Episode 421

“You’re so beautiful,” Kevin whispered leaning in to kiss Ria again now that she’d climbed into bed beside him. He reached over to touch her cheek gently before a smile tipped in over the corners of his mouth. He inched in closer to her drinking another kiss from her parted lips while a low rumble built in the back of his throat. His fingers traveled lazily through her hair and a faint whisper pressed from his lips onto hers, “I could just eat you all up right now.”

“Kevin please,” Ria half groaned suddenly very aware of the heat that his breath cast out over her face. She closed her eyes and felt a tiny shiver race over her as his hand dropped down over her hip squeezing her in closer to him, “You need to rest. You just got out of surgery and…”

“And you’re a doctor,” Kevin mouthed devouring her lips once again. He slid his fingers in underneath her t-shirt savoring the warmth of her beneath his touch, “I’m pretty certain that you know everything that there is to know about my anatomy and working your way around any possible injuries.”

“Kevin stop,” Ria placed her hand in the center of his chest her eyes growing suddenly serious, “You almost died…”

“And I’ll go back to that point if I can’t touch you,” Kevin moved in again for another kiss only to feel her palm curl into his shoulder thwarting any further movement on his end. He curled his lip in a pout and frowned, “Ria, baby come on. I’ve missed you.”

“I missed you too, but right now my top concern is getting you back to good health again,” Ria informed him in her best professional tone even though the teasing hint of his fingertips against her skin caused her to turn to Jell-O on the inside. She inhaled slowly before meeting his passion-filled chocolate colored eyes, “Kevin, sweetheart we’re not going to continue like this.”

“No we’re not,” he nodded in agreement pushing the material of her shirt up over her abdomen, “because the plans I have for us involve you naked and…”

“And we’re so not going there,” Ria shook her head firmly reaching up to pull his hand out from underneath her t-shirt. “You know if I didn’t know better I would’ve thought they’d shot you up with viagra instead of any kind of anesthesia.”

“Being around you is the ultimate aphrodisiac,” Kevin curled his lip in a pout before drawing her in closer to him, “baby please. You know that you want to pick up right where we left off in Coral Valley.”

“Yep it’s official your pain meds are truly working a number on you,” Ria groaned in response feeling him lace her fingers with his.

“Baby, pain meds might be helping, but are they responsible for this,” he dropped her hand underneath the sheet, pushing his hospital gown aside enough to give her more than a handful of him. He smiled up at her expectantly before leaning in to kiss her, “I know that has nothing to do with drugs and everything to do with you.”

“Kevin,” Ria groaned feeling his finger fumble with the button on her slacks. He pushed the zipper apart before skimming his thumb in over the soft cotton panties that lay beneath.

“See now we’re compromising,” he whispered moving his lips over the side of her neck while his touch traveled southern finding a place for himself between her thighs. Satisfied that he’d hit his mark, he started to bite down on her shoulder his tongue mimicking the movements his fingers made over her, “You don’t think I’m up for a full physical, but I think that you and I can very easily begin our own in depth examination together.”

“Kevin,” she slurred his name closing her passion-laden eyes before drawing in a slow breath. She arched her head back ever so slightly conceding to his request as her hold on him tightened, gripping him with a sudden sense of longing.

“I love you baby,” Kevin hummed over the base of her throat feeling her turning into him now that he’d found a way to manipulate the situation in his favor. She leaned forward, her eyes opening again when a soft sound escaped between her lips. She inched in closer to him claiming his mouth with a new fire and passion when a sound sprung up from the other side of the room.

“So how is the patient feeling,” a thick, masculine voice questioned causing Ria’s burning desire to run ice cold in the blink of an eye. She stiffened beside Kevin pulling back enough to notice the white coat beside the bed and immediately her face grew hot with embarrassment.

“I was doing a hell of a lot better before you decided to come in without knocking,” Kevin snarled shifting on the bed just enough to see the doctor standing a few feet away from him and Ria. He felt Ria’s head drop forward, her face covered by a blanket of hair while she recollected herself quickly righting her clothing again.

“Once again I apologize for the inconvenience, but at the same time I would have to strongly suggest for a while that you don‘t engage in any kind of activities that could be…” the doctor paused, his bright blue eyes growing wider as Ria resurfaced from her moment of embarrassment. Upon noticing her face, his concern shifted to a wide smirk of recognition as he moved forward, “Ria, is that you?”

“Steve?” Ria’s eyes widened as well causing her to sit up. She pushed her shirt down a bit before springing up off of the bed and rushing over to embrace the man in front of her. “Oh my gosh how are you?”

“Great, how are you?” the doctor hugged her back eagerly pulling her off of the ground with one quick, sweeping movement. He spun her around in his arms dropping the chart he’d been holding as Kevin eyed the man suspiciously.

“Steve,” Kevin repeated with a sharp hiss glaring at the muscle bound man in the ‘far too small for him’ white jacket in front of him. Whatever it was about the guy, Kevin wasn’t quite sure, but in seeing Ria in his arms, Kevin knew full well he already didn’t like the man.

“What are you doing here?” Ria questioned as the man set her down. Her face was bright with the smile that carried over her features. Kevin watched her reach out to touch his arm in a casual almost intimate movement and jealousy brewed over him.

“Yeah Steve, what are you doing here?” Kevin snarled fighting to suppress his immediate dislike for the man in front of him.

“Well, I’m working here,” Steve began smiling over at Kevin before turning his focus to Ria again, “at least I am for a few more weeks before I transfer.”

“Transfer?” she repeated eyeing him intently, “I thought that you were off to Beverly Hills the last time I saw you.”

“The rich and famous bore me,” Steve shrugged his shoulders before laughing, “because regardless of how much money they have, they couldn’t be nearly as interesting as you are.”

“Stop,” Ria swatted at him once again before laughing.

“No I mean it. I was just about to call you when things slowed down around here because I’m coming back to Coral Valley,” Steve explained with an enthusiastic tone, “I figured that I would give you a head’s up on it since the last time I was in town you and I shared the apartment and…”

“Shared the apartment?” Kevin’s eyes widened at that comment.

“My apartment is really Steve’s apartment,” Ria explained turning to face him again. “He had a long lease on it and wasn’t really ready to let go of it, so…”

“I decided to let Ria stay there while I was gone, but now that I’m coming home again,” Steve paused glancing over at her again.

“Does that mean I’ll be looking for a new place to stay?” Ria couldn’t help but ask worriedly thinking about how used to her apartment she’d become.

“No of course not. I mean if you’re up for a roommate for a few weeks until I find somewhere else to stay, then I suppose we can work something out,” Steve suggested with a simple shrug of his shoulders, “I promise I won’t be a bother.”

“You never were a bother,” Ria offered up with a playful laugh, “A bit of a distraction maybe, but never a bother.”

“Hey it’s not my fault that you liked to stay up all night playing…” Steve started as Kevin let out a loud groan.

“Oh my leg,” Kevin blurted out clamping his fingers in over his thigh before he could hear anything further about the man who took it upon himself to somehow move into Ria’s place in less than two minutes flat without giving Kevin anything to go on about him. As Kevin let out another pinched wail, he felt Ria move in beside him and hoped that it would be enough to get Steve out of the room long enough to let Kevin find out just who the hell this man was and why he believed it would be more than okay to move in with Ria!


“I don’t believe this,” Avery admitted walking over towards the window of the hospital exam room she and Russ were still in with one another. After Grady had left them alone to deal with the news he’d uncovered, they both found themselves in a state of shock. “Brant was lying…”

“That doesn’t surprise me,” Russ continued to explained before pausing for a moment, “he would’ve done anything to ensure that you and I weren’t together even if it meant lying about us being married.”

“I just can’t believe that he would…” she paused before letting out an ironic laugh, “Yes I do. I fully believe it considering that he tried to lie and say he was Erin’s father. He manipulated us in that situation trying to lead me to believe that I’d betrayed our love somehow by sleeping with him back when…”

“Brant’s a snake, but he didn’t win,” Russ moved in closer to her reaching out to touch her shoulder gently, “This time he wasn’t able to keep us apart any longer. No one can do that now.”

“Because you’re my husband,” Avery mouthed feeling a lump forming in the back of her throat. She spun around to face him feeling his arms slide around her waist in a protective movement, “We’re really married.”

“Yes, we are,” Russ nodded a strong sense of pride carrying over him. He reached out to touch her cheek gently as the weight of the truth carried in upon them, “which means that you and I have been married in more than our hearts since the last time we were out here.”

“Our dream wedding really was more than a dream,” Avery couldn’t help but feel a breath of relief carry over her, “That was the happiest day of my life other than when you returned to save Erin and I.”

“Nothing could’ve kept me from you both when you needed me. Not even the lies and deceptions that the world threw upon us,” Russ swore sliding his fingers through her long, dark hair. “I love you so very much Avery and I swear to you that I’m going to dedicate the rest of my life to making you and Erin very happy.”

“You’ve already given us all that and more by returning home to us,” she eased her arms around his shoulders kissing him lovingly as a warmth carried over her from the top of her head to the tips of her toes. She felt his strong arms ease around her slender waist picking her up off of the ground and in against his chest while their kiss intensified. She devoured his lips thinking about how right it felt to be in against his warm chest, knowing that they were bound to one another for all eternity.

“I love you,” Russ murmured squeezing her in closer to him until she let out a small wince. Worriedly he pulled back enough to search her dark eyes, “Did I hurt you?”

“My abdomen is still a bit tender,” Avery confessed taking in a breath. She felt him place her down on the ground again before his fingers moved in over the center of the scrub top she was wearing.

“Let me take a look,” he decided reaching out to press his index finger over her smooth skin. He placed his hands on her hips hoisting her up onto the exam table behind where they stood. Carefully he crouched down in front of her moving his hand up over her smooth skin while inspecting the bandaging on her abdomen.

“Russ, I’m fine,” Avery sighed reaching out to touch his wrist with her fingers before letting out a long sigh, “really…”

“Just let me look. There’s nothing wrong with my being worried about the woman I love,” Russ informed her with a stern look moving his touch in over the edge of her bandage.

“I won’t argue that point, but if you two start stripping then I’m going to throw up,” Kyle announced with a hearty laugh as he made his presence known in the exam room. “I was coming on in here to check on my favorite friends, but it looks to me like everything is just fine.”

“Kyle,” Avery’s eyes lit up at the arrival of their friend, “hey, how are you?”

“Not nearly as good as you two are, but I’m just telling you now if you two get into anything freaky, I’m going to walk,” Kyle teased with a small wink leaning in to kiss Avery on the cheek as Russ stepped back, “how are you feeling sweetheart?”

“Better now that you and Russ found us,” Avery replied reaching out to give him a small hug, “I don’t know what Kevin and I would’ve done if you hadn’t arrived when you did.”

“Well, what can I say? Russ is relentless. He wasn’t about to let you be a runaway bride again now that you’ve got a big wedding in front of you,” Kyle noted with a teasing grin.

“Actually, about that,” Russ paused an uneasiness in his tone, “I hope you didn’t have your heart set on the whole being my best man Kyle.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Kyle questioned with a worried expression looking between the two of them, “Please don’t tell me that you’ve decided not to go through with the wedding.”

“Not exactly,” Avery replied glancing over at Russ, “I mean we didn’t really discuss it at this point, but it’s not really necessary.”

“What do you mean?” Kyle questioned glancing over at Russ wearily, “Russ, what’s going on?”

“Remember how you said Brant and his buddies were full of it?” Russ tossed back at his friend, “You know when they were making life miserable for Avery and I?”

“Right,” Kyle nodded in response, “You and I were going to kill them for the stunt they tried to pull with Erin.”

“It wasn’t the only stunt that they pulled. Apparently Hart had some forgeries drawn up leading us to believe that Avery was married to Brant,” Russ continued to explain thinking about the fury that still carried over him at the scam that was pulled over him and Avery.

“Wait what?” Kyle’s jaw practically dropped, “Are you saying that you two are still…”

“Very married,” Avery blurted out excitedly thinking about her first wedding to Russ. “We never stopped being married and now that we’re here…”

“We don’t exactly need another wedding unless of course you want to do it all over again,” Russ replied glancing over at Avery, “I know you talked about your father being here for the ceremony and…”

“Given all that’s just happened I don’t know if we should do it. I mean Kevin’s been hurt and…” Avery paused thinking about what it would mean to everyone now that they were already married.

“Well it sounds like you two have a lot to talk about,” Kyle added with a smile patting Russ on the shoulder, “So much for all those plans for the bachelor party and a honeymoon night.”

“Oh I’m sure we can more than make up for any cheap thrills he would’ve had at a bachelor party,” Avery tossed a firm look out over at Kyle before sliding her arm around Russell’s torso, “and as for the whole thought of a honeymoon night, I’m sure that we can come up with something there that exceeds any notion of what it should’ve been…”

“And that’s my cue to exit,” Kyle shook his head and laughed, “I promised Heather that I would check in with her and since all is clear right now, I think I’m going to skip over to the hotel and check on her.”

“Kyle,” Avery opened her mouth to speak thinking about the way she and Heather fought with one another. While Avery was furious with Heather for causing turmoil in her life, Avery decided that now wasn’t the time to get into it with her friend, “we’ll see you later then.”

“Sure thing,” Kyle leaned in to give her another kiss on the cheek before turning to Russ, “and if you decide you still want to go through with the whole wedding thing, you know where to find me.”

“Thanks man,” Russ replied with a nod watching Kyle walk out the door before turning to Avery, “so I guess this means we’ve spent a lot of money to get people out here without giving them what they were hoping for…”

“Not necessarily,” Avery pondered the thought for a moment, “I mean sure you and I are already husband and wife, but I’m sure we can find a way to salvage the wedding somehow. We have the place already booked and everything in order for a reception.”

“So then we should do it again, huh?” Russ couldn’t help but grin seeing something behind her dark eyes.

“Not necessarily, but I can think of something that might be just as wonderful as our wedding day was for us the first time around,” Avery noted thinking of what they could to bring forth another celebration for everyone who had come to the island for their special day.


Taking in a deep breath, Deana sat outside of the hospital staring out at the rain that started to die down a bit while she sat just out of the rain that was soaking the ground around her.

Some people may hate rain on the average occasion, even her at times, but for a moment like this…it was soothing. It could take the steam off anyone when they just needed to think. It settled things. Made things go by slower if that was possible. Gave you some time to think and for her, that’s really what she needed right now.

To think things over. All the things that had happened over the last few days. The big, major events that took place in the lives around her while she sat back and watched it happened. It was hard to believe that bad things like that could interrupt a life and put it on hold like it was doing for those they loved.

Hearing the sound of the door closing, it awoke her from her own thoughts and contemplations as she turned to see Grady moving out toward her.

“Hey you, what are you doing out here?” Grady moved out into the rain feeling the instant drops of the cold water sending a jolt up his spine showing how cold it was against his skin. Moving over toward her, he watched her stand as he reached out to wrap his arms around her pulling her in closer to his body. “Aren’t you freezing out there?”

“I’m okay…you get used to it after a while,” she explained seeing him smile as she stared into his eyes for a minute. There seemed to be something that was behind his eyes, different than the last time they talked. “Is everything alright?”

“Yeah, yeah…I’m fine,” he seemed to answer the question after a long pause while moving forward to press a quick kiss against her lips. He could tell she was trying to read something else from him and he cleared his throat uneasily before offering up a smile squeezing his arms around her a bit. “Why do you ask?”

“No reason,” she lied knowing that if he wanted to tell her something was wrong, he would. Sighing, she felt his right hand reach up to press her long, blonde hair behind her ear. “What’s on your mind?”

“What was on my mind before I came out here or what’s on my mind now? Right now I’m thinking it’s freezing out here because of this rain,” Grady chuckled while shaking a bit exaggerative while another set of cold rain drops fell over him making a chill run down his body. “Seriously, how have you been out here this long baby? It’s chilly.”

“It helps you think about things. Well, at least it helps me,” she explained shrugging her shoulder while reaching up to press her palm over Grady’s warm cheek, feeling him leaning into her touch. “I never realized how lucky my life was until I started to look at everyone else around me. Now, everything in my life seems so…minor compared to the rest of the people out there who have suffered so much more than I have.”

“Everyone has their own degree of suffering,” Grady sighed heavily knowing that it was the worst part about life and everyone had experienced it at one point. “I don’t think any person’s pain is more important than the other, but we are all pretty lucky for the certain things we do have in our life.”

“Like you,” Deana smiled seeing his eyebrow arch up before nodding with a wide smile. “I’m lucky to have you, right?”

“Yes, like me,” Grady moved in forward closer to her to press a kiss over her lips letting it linger a bit while feeling her fingers sliding into his wet hair. “I’m lucky to have you, but I would define you more as my miracle in my life.”

“Miracle? Please…,” Deana chuckled seeing the way his light eyes stared out at her pondering if she really didn’t believe him at this moment in time. “I think you are just trying to kiss up to me right now.”

“Me? Kiss up? No, never,” he teased moving down to press soft, gentle kisses over her neck feeling her leaning into his touch as he did so. “I don’t know what would make you feel that way. I’m being honest with you. Until you…I was a whole different man. A worse man. I like this one I am right now.”

“And why is that?” she pulled away from him long enough to watch his eyes search for the answer to give her while her hand settled over the center of his chest.

“Because I don’t have to question myself on the way I feel. I love you and there isn’t a doubt in my mind about that,” Grady explained thinking about the moments he had just shared with Russell and Avery realizing that they were meant to be. They were destiny and now that they knew they were married, there was no bother in getting married once more. “You know…I was thinking. I told Russ and Avery about the whole…marriage thing and they decided it was for the better not to get re-married…”

“That makes sense,” Deana nodded while Grady pondered something and she stared out at him unsure of his silence and the look on his face. “What’s on your mind?”

“You know, I’m thinking,” Grady muttered watching Deana stare out at him and he went silent for a moment trying to think over what had just popped into his head.

Deana really did mean a lot to him. She was a great person, made him who really needed to be. Made him want to be that person, so what other answer could he have, other than this?

“Grady…?” Deana spoke almost in a worried tone as she saw Grady gulp down to think something over for a moment while she hooked her arms around his trying to get him to speak up. “What’s on your mind? You have me worried here.”

“Why would I have you worried?” he tilted his head in confusion while his hands slid up to cup her face in his hands lovingly and very tenderly. “I was just thinking…you know, it would be a real waste to not have someone get married after everything that everyone has been through.”

Deana just simply nodded as she tried to read his expression and he sighed in heavily before moving forward, pressing a loving kiss over her lips while caressing her cheek with his fingertips soothingly.

“I think we should get married right now. You and me. Make this…official. What we have,” Grady spoke up seeing the shock behind her dark eyes as he cleared his throat uneasily and reached down to grab a hold of her hand shrugging his shoulders. “I think what you and I could have…what we should have…all begins with a marriage. I love you Deana and…I think we should be the ones to get married. Whether it’s sudden or not…I want you to marry me. What do you say? Let’s not waste that big wedding, let’s make it our own. Are you up for that? Will you do me the honor of being my wife right here and now?”

“The honor,” Deana went silent for a minute, maybe a minute too long as Grady’s eyes seemed to cloud over with worry while a huge smile pressed over her features. “I would love that.”

“Really?” Grady spoke up almost excited and shocked at the same time that she already agreed to it. Watching her nod, a smile pressed in over his features as he picked her up in his arms and spun her around a few times. Finally, he slowly let her back down on her feet as she fell into his chest and he shrugged his shoulders. “I promise you this, you won’t regret it.”


Sighing to himself, Kyle sat in the waiting room of the hospital feeling like the whole world was spinning around him at a heavy pace as he covered his eyes and leaned forward in the hard chair he had been sitting in for a while.

There was something that had over come him over the last few hours and while he couldn’t just explain it right now, he knew that it probably had to deal with the way they found Kevin in the those caverns.

Shaking off the feeling, he could remember all the blood and blood alone made him freak out about things, but all the things that could have happened rushed through his head. All the…what ifs. The what ifs of what could have happened if things weren’t handled correctly.

What if they got there too late? What if they never found them? What if they showed up and Kevin was already dead? How would have Avery reacted seeing one of her best friends dying? What if Avery would have been gone?

The idea literally scared the life out of him. He jumped into the situation like a hero, like he always did, but the after math always got the worst part of him.

“Kyle,” he heard the sound of his name being called as he raised his head up to see the elevator doors open and Heather standing before him.

Standing up quickly, he saw her run toward him as he pulled her into his arms tightly. Feeling her arms hooking around his neck he could hear the sound of her frantic breathing and the sound of her sniffing telling him one thing. She was crying.

“I was so worried about you,” Heather pulled away from him for a second to see he was covered in some dirt while she reached out to touch the side of his face shakily seeing him close his eyes at her touch. “I thought you would get hurt and…you and…we’d be left off on the bad thing…”

“Sh…,” Kyle hushed her feeling his own eyes watering over as he saw her crying before him obviously worked up with the ‘what ifs’ as well in her head. Cupping her face in his hands tenderly, he tipped down to press a lingering kiss over her lips before shaking his head slowly. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m right here.”

“I’m so sorry for everything Kyle,” Heather tried to plead with him as he shook his head slowly with his hazel eyes staring into hers. Caressing the side of her face, he could see her worried eyes staring out into his. “I’m sorry for fighting with Avery, I was just…I was in the wrong and…I don’t know what I would do without you Kyle. I was so scared when you didn’t come back and…”

“I’m alright,” he tried to hush her pulling her into his arms again feeling her head resting against his chest, her tears soaking through his dark shirt as he frowned. Caressing his fingers through her hair slowly, he tried calming her down in his arms as he swallowed down heavily. “Everything is forgiven Heather, I love you…I’m sorry I worried you, I just never…”

“Please don’t apologize to me,” she lifted her head up from his chest seeing his worried eyes staring out at her as she reached out to place her index finger over his lips. “This was my fault. If I wouldn’t have fought with her, we could have found her and Kevin right away. People could have been safer if not for me and…everyone is okay, right?”

“Sort of,” Kyle gulped down heavily watching her green eyes start to flash over with worry while he traced his thumb over her cheekbone shaking his head slowly. “It isn’t your fault though. It never was.”

“Kyle…,” Heather gulped down seeing the way he looked up and almost nervous as she reached for his hands feeling them shaking a bit as she gulped down. “What happened?”


“Well…this isn’t exactly what I saw myself doing today,” Rex looked into the cell room that they were holding Seth in at the jail while he cleared his throat uneasily. He waited there for a moment, pondering how he was going to play this out and find out what happened. He had been there a while just trying to be able to talk to him, but as he stared inside and saw the expression over Seth’s face, he knew he had to go in and do something about this.

Blake had been so nervous, so worried that he wasn’t quite sure how to handle this situation, but after a long while of thinking, he knew just what it was he had to do. What he had to say to fix this. To help Seth.

Moving into the room, he could see Seth lift his head up to stare out at him almost confused. Like he didn’t even know what was going on himself. There was the fear there and he could tell that it wasn’t fake. Seth was truly worried and scared. The expressions…the way his eyes were staring around nervously…it was evident.

“We need to talk,” Rex pulled the chair around the table and took a seat in front of Seth seeing him gulp down heavily while Seth nodded. Seth couldn’t seem to stare him in the eyes? Was it the look of the guilty man or the man with a guilty conscious that didn’t even know what he had done? He didn’t quite know. “I need to know everything you know.”

“I…I really can’t tell you that,” Seth spoke up nervously while Rex pulled his hat off and set it down on the table staring out at Seth almost like he didn’t believe him. “I really can’t tell you Rex.”

“And why is that?” he spoke up in a whisper while Seth’s worried dark eyes kind of looking back between the glass window and Rex himself. “Did you do something last night Seth because I need to know what we’re up against here. I’m going to help you, but in order to help you…I need to know what you know.”

“I’m not saying I did anything,” Seth quickly responded while he sat forward in the seat and shook his head slowly. Leaning forward, he pushed back a strand of his hair before shrugging. “I’m just saying, I can’t tell you because I don’t remember.”

“You don’t remember,” Rex repeated the words while Seth nodded and gulped down heavily while shrugging. “What do you mean you can’t remember. Like you have no idea what’s going on or you know, but…”

“No, Rex. I’m telling you, I can’t remember anything that happened during the night. I remember one thing, but after that all of it blank,” Seth explained looking around nervously knowing that it was far fetched that anyone would be able to believe what he was saying. “I remember a few things, but then it goes all blank. I can honestly tell you…I have no idea what happened. Nothing in my head clicks on…I can’t explain it.”

“The one time you are up on murder…you can’t remember what happened?” Rex was a bit doubtful himself seeing the way that Seth tilted his head and sighed heavily while dropping his head into his hands. There was a heavy sigh that followed and Rex could tell Seth was being honest about this. This could be a good acting case for a psycho path, but Seth wasn’t like those kind of people. He knew, he had no idea what was going on .”Okay, I’m going to help. I believe you.”

“Do you really?” Seth found it a bit hard to believe considering the circumstances at hand while he lifted his head from his hands a bit and shrugged his shoulders. “I appreciate your help, but if you don’t believe me…”

“I believe you kid. I believe you,” Rex look around for a moment knowing that they could be being watched right now while he pat him on the knee and shook his head slowly. “I’m going to get a friend in here that will be more than happy to represent you.”

“What about Ken?” Seth suggested seeing Rex’s nose wrinkle while he shook his head and obviously the sound of that really disgusted him making Seth a bit confused. “He’s a good lawyer, he can…”

“No offense kid, but this one might be a bit bigger than Ken can handle. He may be good, but he’s not that good,” Rex explained knowing that Seth didn’t understand. Hell…why should he? He had never been in a situation like this, but Rex knew that Ken couldn’t handle this case. He was Blake’s brother to begin with, so it would only look worse in the long run to have her brother representing him. “Now listen to me for a moment…and listen good…I’ll tell you who it is and when you know who it is…you will have no choice other than to go ahead with this. I know what I’m talking about and we will get you out of this. I promise.”


“I can’t just wait here not knowing anything,” Blake sighed emphatically as she pushed her head back into the pillow on her bed. A moment later she attempted to sit up straighter as her blue eyes pleaded with Sarah. “Sarah, you and I both know that Seth needs me right now and the longer I’m here…”

“The closer you are to healing,” Sarah reminded her pointedly. “Blake, honey you know I would do anything for you, but right now Seth would want me to tell you that he would want you to be resting. He would want you to be focusing on your recovery and…”

“And how can I do that when they have him in jail for a crime he didn’t commit?” Blake questioned painfully. “You and I both know that there is no way that Seth would have done what they accused him of. Even after what Valerie did to me and the baby…”

Sarah watched as Blake’s eyes darkened in the moment with grief. There was an unmistakable silence in the air between them until Blake shook her head dismissing the thought and allowing it to be replaced with an altogether different emotion.

“Seth didn’t do it. He’s innocent and I should have him here at my side,” Blake stated firmly despite the obvious condition she was in. “We were the victims in all of this, yet we’re the ones being punished by the deceptions happening all around us.”

“Ken promised he would take care of things Blake. You have to trust in that,” Sarah offered up in the hopes of getting her friend to attempt to relax again.

“I know my brother is a good lawyer, but this is the man I’m going to marry. This is the man I’m going to share the rest of my life with,” Blake trailed off once more, an emptiness in her tone. “It’s the man I should have been able to have as my husband and the father of my child before that monster tore it away from us. My one regret is that she wasn’t able to suffer for her sins. She took the coward’s way and had a quick exit. She deserved much worse then what she got.”

“Blake honey,” Sarah started worriedly.

“Don’t try to change my mind on that Sarah,” Blake glanced over at her friend once again. “Valerie Madison should’ve been held accountable for her actions for what she did to my family.”

“I’m not about to argue that point, but getting yourself this worked up right now really isn’t a good idea considering that…” Sarah moved in closer to Blake before giving her a long once over.

“Sarah I can’t sit idle and leave Seth to fend for himself when he needs me now more than ever,” Blake argued with her. “I should be there for him.”

“And what are you going to do when you are there Blake?” Sarah finally sighed. “You’re in no position to storm the walls of the police station and demand action. You certainly can’t go in there marching around and tearing the walls down.”

“I might be weaker right now, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try,” Blake argued with her. “I can’t stay in this hospital when Seth needs me.”

“Seth needs you to recover honey and the only way you are going to do that is by staying put and receiving the treatment you so desperately need. Right now he would want you to heal,” Sarah added with a worried expression on her face. “Trust me on this one Blake.”

“Sarah, I’ve already made up my mind. I’m going to be with Seth down at the police station,” Blake informed her after an exaggerated pause. “The question is are you going to be a help or a hindrance in my quest to be there for the man I love?”


“Can I get you anything?” Brant questioned lazily his gaze fixed on Angela now that she lay beside him in her hospital bed. He kept his arm around her while the twins were both sleeping comfortably in their incubators. He leaned over to touch her cheek gently before smiling, “Anything at all?”

“A kiss would be nice,” she replied with a soft sigh leaning into his touch.

“That I think I can more than oblige you with,” he smiled in response leaning in to brush his lips against hers in a barely there kiss. He felt her snuggle into him as they parted and her head sank onto his chest with a small sigh.

“I never thought that I would feel this incredible,” she admitted with a small pause, “Okay, so maybe not everything on my body feels incredible right about now, but everything else feels amazing. Just look at them.”

“I am looking at them,” Brant replied honestly glancing over at his children, “and it’s taking everything in me not to pick them up and take them out of there to hold them again.”

“I know the feeling,” she laughed lightly tipping her head up to see the expression on his face, “They really make everything fall into place for us, don’t they?”

“In more ways than I can even begin to explain,” he nodded curling his finger underneath her chin and smiling, “I love you Angela.”

“I love you too Brant and I can’t wait to be your wife,” she confessed easing upward in the hopes of seeking out his lips again.

“Yeah, about that,” he paused pulling away before their lips could meet, “We have a small problem with that.”

“A problem,” she frowned giving him a strange look, “What kind of problem?”

“Well, it had slipped my mind when I found you, but there’s something we need to talk about,” Brant paused not really sure how to break the news to her about what was on his mind.

“Brant, um you’re scaring me,” she frowned over at him, “Don’t tell me that you changed your mind about us getting married.”

“No, not by any means, but…” he hesitated again, “It’s just when you had your accident, well we found out that it’s not possible for us to get married just yet. You see you were married before and…”

“And my husband died,” Angela pointed out with a frown, “Cary died a long time ago and…”

“And you didn’t marry Cary sweetheart,” Brant informed her with a slight hesitation. “I’m not really sure how things played out, but from what I can gather somehow you wound up marrying Kellen instead.”

“Kellen,” Angela repeated her dark eyes growing large as saucers before she found herself bursting out in a wild fit of laughter, “You have to be kidding me, right?”

“No, I’m afraid I’m not,” Brant shook his head, “Kellen mentioned something about standing in for his brother during a wedding rehearsal and signing something he thought was a witness paper, but it ended up being the marriage certificate and…”

“Oh my gosh,” Angela continued to laugh in spite of herself, “So all of these years Kellen and I have been…”

“Yep,” Brant nodded again before adding, “We’re working on tracking him down to process some divorce papers, but…”

“Wow, I never saw that one coming,” she couldn’t help but laugh again, “I know it shouldn’t be funny, but…”

“But it takes the edge off to know that the man you’re married to is gay and undoubtedly won’t contest the divorce?” Brant finished for her with a smirk.

“Who is to say that I wouldn’t want to stay married to him?” she couldn’t help but tease Brant. “Kellen does have a very great fashion sense about him. That could prove useful for me and the twins…”

“Hmm, well if you really feel that way I suppose I can find someone else that I can be happy with,” he feigned an air of calm and attempted to move away from her only to feel her press her fingers firmly into his chest.

“If you even think about getting out of this bed, then I’ll have no choice, but to strangle you,” she warned tugging on his shirt and pulling him in closer to her, “You’re not even going to look at another woman now that you’re a daddy. If you even think about it, then I’ll hurt you.”

“The only real pain in my life would be losing you,” he replied in a raw, honest tone. His thumb and index finger brushed over the hollow of her cheekbone before he met her dark eyes, “I love you Angela.”

“I love you too which is why I know we’ll find a way to work everything out sooner or later,” she promised sliding in closer to him, “Plus this gives us more time to plan a big wedding for us.”

“I thought you didn’t want a big wedding,” Brant eyed her curiously catching the smile on her face.

“Considering how much press you getting married is bound to generate I think our only solution is to let everyone in the media know that we’re together so that none of those women who thought they had a shot with you will be under any false pretenses about the chances of that happening,” she continued to explain to him fanning her fingers out over his shoulder, “I want the world to know that you’re mine.”

“Tell me something,” he paused kissing her for a brief moment before pulling back, “Does that world include your brother?”

“Cameron,” she paused thinking about everything that had happened with her brother before she’d lost her memory. She felt an uneasiness coil in over her at the thought of what had transpired, “Brant I…”

“Angela you know that what Cameron said about me wasn’t true. I never, ever would’ve hurt your father,” he added knowing full well that Cameron would like her to believe otherwise. “I can’t speak for my own father because I’ll be honest when I tell you the man was a monster, but I can promise you with all that I am I never even met your father let alone murdered him.”

“I know,” she nodded feeling a tension carry in over her, “Cameron has to be mistaken.”

“Cameron wanted you to leave me. He knows that losing you would destroy me,” Brant continued to explain to her, “He hates me because clearly he blames me for something I didn’t do…”

“Cameron was wrong and I’ll make him see that,” Angela met his dark eyes again, “he was wrong about everything he said where you were concerned. I know in my heart that you’re not that man he made you out to be.”

“And what about Kevin?” Brant couldn’t help but ask. “Do you believe that he’s not the man that your brother made him out to be either?”

“Kevin,” Angela paused thinking about her best friend. Feeling another sense of tension building in the pit of her stomach over what had happened over the last few weeks she couldn’t help but ponder what her brother had said, “Brant I think there are a lot of things that were left unsaid between Kevin and I.”

“I realize that,” Brant nodded knowing full well Kevin was the last person he’d wanted to bring up at a time like this, yet they had to open the door to honesty about their future.

“I think I need to see him,” Angela finally decided after a long moment of silence. “I know it might feel like it’s not the right time, but there are things that he and I need to get out in the open. Things that we’ll need closure on with one another.”

“I realize that,” he nodded again glancing over at their children.

“Brant, you know I love you, don’t you?” she questioned reaching for his hand and lacing their fingers with one another.

“Of course I do,” he returned his attention to her, “which is why I can promise you that I’m not going to fight you on that. If you need to see Kevin, I’m not going to try to stop you.”

“I didn’t think you would,” Angela confessed eyeing him for a long moment, “because I know that you realize that I love you. What Kevin and I had--what I thought that we had going on with one another when I had amnesia…”

“It wasn’t you I know,” he nodded trying to keep his emotions under control, “I mean It was you, but…”

“Brant, I think I owe you an answer about something before I go see Kevin,” she admitted reaching out to touch his cheek gently, “That day that you and I almost…well, you know that day when things got heated between us and you stopped me back when I couldn’t remember everything about us…”

“What about it?” he questioned surprised that she could recall the event that had taken place between them.

“I would’ve made love to you that day because you were the only man in my heart,” she revealed inching in closer to him, “I wanted you because you are the man I want to spend forever with and I have no intentions of ever looking beyond what we had. When I’m in love with someone they are it for me. There is no one else.”

“Angela I…” he began feeling her press her index finger over his lips to silence him.

“You asked me if I’m a cheater and I’m assuming that’s because you’ve been burned by love before. At the time I was confused and I didn’t understand, but now I do,” she whispered warmly over his lips, “and the fact to the matter is that you’ve been something I’ve waited forever to have in my life. I would never, ever risk what we have with one another with our family to seek out someone else. You’re it for me Brant Ashford and as soon as Kellen is able to get the divorce running, then I’m all yours for eternity.”

“That’s exactly how I want it,” he replied bridging the distance between them and kissing her now that they had so very much ahead of them for their future with their family.


Hart looked around the room feeling tension all around him as he simply just sat with Jenna in his daughter’s apartment knowing that she really hadn’t expected him there in the first place, but wow…he never realized it would be this tense between all of them.

“You know, we can talk…,” Hart suggested seeing the way Sam glanced between him and Wayne and shrugged before moving forward on her chair to sit on the edge of it. “We don’t have to be silent. I came here to visit you…yet I feel like I’m some kind of burden here.”

“Oh no, you’re not a burden…it’s just wow…you know. I wasn’t expecting you. I know you didn’t respect the choice, I mean I’m glad to see you and…,” Sam realized that the more she talked she probably made him feel more uncomfortable. The look on Jenna’s face could show that it was obvious she was talking too much which wasn’t helping her case any while Wayne nudged her. “I’m really glad you came out here and I’m glad to have you here. That’s all that matters. I just know you didn’t like the idea of me coming out here.”

“Well, yes…I didn’t like the idea,” Hart agreed seeing the way she gulped down heavily and leaned back into the seat as if to avoid the topic while he shrugged his shoulders. “But that doesn’t matter now. It’s what you wanted and you are my daughter. If that’s truly what you feel is the best for you, then that’s what will happen. Only the best for my daughter.”

“Really?” She spoke up almost confused while Hart quickly nodded feeling Jenna squeezing on his hand to almost make him nod because she knew herself that Hart really didn’t feel that way. She remembered the way he reacted when he found out that his father had given her the money and he was completely angered. “Wow dad…I never knew you thought like that. I appreciate that. That means a lot.”

“He knows, that’s why he came all the way out here to show you that he supported all of this,” Jenna gave Hart a reminded smile and nod to let him know that he should stay away from the topic of this being wrong. “Isn’t that right sweetheart?”

“That’s right, I really wish you would have come to me first. If you had all the plans set out and it was truly what you wanted, you didn’t have to leave like you did. If it was your wish, I would have let you. I just missed not getting to say goodbye to you because you never know what will happen the next day,” Hart moved forward closer to Sam seeing her smile as he motioned her in closer to him for a hug. “You’re my daughter…if I didn’t accept what you wanted…then I would be a horrible father.”

“Thanks dad…you are the best,” she reached out to hug him while Wayne stood and in that moment Jenna moved up and stood next to him. “You know, if you want to…the two of us could take you around and show you a few things about the town that we really like. How does that sound.”

“It sounds great for me…,” Wayne spoke up reaching for his jacket as Jenna nodded and slid her hand around Hart’s arm. “Are you up for that after your trip. Do you need to rest anymore?”

“If I rested anymore, I think I would…,” Hart went to make a smart remark until Jenna butt him in the side to remind him to be nice. Putting on a fake smile, Hart shrugged before nodding slowly. “I think it’s a great thing here. I would love to see what exactly is around town that the two of you love oh so much.”


Sarah paced around the hallway of the police station wondering if she was doing the right thing after Blake had coaxed her into sneaking her out of the hospital. Sarah had done her best in sweet talking an orderly long enough to get what they needed to be on the move, but it would soon be a matter of time before someone realized that Blake was missing. Given Blake’s current condition Sarah knew full well that Blake shouldn’t be out of the hospital, but given what Blake was experiencing, Sarah couldn’t help but feel for her friend. Taking in a breath Sarah spun around only to find herself face to face with Ken.

“Sarah,” he spoke her name with a surprised expression, “what are you doing here?”

“I um…” Sarah started nervously shifting on her feet. She attempted to think up some believable lie, but instead she opted for the last thing that anyone would expect out of her--the truth, “I brought Blake here to see Seth.”

“You what?” Ken’s jaw practically dropped in horror, “Why would you do that? Sarah, you and I both know that she’s supposed to be in the hospital and…”

“And she was going to leave there whether or not I was the one that took her out of it,” Sarah replied with a frown throwing her hands up in the air, “I wasn’t happy about it either Ken, but what choice did I have? She was worried about Seth and she wouldn’t rest until she saw him.”

“Is she in there with him now?” Ken’s eyes widened as he tried to process what was going on.

Sarah nodded, “Yeah I sweet talked one of the officers into giving them a few minutes alone together.”

“I sincerely don’t want to know how you accomplished that feat,” Ken shuddered for a moment wondering what it was that Sarah could’ve persuaded an officer with given her reputation.

“It was money Ken,” Sarah frowned over at him before shaking her head, “Contrary to everyone’s popular belief I’m not a total whore. I’m a married woman now.”

“So I’ve heard,” Ken cringed again, “I’m not even going to ask how that one came about because I’m quite certain that I don’t want to know about it.”

“Oh please,” Sarah rolled her eyes at him, “You know Ken no disrespect but those who live in glass houses have really no right to start throwing stones.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” Ken questioned with a small scowl of his own.

“Just because Kyle dumped me doesn’t mean that we weren’t close once upon a time,” Sarah tossed out at him with a small roll of her eyes, “and yes while I’m considered to be absolutely shameless and horrible, what you did to Avery was a far cry from the upstanding actions of a citizen who claims he wants to save the world. Don’t you think?”

“Listen you. If you’re going to start spouting off about that right now when…” Ken warned waving his finger at her with a firm glare.

“Look I don’t care what you did,” Sarah held her hands up in the air defensively, “I’m not going to lie and say I agree with your actions, but I’m sure you had your own logic and reasoning behind what you did. I wasn’t bringing it up to cause problems, but rather to remind you that neither one of us are saints Ken. We’ve both done some pretty awful things, but when it gets down to it you and I both have one common interest in all of this and that is Blake. We both care about her and want her to be happy.”

“I don’t think her seeing Seth like this is going to make her happy,” Ken reminded her bluntly thinking about what had been going on at the police station. “With the murder charges against him…”

“You mean the bogus murder charges,” Sarah piped in once again knowing full well that Seth was the last person in the world capable of such an act.

“You’re damn right he means the bogus charges,” Rex’s voice rumbled through the narrow hallway as he joined Sarah and Ken. “Kenny’s always quick to jump the gun on things, but if he plans on representing Blake’s sweetheart then I would expect for him to be a bit more optimistic about this case. If Seth winds up in jail that would make Blake very unhappy and we can’t have that.”

“Rex,” Ken’s jaw flexed with anger as he glared up at his uncle.

“Ken,” Rex nodded back at him before turning to Sarah, “so who are you again sweet stuff?”

“She’s Blake’s friend Sarah and she’s married,” Ken pointed out with a scoff, “Not that it would be a fact that would stop you.”

“Kenny boy,” Rex shook his head at him before laughing. “Ignore my nephew. He seems to be a stick in the mud more often than not these days.”

“That’s because you’re nothing short of a pain in the ass,” Ken mouthed sourly glaring up at him.

“And you’re wasting time jaw-jacking when you should be working to help Blake get her honey out of jail,” Rex replied glancing over at Sarah once again, “Speaking of Blake, weren’t you the one in her hospital earlier keeping an eye on her?”

“That’s right,” Sarah nodded in response.

“There’s no point in hiding it anymore,” Ken decided with a groan before turning to Rex, “Blake is here. She coaxed Sarah into helping her escape from the hospital.”

“Wait, are you telling me that Blake is missing?” Rex questioned with wide eyes.

“No I’m telling you that she’s here. Right now. She’s in there with Seth,” Ken motioned to the doors where he’d been earlier speaking with Seth.

“She’s in there,” Rex glanced over in the direction that Ken had pointed out, “She’s not strong enough for that.”

“Don’t you think I realize that, but Blake got it in her mind that…” Ken started once again wishing like hell his sister was back at the hospital taking care of herself.

“She’s stubborn like her mother which means that she’s not going to rest until you get your butt in gear and do what you have to in order to get Seth out of jail,” Rex snarled back at him, “and if you can’t seal the deal, then let me know because I would be more than willing to pick up the slack Ken.”

“I’m handling this one just fine,” Ken huffed in response glaring up at his uncle, “I know what I’m doing.”

“Famous last words from a jackass who doesn’t have the first clue what’s going on,” Rex mouthed with an air of sarcasm in his tone.

“I’ll show you jackass,” Ken pushed forward ready to lunge over at Rex.

“Hey, both of you knock it off,” Sarah placed her hands out into their chests in an attempt to keep them from fighting, “You’re missing the boat. This isn’t about a pissing contest or anyone’s wounded ego. Right now we need to stick together to help Blake get Seth out of this situation. They are the victims in all of this and we can’t let this take them under. That’s what is really important and it’s about time that you all start realizing it.”


“You’ve got ten minutes Alexander,” the guard explained opening up the door to the interrogation room as Seth found himself wondering if Rex and Ken had come up with something quicker than anticipated to help him out of the predicament he was in. However, when he stepped into the room, he found himself face to face with one of the last people he anticipated discovering at the police station. “Blake.”

“Seth,” she spoke his name with a small smile even though the lines of her otherwise beautiful face were blurred by bruises and scrapes. She had a black eye forming just below the bandage on her forehead and in that moment he rushed over to her worried about the woman he loved.

“What are you doing here?” he questioned taking a long look at her as it was clear this was the last place she should have been in that moment.

“I couldn’t leave you alone,” she divulged reaching out for him in a slow, tentative movement with one arm. She gritted her teeth, feeling pain in the moment as her fingers brushed up against his arm, “not when you needed me.”

“You shouldn’t be here,” Seth reminded her as he reached out to cup her face in his hands despite the handcuffs that were still on his wrists.

“Neither should you,” she whispered, bringing her fingertips over the metal on his wrists.

Seth shuddered and withdrew from her touch as his eyes fell to the floor. He took in an uneasy breath before forcing himself to meet her sad eyes again.

“You shouldn’t be here Blake. You shouldn’t be surrounded by this,” he repeated firmly, his voice raw and unsettled as she reached out to him again.

“Seth, I know that you don’t belong here,” she half pleaded with him. “Neither one of us deserve this after what Valerie’s done.”

“I can’t let her continue to destroy you by having you here,” he confessed painfully. “You need to be in the hospital healing and…”

“How can I heal when my heart is here with you?” she questioned tangling their fingers once again. “Seth, please don’t push me away right now when you and I both know that we need each other more than ever.”

“Blake, it’s just…” he paused as he looked down to their hands again, “I’m so sorry.”

“So am I,” she admitted painfully. “We never should’ve had to face this.”

“It never should have happened and when I think about all we lost,” Seth shook his head before squeezing her hand in his. “I don’t want to lose you too Blake. I need you to take care of yourself.”

“You can’t talk me into leaving Seth. Please stop trying,” she mouthed tearfully. “Please don’t push me away.”

“I’m not pushing. I’m just…” he stopped himself with a sigh before moving in closer to her. He raised his arms up enough to wrap them around her even with the handcuffs on. “Come here.”

“I’m just so scared,” she admitted closing her eyes and falling into his chest as they found a moment with one another dealing with all of the things that had come upon them and were stolen from their lives. It was all so unfair.


“It’s just been a lot of hectic things that have really effected me Heather,” Kyle bit down on his bottom lip feeling her arms holding onto him as if in fear that he was going to be going somewhere or leaving her. Sliding her in closer to him, he loved the feeling of her by him knowing that he needed that feeling right now after all the fear that had been running through him. “I thought for a while I lost one of the closest people to me Heather. I know…I know you don’t like her, but I love her. She’s like my sister. I go to her…I went to her and she was the first one to know I was in love with you Heather. She told me to follow my heart and if I lost her…if I lost her I don’t know what I’d do. Do you remember what I was like when Russ died? I was a wreck and…I can’t go through that again.”

“I remember Kyle, but she’s fine and she is right here with you,” Heather knew she would have to push her own feelings away as she reached up to touch his cheek feeling it almost flaming against her hand showing her he was upset. His eyes were watering over as she shook her head slowly. “You found her Kyle, she’s fine.”

“But what if we had showed up too late? I just can’t get the feeling of that fear I had searching for her with Russ. I was so worried that his Craven guy hurt her. That he took her away from me. Took my family away from me and…,” Kyle could feel her trying to hush him while he shook his head slowly and took in a deep breath. “I know I shouldn’t be contemplating the things that could have been happened, but this Craven guy…he’s a bad…bad guy.”

“Yeah,” she went silent for a moment not quite sure knowing what to say as she found herself having a large lump in her throat that she couldn’t quite swallow. “What happened that made you…so upset?”

“You should have seen Kevin. This guy, while I may not have had the best relationship with him…he was so hurt and the fact that someone could injure him like that…,” Kyle shook his head biting down on his bottom lip thinking about the way they had found Kevin knowing that if they were any later they could have lost him. “He almost died Heather. He was barely there when we found him.”

“But…he’s okay now, right?” she felt her heart race a little thinking about Kevin dying as Kyle nodded. “He’s going to be okay?”

“The last I heard he was doing good in surgery, but I’ve never seen someone like that…so hurt. What if that was Avery? She could have never survived and now I’m just worried that this whole thing is going to happen again. I don’t want to lose the people I love,” Kyle bit down on his bottom lip feeling her hands holding onto his while he shook a bit. “I can’t go through that again.”

“Kyle listen to me,” she begged seeing his hazel eyes staring into her while she bit down on her bottom lip. “You can’t go risking yourself all the time. I love you so much and I’m so afraid that what you are afraid of is going to happen to you Kyle. I can’t lose you. You’re all I’ve got. You’re it. The only thing.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” Kyle swore to her while cupping her face in his hands lovingly before shaking his head slowly. “I’ll always be there for you. I’m not going to turn away from this. I will always fight for you Heather because I love you and I would do anything for you. You’re everything to me.”

“And you’re everything to me,” she whispered seeing him smirk before moving forward to kiss her over and over again while she held onto him tightly. “I don’t know what I would do if I ever lost you.”

“Which is something you will never have to worry about because I will fight for everything I have, just to keep you in my arms. You are my world and my one true thing in life that I keep living for,” Kyle hushed her a bit while pressing her blonde hair behind her ear before shaking his head slowly moving in to kiss her again. “You will be the one thing, I will do everything in my power to come home to you each and every day. You are everything worth fighting for and as long as I have you in my life…I will never give up.”

Hugging her in his arms, he knew that they had the moment between them where it seemed like things could have gone wrong, but he never felt something so strong for anyone in his life. He loved Heather and she was the main reason to fight for anything in his life.

She needed him…just as much as he needed her.


“What seems to be the problem sweetheart,” Richard questioned letting Russ and Avery into his hotel room after he’d received the call from his daughter about needing to see him as soon as possible. Taking in the scrapes and bruising on the side of her face, he stepped forward worry washing over him, “Honey, when you told me that you were fine, I still thought that I should’ve been at the hospital, but when you refused to let me stop by…”

“Daddy I’m fine,” Avery reached out to embrace her father with a welcoming hug, “Better than fine actually.”

“You don’t look it,” he touched the side of her face gently feeling the warmth that spread out over her cheeks. Turning to Russ he couldn’t help but frown, “Why didn’t you tell me that she was in this shape?”

“I look worse than I am dad. Kevin got the brunt of the disaster,” Avery informed her father catching his worried expression after he and Judy had arrived in the thick of things. Reaching for his hand Avery squeezed it gently, “You have to trust me on that dad.”

“I do, but…” Richard eased back to meet her eyes again, “when I think about how I could’ve lost you…”

“You didn’t,” Avery squeezed his hand again, “I’m fine and everything is going to be okay from here on out.”

“Better than okay,” Russ added breaking his silence and moving forward. He glanced over at Judy and smiled, “Hi Judy.”

“Russ,” Judy nodded back at him before turning to Avery, “You scared us you know.”

“I know,” Avery offered up apologetically, “but you can rest assured that I won’t be doing anything stupid anytime soon. I learned my lesson about chasing the bad guys so to speak.”

“Why do I not believe you?” Richard mouthed with an air of skepticism in his tone. His blue eyes darted over towards Russ and he frowned, “The next time she wants to go off on some hero adventure make sure you use any and all means to stop her.”

“I’m not letting her out of my sight. Not now or ever,” Russ promised wrapping his arms around Avery’s slender form before hugging her in closer to him.

“Good I’m going to hold you to that,” Richard replied with a small nod, “Avery you’re a mother now and you need to think about Erin’s needs. She can’t survive with her mother out of her life especially now.”

“I know that daddy,” Avery curled her lip in a pout, “and really I’m fine. I didn’t come all the way over here for you to give me a lecture especially when Russ and I have some big news for you.”

“Big news,” Richard repeated eyeing them closely before Judy stepped forward as well. “It sounds important.”

“It is,” Russ confessed with a sheepish grin before placing his hands over Avery’s abdomen in a small, intimate movement.

“Oh my God,” Judy’s jaw dropped in astonishment as she looked between Russ and Avery, “You’re pregnant again, aren’t you?”

“Pregnant?” Avery practically choked on the word. She exchanged glances with Russ before shaking her head, “No, no we’re not pregnant again. At least we haven’t been trying for that just yet since Erin is so young still and…”

“It doesn’t mean that we won’t try in the future, but right now that’s not what we came here to tell you,” Russ added with a small laugh feeling Avery lace her fingers with his.

“Well if you’re not pregnant, then what has you glowing like that?” Richard couldn’t help but question watching his daughter closely.

“Oh I don’t know,” Avery raised her hand in the air waving around the ring on her finger, “I can’t quite put my finger on it. Can you Russ?”

“No, not at all,” Russ shook his head raising his hand as well to give Richard and Judy a glimpse of their matching wedding bands.

“Wait a minute,” Richard frowned over at the both of them, “Don’t tell me that you two jumped the gun and ran off to get married again without us. I know I was running late, but…”

“No daddy that’s not is,” Avery shook her head quickly realizing she’d given her father the wrong idea, “That’s not it at all. You see Russ and I just found out that the whole story about Brant and I being married was nothing more than a lie he and Hart must’ve cooked up to cause trouble. The fact to the matter is that Russ and I have been married since our first wedding out here and everything else that happened is irrelevant.”

“So you mean…” Judy’s eyes sparkled with delight, “Oh that’s wonderful Avery. Congratulations.”

“Thank you,” Avery rushed forward to embrace Judy, “That means so much to us.”

“I’m glad that this is good news you’ve brought with you today,” Richard noted eyeing Russ for a moment before offering up an embrace, “Welcome back to the family son, although you never really left, did you?”

“Not even remotely close to it, nor do I ever plan on doing so,” Russ added brightly before he met Avery’s eyes again, “Although Avery and I realize in our already being married it puts a bit of a change on the plans we had for the wedding.”

“What do you mean?” Judy questioned sensing something more behind their eyes.

“Well you see Avery and I talked about having a second ceremony, but since we’re already married it kind of defeats the purpose,” Russ explained as Avery moved in beside him again.

“I know that we talked about you giving me away,” Avery informed her father, “but the last wedding that I had was really so very wonderful that I don’t think now is the time to put a second spin on it.”

“I can understand that, but since everyone is already here…” Richard started thinking about all that had gone into planning the wedding.

“I’m not saying that we should let go of the church either,” Avery blurted out quickly catching the puzzled expression on her father and Judy’s face. “You see as you said we have the whole family here so it only makes sense to have a celebration. I got to thinking that while I wasn’t able to have you walk me down the isle, that maybe perhaps I could be the one to walk you down the isle.”

“Wait, what…” Richard blinked back at her confusion carrying in over him.

“I know that your divorce from Brooke was just finalized because I caught the papers the last time I visited you at your office, so you don’t have that holding you back any longer,” Avery explained to him with a warm grin, “I’m not sure when you and Judy wanted to take the plunge, but I figured now that you’re free…”

“You’re free…” Judy replied with a surprised expression.

Richard nodded, “I was going to tell you after the wedding was over because I figured that I would go through with this whole romantic proposal all over again. Of course it would seem that my daughter kind of jumped the gun on the good news.”

“I’m sorry. I thought you’d already told her,” Avery felt a blush rise over her features, “but look I can make it up to you. Russ and I talked about it and if you two are willing we want you to consider the offer.”

“Oh we couldn’t,” Judy began still trying to process what she’d learned about Richard.

“Of course you can,” Russ interjected with a grin of his own, “This place is beautiful especially around this time of year and we’ve thought of everything. There isn’t anything that you’ll have to add to the wedding process…”

“Well except for maybe finding Judy a dress, but that won’t be hard because I know a few places around here that can work that one out,” Avery offered up brightly thinking about the idea she and Russ had come up with. “It shouldn’t take long to get the perfect dress.”

“Or to get Diane and Deidra out here as well if you’d like,” Russ continued enthusiastically. “I can make a few phone calls and have them flown out here on a private jet and…”

“I don’t…I don’t know what to say…” Judy paused glancing over at Richard, “Rick.”

“I have to admit it does sound like a good offer Judy,” Richard beamed at the notion, “We have waited a long time to be together and we aren’t getting any younger.”

“So are you saying that you want to…that you want to just go for it?” Judy’s eyes widened with clear interest.

“Judy, I’ve wanted to marry you since the first moment I met you all of those years ago. My heart has always been filled with love for you and only you,” Richard confessed reaching out to touch her cheek gently, “There’s nothing I would want more in this world than to finally have the honor of having you as my wife.”

“With a proposal like that how can a girl refuse,” Judy beamed feeling a giddiness carry over her.

“Then let’s do it. Let’s take them up on the offer and let’s get married,” Richard decided with a newfound confidence in his tone.

“Yes, oh yes,” Judy blurted out excitedly as Russ and Avery exchanged proud glances thankful that they were able to put an even more positive spin on things now that they’d given Richard and Judy an opportunity to finally have their dreams become a reality in their lives once and for all.


“Everything seems to be okay with your leg,” Steve announced taking a step away from Kevin’s hospital bed. He surveyed the length of Kevin’s thigh for a moment before nodding towards the bandage on Kevin’s leg, “I can have a nurse bring in some more dressing for that, but I think I did a good job with that one considering.”

“You did better than good,” Ria added approvingly from her position beside him, “That’s some of the best stitching I’ve ever seen.”

“Well, what can I say I have the magic touch,” Steve winked over at Ria moving away from Kevin’s bed, but his eyes remained on Ria.

“And I’m sure it’s needed with one of your other patients since I’m fine,” Kevin scoffed heavy sarcasm in his tone. He folded his arms in front of his chest before glaring up at Steve, “Thanks for the check up Doc, but we’ve got it covered in here without you.”

“Oh Kevin be nice,” Ria waved her hand dismissively before turning to Steve again, “Don’t mind him. He’s just a bit moody after everything he’s been through.”

“I can’t say I blame him,” Steve replied looking over at Kevin with a warm smile, “Given that you were in that cavern for so long you’re lucky that nothing worse happened to your leg. That woman who was with you really did a good job in keeping your leg clean after you’d been down there. If she hadn’t done what she did, then there is no telling what might’ve happened…”

“I’m just glad that they found him,” Ria announced feeling Kevin reaching out to take her hand in his.

“All I could think about was getting home to my baby,” Kevin explained forcing a fake smile over at Steve, “because nothing in this world could keep me from my fiancée.”

“Fiancée?” Steve repeated with a curious expression, “Ria, you’re engaged?”

Ria nodded back at him, “Yeah I guess it has been a while since we kept in contact with one another, hasn’t it?”

“Funny how you go from almost marrying someone to never seeing them,” Steve noted moving in to embrace her, “but for what it’s worth, congratulations.”

“Thank you,” Ria embraced him in return causing Kevin’s eyes to grow with agitation. He saw the way that Steve’s large arms wrapped around Ria’s slender waist and a snarl built up in the back of his throat.

“We’re very happy together,” Kevin stated bluntly hoping to give Steve a clue about his desire to be alone with Ria, but it fell upon deaf ears.

“What about you? Are you seeing anyone?” Ria questioned curiously feeling Steve touch her shoulder gently.

“There hasn’t been anyone nearly half as special as you are Ria. I’ve been kicking myself in the butt for months in not making an honest woman out of you,” Steve teased with a small laugh before shaking his head, “Just looking at you right now makes me wonder what was wrong with me to just let you go. You’re incredible.”

“Steve please,” Ria brought her hand up to her face now that a blush rose over her face, “Stop you’re embarrassing me.”

“It’s the truth,” Steve continued nodding over to Kevin, “You’d better treat her right because she’s the best there is out there.”

“I love her very much,” Kevin mouthed ready to say something more when Steve refocused on Ria again.

“Now that you’re here Ria we’ll have to get together. I mean this must be fate that you’re here and I’m here like this,” Steve laughed lightly bringing his fingers up through his dark hair, “You and I must be destined to pick up where we left off together…”

“And just where was that exactly?” Kevin couldn’t help but question feeling his words drown out by Ria’s laughter.

“I don’t think that would be a good idea considering that the last time we were with one another, you were almost arrested for indecent exposure,” Ria teased with an air of amusement in her tone.

“Indecent exposure,” Kevin mouthed under his breath having had enough of Ria’s ex-lover. Regardless of what Steve was doing there, Kevin wanted him out starting now. Tipping his head back he let out a low howl and grasped his leg again, “Ria baby it hurts. The pain is just unbearable.”

“Kevin,” Ria turned to face him as if she’d just noticed him in the room behind her. She made a small movement towards him only to see Steve push himself between the two of them.

“I’ve got this one covered,” Steve waved his hand dismissively before approaching Kevin, “I think we’ll be able to increase your dosage on the pain meds and hopefully get your more comfortable as you heal. I know it feels like forever right now, but with some rehab I’m sure you’ll be back as new again.”

“Right,” Kevin mouthed feeling Steve pat him on the shoulder. Kevin tipped his head up to glare at Steve with angry brown eyes.

“Listen I’ll get a nurse in here in a few minutes and if you need anything,” Steve stepped aside pulling his card out of his breast pocket on his jacket. He handed it over to Ria, “If you just want to talk or anything, my number is on there. My cell phone number is on the back too in case it’s late and you need to reach me.”

“Thanks,” she replied as Kevin watched him lean in to kiss Ria on the cheek.

Kevin felt his blood boiling and the distinct urge to step out of bed and beat Steve with the first blunt object he could find overtake him, but instead he let out another pinched cry. He felt a slight moment of satisfaction carrying over him when Steve backed away from Ria and she turned to tend to Kevin all over again.

“I’ll get that nurse right on your meds Kevin,” Steve promised giving the two of them one last look before leaving the hospital room.

“See and here you were thinking that you were ready to get kinky when the sad truth to the matter is that you’re nowhere near being healed Kevin,” Ria shook her head at him before moving in at his side, “You need to think about getting back on your feet again and getting stronger.”

“Just having you beside me makes me stronger Ria. I love you,” Kevin squeezed her hand in his. He raised her fingers up to his lips and placed a kiss on each digit, “I love you so much and I just can’t imagine not being able to have you beside me. When you weren’t here it was pure torture.”

“That’s how I felt in Coral Valley,” Ria replied thinking about everything that had taken place in his absence. A sudden seriousness carried over her as she took in a breath, “Speaking of which, Kevin there is something that I need to talk to you about…”

“Not before I get to tell you first how much I love you. Ria, I know I’ve been a jerk and I approached everything totally wrong with the Angela situation, but no more. You are the most important thing in this world to me and I don’t want to lose you. I love you and I don’t want to look back anymore,” Kevin offered up in an impassioned plea, “I know that you had every right to leave me time and time again for the way I held onto the past for so very long, but in almost dying it made me see that the past can’t hold me back any longer. My life before we found one another was filled with misery and heartbreak, but you changed that for me. You taught me what it was like to open myself up to love again--to have real, honesty in a relationship and…”

“Kevin,” Ria spoke up again feeling an uneasiness carry over her, but before she could say another word he pressed his index finger over her lips to silence her.

“Ria, I’m a jerk and if you walked out of my life and never looked back no one would blame you. I haven’t treated you fairly and you’ve deserved so much more than I have given you,” he continued a raw emotion in his tone, “You’ve been so incredibly wonderful to me, but I’ve given you mixed signals and hurt you so many times in the past. I was wrong to do that and even more wrong to think that you would just take me as I am and put up with my bullshit. Ria, I love you baby and when I thought I would never see you again, it changed me. It made me see that the only dream I want to hold onto is the one of you and I together. I want to push the past behind us and move forward planning the family that you and I talked about having with one another. Baby, I want to grow old with you and live out all the dreams we both wanted for so very long. I know now that I’m not going to spend my time dwelling on things I can’t change…things that weren’t meant to be changed…”

“Kevin, about that…” Ria reached out to touch his face again, “There’s something we need to talk about…something that…”

“Ria all that matters is having you with me,” he confessed lacing her fingers in his, “All I could think about when I was in surgery was about you and how wonderful you are. Damn, I can’t believe that it took me this long to see how amazing you are, but you really are the one woman I’ve waited my entire life to share my life with. You’re real and honest and…”

“Kevin, please. There is something I need to tell you. Something that…” Ria stopped herself as the door to Kevin’s hospital room opened and she turned to see Angela standing in front of them.

“I hope this isn’t a bad time…” Angela began glancing between the two of them, “because I can come back if…”

“Actually it’s…” Kevin started ready to get rid of Angela so that he and Ria could talk.

“Fine,” Ria sighed taking a step back and trying to collect herself, “I’m sure you two have a lot you need to catch up on. After all she’s the reason you came all the way out here Kevin.”

“Ria, baby I…” Kevin started again sensing something behind Ria’s dark eyes.

“Kevin, I need some air, but I’ll be back,” Ria blurted out without hesitation making her way over towards the door beyond Angela, “I’ll check on the nurse…”

“Ria wait,” Kevin called out to her, but it was too late. She left the room leaving him alone to be with Angela. His dark eyes fell upon Angela’s and he took in a small breath before clearing his throat, “So…”

“So,” Angela replied making a small movement towards him, “Kevin, I think it’s time you and I had a long talk with one another. There are some things we need to get out in the open--things that can’t wait any longer.”

“You aren’t kidding,” Kevin groaned in response knowing full well that after everything was out on the table things were going to change in both of their lives forever. There was no denying that sudden seriousness behind her eyes and in that instant Kevin knew full well that whatever it was Angela had on her mind it was a biggie.


Deana looked around the boutique that the woman in the hotel lobby had recommended. Unable to repress her feeling over being overwhelmed, Deana eyed the rows of dresses in front of her wondering if she’d be able to find something suitable on such short notice. Taking in a breath she stepped forward not really sure on where to start with looking for the perfect dress.

“May I help you?” a salesclerk questioned approaching Deana with a bored expression as Deana began to search through the dresses.

“I sure hope so,” Deana replied with a warm smile, her thick accent carrying over in her nervousness. “I’m looking for a wedding dress.”

“Well obviously otherwise you wouldn’t be here,” the woman replied in a neutral tone, her gaze sweeping beyond Deana to the door that Deana had entered through earlier. “The question is what kind of wedding dress are you searching for?”

“That I’m not really sure on,” Deana replied biting on her lower lip nervously, “You see this is all rather sudden and my fiancé and I kind of just decided to go for the gusto. He proposed to me not that long ago, well actually only a day or so ago and I said yes, so we just decided to get married and throw caution to the wind…”

“Right,” the woman’s gaze was fixed on the door beyond Deana as Deana continued.

“I was hoping for something with an air of sophistication, yet not so reserved that I look like I’m wearing something my grandmother would wear, nor do I really want something that seems prude if that makes sense. I want elegant and sexy without spending a fortune, but not sleazy or too showy considering that…” Deana continued to explain as the bell on the door behind where Deana stood rang and the woman Deana had been speaking with brushed past her as if Deana hadn’t been talking with her.

“Darling you’re here,” the saleswoman gushed ignoring that Deana had been there. Turning around Deana spotted the woman with the million dollar rock on her hand who undoubtedly was about to spend far more than Deana could dream of before her. It was in that moment that it was clear that Deana had lost any and all chances of recapturing the salesclerk’s interest.

“Just as well that she moved on,” a voice captured Deana’s attention causing her to turn around to see a petite brunette woman standing beside her. The woman moved forward, her dark eyes fixed on Deana as she offered up a warm smile, “She is a real witch and she would’ve tried to convince you to spend far more than anything in this place is worth.”

“Really?” Deana tipped her head to the side noticing the way that the woman greeted her with a friendly approach.

“That’s right,” the brunette informed her with a small nod, “This place is way too expensive and nothing of substance is really in here. Though if you’re looking for a dress that fits your qualifications and can be ready when you need it I might be able to help you out.”

“Seriously?” Deana’s eyes widened with a renewed hope that things would be turning out for her, “Oh that would be wonderful. You have no idea how important it is for me to find a dress right away.”

“You’re getting married that soon?” the woman questioned with wide eyes.

Deana nodded swiftly, “Grady doesn’t want to wait. Grady, well he’s my fiancé, and he decided that after the year that we’ve both had that there is no point in wasting time when you find real love. He proposed to me on the beach in the most romantic fashion and… I’m babbling, aren’t I?”

“No, not at all,” the woman curled her finger before motioning for Deana to follow her towards the store’s back exit before motioning to the salesclerk, “She won’t even notice you’re gone considering that she’ll be too busy kissing ass to realize that you would’ve been an easy sale.”

“Her loss,” Deana shrugged her shoulders before following the woman out of the store, “Um, you don’t work there, do you?”

“Heavens no,” the brunette shook her head and laughed, “I just know what it’s like to get caught up in the whole wedding dress fiasco. I was shopping around myself a short while ago and I found that most people in this business were out to screw you over one way or the other and take advantage of your special day.”

“I’ve never done this before, so I’m kind of naïve on the whole wedding thing. Grady really didn’t give me much time to plan it out,” Deana began again watching as the woman’s face darkened ever so slightly.

“Grady’s a pushy kind of guy huh?” the brunette questioned with something flashing behind her eyes. “He must really love you if he wants to get married so quickly after you’ve only been together a short time.”

“I know it seems like a short time, but it’s the real deal,” Deana paused realizing what the woman had said, “Hey how did you know that it’s only been a little while for us?”

“I can see it by the expression on your face,” the brunette covered motioning for Deana to walk with her down the sidewalk leading to another row of stores, “After being with someone for a while you stop thinking of them as perfect and start seeing their flaws. Their whole desperately in love feeling wears down and reality sets in.”

“Not this time it won’t,” Deana shook her head firmly, “This time it’s the real deal. Grady’s everything I ever could’ve wanted in a man. I love him more than I think I’ve ever loved anyone in my life.”

“Love is really a subjective term,” the brunette replied glancing over at her once again, “One moment forever seems like it’s going to last a lifetime and beyond, then the next, well you just find yourself wondering how your world spun out of control and you ended up lost in a sea of misery and regret.”

“That doesn’t sound too positive,” Deana frowned glancing down at the young woman’s finger and spotting the ring on it. “I take it marriage hasn’t been good for you.”

“Oh, well,” the brunette shook her head quickly, “I wouldn’t go that far, but I guess it just didn’t turn out to be everything I’d wanted it to be. I had this dream in my mind about what forever should be like, but then fate stepped in and changed things. I guess I was hoping for the moon and the stars, but instead I got what was really out there. Love in the real world isn’t exactly like it is in the movies where two people who are destined to be together end up living out that dream with one another.”

“Not in my world,” Dean frowned sensing the pain behind the woman’s eyes, “When you find love in your life you should never let go of it because the way I see it, love is rare in this world and it’s something worth holding onto. It’s what keeps us alive and makes us strong.”

“Love doesn’t cure everything that ails us, but then again this isn’t about me,” the brunette offered up with a poignant smile, “You could say that chance stole my one attempt at real happiness and now well, I guess I’m bitter about it.”

“I would’ve thought that ring on your finger was a sign of happiness,” Deana motioned to the diamond the woman was wearing.

“This is only part of an obligation,” the brunette held her hand up to inspect her own oversized diamond, “The only time I really felt passion was when, well it was a long time ago and I was wrong. I thought it was real, but I had no idea just how wrong I was.”

“That’s so sad. What happened,” Deana couldn’t help but ask her with a curious expression.

“I guess you could say that both of our demons were larger than the love that we shared,” the brunette paused a shadow crossing over the lines of her face before she forced a smile, “but I’m sure that’s not true for you and your Grady.”

“We’ve had our share of ups and downs, but all in all I think that we were meant to find one another,” Deana confessed brightly a sparkle behind her eyes at the mention of Grady, “From the first moment I met him I knew that he would be making an impact. I just never expected him to be so aggressive about winning me over.”

“So he chased you?” the brunette arched a surprised brow.

Deana nodded, “He wouldn’t take no for an answer until I agreed to go out on a date with him and even then, well I fought it tooth and nail, but now…well I can’t even begin to imagine my life without him.”

“I’ll bet,” the brunette replied pausing for a moment, “Look I don’t mean to be a downer today. It’s clear that you’ve got a lot ahead of you and I really shouldn’t be bothering you.”

“No, you’re not bothering me at all,” Deana shook her head quickly and smiled at the woman, “Believe me if it wasn’t for you I probably would’ve let that salesclerk treat me badly and rip me off out of a small fortune, which I can honestly tell you would not have been good. I can barely keep my head above water as it is without worrying about paying what I would on a new car for a dress.”

“This place has a much better selection than the other one and you’ll find you can still afford a nice honeymoon after,” the brunette paused tensing up at the words.

“Actually thanks,” Deana replied watching the woman take a step back.

“Well I should be on my way. I’ve got things that I should be getting to,” the brunette motioned to the street beyond where they were.

“Right,” Deana nodded glancing over at the store window again and feeling a bit intimidated, “actually wait…”

“Yes?” the brunette turned around to face her again.

“Look, I have to be honest with you when I say that I’m really kind of nervous about this. I’m not exactly cultured in the whole wedding protocol and I don’t really have anyone to help me figure it all out,” Deana paused feeling her face grow hot with embarrassment, “I realize that we just met and all, but maybe you could offer me some tips on what I should get in there. As I said before I don’t have the first clue where to start.”

“You mean you want me to help you with picking out a dress?” the brunette arched a surprised brow.

“Does that sound pathetic?” Deana brought her hand up to her face feeling a warmth carry over her. “I know I seem like I’m lost, but that’s because I really am. If you wouldn’t have steered me clear of that mess in the other store, then I don’t know what I would be wearing today.”

“I don’t know if…” the woman hesitated before finally nodding, “Sure, I’ll help you.”

“Really?” Deana beamed with the thought, “Oh you have no idea how much this means to me. I want things to be perfect for Grady. I want him to be surprised and…”

“I have no doubt in my mind that Grady will be in for the surprise of his life once we find you a dress,” the woman replied before Deana offered her hand to her.

“Thank you so much,” Deana shook her hand quickly feeling a newfound eagerness carry over her, “Oh by the way my name is Deana.”

“Hi Deana. I’m…” the woman paused looking to the store window just beyond the dress shop they were in. She noticed the sparkling dishes in front of her before her eyes met Deana’s once again, “Crystal.”

“Well Crystal, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I think my luck is changing now that you and I have crossed paths,” Deana offered up as Crystal reached for the door to open it for Deana.

“You have no idea,” Crystal mouthed under her breath watching Deana enter the bridal shop with hopes and plans for the future--a future that Crystal found herself contemplating rather heavily now that it seemed that fate had thrown her yet another surprising curve ball!


...to be continued...