Episode 416

“I don’t know if I can do this,” Angela blurted out in a panic feeling a contraction carry over her while she and Brant waited for Don to return to the cavern with his supplies from the car. She gritted her teeth and turned to Brant, seeing his brown eyes glazed over after she’d launched her attack on him. While he’d been out of it before he seemed to be a bit more coherent now that he sat beside her silently supporting her.

“I know you can,” he spoke up in a low tone, reaching out to touch her forehead gently, “We can do this together.”

“That’s kind of what got us into this mess in the first place, isn’t it?” she closed her eyes trying to ignore the pain that carried over her. Taking in a slow breath she tried to focus on something other than where they were and what was happening.

“Maybe, but it worked out for the best,” Brant confessed in a soft, tender tone, “I never stopped wanting this for us.”

“You say that now, but look at us. You’re shot and…” she reopened her eyes and turned to eye him intently another thought carrying over her. “Do you love me Brant or is all of this simply because you can’t be with Avery?”

“Avery,” Brant blinked back at her confusion carrying over his already swirling head. He frowned down at her feeling her place a small distance between them. “Why would you bring her up especially now?”

“Because I saw you,” Angela revealed closing her eyes as another kind of pain erupted inside of her. She thought back to what had lead her into Craven‘s trap and a lump formed in her throat, “I remembered a few things after I saw Kevin and Ria together.”

“I knew it,” Brant noted with a triumphant smile before another thought occurred to him. “Wait, did you leave because you’re in love with Kevin?”

“No,” she replied glancing over at him and finding the strength inside of her to face what she’d walked away from before. Even if he was drugged up, she knew that it was now or never in the honesty department before her children were born. “I was upset when I saw him and Ria making love--so much so that I wound up destroying his car.”

“Boy did you ever,” Brant couldn’t help but chuckle feeling a sudden rush of amusement carry over him, “he cried like a baby after seeing it.”

“I shouldn’t have done that, but I was upset that he lied to me,” she tipped her head down attempting to focus on anything, but Brant now that her heart was pounding in her chest. Inhaling slowly she fought to find the right words to say what had been troubling her since her memories had returned to her, “Brant, I saw you with Avery.”

“Avery?” Brant repeated again a blank expression crossing over his features, “What are you talking about?”

“Don’t play dumb with me Brant. I know what you did,” she snapped at him her frustrations mounting. Turning to face him she offered up a pained expression, “I saw you kissing her. I know that you’ve been waiting for an opportunity to get her back and when I had amnesia you saw an easy out of what we had.”

“Now wait just a damn minute,” Brant waved his hand around in the air clumsily before connecting with his head again and sending himself backwards. He paused for a moment shaking off the ache before sitting upright once again, “I never wanted an opportunity with Avery.”

“Brant, don’t lie to me. I saw you kissing her,” Angela snapped at him, her tears she’d fought to suppress carrying over her now that they sat with one another, the truth lingering between them.

“I never kissed Avery,” Brant replied his voice louder than he’d intended. The sound echoed and he couldn’t help but jump at the way it carried over him. With a small shudder he looked to her again, “Angela you have to believe me when I tell you that. I have not kissed her. Well, okay so I kissed her back when I was married to her, but not since you’ve been back in my life.”

“Face it Brant. All you see when you look at me is her. She’s what you’ve wanted and I’m just a complication you don’t need because I know you still love her,” Angela burst into tears unclear if it was the pain of the memory of the labor she was going into overtaking her.

“No, that’s not true. I don’t love Avery and I never, ever kissed her,” Brant sat up straighter his tone growing suddenly serious. “When I gave her the divorce it was because I was ready to let go of something that wasn’t right in my life. Yes, I wanted more than anything to find each and every one of my dreams of forever with her, but you know what? That was a really stupid mistake on my part. I mean she didn’t even love me…”

“But you wanted her to. You wanted to be with her and then when you found me--when we made love you were thinking about her, weren’t you?” she questioned staring him in the eyes and seeking out the truth behind his answer.

“When we first met I was hung up on Avery yes,” he nodded shamefully recalling their first meeting with one another. He watched her start to turn away, but before she could look away from him completely he urged her to meet his eyes once more, “but by the time you threw me out of that beach house I was completely and totally enchanted with you. I know it sounds wrong to say, but when I was married to her all I could think about you. You were what I dreamt about--what I longed for and even when I made love to her, it felt empty inside because all the time I was staring into her eyes, it was you that I wanted to be with. You were the woman that I wanted to be making love to, holding in my arms and because I couldn’t have that I was incomplete.”

“Brant stop,” she attempted to cut him off only to feel him press his finger over her lips to silence her.

“I met her first Angel baby, but if I would’ve known that you were out there I wouldn’t have given her a second glance,” Brant slurred feeling his head swimming with the after effects of the drugs he’d been given. “Sweetheart you’re it for me. You love me from top to bottom inside and out and we’re like peanut butter and jelly.”

“Peanut butter and jelly?” Angela replied giving him a strange look.

“That’s right,” he nodded offering up a goofy grin before sliding in closer to her, “You cannot have a peanut butter sandwich without jelly because it isn’t as sweet and with jelly, well sure you could have it on bread by itself, but that’s just not good at all. You see with us, I was just the jelly. I was a treat to many, but I couldn’t stand alone to my full potential. You, on the other hand, are like peanut butter. You’re great with just about everything and everyone knows it. You could have been with so many other things and still been excellent whether it be chocolate, fruit, sometimes vegetables, but not really cold cuts because that would be kind of nasty…”

“Brant,” Angela snapped her fingers to recapture his attention once again.

“Oh right,” he scratched his head and tried to stay focused. Finally he reached out to touch the side of her face gently, “The fact to the matter is that you took that risk and decided to mesh your peanut butter with my jelly and we wound up making a favorite together. The world loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches just like I love you. I need you to complete me.”

Angela couldn’t help but laugh thinking about what he’d said, “Peanut butter and jelly huh?”

“That’s right,” he nodded emphatically, “and I stand by that analogy…unless of course you hate peanut butter and jelly, in which case I think I can come up with something else. How about green eggs and ham?”

“Peanut butter and jelly will work just fine,” she whispered feeling him inch in closer to her, “I like that actually.”

“So do I. Just like I like you…” he mouthed in response leaning in to press a sloppy kiss over her lips. His fingers slid into her hair drawing her in nearer to him before they parted breathless. He tapped his finger over the tip of her nose gently and smiled, “You taste so good which is why I wouldn‘t ever want to kiss anyone other than you for the rest of my life my little peanut butter.”

“But what about Avery…” Angela questioned again searching his eyes for a long moment.

“Avery is Russell’s peanut butter or whatever else he wants to call it. She’s not the one for me. The only woman I could ever want is you and if I wasn’t shot right now, then I’d show you how much considering that…” Brant began to ramble on only to have her let out a yelp reminding him that she was in fact in labor. “Okay, so maybe we’ll have to hold off on that, but…”

“Brant, just swear to me that I saw wrong--that you weren’t kissing her,” Angela pleaded with him reaching out to squeeze his hand in hers.

“I didn’t do it, but who knows with Ken? That jackass is always trying to…” Brant shrugged his shoulder lacing his fingers in with hers.

“Ken,” Angela realized forgetting altogether that Brant had a twin. Suddenly everything started to make sense. She glanced over at him once again before speaking up, “Would he try to kiss Avery?”

“He had sex with her trying to make her think he was me,” Brant nodded in confession a tiny shudder carrying over him, “but I told you that…”

“That’s right you did,” she gasped thinking about one of her previous discussions with Brant, “so it’s entirely possible that he would try something again and…”

“Chances are he’s already plotting ways to steal you away from me,” Brant groaned closing his eyes and letting out a long sigh, “which means I’m going to have to kick his ass.”

“So Ken kissed Avery and not you,” she pieced it together suddenly feeling foolish for the way she’d departed from his house.

“Yep,” Brant nodded again, “that’s the only way it would’ve happened.”

“And you’re really, really in love with me?” she questioned again searching his eyes and knowing she would find truth behind them now that she was well aware of him being on pain medication.

“I really, really, really love you,” he replied with a tiny laugh, “I love you Angela--oooh it’s true. I love you, you, you…”

“I’m back,” Don announced returning to the cave to see Brant waving his hands around in the air excitedly.

“Guess what Don. She loves me!” Brant snapped his fingers together and smiled, “She really, really loves me. We’re going to get married. We’re going to have a family and lots of lovin’ and…”

“Did I miss something?” Don questioned glancing over at Angela.

“Yeah, but it’s okay,” she nodded feeling another ache inside of her. She bit down on her lower lip and stifled the sound that rose in the back of her throat.

“Oh God, Angela what’s wrong?” Brant turned to her again seeing her hand placed over her abdomen. “Duh! That’s right you’re in labor. Don, um what are we going to do?”

“You’re going to sit right there and I’m going to do what I can to help your little ones get into this world okay,” Don explained moving in closer to Angela. “I brought what I had in the car and I called for help.”

“Is it on the way?” she couldn’t help but ask worry carrying over her.

“The ambulance is on it’s way if you think you can hold out a bit longer,” Don informed her his blue eyes searching hers worriedly.

“I’m scared Don,” Angela revealed with a shiver carrying over her. “This wasn’t how I expected doing this.”

“I didn’t expect my getting to see you even remotely naked would be like this either. I kind of figured I’d walk in on you and Brant going at it and…” Don offered up with a teasing wink.

“Hey that’s my future wife you’re talking to that way,” Brant piped in with a low scowl.

“You slept with my wife Brant. I think I’ve earned the right to tease,” Don tossed out at him watching Brant snicker at the comment.

“Okay, he’s got a point,” Brant leaned in closer to Angela placing his hand on her shoulder, “but don’t worry baby she’s not nearly as amazing in bed as you are.”

“That’s refreshing,” Angela cried out feeling another thunderous rush inside of her, “Oh God Don I don’t know how much longer I can hold this off. The contractions are really, really close…”

“Then that’s why I’m here. I’ve done this before,” Don explained moving in front of her sliding himself between her legs. “Let’s see what’s going on down here.”

“Don’t you get some kind and twisted pleasure from this one Don or I’ll kick your ass,” Brant warned turning to Angela again, “I love him, but I’ll do it if I have to.”

“Given that you can’t even remember your name right now I think the odds are in my favor,” Don teased with a small laugh.

“I remember my name and yours too. It’s Don, so there,” Brant replied stubbornly catching a look from Angela.

“Brant are you sure you’re up for this?” Angela couldn’t help but ask trying to stay focused on anything other than the task at hand in front of her.

“I’m up for anything as long as I have you at my side my special peanut butter,” Brant kissed her cheek gently before sliding his fingers through her dark hair, “You’re not going to lose me. Don‘t you forget that.”

“I won’t Brant and for the record, I love you,” Angela mouthed in response unsure of what happened next, but as she lost herself in his eyes she felt a renewed faith in their future with one another.

“I love you too,” Brant replied inching in towards her as if attempting a kiss, but instead he fell backwards onto the ground laying out cold beside her.


“We’ve searched so many of these things Russ, I have no idea what we are supposed to do because I didn’t even think we would find this many of them,” Kyle stepped out of the last cavern they had just stepped into while in search for Kevin and Avery. Brushing off his shirt he turned to see a disappointed look over his friend’s face and he knew that Russ had started to get really worried. It was getting extremely dark out and it was night with no sign of Avery or Kevin. “I don’t know how many more of these we can find. This island is like a mouse trap. There are so many of these that I feel like we’ve gone into the same one multiple times with no luck.”

“They are all different and I know it. I’ve been paying attention, but damn it Kyle--she has to be in one of them. I can’t not find her because I need her Kyle. I feel like something is wrong and I can’t do anything to stop it,” Russ kicked at the sand upset that after all the time they spent looking through things that led to them finding nothing. “Kyle, we have to keep looking. It’s getting dark and anything could happen. It could have already happened and Avery could be needing us and we can’t find her. We can’t help her and that’s something that I can’t stand the feeling of. I just can’t deal with that.”

“We’re going to find her Russ, I know we will,” Kyle stepped forward reaching out to place his hand over his friend’s soaked shirt after they had been walking around in the rain for hours at a time. “You know Avery is a fighter and really--if she is with Kevin, not many people are stupid enough to mess around with him. We’re going to find them. I promise you that.”

“Kyle, you and Kevin are my best friends--even though I know you don’t like him. The thing I’ve learned about the both of you is that you two both try to keep me positive about things when even in your minds yourself you are doubtful about what’s going on. That’s your job as my best friend. It’s to lie to me--to make me feel better,” Russ began seeing the frown that developed over Kyle’s features while he felt his hand patting at his shoulder. “I know you’re worried too because look at what it’s like out here. It’s storming, it’s night and it will be twice as hard to find something when it’s this dark. You know the chances keep falling the more time we spend looking for her.”

“Right, but you have to have faith Russ. If there is one thing that kept me through things it was my faith and the faith of my friends that kept me alive,” Kyle stepped away from Russ for a second and took a look around him knowing that the chances of finding Kevin and Avery at night really did sink lower. The idea of finding them at a time like this with the rain falling from above was far fetched and he wished that was different, but there was no way of knowing what was going to be happening. “We just have to keep looking.”

“And that’s what I plan on doing until we find her,” Russ started to move forward in the wet sand realizing that with it pouring like this it might be harder to find her, but he wasn’t going to give up. There had to be some kind of clue as to where they could find her at the moment. “Something had to have happened.”

“You know I’m still stuck on the fact that maybe we’ve circled them. We could have been looking in one place and while we were working there they could have crossed us,” Kyle suggested seeing the look that Russ gave him and he let out a small sigh before shrugging. The look was obviously one that meant Russ doubted the thought. “Okay, so I’m probably wrong, but I was trying.”

“I don’t blame you for trying, but come on Kyle…we’ve searched everywhere and I think if it was this dark they would have the idea to go back and let everyone know they were okay. We would have been contacted already that Kevin and Avery were alright. I know that one for a fact,” Russ pointed out moving over one of the large rocks they had crawled over to get to the last cavern they were in. Turning to look back at Kyle jumping up on top of it to look around. “I know Avery--something is wrong and I can just feel it.”

“I wish there was some damn idea as to where they were,” Kyle sighed taking a seat on the huge rock like boulder seeing the way Russ looked around for the next possible place to go. “I don’t know where to go next because this is getting ridiculous to the point of…”

“What?” Russ looked at Kyle seeing the way Kyle’s face seemed to change in a matter of seconds making him begin to worry. “Kyle? What’s going on? What’s wrong?”

“Quiet,” Kyle hushed his friend getting down from the rock and moving forward. He could hear Russ’s footsteps following him behind and he stopped motioning Russ to do the same. Looking around he saw some footprints and they were both too big to be a females in the sand. Russ went to move forward and he stopped him for a second. “Wait.”

“What is this? You’re crazy psychic way of being a good private investigator? You’re freaking me out,” Russ pointed out seeing the look that Kyle gave him while arching his eyebrow up at the comment. “Sorry, but come on Kyle. Let me in on…oh hey, footprints.”

“Yeah and I heard voices too. That’s why I said shh…,” Kyle hushed him one more time seeing Russ moving forward without even giving him a chance to explain who he thought he heard. “Russ!”

“It could be Avery. Someone could have her and I’m not going to just sit here and wait. I’m going to follow the footprints and see what we can find,” Russ started to move forward before looking over his shoulder to see Kyle staring out at him. “Even if that means you are coming with me or not.”

“You know, I’m the private investigator here,” Kyle moved forward to the waiting Russ while shaking his head. When he reached him, they started to follow the footsteps in the wet sand. “You would think you would listen to me.”

“I usually do, but right now I’m not thinking too well and I’m going to try anything and everything to find Avery,” Russ answered seeing the way that Kyle was looking around and he looked out at him for a moment confused. “What’s wrong?”

“I’m just being careful because this could be the bad guy we are walking to I hope you know,” Kyle pointed out seeing the look Russ gave him before nodding and moving forward, “but I’m willing to do anything to keep you and Avery safe. So I’ll do whatever I can.”

“And I thank you for that,” Russ took in a long breath hoping that they could find Avery in time to make sure she was safe, “you’re a good friend Kyle. You really are.”


Avery cuddled into the warmth beside her thinking about how much she loved being in Russell’s arms. Feeling his arm draped over the bare skin of her abdomen she couldn’t help but smile snuggling in closer to him. She’d had one of the worst dreams possible, but now that his warm frame was pressed in against hers she knew that everything was going to be okay.

“I love you,” she murmured squeezing his fingers in hers and feeling a small ache carry over her.

“Ria,” Kevin’s voice swirled in over the back of her neck causing her eyes to snap open. Darkness surrounded her and it was then that she realized that she wasn’t at home with Russ, but rather trapped in the dream that wasn’t a dream. Turning ever so slightly she could see the lines of Kevin’s tattoo on his arm through the shadows and she let out a small groan.

“Kevin,” she spoke his name doing her best to resituate herself while he lay beside her with his arm draping over her. She attempted to pull his arm off of her but felt a cry build in the back of her throat now that her hand had connected with his. Her finger was still raw from it being broken earlier. Even though she’d sworn that she would find a way to get them out of there, she too must’ve drifted off after Kevin passed out. Shifting beneath his arm, she managed to turn herself just enough to face him.

“Kevin. Kevin, can you hear me?” Avery reached out to slide her palm in against the side of his face in a tentative motion, “Kevin wake up.”

“Ria,” he murmured squeezing his arm around her waist tighter than before. He smiled as she thought he was about to open his eyes, but instead he inched in closer to her, his lips pressing in over hers with a hungry urgency.

“Kevin,” she tried to breathe against his mouth only to feel his tongue sliding between her lips. She attempted to withdraw enough to keep from choking on her words, but instead she felt her mouth coaxing her to give in to the kiss if for no other reason than to ensure that she wouldn’t get Kevin’s tongue lodged inside of her throat. As ridiculous as it sounded she couldn’t imagine having to explain to the world around her that she’d died French kissing Kevin Adonis after a failed attempt. It seemed beyond pathetic, she rationalized reluctantly responding to his kiss enough to get him to draw back. Instead she felt his arm slide down over her hip, hand pressing in over her bottom and squeezing it leisurely.

“Baby,” he mouthed as they parted, his words coming out in a shallow, seductive slur. “I’ve missed you.”

“Kevin, can you hear me?” Avery questioned nudging his shoulder again while being careful to avoid his leg now that they were pressed up to one another. “Kevin wake up.”

“I am up Ria,” Kevin slurred his lips tapering off to her neck. He reached for her hand again causing her to let out a tiny whimper when his fingers connected with hers. Gradually he guided her hand to the center of his pants giving her plenty of proof behind that statement.

“How the hell can you be up when your leg has a hole in it…” she questioned stating the obvious while his lips returned to hers. She felt him press the kiss further attempting to nudge her between them, pinning her beneath his strength, but before he could follow through on the movement he must’ve felt the pain return to him in his leg. He fell back onto the rock floor crying out in agony.

“Kevin, hey it’s Avery,” she shook her head regaining her bearings long enough to hover over him. She touched the side of his face again watching his eyes divide with agony.

“Tell me I’m not dead,” Kevin groaned an ache throbbing through his temple.

“Not yet, but if you would’ve kept kissing me like that I’m pretty sure that Russ would’ve finished the job,” she offered up at a half hearted attempt at humor. His brown eyes snapped open and he let out a long sigh.

“Damn it. I had this dream that Ria and I were together again and…” he shook the thought and sighed, “We’re still trapped in here aren’t we?”

“I’m afraid so,” Avery glanced over at the area where the entrance had been when they’d first arrived.

“And it’s still storming,” Kevin heard the sounds of thunder and rain rolling over the cavern.

“I don’t think it ever stopped,” she replied feeling a chill carry over her. While the cavern had been very hot earlier in their time there, it now had a breeze that seemed to collect around them causing her to shiver.

“How long have we been down here?” he couldn’t help but ask attempting to focus in on her face. His brown eyes crossed for a moment before he shook his head again.

“I honestly don’t know,” she admitted bringing her legs up to her chest in an attempt to keep herself warm. “You passed out and I swore to myself that I would come up with a plan to get us out of here, but then I must’ve drifted off…”

“Are you hurt?” he questioned trying to remember what had happened exactly between them after they were trapped.

“I think I broke my finger, but I fixed it,” she held up her bruised hand seeing the way he winced in response. “It pales in comparison to your leg.”

“That bad huh?” Kevin couldn’t help but ask feeling pain shoot through him.

“That’s putting it mildly,” she nodded in confession taking in a breath of the musty air that surrounded them.

“What happened to your shirt?” he couldn’t help but ask, his eyes tapering off to her abdomen after he’d finally been able to adjust to the lighting in the cavern. After a moment another thought occurred to him. “Come to think of it how did we get light in here?”

“I had a flashlight in my purse,” she explained reaching for the small light she’d set up shortly after he’d passed out. “It’s supposed to work for like seventy two hours from what the package said.”

“My you sure think of everything, don’t you?” he couldn’t help but chuckle closing his eyes again, “You wouldn’t happen to have something to eat in here, would you?”

“How do you feel about M&M’s?” she questioned reaching out to retrieve her purse once again. She pulled out an unopened package and held it up to show him, “They are peanut though.”

“They sound fantastic,” Kevin confessed with a small breath watching her tear open the package. “You wouldn’t happen to have any alcohol in there, would you?”

“Even if I did, you wouldn’t be able to have it with the pill I gave you,” she reminded him with a small frown. “Though I might be able to swing a juice box.”

“A juice box,” Kevin repeated giving her a strange look. He watched her shuffle through her purse and pull out a juice box along with some kind of cereal bar.

“I forgot I had this,” Avery held it up to show him, “It’s strawberry yogurt.”

“Sold I’ll take it,” Kevin decided watching her push the M&M’s back into her purse again for later. She tore open the package in her hand and broke off a piece of the bar. She offered it to Kevin watching him open his mouth to accept it.

“Hey this isn’t half bad,” Kevin mouthed in between bites watching Avery break a piece off for herself.

“I thought they were pretty good actually. I picked up a couple of boxes of them the other day,” she explained nervously trying to focus on something other than the situation they were in. “I only put a couple of them in my purse, but ate half of one on the way to the island, so we have only another half of one beyond this.”

“I think we’re good,” he felt her slip another piece into his mouth before he watched her dip the straw into the top of the juice box after a minute of struggling with it. She raised it to his lips watching him take a long sip.

“Okay that’s not so great,” Kevin wrinkled his nose at her after taking a sip.

“It’s cranberry juice,” Avery explained sliding the straw between her lips and taking a tiny sip as well, “I carry it with me just in case…”

“In case of what? Your getting trapped inside a cave with me and being under lockdown?” he let out an ironic laugh at the thought even though it was far from being a laughing matter.

“Well no, but…” she paused finding no humor in the situation, “I suppose it’s good I had them though, right?”

“Very good,” he nodded attempting to keep the conversation flowing between them. “Though something tells me that you’re not going to volunteer to tag along with me anywhere anytime soon after we get out of this.”

“Not unless you start carrying a chisel and maybe a shovel with you,” she offered up with a weak smile her eyes surveying the cavern once again.

“I’m sorry about this,” he finally blurted out reaching for her hand and offering up a small squeeze. “I never meant for you to get caught up in all of this.”

“I’m sure you never meant to get trapped in here either, did you?” she noted seeing tension creep in over his brow.

“I just wish…” he cursed under his breath before meeting her eyes once again, “Craven must’ve set a trap. He had to have known that we were going to be here somehow. It sounded like there were explosives and…”

“So this was a setup from the moment he left that letter for you,” Avery noted realizing that’s exactly what had transpired.

“And now we’re here without anyone having any idea of where we are,” Kevin frowned tipping his head to the side and focusing on her again, “Avery I’m sorry that I dragged you into this.”

“In a round about way it’s my own fault. If I would’ve listened to you and stayed in the car I could’ve helped somehow better than this and…” she began remembering her earlier stubbornness.

“Not necessarily. Craven was making damn sure that no one survived all of this. If he would’ve seen you, then I’m positive that he would’ve killed you. I’m sure he was out there somewhere watching,” Kevin snarled knowing full well what kind of evil Craven was capable of. “You would’ve been in far more danger out there.”

“And now I’m just stuck in here with you being completely useless,” she sighed knowing that they weren’t in a winning situation.

“Not useless,” he refused to accept that answer, “Come to think of it you’ve been the one who has thought of everything. You have food and drink, even if it tastes like motor oil.”

“It does not,” she swatted at his shoulder before feeling an ache creep in up over her arm upon impact. “It’s good for you.”

“But it tastes like garbage,” Kevin shook his head and smiled up at her. “But in all seriousness I don’t know what would’ve happened to me if I had to do this alone.”

“I wish that I would’ve been able to find some way out of this Kevin. Your leg can’t be doing well,” she paused thinking about his wound.

“Avery,” he waved his hand in the air catching the expression on her face.

“Maybe I should take a look at it,” she leaned in closer to him only to feel his thick fingers press in against her arm to stop her.

“No,” he blurted out stubbornly, “right now I think we should just keep doing what we’re doing.”

“But we’re getting nowhere with this Kevin. I can’t see any way out of this and…” she paused fighting with her own insecurities. “Kevin, I’m scared.”

“So am I,” he admitted honestly reaching out to her, “Come here.”

“Kevin, what if we don’t get out of here?” Avery asked with a worried expression feeling a set of shivers overtake her.

“We’ll get out of here somehow,” he pulled on her arm again and urged her in beside him, “You’re freezing. Get over here.”

“No I’m fine,” she replied stubbornly feeling another shiver carry over her.

“You stripped yourself down to save my life and I hardly think that your shredded t-shirt is going to keep you warm,” he urged once again pulling her down against him whether she wanted to or not. He wrapped his arm around her bare skin, the diameter of his arm muscle more than enough to cover her, “See, now isn’t this better?”

“It would feel a lot better if we were back at the hotel and Russ was with me,” she sighed closing her eyes and thinking about the man she was about to marry.

“We’ll be there soon,” Kevin promised, his breath skimming over the back of her neck while he tried to ignore the pain in his leg. “I’ll just rest here for a few minutes and then we’ll try to come up with a plan to get out of here.”

“Do you think that’s possible,” she questioned turning in his arm to face him. Her brown eyes searched his worriedly as he stretched his fingers out stroking her cheek gently.

“Anything’s possible,” Kevin reminded her with a weak smile, “I’ll bet when you thought Russ died you’d never be able to hold him again--that you’d never be able to be marrying him.”

“I thought I’d lost him forever,” she replied thinking about the pain she’d endured.

“Yet Russ returned to your life and you overcame incredible odds,” Kevin pointed out in an attempt to ignore the severity of the situation they were in. “This time will be no different. You’ll be with him again.”

“You really think so?” she questioned in a small voice her thoughts lingering to her family.

“I’m sure of it,” Kevin lied attempting to downplay the situation as he felt a numbness carry in over his leg. While he’d wanted to say that he could fix things and be truthful about it, he was starting to wonder if Craven had finally gotten his final revenge on Kevin once and for all.


Moving down the hallways of the hospital Ria searched for Seth knowing that someone told her where she could find him and gave her a brief update of what happened. She didn’t know much, she just knew what she heard and that wasn’t the complete details that everyone kept telling her. Moving through the hallways she stopped when she saw Seth coming out of a room slowly while closing the door behind him.

“Seth,” she spoke his name softly seeing the way that he turned to look out at her and she moved across the hallway to wrap her arms around his neck hugging him tightly seeing the way that his eyes were reddened. “I’m so sorry.”

There was a long silence between them as she squeezed him in her arms tightly wanting and hoping that he was going to be okay as well as Blake. The thought lingering in her mind scared her alone know that Seth had lost so much in life as it was already and she didn’t know how much more he could lose.

“How are you?” she questioned pulling away from him softly to reach up and press her hand against his cheek softly seeing the way he stared out at her while his jaw tightened almost pondering what to tell her.

“Blake is stable. I guess what happened was that she was out with Sarah and they were having a girls night out like they do sometimes, you know?” he began with a smile at the thought before taking a deep breath knowing that this wasn’t like the rest of the nights they had gone out together. No matter how hard he wished this was a dream, he kept begging that it was. After moments passed, he realized it was real and everything that had happened was just as bad as it could get. “When Sarah left her, she went walking to her car and then she got hit. Pretty hard and now…now…she’s like this.”

“Come here,” she reached out to hug him again seeing that his tears were breaking through and he was unable to help his emotions as she held him tightly. Trying to comfort him in any way possible. “I can’t believe someone would be this cruel to try and take more things away from me. Everything I love keeps leaving me. Everything I love keeps getting hurt and no matter how hard I try to keep them safe, it never works. How could someone be this dark? So black hearted?”

“It’s a terrible world out there Seth and anyone will do something just to hurt another. As sad as it is,” she began in tight breath thinking about life and how much pain the people she loved had gone through already. “No one deserves this.”

“Only the people that gave it deserve it. How someone could do this…I don’t understand. How can someone take away another person’s world and not care?” he whispered turning toward the door to stare into the room blankly for a couple before looking over his shoulder at Ria when she placed her hand over his shoulder for support. “She had the highest hopes for life. She’s not a bad person. She doesn’t do bad things at all because she’s the most caring person I know. She loved me--she had plans for tonight and they were all taken away from her when someone hurt her like this.”

“And she will still have all those chances Seth, I can promise you that,” Ria reached out to hug him again while taking in a long breath. “This is just a small step behind because of the awful people in the world, but Blake will be okay. She will be here to do the things that the two of you dreamed of. You will have a family and you will live happily ever after just like she has dreamed of and I know you want. She’s going to be okay and you two can start over and finally get the life you deserve. I promise you that nothing is going to get in the way of that.”

Closing her arms tightly around him she took in a long breath knowing that she hoped he got everything he deserved and the person that hurt him like this got the karma they deserved. Something like this should never happen to a person and she hoped that everything would turn out just like she promised it would.


Moving forward toward the lobby of the hospital, Sarah took in a long breath and stepped in closer toward the room. Resting against the wall a moment she closed her eyes and thought about the pain and anguish that her best friend was about to go through. There was nothing she could do about it and that’s what hurt her the most. She wished that there was something she could say or do to help them, but there was nothing. Blake and Seth could have the family they were hoping for if maybe, just maybe she could have spent more time with her. Kept her out longer and more hidden. The thought that she could have done something more killed her on the inside.

Then again the idea of that it should have been her hurt instead of Blake also attacked her mind. There were so many horrible things that she had done in life and the idea that Blake was the one getting punished and injured for life seemed wrong. Blake was an innocent that did nothing wrong in life and the idea bothered her that someone could be that terrible to hurt her like they did.

Even when she closed her eyes she could remembered the scene. It played out every time she closed them. The way her friend was hit while her fears, her senses all seeming to go away.

“Sarah?” Dave moved forward once he spotted her in the lobby and he saw the way her eyes opened to stare out at him. He could tell that by her stance she was still shook up as he stepped forward. “Can I talk to you second?”

“I was actually coming to find you,” she answered seeing the way his eyebrows arched up and she looked to his hand seeing the notepad that he had in his hand that showed her he was ready for her information. “I was there when this all happened and I saw who was in the car. I saw who it was that hit her. It was Valerie.”

“And you are one hundred percent on that?” Dave saw Sarah nod and fold her arms out in front of her chest as he started to write a few things out on the paper before him. “Could you tell me everything you know?”

“Blake and I had just gotten back from going to a couple of stores, we said our goodbyes and by the time that I was in my car I heard screeching tires. It was a red car, sports car and I saw Valerie drive off right after it happened,” Sarah bit down on her bottom lip as she tried not to break up right in front of Dave as she remembered the incident that she witnessed. “I saw her drive away like it’s nothing.”

“I promise you Sarah, we’ll get her for this. I can promise you that,” Dave sighed reaching out to place his hand over her shoulder to see her start to break down in tears. There was a moment where he wasn’t sure what he should do, but then moved away when he saw Douglas moving toward her. Dave closed the notepad seeing Douglas wrap his arms around Sarah while she rested her head against his chest and started to break down in his arms. “I’m sorry about this Sarah, but I promise to you we’ll solve this.”

“You better,” Douglas warned seeing the way Dave looked out at him with a small glance. He closed his eyes once Dave left them alone and he could feel Sarah’s tears against his chest. “They’ll get her for this honey, I promise.”

“I can’t believe this happened to her,” Sarah rested her head against Douglas’s chest feeling his fingers pressing over her back in a soothing manner before she moved back to stare into his worried eyes. He let out a small sigh and reached out to wipe away at her tears before taking in a long breath. “This should have never, ever happened to Blake. She’s a good person and this is the last thing she ever deserved.”


“This sucks,” Kellen dropped down to the hard hospital chair in the waiting room next to Kipp who was resting his head back against the hard wall. Kellen fidgeted in the chair for a couple minutes before letting out an angered sigh. “I wish I could go out and find that little bitch myself. I would run her over with my car and then back up before doing the whole event over and over again. I would do that until she was worse than road kill.”

“Chill out Kellen,” Kipp reached out to pat his lover on the leg before taking in a very shallow breath. Closing his eyes, he was just as uncomfortable in the chair that Kellen was. It was hard sitting here the whole time like they were, but they both wanted to be there for Blake and Seth. “She’ll get what she deserves.”

“No, she won’t. What she deserves is what she gave. I hope that woman gets one hell of a karma added to her name because she is such a bitch,” Kellen blurted out seeing the way someone stared out at him in the hospital room and he smiled brightly seeing them shake his head at the reaction. “Sorry, but she is.”

“How about we use nicer words here?” Kipp suggested thinking about the way that people reacted under certain beliefs and Kellen was the type of person that would clearly speak everything that was on his mind. “People get offended easily.”

“Well I’m sorry, but there is a maniac bitch on the trail and I need to know where she is so I can pay her back for all the problems she has caused,” Kellen huffed turning in his seat and crossed his right leg over his left before surveying the room. He could see a few people resting against the walls worried about their loved ones and his expression softened up a bit. “I’m glad Blake is okay though. Worse things could have happened. I mean, this is worse, but not terrible. At least she is alive.”

“That’s sort of a good way at looking at it,” Kipp bit down on his bottom lip seeing Kellen sliding further down in his seat taking in a deep breath. His blue eyes closed as Kipp adjusted in his seat and rubbed his fingers through Kellen’s short, spiked hair. “She’s with us and that’s all that counts.”

“Yeah, you know--I still can’t believe Valerie would sink that low. If I was her, I would give up and just go for Kevin or something. Wait, did that already and I think Ria would kill her,” Kellen thought aloud seeing the way Kipp stared out at him with a questionable glance. “What?”

“Valerie was with Kevin?” Kipp saw Kellen hold his hand up in the air and shake it back and forth a little bit as he raised his eyebrow up wondering what the hell he meant. “What does this mean?”

“It means they just romped each other. I don’t know, I heard about it and never really said much about it. A long time ago I guess he like warned her to stay away from Seth and well…I think the rest is obvious. Not like a relationship or anything, but this is beside the point…I think she could just find a man that could that wouldn’t have a girl attached to his side. I guess that’s what whores do though,” Kellen sighed with a shrug seeing the way that Kipp looked at him and he shook his head slowly. “She still sunk really low to get back at Blake. She did nothing wrong. Seth loves her and you can’t stop a man and their love for another person.”

“Well think about how you feel and realize that Blake is my cousin. I feel bad enough as it is and I feel like this girl is absolutely terrible for trying something like this. She has been so awful to Seth and Blake,” Kipp frowned resting his chin against his fist while resting on the arm of the chair. “It’s hard to believe that people can be that evil.”

“It’s sad knowing that it’s true though,” Kellen sighed sliding down further in his chair before taking in a long shallow breath. “I hope the police can find her because she needs to be put behind bars for something like this. I mean, did she really believe that doing this would win her brownie points with Seth? It’s like--hey honey, I ran your girlfriend down and almost killed her, but want to get together? I never understand how people can make such dumb decisions in life.”

“It’s one thing we are going to have to always be learning because people are the dumbest creatures on the planet,” Kipp sighed before looking down at the time hoping to get more information about his cousin tonight before they left. He was actually quite worried about her more than he was showing. “We need to realize what we have and not the things we don’t have. The moment the things we dwell on that we don’t have, is the moment that we start doing stupid things.”

“Amen to that,” Kellen nodded in agreement taking in a long shallow breath while thinking about everything that took place in the accident that happened today. Folding his arms out in front of his chest, he opened his eyes to stare out at Kipp again. “I can only imagine how Seth is feeling right now. I know it’s hard to see the person you love the most hurt. I would hate to see the person I loved in that kind of position.”

“Well let’s hope we never have to,” Kipp sighed resting back a bit more in his seat knowing that he hated to see the way that this situation was turning out. It was a terrible lead of events and he hoped the person that led this to happen finally got what they deserved.


Julian finished up with one of his fellow officers now that he’d been at the hospital working on the Ashford Hit and Run case. He’d come back to get a follow up on the situation, but now that Chief Warner had already spoken with the witness he decided to take another trip down to his wife’s office. Thinking about how little they’d seen of one another lately, Julian realized it was times like tonight when he’d seen Blake Ashford brought into the hospital on her wedding night that got things into perspective.

Rounding the corner of the hospital corridor he noticed his wife’s name on the door. Pausing momentarily he reached into his pocket and looked to the vending machine beside him. He slipped some change inside before getting a bag of snack mix. Once he’d pulled it out of the slot he headed towards Olivia’s office again and knocked on the door. Hearing no answer, he turned to Olivia’s secretary and nodded towards the door.

“She with a patient?” he questioned arching a curious brow.

“Not for the last half an hour. I think her last one for the day left right before I went on break,” her secretary waved him forward, “Go on and see her if you’d like. I’m sure she’ll be happy you stopped by.”

“I hope so,” Julian paused seeing a few paper flowers in a vase on the secretary’s desk, “Hey those are cute.”

“Thanks,” she smiled up at him, “a little girl was selling them around here earlier for a charity. I can’t for the life of me remember which one, but I had to get some. You know how I can’t pass up good causes.”

“I can’t blame you on that,” Julian nodded reaching into his pocket and pulling out his wallet. “How much did they cost you?”

“Like five dollars,” she pondered the thought tapping her pencil on the desktop.

“I’ll give you ten,” he handed her a ten dollar bill before motioning to the door in front of him again, “I’m in the mood to surprise her since she’s not expecting me here.”

“In that case, they are yours,” she offered the small vase up to him. He held out the money and she shook her head in refusal. “Oh no I’m all for romance. Take them.”

“Thank you,” he smiled at her brightly, “You’re one in a million.”

“That’s what I keep telling my husband,” she smiled up at him watching him knock on the door.

“Come in,” Olivia’s voice blurted out after a few seconds passed.

“Guess who,” Julian slid the vase through the small crack in the door before popping his head inside. He looked around the office before finding Olivia seated on the front of her desk adjusting her blouse and smiling up at him.

“Julian,” she smiled bringing her fingers up through her hair, “what are you doing here?”

“I had a case and,” he paused giving her a long look before pausing. His eyes swept over the room before he turned to her again, “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” she nodded realizing that she’d been fighting with her blouse, “Actually I’m not completely fine. I ended up having this patient that got a little worked up today and I spilled my coffee over the front of my blouse.”

“Oh, that had to hurt,” Julian wrinkled his nose at her before moving forward. He reached out to offer her the paper flowers, “but maybe this will make things better.”

“It’s a nice start,” she smiled up at him accepting the flowers before leaning in to kiss him, “though they look distinctly like something I saw on my secretary’s desk earlier.”

“Yeah well I had limited time to get things together, but I brought dinner,” he offered the bag of snack mix over to her, “I hope you’re hungry.”

“Actually I had something from the cafeteria earlier,” she replied with a small smile placing her hand over the center of his chest, “but I do appreciate your thinking of me.”

“I know it doesn’t seem like I do it all that often, but I’m trying,” he sighed shaking his head as he thought about the night he’d had working the crime scene and overseeing things. “You would not believe the day I’ve had…”

“I’m sure it wasn’t all that well judging by the expression on your face,” she pointed out giving him a long look.

“Not at all. There is this case I’m working on and…” he started hearing her phone ring.

“Hold that thought,” she raised her finger in the air to indicate he should hold on while she answered. Looking around her office he thought about how many times he had been at the hospital in the past week, yet he hadn’t taken a moment to stop in. Moving over to the far wall he spotted a few of her medical certificates on the wall and over on top of her filing cabinet was a photo of Jackie and John when they were much younger. Smiling he reached for it and pulled it off the top of the cabinet before hearing her get off of the phone. He turned around to face her holding up the framed photo, but before he could say anything he noticed the frown on her face.

“That was Jackie’s principal,” she explained with a small scowl, “Julian he said she’s skipping class again. I thought you talked to her about that.”

“I did and I thought we worked it out,” Julian frowned thinking about his daughter’s wild side. “Though tonight when we get home maybe we can sit her down and…”

“And he also called about John,” she continued with a tight frown spreading over her otherwise beautiful features. “Apparently he got caught smoking in the locker room again.”

“Smoking,” Julian’s widened in response, “When did he pick that habit up?”

“Probably when Jackie introduced it to him. I caught her with a pack of cigarettes in her purse the other day,” Olivia further explained her agitation level growing further by the second. “I don’t know how she gets them, but she refuses to listen to reason on the subject. Now that she’s got John getting in trouble for it…”

“Olivia I’m sure we can talk to them,” Julian sighed moving in closer to her. He reached out to take her hand in his before lifting it to his lips and offering up a kiss. “I’ll have a few words with both of them.”

“Yeah, well you can do it with them on the way to detention in the morning,” she informed him with a heavy sigh, “I just wish that they would see that they shouldn’t be wasting their lives like this.”

“We can work on it,” Julian stated again leaning in to kiss her only to feel her pull away.

“No Julian that’s not an answer. Do you have any idea how close Jackie is to getting into college or how your son is just one step away from getting tossed out of school?” she frowned up at him shaking her head and groaning. She pulled herself out his arms, “Before you answer don’t bother. I already know that answer Julian. The fact is that you aren’t even remotely aware of how your children keep screwing up because you’re never there for them.”

“I’m there for them,” he replied with a wounded expression, “You know that sometimes work keeps me away, but…”

“But what? Do you really think that’s an excuse for you not to take an interest in their lives? Julian I’m tired of being the only parent who goes to conferences, the only one who tried to discipline them while you’re the good guy. It’s something that I can’t deal with on my own. You’re their father and it’s time you stepped up and started doing something about the situation,” she huffed feeling her anger growing by the moment.

“I said I’ll talk to them,” he replied feeling an ache in his temple now that their meeting went from good to bad in a split second.

“Talking to them simply isn’t enough. You need to step up to the plate and show them that they aren’t going to run our house and they certainly aren’t going to keep doing things like this when they both need to be getting in line,” she continued to snap before finally taking in a breath. She ran her fingers through her hair and glanced over at the clock hanging on her wall. “Look it’s just been a long day Julian. I don’t mean to yell.”

“Neither do I,” he reached out to embrace her, “I only came over to say I love you.”

“I love you too,” she sighed moving in to kiss him briefly, “Tell me are you going to be home tonight?”

“I don’t know yet,” he replied honestly thinking about the job ahead of him. “There was a big accident and Blake Ashford was hurt and…”

“I’ll take that as a no,” she frowned moving back over to her desk again, “I guess I’ll see you when you get in.”

“Livvie I love you,” he reached out to take her hand only to feel her withdraw. “Liv.”

“I’ll see you at home Julian,” she replied not bothering to look up at him as he let out a long sigh resigning himself to getting back to the job.

“I’ll call you later,” he waved his hand at her giving her one last look before leaving her office and closing the door behind him.

A few seconds later the door to Olivia’s private bathroom opened and Michael stepped out giving her a disapproving look.

“Don’t you think you were a bit harsh?” he questioned with a small frown thinking about what he’d overheard while hiding out from being caught with Olivia.

“Michael, he just doesn’t listen to me,” she threw her hands up in the air, “He doesn’t see that he needs to take as much part in this marriage as I do.”

“Maybe if you give a little, you might get more in return,” he shrugged his shoulders before adjusting his tie again.

“If I give anymore there won’t be anything left of me,” she replied glancing over at the paper flowers on her desk top.

Michael eyed her for a long moment before circling around her desk. He knelt in beside her reaching out to touch her cheek gently. Urging her to meet his lips in a small kiss he smiled up at her.

“We can’t have that, now can we?” he questioned lazily leaning in to kiss her again only to feel her stiffen against him.

“Michael, I think you should leave too,” she replied feeling a sense of guilt and anger overtake her now that she found herself in an uneasy position. Closing her eyes she thought back to how she’d been kissing Michael in her office, fully intending on giving in to the flirtation that they’d had with one another for months. Things had gotten out of hand and in a moment of weakness she’d almost slipped entirely. If Julian hadn’t knocked then there was no telling what he might’ve seen…

“Olivia,” Michael tried to capture her attention once again.

“Michael, you have to go. Seriously,” she replied turning her back to him in the hopes that he would just take a hint and leave her to her thoughts now that it was clear she didn’t have the first clue what it was she was after in her life. Closing her eyes she just hoped she could figure it out before she wound up making a huge mistake!


“They should’ve been back by now,” Heather began with a frown as she walked over to the hotel room window. She pushed the curtain aside and looked out as if somehow it would make everything better just by standing by the glass, but she knew better. Something was wrong. It had to be for Kyle not to be back already. When he and Russ had left they were worried, but promised to return soon. Of course that hadn’t happened, which could only mean their intentions had hit a snag in the search for Kevin and Avery.

“They’ll be back soon,” Cheryl offered up as she held Erin in her arms.

“I’m not so sure of that anymore mom,” Grady confessed moving in along side of Heather. “I would have thought that they would have kept us updated on what was going on.”

“When they find them I’m sure you will be the first person they call,” Deana offered up seeing Grady’s concerns. “Russ and Kyle are both very smart men.”

“Who have no idea what they are up against,” Grady reminded her with a heavy sigh. “Come to think of it maybe I should just call the police again. Perhaps they’ve found out something.”

“Grady, they said that officially they can’t file a missing person’s report yet since none of them have been gone for…” Elliot started to remind his son.

“I know what they said, but at the same time we’re on the onset of a tropical storm so I really don’t think that now is the time to just leave them all out there to fend for themselves,” Grady objected with a frown.

“Grady’s right. The weather is getting worse out there,” Heather added as she released the curtain and faced the crowd again. “The longer they are out there the worse it is going to be if only through the weather alone. I really don’t think that they should be running around on the island they hardly know anything about especially now.”

“Russ lived here for a while,” Deana explained hoping to put everyone’s mind at ease again. “He seemed to know about this place…”

“He had amnesia at the time,” Heather replied with a shake of her head, “Top that off with the fact that my husband thinks he knows everything about these kind of situations when in reality the guy that Kevin was after sounds like a monster. For all we know Kyle and Russ could have found that man before Kevin did.”

“I don’t think that’s the case,” Elliot explained in a calm voice. “Kyle and Russ will be fine.”

“I’ll still feel better knowing that the police are looking for them,” Grady decided reaching into his pocket for his phone. “I’m just going to call them again.”

“I think that’s a good idea,” Heather nodded as she looked to the window again. She pushed the curtain back and sighed as she just hoped that wherever her husband was that he was safe and would be kept out of the wrath of the building storm outside.


Augustus exited the hospital elevators making his presence known. He surveyed the waiting area spotting Annie over by the chairs speaking with Joseph. Holding his head high he strode over to Annie attempting to keep his voice cool and even despite the ever growing concerns for his granddaughter.

“Annette,” Augustus spoke her voice in a thick accent, “Have you heard anything on Blake?”

“Augustus,” she mouthed rising up from her seat to give him an embrace. “Seth is with her right now.”

“And the person that did this to her?” he questioned worriedly thinking about Blake.

“They don’t know much of anything at this point, but the authorities are speaking with Sarah Marx,” Annie informed him point blank her words shaky and eyes red from crying. “Sarah witnessed the whole exchange, but it happened so fast.”

“I don’t understand how someone could do this to her. She wouldn’t hurt anyone,” Augustus thought aloud as Joseph rose up as well walking over to offer up his support.

“If you need anything, anything whatsoever during this time my family is more than willing to help,” Joseph offered up in a supportive tone.

“Joseph,” Augustus nodded over towards him, “I haven’t seen you in a great many years. Are you still running that little ice-cream parlor of yours?”

“Not anymore,” Joseph replied shaking his head, “Ken bought it a while back and I’ve gone into retirement.”

“And clearly doing well I can see,” Augustus noted the closeness between Annie and Joseph. Still it wasn’t something of interest in the moment, “Tell me have you spoken with Brant?”

“I tried reaching him, but there was no luck,” Annie explained with a heavy sigh, “I did get a hold of Kenneth and he is going to be on his way home as soon as possible.”

“What about Zoë? Has she heard of this?” Augustus questioned thinking about his daughter.

“She was unavailable when I called her service, but Kipp is here. He’s with Kellen and…” Annie motioned over to where Kipp and Kellen were with one another along side of Sarah and Douglas.

“I see,” Augustus nodded in response thinking about what little he’d heard about Blake’s accident.

“I was going to call Rex as well, but then the doctors came in and…” Annie began thinking about Augustus’s other son.

“Don’t bother,” Augustus cut her off abruptly his dark eyes meeting hers with a firm glare, “Rex doesn’t want to be bothered by this. Blake is of no concern to him.”

“He’s family and I know how you feel about…” Annie began again with a small frown.

“Rex does not need to be involved in this,” Augustus warned her sharply before quickly changing the subject, “Which law enforcement official is running the investigation.”

“Chief Warner volunteered,” Annie informed him as Joseph placed his arm around her.

“I see,” Augustus noted taking another look around the lobby, “and they haven’t said anything about who might’ve been behind this?”

“Not so far, but Blake is going to be alright,” Annie added with a hint of hope in her tone, “She endured a great many injuries but it sounds like she will make it.”

“She’s better make it or else someone is going to suffer,” Augustus warned sharply thinking about the backlash that would follow to the person who had hurt his granddaughter. “Thank you for the information Annie. I think I’m going to go search for Chief Warner.”

“Okay,” she nodded watching him walk off down the hallway as a man on a mission.

“He still hasn’t changed has he,” Joseph noted thinking about the man he’d known in his younger years.

“Not a bit, but he does love his family,” Annie added thinking about Augustus and his overwhelming personality.

“But to what length?” Joseph arched a curious brow. “We all know that Augustus doesn’t take any offense against his family lightly.”

“Joe, Blake almost died tonight,” Annie reminded him with a heavy frown.

“And something tells me the person behind it will have a similar fate much like what happened all those years ago when…” Joseph started only to feel Annie press her fingers over his lips to silence him.

“Joseph please now is not the time,” Annie warned him in a muted tone. “Augustus may be a great many things, but he loves his family. I respect him for that.”

“Even if he’s a murderer much like his son?” Joseph arched a speculative brow.

“You know full well I practically raised those children,” Annie reminded him with a wrinkled expression, “Rex and Zoë turned out rather well and as for Nicholas…”

“The apple didn’t fall very far from the tree,” Joseph mouthed glancing over to where he spotted Augustus again speaking with one of the officers. “All I’m saying is that in his world justice has a whole different set of rules.”

“Everything in the Ashford world does, but you can’t let that trouble you,” Annie pleaded with him, “Joseph, you can’t dig up the past or else you might find yourself buried in it.”

“I have nothing to be afraid of. I’m an old man, so what truths I know will go to the grave with me sooner or later, but with him,” Joseph tipped his head back towards Augustus again, “He has more than a lifetime of eternal damnation beyond him should the world see his true colors.”

“Joseph,” she began again shaking her head once more.

“I’m not saying anything,” he raised his hands in the air, “but for everyone’s sake here’s hoping whomever crossed him finds their way to real justice before Augustus has his own brand of retribution unleashed upon them.”

“The monster who did this to Blake should pay for what they’ve done,” Annie added with a huff thinking about the situation at hand. “She didn’t deserve this.”

“No she didn’t, but I pity the person behind this simply because they have no kind of idea what kind of hell they opened the door up to when they made the decision they did tonight,” Joseph finished knowing full well that the only kind of justice that would be given would be the brand that only a monster like Augustus Ashford could dish out, which meant there would be no mercy when everything was said and done.


“Hey,” Kellen moved over toward Sarah after watching her for a couple of minutes while Douglas held her in his arms. The idea of this whole event obviously had Sarah extremely upset and he figured that he would talk to her and see how she was doing. “Hey, how are you?”

“I’ve been a hell of a lot better,” Sarah answered turning out of Douglas’s arms staring out at Kellen as she wiped at her eyes knowing that when she cried she almost felt like less of a person. For the first time since she met Kellen, she almost saw a bit of worry behind his eyes. “You?”

“Other than a very sore ass butt, I’m okay. I guess I’ve gotten used to it though,” he half smirked rubbing at his behind a bit seeing her smirk as he let out a long breath and rubbed at the back of his neck. “So, Blake doing alright?”

“I have no idea,” she answered seeing him frown before looking down the hallway and letting out a small sigh. “I’m glad you two came. I didn’t know who else to call honestly.”

“Well…we’re glad you called us,” Kipp moved in from behind Kellen seeing the look that Douglas gave him from where he was standing behind Sarah. Douglas reached up to place his hand over Sarah’s shoulder for support and it almost made Kipp think about approaching his dad more on the topic. It was like he was up to something because Douglas never did something like this. He wanted to know what he was up to and why he was acting like this exactly because it really wasn’t like his father to have emotions toward someone. He wondered if it was fake, but then again why? What if it was real? If it was real, then the same question would come up. Why? Thinking about the situation of bringing it up, he realized that it was wrong to even try considering that Kellen was being nice and bringing up the topic would certainly change Kellen’s attitude. This wasn’t the time or the place to even try and pull a stunt like that. “We want to be here for them. Show our support because that’s what they need right now. The support of their loved ones.”

“That’s exactly what they need,” Kellen agreed while glancing back at Kipp before taking in a long breath. “I’m sorry you had to go through something like that. Seeing your friend hurt like that could really hurt you. I know that for a fact.”

“She’s my best friend and for years to come nothing will haunt me more than actually watching it and not being able to do anything about it,” Sarah informed him wiping at her eyes as she saw Kellen frown a bit and fold his arms out in front of his chest. “I can’t believe I sat there and I couldn’t do a thing about her getting hurt. I can play it over a million times in my head and I feel lost. Lost that I couldn’t help her.”

“There was nothing more you could do Sarah,” Kipp tried to remind her and he saw her shake her head as if he was wrong about what he said. What he did. “Sarah, Valerie is very screwed up in the head…”

“It should have been me or something because Blake never deserved this,” she shook her head refusing to believe that there was something she couldn’t do to help Blake. “I should have taken her home myself. That’s what friends do.”

“Honey, everything happens for a reason and the good thing is that she is still here with us,” Douglas whispered seeing her close her eyes almost hating the way he said that and he dipped down to press a soft kiss against her temple before wrapping his arms around her tightly. “Everything is going to be alright. I promise you Sarah--Valerie will get what she deserves one way or another. Even if it’s the last thing I do. I promise you that it will happen. Count on it.”

The words were almost bone chilling, but everyone standing there certainly hoped so. Something that could happen this bad by a single person causing this much pain was terrible. The person to blame for this they all hoped got what they deserved. No matter what it was.


“I’m so sorry that this had to happen,” Ria whispered as she kept her arms around Seth. “I wish that there was a way I could fix all of this for you both.”

“So do I,” Seth nodded as he looked at his friend’s sad eyes. “Ria, I just wish I had all the answers, but…”

“I don’t think any of us have the answers anymore,” she turned her eyes away as she took a seat on the bench behind them. “It feels like things get more complicated for the world each day.”

“Something tells me we’re not talking about Blake anymore, are we?” Seth questioned eyeing her for a long moment.

“Of course I am,” Ria tipped her head up to meet his eyes once more. “No, that’s not all I’m talking about.”

“Does this have to do with Kevin?” Seth asked moving in to take a seat beside her.

“I’d be lying if I said no,” Ria cleared her throat uneasily as she looked around the area. “This isn’t really the time, but…”

“But what?” Seth questioned reaching out for her hand. “Did something happen between the two of you?”

“No, not exactly,” she shook her head. “I mean yes something happened, but at this point Kevin really has no idea what it is.”

“Though something tells me it’s pretty upsetting,” Seth eyed her expectantly.

“Seth, you don’t need to worry about any of this right now given what’s happened to Blake and…” Ria offered up with an uneasiness in her tone.

“Trust me Ria the waiting is what’s killing me. Maybe if you can talk to me about what’s going on with you, it’ll get me focused on regaining my focus for Blake. She needs me to be strong right now,” Seth’s dark eyes clouded over with emotion, “but I’m not sure I can give her that. I’m not sure I can do that.”

“You will Seth. I know you and your heart,” Ria reached out to him and squeezed his hand in hers. “You’ll be all that she needs.”

“What about you Ria?” Seth questioned again. “What do you need right now?”

“A miracle I think,” she closed her eyes and thought about what she’d uncovered, “though Kevin is finally getting one.”

“What do you mean?” Seth questioned giving her a long look.

“His daughter is still alive,” Ria confessed feeling the reality of the words fall upon her. “I found out earlier that Kevin’s daughter is still out there.”

“How?” Seth’s eyes widened in astonishment.

“I found the woman who has had her all this time Seth. I went to her apartment and found proof that Kevin’s daughter is still out there. Hell, she might even be here in Coral Valley,” Ria blurted out as a chill crept in over her senses.

“You mean that…” Seth’s jaw dropped, “Does Kevin know about this?”

Ria shook her head. “Not yet, but I know how much this will mean to him given that he’s been hurting all these years over losing her.”

“It’s been tearing him apart,” Seth added thinking about his cousin’s situation. “You have to tell him Ria.”

“I’m planning on it, but right now, well I just don’t know if…” Ria’s eyes fell to the floor once more.

“I’ll be fine,” Seth squeezed her hand once more.

“Seth you need me and there’s no place else I would rather be than helping you and Blake,” Ria explained seriously as she focused on her friend. “You both need me and…”

“Kevin needs to know the truth Ria,” Seth coaxed her on further. “The longer you keep this to yourself the more it’s going to eat you alive.”

“Seth, it’s not…” Ria started to protest but stopped herself mid-sentence.

“Ria, I know you better than that. I can see in your face that this brings up a whole new world of questions about you and Kevin, but rest assured that his daughter being alive isn’t going to change the love he has for you,” Seth informed her supportively. “You’re absolutely everything he’s waited a lifetime to have.”

“I know that Seth, but at the same time when I think about his obsession with Angela…,” Ria sighed emphatically. “Everything that he does somehow revolves around her and how to make her life easier.”

“He’s been her bodyguard for a long time,” Seth offered up in Kevin’s defense.

“Seth, you and I know that it goes a lot deeper for that with them,” Ria bit down on her lower lip nervously, “and maybe at one point in time I had myself convinced that I was okay with the fact they have a history, but Seth I don’t know what will happen now.”

“Kevin would be a fool to blow the good thing that you two have because of this,” Seth reached out to touch her cheek gently. “He loves you Ria.”

“And I love him, but I’m so scared that when he knows his daughter is alive that he’ll realize that Angela’s finally within his reach. I’m so worried that he’ll see that he can have that dream he wanted with her while I’m just standing there to watch it play out for them,” she dropped her head and closed her eyes. “It sounds horribly selfish of me doesn’t it?”

“No,” Seth shook his head, “It sounds like you and Kevin have a lot you need to talk about. Right now you should be with him and have him tell you how much he loves you.”

“Seth I can’t abandon you,” Ria forced herself to face him again with tears in her eyes.

“You aren’t abandoning me,” Seth laced their fingers together. “You’ve just told me that my niece is out there and alive somewhere which is a sign that maybe just maybe this world isn’t all out of miracles yet.”

“Seth, I just wish…” Ria bit back on her tears.

“Go to him Ria,” Seth wiped at her cheek. “Go be with Kevin.”

“I don’t want to leave you and Blake,” she moved to embrace him tightly. “You need me here and…”

“I’ll always need you Ria, but this time nothing either one of us can do will change this,” Seth squeezed her to him tighter than before. “Go tell Kevin the truth before it takes you under with doubt.”

“I’m so sorry that I had to bring all of this up when…” she pulled back just enough to feel him press his index finger to her lips to silence her.

“Ria, if you don’t go and tell Kevin about this, then it’s not going to accomplish anything other than making you miserable. I don’t want to see that. You have to be with him Ria. Go tell him the truth,” he encouraged her further until Ria finally nodded.

“Alright, but when I do I’m coming back here to be with you and Blake. I’ll bring Kevin too,” Ria insisted further.

“It’s a deal,” Seth replied pulling her into another embrace. “Thank you Ria. For everything.”

“I wish I could do more,” she whispered feeling like a broken record as the words fell from her lips.

“So do I Ria. So do I,” Seth revealed as Ria found herself wondering how everyone would be able to find a way to get their lives on track again after the latest blow that fate had delivered them. She just hoped for Seth and Blake’s sake that they would be strong enough to pull through this tragedy together and come out on top of it.


“Maybe you should turn the flashlight out,” Kevin suggested breaking his long silence as he held onto Avery. He noticed the dim lighting that carried through the cavern and wondered just how much time they would have left before things went black. “We can conserve it for a while now that we’re taking it easy.”

“Kevin, I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Avery replied watching him reach for her flashlight. She clung to it bringing it in over her chest, “I don’t want it off.”

“It can’t hurt if we…” he started again hearing a breath escape from her lips.

“I’m afraid of the dark,” she blurted out her face growing hot with embarrassment, “I know it sounds silly, but even at home now we have a little nightlight in our room. After Bruce found me like he did, I just can’t bear the idea of being in the dark…”

“Avery I…” he looked down to where he’d grabbed the base of the flashlight with his fingers and released it.

“I know it sounds childish, but when he caught me by surprise at that cabin,” Avery shivered feeling a faint memory carry over her. “I don’t remember much about it other than there was a pain and darkness.”

“It’s okay,” Kevin touched her face gently urging her to meet his concerned eyes, “We don’t have to turn it off. We can keep it on.”

“Thank you,” she replied with a strangled expression, “I just think about how he had me tied down to that bed--how everything felt so unreal and…”

“Hey, it’s okay,” Kevin slid his fingers into her hair urging her to meet his eyes again, “You don’t have to explain it to me.”

“I’m not really explaining it to you,” she admitted with a pained expression, “I haven’t thought about it in a long time. Part of me blocked it out ever since it happened, but after the rocks came down I’ve been seeing bits and pieces of it all. I remember Russ coming home and rescuing me and…”

“You’re hoping it will happen again,” he finished for her watching her nod.

“He saved Erin and I when I thought we were going to die,” she broke down into tears unable to contain herself any longer. “He found me when I was at my weakest and he saved me.”

“He’ll do it again,” Kevin whispered warmly brushing his thumb over her new fallen tears. “Russ will know how to reach out and he’ll rescue us.”

“I’m not so sure about that,” Avery replied worriedly, “You took the letter with you when you found it, so there is nothing linking us to this place.”

“Avery I’m sure that…” he began again sensing her upset.

“You can’t be sure of anything other than the fact that Craven left us here for dead. Russ doesn’t know how to reach me and…” she burst into full blown tears her worries mounting. “Oh God I may never see him again. I could lose him and Erin and…”

“You won’t,” Kevin instructed cutting her off sharply, “Avery look at me.”

“Kevin, it’s just that…” she began again only to feel his finger curl in underneath her chin.

“Listen to me,” he informed her with a firm tone, “We are going to get out of here. You are going to be with Russ and I’m going to get back together with Ria again. Everything is going to work out.”

“Back together?” Avery repeated her damp lashes striking against her cheeks as she blinked. “Please don’t tell me you broke up again.”

“We didn’t exactly break up, but she wasn’t thrilled with me when I left to help Angie,” Kevin sighed thinking about the last time he’d seen Ria. “I tried to explain to her that I had to do this, but…”

“But how could she understand when you’re always putting Angela first?” Avery tossed back at him surprising him with her tone. “Kevin, you’re going to lose her if you keep doing this.”

“You saw what Craven’s capable of,” Kevin shot back at her with a frown, “He tried to kill us.”

“And he’s killing your relationship because he knows much like everyone else does that you’ll always keep that door open for Angela. You can’t let go of what you had with her and for that you’ll always suffer no matter who you are with,” Avery challenged her dark eyes searching his. “Face it you’re a fool for that woman and not even time has been able to knock some sense into you.”

“If that were the case one would argue that today might’ve been a good start with our rock shower,” Kevin attempted to make a joke, but found her undeterred in her lecture.

“Kevin you have the world right in front of you. You have a woman who loves you--really, truly loves you for everything that you are, yet you keep going back to something that is only going to take you down. I don’t understand that. It’s like committing relationship suicide over and over again.” she snapped at him further.

“It’s not like I’m trying to Avery,” he interrupted with obvious displeasure in his tone.

“Yes you are because when it gets down to it you’re an addict when it comes to that woman and you’ll always be an addict. You’ll let it drag you down to the core before you realize that you lost it all due to an obsession that you simply cannot shake,” she scowled up at him. “Face it Kevin you’re hopeless when it comes to Angela and you’ll always be miserable because a part of you never wants to let go.”

He stared at her in disbelief for a moment before letting out a low rumble of a laugh, “That’s rich coming from you considering that you’re the last person to offer up romantic advice to me.”

“Excuse me,” she blinked back at him. “What are you trying to say?”

“Well let’s see Avery,” he let out another sarcastic sound before meeting her eyes with a harsh glare, “You haven’t given Russ a fair shake since he returned home from being with Angela.”

“That’s not true,” she argued with him a huff spilling from her lips.

“Oh yes it is,” Kevin continued to lash out at her, “Ever since he walked back into your life you’ve been looking for a reason to sabotage everything you have together. Here you are someone with a family and a man who loves you more than anything--who would die for you and you treat him like he’s something you could give or take at will.”

“I do not,” she objected to his words feeling her frustrations mounting. “I love Russ!”

“No you love to draw him in, to bring him to the edge only to push him off of it once he’s satisfied your momentary need for carnal fulfillment. I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve watched you give him hope only to kick it away from him once you’ve had your way with him,” Kevin grumbled back at her his voice coming out in tiny bolts of agitation. “Tell me Avery is it Russ you really care about or what’s inside his pants because if I had to take a guess I would say it was the later considering that Angela works exactly the same way with men. She takes them in just to spit them out when she’s felt she’s had her fill.”

“You son of a bitch,” Avery couldn’t hold back on her anger as she struck him across the cheek. Immediately she regretted the action when her arm filled with the pain that had popped out now that she’d used her bad hand. She glared at Kevin while attempting to pull out of his reach. “How dare you?”

“The truth hurts doesn’t it,” he challenged seeing her push away from him enough to move to the other side of the cavern. “Face it Avery you were ready to dish it out to me, so now I’m giving you a taste of what you’ve offered me. It’s bitter and it’s hard to swallow, but that’s just how it falls when you get rid of the bullshit.”

“I love Russ,” Avery offered up in her own defense bringing her hands up over the front of her shirt to keep herself warm.

“So much so that after he made love to you and promised you forever you threw him out,” Kevin reminded her with a tight grimace. “Hell if I recall correctly after you threw him out rather than coming to your senses and calling him you kissed me and told me that you would’ve more than readily made love to me to spite him.”

“You’re the one who brought up making love to me and if memory serves me right you were the one who kissed me. You were the one trying to plant the seeds of doubt into my mind about Russ and Angela. You went on and on about how I wanted a fair assessment of who was better,” she blinked back at him incredulously, “which I’m sure was your way of trying to supplement for Angela somehow.”

“I wouldn’t want to supplement with you considering that I know how good Angela is,” he spat out at her with a shake of his head. He sank back down on the cavern floor and let out a long sigh, “There’s obviously a reason why men keep flocking back to her, now isn’t it? Wasn’t that where you were headed with your psychobabble bullshit there?”

“I guess men are attracted to whores for the most part and you’re no different,” she glared over at him feeling a chill carry in over her reaching down to her core. She dropped her head in her legs and felt tears burning behind her eyes.

“She’s not a whore. Even Russ can tell you that one. She at least gave a damn about him when they were together,” Kevin snapped back at her ready to say something more when he realized that she’d started crying.

Immediately he felt his sour mood shift now that he’d felt the weight of what he’d done. He watched her bury her head in her hands, her sobs causing him to feel even worse than he had when he’d had the stake in his leg. Closing his eyes he thought back to how she’d been trying to help him--to push him to see that he was making a mistake in his relationship with Ria, which he knew full well he was doing. She hadn’t said anything that he hadn’t known in his heart already, but in hearing her say it, it had only reaffirmed the belief that he’d known about what a jerk he’d been lately.

“Look, Avery…” Kevin began drawing in a slow breath.

“Just save it Kevin. Maybe if you’re lucky we’ll get another downpour in here and you won’t have to worry about being bothered by me any longer,” she blurted out clenching her flashlight and taking it with her to the far end of the cavern. He could still hear her crying and he let out a long groan.

“Avery it’s just complicated. When Angie and I first made love we were…” Kevin closed his eyes again thinking about his tense relationship with Angela. “She was just someone that I wasn’t supposed to love, but I couldn’t help myself. When I realized I’d fallen for her I knew it would be the death of me…”

“Only because you gave her that kind of power over you,” Avery replied blankly keeping her eyes on her feet in front of her now that she had her back turned to Kevin.

“Haven’t you ever loved anyone so much that you knew that you couldn’t live without them? That you couldn’t breathe without them even if you tried?” he questioned using his upper body strength to pull himself up to a seated position on the ground. He glanced over his shoulder at her and sighed. “Haven’t you ever wanted something so bad that you knew that you wouldn’t be able to move without having it? Without knowing what it would be like to keep it in your life if only for one, brief fleeting moment?”

“I know the ache Kevin, but real love is more than that,” she answered still keeping her back to him.

“I know that now, but I was a kid myself when I got wrapped up in her,” Kevin pushed his hands across the pavement attempting to push his body over the rock floor. He moved a fraction of an inch before pain shot up over him. “I didn’t know any better than to fall. I tried to keep my guard up, but it wasn’t easy. She made it impossible for me. She got inside of my system and yes I’ve been addicted.”

“And obviously you still are,” she noted folding her arms in front of her chest.

“I probably always will be but that doesn’t change anything about where my future is,” Kevin pressed his hands to the pavement again using his strength to ease him in closer to her, “It doesn’t change the fact that I want something more.”

“I don’t care,” Avery shook her head refusing to get back into a conversation with him. “You do what you want because it doesn’t matter to me. It’s not my problem.”

“Maybe not, but I can’t fault you for caring,” Kevin watched her closely as he strained to move in closer to her, “Avery, look I’m sorry about what I said…”

“I never should’ve brought it up,” she replied lowering her head in time to hear him wince. She quickly sat up and turned to see him closer to her. Frowning she spun around and went against her emotions, “Kevin, what are you doing?”

“Trying to apologize,” he admitted stretching his arm out enough to reach for her. He felt her slide in closer to him as his fingers pressed in over her cheek wiping at her tears, “I was being an asshole.”

“Yes you were,” she nodded in agreement not bothering to let up on his admission.

“I deserved a whole lot worse than your hitting me,” he confessed with a pained expression seeing the hurt still lingering behind her eyes.

“I won’t argue that either,” she bit down on her lower lip fighting to repress the whimper that built up in the back of her throat.

“I was out of line with what I said about Russ. I never should’ve been that hurtful when it’s not true,” he offered up hating to see her cry.

“No, maybe that’s where you’re wrong,” she felt a shiver carry in over her. “You’re right about me. I haven’t given him a fair shake since he’s returned. I’ve been so caught up in myself that I haven’t thought about what he’s gone through. I haven’t thought about all he endured because all I could see was my pain--my disappointments.”

“Russ doesn’t blame you for that. He doesn’t hold it against you,” Kevin’s tone softened as her face twisted with conflict.

“Maybe he should,” she tipped her head up just enough to reveal her sad eyes. “Maybe that’s what I deserve for how I’ve been treating him.”

“No you don’t,” he shook his head and took in a small breath, “You don’t deserve anything less than the best and you have it with Russ.”

“No Kevin you’re right about me. I’ve been treating him so horrible,” she replied breaking into tears, “He has given me the world and all I do is take him down time and time again. I treat him awful.”

“No you don’t. I never should’ve said that,” Kevin managed to move himself in a bit closer to bring his arm around her shoulders. “Avery, look at me. You’re not at all like Angie. I’m just being a big baby right now and I shouldn’t have said that. You and Russ have a good thing going together and it’s everything I always wanted with Angie.”

“Yeah right,” she wiped at her face again, “Why would you even try lying to me now when I know how much happier everyone is with her? Even Russ probably felt like he had someone who really wanted what was best for him when he was with her.”

“Russ was only with her because he was searching his mind and his heart for the one true thing in his life,” Kevin curled his finger underneath her chin and urged her to meet his soft brown eyes, “That’s you Avery.”

“Kevin stop,” Avery attempted to look away only to feel him nudge her again.

“Avery it’s true. My God if you think about it men are ready to trip over themselves and each other to be with you. You’ve got so much going on that you don’t even realize how hot you really are,” Kevin continued noticing a distance between her eyes. “You’re an amazing mother, a wonderful friend and you’re beautiful. God, you’re so beautiful…”

“Kevin,” she felt him slide his fingers in against her cheek gently.

“Avery, you have no idea the power that it is that you hold over men,” he whispered leaning in closer to her, his dark eyes filled with a newfound determination, “If you had any idea of just how sexy you truly were, then you’d be a bitch. Hell, you’d be like Angie is most of the time, but you don’t see yourself that way. You only see yourself as someone who wants to do right by the world around her. You want to make those you love happy and you are always thinking about them.”

“No I’m not,” she shook her head and frowned, “You said it yourself that I’m selfish and…”

“A selfish person wouldn’t be sitting here and trying to get me to pull my shit together with Ria so that I don’t blow it. A selfish person wouldn’t give a damn about what direction my life is headed in,” he admitted with a small sigh, his fingers pressing into her long, dark hair. “You only said what you said because you don’t want to see me take myself under. You don’t want me to end up making a horrible mistake that will leave me alone and miserable.”

“Or maybe I said it because I hate Angela and I don’t believe for a second that she deserves your kind of love and adoration,” Avery tossed out at him, a raw bitterness in her tone. “I hate her for what she had with Russ and maybe deep down I want to see her lose the best thing that ever happened to her because she stole it from me without knowing it.”

“She could never steal what was never truly hers,” Kevin mouthed in a low whisper, noticing the way that the flashlight cast a soft glow over her face. He ran his fingers through her dark hair once again before smiling at her, “Russ was always yours.”

“And look at how I took him for granted,” she sighed tilting her eyes away from him and feeling a lump forming in her throat. “He wanted everything to be perfect for us this weekend and look how I blew it. I screwed up everything.”

“I think Craven gets the honors for this one,” Kevin noted thinking about his old adversary. “He did all of this and I refuse to let you take the credit for it.”

“But look where my not listening got us,” she glanced over at him once again. “I followed you in here and we got trapped inside this. I wound up making things worse by fighting with you when the explosion went off…”

“If you hadn’t lectured me then there is no telling what would’ve happened to us. We might’ve been caught in that explosion and torn to shreds,” Kevin reminded her pointedly, “I might not even be alive right now if it wasn’t for you.”

“Then again if I had talked you into calling the police like a good friend should’ve done, then maybe you wouldn’t have a hole in your leg,” she glanced down to her blood soaked shirt over his thigh.

“We can’t think about what ifs only about what is ahead of us,” Kevin reminded her simply.

“That’s what Russ says all the time,” Avery sighed thinking about the man she loved.

“Then he’s smarter than I thought because he’s right,” Kevin offered up feeling an ache carry in over him. “He’s right about a lot of things.”

“Yes he is,” Avery nodded in agreement, “and if I listened to him more then maybe I wouldn’t always wind up in over my head.”

“If you always listened to him and agreed with him life wouldn’t be nearly as fun,” he nudged her ribs and offered up a smile, “Admit it you like being difficult because it makes things far more interesting when you’re alone with one another.”

“It does,” she couldn’t help but smile up at him, “but not because I’m only interested in that… I love Russ.”

“As you should,” he nodded again seeing a color rise over her features bringing out a warmth that only happiness could offer her. “He loves you too.”

“I know he does,” she sighed heavily closing her eyes and thinking about the man she loved. “I gave him so much grief over the situation with Angela when I was no better. I married Brant and…”

“And if Russ was here, he would tell you that it’s not something that you should worry about,” Kevin whispered reaching out to draw her in closer to him. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders before pulling her in closer to his chest. “He’d tell you that you’re absolutely perfect the way that you are and he wouldn’t trade a second of what you two have with one another for all the riches in the world. He’d say that being with you is unlike any other experience he’s ever shared with any other woman because you are by far the most amazing adventure of his life.”

“I hardly think that…” she started to argue with him feeling his finger curl underneath her chin again.

“He’d say that you are undoubtedly his every dream come true Avery and that there would be no room for comparison between you and Angela because you are like night and day,” Kevin’s voice slurred, his brown eyes clouding over with sentiment while he spoke to her, “He’d say that he’s made mistakes, but none of them as big as the moment when he listened to you long enough to believe that you two were even remotely close to being possibly over. He’d tell you point blank that every moment spent with you is a moment he’ll treasure for the rest of his life because you’re the only woman who has ever truly made him feel like he was alive.”

Avery couldn’t help but smile her thoughts lingering to Russ, “I’d love to hear him say that.”

“And he would wholeheartedly once he saw you again,” Kevin whispered squeezing her in closer to him.

“Just like Ria would tell you that even though you make her furious she still loves you. She knows that you’ve got Angela on a pedestal, but she’s the woman who is going to change all of that. She would explain to you that she loves you with everything she has and that she’s not letting you go without a fight,” Avery offered up massaging her fingers over the center of his chest while laying her head on his shoulder. “She would remind you that when she lets you go that it isn’t because she doesn’t love you, but rather because she wants you to fight for her. She wants you to approach her with the same passion and desire that you do with everything that surrounded your time with Angela. She would want you to stop pretending that part of your life with Angela was the only relevant time you experienced. She would want you to know that she can offer you so much more and make you feel alive in ways you’ve always dreamt of.”

“I feel that way when I’m with her,” Kevin nodded placing his chin on the top of her head, “She gives me reason to believe again.”

“That’s all she’s asking for. It’s all she wants,” Avery tipped her head up to see his eyes on her, “An opportunity to let you know that there is life beyond the misery you’ve placed yourself into time and time again.”

“I want to find a reason to believe again,” Kevin whispered searching her eyes for a long moment, “I want to know what’s left after everything I wanted slipped out of my life.”

“It isn’t faded away Kevin. The dream just changed,” Avery informed him with a shivering exhale. “That’s what happens with life especially when you’re planning it out. Things change…life changes and you’re only left with looking forward, never going back.”

“I’d give anything to have that one taste of heaven,” Kevin’s thumb skimmed over her bottom lip gingerly, “To know what it’s like to feel alive again.”

“You’ll have that,” Avery leaned into his touch closing her eyes and losing herself to her thoughts of Russ. “It’ll be yours for the taking.”

“Sometimes I feel like I’m always longing for something that’s beyond my reach--something that someone else is always holding onto because it was never meant for me,” Kevin confessed in a raw, broken tone.

“It could be yours if you stop denying that you deserve to be loved--that you can find happiness in your life that goes well beyond Angela Meloni,” Avery answered with a small sigh feeling an ache building in her temple.

“I see that now, but the problem is I let things cloud my vision--my instincts get jumbled and I find myself longing to travel down a destructive path--to reach out for something that I should never, ever be able to touch,” Kevin explained in a faint whisper, his gaze dropping down to her lips involuntarily.

“Following your heart is never wrong Kevin. It will never lead you astray,” she assured him in a light tone thinking about how she’d denied herself that opportunity for happiness time and time again with Russ over the years.

“I’m not so sure about that,” Kevin replied closing his eyes for a long moment while his heart hammered in his chest. The memories of his first time with Angela surrounded him, the way it felt to have her in his arms, to share the magic of such a place with her when he’d fought like hell to keep from loving her. Now that he felt Avery beside him he couldn’t help but long for all that he’d lost.

“You’re sure what you want. You just need to stop being hesitant and follow through on what it is that you need in your life,” she suggested pressing her palm into his chest as he nodded.

“You’re right. You’re absolutely right. No turning back,” he vowed tipping her head up ever so slightly and pressing his mouth to hers in a hungry union. His fingers slid into her hair as Avery’s brown eyes widened in astonishment. She threw her hands out in the air waving her fingers around wildly as Kevin’s lips teased and tortured her tongue tangling with hers until she pressed her palms on his shoulders and pushed him away from her gently.

“Kevin, what are you doing?” she couldn’t help but question breathlessly while her pulse raced.

“Being honest Avery,” Kevin reached out to her again moving in to curl his fingers around the back of her neck and pull her in closer to him. “I lied to you when I implied that I wanted to be with you because of Angela. When I suggested that we make love it wasn’t because of Angela at all. On some level I thought that it was because I was ready to stick it to Russ--to show him what it’s like to have the thing you crave the most ripped away from you, but now I know that didn’t have any part of it. I said it because I wanted it--because I want you and I still do Avery.”

“Wait, what?” she blinked back at him, her jaw dropping in astonishment. She attempted to wiggle away from him wondering how she’d given him the wrong idea about the situation, but as his eyes glazed over with something she couldn’t quite read she felt a lump forming in her throat. “Kevin, if I lead you to believe that…”

“Shh,” he whispered reaching out to her once again, “Avery you told me to follow my instincts and that’s what I’m doing. You said to be honest and now I have. I want you Avery--every part of you.”

“Kevin, I’m pretty sure that…” she began with a stammer feeling him place his index finger to the center of her lips.

“I’m going to make love to you like I’ve wanted to since the first moment I saw you,” he confessed in a lazy tone, his fingers curving out into her hair again.

“Kevin I…” she started again realizing that this was not at all how she’d anticipated their conversation with one another going. She stretched her arm out placing her hand in the center of his chest only to feel him reach for her wrist. He raised her palm to his lips before depositing a small kiss upon her pulse point. After a moment he leaned in towards her seeing the protest carry over her.

“No words,” he explained pressing his index finger to her lips once again before leaning forward and kissing her heatedly.

Avery raised her hands up in the air, feeling the hunger and yearning behind his kiss. She looked around the dark cavern trying to come up with some suitable conclusion to this unexpected twist of fate between them. Bringing her hands down over his shoulders she attempted to talk logic with him--to get him to listen to reason about what she was really trying to say to him, but before she got the chance he moved back ever so slightly offering up a small smile before his head fell directly into her lap.

“Kevin?” Avery questioned worriedly feeling uncomfortable in the moment as he had his head buried over her thighs. She ran her fingers through his hair attempting to pull his head up, but it was no use. She poked at his shoulder, but there was still no response.

“Kevin,” she spoke his name again worry sweeping over every inch of her until she heard a loud thunderous noise generating from her lap. Looking down she realized he’d passed out and as she carefully pushed him over so that his face was no longer buried in her thighs, she let out a breath of relief.

“I don’t know what you were thinking Kevin, but this was so not what I had in mind for us,” she revealed touching his face gently before vowing to push what had just happened out of her mind from here on out. Now that he was passed out on top of her, she chalked it off as his injury getting the best of him, but still she couldn’t help but remember the expression on his face.

“He couldn’t have been serious,” Avery blurted out to herself an uneasiness carrying over her. Her gaze tipped down to him once again and she took in an uneasy breath, “Could he?”

Avery sat in contemplation for a long moment in time thinking about the words he’d said--the way that he’d kissed her and as she thought of his declaration she realized that it had to be the pain talking. There was no way that Kevin Adonis really meant those things he’d said to her, but if he had, well then that would open up a whole new world of issues between them.

“Nah, it was the drugs talking,” Avery assured her herself reaching for her flashlight again before offering up a pained whisper now that she was stuck beneath Kevin, who was lost in his slumber, “at least I hope.”


Brant’s eyes opened as he found himself face down on the cold flooring of the cavern he’d been inside. He felt dirt beneath his fingers and pressed against his lips now that a thin line of drool hung over the side of his face. Groaning to himself he tried to shake off the feeling that had an iron-clad grip on him, but he felt sluggish all over. It was as if the world around him made no sense as he tried to remember how he’d wound up in such a position. He ached all over and it seemed as though he’d just gotten a severe butt kicking, but before he could process what had happened to him he heard a loud, blood curdling scream.

“Angela,” he blurted out shooting up and hitting his head on the layer of rock that was over him. He winced in agony bringing his palm up to the top of his head before his blurry vision evened in and he saw her seated on the ground just a few feet away from him. She was bracing herself up against a wall of stone while Don was perched at her feet with a look of sudden seriousness. Brant blinked a few times before hearing her cry out again.

“Angela you need to relax,” Don offered up in a smooth and professional tone, “You’re doing just fine.”

“How the hell am I doing fine when I feel like I’m being split in two?” she snapped at him, her voice coming out in a snarl as her fingers clawed at the ground beneath her.

“Trust me you’re doing great,” Don offered up again hearing her let out a heavy scream while Brant moved in closer to her.

Without a word Brant reached for Angela’s hand and offered it a small squeeze. In the midst of her cries, he noticed she’d turned her head towards him, her eyes wide with panic and upset.

“It’s okay sweetheart,” Brant reached out to smooth his fingers over the side of her strained face. “I’m here.”

“Nice of you to join us,” Don quipped turning his focus to her again. “Angela I think I see something…”

“How can you not it feels like I’ve got an elephant in there,” she whimpered biting down on her lip again, “I don’t remember it hurting this much. Last time I was drugged and…”

“It’s okay,” Brant offered up in a soothing tone feeling his head clear up just a bit now that he was beside her.

“No, it’s not okay,” she shook her head firmly, “You have no idea what this feels like. I feel like someone is trying to cut me in half and…”

“You’re doing just fine,” Don piped in knowing that she wasn’t happy, but all was progressing well.

“I’m not fine Don. It shouldn’t hurt this much. If it did, then no one would ever want to have children,” Angela spat out at him with a snarl. She dropped her head back sinking it onto Brant’s shoulder while letting out a series of small whimpers. “Brant something has to be wrong. My mother died when she had me, which can only mean that…”

“You’re doing fine. Better than fine,” Brant spoke up soothingly massaging her shoulders in an attempt to calm her down and relax her. “I know that everything is going to turn out okay.”

“I don’t know Brant. I should’ve told you sooner, but when my mom died, it changed my life. I came to Coral Valley wanting to learn more about her before this happened and now…” Angela began to sob worries mounting by the moment, “I wanted to avoid this so that when this happened I would be able to keep what happened to her from happening to me.”

“Angela,” Brant spoke her name once again.

“I just needed to know--needed to see the truth so that I didn’t wind up…” Angela cried out reaching for his hand and squeezing it tighter than before, “Brant I’m so afraid. If something happens to our children or if I’m gone…”

“You aren’t going anywhere. Don knows what he’s doing,” Brant tried to assure her while looking over at his best friend. “I have complete faith in him that he won’t let us down.”

“That’s right. I spend more time in this position then most men,” Don paused realizing what he’d said, “well not exactly like this but…no that’s not what I mean either. I don’t spend my time doing this and….oh hell, you know what I’m trying to say.”

“He’ll do a perfect job,” Brant offered his friend an easy out. “He’s an expert.”

“Brant I want to believe that, but…” Angela gasped in a labored breath.

“Trust me, I wouldn’t let Don do this if I didn’t believe that he could carry us through this,” Brant explained in a reassuring tone. “I know he’d lay his life down on the line for either one of us and for our children if need be.”

“That’s right,” Don added with a breath, “After all I would imagine my wife is probably drawing up divorce papers right now.”

“Divorce papers,” Angela repeated with a frown, “Why? What happened now?”

“She wasn’t exactly thrilled that I left with Brant to find you, but there was no other choice,” Don explained with a small smile, “I knew that I’d be needed here somehow.”

“Don I don’t want you to get divorced because of this. I don’t want Shannon upset with you because…” Angela paused turning her attention to Brant, “We should call her.”

“Right now I think we should focus on getting these two little ones into the world because it seems like one of them is more than eager,” Don noted with wide eyes a sudden enthusiasm carrying over him, “Angela I think you should push.”

“Don I…” Angela arched a bit feeling her body acting out with a mind of it’s own.

“I love you,” Brant whispered in her ear hoping to help pull her through what was happening for them.

“I love you too even if I want to kill you right now for this…for…” Angela stopped when the sound of small cries filled the cavern surrounding them, causing the small space they were in to fill up with a new noise that hadn’t been present moments earlier. She paused long enough to listen a realization dawning in upon her. “Brant, is that…?”

“It’s a boy,” Don announced holding up a small body in his arms that after he’d wrapped the infant up in a small blanket he’d pulled from the car. Offering up a wide grin, Don carefully moved in closer to Brant, “You have a son. Would you like to hold him?”

“Oh God would I ever,” Brant’s eyes widened in astonishment hearing the crying infant in his best friend’s arms. Don moved in closer ready to place the boy in Brant’s arms before pausing.

“Are you sure you’re up to it? You’re not going to pass out if I give him to you, are you?” Don questioned wearily thinking about Brant’s earlier spell.

“I wouldn’t miss a second of this for the world,” Brant confessed feeling Don rest his son in his arms. Immediately Brant’s eyes fell upon his very vocal son and tears swelled in his eyes. “Angela, he’s so little…”

“He didn’t feel little coming out,” Angela quipped with a relieved smile closing her eyes and hearing her sounds screaming surround her offering up a warmth that hadn’t been present earlier.

“Oh mom he was just eager to get to you,” Brant smiled proudly his dark eyes upon his son, “Weren’t you? My you have your mother‘s lungs, don’t you?”

“Brant, I want to see him,” Angela spoke up in a weak tone hearing her son’s voice carry through the cavern.

“I think I can arrange that,” Brant assured her carefully repositioning himself so that she could get a first look at their son.

“Oh my gosh,” Angela couldn’t help but gasp feeling tears overtake her at the sight of her son, “He already has so much hair.”

“He’s beautiful Angela,” Brant slid in closer to her watching her reach out for their son’s tiny finger. “Just like you.”

“We did this,” she mused with a pleased smile, “You and I did this.”

“We sure did,” Brant nodded proudly thinking about how their chance encounter had created something wonderful between them, “He’s perfect in every sense of the word and I owe that all to you.”

“He wouldn’t be here without you too,” Angela informed him caught up in a moment of emotion when she felt another pain carry over her.

“Looks like his sister is tired of him being an attention hog,” Don noted sliding back into position over Angela. “Do you think you can be strong enough for me to get through this one as well?”

“I can do it,” she nodded focusing on concentrating now that he’d already seen her son alive and in Brant’s arms. She gazed up at her son and felt an unexplainable love carry in over her.

“I’m going to need you to push for me,” Don explained trying to recapture Angela’s attention now that her son was with them. She nodded and did as instructed until Don’s face drained of all color. “Angela wait…”

“What?” she questioned hearing the sound that carried over his voice. “Why? Don what’s wrong?”

“I just need you to wait,” Don explained moving in closer to her causing Brant to look up from where he’d been holding his son and admiring him.

“Don, what’s wrong? What’s going on?” Brant questioned worriedly seeing his friend tending to Angela. “What’s happening?”

“Angela you have to stop pushing. I know it’s hard, but please…” Don urged her again seeing the panic register over her. “Look she’s caught in the umbilical cord and…”

“Oh my God. Don is she…” Angela couldn’t help but ask feeling Don working in over her.

“Just give me a minute,” Don pleaded with her as the cavern grew silent. It felt like an eternity as Angela closed her eyes and let out a low whimper.

“Don…” Brant couldn’t help but ask beckoning to his friend.

“It looks like…” Don’s voice carried over them with a little less stress in it. “Try again Angela.”

“Are you sure? Are you positive that…?” she started to ask only to feel her body spring to action. A few seconds later she spotted Don holding a baby in his arms.

“Don?” Brant began worriedly seeing his friend turn away from them. He watched Don hover in over the infant wordlessly doing something that neither one of them could see.

“Don, what’s happening?” Angela questioned suddenly feeling worry consume her. “Where’s my daughter?”

“Why isn’t she crying?” Brant couldn’t help but ask fearing the worst after Don’s sudden shift of mood.

“Don please…” Angela began again feeling her heart sinking in her chest when another small cry filled the cavern as well.

“I just had to warm her up,” Don explained turning around to reveal Brant and Angela’s daughter in his arms. She was wrapped up in his college sweatshirt and much like her brother she had a set of dark hair on top of her head.

“Thank God,” Brant let out a breath of relief seeing the way that Don clenched their daughter in his arms.

“She’s beautiful Angela,” Don explained proudly moving in on the other side of Angela, “She gave me the scare of my life there for a minute, but now I think we’re all set.”

“Oh god,” Angela whimpered feeling Don offer her daughter to her. He placed the little girl in Angela’s arms and she was overcome with tears.

“She’s so beautiful Brant,” Angela confessed in a small whimper unable to believe that she was finally holding her daughter in her arms. She looked over to Brant as he had their son and a moment of pride carried through her erasing the thought of pain that had consumed her earlier.

“She obviously gets that from her mother,” Don whispered bending in to kiss her cheek gently, “You did good Angie.”

“Thanks,” she replied with a breath of relief turning to see his blue eyes beside her, “You did pretty good yourself Don.”

“You did better than good,” Brant nodded over at Don thankful to have his best friend there with them.

“I try and hey, it’s not everyday that I let any little lady have that sweatshirt,” Don motioned to Brant and Angela’s daughter. “Only the special ones are allowed to wear it.”

“It suits her,” Angela sighed feeling exhaustion carry over her as she turned to Brant, “We did it. We finally did it.”

“No Angela, you did this,” Brant bent down to kiss her tenderly hearing the sounds of their children’s voices in unison. “This is all because of you and your strength.”

“I love you Brant,” she confessed feeling as if all the dreams of happiness that she’d felt out of her reach were finally hers.

“I love you,” Brant mouthed in response bending in to kiss her again as a sound rose from outside the cavern.

“Is anyone in here?” Kyle’s voice sounded out as Don answered.

“Yes, we’re in here and…” Don began as Russ pushed his way into the cavern and saw the group in front of them.

“Oh my…” Russell’s eyes widened half expecting to find Avery, but instead he saw Brant with his family. Glancing over at Angela he noticed the expression on her face as her grin widened.

“Well it looks like our children have the first family meeting here,” Angela offered up with a warm expression, “Russ this is your niece and nephew.”

“They’re incredible…” Russ found himself at a loss seeing the two children in Brant and Angela’s arms. His thoughts lingered to Avery and to when they’d had Erin with one another. Suddenly an ache carried over him as he realized he needed to find Avery now more than ever.

“There’s an ambulance here,” Kyle noted joining the group in the cave with a surprised expression, “and in good time I can see.”

“I couldn’t agree more, though most of the hard work is over with,” Don added looking to his best friend and Angela knowing full well that the disaster that had surrounded them was lifted for the moment and replaced with one of the greatest miracles that Don had ever been able to be a part of.


Augustus walked through the hospital corridor having had enough of dealing with the incompetence of those around him. While he’d wanted to get information on what had happened to Blake, the officers he’d spoken with weren’t revealing anything worthwhile. Frowning he moved towards the nurse’s station ready to get word on where Blake’s room was so that he could finally see his granddaughter at long last. He was halfway down the hall when he heard two voices chatting away with one another.

“Can you believe that his ex-wife ran her down?” one of the women gossiped from behind the curtain.

“What was she thinking?” the other replied with a small gasp, “You never, ever cross an Ashford because it means big trouble.”

“Oh please,” the first woman let out a small snicker, “Brant is a pussycat and he’s the only one of real importance in town these days.”

“Ken’s gone off the deep end from what I’ve heard,” the second explained with a sudden seriousness, “Rumor has it he’s become his father all over again.”

“Please Ken is a pussy cat. He might be all talk, but certainly no action,” the first woman chortled, “I hardly believe that a lawyer who works to save the world without collecting a dime is capable of all the bs we’ve had going around in the rumor mill,” the first added dismissively.

“It’s true,” the second added with a small sound, “Ken went from the ultimate good guy, to bad boy galore.”

“I’d still do him, but I’d much rather a piece of Brant,” the first woman noted with a tiny snicker, “That man is just oozing with sexuality and it’s a pity that I didn’t hit that sooner.”

“Oh like you stood a chance with Brant Ashford,” the second woman taunted in response, “He is very selective.”

“Clearly not given the long list of conquests he has. It’s just a pity that I wasn’t on it,” the first woman sighed in response, “Though I did sleep with his father once.”

“Shut up you did not!” the second woman swatted at her. “I don’t believe it.”

“Believe what you want, but that man, well that man had power--real power. Sure, he wasn’t as hot as Brant, but he made the Ashford name something that held meaning. He might’ve been bad to the bone, but hey you can’t be that amazing without cracking a few skulls along the way,” the first woman teased with a chuckle.

“Okay that’s just a bit creepy. I heard that he was still alive,” the second woman spouted out causing Augustus to repress the inward groan that carried over him.

“That’s what they say, but if he’s anything like he used to be, he won’t return unless he’s got good reason. Nicholas is way too smart to come back to this dump unless he can find a way to shock everyone,” the first woman informed her with an amused chortle, “though I wouldn’t mind Rex returning either. That man was hot too.”

“Okay I never saw him, but I heard stories,” the second woman added before pausing, “Though it still gets me about what happened tonight with Blake Ashford. I mean to think that the man she was going to marry had a crazy ex-wife that would do that.”

“That’s what this town is good for crazies and whack jobs,” the first woman noted with an ironic laugh, “Though if this was a decade ago that woman wouldn’t stand a chance at survival because Ashfords would never live down that kind of insult against their family. Hell if Nicholas wouldn’t take care of it, then that father of his would. It would’ve been the worst day of that woman’s life if either one of them got a hold of her. She wouldn’t be seeing another day if you catch my drift.”

“Even I know that,” the second woman replied with a tiny shudder, “You don’t cross an Ashford.”

“And apparently not a Stone either for that matter, but that’s another story,” the first woman couldn’t help but bubble over, “Now that Cameron, he’s very, very hot.”

“You aren’t kidding,” the second replied as their gossip session transformed into one that Augustus wanted to skip out on altogether.

“So that’s what happened to my Blake,” Augustus pondered the thought wondering if Seth’s former flame was in fact capable of such chaos. Frowning to himself he vowed to find out the truth about the situation and handle it before the clearly inept police made it turn into an unfortunate comical mishap with the person behind the crime getting away without punishment. Reaching for his phone he dialed a familiar number before hearing the person on the other end of the line pick up.

“Hello, yes it’s Augustus. I have a little assignment for you and I’m hoping that you can take care of it as quickly and efficiently as possible given the seriousness of the situation,” he explained to the person on the other end of the line vowing that one way or the other he would find justice for his granddaughter!


...to be continued...