Episode 417

“I’m going to make love to you like I’ve wanted to since the first moment I saw you,” Avery could hear Kevin’s voice echoing in her mind over and over again after his shocking declaration the night before. Though he’d seemed more than ready to follow through with that plan, Avery found herself relieved that he’d managed to pass out before he was able to take things to the next level. Still as he lay over her, his head on her lap as it had been for the last few hours or so she couldn’t help but think about what he’d said. Had he truly felt that way? More importantly had she given him mixed signals to make him feel that way? Unable to shake the unsettling feeling that she’d carried with her most of the night, she looked to Kevin once again.

“He’s a good friend who's hurt,” Avery reminded herself knowing full well that Kevin wouldn’t say something like that if he was in his right mind. At least she hoped not considering that she didn’t want him to think that she was leading him on down a path that was never going to happen. During their talk last night all she could think about was getting out and back to Russ, but Kevin was clearly disoriented and upset due to his injury. That had to be it.

“Ria,” Kevin slurred a low rumble building in the back of his throat. He shifted ever so slightly on Avery’s legs and took in another staggering breath. Avery reached out to bring her fingers through his dark hair hoping to rouse him enough to check on him. His eyes opened and he stared up at her blankly for a long moment seemingly unable to register who she was for the longest time before taking in another questioning breath. “Avery?”

“How are you feeling?” she questioned sliding her fingers to the side of his face and noticing that he was a bit warm.

“Like hell,” he admitted behind gritted teeth. He took in another breath before looking up at her again. “You?”

“A little numb,” she confessed thinking about how his weight had kept her in a less than comfortable position for a while after he’d passed out on her.

“Why is that? You hurt?” he asked in a quiet tone before realizing that he was laying over her. He attempted to get up and off of her, but found himself unable to muster up the strength. “Sorry…”

“It’s okay,” Avery finally decided touching his cheek once again, “I guess it’s better that we stick together right now since I don’t know what else to do.”

“So we’re still stuck huh?” Kevin closed his eyes again thinking about the chain of events leading them to the cave they were in. He drew in a breath when his mind was suddenly filled with images of his holding onto Avery, of his moving in to kiss her and her surprised reaction. Suddenly his eyes snapped open and he looked up at her again, “Avery, did I um…make an ass of myself last night?”

“That’s purely subjective,” she offered up with a polite smile attempting to keep the situation from being awkward between them, but she wasn’t succeeding too well at it after the memory of his declaration continued to haunt her.

“You know…” Kevin paused searching for the right words, “If I said or did anything last night, it’s only because of my leg and…”

“Kevin, you don’t have to explain,” she decided not wanting to get into it with him at that current point in time. “Right now I think we need to come up with some kind of plan to get out of here.”

“I know,” he sighed closing his eyes again and cursing under his breath. “I wish that I would just use my head for a change. If I would’ve just done things the right way instead of trying to play hero, then I could be with Ria right now and you’d be with Russ. We wouldn’t be stuck here and…”

“We’ll be with them soon,” Avery offered up with a thoughtful expression thinking about the man she’d loved.

Last night after Kevin had passed out all she could find herself thinking about was Russ. She remembered all the memories that they’d shared with one another through the years, the plans that they had for the future and it made her see that she’d been taking far too much for granted. Russ was everything she could’ve wanted in her life and unlike most people who found themselves lost in one romantic battle after another, Avery really, truly had it all and she hadn’t appreciated it. She’d given Russ grief time and time again, but now all she wanted to do was reach out and embrace him showing him over and over again just how far her love for him truly ran.

“Not soon enough,” Kevin replied with a heaviness in his chest, “I never should’ve gone on this mission without planning it through. I didn’t help Angie at all and Ria, well she‘s never going to forgive me…”

“Kevin, it’s okay,” Avery started again wondering if he was referring to his quest to find Angela or to what had happened the previous evening between the two of them.

“Ria’s right about me and so are you,” Kevin reopened his eyes, their darkness reaching out to catch her expression, “I don’t know what the hell I want half the time and when I have a good thing, I always sabotage myself.”

“I think that’s human nature at times,” Avery offered up in response seeing the struggle inside of him.

“Yeah, but look at me. Here I am trapped in some stupid cavern because I decided that I had to prove to Brant that Angie still loves me,” Kevin shook his head with a pained expression, “The worst part of it all was when she was with me--when she thought she had amnesia I couldn’t get away from her fast enough. I didn’t want her at all.”

“And now?” she couldn’t help but question.

“I’m an idiot. That’s what it is,” he replied with a raw honesty that surprised even her. “I’m caught up in this place and surrounded by memories of the man I once was. I didn’t get to tell you last night because I was putting my foot in my mouth, but this is where Angie and I made love all those years ago.”

“Here?” Avery’s eyes widened in astonishment as she looked around the cavern.

He nodded, “Well not exactly here, but this is where it all started. She used to hide out in these places to get away when she was upset. I used to chase after her and we sort of had this big confrontation here that lead to our relationship beginning…”

“I see,” Avery noted realizing Kevin’s actions the previous night made perfect sense. He was swept up in the thought of Angela and with her being almost identical to her, that must’ve been why he’d hit on her.

“Damn it Ria’s going to kill me for being like this,” Kevin groaned again cursing himself.

“She’ll kill you if you up and die on her because she loves you,” Avery explained seeing him starting to get lost inside himself.

“Um actually Avery I don’t think that’s exactly an easy feat. In fact if I’m already dead I can’t see how she’d kill me considering that…” Kevin began again only to hear Avery laugh.

“Ria’s a doctor. I wouldn’t put it past her to revive you long enough to kill you all over again for leaving like you did,” Avery couldn’t help but tease seeing the small laugh that teased over Kevin’s lips as well.

“You’re probably right,” he nodded in agreement thinking about the woman he loved, “She’s going to be so disappointed that I went about doing things this way. Of course she may have to stand in line to murder me since I’m sure Russ will want first dibs after the way I behaved last night. Avery, I’m sorry I was acting like an ass.”

“Kevin,” she paused trying to find the right words, “it’s okay.”

“No, it’s not okay,” he shook his head in response his eyelashes fluttering as he looked up at her again. “You’re my friend and I was way out of line saying what I did from insulting you to trying to seduce you.”

“I’ll admit both of those extremes kind of caught me off guard,” she admitted honestly knowing full well Kevin’s roller coaster of emotions had thrown her for a loop.

“Both situations were wrong and I just wanted to say…” he paused not knowing how to find the right words, “I really am sorry. What I threw on you was completely wrong and way out of line.”

“Kevin, it’s really…” Avery began again feeling him raise his hand to touch the side of her face gently.

“I’m really a moron when it comes to dealing with things properly and as much as I can say I honestly would’ve loved a shot at you and I, the fact to the matter is that you’ve got Russ and I’ve got Ria. I know I don’t sound like it most of the time--especially after what I pulled last night, but I do love her. I don’t know what came over me. Normally I would never, ever…” he stammered straining to keep his words even.

“Kevin, it’s really okay. I know it’s the injury talking and besides, given that we’re kind of stuck here, it was clear you and I were both feeling the after effects of it. You were talking about Ria and I was talking about Russ. It’s only natural that we’d get caught up in the moment and do something stupid,” she forced a small smile, “It’s water under the bridge.”

“So we’re still friends?” he questioned unsure of himself as he looked up to her.

“As long as you keep the indecent proposals to a minimum, we’ll be cool,” she couldn’t help but smile down at him, “I think we can work past it, but don’t go doing anything crazy because I’m pretty sure that Ria will kill you before Russ does.”

“She should kill me. I’m a jerk,” Kevin closed his eyes again his thoughts lingering to the woman he loved. “When she didn’t call me the other night I just felt like it was her way of saying we were over. I got swept up in all the drama and…”

“And stop jumping to conclusions. I’m sure Ria will break up with you a dozen times beyond what’s already happened, but that doesn’t mean that she’s stopped loving you,” Avery noted with a tiny laugh, “You’ll just have to work harder to prove yourself.”

“I’m going to do it,” Kevin announced with a newfound determination, “When we get out of here I’m going to marry her. I’ve been dragging my heels on the subject, but I’m going to just go for it. It’s what we both want.”

“I think that will work good for you,” Avery noted as her eyes began to adjust to a thin stream of light over across from where they were seated, “I have a wedding myself to get to if I can get a jump start on finding a way out of here.”

“Maybe I can get up and…” Kevin paused feeling a pain in his leg.

“I don’t think you should get going around too many places,” Avery suggested thinking about what he wasn’t seeing in his injury. “Maybe I can find a way out of this.”

“I just can’t believe that we’re trapped considering,” Kevin paused a sudden thought occurring to him. “Wait a minute. I don’t know why I didn’t think about it before. Avery, I think I have it.”

“Have what?” she questioned seeing something flash behind his eyes.

“I think I know exactly what we need to do to get us out of here and back to the ones we love,” Kevin revealed with a newfound determination ready to take the first step towards going home again.


“Any luck?” Kyle questioned returning to the hospital lobby only to discover Russ standing by the window looking out onto the water just beyond where they were located. He approached his friend seeing the faraway expression on Russell’s face as Russ kept staring off onto the water.

“I should be out there,” Russ noted remembering full well how after he’d found Angela and Brant the previous night the storm had pulled him and Kyle from their quest to find Avery, “I really thought that we’d found her last night, but…”

“We’ll find her Russ,” Kyle placed his hand on Russell’s shoulder only to feel Russ pull away from him.

“I should’ve kept looking last night,” Russ noted thinking about all the possibilities of what could’ve happened to Avery.

“Russ, there was no way that anyone would find anything in that storm. Look I wanted to find her more than anything too, but if we would’ve kept looking we would’ve been killed. They say it should clear up soon, but…” Kyle began again seeing the pained expression on Russell’s face.

“I should be out there searching for her not standing here like a moron,” Russ paced around the lobby again thinking about all of his plans for his future with Avery. “I promised her that everything would be perfect, but now…”

“We’re going to find her Russ,” Kyle paused thinking about the tension that still remained between him and Russ, “Look about yesterday--about what happened with us…”

“Forget about it,” Russ held his hand up in the air and took in a breath, “It doesn’t matter anymore.”

“I didn’t mean to hit you. It’s just when you railed into Heather…” Kyle offered up thinking about their confrontation.

“You were defending your wife. You were trying to protect her and I would’ve done the same with Avery,” Russ shrugged his shoulders again before looking out onto the beach. He watched the storm continue to rage on as worry filled his heart. “I need to get to her Kyle.”

“We’ll get her,” Kyle promised patting Russell on the shoulder gently wishing like hell he could help his friend find his way to the woman he loved.

“I think we got a lead,” Grady’s voice announced as he marched into the lobby, a grin on his face.

“What?” Kyle turned around to face Grady.

“Where?” Russ questioned a glimmer of hope carrying over him now that he turned to his brother.

“They found the rental car,” Grady explained triumphantly. “It took a little handiwork to get the local police talking, but it turns out that they found the rental car dumped about a mile and a half north of where you were able to locate Angela and Brant.”

“So then Avery could be out in that area,” Russ felt himself empowered by the idea that Avery was still out there.

“The car was abandoned after it was clearly taken off the road by the storm,” Grady continued to explain, “but there was no sign of anyone when they found it. There was some blood in the driver’s seat but…”

“Blood,” Russ repeated a sudden worry carrying over him, “So Avery could be hurt?”

“They don’t think it’s hers,” Grady continued to inform him thinking about what he’d wrangled out of the local authorities. “Turns out that Angela was in an accident with the man who abducted her. She mentioned that they crashed their car and he was hurt. The police found his vehicle, but not him. They’re assuming that he stole Avery’s rental car and took off with it, hence there being blood in the seat.”

“But it could’ve been Avery’s, yes?” Russ asked worriedly.

“Given that they found the seat was pushed all the way back I would doubt it. She’s not that tall,” Grady offered up supportively. “They think that Avery went off with Kevin, which by the way Angela mentioned that she’d spotted him over by one of the caverns that was near where she wound up. She can’t remember which one exactly, but she recalls seeing Kevin go inside during the storm.”

“So then Kevin and Avery could be just trying to wait out the storm,” Kyle let out a breath of relief, “which would make sense since those places seem pretty safe.”

“I wouldn’t put it past Avery to seek out shelter especially if her car was stolen,” Russ added feeling a bit relieved until he noticed the expression on Grady’s face, “What? What aren’t you telling me?”

“Angela also mentioned in her statement that she thought Craven set off some kind of explosion in the cavern that Kevin went into, which means he could be trapped in there,” Grady continued with a frown hating to break the bad news to his brother.

“Or dead,” Russ felt his heart sink, “and if Avery followed him…”

“We can’t think like that,” Kyle added taking in a long breath.

“Kyle we have to get back out there again,” Russ stated desperately feeling his worries mounting about Avery now that he was certain she was in trouble.

“You’re right,” Kyle nodded in agreement, “Maybe your friend Martha can give us a map of the area the police have narrowed it down to and we’ll be able to find them.”

“Did Angela say that she saw Avery?” Russ couldn’t help but ask thinking about the trouble Avery could possibly be in.

“No,” Grady admitted with a sigh, “but that doesn’t mean that she’s not out there with him. Knowing Avery she probably found a way to tag along with him in there and…”

“And we need to find her,” Russ decided turning to Kyle, “Storm or not I’m ready to take another look.”

“So am I,” Kyle offered up taking in a breath, “Let me just grab a few things and we’ll be on our way.”

“Okay,” Russ nodded in response looking out onto the beach once again.

“She’s going to be fine Russ. I know Avery. She’s a fighter and she’s not going to give up on the idea of finding you again,” Grady mouthed supportively knowing full well the worries that his brother had to be experiencing.

“I’m not going to rest until I get her back. I’m not going to lose her again,” Russ vowed ready to do whatever was necessary to bring the woman he loved back to him all over again.


“I can’t believe we did it,” Angela beamed as she held her son in her arms. She just finished with feeding him and her daughter before she sank back onto the pillow of her hospital bed exhaustion carrying over her.

“You did all of the work sweetheart. I don’t think I was much help considering that I was kind of out of it,” Brant replied snuggling his daughter closer to his chest while she slept clearly contented after spending time with her mother. He glanced over at his son, who appeared to be equally at ease in Angela’s arms.

“You weren’t that bad,” Angela paused for a long moment before laughing lightly, “Okay so maybe you were, but it helped in it’s own way.”

“How’s that?” Brant couldn’t help but ask carefully taking a seat on the edge of her bed now that his daughter was in his arms.

“Well for starters you were so out of it that I knew you didn’t have it in you to lie about anything,” she revealed with a warm smile thinking about all they’d found with one another, “especially that part about loving me.”

“How could you doubt my love for you when you’ve given me the world Angela,” he questioned in a loving tone, his words laced with heavy emotion as he held his daughter, “You made all of my dreams come true by giving me all of this. We’re a family now.”

“A family,” she repeated wit ha warm smile knowing full well that all her fears about losing what she’d longed for weren’t going to haunt her this time. Glancing down at her son, she smiled wider than before, “Brant we really have it all, don’t we?”

“Not quite yet,” Brant shifted on the bed. He caught the look of surprise and confusion on her face at his statement, “but we’re getting there.”

“What do you mean?” she couldn’t help but ask watching him carefully maneuver their daughter in his arms before he withdrew a ring from his pocket.

“They made you take it off on the way to the hospital,” he explained reaching out to take her hand in his. He slipped the ring back onto her finger where It belonged, “but I think now is as good a time as any to give it back to you.”

She smiled up at him thoughtfully feeling him put the ring back into place before leaning in to kiss her.

“Now that we’re parents I was thinking that maybe it’s time I let you make an honest man out of me,” he whispered warmly against her lips loving the feel of her beside him.

“I don’t think even someone as amazing as I can accomplish that feat,” she teased with a wrinkle of her nose, “but for what it’s worth, I would love to marry you Brant.”

“Good because I was thinking about calling in a few favors and getting the wheels in motion sooner rather than later so that our children aren’t aware of the fact that we’re living in sin,” he explained with a playful wink moving in to kiss her again when Don entered the room.

“There is absolutely nothing wrong with living in sin,” Don objected to Brant’s comment with a laugh of his own, “I happen to find it very rewarding at times, but then again this is coming from a married man who knows the other side of things.”

“Don, even in being married you live a life of sin,” Brant shook his head at his friend before laughing.

“Okay, so you have me on that one, but still,” Don shrugged his shoulders before turning his attention to Angela, “How are you feeling beautiful?”

“Sore,” she admitted with a heavy sigh feeling her body weighed down with exhaustion, “but I was hoping to see you before I wound up passing out here.”

“Why is that? Because you can’t resist seeing my handsome face,” Don teased moving in beside the bed to take a look at the baby in her arms. “Wow, he looks like he’s doing great.”

“He is and so is she,” Brant noted motioning to his daughter, “and we owe that all to you.”

“Hey, I wasn’t doing anything more than anyone else would do,” Don waved his hand dismissively before smiling.

“Don, we both know that things were up in the air with Alison,” Brant voiced his thoughts aloud as he thought back to the moment his children were born.

“Alison?” Don tipped his head to the side giving Brant a strange look.

“That’s right,” Brant nodded moving in closer to stand beside Don, “Angela and I’ve discussed it and since we know full well that you saved our daughter’s life there when she wasn’t breathing, we owe you the world.”

“Brant I don’t know what you’re…” Don feigned innocence as he forced a small smile.

“Brant overheard you talking to the paramedics about the cord around her neck and how you had to get her to start breathing after she was born,” Angela blurted out feeling a lump of emotion building in the back of her throat.

“You were just snowballing us with a half truth in the whole keeping her warm thing, but given what you were trying to do, we do appreciate it,” Brant added holding his arms out to offer his daughter to Don, “Would you like to hold her?”

“I’d love to,” Don nodded enthusiastically feeling Brant set the small baby in his arms.

“Good because Brant and I have done a bit of talking,” Angela revealed with a small smile, “and given that you played such a big hand in her our daughter’s safe arrival, we’ve decided that we wanted something more for her.”

“Which is why we were hoping you wouldn’t mind if we named her after you,” Brant confessed with a warm smile moving in to sit beside Angela on the bed. He touched their son’s small face gently before tipping his eyes up to Don again, “What do you say?”

“You want to name her Don?” Don tipped his head to the side and offered up a wrinkled expression, “Brant I really don’t think that…”

“We were thinking Alison,” Angela couldn’t help but laugh at Don’s reaction.

“Since your middle name is Alan and Alison would be kind of a close counterpart,” Brant continued to explain it to his best friend.

“Alison,” Don repeated blankly remembering what Brant had said earlier. Suddenly he felt a warmth carry over him as he turned down to see the beautiful baby girl in his arms. Feeling a sense of joy carry over him he smiled down at her, “Oh you’re Alison. Hey pretty girl.”

“We couldn’t think of anyone else in the world that we would want to share something so important with her,” Angela continued to explain with a small yawn feeling her eyelids growing heavy. “You’re so special to us already and…”

“I’d be honored,” Don replied overwhelmed with the miracle he was holding in his arms. He kept his blue eyes on Alison for a long moment before turning to Brant again. “You have no idea how much this means to me.”

“Don, if it wasn’t for you we wouldn’t have all of this,” Brant noted reaching for his son and taking him from Angela’s arms as Angela started to drift off to sleep. Quietly he moved in closer to speak with Don, “You helped me find my way home again with the family I’ve always longed for.”

“I told you we’d find her,” Don replied in a small voice trying to keep quiet as Angela had clearly fallen to sleep exhaustion getting the best of her.

“I know and if you weren’t here,” Brant shook the thought, “Don, seriously I can’t even begin to express how much this means to me.”

“Hey you saved my life once upon a time, so why wouldn’t I do everything in my power to help you save yours especially when you have this kind of amazing light at the end of the tunnel,” Don offered up with a warm expression knowing full well that this was the start of his best friend’s road to happily ever after for the first time in his life.


Taking a look around the island, Ria let out a long breath realizing that this wasn’t the dream that Kevin always spoke of. When Kevin promised to bring her to this island, to live the getaway dream it was never like this. Kevin wasn’t even with her and that was the way she wanted it to be. Or was it? More than anything she wanted to be with Kevin and have him hold her in his arms, but then the thought came to when she would finally have to tell him the truth about his daughter and she wasn’t ready for that. Not now, not ever.

“Alright,” Ria took a step back in the rain looking around the island knowing that Kevin always spoke of it so vividly that she should be able to move about it now at her own pace is she remembered everything he told her correctly. She had to find him and tell him the truth about his daughter that was still very much alive.

The storm made it all more the dreadful, they didn’t even think that she would be able to make it to the island because of it. Luckily there was a plane that could make it out there safely and she took it. Fears and all.

When she left her fears were raging high on the idea of what Kevin would actually do once he found out about his daughter. How he would react, what he would do and what would happen to her. Maybe it was selfish to be like this, but over and over again Kevin always said the only reason that him and Angie were no longer together was that single reason. The daughter that they lost and now that she knew the truth, she was afraid that she would now lose the one single thing that meant the most to her. Him.

Seth had urged her to tell him the truth and that was what she was really going to do, but the time was so hard to move on with. Seth had been hurt when she left and more than anything she would have loved to be there for him in these hurtful times, but she knew that Seth was right. This was something that Kevin must know and she wasn’t about to step back and be the person that she wasn’t. She was going to do what was right and go to Kevin, tell him everything. Everything she knew and hope for the best.

“Where can I find you Kevin Adonis?” she sighed pulling the hood of her coat over her head to keep herself from getting any further wet. Closing her eyes, she could imagine Kevin talking about the time he spent on the island and the places he loved to be. There was his house on the beach and the bar he worked at for so many years during his free time. He always spoke very highly of the woman who owned the bar and if anyone knew where Kevin was it would be her. “To the bar we go.”

A deep sigh escaped her lips as she spoke the words and took a long look around. Heading out in the direction of the main road she was set out to find him and figured that would be the first place to look. It was always the ‘family’ he called his own on the island. Stopping at one of the bigger buildings she realized that this was the name of the bar he always talked about.

She was almost not ready to move on with her so called ‘journey’, but she knew it was something that she would have to get over with eventually. The future was awaiting and she was eager to know what was going to happen.

“Come on Ria,” she tried to pep herself up enough as she moved into bar realizing that this must be one of the better places to be on the island, but because of the storm there was a lack of people there. Looking around she saw a woman wiping at the bar top before placing a few bottles back in their original places. “Excuse me.”

“Can I help you darling?” the bubbly woman moved over toward the end of the bar as Ria pulled her hood off and felt the instant warmth press in over her skin. It felt better in here than it did being out in the rain getting soaked totally. “You’re soaked. Come have a seat.”

“Thank you. You wouldn’t happen to be Martha…would you?” Ria arched her eyebrow up in response seeing the way that Martha looked her over before returning with a warm drink for her. “Are you?”

“Is Kellen in trouble with you or something?” Martha set her hand towel down before shaking her head slowly. “I swear that boy gets into so much trouble that…”

“No, it’s not Kellen. I’m looking for Kevin, Kevin Adonis,” she whispered seeing the way Martha looked her over and she nodded while taking in a deep breath. Reaching down for the mug she grabbed a soft hold of it before taking a sip. “He told me that if I ever needed help on this island that you would be the person to come to. So…did I find the right person?”

“You sure did. Any friend of Kevin’s is a friend of mine. So sweetheart, what can I help you with?” Martha stared into Ria’s dark eyes seeing the way that she seemed to drift off for a second. “I’m almost afraid to ask now.”

“No, it’s nothing terrible,” Ria shook her head seeing Martha resting against the bar staring out at her as she cleared her throat and shrugged her shoulders. “I’m Ria…his fiancée.”

“Well hot damn, you’re the fiery woman he was always talking about,” Martha boasted seeing the way Ria’s eyes seemed to light up hearing that Kevin was talking about her to the people around the island. “He goes around gushing about you all the time honey. I remember the first time I heard about you, he was showing off the scratches he had on his back with you.”

“He really did that?” Ria started to blush almost embarrassed that Kevin would share such a moment with someone and that someone would actually think about her that way.

“Don’t worry about it honey. I’m Kellen’s mother, I’m used to these kind of things. If you know my baby boy, he didn’t get it from himself--he had to get it from someone you know,” Martha teased reaching out to place her hand over Ria’s before seeing a smile crack in over her face. Moving back toward behind the bar she started to pull out a few things seeing the way that Ria watched her carefully. “So, the big man send you here to pick up something or…”

“I actually wasn’t supposed to be here. I was supposed to come with him to our friend’s wedding and I had to work. I just really need to see him,” she explained seeing the way that Ria moved back toward her with another drink that she looked down at before shrugging her shoulders. “I really need to talk to him.”

“I’d love to help you hun, but I have no idea where he is,” Martha looked around the area knowing that him and Brant with their friend had dropped by the place a few times, but since then she had yet to see him. “My best bet would be at his home. It’s right off the beach and…”

“They found Angela?” Ria looked up at the television near the corner of the bar to see a news report about Angela in the hospital and Martha moved over toward the television to turn it up. “So that means she is okay.”

“Well that’s good news,” Martha let out a breath of relief before wiping down the table and looking around the empty bar. “I’ll tell you what, I’ll drop you off there if you would like. There isn’t much here to do and if you need to know where it is I don’t mind. If Angela is safe there, then I’m sure Kevin is with Brant and his blue eyed friend.”

“I would appreciate that very much,” she thanked Martha standing up from her seat knowing that she was going to have more of a problem telling Kevin the truth about everything with Angela around, but it had to be done. Waiting for Martha she sat in front of the television a moment hoping that Kevin was okay in all of this. “Where are you Adonis?”


Ken walked down the hospital hallway thinking of the many times he’d been in this very hallway after his family had donated money to the wing. He’d spent a great many hours trying to do things to help out the hospital and watch it grow and thrive, yet the last few times he’d been around, he’d found himself surrounded by the thick, suffocating reminders of all he’d lost. Closing his eyes he flashed back to the moment in time when Caitlin had been ripped away from to when he had lost Carly forever and now as he realized the weight of what had happened to Blake, he feared that this night would be another one of loss.

“She’s going to be alright,” he heard the inner voice he’d fought to repress in the past trying to console him, but he knew better. He’d seen devastation at it’s highest point and now he found himself hoping he wouldn’t have a front row seat to it all over again with his sister.

“Ken,” he heard a voice call him from his thoughts as he looked up to see Seth standing before him with a tension in his brow.

“Seth, how is she?” Ken questioned putting on his most professional tone as he fought to contain his own emotions.

“She’s a fighter,” Seth explained in an attempt to be brave, but Ken recognized the fear behind Seth’s eyes. It spoke volumes of what was really going on with Blake. “They’ve managed to stabilize her for now.”

“Can we go in with her?” Ken questioned glancing over Seth’s shoulder to where he’d realized Seth must have come from.

“The doctor is in with her at the moment and they suggested I get some air,” Seth explained behind a clenched jaw as his large hand came up over his neck. “I didn’t want to leave, but…”

“I can’t say I blame you,” Ken hesitated for a moment before asking, “how are you holding up?”

“Honestly,” Seth’s brown eyes clouded over with emotion, “it’s the worst kind of agony I’ve ever known aside from losing Jade.”

“I’m so sorry,” Ken blurted out recognizing the grief behind Seth’s eyes as Ken had felt it so very strongly in the past himself.

In that moment all of the ache that Ken had fought to bury and put behind him over losing Caitlin resurfaced. He recalled the way it felt to hold her hand in her final moments and feel the life slipping away from her. He thought about how close they’d come to having it all only to have fate steal it away from him. Seth knew that kind of misery and even though Blake was still there, Ken could empathize with his sister’s lover.

“They said that baby never stood a chance,” Seth explained in a stiff tone. “They tried everything, but after the way she was hit…”

“I’m so sorry Seth,” Ken offered up reaching out to embrace the man that Blake loved.

“She wanted this more than anything,” Seth divulged overcome with emotion. “We tried for so very long to have this miracle and then to have it ripped away from us…”

“This never should have happened,” Ken replied feeling the shakiness in Seth’s tone.

“No, it shouldn’t have and even though I know there’s no turning back, I can’t let this be swept under the rug,” Seth announced as he pulled away from Ken, this time with his eyes devoid of the grief Ken had witnessed earlier. Suddenly there was another emotion building behind their depths and in that instant Ken recognized it very well.

“Seth…” Ken began worriedly.

“I have to do something,” Seth answered stiffly. “I know that you’ll be able to go in and see her soon Ken. I need you to let her know that I love her and that I’ll be back as soon as possible.”

“Where are you going?” Ken couldn’t help but question.

“I have to do something,” Seth repeated breezing past Ken as Ken found himself wondering just what in the world Seth had on his mind. While Ken recognized the emotions Seth was feeling, he also knew too very well where they could lead you. As he watched Seth step onto the elevator, Ken just hoped Seth wouldn’t follow the same path Ken had drifted down so very long ago when confronted by a similar situation.


“I’m worried about Ken,” Wendy sighed moving over toward the chair in the corner of the room as Rex continued to stay seated where he was. He hadn’t said much once they reached Coral Valley…actually, he hadn’t spoke much at all. He was usually the talk of the group as well which made Wendy wonder if everything was alright. “I know that he gets really upset when he sees his family hurt.”

“For a good reason of course,” Rex adjusted himself in the chair he was in feeling completely worried over what he only slimly knew on Blake. In a few he was going to go and visit with her, he just wanted to give Ken some time alone with his sister after all of this. “It makes him a man. A man takes care of his family. That’s what he is doing. He’s being a real man.”

“I guess I should say I’m proud of him, I just know how he acts when he gets upset,” she looked over at Rex seeing the way his dark brown eyes seemed to wander off and she bit down on her bottom lip almost edging to ask him what was wrong. “Are you alright Rex?”

“I was just thinking,” Rex admitted with a low whisper while looking around the room before him. He almost had a guilty feeling rising up in the pit of his stomach as he closed his eyes and imagined back in the day when he promised to himself that he would never close himself off from the people he cared about the most. He never did have a strong feeling for their father, but he never meant to push himself away from the twins and Blake. It made him feel terrible that he was the least bit involved with their lives when he told himself he would never do that. He had his own kids to take care of, but he should have never neglected the family that he did care about as well. “About Blake.”

What bothered him the most was the people that felt it was necessary to bring pain to the world. What those type of people deserved was karma and that’s what he felt like they would all eventually get.

“I can’t believe someone would sink so low,” he shook his head slowly in disgust from the understanding that he got from the story that was told on what happened to Blake. It was a horrible idea that was brought forth to the table and he hoped that he would soon learn more of what happened so he could take care of it the appropriate way. “Someone so pathetic would be the only capable person of doing something like this. We all love people we can’t have--what do they think is going to happen?”

“I can’t tell you what goes on in the mind of those who do something like that,” Wendy explained seeing the way that Rex’s jaw seemed to simply tighten in anger before he crossed his right leg over the left. “I can only tell you how bad the situation ends up for the person hurt.”

“Oh, what they don’t realize is the person who is responsible for something like this--always gets the pay back,” Rex stood up from where he was sitting and started to pace back and forth amongst the small room. “I can promise you that sweetheart. One way or another, they won’t see it coming and karma always strikes back.”

“You’re a big believer in karma I see,” she gulped down noticing a huge change in Rex over the last few minutes compared to the time she spend with him out in France. “Is that a good thing or a bad thing.”

“In my case? Good,” he explained with a smirk before moving over toward the corner of the room to rest against the wall for a moment looking around the room. Reaching for his cowboy hat, he took it off and placed it over the center of his chest while reaching for his cell phone. Pulling it up to his ear after dialing, he stepped aside and went down the hallway hoping to get away from Wendy for a second. “Hey…yeah, I need a favor done. Today.”

Looking back over his shoulder he double checked to make sure that he wasn’t being watched or listened in on while he was on the phone. Resting his hat at his side, he moved forward determined to finish something that he was just about to start.


Moving through her hotel room, Deana took a seat on the edge of the bed worried about her son and what he was doing right now at this moment. She knew that her brother loved Zane very much, but when it came to Jason being responsible he wasn’t much of an idol so to speak. He was good for the few hour watches, but it scared the hell out of her to the fact that she left her son with Jason for a few days.

What scared her was the fact that she knew Jason sometimes had the mentality of her own son and that he might not be capable of taking care of him like she hoped, then again he always did seem to do a good job babysitting. He loved her son and she knew he did which made her feel the least bit safe that he would never not pay attention to him. He cared too much to let Zane get hurt.

“I still have to call,” Deana frowned reaching for her phone on the night table dialing her brother’s phone number. She just had to talk to Zane herself and make sure he was alright. That would for sure cool down her nerves and make her stop worrying like she was. “Hey.”

“Let me guess,” Jason’s voice muttered after answering the phone knowing that his sister had already called a good dozen times in the last few hours. “You think I took him to the park and lost him now. You still freaking out?”

“You know me, I can’t help it,” she sighed closing her eyes while hearing her twin brother chuckle on the other side of the line and she turned the subject to her son. “How is he?”

“He’s doing fine. The only bad thing he has done is that he has eaten one too many chocolate chip cookies, but no worries mommy--he washed it down with a nice big glass of milk,” Jason chuckled looking back to see Zane playing a video game in front of the television as he moved into the kitchen and let out a deep sigh. “I take it things are still going crazy over there, huh?”

“Well, it certainly hasn’t gotten much better. It seems like there is all these hectic cases going on and everyone’s life is being put through hell. I just want to make sure my family is alright,” she sighed thinking about the events that have taken place already in the short time that they had been at the hotel. “That means you too.”

“I’m not going to do anything stupid, I promise,” he whispered with a deep sigh looking to the clock to check the time before turning to rest back against the counter. “You have to trust me Dee…we are going to be okay. I’ll take good care of him. He’s just as big a part of my life and I would never want him hurt. I know I have to grow up around him.”

“It’s the only time you seem to be grown up,” she teased hearing him let out a disgusted noise before moving toward the fridge to pull a drink out. “I just want to make sure and if anything happens, call me.”

“I promise, if anything happens you will know. I’m telling you though, I’m taking extra special care of him sis,” he moved back out into the living room taking a seat on the couch behind Zane placing his hand over his head to rub at the soft blonde hair. “You have my word and if my word is broken--I give you the full right to kill me.”

“I wouldn’t need your word,” Deana sighed closing her eyes for a moment knowing that she would feel much better if her brother and her son were with her right now. It made her feel like they were much safer in her arm space so to speak. “Well I love you both and take care.”

Saying her final goodbyes, she hoped that Jason and Zane would be okay amongst all of this. Being stuck in the middle of all the hectic events, she knew that she would eventually have to finally go home and she hoped that everyone would be in one piece.


“What do you mean she’s missing?” Guy questioned feeling his frustrations mounting after his father had divulged the current situation that was taking place with his sister. “How can that be possible?”

“Avery and Ken were looking for Russ at the time they left and…” Richard began with a worried expression on his face.

“And what? You can’t tell me that the authorities haven’t found her by now,” Guy frowned at the thought. “This island isn’t exactly huge.”

“There are a lot of caverns on the island where they believe Avery could be at right now with Kevin. Kevin grew up on the island and with him being around her there’s hope that maybe just maybe they will show up sooner rather than later,” Judy explained hopefully as she placed her hand on Richard’s arm knowing full well the news of Avery’s disappearance was taking it’s toll on him as well.

“What do we really know about Kevin?” Guy couldn’t help but frown. “I know he’s friends with Russ and Avery, but I also though I heard something about him having ties to the mafia.”

“Kevin’s a good friend to your sister and Russ,” Richard added in an attempt to be calm about the situation. “If he knows his way around the island, then…”

“Then what?” Guy couldn’t help but ask as he glanced over at his father. “We wait until them to wash up somewhere?”

“Russ is out there looking for Avery,” Richard explained, “and I’ve phoned the authorities a few times already.”

“We should be out there too,” Guy decided with a determination behind his eyes. “If Avery needs us, then we should find her considering that…”

“Guy you don’t know anything about this island,” Gabe pointed out reaching for Guy’s arm. “I know that you can’t even find your way around a vineyard let alone an island like this. If you go out there especially during this storm weather chances are you’ll be the one we end up having to throw a search party out on.”

“He’s right Guy,” Richard added with a sigh. “Right now all we can do is wait.”

“I don’t want to sit here waiting when it’s clear my sister is in trouble,” Guy frowned back at them. “I know Avery and if she’s disappeared something is going on. Think about it. The last time she went missing Bruce had her and…”

“Bruce is dead Guy,” Richard reminded his son again.

“But that doesn’t mean she’s out of trouble. As I said before we know nothing about Kevin Adonis other than he worked for the mafia. What if someone had something against him and decided to lash out at Avery? What if she wound up in over her head in something she wasn’t prepared for?”

“Do you honestly believe Russ is going to rest until he finds her?” Richard tossed back out at his son.

“No, but I think he could use another hand,” Guy paced around the hotel room. “I’m going to call him and see how the search is going.”

“Guy…” Richard watched his son walk out of the hotel room before exchanging glances with Gabe. “I tried everything I could earlier.”

“I know you did,” Gabe nodded, “and believe me when I tell you that I’ll keep an eye on him. I won’t let him go off and do anything stupid.”

“I know he loves his sister and believe me I want to find her more than anyone, but I also realize that Avery’s smart. She’ll find her way back somehow,” Richard added as he turned his attention to the window looking out onto the water. “She has to.”

“She will,” Judy assured him as she found herself hoping that wherever Avery was that Russ would find her and she would return safely when everything was said and done.


“So how do these things even work?” Chase dropped down on the couch with a heavy sigh seeing the way that Trisha let out an exaggerated one as well. She sat down next to him tossing the bag aside after before reading the box over and skimming the text. “I’m not good with these kinds of things.”

“Well that’s good to know that I’m the first girl that you got pregnant,” she whispered seeing the look he gave her before smirking and she rolled her eyes. “This isn’t funny Chase. I don’t even know how to use one of these things because I never thought I would have to. Not now. Not this early. It’s too soon. I’m too young to have to be tied down like this.”

“Well…at least you are starting earlier instead of never having any child, right?” he tried to look up on the brighter subject seeing the glare he got in response and he threw his hands up in the air. “Hey, I don’t see what the problem is. I always thought we were going to stay together anyways. Wasn’t that the idea?”

“I guess,” she sighed standing up from the couch watching the way his blue eyes eyed her over as she read over the box again and moved toward the corner of the room. “I’m just going to go and start this I guess. Just wait here.”

“Where am I going to go?” Chase questioned seeing the way she glared back at him and he threw his hands up in the air before laughing. Resting back against the couch he looked around the room and moved to the side to grab the remote. Turning on the television he turned the channel on the Health Network after seeing they were having a special on the child brain. Wrinkling his nose he turned it off and set the remote down next to him. “What does she mean I guess?”

It was a little late to have that thought hit him, but when she said I guess it sent a whirlwind of ideas flashing through his head of him possibly losing her and he gulped down. Looking to the bathroom he realized that she still wasn’t out and he looked down at the bag she left on the couch. They bought a couple of pregnancy tests just to make sure it was valid and he looked over one of the other boxes slowly. Checking the name brand of it, he walked over toward the laptop he left on the kitchen table and brought up a search site to make sure he knew more about the brand they got.

When he heard the bathroom door open he dropped down the search and left the football scoring he had up on the computer. Feeling her hands press in over his shoulders he looked up at her and cracked a smile.

“How did it go?” Chase looked her over seeing her shrug before moving over toward the couch. Closing the top of his laptop he moved over to take a seat next to her as she turned on the football game. “Did you get some kind of answer?”

“We have to wait a couple of minutes, I can’t use the restroom on cue you know,” she pointed out with a frown seeing him nod as she looked at the game before her. “So who has won thus far today?”

“Uhm…not sure. You know me, I was just looking at the scores I got,” he lied through his teeth seeing her nod slowly before paying attention to the game again. He looked down at his watch and heard the doorbell ring giving her a glance. “How long is that test supposed to take?”

“Five more minutes,” she answered seeing him nod and move toward the door to get it. Opening it up, he saw his father before him and he let out a small hiss forgetting that he promised Joseph that him and Trisha would go out with him today. “Joseph…hey. Glad you made it.”

“Hey,” he whispered in her ear after she reached out to wrap her arms around Joseph to hold him in a tight embrace. Hugging him tightly, she pressed a soft kiss against his cheek before smiling brightly. “What about the…”

“Now is not a good time,” she cut him off seeing him nod before pressing his fingers through his short blonde hair and he looked over his shoulder before stepping back. “You ready to go out Chase?”

“I actually have to use the bathroom real quick,” he explained stepping back before moving toward the bathroom. “I’ll be right back.”

Quickly moving out of the group he moved into the bathroom locking the door behind him. Looking at the test that Trisha laid out on the counter, he gulped down and looked at the result that appeared. Looking around the room he looked down at the box to see what it meant and he realized that his life was going to change more than he ever expected.


“I can’t win against you. I’ve tried and I’ve tried, I just can’t do it,” Mindy huffed hearing the little laugh that escaped Zane’s lips as he set the controller to the game system down on the floor before looking around the room. “You are just too good for me I tell you.”

“I’ve been trying to beat him at everything for a very long time,” Jason explained moving into the living room before laying back on the couch to watch them go to the main menu to try and play a video game again. Mindy was doing her best to let Zane win and she was doing it very well. “You’re never going to win.”

“You’re better than uncle Jay, he sucks,” Zane blurted out hearing Jason let out a deep gasp and he laughed at the response before shrugging his shoulders. “You are terrible at this game. I can’t see you getting any better. At least she has some potential.”

“Big word talker here, you’ve been spending too much time with Matt,” Jason teased reaching out to tap on Zane’s shoulder before looking to Mindy seeing the smirk she gave after he said that. “I think Mindy here is actually very great. Very fun to be around.”

“Now you are just kissing my behind,” she teased reaching back to elbow him in the stomach hearing him groan out at the impact before laughing. Looking to the video game she saw that Zane had already had her character defeated and she let out a small laugh. “Shoot.”

“You weren’t paying attention,” Jason teased shoving her shoulder a bit seeing the glare she gave him before rearing back to smack him in the center of the chest making him groan out again loudly this time. “Ouch. That one really hurt.”

“You deserve it,” she stuck her tongue out at him seeing the way he did it in return before she picked up her controller to play with Zane again. Jason’s phone started to buzz once more as he let out a deep sigh and she looked back at him. “Deana again?”

“Yeah, I think she’s having a panic attack that I’m going to take him to the mall and lose him or something,” Jason stood up from the couch and moved over toward the table to answer his phone once more.

“You’re good at this game and you’re hot,” Zane muttered with a wide smile seeing the way that Mindy turned to look at him with a shocked expression and he shrugged his shoulders. “Uncle Jay thinks so and he’s right. You are.”

“Jason? I don’t think so,” she shook her head seeing the way Zane nodded before turning toward her after pausing the game. Looking down at him she saw a smile crack over his lips as she arched her eyebrow up. “Why would you think something like that?”

“Because he says it all the time. He has a huge crush on you,” he put an emphasis on the final words before looking back at Jason on the phone pacing back and forth. “I’ll tell you what though. I know I’m a lot cuter than he is. I would so go out with you if I had the chance. He’s too shy to ask you.”

“I would be so sure about that,” she watched Jason move back into the room as Zane looked back at him. “I’m not sure I’m your uncle’s type.”

“You and a ton of girls are,” Zane informed her with a small nod of his head seeing the way that Jason’s blue eyes grew wide as he turned to look at Mindy again. “He said you were one sexy piece of…”

“Okay…someone has had too much sugar,” Jason picked Zane up over his shoulders and heard the young boy laugh out as he did so. “I love the girls as friends--that’s all.”

“No, that’s not what you say every time,” Zane soon pouted as soon as he felt his uncle’s hand move in over his lips to silence him. Folding his arms out in front of his chest he looked to Mindy before shrugging his shoulders.

“I know when to stop giving you cookies now,” Jason laughed setting his nephew down on the couch before reaching for the remote to the game to play Mindy by himself now. “He was just kidding. He really was.”

Hopefully Mindy believed that and really didn’t think the truth was that. If she did, he might lose the time he spent with her and that was the last thing he wanted.


“I can’t believe that this is happening,” Brant confessed glancing over at Don now that they were both tending to the twins. Brant couldn’t help but laugh watching Don feeding Alison a bottle after Angela had been sleeping for a while. Brant and Don had decided not to bother Angela as they took care of the twins, but now Brant couldn’t help but laugh at how life had changed. “This reminds me of when Matty was little.”

“Yeah it kind of does, but you’ve got double the pleasure,” Don noted with a welcoming smile thinking about all that his friend had ahead of him now with twins, “For your sake you’d better hope these two don’t take after you or else you’re in big trouble.”

“Ha ha. Very funny,” Brant wrinkled his nose at Don before laughing, “I wasn’t that bad.”

Don tossed out a pointed look before Brant finally laughed.

“Okay, so maybe I wasn’t quite that saintly, but neither were you and look how good Matt turned out to be,” Brant pointed out with a warm smile, “He’s an incredible boy and I’ll be lucky if my children turn out nearly half as wonderful as he is.”

“Sometimes I start to feel like he’s the parent,” Don admitted scratching his head lightly and pondering his son’s personality.

“Have you talked to him since we’ve been here?” Brant couldn’t help but ask knowing that Don had to be missing his son like crazy.

“Yeah,” Don nodded in confession, “I called him just shortly after we got here. It sounds like the same old, same old for him. He’s with my parents and my father decided it would be a great time to have a cartoon marathon.”

“Oh boy,” Brant’s eyes widened at that thought, “so Matt must be less than thrilled.”

“Normally he would be, but it sounds like he wrangled my father into letting Brittany and Kayla stay the night as well, so Matt is willing to tolerate cartoons,” Don confessed with an amused smirk.

“So perhaps he does take after you in some ways after all,” Brant couldn’t help but laugh, “It still kills me he’s got two girlfriends and they are okay with it.”

“What can I say? My son has his father’s charm,” Don boasted proudly thinking about how amazing his son was. He looked down to Alison and smiled, “Maybe if we’re lucky one day Matt will be spending time with these two and they can all be friends.”

“Considering that we are I’m pretty sure that will happen,” Brant noted before a thought occurred to him, “Speaking of which there was something I kind of wanted to talk to you about.”

“With the kids?” Don questioned glancing over at Brant again.

“Not exactly,” Brant paused for a moment, “but what I’m about to ask you kind of concerns them.”

“I’m listening,” Don responded watching him closely, “what’s on your mind?”

“Now that they are here,” Brant motioned to his children once again, “I think I’d like to stop taking chances on things. Angela and I have had so many issues already that I can’t for the life of me begin to imagine us having to go through something like we went through before. With Cameron always out to cause some kind of misery and this Craven guy still being out there…”

“Hey he’s not going to get to her or to the twins,” Don vowed sitting up straighter, “Neither one of them can take this away from you.”

“I would like to think so, but at the same time I want to be sure,” Brant paused for a long moment, “which is why I would like to take things to the next level. Angela and I talked about it and we want to get married--you know to make things official.”

“I can’t say I blame you one bit. If I had all of this, I would be wanting the same thing,” Don noted thinking about all his friend had ahead of him now.

“I knew you’d understand which is why I want you to be my best man. I’ve phoned in a few favors and even though Angela and I plan on making things official for the rest of the world in a big way when we get back to CV, I was thinking that maybe we would skip over all the ceremonial stuff and just do it now.”

“Now?” Don repeated with wide eyes, “As in now, now?”

“Is there any other kind of now,” Brant couldn’t help but laugh at him.

“Well, I mean she’s sleeping and…” Don pondered the thought for a moment.

“Not right this second, but later on today or tomorrow we were thinking about exchanging vows with one another,” Brant confessed with a small smile, “It was going to be just us and a couple of witnesses, which we were hoping you’d be one of them.”

“I’d…I’d be honored,” Don nodded eagerly before motioning to Alison, “but only if I get to take this little one as my date.”

“She’s not even twenty four hours old and you’re hitting on her,” Brant shook his head and laughed, “Now I know I’m in trouble.”

“She’s beautiful and the boys are going to run to her. Just like all the girls are going to be drawn to that little guy over there. I saw the way the nurses were checking him out when we first arrived all gushing over him,” Don laughed lightly thinking about how the trip finally had a positive spin on it, “but as for a wedding, whatever you need, well you know I’ll be there.”

“I do have one request though,” Brant couldn’t help but grow suddenly serious.

“What’s that?” Don questioned arching a curious brow.

“When it gets time for the exchange of the vows I really hope you don’t feel compelled to make out with me like you did with Ken since that was your last time as best man,” Brant teased with a small rumble of laughter.

“I’ll really have to work on controlling myself, but I think it can be done,” Don replied with a round of hearty laughter feeling as if things were finally turning around after all for Brant and his family for the better.


Ria rushed through the hospital doors thinking about what she’d heard on the local news at the airport about Angela being found. She knew full well that if Angela was at the hospital, then Kevin was undoubtedly beside her relieved at her safe return. Armed with that knowledge and the discovery she’d made back in Coral Valley, Ria knew full well that she needed to see Kevin. She needed to speak with him and let him know what she’d uncovered before the secret got the best of her.

Looking around the lobby, Ria was about to ask where Angela’s room was when she spotted Russell Denton near the far end of the area. Taking in a breath she marched forward collecting her nerves and pushing herself to do what was undoubtedly the hardest thing she would ever do in her life.

“Russ,” Ria spoke up moving in closer to him. She watched him turn around while noting the expression on his face, “hey how’s Angela?”

“She’s fine I think,” Russ replied glancing over to the elevators before turning his attention to Ria again, “She just had the twins earlier and…”

“The twins,” Ria’s eyes widened in astonishment, “When?”

“Last night we found her and Brant with Don in some cave and now…” Russ started once again wondering what was taking Kyle so long to get downstairs.

“So Kevin is probably with her then, huh?” Ria questioned nervously feeling her heart sink just a bit at the thought of Kevin being with Angela and her new children. Knowing full well that Kevin would be undoubtedly thinking about the child he lost with Angela, Ria felt an ache inside of her. Once she told him about his daughter being alive, she knew it would be something that would push Kevin and Angela closer together, which was the last thing she wanted. However, because she loved Kevin, she knew full well she couldn’t deny him the dream that he’d wanted for so very long.

“Actually Ria,” Russ paused not quite sure how to tell her what was really happening with Kevin. He searched the lobby for Kyle once again before drawing a breath, “Look Ria I don’t know how to put this, but…”

“But what?” Ria questioned worriedly, “Russ what’s going on?”

“Kevin’s not up there,” Russ inhaled a slow breath before speaking up again in a low, even tone, “he and Avery are missing.”

“Missing?” Ria repeated with wide eyes, “What do you mean they are missing?”

“They went searching for Angela after someone took her and while we were out they decided to go searching on their own,” Russ continued to explain to her with a heavy sigh, “We were searching for them last night, but then the storm came in and…”

“Wait, they’ve been missing how long?” Ria felt a worry spill in over the pit of her stomach. She took in a breath trying to keep her emotions under control as she looked to him again. “Russ?”

“Longer than they should’ve been. Angela mentioned that she saw Kevin go into one of the caves and that the guy that took her wound up setting off some kind of explosives,” Russ continued to explain tensions mounting inside of him.

“So Kevin is what? Russ, do you think he’s dead? Is that what you’re trying to say to me?” she questioned in a full blown panic.

“No, I refuse to believe that. Avery was with him and we’re going to find them Ria. Kyle and I are on our way out right now and…” Russ reached out to touch her shoulder gently.

“I have the maps,” Kyle announced stepping off of the elevators and approaching the two of them.

“Good,” Russ replied as Kyle noticed Ria was there.

“Ria, hey I didn’t know you were in town,” Kyle nodded towards her once again.

“I just got in,” she admitted zipping her jacket up once again, “Russ just filled me in on what’s going on, so where do we look?”

“Ria, it’s still storming out there. I don’t know if it’s really a good idea to have you out there,” Kyle frowned back at her knowing full well that he and Russ were charting out into dangerous territory.

“Kyle I just took a flight in against this storm and I made it okay,” Ria reminded him with a huff tossing her long, dark hair over her shoulder, “I’m not just going to wait here while the man I love could be in danger. Besides I’m a doctor. If either Kevin or Avery are in need of medical attention I can take care of the situation.”

“Depending on what it is we find Ria,” Kyle warned her not really sure what was waiting for them once they located Kevin and Avery.

“She’s right Kyle. She can be of help,” Russ blurted out knowing full well that if Ria was anything like he was, then there was no way that she would accept Kyle telling her she needed to stay there. “She has experience that neither one of us have in medicine. It could prove handy.”

“Russ I really don’t think that it’s something that we should bring her into,” Kyle frowned knowing full well that it was far too dangerous to be out in the storm.

“You don’t have a choice because I’m not staying here, so let’s just quit wasting time and find Kevin and Avery, shall we?” Ria challenged placing her hands on her hips, a newfound determination carrying over her.

“After you,” Russ waved his hand out in the air ready to do what was necessary to do what he had to in order to find the woman he loved. Now that the storm continued to rage on he just prayed that they wouldn’t be too late in bringing both Avery and Kevin to safety.


“I’m not seeing anything over here Kevin,” Avery blurted out waving her flashlight around in the air after he’d told her about some kind of opening that might be near the far end of the cavern. She searched for any signs of the pool of water that he’d spoken of after he’d come up with an idea on how they might be able to escape their surroundings, but she wasn’t having any luck locating it. “Are you sure it’s over here?”

“It’s always been over there,” Kevin replied with a pained tone, keeping his eyes closed while Avery continued to seek out the source he’d spoken of.

“It might always have been here Kevin, but after the explosion maybe the rocks filled it up,” Avery suggested glancing over her shoulder over to where he was laying again, “I don’t see anything.”

“Then you’re not looking hard enough because I know it’s there Avery,” Kevin snapped at her gritting his teeth as he felt a dampness soaking his leg. Almost afraid to touch it, Kevin brought his fingers up to shakily feel his thigh, “I know that there is another way out through the water because…”

“Kevin, I just don’t…” Avery stopped herself when her flashlight beam moved over across a wet area. “Wait Kevin I think I see it. I see water.”

“Good, then see if you can spot the way out,” Kevin instructed hearing Avery take in a small breath. “It’s near the back of the pool.”

“I’ll see if I can find it,” Avery took in a breath and moved in towards the water. She paused enough to give it a long once over before sliding into the water. It came up to just above her waist, the warmth of it pooling around her as she continued to shine her flashlight over the water.

“It should be near the bottom of the area, near the back,” Kevin instructed in a low, raspy tone. “There is an entrance way just a bit beyond where you are.”

“I’ll take a look,” Avery nodded taking in a breath and dipping beneath the surface.

She held the flashlight in her hand moving it around the dark water until she noticed there was a break in the rock formation that kept the water within. She approached it seeing a dark tunnel of sorts in front of her. Hoping that this was what Kevin was talking about, she swam forward pushing herself into the cramped, dark tunnel that surrounded her. The walls weren’t very large, but she was able to push her body into it, moving forward a few feet until she noticed the large, oversized rock that now blocked the tunnel’s entrance. Her eyes widened in a panic realizing that there was no way that she would be able to move that on her own. It had to weigh at least a few hundred pounds. As that realization dawned in over her, Avery felt her breath escaping in her lungs.

“I have to get back to Kevin,” she thought attempting to move backwards when she felt a snag near her abdomen. Looking down, she wiggled her flashlight around the best that she could only to discover that she couldn’t make any further movement. She started to push backward again now feeling an overwhelming moment of claustrophobia carry over her.

“No,” she thought to herself feeling the air in her lungs running out as she struggled to push her way back into the cavern again. She kicked her legs and used her fingers, scratching frantically at the surface of the tunnel that now had her trapped. She attempted to reach down to see what it was that was digging into her, but there simply wasn’t enough room.

“Please don’t let me die here,” Avery said a silent prayer feeling the weight of the water over her now that she’d managed to get herself pinned inside. She finally made one last push and was able to wiggle a few inches backwards. It was then that she discovered that a piece of rock was caught on her shirt. Somehow she’d managed to get herself stuck in the tunnel and if she didn’t work her t-shirt off of the serrated area that it was caught on, she knew she wouldn’t be able to breath.

“Damn it,” she cursed under her staggering breath attempting to yank at the material again, but it was no luck. She wasn’t able to make a tear as easily as she had when it has been dry. Frowning she shimmied her hips a bit and allowed her arms to stay in front of her straightening out just enough to peel off the remainder of her shirt. Once the material moved over her head she felt a bit more freedom in her movements. She pushed her palm down onto the floor of the tunnel and shoved just enough to give herself enough momentum to go back into the cavern, back to the water she’d started in.

“Kevin,” she spoke her friend’s name with a labored breath after she’d pushed over the surface. She fought to take in air, to get it into her lungs fast enough. Moving over to where she’d first entered the pool she clumsily pulled herself out of the water vowing that there had to be other options for them. “It’s blocked.”

Falling to the ground as an ache carried over her, Avery realized that she must’ve cut herself in the tunnel. She had blood on her hand and as she reached out to her stinging abdomen, she realized there was a warmth upon her. She forced herself to move up only to discover the gash in her otherwise flawless skin.

“Damn it,” Avery cursed again and let out a pinched cry, “Kevin, I couldn’t do it. There was some kind of rock there. It was too big and…”

Avery stopped herself waiting to hear disappointment in Kevin’s voice, but he said nothing. She wondered if he too was feeling the frustrations that she had and that’s why he’d kept silent, but as she turned to look at him, she realized he wasn’t moving.

“Kevin,” she spoke his name in a pinched tone doing her best to recollect herself just enough to move in beside him. She reached out to touch his cheek feeling his skin on fire beneath her touch, “Kevin talk to me.”

“Kevin please,” she started once more seeing that he must’ve passed out. His body was burning up and as she moved in beside him she realized that his leg was bleeding again so much so that his pants were soaked in a dark crimson stain.

“No, please Kevin you have to stay with me. Kevin,” Avery blurted out realizing that he’d stopped breathing. She searched for a pulse, thankful to find one before she leaned forward ready to administer mouth to mouth to him. She did so and after a few repetitions she felt Kevin gasp for air.

“Kevin thank God,” Avery mouthed reaching out to wrap her arm around him, “Don’t you dare scare me like that again.”

“Avery…” he slurred his head swimming with ache as his eyes opened and he looked to her. “Wh--what happened…”

“I’m going to get you out of here. We have to get you out of here, but you have to hold on,” Avery whispered looking over to where the entrance to the cavern had been blocked. She reached out to Kevin squeezing his hand before leaning in to kiss his forehead, “You just have to stay with me okay?”

“Okay,” he nodded weakly as she rushed over to the entrance attempting to pull the rocks from it. She was able to move a few, but the larger ones were more difficult. Still she wouldn’t give up--not when her friend’s life was on the line. She reached for an oversized one using all of her strength to get it to move when another round of stones from overhead came crashing down from above. She fell back seeing that all she’d really done was locked them further inside the cavern and a pained cry carried over her.

“No please don’t do this,” she cried out tears of frustration carrying over her now that she was only making things worse. She attempted to move forward again only to feel Kevin’s thick fingers around her ankle.

“Please…Avery…” he spoke up hoarsely, his shaky touch gripping onto her like it was the only thing keeping him in this world, “don’t leave me…please…”

“Kevin, I have to find a way to get us out of this stupid cave,” she explained broken by her sobs. She turned to face him again ready to say something more when she realized he’d gone into a tiny set of convulsions. “Kevin!”

Wordlessly she returned to him realizing that his fever must‘ve caused the tremors. Whether or not it had to do with the blood loss or the possible infection in his leg, Avery wasn’t about to take any chances. She wrapped her arms around him attempting to still him as she silently hoped that they would find their way out of the cavern before it was too late.


Seth stood at the entrance to the Mirage bar, a local magic club that he hadn’t frequented in years. It was a place where he’d spent much of his youth cleaning up after shows and keeping himself out of trouble when he could’ve taken a different route altogether and wound up destroying any hopes for a real future. However, beyond all of that was the one factor that would forever haunt him from here on out. It was in this very club that he’d met Valerie Madison long before she’d transferred into his high school and it was in this very spot that he knew full well he would find her.

Stepping inside the darkened room, he glanced over at the stage knowing full well that the show wouldn’t be running tonight or any night in the near future, but there was still quite the crowd. The club had changed over the years due in part to the fact that wasn’t in the best part of town, but it had grown quite popular with the party crowd. In this place it was a bit of a raunchy, no holds barred atmosphere that a great many of them from the outside now flocked to in order to escape the realities of the world around them. He glanced over at the stage, where there were a couple of blondes grinding on one another in between doing body shots with a few men who were watching them rabidly. It was enough to make him remember why he’d stayed away all these years. It changed just like everything else in the world around him and not for the better.

Redirecting his attention to the crowd, Seth felt a small ache carry over him as he thought about Blake, about what she’d looked like when he’d left the hospital upon learning the truth. Even now he couldn’t get it out of his mind--couldn’t stop thinking about what it had been like to learn they’d finally gotten their dream for a family only to have it stolen from them. He’d been granted the divorce as a rouse for the far sinister plans that Valerie had in store for Blake--all because Blake had loved him. It all happened because Blake wanted happiness with him and Valerie couldn’t take that.

“She’s going to pay,” Seth mouthed to himself surveying the room again only to discover Valerie up at the bar speaking with one of the men who were tending to drinks. She looked frantic, desperate to get him to listen to her, but Seth knew full well that now that he’d spotted her, she wouldn’t get the chance. Undeterred in his mission, he weaved through the crowd just in time to hear her pleading with the man behind the bar.

“I have to get out of here,” Valerie explained in a desperate, pinched tone, “I know I owe you money, but you swore you’d look after me.”

“You still owe me for those party favors I gave you a few weeks back,” the man snarled over at her, “Those little candies I gave you don’t come cheap you know.”

“I realize that and I will pay you back soon, but…” Valerie started again an urgency in her tone, “I really need to get out of town.”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t help you with that not until you pay me the ten grand you still owe me,” the man scoffed turning away from her just in time for Seth to snake his hand around her arm and wrench her away from the bar.

“I think I can help you with your little problem Val,” Seth spat down at her, his brown eyes narrowing in a rage.

“Seth,” she gasped horrified as he glanced down at her. She tried to cover with a smile, “What are you doing here? I thought you’d be off celebrating your freedom.”

“My freedom,” he repeated with a snarl yanking on her arm again, “The freedom that you decided to rip away from me by hurting her?”

“Seth, let go of me. You’re hurting me,” she screeched horrified as he twisted her arm in such a way that it caused her to wince.

“Hurting you?” he repeated with a thick, dark laugh. “You don’t know the first thing about pain Valerie, but I can promise that you’re going to get your first lesson tonight for what you did to Blake.”

“I didn’t do anything to Blake,” she attempted to wiggle out of his hold on her, but his grip only intensified.

“I know what you did, so don’t try lying about it!” he snapped his voice growing louder by the second, rage licking over his every synapse now that he glared down at her. “I know how you tried to take her away from me--how you stole our happiness because you are a selfish, manipulative bitch who can’t just back off when she’s lost.”

“I gave you your divorce Seth. I gave you what you wanted!” she shrieked in response turning into the way he was holding her. She stood up taller, her eyes narrowing in at him, “I gave you everything you and Blake deserved with one another!”

“Liar!” Seth snapped catching the eyes of a few people by the bar. “You tried to destroy her! You killed our baby!”

“Baby,” Valerie couldn’t help but snicker feeling a moment of amusement carry over her, “So that’s why she’s been pushing so hard for the two of you to be together. Because you knocked her up, eh? Well doesn’t that seem special?”

“It is special. It’s special to me and to her. We could’ve been together a long time ago if you would’ve just let up on things. It didn’t have to be like this Val,” Seth explained in a wounded tone, his dark eyes filling with tears of anguish. “None of this had to play out this way.”

“It played out this way Seth because you’re the reason this happened,” she explained as she wrenched herself out of his hold on her. She stood taller and offered up a sinister smirk, her words shooting back at him with pure venom behind them. “You were the one who refused to accept reality and now you have no choice but to do just that. You are stuck in a reality you put yourself into.”

“You tried to kill her!” Seth lashed out at her attempting to pull himself away from the dark place that had consumed him when he’d set off after Valerie. “You tried to steal the only happiness I still have in my life from me.”

“No Seth,” she chuckled in a nefarious tone, her eyes glazed over by the combination of rage and the drugs she’d taken earlier to get herself pumped up to follow through on her task. “I gave you absolutely everything you wanted. You now have all the freedom in the world because I took care of Blake and for that you should thank me. She got absolutely everything she deserved and I don‘t regret a second of what happened. No, I take that back. The one regret I do have is that I didn‘t back the car up and finish what I‘d started in that parking lot.”

“You bitch!” Seth lashed out at her unable to contain himself any longer. He snarled at her, raising his hand up to strike her across the face without a second thought before the bartender pulled him back.

“Okay buddy you’re out of here,” the bartender announced as two bouncers tore Seth away from Valerie, who was still processing the blow he’d almost given her.

“You’re not going to get away with this Val. I swear to you if it’s the last thing I do you’re going to pay for what happened tonight,” Seth continued in a roar fighting to break free of the hold the bouncers had on him.

“Tone it down or we’re calling the police,” the bartender warned waving his hand over at Seth before tending to Valerie.

“Then do it. Call the police because you’ve got a murderer in here tonight. She killed my child,” Seth pleaded feeling the two bouncers yank him towards the front of the club. “Why aren’t you listening? She killed my baby and tried to kill the woman I love?”

“Go to hell Seth,” Valerie made a small movement towards him. She signaled for the bouncers to stop long enough for her to meet Seth’s eyes once again. She leaned in closer to him offering up a small, wicked laugh, “because I’m not going down for any of this. By the time the police get here I’ll be gone and all you’ll be left with is the knowledge that you were once again too little, too late.”

“Son of a…” Seth attempted to pull himself out of the hold the bouncers were in knowing full well that if he was tossed out of the bar Valerie would walk. She would find a way to get out of town and then there wouldn’t be any justice for Blake. He shouted out trying to talk sense to the bouncers, but as they threw him out onto the front sidewalk and closed the doors to the club behind him, Seth vowed that this wasn’t over. It was far from over between him and Valerie because there was no way that he‘d let her leave Coral Valley after what she did. She would pay one way or the other!


...to be continued...