringing her hand over her abdomen and taking in a breath, “that sounds good.”

“You’re having my babies…” Brant mused kissing the side of her neck. “I love you.”

“I love you too, but…Don we‘ve got a problem. Oh God I…” Angela began feeling another contraction carry over her. Unable to repress the pain that carried over her, she stretched her hand out and reached for the first thing that she could grip onto, which happened to be the center of Brant’s pants.

“Son of a…” Brant squealed his eyes opening wide, with no more trace of drowsiness behind their depths. It was clear he was in nothing short of agony as Angela clamped her fingers onto him not ready to offer up any kind of release while the contraction carried over her. Brant’s face turned red and his eyes seemed to cross as Don felt a shudder carry over him.

“Oh yeah we’ve got a big problem,” Don realized knowing full well that things had just gone from bad to worse with this newfound complication on the situation. On the bright side Brant would be feeling fortunate to have Angela back when the drugs wore off and reality hit him that she was safe, but then again as Don watched the way that Angela had squeezed the life out of him, Don had to wonder if Brant would truly ever want to get his head clear enough to remember such a painful moment in time. Angela finally released Brant and Don let out a breath.

“Thank you,” Brant whimpered falling face forward onto the ground again.

“Brant I…” Angela’s eyes widened realizing what she’d done to him.

“Let me just get you to the car,” Don stepped forward watching Angela writhe in agony once again.

“Don I can’t. I can’t move,” Angela burst into tears unable to ignore the pain that carried over her. “I can’t do it.”

“Okay, then we’ll do this here. I‘ll go grab some things from the car and call for help,” Don decided searching the area.

Angela nodded biting down on her lip. She glanced over at a now whimpering Brant before turning to Don again, “Please hurry.”

“I’ll do my best,” Don vowed knowing full well that this was probably the last place in the world that Angela wanted to have her children, but fate wasn’t about to give her a choice.


...to be continued...