1×11 “Never Let Me Go”

Episode 1×11 “Never Let Me Go”
Written by: Chirs Coleman/Kelly Zollo
Warning: Episode contains language, sexual situations and content
Guest Staring: Robyn Wright (Tess Blisston)


Chauncey stood at the altar in horror as Braden rose from his chair, he could already see a few guests leaving making their way to the reporters at the door. Many were DGI shareholders and chairs their families and he could see his father was looking around for Talia to fix the mess. He still couldn’t believe that Selina had picked today of all days to do this, one of the biggest days of the year their wedding day. He could swear he saw Greer out of the corner of his eyes towards the back a smug grin on her face before he turned to Selina and then glared at Braden. He could almost swear his father and Walter were ready to pounce on each other over the events. This was something that would not be forgiven anytime soon publicly humiliating him here like this.

“I hope this haunts you both. You better watch out Fraiser soon she’ll be all about stealing your son from you because she feels she is entitled to him.” Chauncey said his voice seething at Braden before he looked at Selina. His entire body was shaking with rage. “This is far from over and I will make it my life’s work to destroy you both.” Turning on his heel he stormed past his parents and family out of the wedding. He needed air and space to think and plan his destruction of them both.

Braden watched Chauncey leave and then looked at all the guests faces, he saw some leave and honestly he didn’t care it wasn’t as if it was his wedding he wouldn’t have invited them anyway. Selina looked like she needed a few moment and he agreed so did he he had to explain to Dylan what was going on. Give his parents a chance to digest everything and then they could all go from there. It was unconventional he knew that much, he would probably venture to guess breaking up a wedding and marrying the same day was not lucky in the least. However he and Selina had waited for years for this chance and he was tired of waiting they had waited long enough. Looking at the reverend and then at Selina he took her hand in his.

“Can we have a few minutes or so. Just to settle everyone down and talk to the kids and our families about this first?” Braden asked hoping Selina agreed there had been so much drama in the last half hour that they needed it to settle just a bit. Dylan and Maddie would be confused about what was going on his family was confused and he was sure hers were too. “We can pick this right back up. I promise.”

Selina waved at Chauncey good riddance she smirked darkly as her eyes narrowed at Lowell. She saw the old man looking at her with death. His blood taken away by a woman. Believe it or not it wasn’t Maddie being taken it was all about embarrassing Chauncey. Burning the golden boy in public. Touche Chauncey she knew the game was on and seeing Mason face he was scared as hell. Today was about to move pieces on the board that nobody understood. Today would forever divide the Devonshire and Delacroix. The war was on.

“I love you and I do need a moment. I’m sorry he dragged all this up.” Selina looked at the Devonshire’s faces. She smiled at Dani and nodded her head. Her hands were shaking as her eyes pooled. “Please give us a moment I need to talk to Maddie and I’ll be back.” She quickly rushed out wondering where the hell did Mason store Maddie. She had to get to her before Chauncey because he’d no doubt poison Maddie against her. As she held onto Braden hand she walked out the ballroom and the whisper and hisses were everywhere. Selina almost felt like she was suffocating when she saw Mason and Jamal.

“Jamal? Mason where are the kids?” She said looking at Braden. “Where did Chauncey go?”

“Man I saw his punk ass go on the elevator. I’m glad you with my sis man ya’ll should have been together.” Jamal said looking at them. “Brooke said we can put them in this room on the sixth floor. Here.”

Mason had passed Chauncey on his way back in looking at the guests that were in now disarray has he approached his sister and Braden. He made sure that Dylan and Maddie had left the room and they were waiting in the hotel lobby for their parents to explain what was going on. It wasn’t his place and they deserved to hear it from their parents.

“They’re in the lobby.” Mason said as he looked between them and the guest that had started to leave that obviously were in the corner of Chauncey.

Braden looked at his parents and his sister before following Selina out of the room towards the doors. People were whispering and hissing, some of them seemed happy with the news and others just seemed shocked. He knew at the moment that the most important thing was telling Dylan what was going on. By the time he reached the door with Selina his parents had met them there.

“Give us a few moments alright?” Braden said looking at his mother wanting her approval on the matter and then looking at his father.

Walter had watched the events unfold and part of him was proud yet horrified at his son and then he watched Lowell’s face. Never in a million years did he think this would feel that good that he had won with Lowell, his son was going to marry Selina. Lauren looked half disgusted yet happy and he looked at his daughter sitting next to Jackson and felt his heart drop. How could he deny his son and yet at the same time warn his daughter to not follow hers.

“You don’t have to do this today.” Walter said looking between them both wanting them to understand once they did this humiliate Chauncey there was no coming back Lowell would be out for blood.

“We know what we are doing. I’m all for the war if that’s what Chauncey wants.” She said as she ran her hand down her dress. Touching Lauren shoulder with a smile she entered the room as she looked back at Walter. “I’m grateful for my new family.”

Maddie looked up wondering what in the hell was going on. Why was Braden entering with her mom holding hands. They looked shaken up but they had such happy expressions on their faces. As she stood up she quickly walked to her mom. “Where’s dad?”

“Guys we need to talk to you.” Selina said as she lead Maddie to the couch again. “I choose today not to marry your father. I guess I feel like I’ve been here and done that. Happiness with adults is tricky and you have been in my life since you were a baby. You deserve this much that I won’t be with your father any longer. Me and Chauncey were toxic sweetie but to be honest your father.” She turned to Dylan. “Is the only man who I have loved forever. So we have chosen to get married today if you two don’t mind.”

Maddie looked at Dylan and started to laughed. “Shit dad is going to be pissed.”

“Maddie!” Selina said looking at her daughter with smirk. “Watch your mouth or you’re grounded.”

“What he’s steaming right now you did this in front of everyone. God I’d hate to be anyone in his way but I knew we were going to end up heading for divorce.”

“What?” Selina asked incredulously as she laughed. “I wouldn’t have divorced him if I married him until you were in college.”

“Please my father’s a whore monger no offense to you mom. There is such a major difference between you two. Trust me I think Mr. Fraiser or step-daddy is much more your speed.” Maddie smiled at Dylan. “What do you think? I’m happy that you aren’t pretending for me. You love that much that you were going to marry someone you don’t love. That’s cool.”

Looking at Dylan, Selina smiled. “I’m not looking to replace your mother, I’m looking to be another set of eyes for your mom and dad. I’m not here to change anything or be anything but me. Is this alright with you?”

Braden didn’t have time to talk to his parents his mother looked like she was still in shock at the events and his father’s warning was that a warning. He and Selina had wasted years apart and now was their chance to take a chance. Yes it was at Chauncey’s expense and that meant that they would have to watch out now, but it is what is was. Walking into the room he looked at his son as Selina explained to him and Maddie what was going on. It was Dylan’s word at the moment he would do anything to make him happy. Dylan also wasn’t like other kids he knew that he and his mother were never going to be together.

Dylan looked at his dad and then at Selina, she would never be his mother. His mother may of been a mess on and off over the years but that was their family. He wanted his dad to be happy he could tell that his grandparents were both wary of the events.

“I just want you to be happy dad. Me and Maddie are cool.” Dylan said looking between them he and Maddie had been friends for years and he always kinda thought of her as the sister he didn’t have.

Braden got down and looked at his son with a smile before looking at Maddie and Selina he knew better than to bad mouth Chauncey. Chauncey no matter what was still Maddie’s father and always would be he’d always respect that. He could tell the guests were still getting anxious out in the hallway as he saw his sister pointing back at the room.

“Well now that this is all settled. Should we?” Braden said smiling as Dylan nodded and he waited for Selina and Maddie to go back in the room to continue the ceremony.

“I’m getting married again.” She laughed kissing Braden passionately as she took Maddie and Dylan hand. “Come on I think we can have Jon, and Devin up there but you should be your dad’s best man and you should be my maid of honor. Let’s go.”

“Then this cutesy dress so isn’t for this even mom! I should be wearing a slinky number.” Maddie said playfully.

Selina exhaled as she looked at Braden. “Welcome to having a teenage daughter.” She whispered playfully. “Let’s go get married.”


Skye was amused when Jon had placed the coat on her shoulders always such a gentleman to her, maybe that was part of the thrill of him and Jackson they were quite opposites. There were no tracks on her arms because she had been clean since she left Atlas Falls life happened and was funny like that. Being told to leave town by Lowell at the time, after she made Esme leave town at the same time she was faced with a choice. She sent those thoughts to the back of her head now as she stared at Jon, life was better now she had been to rehab and was in recovery she hadn’t slipped up once since then. Of course she was tempted sometimes but she had found other outlets like this venture she and Merci were on at the moment. Combined that thrill with bed partners she was good again, she would venture to say she was almost happy again. She had learned a long time ago that happy endings didn’t happen for people like her in the long run.

“Yes I’m clean I didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter when everything imploded. You may of been using me Jon but I was using you in many ways as well. That was part of the fun in it or did you forget that? You were finally beating Jackson.” Skye said softly moving towards him she placed her hand on his chest that was something she knew fueled Jon. Knowing that he had one up on a Devonshire was part of the thrill for Jon and she was more than happy to encourage that then and even now. Leaning up to his ear she gently nibbled on it feeling his dick press into her belly. “If you notice I certainly didn’t seek him out when I arrived. Would you prefer that I do? I’m sure he wouldn’t be so cold to me.”

“Jackson is with Dani now and leave them alone.” Jon whispered into her ear as his teeth nibbled on her ear. It had been so long. So many bombs were going off at the time. That woman Esme visited him. She told Jon all the things that Skye was truly after. Then she vanished around the same time Skye left Atlas Falls. As he lifted her arm slowly he kissed it. “I’ve never seen you look more beautiful. I missed you Kid.” His voice gruff and full of lust. “It’s been a long time since we’ve been together. I’ve been lonely without you Skye but you didn’t care about me at that time. What’s different now?” Jon had to ask the question that was in his mind.

“You lived a fast life my dear or did you forget? It was all about champagne bottles not beer bottles. Skye nothing has changed with me I’m a cop now. I’m clean from anti-depressants and thing that were like drugs to me. Skye you sent me on a rollercoaster and it’s like you’re already playing the game again. I want you still and I missed you but if it’s still Jackson vs Jon over Skye and now Dani. No I’m out not you. You play your game just leave me out.” He leaned down so close he could kiss her. “Of it.” Letting the tip of his tongue touch her lips. One thing he had to tell her was life moved on and new woman stepped into the warzone of Jon and Jackson. To Mr. Devonshire she was old ass. To him she was his sky, moon, and the stars.

“It has been a long time Jon. Everything is different now as you pointed out.” Skye said ignoring the warning about Jackson being with Dani. She could play the game and play it better than Jon could ever imagine she’d gotten smarter since she had been gone, had learned more. When he mentioned her not caring she pulled back from him a frown on her face with a pout that was not true she did care about him. She had just been in such a fucked up place to acknowledge that her hands traveled down his sides back to the bulge in his pants. “Of course I cared Jon.”

Seeing how he didn’t object she massaged him through his slacks again watching his face as she did so, he still wanted her. Leaning up she let her lips brush against his eagerly she was done talking at the moment. Letting her fingers trail the zipper on his slacks she lowered it slowly. “I didn’t forget Jon. I remember exactly how you like it wild and spur of the moment. Tell me you don’t want this.” She let her hand into his pants to wrap around him while they kissed and she felt him lifting her skirt, her tongue bit his playfully. Her body desperate for him at this point she could play both sides with Jon, she could tip the scales again. “Let’s get back to where we were Jon.”

Jon almost was loss in the moment. Jon almost got lost into Skye’s words again. He grabbed her hand and controlled his lapsed breathing. Then he took her hand and kissed it softly. “The fact remain that we were toxic and as much as I can’t stop pinching myself that you’re back. I need to know that I’m first priority Skye. No matter what you say you’ve always had a way around the rich and powerful. Or don’t you remember? I was left picking up my life all alone. Skye I wasn’t a drug addict but I was addicted to our sex. You are toxic to me and as much as I want to sink into your body. I want to slip inside of you so badly but I can’t right now.”

Jon placed his forehead on hers. “You look amazing and I’m so happy you’re all better.” He exhaled as he looked into her eyes. “Before I jump back into this Skye I gotta close a couple of doors. If we are going to do this right then you close Jackson door. I’ll close Cassie’s okay if you want me that’s not hard. Not hard as I am right now for you.” He leaned in and kissed her again.

Merci was looking for Skye to introduce her to a few new friends when she saw Cassandra lurking watching Skye and Jon. “Oh they are still hot for each other. You know passion like that Cassie doesn’t go away. I mean look at them they are stunning aren’t they. They look like they belong together and no doubt you’ve already screwed it up. Jon is a catch a military man and cop who is sexually a beast. You ruined your shot and it must feel really bad right now? Watching them reconnect in such a powerful and sensual way.”

Cassie had went to the terrace for a moment when the wedding went to hell and then watched as Skye Morgan and Jon got intimate on the balcony. Her stomach sank Thor had been right and this was why she didn’t give her heart to men. She had planned on interrupting the two throwing something at Jon and then realized she didn’t have a place. Merci Dubois was out of line as usual and she rolled her eyes at her. Merci who used to do a few lines with Skye at the club, Merci who had no qualms about threesomes with Skye in the past. The girl like Skye was used up trash folding her arms she looked at Merci.

“Tell your skank of a friend she can have him. Then again maybe you two can share. I heard whores like you like that sort of thing.” Cassie spat before walking away God she needed a fucking drink at the moment. Lowering her head she disappeared back into the crowd.

Miranda looked over at Devin as she saw Chauncey rush out of the wedding and then looked at Braden and Selina yeah that was weird. Looking around the room she then realized Jon was nowhere in sight he was Braden’s best friend. Shouldn’t he be here pulling Devin’s arm out of the room she scoured the room seeing Cassie enter from the balcony. She heard Devin on her heels as she saw Merci at the door smirking at her and then glared at her brother his pants unzipped Skye all too gleeful to be wrecking her brother’s life again. Skye was a virus in Jon’s life and she refused to watch that shit happen again.

“Braden’s getting married you should probably zip up from the whore and be in attendance.” Miranda said watching Devin’s mouth fall open and then shot daggers at Merci to try it with her. She’d heard all about Merci coming onto her boyfriend the last few weeks. “I would say nice to see you again Skye but that just wouldn’t be my style. Stay the hell away from my brother and for good measure Jackson too.”

Skye had been willing to tell Jon everything that he needed to hear in that moment but instead they were rudely interrupted by his annoying as fuck sister. She turned to look at Miranda as she saw Merci there too. Stepping back from Jon she wiped her lips if anything to annoy Miranda into thinking she blew her brother and only to get a rile out of her. She saw Devin looking at them all like he could grab Miranda and hold her back and she wondered who Jon would defend her or his bitch of a sister. Deep down she knew the answer and that reminded her of why she was home in the first place money and to focus on that.

“I see your sister is still a raging bitch Jon. That or Devin isn’t doing as good of job with her as you are with the women. When you’re over her bossing you around about who to be with you have my number it hasn’t changed. I am sure you or Jackson will be calling.” Skye said handing him back his coat as she took out her lipstick to reapply it before looking at Merci. Wanting to make sure she got that last dig in before she looked at Miranda and Devin. “I heard he’s with Dani she’s almost as fucking boring as you are. But we all know that a real men like their women like me and Merci.”

Devin saw Miranda lunge and pulled her back looking at Jon for help. Skye and Merci looked smug as shit. “Come on Miranda we have a wedding to get back to inside.”

“Oh Miranda that color isn’t good on you it drowns out the bitch that rolls out of your mouth.” Merci said slowly strolling to Skye as she wrapped her arm around her. “It’s disgusting isn’t it that she’s so obsessed with her. Too flower in the attic for my liking. Sorry Dev you’ll matchup to Jon.” She laughed as she took Skye hand. “I have a wedding to fix so how about you help me keep my reputation as the best party planner in Atlas Falls.”

Jon walked away with Miranda and Devin. He noticed Devin looking at Merci like she was a bone and he was a hungry dog. “You know maybe what Merci said was true. You’ve been undercover and neglecting your relationship. I have this and I don’t need a little big sister understood Miranda. I’m the big brother here. Okay? I might have been caught with my zipper down but I was telling her we can’t be together. Not unless she has her life in line. Then we will see I mean God Miranda.” Jon said as he grabbed a champagne flute. “I’m thinking we are going to be best men. Where is the impromptu groom.”

Miranda watched them both leave with a scowl on her face frankly she didn’t owe either Skye or Merci an explanation she wasn’t the one that played around with people. Or destroyed lives and she saw Devin look at Merci and wanted to smack Jon. She and Devin were not having problems because of the job, it was stressful that was it. She looked around the room for Dani and spotted her.

“I’ll see you guys inside. I am sure Braden wants you both up there.” Miranda said at least wanting to give Dani the heads up the viper bitch was back in town. Her friend didn’t need to be railroaded again and honestly she didn’t trust Jackson to not jump the bitch either.

Devin watched Miranda leave and felt guilty for looking at Merci when she walked away. Merci was cute and funny but it wasn’t like he’d ever act on it with her especially while he was dating Jon’s sister. Looking over at Jon he took a breath seeing Braden and Selina moving back inside the room. It was apparently time.

“Let’s just go watch Braden get the girl for once alright? We can figure out the rest of this later.” Devin said waiting for Jon to agree he and Miranda needed a break from each other.

“Fine but I’m not in trouble you are. She’s going to be pissed at you tonight.” Jon laughed as he wrapped his arm around his friend. “You know the worse part? She’s not mad at you she’s pissed at me and she’s going to take it out on you.” He teased Devin as they collectively walked up on Jon.

Just as Yasmine exited the bathroom she stopped cold in her tracks. As she saw Mia walking past her. Then it hit her as she looked at Jamal across her room. Her heart stopped. She’d sold drugs in front of her and she was with all the police. She was conversing with all the 5-0. Yasmine felt dumb for letting the bitch even in her circle. It was stupid as fuck for her to open herself up to a new bitch. Mia if that was her real name. Yasmine knew she had to watch this bitch. She had to figure out how much she had on her. Straight up she should be calling Kendrick because bitch needed to be in a body bag. Snitches get stitches and undercovers were done even uglier. She slowly looked over at Jamal and as it dawned on who that was. Mia was a narc. This shit was getting uglier by the second.


Selina stood before Braden with a dreamy look on her face. As she held her arms around herself she looked deeply into his eyes. Today was the day of her new life beginning. As the preacher took their hands and put them together. She felt a release of stress and weight. Floating on a high Selina was in love with this man to the bare bones in her body. As she followed the preacher’s word reciting them to and with Braden. This man had baptised her and given her her first communion. God was good today because she was breathlessly in love with him. As she held his hand looking deeply into his eyes. As Selina exhaled softly slowly touching his face.

“Today I’m here to join you two souls into one. Interestingly enough I already said that once but I want to give you two a chance to speak to each other.” The Reverend said as he touched her face.

“I spent years miserable in a relationship that I couldn’t escape it. I have had so much pain in these last few years but just like a Phoenix rising from the flame. You brought me back to life and I never want to feel that unhappy again. Today begins a life that I deserve and a life that I never thought would be anything but a dream. I fought today and I won everything that I thought I deserved. You are my partner, you are my friend, you are my soulmate Braden. I love you with all my heart my love and thank-you for opening your family and son to me. We are about to be a happy family God this is what I’ve always wanted.” Selina said wiping a tear. “I take you forever.” Selina said softly as she waited to hear his words.

Braden stood up at the altar Dylan by his side with Jon and Devin behind his eyes focused in on Selina this was really happening. He had imagined this moment a lot over the last few years before Dylan was conceived and now that it was happening it felt unreal and comforting all at the same time. As he looked out in the crowd at some of the empty seats he knew that it was the right move for him, for Dylan and for Selina they loved each other. He had to let out a laugh at the reverend as he began the wedding ceremony for a different couple and he could see some of the guests do the same. He smiled at her as she touched his face and then took her hand while she said her words to him.

“When you told me a few weeks ago to wait on you I wasn’t sure what to expect but I know it wasn’t this. But now that I know I know this is right we’ve been through alot together and apart and it brought us all the way back to here. I’ve been in love with you since political science class in college, you’ve been my best friend since then. You’ve always been a part of the family now we just get to make it official.” Braden said smiling at her and he watched Tamara in the crowd and saw the hurt on her face. It wasn’t something he could avoid they tried to make it work for Dylan but deep down they both knew where his heart had always been. He looked back at Selina squeezing her hand in his. “I’ll take you as long as I can have you and if that’s forever then it’s forever.”

“Forever and ever.” She said laughing with tears falling down her face. Her heartbeat was pulsating because she was so happy. The feelings running through her right now. She was happy and the smile that was on her face wasn’t going away. As she slowly stroked his cheek as she looked at her brother. “I knew you wouldn’t have a ring and I happened to know which one I wanted so I got us rings. Plus I did technically propose to you.” Handing the ring’s over to the Reverend.

“You’re prepared.” Jamal called out as everyone laughed.

“I bless these rings to bind your souls together forever and let these two circles signify two souls and lives binded. Something I feel between you two is true undying love. You’ll always have that.” The Reverend said handing Selina, Braden’s ring. “Selina Marie Delacroix, do you take Braden Stephen Fraiser to be your husband, to have and hold from this day forward; for better or for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and health; to love and cherish from this day forward until death does us apart.”

Selina looked in his eyes. “I do for all the days of my life. I do.” She said laughing excitedly.

“Well she’s ready.” The Reverend said playfully. “And do you Braden Stephen Fraiser take Selina Marie Delacroix to be your lawfully married wife; to have and hold from this day forward; for better or for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and health; to love and cherish from this day forward until death does us apart.”

“I do.” Braden said looking at her and placing her own ring on her finger that was something that was never going to go away in his mind, this moment.

Braden watched his family his mother dabbing her eyes his father was looking at him with pride and he could tell a snide smirk was going to Lowell. His sister looking at them and for once seeing her smile. The Devonshire’s were another matter Lowell was scowling at them and then Jackie looked horrified and concerned. He wasn’t sure about Tony he looked happy but there was an aura of sadness about him as well. His eyes turned back to Selina and he squeezed her hands in his own wanting to reassure her that now that they said I do they couldn’t go back from this.

“Now that we’ve got that out of the way Reverend if you wouldn’t mind finishing? I’d like to kiss my gorgeous new wife and then get out of this stuffy God awful decorated room.” Braden said pausing for a moment as he heard his sister chuckle. It was awful decorations inside the room something he would have never chosen but the after party. He could do that and celebrate with his friends and family. “Besides I’ve heard that my father in law provided an excellent menu that I am dying to try.”

“I now pronounce you husband and wife you may kiss your bride.” Reverend said as he stood back. “I now introduce Mr. and Ms. Braden Fraiser!”

Selina was gusted into Braden in his arms as his lips pressed against her’s as she released a laugh as the pictures flashed. The cheers and rounds of applause were no doubt from the Fraiser’s and friends. Slowly touching his face she was so happy and in love. Stepping on whomever to get what she wanted. It was her happy ending and it was her’s alone. Smirking at Dani and Jackson she purposely threw the bouquet of gardenias in their direction playfully. Seeing Jackson catch it and bow only made her feel more happy.

“I hope he eats.” She whispered. “My father looks absolutely sick and I wonder if it’s for him not knowing how unhappy I truly was or is it the war that will no doubt be on. I don’t care anymore I love you and we are a family no doubt you are my soulmate and the best man I truly ever known.” Selina said ecstatic to get out of this wedding dress and her second one which was much more comfortable. “Let’s go party.”

Braden pulled her to him and kissed her relishing in the perfect moment that they had created together they finally did it. He saw her toss the bouquet into the crowd and saw his sister’s wayward glance at the gesture. He wanted her to be happy too and maybe this time it would be different even though he knew she could harden her heart when needed. He looked back at Selina and nodded his head it was time to celebrate their union finally. He could tell his parents were still wary would be the best way to describe them but he knew this was right for him. He saw Tamara still glaring at him and David wondering what was going on but knew he couldn’t think about that right now either.

“I love you so much.” Selina said softly into his ear as she raised her hand up with Braden they were united. Everyone still was shocked but she just married the love of her life. As they walked down aisle dancing and smiled at everyone.


Max watched the crowd for Selina’s reception a plate in her hand as she looked at them all, celebrating Selina’s union to Braden Fraiser. Irony in many ways since it was supposed to be a celebration for Selina and Chauncey reflecting on that she wondered if it would be a very different atmosphere filled of fake pleasantries and politeness. Chauncey was no doubt off and pouting and plotting his revenge. Instead Braden and Selina were on the dance floor dancing, Jackson was with Dani doing the same. Maddie was smiling in the corner with Dylan. Her parents were making the rounds in the room as was Tony. It was as if time stopped and for a small moment her family was putting happiness first a strange concept. She caught her eyes on Bliss with Hunter at one of the tables and then looked around seeing Philip at a table with Cassie. Walking towards it she sat down glaring at Cassie as she did so.

“Don’t you both look so chipper.  Smug bitch doesn’t suit you Cassie I want to speak to your brother alone if you don’t mind.” Max said picking up her champagne glass and taking a sip. She waited a few moments before her tone softened a bit she knew she owed Philip an explanation about everything going on. “Please do you really want to sit here or shouldn’t you be off lusting after Jon Harrison? Or was it Thor Luciano? I hear they’ve both tossed you to the curb.”

Cassie laughed for a moment before grabbing her own glass from the table and shoving her chair back scanning the crowd for Jon. Skye Morgan was going to be a problem she made that clear earlier tonight just when she was ready to go talk to Jon. Jon was obviously not ready for whatever he wanted with her and Thor was not talking to her either, putting the glass to her lips she downed it. Philip could handle the mess that was Max Devonshire on his own at this point she wasn’t in the mood to play interloping sister. She also had warned him plenty of times that all Max wanted to do was play games with his heart. Rolling her eyes at Max she saw Skye with Merci across the room and needed a refill.

“I guess it doesn’t suit me but the drowned, defeated and declawed kitty look definitely doesn’t suit you. I heard Bliss gave you quite the beatdown in fact her mother even could best you.” Cassie said snidely stopping when she saw Philip’s eyes telling her to stop. She knew she had her digs in as she walked away giving them time to sort out whatever was going on with them, she hoped it was her brother kicking the skank out of his life for good.

Max watched Cassie walk away and could tell that Philip was about ready to get up and leave too. Instead she took a breath as she lifted her fork to her mouth to taste the cake which was delicious. Wiping some frosting away she spoke. “You wouldn’t see me at the club earlier. I haven’t been very fair to you about us. But I’m hoping you’ll give me a few moments to explain why about everything.”

Philip looked at Max and shook his head. What was she thinking? Why did he keep getting the short end of the stick. She got the love and affection she so desperately seeked. As he lowered his head he looked at the table decor. Ms. Devonshire was here begging to be heard and who was he to let her down? As he leaned in he knew that she better say something good. Biting his bottom lip he nodded as he stared at the obvious bruise on her cheek. She was so beautiful. To be honest everything about Max enamored him.

“So explain why I’ve been coming second to Hunter and he’s over there schmoozing with Tess Blisston and Bliss while you’re cowering. Why when we have the fire and brains to run DGI and hell anything we are sitting here not being the power couple. Maxie this isn’t rocket science Selina the noble Selina Delacroix just fucked Chauncey’s clean public image. While you and Rory are shining stars of virtue. Honey is that why? You scared to be the bad girl in daddy’s eyes? Guess what Max? You better do something because look at these women. Look at me someone going to want me and someone is going to take daddy’s place. Is it you?”

“I don’t like to be replaced. You have no idea how that feels, to know that my entire childhood my father was sneaking around raising her. I was daddy’s little girl and it was a stupid lie, how he embarrassed my mother and for what to have Bliss come here and rub it in her face. I had Hunter and what we were doing started out as just fun.” Max said looking at him knowing how pathetic it sounded it had started as fun until it got to be something more. She could admit that now but she was also now competing with her sister in every way that mattered. “It’s not just fun anymore and I was going to just let the divorce happen until she came and ruined everything. Don’t you see that? She gets to just come in here and take my life and yet I’m supposed to be alright with that to you and Hunter and everyone else.”

Max played with her fork in the cake for a bit while she looked at him wanting him to understand it wasn’t about not wanting to be with him. It was about sticking it to her sister in every way that counted making her hurt and be embarrassed. She knew what he said about Selina and her brother was true Chauncey would never forgive today and in her mind Rory didn’t know how to cross a line to save his own skin. Not that that was a bad thing she wanted Rory to come into his own and not have to deal with the infighting. Looking at Philip she knew that was impossible even if they were together there was a reason Forbes was dismissed from DGI. “What would you have me do divorce him and marry you? You and I both know my father would rather slit his own wrists before ever turning the company over to you or your father.  Right now I’m doing exactly what I need to do.”

Philip listened to Max feelings and for a brief second he wanted to comfort her. How would he feel if Stefan Montgomery his half-brother came to town and tried to take his place. As he leaned in he looked into Max eyes. Why didn’t see see what he did? Why didn’t she see how much she was worth to him. Using his index fingers he played drums on the table. Trying to seem like he wasn’t hanging to every word. Wiping his brow he looked at Max.

“You’re waging war on Bliss but losing me. Is it worth losing me? Your father blackmailed my father out of our legacy so shall we continue to fight about that? Or should we get into the fact you hate her because she’s new. She’s daddy sparkly new toy to show off to the media. You aren’t his golden girl now but you are his beloved daughter. The daughter that the media knows and the daughter without secrets.” Philip leaned back and smirked. “Bliss isn’t innocent at all a girl like that has her share of dirt. Now Max it’s our job to expose it. Now you can sit here and bury your hand in the sand. Or you can become the vibrant woman I’m in love with and bury that bitch?”

“My father did what he felt was best for DGI. I didn’t realize we were fighting over that seeing how your father left town with wife number three.” Max said knowing it was a sore spot how Forbes was outted from DGI. Max honestly had no answer for him if it meant that Bliss lost and she went away she would do anything including losing Philip. She was selfish like that someone else may of been willing to do that give up going after Bliss not her she had no desire to do that. Bliss needed a lesson and a hard one that that, that she just couldn’t dive in and take what she wanted. “I despise everything about her and I thought that you may be able to understand or at least attempt too.”

She took another bite of the cake as she watched Bliss across the room with Hunter perhaps Philip had a point she was playing too soft on the matter. She saw her parents approach Tess and  swallowed the bite the bitch had it coming. No one insulted her and her daddy always made sure of that Tess would feel his wrath. Cassie was still somewhere in the room and she looked at Philip. “You prefer the dirt it is why you have half naked women dancing on poles at your club. I’ll tell you what you bring me something on my dear sister and I’ll use it. But for now I have to play this my way and that means keeping Hunter at arms length.”

“I think it’s all about what you choose. To be honestly even for a moment I think you gotta think about someone else about you. It’s so sick.” Philip said throwing his napkin on the table. “I don’t have time for your constant games and I’m not going to be pawn. Here it is I do something for you and I’m rewarded. You find something on Bliss, Max and tomorrow I’ll have a carrier package your things up. Don’t mistake me listening to your insecure little girl drivel as me caring. I’m done with this because you toxic to everything I have done for you.” Philip stood up looking at her disgusted. Then he quickly grabbed her face.

“I am so done with you. You keep crying over Bliss and I’m going to move on. I don’t care because you don’t. All I wanted to do was release some tension and now I’ve felt something more. I hate you and everything you are. You are a walking game and if you know what is good for you stay away from my club and penthouse. I’m done! Do you hear me you little girl. I see why Hunter is with Bliss at least she’s a grown woman full of mystery. Maybe I’ll do what I said a while ago and sniff around her. I’m sure she can give me more than you.”

Max pulled back from him pushing back her chair she had no time for this at the moment she was trying to be honest with him and here he was being an asshole. She had her reasons and she had hoped that he would have understood what was going on with her and Bliss. Instead it was like he refused to hear it and now she knew that she could just hate him at the moment. Looking over at him she glared at him as she rose and then looked over at her parents with Bliss and Hunter just great fucking great.

“I hope you enjoy your evening Philip. Better enjoy being miserable with your sister me on the other hand I’m still on top of the fucking world.” Max said seeing people stare at their table before turning on her heel and walking away.


“Mom I’m asking you to not embarrass me.” Bliss said looking down at her custom Chanel gown. Her mother was a fashionista to her core and a wrecking ball. If Hunter thought Brenda and Steven were bad, well her parents were alive. Alive and in the same location. Something that happened so damn rarely that she had counted it on her hand at five. Bliss slowly looked over at Max and Philip. Her sister cleaned up well just like she did. Guess that was a trait they got in common. As she slowly moved her hair from her face. Looking at her mother she was disgusted. Disgusted in the best way possible because her mother looked all of thirty-something. The dress fit her perfectly they were still the same size. At least they weren’t competing for a man. Dimitri was a scar that she couldn’t bare to cross again. Nor was dealing with her mother long term.

“Mom just please be pleasant I really like Hunter.” Bliss looked at him as she took her mother’s hand. “And did you have to wear the Dior? You look like a hooker.”

“Honey hookers wished they could afford my wardrobe dear.” She purred playfully as she slapped her daughter shoulder playfully as she looked at Hunter. He didn’t look like Steven or maybe the years had made her forget Atlas Falls. “Hunter I hear you’re interested in my daughter. You have to trust me. She’s worth way more than that brat Max.”

“Mom!” Bliss said looking at Tess completely embarrassed. “Hunter Tess Blisston, Or are you going by one of your many married names?”

“Oh no it’s Tess Blisston.” Tess said touching Hunter’s chest. “You have your mother’s eyes.”

Hunter had been in shock most of the wedding no one expected that Chauncey to get dumped at the altar by Selina. But it happened and in a twist of fate he only presumed he could take that as a lesson learned you didn’t have to stay with someone and be miserable. It was better that he and Max were ending now before it got to the point that they couldn’t escape and they were both miserable. He nodded his head at a few supporters of his mother as he saw Bliss and her mother approaching him. He took Tess’s hand in his for a quick kiss and then looked at Bliss he was certain she didn’t want her mother here.

“Ms. Blisston it is then. I have heard so much about you.” Hunter said looking at Bliss and trying to remain cordial and polite he refused to be baited by Tess. His relationship with Max was none of her business nor was how he planned on handling his divorce from her. He had promised Bliss that he would end it and he would, without a public outcry and without raking Bliss over the coals with Max’s games. “I wasn’t aware that you were in town for the wedding? Bliss said you mainly stick to Europe?”

“I came home due to an invitation and my father is ill. Bliss here hasn’t been to see him once. I’m sure that’s your doing keep my beloved little girl busy.” She slowly touched Bliss’s hair. “I remember she would cry all the time when I held her in my arms. She had a strong set of lungs. My beloved daughter is a stunning isn’t she?” Tess bit her lip as she saw Lowell and Jackie slowly making their way to them. “God do I have to do this now.”

“Mom please don’t make a scene.” Bliss said looking at her mother. “Please remain calm matter of fact I’m leaving. Hunter please pardon me.”

“Oh no you don’t.” Tess snatched Bliss’s hand aggressively and held her in place. “You two were going to run off my daughter. I have to say that you have done nothing correctly with her. Here she is begging for your love.”

“A love I could never give you.” Lowell interrupted quickly as he looked at Tess. She was so young in the eighties. Nineteen and wide eyed beauty who stole his heart. She wasn’t innocent but back then Tess had an innocence about herself. She tried everything to break apart Jackie and him. It became borderline obsessive. “Bliss isn’t a child you can remove your hands from her. Nor do I expect you to raise a hand again to any of my children.”

“Oh you must be referring to that tart Max. You raised that little girl to be a disrespect cunt? It’s a good thing that I introduced her to a woman who wasn’t afraid of her. Tell her if she touches my girl again I’ll claw her eyes out. I guess it could be many different things but you hate me. I hate you and I’m going to see fit that Bliss gets everything she deserves. My father loved you and put money into DGI we saw your future and I loved you. You threw me away for her and you threw our daughter away. You are nothing more than a sperm donor.”

“Why didn’t you drop her off at a nanny and leave on your many whorish excursions around the world. Don’t you dare give me that. Don’t you dare pretend to be here for our daughter. What’s your current scheme or angle. You have always used Bliss as a bargaining chip. A weapon against me and I won’t be here again. I won’t argue with you I’ll have you thrown out.”

“Thrown out I was invited!” Tess seethed looking at Lowell. “It’s shocking to think that you believe you banish me or her! I am a Blisston and like you Jackie I’m legacy of this town.”

Bliss exhaled as she covered her mouth completely being ran over by this. Slowly moving the hair from her face. “Hunter please get me out of here.” She said in a low whisper. Clutching her belly she felt sick. “Neither one of you cared about me. I was a weapon in your war against each other. Not only that but if you two cared maybe I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be here and Max wouldn’t hate me. You two have played Russian Roulette with my life. God mom did you even think about Dimitri? Do you even think about my life because neither of you care! Neither of you do!” She rushed away from the ballroom.

“Bliss sweetie!” Tess said looking at Jackie and Lowell. “See what you’ve done! You upset my baby.”

Hunter didn’t know what it was about with Bliss but obviously the name Dimitri had set her off and Tess looked almost as white as a sheet. He looked at Lowell seeing his disapproval and not giving a damn turned on his heel to find Bliss. He wanted to know what had upset her so bad and no one deserved to be a pawn between their parents in order to gain the upper hand. He saw Jackie watching the scene and he felt for her to have to face Tess after all these years had to of been hard for her.

“What he did? No you did this you made her come here.” Jackie hissed out finally having enough of it with both Lowell and Tess.

Her family had been fine until Bliss came to town they had been on the right track and now Bliss came and suddenly everything was shot to hell. Her oldest son had lost his damn mind and let Selina go for some European tart. Max was fucking Philip, Hunter was fucking Bliss. Jackson was at least trying but even that she wondered how long it would last. Rory for God’s sake was dating some two bit gold digger. Her eyes shot daggers at Lowell and then right at Bliss.

“You’ll never be me Tess that is where you are wrong so your father gave to DGI. So have others the only thing you contributed was laying on your back while Lowell fucked you to knock you up. Get her the hell out of this wedding reception. Because I assure you I did not invite her.” Jackie said wanting Lowell to put his foot down and toss Tess out like the trash she was.

Tess pulled out an invitation and waved it in her face. “So you can’t throw me out considering you aren’t the father of the groom anymore. I despise how much smug you are Jackie. It must hurt to see that girl with Lowell blue eyes and my smooth skin. She’s stunning no and your husband didn’t tell you. This is his problem not mine or Bliss. You blame her but don’t even look into who did this. If he wasn’t such a weakling and you weren’t a harpy years later this wouldn’t be happening. You don’t have say I’m right or wrong. I know what I’m capable of and you better remember. I nearly destroyed your marriage just imagine what I’m going to do with the Blisston fortune.” She said slowly circling Lowell. “My many marriages have gotten me many connections. Such as a certain oil baron you are courting. My dear I wonder what he’d say if I told him not to do business with you. Don’t dismiss me with your superiority that you’re so much better than me as a parent Lowell. You hide her and at least I was very proud of my daughter. Look at you Jackie so hurt in that house of glass ready for me to throw a pebble to shatter everything. My father invested and when I get his power and money oh I’m going to take his seat and dismantle the only thing you truly love your company.” Tess hissed at him.

“I’d kill you before that happens you hear me you bitch.” Lowell said with a growl as he grabbed Tess arm. “Security, no matter invite or not my dear you are leaving today. I assure you that your father and I both wanted you gone. You are a virus to our daughter infesting her with your poison.”

“Get your hands off of me!” Tess screamed as she balked at him touching me. “I promise you that this only the beginning. You are cursed with pain Lowell for all the sins you’ve committed. I hope you enjoy your time as at the top because remember its always someone clawing to tear you down.” Tess saw security and everyone watching her. “You are dangerously empty if you think Bliss issues are just you and I. You know nothing about her. You’re a menace to everything and everyone you touch. Take heed Jackie and remember your fear of Bliss harmed her and your bullying of her because your contempt with me. Media and friends take heed Bliss will never be alright here as long as your Queen says she doesn’t belong.”

Lowell froze for a second when her words somehow pierced his soul. His daughter had clearly reached a breaking point just hearing a name. What had happened to Bliss? What did Tess clearly knew that sent her on a tailspin. Was Jackie setting the pace for the family. Jackson and Rory truly seemed to care about Bliss. On the other hand Chauncey and Max detested her. What had he missed in her life and what power did Tess have by knowing it? “What’s wrong with my child you vile bitch.”

“I guess you’ll have see you weak and pathetic downtrodden little man.” She laughed viciously storming away as she went to her room. Throwing her invitation down as she walked out. Whomever did it, her reintroduction to Atlas Falls was a success. She’d made quite the scene and spectacle with Bliss looking oh so sympathetic and Lowell looking foolish in front of everyone. Once again she had the upper hand. As she looked at elevator open. She looked at Lowell and Jackie mouthing I’m back to them as the doors closed.

As he watched her walk off he turned to Jackie. “Don’t say anything to me right now. I need a moment.” He threw his hand up frustrated as he grabbed a champagne flute. Walking outside to the terrace taking a deep gulp of the cold hard facts. He truly didn’t know his daughter and he was about to find a way to help her through whatever Tess had done. “I failed Jackie. I failed you, our children, and Bliss.”


Ronan looked around the room at the dancing couples on the floor the wedding had been quite the uproar he wasn’t sure how he felt about it. He couldn’t imagine being jilted at the altar like Chauncey did, then again when he did get married he hoped it would be to a woman that would stand by him much like Brooke did. He had thought about it quit a bit over the last few months marrying Brooke one day he was not getting any younger but he knew she wasn’t ready. He wasn’t going to push her she had made it clear that she wanted more time before they consummated things. Atticus Kavanagh was someone that he hoped would never set foot on American soil for breaking Brooke’s heart if he did they would be having a few words with him. He guessed there would be more than a few words on the matter and he looked over at Brooke who was watching the crowd like he was.

“So what did you think of the wedding did the new Mrs. Fraiser make the right decision or should she of not left Mr. Devonshire at the altar? I am glad that your mother at the moment has chosen not to cause a scene it certainly wouldn’t look good for her campaign given how extensively I have spoken out about some of the economic and social issues plaguing the Scottswood area.” He saw her consider his words and he wasn’t sure if she was on her mother’s side or his own when it came to the election and the casino. Surely Brenda Kincaid knew her election dreams were over and it was better now to not cause any more disruption to her campaign he also was curious about Brooke’s failed engagement how far had she and Atticus come. “You were faced with the same decision with Atticus were you not? I know you don’t like to talk about it but it has been on my mind recently.”

“Why has it been on your mind? Atticus is old news, and honestly I was really in love. He was charming all the time, then it all became a photoshoot I know how crazy that sounds. We were forced to attend parties, show-up here, and eventually I wasn’t with the man I loved. He was distant and secretive. His father would tell me it would change and he’s nervous. It was contract almost you know. I was being molded to be a perfect broken princess. It wasn’t what I wanted. So I understand Selina almost seven months ago I ran away and I haven’t looked back.” She said pulling on Ronan jacket. “You know Atticus was charming and royal but he’s never made me feel alive.”

Brooke ran her finger across his lip. As she kissed him playfully the room was so much more happier. People seemed less stressed and uptight. “This how I want my wedding. I want my wedding to be big and lavish like this but fun. I don’t want people to feel like society and all that is controlling my day. I think it’s mighty arrogant of my mother to just say that she’s going to wipe a whole community away. I am starting to see her elitist and snobbish ways. I’m simple I take pictures and I want someone who loves me unconditionally. It’s insane the society and shit people have went through.” Brooke was about to say something when a bellboy arrived.

“Ms. Kincaid we are going need you to sign off on a shipment in the back.” He turned around and walked off.

“I’ll be right back listen my mom is entrusting the Lodge to me right now. I have to do this I’ll be right back.” Brooke kissed him again and swiftly walked to the door.

Ronan watched her go as the bellhop approached the table a model and a business woman he was very proud of her in that front. He leaned back in his chair enjoying his scotch on the rocks as he watched the people in the crowd. He knew that Atticus was going to be a problem if he ever approached Brooke but he also knew that he was grateful it happened. Brooke knew what to look for in a partner and he only hoped she knew that he was that partner despite his career within the mafia.

In her Cinderella ballgown she slipped her hands into her pockets. When she walked outside she saw no one there then she smelled a cigar. Her stomach churned it stank and she always hated him to smoke around Ronan and her. “So you drew me outside for what reason?” She said seeing Kendrick walking out of the darkness. “I should go tell Ronan now, he hates how you speak to me.”

“Naw I don’t think we should princess you see I think it’s time you and I had a chat.” Kendrick said letting the smoke out from his lips as he watched two of the crew shut the door behind her.

His eyes were still looking for that little rat Jamal in the crowd and the moment that he spoke to Ronan about it he didn’t give a fuck what his real last name was. He’d ask Ronan for first strike and then some the men would see what Ronan had done to Benny as child’s play. He twirled his cigar in his mouth for a bit as he looked at Brooke seeing the fear on her face. That was good she needed to fear him, she would fear him. He flicked some ash on the ground and saw her disapproval when it hit her fancy marble on the terrace.

“Girls like you don’t belong in this world or do I have to keep reminding you? You seem to think that you can just come into Ronan’s life and what take over? I know games that bitches like you play and you will never get his empire I assure you of that.” Kendrick said smoothly taking a few steps towards her he let out a laugh. She and Jamal thought hey were so slick to pull one over him and his crew. “Care to try me?”

“I assure you genius I don’t want to be a lady mobster.” Brooke said feeling scared because why would he shut the doors. She’d seen this man pull guns and try to kill people for less. The truth was she was shaking deep down but she wasn’t going to let him know it. As she turned a little her hand swiftly impacted into his face letting the cigar go flying into the snow. Her hand instantly stung from the hit. “There is no smoking in my building you neanderthal.” Brooke stepped back as she heard his two cronies gasp at her boldness. “You don’t ever call me a bitch because you are the true bitch. Lurking in corners and cornering a woman. Why aren’t you so tough.”

Brooke wished she could say something else but she felt the need to stare. Show him she wasn’t going to back down or let him intimidate her. “Please let me go back inside and I won’t tell Ronan that you are so shaken by me. Matter fact you haven’t been the same since the shooting it’s like you relish being in charge. Jealous that you’ll never be the big man Kendrick.”

“No you just want a piece of Ronan’s money and let me tell you honey once he’s had a piece of your white ass he’ll be back in the club. You should stop by it sometime there is this one girl there Mercedes.” Kendrick said watching Brooke’s face as he spoke she thought Ronan was so noble he was a mob kingpin and had any woman he wanted. He bent down and picked up the cigar bringing it to his lips to light it again, rubbing his hand on his face still stinging from the slap. “You are a bitch a sad pathetic little rich girl bitch that thinks money solves problems and your man isn’t a murdering drug dealer.”

He took a few steps back from her he wouldn’t raise his hands to her his momma raised him right and frankly if word got back to Ronan he knew he’d had to pay. He’d give her that she has sass the only problem was she had fear in her eyes and he could see it. He took out his lighter and relight the cigar seeing her disgust at the gesture. His boys in the back waiting for him to give the word to unlock the doors.

“Bet you didn’t know about that did you the killings he’s done. Maybe you should ask the feds or better ask your mother about Benny Ruzzio you remember him don’t you your father loved that little Italian joint he ran.” Kendrick said blowing the smoke out in her face. “I assure you, I’m not afraid of you or your couture.”

“Whatever Ronan did I’m sure it was for the good of his business.” She wrapped her arms around arms as she shook her head. “You are miserable aren’t you? You have lost all the love inside of your life. I can’t take you seriously because you’re so dead inside. You know people like you make me sick. I’m privileged yes, but never have I been pathetic. I’ve never disrespected you nor did treat you rudely. You started this but I’m going to finish it. You are a yes man who is stepping major shit right now. No offense but unless you have what I do between my legs I don’t think you’ll be able to scratch Ronan’s itch. What I’m saying is you are a virus to Ronan’s life it’s sad that you believe I’m using him when I love him. What could a mobster or a common criminal do for me? But love me?” She asked curiously as her eyes narrowed.

Hearing about another woman stung but he wasn’t fucking her now. As she turned around she looked at the goons. “Please get out of my way before I have your job or your lives.” The men parted as she turned around looking at Kendrick. “Stuck in your ways or your past of who you think Ronan truly is. He’s in 3D and a full person unlike you a broken little man. I’m not pathetic on contrary I’m the anti you. Whatever has happened to you to not appreciate love and life has made you a very bitter and sad man. I’m not going anywhere Kendrick you should leave if it’s that much more.” Turning around letting her dress spin around dramatically. “Whatever you are truly after I’m going to figure it out, little man.”

Kendrick snarled at her as she tried to put on a brave face for herself she was nervous she should be Ronan would tire of her. He’d seen it before with many different women in the past

they thought that they could change who Ronan was make him be a better man. In truth Roan wanted and was raised on power within the organization. He knew the difference and now Ronan needed to ditch the bitch before he was perceived as more weak. He watched the doors open and nodded to Ivan as he stepped to the side and let her go back in. Taking another drag of his cigar as she tried to show down with him one final time.

“You better get back inside I’d hate for anyone to miss you. Your mother maybe? Heck maybe that brother of yours on the city council. It would be such a shame if this touched them. Enjoy your evening being pretend arm candy. I’ll be right here waiting for him to make a damn fool of you.” Kendrick said his voice even as he looked at her before turning around and looking out at the mountains one day it would be him. He would be Ronan’s successor and a stronger and better leader.

“Kendrick you are so weak. No man should ever be this threatened by woman.” Brooke went inside and touched her chest. Her heart was beating so fast as she leaned on the wall. Before she knew she was shaking and tears were about to flood her eyes. Slowly walking out to the party she looked at Ronan and smiled. He was worth the fear she was feeling. He was worth that man threatening her family. He was worth all the sacrifices she was making in her life.

“Can we go. No guards or anything just us. I don’t want to be around anyone.” She said burying her head into his shoulder.


Jamal had hidden perfectly all night partly due to his parents and Mason. Hiding right among his boss wasn’t easy. He was gallivanting with Brooke all night so it was easy to blend and hide. Folding his arms he looked at everyone having fun. His heart was still fresh with what Yasmine had said. Was he foolish and stupid for doing this. Everything had a price and he was starting to see that his choices were getting out of hand. Cracking his knuckles he stuffed a piece of cake into his mouth. Picking up the champagne he gulped it down forcing the cake down. Leaning his chair back he saw his parents entering his safe room. This was crazy the hadn’t asked why yet. Which was a good thing. As he bit down on his lip as he sat up in his chair. It was foolish to sit here and pretend when everyone was just pretending.

“What’s up?” He said looking at his father’s disappointed face. Then he looked at his mother worry and fear it made him sick. They were here faking when he knew his father was shitting bricks his friendship with Lowell was in danger. Healthy and profitable no doubt Selina had put a damper on that life long friendship. “So, are you guys about to lecture me? Is this what this is? Me being lectured because if so I’ve heard it all from Mase so guys I just need a break. Matter fact I’m go call Mase to get out of here.” Not wanting to hear it at all. “This was nice today us all together.”

Ophelia had been quiet during the wedding while he watched Selina marry Braden and honestly she hoped it stuck maybe it would give Selina the closure she wanted. After the ceremony she knew it was going to come to this as she sadly approached her son it had to be done. Devin wouldn’t be making the arrest due to the conflict of interest and it had to be public. Public meant Jamal was safe as Tony’s son and a part of DGI Ronan wouldn’t come after him. That was what she wanted Jamal safe and she looked over at Tony who wanted the same thing. Yes the reception was lovely it was what they both wanted from Jamal him to be safe. She would always be grateful for Devin and the police for stopping this now. Sitting down at the table she bit back the tears for a moment.

“We need to talk Jamal. Something is going to happen we let Devin look into your bank accounts. They have footage of you please understand that we did this out of love.” Ophelia said unable to let the rest out as the tears slipped out, she saw Zach approaching them arrest warrant in hand.

Tony nodded his head at Ophelia they were in a private room away from the rest of the party Selina’s wedding would not be ruined. He wondered now though that she married Braden the very man that signed the arrest warrant how she would feel now. He hoped they could move past it Braden didn’t know about her plans with Maddie or having Mason draw up the adoption papers and Braden legally couldn’t tell her about arresting Jamal. Looking around the room he took a seat next to Jamal and put his hand on his shoulder when he tried to get up there was no where left to run or that he could run too. It had to be done now.

“It’s over Jamal we did this for you. To keep you safe to put an end to the insanity.” Tony said nodding his head at Zach as he entered the room and took a few steps towards them. He looked at Ophelia knowing they were doing the right thing. “Please don’t hate us Jamal we did this because we love you.”

“I told ya’ll to fucking stay out of my business! You both just got me killed. They are going to kill me and you both just sealed my damn grave. I had this under control but you two just wouldn’t stop. I did something stupid but neither of you would let me get out of this.” Jamal said snapping at his parents. Seeing Zach standing outside with a unfamiliar guy. He shook his head looking at his father. “I do, I hate both of you. I hate you because of your stupidity. I told you to mind your own business. I can’t stand you. I swear to God I hate you both.” He screamed at them as Jamal saw Zach pulling out his cuffs.

“Oh since you fucking know so much Zach I suggest you don’t handcuff me since.” He was about to say his boss was downstairs. Then he knew what he had to do.. “I don’t want either of you visiting me. Matter fact Zach you can decline visitors right you two are dead to me!” Jamal said with the nastiest tone he could muster. “You aren’t my father and you aren’t my mother.” Pointing at Ophelia he shook his head. “I hate you both.”

“That’s enough Jamal.” Zach said seeing Ophelia breaking down. Not only that Tony had turned his head from the vile he was spewing. “I’m going to take you out the back.” Sensing he was about to name Ronan. “Listen your parents love you and that’s more than most people get man. You have to honor them.”

“Just get me my lawyer. Matter fact hold on.” He pulled out his phone texting Mason. “I’m done with you both.” Holding out his arms as if they were cuffs. Before he knew it Zach roughly grabbed him. “So the white boy roughing up the black man. Yo Ophelia, Tony record this shit put it on worldstar! Worldstar!”

Tony watched Jamal lash out at him and then he looked at Ophelia who was trying her damnedest to not break apart. He nodded his head to Zach to get Jamal out of the back way of the party and safe he also wanted to smack some sense into his son. He hardly considered what Zach was doing roughing up if the boy wanted to see roughing up Zach could always let him go and he’d show him a thing or two. He was very tempted to do just that on the matter and before he could he watched Ophelia stand right in front of their son and smack him as hard as she could.

“Ophelia!” Tony said seeing Jamal’s shock. He paused for a moment and took a breath trying to decide how to best approach it as he saw Ophelia starring their son down.

Ophelia listened while Jamal ranted and raved and all she could think about was what a selfish little brat he sounded like. The more hate he had spewed the angrier she got until she rose from her chair looked directly at him and then slapped him as hard as she could across the face. Pulling her hand back from her son’s face enough was enough in her mind he could show some damn respect for the people that gave a shit about him. There was no way she was going to let Jamal talk to her or Tony like that anymore.

“Don’t you dare take that tone with me or your father when you have been dealing drugs and God knows what else for the mob. Endangering yourself, your sister, your brother, us or does that fail to escape your mind. We did this because we want you safe and out of this mess you put yourself into.” Ophelia seethed as she felt tears in her eyes, she loved Jamal and she would damn well be respected. She nodded her head to Zach to take him away to holding in a cell where she knew he would be watched until this shit was under control. “So you gave us no choice but to call your cousin and to our surprise you thought you could play him? You are in over your head and if I have to have Zach lock you inside of a jail cell so I don’t have to look at you in a body bag. I will do it.”

“I hate ya’ll!” He screamed at them. “I don’t want to be around them any longer. Take me in copper. You pig!” Jamal said not even looking at his parents anymore. This was the most painful betrayal of his life and it stung. His parents had snitched on him and nobody seemed to care that Ronan and his men had people everywhere. He was dead and they were foolish to think this was just that simple. That he hadn’t been thinking of a way out. He’d gotten himself into this stupidity. “Ma, Pa.” He said looking at them both. “If I die tonight it’s ya’ll fault.”

Zach nodded at the plain clothes detective. He wouldn’t ever understand why Jamal a kid with everything choose to do this. He watched as the officers took Jamal out. “Look he’s angry and um I was a kid was pretty angry too. I don’t know why Jamal did this but we might need him. Look he’s in better than a lot of our undercover officers. If we um can get him to cooperate then I know Braden will do something for him okay? Look he’s right in a way, Ronan is untouchable and somehow he could be um hurt in custody. So we might put him in a cell by himself.”

Ophelia sat down in the chair as the detective led Jamal out his words echoing if they had to get him a private cell they would she would endorse it. Looking up at Tony she nodded her head whatever had to be done to keep Jamal safe a private cell, house arrest for now anything. She wiped at her eyes unable to say anything about the arrest or Jamal’s anger they did what had to be done.

Tony looked at Zach and nodded his head at him. “Do what you have to detective.”

Turning back around to Ophelia he ran a hand on her back he watched Zach leave the room knowing they did something more daring. They kicked the hornet’s nest Jamal could never show his face around the mob again and now that he was connected to them at DGI Ronan had no choice but to remain neutral on the matter. If he wanted his casino built and the power he craved working with DGI he would remain silent for now.


Chauncey looked around the room looking at the wet bar anger radiating off of him how could she do this in public with the cameras flashing? With the press and investors watching, his parents, her father, their families and what he had thought were their friends. Walking to the glass he filled it with some scotch and then lifted it to his lips taking a drink, his fingers gripping the glass. Once the glass was drained he tossed it against the far wall anger seeping to the surface. His hands swept over the bar tossing the glasses and the scotch to the ground hearing it shatter. Walking to the bed he glared at it hours ago he and Greer had been tangled in the sheets and now it was all ruined  ripping the covers and the sheets off the bed he screamed. Everything he had worked for with his father was now gone, Selina was the key marrying her would show him he was ready to take the reins and now, now it was all gone. His father had always been smart about his affairs or affair, he guessed there was more than Tess Blisston over the years. He heard the door open and then looked over at Greer standing inside as he threw the clock on the table on the floor and tipped it over.

“What do you want? Don’t you have a husband to chase down?” Chauncey seethed looking at her it wasn’t fair she has her place while he was what going to be her bitch? He stormed past her to the dresser spilling the contents on the floor if she wanted to see a monster she would honestly they had their fun and now it was at his expense. “As you can see I’m having a pretty shitty wedding but you have what you wanted.”

“I do have everything I want.” She said softly as she looked at Chauncey fuming. Greer jumped as she looked at all the content on the floor. Her smile hadn’t left. This had to be some sort of cosmic joke. Either way it was electric chance she had to take. She took his hand and lead him to a chair sitting him down she slowly started massage his back. Taking her time to feel the stress releasing his shoulder. “You’re a star Chauncey. I didn’t even blink twice because we both will remember tonight. Tonight is the night you rebrand yourself into the star of the family. Matter of fact tonight is our night to celebrate.” She opened the door with a bottle of champagne.

“You see Selina just opened a door for you. You can become the reformed guy who made a mistake and you can also be the guy who takes me away from my cheating husband. Chauncey you’re angry because of your pride but what’s really going on is Selina has helped you. Your father will have a major eye on you. Not only that if you take down Zerick and Jackson on the energy issues in Atlas Falls and America. Well I think you may be the one who takes the reigns from dear old daddy.”

Chauncey wasn’t sure he wanted to hear from her at the moment but he did relent after taking a few calming breaths perhaps this was for the best. He knew he should be doing the fatherly thing and tracking down Maddie to poison her but he wanted a plan first. A plan of attack to make Selina and Braden miserable for the rest of their life together. He wanted Selina to hurt to be embarrassed like he had been, he wanted Braden to see that she was no prize to be won at the end of the day. She was a vindictive snake stealing Maddie from him and she would pay for it, looking at the chair he relented as Greer spoke letting her massage his shoulders to get the kinks out.

“She left me for him. Do you realize how embarrassing that is no one just leaves a Devonshire.” Chauncey said looking at her and then rubbing his temple feeling the stress leaving his body. He had always wondered about Zerick with Greer though he wanted to point out she had cheated too he supposed she had a point he could clean up his image if his junky of a brother could do it he could too. His father would look to him for leadership now and DGI was ripe for the picking and stealing especially the energy division. “I want to hurt her, I want my brother crushed his dreams taken away no one will do business with him. He’d rather do a line or two instead of focus in on work and my father is a fool to trust in him. As for Zerick don’t you think he will have a say seeing how I just fucked you as well? Your husband seems smart.”

Like most egotistical men his pride was shot and like any man he felt like a moron but it was all about building him up to be a God. Only to break him down all over again. Slowly she leaned in his ear. “Remember I told you about my husband’s extramarital activities. Well we are a little more fluid. I am hurt now that he wants a open relationship. I want to strip my husband fortune and invest it into DGI. When you are self-conscious about everything going on then you don’t see the bigger picture. I see it that we could take over everything and I want to be with you to be my king and I’ll be your Queen.” Or his Lady MacBeth she thought to herself.

As she turned walking around slowly sitting on his lap. “You’re so damn important to so many people. She couldn’t handle a man like you just like Zerick can’t handle a woman like me. I see you. I see you as the man you should be. The alarming nature of us is that we get each other on a primal nature we have. I see years of power years that your parents never had. Let’s take over Chauncey let me help you. Zerick didn’t build a empire overnight, I’m the catalyst for his ascension.” Greer purred as she leaned into kiss him passionately. “I’m here for you when everyone else isn’t it’s us. I want you even if she doesn’t.”

Chauncey heard her words and it seemed to at least calm the anger inside of him that he was feeling it didn’t go all the way away but she had a point. This is exactly what Selina and Braden probably wanted him to break down and tear everything apart he wouldn’t put it past Selina to want to do it to strengthen her custody rights. Not the he felt that she had any Maddie was his daughter and Selina had all but committed fraud getting him to sign the papers. Zerick and Greer having an open arrangement was music to his ears as she slithered into his lap, his hands went to her waist. She was at least in his corner and he let himself kiss her back in the destruction of the room.

“Right now you are right we need a plan I want to overthrow my incompetent brother and get Maddie back from Selina. I will need someone that understands that my ways are probably less stellar than that of your husbands. Zerick has an impeccable record Greer I am not that type of man.” Chauncey said he knew he couldn’t promise her that it wasn’t in his nature he was going to play to win and if that meant bending rules and lifting a few skirts he would. It was after all how his father came into power as well. His father never made excuses to how he got that power he just took it. “I need to know you understand that Greer. We’ll fuck and take on the company but I won’t let a woman control me like Selina has for all these years again. I won’t be that weak again.”

He already was under her control and Selina had thrown her the best curve ball. Nothing that Chauncey could do would prepare him for this. Her glossy lips slowly sucked on bottom lip. As Greer knew that it was now her time. Zerick had unleashed all sorts of hell and the diversions were working. Soon Zerick and she would be privy to insider information that would implode DGI. Slipping her tongue into his mouth she kissed him passionately. It wasn’t as if she was going to need anything else to net him. The sex was intense and the passion between them was enough to keep Chauncey befuddled until they attacked. Slowly touching his face she looked deeply into his eyes. The rage he felt was palpable but the intensity between them seemed to be even more enthralling.

Taking his hands into hers she looked outside into the snow. “I don’t want a man who treats me like I’m a second thought. I want to be equal and from what I am hearing you’re willing to play dirty. Good because when I strip Zerick of the Westwood fortune, I’ll need somewhere to invest to.” She turned her head. “Let me help DGI and let me help us breakthrough from all this. Trust me I’m going to set fire and rampage on Selina it’s just time to do it the right way.” Greer purred into his ear. “Now tell me.” Standing up she removed her dress from the wedding and showed a corset and lace panties. “Tell me this is a deal let’s take on DGI and take down our rivals together.” Slinking to the bed she spread out across it with a seductive smirk.

Chauncey nibbled on her lip while they kissed she tasted amazing even more so now that she was with him after what happened with Selina. He needed a woman like her that wasn’t afraid to play dirty or let him play dirty. Zerick he didn’t trust honestly the man was up to something and frankly like his brother he was getting way too cozy with his father trying place himself in at DGI where he didn’t belong. He watched her as she got up and took off her dress to let it slink to the floor and then stared at her in her corset and bra. She was something to behold and he knew that much was true she was a grown man’s wet dream she had proven that earlier. Getting up from the chair he walked to the bed and ran his hand up her bare leg.

“So you’re willing to now be a mistress you are quite the woman before you were aghast at the idea. I want to know everything about your husband frankly he is trying to get too close to my father trying to overthrow me much like my little brother is.” Chauncey said watching her look at his hand on his leg seeing the lust in her eyes. He trailed it up more to her thighs watching her legs part a bit and let out a grin, she was going to be the death of him. “I want it understood though if you have to fuck him I expect you to only be thinking about me? Is that clear I would hate to stop our arrangement if you want us both.”

Placing a finger onto his lips. This was all the more perfect. Games were her specialty and this was about to be the biggest takeover in history. If she and Zerick kept on this path nothing would be the same for the Devonshire. She used her index finger to trace his jawline. Biting her lip she narrowed her green eyes. Slowly she looked at him. Knowing he was about to ravish her body. A smile on her face as she leaned in and kissed him passionately.

“No man has made me feel the way you do. Don’t you worry about me I know how to keep a man at bay. Or have you forgotten now come make love to me all night so we both can forget about today and see.” Greer unhooked her corset and removed it in front of him. “Where we will be together.” She said in a seductive moan released out of her mouth.

Chauncey looked at her as she got off his lap agreeing to his terms for be first time in a while he felt in control again. His father had been overlooking him far too long and with Greer perhaps he could do what he always wanted take DGI. He was the one that was destined to run the company he had put in the time and the effort over the years to run the company. He was the one that made them deals and contracts yet his father held onto all the power that had to end. Leaning down over her Chauncey smiled as she took off the corset to expose her body to him.

“I like a woman that knows what she wants. I have a feeling Zerick will not know what hit him at the end of the day when it comes to you.” Chauncey said looking down at her breasts he leaned down and blew softly on her nipples seeing them perk at the action. His hands ran up her sides toying her nipples between his fingers for a bit hearing her moan before stepping back. They had time he walked to the cart and the champagne pouring them both a glass before he returned to the bed and handed it to her. “To us then and taking over DGI wouldn’t you agree?”

“To taking over DGI.” She purred as she looked deeply into his eyes. “We are such a delicious pair aren’t we? Two who I never imagined would be together. To making a empire with you as King.” Stroking an arrogant man like Chauncey and turning him into putty in her hands. Just when he thought he had a friend and an ally she’d decimate him. “And me as your Queen.”


Skye wandered through the crowd that was now in full swing at the impromptu reception for Selina and Braden taking a sip of her champagne shooting daggers at Miranda across the room. If she and Devin hadn’t of interrupted her and Jon she would of course be in Jon’s bed inside a hotel room opposed to watching from across the room. Cassie was over with Philip and Jon was speaking to his parents and Miranda. She hoped Merci fucked Devin as payback for Miranda being a snotty assed bitch ruining their reunion. She looked around and finally spotted Jackson alone by the bar Dani was over with the bride and groom. That was what she wanted an in, it was part of the reason she was home and walking through the crowd she stopped at the bar placing her hand on Jackson’s shoulder making sure her body pressed against his while she smiled at him.

“Surprise. You look good Jackson.” Skye said seeing the shock on his face at her appearance of course the last time they had seen each other was when he and Jon got into a fist fight in their meeting spot. She and Jackson had just gotten done partying and Jon caught them, she was gone when Lowell shoved Jackson into rehab. She could tell he was trying to spot Dani in the crowd and moved her body in front of his making sure to make him look at her. “Did you miss me?”

Skye looked stunning it was almost like going back in time. Jackson looked at her and pulled her into a hug. Reluctant as it felt it was good to see her clean and sober. He could tell she was all sober and how he wished he could see Catherine. Just like Skye she was a past love except his dad paid her family off to move away after the accident. It was good to see someone had survived him. As he looked for Dani in the crowd. She was dancing with Braden and Selina. She was having fun and tonight was fun. This was so good that Chauncey was about to fail and he was rising to the occasion. As he paused he nodded looking at Skye.

“In a way yeah I did. It’s good to see you made a life clearly after me. Its sad I messed up with us and Esme and the drugs. I’m sad that I hurt you the way I did but as for missing us and the drugs and that life. No Skye I don’t miss our relationship but I missed seeing you around. You still have that magnetic personality and megawatt smile. Listen my girlfriend is over there and I love her for the first time, I love someone. I’m terrified of losing her Skye so it’s great to see you but I gotta go.” Jackson said trying to cut this awkward reunion short.

“I am so glad to know that you missed me. I’ve been thinking about us over the past year. How we were at night the partying, it wasn’t all bad Jackson we had fun or do not remember that?” Skye asked looking up at him he was being difficult and she wasn’t just going to back down so easily. She felt someone bump into her and used the moment to press her body closer to his looking up at him with a smirk wondering if she could still get him hard then again was he hard already. “You remember those nights don’t you? You and me, sometimes you me and Merci? Neil isn’t a problem now.”

She pressed them against the bar and signaled for the bartender for a refill as she caught him looking through the crowd at Dani. Dani was dancing with the bride and groom and she saw the girl stop and look at them good she could watch. Her fingers trailed down Jackson’s shirt he was such an animal in bed and now granted she wasn’t into all the kinky shit he was but Dani never had to know that. Jackson liked to fuck around and well it wasn’t like he could really be serious about getting his life together for Dani Fraiser of all people. “You can’t be serious Jackson I know what you like. I can give you what you want this time. We could call that pretty stripper at the club get a room here. Your new little thing can watch if you want her too maybe she could learn a thing or two.”

Jackson moved her hand away from his shirt. He shook his head as he felt like he was reciting a broken script. One thing that Skye and everyone else was going to stop doing was questioning his relationship. Not only that the validity of it as if Dani was lesser than them. First Chauncey and now Skye balking at the relationship. With Walter and Lowell both against them he was just sick of it. Somehow Skye had unearthed all his anger. “You know what I remember? Do you? I remember being a drug addict and getting you hooked on even more drugs. You know it’s painful you seem to think that time was a game. It was a bad place in my life no matter how many threesomes I had. I was coming off Cat’s death or did you forget our friend?”

He stepped back and moved out of Skye’s personal space as he looked her in the eyes. He saw Dani finally making her way over the crowd to them. No doubt uncomfortable about how Skye was flaunting all over him. What was her problem? Did she forget how she was screwing Jon and starting his initial beef with Harrison? Shaking his head. “Skye it’s good to see you but I think I should be leaving. Good day.”

Dani had been watching Jackson out of the corner of her eye it had been fun tonight so far her brother getting married had taken her by complete surprise. In a good way Braden deserved to be happy finally and Jackson had taken a break from dancing with her. She made her way to him in the crowd eyeing up Skye Morgan on the way, she was pretty and gorgeous all at the same time and narrowed her eyes at the other woman. Was she seriously still trying to come onto him when Jackson had been trying to avoid her? She approached them finally and put on the fakest smile she could at Skye.

“Hey I was looking for you. Thanks for letting me say goodbye to Braden and Selina. You can totally whisk me away whenever you are ready.” Dani said looking at Jackson as she placed her hand on his back before glaring at Skye. Skye was a trainwreck in high school and Miranda had already warned her. “Nice to see you Skye.”

Skye looked at Dani as she approached and narrowed her eyes at Jackson he wanted to play hard to get they could. She could play this game better than he could ever imagine to make sure Dani knew it was never going to work. She feigned ignorance at the situation as she took a drink before taking out a hotel keycard and sliding it into Jackson’s shirt pocket seeing the look he gave her, it had annoyed him even more. Pushing her hair back over her shoulder she took a drink and then looked between them.

“It’s lovely to see you as well. Jackson and I were just reconnecting weren’t we? Go ahead and give me and Merci a call the number of the room is on the card. It really is good to see you again Jackson.” Skye said looking at the anger on his face and her words register on Dani’s, so he hadn’t told her that he used to have threesomes with her and Merci well that was quite interesting. Looking between them she felt that was enough as she spotted Merci in the crowd and waved to her best friend. “Oh don’t worry he’ll find someone to share with you two I’m surprised he didn’t tell you about it before now. I see Merci like I said Jackson when you are ready. Excuse me.” Walking away with the best snide grin she could she left them alone hoping it was enough for now.

That bitch Jackson said to himself under his breath. He shook his head throwing away the card in the trash. If she caused any problems between Dani and he, Jackson swore he’d run her back out of town again. Slowly folding his arms he looked at Dani shaking his head. “Look I didn’t ask for her or Merci. I just spoke to her and I felt good to see her alive. Look Dani I think so much of you. I wouldn’t cheat, look drugs yes cheating no.” He chuckled knowing that it was a bad joke. “I have a past that’s nothing like yours Dani. You saved yourself and I revelled in hedonism. That isn’t me, that Jackson is gone and I want you to know I wasn’t falling into that.” Jackson prayed he didn’t hurt Dani over Skye.

Watching her eyes warming to him. “Someone died because they were my lover and Skye survived me during my worst. Dani she walked away and I think that it saved her life. I just sometimes wonder if what Chauncey says is true? I haven’t used since that day but a snap of the finger am I going to go back to him. He’s calling always and I see him. He’s watching me and haunting me. I just had to see someone survive hurricane Jackson. It is so wrong that I’ve hurt so many women. I don’t want to do that to you ever again.”

Dani watched Skye leave and didn’t even know what to say at the moment so he had threesomes with her and Merci that would have been nice to know ahead of time. Mentally she had to remind herself that they were in a good place with that aspect of their relationship he would tell her if something was missing in that area. She watched him throw the key away and nodded her head at him, he knew how much Lex hurt her with Maggie. They had been having a good time at the wedding before this and she didn’t see why the had to fight over it now either. He had rejected Skye’s offer and though she knew it wasn’t the same as the lying about the drugs, she was reminded that the trust had to restart somewhere.

“I’m not mad if that is what you’re asking annoyed at her maybe but not mad at you. You’d know if I was mad at you, you were over here trying to get away. Does it bother me that I have to hear about every woman you’ve screwed or learn about threesomes from I don’t know some desperate ex druggie, yes. It would have been nice to know about you and Merci or the three of you before now. You told me Merci would never, nevermind.” Dani said not sure what else she was supposed to tell him he had told her at the fundraiser he would never touch Merci and now she learned he’d already touched her. She touched his hand taking it in hers looking at him wanting to reassure him. “It’s over and done now it happened. I can’t change your past, you can’t change mine. Lead the way we can go dance or leave it’s up to you.”

“Nothing is more important to me as you. I don’t remember it.” Jackson finally admitted as he looked at Dani. “I didn’t remember that I was doing that. I never and I mean never wanted to tell you about all the times I went under. Dani I can’t remember that night at all and I can’t remember a lot. There is always going to be a girl who looks at you funny because of me. I just want you to know I’ve never felt such love and disappointment in myself. I did some stupid things man. I swear it was stupid but the best thing I’ve done in my life is find you.” Jackson paused as he looked directly at her. “Can we leave and just go to your house and watch your sappy love stories. Those horrible movies I hate.” He laughed looking at her. Slowly touching her face then playing with a loose curl that framed her face.

“Skye is the past. Esme is the past and any other girl who I dealt with is the past just so you know.” Jackson took her hand. “I can’t quit you Dani. Which one is that from oh the gay cowboys. That was um intense.” He laughed playfully as he looked at her. “I’m sorry I disappointed you but I’m trying and if you let me.” He paused looking at Dani. “I’ll make it up in so many different ways.” Jackson said with a wide toothy grin. “Let’s netflix and chill.”

Dani watched him move the hair from her face they were okay again at least for now. They were both different people back then had different paths. Leaning up she kissed him pulling back and nibbling on his lip. Feeling him pull her body to his eagerly. She hoped the bitch was watching. She was more than willing to take him back to her place and do what had been on her mind since he picked her up. TV or not.

“Let me go say goodbye to my parents and then let’s get out of here. Too bad you neglected to drive we’d be there faster. I’ll let you mull over that in the carriage ride instead. I’ll even let you pick the movie.” Pulling back from him playfully before he could pull her to him Dani smiled before making her way back through the crowd to her parents. Skye may of had him before but she had him now and the bitch could so think on that the rest of her miserable night.

Jackson watched her say her goodbyes as he walked to his family and said his goodbyes. He made his way to Selina kissing her cheek and shaking Braden’s hand. He swore the man held his hand six second too long. It was clear message hurt my sister and I’ll hurt you. He understood he had a twin. As they met in the middle Jackson wrapped his arm around her.

“Let’s go babe.” He whispered in her ear so ready to leave. “Ok I have a snack attack we have to go by the store. I’m thinking we eat things with a high calorie count and lots of sugar.” He walked outside the bar.


Yasmine had watched Mia or Miranda as her real name said. It was truly getting dicey considering all she had told that bitch. She would be dead and her mother would be too if Kendrick ever found out. Hell she was scared to even open her mouth because what Jamal had done. God this was insane she was in the middle of two worlds and stuck. Watching Braden and Selina getting married inspired her but this was much different than class divide. Yasmine hated it but she was a drug dealer and he was a young executive. She watched people dancing from the balcony. Yasmine couldn’t help it her eyes started to water as she gripped the rail. She turned her head and saw Rory approaching her. She lowered her head as a tear slipped down her face. She wiped her eye as she looked at him.

“Rory we shouldn’t be doing this.” She said turning around. “I have to leave Rory, I’m fucking through.” She said touching his face. “That girl down there.” She nodded at Mia. No Miranda and it hurt her feelings. She’d exposed different facets of herself to this bitch. “She’s a cop and I thought her name was Mia. I thought she was my friend, with them knowing about Jamal and now me. They’re trying to take down Ronan and I’m done too. I’ll be going down just like the rest of them. I ruined my life and so many other peoples I don’t deserve this. This drug that poisoned my mother body I’m selling and I’ll dance in New York. Rory I ruined my life.” She cried into his shoulder.

Rory had liked watching the wedding it gave him hope for the rest of them he always considered Selina to be smart and today proved that to him. He had went to get a drink from the bar seeing his parents with Tess Blisston, saw Max storm from the room and watched Jackson like a hawk. He had spotted Yasmine as well and watched as she went onto the balcony they definitely needed to talk and have a conversation about the whole dealing situation something he had put off for the week. He had wanted to pretend that everything was alright with them just for a little bit longer. That two people that he loved and cared for would never conspire against him behind his back but they had. He made his way through the crowd to her and saw the tears in her eyes about the dealing, the police closing in on her and everything else. He held her as she cried and when he was sure she had her bearings about her he pulled back.

“You didn’t ruin your life, you always have a choice and it’s like you are afraid to make it. You already know how I feel about the club Yasmine I don’t like that you go to work there. I don’t like the fact that other men stare at your and put their hands on you and I know I don’t like the drugs. I also don’t like that you’ve been dealing to Jackson behind my back. How long? Seeing how he’s an excellent liar I’d rather hear how long from you.” Rory said looking directly at her and he saw the guilt pass on her face and yes he felt like a dick. He shuffled his feet for a moment as the awkwardness sat between them and he looked at the ground before looking at her too. “Jamal had to tell me the three of you in on this little secret that directly tied to my family. Can you imagine if my parents found out?”

“Since he’s been back on and off. Not a lot he’s doing good I guess. I was ashamed did you think you were going to get with the stripper? I’m not ashamed of my life but I never thought I’d be with you. I’m used to counting unmarked money and seeing people waste potential and now that’s me. Look you can pretend to think I’m going to be fine, she saw me selling. I’m done Rory.” She said touching his beard. “I just found you but I don’t want to lose you and that’s what’s going to happen. I’m screwed.” She slowly touched his chest. “Jamal knows everything and we are danger when they start arresting people. I’m going down.”

She took his hand. “I never wanted to sell drugs it’s killing someone else family and I don’t want to do that anymore.” Slowly folding her arms around herself. “Jamal is such an stupid petulant kid. He doesn’t know anything and what he’s gotten his family into. This isn’t a game Rory we aren’t playing Grand Theft Auto we are living in the real world and it has so many real consequences for what me and Jamal have done. Me I’m dead and Jamal he’s dead and everything we care about could be wiped away. Rory this isn’t some low level mobster Ronan controls the east coast. We are dead and I’m in love with you. I’m so stupid, I trusted her.” Yasmine wanted to go downstairs and beat the hell out of Mia. Truth be told the bitch deserved this ass whooping. “I’m going to get her.”

“So for what the last few months you and him are dealing drugs behind my back you know how much my brother meant to me. How much I wanted to believe in him, hell we made love at the fundraiser. I never expected to fall in love with you while you were at the club but I did expect you to tell me about my brother.” Rory said looking at her wondering if she was right was this a massive mistake on both their ends? She was so concerned with what people would think about them and her and honestly he knew his parents would flip out at them. His mother would sneer at her and if he was lucky his dad would run her out of town. “Jamal is an idiot for getting into this mess with you. He put you in danger himself not to mention his family.”

“We’re ending this shit Yasmine you’re going to tell Philip you quit at the club I have the cash to pay your debt to Ronan. Trust me I can make his life very fortunate here in town East coast mob boss or not. Everyone wants the Devonshire money or their backing. Selina just marred the DA he could probably cut you a deal.” Rory said putting his foot down with her putting his foot down with her about the drugs and the club. Either she could stop with the dealing and the lifestyle and trust him to help her with that or she couldn’t and maybe she was right. “Tell me right now that you’ll quit the club. I’ll hire a security team for you to guard you from that crazy ass Kendrick guy with you in the press with me Ronan isn’t going to touch you. Trust me Yasmine unless you think Jamal can take care of this all on his own.”

“I quit.” Yasmine said looking at him. “I quit all of this.” Yasmine said knowing that it was about to be a struggle. This was going to get her mom in danger and even Rory. “They threatened you before and I hate that I hurt you. I didn’t know we were on this path. It happened so fast Rory and I am so sorry about your brother. I just did it because I needed the money and my mom. I know you don’t understand my life and my struggles but I had to fix her because she’s all I got. She’s all I have and I don’t have a dad Rory. I have a john that’s who my father is. My mom gave kids up but she kept me. I had to save her.” She cried passionately. “I have siblings out there, I don’t know but she kept me.”

Turning away she bit her lip. “Gina died in Atlas Falls, Money died in Atlas Falls, and now I’m scared I’m going to die in Atlas Falls because of her!” She pointed at Miranda. “You’re saying this but I’m a stripper Rory! I’m not Jamal or you or Brooke! Ya’ll got money, ya’ll parents got influence and my mom is junkie hooker.” She screamed at him. “You don’t get it! It’s your privilege that’s blinding you but I love you so much it don’t matter. I love you enough to put my life.” She slapped her chest. “On the line and I just. I just. I’m just. I just.” Yasmine stumbled over her words. “I just want to be happy.”

Did she quit the club or them he wasn’t sure with her words, he stiffened as he looked at her and Ronan threatening him. No one threatened him and if Ronan thought he could scare him that way he had another thing coming. He would make him pay his father had connections hell his family had connections and what type of a man did that? Threatened women and their families, thugs that was who. He did believe that she was sorry about Jackson he had been angry about it since finding out but he also knew that it wasn’t all her. He had heard about the shooting after the fundraiser a few weeks ago a gang shoot out, rival factions. Yasmine needed out and needed out now.

“You’re not going to die do you really think I’d let that happen to you? Do you believe in anyone Yasmine other than some thug that is supposed to care about you letting you strip?” Rory said knowing it was a dirty blow when he said it, he however couldn’t help it he hated Kendrick. He’d never met the man but no one that cared about Yasmine would be alright with her dancing on a pole selling her soul to perverts and running coke for the mob. If Kendrick was anything of a man he would have never let it get that far in the first place. He saw her anger at the statement and threw his hands up. “I hate him he’s an asshole alright you always like to build him up because he was with your sister. I want to be happy too Yasmine. Jamal went on about it with you how I could never understand even though I’m trying too. Does Jamal understand he’s the same as me is that what this is about?”

Yasmine shook her head. As she folded her arms knowing that she had to tell Rory that Jamal kissed her. This was a mess and her boyfriend already lost his trust but she was determine for him to believe in her. Exhaling she touched his face. She knew she was going to quit tonight and soon she’d be free of Club XES and and eventually that life. What would she do now for money? How was she to survive? You go from making ten thousand a week to flipping burgers in McDonalds. She wasn’t about that life. As she looked at him and knew that Jamal wasn’t a secret that they needed to have.

“He’s referring to us being interracial I think. I think he believes because he’s black he understands the streets. I think he’s a brat and he stupid as hell because if I was blessed in life like Jamal I wouldn’t be sitting around playing you know. When we were at the club Jamal kissed me he wants me and has since he’s been working for Kendrick. As for him he’s wilding man he acting like he’s Ronan or some shit. He also thinks he controls me if I wanted Jamal, I’d have him but like I told him I’m with you.” Yasmine lowered her head. “I’m quitting tonight you should come with me.”

“He kissed you? I’m going to kill him better I’ll beat the shit out of him. I told him the other night to stay the hell away from you.” Rory said looking at her and the revelation that Jamal kissed her did he have no shame it wasn’t like he didn’t know that he was with Yasmine.

Shuffling his feet he went to say more only for a few reporters to approach them for pictures. Putting his arm around her he pulled her close and plastered on a smile for the cameras not sure how much else he was supposed to take from her. He could swear he saw his father and mother across the room glaring at them and looked his dad dead in the eye Braden marrying Selina was the less of his father’s problems at the moment if he ever found out what Yasmine did for a living.


Jackson had a pint of ice cream between them and a slew of other snacks. “You know I don’t want to have sex. Not that I don’t want too because my drive is extremely high.” He touched her hair as he looked at her face. “I just want to watch movies and eat ice cream and laugh with you. Look the Notebook we’ve watched a million times. I have a movie I love and people judge me about it. I remember when I first saw it, Gloria had just died and um me and Mason were sad like kids are. Then my mom came in the room with Selina and she turned on a movie. Ghost was what I watched when I high a lot it made me think of Gloria. She used to tell me a lot I had so much potential. I was her favorite I think.” He paused as he looked at Dani. “The truth of the matter is the Devonshire and Delacroix family are forever connected. We are a family but Chauncey never loved Selina like your bro. I’m happy for her and you’re getting a kick ass sister-in-law.”

He rolled over and fed her a spoonful of ice cream and laughed. “Let’s get married Dani, why are we waiting? I mean I love you and you’re amazing and I know. I know I don’t want to spend my life with anyone but you. Dani come on babe let’s have our happy ending.” Then he leaned down and kissed her belly. “Have mini Dani or Jackson but with my luck I’ll end with a mini dad or Lauren.” He laughed slightly. “I want a family of my own. I want something that can’t be taken from me. I don’t want to be alone anymore. I don’t want you to be alone anymore. Marry me and we can rule the world.”

“We don’t have too.” Dani said glancing over at him and then back at the TV. She was trying to not focus in on Skye being back or her words about his threesomes. If she did honestly she’d start analyzing everything again, like if she was enough for him in that way. Lex had lost interest in that when they were together right after his mother died only she learned later he was getting it elsewhere. The Notebook was a good movie they’d watched it a lot but she’d never heard the Gloria story behind it before. She was happy for her brother and Selina they’d been on and off for years and finally took the plunge granted it wasn’t in the best way at someone else’s wedding. “I’m happy for Braden and Selina I really didn’t want her to marry your brother. Though the look on my dad and your father’s face will probably be something people will write home about.”

“You just said you didn’t want too you can’t do things like that fed me ice cream and then lean down kiss me there and look at me like you want to ravish me that’s not fair.” She said considering his proposal when he looked up at her. She couldn’t think straight when he started kissing her and touching her. Right now she needed to think straight with him telling her he wanted to get married, he was barely clean and that was more important to her than some stupid ring or piece of paper. She did love him and want that with him. “And where would we live Jackson at the mansion with your parents looking over our shoulder? You’re already under enough pressure from your dad at work. He’d probably ban you and fire me. I love you but you can’t be serious about this at the moment.”

Jackson ate a sour worm which matched his mood when Dani dissed him. Slowly folding his arms he grabbed the bag of candy. “I’m serious as hell. I could turn the cottage house into our home. Mom would love grandchildren on the estate ie why Maddie and Chauncey live there. It’s a tradition in our family that house is apart of our DNA. One of the many reasons I feel badly about Bliss, she didn’t get our memories in that house. Look I do want to marry you and a ring is important Dani. Look my dad taught us we marry it’s something ingrained in my head. I love you and so what we’d be fired. If that happens I’d ask my mom for my trust fund and we could buy a cabin in Toronto or Nova Scotia and raise babies with cute Canadian accents.”

He lowered his head as he looked at her. “I just think we can have fun together away from the madness. Look I’m a junkie but like most junkies we aren’t dumb. We know a good thing when we see them. We know when we have someone who cares and I have something so much more. I have a woman who is my complete and total soulmate. You are amazing and I guess it would be stupid for me to do this without my girl. I want to be clean and you were already helping without you knowing. Dani that was my first time in months.” As he looked at her. “So what do you say? Let’s do this babe hell say yes and we can leave now. Screw DGI and our lives. I have cars and material possessions that we wouldn’t have to work for awhile. We’d start fresh and Skye and Esme and Merci and all my other girls won’t be in your face. Hell I can be Jack Devon and you can be Daniella Devon. I like that see we’ll be tabloid free and free of my brother and free of your dad. Man this sounds better by the moment. Nova Scotia a log cabin and me writing a novel and you playing the guitar in the morning. Singing to the kids come on Dani.”

Reaching for the remote on the side table Dani turned off the TV as he spoke again realizing he was serious about the entire thing. She loved him that was not the problem right now the problem was everything else they had just got back together. He really needed the counseling and therapy or whatever Kelsey said she could get him. She watched him pull away almost like she had rejected him. Taking the bag of candy from him she took it away gently so they could really talk putting the candy on the nightstand. She rose and put the ice cream in the bathroom sink for now if it melted it wouldn’t create a huge mess. Going back to the bed she looked at him she loved him, loved the way he painted a future for them made everything sound safe and happy for them. A baby with him, kids with him because he wanted them how in the hell did she get so lucky? Climbing onto his lap she felt his arms wrap around her waist and she sat there for a moment resting her forehead against his.

“I want you clean that is what matters to me. I didn’t know that it was your first time using in months it makes me so happy to know that. I don’t want us to run away from our problems. We have to stay so you can start the counseling I’ll go with you if you want me too be there every step of the way. I love you. You’re making this whole I don’t want to make love to you thing really hard at the moment.” She said quietly stroking his cheek. Leaning in she couldn’t help herself she kissed him deeply feeling him press against her thong. She unbuttoned his shirt laying her fingers over his heart feeling his hands grip her thighs his fingers brushing her heat slightly. Pulling back from him she looked at him not wanting him to stop touching her. “I didn’t say no. I’m considering it. Besides weren’t you supposed to continue to make it up to me in so many ways? Did you even get a ring?”

Jackson smiled as he dug into his top pocket. Pulling out a diamond ring he bought his mother and she gave him it back when they were pushing Esme down his throat. His mom said give it to his wife and his wife could pass it down to her son. He slid it on her finger. “I’m saying that I love you and I’m going to make you proud. I’m going back to rehab in a couple of weeks Dani, I want to make this deal and then I’ll go back and then we will get married. So this is a engagement ring huh? That’s fine you’re not ready and I broke our trust. Dani I’ll wait as long as possible. I’m sorry.”

He touched her face. “If I didn’t let Chauncey get to me I would be running away with you right now. That’s fine I need to face all my demons so they can’t haunt me anymore. Dani can I ask you something? Am I enough for you?” Jackson said calmly but wondering the answer. “I mean as a man you deserve someone like Jon. He’s noble and good.” Clearly annoyed he had to give the guy his due. “I just don’t want you to settle for me. I suck and I’ve done things that you haven’t. I’m not a good guy and I think you deserve a good guy after Lex.”

It wasn’t that she wasn’t ready and she didn’t want him to think that there was just a lot on the line at the moment at work. She felt like Lowell was constantly watching them more like him waiting for him to slip up. This also felt right like it never had with Lex they certainly didn’t talk about it and it was very much so to please their parents. The ring was gorgeous she would have probably picked it out. “It’s not that I don’t want too or that I’m not ready. Please don’t be sorry.” Dani said quietly the entire thing couldn’t of been more perfect if he went and did some fake gesture about it. When he asked her if he was enough for her she made him look at her pressing her body to his. He was going to stop that putting himself down even if it killed her.

“I only want you and us. I love you, I’ve never loved anyone like I love you never wanted anyone like I want you. I’ve never thought of Jon like that ever he’s a nice guy Jackson but that doesn’t make him right for me. I could never settle for you nor would I consider this settling.” She said still looking at the ring on her finger and knowing he was waiting for an answer. She couldn’t just walk around town with it on her finger at least not right now. She knew they had to make a step forward. Leaning into him she looked at him again. “If I say yes we compromise I won’t wear the ring at work or out in public at least not until the deal in Egypt is over. I also don’t want to live at the mansion you can move in here. We take our time on this alright? Can you make love to me now?”

“Deal.” He said throwing her on the bed and climbing on top of her kissing her profusely. “I missed the way you smell. I missed you so much Dani.” He leaned down and kissed her again as he smiled. “We are now engaged to be married baby. I love you and I don’t want any whips and chains tonight can I just make love to you. All night slowly and tenderly and then when the sun comes up I’ll have my fun. Tonight however I want to make you cum over and over and over again.” Jackson whispered into her ear. As he leaned over clicking off the light.


Maddie looked at the planes taking off and she’d gotten her grandparents to give her the private jet. Mom and Braden had chosen to take them along with. Slowly walking away from the group she had to speak with her father. She loved her mom and Selina was her mother but she also knew her father was blood. Blood in and blood out she was a Devonshire. Knowing her aunt Bliss was a skank was a fun tool. Eventually she had to show her father and grandfather she was the true heir. They were always focused on the older generation however she knew one thing, she was coming. Looking back at Dylan she wondered what he really thought of all this? To be honest she’d be pissed if her mother and father weren’t together. This was different though. She knew her father and that British chick was becoming way to friendly with daddy. She didn’t like the acid blonde bimbo at all. She’d much prefer someone well else considering she looked like she could be her big sister and nothing about her screamed maternal.

When she pulled out her phone she quickly dialed her dad’s number. When she heard his voice he sounded fine just by a hello. “Dad, I know you’re mad right now and I know you’re even more pissed because Selina tricked you. Oh it’s all over the media so please don’t try to sugarcoat this. She snatched custody of me from you. I bet this is killing you but hell I think it’s a wake up call dad. You can’t keep hurting women because what exact karma am I to have?” Maddie said tickled pink she’d never seen her father so vulnerable but she didn’t want to rib him too much. “I love you daddy. You are my one and only dad always.”

Chauncey had just finished showering as Greer was inside the bed when he had walked back into the suite to grab his phone when it rang. Maddie he reminded himself that he had to calm with this call make Selina think she had really won. Greer had reminded him about that quite well over the last few hours their plan he had to play the wounded and shamed brother. So that the public could get behind him, so his father would look the other way for a bit he and Greer would take them all by storm. Selina would not know what hit her at the end of it all she thought she was so smart having Mason arrange the papers, he would be making a call to the bar. Mason would be going before the bar for his license he would see how tough he and his sister were then.

“When are you and Selina coming back you had to of known that I have other interests Maddie. Technically we share custody if anything but that isn’t something that I want you to worry about.” Chauncey said discussing the ridiculous custody papers with Maddie was something that he would keep to himself. She was a teenager and didn’t need to know about adult business and as much as Selina helped raise her, he was going to destroy the only mother she ever knew. “I do hope that Mr. Fraiser’s family is treating you with the dignity you deserve. I would have prefered if you would have stayed her Madeline. You could always change your mind I can have a driver pick you up.”

“Dad, I’m going with mom and you are disconnected if you thought she was going to marry you.” Ignoring the clear signs he wasn’t in the mood to speak about this. “Whatever the reasons you are so lost in the sauce dad. We are coming back in a couple of days. Dad I don’t want you to go after Selina.” Twirling her finger around her hair. “I just know how angry you can get and I promise if you don’t I’ll tell you a big secret to eliminate the competition. I know something dad and I think if it comes out it’ll be big.” Biting her lip maybe her daddy would go for this.

“As for Braden he’s a little Mr. Brady for my taste but he raised my best friend and he’s also making mom happy. Look you and her aren’t happy dad so all I want to do is make you both happy. So in a couple of weeks when calmer heads prevail you’ll both rip up that stupid custody paper and I’ll have both my parents? So do we have a deal? I give you what I know and you keep my mom out of the line of fire?” Flipping her hair she started to walk again. She swore Braden was trying to eavesdrop on her convo by buying candy and snacks. Hadn’t he been on a private jet before? We had all that stuff on the plane. They were going to have to teach that man some class. It was corny how sweet he was. “So deal or no deal daddy how much do you want my intel?”

“It was a nice thought the three of us as a family. I am not going to discuss that further with you.” Chauncey said knowing that was the end of it as far as he was concerned.

He had every intention of going after Selina period and Maddie didn’t need to know those plans he saw Greer stirring in her sleep and sat down on the bed mulling over Maddie’s offer so she knew something he wondered about which sibling. His daughter was astute he knew that much and being raised in the mansion had allowed her access to other things. Like the ability to spy when needed or butt her nose in where it didn’t belong. Had Jackson been using? Lord knew she already knew about Max and her sordid affair with Philip. Was Rory in the wrong at the moment? Or were her sights set on her dear new aunt the one that mysteriously arrived.

“I’ll tell you what you tell me what I want to know about the competition maybe this won’t sting as much.” Chauncey said he couldn’t help the smile at her attempt like grandfather to son to granddaughter.

“No way I’m play hardball dad until you promise, I’m not giving up any intel on which of your siblings is doing the dirtiest things, I’ve ever seen. Matter fact I’m pretty sure if this got out you’d be eliminating one of them.” She said with a pointed sharpness. “Fine dad you don’t want to talk abou this. I’m sure Aunt Max and me when we go on our shopping spree annually would love this info. Time time to board dad love you bye.” She pressed the end button on the phone. Looking at her mother she bit her lip. He was going to try and dismantle her piece by piece. She had to stop that, flipping her long blond hair.

“So my dad sends us all safe travels and congrats to you both hmm.” She said lying through her teeth. “Let’s board New York, New York we can shop, ohh I know the cutest boutique! Oh and broadway! OMG we’re going to have so much fun Dylan. I mean this we go to high school and we’re stiblings. Step-siblings nobody says that anymore ohh Chanel mom Chanel I have to have new Chanel bag for high school. Oh and we need to upgrade Braden wardrobe, he looks like he stepped men’s warehouse. That’s not chic at all and your um briefcase has worn leather that’s tacky. Oh and your hair is wow that cut doesn’t work at all. Dylan we can work on you next.”

“Maddie that’s not nice.” Selina said looking at her daughter with the eye. “Maybe we can get Braden and new briefcase if you’re so concerned. I like his suits though sweetie.”

“I don’t.” Maddie said walking onto the tarmac. “Dylan do you like your father’s suits or do want the DA of Atlas Falls to look cheap and broke.”

“Maddie!” Selina said quickly shocked at her attitude shift. “Is something the matter?”

“Nope, I just recall how hard you made it for Ophelia. So maybe it’s karma idk but I got my Beatz by Dre so I’ll tune out the Fraiser talk. I mean his dad is always ragging on my grandfather. Shrugs I mean you made Ophelia life hell so maybe I’ll return to favor on Mr. Fraiser my dad heartbroken and I’m over it.”

Braden looked over at Maddie and then at Selina frankly he liked his wardrobe and his briefcase it was his dad’s when he was at DGI. He also paid for things on his own and he certainly wouldn’t be letting Selina or Maddie do that for him or Dylan. Dylan knew the rules you wanted something you earned it. You worked hard for it something he shot Selina a look about that was something that had come between them before money.

“Maddie Dylan knows you want something you earn it. As for the trip we shall see when we go.” Braden said looking at Maddie wondering if this was how it was going to be. Her fighting him on things and corrupting Dylan with her ways. “Money’s not everything and I hope one day you learn that.”

Dylan could tell his dad was annoyed at Maddie he was used to her ways at school. She judged girls for their clothes or their last name and yes his dad shopped at Men’s Warehouse but he was proud of him. His family may not of been well off but they were secure financially when it mattered his grandma made sure of that. He looked at Maddie shooting her a look did she have to be so rude to his father?

“In sure she didn’t mean it like that dad. I have some history homework to do.” Dylan said hoping that would be it and besides did Maddie even have the paper done?

“God Dillon it’s winter break and you’re doing that?” Maddie said laughing leaning back in the plush jet seat. Looking at Braden clearly her attitude had dug into his skin. She yelped when her mother pinched her. Looking at Dylan she knew that look he was telling her to cool out. “I didn’t I just want Braden be um more fashionable. And why wouldn’t we go sight seeing? What’s the point of going to New York if we can’t shop?”

“It’s about us blending as a family Maddie, not having a shopping spree.” Selina said touching her husband and Dylan hand. “I want us to be a unit, impenetrable nothing can break us up.” Winking at Maddie.

She knew when to push it and not. Her mom was on her honeymoon and she wouldn’t be a bitch yet. “Family unit got it. Ok no fashionable makeover but Braden or that haircut. I can clean him up if you want mom. Not that you look bad or anything you did catch the prettiest woman in Atlas Falls. Notice I didn’t say girl.” Flipping her hair as she smiled at Braden. “As long as you make her happy I’m all good.” The moment her mother wasn’t she’d make his life hell. “Plus I got a kick ass bro.”

“Maddie language.” Selina smirked and winked at her daughter. Braden looked mortified she spoke her mind but she was smart as hell. Not only that she and Chauncey had installed a personality in her to be a funny, and brave. What she wasn’t going to have is Maddie being a wedge because her daddy feelings were hurt. “She’s spirited.”

Dylan rolled his eyes at the entire thing Maddie was being a brat he knew that and putting his earbuds into his ear he drowned them all out with music as he looked out the window. He wondered how his own mother was he hadn’t missed the hurt on her face when his dad married Selina. He also felt like everything would change and he didn’t want that either he liked his family the way it was.

“Spirited.” Braden mumbled there was another word he would use for it normally bratty but right now he knew that Maddie had a lot going on. This was new to her and they did just spring this on her. He hoped the trip would be less contentious than the plane ride there so far had been following Dylan’s lead he squeezed Selina’s hand in his as the pilot announced their take off to New York..


Skye looked over at Merci as the elevator ticked up on the wall they were almost there the wedding preparations suite and after that Merci had her key to the safe at the hotel for guest and their safe valuables. Her mind was determined to focus on the job at hand and not on the encounter with Jon out on the balcony or the ringing of her cell phone. Looking at the caller ID she rolled her eyes they could wait she wasn’t that desperate yet for the money. After tonight she could breathe a bit easier. That was what she had to focus in on not the ringing of her phone or how annoyed she was at Jon’s family still thought she was trash. Jon still at least seemed interested and if it meant Cassie getting egg on her face then she was more than willing.

“I meant to tell you when Miranda interrupted me and Jon I hope she gets what is coming to her. Can you believe her all these years later? It wasn’t I was the only one involved her brother was the one that was always calling me, he knew I was still involved with Jackson too.” Skye said picking at her nails knowing she needed to get them refilled as soon as she could mark it on the calendar. A girl had needs and part of that was being beautiful as she clutched the weekender bag to her body, a brilliant idea they came up with. Since they were both guests it was palpable and no one would think otherwise. “How much time do you think we have? I know most of them were seeing there newlyweds off.”

“I think we have at least thirty minutes.” Merci said looking at her best friend. “As for Miranda that bitch always was salty even from high school. It’s so predictable that this bitch thinks that Jon sex habit is all on you. Please we saw the dark sith Jon and maybe Miranda doesn’t think that it exists but I do. I see right past her superior uppity act she’s so morally correct. Sometimes I wish her husband wasn’t dead. I do know one thing that the security cameras are off. Due to the fact that I know this building so well, during the chaos I turned them off. We are about to fence some goods honey.” Sucking her teeth she saw Skye anger and she felt her other half was back. “What are you up too and don’t give me that innocent doe eyed look.”

Merci got off the elevator and slowly saunter into the suite. Walking to the vintage Hernan Bas she removed it from the wall and swiftly put in the combination in the safe. With that they were inside. She looked at Skye as her eyes gleamed greedily. They hadn’t jumped up to be known in high society without fighting. Merci and Skye had been stealing bags, jewels, and anything they could pocket. In turn crazily to keep up with them they bought the stunning clothes. “Jackpot.” She said high fiving Skye.

Thirty minutes should be long enough she knew that much and yes she was angry the judgement that came from Jon’s family annoyed her maybe more than the judgement that Jackie and Lowell had back in the day. At least the Devonshire’s were snobs but the Harrison’s were blue collar their kids were far from perfect. She didn’t care about Miranda’s dead husband one way or the other back then she really didn’t give a shit about anyone but herself. She knew Merci would come through sometimes the hotel staff was so dense when it came to them and that was what made it work. Merci had the connection on the business side while she had her charm they were a lethal team in that way. She knew part of the deal she couldn’t tell Merci about the real reason she was home or any of it. That was part of the agreement she had in place.

“It’s just I’m not that person anymore you know why I had to leave why I had to get my life together. I plan on doing this score and then moving on and if Jon and I have some fun then we have fun.” Skye said looking over at her best friend it was the truth or at least the truth she had to sell. For her sanity and sake this score would give her a nice cushion and then she could figure the rest out from there she was on a timeline at the moment. A timeline that she knew may start a fight again between Jon and Jackson she had gotten herself into quite the mess again. Looking at the small items they could take she opened the bag. “It’s nothing alright. Let’s just get this job over grab the small stuff they will sell well and then some bags we can get a good price for those too.”

Merci bit her lip looking at her best friend knowing why she was so jumpy all of the sudden. This had to be dragging up old feelings and thoughts. “The past is the past you moved on and now you’re here Skye so let’s finish and we’re done with this. No more hun and look you did what you had to do. I’m not judging.” She flipped her bang out of her face. “I um was thinking about when I came to Philly and helped you before you went abroad. Look if you ever need to talk about that Skye, I’m your sister and you’re mine. We went through that together and I’m still mad and I’m still wondering if all that stuff was legal.” Merci was about to rant and the hurt expression on her face stopped her. “I’m sorry.”

She should have just shut her big mouth. It still pissed her off how everything happened. “Let’s finish the score and drink tonight and dance like we used to do. Oh my God we should to go to Vertigo on New Years! Oh that would be so fun!” She picked up a diamond choker and a few other pieces. “That’s no doubt Brooke’s earrings those are sapphires crown jewels from that Island she was on in the south of Greece. Girl we will never have to do this again.”

Philly was still a bitter pill she didn’t want to think about one of the main reasons she left. She’d told Jackson it was to pursue acting and Jon she didn’t even face him to tell him. It was better for all of them that she left that way it was all such a fucking mess. She knew Merci meant well but those memories were something that stung. Legal or not it was what she thought was best for all three of them involved and now that she was back. Her phone rang and she shoved it back into her pocket they were persistent. She wondered if it was all worth it the game she was playing again and knew it was risky and Jon could walk all over again.

“Let’s just not talk about it anymore alright? We came here for this shit and those diamonds my dear will set us up for a while.” Skye said looking at her and then the earrings they were small and she knew from the look they were rare too. Why did bitches like Miranda or Brooke get men adoring them buying them jewelry while she and Merci suffered? She was glad when the conversation moved from the past to the present a night out at the club would do them good. “I say tonight we drink and I’ve been dying to club again. Who knows maybe we can bump into Devin there or Jon.”

“I can’t wait to snatch Devin from Miranda. She’s so bitter and angry a man that fine shouldn’t be tied to a girl who wouldn’t know how to have fun.” As the finished she closed the safe and placed the painting onto the wall. Looking deeply at Skye she knew she was in pain. Grabbing her best friend hand she adjusted her newly stuffed purse. Slowly walking out the door she smirked at Skye. “Ohhh we can get changed again like we used to. Get ready and put on Britney and act a fool. I missed going out with my best friend. Someone to do my hair.  Ohhh I think I’m putting some extensions in for New Year’s.” She said walking to the elevator.

“I don’t know Brooke is a real joke girl. She’s boinking Ronan remember that night I made out with him? I mean I was way too wild for Mr. Madden now Thor could get it, he’s so sexy. Look I just don’t see her as Ronan’s type. Not to mention you know who is pissed. He saying that girl is all up in Ronan business. And don’t give me that look honey, he just dick. It’s just sex like it’s been for the last three years. Skye he’s not that bad and I think the sex is bomb. He knows how to murder the cat.” She stuck out her tongue playfully as they got on the elevator.

Skye nodded her head at the statement that Miranda was bitter she supposed she would be too if she was ever married and lost someone. Not that she ever envisioned that girls like her did not get married or share happy endings with people that they were close too. She had a smile on her face remembering the old times they had when they were carefree before life got complicated as they left the room. She let out a breath that she realized she was holding as they left the room and made their way to the elevators. She knew raised her eyebrow teasingly about Thor if only Cassie knew about that Merci and Thor the trouble that could cause.

“Brooke is a fool.” Skye said knowing all too well the rumors that had circulated while she was in Europe about Brooke and that prince what was his name? Rumor was she couldn’t keep up with the European flair so many men enjoyed or expected of their future wives. “I think society princess will learn the hard way men like Ronan Madden are not playthings to put in a gallery. At least you and I don’t pretend Merci.” She finished watching the elevator go down they couldn’t afford to pretend it wasn’t in their nature.